Love and Severus Snape

OK, I’ve read “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and enjoyed it
I have a theory about what will happen in Book 7. Potential spoilers
about Book 6 follow!.

I think it’s going to turn out that Severus Snape is still, despite
all appearances, working to destroy Lord Voldemort. And, moreover, I
think I know why. I’m expecting that revelation to be the emotional
climax of the last book.

Here is what I believe to be the central secret of Snape’s character.
It explains his general bitterness, his hostility to Harry, and his outright
hatred of Harry’s father. It also explains why Dumbledore, if he knew the
secret, trusted Snape absolutely but never explained why.

I believe that Snape was desperately, hopelessly in love with
Lilly Potter, and still worships her memory. That he hated
Harry’s father for winning her and wants to hate Harry for being
the image of his father. But he turned against Voldemort when
Voldemort killed Lilly. He snipes at Harry, but is unable to
muster the will to actually kill the boy in their last
confrontation, because when he looks at Harry’s face he sees
James’s face but Lilly’s eyes.

This would fit a continuing theme in the books, which is that
only love is powerful enough to stand against Voldemort’s will.
It sets up some dramatic final scene in which Harry and Severus,
in spite of their history, decide that they must trust each other
and act together — both in the memory of Lilly.

This culmination would also supply a motif that has been
conspicuous by its absence from the books. Amidst all of
Rowling’s exploration of morality, good, and evil, there has so
far been nothing of redemption. No instance of anyone having
walked down the path of evil and rejected it for the good.

“But…but…” I hear you say, “he killed Dumbledore!”. True
— and, I believe, a truly masterful piece of misdirection
on Rowling’s part. I think both Dumbledore and Snape knew that,
with four Death Eaters pounding up the stairs behind Snape and
Dumbledore so desperately weak, his chances of survival were nil.
So Dumbledore paralyzed Harry; and his one-word plea to Snape
was not to spare his life but to act so that his death would
maintain Snape’s cover and not be wasted.

I think the truly pivotal confrontation was the later one
between Harry and Snape on the front lawn. Killing Dumbledore
did not require Severus Snape to choose between light and darkness,
because it was done (in effect) on Dumbledore’s plea but could
always be spun as an act of loyalty to Voldemort.

But confronting Harry was different. Snape knew the prophecy that
only one of them could live; it was his report of that prophecy to
Voldemort that had moved the Dark Lord to kill Snape’s beloved
Lilly. Snape’s contempt for Harry’s attempts at throwing curses makes
clear that Snape could have killed Harry at that point. Instead, he
talks. Rehearses his reasons for hating Harry and Harry’s father,
looks into Harry’s eyes — and does not kill.

I think that is the moment at which Snape makes his redemptive
choice. It’s the exact dual of Voldemort’s attempt to kill Harry.
Lilly’s love saved Harry from Voldemort; Snape’s love for Lilly saves
Harry from Snape — and, ultimately, Snape from evil.

Further prediction: Draco Malfoy is Snape’s dual. In book six he
hesitates, never taking the step into irredeemable evil. In the
climactic confrontation of book 7 he will take that step. What will
propel him into evil is fear of weakness and the need to prove his
will is strong — strong enough to deny the bonds of love as we
saw him begin to do when he rejected Dumbledore’s offer. He will fall
as Snape rises.

Of course I could be wrong — but can anyone plausibly deny that
this is the kind of plotting Rowling likes to do?

91 thoughts on “Love and Severus Snape

  1. HP 6, page 595, just before Snape kills Dumbledore: “Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face.”

    Doesn’t sound like someone who can be redeemed to me, unless you think that the “revulsion” was at someone else, say Draco, for putting him (Snape) in the awkward position of having to kill Dumbledore (which he certainly had to do because of the Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa).

    Other than that line above, I would’ve also guessed that Snape would’ve played an important part in defeating Voldemort, I think, along with Pettigrew. But we’ll see – in two to three years.

  2. The problem with a double agent is that you don’t know where their loyalties truly lie. Snape is an exceptionally well written double agent. Rowling provided an equally good explanation for his not killing Harry Potter when he told other Death Eaters that Voldemort had ordered everyone to leave Harry to him.

    I’m not going to try to guess whether Snape is evil or good, or just playing a very, very dangerous double game of his own. There are too many clues each way, and no good way to tell.

  3. One last thing. In an interview JKR gave to some Harry Potter fans, she all but explicitly says that Snape is evil, several times. One of many examples:

    Question: Has Snape ever been loved by anyone?

    JKR: Yes, he has, which in some ways makes him more culpable even than Voldemort, who never has.

    So at this point, I’m thinking that Snape probably is just evil and won’t be redeemed in the last book.

    Hmmm. Why is there no preview button on this site? The probability that I’ve got the above formatting correct is near zero. Oh well, here goes nothing.

  4. At least I’m not alone. I’ve felt this for some time now. I wish I could pinpoint why, exactly. There is something about the way that Snape is written that suggests to me that he is honorable in some way. He may be mean and ill-tempered, but he is not “evil”.

  5. I’m so glad that someone else came up with the same explanation I did, almost detail-for-detail! The insight about Lily and Snape is key; the clues are there in the books, and it would certainly account for a lot of character motivations.

    I agree that in Book 7, someone — either Snape, or Draco, or both — will see redemption. That would be entirely in keeping with the themes of the books. Also, if what you and I think about Snape is correct, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him sacrifice his own life before the end of Book 7.

    One more thought: did Dumbledore ask Snape to do the deed instead of Draco, in an attempt to protect Draco’s innocence (such as it is) from the effects of an unforgivable curse? A teacher and protector to the end — would be true to character.

  6. The only, ONLY problem I have with the “snape is evil” theory is this: Why, then, is Harry still alive. It’s not a time issue, since he took the time to halfheartedly duel the kid and DIDN’T lay him out.

  7. An idea for you folks to kick around: Snapes “revulsion” wasn’t at Dumbledore, but at HIMSELF. Snape swore the Unbreakable Oath to aid Draco and to finish his task if he couldn’t (before he actually knew what Draco’s task WAS); Draco obviously wasn’t about to kill Dumbledore; therefore, Snape HAD to- was forced to by his oath, no matter what he personally felt about the issue. Since Dumbledore had redeemed his life and shielded him from opposition for sixteen years Snape might be excused for feeling self-loathing and sickness at killing his benefactor.
    As to redemption- maybe, maybe not. It’s equally posible that he would feel that his killing of Dumbledore means that he’s passed the point of no return, and should make the best of his downfall.

  8. Dumbledore extracted the same promise (perhaps even an Unbreakable Vow to protect Harry) from Snape that he extracted from Harry. Dumbledore was clearly failing. His blackened (unhealable) hand was proof of that. Better to go at the hand of someone you trusted than an enemy. As for the moment on the lawn, Snape protected Harry from the Death Eaters either on orders from Voldemort, or else simply to protect him.

    Yes, Snape is a complex conflicted character. One of the most interesting characters in the book! More interesting than Ron or Hermione.
    -russ

  9. I agree that Dumbledore wants Snape to kill him, but I think you’ve got the reason wrong (or at least underdetermined). Dumbledore wants Snape to destroy the third Horcrux, namely Dumbledore himself. After drinking the potion (or, just possibly, after drinking the water from the pool of Inferii), Dumbledore has incorporated part of Lord Voldemort’s soul, and it cannot be destroyed without destroying him.

    Clues: after drinking the sixth gobletful, he tells Harry “KILL ME”, and on his way back to Hogwarts from Hogsmeade he says that it is not Madam Pomfrey the healer he needs, but Snape. Why Snape? Because only Snape could and would kill him. The other reasons (protecting Draco and protecting Snape’s cover) are secondary.

    While I’m at it, let me point y’all to some excellent HP fanfic featuring both Snape and Draco, which is based on the premise that about a thousand years after the events of HP, the Potterverse becomes the Vorkosiverse (!). Spoilers for HP1-4 and Bujold through ACC. Parts have been obsoleted by later books, not surprisingly.

    Marks and Scars

    Without Enchantment

    No Great Magic

    Time Shall Not Mend

  10. Interesting! John Cowan’s thoughts also, but those I find less convincing. But that should be “Lily”, Eric…

  11. I really like this explanation for Snape’s actions at the conclusion of Book 6. I hope your prediction about the end of the series is correct, as it would really create a perfect conclusion to what has become (HP 3 to 6) a very engaging series.

    I got goose bumps when Snape killed Dumbledore, it instantly set off a thousand questions in my mind. Could it be that Dumbledore misjudged Snape as he did Voldemort and Draco? Throughout the series Dumbledore has defended Draco and Snape, but then we see in both books 5 and 6, Draco nearly recites death curses on Harry and company, and now Snape offs Dumbledore.

    Perhaps the act of Snape offing Dumbledore was part of a plan, although I believe Snape made the descision in that instant. The title of the book is the “The Half Blood Prince” and throughout the novel, through the text book Harry possess, we see that this “Prince” is quite intelligent, emotional and has a sense of humor. Maybe most people ignored this after Snape killed Dumbledore, but I think Rowling purposely titled the novel and included the “potion textbook” because she really wanted to build up the character, so that when he does off Dumbledore, we’re supposed to be left guessing what his intentions were.

    It’s going to be a long couple of months until film 4 to tide me over to book 7.

  12. “HP 6, page 595, just before Snape kills Dumbledore: ‘Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face.’”

    I can offer an additional thought on this. In book 5, one of the Order of the Phoenix (Harry, I think), tries the Cruciatus curse, after which, Bellatrix (I think) tells him his efforts are futile because it takes a great deal of hate to power the curse. If it takes exceptional hate to cause someone great pain, how much more does it take to perform the killing curse? I think Snape was summoning what it took to perform the Avada Kedavra (perhaps thinking of James Potter), and it simply showed on his face.

  13. DOES ANYONE BESIDES ME THINK THE WHOLE THING WAS FAKED AND DUMBLEDORE ISNT REALLY DEAD

  14. Perfect. To a T. I just finished the book and I was dissapointed in this turn of events, but I never lost faith in Severus Snape. He is soo not evil. Thank you for your views- aptly expressed. I can hardly muster a proper sentence- it is quite late.

  15. Ok ok so i dont like to think that Snape was in love with Lily because I’d be so so jealous, but all that stuff about what happened when Snape killed Dumbledore, and later with Harry is exactly what I’ve been trying to tell my friends. I mean exactly! They have no idea how right we are…

  16. It seems to me that Dumbledore and Valdemort have been fighting a magical duel since they met in Tom Riddle’s room in the orphanage. Dumbledore saw how dangerous and promising Riddle was. Riddle saw Dumbledore as the one real obstacle in his path. Dumbledore could not act on Riddle’s potential for evil. Riddle was too weak to act against Dumbledore. The conflict evolved as it did because of their essential differences. Dumbledore attracted allies. Valdemort sought slaves. Dumbledore’s friends will fight long after his death.

