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The Death Eaters: Group Character Analysis



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  #81  
Old March 25th, 2013, 2:50 pm
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Re: The Death Eaters: Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by asdfasdf17 View Post
I think he only joined the DeathEaters because as Sirius put it, they were the biggest bullies on the playground and he was too scared to defy them. It was a selfish and cowardly decision but I don't know if he cared much for the power/status he'd gain like it seems the other Deatheaters did (ex. Lucius, Barty jr, Bella).
I think Peter wanted power by association, which is why he seemed to always prefer the bullies. He felt weak, but by hanging around the strong, it lessened those feelings. When he left Hogwarts, the DEs fit the bill, since they appeared the most powerful.


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  #82  
Old March 25th, 2013, 8:34 pm
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Re: The Death Eaters: Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Sereena View Post
I think this might be true in the case of the Malfoys but it's not true in the case of Snape and Regulus. They did recognize the evil they were doing- but didn't do so until it was done to them. After they realized what Voldemort was, they stopped supporting him.
But they did not stop because they realised what Voldemort was. Snape certainly didn't. In canon, Snape did not stop because he realised what Voldemort was. In canon, Snape stopped because Voldemort did not choose to murder the Longbottoms and went after Lily and her family instead. Snape stopped because he did not want to experience the grief he would gladly cause others, for personal gain. Snape did not stop because he realised the whole DE organisation was evil to the core along with their leader. He did not have any kind of moral realisation that made him leave. He left purely and utterly for selfish reasons.

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As for the Malfoys, I would agree that there is no moral development there. They were never on the good side, they just stopped being on Voldemort's side when he turned on them but there is no indication that they ever realized they were evil.
Nor is there much indication in the case of other Death Eaters who turned on him. Purely selfish desire not to meet the same fate as their victims.


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Of course they were selfish, I've never argued to the contrary. I was simply disagreeing that their reasons for redemption were "not good enough" or that it somehow diminishes the good they did on the right side just because their reasons for leaving Voldemort were selfish. I don't think it matters why people redeem themselves, just that they do.
I wasn’t speaking about redemption. I was speaking about the selfishness and lack of empathy shared by all Death Eaters, IMO. Although I do think that the "why" of a character's actions are also important. A character's motivations matter to. Doing a good thing for a completely selfish reason does not equal redemption, IMO.

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
I agree. Snape left for love. It was love of one person, but that doesn't make it any less worthy than if he left for love of mankind, IMHO. And he kept loving her, even though she chose another.
My point was that Snape, like his fellow DEs was selfish. I think it does make it less worthy that he only left because of Lily.(Or more accurately, because of how he felt about Lily and what he wanted. Lily's feelings were irrelevant, Lily's wishes were irrelevant. It was not for Lily, it was because Snape did not want to suffer the bereavement he was willing to cause to others, including to Lily.) It makes it less worthy than leaving because he had a conscience. Because it was nothing to do with conscience. Nothing at all.
I think it is less worthy because he was only thinking of himself. He did not want to experience the grief he was willing to cause others. He was selfish in not caring about the grief Lily would feel if her loved ones were murdered. Just as he was selfish in not caring about the grief all the families of the DE victims suffered.
And yes, she chose another, as she had every right to do.

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The way I see the DEs, the one thing they had in common was an interest in power.
I think they had more than that one thing in common. I think they also shared selfishness and a massive lack of empathy. I think in terms of the selfishness of the DEs, they shared the belief that Quirrell professed - "there is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it". No conscience, all that mattered was personal gain.

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Power can be a good thing - but it's based on where your focus is. If you look to master yourself, or set your career goal as Healer, Head Librarian, or Minister of Magic, it can be a very good thing. Almost everyone wants some degree of power of the world and power in their own lives, and many people see the world and the people in it based on where they rank. They spend time comparing themselves with other people on a wide assortment of things.
Comparing people based on skills and achievements is one thing. Comparing people based on things like blood purity is just twisted bigotry. There are real-life parallels to this kind of nonsense and none of them are good ways to compare or rank people.

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People who are interested in power often see things in terms of a hierarchy and their place in it. If you look at things in terms of a power hierarchy, and you want to be at the top, you have to place people below you.
There is a difference between wanting to be in power and wanting to oppress. What the DEs wanted was to oppress. I see that as a perversion of power, not a valid way to be in power.

