Credence was revealed at the end of the film to be

Dumbledore's little brother, Aurelius.

We know that Albus Dumbledore was born in 1881, that his mother Kendra Dumbledore died in 1900 and that his father Percival Dumblefore was in Azkaban since the attack on Arianna.

I'm struggling to see how this makes sense. Is it even possible, given what we currently know?

  • 11
    Also, Dumbledore was bloody lucky Rita Skeeter didn't learn about Credence, in Deathly Hallows
    – user35971
    Nov 30, 2018 at 22:25
  • 1
    Not to mention there is no mention of an Aurelius Dumbledore (or any person who could fit such a description) in any of the original series or in the extracanonical material in the online universe created since.
    – TylerH
    Nov 30, 2018 at 22:28
  • 5
    "One may smile, and smile, and be a villain" - it's quite possible and likely that once again, Credence is being manipulated by Grindlewald. VTC as future works as we likely won't know the true truth until the end of the series. The question would be better stated "Credence has been told he is Dumbledore's little brother"
    – NKCampbell
    Nov 30, 2018 at 22:30
  • 5
    THEORY: He isnt. Grindelwald wants dumbledore dead but he can't due to the blood oath. Credence is "the only one" that could remove dumbledore. However... How would you motivate someone who doesn't know dumbledore exists? Convince him he is is brother, convince him he was abandoned to drive hate, back it up with the phoenix myth... Remember the phoenix didn't go to credence, he was brought to him
    – Naib
    Nov 30, 2018 at 22:49
  • 3
    @RDFozz - With an edit, we can bring this on-topic. Not "is this true", but "can this be true?"
    – Valorum
    Nov 30, 2018 at 23:31

4 Answers 4


Update -

It’s not - he’s Dumbledore’s nephew.

In Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore, it’s revealed that Credence is actually Dumbledore’s nephew, and Aberforth’s son. Aberforth had a fling the same summer that Dumbledore met Grindelwald, the woman was sent away but had a child - Credence.

It can’t be - Dumbledore’s parents died too long before his birth.

Dumbledore’s parents both died before they could possibly have another child Credence’s age. When he was hunting Hallows with Grindelwald, the reason that Dumbledore was so interested in the Resurrection Stone was to bring his parents back so he’d be free of responsibility to Ariana.

“And at the heart of our schemes, the Deathly Hallows! How they fascinated him, how they fascinated both of us! The unbeatable wand, the weapon that would lead us to power! The Resurrection Stone – to him, though I pretended not to know it, it meant an army of Inferi! To me, I confess, it meant the return of my parents, and the lifting of all responsibility from my shoulders.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 35 (The Deathly Hallows)

Since he wanted to bring both of his parents back, his father would have already died in Azkaban by then - the Resurrection Stone is said to bring people back from the dead, not free them from Azkaban. If he thought that the Stone would bring back his father, his father would have to be dead. His mother was also dead, because her death was why Albus became responsible for Ariana. She died when Albus was around eighteen - he’d recently graduated and was close to leaving for his traditional post-graduation tour of the world before she’d died.

“When Albus and I left Hogwarts, we intended to take the then traditional tour of the world together, visiting and observing foreign wizards, before pursuing our separate careers. However, tragedy intervened. On the very eve of our trip, Albus’s mother, Kendra, died, leaving Albus the head, and sole breadwinner, of the family. I postponed my departure long enough to pay my respects at Kendra’s funeral, then left for what was now to be a solitary journey. With a younger brother and sister to care for, and little gold left to them, there could no longer be any question of Albus accompanying me.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 2 (In Memoriam)

He was around seventeen when he met Grindelwald, which would be when he sought the Hallows.

“And what ideas they were. Profoundly shocking though Albus Dumbledore’s fans will find it, here are the thoughts of their seventeen-year-old hero, as relayed to his new best friend (a copy of the original letter may be seen on page 463):”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 18 (The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore)

He’d only spent two months planning with Grindelwald, so he wouldn’t have aged much in that time.

“Invincible masters of death, Grindelwald and Dumbledore! Two months of insanity, of cruel dreams, and neglect of the only two members of my family left to me.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 18 (The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore)

Dumbledore’s birth year was stated to be 1881 on his Wizard of the Month card, which was written by J.K. Rowling and featured as part of her old website.

enter image description here

Dumbledore’s parents would have to have both been dead by 1899, since he couldn’t have been more than eighteen when he was hoping to bring them both back with the Resurrection Stone. This would mean neither of them could possibly be Credence’s parent. Credence was able to be confused with another baby, Corvus Lestrange, who was born in 1901, so he’d likely have to have been born around then as well. Dumbledore’s parents would already have been dead then, for sufficiently long that his father couldn’t have conceived Credence before dying, even with another woman, if he somehow escaped from Azkaban, and his mother couldn’t have died while having Credence. They would have been dead around two years before Credence was born, so they wouldn’t have been able to have him even right before dying.


