Beatrice was the fiancee and lover of Dante Alighieri. Although described by all as a "pure" soul worthy of Heaven, after losing a bargain with Lucifer she was forced to accompany him to Hell to become his bride. Her capture was the catalyst for Dante's journey through the Inferno and the redemption of his soul.
In life, Beatrice appears as a beautiful, fair woman with golden blond hair and dark eyes. In Dante's memories, she is seen wearing a scarlet dress, though later in Florence her dress is a golden yellow color. Upon death, her soul matches her body's appearance, although she is depicted nude with her lower extremities obscured into mist.
Once in Hell, Beatrice's soul takes on several changes. In a flashback when she is asking Virgil to guide Dante, though still nude her skin becomes more radiant and translucent, somewhat bluish with venous lines all over her body, generating from the center of her chest. Her hair has a subtle light to it, and her eyes have a more widened appearance.
In the second Circle of Hell when Beatrice is encountered again, her appearance is greatly altered. Although she no longer possesses a ghostly visage, Beatrice now wears a monstrous, form-fitting gown made of what appears to be demonic flesh, with spikes protruding around the open front and a high jagged collar. The dress is open to just beneath her navel, exposing her cleavage, and flares out into a mermaid skirt. The mutton sleeves are capped with paw-like shoulder pauldrons. Her hair is twisted up to resemble ornate, hornlike structures and is adorned with a single diamond-shaped gem (a matching gem of a different color is at her throat).
After deliberately consuming the pomegranate seeds offered to her by Lucifer, Beatrice is transformed fully into a demonic consort for the Devil. Her hair becomes an array of true, twisted black horns wreathed with flames. Her forehead is adorned with a chain of gems, forming a diadem above her glowing red eyes. In instances where the gleam of her eyes are dimmed, they appear to be filmed over with a reddish-pink sclera. Her skin becomes extremely pale with a few burned areas, while spikes protrude from her shoulders above darkened armbands. Her lower arms and hands become blackened, fiery, cracked and claw-like. Her gown also undergoes changes: the high collar comes to resemble a large, burned neck ruff which extends down in ruffles between her breasts to the hips, where it spreads out in an inflamed peplum adorned with sharp spikes and a demonic skull ornament. The nipples of her exposed bust are concealed by proportional flames, which extend into a flaming corset-like structure. Her tapered skirt is made up of a writhing storm of damned souls. Finally, she grows far larger in height than Dante, towering several feet over him when the bottom of her skirt is at floor level.
Upon her absolution at seeing Dante's determination to save her soul, Beatrice reverts back to her radiant, ethereal state. Near the end of the game, she is again seen in her more human form from the very beginning, nude once again with smoke obscuring her lower half.
The Third Crusade Edit
Beatrice is introduced in the game as Dante's fiancee, who waited for him to return home from his services during the Crusades. Before Dante was summoned to join the Third Crusade, the two made love for the first time. Believing completely in Dante's faithfulness to their love, as a token of this devotion Beatrice gave him her cross to take with him on the Crusades. Dante swore on it to forsake "all of the pleasures of the flesh" until he returned to Beatrice. She also asked him to protect her brother Francesco, who joined Dante on Crusade.
At an unspecified time, while Dante was away at Acre, Beatrice made a bargain with Lucifer. If Dante kept his promise during the Crusades, Lucifer would ensure that he would return home safely. However, if Dante slept with another woman, Beatrice would have to give her soul to Lucifer and become the Devil's bride.
Unfortunately for Beatrice, while assigned to guard the hostages at Acre Dante slept with a Slave Girl who offered him "comfort" in exchange for her freedom and that of her "brother", though Dante expressed some remorse for betraying Beatrice. Nevertheless, this infidelity caused her to lose her bet with Lucifer. After committing several unspeakable acts in the misguided belief that the Crusaders were automatically absolved of all sin, Dante was killed at Acre by the Slave Girl's "brother," who was in truth her husband. This man, the Avenger, then headed to Dante's home in Florence to complete his vengeance. Unaware of his own death or the Avenger's intention, Dante's soul also began journeying to Florence to be reunited with his beloved, having no memory of his horrific crimes or his betrayal of Beatrice.
