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Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis



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  #121  
Old June 9th, 2008, 7:46 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

I had always assumed that Bellatrix was the one person that Voldemort cared for. I think that the Ministry scene in the OotP indicated it. Voldemort "rescued" Bellatrix in a way that seemed as if he cared what happened to her. Bellatrix certainly dropped enough hints that she was his favorite. I admit that Voldemort's ability to love anyone is almost nonexistent, but he does seem to have some sort of history with her.


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  #122  
Old June 9th, 2008, 7:52 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

I think he just valued her loyalty. He didn't want someone so useful to him to die. She was willing to do anything for him and he knew that.


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  #123  
Old June 9th, 2008, 7:54 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by SusanBones View Post
I had always assumed that Bellatrix was the one person that Voldemort cared for. I think that the Ministry scene in the OotP indicated it. Voldemort "rescued" Bellatrix in a way that seemed as if he cared what happened to her. Bellatrix certainly dropped enough hints that she was his favorite. I admit that Voldemort's ability to love anyone is almost nonexistent, but he does seem to have some sort of history with her.
I got the same feeling, but more because of his outburst when Molly killed her in DH. However, JKR did say that Voldemort never had the ability to love; so perhaps these things only indicated that he had a great amount of respect for her as a loyal servant and knew that while she might make mistakes, she would never betray or abandon him and his cause. I think too, he knew that she loved him romantically and while I suppose he didn't think highly of that, he knew he could use it to keep her faithful, imo.


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  #124  
Old June 9th, 2008, 9:36 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

I think people get too stuck on this love thingy. There are many shades of gray between "Voldemort doesn't care about Bella" and "Voldemort loves Bella". No one is claiming that Voldemort feels for Bellatrix what Ron feels for Hermione or what Snape feels for Lily. However, there are many emotions between love and indifference. He can be attracted to her, care about her, feel affection towards her (which is not the same as feeling love), value her, be possessive of her and so on. None of these things is the same as love but they're not indifference either.
I don't think for a second that Voldemort would give his life for Bellatrix but I wouldn't consider his caring for her impossible either.
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  #125  
Old June 10th, 2008, 4:21 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

I think that Bella's extreme loyalty to Voldemort - combined with her prodigal skills and self-imposed leadership position without attempting to usurp Voldemort - were what got her into Voldemort's favor. She had a better measure I think of how to keep herself in Voldemort's good graces than any other individual Death Eater, though she was blinded by her love of him. Voldemort would not have valued her I think without her skill set - he would have used her even more than he already did and then discarded her when her usefulness was over.


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  #126  
Old July 31st, 2008, 4:17 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

I've been thinking...

In HBP, Bellatrix makes it very clear that she doesn't trust Snape. But Snape had been playing his role well enough to fool even Voldemort. So what do you think first made Bellatrix suspicious? Intuition? Did she just detect too many holes in his story? Or was she just jealous of his high standing with Voldemort?


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  #127  
Old July 31st, 2008, 4:23 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

I always thought it was that she was jealousy of anyone becoming more important to Voldemort that she was - I think anyone who ecame too popular with Voldie would ahve had similar treatment


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  #128  
Old July 31st, 2008, 5:07 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
I've been thinking...

In HBP, Bellatrix makes it very clear that she doesn't trust Snape. But Snape had been playing his role well enough to fool even Voldemort. So what do you think first made Bellatrix suspicious? Intuition? Did she just detect too many holes in his story? Or was she just jealous of his high standing with Voldemort?
I think it was mainly jealousy. Bella didn't want anyone else to be in high standing with Voldemort, and conveniently enough for her, Snape was someone whose loyalty was questionable. We know that Bellatrix knew occlumency, at least to an extent, based on what is said in HBP about her training Draco, so I would guess that she knew legilimancy, too. However, I highly doubt she was more skilled than Voldemort (or Snape). It's possible that it was a combination of jealousy and her actually suspecting untruthfulness on Snape's part. Her argument against him during that scene appeared to be well thought-out, and she raised legitimate questions, so I wouldn't say it's unlikely that she truly did feel a certain amount of skepticism toward Snape.


