Harry Potter Essays Snape

The Great Snape Debate by Amy Berner, Orson Scott Card, Joyce Millman
Published byBorders on January 1st 1970
Pages: 185

Making the case for Severus Snape's guilt or innocence, this discussion takes a look at both sides of the most debated character in the Harry Potter series. With sections on Snape's history, Slytherin House, and Snape actor Alan Rickman's past roles, as well as Snape as villain and as hero, the book scours the Harry Potter novels for hints about Snape's final loyalty and the series' end. There's food for thought for any Snape fan, including those who like him, hate him, or just want to speculate about the contents of his iPod, the greasiness of his hair, or why his name is an anagram of A Perverseness For Soups.

Remember Borders? Between the release of Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows, Borders bookstore sponsored an event at one of the major Harry Potter conventions. At this event fans debated on one side or the other of the major question of that time: Severus Snape, good or evil? Alongside this event Borders also published a book, The Great Snape Debate, detailing some of the major points for both sides.

This is one of my favorite side books, and one of the few I ended up keeping. I’m certainly glad I did because not long after Borders folded and closed its doors for good. While I was always firmly on the side of “Snape is good” both sides are beautifully represented.

On one side is the evidence for Snape’s Innocence, while if you flip the book over you have all the evidence for Snape’s Guilt. Both sides have nice art on the covers, the information inside is organized, and the book is a great piece of fandom nostalgia.

One of the other books that came out at the time was WHO KILLED ALBUS DUMBLEDORE?, a essay style book similar to The Great Snape Debate but much less popular. Mostly this is because its quality isn’t quite at the same level. It does amuse me however, that the editor is named John Granger.

The book touts its so called “experts” and their essays, but what makes a Harry Potter expert? Why not just say Superfan, expert just seems like an odd word choice for anyone who is not, well the author herself. Also, ew Orson Scott Card.

Of the two books, I much prefer the Great Snape Debate, as it was never in question to me who killed Albus Dumbledore, only the why. It was the most important question of the time and so hotly debated that I think the other book got passed over rightly. It just wasn’t, and isn’t, as important a question. Or even necessary.

I do recommend The Great Snape Debate for fans who were around back then, or those who are interested in the discussions we were having. As for Who Killed Albus Dumbledore, well if you can find one and are a superfan, go ahead and read it but you probably don’t want to spend much time and money on it.

Do you remember these books? Share your memories in the comments.

From my shelf to yours,


Today's big Harry Potter reveal, besides the one the from Daniel Radcliffe himself, comes from J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter author, not done giving fans more to chew on, explained why Harry named his son after Severus Snape. In the final scene of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 audiences find out at least partially why he chose to honor Snape when Potter tells his son, "Albus Severus Potter, you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew." Here's Rowling shedding light on Harry's decision in a series of tweets, spawning a discussion of Severus Snape: hero or villain? 

The Twitter debate began when Rowling responded to someone's tweet who asked why she chose Snape to name Harry's kid after since he was "abusive." Rowling wrote:

Rowling then added that there's a "whole essay" on why Harry honored Snape. That essay would of course cover elaborate on Rowling's description of Snape as "all grey" because he was neither a "saint" nor a "devil."  

Finally, Rowling said this was a way of Harry carrying on the names of both Dumbledore and Snape because no one else could do so. 


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