In Snape's death scene, Snape gives Harry his memories in the form of a tear. Now in the scene right when Harry turns back around from grabbing Hermonine's flask and puts it up to Snape's tear, another tear falls. Some is collected but there is a notable amount of magical tear left on Snape's cheek. Snape doesn't release any tears out of the other eye, only his left eye, so does every part of these tears contain memories? By Harry not collecting both tears does that mean that Harry was supposed to see more from Snape and didn't? Are there more Snape memories that were meant to be seen?

  • 3
    For Polyjuice Potion, a single hair contains the complete essence of a person, regardless of the hair's length. Memory tears might work similarly, so that the loss of a tear might not mean the loss of a memory.
    – Gaultheria
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 2:08
  • That is a good point! The thought that any part of the tear would be the whole memory had crossed my mind but I wasn't sure. That is a great point about Polyjuice Potion! Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 13:45
  • 4
    I am really starting to get afraid that after 11 years the book series has completed its journey, more and more fans would theorize and consider "standard" the movie series and not the books. What you describe does not happen in Book 7. Nearly everything depicted in the movies that differ from the books are for the shake of cinematic essence and nothing more. Intuitively, the book series is what considered canon and the movies follow, not the other way around. Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 17:45
  • I understand your point, and you have the right to be upset if that is happening. I do not want that to happen either, but the movies did occur, and the choices they made were made with Jo watching and being involved as much as possible. Therefore after much editing and deciding which way to go for this monumental scene, the director chose this way of showing Snape's memories. I think it was an interesting decision and is what made me question it further. Especially since it is such a different take on the book. Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 17:59
  • (1/3) @JamieWright I disagree. JKR was hugely involved in the making of the first two films only, and that's the one of the two reasons why HP1 and HP2 are so closely connected to the books (the other being that they are relatively smaller novels than the rest five). Apart from minor alterations that served as to support the story of future movies (i.e. the symbol of the Deathly Hallows appearing as early as HP4 movie), all other differences are there only to give a more "cinematic" essence and nothing more. Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 14:24

2 Answers 2


An interesting theory, but there is no evidence to suggest Harry missed anything.

You may be intrigued to know that in the book there are a few more memories that Harry sees. Perhaps, (and this is purely conjecture on my part), the other tears are a nod to this, or at least a post justification.

Either way, I wouldn’t look too into it. As far as I have been able to tell, there is no hidden meaning behind the left over tears. That is to say, had Harry collected them, he would have seen the same set of memories.

Think of the tears as a vessel for memory, not the memory itself.

  • 1
    Awesome! Thank you so much for the knowledge! I am getting into the potterverse late in the game and while watching DH 2 I saw it and couldn't get it out of my head. Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 13:43
  • Well, feel free to ask me anything! I’m quite knowledgable on everything Potter :)
    – Recelica
    Commented Apr 14, 2018 at 22:20

If I remember correctly, the tears were an invention by the movie production. In the book, Snape uses his wand to draw a memory from his temple in the usual way, like we see Slughorn do in Half-Blood Prince and Dumbledore do on more than one occasion. So there would be nothing "missing" from the memory given to Harry (and as pointed out by Recelica, the book shows more of Snape's memories than the film).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.