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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6



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  #381  
Old February 22nd, 2012, 11:51 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MrSleepyHead View Post
I agree. It reminds me of this passage from The Prince's Tale:
DH, The Prince's Tale"I know James Potter’s an arrogant toerag," she said, cutting across Snape. "I don’t need you to tell me that. But Mulciber’s and Avery’s idea of humor is just evil. Evil, Sev. I don’t understand how you can be friends with them."

Harry doubted that Snape had even heard her strictures on Mulciber and Avery. The moment she had insulted James Potter, his whole body had relaxed, and as they walked away there was a new spring in Snape’s step…

And I believe that "selective hearing" was applied throughout Snape's friendship with Lily, and I see that as a serious form of selfishness.
I believe he felt relieved that she realized, in his mind at least, James' behavior was a bad as Mulciber's and Avery's. I don't see it as selective hearing.


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  #382  
Old February 23rd, 2012, 12:17 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
I believe he felt relieved that she realized, in his mind at least, James' behavior was a bad as Mulciber's and Avery's. I don't see it as selective hearing.
As Snape might have said, "Bad as huh?"

Lily felt that Mulciber and Avery (described as "evil") were worse than James (merely "an arrogant toerag"); that much is, in my opinion, signified by her "but." Snape doesn't care because in his little world there is only Lily and anyone who would "take Lily away from him"--namely, James. (I put that in quotes because of course Lily isn't his to be taken from.) Anything that either glorifies Lily or denigrates James is therefore cause for rejoicing in his mind. This is such a common trope of infatuation that I doubt it needs substantial elaboration. I take Rowling's narrative at face value--that Snape really did stop listening because the revelation that Lily didn't find James so amazing drowned everything else out.

Perhaps "selective hearing" isn't quite the right word, but I feel strongly that there are multiple standards that Snape brings to bear: one for Lily, one for James (and anyone other than Lily connected with him), and (at least) one for everyone else.

By the way, if any of you have ever watched Woody Allen's film Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), look at Woody's character Clifford Stern, Mia Farrow's character Halley Reed, and Alan Alda's parody of a character Lester (Clifford's brother-in-law). Though that triangle is decidedly on the "misdemeanors" side of the film, and thus doesn't end in murder, I've found Clifford's attitude toward Lester somewhat illuminating on the Snape/Lily/James triangle.


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  #383  
Old February 23rd, 2012, 6:02 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by snapes_witch View Post
In addition to all that, when Voldemort was restored in the graveyard (GoF) he fully intended to kill Snape for having 'left me forever'. I'd like to have been a beetle on the wall to overhear Snape's talking Voldemort out of that!!
Ditto on that one! Yet somehow he did. Which has always puzzled me that he didn't even seem to try to talk LV out of killing him for mastery of the Elder Wand. Probably distracted by his desire to get to Harry.

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Originally Posted by MrSleepyHead View Post
And I believe that "selective hearing" was applied throughout Snape's friendship with Lily, and I see that as a serious form of selfishness.
Possibly. I see it as a severe lack of experience in interpersonal relationships. He seemed to relate to Lily better than his parents related to him.


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  #384  
Old February 23rd, 2012, 9:47 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
I believe he felt relieved that she realized, in his mind at least, James' behavior was a bad as Mulciber's and Avery's. I don't see it as selective hearing.
Maybe he thought she was finally listening to something he had to say. But, I think he was so relieved to know that she didn't "fancy" James that he wouldn't have heard much else. Not selective. I don't think it was intentional. Just a nervous reaction.

I do think each of them could have paid a bit more attention to what the other was saying.


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Old February 24th, 2012, 11:29 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Taken from Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis thread:

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
IMO, unless Lily is psychic, she really cannot "know" that Severus wants to be a DE. While we can assume from the tone of the conversation that there have been other discussions about this, we're not shown what was said.
Quote:
Opening and closing his mouth appears, to me, to be a definite sign of speechlessness. We don't know that it is true at this time that he wants to become a DE. IMO, he makes no reply because they've discussed it before, he's denied it before, and he's given up trying to convince Lily that he doesn't want to be a DE just because he hangs around with Avery and Mulciber. We don't really see that Severus, Avery, and Mulciber are "close" friends. Just that they are Housemates and he hangs around with them. We see no sign of them at all during SWM. If they'd been "close" friend I'd think they have come to his rescue during the pantsing.
Given the narration of this story and Snape's story arc, I think it makes sense that Lily did know and/or had a good suspicion that Snape was planning on joining the D.E.'s. Not only does it give Lily a good reason for why she leaves Snape after being friends with him for so long, but because it is true. Snape eventually joins the D.E.'s. To me it just doesn't make sense that Lily wouldn't have known at that time when the story ends up proving her right.

