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Old March 5th, 2011, 10:45 am
ReelBigFish  Undisclosed.gif ReelBigFish is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by "right until the end he belittled Harry and James" when his dying moments were given over to making sure Harry had the information he needed to complete Dumbledore's plan, and, when he gave Harry, at the very least, memories of his mother as a child and teenager that he would not have had otherwise. Laying aside our beliefs as to why these memories were given, I think we can both agree that Harry would have never seen his mother the way he did except through Severus' memories, and that was something I think Harry would have wanted to see.

As for Severus being "part of the cause" of James' death; Severus only carried part of an ambiguous Prophecy to his boss, The Dark Lord. The interpretation of it was made by Voldemort. He chose to kill a child, not Severus. Once it was clear that Lily was in danger Severus went, at risk of his own life, to beg Dumbledore for her safety...eventually, their safety, and promised "anything" to make sure this happened. Had it not been for the betrayal of one of James' best friends, Lily and her family would have been safe, based on what Severus did to help protect them. So, personally, I do not see him as "partly responsible" for their deaths. I see him as responsible for carrying an ambiguous Prophecy to the Dark Lord, which was wrong. But, he was a much different person at that time than the Professor Snape that Harry meets at Hogwarts many years later.

We see him, durng Harry's First Year, telling Dumbledore that he's like his father and saying that he is arrogant and a mediocre student, etc. I'm not familiar with any other conversations with Dumbledore or other teachers where he criticizes Harry after he sees Harry's memories in OotP. In PoA, he suggests Harry be expelled, but, he knew it would never happen, so, IMO, it was an empty gesture, possibly for show or possibly because Harry had aided a man the entire Wizarding World thought was a murderer and the betrayer of the Potters.

If, by his mistreatment of Harry in HBP, you're referring to the detention and copying the card files, I find that, as a punishment for nearly killing another student, pretty mild. I think that we can all agree, if it had been any other student they would have been suspended or expelled.

When Severus leaves the Sword in the pond for Harry, he hides and remains there for a while -- Ron even remarks that he thinks he saw someone -- IMO, this was to make sure Harry was safe while retrieving the Sword. If he could have just laid it on the ground and left it for Harry to pick up, I think he would have done that. But, the Sword had to be "won" under some trying circumstance.

I tend to interpret Severus' actions as Headmaster, trying to keep his true purpose as a spy concealed while doing what he could to keep the students safe, shows that he had changed and that everything wasn't just for Lily anymore. I feel that there was a point when it became about saving all of those he could, and that meant helping to make sure that Voldemort was vanquished once and for all. I don't believe this was done for Lily, alone, but for everyone, magic and non-magic folk alike.

I think if we took all of Ms. Rowlings non-book statements about Severus and put them together, it would be pretty confusing because I've read so many things that she's said that just don't go with what she wrote, I sometimes wonder if she read her own books.

I, again, offer Bellatrix criticizm of Severus as a do-nothing DE who was never around when the action started. She complained that he ran and hid. She was shocked when he agreed to make the Unbreakable Vow to kill Dumbledore if Draco failed. IMO, this, and the criticism by other DEs that Severus mentions, seems to indicate he was not a "grab your torch and pitchfork and let'ts go roast some Muggles" kind of guy. I feel he stepped back into the shadows once he realized what he'd gotten himslef into, and that he did only what he had to do to stay alive and to win enough favor that Voldemort didn't want to use him for an example of what happens to slacker DEs.

I agree that the Severus of 21-22 did not value human life and, as long as he didn't have to actually do it or see it, was not that affected by the deaths of others. This is a totally different Severus than we see ten years later. The beginning of this, as I see it, was his meeting with Dumbledore on the hilltop, and his being shamed into realizing what he had become. Dumbledore held a mirror up to Severus and I don't think he liked what he saw. So, he promised "anything" if Dumbledore would protect them all. Did that mean he cared about James and Harry at that exact time? No. I don't think so. I do, however feel it was the beginning of his redemption and of starting to value human life, no matter whose it was.

And, it wasn't Severus who betrayed Lily and her family. It was their best friend, Peter Pettigrew. The Prophecy never stated that Harry was "the one," and, I'm not even sure whether Severus knew that Lily was expecting at the time he carried it to Voldemort. The actual "betrayal" took place about a week before the Potters were killed.



I totally agree. But I don't think cold and unpleasant is the same as evil and uncaring.

In the pensieve scenes he gave Harry we consistently see SNape describe Harry in a negative context - mediocre arrogant etc and at the end of HBP when Harry is doing detention Snape sneers at Harry about James and Sirius "It must be such a great comfort to think that though they are gone a record of their great achievements remain.

I must diagree with you here - Snape most definitely IMO bears some responsibility for the Potters death and Harry being an orphan. He did not just carry part of an ambiguous prophecy to Voldemort - the prophecy clearly stated that a child to be born to those who thrice defied Voldemort and he would be the one to vanquish the Dark Lord - how is that ambigous? The interpretation and actions may be on Voldemort but he would never have known that the prophecy existed if Snape had not told him about it so to me that makes Snape totally culpable here. Snape may have gone to Dumbledore but he only cared about saving Lilys life not Harry or James. Peter betrayed Lily and James yes but Snape was the one who got the ball rolling reporting the phrophecy so he is also partly responsible.


we also see Snape during Harrys sixth year calling Harry a mediocre magician and incapable of occlumency. To me it does not matter if he knew Harry would not be expelled he still suggested it. In POA he tells Harry he is a nasty attention seeker just like his father who strutted around School. In Chamber of Secrets he tried to get Harry thrown off the Quidditch team. In HBP when Harry is late to the School because Draco has immobilised him and broken his nose Snape takes great delight in "I suppose you wanted to make an entrance Potter and with no flying car you decided thar bursting into the Great Hall halfway through the feast ought to create a dramatic effect.
no cloak you can walk in so that everyone sees you which is what you wanted I'm sure.

I have no problem with Harry getting detention for what he did but it was what Snape said to him during that time about james and Sirius that bothered me. I think Snape was also covering his onw rear there because if Harry had been expelled he would have told them where he got the Spell and we all know that Snape invented it.

Could you please direct me to the Canon that states Snape stayed behind in the Forest after he sent the doe??

Belltatrixs comments to me could mean anything - as in he did not get his hands dirty after Voldemorts return. To me it is fairly easy to see Snape getting his hands dirty he was after all a fully fledged Death Eater dark mark and all.

Saying Peter betrayed the Potters is true but it does not mean Snape has no responsibility here - not to mention the fact that he had no problem with the prophecy meaning that a child would be killed until he realised who was targeted.

Bottom line for me is that Snape was in the wrong from the start in how he treated Harry and his other students. For all the people who insist Harry was primed to hate Snape right from the start - well I see it a bit differently and that it was Snape who hated Harry from the start - from birth until death because of who he was and what he represented. Snape hated Harry before he even walked into The Great Hall on Harrys first night and hated him until the day Snape died.


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