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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6



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  #41  
Old October 30th, 2011, 6:01 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by mirrormere View Post
My (often faulty) memory recalls only one time that Snape gave Harry undeserved points off-first portions class when Snape accuses Harry of not helping Neville in order to appear the better student.
Other than the one-sided points-off in GOF (where he penalized Harry but not Draco), and the one you noted, I'm not remembering any others at the moment...so there are 2 from the books that we recall... if I come across any other specific examples, I'll be sure to post them up, or send you an owl.


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  #42  
Old October 30th, 2011, 9:51 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Could you tell me where you find that? I've re-read the incident in my book (GOF pages 299-300 US edition), and find nothing where Snape tells anyone to get inside, including Draco, until after Snape looks at Hermione's teeth and makes his cruel remark. Also, as Snape arrived after the students were lined up outside, he also had to be well outside the classroom himself; the book mentions several Slytherin girls pointing and laughing at Hermione from behind Snape, which would imply quite a few students still in the corridor who had not entered class.
All I'm saying is that Ron and Harry argued with Snape and that's why they got a detention, while Draco didn't argue. Before that Snape was asking Draco what happened to Goyle and Hermione, but looking at the passage again it does not say when Draco left the hallway.

When Harry and Ron went into the room, Draco was in his seat. That's why I assumed he had gone into the classroom before them. I'm just stating the way I viewed it as a reader - it's certainly open to interpretation.


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  #43  
Old October 30th, 2011, 12:55 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

After reading DH, to what extent do you think is Snape responsible for what happened to the Potters?

He's responsible for setting the events in motion, and he's definitely responsible for passing on information he knew would mean hurting people. So I'd say to a large extent, which is why his story arc is so important for the very skeleton of the HP story.

Do you think Snape's character development arc is complete?

Absolutely, and perfectly executed, too.

To what extent are Snape's parents to blame for his later choices and to what extent are they his own responsibility?

I think this is a trickily worded question. I don't believe it's his parents who are responsible for his actions, but rather the parenting his received. His childhood and lack of proper parenting and a loving home do have an impact on the kind of adult he became, but I don't think they can be blamed directly for the choices he made. It's more complex relationship than a straightforward cause-and-effect one, in my opinion.

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

I firmly believed he would have eventually been disillusioned with the Death Eaters and tried to leave: I think his redemption arc shows that he had the ability to see things from the other side. I like to think he would have moved on - after all, he was only twenty, and in general people tend to move on from experiences in their early youth.

Why do you think Snape was so reluctant to approach Lily? Would he have been interested in her if she had not been magical?

I don't know if he would have been interested in her if she'd been a Muggle. But I think he was reluctant to approach her because he had very poor social skills and had been used to denial even at the young age of 9.

How did Hogwarts effect the friendship between Snape and Lily? We see that up until fifth year they consider themselves to be "best friends", despite the house system. Do you think they both worked to maintain the friendship?

I don't think that people this young - teenagers - ever really consciously work on their relationships. I think that in Lily and Severus's case, circumstances and outside events were strong enough and polarizing enough (with very good reason) to tear them apart and I don't believe either can be blamed for not maintaining or saving their relationships. I don't think either of them was even in a position to do anything about it. It's hard to see the larger picture when you're 16.

How would Snape's life have been different if he had managed to save their friendship?

I don't know. Maybe he would have been happier. It's hard to tell, especially because one has to figure in the state of war the magical world was in and where both of them stood in it.


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  #44  
Old October 30th, 2011, 4:46 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
All I'm saying is that Ron and Harry argued with Snape and that's why they got a detention, while Draco didn't argue. Before that Snape was asking Draco what happened to Goyle and Hermione, but looking at the passage again it does not say when Draco left the hallway.

When Harry and Ron went into the room, Draco was in his seat. That's why I assumed he had gone into the classroom before them. I'm just stating the way I viewed it as a reader - it's certainly open to interpretation.
I agree with you that it can be open to interpretation to a certain degree; however I think that if you review it in context of his other actions in the same incident -- sending Goyle to hospital with no comment, but being cold (JKR's description) to Hermione in commenting he "saw no difference" in teeth going past her collar (effectively negating evidence that Draco ever threw a curse) -- it seems to me that he intended to penalize Harry and not Draco from the get go. Another example of Snape being unfair is in book 1, point against Harry for not noticing and correcting Neville's potion-making in class on the fictitious notion that Harry wanted to look good by comparison; which is ironic as he punished Hermione every time she tried to help Neville. So the way I view it, there is more evidence to support the theory that Snape would have punished Harry regardless, but not Draco.


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  #45  
Old October 30th, 2011, 6:35 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
Is my memory failing me, or are some of these new? After all this time?
Ahahaha, yes. I try to come up with at least one or two questions per new thread but it's not easy. Thank you for noticing.


