Each fan of the Potterverse can agree that Severus Snape was the most controversial character in the series. Until the very last moments, we couldn't understand whether he was good or evil. At some points, he did his best to protect Harry and others, and Dumbledore continuously stated that he completely trusted Snape. But still, most of the time the Potions Master seemed to be pure evil — especially when he killed Dumbledore in The Half-Blood Prince. How surprised were we when we learnt that he was Dumbledore's double agent all along, had a deep love towards Harry's mother, and even cursing Avada Kedavra on the Headmaster, he executed the Headmaster's order.
What else did we miss about this mysterious man? Fans of the series, prepare, as we're about to learn a few things about Professor Severus Snape!
15 Alan Rickman Kept A Secret About Snape For Years
In the very beginning of the filming process, when no one knew if Snape was for the good guys or the bad guys, Alan Rickman had a talk with J.K. Rowling.
Back then, the actor asked her to reveal the true nature of Snape to him, so he could better understand the character. It's obvious that Rickman promised he wouldn't tell anyone what she revealed to him. But even though he could talk about it after the end of the series, he kept the secret until his death. He only said that "it wasn’t a plot point, or crucial in any tangible way, but it was crucial to me as a piece of information."
After his passing, Rowling revealed the secret she shared with the actor. "I told Alan what lies behind the word 'always,'" the writer stated on her Twitter account. May I get a tissue, please?
14 A Very Smart Student
When Snape studied at Hogwarts, he was a very skilled student. It's safe to say that he was smarter than most other students, because he was able to do something few other people could. He invented a number of his own spells. All of these spells were rather interesting and unique. For example, Langlock would make the opponent's tongue stick to the roof of their mouth, so they couldn't talk. Muffliato would create a constant buzzing in the ears. Levicorpus would lift someone's body up, while Liberacorpus could be used as a counter curse to Levicorpus. And the most dangerous spell of them all was Sectumsempra; the curse that would create a number of deep scratches all over the opponent's body.
Snape probably came up with all these spells because he wanted to protect himself from the bullies, TBH.
13 Why He And Lily Stopped Talking
Before getting into Hogwarts, Snape became friends with Lily Evans. He loved her from the very beginning, and it's possible that she could remain his friend and even developed romantic feelings to him, if he didn't commit to such a huge mistake.
Lily and Severus were separated as soon as they got to Hogwarts. She ended up in Gryffindor, while he went to Slytherin. However, they kept on communicating until the day he called her "mudblood" in an argument after James humiliated him in front of her. For Lily, it was a turning point. She didn't accept Severus' apology, and their friendship was over.
It's possible that if Snape didn't use this word, they'd continue communicating, and, perhaps, she'd even keep him from becoming a Death Eater.
12 He Sent Flowers To Lily's Funeral
After Lily died, Snape was smashed. He loved her so much that it was extremely hard for him to move on after her death. But since he was a Death Eater, he couldn't even attend her funeral and tell her one last goodbye. He only sent flowers to her grave. Knowing that the flowers were from him, Remus Lupin could have just thrown them away. However, he didn't do it, because he knew that despite all of Snape's dark traits, his love for Lily was strong and he was feeling similar pain due to her passing. So he placed one of the flowers on Lily's coffin.
This way, Snape's love remained with Lily even when she was buried. Isn't that a reason to get a tissue right now? Because for me, it is...
11 Why Dumbledore Didn't Want Him To Be A DADA Professor?
It's been known from the very beginning of the series that Snape always wanted to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts in Hogwarts, but he ended up being a Potions Master. Dumbledore trusted him with his life, so why wouldn't he give him this desired position?
In fact, there are two explanations. First, the Headmaster must have thought that people would think it was strange that the former Death Eater taught DADA. And second, Dumbledore knew that this position was cursed. Years ago, Tom Riddle wanted the position and, since the Headmaster refused him, he jinxed it, so that no teacher would stay there for longer than a year. Knowing this and wanting Snape to always be around, he only gave him the position when he knew that the professor was to become a Headmaster in a year. Wise, huh?
10 He Was The Youngest Headmaster And Head Of House
Dumbledore hired Snape for the position of Potions Professor when he was only 21 years old. In the same year, Horace Slughorn retired, and Snape also became Head of Slytherin House. It made him the youngest Head of House in the history of Hogwarts.
Years later, when Snape killed Dumbledore (as we learned later, he only followed the Headmaster's orders), he was given the position of Headmaster. Everyone was shocked by this, but he was the only person at the time that Dumbledore would want to be at the head of the school. He knew that Snape would protect the students, while still pretending to be a Death Eater. This hard task fell on Severus when he was only 38, which made him the youngest Headmaster of Hogwarts. All others took the post when they were well into their 50's or 60's.
9 The Only Death Eater Who Could Produce A Patronus
We know that Death Eaters were filled with so much negativity and darkness that none of them could have a memory happy enough to produce a full Patronus. None, except for one. Severus Snape had happy memories revolving around his childhood and his friendship with Lily Evans, whom he loved so much that it gave him enough strength to conjure a Patronus.
It's interesting to mention that Snape's Patronus was a doe, just like that of Lily. It proved to us that his love for Lily was way stronger than his liking for Dark Arts. And since Patronus is one of the most powerful light charms, Snape's ability to produce it revealed that part of his soul was still turned to light, even though it always seemed to be otherwise.
