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Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8



View Poll Results: Snape's main feeling for James would be...
Loathing 25 15.53%
Contempt 16 9.94%
Envy 27 16.77%
Hatred 17 10.56%
Jealousy 59 36.65%
Regret 0 0%
You're evil for restricting the options and not even putting up my favourite. 17 10.56%
Voters: 161. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #1221  
Old August 12th, 2008, 2:53 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by flimseycauldron View Post
Perhaps you misunderstood? Or I am a hopless writer? At any rate I believe if he could have made friend with the Marauders it would have been as James/Sirius/Lupin equal and would have been yet another "friend" for Peter to fawn over, which I expect, Snape would have liked...
No I must have misread your post, sorry - blame it on posting while doing other things simultaneously. Indeed yes, Peter would have been "underneath" Snape, as it were, in a hypothetical friendship.

Totally different topic on the subject of hypotheticals: Snape's early life must have had a big influence on his behavior as a child and as a young man. How do you think Snape would have been different if he'd had a loving family environment? Do you still think he would have been so interested in the Dark Arts? Would he still have joined the Death Eaters?


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  #1222  
Old August 12th, 2008, 3:16 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by RemusLupinFan View Post
No I must have misread your post, sorry - blame it on posting while doing other things simultaneously. Indeed yes, Peter would have been "underneath" Snape, as it were, in a hypothetical friendship.

Totally different topic on the subject of hypotheticals: Snape's early life must have had a big influence on his behavior as a child and as a young man. How do you think Snape would have been different if he'd had a loving family environment? Do you still think he would have been so interested in the Dark Arts? Would he still have joined the Death Eaters?
It would still depend on the belief of his parent I would think. Draco was from a loving and even wealthy family and he remained true to Lucius and Narcissa's views. So if his mum was into the dark arts then likely she would pass her views on. But we don't know if that was the case - it may be that Snape simply came across the information himself and was fascinated with it. That too could remain the case independent of his having a loving family or not. Finally, if his parents had been against the dark arts and worked to instil those values in him, perhaps he would have not been so interested in the dark arts.


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  #1223  
Old August 12th, 2008, 7:38 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I would respectfully disagree. Remus loved pranks and pranking - he said as much in POA - he even behaved mischievously as an adult before the students with Peeves and was on the detention cards for pranking as well. He also said he disliked Snape - of his own accord, not because his friends disliked him in POA. Remus would not have (and didn't) pick on Snape 'hex war' style, but that doesn't mean he'd of gotten along with him any better than his friends, imo.
Perhaps! But seeing his non-participation in the SWM and the frown that was on his face as events unfolded, I would say that Remus knew his limits and would not cross them. I also think he is very intelligent and there is a possibility he might have got along with Snape.

Quote:
Snape liked pranks; he found whatever dark magic Avery did to Mary 'just a laugh' and he also created levicorpus and jelly leg jinx spells; both of which were pranking spells and the former became extremely popular as one.
His comment about Avery and Mulciber's pranks was more to close the topic than anything else IMO. Snape was NOT part of that prank; Avery and Mulciber were the ones who made fun of Mary, not Snape, and he was hanging out with them at time and I don't think he could control their actions.

Yes Snape created some awesome spells. But that was because he was brilliant enough to do so IMO.

Quote:
In the reality of HP Universe as it went, the Marauders would no more befriend Snape and his friends than Harry would befriend Draco and his friends.
I agree with this. I also don't think Snape would like James and Sirius to be friends with them. Remus I am not sure; I think would they could be friends. Peter, I think would receive only Snape's contempt.

Quote:
JKR said that Snape wanted Lily and Mulciber too as friends. But in the end, he stuck with Mulciber (and the rest of his friends) - and apparently never changed his mind. In my view, that speaks more to what Snape really wanted deep down inside than anything else. That factor seems to get overlooked quite often in discussions, imo. Snape did have a choice, and he made it.
I don't think Snape stuck with Avery and Mulciber; I think it was more of Lily not wanting to be with Snape. It was she who broke off.

I don't think Lily gave him a choice; she gave him her decision and that was it IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flimseycauldron View Post
IF Snape would have gotten on with the Marauders it would have been Pettigrew. Little Petey was a follower and a hanger on. Snape, with his need to feel powerful and liked, would have lapped up any attention that Peter was willing to give him. I feel that he would have been no different than James and Sirius in that respect.
This was exactly what I though James and Sirius did; they lapped up the attention, were casually cruel to Peter, and never understood Peter and nor did they see through him. They thought him a "weak, talentless thing" and that was it.

I think Snape is a lot shrewder, I don't think he would get taken in by Peter's falseness.


