The biggest, baddest wizard in the magical world was Voldemort – but before he came along, a sinister villain known as Grindelwald terrorised the wizard world. Grindelwald is the chief nemesis of the Fantastic Beasts series. But unlike Voldemort – the typical villainous overlord who rules on high – Grindelwald had an intense, personal relationship with Dumbledore. He was a friend (or even more), before he became an enemy, which is what makes his betrayal and subsequent descent into evil so much more painful for the heroes of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

In fact, if Grindelwald didn’t turn to the Dark Arts, he would have borne some striking similarities to a particular hero with a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead – Harry Potter. The two aren’t so different, when you examine their lives closely… which is a creepy thought. What would have happened if Harry decided to take Grindelwald’s path instead… would he have been an even greater menace than Voldemort?

If you’re not convinced, here are some uncanny similarities between the two. Have you noticed them before?

1. Both were masters of the Elder Wand

Also known as the Deathstick, the Elder Wand was perhaps the most powerful item in all of the wizarding world. Said to be created by Death himself, the Elder Wand amplified its owner’s spells to a fantastic degree. Like all wands, the Elder Wand could not be used to harm or kill its master – but ownership could be passed on to a wizard if he or she defeated the current wielder of the wand.

Grindelwald took possession of the Elder Wand by simply ambushing the previous owner, Gregorovitch – a scene we can’t wait to see in a future Fantastic Beasts film! However, Dumbledore was still able to beat an Elder Wand-empowered Grindelwald, becoming the new master of the Elder Wand.

Harry’s mastery of the wand was a little more convoluted, though. After gaining it, Dumbledore had planned to stop the bloody succession of the Elder Wand by willingly accepting to be killed (instead of being “defeated) by Snape – but before that could happen, he was Disarmed by Draco Malfoy, thus unknowingly passing on mastery of the Elder Wand to the boy. Draco was later defeated by Harry Potter, who then became the true master of the Elder Wand.

And unlike Grindelwald, Harry still maintains mastery of the Elder Wand… or does he? He was Disarmed by the daughter of Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child… so it remains to be seen if the Elder Wand now has a new master.

 

2. Both got expelled from school

Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

As any Potter fan will know, Grindelwald was an alumnus of Drumstrang Institute, the Northern European equivalent of Hogwarts. It was a magical school with a very strong culture in the Dark Arts, but even they could not stomach Grindelwald’s macabre Dark Magic experiments.

He was expelled from the school for “twisted experiments” at 16, after which he went to live with his great-aunt Bathilda Bagshot at Godric’s Hollow. It was there that he met Dumbledore and they struck up their (now infamous) friendship.

How about Harry Potter – didn’t he graduate and complete his studies? He did – but he also technically got expelled when he was 15 years old. You see, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry had to protect his infuriating cousin Dudley from the soul-sucking Dementors. He cast a Patronus charm in front of Dudley to save the both of them. However, casting spells in front of Muggles is illegal – which led to a brief expulsion from Hogwarts. Fortunately, everything was put right after that… but still. Harry has an expulsion record in his school dossier.

 

3. Both have lived in Godric’s Hollow before

Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

Remember how we mentioned the Grindelwald lived in Godric’s Hollow, where he met Dumbledore (who also lived in Godric’s Hollow at the time). It was supposedly where Godric Gryffindor was born (yes, that Gryffindor!).

While Harry Potter lived most of his childhood years at 4 Privet Drive with the Dursleys, he also had another address – Godric’s Hollow. You see, his parents James and Lily Potter lived in the Potter cottage at Godric’s Hollow, which means baby Harry stayed there for a while, too… until Voldemort’s attack.

 

4. Both lived with their aunts

After Harry’s parents were violently murdered by Voldemort, he was sent to live with his Uncle Dursley and Aunt Petunia, and their pampered son Dudley. Petunia was his maternal aunt, and hence a blood relative – which meant that powerful blood protection magic could ensure that Harry Potter was kept safe from Voldemort, so long as he stayed with the Dursleys.

Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

Grindelwald had a similar story. Remember how we mentioned he went to live with his great-aunt Bathilda Bagshot, after his expulsion? Although she was technically his great-aunt, she’s still an aunt – which means that both Harry and Grindelwald lived with their aunts during their formative years.

 

5. Both were extremely close to Dumbledore

Grindelwald and Dumbledore were close – extremely close. J. K. Rowling herself said that Dumbledore and Grindelwald had a relationship, and Dumbledore himself described Grindelwald thus :

“Grindelwald. You cannot imagine how his ideas caught me, Harry, inflamed me.” 

– Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Suffice to say – Dumbledore and Grindelwald were extremely close.

Dumbledore and Harry were also extremely close, although in a different way, of course. Dumbledore functioned as a mentor to young Harry, guiding him through life and advising him on how to make difficult choices.

 

6. Both were killed by Voldemort

After Grindelwald was defeated, he was incarcerated in Nurmengard prison. It was there that he wasted away until Voldemort’s rise to power. In a mad attempt to extract the location of the Elder Wand, Voldemort stormed into Nurmengard and interrogated Grindelwald for its whereabouts. It was then that Grindelwald met his end – murdered by Voldemort. In a way, it was fitting – the most powerful Dark Wizard of his era was eventually killed by an even more powerful Dark Wizard.

Harry Potter was killed by Voldemort too – but wait, didn’t he survive? Well, let’s be clear – Voldemort made two attempts to kill Harry Potter. Once when Harry was just a child – but his mother’s love caused the Killing Curse to rebound onto Voldemort. The second time was in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Voldemort legitimately managed to Avada Kedavra Harry Potter into oblivion.

What Voldemort didn’t realise is that Harry Potter had a piece of Voldemort’s soul in him (Voldemort split his soul up into multiple pieces to avoid defeat) – and that piece of Voldemort’s soul is what succumbed to the Killing Curse. Harry Potter did really die for a bit though, but he came back.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

So what exactly did Grindelwald do to deserve being locked up for eternity? Find out in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald! Battle lines are drawn in this exciting instalment of the Fantastic Beasts series, where we finally get to see a young Dumbledore (Jude Law) in action! Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterson) return in the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (although we were wondering – shouldn’t the title be Fantastic Beasts and The Crimes of Grindelwald?).

Fantastic Beasts Movie Marathon. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Fantastic Beasts Movie Marathon. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

If you visit Pottermore every day, then you’d be thrilled to know that there’s a Fantastic Beasts Marathon this Wednesday – where you not only get to watch both Fantastic Beasts films back to back, but you’ll be amongst the first in Singapore to watch Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald! Fantastic Beasts Marathon viewers also get an exclusive Fantastic Beasts tumbler, bookmark and beast magnet set, in addition to tasty Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald popcorn!

Prepare yourself for one of the darkest times of the wizarding world – an era when  the Crimes of Grindelwald plagued the entire planet…

 

Credits: Warner Bros Pictures, Golden Village Cinemas

 

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