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Will Harry Potter Die in the Seventh Book?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 23, 2024
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Harry Potter, the beloved character created by J.K. Rowling, ended his career after the final novel was released, but he did not die. Fans knew the seventh and final book would mostly concern the defeat of Harry's nemesis, Lord Voldemort, but questions and theories continued regarding whether Harry Potter would survive after defeating Voldemort. After much speculation and anticipation, Rowling's fans were finally able to learn Harry's fate — a fate that ends with Harry defeating Voldemort and living to tell about it.

How the Speculation Began

Rumors of Harry's possible death began after Rowling announced plans to kill at least two major characters in the final book, and she always hinted that Harry might not survive the conflict with Voldemort. This suggestion led to legions of Harry Potter fans being up in arms regarding Harry’s fate. His character has become so beloved that the thought of ending the books on such a tragic note was a huge disappointment for many.

Concerns Over Harry's Possible Death

Of concern for some was that the book series is often thought of as the series that inspired an entire generation of readers. If the series had ended in tragedy, would it have prevented that same generation from ever picking up a book again? In the past, Harry Potter mania had so firmly gripped its fans, there were worries that some particularly unstable fans might feel completely overwhelmed and depressed by the death of their beloved character. Some even speculated that such an ending could have an enormously serious impact on the emotional well-being of young or unstable fans.

The reaction to Dumbledore’s death in book six was mixed. Most acknowledged that given Dumbledore’s advanced age, the death was not entirely unexpected. Many were still very upset by it, but not all were convinced that Dumbledore was completely gone. Killing a 17 or 18-year-old boy is much more problematic, however; this is a character who should simply be beginning life, and not ending it. Unlike the 17-year-old Cedric who died in book four, the series continually concentrated on the development of Harry's character; however, this development did not end in death.

Other Authors' Opinions

After Rowling’s announcement, noted novelists Stephen King and John Irving both pleaded with Rowling not to kill Harry Potter. There is a certain irony in a horror writer, like King, making such a plea. In his novel The Stand, King killed the majority of the human race, though none of them were key players in the story. King, like many, was caught up in his love of this character and his belief of how miserable a world without Harry Potter might be.

Reasons Why Rowling Would Have Killed Harry Potter

Rowling toyed with the idea of killing Harry, and suggested it through interviews since the popularity of the first book. Some suggested that by killing Harry Potter, Rowling would have been able to end the series and make it impossible for anyone to write another Harry Potter book.

It was also made clear that Rowling wanted to move away from Harry Potter-type books in the future, and killing Harry would have most definitely ended a chapter in her life. At the same time, such hints also suggested that Rowling could have just been playing with her audience, which may be viewed as a little unfair to her younger readers.

Another theory is based on the premises that Rowling clearly established the concept of an afterlife in the series, and some wondered if perhaps she felt it would have been a kindness to Harry to reunite him with his dead parents, godfather, and his beloved headmaster, Dumbledore.

Language & Humanities is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Language & Humanities contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon136137 — On Dec 21, 2010

why don't you guys read the book? i did, and for a minute on the end i seriously freaked about harry dying! harry doesn't die, but other great characters who play more minor roles are killed in the battle against voldemort.

By anon123172 — On Oct 31, 2010

Harry Potter does not die in the seventh part.

Rowling was just playing with her readers, that was surely to create suspense to make people buy her seventh Harry Potter book as Harry Potter fans can't wait for the film to discover whether he is dead or not.

By anon121200 — On Oct 23, 2010

Harry Potter has been a great hit in the last decade. J.K Rowling had really done it and got herself carved in the names of the greatest authors worldwide. She has made Harry Potter a great adventure that no one could be bored of watching.

Killing harry Potter or any of the other kids such as Ron and Hermione would spoil and ruin everything that she has done and the people who watch it. If they die it will be very obvious that the author is just quitting on what she has started because they are so young.

