Before Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald arrived in theaters, the big name on everyone’s lips was Corvus Lestrange. There were clues everywhere both Corvus IV and his son Corvus V were going to be significant players in this film’s drama. Both Corvus Lestranges were namechecked in the trailers, the marketing materials, the cast lists, and the new character bios. It wasn’t like the name was utterly unfamiliar to the Potter world (After all five generations of men named Corvus can’t be wrong.) But who is Corvus Lestrange? Warning: Spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald follow.
There have been five generations of Lestrange patriarchs who have gone by the name of Corvus. The name in Latin means raven, which is part of the Lestrange family crest. The Lestrange family is part of the "Sacred 28" wizarding families who can trace their lineage back through generations of pureblood intermarriage. In 1927, the last five generations of Lestranges had all been run by men named Corvus, stretching back at least to the mid-1700s if not earlier.
Corvus Lestrange IV was the father of Leta Lestrange, a child conceived of his union with Laurena Kama, who he bewitched away from her husband and forced to come back to England with him. He also had a son, Corvus V.
Ahead of the movie’s release, all signs pointed to Credence Barebone being the long-lost Corvus. The American Ministry of Magic believes it to be so, Tina Goldstein is undercover trying to find him for this very reason. So is Newt Scamander, via Dumbledore’s orders. (If it hadn’t been Dumbledore’s orders, he probably would have gone on the British Ministry’s command. Yusuf Kama is also searching for Credence, believing him a Lestrange. Even Grindelwald seems convinced Credence is the son of a great wizarding family.
How does a namesake child from such an influential family become a lovelorn orphan like Credence, who is an Obscurial from the lack of love and caring he received? The reason is when he was born, Corvus IV learned Mustafa, the husband of Laurena, had commanded his own son, Yusuf, to kill the child, destroying Corvus IV’s only happiness. In terror, he sent the boy away to America to keep him safe, and the nanny who adopted him out undercover just chose poorly when she signed the baby to Mary Lou Barebone.
But what no one knew, until the end of the film is Credence is not Corvus. Leta, who was also sent to America because Corvus didn’t care about her, switched baby Corvus with someone else’s child in a fit of frustration when Corvus wouldn’t stop crying.
Before she could switch back or tell anyone, the boat began to sink, and she, the nanny and the mystery baby were evacuated. The real Corvus wound up on a different lifeboat, one which capsized with no survivors. Credence isn’t Corvus V. He’s some other wizarding child being hidden away in America.
The real Corvus Lestrange V died less than a year after he was born. And that was the end to this particular traditional male Lestrange family name.
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