Throughout much of the series, the Hogwarts professor seemed to make it his project to accost Harry and his friends. But, later, we of course learn that there’s more to the prototypical Slytherin than meets the eye. His cruel-seeming actions were actually efforts to protect Harry ― the son of Snape’s eternal crush, Lily Potter ― not harm him.
Subsequently, in a 2011 poll featured in The Guardian, Snape was voted the favorite character of the “Harry Potter” series.
Today, Rowling finally issued an apology for killing the beloved former potions master in the series’ final novel.
“OK, here it is,” the author tweeted. “Please don’t start flame wars over it, but this year I’d like to apologise for killing (whispers)... Snape. *runs for cover*”.
The tweet is part of what’s become an annual tradition; each year Rowling apologizes for a different character who “died” at her hand. She does this annually on May 2 as a kind of memorial, commemorating characters who fought in the series’ final battle, a standoff between Voldemort’s Death Eaters and Harry and friends’ Order of the Phoenix.
Last year, the author apologized to fans for “killing” Professor Remus Lupin. The year before, her apology was on behalf of Fred Weasley.
But Snape seems to have a special place in the author’s heart, in part due to his complexity. J.K. Rowling said at the Edinburgh Book Festival back in 2004, “You always see a lot of Snape, because he is a gift of a character. I hesitate to say that I love him.”
Still, in the tweet’s replies, fans chimed in on which characters they thought were worthier of memorializing, including Dobby, Hedwig and Lily Evans Potter.
Almost certainly, Rowling will commemorate them each on May 2’s to come.