Severus Snape vs Bellatrix Lestrange

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silentbat

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Who wins? It's a tough matchup.

Bellatrix was extremely powerful. She could take on Luna, Ginny and Hermione at once and was even able to block on of Dumbledore's spells.

Snape, however, was able to fool Voldemort for YEARS! Making him impossible to read, which was a great advantage in a duel.

Time Period: Second Wizarding War (Battle of Hogwarts)

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PrinceAragorn1

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I really want snape to win, but bellatrix was always rated higher..

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AllStarSuperman

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Bellatrix was annoying, I vote for her to lose

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jayc1324

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#4  Edited By jayc1324

Snape. Bellatrix lost to Molly.

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Jeepeh

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Snape like a boss.

Not that I know that much about power level in Harry Potter, but yeah.

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MasterKungFu

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Severus

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kgb725

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Snape seemed more powerful but Bellatrix probably showed more power. But snape was two of the strongest wizard's right hand man

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XiiX

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Leo-343

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#10  Edited By Leo-343

Bellatrix is Voldemort's most powerful Death Eater. She wins in a good duel.

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Cregan_Stark

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#11  Edited By Cregan_Stark

Snape should win after a decent fight. Bellatrix is a skilled killer but Snape showed more unique abilities. Snape was the only person outside of Voldemort that could fly without a broom, the other wizards were astonished. Snape was so powerful that Voldemort couldn't read his mind. He was able to hold off several professors without trying to kill them. He was just more impressive overall.

Bellatrix has a feat of blocking a spell from Dumbledore, but we have to realize that it was a blanket spell that was spread out and aimed at several people at once, I think the fact that she was so easily incapacitated by Dumbledore later on shows her true power.

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Leo-343

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Snape should win after a decent fight. Bellatrix is a skilled killer but Snape showed more unique abilities. Snape was the only person outside of Voldemort that could fly without a broom, the other wizards were astonished. Snape was so powerful that Voldemort couldn't read his mind. He was able to hold off several professors without trying to kill them. He was just more impressive overall.

Bellatrix has a feat of blocking a spell from Dumbledore, but we have to realize that it was a blanket spell that was spread out and aimed at several people at once, I think the fact that she was so easily incapacitated by Dumbledore later on shows her true power.

It's Dumbledore though. The most skilled Wizard in the series.

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AlphaQ

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Snape should win this he has shown better speed feats, Legitimacy in combat (although we know Bellatrix is an Occlumens), better talent at magic and has been thought in depth knowledge of magic by Voldemort.

Snape also implied to Harry that him using verbal magic was all he needed to be able to deflect all of Harry's spells. Bellatrix was able to beat some Snatchers but they were all idiots and fighting Hermione, Luna and Ginny but McGonagal could have done that (being able to beat four Aurors apparently) and Snape>=McGonagal (although he could have been reading her mind).

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RBT

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Going with Snape. Bellatrix was being matched by Sirius in an one on one. And I think Severus would be well above Marauders. Not to mention all the spells he invented. A sectumsempra would fatally wound Bellatrix with no way for her to heal.

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NinjaWarrior268

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#15  Edited By NinjaWarrior268

Snape

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Cregan_Stark

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@leo-343: yeah, I mentioned that because someone else mentioned her deflecting his spell.

Honestly Bellatrix hasn't shown much outside of using unforgivable curses while Snape has shown extraordinary Magic.

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Cregan_Stark

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#17  Edited By Cregan_Stark

@alphaq: Snape should be above McGonagall by a good margin. In their duel she was completely out for blood while Snape held back and was still able to stalemate her, Snape also was able to hold off the others for a short time before escaping.

I think it's telling that McGonagall and the other wizards were completely blown away when they found out that Snape could fly. The guy has power that puts him above other wizards in the series outside of the big three (Dumbledore, Grindelwald and Voldemort). He created his own extremely powerful spells while also mastering the known ones.

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Leo-343

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#18  Edited By Leo-343

@leo-343: yeah, I mentioned that because someone else mentioned her deflecting his spell.

