At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. As such, spoilers will be present within the article.
Credence Barebone (allegedly born Aurelius Dumbledore; c. 1901) was an American wizard who lived during the 20th century. He was adopted by Mary Lou Barebone, the leader of a No-Maj anti-witchcraft group called the New Salem Philanthropic Society. Due to the repression of his magic, Credence developed a dark parasitic force known as an Obscurus and became an Obscurial. While most Obscurials die before their tenth birthday, Credence lived into adulthood, which was previously unheard of in the Wizarding World, and a testament of his incredible power.
Credence was sought after by Gellert Grindelwald, who wanted to use his power to kill Albus Dumbledore, who he saw as the greatest threat to his revolutionary cause. While in search of his true identity, Credence heeded Grindelwald's call and joined his army.
Early life (1901–1905)
Switched in the crib by a young Leta Lestrange for her half-brother Corvus during a voyage to America in 1901, when the ship that Leta, Irma Dugard and her brother had chartered passage on sank during a storm, the life boat with Corvus capsized, drowning him and his aunt. Baby Credence was taken to America and put up for adoption in Corvus's place, unbeknownst to anyone but Leta.
On 21 October 1905, he was adopted by Mary Lou Barebone, an American No-Maj woman who led the New Salem Philanthropic Society, a hardline anti-witchcraft group. She renamed him Credence Barebone, raising him in New York alongside her two other adopted children, Chastity and Modesty. Credence was the eldest of the three.
Whilst under Mary Lou's care, Credence was physically and mentally abused by her who attempted to suppress his magical abilities. She often used his own belt that left marks on his hands. The frequent abuse would cause him to become an Obscurial.
Mary Lou considered Credence's birth mother to be a "wicked, unnatural woman", suggesting that she was aware of his heritage.
During one meeting, Mary Lou was physically abusing Credence but was magically assaulted by Auror Porpentina Goldstein. The open use of magic in front of a group of non-magic people required extensive Obliviation and was a major scandal resulting in Porpentina's demotion to the Wand Permit Office.
Global wizarding war (1926-1927)
Meeting Gellert Grindelwald
- "My vision showed only the child’s immense power. He or she is no older than ten, and I saw this child in close proximity to your mother—she I saw so plainly."
- —Gellert Grindelwald explaining his vision to Credence[src]
During that time, Credence came in regular contact with Gellert Grindelwald, who's assuming the identity of Percival Graves. Grindelwald seduces Credence into tracking down an Obscurial that he had seen prior due to a vision he had received, as he believed Credence to be connected to it somehow. In exchange, Credence was promised to made free and taught wizardry.
On 6 December, after a failed attempt by the Second Salemers to garnish the support of Henry Shaw Senior and being insulted by his son the senator, Credence's Obscurus manifested later that night and attacked a fund-raising dinner at City Hall, killing the senator as a result. This act unwittingly exposed the wizarding world.
Obscurial attack on New York City
- Gellert Grindelwald: "You can control it, Credence."
- Credence Barebone: "But I don’t think I want to, Mr Graves."
- — Grindelwald argues with Credence's to control his Obscurus[src]
The next day, Credence found a toy wand in Modesty's bedroom. Mary Lou immediately concluded that the wand belonged to Credence when she entered the scene, despite Modesty claiming it to be hers. As she prepared to beat him yet again, Credence's Obscurus burst free. The dark force killed Mary Lou and Chastity, also causing heavy damage to the house.
Still in the form of Graves, Grindelwald arrived at the remains of the Second Salem Church and urged Credence to bring him to Modesty who had fled the destruction to her old childhood home, since Grindelwald now believed that she is the child that he foresaw.
Once there, Grindelwald told Credence that he had no further use for him and dismissed Credence as being a Squib, despite his promises. This betrayal caused Credence to reveal his Obscurus, to the surprise of Grindelwald. Although Grindelwald attempted to apologise and offered to train him, Credence willingly let loose, transformed completely into an Obscurus and went on a mindless rampage of destruction through New York.
- "We see Credence from within the black mass, his face contorted, screaming. The barrage of spells continues and Credence howls in pain... Under this pressure, the Obscurus finally seems to implode — a white ball of magical light taking over from the black mass... All power subsides. Only small pieces of black matter are left — floating through the air like feathers."
- —Credence supposedly dies at the hands of MACUSA Aurors[src]
Pursuing him to the subway station, Newton Scamander managed to calm Credence down only to engage in a battle with the treacherous dark wizard before the Magizoologist could gain his attention. Provoked by the fight, Credence resumed his Obscurial form, though Tina managed to get him to stop once more.
