- "The Dark Lord will rise again, Crouch! Throw us into Azkaban; we will wait! He will rise again and will come for us, he will reward us beyond any of his other supporters! We alone were faithful! We alone tried to find him!"
- —Bellatrix Lestrange declaring the loyalty of her and her husband to the Dark Lord[src]
Rodolphus Lestrange was a pure-blood wizard, brother of Rabastan, possibly son of Lestrange and a Slytherin student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He was a Death Eater who fought in the First Wizarding War. The Lestranges were considered to be among Lord Voldemort's most loyal and trusted servants, and the only ones who searched for him after his first downfall. After Voldemort was defeated by Harry Potter when Harry was only a baby, Rodolphus and his wife Bellatrix, along with Rabastan and Barty Crouch Jr. participated in the torture and permanent incapacitation of Alice and Frank Longbottom and was sentenced to life imprisoned in Azkaban. About fourteen years later, Rodolphus escaped with a group of other Death Eaters and fought in several battles of the Second Wizarding War, including the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and the Battle of the Seven Potters. It is possible that he fought at the Battle of Hogwarts, too. After Lord Voldemort's final defeat, Rodolphus was presumably killed or imprisoned in Azkaban once more.
When Rodolphus attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he was sorted into Slytherin house. He became friends with many other pure-blood students and, according to Sirius Black joined a group of friends that included many future Death Eaters like Bellatrix Black, Lucius Malfoy, Evan Rosier, and Severus Snape. 
First Wizarding War
He and Bellatrix eventually married and both took the Dark Mark, fighting in the First Wizarding War. She married him only to uphold her family's tradition of marrying respectable pure-bloods and had no real love for him, being obsessed with Lord Voldemort herself.
In 1981, when Lord Voldemort was defeated the first time, Rodolphus and his wife refused to accept it. Along with Rodolphus's brother Rabastan and Barty Crouch Jr., they attacked Aurors and Order of the Phoenix members Alice and Frank Longbottom. They tortured the couple with the Cruciatus Curse to the point of insanity, and were subsequently captured and imprisoned in Azkaban prison for this crime. The Lestranges proudly declared their continuing devotion and awaited their master's return.
Second Wizarding War
Battle of the Department of Mysteries
Rodolphus participated in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries soon afterwards; he and Bellatrix were paired together, and pursued Luna Lovegood, Ron and Ginny Weasley into the Space Chamber. In the aftermath, Rodolphus was presumably returned to prison, although his wife eluded capture.
Battle of the Seven Potters
By 1997, Rodolphus was again at large, and participated in the Battle of the Seven Potters, pursuing Nymphadora Tonks and Ron Weasley, who was disguised as Harry Potter with Polyjuice Potion, with his wife and other Death Eaters. Tonks injured Rodolphus at some point during the pursuit, and she and Ron escaped.
Rodolphus is described as thickset with a blank stare and after being in Azkaban his looks might have diminished.
Personality and Traits
Rodolphus was one of Voldemort's most loyal Death Eaters and therefore can be considered to be sadistic and a pure-blood supremacist. His crime against the Longbottoms confirms his willingness to use the Dark Arts to an unspeakable extent. He was not at all concerned about being sent to Azkaban as he "stared blankly" throughout the course of his trial.
Magical abilities and skills
- Unforgivable Curses: Rodolphus was able to cast an effective Cruciatus curse. He participated in driving Frank and Alice Longbottom into insanity.
- Martial magic: He participated in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and might have been one of the two unnamed Death Eaters that fought Kingsley Shacklebolt. He also fought in the Battle of the Seven Potters but was defeated. It is unknown if he was present during the Battle of Hogwarts but if he was it is highly likely he was defeated long before his wife.
- Flying: In the Battle of the Seven Potters, he duelled his niece during flight.
Rodolphus is the Latin form of the name 'Rudolf', which is derived from the Germanic name Hrodwulf, meaning "famous wolf". This may allude to prominent Nazi Rudolf Hess, as the Death Eater ideology has similarities to those of Nazism, according to J. K. Rowling. Removing the l, Rodophus is Greek for 'Rosy-cheeked'
Behind the scenes
- J.K. Rowling has revealed that Bellatrix Lestrange's true love was Voldemort, suggesting that the Lestranges' marriage was not affectionate, at least on the part of Bellatrix, who merely made "a respectable pure-blood marriage", as was expected of her. Rodolphus's feelings are not known.
- In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince someone by the surname "Lestrange" is shown having gone to school with Tom Riddle. It is unknown if this person is Rodolphus's father or another relative.
- It is possible that he or Rabastan is the unidentified bearded Death Eater holding Ron hostage in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (portrayed by Richard Trinder). If this proved, Richard's role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 might also be Roldophus or Rabastan.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) (Possible appearance) (Masked)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Masked)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Possible appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Possible appearance)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Appears as a generic Death Eater)
Notes and references
- ↑ He was said to have attended Hogwarts with Severus Snape, who was born in 1960; being born in 1953 would make Rodolphus 17 in 1970, which would be Snape's first year. He cannot have been born after 1964, as he went to Azkaban in 1981 and had to be at least 17, so being born any later would make him too young.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Behind the Name: Rudolf
- ↑ F.A.Q. Section at J.K. Rowling's Official Site
- ↑ 30 July 2007 WebChat with J.K. Rowling