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  #129  
Old July 31st, 2008, 10:40 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
In HBP, Bellatrix makes it very clear that she doesn't trust Snape. But Snape had been playing his role well enough to fool even Voldemort. So what do you think first made Bellatrix suspicious? Intuition? Did she just detect too many holes in his story? Or was she just jealous of his high standing with Voldemort?
That's an interesting question. I think she could have been suspicious because Snape's explanations may have seemed a little too convenient to her. Additionally, I have a feeling she knew he could perform legilimency, as I'm sure she would have tried to read his mind and would have found it blocked from her invasions. Having tried to unsuccessfully read Snape's mind, I'm sure this must have increased her suspicions of him, because if he was blocking his mind, there must have been something to hide. This is speculation on my part of course - I can't say this for certain. But I do believe it is plausible that Bellatrix could have tried to read Snape's mind using legilimency, and found she couldn't penetrate his thoughts. I also think it's possible her jealousy of Snape's high position could have colored her perceptions of him, as kittling suggested.


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  #130  
Old August 4th, 2008, 8:24 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

At the time, I put it down to jealousy, but her questions were pertinent ones, as LoonyLovegood pointed out. They were enough to make her suspicious, and I daresay others were suspicious too. Her looking confused when Snape pointed out that Voldy had asked him these questions and been satisfied with the answers, made me wonder if she really thought Voldemort was being blind to Snape. The way she speaks to Snape suggests jealousy but she might have been anxious to spare her beloved boss from deceit. Though why she thought the greatest legilimens of his time would have been so easy to fool is a bit of a puzzle. Unless she'd been fooling him for years but there's no evidence of that!


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  #131  
Old August 4th, 2008, 9:39 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Trixa View Post
I think people get too stuck on this love thingy. There are many shades of gray between "Voldemort doesn't care about Bella" and "Voldemort loves Bella". No one is claiming that Voldemort feels for Bellatrix what Ron feels for Hermione or what Snape feels for Lily. However, there are many emotions between love and indifference. He can be attracted to her, care about her, feel affection towards her (which is not the same as feeling love), value her, be possessive of her and so on. None of these things is the same as love but they're not indifference either.
I don't think for a second that Voldemort would give his life for Bellatrix but I wouldn't consider his caring for her impossible either.

While I definitely agree there is a great spectrum between 'love' and 'caring,' I don't think Voldemort was capable of either. I feel he valued Bella as one of his best servants (much as he did Snape... hence the remorseless regret), but Jo has stated he never actually cared about anyone.


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  #132  
Old August 5th, 2008, 10:18 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
I've been thinking...

In HBP, Bellatrix makes it very clear that she doesn't trust Snape. But Snape had been playing his role well enough to fool even Voldemort. So what do you think first made Bellatrix suspicious? Intuition? Did she just detect too many holes in his story? Or was she just jealous of his high standing with Voldemort?
I think just the fact he was a double agent would have made her suspicious. Snape went to Dumbeldore on Voldeort's orders, but once Voldemort fell, he had Dumbledore to vouch for him, which would have been a huge negative; Voldmeort did not come to Snape in Harry's first year, because he also thought Snape had turned approver.

Voldemort however believed Snape after GOF, probably because Snape was a better Occlumens than Voldmeort was a Legilimens, but Bellatrix and I presume other DEs remained suspicious.

Snape had done nothing about Harry; in their eyes that would have been a negative as well.

That Voldemort believed Snape would have also irritated the other DEs a lot IMO.

According to them, Snape was someone who escaped Azkaban and had simply waltzed back into the DE group, without anything to show for it. I think the other DEs were jealous of Dumbeldore's protection and jealous because they thought Snape would escape whether they won or lost.


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  #133  
Old September 9th, 2008, 3:25 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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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 always saw Bellatrix as a very talented skilled witch, she needed to direct her skill in the right way, to a Slytherin Pureblood girl being a death eater is the right way. She might've suffered losses in her childhood and lost loved ones, also her parents might've cared more for her two younger sisters and neglected her, all that could've caused lack to prove herself and impress others. As for her feelings toward Voldemort I'm sure she loves him more than fear or respect him like other Death Eaters, IMO she loves him more than her own husband. The way Voldemort treats her is too weird, he doesnt love her or anything but she's the only female Death Eater he had apart from Alecto Carrow -who is according to me not as good looking as Bellatrix, not as skilled as her and doesnt serve Voldemort the way Bellatrix does. He treats her very differently from the other Death Eaters the following situations made that very clear :
a. He took her in side-long apparition in the MoM which is I think an honour no other Death Eater was granted.
b. He usually calls her Bella maybe because Bella is much easier than Bellatrix, but I dont take it that way.
c. He trusted her with a part of his soul.
d. He did forgive her shortly after the Horcrux was stolen from her vault.
e. She was the only one whom he screamed to, while most of his Death Eaters were being cornered and floured by the students and the Order members, his scream IMO was scream of compassion and grief.
f. He never seemed to torture her or punish her as much as he punish other Death Eaters. He doesnt love her, but I think she's so special and valuable for him, he might've had some admiration to her.
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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?
I doubt it was jealousy she had a good reason to distrust him and she was right that he was untrustworthy. I think she knew something about him that Voldemort didnt. If they'd been at Hogwart at the same time, maybe Bella knew about his relation ship with Lily Evans, or that he was a half blood.
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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?
I think they were normal cousins untill Sirius'd been made a Gryffindor, I'm sure she and the whole Black family considered Sirius as dishonour and shame on the name Black. I also think that Voldemort might've given her the order to kill him at the first chance, like he did with Tonks, that's why she was comforting Voldemort at the ministry saying that she had killed Sirius.

