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Spoilers ahead for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World is constantly expanding through various mediums including games, amusement parks, and Broadway plays. But Harry Potter's universe is growing most significantly with the Fantastic Beasts franchise. A prequel to the timeline Potterheads know and love, Rowling is personally writing each installment, which are packed with twists and turns.
One character that has had a particularly fascinating arc in the first two movies is Ezra Miller's Credence Barebone. Credence had a massive twist at the end of The Crimes of Grindelwald, but he very nearly perished during the events of the first film. In a companion book for the series, it was explained how/why Credence survived being near obliterated by the American Ministry of Magic, revealing:
You could with justice have believed that Credence had been killed at the end of the first film. But, in fact, as Newt knows, you can't kill an Obscurial when they're in their Obscurus form. You can shatter the Obscurus temporarily, but the person hasn't died.
It all makes sense now. Obscurials are a relatively new addition to the Wizarding World, so the hardcore fandom isn't totally clear on exactly what their powers are. As such, J.K. Rowling has clarified exactly how Credence survived, and eventually ended up joining a magical circus. It's part of being an Obscrurial, with Ezra Miller's magical character an especially powerful and resilient one.
This clarification comes from the book Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: Movie Magic (via Digital Spy) which serves as a companionship to the already beloved franchise. Credence Barebone is the most mystifying and mysterious character from the first two films, and he'd already had quite the arc. With three movies left to go, there's no telling where he'll end up going, and how it'll affect the Wizarding World we know and love from Harry Potter.
Credence's dark power came to light in the first Fantastic Beasts, with the abused young wizard accidentally becoming the film's big villain. After nearly perishing in the film's final moments, Credence eventually popped up in The Crimes of Grindelwald. After surviving he ends up joining the Circus Arcanus, and forming a relationship with Nagini.
But the final moments of The Crimes of Grindelwald ended up having the biggest twist, as the title character revealed that Credence was actually Aurelius Dumbledore, Albus' long lost brother. When the bird Credence was caring for became a phoenix, it seemed to confirm the story. He's presumably got enough power to take down the Hogwarts headmaster, and it looks like a complicated web of stories for J.K. Rowling to draw from.
Fantastic Beast: The Crimes of Grindelwald is still in some theaters now. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.