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Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14



View Poll Results: Did Snape pass Voldemort the information that led to Vance's capture and murder?
Yes, he told the Black sisters the truth and acted for the greater good. 14 13.33%
Yes, I believe he did. Dumbledore's orders. 19 18.10%
Yes. He cared about Lily and no-one else. 13 12.38%
Maybe. This does not become clear in the text. 47 44.76%
It is of course possible but he had changed so much by then that I don't believe it. 11 10.48%
No, he would not have caused another woman's death, no way. 8 7.62%
No, he was lying to the Black sisters to gain their trust. That's what spies do. 28 26.67%
Something else Moriath forgot to mention. 12 11.43%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 105. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #1  
Old January 21st, 2010, 11:46 pm
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Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

Welcome to the 14th version of this thread!


For background reading and reference:
version one
version two
version three
version four
version five
version six
version seven
version eight
version nine
version ten
version eleven
version twelve
version thirteen

A new quote:
Deathly Hallows:    


  No!” squealed Flitwick, raising his wand. “You’ll do no more murder at Hogwarts!”

Flitwick’s spell hit the suit of armor behind which Snape had taken shelter: With a clatter it came to life. Snape struggled free of the crushing arms and sent it flying back toward his attackers: Harry and Luna had to dive sideways to avoid it as it smashed into the wall and shattered. When Harry looked up again, Snape was in full flight, McGonagall, Flitwick, and Sprout all thundering after him: He hurtled through a classroom door and, moments later, he heard McGonagall cry, “Coward! COWARD!”

“What’s happened, what’s happened?” asked Luna.

Harry dragged her to her feet and they raced along the corridor, trailing the Invisibility Cloak behind them, into the deserted classroom where Professors McGonagall, Flitwick, and Sprout were standing at a smashed window.

“He jumped,” said Professor McGonagall as Harry and Luna ran into the room.

“You mean he’s dead?” Harry sprinted to the window, ignoring Flitwick’s and Sprout’s yells of shock at his sudden appearance.

“No, he’s not dead,” said McGonagall bitterly. “Unlike Dumbledore, he was still carrying a wand…and he seems to have learned a few tricks from his master.”

With a tingle of horror, Harry saw in the distance a huge, batlike shape flying through the darkness toward the perimeter wall.

There were heavy footfalls behind them, and a great deal of puffing: Slughorn had just caught up.

“Harry!” he panted, massaging his immense chest beneath his
pg 599

emerald-green silk pajamas. “My dear boy…what a surprise…Minerva, do please explain…Severus…what…?”

“Our headmaster is taking a short break,” said Professor McGonagall, pointing at the Snape-shaped hole in the window.
  


  • What do you find most remarkable about this scene?
  • How did you feel upon first reading it?
  • How has your interpretation of this scene changed over the years?


Study questions:
  1. Do you think Snape wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
  2. What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?
  3. What would you say was Snape's relationship to other Death Eaters like? What about Order members (during the second war, which excludes James, Sirius and Lily )?
  4. Based on how his character is supposed to end up: if you could change/improve one thing about Snape, what would it be?
  5. What do you think Snape would have done, if he had survived DH?
  6. Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?
  7. Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
  8. Snape is revealed to have been acting throughout the series out of love for Lily, how does this effect your view of his actions in the series - his "murder" of Dumbledore, his treatment of Sirius.
  9. Why do you think Snape chose to become a Death Eater?
  10. How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?
  11. What do you think of Snape's actions after learning who Voldemort had targeted with the prophecy?
  12. What do you think of Snape's actions after Lily's death. How do you think this death has affected his character?
  13. What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?
  14. Do you believe Snape came to care about Harry?
  15. What do you think about Snape's relationship with Dumbledore? Did they become friends or was Dumbledore a substitute father figure for him?
  16. Do you think Snape should have been sorted into Slytherin? Would he have made the same choices if he had been sorted elsewhere?
  17. There are all kinds of bravery in this series, what characteristics of Snape's make him brave? In what sense is he a hero?
  18. What line of profession would Snape have chosen if he had not had to stay at Hogwarts as a professor?

