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Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis



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  #301  
Old January 28th, 2013, 7:31 pm
Sablestar  Female.gif Sablestar is offline
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

Bellatrix is one of the most undeniably evil characters in Harry Potter, IMO. I don't think she was like that pre-Azkaban, though; on one of the pages on JKR's website, the background looks like the Trophy Room, and you can read some of the names on the trophies-like Tom Riddle, James Potter, and Bellatrix Black. She must've done something to get an award for Special Services to the School (kind of makes you wonder what).

She was in love with Voldemort; she had to have been. I think it was more of a power thing than a romantic one, though. Voldemort didn't return Bellatrix's feelings; he was incable of love. He freaked out after she died because she was his best and strongest of the Death Eaters.

I think that Bellatrix's insanity was a result of all the purebloods being so heavily inbred, as well as the way that she was raised. Her parents were Dark Wizard supremecists, and that obviously would've rubbed off on Bellatrix. And, considering that they were the kind of people that used Dark Magic as a leisure activity, imagine the punishment they would've given to kids...-shudder-

She wasn't completely evil though. JKR said somewhere that, with the exception of Voldemort, none of the characters in HP are completely good or evil. I think that caring about her sister Narcissa was the small bit of light that remained in Bellatrix.


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  #302  
Old January 28th, 2013, 7:36 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

This is going to be an unpopular opinion, to be sure...

I'm actually wondering if it might've fit Bellatrix's character better if she'd been a rare case of a "Bad Gryffindor" because she clearly shows a lot of loyalty, devotion and...courage throughout the series. She doesn't seem like a schemer or anything, but a true warrior zealot. Sure, it's loyalty to an evil Sorcerer but it's still real loyalty.


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  #303  
Old January 29th, 2013, 1:45 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Sablestar View Post
Bellatrix is one of the most undeniably evil characters in Harry Potter, IMO. I don't think she was like that pre-Azkaban, though; on one of the pages on JKR's website, the background looks like the Trophy Room, and you can read some of the names on the trophies-like Tom Riddle, James Potter, and Bellatrix Black. She must've done something to get an award for Special Services to the School (kind of makes you wonder what).

She was in love with Voldemort; she had to have been. I think it was more of a power thing than a romantic one, though. Voldemort didn't return Bellatrix's feelings; he was incable of love. He freaked out after she died because she was his best and strongest of the Death Eaters.

I think that Bellatrix's insanity was a result of all the purebloods being so heavily inbred, as well as the way that she was raised. Her parents were Dark Wizard supremecists, and that obviously would've rubbed off on Bellatrix. And, considering that they were the kind of people that used Dark Magic as a leisure activity, imagine the punishment they would've given to kids...-shudder-

She wasn't completely evil though. JKR said somewhere that, with the exception of Voldemort, none of the characters in HP are completely good or evil. I think that caring about her sister Narcissa was the small bit of light that remained in Bellatrix.
Sirius was a pure blod, too, and he wasn't insane. I don't think his brother was, either, really. Sirius was also in Azkaban. You're right in that she cared about her sister. It did seem odd to me when they were looking for Snape, that Bellatrix went with her.




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Originally Posted by ShadowSonic View Post
This is going to be an unpopular opinion, to be sure...

I'm actually wondering if it might've fit Bellatrix's character better if she'd been a rare case of a "Bad Gryffindor" because she clearly shows a lot of loyalty, devotion and...courage throughout the series. She doesn't seem like a schemer or anything, but a true warrior zealot. Sure, it's loyalty to an evil Sorcerer but it's still real loyalty.
I thought loyalty was a Hufflepuff trait.


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  #304  
Old January 29th, 2013, 3:37 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by persian85033 View Post
Sirius was a pure blod, too, and he wasn't insane. I don't think his brother was, either, really. Sirius was also in Azkaban. You're right in that she cared about her sister. It did seem odd to me when they were looking for Snape, that Bellatrix went with her.
I think Bellatrix followed Narcissa to Snape's because she was trying to convince her not to tell him.

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I thought loyalty was a Hufflepuff trait.
Yeah, I think loyalty is a Hufflepuff trait... and it's hard to see Bellatrix as a Hufflepuff!

I guess I'll answer the questions too:

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?

She believed in the pureblood supremacy and she was raised by parents who probably encouraged her to keep her blood pure and fight for purebloods or something. I think she was attracted to Voldemort because he was a source of power for her and she probably admired all that he did.

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 think she distrusted Snape because he had a double spy role. Also, he seemed that he would be a high ranked Death Eater and since it seems Bellatrix wanted to be closest to Voldemort, she may have seen Snape as a threat.

