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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6



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  #301  
Old February 16th, 2012, 1:49 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
If I may nitpick though, what Lily knew or suspected isn't really confirmed as a fact simply because she said it aloud... Maybe in some conversational schemes it might be rather damning that he didn't respond, but I wouldn't assume that is the case here, since, frankly, Lily sort of railroaded him out of the conversation. Whatever the truth of the Death Eater situation may have been, I think the better conclusion is that Snape knew she would never believe anything he said again.
Yes I agree with you. Throughout the series, Snape seems to know a lost cause when he sees one and since he's not the type to talk just for the sake of it, I think he might have realized that she was far to furious to ever listen to him so he chose to shut up. He did, after all, insult her.


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  #302  
Old February 16th, 2012, 2:56 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Guys, please - THIS IS NOT THE LILY THREAD. Please do not go into indepth discussion of her thoughts, feelings and choices here, much less put her on trial for things you think she should have done differently.


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  #303  
Old February 16th, 2012, 3:57 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
Guys, please - THIS IS NOT THE LILY THREAD. Please do not go into indepth discussion of her thoughts, feelings and choices here, much less put her on trial for things you think she should have done differently.
Sorry, I didn't mean to "put her on trial." But, when discussing Severus' character and his actions, because Lily had such a huge impact on him and his life, it is difficult not to discuss some of her actions and possible reasons for them in relation to him.

As a friend of Lily's for so many years, I do think it is feasible to say that Severus was able to read her moods and determine when it was time to just back off any further efforts to reestablish contact.

I'll take any in-depth discussions to the Lily thread, though. Thanks for the heads-up.


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  #304  
Old February 16th, 2012, 6:51 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
She says "you don't deny it", but in what you cited, we see he has no opportunity to. As he gathers his thoughts to say something in response to her assorted comments, he is left looking at the door to the common room.
That's a pretty broad generalization of what happened, IMO. I read the scene as Lily confronting him about being or wanting to be a Death Eater and by his opening his mouth and closing it without response as him not being able to deny her accussations. He has the opportunity in that moment to say something like "You've got it all wrong, that's what they want but not what i want" but instead he appears to be resigned to the fact that she has apparently, finally, found him out.

The conversation goes on after he opens and closes him mouth; she tells him that they've chosen different paths, that she can't pretend anymore; he tells her again that he didn't mean-- "to call me mudblood?" and then she leaves. Maybe a minute or two of conversation after her accussation and he never even tries to deny the truth of her words.

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In other words, the citation shows Lily believed Snape wanted to be a Death Eater by the end of fifth year, but it in no way shows he actually did. He does nto confirm it.
But he has the opportunity to deny it and he doesn't take it. IMO he loved Lily enough to try and keep her in his life at any cost and her accussations here show him that she's finally seeing through him and he can no longer keep up the pretense that what she's accussing him of isn't what he really wants.

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I do not think it is at all obvious he must have known how she felt about Voldemort, or even the use, generally, of the word "Mudblood". Again because he seems blindsided by the discussion they have when he attempts to apologize to her.
I strongly disagree to this. I think Snape knew how she felt about the word "mudblood" especially. (Sorry for a brief foray into Lily's character but I'm including it here to illustrate what Snape would know about her, not to begin a Lily discussion) Lily isn't portrayed as a wilting flower in any way, she seems to be a girl who stands up for what she believes in and standing up to people she thinks are in the wrong and isn't afraid of voicing those beliefs or standing up to those people. With how their friendship is portrayed do you really believe that Snape would be so dense as to not know how she felt about things like the impending war? About Voldemort whose attacking muggles like her family and muggleborns like herself? About Death Eaters who are acting as Voldemorts minions? About being called mudblood or hearing other being called a mudblood? I don't believe for one second that the memories we are shown were the only instances where Snape sees or hears about Lily's views on these subjects but the culmination and most charged conversations about these topics.

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
I have to strongly disagree. Unless Lily was a mind reader, she did not "definitely know" anything other than Severus had friends in the House he'd been sorted into who were Death Eater wanna-be's.
Answered in the lily thread.

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The only thing this conversation shows to me is another time when Lily took control of the conversation and did most of the talking and little listening. His opening his mouth to speak and then closing it shows, to me, that he'd just given up even trying to reason with her. She'd already accused him in the same conversation of being ungrateful for James saving his life -- something else she "knew."
I disagree that his opening and closing mouth indicates that he had given up trying to reason with her. I see it more like he opens his mouth to refute her claims that he wanted to become a death eater but realizes that the jig is up, she's found him out and he can no longer pull the wool over her eyes so what's the use of even attempting to deny it?

We are obviously reading and interpreting this passage differently.

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Yes, he had "little Death Eater friends," he was in Slytherin House and they had befriended him.
Answered in the Lily thread.

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I have no doubt that, since they were recruiting, the DEs would have seen a lonely, semi-geeky kid as a perfect target for them.
I agree, Snape was a prefect target for recruitment. He's an introvert. He's already interested in the subject of dark arts and already follows Voldemort's career. In addition, they would have heavily recruited him once they found out how smart, cunning and inventive he was; the perfect person to have fighting for you and not against you.

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There is still no statement from Severus in his 5th year, nor any solid evidence, other than associating with students from his own House who were fledgling DEs, that Severus wanted to be one himself. He never said he did.
Of course he wouldn't say he wanted to become a Death Eater to his muggleborn friend. "Hey Lily, I'm thinking of joining a group whose aim in the world is to maim and murder muggleborns just like yourself. Isn't that a great idea!" NO! He'd keep it a secret from her as long as he could and he'd probably keep a secret from as many people as he could in general so that he isn't implicated in any 'dark magic' wrong doing in the school. IMO, Snape probably lived by the motto "loose lips sink ships" and he would have kept his trap shut.

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He never, in any of the conversations in the memories, defended Voldemort or the DEs.
for the same reason he wouldn't confess his desire to become a death eater to her; I think he knew she was against what Voldemort and the Death Eaters stood for and so just didn't discuss those topics with her.

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IMO, the above does not prove he was planning to be a DE. It only proved that he knew Lily well enough to know when she had shut down and it was useless to try to talk to her anymore.
Like I said above, I don't think Snape thought lily was shut down or beyond being reasoned with. IMO, if he could have proven to her that what she was accussing him of was false he would have. He loved her too much to lose her that easily.

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Silence is not an admission
But if you're being unjustly accussed of something you didn't do or weren't apart of you'd speak up. You'd defend yourself. He doesn't even try.

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There were two years after the end of their friendship for him to have made a decision to join the DEs. At 15 I doubt he really had a good idea of what he wanted to be, but I doubt he wanted to be a blood-purist killer.
Perhaps he didn't view the Death Eaters as blood-purist killers, though. Cults work in this exact way. They portray themselves to potential followers as one thing, recruit, recruit, recruit, and then once followers are properly indoctrinated the cults objects begin to subtlely be shifted to the true message the leader wants. Snape was already a Voldemort fan as a kid and to a certain extent was probably blinded to the bad things because of his admiration and interest in the dark arts. We see what we want to see and Snape saw a group he could fit in with in the Death Eaters.

