|Bellatrix Lestrange (née Black)|
|Also known as||
Black family (paternal family)
Bellatrix Lestrange (1951—2 May, 1998) also known as Bella, was a pure-blood witch, the daughter of Cygnus and Druella Black and elder sister to Andromeda and Narcissa. She attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1962 and was sorted into Slytherin house. After graduating from Hogwarts, she became a Death Eater who was fanatically loyal to Lord Voldemort. She was one of the few known females in the group, as well as among the most dangerous and sadistic of Voldemort's followers. While Bellatrix and Narcissa married pure-blood wizards, Andromeda married Ted Tonks and was disowned from the family. At the end of the First Wizarding War, Bellatrix, her husband, Rodolphus Lestrange, his brother Rabastan, and Barty Crouch Jr. tortured Aurors Alice and Frank Longbottom to the point of insanity searching for information on Lord Voldemort after his first downfall.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Physical appearance
- 3 Personality and traits
- 4 Magical abilities and skills
- 5 Relationships
- 6 Etymology
- 7 Behind the scenes
- 8 Appearances
- 9 Notes and references
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early life[edit | edit source]
When the First Wizarding War broke out, Bellatrix and her husband Rodolphus both fought for Voldemort as two of his Death Eaters, and remained loyal to Voldemort throughout the war and even after he had fallen.
After the Dark Lord's fall in 1981, Bellatrix and a group of Death Eaters, including her husband, brother-in-law, and Barty Crouch Jr., captured Aurors and Order of the Phoenix members Alice and Frank Longbottom, new parents to Neville Longbottom. Bellatrix and her associates used the Cruciatus Curse to torture them to insanity, a crime for which they were tried before the Council of Magical Law, and sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban. As a result of their torture, Alice and Frank spent the rest of their lives at St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, unaware they even had a son together.
Unlike many other Death Eaters, Bellatrix did not attempt to lie about her loyalty — she proudly proclaimed that she was loyal to the Dark Lord and that she would wait for his return. Indeed, Bellatrix was so proud of her loyalty to the Dark Lord that, during her trial before the Council of Magical Law, she was said to have sat upon the chair she was chained to as if it were a throne. She would later describe herself as his "most loyal servant" and even Lord Voldemort, whom Bellatrix admired most of all, gained a considerable deal of respect for her.
Second Wizarding War[edit | edit source]
Escape from Azkaban[edit | edit source]
- "We have confirmed that ten high-security prisoners, in the early hours of yesterday evening, did escape. And of course, the Muggle Prime Minister has been alerted to the danger. We strongly suspect that the breakout was engineered by a man with personal experience in escaping from Azkaban; notorious mass murderer Sirius Black, cousin of escapee Bellatrix Lestrange."
- —Cornelius Fudge interview to the Daily Prophet regarding the 1996 Azkaban mass breakout[src]
In January of 1996, Bellatrix was one of the many Death Eaters who escaped from Azkaban and rejoined Voldemort when the Dementors defected to the Dark Lord. As a result, Bellatrix became a fugitive, and lived in danger of the Ministry re-instating her imprisonment if she was ever to be captured.
Battle of the Department of Mysteries[edit | edit source]
Later that very year, Bellatrix Lestrange participated in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in a bid to steal a prophecy regarding Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort, as second-in-command to Lucius Malfoy. She became enraged when Harry had spoken Lord Voldemort's name, and when he stated that Voldemort was a half-blood. Later, she briefly tortured Neville Longbottom with the Cruciatus Curse, in an attempt to coerce Harry into handing over the prophecy. It was clear that, given the chance, she would have indeed enjoyed continuing to torture Neville to further punish his parents.
When the Order of the Phoenix arrived, Bellatrix duelled and then defeated her niece, Nymphadora Tonks, and then began fighting her cousin, Sirius Black, who taunted her as they duelled. She hit him with a curse that knocked him through a veiled stone arch in the Death Chamber, instantly killing him. She then defeated Kingsley Shacklebolt in a duel and deflected a spell from Albus Dumbledore before fleeing. She was pursued by Harry, whom she taunted over his godfather's death. Harry was enraged to the point that he attempted the Cruciatus Curse on her, though he only succeeded in knocking her down and causing her a few seconds of pain. She then shouted at him that one had to "mean it" to use one of the Unforgivable Curses.
Voldemort arrived at the Ministry shortly after Harry attempted to torture Bellatrix. Bellatrix pleaded to her master not to punish her, but he dismissed her with a dangerous "Be quiet, Bella. I shall deal with you in a moment". As Voldemort prepared to cast the Killing Curse on Harry, Albus Dumbledore arrived. Dumbledore bewitched the statues on the Fountain of Magical Brethren so that they would protect Harry, pin Bellatrix down, and summon Cornelius Fudge, Minister for Magic, and some Aurors to the Ministry. After the duel that ensued and the arrival of Cornelius Fudge and other Ministry officials, Voldemort grabbed Bellatrix and both Disapparated from the Ministry.
Plot against Albus Dumbledore[edit | edit source]
- "...I don't trust you, Snape, as you very well know!... Where were you when the Dark Lord fell? Why did you never make any attempt to find him when he vanished? What have you been doing all these years that you've lived in Dumbledore's pocket? Why did you not return at once when the Dark Lord was reborn? Where were you a few weeks ago when we battled to retrieve the prophecy for the Dark Lord? And why, Snape, is Harry Potter still alive, when you have had him at your mercy for the last five years?"
