It’s nearing the end of an over 2 hour, wildly magical film. Queenie has sided with Grindelwald, and even though she’s done so for love, it’s still just as shocking and equally painful. She warns Grindelwald that Credence does not entirely trust him yet, that he’s still very sensitive. So, Grindelwald proceeds with caution, but knows that the only way to gain this boy’s trust, and in turn, his power, is to reveal his true name. His true parentage. Who he really is. His real name…is Aurelius Dumbledore.
Even if you are one of the biggest Potterheads out there, you may have still found yourself sitting in your seat, jaw agape, staring at the screen mouthing, “WHAT!?” Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. The twist is as confusing as it is shocking, truly coming from out of the blue. But we’re here to clear up any and all questions you may have, so sit back, relax, and get ready for some Potter knowledge.
Firstly, to truly understand this twist, we have to go back to information we learned earlier in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, specifically that involving Leta Lestrange. We originally were led to believe that Credence was actually a Lestrange himself, the long lost brother of Leta. But near the end of the film, in a startling confession, a remorseful and tearful Leta admits that she inadvertently killed her younger brother while he was still a baby. You see, the child wouldn’t stop crying, day or night, and all she wanted was a moment of rest. During a voyage at sea, she placed her brother in the crib next door, taking the baby that lay there and leaving her brother in his place. That boy, as we discover later, was in fact, Credence. She wanted to hold him just for a moment, but as it turns out, time was not her friend. At that very moment, every man, woman, and child aboard the ship had to flee into the longboats, without a minute to explain what she had done or get her brother back. Instead, she climbed into one boat with this baby, and his Aunt climbed into a separate boat with her brother. And as it happened, that boat capsized, killing both the boy’s Aunt and Leta’s own baby brother.
This left her with an endless depth of guilt, and a child which she was not related to in any way. Unable to share the truth with anyone, the boy was sent to Mary Lou Barebone, who we met in the first Fantastic Beasts. She was a cruel woman who believed and stood firmly against magic, and she actively beat Credence, suppressing his magic as much as she possibly could. Barebone raised Credence, in her own way, but never revealed who his true mother was. All she said of her was that she was an unnatural and wicked woman, so it’s entirely possible that she knew Credence’s mother was a witch. But we can’t be certain yet.
What we do know for certain is that Credence is not a Lestrange, though it is thanks to Leta that he is alive. He was the baby on that boat, there is no question about that. But how does Dumbledore fit into all of this!?
According to Grindelwald, Albus is Credence/Aurelius’s brother. Now, we have to accept the possibility that Grindelwald is simply lying to Credence to get what he wants. It seems like something he would do, and it would make things a lot less confusing. However, let’s assume that Grindelwald actually is telling the truth, that Credence is Albus’ brother. Is it possible? The short answer is…possibly.
Dumbledore had two siblings that the world knew about, Aberforth and Ariana. We met Aberforth in The Deathly Hallows, when he helped Harry, Ron, and Hermione sneak back into Hogwarts and, in turn, defeat Voldemort and his forces. But their sister, Ariana, died when she was quite young by a stray killing curse, during a duel between her two brothers and Grindelwald himself. But it’s important to note that Ariana was often described as uncontrollable. She was attacked three muggle boys for using magic, at only the age of six. So traumatized, she could not control her magic, and was prone to fits so dangerous that one of them even killed her mother. While this is more of a fan theory than anything else, many believe that Ariana was an Obscurial herself, like Credence is. The description certainly fits.
Never once was there a mention of a third sibling, which seems a bit odd. But perhaps Albus himself didn’t know that he existed? It’s possible, but the only problem are the dates. Credence was born in 1901 (though his birth certificate reads 1904), but Kendra, Albus’ mother, died in 1899. And as for his father, he died sometime after 1890 in Azkaban Prison, sentenced there for attacking the muggle boys who hurt his daughter. To be fair, J.K Rowling has manipulated the Potter timeline in the past, revealing details that change certain dates and the like, so it is entirely possible she is doing this again now. Or, we were right in the first place. Grindelwald is lying, and the truth is even more shocking than Credence being Dumbledore’s brother (though, we don’t really know how you beat that).
In conclusion? Grindelwald is the darkest wizard of all time who will do anything to get what he wants. But it is entirely possible that Credence really is Albus Dumbledore’s long lost brother. Rowling…you did it again. We bow down to you.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald Is In Theaters Now.