Today, a legend died at age 69. Alan Rickman, the actor known for his haunting voice and dark features, was easily recognizable for a multitude of audiences throughout many age groups. You may have known him as Hans Gruber in "Die Hard," Jamie in "Truly, Madly, Deeply" or Colonel Brandon in Ang Lee's "Sense and Sensibility" or Harry in "Love Actually." Most famously among our generation, Alan Rickman was known a Professor Severus Snape in the "Harry Potter" movies.
So from all "Harry Potter" fans out there, here is a tribute to Alan Rickman:
Alan Rickman, or should I say Professor Snape,
For those of us who read all the "Harry Potter" books and have seen all the movies, you were our most favorite and least favorite character all at once.
We watched you bring to life one of the most dynamic characters of the novels, we saw you bring emotion beyond compare to a man who seemed otherwise emotionless. You became an image of the story, you became the story.
There is no one else that could have portrayed a character of such depth with as much emotion, fervor, and passion as you did.
We will always peg you as the man with beautiful hair, unstoppable wit and brute honesty with your students. You kept everyone in their place, and threw some of the best one-liners of the stories out there.
No matter what book we will read, we will always hear your voice in our head once we get to page 394.
We will remember the dark humor and slow speech you brought to every scene you performed.
Most of all, though, we will remember the moments you showed with such emotion, that it left the screen and became a part of us.
We all cried with you as you held Lily in your arms, and as Harry held you in his.
Most of all though, we will remember the way you shaped what "Harry Potter" is to us. You added a dimension to the character you portrayed and the storyline as a whole that seemed unreachable when first read. You added a character for all of us to love and hate at the same time, but one that is still mourned after his death. You were so many men all in one, and you were unpredictable and impossible to read.
You even spoke on the subject of the man you portrayed for 10 years:
Snape. There was more to him that met the eye. It’s something unnameable. He lives within a very tight confines emotionally, physically. He lives a solitary kind of existence. Mysterious. He’s very focused. Eventually you get to find out who he is. Innocence. Lost. Resentful. It’s been a complete privilege.
No other man would have been able to take a role like this on better than you did. You made the movies what they were, you adapted them from the books and you made them soar. Having known most of your storyline from the start, you still showed no indication that you were one thing or another, you stayed silent and let Snape develop as he should.
You were just a little misunderstood (but aren't we all?).
Beyond all those layers, though, you were loyal, and you were above all else, a hero. You were the underdog, silently protecting Harry the whole time, and you stopped at nothing to make sure of that from that first !quidditch match until your death.
We all saw the good in you, the amazing bravery and strength you held, even if it took some time to find that side of you. You were known as a gift of a character and one of the bravest men people had encountered, and you never once missed a beat.
Harry saw it too, as in the end he named his son after two of the greatest headmasters Hogwarts had ever seen.
"Albus Severus, you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew."
You made Professor Snape into one of the most memorable characters in the story that touched our hearts the most.
And so with that, just as we mourned your characters death in both book and movie, we mourn your death, Alan Rickman. It feels as if someone we really knew passed away before we could really say goodbye.
The ability to be mourned at such a capacity by so many, without one bad word coming from anyone is a testament to you as an actor and you as a person.
Author J.K. Rowling even states:
There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman's death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January, 14, 2016
For any person who is a "Harry Potter" fanatic, we realize the impact Alan Rickman had on this story, as it would have ever been the same without you in it.
I don't think I'm the only one who felt like someone they knew died when they heard the news of his passing. It's not often, if ever, that a movie makes a book better, but Alan Rickman did that for "Harry Potter."
When they inevitably remake the movies in 30 years, I'm sure we'll all take issue with the casting of Snape in particular. Because Alan Rickman is Snape.
Snape will forever be our favorites, and thank you Alan Rickman for making that possible.
After all this time?
"Harry Potter" Fans Everywhere
Rest in peace Alan Rickman (1946-2016) - you will be greatly missed.