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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6



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  #561  
Old April 7th, 2012, 4:49 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
FYI, I'm skipping over the things I know we must agree to disagree on in order to get our posts down to a somewhat more manageable length.
Excellent idea!

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People do crazy things for love, especially to keep from losing love, and I don't think it's out of the realm of possibilities that Snape was so in love with Lily that he would suffer repeated rejection on the chance he might wear her down and she'd take him back. That's not the craziest thing I've ever heard someone do for love, not even the craziest thing I've seen personally.
I just feel that he knew Lily well enough to know the way she indicated they were each to go their own ways, she was not going to forgive him. The only thing he might have done was to write her an apology note, which she may or may not have answered. I can't see him wanting to see the same look in her eyes again that he saw at the Common Room door.

We might also speculate a bit, picturing each one's Housemates congratulating them on being rid of the other one and providing "support" to try to keep them from getting back together. There was certainly no love lost between the Houses and to "win" their member back from someone in the other House might seem a bit of a victory for them, too. I think there was a lot of peer pressure on both Lily and Severus to break up and remain apart, and that didn't help things.

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Ginny's tryst with Dean Thomas was kept secret from Harry and Ron until they walked in on them kissing - and Ginny is Ron's sister. And Dean is Harry and Ron's roommate!
Fred and George knew about Dean, and had heard about several other suitors that Ginny had vying for attention by the time the Weasleys went to Diagon Alley for their school supplies. They mentioned it while Ginny was looking at the Love Potions. Harry was busy most of the time obsessing over Draco, and Ron was over Quidditch. If they didn't know about Ginny's romance it was their own lack of attention or interest until it was right in front of them.

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Omitting "other" doesn't mean she no longer considered Snape her friend. I refer to my "other friends" as simply "friends" to my best friend, but that doesn't mean my best friend isn't my friend because I didn't include the word "other." IMO, the use or omission of the word "other" is not a strong argument for Snape being cut off.
IMO, it was an indication that she considered her Housemates her friends and Severus had become an outsider. JMO.

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And why we can sit here and have circular arguments about characters.
Yep.

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Hey, JKR set that prejudice up by not giving us any "good" Slytherin students to point to in these arguments. Nothing we can do about that.
She set up the prejudice against Slytherin House from the first night at Hogwarts when Ron tells Harry that all the wizards who'd gone bad had come from Slytherin House. From there on she just iced the cake.

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IMO showing us specific memories for specific reasons is filtering, and any conclusions we draw from what she chose to show readers is our interpretation of what she has filtered. I'd also argue that she is trying to make readers feel a certain way about Snape - she's wanting readers to see that he was a good guy, his intentions where Harry was concerned were good if not misguided at times. Readers are meant to sympathize with him as a man suffering from the unrequited love of a woman he lost through his own actions and choices. That's steering a reader towards feel something she wants them to feel just like we are supposed to feel sympathy with Harry as the hero of the story, we're meant to loathe Voldemort and Bellatrix. Whether you, as the reader, feel what she is wanting you to feel is up to your interpretation of the text and your impression of the character from the previous 6 books.
Then we might as well say the whole series is "filtered" because everything was written the way the author wanted us to see things right from the beginning. IMO, the memories in TPT were used to "fill in the gaps" and to show Severus' true character, not the one that we'd seen for the previous six books.

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I'd say she showed us what she thought were the best memories to make us feel what she as the author wanted us to feel with regards to Snape's character and Harry's journey.
If those were Severus' best memories, I'd hate to see his worst ones. I think she wanted to show how he'd fallen in love with Lily and how this led to his watching over Harry for seven years. And, I continue to believe that it was to show Severus' attempt to explain his past actions to Harry and how they led to some of his recent ones. Evidently they made enough of an impact on Harry for him to name his second son after him, so Severus seems to have achieved that understanding.

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I'm not saying his feelings for Lily are unhealthy, I'm saying their relationship is unhealthy and that both of them contributed to that unhealthiness, not just Snape.
People enter into relationships for different reasons, but usually because they are seeking something from each other: love, companionship, help filling the empty spots in their lives, whatever they might be. IMO, Severus and LIly entered into their's because they were both needy. But, eventually her needs (for an introduction into the Wizarding World and understanding her abilities in magic) were met by others while Severus remained in love with her and to want and need her in his life.

