How Dumbledore Saw Through Tom Riddle’s Facade
Before he fully became Voldemort, many who knew Tom Riddle saw him as a bright, kind, and thoughtful student who was simply desperate to prove himself, Dumbledore, who knew Riddle was capable of great cruelty and vindictiveness from an early age, was always wary of the young wizard. Immediately after Riddle graduated, he applied for the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts professor and was turned down, and when he tried a second time, Dumbledore rebuffed him yet again.
Already on his way to becoming Lord Voldemort by the time he asked Dumbledore for a job, he’d already created at least one of his soul-carrying Horcruxes , which can only be crafted by committing murder Tom told Dumbledore that he wanted to pass his storied knowledge onto Hogwarts students, but it was obvious that Dumbledore had some idea of the kind of magic the future Voldemort would end up teaching, and he refused. In that moment, Dumbledore sealed the fate of the entire position: as he later pointed out to Harry, Voldemort jinxed the post, as no Defense Against the Dark Arts professor ever stayed for more than one year after that fateful meeting.
Is Credence Really Who Grindelwald Claims He Is
Crimes biggest twist is saved for its final moments, when Grindelwald reveals Credences supposed true identity. He apparently isnt a random orphan: hes Aurelius Dumbledore, the lost scion of the Dumbledore family and alleged brother to Albus and his siblings, Aberforth and Ariana. That reveal has staggering implications for the Potter world, given that it seems almost impossible that Dumbledore had a secret, lost younger brother, considering the timing.
To briefly recap the history of the Dumbledore family, as detailed in various interludes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: previously established history reveals that Dumbledores father, Percival Dumbledore, was sent to Azkaban sometime around 1890, after attacking three Muggles who traumatized and attacked his six-year-old daughter Ariana. Percival is then said to have lived out the rest of his life in prison, although its unclear how long that was.
That reveal has staggeringimplications for the Potter world if its true
Dumbledores mother, Kendra Dumbledore, took care of Ariana on her own as best she could, even though Ariana was unable to control her magic after her assault. When Ariana was 14, a magical accident or Obscurus outburst caused an explosion that killed Kendra, leaving Albus stuck at home as her caretaker at roughly age 17. That was when Albus met Grindelwald.
Dumbledore’s Life Of Regrets
Aberforth may have been angry at his brother, believing that he never truly cared about what happened to his mother and sister or about the rift between the two siblings, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Beyond eschewing an important Ministry of Magic job and flying relatively under the radar, Dumbledore lived with momentous regrets about his loved ones.
During Sorcerer’s Stone, when Harry discovers the Mirror of Erised a mirror that shows your deepest desire he asks Dumbledore what the elder wizard sees in the mirror, and Dumbledore responds that he sees “socks,” a gift he always wants for Christmas, but Harry gets the feeling that Dumbledore may not have been telling the truth. Later, when the two are trying to procure one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes from a secret cave, Dumbledore drinks a potion to unearth the horrible magical item, screaming to Harry to hurt him rather than “them.” As Harry later tells Aberforth, it was clear that Dumbledore was a haunted man, and the “them” he was crying out for was his lost family.
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This Theory About What Really Happened To Dumbledore’s Sister Will Make Your Head Spin
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As one of the Harry Potter series’ most important characters, Albus Dumbledore’s early life was fraught with tragedy. Over the course of just a handful of years, his sister was attacked, his father was sent to prison, and his mother was killed in an accidental explosion caused by his sister Ariana. And then Ariana died in the crossfire of a duel between Albus, his brother , and Albus’s then-best friend, Gellert Grindelwald.
The real truth of the events that transpired is still widely debated, but one question that’s never been answered is a pretty major one: who actually killed Ariana Dumbledore?
First, some context on the sad story of Ariana Dumbledore. At just 6 years old, she was brutally attacked by three Muggle boys who spotted her doing magic. The event left her mentally unstable and scared to perform magic. Her emotions turned inward, creating what many fans assume to be an Obscurus, which is the bottled-up, dangerous energy of a child with magical powers who isn’t allowed to practice his or her magic. Obscurus were explored in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and there’s justified speculation that Ariana was an Obscurial as a result of her childhood trauma with the Muggles.
If Dumbledore accidentally killed Ariana in the confusion of the duel, the Elder Wand’s allegiance would have then shifted to him.
Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone
In the opening chapter of the first novel of the series, Dumbledore arrives at number four, Privet Drive in Little Whinging, Surrey. When the evil wizard Lord Voldemort kills Harry’s parents before being reduced to a lesser form, Dumbledore decides to place the now-orphaned Harry in the home of Vernon and Petunia Dursley. He knows that Harry will be protected by the special magic caused by his mother’s sacrifice. He reasons that they are the only family he has left with Petunia Evans Dursley being Harry’s aunt, who accepting her nephew into their home. This old magic of binding love renders Voldemort incapable of touching Harry. Dumbledore leaves Harry upon the doorstep of the Dursley home with a letter explaining the situation. He departs with the final phrase, “Good luck, Harry.”