Honestly Bellatrix hasn't shown much outside of using unforgivable curses while Snape has shown extraordinary Magic.

Of which I have no doubt Bellatrix could replicate, honestly if Voldemort taught Snape how to fly then there's no reason to believe he wouldn't teach his most trusted and loyal follower to fly as well. I know it's just speculation but it makes sense. But if this is movie versions then the point is moot since she can fly. Bella has been inferred by the author to be second to Voldemort in the Death Eater hierachy, she's more ruthless than Snape and IIRC she's said to Harry something along the lines of Voldemort teaching her spells he could never dream of.

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Cregan_Stark

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@leo-343: that's the thing though, you are guessing while we must go by actual feats. The fact is that no other wizard outside of Voldemort showed that he could do that. Bellatrix did not create how own spells and didn't show that she could close her mind off. Bellatrix didn't really show anything outside of unforgivable curses.

Her being second in command doesn't make her the most powerful. She didn't show anything that Dolohov or Yaxley didn't do.

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Leo-343

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@leo-343: that's the thing though, you are guessing while we must go by actual feats. The fact is that no other wizard outside of Voldemort showed that he could do that. Bellatrix did not create how own spells and didn't show that she could close her mind off. Bellatrix didn't really show anything outside of unforgivable curses.

Her being second in command doesn't make her the most powerful. She didn't show anything that Dolohov or Yaxley didn't do.

Movie Bellatrix did fly on several occasions. For book Bellatrix, saying she can fly would be an educated guess but I can see where you're coming from about feats.

Well, she did show herself to be above other Death Eaters. She fended off an attack from Dumbledore while every other Death Eater who tried to fight him just gt stomped IIRC. She dueled three witches at once, mirroring Voldemort. I didn't say her being second in command made her the most powerful. The narrative voice in the series infers Bellatrix to be number 1 Death Eater numerous times. Once when she fought 3 witches at once, another when she fended off Dumbledore, again where she states that Voldemort has taught her spells. That means that Snape wasn't the only one who received special lessons from Voldemort.

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Cregan_Stark

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#21  Edited By Cregan_Stark

@leo-343: im talking book versions. Movie versions are a whole different conversation as they are completely different from the books.

I covered her blocking Dumbledore's spell. I wouldn't say she fended him off; Dumbledore casted a blanked spell that bound a large group of death eaters at once, Bellatrix was in full on retreat and was able to deflect it due to it not being specifically aimed at her, when they met again moments later she was easily restrained.

She dueled three teenagers at once (while trying to kill) IIRC, ones that hadn't yet finished their education even. She was then killed in single combat by Molly. Snape on the other hand fended off several professors at once while holding back. Much more impressive.

Bellatrix said that he had taught her special Magic, but she never showed any of it. Snape learned not only from Voldemort but also taught himself powerful spells and showed that he could use it effectively.

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deactivated-57d17c2439784

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rogueshadow

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#23  Edited By rogueshadow  Moderator

Severus in a difficult duel.

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TheNewBlueBeetle007

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The half blood prince takes it. Also, the OP needs to re watch the last 2 movies. Snape didn't fool Dumbledore.

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@cregan_stark I wouldn't put him so far above her that it would be really striking, enough that she could give him a decent fight but i agree he should win. I hesitate to say he is certainly superior because their fight was not conclusive and we have no idea how it would have ended. Him holding back isn't really conclusive either because for all we know he was straining to even hold her back, all we really know for sure is he fought defensively, whether that was by choice or by necessity is up in the air.

Him holding off the professors never impressed me since he really just fired off one spell and legged it. His ability to fly only really shows an aptitude for dark arts and complex spells, it doesn't mean he is more powerful than other wizards who can't fly.

I think that it is significant that we have nothing to indicate that she knows Occlumency and their fight could have been influenced by that, therefore it may be possible that Snape without Legitimacy is inferior to McGonagal.

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#27  Edited By Cregan_Stark

@alphaq: I'll adress your post one paragraph at a time.

