*This article contains spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald*
So, ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ is out and it’s fair to say the response has been a little…underwhelming.
Super-fans of the Potterverse are inevitably enjoying the sequel, but for many critics the sequel to 2016’s spin-off/prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a mixed bag.
There were a number of controversies in the run-up to the film’s release – including the ethnicity of Claudia Kim’s Nagini and the mixed response to Johnny Depp’s involvement as the titular villain – which may or may not have affected the film’s performance at the box office, where it took a modest £48 million in its opening weekend compared to £57 million from the first film.
However, it’s a certain Dumbledore plot hole that seems to have fans concerned the most, and in particular, the Hogwarts heads’ past.
From the books we know that Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald had a very complicated relationship.
Indeed, The Deathly Hallows states Albus’ friendship with Grindelwald ended after a three-way duel with his brother Aberforth, which led to Ariana Dumbledore’s death, and Grindelwald fleeing very quickly after.
But as Digital Spy points out, the Crimes of Grindelwald reveals that Dumbledore and Grindelwald were in a ‘blood pact’ with eachother – apparently a variant of the Unbreakable Vow – which meant they couldn’t fight one another.
This is why Dumbledore’s hands were tied over Grindelwald’s revolution.
But as fans have pointed out, when was this vow supposed to have been made?
If it was before their duel that led to Ariana’s death, they technically should have died the second they raised their wands in the fight.
If it was after the duel, are we supposed to believe they stopped for a quick oath before Grindelwald ran the hell away?
Surely Aberforth would’ve mentioned it at some point too?
It’s all a bit confusing and fans aren’t sure what to believe:
Huge plot hole 2 of 3: Dumbledore and Grindelwald made the blood pact not to fight each other, but then had the duel in which Ariana was killed and Grindelwald fled immediately after, so they couldn’t have made the pact after duelling. #CrimesOfGrindelwald pic.twitter.com/mKfPJihIvD
— Josh Spice ✌ (@JoshuaTaylor55) 18 November 2018
And how could Dumbledore and Grindelwald have had that duel that killed Ariana if they made that oath? 😖
— Stephanie (@StephanieUpland) 18 November 2018
But that’s not the only thing Potter fans are scratching their heads at – there’s a pretty problematic canonical oversight, too: Minerva McGonagall appearing as a young-adult wizarding instructor at Hogwarts in 1927.
That’s because, according to Harry Potter lore, she wouldn’t have even been born at that point.
As Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling reveals in the original series, Professor McGonagall first started teaching at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1956, when she was 21 years old.
Rowling hasn’t yet weighed in on either issue yet, which is surprising given how active on social media she is.
Maybe all this is just part of an elaborate plan which will be revealed in further instalments.
Who knows, but my head hurts right now.
Images via Warner Bros./Twitter