back to top

J.K. Rowling Has Some Important Opinions About Whether Snape Is A Hero

SPOILER: No. No, he isn't.

Posted on

As every dedicated Harry Potter fan knows, the morality of Severus Snape is one of the most important and continuous debates of our time, and possibly in the history of forever.

Warner Bros.

Many fans argue that, because Snape died fighting against Voldemort on behalf of the wizarding world, he was actually one of the series' greatest heroes.

His unconditional love for Harry's mother Lily – after her death – motivated him to double-cross Voldemort and work with the Order of the Phoenix in order to ~defeat evil~.
Warner Bros.

His unconditional love for Harry's mother Lily – after her death – motivated him to double-cross Voldemort and work with the Order of the Phoenix in order to ~defeat evil~.

Others, however, say that Snape simply used his unrequited love for Lily Potter as an excuse to act abusively towards his students. Not to mention the fact that he actually decided to become a Death Eater in the first place.

Snape actively abused Harry for no reason other than he looked like his father, whom Snape hated. He was such an awful person that, when Neville came to face the Boggart, it took the form of Snape because – in a world where his parents were tortured by Death Eaters to the extent that they were hospitalised for the rest of their lives – Snape is what Neville feared the most.
Warner Bros.

Snape actively abused Harry for no reason other than he looked like his father, whom Snape hated. He was such an awful person that, when Neville came to face the Boggart, it took the form of Snape because – in a world where his parents were tortured by Death Eaters to the extent that they were hospitalised for the rest of their lives – Snape is what Neville feared the most.

So, the debate is basically endless. But we have now been blessed with the one opinion that matters the most: J.K. Rowling took to Twitter this morning to throw in her two cents.

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

She also explained her decision – which has been criticised by fans – to have Harry name one of his children after the man who ruthlessly abused him for seven years.

There's a whole essay in why Harry gave his son Snape's name, but the decision goes to the heart of who Harry was, post-war.

In honouring Snape, Harry hoped in his heart that he too would be forgiven. The deaths at the Battle of Hogwarts would haunt Harry forever.

😭😭😭😭😭

JKR came back to Twitter later to elaborate a little bit more on Snape's love for Lily, and worded the reason behind "his tragedy" completely perfectly:

Snape was a bully who loved the goodness he sensed in Lily without being able to emulate her. That was his tragedy. https://t.co/nzWhNrBxdH

But she also explained that Snape did not die to save the wizarding world or for Harry – rather, he died to expiate his own guilt over Lily's death.

Snape didn't die for 'ideals'. He died in an attempt to expiate his own guilt. He could have broken cover at any time to save himself 1/2

but he chose not to tell Voldemort that the latter was making a fatal error in targeting Harry. Snape's silence ensured Harry's victory. 2/2

  1. So: What do you think? Do you agree with JKR that Snape is ~all grey~, or are your feelings way more black and white?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Snape is a terrible person. I always have hated him and I always will.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    I love Snape! He died to save Harry and his love for Lily was beautiful. Always <333
    Correct
    Incorrect
    I agree with JKR: Snape's morality is a grey area.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Snape wasn't a hero, but he definitely had some redeeming qualities.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Snape was a great person who just so happened to choose a bad path early in life.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later
Looks like we are having a problem on the server.
So: What do you think? Do you agree with JKR that Snape is ~all grey~, or are your feelings way more black and white?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Snape is a terrible person. I always have hated him and I always will.
  2.  
    vote votes
    I love Snape! He died to save Harry and his love for Lily was beautiful. Always <333
  3.  
    vote votes
    I agree with JKR: Snape's morality is a grey area.
  4.  
    vote votes
    Snape wasn't a hero, but he definitely had some redeeming qualities.
  5.  
    vote votes
    Snape was a great person who just so happened to choose a bad path early in life.

Or are your feelings way stronger than any of these? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.