Severus Snape continues to be one of the characters from the Harry Potter franchise that fans can't make up their minds about. For nearly ten years, audiences watched as this fully grown Hogwarts professor belittled and bullied Harry and his friends, with little to no qualms about it. Then again, there are those occasions when he acts benevolently, such as helping Harry with Occlumency and warning the Order of the Phoenix about Sirius supposed disappearance. His character is difficult to get a read on, thanks in part to Alan Rickman's brilliant acting.
Although Snape is an important character in both the books and the films, a few plot points and fun facts about the Potions professor are left out of the movies so that only those who have read the books will know his full tantalizing backstory. Whether you think Snape is a surly villain or a romantic at heart, here are ten things about Severus Snape that the movies leave out.
10 Snape Had A Rough Childhood
Like many other well-written antagonists, Snape's history is filled with tales of neglect and abuse. He grew up in Spinner's End to a Muggle father and a witch mother. This is where is meets Lily Evans, who lived on the affluent side of the neighborhood. Snape house and clothes are clearly more ragged and disheveled than hers and Snape had a rocky relationship with his father.
After receiving his Hogwarts letter, Snape had hopes that things would begin to look up. Unfortunately, instead of becoming his escape like it is for Harry so many years later, James Potter makes Snape's time at Hogwarts seemingly unbearable with his constant bullying.
9 Snape Had Facial Hair
The original artwork for the American Harry Potter books has Snape looking just slightly different than Rickman's personification of the wizard. His description reads, "greasy black hair, a hooked nose, and sallow skin."
The artist of the chapter and cover pictures, Mary GrandPré, captures this description but also gives him a bit of facial hair. In the books, Snape is not specified as having a beard, but this illustration at least suggests this may have been the case.
8 Snape Was In The Slug Club
The films neglect to mention this detail in the books, but Snape was probably a part of Professor Slughorn's riveting and exclusive Slug Club during his days at Hogwarts. Seeing as Snape is not typically one to join social groups, fans can surmise that his agreement to join the club lies in the fact that Lily is also a Slug Club member.
Professor Slughorn keeps photos of all of his most prominent students, as noted in the films. In the books, Slughorn reveals that Snape had also been a member, but he keeps his photo hidden in the back as he has always questioned his moral future.
7 Head of Slytherin House
The fact that some of the professors are the Heads of the Hogwarts houses is often dismissed in the films (as is the fact they quit emphasizing the house points and house cups, but that a whole other story). Snape is a Slytherin through and through, which makes him an obvious choice to be the Head of Slytherin House. He became the Head at the young age of twenty-one when he became the Potions Master.
Snape's responsibilities include monitoring the welfare and discipline of those in Slytherin House and just generally assuming charge of the students. Professor McGonagall is Head of Gryffindor House, Professor Flitwick takes charge of Ravenclaw House, and Professor Sprout is Head of Hufflepuff House.
6 He Made Wolfsbane Potion for Lupin
While Remus Lupin teaches at Hogwarts, he has to take a few sabbaticals when the full moon rises and he becomes a werewolf. It may seem that Snape took pleasure in knowing this fact, as he deliberately has students read on these creatures when he has to take over Lupin's Defense Against the Dark Arts class.
However, what the movies don't show is that behind the scenes, Snape actually helps Lupin during his transformations. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (the book), Remus reveals that Snape mixed a potion called Wolfsbane to help keep Lupin's mind intact so that he doesn't hurt anyone while he is a werewolf. This could have been to protect the students more than to protect Lupin himself since Snape has a certain distaste for the man who was friends with James Potter.
5 He Hated Umbridge
Snape, who up until Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix held the role as Most Hated Professor, actually shares his student's opinion when it comes to Professor Umbridge. This isn't made abundantly clear in the films, but Snape despised Umbridge. He doesn't take too kindly when she monitors his Potions class and is even unwilling to help her interrogate Harry.
When Umbridge demands that Snape provide her with Veritaserum to get Harry to tell the truth, Snape lies and says he is out. Obviously, this would have been a harsh (and maybe illegal) activity to induce anyway, but it's safe to say that Snape is a pretty decent judge of character, at least, when it comes to Umbridge.
4 Snape and Lily's Falling Out
For most of their childhoods, Lily and Snape are best friends. This continues once they get to Hogwarts, despite the fact that they are in different houses. There is probably a 2-second clip that explains why Lily and Snape had a falling out, but unless you have read the books, this detail may have been missed by viewers.
Lily defended Snape against James and his cronies for years and it's one of the reasons she didn't like James very much. However, as they got older, Snape decides he doesn't want Lily defending him and tells her this in front of James and his friends. He even goes as far as to call her a "Mudblood." Perhaps he only acted so aggressive out of embarrassment; nevertheless, this comment essentially ends their long friendship.
3 James Saved Snape's Life
James and Snape have a tumultuous relationship from the start. Despite James jabs at his long-nosed and greasy haired classmate, James once saved Snape's life. Snape notices James and his friends disappear into the Whomping Willow once a month and tries to find out what they are up to.
The group uses the tree's route to hide out in the Shrieking Shack when Lupin would transform so that he didn't have to be alone. To confirm his suspicions, he follows Lupin to the Shrieking Shack. Thankfully, James stops him before Lupin sees Snape, saving his life or at the very least, save him from being bit by the werewolf. Dumbledore makes Snape swear to secrecy, but James' actions did little to change Snape's opinion of him.
2 He Heard The Initial Prophecy
The films tend to rush certain (important) details that happen in the books, assuming they haven't been taken out altogether. One detail is the fact the Professor Sybill Trelawney is the one who makes the prophecy concerning the Dark Lord and The Chosen One (audiences hear her voice in this scene, but it's never made clear that it is her).
Dumbledore is the only one to hear Trelawney make this prediction, or so he thought. While he is interviewing Trelawney at the Hog's Head Inn for a position at Hogwarts, Snape overhears the prophecy and tells Voldemort right away. However, Snape leaves before she finishes her prediction and this lack of information may have inadvertently been the reason that Voldemort chose to go after the Potters.
1 His Portrait Is In The Headmaster's Office
While moving portraits are not uncommon at Hogwarts, only former Headmasters have photographs hanging inside the Headmaster's Office. Snape takes the position as Headmaster of Hogwarts during his guise as Voldemort's Death Eater, but Harry makes sure that his portrait is hung in this pristine location.
Only the most honorable of witches and wizards have their portrait inside the Headmaster's Office at Hogwarts and it goes to show, that despite Snape's outward demeanor, Harry has high respect for the man who always loved his mother.