Professor McGonagall Will Appear In Fantastic Beasts 2

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Minerva McGonagal Warner Bros.

Professor McGonagall will appear in Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald. Professor McGonagall will appear in Fantastic Beasts 2? That makes no f*cking sense!

Over the weekend the news broke that everyone’s favourite transfiguration professor, Minerva McGonagall, would make an appearance in the upcoming Harry Potter spin-off The Crimes of Grindelwald.

More than that we know she’ll be played by who’ll be played by the Irish actress Fiona Glascott instead of Maggie Smith because, as you’d expect with a prequel, she’s a lot younger in this series than the Potter films.

There’s just one problem. She’s still about twenty or thirty years too old!

You see thanks to Pottermore Minerva’s birth year has been calculated to be 1935, this is based on supplementary information about when she attended Hogwarts and got her first job.

The issue is that The Crimes of Grindelwald takes place in 1927, and you don’t have to be a whizz at arithmancy to work out that means Minerva won’t be born for another eight years.

fiona glascottGetty

We knew magic could be powerful but who’d have thought it’d give a baby of minus-eight-years-old the ability to fight dark wizards! No wonder Harry beat Voldemort as a baby.

Of course, I’m being facetious, the real answer here is that J.K. Rowling isn’t perfect and has admitted she struggled with maths in the past.

In an interview with Emerson Spartz for The Leaky Cauldron, she literally said ‘I’m so bad at maths’ before explaining how mixed up she got when plotting out how many kids go to Hogwarts.

She said:

Before I finished The Philosopher’s Stone… I sat down and I created 40 kids who enter Harry’s year. So there were 40. I never consciously thought, ‘That’s it, that’s all the people in his year,’ but that’s kind of how it’s worked out.

Then I’ve been asked a few times how many people and because numbers are not my strong point, one part of my brain knew 40, and another part of my brain said, ‘Oh, about 600 sounds right.’ Then people started working it out and saying, ‘Where are the other kids sleeping?’

God knows, J.K.? Maybe Dumbeldore’s cast an undetectable extension charm on the castle or maybe they commute?

Anyway fans have reacted badly to this retcon and have taken to Twitter to vent their mild outrage.

Thankfully there may be an explanation. According to Pottermore Minerva isn’t the first of her family with that name her great-grandmother was also called Minerva McGonagall.

Now we know that Fiona Glascott doesn’t look old enough to be anyone’s great-grandmother and this is most likely a mistake but maybe, just maybe it’s a different character.

Also, it’s irritating that fans are getting so irritated about this retcon when the film features an even bigger more egregious mistake.

In the trailers we see Dumbledore teaching Newt Scamander how to fight boggarts in a Defence Against The Dark Arts class. But Dumbledore is canonically the Transfiguration professor.

This whole series is a shambles.

If you do want to go see Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald it’s out in cinemas on November 16. 


Tom Percival

Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.