December 14, 2018, 03:37:30 PM

Author Topic: Gellert Grindelwald: The most complex of villains || SPOILER ALERT  (Read 96 times)

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November 19, 2018, 01:59:37 PM

Rudius Hagrid

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Color me intrigued as to the portrayal Johnny Depp is giving to this character.  I have rarely come across an antagonist with such nuance and ambivlence.  Colin Farrell's portrayal of Percival Graves/Grindelwald gave the character a ruthless and sinister air of a coldblooded killer out to achieve his own personal ends held back only by the limitations of the person he was inpersonating.  Once freed of that constraint, however we meet a rather different character in the new movie. 

We meet the man who charmed Dumbledore, at least three sets of guards, a large group of French wizards and, to our horror, Queenie.

This character is ruthless enough to throw away minions when they have served their purpose (poor Antonia the Chupacabra) but also seems to rather want to wait outside while his colleagues murder a muggle family to vacate a house for his purposes.  He was also savvy enough to find a way to cancel out Dumbledore and keep him from intervening directly, instead creating a game of chess between the two of them with agents doing the leg work and spell slinging.

What do you think of the way he is panning out as an antagonist?  Do you think he believes the things hes told his followers about muggles, the Greater Good and the wish for freedom?  Or is this just honey to trap the flies that will be doing his dirty work?


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Edited to add spoiler alert ~ atschpe
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 07:09:57 PM by atschpe »


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November 19, 2018, 07:15:06 PM
Reply #1

atschpe

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I am getting the impression that he thinks similarly to Voldemort. He says what his followers want to hear. So I would not expect Grindelwald to believe what he is saying. So yes, I think he is using honey trap the flies. His aim seems to be for wizarding kind (maybe even purebloods) to rule over muggles. And whilst he talks about accepting Muggles and just seeing them as different, to me it's clear from Depp's performance that he is saying this to please his listeners not to follow up on this action.


You make a good point of how he does not do the dirty work, and even does not seem to want to be in the room when it happens (him sending in others to kill the previous occupants of the apartment he is taking). I wonder if this is due to what happened with Ariana or similar. Even though he is cold hearted, I think his heart is a tad warmer than Voldemort's.
"Of course it is all in your head, but why on Earth should that mean it isn't real?" ~Dumbledore (DH)
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November 21, 2018, 05:09:09 PM
Reply #2

wordsaremagic

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question:
Do you think Grindelwald is a Legilimens?
His words to Queenie in their very brief meeting:
"I wish you were working with me now towards a world where we wizards are free to live openly, and to love freely."
The words seem carefully chosen to focus on what she desires.
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November 21, 2018, 06:34:15 PM
Reply #3

atschpe

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question:
Do you think Grindelwald is a Legilimens?
His words to Queenie in their very brief meeting:
"I wish you were working with me now towards a world where we wizards are free to live openly, and to love freely."
The words seem carefully chosen to focus on what she desires.
I am not sure he has to be a legilimens to have picked up on her love for Jacob. She lives it rather openly. I would not assume that he "only" has the information we have from the scenes we see of them in the film. There might be other clues he gathered (himself or through his agents) that could well have helped him to form a picture of her. And let's not forget she had her little shouting with Jacob on the street infront of Newt's house. I wouldn't be surprised they were keeping an eye on him, so could well have been privy to what she said there.


But that said. I would not be surprised that he is a legilimens. It feels like it is skill typical or available to well accomplished wizards.
"Of course it is all in your head, but why on Earth should that mean it isn't real?" ~Dumbledore (DH)
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November 21, 2018, 10:50:59 PM
Reply #4

roonwit

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I am not sure he has to be a legilimens to have picked up on her love for Jacob. She lives it rather openly. I would not assume that he "only" has the information we have from the scenes we see of them in the film. There might be other clues he gathered (himself or through his agents) that could well have helped him to form a picture of her. And let's not forget she had her little shouting with Jacob on the street infront of Newt's house. I wouldn't be surprised they were keeping an eye on him, so could well have been privy to what she said there.
He might have picked something up when he was pretending to be Abernathy back in New York. And if Rosier followed her from the French Ministry (which I think is likely) she could have heard her calling out for Jacob.
But that said. I would not be surprised that he is a legilimens. It feels like it is skill typical or available to well accomplished wizards.
He might be, but if he was why would he need Queenie on his side? If he is a legilimens then I think he isn't as good as Queenie or maybe just reading feelings rather than thoughts.
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November 22, 2018, 02:03:46 PM
Reply #5

atschpe

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But that said. I would not be surprised that he is a legilimens. It feels like it is skill typical or available to well accomplished wizards.
He might be, but if he was why would he need Queenie on his side? If he is a legilimens then I think he isn't as good as Queenie or maybe just reading feelings rather than thoughts.


