At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. As such, spoilers will be present within the article.
- "You're too good, Newt. You've never met a monster you couldn't love."
- —Leta's opinion of Newt Scamander (and of herself)[src]
Leta Lestrange (1896 - early September 1927) was a pure-blood witch born into the Lestrange family. She attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry between 1908 to 1915. While at school, she developed a close relationship with Newton Scamander. Leta had become the fiancée of Newt's older brother Theseus by 1927.
Leta Lestrange was born at Lestrange Manor in 1896, the only child of Corvus Lestrange IV from his rape of Laurena Kama. The Lestranges were an old pure-blood family, deemed one of the "Sacred Twenty-Eight" by Cantankerus Nott. On her mother's side, Leta is descended from a powerful and wealthy pure-blood family of Senegalese origin.
Corvus had coveted the already happily married Laurena and placed her under an Imperius Curse to draw her away from her husband and son.
Upon learning that the Kama family had sworn an Unbreakable Vow of vengeance upon the one he loved most because of his abduction and rape of their matriarch, Corvus IV sent Irma Dugard, his half-elf family servant, to take Leta and her infant half-brother to America. Bothered by his incessant crying, Leta switched him with another baby in a nearby cabin. When the ship sank, one of the escape boats capsized and her half-brother ostensibly drowned. The baby taken by Leta ended up being raised by an unrelated woman in New York.
- Queenie Goldstein: "That was a real close friendship you had at school."
- Newt Scamander: "Yes, well, neither of us really fitted in at school, so we —"
- — Newt and Leta's unusually close relationship[src]
Leta was severely bullied at Hogwarts due to the gossip about her being an unwanted child and the tragic death of her stepbrother.
She encountered Newton Scamander while searching for a place to hide from her pursuers, whom she had hexed in retaliation for their malicious gossip. Newt and Leta developed a remarkably close bond, spending much time together over the holidays caring for an injured baby raven. Newt was once given a month's detention for being cheeky to Prendergast, so Leta set off a Dungbomb under the professor's desk to get the same punishment too.
Leta attended Professor Albus Dumbledore's Defense Against the Dark Arts class. During one lesson, her boggart transformed into a swaddled infant sinking into deep water.
In 1913, one of Leta's experiments involving a Jarvey went too far, endangering the life of another student. It also violated laws prohibiting the possession of this creature. Rather than see his good friend expelled, Newt took the blame, and was thus sentenced to be expelled from Hogwarts in Leta's place.
- "I don't really know what Leta likes these days because people change."
- —Newt referring his and Leta's falling out[src]
Newt Scamander remained in love with Leta many years after their parting. He kept a framed photograph of her in the work shed inside his magically-expanded suitcase during his travels. In late 1926, while visiting New York, Queenie Goldstein saw the picture, asking Newt about it. She used Legilimency on him, noting that Leta was "a taker" in their relationship.
By 1927, Leta had fallen in love with Newt's older brother, Theseus Scamander. They planned to be married on 6 June 1928, and Newt was invited to be their best man. On 19 March 1927 Leta, alongside with Newt, Theseus and Bunty, participated in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book launch at Flourish and Blotts in Diagon Alley. Spellbound magazine erroneously captioned the photograph from the event, leading to a misunderstanding between Porpentina and Newt.
She was part of a delegation led by Travers, to question Albus Dumbledore regarding rumours of Newt's potential travel to Paris. Dumbledore found Leta reminiscing about her school days at her old desk, consumed with guilt about her wicked past. Dumbledore's insight into her pain leads him to tell her about the loss of his sister.During a visit to the French Ministry of Magic, Theseus told her about the rumour that Credence Barebone could be her long-lost stepbrother, which Leta denied. Her fiance urged her to check the Lestrange family records to be certain.
Encountering Newt and Tina in the Records Room, they discover that the box was taken to the Lestrange Mausoleum. The Records Keeper, Melusine, sent Matagots after them because of Newt's entering under false pretenses. Newt advised them not to fight the Matagots to keep them docile, but the warning came too late--Leta had already unleashed a spell. When beasts attacked them, Newt put Leta and Tina in the suitcase, and with the help of the Zouwu that he had rescued, the trio fled to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
They head to the Lestrange tomb and Leta found the Lestrange box which was taken, but they were not alone. They crossed paths with Jacob Kowalski, Yusuf Kama, Credence Barebone and Nagini. Leta stopped her half-brother Yusuf, from fulfilling his Vow under the mistaken impression that Credence was really Corvus Lestrange V. She finally confessed to inadvertently killing Corvus, proving he and Credence were not the same person and that she had no idea who Credence actually was.
