Forums: Index > The Wizengamot archive > Millenium bridge collapse is not canon

I took the liberty of archiving the conversation, as it was getting hard to write in here! --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 03:04, December 6, 2009 (UTC)

This entire debate over the timeline is the by-product of the many changes in directors that this film franchise has seen over the years. Therefore, it is really quite difficult to discern which director had the right idea when it comes to establishing a timeline for the films as a whole. Cavalier, I don't think you fully understood my "null" and "void" point about imagining Draco's date as never given. What I meant by that is that when it comes to most other film storylines, whenever a direct date is not given to aopenly announce a timeline, the filmmakers usually compensate by adding in timely features to the film that act as direct hints to the timeline of the story. Societal fashion styles, architecture and even famous landmarks (particularly those known to have been built at a certain time in history) are dead giveaways to the timeframe.

Also, I don't "feel" anything when it comes to my reasoning on this subject, my idea is based purely on logic not a mere whim. Why should one date contradict every other obvious clue the filmmakers have thrown our way when there is no policy rule supporting that? Starstuff's ingenious [;)] point about the Daily Prophet article (set in the year 2001) from PS gives a distinct film timeline date, despite its (apparently) contradicting implications to the rest of the film. Yes, I know that that is not the most recent date given, but we cannot deny that the team working with Chris Colombus, at least, recognised the film series as around 10 years ahead of the books. It would have been utterly foolish for any subsequent films to contradict this, and so they didn't. Everything but Draco's birth date points to the timeline Chris Colombus started to follow in the first film; this just convinces me that the birth year is insignificant. I'd like to point something else out, did you know that on at least one end of the Millenium Bridge, there is a plaque leading onto the footpath that directly states its year of opening? Yes, you guessed right, it doesn't say '1996' but '2000'. Now, if the Millenium Bridge is included in the sixth film, then that plaque is there along with it which further means that the date of the bridge's opening was 2000 in the Muggle world as it is in our own. Please note that in that last line, I'm not trying to restart that argument about real world-Rowling world cross overs, it's just an important observation.--Yin & YangTalk to me! 13:03, December 6, 2009 (UTC)

"Why should one date contradict every other obvious clue the filmmakers have thrown our way when there is no policy rule supporting that?". Oh, but there is a policy rule. The main policy states that as a wiki "[we] host information, facts, images, and official theories related to Harry Potter on this site, as well as discussions about the material presented here." (emphasis added). That date is a fact, setting that the timeframe of the Millennium Bridge's collapse in in 1996, unlike that you call "clues", which do not make any statements on the timeframe at all (as it is proven our world is different than the canonical world, the buildings at London might have been built at any given time).
As for the plaque in the Millennium Bridge, I did know about that, but as interesting as that may be it is irrelevant to this discussion, as the plaque, or the text in it, isn't (as I believe) featured on the film or any other merchandise/behind the scenes official footage. We should not consider the real-life plaque to be canonical as, as stated, our world is far different than the Harry Potter world. --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 13:47, December 6, 2009 (UTC)

In regards to the policy: Fact is in the eyes of the beholder in this case, Seth. It could just as easily be that references to a contemporary context are indeed, as factual as an actual date. Since there is no policy stating that only numerical information can identify dates, I am well within valid bounderies. Let's also not forget that the 2001 date is also fact (even though the policy prefers the more recent information, the film timeline itself definitely started off in the 2000s). On to the bridge. That plaque is a part of the Millenium Bridge and as such, is a part of the bridge transcribed to the sixth HP film. The bridge structure in the film is exactly identical to its real-life counterpart (clearly visible; not speculation), which means that the plaque stating that the Millenium Bridge opened in 2000 is also there. As the most recent date given, the films must therefore be considered as set in a post-2000 period which in turn, signifies the non-canonicity of the Millenium Bridge.--Yin & YangTalk to me! 14:26, December 6, 2009 (UTC)

The plaque is not visable in the film, so as far as the in-universe bridge is concerned - it doesn't exist. As for the "contemporary context", I'm getting tired of saying this, so it will be the last time. Our world is not the Harry Potter world. Therfore the defination of "contemporary" and "modern" does not apply to Rowling's fictional world. The date on the Daily Prophet has been superceded by Draco's date of birth on the Black Family Tree. The films occured at the same time as the books. End of story. Jayden Matthews 14:48, December 6, 2009 (UTC)

The 2001 date is not valid in any case; the book canon identifies the time period as 1991-1998. Under the Canon Policy, book canon trumps the film reference as it is contradictory to the books, making the 2001 date completely invalid. - Cavalier OneGryffindorcrest(Wizarding Wireless Network) 14:57, December 6, 2009 (UTC)

Sorry Jayden, but I don't think this is the end of any story. You, personally, can't honestly believe that the filmmakers used the Millenium Bridge whilst having the year 1996 in mind. That is just ludicrous! I know that the date of Draco's birth appears in the fifth film, but surely the appearance of the Millenium Bridge itself counts as a more recent timeline-proving fact capable of superceding the date given in Order of the Phoenix.--Yin & YangTalk to me! 15:22, December 6, 2009 (UTC)

I said I wasn't going to say it again, and I'm not. As far as I'm concerned this conversation is over. I suggest the Administators close this forum, because it's going absoloutley nowhere. Jayden Matthews 15:36, December 6, 2009 (UTC)

The appearance of the Millennium Bridge does not establish any specific timeline, as it's proven that the two universes are completely distinct (historically, geographically, etc). As OotP establishes the films' timeline (the date presented in PS being trumped by book canon) is set in 1991-1998, I'm afraid the argument on the films' timeline has indeed to end here. As for the canonicity of the Millennium Bridge, unless any of Rowling's quotes contradicts it is presented, said bridge (and collapse) is deemed canon in this wiki. --  Seth Cooper  owl post! 15:50, December 6, 2009 (UTC)
I found a July 2009 Empire interview with Daniel Radcliffe that somewhat confirms that the films follow the book timeline: "Do you know when the Harry Potter films are set, in theory, in the Muggle world? I got a family tree from Jo Rowling which says when everyone was born. Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy were both born in 1980, so it's all set in the early '90s. By now we'd be about in the middle of the Oasis/Blur debacle!" Dan was the one who bought the Black family tree hand-drawn by JKR at the charity back in 2006. Starstuff (Owl me!) 18:38, December 6, 2009 (UTC)