There have only been a few characters in my life who have truly spoken to me. I read hundreds of books a year, and half of them I never finish. I love all sorts of fiction from gritty middle grade, to historical, from romance, to queer, to anything which holds my attention. I’ll truly read anything if the author can make me care. I love getting lost in a good book. There is nothing better than escaping my reality to live in someone else’s, if only for a little while.
Caring and feeling for a character is wholly different than connecting with one. There have only been a handful who I felt I knew, who I’ve felt on a deeper level. I’ve shared feelings with. I’ve seen parts of me in. Snape was one of those characters. I wanted to know more about him since I picked up the first Harry Potter book at fourteen. I grew up with these books. They gave me hope and love when I felt like I had none. I read them through tragedy and the death of my best friend and then the death of my father six months later. I went to midnight releases just to get my hands on the next installment. My original copies are tattered and worn from constant rereads. I’ve reread the books and shared the joy with my children. I could gush about Harry Potter and what it’s meant to me for hundreds of pages.
As I’ve said before, I think Snape is a model of loyalty and a shinning beacon of doing what’s right in impossible circumstances. He turned a blind eye to hate from an entire community to do what was right. To defeat evil he sacrificed his entire life. He loved with his entire person, even through the death of his beloved he stayed true, honoring her memory, seeing her eyes in a child every day, while never letting the part he had to play waver. Rowling led us all to believe he was bad, led us all to hate him when really he was fighting for Lily the entire series.
Snape was given to us through a tainted lens, and we’ve all been blinded by bias in our lives like Harry was. It’s sometimes impossible to see someone’s true colors until they are shoved down your throat. I’ve had people I loved with my entire being cut me to the bone, and others I never expected to be an ally prove themselves over and over. Life is hard, and there are days it feels like a never ending battle. One of the things I love about fiction is the triumph over that battle. Books remind me of the good, like a recharge for my soul. There will always be a few characters I return to, Darcy, Ender, Ferrin, Skeeve, and of course Snape.
Alan Rickman embodied Snape. They couldn’t have chosen a better actor for the part. His voice, the way he held himself as he walked. How he looked down his nose as Harry. I felt like Alan Rickman didn’t just play Snape, he understood Snape like I did. He’s an actor, it’s his job, I understand that, but so few of my favorite books have been well portrayed in movies. Readers are picky. We create a world out of words in our minds, and it’s nearly impossible for a director to make even half the fans happy.
This was why Alan Rickman was different. He saw Snape the same way I saw him. I really believe he felt him. It’s a tiny thing, but I felt a small connection through the part. As I’m sure many fans did. I’ve been asked how I can mourn a stranger, and this is how. He breathed life in to one of my favorite characters of all time and for that I will be eternally grateful to him.
To do List:
Nag Sally about getting Clouded Hell back to me.
Finish the last 20 pages of Clouded Hell rewrites.
Start something new!