Snape simply fighting defendively and not using offense shows he was holding back; we know for a fact that he is capable of powerful offensive spells.

Yes, his ability to fly shows that he can use more complex spells; how doesn't that put him above Wizards that don't know those advanced spells? Knowledge, skill and application = power in that universe. Snape using more complex spells shows he has superior knowledge and skill to others who can't. This isn't the only instance where Snapw shows power.

Snape has a large variety of skills and knowledge. To say "if we take some of his powers away then McGonagall might be on his level" is kind of useless to the actual conversation.

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AlphaQ

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#28  Edited By AlphaQ

@cregan_stark Okay.

Not really, while I agree Snape should beat McGonagall if he wasn't holding back we cannot say with certainty that him fighting defensively was as a result of him choosing to do so. It may be that was his preferred fighting position, he may have been unwilling to attack her outright but it may also be because he had no choice. Basically not being willing to kill, which Snape was, doesn't necessarily mean he was holding back. It's likely he was but still far from certain.

Because knowing how to do one advanced spell that isn't combat-applicable doesn't mean he was more knowledgeable overall than others: all it shows for sure is that he has more knowledge at flight. It's like how Snape had knowledge at flight but Dumbledore didn't, but Dumbledore was infinitesimally more powerful and significantly more knowledgeable.

I mentioned a hypothetical Snape without Legitimacy because assuming Bellatrix knows how to use Occlumency in combat that is what he would be, meaning his fight with McGonagal might not be comparable to a fight with Bellatrix (although I'd imagine the chances that McGonagal knows Occlumency is reasonably high and they didn't have direct line of sight most of the duel).

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Cregan_Stark

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#29  Edited By Cregan_Stark

@alphaq: the fact is that Snape only used a fraction of his power and the entire time wanted to escape: also we know that Snape was on the same side as McGonagall which would lead him to not attack.

Huh? He used tons of advanced spells and flying is combat applicable as we saw Voldemort fight while flying.

Dumbledore didn't use that power because it was Dark Magic, McGonagall explained this at the very start, she stated that Dumbledore could do anything Voldemort could but he's too noble to do so. Dumbledore was also never shocked by any magic that r saw performed. The teachers on the other hand were absolutely shocked at the magic. Apples and Oranges.

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AlphaQ

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#30  Edited By AlphaQ

@cregan_stark But how do we know he only used a fraction? He feats don't dwarf McGonagals to such a degree that he could match her that easily. Yes he wanted to escape but that doesn't mean he wasn't actively facing her, not actively attacking her maybe, but he was focusing on her. Again I do think he would probably win, I just don't think we can be 100 per cent sure or say that she isn't in his weight class.

Yes, he used advanced spells but flight was notable for being unique but knowing one spell that is advanced does not mean you are superior in other areas. It's not actively offensive and isn't really a game changer, while you can fight while flying it doesn't mean you can use in the middle of a duel, Snape only used it after he disengaged the professors and had time to prepare himself. While we don't know for sure that it was a lengthy spell to activate he never used it in a duel and would have no reason to do so here as its impact is quite small combat-wise.

Dumbledore could have matched Voldemort in the Dark Arts if he pursued them, he couldn't just decide to fly and be able to, first he would have to research the spell. McGonagall can't be taken literally because she didn't understand every nuance of Dumbledore and Voldemort's powersets, she simply believed that Dumbledore could become as powerful as Voldemort not mirror him perfectly. Dumbledore never observed flight, plus he was more familiar with magic and would not be stunned by high-level magic. The professors knew nothing about flight other than it was unique, they did not understand the spell or the Dark Arts so they would have no idea of the significance of the spell, only that it was complex.

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MasterKungFu

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sinikettu

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Bellatrix is Voldemorts nr.1 because she is fanatically loyal and of an old pure-blood lineage where Snape is A) half-blood of an extinct blood-line and is thus b)automatically a lesser wizard in Voldemort's eyes. It had nothing to do with power, its all about whose Voldy's favourite.

