Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

by

J. K. Rowling

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Severus Snape Character Analysis

The Potions professor at Hogwarts, and a longtime member of the Order of the Phoenix. Cold and enigmatic, Snape is still nursing his resentment for being bullied by James Potter during his time at Hogwarts, which he expresses by treating Harry with malice and cruelty. His conduct, as well as the knowledge that he once belonged to Voldemort’s Death Eaters, causes Harry to loathe the professor and suspect him of aiding the Dark wizard. However, he’s unable to shake Dumbledore’s trust in him; in remaining loyal to Snape, the headmaster shows Harry his faith in the possibility of personal transformation and redemption. At the end of the novel, Snape kills Dumbledore and appears to help the Death Eaters who have infiltrated Hogwarts. This shocking act seems to confirm Harry’s belief that those who have once been evil can’t change their ways; however, it also foregrounds one of the most important revelations of Deathly Hallows.

Severus Snape Quotes in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince quotes below are all either spoken by Severus Snape or refer to Severus Snape. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scholastic edition of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince published in 2006.
Chapter Sixteen: A Very Frosty Christmas Quotes

“You are determined to hate him, Harry,” said Lupin with a faint smile. “And I understand; with James as your father, with Sirius as your godfather, you have inherited an old prejudice. By all means tell Dumbledore what you have told Arthur and me, but do not expect him to share your view of the matter…”

