Severus – Sever means “to cut off.” Snape appears to have “cut off” his ties with the Dark Lord through the first five books, and then with Dumbledore and the Order in Half-Blood Prince. “Severe” means “cruel, strict” – two characteristics that accurately describe the Potions Professor. Sounds very similiar to the Latin word “servus,” meaning “servant.” Is he still a servant of Voldemort’s? In ancient history, Lucius Septimius Severus restored stability to the Roman Empire after the tumultuous reign of Emperor Commodus (See Albus) and the civil wars that erupted in the wake of Commodus’ murder. To read more on this story, go here. The name Severus is also mentioned in Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, a favorite book of J.K. Rowling. Additionally, a Saint Severus of Alexandria (Egypt) was martyred along with a Saint Peter and a Saint Leucius for publicly proclaiming the faith around 309 C.E. Severus, Peter, and Lucius – quite a coincidence!
Snape – A town in England. Also based after a person J.K. Rowling knew.
Snape is such a fascinating character. As usual, I LOVE HIM. Alan Rickman was also the perfect Severus Snape. And for those of you, crazy as you may be, who disagree, the proof is simple: J.K. Rowling told Rickman Snape’s entire life story before she had even written the 7th book, before filming began for Philosopher’s Stone. I used to loathe Snape with the same intensity that he loathed Harry. When the 7th book was released, and I got to the part when Snape gives Harry his memories, I had to close the book and process. Jo had done it again, made you believe something so intensely, never giving any clues besides Dumbledore’s continual faith, and twisted it completely. I was so excited to learn about more of Snape’s past. I knew it was going to be a part of the book because Borders (moment of silence for my favorite store that went bankrupt), and I’m sure other stores as well, had book marks saying “Severus Snape, Friend… Or Foe?” on alternate sides. I was so convinced that Snape was evil, especially after he had killed Dumbledore. I couldn’t see any other explanation. (I’m honestly so excited for J.K. to reveal more about Snape’s life on Pottermore.) This post is going to be so hard for me to finish because I just have so many feels about Snape. Currently, I’m rereading Harry Potter for the umpteenth time and I’m on Chamber of Secrets, and I love picking up on little subtle clues that Jo’s left about him. Some things suddenly make so much more sense (this is true with pretty much every major character). This is one of my favorites:
I never really appreciated all that Jo put into the works. I mean, I’ve always loved Harry Potter (in fact, it’s the first series that made me love reading, I used to hate it), but the fact that people are still finding things from a book that was published 15 years ago. It’s the series that just keeps on giving. One of the things that I love the most about Snape’s development is that normally, a character appears good, but is actually evil. Snape’s the opposite. Also, normally, there are clues. Maybe I’ve missed them because they’re so subtle, but I don’t think so. The only thing that you have is Dumbledore’s complete faith, which I think makes you doubt Dumbledore and makes you think so much more.
At first, I never understood why Jo had to put in another villainous character. I mean, wasn’t the threat of Voldemort enough? AHH. I can’t even put into words the feels that I’m experiencing. Snape just hates Harry purely because he can’t look at Harry and not think of the mistake that he made so many years ago. I think this is the one time that I really understand why it’s so important that Harry has Lily’s eyes. Snape loved Lily, and to see that every day, it makes complete sense why Snape hates Harry. Again, why I love that picture so much.
Though people criticize Snape for being so cruel to students, the two he was the worst to were Harry and Neville. Harry for the reasons above, and Neville because he feels guilty. Snape was the one who overheard the prophecy, and if he hadn’t heard that, Voldemort wouldn’t have known to go after Lily or Harry or the Longbottoms. So, indirectly, it is Snape’s fault that Bellatrix and the others tortured Frank and Alice Longbottom. I think we forget that Snape is good, but he can’t show it because of students like Malfoy who are closely tied to the Dark Lord.When I found out that Snape loved Lily, it was probably the best Snape moment. I love Snape, and I love what I know of Lily, but I think the people who “ship” Snily (Snape and Lily) are crazy. James and Lily were perfect for each other. Though James wasn’t always perfect, he was always trying to win Lily’s heart. Snape loved her from the moment he saw her, but he ruined it by calling Lily a mudblood. I can’t exactly blame her for disliking him. I think the fact that Lily rejected him led Snape to really start befriending the Slytherin and then go become a Death Eater. He was denied his true love, so I think it was a type of depression in a way. Unfortunately, it took her death to make him see the error of his ways, but it made him turn to Dumbledore, who saved him. (I think this is why Snape and Dumbledore try so hard to save Malfoy in Half-Blood Prince.) I just had an epiphany while writing this. Snape’s worst memory isn’t because James embarassed him, it’s because it’s when he loses Lily. It’s the day he calls her a mudblood. But of course, we see it through mostly Harry’s perspective, and you don’t know about his feelings yet, so of course you don’t notice that! ANOTHER CLUE! I feel like I’m solving a mystery of sorts…
I honestly cannot even handle going into Snape’s name and the meanings. So, why don’t you guys give me your thoughts on his name and the significance? Also, I cannot handle going into the bravery it must have taken to defy the darkest wizard ever.
This was probably the saddest scene, ever:
One last reason to love Snape: the most universal Harry Potter quote:
I apologize if this post makes no sense, but processing how I feel about this topic is so emotional that I really…I just can’t handle it.
More on Snape here <3
Some Snarky Severus Snape quotes:
- Lily Evans: “They’re not arguing any more?“ Severus Snape: “Oh yes, they’re arguing. But it won’t be that long and I’ll be gone.“ Lily Evans: “Doesn’t your dad like magic?“ Severus Snape: “He doesn’t like anything, much.“
- Albus Dumbledore: “If you loved Lily Evans, if you truly loved her, then your way forward is clear. You know how and why she died. Make sure it was not in vain. Help me protect Lily’s son.“ Severus Snape: “Very well. But never — never tell, Dumbledore! This must be between us! Swear it! I cannot bear… especially Potter’s son…“
- “You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion-making. 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 put a stopper on death — if you aren’t as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach.“
- Harry: “Hang on…There’s an empty chair at the staff table…. Where’s Snape?“ Ron: “Maybe he’s ill!“ Harry: “Maybe he’s left, because he missed out on the Defence Against the Dark Arts job again!“ Ron: “Or he might have been sacked! I mean, everyone hates him —“ Snape: “Or maybe he’s waiting to hear why you two didn’t arrive on the school train.“
- Snape: “YOU DON’T KNOW POTTER! HE DID IT, I KNOW HE DID IT!“ Fudge: “Fellow seems quite unbalanced. I’d watch out for him if I were you, Dumbledore.“ Dumbledore: “Oh, he’s not unbalanced. He’s just suffered a severe disappointment.“
- “You might be labouring under the delusion that the entire wizarding world is impressed with you … but I don’t care how many times your picture appears in the papers. To me, Potter, you are nothing but a nasty little boy who considers the rules to be beneath him.“
- Read even more here!