Hey Gee! Here for another review, sort of making up for the request/swap/hot seat combinations, lol.
Okay, first of all, WOW. Just wow. This was so beautiful! Your writing style is amazing here. I love your characterisation of Bellatrix, it is so perfect, and the insight into her thoughts is just brilliant. You've captured her personality so well!
From the very beginning, we see Bellatrix has been a little "crazy" since a child - stealing knives, torturing Muggles, swearing etc. And it's interesting how she was reprimanded for it.
Her disdain for her sisters, her family, is very apparent, and written well. It also makes sense, and I especially like how she thinks she has stayed true to herself. The idea of the Room of Reflections is a very chilling one - seriously what kind of parents do that - and it's so cruel, so kudos for actually making me sympathise for Bellatrix!
I love how Bellatrix thinks of herself as 'creative and original' and finds school boring. Again, it makes perfect sense, seeing the kind of person she is. You've explained the motivations behind her actions beautifully.
And then her boredom with her husband. You hit the nail here, because I've seen a lot of fics where it's shown that he's the only one who understands her and that they share some kind of twisted love, but here you present a refreshing angle which I like.
The ending bit is just perfection. Her finding the "one" in Voldemort. It's definitely creepy and crazy but totally Bellatrix. Love how the "H" in He is capitalised, emphasising his importance. The last line is amazing and really hit me. Really, your use of words throughout is perfect.
I don't know what else to say - I loved your descriptions, the narration was smooth and beautiful and deep, and the characterisation was amazing. It made for a very engaging read!
Oh wow Gee,
So incredibly dark! This was really riveting to read. You gave a very nice and sharp look into the mind of Bellatrix. The picture was very clear and very believable. Terrifying even. I love how you were unafraid to explore the complexity of a monster that she is!
As a person who has a strong affinity for Rabastan Lestrange who in my head hates Bellatrix you painted a picture my muse for him hates even more. I love it! You can probably expect more reviews from me in the future!
Author's Response: Hi Marshal!
Thank you, I really enjoyed writing her like that. I've always loved Bellatrix's character, mainly because of the many possiblities regarding her past and why she chose to be such an active Deatheater. Azkaban couldn't be the only reason why she's such a madwoman and based on a freudian take, her childhood must have played a huge role in the adult she became.
I went with a rather simple background, the punishment, physical and emotional torture being rather basic. Almost plain, considering Bellatrix. What matters most to me, is that she grew up feeling less than adequate, compared to her gorgeous, brilliant, exceptional siblings and growing bitter, angry and jealous enough to hate herself and the world, without truly hating her siblings.
I think Bellatrix is a very insecure gal and, like any insecure soul, all she needed was someone to look up to for guidance, someone strong enough to give her the feeling of control and order almost all humans crave.
We all feel destructive emotions and during these moments, anyone with a selfish motive can use how blind we are to reason, throw oil on the fire, bring the worst out of us and use loyal, trusting minds to build an army of fanatics, aiming to destroy that what has angered or hurt us most.
To simplify things: Voldemort wanted to become a teacher at Hogwarts, believed he deserved the position by being better than others, his demands were refused and this angered him, even hurt him. Mad with power, supported by his followers (others that were disgruntled with the institution for other reasons or even those that could easily be convinced that Hogwarts needed to pay for, I don't know, hurting someone they care about or whatever, etc...) Tom Riddle's plan to take over the wizarding world pretty much started with this need to be valued, to be respected, to be known to all.
Add to that the violent habits and growing up as a "mean freak", it's a pretty plain recipy for a leader of fanatics.
Bellatrix, in this scenario, plays a great role - I don't think Voldemort really cared for her as a person but he did see the great use he could make of her craving for approval. Giving a lost soul a purpose, the feeling that they are doing right by the one they want to impress/be loved by is the perfect way to create a loyal soldier. Add to that the fear of asking any kind of questions, especially the fear of questioning the leader's authority and you've got a blindly loyal soldier that would fight your battle any time, die for you, kill for you and feel really great doing it.
With this in mind, I've always loved the character of Bellatrix very much. Many see her as the crazy, torturing, evil maniac witch that she became - yet we seem to forget the influences she grew up with and that almost every living creature has at least one aspect that could inspire compassion.
Monster - definitely. While we can all behave like monsters from time to time, I don't think Bellatrix would ever feel remorse, guilt, sadness or pain over the death or torture of any victims, as long as it's done for the sake of the one she loves most and is loyal to.
Thanks for stopping by!
Heya Gee! Review tagging it up. I’ve never stopped by your author’s page before and figured now was a good as time as ever :)
Yikes so creepy. You really dove into Bellatrix’s inner working here, and I’m not surprised at the disturbing things you’ve unearthed and shown us. I find this take on Bellatrix’s character and past to be very interesting! I don’t think I’ve ever seen her as the outsider in the family ways. I see her as the most glorified hater, but you’re right about the threads of unladylike tendencies and woe-is-me-no-one-understand-me angst. I think this is a refreshing take and the Room of Reflection was super ick.
For some CC, I would suggest breaking up some of the paragraphs just to make it a bit easier to read and digest each thought you put into this.
Overall, I don’t feel bad necessarily for her, because hello she’s evil, but I do like this different twist on her character and the strength she possess and how you contrast her from her family in a new way. In some strange way I think she’s right – why learn about these irrelevant wars when people can’t even perform basic charms etc??
Author's Response: Hi Ellie!
I love Bellatrix, she's just so twisted that there are many aspects of her personality that can be written differently and still somehow make sense!
The pureblood family are so much more set in traditions than Muggleborns and the Blacks so wealthy, it makes sense that the three sisters had to learn things like ballroom dancing (which is even taught at Hogwarts for the Yule Ball anyway so it's also a general witch & wizard thing), even ballet and maybe even the "proper" way of walking, etc. Now I'm not saying she'd be bad at it, but I just can't picture Bellatrix enjoying it. I can't really picture her being "normal" in any way beyond maybe the basic emotions. Even those I think are jumbled up in her.
I think she's so evil it can't have been without precedents.
But writing about Bellatrix having a relatively normal childhood/teenage would be interesting, if not disturbing. :D
Oh yes, the Room of Reflection; the even more evil version of the "chokey" from Matilda.
Thanks for pointing that out, it is indeed time to air those paragraphs :p
Haha, no feeling sorry for Bellatrix would not be a sign of mental health xD I'm really happy that you like this perspective of her!
Well, if it makes you feel better (it's just so unsettling, agreeing with what Bellatrix says) think of it as agreeing with Dumbledore's Army and disagreeing with Umbridge ;)
Thanks for the tag!