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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4



 
 
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  #241  
Old February 20th, 2011, 5:00 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
Dumbledore gave Severus a second chance, a chance to change, a chance which Severus chose to take. Snape just never seemed to recover from his feelings of guilt in his part in Lily's death. I believe we see this from the form of his Patronus, and his crying over Lily's letter sixteen years later. I think this shows that emotionally he became frozen in time the night Lily died.

From what we see in TPT Severus did not have a particularly happy time at Hogwarts, and it would also have held many memories, particularly of Lily. So, I think that being at Hogwarts was probably not the best place for Snape to overcome all that had happened, and also went some way to keeping alive his bitterness towards James and the Marauders.

I also think that he never felt he deserved to overcome all his emotional issues and feeling of guilt. We know Severus felt great remorse over his part in Lily's death. Dumbledore tells us so and we see it in TPT, and in Snape's consequent actions to protect Harry. I think Severus may have seen it as his penance not to overcome his feelings of guilt or to get on with living a normal life.

In conclusion I think that like most of us, Snape was the way he was due to a combination of his own choices and his external circumstances.
His failure in taking care for his own life makes me personally judge the character lesser (and somehow also his greatest achievement - to protect Harry, I guess because I can't agree with his motives since, for particular over the years, there's something else combined with the love he felt for Lily), but I fully agree with this analysis in all points. Along with Sirius and perhaps also Dumbledore himself, Snape belongs to the most tragic figures in the books.

It seems he didn't really want to overcome anything, nor complain about anything ever, but pay for the things he started. It's sad, because he likely could have had both, an own life (even if always feeling guilty to some extend) and a job as hidden protector of a boy he couldn't like. I don't even blame him that he couldn't, although that's not his greatest characteristics, but there's not much I can support in showing an eleven year old how less you like him.


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  #242  
Old February 20th, 2011, 5:25 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

IMO, the older Severus that we see did feel remorse for James's death. I do think he still hated James and hated when he thought Harry behaved like James, but if this version of Severus had the choice to save James or let him die, I think he would save him. Others will probably disagree with me, but IMO we are shown a man who will rather save people than watch them die (TPT). That says to me that he regretted everyone who died because of something he did or failed to do. He tried to save Lupin even though he didn't like him and even though he was part of the gang that he felt bullied him. He protected Harry even though he didn't like him. He avoided hurting others (like the other teachers) even though they were out to kill him. This is a person who will attempt to save people even if he doesn't like them. I don't need to have him say he regrets James's death or feels remorse for it. IMO, the person we see has changed his perspective on human life and in light of the view that he holds I believe that he did feel remorse for James's death. James is a human being whose life does have value despite Severus's personal feelings of the man. It is just that Lily's is what weighs heaviest by far on his heart. IMO, most people care more for the people that are closest to them.


  #243  
Old February 20th, 2011, 6:27 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by gabriele87 View Post
I think you make excellent points. I'm wondering, though, if Snape gave those extra memories not out of respect for Harry, but because he was the only person available to receive those memories. Is it possible that Snape wanted others such as McGonagall to know his true loyalties? And that the only means to do that was to give those memories to Harry? If Hermione and Ron had gone alone to the Shrieking Shack, would Snape have given them all these memories?
I, personally don't think so. But, that's just my interpretation. I think he gave specific memories to Harry to show him how he and Lily met and became friends, how he relished that friendship, how the friendship ended. Also, to show what he did once he learned Lily was in danger -- even going so far as to show Harry that he didn't care if Harry was killed, if Voldemort spared Lily.

IMO, the reason he showed the meeting on the hilltop with Dumbledore was to show Harry that he realized how low he had sunk, but was not aware of it until Dumbledore's admonishment, "You disgust me!" I think he wanted Harry to see that was when he, too, became disgusted with himself and made every effort to atone for what he had become and things he'd been a part of at that time. I also think he wanted Harry to see that he did everything in his power to protect Lily and her family, and the terrible grief he felt when he heard she was dead. I think that was also the reason for the memory of him reading Lily's letter and taking the part with her signature and the half of the picture with her in it. He probably didn't have a picture of her.

In part, I think the memory of his casting the Patronus in front of Dumbledore was to show Harry that his love for Lily was "Always," but, also to show that it was his Patronus which led Harry to Gryffindor's sword.

I feel he must have had control over the memories he "released" because they were so specific...it wasn't just every memory from his whole life. I don't think he would have shared them with anyone else.

As far as Severus knew when he was dying, Harry would be dead shortly thereafter, so I don't think he was giving Harry the memories to clear his name or anything. I think he wanted Harry's understanding and forgiveness, and, unless he cared about Harry, I don't think those things would have mattered.


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  #244  
Old February 20th, 2011, 7:28 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by boushh View Post
Others will probably disagree with me, but IMO we are shown a man who will rather save people than watch them die (TPT). That says to me that he regretted everyone who died because of something he did or failed to do. He tried to save Lupin even though he didn't like him and even though he was part of the gang that he felt bullied him. He protected Harry even though he didn't like him. He avoided hurting others (like the other teachers) even though they were out to kill him.
That's a good point. For the later Snape - the one post HBP/Dumbledore's death this actually might be true.

