- “You are a braver man by far than Igor Karkaroff. You know, I sometimes think we Sort too soon...”
- ―Albus Dumbledore after Snape informs him that Karkaroff is planning to flee once Lord Voldemort returns
- “You have your mother's eyes.”
- ―Snape's last words, while staring into the eyes of Harry Potter
Severus Snape was an English half-blood wizard serving as Potions Master, later Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, and Headmaster of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as well as a member of the Order of the Phoenix and a Death Eater. His double life played an extremely important role in both of the Wizarding Wars against Voldemort. He is one of the supporting characters from the Harry Potter film series and was portrayed by the late Alan Rickman.
At times, Snape could appear cold, cynical, malicious, bitter, and sarcastic. He had a commanding presence that exuded gravitas, authority and control; like Professor McGonagall, he had the ability to keep a class quiet without effort. He tended to hold grudges and was extremely spiteful toward those whom he disliked. In particular, he disdained Gryffindor students, considering them to be arrogant and attention-seeking. Descriptions of his social interactions as a child suggest that he had poor interpersonal skills.
Snape was a repressed, solitary man with no friends. In his early life, he was insecure, vulnerable, and yearned to be part of something better. As a child, the bleak normality of working-class suburbia compounded with his neglectful Muggle father inspired in him a contempt for ordinariness. This urgent desire to be a part of something powerful and important was what drew him to Lord Voldemort's inner circle. Snape's bitterness and resentment towards the world was exacerbated even more by the relentless bullying he endured in school, causing him to shut himself in even more. Snape was not a prejudiced individual despite the Death Eater beliefs of pure-blood superiority, but was rather against towards Muggles, presumably because of his sour experience with both his father and Petunia Evans, but held no ill-will towards Muggle-borns. The foundation of him scolding Lily Evans by calling her Mudblood was to not appear weak in front of his fellow Death Eater students than actual supremacist views. He also deeply regretted this as it was what ended his friendship with Lily and defended Hermione Granger when Phineas Nigellus Black called her Mudblood, his manner of speaking in this instance being uncharacteristically explosive and filled with more emotion than he normally displayed.
He was an intensely private individual who viewed emotional displays as a sign of shameful weakness. As an Occlumens, Snape had superb emotional control and was adept at concealing his thoughts and feelings, which allowed him to maintain his cold, collected demeanour. However, he had his limits, and was not incapable of losing his temper, particularly when it came to dealing with Harry Potter. Inevitably, he also became furious when he thought he was being pitied or accused of cowardice.
Snape was a formidable sorcerer, displaying consummate skill in many different branches of magic. His extensive knowledge and abilities were rivalled by very few, if any other witches and wizards of his age. Snape was also unusually cerebral for a wizard, possessing a subtle and keenly analytical mind. As a result, Snape was extremely intelligent and calculative, with a mind for strategy and deduction. He was also a profound misanthrope who appeared to have a prominent hatred of almost every child under his tutelage, except of course for Slytherins. He valued logic and cunning above magical power.
As a professor, Snape was known for his cavalier and harshly authoritarian attitude towards his teaching. His standards for his classes were much higher than that of the other professors, as he only allowed students with the very best grades to continue into advanced study. He developed a loving passion for Dark Arts, originally in the hopes to cover the shame of his heritage, and his interest in it led him to repeatedly apply for the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor post every year, despite being rejected for sixteen years. When he finally got his wish, Snape taught the course with a loving caress in his voice, far beyond simply respecting the Dark Arts as a dangerous foe, something he did not show in his post as the Potions Master. He also taught this class slightly fairer than he did in Potions, such as lowering his entrance standards and biassed for the N.E.W.T. level, allowing more students to enter the advanced studies of his favourite class, and placed students from his own house, such as Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle, in detention for failing to do acceptable work the second time around after failing their O.W.L. the previous year.
Ultimately, it was Snape's past and his love for Lily Evans that defined his inner being. His love for Lily Evans became most noticeable by his patronus, a Doe, just like Lily's. Upon overhearing the Prophecy, he immediately informed his then-master of its contents, unaware that this would endanger Lily and her family. It was only after Lily's death that Snape realised the full extent of his actions. He suffered terrible remorse for what he had done and spent the rest of his life in constant danger in order to protect Lily's son.
