Discussion: On Why I Love Snape

The masses have a tendency to be pretty split up on how they feel about Snape. Some hate him, some love him and some don’t care because that’s how they roll.  I got into an argument with someone a while ago who refused to accept my love for Snape and couldn’t understand why I would love him. So here, I am, writing this post as a tribute to one of my favorite characters in the Harry Potter series (and also in some ways to Alan Rickman because…)

Snape isn’t a good person, he is awful, mean and bitter as fuck but he is a fantastic character and one I relate to a lot. Snape, you see, was a child who was bullied. James and his friends were huge jerks to him because he was a tattle-tale. Their antics almost resulted in his death and he ended up losing his best friend to one of his bullies (although admittedly, it was also his fault for being a jerk.)

As an adult, he joined the death-eaters and finally came back to to the light side when the love of his life (aka his ex-best friend) was threatened and eventually died. So. At Hogwarts. Snape is a horrible human being. He bullies Harry Potter, becomes Neville’s worst nightmare and does many other horrible things that would make anyone worry about Dumbledore’s sanity since he hired him and continued to support him. But is Snape really a bad person or did his circumstances make him this way?

Clearly since the post is called On Why I Love Snape, my answer to this question is that circumstances made him this way. Here is the thing, as someone who has been bullied, I can tell you that bullying leaves an emotional scar no matter how long ago it was. To this day I have a low self-esteem and still have a tendency to think EVERYONE hates me. So yeah, I can understand why all the things that happened to Snape turned him into a bitter, vindictive man. My experiences haven’t turned me into a bitter human being but I am still hurt years later and hurt manifest itself in cruel ways over the years especially if it isn’t given the chance to heal. I don’t think Snape ever got that chance since he cut off the only person he cared about and they in turn went and married his worst enemy (I know some will have a different perspective on the whole Snape/Lily thing and that’s okay, you’re not wrong. I am not wrong. NOBODY IS.) Snape never got a chance to get the closure he needed and that hurt festered into this horrible anger that made him lash out at innocent children in an attempt for him to get some sort of revenge, closure on all the hurt that has been caused to him by the world.

So do I think he was completely 100% redeemed at the end of the book since he saves Harry’s life and we all find out that he killed Dumbledore because Dumbledore made him do it? I don’t think so. Snape is a grey character. He is good and bad, but I love him because I can understand and relate to the way he is. And yes, I do kind of want to kiss it and make it better but only because I wish Snape had gotten the closure he needed. Only because I wish he had been more receptive of the kindess Dumbledore showed him and only because I wish Snape could have had a happier life. I mean can you imagine a non-angsty Snape? Me either.

To conclude this post I would like all of us to take a moment of silence to mourn the loss of Alan Rickman. Thank you for bringing Snape to life the way you did and thank you for being a wonderful human being. You will be missed.

What do you think of Snape? Do you love him? Hate him? Love to hate him? WHY? Tell me stuff.

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Rashika

Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).

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  1. says

    Snape was always my favourite HP character, everyone hated him and I was 100% convinced things weren’t as they seemed and he had some good, buried away in there somewhere (and oh boy was a glad when I was right haha)

    I think I love him because, as you say, he’s grey. He’s good. He’s bad. He’s human. He will forever be one of my favourite fictional characters.

    And Alan Rickman will be one of my favourite actors, not just for giving us a perfect Snape, but for being Alan Rickman and bringing life to all his roles <3
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  2. says

    I’ve always had a love hate relationship with Snape. I could always see his many redeeming qualities but at times it was hard not to despise him for how cruel he could be at the same time. Either way. Rickman did an amazing job capturing his character and really bringing him to life on the big screen. We have been doing an H.P. marathon this week in a sort of tribute to Rickman. It has been fun and very nostalgic. ;)

  3. says

    I’m sort of in the ‘don’t care’ team. He’s got his good points and his bad points, but I honestly feel like he didn’t completely redeem himself, in the end. It is a sad back story, though, and I really love how even being a side character he had a full backstory and arc. That’s good stuff there.
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  4. says

    I think Snape is a great character, but I am more team hate than team love. I get that the bullying left a scar, but he still had the choice to accept it and deal with it (I wonder if they have psychologists in the wizarding world, or if it’s a muggle thing) and not be such a bully to his students. It broke my heart when Neville said that the thing he was most scared of was professor Snape. Poor Neville didn’t do anything wrong :(
    On the other hand, his love for Lily made me love him a bit.

  5. says

    Brilliant post!! I pretty much agree with everything you said, especially with Snape being a grey character. That’s what makes him such a GREAT character. I’m not 100% with your point about how his circumstances made him that way, because even though I see your point of view, (and I am sorry to hear about your experience, thank you for being courageous enough to share that,) I think it could also be part of his personality, except there isn’t enough scenes of young Snape before Hogwarts to know if he’s naturally vindictive. These sorts of posts are great discussion starters! =D
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  6. Jewel says

    I LOVE Snape. I think in big part to Alan Rickman. I grew up watching Alan’s movies so when he became Snape I couldn’t hate him. I honestly think Lily was meant for Snape and he got his destiny stolen by James. He might have showed he was mean, but he protected Harry in his own way. I agree with your post 100%. I was also bullied in school. Bullied so much I ended up having a nervous breakdown that made the school board agree to let me be home-schooled. However as an adult, when I look back & think of all I went through, I think it made me a stronger person. Snape unfortunately didn’t get a HEA, but Harry naming his son after him was very sweet. RIP Alan Rickman, you live on in your movies, especially in Harry Potter as Snape.

