Harry Potter: 10 Things Only Book Fans Know About Severus Snape
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Severus Snape is one of the most prominent and important characters in Harry Potter, but if you haven’t read the books, you’ll miss a lot about him.
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Of all the characters in the Harry Potter universe, Severus Snape may be the most intriguing. He starts off as a cruel professor, one who makes the Boy Who Lived’s time at Hogwarts miserable from the start. He then murders Albus Dumbledore, in a twist that left fans reeling. But, by the end, it was revealed he was a good guy and a character with immeasurable depth and intrigue, so much so he probably deserves a standalone book (one day).
The movies did a good job with Snape, with the late Alan Rickman shining in the role. But not every piece of information about the Potions Master made it onto the big screen.
10 He Was King Of The Dark Arts At School
In The Order of the Phoenix movie, fans get a glimpse into Snape’s past. Harry uses a shield charm on his professor and sees a moment where his father James and close friends Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew all gang up on the future Potions Master, humiliating him by dangling him from his ankles. James even proposes removing Snape’s trousers, just for extra insult.
But Sirius, in The Goblet of Fire book, delves a little deeper. He claims that Snape, as a student, knew more Dark Arts spells than anybody else at the school, hence why they were so ruthless towards him. That said, it still doesn’t excuse the bullying and it’s no surprise that Snape found himself cozying up to Lord Voldemort once he leaves the castle behind.
9 James Saved Snape’s Life
James, Sirius, Remus and Peter nicknamed themselves ‘The Marauders.’ Somewhat bafflingly, The Prisoner of Azkaban movie doesn’t touch too much on this. But the book of the same name does and, in it, it’s revealed that James actually saved Snape’s life during their time at Hogwarts.
Sirius tricked Snape into trying to enter the Whomping Willow, where he encountered Lupin transformed into a werewolf. When James gets wind of this, he then intervenes and saves his Slytherin rival from a horrible fate. This is to save his own skin more than anything but it’s good of him, nonetheless.
8 Snape Overheard The Prophecy
The Prophecy is another thing that the movie doesn’t delve too deep into. Once again, however, the details are greater in the source material than they are on the big screen.
Harry finds out in The Half-Blood Prince novel that Snape overheard the prophecy being created during his younger years. He eavesdropped on Professor Dumbledore’s job interview with Sybill Trelawney at the Hog’s Head, but was then caught by Aberforth Dumbledore, who chucked him out. Snape relayed what he’d heard to Voldemort, who then decided to go after Harry and his parents. Had he stayed around and heard the full thing, the Dark Lord could have tried to wipe out Neville Longbottom instead.
7 Snape Hated Gilderoy Lockhart
Gilderoy Lockhart was definitely a divisive teacher during his one-year spell at Hogwarts. The girls loved him, believing him to be the hero of many brave showdowns, with all sorts of fiends in the magical world. The boys weren’t so sold, however, and Snape was no exception.
In The Chamber of Secrets book, Lockhart triggers his colleague by asking him to teach pupils how to make love potions. It’s claimed that the Potions Master hated the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher’s request so much, he looked as though he’d poison anybody who took Lockhart up on his request. Fans would like to think that the students had the good sense not to approach Snape, but there could always have been one or two who tried.
6 Snape Forced Lupin To Resign
Lupin is the best Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher Harry has during his time at Hogwarts. He’s kind, teaches him how to deal with Dementors, and offers him a good insight into what his father was like, given that they were both close friends during their time at the castle. Unfortunately, fans of The Prisoner of Azkaban see him resign – with little reason why.
In the book, it’s because of Snape. Furious at Sirius Black’s escape, the Potions Master seeks revenge by telling his students that Lupin is a werewolf. Knowing his parents wouldn’t be happy, Remus then decides to walk away. It’s a sad moment for Harry, who was desperate for him to stay around.
5 He Reconciled With Sirius (Sort Of)
Snape and Sirius square off in The Prisoner of Azkaban, but that’s the last time the two are seen sharing the screen in the movies (unless you count Harry’s experience with the Pensieve). That’s not the case in the source material and, in The Goblet of Fire, they’re forced into an uneasy truce.
Following Cedric’s death, Dumbledore decides to get the two foes to patch things up. Sirius and Snape are forced to shake hands and they agree to do all they can to stop Lord Voldemort following his rise to power. Unfortunately, neither man would outlive the Dark Lord.
4 Snape Took The Padfoot Warning Seriously
In The Order of the Phoenix movie, Harry tries to relay a message to Snape while being interrogated by Dolores Umbridge. He refers to Sirius as Padfoot and indicates that he believes Voldemort is holding his godfather hostage, having seen a vision of his father’s best friend being tortured inside the Ministry of Magic.
Fans of the movie could be forgiven for thinking Snape completely ignored Harry. But devotees of the book know that Snape did register the message, and he was the reason the Order traveled to the Department of Mysteries to come to his rescue. Tragically, Sirius dies while playing the hero, struck in the heart with a curse fired from Bellatrix Lestrange.
3 His Mother Was A Witch And His Dad Was A Muggle
Snape reveals his identity as The Half-Blood Prince in the movie of the same name, telling Harry, shortly after murdering Albus Dumbledore. But fans learn precious little in the big-screen version of the story about his roots.
His mother, Eileen Pince, was a witch and his father, Tobias Snape, was a muggle. Hermione discovers this while reading through old copies of the Daily Prophet in the Hogwarts library, but it comes as little consolation to the Boy Who Lived, who is left in utter agony after seeing Dumbledore die right in front of his eyes.
2 He Was A Fair Defence Against The Dark Arts Teacher
Snape, when he was Potions Master, horribly biased towards his own students. It didn’t matter if Hermione Granger or another Gryffindor came top of the class, he still dished out some pretty brutal treatment. But, after being named Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher, his behavior changes.
He’s still cruel, but he’s a lot more balanced. He lets Hermione answer questions, something he didn’t tolerate that much in Potions, and even gives Crabbe and Goyle detention for being so bad as their classwork. He lasts just a year in the role before taking over from Dumbledore as Hogwarts headmaster, on Voldemort’s orders.
1 Harry Goaded Voldemort About Snape’s Allegiances
Voldemort, in the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, dies without knowing the truth about Severus Snape. He slaughters the Hogwarts headmaster in order to obtain the Elder Wand but, in the books, Harry delivers one last insult.
In front of the Great Hall, with all eyes on him and the Dark Lord, Harry sucker-punches the villain by revealing that Snape was never his servant – and instead did the bidding of Albus Dumbledore due to his love of Lily Potter. He shouts: “Severus Snape wasn’t yours, Snape was Dumbledore’s, Dumbledore’s from the moment you started hunting down my mother! He was Dumbledore’s spy from the moment you threatened her, and he’s been working against you ever since!”