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Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis



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  #1201  
Old April 5th, 2015, 6:39 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by ShadowSonic View Post
You're referring to how he tried his best to out Lupin and how desperately he tried to have Sirius be given the Dementor's Kiss?
That's putting it too mildly for me. He drew conclusions that weren't there in a life or death situation for Sirius and Lupin. He refused to listen. His mind was made-up long before he arrived in the Shrieking Shack. "How I hoped I would be the one to catch you," he said, implying that he had been brooding on his twisted theories for quite some time. I think the man was a psychopath to be entirely honest.


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  #1202  
Old April 6th, 2015, 6:09 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

I can sort of understand why Snape was so out of his mind in POA regarding Sirius. At the time, he thought Sirius was the one who sold out the Potters and thus was directly responsible for Lily's death. And he figured Remus deserved to suffer for protecting this person despite knowing he sold out the Potters.

Plus, it takes his mind off of the guilt he feels for causing the mess in the first place by telling Voldemort about the Prophecy.

Makes you wonder why he didn't torture Peter once Peter was his underling since by then he knew Peter was the real culprit.

I'm not saying I excuse this murderous attitude though.

And it's kind of telling that he never really intended to pay back the life debt he owed James.



Last edited by ShadowSonic; April 6th, 2015 at 7:00 am.
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  #1203  
Old April 6th, 2015, 4:12 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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That's putting it too mildly for me. He drew conclusions that weren't there in a life or death situation for Sirius and Lupin. He refused to listen. His mind was made-up long before he arrived in the Shrieking Shack. "How I hoped I would be the one to catch you," he said, implying that he had been brooding on his twisted theories for quite some time. I think the man was a psychopath to be entirely honest.
He was absolutely right about Lupin. Lupin kept quiet the entire year knowing exactly how Sirius was managing to get in. Fortunately for him, Sirius turned out to be innocent and not a bad guy. This falls under criminal negligence.

Snape didn't react any different to Harry and the gang either. Harry was about to kill Sirius before Lupin turned up. And the moment Lupin embraced Sirius, everything they knew about him went out the window. Just like that. "Get away from me werewolf!". The evidence was heavily against Sirius. You also need to remember that Sirius was not on some quest to prove his innocence. He was there to murder Peter. In short, he makes no real effort to prove his innocence and when he ends up caught, apparently other people need to listen. Snape was well within his rights to act the way he did. I don't blame Sirius for trying to kill Peter but you can't expect people to listen to you or think that you're innocent, if you get caught in the act.

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Makes you wonder why he didn't torture Peter once Peter was his underling since by then he knew Peter was the real culprit.
He couldn't. They were supposed to be on the same side and I think Voldemort had ulterior motives in stationing him there. That said, I have no doubt that Snape made Peter as miserable as he possibly could.

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And it's kind of telling that he never really intended to pay back the life debt he owed James.
Honestly, I wouldn't take it as a life debt if something like that happened to me. I think Snape was right when he said James was primarily concerned about consequences to his friends than what happened to Snape. Not saying that James would have let it happen if he had a choice but that it was not a primary concern at the time. I don't believe Sirius intended to kill Snape with that prank either. Sirius simply saw a great opportunity to give Snape the fright of his life.

I have no idea why Dumbledore told Harry that Snape worked so hard in his first year because of that life debt. Snape had already agreed to protect Harry and Dumbledore had also told him to keep an eye on Quirell. Snape was really just doing his job.


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  #1204  
Old April 7th, 2015, 6:29 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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I don't believe Sirius intended to kill Snape with that prank either. Sirius simply saw a great opportunity to give Snape the fright of his life.
He didn't seem to care all that much over how Remus would feel over having eaten someone or turned them into a Werewolf either.


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  #1205  
Old April 7th, 2015, 3:36 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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He didn't seem to care all that much over how Remus would feel over having eaten someone or turned them into a Werewolf either.
I don't think he thought it through. Just saw an opportunity to freak out Snape and left it at that. I can totally picture him laughing about it to James before being shocked when James tells him the implications.


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  #1206  
Old April 7th, 2015, 8:54 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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I don't think he thought it through. Just saw an opportunity to freak out Snape and left it at that. I can totally picture him laughing about it to James before being shocked when James tells him the implications.
Still, he never got called out on this and basically got away with nearly killing Snape (and traumatizing Remus) with no punishment.


