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Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis



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  #81  
Old January 5th, 2008, 9:07 pm
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Cunning and ambitious for what? You know, Peter's role in the books is baffling. He has devoted friends. He betrays them. He joins Voldemort. He is treated like scum there. Where is the ambition and the achievement?
I wrote a whole entire post on why he's very Slytherin-like. I quoted it below if you wish to see it.

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Originally Posted by beatifically View Post
So, I was looking through the Did the Sorting Hat Mis-sort Key Characters? and I noticed almost everyone found problems with Peter's sorting. According to JKR, the Sorting Hat's choices were impeccable, so I guess Peter was somewhat brave. It is in my personal opinion that Peter, from what we know of him when he was an adult, was best suited to be a Slytherin.

I don't think Peter was a Slytherin as an adult because he ended up as a Death Eater. I am basing my opinion based on Slytherin's qualities. Slytherin's are considered cunning and ambitious and, according to JKR in her interview with Pottercast, they tend to have a sense of self-preservation. All of these qualities, IMO, describe Peter.

Cunning

Peter was cunning enough to do many things for Voldemort. He successfully managed to fool everyone in the Order. Some speculate that Peter played a role in the mistrust Sirius and Remus had against each other. If that is true, then this strengthens my belief that he's cunning. He must have been subtle in convincing either of them to go against the other. Another example that supports my belief is that Peter managed to make Sirius look guilty for all the things he did. He was cunning enough to make it seem like Sirius betrayed the Potters and killed him along with twelve other people. Not to mention, Peter figured out how to hide from the Death Eaters and still be in touch with the Wizarding World.

Secretive (?)
Peter was pretty good at keeping secrets. There isn't any canon that suggests Peter gave huge hints that Remus was a werewolf, so he must have been good at keeping that secret from others. Peter's greatest achievement in keeping secrets is when he fooled everyone into thinking he was on the Order's side. There isn't anything that says being secretive is a Slytherin trait, but I would associate it with Slytherin the most most out of all the houses. JKR said she based the houses loosely off the four basic elements, with Slytherin's element as water. One of the qualities of the water element
is being secretive. Therefore I do think it is a trait that describes Peter and Slytherin, but I understand if others disagree.

Ambition
Peter's ambition is very similar to the next trait, self-preservation. Peter's main ambition is for selfish reasons. His main ambition throughout his life was , in my opinion, to keep himself safe.

Self-Preservation
This is a very dominant trait in Peter's personality, I think. Peter chose to become friends with the Marauders since they were popular and could remain "safe." Peter chose to betray his friends and the Order by joining Voldemort because he thought that was the safest thing for him to do. He chose to return to Voldemort because he was scared of his former best friends. One of the only times Peter didn't do something for his own selfish reasons was when he let go of his grip on Harry's neck. That wasn't selfish, that was remorse. If Peter didn't die and Voldemort got wind about Peter's betrayal to him, I think Peter would have suffered considerably.

I'm not trying to say that Peter wasn't brave, but I think Slytherin described him better, based on his behavior that is shown in canon.

JMO.
Quote:
Why did he turn and what would he receive for that?
Protection. The Order members were outnumbered and almost all of them were killed. Remus says so himself that the first war was a bad time. Peter would've rather be treated like scum than have himself killed.

Quote:
There is really no sense IMO about Peter and his acts.
I am not trying to excuse Peter's acts. I don't even like Peter. I am just trying to analyze what we know of him.


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  #82  
Old January 6th, 2008, 3:33 am
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by beatifically View Post
I wrote a whole entire post on why he's very Slytherin-like. I quoted it below if you wish to see it.
I really don't think Peter was fit for any House., let alone Slytherin. He is a character that makes no sense to me. Why would he leave 3 friends who would have really died for him and all that to go over to Voldemort is something I just canoot understand.

