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Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis



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  #1181  
Old September 17th, 2014, 12:56 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

That still doesn't clear things up much. He's okay with tarnishing Snape's soul with his death, but thinks Draco should be "spared"?

Or was he saying "You've already killed lots of people as a Death Eater so this won't be any worse."

Or "This is a mercy kill, since I'm dying anyways. You're putting me out of my misery."


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  #1182  
Old September 17th, 2014, 1:27 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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That still doesn't clear things up much. He's okay with tarnishing Snape's soul with his death, but thinks Draco should be "spared"?

Or was he saying "You've already killed lots of people as a Death Eater so this won't be any worse."

Or "This is a mercy kill, since I'm dying anyways. You're putting me out of my misery."
The latter, I think.

And in that whole Snape-helping-protect-Harry bit, Dumbledore was giving Snape a way back. Snape was a bad egg, his twisted soul bound straight for hell until Dumbledore showed him a path to redemption. Perhaps the only path available to him considering the horrors he perpetrated as a death eater.


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  #1183  
Old September 17th, 2014, 7:48 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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That still doesn't clear things up much. He's okay with tarnishing Snape's soul with his death, but thinks Draco should be "spared"?

Or was he saying "You've already killed lots of people as a Death Eater so this won't be any worse."

Or "This is a mercy kill, since I'm dying anyways. You're putting me out of my misery."
I think he's saying that Snape alone would know whether it was a mercy killing or a murder. With Draco that choice could not be given since Dumbledore could not approach him, asking Draco to kill him. But, Dumbledore asks this from Snape and when Snape asks about his soul, Dumbldore says only Snape can decide that. That whether he would murder Dumbledore in which case his soul would be harmed, or whether he would agree with Dumbledore and kill him, in which case he would granting Dumbledore this great favour and his soul would be intact.

Snape agrees to kill Dumbldore, thereby showing that his soul is safe IMO.


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  #1184  
Old September 17th, 2014, 8:15 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

Well, this is excluding the probability that Snape already murdered people during the first War.


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  #1185  
Old September 17th, 2014, 11:54 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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That still doesn't clear things up much. He's okay with tarnishing Snape's soul with his death, but thinks Draco should be "spared"?
My post was in response to your question about why Dumbledore was intent on keeping Draco from murdering, to which the passage is, I think, clear: Dumbledore did not want Draco's soul to be damaged if he could prevent it. The question you pose now is supplemental to the one I referenced. And I agree with others that the latter explanation is accurate: Draco killing Dumbledore would damage Draco's soul because it would be an act of murder. Snape killing Dumbledore would not damage Snape's soul because it would be an act of mercy - that, at least, is the question Dumbledore posed to Snape and, I think, what he assumed. Therefore, Dumbledore would know that no one's soul would be damaged on his behalf while ensuring that his death accomplished the task of gaining Voldemort's trust in Snape. Whether Snape's soul was already damaged is, I think, a question for which we have nothing more than conjecture.


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  #1186  
Old September 18th, 2014, 2:14 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

That tower scene drives me batty. Severus was concerned with the state of his soul. That is clear. Was he concerned because it was already damaged and didn't want to damage it further or was he concerned because it was not yet damaged at all? Also, he was willing to die for Draco via the Unbreakable Vow, yet he seems more concerned with his own soul above Draco's? Or was he in fear for his soul knowing that he may very well die in protecting Draco and he would need his soul in tact to pass on properly?


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  #1187  
Old September 18th, 2014, 2:41 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

I interpret Snape's response as exasperation over what he thinks Dumbledore is saying. I think Snape hears that Dumbledore cares about Draco's soul but not Snape's, and that is the source of Snape's agitation. Snape's reaction, as I read it, doesn't consider that his soul may not be harmed by a mercy killing and instead thinks that Dumbledore doesn't want Draco's soul to be ripped apart but doesn't mind if Snape's is. I don't think he is responding to the issue of a cohesive soul as much as he is hurt - or at least surprised - by Dumbledore's seeming callousness.


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  #1188  
Old September 18th, 2014, 4:38 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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I interpret Snape's response as exasperation over what he thinks Dumbledore is saying. I think Snape hears that Dumbledore cares about Draco's soul but not Snape's, and that is the source of Snape's agitation. Snape's reaction, as I read it, doesn't consider that his soul may not be harmed by a mercy killing and instead thinks that Dumbledore doesn't want Draco's soul to be ripped apart but doesn't mind if Snape's is. I don't think he is responding to the issue of a cohesive soul as much as he is hurt - or at least surprised - by Dumbledore's seeming callousness.
There is also the point, I think, that Dumbledore is inferring to Snape -- that only Snape knows his own heart, Dumbledore cannot. There is the possibility that while Snape is devoted to defeating Voldemort for Lily's sake, whether or not Snape would wish to kill Dumbledore or is only doing what Dumbledore asks to help Dumbledore, is something only Snape knows. I think Snape was also agitated about Dumbledore's reflecting that possibility back to him.


