Regulus Black: Good?
by Bella R.
I know that Sirius’s brother, Regulus Black, doesn’t seem very important as he died 15 years prior Ootp, and that Sirius himself said he was not important enough to be killed by Voldemort. The reason that Im writing about him is that he might have actually not been that much of a bad guy before he was killed.
We know that he was a Death Eater. According to what Sirius found out, Regulus got so far in, panicked, and tried to back out. He was then ordered to be killed by Lord Voldemort. What leads me to believe that Regulus Black was not as bad as believed is that he died some fifteen years before the fifth book. Since Harry is fifteen Regulus possibly died when Harry was a baby. This means he was killed around the same time as Harry’s parents. Is there a connection between these deaths? Perhaps what Regulus was asked to do by Voldemort had something to do with Lily and James.
I doubt Regulus was sent to kill Lily and James, though, because it’s obvious Voldemort thought Harry’s parents were important enough to kill personally. It could be that what Regulus was asked to do was something small. Yet, he decided to ruin his reputation as a Death Eater just because he didn’t want to do what he was told. A reason that could suggest that his job wasn’t that important is that Lily and James died anyway. Then again, Voldemort could just have sent another person to do the job when Regulus failed. This also overrides the other reason it might not have been important, which is the chance that Voldemort probably did not kill Regulus himself. If Voldemort had sent another Death Eater, there was no need to make a big deal of his death. Voldemort was still merciless despite all this.
To contradict my idea about Regulus’s job not being important and his connection to Lily and James, we can look back at what history has to say. Regulus was a Roman general and commander in the First Punic War. He was one of the commanders in the Punic naval expedition which landed an army on Carthaginian territory. After a severe defeat near Carthage, the Carthaginians wanted peace, but the terms set by Regulus were so harsh that they continued the war. Regulus was completely defeated and taken prisoner. After the defeat of the Carthaginians at Panormus, he was sent to Rome to negotiate peace or exchange prisoners. When he got there, he urged the senate to refuse both proposals. He was tortured to death in Carthage.
For this to make any sense, we’ll have to make the Carthaginians the Dark Side. I realize that J.K. Rowling didn’t exactly follow this but it was somewhere along the lines of it. This could mean that Regulus was originally on the good side, but was captured by the Death Eaters. He was sent back to negotiate peace or exchange prisoners. I am sure that Voldemort did not send him to do these things exactly but maybe to fool the other side. Instead of doing this, Regulus warned them not to take the offer and therefore was killed by the order of Voldemort.
There are other things that I can’t ignore that could indicate that Regulus might actually have been good. The thing that made me write this editorial is when I noticed that Regulus was a star in the Leo constellation. A person like this should definitely have been put in Gryffindor, but he probably wasn’t since his parents were so proud of him. He must have shown that he was really a Gryffindor after he helped the good side. Another reference to the lion is that his name means heart of the lion. It could possibly be that J.K. Rowling picked the name Regulus not considering that he was connected to the lion, but maybe for his role in the First Punic War. Still, if she just wanted a Roman general there are plenty of others that she could have picked that had no connection to the lion. This proves that J.K. Rowling did want Regulus for what he specifically did in the First Punic War or for his connection to the lion.
J.K. Rowling might have named Regulus after a star to show the connection between Sirius and Regulus. I find this a bit strange though as Sirius is the brightest star in the sky while Regulus is the 25th brightest, unless this had something to do with the relationship between the two brothers. This does not completely explain exactly how Regulus was good but there are too many contradictions to his idea of being bad that are hard to overlook.