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Protection. The Order members were outnumbered and almost all of them were killed. Remus says so himself that the first war was a bad time. Peter would've rather be treated like scum than have himself killed.
The Order members, Moody says, were picked upon one by one and killed, outnumbered five to one or something like that in OOTP. Peter, was already a DE, passing information about the Order to Voldemot IMO and I think, the rat gave the information for more than half those members to be killed easily.

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I am not trying to excuse Peter's acts. I don't even like Peter. I am just trying to analyze what we know of him.
I know. I don't like him either.

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posted by LoonyMagic
I agree, he leeches himself to power. He does it to keep himself safe. As long as he's with Voldemort, he believed that he'd be untouchable, IMO, as everyone is terrified of Voldemort. Of course, Peter didn't consider how ruthless Voldemort is and how little he would care for Peter. I think Peter expected to be welcomed with open arms, but of course it doesn't work that way.

Okay, I don't think that will make much sense to anyone else, but it does to me
I think you may have a point here, only I think, Peter kept choosing what he thought was the winning side, always, so that he could be safe.

He was with the Marauders, because he knew they would take good care of him, and later, when Voldemort came on the scene and he saw how everyone was scared of him, I think, he chose Voldemort, because he thought he would be safe. Only once he joined, there would be no going back and he was not really courageous to back out.

In the same way when he was sorted, I think he may have had an intense desire to be in Gryffindor, because he may have thought all the bravest and the strongest students will be there.


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  #83  
Old January 7th, 2008, 5:16 am
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I really don't think Peter was fit for any House., let alone Slytherin. He is a character that makes no sense to me. Why would he leave 3 friends who would have really died for him and all that to go over to Voldemort is something I just canoot understand.
Well, if the Sorting Hat sorted him as he was when he was an adult, the hat would have to put him somewhere. I mean, I think Voldemort is a lot worse since he never showed remorse, whereas Wormtail did. So if the Hat could sort Voldemort, I'm sure it would sort Peter as well.

The reason why Wormtail probably left is his knowledge of Voldemort's rise to power. Wormtail was aware of how intelligent the other Marauders were, and I think at the same time he realized that he was the most vulnerable. He chose to be with Voldemort because he felt he was safer there than he was with the Order, the organization that suffered heavy losses.

Quote:
The Order members, Moody says, were picked upon one by one and killed, outnumbered five to one or something like that in OOTP. Peter, was already a DE, passing information about the Order to Voldemot IMO and I think, the rat gave the information for more than half those members to be killed easily.
Well, I think it was Remus who said that. But otherwise, that's an accurate interpretation. I do think Wormtail was the cause of many of those deaths, but many of them must have died/tortured/hoodwinked for Peter to change sides.


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  #84  
Old January 7th, 2008, 7:54 am
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

While he didn't have too large a role in Deathly Hallows we finally know the fate of Peter Pettigrew
  • Would Peter have remembered that he had a life debt to Harry if Harry had not managed to remind him? I don't think it was a case that Peter would have "forgotten". I think Peter was so cowardly, he hoped Harry would forget about the Life Debt or fall prey to his "Oh Harry" grovelling.
  • What prevented Peter from fleeing Voldemort's side? "Loyalty" or fear? Fear, fear and fear. No loyalty at all.
  • Voldemort "gifted" Wormtail with a silver hand. How much of an impact if any did this have on him? To me it was nothing more than a silver hand and an ending to his agony.
  • Did Peter develop throughout the series? If Wormtail liked the choices he made, why did he bite Goyle on the Hogwarts Express? Peter just grew up, he did not mature. He was agitated when Goyle teased him, so bit him to get back.


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Old January 8th, 2008, 12:12 pm
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

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posted by beatifically
Well, if the Sorting Hat sorted him as he was when he was an adult, the hat would have to put him somewhere. I mean, I think Voldemort is a lot worse since he never showed remorse, whereas Wormtail did. So if the Hat could sort Voldemort, I'm sure it would sort Peter as well.
Yes it did and I think it sorted Peter into Gryffindor because the rat wanted to go there; I really cannot think of one House where he would completely fit in, even though you do raise points for Slytherin. But I just cannot see him there.