Most authors publish good books of course, but J.K Rowling has published a great and marvelous book. If she does not wish to continue that then I would be shocked. How many authors write a book and make it turn out to be amazing to a point where there are 7 books and eight films and there could still be much more. If Rowling does not wish to continue then the right thing to do would be to hand over what she has started to another respectable author. Because Ending Harry Potter books and films would be a disaster.

So please, please and i repeat please do not kill the young characters and end the adventures of Harry Potter. What Rowling has done will never make anyone forget about her and what she had published. You can never get bored of being such a great success, but if Rowling can do so, then the respectable and mature thing to do would be to let someone else continue Harry Potter books and films. Shehab E., 13 year old student

By anon107505 — On Aug 30, 2010

i love harry potter but it would be the right thing to do, to let harry die. I'll be sad but he will be happy with his mom and dad and i love him so much.

By anon107496 — On Aug 30, 2010

Please don't let him die. i love harry potter so much. please don't.

By anon99102 — On Jul 25, 2010

Please don't kill harry. i haven't read the book but i request you to not kill the harry in movie. i am a big fan of harry potter. he is the one hollywood actor i like the most.

By anon84399 — On May 15, 2010

He does die, actually, but only for a while. He comes back from the dead and Malfoy's mother lets him live. Oh by the way, this is a spoiler.

By anon79177 — On Apr 21, 2010

Like most people have said, most books and films have bad, sad endings, and why don't you give harry potter a good ending? my mum loves the harry potter books and the films.

But me and my mum like the books and i find the films brilliant.

Why does dumbledore die in harry potter and the half blood prince? It made me cry when he (dumbledore) died but why was the point of him dying and why do draco malfoy and severus snap and go against dumbledore?

By anon78427 — On Apr 18, 2010

like many other people, i too think it is wrong to kill harry. he is too young to die.

Like others have said, if j.k. rowling doesn't want to carry on with harry potter, she could let someone else try and have a go to write harry potter books too.

Maybe she wants to end it, so why doesn't she give harry potter a happy ending? a lot of books and films have a lot of people dying and how will you end harry potter when all the little children feel if harry dies? and if he does die i will not want to hear, read or watch the films again.

i am 13 and i love the harry potter films. they're at the top of my favorite films and if harry does die i don't want to hear the word harry potter again but it's up to j.k. rowling and i will accept her choice.

By jord1997 — On Apr 16, 2010

i think it will be wrong to kill harry in the books. so far a lot of good people have died and there are three people who like harry potter in my family. 1. My 2 year old brother and he goes mad at harry potter and so does my eight year old brother. He loves it too, as well as me.

j.k. rowling, how would you break those younger children who love harry potter? how are they going to feel? they may not want to hear about harry potter again. that is how i would feel too, if harry dies, but i respect jk rowling's choice.

By levs03 — On Jan 02, 2010

i think killing harry in the last book is a good choice. harry became popular. and it's very to cool and sad also. it's mixed emotion if harry will die. just think of this. Lord Voldemort killed his parents and harry missed them so much. so i think maybe he and his parents will meet at last. and many will cry if harry dies.

harry potter sagas will be not forgotten til the end of time. harry potter is a great hero and most of the heroes spend their lives just to protect their loved ones. maybe it's time for harry to die. rowling is famous.

when you talk about rowling. i might say that "she is the one of the greatest writers/authors of all time" so harry must die. it's a great pleasure for him. every man has an end. Every saga has an end, but i will accept the author's decision, whether he will die or not. but all in all, the harry potter saga is perfect. no mess. i just really love it.

By anon50992 — On Nov 02, 2009

J.K Rowling should continue the series by writing about the adventures his sons have when they got to Hogwarts. This would sort of end the Harry Potter mania. Instead it would be his kids' stories. i think killing harry is the worst mistake! little kids look up to him! i don't think anybody else should die because who already died is enough. Hedwig's death wasn't necessary!

By anon48064 — On Oct 09, 2009

Please let him die and let there not be anymore thieved ideas in Rowlings tosh books. I'm really a big fan. I can't wait for the next book: Harry Potter and Tree of Nothing.

