Theories to Know Before Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Hits Theaters

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As much fun as we had delving into the funny ~reasons~ behind Lord Voldemort’s missing nose last week, it’s time to get serious, guys. After all, the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is heading to theaters in a matter of days — that means a bunch of brand-new fan theories to sift through, 5 years after the last Potter flick hit the big screen!

FULL DISCLOSURE: We’ve already seen the production AND spoke with the cast, including Eddie Redmayne, director David Yates, producer David Heyman and the Queen herself author J.K. Rowling, at the NYC press conference, so we can actually confirm at least one major fan theory is true (and we’re not talking about Johnny Depp being cast as Gellert Grindelwald, which was already confirmed in the media). But, even though we know as much that can be known by movie’s end — ’cause only Jo and the Davids can say what may be coming in the remaining four films — these are still things we need to discuss with all you Potterheads. So, just as we did for Harry Potter, here are the fan theories surrounding Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:

1. Credence Barebone is Voldemort’s dad. As with many of the characters in the upcoming film, Ezra Miller‘s character, Credence, is relatively unknown. He’s not from the Harry Potter books, so, basically, every theory is based off of interviews and clips. And, considering the character’s troubled persona and seemingly mysterious qualities, many question whether or not he’s the father of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

While there are those fanatics who are quick to point out that Tom Riddle Sr. was a handsome, wealthy muggle who grew up in the idyllic British countryside and, you know, has a different name than Credence Barebone, there are some other points to bear in mind:

Adonis Gonzalez, a co-host of the Now Conspiring movie podcast, notes, “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.”

Now, you might be wondering, “If Credence has an adoptive mother, how could he possibly hail from the same pureblood family as Voldemort himself?” The theorist has an answer for that as well. “Simple, Mary Lou isn’t his adoptive mother, she’s his REAL mother. That’s right, Mary Lou Barebone is actually Mary Riddle!” he exclaims. Dun dun dun.

More on this theory here.

2. …or maybe he’s more Snape-like. The Voldemort theories run deep, but arguments could be made that Ezra’s character resembles another Slytherin: Severus Snape.

Entertainment Weekly refers to Credence as “withdrawn, extremely shy and far more vulnerable than his two sisters. Credence is defenseless against the abuse that comes in response to the slightest infraction of Mary Lou’s strict rules. But his loneliness also makes him susceptible to the manipulation of Percival Graves (Colin Farrell), who has taken a personal interest in Credence.”

As one particular theorist notes, “being susceptible to manipulation sounds far more like Snape than Voldemort,” does it not? “The whole reason Snape called Lily a mudblood in his fifth year — effectively ending their friendship; something he regretted until his death — was peer pressure. His friends hated Lily and her kind, and Snape let that get to his head.”

3. Percival Graves is Gellert Grindelwald in disguise. We’ve mentioned that Johnny Depp is tapped to portray Gellert Grindelwald (originated briefly by Jamie Campbell Bower in the OG HP movie franchise) in the Fantastic Beasts sequel, but that doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t portray the character in this flick.

Throughout the movie, Colin Farrell is said to play Percival Graves, the Director of Magical Security at the Magical Congress of the United States of America (a.k.a. MACUSA). In the trailer, you’ll notice that he goes rogue, deserting his station. “We’ve lived in the shadows for too long,” he says in the footage. “I ask all of you: Who does this protect? Us — or them?”

“Graves seems to want the magical community to emerge from the shadows and display its superiority. Doesn’t that sound like pretty much exactly like the M.O. of a certain dark wizard?” MoviePilot questions.

Considering Barty Crouch Jr. spent an entire year at Hogwarts, masquerading as Professor Slughorn, it’s quite possible that Johnny Depp’s face is hiding behind Colin Farrell’s.

4. Aragog came to Hagrid by way of Newt Scamander. While this may not apply directly to the Fantastic Beasts film, it certainly applies to its main character:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters on Friday, November 18.
Can you believe all of these male Harry Potter roles were actually recast?