Recently, a theory posted online highlighted our never-ending obsession with all things Hogwarts by turning a lot about what we know about Severus Snape on its head. Redditor peanutsbeta posted the following musings on the website, igniting yet another discussion about one of the most elusive, and often misunderstood, characters of the wizarding series.
This time, the suggestion is that Snape might have not been as accomplished in Occlumency as we might have previously thought — relive the moment he enters Harry's mind in Order of the Phoenix:
As fans of the series know, Occlumency is the act of magically closing the mind against Legilimency, the magical ability to read other people's thoughts or feelings.
Although Albus Dumbledore clearly trusted Snape to teach Harry the method, this particular theory claims that the Potions professor was never really that good at it. Here's what was said:
"In 'Order of the Phoenix,' as he is teaching Harry how to use occlumency to prevent Voldemort from entering his mind, Snape stresses control over ones thoughts and emotions is the key. But Snape exhibits surprisingly little control over his."
And the Redditor does have a point! For a wizard who is regarded to be exceptionally skilled in the field, Snape does tend to lose control of his emotions rather often. For example, this occurs any time he's in the same room as Sirius Black, whenever he thinks about James Potter, and most instances when he's talking to Harry throughout all seven books and movies.
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For one of the best occlumens out there, Snape loses his cool quite a lot and often when he's not even being provoked. Furthermore, peanutsbeta makes this point:
"When Snape is teaching Harry, a simple protection charm gives Harry access to Snape's mind. A basic spell can overcome Snape's protections."
Naturally though, this leads to the following question: If Harry can breach Snape's mind with a simple spell and get past Snape's mental defenses, how come Lord Voldemort (who is also a highly skilled Legilimens) isn't also able to see what he's really up to? Thankfully, this Reddit theory provides an answer:
"What ultimately drives Voldemort out of Harry's mind is his grief at the loss of Sirius. Voldemort can't abide being in the same mind as someone who is experiencing strong love. Its also important to note that Voldemort doesn't realize that love drives him out of Harry's mind. He just thinks he couldn't control him for some reason."
It's All About Love
Ultimately, it is Snape's unconditional love for Lily Potter that prevents the Dark Lord from penetrating his mind to discover where Severus's true loyalties lie. And interestingly, this works both ways — on the flip side, Albus Dumbledore knows he can trust Snape because he has no issues with delving into a mind full of warmth and affection. As a result, he can read Snape's intentions for what they really are —good.
Ultimately, once again J. K. Rowling proves that it all comes down to the power of love in battling evil:
Do you agree with this Harry Potter theory?