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As I said, he went to pieces every time he tried to talk to her. He stammered, stuttered, changed the subject, started to talk then just closed his mouth. He was, IMO, always on the defensive when he was with her because she was always on him about something. I think he was at a point where he was "hen pecked" by his best friend and used whatever defense, such as changing the subject, that he could to just get a toe hold in the conversation.
I think this is a little unfair because the conversations we see of them when they're older are of them arguing. I also don't think it's fair to say Lily was always on him about something because we only see three memories of them interacting once they get to hogwarts and are sorted. Snape was an introvert going up against a girl who seemed to be more of an extrovert. In the arguments we're shown she does sort of bowl him over, yes, but I also think that Snape was playing a double act with her and might not have had his arguments in defense of his choices all formed out when Lily started in on him so he does things like stutter and stammer and changes the subject.

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I've heard many an argument between kids over their friends and the "well your friend did this" and "well your friend did that" is a pretty normal pattern. If Severus couldn't defend them, which may show he didn't approve of what they did, but also didn't want to lose the argument, his best defense would have been a strong offense: going after what the Marauders did. Once Severus heard her put-down of James he was happy, anyway. That was the reassurance he was looking for.
I don't understand when you say that by Snape not defending Avery and Mulciber that it might have shown that he didn't approve of them. To me if you are given an interaction such as "your friends used dark magic" "Yeah? well your friends used an illegal hex!" you're more defending your friend than not approving of them and daring your opponent to defend their friend in turn. I still think an interaction like this between Lily and Snape was more Snape's deflecting the conversation so he's not forced to defend Avery and Mulciber to Lily's face.

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We know he was sorry, but there is no indication in any of the books that he tried to apologize during the summer after the Mudblood Incident. I don't see him even making the attempt because he knew Lily well enough to know she'd just shoot him down, again. He knew when she turned her back on him that night at the common room door that it was over, IMO.
With how Snape is portrayed as having loved Lily I don't think he would have given up on her so easily. I think he would have bidded his time until she had cooled off enough that he could approach her again. It just so happened that I think by the time he would have approached her she was getting a little too cozy with James for Snape's comfort and old wounds might have ripped open preventing him from wanting to apologize again.

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I saw his statement to Umbridge about the Veritaserum as him just having a bit of fun at her expense. It would have been very un-Severus like to just say, "Sorry, I'm all out." It's like when she asked whether he'd been unsuccessful each time he had applied for the DADA position and he answered "Obviously." He could have just said, "Yes."
Yes, it was fun at her expense and a bit of humor for the readers but it was still a very passive-aggressive way to respond to her request.

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
If I may nitpick though, what Lily knew or suspected isn't really confirmed as a fact simply because she said it aloud... Maybe in some conversational schemes it might be rather damning that he didn't respond, but I wouldn't assume that is the case here, since, frankly, Lily sort of railroaded him out of the conversation. Whatever the truth of the Death Eater situation may have been, I think the better conclusion is that Snape knew she would never believe anything he said again.
I think there are two conclusions derived from two different interpretations of the passage in question. I see his silence as damning because I think he realized in that moment that he could no longer fool Lily or pull the wool over her eyes and there was no point even putting up a defense when they both knew he was guilty of just what she accused him of. It seems you, Minervascat and Arthimancer see Snape as resigning himself to Lily being stubborningly unwilling to listen to him as she, as you say, railroads him out of the conversation.

I think both are valid conclusions, I just happen to believe my interpretation of the events. =^/


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  #305  
Old February 16th, 2012, 7:32 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
She says "you don't deny it", but in what you cited, we see he has no opportunity to. As he gathers his thoughts to say something in response to her assorted comments, he is left looking at the door to the common room.
I'd say Severus had opportunity to deny it, but he didn't.

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In other words, the citation shows Lily believed Snape wanted to be a Death Eater by the end of fifth year, but it in no way shows he actually did. He does nto confirm it. And given Snape's reaction to this accusation, I do not think it is one she has made prior. (We certainly did not see such a scene). So, no, I definitely don't think he knew she thought this before the breakup scene, or knew she would disapprove. I don't think she ever raised the question before this scene.
I think Severus was presenting himself as someone on the Death Eater track, so I don't wonder that anyone observing him suspected him of being on that track. His disdain for Muggles was already established, I believe. Calling Muggleborn students at the school "Mudblood" further established his prejudices. Calling Lily a "filthy little Mudblood" in front of the fifth year class was further evidence. His belief that Dark Arts being used on fellow students was funny at a time when the Dark Arts were being used by the Daeth Eaters against the Wizarding World was yet more evidence. I think Severus chose a dangerous path to go down during the First War, and left plenty of footprints in his wake.

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As I indicated, this is the only thing we know he knew - that she disapproved of his friends Mulciber and Avery. However, that this was because they were or planned to become Death Eaters was never mentioned in the books, and I personally believe, never actually discussed between these two characters until their breakup scene. I do not think it is at all obvious he must have known how she felt about Voldemort, or even the use, generally, of the word "Mudblood". Again because he seems blindsided by the discussion they have when he attempts to apologize to her.
I think it was within Severus's personality not to care how others might feel about Voldemort and the Death Eaters killing, torturing, and terrorizing the Wizarding World. But I also think he must have been aware on some level of how much "Mudblood" would hurt Lily, or I think he wouldn't have chosen the word to belittle her, and wouldn't have tried to appologize afterward. I think he had originally decided that Lily was an exception because she was so magically powerful, and "Mudblood" would be used against other Muggleborns who weren't so special-- but then she angered him. I think he knew very well that she didn't like being called "Mudblood". He did seem to have a disconnect between how Lily would feel about that and how she would feel about his attitude that Muggleborns were inferior. I don't know if he understood that she wasn't okay with being an exception and didn't accept his apology because she wasn't going to support his general path; I don't think he got it then, or for years or decades, but I think he finally figured it out in the end and that's why Snape chose that memory.


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  #306  
Old February 16th, 2012, 8:04 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
His disdain for Muggles was already established, I believe. Calling Muggleborn students at the school "Mudblood" further established his prejudices. Calling Lily a "filthy little Mudblood" in front of the fifth year class was further evidence. His belief that Dark Arts being used on fellow students was funny at a time when the Dark Arts were being used by the Daeth Eaters against the Wizarding World was yet more evidence. I think Severus chose a dangerous path to go down during the First War, and left plenty of footprints in his wake.



I think it was within Severus's personality not to care how others might feel about Voldemort and the Death Eaters killing, torturing, and terrorizing the Wizarding World. But I also think he must have been aware on some level of how much "Mudblood" would hurt Lily, or I think he wouldn't have chosen the word to belittle her, and wouldn't have tried to appologize afterward. I think he had originally decided that Lily was an exception because she was so magically powerful, and "Mudblood" would be used against other Muggleborns who weren't so special-- but then she angered him. I think he knew very well that she didn't like being called "Mudblood". He did seem to have a disconnect between how Lily would feel about that and how she would feel about his attitude that Muggleborns were inferior. I don't know if he understood that she wasn't okay with being an exception and didn't accept his apology because she wasn't going to support his general path; I don't think he got it then, or for years or decades, but I think he finally figured it out in the end and that's why Snape chose that memory.
I don't think he had a problem with Muggle borns. In his memory, when Lily asked him if it makes any difference wether you're Muggle born or not, he said it doesn't make any difference. As I have said before, I think what he did have a problem with was incompetence. As long as you were not incompetent, I don't think he cared if you were Muggle born or pure-blood. And the other way around too, Neville is a perfect example of that.

