Severus Snape definitely has a great deal of flaws and weaknesses, and he’s overall not always a good person–but he does have some strengths.
Of all the characters from the Harry Potter series, Severus Snape is one of the most controversial. Whether fans love him or hate him, he definitely brings up intense emotions for many people who enjoyed the books. Some people are compelled by the character and his redemption arc while others believe that there’s little redeemable about him.
Severus Snape definitely has a great deal of flaws and weaknesses, and he’s overall not always a good person. However, he also has some strengths that are worth talking about.
10 Weakness: He was really sensitive
While Severus Snape might intimidate his students and seem rather scary, he’s actually rather sensitive himself. He’s one of the types of people who can dish it out but can’t really take it.
He especially lashes out at his students because he has power over them, but he still holds onto every slight that has ever been made against him even if it happened decades ago.
9 Strength: He put his life at risk to take down Voldemort
Fans of Snape usually talk about Snape switching from being a Death Eater to dedicating his life to taking down Voldemort. This did happen, but the situation and the motivations for doing so are rather complicated.
However, while his motivations might not have been pure, he did continue to stay committed to the task and risked his life, and eventually gave his life, to destroy Voldemort.
8 Weakness: He let his difficulties turn him into a cruel person
Many of the characters in Harry Potter have rather traumatic lives and childhoods. The series focuses on the theme of choices by showing similarities between characters like Harry, Snape, and Voldemort.
However, while some of the characters use what happened to them to want to help others and be more compassionate, Snape became cruel. He wanted to see others hurt just like he did, and he turned from being abused to being abusive.
7 Strength: His magic and potions making ability
While many of the points on this list are about Snape’s personality or his inherent character, he also has some strengths that have to do with his talents and skills. Snape was an amazing potions master to the point of being better at making potions than the textbook when he was only a teen.
He was also skilled at many other areas of magic, and he was overall a well-rounded and skilled wizard even if potions was his specialty.
6 Weakness: His tendency to bully others
One of the most frustrating things about Snape that makes it hard to argue for his goodness is how much of a bully he was. While he wasn’t ever particularly nice to any of the adults around him, he was a complete bully to his students.
Other than the Slytherins, Snape bullied almost anyone, especially those he saw as weak or a threat to him. From Neville to Hermione to Harry, Snape was awful.
5 Strength: He was quite smart
Given Snape’s skill at potions making, it’s not that surprising that he was smart. While Ravenclaw is the house most associated with intellect, Slytherins are known for being quite cunning.
Snape was smart, and while he didn’t always use his brain and intellect for good, when he did do so, he could be quite powerful.
4 Strength: He was very determined
Snape definitely has many of the defining traits of Slytherin house, and while this house often gets painted in a bad light, many of these traits aren’t bad at all. Snape was very determined, and while this could be channeled into bad things, it could also be directed for good.
Snape was able to put up with pretending to be back on Voldemort’s side after he came back to power, and it would have taken a lot of commitment and determination to do so.
3 Weakness: He didn’t know how to care about other people
Snape does have a side of him that seems to crave connection and care from other people, but he clearly has no idea how to get this. While he did have a real friendship with Lily in his youth, he ended up treating her cruelly and turned all of his hurt and anger toward her.
While he thought he loved Lily when he didn’t want Voldemort to kill her, his love for her was selfish.
2 Strength: He followed through on his promises
For all of Snape’s many, many faults and all of the awful things he did, he at least followed through on his promise and commitment to Dumbledore.
Many fans have rightfully criticized the fact that Snape gets turned into a kind of hero and that even Harry seems to idolize him in the end. It’s hard to believe that Snape really cared about others or was actually good, but he did at least follow through.
1 Weakness: He really only cared about himself
All of Snape’s biggest flaws can be explained by the fact that he was selfish and self-serving. Yes, he did help Dumbledore, and he was instrumental in taking down Voldemort.
However, he only did this because he himself was hurt by Lily’s death. He didn’t care about Harry and James being murdered, and he didn’t care to treat other people well. He was very selfishly motivated in everything he did.
NEXT: Harry Potter: 5 Ways Snape Should Have Been In Gryffindor (& 5 Slytherin Was The Right Choice)
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