Ranking the Major Deaths in Harry Potter from “Good Riddance” to “Hold Me”

Harry Potter is a fan-favorite topic around the AllEars (virtual) office. From eating Wizarding World snacks to sorting Disney characters into Hogwarts houses, we can’t get enough!

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And while this brilliant series has brought us a lot of joy — it’s also made us shed a Gringotts Vault worth of tears! From sweet victory to the loss of favorite characters, the Harry Potter books had us reaching for the tissues.

Quite a few of the key players in the series pass away — some good, some evil, some expected, some shocking. But which of these moments was truly the worst? We had a good therapy session and decided to discuss  — and now, we’re sharing the results with you! Grab the tissues, friends — we’re sorry in advance if you cry.

Ranking the Major Deaths in Harry Potter from “Good Riddance” to “Hold Me”

Peter Pettigrew

The jerk who betrayed Harry’s parents, leading to their death, and framed Sirius Black for it? Bye.

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Bellatrix LeStrange

She killed Sirius and tortured Neville’s parents. Not gonna lie, I cheered when Molly Weasley finished her off.

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Was anyone surprised by this? No. But points for the dramatic monologuing and wand lore coming into play. Also, LOL at Harry calling him Tom the whole time.

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Mad-Eye Moody

The legendary auror deserved better than to be locked in a chest for a year, and he really deserved better than to die because of Mundungus Fletcher. We didn’t get to know the real Moody very well (thanks, Barty Crouch, Jr.) but we’re always sad to see a good guy gone too soon.

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Minor character, major death. This was the first big death written out and the moment these books intensified. Plus, never forget that Cedric was a child — or that he died for no other reason than that he was there. “Kill the spare.” *shivers*

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Don’t get us wrong — we were sad to see Dumbledore go. He’s a pivotal part of the story (in fact, he devises and carefully manipulates the whole thing), he’s crucial to Harry’s adolescence, and his death scene was truly shocking. But his death didn’t come as a surprise for most of our team — we knew it was coming, we just didn’t know how. We cried many, many tears over Dumbles (and Harry dealing with the loss of his mentor), but in the end, he lived a good, long life so his death isn’t as sad as others on our list.

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SWEET ANGEL HEDWIG DID NOTHING. NOTHING. All she did was become Harry’s pet. Hedwig was Harry’s only friend in the world during his summers at Privet Drive, and she was taken. The only reason she doesn’t rank higher is because she dies so quickly, we almost didn’t even register it.

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A true anti-hero, Snape has possibly the hardest job in the entire Order. He committed his life to protecting Harry, and he kept that promise until the end. How long will this death affect us? Always.

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Oh, Dobby. Sweet, loyal, heroic Dobby. He literally saves Harry and friends when they had no other hope, and it costs him his life. I guess we can take a small amount comfort knowing a Malfoy’s wand inscribed his grave that reads “A Free Elf,” the ultimate finale for such a brave elf.

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Lupin and Tonks

THEY DIED TOGETHER AND LEFT THEIR SON AN ORPHAN. Lupin felt misplaced and unlovable his whole life, and then he finally finds happiness, and he DIES? I can’t. Wanna cry more? Lupin was awarded the First Order of Merlin First Class posthumously — the first werewolf to be awarded this honor. (Someone get the tissues.)

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Harry’s dream was to have a home and a family — and his dream could’ve come true with Sirius. But it didn’t, because Bellatrix LeStrange had to ruin everything. Sirius was the father figure Harry needed and the second to be snatched away too soon. His death is only made sadder by the fact that his best friend Lupin witnesses it along with his godson, and then has to hold Harry back from going after him.

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We rarely (if ever) saw Fred and George apart throughout the series, and we certainly never imagined they would be separated forever. Fred died bravely fighting in the battle of Hogwarts — but in true form was cracking a joke as he fought. His death is magnified by the mourning of the Weasleys — particularly George. It’s been said that George was never able to conjure a patronus again, having truly never gotten over Fred’s death. *brb sobbing under my desk*

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Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments!

