Classic Remarks: Was Severus Snape a Good Person?

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So by now, everyone (in theory) knows about Severus Snape, the tragic antihero of the Harry Potter universe. Or is he?I could honestly go on a massive day-long rant about Snape. But instead, I’m gonna try to contain all of my thoughts and keep them in this one blog post. When I originally read the series as it was published, Snape was one of my favorite characters. Mostly, due to the fact that he was the biggest smartass in the series. He loved Lily ferociously, and hated anyone who would ever hurt her.

Only, all of that is just a massive pile of shit. Yes, he was a smartass. That much is true. But his “deep love” for Lily? Nah, that was possessiveness and obsession that went way too far. What kind of “friend” lets years of friendship go because she fell in love with someone else? Yeah, James Potter was pretty awful to Snape when they were growing up. But knowing what we do about Lily, she was not the kind to stand by and let James get away with being a douche.

Severus was just…entitled to Lily. Or thought he was, anyway. And that’s something that’s sat ill with me for YEARS. I, too, felt he was romantic and tragic because he lost the love of his life, and risked his life to protect the only living part of her. But there’s a HUGE difference between loving and losing someone, and loving and losing someone and being a straight up DICK about it. He was really clever, though. He convinced Dumbledore to take him in under his protection at Hogwarts and play a key role in keeping Harry safe. But good lord.

I know he hates Neville because of what he represents. Neville was the other possible “Child of Prophecy”, and, had Voldemort not gone after the Potters, Lily might still be alive. Or could have lived longer. But there’s mean teachers, and then there are bully teachers. And Severus falls into the latter category. Like purposefully taking house points away from Gryffindor but no other house, recommending the worst possible punishments for detention (I’m of the thought that the punishment should fit the crime in severity), and about a thousand other things that I can’t remember specifically because I haven’t read the books in ages (worst Potterhead ever, I know).

Snape was smart, he was brave (to an extent), and he was loyal (kinda). But he was pretty much set to go down a bad path. If Lily’s friendship couldn’t save him, I don’t think her love would have done much more for him.

4 thoughts on “Classic Remarks: Was Severus Snape a Good Person?

  1. I agree! Snape didn’t really love Lily. If he had, he would have wanted what was best for her, not hurt her and her family because he couldn’t have her for himself. I think Rowling wanted readers to pick up on that, but his death perhaps made readers so sympathetic to him that they were initially willing to overlook his flaws.

    1. Exactly! Like, he was the character we all loved to hate, and I feel like Alan Rickman, brilliant man he was, contributed a lot to that.

      1. For sure! I had friends who were in love with Alan Rickman. I don’t think many could separate him from his character, in the end.

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