Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows discussion

Did Snape care for Harry?

Comments Showing 1-50 of 81 (81 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

Annika When Dumbledore asks Snape whether he has come to care for Harry, and Snape shows his patronus, Dumbledore says, "After all this time?", and Snape answers, "Always". This has caused endless debates between my siblings and I. Does Snape care for Harry or just Lily?

Jeni Lily. His patronus is a doe, like hers.

Cee Marie The thing with this is whenever I read this part I can't even see how they could be talking about Lily. Well, I can see it but it seems more logical that he is talking about Harry. However I know it's Lily and after so much time of hearing the word "Always" in romantic connotation I just made the conclusion that it's Lily. JK Rowling had a great line but should have been a little clearer.
On that same note I have still been wondering if Snape cared for Harry. I mean, I know that particular line was for Lily but did Snape also care for her son?

Francine I think Lily was the true love of his life. Harry, on the other hand, was her son, yes, but also James', his arch enemy.
I do not think he cared about him but he cared enough not to agree with Dumbledore's plan for the greater good and he cared enough in the end, that Harry would not think bad of him. I think that it is very impportant, that at the end, Snape asks Harry to take his memories. It is as if he is asking for his forgiveness.
What bound him to Harry was his loyalty to Dumbledore and the promise he made to protect Lily's son, that she did not die in vain.
It was always Lily for him.

Cee Marie So I guess Snape did care for Harry in an odd sort of way. Harry was the reminder of what Snape couldn't have. It probably didn't help Harry that he looked like James too. But as you said at the end he displayed acts of kindness. I guess Sanpe was just one bitter dude who realized his mistakes at the end. Or maybe he just didn't reveal his feelings until they were inconsequential. And Snape had to like Harry kind of or else he wouldn't have named his child after him!!!!!

Jeni I don't think Snape liked Harry at all, but out of respect for Lily, he protected him as much as possible. A lot of his actions were for show, but at the heart of it, he looked like James and Snape hated James.

The scene you refer to is complicated, but it's his memory (if I recall correctly) that he gives Harry when he dies. He and Dumbledore are talking about several things at one time including Dumbledore asking him to kill him so Malfoy doesn't have to have that on his conscience (and because he's dying anyway), and to protect Harry until the right time. "For the love you bore Lily," Dumbledore implores, skillfully not mentioning James. "You can't tell anyone!" Snape asks, referring to that love, and Dumbledore says, "After all this time?" meaning you still love her all these years later? Then Snape shows the patronus as proof and says "Always."

So, he's clearly talking about Lily at that point. He will protect Harry because of that love.

As for Harry naming his child after Snape, that has nothing to do with caring for Harry. It has everything to do with Harry respecting what Snape did for him on behalf of his mother and the love Severus had for her.

Ayah I am sure that Snape detested Harry but as Frenchie said Snape did ask for forgiveness in the end.

message 8: by sim (new) - rated it 5 stars

sim Uhm. Duh.

Anna I always thought it was quite clear that when Dumbledore asks Snape if he's upset about Harry's fate because he's come to care about him and Snape roars back, him?? and casts the doe patronus, that it's Snape saying no, it's still because I love her, it's always been about her.

I think he was such an interesting character because he represented the ongoing theme in the book that love is our redemption. Snape was not necessarily a kind person, or a friendly person, or a warm person; but his love for Lily motivated him to do good in the world instead of allowing his difficult past to justify his doing evil any longer. Voldemort lacked this necessary transformative love. The Malfoys, though still awful people, were redeemed by the tremendous love they had for one another. They were more important to one another than any evil scheme. Snape's love for Lily is what keeps him fighting for what is right, as she would've done if she were still alive.

I don't think Snape loved Harry independently of his mother; I think he looked too much like his father and shared some of his qualities that still made Snape feel bitter that Lily could have chosen James. Snape did, however, care for his welfare on Lily's behalf, more than he cared about him defeating Voldemort/evil. This explains his horror and feeling of betrayal when Dumbledore reveals what Harry's fate must be. He did not keep Lily's son safe, just for him to die at the right time, no matter what the overarching cause.

I loved that Harry named a son after him because it acknowledged that love and nobility come in many forms and that Severus Snape, whatever his flaws were, was a brave man motivated by a very powerful love.