Meanwhile, Dante's father, Alighiero, with whom Beatrice was staying while Dante was away, came upon her crying over the fact that she had not heard from Dante in three years. Alighiero tried to persuade Beatrice into giving up hope of Dante ever returning alive, in an attempt to seduce her. Realizing his intent, Beatrice recoiled from him, but at that moment the Avenger broke into the house. Dante's father and the man engaged in a sword fight, but Alighiero was overpowered by the Avenger and killed when his gold cross was stabbed through his eye socket. Beatrice tried to escape, but she too was killed when the man threw Alighiero's sword at her, impaling her through the chest. Following her outside, he withdrew the sword and delivered the killing blow, stabbing Beatrice in the abdomen.
Dante's Inferno Edit
Beatrice died only minutes before Dante arrived home, and he was devastated to see her lifeless body. Upon touching her, Beatrice's soul emerged from her corpse, smiling at Dante and insisting that she knew that he would come for her. However, within seconds Lucifer arrived as a being of darkness and Beatrice was forced to go away with him in accordance with her bargain. Beatrice was taken to a church located on a hill overlooking Dante's cottage, outside of which was a statue of her allowing Dante to save his progress. Entering the church, Dante found her soul writhing naked on the altar. She asked Dante why he broke his promise, much to his confusion as he did not remember what he had done. She disappeared again, leaving a crucifix-shaped patch of holy energy for Dante's Cross to absorb. This cross allows him to battle the creatures found in Hell as well as to absolve damned souls. The church then crumbles, revealing a gateway to Hell beneath it, into which Dante descends after Beatrice.
Nine Circles of Hell Edit
When Beatrice arrived in Hell, she asked the virtuous pagan Virgil to help Dante save her. In return for his service, Beatrice offers to praise Virgil before God once she was free from Hell. Virgil related this information to Dante in explanation for why the poet would be his guide throughout the Woeful Realm. More Beatrice Statues like the one outside of the church are found around Hell, as well as Beatrice Stones which empower Dante's Cross and allow him to automatically absolve souls.
Dante entered the Gates of Hell, coming to the Shores of Acheron to begin the journey to find his fiancee. When confronted by Dante, the ferryman Charon mentioned that Beatrice "made a very foolish wager". In response, Dante offered his life and soul to reach her, though the ferryman mocked him for this declaration, aware that Dante did not realize the irony of his words.
Within the second circle, Lust, when Dante entered the second floor of the Carnal Tower Beatrice was seen perched silently on a bed. She was then lifted up to the top of the Tower by means of its wind-powered elevator. While battling against the queen of Lust, Cleopatra, Dante found Beatrice once again, but she was now in the company of Lucifer. The fallen angel revealed that Dante was unfaithful to her while on the Crusades. A shocked Beatrice asked Dante to look into her eyes and saw in detail how Dante broke his promise. Upset by this revelation, she was pulled down onto the bed by Lucifer and disappeared with him.
In the Hall of the Gluttons, Lucifer came to taunt Dante about his failure to stay true to Beatrice. Dante tried to defend his actions, saying that his fiancee had no idea of what he was going through. Lucifer told him that he actually showed Beatrice all of what Dante experienced during his time away. He proceeded to show the former Crusader through the mirrors of the Hall the murder of Beatrice and Alighiero. In horror, Dante realized that he was responsible for Beatrice's death and subsequent damnation. As Dante attempted to navigate the confusing corridors of the icy hall, Beatrice's sorrowful face was seen in the smoky surfaces of some of the portals that he used to escape into the next circle.
She was seen again in the Circle of Anger with Lucifer during Dante's battle with Phlegyas. Levitating above the swamps, Beatrice tearfully asked herself why Dante broke his promise as Lucifer began caressing her. Now that she gave up all faith in her lover, Beatrice exclaimed that when he had his "way with that girl, [Dante] gave [Beatrice] to Lucifer!" Lucifer thanked Dante for doing so and gave Beatrice a pomegranate which turned into three seeds. Though Dante begged her not to eat them Beatrice turned her back on him, swallowing the seeds in one gulp. She immediately doubled over in pain as her body caught fire with Lucifer gloating over her final renunciation about Dante. Beatrice was transformed completely into a fiery, demonic entity: Lucifer's new consort and the Queen of Hell. Lucifer and Beatrice proceeded to kiss passionately as Lucifer looked pointedly at Dante. The pair then left the warrior behind to continue his struggle.