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  #1224  
Old August 12th, 2008, 9:06 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by flimseycauldron View Post
IF Snape would have gotten on with the Marauders it would have been Pettigrew. Little Petey was a follower and a hanger on. Snape, with his need to feel powerful and liked, would have lapped up any attention that Peter was willing to give him. I feel that he would have been no different than James and Sirius in that respect.
I disagree because this this view does not fit in with my interpretation of Snape's character at all. After reading the books I had an impression that Snape is a person who despises weakness and has little to no tolerance of the people whom he considers weak-willed and spineless. In fact, he very often goes overboard with his hatred of weakness (his treatment of Neville, for example). I believe Snape would not have an ounce of respect towards Peter for this reason (not to mention that Peter is desribed as talentless and not particularly intelligent, which would also have been a factor). Snape is no idiot, he'd have understood that the attention and adoration of such "useless" (in his opinion) people as Peter would not do him any credit. He'd want to be liked and respected by someone whom he in is turn respects and likes, IMO. I'm sure that any attempts of Peter to sing praises to Snape would have been rebuffed, and cruelly. He never needed adoring fans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
It would still depend on the belief of his parent I would think. Draco was from a loving and even wealthy family and he remained true to Lucius and Narcissa's views. So if his mum was into the dark arts then likely she would pass her views on. But we don't know if that was the case - it may be that Snape simply came across the information himself and was fascinated with it. That too could remain the case independent of his having a loving family or not. Finally, if his parents had been against the dark arts and worked to instil those values in him, perhaps he would have not been so interested in the dark arts.
This is my view as well, although I seriously doubt that Snape's mother would have encouraged his anti-Muggle bias and interest in the Dark Arts if her marriage with Tobias had been happy.
Also, I believe that if Snape had come from a loving family, he would have been less dependent on Lily and his Housemates. He'd have probably been a bit more sociable and friendly and not as eager to belong to any group ready to accept him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Siriusly_Green_Woods View Post
Yes Snape created some awesome spells. But that was because he was brilliant enough to do so IMO.

But I do agree that Snape was a bit of a prankster deep inside.

Quote:
This was exactly what I though James and Sirius did; they lapped up the attention, were casually cruel to Peter, and never understood Peter and nor did they see through him. They thought him a "weak, talentless thing" and that was it.

I think Snape is a lot shrewder, I don't think he would get taken in by Peter's falseness.


  #1225  
Old August 12th, 2008, 9:18 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

I like your new name TSGW!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Siriusly_Green_Woods View Post
Perhaps! But seeing his non-participation in the SWM and the frown that was on his face as events unfolded, I would say that Remus knew his limits and would not cross them. I also think he is very intelligent and there is a possibility he might have got along with Snape.
Yes that is what I said - Remus had limits. I don't see why Remus or anyone else wouldn't get along with Snape, if he hadn't been in Slytherin and allied with the dark arts gang and acts. That was what separated him, imo.

Quote:
His comment about Avery and Mulciber's pranks was more to close the topic than anything else IMO. Snape was NOT part of that prank; Avery and Mulciber were the ones who made fun of Mary, not Snape, and he was hanging out with them at time and I don't think he could control their actions.
Imo, Snape didn't even try; he thought it was just a laugh. Remus did say something at least which made his friends feel bad at times and he didn't cheer them on with the crowd either (OOTP). That I feel is the distinction.

Quote:
I don't think Lily gave him a choice; she gave him her decision and that was it IMO.
Snape I feel saw a choice; I feel he saw choices all along from when he began Hogwarts. He chose to be in Slytherin and achieved that (DH TPT) and then chose to make friends there as well as keep his friendship with Lily. He then chose how he would behave toward other students and in terms of forwarding his fascination with the dark arts. Finally, I think he understood that if he changed, Lily might lighten her attitude toward him - why wouldn't she? But he chose not to change and so I feel Snape simply made a series of poor choices, culminating in his joining and participating with the Death Eaters.

Quote:
I think Snape is a lot shrewder, I don't think he would get taken in by Peter's falseness.
It is all relative and looking at the big picture, I feel the point does not stand. Peter was their mate - he turned false later. Siimilarly, Snape was taken in by Voldemort's vision where James and Sirius were not which would show they were shrewder. But Snape didn't view it the same way they did. Snape also lost his friend Lily, where James didn't and turned it into soemthing more; we could say James was thus, shrewder. However, in my view, these types of things do not come down to shrewdness; but more where a person is at and how they view things based on their values and ideologies at the time.


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; August 12th, 2008 at 9:32 am.
  #1226  
Old August 12th, 2008, 10:46 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Siriusly_Green_Woods View Post
Perhaps! But seeing his non-participation in the SWM and the frown that was on his face as events unfolded, I would say that Remus knew his limits and would not cross them. I also think he is very intelligent and there is a possibility he might have got along with Snape.
Very interesting to speculate on! I have always maintained that Remus was the only Marauder who ever showed anything like consistent fairness and even compassion towards Severus, and my opinion on that subject has not changed. In another universe, it is just possible these two might have got along and found a lot in common with each other: they were both intelligent, bookish and socially awkward outsiders. I don't mean that Remus was socially awkward so much as his condition made him so ... it certainly made him an outsider. Severus is socially awkward, from the get-go.

