1920s Creatures History MACUSA Notable Witches and Wizards

Percival Graves

Percival Graves

Percival Graves was an exceptionally skilled wizard and an auror who worked for MACUSA. In the 1920s, Graves was tasked with tracking down whatever creature was terrorizing New York City. For some time, the suspicion fell on Newt Scamander and his escaped fantastic beasts (WFT).

Percival Graves was a descendant of Gondulphus Graves, one of the original twelve Aurors of MACUSA in early North America (Pm: MACUSA).

Other canon notes and references

In December, 1926, Graves was somehow replaced by Gellert Grindelwald, possibly using Polyjuice potion. When Grindelwald was finally captured, a spell revealed his true identity. The fate of the real Graves is unknown.



The real Percival Graves did exist, but we now know that the Graves we see on screen is an imposter, possibly as a result of the use of Polyjuice Potion. According to David Heyman:

SnitchSeeker: Is there a real Graves? what happened to him?
David Heyman: That's a very good question. I've been wondering ... I'm amazed more people haven't picked up on that. Yes, there was a real Graves. Yes, someone used some Polyjuice potion and took their place. I don't know where they are at the story's end, But yes, there was a real Graves. We didn't film him. We didn't film the Polyjuice. We just dived into the story midway through.

SnitchSeeker: Will we see Graves in the future?
Heyman: I doubt it.

SnitchSeeker: It is similar to what happened with Crouch and Moody in the fourth book?
Heyman: Yes.

SnitchSeeker: I guess Colin Farrell won't be back in the sequel?
Heyman: There's no plans to bring Colin back for the sequel.

A literal reading of the script suggests that the attack at the chateau in Europe happened the evening before Newt arrived in New York. This would mean that Grindelwald arrived in America just as Newt was arriving, which leaves little time for his attack on Graves.

Pensieve (Comments)

  • ALameHippogriff

    I believe the only reference to Grindelwald using Polyjuice to impersonate Graves comes from the SnitchSeeker interview with Heyman. By your standards, I don’t believe we can even take this as extended/tertiary cannon since it doesn’t come from JKR. Perhaps you’ll need to reevaluate your levels of cannon given that there are multiple creative minds going into the FB franchise, even if JKR is the only author on the screenplay.

    • Agreed. I’ll move the polyjuice reference to the commentary.

  • Jones, Captain of the Romione

    I keep hearing people saying that Graves was in Europe, which is how Grindelwald traded places with him…but where, in any kind of writing or interview, is that stated? was hoping i might find the answer on this page…
    also, i don’t know that i would agree that grindelwald parading as graves shows up a day before newt. I’m not saying it doesn’t read that way at the beginning of the script, but it seems like he is familiar with both tina and credence, more than just a days worth, anyways.

    • Yes, that’s the problem. It doesn’t seem to make sense that Grindelwald was in Switzerland until the very evening before Newt disembarked from that steamship in New York. But as you say, it’s just the script note that suggests that the attack in Switzerland was the previous evening, nothing that any character actually says. We’ll see if we can get that clarified at some point.

Tags: Auror remembrall brave danger police

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