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Why Does Snape Hate Harry and James Potter?

Why Does Snape Hate Harry and James Potter?

There’s a question that has baffled Harry Potter fans and stirred debates in the magical community worldwide – Why does Severus Snape, a professor, sworn to protect and educate young wizards, harbor such a profound dislike, even hatred, for the series’ protagonist, Harry Potter?

This loathing seems to overshadow his responsibility as an educator and adds a layer of mystery and intrigue to his already enigmatic character. It’s a journey that takes us beyond the standard teacher-student dynamic, into the depths of a man torn apart by love, hatred, and duty.

Does Snape Really Hate Harry?

Snape’s feelings towards Harry were complex and contradictory. He may have hated Harry because he was the son of James Potter, whom Snape had been jealous of in school. However, Snape also loved Lily Potter, and he was ultimately motivated by his desire to protect Harry from Voldemort.

Snape’s feelings were likely a mixture of love, hate, and guilt. He was a complex and tragic character, and his relationship with Harry was one of the most fascinating aspects of the Harry Potter series. Let’s discover the reasons why many fans thought that Snape disliked Harry.

4 Reasons Why It Seems Like Snape Hated Harry

Harry Potter Birthday
Harry Potter

1. The Harry and James Resemblance

Snape hated Harry’s father, James Potter, because of the ongoing rivalry and bullying Snape experienced from James during their time at Hogwarts. Additionally, Snape was deeply in love with Lily Evans, Harry’s mother, and was hurt when she chose James over him. Even after James died, Snape continued to hate him.

Young James Potter
Young James Potter

He saw Harry as a constant reminder of James, and he could never forgive Harry for being James’s son. This hatred led Snape to treat Harry poorly throughout his years at Hogwarts.

However, Snape’s hatred of James was also motivated by his love for Lily Potter. Lily was Snape’s childhood friend, and he had been in love with her for many years. When Lily married James, Snape was devastated. He felt betrayed and abandoned, and he blamed James for everything that went wrong in his life.

Snape’s hatred of James was a complex and multifaceted emotion. It was rooted in jealousy, anger, and betrayal. However, it was also motivated by Snape’s love for Lily. In the end, Snape’s hatred of James was one of the things that ultimately drove him to protect Harry.

“Potter… what would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?”

In “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” when Snape first meets Harry.

This question is not just a simple potions query, as asphodel is a type of lily associated with death in Victorian flower language, and wormwood often symbolizes bitterness, or the absence of a loved one. Snape is indirectly expressing his bitter loss and resentment over Lily’s death and James’ part in it.

Also, In “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” during the Occlumency lessons, Harry accidentally views Snape’s worst memory, which is a humiliating experience he had at the hands of James and his friends. Snape then cruelly ejects Harry from his office, saying “ENOUGH! Enough…” revealing his deeply held resentment.

2. The Living Reminder of Lily, Harry’s Mother

Harry was the living embodiment of Lily’s memory, a reminder that was painful yet also the driving force behind Snape’s protection of him.

In “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” when Harry views Snape’s memories in the Pensieve, we find out about a conversation between Snape and Dumbledore. Snape asks,

“You’ve kept him alive so he can die at the proper moment. You’ve been raising him like a pig for slaughter!”

When Dumbledore asks Snape if he has started to care for the boy, Snape conjures a Patronus, which is a doe, just like Lily’s, and Dumbledore remarks, “After all this time?” to which Snape replies, “Always.”

Learn why Snape and Lily had the same patronus.

3. Harry’s Fame

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets

Harry’s fame had a two-fold effect on Snape. First, it reminded Snape of the painful events surrounding Lily’s death. Harry, being the famous “Boy Who Lived,” was a constant reminder of Lily’s sacrifice and his own inability to protect her.

Second, Harry’s fame echoed that of his father, James Potter, who was also a popular and celebrated student during his time at Hogwarts. Seeing Harry being celebrated much like his father would have been a bitter pill for Snape to swallow.

Despite his outward contempt, Snape never wavered in his commitment to protect Harry, driven by his enduring love for Lily.

4. Snapes Role as a Double Agent

Snape Killing Dumbledore
Snape Killing Dumbledore

Snape’s role as a double agent necessitated that he maintain a certain persona and distance from Harry in public.

As he was still working within Voldemort’s ranks while simultaneously aiding the Order of the Phoenix, he had to consistently project a persona of dislike and even contempt for Harry. This was a necessary measure to ensure that Voldemort never suspected his true loyalties.

Furthermore, any outward affection or concern for Harry could have endangered both of them. Snape’s primary concern was to keep Harry safe, and his method of doing this required that he not show any obvious signs of care or protection towards Harry. This could easily be misinterpreted as hatred, especially from Harry’s or a fan’s perspective.

Dumbledore’s death was a pivotal moment in Snape’s tenure as a double agent. Dumbledore, already dying from a cursed ring, requested Snape to kill him when the time was right.

This was to strengthen Voldemort’s trust in Snape and to spare Draco Malfoy from becoming a murderer. Thus, Snape’s difficult task of killing Dumbledore was crucial in maintaining his cover and continuing his crucial role in Voldemort’s downfall.

Read more: Is Snape Harry’s Real Father and Why Did Harry Name is Son Albus Severus?