I’ve had a lot on my mind and on my plate so I was going to do a quick and easy little dog-themed post but then I woke up this morning and Alan Rickman had passed away. First, I died inside just a little. Then I realized I couldn’t put cute dog pictures up when one of my favorite actors, who brought so many characters to life, was gone.
So I have a short tribute and musings on Severus Snape and the man who made him real.
PLEASE NOTE: This post assumes you have read or seen the Harry Potter series. Let’s be honest, who hasn’t? But disclaimer anyway.
Alan Rickman played a variety of roles and deftly adapted to each new character. He has a wonderful quote:
This quote, I think, applies to real life and day-to-day interactions. You can’t understand what it’s like to be someone else when you’re judging them. And you can tell, too, that he approaches all his characters—no matter how despicable, eccentric, or tortured—with the same openness and acceptance. Professor Snape was no exception.
J.K. Rowling’s brilliance created Severus Snape, perhaps the shining example of complex, nuanced character and how most people are neither good nor evil, there are simply actions and consequences.
I remember how Rowling kept most readers guessing as to Professor Snape’s true loyalty right up until the final book. Sure, everyone hedged their bets one way or another, but after Dumbledore’s death, I think even the strongest Snape supporters had their doubts.
In a series where almost every character is firmly planted on the side of Good OR Evil, Severus Snape was perhaps one of the most real characters to me—something I didn’t fully realize until I read the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Alan Rickman’s nuanced performance as a man still paying for a selfish mistake by protecting a boy he can’t stand brings the most layered character to life and enhances the character from the book in a way that is truly rare.
We were lucky to have J.K. Rowling write such a complex character and that Alan Rickman came along and portrayed him so masterfully. Join me, readers, in turning to page 394 one last time. And rest in peace, Mr. Rickman. You will be missed.