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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4



 
 
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  #41  
Old February 10th, 2011, 12:55 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinCat
I'm not sure that his looks, other than the possible taunting as a child, meant that much to him. He was more "internal" and I don't think looks, clothing, possessions, and such meant much to him. It was more, "what can you do?" rather than "how good looking are you?".
That's a great way of putting it. And yet, even if Snape's appearance wasn't the ideal of society, he always had a certain "presence" about him, even as a child.

In Prince's Tale, Harry sees him this way at age 9:

Snape, and even with his poorly cut hair and his odd clothes, he struck an oddly impressive figure sprawled in front of her, brimful of confidence in his destiny.

And yet, in his teenage years, there's no doubt that Snape had more problems with his self-esteem, and he didn't always have that same confidence anymore due to the way life had treated him.

However, by the time he was an adult, he certainly had regained his sense of self. He knew how to dress to impress, I think, and his voice is "smooth" instead of stuttering. Clearly he impresses Lord Voldemort and the Malfoys enough to be their trusted friend. He knew how to keep the attention of a class enough for them to follow him around the room "craning their necks" to see him, as they do on the first day of DADA class in HBP.

In the "Spinner's End" chapter, there are none of the usual adjectives to describe Snape from Harry's point of view as greasy, ugly, or sour, although his surroundings are still gloomy. Narcissa doesn't stare at him with "loathing" as Harry often does, and he even "smiles." At Hogwarts, none of the other adult characters ever describe him as ugly or deride his appearance, but of course some of them might not be all that beautiful either, and I guess characters in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

To a child's eyes, Lockhart might have been prettier, but one of the great themes of the HP series is that appearance doesn't really make you "good" or "great." Snape wasn't classically handsome, and I don't think he cared about that. He knew his own inner worth, and his theatrical ability was a means to an end of protecting Harry and the other students at the school.

So I think he felt some satisfaction in being able to fool people like Umbridge, who was pretty-in-pink on the outside, but much darker than he ever was on the inside.

As always, JMO


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  #42  
Old February 10th, 2011, 4:49 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

He had seemed to work on his composure and speech by the time we see him giving the introduction to Harry's first Potions class. I doubt young Severus would have been able to put together and deliver a poetic introduction like that.

I think I mentioned this before, but, since he was described as thin, I think the robes and such made him look more demanding. I don't think he dressed for style, though. More for impact both on the students and other adults. You couldn't ignore him.

The scene SIP quoted is the one I was referring to in my last post. How hopeful he was going to Hogwarts and how he seemed "brimful of confidence in his destiny." That, IMO, was something he didn't feel at home.


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  #43  
Old February 10th, 2011, 6:16 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post

In Prince's Tale, Harry sees him this way at age 9:

Snape, and even with his poorly cut hair and his odd clothes, he struck an oddly impressive figure sprawled in front of her, brimful of confidence in his destiny.

And yet, in his teenage years, there's no doubt that Snape had more problems with his self-esteem, and he didn't always have that same confidence anymore due to the way life had treated him.

However, by the time he was an adult, he certainly had regained his sense of self. He knew how to dress to impress, I think, and his voice is "smooth" instead of stuttering. Clearly he impresses Lord Voldemort and the Malfoys enough to be their trusted friend. He knew how to keep the attention of a class enough for them to follow him around the room "craning their necks" to see him, as they do on the first day of DADA class in HBP.

In the "Spinner's End" chapter, there are none of the usual adjectives to describe Snape from Harry's point of view as greasy, ugly, or sour, although his surroundings are still gloomy. Narcissa doesn't stare at him with "loathing" as Harry often does, and he even "smiles." At Hogwarts, none of the other adult characters ever describe him as ugly or deride his appearance, but of course some of them might not be all that beautiful either, and I guess characters in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

To a child's eyes, Lockhart might have been prettier, but one of the great themes of the HP series is that appearance doesn't really make you "good" or "great." Snape wasn't classically handsome, and I don't think he cared about that. He knew his own inner worth, and his theatrical ability was a means to an end of protecting Harry and the other students at the school.

