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Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3



View Poll Results: Did Snape take Lily's concerns about his Slytherin friends seriously?
Yes, he just covered it up because he had no choice. I blame the sorting. 19 6.91%
Partly. He seemed to have been convinced that he was right and Lily wasn't. 68 24.73%
No, his (re)actions show that he did not listen to her. He was too busy being jealous of James. 119 43.27%
He became a Death Eater to impress Lily, which shows that he misjudged her character severely. 36 13.09%
I disagree with all options and will explain my opinion in a post. 13 4.73%
I think this poll should have a pony option. 20 7.27%
Voters: 275. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #1081  
Old December 9th, 2009, 4:42 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

As I wrote on the Snape thread, I don't think James POV is relevant in what happened between Severus and Lily.

Whatever James thought of himself and his friends, or whether they felt any remorse for what they did with the werewolf incident is irrelevant in this case. All that really matters to me is what Lily believed at the time she broke off with Snape.

My point again was that by snape going to the Whomping Willow in the first place, the incident made Lily respect James all of a sudden and see him differently. That is not speculation, but a fact because she tells Severus that she thought James saved him from a monster.

To Snape, that was a disaster, in my opinion.


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  #1082  
Old December 9th, 2009, 5:55 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
As I wrote on the Snape thread, I don't think James POV is relevant in what happened between Severus and Lily.

Whatever James thought of himself and his friends, or whether they felt any remorse for what they did with the werewolf incident is irrelevant in this case. All that really matters to me is what Lily believed at the time she broke off with Snape.
But that happened after the conversation between them being discussed. That happened after Snape called her a mudblood and revealed his true colors to her. In the conversation about the werewolf incident, Lily and Snape were still friends and she didn't say she wished to stop being friends at that point. I do feel their friendship was on the outs, but Snape going to the willow wasn't responsible for that, imo.

Quote:
My point again was that by snape going to the Whomping Willow in the first place, the incident made Lily respect James all of a sudden and see him differently. That is not speculation, but a fact because she tells Severus that she thought James saved him from a monster. To Snape, that was a disaster, in my opinion.
I think Snape may have believed that, but I think if he saw it as a disaster, he was looking at the situation all wrong, imo. Someone had risked their life to save him and all Lily said was that he should be grateful - and I feel he should have been. If James looked better in her eyes (and we don't know for sure because the canon does not say), I don't see any problem with that. It would just mean that Lily saw that James placed the value of Snape's life over petty concerns like disliking him and considering him an enemy - and I feel that is commendable.

That said, I can see why Snape would not be happy for Lily to see James in any kind of favorable light at all. Snape liked her and what boy wants the girl he likes to like another fellow - especially one he doesn't particularly like? However, that would not be admirable reason for Snape's unhappiness in the scheme of things, so in that case, Lily should have ignored him on that front, which she seemed to do. And if you think about it - that exemplifies exactly the type of person Lily was. Her friends didn't like her friendship with Snape and questioned her even speaking to him - but she ignored them and did what she wanted. That is exactly what she was doing in this scene with Snape. She wasn't about to allow his desires to rule her either - she was quite the independent girl.


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  #1083  
Old December 9th, 2009, 6:43 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
I think Snape may have believed that, but I think if he saw it as a disaster, he was looking at the situation all wrong, imo. Someone had risked their life to save him and all Lily said was that he should be grateful - and I feel he should have been. If James looked better in her eyes (and we don't know for sure because the canon does not say), I don't see any problem with that. It would just mean that Lily saw that James placed the value of Snape's life over petty concerns like disliking him and considering him an enemy - and I feel that is commendable.
I beg to differ - there is definitely canon that Lily began to see James differently, which is what I wrote. In Prince's Tale, she says:

From Prince's Tale:

“I’m just trying to show you they’re not as wonderful as everyone seems to think they are.”

The intensity of his gaze made her blush.

“They don’t use Dark Magic, though.” She dropped her voice. “And you’re being really ungrateful. I heard what happened the other night. You went sneaking down that tunnel by the Whomping Willow, and James Potter saved you from whatever’s done there ---”


It's fine if you agree with Lily that Snape was ungrateful, but Lily clearly didn't know the big picture about Lupin and the Marauders.

What we don't have canon about is what she thought of the Marauders and Lupin when she learned about it in the future. What did she think when she found out that Snape had told her the truth? We don't even know what she was told because they had nothing to do with Lupin after Hogwarts.

James and Lily dated and became Head Boy and Girl in their seventh year, and I believe it is due to James's ability to fool both Dumbledore and Lily. That's the canon, in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WWB
That said, I can see why Snape would not be happy for Lily to see James in any kind of favorable light at all. Snape liked her and what boy wants the girl he likes to like another fellow - especially one he doesn't particularly like? However, that would not be admirable reason for Snape's unhappiness in the scheme of things, so in that case, Lily should have ignored him on that front, which she seemed to do. And if you think about it - that exemplifies exactly the type of person Lily was.
Yes, I'm afraid that's true. It really says alot about what kind of friend she was also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WWB
She wasn't about to allow his desires to rule her either - she was quite the independent girl.
I just don't see her that way anymore. She just became the Fifth Marauder, in my opinion. And her safety as well as Harry's almost became secondary to James and Sirius's friendships and their unwillingness to trust Dumbledore.

But for purposes of this thread, I'll just say that I don't see Lily as independent at all.


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  #1084  
Old December 9th, 2009, 7:32 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

As for the SWM part, i think that Snape really damaged his and Lily's friendship that day. She didnt like James then but she wasnt that happy about SNape either. She was really against his other Slytherin "friends" . Snape began acting like a jerk. Upto that point, Snape was the nice guy and James the relative "jerk". Snape was the one who told her that being muggleborn doesnt make a difference and she probably realised that was'nt true when she came into Hogwarts.She probably thought that Snape didnt believe that, or that it didnt matter to him , especially in her case. But then he starts hanging out with his other buddies and he suddenly starts calling everyone a "mudblood".

