The newest installment in the Fantastic Beasts series, The Secrets of Dumbledore, has caused a rift between critics and casual theatergoers. While tastemakers seem to be lukewarm on the film, Potterheads are much more enthused. Ultimately, while it feels messy in places, it delivers the epic confrontation between Dumbledore and Grindelwald the previous two movies spent building up.
Though the trilogy takes place decades before the events of the Harry Potter series, it elucidates some interesting things to which fans were not previously privy. In fact, there’s been quite a bit of canonical info regarding the Wizarding World to come out since the final Harry Potter novel was released in 2007.
Updated on April 21st, 2022 by Tanner Fox: While undeniably stylish, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore doesn’t have all that much to do with the Harry Potter series as a whole. Its revelations are primarily tied to characters and circumstances set up in the first two movies, and what new info can be gleaned from the installment doesn’t have a whole lot of bearing on the Wizarding World after the Second Wizarding War.
Yet, there’s still been quite a bit of intrigue in the Potterverse as of late. Author J. K. Rowling let quite a bit slip about what’s happened to fan-favorite characters since their school days, and, while some of it has been interesting, other parts have proven incendiary among the fandom.
The Resurrection Stone Is Still In The Forbidden Forest
One would think that an item as powerful as the resurrection stone would be locked away in a safe somewhere. Yet, as it turns out, it remains out in the Forbidden Forest for any unsuspecting and mischievous future Hogwarts student to stumble upon.
According to Rowling, it has been buried by a centaur hoof on one of the herd’s many roving nights. It has never been found, but the fact that it exists out there in the world of Harry Potter is somewhat startling and has been the fodder of several fan fiction stories since.
Harry Can No Longer Speak Parseltongue
After the fragment of Voldemort’s soul that had been kept inside Harry was destroyed as the true final Horcrux, Harry lost his ability to speak Parseltongue. It’s kind of sad, in a way, since Harry had been able to use that gift to his benefit several times.
He saved Justin Finch-Fletchley at the Dueling Club, unlocked the Chamber of Secrets, and was able to understand various conversations thanks to his gift. It would have been interesting to allow Harry to keep his gift, as it marked him as a particularly unusual individual among his Gryffindor alumnus.
Hermione Became The Minister Of Magic
Hermione Granger was frequently credited as one of the brightest witches of her age, but, when she’s re-introduced to fans following the post-Battle of Hogwarts time skip in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, she appears to be living a fairly mundane life. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but she seemed primed for something much greater.
In the ensuing years, Hermione would make good on her potential, ascending the ranks of the Wizarding World’s governing body to become the Minister of Magic in 2019, assuming the role from her predecessor, Kingsley Shackelbolt.
Nagini Is Actually A Person
This is one fact that upset a lot of fans because of its disturbing implications. In Fantastic Beasts 2, J.K. Rowling made it canon that Nagini was secretly a person all along. She was what is known as a “Maledictus,” which is a human with a blood curse that makes them turn into an animal.
It’s sort of like an Animagi, except they didn’t decide to make the change. Eventually, Nagini would get stuck in that form permanently, which is when she was with Voldemort. This came across as a serious retcon, and it retroactively made Voldemort’s relationship with his serpent servant much more contemptuous for fans.
Rowling Has Stated She May Have Made A Mistake By Pairing Ron And Hermione Together
In one of the more upsetting facts that came after the books and movies were finished, Rowling stated—as remembered by ABCNews in a 2014 article—that she felt she may have made a mistake by putting Ron and Hermione together. She has said that the two would have marital struggles, and she sometimes wondered if Hermione and Harry would have been a better fit.
The author added that she settled on Ron and Hermione because she was trying to fulfill fan wishes. Regardless of readers’ personal biases, it is a little tough to hear the author regret it and the implication they may not have a happily ever after is a downer.
Dumbledore’s Sexuality Was Confirmed
J. K. Rowling has caught quite a bit of flack in recent years for adding strange odds and ends to the expansive Harry Potter lore, retconning certain things and providing an unnecessary level of detail in other places. However, in contrast, she has always been pretty steadfast when it came to Dumbledore’s sexuality, confirming in a 2007 public appearance that she “always thought of Dumbledore as gay.”
While this detail adds a ton of depth to the character and is further explored in the Fantastic Beasts series, it’s a shame that this aspect of the Hogwarts headmaster was almost entirely ignored in the mainline Harry Potter novel series.
The Quibbler Went Back Into Publishing Its Traditional Quirky Articles
This is a fact that’s a little weird, but also kind of touching. The Quibbler went back to publishing its normal kooky content after everything involving Voldemort finally ended.
The magazine actually became more appreciated for its unintended humor, and it’s nice to know that the Lovegood family legacy would continue to live on for a long time in the publishing world. Perhaps Ron and Hermione remembered their friend and purchased a subscription.
Harry Ending Up With Ginny Was Also A Mistake
One of the most controversial elements of the conclusion of the Harry Potter series stemmed from the romantic pairings revealed in the story’s epilogue. In a controversial move, Rowling opted to pair Ron and Hermione despite many fans’ eagerness to see Harry and Hermione have a happily ever after.
It almost goes without saying, then, that Rowling also regrets pairing Harry with Ginny Weasley, as she too now believes that Harry and Hermione should have ended up together. In an interview conducted by The Sunday Times, Rowling admitted that these narrative choices were “made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility.”
The Bathroom Thing
In the years following the finale of the Harry Potter series, author J.K. Rowling has caught some flack for fans for adding strange bits of lore to the Potterverse that seem to make little to no sense. Case in point, the fun fact that, in the years before the advent of indoor plumbing, wizards and witches would simply use the bathroom where they stood and disappear the evidence.
