Harry Potter fans are losing it after discovering the secret meaning behind Snape’s first words to Harry Potter. Just when you think you know everything you could possibly know about the Harry Potter universe, it turns out that there is even more hidden context lurking underneath the story’s surface.
Harry Potter fans will know that Professor Snape‘s first words to Harry in 1997’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone relate to the tricky question of potions, which the Muggle-raised young Harry hasn’t a clue about.
“Potter! What would I get if I add powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?”
Naturally, when Hermione’s hand flies in the air, Harry goes speechless – and his “insolence” sees points drawn from Gryffindor.
Posting on Twitter, the fan using the Twitter username @Akhtxr_Rehxn shared a fan theory, looking at Victorian Flower Language.
Asphodel is a type of lily, which is a symbol of death, and wormwood symbolizes “absence” and “bitter regrets”.
This is the reason why harry potter books are just soo good pic.twitter.com/nh53WexALT
— Loading… (@Akhtxr_Rehxn) April 7, 2021
Put that together, and you’ve got Snape basically saying he’s sorry for Lily’s death and he’s feeling her absence, pointing out his then-unknown feelings for Lily.
That’s not all, though, with JK Rowling having thought even more.
True Potterheads will know that a lily and wormwood combined make a sleeping potion “so powerful it is known as the Draft of Living Death.” Is Professor Snape trying to tell us that now he’s living like “a living death”?
We only see the full extent of how much Snape loved Lily in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, where the dying professor shared his memories with Harry.
But if we really had been paying attention to the subtext of the novels, we may have discovered Snape’s secret long before the emotional climax.