Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

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Moriath
July 9th, 2009, 11:49 pm
Welcome to the 12th version of this thread!


For background reading and reference:
version one (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=108022)
version two (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=109066)
version three (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=110006)
version four (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=111003)
version five (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=112236)
version six (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=113719)
version seven (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=115221)
version eight (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=116258)
version nine (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=117791)
version ten (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=119389)
version eleven (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=120410)


A new quotation to get this thread started:

Shocking business... shocking... miracle none of them died... never heard the like... by thunder, it was lucky you were there, Snape...."

"Thank you, Minister."

"Order of Merlin, Second Class, I'd say. First Class, if I can wangle it!"

"Thank you very much indeed, Minister."

"Nasty cut you've got there.... Black's work, I suppose?"

"As a matter of fact, it was Potter, Weasley, and Granger, Minister...."

"No!"

"Black had bewitched them, I saw it immediately. A Confundus Charm, to judge by their behavior. They seemed to think there was a possibility he was innocent. They weren't responsible for their actions. On the other hand, their interference might have permitted Black to escape.... They obviously thought they were going to catch Black single-handed. They've got away with a great deal before now... I'm afraid it's given them a rather high opinion of themselves... and of course Potter has always been allowed an extraordinary amount of license by the headmaster --"

"Ah, well, Snape... Harry Potter, you know... we've all got a bit of a blind spot where he's concerned."

"And yet -- is it good for him to be given so much special treatment? Personally, I try and treat him like any other student. And any other student would be suspended -- at the very least -- for leading his friends into such danger. Consider, Minister -- against all school rules -- after all the precautions put in place for his protection -- out-of-bounds, at night, consorting with a werewolf and a murderer -- and I have reason to believe he has been visiting Hogsmeade illegally too --"

"Well, well... we shall see, Snape, we shall see.... The boy has undoubtedly been foolish...."


In how far do you interpret this scene differently after DH?
What do you think was Snape's main motivation in this scene?
Would you describe his behaviour as relatively objective or prejudiced?

Study questions:

Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?
Based on how his character is supposed to end up: if you could change/improve one thing about Snape, what would it be?
What do you think Snape would have done, if he had survived DH?
Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?
Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
Snape is revealed to have been acting throughout the series out of love for Lily, how does this effect your view of his actions in the series - his "murder" of Dumbledore, his treatment of Sirius.
Why do you think Snape chose to become a Death Eater?
How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?
What do you think of Snape's actions after learning who Voldemort had targeted with the prophecy?
What do you think of Snape's actions after Lily's death. How do you think this death has affected his character?
What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?
Do you believe Snape came to care about Harry?
What do you think about Snape's relationship with Dumbledore? Did they become friends or was Dumbledore a substitute father figure for him?
Do you think Snape should have been sorted in Slytherin? Would he have made the same choices if he had been sorted elsewhere?
There are all kinds of bravery in this series, what characteristics of Snape's make him brave? In what sense is he a hero?

AS THIS IS STILL A HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL AND SENSITIVE TOPIC WE WOULD LIKE TO ASK EVERYONE TO PLEASE BE SENSITIVE TO OTHERS OPINIONS. THIS MEANS NO GLOATING AS WELL AS NO BASHING. CONSEQUENCES WILL BE SEVERE.

Additionally please read How to have a pleasant conversation on any topic (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=108019) and Character Bashing/Worship: aka Shades of Gray (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=108021) BEFORE POSTING IN THIS THREAD

Now go on and have fun! :)

Yoana
July 10th, 2009, 7:50 pm
1. Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?

Maybe subconsciously. Given how much rhe regretted having caused his mother's death, and that he apparently couldn't forgive himself, since he spent the rest of his life trying to make amends, I'd say he would have appreciated someone's forgiveness.

2. What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?

Hmm... Since I imagine tht he finally found peace in death, I don't think he'd have any issues with the Potter clan anymore and would be able to assess him objectively. Or... is that too much to expect? :p

15. Do you think Snape should have been sorted in Slytherin? Would he have made the same choices if he had been sorted elsewhere?

Yes, I think Slytherin is where he belonged. I can't really say if he was going to do anything differently if he had ended up in Gryffindor. Perhaps his need to prove himself and be accepted would have found a different outlet, but who knows. We don't really know the extent of the influence his nastier Slytherin friends (Like Mulciber and Avery) had on him.

ignisia
July 10th, 2009, 8:15 pm
I knew this poll question was coming.

My choices:
I bet you loved this poll more than the last
Where is my favorite option?

I think Snape's inability to forgive mistakes contributed to many of his flaws and caused him a great deal of self loathing and loathing toward others. Whether it's his own membership in the DEs, James' tormenting of him, Harry sneaking off, or Neville placing the wrong ingredient in the cauldron, he doesn't seem to think there is room for error in anyone's case.

I think he's also not as good at dealing with his own feelings as he should be. :whistle:

Some of the poll options I don't even see as part of his character at all. Definitely not irresponsibility, seeing as he vowed to keep Harry safe and beat himself up for years over reporting the prophecy to Voldemort. :lol: I'd say he was definitely aware of what he'd done and was attempting to atone for it.


As for the PoA scene, my opinion hasn't changed much. I've always thought Snape truly believed Sirius to be guilty and was glad to be getting recognition of some sort.

He also clears the trio of any illegal actions, while at the same time pointing out the school rules they have broken. I think he was very angry at Harry sneaking out at night with Sirius on the loose, but knew Dumbledore would not want to punish Harry at all, so he turns to the Minister to try and get him to punish Harry for the violation of school rules. But Fudge is just is indulgent as Dumbledore. :lol:

I don't believe he's really lying to the Minister at all when he says that he tries to treat Harry the same as the other students. I think he truly believes that Harry is an arrogant jerk like his father and that treating him in a harsh manner will reign him in. In his mind, there is no reason for him not to think so, and to think otherwise is dangerous both because he would be faced with uncomfortable feelings, and because Voldemort might be able to read these feelings.

guad
July 10th, 2009, 8:22 pm
Very nice poll. :D I clicked everything except the love for Lily and intellect vanity.

I would add though doubtful hygiene ;)

Melaszka
July 10th, 2009, 8:31 pm
For me, Snape's greatest weaknesses are:

1. his inability to recognise when emotion is clouding his judgement (e.g. when he wants to throw Sirius to the Dementors in PoA, I think he genuinely thinks he's doing the right, sensible thing to protect Harry and avenge Lily, and is blind to the fact that his hatred for Sirius is warping his judgement)

2. his belief that he is always right (e.g. when he won't trust Dumbledore's character judgement re Harry/Sirius/Lupin). I don't think this is arrogance exactly - in many cases, I think he genuinely has the best intentions and gets angry and frustrated only because he fears that doing things other people's way could have terrible consequences. And in some ways I think he's similar to Harry in this respect. But, yes, he does need to trust others' judgement more. (Although, thinking about it, he trusted Dumbledore to save Lily, and look where that got him, so perhaps his lack of trust in others' plans is understandable)

HollieWeasley
July 10th, 2009, 8:37 pm
His inability to wash his hair :P

What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?

I think it would make him Happy, because he would then know Harry understands and has forgiven him, because it is Albus Severus that got Lilys eyes as well.. and I think it would touch Snape emotionally to know that.

If you get me? I don't think I'm explaining what I'm trying to say very well

ignisia
July 10th, 2009, 8:47 pm
2. his belief that he is always right (e.g. when he won't trust Dumbledore's character judgement re Harry/Sirius/Lupin).

:agree: I've definitely noticed that in him. He gets an idea and he sticks with it, whether the evidence points to his conclusion or not. Thinking Harry stole his potions ingredients in GoF is a good example. Despite what Harry says, Snape is very sure of his conclusions, to the point where he tries to frighten Harry into owning up by showing him the Veritaserum. The same sort of thing happens in PoA when he thinks Lupin is letting Sirius into the castle.


I think it would make him Happy, because he would then know Harry understands and has forgiven him, because it is Albus Severus that got Lilys eyes as well.. and I think it would touch Snape emotionally to know that.

If you get me? I don't think I'm explaining what I'm trying to say very well

I get it. :tu:
I don't think he'd show it-- in fact, he'd probably say something snarky about what a silly name it is-- but I too think he would be touched. Very deep down. ;)

HollieWeasley
July 10th, 2009, 8:50 pm
Well yeh, very deep down.... even though technically he won't be able to say anything because..well... he is dead.

I get it.

At least I'm not talking complete gibberish

HollieWeasley
July 10th, 2009, 10:08 pm
I think snape thought Harry would be better off in the muggle world. So tried to get him expelled, notice snape stops trying after voldemort returns

silver ink pot
July 10th, 2009, 10:19 pm
There is no end to the trail of darkness that lies in Jealousy's wake, imo.


I don't think all of Snape's actions can be dismissed as dark just because of his feelings towards James.

I guess I'll quote Dumbledore: "Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike."

There isn't a single character in these books that doesn't dislike someone, and some of the best "good" characters feel plenty of jealousy and anger towards people often with much fewer understandable reasons than Snape has. Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Harry, etc. So in my opinion, Snape is just as human as the rest of the characters and shouldn't be held to a higher standard of purity.

But the Silver Doe seems to be figurative and symbolic proof that Snape has left the "trail of darkness." It seemed pretty bright to Harry:

"It was a silver white doe, moon-bright and dazzling, picking her way over the ground, still silent, and leaving no hoofprints in the fine powdering of snow"

I don't think a patronus like that could be formed just from jealousy or anger. But he wasn't a saint or perfect, and to expect him never to dislike someone is asking for more than any other character is able to do.

Unrepentant
July 11th, 2009, 12:33 am
Snape loved Lily for his entire life, bout how could he? I've never "loved" a girl in more than a year. How is he going to get children id he doesn't look around the market for another love object, since Lily gravely dismissed him? Not like anyone would want mini-Snapes running around, but still.
This disability to move on is a great weakness according to me.

Melaszka
July 11th, 2009, 12:42 am
Here we see Snape accepting praise and gratitude where none was due, imo. Snape knew that he had not been able to prevent any danger - indeed, the trio had together knocked him out. However, instead of relaying this information, he behaves as if his actions actually saved someone. He does not reveal the truth of what occurred at all - nothing about binding Lupin or having his wand at Sirius' throat with both men unarmed. Nothing about threatening to have them both kissed - nor about the trio doing him in.

Sure, he accepts the praise, but not in a boastful or extravagant fashion. His responses to the Minster are minimal. I wonder how much he is even listening to the Minister. I imagine him here as being so preoccupied with thoughts about dealing with the danger which he thinks Sirius and Lupin represent that he just sleepwalks through the conversation, trotting out the standard polite responses, until such a time as he can turn the conversation to getting Harry out of Hogwarts and establishing Sirius's and Lupin's guilt.

Snape's non-disclosure here, together with his acceptance of undue praise leads me to believe his motivation was two fold: 1) to try and pursue some sort of reward

I think if that was his goal, he would be milking the moment far more than he does.

But in any case, I can see how from his perspective he might think he deserves a reward. He has been trying to tell Dumbledore all year that Lupin is dangerous and in league with Black, and now he feels he has evidence that he was right all along. He came into the Shack when Sirius and Lupin were alone with the Trio, a situation in which they had a golden opportunity to kill Harry, and the kids all ended up escaping with their lives. From his perspective it may seem that if he hadn't intervened and caused a kerfuffle, Black would have killed a trusting Harry there and then

and 2) continued revenge.

I agree he wants revenge, but IMO it is on Sirius and Lupin for killing Lily.

If we assume that at this point Snape genuinely thinks Sirius was the one who betrayed James and Lily, (as I believe he must - again, a Snape who is prepared to knowingly let Lily's real murderer escape scot free, just so he can get revenge on an innocent man for a personal slight, seems to me so totally inconsistent with the canon Snape, utterly devoted to Lily, revealed in The Prince's Tale in DH that I would totally discard the possibility), then surely his main motivation is vengeance for Lily?

And there is the reward - which Snape accepts with gratitude in advance for having done nothing at all - and in fact, played a role in enlongating matters to the point where Lupin turned into a werewolf

That's a bit harsh - Lupin would have turned into a werewolf before they got Pettigrew to the castle, in any case. And Snape came to the Shack with the express purpose of helping Lupin to stop turning into a werewolf.


Now Snape sees that there is an advantage to disclosing at least a part of the truth - notwithstanding that when the trio wake up, they will spill the beans if he tried to lie. However, he figures he can use the truth his way:

I respect your opinion, but this is highly speculative. Why couldn't he just have used the "confunded" line again if their account contradicted his? The Minister is more likely to take the word of a respected teacher than three Year 3 students who were grossly breaking the rules, anyway.

And I can't see why he should be worried about the trio spilling the beans about this particular point, but not about the fact that he didn't save them or that Pettigrew and not Sirius was the villain. As I see it, the reason he tells the truth here is not because he is afraid of the Trio's account of events conflicting with his, but because he is in the general habit of telling the truth as he sees it. He says that Sirius is a traitor because that is what he genuinely believes. He says the Trio were confunded because that's what he genuinely believes.

And he doesn't play the hero and pretend Black attacked him, because he knows that that's not the truth.

This doesn't even make sense - but Snape has devolved into a fit of revenge and can't think straight for telling his story. He starts off saying that the trio was confunded (he saw it at once) - as if that was a bad thing - and yet, here he is saying that they were somehow confunded and still trying to do the right thing: 'catch Black single handed themselves' - and in the process took him out. It makes no sense that Black would confund them into capturing him.

It makes perfect sense to me. Surely Snape believes that when the Trio set out for the Shack they intended to catch Sirius single-handedly, but when they got there he confunded them and made them believe he was innocent? This is not, actually that far from what did happen (except that we know that Sirius and Lupin used non-magical means (good old fashioned persuasion) to make the Trio change their mind).

And here is Snape once more speaking in terms of turning Harry out from Hogwarts, to the minister, going over Dumbledore's head in his attempt. On top of his lying via omission, and his confusing story of lies mixed with truth (where he inserts his opinion and characterizes it as truth in a very characteristically Snape way) - and even though it doesn't make sense if you stop and thing about it - well on top of all of that, he is attempting to get Lily's boy he promised to help protect, ejected from Hogwarts - the safest place Harry can be.

We know it's the safest place that he can be, but that doesn't mean Snape does. Like HollieWeasley, I believe that Snape genuinely believed that if Harry grew up as an ordinary Muggle boy with no ability to use advanced magic, Voldemort would not perceive him as a threat and would leave him alone. I think this is another example of Snape stubbornly believing that he knows better than Dumbledore what is the best way of doing things (when he so doesn't).

Of course, I can't prove this. But I don't see how a Snape who was prepared to put Harry in danger is at all consistent with the canon Snape we get in DH, who is portrayed as sincerely committed to protecting Harry, however much he may dislike him (we see him swear to DD that he will protect Harry and get very stressed when he finds out that DD intends to sacrifice Harry). Heck, it's even inconsistent with the canon we have been given by Quirrell in Book One that Snape didn't want Harry dead. I think we either have to accept that Snape's motives were pure here, however misguided his plan to get Harry expelled may be, or that JKR was lying to us in DH (which IMO is nonsensical - why would an author lie or mislead the reader at the end of a series when the need for red herrings is over? I think we have to accept that what we are told at the end of DH is the truth).

There was no immediate threat - Black was captured, Lupin in the wild. But Lupin would be a man again, shortly, and on the loose - but that apparently didn't worry Snape during his tirade for vengeance against Harry. At this point, we know that it is also against James - and Sirius and Lupin and Snape has combined it all together into one big bundle of revenge, imo.

If Lupin were bent on killing Harry, surely Hogwarts would be the first place he'd look? It make sense to me that Snape (genuinely if wrongly believing Lupin to b a villain) would want Harry out of Hogwarts to protect him from Lupin, particularly given how close Sirius managed to get to Harry on the night he slashed the portrait.

Notably, he does not request the suspension or expulsion of Hermione and Ron - who were every bit as involved as Harry and in on everything Harry was accused of by Snape. That is another factor to think about - and when I do, I feel it supports what I feel was Snape's great quest for vengeance.

It could also support the theory that Snape wants Harry out of the magical world for his own safety. Hermione and Ron are not the Chosen One, Voldemort does not view them as a threat, so from Snape's perspective, they are not putting themselves in danger by developing advanced magical powers.

And, incidently, his failure to push for Hermione's expulsion at any stage of the books, even when he's presented with a golden opportunity, seems to demonstrate that he has no anti-muggleborn sentiment at all. He is no Salazar Slytherin, leaping on any excuse to push for the removal of muggleborns from Hogwarts.

silver ink pot
July 11th, 2009, 1:04 am
And there is the reward - which Snape accepts with gratitude in advance for having done nothing at all - and in fact, played a role in enlongating matters to the point where Lupin turned into a werewolf

That's a bit harsh - Lupin would have turned into a werewolf before they got Pettigrew to the castle, in any case. And Snape came to the Shack with the express purpose of helping Lupin to stop turning into a werewolf.

And Snape was in as much danger as anyone - perhaps more danger because he was knocked out when Lupin transformed.

Considering how insistant Snape was about Lupin taking his potion, and the fact that he was checking on Lupin when he realized he was heading for the shack, it only makes sense that he was trying to keep Lupin from hurting the kids that night. He orders Harry and the others to get out of the shack - why would he do that if he was waiting for Lupin to transform? What purpose would that serve other than to put all of them in chaos and danger. That is usually the opposite of what Snape is trying to do.

If he really wanted Sirius and the Trio to die, he could have left them by the lake when he awakened so they could be a little snack for Lupin and the Dementors. Instead, he puts them all on stretchers and floats them to the castle. He even puts Ron on a stretcher first because he has a broken leg - yes, the blood traitor's kid, he helps him first! :relax: And Hermione gets a stretcher although she is a Mudblood. Snape treated them all the same way, even Sirius, and I don't think that is a negative scene for Snape, imo.

And, incidently, his failure to push for Hermione's expulsion at any stage of the books, even when he's presented with a golden opportunity, seems to demonstrate that he has no anti-muggleborn sentiment at all. He is no Salazar Slytherin, leaping on any excuse to push for the removal of muggleborns from Hogwarts.
Well-said! :tu: :agree: Hermione made better grades in Potions than Draco, and Lucius knew that in CoS. So much for the theory that Snape always favors the Slytherins and hates the Muggleborns.

TreacleTartlet
July 11th, 2009, 1:16 am
I respect your opinion, but this is highly speculative. Why couldn't he just have used the "confunded" line again if their account contradicted his? The Minister is more likely to take the word of a respected teacher than three Year 3 students who were grossly breaking the rules, anyway.

Indeed! Even Dumbledore says that they would not be believed, so I don't think Snape would have had any reason to think Fudge would believe them if they contradicted his story.

'There is not a shred of proof to support Black's story, except your word - and the word of two thirteen-year-old wizards will not convince anybody.'

And, incidently, his failure to push for Hermione's expulsion at any stage of the books, even when he's presented with a golden opportunity, seems to demonstrate that he has no anti-muggleborn sentiment at all. He is no Salazar Slytherin, leaping on any excuse to push for the removal of muggleborns from Hogwarts.

:tu:

sweetsev
July 11th, 2009, 3:01 am
Hmmm...I'll have to go back and read that scene again. All interesting points, I remember feeling like Snape was acting earnestly on bad information and trying to protect the kids but just ended up bumbling around. It certainly didn't come across as him looking for undeserved glory. More like misplaced indignation.

But to the questions...
1. Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
No. He would have had to forgive himself to want harry's forgiveness.

2. What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?
Something sarcastic? But if we're talking about what dead Snape would say, no longer working as Dumbledore's spy and with Voldemort gone? Hmmm....probably something sarcastic. Not so good with the interpersonal skills.

3. Based on how his character is supposed to end up: if you could change/improve one thing about Snape, what would it be?
I wish he'd had a chance to confront Voldemort and the DE before his death.

4. What do you think Snape would have done, if he had survived DH?
Killed himself, unless Harry could have talked him out of it.

5. Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews? Don't know.

6. Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
No. For Snape I saw Lily as representing his desire to be a better person than he was. That's also how I saw him as needing her to feel good about himself: he needed external validation of his own self worth because he saw himself as something bad/damaged. Lily was "the best of him" that he externalized and he hurt her. And she gave up on him which validated that he was a bad person...after that he didn't have the personal strength to find goodness within himself nor to resist the peer pressure of the other Death Eaters. I think Lily's death was definitely the catalyst to his movement to the good side.


7. Snape is revealed to have been acting throughout the series out of love for Lily, how does this effect your view of his actions in the series - his "murder" of Dumbledore, his treatment of Sirius.
Well, I think the "murder" of Dumbledore was very brave...he killed the only person who cared about him at all and who was giving him direction in life. But I think his actions were in line with his motives and character. His treatment of Sirius? Sirius had been cruel to him, and in his mind, tried to kill him...I can see why he didn't like him. I saw them both as fairly depressed and miserable people and they had a longstanding history of disliking each other. However, I also think he thought that Sirius was going to do something reckless and put Harry in danger. I think a number of the characters walk the line between bravery/masochism/self destruction and Snape falls into this category (along with Sirius and Harry).


8. Why do you think Snape chose to become a Death Eater?
I think being a DE was partially peer pressure/need for acceptance and an attempt to gain power when he had been powerless his entire life: poor, misfit, hated by his father. I think he was a very sad and angry child and was tempted by the Dark Arts. I imagine he experienced a lot of cruelty at the hands of his father and saw cruelty to others as a means of protecting oneself from harm. I think he also saw caring about others as a weakness and vulnerability which is why he had Dumbledore swear not to reveal "the best of himself."


9. How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?
I think I really need to read the books again to remember all that happened. I don't think he understood Harry at all and was overwhelmed with trying to protect him. When Dumbledore asked him to protect Lily's child, he was really asking Snape to be Harry's godfather and I think being "fatherly" was something he was *really* horrible at. There was a lot of yelling and berating and shaming and DH made me feel like that was what his home life had been like.

10. What do you think of Snape's actions after learning who Voldemort had targeted with the prophecy?
He was pretty pathetic.

11. What do you think of Snape's actions after Lily's death. How do you think this death has affected his character?
I think her death gave him the strength to work against Voldemort.

12. What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?
Strengths: bravery, single-mindedness, magical skill/creativity, intelligence
Weaknesses: some kind of major personality disorder.
13. Do you believe Snape came to care about Harry?
Not really....like I said, he didn't understand Harry at all.

uh oh, I'll have to finish the rest later!

snapes_witch
July 11th, 2009, 7:50 am
Snape loved Lily for his entire life, bout how could he? I've never "loved" a girl in more than a year. How is he going to get children id he doesn't look around the market for another love object, since Lily gravely dismissed him? Not like anyone would want mini-Snapes running around, but still.
This disability to move on is a great weakness according to me.

I don't quite understand your never having loved a girl in more than a year. Did you mean for more than a year? If so, hopefully in time you'll meet someone with whom you'll want to spend the rest of your life.

Why do you assume that Snape wanted any children, or for that matter, needed to have children? (Not everybody does, y'know!) There's certainly nothing in canon about him wanting children with Lily, after all they were only 16 when Lily dumped him.

dchristen03
July 11th, 2009, 8:04 am
16. There are all kinds of bravery in this series, what characteristics of Snape's make him brave? In what sense is he a hero?

Snape was so brave to be a spy for both sides. The fact that if he had said one wrong thing would've been the last thing he'd ever said, didn't stop him from helping Dumbledore. He devoted his life to spying on Voldemort for Dumbledore without even realizing how much that will cost. Snape could've died more times than I could count - but he just let himself go. He's so brave.

Melaszka
July 11th, 2009, 10:50 am
I agree - his response was almost humble for Snape. In the way a man who earned no right to a reward would accept one, imo.

I can see that it can be interpreted this way, but that's still not how I read it.

But we are on to the next day now. Snape knows very well that after he was knocked out there was ample opportunity for Black to act and kill the kids if he wanted, imo.

As he was unconscious the whole time, how can he know that Black had ample opportunity?

What was Black waiting for in Snape's opinion? What had he been doing sitting listening while Lupin told their life story to the trio and contributing a bit to that? Why hadn't he just murdered Harry when he had the wand to confund them all? It makes no logical sense from Snape's point of view, imo.

I agree that Snape is somewhat illogical in his reasoning. But I think he is so certain in his own mind that Sirius is a dangerous killer, because the Whomping Willow incident when he was a teenager convinced him (not entirely unreasonably, IMO) that Sirius would have killed him if he had the chance and used a smooth tongue to get away scot free with attempted murder then, and because (like pretty much everyone else, including for most of the book Dumbledore) he has completely bought the story that Sirius betrayed James and Lily, that desire for revenge (for Lily's death, I mean) and concern for Harry's safety blinker his judgement.

Indeed, even Harry picks up on the fact that Snape isn't thinking straight in the Shrieking Shack ("he seemed beyond all reason"). IMO, then, his admittedly garbled story is that of an emotionally overwrought man who is so fixated on the idea of Sirius being a villain that he can't recognise the truth, not that of a dishonest man, who is deliberately trying to use lies and spin to big himself up.

Besides which, in a literary context, Sirius not killing Harry immediately when he gets the chance makes perfect sense - it would put him on a par with the Bond villain who wastes time explaining his dastardly plot to the hero when he's trapped in his lair, instead of just shooting him on the spot, or *cough* the fantasy novel villain who concocts an elaborate plot to capture his nemesis, involving a year-long inter-school wizarding contest with a Portkey at the end, instead of just turning the nemesis's toothbrush into a Portkey.

So I don't it's that odd that Snape might genuinely believe that Sirius intended to kill Harry and that his own intervention and Lupin's transformation into a werewolf were the only things that prevented this happening.

Lupin? For killing Lily? How?

Gosh, you're such a lawyer! Lupin, for abetting Lily's betrayer to evade justice and helping him in his attempts against Harry's life. (We know that he wasn't helping Sirius break into the castle and that Sirius wasn't trying to kill Harry, but it seems to me not unreasonable - given Lupin's and Sirius's previous close relationship and the coincidence that they both return to Hogwarts in the same year after a 15ish year absence - to suppose that Snape genuinely thinks he was.)

Snape's purpose in going to the shack was to capture Sirius and Lupin - not to give Lupin potion - he didn't bring any with him.

True. Point to you. But he was trying to give Lupin potion when he discovered he was heading for the Shack.

Plus, no one could stop Lupin turning into a werewolf

I'm a bit hazy on the details, but if he had taken the wolfsbane, wouldn't he have turned into a wolf, not a werewolf?

Besides which, you know what I mean - even after Snape has forced his resignation, Lupin himself admits that Snape has done everything in his power to alleviate his symptoms. So it still seems to me a bit harsh to blame Snape (even partially) for the fact that Lupin turned into a werewolf before the business could be cleared up.

I feel Snape's general habit was lying. Usually he lied via omission, imo, but sometimes he lied outright (seeing no different between Hermione's tusks and her teeth; Harry and his father have a little quidditch talent). So his honesty is deeply in question at all times in the series, imo, and an argument that he is truthful cannot work for me. But I respect your interpretation.

The "lies" which you cite seem to me insults and matters of opinion rather than real lies. He is not trying to deceive anyone when he says that Harry has little Quidditch talent or Hermione's teeth are no different to her tusks - because he knows perfectly well that the people he is talking to/in front of have seen her teeth/Harry's playing for themselves and are quite capable of drawing their own conclusions. I agree that his remarks are mean-spirited and cruel, but it still seems to me to be a big, big leap to use them as evidence that he would deliberately deceive the Minister. It seems to me a bit like trying to use Ron's hyperbolic comments about Crabbe and Goyle as "proof" that he is a habitual liar whose word can't be trusted in any other context.

It could reasonably be understood that way based on my recollection of the canon. I simply don't feel Snape believed the kids were confunded. Lupin and Black were not acting guilty - Black even told him he'd go to the castle without a fight as long as the rat came along. That was Snape's opportunity to do the right thing - carry them all up to the castle. He could have kept the trio safe, not been attacked, gotten them to the castle prior to Lupin transforming and the entire incident would have turned out distinctly. But Snape became vindictive, wouldn't listen, shouted cruel accusations, imo, and was determined to have Lupin and Sirius kissed per his own words

Snape knows that Sirius managed to evade punishment for his attempt on his own life when they were teenagers. I think he wants to take the law into his own hands because he is scared that Sirius will convince Dumbledore of his innocence and sweet talk him into letting him go scot free again.

I think Snape is seriously at fault here - he is so convinced in his own mind of Sirius's guilt (and he is probably unduly influenced in this by his own resentment at the Whomping Willow incident) that he just won't listen to counterarguments or agree to the proper process of justice. But I still believe that his prime motivation here is justice for Lily. He is so scared that her betrayer will escape punishment -again - that he won't listen to anyone trying to persuade him to go through the due processes.

Well I feel that Snape would have suggested this - or someone would have suggested he maybe meant this on his behalf - if JKR meant us to even think about it. It is out of the clear blue sky reasoning, imo. There was never a suggestion that Harry should grow up a muggle - never in all of canon to my memory, but certainly none including Snape iirc.

I respect your view and I can see your point, but I still feel that if we accept Quirrell's assertion in PS/SS that Snape didn't want Harry dead and Snape's vow to protect Harry in DH at face value, him vindictively wanting Harry expelled from Dumbledore's protection with no thought to its impact on Harry's safety makes no sense.

When Snape gets riled up, he forgets about protecting Harry and his vindictiveness takes over, imo.

I respect your view, but disagree. As I see it, when Snape gets riled up, he does not listen to people or think things through, but I don't believe his commitment to protecting Harry ever wavers. In fact, I think he gets most riled up when Harry makes his job difficult by deliberately putting himself in danger time and time again.

He is consistent in that way, imo, like when escaping in HBP - his stint whipping a defenseless Harry isn't consistent with protection either, imo. Snape loses it and Harry's safety becomes second to Snape's selfish desires, imo.

He may have caused Harry physical pain, but he did not at any point put Harry in danger of death or serious physical injury, as I see it.

Snape had no interaction with Harry in DH, there was no 'losing it' about Harry for him. How can we accept Snape's motives were pure when he whipped Harry in the face in HBP? How is that possibly construed as protection? Or when he dumped the Occlumency lessons? Or when he shoved Harry to the ground with all of his might in OOTP? Harry required protection it is true, only in these cases, he required protection from Snape, imo.

I go back to Quirrell's words. He hated Harry, but didn't want him dead. His causing Harry minor injuries and psychological pain is not, IMO, inconsistent with a deeply held commitment to do all in his power to protect Harry from death or serious physical injury.

The dumping Occlumency lessons is more serious, I agree, as that could have exposed Harry to danger from Voldemort. However, he clearly told Dumbledore what happened, giving him the chance to take over Occlumency lessons himself or put in place some alternative means of protection, as Dumbledore knows at the beginning of HBP about the occlumency lessons being a "fiasco".

And, let's face it, for a number of reasons, the Occlumency lessons weren't really helping any, anyway, as I think Snape realised by that point.

Are you suggesting that Snape's shock in the DH memories was because Harry had to die?

Yes.

Do you feel that Dumbledore revealing his machiavellian nature to Snape had no impact?

It had an impact, but it seems clear to me that for Snape "keeping Lily Potter's son safe" is paramount.

Which does not explain why Lupin, who was alone with Harry a multitude of times during the school year, didn't kill him. Snape's answer to that: "Don't ask me to fathom the mind of a werewolf". That is simply not a satisfactory answer to me. Snape didn't address why Black and Lupin didn't immediately kill Harry in the shack either. Nor why they didn't kill him upon Snape being conked out. These are questions without answers, imo, which is why we got none from Snape, imo.

I think I covered that above.

Snape, admittedly, was on a vengeance run, and he didn't care who went down in his path - including the trio, imo.

I agree he was on a vengeance run, but on Lily's behalf, not his own. I totally disagree that he would have let the trio go down in his path.

He was not on any rescue mission when he went to the shack - he just wanted to bring down Sirius and Lupin, imo.

I think we may have to agree to disagree here.

This wasn't an argument I presented.

No, I know it wasn't - sorry if it came across like I was putting words in your mouth you never said. But it is an argument that has been put by others on these forums. And I was generally just trying to demonstrate that the evidence that you have cited in Snape's prosecution could, in another argument, work in his favour.

HollieWeasley
July 11th, 2009, 11:17 am
Call me crazy if you must, but I think Snape was a good person, he just made the wrong choices at a young age- like dumbledore.

He had- what he thought were- the right intentions at heart.

I think his life would of been a lot better if he didn't have such a horrid upbringing. For that I blame his mother: Eileen Prince.

When he was horrid to tuney (:P) he didn't know any better....he was used to being treated that way all his life by his parents... it rubbed off on him I guess.

But seriously..I think he was a good person..

Sly_Lady
July 11th, 2009, 12:59 pm
Snape was so brave to be a spy for both sides. The fact that if he had said one wrong thing would've been the last thing he'd ever said, didn't stop him from helping Dumbledore. He devoted his life to spying on Voldemort for Dumbledore without even realizing how much that will cost. Snape could've died more times than I could count - but he just let himself go. He's so brave.

Well said! :tu:

bellatrix93
July 11th, 2009, 2:37 pm
If he really wanted Sirius and the Trio to die, he could have left them by the lake when he awakened so they could be a little snack for Lupin and the Dementors. Instead, he puts them all on stretchers and floats them to the castle. He even puts Ron on a stretcher first because he has a broken leg - yes, the blood traitor's kid, he helps him first! :relax: And Hermione gets a stretcher although she is a Mudblood. Snape treated them all the same way, even Sirius, and I don't think that is a negative scene for Snape, imo.

I agree with you that Snape didnt want Sirius or the trio dead, as for the trio, Harry in particular, Snape told Bellatrix in HBP that he wouldnt kill Harry nor watch him die, also he wouldnt have let him die not after promising Dumbledore to keep Lily's son safe, despite his loathe to him, so IMO he didnt act out of love, just responsibility. Snape didnt have much of a grudge against Ron or Hermione except for being a Blood traitor and a MudBlood, and throughout the whole series he treated them better than Harry, so why would he have left them for a werewolf to eat them? As for Sirius I dont think he wanted him dead, he wanted him to be kissed by a Dementor and according to POA, the Dementors were retreating when Snape regained his consciousness, so instead he took them on the stretchers and into the castle where, Fudge and the other ministry officials were, to have the glory of capturing Sirius Black, and saving three teenagers from a mad killer and a werewolf attack, moreover he told on Harry being out of school without permission, IMO his situation was still negative, he didnt want them dead, actually he wanted something worse for Sirius.



And, incidently, his failure to push for Hermione's expulsion at any stage of the books, even when he's presented with a golden opportunity, seems to demonstrate that he has no anti-muggleborn sentiment at all. He is no Salazar Slytherin, leaping on any excuse to push for the removal of muggleborns from Hogwarts.

IMO, the main reason he never suggested Hermione's expulsion, is that no one would've listened to him probably every member of the Hogwarts' staff would've stood against him, especially people like Flitwick and Mcgonagall, and Dumbledore of course. Yet he treats her in a very unkind way, since her first potions class ever, and through out the series (e.g he calls her an unbearable know it all, he refuses to send her to the hospital wing in GOF when Malfoy attacks her) besides he had never awarded her with points for her extraordinary performance in potions, which makes me think that the reason behind this was her blood status that he never approved of.

Melaszka
July 11th, 2009, 4:39 pm
IMO, the main reason he never suggested Hermione's expulsion, is that no one would've listened to him probably every member of the Hogwarts' staff would've stood against him, especially people like Flitwick and Mcgonagall, and Dumbledore of course.

They don't listen to him when he tries to get Harry expelled, either, but that doesn't stop him trying! I can't see why it would in Hermione's case, either, if ridding Hogwarts of Muggleborns were his true intention.

Yet he treats her in a very unkind way, since her first potions class ever, and through out the series (e.g he calls her an unbearable know it all, he refuses to send her to the hospital wing in GOF when Malfoy attacks her) besides he had never awarded her with points for her extraordinary performance in potions, which makes me think that the reason behind this was her blood status that he never approved of.

Why, then, does he rebuke Phineas Nigellus for calling her a Mudblood in DH? I know that what he actually says is "Don't use that word" and that there's a school of thought that says that he is objecting, not to Black's blood prejudice, but merely to the fact that he has used a word which triggers bad memories of Lily. I concede that that is a perfectly possible interpretation but my own interpretation is that Snape has learn his lesson and no longer supports blood prejudice on any level.

As to his treatment of Hermione in class, yes, it's unkind at times, but is it any worse than the treatment he metes out to Purebloods? He is worse by far to Neville, IMO, and he's the son of a witch and wizard.

Also, I feel that the text gives us other possible reasons why he is down on Hermione. It is made clear that he shows favouritism to Slytherins and against Gryffindors, in particular, so I would contend that it is very possibly her house, not her blood status, which gets up Snape's nose.

Furthermore, HBP makes it clear that her style of learning is totally anathema to Snape. She reads books voraciously and frequently parrots them verbatim, while Snape (as shown both through what he says in class and his annotations to his HBP Potions' book) is more into questioning what he reads and developing ideas for himself. I would contend that part of what annoys him about Hermione in class is that she relies too much on memorising facts and he would like her to concentrate less on showing off her reading and more on thinking on he feet.

And there's also the possibility that he is insecure and jealous of clever students. His teaching style is formal and detached and seems dependent on a marked status gap between teacher and student. I can see why that kind of teacher might feel threatened by an exceptionally bright student.

So I can see several other possible reasons why Snape might mistreat Hermione, other than blood prejudice. In the absence of any other evidence of blood prejudice since Lily's death, and in the presence of the fact that he has devoted years to risking his life for an anti-blood prejudice organisation (the OotP), I find it hard to ascribe his in-class treatment of Hermione to blood prejudice.

silver ink pot
July 11th, 2009, 6:13 pm
Also, I feel that the text gives us other possible reasons why he is down on Hermione. It is made clear that he shows favouritism to Slytherins and against Gryffindors, in particular, so I would contend that it is very possibly her house, not her blood status, which gets up Snape's nose.

I bet Snape wishes he had more Hermiones in Slytherin House and fewer Crabbes and Goyles. :evil:

Just my opinion. :)

Melaszka
July 11th, 2009, 8:04 pm
I bet Snape wishes he had more Hermiones in Slytherin House and fewer Crabbes and Goyles. :evil:

Just my opinion. :)

Oh, absolutely!

His frank words to Draco in the Unbreakable Vow chapter of HBP (advising Draco against "placing your reliance on assistants like Crabbe and Goyle" and advising that "If your friends Crabbe and Goyle intend to pass their DADA OWL this time around, they will need to work a little harder") make it quite clear that his legendary Slytherin favouritism doesn't extend to C and G. I think he can be hard on members of his own house when he has to be, but we rarely see it, because of Harry's PoV.

Sly_Lady
July 11th, 2009, 8:11 pm
His frank words to Draco in the Unbreakable Vow chapter of HBP (advising Draco against "placing your reliance on assistants like Crabbe and Goyle" and advising that "If your friends Crabbe and Goyle intend to pass their DADA OWL this time around, they will need to work a little harder") make it quite clear that his legendary Slytherin favouritism doesn't extend to C and G. I think he can be hard on members of his own house when he has to be, but we rarely see it, because of Harry's PoV.
My reading of Professor Snape, based on the passage you quoted, is that he keeps his criticism of Slytherins in their common room, rather than letting other students see it. He knows the prejudice against Slytherin, which has gone on since before he set foot at Hogwarts.

bellatrix93
July 11th, 2009, 9:00 pm
Why, then, does he rebuke Phineas Nigellus for calling her a Mudblood in DH? I know that what he actually says is "Don't use that word" and that there's a school of thought that says that he is objecting, not to Black's blood prejudice, but merely to the fact that he has used a word which triggers bad memories of Lily. I concede that that is a perfectly possible interpretation but my own interpretation is that Snape has learn his lesson and no longer supports blood prejudice on any level.

My interpretation is that he was reminded of Lily, by Black's words.

As to his treatment of Hermione in class, yes, it's unkind at times, but is it any worse than the treatment he metes out to Purebloods? He is worse by far to Neville, IMO, and he's the son of a witch and wizard.

Look closely at Hermione and Neville, on one hand Hermione is a bright muggle-born witch, smart and hard working, never failed to produce a perfect potion, on the other hand Neville comes from a pure-blood family, but people in COS thought he were a squib, and almost all the potions he managed to produce were real fiasco. So his blood status was acceptable to Snape, but look at his magical abilities, Snape was not a nice teacher and Neville's performance in potions did not warm him to Snape. For a better judgment for whether Snape's treatment for Hermione was based on her blood status, I'd look for a pure-blood whose performance was passable in Snape's eyes, Ron for instance, imo recieved better treatment from Snape than both Hermione and Harry.

Also, I feel that the text gives us other possible reasons why he is down on Hermione. It is made clear that he shows favouritism to Slytherins and against Gryffindors, in particular, so I would contend that it is very possibly her house, not her blood status, which gets up Snape's nose.

I can see the way you look at it, but Snape was not so harsh with Seamus and Parvati, for instance, who were in Gryffindor, too.

And there's also the possibility that he is insecure and jealous of clever students. His teaching style is formal and detached and seems dependent on a marked status gap between teacher and student. I can see why that kind of teacher might feel threatened by an exceptionally bright student.

I quite agree. Snape was a very skilled wizard and had a great amount of knowledge, but I never felt that he was good at representing this information to his students,or if he even wanted to . I think Snape was a better scholar than a teacher, he loved learning (e.g learning to fly and inventing spells) which makes of think that the only reason he stayed at Hogwarts was working for Dumbledore.

silver ink pot
July 12th, 2009, 3:52 am
Hermione actually did feel that her teeth were huge - she had them shortened during the course of the series. In my view, she ran crying from the room when Snape said that because in her mind, her teeth might just appear little different than the tusks to some - in other words, there was an element of truth to his words that caused her additional pain, imo.


Hermione was already being taunted by Pansy in that scene before Snape arrived, and her "pain" was already inflicted by Draco's wayward spell.

When Ron implies to Snape that what Draco did to Hermione was worse than what Harry did to Goyle, Snape says "I see no difference." Harry accidentally blasting Goyle was just as bad as what Draco did to Hermione.

I think it's really cool that because of that scene something good actually happened to Hermione. She was able to shrink her teeth without braces before the Yule Ball. ;)

Sly_Lady
July 12th, 2009, 4:16 am
I think it's really cool that because of that scene something good actually happened to Hermione. She was able to shrink her teeth without braces before the Yule Ball. ;)

Although it might be extreme to suggest that Professor Snape's comment made that whole happy dental ending possible, one could say that his example of subtle effectiveness inspired Hermione to take matters into her own hands. :p

canismajoris
July 12th, 2009, 10:59 am
I'm having real trouble coming up with an answer to that poll. For one thing it's hard to compartmentalize the weaknesses in terms of which things were a detriment to Snape and which things resulted in conflicts in the story overall. I can't say "I don't think he had weaknesses," but I want to think his strengths and weaknesses ultimately may have reached a kind of equilibrium simply because he was a man with relatively few choices during Harry's time at Hogwarts. Was he at times petty and cruel? Of course he was, but so were Ron and Harry, so was James, so are many people in the world. Who knows, his greatest weakness may actually have been his inability to see that though he may have been constrained in certain ways because of his past decisions, he wasn't as emotionally beholden to them as he seemed to believe. It's easy to get stuck on old hurts.

Melaszka
July 12th, 2009, 11:25 am
Well I wasn't actually speaking about Snape's speech inside the shack because I agree he was over-wrought. I was speaking about the next day when Snape spoke with the minister. At that point I feel he had ample time to calm down and at that point he said that he felt that the trio had been confunded.

I see where you're coming from, but my reading of this has always been that Snape remains in a high state of emotion, because he is determined that this time Sirius is not going to get away with it like he did (to Snape's mind) twice before (Whomping Willow; Potters' betrayal). I think he is so focused on this goal that he sees everything through the prism of it - if any facts don't fit, he either doesn't notice them or twists them to fit his beliefs. That is why I think he clings to the notion of the Trio having been confunded. He is so 100% convinced of Sirius's guilt that if the Trio contradict him in this, it can't possibly him that's wrong, so they must have been confunded...to his mind it's the only possible explanation. I think it's his habitual refusal to consider he might be wrong, combined with a desire to assuage his own guilt for betraying Lily by avenging her other betrayer, that leads him to cling to the idea of Sirius's guilt and the Trio's having been confunded.

Well I feel that if the door creaking was an indication that Snape had arrived in the shack, he understood that he was walking in on the middle of the conversation. So reasonably, he would understand that they were all chatting rather than Black and Lupin having taken the opportunity to kill Harry and the others. If as he later indicated, Snape felt Black had the time to confund the trio (which we know from Snape confunding Mundungus in DH takes time because after making the spell you then have to fill the individuals' minds with the thoughts you wish) - Black and Lupin would easily have had time and opportunity to simply AK all three kids, imo (either in lieu of the confunding or immediately upon doing so). So that is why I feel Snape would know there had been an opportunity for Black and Lupin to kill them which they had not taken.

But the Trio themselves don't believe that Black hasn't lured them there to kill him until Lupin accepts Black's innocence. Hermione initially doesn't even accept it then, jumping to the same conclusion as Snape - that Lupin is in cahoots with Black. If the Trio don't pick up on Sirius's innocence from the fact that he doesn't kill them immediately but engages in chat, why should we expect Snape to?

I understand what you are trying to say now. I thought you were indicating Snape wished revenge for the events of 1981 on Lupin and that is why he included him in the threat to have them kissed.

Well, I suppose I did think that, in a way. I've always assumed that if Snape thought Lupin was Black's accomplice in the Harry era, then he must also have believed that Lupin was Black's accomplice in the betrayal of the Potters.

Well it is Snape's thread, so I limited my comments to him; however, I blame Lupin also because he and Snape were aware of the impact of the full moon being upon them that evening. So this wasn't to blame Snape entirely, but he and Lupin contributed to lengthening the timetable, imo, when they should have realized that the full moon would be upon them that night. (It is possible the others knew too, but there is no hard evidence of that.)

Hey, everyone makes mistakes, and they were under pressure! Gosh, you have exacting standards.

I was mainly speaking in terms of those he was talking to. The problem is as you say, when an insult goes further in that it impacts one's belief system. Hermione actually did feel that her teeth were huge - she had them shortened during the course of the series. In my view, she ran crying from the room when Snape said that because in her mind, her teeth might just appear little different than the tusks to some - in other words, there was an element of truth to his words that caused her additional pain, imo. Of course she knew her teeth did not reach her shoulders, but people who are sensitive to what they see as physical faults to themselves, often exaggerate them in their minds, imo. So for example, if Snape had said that he saw no difference between her hair being purple and its normal color, I don't think she'd of ran out crying, I think she would have possibly made a face and left disgusted at the insult, but not crying - you see what I mean? In the case of Harry - he knew about his own Quidditch prowess and he thought he knew of his father's (based on the trophy cup) - but what if his father actually had no talent and used other means to obtain success? An unknown (cleared up later by others reiterating his dad had talent - but not at the time).

So these types of statements I feel are opinions stated as fact, that move beyond mere insults because they have an impact on the listener that could ring with truth when it is not true at all, imo.

I'm not disputing the fact that they're nasty and may have been calculated to cause maximum hurt, but I don't think they're "lies" in the normal sense, let alone that they can be used to "prove" that Snape is a habitual liar.

I've always found Snape engagingly open (apart, of course, from when he has to lie, as part of his spying duties). For example, I think it's clear from things that Dumbledore says to Harry and from "The Prince's Tale" that he made no attempt to hide his bullying of Harry from Dumbledore. And he's always IMO been admirably upfront about his DE past (my favourite bit in the whole series is another encounter between Snape and the Minister - when he rolls up his sleeve to show him his Dark Mark at the end of GoF. Of course, the Minister must already know about his DE past, but as I see it, it takes a brave man to unself-consciously wave his Dark Mark around in public) As I see it, a habitually deceitful man, concerned about winning awards and his own reputation, would try to pass himself off to the headmaster as Harry's caring teacher and would try to spin his time as a DE a shaving been less bad than it was.

My lasting impression was that Sirius and Snape were punished for that event by Dumbledore. Why did you feel they were not?

They may have been punished (although I'm interested that you believe that snooping on what a boy you dislike is getting up to, because you want to get him into trouble and discredit him, is morally equivalent to tricking a boy you dislike into a situation which could very easily lead to his death or serious injury. I cannot share that view.) but Sirius was obviously not expelled and, from the face of it, it doesn't even look as if he was suspended. I've always had some sympathy for Snape re his feelings over this incident, because if a fellow pupil tried to kill me and wasn't expelled for it, let alone face legal action, I think it would traumatise me for the rest of my life, too. It would make me feel that the authorities considered my life totally worthless.

This could be true despite whatever punishment was received when they were 16, imo. But what would make Snape hold this fear? What could Sirius possibly say to convince Dumbledore? Sirius wasn't going to be able to confund him after all. If Sirius could convince Dumbledore - it would have to be with something entirely and absolutely reasonable and sound proof because Dumbledore too believed Black was the traitor and murderer of those muggles back in 1981.

I've already said that I believe Snape's deepest flaw is that he thinks he knows better than other people...even Dumbledore.


Again - I agree that Snape wanted revenge - perhaps not for Lily, but for their ongoing childhood relations (in Snape's mind)

Ah, well, this is a crucial point for me. I am utterly convinced in my own mind that his motivation here is revenge for Lily, not revenge for what happened in their childhood. I'm not saying that their childhood hatred isn't relevant - I think Snape's negative experiences with Sirius at school have biased him and made him too unwilling to consider other suspects as Lily's betrayer. But I think he genuinely believes Sirius is guilty and his reason for wanting Sirius dead is entirely to do with revenge for Lily.

If I thought Snape was acting for reasons of personal revenge here, I would have far less sympathy for him and I might be inclined to agree with some of your other assessments of his character.

As with many of my other interpretations of the books, it comes down to the way that JKR uses ambiguity and unclear language to create red herrings.I always found the words she uses during Snape's and Sirius's encounter in the Shack highly suspicious. Snape is more emotionally overwrought than Harry has ever seen him and he seemed "beyond all reason" - in my view, a hint that what is upsetting him here is not just the childhood feud with the Marauders, which he's already talked about before and never got so het up about, that the issue that concerns him about Sirius is something more than the things we already know about and that there's another story going on here (and later we learn that there was another story going on in Snape's life
- his love for Lily)

When he says "How I hoped I'd be the one to catch you. Vengeance is sweet" he is interrupted before he can explain what he means. In my experience, interrupting a character is one way that JKR, time and time again in the novels, pulls the wool over our eyes, makes us think that they're talking about one thing, when actually they're talking about another. That is why I always thought, long, long before Snape's feelings for Lily were revealed, that at this point JKR is trying to trick us down the wrong path of assuming that Snape's desire for vengeance is for the obvious, face value reason (the Whomping Willow incident when they were students), while at the same time, dropping a subtle hint that Snape might have other reasons for wanting vengeance on the person whom he believes betrayed the Potters.

- but how could Sirius escape punishment through Dumbledore? Why would Snape fear this? Do you feel he believed that Dumbledore was so gullible and his wisdom so overstated that he would believe whatever lame reasoning Sirius came up with?

Yes, that is pretty much what I do believe and I don't think it's that incredible. After all, it pretty much mirrors Harry's attitude re Dumbledore's trusting of Snape. Harry also feels that Dumbledore is so gullible and his wisdom so overstated that he believes whatever lame reasoning Snape comes up with.

And also, didn't Dumbledore address that when Snape reminded him that Sirius had tried to murder him at 16 (thus also a reminder of Sirius not being sent to Azkaban for that or whatever harsher punishment Snape may have felt Sirius deserved) and Dumbledore's rather cryptic response that his memory was as good as always? Wasn't he indicating that he recalled things that indicated to him Snape's own culpability in that event and that he had punished fairly as a result (based on our later finding out all of what Snape knew and was attempting to do during the course of that childhood event in Deathly Hallows). Isn't that what Dumbledore was alluding to - and why Snape dropped the topic - because he knew deep down Dumbledore was right?

No, I don't believe that at all. I think Snape drops the topic because he realises he's getting nowhere, pure and simple. IMO it is very, very similar to the point in HBP when Harry tries to persuade Dumbledore that Snape can't be trusted. When Dumbledore gets eggy with him (using a quite similarly tart tone to that he uses to Snape here e.g "Yes, Harry, blessed as I am with extraordinary brainpower, I understood everything you told me...I think you might consider the possibility that I understood more than you did" and "I have been tolerant enough to answer that question already...My answer has not changed"). Harry also drops the topic when Dumbledore takes on that icy tone with him, and it's made explicitly clear that he does not believe deep down that DD is right, it is merely that he "could not see what was to be gained by arguing further".

So I don't see how, in Snape's case, it can be inferred that, just because he drops the topic, he knows that Dumbledore is right. We have canon that when Dumbledore takes on that kind of tone, people tend to drop the subject he objects to, even if they're still convinced DD's wrong.

Isn't it more reasonable that Snape feared Sirius might actually have a valid reason for his exoneration and thus, legitimately not be culpable and therefore not deserve being kissed or punishment of any kind? And wasn't that what Dumbledore was thinking when he said that Snape wasn't crazy but just very disappointed?

I respect your interpretation here, but I would have to totally disagree, because I don't find it reasonable at all that Dumbledore (even the Machiavellian Dumbledore with feet of clay revealed in DH) would say "I trust Severus Snape", entrust him with critical OotP missions, trust him with protecting Harry, offer him friendship and support etc if he thought he was the kind of man who would deliberately try to frame and kill/Dementorise a man he believed to be innocent.

I also believe that Snape's wanting to kill/Dementorise an innocent man is inconsistent with everything we learn about him in "The Prince's Tale" - his concern about ripping his soul, his attestation (which I think we must take at face value) that lately he has only watched die those whom he could not save.

This is how I saw it - combined with some feelings of jealousy related to the desire that he could have performed like her as a student himself (something I don' t feel would necessarily be limited to professor Snape - but to other professors as well).

I know we disagree on this, because we've discussed it before, but I still feel that HBP makes it clear that, in Potions and DADA at least, young Snape was a better student than Hermione - his scribblings in his book suggest an independent mind with knowledge greater than the person who wrote the text book, while Hermione's in-class responses in DADA suggest overreverence for and dependence onthe text, which Snape (rightly, IMO) picks her up on. I really don't like what JKR has done here, because I think it draws on the most insulting of gender stereotypes, but I still think that's what the book's saying.

So I don't think he feels jealous of her in that sense. I do, though, think he likes to be the one in charge in class, and wouldn't welcome an overenthusiastic student, whatever their blood status.

I do understand the point that is being raised about Snape's feelings about muggles in general. Snape showed dislike for his father and Petunia based on their birthright when young and later appeared to have extended that to muggleborns at Hogwarts (both calling his friend Lily a mudblood and according to her, others as well).

But he clearly didn't mean it in Lily's case, any more than Lily really meant she'd rather go out with the giant squid than James. IMO, his calling Lily a Mudblood is no more evidence of genuine blood prejudice than Ron's insults of SPEW are evidence of his being species-ist or Lily's squid comment is evidence of her being anti-men or anti-James.

Later of course, he joined the DEs who were ademantly prejudiced against them, imo.

And even later than that, he joined the OotP, who were adamantly opposed to blood prejudice, and worked for the overthrow of the DEs.

So I think that it would take not only time, but an entire change of viewpoint for Snape to look upon muggles and muggleborns distinctly. However, his actual reasons for his feelings about them was never outlined in the canon, imo, so I don't really know that it is something that can be ascertained definitively. He may have continued to harbor negativity toward them or he may not have, imo.

I still don't think JKR would have put in the Phineas Nigellus Mudblood exchange if she didn't want us to believe he had changed, but I do understand that it can be read differently.

If JKR meant for that statement to indicate that Snape no longer held any prejudice feelings toward muggles and muggleborns, I feel she should have made it a little clearer by making Snape make a broader rejoinder. He merely took exception to the word 'mudblood' which had hurt him so in the past, rather than addressing the deeper issue of prejudice, imo.

I see what you mean. I also think there are lots of points where things could have been made more unambiguous. But I think she left herself a lot of loose ends to tie up in DH and if she'd spelt everything out in foot high letters rather than oblique hints, she would be accused of crassly unsubtle writing.

I do accept that it does not necessarily mean that his prejudice has died. But, looking at the other side of the coin, I would also argue that if JKR wanted us to believe that Snape never got over his blood prejudice and that his support of the OotP went very much against his opinions on this topic, she should have made that much clearer. A bit of bullying of Hermione in early books, which could be due to a number of reasons, is not, IMO, conclusive enough, either.

I also think, incidentally, the fact that he clung to his love for Lily and never came round to Voldemort's pragmatic suggestion that "there were other women, and of purer blood, worthier of him" also suggests that he wasn't truly blood prejudiced, especially as an adult.

silver ink pot
July 12th, 2009, 3:21 pm
I would disagree, but that isn't the point I was addressing - rather, I was addressing Snape's treatment of Hermione and what his behavior represented in this scene, imo. Snape instructed Goyle to go to the hospital wing, but he didn't recommend that Hermione do so, so I feel that Snape was simply behaving in a bullying manner toward her - and understood that he would hurt her feelings over an issue that she was sensitive about by stating the untruth that he saw no difference between her tusks and her regular teeth.

I just think Snape knew Hermione was smart enough to know that she needed to go see Madame Pomfrey, while Goyle needed to be told what to do because he's a dimwit. :lol:

SDSPAGE
July 12th, 2009, 4:20 pm
1.Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
No, he didn't need. He is a Slyterin. He always does what he wants to do and never cares others' feelings,especially Harry.

2. What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?
I hope you are good at potion just like your grandma Lily.

3.Based on how his character is supposed to end up: if you could change/improve one thing about Snape, what would it be?
I hope he can be saved by phoenix tear.

4. What do you think Snape would have done, if he had survived DH?

Continue teaching potion in the Hogwarts and being the head of Slyterin, because he needs to protect and teach the students in Slyterin. That's his responsiblily. However, in my opinion, if it is possible, I would rather he become a hermit and enjoy the calm life after war.

sweetsev
July 12th, 2009, 11:22 pm
Snape would be punished for breaking school rules and going near the tree; further stopping it and accessing the tunnel - all of which was forbidden to students. I also believe that Dumbledore felt that Snape was an intelligent lad and would not walk carelessly into a place that the administration had told him was dangerous - and require rescued by his enemy. So in my view, Dumbledore figured out that Snape had gone in with a purpose, and not a good one. That is what he was referring to when he responded to Snape in POA about his memory being good as always, imo.

Sirius didn't know that Snape realized what the danger was - but he knew that Snape was aware there was a danger and that he was forbidden to go near the tree or tunnel at all. He basically told Snape how to get through the gate so that he could jump off a cliff - how to access danger, imo. I think Sirius likely found it hilarious that Snape took him up on the advice at all considering they were enemies and both knew there was danger involved. Imo, Sirius was behaving in a bad hearted manner - which is why I felt he'd be punished. However, this was in no way, shape or form sending Snape *unknowingly* into danger, imo. Both boys knew it was dangerous - the whole school did as Lily pointed out in DH and Lupin in POA.

So the upshot is that imo, neither boy was working with clean hands that day and I feel Dumbledore saw it that way as well. That is why he didn't suspend either boy - and merely likey punished them both, imo.

Thus, I don't really understand the basis for your sympathy here, because it would seem that it is based on Snape being unknowingly sent into danger by Sirius - but that wasn't the case - Snape definitely knew he was walking into danger, and even if he didn't know what it was (which he actually did suspect), he was still culpable for taking that risk upon himself, imo.

I have to say that I find this a very strange analysis of the werewolf incident...it sounds like a 'blame the victim' defense of what Sirius did. Imagine if, in HBP, Malfoy realizes that Harry is suspicious of him and so he intentionally drops hints that he'll be in the Dark Forest one evening. Harry, intent on catching Malfoy plotting something evil, slips out of Hogwart's at night, against the rules, goes into the Dark Forest, against the rules, and ends up in Aragog's lair. Would any bad consequence be Harry's fault? There is no doubt that Harry would have made some bad choices/broken the rules/taken risks, but the malice and disregard for life would lie with Draco. Regardless of punishment, I don't think harry would quickly forget such an incident and I imagine Snape felt the same way. Just my thoughts!

silver ink pot
July 13th, 2009, 12:07 am
WWB: I don't think your Werewolf-Aragog analogy quite works for me.

For one thing, Aragog is always Aragog, but the werewolf was just a classmate named Remus most of the time. And even if Snape suspected that Lupin was a werewolf, there is no canon about what Sirius told Snape. He might have laughed off the idea that Lupin was a werewolf.

Another thing is that Snape was not going into the Dark Forest, but into a tunnel under a tree on the Hogwarts grounds where he saw Madam Pomfrey going with Lupin. It's a totally different situation, in my opinion. Lupin was not a wild thing, but someone locked up because he was a danger to others and to himself. The fact that his friends found a way to release him once a month was not Snape's fault, and I refuse to blame the victim. The way Snape was breaking the rules wasn't illegal, but becoming unregistered Animagi was illegal. James was never in any real danger because he could transform into a deer at any time, imo. Dumbledore did not know about that part of it, and neither did Snape.

sweetsev
July 13th, 2009, 12:11 am
In the situation you propose, Harry would be entirely guilty for his decision to break rules and go into a knowingly dangerous place, imo. It is a known risk - and if he chose to take it, who other than Harry would be guilty for that? No one held a gun to his head in your analogy - no one stopped him from going to Dumbledore or some other authority with his concerns. That would have been the right thing to do - not breaking rules and placing himself in danger to solve the mystery himself, imo. To me it was the same for Snape. Sirius told him if he wished to know what they were up to, he could break the rules, walk into danger and find out - there is no reason for Snape to follow this shady advice given by an known enemy, imo.

But I have never said that Sirius wasn't also guilty of giving Snape the tools to harm himself - I feel he did that and that is why I feel he too would be punished. However, Snape was no victim here, imo, first because James risked his life to save him and Snape wasn't harmed; but mostly because Snape knew what he was getting himself into - up to and including the certain suspicion of what he would find in the tunnel based on his theory that Lupin was a werewolf. As Snape told Lily, he'd spied on Lupin for several months and noticed him traveling to the shack on the full moon - Lupin we know scratched himself up (POA), so that would be even more evidence for Snape that he was right. So Snape took his enemies advice on how to stop the tree and then moved into the tunnel of his own free will, imo. Snape too could have gone to a professor or Dumbledore with his suspicions that the Maruaders were misusing the tree/tunnel - and even supplied evidence that Sirius told him how to stop the tree - he would not have gotten in any trouble for that, and he would have been doing the right thing, imo. But Snape didn't do that, imo, because he knew that the school nurse escorted Lupin, so imo, he figured the administration was in on it and would not do anything if he complained to them. For exposure to happen - or for him to confirm his 'theory', he would have to go in himself and when he was given the means of doing so by Sirius, he did. For that, Snape is completely guilty, imo. He took a known risk and willingly walked into danger, imo - and again, Sirius is guilty for supplying the knowledge.

One could construe Snape as society's great avenger because society was prejudice against werewolves and considered them dark creatures at the time. But Snape's goal, imo, was merely to put a stop to Lily's growing infatuation with James, imo, because we know that Snape did not have the same view of the dark arts that society did (GoF/DH). So I don't feel his goal was a valid one and I don't feel his risk taking in any way justified in the circumstances. Snape hoped to make a betrayer out of Sirius - both on the part of Lupin and mostly James (Lupin would be exposed and James would be accused of fraternizing with dark creatures), imo, and it would all be Sirius' fault. That is not a kind goal, imo. I doubt it would have worked, because I don't think Lily held prejudice for werewolves, but I think Snape thought she did due to her stance against the dark arts. JKR doesn't inform us how Snape thought he could survive the tunnel if his suspicions were true - perhaps he felt Lupin would be tied up or what have you, but if he'd thought about it, if there was no danger, the school would not have bothered to indicate there was and go to all the trouble to block the entrance, imo.

Well, one could argue that Harry spent the entire series knowingly breaking rules and putting himself in danger and the person this infuriated most of all and thought he should be punished for his actions was....Snape.

But I'm not sure where you are getting your interpretation of Snape's reasoning for following after Lupin (not that it's wrong, just overly complicated)...nor do I think his reasons mediate Sirius' actions in any way. Regardless, I didn't get that Snape was trying to pin Sirius as a betrayer. Basically, I think he hated James and his friends for bullying him over the years and getting away with it and he wanted them to get in trouble, get expelled, leave him alone. It seems he finally suspected Lupin was a werewolf and thought that it would be some big revelation that would get the Marauders in trouble and get people to see them as sneaky and malevolent as he did. Whether this is a kind goal or not (and that depends on whose perspective you choose to take)is irrelevant. You can't send someone a package that says "do not open" and then when it's opened and a bomb goes off in their face, say "You weren't supposed to open that!"

ignisia
July 13th, 2009, 1:06 am
To tie this back to Snape, I would have to agree with sweetsev that Snape's motivation in going into the willow was to get the Marauders into trouble. By his reasoning, if he could manage that, he would temporarily get the bullies off his back, get revenge for the times they'd hurt him, tarnish the golden image it appears many students had of them, and assuage his own fears that Lily might be becoming interested in James.

There was a risk in following Sirius' words, but I think Snape believed the benefits far outweighed those risks. Unfortunately, he did not realize just how dangerous the situation would be.

sweetsev
July 13th, 2009, 1:36 am
I agree, and this is how Sirius (and his friends) felt about Snape, imo. I agree they were all enemies. But that does not justify Snape or Sirius' actions in this scenario, imo.

Mitigate, ha! Thank you....I've got mediating variables on my mind today. However, I don't understand how Sirius and his friends felt Snape was a bully? By Sirius and Lupin's own admission, they were popular and good at everything while Snape was a weird creepy oddball; there was a huge power differential between them as well as the fact that they outnumbered him significantly. Like most bullies, the Marauders picked on someone they knew they could dominate. They themselves said they were not proud of it. That doesn't change that they grew up to do wonderful things; it is just the reality of the situation. I'm not sure why wanting to get them in trouble or showing Lily their true colors would be a dark and evil motive on Snape's part.

And as for the box analogy...I would argue that Snape had some limited knowledge on what the dangers were, but Sirius had FIRST HAND knowledge of what the werewolf was capable of. So even if one opens a box that says "danger, explosives" there is no equivalency to mailing it in the first place. And mailing such a package, as Sirius did, is an evil, evil thing in my mind.

The_Green_Woods
July 13th, 2009, 5:55 am
I voted for the last 3. :D

In how far do you interpret this scene differently after DH?

By not much. I think Snape's motivations are pretty clear. He wants Sirius to be punished and wants to make it clear to Harry that he should have more regard for rules, seeing what had almost happened (Harry had almost got caught by Black, who was a DE at that time to Snape) because he did not follow the rules.

What do you think was Snape's main motivation in this scene?

To ensure Black would be punishedand that Harry was made to realise that he was responsible for his actions and his actions had consequences which, whether he was BWL or not, must accept tnem.

Would you describe his behaviour as relatively objective or prejudiced

No. Because Snape was acting with what information he had at the time, and with tht inormation his actions were very much on the spot IMO.

sweetsev
July 13th, 2009, 6:04 am
Sirius could be a dangerous lad at times, imo, but so could Snape, imo. Nonetheless, in this instance, the analogy still doesn't fit, imo. Snape didn't create and mail the dangerous box. That is, the danger was already present and accounted for - it was labeled by a neutral source (the administrators) and knowledge of the danger was given to all students equally. I don't say that to lighten Sirius' burden, he should not have told Snape how to stop the willow. I say that to highlight Snape's decision making in this instance whereby he knowingly set danger into motion, imo.

Here is an analogy I feel is more fitting: There are signs that say don't ignite a flame while filling your tank with gas at a gas station. If someone hands you a lighter, you can still remain safe, as long as you don't ignite it - knowing the danger you probably won't. But if you do, the person handing you the lighter really only assisted you with a tool to do yourself in. That is what Sirius did for Snape - he gave him the lighter. Snape ignited it tho and required a fireman to put out the dangerous flames (James in this scenario). Sirius could have ensured Snape's safety as far as he was able, by saying nothing about how to stop the tree. That is what Sirius did wrong and it was wrong, imo. But Snape could have ensured against his own safety by not actually stopping it and trying to enter. That was what Snape did wrong, and it was also wrong, imo. [end of analogy]. That is why both are guilty in the scenario, imo, there were no innocent individuals, imo.

Well, we'll have to agree to disagree about whether or not Sirius felt "threatened" by Snape in a real sense, or if he was just irritated by him and thought Snape wanted to get him in trouble as payback for their taunting. It is true that they both had their own biased perspectives and the truth is only our own speculation. Although speculating is half the fun...

