While the Harry Potter series provides many opportunities for promising spin-offs, audiences have so far not been impressed with the Fantastic Beasts series. This could be because the story surrounding Newt Scamander is not based on books as the original Harry Potter series was. So, for die-hard book fans, it isn’t easy to realign canon with the information added to the story after-the-fact.
Books have far more room to dive deep into the story and provide readers with an emotional understanding that movies lack. The Harry Potter books contain several more impactful moments, full of quotes from the characters or narrations from J.K. Rowling, that drive home the sad themes of Harry’s story. Fans took to Reddit to share which of these quotes they found the most heartbreaking and upvoted for the ones they agreed brought tears to their eyes.
Note: This Reddit thread is still active, and posts continue to accrue upvotes or downvotes. Rankings may have changed since the time of this publishing.
Redditor Alphachair shared a line from Deathly Hallows that described how Harry felt leaving Privet Drive forever. He remembered the young boy he had been before he was aware of his Harry Potter rivalry with Voldemort and felt a sense of mourning for that version of himself. J.K. Rowling described how Harry felt an “odd empty feeling” when thinking of his past self, comparing him to a lost little brother.
This affects audiences because they can clearly remember Harry’s innocence in Philosopher’s Stone and see how much he has changed going into the final book. It was a bittersweet moment, but with only eight upvotes, it wasn’t as impactful as others.
The performances from actors in the Order of the Phoenix movie ensured an absolutely devastating death scene for Sirius Black, but it still didn’t add up to Harry’s rage-filled reaction in the books. Redditor GingerWeasley reminded others of the boy’s screaming denial, entirely written out in capital letters in the book.
Redditor jimparsonsrox stated that the “caps lock adds emotion that you can’t get otherwise,” explaining that simply adding exclamation marks wouldn’t have been nearly as effective. A few upvotes from other Redditors on this quote proved that many agreed.
In Deathly Hallows, Harry is confronted by Dementors just after seeing Fred die. Devastated by the loss, he didn’t think he could keep fighting. However, these simple words from Luna Lovegood reminded him that his friends were by his side fighting, no matter what.
This line was chosen by one Reddit user, who found that when Harry “couldn’t produce a Patronus,” it drove home just how defeated he was beginning to feel. However, the theme of Harry Potter is the power of love and friendship, and Luna’s emotional reminder makes this clear.
At the end of Goblet of Fire, Dumbledore makes a speech remembering Cedric Diggory. He told students to keep the boy’s sacrifice in mind when it came time for them to choose between what was right and what was easy. Cedric was a true Hufflepuff in Harry Potter and deserved to be remembered for his pure loyalty.
One Reddit user found that Cedric’s death was one of the “saddest moments” in all of Harry Potter since he was the first innocent victim of Voldemort that readers got to see firsthand. He was tossed away like nothing, showing readers how much the tone of the books had changed. The blow might not have been the same as Sirius or Dobby’s deaths, but it still meant something to at least 14 upvoters.
While the story of Neville Longbottom’s parents is only briefly explained in the movies, Harry and co. got to meet Frank and Alice in the Order of the Phoenix book. Redditor Imriaylde found that this scene wasn’t “sad in a big dramatic way” but that Neville’s situation still had a profound impact. With 21 upvotes, it’s clear others felt the same.
At St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, the Golden Trio witnessed Neville’s mom give her son an empty candy wrapper as a Christmas gift. His Gran exasperatedly told him to throw it in the trash. However, Harry saw Neville secretly slip it into his pocket, showing that even the simple gift meant something to the lonely boy.
The Half-Blood Prince movie skipped over Dumbledore’s funeral, but when Xenophiliswashere shared a line from the book in which Harry mourned for the headmaster’s loss, the post earned 23 commiserating upvotes. This is likely because the mood of this chapter was perfectly reminiscent of the kinds of emotions experienced at a funeral, making Harry’s experience relatable to many.
As the funeral proceeded, Harry looked around at the people in attendance and realized that he had known a different version of the headmaster than they had. They knew his history better, but he knew the clever, often comical man whose power had given Harry security. Still, this made it all the harder to remember that Dumbledore wasn’t coming back.
The Deathly Hallows items in Harry Potter played an essential part at the end of Harry’s story, and the Resurrection Stone especially introduced a profoundly emotional moment. Ready to sacrifice himself to Voldemort, Harry turned the Stone in his fingers, and his lost loved ones ushered him to death.
Redditor YerALizardHarry and their upvoters found the moment “Harry realizes he has to die” as the moment the entire series had been leading to. Rowling was also sure to note how Harry had his Invisibility Cloak and “Draco’s wand,” covertly indicating that he had the loyalty of all three Deathly Hallows.
Before sharing the quote they found most devastating, Redditor Eviltwinskippy said, “sorry, everybody…grab a hanky.” They knew that Dobby’s death was among the most heartbreaking in the series, and while the Deathly Hallows movie saw it perfectly, J.K. Rowling’s narration drove the moment home.
As Harry felt Dobby’s body go still, he knew that nothing else could be done. Leading to that moment, the Boy Who Lived had struggled with whether he should find the Horcruxes or the Deathly Hallows. The elf’s death gave him the resolve he needed to choose the Horcruxes, but at a terrible loss that fans still can’t get over.
After one Reddit user shared Percy and Fred’s conversation leading to the latter’s death, another Redditor commented that their eyes “instantly [watered].” Readers had been used to funny quotes from Fred and George in Harry Potter, but after Fred’s final joke was interrupted by an explosion, everything changed.
Percy Weasley had only just mended ways with his younger twin brothers, but it was all brought to a bitter end when Fred was killed at the Battle of Hogwarts. Before Harry could even see what had happened, he heard Percy screaming for Fred to return to him— a moment no fan could ever forget.
While the moment Harry visited his parents’ graves lacked the chaos of Fred’s death in the Battle of Hogwarts, the silent sorrow communicated by J.K. Rowling was enough to leave its mark on readers’ hearts. As Harry stood above his parent’s bones, he wondered if they could possibly know he was there and thought how if things had been different, his bones would be buried beside them.
Redditor Doxy_ said that “this line hits [them] hard” because it brings to mind the terrible treatment Harry went through at the Dursleys’. He had lived such a warm, happy life during his first year, but he had lost it all because of Voldemort. With the most upvotes in the Reddit thread, it’s clear that others felt the same injustice.
NEXT: 10 Most Unnecessary Conflicts In The Harry Potter Series