Half-Blood Prince/Deathly Hallows pretty much solidified my attachment to Snape. Goodness, I have so many feelings/thoughts about him and his life and how JKR wrote him that UGH I CAN’T EVEN LISTEN TO THE DH PT 2 SOUNDTRACK WITHOUT CRYING.
I am bawling my eyes out because I just read the scene in this book which I find to be the most sad and disturbing. Every time I see it played by Michael Gambon in the film, I sob uncontrollably.
PREPARE FOR A RANT OF FEELINGS.
My thing with Snape is that you don’t really realize just how ALONE he is until the end of Deathly Hallows, and just how little he feels he has to live for. The only person he’d ever loved was killed because of him, indirectly, and he spent seventeen years paying for it by the manipulation of Dumbledore (you can’t honestly say it wasn’t manipulation, since the man flat-out told him to kill him if it came down to it, knowing what it would do to him emotionally, and how he would be treated by the entire wizarding world). He doesn’t like teaching, obviously, and his protection of Slytherin’s is only because Dumbledore clearly has a bias
Then you consider how Dumbledore knew that if Snape were to get mastery of the Elder Wand from him like he was supposed to, Voldemort would have to kill him for it (because ain’t nobody thought that disarming was an option, and disarming is NEVER an option for Voldemort). That he was killed because Voldemort thought he had the mastery when really, by that point, Harry did (and Malfoy before him), is even more sad, because his death was needless. And Snape didn’t even try to defend himself.
THEN you consider how Dumbledore made sure he would be in charge of Hogwarts, where every student and staff member (who wasn’t a Death Eater) would hate him for a) killing Dumbledore and b) having the ‘gall’ to take over, as if he killed him for the position.
So when Harry calls him a coward, that’s like, the ultimate insult. How could he be a coward when he killed the last person who believed in him because he asked him to? How could he be a coward when he’s deliberately lied to the most dangerous wizard in the world? How could he be a coward when all he’s done, all he’s ever done for half his life, is protect a boy whom he despises but feels an obligation to?
Yeah, sure, honestly, Snape was a jerk, but life did not give him a good hand, so to speak. He could have made better choices (the parallel between his childhood/upbringing and Harry’s, where Harry chose the better route despite it all), but he also shouldn’t have to have spent almost twenty years paying for those mistakes.
A lot of people don’t realize that in almost every book (5/7, arguably), he saved the Golden Trio/otherwise protected them (and most importantly Harry) from harm.
So that’s why his death is so sad to me. He felt like he’d fulfilled his last duty, making sure Harry, the son of the woman he loved (who could have been his son if only he hadn’t messed things up, even though honestly, he didn’t have much of a shot with Lily) was safe, and understood the final pieces to finish the war once and for all. And his reward for almost twenty years of suffering was death? That’s not a reward. But he saw no other salvation.
He has no family. He has no friends. He only has enemies and debts he can never repay and sour memories. And once he’s been attacked by Nagini, all he wants to do is see the eyes of the woman he loved one last time, and he acts like it’s a greedy thing for him to even request it. He doesn’t even try to live; dude’s a potion MASTER, who worked as a double/triple? agent for twenty years. He could have predicted that he might have been attacked by Nagini and accommodated accordingly. Voldemort was obsessed with that snake and frequently used it to attack or kill people.
He’s truly one of the characters in any book ever whom I’ve felt if one person had truly been his friend, if one person had truly loved him without any obstacles or obligations, he would have been a different man. He’s proved himself loyal. And I think he’s one of those people who’d be incredibly loving and caring in private, but retain his public persona of grouchiness, if only to make his private life more desirable to keep private.
So that’s why when I listen to “Snape’s Demise” from the DH. pt. 2 soundtrack, and it plays “Lily’s Theme” as he’s clearly on the brink of death, it’s so incredibly heartbreaking. The musical cue’s that exist in that movie are beautiful and insane. Also, “In Noctem” from The Half Blood Prince (which was sung in this deleted scene) and “My Love Is Always There” (which, if you look up the lyrics, have such a parallel between Snape and Harry it’s insane).
JKR deserves so much props and respect for the fact that it took seven freaking books for people to realize the depth of Snape’s character, and how while he has an awful disposition, he isn’t an awful person by any means. That she effectively showed that not only was Snape actually a morally good person, but that Dumbledore wasn’t the ‘pious’ man everyone believed him to be who manipulated everyone, including Harry, for the greater good.
I RANTED ABOUT A BOOK CHARACTER AND I HAVE NO REGRETS ABOUT IT.
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