- —Bellatrix questions Severus Snape[src]
In July of 1996, Bellatrix reluctantly accompanied her sister, Narcissa Malfoy, to the house of Severus Snape at Spinner's End. Once there, Bellatrix interrogated Snape and voiced her distrust of him. Snape's calm, reasonable, and logical answers to her aggressive questioning rendered her dissatisfied, but temporarily without retort. Narcissa, however, proceeded to beg Snape to look after her son Draco's welfare while he attended Hogwarts and tried to fulfill Voldemort's orders to kill Albus Dumbledore. Snape shocked Bellatrix by asking her to bind him and Narcissa with an Unbreakable Vow to assist Draco. Bellatrix also assisted her nephew in his task by teaching him Occlumency, a tool he used against Snape in order to conceal the details of his mission. Bellatrix showed her obsessive loyalty to her master's cause in telling her sister that she should be proud, instead of worried, that her son was not "shrinking away from his duty." Bellatrix went on to say that if she had sons, she would have gladly handed them over to Voldemort's service.
Battle of the Astronomy Tower[edit | edit source]
- —Bellatrix leers at a tiny first year during her escape from the assault at Hogwarts.[src]
Almost a year later, in June of 1997, Bellatrix was among the group of Death Eaters who led an assault at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which ended with the death of Albus Dumbledore. Bellatrix was delighted about the successful assassination, and she escaped the castle through the Great Hall, where she walked over the Gryffindors' table, breaking much of the tableware, after leering at a group of first years and scaring them. Before leaving the castle, she proceeded to smash the Great Hall's high windows, letting a gust of wind enter the room, blowing all of the room's lights out.
1997-1998[edit | edit source]
- Bellatrix: "My Lord, it is an honour to have you here, in our family's house. There can be no higher pleasure."
- Lord Voldemort: "No higher pleasure... That means a great deal, Bellatrix, from you."
- Bellatrix: "My Lord knows I speak nothing but the truth!"
- — Bellatrix's delight at Voldemort staying at Malfoy Manor[src]
By the next year, Bellatrix was living with Narcissa at Malfoy Manor so that she could be closer to Voldemort. She was the only resident of the manor who was actually pleased beyond measure that he was staying there. Despite her unwavering loyalty, Voldemort humiliated and jeered at Bellatrix and the Malfoys by bringing up their relative Nymphadora Tonks' marriage to werewolf Remus Lupin, Bellatrix eagerly told her master that she would "prune her family tree".
When the Death Eaters subsequently attacked the Order of the Phoenix while they were moving Harry Potter out his relatives' home, Bellatrix and her husband targeted Tonks in particular. Rodolphus was injured in the pursuit, and Tonks escaped. Soon afterwards, a copy of Godric Gryffindor's Sword was secured in Bellatrix's family vault at Gringotts Wizarding Bank on Voldemort's orders, Voldemort and Bellatrix both unaware, at the time, that it was merely a copy.
Skirmish at Malfoy Manor[edit | edit source]
In 1998, when Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger were captured by Snatchers and brought to the Manor with the real sword, Bellatrix panicked. This led to Harry thinking that there could be something else of Voldemort's in her vault — his Horcrux, Helga Hufflepuff's Cup, seeming most likely. Bellatrix Stunned all the Snatchers, intending to kill them later, as Draco was unwilling to himself.
Bellatrix then interrogated Hermione and tortured her with the Cruciatus Curse, but Hermione managed to lie, claiming the real sword was only a copy.She thought that maybe Harry and his friends got the Horcrux from her vault, so she told Pettigrew to get Griphook from the cellar to tell her if the sword is fake or not and the goblin managed to tell a lie, obeying Harry's request to him.
- "You're a lying, you filthy Mudblood, and I know it! You have been inside my vault at Gringotts! Tell the truth, tell the truth! What else did you take? What else have you got? Tell me the truth or, I swear, I shall run you through with this knife! What else did you take, what else? ANSWER ME! CRUCIO!"
- —Overheard parts of Bellatrix's interrogation of Hermione Granger[src]
Bellatrix also threatened Hermione with a knife, after Harry and Ron escaped from the cellar with the assistance of Dobby and Ron disarmed her. While holding the knife to an unconscious Hermione's throat, Bellatrix demanded that the boys drop their wands, and then pressed her Dark Mark, calling Voldemort. However, Dobby reappeared and caused the chandelier to fall from above Bellatrix's head, prompting her to release Hermione and jump out of the way. As the house-elf Disapparated with Harry, Bellatrix threw the knife at Dobby, fatally wounding him in the chest. She and her relatives were severely punished by Voldemort for allowing Harry to escape. Bellatrix also lost her wand in the skirmish.
Not long afterwards, Hermione used some of Bellatrix's hair, which had fallen onto her clothes while Bellatrix held her hostage.
Battle of Hogwarts and death[edit | edit source]
During the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998, Bellatrix finally succeeded in killing Nymphadora Tonks, her estranged sister's daughter, . When Voldemort called a temporary retreat, waiting for Harry Potter to turn himself in, Bellatrix waited by his side; she offered him help when he was dazed after using the Killing Curse on Harry, but was coldly rebuffed. When the Death Eaters marched back to Hogwarts with a "dead" Harry, she laughed at Minerva McGonagall's cry of despair.
