Box 2703: A Pointer to Alchemy in ‘Crimes of Grindelwald’ Plot?

We’re in the last days of our countdown to the publication of Strike 4, Lethal White, but I wanted to take a break today to point out something that may have been neglected in the online fine-tooth-combing of everything Crimes of Grindelwald. More on Lethal White in the days ahead, believe me!

There are a flood of ancillary texts (that’s ‘knock off books’) whose authors and publishers hope to catch a ride on the tsunami of publicity and promotions sure to attend the release of the second Fantastic Beasts film this November. The designers of the film’s special effects are surfing this wave, too, of course. Today’s post is a closer look at the cover of MinaLima’s The Archive of Magic: The Film Wizardry of The Crimes of Grindelwald (Harper Design).

The book is not selling very well at present in pre-release: it’s #419,506 on Amazon at this writing; a book I wrote in 2008, just for comparison, is at #327,906. At $50 for a 160 page book, maybe Archive is meant only as a collector’s item or last minute desperation gift for the Potter-phile who has everything. But there’s something in everything MinaLima does that’s worth noting. Here it’s the only thing you can see.

Note that the cover of the MinaLima book on the filming of ‘Crimes of Grindelwald’ features Box 2703 from the movie. We have this still of Tina and Newt just in front of that box. Between the cover and the still, I think it safe to assume the box holds something important.

My guess is that it has something to do with Nicholas Flamel. Three reasons after the jump!

(1) 2703 is a Magical Number: 27 is 3 cubed, of course, and 3 is at least as magical a number as 7. Not to mention that 27 + 3 = 30, which in numerological reduction equals 3. Alchemy, as you probably know, has three colored stages and some think 3 is the key number of hermeticism.

(2) Crimes of Grindelwald Features Alchemist Nicholas Flamel

We know from the latest trailer that Newt and Jacob meet with Nicholas Flamel in Paris. I think it safe to assume that he isn’t a friend that the Magizoologist made in his travels to write Fantastic Beasts. Flamel is the alchemist with whom Dumbledore has collaborated; no doubt, well, sure there’s reason to doubt, but it seems probable that Newt was told by his former Hogwarts instructor to contact Flamel for some reason associated with countering Grindelwald’s efforts to take power among wizards and over Muggles.

(3) Grindelwald Has a Stone of Some Kind He Presents to a Wizarding Assembly

We have a glimpse in the first trailer of Grindelwald and his lovely assistant speaking before an assembly of wizards and witches. She is holding what might be a stone. Or a Panatir, of course…

With the promise that the film will feature Nicolas Flamel, one could (and for the sake of this post, I will) assume that the stone is a Philosopher’s Stone.

DDore, friend and collaborator in alchemical experiments with Flamel, may have learned that Nicolas’ Stone has been stolen from its safe deposit box. Or that the box, appropriately stashed in #2703, has come under magical attack but not yet been forced open. Or a different hiding place with a lock that has Nicholas Flamel’s initials on it has already been broken into. (Note the similarity of that locked box or cover and the MinaLima design for the Crimes of Grindelwald screenplay book cover…)

He dispatches Newt to hunt down Grindelwald, the likely wannabe or actual thief.

The still of Newt and Tina before the safe deposit boxes, according to this speculative idea, is their first-step check on the box where Flamel kept the Stone. Shades of Harry and Hagrid riding the rails at Gringotts with Griphook to vault #713 (three prime numbers, all magical, adding up to eleven, another prime and a numerological “master number”) where Dumbledore kept Flamel’s Stone safe from the Dark Lord.

My reasoning for this, if ‘reasoning’ is the right word for this ice-floe jumping speculative exercise?

MinaLima has Box 2703 on the cover of their knock-off book about the second film. My assumption is they chose the relevant box for the cover, one that film viewers will immediately recognize as the place something secret, magical, and valuable is kept, in order to prompt film fans’ purchase of the $50 book (for a Philosopher’s Stone? A bargain!).

I confess, if confronted with a wall of safe deposit boxes all beginning with ’27’ while looking for a Philosopher’s Stone, yes, I’d choose Box 2703.

Dumbledore has sent Newt to Paris on his second ‘capture Grindelwald’ assignment because, he says in the first trailer, only Newt can do this job.

That could be because Newt is the master of the Elder Wand, because Dumbeldore has been forbidden to travel abroad by the Ministry, because Newt has something of a relationship with the Americans on their re-capture Grindelwald mission (not to mention Credence), or because brother Theseus is the head of the UK’s Grindelwald task force.

Or maybe it’s just because Dumbledore has never been very good with Magical Creatures and Newt has the answer to one problem in his pocket, namely, Pickett.

Can a Bowtruckle pick the lock to Box 2703? I think so.

What do you think about Box 2703? Just an arbitrary choice? Or a pointer to the alchemical backdrop to the second Fantastic Beasts movie?