  17. This assessment is astounding. I feel like a fool for not noticing it. However, it makes perfect sense. Lily and Severus were the potions prodigies! And of course Harry is in love with a red head… just like his dad. And when they’re on the Hogwart’s Express Draco admits to being attracted to Ginny even though she’s a blood traitor, which just enhances the Snape/Malfoy duality becuase Snape calls her a mudblood! Ginny is clearly the Lily of Harry’s generation, witty, and talented and loved by slughorn, and obviously Harry too. And the idea that Snape is in love with Lily is just perfection. However, I’m depressed as fuck, becuase Dumbledore is dead, and life sucks.

  18. My very first reaction after reading the scene in which Snape supposedly kills Dumbledore is that it was completely staged by prior arrangement between the two of them, probably in the scene where Harry overhears Snape arguing with Dumbledore and telling him that he’s asking too much of him. I think Dumbledore was asking Snape to “kill” him in that scene, and Snape was balking at the idea. In any case, the “murder” scene was immediately suspect to me because as soon as Dumbledore bids Harry to go get Snape, he immobilizes Harry and thus prevents him from taking any further action. This tells me that Dumbledore has a plan set in motion and doesn’t want Harry to interrupt it. Otherwise, why paralyze a steadfast ally with proven fighting skills? It can’t simply be that Dumbledore wants to protect Harry, because he’s abandoned that strategy after Book 5, when he acknowledged that his attempts to shield Harry had had disastrous results. So Dumbledore’s contradictory behavior of asking Harry to do something and then preventing him from doing anything compels me to believe that once again, appearances can be deceiving, and the truth lies well below the surface. Instead of being the victim of the scene, Dumbledore is its mastermind, in total control of the unfolding events; instead of performing the ultimate act of loyalty to Voldemort, Snape has performed the ultimate act of loyalty to Dumbledore. It could be that Dumbledore has already received a fatal wound in the injury to his hand or the drinking of the liquid of the Inferi, and having Snape “kill” him would be a way of taking maximum advantage of the inevitable. Snape would seem to be proving beyond a shadow of a doubt his loyalty to Voldemort, while effectively putting himself in the best position possible to continue to work against Voldemort. I am completely intrigued by the theory that Dumbledore himself is a horcrux, or has just consumed a horcrux, and knows he must be killed, and has asked or ordered Snape to do the deed. I did find it odd that Dumbledore–with his extensive knowledge of the horcruxes–would not know that the locket had been stolen. So perhaps the liquid was the horcrux, or the whole journey with Harry was a ruse to get him out of Hogwarts while the Death Eaters were assembling there thanks to Malfoy’s efforts. As for the hatred etched on Snape’s face when he confronts Dumbledore at the end: Snape has not only boasted, but already proven, what an extraordinary actor he is. Also, it did strike me as well that Dumbledore is possibly not really dead, and will make a Gandalf-like reappearance. I hope so.

  19. I find your theory extreamly interesting – especially about love being the underlying force to “stop” evil from succeding. I think your analysis is very thoughfull and may very well prove to be true. I really hope you are correct because it would then make sence of what JKR has done. If she makes Snape to be evil in the end or only out of the last minute redeams himself, it would be a pity and make her books far too childish. I can’t stand to see a (what I call this story so far) masterpiece fall at the relm of “just another childrens story where all the adults play such predictable roles”. What I am saying is this: most stories out there for children that are really popular right now show adults as either stupid, disintrested, easily deceived or deceitful, just plain evil, or inafective to solving problems. In other words, it takes the all so smart, aware, and persistant child to do the work an adult could’a/would’a/should’a been able to do. Simple childrens tale were they are the heros and the adults just get in the way! I find those stories really disappointing. I hope JKR is not writing one of those in the end. I would like to think that Snape proves Harry wrong in the end for once!! Thank you for posting this theory.

  20. I was pretty suprised while reading the story afterwards, where Snape was saving Potter’s neck and giving Harry tips on how to survive (learn silent casting!). That was hardly the action of an enemy.

    I’m pretty sure Dumbledore is actually dead. The significance of “center of chest” is just too close to the actor (Richard Harris’s) death from lung cancer. The old Dumbledore really *cared* and loved his students. The new guy just can’t seem to get beyond caring detachment. He’s the most powerful wizard in the world, and he knows it; He takes care of the kids because that’s his job, but that’s it.

    Speaking of dead, though… What about Sirius? He kept his sanity all those years in Azkaban. Seems to me that he could find his way back even from Hades (he went with his body…)

  21. A point that I don’t know has been made here is that Rowling went way out of her way to point out that Snape is an extraordinarily successful Occlumens (sp?). I am inclined to think that there was a good deal of communication between Dumbledore and Snape in that last few moments. I hadn’t thought thought through the 3rd Horcrux point. I do think that Harry will decide to know his enemy better by reading Snape’s potion book in the next book, and that will give the clues that show Harry that he can work with Snape. And I think that Snape’s killing of D was done for at least 2 reasons. 1: to save Malfoy, 2: to Maintain Snape’s cover, and probably 3: to eliminate whatever danger Dumbledore had become to the cause.

  22. I hadn’t seen the Ginny / Lily connection until Katherine just pointed it out and now things are really clicking! My guess is that at the Weasley wedding (or somewhere around in there), Ginny will be kidnapped to get at Harry (which is what Harry was trying to avoid by the breakup), perhaps even led by Draco himself. I have a feeling that it is this love for Ginny that ultimately will be the force that destroys Voldemort, but the connection between her and Lily are astonishing as perhaps it as well will be the catalyst that leads Snape and Draco to assist Harry as well. I’m not sure if that really made sense as it’s just flying in my head and i really haven’t thought it out yet, but what do you think?

  23. Oh, I agree. I always knew that Snape was going to be the hero. And, even with “killing” Dumbledore, we don’t know where his spirit went, do we? Draco Malfoy is already dead. It’s possible that Snape’s spirit is there, too? Or Sirious Black’s? Because Rowling does play with death not being total. We do keep seeing spirits.

    AND, GIVING SNAPE’s the “love reason” fits right into this story. In the last book, the unicorn is also back. AND, since book 6 ends with the kids NOT wanting to return to their final year, Ron’s dad will go back into the slot he had at the Ministry of Magic; so as not to lose Harry from the school’s list. Now, Percy, wasn’t he involved with caring for the unicorn? By the way, in Voldemort’s hideout; where Dumbledore suffers his defeat; it turns out someone was there beforehand. Leaving Voldemort the message about his “souls.” Remember the final note Harry figures out? That someone had been in Voldemort’s cave before both of them got there? That was my clue that SNAPE was onto the trail of defeating Voldemort for good. Since he won’t be able to reclaim his “pieces,” the next time.

  24. I think that we may be overlooking something here. What was the potion that Dumbledore drank? Did he know what it would do, and more importantly, did he and Snape know something about it before Harry and he went to the cave? We know that there is one horcrux that we dont know what it is. We also know that a horcrux can be a living creature (i.e. Nagini). So, what if the potion was something that could transform someone into a horcrux? Seeing as Voldemort has control over the snake. What if this was the case? I don’t think that Dumbledore would ask Snape to kill him because of the Unbreakable Vow, but what if Snape knew as much (or more?) about the horcruxes than Harry. He helped save Dumbledore when he was hurt by the ring, he’s Dumbledore’s only ally close to Voldemort, and he has a great knowledge of Dark Arts. Maybe they knew that this was a possibility.

  25. snape IS evil. period! dumbledore told harry he makes mistakes, he’s a man. even the wisest can mistrust others sometimes! get over it. snape is evil. PERIOD!

  26. I think Snape hates Voldemort and is working against him, but that doesn’t put him on the side of the angels. Evil is as evil does, and they aren’t called “Unforgivable Curses” for nothing.

  27. I don’t know if I agree with your assessment of the direction Snape is going in. If I understand this correctly, you feel that Snape only killed Dumbledore to carry on the charade of his working for the Dark Lord and because Dumbledore was hurt. But, Snape took the Unbreakable Vow long before he or Dumbledore could have known the circumstances of his final confrontation with the Death Eaters. And we certainly know that Malfoy’s mission from Voldemort, which Snape took the Unbreakable Vow to complete if he could not, was to kill Dumbledore. So, from the very beginning, we know that Snape either knew that Dumbledore would die or had every intention of killing him himself, at the risk of his own life.

    I think that it might make more sense for Snape to have truly gone over to Evil, including being complicit in the death of Dumbledore but for some chain of events to bring him back over to the good side, perhaps by Harry giving him the benefit of the doubt or forgiving him and refusing to kill him when he has Snape in his power. That would demonstrate the power of Love theme and also serve as a powerful plus for forgiveness, redemption. Almost like Darth Vader coming back over to the Light side in the final film.

    Or at least, I think that is probably more in line with how I see the author writing the series.

  28. I am very interested to read this, I finished the book on July 20, and by the next day had decided that Snape had indeed killed Dumbledore at D’s request and according to a long-standing plan. Here is some additional evidence from the american version of the book. On page 405, when Hagrid reports to Harry that he overheard an argument between Snape and Dumbledore, Harry (and presumably most readers) believe that Dumbledore is angry with Snape for not investigating Malfoy and perhaps for saying that he does not want to do his work for the Order any longer. But if you read carefully, what Snape says is that Dumbledore is presuming too, asking too much, that he does not want to do “it” any more, and that D. insists that he has already agreed to do “it” and that is that–so what is the “it”??? It’s killing Dumbledore, even at that stage of the book, D. has already asked S. to do it, when D. asks him to and on D.’s orders. Indeed, in the death scene, Snape comes in and takes in the scene, but does not act until he hears D. pleading. Harry (and most readers) will think he his pleading for his life, and is shocked and horrified that he was wronga bout Snape; but in fact, it is when Snape hears “Severus, please.” that he raises the wand and zaps him. Why choose that moment? As the original commentator and others above have suggested, it accomplishes two things… it puts dumbledore out of mortal pain, from an injury from which he could not recover, it saves Malfoy from becoming a murderer (although I think he’s doomed for failing) and puts to rest for the other Deatheaters any doubts about Snape’s loyalty. Why do this? So Snape can be on hand at the “final battle” when Harry faces Voldemort, able to influence the event.
    As for the hatred on his face——-doesn’t Snape tell Draco during their little inteview during Slughorn’s party that he couldn’t be where he was if he didn’t know how to act? As for the hatred required for an Unforgiveable curse–he’s probably summoning his feelings about Voldemort.