We see his actions lead by emotion(s) - mostly one main emotion which denies other feelings - for quite a long time, though, so I'm not entirely convinced yet he'd really overcome it. If having the choice once again, to save Lily and kill Harry, I don't think he grew that much.


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  #245  
Old February 20th, 2011, 7:30 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
As far as Severus knew when he was dying, Harry would be dead shortly thereafter, so I don't think he was giving Harry the memories to clear his name or anything. I think he wanted Harry's understanding and forgiveness, and, unless he cared about Harry, I don't think those things would have mattered.
Ah, that's true. I suppose I find it difficult to believe that Snape, the most enigmatic and closed-off character, would choose to give these memories away. It goes against what we know of Snape, and so inferring his motivations is just so difficult. It's very interesting, though.


  #246  
Old February 20th, 2011, 7:42 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by gabriele87 View Post
Ah, that's true. I suppose I find it difficult to believe that Snape, the most enigmatic and closed-off character, would choose to give these memories away. It goes against what we know of Snape, and so inferring his motivations is just so difficult. It's very interesting, though.
Well, I'm sure that some of the memories would have also been highly useful in clearing his name (Snape doing his utmost in holding back Dumbledore's curse, discussing his role in the overarching plan orchestrated by Dumbledore, etc), giving the Wizarding world at least some measure of peace about one of the most disturbing and highly controversial acts in the Second Wizarding War. However, so many of the memories were so extraneous, seemingly beyond even this purpose post-war, that I think they were ultimately meant for Harry's benefit in knowing not only about the nature of the plan, but also the flawed humanity and other such intricacies that informed the plan. He didn't hide many memories that directly condemned him; in that way, his search for Harry throughout the castle was somewhat symbolic of his internal searching within his own life, so incomplete even in death. He gave Harry the memories with some semblance of context but let him make his own conclusions because he deserved as much.


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  #247  
Old February 20th, 2011, 9:22 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabriele87 View Post
Ah, that's true. I suppose I find it difficult to believe that Snape, the most enigmatic and closed-off character, would choose to give these memories away. It goes against what we know of Snape, and so inferring his motivations is just so difficult. It's very interesting, though.
I think those memories were much too personal to ever show to McGonagall or any of his colleagues. For years he didn't want Harry to know anything about himself and Lily, and was furious that Harry did the Pensieve dive to see the memory he carefully hid from the boy in OotP.

And if things had been different, and Snape could have found Harry before Voldemort tried to kill him, he might not have shown Harry all of those memories, but been more selective. Even that wouldn't have been easy for him, imo, because he still would have had to explain his childhood with Lily. But since he was dying anyway, I think he seems to let it all go in hopes that Harry would understand.

The bottom line for me is the personal quality of the memories, about people that Harry cared about the most - Dumbledore and the same people Harry called to him in the Forest, and the same people after whom he named his children. It was that shared history between Harry and Snape that helped Harry understand why Snape had stayed around all those years to protect him.


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  #248  
Old February 20th, 2011, 10:14 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by SadiraSnape View Post
Especially given his isolation at Dumbledore's Home For Wayward Wizards. He didn't have to chance to discover that the sun still shines, the wind still blows, the grass still grows, and life goes on. If he hadn't continued to hide from the world at DD's urging (making him promise to guard Harry while Severus was in the depths of grief and despair was rather egregious, IMHO -- he wasn't in his right mind, and DD knew it) he would probably have even found someone who could love him and appreciate him as himself, warts and all.
IMO, it was Snape's decision to hide away from others -it was Snape who asked Dumbledore to keep his reasons confidential.
Also, I can't think of a single good reason why Dumbledore should have just let a DE billow off into the sunset. IMO, if Snape had refused to protect Harry, and refused to make amends for his own terrible (IMO) actions, the alternative should have been sending for the Aurors. Snape was given a second chance, in being given the opportunity to protect Harry. It was a chance to face the consequences of his actions. It was also a chance for Snape to acknowledge that others had lost so much more than he had that night in Godric's Hollow. (A chance I'm not sure he took for a very long time.) Why should Dumbledore have allowed Snape to go off without making amends for his actions, when a family had been destroyed, partially because of Snape's actions?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
I also think that he never felt he deserved to overcome all his emotional issues and feeling of guilt. We know Severus felt great remorse over his part in Lily's death. Dumbledore tells us so and we see it in TPT, and in Snape's consequent actions to protect Harry. I think Severus may have seen it as his penance not to overcome his feelings of guilt or to get on with living a normal life.
Did he also think that an eleven year old child deserved to bear the brunt of Severus Snape's issues and problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boushh View Post
IMO, the older Severus that we see did feel remorse for James's death. I do think he still hated James and hated when he thought Harry behaved like James, but if this version of Severus had the choice to save James or let him die, I think he would save him. Others will probably disagree with me, but IMO we are shown a man who will rather save people than watch them die (TPT). That says to me that he regretted everyone who died because of something he did or failed to do.
I don't see any canon to suggest this means he regrets James Potters' death, though. If one needs specific canon to say that Snape did anything remotely terrible in hs years as a terrorist DE, IMO, one also needs specific canon to say that Snape regretted the death of someone he loathed.