I do agree with you on one point though, he definitely knew that Lily would feel very offended to be called a Mudblood, especially by someone she'd just helped. I think Severus was so enraged and humiliated and being 'rescued' by a girl, as well as being made a fool of in front of the girl he loved, did nothing but add to that humiliation. He acted like that because he was trying to prove to everyone that he could have handled the situation without Lily. That was a particularly stupid thing to do and unfortunately, it's also a very common attitude amongst teenage boys. So I think Snape acted just like most teenagers would have; I'm not trying to say it was right, but it's how I see the situation.


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  #307  
Old February 16th, 2012, 8:37 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by sparrowinwinter View Post
I don't think he had a problem with Muggle borns. In his memory, when Lily asked him if it makes any difference wether you're Muggle born or not, he said it doesn't make any difference.
DH, The Prince's Tale"Does it make a difference, being muggleborn?"

Snape hesitated, his black eyes eager in the greenish gloom moved over the pale face, the dark red hair. "No," he said. "It doesn't make any difference."


I obviously interpret things differently than other people in this thread so I'm just going to say that Snape's hesitation before answering Lily here suggests to me that he did think it mattered whether she was muggleborn or not but lied to her about it because he didn't have anyone else to confide in. Snape seemed like a lonely little boy and in his youth, his eagerness to talk about magic with anyone outweighed the fact that he was talking about it with someone he was taught was inferior. He approached Lily because she was the only one like him he could approach.

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As I have said before, I think what he did have a problem with was incompetence. As long as you were not incompetent, I don't think he cared if you were Muggle born or pure-blood. And the other way around too, Neville is a perfect example of that.
I think part of his frustration with the incompetant came from the fact that he was a highly intelligent man with a lot of skills in a job he might have thought was beneath him teaching a subject to students who either didn't have the capacity to learn it or didn't put in the effort because they didn't care.

I also think as he got older, and especially after Lily died, his views on whether or not blood status mattered changed dramatically.


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Last edited by Goddess_Clio; February 16th, 2012 at 8:39 pm.
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  #308  
Old February 16th, 2012, 8:59 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
I obviously interpret things differently than other people in this thread so I'm just going to say that Snape's hesitation before answering Lily here suggests to me that he did think it mattered whether she was muggleborn or not but lied to her about it because he didn't have anyone else to confide in. Snape seemed like a lonely little boy and in his youth, his eagerness to talk about magic with anyone outweighed the fact that he was talking about it with someone he was taught was inferior. He approached Lily because she was the only one like him he could approach.
I believe he truly loved Lily and never would have been interested in her romantically later on if he did not - instead he would have seen her as unworthy of himself and would have dropped her once he made pureblood friends in Slytherin. I think he also knew there were those who would view her being muggleborn as a negative, but he didn't want to squash her enthusiasm.

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I think part of his frustration with the incompetant came from the fact that he was a highly intelligent man with a lot of skills in a job he might have thought was beneath him teaching a subject to students who either didn't have the capacity to learn it or didn't put in the effort because they didn't care.
I'm not so sure he saw the position as "beneath him" as he simply did not have the personality to be a teacher to less than gifted or unenthusiastic students. Not everyone does.


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  #309  
Old February 16th, 2012, 9:18 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
That's a pretty broad generalization of what happened, IMO. I read the scene as Lily confronting him about being or wanting to be a Death Eater and by his opening his mouth and closing it without response as him not being able to deny her accussations. He has the opportunity in that moment to say something like "You've got it all wrong, that's what they want but not what i want" but instead he appears to be resigned to the fact that she has apparently, finally, found him out.
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The conversation goes on after he opens and closes him mouth; she tells him that they've chosen different paths, that she can't pretend anymore; he tells her again that he didn't mean-- "to call me mudblood?" and then she leaves. Maybe a minute or two of conversation after her accussation and he never even tries to deny the truth of her words.
I read the scene differently.

I don't think Lily would have paid any attention to Severus if he had denied it, and he knew it. To me, the barrage of accusations, i.e. planning to be a DE, being an ingrate for having his life saved (something else Lily "knew"), frequently using the word "Mudblood," and being an embarrassment to her with her friends, was unnerving and left Severus pretty much speechless. We see all through the memories that Severus is not a good communicator.

IMO, Severus knew Lily was so wound up that it wouldn't have made any difference what he said. He apologized and it was thrown back in his face. He tried to tell her how special she was to him, and she threw that back in his face -- she didn't want to be special to him. By the time it had reached the accusation of wanting to be a DE I think he'd just run out of steam trying to defend himself and had given up trying.

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But he has the opportunity to deny it and he doesn't take it. IMO he loved Lily enough to try and keep her in his life at any cost and her accussations here show him that she's finally seeing through him and he can no longer keep up the pretense that what she's accussing him of isn't what he really wants.
See above answer.

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I strongly disagree to this. I think Snape knew how she felt about the word "mudblood" especially. (Sorry for a brief foray into Lily's character but I'm including it here to illustrate what Snape would know about her, not to begin a Lily discussion) Lily isn't portrayed as a wilting flower in any way, she seems to be a girl who stands up for what she believes in and standing up to people she thinks are in the wrong and isn't afraid of voicing those beliefs or standing up to those people. With how their friendship is portrayed do you really believe that Snape would be so dense as to not know how she felt about things like the impending war? About Voldemort whose attacking muggles like her family and muggleborns like herself? About Death Eaters who are acting as Voldemorts minions? About being called mudblood or hearing other being called a mudblood? I don't believe for one second that the memories we are shown were the only instances where Snape sees or hears about Lily's views on these subjects but the culmination and most charged conversations about these topics.
I think he knew how she felt about DEs and that is one reason he was not considering being one. Maybe when he opened and closed his mouth he was going to say, "How could you believe that of me?" or "You know I'd never do anything like that because of you." But, he tried the "you know I don't think of you that way" and it didn't work. Would she have let him finish, or believed him if he had denied wanting to be a DE? We don't know because he just clams up in the face of a raft of accusations.

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I disagree that his opening and closing mouth indicates that he had given up trying to reason with her. I see it more like he opens his mouth to refute her claims that he wanted to become a death eater but realizes that the jig is up, she's found him out and he can no longer pull the wool over her eyes so what's the use of even attempting to deny it?

We are obviously reading and interpreting this passage differently.
Obviously. I tend to look at Severus as the socially awkward, introverted, lonely kid who has put his trust in his best friend to know him and what is in his heart. I think he was hurt that she could think he'd go so far as to be a DE. School pranks are one thing. Calling names, while not an acceptable practice, is a far cry from torture, murder, and a pure-bloodist ideology. I think he felt she should have known him better and that, not only did he not know how to defend himself, past experience had shown him that he wouldn't be believed, anyway. So he just opened and closed his mouth. I still maintain that silence is not an admission of guilt. It can also be another way of expressing disappointment that someone you care for doesn't trust you and it hurts you bad enough that you just don't have the words to express it. It can also just be a sign of resignation.

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I agree, Snape was a prefect target for recruitment. He's an introvert. He's already interested in the subject of dark arts and already follows Voldemort's career. In addition, they would have heavily recruited him once they found out how smart, cunning and inventive he was; the perfect person to have fighting for you and not against you.
We're never told why his interest in the Dark Arts. Dumbledore was interested them as a young man as well, and he turned out OK. It is assumed that it's to join the DEs, but, if he hadn't been trained in the Dark Arts he couldn't have helped Katie Bell when Draco was trying to curse Dumbledore with the necklace, a curse he was able to identify, nor could he have helped buy Dumbledore a year of life to help him get his plan more in order before he died.

