Albus Dumbledore and the Shattered Pedestal: My Thoughts on Fantastic Beasts II

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Albus Dumbledore and the Shattered Pedestal: My Thoughts on Fantastic Beasts II

Mira Bohannan Kumar, Reporter

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With the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in December 2016, the Harry Potter franchise has produced a fantastic spin-off that opens the series to an entirely new set of possibilities. For people like me, this is a dream come true.

But Fantastic Beasts isn’t a stand-alone movie: according to the creators, it will have four sequels. It has been confirmed that the second movie will take place in France and England, and that it will have some of the same characters, with a few new ones added into the mix.

One of the things I’m most worried about with the sequels is also one of the things I’m most excited to see: it has been confirmed that a young Dumbledore will be part of the cast in later movies.

When I went to see Fantastic Beasts for the first time (of course I saw it multiple times; what kind of fangirl do you think I am?), I was there with two friends, one of whom is as avid a fan as I am.

There is a scene in the movie when Newt Scamander is talking to Percival Graves. On the subject of Newt’s expulsion from Hogwarts, Graves asks a question that reveals a tie-in to the original series: “I wonder what makes Albus Dumbledore so fond of you?”

While there is a very well-founded theory about this, that is not what I want to discuss, because it is not what I thought about when I first heard this line.

Upon hearing it in the theater, both my friend and I were suddenly overcome by a rush of emotion; there, tucked into a movie we were watching in our teens, was a scrap of childhood. Harry Potter has been a constant source of joy in my life since I was five, and Dumbledore, despite all his faults, has been a source of guidance and solace for me for as long of a time.

This is why I am conflicted about the later films: on the one hand, the appearance of a younger Dumbledore who has a personal, emotional storyline could give me–and other fans–new insight into a character who has a special place in our hearts.

On the other hand, if something about the story doesn’t live up to the image of Dumbledore I have in my mind, the movie could ruin the way I view the character.

What I have realized in the end, though, is that there are some characters–and some real people, too–who we build up in our minds, who we think of as being perfect–more perfect than the rest of us, at least.

But the truth is that we are all people, and we are all flawed–even if we are a hundred and fifty years old and unbelievably powerful. What happens in the movies is the truth of Dumbledore, not what I’ve imagined him to be. Sometimes one has to let the pedestal crumble. In the words of A Very Potter Senior Year, everything ends.

It is J.K. Rowling’s world. We just live in it.