Quote:
He tried to save Lupin even though he didn't like him and even though he was part of the gang that he felt bullied him. He protected Harry even though he didn't like him.
He protected Harry for Lily, because he had put her in danger and failed to protect her. IMO, he saved Lupin because Lupin was protecting a possible Harry -Snape suggested the Seven Potters plan to Mundungus, but he had no way of knowing who the real Harry would be with.

Quote:
IMO, most people care more for the people that are closest to them.
IMO, most people are not willing to be an accessory to murder until one of the victims is someone they care for, either.


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  #249  
Old February 20th, 2011, 11:44 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
IMO, it was Snape's decision to hide away from others -it was Snape who asked Dumbledore to keep his reasons confidential.
Also, I can't think of a single good reason why Dumbledore should have just let a DE billow off into the sunset. IMO, if Snape had refused to protect Harry, and refused to make amends for his own terrible (IMO) actions, the alternative should have been sending for the Aurors. Snape was given a second chance, in being given the opportunity to protect Harry. It was a chance to face the consequences of his actions. It was also a chance for Snape to acknowledge that others had lost so much more than he had that night in Godric's Hollow. (A chance I'm not sure he took for a very long time.) Why should Dumbledore have allowed Snape to go off without making amends for his actions, when a family had been destroyed, partially because of Snape's actions?
Right ~ and Snape didn't go off into the sunset.

Not because Dumbledore didn't "allow" him to leave, but because Snape chose to stay.

Dumbledore didn't "force" him to stay at Hogwarts all those years either. It was based on a promise, not a life debt to James or Lily or anyone else. In my opinion, Snape had already repaid any debts to them before they died because he's the only reason they knew to go into hiding when they did. He just isn't responsible beyond that point, imo, since he had nothing to do with Peter/Voldemort or the Secret Keeper Plan.

Snape's oath to stay at Hogwarts wasn't done through magical means like the Unbreakable Vow either, according to Prince's Tale. Snape kept his free will and did exactly what he swore to do, and Dumbledore trusted him to keep his word.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Furry Dice
I don't see any canon to suggest this means he regrets James Potters' death, though. If one needs specific canon to say that Snape did anything remotely terrible in hs years as a terrorist DE, IMO, one also needs specific canon to say that Snape regretted the death of someone he loathed.
He saved James's son from death several times. Isn't that good enough? He kept the Potter name alive, even though that must have been rather bitter to him at times with no children of his own. I think that's pretty noble.


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  #250  
Old February 20th, 2011, 11:58 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by gertiekeddle View Post
That's a good point. For the later Snape - the one post HBP/Dumbledore's death this actually might be true.

We see his actions lead by emotion(s) - mostly one main emotion which denies other feelings - for quite a long time, though, so I'm not entirely convinced yet he'd really overcome it. If having the choice once again, to save Lily and kill Harry, I don't think he grew that much.
I have to disagree. I think he would have done things quite differently. When we see him as a DE he does not seem to understand the value of human life. Yet when we see him later on he does state that he would save people if he could. Then we are shown him doing exactly that when he could.

I just really doubt that Dumbledore would have so much faith in someone that would just throw Harry under the bus if he had the chance to do things over. I don't think Harry would have named his son after this man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post

I don't see any canon to suggest this means he regrets James Potters' death, though. If one needs specific canon to say that Snape did anything remotely terrible in hs years as a terrorist DE, IMO, one also needs specific canon to say that Snape regretted the death of someone he loathed.
I see canon that states he did not murder as a DE and avoided getting his hands dirty. I did not say he was some sort of angelic DE. I see canon that implies that he would do things differently if he had a chance to. I see canon that implies that he felt remorse for the deaths of James and Lily Potter. I just don't need those things spelled out for me. I like to make connections to things stated in canon and I make inferences. So IMO if the Severus Snape that works for Dumbledore is one that values human life then it makes sense to me that he would do things differently had he had the chance and he feels differently than he did before. I believe that since James Potter is in fact a human being (regardless of one's personal opinion of him) then I think Snape would save his life if he had the choice to do so. I understand that there are many who would disagree with me, but I really don't think what I'm stating is far fetched at all.

Quote:
He protected Harry for Lily, because he had put her in danger and failed to protect her. IMO, he saved Lupin because Lupin was protecting a possible Harry -Snape suggested the Seven Potters plan to Mundungus, but he had no way of knowing who the real Harry would be with.
I don't see why it cannot be both for Lupin's sake and Harry's (or the fake Harry's) sake. That scene is shown soon after the scene where Snape says, "Lately only those I could not save." The only scenes that precede that scene are the scenes that set it up, so they are all related. IMO, it's done that way on purpose so that we see him trying to save someone even though he's playing the part of a DE. We are told it and then we are shown it.

Quote:
IMO, most people are not willing to be an accessory to murder until one of the victims is someone they care for, either.
I have been talking about the Severus Snape that we see years later after this point and that it is his former friend's death that hit him hard. I believe that when he was a DE he did not understand the value of human life and he had made tremendous mistakes that he felt remorse for. Part of the point I am trying to make is that he grew from this person and that the person we see for the majority of the series sees that value in the lives other human beings... which IMO he did not when he was an actual DE.


