Major spoilers head for the events of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
J.K. Rowling's magical world of Harry Potter has enthralled audiences for decades, and is showing no signs of slowing down. The author has been expanding the Wizarding World since Harry defeated Voldemort in The Deathly Hallows, through the Pottermore website, as well as new writing projects. Chief among them is the Fantastic Beasts franchise, which serves as a five film prologue to Harry's years in Hogwarts.
Since there are no books to take inspiration from, moviegoing audiences were completely surprised by the events of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The ending was a serious WTF moment, as Ezra Miller's Credence Barebone was revealed to be the brother of Jude Law's Albus Dumbledore. And Miller had a typically colorful reaction, saying:
Despite being privy to production and a direct line of communication to J.K. Rowling, Ezra Miller doesn't know everything the future has for his character Credence aka Aurelius Dumbledore. He's got plenty of questions, which will likely only be answered with the next three movies. And security will likely remain very tight-- even for the actor himself.
While there were a ton of fan theories leading up to the events of The Crimes of Grindelwald, none of them made Ezra Miller's mysterious and conflicted young wizard as a direct relative to Albus Dumbledore. Potterheads thought they already knew about the Dumbledore siblings, as Aberforth and Ariana both factored into the narrative of the Harry Potter franchise. But it turns out there was another sibling, which may explain some of Albus' character traits and decisions we never understood.
Previously, Albus Dumbledore's childhood had been characterized as idyllic-- at least until Ariana's tragedy changed everything. But the existence of a fourth Dumbledore child (which seems to have been confirmed through Credence's phoenix), means the great Wizarding family might have more skeletons in their magical closets.
Ezra Miller's shock at Credence's Crimes of Grindelwald twist shows that the actor presumably didn't know about his character's origin during the filming and release of the first Fantastic Beasts film in 2016. Credence was introduced as scared young boy, who had some dark power inside him. Now he's joined Grindelwald's army, and will be honing his magical skills, complete with his very own phoenix. That's already quite an arc.
In his same conversation with EW, Ezra Miller described how much he trusts J.K. Rowling's vision for his character, and the Wizarding World as a whole. He desribes her attention to details and prior planning, saying:
Well he's certainly got a point. The Harry Potter franchise, Cursed Child plays, and the first Fantastic Beasts movie were all rife with plot twists, that seemed almost impossible. But J.K. Rowling has a way of contextualizing scenes and storylines after the fact, which just might happen regarding Ezra Miller's role in the Wizarding World. Credence is already a wild card, and there's three more movies to go.
Ezra Miller's character has been a mysterious presence in the first two Fantastic Beasts movies. In the first film, he was a young orphan being abused by his magic-hating adoptive mother. The combination of suppressing his magical abilities and trauma allowed an Obscurial parasite to take hold of his body, and transform him into a massively destructive force that nearly destroyed New York.
While the Wizarding authorities tried to destroy Credence, just one drop of the Obscurial was left in the conflict, so the young wizard was able to survive his terrifying ordeal, and make it to the Circus Arcanus. It's there that he met Nagini, who is a young wizard who who will eventually become Voldermort's snake and horocrux. Credence once again found himself in the middle of a conflict, and ultimately sided with Johnny Depp's Grindelwald in the final battle.
Credence's blood relation to Albus Dumbledore was just one of many twists in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and it's sure to have major affects on the Wizarding World as a whole. The conflict between Dumbledore and Grindelwald has only just begun, as their unbreakable vow stops them from outright attacking each other. But Credence has the same powerful magical blood, so Grindelwald is no doubt grooming the young character to destroy his newfound brother. Poor Jude Law.
The Crimes of Grindelwald reintroduced Credence as a worker at Circus Arcanus, a sideshow run by a cruel owner. This is also the macguffin used to bring Nagini into the story, played by actress Claudia Kim. And while Harry Potter fans know the dark way Nagini's story will eventually play out, they were surprised to meet a sweet and caring young witch. Furthermore, she decided not to side with Grindelwald's evil cause, instead staying with the good guys and traveling to Hogwarts during in the film's final moments.
Zoe Kravitz' Leta Lestrange was the subject of another huge reveal. In addition to her connection with Harry Potter villainess Bellatrix Lestrange, Leta's backstory was a dark tale that included the death of a young baby. It was a dark moment even for the Harry Potter franchise, and no one could have predicted how the new character would have played out.
It should be fascinating to see how Ezra Miller's Credence/ Aurelius Dumbledore continues to surprise, as the next Fantastic Beasts movies are released. J.K. Rowling clearly has a specific vision, and Miller is all too happy to go for the ride. Even if he doesn't know things in advance.
You can watch Ezra Miller as Credence in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, in theaters now. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.