Shortly after the news of Alan Rickman’s death from cancer was announced on Thursday, fans took to social media to show their respects for the beloved actor.
The British star is well-known for his role of Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films. Rickman perfectly embodied the villain in the film adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s successful Harry Potter books. Fans already mourned the death of his character in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Many have quoted one of Snape’s popular lines: “Always” from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when the professor revealed his undying love for Harry’s mother, Lily.
— Tal Fox (@_TalFox_) January 14, 2016
Fans have also been sharing powerful photos and iconic quotes of the star from their favorite interviews, but there’s another “Always” quote that was never said by Rickman at all.
“When I’m 80 years old and sitting in my rocking chair, I’ll be reading Harry Potter. And my family will say to me, ‘After all this time?’ And I will say, ‘Always.'”
Though the text shows a picture of Rickman and is attributed to him, there’s not a single interview or source that credits the actor aside from Tumblr, Imgur, Twitter, and other social media posts, according to Tech Insider.
RIP Alan Rickman. We will be a fan. Always. pic.twitter.com/TCOuoMtPfR
— Movies Now (@moviesnowtv) January 14, 2016
The quote was reportedly taken from a Movie Web contest to win Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 prizes. To enter the contest, fans had to give a reason why they deserved to win.
A member named Tiffany wrote her reason below.
“Because, as long as there’s still one person that believes in the magic of Harry Potter, this legendary book series will never die. I plan on sharing this series with my children and grandchildren. When I’m 80 years old and sitting in my rocking chair, I’ll be reading Harry Potter. And my family will say to me, ‘After all this time?’ And I will say, ‘Always.'”
A GoodReads discussion board from 2011 supported Tiffany’s quote seen on the memes, which read, “Tiffany’s post from July  while all the posts that mention Rickman with [the quote] weren’t until a couple of weeks again [in 2011].” In addition, a fan site dedicated to Alan Rickman also claims that he never mouthed the quote in his life.
But a report on the Metro revealed its original source back in 2010 on Tumblr from a user who goes by the name mypatronusisyou. That person originally wrote, ” “When I’m 90 years old, I’m going to be sitting in my rocking chair reading Harry Potter. And my 90 year old husband will look at me and say ‘After all this time?’ and I’ll say ‘Always.'”
So it looks like Tiffany entered the contest using someone else’s quote. Not only did she use that quote, but she also modified it and built a mini essay around it. The Tumblr user took to the celebrity gossip community Oh No They Didn’t! to claim that she never entered that contest, and then suggested that Tiffany stole it from her. But that hasn’t stopped the other fans from saying that Tiffany was the one who came up with the quote in the first place.
No matter where that quote originated, it will give Harry Potter fans some much-needed comfort in this time of loss. Not only is Rickman’s family and friends hurting on this day, but so are his fans across the globe.
On Thursday, Jan. 14, Alan Rickman died at the age of 69 after his battle with cancer. Rickman was also known for playing other popular villains such as Gruber in Die Hard and the Sherriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Here are some of his memorable quotes, taken from actual interviews.
What’s your favorite Alan Rickman quote? Or what’s your favorite Snape line from the Harry Potter films? Share them below in the comments section.
[Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images]