Rowling emphatically defends Snapes' actions, though admits he is neither a saint nor a devil. The potions teacher died for the wizarding world, and he did so protecting the young Potter due to his love of Lily Potter. She also made the case that Snape misdirected all of his anger from James Potters' bullying onto Harry.
Snape was a bully who loved the goodness he sensed in Lily without being able to emulate her. That was his tragedy. https://t.co/nzWhNrBxdH— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) November 27, 2015
Snape is all grey. You can't make him a saint: he was vindictive & bullying. You can't make him a devil: he died to save the wizarding world— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) November 27, 2015
That's not true, I'm afraid. Snape projected his hatred and jealousy of James onto Harry. https://t.co/5jzNHlfSe0— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) November 27, 2015
Fans note Snapes' bullying to innocent students, not just to Harry Potter but Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom, meanwhile dolling out praise to his Slytherin students. During that time, Snape also risked his life working alongside headmaster Albus Dumbledore to protect The Chosen One. However fans do not believe that his ability to ensure a victory against Voldemort rights the wrongs of his abusive nature, not to mention the clingy intentions he grappled with over Potter's mother.
Does double-crossing Voldemort to protect Harry throughout his school years warrant the name over other characters like Remus and Rubeus, to name a few? The debate lives on.