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  #1189  
Old September 18th, 2014, 11:04 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

I believe that Dumbledore thought that Snape was capable of remorse . He knew that Snape would be able to repair any tear to his soul that doing what Dumbledore wanted would cause him. That is why it seemed to Snape that Dumbledore was being callus towards any damage to Snape's soul. Snape didn't read Dumbledore's motive correctly . I also feel that Dumbledore didn't really care about Snape's feelings just as long as he kept to the plan.


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  #1190  
Old September 18th, 2014, 11:48 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

I don't know, Twins. That whole conversation was based on Snape's jealousy of the time Dumbledore was spending with Harry. He wasn't a party to those meetings and resented them. That much was clear from the angry, aggressive way he approached Dumbledore about them. He was further frustrated that Dumbledore didn't share those conversations with him (Snape) after the fact.

From the conversation Harry and Dumbledore had at the end of PoA, it seems clear that Dumbledore had a close relationship with James Potter "both at school and after" (again a paraphrase). Snape probably resented that. When he "came back" as Dumbledore's helpmate and colleague in protecting Harry, Snape's reaction to Harry possibly taking the place he (Snape) believed he had earned is perfectly predictable. There weren't very many comfort relationships in Snape's short life.


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  #1191  
Old September 19th, 2014, 5:49 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Well, this is excluding the probability that Snape already murdered people during the first War.
I don't think Snape murdered people during the first war. Snape was given the task of following Dumbledore and I think Voldemort needed a fairly clean person, if he happened to be caught by Dumbledore. Someone who was not known for going on raids killing Muggleborns or baiting Muggles or fighting Aurors. For if they were caught it would mean Azkaban and a loss of one death eater to Voldemort. Sirius in GoF says that he can't believe Snape is a death eater because Dumbledore whatever his faults would never hire a death eater to be among students. So Sirius and by extension the Order did not have any suspicions that Snape could have been a Voldemort follower during the first war.

However Snape was a death eater, so I guess he was probably very low key and he hadn't done any AKing or torturing. In the second war, when Dumbledore asked him to kill, Snape worried about his soul, but I think he understood the difference between killing and murder, and why his soul would be safe, while Draco's would be harmed.

Or if Snape had murdered, then I guess he felt deep enough remorse to heal over the years, even though I believe he never forgave himself. In that case too, he would arguing for his soul. Though I think it's more that Snape never murdered for Voldemort in the first war or the second.


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  #1192  
Old September 19th, 2014, 6:50 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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I don't think Snape murdered people during the first war.
DH, p. 687Dumbledore: "Don't be shocked, Severus. How many men and women have you watched die?"

Snape: "Lately, only those whom I could not save."


Don't you think that infers that Snape did indeed murder as a death eater, before turning to Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix? I can't believe he only went along for the ride when the death eaters attacked their victims in the first war.


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  #1193  
Old September 19th, 2014, 9:58 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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DH, p. 687Dumbledore: "Don't be shocked, Severus. How many men and women have you watched die?"

Snape: "Lately, only those whom I could not save."


Don't you think that infers that Snape did indeed murder as a death eater, before turning to Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix? I can't believe he only went along for the ride when the death eaters attacked their victims in the first war.

I agree. The lately is a very telling word here. What he has been doing under Dumbledore's authority and what he did under Voldemort's authority are completely different things. Also let's remember that Snape researched and developed at least one dark curse that we know of --- Sectumsempra --- for enemies. Being a Death Eater would have gotten him very many enemies and he countered those enemies with dark magic. I don't think anyone can refute that.

Dumbledore was confident that Snape wasn't a Death Eater anymore. Dumbledore also took Snape for granted because he was blinded by Snape's love for Lily he assumed that Snape would "get over" James and perform his duty of teaching Harry occlumency. Whether or the reader blames Snape or Harry for the failure of those lessons, clearly Dumbledore believed Snape was the problem. Snape, unfortunately, was the type to follow orders. He capitualates to Dumbledore's authority when Lily dies and does, to him, loathesome things like protecting Harry and killing Dumbledore. It is no stretch of the imagination that he would also do Voldemort's bidding even if he had qualms about them.

To suppose that Snape hadn't, at the very least, personally tortured or maimed someone, isn't logical. To assume that Voldemort would have never ordered Snape to kill someone even more so and if he had ordered Snape to kill someone Snape would have done it. I see no evidence, none, that he wouldn't have. As conniving and patient as Voldemort could be, to think that he would have assigned an assassination to Snape, one of his most trusted DEs, is not only possible it is also far more probable.


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  #1194  
Old September 20th, 2014, 4:21 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Why did it matter so much for DD to keep Draco from committing murder?
If Draco murders Dumbledore, Draco would become the master of the Elder Wand. Ironically, despite all Dumledore's machinations, this is what happens.

Dumbledore wants Snape to kill him instead, so Snape will end up with the wand. One way to get Snape to do this is to appeal to him in as many ways as possible. Snape seems to like Draco, and may even be willing to protect him, so I think Dumbledore uses this to try to get Snape to follow his plan.

Dumbledore probably does care about whether or not Draco becomes a murderer, but Draco blunders about nearly murderering several students that year, so I'd say stopping Draco from murder wasn't the highest priority. I think ulterior motives were at play.


