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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6



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  #481  
Old March 14th, 2012, 7:24 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ch 29, "Career Advice", OotP
He had just turned away when he heard a smashing noise; Malfoy gave a gleeful yell of laughter. Harry whipped around again. His potion sample lay in pieces on the floor, and Snape was surveying him with a look of gloating pleasure.
"Whoops," he said softly. "Another zero, then, Potter..."
Draco could answer how the potion bottle broke, as he seems to have witnessed it. Either way, I think the issue for me is Snape's "gloating pleasure". I think he lets his desire to indulge his own feelings cause him to act unprofessionally. I think Snape shows that he wants to get even with Potter, and that's what's personally most important to him at the moment.


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  #482  
Old March 14th, 2012, 7:44 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
Draco could answer how the potion bottle broke, as he seems to have witnessed it. Either way, I think the issue for me is Snape's "gloating pleasure". I think he lets his desire to indulge his own feelings cause him to act unprofessionally. I think Snape shows that he wants to get even with Potter, and that's what's personally most important to him at the moment.
Snape is simply not going out of his way to help Harry. That, IMO, does not amount to gloating. These class grades aren't really important. As far as we know, Snape has never failed Harry in finals.


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  #483  
Old March 14th, 2012, 7:55 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by iluvseverus View Post
Snape is simply not going out of his way to help Harry. That, IMO, does not amount to gloating. These class grades aren't really important. As far as we know, Snape has never failed Harry in finals.
The text says "a look of gloating pleasure", by which I gather that Snape had a look of gloating pleasure.

I think that how Snape treated Harry in class demonstrated important facets of Snape's personality. Regardless of whatever final grade might come about (due to Dumbledore's intervention, or not). It's the treatment of his student by Snape, not the grade. Displaying gloating pleasure stands on its own as unprofessional and vindictive, in my opinion.


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  #484  
Old March 14th, 2012, 8:09 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
The text says "a look of gloating pleasure", by which I gather that Snape had a look of gloating pleasure.

I think that how Snape treated Harry in class demonstrated important facets of Snape's personality. Regardless of whatever final grade might come about (due to Dumbledore's intervention, or not). It's the treatment of his student by Snape, not the grade. Displaying gloating pleasure stands on its own as unprofessional and vindictive, in my opinion.
Vindictive is the definition of Severus Snape. Well, one of them You see, what makes him even more fascinating and wonderful is the way in which he matures over the series. More than, I believe, any other character. Perhaps only Neville.

On a different note, you must take into consideration Harry's dislike for Snape. He didn't see him objectively. So that 'look of gloating pleasure' may not be as accurate as you'd think.


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  #485  
Old March 14th, 2012, 8:18 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by sparrowinwinter View Post
Vindictive is the definition of Severus Snape. Well, one of them You see, what makes him even more fascinating and wonderful is the way in which he matures over the series. More than, I believe, any other character. Perhaps only Neville.
Err, I wouldn't put it like that, because I think Snape is very immature through most of the series. I think he does mature, but not more than any other character. I think it is just that he is an adult that makes his immaturity stand out and his change seem dramatic. I think his transformation might be the slowest, considering he's in his thirties mid to late thirties by series end.

Quote:
On a different note, you must take into consideration Harry's dislike for Snape. He didn't see him objectively. So that 'look of gloating pleasure' may not be as accurate as you'd think.
I do not believe that the narrator ever inaccurately describes the appearance of things. Ever. So for me Harry's dislike of Snape has no bearing on how the narrator says Snape looked. I feel that descriptions are always an accurate statement of what can be seen.


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  #486  
Old March 14th, 2012, 8:37 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
Err, I wouldn't put it like that, because I think Snape is very immature through most of the series. I think he does mature, but not more than any other character. I think it is just that he is an adult that makes his immaturity stand out and his change seem dramatic. I think his transformation might be the slowest, considering he's in his thirties mid to late thirties by series end.
Well I certainly would. He has one of the most spectacular evolutions in the whole series. Yes, Snape is immature, but what greater maturity is there, than to hand yourself the way he did to Harry? For that is what he did. It wasn't necessary to show Harry all those memories, but that was his ultimate sacrifice, his way of saying "I'm sorry". There is so much more in Snape's last gesture than one might think.

Quote:
I do not believe that the narrator ever inaccurately describes the appearance of things. Ever. So for me Harry's dislike of Snape has no bearing on how the narrator says Snape looked. I feel that descriptions are always an accurate statement of what can be seen.
If that is what you think, I cannot counter that.


