Oh internet, why do you test me? A new theory making the rounds in media outlets suggests that Snape may be alive at the end of the Harry Potter series. A Reddit user presented their points on the subject, and now I am going to entirely deconstruct this argument because someone has to.
Our Reddit detective Der_Gottkaiser has two main reasons for believing Snape is alive in Harry Potter: First, that he didn’t appear when Harry used the resurrection stone, and second, that Snape’s dead body is neither found nor spoken of.
You’d think Snape was very important to Harry, he loved his mother, gave his life to save him, and shielded him all his life. Harry just found out how Snape had been protecting him the whole time and died to save him, so when he used the magic ring that brings the spirits of dead people, you’d think Snape would be there.
Harry has known for approximately 10 minutes that Snape loved Lily and tried to protect Harry. Snape also abused him for six years, bullied his friends and classmates, and — whether or not for the greater good — murdered his mentor. And you know who else loved Harry’s mother? Harry’s father, whom she ultimately chose to be with.
He certainly knew Snape longer than Lupin, and you’d think Snape was far more important to him than Lupin, but Snape wasn’t around. Perhaps he was not dead.
Lupin was a huge part of James and Sirius’s lives, and Harry’s by extension. He builds his entire relationship with his father out of his relationship with his living friends.
Also, you know who Harry knew longer than any of them? Fucking Hedwig, who should have soared through that scene and right into the forest.
Now, with regard to Snape’s corpse not being “found or mentioned,” it is possible — bear with me here — that J.K. Rowling and the filmmakers did not include every single detail of these scenes. Harry Potter just destroyed the worst dark wizard in history, lost many of his close friends, fought relentlessly for days and also died and came back to life. He is tired, he is broken, he is victorious, but he is grieving, and there simply isn’t time for him — or rather, for our storytellers — to inventory the entire Great Hall.
(Side note: Der_Gottkaiser notes that Lupin’s body is in the hall, but both Cosmopolitan and Metro both inexplicably typed Lupin as “Loin.” Pretty sad about Loin’s dead body tbh.)
Snape also didn’t die in the castle, which Lupin, Fred, and the others did. He was in the Shrieking Shack in the book, and the random-ass Hogwarts boat house in the movie.
Just think about it, do you really think a POTIONS MASTER wouldn’t have access to anti-venom? You think he wouldn’t have prepared for the possibility that Voldemort’s snake might turn on him? He was playing a dangerous role as a spy, Voldemort could turn on him at any moment, I think Snape would have obviously taken some kind of prophylactic antidote beforehand.
This part is interesting, because Snape certainly has access and the ability to make powerful antidotes, and we know that he knows the correct use of a bezoar. I can’t imagine that he carries those things around his person at all times. He’s never seen Voldemort use Nagini for the kill — she’s fed off his victims, certainly, but Voldemort always used magic to perform a Killing Curse. Snape is shocked and horrified in both the book and movie when he realizes the gruesome way in which he will die.
As for taking the antidote beforehand…without going on a total tangent about the efficacy and timing of potion usage and just how little we know about magical chemistry, the sad truth here is that Snape was always ready to die for this cause. As soon as Hogwarts went into battle mode, Snape knew the end was near.
Sorry kids, Snape is dead. But here’s a problematic gif of him as you go about your day: