The trailer for Fantastic Beasts 2 showcased a potentially major plot hole in Hogwarts canon. While casual fans of J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World erupted in nostalgic glee at the trailer's nods, callbacks, and references to the Harry Potter series, loyal Potterheads examined it with a fine-tooth comb, discovering a foible as early as the 10 second mark: characters are Apparating on Hogwarts grounds, despite the fact that doing so isn't possible.
In the first few moments of the trailer - right after Hogwarts makes its official return to Rowling's Wizarding World - a group of Aurors show up on screen, Apparating just outside of the school's main courtyard. Students observe from a tower, music swells, and a voiceover marks the introduction of Jude Law as a younger Albus Dumbledore. However, there's already an issue; as Rowling herself has firmly established, Apparition isn't possible on Hogwarts grounds. How have these wizards and witches managed to pull off the impossible?
Now, it's no secret that filmmakers have taken creative liberties with some of Rowling's source material. Indeed, in The Half-Blood Prince novel, Dumbledore and Harry journey to the Horcrux-holding cave by way of broomsticks, while in the film adaptation, they do Apparate from inside the castle. It's just one of many examples of the adaptations messing with canon on account of simplification - another being the addition of a bridge to the school, again muddying the Apparating waters.
However, considering the fact that Rowling herself is penning the screenplays for the Fantastic Beasts films, this ultimately means one of two things: the non-Apparating rule hasn't been put into effect yet or Rowling is abiding canon changes introduced in the Harry Potter films.
In the books, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, when students are learning how to Apparate, Dumbledore lifts the enchantment. So, seeing as Dumbledore isn't headmaster yet in The Crimes of Grindelwald, that might be the explanation; it isn't in place yet. As Grindelwald himself sets a new precedence for Wizarding World terrorism - while also having direct ties to Dumbledore - this alone might be the reason Dumbledore doubles-down on school security. If a team of Aurors can simply stroll onto campus without an ounce of struggle, who's to say that Dumbledore's friend-turned-foe - or inheritor Voldemort - can't do the same?
Prequels don't have much leeway in modifying story elements already established in a series, but they have the luxury of revealing the basis of various aspects (see: Alien: Covenant revealing the origins of Xenomorphs and the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story visualizing the Kessel Run). In Fantastic Beasts 2, Rowling may well be doing the same for Hogwarts' need for absolute impenetrability. Of course, it's been long suggested this ban pre-dated Dumbledore, although the vagueness of prior citings could have been for this exact purpose.
Audiences won't know for sure until Fantastic Beasts 2 hits theaters in November, but the floor is certainly open for debate. And that's a good thing; while this sort of potentially canon-breaking change could easily divide fans, the one positive takeaway is that it proves how loyal Rowling's fanbase continues to be almost 17 years since The Sorcerer's Stone was first released in theaters.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018