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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2. Dobby

Dobby the house-elf is one of the most beloved Harry Potter characters, and the death of the house-elf is nearly the most devastating moment in the Harry Potter books and movies.

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, among others, are being held captive at the Malfoy Manor when Dobby appears and begins apparating the captives out of the Malfoy Manor’s cellar. In the last-ditch effort to rescue Hermione, Dobby appears to save his friends one final time. As they’re “leaving,” Bellatrix Lestrange throws a knife and strikes Dobby in the chest. He dies in Harry’s arms near Shell Cottage where Bill and Fleur Weasley lived.

Including his rocky introduction in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Dobby is always there to help Harry and his friends throughout all seven books and eight movies. Dobby’s death is so important and so devastating that it’s actually the climactic moment in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Although I think this is one of the weaker of the Harry Potter movies, it does treat Dobby’s death with the importance it deserves. It also spins the story into a new direction. Not in the same way as the death we’re about to talk about, but it does add more fuel to Harry’s fire. That perseverance through loss is what ultimately made the difference for Harry and others in the fight against Voldemort.

1. Albus Dumbledore

There’s simply no death in Harry Potter more impactful and heartbreaking than the death of Albus Dumbledore. After ignoring Harry for most of The Order of the Phoenix because of Harry’s connection with Lord Voldemort, Harry and Dumbledore form an incredible bond in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Harry begins attending private lessons in Dumbledore’s office and exploring Lord Voldemort’s past before he became what he became.

Harry accompanies Dumbledore on a mission to a mysterious cave that holds one of Voldemore’s Horcruxes, a locket. The book and movie differ in how it all goes down, but Dumbledore and Harry are led to the top of the astronomy tower where Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) and a group of Death Eaters have invaded Hogwarts with the mission to kill Dumbledore. When Draco can’t cast the spell, Severus Snape emerges and kills Dumbledore.

Looking back at Dumbledore’s death, it’s not treated the same as when it happened. It’s easily the single saddest moment in the books up to the epic battle at Hogwarts when there are so many devastating moments. When it happened in The Half-Blood Prince, readers and viewers didn’t know that Dumbledore was dying or that Dumbledore and Snape planned out this moment. When we learn that information, I think it weakens how devastating Dumbledore’s death was at the end of the sixth book. It launches the story in an entirely new direction. Harry, Hermione, and Ron have a job to do now, and they set out to do it in The Deathly Hallows.

Next. All 8 Harry Potter movies ranked from worst to best. dark