About a week ago, I came up with a great idea for what to do this month’s Top 10 on. I’d been re-watching the first seasons of Black Mirror and decided that I would rank the episodes from best to worst. I mean it was perfect, 3 seasons plus the Christmas special equalled 10 episodes. Well, thanks to fucking Netflix, the 3rd series of Charlie Brooker’s amazing TV show had more episodes. There are, in fact 13 episodes of Black Mirror to date so doing a Top 10 didn’t seem right. It’d be okay if there were way more than 10 but leaving off 3 seemed unnecessary. “So why didn’t I just do a Top 13?” I hear you cry. Because that wouldn’t rhyme. So, I’ve spent the last hour or so despairing and trying desperately to come up with something else to write about. I’ve found something. It came about after I was taking some Instagram pictures today. I was looking through The Deathly Hallows for a quotation and ended up getting engrossed in the Battle of Hogwarts. I then found myself weeping at moments that I’d forgotten/blocked from my memory. So, in honour of the fallen, I’ve compiled a list of the worst deaths in the Harry Potter series. By the way, I’ve seen some lists that include Lily and James. I find this to be cheating because, though seen in memories or whatever, these don’t actually occur in the book’s narrative.
Ten: Albus Dumbledore
Now, don’t get me wrong, Albus Dumbledore was a great guy and everything but, when you think about it, his death isn’t really that sad. There’s plenty of build-up in Book 5 and, let’s be honest, he’s already fucking old. Plus, as we find out in Book 7, he planned his death to fuck with Voldemort as much as possible so his death is actually a good thing. He’s pranking his mortal enemy from beyond the grave. Also, he was always kind of a shitty headmaster and a bit suspect. There’s some darkness beneath those eyes I tell ya. Darkness.
Nine: Cedric Diggory
I almost wasn’t going to include Cedric because I think my dislike of Robert Pattinson has had an adverse affect on my opinion of the character. Although, Cedric’s death was the first major “good guy” character to death up to that point (if I remember correctly). He was a student and he was killed because he wanted to share his victory with Harry. He was selfless, brave and intelligent. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and shouldn’t have died. Also, I vividly remember being absolutely destroyed by these scenes when I first read them so I couldn’t ignore it.
Eight: Colin Creevy
Colin may have been a truly annoying character when he first appeared in the books but that doesn’t mean his death is any less sad. He was a young man and wasn’t supposed to be in the battle. He snuck back into Hogwarts to help Harry. Another case of Harry Potter fever causing people to sacrifice themselves in the name of the Boy Who Lived. The moment his body is carried in is just awful.
Seven: Mad Eye Moody
I love Mad Eye Moody and I feel, after the whole Barty Crouch Jr. thing, that he got kind of a raw deal. He was epic and powerful. Gruff, yes, but the kind of guy you wanted on your side in a fight. So, when he was killed in such a forgettable and insignificant way it just seemed unfair. He was destined for great things and should have gone down fighting an army of Death Eaters in the Battle of Hogwarts. Not on a broomstick carrying a fake Harry Potter.
Tonk’s death is sad, there can be no doubt, but I refuse to put it much higher because SHE DIDN’T NEED TO BE THERE. She was meant to be staying with her new born child. I know she was being noble and fighting the good fight. But she didn’t need to be there. She put her own need to fight before what was best for Teddy. When Lily and James were threatened by Voldemort they took Harry and hid. There was nothing ignoble in that act. Tonks did the opposite and went looking for the forces that were trying to kill her. And she left her son without a mother.
I know there will be those who place Hedwig at number one because, quite frankly, it was a death that hit everybody hard. Hedwig had been Harry’s only companion in the Muggle world since his first year. She had been there for him and died to save his life. I’m a sucker for an honourable, sacrificing death and this was heartbreaking. However, the overall impact on others was less than with the people below. I’m sorry to have to be the one to say it but it’s true.
Four: Remus Lupin
I loved Remus from the moment he first appeared in the books. I’ve had a complicated relationship with him where I couldn’t decided if I wanted him to be my literary father or if I wanted him to do dirty things to me. In fact, I still can’t if I’m honest. It’s fucking weird. Remus was another of those wholly good characters who didn’t deserve to die. Plus, the only reason it happened was for literary mirroring. J K only killed Remus so the whole of the Marauders could die and so Teddy was left without parents. It’s bullshit I tell you. Bullshit. But I’ve had this argument before.
Oh my god, the amount of feels that this death caused. Dobby is such an innocent and purely good creature that it was immensely unfair that he was killed in such a horrible way. All he’d ever done was try and help Harry Potter and look what happened. I mean, Harry didn’t even respect Dobby enough if you ask me. I mean, yeah, he gave him his freedom and everything but he kind of stopper giving a shit about Dobby after that. He used Dobby’s help when he needed it but gave little back. Yes, his life with the Malfoy’s wasn’t great but at least he’d have lived through the battle.
Two: Sirius Black
Now, my feelings on Sirius Black are kind of mixed. Part of me loves him because he’s awesome and, you know, Gary Oldman. But the other part realises how terrible a role model he was for Harry. The man had been locked up for 13 years and was still basically his younger self. He was reckless and angry and saw Harry as a new James. As much as we all loved the idea of their happy ending, if the pair had ended up living together in familial bliss it would undoubtedly gone badly. Still, this death was heartbreaking mostly because it was Harry’s fault. If he’d been less of a dickhead and had any common sense he wouldn’t have gone to the Ministry alone. Therefore, Sirius wouldn’t have needed to rescue him and gotten killed. Fuck you, Harry.
One: Fred Weasley
This one’s kind of a given I suppose. Fred was the lovable twin who only ever wanted to make people laugh. It’s horrendously sad in the book to see Percy, who’s been a massive dick for since we met him, fall to pieces when he sees his brother. Plus, as a twin, I think this always had some deeper resonance than the others. The one thing guaranteed to get me in bits is seeing a film/TV show where a twin reacts to the death of their sibling.