The 20 Saddest Harry Potter Deaths

The 20 Saddest Harry Potter Deaths

The beloved Harry Potter franchise introduced many popular characters over the years that fans could not help but fall in love with. Unfortunately, that love made it even more devastating when fan-favorite characters died in later movies, no matter how often viewers watched them.

RELATED: Every Main Character’s Fate In The Harry Potter Movies

The filmmakers handled many deaths differently in the films than in the books. Harry and the other characters deeply felt the effects of the losses in the novels, while they seemed to skim over them in the movies. However, the deaths were still heartbreaking when translated to the big screen. Some were certainly more dramatic and emotional than others, but each served its purpose, no matter the scale.

It’s important to remember the ongoing controversial statements by the creator of the Harry Potter franchise. CBR supports the hard work of industry professionals on properties fans know and love, and the wider world of Harry Potter that fans have adopted as their own. You can find CBR’s continuing coverage on Rowling here.

Updated by Alexandra Locke on January 29, 2023: The Harry Potter books and movies have many wonderful characters who tragically met their fates by the end of the series. Some characters’ deaths – despite being offscreen or in the past – still made an impact on the story. This article has been updated to include more victims of Voldemort’s devastating vendetta and the Second Wizarding War, as well as other notable deaths from the past.

20 Vincent Crabbe Was Caught In His Own Malice

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

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Vincent Crabbe is one of Draco Malfoy’s goons who terrorize Harry throughout the franchise. Despite his actions and clear malice, many fans were shocked and saddened by his sudden death. During the Battle of Hogwarts, Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle cornered Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the Room of Requirement.

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Showing his truly devious side, Crabbe set out to use the curse Fiendfyre on the heroic trio to kill them. Unfortunately, the spell got away from him and ended up consuming the entire room – with him still inside. Although he was a villain, Crabbe was still a teenager and did not deserve such a painful and terrifying death.

19 Helena Ravenclaw Was Killed Out Of Anger

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Helena Ravenclaw aka The Grey Lady in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Helena Ravenclaw was the daughter of one of the Hogwarts founders, Rowena Ravenclaw. Hoping to make herself as clever and renowned as her mother, Helena took her mother’s diadem and ran away. Rowena found out and sent the Baron after her.

However, like so many times before, Helena refused to go back with the Baron – who had harbored feelings for her for years. This angered him so much that he stabbed Helena and then himself out of guilt. Though it happened centuries in the past, Helena Ravenclaw’s death is one of the saddest because she was killed out of spite.

18 Aragog Was Feared In Life But Still Mourned In Death

Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Aragog's Funeral Was A Sad Scene In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Aragog’s funeral in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was a strange moment, as the audience felt Hagrid’s sadness through Slughorn’s eulogy and the emotional music, but the unsettlingly cunning Acromantula was last seen under dramatic circumstances in the second movie. Aragog was Hagrid’s long-time friend but essentially ordered his family to feast on a young Harry and Ron.

Despite all of this, the funeral found a place between sadness and comedy – with Harry under the influence of Felix Felicis, the Liquid Luck Potion. Harry used the occasion and by association Hagrid’s sad loss, as a means to get close to Slughorn, and he ultimately prevailed in extracting the memory he was after.

17 Frank Bryce Was One Of Many To Fall In Voldemort’s Return To Power

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Frank Bryce holding a teapot in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire had several places it had to visit before landing in the familiar halls of Hogwarts in time for the Triwizard Tournament, the first of which was Little Hangleton. This was Tom Riddle’s childhood home, and the caretaker Frank Bryce was quickly introduced to investigate a disturbance within the house.

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Voldemort murdered Frank almost as soon as Nagini told him of the caretaker’s presence. Frank was just an innocent muggle who overheard a conversation he should not have, and it earned him a death sentence. The audience had no real emotional ties to Frank, but an old man being killed without knowing what was going on, will always get some sort of reaction.

16 Cedric’s Death Marked The Start Of The Wizarding War

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Harry Potter crying over Cedric Diggory's body in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Cedric Diggory was a few years older than Harry and was the original champion for Hogwarts in the Triwizard Tournament. At the end of the tournament, Harry and Cedric agreed to win together and share the prize. However, they did not know that the trophy was a Portkey which brought them straight to Voldemort.

Cedric was collateral damage, as Peter Pettigrew immediately struck the innocent young man with the killing curse. His death was tragic, emphasized by his father’s grief. His death also set the tone for the upcoming Wizarding War, marking the dangers to come and changing the feel of the story.

15 Charity Burbage Begged Snape For Help With Her Final Words

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Snape at a table with Voldemort and other Death Eaters.

Charity Burbage only appeared in one Harry Potter movie, The Deathly Hallows: Part 1, but her presence was short-lived. Burbage taught Muggle Studies at Hogwarts and was targeted after Voldemort and the Death Eaters caught wind of her pro-muggle teachings and ideas.

Charity Burbage was a minor character in the grand scheme of it all, but her dying plea for Severus Snape to help her was sad to watch. Voldemort executed her there and then, but this was just the start of his wrath showcased through the final two movies of the franchise.

