Warning! Major spoilers ahead for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
There is a lot to unpack in the latest installment of Fantastic Beasts. The Crimes of Grindelwald picks up only a few months after the events of the first film and follows the creation of the dark wizard’s army. While our favorite cast of characters race to ensure Grindelwald doesn’t secure the most important piece of his puzzle — Credence Barebone (Surprise, he’s still alive!) and the power of his Obscurus — the dark wizard is seemingly always ten steps ahead of them. By the end of the film, he’s able to convince more people to join his sinister scheme — including Credence. It’s during the final moments of the film that Grindelwald drops the bombshell that Credence is actually . . . a Dumbledore!
Yep, you read that right. To be fair, there are several clues in the film that suggest we’re going down this particular road. Credence’s big journey during The Crimes of Grindelwald is his burning desire to know who he truly is. On the other side of the coin, we begin delving into the past of Albus Dumbledore, as it ties deeply with Grindelwald’s rise to power. In two fairly pointed bits of foreshadowing, Albus mentions that his grandfather always said a phoenix will appear to Dumbledore family members in their moment of need, and avoids answering Leta Lestrange when she asks him if he’s ever lost a brother. Instead he tells her that he’s felt the loss of a younger sister and implies that it was the reason for his estrangement from Grindelwald.
Later in the film, Leta corrects everyone’s assumption that Credence is her younger half-brother Corvus by revealing that he died during a trip to America with the family midwife. A young Leta, frustrated by the baby’s incessant crying, switched her brother with another baby (Credence) when the ship carrying them began to sink. The lifeboat with Corvus and Credence’s mother capsized and sank to the bottom of the sea, causing Leta’s lifelong fear and guilt.
All of these seemingly random pieces of information come together when Grindelwald breaks the “news” to Credence that he’s actually a Dumbledore. He gives him a wand, tells him that his brother wants to hurt him and gives him the name “Aurelius Dumbledore.” This seems to fill Credence, er Aurelius, with new purpose, because he lets out a huge burst of magic that causes a nearby bit of mountain to explode. Obviously this revelation opens up a bunch of questions, since fans have only ever known there to be three Dumbledore siblings: Albus, Aberforth, and Ariana. And the timeline doesn’t add up, for a lot of reasons. So, how is Credence actually related to the Dumbledores? Let’s see if we can figure it out.