In spite of his vindictive demeanour, Severus Snape was an immensely brave man who possessed a deep capacity for love. Everything that he did in the latter part of his life was motivated by his devotion to Lily Evans, whom he loved unconditionally. He was one of Dumbledore's most reliable allies and in his role as a double agent, took great personal risk in ensuring Harry's safety from Lord Voldemort. Despite his years of him and Harry barely getting along, if at all, Snape openly criticised Dumbledore after learning he protected Harry all these years just so he could die at the right time due to being a Horcrux, showing he's grown to genuinely care for Harry, even though at first, he only protected him because of his relationship to Lily. When he informed Dumbledore that he informed Voldemort of the prophecy, Snape begged Dumbledore to hide Harry, Lily, and even James too. This clearly showed Snape prioritised Lily's happiness above all else, even if it meant her being with a man he hated for most of his life.
Despite Snape's normally calm and controlled exterior and guarded body language, he was in possession of an extraordinarily explosive and almost psychotic temper. This was rarely seen, but extreme display of rage was most prominently witnessed after Snape killed Dumbledore and was confronted outside of Hagrid's burning house near the edge of the school grounds. The event that triggered this unhinged manifestation of Snape's unrestrained wrath was Harry's accusation of Snape being a coward for killing Dumbledore. Due to the many years of being bullied by Harry's father, and with a need to both vent his immense stress and maintain his cover, Snape unleashed a terrifying mix of both his emotions and magic, taking great pleasure in torturing and punishing the son of his enemy. Unlike in the past where he spoke quietly in his anger, Snape in this instance was screaming and letting so much out, and confessing his identity of the Half-Blood Prince to Harry who had attempted to use one of Snape's own invented spells against him. This battle showed Snape's repressed rage in its horrific glory and power. Suffice it to say, Severus Snape was not a man who it was wise to provoke, lest one incur his almost elemental wrath and magical power.
Severus Snape was a slender, thin man with sallow fair skin, a large, hooked nose and yellow, uneven teeth. He had shoulder-length, greasy black hair, curling lips and brown eyes. As a Death Eater, he bears the Dark Mark on his left inner forearm.
He always dons his black robes consisting a buttoned shirt, with matching trousers, shoes and a floor length cloak. He carries his own wand.
Powers and abilities
Magical abilities and skills
Snape is first seen in the Great Hall, giving Harry particular looks. It is hinted by Percy Weasley that Snape's been after the post of Defence Against the Dark Arts for years.
Snape appears into his classroom, where he gives a lecture to his class about potion making and draws his attention to Harry Potter who is writing down his information. Snape asks Harry the questions that relate to Potion making - despite Hermione knows the answers and Harry doesn't know. In response to Harry's angry remark that he didn't ask Hermione for the answers, Snape reveals the information to Harry before instructing the class to write them all down. He returns to his desk and deducts five points from Gryffindor for Harry's "cheek".
When Snape arrives with McGonagall and Quirrell after Harry and Ron saved Hermione by knocking out a mountain troll, Harry notices a wound on Snape's leg which he quickly covers up. The following day, Snape, in a deadpan manner, congratulates Harry for proving himself against a mountain troll and wishes him luck on his first Quidditch Match, before he limps away, making Harry, Ron and Hermione suspicious of Snape attempt to steal the stolen object in the forbidden corridor.
During the Quidditch Match, when Harry's broom is suddenly jinxed, Ron and Hermione suspect Snape is behind this, because they saw him muttering. Hermione reaches the basements of the stands where Snape is sitting, she secretly sets his cloak on fire with her wand. Snape soon notices this and extinguishes the fire, knocking over Quirrell in his haste.
After Harry has left the Restricted Section in his invisibility cloak after a noise from the book has alerted Filch, Snape corners Quirrell and confronts him. But Snape seemingly hears something and then feels nothing, he and Quirrell are notified by Filch about a student out of bed.
On the day after the final exams are finished, Snape notices the trio talking to each other, and advises them to be careful that people may think they are up to something. Snape leaves after that.
However, it turns out that the true suspect of planning to steal the Philosopher's stone was actually Professor Quirrell who reveals that Snape was actually protecting Harry all year and intervened with his plans: Snape cut Quirrell off from the forbidden corridor and Snape muttered his counter curse in attempt to block the jinx from Harry's broom.
Snape is seen in his office, furious that the Flying Ford Anglia - where Harry and Ron are in, has been spotted by none other than seven muggles. He reprimands Harry and Ron for nearly exposing the wizarding world and the damage caused on the Whomping Willow, before stating that they are about to be on their train home. Dumbledore and McGonagall intervene, and Snape requests Dumbledore to expel the boys, but Dumbledore hands the decision to McGonagall who thankfully keeps them in the school, but gives them detention.