Rapported by the attack, Seraphina Picquery and Aurors from MACUSA arrived at the scene and proceeded to attack him with many spells, only stopping when they believed he was destroyed. However, a single shred of his Obscurus form fled the scene, unseen to anyone but Newt.
Without everyone's knowledge, except Newt, Credence survived, because Obscurial can't be killed while being in his Obscurus form. Barebone as a single shred fled away from the subway station to the destroyed Second Salem Church. When all shreds of his Obscurus connected together, Credence returned to his human form. He desperately searched the collapsed building until he finally found what he was looking for: his adoption papers.
Looking for his identity
Sometime after finding the document he joined the Circus Arcanus, a travelling wizarding circus owned by the cruel ringmaster, Skender. Together with the whole crew, he sailed to Europe and ended settling in Paris.
Six months after the events in New York, Gellert Grindelwald escaped during his transfer to Europe and three months after that he also journeyed to Paris in search for Credence, in order to utilise his abilities to kill Albus Dumbledore.
Rumours surrounding Credence's identity began to circulate. Yusuf Kama believed he was Corvus Lestrange V, the son of Corvus Lestrange IV who Imperiused Kama's mother into marriage. Kama had made an Unbreakable Vow on his father 's deathbed to kill what Corvus IV loved most, which he believed to be Corvus V.
On the run with Nagini
Having had enough with their mistreatment, Credence and Nagini plotted their escape from the Circus Arcanus, where both Kama and Tina Goldstein had located him. Credence managed their getaway by releasing several of the beasts and fleeing in the ensuing chaos.
Following this, Credence head with Nagini to 18 Rue Philippe Lorand, being followed by Gunnar Grimmson, the bounty hunter. At location Barebone found Irma Dugard, the half-elf, whom he believed to be his mother, as her name was on his adoption papers. Dugard revealed that she did not want to give him up, and noted that she was merely a servant to the Lestrange household.
After a brief moment of tenderness, Grimmson trapped Nagini in the wall to kill Irma on Grindelwald's orders to keep Credence's identity a secret from him. The Obscurus manifested and Credence attempted to kill Grimmson, but failed to do so.
After that Credence and Nagini were hiding in the house near the Eiffel Tower, where Barebone was caring for a chick. Grindelwald tracked him down and offered him a chance to find out his true parentage. Credence, ready to learn the truth, accepted the map to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery given by the Dark Wizard.
At the Lestrange Mausoleum, Credence and Nagini crossed paths with Kama and Jacob Kowalski. Kama believing that Credence was Corvus prepared to kill him, but they were joined by Newt Scamander, Tina Goldstein, and Leta Lestrange, Kama's half-sister. Leta insisted that Credence was not her half-brother, as the real Corvus Lestrange died. Leta recounted her father sending her and her brother to America on a ship. Wanting to relieve herself of her screaming brother, Leta swapped him with another baby on the ship, that baby being Credence. The ship sank before Leta could switch the babies back, and the real Corvus Lestrange drowned.
Joining GrindelwaldAfter Leta's confession, Credence and others attended Grindelwald's rally, which ended in the Aurors storming against the host. Grindelwald created a circle of blue flames, an enchantment designed to test the loyalty of his followers: those who enter with complete fidelity shall survive; those who do not, perish. Against Nagini's insistence, Credence entered the circle and joined Grindelwald, trusting that he had knowledge of his true identity.Sometime later, at Nurmengard in Austria, Grindelwald revealed to Credence that the baby bird he has been caring for was actually a phoenix. According to legend, a phoenix will appear to anyone of the Dumbledore Family in dire need. Grindelwald then presented him with a wand, as well as his birth name: Aurelius Dumbledore.
Personality and traits
- David Heyman: "Credence is someone who doesn’t really have a sense of who he is, and is suffering from low self-esteem. He is adopted and has been abused by his foster parent, and in having his true essence repressed, he is a metaphor for so many people who are denied the right to be who they are."
- David Yates: "He’s a very misunderstood character, seduced by a mentor who wants to take him to a very dark place. And again he’s an outsider trying to find his place in the world, who has very special skills and very special things going on."
