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J.K. Rowling defends decision to have Harry Potter name son after Snape

J.K. Rowling took to Twitter this morning to defend the controversial decision to have Harry Potter name partly name his son after the mostly antagonistic character of Severus Snape.

'Snape deserves both admiration and disapprobation, like most of us,' British author tweets

Severus Snape, portrayed by Alan Rickman in the Harry Potter films, is neither good nor evil, but "all grey," says author J.K. Rowling. (Warner Brothers/Associated Press)

British author J.K. Rowling took to Twitter this morning to defend her controversial decision to have Harry Potter name his son after the widely reviled character of Severus Snape.

The series of tweets, which Rowling insists were "not a rant," all started with a question from a fan.

In the epilogue of the fantasy series' final book, a grown-up Harry Potter tells his son Albus Severus Potter that he was named after two headmasters at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. 

While Albus Dumbledore's character is largely beloved and heroic, Severus Snape mostly acts as a foil and antagonist to Potter and his friends throughout the series.

But in the end — spoiler alert — Snape sacrifices himself for the greater good.

Young Potter's name has always been a sticking point among fans, who are divided about whether Snape is a hero or a villain. 

The question and the ensuing "love & fury" from Potter fans on Twitter prompted Rowling to pen a series of tweets defending the decision to honour Snape, whom she says is neither good nor evil.

The discussion, she said, is an important one, given people's tendency to oversimplify things in a complex world. 

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