The death of the headmaster, Dumbledore, was one of the saddest moments in Harry Potter. We witness it in the movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Not long after the death of Sirius Black, fans lost another favorite character. The death of Dumbledore led fans to tears and sorrow. Dumbledore was a powerful wizard, who even Voldemort feared. So, his death was sure to bring many changes in the life of different characters.
So, why did Snape kill Dumbledore?
We all know that Snape is not a favorite character in Harry Potter but Dumbledore trusted him. So, how did the trusted person of Dumbledore end up killing him?
As we inspected, there were different reasons that led to one after another. First of all, it is important to know the relationship between Snape and Dumbledore.
Snape and Dumbledore’s Relationship Explained
We can consider Snape and Dumbledore’s relationship, as friends from foes.
Snape and Dumbledore didn’t have much respect for each other at the beginning. After Snape joined hands with the Dark Lord the respect turned into hatred. Dumbledore considered him a terrorist. They were each other’s enemies.
Later Snape asked for Dumbledore’s help. He asked him to help him to protect the love of his life, Lily from the Dark Lord. Although Lily lost her life, Dumbledore still saw a chance to redeem Snape. So, he took this chance and asked Snape to protect Lily’s son, Harry.
This brought a change in their relationship. A bright light of trust and loyalty started to grow between them. Dumbledore tried his best to keep Snape away from the bad influence of the Death Eaters. Snape also tried his best as a teacher at Hogwarts.
Even after Voldemort returned, their relationship didn’t change. Snape tried his best to protect the innocent from the Dark Lord. He worked as a double agent between Voldemort and Dumbledore. He wanted to keep Harry and other innocent students safe from Voldemort.
So, from enemy to best friends forever?
Why did Snape kill Dumbledore?
We’ve learned about the friendship between Dumbledore and Snape. We can conclude that Snape never had the motive of killing anyone. He might still be one of the death eaters but his love for Harry’s mother still kept the good in him alive.
There are three possible reasons that led to Snape killing Dumbledore.
Dumbledore asked Snape to do so
At the last moment of Dumbledore, he says “Severus….Please…”, then Severus raises his wand and says the curse “Avada Kedavra”, which kills the headmaster.
For many new fans, this might seem like a plea to save him but it was not. When he said “please”, he was likely saying “Please, kill me.”
So, why does Dumbledore want Snape to kill him? The truth is later revealed in the movie franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
In the movie, we see different memories of Snape. The reason why Snape kills Dumbledore is also revealed.
One reason is that Dumbledore was on the verge of death. He didn’t have much life left in him. So, Snape killed Dumbledore out of mercy. He prevented the headmaster from a humiliating and painful death in the future.
Why would Dumbledore die a humiliating death? This question sure popped up in your mind. Don’t worry, we are going to answer that as well. First of all, let’s look at another reason why Dumbledore wanted Snape to kill him.
Dumbledore didn’t want Draco Malfoy’s soul to become dark and become one of the Death Eaters. He knew that Voldemort gave Malfoy the task to kill him. If he didn’t succeed in doing so then he and his family would lose their life.
If Malfoy did succeed in killing him then it would make him a murderer. The elder wand that Dumbledore owned would also belong to Draco. He didn’t want that to happen. He also didn’t want to die at the hand of his beloved student.
Proved his Loyalty to Voldemort
As we have mentioned above, Snape was a double agent for Voldemort and for Dumbledore. He would keep the headmaster updated about all the moves of the Dark Lord and the Death Eaters.
As a spy to Voldemort as well, he would only provide the information that he got only from Voldemort. So, as a double agent, Dumbledore knew that Snape would prove his loyalty toward the Dark Lord by taking his life.
This allowed Snape to keep his identity as a double agent. Voldemort was sure that Snape was on his side after he killed Dumbledore.
Unbreakable Vow between Draco’s mother Narcissa Malfoy
We know that Voldemort ordered Draco Malfoy to kill the headmaster. If he was unable to do so then he and his whole family would lose their life to the Dark Lord.
