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Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis



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  #201  
Old February 6th, 2008, 3:43 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
I'm not sure what you are saying. Are you saying Dumbledore did not plan for Snape to die, the story makes sense without it (in which case, I agree)? Or are you saying it was OK for him to plan for Snape to die? (In which case, this is not a matter of interpretation, it is a matter of ethical standards. If I believed Dumbledore planned things as SusanBones has suggested, I would not be able to overlook it).
I agree it does become a matter of ethics. However, Dumbledore planned the very same thing for Harry, waiting to tell him at the last moment. So I don't believe it is beyond something Dumbledore would do. I agree though that it was highly unethical. There is no getting around the fact that Dumbledore could have foreseen Snape's death as a result of the plans he made. I wouldn't say he 'planned' for Snape to die, in terms of "I hope Snape dies!" However, I would say that his plan entailed Snape's probable death and I am not certain that is any better due to the fact that Snape appears to have been uninformed. I just don't buy the 'anything for the greater good' argument.


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  #202  
Old February 6th, 2008, 4:25 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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I agree it does become a matter of ethics. However, Dumbledore planned the very same thing for Harry, waiting to tell him at the last moment. So I don't believe it is beyond something Dumbledore would do. I agree though that it was highly unethical. There is no getting around the fact that Dumbledore could have foreseen Snape's death as a result of the plans he made. I wouldn't say he 'planned' for Snape to die, in terms of "I hope Snape dies!" However, I would say that his plan entailed Snape's probable death and I am not certain that is any better due to the fact that Snape appears to have been uninformed. I just don't buy the 'anything for the greater good' argument.
He tells Harry, at the last moment. The decision to walk into the Forest is Harry's not Dumbledore's. Dumbledore does not send him into Voldemort's arms without explaining the reason why. The moment Harry sees the memory, he understands that he is a horcrux and as long as he is alive Voldemort cannot die. And if he were to choose to stay alive then he would in a way be responsible for every death after that. I think that was his reasoning and he decides to die rather than live with such enormous guilt. So even Harry is given a choice. A tough one and one where there are no choices really, but still, it is Harry who makes the decision. Not Snape and not Dumbledore.

We don't know if Snape knew about the wand that Dumbledore himself says was a possibility from the graveyard and was sure to happen after Ollivanders kidnapping. The way it is written in the books it looks like to me that both are possible, but I am leaning towards the fact Snape did not know and was deliberately set up by Dumbledore to die, because of no other alternative plans Snape seem to have made in case he was killed before he handed over the memories.

And I also would like to know what went wrong with Snape and why he was called 'Poor Severus'. There was something that did not go as planned. What was it and why did it fail?

Draco being the Master of the wand cannot be an issue, if Snape knew about the Elder wand, because, that happened almost a year ago. Dumbeldore and Snape, if he knew would have worked around it by the time the Final Battle came around. So what went wrong?


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  #203  
Old February 6th, 2008, 4:57 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

Snape died...and he didn't know what was coming. That is why he deserved Dumbledore's sympathy. It doesn't have to signify that anything went wrong - Dumbledore said "poor Severus" because it went just as Dumbledore thought it was going to...Voldemort killed him to become Master of the elder wand. There was a 1% chance that it would not go that way, imo, so I think Dumbledore had at least that glimmer of hope that Snape would live.

But a glimmer of hope does not let Dumbledore off the hook in my opinion. I don't think Snape knew - first because he acted suprised when Voldemort told him and second because the book never said it was the case - and there were many opportunities for it to be written in - mainly at the point where Dumbledore asked Snape to kill him. I agree with ComicBook that Dumbledore simply didn't feel he could afford to tell Snape about the wand for fear that Voldemort would find out. However, imo, Dumbledore reached the wrong conclusion there. The chance of death was far too high for him to say nothing and in the aftermath, it looks like nothing more than Dumbledore sending Snape off to his death (to me anyway).


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  #204  
Old February 6th, 2008, 5:12 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
I'm not sure what you are saying. Are you saying Dumbledore did not plan for Snape to die, the story makes sense without it (in which case, I agree)? Or are you saying it was OK for him to plan for Snape to die? (In which case, this is not a matter of interpretation, it is a matter of ethical standards. If I believed Dumbledore planned things as SusanBones has suggested, I would not be able to overlook it).
I don't think he planned for Snape's death, but he did consider Snape expendable (valuable, but expendable). If he had planned for Snape's death, his plan doesn't make sense, since how could Snape have gotten the message to Harry? I think Dumbledore considered everybody expendable (even Harry, although he didn't want that to happen).


