I was told
he did the dirty job for his king, at the cost of
being despised and distrusted by everybody. And that, on the other hand, he
was a man of
principles, brave, heroic and ready to die for what he believed right (he
does in the end).
Update: I got some more information from another reporter!!
Now, since I love the Snape Wars, here is my contribution: The German Legend of the Nibelungen contained the ancestor of all Snape's of litrature; the lonesome hero, the misunderstood warrior for the Light. The poem is not from me (I am just a humble writer of historic novels, who habitually dwells deep inside the Napoleonic Wars) but the translation of verse from Nibelungen.
Shall the 'Force be with you' and since Obi Wan rests in peace (and I must have drunk too much coffee) here comes my promised explanation of Severus=Hagen:
May it solve the mistery of Dear Severus and amuse the fan community
Born with the grace of Odin
inside the blood of the warrior
he was the lonesome hero
and a fighter of king Gunther
black was his armour
his sword was faster than winds
under the sign of the falcon
he beats every enemy
one eye in his head that shows
how many fights he had
and the long scare in his face
that shows how he was injured.
his home in the higher north
is a place called Tronje
and his gloomy castle is behind storms and ice cold winds
the one and only love he had
was the beauty Kriemhild
he had sworn to fight for her
and to give his live
with Brunhild he made a bound
against the holy Xanten king
and at the right time he should kill
but there were other sides in his life
we talk about
he were a proud knight
many victories he had
in his whole life
and no one could destroy Hagens heart
in a fight he was to strong
all the strenght that he had
was from Odin
and to him he prayed until he died.
in the name of Wotan / Hagens soul was fighting
on his blackened horse / he rides till he dies
Ever on the search / of the sin of live
no quite moments / a traveller he was
ever on a journey / find a love of live
but his destiny was / ever to stay alone
It was a very black and acherontic person and lead my thoughts
directly to Snape, really. But that was Hagen indeed. So it comes that
your question encouraged me to find out something more for you.
Here we go:
from Richard Wagner: Götterdämmerung: (Twighlight of the
Hagen: Unfroh - meid' ich die Frohen; ich selbst freue mich nie
(Unglad - I avoid the happy, I am never glad myself)
I also suggest the Film of Fritz Lang from 1924 Siegfrieds Death - Kriemhilds Revenge (I
think its available on DVD in USA & Canada )
Hagen is a follower of King Gunter of Burgundy and also
his counsellor and half brother. He is half human and half Alb (in
latin Albus (double Haha)) it means elf. (For me it means that he is
the son of the Nibelung??) Because he is illegitimate it
was refused to him to become king of Burgundy. It seems that his
mother has been repudiated from the court because of this misconduct
(??). Hagen is described as tall, black haired, hook nosed grim man
with one black eye. No information which color the other had. His
buckler showed an uncrowned eagle. He murders the traitor Siegfried
for his queen. He also hides Siegfried's gold to avoid that Kriemhild
can start up a new army. So its only natural that Kriemhild hated him
the most. In the second Part of the Nibelung legend he receives a
prophecy that all the heros will not return to Worms. The only
survivor of the adventure will be a priest. Hagen proofs the prophecy
by throwing the priest into the river. (is that snapish?) As the
nonswimmer reaches the show unharmed he recognised that the prophecy
must be true.
By the way: www.worms.de
Nibelungentreue - Undying loyalty
Hagen von Tronje is the proud inventor of the Nibelungentreue
(dont know if an english word exists)
The Nibelungen Saga however is very complex and I am not a expert in
it. We have there several topics
1. Siegfried courts for Kriemhild.
They get married. Siegfried is a young careless dragonfighter who by
the way also owns a cloak of invisibility (ha!).
2. Gunter courts for Bruenhild.
He is not able to impress the foreign princess by himself
so he borrowed the magic talents of Siegfried to conquer her heart.
Bruenhild is indeed a magic person she is a Valkyrie - a warrior
princes who leads the souls of heros to Wallhall (come kind of eternal
happy hunting grounds). Another nutty detail: also the wedding night
is fulfilled by Siegfried who takes away two souvenirs from Bruenhild.
Thats not a good start for a happy matrimony, isn't it?
3. Bruenhild is confronted with the truth;
Kriemhild shows her the two souvenirs
Siegfried has taken. Now the wheel of Revenge begins to turn:
Bruenhild assigns Hagen to kill Siegfried for his betrayals. Hagen is
clever enough to find out the vulnerabilty of Siegfried (who has
bathed once in dragonblood which makes unvulnerable, but a leaf of a
linden covered a part of his shoulder and left a vulnerable part). At
the next occasion Hagen kills Siegfried with a spear and takes the
Nibelungen Gold and throws it into the Rhine deepest place to avoid
Kriemhilds Revenge. Kriemhild then married the Etzel the King of Huns.
The Nibelung Gold is not found until today.
4. The key scene for the neverending loyalty is at the end of
the cruel battle which fulfills the Revenge of Princess Kriemhild:
She invited the Burgunds to come
the residence of her second husband King of the Huns Etzel for a
feast. There she let murder all of them in a very cruel way. Hagen and
her brother King Gunter survived cause she want to know where the
Nibelung treasure (Nibelungenhort) lies. Also this end does without no
cruel note: When caught and tied up Hagen says to Kriemhild , as long
as king Gunther lives, he will not say to her where the treasure lies,
this allows to kill her brother unceremoniously and bring his head to
Hagen to see. On this he laughs out loud and mocks Kriemhild: Now only
God knows out of him where the treasure lies. Kriemhild pulls sword of
Hagen which is the last and single what is left of Sigfrieds treasure,
and cut off his head with her own hands.
The end comes suddenly. Etzel deplores Hagen, (the murderer, the traitor,
the thief that mocked his wife) as "best of all swords"; now only,
for the first time in the whole song, a justice takes their run which
might never come before to the train.
Sigfried might Bruenhilde deceive, Hagen might kill with
impunity Sigfried and rob of his treasure, also declare himself openly
as a murderer, Kriemhild might arrange with impunity the death of all
Burgundians and waste Etzelburg and transform into a hell - only the
revenge death of Hagen calls a kind of justice on the plan.
Hiltebrant, the old men teacher of the hero Dietrich, avenges " the
bold Tronjers death " and hits Kriemhild in pieces with his sword .
In other legends :
The Thidreks Saga
Hagen did not only occur in the
Nibelungen Saga - he is also present in numerous other legend stories.
For example in the legend Dietrich of Bern where the last fight with
the huns is described as a duel between Hagen and Dietrich where Hagen
is wounded and foreknowing his own death. Facing this fact he requires
from Dietrich a last grace which is to be with a woman that night. The
morning after he told her (the woman has no name in the legend) that
she is pregnant with a son whom she shall name Aldrian and he also
give to her the key to the treasury chamber of Siegfried. Aldrian in
turn killed Attila the hun by trapping him in a cave where he
pretended the gold treasure. The name of the son Aldrian cames from
Baldrian (Baldr) which is equal to the son of Wotan (Odin). That
brings us to another clue: Hagen is the same as Odin. Odin has a son
Baldr with Frigg who is bought to him by Dietrich of Bern. As well
there is an interpretation of the Nibelungen theme as a story of the
christianization of Germania in which Hagen embodies the old heathen
belief. That last theorie may cause that Hagen is always shown as a
black figure. --