Yes, there are a lot of things we don't see between Snape and Lily. TPT chapter only gives us a limited amount of memories, which just gives enough information to Harry/the reader of what happened in the past. Given that this is Snape's memories that he gave to Harry, I think this was his way of explaining to Harry the truth of what HE did in the past, why HE did the things he did as the years went on, and the reason why. I think the memories were more about Snape's choices and reasons than Lily's motives or anything else, hence why the title is called The Prince's Tale and why the memories are so limited (aside from the fact that this is still a book and the writing has to have some structure).

Quote:
But, when that came up it was pretty obvious that confidential information had been leaked and used in a discussion that went on after the Gryffindors returned to the common room that evening. Lily was more than likely bombarded with every reason she should get rid of Severus, including the name-calling. Even if she'd had an idea of possibly giving her friend a chance to apologize and to maybe try to set some guidelines if they were going to continue their friendship, I think it all got to be more than she wanted to handle and was making her extremely uncomfortable in her House surroundings and it was easier for her to get rid of him, since she wasn't going to be changing Houses. IMO, completely terminating the "friendship" had more to do with her friendships with her Housemates and less to do with an actual moral decision.
If Lily was recieving any peer pressure from her friends, it would be because of Snape's behavior and his alliance with D.E. wannabes and they didn't think it was good for Lily to be around people like that. It's already established that the Dark Arts and Voldemort and his idealogy were dangerous, so anyone who followed any of that was already dangerous to be around. This goes into what I mentioned above of Lily being right about Snape wanting to join the D.E.'s. Snape calliing her mudblood only proved directly to her face that he was following the wrong path and idealogy. Not to mention that mudblood is a word not to be taken lightly. The books already establish that mudblood is a lot more than just any old insult.

Snape's story arc is one of redemption. My understanding of a redemptive arc is that a character has to have done something bad, or a series of bad things, in order to need one. As I mentioned above, given the narriation and Snape's story arc, Lily ending the friendship because of Snape's bad choices makes more sense. He made huge mistakes and lost the person he loved because of them. If it is true that Lily's reasoning for ending her friendship with Snape was more about petty house rivarly than Snape's bad choices, it takes fault away from Snape for having lost Lily in the first place, which I think diminishes his redemptive arc a bit.

Also, IMO it doesn't make sense given the plot line of the story, nor does it make sense for Snape's character. If Lily was wrong or had no way of knowing Snape was going to be a D.E, then why is that the very next memory in the TPT chapter reveal that he does become one? What was Snape trying to explain then if Lily left him due to house rivarly and he ends up doing exactly what she knew he would do?


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  #386  
Old February 25th, 2012, 2:30 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by RavenStar83 View Post


Given the narration of this story and Snape's story arc, I think it makes sense that Lily did know and/or had a good suspicion that Snape was planning on joining the D.E.'s. Not only does it give Lily a good reason for why she leaves Snape after being friends with him for so long, but because it is true.
Strange, though, that a future Death Eater would openly consider a muggleborn to be his best friend. To me this says that he had no current plans to become a DE, or he didn't understand what being a DE was all about (since someone with that type of ideology would see a muggleborn as inferior and not "best friend/girl friend" material).

Quote:
If Lily was recieving any peer pressure from her friends, it would be because of Snape's behavior and his alliance with D.E. wannabes and they didn't think it was good for Lily to be around people like that.
I think James was attracted to Lily and saw Snape as a rival, and wanted Lily for himself.

Quote:
Snape's story arc is one of redemption. My understanding of a redemptive arc is that a character has to have done something bad, or a series of bad things, in order to need one. As I mentioned above, given the narriation and Snape's story arc, Lily ending the friendship because of Snape's bad choices makes more sense. He made huge mistakes and lost the person he loved because of them. If it is true that Lily's reasoning for ending her friendship with Snape was more about petty house rivarly than Snape's bad choices, it takes fault away from Snape for having lost Lily in the first place, which I think diminishes his redemptive arc a bit.
In his mind, he lost Lily for calling her a "mudblood" while under duress. We also see from their exchanges that she didn't always view the situation the same as he did - especially since she tells him he should be grateful to James for saving his life. I don't believe Snape felt the same way.