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So What Does That Mean For The Series
The most obvious implication for the rest of the Fantastic Beasts series is thematic. J.K. Rowling loves parallelism, so if the Dumbledore connection is true, then shes likely setting up a bunch of parallels between Credence/Aurelius and Harry himself.
Theyre both orphans, both raised by abusive guardians who were extremely paranoid of witches. Both grew up completely separated from the wizarding world, yet both eventually discovered themselves to belong to extremely prominent magical families with hugely important roles to play in the ongoing struggle between light and dark wizards. Both are extremely powerful wizards in their own right and crucially, both seem to have been scoped out and targeted by dark wizards wanting to exploit them for their own agendas.
Of course, the way their parallel origin stories play out has been quite different for each of them thus far. Credence has been alternately courted and cast aside by Grindelwald, depending on how useful he appears to be. Harry was initially marked for death by Voldemort, and apart from a few moments of tempting him, that pretty much never changed.
However, given that the previously established canonical timeline seems to be rapidly derailing and speeding up, theres just no telling where well land. Only one thing seems certain: What we know of the wizarding world will probably be very different by the end of Fantastic Beasts than when the franchise began.
The Mysterious Life And Death Of Ariana Dumbledore
We have witnessed many acts of evil, mostly at the hands of the Death Eaters and their supporters. But it is striking, given the powerful potential of Dark magic, that the perpetrators of one of the very worst acts of evil seen in wizarding history were a group of ordinary Muggle boys.
The victim of this act was a six-year-old girl, Ariana Dumbledore, the younger sister of brilliant future Hogwarts headmaster Albus and future Hogs Head barman Aberforth.
When my sister was six years old, she was attacked, set upon, by three Muggle boys. Theyd seen her doing magic, spying through the back garden hedge: she was a kid, she couldnt control it, no witch or wizard can at that age. What they saw scared them, I expect. They forced their way through the hedge, and when she couldnt show them the trick, they got a bit carried away trying to stop the little freak doing it.Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The brutal attack on young Ariana left her scarred and damaged, mentally unstable and afraid to perform magic. Her powers turned inwards, which was extremely dangerous. Aberforth described her as mostly sweet, and scared, and harmless, but when she was upset or angry, magic would explode out of her and she would become strange and dangerous.
He is, of course, Gellert Grindelwald, the brilliant wizard who might have earned the title of the most evil wizard of the last hundred years if Voldemort hadnt pipped him to the post a generation later.
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Here Are Some Ways This Zany Plot Twist Might Work Though Again Its A Huge Stretch
Its always possible that Aurelius is Albuss half-brother, and that Albuss mother had an affair with someone we dont know about. But here, again, we run into the age issue. If Albuss mother, Kendra Dumbledore, had a baby out of wedlock after her husbands death, the youngest that kid could be in 1927 is 28.
Thats because its well-known that Albuss mother, Kendra Dumbledore, died in 1899 in a tragic accident caused by her daughter Ariana, whose own magic had been difficult to control since the Muggle attack that left her debilitated and indirectly sent her father to prison. Ariana herself, we should note, later also died tragically in a standoff between Albus, their brother, and Grindelwald.
There are some other ways this twist could be finagled: For instance, Credence could actually be 10 years older than he thinks he is by virtue of a lot of handwavey magic. But thats a lot of trouble to go to in order to explain the timeline discrepancy.
Another possibility is that Kendra Dumbledore didnt actually die in the 1899 accident, that she could have somehow faked her own death, and gone on to have another kid. But that assumes shed be willing to leave her children parentless for some as-yet-unknown reason, and also opens up the question of why shed do that, and what eventually happened to her and how, again, Dumbledore and a horde of gossip columnists never uncovered this information before.
Who Is Ariana Dumbledore
“You know the secret of my sisters ill-health, what those Muggles did, what she became,” says Dumbledore in the books, but what does he mean?
Ariana may only get a mention in the latest movie, but shes actually pretty key to understanding Dumbledore and Grindelwald.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows we learn the entire backstory mainly from Aberforth, the barman at the Hogs Head Pubwho we learn is Albus brother.
In the book, he reveals that Ariana was attacked by three muggle boys when she was young.
At just six years old she was “set upon” by the boys. “Theyd seen her doing magic, spying through the back garden hedge; she was a kid, she couldnt control it, no witch or wizard can at that age. What they say scared them, I expect,” he says.
“They forced their way through the hedge, and when she couldnt show them the trick, they got a bit carried away trying to stop the little freak doing it.”
Aberforth says Ariana was scarred by the whole ordeal and wouldnt use her magic after that.
