From the moment that Harry Potter faced Voldemort in The Goblet of Fire, the wizarding world was struck by an unprecedented degree of fear. While Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge, along with the Ministry itself, denied Harry's claim of the dark lord's return throughout the Order of the Phoenix, this disbelief was anxiety-induced rather than a genuine disbelief of Harry's reports.
Part of the reason why so many witches and wizards became disillusioned with fear is because of the horrors that occurred during the First Wizarding War. While Voldemort's actions were catastrophic, he did not act alone, as there were many death eaters at his disposal who assisted in creating the terror that scarred the wizarding world. Let's take a look at the strength of some of the more prominent death eaters in the Harry Potter film series.
11 Draco Malfoy
Harry's main adversary at Hogwarts is the weakest death eater on this list and it's not hard to see why. While a capable wizard, Draco's heart clearly wasn't committed to being a dark wizard, as was evident during several moments where he had emotional breakdowns throughout The Half-Blood Prince.
While he successfully welcomed the death eaters into Hogwarts via the vanishing cabinet in the room of requirement, he could not bring himself to execute his main task, namely to kill Albus Dumbledore. This duty was consequently performed by Snape, who agreed to carry out the task if Draco could not due to making the unbreakable vow.
10 Peter Pettigrew
Wormtail is both a cowardly and magically-weak wizard, and has no evident dueling abilities. What he does have in abundance, however, is a knack for deception and stealth, which is what allowed him to frame Sirius Black for his murder as well as disguise himself as Ron's pet rat due to being an animagus.
He is devoid of loyalty, and only serves Voldemort out of fear. He did have his uses, however, as he located Voldemort in Albania after the events of The Philosopher's Stone and aided him until his transformation.
9 Pius Thicknesse
While he did not become a death eater out of his own will, Thicknesse proved useful to Voldemort after the death of then-Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour. Corban Yaxley placed Thicknesses under the Imperius Curse, and what followed was perhaps the Death Eaters' most effective power play.
Thicknesse became the new Minister of Magic, and implemented policies that allowed the death eaters to assume power from within the ministry itself. While he displayed no specific magical abilities that would prove him to be a powerful death eater, he nonetheless assisted the dark lord to the greatest extent in the political realm.
8 Igor Karkaroff
This former death eater proved to be an effective operator, selling out many of Voldemort's followers in his successful attempt to be released from Azkaban and subsequently getting appointed as Headmaster at Durmstrang. While snitching is typically frowned-upon, Karkaroff had many strengths that could certainly cancel out this character flaw.
Apart from his knack for getting out of trouble, he was proficient in casting the Unforgivable Curses, and he proved to be incredibly stealthy, successfully evading capture by the Aurors for six years.
7 Lucius Malfoy
One of the social elite, Lucius despises those who are not "pure blood" in his eyes and is highly regarded by Voldemort. His home is used as both a meeting place and headquarters during the events of The Deathly Hallows, and he proved himself to be a loyal death eater during both wizarding wars.
He is an accomplished duelist and a master of non-verbal spells, as well as a leader among the death eaters. He led the assault against Harry and his friends in the Department of Mysteries in Order of the Phoenix, however, he seemed to be fairly easily overcome by Harry and Sirius, which lowered his ranking on this list.
6 Antonin Dolohov
This ruthless death eater murdered both of Molly Weasley's brothers during the First Wizarding War, escaped from Azkaban at the same time as Bellatrix Lestrange, and participated in the battle in the Department of Mysteries.
He was an incredibly powerful duelist, and was the one to kill Remus Lupin. Additionally, he overpowered Mad-Eye Moody in combat and it took a combined effort from both Harry and Sirius to subdue him. Eventually, it took the dueling expertise of Filius Flitwick to overcome this notorious dark wizard.
5 Barty Crouch Jr.
The elusive son of the former Head of Magical Law Enforcement managed to keep his allegiance to the dark lord under the radar for quite some time. In fact, without Igor Karakroff divulging such information, the Ministry of Magic may never have captured this deceptive figure.
The slippery Barty Jr. made for an outstanding strategist during the events of the Goblet of Fire, as he not only managed to impersonate Professor Moody for the entire school year, but also engineered the events leading up to Harry's encounter with Voldemort in the graveyard, including placing Harry's name into the goblet of fire and transforming the cup into a portkey.
4 Fenrir Greyback
This scary werewolf was responsible for Remus Lupin's transformation into a werewolf, as well as Bill Weasley's facial scars. He has proven to be a formidable opponent on many occasions, and whilst he has been subdued a few times, this is due to his opponents targeting him first as he is typically the most dangerous foe in the room.
He was often selected by Voldemort to carry out high priority tasks, such as attacking The Burrow with Bellatrix during The Half-Blood Prince and joining the group of death eaters who participated in Dumbledore's murder atop the Astronomy Tower.
3 Corban Yaxley
Having fought in both Wizarding Wars, Yaxley was a seasoned servant to the dark lord. Despite not actively searching for Voldemort after his initial downfall, Voldemort still entrusted many responsibilities to him, suggesting his perceived value. This included being appointed as Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
Yaxley was responsible for placing Pius Thicknesse under the Imperius Curse and proved himself as a skilled duellist against Filius Flitwick during the Battle of Hogwarts. He was also skilled at nonverbal magic, which he once used on Fenrir Greyback.
2 Bellatrix Lestrange
This dark witch is one of the most feared death eaters, and was behind the torture of Frank and Alice Longbottom which lead them to their admission to St Mungo's. So great are her powers that she was able to take the lives of Sirius Black and Nymphadora Tonks in battle.
There seem to be no limits to her cruelty, as was displayed when torturing Hermione Granger and carving the word Mudblood into her arm. With her strong intuition, she was one of few who sensed that Snape's loyalties lay elsewhere.
1 Severus Snape
This death eater was not just an esteemed Potions Master at Hogwarts, but an expert in Defence Against the Dark Arts and a crafty duellist, as he showed when he wiped Harry Potter aside near the end of The Half-Blood Prince. So great was his magical knowledge, that he even invented his own spells, including the deadly sectumsempra curse.
Snape was a master spy, deceiving Voldemort for years into believing that he was loyal to his cause, all while secretly working to protect Harry Potter. He was eventually the one to kill Albus Dumbledore, as Dumbledore instructed him to do when the time was right. His heroism contributed to Voldemort's eventual downfall.