DeathWhen the door to Grindelwald's rally opened, Leta and others joined Queenie Goldstein and dozens of other pure-bloods at the rally. When Theseus and the other Aurors arrived, a fight began. Grindelwald created a circle of blue flame to divide followers from enemies, and Credence and Queenie crossed unharmed (although Queenie seemed to suffer some pain while crossing the flames). When the dark wizard attacked Theseus and Newt, the two most important men in Leta's life, Leta approached him, seemingly about to join his cause. At the last moment, this was revealed to be a distraction in an effort to give Theseus, Newt, Tina, Jacob, Yusuf and Nagini time to get away. Grindelwald was able to deflect her attack, but she successfully destroyed the skull hookah held by Vinda Rosier. Right before being incinerated by the Protego Diabolica, she looked at the Scamander brothers and said "I love you", though it is unclear which of them she was speaking to.
Leta was described as beautiful. She has intense brown eyes and dark-coloured hair.
Personality and traits
- "She was a taker."
- —Leta's self-serving nature[src]
Leta's personality, in several ways, contradicted the "evil Slytherin" stereotype held by many students of the other Houses, Gryffindors in particular, and was in stark contrast to the personality of her father Corvus, as well as the personalities of later Lestranges, such as Rodolphus and Rabastan. For instance, Leta seemed to put no stock in pure-blood supremacy beliefs, despite her family being one the the Sacred Twenty-Eight. She quickly befriended and grew very close to the Hufflepuff Newt Scamander, the two bonding over their shared status as outsiders, and while she would sometimes hex other students, she did so out of anger in the face of bullying rather than unprovoked malice. She was quite liked by her Defence Against the Dark Arts professor Albus Dumbledore, but struggled to get along with anyone at Hogwarts, except Newt.
The unintentional role Leta had played in her infant brother Corvus' death haunted her for the rest of her life, imbuing her with both incredible guilt (to the point that her Boggart was her infant brother's drowning), and self-loathing; Leta regarded herself as not only guilty of killing her brother (rather than the unforeseen accident it was), but as evil and as a monster. Despite this, Leta maintained a polite and considerate personality, and in particular remained friendly towards Newt, for whom she continued to have feelings. She also later got engaged to Newt's older brother, Theseus Scamander.
Much like Horace Slughorn and Andromeda Tonks, Leta could be said to represent the more "positive" aspects of Slytherin, in her case ambition and resourcefulness without any of the usual ruthlessness, elitism, or arrogance. She ultimately showed courage and selflessness when she sacrificed her life to save the Scamander brothers from certain death, much like how fellow Slytherin Severus Snape would likewise sacrifice his life for a good cause many years later. After hearing her former teacher Albus Dumbledore confess his own guilt over not loving his late sister Ariana enough, Leta was able to take his advice and confess to what she had done to Corvus, thereby saving Credence Barebone from Yusuf Kama's revenge.
Leta's selfless and heroic death would have a profound impact on Newt, giving him the resolve he needed to at last choose a side in the Global Wizarding War, as well as inducing Dumbledore to honor Leta's sacrifice by more actively supporting the resistance against Grindelwald.
Magical abilities and skills
- Magical Mastery: Leta Lestrange was a very powerful and talented witch, being recognised by Albus Dumbledore himself as one of his best students at Hogwarts, proving her a very accomplished witch.
- Charms: Leta was able to find the Lestrange family section in the French Ministry of Magic Archives much faster than Tina Goldstein, an experienced Auror, although this may have been due to her heritage as a Lestrange. Leta later succeeded in temporarily diverting Grindelwald's deadly blue fire away from the Scamander brothers, Nagini, and Jacob Kowalski.
- Defence Against the Dark Arts: Leta was highly skilled in this subject, given her ability to fight Grindelwald alongside Newt and Theseus for a time and saving the Scamander brothers from death at the hands of the fearsome Dark Wizard's blue fire even if at the cost of her own life. Albus Dumbledore considered Leta one of his best students in the subject. Indeed, Leta only had trouble repelling a Boggart due to her incredible guilt and self-loathing over the role she played in the death of her brother Corvus.
- Duelling: Leta was an exceptionally skilled duellist, with her managing to shatter Grindelwald's skull-hookah with a well-aimed spell, and to even hold her own against the incredibly powerful Gellert Grindelwald himself while aided by Newt and Theseus for a few moments, before getting overwhelmed and killed. She was also skilled in the casting of the Stunning Spell.