Quote:
His comment about Avery and Mulciber's pranks was more to close the topic than anything else IMO. Snape was NOT part of that prank; Avery and Mulciber were the ones who made fun of Mary, not Snape, and he was hanging out with them at time and I don't think he could control their actions.
So why didn't he distance himself more from them, then? Their actions seem a bit more serious than merely 'making fun of' Mary: although we don't know what they did to her, Lily calls their actions 'evil', which is a very strong word, and unfortunately Severus just laughs it off.

Quote:
I don't think Snape stuck with Avery and Mulciber; I think it was more of Lily not wanting to be with Snape. It was she who broke off.

I don't think Lily gave him a choice; she gave him her decision and that was it IMO.
I disagree with this, as you know. The ending of that friendship was not solely down to Lily. Severus had some serious life-choices to make here: I do not see Lily as solely responsible.

Quote:
I think Snape is a lot shrewder, I don't think he would get taken in by Peter's falseness.
I agree 100% with this. Severus the adult does not suffer fools gladly -- as, um, we see in canon -- and Severus the teenager would have got Peter's number straight away, I'm sure.


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  #1227  
Old August 12th, 2008, 11:27 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raelis View Post

But I do agree that Snape was a bit of a prankster deep inside.
I agree; I only feel that he was not a prankster the way Marauders defined the word.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I like your new name TSGW!
I did not see this and I'm ignoring this.

Quote:
It is all relative and looking at the big picture, I feel the point does not stand. Peter was their mate - he turned false later.
There is a big difference between Peter and Snape. Peter was a betrayer. Snape was not. He made wrong choices, was foolish enough to think Voldmeort was the answer to his problems, but surely he was not a traitor; never IMO.

For Lily, he took care of Harry, for Narcissa, he looked after Draco and so on. I don't think Peter would have done what Snape did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
So why didn't he distance himself more from them, then?
Because I think he made a very wrong choice, probably influenced by the sheer lack of so many things in his life. While he was wrong to, I think he was swayed by the other pure bloods in Slytherin who came from very old families and who joined Voldemort.

While it is no excuse, really, I personally think it is understandable.

Quote:
Their actions seem a bit more serious than merely 'making fun of' Mary: although we don't know what they did to her, Lily calls their actions 'evil', which is a very strong word, and unfortunately Severus just laughs it of
That IMO is debatable. While Lily called their actions "Evil", I think Snape would have called the actions of James and Sirius at the SWM as also "Evil" IMO. So it is more of an opinion than anything else I feel.

Quote:
I disagree with this, as you know. The ending of that friendship was not solely down to Lily. Severus had some serious life-choices to make here: I do not see Lily as solely responsible.
The friends may have grown apart because of both of them (Though I don't think so) it was Lily who chose to break it off when she did; Snape wanted the friendship and more, but Lily did not, that was why I said she chose to break it off.


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Spotlight on Snape and Molly

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  #1228  
Old August 12th, 2008, 12:15 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Siriusly_Green_Woods View Post
There is a big difference between Peter and Snape. Peter was a betrayer. Snape was not. He made wrong choices, was foolish enough to think Voldmeort was the answer to his problems, but surely he was not a traitor; never IMO.
I am not certain why are you comparing Snape and Peter? I see a lot of difference between them as well except that they were both insecure and vulnerable according to JKR.

We were talking about Snape's shrewdness in comparison to James and Sirius. I was merely pointing out that people respond differently to different situations and that in my opinion, shrewdness was not a factor in what you are talking about.

As an aside based on a point about Snape you brought up, in canon, Snape was a betrayer; he betrayed Voldemort and all of the DEs. So I am not certain why you say he was not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
I agree 100% with this. Severus the adult does not suffer fools gladly -- as, um, we see in canon -- and Severus the teenager would have got Peter's number straight away, I'm sure.
I am not certain what you mean. JKR indicated that Peter was a fallen hero (due to his betrayal). I feel that means that he was actually a good sider at first and fell to the bad side. I also feel that means that when he cultivated a friendship with the Marauders he was not a "hidden" budding Death Eater. So I am not sure what it is about Peter that Snape could have "gotten" that others did not. Could you clarify?

Reference:

CNN/Time Interview 2007
"That's how I always planned it, from when the first book was finished... There were four heroes as it were in the previous generation and one of them betrayed the others, and then there were the three. ... (emphasis added)


Additionally, Peter fooled Snape along with everyone else into believing Sirius was the spy (despite the closeness of James and Sirius and despite the fact that Sirius had no trial). Sirius also did not 'suffer' Peter's foolish behavior glady. However, I would respectfully disagree that Peter was a fool just because his behavior was foolish at times. So I am not sure what you are referring to.


