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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4



 
 
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  #1061  
Old May 30th, 2011, 4:51 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellatrix93 View Post
Well, I have to disagree here. Because we have a few examples of wizards being really interested in muggles and their ways of life. And many examples where the wizards didn't have any strong emotions towards niether like or dislike.
And I'll have to disagree right back at you.

Of those Wizards who grew up in the Wizarding World, we have examples of about 2-3 Wizards who take an active interest in Muggles. Arthur Weasley and Albus Dumbledore are the only ones I can think of offhand, and I do think it's telling that most Wizards regard these men's interest in things Muggle to be eccentricities.

So far as I can recall, every other lifelong member of the Wizarding community who voices an opinion seems to regard Muggles as irrelevant, inferior, or worse. Most don't hate them, and most don't wish to subdue them. In fact, some even wish to protect them. But it's generally the protection one renders a child. Based on what I see in the text, I would say that the Wizarding World as a whole definitely does not regard Muggles as equals. Even McGonnagall pronounces Muggles "not completely stupid" (implying, I think, that they are, indeed, mostly stupid).

Against this backdrop, I really don't see the attitudes young Snape expresses toward Muggles to be more extreme than the attitudes generally expressed in the Wizarding World. He expresses disdain and a sense that Muggles are irrelevant and inferior to Wizards. But I see no indication that, as a child, he possessed a virulent hatred for Muggles or any of the DE interest in subduing Muggles. He seems largely just to want to get away from them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellatrix93 View Post
His feelings were either planted by his mother's ideologies (but I doubt that, since she wouldn't have married a muggle, if she was prejudicecd against them), or his father's behaviour.
It's hard to determine what happened. I think his father's behavior was a large contributing factor in his attitudes. But it's also clear from the text that someone (I assume his mother) has spoken to him extensively about the Wizarding World.

My best guess - and this is speculation - is that his father's behavior led his mother to comfort young Severus with tales of the Wizarding World. So the behavior of the Muggle father would have reinforced the child's Wizarding connection.

His mother may not have needed to talk down Muggles. But based on the things Severus tells Lily, it seems likely that she told him something along the lines of: "Don't worry. You're not like him. You're a Wizard. And there's a better world for you." That in itself would certainly reinforce a Wizarding sense of superiority, without even needing to indoctrinate the boy.

I hope that makes sense.


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  #1062  
Old May 30th, 2011, 5:24 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellatrix93 View Post
I have a question that I'd like to hear your views on: Do you think the way we saw Snape's father treat his mother had anything to do with his desicion to join Voldemort?
I think it probably had an influence, but I don't see that influence as being as straight-line as "Snape hated his father, so Snape hated all Muggles". And I see evidence it was, in particular, not a racially based opinion on the natural inferiority or uncleanness of Muggle blood.

It seems to me that the lesson boy!Sev drew from his early experiences is that relationships, whether friendships, marriages, or otherwise, between Muggles and magical folk, were doomed. Certainly the only such relationship we know in canon he saw, that of his parents, would not have inspired confidence in the possibilities of such relationships.

We also see young Sev at 9/10, apparently friendless and longing for a friend, which suggests he has not been able for some reason, to find Muggle friends. He approaches a magical girl, who is however, someone he knows is Muggleborn. (He must, as he has observed Lily with her sister, and has concluded neither of them knows what Lily is, hence his first, abortive attempt to befriend her by telling her what she is). With her, he believes he can have a friendship, and the reason seems to be that she is magical. He expresses confidence that she will do well because she is so obviously magical, and he is also described as being confident of his own future in the Wizard world (despite his own evident defect from a straight "blood purity" perspective). And I think this early, experience-based opinion is one reason this boy with a Muggle father is Sorted in to Slytherin, where he is befriended by other future Death Eaters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by horcrux4 View Post
Interestingly, I interpreted that hesitation as Snape thinking that actually it did make a difference but because he liked Lily he wasn't going to let it.
Or it could mean he was aware it would make a difference to some, but not to him. Another idea I had, was that this makes sense in light of what we learn in DH is a prejudiced explanation of Muggleborns - that they are merely Muggles who stole the wands of real witches and wizards. If this is the line young Sev was fed by someone (and to know Muggleborns are viewed differently, he would logically, need to have met such a someone), he would know based on his own observations of Lily that whatever the case with others, *she* is genuinely magical. He met her before she acquired a wand, and saw her perform impressive and deliberate magic without one.