14 Moaning Myrtle Was Being Bullied

Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Moaning Myrtle talking to Harry Potter in her bathroom

Although Moaning Myrtle died before the events of the books and films, there is a tragic flashback that shows the day she was killed. Myrtle had been hiding and crying due to the other girls bullying her when she heard a noise. She opened the door to see who it was, and was met with a pair of yellow eyes.

Myrtle’s death was not only shocking because of her age, but also because of how it happened. Plus, the professors wrongfully blamed Hagrid and took his wand from him forever. Myrtle’s demise was sad because she died alone and in vain for decades.

13 Tonks Should’ve Played A Larger Role In The Films

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Remus and Tonks dying side by side in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Tonks was the eccentric Metamorphmagus, able to change her appearance at will. She married and had a baby with Remus Lupin. She was an active member of the Order of the Phoenix, and in the books, she played a significant role in stopping the Death Eaters multiple times.

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Tonks almost did not go to Hogwarts, as she was staying home with their infant son, but knew Remus needed help. During the fight, Tonks dueled with her aunt, Bellatrix Lestrange, who had no problem killing her niece. She and Lupin’s lifeless bodies were shown together holding hands in a heartbreaking shot, leaving baby Teddy an orphan.

12 Colin Creevey Just Wanted To Help

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Colin Creevey holding his camera in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

When fans first meet Colin Creevey, he is an annoying younger kid whose obsession with Harry and penchant for photography quickly became irritating. Yet, as time went on, Colin and his brother became assets to Dumbledore’s Army. This is one of the many reasons why Colin’s death in the Battle of Hogwarts was so tragic.

Even though he had been expelled and McGonagall had been sending underage wizards away from the castle, Colin found a way to sneak into the fight against the Death Eaters. Tragically, he was killed in battle, and Harry watched as Oliver Wood and Neville Longbottom carried his corpse into the Great Hall. Colin was always so eager and full of life. To think that he knowingly put himself in harm’s way to fight for Harry is heartbreaking to think about.

11 Lavender’s Death Deserved More Recognition

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Lavender Brown's Death Shown Briefly In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Lavender Brown was a Gryffindor who roomed with Hermione. She had a tumultuous and PDA-filled relationship with Ron Weasley in their sixth year. Despite their breakup, she fought alongside him and the other members of Dumbledore’s Army until the very end.

During the Battle of Hogwarts, Lavender fell from a balcony and Fenrir Greyback, the sadistic Death Eater werewolf, viciously attacked her. In the film, her death was featured for a split second and was not visited again. Many fans believed she deserved more recognition for her bravery.

10 Ariana Dumbledore’s Death Haunts Her Brothers

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Ariana Dumbledore In Fantastic Beasts Secrets Of Dumbledore

Ariana Dumbledore was only fourteen years old when she died. She was Albus Dumbledore’s younger sister, and also an Obscurial due to trauma she experienced after an attack by muggle boys when she was little. Ariana’s young life was filled with strife.

Her father was sent to Azkaban, and she inadvertently killed her mother in an explosion when she could not control her powers. Ariana’s death occurred during a fight between her older brothers and Gellert Grindelwald where she was struck by a stray blast. Not only was she young when she passed, but her death had a lasting effect on both her brothers that they carried with them.

9 Lupin Died Alongside His Wife

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>David Thewlis as remus lupin pointing his wand at a Dementor in Harry potter

Remus Lupin was a Hogwarts professor, a werewolf, and one of the most impactful people in Harry’s life. Lupin was one of James Potter’s best friends. Also a member of the Order of the Phoenix, he made it his mission to defeat Voldemort and his Death Eaters, despite having a new wife and an infant son.

Lupin fought bravely, willing to give up his life, family, and future to save the Wizarding World, and ultimately the Death Eater Antonin Dolohov killed him in battle. After his death, others at Hogwarts placed him next to Tonks. His demise marked the end of the Marauders and took yet another adult role model from Harry’s life.

8 Mad-Eye Moody’s Offscreen Death Was Still Felt

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Mad-Eye Moody getting ready to leave Privet Drive in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

“Mad-Eye” Moody forged a complicated relationship with the audience through his three appearances. This was mainly because his debut in Goblet of Fire was a lie, as it was Barty Crouch Jr. in the guise of Moody thanks to Polyjuice Potion. The real Alastor took the reins of leadership in Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows: Part 1, as a serious Auror who just wanted to get the job done.

Mad-Eye and various other members of the Order oversaw the evacuation of Harry in Deathly Hallows: Part 1, as they aimed to safely escort him from the Dursleys’ to The Burrow. However, the group was set upon by Voldemort and his Death Eaters, with both Mad-Eye and Hedwig being killed in the process. Mad-Eye’s death was brushed off pretty quickly, but it established the enormity of Harry’s new situation. Losing Mad-Eye was a sad moment and a significant blow to the Order.

