Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is set to be full of connections to the Harry Potter stories. Not only do you have Johnny Depp as the titular villain and Jude Law as the young Albus Dumbledore, but Claudia Kim is playing a human version of the snake horcrux Nagini. Clearly, creator J.K. Rowling is keen to use these prequel movies to put a fresh spin on familiar characters and elements of the mythology.
Given that, this new theory suggests that another figure from the franchise might not be who they seem. First of all, check out the below featurette for the sequel which sees Rowling and the cast chatting about the film. In particular, the writer makes clear that Ezra Miller’s Credence Barebones is the character that the plot revolves around.
Notice the running theme about Credence not knowing who he is? The Obscurial himself says it and later, Dumbledore comments the same thing to Newt. So, who exactly is Credence then? Well, Bayani Miguel Acebedo of EpicStream has suggested the wild idea that perhaps he’s really an amnesiac Tom Riddle AKA Lord Voldemort.
The big piece of evidence here is Credence’s relationship with Nagini. It looks like the pair will develop a romance but we know that she’ll become cursed as a snake, so that won’t last. But what if Credence keeps her by his side as a pet instead, all through his years as the Dark Lord? Acebedo suggests that perhaps Grindelwald has wiped Riddle’s memories so as to make him easier to control.
It’s a mind-blowing idea, but there are probably just too many loopholes here for it to stand up. For one, the timeline of the two characters doesn’t work out. Riddle was born in 1926 – the very year Grindelwald is set. Even if we factor time travel into the equation, The Half-Blood Prince made clear that Riddle used magic from the age of 11 and was not an Obscurial, a being whose repressed magical ability has turned inward.
Still, anything’s possible in the Wizarding World, so who knows? And like Rowling says in the featurette, “whatever you think you know by the end of the movie might not be the case.”
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters on November 16th, and only then will we get the answers we so desperately seek.