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Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13



View Poll Results: Snape's treatment of Neville...
was justified and reflects positively upon him. 3 1.96%
was justified but reflects negatively upon him. 5 3.27%
sits uncomfortably with me. 19 12.42%
was completely unjustifiable and should have been stopped. 49 32.03%
was completely unjustifiable but horrible teachers are part of life. 19 12.42%
cannot be judged objectively because we only get Harry's perspective. 36 23.53%
put Snape's worst instincts on display. 16 10.46%
does not justify a pony option! 6 3.92%
Voters: 153. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #1061  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 5:27 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

If Dumbledore had not trusted Snape explicitly, Snape would not have been anywhere near anyting. It's never been mentioned, but, as possibly the most powerful wizard of his time, IMO, Dumbledore would probably have been an accomplished Legimems. amd would have been able to discern Snape's true loyalties. The reason I feel he would be able to do this when Voldemort could not was Dumbledore's knowledge of Snape's love for Lily. That is something Voldemort would probably not have even considered, never having felt love himself.

But, referring to Snape's character analysis, it seems that Severus proved his true character in many ways during the series:
1. His realizing the error of enjoing with Voledmort and detaching himself from that involvement.
2. His devotion to Dumbledore.
3. His willingness to risk not only death, but unimaginable torture at the hands of Voldemort.
4. His undying love of Lily, as expressed in his Silver Doe pratronus.
5. His ability to block Voldemort from reading his thoughts and therefore spoiling all of Dumbledores plans.
6. His not wanting Draco to kill someone and therefore make an indelible mark on his own soul.
7. His sincere remorse in Lily's death and realizing his own part in it, then, doing what he did to make up for it as best he could.
8. His care and protection of Harry and his group.

To me, the above are examples of someone who has a strong character who was willing to risk everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoonyForMoony View Post
Snape was a man in abject misery, without any further interest in life because the girl he had a crush on had just been killed, a turn of events for which he was pretty directly responsible. I think you can see Dumbledore's emotions changing from disgust to pity pretty clearly.
I'm afraid I have to take exception to the use of the work "crush." What Severus Snape felt for Lily Evans, IMO, as reflected in his efforts to redeem himself by protecting her son and by the form that his patronus was far more than a crush. It was a deep and sincere love which he carried for her to his death. Also, since JKR pretty much tells us that one's patronus is their "soul guardian," how could someone who's soul and intentions were not good project such a patronus?


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Last edited by MinervasCat; December 22nd, 2009 at 5:42 am.
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  #1062  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 6:52 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignisia
Quote:
Originally Posted by snapes_witch
And the thought just occurred to me -- why were those horcrux books on DD's desk? Maybe they were actually meant for the new headmaster, not on the off chance that Hermione would accio them from an unknown (to her) location at some point in the next year.
That's a really interesting point, actually. Since Dumbledore knew he was dying, had he not wanted anyone to have those books, he would have destroyed them. But he kept them there, apparently without any security charms placed upon them, since Hermione could summon them with perfect ease. He may not have known, however, that Snape would become Headmaster afterwards-- unless, of course, they were able to discuss it sometime. Snape was apparently able to get into DD's study OK before the Seven Potters, long before appointed Headmaster, so it's possible.

Dumbledore would probably not have considered Hermione summoning another person's possessions immediately after his funeral. He wouldn't have been upset, but it doesn't exactly sound like a strong possibility.
I think Snapes_Witch is really onto something there, in my opinion. Great catch! I never thought of that before.

And good point about Hermione and the books, Ignisia. No, Dumbledore might not have foreseen that.

Always good to see something new coming to light.


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  #1063  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 8:31 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
I'm afraid I have to take exception to the use of the work "crush." What Severus Snape felt for Lily Evans, IMO, as reflected in his efforts to redeem himself by protecting her son and by the form that his patronus was far more than a crush. It was a deep and sincere love which he carried for her to his death. Also, since JKR pretty much tells us that one's patronus is their "soul guardian," how could someone who's soul and intentions were not good project such a patronus?
I also have to take exception to reducing Sev's love for Lily to a mere crush. Someone else probably also disagrees considering the quote I use in my sig:

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  #1064  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 9:59 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoonyForMoony View Post
However, Dumbledore does explicitly state that he is wary of revealing his whole plan to Snape. Describing a person as someone who "dangles on the arm of Lord Voldemort", and telling them outright that you're withholding information from them because of that fact doesn't sound like complete trust to me.
As Iggy has pointed out Dumbledore didn't share all his information with Severus because it was good strategy not because he didn't trust him. He actually gives Severus this reason.