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  #1207  
Old April 7th, 2015, 9:21 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Still, he never got called out on this and basically got away with nearly killing Snape (and traumatizing Remus) with no punishment.
Actually, that brings up something interesting about Snape and Dumbledore-- the fallout from teen Snape sneaking off Hogwarts grounds to find out if Lupin was a werewolf was probably Snape and Dumbledore's first interaction, and their first bargain struck. I kind of suspect that in exchange for not speaking of the matter and mucking up Lupin's life and chance at continuing at Hogwarts even more, that Snape did not have to suffer any consequences for his actions. Basically, everyone walked away. I don't know if getting off so easily back then played into Snape's willingness to go to Dumbledore later, or strike more bargains with him, but it well could have been a factor.


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  #1208  
Old April 7th, 2015, 11:48 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
Actually, that brings up something interesting about Snape and Dumbledore-- the fallout from teen Snape sneaking off Hogwarts grounds to find out if Lupin was a werewolf was probably Snape and Dumbledore's first interaction, and their first bargain struck. I kind of suspect that in exchange for not speaking of the matter and mucking up Lupin's life and chance at continuing at Hogwarts even more, that Snape did not have to suffer any consequences for his actions. Basically, everyone walked away. I don't know if getting off so easily back then played into Snape's willingness to go to Dumbledore later, or strike more bargains with him, but it well could have been a factor.
Oh I see, walking off campus was worse than exposing a fellow student to a werewolf.


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  #1209  
Old April 8th, 2015, 12:14 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Oh I see, walking off campus was worse than exposing a fellow student to a werewolf.
Snape seems to have suspected Lupin was a werewolf, knew that the Hogwarts staff led Lupin to that place, and purposefully went out of bounds to get there on the night of a full moon. I think Dumbledore knew those facts, and that's what he was dealing with when it came to deciding what to do about Snape. I think we've seen a few students in the books purposefully walk off campus when they are not supposed to, but not purposefully expose themselves to a werewolf, and place the student who is the werewolf in a horrible position like Snape did to Lupin. Dumbledore did not seem to punish Snape at all, but instead extracted his silence over the incident, which protected Lupin and let everyone stay at school. I do think Snape was bitter that Sirius was not punished even when Snape was not, as Snape seems to me to indicate to Dumbledore in PoA. Dumbledore seemed to have a very different memory of the matter than Snape, though. I think it interesting because this would be their first bargain, from Snape's teen years.


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  #1210  
Old April 8th, 2015, 1:05 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

Dumbledore ignored Snape's horrible treatment of Harry and Neville for six years. If that was a part of his bargain with Snape, then it was a lousy part.

I don't think what Sirius did is any worse than what Snape was intending to do with Lupin and Sirius after they left the Shrieking Shack. And Snape at least had the benefit of sound counsel from Lupin, Harry, Hermione and Ron at the time. Still his hatred and desire for playground revenge on one hand, and dashed dreams on the other, prevailed over plain old common sense.


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  #1211  
Old April 8th, 2015, 4:00 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by ShadowSonic View Post
Still, he never got called out on this and basically got away with nearly killing Snape (and traumatizing Remus) with no punishment.
It was hushed up but I'm not sure if he and Snape weren't punished. A detention could have been arranged I suppose though I guess they were let off with a lecture.

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I think we've seen a few students in the books purposefully walk off campus when they are not supposed to, but not purposefully expose themselves to a werewolf, and place the student who is the werewolf in a horrible position like Snape did to Lupin. Dumbledore did not seem to punish Snape at all, but instead extracted his silence over the incident, which protected Lupin and let everyone stay at school. I do think Snape was bitter that Sirius was not punished even when Snape was not, as Snape seems to me to indicate to Dumbledore in PoA. Dumbledore seemed to have a very different memory of the matter than Snape, though. I think it interesting because this would be their first bargain, from Snape's teen years.
This is quite close to blaming the victim IMO. Do we even know if Snape had suspicions of Lupin being a werewolf? He may have had suspicions but I highly doubt he would "expose" himself to one if he knew for sure. If he was smart enough to figure out that he was a werewolf, he would have been smart enough to know that he could likely die. In any case, Dumbledore had the perfect solution for such snooping students. An attacking tree that made you risk life and limb planted just for the specific purpose of discouraging the curious, which Sirius conveniently disabled. If that event had ended tragically, the blame for that would, rightfully, have fallen solely on Sirius. I do think Snape was irritated that Sirius got off easy even though he himself didn't get much either. Punishment for Sirius would likely have meant expulsion and I think Snape would gladly have taken detention every day for the rest of the year in exchange for it.

