I was thinking about Harry Potter, the entire series, which I'm going to reread as soon as I get the first two books. I've read both, but as rented from the library, rather than owning them.
Now as I was reading some Snape-fans disspointment with his lack of a reward, it got me thinking. I can understand people dissapointed with Snape's lack of rewards, but honestly when comparing him to Spike, I think Snape got the better deal.
Not only was Snape's bravery aknowledged, not just in the past, but in the epilogue as well. He got to be seen as a hero, Harry recognizes his deeds for what they are and remember, Harry is the pov char. No matter how much you might like all the other characters, it's Harry's point of view that we follow through out the entire series. And it's that pov that clearly states, Snape was a hero and the bravest man Harry ever knew.
Now sure, Harry's oldest son might be called James Sirius, but we don't know that. It's never openly stated in the text. Albus Severus' name though, we do know and it's shown as important enough to be mentioned. And it's something that Rowlings intended to be there from the start.
Another thing I realized is that Snape did get a reward, he got a legacy, through Harry. In a way, Snape was as much Harry's godfather as Sirius was. Maybe not officially, but in a lot of ways he served the same purpose that Sirius did and often better than Sirius did.
Both Snape and Sirius made the mistake of seeing Harry as his father, rather than as his own person, it's just their different views on James Potter that changed how they treated him.
Yet at the end it's Snape who sees Harry as Lilly's son as well and who gives him the gift of letting him know who he himself is.
Snape's reward is the fact that James' son will see him as a hero, as 'the bravest man he ever knew'. Not James, not Sirius, but Snape and I'm pretty damn sure that that's something he would love to hold over James' and Sirius head in the afterlife.*eg*