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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4



 
 
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  #1481  
Old June 26th, 2011, 9:12 pm
Sir_Cadagan  Undisclosed.gif Sir_Cadagan is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
My personal opinion is that he entered before the enchantment was put in place. Same for Mundungus.
Quite possible, which leaves the question of how long did it take to put the enchantment in place? You'd think it would be a priority after Dumbledore died. :/


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  #1482  
Old June 26th, 2011, 9:18 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Sir_Cadagan View Post
Quite possible, which leaves the question of how long did it take to put the enchantment in place? You'd think it would be a priority after Dumbledore died. :/
Yeah, I think it would have been a priority.


  #1483  
Old June 26th, 2011, 9:42 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Sir_Cadagan View Post
Quite possible, which leaves the question of how long did it take to put the enchantment in place? You'd think it would be a priority after Dumbledore died. :/
I would think the first priority would be searching for Snape, who could have gone anywhere if he really was a traitor. My guess is their own headquarters (and Harry's house) was the last place they'd expect him to go, and since they weren't going to use it either there was no rush to put the anti-snape enchantment on.

As to why look in Sirius' room, it would be only sensible for him to check all the rooms, and also look for an escape route in case someone did come. I think Sirius' room was on the topmost landing, so it would be furthest from the front entrance, and below the roof.


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  #1484  
Old June 26th, 2011, 9:53 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Gwendolen View Post
I would think the first priority would be searching for Snape, who could have gone anywhere if he really was a traitor. My guess is their own headquarters (and Harry's house) was the last place they'd expect him to go, and since they weren't going to use it either there was no rush to put the anti-snape enchantment on.

As to why look in Sirius' room, it would be only sensible for him to check all the rooms, and also look for an escape route in case someone did come. I think Sirius' room was on the topmost landing, so it would be furthest from the front entrance, and below the roof.
An escape route on the top floor of a town house? Not the back door out from the kitchen. I have a better idea of Snape's logical thinking than to suppose he thought that escaping from the top floor was a good option. Of course he was a Wizard, he could appirate from anywhere in the house. Also when your commander in chief has been murdered in front of you during a war, security is your first priority. Still doesn't explain why the books in Sirius' room were shaken apart


  #1485  
Old June 26th, 2011, 9:54 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Gwendolen View Post
I would think the first priority would be searching for Snape, who could have gone anywhere if he really was a traitor. My guess is their own headquarters (and Harry's house) was the last place they'd expect him to go, and since they weren't going to use it either there was no rush to put the anti-snape enchantment on.
But it's mentioned several times that the Order is worried that Snape would bring Death Eaters into the place or that somebody would accidentally reveal the location. So I would have thought that the first thing they'd want to do is protect whatever Order-related information or objects were still left there. Unless Grimauld Place was one of the first places that Snape went to after killing Dumbledore? But then you'd think that the wreck he created would be noticeable when Moody (or whoever else) was creating the protective enchantments.


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  #1486  
Old June 26th, 2011, 10:06 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Sir_Cadagan View Post
Unless Grimauld Place was one of the first places that Snape went to after killing Dumbledore? But then you'd think that the wreck he created would be noticeable when Moody (or whoever else) was creating the protective enchantments.
I do think Grimauld was one of the first places he went to. I think he wanted to be alone. I also don't think he wrecked it - Fletcher did that before he got there.

I'd definitely say whoever put the enchantments in place saw what had happened.


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Last edited by MerryLore; June 26th, 2011 at 10:13 pm.
  #1487  
Old June 26th, 2011, 10:39 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Stick to the topic, people. Discussion of when the enchantment was placed, who messed the house up etc may only be included if it is clearly being used to illustrate a point about Snape.


  #1488  
Old June 26th, 2011, 11:23 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
I think there is some support for the idea that school-aged Sev may have thought his involvement with the future DEs in his House and eventual joining of them in DEness would impress Lily. I'm not a guy, but I gather they typically think they need to impress the female they hope to attract with their success and accomplishments in some way, and I think Sev looked around and decided this was the best way for him to do it.
I've heard this a lot, but it doesn't really fit with Snape as a person, IMO. He was an intelligent and logical man, even in his teens. I can't believe one could be so blinded by anything that they'd think joining a group of future Death Eaters would impress a Muggle-born girl; everyone was very aware that Voldemort and the DEs wanted to get rid of Muggle-borns (and he was far enough along his reign of terror that people were already calling him You Know Who). So Snape would have had to be extremely delusional if he thought this would impress Lily in any way.