8 He Helped Harry Find The Sword Of Gryffindor
Before we knew that Snape was acting against Voldemort all along, we could see him helping Harry find the Sword of Gryffindor. Obviously, Snape couldn't just give Harry the sword for many reasons. First of all, it was unsafe for Harry to see Snape helping him, because Voldemort could easily learn about it from his thoughts. And, secondly, Harry wouldn't even accept the sword from the hands of Dumbledore's murderer. So, instead of doing it himself, he used his Patronus to lead Harry to the frozen lake, where he hid the sword.
After Ron saved Harry from the lake, he claimed that he saw someone hiding in the shadows. Knowing that Snape was actually there, we can assume that it was him checking that Harry was safe before leaving.
7 He Could Fly Without A Broomstick
In the Wizarding World, everyone uses broomsticks (or some other things, like flying cars), or magical creatures to fly. However, there were at least two wizards who were capable of unsupported flight. The first one was Lord Voldemort (who, supposedly, created this charm), and the second one was Severus Snape. It wasn't revealed how he got this skill, but most likely Voldemort personally taught him.
I must say, the skill of unsupported flight is rather useful, because it allows the wizard to escape danger quickly, without having anything to fly on. Snape did need it at some point. He used this skill when he had to escape from Hogwarts during Professor McGonigal's attack on him. It was a very impressive moment, wasn't it? (Since I'm still raving about it, I'd say that it is.)
6 His Portrait Was Placed In The Headmaster's Office
The portraits of all headmasters of Hogwarts appear in their office as soon as the Headmaster dies, as a tribute for everything they did for the school. According to the rules, Snape's portrait couldn't be placed into the Headmaster's office, because he escaped from the school and gave up the position. However, it was eventually placed there.
Knowing about Snape's heroism and courage, Harry did everything he could to make sure that he was honored properly. In one of her interviews, J.K. Rowling spoke about it and claimed, "Harry would have insisted that Snape’s portrait was on that wall, right beside Dumbledore's." It's good to know that Harry managed to forgive the man whom he hated for seven years, learning that he strongly loved his mother and was there to protect him all along.
5 Rita Skeeter Wrote A Book About Him
We all remember Rita Skeeter. In the series, she was a manifestation of sneaky journalists who'd do everything to get some material about a celebrity and then boost it into a sensation. She'd even turn into a bug to follow people around and overhear their conversations. She wrote about all the main characters of the books, including Harry, Hermione, Hagrid, Dumbledore, and Snape.
In fact, Snape turned out to be such an interesting figure for Skeeter that she even wrote a book about him. Some time after he died and everyone learned that he was Dumbedore's double agent, the journalist published a book, Snape: Scoundrel or Saint?. This title was rather typical of her, and we can assume that it contained a number of inaccuracies used to create the tarnished image of Snape.
4 Did He Actually Have Facial Hair?
Every time we think about Severus Snape, we can't help but recall the face of Alan Rickman. To be honest, he was one of the actors who gave the most accurate portrayals of characters. It's even hard to imagine someone else in this role, and it's also hard to imagine that Snape could look differently.
But, in fact, he might have had a completely different look.
Have you ever noticed that J.K. Rowling never described Snape as the man with a well-shaved face? Well, she didn't describe him as the one having a beard either, but doesn't it make you think that Snape might have had some hair on his face? Mary GrandPré, an American illustrator of the Harry Potter series, drew him with a small beard, and even J.K. once drew him with a goatee. How do you think Alan Rickman would look if he had facial hair while playing Snape?
3 The Truth Behind His Costume
Severus Snape is often described as a person who resembles "an overgrown bat," and his clothes are one of the things that make him look like that. To make sure that Snape's costume looked perfect, Alan Rickman himself took part in its creation.
In his interview with the New York Times, the actor told how he contributed to the creation of Snape's look in the movies. "I was very specific about it. I said the sleeves should be really tight. There should be a lot of buttons. Because that helped me, the idea that he has to do that," Rickman said. He thought that the long sleeves and multiple buttons symbolized Snape's reserved nature.
In another interview, the actor confessed that he had a special feeling when putting on Snape's costume. "It's the only character and I suppose by my own instance really, never changed his costume over 10 years," he said and went on to add. "You sort of got the feeling that's the only thing he's got hanging in his wardrobe."
2 The Character Was Based On Rowling's School Chemistry Teacher
J.K. Rowling once admitted that Severus Snape was loosely based on one of her school teachers. It was her teacher of chemistry, who was long-haired, short-tempered, and worked in a "gloomy, malodorous laboratory." This teacher's name was John Nettleship. When he learned that he was Rowling's major inspiration for the character, he was horrified and said, "I knew I was a strict teacher but I didn't think I was that bad."
However, after some time Nettleship came to terms with the connection and even said that he was proud to become Rowling's inspiration. "I guess I was rather like the Professor Snape character in the books – demanding, wouldn’t suffer fools gladly, exacting," the teacher remembered. Shortly after this confession, Nettleship died of cancer he battled for several years. May he rest in peace.
1 Tim Roth Was The First Choice For The Role
As I said earlier, it's hard to imagine someone else in the role of Professor Snape. However, we almost had someone else! The Warner Brothers Studio's first choice was Tim Roth. But it didn't work out, because the actor was working on another project (it was Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes) and passed on the role.
You might be wondering how Roth feels about it now and whether he regrets turning down such an iconic role. In fact, he doesn't have hard feelings about it. "If I had done it, everything would have changed. That's the nature of the randomness of life," Roth said in one of his interviews and went on to add. "I think the better man for the job did the job."
Most likely, he's right. If he played Snape, the Potions Master would be completely different. And we're also glad Rickman landed the role. He was perfect.