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Bellatrix seems to have a fondness for the Cruciatus curse. What do you think that this says about her personality and history?
She's a natural sadist, she enjoys pain of other people to a high level. As I said above she might've suffered some losses that planted such cruelty in her.
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What do you think of her hatred of Tonks for marrying a werewolf?
I dont think she ever cared about Tonks and whomever she marries, before Voldemort humilated her infront of other Death Eaters. There's a big chance she have'nt known about Tonks marriage at all.
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Do you think Belltrix could have been redeemed?
No, I think there was noway for her to go back she's just like Voldemort.


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  #134  
Old December 23rd, 2008, 12:31 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

I'm bringing this discussion over from the Molly Weasley: Character Analysis thread...


As for Bellatrix being a bit daffy...well, I thought that was the point. She had no children of her own and we know for certain she couldn't understand the plights of a mother who worries over her child's safety - that was painted pretty clear when we saw her discourse with Narcissa about Draco. She also likely didn't believe in the power of love and discounted the ferocity a mother can show when her child's life is in danger.
I find her taunting of Molly to be perfectly in character. She was a good fighter, knew it, and we see a pattern of Bellatrix gloating when she thinks she is winning or will win.

I also think that whatever screws were loose may have become a bit looser if they weren't lost completely during her stay in Azkaban, further explaining the lack of thinking things through.


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  #135  
Old December 23rd, 2008, 1:31 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by mexicant View Post
I'm bringing this discussion over from the Molly Weasley: Character Analysis thread...


As for Bellatrix being a bit daffy...well, I thought that was the point. She had no children of her own and we know for certain she couldn't understand the plights of a mother who worries over her child's safety - that was painted pretty clear when we saw her discourse with Narcissa about Draco. She also likely didn't believe in the power of love and discounted the ferocity a mother can show when her child's life is in danger.
I find her taunting of Molly to be perfectly in character. She was a good fighter, knew it, and we see a pattern of Bellatrix gloating when she thinks she is winning or will win.

I also think that whatever screws were loose may have become a bit looser if they weren't lost completely during her stay in Azkaban, further explaining the lack of thinking things through.
But I think this way of looking at it goes much deeper than just Molly v. Bella, because Bella did the same with Sirius. Sirius was motivated by fatherly love to some degree in his paternalistic and protective feelings for Harry. I continuously pray that JKR was not attempting to show motherly love being of more value and worth - but if the focus is on Molly's prowess and ability to win due to her "motherly love" - and less (if at all) on her ability as a warrior, then it rather shines poorly on Sirius. That is, Sirius was a warrior - he had fought in Voldy War I and he didn't seem to have any problems in that regard until Bella came along.

So the tale unwoven brings us to the idea that Sirius allowed his 'reckless desire to taunt and goad Bella' overtake his sense of fatherly love and need to protect (As to the fact that Harry was not actually his flesh and blood kid; I would remove that notion for the sake of discussion because that was never considered a discounting factor in his devotion to Harry.) Yet Molly is unfettered by any need to goad or taunt. So the only factor remaining is that Sirius and Bella were cousins and had a long history, much of which we do not know, behind their relations.

Still, what was JKR thinking here? Because looking at Bella alone, she too was in goading and taunting mode against Sirius - just like with Molly - yet in the event where she should have been more vulnerable (with Sirius based on their previous relationship) she wins. But in a situation where she behaves the same, she does not have the wherewithall to fight like a warrior despite her goading and taunting.

