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Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4



View Poll Results: Was Snape a good friend to Lily?
Yes, he couldn't have been a better or more devoted friend. 12 12.90%
Yes. If only she had appreciated him more he wouldn't have joined the DE. 13 13.98%
Kind of. He should have listened to her concerns instead of focussing on his jealousy. 49 52.69%
No. He sympathised with a group of pure-blood supremacist terrorists while he was friends with her. 23 24.73%
Absolutely not. SWM was only the last straw and he'd failed her before. 9 9.68%
Oh dear, that's one hell of a poll. *hides* 19 20.43%
A pony? 20 21.51%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 93. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #141  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 6:06 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
This would have, in your view, have made him a better friend to Lily?
Ha, of course not. I was just saying that he was so gobsmacked that he couldn't even spit out some sort of excuse.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daggerstone View Post
And where in the books do we get that particular insight into Severus' thoughts?
Well what do you think that Snape's epic silence after Lily accused him of wanting to just go back to his "precious Death Eater friends"? Silence speaks volumes: Snape's silence about Lily was a huge, glaring sign to many before HBP and DH that there may have been something more to Snape and Lily than the canon indicated. So it's pretty safe to assume that his silence to Lily's accusations meant something as well and it's logical to assume that he didn't reply because he simply had nothing to truly defend himself with by her statement: it was absolutely true. Snape wanted to have his cake and eat it too; he wanted to be a Death Eater and still remain close to his best friend who is practically a spokesperson for the sort of people Death Eaters find deplorable.


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  #142  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 6:10 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
You think Snape would have given up on Lily if she gave him an ultimatum, because he would have found her too controlling?
No, I think fandom would have found her too controlling.



Quote:
He was not sorry for wanting to be around his other friends, because he did not grasp that this, too, was a transgression against Lily and their friendship.
That, along with the mudblood calling, is why I think Lily broke away from Snape finally.


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  #143  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 6:13 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by random_musing View Post
Maybe she'd accept it or at least find some way to forgive him in the near future if his apology was backed up with an actual promise to reform himself. Instead, Lily got an "apology" with a side of "Er, yeah, I still want to be a death eater but I'm not going to admit it so I'll just say nothing". What self-respecting person would accept that?
That's the point (erm, my point, anyway). Sev did not wander over to promise Lily he would reform himself, because what he thought he did wrong was to insult her. This was not a thing he did habitually, so far as canon goes, the incident for which he was apologizing was unique in their history together, and I am sure he intended never to do so again. (In my opinion; this last is of course hypothetical, though it does seem that despite the bad outcome of the apology, he never did again. )

I think Sev's thought process was more like..."Hold on, why is she talking to me about being a Death Eater?", for what it is worth.


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  #144  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 6:20 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arithmancer
I agree. Snape was sorry for publicly insulting his best friend. This was the manner in which he believed/understood that he had transgressed against her and their friendship. He was not sorry for wanting to be around his other friends, because he did not grasp that this, too, was a transgression against Lily and their friendship.
I think that's the nail on the head. Snape didn't know that conversation was final, even if Lily did. I think the reason it is his "worst" memory is that he must have replayed it in his mind every day of the rest of life wishing he could have said something different. But really, he tortured himself with it for nothing - Lily was done with him anyway because of his Slytherin housemates. He only figured that out in hindsight.


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  #145  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 6:27 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by random_musing View Post
Ha, of course not. I was just saying that he was so gobsmacked that he couldn't even spit out some sort of excuse.
I don't think he wanted to. I don't think he saw any reason to give an excuse. He had made a mistake and he was there to apologise for that. I don't think making excuses or justifying what he said or why he said it, was on his mind at all IMO.


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  #146  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 6:29 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
I think Sev's thought process was more like..."Hold on, why is she talking to me about being a Death Eater?", for what it is worth.
I don't buy that, really. Just looked up that part again:

---

"...I never meant to call you a Mudblood, it just--"
"Slipped out?" There was no pity in Lily's voice. "It's too late. I've made excuses for you for years. None of my friends can understand why I even talk to you. You and your precious little Death Eater Friends--you see, you don't even deny it! You don't even deny that's what you're all aiming to be! You can't wait to join You-Know-Who, can you?"
He opened his mouth, but closed it without speaking.