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  #205  
Old February 6th, 2008, 7:01 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
Snape died...and he didn't know what was coming. That is why he deserved Dumbledore's sympathy. It doesn't have to signify that anything went wrong - Dumbledore said "poor Severus" because it went just as Dumbledore thought it was going to...Voldemort killed him to become Master of the elder wand. There was a 1% chance that it would not go that way, imo, so I think Dumbledore had at least that glimmer of hope that Snape would live.

But a glimmer of hope does not let Dumbledore off the hook in my opinion. I don't think Snape knew - first because he acted suprised when Voldemort told him and second because the book never said it was the case - and there were many opportunities for it to be written in - mainly at the point where Dumbledore asked Snape to kill him. I agree with ComicBook that Dumbledore simply didn't feel he could afford to tell Snape about the wand for fear that Voldemort would find out. However, imo, Dumbledore reached the wrong conclusion there. The chance of death was far too high for him to say nothing and in the aftermath, it looks like nothing more than Dumbledore sending Snape off to his death (to me anyway).
And what would happen if Voldemort found out? He would kill Snape and be done with it. But would the wand work for him? I don't think so, because Snape was not the Master, Draco was and halfway through the book, Harry takes charge.

There was something else, only I am unable to get it.

If it was only a 1% chance then Dumbledore would not say these words, because it was he who planned for Snape to die. Did he plan something else and did that plan not work?

Dumbledore desperately wanted Harry to live. What alternative plans had he made for that? For everything, I think the safest way to carry out the plan was to tell Snape.

When Dumbledore does not tell the Prophecy to Harry, we are given an explanation as to why he did not, but here we don't know why Dumbledore did not tell Snape, if he did not that is. I infer that from canon, because Dumbledore talks of intention and knowledge of wanting the wand to be with Snape, but he never says Snape agreed or had made other preparations in case he was killed by a paranoid master.

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Originally Posted by ComicBookWorm View Post
I don't think he planned for Snape's death, but he did consider Snape expendable (valuable, but expendable). If he had planned for Snape's death, his plan doesn't make sense, since how could Snape have gotten the message to Harry? I think Dumbledore considered everybody expendable (even Harry, although he didn't want that to happen).
How do you say he did not plan for Snape's death? The moment he admits to Harry that it was his intention that Snape becomes the owner of the wand, then it means only death for Snape. Even if Draco was the Master, Voldemort would still kill Snape, because no one apart from Dumbledore knew the wand changed hands before his death.

He very much intended Snape to become Master of the wand and die IMO. I have no doubts about that right now.

The question remains is:: Did he tell Snape or did he not?


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  #206  
Old February 6th, 2008, 7:22 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
The question remains is:: Did he tell Snape or did he not?
He didn't tell him, although we have no canon about it. However, Snape did seem surprised when Voldemort attacked him about it. So that is how we can deduce whether he knew or not.

Frankly, I don't see why this is important. If Snape had been told, there was nothing in the story would have changed.


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  #207  
Old February 6th, 2008, 11:19 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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And what would happen if Voldemort found out? He would kill Snape and be done with it. But would the wand work for him? I don't think so, because Snape was not the Master, Draco was and halfway through the book, Harry takes charge.

There was something else, only I am unable to get it.

If it was only a 1% chance then Dumbledore would not say these words, because it was he who planned for Snape to die. Did he plan something else and did that plan not work?

Dumbledore desperately wanted Harry to live. What alternative plans had he made for that? For everything, I think the safest way to carry out the plan was to tell Snape.

When Dumbledore does not tell the Prophecy to Harry, we are given an explanation as to why he did not, but here we don't know why Dumbledore did not tell Snape, if he did not that is. I infer that from canon, because Dumbledore talks of intention and knowledge of wanting the wand to be with Snape, but he never says Snape agreed or had made other preparations in case he was killed by a paranoid master.
I would say there is no other plan because if there was one, JKR would have let us know about it. She couldn't possibly hope that we could figure it out ourselves. Every reader would have a different plan in their head. It is possible that she left this situation a bit vague and cloudy so that everyone could reach their own conclusion and be happy. I don't really mind that Dumbledore didn't tell Snape - I think it was wrong and coldly calculating behavior on Dumbledore's part, but it doesn't take away from my enjoyment of the story.


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  #208  
Old February 8th, 2008, 9:47 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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I don't really mind that Dumbledore didn't tell Snape - I think it was wrong and coldly calculating behavior on Dumbledore's part, but it doesn't take away from my enjoyment of the story.
Well I did; mainly because I wanted Snape to receive that little bit of respect from Dumbledore and I wanted that to be shown in the books as well. While I wanted Snape to live, I can understand if he chose to die, but I wanted that to be his choice made knowing all the facts.