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  #46  
Old October 31st, 2011, 1:16 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

I noticed the new questions. Good job. On Sev Analysis Gazillion and One, it can't be easy to come up with anything new.

Why do you think Snape was so reluctant to approach Lily? Would he have been interested in her if she had not been magical?

I think he was terribly shy and totally without social skills. Obviously he didn't know how to approach Lily and introduce himself or anything. He'd probably noticed her doing "magic" and then watched to see if it was just a trick she was playing on her sister or if she was really magical.

When we read the description of little Severus, with his mismatched and outrageous clothes, and his abrupt manner, it's sad to me because IMO, it showed neglect and even indifference on the part of his parents. This more than likely made him a laughing stock in the neighborhood. I imagine he'd experienced a good bit of teasing and bullying by the time we first see him.

Then he sees this beautiful girl, the same age as he is, and she can do magical things. Severus knows about the Wizarding World, so to tell someone they're a "witch" isn't a bad thing to him. Again, this shows his obvious lack of social and communications skills as he wasn't able to tell Lily this in an "acceptable" manner, but, instead, offended her and set Petunia off. I am surprised that he was not more aware from his father's reaction that being magical wasn't all that great to some Muggles. Maybe he thought this girl would be different because she was so talented.

I think Petunia was already jealous of Lily and anything that made her seem anymore special was just one more thing to try to squash. So, she tried to discredit what Severus told Lily by dismissing him as "That Snape boy from down Spinner's End." This makes me wonder if there had been stories of him, possibly due to accidental magic -- and, maybe his appearance -- that made her recognize him. Whichever, Petunia wasn't impressed by him and didn't want Lily to be either.

I really don't think that Severus would have approached Lily if she hadn't been magical for fear that he would have just been rebuffed, a reaction that I think he got in most encounters with children near his age. But, I think he thought because she was magical that they had something in common, so it gave him the courage to approach her.

Since their first meeting didn't end too well, I often wonder: Did Severus continue to try to make contact with Lily, or was her curiosity piqued enough for her to make contact with him? When we see them next time, it's pretty clear that they have been friends for a while, so someone had to make the next move after Petunia stormed off and Lily followed her, ending their first encounter.


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  #47  
Old November 1st, 2011, 5:41 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

After reading DH, to what extent do you think is Snape responsible for what happened to the Potters?
If he truly did not know that the prophecy referred to Lily, then I don't think he is responsible.

Do you think Snape's character development arc is complete?
Yes, I do. He was strong and confident and intimidating in most of the series, and vulnerable in his last moments.

To what extent are Snape's parents to blame for his later choices and to what extent are they his own responsibility?
He could definitely point to his parents for being not so great role models, but once he became an adult, he was responsible for resolving his feelings about his past.

Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
I think he would have continued with his interests, and also explored the good side from time to time.

Why do you think Snape was so reluctant to approach Lily? Would he have been interested in her if she had not been magical?
I think he had a crush on her, and would have liked her if she was a Muggle. He saw something he wanted, and perhaps felt unworthy, yet approached her anyway, despite his fears.

How did Hogwarts effect the friendship between Snape and Lily? We see that up until fifth year they consider themselves to be "best friends", despite the house system. Do you think they both worked to maintain the friendship?
Yes, I think that if they were friends, they were both putting an effort toward staying close.

How would Snape's life have been different if he had managed to save their friendship?
I think it could have been a turning point for him. He may have learned enough from just this experience to learn how to control his temper, and be more considerate. But then the whole series would have been different.

Snape is revealed to have been acting throughout the series out of love for Lily, how does this effect your view of his actions in the series - his "murder" of Dumbledore, his treatment of Sirius?
This definitely put a new light on everything. I went from thinking he was too harsh and cruel, to considering him rather brave.

How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?
Similar to previous answer: his manner toward them was severe, but I'm not sure anything less would have supported the idea of an "uncaring" Snape who was ready to turn them over to Voldemort at any time.

Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
Not until he was dying.

Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?
Sorry, I'm not familiar with what she has said in interviews.

Which elements do you think make Snape the most controversial character of the series?
His role as double agent.

What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?
Strengths: confidence, magical talent, leadership abilities, humor. Flaws: Impulse control, social skills (in terms of making friends), anger management.

If you had to summarize Snape's character to someone who had never read the books what would you tell them?
That he's a melancholy, intelligent, brave man who may surprise them.

What do you reckon Snape valued most in life?
I think he valued loyalty, first to Lily, and then to Harry. Of course, to Dumbledore, and reluctantly to Voldymort.


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  #48  
Old November 1st, 2011, 6:26 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Since I havnt been on this thread before I'd better answer the questions.