AS THIS IS STILL A HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL AND SENSITIVE TOPIC WE WOULD LIKE TO ASK EVERYONE TO PLEASE BE SENSITIVE TO OTHERS OPINIONS. THIS MEANS NO GLOATING AS WELL AS NO BASHING. CONSEQUENCES WILL BE SEVERE.

Additionally please read How to have a pleasant conversation on any topic and Character Bashing/Worship: aka Shades of Gray BEFORE POSTING IN THIS THREAD


Continue!



Last edited by Moriath; January 22nd, 2010 at 12:06 am.
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  #2  
Old January 25th, 2010, 10:10 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

14th version!

I think Snape was taking credit for this as he did for Black's death. I don' think he had anything to do with Vance's death anymore he did with Black's.

I voted for the last one though.

What do you find most remarkable about this scene?

The similarity to the Flight of the Prince. Snape was avoiding fighting with the three Professors as much as he did with Harry in the Flight of the Prince. He was called a coward by Harry who did not know just how courageous Snape had been; just like he was called a coward by McGonagall who did not know the courage Snape exhibited and the sacrifice he was making IMO.

I also think there is a little similarity with the SWM. Snape is four against one there; here too he is four against one. While the reasons for the bullying then and the attack now are obviously different, I think the four on one is similar.

In a way what Snape faced with his peers as a student he was facing with his peers again as a teacher; (McGonagall, Sprout, Flitwick and Slughorn who came late; though the actual attack was by McGonagall and Flitwick) four against one ... again IMO. He was bullied then for no reason; he was being attacked now for no reason; (he was on their side), though to be fair to the other Professors thought him a traitor; but he was alone both times and he was ganged up four on one.

How did you feel upon first reading it?

So many emotions; primarily I was hoping Snape would get his talk with Harry at last; ... it was not to be.

How has your interpretation of this scene changed over the years?

Not much.


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  #3  
Old January 25th, 2010, 12:29 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

What do you find most remarkable about this scene?

The irony of it. JKR is still playing up 'Snape as villain' for everything she's got. The righteous ones all gang up on him because they think he's Voldemort's right hand man: Flitwick accuses Snape of being a murderer, he manages to dodge the attack of his outraged colleagues, he 'seems to have learned a new trick from his master', Harry feels 'a tingle of horror' when he sees Snape flying like a bat. Etc.

Whereas the truth is that Snape was really on the side of Minerva and the others.

How did you feel upon first reading it?

A sort of nervous thrill. I was wondering if now would be the time for the Big Reveal ... I read DH with the full expectation that Snape would be revealed to be on the good side, and by this late stage I had no more doubts, due to the very subtle, but unmistakable, hints dropped by the author in the text (e.g. the Silver Doe, Snape's 'not really a punishment' for Ginny, Luna and Neville).

Alas, the Big Reveal would only come after Severus had died.

How has your interpretation of this scene changed over the years?

Not at all. I feel the same way reading it now as I did in July 2007.

I also feel sad for Snape, being attacked by those whose side he was really on.


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  #4  
Old January 25th, 2010, 12:45 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

What do you find most remarkable about this scene?
Flitwick and Minerva's reaction to Snape. It was so loathing that it makes me wonder how they'd spent a whole year under his regime. I can only think that they did it for the sake of Hogwarts' students.

How did you feel upon first reading it?
It ascertained my thoughts about Snape being Voldemort devoted servant and that he'd been working for him all along.

How has your interpretation of this scene changed over the years?

I think he was trying to get to Voldemort. He didn't want to hurt Hogwarts' teachers, so he fled. Also I think he wanted to know what exactly was going on with Voldemort and the DEs.


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Last edited by bellatrix93; January 25th, 2010 at 12:48 pm.
  #5  
Old January 25th, 2010, 2:30 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

I checked 6 options in the poll: "greater good", "orders", "we don't really have the information to say", "Snape had changed", "he was lying to the Black sisters", and "something Moriath forgot".

