Emma Watson

Harry Potter: Harry’s 10 Scariest Near-Death Experiences

Harry Potter is often known as the 'Boy Who Lived' but he comes close to death many times. What are Harry's scariest near-death experiences?

The Wizarding World can be a particularly dangerous place to reside (as shown many times within the Harry Potter series). With one of the most dangerous dark wizards of all-time out for his blood, it’s no surprise that Harry stares death in the face many times throughout his life.

Not only does the boy wizard have Voldemort to contend with but he also faces off against giant spiders, Dementors, Dragons, and all manner of other dark magical creatures. Despite being known as the ‘Boy Who Lived,’ Harry has a number of terrifying near-death experiences throughout the series.

10 Harry Is Cursed By Voldemort As A Baby

Harry’s very first near-death experience occurs when he is just a baby and is in hiding with his parents. Due to Peter Pettigrew’s betrayal, the Potters are discovered by Voldemort and he callously kills both James and Lily (and also attempts to kill baby Harry). In this situation, Voldemort’s killing curse is ineffective and instead leaves him drained and borderline powerless.

As Harry was just a baby, he doesn’t remember his first close call with death but it’s likely the experience still left some subconscious damage. Even hearing about this and the truth behind his parents’ deaths years later must be traumatizing for Harry, especially when he comes face to face with their killer.

9 Harry Faces Quirrell And Voldemort

In his first year at Hogwarts, Harry becomes highly suspicious of Snape and is certain he is the one trying to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone. However, in one of the biggest twists from the Harry Potter series, it is revealed that Quirrell is, in fact, working with Voldemort (who has been living on the back of the Professor’s head in order to survive).

At this point, Harry is just 11 years old so having to face his parents’ killer in this way is harrowing. Still, he faces Voldemort and Quirrell head on and bravely determines to stop their plans. In the movie, Harry’s touch turns Quirrell to dust and following this, Voldemort’s spirit passes through him and causes him to faint. The sight of his teacher crumbling before his eyes and then feeling Voldemort pass through would be nothing short of traumatizing for the young wizard.

8 Harry And Ron Are Chased By Aragog’s Children

When Hagrid is suspected of opening the Chamber of Secrets and sent to Azkaban, he leaves Harry and Ron with a cryptic message: follow the spiders. After doing just that, the pair come across Aragog the giant spider and his rather large family. Although they learn the crucial information that Aragog is not Slytherin’s monster, it marks the beginning of a horrifying ordeal for Harry and Ron.

The friends are chased through the forest by the spiders and only manage to get out of the situation when the Ford Anglia comes to their rescue. In one particularly tense moment, the spiders begin to swarm around the car and Harry and Ron only get away by the skin of their teeth.

7Harry Is Bitten And Poisoned By A Basilisk

At the end of his second year, Harry heads into the Chamber of Secrets to save Ginny. After discovering that Tom Riddle is actually Voldemort, he is chased down by The Basilisk (which is one of the scariest creatures in Hogwarts). Even when Harry is finally able to look at the creature due to Fawkes blinding it, he is clearly and understandably terrified as he hides from the giant serpent.

Harry finally faces the Basilisk with Gryffindor’s sword in hand and although he manages to deliver a killer blow, he is bitten by the creature and poisoned by its venom. In fact, Harry only survives the bite as he is saved by Fawkes’ healing tears; without the Phoenix, the series’ protagonist would have met an untimely demise here.

6The Dementors Cause Harry To Fall From His Broom

In the third movie, The Dementors are posted outside Hogwarts due to Sirius’ escape from Azkaban. While most people have an averse reaction to the spectral beings, Harry is particularly affected and passes out on a number of occasions when facing them.

During a particularly rainy Quidditch match, Harry is pursued by a horde of Dementors (which causes him to fall from his broom); he falls from a great height and tumbles down towards the ground. Luckily, Dumbledore casts a spell from the crowd and breaks his fall. Without the headmaster, this situation would certainly have been fatal for Harry.

5Harry Takes On A Dragon In The First Task Of The TriWizard Tournament

In his fourth year at Hogwarts, Harry is forced to compete in the Triwizard Tournament when his name is entered without his knowledge. In the first task of the Tournament, each champion must retrieve a golden egg from a Dragon and Harry finds himself going up against the fearsome Hungarian Horntail.

Cleverly, Harry summons his broom during the challenge, but in an unexpected turn of events during the movie, the Horntail escapes its restraints. A tense chase between the two follows above Hogwarts (which leaves the boy wizard in grave danger). Eventually, he manages to retrieve the golden egg and end the task, but he comes dangerously close to the Dragon several times.

4Grindylow Attack Harry During The Second Task Of The Triwizard Tournament

One of Harry’s best decisions in The Goblet of Fireis when he tries to save all the hostages during the second task of the Triwizard Tournament. Despite the fact she is basically a stranger to him, Harry puts his own life at risk in order to save Gabrielle as well as his own hostage, Ron.

The Merpeople warn that Harry is only able to save one of the hostages (but he is prepared to save all four). As he is rescuing Ron and Gabrielle, he is attacked by an angry swarm of Grindylow, who try and drag him back down into the water. Just as it seems like Harry is about to drown, he uses his wand to propel him through the water and back to the surface. While fans were sure that he would escape with his life, it was still a scary situation to think about.

3Harry Duels With Voldemort In The Graveyard

After Harry and Cedric are transported by the Triwizard Cup, the latter is killed by Peter Pettigrew. Terrified by what he’s just witnessed, Harry is then forced to watch as Pettigrew resurrects Voldemort.

Voldemort taunts Harry about his parents and Cedric and then forces him to duel. Harry is still a school student and Voldemort is one of the most powerful dark wizards of all time so things feel completely hopeless for him in these moments. With some help from ghostly apparitions from Voldemort’s wand (including his parents), Harry is able to narrowly escape but is left deeply traumatized by the experience (and in particular, Cedric’s death) as seen in the following movie.

2Slytherin’s Locket Tries To Kill Harry

Harry’s near-drowning in the fourth movie isn’t the only time this happens in the series; in the penultimate movie, he jumps into an icy lake in order to retrieve the Sword of Gryffindor. At this point, he is wearing Slytherin’s locket which is one of Voldemort’s most evil Horcruxes.

The locket springs into action and tries to stop Harry from leaving the frozen water, attempting to drown him. Just as things are looking truly bleak for the protagonist, Ron jumps into the water and drags his friend out to safety. If Ron hadn’t returned at this moment, Slytherin’s locket would have drowned Harry in the frozen lake.

1Harry Is ‘Killed’ By Voldemort In The Forbidden Forest

Harry faces a number of life-threatening situations in the final movie, particularly during the climatic Battle of Hogwarts. The closest Harry ever comes to death though is when Voldemort hits him with the killing curse during their confrontation in the Forbidden Forest.

The Horcrux part of Harry dies here but he is able to return to life; however, it is only thanks to Narcissa Malfoy that his survival goes undetected by the Death Eaters. Harry being saved because of a mother’s love is poignant and brings the whole series full circle. Facing Voldemort and the Death Eaters in this way, believing he is going to die is arguably The Chosen One’s scariest ordeal of all.

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