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"His name's Credence. His mother beats him. She beats all those kids she adopted, but she seems to hate him the most."
—Tina Goldstein regarding Credence's family life[src]

Credence Barebone (né Corvus Lestrange[3]) was an American wizard who lived during the 20th century. Born into the Lestrange family, he was the adopted son of Mary Lou Barebone, the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, a No-Maj anti-witchcraft group.

Credence had two adopted sisters, Chastity and Modesty, and lived with them and his adoptive mother. Chastity is stated to be the middle of the three children and since Modesty is clearly younger than her siblings, this would mean that Credence is the eldest of the three.[4]

Credence was an Obscurial, a Witch or Wizard who developed a parasitical force known as an Obscurus through the repression of his or her magic. Credence was the oldest and longest-lived Obscurial known of the Wizarding world. While most Obscurials die before their tenth birthday, Credence lived into adulthood which was previously unheard in Wizardkind and a possible testament of his incredible power as a wizard.

Biography

Early life

"I am not your ma! Your mother was a wicked, unnatural woman!"
—Mary Lou's opinion regarding Credence's birth mother[src]
Credence was born Corvus Lestrange, the son of Corvus Lestrange Snr and his second wife, Clarisse Lestrange née Tremblay.[3] He had an older half-sister, Leta, from his father's first marriage with Laurena Kama.[3]

At some point, Credence's mother died, and he was separated from his birth family.[5][6] He was taken in by Mary Lou Barebone, an American No-Maj woman who led the New Salem Philanthropic Society, a hardline anti-witchcraft group.[5] She renamed him Credence, raising him in New York alongside her two other adopted children, Chastity and Modesty. Mary Lou considered Credence's birth mother a "wicked, unnatural woman", suggesting that she once knew her, and was aware that she was a witch.[5]

Whilst under her care, Credence was physically abused by the deranged woman as to suppress his magical abilities. Mary Lou often uses his own belt that left marks on his hands. Her frequent abuse would cause him to become an Obscurial.

Before December 1926

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Tina Goldstein comforts Credence after attacking Mary Lou

Sometime before December 1926, Porpentina Goldstein, an American Auror of the Magical Congress of the United States of America took to observing the activities of the Second Salemers. During one meeting, Mary Lou used a belt to hit Credence when the witch Porpentina Goldstein rushed forward to his defence. Tina magically assaulted Mary Lou in front of her followers and saved Credence from the beating. The open use of magic in front of a group of Muggles required extensive Obliviation and was a major scandal resulting in Porpentina's demotion to the Wand Permit Office. Credence found himself dreaming of the woman who had saved him from his mother's wrath frequently after this event.

Obscurus manifestation

Gellert Grindelwald: "You can control it, Credence."
Credence Barebone: "But I don't think I want to, Mr Graves."
Grindelwald argues with Credence to control his Obscurus[src]
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Credence handing out leaflets for the New Salem Philanthropic Society

By 1926, Credence was losing control of his Obscurus, and it manifested in outbursts that were wreaking havoc in New York. These disturbances were noted both in the Muggle press such as the "New-York Clarion" and the wizarding press such as "The New York Ghost".[7] During this time, he was contacted by Gellert Grindelwald, in the disguise of Percival Graves, who asked him to help find the obscurial child in the Second Salem Church which he had seen in a vision; in return, Credence was promised to be made free and taught magic.

On 6 December 1926, after a failed attempt by the Second Salemers to garner the support of Henry Shaw Senior and being insulted by his son the senator, Credence's Obscurus manifested and attacked a fund-raising dinner at City Hall, killing the senator.

Credence Modesty toy wand

Credence finds Modesty's toy wand under her bed

The next day, Credence found a wand in Modesty's bedroom. Credence was about to confront Modesty, but was interrupted by the appearance of Mary Lou. Instantly angered, Mary Lou immediately concluded that the wand belonged to Credence and snapped it in half. As she prepared to beat him yet again, Modesty spoke up. She insisted that it was hers and not Credence's. Suddenly, the belt was ripped from Mary Lou's hand and then slithered away across the floor before she could retrieve it. Turning to confront the children, Credence's Obscurus burst free at that moment and killed both Mary Lou and Chastity, causing heavy damage to the house.[8]

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Credence transforms into his Obscurial form

Still in the form of Graves, Grindelwald arrived at the remains of the Second Salem Church and demanded Credence take him to Modesty, who had fled the destruction to her home before she was adopted. Once there, Grindelwald told Credence that he had no further use for him. This betrayal caused Credence to reveal his Obscurus, to the surprise of Grindelwald. Although Grindelwald attempted to apologise and offered to train him, Credence willingly let loose, transformed completely into an Obscurus, and went on a mindless rampage of destruction through New York.

