Marc Burrows “For the Potter generation, Alan Rickman’s death marks the end of childhood” http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/15/harry-potter-generation-alan-rickman-snape
Snape’s whole life has been conflict and pain and risk. When he’s asked in his final days whether he still care’s for her “after all this time”, his answer is: “Always.” It’s among the last words he speaks in the series – revealed after his death – and is a totemic moment for his character.
For Potter fans, that one word became a meme all of its own, the key to Snape’s heroism. I’ve seen it on T-shirts, necklaces and tattoos, a reminder of the moment our hearts broke for Severus Snape.
For those for whom the world of Harry Potter was a silly bit of froth happening in the background, it’s hard to understand how much Snape meant to a certain generation: kids who discovered the books or the films at school, and were in their 20s by the time the series was completed.
He was ever present in their lives, first as a menace, then as a threat – then, you realise, as a protector. The character developed as the viewers and readers did, and became more complex and divisive – just as the world of adulthood is all shades of grey, compared with the right and wrong certainties of childhood.
Harry himself starts the story seeing Snape as the ultimate villain, a man who treats him unfairly, glares at him for no reason, and might actually be trying to kill him. By the end of the series, he admits Snape was the “bravest man I ever knew.”
For Potter fans – and Harry Potter fandom is at the core of some Millenials’ formative years – Snape is the heart of the story. Harry is the everyman, the eyes of the audience. But Snape represents the key themes: the power of love as the ultimate driving force, and the importance of repentance and redemption. Ultimately, Snape gives his life not for revenge or hatred, but for love.
This is why the death of Alan Rickman was felt so jarring for the Potter generation. Rickman was Snape – the most perfect piece of casting in the whole series. His unique… rhyth…mn and sardonic baritone perfectly epitomised the potions master we had seen in our minds eye all along. When Snape gave his life for Harry, for Lily, our hearts broke. And with the passing of Rickman, a small but important piece of childhood died too.
*2:See also http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20071020/1192846221 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20071106/1194327284 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20080819/1219161354 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090816/1250355437 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20091109/1257705586 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20100129/1264776284 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20160114/1452790690