“Well, it may have escaped your notice, but life isn’t fair.”
– Severus Snape
This blog post has been in the making for what has to have been about three months. While I’ve written blogs about uncomfortable topics, bizarre topics, spiritual topics, and requested topics, for some reason I’ve found this one to be the most difficult in the history of A Link to the Matt.
But I’ve finally found an angle to write about him. However, I’m going to be honest. Articles like this don’t have a huge return on investment. Talking about a specific fictional character only appeals to fans of their respective series. What’s more, I can’t hope to compete with the level of fandom of the people who wanted this post. Still, it’s important for me to delve into the characters for my own personal exploration and the exploration of others.
I think I’ve determined the reason he’s so difficult to talk about. Severus Snape is possibly the most enigmatic character in all of fiction. I just don’t understand him, and I’m not sure anybody does. Snape as a character sits in something of a Bermuda Triangle. He’s physically a human, but is treated like an alien and functions as something of a deity.
I don’t doubt that J.K. Rowling had this planned from the very beginning, but Snape was portrayed in three ways throughout the seven books.
In the beginning of the series, Snape was portrayed as a villain. Not the main villain, of course, but a constant thorn in Harry and the gang’s side. From the beginning, both characters make their mutual detesting of each other very clear. Snape hated the resemblance to James Potter and his celebrity status.
And yet, the times were changing. After three years, Snape and Harry began to transit from loathing to unspoken respect. Snape began to do things to help Harry, but not in ways that were immediately apparent to our favorite literary protagonist.
And, in the end, Snape died for Harry’s safety. After receiving Snape’s memories, Harry finally understood the reasons why Snape was involved in the things he was. Snape was always working for Dumbledore. Snape was always a hero.
Until the very end, the readers did not know what to make of Snape. His motivations were never clear, and yet he always had a purpose. This makes Snape one of the most well written characters in fiction.
I still don’t know what to make of Snape as a character, and that’s exactly how it should be.
[Thanks to Myra Boulware for the suggestion]