  7. says

    First of all, SOBS because Alan Rickman. Such a brilliant Snape.

    I am… very conflicted on his character. I liked him better in the movies, but as I was reading I liked him less and less.. until the end when he sort of redeems himself. And made me cry.
    I just, I think my favorite ship in the book is actually James/Lily and I don’t like to see that threatened, and then Snape is so mean to Harry. I can understand him, but then I can’t. I think it bothers me that he was a death eater and he changed only because of Lily, not because Voldermort was truly evil, you know?
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  8. says

    Snape is the perfect example of what happens if you refuse to let go of your bitterness. He’s the anti-hero. He’s done some good, but he was also a bully himself, so it’s never fully black and white with him. And I love that. I love when characters dabble in the grey zone, that you can never quite put your finger on it. Snape is a complex character, an intriguing one, one you will think about often. He may not have been a 100% good person, but he was a fucking fantastic character.

    Also, Alan Rickman. <3
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  9. says

    My son’s father and I kept telling him that Snape was going to turn out to be heroic in some way and he would not accept that thought He fought us tooth and nail through every book that came out, until the end. Then instead if saying wow, he was distraught and bitter that we were right and he was wrong. Ha ha. I should ask him now as an “adult” if he is any less bitter and more Snape friendly. I adore Snape. I also think that he knew what kind of a world the students, especially Harry, would he facing and coddling them would be doing them no favors. Wonderful post, Rashika. :)
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  10. says

    I agree that Snape is a FASCINATING character and one that had a rough childhood, but I disagree that he was bullied by James and Sirius and all – to me, that animosity went both ways and Snape did his fair share of bullying there too. Regardless they were all jerks to one another in my books. Snape made some poor choices as a kid/teen but man, he spent the rest of his life trying (as best as he could) to make up for it. In the end, they never could have defeated Voldemort without him, there’s no question about it. He’s 100% a grey character and those are the best ones to read about! I loved reading about Snape and trying to guess which side he was on during my first read of the series BUT I can’t say that I love him. OF COURSE, it’s ok if you do my dear and I respect your right to do so! I just never could get over how much of a bully he was to Harry (MY favorite ♥), Neville, Hermione, Ron and everyone else. I know part of it was him playing the role to keep his cover, but I can’t forgive him completely. I respect the hell out of him though and Alan Rickman was THE PERFECT Snape – he shall be missed. Fantastic post my friend xxx
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  11. says

    I absolutely agree with all your points. I’ve always alternated between loving Snape, and not being sure whether I love him. But he is such a fleshed out character whose past shaped him into the person he was, and he can’t be entirely blamed for that. Yes, he was awful to the students a lot of the time which is pretty unforgiveable, but I agree with you saying he redeemed himself in the end. Snape lovers unite!

  12. says

    Love, love, love this post Rashika, and I completely agree with you 110%. I love how JK Rowling wrote Snape. He’s so complex and realistic and Rowling really keeps you guessing because you never truly knows where his motivations lie. Yes, he’s done some bad things and made some bad choices, but haven’t we all? At the end of the day, he sacrificed himself to save the wizarding world, and that’s what matters most. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous discussion! ♥
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  13. says

    I don’t understand how people could *hate* Snape. Even if you don’t like his as a person, he’s simply a fantastic character.
    The only person in the whole Harry Potter series I can honestly say I hate is Umbridge (yes, I don’t even hate Voldy) because she is just an awful human being.
    Snape, from the first book, is such a deliciously grey character. You spend the duration of book one thinking the worst of him, but then he was actually protecting Harry?! And everytime the trio thinks the worst of him, turns out they’re wrong. Even about killing Dumbledore (which, by the way, I slightly hate Dumbledore for making him do that. That is cruel af).
    There is this duality to his character that indicates there is more to the story and to him as a person from the get-go, really.
    Yes, he’s bitter, mean, vindictive. Even slightly petty. But that’s not all he is. And I don’t think he’s hateful at all.

  14. says

    Alan Rickman was one of those people who fit into the character’s role so perfectly, that you couldn’t think of them any other way. I wouldn’t have Snape played by anyone else, and his loss has moved all of us <3 I loved your post – given, I don't stand for forgiving him completely after all the things he did, but you put a lot of perspective on WHY he might have been that way. And for that, this post is SO important *throws it at all potterheads* I loved this discussion, thankyou for sharing :)
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  15. says

    My feelings about Snape are probably as grey as the character is! I understand him and feel awful for him at times and I also absolutely hate it and want to shake him at times!
    He’s a fantastic character and I feel that he did earn his redemption, although it doesn’t erase his past actions, just make you understand him better and show that he had so much potential for good…
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  16. says

    Thank you for this post Rashika. It was truly beautiful, and I agree with everything you said. Snape is undoubtedly one of my favourite fictional characters ever, and I loved how layered and deep his personality is. The greyness of his character makes Snape who he is, and unless one understands it, one can’t appreciate the amazing character that is Severus Snape.

    And Alan Rickman…..His death was so unexpected and I still haven’t gotten over it. He was such a fantastic actor and no one could have given a better interpretation of Snape than him.
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