- "Potter, you cannot win against me! I was and am the Dark Lord's most loyal servant. I learned the Dark Arts from him, and I know spells of such power that you, pathetic little boy, can never hope to compete!"
- —Bellatrix Lestrange on her own loyalty and skill[src]
Madam Bellatrix Lestrange (née Black) (1951 – 2 May, 1998) was a pure-blood witch, the eldest daughter of Cygnus Black III and Druella Black (née Rosier) and elder sister of Andromeda Tonks and Narcissa Malfoy. She was a member of the House of Black, an old wizarding family and one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight. Bellatrix started her education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1962 and was Sorted into Slytherin House.
After graduating from Hogwarts she became a Death Eater. She was fanatically loyal to Lord Voldemort and was among the most dangerous and sadistic of Voldemort's followers. While Bellatrix and Narcissa married pure-blood wizards, Andromeda married Ted Tonks, a Muggle-born wizard and was disowned by the family. Andromeda was burned off the Black Family Tree, just like Sirius Black, and they were forbidden to talk about her. At the end of the First Wizarding War Bellatrix, Rodolphus Lestrange (husband), Rabastan Lestrange (brother-in-law), and Barty Crouch Jr took part in the torture of the Aurors Frank and Alice Longbottom, parents of Neville Longbottom, to the point of driving them insane, while searching for information on Lord Voldemort after his first downfall. They were caught and sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban for torturing the two Aurors.
Bellatrix escaped from Azkaban in the 1996 mass break-out, along with nine other Death Eaters. She participated in several battles of the Second Wizarding War, making it a particular goal to murder any relatives who were members of the Order of the Phoenix, including her cousin Sirius Black and niece Nymphadora Tonks. Bellatrix also murdered the Malfoy family's former house-elf, Dobby, who had become a firm ally of Harry Potter, with her knife. During the final battle, apart from Voldemort, she was the last Death Eater standing, but was eventually killed in a duel by Molly Weasley after her attempted murder of Molly Weasley's daughter, Ginevra Weasley.
Early life (1951-1970)
- "Snape knew more curses when he arrived at school than half the kids in seventh year, and he was part of a gang of Slytherins who nearly all turned out to be Death Eaters. Rosier and Wilkes — they were both killed by Aurors the year before Voldemort fell. The Lestranges — they're a married couple — they're in Azkaban."
- —Sirius Black[src]
Bellatrix was born in 1951 to Cygnus Black III and Druella Black (née Rosier), who raised her to be proud of her pure-blood heritage. She was the elder sister of Andromeda and Narcissa Black, though Bellatrix cut off contact with Andromeda when she married Muggle-born wizard Ted Tonks and was disowned from the House of Black, as she told Voldemort in 1997 that neither she or Narcissa had "set eyes on Andromeda since she married the Mudblood Tonks". Bellatrix also held her cousin Sirius Black in contempt for being a "blood traitor" for his different opinions on Muggles and Muggle-borns.
Bellatrix came from the pure-blood Black family, and as such she was given a rich lifestyle. Bellatrix attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and was sorted into Slytherin House. She eventually married Rodolphus Lestrange, a fellow wealthy pure-blood and Slytherin. Although they would later work together well in their service to Lord Voldemort, the marriage appeared to be nothing more than an obligatory fulfilment of her family's pure-blood marriage traditions. Unlike Narcissa and Andromeda, Bellatrix displayed no affection for her husband whatsoever, never even mentioning him in conversations.
When Voldemort first rose to power, Bellatrix and Rodolphus joined the Death Eaters. Voldemort gave Bellatrix additional training in the Dark Arts. He was her true love, the one to whom she spoke in a romantic manner and showed concern for. However, he never returned her feelings as he was incapable of understanding love and disliked the idea of being emotionally attached to anyone.
First Wizarding War (1970-1981)
When the First Wizarding War broke out, Bellatrix and her husband Rodolphus both fought for Voldemort's Death Eaters, and remained loyal to Voldemort throughout the wizarding war and even after he was defeated by Harry Potter.
