Rodolphus Lestrange was a pure-blood wizard, brother of Rabastan, possibly the son of Lestrange and a Slytherin student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He was a Death Eater who fought in the First Wizarding War. The Lestranges were considered to be among Lord Voldemort's most loyal and trusted servants, and among the only ones who searched for him after his first downfall.
After Voldemort was defeated by Harry Potter when Harry was only a baby, Rodolphus and his wife Bellatrix, along with Rabastan and Barty Crouch Jr. participated in the torture and permanent incapacitation of Alice and Frank Longbottom and was sentenced to life imprisoned in Azkaban. About fourteen years later, Rodolphus escaped with a group of other Death Eaters and fought in several battles of the Second Wizarding War, including the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and the Battle of the Seven Potters. It is possible that he fought at the Battle of Hogwarts, too. After Lord Voldemort's final defeat, Rodolphus was imprisoned in Azkaban once more.
When Rodolphus attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he was sorted into Slytherin house. He became friends with many other pure-blood students and, according to Sirius Black joined a group of friends that included many future Death Eaters like; Bellatrix Black, Lucius Malfoy, Evan Rosier, and Severus Snape.
First Wizarding WarHe and Bellatrix eventually married sometime before 1971 and both took the Dark Mark, fighting in the First Wizarding War. She married him only to uphold her family's tradition of marrying respectable pure-bloods. She was obsessively in love with Lord Voldemort and spoke to him in a romantic manner instead. It is unknown how Rodolphus felt about her. However, the two did seem to work together effectively as Death Eaters.
In 1981, when Lord Voldemort was defeated the first time, Rodolphus and his wife refused to accept it. Along with Rodolphus's brother Rabastan and Barty Crouch Jr., they attacked Aurors and Order of the Phoenix members Alice and Frank Longbottom. They tortured the couple with the Cruciatus Curse to the point of insanity, and were subsequently captured and imprisoned in Azkaban prison for this crime. On their trial, the Lestranges proudly declared their continuing devotion and awaited their master's return.
Second Wizarding War
In 1996, the Dementors of Azkaban revolted, and Rodolphus and Bellatrix escaped prison along with eight other Death Eaters, including his brother Rabastan to rejoin Voldemort, who had regained his powers and was stronger than before thanks to Wormtail and Barty Crouch Jr.
Battle of the Department of Mysteries
Rodolphus participated in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries soon afterwards; he and Bellatrix were paired together, and pursued Luna Lovegood, Ron and Ginny Weasley into the Space Chamber. In the aftermath, Rodolphus was presumably returned to prison, although his wife eluded capture.
Battle of the Seven Potters
By 1997, Rodolphus was again at large, and participated in the Battle of the Seven Potters, pursuing Nymphadora Tonks and Ron Weasley, who was disguised as Harry Potter with Polyjuice Potion, with his wife and other Death Eaters. Tonks injured Rodolphus at some point during the pursuit, and she and Ron escaped. It is unknown whether Rodolphus survived the battle or if his injuries where fatal. If Tonks's curse had been enough to incapacitate him, he may have fallen to his death.
Rodolphus was described as thickset with a blank stare, and after being in Azkaban his looks might have diminished. As a Death Eater, he bears the Dark Mark on his left inner forearm, which has since faded to a scar upon Voldemort's death.
Personality and traits
Rodolphus was one of Voldemort's most loyal Death Eaters and therefore can be considered to be sadistic and a pure-blood supremacist. His crime against the Longbottoms confirms his willingness to use the Dark Arts to an unspeakable extent. He was not at all concerned about being sent to Azkaban as he "stared blankly" throughout the course of his trial.
Magical abilities and skills
- Dark Arts: Rodolphus was able to cast an effective Cruciatus curse (which takes power, nerve, and ability to perform). He participated in driving Frank and Alice Longbottom into insanity.
- Martial magic: He participated in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and might have been one of the two unnamed Death Eaters that fought Kingsley Shacklebolt. He also fought in the Battle of the Seven Potters but was defeated and injured (possibly fatally) by his niece Nymphadora Tonks. It is unknown if he was present during the Battle of Hogwarts but if he was it is highly likely he was defeated long before his wife.
- Flying: In the Battle of the Seven Potters, he duelled his niece during flight in a losing effort.
In marrying Bellatrix Lestrange, Rodolophus made a "respectable pure-blood marriage", as 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. However, she and Rodolphus did seem to work effectively together as Death Eaters. 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 with Rodolphus either.
Rodolphus is the Latin form of the name 'Rudolf', which is derived from the Germanic name Hrodwulf, meaning "famous wolf". This may allude to prominent Nazi Rudolf Hess, as the Death Eater ideology has similarities to those of Nazism, according to J. K. Rowling. Removing the l, Rodophus is Greek for 'Rosy-cheeked'.
Behind the scenes
- J.K. Rowling has revealed that Bellatrix Lestrange's true love was Voldemort, suggesting that the Lestranges' marriage was not affectionate, at least on the part of Bellatrix, who merely made "a respectable pure-blood marriage", as was expected of her. Rodolphus's feelings are not known.
- In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince someone by the surname "Lestrange" is shown having gone to school with Tom Riddle. It is unknown if this person is Rodolphus's father or another relative.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) (Mentioned on the Black family tree)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- Pottermore (Appears in flashback(s))
Notes and references
- ↑ Both Rodolphus and his brother Rabastan were of-age (17) by the end of the First Wizarding War in 1981, since they were tried on charges of capture and torture of Frank and Alice Longbottom, with no apparent aggravation for the use of underage magic.
- ↑ World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling.The Lestrange family is known British.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ The First Wizarding war began in 1971, so they were married by then as they are referred to as "The Lestranges" at that time.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ Behind the Name: Rudolf
- ↑ F.A.Q. Section at J.K. Rowling's Official Site
- ↑ 30 July 2007 WebChat with J.K. Rowling
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