The Death Eaters, Voldemort's inner circle of loyal followers, strike fear into the hearts of wizard, witches, and Harry Potter fans everywhere. Even when Voldemort himself was too weak to act, the Death Eaters he commanded remained an ever-present threat. They moved in the shadows, orchestrating Voldemort's return to life, the opening of the Chamber of Secrets, the downfall of Albus Dumbledore, and countless other evil plans.
Throughout the course of the series, Harry and his allies met a great number of Death Eaters. At first, he merely had to contend with Lucius Malfoy and a few of his friends in the background. As Voldemort returned, though, Harry found himself facing a variety of horrifying wizards and witches. However, not all Death Eaters posed much of a threat to Harry, since some are easily defeated by a small band of schoolchildren.
Death Eaters are not equal, however. Some of Voldemort's lackeys were largely ineffective, while others posed an almost insurmountable threat whenever they appeared on the scene. Out of all of the Death Eaters that Harry faced, who was the most powerful of all? How does Lucius Malfoy compare to Bellatrix Lestrange or the Carrows? How do famous Death Eater traitors like Severus Snape and Regulus Black rank next to Voldemort's most loyal?
Though all of the battles, conflicts, and subterfuges, the story revealed which Death Eaters were the most powerful and which did not stand a chance. Who was the best of the worst wizards Harry ever had to face, and who was simply the worst of the worst?
With that said, here is Every Death Eater In Harry Potter Ranked From Weakest To Most Powerful.
30 Stan Shunpike
Poor Stan Shunpike never should have been a Death Eater in the first place. Shunpike was the conductor of the Knight Bus until he was arrested by the Ministry of Magic and sent to Azkaban under suspicion of being a Death Eater.
Everyone seemed to know that Shunpike was no Death Eater, but then he was Imperiused during the breakout from Azkaban and was forced to join them. Even though he participated in an attack on Harry while under the Imperius Curse, he only lived through it because of Harry's restraint in defending himself.
29 Crabbe and Goyle Sr.
Fans were already pretty certain Crabbe and Goyle's family had to be Death Eaters, a fact finally confirmed in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Crabbe Sr. and Goyle Sr. were both present when Voldemort returned to life.
However, aside from a few brief mentions of their presence alongside other Death Eaters in major battles, very little is known of the actions of elder Crabbe and Goyle. Their individual participation was not notable at all. They did not seek out Voldemort when he disappeared, avoided Azkaban, and seemed only to take part in Voldemort's plans when all other Death Eaters were present.
28 Draco Malfoy
Draco Malfoy always talked a good game about becoming a Death Eater. He had no problem antagonizing Harry Potter and the other Hogwarts students with insults, bigotry, and common jinxes. However, when Voldemort finally called upon him with a Death Eater's task, he wasn't willing to descend to the violence that Voldemort required.
Even though he was sent to take down Dumbledore, he was in the process of backing out when Severus Snape showed up to finish the job. Maybe Draco could have been a powerful Death Eater, but in the end, it was not who he wanted to be.
27 Pius Thicknesse
Like Stan Shunpike, Pius Thicknesse never should have been a Death Eater. However, Corban Yaxley placed him under the Imperius Curse, turning him into an unwitting key player. Once Imperiused, Voldemort's henchmen installed him as the Minister for Magic following the untimely demise of Rufus Scrimgeour.
With the entire wizarding government at his command, Thicknesse was able to severely restrict the moves Harry Potter and his allies could make against Voldemort. His actions as Minister for Magic and his presence at the Battle of Hogwarts were significant, but they were also not of his own choice.
26 Quirinus Quirrell
Professor Quirrell was not an official Death Eater, but the fact that Voldemort lived on the back of his head certainly gives him some kind of ceremonial status. Quirrell was instrumental in setting Voldemort's plans in motion in Harry's first year, but for the most part, these plans were so small-time that three 11-year-old children were able to foil them (with a little subtle help from Snape and Dumbledore).
He wasn't even effective as a vessel for Voldemort's soul, as he crumbled apart immediately when Harry Potter touched him. It wasn't his fault, of course, but his actions still amounted to almost nothing.
Gibbon did not get a single moment of glory in the entire series. He was among the Death Eaters brought into Hogwarts through Draco's Vanishing Cabinet, so he was presumably important enough to be trusted with the weighty task of dispatching Dumbledore. Its seems that trust might have been misplaced, though.
He was told to wait for Dumbledore in the Astronomy Tower, but he did not want to wait for him alone and instead left his position. As he tried to return to the other Death Eaters, he was hit by friendly fire, a curse intended for Remus Lupin, and that was the end of Gibbon.
