Bellatrix Lestrange: The Dark Lord's Most Faithful
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Many people in our fandom, because of the fact that Bellatrix got angry when Harry told her about Voldemort's blood status, say that she did not know that he was a half blood.

I don't think that's accurate, firstly, because, clearly, he told Wormtail (so he could perform the spell that was going to bring him to "life) and also Crouch Jr ( Remember when Barty Jr told Harry that he, like Voldemort, hated his father etc...?) that his father was a muggle. He even told Harry, at the cemetery. So why would he let his least favorite servant AND his ennemy know his blood status but not his most faithful follower? Also, at the ministry, Dumbledore called Voldemort Tom(which is a muggle name) repeatedly in front of Bellatrix, and she didn't seem surprised.

I think that she reacted angrily not because she ignored that he was a half blood, but because she finds it so disgusting that she does not want to think about it, to be reminded that her beloved master has a muggle father.

So, what do think? Do you think she knew he was a half blood or not?

7/15/2012 #1

That's an interesting question! Mostly I agree about your points, everything seems to show that he opted for the truth and stressed the fact that he was the heir of Slytherin and had murdered his filthy Muggle father. That was probably the safest thing for him to do - if he had lied, he risked having the truth unveiled one day and losing all credibility, and besides he couldn't pretend he was a pureblood - he would have needed a family name, and as all the important pureblooded families know each other, it would have been pretty much impossible. Being a half-blood was less than a pureblood, but it was the best he could do - imagine if there had been rumours of his being a Mudblood! I guess it was better to have the truth established, and go with the myth of his cleansing his family tree and taking the place of heir of Slytherin.

I agree about Bellatrix's reaction, too… Every Death Eater cannot be a pureblood, as the Trio mentioned in HBP, so there had to be half-bloods among the lot and they weren't too dirty to work and interact with. However, of course Bellatrix would have trouble confronting the notion that her master's blood is not pure.

7/15/2012 #2

I think Bellatrix did know - she probably wasn't too pleased about it in and of itself, but the fact that Voldemort was the heir of Slytherin made up for it in her mind, combined of course with the fact that, to her mind, he could do no wrong. And anyway, she didn't seem to hate half-bloods that much - not anywhere near as much as she hated muggle-borns - in the Spinner's End chapter, the only reason she seems to hate Snape is because she doesn't trust his loyalties. She never brings up his blood status. She does mock Harry for his blood status, but... that's Harry. I think on the whole she accepts half-bloods, even though she generally thinks she's above them. So finding out Voldemort is a half-blood is nowhere near as bad for her as finding out that he's a mudblood. Particularly because of the whole family tree pruning thing - she knows from experience that even the purest families can become corrupted. I'm sure she's be able to convince herself that the Dark Lord's blood status didn't really matter.

I also read that part in OotP differently. I didn't see it just as her reacting angrily, but more that she was trying to shut Harry up. Notice that she doesn't actually deny what Harry is saying, just trys to stun him. So I've always thought that she knew what Harry was saying was true, but thought that many of the other Death Eaters, who were of course less faithful than her, did not know, and didn't want them finding out.

However, I can see that it's possible that Bellatrix did not know. Wormtail obviously had to be told to make the potion with his father's bone, he might have told Barty in order to increase his loyalty - Barty mentions it as a way in which he and the Dark Lord are similar, both having disappointing fathers - and when he told Harry, he was just about to kill him anyway. He might therefore have not told her because it would have done nothing to help him.

I think Bellatrix probably knew quite a bit about his past (or thought she did; he wouldn't actually tell her anything he considered too important). She always implies that she knows more about him that anyone else, and I think he would want to encourage her feelings of closeness to him that feed her loyalty. So in my opinion she would at least know his blood status.

7/15/2012 #3
Mrs Bella Riddle

Definitely not. In fact any fics where she knows (or most DEs know drive me crazy. He told Harry, but he did not tell his DEs. He only said his father. He never said he was a muggle. When he told Harry Wormtail was concentrating on the pain in his hand. It is also pretty clear he did not have any respect for Wormtail. He knew that if he told Wormtail no one would believe what he said.

I think Barty would have known but that was only so he knew it would increase his loyalty something that would not be for the others. While Bella would still follow him if she knew, it would produce no positive reaction if she knew so there was no reason he would tell her. LV obviously dislikes his half blood status and his filthy muggle father. I think it is rare he would want to acknowledge it himself let alone to anyone else. Remember his hatred for his muggle name. No way he would ever utter it or allow anyone to use it. Yes the DEs he went to Hogwarts would know he was Tom Riddle, but it does not mean they kenw he was a half blood. I'm sure he constructed a story to make it seem like he was a pureblood. I have a large head canon about what that was.