What I personally think happened is that Snape passed information on the Order's involvement in guarding the Prophecy (with Albus's orders/agreement). Voldemort would have guessed anyway, from the events of OotP involving Bode and Arthur. And what I think happened to Vance is that she was on guard duty the night Voldemort lured Harry to the Ministry. The Death Eaters could have captured her well before Harry showed up and was ambushed; she could have been killed later. (Snape does, in his statement to Bella, refer to her capture as separate from her death). In this way Snape's involvement in her death is similar to his involvement in Sirius's, which makes sense to me as he claimed this involvement in the same breath for both. He is a spy that passed information to Voldemort that was not specific to either Black or Vance, and was not intended to bring about the deaths of either. However, it was used (in adddition to information from other sources, such as Kreacher) to plan an operation that resulted in both their deaths.


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  #6  
Old January 25th, 2010, 3:18 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

For the poll, I checked Yes, I believe he did. Dumbledore's orders. As a double agent Snape would have to occasionally bring Voldemort information that was real and useful to retain his position, in my opinion. As long as Snape was actually a spy for the Order, and Dumbledore was its leader, I view this sort of thing as horrible but necessary (I have a very different view of the Seven Potters betrayal and murder of Alastor Moody, though).

About the DH passage:

What do you find most remarkable about this scene?

In GoF Dumbledore had said something like how bonds of friendship and trust were needed to defeat Voldemort. In my opinion Dumbledore and Snape's plan was reaping its reward from the lies, deceit, and mistrust it had sown; in the Seven Potters, the Order was the one paying for it, and now it was Snape-- and McGonagall and the other teachers, because they had been tricked into mistrusting an ally by that very ally. They are set against each other, and it seems to me their energies could have been better used working together.

So, IMO, Snape was chased from the castle, away from his Portrait General, and away from any potential allies, because of the secrecy and lies he created, and I think that's the real tragedy.

How did you feel upon first reading it?

McGonagall rocked, IMO. I had been really disappointed in her at the end of HBP, although I feel she had been left floundering by Dumbledore and Snape's secret plans. Still, I expected more of her. I think she starts to redeem herself in my eyes here. Also, "Snape-shaped hole in the window" is, I think, one of the funniest lines in the whole book. At that point I was rooting for Snape to turn out evil (knowing that wasn't going to happen) just so McGonagall's story wouldn't be ruined. It's too bad her moment of glory turns out to be effort wasted.

Snape should have trusted her, I feel, and worked with her, before the whole situation reached that point.

How has your interpretation of this scene changed over the years?

I don't think it has changed.



Last edited by OldMotherCrow; January 25th, 2010 at 3:24 pm. Reason: spelling
  #7  
Old January 25th, 2010, 5:26 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

[*]What do you find most remarkable about this scene?

I suppose, that Snape could fly. It's a very rare achievement; Harry's Quidditch books claim it is impossilble, and we only know of one or two others who could. (Voldemort, and, debatably, young Lily Evans.)

[*]How did you feel upon first reading it?

Sad. Immensely sad. So sad, in fact, that I decided then what my first fanfic after DH was going to be about ("Return to Hogwarts", it is linked in my signature). I had decided after reading "The Silver Doe" that the doe had to be Snape's Patronus, for any number of reasons including the practical one that he was the guy with acccess to the sword of Gryffindor, and that this meant that yes, in whatever way this was going to be explained, we would be learning that he was Dumbledore's man, and still secretly helping Harry/opposing Voldemort. This scene drove home what a lonely role that was in this year we were reading about.

[*]How has your interpretation of this scene changed over the years?

It has not, really. I hate reading this scene (including a bit more before and after it), but I think it is one of the more striking passages in the book, and a great character moment not only for Snape, but also for Minerva McGonagall, another of my favorites.


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  #8  
Old January 25th, 2010, 6:11 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

I leave for a day and this is what happens?

Yes, I do believe Severus provided 'information on the Order' that 'led to the... capture and murder of Emmeline Vance'. I tend to pay attention to phrasing, you see.

On to the questions...

* What do you find most remarkable about this scene?

The (literal) flight. Despite the fact that 'unlike Dumbledore, he was still carrying his wand', we don't get to hear an incantation... do we?

