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Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 4th, 2006, 2:31 pm
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Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

After that death in OOTP, Bellatrix's name has often been mud in Harry Potter circles. I admit, I hated her for a good long while for killing off Harry's godfather. But gradually I came to appreciate this rather manic lady.

This thread is for the discussion of her character, motives, thoughts, actions and possible future involvement in the plot of the books. To get the ball rolling:


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?

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?

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?

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?

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

6. What role do you see Bellatrix playing in book seven? Will she finally get her come-uppance for her crimes, and if so, who will dish this out?


Please remember that this is a discussion thread. All criticism should be constructive. You can say "Bellatrix is an evil lady who is so totally seduced by the "dark side" that she should never be forgiven" but not "Bellatrix is a nasty ***** who deserves to die slowly and painfully". Posts that are considered bashing may be deleted by staff.


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  #2  
Old October 12th, 2006, 11:03 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

1. Well, since she is a Black, I guess she was taught Pure-bloods are superior since was was little. I'm not sure why she is the most blindly loyal supporter, but it seems that Bellatrix's attitude is "if you can't do something 120% then don't do it at all." It seems that being a Death Eater is like one big popularity contest for her. The romantic feelings angle has crossed my mind. I'm unsure because Voldemort in his present state is just so unattractive.

2. Bellatrix distrust Snape because Snape always seems to get out of the action. I think in Bella's mind, anyone who didn't go to Akazban for Voldemort is a traitor. Snape's been with Dumbledore all these years, of course she's not going to trust him. I think that there is a hint of envy there as well.
She wants to trust Voldemort completely. There is conflict within her at Spinner's End. She trusts Voldemort so much that it almost pains her to have doubts.

3. Sirius was taken out of the Black family tapestry. I don't think they really had a relationship because they choose such different paths in life. As for killing him, she was proud. The fact that he was her cousin probably made her happy that she got him.

4.Voldemort represented something in Hogwarts that a lot of the pure blood kids felt. They felt superior and were probably excited to have Slytherin's heir in their mist. Dumbledore spoke of a "dark glamour" that this club had. It made them feel special.
How they got away with things. Dumbledore wasn't the Headmaster at the time. Riddle was a favorite of Headmaster Dippet. He was also a favorite of a lot of other teachers. I think the whole lot of them were sneaky and stopped other students from reporting things through fear.

5. She would rather torture than kill. In a way, this is worse than Voldemort's fondness for killing out-right. Torture into insanity seems worse than death. I have always thought Neville's situation with his parents is a little more heartbreaking than Harry's. As for her personality, it speaks volumes on cruelty. We know so little of her past, it is hard to say what caused her to prefer torture, other than the sheer thrill she seems to get from it.

7. I guess she will be at Voldemort's side trying to help her Master. I really want Neville to get her some how. Although I don't think he will use an Unforgivable on her.


  #3  
Old October 12th, 2006, 11:48 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

Something that always stuck out at me about AfterAzkaban!Bella was that she seemed almost insanely fanatical. I think something to keep in mind about her is that she, like Sirius, was a younger adult when she went to Azkaban, and now, coming out, some fifteen years later or whatever, she is older but has not had the chance to develop emotionally or mentally to the maturity expected for her age. Also, I think the Azkaban experience tends to unbalance people a little. I don't think she was always as crazy as she seems to us now. I think she was very loyal to Voldy going in, and the freakish fanaticism is something that developed as her brain was slowly melted by fifteen years of close quarters with the dementors.


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Old October 13th, 2006, 1:20 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?
- First off, I really can't see her having romantic feelings for Voldemort. She might be wicked and evil, but I think she won't betray Rodolphus. I wrote a fanfiction if you want to know my version of the story, but basically I think that growing up in a wealthy family, that didn't primarily take action, might have led to her wanting to do something instead of looking on or just supporting someone financially. Besides reserving money and keeping up a good image, there didn't appear to be much active jobs that could be persued by pure-bloods that didn't mean sitting behind a desk. Since Bellatrix is rather eccentric she seems like the person who didn't want that desk job which then led her to joining Voldemort.

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 Bellatrix doesn't like to be contradicted or proven wrong. She was used to always being appreciated and being the best, but after the DoM battle she was punished severely. Snape in general is an enemy among the Death Eaters - not only does she not trust him, but she knows he isn't stupid. I think that after taking certain decisions to get to Harry Potter (which Voldemort does quite a bit) Bellatrix starts to doubt her master. I think she prefers the torturing and killing to finding just another mediocre school boy.