When the battle resumed, Bellatrix fought Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood all at once, just as her master fought three by himself. It was said that despite all three young witches being skilled, combined they did not equal Bellatrix's magical abilities. She shot a Killing Curse at Ginny, which missed by an inch, which enraged Ginny's mother, Molly Weasley, she threw off her cloak and with a swipe of her wand began to duel. Bellatrix did not take Molly seriously in the least, and even taunted her over the death of her son, Fred. As the duel continued the ground beneath the two witches feet was said to become hot and cracked. Molly then shot a curse at Bellatrix over the heart, killing her.
After she shockingly toppled to the ground, an outraged Voldemort turned on Molly. This prompted Harry to reveal himself, and the final showdown between him and Voldemort ensued. Bellatrix did not live to see her master defeated mere moments later.
Physical appearance[edit | edit source]
- "…a woman with thick, shining dark hair and heavily hooded eyes… was sitting in the chained chair as though it were a throne…"
- —Description of Bellatrix at her trial[src]
Bellatrix was described as a tall woman with long, thick, shining black hair. She had thin lips, dark, heavy-lidded eyes, and a strong jaw. She had the classic 'great good looks' and arrogant bearing common for members of the House of Black, but like her cousin Sirius, time in Azkaban took a toll on her appearance. After her lengthy imprisonment, she was described as having a gaunt and skull-like face, but managed to retain some vestige of her great beauty. Bellatrix was noted to physically resemble her sister Andromeda, as Harry mistook Andromeda for Bellatrix on one occasion. Also, Harry noted that as much as Narcissa is fair as Bellatrix is dark, the two sisters still resembled each other.
Personality and traits[edit | edit source]
- "...she definitely has a personality disorder."
- —Helena Bonham Carter discusses the character
Bellatrix was an intensely sadistic witch with primitive, animalistic tendencies. She was highly intelligent, but could be easily distracted, and had a fierce and dangerous temper, a trait that she shared with her cousin Sirius and her aunt Walburga.
Bellatrix was slavishly devoted to Lord Voldemort, believing that she proved her loyalty by her time in Azkaban, which seems to have furthered her mental decline. She was Voldemort's most trusted and loyal follower, as well as one of his cruelest Death Eaters, always eager to inflict the Cruciatus Curse on enemies and her family members; Harry Potter noted that Bellatrix was as "mad as her master." 
Bellatrix was extremely narcissistic and imperiously arrogant. She was obsessed with blood purity and took immense pride in the aristocracy and pure blood of her family. Like all the rest of Lord Voldemort's followers, she was vehemently against all "blood traitors," half-bloods, Muggle-borns, and Muggles but was not above killing members of her own family who displeased her.
Bellatrix was a natural leader and took charge in tricky situations, such as during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor. Another mark of her decisiveness and ruthlessness, Bellatrix took no unnecessary prisoners, preferring to kill them instead, as she planned to do with a group of Snatchers who attempted to defy her in Malfoy Manor in 1998.
Despite her cruel personality, Bellatrix was not incapable of feeling affection for others and appeared to care about her younger sister Narcissa, following her to Severus Snape's house, when Narcissa went to beg Snape to help her son. She was also genuinely in love with her master, Lord Voldemort, though he, being incapable of love, did not return her feelings.
Magical abilities and skills[edit | edit source]
Bellatrix Lestrange was an extremely powerful and dangerous witch. She was a master of the Dark Arts, an incredibly skilled duellist, and an Occlumens. Her prodigious skill was proven by her many victories over other talented wizards and witches, including several Aurors.
- Dark Arts: Bellatrix claimed to have been trained in the Dark Arts by Voldemort himself, and displayed particular proficiency with the Cruciatus Curse. She boasted to have knowledge of Dark spells that few could comprehend the power of; a claim supported by her status as Voldemort's "best lieutenant". Like her master, Bellatrix was capable of casting the Killing Curse with no regard for the life she wished to extinguish. Though, unlike the Dark Lord, she usually preferred to torture her victims rather than killing them straight away, doing so with such skill her victims can pass out, like Hermione Granger, or even go to the point of insanity like Frank and Alice Longbottom. Like many Death Eaters, she could summon the Dark Mark. After Dumbledore's death she cast a spell that shattered the windows, blew up all the candles and lit out the lights, nonverbally. She also used an unknown spell to bring Greyback to his knees at Malfoy Manor, an unknown curse to kill her cousin Sirius, although it could've been the Killing Curse, and cast what could have possibly been Fiendfyre around the burrow.
- Non-verbal magic: Bellatrix also seemed highly adept at using nonverbal spells. She killed a fox with a flash of green light on her way to Spinner's End, in 1996, which was highly likely to have been a nonverbal Killing Curse and ferociously duelled Molly Weasley with such intensity that the floor around her became "hot and cracked" without mentioning a single incantation. She also fired a curse at Harry, non-verbally, which caused a tank of brains to lift and tip itself onto him whilst he chased her in the Thought Chamber and furthermore fired several destructive curses at him without speaking in the Atrium at the Ministry of Magic, some of which were possibly Cruciatus curses. She also cast the Dark Mark and decimated the Great Hall non-verbally.