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?

She must have had a really bad relationship with him, especially when he was older and very outspoken about being a bloodtraitor. I think she was ashamed that he was part of her family and it probably made her feel really good to finally get rid of him.

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?

I think they turned to Voldemort because they really believed and supported him and he probably was very persuasive too. It must have sounded like an exciting and thrilling group to join, especially for teenagers. I think they got away with it at Hogwarts because Hogwarts is a big school and teachers can't always know what students are up to.

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

She may be a psychopath which is why she does not feel remorse for using the Cruciatus curse. Like other people have mentioned, the result of inbreeding in the Black family has probably led to disbalances. I think this shows that she grew up in a house that was very tolerant of the Dark Arts.

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

I think it mainly comes from the fact that no matter how much she denies it, she is related to Tonks through her sister. For this, she probably feels extremely ashamed and angry and even more when she finds out Tonks marries a werewolf.

7. Do you think Belltrix could have been redeemed?

No, I don't think there were many redeeming qualities in her. She seemed to care for Narcissa but I'm not sure if that care would stretch out far enough for it to be her redeeming quality. But with a character like Bellatrix, it's hard to tell.


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  #305  
Old January 29th, 2013, 4:29 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by asdfasdf17 View Post
I think Bellatrix followed Narcissa to Snape's because she was trying to convince her not to tell him.
Which boils down to the same thing, IMO. If you care about someone, you don't want them to entrust their loved ones to a traitor. If Snape had been on Dumbledore's side, for all Bellatrix knew, he would have thrown Draco to the wolves.


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  #306  
Old February 21st, 2013, 5:41 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Sablestar View Post
She was in love with Voldemort; she had to have been. I think it was more of a power thing than a romantic one, though. Voldemort didn't return Bellatrix's feelings; he was incable of love. He freaked out after she died because she was his best and strongest of the Death Eaters.
He wasn't capable of love, but he knew she was useful to him. And they may have had a physical relationship anyway, just without love on his part. I think she was attracted to him because he spouted the evil beliefs she herself held. He represented an opportunity to murder and torture for these beliefs. I think that led her to feel attracted to him.


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She wasn't completely evil though. JKR said somewhere that, with the exception of Voldemort, none of the characters in HP are completely good or evil. I think that caring about her sister Narcissa was the small bit of light that remained in Bellatrix.
I think that might have been the only good left in Bellatrix. Even if she lacks the empathy to understand or give a fig about Narcissa's fears for Draco. (A typical DE trait.) I do wonder, though, if Voldemort had killed Narcissa, would Bellatrix have turned on him? I doubt it.

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Originally Posted by ShadowSonic View Post
This is going to be an unpopular opinion, to be sure...

I'm actually wondering if it might've fit Bellatrix's character better if she'd been a rare case of a "Bad Gryffindor" because she clearly shows a lot of loyalty, devotion and...courage throughout the series. She doesn't seem like a schemer or anything, but a true warrior zealot. Sure, it's loyalty to an evil Sorcerer but it's still real loyalty.

I doubt it. As others have pointed out, loyalty is a Hufflepuff trait. Bellatrix lacked the sense of justice for Hufflepuff. Also, both Sirius and Slughorn say that "all his family had been in Slytherin". Plus, the Black family were traditionally Slytherin; I think it would have been more widely known if the most notorious DE had been a Gryffindor. Another factor - in GoF, Sirius says that Snape had been friends with a group of Slytherins who became DEs, and lists "the Lestranges, they're a married couple" among that number.

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Originally Posted by asdfasdf17 View Post
She believed in the pureblood supremacy and she was raised by parents who probably encouraged her to keep her blood pure and fight for purebloods or something. I think she was attracted to Voldemort because he was a source of power for her and she probably admired all that he did.
Bellatrix was born with pure blood and nothing could change that. They could, however raise her with the idea to keep the line pure, by only choosing a pureblood life partner.

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She must have had a really bad relationship with him, especially when he was older and very outspoken about being a bloodtraitor. I think she was ashamed that he was part of her family and it probably made her feel really good to finally get rid of him.

I think this is true of Bellatrix.

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I think they turned to Voldemort because they really believed and supported him and he probably was very persuasive too. It must have sounded like an exciting and thrilling group to join, especially for teenagers. I think they got away with it at Hogwarts because Hogwarts is a big school and teachers can't always know what students are up to.
I think they also got away with it by following Riddle's lead and pretending to be decent people. They put on a good front of being civilised. Particularly with Slughorn, who was probably glad of the opportunity to cosy up to important families with connections. In the case of the Black and Malfoy families, anyway.