I prefer not to put all of my secrets in one basket, particularly not a basket that spends so much time dangling on the arm of Lord Voldemort.”
(bold mine)

This means the same as the saying "Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

Quote:
put all one's eggs in one basket
Fig. to make everything dependent on only one thing; to place all one's resources in one place, account, etc. (If the basket is dropped, all is lost.) Don't invest all your money in one company. Never put all your eggs in one basket. I advise you to diversify and not to put all your eggs in one basket.
Source: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/...+in+one+basket

Of course it would have been very bad strategy to tell Severus everything seeing as his job as Dumbledore's spy was to be close to Voldemort, meaning he could have been rumbled at anytime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoonyForMoony View Post
You have a good point here, as far as it goes. However (on a rather different subject), why is it that Severus is so bitter against all DADA teachers who aren't him?
Actually, Severus had other reaasons not to like any of the DADA teachers. Lockhart was incompetant and we know how Severus feels about incompetance. In fact none of the other teacher respect Lockhart either, at least Mcgonagall and Hagrid certainly don't. Then we have Lupin. Well I don't think it needs explaining as to why Severus didn't like him. Next was Moody, who as an ex-Auror was highly suspicious of Severus as he believed leopards don't change their spots. Lastly, Umbridge who was working for the Ministry and in direct conflict with Dumbledore. So, Severus had reason to dislike all of them without even taking the fact that they were DADA teachers into account.


Quote:
Snape was a man in abject misery, without any further interest in life because the girl he had a crush on had just been killed, a turn of events for which he was pretty directly responsible.
DH,The Flaw in the Plan 'Severus Snape wasn't yours' said Harry. 'Snape was Dumbledore's. Dumbledore's from the moment you started hunting down my mother. And you never ealised it, because of the thing you can't understand. You never saw Snape cast a Patronus , did you, Riddle?'
Voldemort did not answer. They continued to circle each other like wolves about to tear each other apart.
'Snape's Patronnus was a doe,' said Harry, 'the same as my mother's because he loved her for nearly all his life, from the time when they were children
.

(bold mine)

Sounds much more than just a mere "crush" to me.


  #1065  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 10:01 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoonyForMoony View Post
It's a matter of fairly simple mathematics- considering Snape was spying for Voldemort about a year after leaving Hogwarts, it doesn't look like he waited around all that long, does it?
Again: quote, please. I've been trying to locate that specific information for a while now...

Quote:
You have a good point here, as far as it goes. However (on a rather different subject), why is it that Severus is so bitter against all DADA teachers who aren't him?
Let's see: Quirrell, Lockhart, Lupin, (fake) Moody, Umbridge... I have no idea.


Quote:
Being allowed into the Order represented that he was being allowed to work for Dumbledore- and by extension, for the good side. Which, you must admit, he hadn't been all that stellar at before.
Neither was Dumbledore. But I try not to hold it against him...

Quote:
Snape was a man in abject misery, without any further interest in life because the girl he had a crush on had just been killed
You make Lily sound like Hagrid's long lost sister... Snape was 'crushing' her for two decades.


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  #1066  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 12:09 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoonyForMoony View Post
and lost no time in joining Voldemort after he graduated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoonyForMoony View Post
It's a matter of fairly simple mathematics- considering Snape was spying for Voldemort about a year after leaving Hogwarts, it doesn't look like he waited around all that long, does it?
I can see how you could come to the conclusion you have Loony – however it is conjecture, simply your opinion, not cannon. There is nothing in the books to tell us when Severus joined the Death Eaters. While it could have worked the way you have suggested it could also be that Severus joined Voldemort’s ranks much later – all we have is the knowledge that he had joined the Death Eaters by the time he overheard the prophecy or thereabouts. So while it is a valid opinion it is not cannon and should not be stated as fact imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoonyForMoony View Post
However, Dumbledore does explicitly state that he is wary of revealing his whole plan to Snape. Describing a person as someone who "dangles on the arm of Lord Voldemort", and telling them outright that you're withholding information from them because of that fact doesn't sound like complete trust to me. I'm not saying that Dumbledore didn't trust Snape with what he did confide to him- but the point is that he didn't confide everything.
Other people have pointed out many of the problems I have with this statement there is one other point that remains unaddressed however. Dumbledore did not trust anyone – not even Harry – with everything. If we take this to indicate his levels of trust in any one character then the best we can really say is that Dumbledore didn’t trust any member of the Order fully.

Personally I don’t think the cannon support this, from Aberforth’s comments in DH it seems to me that Dumbledore never tells anyone everything, concealment is part of his nature and therefore I feel it says far more about him than any of the people he fails to tell everything.

