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|“||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 taunting Harry Potter during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries.|
|“||I killed Sirius Black! I killed Sirius Black!||„|
|~ Bellatrix Lestrange taunting Harry about her murder of Sirius Black.|
|“||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!||„|
|~ Bellatrix Lestrange to Hermione during the battle of Malfoy Manor.|
Bellatrix Lestrange (née Black), also known as Bella by Lord Voldemort and Narcissa Malfoy, is the secondary antagonist of the Harry Potter franchise. She is a flashback character in Goblet of Fire, a major antagonist in both Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince, the secondary antagonist of Deathly Hallows and a posthumous antagonist in Cursed Child.
She is a Death Eater who was fanatically loyal to Lord Voldemort and was among the most dangerous and sadistic of his followers. All the Black sisters married pure-blood wizards, except for Andromeda who married Muggle-born Ted Tonks and was disowned by the family. After her master's return, she followed him throughout the Second Wizarding War, and murdered her cousin, Sirius Black. She was then killed by Molly Weasley.
She was portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter, who also played the Red Queen in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, Dr. Serena Kogan in Terminator: Salvation, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Dr. Julia Hoffman in Dark Shadows, and Madame Thénardier in Les Miserables.
Bellatrix was described as being highly attractive in the pensieve, with heavily lidded eyes, and sleek, thick, shining black hair. She was tall and proud. After Azkaban, Bellatrix was still beautiful, but hollowed out.
She makes her first appearance during the Goblet of Fire novel and was already created before, like most Harry Potter characters, she is a pure-blood witch who was the sister of Narcissa Malfoy and Andromeda Tonks (who was disowned for marrying a Muggle-born Wizard), the wife of Rodolphus Lestrange, the cousin of Sirius and Regulus Black, the aunt of Draco Malfoy and Nymphadora Tonks, the mother of Delphini, and a loyal follower of Lord Voldemort.
In the films, much like in the books, Bellatrix serves as a major antagonist in both Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince, one of the two main antagonists of Deathly Hallows - Part 1, the secondary antagonist of Deathly Hallows - Part 2 and a posthumous antagonist in the play Cursed Child. She is also the secondary antagonist of the series overall due to her being Voldemort's most loyal, evil, violent, and destructive supporter. Her role is expanded a bit in the films, although she does not appear in the trial scene in Goblet of Fire, with Karkaroff testifying against Barty Crouch Jr., the only Death Eater as insane as Bellatrix and as loyal to Voldemort, who took part in the torture of Frank and Alice Longbottom. Bellatrix was the main torturer, as mentioned by Neville.
Bellatrix Lestrange was born to Cygnus and Druella Black in 1951 and was raised to be a proud pure-blood supremacist, along with the rest of the aristocratic pure-blood Black family. In her youth, Bellatrix attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and was sorted into Slytherin House. After graduating from Hogwarts, she became one of Voldemort's most important, and possibly most sadistic followers, known as the Death Eaters. Bellatrix was one of the few female Death Eaters, and was the wife of Rodolphus Lestrange. 30 years later in 1981, she, her husband, brother-in-law and Barty Crouch Jr. were imprisoned in the wizard prison Azkaban after torturing Frank and Alice Longbottom into insanity using the Cruciatus Curse, her signature spell.
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry sees Bellatrix being condemned by Barty Crouch Sr. to life imprisonment and dragged by the Dementors to Azkaban for her crimes, along with her three accomplices. This part does not appear in the film, a part from Barty Jr. being captured. She is unnamed at this point, and Harry is unaware of her specific identity as a Death Eater.
Second Wizarding War
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Bellatrix was broken out of Azkaban by Voldemort and some of his Death Eaters, along with Antonin Dolohov and eight other Death Eaters. Bellatrix and her brother-in-law Lucius Malfoy later led the Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries to take the Prophecy from Harry when Voldemort tricked him into retrieving it. Eventually, Sirius arrived with Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, and he and Harry defeated Lucius and Dolohov. Bellatrix then killed Sirius with the Avada Kedavra curse, blast him into the archway and disappeared, but in the book, she knocks Sirius through the veil with an unknown curse. An enraged Harry attempted to use the Cruciatus Curse on Bellatrix, but was unable to perform the spell correctly as, according to her, he had to "mean it." When Albus Dumbledore arrived to duel Voldemort, Bellatrix escaped through the fireplace via floo powder instead.
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Bellatrix and her sister Narcissa Malfoy had Severus Snape make the Unbreakable Vow to protect Narcissa's son Draco and kill Dumbledore should Draco fail to do so. In the film, she also burned down the Burrow at one point, although it was later rebuilt afterwards; this scene does not occur in the book and is original to the film version. After Snape killed Dumbledore, Bellatrix attacked Hogwarts Great Hall and Hagrid's hut, setting it on fire despite it being made of stone, but in the book she doesn't appear in the battle.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Bellatrix wanted to kill Harry, but Voldemort said that he must be the one to kill him. At some point before his death, knowing that Voldemort wished to possess the belongings of the four founders of Hogwarts, Dumbledore gave a fake Sword of Gryffindor to Snape, who gave it to Voldemort, who entrusted it to Bellatrix, who kept it in her high-security vault at the wizards' bank Gringotts.