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Discrimination in any form is usually nothing more than a person wanting to feel superior to another person because they feel powerless in some way and they don't like it. It's taking the easy way out - rather than working your butt off, you choose to subjugate other people based on something which, on the face of it, is really petty.
Which is what the DEs do. Except in their case, I would call it rather more than petty. Murdering and torturing people because you're under the delusion that you're automatically superior goes way beyond petty. Oppressing a whole group because you're under the delusion that an accident of birth gives you the right to play god goes way beyond petty.

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Not all Slytherins were DEs, but most DEs were Slytherins, I believe JKR said. I think most Slytherins find healthy ways to excel, while those who joined the DEs chose a much more evil path. The Malfoys as a family, based on what i read on Pottermore, were always interested in power for the family. One Malfoy even tried to win the hand of Queen Elizabeth 1st.
I wouldn't exactly call being a DE excelling at anything except evil. And look how horribly that Malfoy reacted to rejection by Elizabeth I - nice sense of entitlement there.

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Regulus, I suspect, also came from an old and once very powerful family which didn't want to lose its status, and his mother expected him to join the DEs and he simply never questioned it, until he was confronted with how evil it was.
He did not figure out that torturing and murdering innocent victims was evil? Selfishness – he wanted to impress his family, so the suffering of innocent people did not matter. He was not confronted with how evil it was when Kreacher was hurt. It was always evil. Regulus was confronted with how evil it was from the beginning. Either he was under the delusion that he was doing the right thing, or he did not care who he hurt as long as he gained.

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Snape felt powerless growing up, and unfortunately life at Hogwarts wasn't much better, IMHO. I think he mistakenly thought he could gain power and respect by joining the DEs, and he ignored quite a lot.
Ignored? Was a part of. He was a part of an evil group of murdering bigots. The selfishness there is apparent - the suffering of the victims and their families was utterly irrelevant as long as he got what he wanted. Just like every other Death Eater.

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I think Peter also felt weak and powerless and made the same mistake, thinking the DEs would protect him and raise his stature.
There I also see selfishness. Peter did not care who he hurt as long as he got what he wanted. A trait common to all the Death Eaters.

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Originally Posted by asdfasdf17 View Post
I think he only joined the DeathEaters because as Sirius put it, they were the biggest bullies on the playground and he was too scared to defy them. It was a selfish and cowardly decision but I don't know if he cared much for the power/status he'd gain like it seems the other Deatheaters did (ex. Lucius, Barty jr, Bella).
I don't think he cared for the power, but I do think it was all about him, and to the depths with everyone else. IMO, selfishness defines the Death Eaters, all of them.


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  #83  
Old March 26th, 2013, 2:19 pm
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Re: The Death Eaters: Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
My point was that Snape, like his fellow DEs was selfish. I think it does make it less worthy that he only left because of Lily.(Or more accurately, because of how he felt about Lily and what he wanted. Lily's feelings were irrelevant, Lily's wishes were irrelevant. It was not for Lily, it was because Snape did not want to suffer the bereavement he was willing to cause to others, including to Lily.) It makes it less worthy than leaving because he had a conscience. Because it was nothing to do with conscience. Nothing at all.
I don't see it as selfishness. When DD says "if you truly loved Lily, you'd do X, Y and Z", Snape does X, Y and Z with no argument. Plus the fact that he continues to do things for her 16 years after she died, with absolutely no hope of anything in return, speaks for itself. And this for a women who cut him off, chose another man and bore than man a child.

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I think they had more than that one thing in common. I think they also shared selfishness and a massive lack of empathy.
These seem to be common traits of many characters in the books. I can think of several, but will only mention one. Dumbledore was selfish and lacked empathy when he went through his pro-Grindelwald phase and Ariana died. It was her death that brought him back to reality. Reminds me of Snape. The DEs are a group of murderers. They are taking these characteristics to the next horrible level.

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Comparing people based on skills and achievements is one thing. Comparing people based on things like blood purity is just twisted bigotry. There are real-life parallels to this kind of nonsense and none of them are good ways to compare or rank people.
I agree - they aren't "good ways to compare or rank people" and skills and achievements are much better.

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There is a difference between wanting to be in power and wanting to oppress. What the DEs wanted was to oppress. I see that as a perversion of power, not a valid way to be in power.
It isn't valid, or a good thing.

