Friday, February 17, 2017

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Obscurials

WARNING: This discussion post contains spoilers for Harry Potter series and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Read at your own risk. Image from

I absolutely love Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them the film. I you haven't seen the movie, I suggest you see it soon. You can check out my review on the film here. I plan to delve into discussing more about the film in this post. Please do not read further if you do not want to read spoilers about theories and the plot of the film.

The Obscurus poses a lot of questions yet provides many answers. This single entity connects both the Harry Potter world with the 1920s Wizarding World. Credence Barebone has magic running in his veins and his adoptive mother shuns all magic so of course Credence keeps this magic bottled up inside him However, it's not good for a child to bottle up the magic. This repressed energy will explode if the child doesn't learn how control it. The child is often forced to repress their magical talent or face consequences.

Tina Goldstein describes the Obscurus as "an unstable uncontrollable dark force that busts out and attacks, and then vanishes." The Obscurial is the host who developed a dark parasitical magical force through suppression of magic in result of psychological or physical abuse. This young person eventually loses control and awakens the Obscurus who consumes them once they an emotionally mental breaking point. The Obscurus a invisible wind like entity that can morph into a black, fluid-like ink cloud and sometimes has a red core depending on it's power and strength. It's a violent catastrophic fury. This dark mass can cause major destruction, often destroying and killing anything in its path. The more powerful the Obscurial, the more powerful the Obscurus.

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So how does this connect with Harry Potter? Do you remember Ariana Dumbledore? Yes, Albus and Aberforth's younger sister who died at a young age. She was bullied by Muggle boys when they saw her use magic. Soon after she vowed never to use magic again because she became emotionally and magically unstable. Her mother kept her at home, away from the magical community due to her random outbursts. However, after about eight years, she had an outburst that killed her mother. Because she repressed her magical talent, I see this as the first stage of Ariana walking the path of becoming an Obscurial. Ariana ended up dying during a three-way duel with Albus, Aberforth and Gellert Grindelwald.

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It is curious that Grindelwald is involved with Ariana and Credence. Yes, Grindelwald posing as Percival Graves indeed had a great interest in the Obscurus and I believe he started studying more about them after what happened to Ariana. Right when I saw Graves holding the Deathly Hallows, I knew he had to be connected to Grindelwald. Very few people know about the Deathly Hallows and the symbol was well known was Grindelwald's mark.

Usually a child that produces an Obscurus will die before they are ten due to the immense power the Obscurus creates and that they are consumed by their repressed magical powers. However, there are some cases like Ariana and Credence where they are much older and are into their teens. It seems like the older the child is, the more powerful the Obscurus becomes. There is no concrete proof that Ariana is an Obscurial but I pose the theory that she is. Time will let us know whether she is one or not.

So what do you think about Ariana Dumbledore being an Obscurial? Also, do you want to see more theory based discussions about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Harry Potter?


  1. I have a strong sense that Ariana is an obscurial as well

    1. I love all how J.K. Rowling connects everything together. Minor details can add up to major things! Her foreshadowing is impeccable!

  2. I think Ariana is definitely an Obscurial, there are too many parallels and call backs to what we know about her when we hear the description in Fantastic Beasts. And like you said, it would be an interesting way to connect the movie/series to the original Harry Potter series :)

    1. I can't wait to see what J.K Rowling has in stored for us for Fantastic Beasts #2. Hopefully we find out from Dumbledore or another source about Ariana being an Obscurial.