Then he made the mistake of calling her that, especially when she was doing him a favour by sticking up for a Slytherin ( whom all her friends disapproved of ) against James Potter. She probably thought that this wasnt her best friend anymore if her being muggleborn made a difference to him. She disapproved of his friends anyway , and this was the last straw.
SNape was in really bad mood and James trying to use the say-you'll-go-out-with-me-and-i'll-let-him-go tactic wasnt helping.


As for the Sirius-tricking-him-into-life-threatening-situation thing, Lily thinking James was the hero was terrible for Snape.All the bullying really left him hating Sirius and James, meking it worse towards James because of his jealousy for Lily. Snape realised that Lily now had a higher opinion of marauders than before. He had tried to convince Lily of his Remus-is-a-werewolf theory and she refused to believe it . Lily seemed to take following rules very seriously and Snape tried to make her opinion of them fall by trying to get them into trouble(not that they need help with that)

He probably went to the Shrieking Shack to get them into major trouble. He went there, found their secret out, got into trouble himself, got banned from telling anyone,James was made out to be a hero and worst of all, Lily believed it.
He really loved Lily, but he went about it the wrong way.
All this is JMO of course


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  #1085  
Old December 9th, 2009, 8:15 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I beg to differ - there is definitely canon that Lily began to see James differently, which is what I wrote.
Lily definitely began to see him differently than what? We don't have any canon about how she viewed him at that time or prior to that time for like 5 years.

Quote:
It's fine if you agree with Lily that Snape was ungrateful, but Lily clearly didn't know the big picture about Lupin and the Marauders.

What we don't have canon about is what she thought of the Marauders and Lupin when she learned about it in the future. What did she think when she found out that Snape had told her the truth? We don't even know what she was told because they had nothing to do with Lupin after Hogwarts.
You lost me, lol. What "it" are you talking about, when you say Lily learned about "it" in the future? And what "truth" did Snape tell Lily? I'm sure she wouldn't have thought highly of Sirius' actions or Snape's actions, if she learned all of the details of the werewolf incident - but I can't see her changing her opinion of James based on the full truth as we know it. So I am unsure what you mean to say.

Quote:
James and Lily dated and became Head Boy and Girl in their seventh year, and I believe it is due to James's ability to fool both Dumbledore and Lily. That's the canon, in my opinion.
Fooling Dumbledore is no easy feat at 16-17 years old - even the super talented Voldemort hadn't been able to achieve it. I think you might be crediting James with a little too much greatness - but his son was Harry Potter, so anything is possible. However, Snape and Lily had not been friends for over a year at that time, so I don't think their past friendship factored into Lily's future friendships and/or relationships.

Quote:
Yes, I'm afraid that's true. It really says alot about what kind of friend she was also.
True, but it has to work both ways. She was friends with Snape because she didn't give into the pressure of her other friends. So it would stand to reason that she would not allow Snape to pressure her into anything relative to her other friends or housemates. That is to say, if she was a different person that would actually give into what others wanted (her sister, her friends) she would have never been Snape's friend in the first place. So Snape would have to expect her to not give into what he wanted either.

Quote:
I just don't see her that way anymore. She just became the Fifth Marauder, in my opinion. But for purposes of this thread, I'll just say that I don't see Lily as independent at all.
If she wasn't independent, then you believe that Snape forced her to be his friend for 5 years? My impression was that she was his friend, despite outside pressures, because she was an independent thinker. She didn't want her friends to control her or her decisions and she didn't want Snape to do so either. I can't imagine she'd want any one else to control her either, she just didn't seem to be that type of person - even if she became a 5th Marauder in terms of hanging out and fun - she'd still be the same independent girl, imo.


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  #1086  
Old December 9th, 2009, 9:42 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
Lily definitely began to see him differently than what? We don't have any canon about how she viewed him at that time or prior to that time for like 5 years.
Than an "arrogant toe rag."

Quote:
You lost me, lol. What "it" are you talking about, when you say Lily learned about "it" in the future? And what "truth" did Snape tell Lily?
I seem to be losing people alot tonight.

"It" = That Lupin was really a werewolf and Snape was right about that

Lily refused to believe it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WWB
I'm sure she wouldn't have thought highly of Sirius' actions or Snape's actions, if she learned all of the details of the werewolf incident - but I can't see her changing her opinion of James based on the full truth as we know it. So I am unsure what you mean to say.
That's the "it" I was talking about. So you really know what I'm talking about after all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WWB
Fooling Dumbledore is no easy feat at 16-17 years old - even the super talented Voldemort hadn't been able to achieve it. I think you might be crediting James with a little too much greatness - but his son was Harry Potter, so anything is possible. However, Snape and Lily had not been friends for over a year at that time, so I don't think their past friendship factored into Lily's future friendships and/or relationships.
Yes, and that's a shame, in my opinion. How quickly she forgot her first friend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WWB
True, but it has to work both ways. She was friends with Snape because she didn't give into the pressure of her other friends. So it would stand to reason that she would not allow Snape to pressure her into anything relative to her other friends or housemates. That is to say, if she was a different person that would actually give into what others wanted (her sister, her friends) she would have never been Snape's friend in the first place. So Snape would have to expect her to not give into what he wanted either.
Of course he would, and there's absolutely no canon that he ever pressured her into doing anything. And obviously he regretted saying all that to her. He couldn't seem to find the right words to express his true feelings, and that's part of his tragedy as a character.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WWB
If she wasn't independent, then you believe that Snape forced her to be his friend for 5 years?
Absolutely not. See my last comment.