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Which is what the DEs do. Except in their case, I would call it rather more than petty. Murdering and torturing people because you're under the delusion that you're automatically superior goes way beyond petty. Oppressing a whole group because you're under the delusion that an accident of birth gives you the right to play god goes way beyond petty.
What you have listed does "go beyond petty" but in my quote I was referring to discrimination in general, which can cover an entire range of activities. This is what I said:
what I originally saidDiscrimination in any form is usually nothing more than a person wanting to feel superior to another person because they feel powerless in some way and they don't like it. It's taking the easy way out - rather than working your butt off, you choose to subjugate other people based on something which, on the face of it, is really petty.


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I wouldn't exactly call being a DE excelling at anything except evil. And look how horribly that Malfoy reacted to rejection by Elizabeth I - nice sense of entitlement there.
In this particular quote, I was comparing Slytherins to DEs. Let me requote myself:
what I originally saidNot all Slytherins were DEs, but most DEs were Slytherins, I believe JKR said. I think most Slytherins find healthy ways to excel, while those who joined the DEs chose a much more evil path. The Malfoys as a family, based on what i read on Pottermore, were always interested in power for the family. One Malfoy even tried to win the hand of Queen Elizabeth 1st.


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Ignored? Was a part of. He was a part of an evil group of murdering bigots. The selfishness there is apparent - the suffering of the victims and their families was utterly irrelevant as long as he got what he wanted. Just like every other Death Eater.
Yes. He was a spy and as a spy was most likely not involved in direct murder and torture. If I remember correctly, JKR said he only "saw things." I think he tuned most of it out and didn't allow it to affect him until Lily was targeted. I'm not saying he approved, however. He shut down empathy.

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There I also see selfishness. Peter did not care who he hurt as long as he got what he wanted. A trait common to all the Death Eaters.
I don't think he cared for the power, but I do think it was all about him, and to the depths with everyone else. IMO, selfishness defines the Death Eaters, all of them.
Peter always seemed to go for the bullies. I think he enjoyed that feeling of power by association over a helpless victim.

All my own opinion.


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  #84  
Old March 26th, 2013, 8:21 pm
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Re: The Death Eaters: Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
I don't see it as selfishness. When DD says "if you truly loved Lily, you'd do X, Y and Z", Snape does X, Y and Z with no argument.
I see it as selfishness. Snape was just like the Malfoys and Regulus - he was happy to benefit from the suffering of others. He did not care who suffered as long as he gained. He just took issue when he was going to experience the same suffering he was willing to cause others. Just like the Malfoys - Lucius was willing to murder other people's children, to use other people's children as pawns to commit murder. Yet, somehow he comes over feeling sorry for himself, as if he's been wronged, when he is given a taste of his own medicine. IMO, this is what Death Eaters are -selfish human beings, who are willing to hurt and destroy, but consider themselves wronged when their malevolent master hurts them instead of some victim who "doesn't matter" because s/he doesn't matter to them.

Personally, I think that someone who truly loved Lily would never, ever, ever join a group that was murdering Muggleborns. Personally, I think that someone who loved Lily would never, ever want to see her suffer the grief of losing her loved ones. But that's just my take on love.

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Plus the fact that he continues to do things for her 16 years after she died, with absolutely no hope of anything in return, speaks for itself.
Personally, I don't think that the only reason to do something for someone you claim to love is to get something in return. So I don't think that doing something "with no hope of anything in return" is spectacular. And as for having no hope of anything in return after Lily's death - did Snape have hope of "something in return" before she died? Lily's love was not something that would ever, ever, ever have been "owed" to Snape "in return" for anything. She was a person with her own feelings and nobody is ever entitled to have their feelings returned. No matter what. And no matter who they are.

However, Snape was doing it to make himself feel better, IMO. Snape wanted to be able to tell himself he was doing something for Lily. However, the innate selfishness of a Death Eater prevented him from seeing Lily's perspective in any of his actions. Before or after her death.


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And this for a women who cut him off, chose another man and bore than man a child.
I'm sorry, how is Lily exerting her basic right to choose her own partner and have a child with said partner remotely relevant? Personally, I do not think that Lily's freedom to choose her partner and her side in the war is more relevant than the fact that Snape was a big part of the reason for her death.