Unfortunately, they grew apart because, IMO, they stopped being able to understand each other. He couldn't see why she was so worried about his interest in the Dark Arts or his choice of friends. She, on the other hand, couldn't understand that interest and had already established other friendships that provided her with the companionship that she needed. And, as faint as they might have been, I think the first stirrings of her attraction for James were beginning. Severus, with his uncouth friends, lack of personality, and "dark" interests, was becoming more and more of a negative to her and, while she may have still cared for him, I think the name-calling in SWM hurt her and made her angry enough to all her to cut the emotional bond she had with Severus.

So, I think they're friendship/relationship started out as a good thing for both of them, but became more and more one sided. Severus' remained more invested in it because of his love for her and because of his overall neediness at that time. But, I don't think it was "unhealthy" because it wasn't hurting either of them.


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  #562  
Old April 8th, 2012, 5:08 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
I don't see his not wanting her to be made a fool of by the Marauders anymore "unhealthy" than her wanting him to get away from Mulciber and Avery. Each was showing concern for the other. IMO, Severus was intelligent enough to put one and one together about Lupin's monthly disappearances and had concerns for Lily because he knew the Marauders hung out together at those times...he'd followed them. They assumed it was to get them expelled. I think it was to verify that Lupin really was a werewolf. What would he have done with that knowledge? Gone to Dumbledore? If he had, we know it would have ended there. I don't see him going over Dumbledore's head unless Dumbledore did not offer a reasonable explanation/solution.
Actually, here’s what Lupin says in PoA:
PoA"Jealous, I think, of James's talent on the Quidditch field... anyway Snape had seen me crossing the grounds with Madam Pomfrey one evening as she led me toward the Whomping Willow to transform."

So Snape had seen Lupin being led to transform by Madam Pomfrey - meaning he knew that the staff knew of Lupin’s condition. Therefore, I don’t think Snape’s further investigation into the Marauders’ monthly adventures had anything to do with concern for Lily’s safety. IMO, it was indeed simply a way to find something to get them expelled for.

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Also, I, personally, have always thought that JKR had Severus show the particular memories he did concerning his and Lily’s friendship as a sign of remorse. He showed Harry the terrible errors he’d made as a young man, and what he’d done to set them right. IMO, it was the only way he, as a dying man, had of saying “I’m sorry.” He could have won Harry’s trust just through the memories of Dumbledore. He didn’t have to show any others, the very personal ones. I think he wanted Harry to know how much he loved Lily, how sorry he was for having any part in her death, and how he had worked so hard for so long to make up for it. And, I think he wanted Harry to understand why he’d had the animosity toward him at the start, and that he couldn’t even drop it later because he had to maintain his cover. Showing such personal and painful memories would have been difficult for Severus, and I think it would have taken more than just gaining Harry’s trust for him to release them.
Here’s what Rowling has to say:
Bonus MSNBC/Web Only Interview, July 30, 2007"As we know from the epilogue, Harry really sees the good in Snape ultimately ... there's redemption," Rowling said. "I wanted there to be redemption and I wanted there to be forgiveness. And Harry forgives, even knowing that till the end Snape loathes him unjustifiably."

Seems to me like Snape’s hatred for Harry was genuine and wasn’t a cover. I think he only worked towards making sure Harry stayed alive because he didn’t want Lily to have died in vain.

There are a few more stuff mentioned in this thread that I want to discuss, but I noticed how most of them pertained to James or James/Lily. So I'm taking them to the James and James/Lily threads instead.


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  #563  
Old April 8th, 2012, 1:58 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by StarryVeil View Post
So Snape had seen Lupin being led to transform by Madam Pomfrey - meaning he knew that the staff knew of Lupin’s condition. Therefore, I don’t think Snape’s further investigation into the Marauders’ monthly adventures had anything to do with concern for Lily’s safety. IMO, it was indeed simply a way to find something to get them expelled for.
He saw Remus being moved by Madam Pompfrey. He may have had a good guess about Remus' condition, but that was all and probably wanted to get his suspicions confirmed. Since the staff knew, then it wasn't something anyone could be expelled for. From what we know later, Severus doesn't even seem to know Sirius was an animagi, and the Marauders being animagi and taking Remus out for jaunts outside the Shrieking Shack was what Sirius was afraid Severus would find out about.

