I realized this post needs a TL;DR. Grindelwald is correct because judging people on whether or not they have magical abilities is fair. It’s not the same as judging people on protected characteristics.
I saw The Crimes of Grindelwald yesterday with a friend. My friend loves the movie, and I think her opinion is probably mirrored by many people who still enjoy Harry Potter. She said the movie made her feel “warm and cozy.” And yeah, while there were good moments, like Johnny Depp as Grindelwald and when we saw Hogwarts and heard the score again, most of the movie was just bad. However, it did make me realize something.
For years we’ve been expected to think that Voldemort, and now Grindelwald, are bad. After all, they’re identical to Hitler, right? I bought this for a while. I realized after watching the movie, though, that it’s not a fair comparison. Now, obviously murdering people because they’re different isn’t okay, but that’s where the comparison to Hitler ends.
Sure, from a basic perspective. Grindelwald and Voldemort are like Hitler; however, when you actually consider what they’re doing, again, minus the murder, they actually have the right idea (For the sake of argument I’m assuming that Voldemort, like Grindelwald, wanted change, not power). Magical powers would matter if we had people like that around.
By the way, while I was researching this, I found a discussion on Reddit where someone tried to end the conversation by posting a Pottermore link. For the uninitiated, Pottermore is the website J.K. Rowling created
to stop readers from forming their own opinions to try to argue points that aren’t canon. It’s an example of my biggest problem with J.K. Rowling’s refusal to acknowledge the death of the author. Instead of having a literary discussion, people are posting links. Super.
Anyway, Grindelwald mentions wizards could have prevented World War One and can prevent future conflicts. As someone who lives in a universe where WWI, WWII, and numerous other wars have happened, I think it would be a good idea to give this incredibly powerful and peaceful subsection of people a shot at changing the world.
Peaceful? Yes, peaceful. It seems like prior to Grindelwald, the wizarding world was peaceful, and Grindelwald only rose to power because he had a good point about continuing that peace throughout the entire world.
Now, obviously in future movies Grindelwald is going to kill a lot of people. We can’t have a nuanced look that actually considers more than a basic Hitler-comparison. But for the time being, Grindelwald is correct.
I’m interested in hearing what you think. Let’s have a discussion and not simply post Pottermore links. 😉