I initially thought Dumbledore was coldly calculating and really disliked him, but now reading deeper in between lines and trying to understand more than just the words printed on page and associating his decisions with his own backstory, I have changed my opinion somewhat. But I still am unable to come to an understanding about his actions regarding the Elder wand and Snape, simply because I like the latter and wish that Dumbledore too liked Snape.


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  #209  
Old February 8th, 2008, 4:19 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by SusanBones View Post
I don't think that Dumbledore would have asked Snape to hide the wand. Dumbledore had always intended for Voldemort to think that Snape was the Master of the Wand. Dumbledore knew that Voldemort had been obsessed with getting the wand ever since the graveyard scene. Dumbledore may even have preferred that Voldemort get the wand sooner than later because he knew that the wand would not work properly for him. The only reasons to slow Voldemort down would be to give Harry more time to hunt horcruxes and for Snape to live longer. But the end result was going to be Snape's death regardless of how long it took to get the wand.
I know why this theory bothers me on an emotional level. Dumbledore was revealed as far more cold and calculating than Harry might have guessed, but (and this is of course just my opinion) my overall impression of his character arc was that he did truly feel remorse over his role in his sister's death, that he put aside his 'greater good at all costs' reasoning of his Grindelwald days, and that he is, in the end, supposed to represent 'goodness' as an idea or philosophy in the books. (Not to be the 'most good' or anything - that's Harry by Dumbledore's own admission - but to be someone who strives for and represents goodness, with his failures to be good at times reflecting personal weakness and mistakes, not a streak of evil).

But I have had a nagging feeling there is also something in it that just does not add up, other than what we have already discussed, the need for Snape to stay alive for Dumbledore's plans to go through. And it hit me yesterday. TIMING.

You state the idea was for Voldemort to get the wand, think he is its master by killing Snape, and thus be vulnerable by having a wand that serves him suboptimally. The problem with this plan, is that Voldemort is able to tell the wand is serving him suboptimally. Nor is this unqiue to Voldemort - both Harry and Hermione in the books experience the use of another's wand which makes it harder for them to cast their spells. If this is something two not yet fully trained wizards can notice, Dumbledore should know it will be noticeable to Voldemort in the long run. Which is where a plan to deliberately get Snape killed for a supposed advantage starts to make no sense.

Voldemort got the wand in, roughly, late March. He assumed initially that seizing it made him its master, but after some time using it, he realized it was not working. Then he killed Snape, and again presumed this was what he needed to do. It worked out just fine in the book, with Voldemort dying within the next 24 hours. But since killing Snape actually made no difference to the wand, if it had taken Voldemort less time to find the wand, or less time to decide to kill Snape for it, of Harry a bit longer to deal with Horcruxes, he might well have figured out it was STILL not working for it before Harry started to wrap up the Horcrux hunt.

Which is why I think the only part of the plan Dumbledore intended when he made it, was to neutralize the wand by dying undefeated. This is a sound tactical move, depriving his enemy of the potential advantage he would gain by mastering the wand permanently. And this is a plan he cooked up on the spur of the moment, after Snape snatched him (temporarily) from the jaws of death. He was in that scene juggling so many problems that I find it credible it may not even have occured to him until later that a side effect of the plan to neutralize the wand would be to place Snape in greater danger from Voldemort at some future point.

And later, Snape could not back out of the plan anyway. I presume Snape reported his taking of the Unbreakable Vow to Dumbledore promptly, so that Dumbledore was aware that Snape had to kill him or die. This is in my opinion also why he did not tell Snape within the time frame of HBP about the Elder Wand. It would change nothing - a future chance of death in DH at Voldemort's hands, is still a better chance than Snape had if he did not kill Dumbledore, because of the Unbreakable Vow. And since Snape truly had no choice, it did not make sense to provide him with that sensitive information.


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  #210  
Old February 8th, 2008, 5:31 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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posted by zgirnius
Which is why I think the only part of the plan Dumbledore intended when he made it, was to neutralize the wand by dying undefeated. This is a sound tactical move, depriving his enemy of the potential advantage he would gain by mastering the wand permanently. And this is a plan he cooked up on the spur of the moment, after Snape snatched him (temporarily) from the jaws of death. He was in that scene juggling so many problems that I find it credible it may not even have occured to him until later that a side effect of the plan to neutralize the wand would be to place Snape in greater danger from Voldemort at some future point.

