After seven years of cruelty towards Harry and his friends, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows we learn that potions professor, Severus Snape, has been protecting Harry all along. During the final Battle of Hogwarts, Voldemort, believing Snape is the current rightful owner of the Elder Wand, decides it’s time to dispose of his “loyal” subject so he could own the Elder Wand. Following?
Deeming Snape to be a disposable pawn, Voldemort sets his snake Nagini on the potions master, before retreating to the Forbidden Forest while Harry, Ron, and Hermione watch, helpless. Snape gives Harry and company his memories (which reveal that he spent the last 17 years as a double agent for Dumbledore), and then DIES.
According to a fan theory from Reddit user Der_Gotkaiser, Snape doesn’t actually die but has access to a poison antidote. While it’s a fascinating fan theory, unfortunately it’s not entirely plausible.
Der_Gotkaiser uses two main points to back up his theory, the first being that Snape doesn’t appear in the resurrection stone, and the second being that his body ~allegedly~ never recovered. As Harry walks to his death, he uses to resurrection stone to talk to the most important people in his life who’ve died: His parents, and his two beloved father figures Sirius Black and Remus Lupin (who Harry learns has just died during the ensuing battle).
Sure, Harry learns that Snape had been protecting him all this time but that doesn’t mean he meant a lot to Snape. Harry was a difficult figure for Snape to reconcile, as the Potions master was in love with his mother and hated his father. Snape felt he owed it to Lily to protect her son after providing the information to Voldemort that wound up killing her and James. As an adult Harry is able to reconcile Snape for the bravery goodness he possesses but that takes time and is definitely not what Harry’s thinking about as he walks to his death.
Also, I’m very sorry but saying that Snape was more important to Harry than Lupin is entirely undercutting Lupin’s importance. Without getting into it too much, from a teacher’s standpoint, Lupin was incredibly important in helping Harry understand his gifts as a Defense Against the Dark Arts student, and served as one of his most important male role models up until his death. Snape may have known him longer but that’s like saying Goyle was more important to Hermione than Viktor Krum because she knew him longer.
While I can see how this could be an interesting “gotcha” point, this particular scene in the story isn’t about naming all the people who died, otherwise we’d get a better confirmation on Lavender Brown’s death because that’s been up for debate. Instead, it’s about Harry taking in the aftermath of the battle. Again there’s so much more to say about this scene but essentially the scene is about Harry taking it all in, watching everything going on in the Great Hall and realizing that he survived. Rowling highlighting the deaths of Fred, Tonks, Lupin, and Colin Creevy is only notable because they were his known allies and friends all along and gave their lives for him.
Finally, Der_Gotkaiser writes that in the end, the Elder Wand turned on Voldemort because Snape was still alive. “That’s why the elder wand didn’t belong to Voldemort, cause he hadn’t really killed Snape. Snape’s body is not mentioned at all, and his ghost doesn’t appear with Lupin’s and Harry’s parents, even though it should have, so Snape obviously survived.”
This part of the theory could work BUT the Elder Wand never belonged to Snape. As Harry explains in Chapter 36 of Deathly Hallows, “The Flaw in the Plan,” Draco became the rightful owner of the Elder Wand after he “defeated” Dumbledore in The Half-Blood prince. After Harry subsequently defeated Draco earlier in The Deathly Hallows, he became the true master of the Elder Wand.
While I truly love the enthusiasm from Der_Gotkaiser, unfortunately it’s unlikely that Snape survived being brutally murdered by Nagini. Okay, now back to crying over Snape.