Nott was one of Voldemort's earliest Death Eaters, noted to be present when Tom Riddle applied to teach at Hogwarts. He avoided Azkaban and was present upon Voldemort's return, proclaiming himself Voldemort's most faithful servant.
However, despite this reputation, Nott fails to live up to expectations in battles. In the Department of Mysteries, Hermione managed to stun him and sent shelves crashing down around him. This incapacitated him for the rest of the battle, and Lucius Malfoy instructed the others to leave him behind. Though he fought in other battles after this, he still failed to present much of a challenge to Harry and his allies.
Little is known about Jugson other than a single named appearance in the battle at the Department of Mysteries. Still, he fared better than some of his compatriots in this single battle. He managed to use an Impediment Jinx on Harry, Hermione, and Neville, briefly slowing them down. Harry then hit him with a Full-Body Bind Curse, putting him out of commission for part of the battle.
After this, he is not mentioned for the rest of the series. He may have recovered in time for the end of the battle against the Order of the Phoenix and he may have participated in other battles. Still, his one named appearance failed to distinguish him much.
Avery joined the Death Eaters at the same time as many of its premier members, such as Bellatrix Lestrange and Severus Snape. After Voldemort's downfall, he claimed he had been Imperiused and avoided Azkaban. Upon Voldemort's return, he begged forgiveness at Voldemort's feet for believing the Dark Lord would not return.
When Voldemort pursued the prophecy, Avery had the idea to Imperius an Unspeakable from the Department of Mysteries. His plan failed because he did not know the Unspeakable could not retrieve the prophecy, and Voldemort punished him. Avery gets points for enthusiasm and creativity, but he was still a mostly ineffective henchman.
Mulciber was in the same Slytherin gang with Avery, Bellatrix, and Snape, but little is known of his personal actions. He was present at the Department of Mysteries, but the rest of his involvement is largely speculative. He would be hardly be worthy of mention if not for the testimony of Igor Karkaroff.
Karkaroff attempted to turn in Mulciber, only to be informed he had already been captured. During his testimony, Karkaroff stated Mulciber specialized in the Imperius Curse. Since the Imperius Curse was such a common and useful tool for Voldemort, Mulciber likely would have been a valued Death Eater.
20 Evan Rosier
Although Evan Rosier did not survive the First Wizarding War, he was noteworthy enough to still be mentioned years later, giving the impression that he was a fearsome Death Eater. Rosier joined up with the rest of Snape's Slytherin gang, but there is little information of his personal actions for most of the war.
At the end of the war, though, he dueled Mad-Eye Moody. Although Mad-Eye was an extremely skilled Auror, Rosier managed to injure him, taking off a piece of his nose. Rosier did not live through his duel with Mad-Eye, but Mad-Eye seemed to regard him as a good duelist after the fact.
19 Igor Karkaroff
Igor Karkaroff's life as a Death Eater is a mystery up to the point of his capture by Mad-Eye Moody. Once captured, he seemed to know enough about the Death Eaters to sink several of his former friends. Although many of the people he named were already gone or captured, his word sent Rookwood to Azkaban.
In the movies, he also betrayed Barty Crouch Jr. and got him sent to Azkaban, as well. When Voldemort returned, Karkaroff refused to return and ran instead, but he survived for far longer than anyone in the Order of the Phoenix thought he would.
Selwyn was distinguished as a particularly cruel Death Eater for his scant appearances in the series. When he responded to the alert at Xenophilius Lovegood's house, he was suspicious that Xenophilius did not really have Harry Potter and was instead luring them into a trap. He was violent with Xenophilius and made brutal threats toward the abducted Luna Lovegood.
Selwyn also participated in the Battle of the Seven Potters, where he pursued the real Harry until Voldemort demanded Selwyn's wand for his own use. For the most part, Selwyn avoided an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Harry or the Order, which is itself an accomplishment for a Death Eater.
Travers pops up several times throughout the series. He is often one of the most vocal Death Eaters about his vitriol toward everyone but pure-blooded wizards. He proved useful in battles, capturing Ginny Weasley in the Department of Mysteries and dueling students in the Battle of Hogwarts.
In between battles, he worked for the Ministry of Magic with authority over the Muggle-Born Registration Commission, providing him semi-legitimate government power. Travers was also the Death Eater who happened upon Hermione Granger polyjuiced to look like Bellatrix Lestrange, but he failed to detect the subterfuge and was Imperiused by Harry Potter. Travers was ultimately more of a bureaucratic bigot and less of a real threat as a Death Eater.
16 Augustus Rookwood
Augustus Rookwood started as a spy for the Death Eaters. During the First Wizarding War, he worked in the Department of Mysteries and passed information to Voldemort from inside the Ministry of Magic. His spycraft might have gone undetected if not for Igor Karkaroff's testimony.
