If You Missed Jessica Williams's Appearance in The Crimes of Grindelwald, Here's What It Means
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald introduces us to a plethora of new characters and backstories that play important roles in the overall plot of the magical franchise. While there are a lot of characters whose journeys lead to some very interesting discoveries that we definitely want to explore ASAP, there's one character whose brief appearance has us excited for the next Fantastic Beasts installment: Jessica Williams as Professor Eulalie (Lally) Hicks of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Williams joined J.K. Rowling at one of the performances of NYC's Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway, and the author celebrated the occasion with a photo of the two of them captioned by some illuminating information: "Professor Eulalie (Lally) Hicks of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with some random woman during the interval of #CursedChildNYC," she wrote.
In case you're unaware, Ilvermorny is the North American school of magic (think: Hogwarts, without the British accents). The school is seated at the top of a mountain and concealed from muggles/no-maj by a thick layer of mist. Apparently, Professor Hicks is one of the lucky members of its staff. While her appearance in The Crimes of Grindelwald is super short, it's still pretty important to the plot.
Right before Grindelwald begins his rally to gather forces for his dark army, Jacob has a run-in with Nicolas Flamel, noted alchemist and opera-lover. Flamel, who is doing pretty well for someone over 600 years old, helps Jacob figure out where to find Queenie and company. Once Jacob leaves, Flamel realizes he's actually headed into great trouble and the group is going to need some serious help. For a boost of courage, he flips through the empty portraits in a book adorned with a phoenix until he gets to one in particular — Professor Hicks's portrait! Hicks is the one who encourages Flamel to help the group, even though he hasn't "seen any action in 200 years." Flamel goes on to aid everyone in dousing the raging fire Grindelwald created to burn down Paris.
So not only does Professor Hicks help save the day without actually being there, but her inclusion is a strong hint we'll be heading to Ilvermorny sooner rather than later. It also helps that Rowling revealed that though we only see a "hint" of Hicks in The Crimes of Grindelwald, she'll be a much bigger presence in the untitled third film.
Hopefully that means we'll get to see the legendary magic school AND learn exactly what was that book of empty portraits Flamel was flipping through. Could it have something to do with the Order of the Phoenix? We'll just have to wait and see!
— Additional reporting by Haley Lyndes