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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 14)

I agree with everything written in the article, aside from the garlic (I don't believe in the whole garlic=no vamps thing). And as to the reader comments about Nagini - 1) Snape was only part-vamp, 2) as the author has already stated, he may have been taking a potion to lessen the symptons (including coughimmortalitycough), and 3) Nagini isn't your average snake. And maybe its only to us that vampires are immortal - perhaps in Rowling's world, a world with wizards, its different. And again, its a different world, so tell me, why NOT make Snape a vampire? It just makes him that much more complex. And it would be just like Rowling to put in all those minisicule clues that all add up to something fairly pointless, but interesting nevertheless. I saw a comment about Sanguini - remember that he Sanguini was 100% vamp and didn't seem to be taking any sort of potion against it. Someone also said something about Dumbledore knowing that Snape was a danger - well, Lupin was a danger as well, and didn't he get a job?

*Another reference to Snape being a vampire was made by Ron (SS, book). He said, and I'm paraphrasing here, "How did he get there so quickly? Did he turn into a bat or something?" Please note that Ron is almost always wrong, UNLESS he's joking.

Posted by Jenny from New York on February 21, 2008 08:57 AM

i'm sorry. but it sounds semi ridiuclus. all though you have some pretty good evidence. i just don't see it possible.

Posted by Megan from New Bedford, MA on February 27, 2008 4:20 PM

So, I totally thought this was a ridiculous idea. Snape a vampire? And the clues were relatively okay. But that line when Quirrell said that 'it was useful to have snape flying around like an overgrown bat' seemed to be a clever play on words, saying that snape was batlike, but also that he was actually a bat/vampire.

Posted by rasha from lexington, sc on March 2, 2008 5:15 PM

If Snape was a vampire and he was immortal, I doubt that Nagini being a Horcrux would have made a difference. If it did, then something would be really wrong with Harry's Patronus, and destroying the Horcruxes would be all weird too, and even something as simple as expelliarmus might come across as an Unforgivable Curse...a horcrux is a soul-holder, no special side-effects involved, with the exception of Harry and Voldemort seeing into each other's minds (soul-on-soul contact).

Posted by C.J. from Utah on March 4, 2008 12:18 AM

The smell of stuffed garlics comes from Quirell's turban obviously because of Voldemort's presence.

Eline Prince couldnt have been a Vampire because unlike wearwolves, according to folklore, vampires have certain obvious charecteristics like not going out in the Sun and not eating normal food but drinking blood. Eline went to Hogwarts in her time and had these traits been present she would have definately been noted by her mates.
Snape's dad was a muggle and so by no chance at all could Snape have inherited "Vampirehood"

Yes Lupin did worry but it didn't turn out to be true that he would breed a wearwolf! This confirms that "bite" is a nescessary factor and lets asume that it is so with Vampires.

Lets turn our eyes to flokelores once more. We are told that wearwolves and vampires are mortal enemies and its only a wearwolf that can a vampire. Ofcourse Lupin & Severus were never great pals but that could be blamed on James and Sirius. Snape ofcourse harboured ill feelings towards Lupin but thats only because he was one of the Marauders. And as we see in OoP and later it was mostly James & Serius vs Severus not Snape vs Lupin.

Rowling's hints are intentional and I am including the picture she drew. Its what authors all over the world always do 'coz they want the fans to discuss their work!
She painted Snape Vampireishly till the last to present an evil image so that the "HERO SNAPE" would be a superb surprise as it was.

Posted by Sattwik from Kolkata, India on March 5, 2008 2:47 PM

The article misses the biggest clue in the Sacking of Snape chapter. When Snape makes his escape he jumps out the window. Harry looks out... "With a tingle of horror, Harry saw in the distance a huge, batlike shape flying through the darkness toward the perimeter wall."

This may have already been brought up but there are too many comments to read through.

Posted by Gary on March 8, 2008 10:26 AM

I think it's a brilliant theory! But you know what, i actually imagine Snape to be better looking than people give him credit for, so Alan Rickman is perfect for the role!

Also, another clue, when he is ed by Nagini, she leaves two puncture marks...on his neck.

Traditionally where a vampire is said to bite their victims to drink their blood...

Just a thought, but it seems ironic, which is one of the main themes in the whole series of books!

Posted by Gracie loves Snape from Hertfordshire, Britain on March 22, 2008 10:52 AM

I have only just finished reading the septology so I am late to all these issues, but I find the character of Snape fascinating. Most recently I think that Sattwick makes (or restates) a very important point. JKR wanted us to think that Snape was Harry's enemy so she described him as unpleasant and probably evil from the start. As the books progress all we find out seems to justify Harry's feeling that Snape hates him. This increases as we find out about James' bullying of Snape. So describing him as vampire-like increases this impression. This increases the impact of the revelation that Snape is in fact a hero, although a tragic one, but that is for another thread.
I don't think he is a vampire because of the eternal life factor. I think it's a bit of a joke and like the Umbridge/toad comparison.

Posted by handmaid from Birmingham - Bournville on April 4, 2008 12:05 PM

"I think it's a bit of a joke and like the Umbridge/toad comparison."

Now that's a neat idea, Handmaid! If Umbridge was an animagus, would she transform into a toad? Would Snape transform into a bat? Can you control what you turn into? It seems odd to me that anyone would actually choose to be a beetle (Rita Skeeter) or a rat. Although being a beetle was useful I guess.

And I think you're absolutely right about Rowling's descriptions of Snape as bat like. He's not a vampire. I wonder if she introduced the vampire Sanguini at Slughorn's Christmas party just to show us a real one?

Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on April 6, 2008 04:16 AM

handmaid n Elizabeth, that's a very nice question, could you turn into an animal of your choice or you'll be someone that suits your nature? Also if you try to transfigure a person into an animal it be the same as his animagus form or can be any animal you intend to turn him into. for example when in GoF, Alastor moody transfigured Draco in a ferret i wondered, if draco be an animagus ever, he be the ferret himself?

Posted by swati from India on April 6, 2008 9:44 PM

I respectfully disagree. I think the problem is that we all try to analyze JKR's intentions from the viewpoint of readers, not that of a writer.

I'm a writer, and the "batlike" description and JKR's illustration makes perfect sense to me. When developing a character, you want them to have some noticeable physical feature, something you can brand as solely belonging to that character. JKR envisioned Snape as batlike to bring him alive in her own mind, and it's only natural that she described him this way many times--it was how she saw him in her head. Doubtful it has any relation to him being a vampire.

I just don't think we can ignore JKR's comments. If you go back and look at everything she's ever said, she has never ingly misled us. Before she shut down the Snape theory, she preceded it by saying that there was just some theories that were so unprofitable that she needed to end them. I believe that's what she honestly was doing. She would have never said "Dumbledore's family is not important" to mislead us.

Sorry, but I think there's nothing here. Snape is who he is--a very intriguing, flawed, and entirely human (and not vampire:-) character.

Posted by Steve Bradley from Bloomington, IL on April 24, 2008 08:30 AM

To tell the truth, I think we're kind of being like young children that hear a figure of speech and take it literally.

Snape, to put it simply, has bad hygiene, and has an inclination to dress in black. As Steve Bradley explains it, "the 'batlike' description and JKR's illustration make perfect sense". Being a vampire would only complicate the story and add a lot of useless explanations. When JK gave Snape these features, she was trying to give him a "mean teacher, former eater" kind of look. It doesn't really mean anything.

Posted by C.J. from Utah on April 26, 2008 8:30 PM

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