Of all of the Harry Potter characters, there are none more worthy of discussion than Severus Snape. What started out as a professor who seemed to be evil and just a major pain was revealed to be one of Rowling‘s greatest characters. All was not as it seemed with Snape, as he proved to be an excellent wizard and a loyal friend.
Everything about the character was revealed in The Deathly Hallows, from the way he behaved to why he even killed Albus Dumbledore. At the end of it all, many people changed their minds about the dark professor, and Harry even named one of his sons after him.
However, there are still many things about Snape that we don’t fully know or realize. This potions master of Hogwarts still hides many more intricate secrets that we’re going to discover. Eat your hearts out, fans of the book series.
Here are 15 things you didn’t know about Severus Snape.
15. His Last Words
The movies don’t really elaborate on this, but the books hit it home. In The Deathly Hallows, Voldemort kills Snape because he believes that the former professor is the master of the Elder Wand. As he lies on the ground dying, Harry comes to his side and bottles up his tears. Before leaving, Snape tells Harry, “Look at me,” before he dies.
We all know that Snape was madly in love with Harry’s mother, and people in the story constantly make reference to the fact that Harry has his mother’s eyes. Snape wanted Harry to look him in the eye in his final moments so it would be as if he were staring at Lily Potter once again. It might be a bit weird depending on your perspective, but to me, it’s the grim end to an already sad story.
14. Why He and Lily Stopped Speaking
When Lily first discovered she was a witch, she was brutally ridiculed by her sister. It’s then that she met Snape, and because they had the same abilities, the two got along nicely. Unfortunately, they were separated at Hogwarts, as Lily made it into Gryffindor and Snape was placed into Slytherin. Yet, that didn’t stop their friendship.
However, we know that at some point, they stopped speaking with one another, so what changed? Apparently, Snape and Lily got into a fight (likely regarding James Potter) that ended with him calling her a “mudblood.” From that point on, she chose not to speak to him and didn’t forgive him for the rest of their lives. It was this action from Snape that pushed Lily toward James.
13. Rita Skeeter Book
Rita Skeeter is one of the most frustrating people in the Harry Potter universe, probably only being outdone by Dolores Umbridge. She interviewed people not to report on the news but to instead get a juicy story that she could make money off of. She published The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore near the beginning of The Deathly Hallows, which held a lot of truth, believe it or not.
Apparently, she was still hard at work after the Harry Potter series ended. She published a book titled Snape: Scoundrel or Saint?, which talked about Snape’s life and weighed his actions to come to a conclusion. Whatever conclusion she came to, we’ll never know, but perhaps Rowling will give us the answer someday (not that I care what Rita Skeeter thinks).
12. The Flowers
Despite him losing Lily forever after using the phrase “mudblood,” Snape still cared deeply for her well after they graduated from Hogwarts. Even when she was married to James, he still wanted the best for her and loved her. He was broken to his core when Voldemort killed her, but he knew he couldn’t do much in public.
Because of this, he sent flowers to Lily’s grave for her funeral, and Remus, knowing the feelings that he had for her, placed one of the flowers in the coffin with Lily. It’s telling that Snape’s love was always there for Lily, even when she wasn’t aware of it, and that carried over even when she was buried ten feet in the ground. Are you reaching for the tissues yet?
11. His Patronus
The Patronus is a trademark aspect of the Harry Potter universe. Every witch and wizard has a potential Patronus that will appear if they conjure it. However, it can only be done by using happy memories and projecting them through a particular spell.
Snape’s Patronus, in particular, is very telling of his character. It’s revealed that his Patronus was a doe, which was the same one as Lily Potter’s. All of his happy memories were so fixated on her and love, in general, that it manifested itself in the appearance of the source of all of that love. There are times when I believe that Snape should’ve had a better shot at being with Lily, and this is one reason why. What do you think?
10. The Sword of Gryffindor
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione were figuring out how to destroy the Horcruxes, they realized that the Sword of Gryffindor was capable, having absorbed basilisk venom. However, by the time The Deathly Hallows rolled around, the sword’s whereabouts were unknown, and it was up to Harry and friends to find another way to destroy the dark objects to defeat Voldemort.
One fateful night, Harry was led by a doe Patronus to a small lake where the sword sat at its bottom. It’s revealed that Snape knew where the sword was and used his Patronus to lead Harry to that spot. It was extremely symbolic considering that his mother’s Patronus was also a doe. It was almost like his parents were with him in spirit the whole time.
9. The Reason He Was Headmaster
One of the most shocking scenes in the whole Harry Potter saga was when Snape turned on Dumbledore and killed him. As if that weren’t bad enough, Harry got wind that Snape was made the new Headmaster of Hogwarts under the last orders of Dumbledore. At first, we despised the character even more because of this. However, there’s more to this story than meets the eye.
Because Snape was a double agent and was working with Dumbledore all that time, he wanted Snape to be the Headmaster. Snape also agreed because he knew that the Death Eaters would invade Hogwarts, and he wanted to protect the children from these dark wizards. And what better way to protect them than by being the leader of the bad guys?