And later, Snape could not back out of the plan anyway. I presume Snape reported his taking of the Unbreakable Vow to Dumbledore promptly, so that Dumbledore was aware that Snape had to kill him or die. This is in my opinion also why he did not tell Snape within the time frame of HBP about the Elder Wand. It would change nothing - a future chance of death in DH at Voldemort's hands, is still a better chance than Snape had if he did not kill Dumbledore, because of the Unbreakable Vow. And since Snape truly had no choice, it did not make sense to provide him with that sensitive information.
This argument would mean that Dumbledore intentionally set up Snape to die. How? Because the moment he wants to die *undefeated* and has asked Snape to do the honours by killing him, then at that time he has already killed off Snape. We see that Dumbledore's intention was to make Snape the apparent master of the Elder wand; and he also knows that Voldemort would obssess over this wand as he does over Harry (King's Cross -- DH). That's very high level of obssession and means only one thing; death for the owner of the wand IMO.

Quote:
But I have had a nagging feeling there is also something in it that just does not add up, other than what we have already discussed, the need for Snape to stay alive for Dumbledore's plans to go through.
I am also feeling somewhat the same. Something does not add up; I feel I am missing some expalnation in between the lines of the Snape/Dumbledore conversations and the Dumbledore/Harry conversations. It is just escaping my understanding and frustrating me totally.


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  #211  
Old February 8th, 2008, 6:21 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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This argument would mean that Dumbledore intentionally set up Snape to die. How? Because the moment he wants to die *undefeated* and has asked Snape to do the honours by killing him, then at that time he has already killed off Snape.
For Snape's death to be an intentional consequence of the plan, Dumbledore would have to be thinking of it, and planning for it, at the time he makes the plan. That it is (in your opinion, arguably) an unavoidable consequence of the plan Dumbledore makes, does not make it his intention.

Sometime around the end of GoF, Dumbledore made the deduction that the failure of Voldemort's wanmd in the duel with Harry would some day in the future, lead Voldemort to learn of and then seek, the Elder Wand. It does not automatically follow that in mere minutes after avoiding death in HBP, he is fully cognizant of this particular aspect of the problem, and also reasoning about what Voldemort would do after Snape kills Dumbledore.

The way I see it, Dumbledore figured the wand was safe because he, Dumbledore, was alive and its master. So it was not a matter to which he devoted great attention in his planning in OotP - it was a matter he had under control. The curse changed that. He was not going to be around to protect the wand after all. It was this problem that I think he tried to solve on the spur of the moment by asking Snape to kill him, without prior to that moment thinking through everything that might ever follow from that decision.

We may as well say Snape intended James and Harry to die, when he showed up and begged Albus to save Lily. Personally, I think it was nothing of the sort - Snape in his emotional distress was not thinking past the immediate need of the moment. I think it is more likely he did not care and gave it no thought.

Not saying here that Albus did not care, just that in that momentm, he gave it no thought. What must Albus have been thinking, in that scene? He had just avoided death - what if he had died? No one knew about Horcruxes. No one knew about the soul bit! What about Hogwarts, what would happen to it after he died? How would this affect his plans for Draco? What would have happened to the wand if he had died?! So he found out from Snape that he had plenty of time to bring Harry up to speed. He got Snape to agree to protect Hogwarts. And then he solved his Elder Wand problem and Draco problem in one fell swoop (he thought )by asking Snape to kill him instead.

It's pretty clear he did not work out everything in that short dialogue that spans three pages. (If nothing else, he had not worked out how and when to communicate the soul bit information to Harry, and he had not worked out the details of how to tell Harry about the Hallows). I find it plausible the likely consequence to Snape was something that he figured out later.

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We see that Dumbledore's intention was to make Snape the apparent master of the Elder wand;
We do? When? I claim it was his intention to make noone the master of the elder wand. The appearance that someone still was, was an unavoidable, and quite possibly at the time unconsidered, side effect.


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  #212  
Old February 8th, 2008, 7:40 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

I think you have a point in the fact Dumbledore did want to die undefeated.

He says he was sure after the GOF that Voldemort would come after the wand and Ollivander’s kidnapping must have only strengthened that belief. Then there was another complication because in his desperation to see Ariana, he put on the ring that almost killed him and though he survived, he days were numbered.

I think he always intended to hand over to Voldemort the Elder wand because that was his master plan. Voldemort would have a wand that would not work for him and Harry would win and live, because of the blood transfusion. Only the method of his approaching the whole thing may have changed after he was cursed to die.

I think he may have changed plans when he knew from Snape that Draco had been given the impossible task of killing him. I think there he saw the perfect opportunity to further his plans, with keeping Snape safe, alive and above suspicion for passing on the message to Harry at the appropriate time.

In King’s Cross Dumbledore clearly says, it was his intention Snape should end up with the Elder wand. Also Dumbledore had almost 2 years to think over everything. We did not know, we read everything in 3 pages; but he did know and even if he made plans, they had 2 years or at least 12 – 15 months before those plans were executed. The moment Dumbledore was killed, Snape also signed his death warrant, because by that time, Voldemort had already been searching for 2 years for a wand that would not do what his wand did in the graveyard.