Brittney Snape cares for Harry because she is Lily's son. She sacrificed herself to save him and Snape would do his best to make sure his ONE TRUE LOVE's dying wish is carried out. If Harry dies Lily will have died in vein. It would have all been for nothing.

message 11: by Sorrel (last edited Jul 15, 2013 12:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sorrel I always thought that he cared for him a little, I mean most people care for everyone just a little. Like, you would not be unaffected if you saw someone die in front of you. And as Snape isn't heartless (as proven at the end) then he would have cared for Harry on some level as a person who is alive. However, I also do think he cared for him on another level as well for although he looked like James he wasn't like James in every respect. Like James bullying Snape the way he did, Harry wouldn't do that. I think in the end he saw this, knew that he knew it all along and when he says "You have your mother's eyes" as he's dying it's sort of saying, you're not completely like James who was my arch enemy- you are a little like Lily who was the love of my life. Therefore he cares for the parts of Harry's personality that are like Lily. Funny, but I always thought the "After all this time?" part was about Harry and showing Lily's patronus was showing his dedication to both of them- reminding Dumbledore that he loved Lily and so it is not implausible that he came to care for Harry.

Also didn't Dumbledore know that snape loved Lily already meaning that Dumbledore wouldn't be asking "after all this time?" about Lily because he already knew snape loved her? I'm not sure of that though.

message 12: by Ayah (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ayah Anna wrote: "I always thought it was quite clear that when Dumbledore asks Snape if he's upset about Harry's fate because he's come to care about him and Snape roars back, him?? and casts the doe patronus, that..."

Anna's right about him not being a friendly person for example Hermione and Ron had nothing to do with James yet Snape treated them badly for no reason and he was always so mean to Harry.

Autumn He hated Harry because he was James's son, but he loved Lily enough to keep him alive.

Arden he cared for harry cause he was in love with lily and in some ways, harry was his lily after she died.

message 15: by Jeni (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jeni aLi **candle lover** wrote: "he cared for harry cause he was in love with lily and in some ways, harry was his lily after she died."

I disagree completely. He despised James and Harry reminded him of James. He kept him safe because of Lily, but there was no affection whatsoever for Harry on the part of Severus.

message 16: by Leon (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leon RE I think deep inside he did care for Harry, otherwise he wouldn't have tried to help him so much, but superficially, he may have despised or felt threatened by Harry because he reminded him of James and assumed he might behave like James did, but as Dumbledore said, Harry's true nature was more like Lily's, and I think Severus subconsciously knew that, but I think he bullied Harry as a way to get back at James, because Harry represented the image of James, so he took satisfaction in bullying him.

Julia I don't think it's possible for Snape to care for Harry. He would never let himself see anything in Harry that's good.

Snape protected Harry because of his love for Lily.
But Snape also hated James because of his love for Lily and hated Harry because he was so much like James. In that way, he hated Harry for the same reason he protected him. And love's a powerful motive - far more powerful than logic, observation, or even truth.

I agree with the theory that Snape probably knew, on some level, that Harry's nature is more like Lily's. But he would never acknowledge that enough to feel affection for Harry. If he ever noted any of Harry's behavior that is like Lily, he would block it out. To feel his love for Lily and his hate for James all towards one person would likely make him explode, so he chose hate.

message 18: by Graywaren (last edited Jul 18, 2013 10:15PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Graywaren I think in the book Rowling intended the patronus to only mean Lily and, as others have said, Snape only protected Harry out of his love for Lily, guilt, and need for redemption. However, one of the things I enjoy is that you can really dive into all sorts of theories about the motivations for his actions and make a case for quite a few different things including Snape harboring some type of care and affection for Harry. As someone who reads fan fiction, I really enjoy reading stories where talented writers take what is in the books and turn it on its head or where they explore all the possible motivations for the actions and attitudes of Snape.

message 19: by k (new) - rated it 5 stars

k Both.

I think that Snape both cared for, and hated Harry Potter. The reason that he hated him is obvious, he looks just like James Potter, and since James got Lily, and bullied Snape for years, that prevents any true love from forming. However, I do think that he grew to care for Harry in his own way. Yes, I'm sure 99 percent of it was for Lily, but he was truly upset when Harry was in danger. I think that even though Harry reminded Snape of James so much, part of him was also like Lily, and Snape loved Lily. I'm sure the traits that Harry inherited from Lily resulted in Snape caring a little for Harry Potter..

message 20: by Ayah (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ayah But whats the reason for him being horrible to Ron Hermione and Nevile

message 21: by Leon (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leon RE Ayah wrote: "But whats the reason for him being horrible to Ron Hermione and Nevile"

I think he generally just likes bullying his students and Gryffindors.

message 22: by Jeni (last edited Jul 19, 2013 06:00AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jeni Ron and Hermione help Harry, therefore they are fair game for extra bullying.

