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What is Lara Croft's Background?

Updated on July 18, 2017
The Current Face of Lara Croft
The Current Face of Lara Croft
Lara Croft as she appears in the original game: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (1996)
Lara Croft as she appears in the original game: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (1996)

Original Lara Croft Origin Story

According to the original era of Tomb Raider game play, by Eidos Interactive, Lara Croft was born in London, and her father is Lord Henshingly Croft.

The Crofts are super wealthy, and when Laura was to come of age, she was to be wed to the fictitious Earl of Farringdon. Growing up, Lara attended a Scottish boarding school, and a Swiss finishing school.

In her early twenties, she was involved in a plane crash that left her stranded in the Himalayan mountains for two weeks. It was due to this experience that she cast off her former self, ignored her betrothed state to the Earl of Farringdon, and instead, she sought out global adventures. As the original story goes, Croft became a mercenary, big-game hunter, and master thief through her adventures.

Lara Croft, from her Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness (2003) days.
Lara Croft, from her Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness (2003) days.

Lara Croft's Origin Story: The Second Wave

The second telling of the story of Lara Croft changed to where she is the daugther of archaeologist Lord Richard Croft, who is the Earl of Abbingdon. The plane crash in which she survived, happened when she was only nine years old, and it included her mother, Amelia Croft.

Amelia and Lara Croft found refuge in a Nepalese temple, where Lara saw her mother vanish before her eyes whilst she was tampering with an ancient sword. Eventually, Lara's father disappears while searching for his wife; this incident is the reason for Lara to search for her parents, and discover the truth behind the events.

The Current Lara Croft Origin Story

The third wave of the Tomb Raider protagonist's story has Lara travelling as a young girl, with her parents on archaeological expeditions. Her father, Lord Croft, was convinced supernatural powers existed from the ancient world, and he was in search of those powers. On one such expedition, her mother vanished and was presumed dead, her father took his own life soon after.

Lara was left in the care of family friend, Conrad Roth. Because her parents were rich, Lara was left with a huge amount of wealth. However, she chose to put herself through school at The University College London, by working multiple jobs, this choice made her a more "grounded" individual.

During her college years, she met and befriended Samantha Nishimura, who was somewhat of a wild child and a free spirit. The pair traveled the globe together, and ended up on an expedition off the coast of Japan to the Dragon's Triangle. Sam and Lara were in search of Yamatai, which is an ancient lost civilization.

The current Lara Croft, as she appears in Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015)
The current Lara Croft, as she appears in Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015)

During their adventure in the Dragon's Triangle, Lara becomes stranded on a remote island that is fraught with danger: human, natural, and supernatural dangers. She goes on to survive the island, despite the perils that existed, and this experience transforms her from a curious girl, into the bold adventurer we now know and love.

Upon witnessing the supernatural powers during her survival traipse across the remote island in the Dragon's Triangle, Lara realized her father was right about his theories, and her unquenchable thirst to lean more was born.

Lara Croft Portrayed in Motion Pictures

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) - Portrayed by Angelina Jolie
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) - Portrayed by Angelina Jolie

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Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) was released as a motion picture, starring Angelina Jolie. Jolie's real-life father, Jon Voight played the role of Lord Richard Croft.

In this episode of events, we see Lara collecting ancient artifacts from temple ruins, and multiple global locations.

Just like the butt-kicking character she is in the video game versions of herself, she isn't afraid of facing death-defying circumstances to obtain the objects she's after, and her vast wealth allows her to go anywhere she needs to go to get whatever she wants.

In the meantime, The Illuminati, an ancient secret society, is after a talisman that allows its possessor to control time, but they need a particular clock, which acts as a key to help them in their search; guess who finds the key hidden in a wall of her vast mansion?

If you're a true Lara Croft fan, or if you've been paying attention to this hub thus far, you can probably also guess which one of her relatives found the object years ago, and hid it in the mansion for safe-keeping...

*I thought you might enjoy the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Special Collector's Edition DVD, you could purchase it safely and securely on Amazon's site by clicking the "Buy Now" orange link.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Cradle of Life (2003)

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Cradle of Life (2003) - Role Reprised by Angelina Jolie
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Cradle of Life (2003) - Role Reprised by Angelina Jolie

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Cradle of Life (2003) Trailer

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Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) has Angelina Jolie reprising her role as the Tomb Raider. In this version of events, Lara discovers an orb that leads to Pandora's Box. Unfortunately, the Orb is stolen by an evil scientist, so Lara has to go on perilous mission to save the mythical object.

She enlists the aid of her ex (played by Gerard Butler), who also happens to be a former British marine who turned mercenary since leaving the military. Together, the pair embark on a global adventure to regain the orb. This film also features Djimon Honsou.

This second film is full of "will they, won't they?" tension in addition to the usual action-filled, roller-coaster ride we experience any time we're in the presence of a Lara Croft project.

