Aug 18 2016 12:00pm

Come Slyther In: Why Snape Might be the Best Character in the Harry Potter Universe


Severus Snape as played by Alan Rickman

If you haven’t read The Harry Potter Series—where have you been for the last 20 years? Needless to say, Spoiler Alert!

In Harry Potter and The Sorceress’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling, Professor Snape was perceived as a mysterious and dark man. His velvety voice and his long sweeping black robes added to his allure, (I’ve always wondered what he wore under those robes *grin*) but it was his ability to command a room that really got my attention.

 “You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion-making,” he began. He spoke in barely more than a whisper, but they caught every word —Snape had the gift of keeping a class silent without effort. “As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don’t expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses...I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death—if you aren’t as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach.”

The first evening at Hogwarts, in The Sorcerer’s Stone, it was obvious that Snape already disliked Harry. Snape’s snarled remarks and curious behavior lead us to believe he was the bad guy . . . But our anti-hero was actually trying to keep Harry alive! We quickly learn that it’s really hard work keeping the boy who lived alive. He saved Harry from falling off his broom with a countercurse to Quirrel’s spell at the Quidditch game and he refereed the next game to make sure that Quirrel doesn’t try to kill him again.  Still, Snape is very mysterious. Though at the end of The Sorcerer’s Stone  we were given a little crumb of a clue into Snape’s past when Dumbledore explains to Harry that Snape was saving Harry to repay a debt to Harry’s father (Which he hated) for saving his life.

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Snape is Hotter Than Harry

In The Chamber of Secrets the accusations of Professor Snape are stopped for a while, but his dislike of Harry was still evident. Though his part in the second book in the series was small, Snape showed his Awesomeness in a Wizarding Duel with Professor Lockart at the Dueling Club.

“Lockhart and Snape turned to face each other and bowed; at least, Lockhart did, with much twirling of his hands, whereas Snape jerked his head irritably. Then they raised their wands like swords in front of them. Both of them swung their wands above their heads and pointed them at their opponent; Snape cried: “Expelliarmus!” There was a dazzling flash of scarlet light  and Lockhart was blasted off his feet: He flew backward off the stage, smashed into the wall, and slid down it to sprawl on the floor. “

(Yay Snape!)

In The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Goblet of Fire, Snape’s temperament was even more sullen if that was even possible, but throughout the stories we learned tidbits of Snape’s past and why he was so angry. In The Prisoner of Azkaban, He didn’t like the newest Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher – Professor Lupin, because he was a friend of Harry’s Father, James. Yet, Snape used his incredible skills to make Lupin a very complex potion every month to subside the raging werewolf inside of him during the full moon. The same wolf that almost killed Snape years ago because Sirius Black (Harry’s father’s best friend) played a horrible tricked on him. James and Sirius bulled Snape for entertainment throughout their school years.  More about Severus backstory is revealed–he used to be a Deatheater—and upon Voldemort return, Snape becomes a double agent in The Order of Phoenix to spy on him.We also learn that Snape has a really cool ability called Occumency–the ability to close his mind against mind reading. This was really handy trick to have and though he loathed Harry, he agreed to teach him how to close his mind from Voldemort.

The Half Blooded Prince our hearts were broken when Severus Snape cast the curse that killed Dumbledore in cold blood right in front of Harry who was frozen with a spell and hidden under his cape of invisibility. We heard the plea in Dumbledore’s voice when he said, “Severus, please” right before Snape cast the unforgivable curse. But while we assumed he was begging for mercy, Dumbledore was actually pleading with Snape to follow his orders and be the one to kill him because he was already dying.

SEE ALSO: James and Lily Potter: A Love Story

It wasn’t until the end of The Deathly Hollows in a chapter called The Prince’s Tale, the most amazingly awesome part of Snape was revealed. Severus Snape was still in love with Lilly (Harry’s mom) after all those years. Lilly and Severus were childhood friends and even though they were sorted into different houses, they remind friends until the day that James and Sirius were bulling Snape and held him upside down in a tree. Snape was so angry and humiliated, that he called Lilly a Mudblood in anger when she tried to defend him, which ruined their friendship forever. These memories along with the guilt Severus harbored for being the one to tell Voldemort about the prophecy that lead him to kill Lilly were the reason why Dumbledore trusted Snape absolutely. He had proved his devotion by showing is Patronus was still a Doe – the same shape of Lilly's Patronus.

“But this is touching, Severus,” Said Dumbledore seriously. You have grown to care for the boy. After all?”

“For him?” shouted Snape. “Expecto Patronum!”

From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe, she landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.

“After all this time?”

“Always,” said Snape.

Because of his love for Lilly, and the guilt of being the cause of her death, Severus sacrificed and dedicated his own life to save her son. This was difficult for him, internally, because the boy looked (and acted at times) like the man who stole Lilly from him and bullied him as a child. His character arc is one of the truest examples of redemption, and true and pure love.

What are you’re favorite Snape awesomeness moments in the series? 

H&H Editor Picks:

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Sage Spelling is a compulsive reader, writer, and a happily ever after kind of girl. Find out what she's up to on or follow her on Facebook: Sage Spelling, Twitter: SSpellingAuthor and Pinterest: SSpellingAuthor

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Maggie Boyd
1. maggieboyd66
I don't have a favorite Snape moment from the books (did not like him) but I ADORE Alan Rickman and my favorite moment from the movies is a scene from Goblet of Fire. One of the twins had just successfully asked Anglina to the ball and Harry and Ron are madly whispering (at the silent study table!) about whom they will ask. Snape rolls up his sleeves and grabs the back of their heads to get them to stop. Rickman did such a great job of making what could have been a nasty scene a funny one - I just love it.
Jen Wattley
2. JenWattley
I'm not at all a Snape fan, and I don't know that I truly buy his love for Lily. He certainly has a plethora of regrets, but you would think it would've made him behave much kinder towards Harry, especially since he had "Lily's eyes," even though he looked like his father. I don't know, I don't love for Alan Rickman is real though.
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