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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6



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  #1281  
Old February 11th, 2014, 12:37 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by CathyWeasley View Post
Firstly I think given what Snape was going to have to do - kill Dumbledore and then become Voldemort's right hand man, he must have been afraid whether it is mentioned or not. Secondly there is no mention of resentment either.
I think Snape was already Voldemort's "Number 2" at the time they had that conversation. If I remember it rightly, when Dumbledore asked Snape to find out what Draco was trying to do and he added that Draco "likes you," Snape replied " - much less since his father has lost favor. Draco blames me, he thinks I have usurped Lucius's position." (DH, p.682)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy
If anything Snape sounds upset that Dumbledore doesn't appear to trust him as much as he trusts Harry. Given what Snape has already done (protected Harry; resumed spying on Voldemort for Dumbledore) I can understand him feeling peeved at this. But Dumbledore explains that it is not a matter of trust - that he doesn't want to give Snape secrets because his spying role could compromise the safety of those secrets. What Snape does is explain why telling Potter could also compromise those secrets. Given what he is currently doing and has agreed to do I think he is quite justified in getting angry with Dumbledore for not telling him "everything" As he sees it he deserves and possibly even needs to know. Of course he is wrong and it is best that he doesn't know, but I can understand why Snape on the brink of going deep undercover would want to know everything.
To me, this speaks of rank jealousy. Period. Although I do have a bit of sympathy I'll have to discuss later. I'm off for a meeting.

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Originally Posted by CathyWeasley View Post
Re: CoS

Firstly the worry is expressed in his actions. He goes to look for Harry. A parent going to look for their missing child is expressing concern and worry.
In my opinion, this could be read exactly as Harry read it after Draco broke Harry's nose in HBP:

HBP, Snape Victorious, p. 161He knew that Snape had come to fetch him just for this, for the few minutes when he could needle and torment Harry without anyone else listening.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy
Secondly Snape knew that Harry was the Chosen One and that Dumbledore was aware that Harry was the Chose One.

As such it must have been obvious to Snape that Dumbleore was never going to expel Harry. No matter what Harry did, he had to be prepared to face Voldemort (both Dumbledore and Snape knew he would return). So if Snape knew Dumbledore would never expel Harry why threaten him? Because that is what Snape does! (Light bulb moment: That is what he is doing to Dumbledore when he suggests that he has changed his mind)
Just to be clear I don't think this is a good thing! It's not a good thing to threaten people, but time again Snape makes threats that he would and could never carry out.
I can't think of a time when Dumbledore shared that information with Snape. As for the rest of what "Snape does," in my opinion, Trelawney had it right when she referred to Snape as a "pushing, thrusting young man who was prepared to listen at keyholes." That would also be consistent with Sirius' take that Snape was always "Sneaking around, trying to find out what we were up to... hoping he could get us expelled." And Lily, too, for that matter:

DH, The Prince's Tale, p. 673-674"What about the stuff Potter and his mates get up to?" demanded Snape. His color rose as he said it, unable, it seemed to hold in his resentment.

"What's Potter got to do with anything?" said Lily.

"They sneak out at night. There's something weird about that Lupin. Where does he keep going?"

"He's ill," said Lily. "They say he's ill - "

"Every month at the full moon?"

"I know your theory," said Lily, and she sounded cold. "Why are you so obsessed with them anyway? Why do you care what they're doing at night?"

"I'm just trying to show you they're not as wonderful as everyone seems to think they are." [...]

"You went sneaking down that tunnel by the Whomping Willow, and James Potter saved you from whatever's down there - "


Don't you think it's possible that Snape was tracking Harry just as closely as he'd tracked James, Sirius, Pettigrew and Lupin - and that he was doing it out of malice rather than concern?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy
Re:PoA

Snape certainly didn't think that employing Lupin was a good idea. I think the main reason for this was his close call with Lupin when he was a student. That would certainly have made him particularly afraid of werewolves and particularly unconvinced that any precautions would be enough to safeguard the students.
I think it's likely that Snape already suspected that Lupin was a werewolf when he entered that tunnel. His remark - "Every month at the full moon?" - leads me to believe he knew or suspected it beforehand.

Quote:
Snape also believed that Lupin, regardless of his lycanthropy, was not a trustworthy person. Snape believed that he was actually helping Black to kill Harry. He was wrong about this; but not completely because Lupin was witholding information about Black being an animagus.
So yeah Snape didn't think hiring Lupin was a good idea.
I don't think Snape found out that Sirius was an animagus until the end of GoF when Dumbledore said "And now it is time for two of our number to recognize each other for what they are. Sirius... if you could resume your usual form."

Based on that passage, I don't think Snape could have known in PoA. You're right when you say Lupin was withholding that information from Dumbledore, though, whether Snape knew that bit or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy
In the shack Lupin and Black thought Snape was angry because of what happened when they were at school, but they did not know the depth of Snape's feelings for Lily. They did not know that Snape loved her, only that Lily and Snape had been friends when they came to Hogwarts. In "The Prince's Tale," which is the exposition of Severus, there are only two (I think) interactions between Snape and the marauders whereas there are many which focus on Lily and Snape's relationship with her.
I don't know, Cathy... Snape confirms the reason for his hatred in PoA:

PoA, Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs, p.357"So that's why Snape doesn't like you," said Harry slowly, "because he thought you were in on the joke?"

"That's right," sneered a cold voice from the wall behind Lupin.

Severus Snape was pulling off the Invisibility Cloak, his wand pointing directly at Lupin.


You're absolutely right in that The Prince's Tale focuses almost exclusively on Snape's love for Lily - something that none of the Marauders seemed to have picked up on during their time with Snape at Hogwarts. I've never found that particular plot device to be believable, and figure that James knew Snape's passion just as surely as Snape knew his. As smart as James and Sirius were described as being, it's a real stretch.


