Using only information found in the 10 Harry Potter movies, (and not using stuff from the books), what timeline of events can we make for the Harry Potter Universe?

To keep this from getting to broad, let's focus on just years, not specific day to day things.

The relevance of this question is to determine whether the new Fantastic Beasts franchise ever contradicts the timeline established in the first eight movies.

Again, I'm only looking for info from the movies themselves. No books, interviews, etc

  • 2
    A problem with compiling such a timline is that there are very few references to dates in the movies. FBAWTFT explicitly states the year it takes place, but the original movies have few (if any) mentions to actual dates. Dec 3, 2018 at 8:15
  • 1
    @GunnarSödergren Nothing wrong with a challenge. There's plenty of posts on this site and under this tag that have provided some very challenging questions, but our community has managed to answer them based on the smallest of details.
    – user31178
    Dec 3, 2018 at 8:27
  • 2
    One thing I can't get my head round is that Dumbledore looks young-middle-aged in The Crimes Of Grindelwald which is set in the late 1920s, but in the flashback sequence in Chamber Of Secrets (when Harry is sucked into Riddle's diary), he looks quite old; Riddle's time at school was in the early 1940s. Dumbledore looks like he's aged about 35 years in only 13 or so. Did the (not-yet-seen) battle with Grindelwald age him prematurely?
    – Wallnut
    Dec 3, 2018 at 12:09
  • 4
    [1999]: JK Rowling sold Warner Brothers the movie rights. [1999-present]: Warner Brothers laugh their way to the bank. Dec 3, 2018 at 12:58
  • 1
    @NKCambell - When watching FB2 I strongly got the impression that it was NOT following the books timeline.
    – ibid
    Dec 3, 2018 at 14:45

2 Answers 2


1881 or 1882

Dumbledore is born.

Dumbledore is forty-five in 1927, which would mean he’s either born in 1881 or 1882. Simply subtracting his age from the year gives 1882, but if his birthday is still yet to come at that time, it may be 1881.


Apparating beside a dandyesque forty-five-year-old wizard with graying auburn hair and beard. NEWT hands back his glove.

- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (The Original Screenplay)

1896 or 1897

Leta Lestrange and Newt Scamander are born

Leta and Newt are in the same year at Hogwarts since they take class together, and are both thirteen in 1910 (seventeen years before 1917), so they’d have to be born in 1896 or 1897 depending if their birthdays had already passed.


13-YEAR-OLD LETA slams the door and stands there, ear against it. She hears running, distant shouts. Then a sound behind her makes her jump and turn around.

13-YEAR-OLD NEWT is already in occupation of the cupboard. He has hidden a couple of tanks here, one containing tadpoles, another Streelers.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (The Original Screenplay)


Corvus Lestrange Jr. is born.

Corvus Jr.’s birth year is explicitly stated as being 1901 in the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald screenplay.


We reenter the story to find LESTRANGE SR. with a new, blond wife.

He remarried not three months after her death. He loved her no more than he had loved you . . . But then . . .

IRMA takes the BABY BOY who has just been born, and passes him to LESTRANGE SR., who is delighted.

. . . his son, Corvus, was born at last. And that man who had never known love was filled with it . . .
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (The Original Screenplay)

Credence Barebone is (likely) born.

Credence was likely born in 1901, since he looked similar enough to Corvus Jr. for neither Irma nor his aunt to notice they had a different baby than the one they got on the ship with.

The ship lurches again. IRMA snatches BABY CREDENCE, not noticing the switch amid the confusion.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (The Original Screenplay)

Irma, Leta, and Corvus Jr. go to America, Corvus Jr. drowns.

The screenplay explicitly states that Irma, Leta, and Corvus Jr. take the trip to America, and Corvus Jr. is stated to drown in that year as well.


CHILD LETA, IRMA, and BABY CREDENCE are in one boat, CREDENCE’S AUNT and BABY CORVUS in another.

Around 1908

Newt and Leta start at Hogwarts.

Since Newt and Leta were in the same year at Hogwarts, and were both thirteen in 1910, and the age that students start at Hogwarts, they’d likely have started attending Hogwarts in 1908.

