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Fan Theories Desperately Trying To Make Sense Of Credence In 'The Crimes Of Grindelwald'

Updated February 9, 2021 431 votes 78 voters 5.1k views15 items

List RulesVote up the theories that make sense; vote down the theories that break canon.

In 2016, the Harry Potter franchise added another film to its ongoing saga with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This prequel delves into the history of the wizarding world, exploring the pasts of familiar characters as well as introducing some magical new creatures and faces. One of these characters, Credence Barebone, has been particularly mystifying, and the sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, has only complicated the character further. Despite the alleged canon-altering reveal in the final moments of the film, audiences are still wondering who Credence is in Fantastic Beasts.

The most thought-provoking and interesting theories surrounding CoG are concerned with Credence's true identity. Viewers just want to know whether Grindelwald is telling the truth when he reveals that Credence is related to an established and popular figure in the Harry Potter universe. Fortunately, these intrepid Redditors have done their best to come up with potential answers for this confusing revelation.

Warning: this list contains spoilers for FB: TCoG.

  • 1

    Grindelwald Is Using Credence To Battle Against Dumbledore

    Photo: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Gellert Grindelwald's reveal to Credence about his origins and relationship with Albus Dumbledore is simply a way for Grindelwald to fight back and gain a new tool to use against him. According to Redditor /u/NinjaInPlainSight:

    Here's my reasoning: 1) Grindelwald was there when Ariana [passed] and knows how that affected Albus. 2. I still think that Grindelwald is interested in [Obscurials], and the potential of Credence being the oldest and most powerful one ever. This whole movie was about manipulating Credence and getting him to think that Grindelwald has information no one else does, which we also saw him do in the first one as Graves. This [deception] gets Credence on his side, and if he can give Credence a name and [a] reason for his power that he doesn't hate himself for, he will value himself and that relationship. And now Grindelwald has a legit magical cannon at his disposal.

    This is going to mess with Albus so hard. If Grindelwald succeeds, Dumbledore is already known as a great wizard, so this [fib] will validate the character. Until, of course, it is revealed that Grindelwald has been lying. This will ... [set] the stage for the final battle of Dumbledore v Grindelwald.

    Grindelwald [fibbing] here makes sense for the characters and the plot; it sets the stage for Dumbledore to open up about Ariana to Newt and strengthen the desire to defeat Grindelwald on a personal level and gets people talking about the movie for a little while. Hopefully, this turns out to be true. Let me know what you think. 

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  • 2

    Grindelwald Is Just Deceiving Credence

    Photo: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Some fans believe the evil wizard is just lying to Credence so that he can better convince him into doing his bidding. Redditor /u/thelemonslifegaveyou argues:

    My [theory] is that Grindelwald was actually lying to Creedence [about him being a Dumbledore] and is just trying to make him angry enough to [terminate] Dumbledore. [This plan is put in place] because Grindy and Dumbledore can't fight each other, and we've seen what Creedence can do and just how powerful he is.

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  • 3

    Credence Could Be A Gaunt

    Photo: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Some think the big reveal could just be a bit of misdirection by Rowling to confuse the audience and hide Credence's true identity. Redditor /u/Reclaiimer believes Credence might actually be a Gaunt. He states:

    So it was revealed at the end of the movie that Credence... is actually the lost brother of Albus Dumbledore. My gut instinct leads me to believe this is all a red herring. It's not uncommon for JK Rowling to mislead her audience [with] a shocking reveal. Here is my theory:

    Credence... is actually part of the Gaunt family and will have an intimate relationship with Nagini leading to ... Voldemort [being] a Parselmouth down the [familial line].

    We have seen Nagini's origins right now and she doesn't strike me as evil and yet as we all know in hindsight she becomes Voldemort's right hand. But what if Voldemort was family. What if he was a grandson. Then surely that would be a legitimate reason to protect him no matter what.

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  • 4

    Credence Has Ariana Dumbledore’s Obscurus Inside Him

    Photo: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Credence may not be directly related to Albus Dumbledore, but he could be housing the Obscurus of his departed sister, Ariana, inside of him. This would provide a more spiritual relationship between the two of them - at least according to one theory by Redditor /u/couscous01080326:

    Credence's Obscurus is Ariana Dumbledore's Obscurus, making Credence a sort of upgrade from Ariana. Grindelwald [fibbed] to Credence about his "restoring" of his name, rather Grindelwald gave Credence that name to cement a [dislike] of Dumbledore in Credence, and to use him as a [tool] in the final battle. 

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