Theories to Know Before Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Hits Theaters

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As much fun as we had delving into the funny ~reasons~ behind Lord Voldemort’s missing nose last week, it’s time to get serious, guys. After all, the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is heading to theaters in a matter of days — that means a bunch of brand-new fan theories to sift through, 5 years after the last Potter flick hit the big screen!

FULL DISCLOSURE: We’ve already seen the production AND spoke with the cast, including Eddie Redmayne, director David Yates, producer David Heyman and the Queen herself author J.K. Rowling, at the NYC press conference, so we can actually confirm at least one major fan theory is true (and we’re not talking about Johnny Depp being cast as Gellert Grindelwald, which was already confirmed in the media). But, even though we know as much that can be known by movie’s end — ’cause only Jo and the Davids can say what may be coming in the remaining four films — these are still things we need to discuss with all you Potterheads. So, just as we did for Harry Potter, here are the fan theories surrounding Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:

1. Credence Barebone is Voldemort’s dad. As with many of the characters in the upcoming film, Ezra Miller‘s character, Credence, is relatively unknown. He’s not from the Harry Potter books, so, basically, every theory is based off of interviews and clips. And, considering the character’s troubled persona and seemingly mysterious qualities, many question whether or not he’s the father of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

While there are those fanatics who are quick to point out that Tom Riddle Sr. was a handsome, wealthy muggle who grew up in the idyllic British countryside and, you know, has a different name than Credence Barebone, there are some other points to bear in mind:

Adonis Gonzalez, a co-host of the Now Conspiring movie podcast, notes, “Fantastic Beasts is set in 1926 and, given the appearance of Barebone and the age of the actor portraying him, it’s safe to assume he’s in his early 20s at the start of the film. Tom Riddle, Sr. was born in 1905, meaning he’d be 21 years old in 1926, so the ages match up pretty accurately.”

Now, you might be wondering, “If Credence has an adoptive mother, how could he possibly hail from the same pureblood family as Voldemort himself?” The theorist has an answer for that as well. “Simple, Mary Lou isn’t his adoptive mother, she’s his REAL mother. That’s right, Mary Lou Barebone is actually Mary Riddle!” he exclaims. Dun dun dun.

More on this theory here.

2. …or maybe he’s more Snape-like. The Voldemort theories run deep, but arguments could be made that Ezra’s character resembles another Slytherin: Severus Snape.

Entertainment Weekly refers to Credence as “withdrawn, extremely shy and far more vulnerable than his two sisters. Credence is defenseless against the abuse that comes in response to the slightest infraction of Mary Lou’s strict rules. But his loneliness also makes him susceptible to the manipulation of Percival Graves (Colin Farrell), who has taken a personal interest in Credence.”

As one particular theorist notes, “being susceptible to manipulation sounds far more like Snape than Voldemort,” does it not? “The whole reason Snape called Lily a mudblood in his fifth year — effectively ending their friendship; something he regretted until his death — was peer pressure. His friends hated Lily and her kind, and Snape let that get to his head.”

3. Percival Graves is Gellert Grindelwald in disguise. We’ve mentioned that Johnny Depp is tapped to portray Gellert Grindelwald (originated briefly by Jamie Campbell Bower in the OG HP movie franchise) in the Fantastic Beasts sequel, but that doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t portray the character in this flick.

Throughout the movie, Colin Farrell is said to play Percival Graves, the Director of Magical Security at the Magical Congress of the United States of America (a.k.a. MACUSA). In the trailer, you’ll notice that he goes rogue, deserting his station. “We’ve lived in the shadows for too long,” he says in the footage. “I ask all of you: Who does this protect? Us — or them?”

“Graves seems to want the magical community to emerge from the shadows and display its superiority. Doesn’t that sound like pretty much exactly like the M.O. of a certain dark wizard?” MoviePilot questions.

Considering Barty Crouch Jr. spent an entire year at Hogwarts, masquerading as Professor Slughorn, it’s quite possible that Johnny Depp’s face is hiding behind Colin Farrell’s.