Quote:
Also, IMO it doesn't make sense given the plot line of the story, nor does it make sense for Snape's character. If Lily was wrong or had no way of knowing Snape was going to be a D.E, then why is that the very next memory in the TPT chapter reveal that he does become one? What was Snape trying to explain then if Lily left him due to house rivarly and he ends up doing exactly what she knew he would do?
I think it's because, after the moment she closed the door in his face, he made a decision he regretted. I think that's the moment he decided to become a budding DE, and that was one of the choices he regretted for the rest of his live, along with calling her a "mudblood."


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  #387  
Old February 25th, 2012, 4:33 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
Strange, though, that a future Death Eater would openly consider a muggleborn to be his best friend. To me this says that he had no current plans to become a DE, or he didn't understand what being a DE was all about (since someone with that type of ideology would see a muggleborn as inferior and not "best friend/girl friend" material).
IMO, Severus had no intention before SWM of becoming a DE after leaving school. As you point out, having a Muggleborn friend/girl friend would not have won him any admiration from the DE wannabes. Just the opposite. I think it probably caused a lot of discomfort for him in his own House. But, he loves Lily and is willing to put up with whatever criticism or taunting he might have gotten over their friendship.

Quote:
I think James was attracted to Lily and saw Snape as a rival, and wanted Lily for himself.
I believe that was the reason that Lily was provided with the information that James had "saved" Severus life and that he was not grateful for it, evn though all involved were sworn to secrecy.

But, one thing that seems to be constantly overlooked, I think: Severus honored that secrecy and did not try to defend himself by telling Lily why he had to be "saved." I, personally, think this tells us a good bit about his moral fiber at that time. He didn't tell anyone about the incident or that Lupin was a werewolf. Imagine the problems Severus could have caused with that little piece of information. And he wouldn't have been involved in anything other than breaking curfew when he went to follow them. What was that, a few points off the House and detention? Definitely not expulsion for something as minor as sneaking out at night.

Imagine the mileage he could have gotten out of it with his DE friends, especially if their parents had the same opinion of Dumbledore that Lucius Malfoy did when Draco was in Hogwarts. IMO, it wouldn't have been much of a problem for him, personally, if he'd wanted to pull the plug on Dumbledore, the Marauders, and whichever members of the Ministry had OK'd Dumbledore allowing a werewolf to attend Hogwarts. Heads would have rolled.

But, he honored being sworn to secrecy. That, to me, is not someone who is planning to go into the torture/murder business.

Quote:
In his mind, he lost Lily for calling her a "mudblood" while under duress. We also see from their exchanges that she didn't always view the situation the same as he did - especially since she tells him he should be grateful to James for saving his life. I don't believe Snape felt the same way.
As was pointed out on the Lily thread, the two of them came from such diverse backgrounds, I think each had a difficult time understanding where the other was coming from on many occasions.

Quote:
I think it's because, after the moment she closed the door in his face, he made a decision he regretted. I think that's the moment he decided to become a budding DE, and that was one of the choices he regretted for the rest of his live, along with calling her a "mudblood."
Once that happened I think he just gave up and decided he might as well throw in his lot with a group who would accept him. He wasn't getting any of that from the good guys. We're never shown that he was ever given an offer to join the good guys or to fight against Voldemort. It was always assumed, always a "given," that he was going to be a DE and so he fulfilled that expectation. And that was something I think he regretted from the time he received his Dark Mark. Just my opinion, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenStar83

Snape's story arc is one of redemption.
Yes, it is. He was seeking to atone for joining the DEs after he left Hogwarts, and for feeling like he was a part of Lily's death by carrying the prophecy to Voldemort. That was his redemption arc, IMO, not what he did in school.


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  #388  
Old February 25th, 2012, 10:45 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
Strange, though, that a future Death Eater would openly consider a muggleborn to be his best friend. To me this says that he had no current plans to become a DE, or he didn't understand what being a DE was all about (since someone with that type of ideology would see a muggleborn as inferior and not "best friend/girl friend" material).
Well yes, there was a time when Snape didn't consider being a DE. Snape met Lily when he was 10/11 years old, way before he or any wizard his age would have to fully deal with the first war. People change as they get older, sometimes to the point where you can't keep the relationships you once had. Real life relationships can turn dysfunctional because one and/or both persons in the relationship have changed that the other isn't right for the other anymore. But they still stay together because that's who they care about and are attached to. So to me, it wouldn't be that strange that Snape would want to stay friends with Lily and still want to join the DE's. They've been close friends afterall. Besides, it's proven in canon that Voldemort/the DE hated muggleborns, but would consider having one work for them if it benefitted them in some way.

