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After Voldemort's downfall at the end of the First Wizarding War, we know that Bellatrix Lestrange, Barty Crouch Jr., Rodolphus Lestrange and Rabastan Lestrange were the only Death Eaters that tried to find him. For their actions, they were all sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban.

Upon his return, Bellatrix and Crouch were given important roles in the Second Wizarding War and hailed as Voldemort's "most loyal followers". Reading this question, Rodolphus is mentioned, but seemingly as 'just another Death Eater'.

Why were Rodolphus and Rabastan not given this same honour upon the Dark Lord's return, and apparently treated like any other Death Eater?

I understand that there may not be much information on these two very minor characters, but given that they were both in the same boat as Bellatrix and Crouch, it seems as though they were just forgotten by Voldemort. Is there any canonical information available about these guys' roles during the Second Wizarding War?

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    I've made the title slightly shorter, and tried to keep it 100% in line with your question. Just to make it a little neater. – Edlothiad Jul 19 '18 at 10:08
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    Considering his wife had a kid with another man, I doubt Rodolphus Lestrange had a particular strong character. He - and be extension his brother, too, I guess - just followed his wife's lead and did whatever Bellatrix told them to do. He was more her minion than her husband it seems. Plus the marriage itself was most likely a pure-blood union out of convenience (or lack of other available partners maybe) not out of love. – BMWurm Jul 19 '18 at 11:00
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    @BMWurm I'm sorry, but the absolute rubbish about that child is in no way canon to me, it's just simply not plausible in my mind – ZenLogic Jul 19 '18 at 11:03
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    @ZenLogic I would agree, but kid or no kid, Bella wasn't the loving wife as much as she was the unquestioned leader of that group and I would assume that the Lestrange brothers weren't heralded as much because they were just following Bella's orders, not acting on their own. – BMWurm Jul 19 '18 at 11:06
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    @ZenLogic I officially like you now! :) Congratulations, you’ll never be called a filthy Muggle! ;) – Bellatrix Jul 19 '18 at 18:13
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The Dark Lord did think them loyal enough to be worthy of honor.

When the Dark Lord returns to his full strength after the restoration ritual, he says that the Lestranges are in Azkaban and will all be honored when they are freed.

“The Lestranges should stand here,’ said Voldemort quietly. ‘But they are entombed in Azkaban. They were faithful. They went to Azkaban rather than renounce me … when Azkaban is broken open, the Lestranges will be honoured beyond their dreams.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)

Since he says “the Lestranges” in the plural form, that means that the Dark Lord did consider Rodolphus and Rabastan as being worthy of being honored as well.

Bellatrix also thought everyone who tried to find the Dark Lord would be rewarded.

“The boy’s three companions rose quietly from their seats; the woman with the heavy-lidded eyes looked up at Crouch and called, ‘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!”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Trial)

From what the Dark Lord himself said, he considered Rodolphus and Rabastan worthy of some honor. As for why the two of them weren’t given bigger roles in the war, there are two plausible options. The first is that they might not have been suited or capable for a larger role. For example, doing what Crouch Jr. did took a specific type of talent at acting, not just loyalty to the Dark Lord. The second is that they might not have been quite as loyal as Bellatrix and Barty Crouch Jr. and so they were favored, but to a somewhat lesser extent than Bellatrix and Crouch Jr. were. This seems to be likely - both Bellatrix and Crouch Jr. clearly showed a very high level of loyalty to the Dark Lord. Even though Rodolphus and Rabastan seemed fairly loyal from what we know of them, they may not have reached quite the same level, and therefore weren’t honored quite as much.

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    Or another option, that they were driven bat crazy by the dementors and in no fit state to support anyone. – JohnP Jul 19 '18 at 18:02
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    I think you just wanted to hog the spotlight for yourself. – ibid Jul 19 '18 at 19:29
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    @ibid Yeah, who needs those other two? :P – Bellatrix Jul 19 '18 at 19:53
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    They may also have simply been carrying out important tasks that Harry (and, by extension, the reader) didn't know about. – Harry Johnston Jul 19 '18 at 23:40
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The three Lestranges showed that same loyalty when they choose to go to prison instead of denying their involvement and claiming the imperius. Or to be more precise, it was Bellatrix who said it, but we can assume the other two agreed.

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!

Crouch on the other hand denied his involvement. As he was caught together with the other three, this denial wasn't even likely to get him out.

"Father, I didn't!" shrieked the boy in chains below. "I didn't, I swear it, Father, don't send me back to the Dementors -"

So it seems that Crouch was less loyal than the other three.

Therefore the position of most loyal servant seems have less to do with loyalty and more with who is most useful to Voldemort.

  • Crouch helped him at Hogwarts to get a new body. After more than thirteen years without a body, that is important for Voldemort. At the resurrection, he calls him

    one, who remains my most faithful servant, and who has already reentered my service.

  • Bellatrix is one of his most important Lieutenants and one of his better fighters.
  • The Lestrange brothers seem to be mainly average.
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    Given Voldy says “remains my most faithful...” that seems to suggest he never fell out of favour – Edlothiad Jul 21 '18 at 16:26

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