Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ended with several huge twists, revealing what viewers thought they knew about their favorite characters to be wrong. Queenie joined with Grindelwald, for instance, while Nagini did not. But the big twist everyone can't get over was revealed in the last minute or so of the film: a brand new Dumbledore character. The reveal of Credence being a long lost brother to Albus and Aberforth sent shockwaves through the Potterverse, and completely rewrote the Dumbledore family tree.
But there are a few problems with this new Dumbledore family tree. First of all, the dates don't quite line up.
Part of the issue is Potter fans don't have a lot of hard and fast dates when it comes to this period in history. What is known comes from a whole lot of extrapolation, plus some now-disappeared Pottermore stories, which may or may not be canon anymore. This makes it very frustrating to add a new character to the pantheon, especially when his dates don't line up with the data set fans have been working from for the past decade.
This is where things get frustrating.
- Percival and Kendra have no birthdates, nor do fans know when they married. But they had Albus, Aberforth, and Ariana in the space of five years between 1881 and 1886.
- When Ariana was 6 years old (circa 1890 or so), she was attacked by muggles. Percival flipped out and murdered them. For this, he was sent to Azkaban, where he later died, no date given
- Albus' Hogwarts years of study are assumed to be 1892-1899, due to his birthdate. This jibes with his father already being in Azkaban before his first year of schooling, and everyone thought him to be anti-Muggle.
- Kendra dies during Albus' final year in school when Ariana accidentally killed her. Fans have assumed she died in 1898.
- If his school years are correct, Dumbledore's summer after Hogwarts and the duel between him, teenaged Aberforth, and Grindelwald (which accidentally killed Ariana) happened in 1899.
But now that Aurelius Dumbledore is introduced, things get complicated. His assumed dates don't line up with all of the above.
If Leta Lestrange and Newt Scamander were in the same year at Hogwarts, this means she was born in 1897, same as he was. (Newt's birthdate is one of the few confirmed pieces of information.) She is at least 3 or 4 years old in the scene in the boat where she switches her infant-aged brother with another infant aged baby, probably in 1900 or 1901, at least two years after Kendra died.
The only way to make this make sense:
- The dates of Kendra's death are wrong.
- Leta is older than fans think and started Hogwarts late.
- Aurelius is not the son of Kendra. He's a half-brother to Albus, who Percival had with some other woman while still imprisoned in Azkaban.
- Aurelius is not Albus' brother at all. He could be a Dumbledore, but Grindelwald is lying about the nature of how they are related.
With these kinds of plot holes dangling open, it's no wonder heads are spinning. Answers likely won't come until Fantastic Beasts 3 arrives in 2021.
This post was originally published on Nov. 29, 2018. It was updated on Aug. 21, 2019.