Art by Fox Estacado
In the French translations of Harry Potter, the character we know as Professor Snape is named “Rogue,” emphasizing his unpredictable, untrustworthy nature. The Snape of our imaginations wears many faces: the gnarled grimace that J.K. Rowling sketched; the bearded, pointy-featured Mary GrandPré wizard from the U.S. editions; the mournful Potter Puppet Pal Snape; even Lego Snape and Funko Pop Snape. Of course, the late, magnificent actor Alan Rickman gave us the greatest Snape portrayal of all.
But fans, too, have always shown the Snape of their imaginations. Fox Estacado’s illustration (above) gives us a Snape with a sensual sweep of robes covering all but the grim set of his chin and the elegant, intimate beauty of his exposed hands.
Liz Mattison, who also created the cover illustration for Snape: A Definitive Reading, emphasizes the vulnerable side of Snape. The narrow shoulders and loneliness remind us that this man, who always seemed aged and embittered, was only 31 at the start of the story.
ShockingBlankets creates a sympathetic portrait revealing the greatest of Snape’s secrets: how he survived his triple workload as Death Eater, teacher, and spy. The to-do list on his parchment reads:
Death Eater meeting
Order of the Phoenix meeting
Grade Potions essays
Slytherin House Cup strategy
Career advice for Slytherin seniors
Occlumency lesson plan
Hermione Granger’s extra credit essay to grade
Restock Madam Pomfrey’s potions
Pick up Dumbledore’s dry cleaning