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Every Death Eater In Harry Potter Ranked By Ruthlessness

J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series is a feel-good fantasy story that brings audiences into its epic world of witchcraft and wizardry. However, as the story progresses, the tale gets darker and darker, as protagonist Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is destined to face off against the powerful Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). Voldemort is a power-hungry wizard who believes in cleansing his race to pure-blood wizards only. He creates a group of devoted followers called Death Eaters, who are responsible for immense death and destruction in both the wizarding and human (Muggle) worlds. Their hatred is all-consuming, with many Death Eaters openly attacking those they deem "less than" themselves.

When Voldemort went into hiding, most of his Death Eaters did the same, minus a few loyal members who went to Azkaban for their crimes. And while many remained hidden, it is easy to spot a Death Eater, as they are all branded with the Dark Mark on the forearm. This highlights that they are part of Voldemort's loyal elite force. We're ranking them all — from least to most ruthless.

16. Severus Snape

Portrayed by the late great Alan Rickman, Severus Snape was considered a major villain in Harry's world. He's the Potions professor and the head of Slytherin at Hogwarts. And from the moment Harry arrives, Snape openly hates him and favors those in his Slytherin house, like Harry's rival, Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton).

Eventually, Harry discovers that Snape went to Hogwarts with his parents and that his father used to bully him. Snape internalizes these feelings and takes them out on Harry, who reminds him so much of James Potter.

Fans were horrified to discover that Snape was working with Voldemort all along, betraying the trust of Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) and opting to kill him at the end of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." However, the plot twist is that this was all part of Dumbledore's plan. He was dying and asked Snape to kill him to fully gain Voldemort's trust. Harry learns that he did everything he could to protect him, as he loved Harry's mother, Lily, his entire life.

As far as Death Eaters go, Snape is far from ruthless. He was just a man in love. Always.

15. Draco Malfoy

Harry's biggest rival at Hogwarts is Draco Malfoy. Malfoy comes from a rich, pure-blood wizarding family — and it shows. Malfoy is a seedy person who spends his time bullying other students and openly calling Muggle-born wizards Mudbloods, knowing that it's a derogatory term.

When Voldemort returns, Malfoy's life completely changes when he's forced to join the Death Eaters and tasked with killing Dumbledore. While he's successful at getting a few Death Eaters into the protected school, he realizes that he's not a murderer when faced with killing his headmaster. Draco lowers the wand he has pointed at Dumbledore, as he knows that this isn't the life he wants. He shares with Dumbledore that Voldemort has threatened his family. Luckily for him, Dumbledore and Snape have their own contingency plan, with Snape ultimately killing Dumbledore — sparing Draco from being forced to.

By the end of the franchise, audiences see that Draco has left Voldemort behind him, with his focus purely on loving his son, Scorpius.

14. Regulus Black

Sirius Black comes from a pure-blood wizard family that seemingly shares Voldemort's views. However, Sirius was unlike his family. They disowned him when he openly opposed his family's bigoted values. However, his younger brother Regulus took a different path.

When he was old enough, Regulus Black joined the Death Eaters, eager to prove his worth to Voldemort. However, over time, Regulus changed his opinion of the Dark Lord and began to focus his energy on taking Voldemort down.

When Voldemort asked his Death Eaters to use one of their house elves, Regulus volunteered his family's elf, Kreacher. Kreacher helped Voldemort hide one of his Horcruxes, the locket of Salazar Slytherin. Once he returned home, Regulus got Kreacher to show him where the locket was hidden so he could steal it and replace it with a forgery.

Much like Draco Malfoy, Regulus realized that he was on the wrong side of things. However, unlike Malfoy, he was brave enough to do something to try and make things right.

13. Narcissa Malfoy

Narcissa Malfoy (Helen McCrory) is Draco's mother and the wife of Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs). She is also the sister of Bellatrix, making her part of the Black family. 