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I think it mainly comes from the fact that no matter how much she denies it, she is related to Tonks through her sister. For this, she probably feels extremely ashamed and angry and even more when she finds out Tonks marries a werewolf.
I agree. Bellatrix places blood purity above people, above family. She places an arrogant, prejudiced notion above people.

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No, I don't think there were many redeeming qualities in her. She seemed to care for Narcissa but I'm not sure if that care would stretch out far enough for it to be her redeeming quality. But with a character like Bellatrix, it's hard to tell.
Would she have turned on Voldemort if he had killed Narcissa for going to Snape? For lying to him? Is turning on Voldemort sufficient to be redeemed?

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
Which boils down to the same thing, IMO. If you care about someone, you don't want them to entrust their loved ones to a traitor. If Snape had been on Dumbledore's side, for all Bellatrix knew, he would have thrown Draco to the wolves.
Bellatrix herself would gladly have thrown Draco to the wolves - she saw it as an honour that he was given a task that would be likely to get him killed. She states that if she had sons, she would turn them over to the Dark Lord in the same situation. I don't think Draco's well-being meant a jot to Bellatrix.

She cared about Narcissa, but she did not give a fig about Narcissa's loved ones.


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  #307  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 5:48 am
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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?

Voldemort's movement resonates with Bellatrix. She's a front-runner--i.e., a person who enjoys power, and who enjoys the machinations involved in retaining and expanding that power. (That perspective seems to be part and parcel of the Black family, to the point that family members have to explicitly break out of that mold.) Voldemort enables her to act out those impulses to the hilt.

Bellatrix does at times seem to have deeper feelings for Voldemort than simply allegiance, but I hesitate to call them "romantic." They seem more like straightfoward lust to me, but it's hard to say for sure.

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?

She distrusts him as much as anyone might, I think, but more than that, she is envious of his position as Voldemort's trusted lieutenant, a position she would dearly love to assume. She is therefore additionally motivated to suspect Snape, as any clear indication of his disloyalty would (so she thinks) advance her in Voldemort's esteem.

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?

He was a traitor. He rejected the family House, and he rejected their notion of blood purity. It was not really her place to disown him, as such, but she considered him as having been removed from the family--note his eradication from the family tree--and probably thought even worse of him (because of the family name he essentially spat on) than she would a Muggle-born stranger. She therefore had no compunctions about bringing about his death.

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?

I don't think there is any mystery to her joining other Death Eaters (nor did it take substantial "turning"): It was a power play, plain and simple. Power beckons to Death Eaters. They think of that power as being their birthright, and so what they do is not cruel or evil or immoral, but simply natural. (Think of all that people have wrought in the real world in the name of "natural" power.)

And just as Bellatrix would have been swayed to see untrustworthiness in Snape even where it might not have been, so the school administration was likely to overlook an uncomfortable truth in their own student body until the countervailing evidence was overwhelming. We see this in many of the administration Wizards in the series--notably Fudge, who steadfastly ignored evidence of Voldemort's evidence until to continue was madness (and possibly even a little beyond).

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

She's cruel. She derives pleasure from inflicting pain and suffering. I'm not sure she's exactly psychopathic in the clinical sense, but it's in that direction. (It's worth noting that IANAD, and neither I suspect is Rowling.)

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

She despises werewolves. They have their uses, but she does not think of them as being in the class of Wizards--certainly not of pure-blood Wizards. So she despises Tonks for descending to that level, above and beyond any hatred she has for Tonks being a Mudblood sympathizer.

7. Do you think Bellatrix could have been redeemed?

First in the list of requirements for redemption is a desire to be redeemed. I think Bellatrix is disqualified on those grounds, for the simple reason that I doubt she would think of herself as needing redemption. She thinks of herself simply as doing what best puts herself in the position to which she is "naturally" destined, on top of the Wizarding world with her dark prophet, Voldemort.


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  #308  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 8:41 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Bellatrix herself would gladly have thrown Draco to the wolves - she saw it as an honour that he was given a task that would be likely to get him killed. She states that if she had sons, she would turn them over to the Dark Lord in the same situation. I don't think Draco's well-being meant a jot to Bellatrix.