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; August 12th, 2008 at 12:51 pm.
  #1229  
Old August 12th, 2008, 12:28 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Siriusly_Green_Woods View Post
That IMO is debatable. While Lily called their actions "Evil", I think Snape would have called the actions of James and Sirius at the SWM as also "Evil" IMO.
Teenage Snape might well have done, but that doesn't mean I, as the reader, have to necessarily accept his judgement about it. I am not convinced that adult Snape would have looked back and called his two great nemeses 'evil' either: I happen to think more highly of his intelligence than that. As much as he detested James and Sirius, and hung onto an ancient grudge, I think the memories that Snape gave to Harry revealed that he didn't actually think either James or Sirius were downright evil ... apart from anything else, the memories show his own culpability in the werewolf incident. It wasn't all Sirius's fault.

Personally I find the behaviour of James and Sirius very wrong in SWM: but there is no way I would call what they did to Severus 'evil'. It was nasty and mean-spirited, sure. But 'evil' is a very loaded term, saved for true atrocities.

When Lily uses the term 'evil' in relation to Avery and Mulciber, she must have a reason to do so. Maybe because they belonged to a group that believed in targetting and persecuting Muggleborns like herself.

I think that's the big difference, and I think JKR intends us to see it that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I am not certain what you mean. JKR indicated that Peter was a fallen hero (due to his betrayal). I feel that means that he was actually a good sider at first and fell to the bad side. I also feel that means that when he cultivated a friendship with the Marauders he was not a "hidden" budding Death Eater. So I am not sure what it is about Peter that Snape could have "gotten" that others did not. Could you clarify?

Reference:

CNN/Time Interview 2007
"That's how I always planned it, from when the first book was finished... There were four heroes as it were in the previous generation and one of them betrayed the others, and then there were the three. ... (emphasis added)
I had no idea that JKR saw Peter as a 'fallen hero'. It's certainly not the way I see him, or the way I believe he is portrayed in the text.

As for Severus being able to see through him, well, that is purely my perception of Snape's character. Severus doesn't strike me as being the sort of person who is impressed by people who suck up to others.

Of course, I know that Draco sucked up to him something rotten, and Snape indulged it, but I always felt that was something of a show. He had to be seen favouring Lucius Malfoy's son, because of his position as double agent.


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Last edited by Pearl_Took; August 12th, 2008 at 12:34 pm.
  #1230  
Old August 12th, 2008, 12:49 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
I had no idea that JKR saw Peter as a 'fallen hero'. It's certainly not the way I see him, or the way I believe he is portrayed in the text.
Me either until I read it. But the canon doesn't contradict the idea, although fans have! . We don't know anything at all about what Peter did prior to his betrayal in the canon, but apparently JKR had ideas about that.

Quote:
As for Severus being able to see through him, well, that is purely my perception of Snape's character. Severus doesn't strike me as being the sort of person who is impressed by people who suck up to others.
Sirius didn't seem at all impressed in SWM - did you think so? I think James didn't mind it simply because it added to his "show" for Lily. But he too didn't suffer foolishness gladly as we saw in his remark to Peter after their OWL exam. I do think that the three Marauders were less tolerant of Peter, but I think they counted him as a good friend nonetheless. After all, one does not drop friends due to their flaws since everyone has them. . That Snape may have responded similarly to Sirius (speaking his displeasure) might be true - I really couldn't speculate on that. But I don't feel that any of the three were impressed with Peter in that scene, but I would agree that James and Remus were more tolerant of him for their own reasons.


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; August 12th, 2008 at 12:59 pm.
  #1231  
Old August 12th, 2008, 1:02 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Siriusly_Green_Woods View Post
There is a big difference between Peter and Snape. Peter was a betrayer. Snape was not. He made wrong choices, was foolish enough to think Voldmeort was the answer to his problems, but surely he was not a traitor; never IMO.
I think that Snape did betray Voldemort and was a traitor to the DE cause. He took valuable information straight to their enemy and helped bring about their defeat. I think that it is a good thing he did that, but I do believe that he is capable of selling out the people who trusted him and betraying the cause. Traitors don't just betray the "good" side (and frequently, the "good" side in a war is open to debate (not here, though)).

