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Harry Potter Character Endings Ranked From Worst To Best

For Harry Potter fans, the epic conclusion to their beloved series came not once but twice. The first ending hit in 2007, when J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released. The next one went down in 2011, when the second installment of the last movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, hit theaters. Between the book and the movie, Potter lovers got two opportunities to see how their favorite characters closed out the epic series, which focused on Harry's (Daniel Radcliffe) lifelong battle against his evil nemesis, the Dark Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes).

Though the overall ending remained the same as Deathly Hallows made the leap from page to screen, a few characters saw slight adjustments to their big climactic moments. And while some fan favorites got incredibly happy endings, some character endings in the Potter series were disappointing or just plain tragic. From the worst to the best, here's every major Harry Potter character ending, ranked. Spoilers for all of Harry Potter ahead!

Voldemort's vanquishing is pretty anticlimactic

After seven books and eight films, fans pretty much knew that Voldemort — the franchise's big, bad villain — had to go, but by the end of Deathly Hallows, it was more a question of how he would go. By then, Harry and his closest confidantes, Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), had an answer — find each of Voldemort's seven Horcruxes, which hide parts of his soul, and destroy each of them in turn to end the Dark Lord's immortality.

In the books, after finding all of Voldemort's Horcruxes — including one within Harry, which requires our hero to give his own life to kill his enemy — Harry and Voldemort face off one last time in Hogwarts' Great Hall, where Harry details exactly how he's able to bring the man once known as Tom Riddle down for good. After that, Riddle dies as any other man would, slain by a rebounding Killing Curse. But in the movies, the whole affair goes quite differently, and Voldemort dramatically dissolves into ash in a death befitting a mythical being rather than a man who found ways to cheat death. Voldemort's ending in the books is perfectly satisfying, but his on-screen death misses the point entirely.

Severus Snape's death leaves his story unfinished

One of the most enigmatic characters in the entire series, Severus Snape (played by the late, great Alan Rickman) ends up with one of the most tragic endings in the franchise. Presented as Hogwarts' cruel, punitive Potions professor, Snape hates Harry with a passion. At first, Harry can't figure out why, but he later learns that Snape and Harry's father, James (Adrian Rawlins), were rivals during their own time at Hogwarts, and Snape is punishing Harry for all of James' perceived faults.

After Snape kills Harry's mentor, Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), Harry is determined to seek revenge, but ultimately, Voldemort beats Harry to the punch, killing the man he believes is his most loyal servant. However, Harry then learns the real truth — Snape was always working in league with Dumbledore to protect Harry. Plus, he was in love with Harry's late mother, Lily (Geraldine Somerville). Not only does everybody think the worst of Snape for his entire life, but he dies before he can reveal the truth about his character. And tragically, he was never reunited with the woman he loved enough to sacrifice everything.

Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks go down fighting

Readers and viewers first meet Remus Lupin (David Thewlis) and Nymphadora Tonks (Natalia Tena) in Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix, respectively, with the former being Harry's third Defense Against the Dark Arts professor and the latter a quirky Auror who can change her appearance at will. Though the two rarely share scenes together in Harry's presence, they ultimately strike up a romance, and despite Lupin's reservations — as a werewolf, he doesn't want to make Tonks an outcast or have a child with the same affliction — they eventually get married and have a son, whom they name Teddy, after Tonks' father.

Unfortunately, Lupin and Tonks, much like Harry's parents, leave their son behind thanks to Voldemort. During the Battle of Hogwarts, while Harry is tracking down Voldemort's final Horcruxes, Lupin and Tonks both lose their lives, though neither readers nor viewers ever learn exactly what happened. Harry, as Teddy's godfather, takes their orphaned son under his wing, but it's horrifically sad that two of Harry Potter's most lovable characters meet such a bitter end.

