SU Students Weigh in on Harry Potter Snape Debate

  Design by Brittany Isdith

As Harry Potter fans, there are many questions that still plague us even after the series has ended. Should Harry and Hermione have ended up together? Why couldn't Harry fix his own eyesight with magic? Why did no one use a Time Turner to kill Voldemort? But of all the unanswered questions that Potterheads have come up with, nothing is more infuriating than the Snape debate. Was Snape a good guy or a bad guy?

We all believed that Snape was working with Voldemort from the very beginning of the series. He harassed little kids for no reason and pretty much spoke shit about Harry’s dead father to his face. And then came the shock of a lifetime. In the final book, we learned that Snape was really a spy for Dumbledore and constantly risked his life to save not only Harry, but also the entire wizarding world.

It seems even J.K Rowling can relate to everyone's conflicting feelings about Snape. On November 27th, the Harry Potter author took to Twitter to join the debate on why Harry Potter chose to name his son after Snape. “Snape died for Harry out of love for Lily. Harry paid him tribute in forgiveness and gratitude,” tweeted Rowling. On the other hand, Rowling also agrees that Snape’s bravery doesn’t make up for his incessant need to belittle a bunch of teenagers on a daily basis.

Even the author of these books sees how difficult it is to wrap your mind around this character. Along with the millions of people on Twitter, SU students who are also fans of the books and movies feel torn about Snivellus, I mean, Snape’s role as the series' hero or villain.

Megan Callahan (Senior, Magazine major) said:

“Until the last book you didn’t know Snape’s story. We didn’t get to understand the complexity that his character shows. He’s more complex than Dumbledore and Harry. He’s one of the best characters in the book.”

Bodeline Dautruche (Senior, Writing & Rhetoric major) said:

“He was deemed the bad guy, but he was actually very helpful to Harry, so I think he was good, just misunderstood.”

Priscilla Mahabali (Senior, Marketing & Supply Chain Management major) said:

“When I found out Snape was good I had to take a break from reading, but hell yes, he’s a good guy. You realize that he risked his life all for love and he did it all while being hated by everyone.”

Tina Nguyen (Senior, American History major) said:

“I believe Snape was a bad guy. His intentions may have been somewhat good and understandable, but he still treated Harry horribly, and is genuinely a selfish, arrogant man.

Jeanie Nguyen (Senior, Anthropology major) said:

“Snape is a bad guy, even though he was in love with Lily and wanted to protect Harry. He was still an asshole and treated Harry like shit.”

Like Rowling said on Twitter, “Snape is all grey. You can’t make him a saint: he was vindictive & bullying. You can’t make him a devil: he died to save the wizarding world.” There is no easy way to commit to one side wholeheartedly, even though some fans may seriously want to. Was his obsession over Lily a little questionable? Sure. Did he need to pick on Neville all the time, one of the weakest characters? No. But again, he lied to “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” for days on end. Some of us can barely lie to our parents, so credit must be given where credit is due.

“I’ve got to say this: you lot have been arguing about Snape for years. My timeline just exploded with love and fury yet again. Never change,” tweeted Rowling.

So, I guess all Potterheads have Queen Rowling’s permission to continue this debate… for the rest of our lives.

CultureJanelle JamesComment