- Duelling: Bellatrix Lestrange was an incredibly talented duellist, and defeated and seriously injured Nymphadora Tonks and Kingsley Shacklebolt in duels during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, as well as her cousin Sirius and was the only Death Eater to deflect a spell from Albus Dumbledore himself, allowing her to escape the renowned wizard. She also quickly and single-handedly defeated four Snatchers and Fenrir Greyback, and later killed her niece in battle. Just before her death, Bellatrix duelled Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, and Ginny Weasley all at once, and was described as being equal in power to all three of the talented, if inexperienced, witches. Her death at the hands of Molly Weasley was due to her vastly underestimating the witch, who was fuelled by grief over the murder of her son. In addition, despite her years of captivity within Azkaban, Bellatrix displayed incredible reflexes that outmatched the much younger and physically fit Harry Potter; she was able to conjure a Shield Charm and deflect his own spell back at him the moment he cast it. She was also physically fit enough to throw a knife with lethal accuracy across a room to strike her target. During the Battle of Hogwarts, Bellatrix was the last Death Eater standing, apart from Lord Voldemort, and it should be noted that she was wielding a wand that which she had most likely not won the allegiance of, which is further evidence of her exceptional duelling skills.
- Occlumency: Bellatrix trained her nephew Draco Malfoy in Occlumency as part of his mission to kill Albus Dumbledore. This training was effective enough that Draco was able to block out Severus Snape. It is also possible that she could perform Legilimency as may have penetrated draco's mind to train him to block his thoughts
- Transfiguration: Bellatrix displayed the ability to transfigure part of her wand into a whip and conjure a snake around Greyback's neck at lightning speed, which proved quite difficult in removing, all non-verbally. This may have been very difficult since it is "against the rules" to transfigure a magical object and perhaps even harder to transfigure one's own wand.
- Flying: Bellatrix participated in the Battle of the Seven Potters, duelling her niece while flying. Her proficiency in this battle demonstrates her abilities as a flyer.
- Unbreakable Vow: Bellatrix could cast a bonder spell to help make an Unbreakable Vow for Draco Malfoy and forced Severus Snape to kill Albus Dumbledore and protect Draco when Draco failed to do so.
- Disapparition: Bellatrix was fairly good at this skill, She also apparated into Spinners End with Narcissa Malfoy to visit Severus Snape. Most Death Eaters needed to learn to apparate/disapparate in order to become what they are.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Family[edit | edit source]
- Voldemort: "I'm talking about your niece, Bellatrix. And yours, Lucius and Narcissa. She just married the werewolf, Remus Lupin. You must be so proud."
- Bellatrix: "She is no niece of ours, my Lord. We -- Narcissa and I -- have never set eyes on our sister since she married the Mudblood. This brat has nothing to do with either of us, nor any beast she marries."
- Voldemort: "What say you, Draco? Will you babysit the cubs? [...] Many of our oldest family trees become a little diseased over time. You must prune yours, must you not, to keep it healthy? Cut away those parts that threaten the health of the rest."
- Bellatrix: "Yes my Lord. At the first chance!"
- Voldemort: "You shall have it. And in your family, so in the world...we shall cut away the canker that infects us until only those of the true blood remain..."
- — Voldemort discussing blood purity with the Death Eaters[src]
Bellatrix took the pure-blood values of her family very seriously, as indicated by her marriage into a known pure-blood wizarding family and her zealous belief in Death Eater ideology. She had no feelings of affection for those in her family deemed blood traitors by disgracing and dishonoring her family by not fanatically honoring the prejudiced values she did, and readily attacked and killed them on many occasions. She seems to have had a fairly close and affectionate relationship with her younger sister Narcissa, whom she called "Cissy." Despite distrusting Severus Snape and attempting to dissuade her sister from approaching him, Bellatrix accompanied Narcissa to Spinner's End to request Snape's help in seeing Draco through the task assigned to him by Lord Voldemort in 1996.
- Bellatrix: "We were told not to speak of the plan to anyone, this is a betrayal of the Dark Lord's —"
- Narcissa: "Let go, Bella!"
- Bellatrix: "Cissy, your own sister? You wouldn't —"
- Narcissa: "There's nothing I wouldn't do any more!"
- — Bellatrix and Narcissa disagreeing with each other at Spinner's End[src]
After Snape agreed to make the Unbreakable Vow, Bellatrix acted as Bonder, ensuring that Snape would fulfil his promises to Narcissa. Narcissa and Bellatrix occasionally clashed over the former's protectiveness towards her son; Bellatrix argued that Narcissa should be proud that her son was a Death Eater, while Narcissa consistently demonstrated that the safety of her son and husband were her first priorities. Still, the two seemed close, and, at some point, Bellatrix trained Draco in Occlumency to aid him in his mission.
On the other hand, Bellatrix hated her "blood traitor" relatives. After her sister Andromeda married a muggle-born and was disowned, Bellatrix never saw her again. She shared a mutual loathing with her "dear cousin" Sirius Black, and the two taunted each other as they duelled during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. After killing Sirius, Bellatrix jeered at Harry about the death of his godfather on multiple occasions.
Bellatrix also eagerly attacked her niece, Nymphadora Tonks, on at least three occasions — this was likely for a combination of reasons, including Tonks' being a half-blood, an Auror, and member of the Order of the Phoenix, the fact that she had married a werewolf and Voldemort's comments to her about "pruning her family tree". Bellatrix eventually killed Tonks during the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998.
