Audiences have learned a lot about the Harry Potter universe through the Fantastic Beasts films. One of the biggest revelations came at the end of Crimes of Grindelwald with the revelation that Albus Dumbledore has a long-lost brother.
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Previously, it was believed that this character was just Credence Barebone, a Muggle-raised wizard with incredible powers. Now, the massive twist has fans wondering what else J.K. Rowling has planned for this character, leading to a slew of fan theories regarding the true nature of Ezra Miller’s character.
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Updated on April 6th, 2022 by Stuart Kilmartin: After a rocky production history that included Mads Mikkelsen taking on the role of the villainous Grindelwald from Johnny Depp, and a release date that has moved numerous times over the past few years, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is finally set to hit theaters this April. There’s still time to speculate on theories regarding who Aurelius Dumbledore really is before the truth is finally revealed.
Percival Dumbledore Escaped Prison and Fathered Credence
Out of all the theories out there, this one seems the most feasible. The Death Eaters aren’t the sharpest spirits to guard Azkaban. If Barty Crouch, Jr. and Sirius Black could escape, a wizard who is a Dumbledore could do this as well.
The only problem with Percival being Aurelius Dumbledore’s father is the timeframe. As is continually mentioned, Kendra Dumbledore supposedly died in 1899. If his birth in 1901 is true, then it would seem Percival had relations with another wizard.
Kendra Dumbledore is Aurelius’ Mother
The timeframe of Kendra’s death and the birth of Aurelius Dumbledore are close enough that she can be his true mother. According to various records, including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, she died at the hands of her daughter, Ariana, when Albus was out of the country for summer break.
Being a muggle-born wizard, conception to term would still be nine months. That means someone would have impregnated her the prior fall. Perhaps, after birth, Aurelius was magically protected so he wasn’t dealt the same curse as his “Squib” sister.
Ariana is the Mother of Aurelius Dumbledore
There are two possible internet theories that lead to Ariana being the mother of Aurelius Dumbledore. First, she became pregnant when she was attacked by a group of muggles. Perhaps something more sinister took place at that time. Being 14-years-old during the attack, this seems plausible.
Another theory states that she and Grindelwald became romantically entwined while Albus and Aberforth continued to battle. However, this is a longshot, as she would have had to pair up with Grindelwald long ahead of her death.
Aberforth Knows the True Story
While Magical Beasts builds numerous theories about Aurelius Dumbledore around Albus and Grindelwald, there’s one person who may hold the truth. That’s “middle” brother Aberforth.
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He’s the one who told the story about Albus’ friendship with Grindelwald and the death of their sister to Harry and his compatriots, so why wouldn’t he have the scoop about who Aurelius truly is. Unless someone put a confundus charm on him.
A Time Turner Was Utilized
Here’s another theory that has some legs to it. It seems the timeframe of Aurelius Dumbledore’s birth is in question with the 1899 death of Kendra Dumbledore. What if someone, perhaps Grindelwald, utilized a Time Turner?
A time turner is a method of time travel in the Harry Potter universe that most fans don’t fully understand, and it would be a viable theory of how Aurelius was born. Grindelwald went back in time and had a quick relationship with Kendra Dumbledore between Precival’s imprisonment and her death. This would lead Grindelwald to be Aurelius’ father and maintain the brother status between him and Albus. Don’t worry, we have a headache as well.
Grindelwald Faked His Identity
What would be shocking if this theory came true isn’t so much the lie itself. After all, Grindelwald is a master manipulator and frequent liar. Instead, it could just be shocking that Crimes of Grindelwald ended on a lie.
It’s a weird way to tell a story, to exit a movie on a giant revelation and then take it back later. Still, this is totally in character for the evil wizard, and totally possible with his level of skill. Everything Credence saw to prove his heritage could definitely have been an illusion created by the dark wizard — even though it may have been difficult to pull off.
Au Could Be Related To Voldemort
Fans of Harry Potter already know there’s a good deal of blood shared between its most important families. According to one theory, that’s also the case between the Dumbledores and the evilest wizard of all time.
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The link would be through Aurelius Dumbledore’s mother, although the parentage of Aurelius is still very much subject to doubt. Although, it wouldn’t surprise us if Aurelius is related to some major player in the Harry Potter universe.
Aurelius Dumbledore’s Name Has A Deeper Meaning
Speaking of J.K. Rowling’s favorite connections to make, some fans started speculating as soon as they heard Aurelius Dumbledore’s name. Rowling certainly loves to hide hints about her Harry Potter characters in their names, a prime example being the dog-shapeshifter Sirius Black.