By anon43602 — On Aug 30, 2009

why must a wonderful story always end with sadness? for once can we have a happy ending? why must a character die? to upset fans? i don't think that's amusing. :S

By SynysterGirl — On Jul 22, 2009

I would bo so freaking sad if Harry died!! I would never watch another Harry Potter movie ever again! My heart would be broken forever if Harry died. He's my favorite character and I would be bummed for the rest of my life!!

By anon37585 — On Jul 20, 2009

im not sure what will happen. i feel it would be wrong to kill harry but at the same time i realize the only way to end the series is to have everyone who could possibly become the main character (including the current main character) emotionally i say that harry will not, should not and cannot die. but logically i say that there is a very good chance he will die to ensure no one else picks up the franchise or makes money off the general idea and characters.

By anon23768 — On Jan 02, 2009

Well its weird he does kill harry in the end because of his mother love and protection spell harry has a second chance of being alive so he is but then he kills voltmeter. i read the book :)

By anon4425 — On Oct 17, 2007

It would be HORRIBLE to kill Harry Potter. I am a 9 year old fan, I think it would be Rowling's biggest mistake ever. I was VERRRRRRRRRRRY sad when Rowling killed Sirius Black, But killing Harry would be even worse. Don't kill any kids, that would be bad. If Rowling REALLY wants to end the series,( but I can't see why she would), kill Voldemort, and give the series a happy ending. Hasn't the series had enough depression already? If you give the best series in the world a good ending, it would make your fans much happier.(especially the young kids, like me.)Furthermore, please don't kill the kids, (or Hagrid). DON'T KILL HARRY POTTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By anon2712 — On Jul 22, 2007

Okay so I think that Harry Potter should not die. J.K Rowling will be making a big mistake if she kills off Harry Hermoine or Ron that would ruin everything and pretty much make the whole series not mean anything and plus like no one wouwld go to see the 7th movie if that's how it was going to end.

By anon2675 — On Jul 21, 2007

I'm sorry to say it, but Harry needs to die. It honestly breaks my heart to admit it, but it's the truth. Of course we will mourn. We have come to know and love Harry Potter. He has become a part of our lives, and to see him die would cause us unavoidable anguish. Thus we invent various reasons why he shouldn't die, he won't die, he can't die. Reality tells me that to achieve definitive closure, he must die. Many comments here have used phrases like "kill him off" which leave a foul taste in my mouth. I don't think it will be a miserable, painful death for him. He will have already defeated Voldemort and saved his loved ones before he goes. He will be the ultimate sacrifice, and I cannot think of a more glorified and dignified way for him to leave the world.

By anon2664 — On Jul 20, 2007

I truly think either Hermione or Ron are going to die.

By anon2661 — On Jul 20, 2007

I have to say that it seems incredibly likely that Harry will die, because without him dying, it seems as though the series might become one of those horrible series that has over 30 different books that no one reads anymore... Plus, it seems quite plausible that Harry is the last Horcrux (he does have a part of Voldemort in him and plus, Voldemort had the chance to create a new horcrux when he killed James and Lily Potter). So what better way to end it than with Harry killing himself so that Voldemort will be killed once and for all.

By anon2546 — On Jul 16, 2007

The thought of such a great series itself is such a put down ...but to kill Harry Potter would be a big mistake I think. I respect the fact that she does not want anyone else to continue the book, but this series is just to great and loved to just forget about it. I truly think that she is only so big because of harry potter, so I think she should think about the readers and not kill of one of the characters so that another author can continue with it,its not like anyone is going ot forget that she was the one who started it all and made the first 7 books which lead to 7 great movies. So i strongly hope that she will not kill off any characters and leave it capable for someone else to pick up and continue!

By tweetybird — On Jul 13, 2007

OK, so here's the thing. What did Dumbledore say in the books? He said, "You didn't die because Your mom protected you with love, Harry." etc. Doesn't anybody think that this is going to end with that little bit of relaxation that makes you think, "Ahhhh...Harry Potter might not have died but im glad he didn't because so so and whos who saw it coming." I mean sue me, (not literally) but you got to admit, it was basically the hidden-but-really-important moral of the story.