- "Come out, come out, little Harry! What did you come after me for, then? I thought you were here to avenge my dear cousin!...Did you love him, little baby Potter?"
- —Bellatrix taunts Harry about killing Sirius.[src]
It is possible that Bellatrix was on good terms with her other cousin, Regulus, who was a Death Eater during the First Wizarding War. Regulus initially espoused the pure-blood supremacist line associated with his family, and like Bellatrix, was sorted into the Slytherin house during his time at Hogwarts. It is unlikely that he revealed his change of heart to Bellatrix, or anyone else, prior to his death in 1979.
Her relationship with Draco seemed to have some affection; though she seemed to disapprove of his inability to kill and dislike for torture. She taught him Occlumency and possibly non-verbal spells. His blood relationship with her is probably the only reason he is still alive; due to his father's failure and his failure of his 1996-1997 task. Seeing Lucius's extreme failure and the confiscation of his wand, Bellatrix saw her brother-in-law with disdain and contempt, showing him little to no respect during their argument of summoning Voldemort for capturing Harry.
Rodolphus Lestrange[edit | edit source]
In marrying Rodolphus Lestrange, Bellatrix made a "respectable pure-blood marriage", as was expected of her. There is no indication that her relationship with her husband went beyond this, as Bellatrix loved Voldemort and never expressed any affection or concern for her husband. They were both Death Eaters and seemed to work together in this role, as Rodolphus tortured Alice and Frank Longbottom with his wife, as well as his brother and Barty Crouch Jr. in 1981, and was paired with Bellatrix during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. He was also by her side during the Battle of the Seven Potters, as Nymphadora Tonks mentioned cursing him and being pursued by Bellatrix. Sirius Black described them as part of the same "gang of Slytherins" at Hogwarts, which also included Lucius Malfoy, Evan Rosier and Severus Snape.
Quite the opposite of her sister, Narcissa, Bellatrix showed virtually no affection towards or otherwise acknowledged her husband, and Rodolphus's feelings for his wife are unknown. Other than marrying for the purpose of entering a "pure-blood marriage," it is likely that Bellatrix and Rodolphus did not love, or were not particularly attracted to, each other. Bellatrix felt that Narcissa ought be proud that Draco was called into service as a Death Eater; she once told her sister that if she had sons, she would "be glad to give them up to the service of the Dark Lord", once again showing her fanatical devotion towards Lord Voldemort. No children appear beneath Bellatrix and Rodolphus's names on the Black family tapestry, which indicates that Bellatrix died childless.
Lord Voldemort[edit | edit source]
- "She sat beside her sister, as unlike her in looks, with her dark hair and heavily lidded eyes, as she was in bearing and demeanor; where Narcissa sat rigid and impassive, Bellatrix leaned toward Voldemort, for mere words could not demonstrate her longing for closeness."
- —Bellatrix demonstrates her obsession with Voldemort during the Meeting at Malfoy Manor[src]
Bellatrix was perhaps the only person who was genuinely loyal to Lord Voldemort. Unlike nearly all the other Death Eaters, Bellatrix never attempted to deny her loyalties when Voldemort fell in 1981. Instead she proudly claimed that she was his most loyal and trusted servant and that he would rise again, and willingly endured the horrors of Azkaban prison for him. More than just being a fanatic, Bellatrix was obsessed with Voldemort's ideals of blood purity and fascination with the Dark Arts. She is described as being slavishly devoted to her master, regarding him with "worshipful fascination" and speaking to him in a sexual way, as if to a lover. Voldemort did not reciprocate, as he did not know love at all.
It was Voldemort's cold reactions that seemed to make Bellatrix even more determined to kill her niece, Nymphadora Tonks and "prune" her family tree. For her, satisfying Voldemort was of the utmost importance, and therefore the thought of disappointing him was Bellatrix's deepest fear.
Voldemort considered Bellatrix his most valuable and loyal Death Eater. He trained her in the Dark Arts and when she was killed in a duel with Molly Weasley in the final battle, Voldemort's fury was said to "explode like a bomb" and hers was the only death that he attempted to avenge before Harry Potter intervened. However, it is unlikely that he was angry because he truly cared about Bellatrix as a person. He regarded her only in terms of how useful she was to him.
Despite Bellatrix being fanatically devoted to the ideology of blood purity, she did not seem to mind that Voldemort was a half-blood, even though she flew into a rage when Harry spoke of this heritage. This may be due to Voldemort lying to his subordinates about being pure-blood, and that Bellatrix fully chose to believe her master's lie over the truth from the enemy.
Harry Potter[edit | edit source]
Bellatrix Lestrange saw Harry Potter as her master's most hated enemy, constantly mocking and underestimating him. She goaded him with baby-talk when he was tricked into coming to Sirius's rescue, and was outraged at his showing disrespect to Voldemort, calling him a filthy half-blood; only her brother-in-law, Lucius Malfoy, was able to restrain her at that moment. She took sadistic pleasure in killing Sirius and seeing how much it hurt Harry. In their brief duel, when Harry struck her with the Cruciatus Curse, she called him weak and told him that one had to "mean it," to really want to cause pain, when using an Unforgivable Curse. Bellatrix despised Harry for the inexplicable threat he posed to the Dark Lord, and wanted him dead.