He is next seen when Filch's cat, Mrs Norris has been petrified, and that the heir of Slytherin left a message on the wall with blood.
Much later, Snape volunteers himself to duel with Gilderoy Lockhart in the dueling club, and they duel as demonstration. Lockhart volunteers Harry and Ron to duel, but Snape points out that Ron's damaged wand could injure Harry during the duel and suggests that Malfoy should duel Harry instead. During the duel, Malfoy creates a snake, and Harry is revealed to be a parseltongue when he speaks to snakes; Snape then disintegrates the snake shortly afterwards.
He is next seen with McGonagall, Madame Pomferry and Lockhart, discussing that the heir of Slytherin left another message on the wall and the monster has taken Ginny Weasley into the Chamber of Secrets.
He is last seen in the Great Hall, as Dumbledore announces that the final exams are cancelled and welcomes back Hagrid from Azkaban.
Snape appears with Dumbledore with news of him searching the Astronomy Tower and the Owlery for Sirius - due to the incident of the prisoner slashing the Fat Lady's portrait out of anger, but Snape concludes that Sirius isn't found anywhere and amazed that he managed to get past the Dementors without being detected. Dumbledore plans to warn the students, and on Snape's request of Harry to be informed, Dumbledore requires that they should let Harry sleep.
The following day, Snape appears in Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson, covering for Lupin, who Snape claims to be absent in the present-time. Snape instructs the students to turn to page 394, and lectures them about werewolves, and even belittles Hermione of "speaking out of term" before deducting five points for that. On Harry's comment that Quidditch is tomorrow, Snape coldly suggests that he should take extra care and his injuries won't excuse him.
Much later in winter with Harry (under the invisibly cloak) is making a illegal visit to Hogsemade, Snape has a meeting with McGonagall and Fudge on James and Lily Potters' deaths, all because Sirius Black betrayed them to Voldemort.
Later on, that night, Snape catches Harry in the corridors with the marauder's map. Harry reads the map, but rewords the information which insults him. As Lupin arrives, Snape confiscates the map from Harry and hands it over to Lupin, who takes Harry away to explain to him about the map. After they left, Snape is left alone in the corridor and is forced to dim out his wand on one of the paintings' requests.
Much later on, Snape corners Lupin and Sirius in the Shrieking Shack, planning to hand them both over to the Dementors, but Harry knocks him out with the Expelliarmus spell, allowing Lupin and Sirius to find the real culprit who betray James and Lily to Voldemort. After they left the Shrieking Shack, Snape regain conscious and tracks them outside the Whomping Willow. Before he can reprimand Harry, he notices Lupin transforming into a werewolf, prompting Snape to stand in front of the trio to protect them from harm. As Sirius runs off with the werewolf giving chase, Harry went after them, ignoring Snape's orders to get back here. However, it is mentioned that Snape found the unconscious Harry and Sirius near the Back Lake, and has Harry sent to the Hospital wing and Sirius to the Topmost tower to receive the Dementor's kiss. Thankfully, Harry and Hermione went back in time, and save Sirius from the Dementor's kiss.
Snape can be seen in the Great Hall with the teachers, as Dumbledore welcomes the Durmstrang Institute and Beauxbatons Academy of Magic. He is also seen where the Goblet of Fire picks out the names for the tournament. After Harry was unexpectedly chosen by the Goblet of Fire, Snape gave Harry a dirty look as he joins the competitors. He along with McGonagall discuss with Dumbledore about Harry being in the tournament. Snape suggest that Potter should compete, which Dumbledore agrees.
Snape is seen in the Great Hall, observing the students when they are doing their studying. He often hits Ron and Harry on the head with a book to remind to remain silent. After Hermione leaves and hands her book to Snape, he notices Harry and Ron discussing, prompting Snape to grab their heads and pushes them down in order to shut them up.
Snape is next discussing with Igor Karkaroff about his Death Eater tattoo, and catches a Hufflepuff and a Ravenclaw making out in a carriage. He deducts ten points from their houses for that.
Snape is next seen after a conversation with Igor in his storeroom. He finds Harry and congratulates him for his efforts on the second task. Snape guess that Harry used Gillyweed and finds a potion in the storeroom, asking him if he knows Veritaserum, a truth-telling potion. Snape knows it is forbidden to use it on a student, and accuses him of stealing him from his storeroom, before he continues accusing him and his friends of making Polyjuice Potion and vows to find out why.