After the Dark Lord's fall on 31 October, 1981, Bellatrix and a group of Voldemort's followers, including Rodolphus, her brother-in-law Rabastan, and Barty Crouch Jr, kidnapped Aurors and Order of the Phoenix members Alice and Frank Longbottom, just new parents to Neville Longbottom. Bellatrix and her partners used the Cruciatus Curse to torture Alice and Frank for information on Voldemort's whereabouts, until the two captives were driven into insanity when they refused to divulge anything. This crime caused a wave of fury upon the wizard community of such ferocity that the Ministry were critically pressured to find the culprits, and when the four were captured they were tried before the Council of Magical Law and sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban. As a result of the torture Alice and Frank spent the rest of their lives at St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries and were unaware that they had a son together.
Between the wars (1981-1995)
After the fall of the Dark Lord Bellatrix stood trial for her crimes. Unlike many other Death Eaters, she did not lie about her loyalty — she proudly claimed that she was loyal to Voldemort and that she would wait for his return. Indeed, Bellatrix was so proud of her loyalty to Voldemort 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 the Dark Lord's most loyal follower and even Lord Voldemort, whom Bellatrix admired the most, gained a considerable amount of respect for her. Bellatrix was sentenced to life in Azkaban with no chance of release. She would spent the next fifteen years in a maximum security cell until her escape. Her time in Azkaban takes a toll on her already unstable mentality.
Harry Potter later witnessed Bellatrix's trial in 1995 in a memory of Professor Dumbledore's.
Second Wizarding War (1995-1998)
Escape from Azkaban
- "We have confirmed that ten high-security prisoners, in the early hours of yesterday evening, did escape... 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]
When Voldemort returned to power in June 1995 he said that Bellatrix, Rodolphus, and Rabastan Lestrange were faithful members of his inner circle and should be rewarded, as they did not denounce him after they were captured and tried.
In January 1996, a mass breakout from Azkaban set ten long-imprisoned Death Eaters loose. Bellatrix was one of the ten high-security Death Eaters who escaped in the mass breakout and rejoined Voldemort, and the Dementors joined the Dark Lord as well. Lord Voldemort had little trouble arranging this as many of the Dementors were happy to oblige his dark whims. The Daily Prophet (probably with encouragement from the Ministry of Magic) reported that the escaped criminal Sirius Black must be responsible for the incident. These ten were considered to be some of the most dangerous and highly guarded convicts due to their crimes being brutal and legendary. As a result, Bellatrix and her allies became wanted witches and wizards. They lived in hiding to avoid being captured by the Ministry.
Battle of the Department of Mysteries
- "Never used an Unforgivable Curse before, have you, boy? You need to mean them, Potter. You need to really want to cause pain — to enjoy it — righteous anger won't hurt me for long — I'll show you how it is done, shall I? I'll give you a lesson — Crucio!"
- —Bellatrix to Harry Potter regarding the Unforgivable Curses[src]
Later that very same year, Bellatrix and her brother-in-law, Lucius Malfoy, participated in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in a plot to steal a prophecy regarding Harry Potter and the Dark Lord. She was enraged when Harry spoke Voldemort's given name and mentioned his true status as a half-blood. She also recognised Neville Longbottom and later tortured him just like she tortured his parents. She was very condescending when dealing with the six D.A. members. Bellatrix tried unsuccessfully to retrieve the prophecy from Harry Potter via a Summoning Charm, but her efforts were stopped by Harry's quick use of a Shield Charm. She was also willing to do whatever it took to get the prophecy from Harry, including gleefully and sadistically threatening to torture 14 year old Ginny Weasley with the Cruciatus Curse while he watched.
