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This Year’s ‘Harry Potter’ Death Apology From Rowling Was Pretty Controversial

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

J.K. Rowling, otherwise known as the lady who wrote those books about the wizard school, has an annual tradition, started in 2015, where she apologizes for a particularly unjust death that has saddened die-hard Harry Potter fans. 2015’s apology was for Fred Weasley, one half of the Weasley twins duo that throughout the series had seemed to be inseparable. Last year’s apology was for Remus Lupin, the werewolf and one-time Defense Against the Dark Arts professor who’d ended up a close ally and friend of Harry’s. Both deaths were tragic, and yet fit with Potter’s theme of victory through self-sacrifice. The apologies both garnered mournful tweets from fans who talked about what great characters they were, and how they miss them. This year’s apology, however, split the fandom right down the middle.

Cautioning fans not to go off the rails, and no doubt knowing full well that they absolutely would, Rowling tweeted that she was very sorry for killing off Severus Snape.

Snape is a point of some contention for fans. There are those who take the books more or less at face value and see his death as that of a villain-turned-tragic-hero, and then there are those who see him as a vindictive child abuser and typical Nice Guy™ who needs to leave Lily Potter the heck alone.

Regardless of where you stand on Snape Revisionism, his death was one of the most significant. A former Dark wizard who secretly turned from Voldemort in order to avenge the death of the woman he loved who unfortunately married the man he hated, and who now has to nurture their offspring that he harbors the utmost disdain for and yet JUST HAPPENS to be the Chosen One — that’s like some fabulously messed-up Greek tragedy!

Fans were, unsurprisingly, divided on this, and boy, did they let Rowling know.

Yeah, WHAT ABOUT HEDWIG, J.K.??? What did that sweet owl ever do to you? #JusticeForHedwig

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