Monday, May 22, 2017

What Does the Huge Squire's Sign Mean in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?

I've got a new YouTube video out on that huge Squire's sign that we see atop the building where the Team gathers to watch Credence as the Obscurus overtakes him toward the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The way the sign was emphasized in both the film and the script book seemed a bit odd to me, and made me think that JK Rowling might be hinting at something.

In this video I offer up my own theory, but as I'm not positive it's right, ask for your help in figuring it out.

I've also included the transcript below the video in case you prefer to just read it.

Hope you enjoy! And I'd love to hear your thoughts and theories in the comments!


Hello. Welcome back to Fantastic Secrets Behind Fantastic Beasts. I’m Susan ┼×ipal.
There’s a huge Squire’s sign that Newt and Team gather under to witness Credence as the Obscurus in his final rage of destruction. Does that sign have a hidden meaning? And, if so, what is it?

I first covered this theory and others like it in my clue book, Fantastic Secrets Behind Fantastic Beasts, and hope you’ll check it out.

Today’s video is a bit different. I’m doing this one not because I have a strong theory to present to you. But rather because I know there’s something there and I want your help figuring it out.

Ever since I first saw the movie, I’ve been pondering that huge Squire’s sign that the Team gathers under at the beginning of the climax scene. The fact that it’s named specifically in the script book as well tells me that this sign has a purpose in being there. But what is it?

For months, possible meanings have percolated in the back of my mind. I’ve looked at and discarded a few as I’ve researched the word squires.

One theory that is very tempting to latch onto relates to my last video: Credence as the Atomic Bomb. There are two men in the Manhattan Project with the last name Squires. Arthur Squires was a chemical engineer who worked under Percival Keith, named in my Atomic Bomb theory as a possible source for Graves’ first name. This Squires was instrumental in establishing the bomb used on Nagasaki. The other, Lombard Squires, was an engineer and worked with plutonium inspections.

As the Squires sign appears in the scene that’s a prelude to Credence blowing up, there could definitely be a correlation between one of these guys, and maybe there is more there than what I’m picking up on. But for some reason, this explanation just doesn’t ring true to me.

Still I’m listing links to the two Manhattan Project Squires in the description below if any of you would like to investigate further.

So, my best guess is still the one I put in the clue book in December and takes a dive into classic British literature, which we know Jo has done before. Namely, The Canterbury Tales.

The Squire’s Tale is unusual for the stories the pilgrims tell on their way to Canterbury. The young squire who tells it never gets to finish it. Indeed, it’s a long, rambling, romantic story that, if finished, would seem to be longer than any of the others.

What intrigues me most about the Squire’s story, beyond the parallel name, are the presents offered as gifts at the beginning. A knight rides into court where a lavish feast is being held and offers the king the following magical gifts from a far away king:

A brass steed – to transport him anywhere he wishes to go in the world within 24 hours without harm.

A mirror – for his daughter - to see clearly into the true nature of people, whether friend, foe, or lover.

A ring – also for the princess - giving her the ability to understand the language of any bird and speak to them as well, and to understand any herb’s remedy.

And finally, a sword – that strikes lethally through armor and then has the ability to heal the wound.

You can probably already see what fascinates me with this correlation. For Fantastic Beasts, we have the brass steed’s power to apparate. Plus, as I posted in my Jacob’s Occamy video, there is the possible link to Jacob riding the Occamy in future films. I’m very grateful to Kelly L. for pointing out to me that in the extra features of the recently released DVD, concept art shows someone riding the Occamy. I anticipate Jacob’s Occamy is how he’ll keep up with his magical friends.

Two, the mirror that sees into someone’s true nature is also present in Fantastic Beasts with Queenie’s Legilimens ability.

Three, for the ring, my thoughts are theoretical, but I link back to my Tina as an Animagus theory, specifically the pigeon seen in the Second Salem Church. If I’m right, she should possess the ability to talk to and understand birds.

And finally, four, swords – Newt’s sword is his beasts. We’ve seen him use his creatures both defensively and medicinally. Swooping Evil, in particular, was used to stun the Aurors at MACUSA while Newt and Tina made their escape, as well as provide the necessary potion to restore security to the Wizarding World. I expect we’ll see even more, and greater, defensive and healing powers from Newt’s beasts in future films.

Notice one more thing: How the two gifts given to the princess correlate to the two magical skills I’ve attributed to Queenie and Tina.

One aspect I think is crucial to consider in figuring out the meaning of Squire’s is the location of this sign. Not only in its prominent placement on top of a skyscraper, but also in the sequence of the film.

First, the team is all gathered together observing the rampaging Obscurus below. Mostly, they stand behind the sign, effectively at its tail.

Next, take a look at the trip Credence’s Obscurus makes from Modesty’s origin home in the Bronx to the City Hall subway. He starts in the tenements, turns right into what seems to be a more prosperous or business area, heading directly to that very prominent sign. He then swoops up and pivots directly in front of that sign before veering off to the right. Almost as if he were on a journey…or a pilgrimage?

All in all, this entry to the final stand-off scene between Newt and Tina against Grindelwald to save Credence seems designed to draw our attention to this moment. It’s in the tail-end of the Squire’s sign that we see the team first united to save a very troubled young man with enough power to cause serious harm. Is this highlighting the main thrust of the rest of the series to follow? Each team member using their own talent to that end?

Could this sign then not only point to the nature of the Squire’s gifts, but also to what the team will bring to helping Credence rid himself of the Obscurus?

How I could see these “gifts” being put to use going forward:

Queenie’s Legilimens’ skill is obviously useful in helping her get into Credence’s mind and understand his pain. After all, people are most easy to read when they’re hurting.

If Tina has been watching over Credence as a bird, and has the ability to talk to animals including magical beasts, maybe she can speak to the Obscurus directly. Newt did say that Credence was listening to her…maybe it wasn’t just the man, but also the beast inside.

For Newt – he somehow was able to separate the Obscurus from the Sudanese girl. Perhaps with more skill, he can use his beastly sword to not only separate the Obscurus from Credence, but this time heal the Obscurial as well.

And then there’s Jacob – I’m not quite sure how riding an Occamy will contribute toward saving Credence, unless the Occamy provides special transportation power that simply Apparating does not.

For those of you more familiar with New York and its history than I am, I want to show you one more thing. We saw in Madam Piquery’s magical map the path the Obscurus was taking. So it seems that the Squire’s sign was somewhere around here.

Does that mark any landmark which might be important to the story or series? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

One more curiosity I want to share with you. Notice the name of this building in the backdrop of Times Square during Graves and Tina’s battle. Kingly Court. The Squire’s Tale starts off in just such a place.

Chaucer’s Tales are revered for the insight he gives into English social strata during a transformative time following the Black Plague. Is Rowling perhaps using an allusion to Chaucer to offer a critique of our own modern society facing a major catastrophe? Or, could she be taking the viewer, an international mixture of people of various beliefs and social classes, on a spiritual quest?

While I think this theory has merit, I’m still not convinced it’s what Jo means. So, please, share your ideas in the comments. What am I missing? What do you think? Maybe together we can come up with an even better theory.

Be sure to check the description box below for extra information and links I’ve provided. And please subscribe for future theories. Also, don’t forget to check out my Fantastic Secrets Behind Fantastic Beasts at Amazon or your local bookseller. Until next time!