It’s funny how you feel attached to people you’ve never met and when they pass away, you feel a little sad plunge in your heart. A few recent deaths have affected me that way, including Robin Williams, the man who never failed to make child-me laugh, Richard Griffiths (played Vernon Dursley and notable roles in BBC’s Shakespeare plays filmed in the 80s), and most recently Alan Rickman, aka Severus Snape on the 8 Harry Potter films.
I’ve been wanting to write something ever since I heard he died on Thursday morning, but I was so shocked, sad, and was not sure what to say.
I’d read the first three Harry Potter books in school (Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban) and finished them in January of last year (2015). Book Snape was mildly comical, but more scary and hateful in the first three books, so when I watched Chamber of Secrets when it came out in 2002, I was surprised he was quite a funny character. I watched the rest of the films in December of 2014 and Snape was forever imprinted in my mind as a needy, bullied, smart, yet loving person, whose antics against Harry, Ron, and Hogwarts students was sometimes quite funny.
I love how he enters the classroom in the first movie in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, just as the books describes: an overgrown bat.
One of my favorite scenes of his is when Neville pictured him wearing his grandmother’s clothes to defeat boggart Snape.
His observation by Umbridge…
Umbridge: You first applied for the Defense of the Dark Arts position, but you failed to attain it, is that correct?
Alan Rickman certainly changed my view of Snape in books Year 1-3 in a way that was quite significant for me as a kid. He brought the compassion out of the early book character. Book Snape made me laugh dozens of time. But Movie Snape gave me some of my biggest laughs. I think he would like it if we him remembered smiling, as he made us smile.
Harry Potter fans, including myself, will remember him. Always.