Quote:
Why on earth he used the term on Lily in SWM is still a bit of a mystery to me. None of his Slytherin friends seem to have been there to be impressed, so why insult Lily?
I think he was extremely angry/humiliated and spoke before thinking. Some of his anger may have been (irrationally) at her because he could not stand the thought she has seen this, and (possibly, and more rationally) if he saw her smile. But I don't think it reflects in any way his real opinion of her, not only because he made a prompt attempt to apologize, but also because of the 180degree change to his demeanor within the worst memory itself, immediately after he has spoken that fateful line. From the start of his encounter with the Marauders, he is shown to be attempting to fight back, through the use of magic and, when not able, through the use of insults. But the Mudblood line is the last thing he is described as saying or doing, even though the scene continues, with him present and physically able to speak. I have always felt that this reflected his instant regret for having said what he did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
One of the times I see this most clearly is in PoA, when he confronts Harry about his suspicions about him creeping out to Hogsmeade. It seems to me that his anger at Harry is mingled with the typical parent's or guardian's terror at what might have happened to him. Whatever his other faults (and I agree they are numerous), I do think Snape takes his responsibility for keeping Harry safe very seriously and the thought of Harry wandering around in Hogsmeade unsupervised when (as Snape erroneously believes) there's an escaped DE on the loose intent on killing Harry must fill him with terror, at the thought that, if he's unable to keep tabs on the boy, he might fail Lily yet again, by not being able to save him. (Sorry - I gave my copy of PoA to a friend, so I can't quote to back this one up).
I would add one more element I think contributes to Snape's view of Harry. In the scene you reference, for example - it is not just that Harry is in danger, or that Snape hated James. It is that Harry is in danger because he is behaving as James once did. (Snape is aware that James had a habit of breaking curfew and making mysterious outings; the two incidents you mention involved Harry leaving school grounds without permission, and Harry breaking curfew and leaving the school at night.) While Harry is not James, there are similaritites there beyond the physical aspects, and Snape is not the only character to observe this. And so (as you note) Snape comments on the similarities and the dangers he believes this poses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellatrix93 View Post
Well, I have to disagree here. Because we have a few examples of wizards being really interested in muggles and their ways of life.
Snape would have no reason for such interest. It is most likely he knew far more of this topic than the wizards you mean, since he lived with his Muggle father in a Muggle neighborhood. I think CCS means a tendency of many wizards, even good ones whose hearts are on the right side of the conflict, to speak of Muggles in a slightly pejorative way. (Think of Hagrid calling Vernon a great Muggle, or McGonagall wondering how Albus can contemplate leaving baby Harry with the Dursleys in part because "you couldn't find two people who are less like us".)


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Last edited by arithmancer; May 30th, 2011 at 6:09 pm.
  #1063  
Old May 30th, 2011, 6:18 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Regarding Snape's feelings toward Harry: while I think the scene between him and DD in TPT may disprove the idea of Snape consciously putting on an act, I would say he does feel a genuine concern for Harry (ex. the aforementioned PoA scene). However, I believe certain emotions are more unpalatable to him than others, and that he will often lash out rather than express anything he considers weakness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arithmancer
But the Mudblood line is the last thing he is described as saying or doing, even though the scene continues, with him present and physically able to speak. I have always felt that this reflected his instant regret for having said what he did.
Pre-DH, I didn't know what to make of Snape's silence after his comment, but on a reread, I came to the same conclusion.


I also feel that young Sev's hesitation before telling Lily her blood does not matter was deliberately ambiguous. I've always been able to see in it all the meanings previously mentioned by other posters.