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Well, I think it was Remus who said that.


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posted by Leslie33
Would Peter have remembered that he had a life debt to Harry if Harry had not managed to remind him? I don't think it was a case that Peter would have "forgotten". I think Peter was so cowardly, he hoped Harry would forget about the Life Debt or fall prey to his "Oh Harry" grovelling.
I don't think so too. Not only was Peter cowardly but never would he have wanted to fulfil the debt. He was surprised and loosened his grip for a second, and Harry took advantage of that is what I feel. The rat!


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Old January 8th, 2008, 10:03 pm
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

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I don't think so too. Not only was Peter cowardly but never would he have wanted to fulfil the debt. He was surprised and loosened his grip for a second, and Harry took advantage of that is what I feel. The rat!
Dumbledore and Harry believed that it was remorse via the reminder of the debt owed. Peter was acting moody and down when he visited the Potters before they died. He may have felt pressured by Voldemort, but truly regretted having to betray his friends. Over time, I suppose he rationalized his decision, but for some reason, Harry and Dumbledore felt that his regret never really faded. The way it was written does leave that up for debate though...it did appear as though he was taken off guard rather than making a considered decision.


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Old January 8th, 2008, 10:25 pm
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

One thing I always wondered about Peter was where his intense desire to live came from. Was it a fear of death? Because we are never shown that he actually has something worth living for. He didn't have a family, we aren't shown a significant other. Peter was more willing to spend twelve years as a rat that to die. He was treated like scum by Voldemort and was a servant for Snape. He doesn't appear to have the greatest life. Peter's friendship with James, Sirius and Remus seems like one of the high points of his existence, but yet he's willing to sell them out to save himself.
I just was always curious as to what was so important to him that he was willing to betray everyone around him to save himself. When you think about it, he gave Voldemort the information to kill the Potters so that he could spend more than a decade as a rat. I know that no one expected Voldemort to meet his downfall there, but no matter what, after that moment, Peter would have been revealed as the spy. The fact that he is clearly terrified of death is something Peter shares with Voldemort. I just wonder what he had to live for that was worth the lives of one of his best friends and his family.
Sorry for the ramblingness of this post, once I started typing it was kind of like word vomit I just always found Pettigrew's motives interesting. I despise him as a character, but it's interesting to think about what makes him do what he did.


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Old January 9th, 2008, 1:07 am
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by milamilamila View Post
One thing I always wondered about Peter was where his intense desire to live came from. Was it a fear of death? Because we are never shown that he actually has something worth living for. He didn't have a family, we aren't shown a significant other. Peter was more willing to spend twelve years as a rat that to die. He was treated like scum by Voldemort and was a servant for Snape. He doesn't appear to have the greatest life. Peter's friendship with James, Sirius and Remus seems like one of the high points of his existence, but yet he's willing to sell them out to save himself.
I just was always curious as to what was so important to him that he was willing to betray everyone around him to save himself. When you think about it, he gave Voldemort the information to kill the Potters so that he could spend more than a decade as a rat. I know that no one expected Voldemort to meet his downfall there, but no matter what, after that moment, Peter would have been revealed as the spy. The fact that he is clearly terrified of death is something Peter shares with Voldemort. I just wonder what he had to live for that was worth the lives of one of his best friends and his family.
Sorry for the ramblingness of this post, once I started typing it was kind of like word vomit I just always found Pettigrew's motives interesting. I despise him as a character, but it's interesting to think about what makes him do what he did.
I kind of felt the same way when reading. We are really not given much information on Peter and a lot of thoughts about him are pure conjecture. He did not have a good reason to betray that we know of - he claims he was tortured into it, but it seems like he could have gone to Dumbledore at that point for help. JRK said he was vulnerable and insecure, maybe Peter lied and he was not actually tortured by Voldemort - maybe he just saw him as a source of comfort. Voldemort was very charming at the time of the first war, handsome, charasmatic and charming. It could be that Peter simply was entranced by Voldemort and suckered into his evil schemes based on his belief he was doing the right thing for himself.

