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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 Golddtein regarding Credence's family life[src]

Credence Barebone[2] was an American wizard who lived during the 20th century.[3][4] He was the adopted son of Mary Lou Barebone, the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, a No-Maj anti-witchcraft group.[3][4]

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.[5]

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

Credence was born to an unnamed witch prior to being adopted by Mary Lou Barebone, an anti-witchcraft preacher and the fanatic leader of the New Salem Philantropic Society or Second Salemers. This group was an anti-witchcraft group with its roots in the Salem witch trials. Mary Lou considered his mother a "Wicked, unnatural woman", suggesting that she had known her and implying that he may share the same qualities.

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

Before December 1926

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 Salmers. 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."
Gellert Grindelwald argues with Credence to control his Obscurus[src]

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".[6] 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 garnish 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.

The next day, Credence found a wand in Modesty's bedroom. Angered, Mary Lou immediately concludes that it belonged to Credence and snaps the wand in half. As she was preparing to beat him yet again, Modesty speaks up, insisting that it was hers. Suddenly, the belt was thorn from Mary Lou's hand, and then slithered away across the floor before she could touch it. Turning to confront the children, Credence's Obscurus burst free at that moment and killed both Mary Lou and Chastity, and heavily damaging the house.[7]

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 lost control and 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"[8]

Skender's wizarding circus

Somewhere in 1927, Credence met Skender, a russian ringmaster who was the owner of a wizarding circus. 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."[9][10] Credence finally agreed with the strange ringmaster's offer, and boarded a boat with the circus that travels directly to Europe, leaving America.[11]

Physical appearance

Credence Barebone often appeared to be troubled, nervous, or embarrassed.[12][13][14][15]He tends to stands with his head bowed.[16][17]

Personality and Traits

He was described as "troubled" and "mysterious."[3][4] 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.[2]

However, when he was insulted or threatened, his Obscurus form was unleashed, which was triggered by his negative emotions and experiences and acted violently because of it, causing wide-spread 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 talent.

Relationships

Credence Barebone's mother

Credence's adoptive mother Mary Lou Barebone did never attempt to teach Credence about his true magical heritage, as she seems to known that his biological mother was in fact a witch. Credence doesn't remember and had never known his biological mother, as he was adopted on 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]
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Mary Lou Barebone, his 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. Credence shared a closer relationship with Modesty, as she did not possess the same zealous attitude Chastity did in regards to their 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 insulted Credence, 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 bet 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.[18] Barebone is an Anglo-Saxon surname, thought to be taken from the name of an English village, Barbon or Barbourne.[19]

Behind the scenes

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 7 describes Chastity as "adult". As Chastity is a No-maj, she has to be at least 21 to be an adult. Credence, the eldest child, has to be older than 21 for that to be true.(see image)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Fantastic Beasts: First look at Ezra Miller's mysterious character" at Entertainment Weekly
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 'Fantastic Beasts' Character Descriptions Revealed at EW.com
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Everything we've learned about ‘Fantastic Beasts' this week" from Pottermore
  5. Inside the Magic: The Making of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (see image)
  6. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (see this image)
  7. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 88
  8. Credence and Jacob will return in new, as-yet-untitled Fantastic Beasts film at Pottermore
  9. Henry Douthwaite on Twitter
  10. Henry Douthwaite on Twitter
  11. Fantastic Beasts Ending: A Key Scene That Was Cut, And Why on Cinemablend
  12. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 7
  13. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 25
  14. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 37
  15. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 79
  16. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 38
  17. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 43
  18. Etymology - Credence
  19. House of Names - Barebone Family
  20. "Filming Gets Underway on «Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them»" at BusinessWire
  21. "Ezra Miller Eyes ‘Harry Potter’ Spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts’ (EXCLUSIVE)" at Variety.com
  22. .@KeridoAvada Kredan is quite literally nobody. They got the name wrong! by J.K. Rowling on Twitter
  23. 'Fantastic Beasts' cast talk wands, creatures, Newt & his friends, Salem trials, more" from SnitchSeeker.com