- — David Yates and David Heyman discussing Credence[src]
However, when he was insulted or threatened, Credence's Obscurus form was unleashed. This Obscurus form was triggered by his negative emotions and experiences, and therefore was induced by them to act violently. This caused widespread destruction and death to those who provoked Credence. Namely, he attacked Mary Lou Barebone because of the abuse the latter inflicted on him for so long, and Henry Shaw Junior for the way the arrogant No-Maj politician had mocked him.
After being nearly killed by over 20 MACUSA Aurors on the orders of President Picquery, Credence became embittered towards most of the magical community, and, desperate to survive, and learn his true heritage, he joined the Circus Arcanus, and befriended fellow outcast Nagini. However, Grindelwald was once again able to manipulate Credence - taking advantage of the youth's desire to learn of his true heritage, Grindelwald convinced Credence to join his acolytes, convincing Credence so effectively, that even Nagini couldn't dissuade him. After finally being given a wand by his new master at Nurmengard Castle, Credence accepts his true heritage as Aurelius Dumbledore, and seemingly agrees to help Grindelwald bypass the blood pact and kill Albus Dumbledore.
Magical abilities and skills
- Grindelwald: "If I asked you now to go to the school where he is hiding and kill him for me, would you do it for me, Krall? Credence is the only entity alive who can kill him."
- Krall: "You really think he can kill the Great… Can kill Albus Dumbledore?"
- Grindelwald: "I know he can."
- — Gellert Grindelwald and Krall in their hideout in Paris[src]
- High Magic Capability: While Credence had not initially developed his magical abilities due to Mary Lou Barebone, his latent magical powers were incredible, which allowed him to survive long past the age of 10, despite having an Obscurus inside him. This was possibly due to Credence being a member of the Dumbledore family. After being given a wand for the first time, Credence instinctively cast a spell that fired a bolt of fiery energy so powerful, that it instantly destroyed a mountainside.
- Obscurus Transformation: Credence was an Obscurial, prone to unleashing or embodying an Obscurus due to years of being forced to suppress his magic. He was immensely more powerful than other known Obscurials, living longer than any previously known, and requiring over 20 MACUSA Aurors unleashing destructive spells to nearly destroy Credence, though the latter still managed to survive. Ever since then, Credence had acquired complete control over his Obscurus, being far more precise with his Obcurus attacks than before while fighting Gunnar Grimmson, with the bounty hunter being forced to constantly hold up a Shield Charm, and Apparate away to safety. Gellert Grindelwald went so far as to claim to his acolytes that Credence's Obscurus was the only being apart from himself powerful enough to defeat and kill Albus Dumbledore, the so-called greatest wizard of all time, marking him the most powerful Obscurial to have ever existed.
- Wand versatility: Credence was able to effectively use the wand gifted to him by Grindelwald, without having been officially chosen by said wand, and Credence was even able to instinctively cast an extremely powerful spell from that wand, pulverising a mountainside.
- Apparition: Although where he learned how to was unknown (though possibly during the travels that lead to him joining the Circus Arcanus), Credence was able to Apparate away from Grindelwald's rally in Paris.
- Wand: After joining Grindelwald's army, Credence was given a wand by his new master.
- Phoenix: At Nurmengard Castle, this baby Phoenix that he has been caring for approached Credence again (now revealed to be Aurelius Dumbledore), fulfilling the Dumbledore family legend of a Phoenix coming to any Dumbledore who is in desperate need.
- "And yet Scamander appears wherever the Obscurial goes, to protect him."
- —Travers questioning why Dumbledore sends Newt abroad[src]
Albus Dumbledore has developed an interest in Credence, if he manipulates his former student Newton Scamander twice into protecting the poor Obscurial out of the hands of Gellert Grindelwald. It's unknown though, if Albus is aware that the Obscurial he wants to protect is seemingly his lost brother. Later on, it seems that Credence agrees to help Grindelwald bypass the blood pact and kill Albus.
- "You were such a beautiful baby. And you are a beautiful man. I have missed you."
- —Irma Dugard to Credence[src]
Unknown to Mary Lou Barebone, the woman she believed to be Credence's mother was in fact the Half-elf servant of the Lestrange family, Irma Dugard. Dugard unknowingly ended up with Aurelius after the young Leta Lestrange switched him with her baby brother Corvus Lestrange. Irma later took care of the young Credence, signing his adoption paper and handing him over in the care of Mary Lou Barebone.
- "As if on autopilot, Credence removes his belt. Mary Lou stands and extends her hand, taking the belt. In silence, she turns and walks up the stairs—Credence obediently following."
