“Fantastic Beasts”: The Crimes of Breaking “Potter” Canon
If you haven’t heard, some of the uh… more hardcore fans – the ones who know Albus Dumbledore’s backstory better than their own – are not happy with how things played out in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. *Enter me, stage left.* Although J.K. Rowling isn’t exactly known for her attention to dates, the newest chapter in the Fantastic Beasts franchise seems to have pushed many over the edge. If you’re not as numbers obsessed as some, I’ve compiled the most significant inaccuracies for your reading pleasure so you can understand just. How. Much. What we previously accepted as canon was compromised.
If you’re feeling suspicious of how fans arrived at dates that were never said outright in the books, they are often published on Pottermore or can be calculated based off dates given in Harry Potter in relation to when the books take place.
Credence as a Dumbledore
Albus’s mother, Kendra Dumbledore, died in 1899. Ariana Dumbledore was attacked sometime around 1891, and it’s safe to assume that Percival went to Azkaban shortly after. If Credence really is Albus Dumbledore’s biological brother, he would’ve had to been born before 1899 at least. We know, according to the original script of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, that the ship scene where Leta switches her brother Corvus with baby Credence took place in 1901. I’m guessing that Credence couldn’t have been more than a year old at that point – and even that is being generous. Many fans have theorized that Grindelwald is just manipulating Credence, but if that’s not the case, we have some serious math issues on our hands.
Minerva McGonagall was born in 1935. Crimes of Grindelwald is set in 1927 (obviously before she was born). The boggart flashback scene would’ve taken place sometime between 1908 and 1915, when Newt would be of Hogwarts age. If Minerva McGonagall had been there, she would’ve been at least -20 years old at the time (assuming she was 0 years old when she was a teacher… You get the picture). Although it’s been speculated that maybe it was “another McGonagall,” the published Crimes of Grindelwald screenplay confirmed that it was indeed Minerva.
Some fans have pointed out that there are inconsistencies not only in her age but also in her character. While acknowledging that time changes us all, it seems suspicious that the strict, no-nonsense woman whom we know and love would be running after children and almost supporting them in their mistreatment of a peer. Why was she given an out-of-character cameo that doesn’t even fit the timeline?
Defensive fans who think JKR can do no wrong are continuously saying to “wait it out.” I will echo what many have pointed out: We don’t know where our fearless leader is taking the prequel story. With that being said, considering the information that we’ve been given so far, I’m not feeling very hopeful. Rather than containing unanswered questions, Crimes of Grindelwald is just riddled with inconsistencies that JKR will likely never acknowledge, and her lack of care is getting irksome.
Is the Harry Potter book canon no longer relevant? Is JKR just bad at math? Is she less concerned than we fans who know the dates by heart? Is she changing the timeline to meet her needs? Am I asking too many rhetorical questions? Only time – and JKR’s Twitter timeline – will tell.