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The Only Way To Save Fantastic Beasts Is To Retcon Its Stupidest Plot Twist

Fantastic Beasts 2 ends with a shocking revelation that disrupts canon timelines in the Potterverse. Here's how a retcon can save the franchise.


The Fantastic Beasts franchise still has time to retcon its most startling and problematic plot twist. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ends with the revelation, as presented by Gellert Grindelwald himself, that Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) is in fact Aurelius Dumbledore, Albus Dumbledore’s long-lost brother.

This plot twist is shocking, to say the least, especially after it is revealed that Credence does not belong to the lineage of the Lestrange family. Instead, that plot point emerges as an elaborate red herring. However, the presence of Aurelius Dumbledore within the timeline of the Potterverse as a whole drastically disrupts our understanding of the canonical timeline, explored in great detail in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Parts I and II.

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Per Rita Skeeter’s The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, Dumbledore had two younger siblings, namely Aberforth and Ariana, at least as per public knowledge. After Ariana was severely traumatized at the age of 6 by a group of Muggle boys, Dumbledore’s father Percival was sent to Azkaban in 1890 for exacting revenge on the three boys. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it is revealed that Albus’ mother, Kendra, was accidentally killed by Ariana in 1899, naturally placing Credence’s birth before that incident. This is especially problematic, considering that Credence’s official year of birth is listed as 1901, two years after Kendra’s death.

Moreover, if one were to entertain the fact these dates are indeed wrong, and that Kendra had given birth to Aurelius prior to her death in 1899, it would place Credence as 28 years of age (at the very least) during the events of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, which is set in 1926. This does not add up with Credence’s appearance or circumstances, as he's clearly someone who is in his late teens or early twenties.

There is an easy way to fix this glaring timeline error, though. Fantastic Beasts 3 needs to retcon it as one of Grindelwald’s many lies, as he is already known for his penchant for manipulative persuasion and deceptive charisma. Grindelwald’s revelation would make much more sense from a temporal and narrative perspective if it were to be revealed that he was simply lying to Credence to turn him against Dumbledore, while exploiting his innate need to belong and be accepted for who he is. Alternatively, Grindelwald’s revelation could also be a twisted half-truth, making Credence related to someone important in Dumbledore’s lineage, as he does not necessarily have to be born to Kendra in order to be deemed Albus’ brother.

Needless to say, Fantastic Beasts needs to re-evaluate its narrative on multiple fronts, especially now with its re-casting of Grindelwald, which is bound to bring about nuanced changes to the franchise as a whole. While it is also entirely possible that the series is yet to reveal a hidden detail or twist which validates Credence as Aurelius Dumbledore, it has to be something especially compelling, as it usurps everything we know about Harry Potter, if otherwise.