Many people have claimed that the Fantastic Beasts series contradicts the original (7-book) canon.

Can anyone make a list of all the contradictions?

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    I'm on the fence about voting to close this as "too broad". They've made two out of a planned five movies so far, so I'm not sure it meets the standard for being reasonably scoped as a list question. Nov 18, 2018 at 21:57
  • @AnthonyGrist i can change it to "the first two movies" if you'd like.
    – TheAsh
    Nov 18, 2018 at 22:16

2 Answers 2


Some of this stuff is hard to say without knowing exactly what's happening in the second movie. There were a lot of ambiguous parts which might not end up playing out the way they look, and future movies may show stuff to be more in line than they appear. But as things are now, the movies have a TON of continuity problems with the books, with Rowling's extended writings, and with the stuff she's said in interviews (including very recent interviews).

Expect spoilers for both films.

  • Newt was never expelled from Hogwarts, and he had a long career at the Ministry of Magic, under which he made the research trips necessary for his book

    Upon graduation from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Mr. Scamander joined the Ministry of Magic in the Department for the regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. After two years at the Office for House-Elf Relocation, years he describes as “tedious in the extreme,” he was transferred to the Beast Division, where his prodigious knowledge of bizarre magical animals ensured his rapid promotion.

    Although almost solely responsible for the creation of the Werewolf Register in 1947, he says he is proudest of the Ban on Experimental Breeding, passed in 1965, which effectively prevented the creation of new and untameable monsters within Britain. Mr. Scamander’s work with the Dragon Research and Restraint Bureau led to many research trips abroad, during which he collected information for his worldwide best-seller Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, now in its fifty-second edition.
    (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book - About the Author)

    In the movies he was expelled from Hogwarts and never worked for the Ministry. His international travels were made in spite of the Ministry, not through them.

    GRAVES You were thrown out of Hogwarts for endangering human life—

    NEWT That was an accident!

    GRAVES —with a beast. Yet one of your teachers argued strongly against your expulsion. Now, what makes Albus Dumbledore so fond of you?
    (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie - Scene 65)

    TRAVERS The committee will agree to lift your travel ban under one condition.

    NEWT waits. SPIELMAN leans forward.

    SPIELMAN You join the Ministry. Specifically, your brother’s department.

    NEWT digests this, then:

    NEWT No, I—that isn’t my kind of—Theseus is the Auror. I think my talents lie elsewhere—
    (Crimes of Grindelwald - Scene 19)

  • Spells in the books do not have modifiers. Lumos is just "Lumos", not "Lumos Maxima", and Reparo doesn't begin with a latin translation of the object you want to repair.

    There was a scene in the first movie (though only in the trailers) where Newt says "Lumos Maxima". There is a scene in the second movie where Newt repairs a postcard by saying "Papyrus Reparo".

    NEWT’S miserable gaze falls on the piece of postcard. He crosses to pick it up, then points his wand at it.

    NEWT Papyrus Reparo.

    It reconstitutes into a whole. We see a picture of Paris.
    (Crimes of Grindelwald - Scene 38)

  • When two wizards duel, the beams do not meet unless the wands share cores from the same exact animal. (See book four.) This is extremely rare to the point that Voldemort was caught by surprise when it happened to him and Harry. It certainly doesn't occur in any random duel.

    In the first movie we see it happen between Graves and Tina.

    enter image description here

  • Newt's suitcase can not go through a portkey

    Why couldn't Newt have used a portkey? It can't have been difficult for him to register one since he works at the Ministry.

    J.K. Rowling: Consider the effect on the contents of his case...
    (Twitter (archived))

    In the second movie he takes the suitcase through a portkey.

    enter image description here

  • In the books, Portkeys CAN be tracked, while apparaton CANNOT be tracked without physically touching the person apparating

    ‘Brooms,’ said Lupin. ‘Only way. You’re too young to Apparate, they’ll be watching the Floo Network and it’s more than our life’s worth to set up an unauthorised Portkey.’
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 3

    ‘But how did they find you so quickly? It’s impossible to track anyone who Apparates, unless you grab hold of them as they disappear!’
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 11

    In the film we see Newt's apparations being tracked, and him calling a portkey "the only way [he] can leave the country without documentation".

    NEWT Apparates and walks on briskly beneath an increasingly stormy sky. Seconds later, STEBBINS, an Auror, Apparates some yards behind him. They have been playing this game for an hour.
    (Crimes of Grindelwald - Scene 26)

    JACOB Who is this guy?

