I just finished re-reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for the first time since it was released back in 2007. A lot has happened since then, with J.K. Rowling releasing new reading materials on Pottermore and penning a new film series under the #FantasticBeasts banner. The first film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was released in 2016 while it's sequel, #TheCrimesofGrindelwald will hit theaters in November 2018. But does the upcoming movie share a history with the final book in the series?
For those who've never read Deathy Hallows, I'm going to get into some details that were either briefly mentioned in the films or completely glanced over. So I think it's fair to put up a Spoiler Alert as the book may influence the upcoming films and in turn, the theory should it prove to be accurate. Also note that I haven't read any other theories on this, I just finished the novel, came up with the conclusion and immediately started writing this.
The Dumbledores' Past
Young Dumbledore reads like a completely different character than the wise old man we get to see in the films and books. He was ambitious and actively sought out fame and glory. While this was going on though, his youngest sibling, his sister Ariana, was struggling with her magical abilities. Albus wasn't an active participant in his family's affairs and it's safe to say he neglected Ariana. After being tormented and attacked by some Muggles who saw her preforming magic, Ariana began to suppress her powers. The consequences of that resulted in her becoming quite violent and unpredictable.
The way Albus' brother, Aberforth, describes Ariana's condition seems a lot more relevant now that Fantastic Beasts is a film series. He described her condition as a result of her pulling her magic inwards, resulting in bizarre and often violent outbursts as the magic would explode out of her from time to time. It's in one of these episodes that she inadvertently killed her mother.
Does Aberforth's description sound a little familiar? At the time when The Deathly Hallows was first released, the description initially meant nothing to readers other than she was suppressed and suffered for it. But now there's a bigger picture to look at and new terms to apply. While the novel never states it, it seems reasonable to assume that Ariana Dumbledore was in fact an Obscurial, much like #EzraMiller's Credence in the first Fantastic Beasts film.
Newt Scamander, someone with experience in working with people with Obscurus', states that most children who suppress their magic die around ten years old, and that Credence was an unusual anomaly, being alive in his teenage years and being one of the most powerful Obscurus' ever seen.
We know Ariana was accidentally killed during a three way duel when she was fourteen, so if she is indeed an Obscurus, she too was living longer than most recorded cases. Perhaps this is further testament to the sheer power of the Dumbledore lineage?
'The Greater Good'
I just mentioned that Ariana was killed during a three way duel. The participants of that battle were Albus, Aberforth and Gellert Grindelwald, who was Albus' dear friend for some time in their youth. While Ariana was not the cause of the duel, I wouldn't be surprised if Grindelwald knew of her condition and was secretly studying her behavior and power or, even more likely, was told first hand by Albus himself.
This would in turn explain why Grindelwald had such a fascination in tracking down Credence in the first Fantastic Beasts film. With the power of the Obscurus, he would be able to instigate his New World Order that Albus helped model and reveal the Wizarding community to the rest of the world. Yup that's right. If you've never read the books then that's going to come as a bit of a surprise to read as Albus Dumbledore was Grindelwald's partner in crime in his youth and was more than okay with ruling the Muggles.
With a very different Albus Dumbledore being part of The Crimes of Grindelwald and Credence being confirmed to be part of the cast, alive and well I might add, we may just begin to learn more about the Dark Wizard's master plan, why he wants an Obscurus so badly, how it all ties back to the Dumbledore family and his quest for the Deathly Hallows.
Do you think Ariana Dumbledore could be an Obscurial? If so, what role did she play in shaping Grindelwald, if at all?