4. Aragog came to Hagrid by way of Newt Scamander. While this may not apply directly to the Fantastic Beasts film, it certainly applies to its main character:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters on Friday, November 18.
Can you believe all of these male Harry Potter roles were actually recast?

Albus Dumbledore

Irish actor Richard Harris originated the role of the Headmaster of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and then reprised it in Chamber of Secrets. Sadly, he passed away from Hodgkin's Disease in 2002, vacating the position.

From Prisoner of Azkaban onward, Michael Gambon held the honor.

Photo: Warner Bros.


A bunch of actors portrayed Tom Riddle, but most were in flashback sequences. In terms of the modern-day He Who Must Not Be Named, Richard Bremmer held the title in the first film.

Starting in Goblet of Fire 'til the series' last moments, Ralph Fiennes portrayed the no-nosed villain.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Cedric Diggory

We're sure Robert Pattinson is the only version of Cedric, who was killed in Goblet of Fire, that you know. However, he wasn't actually the first one to appear on screen as the late Triwizard Champion.

In Prisoner of Azkaban, there was a Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. Harry was the Seeker for the former; Cedric was the Seeker for the latter... except it wasn't RPattz; it was an uncredited actor.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Bill Weasley

One of today's most noteworthy rising stars, Domhnall Gleeson, plays the eldest Weasley child in Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Deathly Hallows: Part 2, but if you think back to a very small part of the franchise, you'd know that he wasn't the first William.

In Prisoner of Azkaban, there's one moment in which the entire Weasley clan is depicted on vacation in Egypt. It's in that photograph that you can see a man named Richard Fish, as Bill, waving.

Photo: Warner Bros.


Warwick Davis had three roles throughout the series: the first Gringotts goblin bank teller, Professor Flitwick and Griphook. The first Griphook, however, was not played by the English actor.

Instead, it was played by American actor Verne Troyer, the man famous for playing Dr. Evil's "Mini-Me" in the Austin Powers flicks, in Sorcerer's Stone. Griphook was, however, voiced by Warwick in the OG film. The reason for the later switch is that the producers wanted a completely British cast, so it was bye bye, Mini-Me.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Marcus Flint

According to HP fanatics, Jamie Yeates was the Slytherin Team Captain in the first two films. However, the film's credits tell a different story.

According to IMDb, Will Theakston portrayed Marcus in Film #1 and Jamie portrayed Marcus in Film #2. That's highly debatable, considering Will was the apparent Seeker for the team, leading viewers to say that he was playing Terence Higgs, but credits are credits.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Elphias Doge

In Order of the Phoenix, Peter Cartwright served as the Order member, helping to escort Harry to 12 Grimmauld Place. Come Deathly Hallows: Part 1, it was David Ryall (may he rest in peace) who appeared on screen.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Ernie Macmillan

The Hufflepuff House student, originally portrayed by Louis Doyle, first appeared in Chamber of Secrets and returned 3 years later in Goblet of Fire. But for the short while he appeared in Deathly Hallows: Part 2, he was portrayed by a guy named Jamie Marks 'cause why not?

Photo: Warner Bros.

Mr. Granger

When Hermione glances over at her parents in the book shop in Chamber of Secrets, a man named Tom Knight portrayed her dad. But when she took away his memories of her in Deathly Hallows: Part 1, a man named Ian Kelly portrayed the character instead.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Tom the Innkeeper

In the first-ever HP, Tom, portrayed by Derek Deadman, was the bartender who said, "Bless my soul, it's Harry Potter." And, if you noticed, he was straight-backed.

In Prisoner of Azkaban, though, the creators changed the game a bit and called in Jim Tavare to play the newer, hunchbacked version of the character.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Walden Macnair

Peter Best was one of Voldemort's early Death Eaters in Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix. However, a Death Eater portrayed by Granville Saxton in Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Part 2 is thought to be the same character due to his similar robes.

Photo: Warner Bros.

You can reach this post’s author, Kaitlin Cubria, on Twitter and Instagram!

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