It’s not news to anyone that the Fantastic Beasts franchise is not as successful as the original Harry Potter series is. However, the first poster for The Secrets of Dumbledore is out. It features a phoenix, quite possibly Fawkes, Dumbledore’s phoenix, who premiered in Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, and played a significant role in that book/movie, as well as in the rest of the series. Is this a sign that the Fantastic Beasts franchise is being literally reborn?
Major Changes Following The Crimes of Grindelwald
The Secrets of Dumbledore trailer already featured some changes that are obvious and, most likely, a little frustrating to some fans. Tina Goldstein, portrayed by Katherine Waterston, was notably absent in the trailer, which is both surprising and none-too-appealing, as she and Newt will canonically get married some time in the future and have at least one child. Other changes, such as the replacement of Johnny Depp’s Grindelwald with Madds Mikkelsen has been known for a while, but that could be another indication of why the phoenix is so significantly featured in the poster.
The third change indicated by the phoenix could be the slow, but apparently inevitable shift of the focus in the Fantastic Beasts series from Newt to Dumbledore and Grindelwald. The second movie is called The Crimes of Grindelwald and the third, The Secrets of Dumbledore. Both characters have become more and more prevalent, after Grindelwald barely appeared in the first movie and Dumbledore was absent. While the Fantastic Beasts series was initially about Newt (and his significance is still very important), Tina’s absence and the titles of the second and third movies being centered about Grindelwald and Dumbledore respectively, makes the “fantastic beasts” in the title appear less significant than it previously was.
Significance In The Scheme Of The Harry Potter Franchise
Seeing as the phoenix, (potentially Fawkes), is a beast, it could be a reminder of how significant the Fantastic Beasts really are. After all, The Crimes of Grindelwald gave us the origin story to Nagini, Voldemort’s pet snake and one of his Horcruxes. This film could and most likely will give us insight to how Fawkes came to be Dumbledore’s companion. When Dumbledore died in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, it was implied that Fawkes finally did too, with the chapter even being called “The Phoenix’s Lament.” It will be fascinating to learn how their relationship came to be.
The other significant thing about the poster is Hogwarts Castle in the background. While Hogwarts was featured in The Crimes of Grindelwald, it will obviously play a bigger role in The Secrets of Dumbledore, as it appeared in the trailer, most notably with The Room of Requirement. Given that the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts literally has “Return to Hogwarts” in the title, it’s no surprise that the Fantastic Beasts poster has the subtitle “Return To The Magic” on it. The two franchises continue to capitalize on each others’ successes and failures, and that is normal for connected franchises to utilize each other for maximum impact.
At any rate, Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts fans have a lot to celebrate in 2022! The Harry Potter reunion airs on New Year’s Day and the Fantastic Beasts movie will premiere in April. Mark your planners (or maybe one of Hermione’s special ones that shouts out a reminder to do homework) in preparation for the wonderful return to the Wizarding World!