Snape IMO came first to Dumbledore with the information about Draco’s task, and that was when Dumbledore chose Snape. Perhaps. I don’t know, though. But perhaps Draco’s task decided everything for Dumbledore. If we look at it this way, then most things fall into place.

He knew he was going to die.

He also knew Voldemort would wand his wand.

He also realized this was the perfect opportunity to set things in motion for Harry to defeat Voldemort.

He had worked most of his problems. A) Ask Snape to kill him and allow Voldemort to think that Snape was the Master. B) Remove by that act all suspicion from Snape in the eyes of Voldemort and his Des, because it was very important Snape not be touched in anyway until he can pass on his message to Harry. c) Allow Voldemort to access his wand and use it against Harry in the Final Battle. D) The wand would not work because it was not won by Snape.

None of this changed even when Draco became the Master of the wand IMO.

Now how did Dumbledore think Snape would not be attacked and killed by Voldemort accidentally? The biggest mistake is that he makes no provision for that eventuality, not that we see anyway.

1.Snape makes no alternative for passing on the memories.

2. Snape dies somehow before he can pass the memories; what back up does Dumbledore have?

One tells me that Snape did not know. And No.2 tells me Dumbledore made a huge mistake in not having backup plans; at least we don’t see it in the books.

One way would be to tell Harry through Phineas. That may work though.

Quote:
posted by zgirnius
We do? When? I claim it was his intention to make noone the master of the elder wand. The appearance that someone still was, was an unavoidable, and quite possibly at the time unconsidered, side effect.
How can he make no one the master and not kill the man whom Voldemort thinks is the Master?

Even if I were to accept your claim that Dumbledore's intention was to make no one the master, that would not hold good after he knew he was dying.

He was murdered. What will Voldemort assume? What plans did Dumbledore make to tackle those side effects? Just because it was unavoidable was it okay to let Snape go at it blind? And Dumbledore had a whole year to plan his death and three years to think about the Elder wand, Voldemort and the implication of the Priori Incantatem.

I don't think Dumbledore can say it was rushed or that Snape's death was not intentional, but a side effect.

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Not saying here that Albus did not care, just that in that momentm, he gave it no thought. What must Albus have been thinking, in that scene? He had just avoided death - what if he had died? No one knew about Horcruxes. No one knew about the soul bit! What about Hogwarts, what would happen to it after he died? How would this affect his plans for Draco? What would have happened to the wand if he had died?! So he found out from Snape that he had plenty of time to bring Harry up to speed. He got Snape to agree to protect Hogwarts. And then he solved his Elder Wand problem and Draco problem in one fell swoop (he thought )by asking Snape to kill him instead.
While all this was striking him, the parallel thought that if he was killed by Snape (who asks DD what becomes of his soul and Dumbledore argues with him on that) then what would become of Snape, I think should have also struck him.

I cannot believe that would not have passed through Dumbledore's mind. So that once again brings us to his intention to tell Snape.


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Old February 8th, 2008, 10:49 pm
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

I agree that Dumbledore felt that the Elder Wand was safe with him until he found out that he was dying of the ring curse. He knew that if the ring curse killed him the power of the wand would transfer to Voldemort, because it was Voldemort's curse. His plan to die undefeated was great. But someone had to be willing to kill him in order for that to happen. Whether it was intended or not, the result is the same. Snape was now perceived to be the Master of the Wand. And I believe that Dumbledore was willing to take that risk for the greater good. He did not intend for Snape to die any more than he intended Mad Eye Moody to die. But on the other hand, the only way for Snape to have been able to kill Dumbledore and not be perceived as the Master of the Elder wand was for him to do it secretly, or to tell Snape so he could prepare for it. Maybe those were the off-page plans, but they weren't in the book, at least not in my opinion


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Old February 9th, 2008, 12:26 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I1.Snape makes no alternative for passing on the memories.
We know neither I1, nor I2. Since the memories were passed on, and the book ended in the next few hours, it is possible Dumbledore had other plans, or Snape had them, or they both did.

Snape seemed to be pretty worried in the Shack, but this might not be owing to having no backup plan, but owing to having a Plan B is that is slow-acting. By this time he knows Harry is around, and there is a battle raging. The circumstances are such that Harry needs to know right then.

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Even if I were to accept your claim that Dumbledore's intention was to make no one the master, that would not hold good after he knew he was dying.
This idea of what Dumbledore was up to does not originate with me. These are the terms in which Harry describes the plan to Voldemort, after the conversation at King's Cross.