I honestly think Snape wanted to be a DE, for his own reasons. But he also wanted Lily. I see his actions at Hogwarts as indicating that he tried to compartmentalize these two sides of his life. That was a bit illogical, to be fair, but not nearly as illogical as thinking Lily would be impressed by him joining Voldemort. I think Snape had a hard time of accepting that these two worlds did not mesh well. I think he saw Lily as entirely separate from her Muggle-born identity.


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  #1489  
Old June 26th, 2011, 11:47 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
My personal opinion is that he entered before the enchantment was put in place. Same for Mundungus.
Since we don't know when the enchantment took place (IIRC) that's very possible, although I also think Snape would have been able to overcome them. And we know from his DADA classes in HBP that he is able to cast non-verbal spells so the Tongue Ty hex wouldn't have stopped him from casting a hex at the Dumbledore image.

Furthermore I think his Grimmauld visit takes place just where it's written in the book--after the 7 Potters battle. It's possible he's very emotional about nearly killing Harry, not just slicing his ear off. Are we shown when he finds out this wasn't the real Harry?

Why do I believe this particular memory is in the right order? Because every other pensieve memory, not just TPT, is told in sequence. Why then is this one memory out of order?


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  #1490  
Old June 27th, 2011, 12:00 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by LilyDreamsOn View Post
I've heard this a lot, but it doesn't really fit with Snape as a person, IMO. He was an intelligent and logical man, even in his teens. I can't believe one could be so blinded by anything that they'd think joining a group of future Death Eaters would impress a Muggle-born girl; everyone was very aware that Voldemort and the DEs wanted to get rid of Muggle-borns (and he was far enough along his reign of terror that people were already calling him You Know Who). So Snape would have had to be extremely delusional if he thought this would impress Lily in any way.

I honestly think Snape wanted to be a DE, for his own reasons. But he also wanted Lily. I see his actions at Hogwarts as indicating that he tried to compartmentalize these two sides of his life. That was a bit illogical, to be fair, but not nearly as illogical as thinking Lily would be impressed by him joining Voldemort. I think Snape had a hard time of accepting that these two worlds did not mesh well. I think he saw Lily as entirely separate from her Muggle-born identity.
Yeah, I'd have to go along with this. As my heroine Judge Judy says if it don't make sense there's usually something else going on. Snape wanted power, he wanted that power more than he wanted Lily IMO. It comes down I think to that. She gave him the choice, Death Eaters or her, he chose them.


  #1491  
Old June 27th, 2011, 12:41 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by snapes_witch View Post
Furthermore I think his Grimmauld visit takes place just where it's written in the book--after the 7 Potters battle. It's possible he's very emotional about nearly killing Harry, not just slicing his ear off. Are we shown when he finds out this wasn't the real Harry?
It's definitely possible he went to Grimmauld after slicing "Harry's" ear off. I can see he finding the photo of Lily and breaking down, because he promised to protect her son, and yet he almost killed him while trying to save Lupin. He would have been horrified by his actions, I'd think.


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  #1492  
Old June 27th, 2011, 1:11 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
It's definitely possible he went to Grimmauld after slicing "Harry's" ear off. I can see he finding the photo of Lily and breaking down, because he promised to protect her son, and yet he almost killed him while trying to save Lupin. He would have been horrified by his actions, I'd think.
But he knew better. GeorgeHarry got away and I don't think Snape would lose control like that over a near miss of a fake Harry. Snape was in on the plan, he knew that Harry would be with Hagrid, heck it was his plan to begin with so that kind of kills that theory IMO. All of this is ignoring the books torn apart and strewn about Sirius' bedroom. I don't think that Mundungus was searching through books to find loot to steal. This leads me back to my own question, how did Snape know the letter and photo were in Sirius' bedroom? I don't think he went up there on the off chance that he might get a good nights rest in Sirius' bed. Could it be that Snape used Legilimency on Sirius and knew that they were there? I think he knew the letter and photo were there and he went specifically to get them. Now I can't say that he did know of course but there is a lot of evidence IMO that shows he knew they were in the bedroom and he went there to look for them. It's very possible that he broke down when he read Lily's letter and it's proof that Lily was supremely happy with her life despite all the terrible things that were happening.