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  #487  
Old March 15th, 2012, 12:48 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

I think we can see that we have almost as many interpretations of the scene as we do posters, and, since there is nothing specific that states Severus did or did not knock the flask off, each one is as valid as the other.

As for Severus' inability to "mature," we've discussed that many times. Since we are shown that Severus is, at the least, neglected and emotionally abused, this can lead to many emotional problems later in life. IMO, his inability to let go of the past was a result of this treatment. We don't see him in the years between Lily's death and Harry's arrival at Hogwarts, so we don't know if he was as snarky and belligerent all that time as he was with Harry at times, but we pretty much know what it is about Harry that sets him off.


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  #488  
Old March 15th, 2012, 12:51 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

I don't believe we're given enough information to know just how the sample ended up on the floor. Harry's back is on the action, and Snape's reaction (and Draco's for that matter) to the event doesn't appear to definitively show us the cause of the accident. He would be gloating regardless of whether it was his hand or Harry's swishing robes (or even a badly-placed flask) because tensions between them are at an all-time high. That is what I tend to take away from the scene.


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  #489  
Old March 15th, 2012, 4:31 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by sparrowinwinter View Post
Well I certainly would. He has one of the most spectacular evolutions in the whole series. Yes, Snape is immature, but what greater maturity is there, than to hand yourself the way he did to Harry? For that is what he did. It wasn't necessary to show Harry all those memories, but that was his ultimate sacrifice, his way of saying "I'm sorry". There is so much more in Snape's last gesture than one might think.
I don't see it as an apology. I'd put it more like an acceptance of responsibility-- which I do think was a large leap forward for Snape. I think Snape's life was cut short before he got to any apology stage, and I don't even know if he ever would have got that far. Accepting responsibility showed a growth in the maturity department, in my opinion, as I see Snape's life marked by years of denial for his part in many events. I think other changes that took place in Snape's outlook went along an axis that was defined by something other than immaturity/maturity, though, for example the choice not to be a criminal any longer and the choice not to watch people die when he had the power to save them.


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  #490  
Old March 15th, 2012, 8:14 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
I don't believe we're given enough information to know just how the sample ended up on the floor. Harry's back is on the action, and Snape's reaction (and Draco's for that matter) to the event doesn't appear to definitively show us the cause of the accident. He would be gloating regardless of whether it was his hand or Harry's swishing robes (or even a badly-placed flask) because tensions between them are at an all-time high. That is what I tend to take away from the scene.
Good point about the tension, and it's sort of an echo of the jar of cockroaches exploding also.

However, since Snape's facial expressions are always sort of a mystery to Harry, the "gloating look of pleasure" could just as easily be "a look of pleasure" because Snape saw the flask and the correct color of the potion and knew Harry had finally gotten it right. Just my opinion.

But of course we aren't supposed to like Snape in that scene. It's all written to cast him in the worst possible light - comparing his silence to Vernon, and making it seem as if Snape once again wants him to fail. Harry believed the same about Occlumency, but it was the horcrux that rendered Occlumency a failure. Harry (and readers of OotP the first time through) didn't have enough information about Snape to know that his allegiance was to Harry all along.


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  #491  
Old March 15th, 2012, 2:13 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
Good point about the tension, and it's sort of an echo of the jar of cockroaches exploding also.
Interesting point about the cockroaches. Lupin turned his moon Boggart into a cockroach, symbolizing (I suppose) the pest status of his affliction. Snape keeps a whole jar full of cockroaches-- dead ones, at that. Of course, this might be a case of a cockroach just being a cockroach, and I'm reading waaaay too much into it. It's just I never associated the exploding jar of dead cockroaches thrown at Harry symbolically with Snape's demons until now.

Quote:
But of course we aren't supposed to like Snape in that scene. It's all written to cast him in the worst possible light - comparing his silence to Vernon, and making it seem as if Snape once again wants him to fail. Harry believed the same about Occlumency, but it was the horcrux that rendered Occlumency a failure. Harry (and readers of OotP the first time through) didn't have enough information about Snape to know that his allegiance was to Harry all along.
I do not think Snape quit the Occlumency lessons because he realized that the Horcrux was causing the lessons to fail. It seems to me that Snape threw Harry out of his office and quit Occlumency lessons because he was angry that Harry had seen his memory he had thought safe in the Pensieve.