7 Snape’s Redemption Arc Came At The Very End

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Severus Snape's emotional death in Harry Potter as he asks Harry to take his tears to the Pensieve

As Harry’s Potions professor, Severus Snape used questionable teaching methods, including bullying and demeaning his students. In addition, Snape appeared to be an active Death Eater and Voldemort’s right-hand man. Regardless, Voldemort killed him to gain possession of the Elder Wand, believing him to be the rightful owner after Dumbledore’s death.

As Snape died, he released his memories to Harry. They showed him growing up with Harry’s mother as he fell in love with her. After Lily’s death, he began acting as a double agent, pretending to be a Death Eater while actually working for Dumbledore. His death gained him sympathy from viewers, and the once unlikable character became a fan favorite.

6 Lily & James Potter’s Deaths Were Felt Throughout The Entire Series

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Lily and James Potter posing for a photo in Harry Potter

Lily and James Potter may have been dead long before the main bulk of the Harry Potter movies, but their absence was a lingering loss that Harry felt for the rest of his life. The fact that Harry was sheltered and protected from the truth about his parents, labeled the Dursleys as villains, but the truth only brought more questions.

Lily and James died at Lord Voldemort’s hand, but the Dark Lord was unable to finish off the infant Harry. Lily was said to have protected Harry both physically and with her love, and thus Voldemort inadvertently created a Horcrux within Harry, who became “The Boy Who Lived.” His parents’ sacrifice was both heartbreaking and beautiful, giving him an emotional drive that pushed him forward.

5 Hedwig’s Death Was Deemed Unimportant By The Filmmakers

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Harry Potter and Hedwig in Harry Potter And The Sorcerers Stone

Hedwig was there for Harry since he was eleven years old and loved him unconditionally. In The Deathly Hallows, Hedwig was struck with a killing curse aimed at Harry while attempting to escape the Death Eaters on Hagrid’s flying motorbike.

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Unfortunately, the movie paid little to no attention to her demise, and it seemed as if it had no impact on Harry, whereas, in the book, he grieved her loss for a long time. The author stated Hedwig’s death symbolized the loss of Harry’s childhood, but many fans argue that he lost his childhood years prior. Therefore, not only was her death unnecessary, but it was also tragic.

4 Dumbledore’s Death Masked A Larger Plot

Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Dumbledore falling to his death after being killed by Snape in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Unfortunately, while guiding Harry toward the Horcruxes, Dumbledore seemed to grow weaker. Finally, after an invasion of Death Eaters in Hogwarts, Snape used the killing curse on Dumbledore and sent him tumbling out of the astronomy tower.

As Harry discovered the following year, Dumbledore’s tragic death was a plot to convince Voldemort that Snape was on his side and to save Draco, who initially swore to kill his Headmaster. Dumbledore knew he was dying regardless, and allowing Snape to kill him for the greater good made sense for his character. As a result, students, faculty, and viewers alike felt his death deeply.

3 Dobby Left The World A Hero

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Dobby's death in Harry's arms in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Dobby was the House-Elf who took a liking to Harry and felt indebted to the young boy after Harry freed him from the Malfoys. So when Death Eaters brought Harry, Ron, Hermione, and others to Malfoy Manor, Dobby apparated into the cellar and took action. The friends disapparated from the ballroom and the Death Eaters but unfortunately could not avoid Bellatrix’s knife.

Once they arrived at Bill and Fleur’s cottage, Harry discovered the blade fatally injured Dobby. However, the elf stated he was happy to be among friends and died in Harry’s arms. His death was one of the saddest moments in the franchise, and many fans feel emotional on every rewatch.

2 Fred Went Out Smiling

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Molly and Ron crying over Fred's body in Harry Potter.

The Weasley twins were always in trouble for pulling pranks and eventually turned their passion into a wildly successful joke shop, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. They returned to Hogwarts for the battle, and unfortunately, an explosion set off by a Death Eater killed Fred.

RELATED: 10 Times Fred & George Weasley’s Pranks Went Too Far In Harry Potter

The last thing he heard was a joke told by his brother Percy, and he died smiling, as was appropriate for his character. Fred’s death was heartbreaking, as many grew to adore the twins and their constant jokes. However, his demise wasn’t just devastating for the Weasley family but also for Harry, who came to think of him as an older brother.

1 Sirius’s Death Left Harry Alone Again

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Sirius Black dying in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Sirius Black was Harry’s godfather who spent years in Azkaban, falsely accused of the deaths of muggles and Peter Pettigrew. Once he escaped, he became a father figure to Harry, loving and helping him unconditionally. Unfortunately, Voldemort knew this and captured Sirius, bringing him to the Ministry of Magic as a trap for Harry, where Death Eaters bombarded them.

The Order of the Phoenix members came to their rescue, and Sirius engaged in a heated battle with his cousin, Bellatrix, but unfortunately, he lost his life. The loss of his godfather, the closest person he had to a parent devastated Harry, and he felt the repercussion for years. The scene was chilling for fans as Harry screamed out and was held back by Lupin. No matter how often fans watch this scene, they are still affected by the tragic loss of Sirius Black.

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