  #1493  
Old June 27th, 2011, 4:50 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I think that people can debate forever on this guy, sure he did some really ugly things, but what I would like to focus on is not how nasty he was to Harry [though I feel it was wrong, definitely] but what he did for Harry. Regardless of whether you like him or not he did protect Harry. He might have done it out of remorse for Lily, he might have done it to avenge Lily, he may have accepted the responsibility bitterly, even angrily, but what matters is he did do it.
I find his character very tragic, actually. He pursues a course of action that loses him the best friend he ever had, he hears half a prophecy which he relates to Voldemort, which could cause this friend who he still loves to die as he finds out Voldemort makes her one of his targets, he finally gets his wake-up call in this, and agrees to spy for the Order, but in the end in spite of all of the efforts taken to protect Lily, she still dies.
I think in the years between Lily's death and the arrival of Harry at Hogwarts, Snape was so filled with remorse for Lily's death he never allowed himself to try and love again. After Voldemort's return, he was in mortal peril [as Molly's famous clock would say] every single day of his life. And to have to agree to kill someone I believe he had grown to respect and care about. I imagine he thought, everyone I care about I kill. Then, finally to die a terrible death and as someone else mentioned somewhere, over a wand!
I speculate that if he had survived the war, he would have finally had a complete mental breakdown.
Therefore, I find his story sad and tragic.
And for the record, I really like Snape. And I think that he is such a favorite with so many of the fans, not because of his bravery, his snarkiness, or any specific quality he may have possessed, but because I think a lot of folks see a lot of themselves in him.


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Last edited by GrimeldaDursley; June 27th, 2011 at 4:54 am.
  #1494  
Old June 27th, 2011, 4:51 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

The memories immediately before Snape crying in Sirius' bedroom were of Dumbledore's portrait suggesting the idea of decoys, and of Snape confunding Mundungus Fletcher to plant the idea. Snape wasn't in on the plan and didn't know how many decoys there would be until that night.

I don't think we can draw any conclusion about why Snape went to Grimmauld place, as we don't have enough information. As Hermione said, "you can claim anything's real if the only basis for believing it is that nobody's proved it doesn't exist". The best we could do is decide which is more likely - that knew the letter and picture were there since Sirius died, or that he found them there after Mundungus searched the books for hidden papers. There is no proof either way, so everyone is free to draw their own conclusion.

We can draw some conclusions about Snape's character from the memory itself - that something had happened to make him cry, that Lily was significant to him, and that he took a page refering to Dumbledore's friendship with Grindelwald. As there's nothing in the book to show what his thoughts were, any thoughts we ascribe to him would be imaginary.

The most telling thing about Snape's character is that Snape gave that memory to Harry, which means he wanted Harry to see it. The memory showed that Snape was upset after the battle of the seven potters, that he still had feelings for Lily, that Snape had taken the part of the letter referring to Dumbledore and Grindelwald, and that he had torn the picture and thrown away the part containing James and Harry.

As he was dying, Snape had to use his memories to communicate, since he couldn't speak. To fulfil his promise to Dumbledore, Snape only had to pass on the memory that told Harry he had to die. The memories about Snape and Lily had no relevance to anyone except Snape, so Snape could have taken them to his grave.

The memories about Lily do not show Snape in a good light. They show him arguing with Lily and calling her mudblood, wanting to be friends with death eaters, wanting to save Lily but not her family, being prejudiced against Harry and ripping Harry's family picture in half. As far as Snape knew, nobody knew who passed the prophecy to Voldemort, so including that memory was a confession to Harry that he didn't need to make.

The memories that Snape chose were some of his worst memories and proof of his guilt. Any conclusions we can draw from them, Harry could too. The fact that Snape gave those memories to Harry shows that he wasn't making excuses or trying to hide the truth. It also suggests that he had stopped seeing Harry as a young James. The previous occasion Harry saw Snape's memories, Snape was furious. Giving his memories to Harry at the end indicates that he wanted Harry to understand him, and that his opinion of Harry had changed.


