Severus Snape Does Not Deserve Your Pity
Holy crap, all of this and then some.
“And that’s not real love—caring for someone without considering their happiness is the exact opposite of love, in point of fact.”
absolutely this. I’m so sick of people treating Lily like she had two options in life - James or Severus. Snape yelled the equivalent of racial slurs at her and sold her family to a psychopathic mass murderer. His story and his character have value, but if you’ve boiled that value down to unrequited love then you’ve missed the point of that character.
This times ten thousand. Snape did an incredibly heroic thing, but he was a twisted, abusive creepazoid.
I think the article has a small factual error, though: he didn’t know the prophecy referred to Harry’s family at all when he passed it on to Dumbledore. He intended to have the infant child of someone he didn’t know assassinated, but when Lily and James died instead of the Longbottoms, he had Epic Sads and Turned Good. (In the movie version, add “cuddling her corpse and ignoring her injured baby to scream and cry in the wreckage of the house staring at the dead bodies of its parents until someone else showed up” to the action).
Snape fucking sucks. He’s petty and bullying and he is regularly used by Rowling to stymy Harry by using his special power, Wall Of Adult Obfuscation. He gets a sick pleasure out of denying Harry things. During occlumency lessons, this grown ass man invades Harry’s mind for hours, looking into his most painful memories, and what does the abuse and neglect he witnesses there do? It makes Snape smug. Then Harry spies on one of his painful memories, and Snape flips the fuck out and throws him out of lessons.
Oh WEH, Snapey, your hidden pain is soooo much more special and private than Harry’s! Definitely don’t treat his abuse history with respect or anything. Keep up a running commentary on the stuff you see happen, and then wonder why he doesn’t respect your boundaries!
Everyone’s like “You have to go demand he take you back for more lessons!” because obviously it’s Harry’s job to appease to a smirking sadist for the greater good.
Sometimes C/YA lit’s beloved trope of writing the adults to be mysteriously dumb and emotionally unavailable so the kids can save the world gets very frustrating for me.
The Casual Vacancy is a wonderful eye-opener for how Rowling sees people. She does not like to write nice folks being harmless. She likes jerks who try to do their best and still fuck each other over.