She cared about Narcissa, but she did not give a fig about Narcissa's loved ones.
Hmm, I'm not sure. Bellatrix was herself a DE which means she would see Draco's opportunity to become one as a honor. I think she was happy for him, though it was a twisted sort of happiness of course. As for her comments about her children, I would say the same. I don't think that means that Bellatrix wanted her children to die for Voldemort nor that she wanted Draco to die, just that the honor of working for Voldemort outweighed the dangers of dying. So in this sense, I don't see that comment as particularly shocking because she only wanted her children to do what she herself does. If she had been the sort of person who kept herself safe while throwing her children to the wolves, then that would be different IMO.


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Old February 22nd, 2013, 9:08 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
Which boils down to the same thing, IMO. If you care about someone, you don't want them to entrust their loved ones to a traitor. If Snape had been on Dumbledore's side, for all Bellatrix knew, he would have thrown Draco to the wolves.
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Originally Posted by BrianTung View Post
She distrusts him as much as anyone might, I think, but more than that, she is envious of his position as Voldemort's trusted lieutenant, a position she would dearly love to assume. She is therefore additionally motivated to suspect Snape, as any clear indication of his disloyalty would (so she thinks) advance her in Voldemort's esteem.
Good point. Some her distrust of Snape is genuine distrust and some of it is Bellatrix hoping that he is a traitor to their side. I wonder where the balance falls - is it mostly genuine distrust or mostly hoping he is untrustworthy?

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I don't think there is any mystery to her joining other Death Eaters (nor did it take substantial "turning"): It was a power play, plain and simple. Power beckons to Death Eaters. They think of that power as being their birthright, and so what they do is not cruel or evil or immoral, but simply natural. (Think of all that people have wrought in the real world in the name of "natural" power.)
I think this is a good point. I think there is that sense of entitlement in Bellatrix and co. They do seem to think they have been wronged when a Muggle or Muggleborn has basic rights. I think they see themselves as entitled to play god - Bellatrix seems to think she has that right, anyhow.

Quote:
And just as Bellatrix would have been swayed to see untrustworthiness in Snape even where it might not have been, so the school administration was likely to overlook an uncomfortable truth in their own student body until the countervailing evidence was overwhelming. We see this in many of the administration Wizards in the series--notably Fudge, who steadfastly ignored evidence of Voldemort's evidence until to continue was madness (and possibly even a little beyond).
Dumbledore was Headteacher at the time, and given his objections to the things Riddle got away with, I think it would be surprising if he were to ignore the evils committed by those who wanted to follow in his footsteps.

I think Slughorn would have been distracted by the name, by the connections, and by any academic skills Bellatrix might have had.


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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
Hmm, I'm not sure. Bellatrix was herself a DE which means she would see Draco's opportunity to become one as a honor. I think she was happy for him, though it was a twisted sort of happiness of course. As for her comments about her children, I would say the same. I don't think that means that Bellatrix wanted her children to die for Voldemort nor that she wanted Draco to die, just that the honor of working for Voldemort outweighed the dangers of dying. So in this sense, I don't see that comment as particularly shocking because she only wanted her children to do what she herself does. If she had been the sort of person who kept herself safe while throwing her children to the wolves, then that would be different IMO.
But Bellatrix was safe and Voldemort was safe, while Draco was being thrown to the wolves. I agree, she does not mean for Draco to die, but she is not upset at the likelihood that he will die, it does not bother or concern her, and she does not acknowledge or empathise with Narcissa's fears.

Here is the post I was responding to. I was thinking in terms of how much Bellatrix actually cared about Narcissa's feelings or Narcissa's desire to protect her loved ones:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
Which boils down to the same thing, IMO. If you care about someone, you don't want them to entrust their loved ones to a traitor. If Snape had been on Dumbledore's side, for all Bellatrix knew, he would have thrown Draco to the wolves.

She didn't want Narcissa to be harmed - because she "cared" about Narcissa to an extent - perhaps only to the extent that Bellatrix herself would probably be grieved if Narcissa were killed. However, Bellatrix shows no sympathy or concern whatsoever for Narcissa's fears for Draco. Bellatrix does not recognise, understand or care that Narcissa has loved ones of her own, that Narcissa wants to see her loved ones safe. Bellatrix does not want Narcissa to trust someone she considers a traitor; Draco's safety is irrelevant to Bellatrix.


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  #310  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 2:02 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Good point. Some her distrust of Snape is genuine distrust and some of it is Bellatrix hoping that he is a traitor to their side. I wonder where the balance falls - is it mostly genuine distrust or mostly hoping he is untrustworthy?
I'd assumed it was jealousy because Snape had assumed the position she thought should be hers. After those years in Azkaban which she thought the epitome of loyalty, to be ousted by someone who had spent those years in comfort at Hogwarts must have been galling.

