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Who is Newt Scamander's Fantastic Beasts love interest Leta Lestrange?


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the highly anticipated sequel to 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, one that's set to get you dusting off your J.K. Rowling potion books.

The Crimes of Grindelwald follows our favourite magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his allies Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) and Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol), along with young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), as they hunt for evil dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp).

During the new adventure we will learn more about Newt's love interest, Leta Lestrange. We heard about her briefly in the first Fantastic Beasts and even saw a photo of her, but we will meet her properly in the sequel. If you're hardcore fans of Rowling's mythology, you probably already know a lot about the mysterious Leta, but if you don't, we've done all the hard work...

Who plays Leta?

Leta Lestrange is portrayed by Zoë Kravitz, the daughter of singer and Hunger Games actor Lenny Kravitz. You may recognise her from X-Men: First Class, in which she played winged superhero Angel, full-throttle Tom Hardy action movie Mad Max: Fury Road, and HBO's recent TV hit Big Little Lies.

In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Leta was revealed in snippets via photographs kept by Newt in his magical briefcase. Given they're magical photos, they of course move, offering our first glimpse at Kravitz as the character.

Zoe Kravitz plays Leta Lestrange in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

What is Leta's pure blood ancestry?

Leta is a witch from a famous pure blood clan (meaning they have no muggles, or no-maj's, in their family tree). But it's not just any pure blood family – she's one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight. Only 28 such families exist around the time Fantastic Beasts is set, with others including the Malfoys, Weasleys, Longbottoms and Blacks.

The Lestrange brood have been linked to the dark arts and are known for their hatred of muggles and half-bloods (those with both muggle and non-muggle parents). They also harbour an obsession with remaining pure, so much so that they sometimes marry their cousins or relatives.

If the name Lestrange sounds familiar, you will no doubt be thinking of the insane Bellatrix Lestrange, who was in the original Harry Potter films played by Helena Bonham Carter. Bellatrix notably killed Sirius Black, Harry Potter's godfather, and was later killed herself during the Battle of Hogwarts by Molly Weasley (Julie Walters). Bellatrix is also Draco Malfoy's (Tom Felton) auntie.

Bellatrix and Leta's connection to each other is a bit complicated when looking into the wizarding world canon, but Zoë Kravitz has saved us from the painful confusion of their family tree: "I play Helena Bonham Carter's great-great aunt" she told The Independent.

Originally hailing from the family of Blacks, Bellatrix married into the Lestrange family, making for an interesting connection between different pure blood families.

Who are Leta's family members?

Now we know Leta and Bellatrix's connection, it's worth revealing the mystery of Leta's immediate family. Leta's father was Corvus Lestrange and her mother is Laurena Kama. Corvus remarried a woman named Clarisse Tremblay, and it seems the pair had a son called Credence.

Don't believe us? This was spotted by eagle-eyed viewers of the first trailer, who noticed a Lestrange family tree – contained within which was an apparent link between the two characters (check out the bottom right of the following shot).

Leta Lestrange family connection in Fantastic Beasts 2 trailer

If you saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them then you'll be aware of Credence (Ezra Miller), the obscurial (someone who conceals their powers to a dangerous degree) who was used as a pawn in Grindelwald's dark schemes. Leta and Credence therefore are half siblings.

After Credence's mother passed away, he was separated from his family and raised by the magic-hating, vicious muggle Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton). Credence features prominently in The Crimes of Grindelwald, so there is a good chance we'll witness a sibling reunion.

What's Leta's connection to Hogwarts?

Probably the most important fact concerning Leta Lestrange is that she went to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where she met and became friends with our hero Newt Scamander. During their time at Hogwarts, they became extremely close, bonding over their shared love for magical creatures and animals. In fact, Leta wanted to become a magizoologist too.

It was during their time as students that they broke apart. Some fans allege that while using a magical creature (the ferret-resembling Jarvey), Leta badly injured another student, but it was Newt who took the blame and was therefore expelled from the school, against the wishes of Albus Dumbledore. We're sure to find out the truth when The Crimes of Grindelwald is finally released.

Is Leta set to be Newt's sister-in-law?

Even though they haven't seen each other in years, Leta and Newt have another connection. After Newt's exclusion from Hogwarts, Leta later becomes engaged to Theseus Scamander, Newt's brother, who will be played by Callum Turner in the film.

We're sensing a love triangle that challenges Bella/Edward/Jacob from Twilight and Katniss/Peeta/Gale from The Hunger Games...

Fantastic Beasts 2 movie poster

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is released on 16th November. If you can't wait that long, click here for your essential guide to the Fantastic Beasts universe.

Nadine Shambrook is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.