Ever since Bellatrix Lestrange was killed by Molly Weasley in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows questions have been asked by fans and people with far too much time on their hands. How was Bellatrix defeated by Molly Weasley? How did a housewife kill Voldemort’s own protagee? Why am I out of Ice Cream? All of these questions have been asked on forums, in chatrooms, Tv Tropes, Mugglenet and Youtube comments. I’ve looked at the situation and, frankly, the answer is pretty obvious.
Bellatrix Lestrange is frequently described as being “a witch of prodigious skill and no conscience”. She’s Voldemort’s most loyal servant, a high-ranking deatheater who has been trained in the Dark arts by Voldemort himself. She kills Sirius and Tonks, as well as being able to deflect one of Dumbledore’s own spells, injures Kingsley Shaklebolt and holds her own against three opponents, Ginny, Hermione and Luna. There is no doubt that she is one of the most magically capable characters in the series. Molly Weasley is the mother of a small army of supporting characters, as well as Ron. She’s a plump little housewife who acts as a motherly figure to orphaned Harry. We see her using magic, she does the housework using magic and is able to send howlers. Molly’s brother’s were Fabian and Gideon Prewett, two powerful aurors who took 5 death eaters to kill them, including Antonin Dolohov, a powerful death eater who then goes onto kill Lupin.
The answer to the question is pretty simple. We know Bellatrix is obsessively loyal to Voldemort, going to extrme lengths to impress him, at one point she proudly declares that she would willingly turn her son over to the Dark Lord (if she had one). We can, therefore, presume that Bellatrix would’ve done her best to kill as many people as possible in the Battle of Hogwarts. She kills her niece, Nymphadora Tonks, an auror who we can presume was a pretty badass witch. The finale of the Battle see’s all the death eaters charging the castle and within a few minutes it is just her and Voldemort left. The death eaters were outnumbered at this point and Bellatrix must have really been tired out by pushing through. Then she starts dueling Hermione, Ginny and Luna, three on one. This is one tired woman, she’s been fighting for more than an hour to prove herself to a man with whom she is obsessed and had to fight an auror and presumably other teachers and members of the Order. Furthermore, she’s not dueling with her own wand. She was disarmed at Malfoy Manor and Hermione used her wand to help them break into Gringotts. Since then, Bellatrix probably would’ve been using a wand taken from another wizard and not one specifically made for her, Ollivander was saved from Death Eater captivity and so there is no longer anymore wands being made for Voldemort’s forces. Wands require witches and wizards to earn their loyalty and to break them in, like a horse, and Bellatrix may not have had time for this and so she is using a wand which is significantly different from her old one, thus affecting her magic.
Most of the problems with the scene come with Molly. So many people have argued that Molly is a weak or, at best, mediocre witch. This is redarded. Molly Wealsey is:
a) A woman who uses magic constantly in her everyday life. She gets good practice from her housework.
b) Related to two powerful aurors, something which may have been inherited.
Molly is also far more energized than Bellatrix. She worked defensive magic, Bellatrix had to attack. It was easier for Molly to defend than it was for Bellatrix to get into the school. Furthermore, towards the end of the battle, the Hogwart’s army outnumbered Voldemort’s and therefore Molly may have had to done less work and fighting than Bellatrix. Furthermore, Bellatrix has killed Tonks and Molly may have known this. From what we see in the books, Molly seems to be really fond of Tonks and so there is an aspect of revenge in the mix. So Bellatrix is dueling Luna, Hermione and Ginny and one of her curses narrowly misses Ginny and Molly utters one of my favourite lines “NOT MY DAUGHTER YOU BITCH!”. So Molly and Bellatrix are dueling and, naturally, Bellatrix is cool and concentrated. She doesn’t underestimate her opponent at all. Oh, wait, not she didn’t. She taunts Molly, talking about what her children will do once she has killed their mother, just like Fred. Yeah, smart move Bella, insult a woman’s dead son. Molly gets pissed.
Casual Sadism: Empowering housewives since 1842
So now we have an exhausted witch with a wand that isn’t her own which she hasn’t broken in yet (pretty much the biggest factor) fighting a woman who practices magic daily whose brothers were powerful aurors fighting a woman who has almost killed her daughter, murdered a witch of whom she was found and is now taunting her about the death of her son. Yeah, I think the answer to the question is obvious. Bellatrix was just completely run down, Molly was always going to win. It’s simple, the odds were stacked against Bellatrix, regardless of the fact that had she had her own wand, she may well have won.