It was recently revealed via Pottermore that, before the 18th century, the magical denizens of Hogwarts would simply relieve themselves where they were standing, then clean it up via magic. Why this was important to talk about, or even necessary to work into the wizarding world, we’ll never know. That is, we won’t know until Fantastic Beasts 4: The One Where Hagrid Poops Himself.
Lupin And Tonks’s Son Dates Bill And Fleur’s Daughter
Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks represented two of the most tragic casualties of the Battle of Hogwarts which took place at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Fortunately, some good did eventually come from this tragedy.
Though that wound may never heal for some fans, they may be able to take solace in the good life that their son ended up living. Teddy Lupin grew up as Harry’s godson and was welcomed with open arms into his extended family. Eventually, he got to know Victoire Weasley, daughter of Bill and Fleur Weasley (née Delacour). The two began to date and are still said to be together.
Luna Lovegood Marries Newt Scamander’s Grandson
Speaking of happily ever afters, here’s one for the fans of Harry Potter’s more eccentric characters. Luna Lovegood, Hogwarts’s oddest badass, leads an adventurous life after helping defeat Voldemort in the last book. She becomes a Magizoologist—a keeper of fantastic beasts. It’s fitting, then, that Luna winds up with the grandson of another animal-loving oddball, Newt Scamander.
Though we did love the idea of a Luna/Neville Longbottom romance, it’s cool that Rowling departed from our expectations for this pair. After all, not everyone had to stay with the person they made out with after surviving the Battle of Hogwarts.
The Chamber of Secrets Was Intended to Be Less Secret
Hogwarts founder Salazar Slytherin had a lot of wicked ideas. Most notable was, of course, his opinion that only purebloods should learn magic, but not all of his ideas started out so sinister. In fact, his Chamber of Secrets was originally intended as just a special classroom.
It only became evil when Slytherin needed a secret place to plot his worsening schemes. Maybe that’s what makes the character of Slytherin so frightening; so many of his ideas started out as innocuous, but, because of his prejudice and unshifting worldview, he became irreversibly evil.
Old Wizards Hate Pants
Wizards, at least the most traditional of sorts, apparently don’t like wearing pants. They’ll do it, of course, to blend in with muggles as they go about their world, but, in private and among friends, it’s a talked-about cultural preference to wear robes.
That might explain why the Dapper Dumbledore of Fantastic Beasts goes full Gandalf by the time the Sorcerer’s Stone rolls around or why Voldemort is always rocking “tarp-chic.” According to J.K. Rowling, there was actually a wizard movement to spread the anti-pants message, officially deemed the Fresh Air Refreshes Totally movement.
Dolores Umbridge Went to Azkaban
After being the worst villain in the Harry Potter franchise, Dolores Umbridge ended up in Azkaban after Order of the Phoenix. The reason, according to Pottermore, was that she took part in imprisoning, torturing, and even ordering the deaths of some innocent witches and wizards in the Second Wizarding War.
However, being the worst literary villain since Hannibal Lecter is also a pretty great reason to be thrown in Azkaban on its own. Was she worse than he-who-must-not-be-named? Maybe not, but wizards and witches like here were instrumental in his schemes, meaning that she’s certainly in strong contention for the worst of the wizarding worst.
Ron Weasley Gets His Own Chocolate Frog Card
From the first Harry Potter book, readers knew that Ron Weasley loves his candy. His chocolate frogs, in particular, each of which comes with a card denoting a wizard of importance.
Little did small Ron know at the beginning of his adventure that his face would be on one of those cards someday. It would’ve made him pretty happy, and fans know for darn sure he bought as many frogs as it took until he got his own card.
Merlin has always been a part of the Harry Potter universe. The Arthurian legend has been mentioned several times in the books, and, like his mythological counterpart, was a wizard of great power and ability. However, what the Harry Potter characters don’t talk about is that Merlin, in fact, also attended Hogwarts.
Even more than that, they do not talk about his house. Surprising as it may be, Merlin was a Slytherin. It seems as if the legendary sorcerer would have been a product of Gryffindor; after all, aren’t heroes born out of the Lion House? Well, chalk this one up to a Slytherin win, red-scarf fans.
A Malfoy Almost Married Queen Elizabeth The First
The wizard history and muggle history of the Harry Potter universe split sometime in the middle of the millennia. However, this very nearly wasn’t the case. According to Pottermore, an ancestor of Draco Malfoy actually tried to marry Queen Elizabeth the First. Had this happened, we suspect that the two histories wouldn’t have split at all and that they both would be a lot worse off.
Still, most fans wouldn’t say no to an alternate timeline story set in a world where that happened. In fact, it could make for a pretty cool period drama à la The Favourite featuring Queen Elizabeth rejecting Old-Timey Malfoy’s proposals. Just as long as Tom Felton plays the Malfoy ancestor.
The Lovers of Minerva McGonagall
Minerva McGonagall is basically the Batman of the Harry Potter universe; she’s forward-thinking and resourceful, brilliant, and occasionally brooding. But, what fans might not know is that, like Batman, Minerva has made it through a lot of tragedy. Her first love was a muggle for whom she almost left the wizarding world. Sadly, he was murdered by Voldemort in an anti-muggle attack. Minerva’s second partner, who worked with her at Hogwarts, also lost his life because of dark wizards. Heck, McGonagall’s home was even destroyed, which is why she now lives at the school.
But, through all that tragedy, Minerva is one of the most steadfast, courageous, and righteous witches in the Harry Potter Wizarding World. She will always do what’s good no matter the sacrifice she must make. Without her, Hogwarts would probably be a much darker place.
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