Professor Severus Snape is easily one of the most despised yet beloved characters in the Harry Potter saga by JK Rowling.
He is a wizard who teaches Potions and later Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Yet he is also a spy who works for both sides of the wizarding war: the evil Lord Voldemort and his followers, the Death Eaters, and the benevolent Albus Dumbledore and his allies, the Order of the Phoenix. Snape’s role and loyalties are shrouded in mystery and ambiguity throughout the story, until the final reveal in the last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Deviant artist Flying Foxx captures the emotional roller coaster Rowling takes readers on from Snape acting as Harry’s perceived nemesis in Philosophers Stone to the eventual savior in Deathly Hallows. Long live Severus Snape!
[Source: Flying Foxx]
Snape’s character arc is fascinating and unlike that of anyone else in the Harry Potter franchise. He starts off as an apparent antagonist to Harry, and his friends, with an irrational grudge against the protagonist who resembles his father, James Potter – who bullied Snape during their time at Hogwarts. As such, Snape is cold, sarcastic, and cruel to Harry and other Gryffindor students, while favouring his own house, Slytherin. He also appears to be involved in sinister plots and schemes, such as trying to steal the Philosopher’s Stone in the first book, or killing Dumbledore in the sixth.
However, as the series progresses, Snape’s character becomes more layered and enigmatic. He shows glimpses of bravery, loyalty, intelligence, and even compassion. He saves Harry’s life on several occasions, such as when he counteracts Quirrell’s curse on Harry’s broomstick in the first book, or when he warns the Order of the Phoenix of Voldemort’s attack on the Department of Mysteries in the fifth. He also helps Harry learn Occlumency, a skill to protect his mind from Voldemort’s intrusion; mentors Draco Malfoy, a conflicted Slytherin student who is tasked by Voldemort to kill Dumbledore; and reveals his true allegiance to Dumbledore in a secret conversation in the final book.
The most shocking and heartbreaking revelation about Snape, however, comes after his death at the hands of Voldemort. How this melancholic professor had nothing but love to give, in his own way.
Snape’s character is a complex and tragic one, challenging the conventional notions of heroism and villainy. He is neither a saint nor a sinner, but a human being who made mistakes and tried to redeem himself. He is a hero who sacrificed everything for the greater good, but also a villain who hurt many people along the way. He is a man who loved deeply, but also hated fiercely. He is Severus Snape, the Half-Blood Prince, the Potions Master, the spy, the teacher, and the lover. He is one of the most memorable and compelling characters in the Harry Potter series.
Owner, founder and editor-in-chief at Vamers, Hans has a vested interest in geek culture and the interactive entertainment industry. With a Masters degree in Communications and Ludology, he is well read and versed in matters relating to video games and communication media, among many other topics of interest.