- "Hear my words and heed my warning and laugh if you dare: witches live among us!"
- —Mary Lou's belief in the existence of witches[src]
Mary Lou Barebone (d. 7 December, 1926) was an American No-Maj who lived in the 20th century. She was born into the Barebone family, a family that descended from one of the Scourers who evaded justice in the late 17th century by integrating into No-Maj society.
Mary Lou was marked by a profound belief in the existence of magic and an equally deep hatred of it. She was the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, also known as the Second Salemers, an extremist group whose goal was to expose and eradicate witchcraft in the United States. She had three adopted children: Chastity, Modesty, and Credence.
Mary Lou died on 7 December, 1926 at the hands of Credence's unleashed Obscurus. She was violently flung against the rafters in the chapel of the Second Salem Church and fell dead with formidable marks covering her face.
- Porpentina Goldstein: "His name's Credence. His mother beats him. She beats all those kids she's adopted, but she seems to hate him the most."
- Newt Scamander: "And she was the No-Maj you attacked?"
- — Tina explaining the reason for her recent demotion[src]
Mary Lou Barebone was born into the Barebone family, which was a family that descended from one of the Scourers who evaded justice in the late 17th century by integrating into No-Maj society. The Barebones were infamous for their profound belief in magic and their equally deep hatred of it.
At some point, Mary Lou became the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, an American No-Maj anti-witchcraft group located in New York. By December of 1926, Mary Lou had three adopted children, named Chastity, Credence and Modesty. Credence was given to her by the half-human/elf Irma Dugard, who saw necessary to have Credence raised by Mary Lou, likely unaware of Mary Lou's disciplinary and abusive attitude.
- "Something is stalking our city! Reaping destruction and then disappearing without a trace!"
- —Mary Lou regarding the bizarre happenings within New York[src]
On the steps of the Steen National Bank on 6 December 1926, Mary Lou, along with her children, preached to the public in a rally supporting the New Salem Philanthropic Society. After she praised the marvellous man-made inventions of New York, she insisted that the public heed her warnings of the presence of a mysterious force that's wreaking havoc in the city, and she implored the audience to join the Second Salemers in the fight against wizardkind. From the group of spectators, and unaware that he was a wizard, Mary Lou spoke directly to Newt Scamander, asking if he was a seeker of truth, before he ran into the bank.
Langdon Shaw, a believer in magic, brought Mary Lou and her children to his father, Henry Shaw Senior's, office in an attempt to garnish the support of his newspaper company and his elder son's reelection platform. The meeting escalated quickly as Henry Shaw Junior called her son Credence a freak. Understanding that the Shaw family was not going to support the Second Salemers, Mary Lou politely bid them a good-bye.
- "As she moves, an almighty force explodes into her: A bestial, screeching, dark mass that consumes her. Her scream is bloodcurdling as the force throws her backward, striking a wooden beam, flinging her over the balcony. Mary Lou smashes down onto the floor of the main church, her body lifeless, her face bearing the same scars seen on the face of Senator Shaw."
- —Mary Lou is killed by Credence's Obscurus[src]
The next day, Mary Lou's son Credence found a seemingly real wand under her daughter Modesty's bed. As soon as the girl arrived to protest that it was just a toy, Mary Lou entered and was appalled to see what her son was holding. As Credence removed his belt so she could punish him, Mary Lou snapped the wand in half and Modesty confessed saying the wand was hers. But Mary Lou assumed it was his. The belt suddenly flung out of Mary Lou's grasp, injuring her hand, and as she went to pick it back up again, it again magically flew away. After she turned to confront her children, Mary Lou was attacked by Credence's Obscurus. She was flung against the rafters of the chapel and fell dead with formidable marks covering her face.
In 1927, while speaking to his allies about Credence, Gellert Grindelwald bitterly remarked that Mary Lou, the woman who raised Credence, was nearly the same one who destroyed him. Sometime afterwards, when Credence met Irma Dugard, she explained to him why she left him in Barebone's charge, reiterating that it was necessary.
Mary Lou Barebone was described as a handsome mid-western woman who wore 1920s versions of Puritanical dresses. She had brown hair in a styled bob haircut with blue eyes. She always carried a charismatic and earnest disposition.
Personality and traits
Mary Lou Barebone was a fanatical bigot against the magical community, and would raise her adopted children to hate witchcraft. Her utter intolerance against them bordered on the pathological, as she regularly physically, verbally, and emotionally abused and tormented her adopted children out of paranoia that they too, were witches or wizards (in fact, one of her "children", Credence, actually was magical). Mary Lou was also a sadistic disciplinarian; the slightest infraction of her strict rules by her children would result in abuse.
However, Mary Lou also knew how to speak to a crowd, where she presented herself as composed, well-spoken, and inquisitive in a friendly manner, such as when she calmly asked Newt Scamander for his opinion on the subject of witches living amongst New York City's people. She also showed an array of good mannerisms and an understanding of defeat as she displayed these qualities to Henry Shaw Jr when he decided not to support the Second Salemers.
Behind the scenes
- Mary Lou Barebone is portrayed by English actress Samantha Morton in the film inspired by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
- Mary Lou seemed to be the non-magical American counterpart of British pure-blood supremacists such as the Death Eaters or Dolores Umbridge. While Voldemort's followers and Umbridge felt that the Muggles as well as the Muggle-born wizards must be wiped out or separated from the Wizarding world or subjugated, Mary's ideology was the polar opposite because she felt that Wizardkind must be destroyed to save the world as a whole.
- 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 (Mentioned only)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Mentioned only)
- Wizarding World
- LEGO Dimensions
- The Archive of Magic: The Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Notes and references
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay
- "Everything we've learned about ‘Fantastic Beasts' this week" from Pottermore
- We have the full @EW #FantasticBeasts spread! (pages 4-8)
- 'Fantastic Beasts' cast talk wands, creatures, Newt & his friends, Salem trials, more" from SnitchSeeker.com
- "Fantastic Beasts: First look at Ezra Miller's mysterious character" at Entertainment Weekly
- 'Fantastic Beasts' Character Descriptions Revealed - Mary Lou
- 'Fantastic Beasts' Character Descriptions Revealed - Credence
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 7
- "Filming Gets Underway on «Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them»" at BusinessWire