Guest Post: The Ariana-Credence Theory

This Guest Post from Bob Rectenwald was originally posted as a comment on another HogwartsProfessor thread. I have bumped it up here as a stand-alone post so that it can be referenced by other fan sites easily and discussed without distraction from other conversations on that thread.

In brief, Bob’s theory is that when Ariana Dumbledore died, her Obscurus lived on and took the young Credence as its host (or Dumbledore somehow aided in that process and sent him to America). Both Dumbledore and Grindelwald witnessed or came to understand this, hence their search for Credence in New York with the Barebones. Albus sent Newt as his agent in this hunt and race because the Blood Pact prevented his moving against Gellert himself. Grindelwald wants Ariana-Credence as a weapon against Dumbledore because he believes that Albus will not be able to defend himself if it means killing the last surviving aspect of his dead sister, which Obscurus only exists because her older brother, as he admits to Leta, had not “loved her as I should have.”

Grindelwald searched for a young woman akin to Ariana in New York, which kept him from realizing that Credence was the host until he revealed his powers in the finale of the first film. Newt and Tina blocked his seduction of Credence but in Crimes Gellert plots to have Credence pursue him for the secret of his origin. Grindelwald creates the lie of ‘Aurelius’ and wins the boy’s heart to dreams of power and his being the lost son of a great wizarding family. The phoenix, a gift from Gellert, appears not to him but for Ariana’s Obscurus, the Dumbledore within him.

Please make the jump to read Bob’s Ariana-Credence Theory (ACT) as he first wrote it up, an exposition that includes  his predictions for the next three films as well. Enjoy! And let us know what you think of this attempt to tie together all we know into a coherent and credible story line in the comment boxes below! [Read more…]

‘Team Luna’ at Dancing With the Stars

Evanna and Keo scored 30 out of 30 on this free-style dance and another 30 out of 30 on their tango repeat. Though they received perfect scores from the judges, the votes from the audience and online put them in third place out of the four couples competing. Read the story here.

More dancing — that tango — and an interview with Evanna and Keo after the jump! [Read more…]

Crimes of Grindelwald: Stray Thoughts

I have seen Crimes of Grindelwald twice now and started reading and charting the “original screenplay.” This work is being delayed because of a flood of revelations about Rowling’s real story, the shooting script.

The biggest secret of the story, one kept much better than before the first film in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, is which scenes from the shooting script were cut for the final version of the movie, the so-called “deleted scenes.” That secret is busting open now with reports of more than fifteen deleted scenes, ones we had been shown in the various trailers and others which actors are discussing now in their endless junket interviews. If we are to see Rowling’s artistry rather than Yates’ blockbuster formula edit, we have to have these scenes in their sequence to chart the ring or whatever “structure” The Presence told us was her singular accomplishment in telling this ensemble story.

So, that’s a work in progress! While I sort through that with help from various friends, I hope to share some guest posts this week and some stray thoughts for your consideration and comment. Today’s three thoughts are about Travers, the Weekend Box Office, and a Lethal White plot point as a potential clue for solving Crimes of Grindelwald’s ‘Aurelius Dumbledore’ mystery. Join me for those after the jump! [Read more…]

Crimes of Grindelwald: Guest Review 1

Kelly Loomis has been carrying the Crimes of Grindelwald ball for the HogwartsProfessor team in the run-up to the film’s release last week so that the rest of us could focus on Lethal White‘s artistry and meaning. It’s been a tough job because, every time Kelly put together a comprehensive post — see her Top Ten ‘Crimes of Grindelwald’ Plot Points Pulled from Trailers, Merchandise, and Fan Sites — Rowling and Warner Brothers would move the goal posts the same or next day with another Big Reveal. I asked Kelly, because of her greater knowledge of and investment in the Fantastic Beasts film franchise, to write our first review of the film. She obliged me with this offering — Enjoy!

I enjoyed Crimes of Grindelwald tremendously.  Going into it I was worried that I had been spoiled by too many trailers, photos and merchandising especially after seeing an interview with Ezra Miller before the first Fantastic Beasts movie which gave away the final Grindelwald-Graves twist.  And, arrogant as I was because of all the online reading and research I’d been doing, I thought I had it all figured out. Ha! Rowling strikes again. I have now seen the movie twice and have poured over the published screenplay. These are my first impressions: [Read more…]

Crimes of Grindelwald: First Thoughts

(1) Only Rowling – A: Only J. K. Rowling could get away with making such a disastrous stand-alone movie. Film goers not well versed in the characters, relationships, and plot points of the first film, heck, the entire Wizarding World mythology, are going to be lost from start to finish in Crimes of Grindelwald. This is to skip over the large ensemble cast, the hurried-to-the-point-of-blurring character development, and the series of go-nowhere references and unfinished bridges in the story-line signaling “On To the Next Film!” Only Rowling and her team of film makers would have been given a pass from Warner Brothers to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars necessary to make and market this blockbuster production that will leave non-Potter-philes wondering, “What the hell was that about?” And delight the fandom base…

(2) Only Rowling – B: Really, the depths and tricks and McGuffins and literary magic in this movie! I hope to be writing four longish posts in the coming month on the ring structure of Crimes, the alchemical points, the narrative slow release and misdirection, and the requisite ‘Hidden Text’ that the characters are trying to interpret as we try to interpret the story they’re in. This is Rowling at the top of her game and unleashed in another medium, free to break the rules to create the episodic story only she can pull off.

(3) The Gamesmanship: I am so glad I stayed out of the “Figure Out Every Clue from the Trailers!” blogging and YouTube interpretative frenzy before the film’s release. I can think of several pictures and sequences that weren’t even in the movie — and the direct hits the frenetic seekers after secrets before we had the text came up with (and there were a bunch, of course, most remarkably the blood oath token) did little to dull the effect of the many surprises and story shifts of the final product. The Warner Brothers marketing team that kept that part of fandom who followed all their clues in a feeding frenzy without giving away the fun deserve some kind of Honorary Oscar for Deceit In Pre-Release Hype. They are the masters.

I am out the door to buy my copy of the book, the Surely-not-Original Screenplay, and to watch the film a second time. Because, again, this is an ‘Only Rowling’ experience in movie making; as with her novels, you will not, cannot get it until you begin the re-reading — a re-reading with the knowledge of the tricks she has in her kit and her preferred tools to transform our vision. Please share your first thoughts below!