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If their Obscurus has already developed, can a child be saved by teaching them about magic?

  • No, not yet according to Fantastic Beasts. – Möoz Mar 23 '17 at 7:33
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    @Mooz - I got the opposite impression, actually: that Newt thought he had a good chance of saving the Obscurial he met, and actually succeeding in getting the Obscurus out of her (though not saving her, I think). – Adamant Mar 23 '17 at 7:35
  • @Adamant Yes, but he didn't cure her. So it hasn't happened yet. – Möoz Mar 23 '17 at 19:07
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Mainly, no

As Newt says, no Obscurial (until that point) had been known to live past the age of ten:

NEWT: There’s no documented case of any Obscurial surviving past the age of ten. The one I met in Africa was eight when she—she was eight when she died.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (screenplay)

One presumes that all sorts of remedies were tried, including using magic to try to separate Obscurus and Obscurial, and teaching the Obscurial to control magic. It would seem that all such measures failed.

However…

Odds are that Newt made some major progress toward helping curing Obscurialdom. He was unable to save the Obscurial he met in Sudan, but did succeed in separating her from her Obscurial, which seems a significant step:

NEWT: It’s an Obscurus— (off her look) But it’s not what you think. I managed to separate it from the Sudanese girl as I tried to save her—I wanted to take it home, to study it—

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (screenplay)

In addition, Credence’s existence challenges the conventional wisdom on Obscurials, since Credence lived well past the age of ten (the actor who plays him is 24). This, and Tina’s promising attempts to communicate with him, suggest that all may not be lost when it comes to curing Obscurials, particularly by encouraging them to control their power.

Inside the Obscurus, Credence reaches out to Tina, the only person who has ever done him an uncomplicated kindness. He looks at Tina, desperate and afraid. He has dreamed of her ever since she saved him from a beating.

TINA: I know what that woman did to you . . . I know that you’ve suffered . . . You need to stop this now . . . Newt and I will protect you . . .

Graves is on his feet.

TINA: (pointing to Graves) This man—he is using you.

GRAVES: Don’t listen to her, Credence. I want you to be free. It’s all right.

TINA: (to Credence, calming him) That’s it . . .

The Obscurus is beginning to shrink. Its dreadful face is becoming more human, more like Credence’s own.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (screenplay)

And of course, certainly Grindelwald thinks that he can teach Credence to control his power. That’s what he wants: to get Credence to use his power as a weapon.

3

At least one Obscurial has learned how to control their Obscurus.

In new information released along with several on-set interviews, one of the things that’s been revealed is that...

Credence has learned to control his Obscurus.

This is confirmed in the newly released information about the sequel.

Though things might have looked grim for Credence at the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, viewers had little doubt that the fan favorite, played by Ezra Miller, would be back for the sequel. Having gained control over his Obscurial form, Credence comes to Paris to search for his birth mother and true identity.
- What Brings You to Paris?: Why Your Favorite “Fantastic Beasts” Characters Are in the City of Lights

It’s also shown in the trailer for “Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald”.

.enter image description here

At the end of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, he learns a new way of controlling it.

CREDENCE turns. The power of his Obscurus can at last be channeled. He points the wand at the window and a spell of immense power shatters the glass and breaks apart the mountain opposite.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (The Original Screenplay)

It’s not quite clear what this would mean for other Obscurials, as this one is already known to be an unusual and particularly powerful case, having survived for so long as an Obscurial.

“NEWT
It’s the Second Salem boy. He’s the Obscurial.

TINA
He’s not a child.

NEWT
I know – but I saw him – his power must be so strong – he’s somehow managed to survive. It’s incredible.”
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay p

So, it’s definitely possible to gain control of it, but it’s unclear how likely this is. In addition, we don’t yet know if anything, like being taught magic, will completely cure someone of their Obscurus. So far, we see it’s possible to control it, but we don’t yet see anyone who is completely ‘cured’ of it.

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It’s likely - Dumbledore thinks Obscurials may be saved by love.

In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Dumbledore says that because an Obscurus grows as a dark twin and an only friend in the absence of love, if Credence has a real sibling who can take its place, then it’s possible he might be saved.

DUMBLEDORE
That’s what they’re whispering. Pureblood or not, I know this: An Obscurus grows in the absence of love as a dark twin, an only friend. If Credence has a real brother or sister out there who can take its place, he might yet be saved.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (The Original Screenplay)

So, Dumbledore thinks it’s possible to save an Obscurial by finding them a brother or sister to take the Obscurus’s place. This may mean finding a sibling specifically, or more likely it might mean they’d need to find anyone who could love them to replace it. Though we don’t see any cases of Obscurials being cured this way, Dumbledore tends to be right, so it’s likely he’s right about this too.

  • 1
    Ah well, of course we know that the power of love is a curious thing that can make a one man weep, make another man sing and change a heart to a little white dove. Clearly Huey Lewis was referring to the process of removing an Obscurial. – Valorum Nov 17 '18 at 0:28
  • @Valorum Huey Lewis sure was ahead of his time! – Bellatrix Nov 17 '18 at 0:33

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