There’s a huge timeline mistake with Professor McGonagall’s cameo in ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’

19 November 2018, 14:07 | Updated: 19 November 2018, 16:13

By Katie Louise Smith

An old Harry Potter favourite appears in 'The Crimes of Grindelwald' but her appearance within the film's timeline makes absolutely no sense at all.

It's here, the second instalment of Fantastic Beasts has arrived and it's... a wild ride from start to finish. The Crimes of Grindelwald dropped in cinemas last week (Nov 16) but despite doing well on its opening weekend at the box office, the film hasn't been receiving rave reviews from critics, or fans for that matter.

While some fans are enjoying the latest wizarding jaunt with Eddie Redmayne's Newt Scamander, others are pointing out the glaring plot holes in the film - and they're really starting to add up.

In fact, there's one very specific part of the film that sees an old favourite from the Harry Potter franchise make an appearance - the beloved Professor McGonagall - but her presence in the film's timeline doesn't make any sense and has seemingly disrupted the continuity of the entire Potter universe.

SPOILERS AHEAD! If you haven't seen the film and don't want to be spoiled, don't scroll past this gif of Jude Law as young Dumbledore looking like a snack...


In the film, we take a trip back to Hogwarts (yes, that Hogwarts) where Minerva McGonagall (yes, that McGonagall) briefly appears as a twenty-something teacher. It's an exciting surprise cameo for all the long-time fans of the Harry Potter franchise but there's just one problem... her appearance literally doesn't make any sense within the film's timeline.

The Crimes of Grindelwald is set in 1927. As per Pottermore (which is recognised as canon seeing as it features original writing from JK Rowling herself), McGonagall was born on October 4th 1935, meaning she would be minus 8 years old in 1927.

In addition to that, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Professor McGonagall tells Professor Umbridge that she first started teaching at Hogwarts in 1956, when she was 21 years old.

So... how on earth is McGonagall teaching at Hogwarts in 1927 if she wasn't even born yet? The plot hole has been pointed out by several fans of the series, who have all been bringing the receipts on Twitter. (They've also got an issue with Dumbledore's age but that's another article for another day...)

Some have tried to explain away the apparent plot hole by suggesting that it could be her mother, but that's doesn't appear to be the case either. Minerva's mother was called Isobel Ross who never taught at Hogwarts, and McGonagall was the surname of her muggle father. The character is also listed as 'Young Minerva' in the official screenplay. Actress Fiona Glascott is credited as 'Minerva McGonagall' too.

Multiple people have now spotted that Pottermore has now removed any information about her date of birth which is... a little bit sus, don't you think?

So, what is the truth dot gif? There MUST be a reason for it, right? Did she use a Time-Turner? (She was the one who gave it to Hermione, after all...) Did McGonagall travel back in time to learn from young Dumbledore? Is this like that time-travel thing that happened in Cursed Child? Is this gonna be left unanswered and explained away in the narrative three films later?

Honestly, what is going on? JK? Please? Don't leave us hanging for another two years...