But, Neville, poor Neville. he could have been the Chosen One. After Snape heard that Neville was the other boy that could have fit the prophecy, he realized that if Voldemort had picked him, Lily would still be alive. But no, Voldemort went for the half-blood like himself rather than the pure-blood. How could Snape not hate him? It's misplaced, yes, but that's why he hated Neville.

message 23: by k (last edited Jul 19, 2013 09:09AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

k I think those were the parts of Harry that Snape didn't like that reminded him of James. He was popular, and had lots of friends, and Snape was kinda a loner. I think he was quite envious/jealous of Harry, cause it was exactly the opposite of how he was in school.

Nichola I think Snape was conflicted with regards to Harry. He looked like his father so Snape was determined to assume (and prove) that he was the next generation of James Potter. Given how long he had been in love with Lily it must have pained him to see her looking back at him through Harry's eyes.

I like to think he kept Harry at a distance because it made it easier to look after him. Dumbledore warned Snape that Voldemort was not dead and that Harry still needed protection. If he got close to Harry and he did get killed it would have been like losing Lilly all over again.

On the other hand, in the scene where Dumbledore asks if Snape has grown to care for the boy, Snape seems irate. His response is along the lines of "For him!" then he produces the patronus which shows his love for Lily. Maybe he couldn't get over his hatred of James after all :/

message 25: by Wm. Scott (last edited Aug 16, 2013 03:35AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wm. Scott Conway While the whole cloth was excellent, I think Rowling was drawing an unrealistic picture. The kind of relationship James and Severus had was at once the same kind of dominance relationship seen in school where the extrovert dominates the introvert. James was a bully, plain and simple. And Severus was the blunt of many of his jokes.

Harry, on the other hand, while sharing his father's penchant for staying in trouble and under-performing in his classes, was far more of an introvert than his dad. Introverts gather, at most, one or two CLOSE friends, and keep others at arms' length, which is precisely what Harry did. Extroverts tend to herd for the purpose of showing a sense of acclimation into society and the power and safety that comes with numbers. And Harry was FAR from being a bully and a show-off. He certainly wasn't a womanizer and a flirt. He had little interest in being "cool" or accruing trophies. James, on the other hand, was "cool" and had trophies.

How James Potter didn't end up in Slytherin is beyond me. He was a thoroughly evil man, who exhibited malevolence that only unbridled extroversion can produce. Snape was correct when he told Harry just how bad his father was. It is no wonder he disgusted Lily at first.

From Snape's perspective, the perspective of an introvert, it is part of life to see the girl spin away from you and gravitate toward the "superstar". It's only natural. Women are attracted to power and social stability. Extroverts typically have both. Introverts only hope they will choose wisely as possible. For Snape, James was the worst possible choice. He hadn't earned Lily's love. And James only seemed interested in exploiting those who were different.

James Potter would have made a good politician.

Nichola Wm. Scott wrote: "While the whole cloth was excellent, I think Rowling was drawing an unrealistic picture. The kind of relationship James and Severus had was at once the same kind of dominance relationship seen in s..."

Are you kidding? In my opinion, that is a grossly over simplified representation of James Potter. Also, your sweeping generalisation of women being attracted to power and social stability is insulting on so many levels and, again, over simplifying what is ultimately a much more complex matter.

message 27: by Jeni (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jeni It doesn't even matter what James was like as a kid because he grew up. He made decisions that helped mature him and loved Lily and Harry without question. Then, he died for them.

Snape was an adult holding onto childish prejudices and bitterness. He chose to hold those things close and protect them and it made him a strangely complex and petty man in many respects.

I agree with Nichola, generalizations do not work here. These characters were more complex and layered than that.

message 28: by Wm. Scott (last edited Aug 16, 2013 09:29AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Wm. Scott Conway Interesting.

I have no doubt he loved Lily and Harry. But did he grow to love Snape? Matthew 5:44 & 46-47. That is the measure of maturity and manhood to me.

I cannot see it as insulting to say women are attracted to power and social stability. It is primal. In the wild, females go to the alpha-male. On some level, human women are attracted to men in the same way. True, there are points where women fine-tune what attracts them, like preferred personality traits, height, or even eye-color. But on a foundation level, women desire powerful men. Women do not typically find themselves attracted to men who is perceived as, or whom society has labeled as weak and impotent.

And perhaps it is oversimplified. It is just my take on it, being introverted myself and certainly finding myself in sympathy more with Snape than with James. If anyone doesn't like my contribution, they are abundantly free to skip over it.

If you will allow me a segue, I find it interesting that I agree with Jeni as to why Snape disliked Harry. Too much about Harry reminded him of James. The thing I don't understand is why Snape also seemingly disliked Hermione. She was deep, brilliant, well-read, well-studied, excelled in her classes. It was my opinion that such devotion to the intellectual side of magic was something Snape valued. Was it because she was Gryffindor? Such prejudices should not have been tolerated by teachers. Why did Snape never really give Hermione credit where it was due?