When the Order of the Phoenix members arrived, Bellatrix duelled and defeated her niece, Nymphadora Tonks. She began fighting her cousin, Sirius Black. Sirius taunted her about the wicked Black Family and their pure-blood beliefs. Bellatrix then struck Sirius with a spell that sent him through the veil guarding the Death Chamber. After Sirius's death, Bellatrix defeated Kingsley Shacklebolt before going on the run. Later, Harry started to chase her in revenge for murdering Sirius. He attempted the Cruciatus Curse but only knocked her over and caused her a few seconds of pain. She taunted him and teasingly — yet correctly — taught him to how to do it properly.
Voldemort arrived at the Ministry shortly after Harry attempted to torture Bellatrix into insanity. Bellatrix pleaded to Voldemort not to be punished and tried to warn him that Albus Dumbledore was nearby, but he ignored her and concentrated on attempting to kill Harry. As he was about to cast the Killing Curse, Dumbledore arrived. Before duelling Voldemort, Dumbledore summoned Cornelius Fudge and some Aurors to the department. After the duel, Fudge and the Aurors arrived. Voldemort, having been seen by the public before he vanished, grabbed Bellatrix before Apparating away. She was the only Death Eater whom he took the time to help. The remaining ones were captured by Aurors and sent back to Azkaban.
Plot against Albus Dumbledore
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 fulfil 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."
Battle of the Seven Potters
- 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. She was the only resident of the manor who was actually pleased that Voldemort was staying there, telling him that there was "no higher pleasure". Despite her unwavering loyalty, her master humiliated her and the Malfoys by mentioning the marriage of Nymphadora Tonks, the daughter of Bellatrix and Narcissa's sister, to the werewolf Remus Lupin. Bellatrix insisted that she and Narcissa did not consider Nymphadora to be their niece, as they had disowned her mother (for marrying Nymphadora's father, a Muggle-born). Voldemort eventually stopped the teasing and advised Bellatrix to "prune" her "family tree", which she eagerly agreed to do as soon as possible.
When the Death Eaters subsequently attacked the Order of the Phoenix while they were moving Harry Potter from 4 Privet Drive, 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
- "You're 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]
In 1998, when Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger were captured by Snatchers and brought to the Manor with Godric Gryffindor's sword, Bellatrix panicked. This led Harry to deduce that there could be something of Voldemort's in her vault — his Horcrux, Helga Hufflepuff's Cup, seeming most likely. Bellatrix then stunned all the Snatchers, intending to kill them later, as Draco was unwilling to himself. She also had Draco try and identify Harry, as his face was unrecognizable due to a well placed Stinging Hex from Hermione in an effort to disguise his and by extension her and Ron's identities. Harry and Ron were then seperated from Hermione.
Bellatrix interrogated Hermione and tortured her with the Cruciatus Curse and her knife, carving "mudblood" into Hermione's arm, but Hermione managed to lie under unbearable pain, claiming the real sword was only a copy. But Bellatrix thought that maybe Harry and his friends got the sword from her vault, so she told Peter Pettigrew to get Griphook from the cellar to tell her if the sword was fake or not. Griphook managed to tell a lie, obeying Harry's request to him and keeping their secret safe. After Pettigrew was strangled to death with his own silver hand after showing mercy and loosening the grip he had on Harry's throat, Harry and Ron escaped the cellar and proceeded up the stairs to aid Hermione.
Bellatrix threatened Hermione with her knife, after Harry stunned Greyback and Lucius and Ron disarmed her. While holding the knife to an unconscious Hermione's throat, Bellatrix demanded that the prisoners drop their wands, and then pressed her Dark Mark, calling Voldemort. However, Dobby Apparated and created a diversion and caused the chandelier to fall from above Bellatrix's head, making her release Hermione and jump out of the way. She lashed out at the house-elf in complete disbelief of his rebellious action to his "former masters". Dobby claimed he was a "free elf" and disapparated. As the house-elf disapparated with Harry, Bellatrix threw the knife at Dobby, and the Apparation sucked up the knife with it, wounding Dobby in his chest, who died. She and her relatives were severely punished by Voldemort for allowing Harry to escape. Bellatrix also lost her wand in the skirmish.