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Of course he wouldn't say he wanted to become a Death Eater to his muggleborn friend. "Hey Lily, I'm thinking of joining a group whose aim in the world is to maim and murder muggleborns just like yourself. Isn't that a great idea!" NO! He'd keep it a secret from her as long as he could and he'd probably keep a secret from as many people as he could in general so that he isn't implicated in any 'dark magic' wrong doing in the school. IMO, Snape probably lived by the motto "loose lips sink ships" and he would have kept his trap shut.
Why would he want to become a DE knowing that his best friend, the only person he loved at that time, would be one of their targets? I don't think he'd planned to be a DE up to his fifth year, but once he had nothing else it was an alternative.

Severus wasn't being recruited by the "good guys." No one was trying to draw him away from the lure of the power that Voldemort seemed to offer his followers. Once he lost his anchor, he was just drifting along and ended up drifting with the people who showed him some form of concern. Severus was what social service workers refer to as an "at risk" child, the ones who take a little special effort to draw away from the wrong path. But, no one cared enough about him to try to do that. He had no guidance at home, and none at school. He was only about 16 and that's a very vulnerable time.

This is not blaming Lily for his joining the DEs. It's just an explanation that once he was set adrift he drifted in the wrong direction. It was his own choice and his own fault. He should have known better, but, maybe he just didn't care anymore. He was accepted and "appreciated" by the DE group, which was something he'd gotten little of anywhere else, so it may have seemed better than being alone and scorned by the good guys.

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for the same reason he wouldn't confess his desire to become a death eater to her; I think he knew she was against what Voldemort and the Death Eaters stood for and so just didn't discuss those topics with her.
In all of their discussions, it seems he would have slipped up at some time. He wasn't the self-controlled, focused person we see as an adult. I don't see that he could have gone all that time and through discussions such as we see in the memories, without slipping up.

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Like I said above, I don't think Snape thought lily was shut down or beyond being reasoned with. IMO, if he could have proven to her that what she was accussing him of was false he would have. He loved her too much to lose her that easily.
How could he have proved that to her? He could have distanced himself from Avery and Mulciber, but, what situation would that possibly have left him in with his Housemates? IMO, if there were anti-Voldemort people in Slytherin House they would have definitely kept their mouths shut, not knowing who they could trust.

It's been mentioned that everyone was afraid of Voldemort at that time. I'm sure any non-Voldy supporting Slytherins would have had to be extra careful, living 24/7 with a lot who were. With all of the things that we see that go on openly with no notice by the adult staff, what might have happened in the secrecy of the House? What could the budding DEs have used to cower any dissenters?

Slughorn was hardly the ideal Head of House, as he seemed more interested in garnering the favors of anyone he thought might be useful to him in the future (Slytherin or not). I doubt any dissenters might have felt protected or free to express anything other than going along with the prominent attitude of the group. I think that's what Severus did. I don't think, when we see him in the memories, that he truly has being a DE, or following Voldemort, or being a pure-bloodist murderer in mind. I think he's just taking the path of least resistance.

Also, since Severus is a target for bullies, having two guys around that others are afraid of can also help keep bullies away.

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But if you're being unjustly accussed of something you didn't do or weren't apart of you'd speak up. You'd defend yourself. He doesn't even try.
He'd tried to defend himself before with Lily when the branch was dropped on Petunia. I don't think he knew whether he did it accidentally or on purpose, as he was thinking ill of Petunia at the time, but maybe didn't specifically aim to drop the branch. But, even though he denied it, Lily didn't believe him and left him standing there.

IMO, outside the common room, he knew she had her mind made up on and there was little he could say to change it. So he didn't try. Maybe he thought she'd just accuse him of lying again and he didn't want to hear that.

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Perhaps he didn't view the Death Eaters as blood-purist killers, though. Cults work in this exact way. They portray themselves to potential followers as one thing, recruit, recruit, recruit, and then once followers are properly indoctrinated the cults objects begin to subtlely be shifted to the true message the leader wants. Snape was already a Voldemort fan as a kid and to a certain extent was probably blinded to the bad things because of his admiration and interest in the dark arts. We see what we want to see and Snape saw a group he could fit in with in the Death Eaters.
I don't think they wore badges with "Mudbloods and Muggles" in a circle with a line drawn through them. Yes, I think they worked the way many cults work.

I'm not sure what you base your statement that Severus was a fan of Voldemort on. Could you expand on that and provide canon? I do think he was being courted as a potential DE, but, again, as against them as Lily was, I have a feeling that, while he may have associated with individuals, he wasn't planning to join the group and follow Voldemort.

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I think this is a little unfair because the conversations we see of them when they're older are of them arguing. I also don't think it's fair to say Lily was always on him about something because we only see three memories of them interacting once they get to hogwarts and are sorted. Snape was an introvert going up against a girl who seemed to be more of an extrovert. In the arguments we're shown she does sort of bowl him over, yes, but I also think that Snape was playing a double act with her and might not have had his arguments in defense of his choices all formed out when Lily started in on him so he does things like stutter and stammer and changes the subject.
I think that Lily was probably one of the few people he revealed anything about himself to (his parents' arguing, his so looking forward to going to Hogwarts, how much he loved magic). I don't think he was playing a double act with her. For one thing, cared too much about her. For another, I don't think he was capable of that kind of deceit at that time without giving himself away to her.

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I don't understand when you say that by Snape not defending Avery and Mulciber that it might have shown that he didn't approve of them. To me if you are given an interaction such as "your friends used dark magic" "Yeah? well your friends used an illegal hex!" you're more defending your friend than not approving of them and daring your opponent to defend their friend in turn. I still think an interaction like this between Lily and Snape was more Snape's deflecting the conversation so he's not forced to defend Avery and Mulciber to Lily's face.
He did try to say that what Mulciber had done to Mary was only a prank, so I have to admit he did try to defend him at that time. But, he didn't do that during the rest of the exchange he just deflected Lily's statements by coming back with his own accusations. If comparison of wrongs is a defense, I guess that's what he's doing. I saw it more as trying to show Lily that what was going on with her own friends was just as bad, so if she could live with that why couldn't she live with his? Maybe more of an attempt to neutralize than defend?

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With how Snape is portrayed as having loved Lily I don't think he would have given up on her so easily. I think he would have bidded his time until she had cooled off enough that he could approach her again. It just so happened that I think by the time he would have approached her she was getting a little too cozy with James for Snape's comfort and old wounds might have ripped open preventing him from wanting to apologize again.
I don't see him approaching her after she closed the common room door on him. I think he knew, from what she'd said and the way she'd acted, that it was over and I also think he knew her well enough to know when she could be swayed and when she couldn't. I think he realized once she told him to go his way and she would go her's that she meant it and there was no cooling off.

The accusation that Severus was ungrateful for having his life saved had to be a real blow and, IMO, was one of the things that left him stammering. He couldn't come back from that because he was sworn to secrecy. He also knew that James was interested in Lily, and having been bested by him before, just gave up to the inevitable. He knew he couldn't win, so he just cut his losses and went on with his life.

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Yes, it was fun at her expense and a bit of humor for the readers but it was still a very passive-aggressive way to respond to her request.
I'm not sure that it makes a difference how he told her. He was, as you said, cryptic. As I said, I think it was part of the mistique he created for himself.