After breaking out of Azkaban during the Second Wizarding War, Rookwood's experience in the Department of Mysteries was instrumental in Voldemort's plan to obtain the prophecy. He was also shown as a good duelist when he took part in battles. Among the Death Eaters, Rookwood was uncommonly useful with uncommonly subtle tactics.
15 Walden Macnair
Macnair was an executioner through and through. He avoided being sent to Azkaban by claiming he was Imperiused, and he continued to work at the Ministry of Magic as an executioner of dangerous creatures (including Buckbeak).
Macnair was given the crucial task of recruiting the giants to join Voldemort, which he accomplished despite Hagrid's best efforts to stop him. Macnair was further tasked with infiltrating St. Mungo's in disguise to deliver a Devil's Snare that would be fatal to the poor Ministry employee Voldemort had Imperiused to take the prophecy from the Ministry of Magic. Whenever Voldemort needed a violent man to clean up a mess, Macnair was there.
14 Regulus Black
Regulus Black joined the Death Eaters at a young age, as he was swept up in Voldemort's vision of the world with pureblood wizards at the center. He had already been indoctrinated by the Black family into believing Voldemort's prejudice. This made it all the more remarkable that Regulus openly defied the Dark Lord.
Regulus took the Horcrux locket from Voldemort's hiding place, even signing his name to the act and vowing to destroy the Horcrux. Regulus never made it out of the cave to finish the job, but he still struck a huge blow to Voldemort's plans at a time when almost no one else knew of the Horcruxes.
13 The Lestrange Brothers
The Lestrange Brothers were fanatic followers of Voldemort as much as Bellatrix was. Even after Voldemort's defeat, Rodolphus and Rabastan participated in the attack on Frank and Alice Longbottom.
Voldemort considered them loyal Death Eaters for looking for him after his disappearance and refusing to forsake the cause. This devotion to Voldemort made them extremely dangerous. The pair was noted to be present during every important battle, though their actions did not seem noteworthy. Rodolphus even managed to survive through the series, appearing again in Cursed Child to tell Voldemort's child Delphini of her heritage.
12 Alecto Carrow
Alecto Carrow and her brother, Amycus, were the bane of Hogwarts students. Alecto's first major appearance was in the infiltration of Hogwarts, when she left the fray of battle to help trap Dumbledore in the Astronomy Tower.
Next time the Carrows are seen, they had been appointed professors at Hogwarts under Headmaster Severus Snape. They were placed in charge of discipline and made life a nightmare for any Hogwarts student that crossed them, even forcing Neville into hiding. However, her power at Hogwarts mattered little when she tried to corner Harry Potter. She was stunned by Luna Lovegood and stayed tied up in Ravenclaw tower until the Battle of Hogwarts was over.
11 Amycus Carrow
Amycus ruled Hogwarts with an iron fist right alongside his sister Alecto. He took over the position as Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, turning it into a position that solely taught the Dark Arts. He showed incredibly cruelty by forcing his class to practice the Cruciatus Curse on students in detention.
Upon Harry's return to Hogwarts, Amycus discovered his stunned sister and planned to blame the students for the mistake of calling Voldemort without having Harry Potter in hand. Unlike his sister, who was taken down by only Luna Lovegood, Amycus' defeat required a Cruciatus Curse from Harry and a binding from McGonagall, placing him slightly higher in the ranking.
10 Lucius Malfoy
Lucius Malfoy is the first true Death Eater fans are introduced to. While he avoided Azkaban and did not go looking for Voldemort, he continued to put the Dark Lord's plans in motion. In Chamber of Secrets, Lucius Malfoy is the main instigator for everything that happens in the book.
Up to Order of the Phoenix, Lucius commands other Death Eaters, taking the lead in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. After his defeat, though, Lucius falls out of favor with Voldemort, and he is reduced to living in fear for himself and his family. In the end, he no longer cared to be a Death Eater, abandoning Voldemort to ensure his family's safety.
9 Peter Pettigrew
Peter Pettigrew is, without a doubt, a pathetic figure. Voldemort himself knows Wormtail has no true loyalties, just deference to whoever he fears the most. However, it's hard to deny the widespread impact Pettigrew had on Voldemort's plans.
His friendship with the Potters and Sirius Black made him a valuable spy, and his rare ability to become an Animagus allowed him to get away with far more than a normal Death Eater would. Pettigrew was also Voldemort's main assistant during Goblet of Fire. He found Voldemort in Albania and saw his transformation through to the end. Without Pettigrew, it's possible Voldemort would never have found the aid necessary to return to his full form.
8 Narcissa Malfoy
Narcissa Malfoy is an underappreciated presence among the Death Eaters. Though she is never stated to be a true Death Eater herself, she has a position of power through her connection with husband, Lucius Malfoy, and her sister, Bellatrix Lestrange. It was Narcissa who provided the information that would draw Harry Potter to the Department of Mysteries, which was gained through her Black family connection to Kreacher the house-elf.