Much later in the climax, Snape takes the Veritaserum and arrives with Dumbledore and McGonagall to restrain Moody and force him to drink the potion. The result has Moody revealed to be Barty Crouch, Jr. and the real Moody was imprisoned in a magical trunk. Snape finally realizes that Barty Crouch, Jr. has been stealing from his store. He holds Barty Crouch, Jr. hostage at the wand-point, waiting for him to sent back to Azkaban.
Snape is first seen as a member of the Order of the Phoenix having a meeting.
Snape is next seen in the great hall as Dumbledore welcomes Umbridge as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. Much later, in his classroom with Umbridge questioning him of his desire of teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts. After she leaves and as Ron quietly snickers, Snape hits him over the head with his book.
As Harry explains to Dumbledore (with his back turned) about seeing a vision of Mr. Weasley being attacked, Snape arrives and Dumbledore instructs him to serve Occlumency lessons with Harry to block his mind from Voldemort.
Much later in the film after Dumbledore fled into hiding, Snape continued the Occlumency lesson with Harry. During the lesson, Harry accidentally sees Snape's memories on him being bullied by James Potter and Sirius Black. Calmly angered by this, Snape calls off the lessons and dismisses Harry from his classroom.
Snape is informed by Umbridge to get the Veritaserum on Harry, but he claims to be out of stock after using it on Cho Chang. Harry informs Snape that Voldemort's got Sirius Black hostage, Snape answers to Umbridge that he has no idea what Padfoot means before leaving.
However, it is mentioned that Snape informed the Order of the Phoenix of Harry and his friends didn't return from the Forbidden Forest, and sent them to the Department of Mysteries at the Ministry of Magic to save them from the Death Eaters.
Snape is first seen meeting up with Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy, he claims that he has been actually acting as a mole within the Order of the Phoenix. Snape swears a Unbreakable vow with Narcissa to protect Draco and fulfill his mission if he fails.
He is next seen defending Draco Malfoy from Mr. Filch who is examining his father's cane, before Snape and Draco walk off.
He is later seen examining the cursed necklace that has cursed Katie Bell in Hogsmeade. Snape along with McGonagall falsely believes that Harry is accusing Draco of being a death eater, before the second former dismisses Harry, Ron and Hermione to their dormitories.
Snape is later seen at Slughorn's party, finding Harry and Cormac McLaggen behind the curtains. McLaggen, being tricked into thinking that he has eaten "dragon balls" by Harry, vomits on Snape's shoes, prompting him to sentence McLaggen to a month's detention. Snape also informs Harry that Dumbledore is travelling. When Filch catches Draco in a corridor, Snape volunteers to escort him back to his dormitory. On the way back, Snape corners Draco, revealing his unbreakable vow to him unaware that Harry is overhearing Snape's conversation to Draco.
Much later in the film, after Harry have severely injured Draco with the Sectumsepra spell, Snape arrives and heals Draco back to his health with the Vulnera Senatur spell. Later on, he questions Dumbledore about his life before leaving.
When Harry and Dumbledore return from the cave, Dumbledore asks Harry to get Snape, but quickly tells him to hide at the last minute when Draco and some of the Death Eaters arrive. Harry watches Draco refusing to kill Dumbledore, and is about to quickly disarm Draco, but Snape silently intervenes and gestures Harry to remain silent. Snape arrives to save Draco from temptation, and casts the killing curse on Dumbledore instead.
Snape leaves with Draco and the Death eaters, trashing the Great Hall and setting Hagrid's hut ablaze. Harry furiously tries to use the Half-Blood Prince's spells against Snape, but he overpowers Harry. Snape questions Harry of using his own spells, revealing himself to be the Half-Blood Prince, before he leaves with the Death Eaters.
Snape travels to Malfoy Manor to attend a meeting with Voldemort and the Death Eaters. He informs Voldemort of Harry's impending departure from Privet Drive.
After that, he is only mentioned throughout the film. It is also mentioned that he now became Headmaster of Hogwarts.
Snape is first seen, standing in the top of the Quad Battlements and watches the students with a blank expression, as dementors are patrolling the grounds.
Much later on, Snape orders everyone to the Great Hall to ask anyone who may hold information regarding Harry's location to tell him immediately or face punishment. Harry then reveals himself after hiding within the crowd as a student and rebukes Snape for standing where Dumbledore once stood as Headmaster, ordering him to tell the students the truth of how he betrayed and killed Dumbledore as Order of the Phoenix members enter the Great Hall. Snape draws his wand in fury, but Minerva McGonagall steps in to defend Harry. Snape and McGonagall face each other off for a moment, ending with Snape, completed outnumbered, to flee from the school.