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Just because it was unavoidable was it okay to let Snape go at it blind? And Dumbledore had a whole year to plan his death
Yes, but Snape rather tied his hands at most a week or two later, by taking an Unbreakable Vow. That meant that one element of any plan for his death and events of Year 7, had to incliude either the element "Snape kills Dumbeldore" or the element "Snape is dead".

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I cannot believe that would not have passed through Dumbledore's mind.
I find it likely that it did not, in that scene.


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  #215  
Old February 9th, 2008, 2:47 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
I know why this theory bothers me on an emotional level. Dumbledore was revealed as far more cold and calculating than Harry might have guessed, but (and this is of course just my opinion) my overall impression of his character arc was that he did truly feel remorse over his role in his sister's death, that he put aside his 'greater good at all costs' reasoning of his Grindelwald days, and that he is, in the end, supposed to represent 'goodness' as an idea or philosophy in the books. (Not to be the 'most good' or anything - that's Harry by Dumbledore's own admission - but to be someone who strives for and represents goodness, with his failures to be good at times reflecting personal weakness and mistakes, not a streak of evil).

But I have had a nagging feeling there is also something in it that just does not add up, other than what we have already discussed, the need for Snape to stay alive for Dumbledore's plans to go through. And it hit me yesterday. TIMING.

You state the idea was for Voldemort to get the wand, think he is its master by killing Snape, and thus be vulnerable by having a wand that serves him suboptimally. The problem with this plan, is that Voldemort is able to tell the wand is serving him suboptimally. Nor is this unqiue to Voldemort - both Harry and Hermione in the books experience the use of another's wand which makes it harder for them to cast their spells. If this is something two not yet fully trained wizards can notice, Dumbledore should know it will be noticeable to Voldemort in the long run. Which is where a plan to deliberately get Snape killed for a supposed advantage starts to make no sense.

Voldemort got the wand in, roughly, late March. He assumed initially that seizing it made him its master, but after some time using it, he realized it was not working. Then he killed Snape, and again presumed this was what he needed to do. It worked out just fine in the book, with Voldemort dying within the next 24 hours. But since killing Snape actually made no difference to the wand, if it had taken Voldemort less time to find the wand, or less time to decide to kill Snape for it, of Harry a bit longer to deal with Horcruxes, he might well have figured out it was STILL not working for it before Harry started to wrap up the Horcrux hunt.

Which is why I think the only part of the plan Dumbledore intended when he made it, was to neutralize the wand by dying undefeated. This is a sound tactical move, depriving his enemy of the potential advantage he would gain by mastering the wand permanently. And this is a plan he cooked up on the spur of the moment, after Snape snatched him (temporarily) from the jaws of death. He was in that scene juggling so many problems that I find it credible it may not even have occured to him until later that a side effect of the plan to neutralize the wand would be to place Snape in greater danger from Voldemort at some future point.
I think you raise a good point here with the timing. However, we have discovered timing errors in other regards too. Snape being killed prior to giving the messages, etc. But when it came to the Elder Wand: what Dumbledore did know was that it would take time for Voldemort to track the owner of the wand down. What I also assume, is that he figured Voldemort would not kill Snape until he was ready to confront Harry. After all, Voldemort was able to kill others or do all else he needed to do with his regular wand or even the not-working-so-well Elder Wand. So Dumbledore could count on Voldemort using the very useful Snape until the time came for him to confront Harry. That time would not come until Harry allowed Voldermot to find him - after he'd destroyed the horcruxes. At that time, Nagini would be caged, Snape would have given the message to Harry and all of Snape's work would be finished. Snape could thus be killed both from the standpoint of Dumbledore and Voldemort because he would be rendered useless in as far as their goals.

I too think Dumbledore was a bascially good person. But JKR told us that he had machiavellian tendencies and so it was with that intent she wrote some of his deeds out. That fact in and of itself indicates that he had not put all of his 'anything for the greater good' tendencies aside, imo. Sacrificing himself, Snape, Harry, Lupin, Kingsley, Moody, and anyone else was obviously a concession he was ready, willing and planning on taking if necessary. His 7 Potters raid idea was indicative of that, his plan with the Elder Wand was as well - not to mention his 'hopeful' plan for Harry. A total Darth Vader syndrome; there is good in him, but at times we have a hard time seeing it...


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Old February 9th, 2008, 3:17 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

1. What do you believe Snape and Dumbledore's relationship was based on? Mutual respect, and the meeting of mutual needs, e.g., snape was seeking a male figure he could also respect (i don't think he respected his father much but i can't speak to that confidently). dd having the deep concern for all his students was probly hoping to turn snape around.

