I've got a new video up on Credence Barebone's role going forward in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them that I hope you will like. In it, I speculate that we will see a progressive change, or regeneration, in Credence from film to film. A bit like Doctor Who, but hopefully keeping the actor Ezra Miller throughout these transformations.
Please let me know what you think. And I've listed the full transcript below the video.
Also, today and tomorrow only, my publisher is offering FREE Kindle promotion for my fan theory book, Fantastic Secrets Behind Fantastic Beasts. You can get your free copy here: Free Ebook!
Hello. Welcome back to Fantastic Secrets Behind Fantastic Beasts. I’m Susan Şipal.
Who’s your favorite doctor? I’m particularly fond of the ninth and tenth. Or, if you’re not a Doctor Who fan, perhaps you prefer Gandalf the White. But what I’m really curious about at the moment, is what form will Credence take in Fantastic Beasts 2.
I covered many theories like this in my book, Fantastic Secrets Behind Fantastic Beasts, and hope you’ll check it out.
Hey all you Whovians out there – who’s your favorite doctor? Whether you prefer the zany spin of Tom Baker or Peter Capaldi’s maturity, or maybe, like me, you’re anticipating Jodie Whittaker’s fresh take, it’s the ability of the Doctor to regenerate that keeps this series going. This constant evolving also speaks to an important theme of the show – the need of the Doctor to continuously expand his consciousness.
Regeneration or rebirth is a very popular theme across all literature. It’s the apex of the hero’s journey that allows the reader to experience the catharsis of a transformed life within themselves. How literal that rebirth is depends on the nature of the story. In fantasy, a character may pass through the Underworld and return to life. Whereas in comedy, a character may die of embarrassment and live to screw up another day…just a bit wiser.
In Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling had Harry skirt along the edge. He passed through death in King’s Cross to return to do battle at Hogwarts, but she left the reader to decide just how much of it was all in his head.
With Fantastic Beasts, however, I see strong hints that we’re going to get more of a Doctor Who type of regeneration with Credence Barebone.
We all know by now that it’s been confirmed that Ezra Miller will return to his role as Credence Barebone in Fantastic Beasts 2. Most of us knew this when we watched Newt Scamander follow that wisp of escaping Obscurus from the City Hall subway station. Or at least when we heard the interview with producer David Heyman about the ending scene that had been deleted with Credence leaving on a ship.
The filmmakers were very careful to show us in Fantastic Beasts 1 just HOW Credence could come back. At least twice we saw the Obscurus gather back into the form of Credence Barebone, even after a massive explosion. But surely, after that last devastating blast, that small tendril of Credence that remained must somehow be transformed from what he was before.
I explored in my Magical Circus Series where I think Credence might show up in the next film – as part of the Freak Show of the Circus Arcanus. Now I want to explore more what transformation we can expect to see in him personally. How will we recognize the tremendous change that has surely taken place inside? Will he have a change in appearance or personality? Or will he have newfound powers? And how will the filmmakers show this to the audience, considering that it is the same actor?
Pottermore’s recent announcement gave us one key clue that Credence may not reappear exactly as before. The article stated: “Credence will be back in a ‘mysterious’ way.” Mysterious. Does that mean we will not recognize him at first? Or will he not recognize himself?
Perhaps the blow Credence received from Madam Picquery’s Aurors was so devastating that his memory has been altered. And, if so, will Grindelwald use this to his advantage? Perhaps presenting himself to Credence as the one person who stood by him when others abandoned him.
Personally, I anticipate that we’ll get a hint of all of the above. With memory serving as such a key theme throughout the first film, I expect Credence will suffer from some sort of memory lapse as a result of the explosion. I also expect that we’ll see an outward shift in his appearance to reflect the greater inner change he has experienced. And this transformation of character will possibly set a pattern of incremental changes for each film going forward.
Which brings me back to my last video. We explored the ancient idea of metempsychosis, a Greek spin on reincarnation where the soul can transmigrate from animal to human or human to animal. Ancient spiritual groups like the Pythagoreans taught their initiates to unite the four elements within oneself to seek enlightenment. To purify their current life in order to achieve a higher level in their next. And if they can retain their memories of their previous life, they will finally escape the cycle of reincarnation to live divine.
