Despite the presence of Death Eaters and other similarly vile wizards, long-time Hogwarts professor Severus Snape might be one of the most controversial characters from the Harry Potter universe. While some people love him and his redemption arc, others can’t stand him and don’t think it was right to make him into a hero.
Whether you love him or hate him, there’s no denying that there were some things Snape did in the series that were far from good. Simply put, there are many things he did over the course of the series that don’t hold up well and make one cringe when rereading. We’ve put together a list of the 10 things about Severus Snape that haven’t aged well.
10 HOW HE BULLIED HIS STUDENTS
While Neville was often the target, he would also bully others including the time he insulted Hermione’s appearance when she was hexed and didn’t send her to the hospital wing for help.
9 HOW HE SWITCHED SIDES FOR A BAD REASON
Redemption arcs in novels can be extremely rewarding however, Snape’s was hard to swallow for many people. The reason he switched from Voldemort’s side was that he killed Lily. While it makes sense he’d be upset by this, it doesn’t change the fact he was completely fine with Voldemort murdering lots of other innocent people, including children, beforehand.
He only defected because he couldn’t get over the somewhat creepy love he had for Lily. In many ways, it doesn't seem like Snape ever cares about what the Order upholds or doing the right thing.
8 HIS BOTTOMLESS HATRED OF HARRY
Snape’s an adult and taking this anger out on a kid is simply unacceptable. The fact hardly anyone in the books calls this out is one way the Harry Potter series really drops the ball.
7 HOW HE TREATS BOTH LUPIN AND SIRIUS
There is a lot of animosity between Snape, Lupin, and Sirius Black. This is especially true between Sirius and Snape. While they both could have tried to work together to work for the same side, Snape was more interested in goading Sirius with the hope of him getting in trouble or hurt.
On the same token, he literally revealed Lupin was a werewolf to everyone out of spite in a way that ruined Lupin’s livelihood. This was honestly just a pathetic thing to do.
6 HIS FAVORITISM OF THE SLYTHERINS
As previously mentioned, Snape was really pretty cruel to most of his students. He would bully some of them, and treated the rest of them cooly at best. But on the other hand, he was fairly nice to the Slytherins. This was especially true of his favorite student, Draco Malfoy.In fact, it could be said he had a pretty obvious bias towards those in House Slytherin.
The fact that he had such obvious preference among the school's houses and never got in trouble for it just doesn’t make a lot of sense.
5 CREATING SECTUMSEMPRA
While some people feel that Snape was picked on as a student, it’s also clear that he was very interested in Dark Arts at the time. There are a lot of things about him even at Hogwarts that make him less than sympathetic. For example, the fact that he literally created his own spell to be used on enemies.
This spell isn’t just a simple hex either. In fact, it’s an extremely violent spell that’s akin to brutally stabbing someone. It should be noted that he made this while he was still a student.
4 HIS OBSESSION WITH LILY
One thing that many fans have pointed out as disturbing in the series is Snape’s obsession with Lily. Instead of being romantic as it was obviously meant to be, many noted that his inability to move on from her is rather creepy and obsessive.
The fact that he can’t respect her wishes and that she didn’t want to be with him is weird, to say the least. It’s definitely unhealthy, and it’s not something that makes him a hero (or at least a good guy) in any way.
3 CALLING LILY WHAT IS CONSIDERED A SLUR
It’s no wonder that after this she didn’t want to have anything to do with him anymore. So, it’s hard to feel bad for Snape about losing her friendship.
2 ONLY CARING ABOUT SAVING LILY, NOT HER HUSBAND AND SON
One of the most truly awful things Snape ever did in all of the Harry Potter books and movies was to be totally fine with Voldemort murdering a baby. He begged Voldemort to spare Lily’s life, but he had no moral issue with Voldemort murdering her husband and her son.
Being fine with Voldemort killing anyone is awful, but the fact Snape had no problems with straight-up murdering a baby is pure evil. Plus, this was the child of the women he claimed to love. That doesn’t sound like love.
1 HIS DEATH EATER PAST
While Snape might have changed sides, that doesn’t change his past wrongdoings. In the wizarding world, being a Death Eater is an allegory to being part of a bigoted, xenophobic real-life group. It’s clearly a metaphor for belonging to a group of people who think others are less than them and need to be wiped out.
Voldemort was a genocidal fascist Dark Lord. Being associated with him, supporting Voldemort killing people, and wanting to destroy Muggle-borns and Muggles is just disgusting. It’s hard to justify the fact that Snape was part of Voldemort’s literal inner circle.