When Snatchers, led by Scabior (in the book they were led by Fenrir Greyback), took Harry, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger to Malfoy Manor, Bellatrix saw the Sword of Gryffindor and thought that Harry had broken into her vault. Furious that the Sword of Gryffinor are in the trio's hands, she stunned whole snatchers present, and planned to kill them later. Bellatrix proceeded to tortured Hermione for information, and even sadistically carved the word "Mudblood" into her right arm, mutilating her. Then she questioned the goblin Griphook about the sword and decided to kill Hermione; however, Ron disarmed her before she could. Later, Dobby sent a chandelier crashing down toward Bellatrix just as she tried to use her dark mark to summon Voldemort, who avoided it, and as Dobby disapparated with Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Griphook, Bellatrix threw her knife at him sucessfully killing him.
After the trio settled at Shell cottage after escaping Malfoy Manor, Hermione later disguised herself as Bellatrix to get into her vault in Gringotts, which was guarded by a dragon; Bellatrix never knew of this. Bellatrix Lestrange later participated in the Battle of Hogwarts alongside the other Death Eaters and Voldemort's army, where she murdered her estranged niece Nymphadora Tonks in battle. J.K. Rowling has officially confirmed Bellatrix as Nymphadora's killer, while in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows During the final battle, she was the last Death Eater standing excluding Voldemort in the book, but in the film she is not. She was only fighting Ginny instead of fighting also Luna Lovegood and Hermione Granger. She tries to cast a Killing Curse on Ginny, but fails and only enticing Molly Weasley's fury. Molly fights Bellatrix in a rage, and in the end, Molly emerges victorious. Bellatrix never thought that Molly would defeat and kill her and avenging Sirius, Tonks and Dobby also the muggles she had killed. In book version, this ultimately infuriated Voldemort to the point where he began to focus his rage on Molly until Harry, whom he revealed faked his death, came to interfere. She never lived to learn of Snape's true loyalties and to witness her beloved master's defeat and death.
In Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, it is revealed that through the affair between Voldemort and Bellatrix, the female child was born later named Delphini. Despite her immense malice and hatred, she genuinely loved and was fanatically obsessed with Voldemort, her Dark Lord and master. After she learned that she was the daughter of the Dark Lord and Bellatrix, Delphini believed that Voldemort should have succeeded in his goal to conquer the world. So, she sought to use a Time Turner to alter the past to Voldemort's victory.
Coincidently, Albus Severus Potter (Harry Potter's son) and Scorpius Malfoy (Draco Malfoy's son) possessed one as well which they previously used to alter the past so they can improve their reputations in the current timeline, but decided to undo everything what they did. As the consequences of their action resulted in the creation of two alternative realities, with the first seeing Hermione as the bitter Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher while Ron was in a less happy marriage to Padma Patil, and the second seeing a world where Voldemort and the Death Eaters ruled the Wizarding world while the Order of the Phoenix and Dumbledore's Army lost the Battle of Hogwarts, as well as the death of Harry Potter at the hands of Voldemort.
After many attempts, including Albus being erased by their changes, Scorpius managed to restore the correct timeline, and decided to destroy Time-Turner on their own, not trusting the Ministry to destroy it. She blackmailed them to get the Time Turner for herself and have them helplessly watch as she altered the course of history so the second reality that the boys previously created would come true. Fortunately, Harry, Ginny, Draco, Ron, and Hermione, who learned about Delphini's plans, showed up and foiled her plans, saving the boys, and duelling and defeating her, with Delphini being later imprisoned in Azkaban for murder.
Bellatrix was an intensely brutal witch who is motivated out of her own sadistic pleasure. She was fierce and dangerous, a trait which she shared with her cousin Sirius and aunt Walburga and which was probably the result of the inbreeding which prevailed in her biological family. Bellatrix was one of Voldemort's cruelest Death Eaters, always eager to inflict the Cruciatus Curse on enemies. Harry Potter noted that she was as "mad as her master". Probably because of these similarities, Bellatrix was slavishly devoted to Lord Voldemort and was ready to do whatever was necessary for his cause. She believed that she had demonstrated her loyalty during her stay at Azkaban, an event which had apparently favored her mental decline.
Overall, Bellatrix was obsessed with blood purity and was very proud of her family's aristocracy from an early age. Like all of Lord Voldemort's other disciples, she was vehemently against everyone: half-bloods, Muggle-born, Muggle and half-breeds. She had a special disdain for blood traitors, not being above killing her own family members that she disliked, including her cousin Sirius and the daughter of her younger sister Nymphadora, whom she sought to kill with great determination. Given her reaction to Harry's words that Voldemort is a half-blood, it is likely that she did not know that her master was not pure blood or at least was in denial.