And even if at the time he didn't understand what being a DE was all about, he was still planning on joining them and supporting them. It's still a valid reason for Lily ending the friendship.
Quote:
I think James was attracted to Lily and saw Snape as a rival, and wanted Lily for himself.
I don't see what this has to do with my statement about Lily's friends. As far as my reading of the books, James wasn't friends with Lily in 5th year.
Quote:
In his mind, he lost Lily for calling her a "mudblood" while under duress. We also see from their exchanges that she didn't always view the situation the same as he did - especially since she tells him he should be grateful to James for saving his life. I don't believe Snape felt the same way.
Quote:
I think it's because, after the moment she closed the door in his face, he made a decision he regretted. I think that's the moment he decided to become a budding DE, and that was one of the choices he regretted for the rest of his live, along with calling her a "mudblood."
In TPT chapter, Lily explains to Snape her reasons why she's ending the friendship, which is more than just calling her a mudblood. I know that some have argued that Lily would not have known he was going to be a DE or that she was "biased." My reading of the books has always been to take the character's word as truth until it's proven otherwise. I do this because part of a character's function in a story is to give information to the reader and keep the story going. TPT memories are very limited and neither Snape nor Lily are alive/present to explain themselves. The character's word is all we can go by to give us, the reader, information. JKR could have easily added one more scene to show the exact moment Snape decided to become a DE after Lily close the portrait hole. But what we have is Lily stating she knows he's planning on joining Voldemort one day, and the very next memory we see Snape as one. I don't see anything in the text that prove her statements wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Yes, it is. He was seeking to atone for joining the DEs after he left Hogwarts, and for feeling like he was a part of Lily's death by carrying the prophecy to Voldemort. That was his redemption arc, IMO, not what he did in school.
As I explained above and in my last post, Snape's downfall started when he did things that continued to push Lily away. And Lily statements make sense considering what Snape eventually chooses to do. I think it adds even more to Snape's redemptive arc than it would if it had just been about what he did after school. If only he had listened to his best friend, he wouldn't have made the choices he made that put both their lives in danger; Lily's ending too early and Snape's life being so much harder till his last day. It makes it even more tragic.


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Last edited by RavenStar83; February 25th, 2012 at 10:48 am.
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  #389  
Old February 25th, 2012, 4:07 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Quote:
Merry Lore said:
Strange, though, that a future Death Eater would openly consider a muggleborn to be his best friend. To me this says that he had no current plans to become a DE, or he didn't understand what being a DE was all about (since someone with that type of ideology would see a muggleborn as inferior and not "best friend/girl friend" material).
Hmmm, I think, when deliberating this, that the conclusion drawn is highly dependent on why you believe Snape joined the Death Eaters. In my opinion, he did not harbor any proper resentment towards muggleborns. His insult to Lily was said out of pure anger, and I do not believe that it indicates prejudice on his part. Personally, I think that Snape joined Voldemort's crew because he was fascinated with the Dark Arts, and wanted to be a part of a great movement. Recognition for his power and talent, in other words. I think that Snape had always been drawn to the Death Eaters, but not for reasons that necessarily involved their ideology. Therefore, I do not see any discrepancies with him befriending a muggleborn, especially one in whom he saw talent and attractiveness.


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Old February 25th, 2012, 4:49 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Hmmm, I think, when deliberating this, that the conclusion drawn is highly dependent on why you believe Snape joined the Death Eaters. In my opinion, he did not harbor any proper resentment towards muggleborns. His insult to Lily was said out of pure anger, and I do not believe that it indicates prejudice on his part. Personally, I think that Snape joined Voldemort's crew because he was fascinated with the Dark Arts, and wanted to be a part of a great movement. Recognition for his power and talent, in other words. I think that Snape had always been drawn to the Death Eaters, but not for reasons that necessarily involved their ideology. Therefore, I do not see any discrepancies with him befriending a muggleborn, especially one in whom he saw talent and attractiveness.
Then in this case, he didn't know what the Death Easters were all about, which is what I personally believe. I think he felt powerless most of his life, and was looking for recognition, and I agree that it went along with his fascination with the dark arts.

I don't think he seriously considered joining them until his 6th year, and ignored their pureblood ideology once he joined and learned the truth, until Lily herself was targeted.


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  #391  
Old February 25th, 2012, 4:58 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
Then in this case, he didn't know what the Death Easters were all about, which is what I personally believe. I think he felt powerless most of his life, and was looking for recognition, and I agree that it went along with his fascination with the dark arts.