Okay, the analogies are getting sillier and sillier (mine especially). However I still think that you're letting Sirius off pretty easily. I suspect if the roles had been reversed that Snape would be considered an attempted murderer worthy of Azkaban (see, you ARE Snape! :lol: ) Oooh, here's my final analogy: imagine that Snape, emotionally devastated after calling Lily a mudblood and having her cut off their friendship, runs off by the lake to be alone and writes in his journal that he's going to take his own life, he can't live without her. Unbeknownst to him, James is skulking around nearby in his invisibility cloak, reads what Snape has written and tells Sirius. The next day Sirius stops by Snape's desk and gives him a "Hey Snivellus, bummer about James taking your pants off in front of the whole school the other day! And what you said to Evans? You'll never live that one down. Hey, your nose is dripping grease again! Tootles!" while he sneaks a copy of 101 Deadly Potions into Snivelly's bookbag for him to find later. If something bad were to happen, Sirius may not be legally guilty of a crime, but he's certainly crossed a moral line in my view.

sweetsev
July 13th, 2009, 7:43 am
Wow, I just reread it and yes, that was quite a story! :lol: Okay, we will have to just agree to disagree...I just don't think it's a valid argument that because they are both "guilty" of doing something bad/against the rules, that that makes the acts equivalent (I hate offsetting penalties in football, too). It doesn't. Sirius' actions were clearly worse/more dangerous to another human being. Snape purposely tried to get someone in trouble and snuck out where he explicitly wasn't supposed to be (something the marauders did all the time). But Sirius knew full well that if Snape got to the shack, there was a good chance he would be killed. I think if Snape had been privy to this same knowledge, he would have made different choices (unless he really did have a death wish). I guess it's possible that Dumbledore did not distinguish between the two acts either, but I would have to disagree with him too.

CathyWeasley
July 13th, 2009, 2:06 pm
I have to say that I find this a very strange analysis of the werewolf incident...it sounds like a 'blame the victim' defense of what Sirius did. Imagine if, in HBP, Malfoy realizes that Harry is suspicious of him and so he intentionally drops hints that he'll be in the Dark Forest one evening. Harry, intent on catching Malfoy plotting something evil, slips out of Hogwart's at night, against the rules, goes into the Dark Forest, against the rules, and ends up in Aragog's lair. Would any bad consequence be Harry's fault? There is no doubt that Harry would have made some bad choices/broken the rules/taken risks, but the malice and disregard for life would lie with Draco. Regardless of punishment, I don't think harry would quickly forget such an incident and I imagine Snape felt the same way. Just my thoughts!Very well said! :tu: A great analogy!

Certainly I think Severus had good reason to feel that Sirius had tried to murder him even if I personally don't think that Sirius really expected Severus to be killed. I also get the feeling that Lupin was at the school without the Ministry knowing, and that was why there was so much secrecy surronding Lupin. As such I rather think that Dumbledore wanted to keep this incident quiet so as prevent hmself from being censured by the Ministry. As such the punishment of Sirius seems to have been minimal, so I think Severus could very well have felt that being the greasy little oddball means that in other peoples eyes he is not worth as much as the arrogant Gryffindors. That sort of injustice is certainly something that would stay woth you for a long time. What is more disturbing is that Sirius never expresses any remorse for his actions when heis an adult - in fact he says Snape would have deserved it! Now don't get me wrong - I love Sirius - but to me this is far more worrying than anything Severus says or does as an adult - because Sirius is saying that a sixteen year old boy deserved to be bitten by a werewolf and either killed or made a werewolf himself just because he was trying to catch the Marauders in their rule breaking.

The_Green_Woods
July 13th, 2009, 3:18 pm
Not by me - I would interpret it exactly the same way. Both boys were playing with fire and when you do that, you quite frequently get burned, imo. In addition to punishment by Dumbledore, I would imagine Sirius had to hear it from his friends as much as Snape had to hear it from Lily. So I wouldn't say anyone got away with anything in that scenario.

The thing is canon says nothing about a punishment for Sirius from Dumbledore for this. I don't think Sirius received any punishment except some cold words from Dumbledore on irresponsible behaviour, because of Remus. To give the required punishment for such a act, would need Sirius's parents and other students to know about why exactly Sirius was being so harshly punished and Remus would face the repercussions of that action as well IMO.

This also in a way shows the way Slytherin House was treated and why members of that House never trusted the Headmaster and also why Snape thought Dumbledore capable of killing him on the hill IMO.

hbponjuly15
July 13th, 2009, 3:24 pm
i think that he's super brave and he just hated arry because he looked like his dad and never really knew arrry as well as dumbledore did.and that he jus loved lily and i think that that made him more evil and bitter when she was murderd.

Pearl_Took
July 13th, 2009, 3:44 pm
12th version. :D Go Snape! :yuhup: :clap:

Well, I have to be honest about this poll, Snape fan though I be.

Sev's biggest character flaw is his vindictiveness, and by that I mean his vindictiveness towards Harry in the present and others in the past (and yes, re: his past, I do regard him as 'sinned against' as well as 'sinning' ... but he did 'sin'). He is overduly harsh towards Hermione and Neville -- and other pupils, so we are told -- but with Harry, it all goes much deeper, for the reasons we know.

Re: his treatment of Hermione and Neville, we can only speculate as to why -- I for one am not at all convinced it was because Hermione was Muggleborn, that is the easy, 'obvious' explanation (because of Snape's past) and I've always regarded it as a red herring for that very reason. :cool: Surely JKR drops us a big fat clue about that when Snape curtly tells Phineas not to use the word 'Mudblood'.

I would also vote for his inability to take responsibility for his own actions ... although I think this is truer of younger Sev than older Sev.

I don't see any of the other options on the poll as weaknesses (or true of Sev, according to my interpretation of him).

Sev being unsocial? - I understand that. :D

Sev vain of his intellectual abilities? -- well, possibly. That would be the only part of himself he would ever be vain about, IMO. But I don't see him as a vain man at all. The opposite, in fact ... his lack of care for himself physically denotes the exact opposite. And we see how contemptuous he is of Lockhart -- an intellectual lightweight and a genuinely vain, shallow man.

I think he quietly prided himself on his prowess as a wizard, and he would not be unjustified in doing so. :cool:

His love for Lily a weakness? -- nope, it was what turned his life around to work against Voldemort.

Snape is not a monochrome character to me ... he has many layers. :cool:

hbponjuly15
July 13th, 2009, 3:48 pm
snape..well his death was quite wierd...voldemort murdered the wrong guy..but in the end he proved to be good and thats what atters and his memories were a bit sad...i do miss snape..and all his funny little snide remarks about harry...

The_Green_Woods
July 13th, 2009, 4:09 pm
I would also vote for his inability to take responsibility for his own actions ... although I think this is truer of younger Sev than older Sev.

I disagree. :) I think Snape always took responsibility for his actions, when he as a DE and when he was a spy. He does not give explanations for his actions, he blames no one for his poor choices and he stands up facing Dumbledore's disgust without backing off and without a word to justify his actions; he agrees to help Dumbledore and then that's it. He never talks about his role to anyone, except Harry through the memories.

I think he owned up and accepted responsibility for his actions when he came to Dumbledore on the hill and then never looked back.

RavenStar83
July 13th, 2009, 4:23 pm
Sev's biggest character flaw is his vindictiveness, and by that I mean his vindictiveness towards Harry in the present and others in the past (and yes, re: his past, I do regard him as 'sinned against' as well as 'sinning' ... but he did 'sin'). He is overduly harsh towards Hermione and Neville -- and other pupils, so we are told -- but with Harry, it all goes much deeper, for the reasons we know.
I chose vindictiveness as well. Pretty much since book 1, I got the impression that whatever bitterness he had he was taking it out on others. I just never found out exactly why until Book 7.
Re: his treatment of Hermione and Neville, we can only speculate as to why -- I for one am not at all convinced it was because Hermione was Muggleborn, that is the easy, 'obvious' explanation (because of Snape's past) and I've always regarded it as a red herring for that very reason. :cool: Surely JKR drops us a big fat clue about that when Snape curtly tells Phineas not to use the word 'Mudblood'.
For some reason, I never got the impression that he hated muggleborns. As mean of a teacher as I always thought he was, I figure if he was going to be that horrible, may as well go all out of with it. But he doesn't. Maybe it would have given too much away being that he is a teacher, but Neville and his family were known to be purebloods and he never got any special treatment.
I would also vote for his inability to take responsibility for his own actions ... although I think this is truer of younger Sev than older Sev.
I agree witht this as well. I can see why one would interpret adult Snape as not taking responsibility for his actions because of his vindictiveness, but I think the problem lies with the way he handles his guilt. To me, not taking responsibiltiy means to not even acknowledge you're at fault or just ignoring the problem. Snape I think does not ignore what happened. He knows what he did was part of how Lily died, decides to prepare and work to protect Lily's son, and he lives with that guilt everyday. Which is a huge part of why he's so bitter, I think.

Pearl_Took
July 13th, 2009, 4:34 pm
I disagree. :) I think Snape always took responsibility for his actions, when he as a DE and when he was a spy. He does not give explanations for his actions, he blames no one for his poor choices and he stands up facing Dumbledore's disgust without backing off and without a word to justify his actions; he agrees to help Dumbledore and then that's it. He never talks about his role to anyone, except Harry through the memories.

I agree with some of that but not all of it. :)

We don't exactly know about his career as a DE, we don't know what he did or didn't do (apart from the terrible action of passing the Prophecy on), so I can't comment on that.

As for 'not blaming others for his poor choices', well, he does have a capacity for holding enormous grudges :shrug: (He is not the only character in the Potterverse to do that, of course!)

I think he owned up and accepted responsibility for his actions when he came to Dumbledore on the hill and then never looked back.

Yes, I certainly regard him as very single-minded in his career as a spy and dedicated to bringing Voldemort down. I regard his tragic and brutal death as the risk he ran in the line of duty (which surely he recognised).

When it came to his ancient bitterness about having lost Lily to his arch-nemesis James, I don't think Snape ever was able to deal with his emotions re: Harry.

When it came to working to bring Voldemort down, he took the right, not easy, choice (and paid the price).

But as regards Harry, Lily's son, I think it was too painful for Snape to examine his feelings and try to get beyond that ancient grudge. It was easier to give into the bitterness and take it out on the boy. If he had not given in to this darker side of himself, he would have made life a lot easier for himself ... and Harry.

Some people I know thought that Snape's motive (loving Lily) simplified him as a character, but that is not how I see it. JKR paints the conundrum of a man who does the right thing not always for the right reasons: a man who works to protect the son of a man he hated and a woman he loved. So I have stopped wishing she had made Snape 'nicer' ... I like the character as he is, dark side and all.

For some reason, I never got the impression that he hated muggleborns. As mean of a teacher as I always thought he was, I figure if he was going to be that horrible, may as well go all out of with it. But he doesn't. Maybe it would have given too much away being that he is a teacher, but Neville and his family were known to be purebloods and he never got any special treatment.

Exactly. :tu: Snape was just as hard on pureblood kids as on anyone else in his classes! I think he probably had a bias against Gryffindors. :yuhup: :D

silver ink pot
July 13th, 2009, 7:10 pm
Some people I know thought that Snape's motive (loving Lily) simplified him as a character, but that is not how I see it. JKR paints the conundrum of a man who does the right thing not always for the right reasons: a man who works to protect the son of a man he hated and a woman he loved. So I have stopped wishing she had made Snape 'nicer' ... I like the character as he is, dark side and all.

That's interesting - I never really wished that Snape would be "nicer." I don't believe he was ever that bad, except through the eyes of an eleven year old who doesn't like school very much anyway and misunderstands half of what he sees, in my opinion.

My problem is when people paint Snape as darker than he actually was in the canon. We never see him torture anyone, or use Unforgivables, he tells Harry not to use Unforgivables, he was in love with Muggleborn witch all his life, he tells Phineas Nigellus not to use the word Mudblood, he is clearly against Dark Magic as an adult and teaches kids how to fight back, and most of his detentions are done without magic even in Deathly Hallows when he sends kids off to the forest for an evening with Hagrid to make it all sound scary to the rather stupid Death Eaters who don't have a clue.

That's the genius in Snape because he has stopped crossing many lines and given up being a Death Eater, but still manages to stay under the radar of the Death Eaters and fool the Dark Lord. It wouldn't be so satisfying as a plotline if Snape were still as bad as they are. He would just be another bad guy in the crowd, but he isn't.

Snape even worries about his eternal soul and doesn't want to kill a man who is dying anyway in a wartime situation. He only does it when there is no other way out, and then he only wishes to stay alive so he can continue to help Harry.

That doesn't actually paint a picture of this dark and horrible person, but someone who just doesn't have that much of the Dark Side in him anymore. He's redeemed as far as I can tell, and like The Green Woods I believe Snape has put all that behind him, in my opinion.

Bad temper? Yes. Like many of the other characters including Harry and Molly Weasley, he shouts and throws tantrums. Like many of the characters including Harry, Ron, the Twins, and Sirius Black he is sarcastic and has a dark sense of humor. He also doesn't mind threatening people, but amazingly most of the violence he threatens to do never comes to pass - much like Harry, Ron, the Twins, and Sirius Black. It's all talk and no action. As Voldemort says in Book One, he "looks the part" but appearances can be deceiving.

By the end of Deathly Hallows, Snape doesn't come across as a scary guy, and I don't think Harry would name his son after a scary guy anyway. Just my opinion.

guad
July 13th, 2009, 7:34 pm
However, I don't understand how Sirius and his friends felt Snape was a bully?
Actually I don't really remember they did think this? I thought it was a mutual thing, Remus (or Sirius) says something like Snape didn't miss an opportunity to hex James and James did the same, etc. Though it's been a while I read the books.

Oh and a bad characteristics the moderators forgot to include in the poll: His teaching methods, his unfairness in teaching specially regarding some particular students. :)



My problem is when people paint Snape as darker than he actually was in the canon.
I'm pretty sure you're not the only one. I personally have the same problem, but the other way around. ;) there's a terribly amusing comic by zorm (http://zorm.deviantart.com/). I can't link it because well, I guess this would be mending the rules beyond toleratable level, but you can search "Canon Vs Fanon Snape" on this art page and this will be a quite funny (but also very accurate) summary of the problem I personally have with Snape fans :lol:


(as always, take this with a bit of sense of humour, willya? ;) )

Freak of nature
July 13th, 2009, 8:21 pm
there's a terribly amusing comic by zorm (http://zorm.deviantart.com/). I can't link it because well, I guess this would be mending the rules beyond toleratable level, but you can search "Canon Vs Fanon Snape" on this art page and this will be a quite funny (but also very accurate) summary of the problem I personally have with Snape fans :lol:


(as always, take this with a bit of sense of humour, willya? ;) )
*gigglesnort* Spit my tea over the keyboard :lol: Thaaanks. That was hilarious. But I still like the canon Snape so much more than the erm... was the term fanon. To me, the canon Snape is is so much more human than many other characters. With all his flaws, he is THE man in the series :love:.

But to answer the study qestions presented in the first post. Or at least some of them.

1. Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
In my opinion he definitely needed Harry's forgiveness, at least subconsciously. Did he want it? I am not sure and if he did, he would never admit it.

2. What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?
He would call Albus Severus pinheaded and other just as flattering names. And yes, that was sarcasm if someone missed that ;). But secretly he would be flattered.

3. Based on how his character is supposed to end up: if you could change/improve one thing about Snape, what would it be?
This is a hard question. I think we need to start with Do I want to change him? That is not a given because I love him just as he is. :relax: I would maybe tone down his vindictiveness, but not much.

4. What do you think Snape would have done, if he had survived DH?
I think Harry would have put a good word for him if he went to court. And I like to think that he would retire some remote location where he could be happy with his potions. Maybe sell them too.

5. Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?
I shamefully admit that I am not very big on reading interviews. So not really sure. ;)

6. Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
Something might have happened for him to turn to the light, but I am not sure. I think Severus' weakness was his inability to move on.

7. Snape is revealed to have been acting throughout the series out of love for Lily, how does this effect your view of his actions in the series - his "murder" of Dumbledore, his treatment of Sirius.
Snape is just a man with red blood in his veins. And to me men are mystery. :lol: To be serious, his reasons for acting as he did does not matter to me. What matters is that he acted the way he did. In Sirius' case... I wanted to treat my bullies the same way. I like Sirius, but somethimes he acted very immature, like Severus did. Dembledore's death, it was inevitable. And it had to be done.

8. Why do you think Snape chose to become a Death Eater?
Power is intoxicating, or the illusion of it.

CathyWeasley
July 13th, 2009, 8:23 pm
He does not give explanations for his actions, he blames no one for his poor choices and he stands up facing Dumbledore's disgust without backing off and without a word to justify his actions; he agrees to help Dumbledore and then that's it. Good point! If you compare Severus's behaviour here with how Peter behaved in the shack - all that grovelling and making excuses - the difference is quite stark.

For some reason, I never got the impression that he hated muggleborns. Me neither. I always considered his prejudice as something he adopted to fit in. Of course that doesn't excuse it in any way, btu I don't think he had the sort of ingrained prejudice that, for example the Malfoys have.

I can see why one would interpret adult Snape as not taking responsibility for his actions because of his vindictiveness, but I think the problem lies with the way he handles his guilt. To me, not taking responsibiltiy means to not even acknowledge you're at fault or just ignoring the problem. Snape I think does not ignore what happened. He knows what he did was part of how Lily died, decides to prepare and work to protect Lily's son, and he lives with that guilt everyday. Which is a huge part of why he's so bitter, I think.Completely agree! He cannot forgive himself so he is always burdened by his guilt which is why he is so bitter. Those inner demons that haunt him night and day - and there is Harry a constant reminder not just of Lily's love for James but for the part he (Severus) played in her death. IMO forgiveness is a big t6heme in the books and Snape is a classic example of what happens when people can't forgive themselves.

But as regards Harry, Lily's son, I think it was too painful for Snape to examine his feelings and try to get beyond that ancient grudge. It was easier to give into the bitterness and take it out on the boy. If he had not given in to this darker side of himself, he would have made life a lot easier for himself ... and Harry.
I so agree with this!

In turning his back on Voldemort he was giving up his dream of becoming powerful, which was also as he saw it, his route to winning Lily's love. IMO this was a huge turnabout and although his treatment of Harry was wrong I think that in the big scheme of things it was relatively unimportant. Many people have had teachers worse than Snape - that does not make Snape's treatment of Harry okay but it does put it into perspective when you consider the context of that within the main plot of the book.

I do consider Harry's forgiveness of Snape as a great thing (as in a really big thing)for him to have done. But Harry is the hero and as such we can expect great things from him. If Snape had forgiven James nad got over Harry being Lily and James son then I think that would have made him greater than Harry! Something that Rowling obviously wasn't going to do.

IMO Rowling gave us Lockhart to show us that being nice and obviously heroic is highly overrated. Lockhart contrasted so absolutely with Snape (I am reminded of Lizzie's observation of Darcy and Wickham in 'Pride and Prejudice' - "One has all the goodness and the other all the appearance of it") that in my mind once Lockhart was shown to be such an out and out fraud I felt sure that Snape would be the 'real thing'

My problem is when people paint Snape as darker than he actually was in the canon. We never see him torture anyone, or use Unforgivables, he tells Harry not to use Unforgivables, he was in love with Muggleborn witch all his life, he tells Phineas Nigellus not to use the word Mudblood, he is clearly against Dark Magic as an adult and teaches kids how to fight back, and most of his detentions are done without magic even in Deathly Hallows when he sends kids off to the forest for an evening with Hagrid to make it all sound scary to the rather stupid Death Eaters who don't have a clue.

He also doesn't mind threatening people, but amazingly most of the violence he threatens to do never comes to pass - much like Harry, Ron, the Twins, and Sirius Black. It's all talk and no action. As Voldemort says in Book One, he "looks the part" but appearances can be deceiving.

Snape seems to paint a big bad picture of himself which bears very little resemblance to the man he actually is. I am sure that someone who is as socially awkward as Severus would have hated teaching and would have been terrified in his early lessons particularly because he was so young and some of the older students would remember Snape as a pupil. I feel sure that he cultivated this scarey persona as a survival mechanism - and it worked! All the kids were scared of him which made his life as a teacher a lot easier.
But when you look at what Snape actually does - well it is all talk. The things he actually does to Harry are no worse than what other characters such as Ron Hermione or Lupin do to friends and family.

eliza101
July 13th, 2009, 8:29 pm
Actually I don't really remember they did think this? I thought it was a mutual thing, Remus (or Sirius) says something like Snape didn't miss an opportunity to hex James and James did the same, etc. Though it's been a while I read the books.

Oh and a bad characteristics the moderators forgot to include in the poll: His teaching methods, his unfairness in teaching specially regarding some particular students. :)




I'm pretty sure you're not the only one. I personally have the same problem, but the other way around. ;) there's a terribly amusing comic by zorm (http://zorm.deviantart.com/). I can't link it because well, I guess this would be mending the rules beyond toleratable level, but you can search "Canon Vs Fanon Snape" on this art page and this will be a quite funny (but also very accurate) summary of the problem I personally have with Snape fans :lol:


(as always, take this with a bit of sense of humour, willya? ;) )

Well, that hits the nail on the head and no mistake.

HollieWeasley
July 13th, 2009, 9:09 pm
I think Snape was a good guy who made mistakes.

sweetsev
July 13th, 2009, 9:27 pm
Hmm, I actually saw Snape as pretty genuinely nasty to the kids. I think it's true that in hindsight some of his actions were misinterpreted/misunderstood, but I don't think that the DH revelations were meant to absolve him of his behavior. I remember distinctly a scene where Umbridge is observing his class and making him angry and he just bitterly takes out his anger on Harry. He also had some pretty memorable tantrums. I don't think it's necessary to gloss over his bad qualities to appreciate his good ones. Ultimately, what I think is important is that Harry forgave him...that's an act that speaks to Harry's goodness, not Snape's.

On the same side of that coin, I also don't think it's necessary to whitewash how the Marauders treated Snape. They were human and did some cruel things that can't be explained away. That doesn't change the good things they did. In fact, that's what I liked about the characters: the marauders and Snape, that they were "real" in this way, capable of good and bad actions. And, this is off topic, I really wish Lily had been portrayed as human too. Maybe she could have put flubberworms in Snape's bed for calling her a mudblood or something.

silver ink pot
July 13th, 2009, 11:12 pm
I'm pretty sure you're not the only one. I personally have the same problem, but the other way around. ;)

Yep, there are definitely two sides. But I was just saying that if we only talk on and on about Snape's flaws and the few mistakes he makes as a young man, we miss all the things he does right in the canon as an adult. It would have been alot harder for Harry to forgive him if he had been a one-sided cardboard Death Eater.

there's a terribly amusing comic by zorm (http://zorm.deviantart.com/). I can't link it because well, I guess this would be mending the rules beyond toleratable level, but you can search "Canon Vs Fanon Snape" on this art page and this will be a quite funny (but also very accurate) summary of the problem I personally have with Snape fans :lol:


(as always, take this with a bit of sense of humour, willya? ;) )

Sure ~ I couldn't find the comic actually. But nothing can spoil my pre-HBP good mood. :lol:

ignisia
July 13th, 2009, 11:28 pm
I happen to know by memory exactly which comic that is (I love zorm's Snape. He looks like a giant Klingon! :lol:) Rest assured, very few of the Snape fans here believe in the fanon Snape of that comic.
Besides, his nose isn't magnificent enough! :rotfl:


I would have to agree with TGW that even young Snape took responsibility of his actions. From what we're shown, he seems to be completely aware of where he went wrong.

What I think really drove Snape into the DEs (apart from a need to be accepted, obviously) wasn't irresponsibility, but a desire for revenge. He'd been treated foully by some Muggles and some of those who outright opposed Voldemort, and so, thinking only of his own hurts, he took the one big opportunity he had to get back at people like his father, Petunia, and James. That's not exactly irresponsibility, but the vindictiveness others have mentioned before.


ETA: Here's the comic (http://zorm.deviantart.com/art/Canon-Vs-Fanon-Snape-34384180). Fanon Snape there looks too much like a younger Sirius. :relax:

kittling
July 13th, 2009, 11:38 pm
I thought it was a mutual thing, Remus (or Sirius) says something like Snape didn't miss an opportunity to hex James and James did the same, etc. Though it's been a while I read the books.

Actually what was said was that in the 7th year Snape didn't miss an opportunity to hex James. To me that fact that it is specified as the 7th year means that a change in behaviour is marked and thus he did not hex James at every opportunity before that.

sweetsev
July 13th, 2009, 11:39 pm
Oh my goodness, that comic is too funny! Thanks for the direct link. The enchanting dungeon odor and magical mystery flower are perfect..hee hee...I am a fan of any and all silliness....

Bscorp
July 13th, 2009, 11:49 pm
Actually what was said was that in the 7th year Snape didn't miss an opportunity to hex James. To me that fact that it is specified as the 7th year means that a change in behaviour is marked and thus he did not hex James at every opportunity before that.

This is a good point and it would fall in line with Severus' anger over losing Lily.

Pearl_Took
July 14th, 2009, 12:54 am
My problem is when people paint Snape as darker than he actually was in the canon.

Oh, mine too.

But I don't always give him a pass card where Harry is concerned.

We never see him torture anyone, or use Unforgivables, he tells Harry not to use Unforgivables, he was in love with Muggleborn witch all his life, he tells Phineas Nigellus not to use the word Mudblood, he is clearly against Dark Magic as an adult and teaches kids how to fight back, and most of his detentions are done without magic even in Deathly Hallows when he sends kids off to the forest for an evening with Hagrid to make it all sound scary to the rather stupid Death Eaters who don't have a clue.

Agreed.

That's the genius in Snape because he has stopped crossing many lines and given up being a Death Eater, but still manages to stay under the radar of the Death Eaters and fool the Dark Lord. It wouldn't be so satisfying as a plotline if Snape were still as bad as they are. He would just be another bad guy in the crowd, but he isn't.

You're preaching to the converted here. :)

By the end of Deathly Hallows, Snape doesn't come across as a scary guy, and I don't think Harry would name his son after a scary guy anyway. Just my opinion.

Well, you don't have to tell me that. :lol:

ETA: Here's the comic (http://zorm.deviantart.com/art/Canon-Vs-Fanon-Snape-34384180). Fanon Snape there looks too much like a younger Sirius. :relax:

:scared: :rotfl:

silver ink pot
July 14th, 2009, 1:15 am
But I don't always give him a pass card where Harry is concerned.

Neither do I, but if Harry can forgive him, so can I. And while Harry carries scars from alot of emotional things that happen to him, I don't think he was traumatized for life by his interactions with Snape. Just my opinion.

ETA: Here's the comic (http://zorm.deviantart.com/art/Canon-Vs-Fanon-Snape-34384180). Fanon Snape there looks too much like a younger Sirius. :relax:
I think that artist is confused anyway. JKR is the one to blame for all the references to Snape's dark eyes, his emo childhood, and his "silky" voice. Why do we get blamed for something JKR wrote? :lol: Please send your cards and letters to the author. :rotfl: :lol:

The_Green_Woods
July 14th, 2009, 7:16 am
As for 'not blaming others for his poor choices', well, he does have a capacity for holding enormous grudges :shrug: (He is not the only character in the Potterverse to do that, of course!)

Grudges against the Marauders is the only grudge I think Snape harboured. That I think was because of their mutual hatred for each other starting from their first day on the train. And Snape, seeing the SWM, seems to come off worse in most of their exchanges. Surprisingly, in the detention in HBP, Harry goes through the files of wrong doers and offenders, Snape's own name never seems to appear. Which makes me feel that Snape was pretty much the victim and came off second in all their exchanges which I presume were like the SWM or exchanges like that on the train.

Seven years of such rivalry IMO would leave a hatred in anyone's mind, and I think Snape was no exception.

Sirius and James and Remus hated Snape too, though I think they hated him, because he was a Slytherin and he was friends with a girl James liked.

Apart from the Marauders, I don't think Snape held a grudge or a hatred or dislike towards anyone. No one we see in canon.

Some people I know thought that Snape's motive (loving Lily) simplified him as a character, but that is not how I see it. JKR paints the conundrum of a man who does the right thing not always for the right reasons: a man who works to protect the son of a man he hated and a woman he loved. So I have stopped wishing she had made Snape 'nicer' ... I like the character as he is, dark side and all.

I think Snape's love for Lily is very different from what his character was. That love lifted him, but his intelligence, his capacity to love and his brilliance never changed when he was a DE and never changed when he turned. Lily's death brought home to him, what his side was doing and how much it could hurt others, because it hurt him. By touching him personally, her death taught him to see where he was going wrong.

His love for Lily changed his ideals, because he realised that those ideals were wrong and would not bring him the glory or the power he sought. He had the courage to walk away not only from Voldemort, but from the glory and the power he was seeking for the rest of his life.

Lily, helped him only by being the girl Snape loved. But truly, it was Snape's love that was pure, Snape's love that changed him and Snape's love that made him grow.

His character grew and evolved because he, Snape had the capacity to love, recognise that love, give it the importance and had the courage to change for it IMO.

My problem is when people paint Snape as darker than he actually was in the canon.

:agree:

1) Lucius Malfoy got a dark object into Hogwarts to kill muggleborns.
2) Sirius sent Snape into the tunnel to be cursed or die
3) Remus never reveals Sirius animagus form even after Sirius breaks into Gryffindor Tower
4) Draco repaired the vanishing cabinet that brought Fenrir and other DEs into Hogwarts and was responsible for Bill Weasley's partial curse.

Snape was a DE like Lucius Malfoy and Draco and Regulus. He made mistakes and he understood he made them and once he understood he was in the wrong, he made efforts to correct them.

Can we say the same of any of these people I've written above? I don't think so. None of them actually repented and non of them cared enough about their mistakes that they took steps to correct it and yet, it's Snape who's the villain all the time.

Actually what was said was that in the 7th year Snape didn't miss an opportunity to hex James. To me that fact that it is specified as the 7th year means that a change in behaviour is marked and thus he did not hex James at every opportunity before that.

:tu:

The_Green_Woods
July 14th, 2009, 9:51 am
I don't think making broad comparisons work in helping to define who Snape was or how he was. Pulling one deed from Lucius' life or Remus' life, etc., doesn't define them as people, imo. I feel one has to take a person's entire life into consideration and it is the same with Snape. If one looks at all of Snape's deeds, good and bad, then I think one can reach a conclusion of villain or saint, but I think it would be different for everyone because he was written as such an ambiguous character clear to the end of the series.

Well, I don't think Snape's a saint as much as I think he's human, much more than the other "good characters". :)

1) Lucius Malfoy -- DE until last minute in the Forest. Was willing to hand over Harry even in Malfoy Manor in DH.

2) Sirius Black -- reckless, and had a biased view of Slytherin and judged people without knowing them. He thought nothing of accusing people (Snape in OOTP, Slytherins in general) and he did this all through his life. He also had isolated incidents where he sent those he did not like to meet fully grown werewolves and the like.

3) Remus Lupin -- Had no remorse of hiding Sirius's animagus form; he never resigned the next day or told Dumbledore about it, even after the break in. He also partial as a prefect in his school days, not doing his duties properly always. By cutting a lot of slack for the 3 boys who friended him, Remus made others suffer for that slack, the SWM one such incident we see in canon IMO.

4) Draco became a DE; thought it was the right thing to do and then set traps for Dumbledore, not caring that others could also lose their lives, if Dumbledore failed to take the bait.

If I see what Snape did all his life, like the other 4 persons I have given, then

Snape -- became a DE after school at 18; turned over the prophecy to Voldemort when he was 19 and then changed when he was 20 years, coming to Dumbledore on the hill and then for the next 18 years he spent his life as a spy for Dumbledore and pretended to work for Voldemort as his DE and spy in the Order.

To keep his cover he taught in Hogwarts, because Voldemort had ordered him to get a job there.

Snape if he was nasty, harsh or partial had a reason. He was there as a spy for Voldemort and was behaving in the manner Voldemort expected him to.

Can we say that the other repented or had reasons for their behaviour, except perhaps Draco? Can we say they felt remorse or that they felt ashamed of their actions. None that we see in canon and yet it's Snape's actions which are looked at in the negative always. :)

silver ink pot
July 14th, 2009, 12:38 pm
I don't think making broad comparisons work in helping to define who Snape was or how he was. Pulling one deed from Lucius' life or Remus' life, etc., doesn't define them as people, imo. I feel one has to take a person's entire life into consideration and it is the same with Snape. If one looks at all of Snape's deeds, good and bad, then I think one can reach a conclusion of villain or saint, but I think it would be different for everyone because he was written as such an ambiguous character clear to the end of the series.

I agree with The Green Woods - there is no reason to classify Snape as either a villain or a saint because those are extremes. Certainly there are lots of villains in these books, but not a single saint, in my opinion. Even Dumbledore is totally human by the end of the series and while superior to many other characters, he is flawed. Almost everyone is flawed. To me, a broad comparison is what sweeps people into extreme black and white categories.

And I think the reason that in the end Snape comes across to many readers as understandably human is because we know so much about him compared to other characters. He made alot of mistakes and the same could be said for almost any character whose entire life is written about in these books.

In Goblet of Fire, there is a theme about Snape's "second chances" and Harry not understanding why Dumbledore trusted him so much. Yes, that's the book in which we find out that Snape was a Death Eater, and the book with the infamous "Hermione's Teeth" fiasco.

But to balance all that, JKR makes sure that we realize Snape is not a real Death Eater anymore. In the Pensieve, Harry hears Dumbledore say that Snape was no more a Death Eater than he was. When he rushes in with Dumbledore and McGonagall to help save Harry from Fake Moody, she mentions his face "scowling" out of Barty's Foe Glass three separate times. He hates Barty as much as Barty hates him.

And that goes back to an earlier scene in which Dumbledore's trust is balanced against the idea that because Snape still has the Dark Mark he is unable to change. Fake Moody confronts Snape at night and taunts him about his past:

"You know I'm hiding nothing, Moody," he said in a soft and dangerous voice, "as you've searched my office pretty thoroughly yourself."

Moodys face twisted into a smile. "Auror's privilege, Snape. Dumbledore told me to keep an eye -"

"Dumbledore happens to trust me," said Snape through clenched teeth. "I refuse to believe that he gave you orders to search my office!"

"Course Dumbledore trusts you," growled Moody. "Hes a trusting man, isn't he? Believes in second chances. But me - I say there are spots that don't come off, Snape. Spots that never come off, d'you know what I mean?"

