Monday, September 27, 2010

Three Unforgivable Characters: Severus Snape

This has been planned earlier (see the last
part of the ‘The Force of the Harry Potter Series’ entry here). I shall now proceed with expounding on how three characters from the Harry Potter Series have become unforgettable for me (the title was thought to make this entry catchy). It would be to deprive myself of the opportunity to elaborate on these characters, which, until now, is just limited to relaying to some intimates especially to my sister how appealing these characters are.

Let me start off with the character who I thought, before finishing Harry Potter 7, was one of the worst characters in the series. That is, the worst role and actions, rivaled perhaps by Voldemort. Severus Snape turned out to be one of the most brilliant characters ever placed there. I once had an online friend (although I saw the person many times, we really did not have any formal meeting, hence the term ‘online’) to whom I had ‘light’ arguments about Snape. That person believes Snape is an ugly blot in the story; even insisting that Dobby is better. I tried to convince the person to turn to my view but failed. And so that’s a pretty long introduction already.

Reading through the whole Harry Potter series will reveal to the reader that Snape had lived through those seven long years under the constant threat of being revealed for what he really was. And yet he managed to maintain his real position – that of an aide to Dumbledore – and his important part in Voldermort’s circle in which he (once) belonged. He was an agent. Having been ‘reformed’, care of Dumbledore, he still found his way back to the fold of the Death Eaters and spy on the Dark Lord and his activities and pass them to Dumbledore.

Knowing in the end that he has in fact looked after Harry throughout the boy’s stay in Hogwarts shows how difficult it was for him to have done so. He still carried a grudge towards Harry’s father, not to mention his lost love that was Lily. It would be safe to assume that Dumbledore was aware of this but nevertheless arranged things as he has planned. Snape put up his façade of indifference towards Harry – the reincarnation of his rival – but helped him in many ways despite that. I am thinking if he ever recognized that Harry’s eyes were exactly like that of Lily.

Going back earlier, I cannot help but wonder if Snape did not get himself involved in the Dark Arts, he and Lily would have ended up being together. But then, the Sorting Hat put him in the Slytherin House, and so somehow it was his choice or destiny.

His death was rather unfortunate as Voldemort was already in desperation to kill Harry Potter. But, unfortunately for Voldemort, his constant focus towards his plans took his attention away from smaller details that could have brought better outcomes for him. I maintain the view that his downfall was the result of not minding small details in the past, like the act that Lily did to protect Harry.

He made use of his life well after his bargain with Dumbledore (just before the Potters were killed) onwards. His introductory ‘speech’ in Harry’s first potion class was particularly motivating for those who wanted to pursue potions. And, setting aside his affinity to the Dark Arts during his student days, it is good to know that he certainly had the capabilities to excel in many things. (Remember his Advanced Potions Book with its profusion of notes by Snape?)

Harry did the proper acknowledgement for Snape’s works (for him and for the others) by naming one of his sons after him (and Dumbledore). Hopefully, there is already a portrait of him hanging inside the Hogwarts Headmaster’s Office.


Naomi said...

Thank you for writing about Severus Snape. He's also one of my top favorite characters in the series for the reasons you mentioned and a lot more.

He puts all other double agents to shame. Truly an unsung hero. I will never forget that moment when he was talking to Dumbledore and got incredulous about the latter's "ultimate plan." He conjured up a patronus for Harry then. "For him." That's what he said. (That was one of the parts in Deathly Hallows wherein I cried buckets haha.)

My God. Looking forward to your two other characters of choice. ;)

Pransism said...

Salamat Ate for reading.

If I would really choose only one character, that would really be Snape.

Hopefully maging maganda ang adaptation ng Hallows sa movie dahil two parts na sya. :)