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  #1064  
Old May 30th, 2011, 6:52 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
So far as I can recall, every other lifelong member of the Wizarding community who voices an opinion seems to regard Muggles as irrelevant, inferior, or worse. Most don't hate them, and most don't wish to subdue them. In fact, some even wish to protect them. But it's generally the protection one renders a child. Based on what I see in the text, I would say that the Wizarding World as a whole definitely does not regard Muggles as equals. Even McGonnagall pronounces Muggles "not completely stupid" (implying, I think, that they are, indeed, mostly stupid).
I agree that wizards maybe don't regard muggles as equals (as I said in my previuos post, many wizards don't have particularly strong emotions towards muggles), but still many of them wouldn't brush aside a comment of a person for merely being a muggle (which is what young Snape does, he says something along the lines of: I'm not talking to you you're a muggle). Also I think that being a muggle doesn't mean your privacy should be invaded by others becuase they posses a power, which you don't. As you said, unprejudiced wizards would like to protect muggles, not take advantage of their lack of power.
I'm aware, though, that Snape's actions here were more childlike than hateful, (although I still believe he deeply disliked Petunia).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
His mother may not have needed to talk down Muggles. But based on the things Severus tells Lily, it seems likely that she told him something along the lines of: "Don't worry. You're not like him. You're a Wizard. And there's a better world for you." That in itself would certainly reinforce a Wizarding sense of superiority, without even needing to indoctrinate the boy.
Yep, that makes a lot of sense, .


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  #1065  
Old May 30th, 2011, 7:01 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellatrix93 View Post
I agree that Snape wanted to 'fit in', or to put it more accurately, I think he wanted to be looked up to. Because we see that not there were some Slytherins students who had no relations to the DEs that we know of, and who seemed to fit in normally, (Pansy Parkinson is an example, we don't know if she had any DE relations, yet she seemed quite popular among the Slytherins).
We don't know anything about Pansy's background, but we know her attitude and unfortunately, it's very stereotypical Slytherin.


Quote:
Well, I think he didn't know what to make of muggle-borns in the beginning, because he hesitates before he tells her that her heritage doesn't make a difference. But yeah, I agree that he developed some disdain towards muggle-borns after going to Hogwarts, and that he saw Lily as an exception.
I agree. I think he went along with the thinking of his peers, his fellow housemates, the people he wanted to get along with.


Quote:
Yes, I think his father's treatment was one motive, among others such as the glory of joining Voldemort and his (questionable) interest in the Dark Arts.
I don't think his father's treatment was a motive. I think the only thing his upbringing really did for him was create the personality that got him into Slytherin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Since questions about Severus' Patronus have come up:

Who do you think taught him to cast a Patronus and when?
Isn't it said that it is 7th year DADA material? Maybe he learned it in 7th year by whoever was teaching DADA at the time. Just because they teach it doesn't mean everyone can produce a Corporeal Patronus. Also, 7th year is a NEWT level class so not many students would be taking the class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReelBigFish View Post
Personally I have always felt Snape expressed unrelenting hostility to Harry because that is actually what he always felt to him and it was not an act but how Snape really felt.
I agree. Harry represents the union of one of his worst enemies and his "one true love".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
And, I know I've said this several times, but I cannot see how the index card detention can be construed as a misguided attempt to help Harry or a way of maintaining Snape's cover - to me, it seems like pure malice.
Absolutely, to show Harry how "bad" his father and godfather were.

Quote:
Originally Posted by horcrux4 View Post
Why do you suppose he 'didn't want to feel anything other than pure loathing for Harry'? Do you think he was prepared to hate Harry before he even saw him? Dumbledore said he saw what he expected to see, but why should he have expected Harry to be conceited etc? (These are genuine questions, not me gettting at what you said BTW - just in case it has come over that way!)
I think he hated the general idea of Harry. Think of who Harry is and what Harry represents. That's torture for Snape. That's not a good reason to hate anyone, but I can see how he would.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
And I'll have to disagree right back at you.

Of those Wizards who grew up in the Wizarding World, we have examples of about 2-3 Wizards who take an active interest in Muggles. Arthur Weasley and Albus Dumbledore are the only ones I can think of offhand, and I do think it's telling that most Wizards regard these men's interest in things Muggle to be eccentricities.
Honestly, with many witches and wizards I don't think we see what they think of Muggles.


