I believed that Severus Snape was a genuine asshat for years of my life, as did Harry and gang. YEARS. But of course (it’s here that I warn you of major spoilers, but… c’mon:) we learn that Snape was in love with Harry’s mom, and that he’s actually a decent guy. Jo Rowling really strung us along there, didn’t she?
But while most people forgave him for the misdeeds, I have truly always believed Professor Snape was the worst. To clarify, this does not reflect on the late Alan Rickman, forever and always the best, but is rather only a discussion of the character he brought to vivid life. Bear with me.
Teachers aren’t supposed to be biased. Some might say that Snape’s attitude towards Harry is understandable given his feelings towards James Potter, but let’s remember who the teacher here is. How many points do you think he took from Gryffindor over the years? Millions from Harry alone, probably. Guys, Snape was Neville’s BOGGART. Do you know how terrifying that means he was? Imagine how this would play out in the Muggle world for a moment:
MATH TEACHER: Hello, Mr. Principal.
PRINCIPAL: Ah, Mr. Smith. Do you know why I called you into my office?
MATH TEACHER: Is it my treatment of that one student I hate?
PRINCIPAL: It is! As a teacher you really shouldn’t hate a student so conspicuously. If you can’t help it, please don’t make it so apparent.
MATH TEACHER: But what if I told you I’m still in love with that student’s dead mother?
PRINCIPAL: That’s even worse and you’re fired.
There’s no getting around his responsibility for the Potters’ deaths. You know what good wizards do when the person they love doesn’t reciprocate? They lock themselves up in their room with some chocolate frogs and Adele for a good while and then they move on. What they don’t do is hold on to that forever until they accidentally get their loved one killed by telling an evil wizard about a prophecy they overheard.
He JOINED THE DEATH EATERS in the first place. I don’t think it’s cool to engage with a group of murderous weirdos no matter how much you were teased in high school, but maybe that’s just me.
Snape turns against Voldemort because he killed Lily, not because he’s a soulless murderer who acts a lot like his pet Boa constrictor.
He killed Dumbledore. Yeah, I know—Dumbledore told him he had to, but if someone tells you to kill Dumbledore, you say no, even if it’s Dumbledore himself. Dumbledore doesn’t need friends who kill him. He needs friends who tell him not to drink strange potions he finds in caves.
In an alternate universe, maybe Snape could have kept his mouth shut and treated Harry right, and maybe also Teddy Lupin would have parents (REALLY, J.K. ROWLING?). But in this life, he was sulky and mean and I did not like him.