29 Famous Harry Potter Quotes About Death, Grief & Loss


For a book written primarily for older grade school children and young teens, the Harry Potter series has a lot of death in it. The title character is even nicknamed “the boy who lived” to showcase the fact that his survival was something worth noting. 

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In fact, the reader quickly learns that Harry is grieving the loss of his parents—even though he was an infant when they died. So what does Harry (and the rest of the characters in the series) have to say about grief and loss? Let’s examine some of the quotes from the series. Perhaps you might choose a selection from a Harry Potter book for your own eventual funeral or the funeral of a loved one.

Please understand that there are plenty of SPOILERS in this article. If you haven’t yet read (or watched) the series, what are you waiting for? 

Of course, all the following quotes were written by J. K. Rowling. We will attribute the characters when appropriate. Otherwise, we will give the words to the author herself.

Harry Potter Quotes About Dying

Harry Potter Quotes About Dying

Harry is a young boy when he loses his parents. But it isn’t until he goes to live at Hogwarts that someone talks to him about his loss. Here are some quotes about death and dying from the series. And, surprisingly, they aren’t all by Albus Dumbledore.

1. “To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.” – Albus Dumbledore

Of course, Dumbledore was referring to the death of Harry’s parents when he was given this line. The love of Harry’s parents helps protect him from Voldemort. 

2. “To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” – Albus Dumbledore

Dumbledore knew he was dying. This quote would also be appropriate for the last section of the article “Quotes to Share at a Funeral or Memorial Service.”

3. “Here lies Dobby, a free elf.” – J. K. Rowling

This is Dobby’s epitaph. We also like Dobby’s line: “Dobby is free.”

4. “It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.” – Albus Dumbledore

This unique perspective of death is worth sharing. 

5. “‘Death’s got an Invisibility Cloak?’ Harry interrupted again.

‘So he can sneak up on people,’ said Ron. ‘Sometimes he gets bored of running at them, flapping his arms and shrieking...’” – J. K. Rowling

This lighthearted moment is from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

6. “‘No – no – no!’ someone was shouting. ‘No! Fred! No!’ And Percy was shaking his brother, and Ron was kneeling beside them, and Fred’s eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face.” – J. K. Rowling

Percy’s anguish may be even as great as Ron’s since Percy was estranged from the family for a portion of the series. 

7. “‘Hedwig— Hedwig—’ But the owl lay motionless and pathetic as a toy on the floor of her cage.” – J. K. Rowling

Hedwig dies in the last book of the series. 

Harry Potter Quotes About Grief or Missing Someone Who Died

Harry Potter Quotes About Missing Someone Who died

Even though you certainly wouldn’t label any of the Harry Potter books as being “about death,” many characters die in the novels. Whether Dobby’s, Fred’s, Cedric’s, Dumbledore’s, or Snape’s deaths hit you the hardest, J. K. Rowling does a fine job showing us how the surviving characters exhibit their grief.

8. “Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.” – Albus Dumbledore

Some people use alcohol to try to numb the pain of loss. 

9. “You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think we don’t recall them more clearly in times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself plainly when you have need of him.” – Albus Dumbledore

Of course, Harry thinks about his parents a lot when he’s in trouble. And throughout the novels, he gets in trouble a lot.

10. “‘After all this time?’ – Dumbledore

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‘Always.’ – Snape” – J. K. Rowling

The word “always” has a special meaning to all Harry Potter fans.

11. “We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, Harry, but battle on.” – Albus Dumbledore

Dumbledore had to find a way to encourage Harry to keep fighting. 

12. “It’s cruel that I got to spend so much time with James and Lily, and you so little. But know this; the ones that love us never really leave us.” – Sirius Black

Of course, we spend most of the novel thinking that Sirius is a villain. But Sirius ends up being a comforting presence for Harry.

13. “Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.” – Luna Lovegood

This quote is from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. 

Harry Potter Quotes About Living Fearlessly

Harry Potter Quotes About Living Fearlessly

Bravery is a common theme in the Harry Potter books. Here are some quotes by our favorite characters about living fearlessly. 

14. “The thing about growing up with Fred and George [...] is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” – Ginny Weasley

This quote can be found in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

15. “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Albus Dumbledore

Just say Lumos, and a light will appear.

16. “Albus Severus, you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.” – Harry Potter

I’m not crying – you’re crying!

17. “We must try not to sink beneath our anguish . . . but battle on.” – Albus Dumbledore

Of course, Harry has a lot of battles in the lengthy series. Thankfully, Dumbledore was by his side in the beginning to support and encourage him.

18. “I’m sorry, too, that I will never know him . . . but he will know why I died and I hope he will understand. I was trying to make a world in which he could live a happier life.” – Remus Lupin

Lupin may have been referring to his child with this quote. Unfortunately, Lupin dies in the great battle at the end of the series. 

19. “There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” – Albus Dumbledore

Harry Potter has to stand up to his friends many times throughout the series. 

20. “‘You do care,’ said Dumbledore. He had not flinched or made a single move to stop Harry demolishing his office. His expression was calm, almost detached. ‘You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.’” – J. K. Rowling

This scene occurs after Harry throws the lunascope into the fireplace.

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21. “He read the letter again, but could not take in any more meaning than he had done the first time and was reduced to staring at the handwriting itself. She had made her g’s the same way he did: he searched through the letter for every one of them, and each felt like a friendly little wave glimpsed from behind a veil. The letter was an incredible treasure, proof that Lily Potter had lived, really lived, that her warm hand had once moved across this parchment, tracing ink into these letters, these words, words about him, Harry, her son.” – J. K. Rowling

We love this passage from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. What incredible treasures do you have from your deceased loved ones?

Harry Potter Quotes to Share at a Funeral or Memorial Service

Harry Potter Quotes to Share at a Funeral

Are you having difficulty finding a funeral poem or poem about grief for your loved one’s program? Consider using a quote from the Harry Potter series instead. Any quotes from the previous sections would work, but here are some more to consider. 

22. “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living and above all, those who live without love.” – Albus Dumbledore

Perhaps the “pity the living” statement might be a bit harsh for a funeral.

23. “‘You’ll stay with me?’ 

‘Until the very end,’ said James.” – J. K. Rowling

James is Harry’s deceased father.

24. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” – Dumbledore

This quote is from the first book of the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

25. “Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.” – Albus Dumbledore

We love Dumbledore’s tribute to Cedric.

26. “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” – Sirius Black

Sirius said this to Harry in one of their last meanings. We love this quote because it shows the complexity of Rowling’s characters.

27. “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” – J. K. Rowling

These are the words required to view the Marauder’s Map.

28. “It is impossible to manufacture or imitate love.” – Horace Slughorn

We know that it’s probably not satisfying to quote a minor character from the series, but we like this quote.

29. “We’re with you whatever happens.” – Ron Weasley

This quote is from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Harry Potter Has a Lot to Say About Grief

Grief plays a vital role in almost all of the Harry Potter books. The loss of a loved one inspires many characters to act in specific ways. This may be one reason why the series appeals to adults as much as kids.


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