One of the first things we learned in Harry Potter is that Severus Snape literally sucks. The Head of Slytherin and Potions professor at Hogwarts seemed to have it out for 11-year-old Harry as soon as he met him in the Sorcerer’s Stone.
But as the years went on, the Harry Potter character became more and more complex. We learned that Snape went to Hogwarts with James Potter and often being the recipient of bullying at the hands of James and his friends. It also became apparent that he was in love with his childhood friend Lily Potter, which led to him double, triple, and quadruple-crossing Voldemort and the other Death Eaters to try and keep her safe.
Even so, through all the Harry Potter movies, it became apparent that the Harry Potter villain would never see eye-to-eye with the son of his bully. The Harry Potter character might’ve saved the youngster multiple times, but they were never exactly close. But one Redditor got hold of proof that suggests that maybe Harry was right to hate Snape.
“It just hit me: Snape got James killed,” the Reddit user wrote. “I obviously always knew that, factually, that’s what happened. But I somehow never realized the full significance of the fact – and it opens up a whole new layer to how atrocious Snape was to Harry.”
Namely, the Redditor called out Snape for “spend[ing] years brutally, mercilessly shit-talking this man whose death he caused to his orphaned son’s face.”
While Snape’s audacity throughout the fantasy movies was never in doubt, Harry Potter cast member Alan Rickman played the character so well that we couldn’t help but feel for Snape just a little bit. However, I think defining Snape as an out-and-out villain or out-and-out hero is too simplistic, as it doesn’t take into account just how nuanced the character is.
Yes, Snape did the right thing in the end, but that doesn’t undo all the crimes he committed as a Death Eater, especially when it came to James’ death. Snape’s only motivation throughout the novels and movies is his unrequited love for Lily, and even then, seeing someone as a romantic prospect isn’t the same as truly caring about them. If he cared about Lily and Harry that much, he would’ve discouraged Voldemort from murdering James. But his actions, in this instance, were objectively selfish.
It’s also worth pointing out that Snape was the one who distanced himself from Lily and called her a Mudblood. So he shouldn’t really act shocked that she wouldn’t want anything to do with him after that. Also, she never owed him a relationship in the first place.
Snape also did other objectively horrible stuff for no good reason, such as when he more or less revealed Remus being a werewolf to his class despite knowing all the stigma he’d undoubtedly face.
So, in conclusion, Snape still sucks. End of story.