My understanding is that Severus is wanting his suspicious about Remus confirmed so he can warn Lily, who hangs out with the Marauders. Sirius doesn't want Severus showing up at the wrong time and finding out their secret.

From the Feminism thread:
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Originally Posted by StarryVeil View Post
Coming to Snape, I’d just like to point out that JKR didn’t say Lily didn’t end up with him just because he was into the Dark Arts. She said that Lily “might” have fallen for him had he not been into the Dark Arts – meaning, the first and foremost obstacle was his DA obsession. Since they didn’t cross this obstacle, we don’t see the more regular personality-compatibility obstacles they would have faced. I, personally, am of the opinion that she would have continued viewing James in a romantic light and Snape in a friendly light even if Snape had shunned the Dark Arts. So, I think your concern over a girl simply not falling for an otherwise good guy because she’s not interested in him in that way can, IMO, be put to rest.
JKR said Lily "might" have, not that she "would not have." The potential was there.

I'd also like to add one more opinion from canon about Severus' feelings for Lily. Myself, i don't believe JKR had Harry speak incorrectly about Severus loving Lily from the time they were children - I think that scene with Voldemort was meant to explain Severus' character and where his loyalties were. He loved her, and the reason he was able to spy successfully against Voldemort, who did not understand love, and the reason Dumbledore believed him to be a trustworthy member of the Order, was because of that love.

And Dumbledore does call it love, and Dumbledore, unlike Harry, knew Severus from the time Severus entered Hogwarts.

HBP, The Prince's Tale “I wish … I wish I were dead. …”

“And what use would that be to anyone?” said Dumbledore coldly. “If you loved Lily Evans, if you truly loved her, then your way forward is clear.”

Snape seemed to peer through a haze of pain, and Dumbledore’s words appeared to take a long time to reach him.

“What — what do you mean?”

“You know how and why she died. Make sure it was not in vain. Help me protect Lily’s son.”

“He does not need protection. The Dark Lord has gone —”

“The Dark Lord will return, and Harry Potter will be in terrible danger when he does.”

There was a long pause, and slowly Snape regained control of himself, mastered his own breathing. At last he said, “Very well. Very well. But never — never tell, Dumbledore! This must be between us! Swear it! I cannot bear … especially Potter’s son … I want your word!”

“My word, Severus, that I shall never reveal the best of you?” Dumbledore sighed, looking down into Snape’s ferocious, anguished face. “If you insist …”


I've underlined a couple of lines. Dumbledore calls it love, and asks Severus to protect Harry because of his love for Lily. He even calls that love "the best of him." To me, I don't think Dumbledore saw his feelings for Lily as being unhealthy whatsoever, and in fact he helps Severus use them to take action to protect Harry, and those feelings are the very reason Severus didn't walk away that day and give in to despair.

People who are obsessed with someone don't devote their lives to atoning what they did. They usually just move on to the next obsession, IMHO.

All my own opinion.


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  #564  
Old April 8th, 2012, 3:26 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by StarryVeil View Post
Actually, here’s what Lupin says in PoA:
PoA"Jealous, I think, of James's talent on the Quidditch field... anyway Snape had seen me crossing the grounds with Madam Pomfrey one evening as she led me toward the Whomping Willow to transform."

So Snape had seen Lupin being led to transform by Madam Pomfrey - meaning he knew that the staff knew of Lupin’s condition. Therefore, I don’t think Snape’s further investigation into the Marauders’ monthly adventures had anything to do with concern for Lily’s safety. IMO, it was indeed simply a way to find something to get them expelled for.
I could argue that Severus might not have recognized that it was Madam Pomphrey, since it was dark. But, chances are he did. Even if he knew that Dumbledore was aware of Lupin's condition, he still knew that the Marauders sneaked out to meet him during those times. And, I think he would have had sincere concerns for Lily living in Gryffindor Tower with a werewolf.

Severus, as said earlier here, did not seem to know any of the Marauders were unregistered Animagi, so, about the best he might have thought he could do was catch them out after hours. I'm sure, if he was trying to prove Lupin was a werewolf, Severus had studied that subject thoroughly and I doubt he would have thought even the Marauders would be crazy enough to be within biting distance of a fully transformed werewolf. So, the best he might have been hoping for was to expose Lupin and get the Marauders detention for sneaking out after hours. He may have been hoping for Lupin's expulsion, which would have removed that danger from Gryffindor tower and would have deflated the image of the Marauders, since it seemed just about everyone in the Wizarding World looked down on werewolves. The rest, as they say, is history.