But on the other hand, where is the proof that Lily did anything independently of James, Sirius, and Peter once she became part of their group? They were always together. She wasn't independent in her view of Dumbledore or Lupin either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WWB
My impression was that she was his friend, despite outside pressures, because she was an independent thinker. She didn't want her friends to control her or her decisions and she didn't want Snape to do so either. I can't imagine she'd want any one else to control her either, she just didn't seem to be that type of person - even if she became a 5th Marauder in terms of hanging out and fun - she'd still be the same independent girl, imo.
That's fine - I just see no evidence of it in the actual books. I think you must be talking about Fanon Lily who has an education and a career. Book Lily - for me - becomes an appendage of James.


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  #1087  
Old December 9th, 2009, 10:40 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
Yes, and that's a shame, in my opinion. How quickly she forgot her first friend.
I think she chose her attraction for James over her friendship with Snape. I really cannot otherwise understand why she would get so angry with a 'mudblood' comment, (made by Snape when he was being humiliated so badly), when she had seen and heard Snape call everyone mudblood for years. That makes it sound as if Lily was a hypocrite and I am beginning to think she wasn't. But I also feel she was not strong enough; strong to be proud of her friend, Snape, as she was earlier (otherwise their friendship would not have lasted so long IMO) and she was neither strong enough to tell James to accept her for what she was; that she was friends with a Slytherin.

In the end I think Lily could not balance between friend and lover and chose the latter IMO. I wonder if she needed on some level an assurance from James which she did not get, for after the SWM, we never see Lily's opinion on anything IMO. She seems to try so hard to fit in, that I wonder she never really felt at home where she was, like the way she felt when she was with Snape. Her own person.

I don't know and nor can I understand how someone who stood up so boldly for what she wanted and stood by what she thought for almost 5 years; who demanded people accept her on her terms, suddenly became this extension as it were of James, and someone who lost their ability to make decisions on their own; instead started accepting James' opinions as her own.

Quote:
But on the other hand, where is the proof that Lily did anything independently of James, Sirius, and Peter once she became part of their group? They were always together. She wasn't independent in her view of Dumbledore or Lupin either.
Lily IMO ceased to be a individual once she started going out with James. It's ironic, but Snape helped her keep her independence, while once she broke off with him, she also lost touch with her independence and her her ability to think for herself.

Quote:
Book Lily - for me - becomes an appendage of James.
Book Lily lost her individuality once she broke of with Snape IMO.


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  #1088  
Old December 9th, 2009, 11:32 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
In the end I think Lily could not balance between friend and lover and chose the latter IMO. I wonder if she needed on some level an assurance from James which she did not get, for after the SWM, we never see Lily's opinion on anything IMO. She seems to try so hard to fit in, that I wonder she never really felt at home where she was, like the way she felt when she was with Snape. Her own person.
I agree. I think part of the reason is that with a person like Snape there was nothing to live up to. James was part of a group who thought they were really cool and liked to go around causing trouble; they had a reputation (at least in their own minds anyway). With Snape, there is none of that. He's just some poor, lonely, brainy kid who needed a friend. Lily didn't have to fit in with him because he fit in with no one.


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  #1089  
Old December 9th, 2009, 12:12 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I think she chose her attraction for James over her friendship with Snape. I really cannot otherwise understand why she would get so angry with a 'mudblood' comment, (made by Snape when he was being humiliated so badly), when she had seen and heard Snape call everyone mudblood for years. That makes it sound as if Lily was a hypocrite and I am beginning to think she wasn't.
The irony to me in these discussions is that Severus would be the first to agree that he had done Lily a great wrong: that is his worst memory, not that James Potter humiliated him so nastily in public but that he fatally undermined his friendship with Lily. Severus doesn’t blame Lily at all for what happened to their friendship – he blames himself. He knew he had done something inexcusable in hurling a racist insult at her. For Lily it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, IMO – she has been warning Sev about the company he keeps for years and he has just ignored her.

Quote:
But I also feel she was not strong enough; strong to be proud of her friend, Snape, as she was earlier (otherwise their friendship would not have lasted so long IMO) and she was neither strong enough to tell James to accept her for what she was; that she was friends with a Slytherin.
I completely agree that Lily was strong enough to be friends with Severus for all those years, and that says something about her character. But the issue is that Severus was getting more and more involved with a gang of people who would end up hunting people like Lily down. And that is exactly what happened -- so Lily's deepest fears came true.

Quote:
I wonder if she needed on some level an assurance from James which she did not get, for after the SWM, we never see Lily's opinion on anything IMO.
Well, we don't see James's POV either, post SWM.

Rowling’s portrayal of James and Lily has gaps, IMO. (Like a lot of the backstory.) But Lily emerges for me, personally, as the stronger and more fleshed-out personality.

Quote:
She seems to try so hard to fit in, that I wonder she never really felt at home where she was, like the way she felt when she was with Snape. Her own person.
That is not the way I see Canon Lily. She comes over as a confident, affectionate girl who obviously came from a loving family. She wasn't as sensitive to Petunia's jealousy and pain as she ought to have been ... (Although Petunia's resentment would have been hard to deal with, admittedly.) But Lily's best friend Severus had no vested interest in helping her bridge the growing chasm between her and her sister.

Quote:
Lily IMO ceased to be a individual once she started going out with James. It's ironic, but Snape helped her keep her independence, while once she broke off with him, she also lost touch with her independence and her ability to think for herself.
Severus was getting more and more involved with a racist gang. Lily challenged him on this and he didn’t want to hear what she was telling him, so he conveniently blocked it out. Is that what you mean by him ‘helping her to keep her independence’?

To be clear, I believe firmly that Severus always cared for Lily. But for all his intelligence, as a teenager he just couldn’t see the huge disconnect between his love for her and his attraction to a gang that had a vested interest in hunting people down of her blood heritage.

Quote:
Book Lily lost her individuality once she broke of with Snape IMO.
I don't see it that way ... although I do have issues with how Lily becomes 'a fifth Marauder', from a strictly feminist POV. To me this is yet another example of Rowling's strong female characters playing second fiddle to the male ones: however, I also think that the truncation of the James/Lily backstory is a big factor in this.

