From Slytherincess quoting JKR interview about why Snape hung out with Death Eaters even if it cost him Lily:

He [Snape] wanted Lily and he wanted Mulciber too.

As several people (myself included) noted, a teenage boy would do anything to get the girl he wants; including ditching any social group he is with. Especially a nerdy geek like Severus who doesn't have a pick of all the cheerleaders.

Which leaves only two options - either JKR didn't think this through, never having met a nerd guy in school - OR, she was hinting at something unusual, ala her Albus/Gellert later reveal.

What would be one reason for Snape to be torn between the girl he has feelings for and his buddies? That's right, if he ALSO had feelings for one of the buddies. Which brings the exact quote - He wanted Lily and he wanted Mulciber - back into focus in a new light.

Thus, the question: Did Severus Snape have romantic feelings for fellow wannabe Death Eater Mulciber?

Please note that i'm only looking for canon/JKR information, not random guessing. This means someone may need to ask JKR directly since I don't recall any such details in her interviews.

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    My fan fic spidey senses just went off ... ;) Commented Aug 26, 2012 at 15:48
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    I think this is a case of ignoring the context of a quote and coming out with some unusual subtext. My comments on @Slytherincess' answer elaborate on my interpretation of the quote. I can reproduce them as a developed answer here, but since I have no new direct quotes from JKR, only interpretation of current quotes, I'm not sure it fits your requirements. Commented Aug 26, 2012 at 17:22
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    @DVK generalizing much? And who is to say that Snape is a "normal geek"?
    – Dason
    Commented Aug 26, 2012 at 22:08
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    @DVK And all this time I thought it was just me that snarked in my basement while brewing stuff.
    – dlanod
    Commented Aug 26, 2012 at 23:39
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    @DVK your premise about geek behavior is flawed. I was a teenage geek as well, and there were a great many things I wouldn't stop doing for any girl, no matter how big the crush. Habit very often defeats teenage love ;)
    – Andres F.
    Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 2:31

1 Answer 1


I do not think that is really what Rowling was implying with that statement. The full quote is as follows:

Nithya: Lily detested mulciber,averyif[sic] snape really loved her,why didnt he sacrifice their company for her sake

J.K. Rowling: Well, that is Snape’s tragedy. Given his time over again he would not have become a Death Eater, but like many insecure, vulnerable people (like Wormtail) he craved membership of something big and powerful, something impressive.

J.K. Rowling: He wanted Lily and he wanted Mulciber too. He never really understood Lily’s aversion; he was so blinded by his attraction to the dark side he thought she would find him impressive if he became a real Death Eater.

From the context of the quote, it seems to be saying that Snape wanted what Lily could offer, but he also wanted what Mulciber (and the other Death Eaters) could offer; love and power respectively.

Consider Snape's life and perspectives as a boy/teen/young man. At that age, most guys simply have little concept of the long term consequences of their actions. One theme of Rowling's work is unconditional love. We see it in Lily's sacrifice for Harry, we see it in Harry's sacrifice for his friends. There's a big difference between love and desire. Snape desired Lily, but did he truly love her yet? He loved her presence and her kindness, certainly, but was he truly willing to live his life with and for her instead of just for himself? I don't think so. I think that's why Rowling calls it Snape's greatest tragedy. He chose the Death Eaters' companionship for what they could give him: power. All the people who mocked "Sniveling Snape" would certainly fear Snape the Death Eater. Snape had a clear choice to make: he could love Lily, and live his life with her in peace and quiet, or he could choose the Death Eaters, and finally end his years of torture at the hands of his enemies. As a child who grew up in a loveless world, I don't think Snape truly understood love. He understood fear and power far more. He thought he could choose power, and Lily would be drawn to him because of it. I think Snape began to really understand love as he saw Voldemort's hatred and evil unfold, at exact odds with the Lily he had feelings for from boyhood. When he found out that Lily was a target of Voldemort, it was then that Snape chose to love her more than his own position. He knew he would be largely hated and mistrusted by both Death Eaters and most of the Order from then on, but if by doing so he could protect Lily, then so be it.

We are not told if Snape had a relationship with Mulciber in any way other than as friends and coworkers under Voldemort, but we are told that Snape never stopped having feelings for Lily. His Patronus, an expression of his innermost being, reflected her. After she died, he dedicated his whole life to her memory. When considering the full context of that quote, and comparing what we are clearly told of Snape's life, I don't think we find any canonical support for a Snape/Mulciber relationship.

  • +1. I don't agree with some of the premises, but it's a great answer on the whole. As noted, I won't accept it since it is merely inference and not JKR's explicit quote, but that's not at all your fault. Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 10:26
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    @DVK I think the combination of the full quote I provided and the summary overview of Snape's life at the end is fairly conclusive canon evidence, honestly. I doubt we'll get better, unless JKR goes really in depth on Snape's inevitable Pottermore entry for book 7. Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 19:02

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