Bella is very dangerous not just for being strong caster but because unlike many others who fling Cruciatus-curses and Adava kedavra's she likes causing pain and killing with impunity and has spent a good amount of time honing the forbidden curses and ways to kill with magic but seems to know little else. Snape on the other hand is highly versatile and powerful spellcaster, very intelligent and one of the best potion makers in the Potter-verse if not the best.

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Cregan_Stark

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#33  Edited By Cregan_Stark

@alphaq: let's name McGonagall's feats and then explain to me how they are on a level with Snape. In that paragraph you stated that Snape wasn't attacking which proves my point to be honest.

You are trying to make it as if flight is his only unique and advanced spell that Snape used when it couldn't be farthest from the truth, it is just one of the unique and advanced abilities that Snape has.

How is flight not an advantage in a fight? Especially considering that everyone else needs to use a broom to match you. He easily could utilize it in a duel as the professors immediate reaction was to stop and stare in disbelief, he could have rained spells upon them.

Dumbledore could have easily did anything that anyone else I this series could do if he chose to. The problem is that he would not use dark arts. Him not doin dark arts has nothing to do with this conversation.

Instead of going in circles with opinions, let's compare actual feats from the books.

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haoalchemist

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#34  Edited By haoalchemist

@jayc1324: hahahhaaahhahaha..

No. That was a suprise attack from an old broad.

Let's be honest. Bella will easily just crucify Molly into submission

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AlphaQ

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#35  Edited By AlphaQ

@cregan_stark McGonagal's best feats are being considered powerful enough to beat four Aurors, being prodigious at Transfiguration a very complex and dangerous discipline and stalemating Snape when he wasn't going for the kill. I might remember more latter on.

Snape's is easily beating Harry with Legitimacy, reacting to McGonagall's sucker punch, inventing his own spells and being knowledgable in the Dark Arts in his youth and being skilled enough to use flight and stalemating McGonagal while being unwilling to kill her.

Both their feats are roughly equal, the only thing that suggests Snape's superiority is their battle and Legitimacy, and both of those are not conclusive.

Flight is the only spell he has shown that was really mind-blowing and his best feat of raw mastery, assuming he has spells on level with flight is just baseless assertion. All his other spells are still professor level or a tad higher.

We have no indication that he can or would use it in a duel and fighting while flying is more difficult, as his aim would be drastically skewed. It is notable that he chose to use a broom while pursuing the fake Harrys in Deathly Hallows, implying greater comfort with a broom.

I agree it isn't relevant but assuming Dumbledore had knowledge of the spell is baseless.

Edit: I can only spare another five minutes until I leave: I'm sick and want to go to bed early, any response I will address tomorrow.

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Frisky4

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Batman.

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Cregan_Stark

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#37  Edited By Cregan_Stark

@alphaq: refresh my memory as it's been a while since I read it but when and where was it said that she could take four aurors at once?

Also you GREATLY undersold Snape's feats:

Snape created his own dangerous spells while a teenager

Snape is a master of both dark arts and light (no one else can say this)

Snape is a master healer to the point that he puts madam Pomfrey to shame

Snape is so gifted with dark arts that he showed abilities that only Voldemort had been seen to do

He is so powerful at Legitimacy that even Voldemort couldn't ebter his mind.

McGonagall's best actual feat is dueling Snape and not dying, that's saying something.

The rest of your post is just a repeat of things that you said earlier and I don't feel like going in circles with it.

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AlphaQ

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#38  Edited By AlphaQ

@cregan_stark It was mentioned The Order of the Phoenix by Madame Pomfrey when she was treating McGonagal after she had been Stunned by four Aurors. McGonagal was taken by surprise and it was dark so she didn't see them coming, the actual quote is "As if one of them could have Stunned Minerva McGonagall face-on by daylight!".

Now you could argue that all that means is that McGonagal could beat any one of the Aurors but I think it means that she could beat all of them.

Creating your own spells is impressive: I would consider it superior to McGonagal's Transfiguration essays being published while she was in school and slightly superior to James Potter and Sirius Black becoming Animagi. It doesn't mean he is a superior fighter, just that he knew more about the Dark Arts and was skilled at magic.

