'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' ending left us gaping, but here is everything we learned from it
Turns out Ezra Miller's Credence is not who we he is. Here are some explanations, based on theories by tallying facts, fan theories, and timelines of the 'Harry Potter' franchise
'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' was scattered and riddled with loose ends. From confusing plots to mind-boggling subplots, a lot of things were left unexplained — the number of which has exceeded the list of questions the first film in the franchise, 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them', had left viewers with. But also, in a matter of compensation, the second installment managed to both divulge and leave fans puzzled with the revelation of Credence Barebone's true identity. Spoiler alert! But Ezra Miller's character is actually, NOT a Lestrange, as most fans were led to believe in the time heading to the second part. Turns out, he is, in fact, a Dumbledore!
That's right; Credence is actually Aurelius Dumbledore — as revealed by the titular Grindelwald (played by Johnny Depp) right at the end of the movie.
A plethora of questions arise from this major fact reveal. But what else also arises is confusion. And for all your queries, here's some basic explanation, based on theories, as to how Credence could actually be Albus Dumbledore's (played by Jude Law) brother.
The whole 'Credence secretly being a Lestrange' discussion started with the film's protagonist, Newt Scamander's (Eddie Redmayne) ex-flame, Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz) revealing that she had actually caused the death of her troublesome real half-brother on a boat journey to New York, by swapping him with a random baby on the boat. Everybody automatically assumed that this fake half-brother was Credence. But turns out, the baby she swapped her brother with, was this Dumbledore child that Grindelwald speaks of in the end — thus explaining the 'Credence being Aurelius Dumbledore' theory.
But then, certain factual mentions from the 'Harry Potter' series would refute the theory, with regard to the time. Albus' parents were Percival and Kendra Dumbledore, who also had another son, Aberforth, and a daughter, Ariana. The father, Percival, died in Azkaban around the year 1890, and the mother, Kendra, passed away in 1899. But at the same time, in a 2016 interview with SeaCoastOnline, Ezra Miller had shared that Credence was 18 years old in 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' — meaning, if dates are to be tallied, he should have been born around 1908 or 1909. That makes him being a Dumbledore impossible, right?
Now here comes a crazy thought — maybe Aurelius wasn't a Dumbledore born to Percival and Kendra. That would also explain the Dumbledore baby on board the same boat as Leta Lestrange, being carried to New York, possibly because it was an illegitimate child? It's not easy to forget how Kendra would teach her children "secrets and lies" when they were growing up, as revealed by Aberforth earlier. So maybe this child was one of those very secrets?
The fact that it was Grindelwald who found the spare Dumbledore baby is made more significant because of the history between him and Albus. The 'Harry Potter' series revealed that the two of them had bonded right at the brink of adulthood over their shared views on wizarding domination, but as fate would have it, Grindelwald ended up being the reason Albus' troubled sister — who he was in charge of taking care of — died. This caused a breach between Albus and Grindelwald, and if Credence/Aurelius is really a Dumbledore, maybe Grindelwald found him just as a strategy to get closer to Dumbledore?
Also, several fan theories state that Ariana herself was possibly an Obscurial, much like Credence — primarily because it was a sudden outburst of magic from her side that had killed their mother, Kendra, as had been established in the 'Harry Potter' books earlier. And this leads to the prospective theory that maybe it was Ariana's Obscurial that left her body when she died and latched on to Credence's? Or an even crazier theory, Ariana and Credence were twins and shared Obscurial powers too, which could be the 'brother' relationship that Grindelwald referred to in the end!
But it is also possible that after everything, Grindelwald was just purely lying. Maybe he concocted the insane Aurelius Dumbledore concept up just to use it as leverage against Albus?
Despite Albus being just a Hogwarts headmaster, his evolution as one of the most powerful wizards of his time might have not been a secret. And maybe Grindelwald's ulterior motive behind informing Credence of his Dumbledore ancestry was just to enrage him, because being an impressionable young adult, it would be quite easy to convince him that Albus actually knew about Credence's identity, yet never reached out to him.
By the looks of it, what is clear so far, is that Albus had no clue about Aurelius Dumbledore. Or maybe he did, but much like his track history, chose to not reveal and/or indulge in unveiling the secrets. Because why else would a phoenix, that is supposed to appear for every Dumbledore, appear around Credence in the end? That sort of nails the coffin on Credence's real identity, but as mentioned earlier, it doesn't tie up the loose ends fully. And for that bit of closure, fans will just have to look forward to the third and upcoming installment of the 'Fantastic Beasts' movies.