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Siriusly_Green_Woods View Post
For Lily, he took care of Harry, for Narcissa, he looked after Draco and so on. I don't think Peter would have done what Snape did.
I agree that Peter would not have done what Snape did for Lily. I'm not sure that Snape did anything for Narcissa, though. I think that if Narcissa asked him to do something contrary to the main Lily-related-plan, Narcissa would have been out of luck. I'm not sure on the timeline, though, so I can't be completely sure. I'm just confused as to why Snape would do anything for Narcissa. What is she to him that he would risk fowling up the plan he's been working on for the past 15 or so years? What if Draco's job was to kill Harry? Would Snape have agreed to do that? I'm not sure. I think that he could have fobbed off her pleas by simply refusing to disobey "the Dark Lord". I think Narcissa's request just happened to very neatly fit the pre-existing plan for Snape to kill Dumbledore. If Snape did agree to kill Dumbledore with no pre-existing plan to do so, I think that completely changes Snape. Snape would then have agreed to kill his trusted co-conspirator and could have badly damaged the anti-Voldemort cause (in my opinion). I thought Snape was pretty dedicated to that cause and wouldn't betray it. He took an Unbreakable Vow and I think he knew what it meant. The death of either Dumbledore or Snape would have hindered the anti-Voldemort cause greatly if it wasn't part of the plan. Unless Snape didn't know what Draco's job was and the he was agreeing to do almost anything which could have been even worse.


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Last edited by wingardium713; August 12th, 2008 at 1:11 pm.
  #1232  
Old August 12th, 2008, 1:23 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
Sirius didn't seem at all impressed in SWM - did you think so?
Ah, no, I don't. At all. Good catch.

Quote:
I think James didn't mind it simply because it added to his "show" for Lily. But he too didn't suffer foolishness gladly as we saw in his remark to Peter after their OWL exam. I do think that the three Marauders were less tolerant of Peter, but I think they counted him as a good friend nonetheless. After all, one does not drop friends due to their flaws since everyone has them. . That Snape may have responded similarly to Sirius (speaking his displeasure) might be true - I really couldn't speculate on that. But I don't feel that any of the three were impressed with Peter in that scene, but I would agree that James and Remus were more tolerant of him for their own reasons.
I agree with all of that. But this is turning into a Marauders discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingardium713 View Post
I think that Snape did betray Voldemort and was a traitor to the DE cause. He took valuable information straight to their enemy and helped bring about their defeat. I think that it is a good thing he did that, but I do believe that he is capable of selling out the people who trusted him and betraying the cause. Traitors don't just betray the "good" side (and frequently, the "good" side in a war is open to debate (not here, though)).
Very perceptive, and very true. Snape is consistently portrayed in canon as having a dark side ... I love the character no less for it, of course. But, yep, it is that dark side that helps him to be such a very effective double agent for Dumbledore. A spy is a betrayer: it is difficult to imagine a more morally ambivalent profession than being a spy.

Obviously Snape's betrayal of Voldemort is infinitely preferable to Peter's horrible betrayal of James and Lily! Betraying Voldemort was the right thing to do. But not a nice thing to do. And Severus Snape was the right man for the job, given his history and his constitution. If anyone could juggle that moral ambivalence for 16 years, without a qualm, then he could.

Quote:
I agree that Peter would not have done what Snape did for Lily. I'm not sure that Snape did anything for Narcissa, though. I think that if Narcissa asked him to do something contrary to the main Lily-related-plan, Narcissa would have been out of luck. I'm not sure on the timeline, though, so I can't be completely sure. I'm just confused as to why Snape would do anything for Narcissa. What is she to him that he would risk fowling up the plan he's been working on for the past 15 or so years? What if Draco's job was to kill Harry? Would Snape have agreed to do that? I'm not sure. I think that he could have fobbed off her pleas by simply refusing to disobey "the Dark Lord". I think Narcissa's request just happened to very neatly fit the pre-existing plan for Snape to kill Dumbledore. If Snape did agree to kill Dumbledore with no pre-existing plan to do so, I think that completely changes Snape. Snape would then have agreed to kill his trusted co-conspirator and could have badly damaged the anti-Voldemort cause (in my opinion). I thought Snape was pretty dedicated to that cause and wouldn't betray it. He took an Unbreakable Vow and I think he knew what it meant. The death of either Dumbledore or Snape would have hindered the anti-Voldemort cause greatly if it wasn't part of the plan. Unless Snape didn't know what Draco's job was and the he was agreeing to do almost anything which could have been even worse.
Great post. You know, that's a very interesting question ... why does Snape risk so much for the Malfoys? I agree with you completely: I believe he only agreed to the Unbreakable Vow because it fitted in with Albus's plans for Snape to kill him anyway.

When I read that bit in HBP for the first time, I had a gut-feeling that Snape knew that he was signing his own death warrant. It was clear there was no way back. He would play this bitter game right through to the bitter end.


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  #1233  
Old August 12th, 2008, 1:42 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by wingardium713 View Post
If Snape did agree to kill Dumbledore with no pre-existing plan to do so, I think that completely changes Snape. Snape would then have agreed to kill his trusted co-conspirator and could have badly damaged the anti-Voldemort cause (in my opinion).
Snape was definitely working with the knowledge of the pre-existing plan because he spoke about Dumbledore's injury in his conversation with Narcissa. So Snape knew he was agreeing to do what he'd already promised Dumbledore he would do. The only tricky part would be if Dumbledore changed his mind. . But there was little chance of that happening because Dumbledore was going to die one way or the other anyway and Snape, I feel, realized that his killing Dumbledore was part of the overall greater good plan.