After the incident at Malfoy Manor, Hermione used the hair of Bellatrix that had fallen on her while Bellatrix was torturing her to change herself into Bellatrix, therefore letting her sneak into Gringotts (Diagon Alley was infested with Death Eaters).
Battle of Hogwarts and death
- "Molly's curse soared beneath Bellatrix's outstretched arm and hit her squarely in the chest, directly over her heart. Bellatrix's gloating smile froze, her eyes seemed to bulge: for the tiniest space of time she knew what had happened, and then she toppled, and the watching crowd roared, and Voldemort screamed."
- —Description of Bellatrix's demise at Molly Weasley's hand[src]
During the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998, Bellatrix finally succeeded in murdering 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. Bellatrix eagerly asked Voldemort if she could check Harry for signs of life, but was refused and instead he sent her younger sister to confirm his death. When Narcissa had lied and told Voldemort that Harry was dead, Bellatrix and the other Death Eaters (and supporters) followed Voldemort to Hogwarts to announce Harry's "death".
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. Bellatrix became the last Death Eater standing aside from Voldemort. She cast a Killing Curse at Ginny, which missed by less than an inch; this enraged Ginny's mother, Molly Weasley, who promptly threw off her cloak and engaged in her own duel with the Death Eater. Bellatrix did not take Molly seriously in the least, initially taunting her over the death of her son, Fred Weasley cruelly calling him "Freddie".
The duel continued, however, and the ground beneath the two witches was said to become hot and cracked as their battle progressed. While Bellatrix laughed at her opponent, Molly managed to strike her in the chest with a curse which proved fatal. As her body toppled to the ground, an outraged Voldemort turned on Molly. This prompted Harry, who had watched the battle unfold beneath his Invisibility Cloak, to reveal himself, and the final showdown between him and Voldemort ensued. Bellatrix did not live to find out that her mistrust of Snape had been valid and she did not live to see her master's final defeat moments later.
- "A woman with thick, shining dark hair, long eyelashes and heavily hooded eyes… was sitting in the chained chair as though it were a throne."
- —Description of Bellatrix's apperance at her trial[src]
Bellatrix was described as a tall woman with long, thick shiny dark hair, thin lips, heavily-lidded eyes with long eyelashes, 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 Black, time in Azkaban took a toll on her appearance. As a Death Eater, Bellatrix bears the Dark Mark on her inner left forearm.
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 greatly resemble her younger sister, Andromeda Tonks, at first glance. However, Andromeda has lighter brown hair, a kinder face, and wider eyes. Harry Potter also noted that as much as Narcissa Malfoy, her youngest sister, is fair as Bellatrix is dark, the two sisters still resembled each other.
Personality and traits
Bellatrix was an intensely sadistic witch with brutal, violent tendencies. She was 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. She was immensely proud of her status as the most loyal follower of Lord Voldemort.
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 cruellest 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 egotistical and arrogant, described by Harry Potter as "treat[ing] everyone like scum." 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, Muggles, and half-breeds, 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 was that 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, she was not incapable of caring for a few people. She was obsessively in love with her master, Lord Voldemort. She was also sexually attracted to him though he did not return her feelings, because he was incapable of love and was asexual. She and her younger sister, Narcissa Mafloy, displayed a close relationship. She grudgingly went with Narcissa to Severus Snape's house when Narcissa wanted to ask Snape to help Draco and did not tell her master of Narcissa's deception. She also showed affection for her nephew, Draco Malfoy, teaching him Occlumency and possibly other skills.
Magical abilities and skills
- 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. However, 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.
- Non-verbal magic: Bellatrix also seemed highly adept at using non-verbal 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 non-verbal 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 decimated the Great Hall non-verbally, and used an unknown spell to bring Greyback to his knees at Malfoy Manor.
