WARNING! Contains SPOILERS for Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets.
Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets finally revealed Credence (Ezra Miller) as the long-lost son of Aberforth Dumbledore (Richard Coyle), but his mother may very well be a Gaunt, which makes Credence bond with Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). fantastic beasts connects to Harry Potter series through several related characters, such as Leta (Zoë Kravitz) and Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter), or even Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch). But the Wizarding World has such a complex lore that the 11 films released so far haven’t covered the full breadth of its most prominent families.
the Harry Potter The series introduces the Gaunt family through Tom Marvolo Riddle’s mother, Merope Gaunt. But the Harry Potter the movies only scratch the surface, which JK Rowling‘s books explore in detail. The Gaunt family was one of “Sacred 28” – the only remaining British wizarding families “truly thoroughbred” for centuries (among the most famous, Lestrange, Weasley, Crouch and Ollivander). The Gaunts valued their pure blood (often resorting to inbreeding) as much as their heritage: they were descended from Cadmus Peverell (one of the three brothers in the Deathly Hallows legend) and Salazar Slytherin, which made them Parseltongues. . But Merope Gaunt betrayed the family’s pure-blood obsession when she married Tom Riddle Sr., a Muggle.
While the Harry Potter the movies haven’t spent much time exploring the complex history of the Gaunt family, the fantastic beasts franchise might well. Fantastic Beasts 3 finally sheds light on the mystery of Credence’s identity, as Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) explains to Newt: in 1899, during the same summer that Albus falls in love with Grindelwald, Aberforth also falls in love with a wife of Godric’s Hollow. They had a baby boy together, but the wife was fired and Aberforth was never able to be a father. Aberforth eventually reunites with Aurelius, but his mother’s identity remains unexplored. Here are all the clues that Credence/Aurelius’ mother is indeed a Gaunt, which makes Credence related to Voldemort.
The names ‘Gaunt’ and ‘Barebone’ mean the same thing
JK Rowling rarely picks a random or meaningless name for her characters (“mal foy” means “bad faith” in French, and Remus is one of two twins who was raised by a wolf in Roman mythology). Creed was given to an orphanage as a baby (just like Voldemort) and, in the care of Mary Lou, he was given the surname Barebone. The definition of the word ‘barebone’ is a very thin person whose bones show through the skin, but the definition of ‘skinny’ is not that far off:”thin and haggard, especially from pain, hunger, or ageNeedless to say, Credence fits that description: He’s underweight because he’s in pain, whether it’s from his adoptive mother’s abuse or his futile attempts to find out more about his family. Fantastic Beasts 3 Credence finally finds his father, but it is a moment too late: he is very weak, dying from his Obscurus curse. His constant state of weakness and pain may be a clue that Credence is indeed half-emaciated.
Aberforth having a child with a gaunt could never have a happy ending
The Gaunts are one of 28 pureblood families in the UK, and they’ve been notoriously obsessed with keeping their family that way, according to Pottermore: “They tended to marry their cousins to keep their blood pure.” So it’s likely that Marvolo Gaunt (Voldemort’s grandfather) had several cousins, one of whom could have been a girl who lived in Godric’s Hollow around the turn of the 20th century. But when the Gaunt family learned of her pregnancy with Aberforth (a half-blood), they likely made her leave the Hollow and abandon her, explaining Dumbledore’s line about her being fired. When Marvolo Gaunt discovered that Voldemort’s mother had married Riddle, he lost his will to live; it is likely that Marvolo’s uncle or aunt overreacted similarly to Credence’s mother. However, they could have let her keep the baby, as a combination of Gaunt and Dumbledore meant he would be a very powerful wizard. But it is just as likely that she must have fled, explaining the events of Fantastic Beasts 2.
Harry Potter Canon Confirms There Are Gaunts In America
The Gaunt family tree dates back to the 1600s when Gormlaith Gaunt burned his sister Rionach and her muggle husband William Sayre living in their cottage for betraying the pureblood heritage. She then kept their child (and niece) Isolt Sayre prisoner for 12 years, before Isolt fled to America, married a Muggle, and founded the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She named the school after her family’s cabin and created a safe space for half-blood and Muggle-born wizards. Jumping four centuries into the future, Credence’s mother could have fled to America with her baby, seeking solace from that side of her family. Sure, she would have lost her life on the sinking ship, but Credence reached the New World and potentially had a lot more family to uncover (if the Obscurus hadn’t killed himself first).
Credence has a strong bond with Nagini (like Voldemort)
During Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, while searching for his identity, Credence befriends Nagini (Claudia Kim). Although this was before she assumed permanent snake form (and the role of Voldemort and Horcrux’s most trusted pet), it can be argued that Credence being a Gaunt, and therefore a Parseltongue , brought Nagini closer to him. The Gaunts were proud to be descendants of Salazar Slytherin and did everything – including inbreeding – to ensure they retained this rare ability. Nagini is a Maledictus – this means she was born with this curse and has always been part snake. When she becomes a full snake, it is her bitter and lost state of mind that leads Voldemort to manipulate her into doing his bidding. If Nagini was receptive to Parseltongue in the 1990s, chances are she was receptive to Parseltongue in the 1930s as well – or at least to an oblivious Parseltongue.
The credibility of being a wasted fits the Fantastic Beasts prophecy
Collect all previous clues, put Credence back in the center of Tycho Dodonus Prophecy 20 seems logical. “A cruelly banished son” refers to Credence’s dismissal from Aberforth and the Hollow by the Gaunt family, cruel and obsessed with the purity of their family’s blood. “Girl’s Despair,” in this rendition, Credence’s mother is desperate to lose Aberforth and potentially have to flee her family. It could also be her desperation as the ship sinks and she realizes she is going to lose her life and her child. “Come Back, Great Avenger” is Credence’s attempt to get revenge on Dumbledore, believing Grindelwald’s (Mads Mikkelsen) story that he was betrayed by his family. Finally, he returns to the Dumbledores and takes his revenge on Grindelwald for all his lies and manipulations. The last verse, “With the wings of water,” is a clear allusion to Credence who survived the sinking.
The Gaunt family’s obsession with pureblood eventually led to their downfall, as generations of inbreeding made them increasingly violent and mentally unstable (Harry Potter‘s Voldemort being a tragic example). By the 1920s, when Tom Riddle was born, the Gaunts had lost most of their precious heirlooms and were living in a ramshackle cabin, eventually earning the name JK Rowling chose for them. Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets revealed half of Credence’s family, but the wizarding world is bound to explain the other half as well. Given the many links that fantastic beasts must Harry Potter, it’s not very easy to guess that Voldemort is connected to Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets via Credenza.
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