Sirius Black is robbed of a happy future

Orphaned at just one year old, Harry spends most of his childhood trapped with his cruel Muggle aunt and uncle, but in Prisoner of Azkaban, he makes a shocking discovery — his godfather has been alive all along and wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit. As it turns out, James' best friend, Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), has been locked away for a murder that was actually committed by Peter Pettigrew (Timothy Spall), James and Sirius' friend who betrayed the Potters to Voldemort. And when Sirius escapes from the wizarding prison Azkaban, the world at large thinks he's out to kill Harry.

Sirius doesn't manage to clear his name, but after explaining the truth to his godson, Harry helps Sirius escape and stay on the run, and the two form a loving bond, much like that of a father and son ... which makes Sirius' untimely death even sadder. Despite orders from Dumbledore to stay at his home at 12 Grimmauld Place, Sirius goes to help Harry at the battle at the Ministry of Magic and is murdered during the fight by his own cousin, Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter). Not only does Sirius never walk free after his wrongful murder conviction, he's robbed of a lifelong relationship with his godson, making his ending all the more tragic.

Fred and George Weasley are separated forever

Two of the funniest characters in Harry Potter, unfortunately, also meet one of the series' saddest ends. Throughout the series, Fred and George Weasley (James and Oliver Phelps), Ron's prank-loving older brothers, keep everyone around them laughing, even as they leave Hogwarts before graduation and set off on their own. By the time the series draws to a close, Fred and George own a successful joke shop — Weasley's Wizard Wheezes — in Diagon Alley, are full-fledged members of the resistance group known as the Order of the Phoenix, and are ready to fight Voldemort alongside Harry and their family.

George has a close call early in the book version of Deathly Hallows, when he loses an ear during a death-defying chase on broomsticks, but ultimately, it's Fred who loses his life during the Battle of Hogwarts in an explosion caused by a Death Eater's curse. J.K. Rowling was no stranger to killing her darlings, but killing one twin and leaving the second twin behind to mourn him feels especially egregious.

Draco Malfoy never changes his ways

Voldemort might be the series' most intimidating and powerful villain, but Harry Potter is rife with bad guys big and small, including Hogwarts bully Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton). A snarling, bigoted, and wealthy Slytherin who considers anyone not of pure blood and outside his socioeconomic class to be utterly beneath him, Malfoy is absolutely unbearable. On top of all that, he spends as much time as possible bullying Harry, Ron, and Hermione (though they're perfectly capable of fighting back time and time again).

Ultimately, Malfoy remains a total coward right until the very end. Alongside his wealthy parents, Lucius (Jason Isaacs) and Narcissa (Helen McCrory), he manages to dodge any danger from either Voldemort or the Order during the Battle of Hogwarts, and after the three spend the fight pledging allegiance to both sides whenever it's convenient, they run off together into the night. Malfoy might be a pathetic coward when all is said and done, but at least it's pretty consistent with his overall character.

Dobby dies a hero

Introduced in The Chamber of Secrets, Dobby (voiced by Toby Jones) is an errant house-elf who distinguishes himself as one of Harry Potter's least helpful characters ... at least at first. In an attempt to prevent Harry from returning to Hogwarts, where Dobby knows the Chamber of Secrets will reopen, Dobby wreaks all sorts of havoc on the poor young wizard, much to Harry's chagrin. However, as the series moves along — and after a gleeful Dobby is freed from his cruel masters, the Malfoys — Dobby and Harry form a sweet friendship, and Dobby often helps Harry out in times of need.

In the end, Dobby, who once caused so many problems trying to help Harry, acts as a savior when Harry, Ron, Hermione, and several other fighters are trapped within Malfoy Manor and surrounded by Death Eaters. Just when all hope seems lost, Dobby appears to help Harry, and he transports our heroes to safety ... but can't save himself. As he apparates away with Harry, Bellatrix aims a silver knife at his chest, killing him. Dobby's death is utterly heartbreaking, but he does die a hero.

