In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald we see

Newt coming to the square where the Circus was and cast a spell (something similar to Revelio I believe). This allows him to recreate the events that happened on the spot before - even see the people involved and what they were doing.

What the hell was that?!

enter image description here

First, it seems like a very advanced magic - how many people can perform the spell? Aurors? Dumbledore? Why they never use such a cool tool if it's available? Does it mean Newt is incredibly skilled in pretty all fields of magic?

Second, it looks like a Deus ex Machina. Something that could have changed lots of events in Harry Potter Universe, but for some reason it's the only time we see this comes into action. Yet another thing along with Veritaserum and Pensieve that is not used to it's fullest.

There are lots of questions in my post just to show why I find the spell so important. However, the main question is - what was the spell and how difficult it is to perform for a common wizard?

  • 1
    "Something that could have changed lots of events in Harry Potter Universe, but for some reason it's the only time we see this comes into action." Frame challenge, magic obviously works differently in Fantastic Beasts canon than it does in the books or even the movies based on them. There are lots of things wizards do in these movies that seem significantly more powerful than anything done in the original stories.
    – Cubic
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


The screenplay describes it thusly.

[NEWT leads JACOB through the statue and into Magical Paris. He puts his case down and points his wand at the street.]

NEWT: Appare vestigium.

[The tracking spell materializes as a swirl of gold, which illuminates traces of recent magical activity in the square.]

We've not seen this spell before but it certainly looks like advanced magic. Newt is an extremely powerful wizard (albeit not omega-class like Grindelwald / Dumbledore / Voldemort) and his ability to track things has probably been enhanced by his experience of tracking fantastic beasts.

The film's Cinematic Yearbook factbook has this to offer.

enter image description here

  • 9
    I imagine Dumbledore casting the spell around the Goblet of Fire or at the spots Basilisk's victims were found (exactly tracing a magical beast btw) would make the things much easier for everyone. But Dumbledore never looking for easy ways, does he? :)
    – Shana Tar
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 12:51
  • 2
    @ShanaTar, the various protective spells over Hogwarts, combined with the extremely high level of background magic, might perhaps make the spell inoperable. Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 23:27
  • Is your description of 'omega-class' your own creation or are you reference some maintained list somewhere?
    – TylerH
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 16:08
  • 1
    We see the niffler sniffing the ground and stuff. Did the niffler's actions help Newt in any way?
    – RedCaio
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 22:29
  • 1
    @Valorum - so... this particular spell happens to manifest visually via shiny gold footprints, allowing the niffler's skills of seeking out shiny gold things to conveniently become useful? Seems like an awfully lucky coincidence. 🤔
    – RedCaio
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 22:37

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