Quote:
Here’s what Rowling has to say:
Bonus MSNBC/Web Only Interview, July 30, 2007"As we know from the epilogue, Harry really sees the good in Snape ultimately ... there's redemption," Rowling said. "I wanted there to be redemption and I wanted there to be forgiveness. And Harry forgives, even knowing that till the end Snape loathes him unjustifiably."

Seems to me like Snape’s hatred for Harry was genuine and wasn’t a cover. I think he only worked towards making sure Harry stayed alive because he didn’t want Lily to have died in vain.
I tend to lean toward canon rather than remarks JKR makes during interviews because she seems to be fairly inconsistent in those statements. And, from my interpretation, Severus had softened his dislike of Harry. Yes, I agree there was still a residual hangover of his abhorrence of James, and Harry was James son. But, we see him change in the memories from calling him "Potter" to calling him "the boy." IMO that was when he began to separate Harry from his father and see him as a courageous young man on his own. As grudgingly as it might have been, I think Severus would have recognized that courage as he helped Harry prepare to destroy Voldemort (i.e. planting the Sword of Gryffindor, etc). He knew from Phineas Black's portrait some of what Harry and Hermione...and Ron, were going through during their travels. I don't think he and Harry would have ever been "bestest buddies," but, I think Severus had stopped thinking that Harry was a blowhard loser and realized he was a brave, loving, and determined young man who deserved his respect, at the very least. And, that is why I think he showed Harry his most personal and embarrassing memories, so that Harry would see both the "best" and the "worst" of him and understand him better. And, the only reason I can think he'd care if Harry understood him at all was as an attempt to gain Harry's forgiveness, which he did. JMO.


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  #565  
Old April 17th, 2012, 12:43 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Is it possible that Lily was Slughorn's favourite Potions student, and was so good at Potions, because the great Severus studied with her?


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Old April 17th, 2012, 12:51 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Is it possible that Lily was Slughorn's favourite Potions student, and was so good at Potions, because the great Severus studied with her?
They might have studied together but I think Lily had a natural talent for the subject. In HBP, Slughorn doesn't gush about Snape as much as he does about Lily.


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Old April 17th, 2012, 3:35 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by StarryVeil View Post
They might have studied together but I think Lily had a natural talent for the subject. In HBP, Slughorn doesn't gush about Snape as much as he does about Lily.
Perhaps that's less indicative of Snape's talent and more indicative of him not being as charming as Lily was. Snape might have had or been more talented than Lily but Lily was the one that (for lack or a better (or less creepy) word) flirted with Slughorn which may have done a lot to boost Lily above Snape in terms of "favorites."

By the by, does Slughorn ever come out and say "I prefered Lily to Snape" or "Lily was more talented than Snape"? All I can recall is him saying something to the effect of her being one of his favorite students and that doesn't necessarily mean she was also the single most talented potioneer in her class (though he does say she had a knack for potions).


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Old April 17th, 2012, 3:53 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
Perhaps that's less indicative of Snape's talent and more indicative of him not being as charming as Lily was. Snape might have had or been more talented than Lily but Lily was the one that (for lack or a better (or less creepy) word) flirted with Slughorn which may have done a lot to boost Lily above Snape in terms of "favorites."
I doubt that Lily flirted with him or tried hard to be in Slughorn's good graces in lieu of talent. As far as I remember, Slughorn remembered Lily for her cheeky answers. On the other hand, I think you may have a point about Snape not recommending himself to Slughorn on account of his outward appearance and lack of charm etc. Snape may not have got the appreciation he would have got otherwise.


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Old April 17th, 2012, 4:05 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Perhaps that's less indicative of Snape's talent and more indicative of him not being as charming as Lily was.
True. But I still think Lily was talented at Potions all by herself and not because she might have studied with Snape.


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  #570  
Old April 17th, 2012, 4:19 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by AdenM View Post
Is it possible that Lily was Slughorn's favourite Potions student, and was so good at Potions, because the great Severus studied with her?
It might have been something they were both good independently. Potions as their favorite subject could be one of the things that kept their friendship going, despite being in different houses. I think being one of Slughorn's favorites had more to do with her outgoing personality.


