The Day My Opinion of Snape Changed Forever
Recently, wepostedabout a fan film that debuted. Severus Snape and the Marauders directed by Justin Zagri is a film that references the strained relationship between the Marauders and Snape. Watch the video below.
I have always had issues sympathizing with Severus Snape and seeing any good within him. Between how he treats Harry throughout the series and his obvious disdain for other students, Snape has never presented himself to me as a likable character. As a victim of bullying, Snape should be aware of the emotional and psychological effects that his actions have. He knows how it feels to be belittled and made fun of, yet he inflicts this same pain upon Neville in Potions on a regular basis.
Severus Snape and the Marauders accomplished something that nothing else has been able to do… it changed my heart. This film depicts our four Marauders and Severus Snape right after graduating from Hogwarts. It is a crucial point in the young characters’ lives with a war looming on the horizon and them facing the decision of which side they are going to stand on.
I was never able to picture Snape as a victim because for years I was only able to focus on his victims. During the fight with the Marauders in the film, Snape is pushed to a point of no return. When approached by James, Snape gets backed into a corner. Left with no escape, he has no choice but to fight his way out in a battle that is in no way fair. As soon as James realizes that he is outmatched, he immediately calls his friends in to fight alongside him.
This makes me see, and understand, why Snape despises the Marauders so much. When I first read the altercation between James and Snape in Book 5, much like Harry, I was only focusing on James. I always thought that Snape did something to provoke him into attacking him. When I went back and reread the chapter, I realized that was not the case. Without a word to anyone, Snape got up from where he was sitting and started walking away. James called out to him, and before Snape could react, he was under the Impediment Jinx. It goes deeper than just a little teasing here and some humiliation there. In the film, James picked a fight with Snape just because he entered the bar they were hanging out in. Snape only wanted to apologize to Lily for calling her a Mudblood and ruining their friendship. He also wanted to thank her for being by his side through some hard times.
Within the first few minutes of the film, James bullied Snape into a completely unfair fight. The brawl in the woods quickly turns into a four-on-one situation when James begins losing. Sirius is the first to jump in, fighting alongside James as soon as he realizes James is outmatched. Remus is next, after a stray spell narrowly misses him, leaving Peter for last and somewhat reluctant. When the Marauders have Snape pinned to the ground under their spells, they are still taunting him. They are chanting “Snivellus Snape” at him over and over while walking around him in a circle. This had me flashing back to when James had Snape suspended in the air by the ankle. The only way that the Marauders addressed Snape was as Snivellus, and once again, Snape was unable to fight back. As long as James was in control, they were never going to refer to him by his actual name.
Another thing that I didn’t see much of previously is how great of a wizard Snape was. In the film, at the young age of 17, Snape successfully took on four skilled wizards and won. He successfully demonstrated a curse that he created and used Legilimency. Legilimency is a skill that is not taught at Hogwarts, which leaves me awed at Snape’s abilities. Snape was skilled enough at both Occlumency and Legilimency that Dumbledore entrusted Snape to teach Harry Occlumency during his fifth year at Hogwarts. Snape further proves what a great wizard he is by successfully practicing Occlumency against Lord Voldemort. By keeping his mind closed, he was able to hide which side he truly belonged to.
The final thing that got to me from the film was when Snape was talking to James after he had beaten him. When Snape says, “You don’t know what it is like to lose something,” it absolutely broke my heart. You could hear the pain in his voice and hear his heart breaking all over again. I have been in similar situations where I have lost people or things that were important to me. Hearing the sincerity in his voice brought back every negative thing that I have had to face. Losing Lily shaped the rest of Snape’s life. While simultaneously making Harry’s life a living nightmare, he was also protecting him and keeping him safe. From trying to teach him Occlumency in his fifth year to refereeing a Quidditch match his first year to stop Quirrel from jinxing him, Snape protected Harry to the best of his ability. Despite Snape’s hatred of his father, the love he had for his mother trumped all, and he tried to keep Harry safe.
This just goes to show, and prove, that good and evil isn’t just black and white. There is a lot of gray area in between. Once again, you realize that you can’t judge a person by what you see. There is a lot going on beneath the surface that affects their every move and decision.
I hope that you all enjoy this film as much as I did, and I hope it has an impact on you as well.