I don't wish to discuss it in terms of Molly and Sirius - in as far as their differing reactions - but in terms of Bella herself. When she is more personally affected and involved in the duel (Sirius) she continues to show prowess - against an opponent who is more talented than Molly. Yet when she is less affected emotionally/personally, against Molly, and behaving in the same manner as she was with Sirius - she "underestimates" - despite the fact that it was an actual duel (not just Molly using a quick Avada Kedavra) and has at least a couple of moments to gauge Molly's offensive and defensive tactics. And despite the fact that her "heart isn't in it" in the same way it would have been with Sirius.

Now one can argue that Bella would be more prone to defeat Sirius because she would have had more reasons and more desire to do so. But did she really? Was she ready to die at the final battle? I don't think so - so why suddenly underestimate? Why no longer look for and take advantages? Why give up even on minimal tactics?

To me, Bella fell right out of character. There was no reason that she could not goad and taunt - even in a highly emotional and charged situation (Sirius) - and still come out the victor. In a less emotional and charged situation, she should have even had more advantage. Hence, ones focus is thrown back to the force of Motherly love that Molly had (overcoming everything, a lesser dueling ability, and a rather quick defeat of the opponent - in a woman who completely fell apart confronting a Boggart vision of her children dying) - and the lack of fatherly like love in Sirius (his own private concerns overcoming his paternal protective feelings and losing, quickly, to a likely near equal opponent - in a man who remained alive v. countless confrontrations with DEs in VWI and ate rats to be near Harry and protect him). I am hopeful that is not where the focus is supposed to be thrown because I would honestly find that despicable writing on Jo's part with respect to these situations. I prefer to feel she simply pulled Bella out of character without thinking about the dual situations, which is negligent writing, but not despicable, in my judgment. An alternative consideration is that Sirius' paternalistic love was not as strong as she painted it to be previous to that moment. But there again is negligence in writing because we have no canon evidence for that - his running there despite the risk speaks to the opposite view. So again, Bella being out of character makes the most sense to me.


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  #136  
Old December 23rd, 2008, 1:42 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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I don't wish to discuss it in terms of Molly and Sirius - in as far as their differing reactions - but in terms of Bella herself. When she is more personally affected and involved in the duel (Sirius) she continues to show prowess - against an opponent who is more talented than Molly. Yet when she is less affected emotionally/personally, against Molly, and behaving in the same manner as she was with Sirius - she "underestimates" - despite the fact that it was an actual duel (not just Molly using a quick Avada Kedavra) and has at least a couple of moments to gauge Molly's offensive and defensive tactics. And despite the fact that her "heart isn't in it" in the same way it would have been with Sirius.

Now one can argue that Bella would be more prone to defeat Sirius because she would have had more reasons and more desire to do so. But did she really? Was she ready to die at the final battle? I don't think so - so why suddenly underestimate? Why no longer look for and take advantages? Why give up even on minimal tactics?

To me, Bella fell right out of character. There was no reason that she could not goad and taunt - even in a highly emotional and charged situation (Sirius) - and still come out the victor. In a less emotional and charged situation, she should have even had more advantage. Hence ones focus is thrown back to the force of Motherly love that Molly had - and the lack of fatherly like love in Sirius. I am hopeful that is not where the focus is supposed to be thrown because I would honestly find that despicable writing on Jo's part with respect to these situations. I prefer to feel she simply pulled Bella out of character without thinking about the dual situations, which is negligent writing, but not despicable, in my judgment.
I disagree with this because I really do think that Bellatrix just plain old wasn't in her right head anymore by this time and she also grossly underestimated a woman who stayed home and watched her kids instead of going out and fighting. To me (meaning this is just the opinion I've formed of her), Bellatrix is the kind of person who would rather go out into the work force rather than stay home to watch her children if she had had any.
So what this says to me is that while she was fighting Sirius, she was more "on her game" than she was when fighting Molly because she felt her opponent was almost worthy of her. It meant she paid attention. I also think that while Sirius was a good fighter himself, he may have been behaving a bit recklessly as well the night he died and I always thought it was a contributing factor to his death. Bella had a personal vendetta against him and I think she fought harder in that battle than in the one she fought with Molly.

When Bella was fighting with Molly, she was on a high. She saw Harry Potter die at the hand of her beloved master, they had been kicking butt on the battlefield, and I think she really thought it was in the bag. Then she sees this woman, a blood traitor who was like a mother to Harry, and I think she looked down on her. I would have thought that Bella's immediate reaction to her would be that Molly is a fool stepping into a fight with Bellatrix who was the Dark Lord's favorite and best fighter, and she thought it would be an easy win. As such, she took her time in taunting, she tried to make her words barbs that would stick, and ignored the fact that the woman was holding her own. Bella thought she was better than Molly and I think this was a major contributor to her demise.