Can anyone enlighten me on this?

message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Severus Snape, for most of his life, cared for Lily and Lily alone. It's been a while since I read Harry Potter, but aren't there a few times where Snape avoids eye contact with Harry? I think this is because he wants to kid himself that Harry looks exactly like his rival, James. It's only when he dies that he finally realizes how he feels of Harry, because he wants to see Lily's eyes as the last thing he sees before he dies.

By the way, James Potter grew up.

Autumn Shahdia wrote: "Severus Snape, for most of his life, cared for Lily and Lily alone. It's been a while since I read Harry Potter, but aren't there a few times where Snape avoids eye contact with Harry? I think this..."
How right you are.

message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Autbenj1 wrote: "Shahdia wrote: "Severus Snape, for most of his life, cared for Lily and Lily alone. It's been a while since I read Harry Potter, but aren't there a few times where Snape avoids eye contact with Ha..."


Nichola Wm. Scott wrote: "Interesting.

I have no doubt he loved Lily and Harry. But did he grow to love Snape? Matthew 5:44 & 46-47. That is the measure of maturity and manhood to me.

I cannot see it as insulting to say w..."

It's insulting because you are generalising. There are many other proposed models of why women are attracted to certain people not just the whole 'primal instincts' example. If you had said SOME women then it wouldn't be quite as insulting but to say women in general is a huge sweeping statement.

I think Snape disliked Hermione because she was in Griffindor. It was an old prejudice from when he was a member of Slytherin. I think it does mention somewhere in one of the books that Snape dislikes all of Griffindor and was always horrible to them in his classes. Also she was a good friends with Harry, I don't think Snape always acted in the most rational manner, I suspect it was guilt through association.

message 33: by J.M. (new) - rated it 5 stars

J.M. Guillen Great discussion. I can't help but hope that Snape cared for Harry, and that the scene with the memories was a way of asking for forgiveness and understanding.

Natascha Snape was not a good person but his love for Lily is the defining factor. He went out of his way to help Harry, for Lilly's sake. But when I reread the novels the leidmotief of Harry's eyes is an important factor to take into account, as some commenters have already mentioned.
The eyes are the window to the soul and everyone who met Harry saw Lily's eyes and they on some subconscious level connected Harry's character to Lily's. They recognized that although some of his actions might have been akin to something James would do for arrogant reasons, he did it for other reasons. The reasons his mother would choose.
Snape would not/could not see this until the end when he demanded to look Harry in the eyes, Lily's eyes. Maybe it was to painful for him to see this earlier. Maybe for him it was easier to think of Harry as James and hate him. But the last thing he saw was Lily's eyes in the face of Harry, and in my little romantic/ hopeful heart, I think he saw at that moment who Harry really was.
Or at least that's what I think :) Snape was such a tragic and complex character to read about. I still cry whenever I read about his death. I don't even cry for Dumbledore anymore.

message 35: by Iis (new) - rated it 5 stars

Iis Maryasih I think he's absolutely care to Harry. But he can't shows directly

message 36: by Bekah (last edited Jan 29, 2014 09:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bekah nope, nope, nope. i've said it once, and i'll say it again, there's a fine line between love and obsession. what he was doing was all for LILY, not once did he take into account harry's wellbeing because it was harry. if he really cared for him, he wouldn't have been as abusive and hostile towards harry and his friends. having a "troubled childhood" does not in anyway excuse you from being a shit person at heart.

snape hated harry because of something harry couldn't help, (looking like james,) but continued to "protect him," (albeit lots of persuading and frequent reminders of his dead love,) since he couldn't let go of the past. that was my problem with snape: he chose to live in memories instead of facing what was actually happening, which ended up losing lupin a stable job, wreaking fear in his students for unnecessary reasons, and the reason that he almost handed sirius over to dementors when he knew sirius was an innocent man.

haha, hey, remember that time snape begged voldemort to kill baby harry and james in order to spare lily?! love that guy!!! what a hero!!!!

Ericka Scott Nelson Regarding Snape being mean to Hermione and people other than Harry, I think it's important to have in mind his double agent thing. It might be hard for Voldemort's sympathizers to view him as an ally if he showed general kindness and agreeability beyond his own house. A great deal of their knowledge of Snape would be based on reports from Slytherin students, so it was necessary for him to put on the appropriate outward show, whether or not it corresponded with his inner feelings (which I think it probably did most of the time).

