Warning: Major spoilers ahead for “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.”
Here are eight glaring inconsistencies that are sure to bother shrewd fans of the franchise.
Newt uses “Accio” to retrieve his Niffler, which isn’t supposed to be possible.
After the premiere of the first “Fantastic Beasts” film, many fans wondered why Newt couldn’t simply use the famous retrieval spell “Accio” to round up his escaped creatures.
Rowling took to her website to answer the valid question: “‘Accio’ only works on inanimate objects,” she wrote.
“While people or creatures may be indirectly moved by ‘Accio-ing’ objects that they are wearing or holding, this carries all kinds of risks because of the likelihood of injury to the person or beast attached to an object travelling at close to the speed of light.”
This explanation makes perfect sense – but maybe Rowling forgot her own rule. Newt can specifically be heard saying “Accio Niffler” in “Crimes of Grindelwald” to summon the creature into his arms.
Apparently, making an Unbreakable Vow causes scars to form on your hand.
In one confusing subplot, newly appointed Auror Tina Goldstein is trying to uncover the identity and motives of a strange wizard, Yusuf Kama. She notices scars lining his right hand and tells Newt that the markings “suggest an Unbreakable Vow.”
We know that making an Unbreakable Vow involves grasping another person’s right hand while a third person (a “Bonder”) uses their wand to weave a stream of fire around the handshake. But we have never seen this practice leave any kind of scarring on either party.
In “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” Narcissa Malfoy has Severus Snape make an Unbreakable Vow so he will protect her son, Draco. If the Vow were to leave suspicious scars, as Tina suggests, someone at Hogwarts – or another Death Eater – would have noticed.
The Unbreakable Vow carries severe, deadly consequences if broken, so it’s hard to imagine that anybody would simply disregard Snape (a noted double agent) making a life-or-death promise to anybody.
Minvera McGonagall makes a cameo before she was born.
“Crimes of Grindelwald” brought back beloved “Harry Potter” character Minvera McGonagall for two separate scenes, but it doesn’t make any sense that she’s there.
She first appeared in Dumbledore’s classroom. Dumbledore, who was in the middle of teaching students, told the young wizards to exit the room and follow Professor McGonagall. She also appears, played by Fiona Glascott, in a flashback to when Newt and Leta Lestrange were students at Hogwarts.
Newt began as a first-year at Hogwarts in 1908. The film is set in 1927. McGonagall was not born until 1935.
McGonagall’s birth year can be calculated from her Pottermore biography(written by Rowling herself) and from McGonagall’s own words in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” She tells Dolores Umbridge that, in 1995, she had been teaching at Hogwarts for 39 years.
If she began teaching at Hogwarts in 1956 after working at the Ministry for two years immediately after graduation, this places her graduation in 1954, her first year in 1947, and her birth in 1935.
Additionally, as we explain here, Minerva McGonagall has the surname of her Muggle father – which makes it impossible that the McGonagall in “Crimes of Grindelwald” is meant to be one of her family members.
Leta Lestrange’s death suggests the end to her blood line, but we have seen future members of the Lestrange family.
A major source of tension in “Crimes of Grindelwald” is the rumour that Credence Barebone is secretly Leta Lestrange’s long-lost little brother, Corvus.
Indeed, Dumbledore tells Newt that people believe Credence to be the last person in a powerful pure-blood family line. (The family of Corvus’ mother, Clarisse Tremblay, boasts no such reputation, so he must be referring to his Lestrange father.)
Leta later confirms that Corvus is dead. At the end of the movie, she appears to die at the hands of Grindelwald. This clearly suggests that the Lestrange family line has ended.
But, of course, even casual “Harry Potter” fans will remember Bellatrix Lestrange – a member of the Black family who married Death Eater Rodolphus Lestrange and took his esteemed surname.
Perhaps Leta has a secret child somewhere, although this seems unlikely, since she shows Newt and the gang her family tree. It’s possible that she didn’t actually die – but it’s also possible that this is just a glaring plot hole. Without a continuation of the Lestrange family line, Rodolphus would never have existed.