- 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 at Malfoy Manor and all four were described to be "no match". She later killed her niece, Nymphadora Tonks 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 skill to all three of the trained, if inexperienced (compared to her), 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. Besides this, 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 able 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 which she had most likely not won the allegiance of, which is further evidence of her extraordinary 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 she may have penetrated Draco's mind to train him to block his thoughts
- Charms: Bellatrix displayed a proficiency at Charms, given how she was the only Death Eater besides Voldemort to successfully block an attack from Dumbledore. However, she could not perform a Patronus Charm as she lacked the ability to think of a thought positive enough for the Charm to work.
- 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 bonding spell to help make an Unbreakable Vow for Draco Malfoy, which could force Severus Snape to kill Albus Dumbledore and protect Draco regardless of whether he wanted to or not.
- Teaching skills: Bellatrix taught Draco Occlumency, the Unforgivable Curses, and several non-verbal spells before his sixth year of school started. She also unwittingly taught Harry how to properly use the Unforgivable Curses, given how he acknowledged that his success on the Cruciatus Curse was actually from her taunting.
- Lord 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 discussing blood purity with fellow 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 dishonouring her family by not fanatically honouring 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 Malfoy through the task assigned to him by Lord Voldemort in 1996.
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 murdered Tonks during the Battle of Hogwarts in May 1998.
- "I killed Sirius Black! I killed Sirius Black! You going to get me? You going to get me? You going to get me?"
- —Bellatrix cruelly taunts Harry about murdering 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 his dislike for torture. She taught him Occlumency, non-verbal spells, the Unforgivable Curses and other branches of the Dark Arts, making her already talented nephew a powerful wizard. His blood relationship with her is probably the only reason he is still alive; due to his father's failure and Snape taking over his 1996-1997 task. Seeing Lucius's extreme failure and the confiscation of his wand, Bellatrix treated her brother-in-law with disdain and contempt, showing him little to no respect during their argument of summoning Voldemort for capturing Harry.
- "She sat beside her sister, as unlike her in looks, with her dark hair and heavily lidded eyes, as she was in bearing and demeanour; 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 obsessively in love with Lord Voldemort. Unlike many of the other Death Eaters, Bellatrix never attempted to deny her loyalties when her master fell in 1981. Instead she proudly claimed that she was his most loyal and trusted servant, and stated that he would rise again. She seemed to view Azkaban prison as a mere place to wait for his return. More than just being a fanatic, she shared his ideas of blood purity and fascination with the Dark Arts. Satisfying him was of the utmost importance to her. She was perfectly willing to kill her niece, Nymphadora Tonks, as a way of "pruning" her "family tree".
She is described as being slavishly devoted to her master, regarding him with "worshipful fascination" and speaking to him in a romantic way. On at least one occasion, during the 1997 meeting of Death Eaters at Malfoy Manor, her cheeks flushed and her eyes welled up with tears when she thought he was praising her. He did not reciprocate her romantic feelings, as he did not know love. Due to his egotistical and self-centred nature, however, it is possible that he was at least pleased with her desire for him.
He respected her talents and skills, and apparently considered her of greater importance than most of his other servants. At the conclusion of the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, he grabbed her and Apparated away with her. She was the sole Death Eater whom he bothered to help.
Bellatrix was outraged by anyone showing her master the slightest disrespect. When Harry Potter called him by his name in 1996, she became enraged, feeling that he was unworthy of speaking the name. She was also furious when Harry spoke of Voldemort's half-blood status and Muggle father. Despite agreeing with her master's ideology of blood purity, she apparently did not care that he himself was a half-blood, if she believed this at all. Voldemort might have falsely told her (as well as his other subordinates) that he was a pure-blood, something which Harry Potter suspected. If so, she believed her master's lie over the truth from the enemy.
When she was killed by Molly Weasley during the final battle, Voldemort's fury was said to "explode like a bomb". Her death was the only one that he attempted to avenge (before Harry Potter intervened). It is unlikely, though, that he truly cared about her as a person. He was angry about losing someone who was very useful to him.