The way he was written, his character remained a bit of a mystery, and in a way, for my part, it made him more likeable overall. He seemed, if nothing else, consistent. That is, until Dumbledore and Harry spoke of his having remorse. I didn't find that altogether believeable, so I still feel some consistency with his character. I like consistency where I don't see a reason for change, so it worked for me.


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Old January 9th, 2008, 2:02 am
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

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I kind of felt the same way when reading. We are really not given much information on Peter and a lot of thoughts about him are pure conjecture. He did not have a good reason to betray that we know of - he claims he was tortured into it, but it seems like he could have gone to Dumbledore at that point for help. JRK said he was vulnerable and insecure, maybe Peter lied and he was not actually tortured by Voldemort - maybe he just saw him as a source of comfort. Voldemort was very charming at the time of the first war, handsome, charasmatic and charming. It could be that Peter simply was entranced by Voldemort and suckered into his evil schemes based on his belief he was doing the right thing for himself.
As you said, we weren't given much information about him, but from what we do know (and what was said by other characters), it would seem to me that he went to Voldemort as a source of power. We saw that as a student he chose to follow around some of the smartest and most powerful students of the year. We are told that he was not the best of students and often used the others as a source of aid and protection. The way I see his turning to Voldemort is that he saw that he was getting more and more powerful and would soon be taking over his source of refuge, so rather than fight it he would join him. He may have been tortured a bit, but I don't think (and this is just my opinion) that it would have taken much to persuade him.


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Old January 9th, 2008, 3:29 am
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

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Dumbledore and Harry believed that it was remorse via the reminder of the debt owed. Peter was acting moody and down when he visited the Potters before they died. He may have felt pressured by Voldemort, but truly regretted having to betray his friends. Over time, I suppose he rationalized his decision, but for some reason, Harry and Dumbledore felt that his regret never really faded. The way it was written does leave that up for debate though...it did appear as though he was taken off guard rather than making a considered decision.
Well I don't know about remorse. He certainly did not feel any at the graveyard, nor when the Potters were killed, and not when he was choking Harry. When Harry reminded him about the debt, he loosened for a second, giving Harry the time to get out of his grasp and for Ron to take the wand (I don't have the book with me, so I think that's the way it happened). Else Peter would have made Harry unconcious and called for Voldemort.

What I really don't get is the motive. He had no motive to turn away from the Light. He was with Dumbledore the only qizard Voldemort ever feared. I guess I really don't understand why did it and what he hoped to get out of it.

And I agree with everyone who said we don't have much on him. So we also don't know the reasons behind his actions, I suppose. And the lack of plausible reasons is what is baffling to me.


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Old January 9th, 2008, 3:34 am
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

It could be as simple as he was presented much the same choice as Dean's father - "join us or die". Negotiations at wand-point can produce results. Voldemort may have known he was the weakest of the marauders, and he wanted an "in" to the stronger ones, who'd rebuffed him. Peter was a good opportunity here.


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Old January 9th, 2008, 3:44 am
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

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It could be as simple as he was presented much the same choice as Dean's father - "join us or die". Negotiations at wand-point can produce results. Voldemort may have known he was the weakest of the marauders, and he wanted an "in" to the stronger ones, who'd rebuffed him. Peter was a good opportunity here.
You may be correct and if that were the case, Peter had many, opportunities to tell Dumbledore or his friends that he was coerced by Voldemort and he had at that time, no other alternative , but to take the mark. He could have become a spy. He could have been protected in other ways by Dumbledore.

He was able to stay as a rat for 13 years; that shows us he was capable of survival by any means. Even if he had to live like a rat.

He never told anyone, if he was forced to become a DE, I mean, and he spent his days until he had to change into a rat, by happily passing information that led to so many deaths, including that of his friends.


