"There’s strange things going on all over the city. The people behind this—they are not like you and me. This is witchcraft, don’t you see."
—Langdon Shaw[src]

Langdon Shaw was an American No-Maj who lived in the early 20th century. He was the younger son of newspaper magnate Henry Shaw Senior.[1][2] He had at least one sibling, an older brother Henry Shaw Junior who was elected to the United States Senate in 1920.


Early life

While his older brother, the senator Henry Shaw Junior, was Shaw Snr's pride and joy, Langdon was viewed as something of a failure and disappointment.[2] This did not stop him from constantly trying to seek his father's approval.[2]

The Obscurus

Meeting the Barebones

Langdon: "The crazy disturbances in the subway — just look at the pictures!"
Henry Shaw Snr: "I’d like you and your friends to leave."
— Henry Shaw Senior dismissing his son[src]
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Langdon tried to tell his father about witchcraft to win his approval

On 6 December 1926, Langdon brought Mary Lou Barebone from the New Salem Philanthropic Society and her adopted children Credence, Chastity and Modesty to Shaw News meet with his father. Barging into Shaw Snr's office, Langdon laid out a portfolio filled with a series of photographic evidence of witchcraft and told his father of his belief that "strange things [were] going on all over" New York and that the people behind these incidents were "not like [them]," certain that he was giving him the scoop of the century.[2] His father and brother both dismissed his claims out of hand.[2]

Henry Shaw Senior refused to give Mary Lou the support of his newspaper company and his elder son's re-election platform and ask the Barebone family to leave. While they departing, Mary Lou's adopted son Credence dropped a leaflet which Henry Shaw Jr handed back to him, unashamedly and cruelly calling him a freak.

Attack on the Fundraising Dinner Hall

—Langdon's reaction after when his brother gets killed[src]
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A drunk Langdon yelled triumphant "witches!" after the attack on the Fundraising Dinner Hall

Langdon later attended his brother's fundraising dinner with his father. While his brother was in the middle of his speech, a invisible force burst forth from beneath the organ. It soared across the hall, sending tables flying, and throwing people around as it carved a line toward the stage where Shaw Jr was still standing. Langdon watches the invisible force threw his brother backwards against his poster, and then raised him up high where he was suspended for just a moment in midair before being thrown violently back down onto the stage, dead.[3] In the midst of sounds of anguish and panic from the crowd, his father crouched beside his slain son. Langdon who was slightly drunk, yelled determined and triumphant, that this was the work of witchcraft.[4]

Obscurial attack on New York

"Langdon, drunk, stares, enthralled and amazed with the spectacle."
—Langdon reaction as he watches the Obscurus[src]
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A drunk Langdon stares to the spectacle of magic in New York

On the next night, 7 December 1926, Langdon was present when Credence Barebone unleashed his Obscurus on New York, and MACUSA began magically sealing off the subway entrance where Credence had taken refuge. Having seen magic first-hand, Langdon revelled in the spectacle as Shaw Snr vowed to expose the wizarding kind.[5] When the dawn of 8 December came, Newton Scamander unleashed Frank the Thunderbird, who created a rainstorm laced with Swooping Evil venom, Obliviating all No-Majs' memories of magic, including Langdon's whose stood in the rain as his expression grew blank.[6]

Personality and traits

"Shaw Snr and the senator look dubious—all too used to Langdon’s harebrained little projects and interests."
—Shaw Senior and the Senator reaction about Langdon[src]
Langdon Shaw was an excitable young man with a proclivity for wild ideas. He was frustrated by living in his elder brother’s shadow, and constantly tried to seek his father's approval and attention. He was also excited to try to show he had authority or power. Langdon appeared to have a tendency to drink too much.

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

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