- Elemental Magic Mastery: Leta had a limited degree of control over the element fire, with her able to divert the flow of Grindelwald's immensely destructive blue fire away from Newt and Theseus, even if it was only for a few moments.
- Apparition: Leta was able to Apparate at will as shown when she was able to Apparate to Hogwarts, along with Torquil Travers, Theseus Scamander, and some other Aurors.
- Indomitable Willpower: Leta's Slytherin ambition granted her an immense willpower, with her thus managing to rise up high through the Department of Magical Law Enforcement despite once failing to fit in at Hogwarts as a student, and with her determination to not be the freak that she was perceived by other students, and her own father to be. At the end of her life, Leta demonstrated her incorruptible spirit and morals by resisting Grindelwald's persuasive speech, and willingly sacrificing her own life to save her beloved friend Newt and fiance Theseus from the lethal blue fire. Indeed, it was this incorruptible willpower demonstrated in Leta's final moments that induced Newt, as well as her half-brother Yusuf Kama, to finally join the Global Wizarding War against Grindelwald.
- Leta most likely originates from the name Leda, daughter of Aetolian king Thestius, an Aetolian princess who became a Spartan queen in Greek mythology, of which the story of Leda and the Swan is the focus.
- In the story, Zeus takes the form of a swan and rapes her. Their consummation, on the same night as Leda lay with her husband Tyndareus, resulted in two eggs from which hatched Helen (aka "Helen of Troy", said to be the most beautiful woman in the world and an instigator of the Trojan War), Clytemnestra, and Castor and Pollux (who became the constellation Gemini).
- The name Lita is of Latin origin and means "gladly."
Behind the scenes
- Leta Lestrange is portrayed by Zoë Kravitz in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
- A younger Leta is portrayed by Thea Lamb in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
- According to director David Yates, viewers will learn more about Leta Lestrange and Newt's relationship with her in future movies of the franchise.
- Leta may or may not be related to Bellatrix Lestrange. But despite Bellatrix being a Lestrange by marriage (her husband Rodolphus and her brother-in-law Rabastan may or may not be Leta's descendants for that matter), Sirius Black has previously mentioned that "the pure-blood families are all interrelated", meaning there is a possibility of at least a Black-Lestrange (and/or vice versa) union/s at any time including the distant past. As the Black family tree provided by Rowling for the production team of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) only shows the most recent eight generations of descent, it is in contrast with Harry's description of the Black Family Tapestry as "sprawling" and "dating back [...] to the Middle Ages".
- Zoë Kravitz has described Leta as "Helena Bonham Carter's great-great aunt" in an interview (Helena being the actress of Bellatrix Lestrange). Though that might have been an informal approximation, similarly to when Sirius Black described his great-great-great aunt Elladora Black simply as "dear Aunt Elladora".
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (Picture only)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay (Mentioned only)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (First appearance)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay
Notes and references
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 101, specifies Leta was born in 1896. It is also known Leta was in the same year as Newt Scamander at Hogwarts; Newt was born on 24 February 1897, meaning he (and by extension, Leta) was Sorted on 1 September 1908 — if Leta was born sometime prior to 1 September 1896, she would have been Sorted one year before Newt, in 1907.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 She was the daughter of two pure-blood wizards, Corvus Lestrange and Laurena Kama.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (see this image)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "Fantastic Beasts film title revealed: The Crimes of Grindelwald" at Pottermore
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: Magical Movie Handbook
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Pure-Blood" at Pottermore
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 88
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 96
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ 13.0 13.1 The Case of Beasts: Explore the Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (see this image)
- ↑ "EXCLUSIVE: J.K. Rowling tells SnitchSeeker about Newt's expulsion from Hogwarts, more"
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 65 - "GRAVES: You were thrown out of Hogwarts for endangering human life-"
- ↑ "Fantastic Beasts and J.K Rowling's Wizarding World" on Youtube - "Newt is this oddball who managed to get himself expelled from Hogwarts"
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 "Who is Leda Lestrange? 'Fantastic Beasts' Is Only The Start For The New Character, Says Director David Yates" from Bustle
- ↑ 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' -- Meet the new cast
- ↑ COG - Scene 18
- ↑ "Open casting call for young people announced for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel" from Pottermore
- ↑ Zoe Kravitz: 'Beauty can't be defined by race, gender or age' by Sonia Haria on The Independent, 27 November 2017