Spoiler warning! This article contains spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. If you haven’t seen the film yet, you should turn back now…
This might be a place we are all very familiar with, but who doesn’t love going back to Hogwarts? We know we do. In the third Fantastic Beasts film we got to see quite a lot of this iconic castle – from the Great Hall to the Room of Requirement. What we really enjoyed though was watching Jacob visit Hogwarts for the first time. We don’t think there are many (if any) other Muggles who can say they have walked its halls. And yes, he might have been tricked into eating some Cockroach Clusters by some cheeky Slytherins (typical!), but we still reckon he had a brilliant time visiting the wizarding school.
Thanks to the Fantastic Beasts series, we have been able to go beyond the British Ministry of Magic and start to become familiar with other wizarding governments – from France to the USA. And in this film, we got to expand our horizons even further and visit yet another Ministry, this time the German one in Berlin. And it was a rather eventful visit too. Things didn’t get off to the best start when the German Minister for Magic, Anton Vogel, refused to help Newt and his team stop Grindelwald. But then it got worse. It was here that Theseus Scamander was arrested and taken away. And worst of all, it was here that Grindelwald was acquitted of all his crimes and able to launch his bid to become the Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards.
The final act of The Secrets of Dumbledore took place in Bhutan with its spectacular scenery. And those dramatic views certainly matched the drama that unfolded there. High up on a mountaintop, this was where the Qilin ceremony took place which would lead to the selection of the new Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards. It was also the setting where Grindelwald tried to steal the election, where his and Dumbledore’s blood troth was broken and where they faced off in a duel – so a pretty lively location if you ask us.
One of the murkier locations we saw in this film had to be the Erkstag. This prison was not somewhere you would want to be. Underground, dark, damp and dirty it was hardly the most welcoming of places. Unfortunately for Theseus, it was where he was taken after his arrest. And even more unfortunately, it was home to a Manticore – with a taste for human flesh (and don’t get us started on its many, many, offspring). This dank German prison might be something straight out of a nightmare, but it was also where we saw Teddy and Pickett work as an adorable team to undertake a thrilling rescue mission.
The first time we saw Newt in this film he was trekking through the depths of a wild jungle. But what was he looking for? It turned out to be a magical Qilin. At that moment we had no idea just how important this beautiful creature would become. Watching Newt help the Qilin give birth was a joyful moment, which soon turned sour, thanks to Credence and some of Grindelwald’s other acolytes. Though not all was lost, and we couldn’t help but be mesmerised by the wild scenery – especially looking down at it as Newt’s Wyvern flew him to safety in the aftermath of the attack.
We really enjoyed catching a glimpse of New York – it was where this series of films started after all. And we especially loved that we got to go to Jacob’s bakery again. Although, we must say, at the start of the film it was looking a tad rundown. However, by the time we came back to it, it was full of warmth, light and was the location for something very exciting – Jacob and Queenie’s wedding! We were always rooting for this pair and were delighted when they found their way back to one another… and we must say, their wedding cake did look rather delicious.
For fans of the Harry Potter series, when you hear the word Nurmengard, you automatically think of the wizarding prison where Grindelwald was kept until his death. And while that was one use for this rather foreboding castle, it had also served a very different purpose. Nestled in the mountains, this stone fortress was firstly a place where Grindelwald had imprisoned his opponents. It was also the headquarters for him and his followers. In this film we got to see a lot more of it – and the horrors that went on within its walls. From murder to Necromancy, it was somewhere we would rather avoid.
On a lighter note, it turns out that Hogwarts wasn’t the only well-known location we got to see in this latest instalment of the Fantastic Beasts story. We also got to see the wizarding village of Hogsmeade again. It was just wonderful to see Newt and Theseus walking through the village amongst the familiar snow-capped rooftops. We also got to take a trip to the Hog’s Head Inn and meet the younger version of Aberforth – who was still just as grumpy and still full of that same… unique charm of his.