If one does choose to use this to judge how much he trusts Severus then I suppose we have to look at how much he tells Severus compared to how much he told other Order members. As he seems to me to have told Severus more about his plans than he told any other Order member then it would seem he trusted Severus more than the other Order members. Personally, as I have already said think that who he chooses to tell what to reflects more on him than the people he tells, or withholds, information to/from.


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  #1067  
Old December 22nd, 2009, 4:19 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittling
As he seems to me to have told Severus more about his plans than he told any other Order member then it would seem he trusted Severus more than the other Order members.
I agree. McGonagall knows almost nothing about Harry's situation, even though she is second-in-command at Hogwarts and a member of the Order. There are things Harry refuses to tell her, in order to keep Dumbledore's plans secret. Kingsley was an Auror and Order Member, but he gets the plan for the Seven Potters from Snape through Mundungus, and Lupin never knows what is going on with either Harry or Snape.

Even the Weasleys, some of the most loyal Order Members and certainly Harry's friends, are not always briefed by Dumbledore about his plans. And Hagrid, trusted with Harry as a baby and a new Hogwarts student, can only guess what Dumbledore and Snape are talking about in HBP.

It seems to me the real "inner circle" of the Order consists of Dumbledore, Snape, Harry, Ron, and Hermione. JMO


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  #1068  
Old December 23rd, 2009, 2:58 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

I don't like the way this thread is going. There are a lot of people who are stating their opinion as if it was fact. And it seems as if some people feel that it is their duty to defend Snape against all comments that may be less than complimentary. And if someone uses a slang word like "crush" to express his opinion, he doesn't need four people jumping on him. You can state your opinion of Snape's love for Lily, but there is no reason to point out how ABSOLUTELY WRONG THEY ARE for not seeing Snape's love for Lily as the most beautiful thing in the world.

Let's remember that some of us think the other side's interpretations are not always correct.


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  #1069  
Old December 23rd, 2009, 3:26 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Do I detect a use of hyperbole there?

We were mentioning earlier how Snape was able to get into Dumbledore's office before both the fall of the Ministry and the Seven Potters, since it was Dumbledore who conveyed the Seven Potters plan to Snape in the first place. So what I'm wondering is, how exactly did he manage to get that deep inside the castle before Voldemort even had a firm hold on the WW? He wasn't exactly welcome after the news that he had murdered Dumbledore became known to the staff.

I'm sure a spy of his skill would be very good at sneaking around places, but after the attack at the end of HBP, the castle would definitely use heightened security-- if they were paranoid and searched everyone's belongings before, they would definitely have a reason to go even further after several DEs managed to sneak in.


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Last edited by ignisia; December 23rd, 2009 at 3:31 am.
  #1070  
Old December 23rd, 2009, 4:02 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
but after the attack at the end of HBP, the castle would definitely use heightened security-- if they were paranoid and searched everyone's belongings before, they would definitely have a reason to go even further after several DEs managed to sneak in.
I believe Dumbledore mentions 'new and powerful' ways of protecting the castle as early as the beginning of HBP, so I don't understand it either... and the Headmaster's office wasn't exactly keen on intrusions even left to its own devices, as illustrated by Umbridge's failed bid for the Grand Chair.

Is it too far-fetched to suppose Severus had a hand in warding of the castle - Sorcerer Stone style - seeing as Dumbledore did know the whole story behind his evil, murdering ways?


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  #1071  
Old December 23rd, 2009, 4:22 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
and the Headmaster's office wasn't exactly keen on intrusions even left to its own devices, as illustrated by Umbridge's failed bid for the Grand Chair.
Well, on that score, it's suggested that Umbridge couldn't get in because the castle saw her as a hostile presence. Snape wouldn't have that issue, being on the Order's side (albeit secretly) and meaning the students and staff no harm.


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  #1072  
Old December 23rd, 2009, 5:51 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daggerstone View Post
Is it too far-fetched to suppose Severus had a hand in warding of the castle - Sorcerer Stone style - seeing as Dumbledore did know the whole story behind his evil, murdering ways?
I think this is a good supposition. In HBP, Tonks and Harry discuss the protections on the school, and that no simple spell will open the gates. And then Snape comes down from the castle and opens the gate with a simple tap of his wand, and likewise closes it again. To me this suggests he was quite familiar with the new defenses on the school and how to get past them.


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  #1073  
Old December 23rd, 2009, 6:07 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

...Which makes it kind of stupid of the staff not to change the protections after one of their own reveals himself as a "traitor"
Well, I suppose maybe Snape arrived before they considered that.

That he knew the protections well enough is probably the best explanation.