Draco’s mother, Narcissa, feared that her son wouldn’t be able to complete the mission. This would anger the Dark Lord. So, at the beginning of the movie we see Draco’s mother along with Belatrix visiting Snape.
Snape made an unbreakable vow with her. The vow meant that Snape would also lose his life if Draco was unable to complete his mission and had to lose his life. So, Snape had his life on the line which gave him no other choice than help Draco completes his mission.
Why was Dumbledore dying?
There were two things that were making Dumbledore weak from the inside. One was the curse from Marvolo Gaunt’s Rings.
The ring was the heirloom of the House of Gaunt. Salazaar Slytherin, along with Cadmus Reverall, inherited it as an heirloom. The gold ring was a signet ring that was set with black stone, which was also called Resurrection stone.
Later, Tom Riddle, also later known as Voldemort, managed to steal the ring from Morvin Gaunt. Tom made the ring into his second Horcrux.
He also placed a curse on the ring which would kill the one who dared to wear it. Dumbledore made the mistake of wearing it. He wore it with the motive of redeeming his family and changing his past mistakes but it backfired.
The effect of the ring started immediately. Since he was a powerful wizard he contained the curse from taking his life. With the help of Snape, he slowed down the effect of the curse. It gave Dumbledore a year to live.
Later, Dumbledore also drank the Emerald potion. Why you might ask? It was to help Harry destroy the Horcrux as he promised him to do. To do so, it was important for someone to drink the potion to destroy the Horcrux.
The potion didn’t have the ability to kill the victim but it made the drinker vulnerable and weak. After drinking the potion Dumbledore had to suffer great pain.
So, Dumbledore would have died sooner or later. Snape killing him eased his pain and prevented him from a humiliating death.
Snape’s Emotions when killing Dumbledore
Snape had good motivation when killing Dumbledore. He spared Dumbledore from a humiliating and painful death in the future. It was out of loyalty that he decided to take such actions.
Snape was aware of the situation that Dumbledore was in. Although he killed him out of mercy, it was not an easy task for him.
But many fans still argue that he had other motives. They argue that he did it out of hatred and anger towards Dumbledore. The angry expression many saw in the movie resulted in fans thinking so.
The curse that Snape used also required the user to have a genuine will to harm the other person. It was an unforgettable curse. It required lots of power, emotion, and concentration from the user.
So, was that the expression of anger and hatred?
What seems like the hatred and anger shown by Snape is actually his sorrow and the pain of killing his friend. It was not his strong will to harm Dumbledore that made it possible for him to cast the unforgivable curse.
He had to muster up great courage to cast the spell. We can consider that he was rather mad at Dumbledore for putting him in a situation where he had to kill his dear old friend. This also shows how much he cared about Dumbledore.
After the death of Dumbledore
Even after the death of Dumbledore, Snape didn’t change his will to protect Harry from Voldemort. He still tried to protect Harry even after being a so-called loyal member of the death eaters.
He was later made the headmaster of Hogwarts. He utilized his power in protecting the students from the Death Eaters. He did so without looking suspicious to the Death Eaters.
Does Dumbledore come back to life?
Some fans argue that Dumbledore might come back to life because Harry Potter sees him in his vision.
Yet, Albus Dumbledore doesn’t come back to life and won’t come in the future as well.
Snape was a good person. He was a close friend of Dumbledore. Although they didn’t start on good terms, they later built a great bond.
Snape never hated Dumbledore and never wanted to hurt him. Due to a different situation, he had to murder his close friends. But as we get to know, it was a merciful act of Snape towards Dumbledore. He did so to prevent him from facing humiliating and painful death.
Dumbledore believed that Snape would never change from his word. He trusted Snape and believed that he would protect Harry with all his life. So, he was happy to die from Snape’s hand.
This concludes Snape was never a bad person, even when killing the headmaster. He never had ill motives toward the members of Hogwarts or Harry Potter.