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Old July 18th, 2008, 9:15 am
Raelis  Female.gif Raelis is offline
Second Year
Join Date: 28th November 2007
Location: Ravenclaw Tower
Age: 36
Posts: 256
Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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?
Because he was shy, insecure and probably didn’t have any other friends, so he had no idea what he was supposed to behave like. Besides, he came from a poor family (I think it’s quite obvious in canon), and I have no doubt that the way he was dressed certainly brought a lot of ridicule and humiliation upon him from other kids, so he expectd something of the sort from the Evans sisters (and he was right to expect it).

2. Why did Lily accept Snape's friendship? Would she have been as friendly to him if he had not told her about the magical world?
She accepted the friendship because Snape intrigued her. He was the only one to provide her with an explanation of her strange abilities, and she had no reasons to disbelieve him. If Snape hadn’t told her about the Wizarding world, she would have probably not given him the time of day, seeing as he was so poor and weird.

3. What role did each of them play in the friendship? Do you think it was a friendship of equals?
No, I certainly don’t think so. At least from what I see in canon, they don’t really seem equal to me. Lily obviously has the upper hand – Snape’s the one who needs the friendship, not her. She’s popular, pretty and outgoing (from what I can see), unlike him. She doesn’t depend on the relationship with Sev as much as he does on the relationship with her.

I think, though, that they were quite equal when it came to intelligence. They were both good, extremely gifted and creative students. Apparently they shared the same interests (potions), so they probably always had interesting topics to discuss.

However, judging by the way Lily talks to Snape in almost every single scene, it seems like he constantly has to defend himself as she berates and criticizes him. The scene where Snape brings up the subject of the Marauders and Lily immediately cuts him off is very telling, in my opinion. It’s like Lily wasn’t used to hearing any objections and wouldn’t tolerate if Snape ever tried arguing with her. All of this makes me come to a conclusion that Lily had a rather bossy and domineering character. Whether the friendship lasted or not was entirely up to her.

4. How did Hogwarts effect the friendship? 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 the unhealthy rivalry between Slytherin and Gryffindor had a lot to do with Snape and Lily’s friendship falling apart. Lily was prepared to defend the Marauders even though Snape considered their pranks to be no better than those of his Slytherin friends. Also, Lily’s Gryffindor friends seemed to dislike Snape, which could also have influenced Lily’s thoughts on her “best friend”.

The Slytherins’ treatment of “Mudbloods” and interest in Dark magic obviously didn’t help.

I think they worked hard to maintain their friendship. In other case, they would just have split up in their first or second year. But Sev and Lily remained friends for 5 years after they had come to Hogwarts, in spite of all the pressure. That’s saying something.

5. How did Gryffindor change Lily? How did Slytherin change Snape? Would each have changed in the same way if they had been sorted into another house? Would the friendship have changed as drastically if they were in the same house?
Lily ended up in the House the members of which despised Slytherin on principle. Snape ended up in the House almost all members of which were Death-Eater wannabes. It’s a wonder they managed to cling to their friendship as long as they did.

I think their relationship would certainly have been different if both got sorted into Gryffindor or Ravenclaw. They wouldn’t have to overcome prejudices on a daily basis. But things would have still been difficult for them. The problem of the social status wouldn’t have disappeared magically. Snape would have remained poor, unattractive and unsociable, so Lily would have fallen for someone else, and the friendship would have probably been broken anyway.

6. What was the death knoll for the friendship? Was it Snape's budding interest in the Dark Arts, the mudblood insult or something else?
Snape’s hanging out with the future Death Eaters and Lily’s attraction to James Potter did their job.

7. Was there a different choice Snape could have made to save the friendship? Was there a different choice Lily could have made?
Snape could have refused to have anything to do with his Slytherin mates… But I can see why he didn’t. He was already not on the best of terms with the Marauders, to put it mildly. If he had provoked his Dark Magic-loving, bigoted, influential, pure-blooded Housemates, they would have made his life hell (given that he was a Half-blood and as poor as a church mouse, I can definitely see why he wasn’t too eager to defy the other Slytherins). He could have probably pretended to share their ideology and informed Lily of this necessity, I think. But he chose to defend Mulciber and Avery to Lily’s attacks, which, I think, was an extremely poor choice.

Lily… I’m afraid I don’t see her as a very loyal friend either. She wasn’t at all concerned about Sev’s well-being when she brought up the subject of the Werewolf incident, and her behaviour in SWM was rather strange for a friend, to say the least. So, I guess, where Snape could have been cleverer and more independent, Lily could have been more loyal.

8. How would their lives have been different if they had managed to save their friendship? Do you think they might have had a romantic future? A lifelong friendship?
We know practically nothing about their friendship, so I can only speculate. Judging by what I see in canon, they believed themselves to be the best friends, but weren’t particularly close. Both of them would have outgrown their superficial “friendship”, even if Sev had never become a Death-Eater, IMO.

Last edited by Raelis; July 18th, 2008 at 9:20 am.
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