    NEWT He’s the only way I can leave the country without documentation. Now, you don’t suffer from motion sickness, do you?
    (Crimes of Grindelwald - Scene 47)

  • Accio doesn't work on living creatures.

    ‘Accio’ only works on inanimate objects. 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.
    ("Welcome to my new website!", jkrowling.com, December 2016)

    In the movie, Newt uses accio on his creatures.

    NEWT Accio Niffler!

    The case bursts open and a Niffler jumps out.
    (Crimes of Grindelwald - Scene 48)

  • Apparating into Hogwarts or its grounds is impossible. Rowling has said this dated back to at least the 1600s.

    As we know from early historical accounts, and from the evidence of early woodcuts and engravings, Hogwarts students used to arrive at school in any manner that caught their fancy. ... some attempted to Apparate (often with disastrous effects, as the castle and grounds have always been protected with Anti-Apparition Charms) ... In spite of the accidents attendant on these various modes of magical transport, ... it remained the responsibility of parents to convey their children to school, right up until the imposition of the International Statute of Secrecy in 1692.
    (J.K. Rowling, "The Hogwarts Express")

    In the movie several ministry officials apparate into Hogwarts.

    enter image description here

  • Dumbledore was the Transfiguration professor, not the DADA professor. He is specifically noted to have taught Transfiguration when McGonagall was a student and when she first got hired (at which point he was the "Head of the Transfiguration Department" whatever that means). DADA was taught by Professor Merrythought since 1895 (50 years before 1945).

    Under the guidance of her inspirational Transfiguration teacher, Albus Dumbledore, she had managed to become an Animagus; her animal form, with its distinctive markings (tabby cat, square spectacles markings around eyes) were duly logged in the Ministry of Magic’s Animagus Registry.
    (J.K. Rowling, "Professor McGonagall")

    The owl returned within hours, offering her a job in the Transfiguration department, under Head of Department, Albus Dumbledore.
    (J.K. Rowling, "Professor McGonagall")

    "Defense Against the Dark Arts ... was being taught at the time by an old Professor by the name of Galatea Merrythought, who had been at Hogwarts for nearly fifty years."
    (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 20)

    In the movie they show Dumbledore teaching DADA over at least a fourteen year period from 1913 to 1927, and contemporary with McGonagall


    DUMBLEDORE is teaching. A space in the middle of the room, all students enjoying the spectacle.
    (Crimes of Grindelwald - Scene 64)


    It is Boggart time. DUMBLEDORE supervises the line of teenagers advancing to try their luck.
    (Crimes of Grindelwald - Scene 69)

  • McGonagall began teaching at Hogwarts in 1956 (39 years before 1995). When you line this up with Rowling's essay about McGonagall her birth year can be shown to be 1935. She's also been explicitly stated to have grown up in the early twentieth century.

    "How long have you been teaching at Hogwarts?" Professor Umbridge asked.

    "Thirty-nine years this December," said Professor McGonagall brusquely, snapping her bag shut. (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 15)

    She grew up in the Highlands of Scotland, in the early twentieth century ... Upon graduation from Hogwarts, Minerva returned to the manse to enjoy one last summer with her family before setting out for London, where she had been offered a position at the Ministry of Magic ... These months were to prove some of the most difficult of Minerva’s life, for it was then, aged only eighteen, ... after two years at the Ministry, she was offered a prestigious promotion, yet found herself turning it down. She sent an owl to Hogwarts, asking whether she might be considered for a teaching post. The owl returned within hours, offering her a job in the Transfiguration department, under Head of Department, Albus Dumbledore.
    (J.K. Rowling, "Professor McGonagall")

    In the film she is shown as a teacher in 1910, who already has some sort of reputation as a disciplinarian. This is not just 46 years before she started teaching, but it's 25 years before she was even born.

    The class laughs. The door opens. TRAVERS, THESEUS, and four other AURORS enter, YOUNG MINERVA MCGONAGALL behind them.
    (Crimes of Grindelwald - Scene 64)



    MCGONAGALL (O.S.) Lestrange, stop running! LESTRANGE! Disobedient children. Stop! Shame on the House of Slytherin. One hundred points! Two hundred! Get back here, right now!
    (Crimes of Grindelwald - Scene 67)

    (It's worth noting that since McGonagall's father was a Muggle none of her ancestors could have been teaching at Hogwarts with that last name.)

