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Old November 6th, 2011, 1:08 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
I'm not sure Severus really thought the whole situation through. I know, seems a bit strange to say of the man who became a successful spy, but I see the young Severus as having an impulsive streak, which he only later tamped down when he first began spying and using Occlumency. He appears unable to contain himself any longer and leaps out of the bushes when he first meets Lily. His indignation at James is so overpowering it makes him stumble over his words as a teen. He was so horrified at the identity of the child's mother that he asked Voldemort himself to spare a Muggleborn, then stood out in the open on a hillside waiting for the leader of the opposition, who he believed might kill him. These actions seem to be very emotionally-motivated, and I think the same can be said for his delivering of the Prophecy: wanting to gain favor (and therefore less likelihood of getting Crucio'd), and then, later, wanting to pull out all the stops to make absolutely sure Lily is protected, even if it means treachery to the Dark Lord.
I know JKR shows us moments when Severus seems to be acting impulsively, but I don't feel that is his usual state, even as a young child. The type of home he grew up in would require a child to have complete control of his emotions at all times. if you do not, you become a target for one or both parents' wrath. Living in that kind of environment extinguishes any type of spontaneous emotional behavior-even smiling or laughing. He would be "walking on eggshells" every minute of everyday.

Many times what comes off as perhaps impulsive emotion on his part, I believe is just his very inexperienced attempt at social discourse. He watched Lily and Petunia for a very long time before finally trying to interact with them and then didn't do so well because he simply didn't have the social skills. His first attempts at verbal sparring with the Marauders were inexperienced but he quickly got the hang of that (obviously.) The meeting on the hill with DD was prearranged, though we're not sure how (perhaps a secret message via Aberforth or Rosmerta?) not a spur of the moment whim.

And we have to remember that LV, even at that point, was considered the greatest Legilimens that ever lived. But Snape, shortly after his meeting with DD, has to go back to LV and conceal all his concerns and emotions about Lily, the fact that he has had a secret meeting with DD and that he is now spying for DD and is committed to destroying the Dark Lord's regime if not the Dark Lord himself. And he's what? Twenty-one, twenty-two? And he pulls it off. At that point he is already a better Occlumens than LV is a Legilimens. I've always felt that Severus was a natural Occlumens and that his unfortunate childhood only strengthened that ability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Severus was a young DE who hadn't "made his bones" as they say. I don't think he'd done anything outstanding enough to be on the in with LV, where it was reasonably safe, rather than being just one of the rank and file DEs who were like canon fodder to LV.
I may be mistaken (it happens way too frequently for my taste), but my understanding was that not everyone that followed LV was accorded the status of Death Eater. Is that incorrect?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
But, Voldemort saw something in him that made him think Severus would make a good candidate for a position at Hogwarts.
Since he so excelled at potions, I've always felt that he was working in that capacity for Voldemort. That would make him very valuable, keep him behind the scenes, thus the "untarnished" reputation and make him a good candidate for Hogwarts professor. How do you make Inferi anyway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
I think something in LV's manner, or the fact that Severus knew he really couldn't be trusted, made him rethink this, and he decided to go to Dumbledore and beg for Lily's safety. Maybe LV made it clear he was just going to offer her a chance to step aside while he killed the child and Severus knew she would never do that.
I think his suspicions of LV being untrustworthy had been building for awhile or he would never have attempted his request to DD. But I like your thought that Snape knew Lily would never step aside and allow her son to be murdered. That definitely would have added to Severus' anxiety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
And, while it was mentioned to Bella at Spinner's End, I don't think the idea that Harry might be a Dark Wizard developed until after Voldy had been zapped by Harry's protection (provided by his mother sacrifice out of love).
I think this is one of Snape's 'thinking on his feet' moments. Where do we hear, in any of the books, this opinion expressed by any of LV's followers? If this were the case, wouldn't we see some attempt to discern that? The closest we come is Draco offering his friendship to Harry, and being rebuffed, his first day at Hogwarts. I don't think the adults would take that as conclusive proof. That lack is one of the main reasons I believe Snape expected the prophecy to be about a Dark wizard-he's the only one that ever mentions it.

Bellatrix has been in Azkaban, what does she know, or can remember after living with dementors for years? Narcissa isn't going to contradict the man she's begging to help her son.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I agree, and I think that goes back to Snape talking about fools "who wear their hearts on their sleeve" in OotP, because at one time he was one of them, and impulsively spilled the fact to both Voldemort and Dumbledore over Lily.
I love this forum because there are so many diverse perspectives! I've always thought Snape's reference to 'fools who wear their hearts on their sleeves' was a reference to James Potter and his decision to 'follow his heart' use his friends as secret keepers in place of DD thus getting himself and Lily killed. Time to reread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I think the "Pureblood Cause" was always a stretch for Severus, being a Half-Blood, so his involvement was more to do with being a proud Slytherin (at first), and finding involvement in a group of other Slytherins. In my opinion, he had nowhere else to go at that point. His school years had taught him that he might never be accepted by people in any other house - the Hogwarts School of Hard Knocks, so to speak.
Agreed! And I think he got involved with the worst of Slytherin House for protection. You surround yourself with budding Death Eaters and your bullies aren't so quick on the attack. Unless you're alone. After an exam. I suspect he was his group's Hermione.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
This comment intrigues me the most in your post, mirrormere. I must have overlooked it in HBP.
RE: previous owl, that would actually surprise me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
I believe there has to be a strong element of truth in the statement, because Voldy would have questioned his followers, and if Snape told him this and had lied to him, it would have diminished Voldy's trust in him.
Hmm...I have to think about this and possibly revise my take on Snape thinking on his feet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
So...Harry arrives at Hogwarts, and on the first day of class, Snape begins questioning him. Perhaps those Slytherin students were told by their "reformed" DE parents to get to know Harry and see if he would be a good rallying point, and Snape wanted to squash that as quickly as he could, for Harry's safety (plus Snape didn't know Harry yet - what if Harry was the type who would love the attention and want to be the new leader?) and because he didn't want another potential Dark Lord? And he wanted to highlight Neville's deficiencies as well, in case some of the students decided Voldy went after the wrong guy, when Neville was actually the one the prophecy referred to?

Thoughts?
I'll have to think about this too. I've always felt Snape had a few ulterior motives with the attitude he took toward Harry besides just his dislike of James. This just might figure in.


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