Can you believe it’s been five years since Harry Potter left us? The box-office phenomenon that became one of the highest grossing franchises of all time certainly left its mark on generations of fans. With a new film based in the wizarding universe scheduled for release in November, and a stage play taking the theatrical world by storm, Harry Potter is once again a hot topic.
Here, Adam Brannon celebrates the series’ endurance and its half-decade anniversary with a look at the saddest deaths from the saga. These deaths relate to how they were portrayed in the films, NOT in the books. Naturally, a spoiler warning is in effect.
#5) Sirius Black
In the books, Sirius was one of the characters who had a truly heart-beaking death and whilst his demise in Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix was definitely worthy of a few tears, it didn’t have the same punch on screen.
This was a shame as Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Sirius was absolutely spot on. Perhaps director David Yates didn’t want to take away from the battle between Dumbledore and Voldemort, but the whole sequence in which Sirius meets his ugly end was, well a little bit underwhelming.
Ah Dobby. The creature of mischief and mayhem was a fan favourite in Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets. Despite being the film with the lowest rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it was Dobby who kept the lighter edge to a deeply darkening series.
His death in Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows was truly saddening, taking a dagger to the chest. Dying in Harry’s arms, it became one of the standout scenes from a film that was practically filler for what succeeded it. Just seeing him stood on that beach before collapsing brings tears to my eyes.
“Here lies Dobby, a free Elf.”
Why J.K Rowling, why!? Hedwig’s death in Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows is utterly heart-wrenching. As Death Eaters give chase to Harry and Hagrid in the sky above London, Hedwig valiantly comes to the rescue, clawing at one of the evil murderers in an effort to slow them down.
As the audience at first thinks Hedwig has succeeded, an ominous green flash of light strikes the Snowy Owl, sending her hurtling to the ground in one of the most iconic scenes of that film – it set the tone for the rest of the movie perfectly.
I’m just going to put this out there: Dumbledore probably did Harry more harm than good in the end. Sending him on dangerous quests and keeping valuable information about the young wizard’s birth a secret wasn’t the smartest of moves but his grisly death pulls at the heart-strings, with only one other death in the series having more of an impact.
As the underwhelming Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince draws to a close, doing away with the iconic fight atop the Astronomy tower in the process, we see Dumbledore cornered by Draco Malfoy, Snape and a whole manner of dark witches and wizards. Snape despatches Dumbledore in grisly fashion as we see the grey-haired wizard falling from the castle balcony to the stone floor below.
The beams of light that then radiate from the shocked staff and pupils only causes more tears, leaving Half Blood Prince with a sombre, but stunning end.
This still makes me choke up. Throughout the entire Harry Potter saga, Snape was always seen as a cold, calculating and frankly evil member of the Hogwarts staff – taking an instant dislike to Harry and his roots.
After killing Dumbledore in the Half Blood Prince, Snape became even more of a hate figure with the wonderful Alan Rickman playing the role perfectly. The franchise may have become synonymous with spot-on casting but Rickman stole the show every time.
His death is filmed beautifully in a specially created boathouse for the final film. As we see Voldemort set his snake Nagini on the wizard, Harry, Ron and Hermione desperately come to his aid. With a few drops of tears, Snape absolves himself of absolutely everything he had done in the past, proving once and for all that he was a kind and caring man. Oh god, where are the tissues!? *sobs*
“After all this time? Always.”
Have I missed one of your favourites? Leave a comment in the box below.