The letter that Lily writes to Sirius (which means so much to Harry -- and Severus, of course!) seems to reflect the personality we have already encountered in canon: a strong, affectionate woman with a rather impish sense of humour who manages to sound bright and cheerful even under the immense pressure she and her family are under.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
Lily didn't have to fit in with him because he fit in with no one.
Yet she fitted in with him for well over five years.

For me, the story is pretty simple: Lily and Sev drifted apart because a) she was seriously worried about the direction his life was going in and b) he resented (with some justification, it is perfectly true) her friends in Gryffindor. (But if they weren't always right about him, then he wasn't always right about them.)

If Lily is so shallow and so lacking in individuality, then I can't help thinking that this detracts from Snape's character and the whole 'Always' plot. What kind of man pines his life away for a woman who isn't worth it? What kind of man dedicates himself to a life of thankless servitude, and a hard, difficult job as a spy, for the sake of someone who didn't really deserve his friendship and his love?

That's not the way Canon Severus sees it, and it's not the way I see it either.


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  #1090  
Old December 9th, 2009, 12:28 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
But on the other hand, where is the proof that Lily did anything independently of James, Sirius, and Peter once she became part of their group? They were always together. She wasn't independent in her view of Dumbledore or Lupin either..
Oh I don't know, there was that one time where she stood up to the Dark Lord and got killed for doing so, but hey maybe James put her up to that. No wait, we now have the actual scene thanx to Voldemort and we know how that went down. Also, we know that after Hogwarts they weren't always together, for example where was Lupin when the Fidelius Charm was cast? He didn't know where they were hiding because he was suspected of being the spy, irony of ironies truth be told considering Peter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
Lily refused to believe it.
Yes, she was wrong, yet like Lily said, why did Snape even care to begin with? Why did Snape care what the Marauder's were up to? Well we kind of get an answer from Snape don't we, he just wants to show Lily that James wasn't all that great. Snape was jealous of James Potter. James did fancy Lily, but Lily made it clear that at that time and including the Pantsing Incident, she didn't fancy James at all. Snape was insecure and jealous for no reason, but that's hardly unusual for any teen and definitely not something to condemn Snape for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods
I think she chose her attraction for James over her friendship with Snape. I really cannot otherwise understand why she would get so angry with a 'mudblood' comment, (made by Snape when he was being humiliated so badly), when she had seen and heard Snape call everyone mudblood for years.
Well "mudblood" and the Wizarding World Connotation of it is supposed to be a metaphor on racial epitaphs. Would you really blame an African American for being upset if a life-long friend called him the "N-word" while he was being embarrassed (you can use this example for any ethnicity really but please, really think about that idea before excusing Snape for what he did)? Lily's attraction to James came long after the the incident in Snape's Worst Memory so its really obvious that she never had to choose, their friendship (Snape and Lily's) was over with before she started dating James Potter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MistressofRaven
I agree. I think part of the reason is that with a person like Snape there was nothing to live up to. James was part of a group who thought they were really cool and liked to go around causing trouble; they had a reputation (at least in their own minds anyway). With Snape, there is none of that. He's just some poor, lonely, brainy kid who needed a friend. Lily didn't have to fit in with him because he fit in with no one.
Maybe before Hogwart's this was true but we know from the books that Snape had several friends in Slytherin and that they aspired to be Death Eaters. Lily made a point of this with Snape and how much it bugged her and his only defense was to call their pranks a "Laugh" and then bring up James as a dodge. Oh and by the way, we know the Marauder's had a rep, from Prisoner of Azkaban when McGonnagal and other teachers reminisced on James and Sirius' pranks to the all the detention cards Filch had on them in Half-Blood Prince.


  #1091  
Old December 9th, 2009, 1:06 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
I agree. I think part of the reason is that with a person like Snape there was nothing to live up to.
Maybe. Maybe that's what made that friendship so wonderful, that Lily in canon did not have another close friend, after Snape. Snape never expected her to act in a certain way; to behave in a certain manner in order to be a friend. She could be herself. Lily. With others maybe Lily could not be herself. That was the biggest difference IMO.

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James was part of a group who thought they were really cool and liked to go around causing trouble; they had a reputation (at least in their own minds anyway).
Are you suggesting Lily should also acquire the same reputation?

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With Snape, there is none of that. He's just some poor, lonely, brainy kid who needed a friend. Lily didn't have to fit in with him because he fit in with no one.
And yet Lily had a wonderful 5+ years of friendship with him; that she was unable to find a better friend once she left Snape IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
The irony to me in these discussions is that Severus would be the first to agree that he had done Lily a great wrong: that is his worst memory, not that James Potter humiliated him so nastily in public but that he fatally undermined his friendship with Lily. Severus doesn’t blame Lily at all for what happened to their friendship – he blames himself. He knew he had done something inexcusable in hurling a racist insult at her. For Lily it was the straw that broke the camel’s back, IMO – she has been warning Sev about the company he keeps for years and he has just ignored her.
Yes. Snape never blames Lily. I do.

Snape was indeed wrong to use a swear word, but I also think Lily could have cut him some slack, because of the situation he was in. When I see all the times she was okay when he called sundry other muggleborns Mudblood just because, the outrage she seems to feel when Snape called her one at a time he was totally humiliated shows Lily in a light that is not favourable. Because she did not choose to understand the circumstance under which Snape said those words.

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But the issue is that Severus was getting more and more involved with a gang of people who would end up hunting people like Lily down. And that is exactly what happened -- so Lily's deepest fears came true.
Came true after 2 years. Snape was not a DE at that time. Lily accuses him of becoming one. How would she know? Just because it came true after 2 years, it did not mean Snape would surely have become a DE at 15 years. That was Lily showing a narrow mentality, where she feels that a Slytherin would automatically go on to become a DE.