Quote:
She didn't want Narcissa to be harmed - because she "cared" about Narcissa to an extent - perhaps only to the extent that Bellatrix herself would probably be grieved if Narcissa were killed. However, Bellatrix shows no sympathy or concern whatsoever for Narcissa's fears for Draco. Bellatrix does not recognise, understand or care that Narcissa has loved ones of her own, that Narcissa wants to see her loved ones safe. Bellatrix does not want Narcissa to trust someone she considers a traitor; Draco's safety is irrelevant to Bellatrix.
Not being a mother herself I don't think she can empathise with Narcissa's feelings towards her son. (Rather like Snape with Lily) She doesn't seem to me to have much empathy at all, but I suppose if she did, she'd not get such pleasure from torturing people. Her idolatry of Voldemort is so strong that it seems to overcome other natural feelings and if Voldemort had killed Narcissa she would no doubt have been sad to lose her sister but I can't see her blaming Voldemort or her loyalty being in question.


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  #311  
Old February 22nd, 2013, 3:07 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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I'd assumed it was jealousy because Snape had assumed the position she thought should be hers. After those years in Azkaban which she thought the epitome of loyalty, to be ousted by someone who had spent those years in comfort at Hogwarts must have been galling.
I think she was jealous about that, and furious. And of course, her anger could never be directed at Voldemort, nor would she want to, not even privately.
I think, though, that she also wanted Snape to be a traitor - she may have felt that if he was proven to be the enemy, she would regain her old position.

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Not being a mother herself I don't think she can empathise with Narcissa's feelings towards her son. (Rather like Snape with Lily) She doesn't seem to me to have much empathy at all, but I suppose if she did, she'd not get such pleasure from torturing people.
Not being a parent does not render one incapable of empathising with parents, or at least the ability to recognise that a parent loves their child and does not want them to come to any harm. IMO, that stems from a complete lack of empathy rather than simply "not being a mother herself". I'm not a mother, but I can still see that my friends who have children love them dearly, are protective of them, and want their children to be safe. One does not have to be a parent to know and understand that parents want to keep their child safe.

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Her idolatry of Voldemort is so strong that it seems to overcome other natural feelings and if Voldemort had killed Narcissa she would no doubt have been sad to lose her sister but I can't see her blaming Voldemort or her loyalty being in question.

Probably not. It does seem that even that would not drive Bellatrix away from Voldemort. It's the only thing that does turn Death Eaters against Voldemort, it seems, but I think you're right - Bellatrix would probably not turn on Voldemort if he murdered Narcissa. She wants to keep Narcissa safe from Voldemort's wrath - such as in HBP, and she keeps Narcissa's visit to Snape a secret, but I don't think she would turn on Voldemort. Or maybe she would - we really don't know, because we don't see Bellatrix in a situation where Voldemort has murdered someone she cares for (short list, but anyway).


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Old February 22nd, 2013, 4:25 pm
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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 think Bellatrix found Voldemort's ideology very close to her own. Born into a pureblood family who undoubtedly preached pureblood supremacy from the time she was in the cradle. I think, in her way, she was in love with Voldemort and his ideals, but it seems to me to be a more like a form of idolatry, much like an obsessed rabid type of fan worship type thing.

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?

For one thing, I think she was envious of Snape's appearing to be so close to her beloved leader, and she couldn't figure out just why. I don't think Voldemort made her privy to everything he did, which would rankle her. And Snape had very good answers for all her questions at Spinner's End. Though she might say she trusts Voldemort completely, there is still some doubt with her, if she allows herself to think about it, which I don't feel she often does. She is so devoted that I think she quashes, for the most part, any thoughts that might "blemish" her image of her "idol". I think she knew Snape, from her association with Lucius, after all, he was a friend of Lucius'. As to any romantic involvement, that is highly unlikely in my opinion. Someone like Bellatrix, from a privileged, pureblood supremist environment, would hardly be interested in a Half-blood boy who came from...."a Muggle dungheap". This might also explain her animosity towards Snape, he was so "in" with Voldemort, and he wasn't even a pureblood!

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?
Well, they probably never saw eye to eye, and add the fact that he supposedly disgraced his pureblood family [I'm sure that was a constant topic of discussion in the family].

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?

Well, they probably got wind of him from their parents and their parents' friends, and the subject was talked about openly at home, I imagine. How could they get away with this in the middle of Hogwarts? I don't think the students were monitored that carefully, and those Death Eater wannabes were clever enough so that even though some nasty incidents might have been rumored to be due to them, nobody could ever actually prove anything.