Upon entering the eighth circle, the malevolent Beatrice reappeared alone, sitting on a litter of bones carried by four demons. She expressed her rage toward Dante by calling him a fraud, saying that he belonged in the eighth circle. Beatrice then summoned the demon Malacoda to kill him. Upon the defeat of her underling, Beatrice forced Dante to traverse the ten ditches of Fraud. As the minions of Hell are unleashed all at once upon Dante, she watched his progress with contempt, describing the sinners of each bolgia and remarking how Dante belonged with some of them. Despite the odds, Dante successfully made it through the Malebolge and exited the circle.
Beatrice came again before Dante and berated him for what he did to her and to Francesco, calling him the biggest fraud of all. Feeling defeated and understanding that he was to blame for what Beatrice became, Dante agreed with her, telling her that he belonged in Hell and he would no longer attempt to redeem her. He laid down Beatrice's Cross. Despite her corruption, she recognized the cross that she gave him. Lucifer's hold on her was weakened enough for the power of the cross to fully absolve Beatrice, to Dante's surprise. Purified, her soul returned to its human, radiant form as she collapsed. At that moment a blinding light pierced Hell and the archangel Gabriel descended. He took up Beatrice's unconscious form, confirming that her soul was saved by Dante's act. Gabriel then promised Dante that he would see her again soon, though he must complete his journey, which was far more important than the warrior knew.
Dante moved on to Cocytus to battle Lucifer, who revealed that Beatrice was never his intended target. He made the bargain with her merely to be able to use her as "bait" to lure Dante into Hell. Having tried and failed in the past to use other warriors to break the Chains of Judecca, Lucifer saw potential in Dante and felt that he would be the perfect pawn to aid in his escape. His theory was proven correct as Dante succeeded in freeing Lucifer from bondage in Hell, breaking each chain in his journey to reach Beatrice and redeem himself.
Beatrice was last seen at the end of Inferno in a vision, no longer under Lucifer's control. Immediately after Dante resealed Lucifer back into his icy prison, both Dante and Beatrice appear in a smoky, barren region. Smiling at one another, they grasped hands and a bright light flashed around them. Beatrice vanished while Dante was left to begin his next journey up Mount Purgatory.
- The actual Beatrice Portinari met Dante Alighieri in 1274 at the age of nine. Nine-year-old Dante was immediately smitten by her and remained so even after she married in 1287 and eventually died in 1290 at the age of 25. Believing her to be the incarnation of beatific love, Dante wrote many poems about her, mainly among them La Vita Nuova. Even after he was married, Dante continued to be inspired by Beatrice, eventually writing her as his guide in the final third of The Divine Comedy, "Paradiso," written over 10 years after her death. Though Dante never gave a clear reason why he was so in love with her considering their minimal contact throughout her life, evidence within his writings showed that he believed her to be the perfect example of purity and virtue, and he often referred to her as his "salvation."
- It was unknown who approached whom in regards to Beatrice's deal with Lucifer. It was possible that, as Lucifer needed someone to free him and saw potential in Dante, he may have initiated the transaction, especially since he informed Dante that Beatrice's intended role was a ruse to bring Dante to Hell.
- Beatrice's consumption of the pomegranate seeds is a reference to the Greek myth of the goddess Persephone. Persephone was the daughter of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture. Although hidden away by her mother to prevent her from being married off or raped while still young, Persephone's uncle Hades, the god of the Underworld, fell in love with her. With her father Zeus's permission Hades dragged Persephone to his kingdom to marry him. Nine days of searching led Demeter to Helios, who finally told her what had happened to her daughter. In retaliation against Zeus and Hades Demeter cursed the earth with famine, demanding Persephone back in order to lift the famine. Zeus relented and commanded Hades to return the girl to the surface. Unfortunately, as she was about to leave Persephone was forced by Hades to eat pomegranate seeds (usually three to six seeds). Eating the food of the dead bound Persephone to the underworld and compelled the girl to spend one month of the year there for every seed she ate, as Hades's queen.
- The pomegranate Lucifer gave to Beatrice could possibly be the "Fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil", from the Biblical story of Adam and Eve. Some scholars believed that the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden was a pomegranate and not an apple (as it is commonly assumed/believed), as apples were not native to that part of the world. Therefore Beatrice and Lucifer would have been reenacting the Fall of Man when she accepts the seeds to eat, further reflected by how the pomegranate corrupts Beatrice fully, as Eve had been corrupted by Lucifer as a serpent in Eden.
- In the film, Beatrice was pregnant with Dante's child while he was fighting in the Crusades, but the child was stillborn. This child became one of the Unbaptized Babies.