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Well, we don't see James's POV either, post SWM.
Well, we did not need one IMO. He says it all on page. He was doing what he was, because Snape was existing or some such thing.

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But Lily's best friend Severus had no vested interest in helping her bridge the growing chasm between her and her sister.
Why should he? That was not his job IMO. Especially when Petunia went out of her way to insult both Lily and Snape IMO.

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Severus was getting more and more involved with a racist gang. Lily challenged him on this and he didn’t want to hear what she was telling him, so he conveniently blocked it out.
Only we the readers know he was not listening, because Harry felt so. Lily certainly did not think so IMO.

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To be clear, I believe firmly that Severus always cared for Lily.
I agree.

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Originally Posted by Corbin Dallas View Post
Well "mudblood" and the Wizarding World Connotation of it is supposed to be a metaphor on racial epitaphs. Would you really blame an African American for being upset if a life-long friend called him the "N-word" while he was being embarrassed (you can use this example for any ethnicity really but please, really think about that idea before excusing Snape for what he did)? Lily's attraction to James came long after the the incident in Snape's Worst Memory so its really obvious that she never had to choose, their friendship (Snape and Lily's) was over with before she started dating James Potter.
I would expect Lily to warn Snape the first time he used the M word and then stop being friends with him when he did not stop his habit. Then I can understand her outrage on the M word.

An African American who was content to stay very close friends to those who use the N word at every other African American in a very derogatory manner, and yet became all pious when they were called by the same name, would make them appear what? Hypocritical? False? How would their outrage be compared to the million times they had shrugged it off when they seen/heard their close friends call other African American the N word, without any reason except that they were African American?

I think the Mudblood issue was just the same. Lily was okay when Snape called muggleborns by that word for no reason, and yet when that swear word slipped his mouth in a situation of great humiliation, well the outrage doesn't sit so well IMO.


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  #1092  
Old December 9th, 2009, 1:14 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Maybe. Maybe that's what made that friendship so wonderful, that Lily in canon did not have another close friend, after Snape. Snape never expected her to act in a certain way; to behave in a certain manner in order to be a friend. She could be herself. Lily. With others maybe Lily could not be herself. That was the biggest difference IMO.
I think there is no one of knowing if Lily didn't have any close friends after Snape, we see everything from Snape's perspective. For all we know Lily had several close female friends. So to think that Lily couldn't be herself with other friends is a kind of speculation we should be very careful with.

As for Lily being okay with Snape calling others Mudblood. I seem to recall (but I am not well versed in Snape lore) that Snape was very careful not to use Mudblood around her.


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Last edited by Hes; December 9th, 2009 at 1:19 pm.
  #1093  
Old December 9th, 2009, 1:33 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by Hes View Post
I think there is no one of knowing if Lily didn't have any close friends after Snape, we see everything from Snape's perspective. For all we know Lily had several close female friends. So to think that Lily couldn't be herself with other friends is a kind of speculation we should be very careful with.
In canon we see James' friends coming to Harry. We see their antics in great detail. We see them talk about James very positively. But of Lily's friend we see no one. While I agree there Lily could have had friends (A Mary McDonald is mentioned as well as the group of girls from which Lily came up to James and Snape in the SWM, plus the friends Lily mentioned to Snape the night of the SWM); I meant a friendship like Snape and Lily's; like James and Sirius'. In canon there is no one specified, as Harry's Godmother/father for example; or even a mention of a great friend of Lily who died at Voldemort's hands or something. The only letter Lily writes is also to Sirius.

While I agree Lily could have had close friends whom we don't see in canon, I lean more towards Lily not having the close friendship she enjoyed with Snape, because canon is totally absent on that.

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As for Lily being okay with Snape calling others Mudblood. I seem to recall (but I am not well versed in Snape lore) that Snape was very careful not to use Mudblood around here.
Lily tells Snape on the night she broke up with him.

DH - TPT'....I never meant to call you Mudblood. It just - '

'Slipped out?' There was no pity in Lily's voice. 'It's too late. I've made excuses for you for years. None of my friends can understand why I even talk to you.....

-----------------

'No - listen, I didn't mean -'

....' - to call me Mudblood? But you call everyone of my birth Mudblood Severus. Why should I be any different?'


I think she was aware and knew that Snape not only called other muggleborns mudblood, but was also okay with it before. She says she kept making excuses for years. Yet she was different when it came to her and when it was uttered in a moment of great stress IMO.


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  #1094  
Old December 9th, 2009, 1:51 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Yes. Snape never blames Lily. I do.
You mean you blame her more than him for the breakup of their friendship? Because he went on to become a Death Eater anyway.

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Snape was indeed wrong to use a swear word but I also think Lily could have cut him some slack, because of the situation he was in. When I see all the times she was okay when he called sundry other muggleborns Mudblood just because, the outrage she seems to feel when Snape called her one at a time he was totally humiliated shows Lily in a light that is not favourable.
I really dispute that she was 'okay' with him calling other people that. She obviously hated it.

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Because she did not choose to understand the circumstance under which Snape said those words.
Of course she understood. She was tearing James a strip off at the time.

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Came true after 2 years. Snape was not a DE at that time. Lily accuses him of becoming one. How would she know?
She gives him the opportunity to deny it, TGW. And he doesn't.

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Just because it came true after 2 years, it did not mean Snape would surely have become a DE at 15 years. That was Lily showing a narrow mentality, where she feels that a Slytherin would automatically go on to become a DE.
Lily doesn't just pull this accusation out of nowhere, IMO. We've already seen her express concern to Sev about the 'evil' stuff that Mulciber and Avery were into.

I've seen it argued in the fandom that Severus wasn't 'really' into the Dark Arts and he wasn't 'really' intending to become a Death Eater, and therefore Lily was making a whole fuss about nothing. And to me this theory contradicts the message of The Prince's Tale, and undermines the whole story, so I'm just not convinced.