So I think he felt some satisfaction in being able to fool people like Umbridge, who was pretty-in-pink on the outside, but much darker than he ever was on the inside.

As always, JMO
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  #44  
Old February 10th, 2011, 8:11 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Excellent post SIP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
When he was younger I think he did believe that anyone not pureblood was bad. Lily was the exception. I don't think he liked being halfblood.
I think he was quote proud to be Half-Blood; he had written his name in the Advanced Potions Making Book, which makes me feel that he was not ashamed of being Half blood.

Quote:
If he'd never joined the Death Eaters and spied on Trelawney to get part of the prophecy Lily might still be alive.
I think he came well in time to inform Dumbledore. He made a big mistake, but I think he came well before Lily died to warn her through Dumbledore. Culpable he certainly was for handing over a Propechy that would mean the death of a baby and possibly it's parents; was he culpable for Lily's death when he came (if he did over a year/two years ago to Dumbledore) to warn the Potters about this?

I know I'm splitting hairs here; but I think there may be a difference.


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  #45  
Old February 11th, 2011, 3:15 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I think he was quote proud to be Half-Blood; he had written his name in the Advanced Potions Making Book, which makes me feel that he was not ashamed of being Half blood.
Yes, but I think he would have preferred being pureblood. Not because he had a prejudice against half-blood or Muggleborns (or Muggles, for that matter), but because he didn't like Tobias, and would have rather not been a halfblood because of this particular Muggle. JMO, always.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I think he came well in time to inform Dumbledore. He made a big mistake, but I think he came well before Lily died to warn her through Dumbledore.
I'm with you there. The only way he would have genuinely been responsible for Lily's death was if he had never tried to tell Dumbledore. I think after the notice of danger was given, he had done the best he could to repair the damage he'd done.

After that the ball was in the Order's court, and for whatever reason they dropped it in the whole Secret Keeper débâcle.

I know it'll be a controversial idea, but I don't think Severus was responsible for Lily's death -- that being said, he certainly held himself responsible, and never got over the guilt.

In my opinion, of course.


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  #46  
Old February 11th, 2011, 5:29 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I can agree with that, Sadira. Severus is responsible for becoming a DE, for aiding and abeting them while he was a member, and, he is responsible for taking information to Voldemort that would target some family, but, it was only by a quirk of fate -- and the author -- that the family that was targeted was Lily's.

That does not remove the responsibility of his carrying the Prophecy to Voldemort, but, it was Voldemort who chose his target and "marked him as his equal" by leaving a bit of himself with Harry when he tried to kill him.

I agree that Severus never really forgave himself for carrying the Prophecy and putting Lily in danger in the first place, and, because of that felt he'd had a part in her death. But, I also think that, as he grew more conscious of the value of all lives, he carried more and more guilt for things he was a part of while a DE. IMO, that's one of the reasons he seemed to work harder and harder with the Order to bring down Voldemort.

He did everything he could once he learned Lily's life was in danger. If there had not been a spy in the Order to carry the information to Voldemort of the Potters' whereabouts, chances are they would have survived. I'm surprised that a capable Legilimens like Dumbledore wouldn't have done a "scan" of all of the Order members to see who the rat was...pun intended.

I've also wondered as he watched Harry grow up, realizing that he'd set in motion some of the circumstances that would cause Harry's parents' deaths, if Severus felt not only his commitment to Dumbledore to protect Harry, but a commitment to Harry to do so? That he "owed" Harry someone to watch over him because he had no one else. I doubt that being indebted to Harry, James Potter's son, would have been an easy pill for him to swallow. Could that have been another reason, along with his hatred of James and his need to not allow any closeness to develop so that Voldemort wouldn't be able to pick it up, for his extreme snarkiness with Harry? I could also throw in there that he might have considered it an insult to Lily's memory, and her sacrificing her life for Harry, every time Harry put his own life at risk needlessly. Just a few thoughts.