  #251  
Old February 21st, 2011, 12:25 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
Right ~ and Snape didn't go off into the sunset.

Not because Dumbledore didn't "allow" him to leave, but because Snape chose to stay.
I was responding to a post that was critical of Dumbledore asking Snape to protect Harry. I know that Snape chose to stay. I also consider it to be Dumbledore giving Snape a second chance rather than having him sent to Azkaban.

Quote:
In my opinion, Snape had already repaid any debts to them before they died because he's the only reason they knew to go into hiding when they did. He just isn't responsible beyond that point, imo, since he had nothing to do with Peter/Voldemort or the Secret Keeper Plan.
I can't see how he isn't responsible. Voldemort was still acting on Snape's information about the prophecy. The damage was done, and IMO, Snape was partially culpable for what happened to the Potters. It doesn't become less of a terrible thing to do because he regretted it and went to Dumbledore. Voldemort would not have moved the Potter family to the top of his hit-list if it were not for Snape's information.

Quote:
He saved James's son from death several times. Isn't that good enough? He kept the Potter name alive, even though that must have been rather bitter to him at times with no children of his own. I think that's pretty noble.
I'm not sure I understand this bit. How is it commendable to not let a child die especially because his own wishes were unfulfilled? Would it somehow be understandable to let a child die because Snape didn't get what he wanted? A child who had done Snape no wrong? I think if Snape held that attitude it would show that he hadn't progressed much from the selfish young man who asked Dumbledore to protect Lily, and didn't give one fig about her loved ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boushh View Post
I have to disagree. I think he would have done things quite differently. When we see him as a DE he does not seem to understand the value of human life. Yet when we see him later on he does state that he would save people if he could. Then we are shown him doing exactly that when he could.
Would he choose Lily's wishes over his own, though? Lily did not want to watch her son die, she chose to die shielding him from Voldemort. I don't know if Snape knew of this - he couldn't know unless Dumbledore told him after Harry's first year encounter with Voldemort.

Quote:
I see canon that states he did not murder as a DE and avoided getting his hands dirty. I did not say he was some sort of angelic DE.
Where does canon state that Snape never murdered anyone as a DE? Canon does state that Voldemort sent him to spy on Dumbledore. IMO, Voldemort would not send some untested and unproven DE off to spy on Dumbledore.

Quote:
I see canon that implies that he would do things differently if he had a chance to. I see canon that implies that he felt remorse for the deaths of James and Lily Potter. I just don't need those things spelled out for me. I like to make connections to things stated in canon and I make inferences.

IMO, if inferences can be made in that direction, inferences can also be made that Snape did terrible things as a DE. It is canon that he was a member of a terrorist group that committed atrocities and had the wizarding community living in fear. I would make the inference from that information that Snape was not some bystander at DE gatherings.


Quote:
I have been talking about the Severus Snape that we see years later after this point and that it is his former friend's death that hit him hard. I believe that when he was a DE he did not understand the value of human life and he had made tremendous mistakes that he felt remorse for. Part of the point I am trying to make is that he grew from this person and that the person we see for the majority of the series sees that value in the lives other human beings... which IMO he did not when he was an actual DE.

I agree -Snape and other DEs did not value human life. In that case, what was there to prevent Snape from joining in with the DEs' crimes? Snape wasn't with the DEs to make tea and sandwiches, IMO.


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  #252  
Old February 21st, 2011, 12:51 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
Did he also think that an eleven year old child deserved to bear the brunt of Severus Snape's issues and problems?
I wasn't adressing this in my post, but was trying to answer why Snape was the way he was. But as you brought it up and for the record, I have always recognised that Snape did not always act rationally or appropriately with regard to Harry.


Quote:
Originally Posted by boushh View Post
I have to disagree. I think he would have done things quite differently. When we see him as a DE he does not seem to understand the value of human life. Yet when we see him later on he does state that he would save people if he could. Then we are shown him doing exactly that when he could.
I think we see that Snape does care and value human life much earlier in the series. In CoS he appears to show concerns for Ginny Weasley after she has been taken into the Chamber, as he is shown gripping the back of a chair.

"It has happened," she told the silent staff room. "A student has been taken by the monster. Right into the Chamber itself."

Professor Flitwick let out a squeal, Professor Sprout clapped her hands over her mouth. Snape gripped the back of a chair very hard and said, "How can you be sure?"
(CoS,Chamber of Secrets)

Quote:
I just really doubt that Dumbledore would have so much faith in someone that would just throw Harry under the bus if he had the chance to do things over.
Indeed! Dumbledore also trusted Snape to do all within his power to protect the students, once Voldemort had taken over the school. If Severus hadn't changed and had no regard for human life, this would have been a very poor judgement by Dumbledore.

