“Professor Quirrell, in his absurd turban, was talking to a teacher with greasy black hair, a hooked nose and sallow skin”
And this how we are introduced to the character of Severus Snape whom we all loved to hate. Over the course of around 4,224 pages* we developed a relationship with each character. My personal relationship with Snape’s character started with mild indignation about how he treated Harry, which then slowly transformed to dislike. When it is revealed that Snape was a Death Eater in the Goblet of Fire I began to detest him. Post Half – Blood Prince, I hated him with passion. Throughout the Deathly Hallows I continued to hate him. But after the chapter The Prince’s Tale, I finally began to understand his character. The character of Severus Snape is multi layered and so complicated that despite reading the books many times, I am yet to understand him fully.
In movies the character of Severus Snape in portrayed by the late actor Alan Rickman. He brought Sanpe to life. His portrayal of is so convincing that the hatred which I felt for the character while reading the books only intensified while watching the movies.
But there is one moment in the movies that left me feeling puzzled as to why did Severus Snape behave in the manner in which he did? That moment was…
Anyone who has seen the movies is familiar with this scene. This is a scene from the third instalment of the Harry Potter series Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. This scene takes place moments after Professor Lupin turns into a werewolf. Professor Snape has just come out of the tunnel and realised that there is werewolf on the loose. Suddenly his priorities change from accusing Harry and his friends to protecting them from the monster about to attack them.
I always wondered why he did what he did. He faced a monster for a set students who hated him, for a boy who was the son and the god son of his biggest rivals. I wondered why did the makers of the movies include that particular scene. Why were they suddenly trying to redeem Snape’s character in the eyes of the audience? Snape was a nasty man who hated Harry’s father and god father, and hence hated Harry and his friends. So why is he suddenly saving Harry’s life?
All of these questions were answered once the seventh book of the series released. The sole aim of Severus Snape’s life to protect the only son of Lily Evans. Though he hated Harry because he was James Pottter’s son, he still loved Lily and he had promised Dumbledore and himself that he will protect Harry Potter at any cost. And so in that tiny moment Snape reveals his true colours. That he is a protector not predator.
*(The total number of pages in Harry Potter books according to Scholastic)