By Wallis Bell
Like many other of my generation, Harry Potter was a major part of my childhood. With the first film released in 2001 when I was five, and the last being released in 2011 when I was fourteen, it’s taken up almost half my life at this point.
With that being said, watching characters that had guided me through adolescence dropping like flies was nothing short of heartbreaking.
I decided to make this list as I still mourn, and have not yet managed to get a life.
Without further adieu, I will once again thrust my unwanted opinion upon the internet in the form of the Top 8 Most Heartbreaking Harry Potter Deaths.
Tissues at the ready, therapist on speed dial.
One of the most sudden deaths, Hedwig’s is a doozy. The manner of how she dies is cruel to not only the reader/viewer – but also the character. With such a long standing character – feathered or not – I feel like she should have had a more impactful death. Not protecting Harry from Death Eaters but perhaps playing a role in the final battle. Nothing major, she just deserved to last longer than Dobby.
Okay, so turns out he was a bit of a dick.Sacrificing Harry and basically lucking out when Harry didn’t stay dead. All the while Harry was oblivious. One thing,you can’t deny wais that the slow fall as his robes billow in the wind above him is painful. It hurts. The slow-mo effect is just a further punch in the throat to make the pain last longer. Another thing is Dumbledore’s commitment. He has just endured hours of torture in caves and fought the Inferi, now he willingly accepts that he has to die for his end game to work out. Although, watching the scene makes you feel like you’ve just lost your grandad thanks to your weird creepy uncle. This is more impactful in the books, in my opinion. I have always envisioned book Dumbledore as Richard Harris, a much gentler and loveable character in my eyes, however perhaps if the film role was still in Richard Harris’ hands, it would have been even harder to watch.
Right, my colleague Stephen may try and physically fight me here, but Dobby was a dick. In the films, let me add. Book Dobby was a bad as house elf who don’t need no master.
Sorry, I’m currently battling a severe case of caucasian-itis.
Dobby’s presence in the films is somewhat lacking. However, the books gave him more appearances and more chances to love him.. The film denies Dobby any true character traits other than what is essentially self harm when he makes a mistake. Book Dobby on the other hand, is independent and the only elf paid to work at Hogwarts. His death is sudden and once again, because he is trying to save Harry. Sensing a theme yet? Although a bit grating, he was a loyal elf. A good elf.
A free elf.
The most dividing character in the Harry Potter universe, Severus Snape was a complete and utter prat, to put it mildly. No one will change my mind on how much of a creep this guy was, but that’s a story for another day.
Despite his creepy obsession with Lily Potter and horrid, abusive treatment of Harry – him looking into Harry’s, i.e Lily’s eyes as he dies from Nagini’s attack is distressing. Watching him accept his death and die, by extension looking into the love of his life’s eyes, purely heart-rending.
He was a right dick, but God, you don’t half hate yourself for feeling sorry for him.
- Cedric Diggory
This death was a turning point in the ‘Potterverse’. Coming in at the end of the TriWizard Tournament, featured in The Goblet of Fire.
Shit. Got. Real.
What makes Cedric’s death hard to bear is the realization that it was for nothing. It wasn’t supposed to happen and didn’t need to happen. He was never supposed to get the port-key first. As his body appears with Harry cradling him, the students realise just how real the threat of Voldemort was. He had no regard for innocence, and they now knew that.
More than that,seeing Cedric’s father, cowering over beside him and shielding his son is a redundant attempt to protect him from anymore home, although it is too late. His voice cracking as he calls out is still difficult to watch.
- Remus & Tonks
Remus died in a way that would make any of the Marauders proud. Fighting. The same can be said for Tonks, her rambunctious spirit burning til the very end. What hurts most about their deaths is that it is the mirroring of James and Lily’s fate. They died fighting to protect, leaving behind a now orphaned son who had glaring similarities to his parents. In the films, seeing their bodies subtly reaching for each other is something that pulls at heartstrings you didn’t even know you had. Another chapter in Hogwarts history closes, as the last marauder and yet another member of the order leave us.
- Fred Weasley
Okay, so for those that know me, this will be a big shock. Fred Weasley was my heart, my soul. I wrote Fred Weasley fanfiction, I joined a support group of people mourning his death. So yeah, the fact that I didn’t make him number one is a testament to my attempt at being unbiased.
This one is more personally heartbreaking for obvious reasons, then I’m again I’m sure George Weasley sobbing over his twins lifeless body made most people tear up a bit. Don’t even get me started on Ron running over as he realises what has happened. The great loss of a wonderful comic relief character emphasises how dark the series really gets.
And Finally, 1. Sirius Black
Again, there may be a tiny bit of bias here. If he wasn’t number one, he would have been second. Not only was he one of Harry’s best father figures (Arthur Weasley, you angel) he endangered his life for just over a year while on the run just so he could ensure Harry was okay, he hung around Hogwarts in his animagus form, even while hiding in Grimmauld Place he gave Harry the two-way mirror to keep in contact. Sirius had ties to Harry since birth, as his Godfather and from day one was ready to protect him. Dying while fighting after punching a Death Eater in the face, after delivering a snappy line, in true Sirius fashion.
Wands up for our lost witches and wizards, thanks for the adventures.