Whatever deal was struck that time between Dumbledore and Snape, I don't think it played any further role. Snape clearly knew nothing at all about Dumbledore. Snape was terrified that Dumbledore would kill him on sight, which goes against everything Dumbledore is known for. It is one of those points that emphasizes how desperate Snape was. He asked Voldemort to spare Lily (a risky move) and then ran to Dumbledore, fully risking the possibility of being killed on the spot. If Grindelwald was around and capable, he would likely have gone to him as well if he thought it was necessary.

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I don't think what Sirius did is any worse than what Snape was intending to do with Lupin and Sirius after they left the Shrieking Shack. And Snape at least had the benefit of sound counsel from Lupin, Harry, Hermione and Ron at the time. Still his hatred and desire for playground revenge on one hand, and dashed dreams on the other, prevailed over plain old common sense.
That is quite disingenuous. What Sirius did was much much worse than what Snape intended to do - which was basically follow Ministry orders by capturing Sirius and handing him over to the officials. The two situations are astoundingly incomparable. And it is *not* common sense to chat and listen to an escaped convict, which Sirius was at the time. Innocent or not, that is for the court of law to decide not a random person from the street.

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Dumbledore ignored Snape's horrible treatment of Harry and Neville for six years. If that was a part of his bargain with Snape, then it was a lousy part.
Dumbledore was actually remarkably lax when it came to dealing with bad behavior. You could get away with a hell of a lot under him. He hardly ever got angry as well. I think it came down to Dumbledore being utterly pragmatic and having a very good understanding of psychology and why people behave the way they do. Unlike most people (and especially when it comes to topics involving Snape) who see and react emotionally, Dumbledore was someone who could analyse it coldly with logic taking all the emotion out of it.

I don't think he made any deal with Snape regarding the horrible treatment. I think he tried to get Snape to behave better but he understood why Snape acted the way he did and so was somewhat resigned to it. He needed Snape more than Snape needed him.


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  #1212  
Old April 8th, 2015, 6:09 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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That is quite disingenuous. What Sirius did was much much worse than what Snape intended to do - which was basically follow Ministry orders by capturing Sirius and handing him over to the officials. The two situations are astoundingly incomparable. And it is *not* common sense to chat and listen to an escaped convict, which Sirius was at the time. Innocent or not, that is for the court of law to decide not a random person from the street.
Snape had no intention of handing them over to the officials. He told Sirius all he had to do was call the Dementors after they were out of the willow, and then added that "perhaps they might have a kiss for" Lupin, as well.

Snape heard enough while he was under the cloak to understand that the kids were in no immediate danger. They were all talking quietly. The kids had their wands, Lupin had pocketed his own wand. Yet Snape was delusional enough to claim "I have just saved your life!" to Harry. I mean, really, where the h.ell did that come from?


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  #1213  
Old April 8th, 2015, 9:08 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Snape had no intention of handing them over to the officials. He told Sirius all he had to do was call the Dementors after they were out of the willow, and then added that "perhaps they might have a kiss for" Lupin, as well.
Well, technically the Dementors were there to kill Sirius anyways so letting them have him is "handing him over to the officials."

Quote:
Snape heard enough while he was under the cloak to understand that the kids were in no immediate danger. They were all talking quietly. The kids had their wands, Lupin had pocketed his own wand. Yet Snape was delusional enough to claim "I have just saved your life!" to Harry. I mean, really, where the h.ell did that come from?
He probably figured they were lying to them all.


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  #1214  
Old April 8th, 2015, 9:57 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Well, technically the Dementors were there to kill Sirius anyways so letting them have him is "handing him over to the officials."
I don't think so. A proper analogy would be handing them over to a lynch mob. And Lupin? What exactly was he falsely accused of?



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Originally Posted by SS
He probably figured they were lying to them all.
I don't think he was "figuring" anything, or at least not rationally. Snape was hellbent on vengeance - which he described as being "very sweet." Interesting isn't it that, once he discovered Pettigrew was indeed alive and they'd told him the truth that night, his behavior toward Sirius didn't change at all. The same is true in the way he continued to abuse Harry.

I'm no psychiatrist, but I bet Snape would have been a career-making proposition for one of them.