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  #1282  
Old February 12th, 2014, 12:21 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I think Snape was already Voldemort's "Number 2" at the time they had that conversation. If I remember it rightly, when Dumbledore asked Snape to find out what Draco was trying to do and he added that Draco "likes you," Snape replied " - much less since his father has lost favor. Draco blames me, he thinks I have usurped Lucius's position." (DH, p.682)
Hm, I think Bellatrix and Lucius were tied for "Number 2", having both been given Horcruxes to guard at one point, but I think since even Bellatrix deferred to Snape at the end of HBP, he was probably already Voldemort's "Number 2", by the point of the conversation in question, so I agree.

Snape would still need to maintain his position, and I think it's reasonable to assume that a spy is going to want as much information as possible to better do their job. I think Snape had resentment and jealousy going on, too, but I think it was a mixture of both practical concerns and jealousy, that motivated him.

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I can't think of a time when Dumbledore shared that information [about Harry being the Chosen One] with Snape.
Snape was the one who overheard the Prophecy, brought it to Voldemort, and told Dumbledore that Voldemort believed the Chosen One to be Harry. And after Lily and James were killed, Dumbledore said to Snape (in TPT) "The Dark Lord will return, and Harry Potter will be in terrible danger when he does." So, Snape knew that Dumbledore considered Harry to still be in danger from Voldemort, as the Chosen One, so I think it reasonable to assume that Snape knew that Dumbledore wasn't going to expel Harry.

Plus, Snape seemed pretty chill, for him, considering the level of infraction and the involvement of Harry, in CoS, IMO, so I think he wasn't in denial here and did keep in mind that Harry wouldn't and couldn't be expelled, although I think Snape would have liked to be able to expel Harry and just protect his life from afar, and I think he was bummed to see the threat of expulsion swept under the rug so swiftly and that Dumbledore and McGonagall didn't rip into Ron and Harry more (hence the pouting).


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I prefer Severus/Lily in an AU, in a world where Snape makes better choices before it's too late, and they stay together forever. I support canon, I just want this parallel AU with Lily not losing her childhood friend and being hurt by that, and with Snape not screwing up his most important relationship and just generally wrecking his life, and with the friendship "upgrade" that certainly could have happened had Snape dialed down the awful choicemaking.
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  #1283  
Old February 12th, 2014, 1:41 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by sailorlum View Post
Snape was the one who overheard the Prophecy, brought it to Voldemort, and told Dumbledore that Voldemort believed the Chosen One to be Harry. And after Lily and James were killed, Dumbledore said to Snape (in TPT) "The Dark Lord will return, and Harry Potter will be in terrible danger when he does." So, Snape knew that Dumbledore considered Harry to still be in danger from Voldemort, as the Chosen One, so I think it reasonable to assume that Snape knew that Dumbledore wasn't going to expel Harry.

Plus, Snape seemed pretty chill, for him, considering the level of infraction and the involvement of Harry, in CoS, IMO, so I think he wasn't in denial here and did keep in mind that Harry wouldn't and couldn't be expelled, although I think Snape would have liked to be able to expel Harry and just protect his life from afar, and I think he was bummed to see the threat of expulsion swept under the rug so swiftly and that Dumbledore and McGonagall didn't rip into Ron and Harry more (hence the pouting).
But then why did he attempt to get them expelled after the flying car incident? His words are certainly clear enough: "Most unfortunately, you are not in my House and the decision to expel you does not rest with me. I shall go and fetch the people who do have that happy power."

Dumbledore also told the boys, in Snape's presence, that if they ever did anything like that again he would have "no choice but to expel you."

Moreover, Dumbledore told Harry in HBP that "There are only two people in the whole world who know the full contents of the prophecy made about you and Voldemort, and they are both standing in this smelly, spidery broom shed." Snape never learned the full contents of the prophecy.

Dumbledore did tell him that Harry was a horcrux - without saying a single word about the other horcruxes - and he left him with the idea that Harry had to die, saying nothing about Harry's possible survival as the Chosen One. I think that's why Snape was so bummed after that conversation - "I have spied for you and lied for you, put myself in mortal danger for you. Everything was supposed to keep Lily Potter's son safe. Now you tell me you have been raising him like a pig for slaughter."

I don't know, SL. I guess it all comes down to individual interpretation of the written word, but I just can't see Snape the way you, Cathy, and some of the others see him. I remain troubled by Dumbledore's triangulation throughout the series, though, especially where Snape was concerned. And yet I understand his decision not to tell Snape more than he did. At least a little.


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  #1284  
Old February 12th, 2014, 7:21 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

@Snape wanting to expel Harry and Ron: Dumbledore says that this was a pretty serious offense and if the boys tried a stunt like this one more time, they would be expelled. Perhaps in Hogwarts this was an offense that was punishable by either suspension or expulsion. Since it was Harry, maybe he was given another chance by Dumbldore. If that was the case as it looks to be, then Snape IMO was right to suggest that what the boys had done was something that should be punished by expelling them.

Though, I do think Snape knew Harry would never be expelled, it would be dangerous, but I think he wanted to impress on Harry that he could not be so careless in his actions. They were already seen by Muggles, they could have had an accident had they crashed the car, if the car had suddenly stopped working it would have been horrifying and they did do damage to Hogwarts property, the whomping willow.


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  #1285  
Old February 12th, 2014, 9:56 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
@Snape wanting to expel Harry and Ron: Dumbledore says that this was a pretty serious offense and if the boys tried a stunt like this one more time, they would be expelled. Perhaps in Hogwarts this was an offense that was punishable by either suspension or expulsion.
Seeing as there wasn't any threat to their lives directly causing the incident, I daresay it was an offense punishable by Wizengamot too. International Statute of Secrecy, and all that...

Or was there an addendum Snape was unaware of, granting special ministerial license to second-year Gryffindors in need of a ride?


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Old February 12th, 2014, 10:55 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Seeing as there wasn't any threat to their lives directly causing the incident, I daresay it was an offense punishable by Wizengamot too. International Statute of Secrecy, and all that...
I'd say they got off lightly, considering. It was in the Daily Prophet, so I guess Dumbledore had to do some troubleshooting in the Ministry, before it all died down.