We reenter the story to find LESTRANGE SR. with a new, blond wife.

He remarried not three months after her death. He loved her no more than he had loved you . . . But then . . .

IRMA takes the BABY BOY who has just been born, and passes him to LESTRANGE SR., who is delighted.

. . . his son, Corvus, was born at last. And that man who had never known love was filled with it . . .
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (The Original Screenplay)

In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, it seems that Dumbledore’s birth year is fairly consistent with this - he’s forty-five in 1927. Simply subtracting his age from the year gives 1882, but if his birthday is still yet to come at that time, it may still be 1881. Presuming that the events occurred at the same time in Dumbledore’s lifetime in the movies as in the books, his parents would still be dead too long to have Credence in the movies’ timeline.


Apparating beside a dandyesque forty-five-year-old wizard with graying auburn hair and beard. NEWT hands back his glove.

- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (The Original Screenplay)

So no, it isn’t possible by previously established canon that Credence could be either Dumbledore’s full brother or half brother, since his parents both had died before Credence was born. However, as Valorum says in the comments, JKR has already broken canon for the movies, so this doesn’t mean that it’s not going to be shown as true in the next movies - she may simply ignore the dates that were established for Dumbledore’s family, like she did when she de-aged him down from 150.

Maybe it’s not, we don’t know if what Grindelwald said is true yet.

Credence being Dumbledore’s brother isn’t truly confirmed yet - Grindelwald says he is, but it’s also clear that Grindelwald is willing to lie to people and manipulate them to get them to join him. He caters his approach to each person, like telling Queenie they’ll build a world where she can marry Jacob. He knows Credence is desperate for family, and he’s certainly playing the long con.

So . . . Credence Barebone. Nearly destroyed by the woman who raised him. Yet now he seeks the mother who bore him. He’s desperate for family. He’s desperate for love. He’s the key to our victory.

Well, we know where the boy is, don’t we? Why don’t we grab him and leave!

(to KRALL)
He must come to me freely—and he will.

Grindelwald specifically wants Credence to find out his heritage from him (killing off Irma to ensure it), and he lays out a path for it to happen, so Credence will be led right to him to learn his heritage.

GRINDELWALD returns his gaze to the vision of CREDENCE suspended in the center of the drawing room.

The path has been laid, and he is following it. The trail that will lead him to me, and the strange and glorious truth of who he is.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (The Original Screenplay)

Grindelwald specifically wants Credence to kill Dumbledore, so there’s a clear reason he’d want to make Credence to hate Dumbledore. Portraying him as the brother who abandoned Credence would be a good way to turn him towards Grindelwald and against Dumbledore.

Who represents the greatest threat to our cause?

Albus Dumbledore.

If I asked you now to go to the school where he is hiding and kill him for me, would you do it for me, Krall?
Credence is the only entity alive . . . who can kill him.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (The Original Screenplay)

There’s no reason to presume that Grindelwald is telling the truth yet without further confirmation. Even the phoenix may not be what it seems - Grindelwald is extremely talented in Transfiguration.

5. Why did ‘revelio’ undo the effects of Polyjuice Potion?

It didn’t. Grindelwald’s Transfiguration surpasses that of most wizards, so he used a spell, not a potion, to take on the appearance of Percival Graves.
- Welcome to my new website! (J.K. Rowling’s website)

In addition, Credence only was seen with the chick after he encountered at least one person who was confirmed to be working for Grindelwald - Grimmson, who killed Irma for Grindelwald to further his plan to lure and recruit Credence. He, or another one of Grindelwald’s followers, could have put the chick on or near him for him to find. It could even be a real phoenix - Grindelwald would have known both his own plan to turn Credence to his side against Dumbledore and the legend about the Dumbledore family’s phoenix connection, so could have arranged to get a phoenix, they’re rare but not impossible to find. There’s no reason to think Grindelwald is telling the truth yet. If he really is telling the truth, it’s likely to be confirmed in later movies, but for now it’s early to think Credence is actually Dumbledore’s long-lost brother - he still might not be.

  • 7
    There are some excellent points here. Grindlewald's modus operandi is precisely that, being all things to all people.
    – Valorum
    Nov 30, 2018 at 23:22
  • 5
    You might want to make if a little clearer that JKR has already broken canon for the films so it's possible she's simply going to ignore the dates she's already established for Dumbledore's family. She's already done that once when she de-aged him down from 150.
    – Valorum
    Dec 1, 2018 at 9:08
  • @Valorum Thanks a lot! :) It’s made really clear that Grindelwald does exactly as you say, is all things to all people to gain more followers. How he switches from telling Queenie about loving freely and being able to marry Muggles, telling the people at his rally that Muggles are not lesser, and not telling Vinda Rosier that she won’t see Muggle massacres shows how his spoken ideology changes to suit the person in front of him.
    – Obsidia
    Dec 3, 2018 at 16:39

Personally I do not think Grindelwald was lying to Credence as Phoenix confirm that Credence is a Dumbledore. It is possible in several ways.