I don't think Snape had allegiance to Harry then, or ever. I think at the point of the Occlumency lessons that Snape had allegience to his love for Lily first and foremost, and Harry was the thing that Snape used to make himself feel better about her death. Part of his agreement with Dumbledore though was that Harry-- or anyone for that matter-- would never find out about his emotions about Lily. I think Snape was angry about Harry almost finding out, and Snape's terminating the Occlumency lessons had to do with that.

ETA: Forgot something I wanted to comment on!

Quote:
But of course we aren't supposed to like Snape in that scene. It's all written to cast him in the worst possible light - comparing his silence to Vernon, and making it seem as if Snape once again wants him to fail.
Actually, I'm not going to like or dislike Snape for some reactionary reason like that: "We aren't supposed to like Snape" (according to--??), therefore we don't because we can't think for ourselves? Or do like him because we can't think for ourselves and just want to be contrary? No, no, no. I think actions can speak for themselves-- and what Snape does tells me about Snape's personality. Honestly, I hope that goes for anyone analyzing a character.


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Last edited by OldMotherCrow; March 15th, 2012 at 2:39 pm.
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  #492  
Old March 16th, 2012, 4:29 pm
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The one question about Snape I could never answer

Ok, as a hardcore fan of HP ever since the first book came out there has always been one question on my mind that I never could clearly answer.

That question: Was Voldemort and the other Death Eaters aware that Snape betrayed them during the First Wizarding War?

Now I know Voldemort welcomed Snape back during the Second War because Snape was able to shield his mind and convince Voldemort his loyalty was genuine to him as well as being able to give him info on Dumbledore and the Order. However it seems strange that Voldemort would welcome Snape back a second time and view him as a top Death Eater if he knew Snape willingly betrayed him the first time.

One example where it may prove that Voldemort and the Death Eaters were unaware of Snapes betrayal would be Karkaroff's trial where it clearly showed Karkaroff did not know of it. However, it seems unlikely that Voldemort or any other Death Eater would not have learned about that information at some point over the years.


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  #493  
Old March 17th, 2012, 5:28 pm
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Re: The one question about Snape I could never answer

Hi chadsh9, and welcome to CoS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadsh9 View Post
Ok, as a hardcore fan of HP ever since the first book came out there has always been one question on my mind that I never could clearly answer.

That question: Was Voldemort and the other Death Eaters aware that Snape betrayed them during the First Wizarding War?

Now I know Voldemort welcomed Snape back during the Second War because Snape was able to shield his mind and convince Voldemort his loyalty was genuine to him as well as being able to give him info on Dumbledore and the Order. However it seems strange that Voldemort would welcome Snape back a second time and view him as a top Death Eater if he knew Snape willingly betrayed him the first time.

One example where it may prove that Voldemort and the Death Eaters were unaware of Snapes betrayal would be Karkaroff's trial where it clearly showed Karkaroff did not know of it. However, it seems unlikely that Voldemort or any other Death Eater would not have learned about that information at some point over the years.
Voldemort would never have welcomed Snape back had he known about the betrayal. The explanation given for his term at Hogwarts was that he did it so he could spy on DD.(I'm not sure where this has been mentioned, I think he hinted at this in Spinner's End). A lot of DEs, after the First War, claimed to not have been Voldy's suporters and merged back into society, so Snape doing the same would not have seemed suspicious.
And even if LV or the DEs had come to know, he would probably say that he was pretending to be on the Order's side, just to get info.


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  #494  
Old March 17th, 2012, 8:55 pm
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Re: The one question about Snape I could never answer

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Originally Posted by iluvseverus View Post
Voldemort would never have welcomed Snape back had he known about the betrayal. The explanation given for his term at Hogwarts was that he did it so he could spy on DD.(I'm not sure where this has been mentioned, I think he hinted at this in Spinner's End). A lot of DEs, after the First War, claimed to not have been Voldy's suporters and merged back into society, so Snape doing the same would not have seemed suspicious.
And even if LV or the DEs had come to know, he would probably say that he was pretending to be on the Order's side, just to get info.
Yes, Voldemort definitely knew Snape had betrayed him. This is what he told the gathered DEs in the graveyard about the three surviving DEs who hadn't appeared when called:

". . . One, too cowardly to return . . . he will pay. One, who I believe has left me forever . . . he will be killed, of course . . . and one, who remains my most faithful servant, and has already returned to my service."

