Fantastic Beasts' Young McGonagall Wasn't a Plot Hole, She Was a Plot Tear in Reality

Fantastic Beasts' Young McGonagall Wasn't a Plot Hole, She Was a Plot Tear in Reality
Image credit: Warner Bros.

The biggest Crime of Grindelwald was that movie’s heinous crime against the Wizarding World’s canon and timeline.


  • The Fantastic Beasts movies always relied too heavily on raw fan service.
  • In The Crimes of Grindelwald, Professor McGonagall was already a teacher at Hogwarts.
  • According to Pottermore, McGonagall was born eight years after the events of The Crimes.
  • Oopsie.

Don’t get us wrong, we all love our fair share of fan service in movies and TV shows. It’s always nice to see some familiar faces (or hear familiar names) as it makes any fictional world feel more interconnected and brings that silly warm feeling of comfort and nostalgia. We have decidedly nothing against a little bit of fan service.

But we do mind unnecessary, inexcusable, and utterly stupid timeline decisions.

Professor McGonagall Appeared in The Crimes of Grindelwald

The Fantastic Beasts movies were thriving on fan service — or rather, they would have been thriving on fan service if they could offer anything apart from fan service. There was no way in the world to tell a story about Grindelwald and Dumbledore without, well, Dumbledore himself, sure; but having Jude Law play the man who canonically looks 50 years older in a few in-universe years’ time was… Rather daft.

Minerva McGonagall has always been one of the most beloved Hogwarts professors, and rightfully so. But unlike Albus Dumbledore, she wasn’t necessary for the Fantastic Beasts’ plot; she was thrown into the mix solely for the sake of fan service. And that was a giant, absolutely despicable mistake on the movie’s part. Why?

In No World Could Professor McGonagall Be Around at the Time

Fantastic Beasts' Young McGonagall Wasn't a Plot Hole, She Was a Plot Tear in Reality - image 1

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Minerva McGonagall tells Dolores Umbridge that she’ll be teaching at Hogwarts for “thirty-nine years this December.” The Order is set in 1995, meaning McGonagall started teaching at Hogwarts in December 1956 when she was 21-year-old. But that’s not even the main thing.

Minerva McGonagall was born on October 4, 1935.

So what, you may ask?

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is set in 1927!

Minerva McGonagall in Fantastic Beasts is not only already present but she’s also already a teacher. At the time, she’s supposed to be, let’s see… Minus eight years old.

There was no way Professor McGonagall could even be alive during the events of the Fantastic Beasts movies, let alone teach at Hogwarts. She was added purely and entirely for the sake of fan service, as was everything in that movie series — and Grindelwald’s biggest Crime was not giving a damn about the Harry Potter lore.

Source: Vitmor via Quora