  1. After reading DH, to what extent do you think is Snape responsible for what happened to the Potters?
Well as he was the one who told the prophecy to Voldemort he is undoubtedly responsible to a degree but then he also went and warned Dumbledore which probably delayed their killings. If he realised what Voldemort was going to do with the prophecy he obviously wouldnt have told him about it.
  1. Do you think Snape's character development arc is complete?
Yes. I'd say so.
  1. To what extent are Snape's parents to blame for his later choices and to what extent are they his own responsibility?
I think a mix ob both his parents and his own personal choices are responsible.
  1. Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
I think he probably would have stayed a Death Eater.
  1. Why do you think Snape was so reluctant to approach Lily? Would he have been interested in her if she had not been magical?
If Lily was a muggle I dont think Snape would have been as interested.
  1. How did Hogwarts effect the friendship between Snape and Lily? We see that up until fifth year they consider themselves to be "best friends", despite the house system. Do you think they both worked to maintain the friendship?
I think it was Snape's friendship with the Slytherins who were going to become death eaters that ultimatly led to their friendship ending. If the house system wasnt their im not sure if this would have happened.
  1. How would Snape's life have been different if he had managed to save their friendship?
I really dont know.
  1. Snape is revealed to have been acting throughout the series out of love for Lily, how does this effect your view of his actions in the series - his "murder" of Dumbledore, his treatment of Sirius?
I usually see Snape as a bad person who did good things because of his love of Lily
  1. How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?
It certainly explains his hatred of Harry. Not too sure why he hated Neville so much. maybe bacause Voldemort could havr tried to kill him too.
  1. Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
yes that is why he lift Harry all of his memories.
  1. Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?
Yes
  1. Which elements do you think make Snape the most controversial character of the series?
The fact that no one knew what side he was on or his motivations until the very end,.
  1. What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?
Strength intelligence and magical skills. weakness social skills
  1. If you had to summarize Snape's character to someone who had never read the books what would you tell them?
A man impossible to understand until the very end.
  1. What do you reckon Snape valued most in life?
loyalty


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  #49  
Old November 1st, 2011, 8:27 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Since their first meeting didn't end too well, I often wonder: Did Severus continue to try to make contact with Lily, or was her curiosity piqued enough for her to make contact with him? When we see them next time, it's pretty clear that they have been friends for a while, so someone had to make the next move after Petunia stormed off and Lily followed her, ending their first encounter.
Oh, great question. I can't see the two talking to each other again if Petunia had been present- perhaps Snape and Lily both spotted each other in the park when they were alone. If Lily seemed to have forgiven their first meeting, I think Snape would have been more inclined to try and speak to her again and she, too. Snape also could have shown her that he was able to cast magic upon the flower like she did and this piqued Lily's curiousity and was the first step in her seeing a witch as not being 'a very nice thing to say to somebody.'

All speculuation and my opinion, of course.


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Old November 1st, 2011, 9:28 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by FutureAuthor13 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat
Since their first meeting didn't end too well, I often wonder: Did Severus continue to try to make contact with Lily, or was her curiosity piqued enough for her to make contact with him? When we see them next time, it's pretty clear that they have been friends for a while, so someone had to make the next move after Petunia stormed off and Lily followed her, ending their first encounter.

Oh, great question. I can't see the two talking to each other again if Petunia had been present- perhaps Snape and Lily both spotted each other in the park when they were alone. If Lily seemed to have forgiven their first meeting, I think Snape would have been more inclined to try and speak to her again and she, too. Snape also could have shown her that he was able to cast magic upon the flower like she did and this piqued Lily's curiousity and was the first step in her seeing a witch as not being 'a very nice thing to say to somebody.'

All speculuation and my opinion, of course.
I think Lily would have thought about their conversation later and would be burning with curiosity over his explanation of her talent. She might have even approached him first the next time.


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  #51  
Old November 1st, 2011, 9:44 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Since their first meeting didn't end too well, I often wonder: Did Severus continue to try to make contact with Lily, or was her curiosity piqued enough for her to make contact with him? When we see them next time, it's pretty clear that they have been friends for a while, so someone had to make the next move after Petunia stormed off and Lily followed her, ending their first encounter.
Like FutureAuthor13, I too think this is a fun question to think about, and I suspect it's almost certain that she would have had to make the first move. I think the first interaction would have been too disappointing for him to try again on his own. I imagine he might have daydreamed about her approaching him, but he wouldn't have been able to approach her. The best that could have been hoped for from him, I think, would have been engineering a situation where a chance meeting was likely (though not necessarily certain).

Or maybe I'm just projecting my long-ago adolescence.