He has never shown light magic on par with his dark magic and had never shown anything greater than slightly superior to professor-level magic, other than perhaps flight and that is one spell.

He was better at treating Dark injuries than Madame Pomfrey, assuming he is better at general healing is baseless. In fact when he healed Draco he was healing Sectumsempra, his own spell, for all we know he might be incapable of healing a different Dark spell taht deals similar damage.

Just because he knew one power only Voldemort had does not mean the rest of his abilities and knowledge were on par with Voldemort's, while it is possible he knows other powerful spells it has not been confirmed. Personally I doubt Voldemort thought Snape anything that wasn't slightly superior to what he thought Bellatrix other than flight.

He was powerful at Occlumency, which would be relevant is McGonagal was a Legitimens. Even then it is not a combat based power, and is only a feat of professor level skill and more importantly immense emotional fortitude, and does not mean he is better at magic than McGonagal.

There fight wasn't conclusive, we have no idea to what degree Snape was challenged, although it is likely he was struggling to hold her at bay without killing, but I also believe McGonagal was struggling to break his defenses.

While I would probably say that Snape Dark Arts > McGonagal's Transfiguration we saw her use it very effectively in combat and she was prodigious enough to teach it, earn recognition at an early age and become and Animagus (although to be fair even Rita Skeeter could do that).

Look, I don't want to go round and round either, although that is not to say I'm not enjoying the discussion. I just think Snape isn't exponentially superior or outside McGonagal's weight class and that we can't know for certain that Snape is definitely superior, only that he likely is.

Do you want to continue via PM? This is somewhat off-top.

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sinikettu

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@alphaq: It kind of is when the topic is about Snape vs. Bellatrix though it doesn't hurt the debate to establish Snape's skills by comparing him to other wizards.

So do we have a good yardstick to gouge Bellatrix?

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AlphaQ

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#40  Edited By AlphaQ

@sinikettu Yes,I was just trying to be on the safe side, and Snape vs McGonagal might not be comparable to Snape vs Bellatrix because we know that Bellatrix knows Occlumency but don't know anything about McGonagal's knowledge of Occlumency.

Well we know she is better than Kingsley and probably Sirius (and therefore the Marauders), has only debatably inferior speed feats (she was able to turn and block a spell from Harry when she had her back turned but she has been tagged by Harry and Ron when they took her by surprise) and was able to beat four Snatcher and Hermione, Ginny and Luna. Now I thinks it's possible even someone like Lupin could have been close to dueling Hermione, Luna and Ginny because Lupin was to Harry what Voldemort was to McGonagal/Kingsley/Slughorn, basically strong enough to one-shot or completely outpace.

I would put her at professor level but perhaps not high end professor like Flitwick or Snape, although she could fight them well.

I would be very grateful if anyone could provide a quote that she is the strongest Death Eater, as she would definitely be greater than professor level.

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sinikettu

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#41  Edited By sinikettu

I have to admit that It's been so long since I last read Harry Potter that I can't even remember who whacked Bellatrix in the end. I think it was Molly Weasley but I don't remember the specifics.

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MetalJimmor

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@cregan_stark:

Snape not going for the kill against McGonagall doesn't mean he is considerably better than her. As you said, he was trying to escape. There is a substantial number of immobilization spells in Harry Potter. If he was skilled enough to easily overwhelm her he could have just done that, immobilized her with any number of a dozen spells, and then went on his merry way. He struggled with McGonagall, which shows that they are at least comparable as duelists.

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Cregan_Stark

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@alphaq: a lot has happened in this thread since I left it. I agree with you that we should agree to disagree and move on.

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Cregan_Stark

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@metaljimmor: Snape would more likely maim her if he wanted to fight. I don't think he wanted her immobilized, he knew that she had to help set up defenses against Voldemort and also lead the Hogwarts forces, she HAD to be on top of her game.