Dumbledore's death is planned all along

As Harry's wise, generous mentor and the headmaster of Hogwarts — as well as one of the most powerful and formidable wizards in all of Harry Potter — Albus Dumbledore looms large over the series, which makes his death at the end of Half-Blood Prince all the more heartbreaking. After Dumbledore and Harry attempt to track down a Horcrux, a weakened Dumbledore is, apparently, murdered by Severus Snape before the Potions master runs away with a group of Death Eaters. Naturally, Harry vows revenge, but he doesn't have the full story ... which is that Dumbledore and Snape planned this exact moment months beforehand.

While trying to find a different Horcrux, Dumbledore stumbles upon a ring that once belonged to Voldemort's grandfather, Marvolo Riddle, and when he believes that the ring houses the Resurrection Stone — a Deathly Hallow and an item that could revive Dumbledore's beloved sister, Ariana — he tries to break it open, unleashing a curse. In a flashback that Harry sees after Snape's death, Snape tells Dumbledore that the curse will certainly kill him, and Dumbledore simply asks Snape to kill him, instead, which will falsely prove Snape's allegiance to Voldemort and save Dumbledore from a difficult, painful demise. Dumbledore's death is a gutting loss for Harry and his fans, but not only did he choose his manner of death, it was coming for him in the end, regardless.

Bellatrix Lestrange gets what she deserves

Voldemort might be regarded as the most purely evil character in the Harry Potter series, but his right-hand woman, Bellatrix Lestrange, really gives him a run for his money. A slavishly loyal Death Eater who's utterly devoted to her precious Dark Lord, Bellatrix does everything she can to serve Voldemort, and nothing — not even torturing members of the Order of the Phoenix to the point where they go insane — is beneath this incredibly vile yet powerful witch.

After murdering her cousin, Sirius, Bellatrix seems untouchable, but during the Battle of Hogwarts, she finally gets a taste of her own medicine. During the fight, Bellatrix appears to target Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright), Harry's on-again, off-again girlfriend, and just when it seems that Harry will reappear to fight for Ginny, the matriarch of the Weasley family, Molly (Julie Walters), steps up, fighting Bellatrix in an intense duel. Ultimately, the sweet, jolly homemaker gets the upper hand, demolishing Bellatrix in one of the series' most triumphant moments. Bellatrix's death is incredible vengeance against this horrifying character, and watching Molly deal the final blow makes the entire moment all the more satisfying.

Luna Lovegood proves an invaluable ally

When Harry first meets Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch), a Ravenclaw student one year below him at Hogwarts, he's not particularly impressed by her oddball behavior, her sometimes frustrating flightiness, and her incredibly strange beliefs about creatures like the Crumple-Horned Snorkack. However, after Luna joins Harry at the Ministry in Order of the Phoenix and fights Death Eaters alongside him, Harry finally realizes that Luna is an incredibly talented witch and a loyal friend, cementing her as a part of his inner circle.

Luna proves her mettle once again during the Battle of Hogwarts, fighting alongside Hogwarts' army of professors and students and surviving the fray. In the aftermath, Luna can finally live freely again, and in a perfect post-script for this eccentric character, she ultimately marries Rolf Scamander, a character who's never seen in the books or films but is a descendent of Fantastic Beasts' Newt Scamander — which presumably allows her to seek the truth about Crumple-Horned Snorkacks.

Ginny Weasley gets the guy

The youngest member — and only daughter — in the large Weasley family, Ginny is introduced as a shy, star-struck child in The Chamber of Secrets, and thanks to her enormous crush on Harry, she can barely speak in his presence. However, after he rescues her from the Chamber of Secrets, the two become friends, and in both the book and movie of Half-Blood Prince, Harry and Ginny become more than friends, establishing themselves as one of the series' central couples.