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  #1495  
Old June 27th, 2011, 5:11 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrimeldaDursley View Post
I think that people can debate forever on this guy, sure he did some really ugly things, but what I would like to focus on is not how nasty he was to Harry [though I feel it was wrong, definitely] but what he did for Harry. Regardless of whether you like him or not he did protect Harry. He might have done it out of remorse for Lily, he might have done it to avenge Lily, he may have accepted the responsibility bitterly, even angrily, but what matters is he did do it.
But if we are analysing Severus Snape, we must look at all aspects of his character. Not just the good he did (i.e. protecting Harry). By just looking at the good he did, there isn't a full understanding of his character. Granted, there may never be a full understanding for any fan given the ambiguity surrounding Snape's character.

Quote:
I speculate that if he had survived the war, he would have finally had a complete mental breakdown.
Therefore, I find his story sad and tragic.
I agree. I don't think Snape would have come out no better for wear had he lived to see the end of the war. I've always had the impression that had Snape lived, he would have become like the so many soldiers who return from war constantly stuck in the trauma of war and the things they experienced. It's terrorising, to live that way.

Quote:
And for the record, I really like Snape. And I think that he is such a favorite with so many of the fans, not because of his bravery, his snarkiness, or any specific quality he may have possessed, but because I think a lot of folks see a lot of themselves in him.
As a character, I like Snape. He makes for a fascinating read, which is why he's my favorite character, although it may not seem like it because I don't positively fawn over him. Would I like to know a person like Snape? Heck no. He's such a complex and humanized character, though, that I agree that many people can see a bit of themselves in him, if only the slightest shadow.

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Originally Posted by Gwendolen View Post
The most telling thing about Snape's character is that Snape gave that memory to Harry, which means he wanted Harry to see it.
Not necessarily. For all we know, Snape's intent to give some vital memories to Harry caused some other memories to slip out, given the state he was in when trying to convey to Harry the important memories.

Quote:
It also suggests that he had stopped seeing Harry as a young James
I'm not sure how you conclude that...


  #1496  
Old June 27th, 2011, 5:34 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Oh I find many of his actions very disturbing, and would never justify most of them at all.

And I agree a lot of fans do fawn over him. I can prove this, read any fanfiction. Though actually some are quite good. What is really tragic is he brought a lot of his misery on himself. He could never seek forgivness for his mistakes, as I don't think he could ever forgive himself. I told my daughter from the very beginning that I thought Snape had issues. And that was after Sorcerer's Stone. Little did I know how right I was!


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  #1497  
Old June 27th, 2011, 5:38 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by slytherin001 View Post
Not necessarily. For all we know, Snape's intent to give some vital memories to Harry caused some other memories to slip out, given the state he was in when trying to convey to Harry the important memories.
I did consider that, but the non-Lily memories were chosen deliberately to communicate information, so we know he had some control. Also the memories came out in date order, which again suggests he knew what he was doing.

I think it would be improbable that only memories that would mean something to Harry leaked out by accident. Even if those memories were hugely significant ones, he had other traumatic memories, such his memory of killing Dumbledore, or watching Charity Burbage be murdered after she begged him to help her.

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Originally Posted by slytherin001 View Post
I'm not sure how you conclude that...
I don't think Snape would have given the memories of his guilt to James, had he been there in Harry's place. Snape thought Harry was just like his father, hence his animosity towards Harry. I think sharing such personal and incriminating memories meant he wanted Harry to understand him, but why would he care what Harry thought if he didn't care about Harry?

If you're right and the memories just accidentally leaked out, then it doesn't say anything one way or the other about Snape...but in that case why are those extra memories in the book? They aren't needed to explain the plot, but only to explain Snape. They perform the same function for the reader as they do for Harry.


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  #1498  
Old June 27th, 2011, 5:44 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Gwendolen View Post
As he was dying, Snape had to use his memories to communicate, since he couldn't speak. To fulfil his promise to Dumbledore, Snape only had to pass on the memory that told Harry he had to die. The memories about Snape and Lily had no relevance to anyone except Snape, so Snape could have taken them to his grave.
I think he passed on those other memories to gain Harry's trust. If he simply gave Harry the memory explaining that Harry had to die, surely Harry would suspect Snape was fooling him into surrendering (memories can be tampered with, after all). By showing him his past with Lily and Dumbledore, he proved to Harry that he was really a double-agent, so that when Harry heard his fate, he would know it wasn't a trap.