You might make a case that Rowling doesn't do an awfully good job of conveying the wrong direction that Sev's life was taking in his teens. I may very well be inclined to agree with you. All the same, when an author includes these kinds of details -- like Lily expressing her concern to Sev about Mulciber and Avery, and Sev uncomfortably laughing her concerns off -- I do think it's for a reason.

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Well, we did not need one IMO. He says it all on page. He was doing what he was, because Snape was existing or some such thing.
But that's not a post-SWM view. You just illustrated my point for me: we don't know much about James the adult. In fact, we know even less about him than we do about Lily the adult (IMO).

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Why should he? That was not his job IMO. Especially when Petunia went out of her way to insult both Lily and Snape IMO.
My point is that Severus despised Petunia because she was 'only a Muggle'. I am not letting Petunia off the hook: she despised him because he looked like a poor kid from the wrong side of town, and she was resentful and hateful towards Lily. Of course Sev has no reason to be sympathetic. However, I think both he and Lily are very much to blame for the 'letter' incident: Lily was very wrong to open Petunia's private letter, and Sev was wrong to aid and abet her in this.

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Only we the readers know he was not listening, because Harry felt so. Lily certainly did not think so IMO.
I find it quite manipulative on Sev's part that he deflected Lily's concerns about Mulciber and Avery to start on a rant about the Marauders. Lily doesn't seem to notice his tactics. But her concerns still go ignored.


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  #1095  
Old December 9th, 2009, 2:11 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
You mean you blame her more than him for the breakup of their friendship? Because he went on to become a Death Eater anyway.
No. I don't blame Lily for breaking off a friendship she did not want. Not at all. And I also don't blame Lily for the DE Snape became. However, I do feel after 5 years of close friendship, she could have gone about the breakup another way.

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I really dispute that she was 'okay' with him calling other people that. She obviously hated it.
What did she do to stop it? She was willing to break up the friendship when Snape called her the M word. Why did she not do that when Snape called others by the same name? That's why her anger does not sit well.

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Of course she understood. She was tearing James a strip off at the time.
Well I didn't think so; she refused to go out with him until he changed, she was angry at the whole SWM, she was also amused at Snape hanging upside down, but I don't know if she understood what a humiliation it was for Snape. To be hanging upside down; for James to tell Lily that if she went out with him, he would not lay a wand on Snape. I don't think she understood really.

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She gives him the opportunity to deny it, TGW. And he doesn't.
The night of the SWM? I don't think she let him complete a sentence LOL. She came out; she accused and she went back inside.

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Lily doesn't just pull this accusation out of nowhere, IMO. We've already seen her express concern to Sev about the 'evil' stuff that Mulciber and Avery were into.
Exactly. Avery and Mulciber. Not Snape.

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I've seen it argued in the fandom that Severus wasn't 'really' into the Dark Arts and he wasn't 'really' intending to become a Death Eater, and therefore Lily was making a whole fuss about nothing.
But I never said this. I only said Snape at 15, at the time Lily was accusing him of wanting to be a DE was not one. He was not a DE, he was not practising the Dark Arts. Lily never calls him a DE; she never says he was doing dark magic. She speculates he is going to become a DE some 2 years into the future and breaks off a 5 year friendship on an assumption, a speculation.

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All the same, when an author includes these kinds of details -- like Lily expressing her concern to Sev about Mulciber and Avery, and Sev uncomfortably laughing her concerns off -- I do think it's for a reason.
Snape was dismissing her concerns about 2 other people. Not him IMO.


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  #1096  
Old December 9th, 2009, 2:55 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
No. I don't blame Lily for breaking off a friendship she did not want. Not at all.
You say that 'she did not want' to be friends with Snape, as if there were no other issues involved except Lily's growing attraction to James. And I really, fundamentally, disagree with that so no wonder you and I don't see Lily in the same way.

To me the issues were plain when I first read The Prince's Tale: to me it was obvious that the growing gap between Lily and Severus was not just due to James and the influence of the Marauders, it was because Lily was genuinely worried about the direction Sev's life was going on. That's just the way I read it. Obviously others see it differently.

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What did she do to stop it? She was willing to break up the friendship when Snape called her the M word. Why did she not do that when Snape called others by the same name? That's why her anger does not sit well.
OK, I see why you think that. I guess I am just more prepared to cut Lily more slack.

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The night of the SWM? I don't think she let him complete a sentence LOL. She came out; she accused and she went back inside.
Lily did give him the chance to speak. Unfortunately, he didn't deny that he was thinking about becoming a Death Eater.

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Exactly. Avery and Mulciber. Not Snape.
Yes, but Sev laughed it off, like he didn't think practising something 'evil' on Mary was a big deal (whereas anything the Marauders did was a big deal, to him.) And that unwillingness to discuss the matter rung a warning bell for Lily, and it rung a warning bell for me, as a reader.

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I only said Snape at 15, at the time Lily was accusing him of wanting to be a DE was not one. He was not a DE, he was not practising the Dark Arts. Lily never calls him a DE; she never says he was doing dark magic. She speculates he is going to become a DE some 2 years into the future and breaks off a 5 year friendship on an assumption, a speculation.
We'll just have to agree to disagree on this. To me Lily's concerns in The Prince's Tale were genuine and a clear indicator by the author that we should be sitting up and taking notice of those concerns in the text, simply because of the way JKR frames the redemptive arc of Sev's story ... his tragic choice to choose the Dark, and the way he pulls himself out of it (with Lily as his inspiration).