The other option is others just knew. This seems to be the assumption fandom seems to love, but it is based on the assumption everyone knew Tom Riddle was Lord Voldemort. Yes those who knew Riddle at school and became his DEs would but remember he only told the name Lord Voldemort to his close 'friends' at that point. I would bet a lot of money he threatened them all to never mention his link to Tom Riddle. All everyone would know is Lord Voldemort's existence. They would assume he was a pureblood. Why would they think anything else?

*end rant*

Edit- Oh and yes Harry did tell her but why would she ever believe her worse memory?

7/16/2012 . Edited 7/16/2012 #4
Lamia of the Dark

No, I don't believe that she knew.

7/16/2012 #5

Caitlin: your arguments make a lot of sense, but I think that there are a few hints in canon that might lead us to think that though he might not have said it outright, the Dark Lord's blood status was not really a secret among Death Eaters. Agreed, he didn't say that his father was a Muggle but… I can't picture a pureblood being ever buried in a Muggle cemetery. Unless his father was a blood traitor, but that's stretching things a bit. I agree with you that nobody would have actually known his name was Tom Riddle; however, purebloods usually take huge pride in their family name – the name of Black, of Malfoy… His taking up a new name, albeit a powerful one, and refusing to divulge the old one, would automatically have seemed suspicious had he pretended to be a pureblood regardless. Besides, important lieutenants such as Lucius had important clues – Tom Riddle's diary was a Muggle book before being cursed, bought in Muggle London…

I agree that he probably wouldn't have told Bella directly, and would have merely said what it was safe and necessary to say. The way I picture it, it makes a lot of sense for him to lie about his blood status while he was still going by the name Tom Riddle at school – I like the way you pictured that in some fics, like with the pureblooded girls. (Then again, in the Slughorn memory he openly states that his origins are not to be considered very high, but I suppose he could have said his family was pure but poor, he'd been abandoned, or something along those lines.) For me, when he came back as Lord Voldemort, he had to start gathering followers. He would have the old DEs around him who knew his old name, but he would still need to gain allies in the old pureblooded families… And at that point, admitting his blood status would be a risk, but lying about it would be an even bigger one, I think. If it had been found out and unveiled later on, it would have been a huge blow to his credibility, and like I said earlier, purebloods know about families and names. He would easily have started looking like an upstart, undeserving half-blood fooling pure wizards into fighting for him – whereas if he played the heir-of-Slytherin, killed-his-own-father, prodigy-wizard part of his character, it might have been harder to get followers at first, but he knew he didn't have the danger of a hidden Achilles' heel lurking. So the first Death Eaters would know about his ancestry, and then… I guess it would become sort of common knowledge – they would all sort of know it, and yet it would never be openly acknowledged. But then, when new, young followers arrive, they might just assume he's a pureblood indeed… So in this way, it can be argued that Bella was in denial about it ;) but not people like Lucius, for instance.

7/16/2012 #6
Mrs Bella Riddle

I suppose.... I don't know I find it hard to change my mind. My LV muse is too solidified by now :)

7/16/2012 #7

Well I'm desperatly trying to post my answer (which is as long as harry potter and the order of the phoenix plus a few pages ;) to all of your comments but especially to MrsBellaRiddle but my Blackberry is being very bitchy today and won''t let me. I will try again when I'll be back home but till then let's just say this: MrsBellaRiddle: I agree with almost everything you said (your arguments, i mean, for exemple, it drives me nuts too when people just assume that everybody knew his real name was Tom Riddle, you know like in the sixth movie for exemple, that was ridiculous, Dumbledore telling students that a long time ago there was a young man who studied at Hogwarts and that his name was Riddle and kids were all like :"Oh my GOOOD". Duh.) BUT Some informations in the books (I will post them tonight) make it impossible to believe that "The DEs he went to hogwarts would know he was Tom Riddle, but it does not mean they kenw he was a half blood. I'm sure he constructed a story to make it seem like he was a pureblood"

Wizards keep track of who's a pureblood or not, and like we discovered in DH, they even got books about it,so any pureblood would know that Riddle wasn't a wizard name. And remember what Armando Dippet asked him when they had a chat in his office in COS: "are you a muggle born?" Someone with a name like Riddle is either a muggleborn or a halfblood. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't tell his comrades that he was leaving in a muggle orphanage, that he wasn't raised by, at least, one wizard, but as long as they knew( and DEs who went at school with him did) his family name they knew he wasn't a pureblood.