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Old March 25th, 2008, 2:18 am
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

if my memory serves me, peter also turned in a lot of other death eaters (or they suspected him of it). peter wasn't a particularly brave man, like sirius and james; he was probably quiet and shy, like remus, and scared out of his wits. likely voldemort threatened to kill his family if he told anyone (his mother is still alive, presumably) that he was a death eater, and he likely felt trapped, not wanting anyone he knew and loved to die because he couldn't provide a simple name. long story short, he made a few stupid decisions that cost him dearly, and he didn't have the strength to back out. yes, he could have told someone, but he was a very scared, likely confused man who was barely out of his teenage years and was still having confidence and identity issues.


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Old April 5th, 2008, 11:13 pm
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

This was just posted in the Snape thread by Ignisia. My response didn't have much to do with Snape, so I felt it would be more appropriate to post it here. This is the quote:

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
Back to Tonk's questions a couple pages ago: Snape's actions vs. Wormtail's.

I would definitely say that Wormtail's actions were worse, for several reasons:
  • Wormtail was quite openly their "friend"
  • He knew all his victims very well and was on their good side
  • He knew exactly who was going to be killed and did it anyway
  • He never felt any remorse for what he did
  • He did not attempt to rectify the situation
I'm not going to argue who was worse, Snape or Peter. Both imo, were bad men overall, for different reasons. The point here that I disagree with is:
He never felt any remorse for what he did.

I find it hard to believe that Peter never regretted or felt bad for what he did to Lily and James. He was a coward, not necessarily a heartless killer, though his cowardly actions did lead to the deaths of his friends. I think he knew what he was doing was bad and he did have his morals in check, but he was a coward and was too scared to do the right thing. I think he did feel miserable after James and Lily's deaths.


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Old April 5th, 2008, 11:21 pm
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

I felt much worse about Peter's death than i thought i would. I'm not sure why possibly because of the way he died, it was very unexpected. I think i felt worse after reading the book for the second time because i knew it was the last of the Marauders. It was an odd sensation, because i really didn't like his cowardice ways, but at the same time he was once a good friend of Lily and James. I think he never really went "bad" but like i said because he was a coward, it turned him into the apprentice of Voldemort.


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Old April 5th, 2008, 11:55 pm
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

I don't think he went "bad" either, but his cowardice certainly brought his character down. I thought he was the one who was going to be redeemed in a sense for what he did to the Potters, not Snape, and I thought it would have been a neat twist to have had him been the one in love with Lily. I still don't doubt the possibility. He was close friends with her for years and it would have given him an entirely different motive for handing over the Potters (more horrible a motive, but still - I think the depth would have been neat). He could just have easily asked Voldemort to spare her life because he was the only one who had something Voldemort desperately wanted - Harry's whereabouts. He had something to bargain with.

Alas, DH came and went and Peter was given no depth. I still think it's an interesting theory though.


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Old April 6th, 2008, 2:17 am
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by DeliciousMoon View Post
I find it hard to believe that Peter never regretted or felt bad for what he did to Lily and James. He was a coward, not necessarily a heartless killer, though his cowardly actions did lead to the deaths of his friends. I think he knew what he was doing was bad and he did have his morals in check, but he was a coward and was too scared to do the right thing. I think he did feel miserable after James and Lily's deaths.
I'm glad you brought this discussion over to the Peter Petergrew thread. I agree with you. I think Peter did feel regret for betraying James and Lily. Most of the scenes of Peter and Voldemort in GoF, especially when Voldemort was the ugly baby body we call Babymort, gave me the impression that Peter truly hated the role he was playing. He was nothing more than a nursemaid and a slave at that point.