By anon2490 — On Jul 13, 2007

I have mixed feelings about this subject. Like many others have expressed before, Voldemort will die, he has to, if he doesn't, then there would be almost no meaning to making the series.

In my Harry not dying defense, I'd like to point out that this wizard is very clever, even though sometimes he doesn't know it or show it, he's VERY clever. If indeed he is the final horcrux, which i believe very strongly that he is, i think that he will find a way to extract Voldemort's soul. Which brings me to the Dementors. As soon as I finished book 3 I asked myself, "Soooo, what is the point of these monsters, it can't be just another enemy. They have to have a purpose other than killing people, another wizard could do that anyway." Then after reading book six, and realizing that Harry is a horcrux, it became clear. Being as clever as he (and Hermione) is, they will find a Dementor and have it sucked out.

Also, another point in this defense i want to point out is that Rowling said "I can completely understand the mentality of an author who would want to kill the main character off so that no one could bring them back" No where in that quote does it say "I'm thinking about killing Harry off"

In the Harry will die defense, if he will die, i believe that either 1. Harry will realize he's a horcrux, and in the battle against Voldemort, he tells hermione or ron to kill harry once the killing curse has reached Voldemort, so voldemort can't take over. 2. Harry realizes he's a horcrux and tries to get the soul piece taken out and the dementor takes both souls. Or 3. Harry doesn't realize he's a horcrux and he kills voldemort and voldemort starts taking over harry's body and harry kills himself, or someone near by kills him.

If harry is not a horcrux, then i have no idea whats going to happen and i see no way he could be killed without killing voldemort first if he isn't.

By anon2486 — On Jul 13, 2007

he is NOT the the final horcrux. Are you guys bloody mad? Voldemort must have made the horcrux long before harry was in born, and if he was the finale Horcrux why would voldemort tried to have killed him when he was one? and don't say he did it after he tried killing harry. he was to weak.

Now, i don't know if harry will live or die, but being a mother, i do not think the JKR will put children something like that, nor do i think ron or herm. will die. i will be a main but secondary character such as, neville, or Snape. even Malfoy remember voldermort said he would kill malfoy if he didn't kill voldermort himself...

and honestly i don\'t think dummy is dead either.

By anon2450 — On Jul 11, 2007

I think that harry potter shouldn't die because he is at a too early age to die. Everyone will be crying. Harry Potter has a good chance of dying though, having lost the Greatest and only wizard to help harry that Voldemort ever feared. But, Harry holds some of Volemorts powers, and if he does die, so will Voldemort. I think that Voldemort depends on Harry for survival more than wants to kill him.

By anon2410 — On Jul 10, 2007

The death of harry potter would undoubtedly be tragic but if he is, as I believe, the final horcrux, he would die for the greater good. Through harrys' death, the whole wizarding world would be set free from Voldemorts evil doings...If Harrys' self-sacrifice is not a positive message sent to the children reading the book then I do not know what is. Also after 7 books we have come to know and love harry and the people around him, but will everyone love him so much after the 25th potter adventure written by another author?...the magic would be lost.

By chaynes — On Jul 09, 2007

I think it would be just wrong to kill off Harry Potter, and because it is so wrong I don't think that she should do it. If she is going to kill off anyone then it should be Voldemort and Snape. Why kill Harry Potter or any other good guys, I mean come on now! She has already killed off Sirius Black, Harry's last remaining relative (might I add). Then she killed Albus Dumbledore, the most important person at Hogwarts, and another person to whom Harry could confide in. Why kill any of the good guys when everything is just falling apart. I mean I know that she doesn't want anymore Harry Potter books and who could blame her? She spent almost 20 years writing about Harry Potter and well frankly I think she did the right thing by starting the books and all books have to end somewhere right? Well anyway the way to end something is to kill off the biggest evil and the ones who are able to bring back just as much evil but no one ever kills off the good guy unless its a horror book/movie, and horror is not the way Harry runs the magic. At least not to my knowledge.