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These seem to be common traits of many characters in the books. I can think of several, but will only mention one. Dumbledore was selfish and lacked empathy when he went through his pro-Grindelwald phase and Ariana died. It was her death that brought him back to reality. Reminds me of Snape. The DEs are a group of murderers. They are taking these characteristics to the next horrible level.
And yet, Dumbledore only talked. He never acted on the rubbish he was talking. Snape joined up, and was a member of the most evil group in the wizarding world. Snape was a part of something which was destroying lives. He wasn't just talking, he was busily destroying lives for personal gain.

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I agree - they aren't "good ways to compare or rank people" and skills and achievements are much better.
Yet this is the way the Death Eaters wanted to compare people. This is the way Snape, the Malfoys, Bellatrix, Regulus et al. wanted to compare people. This is the way they wanted to put themselves at the top of the pile. This is the grounds on which they deluded themselves that they had the right to play god for personal gain.

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What you have listed does "go beyond petty" but in my quote I was referring to discrimination in general, which can cover an entire range of activities. This is what I said:
In a discussion about the Death Eaters, the type of evil they perpetrated in the name of extreme twisted bigotry is relevant. The type of bigotry they embraced, either as true believers, or as self-serving thugs who believed that "there is no good and evil" goes way beyond petty. And IMO, bigotry of any kind goes way beyond petty. Bigotry is dangerous, there's no such thing as a petty little bit of bigotry.

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what I originally saidDiscrimination in any form is usually nothing more than a person wanting to feel superior to another person because they feel powerless in some way and they don't like it. It's taking the easy way out - rather than working your butt off, you choose to subjugate other people based on something which, on the face of it, is really petty.
I don't think that bigots feel powerless. Look at the thugs like the Malfoys, Bellatrix and Regulus Black - I see nothing to indicate that they felt powerless. They were arrogant and happy to believe that their bloodline gave them the right to play god.

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In this particular quote, I was comparing Slytherins to DEs. Let me requote myself:
what I originally saidNot all Slytherins were DEs, but most DEs were Slytherins, I believe JKR said. I think most Slytherins find healthy ways to excel, while those who joined the DEs chose a much more evil path. The Malfoys as a family, based on what i read on Pottermore, were always interested in power for the family. One Malfoy even tried to win the hand of Queen Elizabeth 1st.
And I pointed out how spitefully that Malfoy responded to a refusal. How entitled and vindictive of him. I don't think that cursing someone who turns you down is a healthy way to excel, or a healthy way to behave as a human being, at all.


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Yes. He was a spy and as a spy was most likely not involved in direct murder and torture. If I remember correctly, JKR said he only "saw things." I think he tuned most of it out and didn't allow it to affect him until Lily was targeted. I'm not saying he approved, however. He shut down empathy.
Can you please provide a quote for JKR saying that Snape only "saw things". He was not a member of the boy scouts, he was a member of a depraved group of murdering bigots. And IMO, he was completely selfish in being a part of such evil for personal gain. One can call it "shutting it out", or one can call it not giving a toss who suffered as long as Severus Snape got what he wanted. Just like every other Death Eater.

There is no evidence that Snape did nothing as a Death Eater. And if he "saw" things, even as a spy, what's to stop him from murdering? Voldemort did not keep his thugs around for their conversational skills.

And even if he was "only" spying, that would cost lives. He was spying for a genocidal hate group - his information was not about stock prices or job promotions. It was information that would destroy lives. Which was irrelevant as long as he got what he wanted - IMO, a sign of Death Eater selfishness.
The prophecy certainly did, though one death was not the life Snape would have preferred to see lost.

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Peter always seemed to go for the bullies. I think he enjoyed that feeling of power by association over a helpless victim.
Or, as in canon, Peter joined because he wanted to save his own skin. Peter did not join the Death Eaters to witness torture; he joined because he would rather betray those closest to him than die.


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  #85  
Old March 27th, 2013, 12:52 pm
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Re: The Death Eaters: Group Character Analysis

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=MerryLore;6065219]I don't see it as selfishness. When DD says "if you truly loved Lily, you'd do X, Y and Z", Snape does X, Y and Z with no argument. Plus the fact that he continues to do things for her 16 years after she died, with absolutely no hope of anything in return, speaks for itself. And this for a women who cut him off, chose another man and bore than man a child.