  1. David James says

    Great thoughts here John….but one correction…..we dissected the Fantastic Beasts trailer at LeakyCon 2018 frame by frame and the object that the woman is holding next to Grindelwald at the wizard and witches assembly is a skull. It is the same skull that appears on the upper cover of the screenplay book for the movie.

  2. Did the Leaky mavens come to any conclusion about whose illumined skull this was? Or could it be a magical object in the shape of a skull?

    And did you hear any speculation there about the golden box #2703 or the NF inscribed open padlock?

  3. Kelly Loomis says

    The object is a skull. It is shown in the teaser for the trailer. (Which came out a day or two before Comic Con). Grindelwald uses the elder wand on it and it lights up. There is writing along the forehead of the skull which read “For the Greater Good” in German. And a date which I can’t remember at the present. In the trailer it also lights up as he is speaking to the crowd. Speculation in social media is that it somehow contains a prophecy Grindelwald is using to recruit/persuade followers. Sipal, in a video, researched that a dark French alchemist for Catherine de Medici (past queen of France) used a skull for prophecy and dark magic.

    I also read in one of the many “news clippings” that Flamel knew Newt and Jacob were coming and was not surprised when they ended up in his lab/Home.

    There are many alchemical nods so far and it will be interesting to see what plot points are related to alchemy. Not just in symbols but with people and other objects.

    As far as Dumbledore sending Newt, many of us have been going back and forth trying to understand Dumbledore’s reluctance. We think it will go back to his previous relationship and possible vows or magical connections they may have made with each other. Note the bracelet shown on Dumbledore’s arm with the rolled up sleeve in the mirror of Erised or the card he gives Newt on the bridge. At Comic Con they handed out wrist bands which all lit up at some point. (I think maybe when Depp was on stage) So maybe Dumbledore and Grindy had ways of communicating with each other or tracking each other through the bracelet like a dark mark or Hermione’s enchanted coins.

  4. Thank you, Kelly! Believe it or not, I haven’t watched the second trailer so this skull information was news to me.

    MuggleNet, I see now, wrote about the “creepy skull” in a post last month. Check it out here.

  5. Kelly loomis says

    Also, John in the scene in the underground shown in the first trailer, with the family tree written out, there are symbols by each name. Some have speculated on alchemy being used in breeding/genealogy within the Lestrange family and combinations producing complex or powerful magic. (Sipal and others on her comments and also on Tumblr)

  6. David James says

    Kelly beat me to the punch on this John…..Great thoughts on the meaning of the skull Kelly and the fact that “skulls” are used in the world of magic like a talisman for the purpose of magical influence, prophecy and to direct unseen forces by the practitioner. So all this fits Grindelwald and his Dark Schemes very well.
    At LeakyCon we noted that the skull may have future meaning and use after Grindelwald leaves the scene for another Dark Wizard to enter by the name we know so well….Voldemort. The skull becomes the Dark Mark…a power to unify and summon the Death Eaters to the will of the Dark Lord. But there is much we do not know yet as to the full meaning to all of this.
    I agree that the reluctance of Dumbledore to be the lead wizard to pursue Grindelwald and his plan for Wizard World domination is due to his past and internal deep feelings toward Grindelwald and their relationship. You get the idea by the scene where Dumbledore is gazing into the Mirror of Erised and beholds Grindelwald as the object of desire, in that moment at least.
    The other blockbuster revelation that we found at LeakyCon is when we stopped the trailer when Credence is gazing at a wall revealing the Lestrange family tree…Credence sees his name Credence Barebone within the Lestrange family listing below a name Corvus Lestrange….which would mean that Credence Barebone (his adopted name) was the son of Corvus Lestrange who also fathered Leta Lestrange by another marriage. So Credence and Leta are related !! This is getting very interesting, especially now that it appears Credence has learned to control his Obscurial to a degree…..but to what and who’s end !!

    Yes…the Golden Box #2703……talk at the LeakyCon “Grindelwald Summit” was that the box contained, one of the Deathly Hallows….the Resurrection stone….the Philosophers Stone or the documents to create “The Elixer of Life” “unlocked” (NF) for a purpose that Dumbledore has yet to reveal from Nicholas Flammel .

  7. says

    The Lestrange family tree reveal happened months ago and has been spoken about at length on many social media sites. Credence and Leta are half siblings – same father – different mothers (was there marriage in both relationships is not known). There is a lot of speculation about what the symbols by the names of the family tree mean. It seems to be more than just race.

    The lack of analysis or speculation on this site regarding Crimes of Grindelwald to date, is probably proof of John’s points in the above article wondering why Potter fans are not interested in the Strike series. I know John has been very busy this summer but his excitement over Lethal White pales in comparison to most Potter fans’ immersion into Crimes speculation.

  8. who are the characters on the bridge in the last scene? Is that the alchemist in the middle?

  9. Kelly Loomis says

    Mr. Smith there is a person who looks like Flamel depending on which angle it is shown from. It is actually Spielman however. He is the Minister who was thrown out of the carriage in the initial escape scene.

Speak Your Mind