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Old December 11th, 2007, 12:43 am
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Join Date: 17th December 2005
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

1. What do you believe Snape and Dumbledore's relationship was based on?

Imo, Dumbledore used Snape's guilt over what he had done to Lily to garner himself a prime spy in the fold of Voldemort (both before and after Voldemort was dusted by Harry). Snape, JKR tells us, was vulnerable and insecure and like Wormtail would look for a safe Harbor in a 'big friend'. For Snape, I believe he would have preferred it to have been Voldemort, but once Lily had been threatened that changed. I do not know why that was because he had been working against her interests for some time. However, for whatever reason, it affected him enough to turn to Dumbledore and allow himself to be used in exchange for his guilt. At first his guilt was for giving the prophecy which had implicated Lily and later for her death.


2. How do you think Dumbledore felt about Snape through the course of the series? Did his views on Snape change?

Dumbledore was wary of Snape at first, logically. But as time went on, he saw that he could trust Snape because Snape's feelings for Lily went much deeper than Dumbledore imagined. In an odd way, Dumbledore also knew that Snape's loathing for James would assist to keep Snape on his side as well. That loathing was built mostly on jealousy, imo, at that point and that too was tied to Lily.

3. How do you think Snape felt about spying for Dumbledore? Did he resent his job?

I do not know.

4. Did Dumbledore and Snape fully trust one another?

Dumbledore fully trusted no one. Snape didn't seem to fully trust Dumbledore either because he knew he was keeping things from him and imo, Snape felt those things were material. Dumbledore trusted Snape enough to be quite certain that Snape would allow himself to be used for as long as necessary and I believe he hoped that Snape's motivation would change over the years to match that of the others he was using for his plans (Order members, etc.) But that never occurred.

5. Do you think Severus was jealous (in a sibling-type way) of Dumbledore's fondness for Harry?

Snape did not seem himself as a brother to anyone. Nor do I believe he saw Dumbledore as a father figure. For Snape, it was all work and his jealousy stemmed from wanting to be powerful within Dumbledore's fold (the #2 man). However, Dumbledore refused to pass pertinent information to him about things (as Voldemort did - but Snape no longer desired that from Voldemort). Thus, Snape realized that neither he nor anyone else would ever be #2 man in Dumbledore's eyes because it was a one-man show. However, prior to making that realization, I think Snape was highly jealous of all of the Order members and of Harry. Snape's unending joy at finding that taunting Sirius for being unable to help as he would like and continued distain shown in his attitude toward Tonks, Molly and Arthur while he was an Order member, serves as the basis for my conclusion in that regard.

6. Do you believe Dumbledore consciously saw the parallels between his own story and Snape's?

Answered this already above.

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 believe Dumbledore thought everything was going peachy until POA. At that point Snape made his feelings about Harry clear. He had been unable to forgive James for winning Lily's heart and devotion and as a result, loathed him and thus his son. Snape's childhood memories of James as his enemy served as something for Snape to channel his loathing in, rather than admit that much of that had been fueled by jealousy as well.

I think Dumbledore would have been proud of Snape in the end. Snape knew the only way to gain Harry's trust before giving him the memories was to come clean. Snape did. He admitted that everyone at Hogwarts thought his father was 'wonderful' except for him - something he'd never admitted in life. And further showed a memory in which he explained exactly why he didn't think James was wonderful - jealousy - even before James and Lilly got together. He regarded Harry's father through eyes tainted with red and that is why he could never bring himself to let their enemity go. Basically he undid some of the damage of SWM by showing Harry that James was not as bad as he'd been saying all those years. If he'd been victimized by Harry's father, James would not have been seen as wonderful by everyone. Snape also showed himself to be friendly with and in participation with his school mates who were up to dark arts pranking. Harry understood then why his father and Snape hadn't gotten along because he'd had a similar relationship with Draco.

Dumbledore would have seen this as a huge step forward for Snape, imo. He'd placed the success of the plan ahead of his own desire in this instance. It was still quite possibly all for Lily, but even then, through Lily, Snape was doing the right thing.


8. How would you characterize their relationship when Severus was a student? Do you think that Albus may have been aware of Severus’ interest in the Death Eaters while he was at Hogwarts?


Sure Dumbledore knew. I have no idea if he tried to convince him not to become a death eater though. Did Dumbledore ever try to help Draco? That whole deal is very grey and confusing.

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?


None of the above. I am currently under the belief that Harry is totally bowled over by the idea of bravery. To him, his father was the bravest man in the world, even if he never really knew him. Harry sees himself as being just like his father and thus in a way, he sees himself as the bravest man in the world as well. So his first son got the name James. His mum is equally brave to Harry, so his daughter got her name. Next up, Albus followed by Snape. I suppose he'll have more sons and daughters and they will just continue to be named after those who died and should be honored. Little James may have Sirius for a middle name, we don't know, but if not, then I am sure he'd come along as the next son with Moody or someone attached. Harry already has his godson Remus, so that is taken care of, but there were many other brave people Harry knew, so he is probably planning to have a very big family...


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