Quote:
I don't see why it cannot be both for Lupin's sake and Harry's (or the fake Harry's) sake. That scene is shown soon after the scene where Snape says, The only scenes that precede that scene are the scenes that set it up, so they are all related. IMO, it's done that way on purpose so that we see him trying to save someone even though he's playing the part of a DE. We are told it and then we are shown it.
The actual order of the memories are:

1.The scene were Snape tells Dumbledore,"Lately only those I could not save."
2.Then Dumbledore's portrait suggests the Seven Potters plan.
3.Snape Confunds Mundungus.
4.Snape trys to save Lupin.

So yes, I can definately see a continuity from what Snape says, to what we then see him doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
Where does canon state that Snape never murdered anyone as a DE? Canon does state that Voldemort sent him to spy on Dumbledore. IMO, Voldemort would not send some untested and unproven DE off to spy on Dumbledore.
In my opinion there are a few places within the text, were it is clearly inferred that Snape never commited murder. Bella at Spinner's End for one, Karkaroff, and Dumbledore when he says, "How many men and women have you watched die?” If Dumbledore knew that Snape had killed in the past, then I don't think he would have used the words "watched die" as oppose to "killed". I happen to believe that just being a supporter of such an organisation as the DE's was in itself heinous.

I am sure Snape was proven to Voldemort that he was a loyal and useful spy. If Voldemort wanted a spy then he surely would send someone who had those skills. If he wanted someone killed or tortured, then I think he would send someone who had skills in that direction. Both are different skill sets, but I don't see why DE's with different types of usefullness, can't be considered equally as loyal.

Also, I think this would have been much too important piece of information on Snape. And as JKR was building up her list of red herrings,I think that surely she would have made it very clear if Snape had commited murder during his time as a DE.


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Last edited by TreacleTartlet; February 21st, 2011 at 1:51 am.
  #253  
Old February 21st, 2011, 1:16 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I don't see Severus "forced" to stay at Hogwarts, but, rather staying because it was the only way he could complete what he'd set out to do: make amends for the errors of his youth and redeem himself -- both cleansing his soul and showing his remorse for what he had been part of.

Sometimes it seems to me it's overlooked that he was a "youth," just about 20-21, the same age as James and Lily, when he made those errors. Sometimes it seems to me that others' errors are dismissed as being youthful "ignorance" or "spirits" or "arrogance," but Severus is held to a higher standard. I feel that he has the same claim to "errors of youth" as the others his age, and should be held to the same standards of behaviour, good or bad.

Maybe he did consider it penance that he walked the halls and grounds where he and Lily and James had gone to school together so many years before...maybe it helped him to remember why he was doing what he was doing. Maybe it kept him grounded and focused and able to face the things he knew were eventually coming -- for, I think Severus, as well as Dumbledore, knew Voldemort wasn't dead and would return some day, and that he would play an important part in helping to vanquish him once and for all.

IMO, Severus was not directly responsible for Lily's and James' deaths, but, I think he always held himself accountable for even being a part of setting it in motion. He did everything he could do, once he found out the Potters had been targeted, to save Lily, and the Fidelius Charm would have worked had Pettigrew not betrayed them.

This does not excuse Severus' having carried the Prophecy, nor the fact that someone would probably die once Voldemort interpreted it. So, please don't think I'm letting him off easy. But, I don't think he carried the Prophecy with the intent of having anyone killed...I don't think he gave it any conisderation, but was thinking about gaining points with his boss. I don't think it bothered him much when he saw Voldemort's reaction, because, as we see later on the hilltop, he really hadn't cared who got killed as long as it wasn't Lily. At that time he was focused only on saving her, even at the cost of Harry's life.

But, IMO, Dumbledore had the same effect on Severus that he had on Harry many times: he could instill such a sense of guilt with just a few words. "You disgust me." I think those were the words that finally brought Severus Snape to his senses. To that point, I think he might have been able to assuage his "guilt by association" with Voldemort by his not having done anything directly. I feel, and Bella's rant in HBP seems to back it up, that Severus avoided the "dirty work" and, by doing so, avoided feeling as guilty as he should have for what he was involved in. Once it came home to him, though, I think it all hit him at once.

"You disgust me." I think those words echoed in his own thoughts that night and he became disgusted with himself and what he had let himself become. I think that's why he was later able to answer, when asked by Dumbledore how many people he'd watched die, "Lately only those I could not save."

I feel that Severus did grow to value human life, all human life, and as was said in a previous post, that included James Potter's life. I don't think he was ever able to forgive James for things that happened when they were students, but, that doesn't mean he wanted to see him dead, or was not sorry that James had been killed. It is possible to dislike someone and still feel sorry that they have died.

It seems to me that a lot of Severus initial "dislike" of Harry came from his physical resemblence to James, then, later, I think it was based on Harry's taking risks with his life...the life Lily had sacrificed her own for. I think Severus resented that, and reacted, or overreacted to Harry, in part, because of that resentment. It was like an insult to Lily's sacrifice -- even Lupin commented to Harry about risking his life that had cost his mother so much to save.


