There have been many noble efforts to explain Professor Snape’s apparent callousness in the Harry Potter books over the years, including from JK Rowling herself.
But this latest observation might take some pondering – because it seems Snape’s choice of detentions were even more cruel than we at first realised.
The Reddit post below points out that every time Snape held a detention for Gryffindor students, he made them cut up animals. Not only that, he made them cut up animals that they kept as pets.
Neville Longbottom, for example, spent a less than productive period disembowelling a barrel of horned toads after melting his cauldron in Potions class. He also owned a pet toad called Trevor.
This isn’t the only time Snape pulled this trick. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Ron and Harry are made to pickle rat brains in the dungeons for two solid hours.
Ron, of course, had a pet rat called Scabbers. The less said about that particular vermin at this stage the better, but still, the point stands.
As the Reddit post says, “Kinda adds an extra level of malice to their detention.”
Noticed something about Snape’s detentions. from harrypotter
However, there is a caveat in all this (there always is with Snape). Another poster has pointed out that later in the series, in the Deathly Hallows, Snape punishes Ginny, Neville and Luna by sending them into the Forbidden Forest.
This at first glance seems horrible, but remember, by this point the Death Eater Carrows were deputy headmaster and headmistress at Hogwarts, and could have done far more awful things to the three pupils if they were left in their hands. Perhaps even the Forbidden Forest was an act of mercy by that stage…
So, does this latest grain of knowledge change your opinion of Snape? Animal or angel?