Apparent death

"We see Credence from within the black mass, his face contorted, screaming. The barrage of spells continues and Credence howls in pain... Under this pressure, the Obscurus finally seems to implode — a white ball of magical light taking over from the black mass... All power subsides. Only small pieces of black matter are left — floating through the air like feathers."
—Credence supposedly dies at the hands of MACUSA Aurors[src]
Grindelwald pursued him and the pair were found by Newton Scamander. Newt managed to calm Credence down in a subway tunnel, only for him to start attacking the Dark Wizard before the Magizoologist could gain his attention, though Tina managed to get him to stop once more. Soon after, Seraphina Picquery and Aurors from MACUSA arrived and proceeded to attack him with destructive spells, only stopping when they believed he was destroyed, though a single shred of his Obscurus form fled the scene, unseen to anyone but Newt. Credence had survived his confrontation with MACUSA, to return later in a "mysterious way"[9]

Skender's wizarding circus

Somewhere in 1927, Credence met Skender, a Russian ringmaster who owned the Circus Arcanus. Skender is trying to coerce Credence into joining the circus. When Credence has a moment of hesitation, Skender tells him, if he stays, "they'll kill him."[10][11] Credence finally agreed with the strange ringmaster's offer and boarded a boat with the circus that travels directly to Europe, leaving America.[12]

Physical appearance

Credence Barebone often appeared to be troubled, nervous, or embarrassed.[13][14][15][16]He tends to stands with his head bowed. He had black hair, brown eyes, and pale skin.[17][18]

Personality and Traits

He was described as "troubled" and "mysterious".[19][20] Shy and withdrawn, this made him far more vulnerable to the abuse that came in response to the slightest infraction of his adoptive mother's strict rules. His timid personality also made him susceptible to manipulation by Gellert Grindelwald, who took a personal interest in him.[21]

However, when he was insulted or threatened his Obscurus form was unleashed. His Obscurus form was triggered by his negative emotions and experiences and acted violently because of it. This caused widespread destruction and death to those who provoked him. Namely, he attacked Mary Lou Barebone because of the abuse the latter inflicted on him for so long and Henry Shaw Junior for the way he mocked him.

Magical abilities and skills

  • Obscurus Transformation: Credence was an Obscurial, prone to unleashing or embodying an Obscurus due to years of being forced to suppress his magic. He was notably more powerful than other known obscurials, living longer than any previously known.
  • High Magic Capability: While Credence never developed his magical abilities, his ability to survive for so long, despite being an Obscurial indicated he had an immense amount of latent magical power.

Relationships

Clarisse Tremblay

Credence's adoptive mother Mary Lou Barebone did never attempt to teach Credence about his true magical heritage, as she seems to know that his biological mother was, in-fact a witch. Credence doesn't remember and had never known his biological mother or biological father, as he was adopted at a very young age. Mary Lou tells Credence that his birth mother was a "wicked, unnatural woman." suggesting she had known her and implying that he may share the same qualities.

Mary Lou Barebone

"As if on autopilot, Credence removes his belt. Mary Lou stands and extends her hand, taking the belt. In silence, she turns and walks up the stairs—Credence obediently following."
—Mary Lou punishes Credence for coming home late[src]
MaryLou

Mary Lou Barebone, his abusive adoptive mother

Credence feared his adoptive mother due to years of emotional and physical abuse. She beat him with the intent of teaching him to suppress and be ashamed of his magical traits. By suppressing his magic, he developed an Obscurus. It was noted by Tina Goldstein that out of all Mary Lou's adopted children, Credence was the most hated.

Credence learned over the years to willingly surrender his belt for a beating when he knew he did something wrong. He tended to be passive when it came to the beatings and he learned to take them submissively. Despite living in an environment where magic was shunned, Credence was drawn toward the ideas of wizardry and even entertained the thought of becoming part of the wizarding world. Mary Lou seemed to be aware of Credence's interest in magic and did not hesitate to beat him for it. When Mary Lou was about to attack Credence, he transformed into his Obscurus form and killed her.