Albus Dumbledore’s experience with the Mirror of Erised is confusing and contradictory.
The Mirror of Erised is a powerful object introduced in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” As Dumbledore explains to Harry, it shows the “deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts.”
“Crimes of Grindelwald” shows Dumbledore as a young man gazing into the mirror. He sees Gellert Grindelwald (his ex-friend,possible ex-lover, and now-enemy) staring back at him. He also sees himself and Grindelwald as teenagers making some kind of “blood pact.”
The Mirror of Erised is not meant to work like a Pensieve, which allows you to re-watch memories. Dumbledore seeing a flashback in the Mirror is a departure from its original purpose – and feels like a cheap way to move the “blood pact” subplot forward.
Additionally, Rowling is on the record as saying that the Mirror shows Dumbledore his family members reunited, not Grindelwald.
“He saw his family alive, whole and happy – [sister] Ariana, [father] Percival and [mother] Kendra all returned to him, and [brother] Aberforth reconciled to him,” Rowling wrote of Dumbledore’s Mirror of Erised reflection back in 2007.
Speaking of the “blood pact” — did Dumbledore and Grindelwald make that before or after they dueled as teenagers?
A central tension in “Crimes of Grindelwald” is that the wizarding community wants Dumbledore to confront and battle Grindelwald, before he gets too powerful. Dumbledore says he cannot, and many people assume it is because he still harbours feelings for the dark wizard.
The movie’s end reveals that Dumbledore and Grindelwald had actually made some kind of binding “blood pact” – perhaps similar to the Unbreakable Vow – not to fight each other.
But this doesn’t quite add up.
According to the tabloid wizard journalist Rita Skeeter, Grindelwald met and befriended Dumbledore in the summer of 1899, just after Dumbledore had graduated from Hogwarts. As Dumbledore tells Harry in “Deathly Hallows,” he was “caught” and “inflamed” by Grindelwald’s bigoted notions and ideas for world domination.
At the end of the summer, Dumbledore was confronted by his brother, Aberforth, who was disgusted by the pair’s plans to leave town and start an anti-Muggle revolution. The confrontation quickly became violent when Grindelwald cast the illegal Cruciatus Curse on Aberforth.
Dumbledore defends his brother and the three become engaged in a vicious three-way duel, resulting in the death of Dumbledore’s sister, Ariana.
Grindelwald abandons Dumbledore soon after. So when, exactly, did the two friends make this binding pact not to fight?
Also, Grindelwald isn’t British. Why does he have a distinctly British accent?
As he does in many films, Johnny Depp adopts a British accent to play Grindelwald.
It’s not clear where exactly Grindelwald is meant to be from, but we know he attended the Scandinavian magical school Durmstrang (like “Goblet of Fire” character Viktor Krum).
Dumbledore told Harry that Grindelwald was expelled from Durmstrang at age 16 for performing “‘twisted experiments.” That’s when he went to Godric’s Hollow in England – so he didn’t grow up there, like Dumbledore did.
Obviously, Hogwarts recruits young witches and wizards from the United Kingdom. So if Grindelwald were British, that’s where he would have attended.
It doesn’t make sense that Dumbledore would have such a young brother.
The big reveal in “Crimes of Grindelwald” is that Credence Barebone, the powerful and unstable Obscurial, is apparently a Dumbledore: Grindelwald tells the young wizard, who was adopted by a No-Maj as a baby, that his real name is Aurelius Dumbledore and that his brother is Albus Dumbledore.
You can read our full analysis of the reveal here, but essentially, the timelines don’t match up.
Dumbledore’s father, Percival, was sentenced to life in Azkaban when the three Dumbledore children were still very young. Dumbledore’s mother, Kendra, died unexpectedly years later in 1899.
Credence is 18 years old in the first “Fantastic Beasts” film, which makes his birth year either 1907 or 1908.
It’s also notable that Dumbledore’s family strife is a source of great pain and guilt for him throughout his life. If he had had another brother – a brother who was abused and manipulated throughout his life – and never went looking for him (not to mention that he never mentioned him later in life), then that feels very out of character.
You can read our review of “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” and follow along with our coverage here.
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