8. Why He Was Never the Defense Against the Dark Arts Teacher
One thing that remained consistent about Snape was the fact that while he was Potions Master, he always wanted to be the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. You would think that because Dumbledore held Snape in such a high regard that it would be a no-brainer to give him the job that he so desperately wanted.
With every decision from Dumbledore, though, there’s a reason. If you’ll remember from our list about Lord Voldemort’s past, the Dark Lord wanted the Defense Against the Dark Arts position, but Dumbledore never gave it to him. So he jinxed the spot so that Hogwarts would never be able to keep a teacher there for over a year. Dumbledore didn’t want anything to happen to Snape because of this jinx and never gave him the position as a result (until the Half-Blood Prince that is).
7. The Half-Blood Prince
It’s common knowledge at this point that Snape is the Half-Blood Prince. But, what does that title mean? Further investigation reveals that it wasn’t any sort of special title, but something that he referred to himself as.
The “Half-Blood” part is simply a reference to Snape’s heritage. One of his parents was a wizard, and one was a muggle. The “Prince” part has to do with his mother’s name. Her name was Eileen Prince and was the magical parent. He decided to take her last name, combine it with his blood, and come up with a special nickname for himself. It’s unclear why Snape chose to have this name, but at the very least, it serves as an interesting mystery in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
6. Snape’s Method of Teaching
From Harry Potter’s first moments in Potions Class, it’s clear that Severus Snape is a teacher vastly different from the rest of the professors at Hogwarts. He’s easily agitated and hasty to punish any who so much as speaks out of turn. That’s a persona he would keep for many years.
As it turns out, Dumbledore originally spoke against Snape behaving in this way but eventually accepted it. He felt that Snape’s bad attitude could serve as an important life lesson for many of the students at Hogwarts and teach them that not all people in the adult world will be the nicest of the bunch. I’ll be the first to say that I learned a lot of things from Snape’s teaching, such as, “Don’t be a jerk or people will make you wear your grandmother’s clothes.”
5. Only Death Eater Who Could Create a Patronus
Like I stated before, anyone has the potential to conjure a Patronus, but they must do so on their happy memories and inner joy. Because the Death Eaters are so far gone from humanity, having joined Lord Voldemort, none of them can create one. The only Death Eater who was able to do that was none other than Severus Snape.
The reason for this is due to his love for Lily Potter. He found that these feelings were stronger than the death and horror of working for Lord Voldemort. As a matter of fact, he was originally a loyal servant for Voldemort, but after having love for Lily he had a change of heart and became a double agent. All because of one woman, was he able to conquer his legacy.
4. He Took Off George’s Ear
The Deathly Hallows is the most tension-filled segment of the Harry Potter saga. From the opening moments, you get this sense of dread like anything can happen at any moment. This was apparent in the beginning when the Order of the Phoenix was moving Harry to a safer location. Many of his friends joined the party and drank Polyjuice Potion to confuse anyone that tried to blast them.
Unfortunately, the Death Eaters knew exactly where they were and a great battle ensued in the skies. It ended with the death of Mad-Eye Moody and George Weasley losing an ear. The book states that it was Snape who was responsible for flinging this curse, using Sectumsempra rather than the killing curse. Perhaps he was purposely using something that he knew wouldn’t kill poor George?
3. Youngest Headmaster
Many of the headmasters of Hogwarts, as you’ve probably noticed, are incredibly old. It takes years of training, wisdom, and practice in order to effectively lead an entire school. Dumbledore was one of the greats, but it goes even further beyond that. Yet, despite all of this tradition, Snape was made the headmaster in The Deathly Hallows and was the youngest one to do be made so.
It’s clear that Snape is a powerful wizard but wouldn’t have a lot of the experience that most other headmasters did. Again, he was only put in the position to protect the children from the Death Eaters. Due to this, his picture wasn’t framed in the Headmaster’s Quarters until much later, as per the request of Harry Potter. What a fitting end.
2. James Hexing Snape
While Harry Potter loved his parents and always had an idea of what kind of people they were, the horrible truth is that nobody’s perfect. When James Potter was at Hogwarts, he was a big bully and hexed several of the other students, despite being a noble Gryffindor. However, as he matured, he chose to stop hexing other students around his fifth year and instead acted like a man.
Unfortunately, there was one student that he continued to bully and play tricks on through his seventh year: Severus Snape. Understanding this, it’s easy to see why Snape hated James so much, and one can see why he had conflicting feelings over Harry. On the one hand, he hated Harry’s father, but on the other, he cared so deeply for his mother.
1. Protection of Harry
Harry Potter grew in fame after he was known as “the Boy Who Lived.” He survived Voldemort’s killing curse but inadvertently became a Horcrux for the Dark Lord in the process. Because of this, he was always going to have to die in order for Voldemort to truly be defeated.
Enter Severus Snape. After holding the dead Lily Potter in his arms, Snape was surprised to know that her son was alive. After Dumbledore explained that Harry would have to die, Snape vowed that he would protect Harry with his life, no matter the cost. This can be seen a few times in the story, like when Harry’s broom was being jinxed and Snape was trying to speak a counter-curse to help him. Lily’s love was so strong that it protected Harry for years after she was gone.
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