Harry Potter: Why J.K. Rowling Had Molly Weasley Defeat Bellatrix Lestrange

The scene flashes before our eyes with clarity and prominence to this day, sending a rush of chills down the spine and subsequent tingles to the toes: Molly Weasley stands before Bellatrix Lestrange and utters “Not my daughter, you b*tch.” And the battle — destined to eliminate one of the most formidable Death Eaters or one of the most loving individuals in all of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world — begins.

Author of Harry Potter J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling | John Phillips/Getty Images)

Bellatrix Lestrange issues her maniacal laugh, overflowing with unbridled confidence and psychotic inclinations, as Mrs. Weasely — worried, yet determined — raises her wand (a shaky hand parallels a determined mind and a maternal instinct). The scene remains one of the most googled Harry Potter moments, as it seemed both surprising yet inevitable (the winning combination to culmination success). Of course, it would be Molly Weasley. But, why exactly? Lestrange killed Neville Longbottom’s parents, so why didn’t he receive the honor? 

First off, Harry Potter heroes grow not to seek vengeance but to fight for the good of the wizarding world; Neville did not need to kill Bellatrix to fulfill his narrative arc; such would have clashed with his overarching character journey. Not to mention, it had to be Mrs. Weasely due to how polarized she and Bellatrix are, as J.K. Rowling once explained. 

J.K. Rowling talks Bellatrix Lestrange and Molly Weasely in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’

During an interview, J.K. Rowling once discussed Bellatrix and Molly Weasley, and she specifically addressed the fight scene, in which Molly Weasley ends Bellatrix Lestrange’s life. J.K. Rowling stated:

I really enjoyed killing Bellatrix, and I really enjoyed having it be Molly who did it. And, of course, you also have two very different kinds of female energy there, pitted against each other. You have Molly, who will mother the whole world if she can, and you have Bellatrix, whose idea of love is very perverse and twisted, and that was satisfying. 

J.K. Rowling interview posted by Tesla 

When it comes down to it, J.K. Rowling needed to pit the two women against each other, as to heighten the psychical clash via an emotional and mental one. Molly is the loving mother, while Bellatrix doesn’t even know what it means to love (not in any normal sense of the word, to say the least). 

Molly needed to beat Bellatrix to prove that genuine love and maternal instinct will defeat twisted worship and evil inclinations. Who is purer than Molly Weasly? Who is less pure than Bellatrix? 

Many would even argue that Bellatrix is worse than Voldemort, for she didn’t split her soul and scatter it in various different places, never to interfere with her decision-making skills again. She was just that mad! She was just that dastardly, driven by an unwavering death instinct. 

While Bellatrix Lestrange may have been a more skilled master of the dark arts, Molly Weasley had a pure reason to fight; she had a reason to win. And, as the saying goes, hell hath no fury like a mother scorned.