Snape suddenly did something very strange. He seized his left forearm convulsively with his right hand, as though something on it had hurt him.

Moody laughed. "Get back to bed, Snape."

"You don't have the authority to send me anywhere!" Snape hissed, letting go of his arm as though angry with himself. "I have as much right to prowl this school after dark as you do!"

"Prowl away," said Moody, but his voice was full of menace. "I look forward to meeting you in a dark corridor some time...

Harry hears all this and once again thinks the worst of Snape because he sees Moody as a good guy. But the idea of "spots that don't come off" is a Death Eater's idea of redemption. Once again, JKR turns it all around at the end of the book. Barty-Moody is the real lying and conniving Death Eater and "most faithful servant," while Snape is Dumbledore's Man.

OldMotherCrow
July 14th, 2009, 1:28 pm
Grudges against the Marauders is the only grudge I think Snape harboured. That I think was because of their mutual hatred for each other starting from their first day on the train. And Snape, seeing the SWM, seems to come off worse in most of their exchanges. Surprisingly, in the detention in HBP, Harry goes through the files of wrong doers and offenders, Snape's own name never seems to appear. Which makes me feel that Snape was pretty much the victim and came off second in all their exchanges which I presume were like the SWM or exchanges like that on the train.

Seven years of such rivalry IMO would leave a hatred in anyone's mind, and I think Snape was no exception.

I too noted the lack of Snape's name in the detention cards, but came to a different conclusion. If Snape was a Marauder victim, his name would have come up in the detention cards, just like the names of the other victims did. I concluded that although Snape and the Marauders hated each other, Snape was not a special victim of the Marauders, and the Marauders did not seek him out for bullying, until after the werewolf incident. After that, I think Snape was on their radar, because they wanted to get even.

The_Green_Woods
July 14th, 2009, 1:53 pm
I meant as the aggressor; as the victim we don't have any other names except Betram Aubrey, so Snape's name could have been there or most likely since Snape was a Slytherin, acts gainst him would have gone unnoticed or unpunished. The SWM did not see punishments for either the Marauders for starting it or for Snape for retaliating or taking away points from him for the use of mudblood IMO.
-------------------

But I don't understand wht you mean by this. Could you please explain?

until after the werewolf incident. After that, I think Snape was on their radar, because they wanted to get even.

The Marauders wanted to get even with Snape for Sirius sending Snape into the tunnel? Why?

OldMotherCrow
July 14th, 2009, 2:11 pm
I meant as the aggressor; as the victim we don't have any other names except Betram Aubrey, so Snape's name could have been there or most likely since Snape was a Slytherin, acts gainst him would have gone unnoticed or unpunished. The SWM did not see punishments for either the Marauders for starting it or for Snape for retaliating or taking away points from him for the use of mudblood IMO.
-------------------

But I don't understand wht you mean by this. Could you please explain?



The Marauders wanted to get even with Snape for Sirius sending Snape into the tunnel? Why?

I agree with you that Snape hated James and Sirius since the train, and James and Sirius hated Snape since the train, but the detention cards don't show Snape to be any kind of victim of bullying.

I don't think the Marauders feel a need to get even for Sirius sending Snape down the tunnel (:hmm: that doesn't even make sense?). Sirius complained that Snape was sneaking around after them, trying to get them expelled. Snape seems to confirm this with his conversation with Lily, where he reveals that he is trying to show her that the Marauders are not wonderful. His motive, as revealed by him, has nothing to do with being bullied and everything to do with the fear that James likes Lily and Lily might start liking James back.

So Snape follows them around trying to get them in trouble, and then the Marauders want to get even when they see him near them.

The_Green_Woods
July 14th, 2009, 2:47 pm
II don't think the Marauders feel a need to get even for Sirius sending Snape down the tunnel (:hmm: that doesn't even make sense?).

That is what I understood and I also thought that it made no sense. :)

So Snape follows them around trying to get them in trouble, and then the Marauders want to get even when they see him near them.

And one of them get even by sending Snape into the tunnel? But I think I'll not elaborate, I'm getting into a banned topic. :D

posted by guad
I'm pretty sure you're not the only one. I personally have the same problem, but the other way around.

Snape was proved to be better than what Harry, Ron, Sirius and Remus and others thought he was for the first six books, by Harry himself both in his fight with Voldemort and in the epilogue.

On the other hand, we have nothing to say other characters evolved as Snape did, from their childish past to grow up to be men. Ron, for an example.

Pearl_Took
July 14th, 2009, 3:15 pm
Apart from the Marauders, I don't think Snape held a grudge or a hatred or dislike towards anyone. No one we see in canon.

Er ... Harry??? :whistle:

Now, I don't find Snape unredeemable or unforgivable because of his attitude to Harry. Obviously Harry didn't either. (And neither, I would say, does JKR. :whistle: ) But I just can't argue that one away, not based on my interpretation of the interaction between Snape and Harry, and what JKR says about it.

I may not agree with her :) but it's her fictional construct. :cool: Which we are free to critique, of course.

I agree with The Green Woods - there is no reason to classify Snape as either a villain or a saint because those are extremes. Certainly there are lots of villains in these books, but not a single saint, in my opinion. Even Dumbledore is totally human by the end of the series and while superior to many other characters, he is flawed. Almost everyone is flawed. To me, a broad comparison is what sweeps people into extreme black and white categories.

I agree. HP may be a fantasy saga but it's fantasy with psychologically believable characters. Of course JKR makes a very clear distinction between good and evil in her saga. But that doesn't automatically make everyone on the side of good a saint, and it doesn't make everyone on the 'wrong' side a villain without any redeeming qualities.

Needless to say, I regard Snape as having turned from the 'wrong' to the 'right' side.

"You know I'm hiding nothing, Moody," he said in a soft and dangerous voice, "as you've searched my office pretty thoroughly yourself."

Moodys face twisted into a smile. "Auror's privilege, Snape. Dumbledore told me to keep an eye -"

"Dumbledore happens to trust me," said Snape through clenched teeth. "I refuse to believe that he gave you orders to search my office!"

"Course Dumbledore trusts you," growled Moody. "Hes a trusting man, isn't he? Believes in second chances. But me - I say there are spots that don't come off, Snape. Spots that never come off, d'you know what I mean?"

Snape suddenly did something very strange. He seized his left forearm convulsively with his right hand, as though something on it had hurt him.

Moody laughed. "Get back to bed, Snape."

"You don't have the authority to send me anywhere!" Snape hissed, letting go of his arm as though angry with himself. "I have as much right to prowl this school after dark as you do!"

"Prowl away," said Moody, but his voice was full of menace. "I look forward to meeting you in a dark corridor some time...

Harry hears all this and once again thinks the worst of Snape because he sees Moody as a good guy. But the idea of "spots that don't come off" is a Death Eater's idea of redemption. Once again, JKR turns it all around at the end of the book. Barty-Moody is the real lying and conniving Death Eater and "most faithful servant," while Snape is Dumbledore's Man.

Totally agree with this. :cool: Very perceptive analysis, SIP. :)

guad
July 14th, 2009, 3:21 pm
Snape was proved to be better than what Harry, Ron, Sirius and Remus and others thought he was for the first six books, by Harry himself both in his fight with Voldemort and in the epilogue.

On the other hand, we have nothing to say other characters evolved as Snape did, from their childish past to grow up to be men. Ron, for an example.

That wasn't my point. :) SIP said that she had a problem with excessif blackpainting of Snape and I say I have the same problem but the other way around, meaning excessif gloryfying of Snape. I tried to illustrate this in a humourous way through this comic linked above. :)

Personally it's of course up to each person to either have a little Snape pic to throw darts on or a Snape shrine to venere at home, but I think it gets a little annoying when people distort facts and try to impose their opinion on others.

As a few random examples: Saying that Lily loved Snape and James used lovepotion to marry her. Saying that Snape won the war, which is IMO taking away credit of other people such as Harry, Dumbledore, Ron, Hermione, Neville or Dobby. Painting Snape as a gothic hero.
Similary it's not correct IMO to say that Snape is a sadist.

I used to be of the "obscurists" pre DH, meaning believing that Snape is nasty but essentially on Dumbledores side. And I think that it's essentially confirmed by DH. I was wrong in the whole Lily plot and I still think it's cheesy as hell. :lol: What can I say, I have no particular sweet feelings for a guy who holds on to his teenage crush and is unable to move on ;)

As to what you said, I never said anything comparing Snape to the other characters or to what they thought. Of course it's true, Harry and Co believed him a DE, and he in the end wasn't.

Also I don't think his particular achievements were more spectacular than what others did. So he was a spy, cool. So he helped secure the sword? Excellent. So he has a Bambi? Cute. :rotfl:

So what I'm meaning to say here, it's fine for anyone to have their opinion, but actually there's nothing people can say to make me love or despise Snape more or less than I already do. :)

CathyWeasley
July 14th, 2009, 3:24 pm
If one looks at all of Snape's deeds, good and bad, then I think one can reach a conclusion of villain or saint, but I think it would be different for everyone because he was written as such an ambiguous character clear to the end of the series.
I see absolutely no point in doing this whatsoever. To start with we are not given all the information about the whole of Snape's life in order to make such a judgement. We are only given the information regarding Snape which is pertinnet to the plot of this story - which is as it should be. Therefore I think there is nothing to gain from trying to label characters as one thing or another. To me that is not the point of character analysis. To me the point of character analysis is to analyse the character and that means looking at all the different aspects of the person, so as to understand them and so perhaps gain a better understanding of the world around as, the people in it and other literature and literary characters. To me character anlysis is not about trying to sum up a character in a single sentence.

IMO no person has the right to judge another as good or bad, and I would even suggest that the character bashing/worship rules of the forums are based on this principle.
I agree with The Green Woods - there is no reason to classify Snape as either a villain or a saint because those are extremes. Certainly there are lots of villains in these books, but not a single saint, in my opinion. Even Dumbledore is totally human by the end of the series and while superior to many other characters, he is flawed. Almost everyone is flawed. To me, a broad comparison is what sweeps people into extreme black and white categories.
:agree: And that is where prejudice starts. Once you start labelling people then you reduce that person to a label and they cease to be a person, but part of a group and then people from different groups start to hate each other because they are different - Muggles Vs. Magic folk; Purebloods Vs. Muggleborns; Gryffindor vs. Slytherin. This is one of the reason why I think the sorting in the books should be like sorting in real life - totally random. If this had been the case with Snape then he would have had a wider range of influences in his life which I believe would have made a real difference in his life. The story we have though is one that actually seems to highlight the dangers of labelling people.

So what I'm meaning to say here, it's fine for anyone to have their opinion, but actually there's nothing people can say to make me love or despise Snape more or less than I already do.
I think that goes for most people who post on this thread! :lol:

btw when people talk about Snape being a "Gothic hero" they mean in a literary sense (like for excample Heathcliffe in Wuthering Heights) not as a Goth/Emo guy who is a hero which is something completely different!

sweetsev
July 14th, 2009, 3:27 pm
I agree that there's no reason to see Snape as a villain or a saint. And I think that a tendency toward having to reduce characters into prefab dichotomous judgments would not be well served in many cases throughout the series. I actually think that Voldemort's potrayal as a pure villain makes him less compelling: he's just....bad. With regard to Snape, perhaps Rita Skeeter should have titled her book Severus Snape: It's Complicated. I like that not everybody sees him as redeemed, however I do think he redeemed himself at very great personal cost: I don't think anyone else paid so much for their actions.

Oh and I was rethinking the question about whether he wanted/needed Harry's forgiveness and am now leaning yes. It seems to me that when he was dying and he gave Harry his memories, that he expressly gave Harry the ones that not only told him about the horcrux and Harry's sacrifice, but he also chose to give Harry the memories about Lily and there would not be any reason to do that if he didn't want Harry to understand who he was. The big softie!

watari_san
July 14th, 2009, 3:29 pm
Well, since I'm new to the thread, I thought I'd start off by answering a few of the "study questions" that I found to be particularly compelling and see how it goes from there. Sorry if this puts a break in the conversation.


1. Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
Absolutely not. At least, not directly. I think Snape wanted to be redeemed--but in Lily's eyes and no others. This is why the last thing he says to Harry is "Look at me" because, Harry shares Lily's eyes.

7. Snape is revealed to have been acting throughout the series out of love for Lily, how does this effect your view of his actions in the series - his "murder" of Dumbledore, his treatment of Sirius.

It doesn't necessarily change how I felt about about Snape's actions. He was a perfectly horrid person in his treatment of Sirius, Remus, Harry--just about anyone that reminded him of James. The love that he has for Lily is a different side of his personality--one which seems to have had no affect whatsoever on the rest of him. He still couldn't move past his grudge with James.

13. Do you believe Snape came to care about Harry?
Perhaps on some very base level. But like he says, the only reason for him to care about Harry Potter is that he is the son of Lily.

Yoana
July 14th, 2009, 3:29 pm
I was wrong in the whole Lily plot and I still think it's cheesy as hell. :lol: What can I say, I have no particular sweet feelings for a guy who holds on to his teenage crush and is unable to move on ;)

Like you feel that saying Snape won the war is excissive glorification, I feel that describing his love for Lily as a "teenage crush" and his efforts to make amends for his sin against her "inability to move on" is excissive simplification. It seems like a disregarding dismissal of a crucial plotline to me, and annoys me the same way the glorification of Snape annoys you. What is more, it runs contrary to canon, which calls it "love" in several places and gives it a central meaning to the very structure of the books - confirmed by the author, if you take her words as canon too.

Pearl_Took
July 14th, 2009, 3:38 pm
Personally it's of course up to each person to either have a little Snape pic to throw darts on or a Snape shrine to venere at home, but I think it gets a little annoying when people distort facts and try to impose their opinion on others.

I don't see people in this thread 'imposing their opinion on others'. :) (Surely they would get into hot water with the mods if that were the case.) I personally get annoyed when people claim Jo as a higher authority in order to rubber-stamp their own subjective analysis.

And as will be obvious to anyone who reads my posts, I don't agree with my fellow Snape fans on every single point of interpretation because we are not all joined at the hip. :lol: For example, I take the view, since it jives with how I read the story and JKR's own remarks, that his feelings of dislike for Harry were genuine. I also think they were complicated -- how long can a man truly hate the son of the woman he loved, really? -- and I think a canon case can be built for that.

Obviously Snape-detractors and Snape-lovers alike look to canon for their respective interpretations. Naturally I side with the redemptive arc for Snape. :)

As a few random examples: Saying that Lily loved Snape and James used lovepotion to marry her.

I'm aware of the nuttier theories out there in fandom, guad, but here on this very thread, here on CoS, I've never seen that suggested. :hmm:

Painting Snape as a gothic hero.

The Byronic trope is not an unreasonable literary analysis, actually. Snape has been compared to Heathcliff before ... and the brutal, savage, unforgiving Heathcliff really does make Snape look like a saint! :whistle: (Heathcliff is also something of a misogynist, which Snape certainly isn't.)

Similary it's not correct IMO to say that Snape is a sadist.

Agreed. :D :)

With regard to Snape, perhaps Rita Skeeter should have titled her book Severus Snape: It's Complicated.

:rotfl:

I like that not everybody sees him as redeemed, however I do think he redeemed himself at very great personal cost: I don't think anyone else paid so much for their actions.

I'm inclined to think the same. :cool:

Oh and I was rethinking the question about whether he wanted/needed Harry's forgiveness and am now leaning yes. It seems to me that when he was dying and he gave Harry his memories, that he expressly gave Harry the ones that not only told him about the horcrux and Harry's sacrifice, but he also chose to give Harry the memories about Lily and there would not be any reason to do that if he didn't want Harry to understand who he was. The big softie!

For all his protestations that he didn't care for the boy (and I do think that was largely true), he does choose to share some very personal (and unflattering :whistle: ) memories with Harry as he lies dying.

ignisia
July 14th, 2009, 3:58 pm
I don't see people in this thread 'imposing their opinion on others'. (Surely they would get into hot water with the mods if that were the case.) Obviously Snape-detractors and Snape-lovers alike appeal to canon to back up their respective interpretations. Naturally I side with the redemptive arc for Snape. :)

:agree: Everyone has their own view of the canon, and there is always more than one way to look at it, especially in Snape's case. :lol: There is no way to easily stereotype characters and real people into the good/evil, smart/delusional, or absolute hater/absolute fanatic.

This to me is not an unreasonable literary analysis, actually. Snape has been compared to Heathcliff before ... and the brutal, savage, unforgiving Heathcliff really does make Snape look like a saint! (Heathcliff is also something of a misogynist, which Snape certainly isn't.)

I just love the whole topic of Gothic Hero/Byronic Hero Snape. :lol: I recently read a long essay on Byronic Hero archetypes and was astounded to find so many similarities to Snape.

Most Byronic Heroes, for example, have a secret sin they've committed in the past which fills them with regret. They're frequently shown to have intense eyes that can bore into a person and appear to read their innermost thoughts. They have great passions and are usually very clever and talented. Also, they are separate from their fellow men, either from a sense of being different, or by choice.
Snape himself also has the appearance of a Gothic Villain, which was one of the character types that helped inspire the Romantic poets. :)

TreacleTartlet
July 14th, 2009, 4:00 pm
To me the point of character analysis is to analyse the character and that means looking at all the different aspects of the person, so as to understand them and so perhaps gain a better understanding of the world around as, the people in it and other literature and literary characters. To me character anlysis is not about trying to sum up a character in a single sentence.

Well said!:tu:

With regard to Snape, perhaps Rita Skeeter should have titled her book Severus Snape: It's Complicated.
:lol: So true!

Oh and I was rethinking the question about whether he wanted/needed Harry's forgiveness and am now leaning yes. It seems to me that when he was dying and he gave Harry his memories, that he expressly gave Harry the ones that not only told him about the horcrux and Harry's sacrifice, but he also chose to give Harry the memories about Lily and there would not be any reason to do that if he didn't want Harry to understand who he was. The big softie!

Exactly! Snape gave Harry memories that were not really required in giving the message he was asked to pass on. Why? I think we need only look at Snape's last words to Harry, which I think carries more than one meaning. "Look... at... me."

EDIT:


Personally it's of course up to each person to either have a little Snape pic to throw darts on or a Snape shrine to venere at home, but I think it gets a little annoying when people distort facts and try to impose their opinion on others.
Oh, I agree, but distorting facts and imposing opinions is not a critisism that can be soley thrown at the feet of Snape fans.

guad
July 14th, 2009, 4:02 pm
here on CoS, I've never seen that suggested
Well, I have seen it, here on Cos. There was a reason the topic of lovepotion got banned ;). Of course that's long ago.

Like you feel that saying Snape won the war is excissive glorification, I feel that describing his love for Lily as a "teenage crush" and his efforts to make amends for his sin against her "inability to move on" is excissive simplification. It seems like a disregarding dismissal of a crucial plotline to me, and annoys me the same way the glorification of Snape annoys you. What is more, it runs contrary to canon, which calls it "love" in several places and gives it a central meaning to the very structure of the books - confirmed by the author, if you take her words as canon too.
Sure, it was love, so says canon, I never said it wasn't. And I still found it cheesy. :lol: I have no problem in living with the fact that many fans find it adorable and awesome and romantic, so I expect the same regarding my opinions :eyebrows:For example, I take the view, since it jives with how I read the story and JKR's own remarks, that his feelings of dislike for Harry were genuine. I also think they were complicated -- how long can a man truly hate the son of the woman he loved, really?
Well, I took it that Snape hated Harry because he reminded him of James. So he let his feelings towards James dominate his relation towards Harry (from book 1 on, I'm refeering here to the look of hatred he shots to Harry in the welcome feast) instead of looking a bit more searching for Lily's qualities. I personally think that Harry had lots more in common with Lily than only the eyes.

Pearl_Took
July 14th, 2009, 4:08 pm
Most Byronic Heroes, for example, have a secret sin they've committed in the past which fills them with regret. They're frequently shown to have intense eyes that can bore into a person and appear to read their innermost thoughts. They have great passions and are usually very clever and talented. Also, they are separate from their fellow men, either from a sense of being different, or by choice.
Snape himself also has the appearance of a Gothic Villain, which was one of the character types that helped inspire the Romantic poets. :)

I'm sure JKR was perfectly aware of all the above. :cool:

Even Snape's 'black eyes' fit the trope.

I mean, who has black eyes in RL? :hmm: Nobody has black eyes! Our pupils are black, but nobody on earth has an iris which is actually coloured black. :yuhup:

Snape's black eyes, 'like black tunnels' etc., belong to a standard Romantic cliche. A cliche that JKR exploits and uses to the max because she seems to be setting Snape up to be the villain of the piece ...

... which, ultimately, he isn't. :cool:

Well, I have seen it, here on Cos. There was a reason the topic of lovepotion got banned ;). Of course that's long ago.

Ah. Ancient history, before my time. :)

Well, I took it that Snape hated Harry because he reminded him of James. So he let his feelings towards James dominate his relation towards Harry (from book 1 on, I'm referring here to the look of hatred he shots to Harry in the welcome feast) instead of looking a bit more searching for Lily's qualities. I personally think that Harry had lots more in common with Lily than only the eyes.

Oh, sure, he sees Harry as James Mark Two, which is not always fair. (And I agree with you about Harry resembling Lily in more than a physical way).

That first look is perhaps more complicated than it seems. I would not want to gloss over the fact that Snape really did resent Harry, and I believe JKR wanted to convey that, but Harry also gets mixed messages from that first look ... the sharp pain he feels is because Voldemort is attached to the back of Quirrell's head. :yuhup: Harry associates this unpleasant reaction with Snape. :whistle: And thus the tone for their relationship is set. :sigh:

Bscorp
July 14th, 2009, 4:34 pm
I too noted the lack of Snape's name in the detention cards, but came to a different conclusion. If Snape was a Marauder victim, his name would have come up in the detention cards, just like the names of the other victims did. I concluded that although Snape and the Marauders hated each other, Snape was not a special victim of the Marauders, and the Marauders did not seek him out for bullying, until after the werewolf incident. After that, I think Snape was on their radar, because they wanted to get even.

This is not what is implicated in Snape's Worst Memory and the werwolf incident. IMO, Black said to Harry "he had it coming to him" (or something to that affect.) this relates to me Black had a history of feeling Snape "deserved it" for whatever reason. Also when Sirius points Snape out on the lawn, it seems obvious that he is pointing the boy out as a target and he doesn't need to tell James what to do.

Also, there is the incident on the train from day one- when James trips Snape up- and mocks his relationship with Lily- implicating that the bullying from Potter and Black went back today one.

If we are going to point out the detention cards, it could be argued either way. One could argue that Snape took out any mention of his name for better or for worse. Perhaps he didn't want to look bad, or perhaps he didn't want Harry to see his humiliation. Or --> perhaps Snape never even reported most of the incidents when he had been picked on- (which is not uncommon with victims of bullies) which I find the most fitting with my reading of him and a very private character.

Something else to consider, is how much Snape didn't reveal about James Potter to Harry.

In OOP- He was not proud when Harry broke into his mind and saw his humiliation. But instead of needling Harry about it- Harry was told to never speak of it again.

Back in POA Snape never mentioned Harry's father until he saw what he felt was Harry repeating his father's behavior. Snape angrily pointed out to Harry that his father was "arrogant" (the same words that Lily used) after he catches Harry sneaking out, and after Harry lies to him. This is surprisingly restrained after learning the truth about all the things James Potter actually did. But Snape never told Harry himself how he was bullied by Potter Sr. or how James humiliated him or any of those incidents -up until HBP. This detention scene is the first where Harry learns that his father picked on other people than Snape.

RavenStar83
July 14th, 2009, 4:39 pm
That wasn't my point. :) SIP said that she had a problem with excessif blackpainting of Snape and I say I have the same problem but the other way around, meaning excessif gloryfying of Snape. I tried to illustrate this in a humourous way through this comic linked above. :)
Don't get me started. I've always a problem with both. Especially the "Lily/James Shipper Snape haters (along with the "Snape was the Center of all Evil" Snape haters) and the "Snape Wives/Mothers". I feel both sides totally miss the point of his character and who he was.
I used to be of the "obscurists" pre DH, meaning believing that Snape is nasty but essentially on Dumbledores side. And I think that it's essentially confirmed by DH. I was wrong in the whole Lily plot and I still think it's cheesy as hell. What can I say, I have no particular sweet feelings for a guy who holds on to his teenage crush and is unable to move on
For the record, Snape isn't the only one to hold on to a teenage crush. (Dumbledore anyone? :p) As Yoana said, this was something that was crucial to the plot that can't be simplified. We all have our opinions on it, but I think Snape's love for Lily and how it was done is one of the examples of what the author wanted to communicate what love is, what it does, and how powerful it can be.
For all his protestations that he didn't care for the boy (and I do think that was largely true), he does choose to share some very personal (and unflattering :whistle: ) memories with Harry as he lies dying.
I think why Snape chose to show those memories was also to get Harry to believe him about Harry having to die. I think he knew Harry wasn't going to trust him, so he needed to give him all the proof he could to show him why he should believe him. And to also show the reader. :cool:

The_Green_Woods
July 14th, 2009, 4:49 pm
That wasn't my point. :) SIP said that she had a problem with excessif blackpainting of Snape and I say I have the same problem but the other way around, meaning excessif gloryfying of Snape. I tried to illustrate this in a humourous way through this comic linked above. :)

I could not access the link, but I did understand your point. :) Snape was in a way glorified by his author through her Hero IMO. After 7 Books of making Snape's loyalties suspect and his role ambiguous, JKR glorified Snape through Harry. At least that's how I see it, from a boy who hoped his DADA teacher would die that year, to naming his son after that hated teacher is kind of glorification (not excessive by any means IMO), which some of us who like Snape agree with (like me). :D

Personally it's of course up to each person to either have a little Snape pic to throw darts on or a Snape shrine to venere at home, but I think it gets a little annoying when people distort facts and try to impose their opinion on others.

I agree.

As a few random examples: Saying that Lily loved Snape and James used lovepotion to marry her. Saying that Snape won the war, which is IMO taking away credit of other people such as Harry, Dumbledore, Ron, Hermione, Neville or Dobby. Painting Snape as a gothic hero.
Similary it's not correct IMO to say that Snape is a sadist.

I think Lily did love Snape, only not romantically. I also hope she was pretty sad when she washed her hands off a six year friendship, which meant quite a lot to her at one time. I also think Snape's role was the most important because Dumbledore made his plans for the final battle based on Snape's position in Voldemort's circle. Snape's position was so important that Dumbledore asked Snape to kill him to keep that position, knowing what it would mean for Snape and that Snape would from that time onwards become a hunted man in WW. He asked from Snape, his freedom, his innocence for Harry's sake. That IMO means something more than what the others did and the others were awesome too. I am not denying that.

Neville, Dobby, Kreacher, Moody, Kingsley, Lupin, and so many others fought and died for their world, but I agree with JKR when she says the whole series is built around Harry, Snape and Dumbledore. The master planner, the man who puts those plans in the right place at the right time, and the boy who executes it.

These three roles no one else could do (at least Dumbledore trusted no one else in the Books) and if Dumbledore planned so cleverly and Harry executed it so perfectly, I think it was because of the fantastic effort Snape took to put into place Dumbledore's plans, trusting him implicitly and going ahead with them, even knowing that by one action he changed from a spy to a traitor, betrayer and murderer in the eyes of the entire WW, not to mention his colleagues and Order members.

I don't think it's wrong to say that in a series of many, many brave acts and extraordinary people who gave so much, Snape should be among the topmost IMO. :)

What can I say, I have no particular sweet feelings for a guy who holds on to his teenage crush and is unable to move on ;)

I think it was especially difficult for him, because he had a hand in her death. :)

So what I'm meaning to say here, it's fine for anyone to have their opinion, but actually there's nothing people can say to make me love or despise Snape more or less than I already do. :)

I agree, only it's another chance to write all the things I like about Snape. :)

kittling
July 14th, 2009, 6:55 pm
What can I say, I have no particular sweet feelings for a guy who holds on to his teenage crush and is unable to move on ;)

Actually it seems to me to be the norm in the HP world. It is teen-crushes that are the base for most of the adult relationships we see. The only ones I can think of that don’t start as teen-crushes that last, is Tonks/Lupin and possibly Fleur/Bill (although they only just miss it imo!) every other relationship that we get to know anything about seems to have started as a teen crush. So to me that would be the ‘norm’ for the society in which the series is based. :)

I agree that there's no reason to see Snape as a villain or a saint. And I think that a tendency toward having to reduce characters into prefab dichotomous judgments would not be well served in many cases throughout the series.

:tu: Quite the book seems to me to be laced with a message to avoid falling into dichotomous judgments (& certainly it is not a sign of psychological health or maturity to do so in RL) and I can’t think of any character that isn’t damaged by trying to apply one to them. I think that the way the books encourage its readers to move past viewing the world in dichotomous frame of reference is one of the things that makes it a brilliant series for children and helps them as they grow. Severus is, to me, almost the final part of that lesson. He is presented and seen through a child’s dichotomous frame of reference throughout the series but as Harry ages (with the reader) he begins to get views that don’t fit well with it (which he resists) finally the reader gets to see that there is always more that a simple black and white image to any person or position and Severus cannot be understood until the reader is willing to relinquish their own tendency to hold a dichotomous view of the world / make dichotomous judgments.

With regard to Snape, perhaps Rita Skeeter should have titled her book Severus Snape: It's Complicated.

:tu: :rotfl:

I don't think anyone else paid so much for their actions.

There are so many characters in the series who have made mistakes, and big ones too, but I agree I think Severus paid more than others for his.

Even Snape's 'black eyes' fit the trope.

I mean, who has black eyes in RL? :hmm: Nobody has black eyes! Our pupils are black, but nobody on earth has an iris which is actually coloured black. :yuhup:

Snape's black eyes, 'like black tunnels' etc., belong to a standard Romantic cliche. A cliche that JKR exploits and uses to the max because she seems to be setting Snape up to be the villain of the piece ...

... which, ultimately, he isn't. :cool:

I think his having black eyes is really interesting. In visual media (especially in creature creation for puppetry/cgi ) large dark eyes are used to make it clear that their bearing is a good / trustworthy person. I think JKR is quite cleaver in her use of this trait and to be honest outside of a book I think large dark/black eyes will give a completely different impression without Harry’s negative description of them – but ultimately as you say Pearl the underling truth is that Severus fits the visual clue – he is on the right side, he is one of Harry’s defenders.

I just can’t help thinking that she knowingly appears to subvert the big dark eye’s message using it as another red herring :cool:

silver ink pot
July 14th, 2009, 9:18 pm
Something else to consider, is how much Snape didn't reveal about James Potter to Harry.

In OOP- He was not proud when Harry broke into his mind and saw his humiliation. But instead of needling Harry about it- Harry was told to never speak of it again.

And Snape does stay silent about it even while Harry is copying the cards in HBP. The cards speak for themselves.

Harry was never supposed to see Snape's Worst Memory, but since that happens due to Harry's curiousity (which Dumbledore warned him about when he dove into the Pensieve in GoF) then Snape has the right to bring up James again, especially when Harry calls him a coward. Happily, Harry reverses his opinion in the Deathly Hallows Epilogue. :)


What can I say, I have no particular sweet feelings for a guy who holds on to his teenage crush and is unable to move on

Actually it seems to me to be the norm in the HP world. It is teen-crushes that are the base for most of the adult relationships we see. The only ones I can think of that don’t start as teen-crushes that last, is Tonks/Lupin and possibly Fleur/Bill (although they only just miss it imo!) every other relationship that we get to know anything about seems to have started as a teen crush. So to me that would be the ‘norm’ for the society in which the series is based.
That's exactly right - nearly every relationship in the Wizarding World begins as a crush and people get married very early in life. Snape and Lily were just acting out the cultural norms of the Wizarding World.

If everyone "got over" their first love or first crush, there wouldn't be so many generations of kids at Hogwarts. :rotfl: There are also lots of early marriages but few divorces, so something must be working for them.

That may also be a cheesy point. But nothing is cheesier than the Epilogue, listing the children of the Trio plus Lupin's son. Oh yeah - Tonks couldn't get over her crush on Lupin either. ;)

sweetsev
July 14th, 2009, 9:59 pm
I believe this implicates bullying behavior from Snape as well - as far back as on that day. Additionally for Snape, I feel JKR showed that he was behaving in a bullying manner earlier on as exemplified by his behavior toward Petunia, which was prior to Hogwarts. I feel JKR was showing us a part of Snape's character that was with him from a very young age through death. I believe that during his years at Hogwarts, he finally met a group of equals who were willing and able to stand up to him and he didn't like it very much.

Maybe you are working from a different definition of bullying than I am? On the train, Snape is trying to comfort a crying girl and mentions Slytherin house which makes James take notice and make a rude comment. Snape makes a snarky comment back...then the two boys try to trip him as he retreats and call him a name. With Petunia, she makes fun of him and a branch falls on her head: that (along with his "defiant and scared" reaction) indicate a temper and loss of control (which I do think foreshadows his future behavior)...this is not nice, but it is not bullying (it's reactive, not predatory). Then in SWM he is ganged up on by a group of four boys...certainly that is not a "group of equals" by any stretch of the imagination. It's not as if some group of Slytherin students came to his rescue and battled the Marauders and they took as good as they got.

Bscorp
July 14th, 2009, 10:51 pm
Just as an example, you say that Snape was "trying to comfort a crying girl" - where as I include Snape saying "so what?" and "she's just a-" in addition to asking why Lily was crying. So I note that if anyone was overhearing that exchange, they might hear it as a poor form of comfort because in truth the words were not comforting at all, imo. . :)


With all due respect - There is a difference between a character trying to comfort someone and whether you as the reader perceive those words as comforting. Clearly Snape had had "communication" issues from the very beginning. Which I think Rowling was trying to point out- how socially awkward Snape is. This does not mean that someone who speaks poorly, or has a misguided base for his concept of "comfort" - has poor intentions.


ETA: I had originally written that Snape can't perceive how a muggle family can hurt lily's feeliings- but I take that back Snape CAN perceive this and lived it all his early childhood. His abusive muggle father enabled much of Snape's distancing from people in general IMO. We see this with many people who have had abusive families.

Snape is a young boy whom unfortunately has never had a relative to care very much for him. Furthermore, Snape found power and comfort from distancing himself from the "muggle" relative in his life who apparently abused him. As most children are only capable of seeing life form the their own pov- he projected this idea onto Lily.

