I have unofficially titled this slice of music from the newly released scene from Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, ‘The Blood Troth’, due to Theseus’ apparent renaming of this magical pact between Grindelwald and Dumbledore, and to differentiate it from the ‘Blood Pact’ cue from Crimes of Grindelwald. If you haven’t already seen it, go and check it out here!
This scene is edited together, with at least one clear cut around 0:41, however the music plays straight through, giving some coherency. Up to the 1:00 minute mark is a direct lift from the ‘Blood Pact’ cue in Crimes of Grindelwald, with an identical orchestration and arrangement of the Blood Pact Motif, from the scene of its creation in the Mirror of Erised scene.
It’s at this point that Dumbledore mentions that “were [he] to even think about defying it” when the Blood Pact leaps from his hand, and begins to carve itself into the wall of the Hog’s Head. A dark, legato cello line begins, and soon after a violin answer to this melody, with a defining characteristic of a held note which then drops a semitone. The theme grows in range and tessitura, moving up octaves in the violin and also in dynamic and climaxes in a large tremolo as Newt finally snaps Dumbledore out of whatever is happening between him and the Blood Pact with a yell of “Albus!” The strings diminuendo and fade out on their tremolos, as the tension dissipates from the scene and the music, and concludes this sneak preview of the film.
Whether this creeping, semitone-based idea in the strings will become a thematic idea in this film remains to be seen, possibly a new harmful theme for the Blood Pact or for Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s relationship? All will be revealed in just a few weeks! (Hopefully sooner if we are to expect the teaser tracks for this film) but if not, then we shall have to wait and see what James Newton Howard has in store for us in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.