I think I originally published this post in 2016 or 2017. I’m hoping to get started again on this re-read, but it may not get into full speed until the summer.
Regarding the re-read… I considered going through the series backwards, but in looking at the “Dark Lord Ascending” chapter, I decided it might be too dark a place to start. So let’s start back at the beginning.
Main themes this time around: Power, Choice, Love.
Since I’m assuming that you’ve read the series, I won’t be including spoiler warnings, except for the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which, as the official “eighth story in the Harry Potter series” will be treated here as canon).
I don’t want to get dragged this time into side-issues like “Is Snape good or bad?” so here are my assumptions, which I believe are backed by canon:
- Snape was a Death Eater in his youth.
- By the time we meet him, Snape’s loyalty is to Lily’s memory, to Albus Dumbledore, and later to the Order of the Phoenix.
- Snape consistently behaves like a jerk to Harry.
- One of the alt-Timelines in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (CC) has Snape protecting Ron and Hermione and dying an unabashedly heroic and selfless death – an outcome that was canonically possible for Snape, apparently, by the time of the Tri-Wizard Tournament, when the timelines diverged.
- Harry says to his son Albus Severus at the end of CC that the men he was named after were “great men, with huge flaws, and you know what – those flaws almost made them greater.”
So, these are my assumptions about Snape: He was a deeply flawed man who possessed elements of greatness. You can hate him if you like because of his past and his treatment of Harry, but I am not going to debate his loyalties or his ultimate greatness. I intend to assume them.
Well, that’s enough preamble. I’ll be back a bit later with something to say about “The Boy Who Lived.” :)