Bellatrix’s Secret – A Reply and Expansion
Abstract: In her quibble, Melissa has suggested that Bellatrix had a son with Lord Voldemort. This response goes beyond the mere textual analysis to examine real-world motivations and feelings that might support such a hypothesis. WARNING… adult themes.
Melissa has suggested that Lord Voldemort fathered a son with Bellatrix Lestrange and has used several textual examples to support this. Short comments in reply range from yeuch… Bellatrix is married and couldn’t possibly… Voldemort is half-formed and couldn’t possibly… to some possible acceptance.
But let us look at the components before we proceed to examine the possible actions. If any of us imagine Voldemort as imagined and portrayed on screen, beware… Was this visualization, brilliant in some ways as it was, truly reflective of Voldemort as imagined and described by J.K. Rowling? Was he really as visually repulsive or did his evil manifest itself in a man who might well have been physically attractive?
It is well documented both in literature and real life, that men with power are often powerfully and magnetically sexually attractive to women. Have a look at just two politicians as an example – Dominique Strauss Kahn and Silvio Berlusconi – both of advanced years and hardly God’s gift to women, and yet… Add an element of evil and the attractiveness quotient goes even higher. On this count alone, Lord Voldemort would have little difficulty in attracting women for sexual pleasure.
And who’s to say he wasn’t a fully functioning man with sexual organs that were every bit as effective as any other man, and perhaps more so? The urge to dominate women sexually would be every bit as powerful as his wider ambitions for domination – one more powerful exemplar of his evil nature, and a very powerful one, considering that sexual domination is at once very intimate and to the unwilling, supremely humiliating – the act of rape is often used as a tool of suppression by an evil and oppressive regime – look again at what’s happening around the world right now.
Of course, none of this is even hinted at in the books, simply because such adult themes would be totally inappropriate in a book written for children. Only hints of his pure evil could ever be graphically depicted but who’s to say that he didn’t get a sexual thrill out of the torture and despatch of Charity Burbage in the first chapter of Deathly Hallows? Why, indeed, did J.K. choose to use a female and not a male character in this scene if not to hint at this aspect of Voldemort’s character?
It is well documented that Bellatrix was fanatically devoted to Lord Voldemort and would certainly do absolutely anything to please him. It would not, therefore, be unreasonable that she would give herself to him for sexual pleasure as much as do anything else. We have had various comments about, no she couldn’t – she’s married, or conversely, yes – she was in love with him, they made ‘love’.
Sorry, but in such power-play situations, being married is irrelevant. If anything, Voldemort would have relished sex with Bellatrix to humiliate her husband. Were they ‘in love’? Much as Bellatrix might have had a fanatical devotion to Voldemort it would not have been love in any gentle, loving sense we know. And the phrase ‘making love’ is also ambiguous and euphemistic. In common use, it can mean anything from a couple having intercourse simply for casual mutual pleasure to a couple who are, indeed, in love and using the physical to intimately express this deep devotion.
Just as with anything else, his coupling with Bellatrix would have been entirely for his own selfish ends. It might have been to establish his ultimate domination over the woman – something that, in the real world, sex is often used for – or it might have been for his own physical pleasure. Or… if, indeed, he did wish to produce a son and heir, this would again have been entirely for his own purposes. In any of these scenarios, the wishes and desires of Bellatrix would have been entirely irrelevant to him, even if she might have gained pleasure in being treated this way.
So why the cry of anguish when Bellatrix is finally killed at the end of Deathly Hallows? I would guess that he realizes he’s lost his most devoted servant who, more than any other, would do anything he demanded however evil or perverse. He would almost certainly have no love for her in the conventional sense, even if he did have a powerful connection with the woman for the reasons I’ve just described.
Was a son produced from their imagined coupling? There’s no way of knowing as textually it is not even hinted at. But given the nature of the two as I’ve described it, there is a possibility of such a birth. Why can’t we know for certain? I come back to the nature of the books and their intended audience.
J..K. Rowling depicted the world under the yoke of Lord Voldemort as equivalent to any of the worst Fascist regimes we’ve seen in the last 100 years. Unfortunately (perhaps) she’s been constrained by the fact that these are children’s books in describing the true horrors that occur in such regimes, particularly the aspects that concern sexual use and abuse of both populace and followers.
But if you ask this question, the only way to answer is to bring the whole of the human psyche into play. However inappropriate for children. It is a very adult question that can only be answered in a very adult way.