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  #52  
Old November 1st, 2011, 10:09 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by BrianTung View Post
Like FutureAuthor13, I too think this is a fun question to think about, and I suspect it's almost certain that she would have had to make the first move. I think the first interaction would have been too disappointing for him to try again on his own. I imagine he might have daydreamed about her approaching him, but he wouldn't have been able to approach her. The best that could have been hoped for from him, I think, would have been engineering a situation where a chance meeting was likely (though not necessarily certain).

Or maybe I'm just projecting my long-ago adolescence.
This sounds really like what a kid would do. I agree that after the rebuff from Lily over hurting Petunia's feelings it would have been hard for Severus to have put himself forward again to open a conversation with Lily. But, he might have hug around where she might notice him and, when Petunia was not there, she might have approached him and asked what he meant about her being a witch. I would definitely think the next move had to be her's because I just don't see him working up the courage for a second try after the first one went so awfully wrong.


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  #53  
Old November 3rd, 2011, 11:52 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

I have been thinking about the question about whether Snape would have moved on had Lily not died, and whether he would have turned to the good side.

I think it would have taken long time for him to move on - first love, whether real or unrequieted, can take a long time to get over.

I don't know whether he would have been able to turn to the good side - after all people didn't just leave the Death Eaters did they? Joining the Death Eaters was a one way ticket - as Regulus Black found out to his cost. I am unsure as to whether Snape would have found the courage to meet Dumbledore in any circumstances other than Lily's life being in great danger...


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Old November 3rd, 2011, 1:34 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by SirDobster View Post
After reading DH, to what extent do you think is Snape responsible for what happened to the Potters?
If he truly did not know that the prophecy referred to Lily, then I don't think he is responsible.
I don't think it matters a jot that he didn't know who would die because of the prophecy. It's enough that he knew it would put someone in the line of fire from Voldemort. IMO, Snape is responsible for putting Lily, James and Harry in mortal peril, because he knew that someone would be in danger because of the prophecy. It doesn't become any less of an evil thing to do because he didn't know who the victims would be. Snape didn't get to play god, and decide who was worthy of life or death, which IMO, was what he tried to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yorkiedoodle View Post
I don't know whether he would have been able to turn to the good side - after all people didn't just leave the Death Eaters did they? Joining the Death Eaters was a one way ticket - as Regulus Black found out to his cost. I am unsure as to whether Snape would have found the courage to meet Dumbledore in any circumstances other than Lily's life being in great danger...
I don't think it was a matter of finding the courage to go to Dumbledore. Snape went to Dumbledore because he was going to be hurt (as a consequence of his own evil deed), not because of a conscience that went against families in general being murdered, as the DEs had been doing all along. Snape needed a personal motivation to act against Voldemort. I don't think he would have felt any reason to act against Voldemort if Lily had not been in danger.


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Old November 3rd, 2011, 3:00 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I don't think it matters a jot that he didn't know who would die because of the prophecy. It's enough that he knew it would put someone in the line of fire from Voldemort. IMO, Snape is responsible for putting Lily, James and Harry in mortal peril, because he knew that someone would be in danger because of the prophecy. It doesn't become any less of an evil thing to do because he didn't know who the victims would be. Snape didn't get to play god, and decide who was worthy of life or death, which IMO, was what he tried to do.


We've discussed this point several times and I think it is still a matter of opinion as to Severus' "evil" intent.

He was sent to get a job at Hogwarts and, being caught spying at the keyhole kind of put an end to that. So, he took the only thing he had to offer back to Voldemort: a portion of a prophecy. It was kind of an, "I didn't get the job, but, listen to this..." thing, IMO. I don't think he gave a lot of thought to what was in it or who it endangered. That was definitely wrong, but, IMO, not evil. There was no actual "intent" to hurt anyone when he carried the prophecy, just the intent, as I see it, to save his own behind.



Quote:
I don't think it was a matter of finding the courage to go to Dumbledore. Snape went to Dumbledore because he was going to be hurt (as a consequence of his own evil deed), not because of a conscience that went against families in general being murdered, as the DEs had been doing all along. Snape needed a personal motivation to act against Voldemort. I don't think he would have felt any reason to act against Voldemort if Lily had not been in danger.


I find this, also, a matter of opinion. IMO, Severus risked his freedom and his life in going to Dumbledore, not because of a selfish reason, but because of a selfless one: to save Lily's life. Of course he would have been hurt if she'd died, but I don't see that as his prime concern. His concern, to me, seemed to be that she was going to die, that she was going to lose her life, not him. He had no contact with her, so it wasn't like he was going to miss her anymore than he already did. He despised James, so it would have been a real evil way to get back at him, having him lose Lily, as well.

But, IMO, his concern was for Lily dying. Period.

As for having a "conscience" about a family in general, I think he was so consumed with his concern for Lily he didn't give them a thought until Dumbledore verbally gobsmacked him about it. Then he did ask for their safety as well. But, James and Harry were nothing that he was going to risk his life for as he would Lily. They were an afterthought. While, again, this may not be a totally generous and wonderful thing, it is pretty human to think of ones you love in peril before thinking of others.

