The fact that J.K. Rowling keeps changing Harry Potter canon after the fact has become somewhat of a running joke on the internet. Whether it’s new canon in the Fantastic Beasts films, facts on Pottermore, or random things being revealed by Rowling herself on Twitter, it seems hard to escape these new canon facts.
Even for some of the most diehard Potter fans, the continual addition of new information, some of which changes what was already established as canon, can feel frustrating. Some people feel it would be better if J.K. Rowling let her work stand on its own for a while instead of continually adding to the lore, while others enjoy learning more about the world and their favorite characters. Many of her changes have caused controversy, too, as people feel she is trying to add diversity to her stories that wasn’t really there.
Here is a list of eight of the more recent changes J.K. Rowling has made to Harry Potter canon.
8 UNCLE VERNON SUPPORTS BREXIT
Some of the changes J.K. Rowling has made, or more specifically additions to the canon, are just kind of niche and absurd. It was a strange thing for Rowling to reveal on Twitter.
Given that the books themselves often have issues with handling political allegories, it makes some fans uncomfortable that Rowling is trying so hard to use her books as a comparison to real-world political and social situations today.
7 THE THIRD DUMBLEDORE BROTHER
The Fantastic Beasts franchise is changing the Harry Potter canon in significant ways. Many fans were confused when some of the reveals from Fantastic Beasts 2 seemed to directly change canon that was established in the Harry Potter books. One of the biggest revelations was that Credence Barebone is actually Aurelius Dumbledore, the third, youngest, and lost brother of Albus and Aberforth. This change makes little sense considering that so much of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was about Dumbledore’s family and all of the information about his family was already revealed. Also, the dates don’t add up and Albus’ father would have been in Azkaban and his mother would have already been dead at the time of Aurelius’ birth.
6 THAT NAGINI USED TO BE A HUMAN WOMAN
This is another huge change that came from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and this change was not met with a lot of positive support. The fact that Nagini actually used to be a human woman cause controversy. Many fans pointed out that this plot had many hugely problematic aspects. Many people were rightfully disturbed by this change and felt it was completely unnecessary, especially given the fact that Voldemort used Nagini’s milk to survive while he was at his weakest points.
5 WIZARDS DIDN’T USE TO HAVE TOILETS
This is a weird and random change that had many fans saying what? This bit of canon has gone done as one of the most notorious and laughable. Released as a Pottermore exclusive, Rowling revealed that wizards didn’t use plumbing until the 18th century. Before using plumbing they would just go to the bathroom wherever they were sitting or standing and then use magic to get rid of the refuse. This fact seemed completely unnecessary to know and also made wizards and witches look somewhat backward.
Many fans felt like this was the prime example of Rowling feeling the need to keep meddling in the HP canon even when there was no good reason for the information.
4 ALL OF THE CHANGES FROM HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child added quite a few canon details that were... a lot. One of the most out there changes from this screenplay was the addition of Delphini, the daughter of Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange. This detail was one that many people scoffed at. Other changes from the screenplay included showing more about the next generation of the Potter, Weasley, and Malfoy kids as the play focuses on Albus Severus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy.
3 ANTHONY GOLDSTEIN WAS JEWISH
Much of the criticism about J.K. Rowling’s new additions to the Harry Potter canon revolves around representation. Many fans feel frustrated that Rowling seems to be trying to get points for having diverse characters while never actually including much diversity in the books. One example of this is how Rowling never really mentions Jewish characters in the Harry Potter books themselves.
When asked about this, Rowling said that many Jewish students went to Hogwarts. To prove this point, she mentioned a character named Anthony Goldstein. Many fans felt this was somewhat of a cop out and that this was just another example of Rowling trying to look more inclusive after the fact.
2 BACKSTORY ON MCGONAGALL’S LOVE LIFE
Many fans love Minerva McGonagall because she is a tough witch who is powerful and practiced in magic and a mentor to Harry and his friends. For some reason, information released on Pottermore went into a long backstory on McGonagall that mostly focused on her love life instead of her abilities as a witch. The Pottermore information went into detail on her romance with a Muggle and then a marriage that didn’t work out. While including information about her romantic life isn’t necessarily bad, fans thought it was weird that most of the new information about the character was about romance.
1 DUMBLEDORE AND GRINDELWALD GOT IT ON
The most recent addition to the Harry Potter canon made headlines and has caused quite a stir. Everything surrounding Dumbledore’s sexuality has been revealed after the books were released, something that many fans are frustrated about. Fans feel adding in LGBTQ+ representation after the books and films have been written doesn’t really count, especially given that Dumbledore’s sexuality still hasn’t been explicitly touched on in either Fantastic Beasts film.
To add fuel to the fire, Rowling recently said that Dumbledore and Grindelwald had a “sexual dimension” to their relationship and that their relationship was intense and passionate. Many fans felt this reveal was once again an attempt by Rowling to seem inclusive without ever actually including representation in a meaningful way.