In the book 3(?) it was said by Sirius: "...He was part of a gang of Slytherins who nearly all turned out to be Death Eaters...Rosier and Wilkes...The Lestranges -they're a married couple- they're in Azkaban..."

I don't think that Snape was in the same year as Bellatrix, but that he was capable enough to be part of their group. My personal guess is that Evan was leader of the group, but that's just a wild theory.

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?

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 that the influence came from inside Hogwarts. As we know both Evan Rosier's father and Rodolphus Lestrange's father were Death Eaters. I think that these two were already being forced to follow the same path. Rodolphus knew his then girlfriend and I think she persuaded him to not let her be left in the dark, she wanted a piece of the action.

5. Bellatrix seems to have a fondness for the Cruciatus curse. What do you think that this says about her personality and history?
- I have a vague feeling that when Bellatrix grew up certain measures had been taken to keep her in place. Maybe she had seen her parents perform the curse or had it performed on herself. She is "different" in an almost crazy way. I think she might want to get her feelings and anger towards society out by performing this particular curse since she was bonded with it from younger years.

6. What role do you see Bellatrix playing in book seven? Will she finally get her come-uppance for her crimes, and if so, who will dish this out?
- I think that Bellatrix might show the reader the inside of the Death Eater world in one short chapter (like in book 6 in Spinner's End). Eventually I can see something heroic happening, like Lupin capturing her and being brave by not killing her and putting her once again behind bars. Personally I would prefer to see her go down in a more brutal way. I also think she would rather die in service than spend another lifetime in Azkaban when she knows there's no master to return to.


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Old October 13th, 2006, 7:53 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

My analysis of Bellatrix
Bellatrix is a strange case. It's hard to find too many redeemable qualities in her. Let's see, she is extremely loyal, and would give up anything for her cause. Plotwise she seems to be the main protagonist set up for Neville vs. Harry's main villain being Voldemort. She is fanatical. Then she had the moments when she accompanies Narcissa to Snape's house against Voldemort's knowledge that makes her seem more loyal to family than Voldemort. This makes her character more complex for me, and it makes it harder to figure out what she'll do in book 7.


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?

Bellatrix was raised in an environment conducive to the same beliefs that Voldemort has. It was a natural progression for her to join Voldemort's cause. And to add to this she seems to harbour enough hate for muggle borns etc to make her one of the most feared Deat Eaters. She sees no problem with violence and actually enjoys it for some reason. As far as romantic feeling for Voldemort... I wouldn't put it past her, she seems to be attracted to power and almost puts him on a god-like pedestal. She is married as far as we know. All in all, her priorities in life are not right and mostly concentrate on hate.


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?


Bellatrix is loyal and questions anybody who does not share her insane zeal for Voldemort. She might be jealous that Severus Snape is closer to Voldemort than she is and she wants to find a way to get rid of the competition. What is so sad is that she doesn't know that Voldemort does not play favorites and she has little chance of reaching that height. I don't believe there was any prior relationship of consequence with Snape other than the fact that they are both Death Eaters and have been in this group together in the past.



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?

As has been said, Sirius was blasted off the tapestry and that means he was no longer considered family to her. He was a disapointment and a traitor, and we know how Bella feels about traitors. I think she feels the same way about her family loyalty as Death Eater loyalty and if you don't agree you are completely expendable.

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?

Racism and bigotry to put it simply. We see these same things with Harry's generation. Hogwarts had a different headmaster than and his policies may have been more lax in that area.

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


I don't know want canon evidence I can come up with to explain her propensity for this curse. She uses it alot and that says she is a sadistic person. As to her history I can only speculate.

6. What role do you see Bellatrix playing in book seven? Will she finally get her come-uppance for her crimes, and if so, who will dish this out?


Definitley, I can't see JKR letting her get away with her heinous crimes. She might literally be insane though and that could excuse her from some things and land her in St. Mungos for the rest of her life. I only say this because of her years in Azkaban and her crazy fanaticism. It doesn't seem like she has all her wits about her anymore if she is this evil. And if she is completly sane she will either be killed in battle or locked up in Azkaban for good.


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Old October 13th, 2006, 2:49 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarapsys View Post
Something that always stuck out at me about AfterAzkaban!Bella was that she seemed almost insanely fanatical. I think something to keep in mind about her is that she, like Sirius, was a younger adult when she went to Azkaban, and now, coming out, some fifteen years later or whatever, she is older but has not had the chance to develop emotionally or mentally to the maturity expected for her age. Also, I think the Azkaban experience tends to unbalance people a little. I don't think she was always as crazy as she seems to us now. I think she was very loyal to Voldy going in, and the freakish fanaticism is something that developed as her brain was slowly melted by fifteen years of close quarters with the dementors.
I agree that Azkaban stunts people mentally and emotionally. Sirius was an example of that. In many ways, he still acted like a teenager. While it is impossible to say how he would have acted as an adult is he never went to prision, one can imagine he would have "grew up" more.
But I believe Bella was just as fanatical before prision. Sirius was convicted of a crime he didn't commmit. Bella gladly confessed to torturing the Longbottoms into insanity. Why did she do it? To find out where Voldemort was. To me, she seems just as fanatical than as she is now. She was happy to go to Azkaban because she knew SHE remained loyal to Voldemort where others quietly slipped back into their "normal" lives.


  #7  
Old October 13th, 2006, 11:25 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

Here is another question which we've bounced around a bit in the Black Family Dymanics thread....

Does Bella care about anyone other than Voldemort? How would she react if she were ordered to kill her sister Narcissa?


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Old October 13th, 2006, 11:35 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

From what she has evidenced of herself late in OOTP and then again in HBP, I have to say no she does not care for anyone else other that the Dark Lord. What struck me as very demonstrative of her callousness was in HBP when she and Narcissa were first talking and Bella tells her that she would proffer her own children to the glory of the Dark Lord. it almost sounded as if she would sacrifice them heedlessly at the very whim of her Master with little or no remorse what-so-ever. Actually with glee if I could infer that sentiment.

Her character was not glib in nature. She was, for the lack of words, infatuated with Lord Voldemort and would do absoultely anything for him is he so desired.


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Old October 14th, 2006, 3:11 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

My Analysis of: Bellatrix

Bella has, since her appearence in the Department of Mysteries, fast become my personal favourite character in Potterverse. Naturally, this has been questioned time and time again on several occasions, since Bella, admittedly, is not kind, is not cuddly and is definetly not a 'nice' person. All this makes her my favourite even more, however.

Over the first three Harry Potter books, we saw very little evidence of the followers of the Dark Lord who were feared so much during the last war. Quirrel we only saw as weak and grovelling before Voldemort, and Malfoy we saw reverting back into a socially acceptable role. Bellatrix was among the first to be unabashedly pro-Voldemort, to be prepared to be sent to Azkaban for him, to completely follow her conviction in the belief that she, and he, is absolutely correct in their war on Wizarding Society.

She's evil, somewhat insane, violent, sadistic, merciless, cruel, the list to describe her could be endless. She's not a nice person, and no, I wouldn't want to meet her down a dark alley. However, as a character, she has depth and is extremely interesting to examine.

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Questions:
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?
Bellatrix grew up in the traditions of the Ancient and Noble House of Black, which, as we all know, is toujours pur. Therefore, it seems to me that it would feel natural for Bellatrix to decide to follow Voldemort in his quest when she has grown up believing that muggles, 'mudbloods' and blood-traitors are second-class citizens.
So far as harbouring romantic feeling for Voldemort, I know this seems to be something which is a recurring theme amongst Hp fans, but I personally haven't seen anything in canon to persuade me of this. When talking of Voldemort, Bella seems more to admire, fear and be awed by him as a leader.

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 that for Bella, the fact that Snape was a double-agent (even if seemingly in the Death Eater's favour) would cast a shadow on him. Obviously, he would have had to pass some information to the Order, and it seems to me that this would be seen as treachery to The Cause to Bella, even if authorised by Voldemort.
Bella seems somewhat confused to me when she admits to Cissa that she believes the Dark Lord may be mistaken. It is obvious that this is not something that she would ever normally believe, and is having trouble reconciling her distrust of Snape with the Dark Lord's trust in him.
I doubt that Snape and Bella would have had any previous relationship worth mentioning - to me it seems more likely that Snape is merely able to match her in a war or words, and is not terrified of her as Wizarding Britain seems to be, or as some Death Eaters undoubtedly are too.

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?
In the battle, they seem to be mocking each others duelling skills in what almost seems a joking manner. To me, this seems to indicate that at some point Sirius and Bella could have been somewhat close as cousins, but on emergence of Sirius' pro-Muggle views after having gone to Hogwarts (or earlier?) she was forced to disassociate herself from 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?
Personally, I think that it would have been a case of peer pressure that instigated it. Since several Slytherins had older family who were Death Eaters, the influence could have easily come from there, and I could imagine Bella becoming the driving force behind a group of them deciding to become Death Eaters, once she found out what joining the Dark Lord could provide her with, and how it fitted exactly with her childhood beliefs.

5. Bellatrix seems to have a fondness for the Cruciatus curse. What do you think that this says about her personality and history?
It is obvious from what we know of and have seen of Bella that she actually enjoys to see her victims in pain under the Cruciatus curse. I think that this shows she has the ability to suppress her emotions in such situations, and become cold, very similar to the Dark Lord in some respects. As to her history, perhaps this is the sort of thing taught in the House of Black? Perhaps, she never learned it until at Hogwarts (though not from the teachers obviously). I can't find any canon evidence for any of that.

6. What role do you see Bellatrix playing in book seven? Will she finally get her come-uppance for her crimes, and if so, who will dish this out?
In Book 7, I can see Bella playing much more of an active role, especially if the trio go Horcrux-Hunting.
It would seem only fair that Bella gets her come-uppance in Book 7, and I would quite like this to be at the hands of either Neville or his Gran, but doubt the likelihood of this.


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  #10  
Old October 14th, 2006, 3:20 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

Quote:
Could she have any romantic feelings for Voldemort?
I've given this thought before. I wonder...
She does romanticize Voldemort and Bellatrix with her "I'm his most trusted servant" lines. Maybe it's possible after all that she's built up a notion of Voldemort and herself in a relationship that's not unlike romance. I don't think it's sexual because it's hard to think of Voldemort in a sexual way. Maybe in the validation way that romance can hold for people?
As long as she's favored by Voldemort she's special.

But where does her husband figure into this?
Does he put Voldemort before his wife?
The overall impression of Bellatrix is that she puts Voldemort first (she certainly does with her blood relatives like Narcissa). This aspect throws a light on romance and Bellatrix. What we know of their relationship is that they are devoted to Voldemort enough to go to prison for him. The couple that tortures together stays together?
But their common goal is Voldemort. Not each other. Or they'd have been more worried about being separated than going to prison in the name of someone else.
Is that romance?


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Old October 14th, 2006, 3:24 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

leenielou posted:
Quote:
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 just don't think Bella likes for the Dark Lord to value anyone above her.
Quote:
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 that they were extremely close as kids, and I also think that they were very similar personality-wise. I would go as far as to say that if Sirius had been in Slytherin, ho would have followed a very different path. However, as a Gryffindor, the extreme, intense personality that he shared with Bella ended up being redirected in the opposite direction, until he and Bella were on such opposite ends of the spectrum that they ended up hating each other.
Quote:
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?
Their upbringing. They were raised to believe in their own superiority, and then here comes this guy who promises them power...What would any rich, entitles, brainwashed, elitist brat do in that situation?
Quote:
6. What role do you see Bellatrix playing in book seven? Will she finally get her come-uppance for her crimes, and if so, who will dish this out?
I was fantasizing about Andromeda giving Bella a good rear-end kicking, but that's only because I'm a tad obsessed with the Black Sisters...


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  #12  
Old October 14th, 2006, 3:27 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by vikingdriver View Post
From what she has evidenced of herself late in OOTP and then again in HBP, I have to say no she does not care for anyone else other that the Dark Lord. What struck me as very demonstrative of her callousness was in HBP when she and Narcissa were first talking and Bella tells her that she would proffer her own children to the glory of the Dark Lord. it almost sounded as if she would sacrifice them heedlessly at the very whim of her Master with little or no remorse what-so-ever. Actually with glee if I could infer that sentiment.

Her character was not glib in nature. She was, for the lack of words, infatuated with Lord Voldemort and would do absoultely anything for him is he so desired.
What's difficult about that though is that since she doesn't actually have any children, we can't know if she would actually do that. She claims she would, and may even believe it, but the thing with children is that they kind of grow on you when you have your own. This isn't really an opinion, just playing the devil's advocate, but it is possible that if she had a son or daughter she might realize she couldn't actually bring herself to do it.


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  #13  
Old October 14th, 2006, 3:19 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?
As many posters above me have pointed out, her family background was probably the most important factor that led to her becoming a Death Eater. She was raised in an environment of constant muggle/half-blood bigotry (look at her aunt!), so it's no surprise that she grew up as an ardent supporter of it.

In regards to why Bella's so devoted to Voldemort personally, I think there are a number of reasons. Firstly, he's a pretty charismatic guy (OK, so sometimes he's more terrifying than charismatic, but anyway...). Like any good cult leader, Voldemort has, almost by definition, an enormous capacity for manipulation and invoking loyalty. Secondly, Bella's not exactly the most well balanced character in the HP universe. Voldemort's methods and dogma seem right up her alley, so it's no surprise that she would feel such an affinity for another violent sociopath bent on the ethnic cleansing of wizard-kind. Finally, regarding any possible romantic feelings between her and Voldemort, I don't think we're going to see them any time soon. Bella's may love the image of Voldemort, but it's more of a fanatical, awed, worshipful love than anything romantic. I've always thought of her as a (very!) devoted fan girl ,who might look up to Voldemort as a father, a mentor, or a master, but who'd never dare to think of him in romantic terms.

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?
Frankly, I think she's just jealous that she's no longer the Dark Lord's pet. She probably feels like Snape has waltzed in and stolen Voldemort from under her. We see numerous signs of how much it irks her that he is confiding less and less with her, and more and more with Snape.

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 don't think Bellatrix had any particularly special relationship with Sirius. She probably despised him as a blood-traitor after he left home, but I doubt there was any particular animosity between them. Let's face it, this woman would happily send her first born son on a suicide mission, so murdering her cousin isn't that much of a stretch for her.

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

It's pretty much canon that Bellatrix is a genuine sadist, who loves inflicting pain on to others. Although she seem's just as willing to murder and extort in the service of Voldemort, she expresses a particular willingness to torture her victims. In the Department of Mysteries, she's the one who first proposes torturing Ginny, and seems unusually eager to be the one who does it. Later on, in lieu of using the other two Unforgivables on Neville, she once again opts for the pain. And this is disregarding, of course, what she did to Neville's parents. All in all, Bella's fondness for the Cruciatus Curse probably derives from this aspect of her personality.

6. What role do you see Bellatrix playing in book seven? Will she finally get her come-uppance for her crimes, and if so, who will dish this out?
Personally, I'm not sure what role Bella will play in Book 7. I could see her working against Snape, and proving his undoing if he turns out to be on the side of the angels. I could also see her as someone with enough character development to kill a main character (whoa, this seems familiar...). Hagrid? Tonks?

As to her comeuppance, there's no doubt in my mind that Neville should be the one to dish it out. Just as it's personal between Harry and Voldemort, so it's personal between these two. It would be a lovely way to conclude Neville's increasing confidence and aptitude, with a confrontation with the woman who ruined his life.

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If what you have just read makes not one iota of sense and is riddled with typos, it's because I'm incredibly tired tired and it's incredibly late late.


  #14  
Old October 15th, 2006, 7:57 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by leenielou View Post
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 Snape and Bella do not get along because they have a personality conflict. Bella is brash, loyal, and outspoken. Snape is (except when really angry) restrained, calculating, and keeps his loyalties under wraps, either to better succeed at the spy game, or because letting Bella know he's Dubledore's man would be a bad idea (covering the bases, as this is not the place to debate Snape, methinks). I think she tends to remind Snape of Sirius, actually, they even look similar, both dark, both formerly very attractive, both aged by Azkaban. The buttons Snape was trying to push (successfully, I might add) to get Bella off balance are exactly the ones he was pushing in OotP in his fight with Sirius: stressing her uselessness to the cause compared to his own great usefulness, and (the comment about fighting children) denigrating her courage. So I think there may not be a deeper meaning to their mutual dislike, and her distrust.

She defintiely has a prior relationship with Snape (according to Sirius, Snape belonged to a gang at school that included the Lestranges, 'a married couple'). I can't imagine it was a very equal relationship, as she must have been far older than Snape.


