Severus Snape

Elena

Member
Many people hate Snape, but I love him. I think he is not only misunderstood, but not given proper credit for what he did everyday. People fixate on his love for Lily and how he treated students over everything else Snape has done for most of his adult life. Unfortunately, we see the story through Harry's POV and Snape was always supposed to be a sceptical character. How can Dumbledore trust him SO much, when all that Harry sees is how 'bad' Snape is supposed to be?

It isn't till we get to Deathly Hallows though, that it all fits together. Snape's memories are key to his entire character and explains so much about him. It is also the insight Harry needed which inspires him to name one of his sons after him. But what we do learn is that even though the rest of the Wizarding World thought Voldemnort was gone, Dumbledore and Snape worked to protect Harry and prepare for the day he came to Hogwarts. For Snape, the war never ended. He still played the double agent. Always having a foot in the door to both worlds.

Outwardly, he had to portray that he still believed in Purity and favouring his Slytherins - Why? Because people like Lucius were also watching and waiting to see what would happen. Inwardly, Snape was always working with Dumbledore. This is why Dumbledore trusted Snape so much. He put his life on the line every day. He was never able to stop his double spy life to live normally. Snape was never able to properly grieve Lily or even deal with the issues he had as a child being bullied. This in-turn made it harder for him to 'like' Harry (especially because he looked like James), but regardless of this fact, he never once stopped protecting Harry. This is why it comes as a shock to him when Dumbledore revealed that Harry had to die. But right up to his death, Severus did everything he could to protect Harry and help to destroy Voldemort.
 

la_topolina

Member
@Lady Plantagenet Severus Snape is my favorite HP character too. @Elena You articulated pretty much all the reasons I love him so well!

Snape's character was actually what got me started writing fanfic. I wanted to write a story--a what if I suppose--where he has the opportunity to have a character arc and get away from the roles that he is trapped in, because it is so sad that he never gets a break through the entire series.
 
Although he's one of my favourite characters, I have a love-hate thing for Snape, to be honest.

After years and years, I grew out of the astonishment I had when I first read Deathly Hallows and I don't think his arc as original anymore. But Snape remains a well-round character with an impressive backstory that was kept as a surprise up to the very ending. He's not likeable, but he is human. He is not a hero, he is even a poor excuse of a martyr, but that is what makes him a fantastic character.

That said... no tragic past can erase the fact that he's a terrible person. Snape is... cruel. As an adult, he uses his power as a teacher to establish a routine of abuse and bullying on children from 11 to 18, which not only serves to inhibit some students but also sets an example that allows other children to do the same. He's not only cruel, though, he is also unfair. Every teacher has a favourite student, right? Perhaps, but it doesn't give them an excuse to treat a child like an idiot (especially when they struggle in class).

The fact that Dumbledore allowed that to happen is one of the main reasons I resent him. In addition to how miserable Snape's students felt in his class, I have no doubt that Snape himself would be much happier if he had another career. There are people who aren't meant to teach and that's okay. Snape is an intelligent man, great potioneer, and brilliant spell-caster (to the point he even created his own spells). There are so many things he could be doing, but he was stuck in a position he clearly hated.

All that said, Snape's building proved to me that I can actually love a character that I hate as a person. It's the one thing I will always have to give to Rowling, she built a damn great surprise. That was a character the figured among my very least favourites from Philosopher's Stone to the very final moments of Deathly Hallows. From his memories, though, she managed to change my entire perspective toward the character. Then, re-reading it, I could see clues that you had to pay a lot of attention to get. This, my friends, is masterful storytelling.

I don't admire Snape and don't think of his arc as a redemption (although I understand why some people see it that way). But he is still one of my favourite characters exactly because is a complex person; because everything you argue about Snape is questionable. That's exactly because Rowling took her time to build him layer after layer before (metaphorically XD) stripping him naked at once on Deathly Hallows. He's a damn great character.
 
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