In the sixth book and movie of the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore dies, killed by Snape. But why did Snape kill Dumbledore?
The killing of Dumbledore obviously is really shocking when fans find it out for the first time. Dumbledore is one of the most powerful and the wisest wizard ever exists, and he really helps Harry to defeat Lord Voldemort.
So how is the relationship between Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore and Severus Snape? Are they actually friend or foe?
Dumbledore and Snape have a good relationship, although Dumbledore doesn’t really trust Snape 100%. After the death of Harry’s mother, Lily—whom Snape really loves—Snape wants to protect Harry from Voldemort, and he turns to Dumbledore to protect him.
The fact is, Snape never wanted to kill Dumbledore. He doesn’t want to do it even when he is going to, and he hesitated. But because of several reasons, he then did it anyway using the Avada Kedavra curse.
At the end of his life, Dumbledore was whispering “Severus… please…”. Some people might think that Dumbledore was begging for Snape not to kill him. But instead, he was begging Snape to kill him.
The death of Dumbledore happens in The Battle of the Astronomy Tower, and indeed one of the most dramatic scenes in the entire story of Harry Potter. Because of this battle, many parents drop their kids out of Hogwarts, since it is proven that Hogwarts is no longer a safe place, where Death Eaters are taking control of the school, and the teachers even betrayed Hogwarts.
Anyway, let’s take a look at several reasons why did Snape kill Dumbledore.
Dumbledore Asks Snape to Kill Him
The first and ultimate reason why did Snape kill Dumbledore is because Dumbledore himself asks Snape to kill him. It is because Dumbledore is already dying and will die eventually after all. So to prevent humiliating and painful death, Dumbledore asks Snape to kill him instead. So Snape actually shows him mercy and loyalty.
Dumbledore is dying because of the curse of the Marvolo Gaunt’s ring, which is also a Resurrection Stone and one of Voldemort’s horcruxes. Anyone who has the courage to wear it, will be cursed to death in an instant. Dumbledore made a mistake by put on the ring to redeem his family and made amend for his past. Then he gets cursed. Anyone should’ve been dead instantly, but because of his power—as well as Snape’s—he can slow down the curse, although he will still die anyway.
Not only dying because of the ring, Dumbledore was also dying because he had to drink a potion in order to destroy Voldemort’s horcrux.
Furthermore, Dumbledore wants to save Draco Malfoy as well, because actually Draco is the one who was ordered by Voldemort to kill him. Knowing that Draco does not have the courage to do that, Dumbledore asks Snape to kill him.
Beside, Dumbledore wants to save the Elder Wand. The Elder Wand is the strongest wand ever exists, and the way to get it is to kill the former owner. Since Dumbledore trusts Snape, he wants Snape to get the wand.
With so many reasons mentioned above, Dumbledore insists Snape to kill him. Actually, it is not Snape who kills Dumbledore. Dumbledore kills himself by put on the ring and drink the potion by his own will. Snape just finishes his suffering.
Narcissa Malfoy Asks Snape to Help Draco
Another reason why did Snape kill Dumbledore is because there is this Unbreakable Vow between Severus Snape and Narcissa Malfoy, Draco’s mother.
Draco was tasked by Voldemort to kill Dumbledore, which is obviously not an easy task to do. As a mother, Narcissa was really scared that Draco would fail thus trigger the anger of the Dark Lord. To prevent this, Snape then made the Unbreakable Vow to protect Draco.
At the beginning of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Narcissa and Belatrix visit Snape, in which Narcissa begs to Snape to protect Draco. Snape made the Unbreakable Vow that means Snape will die if Draco dies (either by Dumbledore or Voldemort). So Snape has no choice other than to make sure that Draco’s task is done.
To Keep The Identity as a Double Agent
The last reason why did Snape kill Dumbledore is that as a double agent (for the Order of the Phoneix as well as the Death Eaters), Snape has to keep his identity and makes Voldemort keeps trusting him. Killing Dumbledore makes Voldemort believes that Snape is on his side.
Unfortunately, at the end, Voldemort kills Snape in order to take the Elder Wand that Voldemort thinks belongs to Snape. Well, he was wrong.