Molly is a lifelong Disney enthusiast, and former Walt Disney World Guest Relations Cast Member and tour guide. Her Walt Disney World favorites include Festival of the Lion King, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Fantasmic!, Mickey-shaped pretzels and rice krispie treats, and anything with Buzz Lightyear! She lives in Orlando with her husband (who she met in Guest Relations) and their two rescue dogs, Kronk and Cruella de Vil (Ella for short!)

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48 Replies to “Ranking the Major Deaths in Harry Potter from “Good Riddance” to “Hold Me””

  1. I cried like crazy when dumbledore and the one that made me cry nonstop was sirius’ death harry’s only father figure whom he loved but only knew for a short amount of time. but the one I don’t agree with (this may just be me) is hedwig’s death I feel like she should be ranked higher because she helped harry through the summers on privet drive she helped get letters to and from siriu. she did everything in her power to take care of him even though she was only a bird. I feel like harry was meant to be the owner of hedwig they had such a sweet bond!!!
    Now Snape’s death on the other hand that was surprising>Snape had this specialty of self preservation I would have thought snape would live but no he didn’t.

  2. colin died too- so did that man in harrys dream. lavender died too and many of death eaters. idk any more rn but yea

  3. Yall, no. Just no. Dumbledore and Snape deserved to die. Dumbledore knew that Sirius was innocent, but did nothing. He also raised Harry like a pig for slaughter. For example, he made Harry live with the Durslys who he knew were abusive, just so Harry would love the wizarding world. Snape did not love Lily… he was obsessed with Lily. He was not afraid to hurt her, or the ones she loved to get what he wanted from her. He only “protected” Harry, because to him that was the last piece of Lily left. And if you had read the books, you would know that Snape abused his position as a professor. Dumbledore also knew this, but again, did nothing. I realize that Snape was abused as a child, but that didn’t give him the right to do any of the horrible things he did. “wElL hE dIeD fOr ThE pLaN” you might say. No, no he didn’t. He died for Lily. He owed Dumbledore for protecting Lily. That’s the only reason he joined the light side. He chose to become a death eater. It was his own decision, as a grown man. He also practiced dark magic when he was younger. You know the spell “sectumsempra”? (idk how to spell it) Well Remus Lupin said that it was Snape’s specialty. Do you know how many times a wizard has to use a spell for it to become their specialty? I’ll put it in perspective for you, “Expecto Patronum” is Harry’s and “Avada Kadavera” is Voldemort’s. And if you didn’t already know, “sectumsempra” was one of the many dark spells Snape created. Also, Neville’s Bogart was Snape. Not the person who tortured his parents, Snape. His potions professor.

    1. Dumbledore brought Harry to the Dursley’s because it was the place were Voldemort couldn’t find him. He was protecting him. And Snape joined the good side because he was mad at Voldemort for killing Lilly. And he was in love with Lily because he thought he found someone who understood him. When at school he would get bullied by countless others. I rest my case

      1. I don’t think being bullied is a good enough excuse to join a wizard hate group and terrify student. He wasn’t even bullied. What he and James had was a rivalry, we simply only got to see Snape’s POV, but he did the same. We know this because in deathly hallows Lily (in Snape’s memory) says that he abused many muggle students and called them mud bloods. He wasn’t in love with Lily, if he was in love with Lily, he would have been somewhat happy when she found love and was happy herself and he wouldn’t have offered up her son and her husband, the two people she loved most just so that she could stay alive. He was obsessed with Lily. There’s a difference. He also ripped apart the last photo Harry could have with him and his parents just so that he could have a photo of Lily (this is in deathly hallows) and terrified Neville so severely that he was Neville’s boggart. You would have thought that maybe the woman who tortured Neville’s parents or Voldemort would have been Neville’s boggart, but no, it was Snape. His teacher. He forced students to write essays about the dangers of Werewolves in third year so that the professor, who was a Werewolf himself, could read about the horrors of his condition. Snape was a bad person, he wasn’t truly bullied, he was in a rivalry, he was obsessed with a girl that he called a slur, he terrified his students and he was a follower of Voldemort. I rest my case.

