J.K. Rowling has blessed us with a magical set of characters in Harry Potter that we have grown to love and cherish dearly over time. We feel as though we have grown up with these characters which made it all the more difficult when they were taken away from us. Most of the people at Hogwarts serve as a tremendous influence in our daily lives and despite the fact that these characters are fictional, it doesn’t make the impact they have on our lives any less real.
When these beloved characters in the Potter world were killed off, it messed a lot of us up, yet as Sirius points out in Prisoner of Azkaban, the ones that love us never really leave us and you can always find them if you look inside your heart. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the most difficult deaths in Harry Potter, Ranked.
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As crazy as it sounds, Lord Voldemort’s death was difficult to process because The Dark Lord being killed truly indicated the end of the Harry Potter series. Once Voldemort died, there was no war left to fight. Although Voldemort dying was the best thing to happen to the wizarding world, it was a bittersweet moment for fans who would’ve given anything to keep the Potter series alive – including, potentially, keeping Voldemort alive. He was the driving force in the series and provided the major source of conflict throughout. Without Voldemort, there is no story.
9 LILY POTTER
We knew of Lily’s death at the very beginning of the series, yet this didn’t make her passing any less tragic. Lily is the true idealist of the Potter universe and she is able to see the good in everyone (like Snape/James) even when others cannot. She has all of the qualities necessary to be the perfect mother to Harry and this is made clear in the scenes when she comforts him as an infant, showering him with affection while in the face of danger.
In The Deathly Hallows, when we witness Snape mourning Lily’s death, it is impossible not to feel heartbroken. Perhaps the only thing that could make Snape cry would be the death of his one true love.
8 CEDRIC DIGGORY
Cedric Diggory is perhaps the most gentle student at Hogwarts. Cedric represents the best kind of Hufflepuff, one that is loyal and selfless to all those around him. He treats all his peers as equals and nearly every move he makes is done for the purpose of the greater good. He passes tragically in Goblet of Fire as a young boy who still had so much life left to live. His death truly indicates a dark turning point in the series and serves as a warning to the students at Hogwarts that no one is safe.
7 ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
Dumbledore: “It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it.”
Dumbledore is the heart and soul of the Harry Potter series and his death represents the end of Harry’s safety at Hogwarts. Dumbledore served as Harry’s counselor and protector with his immense wisdom used as a tool to keep him from Voldemort’s way. His benevolence towards all those around him despite his power is what makes Albus Dumbledore such an iconic and beloved character. Dumbledore offered strength and insight to all of his students, treating each individual with the utmost respect. His humble nature separates him from other wizards with the same level of power and ultimately makes his death all the more devastating.
Luckily, he lived a very (very) long and fulfilled life and we will always remember Dumbledore for the selflessness he provided on a daily basis.
6 SIRIUS BLACK
Sirius: “What’s life without a little risk?”
Sirius is truly the free-spirit in the Harry Potter series. Regardless of all the unfairness life has handed him, he still cherishes life and lives every day to the fullest. Sirius knows that some things in life are worth dying for and he would gladly risk his life to save his friends and loved ones. Not only were his best friends Lily and James taken from him, but he was found guilty of betraying them and sentenced to life in prison because of it. You’d think that after all Sirius had been through he would be the ultimate cynic, but, in reality, he is quite the opposite. Sirius is so passionate about the world around him and continues to remain dedicated and loyal to the ones he loves most. He was pretty much Harry’s only living family, which made it so incredibly difficult to see him pass.
5 REMUS AND TONKS
Remus and Tonks had a lovely relationship that had been tested more than once by Lupin’s lycanthropy. Although he was madly in love with Tonks, he didn’t want to burden her with his condition and he thought she would be safer and happier without him. Tonks helped Remus believe he was worthy of love and the two eventually got married. They had a healthy son named Teddy who had no trace of Lupin’s condition as a werewolf.
It was gut-wrenching to see the two of them lying there during the battle of Hogwarts, side by side. The two brought so much life and love to the series, making it a difficult moment to process.
4 SEVERUS SNAPE
Dumbledore: “After all this time?”
Harry considers Snape to be the bravest man he has ever known. It wasn’t until The Deathly Hallows that we learned of Snape’s complexities and began to see him as a misunderstood soul rather than a cartoonish villain. He is the silent hero of the entire series, always sacrificing himself for the people he is most loyal to. Even when the love of his life rejects him and goes off to marry his school bully, Snape still will do whatever it takes to try and protect her (along with Harry and even James). Snape’s role as a double agent throughout the series has caused him to receive little to no sympathy despite all the sacrifices he has made. Snape’s life is a tragic one, yet his legacy continues to live on.
Hedwig was Harry’s best friend from the very beginning. She was there throughout Harry’s best and worst moments, including the horrible times he spent alone and isolated at the Dursley’s over summer break. Hedwig represents Harry’s childhood and her death is the ultimate sign of his last source of innocence being snatched away from him.
Anyone who has lost a pet before knows how devastating it is to lose the creature who has been your most loyal confidante and friend. Hedwig’s death is one of the hardest of all because we feel as though we have grown up with her and she is such an innocent victim.
Dobby: “Such a beautiful place to be with friends… Dobby is happy to be with his friend, Harry Potter.”
Dobby is easily the most selfless character in the whole series. His enormous heart is what makes him so incredibly loveable and it gives fans immense joy whenever he appears on-screen. He will do absolutely anything to provide for his friends, who he considers to be his family. It is so gut-wrenching to see his final moments, yet we know he has died doing what he loves most, which is defending Harry Potter. It is so beautiful when Harry wants to have a proper funeral for Dobby and, in the books, it is made clear that he wishes Dobby could have the kind of extravagant funeral that Dumbledore had. Harry believes Dobby deserved that amount of respect, and we certainly do too.
At least now Dobby is a free elf… *Ugly cries*.
1 Fred Weasley
“Fred’s eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face.” – The Deathly Hallows
Fred and George are the comic relief throughout the Harry Potter series. When everything in the wizarding world gets as dark as it can possibly get, the twins are always able to provide much-needed laughter. The two understand the power of comedy amongst all of the darkness and their choice to open up a joke shop in the middle of the horror surrounding them is perhaps the most necessary relief in the entire series. The fact that the Weasley twins represented such a positive source of light throughout all eight films is what made it so difficult for fans to grasp Fred’s death. How will George go on without his one true partner in crime? The thought is almost too much to bear.
Yet according to Dumbledore, happiness can be found in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light. Fred always remembered to turn on the light.
Which Harry Potter death hit you the hardest? Let us know in the comments!