Oh my. This character. This MAN. He’s emerged as the breakout star of the Harry Potter series, so to speak – as a romantic hero, doomed by his unrequited love but ever vigilant in his care for her son. Uh, guys.
His reaction to being friendzoned and bullied in high school was to join a genocidal hate group.
That’s…unhealthy. And to those who wish to point out that he did eventually choose the right side and offer himself up to Dumbledore as a spy – yes, that’s true and I do think that many of his later actions SOMEWHAT redeem him. But let’s not forget that he only joined the Order of the Phoenix after Voldemort killed Muggleborn Lily. Why Snape thought that his boss – whose stated purpose was to kill all Muggles and Muggleborns and damn the genetic consequences – would let her live because of Snape’s crush is beyond me. And YES I’m aware that technically speaking Lily was killed because of the prophecy related to Harry and not because of her blood status, but let’s be real – if Voldemort had won control of the wizarding world she would have been killed anyway.
THAT BEING SAID. I don’t hate Snape as a character. I think that he’s a very well-drawn, complex character that highlights the idea that the world isn’t black and white or good and bad – there are shades of gray, and some of those shades of gray are people who did bad things and want to leave them behind to be good again. He brings much needed depth to the story and I truly enjoy seeing the main trio’s perception of him shift through the series as they learn more about him. Even his relationship with Harry has glimpses of his inner complexity – Harry looking so much like his father, Snape’s high school bully, clearly gives Snape problems, but he’s determined to protect Lily’s son regardless. And the “Always” scene gets me every time, because it’s just another glimpse of how nobody is truly evil to their core, there are always explanations and backstory that give them life and motivation. The story would ABSOLUTELY lose a lot without Snape to liven up the joint.
I just wish people would stop romanticizing him. It’s nearly as bad as Edward Cullen.