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  #1066  
Old May 30th, 2011, 8:56 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
I think Dumbledore would be a reasonable guess for his teacher. DD used the Patronus as a means of communication and it is often used in the books as a generally "good" spell (creates solace from fear, used by the Order, somehow cannot be used by DEs, etc.). It would be rather meaningful, IMO, if Severus learned the spell during the period he began to work for the good guys, as if he is reclaiming a purer part of himself.
I agree that Snape probably learned from Dumbledore, or at least learned how to send messages via patronous within the Order. There is cannon to support this- at the end of OotP, Dumbledore tells Harry that Snape contacted Sirius to make sure he was okay right after Harry gave him the cryptic message about 'Padfoot is at the place it is hidden'. Dumbledore says the Order has more reliable ways to communicate then Umbridge's fireplace, which could only mean one thing, the talking Patronous. And that when Harry did not come back from the Forbidden Forrest, he contacted the other members of the Order, who were at Grimauld Place, most likely by Patronous again.

This has always made me wonder how was it that Sirius didn't find Snape's Doe Patronous odd. I would assume that Sirius knew Lily's patronous had been a doe, as would have Lupin, who was one of the members of the Order Snape asked to go to the MoM to rescue Harry. Did it ever make Sirius & Lupin, who knew Snape's history with Lily, ever wonder why Snape's patronous was the same as Lily's?


  #1067  
Old May 30th, 2011, 9:26 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedocat View Post
This has always made me wonder how was it that Sirius didn't find Snape's Doe Patronous odd. I would assume that Sirius knew Lily's patronous had been a doe, as would have Lupin, who was one of the members of the Order Snape asked to go to the MoM to rescue Harry. Did it ever make Sirius & Lupin, who knew Snape's history with Lily, ever wonder why Snape's patronous was the same as Lily's?
I'm trying to figure out how Sirius would ever have seen Snape's patronus? Lily's maybe after they left school, but probably not Snape's.

I don't believe that the Patronus Charm was taught in classes at Hogwarts. Lupin tutored Harry outside of class, and he says in PoA:

PoA"But I must warn you, Harry, that the charm might be too advanced for you. Many qualified wizards have difficulty with it."

..."The spell I am going to try and teach you is,highly advanced magic, Harry -- well beyond ordinary Wizarding Level. It is called the Patronus Charm."


The O.W.L. committee are rather impressed that Harry can produce a corporeal patronus in his fifth year, and the only reason the other DA members learn the spell is because Harry taught them secretly outside of class again.

I think Snape would never have used that patronus in front of Sirius or the Marauders, and we don't even know if he could do a patronus as a boy. I think he probably learned the charm from Dumbledore. JKR said he never used it in front of the other Death Eaters, and that they wouldn't know how to do one (probably because it wasn't taught at Hogwarts). Umbridge is the only bad character who has a patronus.

Harry says that the Silver Doe was the same as his mother's patronus, but either he is making a leap of intuition or a scene was cut out in editing. We are never shown Lily making a patronus in the books, so it's possible a scene was left out of the Prince's Tale.


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Last edited by silver ink pot; May 30th, 2011 at 9:28 pm.
  #1068  
Old May 30th, 2011, 10:14 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I'm trying to figure out how Sirius would ever have seen Snape's patronus? Lily's maybe after they left school, but probably not Snape's.
How did Snape communicate with Sirius & the other Order members, including Lupin, the night Sirius died? Check chapter 37 of OotP, when Dubledore is explaining what Snape was doing that night to both check on Sirius & to alert the Order to go rescue Harry & other DA members- I can't lay my hands on my book right now, but I did listen to audiobook to check. How else could have he communicated with them other then a talking Patronus? It wasn't said outright, but then again, in GoF, Harry sees Dumbledore send his patronus to Hagrid when they are looking for Crouch Sr without stating what is going on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I don't believe that the Patronus Charm was taught in classes at Hogwarts. Lupin tutored Harry outside of class, and he says in PoA:

PoA"But I must warn you, Harry, that the charm might be too advanced for you. Many qualified wizards have difficulty with it."

..."The spell I am going to try and teach you is,highly advanced magic, Harry -- well beyond ordinary Wizarding Level. It is called the Patronus Charm."


The O.W.L. committee are rather impressed that Harry can produce a corporeal patronus in his fifth year, and the only reason the other DA members learn the spell is because Harry taught them secretly outside of class again.
Ordinary Wizarding Level= years 1-5 at Hogwarts, which end with the O.W.L. exams. The Partronus Charm could be covered at NEWT level DADA, but we don't really know from Cannon, particularly since we know nothing about year 7 DADA. Or it could be something wizards who have to work with them are taught, such a Umbridge and other MoM employees, particularly those who had to work at Azkaban with them.