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
Great post. You know, that's a very interesting question ... why does Snape risk so much for the Malfoys? I agree with you completely: I believe he only agreed to the Unbreakable Vow because it fitted in with Albus's plans for Snape to kill him anyway.
Well my impression was that Snape really had been friends with Lucius - outside of Death Eater considerations. Narcissa said as much and I think that Snape's sympathetic behavior toward Draco reflected that as well. Narcissa never became a Death Eater, Draco was a poor example of one and Lucius was much more interested in self-advancement and his family than being a Death Eater - it seemed to be more of a means to an end for him. Perhaps Snape recognized those things.


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  #1234  
Old August 12th, 2008, 2:59 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
apart from anything else, the memories show his own culpability in the werewolf incident. It wasn't all Sirius's fault.
Where was this? I don't recall the memories showing that.

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
Personally I find the behaviour of James and Sirius very wrong in SWM: but there is no way I would call what they did to Severus 'evil'. It was nasty and mean-spirited, sure. But 'evil' is a very loaded term, saved for true atrocities.

When Lily uses the term 'evil' in relation to Avery and Mulciber, she must have a reason to do so. Maybe because they belonged to a group that believed in targetting and persecuting Muggleborns like herself.
But what true atrocity could Mulciber possibly do at Hogwarts without being expelled? Lily says that it was a Dark spell, but we have no information on what kind or the damage it did.
Also, those two weren't part of the DEs at the time-- though they were aspiring to it.

IMHO, SWM, Mulciber's hexing of Mary, the Werewolf Incident, and whatever unquestionably bad behavior Snape does as a teacher (whatever that is varies from reader to reader, I find ) are all evil to some degree. They involve hurting a fellow human being. Some things, though, are more evil than others.

We have no information on Mulciber's hex, but unless it caused Mary humiliation on top of pain, I would say SWM and other like events were a bit bigger on the "evil" scale. That caused physical and mental pain and the psychological scarring that it created endures for decades (or, as many decades as Snape lived through).

I'm not sure I agree with you or not on whether adult Snape thought of James/Sirius as "evil". I think he believed their actions evil and their mistakes unforgivable-- but does that mean he thought the men themselves were evil? Not sure there, although I'm leaning toward "no".

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Originally Posted by wingardium713 View Post
I'm not sure that Snape did anything for Narcissa, though. I think that if Narcissa asked him to do something contrary to the main Lily-related-plan, Narcissa would have been out of luck. I'm not sure on the timeline, though, so I can't be completely sure. I'm just confused as to why Snape would do anything for Narcissa. What is she to him that he would risk fowling up the plan he's been working on for the past 15 or so years? What if Draco's job was to kill Harry? Would Snape have agreed to do that? I'm not sure. I think that he could have fobbed off her pleas by simply refusing to disobey "the Dark Lord". I think Narcissa's request just happened to very neatly fit the pre-existing plan for Snape to kill Dumbledore. If Snape did agree to kill Dumbledore with no pre-existing plan to do so, I think that completely changes Snape. Snape would then have agreed to kill his trusted co-conspirator and could have badly damaged the anti-Voldemort cause (in my opinion). I thought Snape was pretty dedicated to that cause and wouldn't betray it. He took an Unbreakable Vow and I think he knew what it meant. The death of either Dumbledore or Snape would have hindered the anti-Voldemort cause greatly if it wasn't part of the plan. Unless Snape didn't know what Draco's job was and the he was agreeing to do almost anything which could have been even worse.
I agree that had Narcissa asked for something that would jeopardize all Dumbledore worked for, Snape would have had to make a good excuse.

But before she even suggests the UV, Snape says that he "might be able to help Draco". They're empty words at this point, but they have the dual purpose of allaying Bellatrix's doubts and easing Narcissa's anguish.

Perhaps, then, convenience was not the only reason for his taking the UV.


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Last edited by ignisia; August 12th, 2008 at 3:01 pm.
  #1235  
Old August 12th, 2008, 3:01 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
Teenage Snape might well have done, but that doesn't mean I, as the reader, have to necessarily accept his judgement about it. I am not convinced that adult Snape would have looked back and called his two great nemeses 'evil' either: I happen to think more highly of his intelligence than that. […]When Lily uses the term 'evil' in relation to Avery and Mulciber, she must have a reason to do so. Maybe because they belonged to a group that believed in targetting and persecuting Muggleborns like herself.
While I do agree that she had to a reason for using the word I can see ne difference between teen-Snape possible using the word and teen-Lily doing so. If adult Snape might refer to an incident differently from his teenage self shurly the same could be said of Lily. Would adult Lily, had she lived longer, still use the word ‘evil’ in hindsight? We have no way of knowing.

