We're learning a lot about the Harry Potter universe through the Fantastic Beasts films. One of the biggest revelations came at the end of Crimes of Grindelwald when we found out that Albus Dumbledore has a long-lost brother. Previously, we thought this character was just Credence Barebone, a Muggle-raised wizard with incredible powers. Now, the massive twist has fans wondering what else J.K. Rowling has planned for this character, and we thought it could be fun to do a little digging ourselves. Since we'd never leave you out of the nutty fan-theories we came across, we also thought we'd list them here.
So put on your tinfoil sorting hats, wizards and witches, here are the 10 of the craziest theories about Aurelius Dumbledore.
10. Grindelwald Faked His Identity
What would be shocking if this theory came true isn't so much the lie itself. After all, Grindelwald is a master manipulator and frequent liar. Instead, it could just be shocking that Crimes of Grindelwald ended on a lie. It's a weird way to tell a story, to exit a movie on a giant revelation and then take it back later. Still, this is totally in character for the evil wizard, and totally possible with his level of skill. Everything Credence saw to prove his heritage could definitely have been an illusion created by the dark wizard — even though it may have been difficult to pull off. We'll have to wait until Fantastic Beasts 3 to see what the truth is.
9. He Could Be Related To Voldemort
Fans of Harry Potter already know there’s a good deal of blood shares between its most important families. According to one theory, that’s also the case between the Dumbledore and the evilest wizard of all time. The link would be through Aurelius’s mother, although the parentage of Aurelius is still very much subject to doubt. Although, it wouldn’t surprise us if Aurelius is related to some major player in the HP universe. J.K. certainly loves her family dramas.
8. His Name Has A Deeper Meaning
Speaking of J.K. Rowling’s favorite connections to make, some fans started speculating as soon as they heard Aurelius Dumbledore’s name. Rowling certainly loves to hide hints about her characters into her character’s names, a prime example being the dog-shapeshifter Sirius Black. Aurelius could be named after a Roman emperor whose death signaled the end of a 200-year peace, or he could’ve been named after an Arthurian leader with connections to Merlin. Could his death bring about a Great War, or could he be a successor to Grindelwald? Only time will tell.
One more quick note on this one. Redditor u/harrypotterCoG did some digging into that Roman emperor we mentioned, and his original surname was... Severus.
7. J.K. Rowling Revealed 'The Twist' In 2016
At this point, J.K. Rowling is like a subtle Mark Ruffalo. She makes references to the future of her stories constantly, admittedly in a more discreet way than Bruce Banner. One of those references that makes sense in hindsight is a picture she tweeted out in 2016. In it, she highlights a book on Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor we keep bringing up. This was an obvious nod to the character that we then knew as Credence Barebone, but could it be even more? If she does decide to incorporate the Emperor’s story into Aurelius’s, was Rowling giving us a major Fantastic Beasts spoiler over two years ago? Knowing the woman who hid the truth about Snape in his first ever lines to Harry Potter, we think it’s pretty likely.
6. Credence Survives With An Obscurus Because Of the Spanish Flu
One of the things that makes the least sense about Credence/Aurelius is his Obscurus. Most wizards or witches with his condition die before age 10. So how does he survive? Well, according to Redditor u/Obversa, it’s because his body developed an immunity to magical diseases. The Spanish Flu, says u/Obversa, came from some curse or is the byproduct of a magical spell gone awry. This explains its real-life mysterious nature. If young Credence was affected by the disease, could it explain how he manages to stay alive as long as he does? Since J.K. Rowling isn’t shy about working real history into her stories, we think this is an actual possibility.
5. A Relationship With Nagini?
It’s clear that young Credence doesn’t have many people in his life. The mother who raised him is abusive, and his running away to join the circus made it clear he’s cut himself off from his other family. That’s why fans are speculating about a romance with one of the few people he is close to. He and Nagini are both outcasts, and Fantastic Beasts wasn’t shy about displaying that the two are close. Could their relationship be more than just a friendship? It’s extremely possible.
4. He's Actually Dumbledore's Son
Alright, if Aurelius really is Dumbledore’s brother, then there are some clarifications we need about the HP timeline. Dumbledore’s father was in prison during the time that he would’ve needed to conceive Aurelius, and not long after Percival Dumbledore went to prison, his wife died. So how could this parentage work? Well, according to this theory, it didn’t. Aurelius isn’t Dumbledore's brother at all, but his son. We’ve never heard of Dumbledore being in a meaningful relationship with a woman before, but then again, there’s a lot we don’t know about that guy. Even a decade after we saw him die in Half-Blood Prince, Albus Dumbledore remains one of the most enigmatic characters in the Potterverse.
3. The Most Powerful Wizard Ever?
At the end of Fantastic Beasts, Grindelwald gives Credence something that he’s never used before: a wand. Dumbledore then channels his magic through it for the first time, resulting in an Apocalyptic level of destruction. It’s destruction on a scale we’ve never seen from one source in the Harry Potter universe, leading some fans to theorize that Aurelius is the most powerful being we’ve seen in that universe yet. If Grindelwald knows this, it may explain why he puts such an importance on Credence. A wizard that powerful could do incredible things. Like, break a Blood Pact, for example.
2. Ariana's Obscurus Actually Lives Inside Him
Now we’re getting into tinfoil-hat territory, but that doesn’t mean these theories aren’t entertaining as heck. In Fantastic Beasts, we learn that Credence isn’t the only Obscurial in the Harry Potter universe. There's also Dumbledore's sister, Ariana. An especially tragic theory postulates that, after she died, her Obscurus transferred into another host. This means that a part of her soul now lives within Credence/Aurelius, which is not just a cool twist, but adds to the of the Harry Potter series. One Redditor points out that this has serious consequences in the Voldemort/Harry Potter story, with Dumbledore recognizing the transference of souls not just from wizarding folklore, but because he's actually been witness to it.
1. Dumbledore Lost His Own Obscurus Inside Credence... And Then Sunk The Titanic?
Finally, we come to a true Fox Mulder-level of conspiracy about the long lost Dumbledore brother. This theory, created by Redditor u/NiallRiver519, builds off of the idea that Credence is the bearer of someone else's Obscurus. But instead of Ariana's, this theory posits that the Obscurus belonged to Albus Dumbledore himself. The Obscurus comes to life when Dumbledore loses his sister, and it passes out of him and into a vessel he knows is on an ocean liner. Dumbledore, in an effort to take out what he perceives as a world-threatening entity, sinks the ship. Read the Reddit post for more. Even if you don't agree (it does seem just a teensy bit out of character for Dumbledore), you have to admit that this is a pretty insane idea. And in a list of insane ideas, it definitely deserves the top spot.
What's the craziest theory about Aurelius Dumbledore that you've heard? Are there any you've come up with yourself? Let us know in the comments section below!