During Snape's conversation with Bellatrix at Spinner's End (HBP) he confirms that Voldemort thought he'd 'left me forever'. Somehow Snape managed to convince Voldemort that he was still loyal, which he believed to the very end.


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  #495  
Old March 17th, 2012, 9:07 pm
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Re: The one question about Snape I could never answer

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Originally Posted by iluvseverus View Post
Voldemort would never have welcomed Snape back had he known about the betrayal. The explanation given for his term at Hogwarts was that he did it so he could spy on DD.(I'm not sure where this has been mentioned, I think he hinted at this in Spinner's End).
Yes it was Spinners End (Ch 2, HBP)

Quote:
"You ask where I was when the Dark Lord fell. I was where he had ordered me to be, at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, because he wished me to spy upon Albus Dumbledore. You know, I presume, that it was on the Dark Lord's orders that I took up the post?"
So yeah, I think he had a very good cover from the beginning and that's why no one really suspected him (except Bellatrix, because she was so jealous of his position with Voldemort), and no one had a way of finding out about the betrayal because the meeting on the windy hill-top was confidential (and also b/c DD swore not to tell anyone that he loved Lily).

Quote:
Originally Posted by snapes_witch View Post
This is what he told the gathered DEs in the graveyard about the three surviving DEs who hadn't appeared when called:

". . . One, too cowardly to return . . . he will pay. One, who I believe has left me forever . . . he will be killed, of course . . . and one, who remains my most faithful servant, and has already returned to my service."
I forgot about that lol I remember wondering how he could have known that, but I guess maybe Wormtail had told him about what happened in the shack?? Either that or he knew since year 1 because of Quirrell?


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  #496  
Old March 17th, 2012, 9:23 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

I'd say Severus' clear interest in Lily in the first war, the fact that he never looked for Vapormort, his opposition to Quirrel in PS, and the fact that he didn't show up on time for the meeting in GoF were the reasons Voldemort thought Snape had left him. Snape explains these behaviors to Bella in Spinner's End (content with a cushy job, thought Quirrel was a common thief, etc.) and in DH Voldemort says that Snape also explained away his interest in Lily. That Snape had prepared excuses for these behaviors and gives them suggests to me that these were the main concerns held by Voldemort and the DEs and that Snape was well aware that he'd be questioned about it.


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  #497  
Old March 17th, 2012, 9:27 pm
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Re: The one question about Snape I could never answer

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Originally Posted by snapes_witch View Post
Yes, Voldemort definitely knew Snape had betrayed him. This is what he told the gathered DEs in the graveyard about the three surviving DEs who hadn't appeared when called:

". . . One, too cowardly to return . . . he will pay. One, who I believe has left me forever . . . he will be killed, of course . . . and one, who remains my most faithful servant, and has already returned to my service."

During Snape's conversation with Bellatrix at Spinner's End (HBP) he confirms that Voldemort thought he'd 'left me forever'. Somehow Snape managed to convince Voldemort that he was still loyal, which he believed to the very end.
Well that doesnt necessarily mean that Voldemort knew about Snapes original betrayal. I interpret that as meaning that since he found out Snape was working at Hogwarts he thought he abandoned the "old ways". Obviously, his doubtfulness was cleared when Snape did finally return to him.

I guess when first reading I just interpreted that Snape's betrayal of Voldemort was just common knowledge, going back now however it seems that it wasnt.


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  #498  
Old April 1st, 2012, 12:20 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Brought over from the Lily Evans Potter thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mirrormere View Post
I understand how you arrived at your conclusion, but that fact that Snape's nickname for himself was "The Half-Blood Prince" still leads me to think he never really believed in blood supremacy.
I actually believe to the contrary. We know that "Prince" is a play on his mom's maiden name - the witch mother through whom he received his magic. He is intentionally emphasizing his magical origins here. And "Half-Blood" functions, IMO, to highlight the magical half of his parentage rather than the Muggle half. We know that Snape hates and is ashamed of his father and his Muggle origins. It is in the magic present in his maternal family that Snape takes pride.

Plus, we are shown instances during his childhood and teenage years that show that he indeed believed in blood supremacy. Every time he puts down (or attempts to put down) Petunia in front of Lily, his reason is that Petunia is just a Muggle. His initial attraction to Lily is because of the fact that she is a witch. He finds pleasure in "introducing" her to this magical world he himself believes is superior and more exciting than the Muggle world Lily is currently accustomed to. Now, I know, as an adult, he tells Phineas Nigellus not to mention the word "Mudblood" in front of him, but that, IMO, is because it's the word that took Lily away from him and not because of the bigotry it actually represents in society.