I think the one time that Peter tried to make up for some of his wrongs was when he tried to talk Voldemort out of using Harry's blood to rebuild his body. I think he regretted a lot of things.

remorse1. The anguish, like gnawing pain, excited by a sense of guilt; compunction of conscience for a crime committed, or for the sins of one's past life. "Nero will be tainted with remorse." --Shak.

usageUsage: Regret, Remorse, Compunction, Contrition, Repentance. Regret does not carry with it the energy of remorse, the sting of compunction, the sacredness of contrition, or the practical character of repentance. We even apply the term regret to circumstance over which we have had no control, as the absence of friends or their loss. When connected with ourselves, it relates rather to unwise acts than to wrong or sinful ones. --C. J. Smith.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

He may have regretted his actions, maybe even had remorse for them, but he sure didn't try to redeem himself by defying Voldemort or saving any of the good guys. Helping Harry and Ron to escape the cellar would have been an attempt to redeem himself, in my opinion. I was rather disappointed that Peter only had a little flinch to show a moment's hesitation rather than a real attempt to save Harry. He needed Harry to remind him that he owed him his life to even have that little bit of regret.


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Old April 6th, 2008, 2:44 pm
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

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I find it hard to believe that Peter never regretted or felt bad for what he did to Lily and James. He was a coward, not necessarily a heartless killer, though his cowardly actions did lead to the deaths of his friends. I think he knew what he was doing was bad and he did have his morals in check, but he was a coward and was too scared to do the right thing. I think he did feel miserable after James and Lily's deaths.
He might well have done so, but nothing in the story indicates that. Not that I'm ruling it out as a possibility.

And Peter goes BACK to Voldemort, after escaping in PoA, what's more. That to me undermines the whole reason given for his betrayal, that it was just cowardice. He's a very calculating coward, to be sure ... he's pretty clever at how he frames Sirius for the murders of James and Lily.

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I don't think he went "bad" either, but his cowardice certainly brought his character down. I thought he was the one who was going to be redeemed in a sense for what he did to the Potters, not Snape, and I thought it would have been a neat twist to have had him been the one in love with Lily. I still don't doubt the possibility. He was close friends with her for years and it would have given him an entirely different motive for handing over the Potters (more horrible a motive, but still - I think the depth would have been neat). He could just have easily asked Voldemort to spare her life because he was the only one who had something Voldemort desperately wanted - Harry's whereabouts. He had something to bargain with.

Alas, DH came and went and Peter was given no depth. I still think it's an interesting theory though.
I do think Peter went bad, actually. Although there's no canon to back me up on that. But, really ... to do what he did, to betray his own best friend, his wife and their innocent baby ... that just doesn't come out of left field, from nowhere!

This is why I love your idea of Peter having secretly loved Lily and perhaps been insanely jealous of James. That to me would have made for a far more riveting reason -- a much more horrible one, as you say, but quite believable, IMO (if I can't have her, I'll make sure James can't either) -- than what we are given in canon.

I agree with the lack of depth given to Peter in DH and indeed throughout the series. I thought the manner of his death was really cool ... but oddly enough, Harry doesn't really seem to feel much emotion about it, even though this is the guy who betrayed his parents to their deaths!

It's a great storyline but I can't help wishing that something more had been done with Peter's character.


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Old April 6th, 2008, 3:32 pm
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

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But, really ... to do what he did, to betray his own best friend, his wife and their innocent baby ... that just doesn't come out of left field, from nowhere!

This is why I love your idea of Peter having secretly loved Lily and perhaps been insanely jealous of James. That to me would have made for a far more riveting reason -- a much more horrible one, as you say, but quite believable, IMO (if I can't have her, I'll make sure James can't either) -- than what we are given in canon.
I see too little evidence to subscribe to this theory (um, none, actually). My own way of getting my head around this, is to attack the premise of your first sentence. Yes, James might have listed Peter as one of his best friends (though I do believe Sirius was alone in that role, with others just being other very good friends) but I do not believe this is how Peter understood and experienced his relationship to James.

I think Sirius's post-betrayal characterization was closer to the mark - Peter was seeking out the biggest, toughest guy on the playground to be protected. He would have seen his involvement with James as an unspoken bargain of sorts - he is James's little sycophant, and puts up with whatever petty abuse James's group may choose to heap on him, and in exchange, Peter is allowed to be a member of the group, thereby discouraging others from touching him, and allowing him to share vicariously in the group's triumphs. The whole SWM scene is my idea in microcosm. Peter is there with the other Marauders, an accepted part of the whole. He sucks up to James, he is the butt of James's (more friendly) joke and Sirius's (nastier, but still only verbal) one, and he stands by, obviously entertained by the proceedings from a safe distance, when Sirius and James go after Severus.