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  #1215  
Old April 8th, 2015, 10:31 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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This is quite close to blaming the victim IMO. [/i]
Do you mean that I am blaming the victim, or that Dumbledore is blaming the victim, or that Snape thinks that Dumbledore is blaming the victim? If it is the first, just, no, since I did not say anything about Snape being at fault for Sirius giving him the key to the door; however, Snape doesn't get a by on accountability just because he ended up a victim of his own actions, along with Lupin. If you mean the last, yes, that's what I was going for. If Snape perceives that Dumbledore completely misread Sirius-- and Sirius being accused of murdering the Potters I think would confirm in Snape's mind that Sirius is and always was a killer-- then that I think colors Snape's view of Dumbledore's competency and the value of any of their bargains.

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Do we even know if Snape had suspicions of Lupin being a werewolf?
Well, Lily speaks about Snape having a theory about why Lupin is weird and always disappears on the full moons. But I will concede that the word "werewolf" is not spoken, so he could have had a different theory.

Quote:
He may have had suspicions but I highly doubt he would "expose" himself to one if he knew for sure. If he was smart enough to figure out that he was a werewolf, he would have been smart enough to know that he could likely die. In any case, Dumbledore had the perfect solution for such snooping students. An attacking tree that made you risk life and limb planted just for the specific purpose of discouraging the curious, which Sirius conveniently disabled. If that event had ended tragically, the blame for that would, rightfully, have fallen solely on Sirius. I do think Snape was irritated that Sirius got off easy even though he himself didn't get much either. Punishment for Sirius would likely have meant expulsion and I think Snape would gladly have taken detention every day for the rest of the year in exchange for it.
I think Dumbledore had an opinion that Snape's actions and motives had something to do with him going out of bounds, though I'm a bit too tired right now to scour the books looking for specific examples of Dumbledore's general attitude towards choice and agency. I'll try to get back to that, though, as it now seems to be a very important element to Dumbledore and Snape's first major interaction.

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Whatever deal was struck that time between Dumbledore and Snape, I don't think it played any further role.
In "Hermione's Secret", Snape and Dumbledore have an exchange:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermione's Secret, PoA
"Siriud Black showed he was capable of murder at the age of sixteen" he breathed. "You haven't forgotten that, Headmaster? You haven't forgotten that he once tried to kill me?"
"My memory is as good as it ever was, Severus," said Dumbledore quietly.
What I think is that Sirius being arrested for the murders of James and Lily confirmed for Snape that he was right and Dumbledore was wrong all those years ago, and Snape has held this belief for 12 1/2 years. Dumbledore has thought this too.

Quote:
Snape clearly knew nothing at all about Dumbledore. Snape was terrified that Dumbledore would kill him on sight, which goes against everything Dumbledore is known for. It is one of those points that emphasizes how desperate Snape was. He asked Voldemort to spare Lily (a risky move) and then ran to Dumbledore, fully risking the possibility of being killed on the spot. If Grindelwald was around and capable, he would likely have gone to him as well if he thought it was necessary.
Interestingly enough, this was before it appeared Sirius was a murderer and Dumbledore was wrong. Though I do agree with you that Snape went to Dumbledore out of desperation, rather than any thought to strike a bargain. It is Dumbledore who is the one who demands a bargain in this case-- perhaps Dumbledore is a bargaining type. Anyway, Dumbledore is the one to ask Snape to give something in exchange for his help at this point.


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Last edited by OldMotherCrow; April 8th, 2015 at 10:32 pm. Reason: missing quote tag
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  #1216  
Old April 8th, 2015, 10:52 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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What I think is that Sirius being arrested for the murders of James and Lily confirmed for Snape that he was right and Dumbledore was wrong all those years ago, and Snape has held this belief for 12 1/2 years. Dumbledore has thought this too.
Just a quick point: Sirius wasn't arrested and sent to Azkaban (without trial, I note) for killing James and Lily. He was arrested for the murder of Pettigrew and the Muggles who died when Peter blew up the street he met Sirius on.

The MoM was one hugely corrupt piece of work!


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  #1217  
Old April 8th, 2015, 11:10 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
Just a quick point: Sirius wasn't arrested and sent to Azkaban (without trial, I note) for killing James and Lily. He was arrested for the murder of Pettigrew and the Muggles who died when Peter blew up the street he met Sirius on.

The MoM was one hugely corrupt piece of work!
Oops, you're right. Thanks for the correction.


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-- JK Rowling to Harry Potter fans at the beginning of Deathly Hallows, and James Potter to his son at the end of Deathly Hallows.

Last edited by OldMotherCrow; April 9th, 2015 at 12:16 am. Reason: your you're typo
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  #1218  
Old April 8th, 2015, 11:25 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

No worries! I enjoy your posts.


