At the end of Crimes of Grindelwald, Grindelwald reveals that Credence is really Aurelius Dumbledore. The only problem is that Credence being a Dumbledore makes no sense at all and here’s why:
➸ It would be one hell of a coincidence if a Lestrange and Dumbledore family was on the same ship that fateful night in order for the babies to be switched.
➸ A Phoenix can’t possibly only appear to a Dumbledore and never to anyone else. There may have been more people who had a domesticated Phoenix in the Dumbledore family which is perhaps why they have that saying but it is not proof of anything.
➸ Albus says that a Phoenix appeared to his grandfather in “an hour of need” and, truth be told, Credence was in more pain and need in Fantastic Beasts than he is in Crimes of Grindelwald.
➸ The timeline doesn’t add up for Credence to be Albus’ and Aberforth’s brother. By the time Credence is born (~ 1901) Kendra Dumbledore is dead and her husband Percival Dumbledore has been in Azkaban since 1890 (approximately).
➸ Grindelwald has, presumably, been in prison for months at the start of the film. I think that it is fair to assume that Grindelwald would have had to have discovered Credence’s identity beforehand. In Fantastic Beasts we see Grindelwald use Credence to try and get closer to Modesty, who he assumed was the obscurial. Therefore Grindelwald is most likely lying about Credence’s identity because surely he would have known of the existence of another Dumbledore already. I believe that this further points towards the likelihood that Grindelwald has created this identity in order to bring Credence into his following.
➸ Why should we believe Grindelwald? The Blood Pact prevents him from taking on Albus himself so he needs Credence to be able to defeat Albus Dumbledore. He is probably the only one powerful enough so Grindelwald provides him with a reason. On the other hand he needs Credence to still be in conflict and pain so that the obscurus won’t vanish (which it will if the person, according to Dumbledore, experiences a feeling of belonging). Plus, it’s not like he hasn’t lied before. In Fantastic Beasts Grindelwald is all over Credence when he wants him to find the Obscurial but as soon as he thinks he found the child (in this case Modesty) he calls Credence a Squib and leaves him only to change his mind once more as he finds out that Credence has been the Obscurial all along. Grindelwald seems to use people as chess pawns so why should we believe a word he says?
The obscure world of fan theories
In Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindelwald, Dumbledore provides us with a bit more information about Obscuri (what I assume is the plural form of Obscurus) by saying that it is like a dark twin and only friend and that a child can possibly be healed by replacing their feelings of alienation, which created their Obscurus, with a sense of belonging. This has lead to fans theorising that Credence could be Ariana Dumbledore’s Obscurus or that he is her son. Personally I strongly disbelieve this to be the case but first let’s look into what an Obscurus – and Obscurial – actually is:
An Obscurus is the manifestation of the repressed energy of a magical child, an Obscurial. It is described as a dark and parasitic force, and is created when the child in question consciously attempts to repress their magic or were forced to do so through physical or psychological abuse.
As Newt says in the first installment of Fantastic Beasts the Obscurus cannot exist without a host which is why he has it magically incarcerated in his suitcase. My guess is that as the young girl in Africa died he trapped it before it self destructed.
This knowledge debunks the theory that the Obscurus living within Credence is Ariana’s. By the time she died in the late summer of 1899 Credence wasn’t even born yet. An Obscurus cannot live without a host so how would it have survived a year/a year and a half, and furthermore made it all the way from the UK to the US?
The other theory saying that Credence is Ariana’s son is even more obscure. It says that the assault on Ariana could have been rape, but – excuse me – she was 6 years old! Ariana died when she was around 14 years old and was sheltered from any contact with anyone outside of the immediate family. To think that she could have had a son is so bizarre to me and I fail to see when she would have had the opportunity, or even wanted to have sex with anyone in her fragile state.
When Dumbledore describes it as a dark twin it personally makes more sense to me that he is referring to a child’s normal white magic becoming dark and thereby becoming sort of a dark twin to the former white magic living inside the child. Just as powerful, perhaps even more so, but wreaks havoc and destruction instead of creating and transforming. The other thing he says is that it acts as an only friend which makes more sense since it was created by suppression. Feeling alienated, as if you don’t belong anywhere, must be very lonesome so it stands to reason that it would act as an only friend – kind of like the imaginary friend some kids can have.
Even though we still have no idea who Credence is one thing is for sure: he is extremely powerful since he has been able to live long past the age of 10 and it will be interesting to see what happens next, and finally solving the mystery of Credence.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindelwald
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