I don't think he seriously considered joining them until his 6th year, and ignored their pureblood ideology once he joined and learned the truth, until Lily herself was targeted.
I agree. I really don't think he knew what he was in for when he joined the DE and when he saw what they were all about, he didn't leave because he couldn't. You don't just walk out on Voldemort and live. He'd have to have an incredibly good reason to take that chance. Plus he had nothing to lose, he was admired and his abilities recognized. I don't think he shared their idea about pure-bloods and muggleborns, though I do think he wasn't particularly keen on Muggles, probably because of his father. I think that even though he didn't share their opinions, they didn't bother him that much either, which I think is one of his biggest faults. That of course, until Lily gets in trouble. It is then I think, that he realizes just how horrible Voldemort and his lot were. I think he realized that all those other people they slaughtered were someone else's Lily.


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  #392  
Old February 25th, 2012, 5:56 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
I don't think he seriously considered joining them until his 6th year, and ignored their pureblood ideology once he joined and learned the truth, until Lily herself was targeted.
I agree. I think Snape was undecided about joining the DE during his fifth year. In the end, I think he joined because of peer pressure, much like Peter for the Order.

This probably has been brought up before but I wonder what exactly Snape's role was. It doesn't look like he played an active role in the front lines. I wouldn't think he'd want to sign up for a job that required him to do a lot of dueling. It seems as though he was more used for research/undercover missions.



Last edited by wolfbrother; February 25th, 2012 at 6:02 pm.
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Old February 25th, 2012, 6:22 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Yes, it is. He was seeking to atone for joining the DEs after he left Hogwarts, and for feeling like he was a part of Lily's death by carrying the prophecy to Voldemort. That was his redemption arc, IMO, not what he did in school.
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Originally Posted by RavenStar83 View Post
As I explained above and in my last post, Snape's downfall started when he did things that continued to push Lily away. And Lily statements make sense considering what Snape eventually chooses to do. I think it adds even more to Snape's redemptive arc than it would if it had just been about what he did after school. If only he had listened to his best friend, he wouldn't have made the choices he made that put both their lives in danger; Lily's ending too early and Snape's life being so much harder till his last day. It makes it even more tragic.
Here are my two cents on this: I think Severus' redemption arc is more than just about his brief stint as a DE. Throughout TPT we see an ideological shift occur as well, and I think that's the main point: his trouble was not exactly the side he chose, but instead the way he viewed human life. As he grew older, he appears to have developed an understanding of how important it is to save lives.

However, because his redemption arc is (IMO) about how he views human life, it doesn't exactly necessitate him actively wanting to join the DEs at fifteen. What it does necessitate, IMO, is him developing views that wreck his friendship with Lily. I wouldn't classify that as being the same as him wanting to join the DEs yet.

IMO, it's just as likely that after Lily's final accusation, Snape thought "Oh, well, why not?" as it is that Lily's accusation hit the nail on the head. Neither are particularly problematic to the redemption arc: in the former scenario, it's still his choice, and in the latter, well....it's still his choice. Seeing as we can't get into his head and read his thoughts, I don't think we can really know when he made the decision to join them...nor do I think it's as important as why he joined.

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Originally Posted by wolfbrother
This probably has been brought up before but I wonder what exactly Snape's role was. It doesn't look like he played an active role in the front lines. I wouldn't think he'd want to sign up for a job that required him to do a lot of dueling. It seems as though he was more used for research/undercover missions.
I agree. Sirius, who we know would want to be up there in the front lines , doesn't seem entirely sure Snape was a DE by the time of GoF. One would think he'd know if he'd been fighting him in the war. Additionally, Voldemort seemed to think he was a good choice for tailing DD. I think that suggests Voldemort thought Snape would not attract attention or make DD suspicious-- a perk that I imagine only DEs in the background would enjoy.


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  #394  
Old February 26th, 2012, 6:53 am
sparrowinwinter  Undisclosed.gif sparrowinwinter is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by wolfbrother View Post
This probably has been brought up before but I wonder what exactly Snape's role was. It doesn't look like he played an active role in the front lines. I wouldn't think he'd want to sign up for a job that required him to do a lot of dueling. It seems as though he was more used for research/undercover missions.
Yes, I wonder too. But it must have been something in the background, otherwise he wouldn't have been sent to get a job at Hogwarts the day he heard the prophesy. On the other hand, DD seems to have known he was a DE, but then again, what does DD not know?

