However, I've been slow to post these videos here, so I'm going to catch up this week. I'm posting my latest video below along with its transcript and hope you will check it out on YouTube. You can find my channel here.
Also, if any authors out there are using YouTube to further your reach, I'd love to know how it's going with you and will be glad to share some of my experience if you're interested.
What Does Grindelwald Mean by "Will We Die, Just a Little?" in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?
Hello. Welcome back to Fantastic Secrets Behind Fantastic Beasts. I’m Susan Şipal.
When I was working on my last video, “Is Newt Scamander a Spy?” I was suddenly struck by inspiration as to what Grindelwald might have meant by “Will we die, just a little?” Which we’re about to explore. But before I do, I ask that you stay tuned until the end of the video because I’m giving away a free Harry Potter fan theory ebook.
I covered many theories like this in my book, Fantastic Secrets Behind Fantastic Beasts, and hope you’ll check it out.
I’ve seen many theories of what Grindelwald meant by “Will we die, just a little?” (p. 257) But none of them sit right with me, including my earlier one that it relates to the Elder Wand. I don’t think it’s about a Horcrux, or the Hallows, or referring sexually to petite mort. And even though David Yates said yesterday that it’s about the journey and sacrifice both Grindelwald and Newt are about to embark on, I think that’s true only on one level.
Always remember, JK Rowling is intent upon keeping secrets, especially those that are important to the series. And this quote has a deeper meaning.
I believe the biggest clue to what Grindelwald means comes through the scene where he says it. And it revolves around the Obscurus.
To understand the relation better, we need to first understand what the Obscurus is.
Newt calls the Obscurus “a parasitical magical force” (p. 160). We’ve already seen that a skilled wizard can detach one from its human host, the Obscurial. The question is, if the Obscurus can be detached from one person, can it be reattached elsewhere?
By calling it a parasite, Jo implies this exact possibility. A parasite can be transferred from one living
host to another, as any pet owner can testify. Inside Newt’s case, we saw the environment the Obscurus was stored in, a frozen one. Almost as if it were put into a deep freeze. What would happen to it in a warm environment?
Grindelwald has also seen Newt’s Obscurus. He took a nip into Newt’s case when he had Newt and Tina imprisoned. He learned that Newt knows more about the Obscurus than he does. He heard that Newt has detached an Obscurus from another Obscurial, has witnessed that Newt knows how to store the Obscurus.
To defend himself to Tina, Newt says: “It cannot survive outside that box” (p. 159).
So the Obscurus needs to be either attached to an Obscurial, or kept in Newt’s deep freeze.
Newt also says it cannot harm anyone. Grindelwald clarifies: “So it’s useless
without its host?” (p. 159)
But, what if it could find another host? Perhaps a willing one? Perhaps a very mature, powerful, adult wizard.
I believe that in the films to come, both Grindelwald and Newt will seek to take on the Obscurus from Credence. And in so doing, perhaps die, just a little.
I think the whole purpose of showing Jacob with the Obscurus is to hint at this possibility. Why would Newt warn Jacob away from the Obscurus if he truly believed it were completely harmless? Newt’s sharp reprimand to Jacob to stay away hints at his fear that it could indeed reattach. Perhaps Newt doesn’t consider it likely because it has never happened. But then, he is the first wizard to detach one from an Obscurial, and he cannot be sure. So much of what is going on with the Obscurus is unknown. No one knew until Credence that an Obscurial could be an adult.
I believe Rowling made Credence an adult for a very specific reason, and it is to hint at the possibility of Grindelwald and Newt trying to take on the Obscurus themselves. If it were true that only a child could host this parasite, then they could not attempt it. But they and the viewer have seen through
Credence that an adult can host it, if he is very powerful and knows how to control it.
“You can control it,” Grindelwald says to Credence (p. 229). This is a very important point.
Because he is an adult, Credence has both more power than other Obscurials, and control. That massive power and control will appeal to Grindelwald.
Most Obscurials cannot control their Obscurus because they are children. We know how rare they are, as most witches and wizards believe they are extinct.
Tina says, “There hasn’t been one for centuries” (p. 150). But Newt immediately disputes that by telling about the girl he met in Sudan. Might no one have known of another Obscurial
who was kept well hidden many years before?
