Credence Barebone's true identity is revealed in 'The Crimes of Grindelwald' but there's a huge problem

20 November 2018, 20:34 | Updated: 20 November 2018, 20:55

By Katie Louise Smith

Who is Credence Barebone? Is he Dumbledore's brother? Or was Grindelwald lying? Here's what that ending of "Crimes of Grindelwald" really means...

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has already sparked a ton of debate within the fandom online over the plot holes and contradictory cameo appearances but none more so than the big ol' twist at the end of the film regarding the Dumbledore family.

Funnily enough, The Crimes of Grindelwald is more about Credence Barebone (played by Ezra Miller) than it is about Grindelwald and his... crimes. The crux of the film centres around orphan Credence's true identity with many believing him to be the long-lost Lestrange sibling.

Credence, who fled at the end of Fantastic Beasts, is now on the run in Paris, attempting to evade a number of people who all want him for different reasons. At the end of the film, we find out who Credence really is but the final scene of the movie raises a LOT of questions and has now ignited a huge debate online whether or not the big plot twist is plausible within the universe's established canon timeline.


Credence Barebone's true identity is revealed in 'The Crimes of Grindelwald'
Credence Barebone's true identity is revealed in 'The Crimes of Grindelwald'. Picture: Warner Bros.

Throughout the entire film, we are lead to believe that Credence is Corvus Lestrange, the missing brother of Leta Lestrange, who she believes she 'killed' after swapping two babies on a boat. Baby Corvus died after the boat sank but the other baby, 'Aurelius', was saved. That baby grows up to be Credence.

In the final scene of the film, we see Credence with Grindelwald who then tells him about his true identity. Surprise bitch, he's a Dumbledore. Aurelius Dumbledore, the brother of Albus who, despite a detailed canon history of their lineage, we have never heard of before. (Grindelwald's claim appears to be backed up by the phoenix that proves Credence's true lineage. A phoenix will always appear if a Dumbledore is in danger. It's their thing. Shout out to Fawkes.)

It's a crazy plot twist and was totally unexpected but it also... make absolutely no sense. In fact, fans are now calling Grindelwald's claim in to question because, according to the timeline, there's no way that Dumbledore can have a brother that young. Here's where it all gets a bit confusing:


Albus’ parents were Percival and Kendra Dumbledore. They also had two other children; Aberforth (who we meet in the original Harry Potter series) and Ariana (who we learn about in the original Harry Potter series). Percival died in Azkaban around 1890, and Kendra died in 1899, after an accident involving a teenage Ariana.

Credence, who is allegedly Aurelius Dumbledore, is (according to Ezra Miller) 18 years old in the first movie but there is no official confirmation of Credence's age. If he is 18 in the first film, which takes place in 1926, he would have been born in either 1908 or 1909. If he was born the same time as Corvus, he would have been born circa 1901, making him around 25 or 26.

But neither of those suggestions quite add up... considering Kendra died years before. (If Credence is Dumbledore's full blood brother - or paternal half-brother - the youngest he could possibly be is 36. If Credence is Dumbledore's maternal half-brother, the youngest he could be is 28.)

We've also never heard of another Dumbledore sibling until now, which is weird when you consider that someone, somewhere, with all the wizarding powers in the world, could have sleuthed that skeleton out of the world renown Dumbledore family closet.

The contradictory timeline has now sparked a massive debate on Twitter over what is actually going on...

So, what's going on? What's happening? Well, there seems to be three possible explanations as to how we could explain this away... the first explanation? It's true and we're just gonna have to deal the timeline discrepancies.

The second explanation: Grindelwald is a big fat liar. As we all know, Grindelwald has been lying from the jump. When he was first disguised as Graves in Fantastic Beasts, he lied to Credence the entire time in order to find the location of the Obscurial - not knowing that it was Credence the whole time. At this point, Grindelwald literally has no idea that Credence is even a wizard, let alone a member of one of the most iconic magical families in the game. So how would Grindelwald, who a) didn't know who Credence was anyway and b) has been holed up in jail ever since, come to discover that he was a Dumbledore in the first place? He's lying, right? Does Dumbledore know he's got another brother? (“We truly do not know,” Miller told EW. “Jude knows. But he won’t tell you.”)

And the third: JK Rowling has completely dismissed the canon timeline of the universe for the sake of a plot twist - which is highly unlikely. No matter how much you take umbrage with JK's penchant for adding to the canon narrative, there's surely no way she would completely render an entire wizarding family's legacy and history wrong without a reason, right?

If it's a lie, great, no sweat, Grindelwald is a scheming rat but if it's true... then she must have an explanation. We'll just have to wait another couple of years to find out what she's actually plotting.