Harry Potter: The 10 Saddest Character Deaths, Ranked

The Harry Potter series may be full of wonder and magic, but there’s plenty of darkness lurking beneath the surface!

Despite the fact that Harry Potter was initially targeted towards children and young adults, death played a significant role throughout the series. From the death of his parents at the beginning of the story to some heartbreaking losses he encountered at Hogwarts, young Harry Potter was seemingly followed by death on a daily basis.


Over the course of the seven books and eight movies, fans were forced to say goodbye to characters they had grown to love, but which shocking character death was the saddest? For our latest post on The Blog That Must Not be Named, we’re looking at each major character death and ranking them to find out which is the most devastating.

Check out our ranking below:

10. Mad-Eye Moody

While Mad-Eye Moody was actually Bart Crouch Jr. for a large chunk of his time in the series, it was still heartbreaking to say goodbye to the character in The Deathly Hallows!


Mad-Eye met his fate during the Battle of the Seven Potters, when he and other members of the Order of the Phoenix attempted to smuggle Harry out of Privet Drive. While Harry and the others attempted to escape, Mad-Eye was being chased by Voldemort and the Dark Lord hit the former Auror with a killing curse.

9. Hedwig

When it comes to the saddest deaths that the Harry Potter series has to offer, it’s impossible to ignore the loss of Harry’s beloved pet owl, Hedwig!


In the book version of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Hedwig is accidentally hit with a curse during the action-packed broomstick chase. In David Yates’ film adaptation, however, Hedwig’s death is far more heroic. In an attempt to give Harry and Hagrid a chance to escape, Hedwig flies directly into a Death Eater’s face and pays the ultimate price for her bravery.

8 & 7. Remus Lupin And Tonks

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows forced us to say goodbye to many of our favourite characters, but the loss of Lupin and Tonks is quite easily one of the most heartbreaking!


The couple, who were among some of the most beloved Harry Potter characters, both died during the Battle of Hogwarts. Lupin was killed by a Death Eater named Antonin Dolohov, who defeated Lupin in a duel, while Tonks was murdered by her own aunt and Voldemort’s right hand, Bellatrix Lestrange.

6. Severus Snape

He may not have been entirely good or entirely evil, but Severus Snape’s death is still one of the Harry Potter series’ saddest moments!


Snape is killed brutally by Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, as the Dark Lord believes that Snape is the true master of the Elder Wand. Voldemort commands his pet snake, Nagini, to kill the former Potions Master by biting him in the neck. Of course, Snape’s death is enhanced massively by the revelation that he was, in fact, working alongside Albus Dumbledore as an undercover spy the entire time, and that he loved Harry’s mother until his dying breath.

5. Cedric Diggory

Cedric Diggory may have only appeared as a central character in one instalment of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, but the young characters death is easily one of the series’ most heartbreaking!


Cedric, who had proven time and time again that he was a hardworking, loyal and kind young man, was brutally murdered by Wormtail (at the request of Voldemort) in the closing act of Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire. Cedric’s horrific death and the emotional cries of his father marked a change in tone for the series, and teased what was to come for some of our favourite characters.

4. Albus Dumbledore

When it comes to the most shocking and devastating character deaths in the Harry Potter series, we’ve got to talk about Albus Dumbledore!


Dumbledore, who was aware that he was already dying and had planned his death with Severus Snape, was murdered at the hands of the Hogwarts Potion Master during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower. Snape hit Dumbledore with a killing curse, murdering the Headmaster and throwing him from the Astronomy Tower.

The fact that Dumbledore was already dying and, in fact, planned his own death lessens the blow a little, but the death of the greatest good wizard is still a traumatic loss.

3. Fred Weasley

Harry Potter

Fred and George Weasley were the Harry Potter series’ best tool for comedic relief, so J.K. Rowling’s decision to brutally murder Fred Weasley came as a heartbreaking and traumatic shock.


