When one of the most memorable characters in the Harry Potter universe dies in this summer’s Deathly Hallows finale, expect the tragic killing to play out a little bit differently than it did in J.K. Rowling’s novel. Needless to say, massive spoilers lie ahead.
Still with us? This is your last warning!
The character we’re talking about is none other than potions master Severus Snape, the snarling wizard who eventually becomes the Defense against the Dark Arts teacher and, in the wake of murdering Professor Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts. As one of Lord Voldemort’s most trusted advisors, Snape becomes an invaluable if unappreciated and misunderstood asset in the war against the Dark Lord, a fact that comes to a startling conclusion when the self-proclaimed Heir of Slytherin kills Snape inside of the Shrieking Shack. An invisible Harry witnesses the murder, but there’s redemption for Snape: before he dies, he gives his memories to Harry, proving once and for all which side he was really on all of this time.
Now, it appears that there will be some changes to the scene when Deathly Hallows: Part 2 rolls into theaters next summer. Art director Andrew Ackland-Snow explains in an interview caught by Harry Potter News and Rumors (via Collider):
“We wanted to change a bit where Snape dies. In the book, he dies on the Shrieking Shack, and we wanted to get him out from, not a conventional interior, but from that kind of box, to do it in a more dramatic atmosphere. We asked J.K. if she agreed for that to happen in there, because we hadn’t really seen it before. We made a crystal house, and you can see what happens in the boat house from there – Are you listening Harry? -, but also the school is in flames…and she loved it. Besides, it’s a very romantic place to die. Snape dies in a extremely good way, I gotta say.”
I always thought the Shrieking Shack was a strange and out-of-the-way place for Snape to die, particularly in the heat of the battle for Hogwarts. Letting him take his last breath a little bit closer to the school grounds seems like a wise choice, especially given the way Ackland-Snow talks about the visual components of the scene. For me, it’s not where Snape dies that matters — if the scene plays out mostly the same albeit with a new location, I’ll be more than satisfied. How about you?
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