ByMona Torgersen, writer at
Staff Writer, lover of all things fantastical and supporter of House Martell. Follow me on twitter @monatorgersen
Mona Torgersen

When J.K. Rowling first revealed that Snape was still clinging on to his love for Lily after all those years the Potterhead community was stunned. The civil war of the fandom escalated to new heights as the Potterheads fought among each other, arguing which character is the best. The battle field trembled the moment we read Snape's memories and Team Snape recruited new members every day, the word 'always' becoming their silent war cry.

Whether you're Team Harry, Team Snape or Team Madam Pomfrey you can't deny that this was one of the biggest plot twists of the entire series, and one of the best kept secrets in the Wizarding World. The fact that not even Lord Voldemort himself knew about it says something about Snape's occlumency skills.

While the movies are all finished and the last book was published a whopping eight years ago (it's okay to feel old now) the Harry Potter fandom is still going strong, especially now that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is scheduled in cinemas next year and the tickets for the theatrical sequel Cursed Child sold out immediately after their release.

A new interpretation

I'm sure you all remember Harry's first Potions lesson, when Snape took the opportunity to humiliate Harry for his lack of knowledge. Snape was introduced as the bitter teacher who rejoiced in Harry's misery. But could Snape have sent a secret message? If we are to believe Tumblr user tomhiddles, these words had a much deeper meaning than a mere insult.

The first thing Snape asks Harry is “Potter! What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?” According to Victorian Flower Language, asphodel is a type of lily meaning ‘My regrets follow you to the grave’ and wormwood means ‘absence’ and also typically symbolized bitter sorrow. If you combined that, it meant ‘I bitterly regret Lily’s death’.

I must admit, I was skeptical when I first read this, as I had never even heard of Victorian Flower Language before. A quick Google search proved that this is actually a thing, and 'asphodel' really does mean, "my regrets follow you to the grave." Whether or not this was something J.K. Rowling planned from the beginning is unknown, as she has yet to comment on it. As it stands now, it's just an interesting fan theory, but it certainly makes a lot of sense and it wouldn't be the first time the writer surprised us all with a hidden Easter egg.

Here's a clip in case you want to check out the scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone where Harry first meets Snape.

Sources: tomhiddles and


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