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  #47  
Old February 11th, 2011, 2:05 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadiraSnape View Post
Yes, but I think he would have preferred being pureblood. Not because he had a prejudice against half-blood or Muggleborns (or Muggles, for that matter), but because he didn't like Tobias, and would have rather not been a halfblood because of this particular Muggle. JMO, always.
I wonder if Tobias and Petunia, and the muggle society near Spinner's End helped Snape to agree that Muggles should not be a part of the WW which in turn influenced his thinking about how Muggleborns be introduced into the WW. Because Muggleborns don't come alone; the knowledge of the WW and the world of magic is shared by their relatives who may not be sympathetic to it.

Quote:
I'm with you there. The only way he would have genuinely been responsible for Lily's death was if he had never tried to tell Dumbledore. I think after the notice of danger was given, he had done the best he could to repair the damage he'd done.
I think that Snape came well in time alters his culpability with the Potters murders. HP Lexicon suggests Snape came to Dumbledore in Aug 1980, and the Potters were killed at Halloween 1981, which I think all but absolves Snape of their deaths.

Snape's Timeline

Quote:
I know it'll be a controversial idea, but I don't think Severus was responsible for Lily's death --
Thank you. I agree. I don't think he was either.

Quote:
that being said, he certainly held himself responsible, and never got over the guilt.
I agree. I think Snape held himself responsible too; I think he was shattered when his action of handing over the Prophecy came back to him this way despite his best efforts (I think that's the way Snape saw it). I don't think he ever thought that he was not responsible for Lily's death, though I wonder if he knew or understood later, much later, that Lily died despite his warnings and Dumbledore's efforts to protect the Potters; but (even if he felt that) that I don't think took away what he felt.


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Last edited by The_Green_Woods; February 11th, 2011 at 2:56 pm.
  #48  
Old February 11th, 2011, 3:23 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadiraSnape View Post
I know it'll be a controversial idea, but I don't think Severus was responsible for Lily's death -- that being said, he certainly held himself responsible, and never got over the guilt.
I think he was responsible - if he weren't, his redemption story arc holds little value or power.


  #49  
Old February 11th, 2011, 3:48 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I think Snape is responsible for Lily's murder. He may not have known who exactly Voldemort would choose, but he knew that someone would be chosen. So he's responsible for whoever that person/people would be.


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  #50  
Old February 11th, 2011, 4:35 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I think Snape did feel responsible for Lily's murder. I think he did feel he killed her because of his taking the Prophecy to Voldemort who in turn chose Lily. I think I see Snape's culpability and Lily's murder differently.

Snape's responsibility I think was taking a Prophecy to Voldemort with the knowledge that his action would result in a baby's death and it's parents or siblings too. To that extent I think he was responsible.

As a result of that Voldemort targeted Lily. The moment Voldemort did that I think Snape became responsible for Lily being targeted too. I think that was also on his head.

But Snape did not stop there, he ran to Voldemort and requested him to spare Lily's life and then he came to Dumbledore and asked him to protect Lily and the other Potters too. And he came well in time imo.

I think the question for me is when Snape came to Dumbledore did or did he not try his best to repair/undo the damage he did in the first place. I believe he did. Some time later the Potters were betrayed by a man they thought was their friend and Lily died along with James as a result of that betrayal. Was Snape responsible for their deaths at that time? I don't think so.

But I don't think Snape saw it this way; all through his life I think he felt he was responsible for Lily's and James's deaths and his remorse was for that as much as it was for taking the Prophecy to Voldemort in the first place, knowing it would result in the death of a child.

Would Snape continue to be responsible and culpable for his actions even after he undid the mistakes he made? I don't think he was, but I also think Snape did feel responsible.


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Last edited by The_Green_Woods; February 11th, 2011 at 4:41 pm.
  #51  
Old February 11th, 2011, 5:01 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I think Snape did feel responsible for Lily's murder. I think he did feel he killed her because of his taking the Prophecy to Voldemort who in turn chose Lily. I think I see Snape's culpability and Lily's murder differently.
I don't know how culpablility is measured, but for me if someone ends up dead because you started a ball rolling down a hill, it don't matter that someone else gave it an extra kick or two, you're culpable. Snape was pretty smart, he knew it as well as anybody else.