In my mind, O.W.L. committee members would be impressed that he could do it, just as they would have if they knew about some of the NEWT level work Hermione could already do. Its magic beyond his training level, very difficult magic at that.


  #1069  
Old May 30th, 2011, 11:44 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedocat View Post
This has always made me wonder how was it that Sirius didn't find Snape's Doe Patronous odd. I would assume that Sirius knew Lily's patronous had been a doe, as would have Lupin, who was one of the members of the Order Snape asked to go to the MoM to rescue Harry. Did it ever make Sirius & Lupin, who knew Snape's history with Lily, ever wonder why Snape's patronous was the same as Lily's?
You see here in comes the understanding of the power of love. Dumbledore coached Harry into realizing it, but he didn't make such conscious effort for Sirius or Lupin, for them to pay heed to such a manifestation. Sirius for starters had more than enough on his plate (or the lack of it) to find a deeper meaning of this co-incidence. Both Sirius and Lupin knew Snape's infatuation even love for Lily, but they didn't give it such a great deal of thought after all. For them, Snape had his reason for being with the order and Dumbledore trusted him.


  #1070  
Old May 31st, 2011, 1:10 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Once the Fidelius Charm, which would have been totally secure, was in place I think Severus breathed a sigh of relief thinking that Lily was safe and his part in her being in danger was something he could put behind him. Finding out she was dead, and that it had been due to trusting the wrong person, had to be a heck of a shock to him.

Now, not only was she dead, but he had to face, again, the part he'd played in it. In order to help assuage some of the guilt he was feeling, he more than likely blamed James for trusting Sirius (who everyone thought was the traitor until PoA). So, on top of his boyhood animosity toward James and Sirius, now he has in his mind that they were a part of Lily's death.

I'm sure there will be a lot of posts saying it wasn't right of him to blame James and Sirius since it was Severus who initially carried the Prophecy. Well, you're right. It wasn't right of him to blame them. But, grief and guilt do not know right, or logic. It's human, when you've made a mistake, especailly a big one, to try to look for someone else to share the guilt with. This is one of Severus' human flaws. While he did take responsibility, and feel guilt, he was, IMO, also looking for some way to make himself feel a bit better. Sharing the responsibility might be a way to do this.

Then, Harry shows up, looking exactly like James, but with Lily's eyes. I can imagine this would set off all kinds of emotions and Severus, who prided himself on not wearing his heart on his sleeve, may have had a very difficult time handling them.

As Harry shows more and more of James' traits, like a yearning for adventure and a penchant for rule-breaking, I see Severus as "losing" Harry in all of that and seeing only James before him. Even when he talks to Harry, the name "Potter" may leave a bad taste.

I think he did see what he wanted to in Harry because he wasn't able to separate him from his father. I do finally see that happening, though, when Dumbledore tells him Harry must die, when he refers to Harry as "the boy," rather than "Potter." I think that's when he finally accepted Harry as an individual on his own.


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  #1071  
Old May 31st, 2011, 3:46 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedocat View Post
How did Snape communicate with Sirius & the other Order members, including Lupin, the night Sirius died? Check chapter 37 of OotP, when Dubledore is explaining what Snape was doing that night to both check on Sirius & to alert the Order to go rescue Harry & other DA members- I can't lay my hands on my book right now, but I did listen to audiobook to check. How else could have he communicated with them other then a talking Patronus? It wasn't said outright, but then again, in GoF, Harry sees Dumbledore send his patronus to Hagrid when they are looking for Crouch Sr without stating what is going on.
You recollect correctly, Dumbledore does not state outright how Snape communicated, he simply reminds Harry that the Order have better means of communication than the Floo.

It is my opinion that Snape communicated with Sirius and later the other Order members that evening in OotP, in person. He could simply leave the school and Apparate to 12 GP. I think he would not initially send the Patronus to Sirius for two reasons:

1) He would not want Sirius to see it, as he wants no one to know about his love for Lily and involvement with her death, and
2) In the event Harry had had a true vision, Snape might have been sending the Patronus to Sirius in Voldemort's presence. NOT a smart move.

