As most of you may know, Alan Rickman passed away today at the early age of 69 due to cancer (Avada Kedavra to you cancer!). Many fans around the world, including Potterheads, are mourning such a terrible loss. I can truly say that we lost an incredible gifted man, who brought Severus Snape (and many other characters/roles) more to life.
Unlike most of my friends, coworkers, etc., I did not grow up reading Harry Potter, nor did I watch the films when they were released. I just didn’t get the whole obsession so I ignored every bit of it as much as I could. It wasn’t till a year ago, when my best friend convinced me to read the series. It took me a while before I could start and get a hang of it. It was something entirely different from anything I read before. I was in my last year of university, hustling to get work done and reading a page or two every chance I could get. So yes, it took me a lot longer to read than most.
With every book, chapter, spell and character that came along, I fell more in love with the series. But, it wasn’t till the third book, Prisoner of Azkaban when I realized I was deeply drawn in. It was that moment when I was introduced to Sirius that I knew I had to keep reading. Of course, there were several characters I wanted to just strangle – Dolores Umbridge, Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, Snape, etc. However, they each played a significant role that I would never, ever dare suggest to change.
The series was a deep emotional rollercoaster for me. When I really think about it, I think if I were to have read the series at an early age in my life, I wouldn’t have had such a deep connection or appreciation as I do now. I’ll be honest with you – I turned 28 when I read the first novel. So you can just imagine, a girl at 28 with so much personal history, emotional drama, relationships etc. I understood exactly how Hermione, Ron, Harry and Snape felt. I felt excited when feelings started to flourish, I cried the moment we said goodbye Sirius, I cried the moment we said goodbye to Dumbledore and I cried when we said goodbye to Snape.
My feelings for Snape changed dramatically once I figured out the truth – I felt sorry for him as I would for any friend of mine. I understood his love and his reasons for being so angry. So today, when I discovered that Alan Rickman passed on, I couldn’t help but remember those feelings I had when I fell in love with Snape.
So thank you Alan for making Snape, and the Harry Potter world that much more real for me.