... in which I kill time by the hour ...

Dec 10, 2016

Fantastic Beasts: "Credence Barebone Needs a Hug"

Fantastic Beasts rant starts here. This ain't a spoiler free zone, so shoo! This gonna be long as heck, too, and I don't apologise. Starting with one of two topics I have the most thoughts on...

So, the entire fandom is like "Credence Barebone Needs a Hug". It's an actual tag on AO3 (and tumblr too, it seems). But you know what the real stab to the heart here is? It is true in the literal sense. That boy was in psychological need of not only emotional but physical love - and that's the tragedy of his story and I'm so not over it.

During my second time seeing the film, I compared the Fantastic Beasts script with the actors' portrayal of their roles and I was stunned by their body language. They got across so many details through action and expression alone.. A hefty chunk of my admiration goes to Ezra Miller, who delivered Credence's unspoken words so well that they were tangible!
(Credit: http://crevvt.co.vu/)
At first glance, freedom from his abusive mother and desire to join the Wizarding World seemed the most prominent objectives of his liaison with Percival Graves, but a closer look revealed Credence' subtler but infinitely greater need underlying all that - the need for someone who not only looked on him with affectionate eyes but showed that love physically as well. And effin Graves knew that. He knew it and he staged his every action around Credence accordingly to become that person, that hero, for Credence. Using an abused soul's desperate desire for love and kindness - it was the cruelest manipulation.

You can see it in the way Credence reacts to everything Graves does around him. The way he cautiously lights up whenever he sees his "hero" - look at the GIF below, look how the bone-deep despair and misery he carries everyday lift immediately, look how magnetically he is drawn to Graves - is only the tip of it.
How his face changes when he sees Graves across the street... T_T (Credit: http://crevvt.co.vu/)
What really gives it away, though, is how he responds to Graves' invasion of his personal space every time they meet.

Of course, for Graves it was merely a calculated act of false affection to gain Credence' trust. But can you just imagine how Credence would've perceived it? He had known nothing but pain and fear from his mother, the only adult figure in his life who only ever touched him to punish him. But with Graves, here was a person who not only seemed not repulsed by Credence, but actually initiated intimacy with him and, above all, did not hurt him. Can you imagine how important that must have been to Credence? He tenses reflexively every time Graves draws close, but when Graves doesn't beat him as his mother does, and speaks almost tenderly to him - Credence stays, never backing away. Graves was probably the first person he felt "safe" with.
(Credit to GIF owner)
Credence' need for "a hug" as fandom crudely puts it is even more obvious in the scenes where Graves, impatient for results, resorts to becoming the physically affectionate adult figure Credence never had - and Credence' reactions to that, oh god his reactions are heartbreaking. His awe of magic when Graves heals his bloodied cuts with Graves' own hands is equally matched with his emotional reaction to someone's touch that. is. not. hurting. him. He's never known that before.
This was hard to watch, the pain of Credence' sheer need for physical affection in the face of Graves' cruel manipulation was just downright horrible to watch. (Credit: http://crevvt.co.vu/)
And Credence's reaction when Graves goes all out with cupping his face and forcing an embrace on him - the way he tenses up and then relaxes, how he closes his eyes and finally clings to Graves is even more horrifying in its manipulation, because this scenes takes place directly after another beating by his mother. After that pain, he needed someone to give him love in both words and action, he craved that physical affection so desperately you can see how holds on and leans towards Graves, eyes still closed, when Graves breaks off the hug abruptly.
Immediately after Graves pulls away from the hug where Credence is still leaning towards him, eyes closed, wanting it to last longer ... ohgod T_T (Credit: http://crevvt.co.vu/)
And his plea to Graves "Please help me" after his mother's death - all he needed right then was someone to tell him it wasn't his fault, someone to hold him and make him feel safe.

So when Graves finally dropped the act at the end, when Credence was betrayed by whom he'd thought would give him not only freedom but affection, when he was slapped by the one person he thought would. never. hurt. him - it is little wonder that he completely shattered inside. Credence Barebone was a boy fighting with an Obscurus that was borne of the very abuse he was desperate to escape, and what he desired above all was someone who'd heed his silent cries and show him the kindness he'd never known at Second Salem.

And to think that that could've been his deliverance! He could've controlled the Obscurus with proper and loving guidance. This was hinted at when he calmed down for Newt, and then again Tina, who was the only one aside from Graves that had ever shown him kindness before.
That pivotal moment when he calms down and actually listens to Tina, showing that Newt could've saved him given the time :'( (Credit to GIF owner)
In an ideal world, Newt would've removed the Obscurus and Credence would've never had to go back to Second Salem. There is so much potential here as to how Credence could've had a better life. I can see Newt taking Credence with him, both to help his recovery and also because Newt'd truly care (with an underlying guilt over the Sudanese Obscurial he lost). Or I can even see the Goldsteins taking him in and they'd of course shower him with magic and love (the physical affection mostly courtesy of Queenie, no doubt) and he'd become Credence Goldstein instead, finally experiencing the loving childhood he should've had. (An ideal world would also involve Uncle Jacob teaching him to make pastries and dropping by with baked goodies all the time; but let's not get into that because Jacob Kowalski is another rant)

So "Credence Barebone Needs a Hug"? That's the true tragedy of it right there because that - that. is. literally. what. could. have. saved. him. /cue heartbreak/
Some Colin Farrell & Ezra Miller fluff to make up for all this depressing shit


  1. Ahh, reading this reminded me of why my heart kept going 'my poor, poor, child' basically the entire time Ezra Miller was on screen.

    The ideal world scenes actually makes it hurt more, what if, eh, what if. </3

    That last gif is adorable.

    1. The ideal world part is me trying to avoid writing actual fanfic about it XD

      I also have another Fantastic Beasts rant that I'm saving for after the Blu Ray comes out so I can overanalyse the movie even more. Basically, the second rant is Jacob Kowalski is Bae and Newt Thinks So Too.

    2. I see. XD

      And ooh, I look forward to it, & agree wholeheartedly.

  2. Wow...
    My blog's on wordpress so I can't follow yours but I totally would- this. Is. Amazing. Like painful, but in a good, tug-on-the-heartstrings kind of way. Really beautiful and a pleasure to read. I hope Credence gets a happy ending in the next movies : (

    1. I don't get time to blog much now, so I didn't see your comment until now ^^; (but gosh I SHOULD blog, I totally have another rant on Jacob ♥)

      Thanks I'm glad you enjoyed my emo-rant ahaha but yasss I'm so impatient for the next film, we know Credence is in it and I'm soooo curious about his story.