Made me look at the 'As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe it's magic' quote in a completely different light.

* How did you feel upon first reading it?

Amused and slightly frustrated. There's only so many times you can hear 'Coward' and not roll your eyes... especially in a 3-for-1 deal.

* How has your interpretation of this scene changed over the years?

None that I can tell.


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Old January 25th, 2010, 6:19 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

*What do you find most remarkable about this scene?

That JKR would put Harry and Snape in the same place so close to the end of the book and then make it impossible for them to speak to each other. It's baffling and not realistic considering other battles we have seen. An immobulus spell would have worked on the other teachers and Luna - that magic has been around since Book 2. Since Snape suspected so strongly that Harry was lurking around at the school, I was shocked he didn't try to do communicate with Harry under the Invisibility Cloak somehow.

However, I loved that Snape could actually fly. I had always suspected he might be some sort of flying animagus, but the fact that he could fly as a human without a broom was super cool.

*How did you feel upon first reading it?

I hated it. The characters in that chapter keep trying to be funny about unfunny things, so the tone seems juvenile and wrong. Harry has just enjoyed doing a Crucio on Carrow for which McGonagall calls him "gallant," then McGonagall starts a battle before joking that Snape had "Done a Bunk."

I didn't know what that phrase meant since we don't say that in America, or at least I had never heard it. I had to look it up, and that just made me angrier.

The only truly funny thing in there is the "Snape Shaped Hole." Although that is very much like a WB cartoon, since my husband likes to point out that the Coyote and the Road Runner used to make Coyote and Road Runner shaped holes all the time out in the desert.

I guess Snape wouldn't have been called a coward if he had fought to the death and never finished his mission with Harry. Yeah, that would have made sense!

In hindsight, that's even less funny since Snape didn't receive a portrait upon death because he was thought to have abandoned the school. That flies (literally) in the face of the fact that Dumbledore flying from the Aurors with Fawkes the Phoenix was never seen as abandonment.

I'm not sure why we needed a scene that plays up the absolute worst traits of the Gryffindors right before we are supposed to them as heroes. It changed my perception of Minerva forever. I absolutely hate her guts now. She comes across as petty, self-righteous, war-mongering and a few other words I can't put in a post.

*How has your interpretation of this scene changed over the years?

No, I still hate it and I hate McGonagall. That's not going to change.


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Last edited by silver ink pot; January 25th, 2010 at 6:27 pm.
  #10  
Old January 25th, 2010, 7:29 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I think Snape was taking credit for this as he did for Black's death. I don' think he had anything to do with Vance's death anymore he did with Black's.
In much the way that Sirius' death came about because of info that Snape passed to the Order (thru Sirius - that Harry might have gone to the MoM to save Sirius) I believe that Vance's death was from info passed to the Order by Snape - hence the close connection between the two deaths in that passage.

Much as Arithmancer pointed out - I believe Vance was 'on guard duty' that night. She was found in VERY near proximity to #10 Downing Street at around the same time as a junior minister had been Imperiused - not an area particularly likely for a witch to live or just hang out. Note that SOMEONE from the Wizarding World had to have been nearby for that Junior Minister (a muggle) to have been sent to St. Mungo's. And very soon after Kingsley is set as guard INSIDE #10.

In other words, I believe that the Order had placed members as guards around #10 to hopefully prevent a planned assassination attempt by the DEs (thru that Imperiused Junior Minister), I think Vance was killed foiling that attempt. Snape can take a 'truthful' credit of this because without his info to the Order she would not be dead - a mirror of Snape's info regarding a missing Harry who might try to go the MoM

So - I believe Snape was BOTH lying AND telling the truth to the Black Sisters. In fact, I believe that is exactly how he is able to lie to Voldy - by using partial truths.


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When Dumbledore asked Snape, "If you are prepared..." he didn't mean 'Have your Death Eeater robes returned from the cleaners'.
Everything we've seen Snape do, was done knowing Voldemort WOULD return someday.

And when that day would come, that he had better have the appropriate memories that would enable him to lie to Voldy's face.
  #11  
Old January 25th, 2010, 8:21 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I also think there is a little similarity with the SWM. Snape is four against one there; here too he is four against one. While the reasons for the bullying then and the attack now are obviously different, I think the four on one is similar.