Once the Malfoys fall out of favor with Voldemort, Lucius seems desperate to get back in his good graces. However, Narcissa has other plans.

She is defiant of Voldemort's wishes the moment he brings her son into the Death Eaters. Once he's given Draco the task of killing Dumbledore, she begs Snape for help, not caring what Voldemort will say. Audiences see her again disregarding Voldemort's wishes after he uses the killing curse on Harry in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." She goes to see if Harry survived and secretly questions if her son is alive. When Harry whispers back, "yes," she lies to Voldemort, saying he's dead. When the Death Eaters fight their final battle at Hogwarts, Narcissa walks off hand-in-hand with Draco. She is done with the whole thing.

12. Avery

A member of Tom Riddle's gang at Hogwarts before he eventually became Lord Voldemort, Avery is an OG Death Eater. However, once he disappeared, Avery claimed he was under the power of the Imperius curse to prevent himself from being sent to Azkaban. This curse is one of the three unforgivable curses and is considered illegal since Imperius places a victim under the caster's complete control. 

When Voldemort returned, Avery joined the Death Eaters once more. In "Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix," Avery devises a plan to help his master. Voldemort desperately wants to get his hands on a prophecy about Harry and himself, so Avery suggests using the Imperius curse on an innocent. Unfortunately for him, only Harry can retrieve the prophecy.

Avery is one of the many Death Eaters to join Lucius at the Department of Mysteries at the Ministry of Magic. Their task was to retrieve the prophecy once Harry grabbed it. Unfortunately for them, Harry destroys it before they can complete their mission.

Avery is not the most successful Death Eater on this list, and certainly not a ruthless one.

11. Igor Karkaroff

Igor Karkaroff (Predrag Bjelac) is introduced in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." He is the headmaster of the Durmstrang Institute, a school well-known for producing dark wizards. This is the school that Gellert Grindelwald attended and that Draco Malfoy's parents had considered sending him to before selecting Hogwarts.

During the First Wizarding War, when Voldemort rose to power, Igor was a Death Eater. However, after Voldemort's fall, Igor was captured and imprisoned in Azkaban. His time there was terrible, resulting in Igor taking a plea deal for his freedom, with Sirius Black telling Harry that Azkaban was filled with many Death Eaters thanks to Igor.

As Voldemort grew stronger, Igor fled for his life because he could feel the burn of his Dark Mark, signifying the return of his master. However, he didn't last long on the run, as Igor was eventually hunted down and murdered by the Death Eaters whom he once betrayed

10. Lucius Malfoy

Lucius Malfoy is portrayed by Jason Isaacs and has such a massive superiority complex that he makes Draco look downright humble. Lucius went to Hogwarts with Snape and was an early member of Voldemort's Death Eaters.

Lucius avoided the consequences of his actions twice, as he was a Death Eater in both Wizarding Wars with Voldemort. And somehow, he managed to avoid repercussions for himself and his family. And while Lucius rejected Voldemort in the end, it's only because Voldemort no longer treated him as the best Death Eater. After Lucius fails to retrieve the prophecy from the Department of Mysteries, Voldemort punishes him by giving Draco an impossible task: killing Dumbledore. During this time, Voldemort also used Lucius' manor as his own and allowed the other Death Eaters to treat him disrespectfully. If Lucius was still in the good books with Voldemort, who's to say if he would have left his master in the end?

Plus, let's not forget that Lucius was responsible for Ginny Weasley having Tom Riddle's diary and unleashing the Basilisk snake in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets."

9. Rodolphus Lestrange

The Lestrange family is a big part of the "Harry Potter" universe. And while they had a significant role in "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald," along with Zoë Kravitz's character, Leta Lestrange, audiences were initially introduced to the Lestrange family with Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter). Bellatrix was a prominent Death Eater who married into the Lestrange family and had been tied to Voldemort since his time at Hogwarts as Tom Riddle.