Harry had hated and feared Bellatrix ever since he first saw her in the Pensieve, learning that she was responsible for the attack on Alice and Frank Longbottom. Harry's attention was immediately drawn to Bellatrix's picture when the news of the ten escaped Death Eaters appeared in the Daily Prophet, and whenever he saw her image on wanted posters after that. During the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Harry fully intended to kill Bellatrix in retaliation for her murder of his godfather, and at the onset of the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor, Bellatrix's appearance in the fray caused his fear to reach a new high. Bellatrix also killed Dobby the house-elf and Nymphadora Tonks, and when she attempted to murder Ginny Weasley during the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry was diverted from his goal of destroying Voldemort in the hopes of attacking her; he was stopped only by the sudden intervention of Molly Weasley.
[edit | edit source]
After the fall of the Dark Lord in 1981, Bellatrix along with three other Death Eaters (including her husband, Rodolphus Lestrange) set out to attack members of the Order of the Phoenix, hoping to interrogate them for information on Voldemort's whereabouts. She personally attacked Alice and Frank Longbottom, torturing them by means of the Cruciatus Curse in her attempt at forcing them to yield the information she wanted. The event rendered the Aurors clinically and permanently insane, therefore condemning them to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries for the remainder of their lives. Prior to the Longbottoms' capture and torture, Alice had given birth to a baby boy, Neville Longbottom.
Neville was left with parents incapable of even recognising him let alone caring for him, and so was raised by his grandmother. Bellatrix seemed to find the fact that she had caused Neville's family tragedy highly amusing. Upon first meeting Neville, she proceeded to mock his loss, extremely angering him in the process. Ever since he was old enough to understand why his parents needed to be hospitalised, Neville had despised Bellatrix Lestrange, but given his benign nature, he never sought vengeance against her. Instead, Neville honoured his parents by showing more bravery than anyone could have expected of him, retaliating, when Bellatrix taunted him, rebelling against the tyranny of the Carrows during his seventh year at Hogwarts and subsequently fighting during the 1998 Battle of Hogwarts against Voldemort and his forces.
Severus Snape[edit | edit source]
Severus Snape was a Death Eater prior to the end of the First Wizarding War, changing sides shortly before Voldemort's 1981 downfall, and becoming a triple agent for Albus Dumbledore. Bellatrix was highly suspicious of him, possibly because of Snape's half-blood status, though mainly citing his evading a sentence to Azkaban "in Dumbledore's pocket;" mistrust may also have been Bellatrix's only real way of expressing her envy of the position of trust and respect Snape enjoyed under Voldemort. In 1996, Bellatrix followed Narcissa to Snape's house, trying to dissuade her from seeking his help in guiding and guarding Draco in the task of killing Albus Dumbledore. Bellatrix was taken aback by Snape's conformance in making the Unbreakable Vow, for which she acted as a Bonder. Both she and Snape fought at the Battle of Hogwarts, Bellatrix dying, however, before being able to discover that her initial mistrust of Snape had been valid after all.
Albus Dumbledore[edit | edit source]
Albus Dumbledore knew Bellatrix to be a highly dangerous Death Eater since the First Wizarding War, having also witnessed her trial and imprisonment, after she tortured the Aurors Alice and Frank Longbottom to insanity and beyond.
Though Bellatrix was fanatically loyal to Voldemort, and believed that he was greater and more powerful than Dumbledore, she would not brave Dumbledore in a duel, as she recognised him as a far more superior wizard than she was a witch. During the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Bellatrix opted to flee rather than engage Dumbledore in battle, deflecting his spells as she made her escape, and was the only Death Eater in the Death Chamber who succeeded in escaping from him - a testament of her prodigious magical skills.
While Bellatrix most likely never had so much as a full conversation with the Headmaster, Dumbledore seemed to understand her very well; he admitted to Severus Snape that he would prefer to not fall prey to Bellatrix Lestrange in his weakened state (caused by Voldemort's cursed Horcrux ring), as she liked to "play with her food before she eats it".
Death Eaters[edit | edit source]
Bellatrix was not likely to have viewed many of the other Death Eaters as her equals, as she believed both her skill and devotion to Voldemort to exceed that of others. Undoubtedly, she considered Voldemort's most loyal Death Eaters to be those who, like her, were imprisoned in Azkaban at some point: namely, Barty Crouch Jr., and her husband and his brother. While it's unclear exactly how much genuine respect the other Death Eaters had for Bellatrix, it was clear they were familiar with her view of herself, as Travers became less suspicious of Hermione Granger, disguised as Bellatrix via Polyjuice Potion in 1998, only after Hermione took on a much haughtier persona.
Order of the Phoenix and enemies[edit | edit source]
Most of the Order of the Phoenix knew Bellatrix as one of the most dangerous and sadistic of Lord Voldemort's followers, especially considering Bellatrix managed to kill, seriously injure, or duel and successfully defeat several Order members. She despised her "blood traitor" cousin and niece, Sirius Black and Nymphadora Tonks, both of whom she eventually killed; she bested Kingsley Shacklebolt at the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, was disgusted by Remus Lupin, as a werewolf, marrying into her family through Nymphadora Tonks, and of course, took part in torturing the Aurors Alice and Frank Longbottom.
- Ron Weasley: "No! You can have me, keep me!"