When it came down to it, I think Bella knew Sirius could have killed her. I believe she thought Molly wasn't capable.


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  #137  
Old December 23rd, 2008, 1:46 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

But it was not the prowess judgment I was questioning from Bella's view. It was her response to it. So what if Molly was much worse - so what if she felt it would be an easy win after playing with her. At some point, Bella herself stopped being a warrior and that is where the picture goes stale. It doesn't matter all the other thoughts she had (just like with Sirius) - she was still in it to win, be the opponent weak or strong. But with Molly, she appeared to be in it to "lose". Honestly, lose.


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  #138  
Old December 23rd, 2008, 4:54 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
But it was not the prowess judgment I was questioning from Bella's view. It was her response to it. So what if Molly was much worse - so what if she felt it would be an easy win after playing with her. At some point, Bella herself stopped being a warrior and that is where the picture goes stale. It doesn't matter all the other thoughts she had (just like with Sirius) - she was still in it to win, be the opponent weak or strong. But with Molly, she appeared to be in it to "lose". Honestly, lose.
I don't really understand. So what's bothering is that Bellatrix underestimated Molly or that Bellatrix lost the duel, or both? As far as underestimating goes, Bellatrix had no reason to see Molly as a threat. Even the fans were surprised when Bellatrix lost the duel. No one had really expected Molly to win. As for losing, the whole scene is highly unrealistic so I can understand why that bothers you. The only reasonable explanation for Molly's winning the duel would be that Bella underestimated her. Molly only won because JKR wanted her to. There is no logical reason as to why she won other than: A. JKR wanting her to and B. Bellatrix underestimated her. It was probably a combination of both.


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  #139  
Old December 23rd, 2008, 5:55 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Trixa View Post
I don't really understand. So what's bothering is that Bellatrix underestimated Molly or that Bellatrix lost the duel, or both?
That Bella lost even though underestimating her. And that Bella continued to underestimate her under the circumstances.

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As far as underestimating goes, Bellatrix had no reason to see Molly as a threat. Even the fans were surprised when Bellatrix lost the duel. No one had really expected Molly to win.
Agreed.

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As for losing, the whole scene is highly unrealistic so I can understand why that bothers you. The only reasonable explanation for Molly's winning the duel would be that Bella underestimated her. Molly only won because JKR wanted her to. There is no logical reason as to why she won other than: A. JKR wanting her to and B. Bellatrix underestimated her. It was probably a combination of both.
That was pretty much my point. But some had suggested that JKR's underlying reason was to show the power of Molly's type of love over that of Bella and it is possible JKR simply lost sight of other factors in her zeal to do that.


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Old December 23rd, 2008, 8:47 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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When Bella was fighting with Molly, she was on a high. She saw Harry Potter die at the hand of her beloved master, they had been kicking butt on the battlefield, and I think she really thought it was in the bag.
And she had successfully pruned her family by killing Tonks, so really, the day was shaping up to be a great one for her till she ran into Molly.

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When it came down to it, I think Bella knew Sirius could have killed her. I believe she thought Molly wasn't capable.
Bingo!

Also, I think people overestimate Bellatrix's skill. Yeah, that's what I said. She was undoubtedly a skilled warrior and the fiercest Death Eater but she was a part of the group that couldn't defeat six teenagers in the DoM (where Bellatrix didn't help things by flying off the handle) and when Molly crossed paths with her she had again failed to dispatch three teenage girls. I would wager all the imaginary knuts in the world that the reason Hermione, Ginny and Luna could hold her off was because Bellatrix barreled in expecting an easy kill and was caught by surprise. That was not Bellatrix's choice to be held off by those three, ok? There were plenty of people to kill and she could have her fun with them all since I'm sure she had an entire arsenal of killing curses at her disposal beyond AK.

She was stuck because she got herself into a stupid situation. Something she's done over (getting caught after torturing the Longbottoms) and over (failing to retrieve the prophecy/defeat the DA at the DoM) and over (needing Voldemort to rescue her) and over (failing to dispatch Hermione, Ginny and Luna) and over (underestimating Molly) again.

Strategy, subtelty and keeping a cool head were not Bellatrix's strong suits. Once people get realistic about that and her weaknesses in general, it's not hard to see how Molly could have surprised her and how Bellatrix's underestimating Molly could lead to her downfall.


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Last edited by birdi86; December 23rd, 2008 at 8:50 pm.
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