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  #1074  
Old December 23rd, 2009, 6:09 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittling View Post
I can see how you could come to the conclusion you have Loony – however it is conjecture, simply your opinion, not cannon. There is nothing in the books to tell us when Severus joined the Death Eaters. While it could have worked the way you have suggested it could also be that Severus joined Voldemort’s ranks much later – all we have is the knowledge that he had joined the Death Eaters by the time he overheard the prophecy or thereabouts. So while it is a valid opinion it is not cannon and should not be stated as fact imo.
My apologies if I was rude in my statement of when I think Snape joined the Death Eaters. This opinion of mine is based on inferences from multiple readings of the books, and of the extensive dates provided on the official Harry Potter Wikipedia. I realize that Wiki is editable by anyone, and although I see no reason why someone should take it upon themselves to create and entirely false timeline and take the time to work it into the pages of all of the characters, I suppose I must in fairness admit that it is possible. So, going on that information, Snape joined the Death Eaters within a year of leaving Hogwarts- but if you would prefer to go by what is strictly stated in the books, I completely respect that.


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  #1075  
Old December 23rd, 2009, 9:50 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanBones View Post
You can state your opinion of Snape's love for Lily,
Thanks Susan! I do think Snape loved Lily, because it's canon IMO. Harry throws it on Voldemort's face in the Final Battle 'Snape's Patronus was a doe,' said Harry, 'the same as my mother's, because he loved her for nearly all of his life', and it is implied in Snape's conversation with Dumbledore. Where Dumbledore asks him 'After all this time?' and Snape answers 'Always!'

Snape's feelings for Lily went beyond an infatuation, an obsession or a sexual attraction or crush IMO.

Quote:
but there is no reason to point out how ABSOLUTELY WRONG THEY ARE for not seeing Snape's love for Lily as the most beautiful thing in the world.
I did not think of Snape's love as wonderful initially. I thought it a little creepy; but that was mainly because I did not understand what he saw in Lily that made her so wonderful. I understood later that it was about Snape's love, not Lily and then I found that love beautiful, not because he wanted to get back with her or anything; but because he had given her a place in his heart, for whatever reason, and he could not be untrue to that love without being untrue to himself.

That was what made him turn away from Voldemort and also made him evolve into a person who was clearly able to differentiate between right and wrong IMO.

If what Snape had for Lily was a crush, I don't think he would have been able to sustain such a feeling once Lily died, for there would be no one to appreciate what he did, acknowledge his efforts and praise his work for the Light.

Snape did everything because he needed to for himself; there was no one to say 'Well Done!' and yet he plodded on year after year, because he could not be untrue to himself, to his love. Somehow I can't call this feeling a crush. JMHO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoonyForMoony View Post
of the extensive dates provided on the official Harry Potter Wikipedia. I realize that Wiki is editable by anyone, and although I see no reason why someone should take it upon themselves to create and entirely false timeline and take the time to work it into the pages of all of the characters,
Anything not in the Books and in Wiki or anywhere else is IMO an opinion of whoever created/edited those dates. It may be what they believe that happened, but I don't think they could claim that to be a fact or canon. It would be no more fact/canon than any of the posts here IMO. And Merlin knows some of us live here on COS and breathe Harry Potter ... and Severus Snape everyday, for the last so many years.


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  #1076  
Old December 23rd, 2009, 9:55 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

I think it is possible that Severus came back to the castle before the defences were changed. After Dumbledore's death everyone was in shock so it may have been at least a day before they changed them. As we don't have a timeline for when Severus spoke to Dumbledore's portrait it is difficult to know. Maybe it was during the funeral, as many people arrived for that so it might have been easier to sneak in then. All we do know is that he went straight from the castle after killing Dumbledore to Grimmauld Place, as JKR confirmed this in an interview.



Last edited by TreacleTartlet; December 23rd, 2009 at 10:25 am.
  #1077  
Old December 23rd, 2009, 11:24 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoonyForMoony View Post
My apologies if I was rude in my statement of when I think Snape joined the Death Eaters. This opinion of mine is based on inferences from multiple readings of the books, and of the extensive dates provided on the official Harry Potter Wikipedia. I realize that Wiki is editable by anyone, and although I see no reason why someone should take it upon themselves to create and entirely false timeline and take the time to work it into the pages of all of the characters, I suppose I must in fairness admit that it is possible. So, going on that information, Snape joined the Death Eaters within a year of leaving Hogwarts- but if you would prefer to go by what is strictly stated in the books, I completely respect that.
Since even JKR is shaky on her timelines, I think all of that is open to question, in my opinion. We aren't even sure of the year of Snape's birth - 1959 or 1960, which hasn't quite been confirmed one way or another by JKR - so we don't know when he graduated from Hogwarts. Therefore, all timelines about his character are suspect, imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TGW
Snape's feelings for Lily went beyond an infatuation, an obsession or a sexual attraction or crush IMO.
A person might look back on a crush as a memory, as Harry might with Cho Chang, but it wouldn't become a major driving force in their life, enough to put oneself in danger for years and years. JMO


