Why Did Voldemort Kill Snape? (Instead of Disarming Him)
Lord Voldemort is one of the most evil, vile, corrupted villains in the history of fiction. He got rid of his subordinates just as quickly as his enemies after he no longer needed them, keeping only those who were the most loyal and who he had trusted the most. Many fans wonder: since Snape proved to be loyal by killing Dumbledore, why did Voldemort kill Snape after all?
Voldemort killed Snape because he wanted to possess the Elder Wand, and the only way he could get it was to defeat the previous owner of the wand, which was Snape. Sure, he could’ve disarmed him instead of killing him, but Voldemort had no use of Snape afterward.
That’s why he chose to kill Severus instead of just disarming him and taking away the Elder Wand. You see, he never trusted Snape completely, despite all the loyalty Severus presented. Known for never leaving any loose ends, Voldemort had no use of Snape after he obtained the Elder Wand, so the easiest way of ensuring he wouldn’t switch sides – was killing him.
How Does The Elder Wand Work?
The Elder Wand is one of the three Deathly Hallows, gifts that, according to the legend, Death itself bestowed upon three men who managed to outsmart her. The other two Hallows were the Resurrection Stone and the Cloak of Invisibility. Whoever reunites all three shall become the Master of Death.
The Elder Wand is believed to be the most powerful wand ever created, with the tail-har of a Thestral for its core. What’s special about the wand is how it switches loyalty between owners. There have been dozens of witches and wizards that possessed the Elder Wand, but one must take it away from the previous owner to gain the Wand’s allegiance.
At one point, the Wand was in Gellert Grindelwald’s possession before Albus Dumbledore claimed it from him and, unlike many before him, used the power of the Elder Wand for good. That’s where things get interesting, though.
Why Did Voldemort Kill Snape?
As you know, Dumbledore was killed at Hogwart’s Astronomy Tower by Severus Snape – a deed that was arranged beforehand between Snape and Dumbledore themselves. Albus planned to have Severus kill him for four main reasons.
One, he knew that Voldemort didn’t trust Snape completely, and the only way for Severus to gain that trust was by not hesitating to kill Albus. Two, Dumbledore knew that Voldemort would force Draco Malfoy to show his loyalty and kill Dumbledore himself. Albus didn’t want Draco to taint his soul, so he had Snape kill him instead.
Three, it was much better for Dumbledore to die quickly than to allow Voldemort to give him a much more horrible death. And four, Dumbledore would be the first Elder Wand wielder to accept death completely, and the power of the Elder Wand would die with him.
It would be a perfect plan, especially because Voldemort wasn’t aware of the Elder Wand’s existence at that point. However, as he searched for ways to defeat Harry Potter, he tortured Ollivander into telling him about the Elder Wand. At first, he wanted it to kill Potter, but now, knowing its power, he wanted it to become truly invincible.
Seeing that Dumbledore was the last owner, and Snape killed him, the allegiance of the Wand would now have to be in Snape’s hands, right? Well, not quite.
Voldemort thought he had to defeat Snape to have the Elder Wand for himself. But, he didn’t know you didn’t have to kill the wielder to gain the Wand – all you needed to do was to disarm them or take the Wand away. Voldemort also didn’t know that it wasn’t Snape that disarmed Dumbledore – it was Draco Malfoy. Hence, the Elder Wand now belonged to him.
For a short while, that is, because Harry Potter took it away from Draco.
So, Voldemort killed Snape to gain the Elder Wand, not knowing it was never Snape’s to begin with. However, even if he did know that Severus wasn’t the owner of the Elder Wand, I believe Voldemort would still kill him. Even after Snape killed Dumbledore, Voldemort never believed him completely and only used him as a pawn.
After he no longer needed Snape for anything, it was safer to just kill him than to have him turn to the other side again and betray the Dark Lord. For Voldemort, it was a win-win if Snape died and a lose-lose if he lived.
Why Did Snape Not Fight Voldemort?
There are a few reasons why Snape didn’t fight when Voldemort attacked him. One, it would be to no avail. As great of a wizard as Snape was, Voldemort was infinitely more powerful. He couldn’t harm Voldemort in any way, and even if he did, it would only turn out worse for him and the good side.
You see, even if Snape managed to somehow kill Voldemort’s main body, the Horcruxes had to be destroyed first to truly destroy the Dark Lord.
Second, Snape actually tried to protect himself, but Voldemort was just too quick. The Dark Lord swiped his Wand through the air, and “before Snape could do anything more than yell, it [Nagini’s cage] had encased him, head and shoulders, and Voldemort spoke in Parseltongue. Snape knew it was over for him; the snake would kill him, and there was nothing he could do about it.
In the end, it turned out good for him since he died slower, which gave him enough time to show Harry his memories and prove he was never truly on Voldemort’s side.