    In fact, I think Dumbledore had already extracted the promise from Snape that he would kill him on request before the book began. The second chapter is a beautifully written characterization that really reveals Snape’s complexity- I think it’s plain that Snape did not have any idea about the plan, that he finds out about it through his manipulation of Narcissa and Bellatrix. He certainly says nothing about it until they speak of it. He very cleverly tells them he knows already in order to get them to speak of it, learns about it, and ultimately tells Dumbledore (after all, doesn’t Dumbledore tell Draco that he has known all along that Draco was trying to kill him, but that if he confronted him, it would have meant obvious failure and death for Draco?) I think he makes the Unbreakable Vow for two powerful reasons–one, it’s obvious that Bellatrix has deep suspicions about his loyalty,and making the vow goes along way to placate here–plus, it is a way of making certain that he will be able to act on Dumbledore’s orders when the time comes that Dumbledore asks him to kill him.

    Why has D. asked S. as early as this to promise to kill him? Well, he’s going off in search of the horcruxes, and they will all be cunningnly and dangerously protected–D. has already been seriously wounded, and barely healed. Dumbledore knows that he may well be mortally hurt, and in a lot of a pain, and unable to function properly, and will have asked Snape to do this for him even as early as the end of term of Harry’s fifth year. So when Narcissa and Bellatrix visit him, he already knows that this is a task that he will be required to perform, and making the Unbreakable vow to help Draco will only strengthen his ability to do what he has aleady promised to do.

    Next, I really like the analysis of Harry’s duel with Snape that I read on this site–but I think there’s a bit more to it… Snape actually gives Harry some parting advice as they dual–advice he will need to follow if he is to defeat Voldemort–that his hexes and charms will be deflected and set aside again and again again until he learned to “keep his mouth shut and his mind closed.” Why emphasis this again, if he really hopes Harry will be defeated?

    I also came up with the love angle about Lily Evans. THIS is the “ironclad” piece of evidence that Dumbledore had that made him believe Snape. Snape reported the prophecy to Voldemore, having no idea it would result in Lily’s death; when it does so, the pain he feels, and the remorse, is enough to set aside whatever loyalty he had for Voldemort, and makes him dangerous to Voldemort, and a crucial ally for the forces fighting him, for the same reason that Harry is–the capacity to love. It was Snape’s capacity to love Lily and to deeply regret the action he took that caused her death, that convinces D. that he is to be trusted.

    At any rate, the person above who said that Snape’s character and all the clues are too varied and complex to decide if he’s evil, good, or both, goes a long way. Plus Rowling is way too good a plotter to trap herself; I think the clues here are pretty convincing, but all of them could be interpreted differently. Rowling will do what she wants with Snape, regardless of what her fans want–but I do hope she realizes one aspect of Snape’s character that makes him (and Voldemort) unique among the villains of children’s literature–they are not “inherently” evil, they have chosen their path as a result of life experiences, etc., but unlike “evil step mothers, Sauron, etc., their evil is not essentialistic or innate–it has reasons, it has causes, it has explanations, and because of that I think these are better and more powerful stories. As my now 17-year old son said to me back when he was 13—”the thing about Snape is that he shows you can be good without being very nice.” I think that’s an important lesson, and it’s the main reason why I do hope that in the end, Snape was a loyal member of the Order, despite his many and deep failings, after all.

  29. I tried posting this already, but neglected to put in the URI, so maybe this will work.

    I agree with this interpretation, I came up with it myself upon finishing the book, and I think there are even more pieces of evidence throughout the text that support this interpretation. In fact, I think there is evidence that Snape not only killed Dumbledore at Dumbledore’s direction and pleading, but that Snape had already agreed to do so when Dumbledore asked him to, well before the opening scene of the book.

    The most telling piece of evidence is the report Hagrid gives to Harry (on p. 405 of the American edition) of the argment that he overheard between Snape and Dumbledore on the grounds near the forest. Harry (and most readers) would think that D. is angry with S. for not investigating Draco adequately, or perhaps for wishing not to spy for the Order any longer. but what Hagrid reports is that Snape says that Dumbledore is assuming too much, taking too much on himself, that Snape does not want to do “it” any more–and the D. tells S., very firmly, that he already agreed to do “it” and that was that. What is “it” that Snape has promised? To kill Dumbledore–D. has already extracted that promise, and Snape is having serious second thoughts, and Dumbledore sternly and firmly reminds him that he has agreed to. The pleading in the death scene reenforces this–Snape comes into the room, takes in the scene, but only acts once he hears Dumbledore’s voice, in fact, only after he hears the word “please.” He knows then that this is the moment. Why did Dumbledore ask him then? It served two purposes, perhaps three–it puts D. out of mortal pain–who knows how long he might have lingered in agony?–it puts Snape in solid with all the Deatheaters, who could hardly doubt his loyalty after this–prevents Draco from becoming a murderer, and prevents Snape from dying for not fulfilling the Unbreakable Vow, which D. must have known about. As for the hatred in Snape’s face–doesn’t he tell Draco, when they have their little interview during Slughorn’s party, that he would not be where he was if he did not know how to act? But if we go with the theory about hatred being needed to perform an Unforgiveable Curse, then I think it’s his hatred for Voldemore that he’s summoning, rather than his feelings for James.

    The second scene becomes important here, both as evidence of Snape’s loyalty, and for understanding the reason he makes the Unbreakable Vow. It seems clear here that despite his own declaration, Snape did not know of the plan involving Draco until Narcissa and Bellatrix come to his house. He certainly says nothing of the substance of the plan until the women make clear to him what it is. In fact, it his rather bold declaration that he already knows it that makes them both comfortable enough to speak of it. This suggests that he is indeed loyally spying for Dumbledore. Why does he make the Unbreakable Vow? It’s plain that Bellatrix does not trust him, and since she is so close to Voldemort, this could be dangerous for Snape. She is clearly impressed by his willingness to do it. but I think he also does it because he has already made a promise to Dumbledore to do precisely what the vow would require him to do–kill Dumbledore when Dumbeldore asks him to. (The fact that Dumbledore tells Draco that he knew all year that Draco was trying to kill him and that he did not confront him so that Draco would not be murdered as a failure suggests that snape had reported the plan to Dumbledore as soon as he learned of it.)

    Why would Dumbledore have extracted this promise from Snape, even before the opening of the book? Because D. was going after the horcruxes, he knew they would be cunningly and dangerously defended, that he could be desperately injured, even mortally wounded, in his attempts. He already had hurt his arm in some alarming way; it is likely that before he first when after the horcrux, or at least when Snape was healing his injured arm after his successful effort to obtain and destroy it, he asked Snape to make that promise.

    The dual between Snape and Harry on the lawn offers another piece of evidence for Snape’s loyalty, in addition to the interesting story of redemption offered in the original entry here. Snape gives Harry some parting advice concerning effective defense against the dark arts…he teel him that all his charms and hexes will be deflected “again and again and again” until Harry learned to “keep his mouth shut and his mind closed.” Why scream this at Harry if Snape’s wish is that Harry be defeated?

    Finally, I agree with the suggestion that Snape loved Lily, that this is the source of his hatred for James, and the reason that he so regretted his reporting of the prophecy to Voldemort. I think that Dumbledore’s awareness of this is indeed the “ironclad” reason he had for trusting Snape–the fact that Snape was capable of love–love, which D. keeps telling Harry is the source of Harry’s power over Voldemort–and repented because of love–this must be the source of D.’s trust in Snape.

    After all of this, we might even want to speculate that Dumbledore wanted Harry to get Snape’s old potions textbook, that he replaced him as Potions master precisely to allow Harry to take Potions without having already purchased a book, knowing that Snape’s book would be helpful to him. but this, perhaps, is going a bit far.

    Cetainly, the person above who points out that it is pointless to speculate about Snape’s capacity for evil, goodness, or both is on target, at least with regard to the outcome in the 7th book. Rowling is too good a plotter to paint herself into a corner, and there’s plenty of ways to interepret all this evidence in support of an evil Snape. Rowling will do with Snape as she wishes, not as her fans wish–but bless her, she’s prividing us with a lot of fun and distraction as she goes. I hope, however, that she recognizes what makes the character of Snape–and of Voldemort, for that matter-so unique among villains in children’s literature–that their evil is not “essentialistic,” is not inborn, but is caused but personal and historical events. This is what makes them more powerful, more human, than say the evil characters created by C. S. Lewis and by Tolkien, who are simply essentially evil, with not explanation. Snape and Voldemort and crucially human characters–and what makes Snape in particular so powerful is something my now 17-year-old son said to me when he was 13 or 14, after reading book 2 or 3; he said, “the thing about Snape is that he shows that you can be good without being really nice.” I thought it was a crucial insight, I was glad my son realized it, and for that reason, more than any other, I hope that Snape does prove to have been loyal to Dumbledore and to the Order after all.

  30. well really i havent finished the book but when Severus is tlakin to Narcissa… i skipped a bunch of chapters to see if he was evil and it turned out he did.. he is my favorite character so im not happy with him bein evil .. so i agree with u.. im thinking that he did it cause dumbledore wanted him to get closer to voldermort.. or somethin liek that… well thats all..e ven if severus is evil.. i love him so.. *^_^* lol..

  31. I was disapointed by book six because while I completely agree with your opinion of Snape, Rowling perverted the idea of love between the main characters (Harry -> Ginny and Ron -> Hermione). I can’t relate the idea of love I have in my mind with the arguing all the time, tearing at your beliefs, etc. that Ron has towards Hermione. Not to mention the total assassination of Hermione’s character in this book. What happened to SPEW? Hermione now cheats to get the boy she likes on the team, and then chews out her other friend for the mere appearance of breaking the rules? What happened to the Characters I loved?

    I still love the Voldemort storyline though. Rowlings been absolutely brilliant with that.

  32. Also worth noting is that Malfoy talks big but does not bring himself to kill Dumbledore — much as you described Snape doing to Harry.

    Any mo now I expect an essay from you paralleling the wizarding world living in fear of a revived Voldemort and the real world waging the War on Terror. :) Reading books five and six brought such parallels into sharper focus as eminently plausible.

  33. I think your Lilly and Snape theory is a good one. Definately plausible but also there is also a possiblity that it is wrong. There is also another thing on my mind about how Voldemort meets his inevitible demise. Fans have seemed to forgotten what Dumbledore told Harry in Book 3 (pg. 427) “Pettigrew owes his life to you. You have sent Voldemort a deputy who is in your debt…When one wizard saves another wizard’s life, it creates a certain bond between them… and I’m much mistaken if Voldemort wants his servant in the debt of Harry Potter….. This is magic at it’s deepest , it’s most impenetrable, Harry. But trust me you will be very glad you saved Pettigrew’s life.” I wondered if this debt might show itself in Book 6 but of course it didn’t. I guess we will have to wait another two years to see if Dumbledore is wrong. But come on honestly how often has that ever happened?

