WARNING: THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE HARRY POTTER SERIES
You can’t say she didn’t warn us. After Cedric’s death in the fourth book Rowling made it clear that a more beloved character would be getting the old Avada Kedavra in the fifth installment. She even did a good job of tricking the reader throughout the book. The first bit of trickery occurs when Mrs. Weasley is battling a bogart and Harry walks in and sees it in the shape of Ron’s dead body. Good news, it’s just Mrs. Weasley being afraid that her entire family is going to die.
The second false alarm is of course the attack on Arthur Weasley by Nagini. According to Rowling, she originally planned for Mr. Weasley to die but at the last moment gave him a reprieve. I believe this was the right decision, though when death does finally strike the Weasley family it is possibly one of the most tragic deaths of the series.
But she couldn’t keep tricking us. And that is why we must say goodbye to Sirius Black, who was one of my favorite characters in the books. Not only was he a link to Harry’s parents and their past, he also served as the first person that Harry could consider family. Losing him was like losing a parent for Harry all over again, only worse this time because he was old enough to remember it. It was an awful loss to the series and made it very clear that no character, however beloved, was safe.
Alas, we should have known that she was easing us into the shock of the deaths that would take place in the final two books.