Each year, on the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, J.K. Rowling takes to social media to apologize for killing a fan-favorite character. It’s an annual tradition now in its third year. In years past, Rowling has said she’s sorry for killing Fred Weasley and Remus Lupin. This year, her pick was more controversial than ever: Severus Snape.

Harry Potter fans are, not surprisingly, divided on whether or not she should’ve apologized for Snape’s death.

There’s the anti-Snape faction who would’ve preferred Rowling apologize for killing off another character they view as more deserving…

And then there’s the pro-Snape set who are joining with her honoring their fallen hero…

Rowling shouldn’t apologize for killing Snape, but not because he was a bad guy.

Snape is the tragic anti-hero of the Harry Potter story. He was mistreated by those around him. He saw the love of his life, Lily Potter, die at the hands of the Dark Lord. Later, he put his own life in danger each and every day in order to preserve the life of her son, Harry. All of this in secret — without acknowledgment or appreciation.

And finally, for the cause, he would be asked to take the life of the one man who knew his secret, Albus Dumbledore — the one person who knew who he truly was.

Of all the characters in Harry’s story, Snape made the ultimate sacrifice. He sacrificed even more than Dumbledore, the leader of the cause. While they both gave their lives in the fight against evil, Dumbledore’s life was mostly a fulfilling one. Snape, while working as a double agent for the Order of the Phoenix, must’ve spent much of his life in turmoil and fear.

Snape’s sacrifice was the greatest of all. And, more importantly, Snape embraced his noble end. That’s something that should be proudly recognized in the face of loss, not apologized for.

Brian Linder
Brian Linder is Sr. Entertainment Editor at FANDOM. He's been on the fan-media scene since dial-up. Arriving at FANDOM from IGN, Brian was a founding editor at early Star Wars fansite TheForce.net and co-creator of the movie site, FilmForce, acquired in 2006. He's into space operas and superheroes.