By Dayton — On Jul 09, 2007

Actually, there are pretty specific laws about publishing stories with characters who are protected by copyright. You can bet that with a franchise as popular (and as profitable) as Harry Potter, Rowling's lawyers will work hard to make sure that no further stories of Harry will ever make it to print.

For a bit more insight in this you can read wiseGEEK's article about fan fiction at http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-fanfiction.htm.

By anon2340 — On Jul 07, 2007

I surely hope that Harry does not die. If he is not the final horcrux (and I have heard a rumor that JK Rowling assured fans that he was not) then he will just find the other horcruxes, destroy them, and live happily ever after. But if Harry is the final horcrux, I believe that the dementors, who have the ability of sucking out a wizard's soul, will have a part in the removal of the horcrux so that Harry will not have to kill himself in order to kill Voldemort. And, I'm sure that there are massive copyright laws protecting Harry Potter so that no writer could ever publish another Harry Potter story without the consent of Rowling's publisher.

By anon2143 — On Jun 29, 2007

Harry Potter wil die...there's no question about it. One theory is some weird connection thing will happen between Harry and Voldemort, and they'll both die or my other theory is that Harry will find out he's the last horocrux and will kill himself. Either way, he dies. It's so obvious he will, that way, no sequels will happen, but J.K. Rowling will have to deal with all the questions about what happens to everyone else after book 7. If Harry does die, then I can't imagine what the movie will be like.

By anon2052 — On Jun 25, 2007

I believe killing Harry Potter will be a fitful, however devastating, ending to this outstanding series of novels. I love Harry Potter. Most everyone does. But to kill him off while also killing off Voldemort would be satisfying to me. Harry is strong. Voldemort is stronger. He is the most infamous wisard ever known to the wizarding world in the novels. It would be more inspirational to have Harry, a young man, kill a deadly wizard. It would be musch better than keeping Harry alive. Voldemort cannot survive this series. This much is obvious. It would be pointless and Harry's existence would hold less meaning. I feel, Miss Rowling, that to kill off main characters and therefore ending the series, would would keep the magic alive for generations to come. If another author came and started it up, it would lose it's magic. It cannot go on forever. At least make the ending, YOUR ENDING, a shock. Something no one will ever forget. Let it be talk about and argued and debated over for years to come, but to keep Harry alive, as much as I love him, would make the story less meaningful. Let them kill each other off!!!! That would be great. Horrifying, but nevertheless great. Unforgettable. But whatever you decide, I will lap it up and love it!

By anon1956 — On Jun 21, 2007

i think that voldemort and harry will die, because then if harry doesn't die then everyone would want like a 8th and 9th book and film and jk rowling said this is the last book, also she said in one of her interviews "we are dealing with pure evil" so someone like harry must die but i think voldemort will die too, because apparently in order for voldemort to stay alive he needs harry to be alive because of his scar which contains some of voldemorts powers. but i think the book will end on a happy note because if harry dies he can be reunited with his mum, dad, sirus black and dumbledore. also if voldemort dies by harry killing him harry would basically save everyone in their world.

By anon1948 — On Jun 21, 2007

I truly believe that killing harry potter would be the worst mistake rowling could do in her books. Harry is considered to be a very intelligent, strong, determined, and honorable character. He is an inspiration to many young children. As with albus dumbledore, however given his age it was quite expected. I do not believe ron, harmonie, ginny, or any of the children should be killed. If it is that rowling does not wish to continue with the harry potter books, then maybe she should leave it with a cliff hanger and allow another director or author to continue. Harry potter is way too popular to just forget about or destroy. In my opinion, harry potter made rowling who she is today. If she does not wish to continue, at least allow another good author to pick up where she left off and make many more inspirational books, maybe even allowing harry potter to become the headmaster of hogwarts in the future, there are so many directions this book could go. Whatever the decision be, i ask mrs rowling to please not kill off any of the main characters that make the story so great, and instead finish this last book and let someone else step up and continue the journeys to come!!!!

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Language & Humanities contributor,...
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