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Alan Rickman and the Heart of Darkness

tumblr_m7syd5DoVH1rwhttlo1_1280I’m not a fan of the Harry Potter movies which, as is so often the case, paled in contrast to the sheer genius of the books.  But if there was one portrayal that stood out head and shoulders above the rest, it was Alan Rickman’s pitch-perfect rendering of Severus Snape, the slippery potions-master who tormented Harry Potter throughout his career at Hogwarts while secretly protecting him from harm.

I’ll allow myself to boast that I never doubted Snape’s loyalty, even after he killed Dumbledore at the end of The Half-Blood Prince.  Mostly, I trusted the author.  J.K. Rowling did a brilliant job of developing Dumbledore’s character from the outset of the series.  If Dumbledore trusted Snape, then there was no way Snape could be a traitor.

Reportedly, Alan Rickman turned down the role initially.  He thought the character two-dimension and found no challenge in the role.  But Ms. Rowling had her heart set on him, and so she revealed to Mr. Rickman what no one else knew yet, that Snape was really Harry’s secret protector, who would ultimately give his life to save the boy from harm.

Severus-Snape-Alan-Rickman-rip-severus-snape-8361645-400-309So for all those — young and old alike — who missed the books but saw the movies, Alan Rickman brought to life the character who teaches us that no matter how dark someone may appear on the outside, there may yet reside a soul of light and goodness within.

By way of tribute, I offer this return to my recent essay on the wisdom of Harry Potter.

Read the article at: http://www.learning-mind.com/reading-harry-potter/


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