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Top 10 Most Gut-Wrenching Harry Potter Deaths

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Clayton Martino Deaths from the Harry Potter series of movies that had us crying, cheering, or just simply shocked us. WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Deaths from the Harry Potter Movies. But What will take the top spot? Is Lord Voldemort the obvious #1, or will it be one of the more heartbreaking deaths like Albus Dumbldore, or the gut wrenching death of Severus Snape? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Special thanks to Onofre Ramirez for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out our suggest page here: http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Harry+Potter+Best+Moments

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They may only be fictional characters, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t spend weeks mourning them. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Harry Potter deaths.

For this list, we’re looking at deaths in the Harry Potter franchise that were memobrale – for better or worse. We relied primarily on the film series, but did factor in descriptions provided in the novels. We are only counting those characters that stayed dead, and are not including characters that returned to life after allegedly dying. As you can expect, there are some MAJOR spoilers ahead, so spoiler alert!

#10: James & Lily Potter
“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (2001)

The deaths that started an entire epic fantasy series. While these deaths occurred before “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, they are extremely significant because they set up the Harry vs. Voldemort plotline that dominates the entire series. After Voldemort learned of a prophecy that stated he could be killed by Harry, he set out to murder the Potters, who were being hidden under the protection of a Fidelius Charm. They were eventually betrayed, by their Secret-Keeper however, and Voldemort found and murdered them. It was Lily Potter’s sacrifice for Harry, however, that ultimately saved his life, and would continue to save his life throughout the series.

#9: Fred Weasley
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2” (2011)

From two deaths that occurred before the series even started to one that occurred at the very end. Fred, the twin brother of George and older brother of Ron, is seen among the dead bodies following the Battle of Hogwarts. In the novels, he is killed by an explosion while fighting alongside Percy, another one of his brothers. While his death occurs off-screen in the film, we see how distraught and heart-broken the Weasley family is as they stand over his lifeless body and we feel the same too.

#8: Remus Lupin & Nymphadora Tonks
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2” (2011)

Two more casualties of the Battle of Hogwarts, both Remus Lupin and his wife Nymphadora Tonks died fighting alongside Harry and the other members of the Order of the Phoenix. In the novel, Remus is murdered by the Death Eater Antonin Dolohov in the Main Courtyard, while Tonks is murdered by her aunt, Bellatrix Lestrange. Luckily for our emotions, these murders are left out of the film version. Instead, we see only their lifeless bodies holding hands…as if that’s any better. And don’t get us started on Teddy, their now-orphaned baby…

#7: Bellatrix Lestrange
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2” (2011)

While this death may not have pulled at our heartstrings, it was disappointing all the same, mainly because Bellatrix was one of the most popular characters in the entire series, despite her allegiances. Bellatrix was Voldemort’s right-hand follower during the Battle of Hogwarts and subdued multiple characters, including her niece, Nymphadora Tonks. After barely missing Ginny Weasley with a Killing Curse, Molly Weasley, Ginny’s mother, engages her in a duel, eventually petrifying her and smashing her body into tiny pieces. A fitting end for one of the series’ most brutal villains.

#6: Cedric Diggory
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2005)

It could be argued that it was Cedric Diggory’s death that transitioned the “Harry Potter” series from children’s books into adult fantasy. After touching the Triwizard Cup together, both Harry and Cedric are transported to Little Hangleton graveyard. Before the audience even knows what hit them, a formless Voldemort orders Peter Pettigrew to “kill the spare”, and Cedric is dead. Voldemort would soon return to form, setting the stage for a much darker second half of the series. The image of Harry clinging to Cedric’s dead body while Mr. Diggory screams still haunts us.

#5: Dobby
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1” (2010)

The only non-human to make our list, what makes Dobby’s death so difficult was that we thought for a moment he had escaped unharmed. Sent by Aberforth Dumbledore to rescue Harry, Hermione, and Ron after they were imprisoned at Malfoy Manor, Dobby freed Luna Lovegood, Dean Thomas and Mr. Ollivander and subdued Bellatrix by causing a chandelier to fall on her. As Dobby, Harry, Hermione and Ron Disapparated, however, Bellatrix threw her knife at them, which the audience soon discovers had fatally wounded Dobby. Harry dug a grave for Dobby without using magic, leaving his gravestone to read: “Here Lies Dobby, A Free Elf”.

#4: Sirius Black
“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2007)

While not George R.R. Martin by any means, J.K. Rowling was not afraid to kill off major characters, and that is perhaps best exemplified by the death of Sirius Black in “Order of the Phoenix”. Sirius, who was a friend of James Potter and Harry’s godfather, became almost a surrogate father for Harry, and their relationship had continued to grow over the past two novels. Of course, this was immediately torn apart when Sirius was suddenly murdered by Bellatrix Lestrange at the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. It took Harry years before he could cope with his godfather’s death, and we still aren’t quite over it yet.

#3: Severus Snape
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2” (2011)

Snape’s death was something fans of the novels had longed for throughout the course of the series, and particularly after he killed Dumbledore in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”. Unfortunately, in a cruel twist of fate, we only discover that Snape was actually a good guy after his death. Thinking that Snape was the master of the Elder Wand, Voldemort slashes his throat and has his snake, Nagini, finish him off in an attempt to gain control of the wand. Just as he was about to die, Snape passed his memories to Harry, revealing that he in fact loved Lily Potter and was an ally of Dumbledore the entire time.

#2: Albus Dumbledore
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2009)

While most people suspected this death would happen at some point in the series, it still was able to catch us off guard. After returning from the Crystal Cave, Dumbledore and Harry are ambushed by Draco Malfoy and several Death Eaters in the Astronomy Tower. Immobilising Harry in a Full Body-Bind Curse so he would not be found, Dumbledore calmly speaks to the frantic Draco, who has been assigned by Voldemort to kill the headmaster. Eventually Snape arrives and does the deed for Draco. While we later find out that this was all planned by Dumbledore ahead of time, we still find it hard to forgive Snape for killing one of our favorite characters.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Nagini

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -Part 2” (2011)

- Hedwig

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1” (2010)

- Crabbe / Goyle

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2” (2011)

#1: Lord Voldemort
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2” (2011)

This is the death that ultimately concluded the “Harry Potter” saga and ensured the series ended happily. After multiple confrontations throughout the series, Harry and Voldemort come together for one last duel at the Battle of Hogwarts. While Voldemort possessed the Elder Wand, he was unaware that the wand’s true owner was actually Harry. This caused Voldemort’s killing curse to backfire, as the wand would not kill its true owner, and resulted in the death of the Dark Lord once and for all.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the most memorable death in the Harry Potter series? For more exciting Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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