On Tuesday, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling continued her annual tradition of apologizing for killing off beloved characters by tweeting an apology to fans for killing Severus Snape in the seventh and final book in the series.
"OK, here it is," Rowling wrote on Twitter. "Please don't start flame wars over it, but this year I'd like to apologize for killing (whispers) ... Snape. *Runs for cover.*"
According to Rowling, May 2 is the date of the Battle of Hogwarts, the series' final showdown between Harry Potter and Voldemort — which also happened to be a bloodbath for a host of supporting characters who lost their fictional lives on that fateful day.
Snape's death, just after he confessed his undying love for Harry's mother Lily, hit fans especially hard. Snape, the complex potions master who both helped and tortured Harry, was beloved by fans — in a 2011 Guardian poll, Snape was voted the overall favorite Harry Potter character by a clear margin.
This apology is a yearly tradition for Rowling: On May 2, 2016, she tweeted her apologies for killing-off Remus Lupin and in 2015 it was Fred Weasley. But just because she's sorry for putting her fans through loss doesn't mean she regrets her decisions — in 2016 she said that Lupin "had to die."
Just because you're sorry doesn't make it hurt any less, J.K.