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Saddest Deaths in the Harry Potter Series

J.K. Rowling is notorious for killing off your favorite characters. Here are some the most heart-wrenching deaths in the Harry Potter series.

By Madeline BasiricoPublished 7 years ago 6 min read

J.K. Rowling, the literary genius behind the Harry Potter series has a talent for writing tragic death scenes. As any true Harry Potter fan knows, the series is full of sadness. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was an absolute bloodbath. I still get emotional when I think of how some of these characters passed away. You would think in a fantasy magical world there would be an easy way to prevent death or to bring people back to life, but there isn't. We all know how using Horcruxes worked out for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Rowling seems to have enjoyed making her readers cry because the deaths in the series are absolutely gut-wrenching. Here's a reminder of the most upsetting deaths in Harry Potter, in case you had forgotten what it was like to cry. WARNING: this post includes spoilers!


Hedwig was Harry's adorable snowy owl, and the first gift he ever received. Hagrid bought her for Harry as a birthday gift, and Harry was thrilled to have her. The two were fast friends and stuck together throughout all seven books/eight movies. Hedwig delivered mail for Harry and comforted him when he was sad. She was very expressive, and even nipped at Harry or turned her back when she was upset with him. Her life came to a sad end during the Battle of the Seven Potters in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Hedwig was killed by a Death Eater while Harry and several friends were being chased down. Harry, of course, was devastated, and so were readers everywhere.

Remus Lupin

Remus Lupin was one of Harry's father's best friends while he was in school. He was a werewolf thus explaining his nickname "Moony". Lupin connected with Harry in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, when he also interacted with Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew for the first time. In the third novel, Lupin became the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts and taught Harry the Patronus charm. He lived a difficult life seeing as he had to keep his werewolf tendencies under control, and most of his childhood friends died in the first Wizarding War. He married Nymphadora Tonks with whom he fathered a son, Teddy. Lupin tragically died during the Battle of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows alongside Tonks, leaving Teddy parentless and Harry without his mentor and friend.

Sirius Black

Sirius Black was another one of Harry's father's best friends. His nickname was Padfoot while they were in school, because his Animagus form was a large dog. Initially, Harry was under the impression that Black was a vicious criminal who assisted in the murder of his parents. Toward the end of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry found out that Sirius was actually innocent and missed his parents very much. Black fled to Europe after he reunited with Harry because the Ministry of Magic still saw him as a criminal, but the two kept in touch. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Voldemort implanted a vision in Harry's head that showed him torturing Sirius Black to lure Harry to the Ministry of Magic so they could duel. The Order of the Phoenix rallied to back Harry up, and the Death Eaters battled members of the Order. Sirius was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange, his evil cousin. Harry was devastated as he had only just started to get to know his father's best friend, and he loved him very much. Black's death is one of the saddest in the whole series.

Fred Weasley

Fred's death was so so sad. Fred was one of Ron's older brothers, and he and his twin George wreaked havoc on Hogwarts with their pranks. The boys loved joking around and often got into trouble for their silliness. Fred and George left Hogwarts before graduating to start their very own joke shop, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, in Diagon Alley. Harry loaned them the money he won from the Triwizard Tournament to start their business, and it became extremely successful. Fred and George came back to help their friends in the second Wizarding War, and they fought in the Battle of Hogwarts, where Fred was killed. He died in an explosion, and everybody mourned the loss of his delightful spirit. George was particularly torn up, as the bond between the twins was very strong. This one was a low blow, J.K. Rowling.


Dobby was a house-elf in the Harry Potter series who initially served the Malfoy family. The house-elf was treated terribly until Harry tricked Lucius Malfoy into freeing him by placing a sock in Tom Riddle's diary at the end of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which he knew would be given to Dobby. Dobby then worked at Hogwarts, where he got to stay close to Harry and earn money as a free elf. When Harry and friends were kidnapped and held in the Malfoy household in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Dobby helped to save them. As they left the house, Bellatrix Lestrange managed to throw a knife that struck Dobby, killing him. As I said before, the seventh novel was a bloodbath.


Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore was the headmaster of Hogwarts up through Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. He was Harry's mentor and guided him through many of the hardships that he endured. Dumbledore always gave Harry useful advice and was an extremely powerful wizard during his life. He was the master of the Elder Wand, which is one the Deathly Hallows, as explained in the myth "The Tale of Three Brothers". Dumbledore's death was one of the saddest that Harry had to go through. Dumbledore retrieved one of Voldemort's horcruxes, a ring, and when he put it on his finger it cursed him. He destroyed the ring, but he knew the curse would eventually kill him. He worked with Severus Snape to develop a plan for his death because he did not want Draco Malfoy to have to kill him, as he had been ordered to do so. Instead, Snape killed Dumbledore as per his wishes. However, all Harry knows at the time of Dumbledore's death is that Snape was the one who did it, not that Dumbledore planned it.


Harry Potter and Severus Snape had a complicated relationship throughout the Harry Potter series. Snape was a potions professor and eventually Defense Against the Dark Arts professor during Harry's time Hogwarts. He took out his disdain for James Potter, Harry's father, on Harry. The two men had gone to school together and James had picked on Severus, while Severus had been in love with Lily, Harry's mother. Harry knew Snape as a former Death Eater and later Dumbledore's killer, so he despised the man. When Snape was killed by Nagini, Voldemort's snake, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry still did not know the truth about Snape's allegiances and Dumbledore's death. As he died, he gave Harry his memories to view in Dumbledore's Pensieve so that he'd finally know what really happened. Harry then realized that Snape had never really been out to get him. This was the saddest part because Snape was already dead by the time Harry became aware.

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About the Creator

Madeline Basirico

When she's not interning, Maddie loves eating food, going to the beach, and looking at pictures of dogs wearing people clothes.

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