LONDON: Some left flowers, others a few heartfelt words. Fans of the Harry Potter saga paid tribute Friday to the late actor Alan Rickman at the mythical platform 9 3/4 at London’s King’s Cross station.
“Dear Alan, I was so shocked to hear of your death,” it read.
“I feel like a great light has gone out of the world. You have always been part of me for my childhood. You have understood and loved Severus more than any of us and a part of him dies with you.”
Rickman, who died of cancer on Thursday, aged 69, gained legions of young fans with his portrayal of the morally ambiguous teacher Severus Snape in all eight “Harry Potter” films from 2001 to 2011
Platform 9 3/4 is where Potter departed for Hogwarts via the Hogwarts Express, and is marked by a permanent installation at Kings Cross, comprising a trolley — complete with luggage and birdcage — disappearing into a wall.
“It’s really upsetting,” said fan Sarah Winfield, 25, speaking next to a shrine by the trolley installation. “He was done with Harry Potter, but he wasn’t done making good films, so it’s sad.”
Potter’s creator J. K. Rowling has said she was “shocked and devastated” by Rickman’s death, adding that he was “a magnificent actor and a wonderful man”.
Daniel Radcliffe, who played Potter, said Rickman was “one of the greatest actors I will ever work with… and one of the loyalest and most supportive people I’ve ever met.”
Winfield added: “Severus Snape is Alan Rickman and Alan Rickman is Severus Snape. I don’t think anyone else could fill his shoes.”
– January blues –
At the beginning of the saga, Snape — a teacher at Potter’s school Hogwarts — is cold and unkind but develops into a more sympathetic character as his true motives are revealed.
Hordes of international fans took to Twitter to express their sadness, encouraging each other to re-enact the poignant moment during the series when Hogwarts pupils pay tribute to their deceased headmaster Dumbledore.
“Raise your wands for Mr. Alan Rickman aka Professor Severus Snape. You will be missed sir. May you rest in peace,” wrote user Miriam Santiago.
Others took to online fan forums.
“I heard of his passing just as my day was winding down,” wrote user “Steelsheen” on Potter forum “Snitchseeker”.
“Shock gave way to sadness which gave way to exhaustion. You know news hits you bad when not even sleep could make it better. Onto the next great adventure Alan!”
Rickman is the second major British cultural figure aged 69 to die this week following a private battle with cancer after rock icon David Bowie’s death on Monday.
“I’m a little emotional, it’s been a difficult week, with David Bowie and Alan Rickman — they were great idols of mine,” said Brazilian Raquel Velho at King’s Cross.
“Harry Potter has always been part of my life and when I saw that Severus Snape had died I had to do something for him,” she added.
“Clearly we got up on the wrong side of this year,” wrote fan “Ameh” on Snitchseeker. “Can we all just agree to go to sleep and start 2016 over again?”