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  #1219  
Old April 9th, 2015, 3:13 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Snape had no intention of handing them over to the officials. He told Sirius all he had to do was call the Dementors after they were out of the willow, and then added that "perhaps they might have a kiss for" Lupin, as well.
Except he didn't when he had the chance to do so. Snape was gloating and enjoying the fear he was inspiring in them. There was no way he would have done something like administor the Kiss without informing Dumbledore and the Ministry.

Quote:
Snape heard enough while he was under the cloak to understand that the kids were in no immediate danger. They were all talking quietly. The kids had their wands, Lupin had pocketed his own wand. Yet Snape was delusional enough to claim "I have just saved your life!" to Harry. I mean, really, where the h.ell did that come from?
Just because there weren't in immediate danger did not mean they were not in danger. Three kids against two adults, one of whom was supposed to be deep in Voldemort's circle, are not good odds.

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
Do you mean that I am blaming the victim, or that Dumbledore is blaming the victim, or that Snape thinks that Dumbledore is blaming the victim? If it is the first, just, no, since I did not say anything about Snape being at fault for Sirius giving him the key to the door; however, Snape doesn't get a by on accountability just because he ended up a victim of his own actions, along with Lupin. If you mean the last, yes, that's what I was going for. If Snape perceives that Dumbledore completely misread Sirius-- and Sirius being accused of murdering the Potters I think would confirm in Snape's mind that Sirius is and always was a killer-- then that I think colors Snape's view of Dumbledore's competency and the value of any of their bargains.
I meant you because of the line "but not purposefully expose themselves to a werewolf, and place the student who is the werewolf in a horrible position like Snape did to Lupin." Sounded a lot like "walking alone with valuable possesions putting the mugger in a horrible position".

I'm not sure if Snape felt Dumbledore was blaming the victim here. If Sirius was let off, I don't think Dumbledore would have given Snape much grief about the incident. I think Snape was upset that Dumbledore let them off in the first place.

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Well, Lily speaks about Snape having a theory about why Lupin is weird and always disappears on the full moons. But I will concede that the word "werewolf" is not spoken, so he could have had a different theory.
This happened after the incident though so it could well mean Snape making up his theory after the fact - which was the way I read it.

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I think Dumbledore had an opinion that Snape's actions and motives had something to do with him going out of bounds, though I'm a bit too tired right now to scour the books looking for specific examples of Dumbledore's general attitude towards choice and agency. I'll try to get back to that, though, as it now seems to be a very important element to Dumbledore and Snape's first major interaction.
Snape would not have been the first or the last student that Dumbledore had seen snooping around trying to get someone else in trouble. I bet Dumbledore has seen thousands of variations of that play.

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What I think is that Sirius being arrested for the murders of James and Lily confirmed for Snape that he was right and Dumbledore was wrong all those years ago, and Snape has held this belief for 12 1/2 years. Dumbledore has thought this too.
Ah. I see what you mean. I do wonder if it made any difference to Dumbledore though. Dumbledore, by all accounts, was still the same character willing to give second chances and seeing the best in others. I really didn't get the impression that it affected Dumbledore at all. He's likely made character judgements on a lot of people and been mostly right so he probably shrugged off the few he didn't get right.

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Interestingly enough, this was before it appeared Sirius was a murderer and Dumbledore was wrong. Though I do agree with you that Snape went to Dumbledore out of desperation, rather than any thought to strike a bargain. It is Dumbledore who is the one who demands a bargain in this case-- perhaps Dumbledore is a bargaining type. Anyway, Dumbledore is the one to ask Snape to give something in exchange for his help at this point.
I think this says a lot about how well Dumbledore was able to understand people. He was able to look past Snape's unpleasant exterior and see someone who could be a potential ally and an opportunity to pull him out of bad company.


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Old April 9th, 2015, 4:22 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by wolfbrother View Post
I meant you because of the line "but not purposefully expose themselves to a werewolf, and place the student who is the werewolf in a horrible position like Snape did to Lupin." Sounded a lot like "walking alone with valuable possesions putting the mugger in a horrible position".
Nope, what I said was not victim blaming. Your analogy fails because it does not align to what I said. I don't understand your Lupin as a mugger, stalking after Snape who is just minding his own business traipsing down the street, and Lupin is trying to beat Snape up and take his stuff. In the book, Lupin was where he was supposed to be, minding his own business. So not sure how you got that from what I said.


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