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  #1287  
Old February 12th, 2014, 6:20 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
@Snape wanting to expel Harry and Ron: Dumbledore says that this was a pretty serious offense and if the boys tried a stunt like this one more time, they would be expelled. Perhaps in Hogwarts this was an offense that was punishable by either suspension or expulsion. Since it was Harry, maybe he was given another chance by Dumbldore. If that was the case as it looks to be, then Snape IMO was right to suggest that what the boys had done was something that should be punished by expelling them.
Snape was not happy when Dumbledore told the boys they would not be expelled, though. He actually tried to make a case that Dumbledore should reverse his decision before the headmaster ushered him out of the room.

There were other incidents in which Snape threatened Harry with expulsion throughout the series. He told Bellatrix and Narcissa he had done his done his best to have Harry kicked out:

HBP, Spinner's End, p.31[i] have done my utmost to have him thrown out of Hogwarts, where I believe he scarcely belongs... "


I've never taken that one as seriously as the others, however, because of who he was talking to.


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  #1288  
Old February 13th, 2014, 12:27 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by sailorlum View Post
Based on the following quote by JKR, I think Snape had some last minute epiphanies, and "finally saw Lily in Harry" as purplehawk said here, when Snape made some peace with Harry.
I agree with this.I think when Snape was dying, it was the first time he understood what Dumbledore meant when he told him Harry was alot like Lily. Here, Snape was dying and feeling at his most vulnerable, and yet, despite how he had treated Harry in the past, Harry goes up to him and looks at him with compassion, which I think reminded him of Lily. I think that's why Snape gave harry those memories of Lily, and when he also showed him how he had seen Harry as being just like James, he was, in an indirect sense, apologizing, because in that moment he saw Lily in Harry.

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
But then why did he attempt to get them expelled after the flying car incident? His words are certainly clear enough: "Most unfortunately, you are not in my House and the decision to expel you does not rest with me. I shall go and fetch the people who do have that happy power."
I think Snape enjoys needling people he doesn't like, and making threats he has no intentions of carrying out.

When Snape suspected Harry wasn't giving them the full information concerning petrified Mrs. Norris (and Harry wasn't - he left out the voice he heard), Snape threatened to take away Quiddich until he was forth coming. If McGonagall had not immediately complained, his threat may have scared Harry into telling everything he knew. Also, Dumbledore wanted Harry to learn to trust him so he could "win the war and not just this battle" so DD overruled Snape.

Snape told Neville he was going to give Trevor the toad the potion Neville made, even though he thought Harry would help Neville (he was wrong, and it was Hermione who did) and Snape could tell at a glance if the potion was made correctly. He also most likely carried the antidote. Trevor was safe, I think, but Neville didn't know that.

He threatened to turn Sirius over to the Dementors, but when the opportunity came for him to do so, he instead conjured stretchers and took him and Harry back to the castle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
You're absolutely right in that The Prince's Tale focuses almost exclusively on Snape's love for Lily - something that none of the Marauders seemed to have picked up on during their time with Snape at Hogwarts. I've never found that particular plot device to be believable, and figure that James knew Snape's passion just as surely as Snape knew his. As smart as James and Sirius were described as being, it's a real stretch.
I've always thought James knew Snape had romantic feelings for Lily, and the two guys saw each other as rivals. Sirius and Lupin, not being interested in Lily themselves, didn't pay that much attention.

All my own opinion.

ETA

From the Dumbledore thread:

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Originally Posted by meesha1971 View Post

Exactly. I think Dumbledore understood that Snape didn't feel guilty about telling Voldemort about the prophecy. Snape felt that was his job and whatever Voldemort chose to do with that information was not his responsibility. Snape never blamed himself for what happened to Lily. He blamed Voldemort, Dumbledore, the Marauders, and even Harry for being born, but never himself. Dumbledore knew that Snape was angry because Voldemort betrayed him by killing Lily after promising that he would not. He also understood that Snape blamed him - and others - for not protecting Lily, but was willing to help him bring down Voldemort to get his revenge because Voldemort's betrayal was the bigger crime for Snape. Dumbledore took advantage of that - and that worked out to Harry's benefit in the end.
I disagree. I think Snape's focus was on Lily, and he blamed himself for giving Voldemort that prophecy. He went to Dumbledore and promised he'd do "anything" to keep Lily safe - this happened before she was murdered. Dumbledore could have killed Snape for being a spy, but Snape was willing to risk his life in the chance that Dumbledore could protect her. After she was killed, I think Snape stayed around to protect Lily's son. When Snape found out much later that Harry had to die, he appeared very upset about it, and I think that's when his focus shifted to bringing down Voldemort.


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Last edited by MerryLore; February 13th, 2014 at 12:51 am. Reason: responded to Meesha
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  #1289  
Old February 13th, 2014, 1:04 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
I agree with this.I think when Snape was dying, it was the first time he understood what Dumbledore meant when he told him Harry was alot like Lily. Here, Snape was dying and feeling at his most vulnerable, and yet, despite how he had treated Harry in the past, Harry goes up to him and looks at him with compassion, which I think reminded him of Lily. I think that's why Snape gave harry those memories of Lily, and when he also showed him how he had seen Harry as being just like James, he was, in an indirect sense, apologizing, because in that moment he saw Lily in Harry.
That is entirely possible. That was the thing I ran out and didn't say when I posted yesterday.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Merry
I think Snape enjoys needling people he doesn't like, and making threats he has no intentions of carrying out.
No intentions? But where does Jo ever tell us that? In my opinion, Snape never once acted as though he was just "needling" Harry for the fun of it, or because he had some greater purpose that would help Harry, or that he didn't want the kid kicked out of school.


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  #1290  
Old February 13th, 2014, 1:26 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
No intentions? But where does Jo ever tell us that? In my opinion, Snape never once acted as though he was just "needling" Harry for the fun of it, or because he had some greater purpose that would help Harry, or that he didn't want the kid kicked out of school.
Jo? Are you referring to an interview?