Bellatrix was intelligent and a natural leader, handling delicate situations. These traits were shown during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and the skirmish at Malfoy Manor. This last event was a mark of her determination and her ruthlessness, as she took no unnecessary prisoners (preferring to kill them instead), as she intended to do with a group of Snatchers who tried to challenge her. She was the only known Death Eater to never trust Severus Snape despite his master. However, Bellatrix could be easily distracted and reckless, especially in battle with opponents who appeared to be (or were) weaker than her.
Bellatrix was selfish and arrogant, described by Harry as "treating [everyone] like scum" in a rather mocking manner. She had immense confidence in her skills and never hesitated to fight against an Auror or a member of the Order of the Phoenix. Furthermore, she was extremely proud of her status as Lord Voldemort's most faithful and devoted disciple. However, Bellatrix chose to flee when Dumbledore arrived, suggesting that, like his master, she had a certain degree of fear and caution for the mighty wizard.
Despite her cruel personality, Bellatrix was not unable to take care of a few people. She was obsessively in love with her master, Lord Voldemort. She had a close relationship with her younger sister Narcissa Malfoy, reluctantly going with her to Snape's house to ask for her help and did not tell her master about her sister's deception. She also showed affection for her nephew and pupil Draco Malfoy, but did not seem too concerned about his safety as she would be "happy to give [her own sons] to the service of the Dark Lord". Nevertheless, it's likely that Bellatrix would have turned on her own family if given the order by Voldemort, as he was the only one for which she was totally faithful. That said, Bellatrix Lestrange was a sick woman with an unrequited psychotic obsession towards one of the most dangerous Dark Wizards of all time, feeling no true, genuine love for anyone.
In the movies, her personality is a bit changed. She's more exuberant, childish and even insane in nature.
- An odd change to the Deathly Hallows from the book to the film was both Bellatrix's final words and their placement. In the book, her final words were "What will happen to your children once I've killed you? When Mummy's gone the same way as Freddie?" These were said after nearly killing Ginny with her Killing Curse. In the film, her final lines were much earlier, when she said "No! No, come back! Lucius! Come back! Come back and fight! Come back!" after the Malfoys left the fight. She was completely silent aside from a maniacal laugh during her final scene.
- The most likely reason for this was because, during the filming of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Helena Bonham Carter also filmed The King's Speech. She was glad about this because she could spare her voice and did not have to scream all day and these final words would have had her screaming.
- Bellatrix was released in many Lego Harry Potter sets as a Lego mini-figure.
- Helen McCrory was originally cast as Bellatrix in the films, but was forced to withdraw due to pregnancy, resulting in Bonham Carter replacing her. McCrory would later play Narcissa Malfoy in the films.
- In the film, Bellatrix's last battle against Molly until her death and moments where she corners Ginny was depicted very differently, though in both cases, she starts off cornering Ginny with the Killing Curse:
- In the film, Ginny was cornered after using the shield charm to deflect a curse from Bellatrix, possibly the Killing Curse, before Molly takes over and duels her to death, for trying to harm her daughter. If she did cast the Killing Curse against Ginny, this is canonically false, as in canon, this spell cannot be blocked with any kind of Shield Charm. In the book, Ginny was cornered along with Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood and survived the Killing Curse simply by avoiding it by an inch.
- Bellatrix's battle was more intense in the book, as the book describes the ground between the two duelling witches becoming increasingly hot and cracked while they both fire curses at each other. Bellatrix even sadistically mocks Molly over Fred's death, which was her very fatal mistake due to underestimating her opponent.
- Bellatrix's death was different in the film series, compared to its portrayal in the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In the book, while duelling Molly Weasley, she is killed by Molly after she hits her in her chest with an unknown but deadly curse, which causes her lifeless corpse to fall to the ground, leaving her with a frozen expression on her face. However, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, while also duelling Molly Weasley, Molly manages to overpower her and cast a spell on her which suspends her in the air and freezes her body, and then disintegrates her with curse into black smithereens.
- Ironically, Bellatrix Lestrange's actress, Helena Bonham Carter, is much more amicable and easily got along with her fellow actors and actresses throughout the filming of Harry Potter films. Tom Felton, Draco Malfoy's actor, constantly mentions how amusing it is to see Helena Bonham Carter play a half-crazy murderer when the camera rolls, and return to being a perfectly normal woman once the scene ends.
- While filming the stand-off scene in the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Helena profusely apologized to Matthew Lewis, Neville Longbottom's actor, upon discovering that she injured one of his eardrums by mistake. At that time, she ad-libbed by sticking her wand prop in his ear "as a sort of Q-Tip...(to) sort of torture (his ear)" only for him to unexpectedly move his head towards her, resulting the aforementioned injury.
- Similarly, after shooting the scene where Bellatrix carved "Mudblood" into Hermione's arm during the torture scene of Deathly Hallows - Part 1, which admittedly was an idea that she and Emma Watson (Hermione's actress) came up together on the spur of the moment during filming, the intensity and brutality of the scene concerned Helena so much that she approached Emma Watson immediately afterwards to make sure they were still on good terms.
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