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The Double Negative Theory



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  #1  
Old June 15th, 2007, 12:43 am
Rayjo  Female.gif Rayjo is offline
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The Double Negative Theory

Discussion for The Double Negative Theory by T.E. Kahle.


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  #2  
Old June 15th, 2007, 1:04 am
SmoothieKing33  Male.gif SmoothieKing33 is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

Eh, couldn't find much new or enthralling in the editorial. I don't think there's a reason to convince anyone that Snape is not completely pro-Voldy and anti-Harry/Dumbledore. It has been editorialized by others so much.
And we all know Dumbledore is dead...
Well-written, but I'd say about a year and a half too late.


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Old June 15th, 2007, 2:09 am
DeathlyHabitue  Undisclosed.gif DeathlyHabitue is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

A well written and thought out editorial on a topic where other editorials are often less so. I liked how you made the obvious yet much overlooked deduction that Peter was propably stationed at Spinner's end to spy on Snape. I also completely agree with you when you say that there has to be a better reason why Dumbledore trusts Snape which Dumbledore didn't tell us. The one problem I had with your editorial is that you left it at that. You didn't for instance, provide us with an original guess as to what that better reason might be


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Old June 15th, 2007, 2:12 am
greyniffler  Male.gif greyniffler is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

I see three things that I'm sure of:

A) Snape has put himself at risk to protect Harry.
B) Snape hated James and hates Harry
C) Dumbledore trusts Snape for reasons he cannot share with Harry

I see three things I feel pretty sure of:

D) Snape cared about the esteem of Lily Potter
E) Snape has tried to get Harry out of Hogwarts to protect him (much as Dobby tried to protect Harry)
F) Snape hates Neville Longbottom at least as much as he hates Harry

My current speculation is that at some point Snape was working for Voldemort. Either before or after, Snape made the Unbreakable Vow for Lily to protect Harry. Then he learns that he has put Lily and Harry at risk, and bares the top five or six layers of his onion soul to Albus, looking for a way to save himself from Harry's death.

This puts him on Dumbledore's side, up to the point where Dumbledore wants Harry to walk into danger. It does not require that he like Sirius, or even try to protect Sirius. In fact, he can still try to kill Sirius if he wants. It does not require him to like Neville; in fact he may hate Neville because he thought that Neville would be the chosen one and not Harry.

It seems to fit, but it's short on proof.


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Old June 15th, 2007, 3:03 am
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

Quote:
Originally Posted by greyniffler View Post
I see three things that I'm sure of:

A) Snape has put himself at risk to protect Harry.
B) Snape hated James and hates Harry
C) Dumbledore trusts Snape for reasons he cannot share with Harry

I see three things I feel pretty sure of:

D) Snape cared about the esteem of Lily Potter
E) Snape has tried to get Harry out of Hogwarts to protect him (much as Dobby tried to protect Harry)
F) Snape hates Neville Longbottom at least as much as he hates Harry

My current speculation is that at some point Snape was working for Voldemort. Either before or after, Snape made the Unbreakable Vow for Lily to protect Harry. Then he learns that he has put Lily and Harry at risk, and bares the top five or six layers of his onion soul to Albus, looking for a way to save himself from Harry's death.

This puts him on Dumbledore's side, up to the point where Dumbledore wants Harry to walk into danger. It does not require that he like Sirius, or even try to protect Sirius. In fact, he can still try to kill Sirius if he wants. It does not require him to like Neville; in fact he may hate Neville because he thought that Neville would be the chosen one and not Harry.

It seems to fit, but it's short on proof.
Interesting. In the infamous JKR interview with Mugglenet/Leaky she is asked if there was anyone else present the night at Godric's Hollow. She said NO COMMENT. Maybe Snape was there, in a last ditch attempt to save Harry and fulfill the UV. Who knows? Interesting though.


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  #6  
Old June 15th, 2007, 3:53 am
Chas  Male.gif Chas is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

Very interesting editorial and very interesting approach to organizing some of the data. The way you put it together supports the "Snape is good" theory, which is as good a way as any to characterize the matter simplistically.

Less simply, Snape is both good and evil, like all of us. He is primarily a true Slytherin and watches out for himself first and foremost. If a little good happens on the way, that's OK, but not essential. He got into this mess by his own doing, trying to cover himself. If it came to a choice between his life and Harry's, I think he'd opt for his own. If the unbreakable vow theory is true (Snape took an unbreakable vow with Lily or Dumbledore to protect Harry), then his life and Harry's are tied together-- if Harry goes, so does he (but if he goes, Harry could survive).

