If there's one thing we all learned from the Harry Potter novels and films, it's that not every magic user is the same. Some have a more natural tendency to cast spells while others... not so much. After all, it may be a learned art, but there are always going to be some people better at it than others. One person who clearly had a grasp of the concept of magic was Bellatrix Lestrange. While she may have been one of the evilest people from the Potterverse, there's no denying she was a powerful witch capable of the most cunning uses of magic. Throughout her life, she tortured, maimed, and slaughtered more than a few good witches and wizards, but that doesn't mean she was an all-powerful goddess capable of going undefeated; anyone who knows her fate is well aware of that not being the case.
While she could certainly flick a wand and cause destruction, there are plenty of witches and wizards spread throughout the Potterverse that could have defeated her under the right circumstances. She was talented, but she was also insane and somewhat easily distracted at times, which may have ultimately led to her downfall. Regardless of who she went up against and what happened in the stories, it's still fun to imagine how things might have worked out differently should she have faced more people in magical duels. This list takes an admittedly subjective look at the wizards and witches in the Potterverse who could have put up a fight with Harry Potter: Powerful Magic Users Who Could Defeat Bellatrix In Seconds (And 10 She Would Destroy)
20 DEFEAT: THOMAS MARVOLO RIDDLE
Let's get the most obvious out of the way first: the one and only Lord Voldemort, otherwise known as Thomas Marvolo Riddle (just don't call him that to his face). Bellatrix was his right-hand woman and when she was finally taken down, he bellowed out in rage at her passing.
While she was certainly a powerful witch who earned Voldemort's trust, it's highly unlikely she could have defeated him in combat. His very presence was intimidating and awe-inspiring to her, which would be enough to put her at unease and make her an easy target for him to take advantage of in a duel.
19 DESTROY: SIRIUS BLACK
If you've read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix or seen the movie, you already know that it was Bellatrix Lestrange who defeated Sirius Black. In the film, she hit him with the most dreaded curse, otherwise known as "Avada Kedavra." Throughout all of Potter lore, there is only one person who has survived such a strike and it wasn't Sirius Black.
In the book, she hits him with a curse, causing him to stumble into the Veil, which proves that she bested him in combat. Sirius was no slouch in the wizarding department, but ultimately, he would have always failed to defeat her. He lacked the ruthless cunning needed to take on Bellatrix.
18 DEFEAT: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
There's no denying Lord Voldemort had a certain fear of Albus Dumbledore. When the two fought, it was clear that they were both incredibly powerful wizards. What isn't clear is whether or not Bellatrix had any similar feelings toward former professor. In fact, her actions in his vicinity suggest otherwise, which would likely have proven to be her downfall had they dueled.
Bellatrix would likely not show Dumbledore the respect a man of his wisdom deserved in battle. Add to that the fact that he carried the Elder Wand and there is little hope that even a powerful witch like Bellatrix could have defeated him. He would likely have taken her out relatively easily, which may be why she didn't take him on directly.
17 DESTROY: ALASTOR "MAD-EYE" MOODY
Becoming an Auror in the Harry Potter universe is no easy task, but establishing oneself as one of the best and most respected of them all is nearly impossible. Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody was easily one of the most dangerous wizards in the Potterverse, but he ultimately was defeated by none other than Lord Voldemort himself. Even though he was eliminated by Voldemort, he was one of the most impressive wizards in the Order of the Phoenix.
Moody was responsible for arranging the Battle of the Seven Potters, which led to his doom, but he could have defeated Lestrange in his prime. Unfortunately, he had gotten slow and perhaps overconfident, which likely led to his downfall. A battle between him and Lestrange would be glorious, but ultimately, the victor would be standing over his limp body, cackling with delight.
16 DEFEAT: GELLERT GRINDELWALD
Long before Tom Riddle came onto the scene , there was another dark wizard who brought chaos to the magical world. Gellert Grindelwald was considered to be the most powerful dark wizard until Voldemort came along.
At the height of his strength, Grindelwald was nearly impossible to beat, but there was one who managed the task, Albus Dumbledore. Seeing as Dumbledore would have defeated Lestrange in a fight and he was able to stop Grindelwald, it seems unlikely Bellatrix could have managed to do much more than annoy Grindelwald were the two to duel. Grindelwald would have easily dispatched Lestrange and barely broken a sweat in the process.
15 DESTROY: FILIUS FLITWICK
Upon first glance at Hogwarts' Charms professor, most might underestimate him, but that would be a grave mistake. You don't get to the position he held at the school without knowing a thing or two about magic. While a student at Hogwarts, he achieved nearly perfect scores and continued to study magic after graduating. He competed in various events and went on to become a dueling champion.