In a way what Snape faced with his peers as a student he was facing with his peers again as a teacher; (McGonagall, Sprout, Flitwick and Slughorn who came late; though the actual attack was by McGonagall and Flitwick) four against one ... again IMO. He was bullied then for no reason; he was being attacked now for no reason; (he was on their side), though to be fair to the other Professors thought him a traitor; but he was alone both times and he was ganged up four on one.
I don't think the two are comparable - the incident with the Marauders was bullying, plainly. However, in this situation, the Heads of House were fighting against someone they had every reason to believe was a true Death Eater. They didn't have any reason to believe he might possibly be on their side and of course they were going to fight a perceived enemy in this situation. If the three/four against one is bullying, should we consider McGonagall/Kingsley/Slughorn against Voldemort bullying? Or Hermione/Ginny/Luna against Bellatrix?


Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post

I'm not sure why we needed a scene that plays up the absolute worst traits of the Gryffindors right before we are supposed to them as heroes. It changed my perception of Minerva forever. I absolutely hate her guts now. She comes across as petty, self-righteous, war-mongering and a few other words I can't put in a post.

No, I still hate it and I hate McGonagall. That's not going to change.
War mongering? I think that description belongs to the Death Eaters. She was defending the school. As to her reaction to Severus, I see it as justified, given what she knew of the situation. While a high percentage of readers had suspicions that Snape was fighting against Voldemort, Minerva and the other Heads had no reason whatsoever to think that. They were led to believe Snape was a traitor and Death Eater and acted accordingly.

Moving swiftly on before I get too off topic, I like arithmancer's idea that Emmeline Vance was at the Ministry the night Sirius died, it ties in neatly with the watch that had been kept on the prophecy during the year. I also doubt that Severus would have been able to claim any contribution to her death if someone else could have refuted it.


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  #12  
Old January 25th, 2010, 8:29 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
War mongering? I think that description belongs to the Death Eaters. She was defending the school. As to her reaction to Severus, I see it as justified, given what she knew of the situation. While a high percentage of readers had suspicions that Snape was fighting against Voldemort, Minerva and the other Heads had no reason whatsoever to think that. They were led to believe Snape was a traitor and Death Eater and acted accordingly.
I agree. And moreover, they were led to believe by Snape that he was a traitor and murderer. It was his plan that they thought such a thing, and I think that is the real tragedy, that he purposefully turned his allies into enemies. I think he could have set the record straight at any time, but he chose not to, and then it was too late.


  #13  
Old January 25th, 2010, 9:15 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I agree. And moreover, they were led to believe by Snape that he was a traitor and murderer. It was his plan that they thought such a thing, and I think that is the real tragedy, that he purposefully turned his allies into enemies. I think he could have set the record straight at any time, but he chose not to, and then it was too late.
I personally don't see why he would have shared that information with anybody but an accomplished Occlumens. What if the other Heads of House were captured and Voldemort used Legilimency against them? The whole mission would have been compromised.

IMO, it was essential that they believe he was a traitor and a murderer. And so I have no problem whatsoever with the Heads of House fighting him. I do, however, think it's to his credit that he used no offensive spells in return.

In my opinion, there are no bad guys in this scene. Only good guys. The Heads of House are trying to protect the school. Snape is trying to protect the school. They all have the right motivation.

I do think it's sad for Snape that he had to allow them to believe he was on Voldemort's side. I think it's sad that in the last year of his life, he had to sacrifice what I think had been a rather "annoying little brother" relationship with McGonnagall (a relationship that I suspect they had both rather come to enjoy). But I don't really see that he had any other choice after what happened on the Astronomy Tower except to let them think he was a traitor and murderer and Death Eater.


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Last edited by ccollinsmith; January 25th, 2010 at 9:22 pm.
  #14  
Old January 25th, 2010, 10:04 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

[*]Do you think Snape wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?

