Favorite Characters #7
Severus Snape, from Harry Potter
I got into the Harry Potter game late, reading all seven books the summer right before Deathly Hallows Part II came out in theaters. As a result, I had a lot of things spoiled for me *cough cough Dumbledore cough cough* that may have had a greater impact on me otherwise. Snape’s narrative arc was not one of these.
Let’s get one thing clear right off the bat: Snape isn’t a “good” character. Meaning that I don’t particularly admire his choices or motivation. But I do consider him a “good character.” Why? Because he’s complex, has a terrific arc, and mainly because while reading the books I somehow ended up rooting for him even though he’s a serious jerk. During my reading of the books, I actively requested (sometimes out loud and to no one in particular) that he wouldn’t become the villain in this book. Or the next. Or the next. I wanted him to be a hero so much, I was actively in denial for weeks after I read book six.
I also have a weakness for dastardly/unlikable/grey area characters and an even bigger weakness for possible redemption arcs (see: Star Wars, Thor, Inception, etc). The combination of the two landed Snape solidly at number seven.