Bellatrix's husband's name is Rodolphus Lestrange. He was also a Death Eater. His family was considered the most loyal companions to Voldemort. After Voldemort's fall during the first Wizarding War, they refused to denounce their master, resulting in their torturing of Alice and Frank Longbottom and being imprisoned in Azkaban.

Once Voldemort returned, the Lestrange family broke out of Azkaban and returned to his side. However, after the battle of Hogwarts, Rodolphus was sent back to Azkaban. In "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," Rodolphus tracks down Delphini, the child of his wife and Voldemort. He tells her who she is, and consequently, she attempts to go back in time to change the fate of her parents.

8. The Carrow siblings

Amycus Carrow (Ralph Ineson) and Alecto Carrow (Suzie Toase) are known as the Carrow sibling. They are Death Eaters that Voldemort places as professors at Hogwarts. Alecto was the professor of Muggle Studies, openly teaching that Muggles are less than Wizardkind, while Amycus was the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor (which was changed to Dark Arts).

Once Snape was made the headmaster of Hogwarts, the Carrows moved into more of a disciplinary role, as they took enjoyment in torturing students as punishment. They're renowned for loving one of the other unforgivable curses, the Cruciatus curse, aka the torture curse.

While not too much is known about their past, it's clear that these two are sadistic characters. Showing off his bruises and scars, Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) shares with Harry, Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) that both he and Seamus (Devon Murray) were often the brunt of their cruelty.

Luckily, the Carrows are stopped by Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith) in both the book and the film "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." Good riddance!

7. Peter Pettigrew

Peter Pettigrew, aka Wormtail (Timothy Spall), is one of the most unlikeable characters in the "Harry Potter" franchise. He was a friend of Harry's father, James Potter; Sirius; and Lupin (David Thewlis) when they attended Hogwarts. However, this friendship could not last. Wormtail is the reason that James and Lily were murdered by Voldemort.

Harry's parents knew that Voldemort was after them (because of the prophecy), so they went into hiding and chose Wormtail as their secret keeper, believing that no one would think to look for him. Unfortunately, Wormtail was a Death Eater and betrayed the couple to Voldemort. He then framed Sirius for his crimes and spent the next 12 years living as a rat.

Once his actions were discovered, Wormtail returned to Voldemort and nursed his master back to health. And it's because of him that Voldemort was able to rise again. Most of the deaths in the "Harry Potter" franchise are caused by Wormtail picking himself above others and feeling no remorse. He was a ruthless character who deserved everything that came to him.

6. Corban Yaxley

Corban Yaxley (Peter Mullan) is a powerful (and ruthless) Death Eater. He was crucial in overthrowing the Ministry of Magic and helped Voldemort reshape the government to his liking. Yaxley used the Imperius curse on Pius Thicknesse (Guy Henry), the newly appointed head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Once Thicknesse was under his control, he was appointed to the position of the Minister of Magic and used by Voldemort and his Death Eaters as a puppet.

Yaxley stayed at the ministry as the new head of Magical Law Enforcement, a department he ran with an iron fist. His hatred of Muggle-born wizards was so profound that he would hold hearings for all ministry staff (and their family members) to uncover their lineage. During one of those hearings, Harry, Ron, and Hermione infiltrated the ministry. As they attempted to escape by Disapparating, Yaxley discovered their secret hiding place.

5. Walden Macnair

Walden Macnair (Peter Best) is Buckbeak's appointed executioner in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." And while he didn't end up getting to kill Buckbeak, we'll never forget how excited he was to do it.

Prior to this, he was a Death Eater who avoided being sent to Azkaban after claiming he was Imperiused. He sadistically enjoys violence and animal cruelty, which, of course, ranks him pretty high on our ruthlessness scale.

Like Hagrid, Walden Macnair is tasked with securing the giants to join Voldemort. While Hagrid tries to use peaceful means, Macnair's brash and violent nature wins out, as the giants join Voldemort's cause — just as they did during the first Wizarding War.

