The Ending Of 'Fantastic Beast: The Crimes of Grindelwald' Explained

The newest work from J.K. Rowling has finally reached theaters, and unlike the first movie, we were left with a ton of questions regarding the ending. Most of us went slack-jawed after the incredible revelation at the end made by Grindelwald about Credence’s real identity, and we were shocked to see Queenie joining the bad guys.

Fan theories started developing soon enough, but the other great things about this sequel are that it took us back to our favorite place in the world: Hogwarts. We got to see Albus Dumbledore and even Professor McGonagall during their younger days as teachers of the school. It’s time to learn all about this story and how it connects to the original Harry Potter series.

The identity of Credence

The Crimes of Grindelwald features mainly everyone in the wizarding community looking for Credence Barebone, who went to Paris and friended Nagini to find his true birth mom. Eventually, he gets pulled in by all the rumors revolving around a prediction made by Tycho Dodonus about the Lestrange and how he might be Corvus Lestrange, Leta’s younger brother.

Towards the end of the film, we learn that it was all a red herring to begin with and to lure our main characters into the Grindelwald reunion where he revealed his plan to take over the world. Credence joined him, and the cunning wizard told him that he belongs to a family that sometimes owns a Phoenix, and so Credence’s real name is Aurelius Dumbledore.

Sometime mid-film, the boy found a baby bird and started to take care of him, and Grindelwald revealed it was a Phoenix all along like we saw Dumbledore have until his death in the Harry Potter series. Aurelius is a whole new character, who has destroyed the canon of the story because we only ever knew that Albus had two siblings, Aberforth and Ariana.

However, trusting Grindelwald is not the best course of action. Something odd about his revelation is that he told Credence, “we will go down in history as we remake this world.” Another thing the villain tells the poor, confused boy is that Dumbledore is his enemy and wants to destroy him when we know all along that Albus was helping Newt save him.

Furthermore, in an official featurette for the movie with J.K. Rowling, the author said, “Whatever you think at the end of the movie might not be the case.” All of this has led people to believe that Grindelwald is lying about Credence’s character. Therefore, let us analyze the evidence of this statement a bit further.


Throughout the film, especially in the intro scene, we saw that Grindelwald had a unique ability to convince people to his cause. It was unclear how at first, but further along we saw how Queenie was entirely convinced without any trace of foul play like the Imperius Curse. President Picquery even said that they had to cut his tongue and change his guards several times.

Aside from being a criminal, he is also charismatic. It was too late for MACUSA and the British Ministry of Magic by then because he had already recruited Abernathy, and they changed places using the Polyjuice Potion. Abernathy was the one with his tongue removed, but Grindelwald gave him a new forked one after their big escape.

Later, we see that the Ministry official, Grimmson, was also working on his side, and finally, we witnessed his amazingly persuasive speech during the gathering at the Lestrange tomb in Père Lachaise Cemetery. He made the Aurors look like the villains in this tale, and the muggles, or no-mags, were not to be trusted because World War II was coming.

That is all pretty dangerous for a villain, but it actually seems like Grindelwald is the puppet master all along, or rather, the conductor of an orchestra as Johnny Depp play-acted during the Fiendfyre scene. Grimmson killed the Lestrange family nanny on his orders, which could mean that he was trying to hide something important, and he ordered the Lestrange family tree moved.

His minions took it to the Lestrange mausoleum at Père Lachaise Cemetery, but they could have manipulated something from those documents. Therefore, it is evident that Grindelwald is extremely different from the other villain in this franchise, Voldemort, and director David Yates talked about it, “if you disagreed with Voldemort, he would kill you in an instant.”

“But Grindelwald is incredibly beguiling. He would rather bring people over to his side than annihilate him, and he is smart enough to understand that you have to win hearts and minds, not coerce people, to gain their allegiance.”

All this leads us to believe that there is no way he is telling Credence the truth. He always knew that Credence’s deepest wish was to find who he really is, and he could have planted the Phoenix pigeon near him as Grindelwald always knew where he was staying. However, what could this incredible lie lead to? Is it just to use the Obscurus to defeat Albus Dumbledore?