We know nothing about the incident save it was not pleasant for Mary and who it involved; Mary, Avery and Mulciber (though others may have been involved we cannot be certain these were the only people present). The truth is we don’t know much about the event – however tempting it might be to assume that Lily was right in her assessment that the event was evil we have nothing to either corroborate her opinion or contradict it. Even that fact that the school doesn’t seem to have become involved is far from convincing – it could mean that Lily was incorrect in her assessment or that the incident was never brought to their attention.

So I feel wary drawing any strong conclusions from the statement jmo of course.

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Originally Posted by wingardium713 View Post
I'm not sure that Snape did anything for Narcissa, though. I think that if Narcissa asked him to do something contrary to the main Lily-related-plan, Narcissa would have been out of luck.
Surely that fact that if the request had been different and against ones life work does not actually change that one has done something for someone?

Unless you mean that he did not do it for Narcissa, he did it only because it was in line with what he was planning to do anyway. In this case I would still argue that he did do something for Narcissa. He gave her the promise and reassurance she not only wanted but I suspect needed. Also if you look at the three vows he made; to watch over Draco, protect him from harm, & to do Draco’s task for him if he fails to do so. The first two have little to do with his job of guarding Harry and far more to do with guarding Draco. It is only far later that keeping an eye on Draco is added to the requests Dumbledore has of Snape that year.

Quote:
I'm not sure on the timeline, though, so I can't be completely sure. I'm just confused as to why Snape would do anything for Narcissa.
To me it is an indication of Snape’s relationship with Lucius. There are numerous hints throughout the series that the two are friends.

Quote:
What is she to him that he would risk fowling up the plan he's been working on for the past 15 or so years? What if Draco's job was to kill Harry? Would Snape have agreed to do that? I'm not sure. I think that he could have fobbed off her pleas by simply refusing to disobey "the Dark Lord".
In such a situation I have no doubt you are correct – he would have slithered out of it as Bella would say

Quote:
I think Narcissa's request just happened to very neatly fit the pre-existing plan for Snape to kill Dumbledore.
Yes I think it did fit in with his plans – however he did not just say ‘sure I’ll keep any eye on your son’ he took an unbreakable vow which he could have gotten out of, indeed Bella expected him to do just that. Instead he chose to take the vow and by doing so put his own life at serious risk. To me this is something more that just doing something that goes along with your plans.


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  #1236  
Old August 12th, 2008, 3:32 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
We have no information on Mulciber's hex, but unless it caused Mary humiliation on top of pain, I would say SWM and other like events were a bit bigger on the "evil" scale.
Quote:
By Kittling : While I do agree that she had to a reason for using the word I can see ne difference between teen-Snape possible using the word and teen-Lily doing so. If adult Snape might refer to an incident differently from his teenage self shurly the same could be said of Lily. Would adult Lily, had she lived longer, still use the word ‘evil’ in hindsight? We have no way of knowing. We know nothing about the incident save it was not pleasant for Mary and who it involved; Mary, Avery and Mulciber (though others may have been involved we cannot be certain these were the only people present). The truth is we don’t know much about the event – however tempting it might be to assume that Lily was right in her assessment that the event was evil we have nothing to either corroborate her opinion or contradict it.
It is interesting that over time Mulciber and Avery seem to be characterized as evil villains that influenced Snape's dark arts tendencies and his becoming a Death Eater and at other times as rambunctious teens, toying with a dark curse that just as good as not, wasn't "evil" on reflection. It seems to me that in this way, Snape can both be a victim of their mechanisms and laugh at their 'prank' without coming out looking bad. But it also makes Mulciber and Avery seem a bit schizophrenic in my judgment. Were they the loathsome friends that JKR indicated Snape had and Lily detested, calling them budding Death Eaters carrying out evil, dark magic acts against others, or were they loveable pranksters?

Quote:
By Ignisia: That caused physical and mental pain and the psychological scarring that it created endures for decades (or, as many decades as Snape lived through).
I would respectfully disagree because we could say the same for Sirius based on their behavior as adults toward one another. I agree both had wounds that cut deep, but in my judgment, they were self-propagated.


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; August 12th, 2008 at 3:40 pm.
  #1237  
Old August 12th, 2008, 3:44 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Surely that fact that if the request had been different and against ones life work does not actually change that one has done something for someone?

Unless you mean that he did not do it for Narcissa, he did it only because it was in line with what he was planning to do anyway.
Yes. That is what I meant. For Narcissa, it probably doesn't matter what his motives were, but I think that she wouldn't have gotten the committment if he hadn't already agreed to kill Dumbledore. So, from Narcissa's point of view she got a great deal.