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  #1097  
Old December 9th, 2009, 3:18 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
I completely agree that Lily was strong enough to be friends with Severus for all those years, and that says something about her character. But the issue is that Severus was getting more and more involved with a gang of people who would end up hunting people like Lily down. And that is exactly what happened -- so Lily's deepest fears came true.
That's something I have to question when people say Lily should have stood by Severus, given him a chance after the Mudblood incident. If she owed something to their friendship, then so did he. Severus owed it to her not to become involved with people who looked down upon people of her background. He owed it to her not to brush her concerns aside. Lily stood up for him for years, maintained their friendship even when her other friends can't understand why she even talks to him.

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To be clear, I believe firmly that Severus always cared for Lily. But for all his intelligence, as a teenager he just couldn’t see the huge disconnect between his love for her and his attraction to a gang that had a vested interest in hunting people down of her blood heritage.
Agree. How do people think he reconciled those two polar opposite interests?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corbin Dallas View Post
Well "mudblood" and the Wizarding World Connotation of it is supposed to be a metaphor on racial epitaphs. Would you really blame an African American for being upset if a life-long friend called him the "N-word" while he was being embarrassed (you can use this example for any ethnicity really but please, really think about that idea before excusing Snape for what he did)? Lily's attraction to James came long after the the incident in Snape's Worst Memory so its really obvious that she never had to choose, their friendship (Snape and Lily's) was over with before she started dating James Potter.
That's exactly the analogy I always associate with the word. Lily criticised James for his behaviour here - she didn't decide to abandon Snape and run after James, she ended an unhealthy friendship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Maybe. Maybe that's what made that friendship so wonderful, that Lily in canon did not have another close friend, after Snape. Snape never expected her to act in a certain way; to behave in a certain manner in order to be a friend. She could be herself. Lily. With others maybe Lily could not be herself. That was the biggest difference IMO.
This is the same Snape who didn't listen to Lily's concerns about Avery and Mulciber, just contented himself that she had insulted James? The same Snape who dismissed Lily's sadness and guilt over the argument with Petunia, saying "she's only a-", even though they had clearly been in the wrong to read Petunia's letter and Lily still hoped at this point to have a good relationship with her sister again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
No. I don't blame Lily for breaking off a friendship she did not want. Not at all. And I also don't blame Lily for the DE Snape became. However, I do feel after 5 years of close friendship, she could have gone about the breakup another way.
What other way could she have broken it off?

Quote:
What did she do to stop it? She was willing to break up the friendship when Snape called her the M word. Why did she not do that when Snape called others by the same name? That's why her anger does not sit well.
That concerns me, too. I believe she was making excuses for Severus before, perhaps telling herself he was doing it to fit in with others in his House, that he didn't really mean it, that he didn't see her that way. Using the word "mudblood" against her, however, showed Lily that he truly did believe in blood prejudice, if he could use it against one of his oldest friends. I've long believed that people say what they truly mean when they are either intoxicated or in an intense, volatile situation.

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Well I didn't think so; she refused to go out with him until he changed, she was angry at the whole SWM, she was also amused at Snape hanging upside down, but I don't know if she understood what a humiliation it was for Snape. To be hanging upside down; for James to tell Lily that if she went out with him, he would not lay a wand on Snape. I don't think she understood really.
In light of HBP and the Prince's Tale, I think it's more likely that she found it funny one of his own spells was being used against him. However, she did challenge the Marauders and made an effort to stop them.

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Exactly. Avery and Mulciber. Not Snape.

But I never said this. I only said Snape at 15, at the time Lily was accusing him of wanting to be a DE was not one. He was not a DE, he was not practising the Dark Arts. Lily never calls him a DE; she never says he was doing dark magic. She speculates he is going to become a DE some 2 years into the future and breaks off a 5 year friendship on an assumption, a speculation.
Snape was dismissing her concerns about 2 other people. Not him IMO.
Avery and Mulciber are friends of his, and Snape dismisses their Dark Magic against Mary McDonald as "a laugh, that's all".
He doesn't deny it when Lily challenges him to deny his intent - "He opened his mouth, but closed it without speaking", DH, page 542, UK edition.
Lily didn't break off the friendship on the assumption that he was going to become a DE, imo. Rather, it was on the confirmation that he considered her inferior, because of her blood.


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  #1098  
Old December 9th, 2009, 3:57 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
You say that 'she did not want' to be friends with Snape, as if there were no other issues involved except Lily's growing attraction to James. And I really, fundamentally, disagree with that so no wonder you and I don't see Lily in the same way.
We don't see eye to eye at all. Is cool with it too.

I do see Lily's fascination for James as the primary reason for her break up with Snape at that time. I also believe had Snape gone on as he did, to become a DE, Lily may have broken off with him, but at that time, for the reason she gave in the TPT. At the time of the break up Snape was never accused by her of practising the dark arts, he was not a DE and he had always been calling muggleborns Mudblood, so in effect what was Lily breaking up with him for?

Yes he called Lily his best friend by the same name. But I think Lily could have cut him some slack because of what was happening out there. But when she broke up with Snape, all she had was that her feeling Snape was going to become a DE! And she also accuses him of wanting to become a DE and takes his shock for consent IMO.

DH - TPT'You and your precious death eater friend - you see, you don't even deny it! You don't even deny that's what you're all aiming to be! Yo can't wait to join YKW, can you?


This is what she said and Snape opened his mouth and closed it when she continued again, with 'I can't pretend anymore...'

So, I don't know if she gave Snape any time. She was breaking a friendship that was over 5 years old, with a boy who was her first friend in the magical world. I felt Snape and his friendship deserved a little more respect. That's all.

Quote:
it was because Lily was genuinely worried about the direction Sev's life was going on.
If she was truly worried, she should have gone to a higher authority with it. Especially if she was accusing her best friend of choosing a life that was wrong and one which could bring him more harm than good.

If she was interested in saving her best friend, she would have sought help for him; she would have complained to higher authorities to place her concern.

But she was not interested in all that. She was interested in breaking the friendship and this word 'mudblood' IMO offered her a chance to do it. While I, as I said before do not blame her for breaking off with Snape; I do feel she would look a lot better had she done it differently.