Why Dumbledore cannot fight against Grindelwald

One of the main questions after seeing the trailer of the movie several months ago was why can’t Dumbledore face Grindelwald himself? Why is Gellert trying so hard to get Credence? During the Mirror of Erised scene, we see Albus reliving his childhood memories, his friendship, and love with Grindelwald, and how they made a blood pact.

This blood pact is safe-kept in the pendant that Gellert has since the opening scene, and he seemed never to lose sight of it. Not much else is revealed about blood pacts except that they are hard to destroy as Albus told Newt during the final after his Niffler stole it from Grindelwald. However, it might be similar to the Unbreakable Vow.

We assume that they cannot fight each other, or else, risk something catastrophic. We know that Albus is one of the greatest wizards in the world, even back in 1927, but we also wonder if he still held hope that he might turn his former friend and lover back to the right side. But, we can also assume that Grindelwald does not really want to fight Albus himself.

This is where Credence comes in. Normally, an Obscurus would have killed his host before the age of ten, and he has managed to survive to adulthood, and when Gellert gives him a wand, we saw how the once shy boy from the orphanage learned to control his significant power. He is Grindelwald’s greatest weapon at the moment.

Credence changing background

The boy has already been given several identities during the course of two films. It makes us wonder more about who he really is because, at the end of the day, everyone ended up focused on him. The next movie in the franchise could reveal something completely different once more, but we hope it is his real identity, and maybe he might be someone hinted at in Harry Potter.

We saw his close friendship with Nagini, who is a Maledictus and another huge revelation discovered in this movie, and we know she ends up with Voldermort once her blood curse is complete. Could he be related to the Dark Lord? We know a lot about his story, so it seems unlikely, but Rowling has a way of surprising everyone.

Did Queenie turn bad?

Another surprising aspect of the movie was Queenie joining Grindelwald’s cause, but it’s not a far-fetched idea. She is not bad; it’s just that Gellert knew how to appeal to her sensibilities and her desires. We saw straight away that she was willing to jinx Jacob in order to marry despite the laws about no fraternizing with muggles.

In a world ruled by wizards instead of humans, they would not have to hide their love necessarily, but we know that Gellert has no regard for the nonmagique. However, fans are also wondering if maybe Gellert had to use something else to persuade Queenie to his side, like something from the enchanted teapot.

Credence being Aurelius does not work time-wise

Aside from breaking the established canon, the dates don’t match up, allowing a fourth Dumbledore in that family. Grindelwald told Credence that Albus was “his brother”, so most fans assume that he is his full brother, and that’s where it gets tricky. Back during the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them promotions, Ezra Miller said that his character was 18.

That means that he was born somewhere around 1907 or 1908, which does not work with the timeline of Albus’ parents. Kendra died in 1899, and his father, Percival had been in Azkaban for years after attacking the muggles that hurt Ariana. However, on the original screenplay of The Crimes of Grindelwald, the author states something else.

The famous shipwreck that happened after Leta changed his brother Corvus with Credence took place in 1901, so he was a baby at the time. It could also mean that maybe Kendra died giving birth to him, instead of dying from Ariana’s loss of control. To achieve this, J.K. Rowling would have had to retcon this timeline and possibly change the original story.

Another example of retconning was the presence of Professor McGonagall at Hogwarts in 1927, but according to Potter information, we know that she was born in 1935. However, there is also the possibility that it wasn’t Minerva, but rather her mother. We will probably find out more in the next film, which cannot come soon enough.

Who do you think Credence really is? Do you believe Grindelwald might be telling the truth for once? All we know is that J.K. Rowling has a plan for this franchise which will feature three more films, and it spans a period of almost 20 years, as she says the final movie will be set in 1945, a significant date for every Potter fan. We would like to know your opinion, so leave a comment down below, and share this article with all your friends that scratched their heads at the theater.

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