When I pick forms of entertainment, the key to success in my eyes is character development. Really, the only shows I ever consistently watch are ones that I would consider to have very strong development. I would say that the show Gilmore Girls as well as Bob’s Burgers have got to be the strongest (from what I’ve seen) in developing characterization to such an extent, that me as the viewer is invested in their lives, no matter how many times I’ve seen the same episode.
I think in the aftermath of Alan Rickman’s death social media has really shown the grief of losing a man, beloved, of course, for many of his other works, but, most prevalent being the Harry Potter series.
The most amazing thing to me is that the public is grieving twice– it’s grieving for the life of a talented actor and public figure, and secondly, Severus Snape, the character.
There are very few character roles that I would not consider any other person for the part. (The great character of Albus Dumbledore was even played by two different actors throughout the film after the death of Richard Harris promptly following the release of the second film, The Chamber of Secrets) However, it is my firm opinion that Alan Rickman and only Alan Rickman could have ever been Severus Snape.
Though Dumbledore was a very important character to Harry, his role is arguably less significant because of he is very much a static character, especially in the eyes of Harry.
Severus Snape, however, is, in the eyes of an eleven year old boy, a mean professor, questionably evil, in the eyes of a thirteen year old boy, an ally, in the eyes of a sixteen year old boy, an intense betrayer, and in the eyes of a seventeen year old boy, the purest demonstration of love.
This of course, was not in the layout of Rickman’s contract, because how the hell can you look at that big picture and not be overwhelmed. But he did it. Alan became Severus. He was absolutely brilliant.
I think I’d most like to thank Alan for truly being devoted to his art. He took an element of fiction, beloved by so many, and made it tangible and real.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Rickman. We can’t thank you enough.