In the end, though, he did agree to "anything" to save them all.

I agree with yorkiedoodle that Severus might not have left the DEs without the impetus of Lily's being in danger. First, he didn't have an opportunity to do so. He sure hadn't been invited to leave or come over to the "good side" by anyone that we see. Second, as pointed out and learned by Regulus Black, you don't just turn in your two-week notice and walk away quietly. Without all of the events coming together the way they did, I think Severus would have remained as inactive a DE as he could possibly be and still stay alive.

I do think, had he secured the position at Hogwarts the day he heard the prophecy that two things would have happened: 1) he wouldn't have needed to carry the prophecy because he'd have succeeded in his charge to get into Hogwarts to spy on Dumbledore; 2) once at Hogwarts and under Dumbledore's protection, Severus would have left the DEs and turned to the good side, because I don't think his heart was ever in being a DE. I think his being the "good little DE" was strictly an act, due to his being a spy and having to earn Voldemort's trust.


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Old November 3rd, 2011, 3:17 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I don't think it matters a jot that he didn't know who would die because of the prophecy. It's enough that he knew it would put someone in the line of fire from Voldemort. IMO, Snape is responsible for putting Lily, James and Harry in mortal peril, because he knew that someone would be in danger because of the prophecy. It doesn't become any less of an evil thing to do because he didn't know who the victims would be. Snape didn't get to play god, and decide who was worthy of life or death, which IMO, was what he tried to do.
Dumbledore said that Snape "did not know-- had no possible way of knowing--which boy Voldemort would hunt down from then onward, or that the parents he would destroy in his murderous quest were people that professor Snape knew..." So I agree with you, Snape knew that a family would be destroyed, and was on board with that, he just didn't know which family would be destroyed. Once he found out which family Voldemort had settled on it then he started to care, in my opinion, because of the harm the decision was doing to himself. I don't think Snape was shocked to suddenly discover his boss was a murderer, just upset that Voldemort's choice would cause him distress. I see Snape's journey as that of someone self-centered who did play god by deciding who was worthy of life or death based on how much value they had to Severus Snape, to someone who finally recognized in his final years that people had the right to life, independent of him and his designations of worthy or unworthy.


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Old November 3rd, 2011, 4:11 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
We've discussed this point several times and I think it is still a matter of opinion as to Severus' "evil" intent.
IMO, being a Death Eater, at all is evil.

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He was sent to get a job at Hogwarts and, being caught spying at the keyhole kind of put an end to that. So, he took the only thing he had to offer back to Voldemort: a portion of a prophecy. It was kind of an, "I didn't get the job, but, listen to this..." thing, IMO. I don't think he gave a lot of thought to what was in it or who it endangered. That was definitely wrong, but, IMO, not evil. There was no actual "intent" to hurt anyone when he carried the prophecy, just the intent, as I see it, to save his own behind.
IMO, it was evil because it put a family in danger. That was what the DEs were doing - destroying lives. Snape was a part of that. I agree, he didn't think about who it would endanger - he simply didn't give a toss who he hurt, IMO - it would take a complete imbecile not to realise that Voldemort would want to kill a prophecied threat and Snape was most certainly not an imbecile.


Quote:
I find this, also, a matter of opinion. IMO, Severus risked his freedom and his life in going to Dumbledore, not because of a selfish reason, but because of a selfless one: to save Lily's life. Of course he would have been hurt if she'd died, but I don't see that as his prime concern. His concern, to me, seemed to be that she was going to die, that she was going to lose her life, not him. He had no contact with her, so it wasn't like he was going to miss her anymore than he already did. He despised James, so it would have been a real evil way to get back at him, having him lose Lily, as well.

But, IMO, his concern was for Lily dying. Period.
His concern for Lily dying was because it would hurt him. It did hurt him when she died. His prime concern was about himself, not Lily - Lily shouldn't die because she mattered to Snape. Lily's family didn't matter a jot - hence, Lily and her feelings didn't come into it. His objection was not to something evil happening, his objection was to something evil hurting Severus Snape.

It was selfish, because he was playing god - deciding that people only deserved to live because they mattered to him. It was about needing a personal reason not to be an accomplice to the most evil wizard of their time. He needed a personal reason not to help to destroy lives.

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As for having a "conscience" about a family in general, I think he was so consumed with his concern for Lily he didn't give them a thought until Dumbledore verbally gobsmacked him about it. Then he did ask for their safety as well. But, James and Harry were nothing that he was going to risk his life for as he would Lily. They were an afterthought. While, again, this may not be a totally generous and wonderful thing, it is pretty human to think of ones you love in peril before thinking of others.
I don't think there's anything human in being a Death Eater. I don't think there's anything human in thinking it's acceptable to murder people. Perhaps it is human, but it is something from the very pit and depths of humanity, IMO.
Snape's conscience about a family in general is not just about the Potters - he had no objection to people being murdered because of his information until it came back to bite him. He was playing god with people's lives, as Death Eaters do.

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I agree with yorkiedoodle that Severus might not have left the DEs without the impetus of Lily's being in danger. First, he didn't have an opportunity to do so. He sure hadn't been invited to leave or come over to the "good side" by anyone that we see. Second, as pointed out and learned by Regulus Black, you don't just turn in your two-week notice and walk away quietly. Without all of the events coming together the way they did, I think Severus would have remained as inactive a DE as he could possibly be and still stay alive.
One should not need to be "invited" not to be a terrorist. Also, people aren't exactly going to be falling over themselves to trust someone who uses blood epithets at a time when a war is targetting and murdering people because of their blood. People didn't know who to trust during the war, and I'd imagine most of them would have the good sense to cross those who called others "mudblood" off their safe-list.


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I do think, had he secured the position at Hogwarts the day he heard the prophecy that two things would have happened: 1) he wouldn't have needed to carry the prophecy because he'd have succeeded in his charge to get into Hogwarts to spy on Dumbledore;
I fail to see any reason whatsoever why a Death Eater would not carry such crucial information to his master. Snape would have given that information to Voldemort whether or not he got the job. He was listening at the keyhole for information.

Quote:
2) once at Hogwarts and under Dumbledore's protection, Severus would have left the DEs and turned to the good side, because I don't think his heart was ever in being a DE. I think his being the "good little DE" was strictly an act, due to his being a spy and having to earn Voldemort's trust.
IMO, there is nothing to prove that. What we have in canon is a Severus Snape who was loyal to Voldemort until he got a well-deserved, IMO, taste of his own medicine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
Dumbledore said that Snape "did not know-- had no possible way of knowing--which boy Voldemort would hunt down from then onward, or that the parents he would destroy in his murderous quest were people that professor Snape knew..." So I agree with you, Snape knew that a family would be destroyed, and was on board with that, he just didn't know which family would be destroyed. Once he found out which family Voldemort had settled on it then he started to care, in my opinion, because of the harm the decision was doing to himself. I don't think Snape was shocked to suddenly discover his boss was a murderer, just upset that Voldemort's choice would cause him distress.
I agree. Snape was smart enough to know what would happen to someone who was a threat to Voldemort. And that is what Dumbledore said - Snape didn't know who would be targetted, not that Snape didn't know someone would be targetted.


Quote:
I see Snape's journey as that of someone self-centered who did play god by deciding who was worthy of life or death based on how much value they had to Severus Snape, to someone who finally recognized in his final years that people had the right to life, independent of him and his designations of worthy or unworthy.
I agree. That was a big part of the journey Snape had to make. He needed to recognise that people did not have worth or no worth depending on what he thought of them. That Lily's murder was wrong, not because she mattered to Snape, but because murder was wrong, anyway, whether or not the victim mattered to him.


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Old November 3rd, 2011, 4:42 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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I don't think it matters a jot that he didn't know who would die because of the prophecy. It's enough that he knew it would put someone in the line of fire from Voldemort.
I agree. I think this was what Snape needed to seek remorse for and repent. It was not the particular family or person who was actually targeted in the end mattered as far as Snape was concerned IMO, because I think the action which was completely in the wrong was taking what he heard of the Prophecy to Voldemort knowing that a baby would die at Voldemort's hands.

Quote:
IMO, Snape is responsible for putting Lily, James and Harry in mortal peril, because he knew that someone would be in danger because of the prophecy. It doesn't become any less of an evil thing to do because he didn't know who the victims would be. Snape didn't get to play god, and decide who was worthy of life or death, which IMO, was what he tried to do.
I disagree. I don't think Snape was in any way responsible for the Potters deaths. That is because I believe Snape came in time to warn Dumbledore in time. Had the Potters lived and no one had died because of Snape's action; that is had Snape's actions of taking the Prophecy to Voldemort not resulted in the death of the chosen child whoever he may have been, I still think Snape would be responsible and culpable for his actions which was taking the Prophecy to Voldemort with an attitude that bordered on uncaring of a human life that would be lost because of his actions and I think Snape would still need to seek the same type of remorse he showed in the Books. I believe the remorse for was taking the Prophecy to Voldemort and not for killing the Potters.

