At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. As such, spoilers will be present within the article.
Percival Graves was presumably born prior 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 requires 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 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. Thankfully, 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 North 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: Percival Graves was seemingly an immensely skilled wizard. While Gellert Grindelwald was impersonating Graves, he did not arouse any suspicion when effectively performing feats of immense magical power. If the positions he occupied within MACUSA are any indication (not only an Auror of the Investigative Team but also the very senior positions of Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and Director of Magical Security), they attest to Graves's magical competence.
- 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 herself, it is perhaps safe to assume that Graves's skills surpassed those of most MACUSA Aurors, which is remarkable by itself seeing as being just an Auror in the first place is a mark of superior magical ability. As such, the President trusted (who she thought was) Graves with the important missions of covertly looking into the alleged Obscurial's attack on the No-Majes, and interrogating Newt Scamander about the his illegal beasts.
- Charms: While impersonating Graves, Gellert Grindelwald was able to use the Disarming Charm, Levitation Charm, and Summoning Charm wandlessly and non-verbally to great effect, which did not attract suspicion, indicating Graves's skill with Charms would have allowed him to do the same. In addition, Grindelwald was also able to lock Graves's office with a powerful enchantment that Queenie was unable to dispel and Queenie noted Graves too would have known the spell Grindelwald to lock her out.
- Duelling: At a point in which he was still maintaining his cover as Percival Graves, Gellert Grindelwald felt at liberty to best the highly skilled former Auror Tina Goldstein in a duel, deflecting her spells with "perfect ease", his reactions "marvellous, astounding". Though it was actually Grindelwald doing the spellwork, it was likely consistent with what the real Graves would be capable of in a similar situation, given that Grindelwald was intent on not blowing his cover.
- Occlumency (possibly): Percival Graves was quite possibly an Occlumens. Indeed, when Grindelwald used Occlumency to prevent Queenie Goldstein from learning that he was not the real Graves, Queenie was not suspicious, suggesting that the real Graves's mind likewise used to be inaccessible to her.
- Wandless and nonverbal magic: While impersonating Graves, Gellert Grindelwald openly demonstrated he was adept at using magic without speaking the incantation out loud and without the use of a wand, even both simultaneously, something widely regarded as exceptionally advanced and difficult to perform. This did not seem to attract any suspicion, so those abilities are likely what the real Graves would be capable of.
- Apparition: Percival Graves, like most adult wizards, was capable of Apparating at will.
- Wand: Despite having prodigious skill with wandless magic, Graves still possessed and made use of a wand. The wand's specifications are unknown, but it shows characteristics of being a Thiago Quintana creation.
- 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. [[File:65A919E9-4EEC-4D05-88E4-0ADC0DA72617.jpeg|thumb|225x225px|Percival Graves in LEGO Dimensions (as an assumed identity by Grindelwald)
- Graves' story was 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.
- 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 (film) (As an assumed identity)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay (As an assumed identity)
- LEGO Dimensions (As an assumed identity)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Notes and references
- ↑ According to J.K. Rowling's screenplay, Graves was "early middle-age" during the events of the first Fantastic Beasts movie. No one below the age of forty would be considered "middle-aged".
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 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 Pottermore
- ↑ '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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