PS: Well, keep your muse the way it is, then, because I love what you write.

7/17/2012 . Edited 7/17/2012 #8
Mrs Bella Riddle

In the movie Dumbledore actually just says a boy who made all the wrong choices. Technically no one knows who he was referring to. He never said it was Riddle. Actually he could even have meat himself.

My Riddle's story is that his mother and father were married and were puebloods. However, his mother disgraced himself and had an affair with another pureblood. His father threw her out. She ended up in an orphanage where she gave birth to him and later died. The matrons did not know his name so they gave him the name Riddle because of his mysterious mother and his mysterious arrival. Thus an excuse about why he lived in a muggle orphanage and why he would not have a pureblood name :)

*Blushes* Thanks.

7/17/2012 #9

Wow, that's INDEED a very good story but I don't think he actually said that. In COS when Dippet asked him what was his blood status he told him the truth immediately and didn't try to lie, so i guess he did the same with those who went to Hogwarts with him.

But why not, I guess we will never know...

And You're welcome by the way :)

PS: Why can't I post my bloody comment, why? (*drama queen*)

7/18/2012 #10

That is a good story, and I can imagine him saying something like that in later life, but I think those he went to school with would have known he was not pure blood. When he first arrived at school, he would not have automatically known that many believed pure bloods to be of higher status, so would probably not be quick enough in constructing a story. nd at the time, he didn't know himself who his parents were, so didn't really have anything to hide exactly. At any rate, doesn't Dumbledore say that those he talked to about Tom's student days remembered him being obssessed with finding his parents? I think he must have told people that he did not know who his parents were, and thus did not know his blood status. And since he assumed Merope was a muggle at that point, I suppose he would be thought of as half blood at most, whether or not he ever told his 'friends' the truth. And as El says, he seemed to be pretty open about his blood status in CoS.

7/18/2012 #11
Mrs Bella Riddle

Yes he told Dippet, but he would have to. Dippet was an authority figure and presumably would have talked to Dumbledore who Tom had already told that he thought his mother was a muggle. He knew lying to Dippet would be pointless, though I think he would know that anything he told Dippet would likely not have been repeated to others. I can see him telling the truth to Dippet and lying to his fellow students.

I think you are right that maybe the story would not have been useful at the start, but I think he could have realised the importance of blood purity early enough. Even as a child Tom does not seem the type to openly say much. Remember he went to Diagon Alley by himself. I think he could have quite easily observed the people who passed by and note the anti muggle feelings. Either way if asked he would have told others he was born in a muggle orphanage. They would have thought it was disgusting and assumed he was a mudblood. He could answer he did not know who his parents were. Later on he could lie and present the story above even if he had yet to discover the truth.

7/18/2012 #12

Just so you know, I'm brand new to I'm definitely not new to Harry Potter.

I think Bellatrix did find out that Voldy was a half-blood, but she probably just tried to put that thought out of her mind...I mean, I think if he was muggleborn, she definitely would have, you know, probably not have come near him in the first place....

But what you say about Tom being a Muggle name: Harry, Ron, (well, Hermione's not very common either way, is it), Molly, Arthur, Bill, etc. Are all names that are very common...

I doubt that she went through all those years never realizing that he was a half-blood...A very good point, though!

7/19/2012 #13
Mrs Bella Riddle

I think they mean Riddle is a muggle name.....

7/19/2012 #14

Yeah, We were talking about his family name. (Because; even if Tom is indeed a muggle name, so is George or Fred. As you said, you can have a muggle first name and be a pureblood, that's why, even if i'm SURE she knew his first name, because, well they were both in the same room when Dumbledore called LV Tom in the fifth book and I don't think she's def, that does not prove that she knew his blood status)

7/21/2012 . Edited 7/21/2012 #15

I really like Caitlin's idea for Tom's lie, but I also think Lella has a point in reminding that he was still looking to find out who his parents were as he was at school… Then again, as you said, Caitlin, he could have admitted that he didn't know who his parents were at first, and then pretended he'd discovered the whole story…

El: I hope you manage to post soon! =P oh, and Teddy, welcome to the discussion - and the forum! ;)

7/21/2012 #16
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