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  #15  
Old October 15th, 2006, 10:51 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

Quote:
The buttons Snape was trying to push (successfully, I might add) to get Bella off balance are exactly the ones he was pushing in OotP in his fight with Sirius: stressing her uselessness to the cause compared to his own great usefulness, and (the comment about fighting children) denigrating her courage. So I think there may not be a deeper meaning to their mutual dislike, and her distrust.

She defintiely has a prior relationship with Snape (according to Sirius, Snape belonged to a gang at school that included the Lestranges, 'a married couple'). I can't imagine it was a very equal relationship, as she must have been far older than Snape.
Very true.


  #16  
Old October 15th, 2006, 9:30 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

Bellatrix's fondness for the Crutiatus curse: she's a crazyhead! she grew up in a very anti-everyone-who-is-not-rich-pureblood environment and adopted that mentality wholeheartedly. Then some dude with the same mentality comes and starts to take over so she's all over that becoming voldemort's numero uno. she blasted sirius because he betrayed the family, besmirched family name, little blood traitor snot, etc. and she probably took it personally being a little crazyhead. she enjoys causing pain. Satist maybe? just a bit?


  #17  
Old October 16th, 2006, 11:35 pm
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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 that Bellatrix is more observant (and more intelligent) than most of the other Death Eaters. She realizes that Snape might not really be on their side, despite the amount of persuasion he might attempt. They assume that, since Voldemort trusts Snape, they should, but Bellatrix disagrees. She can see that Snape may be only in this for himself.

5. Bellatrix seems to have a fondness for the Cruciatus curse. What do you think that this says about her personality and history?
I'd bet she was abused as a child. The Blacks don't come across as a particularly nice family and I wouldn't put child abuse past them. Bellatrix now has violent tendancies imbedded in her and the Cruciatus curse helps her release these.

6. What role do you see Bellatrix playing in book seven? Will she finally get her come-uppance for her crimes, and if so, who will dish this out?
I'd say she will be killed in the final battle, but I'm not sure if it will be by Harry, Neville, Lupin, or someone else.


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  #18  
Old October 17th, 2006, 12:32 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

I think that Bella can be described with one word: Extremest. To her, regarding blood and magic, everything is either black or white (forgive the pun ). It's a very simple way of functioning. Pureblood pride = good; mudbloods, muggles, blood traitors = bad. Voldemort = good; Dumbledore, Harry Potter, Order (pretty much anyone against Voldemort) = bad. It hasn't appeared to me that there is much free thought that comes out of her brain.

This isn't to say that she's not a complex character. There are numerous things in her past that have made her this way. I'm sure a stint in Azkaban didn't help soften her up either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_12
I'd bet she was abused as a child. The Blacks don't come across as a particularly nice family and I wouldn't put child abuse past them. Bellatrix now has violent tendancies imbedded in her and the Cruciatus curse helps her release these.
She may have been abused, which is very often the culprit for people who abuse, but I don't think it was her family (at least her parents). If she was abused by her parents, then it stands to reason that Cissy and Andromeda were abused as well. Cissy and Andromeda, however, don't seem to fit the "abused" profile.
Quote:
I think that Bellatrix is more observant (and more intelligent) than most of the other Death Eaters. She realizes that Snape might not really be on their side, despite the amount of persuasion he might attempt. They assume that, since Voldemort trusts Snape, they should, but Bellatrix disagrees. She can see that Snape may be only in this for himself.
Perhaps more observant, yes. I think though that she is more distrusting and jealous. She knows that Snape spies on the Order. She also knows that Snape & Voldy are perhaps closer than she & Voldy. I think that she would do just about anything to be the one to knock Snape down off his pedistal and take his place in Voldy's inner circle. She reminds me of a child who is jealous of a sibling for getting more attention from their parents.

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  #19  
Old October 21st, 2006, 3:21 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

Ah, Mia Bella. I shouldn't say I like her, right? Not as a human being — I think she's a terrible human being — but as character, she's very interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leenielou
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 wonder if she knew all along Sirius was innocent? I mean, while they were in Azkaban, or even for the month or so between when they landed themselves in there... Guess it depends whether the other Death Eaters knew about Peter or not. Sirius said in PoA they were talking about a double-crosser who double-crossed them (but he didn't know Snape was ever a Death Eater before the end of GoF).

But if she didn't know about Peter, or why the Dark Lord went to the Potters' that night, she might've thought her wayward little cousin really did stray back into the fold and kill a dozen Muggles with a single curse. And I'll bet that made her tiny heart grow three sizes...