- —Mary Lou punishes Credence for coming home late[src]
Credence feared his adoptive mother due to years of emotional and physical abuse. She beat him with the intent of teaching him to suppress and be ashamed of his magical traits. By suppressing his magic, he developed an Obscurus. It was noted by Tina Goldstein that out of all Mary Lou's adopted children, Credence was the most hated.
Credence learned over the years to willingly surrender his belt for a beating when he knew he did something wrong. He tended to be passive when it came to the beatings and he learned to take them submissively. Despite living in an environment where magic was shunned, Credence was drawn toward the ideas of wizardry and even entertained the thought of becoming part of the wizarding world. Mary Lou seemed to be aware of Credence's interest in magic and did not hesitate to beat him for it. When Mary Lou was about to attack Credence, he transformed into his Obscurus form and killed her.
- "Behind Credence, Modesty’s eyes burn. She clutches Credence’s hand protectively."
- —Modesty took Credence's hand after he was insulted by Senator Shaw[src]
Modesty was kind to her older foster brother and he was close to her as a result. One of the reasons Credence shared a close relationship with Modesty, was because she did not possess the same zealous attitude Chastity did in regards to their adoptive mother's anti-witchcraft stance.
Modesty was young and curious, she shared Credence's secret interest in magic. Because of this shared interest, they trusted each other. When Henry Shaw Junior meanly insulted Credence, she took his hand to reassure him. Modesty often witnessed the beatings he got from their mother and comforted him.
Modesty occasionally confided in Credence that she missed the nine brothers and sisters she had before she was adopted. When Credence found the toy wand under Modesty's bed, Mary Lou believed it to be his and beat him, despite Modesty's attempt at convincing her it was hers. This shows that she defended him when he was about to be whipped by their foster mother. After the Obscurus took control of Credence and killed their adopted family, she became fearful of him. Despite her immense fear of him, he showed no anger towards her and did not try to harm her, as she had been one of the few people in the world who had ever showed him any kindness, which he clearly respected her for.
- "He knows what you were born, not who you are..."
- —Nagini cares for Credence, trying to stop him from joining Grindelwald[src]
During his time at Circus Arcanus, Credence befriended fellow outcast Nagini. These two broken souls quickly developed a close relationship, due to their similarly tragic pasts. Nagini is Credence's only friend. After they escaped the Circus together, and wishing to stay together, Nagini assisted Credence on his quest to find out his true identity. At the time, Nagini became very caring and protective of Credence. An example of this is when she comforted him with a hug after they witnessed Irma Dugard's death, and refused to step aside when Yusuf Kama was at the point of killing Credence. Despite his friend begging him to stay with her, Credence joined Grindelwald's army in the end, leaving Nagini devastated and heartbroken afterwards. However, Nagini's devastation over losing Credence induced her to officially join the Global Wizarding War against Grindelwald.
- "You’re a Squib, Credence. I could smell it off you the minute I met you... You have magical ancestry, but no power... You’re unteachable. Your mother’s dead. That’s your reward. I’m done with you."
- —Gellert Grindelwald coldly dismisses Credence[src]
Grindelwald disguised himself as Percival Graves, and used Credence to try and locate the Obscurial terrorising New York, whom he believed was Modesty Barebone, promising him entrance into the wizarding world and training to perform magic. To Credence, "Percival Graves" was his only friend, and the only person who truly understood and supported him. "Mr Graves" thus healed Credence's hands, and comforted the youth when Credence confided in him about his mother's mistreatment.
After the Obscurus attacked Mary Lou, "Mr Graves" told Credence he had no use for him, calling him a Squib, and pursued Modesty. Because of the emotional strain, Credence lost control over the Obscurus and, after "Mr Graves" realised it was him, offered his partnership and training in wizardry. Credence was deeply hurt by his manipulation, and angrily fled, now seeing Grindelwald as what he truly was. MACUSA's Aurors chased and attacked him, and when Newt and Tina attempted to calm him and protect him, Grindelwald interrupted them to provoke Credence to cause more destruction in the hopes of achieving a war between magical and non-magical people. Despite how he had earlier coldly dismissed Credence, it appeared that after Credence's magical heritage and power was revealed, Grindelwald considered him to have been unjustly treated by his mother and later the whole MACUSA, as he showed genuine emotions of rage when MACUSA destroyed Credence and later showed a level of pity when referring to how Mary Lou Barebone had nearly destroyed Credence.