Fred, who was fighting alongside his older brother Percy at the Battle of Hogwarts, was brutally killed by an explosion outside of the Room of Requirement. One of the last things Fred heard was Percy joking about quitting his job at the Ministry, something he hadn’t done since they were younger.

While the death of Fred Weasley is an extremely painful and emotional part of Harry Potter series, it’s comforting to know that he died the way he lived – with a smile on his face.

2. Dobby

Harry Potter

No character in the Harry Potter series was more adorably innocent and caring than Dobby the House Elf, so it was utterly heartbreaking to see the character sacrifice his life to save Harry Potter once more.


Dobby rescues Harry, Ron, Hermione and other anti-Voldemort fighters from Malfoy Manor, but pays the ultimate price for his bravery. While apparating away from Malfoy Manor to a safe space, Dobby is stabbed and killed by a knife, which was thrown by his former master Bellatrix Lestrange. Dobby dies in the arms of his best friend, Harry Potter, and is buried properly as a free Elf.

If we like to remember anything, it’s that Dobby died a free Elf!

1. Sirius Black

Harry Potter

There’s no doubt that all of the deaths on this list are worthy of the top spot, but there’s something about the death of Sirius Black, Harry’s one chance to leave the Dursley’s and find happiness, that makes it infinitely more heartbreaking.


While fighting alongside Harry and the Order of the Phoenix at the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Sirius was killed by his cousin Belletrix Lestrange. After being hit with an unknown curse (Avada Kedavra in the film), Sirius is knocked into The Veil (a doorway between the land of the living and land of the dead) killing him.

The fact that Sirius spent a large amount of his life behind bars in Azkaban makes his death incredibly more devastating.

Is there a Harry Potter character death that you’re still struggling to deal with? Let us know in the comments section below this post! You can also find The Blog That Must Not Be Named on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

28 thoughts on “Harry Potter: The 10 Saddest Character Deaths, Ranked

  1. Sirius death for me…is the worst and most heartbreaking. He never got the chance to walk the street as a free man, ever was always living in hiding for fear of being thrown back in Azkaban. It still bothers me to this day. Harry’s one chance to have a happy life and be free of the Dursleys was taken when Sirius was killed.

  2. Snape’s death would’ve been number one for me. I was breaking down and long after, just talking (or, in this case, typing) about it brings tears to my eyes.

  3. I was devastated on the death of Severus Snape, Sirius Snape and Dobby. In my opinion , Severus Snape should be on the first in the list.. then Sirius Black in second and then Dobby!
    Really Snape’s Dying scene is a very heartbreaking moment. The way he loved Miss Lily and he always showed respect to Harry Potter by telling him Mr. Potter. Snape’s voice is also an unique to me. Love the character.

  4. I just cant get over fred and sirius. Poor george. I can just imagine him looking into a mirror and breaking down in tears. Sirirus for 15 years never walked without being scared of capture. For me they are my heartbrakers.😭😭😭

  5. All are sad but I think Sirius’s death was saddest as his later life was not spent happily

  6. I think that albus and severus were the saddest deaths in the series 2 of the greatest headmasters 😭

  7. I’m going to list the most heartbreaking to me. Dumbledore, Fred, Tonks, Lupin, Cedric, Sirius, and Dobby. I currently haven’t even reached the middle of the 5th book and hearing my favorites are gone, and I want to scream, “ why?! We have gone through so much pain hearing about the good people! It’s ok to have a few deaths bc of the genre but why!, our favorite characters. Gone.” Hearing about Dumbledore a year before I even got to the fifth I knew. And ESPECIALLY my favorite Sirius. Harry could have got the ending he wanted. With Sirius. Voldemort dead since the 4th. Nope scratch that. Voldemort never existed and Lilly and james living with Harry and gone to hogwarts! No deaths at all! Why did he even become evil. Wait, no spoilers

  8. One cannot help but wonder that after the trauma of Harry’s losing both his parents, how could Rowling make the conscious choice to kill off both Lupin and Tonks when they had a small son who was then orphaned. God complex?

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