Also, it seems like Sirius saw and heard a lot from his cell... Bella coming in, "Barty Crouch Jr." being buried, the Death Eaters talking amongst themselves and shouting in their sleep... wonder if he and Bella ever exchanged words during that time... he only said he hadn't seen her in so long...

Anyway, I think Bella likes power and being associated with it, which explains both her burning desire to be Voldy's favorite and her pureblood elitism. I don't think the pureblood elitism alone can explain her fanatacism, since that always struck me as a more dispassionate cause... something that suffices for, say, Lucius Malfoy's character maybe, but not Bellatrix's. Might also speak to why she gets such a kick out of the Cruciatus curse.

I wonder what her relationship with Voldemort was like when she learned the Dark Arts from him personally? I doubt he tutors all of his Death Eaters like that...

cb


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  #20  
Old October 21st, 2006, 9:45 am
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Re: Bellatrix Lestrange: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Fuchsia View Post
I've given this thought before. I wonder...
She does romanticize Voldemort and Bellatrix with her "I'm his most trusted servant" lines. Maybe it's possible after all that she's built up a notion of Voldemort and herself in a relationship that's not unlike romance. I don't think it's sexual because it's hard to think of Voldemort in a sexual way. Maybe in the validation way that romance can hold for people?
As long as she's favored by Voldemort she's special.

But where does her husband figure into this?
Does he put Voldemort before his wife?
The overall impression of Bellatrix is that she puts Voldemort first (she certainly does with her blood relatives like Narcissa). This aspect throws a light on romance and Bellatrix. What we know of their relationship is that they are devoted to Voldemort enough to go to prison for him. The couple that tortures together stays together?
But their common goal is Voldemort. Not each other. Or they'd have been more worried about being separated than going to prison in the name of someone else.
Is that romance?
I don't think Bella is capable of romance with anyone, because she is a fanatic who only understands following her master. You can't have romance without love, and we don't know that Bella has ever loved anyone. Her marriage definitely takes second place to her role as a DE. At Spinner's End, she never mentions her own husband or brother-in-law, and I don't think she would defend them the way Narcissa defended Lucius, because Narcissa is only loyal to the Dark Lord. She's like a cult follower who has been brainwashed.

My statement about Bella is that she represents the unnatural sort of woman who would be the opposite of Lily Potter. In "Spinner's End" she keeps saying that Narcissa "should be proud" and Draco "should be proud" that he might sacrifice himself for the Dark Lord. It's a vicious thing to say to Narcissa, who reacts the way any mother would on hearing that:

HBP, Chapter 2"You should be proud!" said Bellatrix ruthlessly, "If I had sons, I would be glad to give them up to the service of the Dark Lord!"

Narcissa gave a little scream of despair and clutched at her long blonde hair.


That's really a cruel thing to do - if Bella understood love at all, she wouldn't do that to her "Cissy." Draco is an only child, and probably the last of the Malfoys. He's the only young male descendent in the Black Family, too.

And let's face it - her statement about Narcissa being proud to sacrifice Draco is as far from the philosophy of "Lily saved Harry" as it can get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_12
I'd bet she was abused as a child. The Blacks don't come across as a particularly nice family and I wouldn't put child abuse past them. Bellatrix now has violent tendancies imbedded in her and the Cruciatus curse helps her release these.
One thing that is really creepy about Bella is her use of baby talk when she talks to Harry and Neville. It reminds me of Umbridge's "little girl voice." I don't know if JKR is implying that they have arrested development from some sort of abusive childhood, but it does beg the question.

I can't have much sympathy for Bella, or see her as romantic. So far she hasn't shown one redeeming quality, except her total blind loyalty to her "Master." I believe she is one of the followers that Dumbledore refers to when he says there are those who are "nearly as bad" as Voldemort.

I'm not going to get into the whole "who knew Sirius was innocent" at Azkaban. The canon states that no one knew, and we have no evidence to the contrary so far.

And clearly Bella didn't care about Sirius whatsoever, since she is the one who killed him - quite a feather in her cap.

Unlike the family House Elves, she isn't loyal to her family. I have no doubt that she would destroy any of them on orders from Voldemort.


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Last edited by silver ink pot; October 21st, 2006 at 9:51 am.
 
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