This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.
Harry, Ginny and Albus Severus Potter (Photo: Warner Bros.)

The issue of why Harry Potter would choose to give his own son the name of the teacher who made his school life such a misery has long been a slight puzzlement to fans of the magical stories.

On the one hand, Severus Snape revealed a strong and abiding love for Harry’s mother Lily, and ultimately made a heroic effort to save the day, but he was also sworn enemies with his father James, and even though he wanted Harry to be protected, he wasn’t exactly one for preferential treatment.

So, weighing all this up, Twitter user @FrazzyJazzy7 approached the only person who could give a decent answer—J.K. Rowling—and asked:

Her response shines some light on one of the more confusing relationships in the Harry Potter story, the embittered teacher and the son of both his most hated and most loved people in the wizarding world.

Which prompted this response:

And then a more considered explanation, in which she said:
“There’s a whole essay in why Harry gave his son Snape’s name, but the decision goes to the heart of who Harry was, post-war.

“Snape is all grey. You can’t make him a saint: he was vindictive & bullying. You can’t make him a devil: he died to save the wizarding world.

“This morning I’ve been thinking a lot about the appeal of simple dichotomies in our messy world, then you raise Snape! Highly appropriate.”

This was, however, after a certain amount of pro and anti-Snape shouting on the part of her twitter followers, which prompted this response, before getting into the explanation proper:

And you don’t need a crystal ball to know Harry Potter fans almost certainly won’t.

POSTSCRIPT: Two more tweets on the topic have just arrived (by owl):

There. That should do it.

Read More
Filed Under: Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling
By Fraser McAlpine