10 Lesser-Known Facts and Fan Theories About Severus Snape

Updated on November 18, 2019
Deborah Minter profile image

Deborah loves all books, her favorites being mystery and romance. She writes fiction on her spare time.

Severus Snape was heroic and spiteful in his motives and actions! He is beloved by Harry Potter fans.
Severus Snape was heroic and spiteful in his motives and actions! He is beloved by Harry Potter fans.

Severus Snape is one of the most iconic characters of the Harry Potter world. Beloved by fans, his actions and motives were heroic as well as spiteful. Referred to as an antihero at times, from the first book to the end of the seventh Harry Potter book and eighth movie, we have always been fascinated by Severus Snape.

The enigmatic character still is shrouded in mystery. After time, details of his past and habits come to light. Severus Snape was a dark professor of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, dreaded Potions Master of Hogwarts students, known as "the bat of the dungeons," and trusted spy and ally to Albus Dumbledore.

As a double agent, his alliances were questioned by fans and Harry alike throughout the series. Eventually giving the greatest sacrifice to save the wizarding world, he is many Harry Potter fans' favorite character. Here are ten obscure facts a fan may or may not know about Severus Snape.

Severus Snape was a Potions Master that brewed rare potions such as Veritaserum. Harry later came to know him as the Half-Blood Prince.
Severus Snape was a Potions Master that brewed rare potions such as Veritaserum. Harry later came to know him as the Half-Blood Prince.

1. Snape Invented Several Curses and Spells

Severus Snape was an expert potions maker. He brewed valuable and rare potions such as Veritaserum. His talent for potions was revealed in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. He was talented at creating spells as well. One of the most notable being the Toenail Growing Hex.

List of curses and spells created by Severus Snape:

  • Langlock: glues a person’s tongue to the top of their mouth, rendering them speechless.
  • Muffliato Charm: creates buzzing sound in someone’s ear so they cannot eavesdrop.
  • Levicorpus: hoists the victim into the air by their ankles.
  • Liberacorpus: the counterjinx to Levicorpus.
  • Sectusempra: lacerates the target of the curse.
  • Vulnera Sanentur: heals wounds created by Sectusempra.

2. Fan Theory: Snape Is a Vampire

There was a fan theory about Snape that has since been debunked, but some fans still try to prove it, even after all seven books were published: Severus Snape is a vampire! Evidence is pointed out that Snape resides in the dungeons to avoid light. It is debated among fans whether or not he is ever described as being outside during the day, and some point to the fact that he is never seen eating. His cape is said to have a bat-like appearance. Severus Snape is mysterious and scary to the students of Hogwarts without having to be a vampire.

There is the “He is almost a vampire,” fan theory, or the theory that he is most likely part-vampire. Fans point to clues as evidence. Lupin assigned a vampire essay in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Snape did assign a werewolf essay to expose Lupin was a werewolf to the students. Readers suggest Lupin was trying to expose Severus’ secret as well. The descriptions of Snape throughout the books have long been suspicious clues pointing to the possibility that Professor Snape is a vampire, including:

  • “large, malevolent bat,”
  • “overgrown bat,” and
  • “a huge bat-like shape flying through the air.”

The fact that Snape flew out the window of Hogwarts has made readers all the more suspicious. He is also described at times as having sallow skin. He prowls the dungeons and castle at night. It is suggested that he is not described eating and takes potions to disguise it. J.K. Rowling has denied this theory.

Snape never missed an opportunity to award Slytherin House points.
Snape never missed an opportunity to award Slytherin House points.

3. Snape Is the Only Death Eater Capable of Producing a Patronus

Snape was the only Death Eater that was able to produce a Patronus. In the world of Harry Potter, only a wizard capable of feeling love could produce a Patronus. Death Eaters are physically incapable of producing one, with the exception of Severus Snape. The reason is Lily Potter.

Snape felt an immense love for Lily, and he did everything he could to save her. Even though Severus failed, he never ceased to love her. Snape’s Patronus was a doe, which was the same Patronus as Lily Potter’s.

4. Severus Snape's Birthday

It is hard to imagine the dark Potions Master’s birthday, but there is a lot of history and fond memories Severus has of his birthday. Harry Potter readers would guess that Snape would not be celebrating with a birthday party on his birthday, and a fan would guess right. But he does have a cake.

He spends his evening alone in his quarters, which reside in the dungeons, even on his birthday. He does receive a cake that always reminds him of Lily. On his birthday, Snape receives a white cake with white icing. It always shows up in his chambers at midnight. Lily was the first one to give Severus a birthday cake he enjoyed.

