As new details emerge about the Harry Potter not-quite prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, speculations abound that Ezra Miller’s mysterious character could be the new Voldemort. It’s true that the two have a lot in common: He looks a bit like Tom Riddle, with dark hair and killer cheekbones, and both have mommy issues, as his adopted mother Mary Lou Barebone is the leader of the nefarious Second Salemers who aim to expose and kill wizards. Since Credence Barebone — Miller’s character — is adopted and might be a wizard, this would certainly cause friction.
It’s possible, then, that he’d resent muggles (or No-Maj in American vernacular) and become a sort of Voldemort predecessor. Miller is no stranger to playing sociopaths — as we’ve seen in We Need To Talk About Kevin — but it’s far more likely his characterization leans more towards Snape-like: someone who initially seems dubious, is morally questionable, but is ultimately far less black-and-white.
What we know about Credence backs it up: An EW report describes him as “withdrawn” and shy, “but his loneliness also makes him susceptible to the manipulation of Percival Graves (Colin Farrell), who has taken a personal interest in Credence.”
First of all, since Farrell’s character is an auror, the fact that he’s interested in Credence supports the theory that Credence is a wizard. Tough luck being adopted by a wizard-hater, kid.
But more importantly, being susceptible to manipulation sounds far more like Snape than Voldemort. 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.
In *Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” when Harry watches Snape’s memories and sees him trying to apologize for calling her a mudblood, Lily says, “It’s too late. I’ve made excuses for you for years. None of my friends can understand why I even talk to you. You and your precious little Death Eater friends.”
And as we know from The Half Blood Prince, Snape also had a rather complicated relationship with his mother. Regardless of whether Credence is good or evil, then, we know which Potter character he shares the most in common with.
Of course, there are also fan theories flying around that he’s secretly Voldemort’s dad, even though we know Tom Riddle Sr. was a handsome, wealthy muggle who grew up in the idyllic British countryside. Merlin bless the Potterverse fan theories.
Fantastic Beasts hits theaters on November 18th.
Photos via Entertainment Weekly, Getty