Now that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is in theathers, it's time to start doing what Harry Potter fans do best (well, maybe second-best, right after writing fan fiction): come up with theories. We've all been wondering what HP breadcrumbs J.K. Rowling would put in Fantastic Beasts, and even before the movie was released in theaters, theories about possible connections to the original book series were being tossed around all over the place. On such theory had to do with the mysterious character of Credence. Specifically, the theory proposed that Credence is Voldemort's father, Tom Riddle, Sr. But now that the movie has been released, does that theory have merit?
Not so much. The theory, popularized by Adonis Gonzalez of Movie Pilot, emerged before the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Remember, back then the only things we knew about Credence Barebone, played by Ezra Miller, were that he was a mysterious, broody young man who lived with a foster mother leading an anti-magic group called the Second Salemers. With that in mind, here is the theory: Credence is really Tom Riddle Sr, come to America after abandoning a pregnant Merope Gaunt (Voldemort's witch mother). Fans of Harry Potter will remember that in Voldemort's origin story, his mother, a witch, had used her power to make Tom Riddle, Sr, fall in love with her and marry her. When he realized what had happened, he left her pregnant with their child, who would grow to be Voldemort.
Movie Pilot hypothesizes that after this traumatic experience, Tom Riddle came to New York with his mother, Mary Riddle — now Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton) and kicked off this Second Salmers group. Some years later, Tom Riddle returned to England and his home in Little Hangleton, only to be murdered by his son in 1943. Now, the timeline of this theory sort of makes sense. Tom Riddle, Jr (aka Voldemort), was born in December of 1926, just one month after the events of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. However, after seeing the film, it's clear that Credence is probably not Tom Riddle, and here's why: Magic. Spoilers ahead.
Tom Riddle Sr. is a Muggle — a No-Maj if you prefer. He's not magical in any way. Credence, on the other hand, is definitely not a Muggle. (He's also definitely not British, but that's another story). If you've seen Fantastic Beasts, then you know that Credence is actually an Obscurial — a witch or wizard who has repressed his or her magic so much that it erupts into an Obscurus, an object of dark magic capable of mass destruction and murder. If Credence were Tom Riddle Sr, then he's no muggle, he's a wizard. Furthermore, there's the small fact that Credence may or may not have died at the end of the movie (though, he probably didn't). If Credence were Tom Riddle, he would need to be alive in 1943 so that Voldemort could kill him.
All in all, it doesn't look like there is any evidence to back up the Credence is Voldemort's father theory, but this is Harry Potter. Who knows what magical twists await us?
Images: Warner Bros. Pictures; Giphy (2)