Is the Prophecy in “Crimes of Grindelwald” Actually About Aberforth Dumbledore?

For years, ever since Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hit theaters, fans have been speculating about the meaning of Tycho Dodonus’s prophecy and who it might be about. Yusuf Kama assumed that the prophecy was about himself and the Lestrange family, but that didn’t add up once Leta Lestrange revealed that her brother did not survive the crossing to America.

Some have theorized the “great avenger” returning “with wings from the water” is Corvus Lestrange, who, in these theories, still lives, while others say the prophecy refers to Albus Dumbledore or even Aurelius. While it makes sense that a Dumbledore could be at the center of the prophecy, given that the next film is titled Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, what if Tycho Dodonus was referring to a family member who doesn’t usually come immediately to mind? What if the “great avenger” is Aberforth Dumbledore?

A son cruelly banished
Despair of the daughter
Return, great avenger
With wings from the water.”

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The first half of the prophecy may still refer to the Lestrange family, while the latter half could be about a Dumbledore. Credence, whoever he ends up being, serves as a connection between the two families. Where the possible mention of Aberforth Dumbledore occurs is in the third line of the prediction: “Return great avenger.”



Aberforth, like Albus, remains haunted by what happened to his sister, Ariana. It stands to reason that the younger Dumbledore brother would want to avenge his sister, and his family, by helping bring down Gellert Grindelwald. It’s an argument strengthened by the fact that, since the trailer’s release, we do have confirmation that Aberforth appears in the third Fantastic Beasts film. How large a role, we don’t know, but he is shown in scenes with Albus and the main characters who are working to stop Grindelwald.

On to the next line of the prediction, it has already been widely theorized that “wings from the water” is a reference to the Dumbledore connection to phoenixes. That, of course, is often an argument made for why Credence/Aurelius really could be a Dumbledore, but in this theory, it is one of the most convincing signs that the words are about Aberforth. Not only does Aberforth have that built-in familial connection to phoenixes, but did you know the name Aberforth means “from the river?” The name Aberforth quite literally means coming from a body of water.

Some fans may argue that the prophecy spoken in Crimes of Grindelwald was a one-off and thinking it comes into play in later films is grasping at straws, but at the end of the trailer for Secrets of Dumbledore, we see a phoenix made of water spray up behind the film’s title text. We have not heard the last about “wings from the water” and we don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’re being introduced to a young Aberforth Dumbledore in the upcoming film.

This theory was introduced on the SpeakBeasty podcast on Episode 141: “More Dumbledores, More Secrets.”


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Amy Hogan

I was 9 years old when I discovered the magic that is “Harry Potter.” I am a proud Hufflepuff and exceedingly good at eating, reading, being sarcastic, and over-thinking small tasks. Since I spent too much time worrying about the correct way to write this bio, this is all I was able to come up with before the deadline.