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  #254  
Old February 21st, 2011, 5:38 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post

Would he choose Lily's wishes over his own, though? Lily did not want to watch her son die, she chose to die shielding him from Voldemort. I don't know if Snape knew of this - he couldn't know unless Dumbledore told him after Harry's first year encounter with Voldemort.
I'm not sure I follow you. I'm talking about specific things and I feel you are going off on a bit of a tangent in bringing up Lily's wishes and what she would do, so I apologize if I seem confused. What I am trying to say is that he would have done things differently if he had the choice, which to me means that he would have never joined the DEs in the first place. I am also saying that the man we see during "present day" in the 7 books is someone who does value human life so if that man were to have a do over I don't think he would stand by and watch someone die if there was something that he could do about it and that goes for Harry as well.

Quote:
Where does canon state that Snape never murdered anyone as a DE? Canon does state that Voldemort sent him to spy on Dumbledore. IMO, Voldemort would not send some untested and unproven DE off to spy on Dumbledore.
Treacle Tartlet posted some canon and I will respond to her post.

Quote:
IMO, if inferences can be made in that direction, inferences can also be made that Snape did terrible things as a DE. It is canon that he was a member of a terrorist group that committed atrocities and had the wizarding community living in fear. I would make the inference from that information that Snape was not some bystander at DE gatherings.
I did not say that he wasn't involved in some bad deeds as a DE. I just think there is more canon evidence that states that he was not a murderer and was not involved in some of the more horrible things because he needed to have a cleaner record as a spy that was to be employed at Hogwarts. Again, Treacle Tartlet provided the canon info that I go by and I will respond to her post.

Quote:
I agree -Snape and other DEs did not value human life. In that case, what was there to prevent Snape from joining in with the DEs' crimes? Snape wasn't with the DEs to make tea and sandwiches, IMO.
Again... I don't follow you. I am saying that he changed from the person that was a young DE. I am also not saying he was some sort of angel. He was a DE. He did bad things, such as spying for Voldemort. I just don't think he was a murderer or a DE of the same caliber as those that we see in the series. I also think there is canon to support my view. I understand that you might feel differently and I'm just going to have to agree to disagree because I'm having a tough time following your responses. Sorry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
I think we see that Snape does care and value human life much earlier in the series. In CoS he appears to show concerns for Ginny Weasley after she has been taken into the Chamber, as he is shown gripping the back of a chair.

"It has happened," she told the silent staff room. "A student has been taken by the monster. Right into the Chamber itself."

Professor Flitwick let out a squeal, Professor Sprout clapped her hands over her mouth. Snape gripped the back of a chair very hard and said, "How can you be sure?"
(CoS,Chamber of Secrets)
Yes, I agree. And I had this in mind when I was commenting earlier. It wasn't just at the very end that he changed. I think he was very different from the DE Severus from the moment we first see him in the series. He may not come across as a nice man. He may be quite authoritarian, but I think he does care about the lives of others at this time... when in the past he was limited in this regard. I also don't find the latter horrible or disgusting in his case... I find it sad.

Quote:
Indeed! Dumbledore also trusted Snape to do all within his power to protect the students, once Voldemort had taken over the school. If Severus hadn't changed and had no regard for human life, this would have been a very poor judgement by Dumbledore.
I agree. There was also nothing to stop him from really going on the offense when the other teachers were aiming to kill him. Instead he used defensive spells and then fled. IMO, it's because he didn't want to hurt anyone... because he cares about other people as opposed to his younger self.

I noticed this the other day, but in this scene it's like he's ganged up on once again... three or four against one and called a coward for backing off on top of it all.

Quote:
The actual order of the memories are:

1.The scene were Snape tells Dumbledore,"Lately only those I could not save."
2.Then Dumbledore's portrait suggests the Seven Potters plan.
3.Snape Confunds Mundungus.
4.Snape trys to save Lupin.

So yes, I can definately see a continuity from what Snape says, to what we then see him doing.
Yes, exactly. I think those memories are deliberately arranged that way.

This is a bit off the point and I'm probably alone in this opinion, but I also think that the following memory of him sobbing over Lily's letter follows this sequence. I don't think it happens after he kills DD. It doesn't make sense for this memory to be the only one that is out of order, and there is no indication in the text that this scene happens after the events of HBP. I think his emotions were heightened after the battle and the possibility that he had physically hurt Harry. So he went to the house as a safe place to go, found the letter and lost control of his emotions. One might wonder how he got through the protections... If it's plausible that he got through the protections of Hogwarts and into the Headmaster's office while he was considered a murderer then it's just as plausible that he was able to get into #12


Quote:
In my opinion there are a few places within the text, were it is clearly inferred that Snape never commited murder. Bella at Spinner's End for one, Karkaroff, and Dumbledore when he says, "How many men and women have you watched die?” If Dumbledore knew that Snape had killed in the past, then I don't think he would have used the words "watched die" as oppose to "killed". I happen to believe that just being a supporter of such an organisation as the DE's was in itself heinous.
Yes, I agree, and those were some of the bits of canon that I was referring to... Thanks.

Quote:
I am sure Snape was proven to Voldemort that he was a loyal and useful spy. If Voldemort wanted a spy then he surely would send someone who had those skills. If he wanted someone killed or tortured, then I think he would send someone who had skills in that direction. Both are different skill sets, but I don't see why DE's with different types of usefullness, can't be considered equally as loyal.
Yup. I think he would send someone who not only had skills but also the inclination to torture people. I'm not certain that Severus was that type of person, personally. He was more indifferent towards people in my view, rather than someone who actively wanted to hurt people just for the sake of hurting them.