5. Bellatrix seems to have a fondness for the Cruciatus curse. What do you think that this says about her personality and history?
I do not think that kindness and empathy to others was a prime teaching for her growing up, and it is entirely possible that Bellatrix was sociopathic to boot. And definitely mentally unstable.

6. What do you think of her hatred of Tonks for marrying a werewolf?
Oh, the horror! To a woman of her "superior" status [pureblood, rich], this must have felt like a slap in the face! In my mind, it parallels how some families in real life react when a family member marries a person of another race [since they're bigots] , or a person perceived as inferior due to some other characteristic, or marrying beneath your social status. A lot of pureblood marriages were arranged, as I was led to understand, with suitable pureblood mates. Tonks went against all these things. How dare she! Just like her mother! I suppose Andromeda and Tonks were referred to as "blood traitors" in the worst way.

7. Do you think Belltrix could have been redeemed?[/quote]

No, I think she was too far gone.


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  #313  
Old February 23rd, 2013, 6:05 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Not being a parent does not render one incapable of empathising with parents, or at least the ability to recognise that a parent loves their child and does not want them to come to any harm. IMO, that stems from a complete lack of empathy rather than simply "not being a mother herself". I'm not a mother, but I can still see that my friends who have children love them dearly, are protective of them, and want their children to be safe. One does not have to be a parent to know and understand that parents want to keep their child safe.
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you can only understand parenthood if you are a parent! Of course a normal person can empathise with a parent. But Bellatrix wasn't exactly normal and seemed to be entirely without empathy. What I was getting at (but failing to say!) was that if Bellatrix had had a child herself she might have been able to understand Narcissa's feelings about Draco's being endangered by the task he was set. It's all very well for her to say she'd be proud to sacrifice a child of hers to Voldemort's service, but she isn't in that position so she can be enthusiastic in theory without ever having to put it into practice. From where she stands, any child would seem inferior to her beloved Voldemort because she hasn't as far as we know experienced any greater love than that. Her relationship with her husband seems very tepid as she doesn't seem to show that concern for him that Narcissa shows for Lucius. It seems to me that her rather idolatrous passion for Voldemort was the overwhelming emotion of her life and she couldn't conceive of any greater feeling than that.


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Old February 23rd, 2013, 3:27 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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For one thing, I think she was envious of Snape's appearing to be so close to her beloved leader, and she couldn't figure out just why. I don't think Voldemort made her privy to everything he did, which would rankle her.
But Voldemort made none of them privy to everything he did. None of them knew everything. I imagine he liked to play them off against each other. (Feeding his ego) I do agree that it rankled her that she was no longer one of the power players for his attentions. She could no longer delude herself that she was special to him, much as she tried in Spinner's End.

Quote:
Someone like Bellatrix, from a privileged, pureblood supremist environment, would hardly be interested in a Half-blood boy who came from...."a Muggle dungheap". This might also explain her animosity towards Snape, he was so "in" with Voldemort, and he wasn't even a pureblood!
Good point. I think Bellatrix tolerated, at best, those DEs who were not pureblood. I think she accepted they were useful, but certainly did not consider them on a par with her and her generations of in-breeding.

Quote:
I do not think that kindness and empathy to others was a prime teaching for her growing up, and it is entirely possible that Bellatrix was sociopathic to boot. And definitely mentally unstable.
I imagine Bellatrix was taught by the Black family that some people are worthy of life and others are not. I think she embraced this rabid ideology gladly.


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Originally Posted by horcrux4 View Post
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you can only understand parenthood if you are a parent! Of course a normal person can empathise with a parent. But Bellatrix wasn't exactly normal and seemed to be entirely without empathy.
I think that is the affliction of the DEs, a lack of empathy.

Quote:
What I was getting at (but failing to say!) was that if Bellatrix had had a child herself she might have been able to understand Narcissa's feelings about Draco's being endangered by the task he was set. It's all very well for her to say she'd be proud to sacrifice a child of hers to Voldemort's service, but she isn't in that position so she can be enthusiastic in theory without ever having to put it into practice.
Perhaps she would be as enthusiastic in practice, or perhaps not. Perhaps if her child was killed, she would be the DE to turn. But she cared for Narcissa, in her own way. She wouldn't be the only character to love, but be willing to see a loved one suffer the worst and cruellest of bereavements.


