Love was a powerful enough force to completely reverse a man’s whole ideology and allegiance, change the entire course of a war, and bring about Voldemort’s downfall.
Today I wanted to talk about Snape.
The “good or evil” Snape debate has rocked the Harry Potter fandom for years, and I know almost everyone has a strong opinion about him one way or the other (so I’m going to try not to ruffle too many feathers). But I’ve always thought that the point of Snape’s character is more than simply “good” or “evil”: it’s that his story proves Dumbledore right.
We see him bully his students, be fascinated by the Dark Arts, and share Voldemort’s ideology to the extent that he becomes a Death Eater; it’s easy to see him as a terrible person. And he is – except for one thing, the only goodness in him: his love for Lily. It’s so important that this is the only goodness in him, because it means that it was love – and love alone – and not any residing moral conscience, or guilt, or change of heart against the Dark Arts, that made Snape change sides. If Voldemort had chosen Neville as the one the prophecy was referring to, Snape would have remained a Death Eater. That one goodness in him was enough by itself to conquer all of those evils.
Love was a powerful enough force to completely reverse a man’s whole ideology and allegiance, change the entire course of a war, and bring about Voldemort’s downfall. And that’s what Dumbledore knew; he had seen first hand that love is the most powerful magic of all.
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