What I wonder is what exactly was Snape after within the DE. When he heard the prophesy, he went and told Voldemort everything. He wasn't stupid, he wouldn't have told him out of fear that he'd find out anyway, he was perfectly capable of deceiving him. The only reason he'd tell him everything like that would be that he was extremely loyal or was after something. He would have told him something like 'there's going to be one who can defeat you but I got thrown out before I got to hear more but I could go and try to find out more' and then just pretend to do that or something. That would have been a very Slytherin thing to do, it would have brought him more credit for 'trying' so hard to be of service. So I wonder, why did he just tell him everything?


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  #395  
Old February 26th, 2012, 7:08 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

The current discussion on this thread prompted me to reread one of Snape and Lily's conversations. Just some associated notes, all my own opinions, of course:
DH: The Prince's Tale“. . . thought we were supposed to be friends?” Snape was saying. “Best friends?”

“We are, Sev, but I don’t like some of the people you’re hanging round with! I’m sorry, but I detest Avery and Mulciber! Mulciber! What do you see in him, Sev, he’s creepy? D’you know what he tried to do to Mary Macdonald the other day?”

Lily had reached a pillar and leaned against it, looking up into the thin, sallow face.

“That was nothing,” said Snape. “It was a laugh, that’s all–“

”It was Dark Magic, and if you think that’s funny–”

“What about the stuff Potter and his mates get up to?” demanded Snape. His color rose again as he said it, unable, it seemed, to hold in his resentment.

“What’s Potter got to do with anything?” said Lily.

In this part of the conversation Lily is telling Snape that some of the people he associates with make her uncomfortable because of their behavior. To Lily it seems that Snape is changing the subject (What's Potter got to do with anything?) But from Snape's point of view the behavior of his friends don’t seem as bad as the behavior Potter and "his mates" exhibit. Snape knows this from first-hand experience (he's unable to hold in his resentment.) I think Lily has no clue the extent to which James harasses Severus--which is why it appears to her that Snape is changing the subject.

At the same time, Severus calls Mulciber’s actions “a laugh.” Snape doesn’t like when Potter bullies him, but i don't think he seems to be able to empathize with someone else in the same situation.
DH: The Prince’s Tale“They sneak out at night. There’s something weird about that Lupin. Where does he keep going?”

“He’s ill,” said Lily. “They say he’s ill–”

“Every month at the full moon?” said Snape.

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

“I’m just trying to show you they aren’t as wonderful as everyone seems to think they are.”

For whatever reason (pride, embarrassment, etc.) Snape is not able to tell Lily about the severe bullying he is experiencing, which I think is the reason he is so obsessed with them. Instead it seems he is trying to collect evidence (ironically, he is spying on them) to prove to Lily that his suspicions are correct and if he can get them in trouble, all the better.

It is in their Defense Against the Dark Arts classes that information about werewolves is taught–so lycanthropy apparently is considered a Dark Art. If Snape suspects Lupin is a werewolf, it could explain why he would honestly not be able to understand why Lily makes a distinction between what the Marauder’s were up to and Mulciber using “Dark Magic.” Indeed, it might be possible that what the Marauders were doing was more consistently dangerous than Mulciber’s actions.
DH: The Prince’s TaleThe intensity of his gaze made her blush.

“They don’t use Dark Magic, though.” She dropped her voice. “And you’re being really ungrateful. I heard what happened the other night. You went sneaking down that tunnel by the Whomping Willow, and James Potter saved you from whatever’s down there–”

Snape’s whole face contorted and he spluttered, “Saved? Saved? You think he was playing the hero? He was saving his neck and his friends’ too! You’re not going to–I won’t let you–”

I think one of the things that angers Snape was that Lily accuses him of ingratitude, choosing to believe rumors of what happened that night before she actually asked him about it. This is not an indication of a solid friendship.

For a good portion of their relationship, Snape is correct about many things he knows and much of what he perceives. He recognizes that Lily is a witch. Snape is accurate about Petunia’s jealousy of Lily’s magical ability. He is correct in his suspicion that Lupin is a werewolf. He is right about James’ motivation for “playing the hero” and that James fancies Lily. In each of these instances, it’s Lily’s perception that in error. So when she complains about the people he hangs out with, what is Snape to believe?

From his viewpoint, he is treated better by his “Death Eater” friends than he is by other students who supposedly hate the Dark Arts. Lily seems unable to understand his point of view, primarily, I believe, because she never witnesses most of the torment Snape endures. Nor does she really understand the effect Snape’s home life has had upon him. But her lack of understanding is simply due to her inexperience–not to any deficiency of her character.