  34. Not once in “Spinners End” did the exact deed that Draco was to preform was mentioned. It looks like Snape agrees to something that he isn’t sure about.
    Not very Snape like. Either Voldemort had told him of the plan or he used legiathingy on Narcissa or Dumbledore had already concluded that that would be Voldemorts next move.
    Otherwise he might have been agreeing to kill Harry for all he really knew. The end of the Unbreakable Vow is one of the most telling, to me, about which side Snapes is on. His hand twitched. Why.
    If he knew what he was agreeing to he knew he was condeming himself. Either he dies or he commits an unforgiveable curse, not the act of a coward. Either way, he’s doomed unless there is a case for mercy killing. Which brings
    me to another point. Why would it be okay for Harry to kill Voldemort. Is not murder the ultimate evil?

    Remember when Harry told Dumbledore that Voldemort had used his blood to return to his own body. Remember that Dumbledore seemed strangely triumphant but then said that Voldemort had overcome that protection? If he had
    why make Harry return to the Dursleys? I don’t think Harry will kill Voldemort, I think he’ll try but fail. It will be when Voldemort tries to kill Harry that the protection of his mothers love in the form of the blood
    in Voldemort will turn on Voldemort again and this time it will be without the Horcruxes thus killing himself.

    As to Snape, I agree that he loved Lily. That his worst memory was being humiliated in front of her and having her try and rescue him. He “returned” to the right side before Voldemorts demise so that means he changed sides before
    Lily was killed. Snapes might have done this because he knew that the loss of her son would be so painful to her but now he hates Harry because she died for him, James son. My biggest fear and one I’m sure will come to pass is that Snape
    will die in the end.

  35. Wow! My thoughts and theories have been articulated here beautifully. Yes, Snape is the most interesting character in the books. Yes, he’s a hero, an accomplished spy for Dumbledore, but his genuine resentment of Harry, James’ son, helps keep Harry from becoming too full of himself. It also enhances Snape’s cover as Voldemort’s man. Snape has been performing courageous and necessary work for the Order of the Phoenix for a long time with no recognition. Of course he resents James and Harry who are loved and admired for nothing nobler than quidditch. (“Don’t call me coward.”) He has been doing what’s right rather than what’s easy. Yes, he had already reluctantly agreed to kill Dumbledore should it become necessary. Yes, the unbreakable vow helped keep his cover by promising something he already had agreed to do. Yes, it kept Draco from becoming a murderer or being killed by Voldemort for failing. Yes, Snape loved Lily, even though he was beginning to buy into the racist beliefs of the Death Eaters. He no doubt realized too late that he might have had a chance with her otherwise. Yes, Dumbledore is really dead, although a priori incantato of Snape’s wand might enable him to give some advice at a crucial moment. I believe the hate and revulsion on Snape’s face was not at Dumbledore, but at the task he had to perform.

    No, Dumbledore’s not a Horcrux (although SOMETHING more than met the eye was going on when he was drinking from the basin) and no, Harry’s not a Horcrux. But I suspect that Voldemort still wants to use Harry’s death in the creation of a Horcrux. And on that note may I be permitted a change of subject?

    I’m convinced that of the seven pieces of Voldemort’s soul, one is in himself, one was in the Gaunt ring (destroyed) and one was in the Riddle diary (destroyed). I subscribe to the idea that Voldemort wants the remaining four housed in artifacts of the four Hogwarts founders. The Slytherin ring was taken by RAB, and that was Regulus Alphard Black. Alphard was his and Sirius’ uncle and is mentioned in the same chapter where we first learn of Regulus. Also in that chapter Sirius and the kids find a heavy locket that none of them can open. They no doubt throw it out, but Kreacher no doubt salvages it. And in HBP, Mundungus Fletcher is stealing stuff from the place. We know that Regulus was a Voldemort follower but had a change of heart and they killed him. So I see him taking the Slytherin locket and replacing it with a fake with the note. Returning home exhausted, he is ambushed by Death Eaters and killed. They have no idea where he has just been and what he has just done. They have no idea that part of their master’s soul lies a few feet from them.

    The Hufflepuff cup is probably hidden in Hepzibah Smith’s home where she was killed. Any chance that Zacharias Smith (a Hufflepuff student) is related to her and might provide a clue to finding it?

    The Ravenclaw item? I have no clues, and would welcome any.

    Dumbledore said that the only known Gryffindor artifact is the sword. We know it’s not a Horcrux, and it appears that Nagini is a Horcrux. I maintain that she’s a temporary Horcrux until and unless Voldemort can get the sword, which he still wants.

    So I see book seven as having to provide Snape’s heroic story, Draco’s fate (which could go either way), and Harry’s quest to find WHO took the Slytherin locket, WHERE is the Hufflepuff cup, WHAT is the Ravenclaw item, and HOW can he prevent Voldemort acquiring the Gryffindor sword. I hope that’s all true. I like the symmetry of it.

    Oh, and Harry’s career will probably not be as an Auror. I see him as the first permanent DADA teacher at Hogwarts for many years.

  36. I began thinking about the “happily ever after” style ending that Rowling might pursue for Harry. In HBP D. tells H. that since the time he refused V. the job it has never been filled for more than a year. Assuming that the conversation took place one year before V tries to kill H. – the DADA job has gone through no less than 16 or 17 teachers. I think your suggestion for Harry’s future is perfect both in context of the book (the end of V. certainly means a drop off in Auror work, and having H. become a teacher fits as well) and for Harry himself in light of the D.A. in Pheonix.

  37. I agree, Snape is still on the side of the Order.
    I just hope that it doesn’t turn out that the only reason Snape had for killing Dumbledore was the Unbreakable Vow and that Dumbledore’s death and not knowing what went on behind his back serves to remind Harry that he cannot rely on others (Dumbledore) to protect him, because even Dumbledore can be wrong. Thar would be really depressing.

    Someone wrote about Ginny being the Lily of her age, but I think Hermione is a lot more like Lily – very talented and Muggle-born.

  38. The large amount of differing theories shows just how sneaky of a writer Rowling is, and how fun of a series this really is. She sure does love to throw these little clues everywhere to lead everybody down the completely wrong (and differing) path.

    One thing I thought was potentially revealing was when Harry was in potions and needed to find an antidote to the poisons. The book said “just shove a gillet(sp) down their throat”. After he went to get one, Slughorn mentioned that he reminded him of his Mother. Since it was Snape’s book, perhaps there’s a link to Lily there.

    But I’m still not convinced in most of these hidden motives. For example, some people pointed out that Dumbledore wanted to see Snape because Snape would kill him after drinking the potion. But he also might have just thought that since Voldemort was a master of the Dark Arts, Snape would be best for the job of checking him because of his mastery of the same. The idea that Snape was in love with Lily is interesting, but no evidence of that love is presented in any of the books. The only information we have is of Severous calling Lily a “filthy mudblood” (more or less) when they were going to Hogwarts.

    I still think the mystery to be focused on is who has those initials on the letter. Given how many HP fans have worked on finding that out and nobody has come up with any good candidates, I doubt we’ll find out anytime soon. That said, I think everybody agrees that Snape is going to have a large role in the final book.

  39. As we have seen when other mysteries have been revealed in this series, many things tend to fall into place. This being the case we should assume that mystery of the trust will be linked cleverly to two other enduring mysteries, namely, how did Harry survive and why didn’t Snape get the Dark Arts position until HBP, what happened on the day Voldemort was defeated and Harry’s parents killed.

    There are really not too many ways in which all of these mysteries can be solved simultaneously and, in my opinion the solution will be something very similar to the following:

    Upon hearing the prophecy Snape formed his own plan to kill Voldemort. He goes to Harry and administers the counter-curse or potion which defeats Voldemort. Crucially, he doesn’t warn the Potter’s because he wouldn’t mind seeing James killed defending Harry. The plan backfires: Lily gets killed, Voldemort lives. Snape returns to scene expecting to be the triumphant hero but seeing what has happened, cares for Harry until help arrives and then, mortified, runs to Dumbledore who figures out that he inadvertently killed James.

    Snape is trusted because he is a hero who almost killed Voldemort. The secret of the trust can’t be revealed because Voldemort and Harry would kill him if they found out, all Dumbledore can comment is that he trusts him because “He loves”. He is not given the DADA position as punishment for killing James.

    It’s a pretty common and effective detective trick to knock off a lot of birds with one stone. As a result, a lot of solving the problems involves narrowing the range of solutions that could answer multiple problems. As a rule the simplest solution is the best: when Sherlock or Peirot tie it all together in end with a half burned smoke that everyone missed it’s a heck lot more convincing than the barrage of half-baked last minute plot plugs that we’re expected to swallow in your average b-movie.

    Is it just me or is every silly prediction the divination teacher made in HBP correct? HKR seems to be drawing our attention to it when she names a chapter title, “The Shatter Tower” after a seemingly trivial prediction.

  40. I have finished reading the sixth book as well, immediately upon reading the part where Snape kills Dumbledore I thought that Dumbledore had been begging for his life, for Snape to spare him.
    Then after I thought about it and looked back, it occurred to me that maybe he wasn’t begging for his life maybe he was asking Snape to kill him. I also agree (meaning that I didn’t come up with this conclusion on my own) that maybe Snape knew about the plan, the thing Draco was going to have to perform, the killing of Dumbledore which is why from the start he made the Unbreakable Vow with Narcissia(forgive me if I have spelt her name wrong), so that once the time came if he needed to kill Dumbledore he would have a little more incentive to do so once Dumbledore requested it of him.
    Upon further thoughts of this part I also noticed, like so many others, that it was only after Dumbledore ‘begs’ or in my opinion ‘asks’ him does Snape raise his wand and kill Dumbledore. I agree too that Snape must have simply been summoning the hatred that he needed in order to perform the curse. (Wasn’t it Mad-Eye who actually turned out to be Crouch Jr. who told the D.A.D.A class that it takes a lot of power (or hatred) to perform the Avada Kedavra curse and that all the students in the class could point their wands at him, say the words, and nothing would really happen.) Which would be why Snape needed to summon up that hatred in order to do what Dumbledore has asked him to do.
    Sadly I disagree with the ‘Dumbledore is still alive theory’ His portrait is now on the wall in the Headmasters office, and his spell on Harry was lifted. I think Dumbledore is really gone, as much as I liked him, I do think he is dead ( I could be wrong though).
    I really like the theory that Snape could not kill Harry AND was giving him advise on how to improve himself because Harry has Lily’s eyes and Snape loves Lily. J.K.R has said on more than one occasion that the fact that Harry has his mother’s eyes will be very important.
    I also think that (despite the Snape-loves-Lily, Snape-helping-Harry theories) the fact that Harry saved Pettigrews life, and Dumbledores insistence that Harry will be glad he has done this will come into play.
    My theory is that in the final battle between Harry and Voldemort, Voldemort will attempt to kill Harry and Pettigrew owing Harry his life will save Harry from this attempt to kill him. (Just a note on that too, I don’t know how much relevance this may or may not have but ever notice on the Marauders Map Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, Prongs. Prong is gone, now Padfoot is gone (bless him *tear*) could Wormtail be next?? Which would also support my theory in that Pettigrew will save Harry as Harry has saved him.)