Good work, TE. Again, thanks.


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Old June 15th, 2007, 2:23 pm
lmk  Female.gif lmk is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

In your editorial, you state the following: "Snape knew about the prophecy, and knew that Harry had been marked as the one who must be killed for the Dark Lord to reign supreme." I could easily be mistaken, but it's been my understanding that while Snape was indeed the person who overheard Trelawney when she uttered the prophecy to Dumbledore the night she interviewed for the Divination teaching position, the fact is that Snape only heard the FIRST part of the prophecy - "THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE DARK LORD APPROACHES...BORN TO THOSE WHO HAVE THRICE DEFIED HIM, BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES..." At the time the prophecy was made, Snape (and thus Voldemort) did not know what the rest of the prophecy was ("...AND THE DARK LORD WILL MARK HIM AS HIS EQUAL, BUT HE WILL HAVE POWER THE DARK LORD KNOWS NOT...AND EITHER MUST DIE AT THE HAND OF THE OTHER FOR NEITHER CAN LIVE WHILE THE OTHER SURVIVES...THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE DARK LORD WILL BE BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES."). According to what you wrote in your editorial, Snape has somehow managed to learn everything about the prophecy at some point since Trelawney made it. How and when did that happen? I seem to recall Dumbledore telling Harry that they were the only people who were aware of the entire "contents" of the propehcy. Trelawney made the prophecy, but has no apparent memory of having done so; Voldemort desperately wanted to hear the record of the prophecy (kept at the Ministry of Magic), but that never happend; Dumbledore told Harry what the prophecy predicted, and he indicated that he'd never divulged that information to anyone else; and Harry certainly didn't share the details of the prophecy with Snape. So how is it that you've concluded that "Snape knew about the prophecy and knew that Harry had been marked as the one who must be killed for the Dark Lord to reign supreme"?

Overall, I thought your editorial was fine but, in a way, unfinished. Some of the conclusions you've drawn - the likely possibility that there is much more to Dumbledore's reason(s) for trusting Snape than we know, for example - are well stated, but you offer little or no support for them. Also, once you've picked up the proverbial ball (the conclusions you've drawn), you don't run with it and give us your own ideas regarding said conclusions. For example, what do you think the unknown reason(s) for Dumbledore trusting Snape might be? To me, it seems like the potential was there for this editorial to be much more than the run-of-the-mill piece that it is.


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Old June 15th, 2007, 2:51 pm
sunset03  Undisclosed.gif sunset03 is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmk View Post
In your editorial, you state the following: "Snape knew about the prophecy, and knew that Harry had been marked as the one who must be killed for the Dark Lord to reign supreme." I could easily be mistaken, but it's been my understanding that while Snape was indeed the person who overheard Trelawney when she uttered the prophecy to Dumbledore the night she interviewed for the Divination teaching position, the fact is that Snape only heard the FIRST part of the prophecy - "THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE DARK LORD APPROACHES...BORN TO THOSE WHO HAVE THRICE DEFIED HIM, BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES..." At the time the prophecy was made, Snape (and thus Voldemort) did not know what the rest of the prophecy was ("...AND THE DARK LORD WILL MARK HIM AS HIS EQUAL, BUT HE WILL HAVE POWER THE DARK LORD KNOWS NOT...AND EITHER MUST DIE AT THE HAND OF THE OTHER FOR NEITHER CAN LIVE WHILE THE OTHER SURVIVES...THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE DARK LORD WILL BE BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES."). According to what you wrote in your editorial, Snape has somehow managed to learn everything about the prophecy at some point since Trelawney made it. How and when did that happen? I seem to recall Dumbledore telling Harry that they were the only people who were aware of the entire "contents" of the propehcy. Trelawney made the prophecy, but has no apparent memory of having done so; Voldemort desperately wanted to hear the record of the prophecy (kept at the Ministry of Magic), but that never happend; Dumbledore told Harry what the prophecy predicted, and he indicated that he'd never divulged that information to anyone else; and Harry certainly didn't share the details of the prophecy with Snape. So how is it that you've concluded that "Snape knew about the prophecy and knew that Harry had been marked as the one who must be killed for the Dark Lord to reign supreme"?
He got the idea that Snape heard the whole prophecy from other editorials written on this site. It seems plain to me also that Snape heard the entire prophecy, although Dumbledore does not ever admit it. If Trelany said she felt strange and then she saw Snape being thrown out of the Inn, that means either she had not begun the prophecy before he was thrown out, which isn't true, or she finished it and Snape heard it all and then she saw him after it was over. She could not have witnessed Snape being thrown out in the middle of her trance and remembered it as she clearly stated she did.