Throughout the story, Walden Macnair's name is dropped whenever Voldemort needs something violent, brutal, or dangerous done. He was Voldemort's go-to man and had no issues carrying out these grim and deadly tasks.

4. Fenrir Greyback

Fenrir Greyback (Dave Legeno) takes the idea of a scary werewolf to whole new heights. He's a sinister character who takes pleasure in harming people, specifically children. He prefers to hunt children and turn them into werewolves just for the thrill of it. This happens to Lupin, as he was bitten by Fenrir and turned into a werewolf when he was young.

During the Battle of Hogwarts, Fenrir can be seen attacking fellow Gryffindor student Lavender Brown (Kathleen Cauley), who used to date Ron in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." Luckily, he is stopped by Hermione.

Fenrir is so violent and savage that he probably joined Voldemort for the sheer fact that he can run around attacking people unchecked. As he's a werewolf, it's likely that he's not a pureblood wizard and doesn't believe in the philosophy of the other Death Eaters. He simply wants anarchy, and that's what makes him so ruthless and dangerous.

3. Dolohov

While just a background character, Dolohov (Arben Bajraktaraj) is one of the most ruthless Death Eaters in the franchise. Unlike many on this list, Dolohov went to Azkaban after the First Wizarding War because he wouldn't renounce Voldemort. And by all accounts, he was happy to face imprisonment.

Dolohov is an incredibly powerful wizard responsible for many deaths, including the murders of Molly Weasley's (Julie Walters) two brothers in the first war. Following Voldemort's return to power, Dolohov is shown to be evenly matched with powerful wizards such as Sirius Black and Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson). Dolohov's resolve is also quite strong. He attacks Harry, Ron, and Hermione in a cafe before Hermione erases his memory. However, the charm doesn't last long. Dolohov is later seen back at Malfoy Manor with his fellow Death Eaters.

Eventually, Dolohov is defeated by dueling champion Filius Flitwick (Warwick Davis), but not before he kills Lupin during the Battle of Hogwarts.

2. Barty Crouch Jr.

David Tennant portrays one of Voldemort's most loyal Death Eaters, Barty Crouch Jr. Once it was revealed that Barty was a Death Eater, his father allowed him to live outside of Azkaban under his Imperius curse, hidden away under an invisibility cloak. Once Barty finally broke free, he joined Wormtail in nursing Voldemort back to health and placed his father under his control instead.

Barty was able to overtake the powerful Auror Mad-Eye Moody and take his place as a professor at Hogwarts. He instigated everything he could to get Harry to win the Triwizard Tournament so that he would come face to face with Voldemort once more.

Barty was so ruthless that he killed his own father to make his plan succeed. And he did so without any remorse. He was committed to the cause. He was so believable in his role as Mad-Eye that he was able to trick the cleverest mind in the wizarding world — Dumbledore. That's no small feat.

1. Bellatrix

Aside from Barty, Bellatrix (Helena Bonham Carter) is Voldemort's most loyal Death Eater. She is willing to betray, murder, and torture whomever she needs to prove herself worthy. She asks to kill her own niece, Tonks (Natalia Tena), once she learns that she has married Lupin — someone that Voldemort has deemed unworthy due to his blood status (and, of course, the fact that he's a werewolf). Bellatrix is so enamored with Voldemort that the two are later shown to have had a secret child, Delphini, in "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child." And this doesn't seem to bother her husband, Rodolphus.

Bellatrix is responsible for one of the saddest deaths in the franchise — that of Sirius Black, her own cousin. Bellatrix is part of the group that tortures Neville's parents, Alice and Frank Longbottom, into insanity. They are shown to be residents at St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries and have no recollection of their son. When Neville brings this up to her, she just laughs it off, showing no remorse.

She is eventually stopped by Molly when she discovers that Bellatrix is attempting to fight and kill her daughter, Ginny (Bonnie Wright), which ends up being her last mistake.