JMO.


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  #499  
Old April 1st, 2012, 1:01 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by StarryVeil View Post
I actually believe to the contrary. We know that "Prince" is a play on his mom's maiden name - the witch mother through whom he received his magic. He is intentionally emphasizing his magical origins here. And "Half-Blood" functions, IMO, to highlight the magical half of his parentage rather than the Muggle half.
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Originally Posted by merrymarge View Post
Harry didn't realise it when he mentioned the "Prince couldn't have been a budding DE because he called himself Half-Blood." It isn't until the end of the book that he finds out that Snape was the "Prince".
The above quote is from the Read-a-thon HBP thread. IMHO, the very fact that Snape even used "half-blood" in his nickname suggests to me - and i think Harry as well -that the person who would select such a name isn't a Pure Blood Supremacist, because he'd not want that label to refer to himself.

Quote:
We know that Snape hates and is ashamed of his father and his Muggle origins. It is in the magic present in his maternal family that Snape takes pride.
Could you please show me where in canon it says that Snape hates his father and is ashamed of his muggle origins? We do see his father yelling at his mother, and his mother appears to be afraid, but isn't it also possible that he doesn't respect his mother for never standing up to Tobias? I also see Severus as having been neglected to an extent, based on his mismatched clothes. This could also perhaps be due to indifference on Eileen's part, or maybe her focus was elsewhere. Neither strike me personally as particularly good parents.

Quote:
Plus, we are shown instances during his childhood and teenage years that show that he indeed believed in blood supremacy. Every time he puts down (or attempts to put down) Petunia in front of Lily, his reason is that Petunia is just a Muggle. His initial attraction to Lily is because of the fact that she is a witch. He finds pleasure in "introducing" her to this magical world he himself believes is superior and more exciting than the Muggle world Lily is currently accustomed to. Now, I know, as an adult, he tells Phineas Nigellus not to mention the word "Mudblood" in front of him, but that, IMO, is because it's the word that took Lily away from him and not because of the bigotry it actually represents in society.
IMHO, Severus would have dropped Lily the very moment they entered Hogwarts if he had an issue with her muggleborn background. He had been sorted into Slytherin, and the first person who greeted him when he was sorted into the house was Prefect Lucius Malfoy. Instead, Severus chose to call Lily his best friend, despite the opinions of some of the students in his own house. I can't see someone who believed in Pure Blood Supremacy doing that. Granted, i do think he saw the ability to do magic as being superior to not being able to do magic, and I believe this is also a common opinion in the wizarding world.


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Old April 1st, 2012, 1:32 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

I think the nickname "Half-Blood Prince" becomes kind of complicated and confusing if it's associated with the issue of blood.

From the standpoint that the name serves to highlight his magical heritage, the word "Half-Blood" is a stumbling block: even if one side is half magical, there's inherently a half-muggle part to it too. Bellatrix is horrified and insulted when Harry tells her that Voldemort is a half-blood, suggesting that "half-blood" is not a quality a blood supremacist would shout from the rooftops. "I'm in a group only slightly accepted by the Death Eaters and I'm proud!" seems to fall a little flat.

On the other hand, if the name exists to boast of his muggle or half-blood status, that falls apart as well. First, he idenitifes as a Prince, a member of a family that fandom generally considers pureblooded or close to it. Second, he is given quite a lot of reason to dislike Muggles. Tobias isn't outrightly called an abuser, but I think it's heavily implied by the brief memory we see and little Sev's attitude when he and Lily discuss his household that Tobias is not a loving father to his son. The logical consequence of that (and of potential run-ins with muggle kids) is that he exhibits a dislike or disinterest in Muggles at the age of about 9 which develops into his teen years as he continues bunking with the wrong crowd.

"Half-Blood Prince" seems to me a name containing two opposites...hence all the disagreement. But I think that these opposites present what I think is a much more likely third option. It's like calling oneself "The stripeless tiger" or "The black dove." He associates himself a socially-accepted group (the Princes) and then uses the adjective "Half-blood" to give himself a unique twist on it. IMHO, it's not a proclamation of what side he is on in the debate over blood, but a way he can set himself up as a unique and important individual: "There's only one half-blood in this family, and I am it!"


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