The wizarding world is in a tizzy over the ending of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and rightly so. The film is full of twists and turns that are meant to keep you guessing until the bitter end. But Iâ€™ve seen the film and the big bombshell reveal that comes in the movieâ€™s final moments got me thinking: what if it isnâ€™t true? What if itâ€™s all an elaborate ruse?But in order to dive into what exactly Iâ€™m talking about, weâ€™re going to head deep into the heart of spoiler country. So if you havenâ€™t seen The Crimes of Grindelwald yet, you might want to find the nearest Portkey and make good your escape so we donâ€™t ruin anything for you.
Are all the spoilerphobes gone?Good.So at the end of the movie, we finally get an answer to the big question that Ezra Millerâ€™s troubled orphan Creedence Barebone has been asking the entire movie: What is my real name? The answer comes courtesy of Johnny Deppâ€™s supremely creepy dark wizard Grindelwald.[brightcove video_id="5968161807001" brightcove_account_id="3653334524001" brightcove_player_id=â€œrJs2ZD8xâ€]Creedence is an Obscurial, a wizard who developed a parasitic force known as an Obscurus by repressing his magical tendencies. When the Obscurus manifests itself during times of great emotional duress, Creedence basically turns into a destructive magical hurricane, destroying everything in his path. The only solution is to try and let love into his heart and being the healing process, which Creedence tries to do by exploring his roots.So who is Creedence, really? When the two are alone together in a mysterious Austrian castle, Grindelwald tells his emotionally unstable ward that his true birth name isâ€¦ Aurelius Dumbledore. Dun dun dun! To really sell this, Grindelwald mentions an old Dumbledore family legend about how in times of need, a phoenix will come to them, and then transforms a gross baby bird heâ€™s holding into a majestic phoenix. He also adds insult to injury by telling Creedence that Albus Dumbledore is trying to kill him and that the only way to secure his legacy and identity is to kill Albus first.But this is all a big, fat lie -- kind of like the way House Points are distributed. And not only that, it is one of the titular crimes of Grindelwald. See, Grindelwald has a problem: Dumbledore is the only wizard as powerful or more powerful than he is. However, as we learn, Grindelwald and Dumbledore made a blood pact with one another, a magical ritual that prevents each one from fighting the other.So how do you stop a wizard more powerful than you that you are magically bound from attacking? With an all-powerful, destructive magical force that hates your target as much as you do. Itâ€™s revealed that the only being capable of killing Dumbledore is Creedence, thanks to his Obscurial nature. So it follows that Grindelwald would do anything in his power to win Creedence over to his side.Grindelwald has proven to be a master manipulator time and time again. Not only does he alter his physical form in order to deceive his marks, but as we see with Queenie and countless pureblood wizards at his weird cemetery rally, he has no qualms about preying on peopleâ€™s insecurities and anxieties to convince them to join his ranks. It stands to reason that Grindelwald would lie to Creedence about his heritage -- the one answer he wants most in this world -- in order to bend the boy to his will.As for the phoenix that appears? Thatâ€™s more of Grindelwaldâ€™s deception and illusory magic at work. Grindelwald and Dumbledore were romantically involved. Dumbledore likely told Grindelwald about the familyâ€™s old legend of a phoenix coming to them in their moment of need. When Grindelwald tells Creedence about this legend as a precursor to the reveal, itâ€™s like drizzling hot fudge on a lies-cream sundae.And by convincing Creedence that not only is he the heir apparent to the Dumbledore family name but that Albus has been keeping it a secret from Creedence and actively wants to murder him, Grindelwald has lied his way into the ultimate weapon against his former paramour. When the truth comes out -- and it will...in like Fantastic Beasts 4 or 5 -- it isnâ€™t going to be pretty. My best guess is that Creedence will ultimately turn his powers on Grindelwald in what is sure to be an incredibly expensive action sequence. But what do you think of this theory? Do you think Grindelwald was telling the truth? Whatâ€™s gonna go down in Fantastic Threests? Let me know in the comments below.
Images: Warner Bros.
Additional reporting by Jesse B. Gill.