Here’s why Severus Snape was never a good guy in Harry Potter


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Professor Severus Snape was a brilliantly written character in Harry Potter. But he was never a good guy, although there is a reason why many think he is.

I am going to get so much hate for writing this post but Severus Snape was never a good guy in Harry Potter. I’m sorry but he really wasn’t. There is a reason why you might think he is, and it is a damn good reason, but it’s not the truth I’m afraid. Severus Snape was never good.

Here’s why.

Severus Snape’s motives all resolve around Lily Potter. Not Harry Potter, not Dumbledore, not the good of humanity, or anything like that. It was purely his love for Lily and that was it.

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Snape only ever vowed to protect Harry because he was Lilly’s son. That’s it. If Harry was the son of anyone else, Professor McGonagall, Mrs. Weasley, some unknown Muggle, do you think he would have made the same vow?

And even though Snape vowed to protect Harry, he took his frustration and anger out on him because James Potter bullied him at school.

Now yes, Snape would have been affected by the bullying. He would have been hurt and angry, but that doesn’t give Snape the excuse to return the favor on a boy. A boy who would have had no hand in what went on while Snape was at Hogwarts, a boy whose only crimes is to be the son of your tormentor.

Sirius Black once said;

"“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”"

Snape clearly choose to act on the bullying side of his nature; a dark and twisted nature that should have no place in the world. What does it say about a person who exerts their power and authority over someone who is much weaker than them? It says they are not a good guy.

And we haven’t even got to the Death Eater part of his life. Yes ok, he switched sides. But let’s just back up a little bit. Why did he switch sides? Because bloody Voldemort was going to kill Lily Potter!

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Again we are back to Lily. When Snape informed Voldemort of the prophecy he had no idea it referred to the Potter’s. Once he did, he then ran off and told Dumbledore of Voldemort’s intentions in the hope of protecting Lily; this being the key point, protecting Lily, not James nor Harry.

Of course, we all know how that ended and after the deaths of James and Lily Potter, Dumbledore convinced Snape to switch sides and protect Lily’s son. Again, playing on the fact he loves Lily.

If Lily had not been killed, if Voldemort had let her live (which I believe he would have done as he gave her the choice to move), would Snape have switched sides or continued in the service of Voldemort as a Death Eater?

Ultimately, whatever way you want to look at it, Snape’s motives are not driven by the fact he has some hidden good in him. His motives are driven by a girl he loved, who never loved him in the same way. Something that I am sure would be devastating and heartbreaking. To not be loved back in the way you love another must be painful, but that is still not an excuse for all the wrong he did. I refer again to the Sirius Black quote, “What matters is the part we choose to act on.”

However, if you do fall on the side that Snape is good and everything he did can be justified, that’s fine, there is a reason why you think that.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

Why you might think Snape is good

When the truth of Snape came out it left me speechless; I never saw it coming, and I am sure many of you didn’t either. When it did come out, it was amidst the Battle of Hogwarts and a lot of stuff was happening all at once.

So much was going on that you couldn’t really reflect on the details of Snape’s confession properly. You read the confession, were left shocked, and then moved on to the next big moment.

It has only been through re-reading, re-watching and discussing with fellow Potterheads that Snape was actually a bit messed up.

Out initial reaction was; “Wow, oh my god. He did all of that for her.” We viewed this moment wearing blinkers and did not take the full surroundings in, but when we had a moment to look back and with the blinkers off, we had a whole new perspective.

However, because we had that initial wow, it’s difficult, and takes a lot of persuasion, to change one’s initial opinion.

Then we have to consider the movies and Alan Rickman. An actor who could play the most evil human being you can think off and still make you appreciate the character. Rickman brought Snape to life. Some characters in the movie I thought; “Nah, imagined him/her differently,” but Rickman as Snape was spot on.

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So we have the amazing writing and storytelling of J.K. Rowling, along with the amazing portrayal by Alan Rickman. Those two together brings Snape to a level that has divided opinion amongst the fandom. And this is why you may view Snape as a good guy, rather than what he really is.

We all love Severus Snape, the character and his development is wonderful, but not as a person. And that is the difference, we can love and appreciate what J.K. Rowling created and what Rickman brought to live, but that is not the same as viewing him as a good guy. And this is why there is so much divide, some of us don’t want to love a character that is a bad guy, so make the mistake of viewing him as a good guy.

Next. 7 Severus Snape facts you might not be aware of. dark

Where do you stand on the Severus Snape debate? Do you think he is a good guy or bad guy? Share your thoughts by dropping a comment below.