Why Is Snape Called The Half-Blood Prince?

The Harry Potter series is certainly one of the most popular fantasy franchises in the world. Even though the last installment in the eight-part movie series came out over ten years ago, Harry Potter fans who are now in their late ’20s and mid-’30s still fondly remember growing up with the students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Following the adventures of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger, fans were introduced to a world of memorable teachers and fellow students who were constantly doing their best to be active members of the wizarding world. Of course, as with any franchise, fans have had their favorite heroes and villains as well as other characters who toed the line and became the subject of much speculation. There were certainly a few of those in the latter category, but none were more talked about than the Slytherin Potions Master, Professor Severus Snape.

In the beginning, the dark-haired and often brooding teacher gave off the vibe that he didn’t really like his students, especially Harry Potter. Beneath that cold exterior, however, Snape actually had feelings, which was surprising given his often gloomy demeanor. As fans would come to find out, that demeanor was something Snape grew into over time. It also explained why the professor called himself the Half-Blood Prince.

As a former student at Hogwarts himself, Snape was constantly bullied as a child, most notably by Harry Potter’s father, James. Back then, the only student to stand up for him and defend him was Harry’s mother, Lily. This explains why he developed feelings for her. Unfortunately, Lily could not help Snape with life at home, where Snape was constantly neglected and abused by his own father, Tobias Sharpe. It was there that his moniker, the Half-Blood Prince, was born.

As many fans of the Harry Potter series will know, discrimination against Muggles had a large part to play in the story. In case you’re wondering, a Muggle was basically any person who lacked magical ability or who didn’t come from a magical family. In a community where most, if not all, the characters had strong magical connections, Muggles were in the minority and often considered unworthy by certain wizards of pure-blood lineage.

Snape’s parentage, however, was unique. His mother, Eileen Prince, was a witch, which meant that he had magic running in his blood, but his father Tobias was a Muggle. Because of this, Snape was always seen as abnormal, which prompted the bullying from other Hogwarts students. Thanks to that, and the abuse he suffered at the hands of his abusive Muggle father, Snape developed an animosity toward Muggles.

The feeling grew so strong that he decided to forsake his Muggle side altogether and began calling himself the Half-Blood Prince, using his mother’s maiden name to distinguish his magical side from his Muggle blood.