Therefore when Snape says, "she's just a muggle" he perceives this as a comforting thought. It's childlike but understandable. To Snape a "muggle" is someone who can't understand wizards/witches and should not have any standing in someone's hurt feelings - when Lily is about to go to school and meet many more people who will understand that side of life.

sweetsev
July 14th, 2009, 10:53 pm
No I think we have the same definition of the term. However, based on your interpretation of canon - if it is what you have stated above - I believe that my interpretation/analysis of Snape's character is far more inclusive than yours. Just as an example, you say that Snape was "trying to comfort a crying girl" - where as I include Snape saying "so what?" and "she's just a-" in addition to asking why Lily was crying. So I note that if anyone was overhearing that exchange, they might hear it as a poor form of comfort because in truth the words were not comforting at all, imo. And I didn't find his words comforting either - rather they were putting Lily's back up, imo, based on her response. And you say that "Snape mentions Slytherin" - whereas I include that Snape said "you better be in Slytherin" and Lily responded 'what's that?'. To me, anyone overhearing this who was not a fan of Slytherin due to its reputation among wizards, might take exception to someone advocating and demanding a unknowledgable person be in Slytherin without hearing a counterpoint. I don't feel Snape was going to provide a counterpoint and I feel an unknowing person should be exposed to the counterpoint.

I could go on, but I think that just from those two examples, it is evident that our interpretation/analysis is based on different factors, imo. I feel I consider more canon than you provided in your interpretation (with respect to all of the issues you raised), and so perhaps that is why my view differs. However, if I only considered the factors you stated in just that way, then I might agree with your interpretation. I respect your analysis, but I would have to disagree as I feel there is more to it than you mentioned. :)

Actually you left out most of my counterarguments to your original assertion. I'm actually confused now by what you meant by "on the train." Are you saying Snape was bullying Lily? He obviously was trying to make her feel better, albeit not doing a great job at it. Are you saying James was giving a much-needed public service announcement when he overhears, just the word "Slytherin?" (the book says he hadn't been paying attention before hand so I doubt he heard Snape comforting Lily) and says: "Who wants to be in Slytherin? I think I'd leave, wouldn't you?" What James says is undeniably challenging. He doesn't try and educate Lily with: "all dark wizards come from Slytherin" or something. Do you feel that Lily and Snape deserved to subsequently, as they leave the situation: have Lily's voice mocked, have Severus tripped and called a rude name? Then there's the whole Petunia/group of equals issue which also do not support the notion of Snape being a bully when he a student. And of course, I respect your opinion...half the fun is in the disagreement anyway (at least for those of us afflicted with "last-word-itis" :lol:).

TreacleTartlet
July 14th, 2009, 11:00 pm
With all due respect - There is a difference between a character trying to comfort someone and whether you as the reader perceive those words as comforting. Clearly Snape had had "communication" issues from the very beginning. Which I think Rowling was trying to point out- how socially awkward Snape is. This does not mean that someone who speaks poorly, or has a misguided base for his concept of "comfort" - has poor intentions.

To Snape the child- he could not perceive that Petunia's position as Lily's family could give Petunia the power to hurt Lily's feelings so much.

This is understandable from the POV of a young boy whom unfortunately has never had a relative to care very much for him. Furthermore, Snape found power and comfort from distancing himself from the "muggle" relative in his life who apparently abused him. As most children are only capable of seeing life form the their own pov- he projected this idea onto Lily.

Therefore when Snape says, "she's just a muggle" he perceives this as a comforting thought. It's childlike but understandable. To Snape a "muggle" is someone who can't understand wizards/witches and should not have any standing in someone's hurt feelings - when Lily is about to go to school and meet many more people who will understand that side of life.

Great post, Bscorp! I completely agree with this interpretation, as it fits in with what we know of Snape's upbringing. It makes sense to me that Snape would not understand how to comfort Lily and did what he thought would help, going from his own experiences.

silver ink pot
July 15th, 2009, 12:03 am
And let's face it - Lily has known for years that Petunia was a Muggle and couldn't go with them to Hogwarts, so she is being sort of a drip to cry about it. That was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives - as it was for Harry - and Lily is crying about Petunia. Would she really have enjoyed Petunia tagging at Hogwarts? :rolleyes: If Snape was about to say "She's just a Muggle," then he's not much different from Hagrid talking about rescuing Harry from the Muggle Dursleys in Book One.

sweetsev
July 15th, 2009, 12:04 am
yes, I think you've made that point clearer (about meeting magical equals). Sorry, I wasn't trying to lead you into a bad place...I didn't realize that that topic was verboten. I would argue, however, that you are holding Snape to a pretty high standard with regard to his friendship with Lily at Hogwart's. I agree that he felt that the two of them were special because of their magical talent, when they were in the muggle world. But he was so excited to go to Hogwart's and share it with Lily...I didn't read that he was trying to be possessive or controlling of her at Hogwart's; just that he wanted his friend to be in Slytherin with him. That seems pretty normal to me. As you pointed out, he was only 11 years old. Later, I agree, he was fearful of losing her and tried to influence her based on his opinion/experiences; but it's not like he locked her in a closet or something (see: John Fowles' "The Collector"). She was always friends with him based on her own free will. However, I completely agree that he had some longstanding personality deficits that made him unpopular with other students and ultimately, unsuccessful with Lily.

ignisia
July 15th, 2009, 12:12 am
SIP, to be fair to Lily, she's only 11 and I'm sure she still would love her sister, whatever hurtful things Tuney had said to her. :sigh: Harry was happy on the Express because his previous life was horrible. Lily had a loving family she wouldn't see for months.

BScorp, I completely agree with you. :agree: We see very early on in TPT that Snape's ideas of many things-- from Hogwarts Houses to family ties-- were somewhat skewed or very different from what most children from happier families believe. He would never want to hurt Lily, but may have unintentionally done so because he was ignorant of what a real family is like.

RavenStar83
July 15th, 2009, 2:25 am
yes, I think you've made that point clearer (about meeting magical equals). Sorry, I wasn't trying to lead you into a bad place...I didn't realize that that topic was verboten. I would argue, however, that you are holding Snape to a pretty high standard with regard to his friendship with Lily at Hogwart's. I agree that he felt that the two of them were special because of their magical talent, when they were in the muggle world. But he was so excited to go to Hogwart's and share it with Lily...I didn't read that he was trying to be possessive or controlling of her at Hogwart's; just that he wanted his friend to be in Slytherin with him. That seems pretty normal to me. As you pointed out, he was only 11 years old. Later, I agree, he was fearful of losing her and tried to influence her based on his opinion/experiences; but it's not like he locked her in a closet or something (see: John Fowles' "The Collector"). She was always friends with him based on her own free will. However, I completely agree that he had some longstanding personality deficits that made him unpopular with other students and ultimately, unsuccessful with Lily.
It's not so much that the topic is verboten. It's just that there have been instances where the subject of the Mauraders would be brought up to try and vilify Snape, which many don't agree with, thus an on and on debate of Snape vs. Marauders/Gryffindors vs. Slytherins would start. And I agree. I think it was very normal for Snape to want his best friend to be in the same house as him. With the memories we're given, I was never given the impression that anything in their friendship was forced on by either of them.
SIP, to be fair to Lily, she's only 11 and I'm sure she still would love her sister, whatever hurtful things Tuney had said to her. :sigh: Harry was happy on the Express because his previous life was horrible. Lily had a loving family she wouldn't see for months.
Yea....I don't blame her for being upset that she can't be with her sister anymore. Not to mention that they were close, and everything about the magical world was starting to tear them apart.

sweetsev
July 15th, 2009, 2:56 am
It's not so much that the topic is verboten. It's just that there have been instances where the subject of the Mauraders would be brought up to try and vilify Snape, which many don't agree with, thus an on and on debate of Snape vs. Marauders/Gryffindors vs. Slytherins would start. And I agree. I think it was very normal for Snape to want his best friend to be in the same house as him. With the memories we're given, I was never given the impression that anything in their friendship was forced on by either of them.

Thanks RavenStar, for clearing that up. That makes perfect sense.

Can I throw another wacky idea out there? (and please let me know if I'm crossing the line/covering old ground/touching on a sensitive issue) But, looking at RavenStar's signature, did anyone think that Lily and Severus were ever actually romantically involved? I didn't think that, but then upon further reflection, the SWM scene has such rich underlying Freudian connotations...from wands/disarming/castration/impotence/sexual frustration to what Lily really wants. This seems to come full circle at Snape's death and the Elder Wand (don't get me started!) and whether he is really "master of his own destiny" (hint: he's not). Throw in some Oedipal stuff about slaying the father (not his, Harry's) and bedding the mother vs. moral development and you've got a Greek tragedy. I've got to think on it some more, but would be interested to hear any other thoughts on the matter.

luvlunalovegood
July 15th, 2009, 3:15 am
Thanks RavenStar, for clearing that up. That makes perfect sense.

Can I throw another wacky idea out there? (and please let me know if I'm crossing the line/covering old ground/touching on a sensitive issue) But, looking at RavenStar's signature, did anyone think that Lily and Severus were ever actually romantically involved? I didn't think that, but then upon further reflection, the SWM scene has such rich underlying Freudian connotations...from wands/disarming/castration/impotence/sexual frustration to what Lily really wants. This seems to come full circle at Snape's death and the Elder Wand (don't get me started!) and whether he is really "master of his own destiny" (hint: he's not). Throw in some Oedipal stuff about slaying the father (not his, Harry's) and bedding the mother vs. moral development and you've got a Greek tragedy. I've got to think on it some more, but would be interested to hear any other thoughts on the matter.


I don't think Snape and Lily were even romantically involved as in a boyfriend or girlfreind. However, they were very close as friends. I think Snape did hope for a little bit more; he did yearn for romance but not Lily. In the entire series, Lily is never mentioned to have any romantic feelings for Snape. Snape's involvement with the Dark Arts and people she despised certainly would not gain her approval.

So, Lily and Severus were friends; friends and nothing more.

RavenStar83
July 15th, 2009, 3:27 am
Thanks RavenStar, for clearing that up. That makes perfect sense.

Can I throw another wacky idea out there? (and please let me know if I'm crossing the line/covering old ground/touching on a sensitive issue) But, looking at RavenStar's signature, did anyone think that Lily and Severus were ever actually romantically involved? I didn't think that, but then upon further reflection, the SWM scene has such rich underlying Freudian connotations...from wands/disarming/castration/impotence/sexual frustration to what Lily really wants. This seems to come full circle at Snape's death and the Elder Wand (don't get me started!) and whether he is really "master of his own destiny" (hint: he's not). Throw in some Oedipal stuff about slaying the father (not his, Harry's) and bedding the mother vs. moral development and you've got a Greek tragedy. I've got to think on it some more, but would be interested to hear any other thoughts on the matter.
LOL! :lol: I think that's a very interesting and awesome observation. If you take JKR's answer on it, they were never romantically involved and Lily never returned his feelings (though she may have had things gone better. ;)) Personally, I never got the impression they were ever romantically involved at any point cause I didn't see any evidence of it based on Snape's memories. But I think it would have made the Snape and Lily backstory a lot deeper, adding another huge layer to Snape and his feelings and choices later on.

snapes_witch
July 15th, 2009, 3:52 am
LOL! :lol: I think that's a very interesting and awesome observation. If you take JKR's answer on it, they were never romantically involved and Lily never returned his feelings (though she may have had things gone better. ;)) Personally, I never got the impression they were ever romantically involved at any point cause I didn't see any evidence of it based on Snape's memories. But I think it would have made the Snape and Lily backstory a lot deeper, adding another huge layer to Snape and his feelings and choices later on.

Sev apparently had such poor communication skills that it never occurred to Lily that he had feelings for her other than just very best friend. Obviously also that she's much more his best friend than vice versa.

sweetsev
July 15th, 2009, 4:28 am
Sev apparently had such poor communication skills that it never occurred to Lily that he had feelings for her other than just very best friend. Obviously also that she's much more his best friend than vice versa.

Yeah, I guess that's how I really see it, too. Although I think the Freudian analysis fits even with a scenario of unrequited love. Even more tragic, actually. If SWM was the metaphoric castration/disarming and Lily ultimately chose James' more impressive...wand, then Snape lived and died never knowing physical love/intimacy. (Perhaps that explains some of his crankiness!) And if the Oedipal struggle is about giving up the desire to kill one's father, and there is no indication that Snape ever gave up hating his father, then Freud would predict a lifetime of castration anxiety along with a weak moral conscience. If we can say that he eventually took on Dumbledore as a father figure (and lost the opportunity to be with Lily, since she died), then that would be the time when he would undergo moral growth, which is what happened.

silver ink pot
July 15th, 2009, 4:52 am
SIP, to be fair to Lily, she's only 11 and I'm sure she still would love her sister, whatever hurtful things Tuney had said to her. :sigh: Harry was happy on the Express because his previous life was horrible. Lily had a loving family she wouldn't see for months.

I know - I was in a hurry when I posted and actually started to write that Lily was already homesick, while Snape didn't have a reason to be homesick.

BScorp, I completely agree with you. :agree: We see very early on in TPT that Snape's ideas of many things-- from Hogwarts Houses to family ties-- were somewhat skewed or very different from what most children from happier families believe. He would never want to hurt Lily, but may have unintentionally done so because he was ignorant of what a real family is like.
Yes, I agree. :tu: :agree:

MinervasCat
July 15th, 2009, 5:42 am
Severus Snape has been my favorite character from the start. I don't know why, but, I felt that there was more to him than just a nasty teacher who set out to make Harry's life miserable.

Snape, had the deck stacked against him from the start. Never having known love from his parents or anyone else, he did not know how to show love. He was not able to reach a sensative and loving person like Lily as he wanted to. So, he turned to what he thought was strength....dark magic. But, the more he tried to impress her with this, the more he drove her away. I'm not sure he could understand why. Again, with no history of a loving family to fall back on, he just fumbled his way along, trying to show his love, trying to show his strengths, and, instead, alienating Lily more and more. When it became clear that Lily was through with him, he turned to the only other thing he had and became a Death Eater. Then, when Voldemort killed Lily, he was devastated. He wanted ---no, he NEEDED to do something to redeem himself.

I think Dumbledore might have been a bit of a father-figure, but, more, I think Snape saw him as his salvation: a way to make up for causing the death of the woman he loved. I feel that he both resented Harry, because James Potter was his father, and that he felt a need to protect Harry because of his love for Lily. It didn't help that Harry looked and acted so much like James. That had to bring back all sorts of bad memories for Snape. He had to be so torn between the two emotions.

I think Snape felt he needed to "toughen" Harry. Seeing how quickly Harry picked up some of the most difficult magic, I think Snape wanted to make Harry keep his feet on the ground and not get too impressed with himself. Snape knew what Harry would be facing in his showdown with Voldemort he wanted him to ready. We are not privy to many of his conversations with Dumbledore, but, maybe Snape felt that Dumbledore was coddling Harry (Look what coddling did to Dudley).

I think Snape would have been pleased that Harry named his son after him. He would never have shown it, of course, because he didn't know how.

It's hard to imagine the courage it took to put himself in the position of "double agent." Again, I think this was for Lily and Snape's attempt to make up what he did by trying help bring about the true end of Voldemort. But, seeing firsthand the things that Voldemort could and did do, Snape had to be terrified at times that his cover would be blown.

These are just my opinions, of course, and, I throw them out for comment.

The_Green_Woods
July 15th, 2009, 6:33 am
Can I throw another wacky idea out there? (and please let me know if I'm crossing the line/covering old ground/touching on a sensitive issue) But, looking at RavenStar's signature, did anyone think that Lily and Severus were ever actually romantically involved?

I don't think Lily felt anything romantic towards Snape. But as a friend I do think she loved him a lot, and I do think she missed him and his place as a friend was irreplaceable. There are no best friends for Lily that we see in canon after Snape. She ceased to be an entity in her own right from then on, surfacing only to reject Voldemort's choice ands thereby saving Harry IMO.

So, while Snape loved her, I don't think his feelings were returned.

Actually you left out most of my counterarguments to your original assertion. I'm actually confused now by what you meant by "on the train." Are you saying Snape was bullying Lily? He obviously was trying to make her feel better, albeit not doing a great job at it. Are you saying James was giving a much-needed public service announcement when he overhears, just the word "Slytherin?" (the book says he hadn't been paying attention before hand so I doubt he heard Snape comforting Lily) and says: "Who wants to be in Slytherin? I think I'd leave, wouldn't you?" What James says is undeniably challenging. He doesn't try and educate Lily with: "all dark wizards come from Slytherin" or something. Do you feel that Lily and Snape deserved to subsequently, as they leave the situation: have Lily's voice mocked, have Severus tripped and called a rude name? Then there's the whole Petunia/group of equals issue which also do not support the notion of Snape being a bully when he a student. And of course, I respect your opinion...half the fun is in the disagreement anyway (at least for those of us afflicted with "last-word-itis" ).

:tu:

posted by MinervasCat
I think Snape would have been pleased that Harry named his son after him. He would never have shown it, of course, because he didn't know how.

:agree:

wickedwickedboy
July 15th, 2009, 9:29 am
I don't think Lily felt anything romantic towards Snape. But as a friend I do think she loved him a lot, and I do think she missed him and his place as a friend was irreplaceable. There are no best friends for Lily that we see in canon after Snape. She ceased to be an entity in her own right from then on, surfacing only to reject Voldemort's choice ands thereby saving Harry IMO.

I am unsure what Lily ceasing to be an entity means, can you clarify?

I felt she was a woman, wife, mother and fighter for the Order, imo, all very important aspects of life which she went on to become after ending her friendship with Snape. I feel that the Letter Lily wrote to Sirius in DH showed that she established very good friends whose values and outlook were closer to her own, after she ended her friendship with Snape. I feel she likely had other friends all along that remained so, even if they were not material to the canon storyline. I also feel that Snape recognized this and understood that if his outlook and values had been different back then, he may have been able to retain his friendship with Lily.

The_Green_Woods
July 15th, 2009, 10:18 am
I am unsure what Lily ceasing to be an entity means, can you clarify?
I felt she was a woman, wife, mother and fighter for the Order, imo, all very important aspects of life which she went on to become after ending her friendship with Snape. I feel that the Letter Lily wrote to Sirius in DH showed that she established very good friends whose values and outlook were closer to her own, after she ended her friendship with Snape. I feel she likely had other friends all along that remained so, even if they were not material to the canon storyline. I also feel that Snape recognized this and understood that if his outlook and values had been different back then, he may have been able to retain his friendship with Lily.

Have answered in the Snape and Lily thread. :)

kittling
July 15th, 2009, 11:13 am
did anyone think that Lily and Severus were ever actually romantically involved? I didn't think that, but then upon further reflection, the SWM scene has such rich underlying Freudian connotations...from wands/disarming/castration/impotence/sexual frustration to what Lily really wants. This seems to come full circle at Snape's death and the Elder Wand (don't get me started!) and whether he is really "master of his own destiny" (hint: he's not). Throw in some Oedipal stuff about slaying the father (not his, Harry's) and bedding the mother vs. moral development and you've got a Greek tragedy. I've got to think on it some more, but would be interested to hear any other thoughts on the matter.

Your absolutely right about the connotations of SWM, but the Oedipal conflict deals with feelings and fantasy (nearly wrote phantasy :whistle:) not actual actions and I think that is very important. I think SWM is for Severus probably as much a psychodrama as much as it is a real event.

I like that you’ve brought it up because, for me, it gives some clarity to his relationship with Dumbledore, putting into a father / son role and adding some depth to how and why it works. It also demonstrates quite clearly one of the reasons why Sev’s feelings for the marauders are so hard for him to overcome. (although they give no insight into why Sirius seems to have the same problem – but as this isn’t his thread I guess that doesn’t matter too much atm :))

As for were they romantically involved – I would say ‘No’; however I do think Lily was aware of Sev’s feelings at least later on, (there is a moment that Sev gives Lily an intense look and she blushes – to me this indicates her acknowledgement of his desire for her) However by the time she is aware that their relationship could become a romantic one, she is already worried about the company he keeps and his love of the dark arts – so I think she stops it there before it can develop into anything other than a friendship. This is the point where I take on board JKR’s comment that Lily could have had romantic feelings for Severus is he hadn’t have been so enamoured of the dark arts & kept different company. (not that I thin he had a lot of choice in the company as he was sorted into a dorm with them!)

TreacleTartlet
July 15th, 2009, 12:41 pm
As for were they romantically involved – I would say ‘No’; however I do think Lily was aware of Sev’s feelings at least later on, (there is a moment that Sev gives Lily an intense look and she blushes – to me this indicates her acknowledgement of his desire for her) However by the time she is aware that their relationship could become a romantic one, she is already worried about the company he keeps and his love of the dark arts – so I think she stops it there before it can develop into anything other than a friendship. This is the point where I take on board JKR’s comment that Lily could have had romantic feelings for Severus is he hadn’t have been so enamoured of the dark arts & kept different company. (not that I thin he had a lot of choice in the company as he was sorted into a dorm with them!)

Yes, I saw the blushing as an indication of Lily's awareness of Sev's feelings towards her. I would even go as far to say that I think that it also shows the way she felt about this. Blushing is a physical response to one's own emotions, such as embarrasment.

CathyWeasley
July 15th, 2009, 12:59 pm
SIP, to be fair to Lily, she's only 11 and I'm sure she still would love her sister, whatever hurtful things Tuney had said to her. :sigh: Harry was happy on the Express because his previous life was horrible. Lily had a loving family she wouldn't see for months.

BScorp, I completely agree with you. :agree: We see very early on in TPT that Snape's ideas of many things-- from Hogwarts Houses to family ties-- were somewhat skewed or very different from what most children from happier families believe. He would never want to hurt Lily, but may have unintentionally done so because he was ignorant of what a real family is like.

I would add that Severus didn't have any siblings so he could not understand a sibling relationship. I have many siblings! :lol: And the fights between Lily and Petunia do remiond me of exchanges between myself and one of my sisters. Even the friend trying to comfort me and calling my sister names for upsetting me are familiar. Severus is just trying to be a good friend.

Actually I cannot believe I am having to explain this scene. How could this scene possibly be interpreted as Seveus being unkind to Lily let alone bullying her? Perhaps it is because it is Severus who is saying those words rather than any another character.

It seems that whatever Severus says and does is interpreted as evil or nasty by some readers but IMO this completely lacks objectivity and amounts to prejudice against the character.

Pearl_Took
July 15th, 2009, 1:14 pm
When it comes to the antagonism between Severus and Petunia, I think it's six of one and half a dozen of the other. :whistle:

They both had problems: Sev was automatically prejudiced against (and possibly wary of) Muggles. Petunia, already at an early age, was displaying clear signs of social snobbery, immediately looking down on Sev because he was a kid in weird clothes from the 'wrong' side of town.

I will now carry on this discussion in the Petunia thread. :)

-edit-

Welcome to MinervasCat, by the way, :wave:

That was a very perceptive post. :)

sweetsev
July 15th, 2009, 4:12 pm
Your absolutely right about the connotations of SWM, but the Oedipal conflict deals with feelings and fantasy (nearly wrote phantasy :whistle:) not actual actions and I think that is very important. I think SWM is for Severus probably as much a psychodrama as much as it is a real event.

I like that you’ve brought it up because, for me, it gives some clarity to his relationship with Dumbledore, putting into a father / son role and adding some depth to how and why it works. It also demonstrates quite clearly one of the reasons why Sev’s feelings for the marauders are so hard for him to overcome. (although they give no insight into why Sirius seems to have the same problem – but as this isn’t his thread I guess that doesn’t matter too much atm :))

As for were they romantically involved – I would say ‘No’; however I do think Lily was aware of Sev’s feelings at least later on, (there is a moment that Sev gives Lily an intense look and she blushes – to me this indicates her acknowledgement of his desire for her) However by the time she is aware that their relationship could become a romantic one, she is already worried about the company he keeps and his love of the dark arts – so I think she stops it there before it can develop into anything other than a friendship. This is the point where I take on board JKR’s comment that Lily could have had romantic feelings for Severus is he hadn’t have been so enamoured of the dark arts & kept different company. (not that I thin he had a lot of choice in the company as he was sorted into a dorm with them!)

Thanks kittling....you are completely correct about the true meaning of the Oedipal conflict, although I can see some parallels with Snape's feelings toward the Potters. I see much of the conflict as the process of the young child learning to accept that their inherently selfish (and naturally so) relationship with their mother must evolve into a trio: that is, they must reject seeing their father as a competitor and accept that their father and mother are a pair and the mother does not belong to them. With regard to Lily and James, Snape seems "stuck" in this process (for all sorts of reasons); the relevance to the story being that he can't accept Harry.

I guess I don't really imagine them as romantically involved, but the blush makes me wonder if there was some sort of spectacularly disastrous attempt at physical contact that occurred between the two of them: maybe he made some bumbling attempt at something or was really bad at it and made her uncomfortable and embarrassed for him. Obviously, this is all just good spirited speculation, but it bolsters my image of him projecting all of his anger/sexual frustration into becoming a DE (as a way to demonstrate his er, wand skills/potency/power to Lily). And that stems from my belief that, while Snape did like the Dark Arts, that he was not committed to being a DE until he lost Lily and she began dating James.

Bscorp
July 15th, 2009, 4:33 pm
Shall we throw the perceptions of Snape's own mother into this Freudian analysis? What about Eileen?

sweetsev
July 15th, 2009, 4:45 pm
Shall we throw the perceptions of Snape's own mother into this Freudian analysis? What about Eileen?

Are you teasing? (It's okay if you are! :lol:) Yes, it would not be a true analysis without looking at Snape's mother (although I think Sirius is the one with mommy issues, Snape had daddy issues)...off to think some more, I actually don't remember much about Eileen....

Your thoughts, bscorp? ( I love your avatar pic, btw)

MinervasCat
July 16th, 2009, 4:40 am
Thank you, Pearl_Took for the welcome and kind words.

I noticed several posts about Snape not being able to move on from his "high school" crush on Lily. I feel it was difficult, if not impossible, for him to tear himself away from the most wonderful thing that ever occurred in his life? What other pleasant memories did he have to cling to? Who else ever treated him with any kindness besides Lily?

Although Snape must have been extremely talented to have made all of the very useful notations in his potions book, there's no mention of him ever receiving any acknowledgement of this by his professors....no awards or such. He had no leadership qualities, he seemed to be self-conscious and awkward around others. But, then, there was Lily, who he knew outside of school and who seemed to be the only positive thing in his life, the only bright spot in an otherwise miserable existance. I think he clung to that like a drowning man to a life preserver. Once that was removed...once Lily made it clear that his involvement with the Dark Arts was not acceptable to her and that she wanted no more to do with him, that bright spot was gone and his world was totally dark. What else was there for him but to ally himself with Voldemort? No one else wanted him. Surely the likes of James, Sirius, were not going to welcome him into their ranks -- but, for some reason they allowed the little creep, Pettigrew, in. I guess they enjoyed the hero-worship, something they didn't get from Snape. Maybe if James hadn't started on him right from the get-go, it might have been different. I don't see a lot of difference in James and Sirius' treatment of Snape than the way Malfoy, Crabb, and Goyle treated Neville. They made fun of him and preyed on his lack of self confidence. Bullying is bullying, and, that, to me, was James Potter's weakness. He was , IMO, a bit too full of himself. The only one who seemed to have any understanding or sympathy was Lupin, and he had little or no actual control over James' and Sirius' actions. Pettigrew, being pretty much on the same level as Snape, would have probably have enjoyed seeing him bullied, partly because it helped make him feel superior being part of James' crowd, and partly because he, Pettigrew, was not the target of the bullying. If it hadn't been for the group he belonged to, Peter would probably have been the butt of many a joke.

Once again, these are only my opinions. This is what I got out of the descriptions of the characters and their interactions. Others have their opinions, and I look forward to reading them. I'm always looking to broaden my understanding.

SusanBones
July 16th, 2009, 4:53 am
There are a lot of new people around the forums with the release of the HBP movie, so I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone of this thread:

Character Bashing/Worship: aka Shades of Gray (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=108021)

ignisia
July 16th, 2009, 4:55 am
I agree completely, MinervasCat. :agree:


When his eyes were opened and he was no longer in league with the DEs, he still needed a reason to fight them, just like everyone else. It's only natural that in such a position, he'd be so strongly devoted to her memory. By his early 20's, he hadn't developed the same sense of right and wrong as most and would therefore need a compelling reason to keep up the good fight.

IMHO, developing friendships between his coworkers and (especially) Dumbledore helped him gradually understand the worth of human life. Lily was a primary motivation throughout, but gaining other connections and paying closer attention to people would, I think, be very helpful.
Of course, we have no direct information as to its effect on him, but I think it's very probable.

alwaysme
July 16th, 2009, 9:19 pm
Guys let's try and keep this on Snape and not Snape vs the marauders too much. :)

MinervasCat
July 17th, 2009, 4:55 am
Oops. Sorry. Didn't mean to bash Pettigrew or concentrate on snape vs the marauders. It just seems that their treatment of Snape did have an affect on his character development.

Questions: When Snape arrived at the Shrieking Shack in PoA, did he still think that Sirius had betrayed Lily and James? Would this explain his wanting to turn Sirius over to the Dementors? Did Snape know about Pettigrew's involvement with Voldemort?

By the way, kittling, fabulous picture "Silver Thread."

The_Green_Woods
July 17th, 2009, 5:26 am
Questions: When Snape arrived at the Shrieking Shack in PoA, did he still think that Sirius had betrayed Lily and James?

Yes, I think he did.

Would this explain his wanting to turn Sirius over to the Dementors?

Yes; the Ministry had given orders for Sirius to be kissed on sight. So that was what Snape wanted to do. Obey Ministry orders IMO.

Did Snape know about Pettigrew's involvement with Voldemort?

No. I don't think so. If he did know and then did not tell Dumbledore on the hill, his story makes no sense of his remorse or redumption IMO. I don't think anyone knew about Peter.

2green_eyes
July 17th, 2009, 5:51 am
Since JKR said that she had given Rickman the plot points, long before even the last book had been written, do you think that movie Snape reacts differently to Harry in the later movies than does book Snape in the same books?
I know the books and movies aren't identical but I was just curious if anyone read the Snape in the books differently than the way AR played him.

sweetsev
July 17th, 2009, 6:21 am
Since JKR said that she had given Rickman the plot points, long before even the last book had been written, do you think that movie Snape reacts differently to Harry in the later movies than does book Snape in the same books?
I know the books and movies aren't identical but I was just curious if anyone read the Snape in the books differently than the way AR played him.

Yes, I think they are pretty different. Book Snape comes across much meaner, imo. Obviously with a book the reader creates their own picture of the character, so interpretations will vary wildly. Honestly, I try not to take the books too seriously (although that doesn't stop me from engaging in wild debate about minute plot details) so I accept some of Snape's nastiness with a sense of humor; he's like a caricature of a mean scary teacher. I don't remember every detail, but in the movies Snape is played with some intentional humor and comes off as more sarcastic/stern than angry and bitter. He's a little crazy looking too...can you imagine buttoning that outfit every morning? Goodness. I haven't seen the new movie yet, so who knows....don't call him a coward!

2green_eyes
July 17th, 2009, 6:28 am
...can you imagine buttoning that outfit every morning? Goodness.

:evil:

The_Green_Woods
July 17th, 2009, 6:35 am
Since JKR said that she had given Rickman the plot points, long before even the last book had been written, do you think that movie Snape reacts differently to Harry in the later movies than does book Snape in the same books?
I know the books and movies aren't identical but I was just curious if anyone read the Snape in the books differently than the way AR played him.

Movie Snape is altogether too mild IMO. Snape is such an intense, serious and sarcastically humorous person all at once, I don't think it's possible to bring all that out in the movies, unless that person has gone through what Snape has IMO. It would be very difficult, though AR has done very nicely as Snape. :)

The experience of being a DE, of a spy, of having a guilt that cuts deeply and still managing to retain his senses, his intelligence is an awesome task and for someone to bring out in the movies would be near impossible IMO.

Oh and AR is way too handsome. I've always thought of Snape as vivid, but not so handsome in looks as much as in character. :)

ignisia
July 17th, 2009, 6:40 am
The buttons!...Must...keep...thread...FF....:yuhup:

I think AR was influenced the the information JKR gave him, but I don't know if movie!Snape's lack of onscreen meanness was really a result of that or of the screenwriter. Occasionally, movie!Snape throws in some unkind comments toward Harry, which may just be the much shorter stand-in for the occasional classroom scene. That leaves them more time to add certain details into the movie without having to sacrifice too much of Snape's nastiness.

The point gets across that the Snape-Harry relationship is strained and that Snape has a habit of insulting/threatening/punishing Harry without the screenwriters having to devote a lot of time to any scene in Potions class which wouldn't have much bearing in the central plot (so, a lot of them :lol:).

Leslie33
July 17th, 2009, 7:04 am
I voted for His Vindictiveness, inability to move on and his unsociable behavior.

sweetsev
July 17th, 2009, 7:10 am
Oh man, what am I missing? Are Snape's buttons a controversial topic????

I'm clueless, people!

snapes_witch
July 17th, 2009, 7:18 am
Oh man, what am I missing? Are Snape's buttons a controversial topic????

I'm clueless, people!

Not really, it's just the movie costume is considered by some to be too muggle. He should be in robes, not a frock coat and trousers.

(and we won't mention what some fangirls want to do with those buttons)

sweetsev
July 17th, 2009, 7:32 am
Not really, it's just the movie costume is considered by some to be too muggle. He should be in robes, not a frock coat and trousers.

(and we won't mention what some fangirls want to do with those buttons)

Oh dear. Thanks for the explanation...

Moriath
July 17th, 2009, 8:14 am
May I remind you all that this is Legilimency Studies? If you want to discuss Rickman's costume or acting please head over to the movie forum.

ginny8dandelion
July 18th, 2009, 1:00 am
LOL I like his buttons! Seriously though... ;)... I really can't decide what his greatest weakness is. I know what it is NOT, it is not his love for Lily. I think his love for Lily is his redemption, not his greatest weakness.

AlexisMalfoy
July 18th, 2009, 1:34 am
Ultimately, I think his inability to move on from Lily was his greatest downfall. She moved on, but he could never let go, and therefore became an extremely bitter and unsocial man. It seems as though Lily was the only person he truly trusted in his life, and when she left, he was unable to trust anyone else.

snapes_witch
July 18th, 2009, 1:53 am
Ultimately, I think his inability to move on from Lily was his greatest downfall. She moved on, but he could never let go, and therefore became an extremely bitter and unsocial man. It seems as though Lily was the only person he truly trusted in his life, and when she left, he was unable to trust anyone else.

True, but it was also the reason he was willing to do 'anything' including protect his enemy's son.