I don't believe he ever did it to "help Harry out." In the Mrs Norris incident, he knew Harry was withholding information and was trying to needle him to get that information. Another incident I didn't mention was in GoF, when Snape upset Hermione by reading the newspaper article in front of the class in order to upset her and Harry, and after he did that, he moved Harry to the front of his desk and began needling him, hoping to get Harry to confess he was stealing potions ingredients again. I also don't believe he wanted Harry kicked out, because he had agreed to protect Harry for Lily, and Harry's being at Hogwarts made his job easier. I think he was needling him then because he thought Harry taking that car and showing up in it was a sign that Harry was seeking fame, which reminded Snape of James.

All my own opinion.


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  #1291  
Old February 13th, 2014, 1:32 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
Jo? Are you referring to an interview?

I don't believe he ever did it to "help Harry out." In the Mrs Norris incident, he knew Harry was withholding information and was trying to needle him to get that information. Another incident I didn't mention was in GoF, when Snape upset Hermione by reading the newspaper article in front of the class in order to upset her and Harry, and after he did that, he moved Harry to the front of his desk and began needling him, hoping to get Harry to confess he was stealing potions ingredients again. I also don't believe he wanted Harry kicked out, because he had agreed to protect Harry for Lily, and Harry's being at Hogwarts made his job easier. I think he was needling him then because he thought Harry taking that car and showing up in it was a sign that Harry was seeking fame, which reminded Snape of James.

All my own opinion.
No, not an interview. I'm referring to what's written on the pages of the seven books. She tells us enough about the characters for us to "get to know them" on paper, to care about them, and to immerse ourselves in their lives. What you've said here is just not mentioned in the books, or at least in my opinion they're not. I can't get to where you are with this character. Call it Granny Brain if you like.


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  #1292  
Old February 13th, 2014, 1:42 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
No, not an interview. I'm referring to what's written on the pages of the seven books. She tells us enough about the characters for us to "get to know them" on paper, to care about them, and to immerse ourselves in their lives. What you've said here is just not mentioned in the books, or at least in my opinion they're not. I can't get to where you are with this character. Call it Granny Brain if you like.
LOL

Ok, in my opinion, here's an example of Snape needling someone he doesn't like simply because he enjoys it, except the other person this time needles back My granny brain doesn't remember how to do fieldset, so I'm posting it directly. It's from OotP, Chapter 24, Occlumancy.

Quote:
Snape looked around at him, his face framed between curtains of greasy black hair.
“Sit down, Potter.”
“You know,” said Sirius loudly, leaning back on his rear chair legs and speaking to the ceiling, “I think I’d prefer it if you didn’t give orders here, Snape. It’s my house, you see.”
An ugly flush suffused Snape’s pallid face. Harry sat down in a chair beside Sirius, facing Snape across the table.
“I was supposed to see you alone, Potter,” said Snape, the familiar sneer curling his mouth, “but Black —”
“I’m his godfather,” said Sirius, louder than ever.
“I am here on Dumbledore’s orders,” said Snape, whose voice, by contrast, was becoming more and more quietly waspish, “but by all means stay, Black, I know you like to feel … involved.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” said Sirius, letting his chair fall back onto all four legs with a loud bang.
“Merely that I am sure you must feel — ah — frustrated by the fact that you can do nothing useful,” Snape laid a delicate stress on the word, “for the Order.”
It was Sirius’s turn to flush. Snape’s lip curled in triumph as he turned to Harry.


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  #1293  
Old February 13th, 2014, 2:03 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
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Originally Posted by MerryLore
I think Snape enjoys needling people he doesn't like, and making threats he has no intentions of carrying out.
No intentions? But where does Jo ever tell us that? In my opinion, Snape never once acted as though he was just "needling" Harry for the fun of it, or because he had some greater purpose that would help Harry, or that he didn't want the kid kicked out of school.
I don't think Rowling ever said it, but as MerryLore points out, Snape makes threats all the time (ETA: well, not all the time, but it does happen) that he doesn't follow through on, and although one could attribute that to just not having the opportunity, I personally find that unlikely. In my mind, it's the most economical explanation, that his bark was simply worse than his bite—and he (Snape himself) knew it.

There's a lot of room between not intending to follow through, incidentally, and making threats only "for the fun of it." I don't think he made those threats for the fun of it; I think he was genuinely angry and/or frustrated with Harry in a "if I have to look at his wishy-washy, James Potter-looking, Chosen Boy-acting face anymore, I'm going to lose it" sort of way. He knew, for instance, that he couldn't have Harry and Ron expelled after the flying-car incident, so why bother saying he would have done it if he could? It's his way of venting, giving voice to his "road rage"—err, "wizard rage."

Speaking of the flying-car incident, by the way, I think that's in there only because it's an early book, and Rowling was still writing in a somewhat whimsical, Roald Dahl children's book kind of style, rather unlike the more straightforward style she employs from about GoF onward (for the most part—she does relapse once in a while). I think if she were to rewrite CoS entirely, she would have had them do something a bit less drastic. But (to be sure, as always) that's just my opinion.


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  #1294  
Old February 13th, 2014, 2:46 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
LOL

Ok, in my opinion, here's an example of Snape needling someone he doesn't like simply because he enjoys it, except the other person this time needles back My granny brain doesn't remember how to do fieldset, so I'm posting it directly. It's from OotP, Chapter 24, Occlumancy.
That scene in the kitchen took me straight back to the Shrieking Shack, as in Snape's behavior in the Shrieking Shack. I didn't like him much before PoA, Merry, but I loathed him after reading it. I saw no growth in him until the late in DH: getting the sword in the little pond; sending Phinias to keep tabs on the trio; trying to get McGonagall to tell him where Harry was; and then the terrible scene between him and Voldemort in, of all places, the Shrieking Shack. Well I was touched by a lot of what he shared with Harry in the Prince's Tale, too.