2. How do you think Dumbledore felt about Snape through the course of the series? Did his views on Snape change? i think he regretting the pain snape had endured as a child at home and also at the hand of potter and his friends when in school. i also think he alone of anyone who knew snape realized how deeply besotted snape was with lily and that he would probly love no other.

3. How do you think Snape felt about spying for Dumbledore? Did he resent his job? it seems to me he was doing it in return for something promised to him by dd.

4. Did Dumbledore and Snape fully trust one another? i think they realized to what extend they each could impose on the other in the view of their friendship.

5. Do you think Severus was jealous (in a sibling-type way) of Dumbledore's fondness for Harry? i think snape was as unyielding in his belief that harry was just like his father (and we learned what harry's father was like before he married lily and had harry) as harry, his friends, and many other who knew snape were in their belief snape had ceased his practice of the dark arts and allegiance to voldie.

6. Do you believe Dumbledore consciously saw the parallels between his own story and Snape's? no. but then it isn't something i wouldn't pursue at later date when i start on my 3d read of the series.

7. Dumbledore and Snape worked together for years before Harry showed up. How do you think their relationship changed once Harry came to Hogwarts? Did it change once Voldemort returned in GoF? i think dd was caught in the middle between harry and snape's dislike of one another. he could see the good and bad in each. and, i think perhaps he felt more fatherly to harry than he did to snape. i think the relationship betwee snape and dd remained the same as before the return of voldie. in fact, dumbledore alludes on at least one occassion to the potentially mortal risks snape was taking.

8. How would you characterize their relationship when Severus was a student? Do you think that Albus may have been aware of Severus’ interest in the Death Eaters while he was at Hogwarts? i think dd was aware of snape's interest in the dark arts and thus the death eaters but he was probly aware of the why's as well.

9. Do you think it's just a coincidence that Harry names the same son after both of these men, or do you believe that Albus and Severus are inexorably linked in Harry's mind? Does Harry see the similarities in them as well? Or is it simply that they both shaped and influenced his life - for good and bad - in so many ways? i think the latter argument applies most aptly of the others.

ttfn


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  #217  
Old February 9th, 2008, 5:01 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
We know neither I1, nor I2. Since the memories were passed on, and the book ended in the next few hours, it is possible Dumbledore had other plans, or Snape had them, or they both did.
I agree. It is possible Dumbledore may have had other plans as well.

Quote:
Snape seemed to be pretty worried in the Shack, but this might not be owing to having no backup plan, but owing to having a Plan B is that is slow-acting. By this time he knows Harry is around, and there is a battle raging. The circumstances are such that Harry needs to know right then.
This also actually could be the case. Snape looked desperate to reach Harry. but after Voldemort started off about the wand, his attention was completely diverted. It could be because he was still desperate to get to Harry but frustrated that Voldemort had caught on to the wand; or that he did not know at all. I feel he did not know about the wand, because his extremely quick reflexes don’t work there, and he looks as if in shock, as his hands move towards his own wand. By then, though Nagini has already attacked him.


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This idea of what Dumbledore was up to does not originate with me. These are the terms in which Harry describes the plan to Voldemort, after the conversation at King's Cross.
Yes in that conversation, Harry says Dumbledore’s death was planned in between them, and I agree it was indeed planned between them. But no where does he say that Snape understood that the actual effects of killing Dumbledore would result in him, Snape, becoming the Master of the Elder wand deliberately in order to defeat Voldemort. Had that been the case, Harry would have thrown it at Voldemort's face. Here it is all about Dumbledore's plan, Snape being Dumbledore's man through and through and Snape willing to work in order to pull down Voldemort. No where Harry says Snape knew about the Elder wand. He was only was in the plan to kill Dumbledore on his orders.

Quote:
Yes, but Snape rather tied his hands at most a week or two later, by taking an Unbreakable Vow. That meant that one element of any plan for his death and events of Year 7, had to incliude either the element "Snape kills Dumbeldore" or the element "Snape is dead".
Here I think the order in which the events happened were, Dumbledore getting hurt, Snape telling him Draco’s task for the years, Dumbledore asking Snape to kill him, Snape agreeing after Dumbledore says soul will not rip or tear for Snape and then Snape giving the UV to Narcissa. I don't think Snape would have given an UV without the plan with Dumbledore in place.

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
Snape being killed prior to giving I too think Dumbledore was a bascially good person. But JKR told us that he had machiavellian tendencies and so it was with that intent she wrote some of his deeds out. That fact in and of itself indicates that he had not put all of his 'anything for the greater good' tendencies aside, imo. Sacrificing himself, Snape, Harry, Lupin, Kingsley, Moody, and anyone else was obviously a concession he was ready, willing and planning on taking if necessary. His 7 Potters raid idea was indicative of that, his plan with the Elder Wand was as well - not to mention his 'hopeful' plan for Harry. A total Darth Vader syndrome; there is good in him, but at times we have a hard time seeing it...
What I think is he was in charge of the greater good. He was in a position of making choices for the greater good and I think he did it well. But for the greater good he did do some unnecessary stuff as well. The 7 Potters IMO was not necessary at that time. But perhaps that was the first step to let Voldemort know that another’s wand would not work for him, to make him intensify his search for the elder wand.

