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 viewers' inner Harry Potter nerds. After the series' first film included a few nods to the original franchise, The Crimes of Grindelwald introduced Leta Lestrange, a member of one of the wizarding world's most notorious families. So, how are Leta Lestrange and Bellatrix related? Despite the shared last name, they're not as closely linked as you may think. However, 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 Harry Potter films). Born into the pure-blood Black family as the older sister of Draco Malfoy's mother Narcissa, Bellatrix later married fellow pure-blood Rodolphus Lestrange. The couple became two of Voldemort's most dangerous Death Eaters, who tortured Neville Longbottom's Auror parents during the First Wizarding War and were 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 who broke out of the prison to rejoin the resurrected Lord Voldemort.
Bellatrix ultimately died in the Battle of Hogwarts (thanks, Molly Weasley!), and The Crimes of Grindelwald's Leta (Zoe Kravitz) also met her end during a climatic fight between good and evil. Coming from a family with dark magical allegiance, Leta confronted evil wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) at a rally for his followers after feigning loyalty to help the Scamanders and their friends escape. Presumably dead after sacrificing herself, Leta was gone before fans really even knew her.
However, there was a sweet flashback to Leta's Hogwarts days that at least explored her relationship with Newt (Eddie Redmayne). Their school friendship segued into Leta getting engaged to Newt's brother Theseus (Callum Turner) instead, and while fans might not see a full story explaining that relationship drama, for now, they 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 offspring secretly spreading good deeds across future branches of the Lestranges are slim. As TIME pointed out, she seemingly died without having children, meaning she isn't a direct ancestor of Rodolphus and must come from a different section of the Lestrange family tree. Further, 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 (hello, Dumbledore's family tree), so perhaps Leta is still alive after all. The thought of Bellatrix rolling her eyes about her husband's distant, estranged cousin Leta is funny, and I definitely have my fingers crossed that fans learn more about the good Lestrange in the third Fantastic Beasts film. Can she answer more questions about Credence's heritage, please?
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is in theaters now.
This post was originally published on Nov. 19, 2018. It was updated on Sept. 9, 2019.