This article only includes characters who were alive at some point in the text, first book upwards. I have not taken into account characters like James and Lily Potter who were given to us only in flashbacks, and ghosts like Nearly Headless Nick who dies long before the novels begin. I will talk of characters with whom we formed an emotional bond in the course of our reading and whose death left us devastated and shook our faith in humanity. Oh, and also some deaths at which we rejoiced, Death Eaters of course. Okay. That’s just about it. Here’s to reliving some painful Harry Potter memories-
10- Bellatrix Lestrange
As far as Death Eaters go, Lestrange was my favorite. Her loyalty to her master- Voldemort- was admirable if reprehensible. Being a product of a long line of pure blood supporting, Voldemort admirers, it is no surprise that Bellatrix is a Death Eater. That being said, her death at the hands of Molly Weasely was perhaps the most satisfying of deaths I’ve read about. It came immediately after she taunts Molly about the death of Fred (who is incidentally my favorite-est character in the book) and at a time when we were all totally rooting for Molly to kill her off. If you need more reasons to hate Bellatrix, besides the fact that she taunts a mother about the death of her son, try to remember the fact that she was instrumental in the torture of Frank and Alice Longbottom to the point of insanity and that she killed Dobby.
Harry’s snowy white owl, his constant companion through his six years of school life. Hedwig was cruelly killed off in the beginning of book seven- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- when she got hit by a killing curse from a Death Eater in the Battle of the Seven Potters. Hedwig was gifted to Harry by Hagrid as a present for his eleventh birthday and was more than just a pet to deliver mail. She was also an exceptionally talented owl, knowing where exactly she could find the recipient of her letters without having to be told an address (she flew to France to deliver letters to Sirius) Also, just like a dog, Hedwig seemed capable of understanding and feeling emotions. She often nipped Harry’s fingers or ears as a gesture of affection (and sometimes when she was angry).
8- Cedric Diggory
Perhaps the first major death that happened in the series. Cedric was a participant in the Triwizard Tournament, a representative of Hogwarts along with Harry. He belonged to Hufflepuff and was regarded as one of the few people who bought glory to that house. Cedric died when he was portkeyed to Little Hangleton by the Triwizard Cup and then killed by Peter ‘Wormtail’ Pettigrew, who used the Killing Curse on him. Cedric’s spirit later appears and requests Harry to take back his body to his parents back in Hogwarts, which Harry does. Cedric was widely regarded as one of the most decent characters of the book. He asked his friends and supporters not to wear the ‘Potter Stinks’ badges and even helped Harry with the second task of the tournament. Dumbledore described him as ‘exceptionally hard working’ and a ‘fierce, fierce friend’, which he truly was.
7- Peter Pettigrew
A death well deserved. Peter Pettigrew was a close friend of Harry’s father and later sold them out to Voldemort. He was then the reason behind the deaths of Lily and James Potter. More than that, he was a traitor and a soul-less excuse of a human being. Pettigrew, being the coward that he is, fled after the fall of Voldemort and spent his life as Ron’s rat Scabbers. He is killed in the last book, strangled by his very own silver hand that was given to him by his master- You Know Who- and that acts against his will. This happens because he hesitates in killing Harry, remembering the fact that Harry had once saved his life.
Dobby the house elf’s death was one that sparked off a series of emotional reactions. This fiercely faithful friend of Harry’s was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange’s knife. He died while apparating Harry and his friends from out the mansion of the Malfoy’s to the safety of Bill and Fleur’s cottage. Dobby was first introduced in the second book and was set free from his life of slavery when he was accidentally presented with a sock. Socks then became his favorite clothes, and his USP became wearing mis matched socks. He even presented Harry with a mismatched pair of socks one Christmas, which he wore to the Yule Ball. Dobby was one revolutionary house elf who wanted freedom from his life of unpaid servitude, which also made him a great favorite of Hermione’s. Harry dug Dobby’s grave without using any magic, and the headstone there reads ‘Here lies Dobby, a Free Elf.’
5- Sirius Black
Harry’s godfather, Jame’s best friend, one of the four Marauders. Sirius Black’s death in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix came about when he was hit by a killing curse (fired by the abominable Bellatrix Lestrange, his own cousin) and knocked through the Veil. Sirius Black’s death was especially troubling for me, as a reader, because HE DID NOT DESERVE TO DIE. He was Harry’s godfather, the only ray of love and support in the orphan’s life (so dramatic I can get) and had besides led a very hard life already. Sirius was implicated for a crime he did not commit by his close friend Pettigrew, and had to spend twelve years of his life in Azkaban before he could escape. He was also the one who gifted Harry his spectacular broom- the Firebolt- as thirteen year’s worth of birthday presents.
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, or Albus Dumbledore, as he was called, was the principal of Hogwarts. He was also one of the most respected members of the magical society, founder of the Order of the Phoenix, the only person who Voldemort himself feared, a powerful and awe inspiring wizard and Harry’s mentor and guide. He was killed by Snape, a move that was later revealed to have been carried out under Dumbledore’s orders itself. His death takes place in the sixth book of the series – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Many people thought it to be a farce and expected him to come back to life somehow, so great was the aura of his knowledge and the belief in his ability to conquer anything.
3- Severus Snape
Why must the good die so young? I’m pretty sure all of us cheered when we saw Snape being killed by Nagini and then we realized a little bit later what a hero he actually was. And then we cried our eyes out. Snape’s love for Lily and his relentless pursuit at keeping her son safe and his unwavering loyalty to Dumbledore is the stuff true courage is made of. From being the much despised Potions teacher to becoming one of the bravest men that Harry knew, Snape’s journey has indeed been a remarkable one. You will live in our hearts Snape. Always.
The Dark Lord dies. You Know Who is crushed. He’s defeated by Harry Potter. Tom Marvolo Riddle is defeated by the Elder Wand he so wanted to possess. Conquered by the Boy Who Lived. YAY. There’s nothing more to say, really. The series reach a happy ending because the evil villain is conquered and Harry Potter survives and the entire magical community, half bloods and muggle borns included, live happily ever after.
1- Fred Weasely
Some people may find it funny or odd that I have placed Fred first on this list, that he takes precedence over Dumbledore and Voldemort, but there is a reason for that. The reason is that Fred did not deserve to die and I, and most other Potterheads, will never forgive J.K. Rowling for killing him off. In her original plan for the series, Rowling had decided to let Fred live and kill Arthur Weasely instead. I’m pretty sure I liked that plan better.