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Old April 17th, 2012, 5:02 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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I doubt that Lily flirted with him or tried hard to be in Slughorn's good graces in lieu of talent.
Which is where the "for lack of a better or less creepy word" statement comes into play. I don't think she flirted with him a a romantic or sexual way but, as you say below, she gave him cheeky answers and might have been playful in her responses which one could interpret as an innocent type of flirting.

Quote:
As far as I remember, Slughorn remembered Lily for her cheeky answers. On the other hand, I think you may have a point about Snape not recommending himself to Slughorn on account of his outward appearance and lack of charm etc. Snape may not have got the appreciation he would have got otherwise.
Of the two of them, I think Lily was the one dragging Snape into social encounters to a certain extent since he was so interoverted and she seemed much more of an extrovert than him. Slughorn very well could have overlooked him a little bit because he wasn't as quick witted or charming but I think his skills at potions would eventually have won the attentions of Slughorn.

And yes, I do think Lily was likely skilled at potions in her own right.


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  #572  
Old April 17th, 2012, 5:38 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

From what we're told, Lily was a very likable person and seemed to make friends easily, so I don't think she would have "flirted" with Slughorn, in the strict sense of the word. I think the combination of Lily's personality and her talent (and potentially becoming someone of influence because of that -- which Slughorn always liked to cultivate), Lily and Slughorn would have just gotten along well together. He seemed to be fairly tolerable when he wanted to be.

Severus, on the other hand, had little personality and I doubt Slughorn would have pegged him for anyone who could have been used to his advantage later on. So, I don't see him spending much effort on Severus.

IMO, Severus and Lily probably studied together in their earlier days at Hogwarts, but, as he showed more interest in the Dark Arts and she seemed to be getting more flack from her Housemate friends, I'd say that time began to wane and they studied less and less together. By their Sixth Year, after SWM, Severus is making detailed notes in his book. Of course we don't see any of his earlier Potions books so we don't know how many he made notes in, but, to me, these notes seem to indicate more that he is studying alone and is trying to make sure he remembers details. So, it doesn't seem he replaced Lily with another study partner.

I've often thought that it could have been either way -- Lily helping Severus hone his skills, or Severus helping Lily hone her's. Or, it may have just been that both were equally talented and it was just the combination of the two that led to them each becoming very good at the subject. I'm more inclined to believe it was the last, that they each were talented and that putting their heads together brought out each other's talents...that they kind of challenged each other, in a friendly manner, to be better and better.


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  #573  
Old April 17th, 2012, 6:10 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Slughorn was quite mistaken in his judgement that Harry was a natural at potions. And since we are shown that Harry's "talent" was actually due to Snape's ability, there is at least an equal chance that Lily benefitted significantly from Severus' tutelage. It is quite likely Slughorn was as clueless to her success as he was to Harry's.


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  #574  
Old April 17th, 2012, 7:36 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

That Slughorn was clueless...can we say "Tom Riddle"???...almost goes without saying. So, that is a feasible theory. Sluggy probably wouldn't have been able to tell the difference and, Lily being the more amiable of the two, he'd probably be more likely to gravitate to her rather than Severus. He did mention later that Severus was one of his best students, but he never indicated that he was one of his favorites, IMO.


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  #575  
Old April 17th, 2012, 9:30 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
Slughorn was quite mistaken in his judgement that Harry was a natural at potions. And since we are shown that Harry's "talent" was actually due to Snape's ability, there is at least an equal chance that Lily benefitted significantly from Severus' tutelage. It is quite likely Slughorn was as clueless to her success as he was to Harry's.
Saying Harry "inherited" a talent like potioneering from his mother who died when he was a year old is stretching it to me. It's like saying I should be great at fixing up cars because my dad is. And my grandpa is. And my great grandpa is, too. Potioneering, like fixing cars, isn't an inherited trait one passes on to one's child. One could have a prexisting apptitude for that type of learning or subject matter but saying Harry was good at potions or not good at potions based on whether his dead mother was good at potions or not good at potions is going to far. It's like saying Harry was a good flier because James was a good flier. Or that Harry should be a dab-hand at learning to become an animagi because his father accomplished it when he was so young. What's being left out is the time and effort that Lily would have put in to building her abilities at potions and James's hard work and dedication in wanting to become an animagi and maybe Harry just had an aptitude for flying. Harry never shows this kind of will to apply himself to schoolwork. With the exception of the Dark Arts he tends to do the absolute minimum he needs to do to get by.

