Mon. Mar 4th, 2024

J.K. Rowling’s book series and Warner Bros. adaptations of Harry Potter, the wizard boy who enrolls in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is an epic tale of fantasy, adventure, and magic that captivated audiences since its publication more than twenty years ago. In that sprawling world of potions, spells, and enchantments, there exists an enigma that perplexes, puzzles, and captivates the audience since its publication. 

The interwoven destinies of Lord Voldemort and Severus Snape are one of the key elements of the story as it unfolds towards its climactic ending. This question, why did Voldemort kill Snape, haunts fans and scholars alike. 

As we’ll see, the reason is one of ultimate betrayal and relentless vengeance. It is a maelstrom of dark pasts, of Snape’s resentment, Voldemort’s hatred, a tormented alliance, and treacherous double-crossing that lies at the heart of this part of the tale. It is a pivotal moment that echoes through the corridors of time within the pages of Rowling’s literary saga. 

Why Did Voldemort Kill Snape?
Snape was a repented Death Eater (Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Unveiling The Enigma: Voldemort’s Ruthless Vendetta Against Snape

To fathom the treacherous depths of Voldemort’s decision to snuff out the life of Severus Snape, one must first embark on a journey through their shared history – a tapestry of shadowed motives, veiled agendas, and twisted loyalties that reaches its climax in the crucible of the Battle of Hogwarts.

Understanding Severus Snape

Severus Snape, head of Slytherin —potions teacher and then-Defense Against The Dark Arts instructor— is perhaps one of Rowling’s best-written characters, a man full of spite and rancor that got shrouded in a web of moral ambiguity from the outset. From an antagonist figure against Harry that we first don’t get to comprehend, he evolves into a martyr double agent whose evolution is as spellbinding as the incantations that permeate the hallowed halls of Hogwarts.

Snape Was Madly In Love With Harry’s Mom

The revelation of Snape’s undying allegiance to Dumbledore — a pledge formed in the ashes of unrequited love and remorse over his unwitting role in Lily Potter’s demise — adds a haunting layer to the narrative: Boy (Snape) meets girl (Lily), they like each other, then another boy (James)  comes in to catch the girl’s attention, and bullies Snape over and over, gets the girl, and Snape turns into a scornful, resentful man in a canon moment. 

But Snape’s spite and hatred eventually morphs in perhaps one of the best story arc character developments. Snape understands that you can’t force somebody to love you. He loved Lily, but his tragedy is that Lily didn’t love him back, and when you truly love someone, you want the best for them, whether they’re with you or far away from you.

As revealed in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” Snape’s true motive is unveiled: his fervent desire to protect Harry Potter, the boy who lived, and to ultimately extinguish the dark reign of his former master, Voldemort. Yet, Rowling’s masterful storytelling artfully obscures the depths of Snape’s allegiance, casting him as the shadowy puppeteer in a grand, deadly theater of deception.

Why Did Voldemort Kill Snape?

Lord Voldemort is the dark embodiment of malevolence itself. He remains the ultimate puppet master. His decision to eliminate Snape hinges upon a concoction of fears, ambitions, and suspicions, all steeped in the murky waters of his twisted psyche.

As the epic battle looms large and the war-ravaged grounds of Hogwarts become the battleground for the final confrontation, Voldemort’s paranoia reaches its zenith.

Snape Is The Master Of The Elder Wand

The elusive Elder Wand — a powerful artifact of unparalleled magical potency — lies within his grasp, yet its allegiance remains elusive, a testament to the intricate depths of Rowling’s world-building. Since the Elder Wand won’t change allegiances unless its master dies. That’s why Snape killed Dumbledore, who was the previous master of the wand —albeit reluctantly— to take control of the wand.

In the malevolent eyes of the Dark Lord, Snape emerges as a threat — a wild card that could potentially upend his dominion over the wizarding realm. Rowling’s meticulous foreshadowing, honed to a razor’s edge, plants seeds of doubt in the reader’s mind, mirroring Voldemort’s own fears and uncertainties.

Voldemort murders Snape to take mastery of the Elder Wand, so he will never lose a duel. 

Also Read: Why Did Voldemort Want To Kill Harry Potter? The Prophecy Revealed

Snape’s Final Moments

The pivotal scene of Snape’s demise, set against the austere backdrop of the Shrieking Shack, epitomizes the culmination of their shared history. The air crackles with tension as the ultimate showdown unfolds, a confluence of long-buried secrets, bruised allegiances, and the inexorable march of fate.

Voldemort, driven by his obsessive desire to vanquish Harry Potter and cement his dominion, coldly casts aside Snape’s loyalty and service, sentencing him to a fate most cruel. In a maelstrom of Avada Kedvra’s green light and cascading shadows, the life of Severus Snape is extinguished.

Why Did Voldemort Kill Snape?
Snape was a repented Death Eater (Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

An Apparent Villain Turns Martyred Hero

Rowling’s narrative acumen shines in this pivotal moment, capturing the raw emotion and heart-wrenching poignancy of Snape’s final moments. His life, a tapestry of torment and redemption, is untangled in his dying breaths, revealing his unwavering devotion to a cause greater than himself. In this singular act of sacrifice, Snape emerges as a tragic hero, a character whose fate is sealed by the capricious whims of destiny and the inexorable pull of his own choices.

Rowling’s Metamessaging 

The question of why Voldemort killed Snape is, at its core, an exploration of the symbiotic dance between power and vulnerability, ambition and sacrifice. It is a testament to Rowling’s unparalleled storytelling prowess that she weaves such a complex narrative tapestry, replete with characters whose lives are as intricate as the spells they cast.

The tragic demise of Snape and Voldemort’s ruthless vendetta encapsulates the overarching themes of love, loyalty, and the inexorable march of destiny that reverberate throughout the Harry Potter series.

As we reflect upon the labyrinthine threads that converge at this harrowing juncture, it becomes abundantly clear that Snape’s fate is inextricably intertwined with the fate of the wizarding world itself.

His life and death stand as a testament to the enduring power of choice and the eternal struggle between darkness and light. Rowling’s magnum opus remains a testament to the enduring power of literature to probe the depths of the human soul and unveil the enigmas that lie within.

Also Read: How Did Dumbledore Destroy The Marvolo’s Ring? The Ring-Mystery Solved!

By Sandra Winters

Writer | Author | Wordsmith Passionate about crafting stories that captivate and inspire. Published author of [Book Title]. Dedicated to exploring the depths of human emotions and experiences through the power of words. Join me on this literary journey as we delve into the realms of imagination and uncover the beauty of storytelling.