Not at all. I think by the end he just wanted to come clean for himself. I don't think Harry had much to do with it, beyond being some way for Lily to live on. Yet he was still a symbol of everything Snape never had, which is where the hatred came from.


[*]What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?

The fact that he was regarded on the same level of Harry's father in Harry's mind would probably not be seen as a negative...


[*]What would you say was Snape's relationship to other Death Eaters like? What about Order members (during the second war, which excludes James, Sirius and Lily )?

Distant. His interaction with Bellatrix and Narcissa and then with Yaxley probably sums it up. Order members? The same. Except maybe Lupin, for whom he was doing a favor, and Lupin was genuinely sorry for how he treated Snape when he was in school - the way he went along with everything James did. So maybe Snape and Lupin had more of a detente than the others. But I believe Snape and Dumbledore were obviously the closest. Snape saw Dd as his priest, the one who would set the path for his salvation. It was not a strictly pleasant relationship, but then Snape wasn't a pleasant man. However he was prepared to do anything for his inner peace, gain salvation from his past, and he saw Dd as the man who would tell him how.


[*]Based on how his character is supposed to end up: if you could change/improve one thing about Snape, what would it be?


Cementing his allegiance to Lily by choosing Gryffindor when he was sorted.


[*] What do you think Snape would have done, if he had survived DH?


I think a more interesting question here would be had he survived DH, would he endure a life sentence in Azkaban OR would anything besides his own death be impetus for him to share the truth?

I would like to think that he would share the truth and become someone truly amazing who had conquered his demons. But the way he made himself be makes me think that nothing besides impending death would force the truth of his love out of him because he always saw love as a weakness. And what would he be if he lived after that was changed? How would he be? Would he be able to ever love anything, even himself?


[*]Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?


skipping this one for no reason...


[*]Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?


If Lily hadn't died...? He was already turned when she was alive. I don't think he would have turned to the good side if the bad side hadn't stripped him of his one secret love. He wouldn't have moved on either way. His love for Lily was so intense he didn't love anyone else when she was alive. The only difference in his character had she lived was he wouldn't have turned spy. He probably would have offed Harry and/or James, because it was Dd who made him feel shame for that impulse. Without Lily dying, he wouldn't have come to Dd who wouldn't have taught him to do the right thing.


[*]Snape is revealed to have been acting throughout the series out of love for Lily, how does this effect your view of his actions in the series - his "murder" of Dumbledore, his treatment of Sirius.


For someone to so completely sublimate his own impulses and do things like commit assisted suicide, combined with the ability to hold a grudge so long and so forcefully makes me see him as this extreme dark and light of human nature with nothing in between. He's at once completely stripped away and yet covered up. Irrationally, I am in love with him.


[*]Why do you think Snape chose to become a Death Eater?


He never had a family, not at home or at school until the DE's took him in, so to speak. Same reason many people join gangs.


[*]How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?


I still found them unprofessional. Inevitable, but unprofessional.


[*]What do you think of Snape's actions after learning who Voldemort had targeted with the prophecy?


They were desperate. He so clearly had no idea how to be a complete human being, and he was grasping at straws, trying to make what he grew up with jive with his love for Lily. It was like some hardy plant bursting through concrete. He wanted to keep this plant alive, but he couldn't let it shatter the concrete or he would die.


[*]What do you think of Snape's actions after Lily's death. How do you think this death has affected his character?


He worked so hard to never have positive feelings and never show them. Lily's death melted all that. He was being honest with himself (and incidentally Dd) for one of the few times in his life. He was forced to come to terms with all that.


[*]What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?


Major strength(s): Extreme loyalty, long emotional memory.

Flaw: Long emotional memory.


[*]Do you believe Snape came to care about Harry?


He cared because he knew Lily would. Maybe by the end he started to see that at his core Harry was a goodhearted person.


[*]What do you think about Snape's relationship with Dumbledore? Did they become friends or was Dumbledore a substitute father figure for him?


Dd was a sub father figure, for sure.


[*]Do you think Snape should have been sorted into Slytherin? Would he have made the same choices if he had been sorted elsewhere?


He did fit there, but the Sorting Hat should have looked beyond the obvious. And Snape would not have made the same choices had he been elsewhere. He would have been surrounded by different people.


