Lily Evans: "Doesn’t your dad like magic?"
Severus Snape: "He doesn’t like anything, much."
Severus Snape discusses his father with his friend, Lily Evans.[src]

Tobias Snape was a Muggle and a member of the Snape family. He was married to Eileen Snape (née Prince), a witch, and was the father of Severus Snape.


Little is known about Tobias, but it is clear that he lived with his wife, Eileen, in a row house on Spinner's End. The fact that the house was located near a textile mill may give some indication of his profession.[1][2]

Young Snape DH2

Tobias' son, Severus

Tobias had a son, Severus, who was born on 9 January, 1960. His marriage to Eileen was fraught with tension, according to Severus, who told his friend, Lily Evans, that his parents often had arguments. Tobias and his wife may also have been incredibly neglectful, or at least extremely poor, as their son was said and claimed not to look "well cared for."[2] The thought of leaving his father to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry seemed to enthrall Severus.[2]

It seems that Tobias, a Muggle, was aware that he had married a witch. When young Lily Evans asked Severus if his father liked magic, Severus replied that Tobias didn't ever really like anything, including magic.[2] This would seem to suggest that Tobias was an incredibly sour and very unhappy man.

Tobias' ultimate fate is unknown, but Severus Snape was shown living in the family house on Spinner's End in the summer of 1996, suggesting that Tobias and his wife were either dead by this time or possibly residing somewhere else.


Tobias is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Tobiah from the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah, meaning "God is good". In the apocryphal Book of Tobit in the Old Testament, Tobias is assisted by the archangel in driving a demon away from Sarah, who subsequently became his wife.[3] Tobias Ragg is a character in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street who kills the titular character.

Behind the scenes

  • Tobias appeared in a memory which Harry Potter saw when he accidentally broke into Severus Snape's mind during an Occlumency lesson. In the memory, a man with a hooked nose is shouting at a frightened woman, while a small, dark-haired boy — Severus — cries in the corner. This memory could be evidence that he abused Eileen, Severus's mother, by the fact that she could have been abused by Tobias may have been causing her to not give the right and proper care to Severus.[4]


Notes and references

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