Birds have always provided a symbolic link to the spirit or soul. From the ancient Egyptian concept of the Ba, to the Holy Spirit as a dove in Christianity, the flight of birds well represents this freedom of the soul without the body. Within Fantastic Beasts, we saw lots of bird-like creatures. I can’t imagine a stronger hint at the soul than a dove in the lighted window of a church. But we also have the Occamy and Swooping Evil, and Frank the Thunderbird, who was surely the beastly soul of the film.
For Fantastic Beasts 2, I’ve theorized we will see another bird that relates even more strongly to the soul and regeneration. A Phoenix. David Yates stated in an interview that we would see a new beast of Chinese origin in the next film, and I speculated in my Magical Circus Acts video that Claudia Kim may have a bird act, that this could possibly be a phoenix.
Indeed, I have a theory for the ultimate role of the phoenix at series end which, if I’m right, would be a major spoiler. It’s highly, highly unlikely that I am, because I’m going quite “out on a limb” with this one, but I thought I’d give you a warning before proceeding because some of you have expressed concerns in the comments about being spoiled.
Jo has openly stated in interviews of Fantastic Beasts being about the beast we all have within and the way we make beasts of others. Couple that with my theory of a possible subtext of a graduated metempsychosis based around the number five and human and animal transmigration of souls, and I think we could see a beastly reincarnation at the end of the series.
Could Credence undergo a cycle of regeneration at the end of each film until he eventually attains a level of spiritual enlightenment that the ancients whispered about in their secret rites? Will we see his appearance or personality advance from film to film until he is finally freed of his human form and elevated to immortality at series end?
And who better in the Wizarding World universe to embody this immortality than Fawkes?
Yes, that Fawkes. Dumbledore’s phoenix.
Could Fawkes literally be Credence Barebone’s final regeneration?
I know this is highly unlikely, but let me show you some tantalizing hints.
We all know that phoenixes are reborn, regenerated, from ashes. Harry saw this for himself when he first met Fawkes.
We’ve also already seen Credence exploding into ashes, to survive only as a tendril…”like feathers,” as Rowling states in the scriptbook.
In a prior video, we talked about the explosive nature of Credence’s Obscurus and its links to the Atomic bomb which ended World War II. However, that theory does not contradict this one. Rather it links it to another theory – what Grindelwald meant by “Will we die, just a little?” In that theory, I speculated that Grindelwald and Newt might try to take the Obscurus onto themselves – Grindelwald to better use its powers for his “greater good” purposes, and Newt to save Credence.
Dying just a little. Sounds a bit like reincarnation.
However, if either Newt, or more likely Grindelwald, were to separate Credence from his Obscurus, it could be the catalyst that detonates a massive Obscurus bomb while freeing Credence’s soul to transfigure into the newly born Fawkes.
As Fawkes, Credence would not only be a potent symbol of peace for the ending of the Fantastic Beasts series, but would provide a transformative framing for the historical next. If Fawkes, the bird who linked Voldemort to Harry through their wands, was Credence, his presence and shared feathers would add new depth and meaning to a story we’ve already experienced. Your understanding of Harry Potter would be transformed by the story arc of Fantastic Beasts.
Honestly, I have to say as an author, I think this is such a fabulous idea that if Rowling is not plotting it for her series, I fully plan to do it for two of my own!
But as I mentioned in my last video, I very much believe this Fantastic Beasts story arc will be a team effort. It will take the full power of the four members of the Team, the four elements, to support the fifth, Credence, in the freeing of his soul. And that is why the pentagram is such a powerful symbol for this series.
As I acknowledged, I’m very probably wrong about my Fawkes theory, but I do believe we’ll see a progressive regeneration of Credence throughout the series…whatever his final form may be.
Before I finish, I’d like to point you in the direction of JK Rowling’s Lumos organization, who is having a fundraising effort on Crowdrise. You can both help end the institutionalization of children and reunite them with their families while scoring cool gear for yourself and being entered to win a trip to the London set of Fantastic Beasts 2! Join me in donating. I’ve provided a link in the description below.
What do you think about the possibility of Credence regenerating with each film? Do you think there’s any slim chance he could finally be Fawkes? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Be sure to check the description box below for any links I cited and videos mentioned. And please subscribe for future theories. Also, don’t forget to check out my Fantastic Secrets Behind Fantastic Beasts at Amazon or your local bookseller.