Quote:
Also, I think this would have been much too important piece of information on Snape. And as JKR was building up her list of red herrings,I think that surely she would have made it very clear if Snape had commited murder during his time as a DE.
Most definitely agree. Instead she gives us info that leads me to conclude otherwise. And for the record, when I first read the books I did assume that he had killed as a DE. Then I read the books again once I had finished DH and then I caught the references above and changed my opinion. Whether he had killed or not he would still be redeemed IMO. So it isn't that I want to make him look better or something. It's just what is there in the text, IMHO.


  #255  
Old February 21st, 2011, 6:21 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
I don't see Severus "forced" to stay at Hogwarts, but, rather staying because it was the only way he could complete what he'd set out to do: make amends for the errors of his youth and redeem himself -- both cleansing his soul and showing his remorse for what he had been part of.

Sometimes it seems to me it's overlooked that he was a "youth," just about 20-21, the same age as James and Lily, when he made those errors.
This is why I think DD played on his emotions after Lily died, in order to get Severus to do what DD wanted -- stay at Hogwarts and continue as a teacher, which is obviously a job Severus was not suited for. I just think if he had not been essentially locked into this position, at an early age, in a place that held the most painful of memories for him, he'd have been able to grow and move on.

I don't think working at Hogwarts was the best thing psychologically for someone like Severus. I think he felt trapped there by his promise, and never realized that he was actually free to go where he wanted, as long as he helped guard Harry when the time came. And I think DD did this by going after him when he was in the depths of despair and not in his right mind in any way, shape or form. JMHO, YMMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boushh View Post
I agree. There was also nothing to stop him from really going on the offense when the other teachers were aiming to kill him. Instead he used defensive spells and then fled. IMO, it's because he didn't want to hurt anyone... because he cares about other people as opposed to his younger self.
In fact, we never see him take an offensive stance in combat except on the night of Too Many Harrys. He is always on the defensive, and he never retaliates -- he simply blocks and redirects spells sent at him. I get the feeling from these many instances that he has almost taken a vow to never harm another person with magic; there are so many instances where he could have injured or killed someone else, and he never does anything except block.

If this were the case (vowing to never harm with magic), it would go far in explaining his distress over killing Dumbledore...

Rampant speculation on my part, but there you go.

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Originally Posted by boushh View Post
One might wonder how he got through the protections... If it's plausible that he got through the protections of Hogwarts and into the Headmaster's office while he was considered a murderer then it's just as plausible that he was able to get into #12
As for how he got into the Headmaster's office, remember from OotP that Umbridge couldn't get in because Hogwarts didn't accept her as Headmaster. I imagine Hogwarts itself understood Severus was actually on the side of the Light, and had no problem admitting him. The walls have ears, you know, and in Hogwarts' case, this is almost literally true...

If the only safeguards on #12 were a temporary Langlock and a revenant of Dumbledore, I imagine it wasn't too difficult to get in. Severus would have just waited til the Langlock wore off, then when the revenant appeared told it, "I only did what you asked me to do, Albus." A smart man like Severus would have figured that out in no time. He doesn't strike me as a person who would be scared by a ghost rattling its chains at him...

As always, standard JMHO, YMMV disclaimer applies...


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  #256  
Old February 21st, 2011, 8:56 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Furry Dice
It doesn't become less of a terrible thing to do because he regretted it and went to Dumbledore.
For me, it's not that regretting it makes it "less terrible," but whether he admitted his bad ways and truly changed. He couldn't "unring the bell" so to speak, but he could try to make sure the Potters were safe, and he promised to do "anything" to make that happen.

I happen to agree with Dumbledore that as soon as Snape turned back to the good side, he was no longer a Death Eater, though he had to go back and appear as one while spying. What matters is that he had come to his senses about what Voldemort was really doing and turned away from it. For me, with the religious background that I have, that's all I need to show he was redeemed. Each reader might see that differently, so it's a really subjective topic.


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  #257  
Old February 21st, 2011, 2:15 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by SadiraSnape View Post
I think he felt trapped there by his promise, and never realized that he was actually free to go where he wanted, as long as he helped guard Harry when the time came. And I think DD did this by going after him when he was in the depths of despair and not in his right mind in any way, shape or form. JMHO, YMMV.
You've said this before, and I just couldn't disagree more. When Snape's free will is taken away, as you are suggesting, unless I am misunderstanding, then his redemptive path is meaningless, as I see it. It is only when a person freely and willingly wants to change, that he becomes redeemed. And in my opinion, Snape was redeemed. He willingly and knowingly stayed at Hogwarts and played the role of the spy, as he promised, because he felt remorse, great, bone-crushing remorse, the greatest remorse of his life, not because Dumbledore shamed him or made him feel guilty or took advantage of his despair, as I see it. Dumbledore offered Snape something he needed very much, a chance to redeem himself. Sure, Dumbledore needed Snape to play that role, but it was also a role that turned Snape into the person he became. I can't imagine what would have happened to Snape if Dumbledore hadn't offered him that chance. Snape wasn't trapped by a promise, in my opinion, he was given his life back.