- Bellatrix Lestrange: "If she dies under questioning, I'll take you next. Blood traitor is next to Mudblood in my book."
- — During the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor[src]
At the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor, she singled out Hermione Granger, as a Muggle-born, to torture and interrogate, though she offered to take Ron Weasley next, as a member of the Weasley family, well known in pure-blood supremacist circles as "blood traitors." During the Battle of Hogwarts, Bellatrix cruelly taunted Molly Weasley about the death of Molly's son, Fred, and when she tried to attack Molly's daughter, Ginny, she instigated a vicious battle between Molly and herself. This battle ended in the death of Bellatrix, who continued laughing derisively at the efforts of her opponent until the moment she realised Molly had defeated her.
Kreacher[edit | edit source]
Kreacher was the last house-elf of the House of Black, and he mimicked his family's pure-blood supremacist values. Presumably by showing Kreacher a bit of kindness, Bellatrix and Narcissa managed to convince the lonely house-elf, who had lived by himself for years at 12 Grimmauld Place following the death of his beloved Walburga Black, to give them information about the nature of Harry Potter and Sirius Black's relationship — information they were able to use in a scheme that ultimately led to Black's death. Kreacher later helped Bellatrix by injuring Buckbeak, Sirius's hippogriff, and by lying to Harry that Sirius was gone, when he had actually only gone upstairs to tend to Buckbeak's injury. Harry went to the Ministry of Magic to "save" Sirius, who in turn went there to save Harry, and was killed in a duel with Bellatrix. After Sirius's death, Kreacher hoped to move into Bellatrix's possession, but Sirius's will transferred ownership to Harry. Kreacher finally gave his loyalty to Harry in 1997, and fought against Voldemort and his Death Eaters, Bellatrix included, during the Battle of Hogwarts.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
Like many members of the House of Black, Bellatrix's name is derived from that of a star. Bellatrix is the third brightest star in the constellation Orion; it is also known as the Amazon Star. This is presumably an allusion to Bellatrix Lestrange being among the most dangerously skilled Death Eaters. The Amazons were warrior women in Greek mythology. Her name likely has Latin, French and English origins: Bella is Latin both for the plural of bellum, meaning war, and the feminine singular adjective meaning "beautiful;" trix is Latin feminine suffix (i.e. Bellatrix is the Latin word for a female warrior or a personification of feminine beauty), and Lestrange is likely a play on l'étrange, which is French meaning "the strange one". Her name thus alludes to both her beauty and her mental instability.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
- Actress Helena Bonham Carter stated that Bellatrix suffers from a sadistic personality disorder. However SPD is no longer recognised as a valid mental disorder by the DSM so were she a real person (and alive) it is more likely that Bellatrix would be diagnosed with some form of sociopathic or antisocial personality disorder.
- Bellatrix does not appear in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In the book, Harry witnesses her trial for the torture of Neville's parents.
- The age difference between Bellatrix and her portrayer Helena Bonham Carter is one of the closest in the series. Bellatrix is approximately mid 40s in her first appearance and dies at about 46/47. Helena first played the role at age 41, and last played her at age 45, meaning there is only a two or three year difference.
- Originally, Helen McCrory was going to play the role of Bellatrix in the film version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but due to her pregnancy, she opted out of the film and was replaced by Helena Bonham Carter. Ironically, Bonham Carter herself learned she was pregnant shortly after completing filming. McCrory was eventually cast as Bellatrix's sister Narcissa in the film version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. In the film, Bonham Carter is noticeably wearing looser clothing, as opposed to her form-fitting costume of the previous film (see below).
- In the Order of the Phoenix film, Bonham Carter's costume reflected the mental state of the character, thus the torn gloves and dress, she also had alternate attires with a hood worn up and a mask, but they were not used in the final cut of the film.
- On the tapestry depicted in the film, the face of Bellatrix pictured is a face of Helena Bonham Carter. On the DVD there is a different picture of Bellatrix on the tapestry, where she has a purple hat and looks stylistically similar to her sisters.
- There is a notable difference between Bellatrix's personality from the books and her portrayal in the films where her hot temper and reflexive attacks have been largely omitted. Bellatrix is also often shown in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, to have a more deranged quality about her that is not as established in the books in which she is typically more severe and murderous. For instance, during the Skirmish at the Burrow (a scene that occurs only in the sixth film), Bellatrix adopts her raucous mocking of Harry Potter, repeating the childish, sing-song phrase used in the fifth film: "I killed Sirius Black!" Followed by, "He's coming to get me!" She also speaks with a cockney accent in the film which is absent in the book.
- The house-elf Kreacher has a great fondness for Bellatrix. Harry Potter eventually came to understand that Kreacher responds to respect and kindness, and Hermione Granger realised that Bellatrix and Narcissa were indulgent with him, in contrast with Sirius' abuse. When they were kind to him, he gave them the information that they wanted.
- Sirius Black told Harry Potter that Bellatrix ran in the same crowd as Severus Snape while at Hogwarts, but her date of birth makes this impossible. Bellatrix would have attended Hogwarts from 1962 to 1969, or possibly 1963 to 1970, depending on which month in 1951 she was born in, whereas Snape began his schooling in 1971. This may simply be an error, as J. K. Rowling has admitted that maths is not her strong suit. Another possible explanation could be that both Bellatrix and Snape went around with the same type of people, some of whom may have overlapped depending on age.
