32

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes place in 1926. At the end of that year, the wizard who would come to be known as Voldemort would be born.

It seems odd to pick the same year out of a hat twice like that. Is there any significance to this that has been revealed thus far?

  • 3
    Completely unnecessary spoiler for Harry Potter readers.. – P.R. Aug 9 '17 at 14:49
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    @P.R. The book was published in the United Kingdom on 2 July 1998 I think it's safe not to spoiler mark it... – TheLethalCarrot Aug 9 '17 at 14:52
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    Does it contribute to the question? If not I would remove the clarification. There are still kids being born and not everyone has finished the series yet; The latter includes me, I literally had no clue. – P.R. Aug 9 '17 at 16:21
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    @P.R. I wasn't born when Romeo & Juliet was written... but knew enough about what it was about and how it ended before ever reading it... Harry Potter is pretty much a cultural "everyone's heard of it and the main characters and what happens" even if you've never read it kind of thing. – Jon Clements Aug 9 '17 at 17:51
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    I think it's not a big issue to reveal in what year Voldermort was born, but revealing his previous name is pretty spoilerish to someone reading Chamber of Secrets, in my opinion, and should be hidden. – LeoRochael Aug 9 '17 at 19:37
30

This appears to be a case of the tail wagging the dog. JKR wanted to have sufficient space to tell a long story, one that in her mind spans 5 movies and runs for nearly 20 years, leading up to Dumbledore's iconic duel with Grindlewald in 1945. That being the case, 1945 - 19 = 1926.

Originally, to tell you the truth, we said a trilogy as a placeholder. We wanted to be honest with people that it was going to be one movie, but we were feeling our way. And then there came a point in the drafting of the story where I said to David, 'This feels like five movies.' And I'm feeling pretty certain about that. It's ambitious to tell it in five because we're spanning 19 years. But I can see an arc. So, that's how it happened, it came out of the material.

J.K. Rowling Confirmed The Timeline Of Fantastic Beasts, And This Could Be Huge

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    This is both interesting and relevant, but I'm still not clear on why they chose 1926, as opposed to '25 or '27. – Kevin Aug 8 '17 at 23:48
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    @Kevin - I don't believe there to be any major significance other than that she worked out how long she wanted it to be (to justify 5 films!) and then plotted backward from a known event – Valorum Aug 9 '17 at 0:23
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    @cairdcoinheringaahin - They based eight Resident Evil films (and a franchise worth more than 4 billion) on a computer game where you run around shooting pixellated zombies. – Valorum Aug 9 '17 at 13:45
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    Tbf, with JKR's usual maths skills, it's a wonder it wasn't set in 1826... – SeanR Aug 9 '17 at 15:00
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    Dragon Ball Z had a scene where a villain set in motion the destruction of a planet. He said the planet will blow up in 5 minutes. That took 13 episodes. It is completely irrelevant how much time passes, because the film makers can do whatever they want to fill it up... – Nelson Aug 9 '17 at 15:56
20

In the first movie, no significance is apparent.

Nothing about a future Dark Lord being born is mentioned anywhere in the movie, and none of the events have any particularly clear parallels to anything significant that happened in his life. Credence is an orphan, as was young Tom Riddle, and Grindelwald was rising to power, as Lord Voldemort would later do, but nothing that happened is clearly related to him.

However, there are going to be 4 more movies so it may be shown to have significance later.

Later in the series, though, it may be revealed that the year did have some kind of significance, although none is apparent now. It may be a purposeful detail that we discover later in the series. However, it may also mean nothing, or the date in itself is simply a reference to the Harry Potter series, and has no further significance past that.

It seems likely that choosing 1926 means something, even if it's just a little Easter Egg.

The choice of Lord Voldemort's birth year may have been simply a nod to it, even if it doesn't tie together into a bigger story, like how Newt Scamander appeared on the Marauders' Map in the movie of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Marauders' Map from Prisoner of Azkaban

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    Newt Scamander appeared where? What?! How about a link? – Wildcard Aug 9 '17 at 3:33
  • @Wildcard Sure! :) I'll find one for you! :) – Bellatrix Aug 9 '17 at 3:37
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    @Wildcard I've added a video and a picture! :) – Bellatrix Aug 9 '17 at 4:00
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    @Wildcard Also see this question – David Starkey Aug 9 '17 at 15:24
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    I've just realised that Voldemort Volcanoes and Credence both grow up as neglected children in orphanages. The wizarding world could literally solve all its problems by closing down orphanages. – The Dark Lord Aug 9 '17 at 21:08

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