After all this time, Harry Potter fans are as passionate as ever about the magical book series and film franchise, and author J.K. Rowling still knows how to impact them with just a few words.
On Tuesday, April 7, the beloved author shared an impromptu tribute to the late Alan Rickman who played Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films. Late on Tuesday, a fan took to social media to share, “”Tonight in Italy they air ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow Part 2’. As always, I’m NOT ready to say goodbye to Severus Snape. Thank you @jk_rowling for this unique character and for convincing Alan Rickman to portray him – we had the perfect Severus Snape.”
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To the fan’s surprise, Rowling replied with a memory from a rehearsal of the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which carried on the story of Harry Potter and his famly nineteen years after the defeat of Voldemort. “In Harry Potter & the Cursed Child, Snape makes his first appearance with his back to the audience,” she tweeted. “At the dress rehearsal I saw him in his long black wig & my eyes filled with tears because, for a split second, my irrational heart believed when Snape turned round, I’d see Alan.”
After the films began to take shape, Rowling revealed that she knew immediately she wanted Rickman to be a part of them and knew he would be perfect in the role.
In August 2015, Rickman suffered a minor stroke and it was discovered that he had pancreatic cancer, and the actor decided to not share that his diagnosis was terminal. Rickman passed away on January 14, 2016 at the age of 69. Following his passing, tributes poured in from many across the world, including Rickman’s Harry Potter family.
J. K. Rowling called Rickman “a magnificent actor and a wonderful man.” Emma Watson wrote, “I feel so lucky to have worked and spent time with such a special man and actor. I’ll really miss our conversations.” Daniel Radcliffe appreciated his loyalty and support: “I’m pretty sure he came and saw everything I ever did on stage both in Britain and America. He didn’t have to do that.” Evanna Lynch said it was scary to bump into Rickman in character as Snape, but “he was so kind and generous in the moments he wasn’t Snaping about.” Rupert Grint said, “even though he has gone I will always hear his voice.”