This is the last film to star Angelina Jolie in the title role, she expressed no interest in future films, so the franchise has moved on without her, as you'll see in the next section below.

Jolie's performance as our beloved Lara was dead on point, so the next actress to fulfill the role will have a huge responsibility to make sure she's on point as well.

*I thought you might enjoy the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life Special Collector's Edition DVD, you could purchase it safely and securely on Amazon's site by clicking the "Buy Now" orange link.

Lara Croft (2018)

Lara Croft (2018)
Lara Croft (2018)

The next generation of Lara Croft's story on film is currently in production. The film will star Swedish actress, Alicia Vikander, whom some might remember from the film Ex Machina (2014).

According to, the storyline features Lara as a young woman of 21 years old, working as a bike messenger to put herself through college, while rejecting the wealth she was willed upon the death of her parents.

Eventually, the adventure inside her leads her to an island off the coast of Japan, where she begins to seek the whereabouts of her parents...

This storyline seems to fit with the last video game version of Lara Croft's origin story, minus her best friend Sam. Vikander will have huge shoes to fill, as Angelina Jolie's rendition of the character was done to perfection, but we wish Vikander all the luck in the world, and we'll be front and center when the film premiers in 2018.

The Tomb Raider Franchise, Through the Years

  • Lara Croft's adventures first began in the 1996 video game Tomb Raider, where she battles rival archaeologists in a search for an Atlantean artifact.
  • Tomb Raider II was released in 1997, and it involves a search for the Dagger of Xian. Lara has to battle a gang of thieves along the way.
  • Tomb Raider III, came along in 1998, and it centers on meteorite fragments that enable humans to have supernatural powers upon contact.
  • In Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (1999), we first see Lara Croft as a young girl. She is on a quest for artifacts associated with the Egyptian God, Horus, and she is accompanied by her mentor, Werner Von Croy. Eventually, Von Croy turns out to be a foe, and Lara has to deal with him.
  • In Tomb Raider Chronicles (2000), we experience Lara's global adventures through a series of flashbacks, this is also the year of the birth of the first hand held Tomb Raider game, which was released on Nintendo Game Boy Advance.
  • In 2003, Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness was released, the story focused on the murder of Professor Von Croy.
  • 2006 saw a temporary move from Square Enix back to Eidos Interactive, with Tomb Raider: Legend. In this version Lara Croft seeks out both her mother, and Excalibur - yes, that Excalibur. Tomb Raider: Underworld (2008) is a continuation of the Tomb Raider: Legend story. However, in this follow-up story, Lara learns of the existence of Thor's hammer.
  • 2010 introduced us to a downloadable version of the game, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. The game is set in a jungle in Central American, and it tells the story of an ancient warrior who works alongside Lara.
  • Tomb Raider (2013) gave us a reboot of the game and a new retelling of Lara's origins. Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015) is a continuation of the origin story.

Lara Croft: A Fan's Perspective

There is no news yet, of a new Tomb Raider game, but the last release, Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015), has been hailed as an extraordinary game, and it was 2015's video game sleeper hit.

No matter what form in which she appears, Lara Croft is always portrayed as intelligent, beautiful and kick-butt physically fit. At times, people have loved her for her brains, and strength, but at the same time reviled her because of her idealistic male fantasy physical appearance. Fans of the game can clearly see that Square Enix has greatly toned down on the "male fantasy-esque" features her physical appearance in later years.

I am impressed that Square Enix took the time to listen to it's Tomb Raider audience base, and make their protagonist appear more realistic looking. However, most fans simply appreciate the story of Lara Croft, and we love the game play, politics, be dammed...

So, now that we are all familiar with the story(ies) behind the origin and emergence of Lara Croft, let's check out one of my favorite gaming YouTubers, theRadBrad , as he takes us on a mesmerizing first walkthrough/Let's Play of Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015):

**I've included links to the Rise of the Tomb Raider PC Game Download, as well as the Rise of the Tomb Raider Collector's Edition Guide, because I thought they would be of interest to die-hard fans, or anyone ready to play the game on their own.

Thank You for Visiting this Hub!

Hi, I'm Rachelle. I hope you enjoyed this digitally interactive hub. If you enjoyed the article, please be sure to share it on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

I'm a digital content creator, thespian and tech geek obsessed with Generation X related pop-culture, dystopian sci-fi, reading, naturopathy, and spicy food.

Let's hook up on social media, 'cuz I love mingling with like-minded Individuals. You can catch me @avidinternaut everywhere, or visit my Hubpages Profile and click the links...

Thanks Again for Hanging Out!

© 2017 Rachelle Williams


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    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 

      6 months ago from London England

      Amazed at the number of sites on hub pages relating to Lara Croft. With the premiere of the latest Lara Croft movie (2018) it would seem we are going to see and hear a lot more of Lara Croft as an icon.


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