Quote:
posted by Furry Dice
What other way could she have broken it off?
Firstly by giving Snape a chance to respond. She does not allow him to complete even his apology! Allow him to say if he was indeed interested in becoming a DE; she had accused him of becoming one and she should allow him to answer that accusation IMO. If he was, then tell him he needed to choose, for Lily was going to be no DE's friend. All this of course if she was willing to save a friendship. If she wanted Snape for a friend. And if she was truly concerned as she says she is with his ideals, then she should have done a Hermione. Hermione in third year told McGonagall about the broom, even at the cost of her friendship and she certainly wasn't as popular as JKR says Lily was. She had only 2 friends and she was willing to risk that friendship, and she went through a horrible period of utter loneliness and misery when Harry and Ron ignored her, but that did not stop her from doing the right thing; which was saving Harry's life by reporting something that was not the norm, not right.

Here was Lily with 5 years of friendship behind her and she was convinced her best friend was going down a path that could only lead to disaster.

Why did she not report to the Headmaster or her Head of House?

I think we are given this incident with Hermione in 3rd year, to show the difference between best friends. Harry won the war because he had Hermione.

If Lily did not want Snape as a friend, she could have simply told Snape to get lost and broke off with him IMO. There was no need to say she was pretending for years, making out a case where Snape had always been this DE and she was pretending to be his friend, even though he was in Slytherin and she in Gryffindor. No wonder Snape was baffled and he kept opening and closing his mouth. I don't think he understood anything that night, except that Lily did not want him as a friend anymore IMO.


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Last edited by The_Green_Woods; December 9th, 2009 at 4:11 pm.
  #1099  
Old December 9th, 2009, 4:53 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I do see Lily's fascination for James as the primary reason for her break up with Snape at that time. I also believe had Snape gone on as he did, to become a DE, Lily may have broken off with him, but at that time, for the reason she gave in the TPT. At the time of the break up Snape was never accused by her of practising the dark arts, he was not a DE and he had always been calling muggleborns Mudblood, so in effect what was Lily breaking up with him for?
I can only quote JKR on this: Lily might have grown to love Snape “if he had not been so drawn to the Dark Arts.” And I quote that specifically because I honestly thought that's the story she was telling.

Quote:
Yes he called Lily his best friend by the same name. But I think Lily could have cut him some slack because of what was happening out there. But when she broke up with Snape, all she had was that her feeling Snape was going to become a DE! And she also accuses him of wanting to become a DE and takes his shock for consent IMO.
I took his silence for consent too. I do think Lily gave him a fair chance to repudiate the accusation. And he doesn't do so. That to me was one of the reasons why his silence is so painful: he knows he's pretty much lost Lily, and he would deny that he wants to become a DE, if he could, but actually he can't.

"You've chosen your way: I've chosen mine."

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So, I don't know if she gave Snape any time. She was breaking a friendship that was over 5 years old, with a boy who was her first friend in the magical world. I felt Snape and his friendship deserved a little more respect. That's all.
I agree with FurryDice on this one:

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
That's something I have to question when people say Lily should have stood by Severus, given him a chance after the Mudblood incident. If she owed something to their friendship, then so did he. Severus owed it to her not to become involved with people who looked down upon people of her background. He owed it to her not to brush her concerns aside. Lily stood up for him for years, maintained their friendship even when her other friends can't understand why she even talks to him.
That's the way I see it too.

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
If she was interested in saving her best friend, she would have sought help for him; she would have complained to higher authorities to place her concern.
Well, that's a fair point ... but the plot mechanics also seem to dictate that the higher authorities never showed much interest in suppressing the genocidal cult within Slytherin House.

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If Lily did not want Snape as a friend, she could have simply told Snape to get lost and broke off with him IMO. There was no need to say she was pretending for years, making out a case where Snape had always been this DE and she was pretending to be his friend, even though he was in Slytherin and she in Gryffindor. No wonder Snape was baffled and he kept opening and closing his mouth. I don't think he understood anything that night, except that Lily did not want him as a friend anymore IMO.
Personally, I don't think he was that stupid. I think he knows exactly why she is breaking off her friendship with him. He just can't bring himself to deny all the things she is accusing him of. I know that Sev gets very tongue-tied when he is emotional, he struggles to find the right words, and that's painful to read, but it's also painful to read because I think he knew Lily had rumbled him, and that he was, in effect, choosing the dark path over her.


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Old December 9th, 2009, 5:10 pm
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Firstly by giving Snape a chance to respond. She does not allow him to complete even his apology! Allow him to say if he was indeed interested in becoming a DE; she had accused him of becoming one and she should allow him to answer that accusation IMO. If he was, then tell him he needed to choose, for Lily was going to be no DE's friend. All this of course if she was willing to save a friendship. [...] Here was Lily with 5 years of friendship behind her and she was convinced her best friend was going down a path that could only lead to disaster. Why did she not report to the Headmaster or her Head of House? [...] If Lily did not want Snape as a friend, she could have simply told Snape to get lost and broke off with him IMO. There was no need to say she was pretending for years, making out a case where Snape had always been this DE and she was pretending to be his friend, even though he was in Slytherin and she in Gryffindor. No wonder Snape was baffled and he kept opening and closing his mouth. I don't think he understood anything that night, except that Lily did not want him as a friend anymore IMO.
I saw this scenario in the same way Pearl_Took has described in her last few posts, but I don't really see what difference it makes. I understand if you don't like the way JKR wrote it, but we know that JKR planned for Snape to become a DE and deliver the prophecy; and we know that she planned for Lily to marry James and they be the love of one another's lives and have Harry. So even if it were written in a different manner, it would have resulted in the same outcome, because that is what JKR wanted.


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; December 9th, 2009 at 5:18 pm.
 
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