I wonder. Could actively using legilmens weaken your own guard against others reading you? That is can you be defensive and offensive at the same time? If so, that could explain why he would want another. Voldemort used the fear for him to keep people from prying I think, or he was more powerful.


If that is not it. Grindelwald cannot be everywhere and just might want more "capable" people on hand he can send out to gather information.
"Of course it is all in your head, but why on Earth should that mean it isn't real?" ~Dumbledore (DH)
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November 22, 2018, 11:44:36 PM
Reply #6
But that said. I would not be surprised that he is a legilimens. It feels like it is skill typical or available to well accomplished wizards.
He might be, but if he was why would he need Queenie on his side? If he is a legilimens then I think he isn't as good as Queenie or maybe just reading feelings rather than thoughts.


I wonder. Could actively using legilmens weaken your own guard against others reading you? That is can you be defensive and offensive at the same time? If so, that could explain why he would want another. Voldemort used the fear for him to keep people from prying I think, or he was more powerful.


If that is not it. Grindelwald cannot be everywhere and just might want more "capable" people on hand he can send out to gather information.

If not a legilimens, I think Grindelwald must clearly be an Occlumens -- otherwise, wouldn't Queenie know he was just telling her what she wants to hear and not necessarily what he's really thinking?

I thought it was really interesting to think about how Grindelwald and Voldemort are both similar and different. Grindelwald and Voldemort both seem to have some kind of irresistable charm and charisma to their followers -- but Grindelwald's is, I think, somehow scarier just because he is better able to fool his followers into thinking that his way is the right way -- where Voldemort's followers seem to know what they're doing is bad.
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November 23, 2018, 12:36:27 PM
Reply #7

atschpe

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If not a legilimens, I think Grindelwald must clearly be an Occlumens -- otherwise, wouldn't Queenie know he was just telling her what she wants to hear and not necessarily what he's really thinking?

I m currently reading the screenplay for the first movie (yes, I finally bit the bullet and bought them for both). When Graves is talking to Credence it becomes aparent that Graves (and thus Grindelwald) picks up on things but cannot grasp them clearly.

Quote
Scene 43
EXT. Alleyway - Night

CREDENCE stands, head bowed, at the end of a dimly lit alleyway. GRAVES joins him, moving in very close to whisper, conspirational:

GRAVES
You're upset. It's your mother again. Somebody's said something – what did they say? Tell me.

CREDENCE
Do you think I'm a freak?

GRAVES
No – I think you're a very special young man or I wouldn't have asked you to help me now, would I?

A pause. GRAVES rests a hand on CREDENCE'S arm. The human contact seems to both startle and captivate CREDENCE.

GRAVES
Have you any news?

CREDENCE
I'M still looking. Mr Graves, ij I knew whether it was a girl or boy –

GRAVES
My vision showed only the child's power. He or she is no older than ten, and I saw this child in close proximity to your mother – she I saw so plainly.

CREDENCE
That could be any one of hundreds.

GRAVE'S tone softens – he's beguiling, comforting.

GRAVES
There is something else. Something I haven't told you. I saw you beside me in New York. You're the one who gains the child's trust. You are the key – I saw this. You want to join the wizarding world. I want those things too, Credence. I want them for you. So find the child. Find the child and we'll all be free.

I've quote the scene in full here as there are several things that stand out for me.
  • If Grindelwald was a legilmens, than either Credence is a great untrained occlumens (which doesn't feel right as he seems to wear his heart on his sleeve) or he is making quite a mess of things. This scene is after Credence being called a freak and trash by senator Shaw. So to me it looks like Graves/Grindelwald is picking up on his emotions and assuming it has to do with his mother. Yet he cannot "read" who hurt Credence let alone any specifics of the potential child he is looking for, even though Credence would be in close contact in Grindelwald's interpretation of things.
  • I think we can assume Grindelwald/Graves's "vision" is more like research. It sounds nice and dramatic to talk of a vision, plus it is easier for him to excuse things he does not know without question. But still if he indeed is looking for the child lost at sea (if we are to believe it is a Dumbledore), shouldn't he know the child would be older? Or has he already figured out that they are dealing with an obscurus, which means he is looking for the obscurus as well as the lost Dumbledore child? And if so, has he asked Credence "to help", because he has recognised the lost Dumbledore (yet not hte obscurus) in him somehow?
I thought it was really interesting to think about how Grindelwald and Voldemort are both similar and different. Grindelwald and Voldemort both seem to have some kind of irresistable charm and charisma to their followers -- but Grindelwald's is, I think, somehow scarier just because he is better able to fool his followers into thinking that his way is the right way -- where Voldemort's followers seem to know what they're doing is bad.