Around 1915

Newt and Leta would graduate from Hogwarts.

Since Newt and Leta likely had their first year at Hogwarts in 1908, they’d graduate seven years later in 1915.


Grindelwald is supposed to be tried for his crimes in Europe.

The screenplay of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald says that Grindelwald was going to be transported to Europe to be charged there.

Six months are enough. It’s time for him to answer for his crimes in Europe.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (The Original Screenplay)

Grindelwald escapes from MACUSA custody.

Also stated in the screenplay as being 1927, Grindelwald escapes from the carriage used to transport him.

Still driving the carriage, GRINDELWALD swirls his wand in the air toward the surrounding storm clouds. One by one, forks of lightning strike the broomstick riders, knocking each in turn from the sky.

Around 1927

Tom Riddle was born.

Fifty years from the events of Chamber of Secrets, Tom Riddle was sixteen years old, and since those events occurred in around 1993, he’d likely have been born around 1927 - which would accord with his birth date in the books being December 31st, 1926.

I knew it wouldn't be safe to open the Chamber again while I was still at school. So I decided to leave behind a diary, preserving my sixteen-year-old self in its pages, so that one day... I would be able to lead another to finish Salazar Slytherin's noble work.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Script)

Around 1943

The Chamber of Secrets was opened.

One year before the events of the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Chamber of Secrets was said to be opened fifty years ago, placing its opening in around 1943.

You know I haven't, Goyle. How many times do I have to tell you? But my father did say this much: It's been fifty years since the Chamber was opened. He wouldn't tell me who opened it -- only that they were expelled -- but I know this: the last time the Chamber of Secrets was opened, a Mudblood died.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Script)

Moaning Myrtle was killed by the basilisk.

Also fifty years ago from the events of Chamber of Secrets, Moaning Myrtle was killed by the basilisk.

Remember what Aragog said? About that girl fifty years ago? She died in a bathroom. What if she never left.

Moaning Myrtle!
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Script)


Harry’s parents are killed.

The script for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 shows that Harry’s parents’ tombstones say they died in 1981.

enter image description here

Around 1981 - 1982

Sirius Black is convicted and sentenced to Azkaban.

The Potters died in 1981, and from when Arthur Weasley said it was thirteen years ago since the Potters died, Sirius Black says he spent twelve years in Azkaban.

I did my waiting! Twelve years of it! In Azkaban! Trust me, you wouldn't have lasted a week!
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Script)

Peter Pettigrew goes to live with the Weasleys.

Pettigrew also went to live as a rat in the Weasley house twelve years ago from when Arthur Weasley said was thirteen years after the Potters died.

Scabbers? Scabbers has been in my family for --

Twelve years. A curiously long life for a common garden rat.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Script)


Harry turns 11, finds out he’s a wizard, and starts at Hogwarts.

Ten years after Harry is left on the Dursleys’ doorstep because his parents died, he turned eleven.

Almost ten years after: The Dursleys’ home. The camera pans on a sleeping boy, almost eleven, with a lightning-bolt shaped scar on his forehead.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Script)


Harry starts his second year at Hogwarts.

Since Harry’s parents died in 1981, and Harry turns eleven ten years after that, we can see his first year at Hogwarts would have been in 1991,


Harry is a third year at Hogwarts.

Harry’s parents died on the same day that Harry ‘stopped’ the Dark Lord, which is mentioned in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as being thirteen years ago, which would mean that it’d be around 1994 when Arthur said that presuming he was being precise, but since Harry would be turning thirteen and his parents died when he was about one, it should be around twelve years instead.

Harry, thirteen years ago, when you stopped...

Mr. Weasley hesitates, unable to continue.

- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Script)


Harry is a fourth year at Hogwarts.


Harry is a fifth year at Hogwarts.


Harry is a sixth year at Hogwarts.


Harry drops out of Hogwarts to hunt Horcruxes.

