Things have been a little weird in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter over the past few years; the books and movies have all long since fallen from the height of their popularity, and J. K. Rowling has moved on to side stories and ancillary online media riddled with issues of retroactive continuity. While most were simply happy to hear anything from the famous Harry Potter author, some of what she has put into writing recently makes little sense.
Most egregious of these offenses was the 2016 stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which sideline the Boy who Lived in favor of a previously unmentioned child of Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange. Not only has this made some longtime Potter fans question exactly what the author is thinking, but it has posed some serious questions about what the Dark Lord gets up to in his free time.
This series of events has raised a few questions about Bellatrix, as well. Since she is the most powerful and enigmatic of Voldemort’s posse of Death Eaters, there are a number of slight plot holes involving her in the series to which fans would greatly appreciate some sort of resolution. Worse still, the second Fantastic Beasts movie, subtitled The Crimes of Grindelwald, has many sincerely questioning the Black and Lestrange family line. Speculation as to the answers to these questions has run rampant, but, without official word from Rowling herself, it’s hard to say what is what.
With that in mind, here are the 20 Things About Bellatrix That Make No Sense In Harry Potter.
20 Sirius Black was her Favorite Cousin
Given her extremely close ties to the xenophobic Voldemort, Bellatrix Lestrange’s feelings regarding wizardly blood purity should be obvious. She was more than willing to cut ties with any family members she believed to have married outside of the Wizarding World, and she took these beliefs to a major extreme when she ended the life of her niece Nymphadora Tonks.
She wasn’t as cold hearted as she may have seemed, however, as she was very closed to most of her extended family before their apparent treachery. Lestrange is famous for defeating Sirius Black during a battle at the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but she once held him in very high esteem.
19 How Did She Get Her Wand Back After Escaping From Azkaban?
Some Potter fans have speculated in the past that a reason for Bellatrix particularly nefarious behavior may have stemmed from the corrupting influence of her wand. Her dubious heritage is more than likely the cause of her actions, but it’s hard to know for sure. Yet, one strange plot hole regarding Bellatrix’s wand which is never explained is exactly how she got it back following her escape from Azkaban.
It would have been confiscated upon her arrival at the prison, and it doesn’t seem likely that she would have been able to quickly reclaim it during the breakout. Voldemort’s followers may be resourceful, but it would be nice to hear an official explanation for this tiny plot oversight.
18 She was Defeated by Mrs. Weasley
Though it wasn’t out of place for a movie with The Deathly Hallows Part 2’s age rating, most audiences were surprised to hear a minor expletive escape the lips of the mild-mannered Mrs. Weasley during the Battle of Hogwarts at the climax of the movie. In this particular duel, Molly Weasley saves Ginny from the clutches of Bellatrix in the nick of time and subsequently deals a fatal blow to the reprobate sorceress.
Though it was an amazing scene, it doesn’t make much sense that Bellatrix Lestrange, a woman J.K. Rowling herself labeled the most competent combatant in Voldemort’s inner circle, was defeated outright in a fight against a woman whose experience in battle was moderate at best.
17 Her Love Triangle With Voldemort And Rodolphus
Bellatrix Lestrange was… well, strange, but her love life was even moreso. She was extremely passionate about Tom Riddle, though J.K. Rowling has made it clear that she draws a distinct line between reckless, passionate love and courageous, virtuous love. Bellatrix, of course, represents the former, though her infatuation with Voldemort becomes even more ridiculous when you consider that she was already married to Rodolphus Lestrange.
Infidelity is the least of this rotten witch's moral qualms, but this is just such an odd love triangle to consider. None of its participants could be thought of as even remotely caring or affectionate, and it all just comes across as confusing and more than a little disgusting.
16 She Was Crazier in the Movies
“I think I probably made her a bit more insane and unhinged then [sic] she was meant to be,” Helena Bonham Carter, the actress who portrayed Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter movies, remarked in an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2010. There’s no doubt that the Bellatrix fans saw in theaters was a bit more capricious than the character relayed on the page, but that made her all the more interesting.
Though we know that she was given to mood swings and fits of insanity during her youth, she was once considered to be much more posh and proper than what we see in the movies. Hailing from the noble, pure-blood house of Black, she was once much more in-line with her sister Narcissa Malfoy’s behavior.
15 Her Fear of Dumbledore
In the novels, Bellatrix Lestrange had a noted fear of Albus Dumbledore and didn’t want to have anything to do with him. However, her role as a Death Eater made her a sworn enemy of the Hogwarts headmaster. As such, she was a part of the successful attempt to get rid of him at the end of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, a role for which she didn’t seem to exhibit any clear reservation.
