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Severus Snape - A Hero

Updated on March 9, 2012

If you have not read the book or seen the film please do NOT read this article.

********This Article Contains Spoilers!********

I want to discuss why Severus Snape became my hero from the Harry Potter franchise and more specifically the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Harry Potter film.

Until this movie, I had never really had any feelings for Snape, he was kind of overly cruel, and yes, I had read the books and knew what happened, but still he didn't touch me like he did in the last Harry Potter film.

First of all, hats off to Alan Rickman for an incredible performance for the entire series. (Side note: It is a shame the children actors were not better because the adult ones were unbelievable.) But in this last film I really thought that Alan Rickman did an amazing job. At the bottom of this article I have linked a video which I recommend you watch. It more or less shows the beginning scene of the film. When the camera zooms in on Severus, look at the pain that is expressed on his face. It is almost heart breaking to look at in retrospect, and coupled with 'Lily's Theme' (best track in the film) it really is a stirring moment. You can see in his eyes as he watches the students march through Hogwarts that his heart is broken.

Now, I am not much of a crier, but I can't understand how anybody didn't cry in the scene where we see Snape's tale unfold. And once we know everything he has done, to think he never gets to speak out for himself, cry out that he was actually good, a hero, all along, he never gets to fight Voldemort, instead, he just has his throat slit in a brief moment because Voldemort mistakenly thinks he is the true owner of the Elder Wand.

So, let's take a look at his life. Essentially, he falls in love with Lily Potter, can't have her, tries to protect her by going to Dumbledore who fails to understand his real love for Lily. He saves Harry's life again and again and his Patronus is a replica of Lily's because he loves her so much. He has to pretend to be this evil man, he is forced to kill Dumbledore, the one man who ever gave him a chance and the only man who knew the truth. He was completely and utterly alone, and at the end of his life, he doesn't even get to explain it himself, just a teardrop to a boy who has hated him and blamed him for everything but whom he has protected and looked after.

He is more of a hero than any of the other characters because he receives no thanks or praise, no-one likes him and he made the biggest sacrifice of all. He is tortured by the love he had for Lily Potter, and the fact that she died and he did not save her, and he has to live and pretend to be in league with the man who killed her. All of these things combined make him the very definition of a tragic hero. And what a hero he is. It's just heart breaking when he conjures his Patronus to Dumbledore and shows him that it is a Doe. I have put the video of "Snape's story" right at the bottom of this page, it unfortunately isn't the best quality but it still shows what a hero he is.

Rowling herself has stated that she doesn't like Severus and thinks he is a bully and an antihero, but I cannot believe that she really thinks that. Her reasons for saying this is that he shouldn't have treated Harry in such a bad way throughout his time at Hogwarts but he was human after all, and every time he looks at Harry he is reminded of Lily, and also of James Potter who tormented him and stole the woman he love. It is probable that he only ever became a death eater because of the jealousy and anger in his heart at not being able to have the girl he loved. And he also never forgives himself for calling her a mudblood.

The character of Severus is portrayed very cleverly, you don't see what a complex character he is until the end of the film. Rowling supposedly told Alan Rickman what was going to happen in the very beginning before she had finished writing the books so that he could portray the character of Snape even better. What a fantastic job he does, I literally could not think of anyone in the entire world who could have played that role better than he does.

Well, there you have it, those are the reasons why I think Severus Snape is the true hero of the Harry Potter films, and also one of the main reasons why I enjoyed the last film so much. I wasn't a fan of the Potter films as a whole, but the last one really brought it together for me.

So my hat goes off to Severus Snape and any characters out there in the world like him, who die after a thankless life but really are the silent heroes amongst us. Please let me know what you think by leaving comments below, especially if you disagree with me and remember to watch the videos, both of them, they illustrate what I am saying here!

Snape's face is heartbreaking:

Severus Snape
Severus Snape

Severus Snape flashback of Harry Potter:

© Chuckbl - Hubpages - Moon Project


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    • Wavie profile image

      Wavie 2 years ago

      I'm sorry but I can't agree. Yes it was admirable that Snape essentially protected Harry every time he really needed it, in the first book, the third one etc. however all of that does not excuse his behavior towards Harry, Neville, and the rest of the Gryffindors. Yes he is only human but that doesn't make his behavior okay. It's sad that Harry and the rest of the gang disliked Snape for all those years without knowing what he did for them but that is his own fault. He constantly bullied Harry and Neville and sometimes Hermione both in his classes and elsewhere. If he hadn't done that people wouldn't dislike him so much. And yes he had a part to play but he could have simply ignored them instead of what he did. Let's not forget that he asked Voldemort to spare Lily in exchange for killing James and Harry and he wasn't even willing to listen to Sirius and Remus when they were trying to explain that he was innocent, one could argue that he thought sirius had betrayed Lily and James and wanted revenge on behalf of Lily but if Snape was a deatheater shouldn't he know that Sirius wasn't on Voldemort's side? And he tried to teach Lupin's students about werewolves, hoping that someone would figure out that he was one which he succeeded in doing. He took away Remus's chance to represent his own kind in his classes.

    • khmazz profile image

      Kristen Mazzola 4 years ago from South Florida

      I could not agree more! Severus Snape is a hero in the story and does not get the right amount of credit! Well done, great hub!

    • profile image

      Voldemort 5 years ago

      I cried in the cinema when i saw it with my friend. it was so emotional and really touched a nerve. far from riddikulus!

    • sidds123450 profile image

      sidds123450 6 years ago

      No doubt, I read the Deathly Hallows very next day it was released and two characters - one of Snape and other of Hermoine has touched my heart and are my favorite characters. Great hub written directly from the heart. Vote up.

    • F5487laura profile image

      F5487laura 6 years ago from Yorkshire

      ahhh,so nicely written! Snape is a hero and that chapter in the book and film is one of the best in the entire series! Really cool hub!

    • chuckbl profile image

      Charlie 6 years ago from Scotland

      Dear Derdriu and Stessily,

      Thank you both for your kind comments, I could tell from the way you both commented in such a similar, and if i may say so, sophisticated manner, that you must have been related somehow. I am glad that you agree with me on Alan Rickman's portrayal of Severus Snape, and the character itself. It really is a fantastic performance. Something I find amazing about those films is how the varying levels of acting are so far apart. From the child actors, who frankly, do not deserve the title actor, to great men such as Alan Rickman and Robbie Coltrane.

      Thank you both again for your kind comments and for taking the time to read these articles.

    • profile image

      Derdriu 6 years ago

      Chuckbl, What a compelling, fascinating, riveting analysis of the heroic Severus Snape and the actor Alan Rickman! Alan Rickman never disappoints me with his performances, and the Harry Potter series is no exception. I've read all the books and seen all the movies. You've done an absolutely magnificent, memorable, monumental job of comprehending Severus Snape and appreciating Alan Rickman.

      Thank you, etc.,


      P.S. Stessily is my sister!

    • profile image

      stessily 6 years ago

      chuckbl, You've presented this topic very well. I especially like your ending because throughout history there have been many silent heroes whose names have never been cleared.

      I've only read the first two Harry Potters but I have seen all of the movies. Alan Rickman is an intriguing actor who knows how to use his face and his voice to perfection. I had no idea how the series would be ending but I always found Severus Snape, as portrayed by Alan, to be an ambiguous character; I could never pin him down in my mind as either all "good" or all "bad". I felt that his story and his motivations, when revealed, would be surprising.

      Very well done. All the votes (except funny).

    • profile image

      Severus Rape 6 years ago

      Awwww thanks guys