Is Snape Good or Evil?


May 01, 2007

Posted by SueTLC

Is Snape Good or Evil? That is the question long asked by fans of the Harry Potter series, and so now too is Scholastic asking this question as part of the “There Will Soon Be 7″ campaign. The US publishers have now updated their Harry Potter website with the second of the questions they will be asking over the coming weeks before the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on July 21, 2007.
Fans can vote, here, on answers relating to the nefarious Potions master:

  • Good and still a spy for the Order of the Phoenix
  • Good but in too deep with Voldemort
  • Evil and has always been a spy for Voldemort
  • EVil but only because Voldemort is back

And no alas, ‘slimy git who needs to keep his nose out of people’s business and go wash his hair’ is not an option. ;) You can also see this question about Snape on bookmarks that you can download at home. Fans may want to note the bookmark this time features a photo of stone stairs leading down to an open doorway, perhaps to Snape’s potions room? Also updated is the second poster, this being a cover of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Be sure to explore the cover art to this and all the US covers by Mary GrandPre here.

35 Responses to Is Snape Good or Evil?

Avatar Image says: Course he's good :o)Avatar Image says: Yes, of course he is Jude!Avatar Image says: I wouldn't class him as good or evil. He's just a nasty bugger - is that option available?Avatar Image says: I wish there was an option "is a very bad man..." I'm getting kind of used to it as an option :-PAvatar Image says: good ,of course.............Avatar Image says: Well, he's a nasty little git, but he's good ... in a way.Avatar Image says: I think he belongs to the good guys and will help Harry in the end.Avatar Image says: He's a cross Good/Evil... Strange option maybe, but it's the only option for me to choose...Avatar Image says: Snapes a greasy, twisted, evil man... I'm predicting at least one chapter of book 7 will be dedicated entirely for the castration performed on old snivellus... Avatar Image says: Evil greasy git. I can only hope he will be useful in the end.Avatar Image says: So many people hate Snape, they are probably wondering why Scholastic is wasting one of their Polls on him. Guess what? He may not be evil at all, and maybe he never really was, since Dumbledore believed in him so much.Avatar Image says: Man...I still can't decide! LOL! Most days I think deep down he's still working on behalf of the good guys but then others, I'm not so sure. I can't wait to find out once and for all!!Avatar Image says: Good! I believe in the 24 hours that James and Lily died and Harry arrived at the Dursley that Dombledore was gathering Harry thoughts and putting them in the 'Pensieve'. So, the reason Dumbledore trusted Snake is because Baby Harry Told Him to!Avatar Image says: Snape has been teaching and protecting Harry since the very first book, and trying to snap him out of his arrogance - all good things, even though the method has not be all warm and fuzzy. There is a scene in each book that Snape literally or figuratively throws his body between Harry and harm, and even the last we see of Snape in the last book is him "teaching" Harry by yelling out to him that he still hasn't learned to do silent spells (something that will clearly be crucial in the last book). So, no, Snape isn't the good looking jock that everyone adores, isn't all fluffy bunny with his students, was bullied mercilessly by the "wonderful" James and company, is clearly a wounded soul and a complex person. Good or bad? Too simplistic - no one is either good or bad, we all have all of the elements of humanity within us, not all of us tap into those elements though. The only thing that will be interesting to me in the last book is to see where JKR's moral compass is - will she have compassion for Snape, or will he become a caricature proving that troubled people deserve the cruelty bestowed upon them? We'll see.Avatar Image says: Great points, Eve. What would it mean if someone that Harry considers "ugly" is just another villain? Judging a book by it's cover? I think people have forgotten how much Harry loved the Prince from the book - his "friend." Also, if Snape is the evil, grease-ball that Sirius always said he was, does that mean JKR thinks fifteen year olds are perfect judges of "future" character and Snape got what he deserved when they attacked him? It would be tragic for every kid out there who is a victim of bullying. Kids already think others hate them for the way they look. People need to remember all the stuff that came before the Tower scene, and not judge Snape just on that. They are making the same mistake Harry is making - that Snape and Voldemort are nearly the same, when they are clearly not.Avatar Image says: He's a very naughty boy? I think Snape is going to be JKR's greatest lesson. No-one is completely good. And no-one is completely evil. I think he will turn out to be an absolute hero, whilst at the same time still be a man who has done terrible things. Did no-one see Spike in Buffy? He did terrible things but then out of love (for Buffy) tried to do right (before he got his soul back). This poll is the tippiest tip of the iceberg - with the rest of the iceberg revealing itself in book 7 and showing everyone