1920s Blood status and prejudice Dark Magic History Timeline
Canon discussion / Theories

Integrating the Voldemort, Dumbledore, and Grindelwald timelines


"I refuse to bow down any longer."
-- Percival Graves (WFT)

Integrating the Voldemort, Dumbledore, and Grindelwald timelines

One very interesting line of speculation coming out of the new film is how the timelines of Dumbledore, Grindelwald, and Newt Scamander integrate with each other. I will be creating a very detailed master timeline with all the information laid out, but in the meantime here is what we know (with a few speculations thrown in). Let the canon discussions and theorizing begin!

NOTE: The timeline bar at the bottom of the page provides links to each of these events.

1881 – Dumbledore born

1883 – Grindelwald born

c. 1891 – Ariana Dumbledore attacked by Muggle boys: did she become an Obscurial and did Grindelwald learn of the power of the Obscurus from this?

1897 – Newt Scamander born

1899 – Grindelwald expelled from Durmstrang, Dumbledore and Grindelwald meet in Godric’s Hollow

1899 – August – Ariana Dumbledore killed, Grindelwald flees

c. 1905 – Grindelwald, after researching the Deathly Hallows in Godric’s Hollow, tracks down the Elder wand and steals it from Gregorovitch

1907 – Merope Gaunt is born

1908 – Newt Scamander starts Hogwarts, Dumbledore is a teacher

1918 – Augustus Worme of Obscurus Books commisions Newt to write a guide to magical creatures (the name of the publishing company is intriguing!)

1925 – c. December – Merope Gaunt fools Tom Riddle into marrying her

1926 – c. March 31  – Merope Gaunt become pregnant with Tom Riddle’s child

1926 – before December – Grindelwald escapes capture by five Aurors at a chateau, probably in Switzerland, then travels to America to pursue his vision of an Obscurial. He uses powerful magic to impersonate Percival Graves. (According to the script, this is the day before Newt arrives in New York, but this seems problematic — how could Grindelwald have come to NYC, attacked Graves, discovered the whereabouts of the Obscurial, ingratiated himself to Credence, etc. all in about twelve hours?).

1926 – December 6-7 Newt Scamander’s beastly adventures in New York City, Newt captures Grindelwald

1926 – December 31  – Tom Marvolo Riddle born in London

1927 – first edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is published

1928 – December 6 – Rubeus Hagrid is born

1930 – the infamous “Pure-Blood Directory” is published

1935 – October 9 – Minerva McGonagall is born

1938 – August – Dumbledore visits Tom Marvolo Riddle in the orphanage and invites him to Hogwarts

1938 – September – Tom Marvolo Riddle starts Hogwarts

1940 – September – Hagrid starts Hogwarts

1942 – summer – Tom Marvolo Riddle kills Riddle family

1943 – c. May – Riddle learns to open the Chamber of Secrets

1945 – June – Tom Marvolo Riddle leaves Hogwarts, goes to work for Borgin and Burkes, creates diadem Horcrux

1945 – Dumbledore and Grindelwald duel to end Grindelwald’s attempt to take over the world

1947 – September 1 – McGonagall starts Hogwarts


Pensieve (Comments)

  • Alison

    Have we been given enough information to determine the approximate time frame that Grindelwald took the Elder Wand from Gregorovitch?

    • My best guess is sometime between 1900 and 1910, when Grindelwald was in his 20s. This seems to fit the age of the “merry thief” seen in the vision. I get the sense that he learned of the wand, researched it in Godric’s Hollow, then tracked it down. Using the wand allowed him to gain great power and become infamous and feared, which he certainly was in 1926 when he left Europe to search for the Obscurial in New York City.

  • Lauren Foster

    I’m bothered by the idea Grindlewald had the elder wand at this point in the timeline. wouldn’t that make Newt the rightful owner by the time Dumbledore defeated him?

    • John Edward Castillo

      we need more explanation as to why Grindelwald was not using the Elder Wand when he went to America.

      • Silverdoe25

        If he was impersonating Graves, it only makes sense that he was using Graves’ wand.

  • James Hinsey

    Grindewald would have been using Graves’ wand.

    • The problem with that theory is that Draco was not using the Elder wand when Harry disarmed him (physically). Personally, I think Grindelwald must not have the elder wand yet.

  • Cameron Ballard

    I always forget that there’s such a big gap between the events of FBAWTFT and HP, so when I saw “McGonagall starts at Hogwarts” I was like ‘wait…what?’

  • Jones, Captain of the Romione

    i thought the same thing, but it says in the script that grindelwald drops his wand, and so i’m thinking that maybe they will say that newt didn’t really win it because of that for some reason….he didn’t actually disarm him, he was tied up, but still in control of his wand, just dropping it…idk, as i’m typing this it is losing more credibility with me, but I was thinking the same thing and that was the only thing that I could find that maybe explained it. Also, Tina Accio’s his wand, so she’s mixed up in the allegiance too if it did change, right?

  • Jones, Captain of the Romione

    I’m glad I saw this timeline, I did not realize how intertwined gridelwald and voldemorts timelines were.

  • Vaudree

    I did not realise that neither Hagrid or McG was born yet or that Gellert was two years younger than DD. Agree that Gellert was likely using Grave’s wand just because carrying an unregistered wand would have outed him – especially with Tina demoted to the wand registry and wanting to be reinstated as an auror. One point, though, I also thought that Gellert used Polyjuice to look like Graves, but JKR said basically that Gellert did like Depp did in Art of the Deal – transfigured himself to look like the person in question. It is in the FAQs at the bottom of the page. http://www.jkrowling.com/welcome-to-my-new-website/

  • Anne Elk (Miss)

    This is very useful and it will be interesting to watch it develop over the course of five films but I have a question regarding 1926.

    Isn’t it possible that Grindelwald arrived in America and assumed Graves’s identity some weeks or months before Newt arrived? The script says “Scene 2: Next Morning” but couldn’t this be in relation to the publication of the “final article displaying the Statue of Liberty”?

    • That’s a very interesting theory! That would certainly help “loosen up” the timeline. Interestingly, the film shows dates on one of those newspapers as November 27, 1926.

      By the way, Anne Elk (Miss), I hear you have a very interesting theory about the brontosaurus …