  • Kendra Dumbledore died in 1899, shortly after Albus finished school. Percival had been incarcerated in Azkaban several years before that. They could not have had another kid in 1901.

    For his part, Albus had arrived at Hogwarts under the burden of unwanted notoriety. Scarcely a year previously, his father, Percival, had been convicted of a savage and well-publicised attack upon three young Muggles.

    Albus never attempted to deny that his father (who was to die in Azkaban) had committed this crime; on the contrary, when I plucked up courage to ask him, he assured me that he knew his father to be guilty.

    (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 2)

    When Albus and I left Hogwarts, we intended to take the then traditional tour of the world together, visiting and observing foreign wizards, before pursuing our separate careers. However, tragedy intervened. On the very eve of our trip, Albus’s mother, Kendra, died, leaving Albus the head, and sole breadwinner, of the family.

    (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 2)

    In the film Credence is said to have been Albus's brother, and was switched as a newborn baby on a 1901 ship to America.


    The door of the opposite cabin is ajar. BABY CREDENCE is inside, fast asleep. CHILD LETA slips inside. She swaps the babies.
    (Crimes of Grindelwald - Scene 107)

    GRINDELWALD It is your birthright, my boy. As is the name I now restore to you.


    Aurelius. Aurelius Dumbledore.
    (Crimes of Grindelwald - Scene 120)

  • Fawkes has always belonged to Dumbledore, no one else.

    In the film a Phoenix who looks like Fawkes is shown in Credence's possession.

    BBC Newsround: Who did Fawkes previously belong to and will he play a vital role in the next book?

    JK Rowling: I am not going to answer about the role in the next books, which probably gives you a big clue, and he has never been owned by anyone but Dumbledore.
    (Edinburgh "cub reporter" press conference, July 2005)

It should be noted that almost none of the above stuff are problems for movie canon. They're only problems for book canon.

And some of these might go away when the next three movies come out and better explain things.

  • 3
    Also minor thing: Apparation cannot be tracked (scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/10270/…) and yet, it could be tracked in the second film twice: 1. Once when Dumbledore apparated and then Newt somehow followed him to the same place 2. When Newt wanted to go to Paris, the only thing that could get him there untraced was expensive portkey, even though he could have just appareted there Nov 24, 2018 at 12:47
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    @MatejDrobnič Even weirder, portkeys CAN be tracked...
    – TheAsh
    Nov 24, 2018 at 16:55
  • 1
    Why do you think that Aurelius is supposed to be another brother and not maybe a cousin? We only get to know his last name and the phoenix thing implies he is from the same family, but could very well be from another branch of the tree, could he not?
    – BMWurm
    Nov 25, 2018 at 12:30
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  • 1
    I don't recall the books saying that Portkeys can be tracked, only that legally they have to be registered, and to create one without authorisation is a bad idea. If Portkeys could be tracked, then when Harry and Cedric touched the Triwizard Cup and found themselves in a graveyard, it would have alerted somene at the Ministry. Presumably, the ability to move someone untraceably is part of why the penalty for creating an unregistered Portkey is so severe that the Order won't even risk it to move Harry from Privet Drive. Jan 10, 2019 at 13:48

So far in no ways

We have to keep in mind that this is the second part of a five-movie series. It is too early to call the series as "canon-breaker", with just a few character arcs only now being uncovered.

Having said that, there are four instances that in a way create a contradiction, but lacking the whole picture we cannot rule out future explanations.

1. The new family member

In The Crimes of Grindelwald we get to know that

Credence Barebone is the long-lost brother of Albus Dumbledore.

It is true that we didn't get even a nod in the original series but the absence of information means in no way that this information is wrong.

Dumbledore was known to keep secrets from everyone. In the words of his brother, Aberforth:

“I knew my brother, Potter. He learned secrecy at our mother’s knee. Secrets and lies, that’s how we grew up, and Albus. . . he was a natural.”

—Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

If we take into account that his character's backstory was became evident only half-way through the final book of the series, while also not from Dumbledore himself, what tells us that we learned all the truth?

It can be considered character accurate for him to withhold this information, especially if at the final duel in 1945, Aurelius dies (much like Ariana's death).

Also, don't forget that at least until this movie, Dumbledore is not aware of his existence. It is hard to believe that he will not meet him/learn the truth later on, but so far there is no direct contradiction.

As a side note, although I don't believe that JKR misdirected that much audiences, let's not rule out the possibility that Grindelwald lied to Credence to gain his trust and point him in Dumbledore's direction.

