Last week this day, the Harry Potter Fandom was left speechless with a heartbreaking news. You know what I am talking about. The death of a truly great soul – Alan Rickman.
It wasn’t one, but two people died that day – Alan Rickman and Professor Snape. I, along with many other Potterheads realised that for us, Severus Snape was actually alive through this great actor. The impact was huge considering the weight of the character Snape and the person that Alan Rickman was.
Many celebrities – Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Evanna Lynch etc – shared their experiences with Rickman and it reminded me of the day when Robin Williams died. I know! They are two entirely different entities known for entirely different things, but the weight of the sorrow was the same.
Here is an excerpt from Daniel Radcliffe’s note:
He was so encouraging of me both on set and in the years post-Potter. I’m pretty sure he came and saw everything I ever did on stage both in London and New York. He didn’t have to do that. I know other people who’ve been friends with him for much much longer than I have and they all say “if you call Alan, it doesn’t matter where in the world he is or how busy he is with what he’s doing, he’ll get back to you within a day” (Source: radiotimes.com)
This is what Evanna Lynch had to say:
He gave me the loveliest acting advice I’ve ever gotten,” Lynch wrote. “‘People think that they’re watching this’ he said waving his hand in front of his face, ‘but really they’re watching this’ and he pounded his fist on his heart centre.
While this, sums up my thoughts. The moment I heard the news, I remembered these words and with a heavy heart, I told this to my sister.
The harsh finality of death is apparent in these words. We plan things for ourselves and in a jiffy, everything ends. He was 69 when he passed. In eleven yeas’ time, we will have memes that say, ‘Today, Alan Rickman should have been sitting on his arm chair reading Harry Potter.’
Those vaguely connected to the world of Harry Potter will know that the fans weren’t really happy about the movies. To begin with, most of the cast did not match the book description. Many subtle but important parts that had to be portrayed were not shown in the movies leading to underrating of the series. If there was one thing that the fandom agreed upon, it was Snape.
Beginning with a character that was loathed by the readers and movie-goers alike, Rickman did a wonderful job spewing the hatred. The low, drawling, menacing voice, the expression that alternated between suspicion, pure hatred and nothing at all, the acts that revealed that the three protagonists weren’t in his favorites’ list were all well portrayed and there was no other to take his place. When it was made worse by Dumbledore’s murder, Snape was branded the worst villain until the moment of his death!
The truths that were revealed in that short span of time was enough to shake any Potterhead. It just took a short while for the villain to turn into a hero. The face that we loathed suddenly looked tired, helpless and pained with years of unrequited love. Severus Snape had a tender heart, buried deep somewhere beneath the black cloak. The feelings were that of Snape’s. The expressions were that of Alan Rickman’s.
Those who have read the book will agree with me. Snape and Rickman aren’t two different individuals. The latter gave form to the former and when I say Snape’s expressions, I mean Rickman’s expressions. For someone who believes that magic is real, that the world of Harry Potter is real, I believe we lost more than a person that day.
While the entire world was mourning, there were some optimists who came up with a quote said by Albus Dumbledore.
Image courtesy: Here
That had me thinking. What if Alan Rickman belonged elsewhere? His duty here was to play his part as Severus Snape and to make the character immortal. He left a part of his soul, a horcrux through the character here, and is off to create another. He isn’t truly gone. He is the most bravest and cleverest wizards of his time and unlike Voldemort, he is tender-hearted. Who else would think of creating a horcrux in a movie character?
I raise my wand to a great man. RIP Alan Rickman.