- Bellatrix's wand is 12¾" walnut wood, with a dragon heartstring core. It was described by Ollivander as "unyielding".
- Helena Bonham Carter, who portrays Bellatrix in the films, described the character as being "as bonkers as they come", commenting that Bellatrix has "a bit of a child-like madness... like boys who like to pick apart an insect for the sake of it".
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Bellatrix participates in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower but in the book there is no mention of her. Also, a new scene has been added of The Burrow being attacked and burned over the Christmas holidays by Bellatrix, Fenrir Greyback, and an unknown Death Eater, possibly Amycus Carrow, Yaxley, or Thorfinn Rowle.
- J. K. Rowling stated in an interview that she had always intended that Molly Weasley would be the one to kill Bellatrix, for two main reasons: Firstly, so that Molly could "have her moment" and show that simply because she had dedicated herself to her family didn't mean that she wasn't a powerful witch, and second, to show the clash of Molly's "maternal love" against Bellatrix's "obsessive 'love'". She considered Neville might be the one to kill Bellatrix as revenge for torturing his parents.
- In the film version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Bellatrix appears in the adapted scene of the Battle of the Astronomy Tower despite there being no mention of her presence there in the sixth book. Also of difference is the fact that there is no literal "Battle" between the Death Eaters and the Order of the Phoenix during this scene; allowing the former group to pass through Hogwarts without resistance and Bellatrix to walk insanely on the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall before casting a spell to destroy all of the Hall's many windows. It is during the segment in the Astronomy Tower that Bellatrix speaks the line, "well done", to Draco for cornering Dumbledore. In the book, it is Amycus Carrow who congratulates Draco for his work. Bellatrix then proceeds to order Draco to hurry and murder Dumbledore, in place of Yaxley (who does not make a true appearance at all in the film). Also different in this section of the film is that Bellatrix casts the Dark Mark into the sky after Dumbledore's death, whereas in the book, it is Gibbon who does so prior to the death of the Headmaster. Finally, Bellatrix (in the film) is shown to perform the main acts of crime that were committed by Thorfinn Rowle in the book. These include burning down Hagrid's hut (although the film shows the burning process to be more explosive than it was described to be in the book) and briefly torturing Harry with the Cruciatus Curse.
- Bellatrix's wanted poster is featured on an official Warner Brothers Harry Potter t-shirt. It says that Bellatrix was convicted for murder. In the book, she was sentenced to Azkaban for her participation in the torture of Frank and Alice Longbottom.
- Bellatrix has the distinction of being the only person in the series to duel all three main characters on separate occasions. She attacked Harry Potter during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, fought Ron Weasley in the sky during the Battle of the Seven Potters, and duelled with Hermione Granger in the Battle of Hogwarts.
- Bellatrix is the only one of the three Black sisters to not have any children, Andromeda having Nymphadora Tonks and Narcissa having Draco Malfoy.
- In the final book and film, Molly Weasley is the one who kills Bellatrix. However, in the final video game, after Neville defies Voldemort and pulls the sword of Gryffindor out of the Sorting Hat, Voldemort casts a Killing Curse at Neville and it ricochets off of the sword and hits Bellatrix, she does not die when it hits her, but screams when it does. She later fights Molly and is defeated, lying on the floor dead, unlike the movie when she's blasted into ash.
- Despite Bellatrix being his most loyal servant, Voldemort did not seem to hesitate when it came to attempting to kill her among the countless others in Malfoy Manor. It seems the only reason she did not die was because she and Lucius Malfoy pushed others aside in their race for the door. Voldemort later considered it a grave mistake ever to trust Bellatrix and Lucius, their stupidity and carelessness proving how unwise it was.
- In the film, however, Bellatrix was spared, and did not leave the room in Voldemort's fit of rage. She could be seen cowering in fear by the fireplace; although, it could be that Voldemort did not see her in the corner or else missed her in his killing spree.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance) (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (First identified as Bellatrix Lestrange)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game)
- Harry Potter LEGO Sets
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- The Gringotts Head calls Hermione Granger this, thinking it is Bellatrix because she has taken the Polyjuice Potion
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) - Original Script
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Leaky Cauldron: J.K. Rowling Webchat 30 July 2007
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- F.A.Q. at J.K. Rowling's Official Site
- Deathly Hallows, Ch. 24
- Entertainment Weekly: Helena Bonham Carter Gets Wicked
- J. K. Rowling at Carnegie Hall
Alecto Carrow | Amycus Carrow | Antonin Dolohov | Augustus Rookwood | Avery (I) | Avery (II) |
Barty Crouch Jr. | Bellatrix Lestrange | Crabbe | Evan Rosier | Gibbon | Goyle |
Jugson | Lestrange | Mulciber (I) | Mulciber (II) | Nott | Rabastan Lestrange | Rodolphus Lestrange | Rosier | Selwyn | Thorfinn Rowle | Travers | Walden Macnair | Wilkes | Yaxley
|Death Eaters who Defected:|
|Category:Death Eater allies:|
Vincent Crabbe | Golgomath | Gregory Goyle | Fenrir Greyback | Narcissa Malfoy (defected) |
Quirinus Quirrell | Scabior | Dolores Umbridge
Dementors | Giants (Golgomath's control) | Muggle-Born Registration Commission | Snatchers | Werewolves