He went into hiding, until he was called by Voldemort into the Boathouse, where Voldemort and Nagini are waiting. Voldemort explains to him that the Elder Wand couldn't serve Voldemort, unless Snape is killed. Voldemort uses one of Snape's invented spells "Sectumsepra" to slit his throat, and Nagini finishes him off by brutally wounding him. After Voldemort bid farewell to Snape before he and Nagini left, Harry, Ron and Hermione arrive to nurse his wounds. Snape sheds his tears and Harry collects them with a phial. Snape instructs him to take them to the Pensieve and respectfully comments to Harry that he has his mother's eyes, before he passes on.
After Harry poured Snape's memories into the Pensieve, he learns that Snape fell for Lily Evans during his childhood. At Hogwarts, Snape is sorted into Slytherin, whilst Lily is sorted into Gryffindor where she meets James Potter and Sirius Black. Snape and Lily remained friends, but as much of Snape's time in Hogwarts goes on, he is ridiculed and bullied by James and Sirius. Snape's hatred towards James worsened when Lily soon falls in love with him. With Snape as a young adult Death Eater, he told Voldemort all he has heard of the Prophecy about who will destroy him, not knowing Voldemort will target Harry and hence, Lily.
When Voldemort planning to kill the Potters, Snape informs Dumbledore of this and begged him to hide them after telling Voldemort about the Prophecy. Dumbledore agrees as Snape willingly defects from the Death Eaters. However, the Potters have wrongfully trusted Wormtail who gave away their location to Voldemort, resulting him to kill only Harry's parents, but failed to kill Harry himself. As Snape visits Godric's Hollow that night, he finds Lily dead, leaving Snape heart-broken and breaks down crying in depression, cradling Lily's dead body in his arms.
Dumbledore convinces a devastated and distraught Snape to help him protect Harry should Voldemort return so that Lily will not have died in vain, which Snape agrees to only if Dumbledore never tells anyone his true feelings for her. Over the years, Snape remained at Hogwarts and used Occlumency to hide his loyalty to Dumbledore from Voldemort and everyone else, yet he personally despises Harry, who served as a constant physical reminder that Lily had loved the man who bullied him.
Eventually, Snape grew to hold Harry in some respect and come to care a great deal for Dumbledore as both a friend and mentor. It is revealed that Snape saved Dumbledore's life temporarily from the curse contained in Marvolo Gaunt's Ring by containing it in his hand. Despite his efforts to save him, the curse will take effect in about a year. Dumbledore tells Snape that he knows of Draco's orders to kill him, and to both spare Draco and gain Voldemort's complete trust, Snape has to be the one to kill Dumbledore while giving him a merciful and painless death.
Dumbledore informs Snape that when the Killing Curse rebounded off of Harry as an infant, a part of Voldemort's soul broke away and latched itself into Harry. This makes Harry a Horcrux, but it was a horcrux that Voldemort never meant to make. Harry had to die in order to kill Voldemort, and Snape was supposed to tell Harry this only when all the other Horcruxes are destroyed, but Snape was too reluctant.
Snape became shocked and insulted that Dumbledore kept Harry alive all this time just so that he can die at the proper moment. Dumbledore had underestimated Snape's devotion to Lily, but this changed when Snape cast his own Patronus, the silver doe (same as Lily's), proving to Dumbledore how much he still loved her and to Harry that it had been Snape who had lead him to the sword in the Forest of Dean using his Patronus.
After Harry saw his memories, he now realized that Snape was always on Dumbledore's side and a large part in fighting against Voldemort all along, now understands Snape's actions and willingly surrenders himself to Voldemort so that the Horcrux inside him can be destroyed.
After the battle at Hogwarts, Harry names his son Albus Severus Potter, after Dumbledore and Snape respectively, because they were two headmasters and one of them was the bravest man he knows.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Lego Creator: Harry Potter
Lego Harry Potter
Lego Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
Lego Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger
Order of the Phoenix members
- Snape is similar to Anakin Skywalker from the Star Wars franchise.
- Both fall for their love interests of the main protagonists (Padmé for Anakin, Lily Evans for Snape)
- Both turn to their side to serve the dark lords (Emperor Palpatine and Lord Voldemort)
- Both became deeply guilt-ridden and depressed over the loss of their love interests.
- Both happen to have the main protagonists as their enemies.
- Both are killed by the dark lords (Anakin - as Darth Vader, dies after electrocuting himself whilst throwing Palpatine to his death, Snape was brutally wounded by Voldemort and Nagini - Voldemort's snake, and dies after shedding his tears for Harry to collect.)
Differences from the source material
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