  41. I have just one question on my mind. Actually 2. WHY why didnt harry talk to dumbledore through his portrait at the end of the sixth book if hes missing him so much it would make perfect sense. The portraits do talk , dont they?
    i think snape hates harry because he was jelous of james and harrys just like james so he killed dumbledore because dumbledore loved harry. And i think dumbledores a horcrux and im hoping that harry and snape will meet again in the seventh book and fight. just a querey probably wont happen but heyy!

  42. I DONT THINK DUMBLEDORES EVEN DEAD, ANYONE AGREE? i mean hes meant to be the {only one he ever feared) so how come snape killed him wont voldermort be angry. anyway i dont get why harry doesnt just talk through dumbledores portrait thats really annoying me.

  43. I know what you mean! That’s really bothering me too, I mean sometimes Harry is some stupid! Honestly, when Sirius died Harry was searching for some kind of loop hole in which he could talk to Sirius again, yet there was none, Harry didn’t use the mirrors when Sirius was alive and now he cannot use them. But when Dumbledore died Harry said that he wasn’t even going to bother looking for a way in which Dumbledore could come back as he had done when Sirius died, but this time there IS a loop hole! Yes the portraits do talk, remember how Harry would question Dumbledore all those times in his office and the portraits on the wall would all add their two cents in as well. And Sirius’ great great great grandfather (I can’t remember how to spell his name) who had been a head master before also has a painting in Sirius’ house, he would go between them and bring Dumbledore information. And also when Nagini attacked Mr Weasley wasn’t it the people in the paintings who found him and reported it to Dumbledore? And Sirius’ mother babbled on and on (only hers was more of a recording, she always said the same things) but ya why doesn’t Harry just go talk to Dumbledore in the portrait?? Maybe we’ll find out in the 7th book. I also think something important will come up with the mirrors.

  44. One point is elementary (Pehaps the others are too): Dumbledore wanted Snape to kill him – talented wizards can do magic without wands – remember the young Tom Riddle’s telekinesis.

  45. One point is elementary (perhaps the others are too): Dumbledore wanted Snape to kill him!
    Talented wizards can do magic without Wands (remember the young Tom Riddle’s telekinesis).

  46. I am in mixed minds with all this, i mean i don’t want to think Severus Snape is evil but………..
    Think about it this way Rowling, is really caught up in GOOD and EVIL. Would she condem murder???
    I dunno maybe Snape will redeem himself in some way or another. We’ll have to wait and find out. As for every1′s despair that Dumbys dead and gone, well don’t u think he was a bit cheesy with all this “You can love Harry” and stuff. Kinda embarressed me i mean i liked Dumbledore but……… OTT! (OVER THE TOP!!) Anyways Don’t kill me for sayin Snape may be evil and Dumbledore annoyed me i was just expressing my opinion!!!

    See ya’ll l8terxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  47. KK, Emmmmmmmmmmmmm Hmmmmmmmmmmmm i think……. That Snape is a veri, VERi intrestin character. I mean he’s been in every single book yet, we know so little about him!
    I know for certain their must be a big revelation or something about him thats gonna com out in da last book!!!! Your Lily n Snape thing may well be it, but at te same time is what everyone thinks, JK likes usin the SHOCK factor so u neva know what 2 expect!! In da world ov magik anythin can happen….

    So expect tha unexpected!!

  48. I just finished reading Half-Blood Prince. I thought as well that Dumbledore may not actually be dead. I thought a good clue to this was at Dumbledore’s funeral. There was an eruption of flame on his tomb and a phoenix left the tomb. I believe Dumbledore’s patronus was a phoenix, was it not? Perhaps Dumbledore possesses a quality about himself that will allow him to be reborn as a phoenix is.

  49. I think Severus Snape is good. The whole thing with Lily would be really romantic and I love romance but I think she does better with James. I think Sirius will come back in some form because of what Luna said about the veil. I defenitly think Dumbledore is dead but know he’s going to talk to harry from his portrait and give mcgonagall advice. Draco was only killing dumbldore because he had to but I defenitly think snape will come around. I cant wait untill the 4th movie. I think its unfair J.K is only writing 7. All the questions wont be answered. That thing thats going on between Lupin and Tonks is really sweet and romantic! I think they made Lupin look way too old in the 3rd movie. Tonks is my fav character. She really grows up aloy in the half blood prince. I hope she and lupin at least get marryed or something. I hope harry becomes an auror. bye!!!!!!!! Write me a reply. email me. kait205@hotmail.com

  50. Okay i have read lots of varied opinions on the matter of Snapes guilt or innocence.
    I personally think that JK has been building up Snapes character for along time. I mean there was always lots of teachers Flitwick, Sprout, Sinistra ect, but it was always Snape and McGonnagal by Dumbys side. McGonnagal is Deputy head but….. Snape is just the Potions master. Dumbledore trusted him above all others but then again so did Voldemort. Both Voldemort and Dumbledore are powerful wizards and very rarely fooled so they must have good reasons to trust Severus Snape.

    I think the illuminating part of HBP iz when Dumbledore hesitates for a moment before saying he trusts Snape completely when Harry confronts him on finding out Snape was the one who passed the news of the prophecy. This seems to me as if Dumbledore had been thinking of whether to tell Harry something or not before eventually deciding against it. I agree with the Snape/Lily love triangle. As it explains alot of things. But like i said Rowling has been building up Snape from the first book and he certainly will play a major part in the last book and final battle. Severus is probably the most intresting character because he has been around so long but we know so little about him (JK has done this unpurpose).

    Here is what we do know about Snape-
    1. His mother was a pure blood, his father a muggle.
    2. From OTP it look like his father was abusive.
    3.He went to Hogwarts and was sorted into Slytherin (their must have been a reason for that!)
    4. He was unpopular at school.
    5.He knew more dark spells in 1st year then half the 7th years.
    6. He and the marauders despised each other ha had a particular hatrid of James Potter.
    7. He called Lily Evans a mudblood when she tried to help him out (Why???)
    8. He finished 7 years at Hogwarts and became a Death Eater (How big a part he played in the Dark years of Voldemorts original reign is unknowen!)
    9. Overheard the Prophecy reported back to Voldemort.
    10. Started his time as Potions master at Hogwarts but always preferred the DADA job.
    11. Saved Harrys life in Harrys fisrt year.
    12. Has tried to get harry expelled many times.

    Im gonna leave it at that.

    After all we have another two years to wait till we finally find out the truth……………

  51. I completely agree with Eric that JKR has not dealt with redemption. Snape was indirectly responsible for the deaths of James and Lily Potter. He killed Dumbledore. He has a great deal to atone for. And I agree with Eric that Dumbledore had an excellent reason to believe that Snape’s motivation was to atone for Lily’s death. Snape hated James. Because of his guilt over Lily’s death, I think he swore an Unbreakable Oath to protect Harry years ago. He doesn’t have to love Harry to fulfill it. Snape hates Harry, Dumbledore and Voldemort for one reason. He is trapped in a situation he made worse and he wants out. He wants to atone for what he has done and be free of the guilt. In a literary sense, an Unbreakable Oath would be a symbol of that guilt.

    Snape can’t die while Harry is still in danger from Voldemort. For him to do that would require him to be directly protecting Harry from an immediate threat to his life. I think Harry will realize Snape’s true role in this tragedy when Snape sacrifices himself in the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort.

    Dumbledore made it very clear to Harry that he is not a slave to the prophecy. I think the only two people who have ever fully understood that are Harry and Dumbledore. The events will still happen, but it is within Harry’s power to influence the timing and the circumstances and to influence the ultimate outcome. The prophecy demands that there be a final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort. Dumbledore has been trying all along to see that Harry is prepared for it. Voldemort has been seeking it out. Snape is trapped in the prophecy by his own actions in revealing it to Voldemort.

    For Snape, the only way out is to see the prophecy fulfilled. I think he has sworn to protect Harry against Voldemort. And I’m pretty sure he will die doing it.

  52. I think this is indeed a very goo theory, but I have something on my mind that stops me from believing Snape is “good”.

    On August 16th, 2005, DFaus341 Said “I guess we will have to wait another two years to see if Dumbledore is wrong. But come on honestly how often has that ever happened?”

    Dumbledore, in all books, has never been *wrong*!! I mean, yes he confessed he was wrong in book five, because he didn’t tell Harry about the prophecy until it was too late, but apart from that, Dumbledore is this perfectly wise person that never makes mistakes!! I’m guessing that for once Dumbledore *was* wrong and Snape *is* on Voldemort’s side. I mean, come on he *invented* the Sectusempra curse!! And he even says to Harry “Who would have thought you knew such Dark magic?”

    Since the first book I don’t trust Snape completely. And Dumbledore being absolutely sure about his good intentions always made me feel even more suspicious towards him. I think that Albus is not perfect and that he did make a huge mistake in trusting Snape. Besides, in book five, I think it is very clear that in the Oclumency classes Snape was letting Harry’s mind weaker instead of stronger. With what purpose?

    It *is* possible that Snape is not bad, but I think Draco is more likely to turn out to be good. As I always suspected Snape, I also always thought that Malfoy is not entirely evil and that he will turn to the good side sometime.

    Only theories, only theories. I’m just guessing and waiting… and writing my fanfic of course =) but I won’t say in which site it is because it is in portuguese ^^’

    Oh, I need to read books five and six again to rethink my theories!! But I have no time with all these books school tell us to read >

  53. I agree with pretty much everything, but then think about it, JK Rowling is a talented author, she has probably figured that everyone will either assume snape to be with voldemort, or think a bit more and conclude that he is with dumbledore? but that second conclusion is not that well hidden if it is true, so perhaps, he is loyal to neither? perhaps he is the cunning and sly man that any slytherin aspires to be?
    Snape might want to be more powerful than voldemort and voldemort. He might be weaving a web so that both are killed so that he can kill harry and become in himself the most powerful wizard of all time. He is intelligent and very inventive, hence the book of advanced potions. Oh and if Voldemort feared Dumbledore, how could snape kill him? I know this sounds “way out there” but still its plausible, oh and Im 17 so i might be totally wrong, but it could be. Hope someone agrees!