The Potters were not killed because of Snape. For one they were already targets which was why they were in hiding and two Snape came to Dumbledore when they were alive and healthy and well to tell Dumbledore of his mistake and asked Dumbledore to protect them at any cost, for which he was prepared to do anything. That the Potters died is IMO not because of Snape, but because of other factors, their choices (of choosing a SK refusing Dumbledore; Peter's betrayal, and Voldemort's intention to kill all of them). Though, I also think Snape would disagree with me; he IMO thought he was very much responsible for the Potters deaths.

I also don't think he realised that his action of requesting Voldemort for Lily's life, set in motion the whole story of Harry Potter and brought about the final defeat once and for all of Voldemort, because I think that action which Voldemort decided to honour (Snape's request to spare Lily) paved the way for Lily's death to turn into a sacrifice that protected Harry time and again from Voldemort, starting that Halloween night.

Quote:
I don't think it was a matter of finding the courage to go to Dumbledore. Snape went to Dumbledore because he was going to be hurt (as a consequence of his own evil deed), not because of a conscience that went against families in general being murdered, as the DEs had been doing all along.
Snape thought he was going to be killed when he met Dumbledore on the hill. If did not have a conscience strong enough, he could have easily sent an anonymous owl and let it be. Dumbledore I am sure would have taken that information seriously, especially if he mentioned words that Trelawney uttered; Dumbledore would know that the anon. person was indeed speaking the truth and would still do the same things he did in canon.

But I think Snape's conscience would not let him be; the possible result of his actions (Lily's death) in his mind and heart was to him IMO more important than his own life or comfort. He feared Dumbledore and yet he came because it mattered not to him whether he would be killed or Kissed; he had to do something even at a moment that was potentially hopeless and a moment where he was staring at the death of Lily in front of him, because of his actions. So he came to Dumbledore IMO.

I think it was this inherent sense of rightness, which had been misplaced for a little while or maybe ignored, that came up to the surface forcing him to change; he realised that and turned away from Voldemort; ended up fighting against him and died helping others to win over him IMO.

Quote:
Snape needed a personal motivation to act against Voldemort. I don't think he would have felt any reason to act against Voldemort if Lily had not been in danger.
Well who doesn't? I think Dumbledore changed and became the man he did after Ariana died because he realised just what he was about to become. He needed that (Ariana's death) to change to become a man who everyone looked up to; it was not that he did not know what he and Grindelwald were doing was not right; but love for Grindelwald blinded him to what they were attempting to do. Likewise I think Snape drifted into the DE, making the choice that was completely wrong. He changed when he realised that his actions could hurt others terribly; when it hurt him. I don't think it takes away anything from him.

I've always felt that Snape would have changed eventually. If not for Lily, he would not have changed at that time perhaps and not in the manner he did; but I don't think one can say he was hardcore DE like Bellatrix, McNair or others like them. JMO.


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Old November 3rd, 2011, 5:08 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I agree. I think this was what Snape needed to seek remorse for and repent. It was not the particular family or person who was actually targeted in the end mattered as far as Snape was concerned IMO, because I think the action which was completely in the wrong was taking what he heard of the Prophecy to Voldemort knowing that a baby would die at Voldemort's hands.

[snip]

I disagree. I don't think Snape was in any way responsible for the Potters deaths. That is because I believe Snape came in time to warn Dumbledore in time. Had the Potters lived and no one had died because of Snape's action; that is had Snape's actions of taking the Prophecy to Voldemort not resulted in the death of the chosen child whoever he may have been, I still think Snape would be responsible and culpable for his actions which was taking the Prophecy to Voldemort with an attitude that bordered on uncaring of a human life that would be lost because of his actions and I think Snape would still need to seek the same type of remorse he showed in the Books. I believe the remorse for was taking the Prophecy to Voldemort and not for killing the Potters.
Ehh, I'm not sure I agree with that. I agree that he was responsible for putting some family at risk even if no one had been killed, but that doesn't mean he wasn't also responsible for their actual deaths. Intent follows the bullet (or the wand, I guess). Trying to prevent their deaths after Voldemort had locked and loaded is a mitigating factor, but it doesn't entirely absolve Snape of responsibility.

In other words, if Snape had not passed on what he had heard of the prophecy, both the Potters and the Longbottoms would have been just any other Resistance members; but because he did pass it on, it became essentially a coin flip as to which one of them would be especially targeted. To me, that's the critical impact of Snape's actions, and that responsibility doesn't entirely persist or vanish based on the outcome.


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Old November 3rd, 2011, 6:56 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I agree. I think this was what Snape needed to seek remorse for and repent. It was not the particular family or person who was actually targeted in the end mattered as far as Snape was concerned IMO, because I think the action which was completely in the wrong was taking what he heard of the Prophecy to Voldemort knowing that a baby would die at Voldemort's hands.
I think Snape eventually came to realise this, maybe in his last year or so.