I thought overall it was a good editorial. Not very many editorials claim that Snape is totally evil because there is no canon to support the Snape is completely bad theory. Good job.



Last edited by sunset03; June 15th, 2007 at 2:55 pm.
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  #9  
Old June 15th, 2007, 7:20 pm
negaprion  Undisclosed.gif negaprion is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

I agree with you that the only way to judge Snape's loyalty is to judge what he doesn't do. I think JKR wrote it that way on purpose.

The thing that convinced me of Snape's loyalty to Dumbledore was when Dumbledore said that it was only because Snape helped him that the Ring Curse didn't kill him. It would have been easy for Snape to make the potion badly and let Dumbledore die. Voldemort at this point wants Dumbledore dead. Draco had not yet been given the mission (Narcissa visits Snape immediately after he has). Snape would have an excellent excuse for the Order - he tried to keep Dumbledore alive, the curse was just too powerful, so he could still play spy if he wanted to. If Snape were really loyal to Voldemort, he would have let Dumbledore die. Since he didn't let Dumbledore die, Snape must be loyal to Dumbledore.


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Old June 15th, 2007, 7:53 pm
Indy_Racer  Undisclosed.gif Indy_Racer is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

I like the point of noting what a character has NOT done as important as what they have done in determining their loyalties. This type of analysis could be placed on many of the characters in the series. If this series is truly about doing what is right vs. what it easy, Snape surely has taken the hard route no matter where his loyalties lie.


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Old June 15th, 2007, 11:58 pm
dixiedarling  Female.gif dixiedarling is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

I enjoyed reading your editorial. You do have a good point. This look at characters' loyalties by their actions or lack thereof is very thought provoking. As Indy_Racer stated, Snape does indeed have a tough road ahead in Deathly Hallows.


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Last edited by dixiedarling; June 16th, 2007 at 12:01 am.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 2:57 am
Chas  Male.gif Chas is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

What does it mean that Snape heard only the first part of the prophecy? It's in canon (HBP p. 545, US) that the barkeeper apprehended Snape, barged into the room, and interrupted the prophecy. And that's the point when Trelawney came out of her trance.

The important and hidden issue is when Snape started hearing the prophecy. I submit that he started hearing it not at the very beginning, but when Trelawney started to repeat it and was only able to speak the first part. That is how Dumbledore could hear the entire prophecy (once) and then be interrupted after hearing just the first part repeated and have Snape brought into the room to face the consequences of eavesdropping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmk View Post
the fact is that Snape only heard the FIRST part of the prophecy - [First part] "THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE DARK LORD APPROACHES...BORN TO THOSE WHO HAVE THRICE DEFIED HIM, BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES..." At the time the prophecy was made, Snape (and thus Voldemort) did not know what the rest of the prophecy was ([second part) "...AND THE DARK LORD WILL MARK HIM AS HIS EQUAL, BUT HE WILL HAVE POWER THE DARK LORD KNOWS NOT...AND EITHER MUST DIE AT THE HAND OF THE OTHER FOR NEITHER CAN LIVE WHILE THE OTHER SURVIVES...[First part repeated and overheard by Snape] THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE DARK LORD WILL BE BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES.").
At least that's my theory.


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  #13  
Old June 16th, 2007, 6:47 am
Phil_Stone  Undisclosed.gif Phil_Stone is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

Another occaison where Snape's inaction seems instructive may be in OoP.
The Deatheaters want Harry to go to th Dept. of Mysteries.
The Order doesn't.
Snape knows from Harry's coded message where Harry will go, given the opportunity.
The larger a headstart Harry would have on the Order, the better for the Deatheaters.
Snape leaves Harry in Umbridge's clutches, and warns the Order.
With all the disruptions going on in the school, it is hard to believe he could not have freed Harry without giving himself away. He certainly wasn't planning on Hagrid's brother helping Voldemort's plan along.

Finally, Snape, in Flight of the Prince, fails to truly gloat. Harry thinks Snape tricked Dumbledore with false concern for the Potters. Given the chance to brag about tricking Dumbledore by feigning concern for Harry's "(pejorative term of your choice)" parents, he instead refers to a memory which we had been lead to believe was his worst. Not insulting Harry's parents when he has a chance, and only ever really insulting Harry's father are both significant acts of ommision for Snape.