  54. I’d like to start of by saying how fascinating it is to see so many ppl get so damn caught up in thesebooks, when they’re all fiction, made-up. Of course, I’m one of them so I’m not complaining, I’m simply… amazed. Anyway… I won’t even try to predict or forsee what’s in store with the next book. That really just ruins it for everyone but mostly it ruins it for yourself. Rowling is an extraordinary writer and just loves to keep us in suspense. She just puts the expect the unexpected to effect doesn’t she? I mean, for example, who would’ve thought Snape was the Half-Blood Prince? Of all ppl… and I was totally expecting it to be Voldemort himself… HOWEVER, I must admit I am very, very, VERY disapointed at Rowling for killing off Dumbledore. After all, he was the only one Voldemort ever feared and the one who seemed to have a strong, unique bond with Harry. First Sirius… then Dumbledore. Whose next, Harry? Oh well, all I know is that even if she did kill Dumbledore I thoroughly enjoyed the last book and I’m sure that whatever the next book will bring, I’ll love it too. AND DESPITE WHAT ANY OF YOU PPL SAY ABOUT ROWLING, YOU KNOW YOU COULD’NT DO WITHOUT HER BOOKS!

  55. First of all,I really like the idea of redemtion some of you have mentioned!
    I believe Snape is innocent because when he’s about to kill Dumbledore(and Dumbledore knew)there is “hatred etched in his face”,this is because he hates Dumbledore for making him do it.(In Hp6 Hagrid overhears them arguing……and I think it’s about killing Dumby)anyway Dumby is the only person we know of that has ever trusted Snape completely,protected,cared for and that Snape has been loyal to.Also if Snape was evil wouldnt he have said something along the lines of”Ive been working for Voldermort right under your nose for all of this time and you trusted me…ha …ha” and wouldn’t his face show some kind of victory instead of “hatred” if he was evil.
    Also I truly believe that Snape was head of heels in love with Lily(im gutted)so how could he work for the guy that killed the woman he loved!?!!!I think Snape will protect Harry for Lilly’s sake.
    p.s Does anyone else think Snape,s hot???

  56. Book One consistency. She knew the ending when writing the first book. In that book, Snape utters “countercurses” to save Harry from Prof. Quirrell. He didn’t *have* to. He *chose* to. Any teacher could have uttered those perhaps but Snape also knew what was going on then and was true to his loyalties then. Book One is the best clue for Book Seven IMHO and I think Eric is quite right in a lot of this.

  57. I do believe Snape to have loved Lily as even when Snape looked into Harry’s eyes with the deepest of loathing it is of Harry’s appearence.Snape hated James.He could of hated him even more if he had of loved Lily.I also agree with Cat On A HOT Tin roof!!Snape is the most interesting character I have ever read about.Who knows what secerets Snape holds.He’s my favourite character and am proud of it.If he had been in love with Lily it would explain why he never tried to hurt Harry.

  58. Snape in Love is a great story line.Poor evil dude needs someone to love.Narcissa is ideal as she is kindof Snape’s favourite students mum and kindof his best friends wife.He cared deeply when he made the unbreakable vow because he put his life on the line for Narcissa’s sake.He must have some close feelings for her.He wouldn’t have made the unbreakable vow with anyone he didn’t really care for would he?He’s too selfish to do that.He is only willing to help the people he knows he can trust and trust him.Narcissa believed his cock and bull story about being a true Death Eater.I think he’s an old softie really who wants someone to care for.

  59. Just read the book (after my friend’s copy was circulated through half the country). Totally agree that Snape loves Lily. It’s the only plausible reason why Dumbledore never told anyone else the reason why Snape changed allegiances – simply because it’s too personal a thing to talk about and Dumbledore knows how intensely private a person Snape is.

    Totally agree too that Lily and Snape being potions prodigies would have put them in close touch and Lily did fly to Snape’s rescue when James bullied him – you gotta love the girl for that. Yes, in the end, it will be love that saves Harry – Snape’s love for Lily (agree that the revulsion Rowling wrote about on Snape’s face just before he killed Dumbledore is for himself) and let’s not forget Pettigrew.

    I THINK THAT PETTIGREW HAS SOME IDEA WHERE VOLDEMORT KEEPS AT LEAST ONE OF HIS HORCRUXES AND WILL LET HARRY IN ON THE SECRET FOR SPARING HIS LIFE. Don’t forget, he served Voldemort closely when none of the other Death Easters had yet returned to V’s side.

    Realised by book 5 that Harry is destined to be the DADA prof. He won’t work for the Ministry, not after what they keep doing to him. And it will keep him tied to Hogwarts where he spent his happiest days.

    At first I too thought Dumbledore was faking it, but I’ve come to realise that Rowling seldom does things by halves. He’s dead, so she’s going to keep him that way.

    Totally think the idea of Dumbledore being a Horcrux at the end is dumb. The Horcrux has to be an object of significance to Voldemort – not some green liquid that Dumbledore drank.

    Does anyone believe that Hogwarts will close during the next book? I’m inclined to think not because to close it would mean giving into Voldemort’s spread of fear. Whatever it is, Harry is going to need to pass his NEWTs.

  60. I’ll make this short.

    I like this twist on what will come to pass in books 7, and esr brings forth some very cogent analysis vis-a-vis Snape & Lily Potter. I’ve long suspected that he loved her.

    My own prediction for why Snape didn’t finish Harry off himself is a bit different, a bit less optimistic. Snape and Harry (and I suppose, subconciously, Prof. Trelawny) are the only ones who know the prophecy. Others think they know, Voldemort for example, but Snape has heard it in its original form. I predict that Snape, and not Voldermort will be the true Villain of the story — that knowing that only either Harry or Voldemort can live will coax them into fighting one another, and at the decisive moment finish off the weakened victor in order to claim power for himself.

    But now that I’ve haerd it, I hope esr’s prediction is right, and not mine. :)

  61. Is it possible that maybe Snape is playing both sides to see who comes out on top?

  62. Great to see so many folks thinking the same thing I did – that Snape loved Lily. A powerful clue for me, though, that I haven’t heard mentioned by anyone else was what Slughorn said – “Never underestimate the power of obsessive love.” Not healthy, romantic love, but obsessive (unrequited, tragic, etc.) love. Clearly love of some sort will be what saves Harry in the end – probably love of many sorts: obsessive love (Snape will help kill Voldemort), love of friends (of course the gang will be helping in the next book), romantic love (will be fun to finally see all the pairings-off and yes I do believe it will be Harry-Ginny, Ron-Hermione, Neville-Luna) and family love (Petunia will figure in as well – did she ever meet Snape?). Although Dumbledore and Sirius are both dead for good, Harry has their love protecting him as well – all he learned from them. As Dumbledore said to Harry at the end of POA, “You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?”

  63. I liked this post very much, for two reasons: (1) I am also a Severus/Lily shipper, and am convinced there was some attraction there, at least on his part, and (2), as you say, Snape’s story could become a powerful tale of redemption. So I am hoping you are right. I actually think that Snape – the Shadow protagonist to Harry – could become the true protagonist in the final book.

    For those who are convinced Snape is evil, one comment: have you noticed that Rowling really is dealing with shades of grey, not black and white characters? Harry himself is a prime example; he is a lot like Snape in being tempted by pride and anger and in being rather introverted and self-absorbed. Take the ‘sectumsempra’ curse, for example. Granted, Snape invented it when he was no more than 16, and it certainly is horrible. But did you notice that Harry – who has tried out other spells in the prince’s book and knows they might be hurtful if misused, and who has also read the notation ‘for enemies’ – a clear warning that this spell is really dangerous – is nevertheless looking for an excuse to try it on a *human being*!? Without knowing what it does or how to counter it! I found this disquieting the first time I read the book, and the more I think about it, the more it bothers me. At least Snape, at the same age, apparently practised on flies! Harry may be basically a good kid (before this book, i had no doubt of that), but he has some serious failings. And Snape, in spite of his many failings, has some major virtues. Harry really needs his help if he is to succeed, and I hope they will be able to realize this and work together.

  64. Yes yes yes!! I believe that Snape, if not loved, at least harboured some deeper feelings for Lily. Any theories why, in OoTP , in the Snape vs James memory from the Pensieve, why does Snape follow James and Co. If i know that they bully me/hate me why should i go anywhere near them? would I not rather avoid them?Could it be that Lily was nearby, and as James likes Lily, he goes where Lily is and so does Snape?Maybe his outburst against Lily is because he feels humiliated in front of Lily…no guy would like to appear in this light in front of the girl he’s trying to impress, would he?Also, I think that he possibly was horrid to Lily so as not to give James and Sirius more ammo against him..(fools who wear their hearts on their sleeves…)

  65. I’m a bit late in posting here, but I finally got around to reading books 2-6 in the past 3 weeks, and after finishing book 6 this morning, I’m of the opinion that Snape has loved only once in his life, and the person he loved was Lily Evans Potter. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one that came away from book 6 with that impression. Snape feels responsible for Lily’s death. Probably the only person Snape hates more than Harry Potter, is Voldemort.

    I also believe that Snape killed Dumbledore on Dumbledore’s orders, which Snape had previously agreed to. Dumbledore didn’t fear death. I believe that in death, Dumbledore’s powers will evolve, and will allow him to fight Voldemort on a different, and more effective, level.

    Consider what he told Malfoy: He (Voldemort) cannot kill you if you’re already dead.

  66. I’m sure that Snape killed Dumbledore becouse he had told him to do so and also this theory I’ve read here first time in my life (“first time in my life” what a phrase!)that Dumbledore is the third Horcrux is brilliant.I really have never heard nothing like that and to be honest I ‘ve never thought about it. But also,I reckon that Dumbledore’s last words “Severus,please” didn’t mean “Severus,please, don’t kill me” but maybe he wanted to remind Snape their agreement or sth like that connected with Snape spying for Order and protecting Harry and to assure Death Eaters that he kills D. becouse he is on Voldemort’s side.
    I sure he was madly in love with Lily Evans, maybe they were friends at Hogwarts,I dunno. As we know,Snape hasn’t got any talent in Quidditch,a proof is in book 5 when Harry sees his memories. Snape also everytime when he talks about James Potter he mentions his (James’)Qudditch talent so I think the lack of quidditch talent has always hurted him.I’ve read absolutely great fanfiction on sugarquill about what might happened after events from Snape’s worst memory,I mean when Snape was a student,not what adult snape was doing, but obviously he was feeling shocked and terrified and of course hurt. Personally,I hate Sirius nad Marauders at all. I also think if it is possible that Dumbledore is Snape’s father becouse they both have the same noses nad that’s why D. trusted him so much. Hmmm…

  67. I think that the last Horcrux will be in Harry’s scar. JKR said, that the last word of the 7th book will be the scar. By the way, Dumbledore suggested it, when he said, that one of the Horcruxes is connected with the place where Harry’s parents died. Voldemort didn’t disappeare, he is hidden in Harry’s body. That would explain, why does Harry speak the snake language and why could he catch Voldemort’s feelings (in the 5th book).
    My opinion about Snape is, that he is on the GOOD side. He was really a servant of the Dark Lord, but when Lily and James died, he realized, that he really didn’t want this. Dumbledore said, that Harry had no idea about Snape’s remorses. It is clear, that Dumbledore knew something about Snape that nobody else did. Dumbledore trusted Snape absolutely and his last words before he died were “Severus, please.” Dumbledore wasn’t definitally a man who would beg for his life. I would rahter say, that he was begging for death. He had to die for some reason and Snape had no choice. As for Snape’s secret that only Dumbledore knew about, my theory is, that Snape could make an Unbreakable Vow to protect Harry. It could be true for many reasons: When he did so, Dumbledore begun to trust him, because putting his own life in danger is the gratest offer. He tried to protect Harry in the 3th book, when he almost fell of his broom. I don’t say that he likes Harry, he is just sorry about what he did to his parents. Except of this, he ‘s got many, many possibilities to kill Harry. Nobody ever trusted him ( except of Dumbledore) and that’s what JKR replies on. The readers were used to think just bad things about him and it will be a shock for them at the end. Actually, on my opinion JKR will surprise us more than we think.

