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Old December 16th, 2007, 11:33 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

1. What do you believe Snape and Dumbledore's relationship was based on?
I think it was based on Dumbledore's pechant for giving people second chances. Snape came to Dumbledore telling him he made a mistake and wanted to try and make it right. Though Dumbledore didn't at first trust Snape's motives, he did give him a second chance. Dumbledore's own past made him more receptive to giving others a fresh start, so it makes sense that he would do so with Snape.

2. How do you think Dumbledore felt about Snape through the course of the series? Did his views on Snape change?
At first I'm sure Dumbledore might have been a bit wary of Snape. But then as the relationship progressed, I think Dumbledore felt that Snape was a highly valuable and loyal person. So Dumbledore's views on Snape must have gotten better as Snape continued to do as Dumbledore wished.

3. How do you think Snape felt about spying for Dumbledore? Did he resent his job?
I think he felt it was the right thing to do, since he had once been a part of that group. Snape might have been a bit resentful, but since he was once a death eater I'm sure he felt empowered to be able to do something that would undermine them. Of course it was a dangerous job which could put him in a hard position if he was caught, which might have given Snape pause. But in the end, he still maintained his role as spy despite the danger.

4. Did Dumbledore and Snape fully trust one another?
I do think they trusted one another pretty fully, though I'm sure there were likely times where each questioned the decisions/actions/motives of the other. I see their relationship as a strategic alliance of sorts, and not really as a personal relationship, so I think there were bound to be times when each was thinking about preserving his own interests.

5. Do you think Severus was jealous (in a sibling-type way) of Dumbledore's fondness for Harry?
That's a thought I'd never considered. Honestly, I don't think so. Snape has shown that he can be jealous at times, but I don't think he saw Harry as a threat as far as Dumbledore's affections went. I think he looked on Dumbledore's fondness for Harry with disdain, since he himself hated the boy, but I didn't get the sense that he was jealous of Dumbledore's attention toward Harry or that he ever saw Harry as a competitor for Dumbledore's affection.

6. Do you believe Dumbledore consciously saw the parallels between his own story and Snape's?
Probably. I think that's why he was willing to give Snape the benefit of the doubt. In Snape he likely saw a man who had unwittingly caused the death of someone he loved (Lily), just like he himself was involved with the death of his sister. Also, he likely saw the parallel between Snape's association with Voldemort and his own association with Grindelwald.

7. Dumbledore and Snape worked together for years before Harry showed up. How do you think their relationship changed once Harry came to Hogwarts? Did it change once Voldemort returned in GoF?
I think perhaps Snape and Dumbledore may have butted heads a bit more when Harry showed up. Snape was always trying to punish Harry, many times unfairly, causing Dumbledore to intervene on Harry's behalf. That likely caused some tension, but I don't think the core of their relationship changed very much - the trust they'd forged was still in place. Once Voldemort returned, I'd also say their relationship probably didn't change either.

8. How would you characterize their relationship when Severus was a student? Do you think that Albus may have been aware of Severusí interest in the Death Eaters while he was at Hogwarts?
As a student I have a feeling the relationship between Snape and Dumbledore was very different. I imagine Snape didn't have a very high opinion of Dumbledore, especially since he forbade Snape from saying anything to reveal the nature of Lupin's condition. I'm sure Snape resented Dumbledore for that. And I have a feeling Dumbledore may have been keeping an eye on Snape, as I'm sure he knew of Snape's interest in the Dark Arts and the Death Eaters.

9. Do you think it's just a coincidence that Harry names the same son after both of these men, or do you believe that Albus and Severus are inexorably linked in Harry's mind? Does Harry see the similarities in them as well? Or is it simply that they both shaped and influenced his life - for good and bad - in so many ways?
Though I don't particularly like Harry's choice of names, I think he felt that Albus and Severus had very influential roles in shaping both his life and the outcome of the war against Voldemort.


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