It is revealed one year later that Grindelwald was so desperate to gain the New York Obscurial's allegiance because he believed that this was the only way for him to kill Albus Dumbledore without violating the blood pact, as Grindelwald believed that the Obscurial was the only wizard other than himself powerful enough to kill Dumbledore. As such, Grindelwald remains desperate to sway Credence to his side, promising to reveal the youth's true name and heritage to him. Ultimately, the desire to be his true self was too much for Credence to resist, so he joined Grindelwald's acolytes at the Lestrange family Mausoleum. Credence readily accepted "Aurelius Dumbledore" as his true name, as well as Grindelwald's gifts of a wand and a Phoenix, as well as seemingly agreeing to help Grindelwald kill Albus Dumbledore.
Credence is derived from the Latin credere, meaning to trust and to believe, and from credentia, meaning belief. Barebone is an Anglo-Saxon surname, thought to be taken from the name of an English village, Barbon or Barbourne.
On the other hand, Credence's birth name Aurelius is derived from Latin aureus, meaning golden and gilded. Marcus Aurelius was a 2nd-century philosophical writer and Roman emperor. Aurelius was too the name of several early saints, such as Saint Aurelius.
Behind the scenes
- Credence is portrayed by Ezra Miller in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
- Initial reports said this character's name was "Kredan". When asked about it via Twitter, J. K. Rowling said, "Kredan is quite literally nobody. They got the name wrong!"
- Credence becomes a notable character within the Harry Potter universe.
- Although initially thought to be Corvus Lestrange by some characters such as Yusuf Kama, this was proven incorrect when Leta Lestrange admitted she had swapped Corvus for another baby, resulting in Corvus' death and the other unknown baby (Credence) surviving.
- Though Credence is said to be Albus' "brother" by Grindelwald, it is notable that the timeline doesn't fit, if indeed Grindelwald is telling the truth. Percival Dumbledore died in Azkaban after his imprisonment and Kendra Dumbledore died in 1899, some 2 years before his birth (if referring to the screenplay) or 5-6 years before his birth (if going by the adoption certificate).
- It is possible, however, that Grindelwald meant the word as "kinsman", and that Aurelius is a close relative of Albus, possibly the son of Albus' aunt Honoria, though if speaking more euphemistically "cousin" would be both accurate and more generally applicable.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay (First appearance)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
- LEGO Dimensions
- The Archive of Magic: The Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 105 sets the ship voyage to be in 1901, although Credence's adoption certificate gives the date 9 November, 1904 (see this image)
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
- ↑ It was confirmed by the directors, as well by Ezra Miller and JK Rowling herself that Credence is indeed Aurelius Dumbledore, the lost brother of Albus Dumbledore. Gellert Grindelwald was telling the truth. (see source from SnitchSeeker).
- ↑ In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 120, Grindelwald stated that Credence was a Dumbledore. It's possible when Grindelwald said the word "your brother" that he actually means that Credence is in fact the half-brother of Albus. Credence can't be the child of both Percival and Kendra, if it goes against canon. Kendra died in the summer of 1899, two years before Credence was only a small baby and Percival was imprisoned in Azkaban during that time and later died there, unless new, unknown information about him is to be told.
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 120
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 105
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 109
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 88
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (see this image)
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 38
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 43
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 7
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 25
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 37
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 79
- ↑ 'Fantastic Beasts' Character Descriptions Revealed at EW.com
- ↑ "Everything we've learned about ‘Fantastic Beasts' this week" from Pottermore
- ↑ "Fantastic Beasts: First look at Ezra Miller's mysterious character" at Entertainment Weekly
- ↑ Etymology - Credence
- ↑ House of Names - Barebone Family
- ↑ Etymology - Aurelius
- ↑ "Filming Gets Underway on «Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them»" at BusinessWire
- ↑ "Ezra Miller Eyes ‘Harry Potter’ Spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts’ (EXCLUSIVE)" at Variety.com
- ↑ .@KeridoAvada Kredan is quite literally nobody. They got the name wrong! by J.K. Rowling on Twitter
- ↑ "'Fantastic Beasts' cast talk wands, creatures, Newt & his friends, Salem trials, more" from SnitchSeeker.com
- ↑ See this image.
|Gellert Grindelwald's army|
|Acolytes||Carrow | MacDuff | Nagel | Krafft | Krall (deceased) | Abernathy | Vinda Rosier|
|Followers||Aurelius Dumbledore | Queenie Goldstein | Gunnar Grimmson|
|Headquarters||Unidentified home | Nurmengard|