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I think there are two conclusions derived from two different interpretations of the passage in question. I see his silence as damning because I think he realized in that moment that he could no longer fool Lily or pull the wool over her eyes and there was no point even putting up a defense when they both knew he was guilty of just what she accused him of. It seems you, Minervascat and Arthimancer see Snape as resigning himself to Lily being stubborningly unwilling to listen to him as she, as you say, railroads him out of the conversation.

I think both are valid conclusions, I just happen to believe my interpretation of the events.
Guess we'll have to agree to disagree because I still don't see his silence as an admission. I don't think he was trying to fool Lily because I don't think he had any intention of becoming a DE at that time, no matter who he was associating with.


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Old February 16th, 2012, 9:28 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

But then there is the fact that his nickname for himself is the Half Blood Prince. If he hated Muggles and Muggle-borns so much, why would he chose that name? That doesn't make sense to me. And to actually write it in his potions book where other Slytherins might see it?

I think he went along with Slytherins and Death Eaters because he needed a sense of power, after having been so powerless as a child, and got caught up in a gang mentality.

Hearing such language used all around you can program your brain to use it. I'm in that situation, in fact. My parents had one particular swear word they favored and I heard it all the time growing up, though I was forbidden to use it. In my teens I joined a church that discourages swearing and so I don't swear in normal day-to-day life. However, there is a certain very stressful situation that occurs occasionally and that word just pops out. I've done everything I can to not use it, but to no avail. It may be that Snape was in a similar situation.


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  #311  
Old February 16th, 2012, 10:10 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
I think there are two conclusions derived from two different interpretations of the passage in question. I see his silence as damning because I think he realized in that moment that he could no longer fool Lily or pull the wool over her eyes and there was no point even putting up a defense when they both knew he was guilty of just what she accused him of.

It seems you, Minervascat and Arthimancer see Snape as resigning himself to Lily being stubborningly unwilling to listen to him as she, as you say, railroads him out of the conversation.
The thing is, it's not what I think that I'm trying to uncover. By "railroaded" I only meant to describe the immediate context--Lily was talking, we can assume, with some emotion, she was answering her own questions, and making (objectively radical albeit true) accusations. The question is not how you or I respond to her behavior, it's what is going through Snape's head when she's talking. As Melaszka was kind enough to remind us, this is after all not the Lily thread.

What I'm getting at is that the conversation does have some contextual clues which might tell us more about why Snape doesn't speak. To begin with, we know he refuses to leave until Lily will see him, and he immediately apologizes for saying "mudblood." This in itself tells us something--that he wants to be forgiven for the specific transgression at hand. I would ask, if he had not expected his apology to placate Lily, why then would he have insisted upon making it? No, clearly his expectation was to have an opportunity to grovel, to smooth things over as he had done before, and to thereby find a way to cling to the status quo. All he had in mind was that he had accidentally called her a mudblood.

But Lily doesn't play along this time, because he's crossed a line. She berates him in a way that it seems she has not done before: "I've made excuses for you..." tells me that she has been biting her tongue for some time, because she wouldn't bother publicly defending Snape if she had been privately condemning him all along. I think that's evidence that this reaction is new for her, and utterly unexpected from Snape's point of view. He's stunned.

Meanwhile, Snape is taking in her comments about Death Eaters and You-Know-Who. Whether he is actively involved in joining the Death Eater movement or not, he is likely either surprised that she knows so much about it, or disappointed that she so strongly detests it. (I have concluded elsewhere that Snape never really listened to her more friendly admonitions because he was just stupidly in love with her.)

And so, here's how I see it: He goes in there with a plan, maybe even feeling pretty confident about it, but Lily, he sees, sidesteps the issue completely. She is behaving toward him in a way he not only doesn't expect, but one which he's never experienced before. And what's more, she seems to be aware of specific issues he may have considered private, or may have cherished as impressive, and she deflates any sense of power he may have derived from them.

How should, how could he react to this, really? He's so unprepared to deal with what has happened that he may simply have had no idea how to respond.


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  #312  
Old February 16th, 2012, 11:34 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
The thing is, it's not what I think that I'm trying to uncover. By "railroaded" I only meant to describe the immediate context--Lily was talking, we can assume, with some emotion, she was answering her own questions, and making (objectively radical albeit true) accusations. The question is not how you or I respond to her behavior, it's what is going through Snape's head when she's talking. As Melaszka was kind enough to remind us, this is after all not the Lily thread.

What I'm getting at is that the conversation does have some contextual clues which might tell us more about why Snape doesn't speak. To begin with, we know he refuses to leave until Lily will see him, and he immediately apologizes for saying "mudblood." This in itself tells us something--that he wants to be forgiven for the specific transgression at hand. I would ask, if he had not expected his apology to placate Lily, why then would he have insisted upon making it? No, clearly his expectation was to have an opportunity to grovel, to smooth things over as he had done before, and to thereby find a way to cling to the status quo. All he had in mind was that he had accidentally called her a mudblood.

But Lily doesn't play along this time, because he's crossed a line. She berates him in a way that it seems she has not done before: "I've made excuses for you..." tells me that she has been biting her tongue for some time, because she wouldn't bother publicly defending Snape if she had been privately condemning him all along. I think that's evidence that this reaction is new for her, and utterly unexpected from Snape's point of view. He's stunned.

Meanwhile, Snape is taking in her comments about Death Eaters and You-Know-Who. Whether he is actively involved in joining the Death Eater movement or not, he is likely either surprised that she knows so much about it, or disappointed that she so strongly detests it. (I have concluded elsewhere that Snape never really listened to her more friendly admonitions because he was just stupidly in love with her.)

And so, here's how I see it: He goes in there with a plan, maybe even feeling pretty confident about it, but Lily, he sees, sidesteps the issue completely. She is behaving toward him in a way he not only doesn't expect, but one which he's never experienced before. And what's more, she seems to be aware of specific issues he may have considered private, or may have cherished as impressive, and she deflates any sense of power he may have derived from them.

How should, how could he react to this, really? He's so unprepared to deal with what has happened that he may simply have had no idea how to respond.
I don't think Severus had any plan other than to present her with a heart-felt apology and hope for the best. He was determined that she was to have the apology, threatening to stay by the common room door until she came out and spoke to him. They'd had disagreements before and always made up. I don't think he expected anything different once he'd explained himself to her and apologized.

But, without trying to analyze Lily, she didn't accept either his apology or his efforts to mollify her. She threw accusation after accusation, including the werewolf incident -- which was suppose to be kept confidential by everyone involved. I think that was the thing that threw him off. Being accused of not having gratitude to someone who "saved" your life when it was their friend who'd set you up to be in danger in the first place. And, he couldn't defend himself because he kept the confidence. To me, that gives a clear example that some, if not much, of what Lily "knew," like being ungrateful or wanting to be a DE, was second hand and was not from objective sources.

IMO, up to and at the time of SWM, Severus was pretty guileless. He doesn't seem deceptive in his discussion of Avery and Mulciber, admitting that they pulled a "harmless" prank. I don't think he was able to lie to Lily because she knew him too well. So, what he said to her, as I see it, was the truth.

I don't know of anything we see that shows him actually lying to her. He denied dropping the limb on Petunia, but since it was probably accidental magic and he hadn't meant it, so, as far as he was concerned he didn't do it. It had just "happened."

The closest Severus came to lying was telling Lily that being a Muggleborn didn't make any difference. To some, including himself, it didn't. He just failed to tell her the whole truth, that to some it did make a difference.

