At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter: Magic Awakened. As such, spoilers will be present within the article.
Percival Graves was presumably born prior to 1886, in the United States of America. Nothing is known about his family or background, and his blood status is unknown. In his youth, he most likely attended Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the American wizarding school, where he would have received his magical education. He presumably was academically successful and achieved high school grades, as he became an Auror, a career which required rigorous training and superior magical skills.
At some point in his adult life, Graves was employed by the Magical Congress of the United States of America, where he became an Auror. He was presumably excellent at his profession, as he was held in very high regard by all other MACUSA officials and employees. He eventually became the head of MACUSA's Department of Magical Law Enforcement, an extremely important position, where he would have overseen the upholding of Magical Law across the whole of the United States.
At some point prior to 6 December 1926, his identity was assumed by the Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald using Human Transfiguration. It is unknown if he was killed or kept in captivity during this time. Through Grindelwald's excellent impersonation of Graves, he allowed to assume his position in MACUSA with significant power and authority in both MACUSA and the American wizarding community, and allowed him to unleash the Obscurus of Credence Barebone, which attacked New York City, in an attempt to expose Wizardkind to the No-Maj population. Whilst doing his evil work, he also wrongfully sentenced to death both Newton Scamander and Porpentina Goldstein, simply to cover his tracks and to them remove from his path. However, they both escaped, the Obscurial was stopped by Aurors from MACUSA and Grindelwald's impersonation of Graves was finally exposed by Scamander. Afterwards, it is unknown if MACUSA ever managed to find the real Graves, dead or alive.
In the 2010s, the Calamity had a memory of Percival Graves appear in a public area inhabited by Muggles, paired with a Confoundable in the shape of a MACUSA executioner attempting to extract his memories. The Statute of Secrecy Task Force successfully banished the Confoundable, returning the memory of Graves to its proper place.
Personality and traits
As the Director of Magical Security, tasked with the protection of the American wizarding community, Percival Graves was likely highly professional and responsible, with President Picquery trusting him as her right-hand man. While Gellert Grindelwald impersonated Graves, he displayed a prim, serious, and ambitious personality, without arousing anyone's suspicions, implying that this was in line with the real Graves's personality.
Magical abilities and skills
- Magical mastery: As an esteemed and influential Auror of the Magical Congress of the United States of America, Graves would have presumably been an accomplished and skilful wizard who was proficient in many different branches of magic. Given how Gellert Grindelwald was able to successfully impersonate him when displaying his own exceptional magical skills, it is possible that Graves was proficient to a similar level in many fields.
- Auror skills: Given his senior positions within the MACUSA Law Enforcement hierarchy and even the fact he seemed to earn the confidence of President Seraphina Picquery, Graves was evidently an Auror of high ability.
- Wand: Percival owned a wand, which was of an unknown length, wand wood and wand core. This wand was presumably manufactured by an American Wandmaker.
- Polyjuice flask: Used for holding Polyjuice Potion. However, this is just speculation.
- Collar pins: These were shaped as scorpions and inlaid with green jewels.
In French, the name Percival means "valley piercer; piercer of the valley; one who attacks through the valley". In Greek, the name means "destroyer" and is related to Perseus, a hero of Greek mythology considered the greatest Greek hero and slayer of monsters before Heracles.
Percival is also the name of one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend and who was the original hero in the quest for the Holy Grail before being replaced in later literature by Galahad (a name and origin he shares with Percy Weasley).
The surname Graves is of both English/Anglo-Saxon and French origin. In Anglo-Saxon terms, it is derived from the baptismal name Reeve (which itself means "representative; herd; monger; maker; hewer; smith; wright") and means "son of Reeve". As an occupational name, it means "manager" or "overseer." In French, the name originates from an old family of the southern region of Languedoc, but could also derive from the Old French word "grave", which meant "gravel." It also refers to a place where dead remains (typically human) are buried, referring to death.
Percival Graves' name is almost identical to that of Richard Perceval Graves, an English biographer, poet, and lecturer best known for his three-volume biography of his uncle Robert Graves, who was responsible for the modern (but false) concept of the Celtic Tree Calendar (on which wandlore is based).
Behind the scenes
- Gellert Grindelwald transfigured as Percival Graves is portrayed in the film inspired by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Colin Farrell.
- Graves' story is highly similar to that of Alastor Moody during Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, though Moody was ultimately rescued and it is unclear if Graves was already killed. Conversely however, Bartemius Crouch Junior impersonated Moody through using Polyjuice Potion, whereas Grindelwald used Human Transfiguration.
- The 1991 comedy film King Ralph featured another character with the same name, Lord Percival Graves. Lord Graves was portrayed by John Hurt, who also appeared in the Harry Potter film series as Garrick Ollivander.
- It is unknown whether Grindelwald murdered Graves to assume his identity or imprisoned him in an undisclosed location.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay (First mentioned) (As an assumed identity)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (As an assumed identity)
- Pottermore (As an assumed identity)
- Wizarding World (As an assumed identity)
- LEGO Dimensions (As an assumed identity)
- LEGO Harry Potter (As an assumed identity)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (First appearance)
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened (Mentioned in History of Magic classes)
Notes and references
- According to J.K. Rowling's screenplay, Graves was "early middle-age" during the events of the first Fantastic Beasts film. No one below the age of forty would be considered "middle-aged".
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 116 states that when Grindelwald transforms from being Graves, he "no longer" has "dark" hair and that he was now "blond and blue-eyed", implying his hair and eye colour were different.
- EW - Fantastic Beasts: First look at Ezra Miller's mysterious character
- Writing by J. K. Rowling: "The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA)" at Wizarding World
- 'Fantastic Beasts' Character Descriptions Revealed
- Announcement Trailer for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” to Be Unveiled Worldwide on December 15th
- JKRowling.com - Welcome to my new website!
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (see video)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 5
- "Colin Farrell Joins ‘Harry Potter’ Spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts’" at Blog.peopleschoice.com/
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