Quote:
From where she stands, any child would seem inferior to her beloved Voldemort because she hasn't as far as we know experienced any greater love than that. Her relationship with her husband seems very tepid as she doesn't seem to show that concern for him that Narcissa shows for Lucius. It seems to me that her rather idolatrous passion for Voldemort was the overwhelming emotion of her life and she couldn't conceive of any greater feeling than that.
Which I think highlights how love can sometimes be selfish, if it is a case of "my loved one and I are the only ones that matter, the rest of the world can burn." That is not love. I think JKR was showing how "love" can sometimes be selfish, self-centred and destructive.


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Old February 23rd, 2013, 11:20 pm
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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? Could she have any romantic feelings for Voldemort?

Firstly, Bellatrix is not the only one of her kind. There are other prejudiced pure-bloods with as much, if not more, lunacy to accompany a murderous streak. From what we see, however, none of them are particularly up to par with Bellatrix's abilities as a witch. In short, none of them warrant her respect, for they are neither as powerful nor as psychotically devoted to the purifying cause. As such, I see her turning to Voldemort, a man just as mad as she is, and not to mention one far more powerful than her. It is not him, per se, who she is madly in love with, but the idea of someone like him, someone who relishes in cruelty and power just as she does. If they were on equal footing, I would imagine that she would treat him as an equal, but as they are not, he became her idol. I would even suggest that because Bellatrix has a built-in arrogant streak, characteristic of the Black family, she idolizes one in whom she sees herself, or, at the very least, one in whom she sees what she desperately wants to be. Branching off of this, whenever Voldemort deviated slightly from her ideal self, Bellatrix was highly bothered by it, as is shown in her "distrust" of Snape. It was not distrust, it was the concept of favoring a half-blood over a pure-blood, something Bellatrix would not expect in her superior self.


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Old February 24th, 2013, 2:19 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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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? Could she have any romantic feelings for Voldemort?

Firstly, Bellatrix is not the only one of her kind. There are other prejudiced pure-bloods with as much, if not more, lunacy to accompany a murderous streak. From what we see, however, none of them are particularly up to par with Bellatrix's abilities as a witch. In short, none of them warrant her respect, for they are neither as powerful nor as psychotically devoted to the purifying cause. As such, I see her turning to Voldemort, a man just as mad as she is, and not to mention one far more powerful than her. It is not him, per se, who she is madly in love with, but the idea of someone like him, someone who relishes in cruelty and power just as she does. If they were on equal footing, I would imagine that she would treat him as an equal, but as they are not, he became her idol. I would even suggest that because Bellatrix has a built-in arrogant streak, characteristic of the Black family, she idolizes one in whom she sees herself, or, at the very least, one in whom she sees what she desperately wants to be. Branching off of this, whenever Voldemort deviated slightly from her ideal self, Bellatrix was highly bothered by it, as is shown in her "distrust" of Snape. It was not distrust, it was the concept of favoring a half-blood over a pure-blood, something Bellatrix would not expect in her superior self.
I agree with everything here. I think Bella's feelings for Voldemort are a perfect example of a narcissistic sort of affection, when you love someone because they remind you of you, or of who you wished you were. I also think that Bellatrix is not very happy being a servat, I think she would prefer Voldemort to regard her as his equal and put her high above the other Death Eaters. I never bought the idea that Bellatrix has a slave-mentality. To me, she comes across more as a leader and such an arrogant pureblood like her would not like to have to serve anyone (though of course, she enjoys serving Voldemort because she worships him).


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Old February 24th, 2013, 9:53 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

Do you think she believed Harry when he told her Voldemort was a half-blood in the room of Prophecies?


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  #318  
Old February 25th, 2013, 3:32 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

[quote]
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Firstly, Bellatrix is not the only one of her kind. There are other prejudiced pure-bloods with as much, if not more, lunacy to accompany a murderous streak.

I fully agree. Bellatrix is not the only murderous Death Eater. She is not the only one to commit evil deeds. She is not the only one to destroy the lives of others. She was not the bad apple in a bunch of Scouts; she was one of the high-ranking murderers in a group of murderers.

Quote:
From what we see, however, none of them are particularly up to par with Bellatrix's abilities as a witch. In short, none of them warrant her respect, for they are neither as powerful nor as psychotically devoted to the purifying cause.
I think there is little that warrants Bellatrix's respect, apart from Voldemort.

Quote:
Branching off of this, whenever Voldemort deviated slightly from her ideal self, Bellatrix was highly bothered by it, as is shown in her "distrust" of Snape. It was not distrust, it was the concept of favoring a half-blood over a pure-blood, something Bellatrix would not expect in her superior self.
Yes, it seems to distress Bellatrix deeply when Voldemort makes a decision she would not. However, this may also be because these decisions affect her, personally. Voldemort choosing providers of information over those who languished in Azkaban was not a decision she would make, but it was also a decision which hurt her significance to him, and among her fellows. But it could also be disappointment that his priorities are not the same as hers, I agree.