As for the comments about him wanting to be a DE, IMO, most students in Hogwarts had a prejudice against Slytherin House (which we see later from Ron's incorrect statement that there wasn't an evil wizard who hadn't come from Slytherin -- that was information he'd heard somewhere) and felt that all the Slytherins wanted to be DEs and follow Voldemort. But, other than hanging around with two guys who wanted to be DEs and using some of the slurs that they did in order to fit in, we don't really see Severus exhibiting any real DE traits at that time.


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  #313  
Old February 17th, 2012, 12:32 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by mirrormere View Post
But then there is the fact that his nickname for himself is the Half Blood Prince. If he hated Muggles and Muggle-borns so much, why would he chose that name? That doesn't make sense to me. And to actually write it in his potions book where other Slytherins might see it?
Here's something I noticed in HBP.Hermione is trying to figure out the origin of Half Blood Prince and has found an old article about Eileen Prince:

HBP: The Seer Overheard"Well, why not? Harry, there aren't any real princes in the Wizarding world! It's either a nickname, a made-up title somebody's given themselves, or it could be their actual name, couldn't it? No, listen! If, say, her father was a wizard whose surname was Prince, and her mother was a Muggle, then that would make her a 'half-blood prince.' "
"Yeah, very ingenious, Hermione..."
"But it would! Maybe she was proud of being half a Prince!"


Hermione usually seems to be the voice of reason and I think JKR often has her being the one who understands Snape most often. I think she's found the answer - he's proud of his own heritage and doesn't try to hide it. Hermione just deosn't know that Eileen is his mother, and his father was the Muggle.


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  #314  
Old February 17th, 2012, 2:44 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

I'm sure I've said this before, but I don't see young Severus as the same cunning individual who later tricked Voldemort for years with not only his magic, but also remarkable control over his emotions, eloquence, and the ability to form a complex and convincing excuse when in peril. This is, after all, the young man who could barely form a sentence when James comes up in conversation, stubbornly insists he will sleep in front of the Gryffindor common room if he has to (Marauder territory, and on the same day he'd already had a particularly bad run-in with them), decides to spy on one of the most powerful wizards of all time by listening at a keyhole, and who asks Tom "Kill-the-Mudbloods" Riddle to spare Lily. From an early age, Severus shows the courage that he carries through life, but it seems to me that his real cunning only develops later on.

The point I want to make here is that I think while young Severus had a purpose to his decision to apologize to Lily and knew he had offended her strongly enough to warrant his remaining in front of the Fat Lady until she came out, I don't think he had quite formulated a working plan to the point where he could feel confident. "I'm sorry," "I didn't mean to," and a statement that might have become "It just slipped out" strike me as rather artless and revealing of just where Severus' problems lie: he is sorry he offended Lily, but misses the big picture. His apologies are inadequate, but not because they are not truly felt or are rehearsed, but because he isn't apologizing for what the real issues are.


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  #315  
Old February 17th, 2012, 4:23 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by sparrowinwinter View Post
I don't think he had a problem with Muggle borns.
I'd say he did by his fifth year, as he uses "Mudblood".

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In his memory, when Lily asked him if it makes any difference wether you're Muggle born or not, he said it doesn't make any difference.

When he was a child, I don't think Severus had the full-formed prejudice he showed later, although he did have the seeds of it, as he did show his disdain for Muggles. It didn't have to develop into what it did, though, in my opinion, as I think that is the result of years of choices made by Severus.

I think Severus's hesitation in answering Lily about whether or not it made a difference showed that he at least thought her blood status might make a difference.

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As I have said before, I think what he did have a problem with was incompetence. As long as you were not incompetent, I don't think he cared if you were Muggle born or pure-blood. And the other way around too, Neville is a perfect example of that.
When Severus was a student, I don't think he called Lily or his fellow students "Mudblood" because he thought they were incompetent.

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I do agree with you on one point though, he definitely knew that Lily would feel very offended to be called a Mudblood, especially by someone she'd just helped. I think Severus was so enraged and humiliated and being 'rescued' by a girl, as well as being made a fool of in front of the girl he loved, did nothing but add to that humiliation. He acted like that because he was trying to prove to everyone that he could have handled the situation without Lily. That was a particularly stupid thing to do and unfortunately, it's also a very common attitude amongst teenage boys. So I think Snape acted just like most teenagers would have; I'm not trying to say it was right, but it's how I see the situation.
I think he felt humiliated because she was a Muggleborn coming to his aid, and that's why he chose a blood status slur to use against her. I think he would have used a gender specific slur if he was offended by her being a girl-- they are common enough in the Wizarding World; I believe "cow" was used several times in the series, plus there is Molly's famous line. Not that I think attacking someone because their sex is "wrong" is better than attacking someone because their blood is "wrong", but Voldemort and the Death Eaters made the world a very violent and dangerous place for those designated "Mudblood", as Lily was. I think Severus's issue with Lily was exactly what he said it was, that her status as a Muggleborn made her unworthy.

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Originally Posted by mirrormere View Post
But then there is the fact that his nickname for himself is the Half Blood Prince. If he hated Muggles and Muggle-borns so much, why would he chose that name? That doesn't make sense to me. And to actually write it in his potions book where other Slytherins might see it?
Snape wasn't Muggleborn, and He didn't call himself the Muggleborn Snape. He chose to call himself after his magical side, the Half-Blood Prince. I don't see that his nickname for himself implies any love of Muggleborns. It seems to me to be reaffirming his magical half as the important half.

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I think he went along with Slytherins and Death Eaters because he needed a sense of power, after having been so powerless as a child, and got caught up in a gang mentality.
I definitely think that was part of his mentality. I think as a child he indicated to Lily how important it was to be magically powerful, and I think before Hogwarts he could simply divide the world up into magical/non-magical when assigning value. At Hogwarts, though, everybody was magical, and the Death Eater wannabe gang probably offered the simplest delineation to again put a group on the bottom-- not because they had no magic but because they were not magical enough because their parents had no magic.

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
The point I want to make here is that I think while young Severus had a purpose to his decision to apologize to Lily and knew he had offended her strongly enough to warrant his remaining in front of the Fat Lady until she came out, I don't think he had quite formulated a working plan to the point where he could feel confident. "I'm sorry," "I didn't mean to," and a statement that might have become "It just slipped out" strike me as rather artless and revealing of just where Severus' problems lie: he is sorry he offended Lily, but misses the big picture. His apologies are inadequate, but not because they are not truly felt or are rehearsed, but because he isn't apologizing for what the real issues are.
I think Snape had figured it out by the time of his death, and that's why he chose those particular memories to give. I'm not sure exactly when he realized the "big picture", but I'd say he first got there, without really realizing it, sometime in the last few years of his life, and then started to slowly realize that his views had changed.


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  #316  
Old February 17th, 2012, 5:57 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
I'm sure I've said this before, but I don't see young Severus as the same cunning individual who later tricked Voldemort for years with not only his magic, but also remarkable control over his emotions, eloquence, and the ability to form a complex and convincing excuse when in peril. This is, after all, the young man who could barely form a sentence when James comes up in conversation, stubbornly insists he will sleep in front of the Gryffindor common room if he has to (Marauder territory, and on the same day he'd already had a particularly bad run-in with them), decides to spy on one of the most powerful wizards of all time by listening at a keyhole, and who asks Tom "Kill-the-Mudbloods" Riddle to spare Lily. From an early age, Severus shows the courage that he carries through life, but it seems to me that his real cunning only develops later on.

