How Are Leta Lestrange & Bellatrix Related? The Lestrange Family Tree Will Explain A Lot
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald may have dropped a wild plot twist that ruffled fans' feathers, but its little details definitely satisfied our inner Harry Potter nerds. After the first film included fewer nods to the original franchise, The Crimes of Grindelwald introduced Leta Lestrange, a member of one of the Wizarding World's most notorious families. How are Leta Lestrange and Bellatrix related? Despite the shared last name, they're not as closely linked as you may think, but anything seems possible in this Fantastic Beasts universe. This post contains spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Before Crimes of Grindelwald, the name "Lestrange" stirred up chilling memories of one of Lord Voldemort's most loyal servants, Bellatrix (Helena Bonham Carter in the films). Born into the pure-blood Black family as the older sister of Draco Malfoy's mother, Bellatrix later married fellow pure-blood Rodolphus Lestrange. The couple became two of Voldemort's most dangerous Death Eaters, torturing Neville Longbottom's Auror parents during the First Wizarding War and being imprisoned in Azkaban as a result. As seen in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the Lestranges were then among several deadly criminals that broke out of the prison to rejoin a resurrected Voldemort's building force.
Bellatrix ultimately died in the Final Battle at Hogwarts (thanks, Molly Weasley!), and Crimes of Grindelwald's Leta (Zoe Kravitz) also met her end in a climatic fight against evil. Coming from a family with dark magical allegiance, Leta confronted evil wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) at a rally for his followers, feigning loyalty to help the Scamanders and their friends escape. Presumably dead from self-sacrifice, Leta was gone before fans really even knew her, but a sweet flashback to her Hogwarts days explored her friendship with Newt (Eddie Redmayne). Their school romance segued into Leta being with Newt's brother Theseus (Callum Turner) instead, and while we might not see a full story explaining that relationship drama, we can take a deep dive into the Lestrange family tree.
Leta appeared to be the Sirius Black of her otherwise evil family, but any hopes of her own kin secretly spreading good across future branches of the Lestranges are slim. As TIME points out, she seemingly died without having children, meaning that she isn't a direct ancestor of Rodolphus and comes from a different section of the Lestrange family. Although there's clearly a complicated family connection between Leta and Bellatrix through marriage, the two women never actually met.
However, there are clearly no real rules when it comes to the canon of the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Crimes of Grindelwald also included things that didn't quite align with author J.K. Rowling's original world (um, let's talk about the Dumbledore family tree), so perhaps Leta is still alive. The thought of Bellatrix rolling her eyes about her husband's distant, estranged cousin Leta is funny, but I definitely have my fingers crossed that we learn more about her in the third Fantastic Beasts film. Can she answer more about Credence's heritage?
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is in theaters now.