Once Ollivander was kidnapped, it is hard to believe Dumbledore did not understand the implications or the importance of his wand. I think the plan to let Voldemort fight with the Elder wand that would be faulty was Dumbledore’s idea of the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort. That is exactly what happened.

The timing is a bit off. I find it difficult to believe that Voldemort would allow Snape to live until the time came for him to meet Harry. I think he was simply foolish as he has been in most of book7, to think he could make the wand work for him without killing Snape. It was after he found he could not, (he says so to Snape in the Shack) that he kills Snape; perhaps he actually regrets it. But that may fit into solving the timing problem as well.


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  #218  
Old February 9th, 2008, 5:12 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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The timing is a bit off. I find it difficult to believe that Voldemort would allow Snape to live until the time came for him to meet Harry. I think he was simply foolish as he has been in most of book7, to think he could make the wand work for him without killing Snape. It was after he found he could not, (he says so to Snape in the Shack) that he kills Snape; perhaps he actually regrets it. But that may fit into solving the timing problem as well.
But Voldemort needed Snape still. There were things he would know or be able to do that Voldemort may not have wished to entrust to others. Snape had not failed him yet as the others had (to his mind), so why would he kill this loyal and very helpful servant until he had to?


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Old February 9th, 2008, 5:23 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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But Voldemort needed Snape still. There were things he would know or be able to do that Voldemort may not have wished to entrust to others. Snape had not failed him yet as the others had (to his mind), so why would he kill this loyal and very helpful servant until he had to?
Perhaps you have a point. Voldemort needed Snape for his contact within the Order until Harry could be lured to Hogwarts for death. Once that was accomplished, Voldemort did not have any further use for Snape.

That would explain the difference in timing as well.


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  #220  
Old February 9th, 2008, 5:26 am
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Re: Snape and Dumbledore: Joint Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I feel he did not know about the wand, because his extremely quick reflexes don’t work there, and he looks as if in shock, as his hands move towards his own wand. By then, though Nagini has already attacked him.
Especially if Snape knew, why would he fight?

Quote:
Here it is all about Dumbledore's plan, Snape being Dumbledore's man through and through and Snape willing to work in order to pull down Voldemort. No where Harry says Snape knew about the Elder wand. He was only was in the plan to kill Dumbledore on his orders.
I did not say Harry claimed Snape was in on the Elder Wand part of the plan. I said Harry claimed that Dumbledore's purpose in the plan was to end the power of the wand. Some other posters are suggesting, it was to plant a relatively powerless wand on an unsuspecting Voldemort who just murdered Snape for it.

The Flaw in the Plan"If all had gone as planned, the wand's power would have died with him, because it never had been won from him!"


Quote:
Here I think the order in which the events happened were, Dumbledore getting hurt, Snape telling him Draco’s task for the years, Dumbledore asking Snape to kill him, Snape agreeing after Dumbledore says soul will not rip or tear for Snape and then Snape giving the UV to Narcissa. I don't think Snape would have given an UV without the plan with Dumbledore in place.
You have the order wrong. Snape tells Dumbledore about Draco first. We know this because Dumbledore is semiconscious when Snape is treating him, yet after he regains consciousness as a result of Snape;s treatment, he speaks of Draco's problem first.

I am also not claiming Snape took an Unbreakable Vow before Dumbledore was injured - I merely claim Snape may have done so before Dumbledore had fully thought through his plan.

Quote:
The 7 Potters IMO was not necessary at that time. But perhaps that was the first step to let Voldemort know that another’s wand would not work for him, to make him intensify his search for the elder wand.
Dumbledore did not know that another's wand would fail to work for Voldemort. The Seven Potters plan was supposed to keep Harry from having to confront Voldemort. It failed because the Death Eaters were able to identify the right Harry based on his behavior. In fact, it was not that Lucius's wand failed, it is that Harry's wand had gained special powers against Voldemort, no matter what wand Voldemort had.

Quote:
Once Ollivander was kidnapped, it is hard to believe Dumbledore did not understand the implications or the importance of his wand.
I agree, it is at this point at the latest that I think he would have realized that his plan had a good chance of getting Snape killed. Ollivander's kidnapping is first mentioned in HBP on July 31. This is long after "Spinner's End".


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