The Crimes of Grindelwald: Plot Holes & Canon Inconsistencies

Crimes of Grindelwald

Getty The Crimes of Grindelwald was released last Friday, and there have already been many complaints from fans about plot holes and canon inconsistencies.

The Crimes of Grindelwald, the sequel to the 2016 film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, was released last Friday, and although the movie has only been in theaters for a few days, there have been a lot of complaints from fans about plot holes, canon inconsistencies and other pieces of the film that just didn’t make sense to viewers.

See Also: Harry Potter Gifts

Some of the biggest issues involved a young Professor McGonagall (who, according to Harry Potter Wikia and Pottermore isn’t born for another eight years), Nagini’s (seemingly pointless) story as a Maledictus and how Tina should actually be the master of the Elder Wand.

We decided to round up some of the biggest plot holes and canon contrivances that just didn’t add up and confused thousands of viewers. Check out our list below:


Minerva McGonagall’s Cameo Appearance Eight Years Prior to her Birth

Minerva McGonagall, the beloved Transfiguration professor from the Harry Potter wizarding series, made a confusing appearance in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, that has many fans questioning whether author J.K. Rowling made a massive mistake (which seems unlikely) since McGonagall reportedly wasn’t born until eight years after the movie takes place, in 1935.

Although Rowling never explicitly stated that McGonagall was born in 1935, her birth year has been calculated over the years. Harry Potter Wikia, McGonagall’s biography on Pottermore, and Chapter 15 from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, involves fairly simple math to find out her birth date.

So, although McGonagall’s birth year is reportedly in 1935, and she is depicted as a fully grown adult in the movie (and is actually shown in a memory/flashback in Crimes, making her even older in 1927 than what many outlets are reporting as -8 years old) and Rowling still has yet to address the issue, fans are left scrambling to guess what could possibly be the answer to this seemingly major plot hole.


Why Isn’t Tina Master of the Elder Wand?

Most Harry Potter fans are familiar with the story of the Elder Wand, but for those who need a refresher, the Elder Wand is especially dangerous in Grindelwald’s hands because whoever possesses the wand would make that person one of the most powerful wizards in the world. If the owner of the Elder Wand is also reunited with the other two Deathly Hallows – the Resurrection Stone and the Cloak of Invisibility – they would become the Master of Death.

Though nobody really speaks of the Elder Wand in the Fantastic Beasts films, Grindelwald presumably already wields the Elder Wand, since he stole the wand from the wand maker Gregorovitch sometime between 1900 and 1926. He was reunited with his old wand at the end of the first Fantastic Beasts film, which somewhat explains the power he wields in the graveyard scene. Based on the original story in the Harry Potter books, we know that Albus Dumbledore eventually defeats Grindelwald and claims the wand for his own, but that obviously hasn’t happened in this timeline yet.

However, Tina Goldstein also defeats and disarms Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts, so why doesn’t she become its master? The same thing happened after Draco Malfoy disarmed Dumbledore, to which Malfoy was unknowing the wand’s master, and then again when Harry disarmed Malfoy in the Deathly Hallows, when he became the final master of the wand.

Not only is this a major oversight in Fantastic Beasts‘ storytelling, it’s one that should have had major implications for this film and inevitably made Tina’s role in the Wizarding World that much more important.


Since When Do Memory Charms Only Remove “Bad Memories?”

Another variation from the original canon of memory charms, Crimes of Grindelwald shows a recently “obliviated” Jacob show up at Newt’s flat in London. To Newt’s surprise, Jacob remembers everything that happened from the previous year/film, despite the fact that the Ministry obliviated an entire town so they wouldn’t remember the magic that they witnessed. Jacob tells Newt that the charm “only erases bad memories,” and since his memories were mostly good, he still remembers most of the events that transpired.

Now this takes a pretty significant deviation from the original Harry Potter series as well. For example, in Chamber of Secrets, Gilderoy Lockhart obliviates most of the witches and wizards that he stole his stories from, and when he does so he erases all of their memories – good and bad. Hermione also erases her parent’s memories of her before embarking on her journey with Harry and Ron to destroy Horcrux’s, which means that she erased primarily good memories that her parents had with their daughter. There is nothing in the original series to ever indicate that memory charms “only erase bad memories.”

The only explanation I can think of would be that the United States Ministry of Magic used an altered memory charm, although this still isn’t really a great explanation. If they were intending to wipe the memory of magic out of the population of an entire town with an altered charm, how could they be certain there weren’t other Muggles like Jacob that still remembered what they saw? How could they be absolutely sure that all of the other Muggles associated what they saw with bad, evil magic? It just doesn’t add up, and the movie never gives a further explanation of the memory charm beyond Jacob’s explanation.


What Was The Point in Introducing Nagini as a Maledictus?

When it was first announced that Nagini, Lord Voldemort’s pet snake and one of his final Horcrux’s, was actually once a human woman shocked Harry Potter fans worldwide. Nagini’s new story in Fantastic Beasts depicts her as a “maledictus,” or someone cursed to turn into an animal forever one day.

So, not only did this massive announcement feel like it was strictly for shock value, many were incredibly confused. How would Dumbledore never pass this information on to anybody, including Harry and the gang (who have to murder this snake woman) while they were hunting down Horcrux’s? Did Voldemort know that his beloved snake pet was once a human? Especially because he had Wormtail “milk” her to keep him alive before he regained his body? Why would the franchise believe it is a good idea for an Indonesian woman to eventually become the pet and property of a white, male fascist?

Responding to questions on Twitter, J.K. Rowling confirmed that Nagini is a “Maledictus“. She also revealed that only women can carry the curse.

However, Rowling still never answered any of the other questions about Nagini, and to be honest, her role in the film was so minuscule it almost felt forced, especially since the original franchise was criticized for the lack of diversity in the original films. Nagini basically follows Credence around looking worried, has very few lines in the film and only one short scene that mentions her blood curse.

Rowling might have some more hidden details up her sleeve that will be revealed in the next few movies, but either way, if felt a bit pointless to introduce Nagini in Crimes.


How Did Grindelwald Not Notice a Niffler Stealing His Blood Troth? How Were People Apparating on School Grounds? If Nicolas Flamel Saw the Destiny of Grindelwald’s Destruction, Why Didn’t He Show Up Sooner?

There are so many questions following the end of Crimes that I don’t even know where to start. Some are small and insignificant and most likely only picked up by incredibly picky fans (such as myself), but others, like those noted above, are pretty significant and need answers.

Maybe Nifflers are so stealthy that Grindelwald, one of the most powerful wizards in the entire world, didn’t notice him dipping into his pocket to steal an immensely valuable artifact, and maybe Hogwarts didn’t have the extensive protection that is has in Harry’s generation that doesn’t allow anybody to apparate or dissaparate on school grounds, and maybe Nicolas Flamel was just really old and frail and unsure if he should step in and help, but still. It’s these little details that dedicated fans really get swept up in, and going from a story like the Harry Potter series, where Rowling wove an incredibly intricate and unique story, to the Fantastic Beasts films, where there seems to be so much left unanswered, is really disappointing for a lot of fans.

Maybe we all just need to be more patient and hope that all of our questions will be answered over the course of the next few films. But in the meantime, fans are going to continue picking up on these inconsistencies and wondering if they were deliberate, or an actual mistake.

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