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Originally Posted by BrianTung View Post
IThere's a lot of room between not intending to follow through, incidentally, and making threats only "for the fun of it." I don't think he made those threats for the fun of it; I think he was genuinely angry and/or frustrated with Harry in a "if I have to look at his wishy-washy, James Potter-looking, Chosen Boy-acting face anymore, I'm going to lose it" sort of way. He knew, for instance, that he couldn't have Harry and Ron expelled after the flying-car incident, so why bother saying he would have done it if he could? It's his way of venting, giving voice to his "road rage"—err, "wizard rage."
I can relate to all of this ^.


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  #1295  
Old February 13th, 2014, 3:30 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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I don't think Rowling ever said it, but as MerryLore points out, Snape makes threats all the time (ETA: well, not all the time, but it does happen) that he doesn't follow through on, and although one could attribute that to just not having the opportunity, I personally find that unlikely. In my mind, it's the most economical explanation, that his bark was simply worse than his bite—and he (Snape himself) knew it.
But he kept pushing it until he was shut down by Dumbledore, the one person he'd listen to. I can't recall any evidence to suggest Snape was just trying to scare Harry straight or anything, because behind the scenes he whined about Harry to Dumbledore. I never got the impression Snape was just threatening without intending to follow through--he always was shown to be incredibly angry when he didn't get the opportunity to punish Harry like he wished (which was often expulsion).

Not once did he ever back down from punishing someone the way he wanted to, unless stopped by an outside force. He wanted to poison Neville's toad; when he found out that Hermione had helped Neville correct his potion, he got angry and punished them for it. He was under the impression, as he was feeding the potion to Trevor, that it would poison him. His reaction suggests he had no idea it would be harmless, and it annoyed him that it was.

Quote:
He knew, for instance, that he couldn't have Harry and Ron expelled after the flying-car incident, so why bother saying he would have done it if he could? It's his way of venting, giving voice to his "road rage"—err, "wizard rage."
I don't follow. Why would he bother saying that if he couldn't? If he knew there was no way he could get them expelled, but he angrily threatened to do it, he'd just come off as lacking power over them, and it'd just make them feel like they were saved by McGonagall/Dumbledore. If he was just looking to impose fear of punishment upon them, he would've used a plausible threat that he could fully carry out to his desires.


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  #1296  
Old February 13th, 2014, 11:16 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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But then why did he attempt to get them expelled after the flying car incident? His words are certainly clear enough: "Most unfortunately, you are not in my House and the decision to expel you does not rest with me. I shall go and fetch the people who do have that happy power."

Dumbledore also told the boys, in Snape's presence, that if they ever did anything like that again he would have "no choice but to expel you."
I think both Snape and Dumbledore were bluffing, since Harry has been involved in many expulsion worthy events and yet not expelled, and since Snape didn't even threaten to expel Harry after what happened in the Shack in in PoA, nor after Harry hit Draco with Sectumsempra in HBP, nor at any time when Umbridge was in power, which would have been a golden opportunity to expel Harry since Umbridge wanted that and was in charge - Snape even foiled Umbridge by giving her fake Veritaserum for her interrogation of Harry.

Now, unlike with Dumbledore, who I think was threatening possible future expulsion just for Harry and Ron's own good and the good of the community (and who I also think was not wanting to have to deal with increasing pressure to expel Harry, since I don't think Dumbledore felt he could expel Harry and have Harry become who he needed to become in order to be willing to sacrifice himself to Voldemort), I think Snape wanted to threaten Harry with expulsion primarily to scare him in a spiteful manner, since Snape didn't seem to think much of Harry's ability to become a good person or a great wizard, IMO, and yet he thought Harry was safest from being killed at Hogwarts, so he didn't really intend to have him expelled, even though he'd have liked to, otherwise, IMO. I think Snape may have really believed it was Harry's friends (and luck) that was keeping him alive when he said to Bellatrix in HBP "He has fought his way out of a number of tight corners by a simple combination of sheer luck and more talented friends" and Harry's more talented friends are at Hogwarts, hence, if they are the reason Harry has managed to stay alive, better he be at Hogwarts with them.

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Moreover, Dumbledore told Harry in HBP that "There are only two people in the whole world who know the full contents of the prophecy made about you and Voldemort, and they are both standing in this smelly, spidery broom shed." Snape never learned the full contents of the prophecy.

Dumbledore did tell him that Harry was a horcrux - without saying a single word about the other horcruxes - and he left him with the idea that Harry had to die, saying nothing about Harry's possible survival as the Chosen One. I think that's why Snape was so bummed after that conversation - "I have spied for you and lied for you, put myself in mortal danger for you. Everything was supposed to keep Lily Potter's son safe. Now you tell me you have been raising him like a pig for slaughter."
Snape had heard the part of the prophecy that said, "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches...born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies", so he knew that there was a Chosen One in that sense, and that Voldemort believed Harry to be that Chosen One and wanted him dead, and if Snape believed that Hogwarts was a safer place for Harry to be than anywhere else, that's all he'd need to know to not really want to expel Harry from Hogwarts, IMO. And even from this piece of prophecy, I think Snape could figure that Dumbledore wanted Harry trained up so that Harry would fulfill the prophecy by vanquishing the Dark Lord, although I don't think Snape thought Harry was ever going to be up to the task.

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I don't know, SL. I guess it all comes down to individual interpretation of the written word, but I just can't see Snape the way you, Cathy, and some of the others see him. I remain troubled by Dumbledore's triangulation throughout the series, though, especially where Snape was concerned. And yet I understand his decision not to tell Snape more than he did. At least a little.
Well, I don't really see Snape the same way Cathy sees him, either, since I see Snape as being more vindictive than she does, from what I gather (see my responses to her here). I figure that I'm somewhere in between Cathy and you, on the Snape good/bad spectrum. (And I've yet to meet anyone who shares my exact interp of Snape, in every detail.)