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  #1195  
Old September 20th, 2014, 10:05 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
DH, p. 687Dumbledore: "Don't be shocked, Severus. How many men and women have you watched die?"

Snape: "Lately, only those whom I could not save."


Don't you think that infers that Snape did indeed murder as a death eater, before turning to Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix? I can't believe he only went along for the ride when the death eaters attacked their victims in the first war.
Dumbledore asked, How many men and women have you watched die?

I think this implies that Snape had been in places where others had been killed, probably by Voldemort or other death eaters. It does not imply that Snape killed. I think Snape, if he did go on raids did not get the opportunity to kill, else Dumbledore would not have phrased it so. If he was with Voldemort when people were killed, he would only watch. Much like Charity Burbage. We don't know how many people were killed like that, that Snape saw.

I think the words Lately, only those whom I could not save, could imply that Snape did not try too much to save those who he saw killed in the first war, assuming he was in a position to do so. I don't think it meant he killed. I would agree he needed to feel remorse for being uncaring, and I think he did, which was why he was worried about the state of his soul.


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  #1196  
Old September 20th, 2014, 6:10 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Dumbledore asked, How many men and women have you watched die?

I think this implies that Snape had been in places where others had been killed, probably by Voldemort or other death eaters. It does not imply that Snape killed. I think Snape, if he did go on raids did not get the opportunity to kill, else Dumbledore would not have phrased it so. If he was with Voldemort when people were killed, he would only watch. Much like Charity Burbage. We don't know how many people were killed like that, that Snape saw.

I think the words Lately, only those whom I could not save, could imply that Snape did not try too much to save those who he saw killed in the first war, assuming he was in a position to do so. I don't think it meant he killed. I would agree he needed to feel remorse for being uncaring, and I think he did, which was why he was worried about the state of his soul.
IMO 'Lately, only those whom I could not save' inferred that in the past he had done his best to save people.

In addition when asked in an interview whether Snape could see the thestrals, she replied that he had SEEN terrible things. A missed opportunity for her to say he'd killed someone.


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  #1197  
Old September 20th, 2014, 6:46 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

However, I think that statement refers only to the time since Snape began to work for Dumbledore after Lily's death, not before. Snape was very clever in his answer so that Dumbledore would have to reply. To admit he had killed others would make the question a moot point, denying Snape an answer -- an answer for what reason we can only guess. I believe Dumbledore was indirect because he couldn't know Snape's motives in killing someone unless Snape told him....which is why Dumbledore directs Snape to search his own heart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snapes_witch
In addition when asked in an interview whether Snape could see the thestrals, she replied that he had SEEN terrible things. A missed opportunity for her to say he'd killed someone.
Although JKR's answer was correct -- after all you can see thestrals if you've seen and understood death, as Neville, Luna and Harry could even though they hadn't killed anyone -- I believe she was indirect in order to preserve some of the mystery and complexity of Snape's character.

However, I think that Snape's statement (Lately, only those...) refers only to the time since Snape began to work for Dumbledore after Lily's death, not before. Snape was very clever in his answer so that Dumbledore would have to reply. To admit he had killed others would make the question a moot point, denying Snape an answer -- an answer for what reason we can only guess. I believe Dumbledore was indirect because he couldn't know Snape's motives in killing someone unless Snape told him....which is why Dumbledore directs Snape to search his own heart.


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  #1198  
Old April 5th, 2015, 1:48 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

I have always thought that Snape was a loyal DE before Voldemort targeted Lily & her family. I say it that way because I believe that is the way Snape saw it. I also believe he was willing to do whatever he was told to do by Voldemort before then even kill when ordered to , as defying Voldemort was a death sentence for any DE . However after it became clear to Snape that his beloved Lily was in mortal danger he chose to defy his master and ask Dumbledore to protect her . I think that one act changed him forever and led Dumbledore to protect Snape by bringing him to Hogwarts as a teacher where the other DE`s couldn`t get to him .


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Old April 5th, 2015, 2:38 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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I have always thought that Snape was a loyal DE before Voldemort targeted Lily & her family. I say it that way because I believe that is the way Snape saw it. I also believe he was willing to do whatever he was told to do by Voldemort before then even kill when ordered to , as defying Voldemort was a death sentence for any DE . However after it became clear to Snape that his beloved Lily was in mortal danger he chose to defy his master and ask Dumbledore to protect her . I think that one act changed him forever and led Dumbledore to protect Snape by bringing him to Hogwarts as a teacher where the other DE`s couldn`t get to him .
I don't think Snape was "changed" in any real sense. We know how fierce his hatred of James and Sirius - and Harry! - was. It's quite possible that, after Lily was threatened and then killed, Snape hated Voldemort just as badly as he hated Harry and the Marauders. To me, that's the only real change we saw in him. He was ruled by bitterness and hatred, not to mention a great love for encouraging those same negative emotions in people he disliked - which was just about everyone on the planet apart from Dumbledore and maybe some of the teachers at Hogwarts.

PoA best captures Snape for me. There was no redemption possible after that.


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  #1200  
Old April 5th, 2015, 6:04 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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?


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