Grab your plastic wands and throw on your best wizards robes, the wizarding world is coming back! Well, soon anyway. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on the Harry Potter companion book of the same name, is coming to theaters November 18, and I can barely contain my excitement!
Though not a Harry Potter adventure, Fantastic Beasts does focus on another important figure in the wizarding world: Newt Scamander. We've learned a few interesting details about Newt, an aspiring "magizoologist" who travels to America for an important meeting with the Magical Congress of the United States of America.
While Newt Scamander sounds like a very interesting lead, there is another intriguing character hiding in the background of Fantastic Beasts who has recently stepped into the light.
Meet Credence Barebone!
Ezra Miller is currently preparing to connect with the Speed Force in 2018's Flash movie, as part of the DCEU. However, before he dons the red suit for a feature film, we'll be seeing him in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts movie.
Miller's character, Credence Barebone, is shrouded in mystery. An adopted son of Mary Lou Barebone, leader of an anti-magic extremist group, Credence is a shy and soft-spoken individual. His shyness is apparently what causes him to be easily manipulated by Percival Graves, a powerful auror in the American magical community.
But there's nothing mysterious about that description, right? No, what's really mysterious is that reports are saying Credence will be a "notable" character in the Harry Potter universe. This seems to hint that we might have seen Credence somewhere before.
Now, before you start frantically googling his name, I should let you know that Credence Barebone is one of a kind, meaning we definitely haven't seen another character with his unique name in the HP canon before.
This begs the question: Who is he? For all we know, Credence could be anybody. Ezra Miller has been sworn to secrecy about his character, making the true identity and purpose of his character even more intriguing.
So, who is Credence Barebone? Is he just an unimportant character? Or is he really going to be a memorable figure in the history of the wizarding world? After a lot of painstaking research (and by that I mean googling a bunch of different search terms before getting to the right one), I think I might have finally solved the case.
Credence Barebone Is Tom Riddle!
Voldemort wasn't always called Voldemort, because his parents would be just cruel for sticking him with that clearly evil name. Before he was "He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named," old Voldy was named Tom Marvolo Riddle, a name he grew to hate due to its Muggle heritage.
According to the Harry Potter wikia, Tom Marvolo Riddle was born in 1926, the same year that Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is set. If that's the case, there's no way that Credence, who looks to be in his early 20s, could be Voldemort. But that doesn't mean he can't be Tom Riddle.
Tom was named after his father, Tom Riddle, Sr. Tom Riddle, Sr. was born in 1905, and believe it or not, he was a Muggle. That's right, the father to the Dark Lord himself was just a normal human being. Tom Riddle Sr. married his wife, Merope Gaunt, at a young age.
Merope used some sort of love potion or spell to cause Tom to fall in love with her, and together the two conceived a child. Presumably, the two didn't know that their child would eventually become a noseless master of the Dark Arts, hellbent on the destruction of Muggles and mudbloods. It's not exactly something you expect as a parent.
Anyway, on to why I think that Tom Riddle, Sr. and Credence Barebone are one and the same. First off, it helps that we virtually know nothing about Credence Barebone. We don't know where he comes from, or what his purpose is in the film. All we know is that he's adopted — presumably (more on that later).
Fantastic Beasts is set in 1926 and, given the appearance of Barebone and the age of the actor portraying him, it's safe to assume he's in his early 20s at the start of the film. Tom Riddle, Sr. was born in 1905, meaning he'd be 21 years old in 1926, so the ages match up pretty accurately.
But I wouldn't just bring you a mindblowing theory like this with only age numbers to back it up. No sir, when I bring you a crazy theory, I pull out all the stops! After all, age doesn't explain how or why Tom Riddle, Sr. would be in North America with an entirely different name. However, what it would explain is his reaction to his unborn child.
Tom Riddle, Sr.'s Abandonment
Poor Voldy could never catch a break, even in his younger years. His mother died giving birth to him, and his deadbeat father abandoned him before he was even born. But why did Tom Riddle, Sr. walk out on his family?
Well, the only reason he married Merope Gaunt in the first place was because of the love potions she used on him. Eventually, Merope stopped using the potions, hoping that Tom had genuinely fallen in love with her by then.
Unfortunately, she was wrong. Tom Riddle, Sr. immediately ran off after seeing that he not only had a wife he didn't love, but a son he didn't want on the way. According to wizarding world canon, Tom retreated to his parents' house in Little Hangleton, England. But what if that's not exactly the case?
Tom's Trip To America!
Tom and Merope got married sometime in 1925, and Merope became pregnant with Voldemort sometime near April of 1926. Tom was believed to have fled to Little Hangleton at the time, convincing his mother that he left because Merope had tricked him into doing so. In 1943, he and his parents were murdered by Tom Riddle, Jr., his son, in their Little Hangleton home. So we know that he definitely returned to Little Hangleton at some point.
But if you think about it, between 1926 and 1943, that's a whole 17 years of Tom Riddle, Sr.'s life unaccounted for. Who's to say he went straight to Little Hangleton and stayed there? Let's look at why Tom ran away from Merope.
It wasn't just because she tricked him into loving her, he was also disgusted and frightened at the fact that she was a witch. Remember, Tom Riddle, Sr. was a Muggle, so the practice of witchcraft was likely taboo to him. What if Tom traveled to America in an attempt to hide from Merope, afraid that she might one day use her powers to track him down. Going back to the town he met her in would be the easiest way to get caught, but a trip overseas and a quick name change would keep him hidden for a while!
What About Mary Lou?
Minority Report actress Samantha Morton portrays Mary Lou Barebone, a fanatic anti-witch and wizard extremist in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Mary Lou is also the adoptive mother of Credence Barebone.
If Credence has an adoptive mother, how could he possibly hail from the same pureblood family as Voldemort himself? Simple, Mary Lou isn't his adoptive mother, she's his REAL mother. That's right, Mary Lou Barebone is actually Mary Riddle!
But how? And why? Well, remember, Tom Riddle, Sr. goes to his hometown and claims to have been fooled by Merope into loving her. Tom's father was incredibly snobby and wealthy, caring very much about the family's reputation, so it's possible he didn't fully accept his son's apology for leaving. However, Tom Riddle, Sr.'s mother might have been a different story.
Maybe he didn't venture to America to escape Merope's possible wrath alone. Maybe he was joined by his mother, Mary. Mary, whose son had apparently been enslaved by a witch and forced to love her, probably doesn't have much love of her own for magic users.
So what does she do when she and her son reach America? She becomes the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, the organization that hates witches and wizards. After all, it was a witch who took her son away from her, so now she's got a bone to pick with the magical community. She and her son live in the USA for years, until they believe it's safe to go back home. Unfortunately for them, they're soon met by a blast from the past that ends their lives unexpectedly.
So there you have it, my theory for who Credence Barebone really is! He could just be a normal guy, or he could be poor Muggle Tom Riddle, Sr., desperately trying to escape his unwanted family! What do you think?
Thanks For Reading!
Who do you think Credence Barebone is?
(Source: Slash Film)