Snape is very bright and an excellent student. His success in his studies builds his confidence and reinforces his reliance on the notion that he can use his intelligence to resolve any problem. It is very rewarding for him when his perceptions are proven correct and as these reinforcements continue to occur, he is lulled into examining those perceptions less and less. But like Lily, Snape does not realize the effect his upbringing has had upon him. How can he when he has known nothing else? Children learn empathy from their parents. They learn to care for others as they are cared for. This is how a child’s social conscience develops. Or not.

Dumbledore had loving and caring parents, but in his youth he was drawn toward the Dark side through his friendship with Grindelwald and their intellectualizing (and abstraction) of the Wizard-Muggle relationship. Although it resulted in Ariana’s death, Dumbledore was fortunate that that tragedy occurred sooner rather than later. The Dark Arts can be perceived as being more powerful than other magic and those who desire power often gravitate toward them. But the reasons for desiring power vary from person to person. Dumbledore and Grindelwald wanted to take over the world, finally putting Muggles in their place.

Although Snape resented his Muggle father, he had a Muggle-born best friend and called himself the Half-Blood Prince and so didn’t seem to personally have a blood supremacy agenda. But the helplessness he experienced as a child could easily have driven him to seek power to make up for that lack. Before even getting on the Hogwarts Express, Snape knew he wanted to be in Slytherin and he knowingly chose that house. Lily was sorted before Snape was. If he had wanted to be with her more than he valued what he hoped to gain from Slytherin, the hat would have sorted him differently.

All my opinion, of course.


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  #396  
Old February 26th, 2012, 7:38 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

I've always thought that, since Severus was sent to get the position at Hogwarts to be able to spy on Dumbledore, once he was caught he knew that wasn't going to happen. So, instead of having to go back to Voldemort and face him empty handed and having failed miserably, this little gem dropped into his lap and he ran with it to save his butt. "Look, my lord, what I brought you instead." With that bit of information, Voldy might have even forgotten why he sent him in the first place.

I'm not sure if Severus was strong enough at Occlumency at the time he overheard the prophecy to hide that knowledge from Voldemort. He may have been practicing it after he learned that Lily was in danger so that he could ask for her to be spared without Voldemort being able to tell his real motive: that he loved her. He would have seen that as a weakness that Voldemort could use against him (why he tells Harry about wearing his heart on his sleeve). But that was several months after the initial carrying of the prophecy, so he might have been better at it. I also think that Dumbledore worked with him a lot on his Occlumency skills once he turned on Voldemort

Yes, Dumbledore recognized Severus as DE on the hilltop, but he was evidently the only one of the good guys who knew that at the time. Maybe he recognized him from the Hogshead and knew why he was sent there in the first place.

Among the things that lead me to believe that Severus was a "behind the scenes" guy but, while providing support for the DEs (thus his guilt by association and complacency), was not involved in the murdering or torturing are:
1) Dumbledore did not kill or arrest him on sight on the hillside but asked why he'd been sent -- he may have recognized him as a messenger for Voldemort;
2) Bella's little spiel at Spinner's End;
3) the fact that no one outside of the DEs knew that Severus was a DE -- if he'd been active in the torture and killing department he'd have been well known and had wanted posters hanging around with is face on them;
4) Voldemort thought he was clean enough that Dumbledore would hire him as a teacher, something he wouldn't do if he'd even have suspected Severus was a murderer.


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  #397  
Old February 26th, 2012, 8:13 am
sparrowinwinter  Undisclosed.gif sparrowinwinter is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
I've always thought that, since Severus was sent to get the position at Hogwarts to be able to spy on Dumbledore, once he was caught he knew that wasn't going to happen. So, instead of having to go back to Voldemort and face him empty handed and having failed miserably, this little gem dropped into his lap and he ran with it to save his butt. "Look, my lord, what I brought you instead." With that bit of information, Voldy might have even forgotten why he sent him in the first place.
That could be...although I still think that he could have fed Voldy the information in pieces and pretend he was trying very hard to get it.

Quote:
I'm not sure if Severus was strong enough at Occlumency at the time he overheard the prophecy to hide that knowledge from Voldemort. He may have been practicing it after he learned that Lily was in danger so that he could ask for her to be spared without Voldemort being able to tell his real motive: that he loved her. He would have seen that as a weakness that Voldemort could use against him (why he tells Harry about wearing his heart on his sleeve). But that was several months after the initial carrying of the prophecy, so he might have been better at it. I also think that Dumbledore worked with him a lot on his Occlumency skills once he turned on Voldemort
Personally, I think he was. He couldn't have mastered Occlumency like that in only a couple of months. Maybe not even that since we're not told exactly how long it was from the night he heard the prophesy to the night Voldy decided it was Potter that would threaten him. So I think he was perfectly capable of keeping his brain shut when he heard the prophesy.