MinervasCat
July 18th, 2009, 3:19 am
I think Snape "loved" Dumbledore because, as I mentioned before, he was Snape's salvation, and, also because, through all of the criticism and doubt, Dumbledore was steadfast in his trust and backing of Snape. To me, this must have had some affect on Snape overall.

Then, when Dumbledore realized his own end was near, he trusted Snape to protect not only Harry, but Malfoy as well. Dumbledore knew that once Malfoy killed, it was the beginning of the end for him. Again, who was the person he trusted most to carry out what had to be done? Snape, of course.

I'm not sure what type of relationship as student and teacher that Snape and Malfoy had. Was Snape's favoritism all pretend, or, did he really like Draco? Toward the climax of HBP I think Snape might have seen a bit of himself as a young man in Malfoy's being lured in by Voldemort. The promise of glory and power. Snape knew it was all hollow.

But to have to kill Dumbledore must have been the most difficult thing Snape ever had to do. Where do you all feel that he was able to call up the strength to do this? Was it his promise and loyalty to Dumbledore, his Blood Oath with Draco's mother, or both?

potionmistress
July 18th, 2009, 3:24 am
His inability to take responsibility for his actions...

...early in life!

If he had, he'd never have gone to the dark side, he'd have had Lily, and Harry would have had greasy hair and a large nose. ;)

He takes responsibility later on, making repayment on his earlier misdeeds a thousandfold, to the point where he doesn't care if he lives or dies. I would think the shock of losing the person Snape saw as the embodiment of everything good inside of himself made him change. It made him find those things within and act on them, as a way of keeping a bit of Lily alive.

sweetsev
July 18th, 2009, 4:23 am
I think Snape "loved" Dumbledore because, as I mentioned before, he was Snape's salvation, and, also because, through all of the criticism and doubt, Dumbledore was steadfast in his trust and backing of Snape. To me, this must have had some affect on Snape overall.

Then, when Dumbledore realized his own end was near, he trusted Snape to protect not only Harry, but Malfoy as well. Dumbledore knew that once Malfoy killed, it was the beginning of the end for him. Again, who was the person he trusted most to carry out what had to be done? Snape, of course.

I'm not sure what type of relationship as student and teacher that Snape and Malfoy had. Was Snape's favoritism all pretend, or, did he really like Draco? Toward the climax of HBP I think Snape might have seen a bit of himself as a young man in Malfoy's being lured in by Voldemort. The promise of glory and power. Snape knew it was all hollow.

But to have to kill Dumbledore must have been the most difficult thing Snape ever had to do. Where do you all feel that he was able to call up the strength to do this? Was it his promise and loyalty to Dumbledore, his Blood Oath with Draco's mother, or both?

Hmm, it's interesting to wonder if Snape "loved" Dumbledore in any sense of the word. I think I would say that he had faith in Dumbledore and trusted DD with his soul. But DD was no deity and I'm not sure it really worked out like Snape thought it would. I think Snape missed some things in his need for salvation (or maybe he was willing to be a sacrificial lamb).

I can see how he would identify with Malfoy in some ways...but he played Malfoy, too. I think he was walking the line between being angry with Draco and protecting him at the same time.

Jigga
July 18th, 2009, 4:27 am
I'm not sure why Snape would like Malfoy as Malfoy is everyhting that Snape claims that Harry is.

Sly_Lady
July 18th, 2009, 5:45 am
I think Snape "loved" Dumbledore because, as I mentioned before, he was Snape's salvation, and, also because, through all of the criticism and doubt, Dumbledore was steadfast in his trust and backing of Snape. To me, this must have had some affect on Snape overall.

Then, when Dumbledore realized his own end was near, he trusted Snape to protect not only Harry, but Malfoy as well. Dumbledore knew that once Malfoy killed, it was the beginning of the end for him. Again, who was the person he trusted most to carry out what had to be done? Snape, of course.

I'm not sure what type of relationship as student and teacher that Snape and Malfoy had. Was Snape's favoritism all pretend, or, did he really like Draco? Toward the climax of HBP I think Snape might have seen a bit of himself as a young man in Malfoy's being lured in by Voldemort. The promise of glory and power. Snape knew it was all hollow.

But to have to kill Dumbledore must have been the most difficult thing Snape ever had to do. Where do you all feel that he was able to call up the strength to do this? Was it his promise and loyalty to Dumbledore, his Blood Oath with Draco's mother, or both?

I think that once Snape turned to Dumbledore and promised, "Anything," he began a journey of personal growth. All those years working closely with Dumbledore at Hogwarts, he learned what honor and integrity was, in some ways maybe better than Dumbledore did. Snape devoted himself to the cause of protecting Hogwarts students and working directly to prevent Voldemort's destructive acts. I don't believe the Unbreakable Vow mattered, but Snape wanted to protect Draco. Likely, as you say, MinervasCat, because he realized Draco was headed for a very familiar brand of trouble. But he gave his word to Dumbledore, he knew it must be done, so he killed Dumbledore.

silver ink pot
July 18th, 2009, 6:07 am
I'm not sure why Snape would like Malfoy as Malfoy is everyhting that Snape claims that Harry is.
I think up until HBP, Draco shows Snape alot of respect and even tells him in one of the books that he should be Headmaster instead of Dumbledore, to which Snape just answers that Dumbledore would be back soon anyway.

"Sir," said Malfoy loudly. "Sir, why don't you apply for the headmaster's job?"

"Now, now, Malfoy," said Snape, though he couldn't suppress a thin-lipped smile. "Professor Dumbledore has only been suspended by the governors. I daresay he'll be back with us soon enough."

Harry thinks Snape is smiling because he likes the idea of being Headmaster or that he is enjoying the fact that Dumbledore has been suspended. But I think he is smiling because Draco is showing a little hero-worship of him, but ironiclly Snape has no designs on Dumbledore's job anyway and really does want him to come back soon.

The_Green_Woods
July 18th, 2009, 6:23 am
I think Snape "loved" Dumbledore because, as I mentioned before, he was Snape's salvation, and, also because, through all of the criticism and doubt, Dumbledore was steadfast in his trust and backing of Snape. To me, this must have had some affect on Snape overall.

I don't know if Snape loved Dumbledore; his resentment about the werewolf incident and the way Dumbledore had dealt with it seemed very clear on his face years later. So I think there were issues between them, mainly I think in relation to Snape's school years. I would not be surprised if Snape, Dumbledore and McGonagall had arguments occasionally about the way Slytherin students were treated. And I would not be surprised if Snape was never comforted by their attitude.

I think Snape respected Dumbledore and trusted him. Completely. And it's funny in a sad sort of way that Snape trusted Dumbledore, even when Dumbledore told him Harry must die, he walked Dumbledore's path, doing what Dumbledore asked him to and Harry survived, even though Snape was not alive to see it.

James on the other hand did not take Dumbledore's offer to be SK and he opted to do it his way and he and his wife died, with his best friend in Azkaban.

I think Snape shows a very important rule to follow in a war. Trust the leader unless he shows he's untrustworthy. Harry benefited by it with his life, because Snape trusted Dumbledore. Harry lost his parents and had a miserable life with his aunt, because his father did not trust his leader IMO.

Then, when Dumbledore realized his own end was near, he trusted Snape to protect not only Harry, but Malfoy as well. Dumbledore knew that once Malfoy killed, it was the beginning of the end for him. Again, who was the person he trusted most to carry out what had to be done? Snape, of course.

:agree:

I'm not sure what type of relationship as student and teacher that Snape and Malfoy had. Was Snape's favoritism all pretend, or, did he really like Draco? Toward the climax of HBP I think Snape might have seen a bit of himself as a young man in Malfoy's being lured in by Voldemort. The promise of glory and power. Snape knew it was all hollow.

I think Snape was probably amused in private by Draco's statements when he was young and later I think he did like Draco, though I do think he would have been concerned about the path Draco thought would get him the glory.

Where do you all feel that he was able to call up the strength to do this?

From himself I would answer. Snape was a very strong person. I think he was blessed with enormous mental strength and courage and along with it he also loved. That is what helped him IMO. These three things helped him to change from a DE to Dumbledore's man and I think these three things helped him to kill Dumbledore and pass on the message to Harry. The last 2 actions showed that Snape had evolved into a person who did what was right than what he liked IMO.

Yoana
July 18th, 2009, 8:33 am
I'm not sure why Snape would like Malfoy as Malfoy is everyhting that Snape claims that Harry is.

Wow, great question.

I don't think Snape disliked Harry for the reasons he listed... I think that if it were just that, he'd be just mildly annoyed, but Harry wouldn't have affected him as much as he did. There are personal stories invloved with both boys with regad to Snape. I think the real reason Snape disliked Harry so much was his personal history with James and Lily; and the deciding factor in his favouring of Draco was, in my opinion, his friendship with Draco's parents, and maybe Draco's House, too.

kittling
July 18th, 2009, 3:36 pm
While I find the discussion of Snape & Dumbledore's relationship fascinating I feel I should point out that there is a thread for discussing just that called Snape & Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=113993) before a mod beats me to it! :D

I'm not sure what type of relationship as student and teacher that Snape and Malfoy had. Was Snape's favoritism all pretend, or, did he really like Draco? Toward the climax of HBP I think Snape might have seen a bit of himself as a young man in Malfoy's being lured in by Voldemort. The promise of glory and power. Snape knew it was all hollow.

That's an interesting point and I don't think there is any one answer (is there ever with Sev? :lol:)

I don't think his favouritism was all pretend, but I do think that it is often forgotten that we see all the heads of house show favouritism; even McGonagall let her gryfindors go without homework when there is a big Quidditch match coming up that the team need to practice for.
I think Severus has very high standards for his Slytherin students, but he seems to keep their disciplining & extra work something that is only really seen inside Slytherin so the rest of the school only see one side of his treatment of them (remember Crabb & Goyle doing extra study on his orders)

As to Draco & Severus relationship – I think that goes back before Harry’s 1st year at Hogwarts, partly because it seemed to be hinted at in the 1st potions class and also because Narcissa calls Severus her husbands oldest friend – how could that be & Draco & Severus not know each other before Hogwarts. So there is not imo just a teacher / student relationship. I have a suspicion that Severus sees Draco trying to live up to both his father’s reputation & high standards, which can’t be easy for the boy – and I get the feeling that Severus had some sympathy for him because of that. Once Draco stared at Hogwarts, not only does he have a ready standing relationship with Severus but he was a good student (Hermione seems to be his only real competition if his fathers admonishments in CoS) which is always a good thing to have in ones house esp is house points are earned for good academic work.

I find it interesting thad Draco’s complaints about the teachers being biased in favour of Hermione mirror Harry’s comments about certain teachers being biased – I feel that it was done deliberately to show that perhaps things weren’t actually as uneven as Harry’s complaints might have made it seem – but of course that’s my interpretation :)

CathyWeasley
July 18th, 2009, 10:20 pm
But to have to kill Dumbledore must have been the most difficult thing Snape ever had to do. Where do you all feel that he was able to call up the strength to do this? Was it his promise and loyalty to Dumbledore, his Blood Oath with Draco's mother, or both?
I agree - I think killing Dumbledore was the hardest thing that Severus did. I would also agree that Snape felt "love" for Dumbledore as a mentor and even as a friend. He respected Dumbledore and trusted him, even if he didn't agree with him all the time. I think the shock and outrage we see when Dumbledore tells him that Harry must die - the accusation that Dumbledore had used him - to me these imply that he was hurt by Dumbledore's treatment of him, but I think that he came to understand why Dumbledore had done things the way he had done them, and certainly he trusted him implicity because he followed through with Dumbledore's plan. I also think that Dumbledore show a huge amount of trust in Severus. He absolutely trusted him with things that are crucial to the plan to defeat Voldemort, and I think that Severus recognised and appreciated this. I also think that both Dumbledore and Snape were pragmatic enough to know that in war sometimes you have to make difficult choices between two or more abhorent options, but no matter how abhorent such decisions are they have to be made. No one else would have killed Dumbledore, but Snape understood why this was the best option when all things are considered. I think this shared understanding gave them a "brothers in arms" comraderie. I don't feel like I am explaining this very well! (And I wandering into Dumbledore/Snape thread territory)So to go back to the question - Where did Snape get the strength to kill Dumbledore - well I think it was from this "Brothers in Arms" understanding of each other. Snape knew that it was what Dumbledore wanted, and what was best for the cause. He respected Dumbledore's decision and I think ultimately understood the trust that Dumbledore was placing in him, and the responsibility that he was giving him.

I'm not sure what type of relationship as student and teacher that Snape and Malfoy had. Was Snape's favoritism all pretend, or, did he really like Draco? Toward the climax of HBP I think Snape might have seen a bit of himself as a young man in Malfoy's being lured in by Voldemort. The promise of glory and power. Snape knew it was all hollow.
I think Severus did actually like Draco because he was an old friend of Lucius as we find out in HBP. I think it is perfectly possible for Severus to be friends with Lucius even after Severus became a spy for Dumbledore though from this point their friendship would certainly have been less genuine on Sev's part because he would have had to lie to Lucius. I think Seveus appreciated Lucius befriending/mentoring him when he came to Hogwarts, and he might even have wanted to steer Lucius and his family away from Voldemort, knowing that sooner or later something bad would happen to them. I find their relationship quite intriguing to be honest.


But I think he is smiling because Draco is showing a little hero-worship of him,Great catch! It must have been such a delightful change for Severus to have someone look up to him like that - I really can't blame him for lapping it up!

Snape was a very strong person. I think he was blessed with enormous mental strength and courage and along with it he also loved. :agree: Completely agree! I find his strength awesome!

MinervasCat
July 19th, 2009, 1:07 am
When the HP series starts it seems that Harry and Dumbledore will be central characters, with the others kind of orbiting around them. Then, little by little, as we learn more and more about Snape, by HBP, he is a pivotal character. So complex. So much riding on his shoulders. If he had changed his loyalty at any time....well, it would have been a whole different story, to say the least. (lol)

silver ink pot
July 19th, 2009, 3:21 am
When the HP series starts it seems that Harry and Dumbledore will be central characters, with the others kind of orbiting around them. Then, little by little, as we learn more and more about Snape, by HBP, he is a pivotal character. So complex. So much riding on his shoulders. If he had changed his loyalty at any time....well, it would have been a whole different story, to say the least. (lol)

And of course in every book Harry thinks Snape is some sort of liar/traitor, but it never happens.

For me a pivotal scene that showed Snape was on Harry's side was in OotP when Malfoy interrupted them during Occlumency. Snape had told Harry not to mention the lessons to anyone "least of all Dolores Umbridge." He had also told him that the cover story would be that they were doing "Remedial Potions," which sounds like the Muggle joke about Remedial Basket Weaving as an easy class, but is actually a course of medicine that Gilderoy Lockhart's nurse mentions to him at St. Mungo's.

Anyway, if at any time Snape hadn't followed his own "plan" I would have felt that he was a liar. But when Malfoy interrupts them and says that Dolores wants Snape's help to get the Slytherin kid out of the drain pipe, Snape keeps his word to Harry and says they are doing Remedial Potions. To me that is a lightbulb moment that Snape really was hiding alot from Umbridge.

Then of course he also refuses to give Umbridge the Vertiaserum, and then later Dumbledore says that Snape warned the Order not once but twice that night. Once to check and make sure that Sirius was still at Grimmauld Place, and then Dumbledore says Snape "became worried" when the kids didn't return from the forest, so he contacted Grimmauld again to say he thought Harry and the others might be going to the Department of Mysteries. So Snape is very consistant at the end of OotP, and for Harry to blame him later for everything that happened is almost absurd, in my opinion.

CathyWeasley
July 19th, 2009, 1:41 pm
He had also told him that the cover story would be that they were doing "Remedial Potions," which sounds like the Muggle joke about Remedial Basket Weaving as an easy class, but is actually a course of medicine that Gilderoy Lockhart's nurse mentions to him at St. Mungo's.
I always took "remedial potions" to mean "extra potions lessons" - Snape says at one time "No one who has seen you perform in my class would doubt that you needed them" or something along those lines. So I took it to mean that the cover was that Harry's potion making wasn't up to standard so he needed extra potions lessons to improve to the required level.
It also makes it look as if Snape is trying to humiliate Harry by giving this reason for their lessons - and we see how Draco reacts when he is told - but what other options were available that would provide a believable cover? Of course it is a very clever distraction by Jo because in thinking how mean Severus is in humiliating Harry by telling Draco that Harry needs remedial potion lessons, we miss the rather glaring fact that Severus is lying to Draco - the son of Lucius who is not just a Death Eater, but also allegedly Snape's "old friend." It seems that even Harry misses this rather crucial point too, so wrapped up in his self-pity of being derided by Draco. If you look at the situation in reality Harry is one up on Draco because he knows the truth of what is going on, whereas Draco doesn't, so he doesn't really have any reason to feel humiliated.

Snape was not only hiding the truth from Umbridge though, as I see it, lying to Draco was also symbolic of him lying to the Death Eaters which is what he had been doing throughout.


Something else occurred to me. Dumbledore is the main force in the fight against Voldemort, and Harry's mentor. When Dumbledore dies he effectively passes the baton to Severus (as Harry's protector) - but also passes the baton to Harry as the "Dark Lord Vanquisher". If you change "baton" for "wand" then you have the Elder wand that Voldemort believes is "owned" by Snape but which is really "owned" by Harry. Not really sure what I'm trying to say here :lol: but when I thought of Dumbledore passsing the baton to Severus the Elder Wand immediately sprag to mind.

So Snape is very consistant at the end of OotP, and for Harry to blame him later for everything that happened is almost absurd, in my opinion
Harry knows he is being unfair by blaming Severus but it makes him feel better so he does it anyway as a coping mechanism. I don't think it would have bothered Severus that Harry blamed him. Given what he has to do at the end of HBP when the whole wizarding world thought he had murdered Dumbledore I'm not sure Harry's using him as a scapegoat would even register on his radar.

The_Green_Woods
July 19th, 2009, 7:58 pm
When the HP series starts it seems that Harry and Dumbledore will be central characters, with the others kind of orbiting around them. Then, little by little, as we learn more and more about Snape, by HBP, he is a pivotal character. So complex. So much riding on his shoulders. If he had changed his loyalty at any time....well, it would have been a whole different story, to say the least. (lol)

:agree: HBP was Snape's book.

It was not likely Snape would change his loyalty, but assuming he had done so, I think Harry would have lost the war. The EW for one could not be played out the way it did and most importantly who would have given that message to Harry at the right time? And what would be the right time? Who would determine that and how? The Sliver Doe, who would have handed over the sword? The students? What would have happened to Hogwarts and her students, who would have been at the mercy of the Carrows or Bellatrix.

Snape was imperitive to Harry's victory and I do think the last 2 years of the second war were riding on Snape's shoulders.

The EW, the message, the sword, Hogwarts, none of this would have happened it had not been for Snape. Snape was the difference between Harry's victory and defeat for the above reasons IMO.

There was Moody, Kingsley, Arthur, Dobby, Neville, Ron, Hermione, Tonks, Lupin, McGonagall, Bill Weasley and so many others.

But honestly who could have done Snape's jobs and perfectly too (assuming they infiltrated Voldemort's group). Would any of these people killed Dumbeldore, would any of these people passed on a message for Harry to die?

Well I must say Dumbledore did not think so. He thought and trusted only Snape for these jobs, jobs which would take Harry and the Light to a victory IMO.

CathyWeasley
July 20th, 2009, 12:43 am
I an interested to know what people's view are on Snape's nickname "The Half-Blood Prince". My opinion is that this was a nickname that Snape used privately as a joke on himself and that is was laden with irony because he was a half-blood in Slytherin House which would have put him at a disadvantage, and he was certainly not princely in terms of appearance. I also think that this nickname holds him up for comparison with James who was a pure blood and according to Jo was "pampered" - a bit like a prince. (Which always makes me think of the Spin Doctors song Two Princes :lol: )
I don't think that Snape's nickname has the same conotations as Tom Riddle's nickname because it emphasises his blood status whereas Tom was determined to hide his blood status.

ignisia
July 20th, 2009, 1:25 am
Before DH, I thought it might be pride in his mother and her family. In DH, however, we see that Eileen was a very cold and distant mother, so I don't think that was really the case. :hmm:

I'm inclined to believe that he may have taken some pride in being both the only half-blood in the Prince family (assuming that the Princes were pureblood, which the nickname itself seems to imply) and a half-blood who had gained some importance in the Slytherin House social ladder.

The use of "Prince" instead of "Snape" would also distance him from his father, who we can suppose maltreated the family in some way.

There is also young Snape's aspirations toward a successful future to be considered (as we see in TPT, he is "brimful of confidence in his destiny"). His calling himself "prince" might also reflect his desire to rise above his humble origins and become a strong and powerful wizard.

CathyWeasley
July 20th, 2009, 1:49 am
There is also young Snape's aspirations toward a successful future to be considered (as we see in TPT, he is "brimful of confidence in his destiny"). His calling himself "prince" might also reflect his desire to rise above his humble origins and become a strong and powerful wizard.
Yeah - I wondered if that might be the case - the name reflecting his ambitions of being "big and powerful". It is also a very cool nickname! :cool:

wickedwickedboy
July 20th, 2009, 3:37 am
Snape was imperitive to Harry's victory and I do think the last 2 years of the second war were riding on Snape's shoulders.

I respect your view, and while I felt that Snape was of help to Dumbledore, I didn't see the war riding on Snape's shoulders for the last two years of it. Voldemort had his fingers in many pies, imo, and I think Dumbledore was concerned about all of the facets of the war, not just what Voldemort might share with his DEs. After Dumbledore's death, I feel Snape became a non-factor in the war effort, until he was later appointed headmaster. At that point I feel he was able to begin to contribute to some degree once more. I think Snape, like others, was able to help in specific ways, but I don't feel that anyone's role was more important than another's (excepting the trio of course :lol:).

Vig
July 20th, 2009, 4:23 am
I respect your view, and while I felt that Snape was of help to Dumbledore, I didn't see the war riding on Snape's shoulders for the last two years of it. Voldemort had his fingers in many pies, imo, and I think Dumbledore was concerned about all of the facets of the war, not just what Voldemort might share with his DEs. After Dumbledore's death, I feel Snape became a non-factor in the war effort, until he was later appointed headmaster. At that point I feel he was able to begin to contribute to some degree once more. I think Snape, like others, was able to help in specific ways, but I don't feel that anyone's role was more important than another's (excepting the trio of course :lol:).

Once again, what? (I seem to do that a lot these days!) Have you forgotten the Seven Potter's incident? And just imagine the 'Harry Potter' books without Severus Snape. We might not have progressed much further than book 1, I am afraid. I could go on mentioning, his pivotal role in almost every book but those who have read the book, should know that by now. Even killing Dumbledore (by Severus) had a big impact on the entire series.

After Harry and Dumbledore, Snape's character was the most important and the fact that 'Deathly Hallows' rested solely on his being innocent or guilty! :)

Edit: You may like or dislike Severus, that's a matter of interpretation but the 'importance of Severus' to the HP series is a fact! You just can't argue with hard-facts!!! :)

Sly_Lady
July 20th, 2009, 4:43 am
Once again, what? (I seem to do that a lot these days!) Have you forgotten the Seven Potter's incident? And just imagine the 'Harry Potter' books without Severus Snape. We might not have progressed much further than book 1, I am afraid. I could go on mentioning, his pivotal role in almost every book but those who have read the book, should know that by now. Even killing Dumbledore (by Severus) had a big impact on the entire series.

After Harry and Dumbledore, Snape's character was the most important and the fact that 'Deathly Hallows' rested solely on his being innocent or guilty! :)

I agree, vigneshnimbus. No one else could have done the things that Snape did throughout the series, because Dumbledore did not trust anyone to do those things but Snape. Dumbledore trusted other people with other tasks, but Snape's job was agonizingly difficult, and crucial to defeating Voldemort. In my opinion, Snape showed courage and integrity of the highest order in his work for Dumbledore. While he did not know all of Dumbledore's plan, because no one person knew all of it, he knew more than anyone, and he was the one person that Dumbledore trusted with knowledge of most of the plan after his death. Who would have taken over the Headmaster's office and conferred with Dumbledore more effectively than Severus Snape? And this after he was forced by circumstances to kill his only friend and mentor. Snape showed remarkable courage throughout the series.

The_Green_Woods
July 20th, 2009, 7:11 am
I an interested to know what people's view are on Snape's nickname "The Half-Blood Prince".

1) A cool name. :D

2) A hint at Snape's character; he was not ashamed of his half blood status and he wore it openly. It showed him to be a character that did not cover himself in falseness like Voldemort did. What he was inside, he showed outside. That made him a very honest person.

3) It showed his loyalty towards the muggle side of his family. He did not renounce his father's name, nor his house, both which were very muggle IMO.

I respect your view, and while I felt that Snape was of help to Dumbledore, I didn't see the war riding on Snape's shoulders for the last two years of it. Voldemort had his fingers in many pies, imo, and I think Dumbledore was concerned about all of the facets of the war, not just what Voldemort might share with his DEs. After Dumbledore's death, I feel Snape became a non-factor in the war effort, until he was later appointed headmaster. At that point I feel he was able to begin to contribute to some degree once more. I think Snape, like others, was able to help in specific ways, but I don't feel that anyone's role was more important than another's (excepting the trio of course :lol:).

Well Dumbledore certainly did not think so IMO.

For the reasons I've mentioned before, it was Snape, Dumbledore relied upon and only Snape. None of the Order members even had a clue about Snape's job.

By saying Snape was the most important to winning the war, I am not discounting the contributions of others, but at the same time I feel, there were certain Order members who were more important to the cause than others, because of the work they could do for the cause. Moody was probably more important than Fred Weasley, who was also an Order member. Kingsley was probably more important than Molly Weasley. That is not to belittle the contributions of Fred or Molly, but to say that Moody and Kingsley could do things which perhaps Fred or Molly could not.

Harry, Hermione and Ron were very important to the war. That does not mean the contribution of Lupin was any less. It openly means that Harry had a lot more riding on his shoulders than Lupin.

In the same way, I think Snape was the most important person because he was needed to set up the things for Harry to win. Dumbledore planned every single aspect of the war; and he delegated Snape to put everything in place for Harry to execute it. This was a job Dumbledore trusted no one with. That is canon. Which means he trusted only Snape to do what we saw Snape do. Which in turn means that without Snape these things would not have been done. That would have hurt Harry and the outcome of the war.

In the light of all this I think it's not too much of a stretch to say Snape was indeed the most important member needed for victory apart from Harry and Dumbledore IMO.

Once again, what? (I seem to do that a lot these days!) Have you forgotten the Seven Potter's incident? And just imagine the 'Harry Potter' books without Severus Snape. We might not have progressed much further than book 1, I am afraid. I could go on mentioning, his pivotal role in almost every book but those who have read the book, should know that by now. Even killing Dumbledore (by Severus) had a big impact on the entire series.

After Harry and Dumbledore, Snape's character was the most important and the fact that 'Deathly Hallows' rested solely on his being innocent or guilty! :)

Edit: You may like or dislike Severus, that's a matter of interpretation but the 'importance of Severus' to the HP series is a fact! You just can't argue with hard-facts!!! :)

:agree: :tu:

snapes_witch
July 20th, 2009, 8:28 am
Thoough I dislike relying on post-DH's interviews to make a point, I think it's worthwhile to list yet again the five characters that Jo said were most important to the story:

Harry, Ron, and Hermione, of course, followed by Dumbledore and . . . Severus Snape. Not Lupin, or Kingsley, or Sirius, or McGonagall, or any other character, but Severus Snape.

wickedwickedboy
July 20th, 2009, 9:12 am
Once again, what? (I seem to do that a lot these days!) Have you forgotten the Seven Potter's incident?

No, but I don't see it as important to the storyline. The Order members were already planning to secret Harry out of Privet Drive and I feel that a plan that did not include what I saw as betrayal by Dumbledore and carried out by Snape, would have been a better one overall (imo).

And just imagine the 'Harry Potter' books without Severus Snape.

Well I wasn't addressing this point. I think the HP books required all the characters that were in them, so I agree with you that he should have been in the series. My point was that the last two years did not rest on Snape's shoulders when it came to defeating Voldemort (imo).

Even killing Dumbledore (by Severus) had a big impact on the entire series.

I think you raise an interesting point here because I have been analysing that scene for a long time to try and determine the impact it had on the series - not Dumbledore's death - but Snape doing it. I felt that the point of it was to ensure Snape's place as a Death Eater, however, to me, JKR did not carry through with showing us the value of that decision on page, imo, with the exception of his becoming Headmaster - but even then, there was little he could do to stave off the children being tortured, beaten and kidnapped, imo. The other point seemed to be to have him end up being thought the master of the Elder Wand, but that ended up getting Snape killed and didn't pan out for purposes of the storyline, imo, because Draco and Harry acted outside of Dumbledore's planning and *** wand's power didn't die with Dumbledore - nor did Snape end up with the wand (DH). In the end, Harry told Voldemort all about it prior to their fight, so anything Dumbledore had hoped for through Snape in that regard, didn't pan out, imo. So I do not really see how Snape's killing Dumbledore served as a key to future points in the book (imo). Finally, there was the idea of saving Draco - but I didn't feel that JKR explained why Voldemort didn't kill Draco since he wasn't able to do the deed he'd been assigned. I felt we were left to work that out ourselves as readers.

After Harry and Dumbledore, Snape's character was the most important and the fact that 'Deathly Hallows' rested solely on his being innocent or guilty! :)

I respect your view, but I respectfully disagree. That is, unless you are speaking specifically of his personal subplot - then I agree that DH was important to Snape's personal story in order to inform readers about his true allegiance. :)

Edit: You may like or dislike Severus, that's a matter of interpretation but the 'importance of Severus' to the HP series is a fact! You just can't argue with hard-facts!!! :)

Well again, I wasn't discussing the series. I feel all characters were important to the series in order for it to go just the way it did. I was discussing Snape's role in the defeat of Voldemort during the final two years of his second rise to power.

TreacleTartlet
July 20th, 2009, 9:51 am
My point was that the last two years did not rest on Snape's shoulders when it came to defeating Voldemort (imo).


Dumbledore trusted Snape with the information that Harry was host to a piece of Voldemort's soul and that Harry must die if Voldemort was to be defeated. It was Severus and Severus alone who he entrusted with the task of passing on this very important piece of information to Harry. Without this information Voldemort could not be defeated, so I consider Snape's role as vitally important in the defeat of Voldemort.

silver ink pot
July 20th, 2009, 10:17 am
My point was that the last two years did not rest on Snape's shoulders when it came to defeating Voldemort (imo).

Snape was the only living person who knew exactly where Harry was most of the time through his spy, Phineas Nigellus. And Dumbledore positioned Snape to be his successor as Headmaster because he wanted him to have the cooperation of the other Headmaster Portraits as well as access to Dumbledore so they could continue working together after Dumbledore died.

The Order members were already planning to secret Harry out of Privet Drive and I feel that a plan that did not include what I saw as betrayal by Dumbledore and carried out by Snape, would have been a better one overall (imo).

You're forgetting something. The Order had to abandon their own plan because Yaxley put Pius Thicknesse under the Imperious curse. They couldn't count on Ministry protection for Harry at all, and Snape couldn't lie to Voldemort about that because someone else might have pointed it out anyway. Time was short until Harry's birthday and Voldemort was coming after him no matter what Snape did. But with snape giving them a way to create decoys, they had a good chance of success.

“But this is mad, there’s no need—” (said Harry)

“No need!” snarled Moody, “With You-Know-Who out there
and half the Ministry on his side? Potter, if we’re lucky he’ll have
swallowed the fake bait and he’ll be planning to ambush you on
the thirtieth, but he’d be mad not to have a Death Eater or two
keeping an eye out, it’s what I’d do. They might not be able to
get at you or this house while your mother’s charm holds, but it’s
about to break and they know the rough position of the place.
Our only chance is to use decoys. Even You-Know-Who can’t split
himself into seven.”
Harry caught Hermione’s eye and looked away at once.

They didnt have any other plan except Snape's Seven Potters.

wickedwickedboy
July 20th, 2009, 11:20 am
Snape was the only living person who knew exactly where Harry was most of the time through his spy, Phineas Nigellus.

I would respectfully disagree. I feel that PN only knew where they were when Hermione pulled him out (after getting him) and in canon, to my memory, she only did so once. So I didn't see Harry's location being something Snape was aware of - nor taken advantage of in the storyline by JKR except the one time - imo.

And Dumbledore positioned Snape to be his successor as Headmaster because he wanted him to have the cooperation of the other Headmaster Portraits as well as access to Dumbledore so they could continue working together after Dumbledore died.

Well I am not trying to say that Snape wasn't helpful at all, I think he was able to help. My point was that the defeat of Voldemort did not rest on Snape's shoulder's for the last two years of his reign, imo.

You're forgetting something. The Order had to abandon their own plan because Yaxley put Pius Thicknesse under the Imperious curse. They couldn't count on Ministry protection for Harry at all, and Snape couldn't lie to Voldemort about that because someone else might have pointed it out anyway. Time was short until Harry's birthday and Voldemort was coming after him no matter what Snape did. But with snape giving them a way to create decoys, they had a good chance of success. They didnt have any other plan except Snape's Seven Potters.

No I recalled that. My point was that if Snape hadn't confunded Mundungus and carried out Dumbledore's plan - then the Order would have come up with another plan, imo. They wouldn't have just left Harry in the house like a sitting duck, imo. I feel that they would have come up with a plan that didn't involve telling Voldemort exactly what the plan was, when it would happen and how - and I feel that any other plan would have had a better chance of success for that reason.

SevrusSnape
July 20th, 2009, 11:29 am
I would have to say his love for Lily is his biggest weakness, because I feel that is what started everything. By him loving Lily too much and never getting over her, it then causes a downward spiral in which most of the options you have up then come in to effect. This makes him then not be able to move on obviously, he wants his revenge and because he was so hurt he then has a hard time opening up to others. Also every single time he looks at Harry, especially his eyes, all he sees is Lily which only makes him more angry and depressed.

Melaszka
July 20th, 2009, 12:21 pm
My point was that if Snape hadn't confunded Mundungus and carried out Dumbledore's plan - then the Order would have come up with another plan, imo. They wouldn't have just left Harry in the house like a sitting duck, imo. I feel that they would have come up with a plan that didn't involve telling Voldemort exactly what the plan was, when it would happen and how - and I feel that any other plan would have had a better chance of success for that reason.

I respect your view, but I really can't agree with this. It seems to me a bit like arguing that Harry isn't especially important to the series, on the grounds that if he'd never been born, Dumbledore is so clever, he's bound to have been able to work out another way of defeating Voldemort eventually.

The Order (and Snape) are constructs, not real people. As JKR chose to effect Harry's escape from Privet Drive via Snape/Dumbledore's plan, I think we are meant to infer that that was the only way it could be effected (in the absence of any textual indication whatsoever that any of the Order had a better idea that was rejected).

Blast_ended
July 20th, 2009, 1:30 pm
13. No. Snape never cared about Harry.

Sly_Lady
July 20th, 2009, 1:40 pm
I would respectfully disagree. I feel that PN only knew where they were when Hermione pulled him out (after getting him) and in canon, to my memory, she only did so once. So I didn't see Harry's location being something Snape was aware of - nor taken advantage of in the storyline by JKR except the one time - imo.
Well, Even if Phineas was only pulled out occasionally, his presence with the trio was assurance that Harry was alive and on the move. No one else knew that for long periods of time.

Well I am not trying to say that Snape wasn't helpful at all, I think he was able to help. My point was that the defeat of Voldemort did not rest on Snape's shoulder's for the last two years of his reign, imo.
It was indeed a group effort, but who else knew Dumbledore's mind with regard to Voldemort and the Death Eaters? Only Snape. Without Snape's spying and his discussions with Dumbledore about Voldemort's plans, the Order would have been floundering.


No I recalled that. My point was that if Snape hadn't confunded Mundungus and carried out Dumbledore's plan - then the Order would have come up with another plan, imo. They wouldn't have just left Harry in the house like a sitting duck, imo. I feel that they would have come up with a plan that didn't involve telling Voldemort exactly what the plan was, when it would happen and how - and I feel that any other plan would have had a better chance of success for that reason.
What other plan? I respect your opinion of course, but it seems that a different plan would have to be in a different book that JKR did not write. Dumbledore was in charge of the Order and after his death, Snape was the only one who had access to Dumbledore's Headmaster portrait. In canon Snape knew and carried out Dumbledore's plans before and after the night on the Tower.

OldMotherCrow
July 20th, 2009, 3:06 pm
Well, Even if Phineas was only pulled out occasionally, his presence with the trio was assurance that Harry was alive and on the move. No one else knew that for long periods of time.

This wasn't a plan of Snape's, though, it was pure accident, and it required that Harry and Hermione keep the portrait even knowing the dangers of it, and being careless beyond my Willing Suspension of Disbelief. If Harry had a contact in the Order, and Snape too, such deus ex machina wouldn't be necessary. Why the heck didn't Dumbledore just give Snape the deluminator?

It was indeed a group effort, but who else knew Dumbledore's mind with regard to Voldemort and the Death Eaters? Only Snape. Without Snape's spying and his discussions with Dumbledore about Voldemort's plans, the Order would have been floundering.

Snape was valuable to the Order as a spy up to the point he stopped spying for them. Snape worked with Dumbledore, not with the Order, and once Dumbledore was dead we don't see Snape work with the Order at all. I'd say he does them more harm than good through his various betrayals. If he had continued to work with them I would say his imput could have been invaluable because of his position inside Voldemort's inner circle, but that's not what happened.

What other plan? I respect your opinion of course, but it seems that a different plan would have to be in a different book that JKR did not write. Dumbledore was in charge of the Order and after his death, Snape was the only one who had access to Dumbledore's Headmaster portrait. In canon Snape knew and carried out Dumbledore's plans before and after the night on the Tower.

In my opinion, any other plan could have worked better, because it wouldn't have included the betrayal that got Moody killed, covers blown, and Harry nearly killed.

Certainly it would have been a different book, but we should ask ourselves why it was written the way it was written. It is not necessarily because it was the right way to do things. My conclusion was that Rowling was showing us that Snape and Dumbledore were going about it wrong, and that the secrecy, lies, and distrust they sowed were harmful to their cause.

Dumbledore was in charge of the Order, but after he died he was not. No one in the Order recognized a dead man as their leader. Only Snape was taking Orders from a dead man (the Portrait), and Harry was doggedly following Dumbledore's final instructions, both without adapting to the very real situation of Dumbledore being a dead man. Harry finally works his way out of it, and finds value in Dumbledore's legacy as someone who stood up for the right things, and it is this legacy that gave Harry strength and the realization that he should stay the course, not just because "Dumbledore said so", but because it is the right thing to do. I'm not sure Snape ever finds his way there. Certainly we know he never tried to work again with the Order.

Pearl_Took
July 20th, 2009, 3:25 pm
Why the heck didn't Dumbledore just give Snape the deluminator?

:lol: That would have made much more sense. :tu:

Snape was valuable to the Order as a spy up to the point he stopped spying for them. Snape worked with Dumbledore, not with the Order, and once Dumbledore was dead we don't see Snape work with the Order at all. I'd say he does them more harm than good through his various betrayals. If he had continued to work with them I would say his imput could have been invaluable because of his position inside Voldemort's inner circle, but that's not what happened.

Well, all that business with Draco and the Unbreakable Vow made that impossible, IMO. I think that JKR paints Snape into an impossible corner. :sigh: As does Albus. :whistle:

Certainly it would have been a different book, but we should ask ourselves why it was written the way it was written. It is not necessarily because it was the right way to do things. My conclusion was that Rowling was showing us that Snape and Dumbledore were going about it wrong, and that the secrecy, lies, and distrust they sowed were harmful to their cause.

In the light of the author's vindication of both Dumbledore and Snape at the end of DH, I personally don't see that as her intention. :cool:

Bscorp
July 20th, 2009, 4:14 pm
Snape was valuable to the Order as a spy up to the point he stopped spying for them. Snape worked with Dumbledore, not with the Order, and once Dumbledore was dead we don't see Snape work with the Order at all. I'd say he does them more harm than good through his various betrayals.(...)

In my opinion, any other plan could have worked better, because it wouldn't have included the betrayal that got Moody killed, covers blown, and Harry nearly killed.


The only "betrayal" I can think of is the one your referring to is the "7 potters" plan, if there are others, can you tell us what you think there are?

Moody was killed because Mundungus flipped out, if I recall correctly.

Looking at the plan, I have to consider the alternatives via the conversation at the Malfoy manner.

1) The DE's knew when Harry would have to leave by.

2) The DES also know that Dwalish had been confunded into giving them false information and it seems Voldemort agreed that he was not a reliable source.

3) They had DEs stationed near the Dursley's to watch for anything leaving.


If Snape had not given Voldemort the exact date, he would have found out as soon as Potter actually left. So the seeming "betrayal" of giving away when they were leaving was not really a betrayal- Voldemort would have been alerted and the DE's would have caught up quickly enough. This way just gave Snape some street cred and kept him in good with Voldemort.

I think Dumbledore's main concern was to keep Snape right next to Voldemort at all times and in order to do so, Snape had to appear useful.

OldMotherCrow
July 20th, 2009, 4:16 pm
Well, all that business with Draco and the Unbreakable Vow made that impossible, IMO. I think that JKR paints Snape into an impossible corner. :sigh: As does Albus. :whistle:

I think Narcissa cleverly painted Snape into a corner with that Unbreakable Vow, but I don't think that precluded Snape from ever working with the Order again.

Dumbledore I think did intentionally try to paint Snape into a corner, and isolate him from the Order. I think Snape is someone who has tunnel vision, and once he determines on the course he is to follow, he looks neither left nor right, and Dumbledore determined to take advantage of that personality trait to remain in control pulling the strings from beyond the grave. Almost any other person would try to adapt the plan to changing circumstances, but I think Dumbledore's "trust" in Snape was based on Snape not having that within his personality.

I think Snape painted himself into a corner by not recognizing that, and not taking advantage of the choice he had to work with the Order.

In the light of the author's vindication of both Dumbledore and Snape at the end of DH, I personally don't see that as her intention. :cool:

I don't see that Dumbledore and Snape were vindicated at the end of DH. "Vindicate" isn't the word I would use, because I don't think it has the right connotation, but it is very tricky to find the right word, and have it mean the same thing to everyone :). We do get to see Harry hash it out with Dumbledore in King's Cross, and I think they achieve recognition and understanding, but I don't think all of Dumbledore's actions are vindicated. In TPT, Snape explains himself as best he can, I suppose, but I don't see that as vindication, either. Harry uses the truth about Dumbledore and Snape to bring down Voldemort, but it is more that Voldemort is less than even the most flawed human, and Voldemort is shown up to be a fool who could not understand the human emotion of love, and how strong a motive it could be.

The only "betrayal" I can think of is the one your referring to is the "7 potters" plan, if there are others, can you tell us what you think there are?

Murder of Dumbledore, making the Order and the wizarding world think Dumbledore was fooled and Voldemort was unstoppable, and ceasing to spy for Order even though he continues to be in Voldemort's inner circle.

If Snape had not given Voldemort the exact date, he would have found out as soon as Potter actually left.

This was something the Order knew-- Moody mentions it-- and would be taken into account in any plan. However, lookouts would still have to contact the DEs, and the DEs would need to scramble, and meanwhile the Order would outnumber the DE lookouts. Snape made it so there was no delay, and right from the start the DEs outnumbered the Order.

The_Green_Woods
July 20th, 2009, 7:02 pm
Snape was valuable to the Order as a spy up to the point he stopped spying for them. Snape worked with Dumbledore, not with the Order, and once Dumbledore was dead we don't see Snape work with the Order at all. I'd say he does them more harm than good through his various betrayals. If he had continued to work with them I would say his imput could have been invaluable because of his position inside Voldemort's inner circle, but that's not what happened.

After Dumbledore there was no Order as such IMO. The Order members got together to get Harry out of Privet Drive according to Dumbledore's plan enacted through Dung and then that was it IMO.

In my opinion, any other plan could have worked better, because it wouldn't have included the betrayal that got Moody killed, covers blown, and Harry nearly killed.

I believe that had to happen for Voldemort to start the search for the EW, so it was necessary.

Certainly it would have been a different book, but we should ask ourselves why it was written the way it was written. It is not necessarily because it was the right way to do things. My conclusion was that Rowling was showing us that Snape and Dumbledore were going about it wrong, and that the secrecy, lies, and distrust they sowed were harmful to their cause.

They won the war, they ensured Harry's survival and did so with minimum loss of life. Assuming Snape and Dumbledore were not in the picture I don't think Harry could have lived through his 7th year, let alone won the war IMO.

A question :: I would like to know how Harry would have won the war without Snape, seeing Dumbledore relied so heavily on Snape's information to plan the war. After Dumbledore's death, no one in the Order came forward to take on the responsibility of leadership and resume where Dumbleore had left off. Seeing that, I don't believe Harry have won the war without Snape.

Dumbledore was in charge of the Order, but after he died he was not. No one in the Order recognized a dead man as their leader. Only Snape was taking Orders from a dead man (the Portrait), and Harry was doggedly following Dumbledore's final instructions, both without adapting to the very real situation of Dumbledore being a dead man. Harry finally works his way out of it, and finds value in Dumbledore's legacy as someone who stood up for the right things, and it is this legacy that gave Harry strength and the realization that he should stay the course, not just because "Dumbledore said so", but because it is the right thing to do. I'm not sure Snape ever finds his way there. Certainly we know he never tried to work again with the Order.

I don't think so. Had Dumbledore's portrait managed to meet the Order members and had given orders, I'm quite sure that all the members would have obeyed him only too gladly.

The thing was Dumbeldore did not want that. He disbanded the order as it were, because the help he wanted from that point onwards was only Snape's. He knew the rest would gather to fight at the Final Battle and so he left them to do what they wished to IMO.

CathyWeasley
July 20th, 2009, 7:26 pm
I respect your view, and while I felt that Snape was of help to Dumbledore, I didn't see the war riding on Snape's shoulders for the last two years of it. Voldemort had his fingers in many pies, imo, and I think Dumbledore was concerned about all of the facets of the war, not just what Voldemort might share with his DEs. After Dumbledore's death, I feel Snape became a non-factor in the war effort, until he was later appointed headmaster. At that point I feel he was able to begin to contribute to some degree once more. I think Snape, like others, was able to help in specific ways, but I don't feel that anyone's role was more important than another's (excepting the trio of course :lol:).

I respect your view but In My Opinion it makes absolutely no difference how many pies Voldemort had his fingers in. Only Harry could destroy Voldemort because only Harry knew about the Horcruxes. And only Snape could tell Harry he had to die because only Snape had this piece of information that was given to him and only him be Dumbledore. Without Snape telling Harry that he had to die then the part of Voldemort's soul inside Harry would never have been destroyed and so Voldemort could not have been destroyed. Without the destruction of Voldemort the war would have gone on indefinitely, with infinitely more death, torture and suffering.

In My Opinion the story as written by J. K. Rowling involves Severus Snape being fundamental to the destruction of Voldemort and therefore to winning the war in the wizarding world.

Jo has also indicated in interviews that Dumbledore and Snape are the most important characters after the trio. But of course I understand if you see it distinctly. :)

This post is all my opinion based on the seven Harry Potter novels as written by J.K. Rowling, and additional statements made by the author in interviews.

Daggerstone
July 20th, 2009, 7:29 pm
I think Narcissa cleverly painted Snape into a corner with that Unbreakable Vow, but I don't think that precluded Snape from ever working with the Order again.

Narcissa had no idea she was 'painting Snape into a corner' so I don't see it as a particularly clever move on her part, merely a compassionate one on Snape's part.

Almost any other person would try to adapt the plan to changing circumstances, but I think Dumbledore's "trust" in Snape was based on Snape not having that within his personality.

I can think of another major player following Dumbledore's 'orders from beyond the grave', but a detailed comparison would poorly befit this particular thread.


Murder of Dumbledore, making the Order and the wizarding world think Dumbledore was fooled and Voldemort was unstoppable, and ceasing to spy for Order even though he continues to be in Voldemort's inner circle.

It was Dumbledore's idea in the first place. By the virtue of Medina standard, it fails to count as Snape's betrayal... if we're applying the same standards to a piece of literature as we do to real life, of course. :relax:


I also can't seem to remember any actions of the Order as such after Dumbledore's death. Anyone care to quote for me? :huh:

OldMotherCrow
July 20th, 2009, 7:32 pm
After Dumbledore there was no Order as such IMO. The Order members got together to get Harry out of Privet Drive according to Dumbledore's plan enacted through Dung and then that was it IMO.

I recall mention of the Order after that. I do not recall any indication that the Order was disbanded by its members.

I believe that had to happen for Voldemort to start the search for the EW, so it was necessary.

I remember your theory. I'd actually like to discuss it further in the Dumbledore thread, if I can get my head into it. But I don't buy that the 7 Potters was necessary to the plan, because there are too many holes to it.

They won the war, they ensured Harry's survival and did so with minimum loss of life. Assuming Snape and Dumbledore were not in the picture I don't think Harry could have lived through his 7th year, let alone won the war IMO.

A question :: I would like to know how Harry would have won the war without Snape, seeing Dumbledore relied so heavily on Snape's information to plan the war. After Dumbledore's death, no one in the Order came forward to take on the responsibility of leadership and resume where Dumbleore had left off. Seeing that, I don't believe Harry have won the war without Snape.

Whole different book. But yes, I do think it possible. Kingsley assumed leadership. Ron got the basilisk fangs. People can rise to the occasion and show courage and resourcefulness without the need for micromanagement beyond the grave.

I don't think so. Had Dumbledore's portrait managed to meet the Order members and had given orders, I'm quite sure that all the members would have obeyed him only too gladly.

I don't think so at all. A portrait isn't a person. The Order had the opportunity right after Dumbledore's death if such a thing had occured to them. It didn't. The living can look after their own.

The thing was Dumbeldore did not want that. He disbanded the order as it were, because the help he wanted from that point onwards was only Snape's. He knew the rest would gather to fight at the Final Battle and so he left them to do what they wished to IMO.

Dumbledore did not seem to inform the Order that they were disbanded. I agree though that he only wanted Snape's help.

kittling
July 20th, 2009, 7:40 pm
but I don't think that precluded Snape from ever working with the Order again.

His not working with the Order is not just about his decision; they would not be overly wiling to either. I find it really unlikely that any members of the Order would willingly and knowingly work with Severus after Dumbledore’s death given the amount of vitriol they seem to display towards him form then on.

How would you suggest, in the circumstances Severus was in in DH he would be able to work with the Order?

Certainly we know he never tried to work again with the Order.

Actually we don’t have ay proof of this one way or the other as we see very little that either Severus or the Order are doing in the months the trio are camping. It is very unlikely granted – but that is not the same thing as a certainty, or something we know. It is theoretically possible that he was using other Order members to pass information to the Order in much the same way as he used Dung. Again I’m t saying this is fact merely a possibility. :)

I think Snape is someone who has tunnel vision,

What cannon do you base this assumption on?

Vig
July 20th, 2009, 7:44 pm
No, but I don't see it as important to the storyline. The Order members were already planning to secret Harry out of Privet Drive and I feel that a plan that did not include what I saw as betrayal by Dumbledore and carried out by Snape, would have been a better one overall (imo).

On the other hand this says a lot of things. Dumbledore was willing to take risks in order to make sure that Severus remained Voldemort's right-hand man. This was one of the many red herrings that Severus and Dumbledore devised to fool Voldemort and it worked beautifully.


Well I wasn't addressing this point. I think the HP books required all the characters that were in them, so I agree with you that he should have been in the series. My point was that the last two years did not rest on Snape's shoulders when it came to defeating Voldemort (imo).

Oh, I didn't imply by my comment that Snape was just another important side-character in thelast two books. He was the sole confidant of Dumbledore and after Albus died, he assumed the role of guiding Harry. One of the Canon references : 'The forest of the Dean' incident.



I think you raise an interesting point here because I have been analysing that scene for a long time to try and determine the impact it had on the series - not Dumbledore's death - but Snape doing it. I felt that the point of it was to ensure Snape's place as a Death Eater, however, to me, JKR did not carry through with showing us the value of that decision on page, imo, with the exception of his becoming Headmaster - but even then, there was little he could do to stave off the children being tortured, beaten and kidnapped, imo. The other point seemed to be to have him end up being thought the master of the Elder Wand, but that ended up getting Snape killed and didn't pan out for purposes of the storyline, imo, because Draco and Harry acted outside of Dumbledore's planning and *** wand's power didn't die with Dumbledore - nor did Snape end up with the wand (DH). In the end, Harry told Voldemort all about it prior to their fight, so anything Dumbledore had hoped for through Snape in that regard, didn't pan out, imo. So I do not really see how Snape's killing Dumbledore served as a key to future points in the book (imo). Finally, there was the idea of saving Draco - but I didn't feel that JKR explained why Voldemort didn't kill Draco since he wasn't able to do the deed he'd been assigned. I felt we were left to work that out ourselves as readers.

Now, the important incident to note is not the fact that Snape didn't disarm Dumbledore but that they made Voldemort think, that he did. If you play card-games, then this is what you refer to as a bait. None of the Death-Eaters, were too interested in reporting to Voldemort that Draco had already disarmed Dumbledore before Severus killed him.

You are also forgetting the 'Unbreakable Vow'. Snape knew that Dumbledore was dying and he also knew that he had to earn 'Bellatrix's trust'. So, he killed two birds with one stone and at Dumbledore's request, did what he thought he had to.

And Snape remaining a spy was very important to Dumbledore, as he got all the information from him. Also, Snape was able to give the 'important memory' to Harry, byhich Dumbledore guides Harry properly. But before Harry reached the part where he hears Dumbledore's advice, it was necessary for Harry to know that Snape was on the light-side. Otherwise, Harry wouldn't have trusted the memory.

I respect your view, but I respectfully disagree. That is, unless you are speaking specifically of his personal subplot - then I agree that DH was important to Snape's personal story in order to inform readers about his true allegiance.

Well then we should agree to disagree on this. I too, respect your views and everyone's entitled to have one!! :)

kittling
July 20th, 2009, 7:50 pm
People can rise to the occasion and show courage and resourcefulness without the need for micromanagement beyond the grave.

As indeed Sevrus show's - yes he talked with Dumbledore's portrait (but hey it was in his office!! would ahve been hard not to have the occassional chat imo! :lol:) but he is not mindlessly following its orders he is working on his own plans* to make sure Harry gets what he needs from him.

*'Don't worry Dumbledore I have a plan' seems to me to indicate that he is still a free thinking individual, it is his plan not Dumbledore's

In My Opinion the story as written by J. K. Rowling involves Severus Snape being fundamental to the destruction of Voldemort and therefore to winning the war in the wizarding world.

Without Snapes friendship with Lily Evans, his love for her, his mistake in taking the prophecy to Voldemort and his courage in asking Voldemort to spare Lily - there would be no chosen one and no story.

TreacleTartlet
July 20th, 2009, 7:54 pm
I think Snape is someone who has tunnel vision, and once he determines on the course he is to follow, he looks neither left nor right,

In my opnion, I hardly think he would have lasted 10 minutes as a spy if he had tunnel vision. Spies have to be quick thinking and able to adapt to the situation.

Only Harry could destroy Voldemort because only Harry knew about the Horcruxes. And only Snape could tell Harry he had to die because only Snape had this piece of information that was given to him and only him be Dumbledore. Without Snape telling Harry that he had to die then the part of Voldemort's soul inside Harry would never have been destroyed and so Voldemort could not have been destroyed. Without the destruction of Voldemort the war would have gone on indefinitely, with infinitely more death, torture and suffering.

Exactly! This is what I was trying to say earlier, but you put it much better.:D

The_Green_Woods
July 20th, 2009, 7:56 pm
I recall mention of the Order after that. I do not recall any indication that the Order was disbanded by its members.

I don't think there was any Order of the Phoenix after Dumbledore's death IIRC. I don't remember any Order which worked as one unit like they had under Dumbledore.

I remember your theory. I'd actually like to discuss it further in the Dumbledore thread, if I can get my head into it. But I don't buy that the 7 Potters was necessary to the plan, because there are too many holes to it.

Sure! :) I think the 7 Potters were very important, but I'll wait until you post in Dumbledore's thread.

Whole different book. But yes, I do think it possible. Kingsley assumed leadership.

Leadership of what? Could he get Harry to divulge about the horcruxes for example. People with specific tasks like Harry and Snape were still working on what Dumbledore has asked of them.

Could Kingsley take charge of that. For that he would need Harry to trust him enough to divulge what Dumbledore had told him to keep secret. Could Kingsley command that kind of respect?

I certainly don't think so.

Ron got the basilisk fangs.

Ron also left Harry to fight the war alone.

People can rise to the occasion and show courage and resourcefulness without the need for micromanagement beyond the grave.

Yes, but to what extent. There are levels and then there are levels. I don't think any one person who we've seen in the Order was capable of leading it like Dumbledore did.

I don't think so at all. A portrait isn't a person. The Order had the opportunity right after Dumbledore's death if such a thing had occured to them. It didn't. The living can look after their own.

They did not; they still listened to the wise words from the dead. And they actually won the war on it too IMO. :)

Dumbledore did not seem to inform the Order that they were disbanded. I agree though that he only wanted Snape's help.

He never told them anything. The Order could have reassembled. They did not. Now that reveals a lot about the members of the Order too. They were followers, not leaders, they could do assigned tasks, they could not keep the bigger picture and make dynamic decisions, taking on the responsibility of such decision making into their own hands.

They disbanded, when they had no further instructions from Dumbledore. How would these people help Harry win the war? They would try their best had Harry asked them, but they would not be able to make it work like Dumbledore did and that was what made the difference between winning and losing the war IMO.

wickedwickedboy
July 20th, 2009, 8:27 pm
This wasn't a plan of Snape's, though, it was pure accident, and it required that Harry and Hermione keep the portrait even knowing the dangers of it, and being careless beyond my Willing Suspension of Disbelief. If Harry had a contact in the Order, and Snape too, such deus ex machina wouldn't be necessary. Why the heck didn't Dumbledore just give Snape the deluminator?

That is a novel thought and would have been a very good idea, imo. And I agree, that this was not a plan between Snape and Dumbledore. The reason the trio just pulled out the portrait the one time was because they realized how risky it was, imo, so no one was able to keep tabs on Harry's movements, imo.

In my opinion, any other plan could have worked better, because it wouldn't have included the betrayal that got Moody killed, covers blown, and Harry nearly killed.

I agree. This is what I was saying. Any plan would have been better as long as Voldemort wasn't in on it, imo. I feel Snape (through Dumbledore) had his own MO in using 7 Potters and informing Voldemort of the plan. I feel it was not beneficial to the Order and very risky because the DEs knew the time, place and manner of the escape (DH, DLA). The Order members felt that someone within was betraying them and that would affect them from that point forward, imo, plus if Harry's wand hadn't defended him by itself (which was not a part of the plan), he would have been killed by Voldemort right then without a chance of returning, imo, because he was attempting to fight back.

To me it is not a matter of the Order not yet having thought up a new plan, but rather, not informing Voldemort of any new plan they came up with. So I agree with your view on this.

Certainly it would have been a different book, but we should ask ourselves why it was written the way it was written. It is not necessarily because it was the right way to do things. My conclusion was that Rowling was showing us that Snape and Dumbledore were going about it wrong, and that the secrecy, lies, and distrust they sowed were harmful to their cause. Dumbledore was in charge of the Order, but after he died he was not. No one in the Order recognized a dead man as their leader. Only Snape was taking Orders from a dead man (the Portrait), and Harry was doggedly following Dumbledore's final instructions, both without adapting to the very real situation of Dumbledore being a dead man. Harry finally works his way out of it, and finds value in Dumbledore's legacy as someone who stood up for the right things, and it is this legacy that gave Harry strength and the realization that he should stay the course, not just because "Dumbledore said so", but because it is the right thing to do. I'm not sure Snape ever finds his way there. Certainly we know he never tried to work again with the Order.

Well said, I agree. :tu:

silver ink pot
July 20th, 2009, 8:29 pm
After the 7 Potters, each family was isolated and trapped at home, and the Order was certainly cut off from Harry. Snape was isolated at Hogwarts talking to a couple of paintings, and yet as others have mentioned, he managed to come up with his own plans based on Dumbledore's guidelines for the way the sword had to be "earned" out of valor. "I have a plan" seems straightforward. Snape doesn't say that he's going to follow Dumbledore's plan to the letter, because he had his own ideas, and his plan was a success.

I don't see how Snape could be doing everything the wrong way, when the outcome for Harry was that he rid himself of the horcrux in his head, and he knew that the snake was the final horcrux except for Voldemort. All of that he got from Snape alone. No one else in the world knew.

Nope, in my opinion, there is no way to cut Snape out of the story. :no: That's alot of missing pages.

wickedwickedboy
July 20th, 2009, 9:00 pm
I respect your view but In My Opinion it makes absolutely no difference how many pies Voldemort had his fingers in. Only Harry could destroy Voldemort because only Harry knew about the Horcruxes. And only Snape could tell Harry he had to die because only Snape had this piece of information that was given to him and only him be Dumbledore. Without Snape telling Harry that he had to die then the part of Voldemort's soul inside Harry would never have been destroyed and so Voldemort could not have been destroyed. Without the destruction of Voldemort the war would have gone on indefinitely, with infinitely more death, torture and suffering.

I would respectfully disagree. Dumbledore's portrait could tell Harry the information and in my judgment, would have if Harry hadn't happened to go to the shack at the precise moment when Voldemort decided to kill Snape and retrieved the memories from him (imo). Snape was unable to get the message to Harry - Harry had to get the message from Snape becuse he was dying (DH TEW).

I would also respectfully disagree that Snape giving Harry the message precluded Voldemort's destruction. In my judgment, the only thing it precluded was Harry's death. Harry was going to fight Voldemort, that was a given since OOTP - but he wasn't planning to sacrifice himself. If they had fought normal in the forest and Voldemort had won, Harry would die and Voldemort would have then been vulnerable, imo.

So I don't feel that the outcome rested on Snape's shoulders for the above reasons. I think Dumbledore via his portrait ensured that there was a backup plan in his being able to pass on the message - and if worse came to worse and the message was never passed on, Harry would die, but Voldemort would still be rendered vulnerable (as Dumbledore said, Harry would ensure this prior to his death and I feel he meant ensure that all of the horcruxes would be destroyed - which Harry did).

However, the way the story went, I do think Snape was able to contribute - but JKR wrote it in such a way that Harry provided the means for Snape to contribute by getting the message from him. That, imo, was to add to Harry's character, not Snape's and is OT for discussion here, but how I feel she set up this part of the tale.

Jo has also indicated in interviews that Dumbledore and Snape are the most important characters after the trio. But of course I understand if you see it distinctly. :)

I have read the quote you are referring to, in which JKR said that the big stories in Deathly Hallows were Dumbledore and Snape after the trio, which I feel is true in as far as their character reveals. However, she did not say that they were the most important characters after the trio, rather the big ones in DH - which I understood to be "big stories" and hence, she'd known what she was leading up to with them from the start, imo. However, she knew this about all of the characters, it is just that their reveals came at other times, imo (i.e., Sirius/Remus were the big ones in POA; Voldemort was the big one in HBP and so on). Without Voldemort, there would be no story, imo, so I feel that idea alone supports the fact that JKR was referring to their character reveals and not overall characterizations in the series. That is my interpretation of her statement.

In addition, Dumbledore's precise plan failed on many important fronts; the Elder Wand, the delievery of the message to Harry, Voldemort's knowledge, and more did not go in the way that Dumbledore had hoped, imo. In my judgment, JKR really wanted to turn things so that Harry was responsible for his success as much as possible, so she contrived the story that way. That is not to say that Snape (and all others) didn't contribute - I feel they did, but my point was that the defeat of Voldemort didn't rest on Snape's shoulders for the final two years of Voldemort's *reign*, imo, and I think Dumbledore tried to set it up so it would rest on his with Snape's help, but it didn't turn out that way and in my judgment, the success in defeating Voldemort turned out to rest predominantly on Harry's shoulders, imo.

TreacleTartlet
July 20th, 2009, 9:13 pm
I would respectfully disagree. Dumbledore's portrait could tell Harry the information and in my judgment, would have if Harry hadn't happened to go to the shack at the precise moment when Voldemort decided to kill Snape and retrieved the memories from him (imo).

For this to happen, Harry would have had to seek out Dumbledore's portrait and no reason is given for him to do so. When he arrives at Hogwarts he is looking for the Tiara Horcux and then the battle commences. In my opinion there wasn't one moment during all of this that Harry gave any indication that he wanted to seek council from Dumbledore's portrait. Anyway, this is all hypothetical, because we are discussing the books not what could have been, and in the book Snape has an important role to play by delivering Harry the message that he has to die in order for Voldemort to be defeated.

wickedwickedboy
July 20th, 2009, 9:18 pm
For this to happen, Harry would have had to seek out Dumbledore's portrait and no reason is given for him to do so. When he arrives at Hogwarts he is looking for the Tiara Horcux and then the battle commences. In my opinion there wasn't one moment during all of this that Harry gave any indication that he wanted to seek council from Dumbledore's portrait.

I agree - I didn't feel he did either. I feel that Snape had failed to get Harry the message though and if Harry had not retrieved it from Snape, then Dumbledore (and the other heads) would have had to travel through the castle and got a message to someone to send Harry to them, imo. As I said, if worse came to worse, Harry would die - but Voldemort would still be vulnerable to death at that point, imo. So his destruction was not dependent on that message getting to Harry in any case, imo.

I feel Snape was able to contribute, due to Harry, and Dumbledore's portrait therefore did not have to work overtime to try and get the message to Harry, imo. But the point was that while Snape was able to contribute like others, I do not feel that the war effort rested on his shoulders and I don't feel Dumbledore set it up that way because he knew that Snape in the precarious position of spy - and being in Voldemort's presence so much - meant he could be killed at any time - even immediately after Dumbledore died and anytime thereafter - at Voldemort's whim, imo.

kittling
July 20th, 2009, 9:29 pm
I would respectfully disagree. Dumbledore's portrait could tell Harry the information

Well Dumbledore had certain big problems to contend with if he was going to be the one to tell Harry.
1) How would portrait!Dumbledore have found out when the right time to tell harry was?
2) He was confined to his portrait(s) so unless Harry felt like paying him a visit in a castle controlled, at least ostensibly, by Death Eaters he was on to a bit of a non-starter there

I would also respectfully disagree that Snape giving Harry the message precluded Voldemort's destruction.

Absolutely, it was not intended to preclude it it was intended to ensure Voldemort’s total destruction

In my judgment, the only thing it precluded was Harry's death.

Jolly good job too! I don’t think JKR wanted her hero to die, particularly not before Voldemort was defeated :lol:

Harry was going to fight Voldemort, that was a given since OOTP - but he wasn't planning to sacrifice himself. If they had fought normal in the forest and Voldemort had won, Harry would die and Voldemort would have then been vulnerable, imo.

Well I think the cannon we have on Horcrux’s gives us at least reason to suppose that the soul piece in Harry would fight for survival and possibly make it impossible for Harry to die (although possible the AK curse might have between the dark magic – I’m not sure if we have any cannon on this :hmm:). Remember the locket couldn’t even be scratched.

It was a toss up which soul would be killed by the AK and we know that Voldemort’s soul was very determined to live. Also the fact that Voldemort was willing to put part of is soul into a snake makes me think that this would grant the bearer of the soul some extra resilience (after all if your that desperate to be immortal why use something that’s easy to kill like a snake???). So, all in all, I don’t think it was as simple as even if Harry didn’t know e had to sacrifice himself Voldemort would just kill him anyway; problem sorted. If that we the case the message would be totally unnecessary and I doubt DD would have risked the lives of so many people to get that message to Harry at the right moment if that were the case.

My interpretation was that one of the reasons Harry had to willingly surrender himself was that by avoiding getting into a fight the soul piece would not be alerted to the danger. The comfort of his parents, Lupin & Sirius appearing on the walk seemed to me to help him maintain both determination and the calmness that kept the soul piece unaware of danger.



I have read the quote you are referring to, in which JKR said that the big stories in Deathly Hallows were Dumbledore and Snape after the trio, which I feel is true in as far as their character reveals.

I thought the quote being discussed was a similar one that Bscorp used in their sig
But the big ones, the Dumbledore storyline, the Snape storyline were always there because you — the series is built around those.

Which seems quite clear to me that these characters are crucial to the basics of the plot – after all no Snape = no chosen one; that’s pretty central to the plot imo :)

TreacleTartlet
July 20th, 2009, 9:40 pm
As I said, if worse came to worse, Harry would die - but Voldemort would still be vulnerable to death at that point, imo. So his destruction was not dependent on that message getting to Harry in any case, imo.

If it was that simple then why didn't Dumbledore let Voldemort kill Harry in OotP? It would have got another horcrux out of the way and Dumbledore could have continued to destroy the others, which would have left Voldemort just as vulnerable.

wickedwickedboy
July 20th, 2009, 9:48 pm
If it was that simple then why didn't Dumbledore let Voldemort kill Harry in OotP? It would have got another horcrux out of the way and Dumbledore could have continued to destroy the others, which would have left Voldemort just as vulnerable.

First of all Dumbledore had no choice in the matter ultimately - that is, Dumbledore couldn't do anything to save Harry; Harry's love saved him (OOTP). But more importantly, Dumbledore's plan entailed Harry coming out alive (DH KC). I feel that was the reason he wanted Snape to get Harry the message, imo. However, Snape didn't get Harry the message - JKR made Harry be there and then retrieve it from Snape (DH TEW).

The idea that Voldemort kill Harry and thereafter be vulnerable was the simplest plan, I agree, but Dumbledore didn't want that to happen (DH KC). But I think he realized there was a chance that it could - if Harry never got the message and fought Voldemort. Voldemort could not be killed by Harry-the-soul-piece; but Harry could be killed by Voldemort, as we saw in DH (TFA) - however, Dumbledore said he had a choice to return due to the sacrifice - which he would presumably not have had if he'd fought (DH KC).

So again, the point is that Snape giving the message was not paramount to Voldemort's destruction, imo. Dumbledore would not have left things that way, imo, because Voldemort could have killed Snape at any time, imo.

CathyWeasley
July 20th, 2009, 9:52 pm
Dumbledore's portrait could tell Harry the information and in my judgment, would have if Harry hadn't happened to go to the shack at the precise moment when Voldemort decided to kill Snape and retrieved the memories from him (imo). Snape was unable to get the message to Harry - Harry had to get the message from Snape becuse he was dying (DH TEW).
I am curious to know how Dumbledore's portrait could have told Harry at any point given that it cannot seek Harry out to tell him anything. It wasn't until Harry got the memories from Snape that he went to the Head Masters office, and as I recall Dumbledore's portrait made no attempt to comunicate with Harry when he entered the office so I would respectfully disagree that the portrait would have given Harry the information. Apart from anything else Jo didn't write it that way. The way she wrote it was that Harry got this information from Snape, which makes Snape vital to the defeat of Voldemort IMO.

I would also respectfully disagree that Snape giving Harry the message precluded Voldemort's destruction. In my judgment, the only thing it precluded was Harry's death. Harry was going to fight Voldemort, that was a given since OOTP - but he wasn't planning to sacrifice himself. If they had fought normal in the forest and Voldemort had won, Harry would die and Voldemort would have then been vulnerable, imo.
I don't understand what you are trying to say here.

Preclude. vb. 1.to exclude or debar 2. to make impossible esp. beforehand

So I didn't say that Snape giving Harry the message precluded (made impossible) Voldemort's destruction. I actually said the opposite; Snape giving Harry the message facilitated Voldemort's destruction.
Voldemort could not be destroyed unless the part of his soul residing in Harry was destroyed.

Harry's death was precluded by Voldemort using Harry's blood to regenerate himself. As long as Voldemort lived Harry couldn't die, because his mothers sacrifice continued to exist in Voldemort's blood. As I understood it, it was necessary for Voldemort to try to kill Harry and for Harry not to fight back so that the piece of Voldemort's soul was destroyed, but this is all rather off-topic.

However, the way the story went, I do think Snape was able to contribute - but JKR wrote it in such a way that Harry provided the means for Snape to contribute by getting the message from him. That, imo, was to add to Harry's character, not Snape's and is OT for discussion here, but how I feel she set up this part of the tale.
I would respectfully disagree. In order for Harry to provide the means for Snape to contribute by getting the message from him Harry would have had to know that there was amessage to be got. Or in other ways Harry could not facilitate Snape's contribution when he was unaware that Snaope had a contribution to make. So your statement that Harry provivded the means for Snape to contribute is completely illogical IMO.

I have read the quote you are referring to, in which JKR said that the big stories in Deathly Hallows were Dumbledore and Snape after the trio, which I feel is true in as far as their character reveals. However, she did not say that they were the most important characters after the trio, rather the big ones in DH - which I understood to be "big stories" and hence, she'd known what she was leading up to with them from the start, imo.
She said that Dumbledore's and Snape's stories were "the big ones" As I remember she made no reference to the big ones in DH, but rather the way she said it implied that they were the big stoires for the entire series. Even without this quote from Jo Rowling I would say that in my opinion Dumbledore and Snape are the most important characters in the books. Of course many other characters are necessary for the story to exist in the form it is on, but IMO Dumbledore and Snape are characters that are thematically important.

In addition, Dumbledore's precise plan failed on many important fronts; the Elder Wand, the delievery of the message to Harry, Voldemort's knowledge, and more did not go in the way that Dumbledore had hoped, imo. In my judgment, JKR really wanted to turn things so that Harry was responsible for his success as much as possible, so she contrived the story that way. That is not to say that Snape (and all others) didn't contribute - I feel they did, but my point was that the defeat of Voldemort didn't rest on Snape's shoulders for the final two years of Voldemort's *reign*, imo, and I think Dumbledore tried to set it up so it would rest on his with Snape's help, but it didn't turn out that way and in my judgment, the success in defeating Voldemort turned out to rest predominantly on Harry's shoulders, imo.
Well of course the defeat of Voldemort was predominantly on Harry's shoulders - he is the hero of the books - the Chosen One :lol: I don't think anyone was suggesting otherwise - I certainly wasn't!

I'm not sure what you mean by the final two years of Voldemort's reign - Voldemort was only around for three years after his regeneration and for the first of those he was in hiding. I personally would only count his reign to be from when the Ministry fell to him which IMO makes it less than a year.

My original point was that Snape's contribution - ie staying by Voldemort's side and passing on the message to Harry at the right time - was absolutely necessary if Harry was to defeat Voldemort.

I would also disagree that Dumbledore's plan failed on any important fronts. IMO it achieved exactly what Dumbledore wanted it to achieve: Voldemort was defeated and could not return; Harry lived. As far as I can see Dumbledore's plan worked perfectly.

TreacleTartlet
July 20th, 2009, 10:16 pm
First of all Dumbledore had no choice in the matter ultimately - that is, Dumbledore couldn't do anything to save Harry; Harry's love saved him (OOTP).

Only because Dumbledore turned up and dueled Voldemort. He could have chosen not to and to leave Harry to face Voldemort alone, which wouild probably have ended with Harry being AK'd by Voldemort.
But I think he realized there was a chance that it could - if Harry never got the message and fought Voldemort. Voldemort could not be killed by Harry-the-soul-piece; but Harry could be killed by Voldemort, as we saw in DH (TFA) - however, Dumbledore said he had a choice to return due to the sacrifice - which he would presumably not have had if he'd fought (DH KC).
Exactly! So it was important that the message was delivered at the right time, and Dumbledore ensured that Snape would be ideally positioned to know when that time was.

So again, the point is that Snape giving the message was not paramount to Voldemort's destruction, imo. Dumbledore would not have left things that way, imo, because Voldemort could have killed Snape at any time, imo.

Well ,Dumbledore never discussed another plan as far as the canon is concerned, so as I see it Dumbledore saw Snape as important in his plan, and as Snape actually gave Harry this important information he was important in the defeat of Voldemort.

sweetsev
July 20th, 2009, 11:23 pm
Just to throw my 2 cents out there...first of all, there seem to be a few different discussions happening at once (which are getting mixed together). The first is how integral Snape is the series as a whole (which is what I take from the JKR quote about Dumbledore and Snape)...Snape's importance to the series is unquestionable since, as was pointed out, without his actions, there would be no Boy-Who-Lived. Then there is the issue of how important Snape was in bringing down Voldemort in the end. The two things that are getting mixed up are whether or not his importance in this regard was the only way things could have happened (and if not, is he then less crucial) versus his importance in the way things were actually written (to which there is also debate). I'm most intrigued by the last of those conversations since that is truly what we have to work with.

So, to that end, I would argue that yes, Snape was absolutely critical. He was the one who killed Dumbledore (which is what I think Harry meant when he said Snape was brave). I think it was very important that Snape himself performed this action, because I think DD knew that only Snape could handle the psychological pain as well as the subsequent isolation/sheer hatred that this action would bring him. Everyone else in the Order relied on one another in order to operate and that kept the door open to treachery as well as emotional decision-making: Snape could be relied on to see the big picture and to act rationally, not emotionally. In my mind, DD set everything up so that Snape would be the one to keep an eye on Voldemort and deliver the info to Harry and every action was in service to that goal. Killing DD cut Snape off from any support/influence from the Order (I have no idea how he possibly could have worked with them after doing that). He was then instructed to follow through with the 7 Potters event so as to ensure his place with Voldemort: this seemed to me to be very shrewd of DD. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but DD seem to accept any casualties inflicted as collateral damage toward ensuring that Harry would get the horcrux info at the right time. I think Snape followed DD's orders, but regretted it, as evidenced by his breakdown and seeming loss of direction after it happened.Then Snape delivers the sword, which is obviously critical and no one else was in a position to do so. Finally, he gives harry the info when he is dying (which, while he does fail to find Harry on his own, he does choose to give him the memories...I'm not sure anyone else, besides DD, would have been able to do that).

CathyWeasley
July 21st, 2009, 12:55 am
Excellent post sweetsev! :tu:

I especially like this line:Snape could be relied on to see the big picture and to act rationally, not emotionally
I think that sums it up very neatly.

wickedwickedboy
July 21st, 2009, 1:17 am
So, to that end, I would argue that yes, Snape was absolutely critical.

Well this is a different topic than the one I was originally discussing with TGW. What I think about the topic you raised, (which I believe is the importance of Snape's role from the point of killing Dumbledore) is that JKR left things a bit too ambiguous, imo. However, since this is a largely Snape and Dumbledore issue - and they have a thread together - I am going to answer in that character thread. :)

OldMotherCrow
July 21st, 2009, 4:34 am
As indeed Sevrus show's - yes he talked with Dumbledore's portrait (but hey it was in his office!! would ahve been hard not to have the occassional chat imo! :lol:) but he is not mindlessly following its orders he is working on his own plans* to make sure Harry gets what he needs from him.

*'Don't worry Dumbledore I have a plan' seems to me to indicate that he is still a free thinking individual, it is his plan not Dumbledore's

:lol: Well, after the 7 Potters, I hope Snape takes more active notice of what sort of plans he is engaging in!

Anyway, we saw Snape break into Hogwarts before the Ministry fell and the headmaster's office was his, in order to consult with the portrait.

He never told them anything. The Order could have reassembled. They did not. Now that reveals a lot about the members of the Order too. They were followers, not leaders, they could do assigned tasks, they could not keep the bigger picture and make dynamic decisions, taking on the responsibility of such decision making into their own hands.

They disbanded, when they had no further instructions from Dumbledore. How would these people help Harry win the war? They would try their best had Harry asked them, but they would not be able to make it work like Dumbledore did and that was what made the difference between winning and losing the war IMO.

Dumbledore and Snape left the Order in disorder, but I can't see that they needed to do so. I don't see where the Order disbanded, either. Certainly the distrust and betrayals took their toll, but the Order still fought on as best they could.

People did arise as leaders as the war went on, within and without the Order. People like Kingsley, Lee Jordan, Neville, and McGonagall spring to mind. Ron could solve the how-do-we-destroy-the-Horcruxes problem by the simple expedience of going to the Chamber of Secrets and picking up a bunch of basilisk fangs. I think Rowling showed Ron and Hermione bringing up so many fangs--that never actually need to be used-- to demonstrate that there were other solutions to their problems, and they had the wherewithal to come up with them. The trio could have gone to the Chamber any time in their sixth year, or before the Ministry fell, but they needed the right information to know that they needed to do so.

I see the novels as about choices, and dealing with the consequences of those choices. Many paths might lead to victory, or to defeat. Snape makes choices that affect other characters, and other characters make choices that affect Snape. Rowling follows the tale of these choices, but the interesting aspect of it is that choice matters, and the tale could have veered off into a different direction.

CathyWeasley
July 21st, 2009, 11:01 am
Dumbledore and Snape left the Order in disorder, but I can't see that they needed to do so. I don't see where the Order disbanded, either. Certainly the distrust and betrayals took their toll, but the Order still fought on as best they could.
I'm not really sure what you are saying here?

Are you saying that it was a fault in Snape's character that left the Order of the Phoenix in disorder?
If so I would disagree. Snape was a faithful member of the Order right up to his death. His killing of Dumbledore made it appear that he had betrayed the Order but he had not. Snape was following Dumbledore's plan which ultimately achieved it's goal, so IMO whatever the Order of the Phoenix felt about the distrust and betrayals did not stop Voldemort from being vanquished. IMO the Order were not really that important in DH and didn't do a lot to contribute to the defeat of Voldemort.

I think Rowling showed Ron and Hermione bringing up so many fangs--that never actually need to be used-- to demonstrate that there were other solutions to their problems, and they had the wherewithal to come up with them. The trio could have gone to the Chamber any time in their sixth year, or before the Ministry fell, but they needed the right information to know that they needed to do so.
While there may have been other possibilties we can never be sure that they would have been sucessful, as the book was not written that way. Jo Rowling wrote the books a particular way; she wrote them in a way which made Severus Snape absolutely necessary to Harry's sucess in vanquishing Voldemort. She even said that some people would hate Deathly Hallows and I think she was right. We can all speculate about what could have happened and many people including myself enjoy expanding these speculations in fan fiction. However as this is the Severus Snape character analysis thread I generally avoid speculating about what could have happened or how the books might have been written differently in this thread. I have written it in a fan fiction called "Snape's Happy Ending" :) (Here endeth the shameless plug)


Rowling follows the tale of these choices, but the interesting aspect of it is that choice matters, and the tale could have veered off into a different direction.Yes it could have but it didn't. I am not sure the boards are large enough to discuss all the things that could have happened in the Harry Potter books. And I am sure there are still some people who would love to discuss how Harry and Hermione could have got together romantically. As you say the books are about choice and the importance of making the right choices. IMO Rowling made the right choice about the role of Severus Snape in her novels.

Everything in my post in my opinion based on the 7 Harry Potter novels and additional statements made by the author in interviews. :)

OldMotherCrow
July 21st, 2009, 12:57 pm
I'm not really sure what you are saying here?

Are you saying that it was a fault in Snape's character that left the Order of the Phoenix in disorder?
If so I would disagree. Snape was a faithful member of the Order right up to his death. His killing of Dumbledore made it appear that he had betrayed the Order but he had not. Snape was following Dumbledore's plan which ultimately achieved it's goal, so IMO whatever the Order of the Phoenix felt about the distrust and betrayals did not stop Voldemort from being vanquished. IMO the Order were not really that important in DH and didn't do a lot to contribute to the defeat of Voldemort.

Yes, I am saying that it was in Snape's personality to help create disorder in the Order, because that is what I see him doing in the books. I don't see that he was a loyal Order member, but I do see that he was loyal to Dumbledore. I do see the Order as betrayed.

While there may have been other possibilties we can never be sure that they would have been sucessful, as the book was not written that way. Jo Rowling wrote the books a particular way; she wrote them in a way which made Severus Snape absolutely necessary to Harry's sucess in vanquishing Voldemort. She even said that some people would hate Deathly Hallows and I think she was right. We can all speculate about what could have happened and many people including myself enjoy expanding these speculations in fan fiction. However as this is the Severus Snape character analysis thread I generally avoid speculating about what could have happened or how the books might have been written differently in this thread. I have written it in a fan fiction called "Snape's Happy Ending" :) (Here endeth the shameless plug)


Yes it could have but it didn't. I am not sure the boards are large enough to discuss all the things that could have happened in the Harry Potter books. And I am sure there are still some people who would love to discuss how Harry and Hermione could have got together romantically. As you say the books are about choice and the importance of making the right choices. IMO Rowling made the right choice about the role of Severus Snape in her novels.

What if's can be entertaining diversions, I suppose, but that's not why I'm on this subject. Rowling wrote her book the way she did, but her right choices are not automatically her character's right choices. If a character has a dozen choices in front of them, and picks one, it is not necessarily the One True and Only Correct Option to get the job done. It might be the best, or six others might have been good too, or it might even be the worst choice of the bunch. The characters don't always choose what is best, in my opinion. While examining what choice they did make, I think it reasonable to look at what other options they did have but rejected, because it gives enlightenment into what they were thinking and what their values are. I don't think it is fan fiction to examine the situation the character is in. It's not about questioning Rowling, it's about understanding Snape.

CathyWeasley
July 21st, 2009, 3:14 pm
Yes, I am saying that it was in Snape's personality to help create disorder in the Order, because that is what I see him doing in the books.I do not recall any scenes where Snape causes disorder in the order. Can you enlighten me?

I don't see that he was a loyal Order member, but I do see that he was loyal to Dumbledore. I do not see how Snape was in any way not loyal to the Order. The Order of the Phoenix was a secret organisation set up by Dumbledore to fight against Voldemort. They existed purely to bring about the downfall of Voldemort which is why they disbanded once Voldemort lost his powers and reformed when Voldemort regenerated. Loyalty to the Order of the Phoenix therefore means being loyal to its purpose which was to defeat Voldemort. Snape was always loyal to this purpose and so he was always loyal to the Order.

Rowling wrote her book the way she did, but her right choices are not automatically her character's right choices.
I understand that. Severus chose to become a Death Eater - that was how Jo chose to write the story but it was a bad decision by the character.

If a character has a dozen choices in front of them, and picks one, it is not necessarily the One True and Only Correct Option to get the job done. It might be the best, or six others might have been good too, or it might even be the worst choice of the bunch. Yes but we are not talking about choosing to wear red socks or blue. The decisions that are being discussed are big decisions - decisions which affect the plot; for example if the Trio had gone and got the basilisk fangs out of the Chamber of Secrets in their sixth year then that would have changed the nature of the final book. Jo could have had the Trio do that but that is not the story she wrote.

As I see it Jo's intention was that Snape worked for Dumbledore and carried out Dumbledore's plan, including some helpful ideas of his own, in order to bring about the defeat of Voldemort, and I would say that she achieved that. If a reader feels that a character made bad decisions along the way then either those bad decisions are a mistake by the character and will be shown to be as such or in the opinion of the reader they are a mistake by the writer who they think should have written the story differently. IMO Snape's decisions in Deathly Hallows are not shown to be bad decisions. He is shown to have a critical role in bringing about Voldemort's defeat. Something which is honoured by Harry in his naming of his son. I am not saying that everything he does is the last book is right, but the big decisions he makes - the ones that effect the plot they are right because Voldemort died and Harry didn't.

Pearl_Took
July 21st, 2009, 3:30 pm
Yes, I am saying that it was in Snape's personality to help create disorder in the Order, because that is what I see him doing in the books.

I don't see that. :hmm: What specific incidents do you have in mind? :)

I don't see that as Snape's remit because it contradicts his role as working for Albus and against Voldemort.

And I don't see him as unintentionally creating disorder within the Order. :hmm:

It is true that we never see Snape being super-pally with his fellow Order members. Hardly. He seems to be aloof and haughty at Order meetings in OotP (construed by Ron Weasley as Snape looking down his nose at his parents, but I take Ron's remark with a big pinch of salt) and he snarks at Tonks in HBP about her Remus patronus.

But that is Severus all over. :yuhup: He just never is Mr Diplomatic or Mr Warm Fuzzy or Mr Nice. :whistle: :D

He was an aloof double agent. He did have an unhappy history with certain Order members, namely Sirius and Remus, and (like Sirius) he allowed that old grudge to get the better of him sometimes. I'm not saying he was right about that -- I just don't see him as wilfully causing mayhem within the Order itself.

The Seven Potters is problematic, as a plot device, but I tend to take the story at face value and accept there was no other way to get Harry out of Privet Drive. If Albus couldn't come up with anything more brilliant than that, who am I to question him? :yuhup:

The_Green_Woods
July 21st, 2009, 6:02 pm
To me it is not a matter of the Order not yet having thought up a new plan, but rather, not informing Voldemort of any new plan they came up with. So I agree with your view on this.

Well the Order needed to think up a plan and qwuickly too, if it did not want to lose more people to Voldemort and his death eaters. The needed to create a plan to keep Harry alive, lose the soul bit in his forehead, ensure the EW would not become Voldemort's (Dumbeldore had been hit by the horcrux in the ring and he was dying from it; when he died, Voldemort would have defeated him abd become the Master of the EW.

I'm sorry, but I just don't think the remaining Order members had a clue just what they were fighting against and they would have not only lost their lives, but also allowed Voldemort to implement his "only pureblood" policy.

That, imo, was to add to Harry's character, not Snape's and is OT for discussion here, but how I feel she set up this part of the tale.

I disagree. The memories were not important for how they were gathered, but for what they showed. Harry 'happened' to be there and he collected the memories that Snape gave him as he bled to death, but what was important was the content of the memories and that IMO was certainly not to add to Harry's character; it was to show Snape's character, reasoning, his explanation for his actions and his life. The meesage from Dumbeldore was handed over to harry on Dumbledore's orders. The rest Snape chose to show Harry, because he wanted Harry to understand him and the epilogue shows that Harry did indeed understand him IMO.

Dumbledore and Snape left the Order in disorder, but I can't see that they needed to do so. I don't see where the Order disbanded, either. Certainly the distrust and betrayals took their toll, but the Order still fought on as best they could.

As a group? I never saw it in canon. They fought, all of them, they were against Voldemort and they had belonged to a group that had actively fought against him, and I think they continued it even after Dumbledore's death. But seperately, not as one group IMO.

Dumbledore started the Order, and I think he felt that the Order would not be necessary after his death for various reasons. Harry was off horcrux hunting; Snape would need to work alone; his work was not something he could do with the Order members; and the rest were working as Aurors, or in hiding, for Voldemort took over the Ministry and Hogwarts soon after Dumbeldore's death.

silver ink pot
July 22nd, 2009, 2:53 am
Remember when Hermione tells Harry in DH that Snape's teaching style is like his own in Dumbledore's Army?

Let's take that as a little clue that Dumbledore's Army is a parallel to the Order of the Phoenix.

What Harry and Snape have in common that the Army and Order members don't is that they have faced Voldemort himself in the flesh numerous times and lived to tell about it. No one else in Dumbledore's Army or the Order has ever done that, except Dumbledore.

Saying that Harry and Snape have special expertise and know what it's like to face the Dark Lord is not in any way slamming the rest of the kids or adults. It's just stating a fact that is plain in the canon, in my opinion. JKR could have had battle scenes with lots of Order and Army members facing Voldemort, but she didn't. Only the Death Eaters and Harry saw what Voldemort was really like on a daily basis, and therefore Harry and Snape have that in common.

So if the "disorder" that Snape supposedly spread in the Order was disagreeing with others about what to do, or going blindly along with Dumbledore's sometimes mysterious methods for dealing with Harry, then maybe it was just because he knew more than they did, just as Harry knows more than the other Army members who are either naive or inexperienced. But I don't see that as disorderly, because Snape was totally loyal to Dumbledore in every way, even if he wasn't cozy with the other members.

Besides there's a good reason why Snape couldn't sit around drinking wine and playing chess at Grimmauld Place - it would just create more memories he would have to hide from the Dark Lord, and more Order members who would be targeted. He was forced to lead a more lonely existence than the rest of them. He coudn't get along with Sirius anyway, so it's all for the best, but that just gave him a good excuse to tell the Dark Lord that he wasn't too welcome at Grimmauld Place.

CathyWeasley
July 22nd, 2009, 3:34 pm
Great Post SIP! :tu: It had never occurred to me that Severus and Harry were the only ones to really know what Voldemort was like. And thinking about it when you consider in all of the books where Harry faces Voldemort he is conveniently alone. PS/SS he goes on alone while Hermione goes back to get help; CoS he goes on alone because Ron gets stuck behind when the roof caves in; GoF Cedric the "spare" is murdered; OotP Harry runs after Bella and so when he meets Voldemort in the Ministry the only other witness is Dumbledore. When you look at it like that it actually seems rather contrived! :lol: But it is very clear that Dumbledore Harry and Snape all have this in common: they haved faced or worked alongside Voldemort.

wickedwickedboy
July 22nd, 2009, 3:49 pm
Yes, I am saying that it was in Snape's personality to help create disorder in the Order, because that is what I see him doing in the books. I don't see that he was a loyal Order member, but I do see that he was loyal to Dumbledore. I do see the Order as betrayed.

I agree and I feel that sometimes this was in collusion with Dumbledore, but other times it was Snape acting alone in this regard. I feel it was difficult for Order members from the start to trust Snape, based on his background. I don't feel that Snape behaved in a manner to increase that trust and I think that as a result, the trust was based on a very thin thread, i.e., because Dumbledore asked them to. I too see the Order as betrayed in HBP and DH with the killing of Dumbledore, 7 Potters and such, but this I think was done in collusion with Dumbledore. Nonetheless, I would agree that all of this contributed to disorder within the Order and general instability. I feel that Order members were able to rise above it, but I don't think it should have been necessary for them to do so. I felt like Snape did not have much regard or respect for the Order overall, and reserved that for Dumbledore himself.

echo1034
July 22nd, 2009, 4:32 pm
1. Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
I do not think Severus is the kind of man who worries about how others think of him. I mean, if he really cared what people thought of him, he may not have been so strict or whatever to fellow students. Even though Harry is Lily's son, I do not think he would feel he needs or wants his forgiveness, especially since he knew from the beginning he was actually helping Harry, despite how Harry felt.

2. What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?
I think he would be honoured by this.

3. Based on how his character is supposed to end up: if you could change/improve one thing about Snape, what would it be?
I do not think I would change/improve anything about him at all. I mean, if anything changed, he wouldn't be the same Severus Snape we all love (or hate, depending on your views).

4. What do you think Snape would have done, if he had survived DH?
He probably would have remained as a teacher for Hogwarts, I bet.

5. Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?
Generally, especially since J.K. Rowling is the one who created him. xD

6. Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
I believe he would have moved on eventually, but there would always be a part of him that would try to at the very least protect Lily, even from a distance.

7. Snape is revealed to have been acting throughout the series out of love for Lily, how does this effect your view of his actions in the series - his "murder" of Dumbledore, his treatment of Sirius.
It actually gives his actions throughout the series more sense to me. In a way, I'd say he was pushing Harry to be his best the entire series because of him being Lily's son. Even while Harry may hate Snape for most of the series, he was also motivated to do his best to beat Snape and the Slytherins. His "murder" of Dumbledore also helped motivate Harry to focusing on Voldemort and ending his reign of terror.

8. Why do you think Snape chose to become a Death Eater?
For the same reason others did, I suppose--he felt like an outcast, and hated the world due to all the harsh things he had to go through during his childhood. But, his love for Lily was more powerful than his distaste of others.

9. How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?
Again, I think they make more sense because it seems to me that he was trying to push Harry and even Neville to be the best they can. A kind of reverse psychology, even.

(lol, skipped these questions on account of being too distracted at work... xD)

13. Do you believe Snape came to care about Harry?
In some form, yes.

14. What do you think about Snape's relationship with Dumbledore? Did they become friends or was Dumbledore a substitute father figure for him?
I think Dumbledore was someone Snape could respect as a friend and ally. He was probably the only one who truly understood Snape outside of Lily.

15. Do you think Snape should have been sorted in Slytherin? Would he have made the same choices if he had been sorted elsewhere?
It is hard to say which house he should have been sorted to, but given his integrity and personal courage, I'd say Slytherin should not have been where he was sorted. Just my two cents. He may have made different choices and perhaps even have been James' friend if he were not Slytherin.

16. There are all kinds of bravery in this series, what characteristics of Snape's make him brave? In what sense is he a hero?
The fact that he did not let anything deter him from completing his and Dumbledore's goals and his loyalty to his friends, especially Dumbledore and Lily.

Pearl_Took
July 22nd, 2009, 4:40 pm
3. Based on how his character is supposed to end up: if you could change/improve one thing about Snape, what would it be?

I do not think I would change/improve anything about him at all. I mean, if anything changed, he wouldn't be the same Severus Snape we all love (or hate, depending on your views).

:lol: :tu:

Welcome, echo1035. :wave:

I like your answers. Thoughtful and well thought out. :)

echo1034
July 22nd, 2009, 5:23 pm
:lol: :tu:

Welcome, echo1034. :wave:

I like your answers. Thoughtful and well thought out. :)

xD Thank you. Well, I figured that is pretty much how it is--would we love or hate Snape the same as we do now if we had the choice of changing aspects of him? That goes for just about any character. We generally enjoy characters because of their flaws, I think. That, and whether or not they can overcome them. I think it makes a story more personable and the characters more enjoyable--because we can relate to them. And stuff. :p

silver ink pot
July 23rd, 2009, 4:57 am
Great Post SIP! :tu: It had never occurred to me that Severus and Harry were the only ones to really know what Voldemort was like. And thinking about it when you consider in all of the books where Harry faces Voldemort he is conveniently alone. PS/SS he goes on alone while Hermione goes back to get help; CoS he goes on alone because Ron gets stuck behind when the roof caves in; GoF Cedric the "spare" is murdered; OotP Harry runs after Bella and so when he meets Voldemort in the Ministry the only other witness is Dumbledore. When you look at it like that it actually seems rather contrived! :lol: But it is very clear that Dumbledore Harry and Snape all have this in common: they haved faced or worked alongside Voldemort.
Thanks ~ it's interesting that in DH, Hermione is there when Harry is threatened by Bathilda/Nagini as Voldemort is about to arrive, and she is there to witness Snape's death by Nagini as Voldemort is about to leave. So JKR gives another witness to the similarities between Snape and Harry, and their true relationship with Voldemort. Otherwise it would just be Harry's word for it. She can also vouch that Snape didn't know about the Elder Wand nor was he actually the master of it.

xD Thank you. Well, I figured that is pretty much how it is--would we love or hate Snape the same as we do now if we had the choice of changing aspects of him? That goes for just about any character. We generally enjoy characters because of their flaws, I think. That, and whether or not they can overcome them. I think it makes a story more personable and the characters more enjoyable--because we can relate to them. And stuff.
I know that I can identify with Snape, flaws and all. :lol:

Those were very thoughtful answers, and welcome! :wave:

wickedwickedboy
July 23rd, 2009, 6:57 am
xD Thank you. Well, I figured that is pretty much how it is--would we love or hate Snape the same as we do now if we had the choice of changing aspects of him? That goes for just about any character. We generally enjoy characters because of their flaws, I think. That, and whether or not they can overcome them. I think it makes a story more personable and the characters more enjoyable--because we can relate to them. And stuff. :p

Welcome. :) That is an interesting view in terms of character analysis; I didn't really enjoy the character of Snape for his particular flaws, but I do agree that sometimes I have enjoyed characters on that basis. I couldn't relate to Snape at all because I felt that he behaved in a very self interested manner, yet I too could enjoy reading his portrayal. I feel like Snape's character portrayal explored certain aspects of life; none of which were familiar to me on a personal level, so that made him come across a little fantastic and carticaturish in some respects, imo. For example, JKR indicating that Snape felt joining the DEs would impress Lily in an interview; or his idea that using dark magic against others was a laugh (DH). To me, those types of ideas are somewhat far fetched in terms of analyzing Snape as a character. Nonetheless, I think his portrayal allowed me to investigate the outer limits of redemption, taking into consideration his life, his acts good and bad, and the circumstances he encountered in life. I felt that Snape went beyond the limits in terms of redemption (imo).

However, Snape's charaterization gave me another idea recently. His character, I feel, portrayed the idea that wizards seem to exist on a different plane in some regards than the muggle world (our world in term of Harry Potter series.) Snape's responses and reactions to various situations and circumstances in canon, were revealing in that light because I feel everything was made gigantic. For example, evil was a big evil and so good had to be a big good, imo. Hence, I felt that Snape's individual actions (and everyone's) were magnified in light of that, (imo). I think that played a role in my view of his overall redemption idea; it didn't work for me I think because the balance wasn't equalized relative to Snape in terms of the grandure of the forces within the story (imo), and thus, I had a difficult time relating to Snape's responses and reactions in canon. But, that does make for an interesting character in terms of analysis and discussion.

ally_xx
July 23rd, 2009, 8:00 am
Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?

Hmm. I could say yes and I could say no .... But I am going to say yes. I don't think it would really have made a huge difference between them. It would be a silent agreement.

What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?

I think he would have been honoured. On a level.

Based on how his character is supposed to end up: if you could change/improve one thing about Snape, what would it be?

The way he treated others.

What do you think Snape would have done, if he had survived DH?

Thats a hard one. Would Harry have still seen the memory? If he had, I think it would have been awkward at first, but then maybe it would have been better. But I don't think they would become best buddies.

Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?

I haven't read any intervies :no:

Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?

Another tricky one. I don't think he could have ever moved on properly.

Snape is revealed to have been acting throughout the series out of love for Lily, how does this effect your view of his actions in the series - his "murder" of Dumbledore, his treatment of Sirius.

It makes him more sensitive. But he hides it well. He didn't murder Dumbledore, it was planned. Snape disliked Sirius because of the bullying that went on when they were back in school.

Why do you think Snape chose to become a Death Eater?

Snape had a lot of anger and hatred, and perhaps he thought that joining Voldemort, and have power and influence, would help ease his pain.

How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?

I really don't understand why Snape hated Neville so much. But it's understandable how Snape feels about Harry. Harry looks just like his father, who bullied and teased Snape through school, but Harry also has Lily's eyes, and Snape loved Lily. So he was always reminded of Lily when ever he saw Harry. It must have been hard. So he took his anger and frustration out on Harry.

What do you think of Snape's actions after learning who Voldemort had targeted with the prophecy?

I think he was very brave and noble. Not a lot of people could do what he did.

What do you think of Snape's actions after Lily's death. How do you think this death has affected his character?

He was clearly devastated. He was so brave, and did everything for her.

What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?
Do you believe Snape came to care about Harry?

Bravery is his greatest strength, IMO. Perhaps one of his flaws could be his love for Lily. Not too sure. I do believe, somewhere deep inside, he did care for Harry.

What do you think about Snape's relationship with Dumbledore? Did they become friends or was Dumbledore a substitute father figure for him?

I think it's a mixture of both. Definitely.

Do you think Snape should have been sorted in Slytherin? Would he have made the same choices if he had been sorted elsewhere?

Possibly. He still would have been tormented and teased. So I think he would have made the same choices, regardless of where he was sorted.

There are all kinds of bravery in this series, what characteristics of Snape's make him brave? In what sense is he a hero?

He managed to fool Voldemort. That in itself is a great achievement, and in my eyes, makes Snape a hero.