Now if Lily had raised Harry to the point of him going off to Hogwarts she would have had time to tutor him in potioneering so any innate talent he seemed to have would have been learned from his mother.

I think it likely that Snape and Lily arrived at Hogwarts and found they each had a talent in potions. It's not said that either was an immediate genius in the subject like they walked into their first year class and started brewing potions from the seventh year book perfectly. I'm sure, on both parts, there was a lot of effort and work put into learning that subject and mastering it like they did and they had seven years to master it. Snape, clearly, was getting really good at it by his sixth year.

(Sorry for the slightly OT rant, I tried to bring it around to Snape at the end here...)


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Last edited by Goddess_Clio; April 18th, 2012 at 12:26 am.
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  #576  
Old April 17th, 2012, 10:13 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
That Slughorn was clueless...can we say "Tom Riddle"???...almost goes without saying. So, that is a feasible theory. Sluggy probably wouldn't have been able to tell the difference and, Lily being the more amiable of the two, he'd probably be more likely to gravitate to her rather than Severus. He did mention later that Severus was one of his best students, but he never indicated that he was one of his favorites, IMO.
If Lily was merely benefitting from Snape's talents, Slughorn would have noticed an immediate downfall in her abilities come 6th year. Considering 6th and 7th were the NEWT years and the classes were smaller, enabling a closer attention to each student, I think it's unlikely that Lily's abilities had much to do with Snape. Slughorn would have caught on. I think it makes more sense if Lily was talented on her own, and it was something she had in common with Snape (as they didn't seem to have much else in common).


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  #577  
Old April 18th, 2012, 2:02 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
That Slughorn was clueless...can we say "Tom Riddle"???...almost goes without saying. So, that is a feasible theory. Sluggy probably wouldn't have been able to tell the difference and, Lily being the more amiable of the two, he'd probably be more likely to gravitate to her rather than Severus. He did mention later that Severus was one of his best students, but he never indicated that he was one of his favorites, IMO.
Though I think Snape might have been in the Slug Club. He was at Slughorn's Christmas party--an alumnis, perhaps. Of course, Trelawney was there too. Doesn't mention any of the other teachers as present.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
Saying Harry "inherited" a talent like potioneering from his mother who died when he was a year old is stretching it to me. It's like saying I should be great at fixing up cars because my dad is, and my grandpa and my great grandpa is, too. Potioneering, like fixing cars, isn't an inherited trait one passes on to one's child. One could have a prexisting apptitude for that type of learning or subject matter but saying Harry was good at potions or not good at potions based on whether his dead mother was good at potions or not good at potions is going to far.
Genes are funny things. Although Harry couldn't have genetically known the recipes for the potions, potential for the intelligence, attention to detail and patience for potion-making definitely could have been inherited, if Lily actually possessed such traits. We breed dogs and horses for specific jobs--sheep herding and cutting cows for instance. Although the animal will still need training to properly execute such tasks, the instinct for doing them is bred into the animal. I've seen this first hand while training a filly that had been bred from a line of cow horses. Every other horse in the stable shied at the cows in the adjoining pasture. She was fascinated by them.

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Originally Posted by LilyDreamsOn View Post
If Lily was merely benefitting from Snape's talents, Slughorn would have noticed an immediate downfall in her abilities come 6th year. Considering 6th and 7th were the NEWT years and the classes were smaller, enabling a closer attention to each student, I think it's unlikely that Lily's abilities had much to do with Snape. Slughorn would have caught on. I think it makes more sense if Lily was talented on her own, and it was something she had in common with Snape (as they didn't seem to have much else in common).
I'm not saying Lily was benefitting from her association with Severus in the same way that Harry was. Harry was just using Snape's (much improved) notes--essentially copying another's work. Lily seemed a much more conscientious student than her son and I think she would have wanted to understand the concepts. Lily was a very bright and talented witch and did not appear to be a slacker when it came to her studies.

However, Severus was exceptional. He is the only professor we ever see capable of teaching two subjects at Hogwarts and could do so at a very young age--at 21. His knowledge of the healing arts surpassed that of Pomfrey and Dumbledore himself. While at school, not only was he improving upon the techniques in his advanced Potions book, he was also inventing completely new spells--a feat we are never shown other students (and few wizards for that matter) attempting. And he was a better Occlumens (also at 21) than Voldemort was a Legilimens (after 50+ years.)

