"Harry watched with terror and elation as Molly Weasley's wand slashed and twisted, and Bellatrix Lestrange's smile faltered and became a snarl. Jets of light flew from both wands, the floor around the witches' feet became hot and cracked; both women were fighting to kill."
—Description of the duel[src]

This duel was fought between Molly Weasley and Bellatrix Lestrange, taking place in the Great Hall of Hogwarts Castle after the hour-long halt during the Battle of Hogwarts. Molly Weasley, the matriarch of the Weasley family, and Bellatrix Lestrange, one of Lord Voldemort's Death Eaters and described as his last, best lieutenant, engaged in the duel after the latter nearly killed Molly's daughter, Ginny.[1]

After Molly cast a well-aimed lethal spell at Bellatrix, she toppled lifeless to the ground, making Voldemort scream in fury and point his wand at Mrs Weasley. Harry Potter cast a Shield Charm between the two of them, thus revealling himself and setting the stage for the duel that ended the Second Wizarding War.[1]



Mrs Weasley before starting the duel[src]

After the Battle of Hogwarts recommenced, the arrival of the Hogwarts Centaur herd, Grawp, and the shopkeeps and homeowners of Hogsmeade forced the battle to move inside the Castle, with duellers being forced into the Great Hall by the charging forces.[1]

00Molly battle of Hogwart

Molly Weasley raises her wand towards Bellatrix

Fifty yards away from Lord Voldemort, who duelled against Minerva McGonagall, Horace Slughorn and Kingsley Shacklebolt, Bellatrix Lestrange battled against Hermione Granger, Ginevra Weasley and Luna Lovegood. During the duel, Bellatrix shot a Killing Curse at Ginny, missing her target by an inch. Molly Weasley witnessed this and, enraged at the Death Eater, ran towards her throwing off her cloak to free her arms as Bellatrix roared with laughter at the sight of her new challenger.[1]

Molly was not as powerful as Bellatrix, as Bellatrix was taught directly by Lord Voldemort. So there is some reasonable speculation that there is a combination of factors that led to the outcome of the duel. The powerful ancient magic of "love" was in effect as Molly was protecting her loved ones. Molly was also very emotionally involved and true feelings make spells stronger. Molly was likely full of adrenaline and also likely caught Bellatrix off guard, who didn't consider Molly a threat at first.[1]

The duel

Bellatrix Lestrange: "What will happen to your children when I've killed you? When Mummy's gone the same way as Freddie?"
Molly Weasley: "You — will — never — touch — our — children — again!"
Bellatrix taunts Mrs Weasley during the duel[src]
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Molly Weasley and Bellatrix locked in combat with one another

Molly Weasley started the duel with a quick swipe of her wand. Bellatrix, however, did not take Molly seriously in the least, having started duelling with an expression of derision on her face. As Mrs Weasley's wand slashed and twisted, Bellatrix's smile faltered and became a snarl, the floor around the two witches' feet becoming hot and cracked with the intensity of their spell-casting. At this point, a few Hogwarts students ran forward to aid Mrs Weasley, but were dismissed with a "No! Get back! Get back! She is mine!"[1]

Bellatrix then started taunting Mrs Weasley over her son's murder, and gave an exhilarated laugh as her opponent cast the fatal blow that struck Bellatrix squarely in the chest, directly over her heart. Bellatrix's gloating smile froze, her eyes seemed to bulge and then her lifeless body toppled to the ground.[1]


"Bellatrix's gloating smile froze, her eyes seemed to bulge: for the tiniest space of time she knew what had happened, and then she toppled, and the watching crowd roared, and Voldemort screamed."
00Bellatrix dead

A dead Bellatrix at Molly Weasley's feet

After she shockingly toppled to the ground, an outraged Voldemort blasted away the three opposing duelists he was fighting and turned his wand on Molly. This prompted Harry Potter to cast a Shield Charm between the two and in the process reveal himself. Voldemort and Harry circled each other and the final showdown between them ensued. Voldemort, attempting to kill Harry, cast the Killing Curse, and Harry a Disarming Charm. The Elder Wand refusing, to harm its true master, rebounded Voldemort's curse. Bellatrix did not live to see the end of the Second Wizarding War and her master's final defeat at Harry Potter's hands mere moments later.[1]

Behind the scenes

  • In the second part of the film adaptation of Deathly Hallows, this duel has some noticeable differences:
    • In the film, Bellatrix casts a blue spell at Ginny Weasley instead of a Killing Curse, who deflects it using a Shield Charm. In the book she just avoids it.[2]
    • In the film, Hermione and Luna are also not duelling Bellatrix alongside Ginny as depicted in the book, as Hermione is fighting Nagini with Ron on the Grand Staircase and Luna can be seen fighting Death Eaters behind Bellatrix.[2]
    • In the film, the duel takes place atop one of the House tables, instead of on the stone floor, as specified in the book.[2]
    • In the film, after Bella's retaliation against Molly's attack, Molly proceeds to cast four unidentified spells in a row, but they are all blocked by Bellatrix. The unidentified spells are fired with green lights, seeming to be the Killing Curses, however, in the books, Killing Curses are not able to be blocked by a simple Shield Charm.
      DH2 Molly's last two spells against Bellatrix

      Molly's last two spells against Bellatrix


      Bellatrix froze in place, seemingly turned into stone

    • In the film, Bellatrix is briefly immobilised, breathing in deeply with an expression of shock, and after being hit by another spell by Molly Weasley, explodes. In the book she just falls over, dead.[2]
    • In the film, neither Harry nor Voldemort witness the duel, as they are facing off on the Grand Staircase, the Marble Staircase and later on a set of catwalks by The Quad battlements.[2]
    • In the film, Bellatrix is not the last standing Death Eater.[2]
  • In Harry Potter Limited Edition - Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey, there is an image shown indicating an alternate death to Bellatrix, where she is blasted into the wall behind her and lying amongst a pile of crutches.
  • In the second part of the video game adaptation of Deathly Hallows, this duel has some noticeable differences:
    • Bellatrix starts shooting randomly before she sees Ginny Weasley. In the book Molly arrives while Bellatrix is duelling Ginny, Hermione and Luna.
    • Molly uses the line "You will never touch my children again!" after Bellatrix is defeated, just like in the book; however, this does not occur in the film.
    • Bellatrix shoots down a corner of the roof of the Great Hall. This doesn't happen in the book.
    • Molly and Bellatrix run all over the Great Hall shooting spells and curses, while taunting each other. In the book they only stand in one spot.
    • Bellatrix uses several taunts against Molly such as "You should get off your feet more" and "How is little Freddie, still not with us?". Molly says, "You'll regret the day you escaped from Azkaban!".
  • In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, Molly and Kingsley duel Bellatrix on The Quad battlements.[3]


Notes and references

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