Crystal Witten Snape never really got to know Harry, he only ever saw Harry through the lens of Harry's parents. Snape has a cognitive dissonance with Harry. He's so bitter about James that he refuses to absorb anything that contradicts the preconceived ideas he has about Harry. Even discovering that Harry was bullied and neglected as a kid doesn't make him question his own perceptions. One can note that Snape is an example of the bullied becomes the bully. Only Snape is an adult lashing out at kids.

It's very showing that when asked a direct question about Harry, the response is bringing up one of his parents, this time Lily. Snape never wanted to actually know Harry as an individual.

message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Both. He cared for both. He only showed resentment because Harry reminds him of James, who was a very cruel person and took the woman he loved. I think that when Harry acted like James (which was often), it reminded Snape of Harry's father.

Bekah @sebastion don't you EVER SAY that james "took the one snape loved away." don't you ever act like he was only doing it to spite him. don't you dare fucking say he was "a cruel person." james loved lily, he grew up and he matured and realized his actions were wrong, and in the end, snape did not. snape chose to get into the dark arts and things that were against people like lily. she fell in love with james once he stopped being a stupid teenager.

it's evident that snape never let go of the past considering his favorite pastime is bullying a child who looked like his father, (amongst others.)

james potter risked his life, he chose to go hold back voldemort wandless KNOWING he would die, if it meant lily and harry had extra time to escape. if that isn't love to you, then you are insane.

message 41: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Prescott Sebastian wrote: "James... was a very cruel person and took the woman he loved.... "
That makes it sound as if Lily had no choice in the matter and was simply a thing for James and Snape to fight over, and that James 'took' Lily purely to spite Snape. Which was partly Snape's problem, I think - he couldn't get past the fact that Lily chose James over him, or that even if James hadn't been there, Lily still might not have chosen him.

And James wasn't all bad, even at seventeen. He was loyal to his friends, which is a characteristic I think Harry shares.

I think Snape felt a certain duty or responsibility to Harry because he was Lily's son and The Boy Who Lived, but I don't think he cared at all for Harry as a person in his own right. How could he - he didn't actually know Harry as a person.

James was a bully as a schoolboy, but he grew up, as others have said. Snape was a bully as an adult, and he bullied children.

Bekah @victoria BLESS YOU. I agree with everything you said!!

Saxonjus Snape loved Lilly & would have carried out her dying wishes.He never had love returned as he wished for.Always on the outside at School as a boy & a Professor.He acknowledged Harry was part of Lilly so he protected Harry yet he also disliked Harry fir being James' son.

message 44: by Somerandom (new)

Somerandom I believe that in the book he roars back "no not him" when Dumby asks if he has grown to care for Harry.

Despite this, I think he did grow to care for Harry, begrudgingly and probably refused to admit it to himself.

Of course he was very loyal to Lily and protected Harry due to his love of her and her memory. I also think he saw so much of James in Harry that it caused him to be bitter and extremely antagonistic towards him.

Maybe I just like to see the best in people, but I do think there was a small part of Snape that felt a twinge of a sort of paternal protectiveness over Harry. Harry could have been his son if things were different after all.

That being said, I found Snape far more likeable in the movies than in the books.

message 45: by Somerandom (new)

Somerandom Ericka wrote: "Regarding Snape being mean to Hermione and people other than Harry, I think it's important to have in mind his double agent thing. It might be hard for Voldemort's sympathizers to view him as an al..."

Wow, I never thought of that. That makes a lot of sense, actually.

message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

By The End, He sort of does care for harry, so i would say lily and Harry.

message 47: by Steven (new)

Steven Finley I think that he cared for Harry all along perhaps because of lily but he cared all the same and like he said, you have your mothers eyes! I'm sure everytime he looked at Harry he saw lily. Also he had to show open contempt for him otherwise Voldemort would have been on to him loooooong ago. I also suspect that when he showed dumbldore the doe patronus he was lauding to the fact that he was the one protecting Harry all these years when we thought it was his mother's ghost doing so.

Sammy Young Just Lily

message 49: by Lucy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lucy He cared about Lily. Harry was her son but he was also hes was James son. Seeing Lily's eyes looking out of James Potter face god that would hurt him bad. If he cared he cared for Lily but in away he hated that boy for having Lilys eyes but James Potter faces.

Sweta Once I read the last book, I believed Snape cared for Harry very much. He had too much bitterness and resentment to show his love and care openly for anyone, let alone Harry. He portrays a true Slytherin all along outwardly but he does all good behind the scenes. There would be times and instances when Harry would remind him of James so much that he would give Harry hard time but then his love for Lily would win over.

« previous 1
back to top