I think he would also have stopped by in person the second time, because he would have wanted to see and hear with his own eyes and ears, that a rescue mission for Harry was in the offing. He would not be participating for the obvious reasons, but given what we learned of his motivations in DH, I think he would have needed to be sure someone was going after Harry.


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Last edited by arithmancer; May 31st, 2011 at 3:49 am.
  #1072  
Old May 31st, 2011, 4:32 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Speaking of patronuses, two things:

1. Harry was able to infer that the doe was Lily's just from the memories in TPT. We all did, with as much information as Harry has. He learns from the memories that Snape loved Lily, he knows from experience that patronuses can change in response to deep love (see Tonks and her new patronus), and so it's easy to put 1 and 1 together and come up with a shared patronus.

2. Regarding shared patronuses, there most likely aren't enough unique animals to go around for every wizard or witch who can cast a Patronus Charm to have a different patronus. So it stands to reason that there will be some duplication in what form patronuses take. We just don't know enough about the inner workings of the Patronus Charm to really be able to speak much about it -- for example, does the form of the patronus reflect anything at all about the caster? Or is it just some random animal?

But that's something for a different thread. To bring this back round to Sev, it could be his patronus was always a doe, and DD expected it to have changed as he grew up and Lily faded into the background. Remember, he said "After all this time..." sadly -- we usually interpret that to mean he was made sad by Snape still carrying a torch. It could mean he is sad that Snape hasn't grown within his spirit and found his own patronus...

Just spinning a thought out here...


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  #1073  
Old May 31st, 2011, 5:53 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
It could mean he is sad that Snape hasn't grown within his spirit and found his own patronus...
hmm, it is like saying his doe patronus was not his. I believe his love for Lily, or for the idea of Lily was so deep that it came to be a part of him; that it represented the soft spot of Snape, his appreciation of life, his wanting to be loved as human, his loyalty to DD. So the doe was IMO Snape's real patronus. The "incarnation" of all his good qualities. Had he found another woman to love perhaps his patronus may have changed, or perhaps not, as it was the representation of all he came to appreciate. That's what I think, that Dumbledore got it wrong there and the patronus meant not only his love for her, but also hes good side.


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  #1074  
Old May 31st, 2011, 7:38 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadiraSnape View Post
Speaking of patronuses, two things:

2. Regarding shared patronuses, there most likely aren't enough unique animals to go around for every wizard or witch who can cast a Patronus Charm to have a different patronus. So it stands to reason that there will be some duplication in what form patronuses take. We just don't know enough about the inner workings of the Patronus Charm to really be able to speak much about it -- for example, does the form of the patronus reflect anything at all about the caster? Or is it just some random animal?

But that's something for a different thread. To bring this back round to Sev, it could be his patronus was always a doe, and DD expected it to have changed as he grew up and Lily faded into the background. Remember, he said "After all this time..." sadly -- we usually interpret that to mean he was made sad by Snape still carrying a torch. It could mean he is sad that Snape hasn't grown within his spirit and found his own patronus...

Just spinning a thought out here...
Hmmm, I can't quite agree with that. JKR is the one who called a patronus a "Soul Guardian," so it's actually quite beautiful to me that the Silver Doe which represented Lily was his protection against things like Dementors.

I don't take Dumbledore's statement as sad, actually. I think it can be taken two different ways, one being that he was rather clueless about how deeply Snape loved Lily. But Dumbledore is always telling Harry how the "ones we love never leave us," so it puzzles me why he would react with surprise that Snape still loved Lily. So my second interpretation is that Dumbledore was rather impressed with Snape's constancy of emotion over all those years. JMO

ETA: And of course Dumbledore's question "After all these years" leads to Snape's famous line "Always," so maybe it's just a little contrived to lead up to that.

We do have characters with similar Patronuses. Harry and Snape are one pair, with a Stag and a Doe, then Lily also had the doe - so James might also have had a stag like Harry, but we don't know for sure. McGonagall and Umbridge are two others, both with cats, while Kingsley has a wild cat, or Lynx. Tonks' patronus changed somehow to reflect her love for Lupin, but we don't know what her original patronus was - maybe a dog to reflect the House of Black? Snape told her it looked "weak" but I think that was more of a warning that it betrayed her deeper feelings, which is the same problem he has with the Silver Doe.


