J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series never shied away from killing off beloved characters. But in a move that provoked a massive reaction from the still gigantic Potter fandom, Rowling apologized for killing off the highly controversial Severus Snape.
Rowling knew this would stir up trouble, as she outright admitted in her tweet.
OK, here it is. Please don't start flame wars over it, but this year I'd like to apologise for killing (whispers)... Snape. *runs for cover*
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) 2 May 2017
And to the surprise of absolutely no one, a flame war did break out. Some fans talked about the beauty of Snape’s story while others mentioned how poorly he treated characters like Harry and Neville Longbottom. Gizmodo notes there were also fans who argued Rowling should have apologized for killing off another character: Harry’s mother, for instance.
— Christopher Aaron (@caevns20) 2 May 2017
— Rebecca Brambilla (@beckybrambilla) 2 May 2017
@jk_rowling Snape had to die for the truth to come out. But even though he wasn't killed at the Hogwarts battle, WHY WOULD YOU KILL DOBBY SO BRUTALLY JK
— Ushnota Paul (@journojuno) 2 May 2017
This isn't the first time Rowling has apologized for character deaths. The Boston Globe reports the author apologized in previous years for killing off Fred Weasley and Remus Lupin. The HP obsessed will appreciate the fact that her mea culpa came on May 2, aka the anniversary of the über deadly Battle of Hogwarts.
Whether Rowling will apologize for other deaths in the future remains to be seen, but it's hard to imagine another apology provoking such a dramatic response. (Unless, you know, it's Voldemort.)