This 'Fantastic Beasts' Theory Can't Hold Up

by Kayleigh Hughes

Now that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has been out for a little while, there are fan theories aplenty about how the series fits into the larger Harry Potter story. One of those theories is that spoiler alert! Ezra Miller's character, Credence, is actually Voldemort's father. This would be an exciting possibility, but looking at what it would take to be true, I have to say that I think Credence can't be Voldemort's father. There's just no way.

Let's walk through it. Basically, this theory has two options: Either Credence is actually Tom Riddle Senior, or Voldemort's father is secretly not Tom Riddle Senior, but actually Credence. It's established in the Harry Potter books that Tom Marvolo Riddle, the wizard who would eventually rename himself as Lord Voldemort, was born Dec. 31, 1926 to a desperate and impoverished young woman named Merope Gaunt who died during childbirth. Fantastic Beasts is also set in 1926, but in New York, which would mean Credence had to have wound up in the small village of Little Hangleton, England where Merope lived, in around March of that year. It's definitely possible, since it looks to be quite cold in New York in Fantastic Beasts, but it's certainly a pretty tight time frame.

So let's say that Credence doesn't die after the Unfortunate Obscurus Incident at the end of Fantastic Beasts, and he does somehow wind up in Little Hangleton where Merope lives. Dumbledore, in the Harry Potter series, has solid evidence that Tom Riddle Sr., the son of the wealthy Muggles who owned most of Little Hangleton, married Merope, then abruptly left her when she was pregnant and claimed that he'd been hoodwinked. Is there a chance that Credence would obliviate everyone in the town and trick them into thinking he was the son of these Muggles? Or, if not that, then a chance that he used polyjuice potion to impersonate Tom? I'm going to say that chance is slim to none. Credence has essentially zero magical training, and those are advanced spells and potions. Also, why would he do that? He's an orphaned, abused teenage wizard who almost died. What would he gain from that?

So, if Credence isn't Tom Riddle Senior, is there a chance that he, regular Credence, is actually the biological father of Voldemort, and that Tom Riddle Senior did not impregnate Merope? Well, you could argue it, but you'd have to ignore a lot. Basically, Merope would have to have been having an affair with Credence while married to Tom Riddle Senior, which she would never do because she was enamored with Tom and used a love potion to get him to marry her. Why would she randomly become interested in Credence? There is also the chance that Credence raped Merope, which would be a really dark direction for the series to go and also doesn't have any narrative payoff.

Additionally, Credence's personality and upbringing does not at all suggest that he would ever abandon his child, especially if it was the child who could have magical abilities. He is fascinated by magic, believes his mother is a witch, and hopes to learn about magic from the man he thinks is Percival Graves. We also learn that he's not a squib and is in fact a very powerful wizard who has been suppressing his magic. Why would he reject Merope and why would he want his child to be abandoned like he was? Sure, maybe he's resentful of the magical community who tried to destroy him instead of help him when he was a dangerous obscurus, so he would want to avoid magical people. But then why would he end up anywhere near Merope anyway?

Finally, on a practical level, why would J.K. Rowling spend so much time building up Voldemort's story, his history and how it influenced his personality, just to change that? Voldemort's half-blood status is a hugely important part of the Harry Potter stories. Why would they dismantle all of that just to provide some new twists? And why would Rowling and crew do the same personality dismantling to Credence, after literally just introducing him in the Fantastic Beasts movie?

All in all, it seems awfully unlikely, and really pretty much impossible, that Credence could in any way be the father of Voldemort. It's a fun theory, but nope.

Images: Warner Bros. Pictures