J.K. Rowling has apparently broken her own continuity with the decision to cast Fiona Glascott as the young Professor McGonagall in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, but could that decision have been made for important story purposes involving Queenie, rather than just for fan-service?
Rowling is considered one of the master storytellers of the modern age, and her Harry Potter franchise is estimated to be worth over $25 billion. She's particularly noted for her attention to detail, carefully weaving together a complex tapestry of myriad plot threads she's developed over the course of years. That made the recent reports that McGonagall would appear in Fantastic Beasts 2 all the more surprising; Rowling had already fleshed out enough of McGonagall's backstory for fans to be able to work out she shouldn't be born until 1935, a full eight years after the film's 1927 setting. It's a remarkable Harry Potter continuity problem.
It's generally been assumed that this is just fan-service, with Rowling wanting to include another recognizable character when the film visits Hogwarts. But, while the Fantastic Beasts films are indeed filled with fan-service, Rowling is too good a writer to break her own canon for the sake of it. Surprisingly, though, there's another possible reason; McGonagall could be tied to one of the most important themes in the franchise.
- This Page: Romance Is Important In Fantastic Beasts
- Next Page: McGonagall's Backstory & What It Means For Fantastic Beasts 2
Romance Is A Central Theme In Fantastic Beasts
Romance was never a major element of the Harry Potter plots; it wasn't really until Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that the characters were really old (and aware) enough to even start noticing members of the opposite sex. In contrast, however, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them established that love and romance will be an important part of this franchise. There was real chemistry between Eddie Redmayne's Newt Scamander and Katherine Waterston's Tina Goldstein. Meanwhile, the attraction between Alison Sudol's Queenie Goldstein and Dan Fogler's Jacob Kowalski was touching as well and drove home the heart of the first Fantastic Beasts movie.
But that second love story is undoubtedly the most interesting. Wizardkind in America had grown remarkably isolationist by the early 20th century, to the extent that it was illegal for a wizard and a No-Maj to have a relationship - let alone marry. (There's a certain sense of irony to this, of course, given that the North American school of magic had been founded in the 17th century by a witch and her No-Maj husband - and he'd even been joint-headmaster.) Evidently, relations between the wizards and the No-Majs had declined quite dramatically over the centuries. And that means Queenie's love for Jacob is most definitely forbidden.
For Queenie and Jacob, it was love at first sight. While it's currently unknown how much of his magical adventures Jacob remembers, the end of Fantastic Beasts makes it abundantly clear that Queenie intended to break the law. She consciously chose to flirt with temptation by entering Jacob's shop, and stayed long enough to catch his eye. It's not hard to deduce just where this is going to go - and, indeed, the (re-)budding romance between the two may explain just why the Goldsteins head to Europe in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. After all, if Queenie and Jacob's relationship is illegal in the United States, they would be wise to head to a country that's a little more enlightened.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018