In marrying Rodolphus Lestrange, Bellatrix made a "respectable pure-blood marriage", as it was expected of her. There is no indication that their relationship went beyond this. She never expressed any love or concern for him. It was Voldemort to whom she spoke in a romantic manner instead. She and Rodolphus did seem to work effectively together as Death Eaters, further suggesting their partnership is strictly professional. Rodolphus tortured Alice and Frank Longbottom alongside his wife, brother, and Barty Crouch Jr in 1981. He fought with Bellatrix during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. He was also with her 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.
Bellatrix once told Narcissa that if she had sons, she would "be glad to give them up to the service of the Dark Lord". No children appear beneath Bellatrix and Rodolphus's names on the Black family tapestry, indicating that she had no daughters from Rodolphus either. It could be surmised that she made no attempts to produce children with her official husband, as she truly adored her master and concentrated on pleasing him.
- "My Lord, I'd like to volunteer for this task. I want to kill the boy."
- —Bellatrix's desire to kill Harry Potter[src]
Bellatrix Lestrange saw Harry Potter as her master's most hated enemy and despised him for the inexplicable threat he posed to the Dark Lord. She thought of him as someone lesser than herself due to his status as a half-blood and wanted him dead very badly, she even volunteered herself for the task of murdering him in 1997, until Voldemort quietly stopped her.
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, the mere sound of her voice when she appeared in the fray was enough to make his fear 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.
Harry's hatred for Bellatrix was intense enough for him to feel agitated when laying eyes on her sisters, both of whom resemble her.
After the fall of the Dark Lord in 1981, Bellatrix along with three other Death Eaters (including her husband, Rodolphus Lestrange and the son of well known Bartemus Crouch, Barty Crouch Jr 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.
- "I don't trust you, Snape, as you very well know!"
- —Bellatrix expressing her distrust in regards to Snape[src]
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.
- " [...] or dear Bellatrix, who likes to play with her food before she eats it [...] "
- —Albus Dumbledore regarding Bellatrix's sadistic tendencies[src]
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 Frank and Alice 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". During their only known interaction in the Astronomy Tower, Bellatrix called Dumbledore by his first name.
Bellatrix was not likely to have viewed many of the other Death Eaters as her equals, as she believed both her skill, devotion, and family status 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 personality. Bellatrix is notable for being one of the only female Death Eaters, this is exceptionally impressive since wizarding society as a whole seems fairly patriarchal. A desire to prove herself in a 'Man's World' could also lead to her obsessive overkill.
Bellatrix tortured Hermione when the trio were caught by Snatchers and tried to get the truth out of her as to why the trio had Godric Gryffindor's sword and thought they had stole it from her vault. Even through this pressure, Hermione lied that it was a fake and Griphook helped get that across. In the Battle of Hogwarts Bellatrix duelled Hermione, Ginny Weasley, and Luna Lovegood all at once.
Order of the Phoenix and enemies
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 murdered; 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.
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 was the last house-elf of the House of Black, and he mimicked his family's pure-blood supremacist values. Like Sirius Black's mother, he was disappointed with Sirius for not sharing those same values. He favoured Bellatrix and Narcissa, Sirius' two cousins. He kept pictures of Bellatrix and some other Black family members in his sleeping area at 12 Grimmauld Place. His picture of Bellatrix was his favourite, as he had attempted to repair it with Spellotape and placed it in front of the others.
In December of 1995, when Sirius yelled at Kreacher to "get out" of a room, Kreacher interpreted the words as a command to leave his master's service and exit the house altogether. Because Bellatrix was currently in Azkaban and Andromeda had been disowned, Narcissa was the next family member whom he could serve. He went to her home and gave her information about Harry's godson relationship with Sirius Black. Later, after Bellatrix escaped from Azkaban, he helped her by injuring Buckbeak, Sirius's hippogriff. He also lied to Harry about Sirius being gone from the house one day, 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. After Bellatrix killed Sirius in a duel, Kreacher hoped to officially move into her possession, but Sirius's will transferred ownership to Harry. Kreacher eventually gave his loyalty to Harry in 1997. He fought against Voldemort and his Death Eaters, Bellatrix included, during the Battle of Hogwarts.