Aberforth described her as mostly sweet, and scared, and harmless but the magic didnt go away, so it turned inward and it drove her mad. The magic exploded out when she was angry or upset, similarly to Credence.
This wasnt the worst of her torment. Her father, Percival, then attacked the boys for what theyd done and ended up locked up in Azkaban.
Dumbledore and Aberforth were sent off to school and their mother Kendra was left to look after Ariana.
In Deathly Hallows it reads:
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Dumbledore’s More Modest Career Path
In the aftermath of Ariana’s tragic death, Dumbledore’s need for power wholly abated as he later told Harry, he didn’t think he should be trusted with power after his friendship with Grindelwald ruined his family. Turning down repeated offers to take the ultimate seat of power and become Minister for Magic, Dumbledore turned instead to his true love: teaching.;
As one of the most intelligent and learned wizards in history, it makes sense that Dumbledore would want to share his wisdom with young witches and wizards, and he returned to teach both Defense Against the Dark Arts and Transfiguration throughout his early tenure at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As the Transfiguration teacher, Dumbledore encountered a curious young student named Tom Riddle, whom he immediately recognized as a talented yet foreboding presence. Of course, that student would grow up to become Lord Voldemort, Dumbledore’s biggest adversary besides Grindelwald.
Harry Potter And The Half
In the sixth book, Dumbledore fetches Harry from Privet Drive and takes him to persuade Horace Slughorn to rejoin the Hogwarts staff. Harry notices that Dumbledore’s right hand is shrivelled and black. During the school year, Dumbledore teaches Harry of events in Voldemort’s past that he feels are of immense importance. Using the Pensieve, they visit the memories of others, which contain important information about Voldemort’s life and his genocidal rise to power. While using the pensieve, Harry sees a vision of Dumbledore’s first encounter with the young Tom Riddle; Dumbledore had known from the beginning that the boy was dangerous, but believed that Hogwarts would change him.
It is learned that Voldemort created six Horcruxes to gain immortality and that they must all be destroyed before Harry goes after the final piece of Voldemort’s soul in the Dark Lord’s body. Harry also repeatedly warns Dumbledore in most of their lessons that school bully Draco Malfoy is working for Voldemort. Dumbledore refuses to take any action against Draco, and instead tells Harry that he already knows more about what is happening than Harry does.
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What Happens To Nagini
Another one of Crimes canon bombshells is the appearance of Nagini known from the books as Voldemorts giant snake, which swallows victims whole and poisons Arthur Weasley with a nearly fatal bite. But here, shes revealed as a Maledictus, someone suffering from a magical blood curse that will eventually cause her to permanently turn into a snake.
In 1927, though, she seems like a comparatively sympathetic woman, who bonds with Fantastic Beasts living MacGuffin Credence Barebone, becoming his only obvious friend until Grindelwald lures him away. Credence is possessed by a dark destructive force known as an Obscurus, which Grindelwald hopes to use as a weapon against his nemesis, Albus Dumbledore. But the dark wizard leader doesnt seem to have any particular use for Nagini, and she gets left behind. She doesnt have much to do in Crimes at all, besides shouting ineffectual protests as Credence makes poor decisions. Presumably her journey from the woman we know now to one of Voldemorts soul-containing Horcruxes will factor into the next few films.
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
In the fifth book, Dumbledore is demoted from Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, voted out of the Chairmanship of the International Confederation of Wizards, and is almost stripped of his Order of Merlin First Class due to his speeches regarding the return of Voldemort, although it is reported that he is unconcerned as long as he is not taken off the Chocolate Frog cards. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Magic does everything they can to discredit him and Harry mainly through the Daily Prophet. At the beginning of the book, Dumbledore enrages Fudge when he stops by at Harry’s hearing with a witness to ensure that he is not expelled. While Harry feels better when Dumbledore assists him, he becomes annoyed to the point of being angry that the headmaster refuses to speak to or even look at him.
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What Happens To Grindelwald And Dumbledore
As noted last time around, we do already sort of know where this is all heading: in 1945, Dumbledore and Grindelwald reunite, with the two powerful wizards facing off in what Rowling describes in the Harry Potter books as the greatest wizarding duel of all time. But Crimes adds a few new wrinkles to that eventual fight.
Specifically, theres more context about why it takes Dumbledore so long to rouse himself to fight his former friend / lover . Apparently, the two wizards once swore a blood pact against battling against each other, taking the form of a pendant that contains droplets of both their blood. Until that pact is broken Dumbledore suggests at the end of Crimes that its possible, since he ends up with the pendant in hand the wizarding worlds most powerful ally has his hands tied when it comes to confronting the threat.
Crimes adds a few new wrinkles to that eventual fight
We also get more information as to how Grindelwald is getting the Wizarding World on board with his agenda visions of the horrors of the future World War II, something that rings as tone-deaf, given that Grindelwalds movement is expressly designed as an emulation of the Nazi regime.