more about Dumbledore and Snape. Are they related? Am I the only one who's asked that? They have the same nose....Avatar Image says: That's a very black and white question for a very complicated man who has lots of shades of grey.. (and I'm not talking about his underpants!). Without doubt there have been times when he has literally saved Harry's life (the broom in PS for instance) and he was present in the crucial scene at the end of GF where the truth about Crouch came out. He also didn't have to alert the order in OP to go to the ministry - he could simply have pretended that he didn't understand what Harry meant and left them all to the Death Eaters - he wouldn't have been sorry to see any of those who went get killed if he's the evil murdering scumbag that some people think. He shouldn't be judged simply on his (some might say understandable) feelings for Sirius/James/Lupin. He would be a saint not to hold a grudge against them. His treatment of Harry, whilst definitely at times overstepping the mark, has never been completely evil - the only time when he really lost it was when he discovered Harry looking in the pensieve at his own worst memory. Why he did what he did to Dumbledore will doubtless be revealed in DH, but on balance I think he will come out on the side of good-(ish) and may well end up not surviving.Avatar Image says: JKR uses many mythological and historical parallels in her writing. I find it non-coincidental that there are historical and interacting Albus and Severus (in Britain of all places). So, my opinion parallels that historical situation: Three major figures vie for the throne of Rome. Severus pretends to be a friend of Albus in Britain and Negro in the Eastern Empire. He tricks and kills Albus and consolidates West, still pretending to be a frend of Negro... Than he gathers forces and defeats Negro. Interestingly, than he continues to rule as a very good, just and prosperus leader of Rome keeping it united and is remembered as one of its best... Hence I see Snape as a good head of Hogwarts at the end of book 7, helping to defeat Valdy' but still a "grey" character.Avatar Image says: That guy was again on the "Today" show. Here is the link to the video. It right off to the side called waiting for 'Harry Potter'Avatar Image says: About the bookmark... the 2nd one isn't leading to snape's office. If you look, it's one of at least 2 arches. I don't know if there are 2 doors there, but there isn't a wall on the right hand side of the door/arch.Avatar Image says: I'd like to direct you all to my essay on Snape (that he's good), where I believe I explain in great detail why he's still Dumbledore's man: I'd love to hear others' comments, but please defend yourself if you think he's evil!Avatar Image says: Ummmmmm - Bad, bad man. No matter the reason, murder is not the answer. I don't believe Dumbledore was super-human and he even admits to making mistakes. Lesson: Everyone makes mistakes! I will never forgive him for killing Dumbledore (JK even stated he is definitely dead!), and I hope Harry doesn't either. "I would have died-died rather than betray my frieds!"Avatar Image says: Well I still think Snape is a @#?*&^%"!£$ but I don't think he is completely evil. The more I read Spinner's end, the more I think he was using occlumency against Bellatrix Deranged, and if he had refused to take the vow, she and Narcissa would have killed him. Snape can be very very nasty, and he has a liking for the Dark Arts, but I don't think he's evil. I think he's very messed up, he's had a bad life and it's made him very bitter, and he's made a lot of mistakes. I even feel a little sorry for him, even though he is a complete b... Avatar Image says: No one needs Fan Fic - there is plenty of canon that Snape is good, which is why that is one of the options of Scholastic's Poll.Avatar Image says: Bah. They need my choice in their polls, too: "Out to overthrow Voldemort now that Dumbledore is out of the way."Avatar Image says: I bet you a million billion kazillion dollars that he is good! I read a web page showing all the hidden clues on why he is good && i am totally fricken convinced!Avatar Image says: It doesn't seem like the "Snape is out for himself" option is going to materialize. Given that these are put out by people who read the book, you would think that would be one of options. And by the way, how does "Good, but he is in too deep with Voldemort" work, exactly? Those seem like mutually exclusive ideas. I went for the least popular, "Evil but only because Voldemort came back." I take him at his words, though I am clearly in the minority, that he would have stuck with DD if Voldemort had really been finished. Anyway we'll know in less than three months.Avatar Image says: >>It doesn't seem like the "Snape is out for himself" option is going to materialize. Given that these are put out by people who read the book, you would think that would be one of options. (Steve K) My version would be "On the right side, working against Voldemort, but independently of the Order". I think Snape is ploughing his own furrow, and has his own moral compass (hence his remorse about the Potters). Snape's not a team worker and never has been - not as a DE and not as a member of the Order. He's on his own journey.

Write a Reply or Comment

Finding Hogwarts

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.