Peter's switch to Voldemort makes sense in this light - the group James throws his lot in with after school, is conspicuously lacking in triumphs, and far from granting Peter some immunity the way being a friend of James would have at school, paints a target on his back. So basically, James is no longer serving the function he did before for Peter. Voldemort fills the bill a lot better, so when Peter is approached, it is not, in my view, so odd that he accepts.

Everyone loves the line Sirius throws in Peter's face in PoA, that Peter should have died for his friends, the way his friends would have died for him. I don't think Peter wanted his friends to die for him, and I don't think he believed they would have done so for him, when he made his choice.

Did he regret that choice? Sure, he probably did. But then the choice worked out rather badly for him. Far from what he probably expected to be a fairly secure position in the Death Eater organization, his betrayal resulted in Voldemort's disappearance, forcing Peter to fall back on his own resources to stay alive and out of Azkaban, not at all what he hoped. And his resurrection of Voldemort also did not work out all that well, as Voldemort's favor fell on the Azkaban group and Snape, who could do more for him in the present.

In other words, I see the regret as based primarily in practical considerations, that he'd hitched his wagon to the wrong star. (He ought to have gone into the Ministry...where he could have kept his nose down in the year of Voldemort, and then pleaded 'just following orders'. )

I so think that Peter's school years were probably, in retrospect, the safest and happiest of his life, so he would remember James fondly for that if nothing else. I think that's precisely enough to explain the twitch, which I saw as a moment's hesitation, not any sort of sustainable change of heart that would have led him to help Harry get out of Malfoy Manor in defiance of Voldemort's wishes.

And Pearl_Took, call me dark, but I adored the manner of Peter's death too, it is a favorite creepy moment of DH.


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Old April 6th, 2008, 3:45 pm
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

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I see too little evidence to subscribe to this theory (um, none, actually).
Oh, I don't think there's any evidence at all for it!

I just like it.

That was a very good post, Zara ... it has helped me make sense of the canon.

Quote:
I think Sirius's post-betrayal characterization was closer to the mark - Peter was seeking out the biggest, toughest guy on the playground to be protected. He would have seen his involvement with James as an unspoken bargain of sorts - he is James's little sycophant, and puts up with whatever petty abuse James's group may choose to heap on him, and in exchange, Peter is allowed to be a member of the group, thereby discouraging others from touching him, and allowing him to share vicariously in the group's triumphs. The whole SWM scene is my idea in microcosm. Peter is there with the other Marauders, an accepted part of the whole. He sucks up to James, he is the butt of James's (more friendly) joke and Sirius's (nastier, but still only verbal) one, and he stands by, obviously entertained by the proceedings from a safe distance, when Sirius and James go after Severus.
I've always taken Sirius's savage words to Peter in the Shack at face value ... and we see the truth of what Sirius said, right there in the SWM incident. That portrayal of Peter there tells us everything we need to know about his character ... as JKR obviously intended.

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Peter's switch to Voldemort makes sense in this light - the group James throws his lot in with after school, is conspicuously lacking in triumphs, and far from granting Peter some immunity the way being a friend of James would have at school, paints a target on his back. So basically, James is no longer serving the function he did before for Peter. Voldemort fills the bill a lot better, so when Peter is approached, it is not, in my view, so odd that he accepts.
Eeep, it gives me chills! But ... yep ... I agree.

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(He ought to have gone into the Ministry...where he could have kept his nose down in the year of Voldemort, and then pleaded 'just following orders'. )
I can totally see Peter doing that.

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And Pearl_Took, call me dark, but I adored the manner of Peter's death too, it is a favorite creepy moment of DH.
I thought it was awesome! So I am just as dark as you.


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