  68. This is my theory Snape did kill DD on his orders. The reason DD trusts Snape is because of Lily but not in the way that everyone else thinks. They were both potion masters and I think they were both spys for the order playing there double agent role to a tee. That would mean they worked closely together and I am just going to come out with it They fell for each other not just Snape loving her but Lily loving him. It isn’t that impossible to believe JKR said she got goosebumps when she watched a scene from the POA movie where lupin addresses Harry about his mother. She has already answered the question about lupin and Lily saying he was fond of her and that was basically all there was to it so it probably is Snape. There are many suddle hints in books 5 and 6 there is one in particular where Harry is upset after he saw what he saw in the penseive and he tries to assume that Snape deserved what his dad was doing and then he even says he wonders if his dad forced his mom to marry him. That struck me as very strange for that to have been said in the book it was a foreshadowing of something. I am not trying to say that Lily didnt love James but there may have been a reason she married him he could have possibly been second choice. That would clearly explain Snapes hatred of Harry because he was possibly first choice but became a death eater and she could no longer love him and married James. I also think Snape was their the night Harrys parents were murdered but for what reason is unknown. In the Poa book when Harry is working on the patronus charm against the dementors with Lupin he hears a voice a mans voice and tells Lupin about it when he wakes up and Lupin says you heard James in a strange voice. That is another wierd statement is there something Lupin knows we don’t. Tell me what you think sorry this post is so long.

  69. There was something else funny I just thought of in the hbp book DD says that two people would have to go the cave I know people are probably going to disagree with me on this but it might be Snape and Lily they were both potion masters like I said earlier they may have been the ones to make all that potion in the cave. That could possibly be the reason Voldemort gave Lily a choice to live because she was of use to him I definitly think Lily was some sort of spy. I could be wrong though. There are also lots of references in the books about cowards who are we to assume the real coward is I guess everyone would say Snape since he passed the prophecy on to Voldemort but in the GOF DD pleads his case for Snape saying that he turned spy before his downfall that would mean before the potters were killed meaning he could have been a spy when he passed on the prophecy another reason he could have been at the potters house the night they were killed. There is a scene in the first HP movie where we see Voldemort come into the house and Lily protecting Harry for a moment we see black robes turn toward Voldemort if it was James why didnt they show his face that scene was done on purpose that way. Who was in the black robes hmmm.

  70. I think that Holly makes a good point about who was in the black robes? Could it have been someone else? I never realized that. I also agree with Lucy about the scar being the last Horcrux. I agree with anyone who said that Snape is madly in love with Lilly Potter. I am so sure. I agree with who ever said that Snape won’t kill Harry because Harry has Lilly eyes. Snape was in love with Lilly, but she married James. Snape hates Harry because he is the outcome of their relationship. I heard somewhere that Sirius isn’t dead, just stuck in that sheet thing. I hope so! Rumors say that in the 7th book, SNAPE GETS MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!! Rumors also say that Hagrid and Madame Maxine get married. Isn’t there 8 books???? Everyone says that there are only 7, which could be. While thinking about Snape killing Dumbledore, I realized that he didn’t have a choice. In the begining of the 6th book, he makes the unbreakable vowel to Draco’s mother. In the end of the 6th book, it makes it clear that Draco couldn’t kill Dumbledore. Snape had to. He didn’t have any choice. I don’t think he wanted to kill Dumbledore, and he only ran away because people would think he killed Dumbledore on purpose. I don’t think Sirius is actually dead, but I think Dumbledore actually is dead. I don’t think that Phonix thing being his amagus (srry if i spelled wrong!) is very realalistic. What do you think? I can’t wait for the 7th book!

  71. Hopefully DD isn’t dead but in the end I think he must be so that Harry can go on his journey alone and ultimatley having to turn to Snape for help. Someone who Harry hates and vice versa. I think that Snape will tell Harry why he has disliked him. I am gonna go out on a limb and say that I wouldn’t be surprised if Harry’s father is not the man we have been led to believe he is, maybe he is the true coward.

  72. I think this is definitly a good editorial and I agree with it 100%. Like I have said in my last two posts there are many suddle hints in the book for some sort of bitterness on Snapes part it could be because he has been tormented the way Harry has been by losing his parents Snape lost his love. JKR likes to draw parallels between characters and when you think about it there are similarities between Snape and Harry. If Lily did not love Snape back romantically I think she had to at least love him as a friend. They could have had a deep friendship like harry/hermoine that is another reason for James and Snape not to like each other. More likely there is a twist though to this whole story of love JKR says there will be a huge revelation about Lily I think it is more likely the relationship was deeper than just friends and that Lily had some hidden feelings for Snape that she maybe didnt share with anyone. If it turns out there is nothing there I will be very dissapointed because I feel like we have been jerked around with clues that meant nothing which would be boring. It makes things more tragic for Snape to have been in love with Lily and lost her it gives his character more dimension which will make the story more interesting. Lets face it Snape is a fan fave.

  73. Snape isn’t really my favorite character, but there’s so much more to him than meets the eye. He’s not really good, but then again he’s not really evil. I think Snape may have had a bit of a crush on Lily. I also think that the reason Snape turned spy “at great personal risk” as Dumbledore mentioned in the book Goblet of Fire was because Snape wasn’t a pure-blood. I mean, there’s also the fact that after he realized he played a part in the deaths of James and Lily, he could’ve turn back to the “good” side. In the sixth book, Dumbledore said that was the greatest regret of his life and that was the reason he turned spy on Voldermort. I also think Voldermort is just using Snape for his own purposes, and that in the end he will kill Snape. As for Harry, I think JK might just kill him off just to piss all the readers off.

  74. Interesting theory. By the way, Richard Harris died of Hodgkin’s Disease, not lung cancer. It is essentially a lymphatic cancer.

  75. I am utterly convinced that Severus Snape is the bravest and truest of all the Order. In order to decieve Voldemort, the “Most accomplished Legilimens the world has ever known”, it would not be enough to lie convincingly, one would have to be utterly convinced of the lie. Snape loves Harry, the only child of his true love, Lily Evans. He is a complete bastard to Harry because he must hide that love as his greatest secret, or have his duality falter before the acuity of Voldemort’s telepathy. The greatest heroism in the series is Snape bending his will and his feelings toward evil for the greater good. Harry has no greater protector than the man who would choose to decieve him so. The occlumency lessons were a powerful platform for misinformation. Severus allowed voldemort to see his contempt for Harry through Harry’s eyes and still impart some very important lessons. Often, Snape has given Harry very useful advice, couched in abusive terms. The first encounter with Snape in HP&TPS, Snape teaches Harry about Bezoars and couches it as ridicule of Harry. The abuse in potions class is all conveniently done in front of Draco, a spy for Lucius.

  76. i so agree with Hp! there is a high chance snape is harrys father coz i mean lily and severus could of been seeing each other when she married james…they could of had harry then snape could have left with the death eaters before he new about lilly being pregnant…!!! and you know how lupin and lilly were “close” maybe lilly told lupin about harry really being snapes child and then lupin told snape or maybe only lupin and lily know about it at all….pretty far fetched ay and unlikely to happen but maybe thats the big thing in snapes past…maybe snape hates harry so much because he knows he missed out on lily and he has to watch “james’” son grow up…he probably thinks that if he had of waited a little longer he could of been looking at his own son…
    or maybe Hps just right and snape noes about harry being his son and thats why theres been no killings. lyk the black hair thing is quite right james did have brown hair not “jet” black.

  77. it is possible that severus snape is harrys father? i mean i know that in nearly very book someone tells harry he looks just like his father…but this could be because harry wears glasses like james’. im so sure that in one of the books it says that james had dark brown hair and in another it said that harry had jet black hair…jet black hair just like severus snapes. if only he would remove his glasses ay!

    i believe that snape and lily were in love…maybe there was a bit of after school potions lessons going on in a empty class room or something. its possible. i also think that snape went to warn lily that voldemort would be after her and her family but when he got there it was to late voldemort was already there so he had to leave (snape could of been the man in the black robes in the first movie, thats when he went to warn lily). snape will protect harry but it will not be because of dumbledores orders it will be because of lily. i think that snape and lily were seeing each other even after she married james. lily “had” harry with snape but he left to go back to voldemort before he found out lily was pregnant. the reason snape hates harry so much is that he is not yet aware that harry is his son and he thinks that lily stopped loving him thats why she had james’ Baby, snape hates watching harry grow up and thinks about what it would of been like if he had of waited a while and lily could of had his son.

    does anyone else wonder what thoughts of snapes we would of seen in the pensieve if snape had not of pulled harry out, maybe it was scenes with him and lily that he did not want harry to see…or maybe it was what he said to dumbledore that convinced him that snape was innocent.

    snape is the most interesting character in the books because i mean hes been in every single book but hasnt played a major role in any of them, theres so much to discover about him. i hope the next book will stat the facts about harry snapes and lilys past…i also believe dumbledore is gone for good but he did leave instructions with snape that will help harry.