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I agree with everything here. I think Bella's feelings for Voldemort are a perfect example of a narcissistic sort of affection, when you love someone because they remind you of you, or of who you wished you were. I also think that Bellatrix is not very happy being a servat, I think she would prefer Voldemort to regard her as his equal and put her high above the other Death Eaters. I never bought the idea that Bellatrix has a slave-mentality. To me, she comes across more as a leader and such an arrogant pureblood like her would not like to have to serve anyone (though of course, she enjoys serving Voldemort because she worships him).

I agree, she would dearly love to be Voldemort's First Lady and co-ruler. While she sees herself as his closest and most valued, I think she also recognises, on some level, that he will never consider her an equal. I think, in some ways, she is settling for the best she can hope for. And in the knowledge that at least she is doing something she enjoys and indulging her sadism as much as she likes.


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Do you think she believed Harry when he told her Voldemort was a half-blood in the room of Prophecies?
Hmmm. I can see her disbelieving, or I can see her knowing already. I can't see her believing when told by Harry. She may have known already - with her obsession with pureblood genealogy, I can't see her accepting this self-proclaimed Lord Voldemort with no evidence of his pureblood credentials -I'm pretty sure "Voldemort" isn't a surname in "Nature's Nobility". She might accept the fact that he could prove he was Slytherin's Heir as evidence enough that he was pureblood.
There was some Lestrange who went to school with Riddle - he may be her husband, or one of her in-laws, but he may have made the connection between Voldemort and Riddle - especially as Riddle was using the name among "friends" at Hogwarts. He could have passed on the information.
If she knew already, her reaction was out of fury and worry at the thought of this being made widely known.
If she did not believe Harry, it is more straightforward - she thinks it is a tremendous insult against her precious Dark Lord.
I don't see her believing a slight from the enemy, one which, if it were a lie, would have been intended specifically to throw her. (As the truth, it may also have been for that purpose.)


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  #319  
Old February 26th, 2013, 1:41 pm
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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 have always thought she had 'romantic' feelings for Voldemort. But, probably not in the same way you or I would have romantic feelings for someone. They certainly weren't healthy feelings for him. She was from a family of blood supremacists who had obviously pushed those beliefs on her, her beliefs are what she learnt from her family. That, along with her obvious enjoyment of inflicting pain onto other and her incredible magical skills is what, I believe, had lead her to being the most feared Death Eater. (I don't think she was just one of the most feared, I think she was at the top of pile...)

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 think it might be jealousy. She is so desperate to Voldemort's favourite, his most loyal servant, and Snape seems to steal that away from her. Obviously, I don't really know what had happened between them prior to Snape hearing the prophecy that changed his mind about Voldemort, so I wonder if maybe they had both been trying to out do each other in terms of service to Voldemort. When Voldemort fell, Bellatrix did her best to find him, whereas Snape ran off with Dumbledore. So, she probably expected to be above the others as she had spent all those years in Azkaban for her dedication to him. But, Snape rocks up - later than the others - and there he is, still being favoured by Voldemort. So, in conclusion, I think she is simply jealous that Snape was so high on Voldemorts favourite list...

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?
It's hard to say... I'm not sure how close they are in age. I expect they would have had to spend time together growing up. Maybe they got on while they were children, but I can imagine that Bellatrix was probably an odd child... As Voldemort had mentioned, they thought it important to 'prune' ones family of those who felt muggles and muggle borns were alright, so as soon as Sirius showed he was, in no way, like his family, she would have regarded him as a blood traitor and no family of hers.

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?
I'm assuming these were mostly Slytherins, yes? :P Well, I expect they had grown up believing that those of 'pure' blood were above all others. I guess it depends on what they actually did whilst at school, and I expect they would have been punished had they been caught. So, they probably kept their evil-ways toned down, also, as with all bullying, quite often the victim is too scared to speak of the things their tormentors put them through...

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

Well, I wasn't surprised in the slightest.

7. Do you think Bellatrix could have been redeemed?
No, I don't think so. Even if she had had a sudden change of heart, she had done too much damage, inflicted too much pain, to have made up for it.


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  #320  
Old February 26th, 2013, 3:51 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

Bellatrix was 8 years older than Sirius, they wouldn't have been at Hogwarts together.

Which is strange, because Sirius says that Snape was friends with Bellatrix while they were at school...


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