New “Crimes of Grindelwald” Trailer Reveals… Credence Lestrange?

Today’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald trailer was a thrilling series of brief glimpses at an extremely complex and intriguing plot. We saw Tina reinstated as an Auror for MACUSA, clearly up to something serious and secretive. We saw Jacob returned to Newt’s side, which either means his memory has been restored or he never lost it to begin with. We saw a single brief glimpse of Queenie at the French Ministry of Magic and a single brief glimpse of Leta Lestrange. We saw Newt and Theseus battling an unseen force side by side. We saw Credence Barebone, alive and well and in full control of his powers but not necessarily in control of his temper. Barely a few hours after first watching the trailer, all these details are still making my head spin.

Many of the most important scenes in the trailer were on-screen so briefly that they were easy to miss if you blinked. One such scene featured an unknown man in an underground room studying a wall filled with cramped writing. The name above the man’s head that stands out most clearly is “Lestrange.” To the man’s left, the name Leta Lestrange is prominently displayed. He appears to be gazing upon the Lestrange family tree, though why it is written on a wall in what appears to be a sewer is still unclear.

 

 

But it was SpeakBeasty audio editor Igor who spotted the most intriguing detail in the scene, and quite possibly the most important detail in the whole trailer. To the man’s right is another name. It is partially obscured by his hat, but there is nothing else it could be other than the name Credence Barebone.

 

 

Yes, if we are to interpret that the writing on the wall depicts the Lestrange family tree, then the inevitable conclusion is that Credence Barebone is part of the Lestrange family. Judging by the placement of the picture under which his name appears, he could possibly be Leta Lestrange’s cousin.

We know very little of Credence’s background from the first movie. We know that he is the second adopted child of Mary Lou Barebone and that he is the child she hated and abused the most, according to Tina. We know his sister Modesty was adopted out of a large family and that, according to Credence, she still misses them and talks about them. It is unclear to what extent Credence knows that he is the Obscurial Grindelwald is seeking, but he is aware that he has a destructive magical power. We know that children who become Obscurials are born with magical ability they attempt to suppress. We know that Credence was desperate to join the magical world and that Grindelwald was certain that Credence was a Squib.

 

 

The family tree in the trailer shows that Credence Barebone was born to an unnamed member of the Lestrange family. What if, like Neville Longbottom, Credence was born with magical ability but showed no signs of it in his early childhood? The Lestranges, as a proud pure-blood family and a member of the Sacred Twenty-Eight, would have seen it as a profound shame to have a Squib child. What if his parents sent their young son as far away from their family as possible – to a woman in America named Mary Lou Barebone?

 

 

Mary Lou Barebone knew that Credence’s mother was a witch. What if all her children – including Modesty, with her unusual fascination with magic – were unwanted Squibs from magical families? What if she adopted them in order to, as Vernon Dursley would put it, “stamp out that dangerous nonsense”? Any budding magical ability that was just beginning to show in Credence would have been swiftly stifled by Mary Lou’s horrendous abuse. Credence would have quickly gone from a member of a powerful pure-blood family to the abandoned and traumatized young boy we meet in Fantastic Beasts.

As confirmed by the trailer, since the events of the last movie, Credence has evaded death and escaped to Paris, where he apparently joins a circus of magical outcasts and meets Claudia Kim’s character, a Maledictus. The fact that Credence befriends a fellow outcast from the magical world who is similarly “cursed” seems to indicate that his story in this movie will be one of self-discovery. Are we, along with Credence, about to learn of his true origins? In any case, November 16 cannot arrive soon enough.

Richa Venkatraman

I'm writing from deep within the Harry Potter universe, into which I burrowed long ago with no intention of ever leaving. I enjoy reading, writing, making music, and learning about anything and everything. Now and in the future, like Hermione Granger, "I'm hoping to do some good in the world.