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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald's Credence Twist Explained

Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

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Warner Bros' Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald delivers a final twist when the film finally reveals Credence's true identity as Aurelius Dumbledore; we break down what it means for Harry Potter canon and future Fantastic Beasts movies. Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) was introduced in 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as the adopted son of Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton). Mary Lou was the leader of a group that preached hatred of the magical community to fellow no-majs (non-magical people). It was because of this internalized hatred - as well as physical and emotional abuse from Mary Lou - that Credence repressed his powers and became an Obscurial. An Obscurus is a parasitic magical force that leeches onto a young witch or wizard until they die, usually young.

However, Credence is an especially powerful Obscurial, which is why the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) wants to recruit the young man to his cause - and why many in the wizarding community want Credence killed. Much of The Crimes of Grindelwald revolves around the various people interested in tracking down Credence, including protagonists Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), in addition to Grindelwald. All the while, Credence is searching for answers about the true identities of his birth parents. Though there are rumors in the wizarding community about who he might be and what powerful family he could be linked to, the truth is something different - and completely unexpected.

Related: Fantastic Beasts: Credence's Real Name Meaning Teases Tragic Future

Grindelwald reveals Credence's true identity to him in the final moments of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and it has a major effect not only on the prequel franchise but on Harry Potter canon as a whole. Now, we dive into the Credence twist, how it changes Harry Potter canon as we knew it and what it means for future Fantastic Beasts movies.

Fantastic Beasts 2's Big Twist: Credence Is Aurelius Dumbledore

At the end of The Crimes of Grindelwald, the titular dark wizard and his followers have taken refuge in Nurmengard Castle. It's here that Grindelwald finally gives Credence the answers the young man has been craving, but not without some manipulation on his part. In the sequence, Grindelwald begins to sow discord between Credence and his brother before even revealing who that is. Further, as the sequence continues to build to the big reveal, the baby bird Credence was nurturing evolves into a Phoenix and Grindelwald makes reference to a legend that phoenixes come to men in his family when they're in dire need. Finally, Grindelwald reveals Credence is a Dumbledore, the younger brother of Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), and his name is Aurelius.

Of course, fans may be left wondering whether Grindelwald is telling Credence the truth. After all, Grindelwald is known to lie and manipulate to get what he wants, he even did just that to Credence in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Further, it would make sense for him to use Credence's identity as a manipulation tactic to motivate the Obscurial to kill Albus - which is the end goal we already know Grindelwald is working toward by recruiting Credence. As such, the movie does leave room for doubt that Credence actually is Aurelius Dumbledore. But if we choose to believe that Credence really is Aurelius Dumbledore, then the question becomes what that means about his birth and how he fits into Harry Potter lore.

Next Page: Credence's Parents, Backstory & How He Fits Into Harry Potter Canon

Key Release Dates
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018
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