The point I want to make here is that I think while young Severus had a purpose to his decision to apologize to Lily and knew he had offended her strongly enough to warrant his remaining in front of the Fat Lady until she came out, I don't think he had quite formulated a working plan to the point where he could feel confident. "I'm sorry," "I didn't mean to," and a statement that might have become "It just slipped out" strike me as rather artless and revealing of just where Severus' problems lie: he is sorry he offended Lily, but misses the big picture. His apologies are inadequate, but not because they are not truly felt or are rehearsed, but because he isn't apologizing for what the real issues are.
There's about a 12 year gap between the Severus we see in SWM and the one we see as Professor Snape. They are almost two different people, as far as self-control and ability to communicate are concerned. I still don't think he had a lot of self-esteem, even as an adult, but he was able to control his emotions, and, whether people liked what he had to say or not, he was definitely able to communicate.

I've always thought the simplicity of young Severus' apology was touching and he was totally caught off guard by Lily's reaction.


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  #317  
Old February 17th, 2012, 2:10 pm
sparrowinwinter  Undisclosed.gif sparrowinwinter is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I'd say he did by his fifth year, as he uses "Mudblood".
When he was a child, I don't think Severus had the full-formed prejudice he showed later, although he did have the seeds of it, as he did show his disdain for Muggles. It didn't have to develop into what it did, though, in my opinion, as I think that is the result of years of choices made by Severus.
I think Severus's hesitation in answering Lily about whether or not it made a difference showed that he at least thought her blood status might make a difference.When Severus was a student, I don't think he called Lily or his fellow students "Mudblood" because he thought they were incompetent.
I think he felt humiliated because she was a Muggleborn coming to his aid, and that's why he chose a blood status slur to use against her. I think he would have used a gender specific slur if he was offended by her being a girl-- they are common enough in the Wizarding World; I believe "cow" was used several times in the series, plus there is Molly's famous line. Not that I think attacking someone because their sex is "wrong" is better than attacking someone because their blood is "wrong", but Voldemort and the Death Eaters made the world a very violent and dangerous place for those designated "Mudblood", as Lily was. I think Severus's issue with Lily was exactly what he said it was, that her status as a Muggleborn made her unworthy.
Well perhaps you're right. There are many possibilities though. Maybe he didn't care wether you were Muggle born or not but he just wanted to fit in with his Death Eater buddies. Or maybe he just didn't take the time to know any of the other Muggle borns and so considered them incompetent. OR he considered everyone incompetent or below him (in terms of magical abilities) and for the Muggle borns, he just had a word to show his disdain, whereas for the half-bloods or pure bloods he did not. We are not told how he treated other students so he might as well had been just as disdainful towards all of them, Muggle born or not. Whichever of these it may be, I'm quite confident he no longer had any prejudice against Muggle borns later because in his memory, when Phineas Nigellus calls Hermione 'Mudblood', he tells him off for it.


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  #318  
Old February 17th, 2012, 4:45 pm
Goddess_Clio  Female.gif Goddess_Clio is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by mirrormere View Post
But then there is the fact that his nickname for himself is the Half Blood Prince. If he hated Muggles and Muggle-borns so much, why would he chose that name? That doesn't make sense to me. And to actually write it in his potions book where other Slytherins might see it?
i'm a little confused if you're using this example in support of or to refute his belief that muggleborns were inferior.

I got the impression, as presented in the books more or less, that Snape refered to himself as the Half Blood Prince because he wanted to bolster his image of being magical, as MerryLore's quote form DH says:

DH, The Seer Overheard"Well, why not? Harry, there aren't any real princes in the Wizarding world! It's either a nickname, a made-up title somebody's given themselves, or it could be their actual name, couldn't it? No, listen! If, say, her father was a wizard whose surname was Prince, and her mother was a Muggle, then that would make her a 'half-blood prince.' "
"Yeah, very ingenious, Hermione..."
"But it would! Maybe she was proud of being half a Prince!"


While Hermione was focusing on the "Prince" part of the name I don't think she was too far off the mark; Snape was putting the part of himself that was magical on more prominent display - his mother's half - and kind of shunning his father's non-magicalness.

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I think he went along with Slytherins and Death Eaters because he needed a sense of power, after having been so powerless as a child, and got caught up in a gang mentality.
I agree in a sense; I think Snape felt put down as a child, his father, it is suggested, was abusive to his mother and possibly to Snape as well for being magical too. Out of this oppressive childhood I think Snape would have the desire to rise up and be able to squash his father, to show his father that he is no longer a threat to Snape, that Snape is more powerful than him now.

Where I deviate from your thinking or your implication (that Snape only joined the DEs out of his seduction by a gang mentality) is that I think his abusive father might have born in Snape a deep loathing for muggles. His father was a muggle and he might transplant his father's bad behavior onto muggles in general and that Lily became an exception to this rule because she was kind to him.

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
The thing is, it's not what I think that I'm trying to uncover. By "railroaded" I only meant to describe the immediate context--Lily was talking, we can assume, with some emotion, she was answering her own questions, and making (objectively radical albeit true) accusations. The question is not how you or I respond to her behavior, it's what is going through Snape's head when she's talking. As Melaszka was kind enough to remind us, this is after all not the Lily thread.
I do apologize. When faced with a wall of disagreement as was being presented to me, it simply appeared as though you all shared the same view of the matter. it was easier to refer to you as a group sharing a similar idea rather than individuals with what appeared to be views that differed very slightly.

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But Lily doesn't play along this time, because he's crossed a line. She berates him in a way that it seems she has not done before: "I've made excuses for you..." tells me that she has been biting her tongue for some time, because she wouldn't bother publicly defending Snape if she had been privately condemning him all along. I think that's evidence that this reaction is new for her, and utterly unexpected from Snape's point of view. He's stunned.
I agree that Lily's response to his apology seems to be an entirely new form of interaction between them; using two examples of Lily appearing to berate Snape to say that that classifies how they always interact is taking it too far, I think.

Quote:
Meanwhile, Snape is taking in her comments about Death Eaters and You-Know-Who. Whether he is actively involved in joining the Death Eater movement or not, he is likely either surprised that she knows so much about it, or disappointed that she so strongly detests it. (I have concluded elsewhere that Snape never really listened to her more friendly admonitions because he was just stupidly in love with her.)
I personally view his reaction as surprise that she managed to deduce what she did. I think he thought he had been keeping his plans under wraps pretty well and that he was confident that he could both continue to to travel down the path to Death Eatership and continue to be friends with Lily. I don't think there was much disappointment in discovering her feelings about the Death Eaters because I think he already knew. I think he was under the impression that he could somehow convince Mulciber, Avery and others that Lily wasn't a threat, that they should exempt her from their misdeeds against muggleborns and that if she found out to what lengths he had gone to protect her that she would in some way be greatful to him. i think Snape lived in his own little world and it all came crashing down on him when Lily became threatened by Voldemort. (I should add that this is all my own impression of Snape; that he, as a student and a young man, had sort of a skewed view of the world)

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And so, here's how I see it: He goes in there with a plan, maybe even feeling pretty confident about it, but Lily, he sees, sidesteps the issue completely. She is behaving toward him in a way he not only doesn't expect, but one which he's never experienced before. And what's more, she seems to be aware of specific issues he may have considered private, or may have cherished as impressive, and she deflates any sense of power he may have derived from them.

