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Sinking our teeth into the character of Snape

by David Haber

I've personally strongly believed for a long time, and still do, that Severus Snape is a vampire, or at least, is part vampire. There are clues in all the books that point to this conclusion, over the years, J.K. has (sort of) denied that he is, and yet she continued dropping these hints even throughout book 7.

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Reader Comments: (Page 11)

Those who are quickly dismissing the idea of Snape being a vampire are putting too much stock in modern and conventional depiction of vampires.

JK Rowling is an exceedingly intelligent woman who has drawn on ancient mythology to create her universe. The conventional depiction of a vampire is basically an invention of the modern age.

Look at mythology and you'll find a host of things that may connect Snape with vampirism.

Posted by Mythologist from Gloucester, England on October 20, 2007 3:59 PM

Nah, I don't think he's a vampire. Maybe he just really likes them and fancies himself to be bat-like. I'd go as far to say how much I love the Matrix trilogy and that I fancy myself a super awesome hacker ninja!

Posted by Talon from Ontario, Canada on October 20, 2007 10:33 PM

And now a word from your friendly neighborhood insufferable know-it-all!

Well, Mythologist is right. Vampires have not always been the way we now think of them. Originally, bloodsucking demons from ancient Mesopotamia, Greece and Hebrew notwithstanding, southeastern European folklore described them more like zombies or maybe a European sort of mummy. Risen from the , darkened in complexion, wearing shrouds, causing mayhem and sometimes among the places where they dwelled. They drank human blood, were vulnerable to garlic, and could be ed with a stake through the heart. No fangs, no high-collared billowing cloaks, no particular aversion to sunlight, and some, such as Greek vrykolakas, even had reflections and shadows. Indeed Dracula (published 1897) was the first published work to feature those last few traits, and so made them a sort of "cannon" for vampire lore.

Half-vampires in folklore seem to be exclusively when a male vampire mates with a human woman - often the vampire's widow or someone he desired in life. The "woman bitten by a vampire while pregnant" version of half-vampire is, as far as I have found, is exclusive to the Blade comic book character, and dhampirs (children of vampires) are more commonly in pop culture than in folklore, featuring in, as well as comics, movies, pop literature, anime, and certian tabletop roleplaying and video games.

As for Jo's use... I actually noticed that, as far as I can recall, she never made any mention of vampires having fangs, only their pale complexion and desire for blood (and the fact that some retailers, like Honeydukes, sometimes tailor to their taste for blood flavored lollipops). We actually don't get very much information on what a vampire is to her - we don't even know if they are considered un or simply dark magical beings who are alive. She certainly seems to be going for the more conventional description of a vampire, but I think at this time we have too little information to really state what her version of a vampire is, and therefore, can't really say one way or the other about the presence of anything vampire related in Severus.

Posted by monkeeshrines from orlando fl on October 21, 2007 07:52 AM

I think you have made smoe very good points in your theory of Snape being part-vampire, or at least having some vampire characteriztics. However, i think that you base too much on small little points.

I also think that the bat-like creature flying towards the perimeter walls could have been Voldemort. Porfessor Mcgonnagall could have been referring to the fact that snape was a good dueler when they dueled. And after Harry notes that he sees the bat-like creature flying, he says Voldemort is coming. We have to go.

Basically, these little things J.K. says are just characteristics of the people. Like "toad-like". that doesnt mean Umbridge is part toad. Little things dont matter as much as you make them out to be, but sometimes they do.

Posted by Tommy from Omaha, Nebraska on October 21, 2007 4:04 PM

Umbridge is Toad-like but her patronus is a cat. her room is decorated with simpering kittens. so, the fact that Snape is bat-like, does not really mean he is part vampire. and if JO wanted him to be, he would. It would be another case in point for the half-breeds theory. he was just a sad little boy with a not-so-kind parent, who loved the dark arts. and then love transformed him. brought him over to the other side. He was not a great human being, but he was a highly accomplished wizard. thats all there is to him. no vampire-bitten past.

Posted by ritu bhatia from Mumbai, India on October 22, 2007 10:38 AM

To be honest a lot of people are saying that because he is called "half-blood prince" that must be making a referance about blood which vampires drink, but surely everybody in the books could be called a vampire because everybody is always making comments about being a "half-blood" a "pure-blood" or a "Mudblood" so I think that everybody is just reading too much into the word blood. And also if your going to say about the Prince part I would suggest that you read the 6th book more carefully, because Hermione proves to Harry that Eileen Prince was Snape's mother, and in the 5th book we learn that his father was unkind to his mother, and so Severus must have been ashamed to be called Snape so instead took his Mothers name of Prince.

Posted by Terri from Moultrie,Georgia on October 22, 2007 11:37 AM

It seems to me that the final nail in this coffin (pardon the pun) is in this author's own example. When Percy is ranting about vampires and cauldrons, he mentions the "Guidelines for the Treatment of Non-Wizard Part-Humans" in reference to the vampire subject. Note the phrase "Non-Wizard." If we assume the Ministry isn't a total failure (which I am loathe to do), and they have categorized vampires as non-wizarding folk, then there is no way Snape could be a vampire. He's just really, really creepy.

Posted by Garrett on October 22, 2007 10:00 PM

Garret, just because there is a "Guidelines for the Treatment of Non-Wizard Part-Humans" doesn't mean that there aren't Part-Humans who are Wizards. Take Hagrid, for example. He is a Wizard, and part-human (part Giant).

Posted by Dave Haber from Los Angeles, CA on October 23, 2007 07:07 AM

We know that Jo has maintained a mysterious stance for snape being good or bad until the end of the story. I think the clues about snape being a vampire are the part of the pattern that leads us to an uncertain idea about snape being good or bad.

Posted by Zeeshan from Multan,Pakistan. on October 25, 2007 2:00 PM

There is no way Snape could be half vampire. Vampires are un; they cannot breed. Giants are alive so they can breed, as are werewolves. Giants and werewolves can breed with humans, but vampires are un. There is a difference between ALIVE and UNDEAD. When you are un, you are basically a walking corpse with a brain. You don't have to breathe, and your heart doesn't have to work. Werewolves are humans that grow fur and lose their consciences once a month. They are alive.

Posted by Ashley Ross from Missouri on October 25, 2007 4:55 PM

Have to say, never even passed across my mind to considar Snape a vampire. I can see why whoever wrote this is supporting their theory but I can't say i personally believe it. I think some of the arguments could be based on coincidence (like Hermione always having the vampire book present, perhaps Jo just forgot what she had called the other ones & couldn't be bothered to go back and check). That aside i think the most this proves is that we are meant to look at Snape as *vampire-LIKE*, but not as an actual vampire.

Posted by kerri from edinburgh, scotland on October 29, 2007 08:15 AM

It's a good theory but personally I think Rowling put all that facts about Snape being 'Batlike' just to make the story complete. Harry does not like Snape so he thinks him Batlike.

Posted by the greatest from Allover the world on November 4, 2007 04:18 AM

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