10 most heartbreaking Harry Potter deaths, ranked

Daniel Radcliffe (Photo by Peter Mountain/WireImage)
Daniel Radcliffe (Photo by Peter Mountain/WireImage) /
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6. Hedwig

You might be wondering how an owl could be ranked so high on the list of Harry Potter deaths, but it’s Hedwig! Hedwig, who was there through it all, who was Harry’s first real friend before Ron and Hermione, dies during the Battle of the Seven Potters after being struck by a killing curse. Harry is being moved to a safer location as the protection spells at the Dursley’s house expire when Harry becomes an adult.

Harry and Hedwig ride with Hagrid in Sirius’s suped-up motorcycle, but they are ambushed by death eaters, including Severus Snape (Alan Rickman), who was let in on the plan by Dumbledore. In the chase, it’s not known which death eater cast the spell that killed Hedwig, but there’s a very interesting theory that it was Snape who killed Hedwig, in the book, to keep Voldemort off Harry’s trail for as long as possible.

Regardless, it’s still one of the most devastating moments in the series.

5. Fred Weasley

Fred Weasley’s (James Phelps) death should probably be higher on the list, but there are so many important characters who die in the last two Harry Potter books (and three movies), it’s hard to imagine Fred’s death being more heartbreaking than many of the others on the list.

Fred, like many others, dies during the Battle of Hogwarts. In the movie, Harry just sees Fred’s body and the Weasley family mourning their brother and son.

In the books, though, Fred’s death is so much more heartbreaking, if that’s even possible. Fred is killed while guarding the secret entryways in the school with George and Percy. Harry hears the cries of George and Percy and sees Fred’s lifeless body. He helps the Weasleys move Fred while the battle surrounds them and before Harry continues on with the rest of his mission. It’s a truly heartbreaking scene.