She hosted the Death Eaters in Malfoy Manor, and she gently guided Lucius in his uncertain position with Voldemort. However, her most powerful act was her defiance at the very end. She lied to Voldemort about Harry Potter's demise, ultimately leading to Voldemort's downfall.
7 Thorfinn Rowle
Thorfinn Rowle was often shown among Voldemort's premier Death Eaters. He was the henchmen Harry and his allies feared the most. During the infiltration of Hogwarts, Rowle held his own dueling Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks. He was able to think on his feet when his curses had no effect on Hagrid, instead distracting Hagrid by setting fire to his hut.
He was also one of the Death Eaters sent to capture Harry, Ron, and Hermione at the Muggle cafe. He was stunned by Harry, who was under his invisibility cloak. In the course of many known duels, only Harry was able to defeat Rowle, and possibly only because Harry was invisible at the time.
6 Antonin Dolohov
Antonin Dolohov was usually the most dangerous of the background Death Eaters. Dolohov was a highly skilled wizard who defeated some of the most accomplished members of the Order of the Phoenix. He fatally defeated Remus Lupin, took down Mad-Eye Moody in a duel, and fought Sirius Black evenly matched.
In the Department of Mysteries, he continued to duel using non-verbal magic even after Hermione had used a Silencing Charm on him. During the cafe attack on Harry, Ron, and Hermione, he defeated both Harry and Ron before Hermione stunned him in a sneak attack. He was finally taken down by Professor Flitwick, a champion duelist.
5 Corban Yaxley
Corban Yaxley did not often venture into the fray of battle, instead taking a comfortable position ruling over the Ministry of Magic. When Yaxley did show his power, he was a wizard to be reckoned with. He placed Pius Thicknesse under the Imperius Curse and kept him under it through the rest of the war.
With Thicknesse as his puppet Minister, he ran the Ministry with an iron fist, ruthlessly hunting down Muggle-born wizards. Voldemort sent Yaxley for several dangerous tasks, such as recruiting the accomplished wizard Horace Slughorn. He was also a powerful duelist, as he was evenly matched with Professor Flitwick during their duel.
4 Fenrir Greyback
Fenrir Greyback was never allowed to be a full Death Eater because of the pureblood disdain for werewolves, but that didn't stop him from being absolutely bone-chilling. Even Dumbledore admitted that he feared being turned over to Greyback because of his animalistic brutality.
Greyback left his mark throughout the story, turning Remus Lupin into a werewolf, permanently scarring Bill Weasley, and claiming several other victims. He was stunned or held back on several occasions, but he was often targeted first because he was the most prominent threat in the room. Whenever Greyback was part of a Death Eater attack, his presence was always felt.
3 Barty Crouch, Jr.
Barty Crouch, Jr. played the innocent confused boy so well that it came as a surprise when everyone discovered that he was a loyal and extremely effective Death Eater. Barty was responsible for kidnapping and imprisoning the near-undefeatable Mad-Eye Moody. Barty then impersonated Moody for almost a year, avoiding detection even from Dumbledore until Voldemort had already won.
He orchestrated Harry's triumph in the Triwizard Tournament from the shadows, all while keeping up the act of Moody. He was actually a very good Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, too, as he taught Harry how to resist the Imperius Curse. Barty Crouch, Jr. was always much more powerful than he let on.
2 Bellatrix Lestrange
Bellatrix Lestrange is the quintessential woman you would never want to meet in a dark alley. Everything about Bellatrix is frightening, from her fanatical devotion to Voldemort to her laughing cruelty and love of causing others pain. She refused to believe the Dark Lord was gone, so she searched for him after his defeat and attacked the Longbottoms.
In battle, she always came out with an upper hand. Even in defeat, she was usually able to destroy Harry's strongest allies, as she is personally responsible for ending the lives of Sirius Black and Dobby. Through all of her appearances, she was always the foremost threat, a chilling presence that Harry could never manage to entirely defeat.
1 Severus Snape
Severus Snape started out as a real Death Eater, proving himself useful by bringing Voldemort news of the prophecy. Snape was already gifted as a Hogwart student, so he was likely already a powerful Death Eater. However, he showed his true worth when he switched sides to help Dumbledore protect Harry from Voldemort.
Snape planted himself within the Death Eaters, working against them at every turn without ever raising suspicion. He played every other Death Eater like a fiddle, even fooling the Dark Lord himself. He was powerful enough to not only set all of Dumbledore's plans in motion, but also make it looks like it was all in service of Voldemort.
Who do you think is the most powerful Death Eater in Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments!