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Old November 3rd, 2011, 6:56 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I agree. I think this was what Snape needed to seek remorse for and repent. It was not the particular family or person who was actually targeted in the end mattered as far as Snape was concerned IMO, because I think the action which was completely in the wrong was taking what he heard of the Prophecy to Voldemort knowing that a baby would die at Voldemort's hands.
I think Snape eventually came to realise this, maybe in his last year or so.

I disagree. I don't think Snape was in any way responsible for the Potters deaths. That is because I believe Snape came in time to warn Dumbledore in time.
Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. Snape had already done the damage. Nothing could undo the damage he had done. The Potters were always going to be targets after that, even if they hadn't died that Halloween.

I still think Snape would be responsible and culpable for his actions which was taking the Prophecy to Voldemort with an attitude that bordered on uncaring of a human life that would be lost because of his actions and I think Snape would still need to seek the same type of remorse he showed in the Books. I believe the remorse for was taking the Prophecy to Voldemort and not for killing the Potters.
Only "bordered on uncaring"? IMO, there is nothing remotely related to caring about Snape's actions as a DE. IMO, passing on the prophecy was an utterly uncaring and a selfish act, just as joining the DEs at all was.

The Potters were not killed because of Snape.
Snape passed on the prophecy which made the Potters number one on Voldemort's kill-list. IMO, that puts a share of the responsibility for their deaths on Snape's shoulders.

For one they were already targets which was why they were in hiding and two Snape came to Dumbledore when they were alive and healthy and well to tell Dumbledore of his mistake and asked Dumbledore to protect them at any cost, for which he was prepared to do anything. That the Potters died is IMO not because of Snape, but because of other factors, their choices (of choosing a SK refusing Dumbledore; Peter's betrayal, and Voldemort's intention to kill all of them). Though, I also think Snape would disagree with me; he IMO thought he was very much responsible for the Potters deaths.
I don't believe the Potters are responsible for their own deaths. Those responsible are those who acted on behalf of Voldemort, - Snape, Wormtail and Voldemort himself. That Snape didn't like Voldemort's choice of victim doesn't take away his responsibility in putting them in danger. He put someone in danger the moment he carried the prophecy to Voldemort. No matter who the victims were going to be. Nothing can undo that.

I also don't think he realised that his action of requesting Voldemort for Lily's life, set in motion the whole story of Harry Potter and brought about the final defeat once and for all of Voldemort, because I think that action which Voldemort decided to honour (Snape's request to spare Lily) paved the way for Lily's death to turn into a sacrifice that protected Harry time and again from Voldemort, starting that Halloween night.
He may or may not have found out that Lily chose to defy Voldemort one final time, that she refused the offer to watch her child die. He may not have known until Voldemort returned.
Whether he knew or not, it was Lily's decision that saved her child. Lily and Lily alone. If Snape had had his wish, Lily would have stood aside.

Snape thought he was going to be killed when he met Dumbledore on the hill.
That says more about Snape and the DEs than it does about Dumbeldore, IMO.

If did not have a conscience strong enough, he could have easily sent an anonymous owl and let it be. Dumbledore I am sure would have taken that information seriously, especially if he mentioned words that Trelawney uttered; Dumbledore would know that the anon. person was indeed speaking the truth and would still do the same things he did in canon.
And take risk that the owl would be intercepted? In any case, Voldemort's plan was for Snape to be at Hogwarts - Snape tells Bellatrix he was at Hogwarts on the Dark Lord's orders.

But I think Snape's conscience would not let him be; the possible result of his actions (Lily's death) in his mind and heart was to him IMO more important than his own life or comfort.
I don't see it as a sign of conscience when he only objects to Lily being murdered. He doesn't want to experience the grief he was willing to inflict on others.

Well who doesn't?
Plenty of people fought for the Order and against Voldemort without having first served and helped Voldemort. Most of them had personal reasons for fighting Voldemort, but they did not need personal reasons not to be members of something completely evil.

Originally Posted by BrianTung View Post
Ehh, I'm not sure I agree with that. I agree that he was responsible for putting some family at risk even if no one had been killed, but that doesn't mean he wasn't also responsible for their actual deaths. Intent follows the bullet (or the wand, I guess). Trying to prevent their deaths after Voldemort had locked and loaded is a mitigating factor, but it doesn't entirely absolve Snape of responsibility.

In other words, if Snape had not passed on what he had heard of the prophecy, both the Potters and the Longbottoms would have been just any other Resistance members; but because he did pass it on, it became essentially a coin flip as to which one of them would be especially targeted. To me, that's the critical impact of Snape's actions, and that responsibility doesn't entirely persist or vanish based on the outcome.
I agree. Nothing can change the fact that Voldemort went after the Potters because Snape passed on the prophecy. Nothing can change the fact that Voldemort decided to murder a baby based on information Snape gave him.

I think the term you've used "mitigating factor" is appropriate - Snape did try to do something, but it does not change what he had done. Not knowing who he was putting in danger does not change the canonfact that it was the Potters who were in danger because of his actions. It doesn't matter who the victims were going to be, Snape was responsible the moment he carried that prophecy to Voldemort, IMO.


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