Quote:
Yes, Dumbledore recognized Severus as DE on the hilltop, but he was evidently the only one of the good guys who knew that at the time. Maybe he recognized him from the Hogshead and knew why he was sent there in the first place.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure Dumbledore knew he was a DE in Hogshead. The way he talked to him on that hilltop indicated that. What I don't understand is why didn't he use a Memory Charm or something on Severus right then and there. Of course that would have ruined the plot but still...I wonder what he was thinking.


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  #398  
Old February 26th, 2012, 8:47 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
Here are my two cents on this: I think Severus' redemption arc is more than just about his brief stint as a DE. Throughout TPT we see an ideological shift occur as well, and I think that's the main point: his trouble was not exactly the side he chose, but instead the way he viewed human life. As he grew older, he appears to have developed an understanding of how important it is to save lives.

However, because his redemption arc is (IMO) about how he views human life, it doesn't exactly necessitate him actively wanting to join the DEs at fifteen. What it does necessitate, IMO, is him developing views that wreck his friendship with Lily. I wouldn't classify that as being the same as him wanting to join the DEs yet.
I agree with this. But I think it could still be a mix of both. I think Lily was disturbed by his regard for others, especially since he seems okay with Mulciber using Dark Magic, along with knowing he may consider joining the DE's. Regardless of when he started to consider joining, I think it's due to his views of human life that he chooses to do so anyway.

Quote:
IMO, it's just as likely that after Lily's final accusation, Snape thought "Oh, well, why not?" as it is that Lily's accusation hit the nail on the head. Neither are particularly problematic to the redemption arc: in the former scenario, it's still his choice, and in the latter, well....it's still his choice. Seeing as we can't get into his head and read his thoughts, I don't think we can really know when he made the decision to join them...nor do I think it's as important as why he joined.
Good point. I admit, the way I see Snape's story between him and Lily is very tragic, which is part of why I like it so much. And it makes the redemptive arc, for me, more grand. Though I still think Snape deciding to join the DE's after his friendship with Lily ends contradicts Lily's statement to him in TPT memories (I only bring this up since it's been argued that Lily was wrong for believing that).


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  #399  
Old February 26th, 2012, 3:19 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by sparrowinwinter View Post
Yes, I wonder too. But it must have been something in the background, otherwise he wouldn't have been sent to get a job at Hogwarts the day he heard the prophesy. On the other hand, DD seems to have known he was a DE, but then again, what does DD not know?

What I wonder is what exactly was Snape after within the DE. When he heard the prophesy, he went and told Voldemort everything. He wasn't stupid, he wouldn't have told him out of fear that he'd find out anyway, he was perfectly capable of deceiving him. The only reason he'd tell him everything like that would be that he was extremely loyal or was after something. He would have told him something like 'there's going to be one who can defeat you but I got thrown out before I got to hear more but I could go and try to find out more' and then just pretend to do that or something. That would have been a very Slytherin thing to do, it would have brought him more credit for 'trying' so hard to be of service. So I wonder, why did he just tell him everything?
I think it comes down to loyalty. Snape has shown strong loyalty to people who treated him well. I think Snape's role would have been either research or espionage. In this sense, I think Snape was sheltered from some of the activities of the death eaters. Its one thing to hear about stuff and another to actually be involved.

I think Voldemort was well aware of Snape's skill as an Occlumens and that was part of the reason he was sent to Dumbledore. Voldemort in his arrogance would obviously believe that no-one could be so good an Occlumens as to block him but he'd believe that Dumbledore could be blocked. I'm not sure if Snape was intended to be a double agent from the start though.

Quote:
Yeah, I'm pretty sure Dumbledore knew he was a DE in Hogshead. The way he talked to him on that hilltop indicated that. What I don't understand is why didn't he use a Memory Charm or something on Severus right then and there. Of course that would have ruined the plot but still...I wonder what he was thinking.
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  #400  
Old February 26th, 2012, 8:28 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by sparrowinwinter View Post
Yeah, I'm pretty sure Dumbledore knew he was a DE in Hogshead. The way he talked to him on that hilltop indicated that. What I don't understand is why didn't he use a Memory Charm or something on Severus right then and there. Of course that would have ruined the plot but still...I wonder what he was thinking.
Dumbledore heard the whole prophecy and understood that Voldemort would have to chose the one who would defeat him. I think Dumbledore knew that if Voldemort never heard about the prophecy, the prophecy could not be fulfilled. I believe he purposely let Snape go, memory unmodified, so that Voldemort could be conquered.


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