I think that individual interpretation of the written word definitely plays a part in the differing opinions, and also intuitions and life experiences and book learnings and philosophies and feelings and choices, and the only thing I've found everyone has in common, who likes or dislikes Snape, is that they like or dislike Snape.

Regarding Dumbledore, I understand why he didn't want to tell Snape everything, since if Snape's cover got blown and Snape was interrogated and broken by Voldemort, then the more Snape knew, the more of a disaster that would be, and Snape was only human, as good as he was at Occlumency and keeping his cover. At the same time, the more Snape knows, the more he might be able to help the cause. I think it was a tricky balancing act, for Dumbledore, although I do think there are times that Dumbledore definitely took his caution with secrecy too far, and there are definitely some things that it would have been better to share with Snape (like the Elder Wand plan), IMO. I think it was fine that Dumbledore kept the existence of other Horcruxes a secret, though, since Harry and the Trio were working on that, and Snape had a lot on his plate already.

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
Snape was not happy when Dumbledore told the boys they would not be expelled, though. He actually tried to make a case that Dumbledore should reverse his decision before the headmaster ushered him out of the room.
The way I read it, Snape was only definitely making a case that they should have a harsher punishment than having letters written to their families and being threatened with expulsion if it ever happened again, since he was cut off before he could finish his sentence, although I think it appears that he really wants them expelled at the time of CoS, and it's only in hindsight, knowing what happened in all the other books, that I think Snape didn't really intend to have Harry expelled.

Quote:
“Well, you’re expelling us, aren’t you?” said Ron.

Harry looked quickly at Dumbledore.

“Not today, Mr. Weasley,” said Dumbledore. “But I must impress upon both of you the seriousness of what you have done. I will be writing to both your families tonight. I must also warn you that if you do anything like this again, I will have no choice but to expel you.”

Snape looked as though Christmas had been canceled. He cleared his throat and said, “Professor Dumbledore, these boys have flouted the Decree for the Restriction of Underage Wizardry, caused serious damage to an old and valuable tree — surely acts of this nature —”

“It will be for Professor McGonagall to decide on these boys’ punishments, Severus,” said Dumbledore calmly. “They are in her House and are therefore her responsibility.”

Rowling, J.K. (2012-03-27). Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) (pp. 81-82). Pottermore Limited. Kindle Edition.
Because I think Snape was bluffing about really intending to expel Harry, for the reasons I've already stated, I think Snape was hoping for suspension or some kind of grueling detention or a bigger tongue lashing from Dumbledore and McGonagall or something, and was pouting because none of those things were happening. Although I'm sure Snape would have liked to expel Harry, I think he figured that wasn't really an option, for the reasons I've stated previously.

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
There were other incidents in which Snape threatened Harry with expulsion throughout the series. He told Bellatrix and Narcissa he had done his done his best to have Harry kicked out:

HBP, Spinner's End, p.31[i] have done my utmost to have him thrown out of Hogwarts, where I believe he scarcely belongs... "


I've never taken that one as seriously as the others, however, because of who he was talking to.
I think Snape was lying about seriously trying to have Harry thrown out (although I think he was telling the truth about feeling that Harry wasn't worthy of Hogwarts). And like you said, since it's Bellatrix he's talking to, that creates some doubt about how much truth he's telling.

And while Snape had threatened Harry with expulsion in PS/SS with, "Be warned, Potter — any more nighttime wanderings and I will personally make sure you are expelled," I think that was a bluff since Harry had loads of nighttime wanderings after that throughout the books, and had been caught by Snape at least one of those times (in PoA at the Shack), and Snape didn't even threaten to expel him when caught, then.

Really, the only two times I can remember Snape actually threatening (or implying that he was threatening) expulsion are the above in PS/SS and the car incident in CoS. And I've just done a search of all the books using my Kindle app and those are the only two times I've found. I think Snape gave up threatening Harry and crew with expulsion after CoS.

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I'd say they got off lightly, considering. It was in the Daily Prophet, so I guess Dumbledore had to do some troubleshooting in the Ministry, before it all died down.
I wouldn't be surprised if Dumbledore had a chat with Fudge about it, or something, although I got the impression that the Ministry was putting most of the blame on Arthur for not keeping better watch on the car and the kids, since the kids were still pretty young.

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Originally Posted by LilyDreamsOn View Post
...I never got the impression Snape was just threatening without intending to follow through--he always was shown to be incredibly angry when he didn't get the opportunity to punish Harry like he wished (which was often expulsion).

Not once did he ever back down from punishing someone the way he wanted to, unless stopped by an outside force. He wanted to poison Neville's toad; when he found out that Hermione had helped Neville correct his potion, he got angry and punished them for it. He was under the impression, as he was feeding the potion to Trevor, that it would poison him. His reaction suggests he had no idea it would be harmless, and it annoyed him that it was.
Aside from Snape only threatening or implying to threaten expulsion twice in the books, that I can find, (which is not enough for me to call often), Snape didn't seem incredibly angry to me, when Dumbledore said he was just going to write letters home and threatened to expel them if it happened again, in CoS, - it looked more to me like Snape was pouting (Christmas being canceled seems more like something that would produce a pout, IMO), and then he shot Harry a venom look as he was leaving, but that's par for the course, I think. It's not like Snape flipped out in CoS like in PoA, and in PoA, even though he had been flipping out, he didn't threaten expulsion, once.

As for Neville and his toad, I think Snape was annoyed at the cheering when the toad was all right, although not surprised that Neville had gotten help with his potion, since Hermione had said "Please, sir, please, I could help Neville put it right —" before he made his threat of letting Neville poison the toad with a wrong potion, and since it seems Snape knows enough about potions to spot whether one is brewed correctly without testing it on a live subject. I think Snape was sour after giving the potion because the Gryffindors were so happy, and all Snape did to Hermione and Neville for having the right potion was to take five points from Gryffindor, so he didn't seem really surprised or angry to me. I think Snape was certainly angry when scolding Neville about not making his potion right, but not angry that the toad didn't actually get poisoned.