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  #1078  
Old December 23rd, 2009, 11:37 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
We were mentioning earlier how Snape was able to get into Dumbledore's office before both the fall of the Ministry and the Seven Potters, since it was Dumbledore who conveyed the Seven Potters plan to Snape in the first place. So what I'm wondering is, how exactly did he manage to get that deep inside the castle before Voldemort even had a firm hold on the WW? He wasn't exactly welcome after the news that he had murdered Dumbledore became known to the staff.

I'm sure a spy of his skill would be very good at sneaking around places, but after the attack at the end of HBP, the castle would definitely use heightened security-- if they were paranoid and searched everyone's belongings before, they would definitely have a reason to go even further after several DEs managed to sneak in.
I've just looked at that scene in DH/TPT and it doesn't actually state that the conversation happened in Hogwarts, what it does say is;

'And the scene shifted. Now, Harry saw Snape talking to the portrait of Dumbledore behind his desk.'

To me this is unclear as to whether it is the painting that is behind the desk or if it is a portrait of Dumbledore sat behind a desk. Knowing that a headmaster’s portrait can visit the frames of other pictures of that headmaster it is possible that what we are seeing is Snape talking to a different portrait of Dumbledore. Seeing as both Dumbledore and Severus knew the Dumbledore would be dead within a year and that Severus would be seen to be his killer – it makes sense to me that they would make sure that Severus had a portrait he could use to keep in contact with the deceased Dumbledore. It would certainly be much simpler that Severus trying to get into the head’s office while everyone thinks he’s a murder!

While I think this interpretation is much simpler from a logistical pov I do accept that the phrasing of ‘talking to the portrait of Dumbledore’ could be seen as an indicator that I’m talking rubbish!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoonyForMoony View Post
My apologies if I was rude in my statement of when I think Snape joined the Death Eaters.
Thank you I’m not sure if I would say it was rude but I do think when discussing a subject that is contentious that it is easier all round to be clear about what is opinion or inference and what is cannon – it keeps thing more … civil

Quote:
This opinion of mine is based on inferences from multiple readings of the books, and of the extensive dates provided on the official Harry Potter Wikipedia. I realize that Wiki is editable by anyone, and although I see no reason why someone should take it upon themselves to create and entirely false timeline and take the time to work it into the pages of all of the characters, I suppose I must in fairness admit that it is possible. So, going on that information, Snape joined the Death Eaters within a year of leaving Hogwarts - but if you would prefer to go by what is strictly stated in the books, I completely respect that.
To me the only thing we can call fact is what is undisputed in the books themselves – it certainly ruffles less feathers too!


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  #1079  
Old December 23rd, 2009, 11:45 am
TreacleTartlet  Female.gif TreacleTartlet is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
A person might look back on a crush as a memory, as Harry might with Cho Chang, but it wouldn't become a major driving force in their life, enough to put oneself in danger for years and years. JMO
That's what I think too! After Lily's death, Dumbledore says to Severus; ' If you loved Lily Evans, if you truly loved her, then your way forward is clear.You know how and why she died. Make sure it was not in vain. Help me protect Lily's son,' Severus agrees and continues to honour that agreement for almost 17 years. IMO that takes a much stronger force than an infatuation.



Last edited by TreacleTartlet; December 23rd, 2009 at 11:47 am.
  #1080  
Old December 23rd, 2009, 12:51 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

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Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
That's what I think too! After Lily's death, Dumbledore says to Severus; ' If you loved Lily Evans, if you truly loved her, then your way forward is clear.You know how and why she died. Make sure it was not in vain. Help me protect Lily's son,' Severus agrees and continues to honour that agreement for almost 17 years. IMO that takes a much stronger force than an infatuation.
Good point, that quote is the only one I can think of where we get Severus revealling exactly how much he feels about Lily. However, this was moments after he heard about her death- he was emotional and probably not thinking quite as much as he would normally. I'm not disputing that he felt strongly about her but perhaps that in that moment his love for her was amplified by her death. I think that his unrequited love was one thing but when Lily was killed his love was left completey unresolved so he felt commited to her after her death more so than when she was alive, imo.


 
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