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Originally Posted by kittling View Post
Yes I think it did fit in with his plans – however he did not just say ‘sure I’ll keep any eye on your son’ he took an unbreakable vow which he could have gotten out of, indeed Bella expected him to do just that. Instead he chose to take the vow and by doing so put his own life at serious risk. To me this is something more that just doing something that goes along with your plans.
Here too I think that Snape had ulterior motives (and there is nothing negative about that, in my opinion). I think that Snape is very intelligent and is good at thinking on his feet. Bella quite openly suspects Snape of not being true to the DE cause. Snape may suspect that she is not the only one. By taking on Narcissa's task and promising that Dumbledore will die or Snape will die trying to do it, I think Snape sees an excellent opportunity to re-inforce his spy cover. He knows that he has got to kill Dumbledore anyway and he's committed to the anti-Voldemort cause, what a great chance to make it look like he's actually committed to the pro-Vodlemort cause. I think that it's a bonus that he gets to help out his old friends, the Malfoys. I still think that he wouldn't have agreed to anything if it seriously harmed the anti-Voldemort plan, though.

Whether he realized it or not at the time (and I think he did), I think that taking on Narcissa's task did help raise his profile and trust level within the DE organization. I think that he played the situation perfectly.


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  #1238  
Old August 12th, 2008, 3:58 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
And Severus Snape was the right man for the job, given his history and his constitution. If anyone could juggle that moral ambivalence for 16 years, without a qualm, then he could.
I don't think Snape is portrayed as playing his role as a spy "without a qualm". He has problems with the things Albus asks of him, even if he does go along with them in the end. We see him considering going back on his agreement to kill Albus, for example.

Quote:
Great post. You know, that's a very interesting question ... why does Snape risk so much for the Malfoys? I agree with you completely: I believe he only agreed to the Unbreakable Vow because it fitted in with Albus's plans for Snape to kill him anyway.
I think this was one of the areas in which Snape did have "qualms". Lucius may have been a Death Eater, and was definitely doing something of which Severus would not approve when he was arrested, yet it is true that it was Snape's choice, to warn the Order, that led to his arrest and the predicament in which Lucius's family found itself. I feel that may have played a role in his decision. He would not have helped them if it jeopardized his commitment to protect Harry (as the above referenced point demonstrates) but to the extent that he could, he did.


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  #1239  
Old August 12th, 2008, 4:01 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
It is interesting that over time Mulciber and Avery seem to be characterized as evil villains that influenced Snape's dark arts tendencies and his becoming a Death Eater and at other times as rambunctious teens, toying with a dark curse that just as good as not, wasn't "evil" on reflection. It seems to me that in this way, Snape can both be a victim of their mechanisms and laugh at their 'prank' without coming out looking bad. But it also makes Mulciber and Avery seem a bit schizophrenic in my judgment. Were they the loathsome friends that JKR indicated Snape had and Lily detested, calling them budding Death Eaters carrying out evil, dark magic acts against others, or were they loveable pranksters?
I really get the impression reading this that somewhere in my post I said that the act wasn't evil - However I said nothing of the sort. I simply said we had no information about the act by which we could reasonable judge whether or not that word was fairly used. I certainly would not imply that Mulciber and Avery were simply loveable pranksters - especially as I rarely see pranksters as being benign let alone loveable


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  #1240  
Old August 12th, 2008, 4:16 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Where was this? I don't recall the memories showing that.
Well, um, I'm projecting a lot here.

I know what I think of Sirius's actions in the werewolf incident. He was an irresponsible prat. It was very, very wrong of him, on all counts. So, no let-out clause from me on Sirius there.

However: Severus already suspected that Remus was a werewolf. He knew. So he is not totally innocent: because if he thought that, what the hell was he thinking, taking up Sirius's (irresponsible) challenge?

Aaaaaand maybe we'd better leave that subject there.

Quote:
I'm not sure I agree with you or not on whether adult Snape thought of James/Sirius as "evil". I think he believed their actions evil and their mistakes unforgivable-- but does that mean he thought the men themselves were evil? Not sure there, although I'm leaning toward "no".
Yep, I'd go along with that. He certainly never forgave James and Sirius, that's pretty clear (and they never forgave him either). He certainly hated what they did to him but I agree, 'evil' is putting it rather too strongly.

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Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
I don't think Snape is portrayed as playing his role as a spy "without a qualm". He has problems with the things Albus asks of him, even if he does go along with them in the end. We see him considering going back on his agreement to kill Albus, for example.
Ack. You are so, so right, Zara. I can't believe I wrote that ... got carried away by my own rhetoric, I think. I was also thinking maybe of Snape at the start of his career as a double agent, Snape in 1981 rather than Snape in 1998.

In fact, this is one of the things that so impressed me in The Prince's Tale ... Snape the allegedly nasty git was shown to have a conscience and also moral integrity.


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