There are a lot of deaths over the course of the seven Harry Potter books. Some deaths hurt more than others, and insert your own most traumatic HP death here. Even though we’ll all disagree on who hurt THE MOST, there’s a general consensus that Hedwig’s death ranks in the top five, maybe top three, that had us crying the most.
J.K. Rowling has stated before that she killed off Hedwig because her death was meant to represent the loss of innocence as Harry grew up and into adulthood (and stared down some Death Eaters). Her death happens during the Battle of Seven Potters in Deathly Hallows as the group is leaving Privet Drive. As you know, everything quickly turns chaotic during the trip over London, and Hedwig is hit by a Killing Curse (probably meant for Hagrid, who was traveling with Harry). The Death Eater who dealt the fatal blow has never been identified, but one Tumblr user seems to have figured out just who was on the other end of the wand.
According to jomariewalker, it was Snape. Yes, our Snape. Yes, our ALWAYS Snape. The reason is simple, and so so heartbreaking: Snape needed to kill Hedwig to keep Harry safe.
After years of being a total jerk to him, the reason behind Snape’s attitude towards Harry is revealed in the end of the series. Snape’s risking his own life to protect Harry and supply information to Dumbledore, all out of love for Lily Potter. During the Battle of Seven Potters, Snape would have seen Hedwig, and realized she was a dead giveaway as to which of the seven Harrys was the real Harry. The only way to save the boy was to kill his owl.
Though absolutely tragic, it makes sense. Keep in mind this is simply a good theory right now, and will remain that way until Rowling settles this one and for all over Twitter. Now we wait.
(Image via Warner Bros.)