The thing that bothers me primarily about Snape ripping the photo isn't so much the physical act as what it represented. In the past, Snape had a way of putting his feelings above those of others. When he went to Dumbledore to save Lily, he did not care about the lives of her husband and son, not thinking about how their deaths would ruin Lily's life if she'd survived; he just cared about his feelings for Lily. When Harry came to Hogwarts, time and time again he put his hurt above Harry's and treated him like an enemy, when Harry's life was far more damaged as a result of Lily's (and James's) death than Snape's was. When he tore up the photo and the paper, it felt, again, like he cared more about his own feelings than those of the people that photo and letter would probably mean even more to (I think it's telling that Sirius, who received the letter when he was 21 and not living at Grimmauld Place, kept it with him his whole adulthood and brought it with him to number 12 until his death--it must have meant the world to him).


Quote:
Originally Posted by GrimeldaDursley View Post
What is really tragic is he brought a lot of his misery on himself.
I agree--and I like to compare his tragedy with Sirius's. Sirius's tragedy was brought upon him by outside forces; his best friend was murdered, he was framed by another friend and sent to Azkaban for 12 years, forced to relive his worst memories constantly, and then was forced to live in a house he hated until his unexpected death. Snape, on the other hand, brought upon his own tragedy: he drove away the woman he loved because of his own actions and unwittingly brought upon her murder. He had the opportunity to change his life at so many turns but he did not. This is why I find him a fascinating character, although I don't have much sympathy for him, and I'd pretty much loathe him if I met him in real life.


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Last edited by LilyDreamsOn; June 27th, 2011 at 5:52 am.
  #1499  
Old June 27th, 2011, 8:15 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Well, I'm back from writing a lengthy piece on a tight deadline. Did I miss anything?

Concerning my previous post...

Yes, it contains speculation. The phrasing of the post indicates as much. However, the theory is, I think, at least as plausible as the equally speculative theory to which it is responding.

I base my theory on the following considerations:
  • Snape was Dumbledore's.
    (and no, I don't believe Harry was merely goading Voldemort when he made that claim. The proof that Harry believed what he was saying is, I think, evident in his children's names)
  • Dumbledore placed Snape at Hogwarts.
  • Dumbledore was a brilliant spymaster who did not do things without a reason.
    (The corrollary is that he would have had a purpose for placing Snape at Hogwarts. And we know from the text that Dumbledore wanted Snape prepared for facing Voldemort)

One obvious reason for Dumbledore to keep Snape at Hogwarts would be to ensure that his spy had a good answer for Voldemort upon the Dark Lord's return. As we learn from the "Spinner's End" chapter, Voldemort was sufficiently satisfied with Snape's loyalty when Snape told him that, even during Voldemort's absence, he had remained at the post the Dark Lord had assigned him. That is, he had remained on staff at Hogwarts, gathering information about Dumbledore. The benefit of having a good answer is that Voldemort allowed Snape to live, even after Snape missed the DE reunion meeting in the graveyard. It is not clear that Voldemort would have been equally satisfied if Snape had taken a 10-to-14-year vacation in the Antipodes.

As for spending time training... It would have been foolish not to - on both Dumbledore's part and Snape's part. My assumption is that infiltrating the Dark Lord is not a trivial matter. It is doubtful that many wizards could do it, even with a lifetime of training. And most wizards would not be carrying the kind of baggage that could easily have gotten Dumbledore's spy killed.

However, Snape's preparation for his task is, I think, evident in the fact that he not only survived his initial encounter with Voldemort but was also highly successful in infiltrating Voldemort's inner circle over the long term. Dumbledore even comments in TPT on Snape's facility in the commission of his task. That sort of nearly seamless infiltration does not occur - at least not in the real world of spies - by random chance. It occurs as a result of careful planning and preparation.

As for Snape spending leisure time reading a newspaper... that's certainly found in the HBP movie. I am still trying to locate it in the actual canon of the text.

To answer Iggy's question: my underlying assumption is that successfully spying on the "most accomplished Legilimens the world has ever seen" () only became infinitely more complex after said Legilimens murdered Lily.

Regarding memories of Lily... As far as I can tell, Snape only needed to pass on the memory of the windy hilltop and the aftermath of Lily's death in order to tell Harry everything he needed to know about why Snape changed sides. Every other Lily memory is, in my opinion, gratuitous.


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Last edited by ccollinsmith; June 27th, 2011 at 8:23 am. Reason: emoticon
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Old June 27th, 2011, 9:01 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Closed. New version pending.


 
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