2. Minerva McGonagall alive in 1927

When the movie was released, there was a speculation that this was not the Minerva McGonagall that we know from HP series. As others have correctly suggested, although Minerva had a gifted grandmother with the same first name, she was her maternal grandmother who couldn't have the same surname. So, we can assume -for now- that she is the same character.

Therefore, there is no official birth year of Professor McGonagall. The "1935" was calculated by fans from an extract of Book 5 where she mentioned that she was teaching for 39 years.

“How long have you been teaching at Hogwarts?” Professor Umbridge asked.

“Thirty-nine years this December,” said Professor McGonagall brusquely, snapping her bag shut.

Professor Umbridge made a note.

—Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

So, assuming that this conversation took place in 1995 and she worked at the Ministry of Magic for 2 years after her graduation, naturally fans concluded that she was born in 1935.

Yet again, she didn't stated that she was teaching for 39 consecutive years. Maybe she took one or more sabbatical leaves at some point.

3. The Elder Wand answered to Grindelwald

At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Tina disarmed Grindelwald from his wand. This made fans believe that, due the mechanics of the Elder Wand, as its master was disarmed, the allegiance of the Elder Wand was transferred to the one that "beat" him.

However, Grindelwald (being Percival Graves at that time), was holding a different wand. We don't know the exact mechanics of wand mastery. Who tells us if the intentional use of a different wand other the Elder Wand, changes the way that its allegiance works? From the original series, we only have some assumptions made by Harry Potter and not by Ollivander or another wand maker. Again, some assumptions and conclusions by fans cannot rule out other explanations.

4. Dumbledore teaching DADA

During the timeframe of the Fantastic Beasts movies, Dumbledore is not yet the Headmaster of Hogwarts but a simple professor. In the original series, Dumbledore is mentioned to have been teaching Transfiguration before taking staff duties.

In Crimes of Grindelwald though, Dumbledore is teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. At first, someone could argue that this is a direct canon contradiction but in no written material it was mentioned that Dumbledore was strictly teaching only Transfiguration during his professorship.

Also, we should not overlook the fact that contrary to other subjects at Hogwarts, the professor that teaches DADA does not have to be of a specifically relevant subject, otherwise only Aurors would have been allowed to teach.

There is no rule that forbids professors to change subjects also; Severus Snape was the Potions professor but at Book 6 he was appointed to be the DADA teacher (another instance of a professor of a different subject, ending up teaching DADA). Dumbledore could switch to be a regular Transfiguration teacher later in the FB series (in this movie, actually, during the Ministry officials visit, Dumbledore is being removed from this position).

Lastly, the jinx that cursed all professors of DADA to be -one way or the other- removed from their position every year, was not in place at that time. This was put in place nearly 40-45 years later when Voldemort applied as a DADA teacher to Dumbledore himself:

“Oh, he definitely wanted the Defense Against the Dark Arts job,” said Dumbledore. “The aftermath of our little meeting proved that. You see, we have never been able to keep a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher for longer than a year since I refused the post to Lord Voldemort.”

—Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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    You might wish to note that Prof. McGonagoll's Pottermore more article has recently (April) been updated to remove information that now seems to contradict the films
    – Valorum
    Nov 19, 2018 at 8:31
  • 5
    McGonagall is also shown as being a Hogwarts teacher in around 1910 in the flashbacks, which would make her around the same age as Dumbledore. And the phrasing “39 years this December” very heavily implies 39 consecutive years; it would be a highly unusual way of expressing it otherwise, particularly for someone as meticulous and precise as McGonagall. Nov 19, 2018 at 8:59
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    No birth year, but they'be removed a mention of her growing up in the early part of the 20th Century
    – Valorum
    Nov 19, 2018 at 10:45
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    There is this spell that helps Newt to find Tina in Paris. I don't know its name, but it shows how was a scene in previous recent time : where was Tina, who talked to her, the apperance of the stranger who talked to her (= Yusuf Kama) It's not a real contradiction, but why don't they use this pretty useful spell to find who petrifies people in Hogwarts during the 2nd year, who caused troubles at the Quidditch World Cup, etc. etc. Such a bad thing that this marvelous spell only existed in the 20's ... Nov 19, 2018 at 11:13
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    Regarding number one, do we have any more than Grindelwald’s word that Credence is a Dumbledore? If not, it could yet be that he’s lying to get Credence to do his bidding.
    – Notts90
    Nov 19, 2018 at 16:27

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