The Psyche of Severus

by Lady Lupin

Since this column is called Spinner’s End, and I have welcomed “all things Severus” to our discussions, I have decided it is time to take another look at the inscrutable Potions-cum-DADA Master. The comments in the Chamber of Secrets forums that The Snape Question has generated are quite fascinating. Like everyone else, I have tried to work out what is driving this most intriguing of Potterverse characters and what might explain his actions and attitudes throughout the series. Scott Andrew Walker’s recent and excellent editorial,Dumbledore’s Iron-Clad Reason gave me a bit of a shock, as I had already put an enormous amount of work into this article, and I thought for a moment that he had beat me to the punch. However, while our ideas overlap and use much of the same evidence, I have a slightly different theory to posit. What follows is a compilation of many of my own theories and several others that I have heard bandied about, but don’t know exactly where they started. I have tried to weave theories together to see if I could arrive at a lifeline for Severus Snape – a history of events, attitudes and desires that would make the disparate pieces of his life add up. I thereby offer a look at the possible psyche of Severus, from his prologue to the Marauder Era through his actions (and Dumbledore’s) in HBP. This is more a narrative than editorial. While I believe it to be backed by canon, there are other explanations for Snape’s behavior that could also be backed by canon. I have attempted to string together the ‘dots’ of fact that we have to arrive at one possible story of the life of Severus Snape. There are as many other potential stories as there are fans and writers. Nonetheless, it explains several burning questions, including whose side Snape is on, and why he does what he does. It is a major read (I’m serious – I have broken my own record here, which is saying something), so grab a Firewhiskey or a pumpkin juice, depending on your age and tastes, put your feet up and enjoy. Without further ado, I give you The Psyche of Severus: A Drama in Five Acts.


Act I: The Marauder Era

Act II: After Hogwarts

Act III: Humble School Master

Act IV: The Half-Blood DADA Professor

Act V: Snivellus on the Run

Epilogue: Spinner Spun