I'm sorry but you have lost me here.
Is a woman automatically in debt to a man because he has feelings for her?
What exactly did Snape do for Lily 16 years after she died that he had a right to get payment for it.
And then he should be praised when he doesn't demand that payment?
This statement has me scratching my head. And what does Lily's falling in love and getting marred to the man she was in love with have to do with Snape, a man who forfeited his chance to be close to Lily when he insulted her by calling her the foulest name possible? By becoming a Death Eater Snape put himself beyond the pale of deceny. The Death Eaters were criminals who murdered and tortured, Snape's involvement can't be qualified by saying he didn't do anything bad. He did something bad when he joined up. He willingly supported them in their crimes and as Fuzzy Dice says Voldemort didn't want his Death Eaters to have nice conversations with. He wanted them out and about, committing crimes. That's what they were, a group of criminals and Snape was a willing part of the group. He, Regelus, Bella, Malfoy, Peter and the rest owed the world a huge debt for committing crimes to begin with. What happened to them afterwards was simply paying their debt to society, IMO of course. That's what we say when a criminal is sent to prison. He/she is 'paying their debt to society'.
The WW and Lily didn't owe Snape, Snape owed them for becoming a criminal. That is what is puzzling me about your post, you are I think implying that Lily somehow owed Snape for some reason. Instead of Snape owing society for his crime in enlisting with a group of criminals who wanted to sieze power and to destroy their world.



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  #86  
Old March 27th, 2013, 1:40 pm
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Re: The Death Eaters: Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
Personally, I think that someone who truly loved Lily would never, ever, ever join a group that was murdering Muggleborns. Personally, I think that someone who loved Lily would never, ever want to see her suffer the grief of losing her loved ones. But that's just my take on love.
Responded to on the Severus Snape Character Analysis Thread

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Or, as in canon, Peter joined because he wanted to save his own skin. Peter did not join the Death Eaters to witness torture; he joined because he would rather betray those closest to him than die.
Responded to on the Peter Pettigrew Character Analyst Thread

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Originally Posted by ArwenBlue View Post
I'm sorry but you have lost me here.
Is a woman automatically in debt to a man because he has feelings for her?
Lily owed Snape nothing, IMHO. I've posted my opinion about Snape's feelings for Lily and his subsequent actions on the Severus Snape Character Analysis Thread.


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  #87  
Old March 27th, 2013, 10:49 pm
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Re: The Death Eaters: Group Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post

Lily owed Snape nothing, IMHO. I've posted my opinion about Snape's feelings for Lily and his subsequent actions on the Severus Snape Character Analysis Thread.
But you posted about Snape

" he continues to do things for her 16 years after she died, with absolutely no hope of anything in return, speaks for itself. ."

on this thread. Why on earth would Snape expect anything for doing the right thing? Why would he hope for some sort of reward at all? He was paying back his debt to his society because he commited crimes against that society. He was a Death Eater who plotted to overthrow his government. Why should he expect a reward for tring to make up for that? It's still puzzling to me. I don't really care about his feelings for Lily. I don't think his feelings for Liy had anything to do with him becoming a criminal. He sort of ignored Lily when he enlisted with the terrorists. So speaking about Snape's feelings for Lily on his thread has nothing to do with his career as a criminal conspiritor and the debt he owed to his world for trying to destroy it.


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Old April 6th, 2013, 1:11 am
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Re: The Death Eaters: Group Character Analysis

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1. What attracted them to Voldemort/Tom Riddle and/or his "cause"?
They wanted power and/or wanted to be around someone who is powerful.


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2. What is their motivation for staying? For leaving?
They don't want to be threatened or killed by Voldemort. As for leaving, they might have found out (like Regulus did) that Voldemort wasn't someone worth following, that he was only doing what he was doing for power and to harm others who weren't like him.

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3. What do any of them have in common? Is there anything they all have in common?
Want/need for power. Some others are cowards, such as Wormtail. They all feel a need to be around someone who, in their minds at least, might be able to help them attain their goal.


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4. Obviously Fenrir wouldn't give a hoot about Purebloods that weren't werewolves, so his motivation to be on the side of the DEs/Voldemort may be different from the others. What motivates the DEs who are still on Voldemort's side of the war?
Power, greed, hatred -- mainly, imo. They don't want people around who aren't like they are.


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5. What are the strengths and weaknesses of a group like the Death Eaters?
There are no strengths to being a part of a group like the Death Eaters. They're only a part of those kinds of groups for power or for being around someone who has it.

As for weaknesses, hatred is a big part of those kinds of groups. Voldemort knew that he could exploit that really easily. So in a way it could be a strength, at least for him.


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