My latest SFX column mentions that I’m sure Severus Snape is really a good guy and, if anyone wants to know why, they should email me. Well, I guess I should be careful what I wish for, because I’ve been inundated! It’s gratifying to know that (a) so many people do love Harry Potter and (b) they read my column. Thank you!
Anyway, I figured I should write my theory here, to save having to email everybody individually. It kind of makes sense. Though I still have to send them all the link to this website, so perhaps I’m not as brainy as I thought I was. Anyway:
SPOILERS FOR HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE AHEAD!
Please bear in mind that if I’m right about any of this, your enjoyment of the next book could be ruined.
If I’m not, please email me when it’s released and go, “Nyah nyah nyah nyah nah!”
This is what my best mate Biddy and I concluded after we finished reading the last book. The more you think about it, the more likely it looks… but we still reserve the right to be mistaken!
Okay. Here goes:
Snape. Is. Not. Evil. He is, in fact, still working for the Order Of The Phoenix, and now that he’s killed Dumbledore his cover is so strong that there’s no way Voldemort could ever doubt his motives again.
Of course, there’s no escaping the fact that Snape murdered lovely old Albus, which doesn’t really help the “Snape’s a good guy!” cause. But look at it like this: what if Dumbledore was already dying? He certainly wasn’t well – what with his mysterious withered hand ‘n’ all – and there’s a strong chance that he and Snape came to an arrangement that, if it came to the crunch, Snape should sacrifice his Headmaster in order to prove himself to Voldemort once and for all. Who could doubt his intentions after he’d offed Voldemort’s greatest foe? And if the old man was dying anyway, doesn’t it make sense that he should go in such a useful way?
If you read the scene in question, it really does sound as though Dumbledore is begging Snape to carry out their plan: “For the first time, Dumbledore was pleading… ‘Severus… please!'” And, in killing him there and then, Snape also prevented Draco from taking a life, possibly saving him from turning bad for ever. Later, Snape seems to be protecting Harry when he could easily have killed him (not for the first time). All very clever!
Anyway, if that’s true, then the final book may very well contain a scene in which Harry (possibly teamed with Draco – who knows?) confronts Voldemort and Snape, and Snape switches sides at just the right moment, betraying his Master and saving Harry. Think Darth Vader and the Emperor. Except without shots of Ewoks jammed inbetween.
There’s also a chance that Dumbledore left a Pensieve somewhere showing just why he trusts Snape so much (we never did find that out, did we?) and also detailing their agreement. Pensieves are a handy way of providing exposition after a character has died – not only Dumbledore, but possibly Snape as well. If he dies in the big finale then Harry’s going to need an explanation, isn’t he?
So there you go.
EXTRA, NON-SNAPE-RELATED SPOILER ALERT!
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Biddy and I reckon that the initials RAB that Harry found in the locket belong to Regulus Black.
Remember how Harry, Ron and Hermione were clearing out Sirius’s house in Order Of The Phoenix? They found some interesting things back then… Regulus had been busy!
Okay, that’s enough of that. Feedback would be welcome, or you can just tell your friends the theory and pretend you thought of it all first; I don’t mind. I kind of hope we’re wrong because then the next book will be a surprise. If we’re right we’ll be unbearably smug… and rather sad we spoiled the fun.