Page Number: 333
Explanation and Analysis:
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Severus Snape Character Timeline in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The timeline below shows where the character Severus Snape appears in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Two: Spinner’s End
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The door opens and Severus Snape greets the first woman as Narcissa and the second, more coldly, as Bellatrix. They enter... (full context)
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With a deep breath, Narcissa says that Snape is the only person who can help her, even though she’s been told not to... (full context)
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Smiling, Snape responds that the Dark Lord has asked him each of these questions. He asks if... (full context)
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Next, Snape explains why he seemed to be aiding Dumbledore throughout the years of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts... (full context)
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Enraged, Bellatrix insists that she is Voldemort’s favorite disciple. Smirking, Snape asks if this is still the case after the recent disaster at the Ministry; Bellatrix... (full context)
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Finally, Bellatrix demands to know why he hasn’t killed Harry Potter yet. Snape admits that, like many of Voldemort’s followers, he once thought that, by defeating him, Harry... (full context)
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Skeptically, Bellatrix asks if Dumbledore still has no idea of Snape’s true loyalties. Snape responds that Dumbledore’s “greatest weakness” is his insistence on thinking the best... (full context)
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Turning to Narcissa, Snape asks what kind of help she needs. Falteringly, she explains that the Dark Lord has... (full context)
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...that the Dark Lord has chosen Draco for this project in order to punish Lucius. Snape confirms that the Dark Lord is very angry with Lucius over his failure at the... (full context)
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Picking Narcissa up and returning her to her seat, Snape says that he might be able to help Draco along the way. Kneeling before him... (full context)
Chapter Eight: Snape Victorious
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...descends down to the gate; with loathing, Harry sees that it’s none other than Professor Snape who’s come to fetch him. He taunts Tonks that her new Patronus looks “weak,” eliciting... (full context)
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As Harry walks up the hill with Snape, it seems that his body is “generating waves of hatred.” He feels that Snape’s taunting... (full context)
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...logistical announcements, Dumbledore reveals that Professor Slughorn has been hired to teach Potions, while Professor Snape will take over Defense Against the Dark Arts. Shocked that his nemesis is getting the... (full context)
Chapter Nine: The Half-Blood Prince
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Next, McGonagall turns to Harry and informs him that while Snape only accepts advanced students with Outstanding O.W.L. results, his grade will qualify him to continue... (full context)
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...up with Hermione, who’s already loaded down with homework. In Defense Against the Dark Arts, Snape has already turned his classroom into a dark lair. In his sinister voice, Snape describes... (full context)
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Snape asks who can name the advantages of non-verbal spell-casting. Although Hermione answers immediately and correctly,... (full context)
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Grabbing Ron’s wand, Snape turns on Harry to “demonstrate;” reacting instinctively, Harry casts a Shield Charm that knocks Snape... (full context)
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...is pleased, since the lesson is scheduled at the same time as his detention with Snape. For the rest of their break, the trio speculate on the kinds of spells Dumbledore... (full context)
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...that someone has scrawled along the back cover, “This book is the property of the Half-Blood Prince .” (full context)
Chapter Ten: The House of Gaunt
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To Hermione’s increasing frustration, Harry continues to follow the Half-Blood Prince ’s instructions and becomes even more beloved by Professor Slughorn. He’s becoming more curious about... (full context)
Chapter Eleven: Hermione’s Helping Hand
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Since Harry has detention with Snape soon, the trio hurry up to the Great Hall for dinner. On the way in... (full context)
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...to him. For once, Harry is happy to announce that he has detention with Professor Snape, but Slughorn jets out to “persuade” Severus to rearrange it. Hermione hopes anxiously that she... (full context)
Chapter Twelve: Silver and Opals
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Suddenly, Harry remembers seeing his father perform this very spell when he briefly dived into Snape’s memories last year. He wonders aloud if his father was the Half-Blood Prince, but Hermione... (full context)
Chapter Thirteen: The Secret Riddle
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...the necklace with an ungloved hand, she would have died instantly. It was only Professor Snape who was able to stop the curse from spreading. (full context)
Chapter Fifteen: The Unbreakable Vow
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...reappears and begins telling the crowd what a gifted potioneer Harry is. To Harry’s horror, Snape appears and remarks suspiciously that he’s never shown much aptitude before. Fortunately, Snape’s attention is... (full context)
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Harry slips away from the party, as well, donning his Invisibility Cloak and following Snape and Draco down the corridor. He hears Snape warning Draco that he can’t afford to... (full context)
Chapter Sixteen: A Very Frosty Christmas
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Home at the Burrow for Christmas, Ron still can’t quite believe that Snape was offering Draco help. Their conference is interrupted by the entrance of Fred and George,... (full context)
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...as Remus Lupin, who is listening in – about the overheard conference between Draco and Snape. Immediately, Mr. Weasley suggests that Snape was just pretending to help him. Lupin severely points... (full context)
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...belonged to his father – although Harry once saw James using the Levicorpus spell in Snape’s memories, it was an extremely popular jinx at the time and lots of people used... (full context)
Chapter Seventeen: A Sluggish Memory
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However, when Harry repeats the overheard conversation between Snape and Draco, Dumbledore seems unsurprised and urges Harry to forget about it. He’s even a... (full context)
Chapter Eighteen: Birthday Surprises
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...a list of popular antidotes in the book, the Prince has scrawled “bezoars.” Harry remembers Snape describing this magical stone as a protection from most poison, so he retrieves one from... (full context)
Chapter Nineteen: Elf Tails
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...to shut down the school. Hagrid muses that it’s no wonder Dumbledore is mad at Snape – before realizing he shouldn’t speak of this to Harry and clamming up. However, when... (full context)
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...Harry sits in the common room to think. He hypothesizes that Dumbledore is angry because Snape has failed to investigate Draco’s actions sufficiently. He wonders why Dumbledore told him that his... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-One: The Unknowable Room
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...Defense Against the Dark Arts he loses ten points for Gryffindor and is taunted by Snape for insufficiently answering a question on the difference between ghosts and Inferi. (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Three: Horcruxes
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...It was in this endeavor that Dumbledore injured his hand, and only because of Professor Snape’s timely magic did he not sustain more serious injuries. (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Four: Sectumsempra
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...Sectumsempra. Blood starts pouring from Draco’s face and body and he falls back limply. Suddenly, Snape bursts into the room, shoves Harry aside, and bends over Draco’s body to repair the... (full context)
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Shocked at what he’s done, Harry obeys. When Snape returns, he coldly asks where Harry has learned this spell, and Harry lies that he... (full context)
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Panting, Harry finally arrives at the bathroom and presents his book to Snape, who immediately discerns that Harry has swapped books when he sees Ron’s name inside. Snape... (full context)
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Hermione feels vindicated, saying that the Half-Blood Prince must be a sinister character to come up with such spells. As she and Harry... (full context)
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...he’s regretting his actions and desperately wishing he were on the Quidditch pitch. He finds Snape’s office piled with dusty boxes containing the records of old detentions, which Snape orders Harry... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Five: The Seer Overheard
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...understanding the importance of her words, she mentions that the interview was interrupted by Severus Snape, who was caught eavesdropping at the door. Harry stops in shock, realizing that it was... (full context)
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...wrong and questions him – whereupon Harry bursts out that Dumbledore knew all along that Snape revealed the prophecy to Voldemort and still let him teach at the school all these... (full context)
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Quietly, Dumbledore tells Harry that Snape made a “terrible mistake” by working with the Death Eaters and revealing the prophecy; his... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Seven: The Lightning-Struck Tower
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...Hogsmeade with Dumbledore, who immediately sinks to the ground and tells Harry to find Professor Snape. He’s about to run up to Hogwarts when Madam Rosmerta comes running out of her... (full context)
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...the astronomy tower where the Dark Mark has appeared. Dumbledore orders Harry to summon Professor Snape and return to the tower. Under the Invisibility Cloak, he’s about to run down the... (full context)
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...seems to derive “courage and comfort” from the praise. Dumbledore says that he’s ordered Professor Snape to spy on Draco all year; even when Draco sneeringly says that Snape is a... (full context)
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Suddenly Snape himself appears at the top of the stairs. The Death Eaters turn to him, wanting... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Eight: Flight of the Prince
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Harry can’t believe his eyes. He sees Snape grab Draco and lead him down the stairs before realizing that he can now move... (full context)
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Pursued by two Death Eaters, Harry runs toward the entrance of the castle behind Snape and Draco. The doors have been blasted open and students are milling about in fright... (full context)
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...with the Cruciatus Curse and he falls to the ground, screaming – only to hear Snape reminding them that Voldemort wants to kill Harry himself. The other Death Eaters leave and... (full context)
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...flames. Hagrid doesn’t seem too perturbed by the break-in until, with difficulty, Harry announces that Snape has just killed Dumbledore. Even then Hagrid doesn’t believe him, saying the headmaster must have... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-Nine: Phoenix Lament
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...Mr. Weasleyand Mrs. Weasley are on their way. Again, Harry has to tell her that Snape killed Dumbledore. McGonagall is astonished, since the headmaster always implied he had an “ironclad reason”... (full context)
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...halls with other members of the Order when the Death Eaters arrived and she summoned Snape for extra help. Harry explains that they used the Vanishing Cabinet to enter the castle.... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Hermione says that she and Luna were lurking outside Snape’s office when Flitwick burst inside to alert him about the Death Eaters. Snape came rushing... (full context)
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...Ginny, and the other Order members discuss the details of the battle, while Harry imagines Snape running towards the battlements. When he emerged from the tower, none of the Order members... (full context)
Chapter Thirty: The White Tomb
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...Prince. After doing some more research she found that Eileen Prince grew up to become Snape’s mother. Since his father was a Muggle, Snape took his mother’s name when coming up... (full context)
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Harry bitterly reflects that he should’ve shown the book to Dumbledore, who might have recognized Snape’s writing and been alerted to his evil nature. Hermione says quietly that “evil” is too... (full context)