I think Lily learned quite a bit from Severus, conceptually as well as actual techniques. Slughorn would not have seen much change in her abilities after their breakup. And we don't know for certain that she even continued in Potions after her O.W.L.'s, do we?


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  #578  
Old April 18th, 2012, 9:32 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by mirrormere View Post
Though I think Snape might have been in the Slug Club. He was at Slughorn's Christmas party--an alumnis, perhaps. Of course, Trelawney was there too. Doesn't mention any of the other teachers as present.
Interesting that you point out that the only teachers mentioned at Slughorn's Christmas party are Snape and Trelawney. Trelawney was the great-great-grandaughter of Cassandra Trelawney who was a celebrated seer, and so might have been in the Slug Club because of her family connections. Afterall, Slughorn invited Marcus Belby into the Slug Club purely on the basis of family connections. So I think it is indeed probable that Trelawney was an alumni of the Slug Club.

Bringing this back to Snape,I do think that he was probably a member also. Slughorn seemed to rate Snape's abilities very highly.
"...never had a student produce a finer potion on a first attempt, I don't think even you Severus-"(HBP, The Unbreakable Vow)

This comment makes me think that Slughorn saw potential in Snape as a student, possibly in inventing new potions. And if Lily was a member, I think Snape would have accepted the offer of joining the Slug Club.


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  #579  
Old April 18th, 2012, 3:46 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
Genes are funny things. Although Harry couldn't have genetically known the recipes for the potions, potential for the intelligence, attention to detail and patience for potion-making definitely could have been inherited, if Lily actually possessed such traits. We breed dogs and horses for specific jobs--sheep herding and cutting cows for instance. Although the animal will still need training to properly execute such tasks, the instinct for doing them is bred into the animal. I've seen this first hand while training a filly that had been bred from a line of cow horses. Every other horse in the stable shied at the cows in the adjoining pasture. She was fascinated by them.
I absolutely agree with your statement of inheriting potential for intelligence, attention to detail and/or patience (in my reply I called this a prexisting apptitude for that type of learning or subject matter which to me is just a more general way of saying what you said above) but I absolutely disagree with the implication that Harry was good at potions specifically because Lily was good at potions specifically. After all, the attention to detail, patience and potential for intelligence could be applied to any subject, or, indeed, no subject at all but instead applied to his extracurricular meddling and his "saving people thing." For instance, using the car example, I could have inherited an innate ability to work with my hands which could lend itself to activities such as car building (the implication being then that I inherited my ability to work on cars from my father which wouldn't be true) or my ability to work with my hands could be applied to building furniture, computers, houses etc. IMO, it's the trait such as potential for intelligence or working with your hands that one inherits and whether one goes into the same field as the person that trait is inherited from is less up to happenstance and "because my mom did it/was good at it" and more up to the direct influence of that parent recognizing a similar ability and steering the child toward a field where that ability is highly prized or put to good use. Harry never had that.

Quote:
However, Severus was exceptional. He is the only professor we ever see capable of teaching two subjects at Hogwarts and could do so at a very young age--at 21. His knowledge of the healing arts surpassed that of Pomfrey and Dumbledore himself. While at school, not only was he improving upon the techniques in his advanced Potions book, he was also inventing completely new spells--a feat we are never shown other students (and few wizards for that matter) attempting. And he was a better Occlumens (also at 21) than Voldemort was a Legilimens (after 50+ years.)

I think Lily learned quite a bit from Severus, conceptually as well as actual techniques. Slughorn would not have seen much change in her abilities after their breakup. And we don't know for certain that she even continued in Potions after her O.W.L.'s, do we?
We're also led to believe that Lily herself was above average and to be fair we don't know whether her intelligence or abilities were above, below or on par with Snape's. I agree that Snape was exceptionally intelligent but we have no reason to believe Lily was not also exceptionally intelligent. Hopefully we will find out more about them through Pottermore.


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  #580  
Old April 18th, 2012, 6:54 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Folks, you need to make sure that this focus of this thread remains on Snape, both Lily and Harry have their own threads. Whilst it is fine to mention their characters, they mustn't take over the discussion.


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