[*]There are all kinds of bravery in this series, what characteristics of Snape's make him brave? In what sense is he a hero?


He eventually chose the right path. He came to terms with all sides of his personality, a very difficult thing to do. He sublimated his hatred for Voldemort to do the right thing - namely, spy for the other side - and he probably wanted to have at least some friends in the Hogwarts teachers after Dd died, but he didn't so he could play his role as Voldemort's man fully. I expect that he hated the DEs bc of their unchecked violence, lack of civility, and general unchecked cruelty.


[*]What line of profession would Snape have chosen if he had not had to stay at Hogwarts as a professor?[/list]

Either an academic, experimentalist, researcher, or something along those lines. Something he could do alone, something that would allow him to exercise his prodigious intellect, and experiment. I could see him also excelling as an auror because he's very tactical and logical and always gave the impression in the books (and movies) that he could be deadly with a wand.


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Last edited by potionmistress; January 25th, 2010 at 10:07 pm.
  #15  
Old January 25th, 2010, 10:24 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

What do you find most remarkable about this scene?

Thar JKR wasn't able to imagine a good scene between Harry and Snape, and she opted for the worst imaginable solution.

How did you feel upon first reading it?

I hated this scene, and I started to hate McGonagall... almost as much as I hate JKR for writing this kind of things.


How has your interpretation of this scene changed over the years?

It hasn't changed. To me this is still one of the reasons of my considering Deathly Hallows as an absolute disaster.


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  #16  
Old January 25th, 2010, 10:31 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

Quote:
Originally Posted by potionmistress View Post
[I think a more interesting question here would be had he survived DH, would he endure a life sentence in Azkaban OR would anything besides his own death be impetus for him to share the truth?
I am not sure about this. He certainly provided Harry a full explanation of his own motives as he was dying. However, even supposing he survivied, to establish his own bona fides to Harry in order that he could pass on Albus's final secret to him, I think he would have at least needed to reveal to Harry that the silver doe was his Patronus, and that he killed Albus at Albus's own orders. I think he knew that already, at the time he chose to send the doe to Harry, that he would have to reveal this much. Would this have been enough to get him out of Azkaban at some point? In the WW justice system, who knows? I'd guess yes, with a triumphant Harry on his side and Voldemort defeated.

I am actually not sure, also, whether it was only his own imminent death that motivated Snape's openness to Harry. It was possibly, Harry's own imminent death that did. I believe Snape expected Harry would choose to let Voldemort kill him, and thus he may have felt Harry was owed an explanation, and also that Harry woudl shortly take that explanation to his own grave.

While I believe he would have been pleased to have been wrong about Harry's chances of survival, I am less sure how pleased he would have been at Harry's broadcasting this to the entire WW as part of the final duel with Voldemort...

Quote:
Originally Posted by potionmistress View Post
He probably would have offed Harry and/or James, because it was Dd who made him feel shame for that impulse. Without Lily dying, he wouldn't have come to Dd who wouldn't have taught him to do the right thing.
Oh, this I definitely disagree on. He had no impulse to murder either James or Harry, that we are ever shown. He does not care much whether they live or die, which is a very different thing. (For that matter, he does not, in the same scene , seem to me to care very much whether he himself lives or dies...) Not good, but a whole lot better than seeking their death.


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Last edited by arithmancer; January 25th, 2010 at 10:40 pm.
  #17  
Old January 26th, 2010, 12:35 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

YAAAAY! New version!!

I chose "Maybe" in the poll, although considering how most of what Snape says in Spinner's End cannot be trusted, I think he may be stretching the truth at least a little, phrasing his words in a strategic way, or omitting details he does not want Bellatrix to know. The line's context is really the only clue we have to go on, and that context suggests that there's more to the story than Snape is letting on.

Quote:
What do you find most remarkable about this scene?
That Snape is once again fleeing Hogwarts amid unwarranted cries of "Coward!"

I hope he's getting a nice loooooong break in the Afterlife, because someone needed to give him one.