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  #1075  
Old May 31st, 2011, 8:08 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I took it that Dumbledore was touched.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sadira
for example, does the form of the patronus reflect anything at all about the caster? Or is it just some random animal?
My belief is that the Patronus takes the form of that which protects the caster. Occasionally, that could represent oneself, if one is independent enough or, in the case of Umbridge, self-centered enough. It may also represent another person if a deep enough connection is felt. In Snape's case, I think that Lily's memory protects him by discouraging him from his dark past.

We know McGonagall can both turn into a cat and cast a cat Patronus, so I'd say that a person's representative animal might also reflect their potential Animagus form or something close to that.


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  #1076  
Old May 31st, 2011, 12:12 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

To cast a Patronus, you have to focus on a powerfully happy memory and I suspect Snape's happy memories were all tied up with Lily, consequently his patronus reflected her. His happy memory is unlikely to have been from home where he seemed in SWM to be distinctly unhappy. At school, again judging by SWM, he didn't seem a contented or fulfilled teenager, but a loner whose only friends were future DEs who didn't seem to be giving him any backup against James & Sirius. I feel that his happiest memory may well have been the time shown in the Prince's memories when he was with Lily before they went to Hogwarts and she was, for that time, his. So his patronus reflected the one lovely thing in his life.


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  #1077  
Old May 31st, 2011, 2:49 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I wonder if Severus' patronus was the same as Lily's or was it a reflection of his feelings for her?

We don't know what Lupin's was as we only see him cast the Shield Charm instead of a full patronus. So, I'm not sure what the signifigance of Tonks' patronus changing was...did it reflect her feelings for Lupin, her inner turmoil because of his distancing himself from her, or was it becoming the same as his? We don't know. I only mention this because it kind of explains why Dumbledore may have expected Severus' patronus to be different. And evidentally he hadn't see him cast one for quite a while.

The Silver Doe is described so beautifully in DH, when Harry sees it in the forest. When I think of a doe, I think of something kind of fragile looking, but strong and capable of taking care of itself. The large eyes give an impression of gentleness and it's movements are usually very graceful. Maybe that was how Severus saw Lily: beautiful, graceful, gentle, yet strong and capable. Could it be his "impression" of her, rather than actually being a duplicate of her patronus?

I thought the line about "After all this time," meant that Dumbledore was surprised that Severus' patronus hadn't changed at all. This is why I think Dumbledore was the one who taught Severus the Patronus Charm and that's when he first saw what Severus' Patronus was -- and, I guess he'd have known the patronuses of all of the Order members, as well, if they were used for communication. So, he would have known if Severus' and Lily's were the same and maybe that was when he realized just how true and strong his feelings for Lily were.

I'm not sure why JKR doesn't tell us exactly what Lily's patronus was, but maybe she felt that Harry's assumption that it was the Doe, also, was enough. But, it leaves a bit of confusion, obviously.


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  #1078  
Old May 31st, 2011, 11:28 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I find it interesting that when Harry first sees the Doe, he makes the connection to his mother nearly right away. Its really familiar to him and not really because his own is a stag. This is what prompts him to follow it. I think Snape knew this and is why he chose that particular method to lead Harry to the sword. Which also leads me to believe that during that time, Snape was beginning to see Harry a bit differently.


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Old June 1st, 2011, 5:11 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I would think Severus would want to create an atmosphere of trust in order to get Harry to the location where the Sword was. The Siver Doe has that effect. (I wonder if Harry may have remembered his mother's patronus from his childhood, not a real memory, but like the screaming and the flash of green light?)


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  #1080  
Old June 1st, 2011, 8:49 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I feel that the instant connection Harry feels with the Patronus does indicate that there is at least something of his mother in it. While I'm not sure how this could be the case, my personal theory is that Harry, as Lily's son, can sense a part of Lily "living" on in Snape's memory of her, embodied by the Patronus. IMO, this echoes the inscription on the Potters' tombstone (this idea of living after death), and Harry's recognition of Prongs as his own Patronus in PoA.

As for why Snape chose to use that spell to lead Harry to the sword, I'm thinking Snape had to have had some inkling that Harry would trust it. So does this mean Snape knows how the Patronus makes him feel, and infers that Harry will react the same way?


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Last edited by ignisia; June 1st, 2011 at 9:01 am.
 
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