Aurelius could be named after a Roman emperor whose death signaled the end of a 200-year peace, or he could’ve been named after an Arthurian leader with connections to Merlin. Could his death bring about a Great War, or could he be a successor to Grindelwald? Only time will tell.
J.K. Rowling Revealed The Aurelius Dumbledore Twist In 2016
At this point, J.K. Rowling is like a subtle Mark Ruffalo. She makes references to the future of her stories constantly, admittedly in a more discreet way than Bruce Banner. One of those references that makes sense in hindsight is a picture she tweeted out in 2016.
In it, she highlights a book on Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor previously mentioned. This was an obvious nod to the character that fans then knew as Credence Barebone, but could it be even more? If she does decide to incorporate the Emperor’s story into Aurelius’s, was Rowling giving audiences a major Fantastic Beasts spoiler over two years ago? Knowing the woman who hid the truth about Snape in his first-ever lines to Harry Potter, this is most definitely a possibility.
Credence Survives With An Obscurus Because Of the Spanish Flu
One of the things that makes the least sense about Credence/Aurelius is his Obscurus. Most wizards or witches with his condition die before age 10. So how does he survive? Well, one theory posits that it’s because his body developed an immunity to magical diseases.
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The Spanish Flu, the theory states, came from some curse or is the by-product of a magical spell gone awry. This explains its real-life mysterious nature. If young Credence was affected by the disease, could it explain how he manages to stay alive as long as he does? Since J.K. Rowling isn’t shy about working real history into her stories, this is certainly a possibility.
A Relationship With Nagini?
It’s clear that young Credence doesn’t have many people in his life. The mother who raised him was abusive, and his running away to join the circus made it clear he’s cut himself off from his other family. That’s why fans are speculating about a romance with one of the few people he is close to.
Credence/Aurelius and Nagini are both outcasts, and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald wasn’t shy about displaying the two as being close. Could their relationship be more than just a friendship?
Aurelius Is Actually Dumbledore’s Son
Alright, if Aurelius really is Dumbledore’s brother, then there are some clarifications we need about the Harry Potter timeline. Dumbledore’s father was in prison during the time that he would’ve needed to conceive Aurelius, and not long after Percival Dumbledore went to prison, his wife died. So how could this parentage work?
Well, according to this bizarre theory, it didn’t. Aurelius isn’t Dumbledore’s brother at all, but his son. There is no evidence of Dumbledore being in a meaningful relationship with a woman before, but then again, there are plenty of secrets about the character fans still don’t know about. Even a decade after fans saw him perish in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Albus Dumbledore remains one of the most enigmatic characters in the Potterverse.
The Most Powerful Wizard Ever?
At the end of Fantastic Beasts, Grindelwald gives Credence something that he’s never used before: a wand. Dumbledore then channels his magic through it for the first time, resulting in an Apocalyptic level of destruction. It’s destruction on a scale we’ve never seen from one source in the Harry Potter universe, leading some fans to theorize that Aurelius Dumbledore is the most powerful being we’ve seen in that universe yet.
If Grindelwald knows this, it may explain why he places such importance on Credence. A wizard that powerful could do incredible things, such as break a Blood Pact between wizards.
Ariana’s Obscurus Actually Lives Inside Him
In Fantastic Beasts, audiences learn that Credence isn’t the only Obscurial in the Harry Potter universe, as had been established previously. There’s also Dumbledore’s sister, Ariana. An especially tragic theory postulates that, after her heart-breaking death recounted in the Harry Potter series, her Obscurus transferred into another host.
This means that a part of her soul now lives within Credence/Aurelius, which is not just a cool twist but adds to the story of the Harry Potter series. This theory has serious consequences for the Voldemort/Harry Potter story, with Dumbledore recognizing the transference of souls not just from wizarding folklore, but because he’s actually been witness to it.
Dumbledore Lost His Own Obscurus Inside Credence… And Then Sunk The Titanic?
Finally, the real Fox Mulder-level of conspiracy about the long-lost Dumbledore brother. This theory builds off of the idea that Credence is the bearer of someone else’s Obscurus. But instead of Ariana’s, this theory posits that the Obscurus belonged to Albus Dumbledore himself.
The Obscurus comes to life when Dumbledore loses his sister, and it passes out of him and into a vessel he knows is on an ocean liner. Dumbledore, in an effort to take out what he perceives as a world-threatening entity, sinks the ship: The Titanic. A pretty wild theory, but in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, anything is possible
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About The Author
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Grant DeArmitt is a New York City-based writer and lover of all things weird. He enjoys comic books and detective novels, firmly believes in Dracula, and has a special place in his heart for animated comedies. You can follow him on Twitter @GrantDeArmitt.
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