Had J. K. Rowling already planned all along the surprise storyline revealed in Deathly Hallows that Snape

is secretly in love of with Lily?

In my opinion this is probably true from the fifth book on, because, reading through the lines, I always thought that Dumbledore's trust toward Snape based itself on the knowledge of this secret. Is this true? Can this be extended to the other books?

  • 3
    Piton = Snape. Silente = Dumbledore. This is an English language site. Please use the English-language versions of their names :-)
    – Valorum
    Jul 31, 2016 at 13:34
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    Well, there's two questions, and the first (more general) one is somewhat answered by this: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/72110/31029 (but boy, is that answer in need of some TLC). However, your second and far more particular question (Snape's love for Lily), isn't answered by that. I think you should split this question up, and ask the second one separately.
    – BCdotWEB
    Jul 31, 2016 at 13:36
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    There are very few psychotic writers out there that plan most of their writing out. They might have a general idea of where they want to go or the general thrust of the story, but that is usually very broad strokes. Those things that aren't broadstrokes tend to be rewritten or done away with while writing or editing in favor of letting the characters tell you where to go as they develop so whatever remains of the intricate detail plotting is unrecognizable in most writing by the end of the writing process, even if it is actually there.
    – Durakken
    Jul 31, 2016 at 15:52
  • The first part of your question is definitely a duplicate, so I edited it to focus on the non-duplicate part. Please feel free to revert the changes if they go too far.
    – Adamant
    Jul 31, 2016 at 16:27

1 Answer 1


She knew from very early on

You are correct, of course, that the interactions between Snape and Lily Evans in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix were definitely written keeping in mind the future revelation of the relationship between them.

However, Rowling almost certainly knew from quite early on. In an interview in October 1999, she said the following:

Q: Do you know what Harry's parents look like?

JKR: "Yes. I've even drawn a picture of how they look. Harry has his father and mother's good looks. But he has his mother's eyes and that's very important in a future book."

It seems clear that she means Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

“Her son lives. He has her eyes, precisely her eyes. You remember the shape and color of Lily Evans’s eyes, I am sure?”

“DON’T!” bellowed Snape. “Gone. . . dead. . . ”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

This was shortly after the publication of Prisoner of Azkaban, so I think she must have had it in mind as early as the third book. This answer indicates that she had the Half-Blood Prince plot worked out in 1997, i.e. while writing Chamber of Secrets. Of course, this does not specifically mention Snape and Lily's relationship, but given the connection between the two plots, it seems likely that she also had the latter in mind.

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