In the book, however, she was absent from the scene that night, and the movie only included her because the filmmakers wanted to stage her as a more impactful villain than she was on the page. That said, had she been excluded from that climactic scene, it would have made the events of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child feel less like retroactive continuity.
14 Her Relationship With Voldemort
Not to belabor the point, but it makes no sense that Bellatrix Lestrange would have engaged in an affair with the Dark Lord himself. It wouldn’t necessarily be out of character for Lestrange, but it’s exceedingly difficult to imagine that Voldemort would be able to have feelings for anyone.
He seems far too devoted to his cause to settle down in any sense of the word, and it’s far more likely that he would have paid any attention at all to Bellatrix’s feelings for him beyond using them to manipulate her. Voldemort may be a dynamic and interesting antagonist for Harry Potter, but he doesn’t seem human in any sense. How could he possibly have fathered a child when he… well, you get the idea.
13 Why Wasn't Harry Warned About Her?
Despite her dark tendencies as a result of her early life, it was her husband Rodolphus Lestrange who encouraged her to devote her life to Voldemort and his twisted cause. She was an extremely loyal Death Eater and remained one of the few who refused to renounce her devotion to the Dark Lord following his apparent demise at the hands of an infant Harry Potter in 1981.
This is strange from a narrative perspective because, if she was one of the only Death Eaters who didn’t chose to go into hiding, why isn’t the audience introduced to her until the fifth Potter book? If Dumbledore and others were so concerned about Harry’s well-being, wouldn’t they want to warn him about her well in advance?
12 She Should Have Been Thrown in Azkaban A Long Time Ago
As most Harry Potter fans will know, Bellatrix Lestrange was responsible for reducing Neville Longbottom’s parents to insanity, an awful achievement of which she was allegedly very proud. In fact, these transgressions ultimately landed her in Azkaban in the first place.
Yet, this makes little sense because, if she truly remained a loyal Death Eater and refused to go into hiding, why wasn’t she arrested beforehand? If wizarding authorities knew that she was still out and about, wouldn’t they have hunted her down long before she was able to persecute the Longbottoms? Was the Ministry of Magic simply waiting for her to commit a crime so they could lock her up, or did she actually go into hiding?
11 Her Maternity Timeline
If the events of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are to be construed as anything other than half-canonical fanfiction, why is it that Bellatrix Lestrange’s apparent pregnancy was never brought up during the original seven Potter books? If what J.K. Rowling says is true, then Lestrange would have been fairly far along in her pregnancy during the events of the Half Blood Prince finale.
Yet, in the movie, there is absolutely no hint that she is bearing a child. Again, this would have made much more sense if the dark witch had been kept out of the scene as she was in the book. However, as it stands, this whole situation is troublesome and potentially continuity breaking. Rowling may have to retroactively include the use of a few time-turners to make sense of this one.
10 Where Are The Female Death Eaters?
This has less to do with Bellatrix herself and more to do with the order to which she belonged. If Mrs. Lestrange was as competent a warrior as her name suggested and J.K. Rowling claimed her to be, then why was she the only relevant female Death Eater in Voldemort’s legion? Why wasn’t Narcissa Malfoy officially conscripted into Voldemort’s service as her husband was?
There is mention of one other official female member of the Dark Lord’s crew: a woman by the name of Alecto Carrow. However, she is very rarely brought up in the books and entirely unmentioned almost everywhere else. Were these two outliers in an organization that preferred to enroll men, or were these the only two crazy enough to actually join Voldemort’s side?
9 Despite Being Crazy, She Could Keep Others Out of Her Mind
Voldemort didn’t keep Bellatrix around for nothing. In fact, she brought a unique set of skills to the Death Eater order, which helped them to survive for as long as they did. She was very knowledgeable in the art of occlumency, which is the wizarding talent of preventing others from entering your mind and reading your thoughts.
She actually passed her knowledge on to Draco Malfoy, which helped him to evade his enemies during his time at Hogwarts. That said, it makes no sense that Bellatrix, of all people, could pull this off well. She was vivacious and bombastic, which are traits that don’t seem to mix well with insular, practiced wizarding tactics.
8 She Was Disarmed by Ron Weasley
As previously mentioned, J. K. Rowling herself has stated that Bellatrix Lestrange was the most fierce warrior in the entirety of Voldemort’s Death Eater order. We see her prove herself time and time again in both the books and the movies, and she truly does seem to be merciless in combat.
That said, why did she seem so defenseless when she fought Ron Weasley and later Molly Weasley? Ron was famously incompetent and couldn’t hold a candle to the combat abilities of most of his allies and foes, and yet he was able to disarm Bellatrix during a conflict at Malfoy Manor in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Did Ron suddenly get lucky, or were Bellatrix's combat abilities a bit overstated after all?
7 She Was An Unfit Mother
Harry Potter fans have been arguing this point since the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in 2016, but there are several major issues with the idea that Bellatrix Lestrange and Tom Riddle could be parents. Throughout the original series, Bellatrix is built up to be some sort of soulless, awful person who wreaks havoc indiscriminately with absolutely no regard for the damage she causes.
Making her a mother flies in the face of this established lore and humanizes both her and Voldemort, something J.K. Rowling likely didn’t intend to do. The audience will have a tough time believing that she is a total monster if she had enough heart to conceive a child, and it sort of sullies her role as the heartless second in command of Voldemort’s forces.
6 SHe Taught Harry an Unforgivable Curse
This can be interpreted in many different ways, but Bellatrix Lestrange was inadvertently responsible for teaching Harry how to use unforgivable curses in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Directly following the demise of Sirius Black, Harry uses one of these three unforgivable spells against her as she flees.
It’s not that this doesn’t make sense necessarily, but it comes across as odd that Bellatrix would be the one to bestow this sort of power on Harry. Again, these curses are depicted as being for dark magic users only, but there’s no denying that they can come in handy during a wizarding war. Though he doesn’t ever use them again, it’s strange that Bellatrix would be the one to teach Harry these things.
5 The Lestrange Family Tree Makes No Sense
So, was J. K. Rowling a bit to hasty when including the Lestrange ancestry in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, or is there some unexplained sorcery afoot that could make sense of the lineage’s apparent extermination? Spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen the movie yet, but, following the demise of both Leta and Corvus Lestrange, it seems like the family line is done for.
Yet, that can’t possibly be the case, as we know that Rabastan and Rodolphus Lestrange continue the family tree some eighty years after the events of Fantastic Beasts. Was someone revived Voldemort-style, or is there another Lestrange child that we aren’t sure of and who will continue to go unmentioned until some future movie bridges this plot gap?
4 Why Didn't She End Her Relationship With Rodolphus?
It makes sense that Bellatrix Lestrange would have entered into a loveless relationship with Rodolphus Lestrange in order to maintain her blood purity. Given that she has done much worse than just excommunicate family members she viewed as having betrayed her bloodline, going against those principles would have been the one major scrouple by which she must have lived.
That said, why didn’t she simply break things off with her husband when things got serious between her and Voldemort? What could have been the point of staying with Rudolphus after Voldemort returned? For someone as allegedly strong-willed as Bellatrix, this doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.
3 Her Involvement in the Longbottom Case Varies from Book to Book
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire offers, for the first time in the series, an extended peek at what Voldemort’s band of ne’er do wells have been up to in his absence. The novel's climax sees the long-awaited full return of the Dark Lord, but it also establishes continuity which later seems to have been altered.
The fourth Harry Potter movie states that Barty Crouch Jr. was the one who caused the Longbottoms to go insane rather than Bellatrix, and the novels seem to imply that it was an unnamed gang of Death Eaters. What exactly is the truth here, and why was Bellatrix implicated in this crime if she didn’t actually have anything to do with it?
2 She treated humans badly... but was kind to House Elves
Bellatrix has proven time and time again that she is an out-and-out mean character with no redeeming qualities save for what was revealed in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. She often shows very little regard for human life and is willing to ruin and end the lives of others for near-imaginary discretions.
That said, she was historically very nice to Kreacher, the Black family house elf. These poor creatures very rarely receive any sort of humane treatment, and we know that Lucius Malfoy was outright cruel to Dobby. Perhaps she treated Kreacher so well because he was a part of the noble House of Black, but it certainly doesn’t seem to be in line with what we know about her personality.
1 Her Child With Voldemort
This is by far the most nonsensical thing about Bellatrix Lestrange. This point may already have been made, but it must be restated that her love affair with the Dark Lord himself has apparently gone much, much further than it should have.
Both of these people are outright monsters with nothing but apathy and contempt for much of the world, and yet they managed to conceive a child? It is really difficult to imagine either of these characters engaging in the sort of activity required to create new life, and, unless there was some Anakin Skywalker-esque born-of-a-single-mother type wizardry afoot, this feels like a major example of retroactive continuity which fans aren’t generally very accepting of.
Are there any other things about Bellatrix that make no sense in Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments!