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Huge Dumbledore Mystery Answered in New Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Trailer - Comic-Con 2018

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A 21-year mystery has been solved.

In the new trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald revealed at Comic-Con 2018, one key moment finally reveals what Dumbledore sees when he looks into the Mirror of Erised, answering a mystery that has puzzled Harry Potter fans since the first entry in the series, The Sorcerer’s Stone, first published in the UK as The Philosopher's Stone in 1997.

If you haven't already, check out the new trailer:

Exit Theatre Mode

In the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry discovers the Mirror of Erised, a magical mirror that, when looked into, shows the individual what they most desire. “Erised” spelled backwards is “desire,” get it? When Harry looks into the mirror, he sees his parents who he longed to have in his life but were murdered by Voldemort when he was a baby. Dumbledore takes notice that Harry is making repeat visits to the mirror, so he advises Harry to not linger on what he cannot have, lest he go mad like others who have become obsessed with what the mirror shows them. Harry takes his advice, but not before asking Dumbledore what he sees in the mirror. Dumbledore answers that he saw himself holding a pair of socks because he wasn’t given any for Christmas.

While that funny answer might have seemed plausibly true at the time given how kind-hearted and humble Dumbledore was known to be, the new Fantastic Beasts trailer shows what he actually sees: Geralt Grindelwald.

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As we learned in The Deathly Hallows, even though Grindelwald was a fearsome wizard in the time before Voldemort, he was also a close personal friend to Dumbledore who had a violent falling out after a clash of philosophical ideals about how wizards should treat muggles. Grindelwald was so powerful that defeating him is a large part of what made Dumbledore such a famous wizard. It wasn’t until a fan Q&A with author J.K. Rowling after the final book’s release that she revealed that Dumbledore was gay and that he was actually infatuated with Grindelwald, adding a new shade to their dynamic.

The Fantastic Beasts sequel takes place when Dumbledore is a Hogwarts professor and Grindelwald is at large trying to rally wizards to his anti-muggle cause. It’s clear that even though years have passed since they were young men, Dumbledore still carries a flame for his old friend. This is notably the closest Rowling has ever come to providing in-canon confirmation that Dumbledore is gay. But don't expect sparks to fly between the two wizards, unless they're the kind that result from a wand duel, because the new movie will find them on opposite sides of a brewing war in the wizarding world.

Update:  User @zachary_m_rohlf pointed out that a key scene in the Deathly Hallows book had previously given an answer to what Dumbledore sees in the Mirror of Erised, but with a catch. When Harry is speaking to Dumbledore while "dead" in the heaven-like King's Cross Station, he's told how Dumbledore's fight with Grindelwald led to the death of Dumbledore's sister, Ariana. It's then that Harry realizes what Dumbledore would see was his sister, alive and well, just like how Harry most desired wanting his family back at his side. Even though Harry doesn't get firsthand confirmation, J.K. Rowling's narration implies that his realization is just as good as the truth.

While at first these two different visions in the mirror might seem contradictory, it could stand to reason that they are both true given their place in the timeline. Perhaps young Dumbledore most desired Grindelwald, but after defeating him, Dumbledore got over Grindelwald and reflected on how his family is what he valued most, causing his vision in the mirror to change. Then again, the Harry Potter movie universe has numerous differences from the Harry Potter book universe, so perhaps this is yet another discrepancy between the two. At the end of the day, both the books and the Fantastic Beasts screenplays are written by Rowling, so they're all ultimately the vision of the author and both can be considered true.

San Diego Comic-Con runs from July 19-22, and IGN will be on location to provide you with live coverage from the event. Check out our guide on how to watch Comic-Con 2018 live on IGN, and be sure to bookmark IGN's SDDC hub page, where you'll be able to keep up with all the big trailer reveals, panel reactions, and more.

Joshua is Senior Editor of IGN Comics. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Game of Thrones are frequently used words in your vocabulary, you’ll want to follow him on Twitter @JoshuaYehl and IGN.