Hedwig was killed off because JKR wanted to show how Harry was growing up. Killing the owl symbolised Harry's loss of innocence.
Yeah. It was to make you hate them more so that it felt more awesome when voldemort got owned
He Had to die. The book wouldn't be the same. Dobby symbolizes Harry's childhood, and Harry had to grow up. Don't worry though, I still cried.
Why does everyone forget about Colin? I think that might have been the worst death... his name was juat in a list.
You could argue none of the characters need to die, minus the dark lord, Sirius, Lily and James. The rest are there so we actually have a reason to see Tommy as an ongoing threat.
Is it weird that I thought of Rugrats when you said Tommy?
Hedwig died because she wouldn't have been able to travel with Harry, Ron and Hermione. It was the loss of innocence motif as well, but it also definitely prevented flaws in the plot.
Everything has to die eventually...the Sorcerer's Stone was destroyed remember?