I think the toad incident was despicable, btw, since it was designed to torment Neville with the notion that he might poison his pet, IMO. That's messed up enough, without actually intending for the toad to be poisoned, IMO.

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Originally Posted by LilyDreamsOn View Post
I don't follow. Why would he bother saying that if he couldn't? If he knew there was no way he could get them expelled, but he angrily threatened to do it, he'd just come off as lacking power over them, and it'd just make them feel like they were saved by McGonagall/Dumbledore. If he was just looking to impose fear of punishment upon them, he would've used a plausible threat that he could fully carry out to his desires.
Well, I think the reason Snape stopped threatening expulsion was because if he kept not following through, it would make him look weak. I think Snape just wanted to frighten Harry with the threat of expulsion, out of spite, before it started to make him look weak, since he wasn't going to be able to expel Harry due to the quest to protect his life.


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  #1297  
Old February 13th, 2014, 11:58 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
Snape was not happy when Dumbledore told the boys they would not be expelled, though. He actually tried to make a case that Dumbledore should reverse his decision before the headmaster ushered him out of the room.

There were other incidents in which Snape threatened Harry with expulsion throughout the series. He told Bellatrix and Narcissa he had done his done his best to have Harry kicked out:

HBP, Spinner's End, p.31[i] have done my utmost to have him thrown out of Hogwarts, where I believe he scarcely belongs... "


I've never taken that one as seriously as the others, however, because of who he was talking to.
IMO that's the problem with Snape's character throughout the Books. He's a spy all through the 7 Books, even though we are introduced to that only in Book 4.

But Snape has been a spy for almost close to 18 years by the time DH rolled around. And he was a spy for both Voldemort and Dumbledore, even though Dumbledore knew he was on his side, while Voldemort was fooled into thinking Snape was very much a Death Eater, until he lost his body and became confused. He suspected Snape of turning away and becoming Dumbledore's man by the time he possessed Quirrell, and in GOF he is sure that Snape has left him forever. But Snape has managed to get into Voldemort's good graces by allowing him to see his memories for the last 16 or so years in GOF. He says so to Bellatrix in HBP.

I had 16 years of information on Dumbledore to give him when he returned...

...You think he's mistaken? Or that I have somehow hoodwinked him? Fooled the Dark Lord, the greatest wizard, the greatest Legilimens the world has ever seen?


HBP - Spinner's End

But that's what Snape had done. Hoodwinked the Dark Lord, the greatest Legilimens the world had seen. By presenting him with 16 years of memories that made Voldemort believe that Snape was on his side and loyal to him and not Dumbledore. How was that done?

By sheer hard work IMO. By creating a character that Voldemort would recognise as a Death Eater. By taking points of Gryffindor whenever he could, by being seen as unfair to the other three Houses. By showing his apparent hate of all Blood Traitors; the Boy-Who-Lived, the Muggleborns.

Snape had to have tons of memories over the last 16 years to show this. Hate Muggleborns? Sure see this memory of Hermione Granger a Mudblood witch my Lord! See how I never recognised her growing teeth. Harry Potter - I loathe him, see all the times i have punished him, Ron Weasley the Blood Traitor - sure see this memory.

A Legilimens is a person with an ability to extract memories plus feelings as Snape defines in his lesson on Occlumency. OOTP defines Legilimency and Occlumency as this, from the chapter Occlumency

"It is the ability to extract feelings and memories from another person's mind -

-- It is true however, that those who have mastered Legilimency, are able, under certain conditions, to delve into the minds of their victim and to interpret their findings correctly. The Dark Lord for example almost always knows whenever someone is lying to him. Only those skilled at Occlumency are able to shut down those feelings and memories that contradict the lie, and so can utter falsehoods in his presence without detection."


For me it's clear what Snape had to do. He had to prepare 16 years worth of memories that could stand up to Voldemort. Imagine Voldemort tearing through 16 years of memories to see if Snape can be caught a traitor. And because he believed already Snape had gone over to the other side as it were, his searching would be that much more thorough.

Dumbledore knew Voldemort was returning, the moment he fell at Harry's hands and he told Snape who believed him. I think from that time onwards, which means from the time Voldemort fell the first time, Snape had to prepare, because he knew Voldemort would not take him back without proper proof, since his job made him very close to Dumbledore and because Dumbledore had offered his own word for Snape at the Death Eater trials. PLus he was the only man |Voldemort was scared of. Dumbldore had said that Snape was no more than a Death Eater than he himself and for Voldemort to believe that Snape was loyal to him indeed, it would take more than a few words of praise or assurance.

His check up would be thorough. And Snape had to pass that. 16 years of false memories to hold and maintain with their proper emotions is IMO near impossible and yet Snape did this. How? I believe he started the day he joined Hogwarts by preferring the Slytherins, favouring them, and being caustic, sarcastic, tough, sometimes downright nasty to others, depending on how high they were on the Voldemort dislike scale.

Harry came in position No 1. Neville came close. Muggleborns, Gryffindors, people who liked Dumbledore, were all treated differently. This way, Snape had proper memories to show Voldemort, which if you look at it in one way, is a tremendous achievement by a man. It's like a spy in the Muggle world who is able to lie under a narco test (I think it's called) willingly, knowingly and lying about memories and emotions of 16 years, a feat I don't think anyone can do.

With Harry, it was personal. I do believe that Snape was unable to muster a hatred he needed for his emotions against Harry, Lily's boy; but he needed those for Voldemort, so I think he thought of James, with whom he did have an enmity that was mutual, and I think he used that to fuel his emotions.

Was Snape this sweet, nice guy who held out candies to all kids. Thank Merlin NOT. But was he a good guy who did the best and the impossible under circumstances which grew terrible once Voldemort returned. IMO absolutely.

Did he hate students because he could IMO Not. I don't think he hated anyone, except perhaps James, Sirius and Remus, who hated him right back. If he despised anyone or anything at all, I think it was his choices, his acts which made him choose his path as a Death Eater, and I think he redeemed himself in the most glorious way possible. Even though I don't think he quite ever forgave himself.

