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Top 10 Severus Snape Moments in Harry Potter

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Joey Turner
These are the best Severus Snape moments! For this list, we’re paying tribute to the snarky, brooding, hook-nosed potions master and his most iconic moments from both the books and movies. We’d also like to dedicate this video to the late Alan Rickman, who brought the role of Severus Snape to life through all eight “Harry Potter” film adaptations. Warning: if you somehow haven’t read the books and seen the movies, there WILL be spoilers. We’ve included Snapes quidditch save, the tension in the shrieking shack, duelling club, occiumency lessons, the first potion class and more!
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Top 10 Severus Snape Moments in Harry Potter


Is he a sinner or a saint? Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Severus Snape Moments in Harry Potter.

For this list, we’re paying tribute to the snarky, brooding, hook-nosed potions master and his most iconic moments from both the books and movies. We’d also like to dedicate this video to the late Alan Rickman, who brought the role of Severus Snape to life through all eight “Harry Potter” film adaptations. Warning: if you somehow haven’t read the books and seen the movies, there WILL be spoilers.



#10: Snape’s Quidditch Save

“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (AKA “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone”) (2001)




During a Quidditch match in his first year, Harry’s broomstick starts jerking out of control, threatening to knock the young seeker off. Noticing Snape making eye contact with Harry and mumbling under his breath, Hermione and Ron believe that he is jinxing Harry’s broom. However, near the end of the book and movie, we learn that Snape was actually uttering counter-curses to stop the broom, while Professor Quirrell was the one trying to get Harry killed. You really can’t judge a book by its cover – stuttering Quirrell was really a traitorous snake, and grouchy old Snape was looking out for Harry the whole time.



#9: Tension in the Shrieking Shack

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004)




Harry, Ron, and Hermione are confronting Professor Lupin and alleged murderer Sirius Black in the Shrieking Shack when Snape arrives to take things into his own hands. Snape had suspected Lupin was helping Sirius sneak into Hogwarts… but this is more personal than some criminal accusations. Snape had a bitter feud with Lupin, Sirius, and Harry’s father, James, when they were in school, and those old grudges are back with a vengeance. Unfortunately, the only way to cool Snape’s heated temper is to literally knock him out. This scene gives us some insight into Snape’s past and makes us sympathize with him just a little.



#8: Duelling Club

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002)




During Harry’s second year, Snape is paired with Gilderoy Lockhart – the hapless Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher – to lead the first meeting of the Duelling Club. During the demonstration, Snape effortlessly knocks the arrogant Lockhart off his feet with just one spell – a spell that would later help Harry. On top of that, when things in the club get out of control, Lockhart only makes things worse while Snape is the one who fixes things. Lockhart has boasted all year about his so-called “accomplishments”, and Snape – a wizard with actual skills – manages to put him in his place, proving who’s actually better suited to teach students to defend themselves.



#7: “Turn Out Your Pockets”

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004)




Harry sneaks around with the Marauder’s Map Fred and George gave him. It seems like he can get away with it… at least, until a certain potions master catches on. Snape forces Harry to reveal the map, but a failsafe makes it so that the parchment only insults Snape rather than show its hidden contents. Once again, Snape’s old grudges are on display: insulting James Potter in front of his own son, saying how alike they are in the worst ways – only to get punked by an enchanted map by his schoolyard bullies. Harry would’ve been in even worse trouble if Professor Lupin hadn’t stepped in and saved him.



#6: Occlumency Lessons

“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2007)




With Harry’s newfound connection to Voldemort’s psyche, Snape is tasked with teaching the young wizard to clear his mind and block the Dark Lord from reading his thoughts. These private weekly lessons involve Snape diving into Harry’s mind, and Harry trying to resist him… with little success. Unfortunately, their mutual loathing for each other make the lessons feel like a waste of time – especially for Snape, since Harry can’t control his emotions. Snape angrily cancels the lessons when Harry accidentally discovers Snape’s past, where he was bullied by Harry’s father, James. Even though he leaves Harry vulnerable, we can’t really blame Snape after having his worst memory exposed.



#5: “Severus, Please”

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2009)




High up on the Astronomy Tower, Draco Malfoy had Professor Dumbledore cornered, and was prepared to kill him… but hesitates. Snape steps in and kills Dumbledore himself in one of the franchise’s most shocking moments. Enraged, Harry fires ineffective spells at Snape – including one that Snape created as the Half-Blood Prince – and accuses him of murdering the man who trusted him. What Harry doesn’t realize was that Dumbledore was on borrowed time anyway, and had asked Snape to end his life so Malfoy wouldn’t have to. It was the only way to gain Voldemort’s trust and spy on him from the inside – while also saving Malfoy’s soul from being tainted by murder.



#4: “Turn to Page 394”

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004)




Before becoming the potions master at Hogwarts, Snape had originally hoped to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts, but was rejected for the position multiple times. During Harry’s third year, however, Snape finally gets his chance – substituting for the absent Professor Lupin. Instead of the normal lesson plan, Snape teaches the class about werewolves, while not hesitating to dock points from Gryffindor at every opportunity. We later learn the real reason why he teaches his students about werewolves: to see if they’d catch on about their beloved Lupin’s secret condition.



#3: “Look At Me”

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” (2011)




Up to this point, Snape played the part of one of Voldemort’s most loyal servants flawlessly. Too bad the Dark Lord’s only true loyalty is to himself. He believes that the Elder Wand – a wand with unmatched power – cannot serve him properly as long as Snape is alive. Voldemort commands Nagini to attack Snape, ripping at his throat, and leaving him to die. After Voldemort leaves, Harry goes to his dying teacher’s side. Snape asks him to take the memories flowing out of him so that Harry can learn the truth about his allegiances. Snape dies while looking into Harry’s eyes, recalling those of the woman he loved: Harry’s mother, Lily.



#2: First Potions Class

“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (AKA “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone”) (2001)




First impressions are very important… too bad Snape didn’t make a good one in Harry’s first year at Hogwarts. In the first potions class of the year, Snape demonstrates both his passion for the subject, and also how hard of a teacher he really is – showing favoritism towards Slytherin and embarrassing Harry in front of the class by singling out his celebrity status. Just one bad day in class was enough to cement Snape and Harry’s ongoing conflict. The professor’s loathing for James Potter affected his attitude towards his son, creating tension from the very beginning.



Before we reveal the very best of Snape, here are a few honorable mentions.



Berating Harry and Ron

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002)



Neville’s Boggart

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004)



How to deal with noisy students

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2005)



#1: “Always”

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” (2011)




Before Snape dies, he asks Harry to examine his memories… and he is in for a shock. The majority of Snape’s life flashes before his eyes – how Snape fell in love with Harry’s mother, Lily; how he begged Dumbledore to protect the Potters from Voldemort; becoming a double agent; and how he promised to protect Harry in secrecy. Topping it off, he STILL loves Lily after all these years. Harry and Snape’s feud has been essential to the series. But at last, Harry sees the brooding professor for what he really is: a complex soul motivated by love, and one of the bravest men Harry will ever know.
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