Quote:
Snape's responsibility I think was taking a Prophecy to Voldemort with the knowledge that his action would result in a baby's death and it's parents or siblings too. To that extent I think he was responsible.
It's nice to see you know that he didn't shy from getting people killed.

Quote:
As a result of that Voldemort targeted Lily. The moment Voldemort did that I think Snape became responsible for Lily being targeted too. I think that was also on his head.

But Snape did not stop there, he ran to Voldemort and requested him to spare Lily's life and then he came to Dumbledore and asked him to protect Lily and the other Potters too. And he came well in time imo.
Well there's nothing like trying to slam the stable door after you have well and truly scared the horses out of the stable.


Quote:
I think the question for me is when Snape came to Dumbledore did or did he not try his best to repair/undo the damage he did in the first place. I believe he did. Some time later the Potters were betrayed by a man they thought was their friend and Lily died along with James as a result of that betrayal. Was Snape responsible for their deaths at that time? I don't think so.
You can't put a glass bottle back together again after it's been smashed. Snape I tink knew he had smashed the bottle and anything he did after that was just trying to mop up the water. You can mop up the water but you can't get it back in a smashed bottle. What Snape did was try and put the water back and it couldn't be done.


Quote:
But I don't think Snape saw it this way; all through his life I think he felt he was responsible for Lily's and James's deaths and his remorse was for that as much as it was for taking the Prophecy to Voldemort in the first place, knowing it would result in the death of a child.

Would Snape continue to be responsible and culpable for his actions even after he undid the mistakes he made? I don't think he was, but I also think Snape did feel responsible
Like I said, Snape knew what he had done. He knew that however much he tried it was too little, too late. To his credit I don't think he ever tried to weasel out of it. He never said sorry, but I thnk in his own way he tried to be a better man. Course he had a long way to go from being a terrorist to begin with to being part of the war effort to get rid of his boss in the Death Eaters.


  #52  
Old February 11th, 2011, 9:57 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Guys be nice please and respectful about other member's posts.

We're keeping an eye out!


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  #53  
Old February 12th, 2011, 12:22 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post

I think that Snape came well in time alters his culpability with the Potters murders. HP Lexicon suggests Snape came to Dumbledore in Aug 1980, and the Potters were killed at Halloween 1981, which I think all but absolves Snape of their deaths.

Snape's Timeline
It appears that once again the Lexicon does not take DH into account. (I hope the hardcopy is better!) Severus's initial meeting with Dumbledore is described as:

[Harry] stood on a hilltop, forlorn and cold in the darkness, the wind whistling through the branches of a few leafless trees. (DH pg. 676, US trade ppbk.)

Now, I admit to never being in the highlands of Scotland, but that doesn't sound like August to me. I believe the consensus opinion is more like late autumn 1980.


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  #54  
Old February 12th, 2011, 12:37 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Question:

When Severus returned to the boys' bathroom after taking Draco to the hospital wing following the Sectumsempra incident, he had Harry bring him all of his school books. When he examined the "Advanced Potion Making" book he knew Harry had switched books. Why did he not make Harry go and get the "Prince's" book? I'm sure he could have come up with a cover story that it had belonged to a previous student who'd left it behind or something. Harry certainly didn't think of Severus as the Half-Blood Prince.

Instead, he lets it go and just assigns Harry detention with him every Saturday until end of term.

Why do you think he let Harry get away with not turning the book over to him?


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Last edited by MinervasCat; February 12th, 2011 at 12:40 am.
  #55  
Old February 12th, 2011, 12:49 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Question:

When Severus returned to the boys' bathroom after taking Draco to the hospital wing following the Sectumsempra incident, he had Harry bring him all of his school books. When he examined the "Advanced Potion Making" book he knew Harry had switched books. Why did he not make Harry go and get the "Prince's" book? I'm sure he could have come up with a cover story that it had belonged to a previous student who'd left it behind or something. Harry certainly didn't think of Severus as the Half-Blood Prince.

