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The Harry Potter Characters Got Away With A Startling Amount Of Murder

If you're a fan of the "Harry Potter" films, you know the books and the films get progressively darker as the series goes on and Voldemort becomes more powerful. In the first three films, most of the human deaths occur off-screen as part of the backstory. It isn't until "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" that an innocent supporting character dies during the actual events of the story: Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson) is that victim, and he is killed by Peter Pettigrew (Timothy Spall) at Voldemort's (Ralph Fiennes) infamous command, "Kill the spare." 

However, many more deaths take place starting in the fifth film, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," in which the entire canon takes a more ominous turn. 

Despite starting out as a series primarily meant for children, the later movies feature quite a bit of mayhem and murder. Voldemort and his Death Eaters are a major source of many unnamed and incidental deaths in the series, of course, but even the good guys in "Harry Potter" ended up amassing quite a body count as a result of fighting He Who Must Not Be Named's rise to power. The Battle of Hogwarts, especially, resulted in many fallen wizards on both sides. But it was a war, after all, which explains why so many of the students and adults in the Wizarding World got away with killing other characters in the series. 

Of course, it should be noted that it's hard to take an accurate tally between the spells flying at battles within the Ministry of Magic (in "The Order of the Phoenix"), at Hogwarts, and other places — like in the sky when Harry was being moved from Privet Drive in "The Deathly Hallows: Part 1." But through basic approximations, we have a pretty clear idea of who walked away from the film series with the most kills.

Note: The death tallies in the books are slightly different, so for the purposes of this article, only kills that are in the film canon are counted.

The villains had the most murders, but most were off-screen

You'd think that, for the most part, the villains in the "Harry Potter" movies would have the worst kill rate. And they probably do, although many of their murderous activities were not shown. For example, in the films, Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) kills just two important characters: Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) and Dobby (Toby Jones) — though according to author J.K. Rowling, she's also responsible for the death of Nymphadora Tonks (Natalia Tena) — whose death alongside her husband, Remus Lupin (David Thewlis) happens without named witnesses both in the film and the book. 

Other antagonists, surprisingly, do not have a high on-screen kill count. Although Draco (Tom Felton) certainly tried his hardest to off Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), he never actually succeeded in doing so. Peter Pettigrew, who killed Cedric at Voldemort's command, logs just that one kill during the course of the films, but that doesn't count the Muggles who died during his disappearing act back when Voldemort was losing power. Fenrir Greyback (Dave Legeno), too, has just one unconfirmed kill; he's seen ravaging Lavender Brown's (Jessie Cave) body during the Battle at Hogwarts, but it's not completely clear that she died of her wounds, according to Hypable. She certainly looks dead in the film, but the matter has been contested as the books leave it more ambiguous. 

Then, there's Voldemort. The series' ultimate antagonist killed many people both before the events in the movies and during, including his own family, the Potters, and according to Pottermore, all the Inferi in that lake in the cave (as seen in "The Half-Blood Prince"). An unofficial Reddit graphic created by a fan counts 16 characters killed by him. Presumably, this number includes Severus Snape (Alan Rickman). It also appears to include off-screen deaths, like that of Alastor Moody (Brendan Gleeson), and indirect deaths like that of Cedric; it's unclear if it includes, um, himself.

The good guys got away with some major kills, too

When it comes to the main young heroes of the "Harry Potter" films, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Luna (Evanna Lynch) are the only ones not shown even coming close to murdering a single person in the films. From there, it gets pretty tricky to confirm what spells stunned people versus indirectly killing the. Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright) appears to get one Death Eater at the Ministry of Magic in the fifth movie, while Hermione (Emma Watson) may have killed Fenrir Greyback when she discovered him mauling Lavender Brown's body and hit him with a spell that knocked him off a bridge, presumably where he would have fallen to his death. 

The adults have clearer body counts. Snape (Alan Rickman) killed Dumbledore, of course. And Mrs. Weasley's (Julie Walters) killing of Bellatrix was a very satisfying moment for fans. You could also argue that because McGonagall (Maggie Smith) was the one who enchanted Hogwarts to defend itself, the scene in which a suit of armor takes down a giant should be part of her body count, as well — as well as any other deaths at the hands of these enchanted statues. 

As for the series protagonist? Harry's (Daniel Radcliffe) kill count varies depending on how you measure it. He killed Professor Quirrell (Ian Hart) at the end of the first movie, "Sorcerer's Stone," but that kill could also be contributed to Voldemort. He sacrificed himself, in an attempt to stop Voldemort — though it didn't last, and Voldemort was the one to pull the trigger. He killed the Basilisk in "Chamber of Secrets," which also removed a Horcrux in the form of Tom Riddle's presence. And of course, he killed Voldemort in the end — although that, too, is a death that can be attributed to Voldemort, since the evil wizard fired the killing shot. Plus, a whole lot of people die along the way as a result of his battle with Voldemort, but as many remind him, the war is bigger than just him.

Did Neville Longbottom take out more evildoers than anyone else?

If you look at online sources of people trying to tally exactly who killed whom in the "Harry Potter" films, you'll find that many fans believe Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) succeeded in killing the most people — even more than Voldemort, at least on-screen. This is because of the bridge attack scene in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." 

About 50 minutes into the final installment of the movie series, a horde of hundreds, maybe even thousands of Voldemort supporters try to attack Hogwarts castle via the wooden walking bridge that lies high over the Scottish loch on which the school is situated. When several of these enemies disintegrate, the others realize Hogwarts' defenses are working and stop to wait.

Elsewhere, Voldemort uses the Elder Wand to break into the school's enchantments, and bits of magical debris fall where the Snatchers stand. Scabior (Nick Moran), their leader, quickly discovers he can get through and the entire crowd surges forward toward the bridge, where only Neville is standing guard. Neville directs his wand's power at the bridge, which has been rigged to explode by Seamus Finnegan (Devon Murray) — who arguably, could also be blamed for the ensuing bloodbath. The spell brings the bridge down as all those Voldemort supporters surge forward, presumably to their deaths into the water below. 

At the other end, where Ginny and the others await word, Neville crawls up onto the walk and says, "That went well." It's unclear how many Voldemort supporters died in this single event, but it was clearly one of the most destructive scenes in the entire film franchise. As far as named characters go, though, Neville's body count includes just Scabior and Nagini, the snake-turned-Horcrux, that he killed at Harry's direction when facing Voldemort. 

So assuming all of those people died on the bridge, and you pass the blame from Seamus to Neville, then Neville has even more on-screen deaths than Voldemort.