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Old July 24th, 2007, 8:48 pm
Potterphiliac  Undisclosed.gif Potterphiliac is offline
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Join Date: 24th July 2007
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

1. Bellatrix is often seen as the most fanatical of Voldemort's supporters. Why do you think it is that she has devoted her life and efforts so wholly to Voldemort? What influences in her family and life could have led to her becoming one of the most feared Death Eaters? Could she have any romantic feelings for Voldemort?

I hate to make her sound one-dimensional but I think this was a case of a character simply not being right in the head, i.e., she was off her rocker, deranged. It was noted about Voldemort's/Tom Riddle's maternal family that they had a history of mental instability and hostility. Perhaps the inbreeding in Bellatrix's family created some mental instability in her, as well. Add to her instability a family bias about being pure-blooded and you've got a recipe for a hateful personality. I don't think her feelings towards Voldemort romantic simply because I don't think she was capable of having those kinds of feelings. She was certainly sycophantic and I'm sure this craving for his approval felt like something approaching 'romantic' feelings for her.

2. What do you suppose leads Bellatrix to distrust Snape so, as seen in the HBP chapter 'Spinner's End'? Does this cast any doubts upon her complete trust in Voldemort? Does it speak of any prior relationship with Snape?

Well, Bellatrix expressed her loyalty towards Voldemort in loud and over-the-top ways. There was nothing subtle about her. I don't think she had the capacity for distinguishing subtle motives; she only saw black/white. Certainly, she second-guessed Voldemort as it relates to his trust in Snape. Frankly, I think Bellatrix trusted no one.

3. What kind of relationship do you think that Bellatrix had with her cousin, Sirius, for her to so easily battle against, and ultimately have a hand in killing him?

Again, she's a black/white person with a single-minded bias about purebloods. Sirius represented a challenge to her umm family values and there could be no "agreeing to disagree" impasse with her. You were either on her (Death Eater's) side or you were against her. As they were related, she would have wanted to disavow any similarities whatsoever. Hate is a powerful and corrosive feeling; the fact that they were cousins would have had no impact on her.

Also, the mindset that supports feeling superior to others is one that also rationalizes the inferiority of others. The more distance you put between yourself and others, the easier it becomes to desensitize yourself to their humanity, even to desensitize yourself from your own humanity. Then it's not such a big step to act inhumanely.

4. Bellatrix is said to have been at school and joined forces with several other Death Eaters prior to Harry's parents being at Hogwarts. What factors do you see as contributing to the turning of Bellatrix and her peers to Voldemort, and how could they have gotten away with this in the middle of Hogwarts?

She was raised with a belief system that supported the idea that she (and her family) were superior to other wizards/witches. Voldemort only tapped into that bias. The whole House structure supports rivalries so it would not have been much of a stretch to ingrain and nurture feelings of rivalry.

5. Bellatrix seems to have a fondness for the Cruciatus curse. What do you think that this says about her personality and history?

Again, she's an unstable personality and completely lacking in pathos. No feelings for the other (compassion), incapable of relating to someone else's feelings (empathy) and incapable of processing or synthesizing someone else's feelings (sympathy). Our feelings for an-other often restrain us from acting badly towards another. Take away that feeling and you take away restraint.

6. What do you think of her hatred of Tonks for marrying a werewolf?

I think it's entirely consistent with her character. She would have hated Tonks all the more for 'staining' the family tree with an 'inferior' being.

7. Do you think Belltrix could have been redeemed?

No. I think she was deranged. Perhaps with heavy medication she might have been pacified, though.

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