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Sirius & Regulus Black’s Deaths In Harry Potter Have 1 Ironic Connection  

Sirius and Regulus Black were very different characters in the Harry Potter books, but their deaths had an ironic connection. Of course, Regulus’ full story was never told in the movies, so the details of his death are often forgotten. This is even true for Sirius, who, despite being more heavily featured in the popular Warner Bros films, was still simplified to the point that his death was less of a cautionary tale than it had been in the books. This is quite a shame since this diminished the deliciously ironic way these very different brothers met their ends and how this supported the overarching themes of the Harry Potter books.

Regulus and Sirius were born to the powerful Black family, known in the wizarding world for their pure blood and affinity for the Dark Arts. While Sirius, who was sorted into Gryffindor when he attended Hogwarts, resented this reputation and did everything to separate himself from his family, his younger brother fully embraced the pure-blood mania often seen in the villains of Harry Potter. The two took entirely different paths—Regulus to the Death Eaters and Sirius the Order of the Phoenix. Naturally, this resulted in a tragedy for both of them.

Sirius Black Died As A Result Of His Cruelty Toward Kreacher In Harry Potter

The Harry Potter movies showed how Sirius died at the Ministry to save Harry’s life (who had been tricked into going there to save Sirius), but the books added several more ironic details. After the devastating events in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore informed Harry that Voldemort had learned of the relationship between Sirius and Harry from the house-elf Kreacher, who had betrayed his master and had been secretly passing what information he could to Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange for months—all because Sirius had been cruel to him:

“I warned Sirius when we adopted twelve Grimmauld Place as our headquarters that Kreacher must be treated with kindness and respect. I also told him that Kreacher could be dangerous to us. I do not think that Sirius took me very seriously, or that he ever saw Kreacher as a being with feelings as acute as a humans — ”

“Don’t you blame — don’t you — talk — about Sirius like — ” Harry’s breath was constricted, he could not get the words out properly. But the rage that had subsided so briefly had flared in him again; he would not let Dumbledore criticize Sirius. “Kreacher’s a lying — foul — he deserved — ”

“Kreacher is what he has been made by wizards, Harry,” said Dumbledore. “Yes, he is to be pitied. His existence has been as miserable as your friend Dobby’s. He was forced to do Sirius’s bidding, because Sirius was the last of the family to which he was enslaved, but he felt no true loyalty to him. And whatever Kreacher’s faults, it must be admitted that Sirius did nothing to make Kreacher’s lot easier — ”

Sirius Black wasn’t a bad person and did his best to escape the bigotry in which he had been raised. However, in his resentment of his childhood home and upbringing, he took his anger out on a living being he inadvertently saw as below him. Despite Dumbledore’s warnings, he continued to treat Kreacher with cruelty—even while he taught Harry that a wizard should be judged by how he treats his inferiors. Unfortunately, despite being a good man on the right side of the Wizarding War, Sirius’ internalized bias led to his death.

Regulus Black Died Defending Kreacher In Harry Potter


Regulus Black, on the other hand, met his end while attempting to defend Kreacher. Sirius’ younger brother joined the Death Eaters when he was only 16, much to his mother’s pride. He fully embraced the ideas he had been raised with—that Muggles and other beings were lesser and therefore needed to be ruled by the superior wizarding kind. However, when he saw the cruelty with which Lord Voldemort treated those he wished to dominate, Regulus changed his mind and attempted to destroy his master’s Horcruxes—hence the mysterious ‘RAB’ message he left in the fake locket in Half-Blood Prince.

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry took Hermione’s advice (and learned from Sirius’ mistakes) and finally began to treat Kreacher with kindness. When he did, the house-elf told him the whole story of how Lord Voldemort had borrowed Kreacher from Regulus, forced him to drink the Emerald Potion to conceal the Slytherin locket Horcrux in the cave, and left him there to die. Thankfully, Regulus saved him, and once he learned what the Dark Lord had done, he returned to the cave, drank the potion himself to retrieve the Horcrux, and ordered Kreacher to escape and destroy it.

Regulus could have again forced Kreacher to drink the Emerald Potion, healed him, and then worked to destroy the Horcrux himself. However, he didn’t want the house-elf to suffer again. The young Death Eater was dragged into the water by the Inferi and therefore became one of the greatest heroes of Harry Potter. Regulus never told Kreacher that he had turned away from Voldemort since he knew it would be safer for his family if they continued with the pure-blood ideology. So, Mrs. Black and Sirius never learned the truth—and Kreacher dutifully kept his secret until Harry Potter showed kindness and offered help.

How Sirius & Regulus’ Deaths Support Harry Potter’s Themes

Harry Potter Black Family Tree on Canvas from 12 Grimmauld Place

Kreacher’s involvement in both Sirius and Regulus’ deaths was left out of the Harry Potter movies. Still, in the books, these circumstances served to support the themes of morality that are so prevalent throughout Harry’s story. The Black brothers had been raised in the same Dark environment, but when it came time for war, one chose the Order of the Phoenix while the other joined the Death Eaters. In the end, the ‘good’ sibling died because of behaviors typically associated with the Dark side, while the ‘bad’ brother died protecting a house-elf.

Ultimately, this showed that neither Sirius nor Regulus was entirely bad nor good. The Harry Potter series demonstrated time and time again that even when someone is sure of their convictions and try their best to make the right choices, they can unconsciously make damaging decisions. On the other hand, good deeds and compassion can come from anywhere. As Sirius Black said, the world isn’t divided into good people and Death Eaters—there is light and dark in everyone. The Black siblings were another ironic lesson in Harry Potter of how morality is never so black and white.

This story originally appeared on Screenrant

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