In the book, Harry nobly breaks things off with Ginny before heading out to hunt Horcruxes (though this scene is omitted from the film), but ultimately, the two get married, and in the epilogue, it's revealed that they have three children — James, Lily, and Albus Severus Potter. Beyond that, Ginny has a life of her own, and ultimately, she becomes a Quidditch player for the Holyhead Harpies. After her sports career ends, as is revealed in the Tony-winning stage sequel Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Ginny becomes a sports writer for The Daily Prophet, completing her arc from a shy child to self-assured woman, mother, and athlete.

Ron Weasley remains by Harry's side

One of Harry Potter's most beloved characters, Ron Weasley, very nearly met an ugly fate — series author J.K. Rowling has confessed that she considered killing him off — but luckily, the redheaded hero managed to escape that ending, and he not only survived but thrived. As Harry's closest friend aside from Hermione, Ron is an invaluable presence in Harry's life, sticking by his friend through the fight against Voldemort and proving himself as an indispensable ally and fighter during the Battle of Hogwarts.

Unsurprisingly, Ron marries Hermione, and the two of them are seen alongside their children, Rose and Hugo, during Deathly Hallows' epilogue as they meet up with Harry and Ginny to see their older children off to Hogwarts. Beyond that, in Cursed Child, Ron is as vivacious and hilarious as ever, and it turns out that he works for the Ministry as an Auror (a Dark wizard catcher) by Harry's side, giving this character an ideal ending.

Hermione Granger takes the wizarding world by storm

Often described as the brightest witch of her age, Muggle-born Hermione Granger, equipped with formidable intellect and a big heart, spends her time at Hogwarts proving her brilliance and worth, and she's richly rewarded later in life. Alongside Ron and Harry, Hermione plays an enormous part in Voldemort's downfall, using her considerable brains to aid her talented but slightly less intelligent best friends at every turn. And there's no question that Ron and Harry would never have gotten as far as they did without Hermione's skills as a witch.

Hermione marries Ron and has two children, but more importantly, she goes on to change the wizarding world for the better. Alongside Kingsley Shacklebolt, an Auror who becomes Minister of Magic after Voldemort's downfall, Hermione reforms the laws of the wizarding world to be kinder to Muggle-born citizens, and when she appears in Cursed Child, she has risen to the post of Minister for Magic herself. Hermione is one of the most unforgettable characters in recent pop culture history, so it's fitting that she gets such a triumphant ending.

Harry Potter is finally free

After years of being tormented by the presence of Voldemort, dealing with his painful scar (which serves as an unwanted connection to the Dark Lord himself), and losing loved ones right and left, the Boy Who Lived finally ends the series on a victorious note. As the Battle of Hogwarts draws to a close, Harry, after sacrificing himself to save the world, returns from the brink of death to bring Voldemort down for good. And after he does, he disposes of the Elder Wand — the world's most powerful wand — and settles down to live a normal, peaceful life.

In the epilogue, Harry reassures his son, Albus Severus, that all will be well if he's sorted into Slytherin — which, as we learn in Cursed Child, comes to pass — and audiences also learn that Teddy Lupin, Harry's orphaned godson, practically lives with the Potter family. After 17 years of sorrow, grief, and loss, Harry finally has his own family and a peaceful life, giving him a well-deserved happy ending.

Neville Longbottom goes from zero to hero

Throughout Harry Potter, no single character experiences a bigger glow-up than Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis). A dorky, inept Gryffindor in Harry's class who's constantly the victim of bullies throughout the school, Neville eventually comes into his own, desperate to prove himself to honor the memory of his parents, who were tortured into insanity by Bellatrix Lestrange years ago.

Ultimately, Neville does just that, thanks in large part to Harry's tutelage when the two are a part of the renegade student group known as Dumbledore's Army. After fighting valiantly at the Battle of Hogwarts, Neville personally kills Voldemort's snake, Nagini — who happens to be one of his final Horcruxes, paving the way for Harry to kill Voldemort. In the years that follow, we learn that Neville becomes Hogwarts' Herbology professor, settling into a subject where he excelled in school. Neville may not have been the "Chosen One," but he definitely got the series' best ending.