In The Order of the Phoenix, Harry casts the Cruciatus curse at Bellatrix Lestrange after she kills Sirius Black. She's knocked off her feet, and before she gets back up, she is shown to be whimpering and backing away from Harry.

Does she fear him in this moment, even for a second, or is she just toying with him?

Later, she laughs because she knows he doesn't have what it takes to torture her. In the book, she gets back up, essentially unfazed. It seems to be purposefully played a bit different in the movie, so my question is specifically for what we see in the movie.

2 Answers 2


Bellatrix Lestrange spent several years in Azkaban prior to the breakout. In several instances in the book as well as the movie it is seen that she has gone, for lack of a better word, a little crazy from her time in prison!

It is my understanding that she has become primitive in the manner in which she behaves. The uninhibited manner in which she worships Voldemort, or how she unnecessarily tortures people and several others instances.

The only reason she may have whimpered or cowered must be in direct reaction to the pain she must have felt due to the Cruciatus curse. It was not out of fear of Harry, who is clearly inferior to her skills, a fact well known and often pointed out by Bellatrix.

She is not reserved enough to screen her reactions in front of the enemy and hence showing her weakness.

Hope this satisfactorily answers your question!



Bellatrix screamed: the spell had knocked her off her feet, but she did not writhe and shriek with pain as Neville had – she was already back on her feet, breathless, no longer laughing.

‘Your dear old mate Voldemort knows it’s gone! He’s not going to be happy with you, is he?’ ‘What? What do you mean?’ she cried, and for the first time there was fear in her voice.

‘LIAR!’ she shrieked, but he could hear the terror behind the anger now. ‘YOU’VE GOT IT, POTTER, AND YOU WILL GIVE IT TO ME! Accio prophecy! ACCIO PROPHECY!’

‘No!’ she screamed. ‘It isn’t true, you’re lying! MASTER, I TRIED, I TRIED – DO NOT PUNISH ME –

It's pretty clear in the book, and implied in the movie, that Bellatrix gets "mad" after Harry's second Crucio, but she doesn't start to "panic" or get "scared", till she finds out about the prophecy being broken, and Voldemort shows up.

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