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Old October 26th, 2011, 8:54 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Woo, new thread!

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After reading DH, to what extent do you think is Snape responsible for what happened to the Potters?
I'd say to a certain extent. Snape gave Voldemort the crucial information that sent him after Harry and endangered the Potters even more in the first place, but Peter Pettigrew made it possible for Voldemort to enter their home with ease. At least, that's how I see it.

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Do you think Snape's character development arc is complete?
Definately. He sinks into the lowest position morally etc and manages to break out of that damaging mould and do his best to make up for all previous decisions that first lead him to such a position. Of course, he hasn't- and no character can, I feel- redeemed himself in absolutely every aspect but I think his redemption and character arc is completely developed.

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To what extent are Snape's parents to blame for his later choices and to what extent are they his own responsibility?
I think Snape's parents caused Snape's social development to be, to an extent, stunted; that was why, after being relatively isolated as a child, he sought to be in a position of power or be surrounded by powerful people. That could explain a slight part of his attraction to the Dark Arts and Death Eaters. However, I think the decisions Snape made when he was a student at Hogwarts and onwards were entirely his own and he alone was responsible for them.

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Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
Overall, I believe yes, he would've moved on, perhaps more for her sake than his in his mind, but there may have been some bitterness and resentment remaining although not nearly as strong as what I think was displayed in canon. Snape had turned to the 'good side' before Lily had died- I think this would remain true if her death did not occur, too.

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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 believe he took so long to approach Lily because he was incredibly withdrawn as a child and not fully developed socially. The memories shown in The Prince's Tale suggest to me that, apart from Lily, he really didn't have much of an experience of interacting with others as his own age.

Initially, I feel that Lily's magical ability made her stand out, in Snape's eyes. That was why I think he approached her; he saw they both had something special in common and he could find a friend in her whom he could talk to about practically anything. His treatment of young Petunia shows he had prejudices towards Muggles but he hardly gives these a moment's thought after he has formed a friendship with Lily.

For me, it's difficult to say about what might've happened if Lily had been a Muggle. I don't think he would have approached her, both due to them no longer having something unique in common and his prejudices towards Muggles but, at the same time, Snape and Lily's friendship would not have survived as long as it did if they both did not like each other as individuals; sharing magical ability alone would not be enough. I think Snape liked and was attracted to Lily's nature very much; if she had approached him as a Muggle, perhaps, over time, he would've dropped his untrue views on Muggles and formed a friendship with her just the same.

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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?
Before the lead up to Snape's Worst Memory began, I think they did both work to maintain their friendship. The friendship meant an awful lot to both of them, in my opinion, and they did not want it to be thrown away be something so, in the grand scheme of things, insignificant as House differences. I believe their friendship would have continued despite Lily being in Gryffindor and Snape being in Slytherin had he not chosen to follow the paths of future Death Eaters and call Lily a Mudblood. Of course, that's why, I think, Snape's Worst Memory is what it is- an older Snape, looking back, recognises that the action and mistake he made in that moment was the straw that broke the camel's back regarding his and Lily's friendship.

Just my opinion.

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How would Snape's life have been different if he had managed to save their friendship?
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 think his life would've been a lot happier, certainly. Personally, I don't see Snape's love for Lily directly affecting his decision to kill Dumbledore- maybe that, among other things, gave him the inner strength to carry it out but, apart from that, Snape's love for Lily doesn't make me see Dumbledore's 'murder' in a different light; it was him secretly working for the Order and Dumbledore that did. In my opinion, Snape's treatment of Sirius would've been relatively the same even if Snape hadn't loved Lily.

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How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?
What we discover in Deathly Hallows makes me see that Snape often had incredibly conflicting emotions regarding Harry and that could'ver caued (partly) his sometimes explosive reactions when it came to him. It doesn't make me view his treatment of Neville any differently, however.

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Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
I'm sure that previously I have answered this question before with a straightforward 'yes' or 'now' but now, I honestly can't say for certain. I do think he wanted Harry to know his true motives and past etc ("Yes, Potter. That is my job.") and the memories he gives Harry, to me show that he wanted Harry to know him as he was- flaws and all. Perhaps with that come a private want of some form of forgiveness from Harry but I don't really know at this point in time.

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Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?
I haven't really read any of them in detail so I can't comment on this properly.

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Which elements do you think make Snape the most controversial character of the series?
I feel it his because his character, as a whole, is made up of layers upon layers of contradictions. He treats Harry arguably cruelly for most of the series yet goes out of his way to save him, he tells a young Lily being a Muggle born makes no differences yet, when older, he calls her a Mudblood...the examples are quite endless, in my opinion and that is what makes Snape's character so intriguing and fascinating to me.

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What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?
I think his major strength was to keep on working for what was right, even when that came to, as Dumbledore says 'a great personal risk to himself'. Also, in spite of trauma, Voldemort etc, to have a love for someone remain so strong for years. His most major flaw is, in my opinion, is inablity to hold onto often wholly unnecessary grudges. Just my opinion.

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If you had to summarize Snape's character to someone who had never read the books what would you tell them?
He's...quite a character.

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What do you reckon Snape valued most in life?
Ooh, I love this new question. I think this changed as Snape moved into different 'sections' of his life. As a child, probably magical ability in general- it drew him and Lily together at first and seperated him from his father whom I believe he extremely disliked. The adolescent/young adult (Death Eater) Snape I think valued the idea of power and the ability to command fear and respect from people instantly. The adult Snape, for me, most likely valued determination- a trait I believe he grudgingly found and admired in Harry.

All answers are just my own opinion and interpretation.


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