11 Lessons Severus Snape Taught Us
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11 Lessons Severus Snape Taught Us

The most important lessons that Alan Rickman taught us while he portrayed Severus Snape in the Harry Potter Series.

11 Lessons Severus Snape Taught Us

Alan Rickman, the British actor that portrayed Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies, has died from cancer at age 69.

The award-winning actor appeared on stage in multiple films; however, he was best known for his role as Snape, one of the most captivating and riveting characters in J.K Rowling's best-selling series.

While the character of Snape was Rowling's creation, it was Rickman's performance that brought him to life and made him one of the most unforgettable and complex characters. It was his ability to capture the nuances and emotional depth of the character that allowed Snape to teach us these important life lessons we'll remember. Always.

1. A change of heart can happen to anyone.

Severus Snape, in all respects, was no good man. The self-proclaimed Half-Blood Prince, Snape exemplified the coldness of Slytherin House, excelled at dark magic, and stood as Lord Voldemort's right-hand man before he became an espionage agent. He grew up indigent, abused, and a social outcast. However, in view of his love for Lily Potter and her tragic death, he found his inspiration to do what is right. Snape taught us that no matter what you've done or how far you've fallen, if the desire to change is there, you can start moving forward.

2. You don't need attention or glory.

After Severus Snape's death, Harry learned Snape's true intentions as the man who fought endlessly to keep him alive and defeat Lord Voldemort. Harry discovers that in order to protect Lily and her family, Snape changed sides and told Dumbledore that he would do anything for them to be safe. Despite his shortcomings, Snape soon became the bravest man Harry ever knew. Yet in his whole lifetime, Snape never sought attention or glory.

3. Act in faith.

Albus Dumbledore was the man who offered Snape the chance to switch sides and protect the woman he deeply loved for the rest of his life. Dumbledore had made it clear that her son would need his help. It was in the last year of his life that Snape learned the full extent of Dumbledore's plans, that Harry is a Horcrux and must die in order to kill Voldemort. Snape was outraged when he learned this.

In the end, Snape follows through on Dumbledore's instructions to kill him and the Horcrux in Harry is ultimately killed by Voldemort. Luckily, Harry survives and continues to live a bountiful life, a life that Snape never got to see. No matter how hard it was, Snape acted in faith and did all he had promised Dumbledore he'd do.

4. Humans are not perfect.

Severus Snape was not a perfect man. He loses the love of his life, Lily, forever because of his ideologies, he harassed the students he didn't like, and let his bitterness stop him from reaching any real potential as a teacher and from achieving fulfilling relationships. His intentions for doing the right thing can be argued as selfish. Even though he has a change of heart, that does not excuse all of his mistakes in the past.

5. There's more to people than they show you.

It can be argued that Snape is an even bigger hero than Harry Potter himself, but throughout the series, he's often unfair and cruel to the students. We later learn the reasons for Snape's despicable behavior when Harry takes a glimpse at Snape's most painful memories. These memories revealed that the version of himself Snape chose to share with the world is one that hides his courage, sacrifice, and an ability to love deeply.

6. Love is worth fighting for.

Throughout the Harry Potter series, we see wizards, muggles and magical creatures fight for a variety of purposes- for good, for evil, for justice, for equality- but Snape always fights for love. His love for Lily is so strong that he risks everything and ultimately sacrifices himself to protect her son.

7. Loyalty means everything.

Snape's loyalty to Lily, Harry, and Dumbledore essentially ensured Voldemort's demise. He stayed true to his promise of protecting Harry in order to keep Lily's son safe. Snape also stood by Dumbledore in his, what seemed like insane, plan to kill the Horcrux in Harry.

8. Heroes can hide in the most unlikely of places.

Heroes are usually the protagonist in a work of fiction, but no one ever suspects the evil antagonist to change his ways and become the hero. Severus Snape did just that. While he started out helping Lord Voldemort hunt Harry Potter, he had a change of heart and became a spy for Dumbledore in order to protect Harry. Unexpectedly, Snape became the hero of the series and sacrificed himself to save Harry.

9. You can love people even if they don't love you back.

Severus Snape and Lily Evans, Harry Potter’s mother, grew up together in Spinner’s End and became friends even before they went to Hogwarts. Snape cared for and deeply loved Lily since their childhood, but Lily fell in love with James Potter. Were his feelings for her unrequited? Yes, but he continued to love her anyway.

10. Acts of bravery can separate us from others.

When Snape received an impossible task from Dumbledore, Snape knew he was going to stand alone and break all ties but he had to have enough bravery to do the right thing. We must find the bravery in ourselves to do the impractical and difficult tasks regardless if we stand alone because we know it will be the right thing.

11. Forgiveness is key.

Snape’s narrative is particularly important when it comes to talking about love and forgiveness – his inability to forgive James for his immaturity when they were kids had a clear effect on his life and ability to open up to other people, and added so much negativity to his feelings for Lily.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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