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Old February 21st, 2011, 3:31 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by SadiraSnape View Post
This is why I think DD played on his emotions after Lily died, in order to get Severus to do what DD wanted -- stay at Hogwarts and continue as a teacher, which is obviously a job Severus was not suited for. I just think if he had not been essentially locked into this position, at an early age, in a place that held the most painful of memories for him, he'd have been able to grow and move on.
My opinion of Severus would be greatly lessened if I thought he was susceptible to having his emotions 'played on'. Dumbledore's disgust at him on the hilltop in 1981 seemed to be a cold shock that brought Severus to his senses. And when he said 'Anything', (i.e. 'I will do anything to try to make amends for Lily's death') I believe he wasn't kidding. So I think he took on the job of teacher/spy at Hogwarts of his own free will, as Susan Bones says.

Quote:
I don't think working at Hogwarts was the best thing psychologically for someone like Severus. I think he felt trapped there by his promise, and never realized that he was actually free to go where he wanted, as long as he helped guard Harry when the time came.
I know this is speculation but surely canon points logically in the direction of Severus not having many options open to him. He wasn't entirely 'free to go where he wanted', because by turning away from Voldemort, he had made himself pretty much a marked man (OK, Voldemort 'died' in 1981 but as Dumbledore reminded Severus, the Dark Lord would rise again in the near future). So Severus did really need to be at Hogwarts, teaching, because that basically afforded him much necessary protection, as per Susan's post.

Not that I think that was his only motivation, or that it detracts from his courage in being a spy for Dumbledore: Susan has made a strong case for his choosing to do the right thing, not being inveigled into it, and I agree with her. Severus did make a real choice, to turn away from being a Death Eater.

But he was also a realistic man. He knew the risks he was taking, in changing sides, and he knew that Dumbledore was offering him protection.

Quote:
In fact, we never see him take an offensive stance in combat except on the night of Too Many Harrys. He is always on the defensive, and he never retaliates -- he simply blocks and redirects spells sent at him. I get the feeling from these many instances that he has almost taken a vow to never harm another person with magic; there are so many instances where he could have injured or killed someone else, and he never does anything except block.
Well, there is also that incident when he fires Sectumsempra at the Death Eater who was trying to kill Remus, and unfortunately wounded George as a result (which of course was not Snape's intention).

Not that I hold this against Snape, I see him like I see anyone else in the Order of the Phoenix: you gotta do what you gotta do to take the enemy down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanBones View Post
I can't imagine what would have happened to Snape if Dumbledore hadn't offered him that chance.
Exactly. He'd have been hunted down, by his former DE colleagues wanting revenge for his having turned 'turncoat'. Which is why it was so very brave of him to walk to the graveyard, in the summer of 1994. Right back into the lion's den.

Quote:
Snape wasn't trapped by a promise, in my opinion, he was given his life back.
I agree.


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  #259  
Old February 21st, 2011, 5:52 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I don't think he was manipulated or trapped by Dumbledore either. I think he made his choice on the hill with little prompting. I don't even think the "you disgust me" was the reason he chose to do "anything" to help. I think he had largely made that choice when he went to Dumbledore in the first place. I think his choice was a more conscious extension of that. After Lily's death he was given a purpose... a reason to go on. After that I think he continued to learn, change, and improve. Like everyone else in this world he was a work in progress even when he died, but I think he was very different from DE Snape. At least he was to me...


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Old February 21st, 2011, 7:41 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by SusanBones View Post
You've said this before, and I just couldn't disagree more. When Snape's free will is taken away, as you are suggesting, unless I am misunderstanding, then his redemptive path is meaningless, as I see it. It is only when a person freely and willingly wants to change, that he becomes redeemed. And in my opinion, Snape was redeemed. He willingly and knowingly stayed at Hogwarts and played the role of the spy, as he promised, because he felt remorse, great, bone-crushing remorse, the greatest remorse of his life, not because Dumbledore shamed him or made him feel guilty or took advantage of his despair, as I see it. Dumbledore offered Snape something he needed very much, a chance to redeem himself. Sure, Dumbledore needed Snape to play that role, but it was also a role that turned Snape into the person he became. I can't imagine what would have happened to Snape if Dumbledore hadn't offered him that chance. Snape wasn't trapped by a promise, in my opinion, he was given his life back.
Susan, you and I often disagree on Snape, but on this point I could not agree with you more.

I have never believed that Snape was trapped by Dumbledore. Rather, he was given an opportunity to get his life back, to set it on a course of redemption, and he took the opportunity he was given.

That's not to say that his redemptive arc is not without bumps. He takes steps forward and steps backward - just as most people do. He has some very serious traumas from his own schooldays that he cannot get past, and they interfere with his objectivity.

But I do not believe that he was emotionally manipulated by Dumbledore into doing something he did not want to do. Dumbledore gave a different option to a man who saw death as his only option. And Snape grabbed hold of the lifeline.


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