How should, how could he react to this, really? He's so unprepared to deal with what has happened that he may simply have had no idea how to respond.
This is a good summation of the events and Snape's possible motivations that night, but I still think his silence wasn't only due to him being caught off guard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I'd say he did by his fifth year, as he uses "Mudblood".
I wouldn't use this as the only evidence that Snape held degrating views of muggleborns; I think there is other evidence that, when gathered all together, shows that he did indeed have problems with muggleborns, or at least with muggles.

Quote:
When he was a child, I don't think Severus had the full-formed prejudice he showed later, although he did have the seeds of it, as he did show his disdain for Muggles. It didn't have to develop into what it did, though, in my opinion, as I think that is the result of years of choices made by Severus.
Snape did show a disdain for Petunia in one of the early childhood memories; "She only a muggle," said in such a way as to be somewhat scornful or contemptuous. It may not have been the kind of prejudice one can have when one is an adult and fully understands what that prejudice means but i think it shows a certain amount of learned prejudice when he was stilla young child.

Quote:
I think Severus's hesitation in answering Lily about whether or not it made a difference showed that he at least thought her blood status might make a difference.
I also think he simply didn't want to lose his only friend (as he appears to have no other friends but this is not overtly stated in the books)

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When Severus was a student, I don't think he called Lily or his fellow students "Mudblood" because he thought they were incompetent.
I agree, there are so many other nasty words to call incompetent people.

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Snape wasn't Muggleborn, and He didn't call himself the Muggleborn Snape. He chose to call himself after his magical side, the Half-Blood Prince. I don't see that his nickname for himself implies any love of Muggleborns. It seems to me to be reaffirming his magical half as the important half.
Agreed.

Quote:
I think Snape had figured it out by the time of his death, and that's why he chose those particular memories to give. I'm not sure exactly when he realized the "big picture", but I'd say he first got there, without really realizing it, sometime in the last few years of his life, and then started to slowly realize that his views had changed.
I think Snape had figured the "big picture" out long before his death - more like around the time of Lily's death and that's part of the reason he was able to make the ideological switch from Voldemort's side to Dumbledore's side.

Rather than saying he realized his views had changed in the last few years of his life I think it more like that he struggled with the ideologies that both Voldemort and Dumbledore represented for most of his life and he ended up chosing the path in his youth that was easier: the path that represented his desire to subjugate his muggle father and allowed him to give in to the easy feelings of hate. Snape seemed like a young man who carried around a lot of anger and it's a lot easier to give in to that anger than to let it go and forgive and love despite yourself. (I'm having flashes of Darth Vader - "Give in to the dark side, Luke." ) I think only after gaining more maturity in adulthood did he have the personal strength and emotional ability to embrace the more difficult path Dumbledore represented but even then he still struggled with letting his hurt and anger go, specifically the hurt and anger he held toward the marauders.


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  #319  
Old February 17th, 2012, 6:49 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
i'm a little confused if you're using this example in support of or to refute his belief that muggleborns were inferior.

I got the impression, as presented in the books more or less, that Snape refered to himself as the Half Blood Prince because he wanted to bolster his image of being magical, as MerryLore's quote form DH says:

DH, The Seer Overheard"Well, why not? Harry, there aren't any real princes in the Wizarding world! It's either a nickname, a made-up title somebody's given themselves, or it could be their actual name, couldn't it? No, listen! If, say, her father was a wizard whose surname was Prince, and her mother was a Muggle, then that would make her a 'half-blood prince.' "
"Yeah, very ingenious, Hermione..."
"But it would! Maybe she was proud of being half a Prince!"


While Hermione was focusing on the "Prince" part of the name I don't think she was too far off the mark; Snape was putting the part of himself that was magical on more prominent display - his mother's half - and kind of shunning his father's non-magicalness.
The reason I disagree with this is because of the "Half-Blood" part of the nickname. He isn't a Pure Blood, and he isn't ashamed of that, even though he's in Slytherin, where some consider blood status important. In fact, I think his nickname highlights his parentage. He isn't a full bloodied prince - only half a prince - with nothing to hide.

Quote:
I agree in a sense; I think Snape felt put down as a child, his father, it is suggested, was abusive to his mother and possibly to Snape as well for being magical too. Out of this oppressive childhood I think Snape would have the desire to rise up and be able to squash his father, to show his father that he is no longer a threat to Snape, that Snape is more powerful than him now.
I also think neglect is a form of abuse, and i see his mother as having been physically abused by her husband and her focus wrapped up in surviving the relationship, and not on her son. I think canon shows little Severus as having been the victim of that neglect. I can see him having issues with both parents.

Quote:
Where I deviate from your thinking or your implication (that Snape only joined the DEs out of his seduction by a gang mentality) is that I think his abusive father might have born in Snape a deep loathing for muggles. His father was a muggle and he might transplant his father's bad behavior onto muggles in general and that Lily became an exception to this rule because she was kind to him.
I think young Severus felt powerless at home, and saw Hogwarts as a way to make friends who knew nothing about his home life and would treat him as a fellow student, because he was intelligent and magically gifted. Instead, he ended up still feeling powerless and an outcast, and I think he decided to hang around some of the toughest guys in his own House for protection and some companionship. When Lily closed the door, he decided he may as well join the only group that appeared to want him, in the hopes of finally feeling some personal power. It wasn't until Lily's death that he began to realize that Voldemort offered nothing but death and destruction.

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I personally view his reaction as surprise that she managed to deduce what she did.
I think he was surprised as well, but I think it was more of a response to her knowing about the incident with Lupin, and her thinking he should be grateful to James for saving his life, and then realizing he was forbidden by Dumbledore to even talk about it and could not respond to her, although it was obvious someone else was talking about it to someone not directly involved, IMHO. He couldn't defend himself. And at that point I suspect he believed Lily's mind was made up. If she were being influenced about that incident and already had her mind made up, then he had no chance of persuading her about the mudblood comment.

Quote:
Snape did show a disdain for Petunia in one of the early childhood memories; "She only a muggle," said in such a way as to be somewhat scornful or contemptuous. It may not have been the kind of prejudice one can have when one is an adult and fully understands what that prejudice means but i think it shows a certain amount of learned prejudice when he was stilla young child.
I think Snape showed disdain for anyone who made him feel inferior or insulted him, regardless of blood status. Harry's "There's no need to call me Sir, Professor" remark got him detention (HBP, Chapter 9). Lily's attempt to rescue him in SWM embarrassed him, I think, which resulted in the inappropriate mudblood comment. He was a teenager, and sometimes they don't want to be rescued by the one female they have feelings for - they should be doing the rescuing, in their minds. Snape was sensitive, immature, emotional, and struck out with the word he thought would cause the most pain, because he was in a lot of emotional turmoil and pain at that moment, IMHO.


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  #320  
Old February 17th, 2012, 7:04 pm
wolfbrother  Male.gif wolfbrother is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I think he felt humiliated because she was a Muggleborn coming to his aid, and that's why he chose a blood status slur to use against her.
Actually, I think he felt humiliated because she was the girl he was in love with, who had to come and help him. Massive blow to the ego here. In that moment of sheer embarrassment and humiliation, he yelled out the worst insult he could think of.

I think, just as Lily was making excuses for Snape, Snape was making excuses for Lily to his Slytherin friends. We don't know how his relationship with them were but I don't think he had any authority. She may have been called that by his friends and I'm not sure Snape would have done too much to stop them.

There is also the issue of getting desensitized to a word when its used frequently.


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