  • 8
    Sure. When Harry drops out of school to hunt Horcruxes, he's hailed as a hero. When I do it, everyone's all "You've made a terrible mistake with your life"
    – Valorum
    Dec 3, 2018 at 21:45
  • Are the dates of the Potters' death visible in the movie? All screenshots I found were... inconclusive. Dec 4, 2018 at 6:51
  • 1
    @GunnarSödergren - If you zoom in on the Bluray version you can make out the dates; i.pinimg.com/originals/6e/26/51/…
    – Valorum
    Dec 4, 2018 at 7:11
  • 1
    @Valorum Wow, can you make out the died dates in that picture? I can only make out the born dates. Dec 4, 2018 at 9:24
  • Maybe you should add that, according to the Riddle's family tombstone, they were murdered in 1943 - vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/harrypotter/images/8/8f/… Dec 4, 2018 at 10:31

I present, the hopefully somewhat complete HP movie timeline:


  • Crimes of Grindelwald (flashback, year stated when flashback begin)
    • Newt Scamander attends Hogwarts, in Hufflepuff and gets a lesson on boggarts.
    • Leta Lestrange attends Hogwarts, in Slytherin
    • Albus Dumbledore is a teacher at Hogwarts, presumably DADA
    • Minerva McGonagall is a teacher at Hogwarts, subject unknown

1926, November

  • Fantastic Beasts and where to Find them (opening includes dates) Newspaper showing date
    • Grindelwald disappears (newspaper headline: Where is Grindelwald)
    • Newt Scamander travels to New York
    • MACUSA captures and imprisons Grindelwald


  • Crimes of Grindelwald
    • Nagini escapes from the Circus
    • Grindelwald escapes while being transported from MACUSA, after having spent six months in MACUSA custody (according to Spielman)
    • Albus Dumbledore is teaching at Hogwarts, presumably DADA
    • Albus Dumbledore looks to be around 40-45 years old (actor is 45)
    • Minerva McGonagall is teaching at Hogwarts, subject unknown
    • Leta Lestrange dies
    • Grindelwald holds a rally for his followers
    • Grindelwald has the Elder Wand enter image description here
    • Credence Barebone is revealed to be Albus Dumbledores brother Aurelius.


  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ("Let me take you back 50 years" - The Diary) Riddles Diary
    • Tom Riddle attends Hogwarts
    • Hagrid attends Hogwarts, and is expelled
    • Dumbledore is titled as Professor, and is not Headmaster, unknown subject

1992, at the earliest (working backwards from DH:P1)

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
    • Voldemort tries to kill Harry, but fails
    • James and Lily Potter is killed
    • Albus Dumbledore is titled Professor, so at least a teacher at Hogwarts
    • Minerva McGonagall is titled Professor, so she's teaching at Hogwarts, unknown subject
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

1992-1993, at the earliest (working backwards from DH:P1)

  • Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire (pensieve flashback)
    • Igor Karkaroff is re-tried as a Death eater (the trial is not likely to be more than a year after Voldys fall)
    • Barty Crouch Jr. is accused of being a Death Eater

2002-2003, at the earliest (working backwards from DH:P1)

2003-2004, at the earliest (working backwards from DH:P1)

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

2004-2005, at the earliest (working backwards from DH:P1)

  • Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban

2005-2006, at the earliest (working backwards from DH:P1)

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
    • Dumbledore has the Elder wand enter image description here
    • Barty Crouch Jr. has escaped Azkaban

2006-2007, at the earliest (working backwards from DH:P1)

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

2007-2008, at the earliest (working backwards from DH:P1)

Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince * * Death eaters destroy the Millennium Bridge (which opened in June 2000)

2008-2009, could be later, but not likely

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1
    • The Dursleys own a 2008 Vauxhall Vectra Dursleys car
  • What evidence is 1910 based on? Dec 3, 2018 at 17:32
  • 1
    @tilley31 no, not according to anything actually IN the movie. They never speak of his birth year, IIRC. Dec 3, 2018 at 17:45
  • 1
    My bad. Didn't notice it said MOVIES timeline.
    – tilley31
    Dec 3, 2018 at 18:50
  • 1
    This answer is largely accurate, but you've offered precious little actual evidence to back up your assertions
    – Valorum
    Dec 3, 2018 at 21:46
  • 1
    @Valorum Right, I'll update the answer later today! Dec 4, 2018 at 6:33

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