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  #14  
Old June 16th, 2007, 5:34 pm
alexrosemc  Female.gif alexrosemc is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

This was a very a good editorial

"It is his choice to act that gives him away."

This, for me, settles the argument. Also, at the end of HPB, as snape and malfoy are about to make thier escape, snape shouts at the other death eaters not to kill Harry. He claims the reason to be harry is intended for Voldemort, but snape just seemed a little to eager to stop them...


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Old June 16th, 2007, 6:34 pm
Weazleby  Female.gif Weazleby is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

I really liked this editorial. It puts everything into a perspective, especially where Voldemort's trust in Snape actually lies. I'm pretty sure, based on instinct, that Snape is actually a good guy. But poor Snape, he's almost guaranteed the axe for killing Dumbledore. But I really think that in DH, Snape will redeem himself. It's been made obvious that Snape is really powerful, cunning and important. Harry, whether he wants to admit it or not, needs him. I liked this editorial so much because it showed what a great character Snape is through his actions and inactions throughout the series. Although he isn't my favorite (that's reserved for Harry), Snape is certainly the deepest inflective character of recent literature.


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  #16  
Old June 16th, 2007, 8:13 pm
zachy  Female.gif zachy is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

good thinking on the poa bit - if he wanted him dead, he could have left him for sirius


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Old June 17th, 2007, 2:35 pm
ksc  Undisclosed.gif ksc is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

I really liked this editorial for many reasons. The arguments for Dumbledore's death were well written and the point that characters' inactions are as important as their actions in well-taken.

My only question is about Wormtail having no reason to protect (is that the word used?) Harry. We really can't forget that Peter Pettigrew owes Harry his life, can we?

Thanks for giving me something interesting to read this morning!


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  #18  
Old June 17th, 2007, 5:10 pm
Ellen  Undisclosed.gif Ellen is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

Quote:
Originally Posted by greyniffler View Post
I see three things that I'm sure of:

A) Snape has put himself at risk to protect Harry.
B) Snape hated James and hates Harry
C) Dumbledore trusts Snape for reasons he cannot share with Harry

I see three things I feel pretty sure of:

D) Snape cared about the esteem of Lily Potter
E) Snape has tried to get Harry out of Hogwarts to protect him (much as Dobby tried to protect Harry)
F) Snape hates Neville Longbottom at least as much as he hates Harry
Just to prove that Snape remains the most easily fought over character I'm going to disagree with B. Yes, Snape hated James. There may have been some other feelings that got mixed in on the way, but hate seems to be the dominant theme with everything else subordinant to it.

But I don't think Snape hates Harry.

I think Harry brings out a horde of emotions for Snape. Worse, for Snape, his way of dealing with complex emotions is to ignore them and tell himself he's being logical and unemotional.

Anger, frustration, bad memories, etc.

But, at the same time, I think he sees Harry and sees Lily's son. Oh, I'm pretty sure he ignores the eyes as much as he can. I'm pretty sure he's convinced himself there's nothing of Lily's personality in Harry.

But, whatever Lily was or wasn't to Snape, there's a debt there. The only thing he can do for Lily is watch out for her son.

And this is going on in him just as loudly as all the anti-James stuff and at the same time

Snape also, IMHO, has all the protective instincts of a mother grizzly in overdrive. Protective mother grizzlies are noted for a lot of roaring.

Yes, it's dysfunctional (or it is in a human, not a grizzly). I could go on for pages about the dysfunctionalness of it all. But it's him.


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Old June 18th, 2007, 12:09 am
hat22  Female.gif hat22 is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

jolly good editorial but I agree with this guy when he says
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathlyHabitue View Post
I also completely agree with you when you say that there has to be a better reason why Dumbledore trusts Snape which Dumbledore didn't tell us. The one problem I had with your editorial is that you left it at that. You didn't for instance, provide us with an original guess as to what that better reason might be
You shoulda put that but still very good


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  #20  
Old June 18th, 2007, 5:34 pm
sayre  Female.gif sayre is offline
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Re: The Double Negative Theory

I think you made a very interesting argument -- well, not really an argument, but you certainly opened the doors to interpretation. You didn't over-elaborate, which I think is a real problem with most editorials. Outlandish theories and wild grasps in the dark don't do half as good as articles like this one does. I really enjoyed it. thanks!


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