  4. I feel very honoured that someone made this cuz i have been crying for 30 minutes after seeing this now ty for making me cry

  5. i read the whole series without crying… I know I sound like I’m boasting, but really, its a book. you wanna see those characters again, just flip back to before they died, no big deal. its just a book, stop freaking out. besides, those deaths probably needed to happen for the story to go on the way it is now. writers have plans, you know.

    1. She did. The saddest part, and to me it’s truly horrific that J.K. Rowling even gave this detail, but she survived the werewolf attack originally, she was seen stirring but died of her injuries. It made me so sad that she died because Ron didn’t even treat her that good except in the beginning of their relationship because he never had a girlfriend and he got sick of her. I disagree that Rowling needed to make her die, she did nothing wrong in my opinion and did not deserve that cruel and horrific death. Although, she did get jealous of Hermione, but I feel like that’s understandable because they were always flirting with each other and had real chemistry from the beginning. I would react the same way if my boyfriend and his best female friend were acting like that. It was also obvious that Hermione was jealous of Lavender when she and Ron were dating.

  6. i always loved snape he was my favorite and the fact that he just wanted to see the eyes he always loved one last time 😭 but i couldn’t a better person to play snape then alan rickman

  7. i always loved snape he was my favorite and the fact that he just wanted to see the eyes he always loved one last time 😭 but i couldn’t a better person to play snape then alan rickman

  8. I was sad when Dobby died because he is so kind and respectful. I also cried when Snape died because he loved Lily so much. I cried when Lily Potter died.

  9. I was so mad when Fred died! What?! Why would she kill one of the twins? That’s rubbish!!!
    Sirius and Lupin also got to me. I was sad Snape died too. Only cause of his love for Lily. He was kinda a bully.

    1. Actually James was the one who bullied Snape. Snape never liked Harry because he looked like his father and his father stole Lily and bullied him.

  10. Okay, I’m going to be the unpopular comment. I wasn’t sad at all when Snape died. He was a horrible bully to Neville (and Harry and Ron and Hermione and to all the other Hogwarts students who weren’t in Slytherin). I don’t care if he had a horrible childhood and was “misunderstood”. I didn’t care for him, and his death didn’t make me feel sad for him. I know, I know, I’m the unpopular opinion. I blame Alan Rickman for making people love him. 🙂

    1. The whole point of harry potter is that in the end snape was only pretending and the whole time he was doing it to save harry’s life over and over again, u clearly don’t know the books and films as well as you say

  11. I was happy when Snape died. He bullied Neville (and Harry, and other Hogwarts students). I know I’m the minority because everyone else seems to love him. I blame Alan Rickman.

  12. I mostly agree but Snape needs to be, maybe top of the list… He was the most selfless character in all of HP. He lived with the knowledge that he gave Harry after his death, for a very long time and never faltered. Playing the dark side but also protecting a boy that was born not just from the women he loved but also from a man that tormented him. Snape was too pure for this world and all the fictional ones as well 😭😭😭

  13. Hedwig needs to be higher up! That one was the worst for me, I fast forward through it in the movie and skip that part in the book. I just can’t. It kills me. The others are sad but Hedwig was just in her cage and had no chance to fight or fly away!! 😭😭 and now I’m crying thinking about it

  14. Molly! I was fine until I got to Snape and now I’m sitting on my lunch break crying. I also have to say I agree with you about Sirius. When reading, one thinks Harry will finally have some semblance of a family and Bellatrix steals that from him. I sobbed when I read it AND seeing in play out in the theater.

  15. Snape and Hedwig the most sad for me… maybe even sadder is the fact that I’m an adult, over 60, and really care about this 🙂

  16. I read the books to my husband as we traveled back and forth to visit family and almost couldn’t get through the parts about Doby being killed. Also sad though not a physical death was Hermione’s parents

  17. No way was Sirius’ death sadder than Dunbledore’s or Snape’s. Snape is absolutely my fave Harry Potter character. So misunderstood, so badly treated, so loyal to the memory of Lily ….his whole story is heartbreaking.

  18. I sobbed like a baby when Dobby died. My son and I literally had to hold each other up as we left the theater we were crying so hard.