I am not sure all of Voldy's followers would say they are doing something "bad". Against the law? yes. Against what others see as right? yes. I have a vague memory of Jason Isaacs speaking about how he developed his portrayal of Lucius. He spoke of how he would see things through his eyes, where things were no longer wrong, or bad but part of his point of view and way of life. If you truly see muggle-borns as lesser and a problem, then your acts are not "bad" but necessary to get rid of them. See at how slaves were carefully degraded to non-human status to enable their masters to still go to church and not worry. Think of how Jews and gays, were also degraded in the same way to justify their extermination in WWII. So I would say Voldemort found followers who already thought how he wanted them to, or were on teetering enough on the brink of that way of thought he could easily sway them.


I agree that Grindelwald is more the charismatic leader. He will seek out common themes those he wants to win for his cause are desperate about and use them as bait. His followers are not forced sign up for the dogma of his crusade (as with Voldemort) but he makes his creed moldable so that it speaks to many. I agree that in that respect Grindelwald is more dangerous, as he can gather a more diverse crowd.

And that reminds me of close Rolwing is playing him to the WWII. She has not only chosen to name him after a town in Austria (the land where Hitler is born) but at the end of the movie he has taken Credence to nurmengard castle in Austria, which smacks of Hitler's berghof residence just against the Austrian border (Bavaria).

And whilst we're at it – what is it with Grindelwald showing images from the WWII to come? Has he found a means to time-travel forward to get some footage for his scare tactics?
"Of course it is all in your head, but why on Earth should that mean it isn't real?" ~Dumbledore (DH)
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November 23, 2018, 07:10:31 PM
Reply #8

roonwit

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If not a legilimens, I think Grindelwald must clearly be an Occlumens -- otherwise, wouldn't Queenie know he was just telling her what she wants to hear and not necessarily what he's really thinking?
I mostly agree, but remember that Grindelwald is already directing fire at her sister and Newt and Krall and some Aurors has already been incinerated, so Queenie has seen some of what Grindelwald is capable of.
And whilst we're at it – what is it with Grindelwald showing images from the WWII to come? Has he found a means to time-travel forward to get some footage for his scare tactics?
I see his visions as like Trelawney's more successful prophecies but with better graphics. I think he has seen snippets of the future, but can't control them or at least not fully or else he could have identified the Obscurial without needing Credence's help. I did wonder if Rita blasting his skull hookah might stop these visions but it may just mean he can't share them as easily.

I think we have to be careful in comparing Voldemort with Grindelwald because we are seeing Grindelwald at an earlier stage while he is still gathering followers and he could become more like Voldemort later, but the main difference so far seems to be that Voldemort generally worked in secret and stayed in the background when he took over until the Hogwarts showdown, whereas Grindelwald seems a lot more open, actually inviting people to a meeting and trying to persuade people to his side, though of course that may just have been chosen to win Credence over.
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November 24, 2018, 10:00:35 AM
Reply #9

atschpe

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And whilst we're at it – what is it with Grindelwald showing images from the WWII to come? Has he found a means to time-travel forward to get some footage for his scare tactics?
I see his visions as like Trelawney's more successful prophecies but with better graphics. I think he has seen snippets of the future, but can't control them or at least not fully or else he could have identified the Obscurial without needing Credence's help. I did wonder if Rita blasting his skull hookah might stop these visions but it may just mean he can't share them as easily.

Hmm. If so, he could be removing his memories of these flashes pensieve-style to show others. It could also explain why he is (mis)interpreting things around Credence in the first movie and now these snippets from WWII. Is it me or does this make him more dangerous? Using half developed skills and making things up as he goes along, or should I say filling in details as they suit him best to influence others?

I am still not sure if these are true prophetic visions though. I keep going back to the fact that he was expelled from Durmstrang for his "twisted experiments" (see Pottermore). Could he be dabbling in some dark arts that could have vision like abilities. Or did he get a hold of a time turner or similar device (which could also explain some of big time-issues we have found around the whole Credence-is-a-Dumbledore story), whch he has used to step into the future to collect "visions". Is indeed Cassandra Trelawney (Sibyll's great-great-grandmother) part of his family-line somewhere, or did he "use" her in some way?

I think we have to be careful in comparing Voldemort with Grindelwald because we are seeing Grindelwald at an earlier stage while he is still gathering followers and he could become more like Voldemort later, but the main difference so far seems to be that Voldemort generally worked in secret and stayed in the background when he took over until the Hogwarts showdown, whereas Grindelwald seems a lot more open, actually inviting people to a meeting and trying to persuade people to his side, though of course that may just have been chosen to win Credence over.



Yes, I was thinking about that too. Yet, the little we know of Tom Riddle in his early days, he went about things in a secluded manner too though. He sought jobs that did not put him in the limelight – everyone expected him to go to the ministry but he works for Borgin&Burkes. He disappears for years. He has his close group of followers and it looks like he is very selective in who might be added to the ranks. So comparing that to Grindelwald there seems to be quite a different approach each has to their taking-over-the-wizarding-world schemes.
"Of course it is all in your head, but why on Earth should that mean it isn't real?" ~Dumbledore (DH)
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