Harry Potter: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Deaths, Ranked

For a book series initially created for kids, and later morphing into a mature young adult series, there were a lot of significant deaths in the Harry Potter series. For a family movie franchise, many of those deaths carried over to the films with frequently heartbreaking and devastating manners.

Of course, the entire story started with violent deaths, as both of Harry Potter's parents died, and he left marked following the attack by the evil Lord Voldemort. As an orphan whose aunt and uncle adopted him and then treated him horribly, the entire series built on a tragedy and played out to the bitter end, with no one safe from death's grasp.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 10 Facts About Diagon Alley The Movies Leave Out

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now


For much of the Harry Potter franchise, fans only knew about Lily and James Potter dying many years before the story began. Harry Potter was a baby when Lord Voldemort came into the Potter home and killed both parents before a charmed Harry survived and Voldemort was banished.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 10 Facts About Snape Left Out Of The Movies

However, when Severus Snape's real backstory and role in the tale played out, fans finally saw the death of Lily and James and how Harry's mother's death destroyed Snape was heartbreaking itself. While this heartbreak was years in the past, it molded Snape into the hero he eventually became.


The Mad-Eye Moody that most fans of the movie saw was not the real one for much of his screen time. Remember, Moody was locked away in a box and replaced by Barty Crouch Jr. However, once Moody was back, he became a valued ally once again.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 10 Things About Mad-Eye Moody The Movies Leave Out

Moody was part of the second Order of the Phoenix and was there to battle Voldemort's followers in the Second Wizarding Wars. Moody became very protective of Harry Potter, believing him to be the key to beating Voldemort. To protect Harry in an attack by Death Eaters, he led Voldemort after him while Harry escaped and the Dark Lord blasted him with a Killing Curse.


Remus Lupin lived a rough life since he was a werewolf and had to hide that fact from those around him. He attended Hogwarts and was a close friend of Harry's father James, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew -- the three known as the Marauders.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 10 Facts About Remus Lupin The Movies Leave Out

An original member of the first Order of the Phoenix, he was the sole survivor of the Marauders, losing James to death, Sirius to a life sentence in Azkaban, and Peter to a betrayal. He became Harry's Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher until he resigned in shame when Snape told everyone he was a werewolf. Lupin finally died fighting at the Battle of Hogwarts, murdered by a Death Eater after watching his wife die as well.


Nymphadora Tonks was Remis Lupin's wife. She was a half-blood witch who was an Auror at the Ministry of Magic, learning under the guidance of Mad-Eye Moody. This led to her joining the Order of the Phoenix while working undercover in the Ministry of Magic.

Tonks and Lupin, despite his life as a werewolf, married in 1997 and the two ended up having a son -- Harry Potter becoming the child's godfather. However, there was no happy ending for Tonks and Lupin. It was Tonks death that was most heartbreaking, as Bellatrix Lestrange murdered her niece, Lupin dying shortly after, and the two laid to rest beside each other.


Through the Harry Potter franchise, many of the significant deaths were to older wizards set out to protect and fight alongside Harry Potter. It was unfathomable that students -- teenagers studying to become wizards -- would die as well. That is exactly what happened in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

In that story, Harry joined a tournament that had students from three wizarding schools face off in competitions to win the title of Triwizard Champion. However, thanks to trickery, two different Hogwarts students took part. One was Harry and the second was Cedric Diggory. When Voldemort lured in Harry to kill him, Cedric arrived as well, and Peter Pettigrew killed him in front of Harry.


While the death of Cedric Diggory was sad, as he was just a teenage Hogwarts student, there was another death of a young wizard that shook up audiences even more. One of the most heartbreaking deaths in the Harry Potter franchise came when one of the Weasley children died.

RELATED: Harry Potter: 10 Best Life Lessons We Learned From The Weasleys

While Ron was safe, as one of the key protagonists and Ginny was safe, as Harry's future wife, one of the most shocking deaths was that of Fred Weasley. Fred and George were twins and were jovial wizards, more interested in their joke shop than fighting. However, they never backed down when it came time to protect Hogwarts and Fred died in the Battle of Hogwarts when he was caught in an explosion while fighting alongside his brother Percy.


Albus Dumbledore was the one character outside of Harry Potter that no one expected to die. However, when following the hero's journey, he had to die to give Harry the strength and determination to move on and defeat Lord Voldemort. Dumbledore's death was also self-sacrifice worthy of the great wizard.

Voldemort sent young Draco Malfoy to kill Dumbledore, and the great wizard knew that the young wizard had no choice. To save Draco's soul, he signaled Severus Snape to kill him, which Snape did instantly. It was one of the most heartbreaking deaths Harry faced.


For most of the Harry Potter franchise, Severus Snape seemed evil, angry, and a vindictive wizard. He treated Harry with contempt, and it seemed crazy that Dumbledore kept him teaching at the school, considering the way he handled the students. However, with His strict and ordered teaching, he made everyone better wizards.

RELATED: 10 Things Wrong With The Harry Potter Universe We All Choose To Ignore

When Snape killed Dumbledore, Harry made it his mission to kill his former teacher. However, as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows proved, Snape was working for Dumbledore all along, a wizard sent undercover to work for Voldemort and beat the Death Eaters from the inside. Snape gave his life helping to save Harry and he realized that everything Severus did was out of his love for Lily Potter.


It seems crazy how depressing the death of Dobby was in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. When the House Elf first appeared, he was a mischief-maker who did everything he could to make Harry's life a living hell. However, over time, it was proven that he did it out of loyalty.

When Dobby soon worked with Hermoine to help free the other House Elves from lives of servitude, it made him even more loveable in the books. While his appearances in the movies were not quite as pronounced, his arrival to save Harry and his friends and then his sacrifice and death to protect them, left no dry eyes in the theater.


While Dumbledore was a depressing death for Harry Potter to face as his only real father figure, the death of Sirius Black hit him the hardest. When Sirius first showed up in the pages of Harry Potter and the Prison of Azkaban, Harry thought the man was responsible for the death of his parents and wanted him dead.

However, once he learned that Black and James were the closest of friends and Harry was Sirius's godson, the two grew close. Sadly, Sirius had to remain hidden but still watched out for Harry. When it finally looked like Harry found his family in Black, Sirius died during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and Harry lost the closest thing to a father he ever knew.

NEXT: 10 Facts About Azkaban The Harry Potter Films Left Out

More in Lists