Flitwick's devotion to study and his mastery of magical duels make him an ideal combatant for Lestrange. The only reason she would take the upper hand in a fight would be her use of devious and dastardly attacks he might not be prepared for. It's true Flitwick could outduel anyone, but that's in honest competition, not real-world fighting. Lestrange wouldn't think twice about using an Unforgivable Curse to take the upper hand.
14 DEFEAT: SEVERUS SNAPE
One of the best things about Severus Snape was that few people knew his true intentions until they were finally revealed at the very end of his life. He was one of the bravest wizards in all of the Potterverse due to his role as a double-agent working for the side of good while pretending to support Voldemort and the other Death Eaters.
There's a reason he was able to fool everyone and it has a lot to do with how cunning and creative he was. He created wicked curses and mastered potions far beyond anyone else's skills. In a normal fight, he couldn't have destroyed Dumbledore as he had, but against Bellatrix, he likely would have held his ground and defeated her.
13 DESTROY: JAMES POTTER
It's hard to think of Harry's dad as anything but an expert magic user who could handle any situation, but the truth of James Potter is that he wasn't the best wizard in the world during his life. In all likelihood, he wasn't as gifted as Lily, but he did make Head Boy his seventh year at Hogwarts and was a willing combatant during the First Wizarding War as a member of the Order of the Phoenix.
As we all know, he was taken out by Lord Voldemort himself, shortly before his wife and son were hit with the same curse. From what we know, it's likely he could have fought a duel against Bellatrix, but seeing as he succumbed to the words "Avada Kedavra" via one dark wizard, it's unlikely he could have stopped an evil witch from doing the same.
12 DEFEAT: NYMPHADORA TONKS
There wasn't much said about Nymphadora Tonks in the original series or movies, but there is enough known about her to suggest she could defeat Bellatrix Lestrange in a fight. Tonks was one of the youngest people to ever become an Auror. She also had the extra advantage of a being a Metamorphmagus.
Tonks isn't the most powerful Auror to be found on this list, but that's not a real disadvantage, as many of her peers could defeat Lestrange. She was considered to be just below Kingsley Shacklebolt in terms of ability and was a favored protégée of Mad-Eye Moody. She was also a member of the Order of the Phoenix and was entrusted with guarding Hogwarts during the final siege against the school.
11 DESTROY: PETER PETTIGREW
Given what he did throughout the series, J. K. Rowling should probably have made Peter Pettigrew a weasel instead of a rat. The guy was a traitor to his friends and a sniveling lackey to Voldemort who operated only out of fear. That being said, he was instrumental in returning Voldemort to life in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and was also an unregistered Animagus.
A fight between Pettigrew and Lestrange would certainly be an interesting one. They would both delve into their darkest bags of tricks to try and take the other one out, but in the end, Lestrange would be the victor. She is several steps up on the ladder of evil than him for a reason and her skills would top his in a duel.
10 DEFEAT: KINGSLEY SHACKLEBOLT
Kingsley Shacklebolt is one of the most powerful Aurors on this list, though he never led the organization. He held a significantly high rank among his fellow Aurors and was entrusted with several important tasks during the series. He was put in charge of apprehending Sirius Black and given the responsibility of protecting the Muggle PM following the return of Voldemort.
He directly engaged the Dark Lord during the Battle of Hogwarts and following that, he went on to become the Minister for Magic and restored peace and order to the magical world. His ability far outshone that of Lestrange, whom he would have easily defeated should the two have found themselves facing off against one another.
9 DESTROY: DOLORES UMBRIDGE
Bellatrix was an entertainingly evil villain, but fans truly hated Dolores Umbridge. Her way of giggling and smirking whenever someone was hurt made most people want to tear up the page they were reading or chuck a boot at the TV screen— this was truly an evil woman whose maniacal devotion to order led her directly down the darkest path a wizard could go.
Despite her nature, she was a talented witch with numerous abilities. She was shown to cast a sustained Patronus and attacked a Centaur. Still, despite her skills, Umbridge's ability ranks far below Lestrange's and while a fight between them would be fun to watch, it's unlikely Umbridge would win.
8 DEFEAT: MINERVA MCGONAGALL
Professor Minerva McGonagall is one of the most powerful witches seen throughout the Potterverse and was the first witch we ever met in the series. She has been at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry longer than almost anyone, though she did work at the Ministry of Magic for two years after graduating. She is a skilled Animagus and an incredibly powerful witch.
Don't let her conservative demeanor fool you— she may prefer order and a lack of shenanigans in her students, but she would let herself be destroyed before allowing them to come to harm. Were she thrust into a duel against Bellatrix, whom she once taught, she would likely destroy her to save the children and the school.
7 DESTROY: LUCIUS MALFOY
Lucius Malfoy is an evil man. He may have fooled the Ministry into believing his antics during the First Wizarding War were out of his control, but we knew better. He was a cunning and devious man who would stop at nothing to ensure the safety of his family and the integrity of his name. Ultimately, that would prove to be his downfall.
Despite this, he was a skilled and gifted wizard who utilized various dark artifacts and devices to trick and wound his enemies. He fell in favor with the Dark Lord and was pretty much under Bellatrix's thumb toward the end of the series, which suggests he couldn't have stood up to her in a fight. She outclassed him in ability and capacity for evil, which leads us to believe he would lose.
6 DEFEAT: SALAZAR SLYTHERIN
There are four houses at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and each was named after one of the founders of the school. All four founders were considered to be some of the most powerful wizards and witches of their age, but the one who has the legacy to suggest his work put him a little over the top was Salazar Slytherin, the man whose name would go on to become associated with the Malfoys, Voldemort, and Bellatrix Lestrange herself.
Not all members of Slytherin house are evil, but pretty much every Slytherin depicted in the Harry Potter series is far from nice. Despite his legacy of evil, Salazar was a powerful wizard who entrapped a Basilisk and could have easily dispatched the likes of Bellatrix, though he would prefer to recruit her to his cause instead.
5 DESTROY: RONALD WEASLEY
Ronald Weasley is one of the most beloved characters from the Potterverse. He played an important role throughout the story and was integral in finding and destroying the various Horcruxes spread about the world by Voldemort. In terms of magical ability, he was always somewhat lacking and often stood just a bit behind his peers, easily overshadowed by Hermione.
Despite his strong will and love for his friends, he wasn't skilled enough as a wizard to do much more than slow Bellatrix Lestrange down for a moment. He did accomplish quite a bit in the series, but Ron clearly isn't a match for the insane Death Eater. If they faced one another in battle, there's little doubt Ron would succumb to whatever curses she decided to throw his way.
4 DEFEAT: MERLIN
Everybody knows of Merlin the Magician from numerous depictions in Arthurian fiction, as well as hundreds of other representations, including the TV series Merlin. This iconic character was also an accomplished wizard in the Harry Potter Universe as well. Merlin attended Hogwarts long ago and while he was younger than the school's founders, he eclipsed them in skill and powers at an early age.
Merlin's influence led to the creation of the Order of Merlin, which recognizes the "best and brightest" wizards and witches throughout the magical community. Frankly, there is no doubt Bellatrix would be defeated by Merlin. After all, this is Merlin we are talking about; the most powerful wizard in all of fiction!
3 DESTROY: HERMIONE GRANGER
This one may be a hard pill to swallow seeing as Hermione Granger is not only the best student at Hogwarts, but also one of the main heroes of the books. Granted, so is Ron, but Hermione's importance to the series cannot be understated. She is a powerful witch with abilities rooted in her strength, determination, and fortitude.
Early in the series, Hermione established herself as a force to be reckoned with, but when push comes to shove, she wasn't near the level of skill needed to defeat the likes of Bellatrix Lestrange. Hermione was good at defensive spells and charms, but she was once caught and hurt by Bellatrix, which should be enough to suggest she couldn't defeat the evil witch in a duel.
2 DEFEAT: MOLLY WEASLEY
Just as we had to include the likes of Dumbledore and Voldemort in this list, there was no way we could go without mentioning the witch who actually defeated Lestrange in the books and movies. Molly Weasley was presented throughout the series as a loving wife and mother whose use of magic was limited to caring for her family and cooking for the Order of the Phoenix.
That was what Molly was like at home and with her friends, but when she needed to, she could bring the pain. When Bellatrix attacked one of her children, she used language theretofore unheard of in the series and blasted Bellatrix into shards of green nothingness. Molly Weasley proved her abilities by taking out Voldemort's second-in-command and, given the opportunity, she would do it again.
1 DESTROY: HARRY POTTER
Harry Potter may have been the primary protagonist of the series, but when he and Bellatrix, she merely toyed with him. She had numerous opportunities to take him out but never did.
The reason she never hit Harry with an "Avada Kedavra" during the series was because Voldemort wouldn't let her. He needed Harry to be alive until Voldemort took him out, which is the only reason Harry was still breathing after encountering Lestrange. He might have fought a duel against her later in life if that were possible, but when he was a boy, he didn't stand a chance.
Who would you most like to see Bellatrix fight in Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments!