Did Credence Die at the End of Fantastic Beasts 3?

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In the Fantastic Beasts movie series, one of the main characters introduced as early as the first movie is Credence Barebone, who was one of the antagonists of the first film (albeit a conflicted one). He has since been with the movie series and is one of the important characters in the third movie, The Secrets of Dumbledore. However, his ending in that movie is a bit too ambiguous. So, did Credence die at the end of Fantastic Beasts 3?

It is suggested that Credence did indeed die at the end of The Secrets of Dumbledore. That is because his life was getting drained as a result of being an Obscurial. Dumbledore confirmed this when his phoenix was always with him, as Albus had a similar experience with his sister Ariana.

Credence wasn’t supposed to live that long because Obscurials can only live up to ten years old. That means that it was impressive that he lived long enough to reach his young adult years, but he still ended up getting poisoned by his very nature. As such, let’s look at what we know about Credence’s fate at the end of Fantastic Beasts 3.

Did Credence Die At The End Of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore?

One of the most controversial characters in the entire Fantastic Beasts movie series is Credence Barebone. He is controversial in the sense that his entire story was retconned from the first movie so that he would be able to fit the entire narrative of the Fantastic Beasts story. Nevertheless, the change in his identity was a welcome addition, especially if you’re a fan of the Dumbledore family.

Ever since the first movie, Credence has been one of the main characters of the Fantastic Beasts series, and we saw that in the fact that he was able to play important roles in all three of the movies that have been released so far. And we do know from the second movie that he was in search of his true identity and that he joined Gellert Grindelwald’s side because it was the dark wizard that revealed who he was.

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That said, in the third movie, we did see that Credence wasn’t all that agreeable to the things that Grindelwald was doing and that he actually wanted to go home to his family, the Dumbledores. It was revealed later in the movie that he is the son of Albus’s brother Aberforth, who we met in the original Harry Potter books and movies.

The truth was that Credence wasn’t accepted by the Dumbledore family when he was born, and that’s the reason why he was sent on a ship to America. His real name is actually Aurelius Dumbledore. 

In the final chapter of the movie, Credence was already quite weak and was seemingly dying. However, that didn’t stop him from turning away from Grindelwald to reveal the dark wizard’s plot regarding the Qilin. Out of anger, Grindelwald tried to kill Credence then and there, but the duo of Albus and Aberforth blocked the attack. This led to a stalemated duel between Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald.


Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Ending & Twists Explained

Grindelwald was able to escape capture. However, despite the fact that he wasn’t killed by his former master, Credence was lying on the ground, very weak. His father, Aberforth, was seen carrying him at the end of the movie, as we never saw what happened to him after that. So, did Credence die at the end of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore?

While his ultimate fate was never revealed in the movie, Credence can be presumed to have perished at the end of the film based on the events that were shown. It was never really shown how he died as the film probably wanted to leave Credence’s story open-ended or private so that he could share his final moments with his father. However, he most likely perished.

How Did Credence Die?

As mentioned, Credence most likely died at the end of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, despite the fact that his death was never shown onscreen. However, if he is truly dead, how did he even die?

Credence’s death is tied to his very nature as an Obscurial. Remember that the first movie revolved around Newt trying to find the Obscurial running rampant and causing destruction in New York. At first, they thought that it was a child, but it was actually Credence all along.


How Did Grindelwald Know That Credence Is a Dumbledore?

An Obscurial is a person who has manifested a dark magical parasite called an Obscurus. This happens when a child’s magical abilities are suppressed as the negative emotions and energy form the Obscurus. Due to the fact that Credence was abused as a child, he developed an Obscurus and had become an Obscurial.

The reason why Newt was surprised that Credence was an Obscurial is the fact that an Obscurial doesn’t live past ten years old before the Obscurius kills it. This was also the reason why Grindelwald was able to confirm that Credence is a Dumbledore, as Ariana Dumbledore, the younger sister of Albus and Aberforth, was the only person to have ever lived past ten after becoming an Obscurial. That means that a powerful magical line such as the Dumbledore’s cold survive longer than other people if they become Obscurials.

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That said, even though Credence did indeed survive until he reached his young adult years, the fact of the matter is that the Obscurius was still draining his life energy. As such, he was still dying, albeit at a slower rate compared to other Obscurials.

Dumbledore realized this when he saw Credence’s phoenix following him around. Due to his own experience as the one who took care of Ariana, Albus also saw that Ariana’s phoenix was always around when she was already about to die as a result of being an Obscurial. This is the reason why Albus was able to confirm Credence’s identity as a Dumbledore and that he was nearing his end.

Considering that there is no way to reverse the effects of an Obscurus on the person, there was nothing that Albus or Aberforth could do to save Credence. This is why the film allowed us to see Credence sharing his dying moments with his father.

How Credence Death Fits Harry Potter Canon?

Another reason why there is a good possibility that Credence had died can be tied to the fact that there was no mention of him in any of the Harry Potter books or movies. While Fantastic Beasts was written after Harry Potter despite the fact that it happened decades before, it is important to note that JK Rowling needed to make sure that the Fantastic Beasts movies would fit the Harry Potter canon.

As such, the fact that there was not a single word mentioned about Credence in the Harry Potter storyline fits the possibility that he actually died in Fantastic Beasts. In Harry Potter, Aberforth was even introduced, but he made no mention of having a son. He was more concerned with mentioning Ariana’s story because, to be fair, he probably didn’t have enough time to bond with his son.

That said, Credence dying during the events of Fantastic Beasts fits the entire Harry Potter canon. It might be possible that he survived the events of The Secrets of Dumbledore but died years later. But it is more of a possibility that he died in the third movie due to his nature of being an Obscurial.

Why Didn’t Credence Die At The End Of Fantastic Beasts 1?

We do know that Credence was introduced as the first antagonist of the movie series when he made his debut in the first Fantastic Beasts movie. However, the movie ended with him seemingly dying. So, if that’s the case, how did Credence survive?

It is worth noting that Rowling herself mentioned that an Obscurial could not be killed when it is in its Obscurus form or when it is in its shadowy form. However, the person can be killed when they are in human form.


“You could with justice have believed that Credence had been killed at the end of the first film,” said Rowling. “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.”

Because Credence was seemingly killed while he was an Obscurus, it follows that he survived the events of the first movie. Had he been killed while he was in his human form, the outcome could have been different.

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