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Unless you live under a rock or consider yourself as TOO MUCH of a muggle, you will know that Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald pushed forward the story of a young Dumbledore, New Scamander and the evil Gellert Grindelwald. The film ended with many major events to lead into the next installment, one namely being the death of Leta Lestrange. However, with how this character has been dealt with so far, are we sure that Leta truly died at the hands of Grindelwald?
Leta’s Time at Hogwarts
Whilst she was a student at Hogwarts, Leta was believed to be troublesome. Knowing that she was in Slytherin house, that she is a Lestrange and also that she's seen Dumbledore as disliking her, we are led to believe that there is a slither of wickedness of inside her. Is it possible that Leta was destined to be as pure and good as we are made to believe?
The Story of Little Corvus
In quite a dark turn of events, we discover that whilst aboard a ship bound for America, Leta swapped her baby brother Corvus for another baby without anyones knowing, which led to Corvus drowning when the ship went down in the middle of the sea. She did this purely because Corvus kept crying and she wanted to be free of it, which led her to swapping the young Lestrange with a baby Credence (unbeknownst to anyone at the time).
Quite a drastic choice for a bit of peace and quiet don’t you think? Again, another point for why Leta seems to have a dark mind.
Leta Is a Taker
You may remember that in the first Fantastic Beasts installment, all we have seen of Leta was a magical moving picture and the reveal of her name through Newt and Queenie having a conversation. From what we hear, we can deduce that Leta, how do we say it, screwed Newt over somehow whilst they were friends at Hogwarts—which apparently led to Newt’s expulsion from the school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. From this, Queenie says, “She was a taker, you need a giver.”
Now, we are led to believe that Leta purely did something against school rules and Newt took the blame. Maybe she is considered a taker because of the fact she didn’t step forward herself, instead being happy to take advantage of Newt’s goodwill and allowing him take the wrap. Newt would most probably get a sweet smile and thank you for his troubles and being a pushover due to his love for Leta, probably pushed his true feelings about the situation deep DEEP down. But this is where things get interesting. If that is the case, Leta has the strong ability to have a hold over Newt. Through Fantastic Beasts 2 she acts sweet and kind, not really the typical words to describe a Lestrange or someone in Slytherin house—except for one particular potions master who risked everything to protect the son of his true, life long love but that can be saved for another article.
If Leta has already been shown to use and abuse Newt’s love for her as a youngster, who is to say she won’t do it again in an even worse manner as an adult. Which leads us to the theory of Leta’s future in the Fantastic Beasts film series.
She’s a Slytherin. She’s a Lestrange. She got Newt kicked out of Hogwarts, yet somehow she has wormed her way in to act like everything is okay between them. It is fair observation to say Rowling could have chosen ANY surname in Harry Potter mythology. Any. Why choose the Lestrange name? Maybe Leta marks the beginning of the Lestranges aligning with dark, powerful wizards. We know her descendant, Bellatrix, goes on to join Voldemort. Who is to say Leta isn’t working with Captain Jack Sparrow? I MEAN GRINDELWALD. Grindelwald. Apologies, I meant Grindelwald.
Hear me out on this. Leta apparently has a history for emotionally toying with people. In adulthood, we find her engaged to Newt’s brother of all people, who happens to be an Auror in the Ministry of Magic. What if Leta has wormed her way into the life of an Auror for information concerning the search for her leader, Grindelwald. An Auror who is also the brother of a man who she knows is in love with her but also has a close connection with Grindelwald’s enemy, Dr John Watson. DUMBLEDORE. ALBUS DUMBLEDORE I MEANT.
Doesn’t it all seem like a bit of a coincidence? Leta was built up to be a massive factor in the Fantastic Beasts franchise and we expected some big answers on her history with Newt. We have none of that so far, and she is now believed to be dead. Then, there is a slippery, sneaky doozy, and we’re not referring to Nagini the snake.
When Leta confronts Grindelwald, she doesn’t pronounce the name as it is spelt. “GRINDELVALD!” She exclaims. You die-hard fans will be aware that Dumbledore also pronounces his ex-best friend’s name in this way. Rowling reasoned that it was because Dumbledore knew him so well that he knew how to PROPERLY say his name. Gee, and there goes Leta ALSO saying Grindelwald's name JUST LIKE ALBUS! What does that tell us? That Leta and Gellert are close. She is a loyal follower. Grindelwald had her do her job of manipulating the Scamander brothers emotionally to crumble their souls as a way of imploding one of many sections within the good side of the incoming Wizarding War. Ddid you notice her saying “I love you” in the direction of the Scamander brothers? One final twist of the knife before she could fake die and go back to being Grindelwald’s right hand woman. The argument of who she was truly confessing love to will surely cause a rift between the brothers. Grindelwald even seems to know information about Leta that he uses to act like he was trying to coax her to his side.
It is not fair to say Leta is completely void of sentiment. I believe the scene that saw her in tears explaining her part in Corvus’ death was honest and heartbreaking. I also believe she has some sort of feelings for Newt. However, I also believe it was merely a moment of weakness that we saw in this film. A quickly flashing light where Leta could let out her feelings. The rest of her scenes in the film? She has been a faithful servant of Grindelwald, with every intention of using her hold over Newt and his brother to aid her master in his efforts for control.
Could I be completely wrong? Absolutely! But how thrilling would it be for Newt to be face to face with Grindelwald in the climax of the next film, with Grindelwald explaining that all wizards are dark deep down, using Albus’ history with him as an example. They were going to travel the world and abandon Albus’ siblings to seek power. Another example? Well, with a click of Grindelwald’s fingers, doors open to where they stand and in walks Leta alive and well, where Grindelwald explains all to a heartbroken Newt. The third film could venture into Newt falling out with his brother over their shared love for Leta, then maybe even Newt going through some drastic actions, even dark actions, to track down and kill Grindelwald for what he apparently did to Leta.
I don’t know, either way, the story of Leta Lestrange is surely not over. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is currently showing in cinemas worldwide.