Modesty Barebone

"Behind Credence, Modesty’s eyes burn. She clutches Credence’s hand protectively."
—Modesty took Credence's hand after he was insulted by Senator Shaw[src]
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Modesty Barebone, his younger adopted sister

Modesty was kind to her older foster brother and he was close to her as a result. One of the reasons Credence shared a close relationship with Modesty, was because she did not possess the same zealous attitude Chastity did in regards to their adoptive mother's anti-witchcraft stance.

Modesty was young and curious, she shared Credence's secret interest in magic. Because of this shared interest, they trusted each other. When Henry Shaw Junior meanly insulted Credence (calling him a freak), she took his hand to reassure him. Modesty often witnessed the beatings he got from their mother and attempted to comfort him.

Modesty occasionally confided in Credence that she missed the nine brothers and sisters she had before she was adopted. When Credence found the toy wand under Modesty's bed, Mary Lou believed it to be his and beat him, despite Modesty's attempt at convincing her it was hers. This shows that she defended him when he was about to be whipped by their foster mother. After the Obscurus took control of Credence and killed their adoptive family, she became fearful of him.

Gellert Grindelwald

"You’re a Squib, Credence. I could smell it off you the minute I met you... You have magical ancestry, but no power... You’re unteachable. Your mother’s dead. That’s your reward. I’m done with you."
—Gellert Grindelwald coldly dismisses Credence[src]
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Gellert Grindelwald, his former friend

Grindelwald disguised himself as Percival Graves and used Credence to try and locate the Obscurial, whom he believed was Modesty Barebone, promising him entrance into the wizarding world and training to perform magic. To Credence, Grindelwald was his only friend and the only person who truly understood and supported him. He healed his hands and comforted him when he confided in him about his mother's mistreatment.

After the Obscurus attacked Mary Lou, Grindelwald told Credence he had no use for him, calling him a Squib, and pursued Modesty. Because of the emotional strain, Credence lost control over the Obscurus and, after Grindelwald realised it was him, offered his partnership and training in wizardry. Credence was deeply hurt by his manipulation and fled. MACUSA's Aurors chased and attacked him, and when Newt and Tina attempted to calm him and protect him, Grindelwald interrupted them to provoke Credence to cause more destruction in the hopes of achieving a war between magical and non-magical people.

Etymology

Credence is derived from the Latin credere meaning to trust and to believe, and from credentia, meaning belief.[22] Barebone is an Anglo-Saxon surname, thought to be taken from the name of an English village, Barbon or Barbourne.[23]

Behind the scenes

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. Ezra Miller said in an interview that Credence was 18 years old. http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20161110/miller-continues-to-open-and-walk-through-all-kinds-of-entertainment-doors
  2. Both of his parents were wizards. His father was from the Sacred Twenty Eight Lestrange family. The background of his mother's family is unknown.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (see this image)
  4. Inside the Magic: The Making of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (see image)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 88
  6. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 96
  7. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (see this image)
  8. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 88
  9. Credence and Jacob will return in new, as-yet-untitled Fantastic Beasts film at Pottermore
  10. Henry Douthwaite on Twitter
  11. Henry Douthwaite on Twitter
  12. Fantastic Beasts Ending: A Key Scene That Was Cut, And Why on Cinemablend
  13. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 7
  14. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 25
  15. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 37
  16. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 79
  17. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 38
  18. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 43
  19. 'Fantastic Beasts' Character Descriptions Revealed at EW.com
  20. "Everything we've learned about ‘Fantastic Beasts' this week" from Pottermore
  21. "Fantastic Beasts: First look at Ezra Miller's mysterious character" at Entertainment Weekly
  22. Etymology - Credence
  23. House of Names - Barebone Family
  24. "Filming Gets Underway on «Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them»" at BusinessWire
  25. "Ezra Miller Eyes ‘Harry Potter’ Spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts’ (EXCLUSIVE)" at Variety.com
  26. .@KeridoAvada Kredan is quite literally nobody. They got the name wrong! by J.K. Rowling on Twitter
  27. 'Fantastic Beasts' cast talk wands, creatures, Newt & his friends, Salem trials, more" from SnitchSeeker.com