I also think Harry recognised this, which was why Albus Severus was named so.

Ultimately I think Snape without the role of a spy, would still have been a hard man, sarcastic, occasionally mean and maybe even nasty, but none of this would be because he could. it would be because he did not suffer dunderheads willingly.


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  #1298  
Old February 14th, 2014, 8:05 pm
sailorlum  Female.gif sailorlum is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

@The_Green_Woods: I don't think Snape needed to be so nasty to all those people to keep his cover for Voldemort, because he could have explained his not being nasty, or even being nice, by saying he was making himself look good for Dumbledore, who, as far as Voldemort was concerned, he was supposed to be spying on and staying in the good graces of. How Snape acted in private around other Death Eaters and pure-blood supremacists and the sons and daughters of those people, would have sufficed to prove his allegiance to Voldemort, IMO, so I think his favoritism of Slytherin and Draco and using words like "pureblood" for the Slytherin password make sense for his spy gig, but he didn't need to be so nasty to the other students.

And JKR said that, as well as having deep love and true bravery, Snape was also spiteful and vindictive and cruel and a bully, especially to Harry, so I think her intent was certainly that while Snape was truly on Dumbledore's side and truly against Voldemort and had these admirable qualities of love and bravery, he also had some not admirable qualities of vindictiveness and bullying and whatnot. And Snape, himself, admits in TPT how much he hated Harry, in so many words, from what I see. I think Snape made peace with Harry in the very very end (and that JKR backs that up in another quote), but also that Snape genuinely hated Harry before that because he was hanging on to his grudge against James so hard, not for the mission, but just because he wouldn't let go of that grudge against James. Again, I think Harry just forgave Snape for his flaws because he saw the good that was also there, and JKR has flat out said this is so.

And I think there's no call for a teacher being mean and nasty to their students, since they are in a position of power and need to be the bigger person so as not to become a bully due to the power imbalance, and to set a good example of how to handle conflict without becoming a bully. Stern and strict but fair is fine, IMO, but Snape crossed the line into bullying of his students, IMO. I don't care how much of a dunderhead some student is, there is a line that shouldn't be crossed, I think.

Now, I don't think Snape was a true sadist, being nasty just to be nasty, I think he was genuinely aggravated or angry at his targets for one reason or another, and sometimes his anger or aggravation was even justified, but that doesn't excuse his nastiness, esp. with his students, IMO. And it's one thing to rip into a fellow adult who is on equal footing and can rip back, it's another to rip into a student who is under your authority and isn't free to rip back without being punished within the institution (it's not a fair fight), IMO.

Also, while I agree that James and Sirius hated Snape right back, I disagree that Remus hated Snape. Remus may have hated some of the things Snape did, and may have prioritized 'teaching Neville how to deal with his Boggart' over Snape's feelings (which was totally reasonable and not indicative of hatred of Snape, IMO) but Remus didn't seem to hate Snape, IMO (and Remus actually said that "I neither like nor dislike Severus", in HBP). And back in their schooldays, Remus said things to the other Marauders that made them feel guilty for bullying Snape, and in HBP, Remus actually defended Snape to Harry by saying that he trusted Snape (granted because he trusted Dumbledore) and that he was grateful to Snape for how Snape made the Wolfsbane Potion for him.


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I prefer Severus/Lily in an AU, in a world where Snape makes better choices before it's too late, and they stay together forever. I support canon, I just want this parallel AU with Lily not losing her childhood friend and being hurt by that, and with Snape not screwing up his most important relationship and just generally wrecking his life, and with the friendship "upgrade" that certainly could have happened had Snape dialed down the awful choicemaking.
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Old February 14th, 2014, 8:17 pm
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snapes_witch  Female.gif snapes_witch is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by sailorlum View Post
Also, while I agree that James and Sirius hated Snape right back, I disagree that Remus hated Snape. Remus may have hated some of the things Snape did, and may have prioritized 'teaching Neville how to deal with his Boggart' over Snape's feelings (which was totally reasonable and not indicative of hatred of Snape, IMO) but Remus didn't seem to hate Snape, IMO (and Remus actually said that "I neither like nor dislike Severus", in HBP). And back in their schooldays, Remus said things to the other Marauders that made them feel guilty for bullying Snape, and in HBP, Remus actually defended Snape to Harry by saying that he trusted Snape (granted because he trusted Dumbledore) and that he was grateful to Snape for how Snape made the Wolfsbane Potion for him.
Actually Lupin said he must be grateful, which I took to mean he didn't really want to acknowledge that Snape had made his wolfbane all that year.


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Old February 14th, 2014, 9:53 pm
sailorlum  Female.gif sailorlum is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by snapes_witch View Post
Actually Lupin said he must be grateful, which I took to mean he didn't really want to acknowledge that Snape had made his wolfbane all that year.
I took "must be grateful" to mean that Remus felt he must be grateful on general principal, because he should be grateful for a good deed done, not that he begrudged holding himself to that standard of being grateful. And no one was twisting Remus's arm to acknowledge that Snape made the Wolfsbane well for him, in that scene, as far as I could tell, so it's not like he needed to bring that up unless he wanted to defend Snape and his not disliking Snape, IMO, and I don't think Remus had a problem with being grateful to Snape, only that he felt he was giving credit where credit was due, and it was only right that he should do that, in his opinion.

If you want to discuss Remus or Remus's feelings toward/about Snape more in depth with me, let me know and I'll go over to the Remus Lupin thread with you.


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I prefer Severus/Lily in an AU, in a world where Snape makes better choices before it's too late, and they stay together forever. I support canon, I just want this parallel AU with Lily not losing her childhood friend and being hurt by that, and with Snape not screwing up his most important relationship and just generally wrecking his life, and with the friendship "upgrade" that certainly could have happened had Snape dialed down the awful choicemaking.
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