In honor of the anniversary of the “Battle of Hogwarts,” a bloody massacre at the end of the seventh Harry Potter book, J.K. Rowling hopped on Twitter to do what she does best — stir the pot.
The Battle took place on May 2nd, 1998 in the world of the books, though Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows was published in the summer of 2007. So it would be the 19th anniversary of the deaths of many beloved witches and wizards if we lived in the world of Harry Potter. But since we don’t, we are just nearing the 10th anniversary of when we all finished the Harry Potter series and got real bummed out.
Today, to celebrate the former, J.K. Rowling apologized for the death of Severus Snape. These apologies, despite Rowling’s protestations, are clearly designed to open a can of worms in the Harry Potter fandom, and the reply-to-fav ratio on this tweet proves she more than succeeded.
Last year she apologized for Remus Lupin, and in 2015 she apologized for Fred Weasley. Both of those characters were good guys through and through, plus one of them was a parent, so their deaths were pretty hard to take. Severus Snape’s death was intense not because he was a good person but because it came shortly after the revelation that he had spent his whole life in love with a woman who 1) did not love him back, 2) died, and 3) was Harry Potter’s mom. Also, the revelation that he only killed fan favorite Albus Dumbledore because he had to, because of a magical curse-promise.
It was fraught, but — in my opinion — not that fraught because ultimately Snape had been unfathomably cruel to almost everyone he ever met, even 11-year-old children, and definitely committed more than one murder. Thinking about Snape dying does not make me sad, and that’s not because of healthy distance from the work of fiction. I could still work up some tears about Sirius Black if I sat down and tried. It’s because he’s a bad dude and frankly it was super weird Harry named a child after him.
Many of Rowling’s fans agree with me:
Some do not:
Some people don’t agree with the people who don’t agree with me, which I appreciate:
And so on. Everyone’s yelling at each other and claiming that they’re crying, in the exact flame wars that Rowling definitely didn’t at all want to see happen. It’s fun, I suppose. Anyway, Snape sucks and even more so now that I’m an adult and have had some level of exposure to men’s rights forums.
Tangential to the flame war, there are also some sweet souls who don’t care about the Snape debate at all and would like Rowling to apologize for killing Harry’s pet owl Hedwig, which I agree was a little much even if there was a “reason” behind it:
Maybe next year! After all, J.K. Rowling will be tweeting about Harry Potter until I am in my grave.