Quote:
I disagree. I don't think Snape was in any way responsible for the Potters deaths. That is because I believe Snape came in time to warn Dumbledore in time.
Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. Snape had already done the damage. Nothing could undo the damage he had done. The Potters were always going to be targets after that, even if they hadn't died that Halloween.


Quote:
I still think Snape would be responsible and culpable for his actions which was taking the Prophecy to Voldemort with an attitude that bordered on uncaring of a human life that would be lost because of his actions and I think Snape would still need to seek the same type of remorse he showed in the Books. I believe the remorse for was taking the Prophecy to Voldemort and not for killing the Potters.
Only "bordered on uncaring"? IMO, there is nothing remotely related to caring about Snape's actions as a DE. IMO, passing on the prophecy was an utterly uncaring and a selfish act, just as joining the DEs at all was.

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The Potters were not killed because of Snape.
Snape passed on the prophecy which made the Potters number one on Voldemort's kill-list. IMO, that puts a share of the responsibility for their deaths on Snape's shoulders.


Quote:
For one they were already targets which was why they were in hiding and two Snape came to Dumbledore when they were alive and healthy and well to tell Dumbledore of his mistake and asked Dumbledore to protect them at any cost, for which he was prepared to do anything. That the Potters died is IMO not because of Snape, but because of other factors, their choices (of choosing a SK refusing Dumbledore; Peter's betrayal, and Voldemort's intention to kill all of them). Though, I also think Snape would disagree with me; he IMO thought he was very much responsible for the Potters deaths.
I don't believe the Potters are responsible for their own deaths. Those responsible are those who acted on behalf of Voldemort, - Snape, Wormtail and Voldemort himself. That Snape didn't like Voldemort's choice of victim doesn't take away his responsibility in putting them in danger. He put someone in danger the moment he carried the prophecy to Voldemort. No matter who the victims were going to be. Nothing can undo that.


Quote:
I also don't think he realised that his action of requesting Voldemort for Lily's life, set in motion the whole story of Harry Potter and brought about the final defeat once and for all of Voldemort, because I think that action which Voldemort decided to honour (Snape's request to spare Lily) paved the way for Lily's death to turn into a sacrifice that protected Harry time and again from Voldemort, starting that Halloween night.
He may or may not have found out that Lily chose to defy Voldemort one final time, that she refused the offer to watch her child die. He may not have known until Voldemort returned.
Whether he knew or not, it was Lily's decision that saved her child. Lily and Lily alone. If Snape had had his wish, Lily would have stood aside.


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Snape thought he was going to be killed when he met Dumbledore on the hill.
That says more about Snape and the DEs than it does about Dumbeldore, IMO.

Quote:
If did not have a conscience strong enough, he could have easily sent an anonymous owl and let it be. Dumbledore I am sure would have taken that information seriously, especially if he mentioned words that Trelawney uttered; Dumbledore would know that the anon. person was indeed speaking the truth and would still do the same things he did in canon.
And take risk that the owl would be intercepted? In any case, Voldemort's plan was for Snape to be at Hogwarts - Snape tells Bellatrix he was at Hogwarts on the Dark Lord's orders.

Quote:
But I think Snape's conscience would not let him be; the possible result of his actions (Lily's death) in his mind and heart was to him IMO more important than his own life or comfort.
I don't see it as a sign of conscience when he only objects to Lily being murdered. He doesn't want to experience the grief he was willing to inflict on others.


Quote:
Well who doesn't?
Plenty of people fought for the Order and against Voldemort without having first served and helped Voldemort. Most of them had personal reasons for fighting Voldemort, but they did not need personal reasons not to be members of something completely evil.


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Originally Posted by BrianTung View Post
Ehh, I'm not sure I agree with that. I agree that he was responsible for putting some family at risk even if no one had been killed, but that doesn't mean he wasn't also responsible for their actual deaths. Intent follows the bullet (or the wand, I guess). Trying to prevent their deaths after Voldemort had locked and loaded is a mitigating factor, but it doesn't entirely absolve Snape of responsibility.

In other words, if Snape had not passed on what he had heard of the prophecy, both the Potters and the Longbottoms would have been just any other Resistance members; but because he did pass it on, it became essentially a coin flip as to which one of them would be especially targeted. To me, that's the critical impact of Snape's actions, and that responsibility doesn't entirely persist or vanish based on the outcome.
I agree. Nothing can change the fact that Voldemort went after the Potters because Snape passed on the prophecy. Nothing can change the fact that Voldemort decided to murder a baby based on information Snape gave him.

I think the term you've used "mitigating factor" is appropriate - Snape did try to do something, but it does not change what he had done. Not knowing who he was putting in danger does not change the canonfact that it was the Potters who were in danger because of his actions. It doesn't matter who the victims were going to be, Snape was responsible the moment he carried that prophecy to Voldemort, IMO.


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