Instead, he lets it go and just assigns Harry detention with him every Saturday until end of term.

Why do you think he let Harry get away with not turning the book over to him?
Perhaps he thought it didn't really matter in the larger scheme of things that were going on that year? All it really meant was that Harry was cheating in Potions; hopefully he might actually learn something from it besides nasty curses.


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  #56  
Old February 12th, 2011, 1:24 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Question:

When Severus returned to the boys' bathroom after taking Draco to the hospital wing following the Sectumsempra incident, he had Harry bring him all of his school books. When he examined the "Advanced Potion Making" book he knew Harry had switched books. Why did he not make Harry go and get the "Prince's" book? I'm sure he could have come up with a cover story that it had belonged to a previous student who'd left it behind or something. Harry certainly didn't think of Severus as the Half-Blood Prince.

Instead, he lets it go and just assigns Harry detention with him every Saturday until end of term.

Why do you think he let Harry get away with not turning the book over to him?
Snape had no proof that harry had gotten it from the book.

Harry could have gotten the spell from someone else who had the book. Also, i think snape would have known harry didnt know it was his, because he knows that if harry ever found a book by snape his hatred for him would stop him from using it, because he didnt need snapes help, even if snape didnt know he was helping him. We saw how angry harry was when he found out snape was the half blood prince.


  #57  
Old February 12th, 2011, 1:53 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Question:

When Severus returned to the boys' bathroom after taking Draco to the hospital wing following the Sectumsempra incident, he had Harry bring him all of his school books. When he examined the "Advanced Potion Making" book he knew Harry had switched books. Why did he not make Harry go and get the "Prince's" book? I'm sure he could have come up with a cover story that it had belonged to a previous student who'd left it behind or something. Harry certainly didn't think of Severus as the Half-Blood Prince.

Instead, he lets it go and just assigns Harry detention with him every Saturday until end of term.

Why do you think he let Harry get away with not turning the book over to him?
I considered the explanation "he didn't want to involve himself with the book" weak too. After all DD relied on him, and who was going to ask about the book once he stored it in his office? no one, same that had happened for 15 years.
I think he just prefered to control "the boy" himself, and perhaps, Snape also believed the book could teach something to Harry, and so Severus would control Harry, so no problem.
Maybe he even thought some dark spells would be useful to Harry, after all we see Snape regretting being a DE, but not hating the DA.


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  #58  
Old February 12th, 2011, 2:11 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Other than punishing Harry for having his book (which IMO Snape didn't), he had no need for the book at this point; he had the potions recipes in his head.


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  #59  
Old February 12th, 2011, 3:43 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
I think he was responsible - if he weren't, his redemption story arc holds little value or power.
I don't think it's a case of who is or isn't actually responsible; the redemption arc is about Severus believing he is responsible, accepting that responsibility, then literally spending the rest of his life trying to rectify that error. What started as doing Right due to guilt about Lily gradually transformed into doing Right for the sake of what is Right.

And that's the true redemption of Severus Snape -- expanding his viewpoint beyond how his actions could affect one person into how the actions of others could affect many, and what he could do to stop it.

Standard JMHO, YMMV disclaimer applies.


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Last edited by SadiraSnape; February 12th, 2011 at 3:48 am.
  #60  
Old February 12th, 2011, 4:16 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadiraSnape View Post
I don't think it's a case of who is or isn't actually responsible; the redemption arc is about Severus believing he is responsible, accepting that responsibility, then literally spending the rest of his life trying to rectify that error. What started as doing Right due to guilt about Lily gradually transformed into doing Right for the sake of what is Right.

And that's the true redemption of Severus Snape -- expanding his viewpoint beyond how his actions could affect one person into how the actions of others could affect many, and what he could do to stop it.

Standard JMHO, YMMV disclaimer applies.
I do think he's partly responsible. But the fact that he actively tried to stop the killings from taking place makes him considerably less culpable than the person who betrayed his friends or the person who actually pointed the wand.

However, I do agree with the basic premise of your post concerning the nature and trajectory of his redemption arc.


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