On his first birthday after Lily’s death, Severus locked himself in his dungeon, drank firewisky, and ate his white cake. The next morning, he realized he had no idea where the cake came from and spent the next day searching the halls for her ghost.

Who gave him the cake? Professor Dumbledore sent a white cake with frosting to Snape’s quarters every year on his birthday. When Severus turned 25, he realized where his birthday cakes were coming from. He threw the cake at the wall and cursed Dumbledore for giving him a yearly reminder of his mistakes. A new cake replaced that one. He once again drank firewisky and ate the white cake with frosting all night long.

5. Was Snape an Animagus?

No! Snape could not transform into a bat, but he had a special talent. Snape could fly without a broom like Voldemort. He was able to surround himself in smoky black mist as he flew. Spells and curses could still be performed in the air with this spell.

Allan Rickman's incredible performance forever brought to life the dark Potions Master of Hogwarts.
Allan Rickman's incredible performance forever brought to life the dark Potions Master of Hogwarts.

6. Rita Skeeter Wrote a Book About Snape

Was Rita Skeeter’s new book a best seller? That remains a mystery! Nevertheless, Rita wrote a book about Snape. Her mumbo jumbo of myth mingled with reality was published after the war and defeat of Voldemort.

More of an anti-hero there never was. The title of Rita Skeeter’s book was Snape: Scoundrel or Saint? At least her title correctly assumed the sentiments of fans.

7. Snape's Special Award

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was a bumpy year for everyone, including Severus Snape. When Snape caught Sirius in the Shrieking Shack, he was hailed as a hero by Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge. Who promised that he would be rewarded the Order of Merlin first class and a profile in the Daily Prophet?

The promise was retracted due to Black’s escape. Snape was severely disturbed by Sirius Black’s escape. Really? Couldn’t they just have given him the Order? There was only a story about Severus Snape in the Daily Prophet when he became headmaster at Hogwarts.

Severus Snape was eventually featured in the Daily Prophet when he was given the position of headmaster at Hogwarts.
Severus Snape was eventually featured in the Daily Prophet when he was given the position of headmaster at Hogwarts.

8. Snape Was an Informant

Severus Snape was a double agent and was privy to some valuable information. Snape was an informant to the Dark Lord as well as Dumbledore; unfortunately, this meant it was necessary for Snape to provide crucial information to Voldemort at times to secure his trust. One such event included when Snape revealed the date Harry's protection at Privet Drive would be lifted.

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Snape reveals the date Harry is to leave Privet Drive, and so Voldemort continued to trust Snape. Snape gave the plan of multiple Harry’s to Mundungus Fletcher to move Harry, then informed the Dark Lord of Harry’s date. Dumbledore’s portrait gave Snape advice throughout the ordeal.

9. The Riddle of Snape's First Words to Harry

Snape’s first words to Harry have been interpreted to be a cryptic message to Harry. The words have been thought to signify Snape’s memory of Lily Potter. J. K. Rowling is known for the meaning of words in the Harry Potter series. Fans have a theory that his words are rooted from the Victorian flower language.

“Potter! What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?”

According to this Victorian flower language, asphodel is a type of lily, and wormwood means absence. Fans speculate that Snape’s question expresses his sorrow over Lily’s memory or is an apology to Harry for Lily’s death.

10. Snape's Headmaster Portrait

One of the questions asked by fans is about Severus Snape’s place among the portraits of the headmaster’s office at Hogwarts. After all, Snape’s loyalty was harshly debated after the war. The portrait was eventually included among the other headmasters at the insistence of Harry Potter. One can only guess at the snarky remarks the other portraits endured with his presence.

Snape's portrait was eventually placed in the headmaster's office at Hogwarts due to Harry Potter's insistence.
Snape's portrait was eventually placed in the headmaster's office at Hogwarts due to Harry Potter's insistence.

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    • Maricruz Minter profile image

      Maricruz Minter 

      7 months ago from Los Angeles

      I'm rather a huge Snape fan, and I didn't know some of these:) Thanks for posting!

    • thedinasoaur profile image

      Dina AH 

      8 months ago from United States

      I have such mixed feelings around Snape as a character. Alan Rickman was such a delight as Snape. He brought this mysterious tone to him. Oh man, I remember the end of Half-Blood Prince, when he reveals his connection to the book that Harry idolized so much in that installment. I am trying not to spoil anything in my comment. I remain unsure about him as someone who clung to a one-sided romantic connection. That part, along with the bullying of little kids makes me uncertain. I do wish we had more opportunities to learn about Snape as a student and Jame Potter (and the gang) as students as well. That would have been so much fun. What do you think of the Fantastic Beasts movies thus far? Do you have any favorite characters you wish got spin-offs?

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