Professor McGonagall character is plot hole in Fantastic Beasts the secrets of Dumbledore

The new outing sees Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) reunite with Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) in the 1930s to stop the latter’s former lover, Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) from his latest scheme to take over the world.

Joining together other members of the Fantastic Beasts cast, including Newt’s brother Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner), the group attempt to take on the villain.

However, one person from the Harry Potter film series and novels also puts in an appearance – Minerva McGonagall.

Yet, as with the previous film The Crimes of Grindelwald, it does not match with other Wizarding World material.

**Spoiler warning for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore**

Why Professor McGonagall appearing in Fantastic Beasts makes no sense

Professor Minerva McGonagall appears in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore as an adult woman.

Once again the character is portrayed by Irish actress Fiona Glascott, who is currently 39-years-old.

In the scene in question, McGonagall is seen conversing with Albus Dumbledore in Hogsmeade and discussing her potentially picking up his classes at Hogwarts in his absence.

The character had appeared in a similar capacity in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, but her appearance in both this and its sequel does not fit with the continuity of the Harry Potter novels and related source material.

The works of J.K. Rowling – specifically the canon lore-based resource Pottermore – had previously revealed that Minerva McGonagall was born on 4th October 1935 in Scotland to the Muggle-born Robert McGonagall and the witch Isobel Ross.

Jude Law plays Albus Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) interacts with McGonagall in the Fantastic Beasts films WB

However, The Crimes of Grindelwald is seen to have been set in 1927 and McGonagall is an adult woman in this film. 

That film also features a flashback to the 1910s that also features McGonagall as an adult teaching at Hogwarts.

Events have moved forward into the 1930s in The Secrets of Dumbledore, but McGonagall is still depicted as an adult woman despite not having been born in the lore of Harry Potter.

It should be noted, however, that these references are based on the canon source material and while Rowling was responsible for the films’ screenplays, the Wizarding World films themselves previously did not explore McGonagall’s origins so casual fans of the films would not have picked up on the continuity issue as in the films there is no notable contradiction.

Still, for fans of the novels and wider source materials, it makes no sense that McGonagall would appear in any of the Fantastic Beasts films at all, let alone as an adult woman.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is currently showing in UK cinemas

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Simon Costanza
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