By the sixth book of the Harry Potter series (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), fans were unfortunately already used to their favorite characters starting to die. After grieving over the death of Sirius Black, Harry Potter’s godfather, they had to face another unexpected loss – about the most important and greatest wizard of all time, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. He was killed by Severus Snape, but why did Snape kill Dumbledore? You can find the answer in this article.
Severus Snape killed the Hogwarts Headmaster because he was asked to do it by Dumbledore. Along with this, the Hogwarts Headmaster was about to die and with this act, he would prove his loyalty one more time.
If you decide to stay with us, you will find out (some will just remember it) what were the real reasons Professor Snape killed Dumbledore, what’s behind the whole story of Dumbledore–Snape relationship, and why Dumbledore trusted Severus so much. Let’s go!
Why did Dumbledore let Snape kill him?
Upon learning that he had no more than a year to live, and in an attempt at preventing a humiliating and agonizing death, Dumbledore requested Snape to kill him when the time came. He wanted Snape to remain a trusted member of the Death Eaters, as well as to prove Lord Voldemort his loyalty and show him that he hadn’t failed.
Also, being familiar with the fact Lord Voldemort has ordered Draco Malfoy for killing him, Dumbledore wanted to protect Draco’s soul. He knew Draco wouldn’t be capable to fulfill the task. As a good teacher, he has always been, he didn’t want to allow the committed murder affects one of his students in any way.
Why was Dumbledore already dying?
He was already dying because of the curse of the Marvolo Gaunt’s ring.
Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring, passed down from Salazar Slytherin and Cadmus Peverell, was a golden ring featuring a black stone. This stone was, in fact, the Resurrection Stone, representing one of the Deathly Hallows.
For years, the signet ring had passed from father to son until Tom Riddle stole it from Morfin Gaunt (Marvolo Gaunt’s son and Tom’s uncle), and framed him for murders of the Riddle family.
As the only heir, Tom Riddle decided to make the Ring into his second Horcrux, instead of wearing it. Tom placed a powerful curse upon the Ring – anyone who dared to wear it, would have been killed at once.
When Dumbledore found the Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring, he immediately recognized it as the Resurrection Stone, one of the Deathly Hallows. Wishing to use it to redeem his family and make amends for his past mistakes, Dumbledore put on the Ring. It began to take effect almost immediately and nearly killed him.
Thanks to his amazing skills, he had been able to contain the curse from spreading any further. Anyone else in his place would die instantly.
Dumbledore returned to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to find Snape. As the Potion Master, Severus was able to manage this issue, with a thick golden potion and a few incantations. As well, he didn’t miss to rebuke Dumbledore for his act – that kind of wizard must not be foolish in any way.
While Snape’s expertise in the Dark Arts allowed him to delay the curse’s progression, Dumbledore would have succumbed to it within a year.
Besides the Ring, another thing that contributed to Dumbledore’s death.
Searching for Horcruxes, Dumbledore finally found one in a cave on the small island. As he promised, he took Harry Potter with him, who would help him to destroy the Horcrux.
The Horcrux has been protected with The Emerald Potion and if someone wanted to get it, he would have to drink the potion.
The Emerald Potion, sometimes referred to as the Drink of Despair, induces intense fear, hallucinations, and severe thirst. While it doesn’t cause death, it renders the individual feeble and exposed.
Dumbledore insisted that Harry assist him in consuming the potion. Even as Dumbledore experienced immense pain, Harry ensured he finished the entire dose, after which Dumbledore lost consciousness.
Why did Dumbledore trust Snape so much?
Dumbledore’s relationship with Snape was open and close but he didn’t trust Snape completely. Snape felt responsible for Harry Potter’s mother, for her death caused by Lord Voldemort. He had no one else to turn to, except Dumbledore, to keep Lily safe.
It was an opportune moment and valid rationale for Dumbledore to leverage Snape’s guilt, ushering him into the Order of the Phoenix.
Thus, Snape took on the role of a double agent. Working undercover for the Order of the Phoenix, he consistently informed Dumbledore about the actions and whereabouts of the Death Eaters.
On the other hand, Snape did a great job in the role of Lord Voldemort’s spy, supplying him with all of the information about the Order. He provided only the information received from Dumbledore.
As we said before, Dumbledore’s confidence in Snape was not unconditional. Dumbledore did not fully trust Snape to reduce any damage that could occur if Snape was somehow compromised.
Snape was irritated by Dumbledore’s secretive nature and felt slighted by any perceived doubt in his capabilities. What vexed him most was being instrumental in the potential downfall of Harry Potter, the son of the woman he loved.
While Dumbledore trusted Snape’s capabilities, he initially declined to assign him the role of Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. This was to shield Snape from a curse associated with the position, one that even Lord Voldemort couldn’t bypass. However, once Dumbledore was compromised by Marvolo Gaunt’s cursed ring, he conceded, awarding Snape the role, especially considering Dumbledore’s renowned status as a magician.
After the Marvolo Gaunt’s curse and the agreement he made with Snape to kill him, Dumbledore finally granted him the post of the future Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts.
Dumbledore was aware of the fact that after Snape killed him, the whole wizarding world would condemn him and force him to step down as the Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts.
Despite the fact Snape killed Dumbledore, it was agreed that he would do so. When Professor Snape died, we found out that his deep love for Lily Evans caused his redemption with the magnificent result – to protect the precious boy destined to kill the biggest enemy of the wizarding world, Lord Voldemort.
What did Dumbledore say to Snape before he died?
“Severus… please…” These were the last words Dumbledore said to Snape before he used the Avada Kedavra curse and killed the Headmaster of Hogwarts.
In the beginning, we thought the phrase meant, “Please, Severus, help me!” but the truth was different. The ending of book seven “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” revealed that Dumbledore was dying and that he had arranged that Snape would administer the final kill.
Finally, when the time came for Snape to actually kill Dumbledore he hesitated, regardless of their previous agreement, so Dumbledore had to beg Severus to end his life.
So, the real meaning of the phrase was: “Severus, please kill me… right now.”
How did Snape feel about killing Dumbledore?
Snape was angry at Dumbledore for being tempted by the Ring, knowing it contained a curse.
Actually, he didn’t want to kill Dumbledore but he had to do it. Firstly, because he had to keep a promise he had given Dumbledore earlier. As well, it was an act of mercy, as Dumbledore was already dying, from the curse he received because of the Ring.
So, Snape killed Dumbledore but he didn’t cause his death. The curse and the potion did it. Nobody forced Dumbledore to put on the Ring neither to drink the potion.
Dumbledore caused his own death and Snape just finished his life.
Snape’s motivation was merciful, intending to spare Dumbledore from a humiliating and painful death in the future.
The wizarding world was profoundly shaken by the Battle of the Astronomy Tower and the subsequent demise of Albus Dumbledore. The only sorcerer whom Lord Voldemort had ever dreaded, the sole significant counterforce to his power, was now gone.
This battle underscored the harsh reality that no location, not even Hogwarts, was impervious to the threat of the Death Eaters. Their infiltration was facilitated by both a student and a treacherous faculty member. With the school’s fate hanging in the balance, many parents opted to withdraw their children.
Indeed, it’s a somber subject to both write and, presumably, read about.
Aware of the impending challenges and owing to the foreseen visions and the aforementioned curse, the Hogwarts Headmaster recognized that his departure was inevitable. He was acutely aware that dark days loomed ahead for Hogwarts, but also that there would be those willing to defend it to their last breath.