Many fans believe that Dumbledore’s sister, Ariana, was an Obscurial. Having witnessed her power, is probably the reason why Grindelwald is in New York…on the trail of an even rarer Obscurial.
Ariana couldn’t control her power. But Credence is unique. He is Grindelwald’s key to freedom, and
he will not let go.
“We’ll all be free,” he tells Credence (p. 89). If they find the Obscurus. And now Grindelwald has found two.
In considering the most likely meaning of “Will we die, just a little,” we must take into account what binds these three characters together the most: the Obscurus. Both Grindelwald and Newt share an immense interest in Credence. Gindelwald to use his powers to free himself and all wizards from what he sees as imprisonment under the Statute of Secrecy. Newt due to his driving concern to protect all magical creatures, and to save an Obscurial after he couldn’t before. And Tina was probably forbidden from being near the Second Salemers solely to keep her from finding out about Grindelwald’s interest in the Obscurus.
At the end, we see Tina, Newt, and Grindelwald fighting side by side to protect Credence, all claiming to want to help him, to free him. Newt is the only man who knows more about
the Obscurus than Grindelwald. And Tina, Grindelwald says, is always turning up where she’s least wanted.
The Obscurial is at the heart of this series and how those around Credence will seek to either help him or manipulate him for, perhaps for their own benefit.
One other point: Grindelwald has visions. He told Credence that he saw the Obscurial in close proximity to Credence’s mother and that it would be Credence who gained the child’s trust. However, Jo said on Twitter that while Grindelwald is indeed a Seer, he also lies about his visions.
Remember too, as discussed in my video: Could Credence’s Deathly Hallows Pendant Help Release Gindelwald from Prison?, Grindelwald probably possesses a direct link to Credence that will not only serve as a get out of jail free card, but reconnect him to this powerful Obscurial. Check the description below for a link to the video.
What I think happened is this: When Grindelwald was being escorted out, he had a blast of a vision. That’s why he stopped so abruptly. I’m guessing he saw a hint of him and Newt seeking to take on the Obscurus. Maybe he taunts Newt with it because he senses Newt’s involvement might be the only way he himself can figure out how to either harness Credence’s powers or attach the Obscurus to himself.
Note: Grindelwald is escorted out before Newt sees the wisp of Obscurus escaping the subway. But Grindelwald already saw the Obscurus in Newt’s case and knows that it can live without its host. I think Rowling timed the viewing of the wisp deliberately. If Grindelwald had seen the wisp, then said, “Will we die, just a little,” his meaning might have been too obvious.
Through all this there is one other relationship to consider. Tina and Newt form the perfect partnership in their concern for Credence – he is another link bringing them together as a couple.
Tina lost her job protecting Credence. And Newt will risk his life trying to save him. It is a powerful bond between them. I wonder, though, how Newt’s possible decision to take on the Obscurus would affect their relationship. Would Tina be supportive, or would Newt’s transformation drive a wedge between them? Unfortunately, we have so many years to wait for the rest of the movies to find out!
For over a dozen years, I have analyzed the secrets of JK Rowling’s wizarding world. I’ve presented workshops at home and internationally, written articles, and published books. Some of the secrets that I enjoyed discovering the most were the Egyptian myths Jo hid throughout the Harry Potter series.
I’ve pulled together nine of my favorite theories, written over many years, in this one collection that you can only get here. As you are fans as well, and to thank you for watching my videos, I’d love to share these theories with you for free and see what you think. All you have to do is click on the link I’m providing above and in the description below. You’ll be asked to subscribe to me on YouTube
if you don’t already, and you can choose to follow me on Twitter so you can always be up to date on my newest releases, latest giveaways, and most recent news for Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts fans. Then you’ll get the 42-page 9-theory PDF download. That’s it.
Oh, the download also comes with discount coupons to my other books: A Writer’s Guide to Harry Potter, Teaching Harry Potter to Creative Writers, and Fantastic Secrets Behind Fantastic Beasts. Plus, a discount on my story consulting services. Just follow the links above and below. I hope you enjoy! And I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
What do you think about Grindelwald’s “Will we die, just a little?” Share your thoughts in the comments. I’ve got more videos coming, so be sure to subscribe. And remember to check the description below for links to "Is Newt a Spy" video, the free ebook, and any current giveaways.
Until next time!