Credence may be Albus' half-brother

It is true that Dumbledore's parents are known to be dead by the time Credence was born and, as Bellatrix nicely showed in her quote, Albus himself thought they were both dead. But while we can safely accept Kendra was dead for sure as there were witnesses and funerals and all, the only thing we know about Percival Dumbledore is that he died in Azkaban. No details. I mean, same way as we knew Crouch Jr died in Azkaban? Same way as we knew Peter Pettigrew was dead? You see what I mean? It is totally possible in JKR's world that Percival survived and even Albus didn't know that.

He may be Dumbledore's cousin

Cousin is brother in a way, right? And we know from the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them that Dumbledore has an aunt Honoria. It is not clear from what side is she and if she is Dumbledore and if she's even alive. But nevertheless it is a possibility for Albus to have cousins. What goes against this theory is the fact that the woman who was on the ship with Credence in the screenplay reffered to as

Credence's aunt

Not his mother. If Honoria was his mother, who is this new aunt then? How many aunts does Albus have? Though if Credence is son of Percival (see previous theory), then this is the same aunt Honoria we already know about. Which makes sense if she is Percivals' sister helping his child.

His obscurial part may have been related to Dumbledore

First of all there are lots of theories about this out there - none of them are mine. But I think the general idea is valid, so will mention it here.

The idea is that Credence is brother to Dumbledore not by blood, but by his obscurial part. There are theories about his obsurus to be Albus' or Ariana's - severed from their host respectively. It sounds bizarre, but it still seems possible. We know that an obscurus can be separated from it's host and preserved - they show us this in the first movie when Newt owns one. So technically Ariana's obcurus could have been separated from her and preserved. Obscurus is rather complex thing which Dumbledore himself refer to in a pretty weird way:

I know this: an Obscurus grows in the absence of love as a dark twin, an only friend.

As if an obscurus had it's own personality. How come Credence got someone else's obsurus or is he is a personified obscurus himself is not clear. But here is another curios quote by Grindelwald:

Credence is the only entity alive who can kill Dumbledore

"Entity" is a strange choice of words here. May be just a coincidence or refer to the fact that Credence is not a human being.

This theory though does not explain why and how Credence got his name Aurelius Dumbledore (if the surname is not Grindelwald's liberal addition).

  • On the word "entity" -- I might have used it to emphasize that neither any person nor any thing other than Credence could have killed Dumbly, without meaning to imply that Credence was not a person himself. Dec 5, 2018 at 21:11

I don’t think Credence is Albus, Aberforth, or Ariana’s full or half brother. I think he could be a Dumbledore, just from a difference branch of the family. The Harry Potter nerd in me had the math worked out by the time I walked out of the theater. With Credence’s youth and the dates of Dumbledore’s mothers death, his father life imprisonment and obvious death before Kendra’s, then there’s no way he can be there brother. Furthermore, Aberforth loved his younger sister, if he knew he had a brother he’d have made sure to be oarr of their lives. And Dumbledore would have mentioned it in The Dealthy Hallows in Harry’s vision in Kong’s Cross. But the best evidence is the time just doesn’t make sense. I do think Grindelwald tracked down Dumbledore’s Great Grandfathers former Phoenix (Fawkes) to lie to Credence. He might be a Dumbledore but he’s not a sibling of Albus’s, at most he’s a cousin or even more distantly related. Somehow I think Dumbledore helps Credence find his true family, and somehow wins Fawkes loytaly in the process. There just no way he’s the 4th, unknown about til now, Dumbledore sibling unless Kendra and and Percival returned from the dead, conceived him and then died again.

  • 3
    There are some bold statements here. Can you back any of them up with actual evidence?
    – Valorum
    Feb 21, 2019 at 9:18
  • It's also worth noting that book ages don't hold true for the FBs films as we see McGonagall in the flash back so any attempt to reason this that way is going to fail.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Feb 21, 2019 at 9:21

I'm pretty sure he isn't a Dumbledore since we already established that both Dumbledores' parents have already been dead by the time he was conceived, and we don't know of any other Dumbledores.

I'm guessing Grindelwald only told Credence he was a Dumbledore to manipulate him into doing his dirty work for him and killing Dumbledore, since he can't do that himself because of the blood curse. Why did the phoenix come to them? Because Grindelwald has Dumbledore's blood with him because he's carrying that blood curse.

  • At what point did the phoenix come? Because at the point when the phoenix bursts into flame, Newt Scamander's Niffler had already gotten the blood pact from Grindlewald.
    – Zev Spitz
    Jan 29, 2020 at 14:40

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