Ezra Miller, one of the stars of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, has urged viewers to trust J.K. Rowling. The Fantastic Beasts sequel has stirred up controversy among Harry Potter fans for a number of significant plot twists, as well as apparent continuity issues.
The most controversial plot twist of all is at the tail-end of the film, when Credence's true identity is finally revealed by dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. According to Grindelwald, Credence's real name is none other than "Aurelius Dumbledore," and he's the brother of Albus. The idea of a fourth Dumbledore sibling, one who's significantly younger than the previous three, seems to have blown the canon apart. The dates just don't match up - Credence wouldn't have been born until sometime between 1807 and 1808, years after Albus's father was sentenced to life imprisonment at Azkaban and his mother died.
Naturally, the cast are being asked their opinions on these major, franchise-redefining twists. In an interview with EW, Miller stressed that he believes Grindelwald's revelation is true - even if he didn't expect it. "I was shocked, stunned, confused, petrificus totalus with wonder and fascination," he observed. "And I still have a lot of questions for which I have no answers." It seems he learned Credence's true identity while promoting the release of the first film in 2016, and he allowed it to subtly inform his portrayal in the sequel. But when it comes to all those still-unanswered questions, Miller insists that he trusts J.K. Rowling.
"She knows the mythology so well and I think she’s into confounding you for a moment and having a fan go, ‘wait that can’t make sense!’ and then showing you how things you thought couldn’t make sense make sense. I think she enjoys people not getting it for a second. She’s done it to us a bunch of times."
Miller believes there's been a subtle progression running through the Fantastic Beasts films. The first was focused on the question of just what Credence is, revealing him to be a powerful Obscurial; the second was focused on the question of who he is, revealing his family history. He expects the third film to center around the question of "why" - why was Aurelius hidden away from the rest of his family. Amusingly, he has absolutely no idea whether Albus Dumbledore knows who Credence really is. Apparently Jude Law knows the answer to that particular question, but he isn't telling.
Miller does make a very valid point. While it's easy for Harry Potter fans to complain at the canon that seems to have been broken, the reality is Rowling knows the Harry Potter story better than any reader. Harry Potter became a global phenomenon in large part because of Rowling's skill as a world-builder. She developed a tremendously complex universe in which everything was connected to everything else. There's no way she would have written a plot twist on this scale without knowing just how it all fits into her previously established timeline.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018