Harry Potter author and filmmaker J.K. Rowling is apologizing for killing off Professor Severus Snape in her book and subsequent film series. Rowling kicked of a worldwide phenomenon in 1997 with the release of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, the first in what would eventually become a multi-million-selling seven-book series. Not long after, the sprawling tale of the boy wizard became a movie series starting with the 2001 release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (taking its title from the American version of the tale), starring Daniel Radcliffe in the titular role, along with Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry’s faithful friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Unfortunately, to give her epic magical tale some heavy emotional impact, Rowling had to make the difficult creative choices of killing off several key characters along the way, including Hogwarts Headmaster Professor Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon, taking over for the late Richard Harris); and perhaps even more controversial, the enigmatic Hogwarts instructor Professor Snape (Alan Rickman).
Now, Rowling is apologizing for Snape’s death, which came in the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Part 2 of the movie adaptation (where his death scene was altered with the author’s blessing). You can check out her tweet below:
￼ J.K. Rowling ✔ @jk_rowling
OK, here it is. Please don’t start flame wars over it, but this year I’d like to apologise for killing (whispers)… Snape. *runs for cover*
12:10 PM – 2 May 2017
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For those confused as to why Rowling has suddenly decided to apologize now for killing off Snape: today is May 2nd, the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts – and in recent years, Rowling has been apologizing for killing off a character during that battle, on the day of its anniversary. Back in 2016, it was Remus Lupin (who was played by David Thewlis in the Harry Potter movie series) whose death Rowling apologized for, and the year before that it was Fred Weasley (James Phelps) whose demise Rowling offered her condolences for.
All things considered however, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (both the original book and the two movies it inspired) wouldn’t have been nearly as compelling without the very tough sacrifices of certain popular and/or fan-favorite characters. A drastic alteration to Snape’s fate surely would have changed the direction of the larger story that Rowling was telling – potentially making a great book (and film) merely a good one instead. Thus, for the sake of the narrative, Snape’s fate was very much a necessary “evil” for Rowling to seal on the printed page.
KEY RELEASE DATES
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2 release date: Nov 16, 2018