The One Harry Potter Character That's Actually Much Better Written in the Movies

The One Harry Potter Character That's Actually Much Better Written in the Movies
Image credit: Warner Bros.

It's a known fact that some characters were done dirty in the Harry Potter movies. Ron? Should be snarky and loyal, not a dumb-dumb sidekick! Kreacher? Where's our redemption arc?

But – controversial opinion – Severus Snape is a much better-written character in the movies. And no, this isn't because Alan Rickman was sexy (RIP).

The problem is that in the books Snape is so whack-a-doo off-the-deep-end cruel that his redemption can't actually be earned. For one thing, he bullies prepubescent children daily. Because Harry reminds him of James, you say?

Fans Still Bitter Over Harry Potter Movies' Biggest Missed Opportunity

Harry is an eleven-year-old child!

Bullying an eleven-year-old because you hated his dad is psycho behavior. And anyway, Snape also relentlessly bullies weaker students like Neville Longbottom and makes pejorative comments about Hermione's looks. And it's just gross. They're children.

And that's just the first two books. By the time we get to book three, he's doing things like outing Lupin as a werewolf and trying to sic Dementors on Sirius even though everyone around him is insisting that Sirius is innocent. So that's one public outing and one attempted murder in 300 pages.

Book Snape was into seriously dark magic – and inventing spells that cut people open – and racial slurs – and joining Team Voldemort and His Magical Eugenics League. He was a bigot and a child-torturer. Over the course of seven books, Snape was so consistently cruel that the revelation of his work against Voldemort really doesn't change the fact that he's a terrible human. Besides, the reason he turned against Voldemort was to get revenge, not because he wanted to do the right thing. Why would Harry name his son after this man?

Ridiculous Reason Robin Williams Was Refused a Harry Potter Role

In the movies, Snape is still nasty and sharp-edged. But he's also much more of an enigma. The first time you watch the movies, you probably thought Snape was a nasty piece of work. But on a second watch-through, you can see the moments where something else shines through – like in Prisoner of Azkaban, where Lupin advances on the Golden Trio in werewolf form and Snape iconically throws his arms out in front of the kids, trying to protect them.

He's still a jerk and a bully, but it's toned down considerably. This Snape is an enigma wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a sneer, and when he says "you have your mother's eyes" I cry every. Single. Time.

It's not that Movie Snape is suddenly a kind and gentle figure. But he's less of a lunatic, less of a bully, and a much more subtle and complicated man. I really buy that there is a tortured soul in there just trying to do what's right, finally, for the woman he loved. RIP Movie Snape.

And RIP Alan Rickman, you beautiful star.