Warning: Major SPOILERS ahead for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has arrived in cinemas, but the latest Wizarding World movie raises far more questions than it answers.
The follow-up to 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Crimes of Grindelwald continues the story of Newt, Tina, Jacob, and Queenie, but with a much heavier focus on the newly-escaped Gellert Grindelwald too, alongside franchise newcomer and Harry Potter legend, Albus Dumbledore (now played by Jude Law).
The result is a movie that charts part of Grindelwald's rise to power, and explains exactly why Dumbledore is unable to move against him. It also makes some pretty shocking reveals along the way, but all of that means the movie, which is just the second in a planned series of five movies, is much more concerned with setting things up than it is standing on its own two feet, and leaves a lot to be explored in Fantastic Beasts 3 and beyond.
- This Page: Questions About Credence and Dumbledore
- Page 2: The Tycho Dodonus Prophecies, World War II, and More
- Page 3: Professor McGonagall's Age, Queenie's Decision, and More
How Is Credence Related To Dumbledore?
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ends with a major twist, and one of the biggest cliffhangers J.K Rowling has ever produced: Credence Barebone is, in fact, Aurelius Dumbledore, brother of Albus. The fact this comes from the mouth of Grindelwald, and is designed to make Credence move against Albus, will mean people are going to question its legitimacy, but that would be a move so cheap it'd risk derailing the whole franchise, so we can almost certainly say it's the truth, or at least, is true from a certain point-of-view.
Aurelius can't be the son of both Kendra and Percival Dumbledore, Albus' parents, since we know Kendra died in 1899, and there's no mention of him alongside Albus, Aberforth, and Ariana, so he had to come later. That could mean he's Albus' half-brother through his father, although he was already in Azkaban by then, and died there (or so Dumbledore believes). Could he have secretly escaped, or managed to impregnate someone within the walls of Azkaban without the Dementors knowing/caring? It's just about possible.
Another possibility is that Grindelwald is talking to the Obscurus inside Credence; that it is the same Obscurus that lived inside Ariana, and has found a new host in Credence after her death. That, too, leaves questions as to exactly who Credence/Aurelius is, and whether he is also related to Dumbledore somehow (the wider Dumbledore family has not been explained much), is he someone else entirely (and thus still a mystery), or is he quite literally a twin to the Obscurus, in that it has managed to manifest itself a new Obscurial to be its host?
Who Put Credence/Aurelius On The Boat?
Regardless of how Credence came into being, there's one thing we do know about him: he was put on a boat, alongside Leta and Corvus Lestrange, that ended up taking him to America, where he was adopted by Mary Lou Barebone (whose upbringing of him is believed to have turned him into an Obscurial, further muddying the waters of his origin).
We know that Credence/Aurelius was traveling with his aunt, or someone claiming to be his aunt, but have no further information about who she actually is, or if someone else put them on the boat in the first place.
How Much Does Dumbledore Know?
Albus Dumbledore isn't the kind of person to be in the dark. As Arthur Weasley once noted, he "doesn't miss a trick." So just how much does he know about Credence and their relationship?
For once, it would seem, Dumbledore knows almost nothing. Aurelius has never been mentioned in Harry Potter canon before now, which is why this twist is such a shock. Is it possible that Albus, as of The Crimes of Grindelwald at least, knows he has a brother who is an Obscurial? Grindelwald wants Aurelius to think that, but it's difficult to see how exactly he would - especially when he talks about Credence earlier in the movie as if he doesn't. That said, it's not beyond him to withhold things.
What Does Dumbledore's Mirror Of Erised Vision Mean?
A few key pieces of Harry Potter iconography return in this movie, and among them is the Mirror of Erised. Revealed in the very first book to be a powerful magical object that shows the person standing in front of it their deepest, darkest desire, it appears to have a different use here.
When Dumbledore looks into the Mirror, he sees the blood oath he made with Grindelwald, before the older version of his former friend appears before him. But what exactly is this suggesting?
The first part, with the flashback to the blood oath, makes the Mirror work more like a Pensieve, and it's difficult to understand what the 'desire' is here. If it were to undo the blood oath, which Dumbledore regrets, then that's what he'd see. If it were to be with Grindelwald now, with his old friend, not an evil wizard, then that too is what we'd see. Instead, it might simply be Dumbledore's longing for the time he truly felt close to someone; for the one time someone really understood him, perhaps even loved him.