Severus Snape's portrait is a painting that hangs in the Headmaster's office of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, this portrait depicts Professor Severus Snape.

As Headmaster of the school during the 1997–1998 school year, Severus Snape had the right to have his portrait hung posthumously in the Headmaster's office; however, since he appeared to have abandoned his post, it didn't automatically appear there prior to his death.

Harry Potter revealed Snape's true intentions and motives shortly before Voldemort's death, and was instrumental in ensuring that the portrait found its rightful place among the school's previous Headmasters;[1] following a private conversation with Harry, Headmistress McGonagall took the decision to add Snape's portrait to the gallery, which was met with some controversy.[2]

Behind the scenes

  • Snape's portrait was shown in a Saturday Night Live skit that featured Daniel Radcliffe playing Harry Potter. Snape was portrayed by SNL cast member Bill Hader, instead of by Alan Rickman.  [3]
  • It is unknown what practical purpose it would have to place a portrait of Professor Snape in the Headmaster's Office, since the portrait of the current Headmaster or Headmistress in question are kept in order to teach the portrait to speak and act like its living counterpart. As Severus Snape died and his portrait did not come up by itself, its likely that Professor Snape's portrait possessed little to no knowledge of its subject's life. However, it is also possible that others somehow managed to do it, or that Severus Snape himself kept his own portrait in the cupboard and throughout the year already had spent much time "educating" it for its purpose, and that it simply was not placed on the wall because Snape abandoned the position rather than resigning. It is likely that it was merely hung there for representative purposes.


Notes and references

  1. JK Rowling Deathly Hallows Web Chat: "J.K. Rowling: However, I like to think that Harry would be instrumental in ensuring that Snape’s portrait would appear there in due course."
  2. Pottermore Presents - Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, Chapter 1 (Minerva McGonagall)
  3. [1]

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