  78. I think Snape is clever enough to see Voldemort’s hypocrisy. Tom Riddle is a half-blood, yet he hates and wants to kill mudbloods or blood-traitors. He is ashamed of his origins, but that is not a good excuse for Severus. Also, he realises that no matter how powerful the Dark Lord is, he will eventually fall and only Harry can defeat him, as the prophecy says. I believe that when Snape heard the prophecy, he decided to “switch” sides. But this change was just about basic principals, at first, which meant he had to spy for Dumbledore in order to gain trust. Then the Potters died. That’s when he also changed mentally and morally, giving his support( in the way he usually does) in defeating Voldemort. Dumbledore trusted him all along and I guess Snape knew that even if he joined the good side, he would still suffer greately and would never be free of the pain and guilt. He suspected that there would be a time when he would have to face all that and I believe that moment was when he had to kill Dumbledore.
    It seems highly possible that Dumbledore did order Snape to kill him, for I don’t see another way. As for the whole Snape/Lily relationship, there doesn’t really have to be that kind of love between them. It could just be a very strong friendship that unites them and keeps Snape loyal to her. Of course, I don’t deny the possibility of such a romance. There are several clues that induce us to believe so…They were both talented in Potions, very ambitious, high achievers; they even shared similar bad experiences during childhood, though that is not concluded. Lily is tormented by her sister and Snape is tormented by his father. They have some things in common, but also seem thousand miles apart…probably because Lily was popular, friendly and more of a good-natured, bubbly person, while Snape was the exact opposite and even more. All these things might add to a stormy relationship, but I doubt JKR would really want to emphasise this pairing so much. Of course their interaction would have great meaning and would answer a lot of questions, but a strong friendship between them would do the same. After all, we cannot ignore the pictures of Lily and James together, smiling happily, showing great affection towards eachother. Frankly, I don’t like Lilly all that much, I don’t know why, but she makes a good character.
    A thing that I think is quite surprising in book 6 is Harry’s immediate reaction towards Dumbledore’s death and Snape’s so called “betrayal”. He jumped into conclusions too fast.
    Yes, he was in a state of shock, I know. But he knows Dumbledore very well, he knows his ways of action and he trusts him. He should have at least suspected something odd about this murder. Of course his natural hatred for Snape, his convictions that he was a double spy that only wanted power,the sight of a weakend Dumbledore and the “failed” Horcrux hunt helped him strengthen his opinions. Yet, being the key to destroying Voldemort he must put aside other feelings and look deeper into the problem, though that is very hard, but that’s why he is the Boy Who Lived. Malfoy’s tricks, The Death Eaters’ trap, the big fight, Dumbledore’s strange actions that year, Tom Riddle’s memories should have made him realise that maybe it wasn’t as it seemed. But I guess I can understand that in those moments he was in no state of playing the detective. Something very weird, related to this subject was Harry’s lack of interest in the message sent by R.A.B. I’m not talking of his “I don’t care attitude towards it” at first sight, but his actions later on. It seemed that only Hermione ( on no one’s account I suppose) tried to find out more, or at least got very involved by searching the entire library. I do give extra points to Harry though for showing interest in finding out what Hermione had discovered.
    And since I’ve mentioned Hermione I must say I agree with all the people that said her character, or at least the nature of it was killed. Hermione had her own charm in this novel; showing great maturity and intelligence, yet still being able to get a good laugh out of the readers and to become an ultimate favourite power-girl. Now, when I “look” at her I see a faded girl, that stands out because of her devotion and courage, intelligence and skill just like she used to, but is too changed because of the War. I think all the characters have changed greately, but not all of them have evolved into something better. Harry…hm..it’s very hard to tell…he has changed into worse and better at the same time, but that’s how he ought to be, for no one is perfect and The Hero doesn’t have to be a Saint, though ironically that’s what he becomes. He could be one of the Horcruxes and if so, would have to sacrifice himself in order to vanquish all of Voldemort’s Evil. The question is if Harry Potter dies, what will happen afterwards? I don’t want him to die because he resembles hope in all this mess, but that’s for JKR to decide…

  79. Come on guys you are holding onto false hopes. Snape is a free agent, he is fiercely independent and frankly not the kind of person who would sincerely be someone’s right hand. Snape works for himself! You cannot use the words good and evil with snape, they are too simple. Why was it so hard for dumbledore to realize that snape would betray him, and why could dumbledore see all along that tom was evil even as a child yet be fooled by snape? It is precisely because Snape is such a complicated character, he’s an occlumens, and he does have the capacity to love( many lily). Tom is very black and white, whereas snape is grayish; snape is like a cat, he is unpredictable and is subject to no one. Snape has repeatedly been furious with dumbledore because his independance has been takin away and his views have been dismissed. remember in POA when dumbledore brushed off snape when he yelled that potter had something to do with sirius’s disappearance? Remember when he made the wolfsbane potion Snape thinks that dumbledore’s trust in people is foolish, and this explains the look of ‘revulsion’ on his face before he killed him. He was repulsed by dumbledore’s weakness of trust. When dumbledore pleaded with him, snape was disgusted with the fact that dumbledore would plead for snape’s mercy. Do I think Snape is loyal to Voldemort? Hell no, snape is loyal to himself. If anything, Snape is using the voldemort for his own gain. Don’t forget that Snape’s nickname is the half blood prince. What is a prince but a prequel to king? Although I am not sure of snape’s want to rule over others and have control, I DO know that Snape is out to prove himself. He refused to be anyone’s victim or tool. Is Snape evil? No, you can’t describe Snape as evil; only as deeply bitter, cynical, selfish even, but not evil.

  80. Having read up on the various Snape theories and worked on developing my own, I am re-reading H-BP now and noticing a whole host of things I never noticed before. I don’t want to go into detail just now, since I have not yet finished re-reading the book; however, I am inclined to believe that Dumbledore was dead before Snape “killed” him—his burnt and seemingly rotting hand, his possession of the Slytherin/Gaunt ring, his excessive absences, his secrecy, all evidence (to me, at least) that Dumbledore died in his skurmish for the ring and whatever else it was that he sought, and Snape helped him, through his expert skill for Potions, “stopper death,” as it were.

    And, if this isn’t true, I believe that the only reason Snape would have killed Dumbledore would be to fulfill his Unbreakable Vow to Narcissa Malfoy.

    And, if none of this is true, I don’t care: evil or not, I will always love Severus Snape.

  81. hey people jk rowling will probably skim most of the sites wich have stuff about harry potter and things on them and she will read the theories and think well i will have to write something different you cant really say whats going to happen because she hasent decided whats going to happen yet shes still writing.

    AND PEOPLE DONT WRITE SUCH LONG POSTS IT TOOK ME OVER AN HOUR TO READ EVERYTHING ON THIS SITE

  82. Hi everyone! I have a theory about Dumbledore (well it is actually a bit obvious really) Harry will go back to Hogwarts to talk to Dumbledore. Now I know what you are thinking Dumbledore is dead unless he is a ghost and has come back to live at Hogwarts. That is not true Dumbledore does not have to be a ghost to be at Hogwarts. Harry will not go back to do his last year but I am pretty sure he will go back to talk to Dumbledore. I know you are probably wanting to know what I mean by Dumbledore being at Hogwarts he is well his portrait is anyway!!!! Harry can talk to Dumbledore by means of Dumbledore’s portrait. All the other portraits in the headmaster’s\headmistress’ office can talk and they have minds like all the other portraits at Hogwarts. The fat lady can remember passwords and talk to people and keep up with things. And what about Phineas Nigellus he has two portraits one in the headmaster’s\headmistress’ office and one in 12 Grimauld place he was even working for the Order of the Pheonix. So Dumbledore’s portrait can think for itself remember things and hear things and talk so it will still know things about Voldemort and how to locate the horcruxes so I am pretty sure that Harry will go back to Hogwarts for that and I have no idea why he did not talk to Dumbledore’s portrait the night that Dumbledore died. I am also not sure why Professor McGonagall did not ask Dumbledore’s portrait himself what Dumbledore did when he went away I just don’t know why J.K Rowling did not write that Harry talked to Dumbledore’s portrait because he could have done it easily and he would have been talking to Dumbledore. Anyway bye for now.

  83. Okay no one get mad at me for this but I just have to correct some of you!!!

    first of all one person way back said that Snape, Harry and (Professor Trelawny subconsciosly) were the only people who heard the prophecy that is not true Dumbledore and Harry are the only people who heard the whole prophecy Snape only heard part of the prophecy and told Voldemort the part he heard if Snape had heard the whole prophecy he would have told Voldemort the whole prophecy and then Voldemort would not have needed to go to the ministry and try to steal the prophecy which leads me to also say that Voldemort has also heard part of the prophecy but has not heard the other part and professor trelawny does not remember any of the prophecies she makes so she would not have known she even made the prophecy.

    Next. Holly the black figure at the start of the first harry potter movie I am pretty sure is Voldemort if there were two then I do not know who it was but I do know that the movie was made after the book based on the book and a lot of things had been changed in the movies that is why I do not like people who watch the movies but dont read the books because they don’t get all the clues that are in the books and lastly the person directing the movie would not have known to put another figure in the movie on account of the movie was made before any real clues as to how the series would end were published in the books.

    Next. someone said it would be pointless if Jkrowling was throwing us all these clues and they meant nothing. They don’t necessarily have to mean nothing. You just might be interpreting them wrong.

    Lastly to Lisa. J.K Rowling is not going to kill harry off just to piss the readers that would be stupid she would get lots of hate mail and anyway I dont even think she will kill harry off just because thats the way the story goes I think she will have some weird twist. I am quite certain that she will not have voldemort live and harry die that would just be stupid because then Voldemort would take over the world the end. I think that it will be one of these two Harry and Voldemort both die or Harry lives and Voldemort dies I mean by this that Harry and Voldemort will kill each other or Harry will kill Voldemort. And I know some of you will be thinking that Harry does not have to kill Voldemort that someone else can that is not true Harry does have to kill Voldemort not because the prophecy said he has to because Voldemort made it that way. the prophecy is not telling him something he has to do it is just telling him what he is going to do. So anyway that concludes my correcting people.

    p.s Holly it is suttle not suddle I am not trying to be mean or anything it is just you might have to spell it on a test and get it wrong. I was just trying to be a friend anyway bye again

    LOL alanna (LOL stands for lots of love it can also stand for laugh out loud and lots of losers)

  84. After debating it with my sister, we have reached the same basic conclusion that Snape loves Lily. it would also explain a few more quizzical actions in the book series. For example, way back when Dumbledore first heard the prophecy, Snape was waiting at the door and ran off to tell Voldemort. Now at this point, Dumbledore claims that Snape, not realizing his actions would lead Voldemort to kill James and Lily, was deeply sorry for his actions. However, Snape is not dumb. He probably reached the same conclusion Voldemort did and told him to get revenge on James for marrying the woman he loved. (This would also explain why Voldemort went after Harry as opposed to Neville, because Snape may have changed the prophecy slightly in order to send Voldemort after James.) So, when Voldemort goes to kill Harry, he shoots down James, but then gives Lily a choice to either move out of the way or die. Now, since when has Voldemort ever given anyone a choice, especially a muggle born witch? Conclusion: Snape begged Voldemort to spare Lily. After Voldemort turned on Snape and killed himself, Snape saw what had happened and rushed off to join Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix to repent for what had happened.

    Further proof: Snape saved Harry in his first year. Dumbledore claims that this was because James saved Snape’s life. However, Snape still blames James for having his life in jeapordy in the first place. Snape saved Harry because he loved Lily.

    Insane Theory: Snape made Voldemort make the Unbreakable Vow to spare Lily, so when he broke it, he was killed blowing up the house in the process and leaving nothing but a scar on Harry.

  85. It’s kind of crazy just how close to the truth your guesses were. Like Dumbledore. I’m seriously impressed :)

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