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, although technically Lestrange came from Bellatrix's husband Rodolphus.
Behind the scenes
- In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry witnesses her trial for the torture of Neville's parents in the pensieve. Despite this, she does not appear in the film adaptation, in which Barty Crouch Junior seems to be solely responsibly for this (although Bellatrix's role in it is later revealed in the following film).
- Originally, Helen McCrory was going to play the role of Bellatrix in the film adaptation 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 adaptation 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). With Bonham Carter's casting, she is roughly the same age as Bellatrix during the books (early-mid 40s), but she is younger than all of the Marauders, whom she pre-dates in her Hogwarts education.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 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.
- The house-elf Kreacher had 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 they wanted.
- Bellatrix's most used spell is Crucio.
- She is normally pictured on the right of Lord Voldermort, and most people on the right side of leaders, are thought as the most loyal follower of the leader.
- 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. It is is also possible that she failed her exams and had to repeat several Hogwarts years.
- Bellatrix's wand is 12¾" walnut wood, with a dragon heartstring core. It was described by Garrick Ollivander as "unyielding".
- Helena Bonham Carter, who portrays Bellatrix in the Harry Potter (film series), 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 was 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 states in an interview that she had always intended that Molly Weasley would kill Bellatrix, for two main reasons: Firstly, so that Molly could "have her moment [of victory]" and show the doubting Bellatrix that simply because she dedicates herself to her family doesn't mean that she isn't a powerful witch. And second, to show the difference of Molly's romantic and maternal love against Bellatrix's obsessive 'love' of Voldemort.
- In the film adaptation 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.
- In the special features of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, J.K Rowling describes Bellatrix as 'the female Death Eater par excellence'.
- 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.
- The script for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince describes Bellatrix as a "mad child."
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Bellatrix does not question Snape about his loyalties nor does she show any signs of disagreement or hatred towards Snape. However, she does sneer at him and taunt him for being a coward as well as tell her sister that "He can't be trusted" to which Narcissa responds "The Dark Lord trusts him".
- For the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie, Popco had introduced several "series" of Harry Potter movie action figures, one action figure including Bellatrix, in the United Kingdom and several other European countries, making people in the United States to go online to buy this action figure and/or others via on British departments of certain online shopping websites. Some of these websites are including Amazon UK and Ebay UK.
- Bellatrix has several similarities with DC Comics villain Harley Quinn. Both are devoted, mentally unhinged women who have absolute devotion to their bosses (Voldemort, the Joker.) However, neither of their bosses return this affection, even using physical violence against them.
- Bellatrix may have been a classmate of Rita Skeeter as both women were born in the same year (1951).
- In an interview, Helena Bonham Carter mentions that the scene where she holds Neville with her wand to his throat contains an injury. She ad-libbed pushing her wand into his ear canal, thinking it was good torture. Unfortunately Neville moved his head towards her and ruptured his ear drum. She didn't learn until later that she did it, and regrets it because Matthew Lewis "Is such a nice young man."
- 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)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter
- LEGO Harry Potter
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter for Kinect
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Appears on Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts)
Notes and references
- ↑ World Exclusive Interview with J K RowlingThe Black family is known British.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Leaky Cauldron: J.K. Rowling Webchat 30 July 2007
- ↑ Black family tree
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ 24 December 2007 PotterCast interview with J. K. Rowling
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 J. K. Rowling at Carnegie Hall
- ↑ F.A.Q. at J.K. Rowling's Official Site
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 24 (The Wandmaker)
- ↑ Entertainment Weekly: Helena Bonham Carter Gets Wicked
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:|
|Death Eaters' 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