Harry Potter: Severus Snape’s 5 Best Traits (& 5 Worst)
Of all the characters from Harry Potter, Severus Snape might be the most controversial of them all. Here are his best and worst traits.
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Of all the characters from Harry Potter, Severus Snape might be the most controversial of them all. He was given a rather obvious redemption arc in the series, and this led many fans to like him and feel he was adequately redeemed. However, many other fans were not convinced that Snape was a good person in any way, and they felt that his redemption arc was lacking and reductive.
Fans will always be divided on this issue, and whether you like him or hate him, Snape did bring a lot of complexity to the series. His role as a double agent and being rather morally grey also means he has an interesting mix of good and bad traits.
10 Worst: Insecure
Severus Snape is one of many characters in the series who had a traumatic childhood. This makes him a parallel character in some ways to both Harry and Voldemort.
What happened to him as a child wasn’t his fault, and it understandably would have given him some issues. But, his insecurity drove him to take his pain and anger out on other people, including innocent students. Instead of dealing with his trauma, he let his pain get the best of him, and this led him to become a Death Eater.
9 Best: Talented
Whether you like Snape or not, it can’t be denied that he’s an amazing potions master. He’s clearly extremely skilled as a wizard, and while he’s particularly good at positions, he’s also skilled at other kinds of magic.
He’s a well-rounded magic-user who knows Defense Against the Dark Arts and clearly has a long list of spells, curses, and incantations memorized and at his disposal.
8 Worst: Creepy
While some people see Snape’s love for Lily as romantic, others have pointed out that it’s a troubling dynamic. While Snape and Lily were good friends for years, Snape called her a Mudblood and turned to a dangerous ideology that hated people like her. He clearly wasn’t a real friend to her since he did this.
Then, he proceeded to never get over her and be jealous and obsessive. The love he felt he had for her was really more an obsession than anything healthy.
7 Best: Ambitious
As a Slytherin, it’s no surprise that Snape had a lot of ambition as this is one of the defining traits of the house. He was also particularly cunning, and while these are sometimes seen as negative things, ambition can be a good thing.
It’s unfortunate that Snape used his drive to become a cruel, bigoted person for most of his life because he could have directed all of his skill and talent to change the world for the better.
6 Worst: Judgemental
Given that Snape is someone who endured a lot of ridicule for what he looked like a child and teen, it’s upsetting that he then used this pain and turned it around on other people.
He was quite judgmental of other people, and he would say many rude and disparaging remarks. He never really made friends, and he would even comment on his student’s appearance such as when he mocked Hermione for having large teeth.
5 Best: Committed
For all of Snape’s many faults and awful mistakes, he is committed to a course of action. In some cases, this is a very negative thing as it leads him down dark and disturbing paths.
However, when he does leave Voldemort and agrees to help Dumbledore, he stays committed to that course of action. Regardless of how pure or impure his motives were, he stays committed to defeating Voldemort to the point that he gives his life.
4 Worst: Sneaky
The Slytherin mascot is a snake, so it’s unsurprising that many of the characters sorted into this house are somewhat sneaky. Snape is definitely no exception to this. He even has a style and demeanor that makes him seem like he’s always slinking around in the shadows of his dungeon.
As a student at Hogwarts, Snape would try to spy on other people, and he was always in other’s business. While being cunning isn’t always bad, being dishonest and untrustworthy isn’t a good thing.
3 Best: Intelligent
Snape might be off-putting and mean, but he’s also really smart. One of his most positive characteristics that he can at times implement for good is that he’s quite intelligent.
This is apparent by his skill as a potions master and also by his cunning. He is also extremely skilled at manipulating other people and keeping his emotions unreadable.
2 Worst: Cruel
Of all the worst things about Snape, his overall most negative trait is that he is cruel. He’s bigoted at times, and he doesn’t really care that much about the suffering of others.
He’s the type of person who wants others to suffer because he did, and he mostly just looks out for himself–. He’s also just naturally petty and mean, and he bullies his students relentlessly including those who clearly struggle such as Neville.
1 Best: Determined
Snape might be unlikable in a lot of ways, and he’s also quite the bully. However, he does have a lot of determination. One example of this is when he learns how to brew potions better than even the textbook does, and he meticulously writes down all of his findings. Once he decides on a course of action, he will stick to it even if it’s difficult.
He sometimes puts this determination to bad purposes, but there are also times when he uses this attribute for good.