After All This Time? Always: Harry Potter Deathly Hallows

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When Alan Rickman first started playing the sneering potions master Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films, J.K. Rowling had only published four installments in her book series. That means that as far as readers knew, Snape was every inch the villain and the embodiment of any child’s worst teaching nightmare. But Rowling let Rickman in on a secret early on: Snape wasn’t all he seemed. Rickman has said in the past that Rowling’s top-secret advice helped him shape the character but he never revealed what it was she told him. But now in the wake of the actor’s death, Rowling explains that secret all boiled down to one of the most important words in Harry Potter fandom: “always.”


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That gif with its sentiment of remembering a long-dead loved one, was shared all over the internet by heartbroken Harry Potter fans when Rickman’s death was announced last week. But they may not have known exactly how appropriate it was. A tín đồ asked Rowling, “Will you tell us the piece of information that you told Alan Rickman about Severus Snape? Or will that forever be a secret?” và the author replied:


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For the Potter uninitiated, “always” is how Snape explains to Dumbledore in the final book why his Patronus takes the same shape as the one belonging khổng lồ his long-lost love: Harry Potter’s mother, Lily.


“But this is touching, Severus,” said Dumbledore seriously. “Have yougrown to care for the boy, after all?” “For him?” shouted Snape.“Expecto Patronum!” From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe. Shelanded on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soaredout of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, & as her silveryglow faded he turned back to Snape, & his eyes were full of tears.“After all this time?” “Always,” said Snape.


Rickman told HitFix in 2011 that Rowling had once shared “one tiny, little, left of field piece of information“ with him. Rickman went on to say, “ helped me think that he was more complicated and that the story was not going to be as straight down the line as everybody thought. If you remember when I did the first film she’d only written three or four books, so nobody knew where it was really going except her. & it was important for her that I know something, but she only gave me a tiny piece of information which helped me think it was a more ambiguous route.”


There are plenty of Rickman fans who prefer to remember him for earlier work in films such as Die Hard, Sense and Sensibility, or Truly, Madly, Deeply. But as tempting as it may be khổng lồ write off Harry Potter as somehow less sophisticated or only for children, it’s undeniable that Rickman, of all the performers, was doing the most nuanced and shaded work in Rowling’s fantastical saga. “What I knew was he was a human being và not an automaton,” Rickman said. “I knew there was some sense of protection for Harry or I worked that out. It was enough to lớn know, I didn’t know he was a double agent.”

Alongside the great Hans Gruber, Snape will endure as one of the greatest screen villains of all time precisely because he’s not a villain in the end. Fans mourning the loss of Rickman can take comfort in the fact that as long as we watch movies, we will remember him. Always.

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