Quote:
How did you feel upon first reading it?
Don't ask me, I was not exactly stopping to analyze my feelings during the action sequence.

Although I do remember thinking how neat-o it was that Snape could fly.

Quote:
How has your interpretation of this scene changed over the years?
Erm, hasn't much, really. I still find it a sad example of what Snape had to face in that final year and a testament to how brave he is and how much he sacrificed. I don't exactly blame McGonagall or Flitwick for their actions-- but I'll always be unhappy on Snape's behalf.


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Last edited by ignisia; January 26th, 2010 at 12:40 am.
  #18  
Old January 26th, 2010, 1:18 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

Quote:
Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
Oh, this I definitely disagree on. He had no impulse to murder either James or Harry, that we are ever shown. He does not care much whether they live or die, which is a very different thing. (For that matter, he does not, in the same scene , seem to me to care very much whether he himself lives or dies...) Not good, but a whole lot better than seeking their death.
Yeah, I didn't mean seeking them out and killing them of his own volition, but had Voldemort sent him to take care of that bit of business, he would have done it without thinking of what Lily wanted. Would he have done it with Lily begging him not to? No idea. I think what I'm trying to say in a roundabout way is that Snape was a somewhat cruel very selfish person, and he didn't know how else to be. Dd's disgust at Snape's request that just Harry be killed to spare Lily is the turning point of Snape's self-absorption. Dd teaches him empathy from his grief - how could he have wished that, when if he really loved Lily he'd have wanted to save what she loved most in the world? Even Rowling uses language describing Snape as an injured wild animal before this point, if memory serves...?



[*]What do you find most remarkable about this scene?

The first time I read it, I was shocked that he hadn't tried to kill any of them. Not even sectumsempra. I felt like Snape had always pulled his punches, and while I still wanted to believe he was good, I was having a harder time justifying it in my head. You KNOW he's an amazing wizard from Half Blood Prince - incredibly talented magically, patient, extremely logical - and I was like "man, why? why is he just taking it and taking it and taking it??? he's taken it his whole life..."


[*]How did you feel upon first reading it?

See above.


[*]How has your interpretation of this scene changed over the years?


I felt justified in believing he was a good man. I knew he was a broken person in many ways, but at the core you can tell if someone is genuinely bad and he wasn't. He didn't use any of the Unforgiveable curses at McGonagall or any of the other teachers, even though he kills Dd with one.

And, naturally, I am stoked to see Rickman-as-Snape flying in the movie... The way they get the movement in his cloak is beautiful; I wonder how hard tailoring that was...


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  #19  
Old January 26th, 2010, 1:46 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

Quote:
Originally Posted by potionmistress View Post
Yeah, I didn't mean seeking them out and killing them of his own volition, but had Voldemort sent him to take care of that bit of business, he would have done it without thinking of what Lily wanted. Would he have done it with Lily begging him not to? No idea. I think what I'm trying to say in a roundabout way is that Snape was a somewhat cruel very selfish person, and he didn't know how else to be.
Hmm... I'm tempted to agree with the conclusion wholeheartedly just to see the flames rise (I'm evil like that ), but very selfish persons don't generally go about playing knights in tarnished armour in the name of someone's memory.

As for Snape 'taking care of that' - or any other - 'bit of business'...

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  #20  
Old January 26th, 2010, 1:57 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

I think Snape was selfish in some ways. "Was" being the heavily emphasized operative term. His is a story about redemption: you've gotta start low and rise high.

However, that said, I only see that selfishness show up in his actions as a DE: joining them because of his personal pain/anger, taking that anger out by joining the attacks...etc. His actions as they relate to Lily were something entirely else. IMO. Pleading to Lord "Crucio-Happy" Voldemort to save the life of a "Mudblood" and then going right to the leader of the opposition who, Snape supposes, may just kill him, does not appear to paint a portrait of a man who cares much for his own safety. Nor does the fact that he promises this man that he'll do "anything." "Anything" could easily be "Give yourself up to the Ministry" or something worse.

ETA: Love your sig, Dags.


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Last edited by ignisia; January 26th, 2010 at 2:00 am. Reason: adding some qualifiers...
 
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