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MetalJimmor

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@cregan_stark:

It takes like, five seconds to unbind someone after they've been immobilized. Even Luna could do it with a spell when she found Harry on the train after Malfoy stunned him. The only time stunning seems to cause major damage is if it's excessive, like being struck with multiple stunners that launch the target back.

If Snape wanted to get out there's really no reason he wouldn't just immobilize her and keep going. Unless, of course, she poses a serious threat to him and he needs to be more tactical about it.

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Cregan_Stark

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@metaljimmor: you're guessing though. We've seen people down for the count after being stunned. Heck we've seen McGonagall go to the hospital after being stunned.

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#47  Edited By MetalJimmor

@cregan_stark:

I'm not guessing any more than you are. There's really no reason to think Snape is significantly better than McGonagall, and the idea that he didn't want to kill her as being justification for not wiping the floor with her doesn't hold water when you consider the existence of stunning and immobilization spells that everyone learns in their first or second year. It's very easy to subdue someone without hurting them in the Harry Potter series. Stunning is literally the primary means of wizard on wizard combat. It's fairly rare for anyone to go right for the kill unless they're sadistic.

Also, McGonagall wasn't hospitalized from getting stunned. She was hospitalized from being struck by FOUR stunning spells full in the chest. Like I said, stunning is only dangerous if it's done in excess. That's not even factoring in that there are multiple different spells that can be used to subdue someone, and not all of them have a physical force behind them.

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Mike_Fowler

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#48 Mike_Fowler  Online
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Cregan_Stark

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@metaljimmor: once again she does have the feats to compete there. On the same note, why on earth wouldnt she stun him? For that matter why doesn't any wizard in a duel just stun their opponent? Is it because it is a low level spell that's easily blocked by wizards on this level? Smart money says that. Stunning is the primary weapon of low level wizards, not guys on this level.

She was hospitalized from being stunned, yes it was by four people but it was still being stunned that hurt her. Also we see the death eaters on the diner being down for the count from being stunned. How about the death eaters in the ministry? They were down from the count. What about Crabbe and Goyle? The list goes on and on of people who were stunned and are down for the count.

The truth is that stunning is a rudimentary spell and easily blocked in a duel by wizards on this level.

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#50  Edited By MetalJimmor

@cregan_stark:

Er, no. Even the high level wizards use stunning spells as their main offense. Aurors use it, Death Eaters use it when not using the killing curse. Dumbledore used it. Stunning is the basis of all wizard combat. They all know how to use it and how to defend against it. The winner of a wizard duel is often whoever has the better reflexes and who can use a wider variety of other spells to distract or disorientate their opponent so they can land their stun. The stunning spell has even been shown to be able to match the Killing Curse in direct clashes.

McGonagall couldn't just stun Snape for the same reason he couldn't just stun her. As I said, they are in the same general tier of duelist. As for feats, McGonagall doesn't have many duels in general. Stalemating Snape for a while IS her feat to show she can hang with Snape. By actually hanging with Snape. The Fact Snape couldn't easily land a disarm charm on her is clear evidence that the two are comparable.

As for your list of people who got stunned by the stunning spell. Yes. Those people got stunned. And then those people promptly did not receive aid. McGonagall however was in a school with a medical staff in a room with people watching. And as I said, there is more than one spell used to bind someone's movements. You're showing only the stupefy spell as evidence. There are other charms that can disable a wizard without any lasting damage that is very easily removed. If Snape was as good as you say he could have used a simple disarm charm and then hit her with the full body bind curse or the freezing charm before continuing on his way.

There are many options to subdue someone without causing them harm in the Harry Potter world. Not wanting to kill someone is no excuse to not quickly win a duel against someone if you are legitimately the superior duelist.

Anyway, I just wanted to point how the availability of non-fatal spells. As for the actual debate, I actually do find Snape the better duelist compared to Bellatrix. Simply because while they both have high showings, only Bellatrix has an extremely low showing in that she lost a straight duel to a house wife who, as far as we know, as no real dueling skill. Bellatrix is too prone to playing around where as Snape is all business.