"I can't pretend anymore. You've chosen your way, I've chosen mine."
"No--listen, I didn't mean--"
"--to call me Mudblood? But you call everyone else of my birth Mudblood, Severus. Why should I be any different?"
He struggled on the verge of speech, but with a contemptuous look she turned and climbed back through the portrait hole...


---

I'm really doubting that Snape was unable to deny her accusations, especially one as strong as accusing somebody of being a Death Eater, an open supporter of Voldemort. Instead he was opening and closing his mouth without saying anything; he had no excuses, no defense, because she was right and canon proves even further that she was right in her accusations. So yeah, I'm really having a hard time believing that he was merely perplexed by what Lily said. But to each her own!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I don't think making excuses or justifying what he said or why he said it, was on his mind at all IMO.
That wasn't about justifying his Mudblood statement, I'm talking about his lack of defense to Lily's accusation that he wanted to be a Death Eater. He had nothing to retaliate with because she was right. But I suppose that at that point Snape wasn't THAT socially inept to think that Lily would be okay with him admitting to wanting to be a Death Eater right then and there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
But really, he tortured himself with it for nothing - Lily was done with him anyway because of his Slytherin housemates.
Er, I think it was more than just not liking his friends, it was about the sort of person he was turning into and Avery and Mulciber certainly didn't help matters.


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Last edited by random_musing; February 2nd, 2010 at 6:33 am.
  #147  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 6:39 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by random_musing View Post
Ha, of course not. I was just saying that he was so gobsmacked that he couldn't even spit out some sort of excuse.
Well what do you think that Snape's epic silence after Lily accused him of wanting to just go back to his "precious Death Eater friends"?
Let us examine the "Epic Silence" of which you speak.

DH"Slipped out?” There was no pity in Lily’s voice. “It’s too late. I’ve made excuses for you for years. None of my friends can understand why I even talk to you. You and your precious little Death Eater friends --- you see, you don’t even deny it! You don’t even deny that’s what you’re all aiming to be! You can’t wait to join You-Know-Who, can you!”

He opened his mouth, but closed it without speaking.

“I can’t pretend anymore. You’ve chosen your way, I’ve chosen mine.”


There we see it. He opened his mouth and closed it, and then Lily drew her conclusion. You suppose he could not deny he himself had every intention of becoming a Death Eater the very soones he could manage.

However, in light of what Lily says to him, it is also possible that he might have wanted to:

1) Actually finish the sentence that Lily surmises he would have finished with the words "slipped out", but in some other way that was what he was trying to say before she interrupted him.

2) Ask "Too late for what?"

3) Ask "Why do you need to make excuses for me to your other friends?"

4) Was having a brain melt trying to decide how to address the complex DE-related situation of his entire current and former circle of friends. Even if he had not made his decision, he might suspect former friends no longer in school, had. (Bella, e. g.).

5) Was considering asking something like "What do my friends have to do with anything?" but opted to think about it longer before saying something that might seem really stupid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenStar83 View Post
No, I think fandom would have found her too controlling.
Which is, of course, 100% irrelevant to this discussion. Lily was not aware she was a character avidly discussed by an active fandom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by random musing
Er, I think it was more than just not liking his friends, it was about the sort of person he was turning into and Avery and Mulciber certainly didn't help matters.
Where does Lily tell Sev this is her objection?


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Last edited by arithmancer; February 2nd, 2010 at 6:48 am.
  #148  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 6:50 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
There we see it. He opened his mouth and closed it, and then Lily drew her conclusion. You suppose he could not deny he himself had every intention of becoming a Death Eater the very soones he could manage.
Lily didn't have to come to a conclusion because, before even reading her reply, Severus' lack of response just reeks of defeat by the fact that Lily was right. Lily didn't have to tell us, IMO we could see that for ourselves.

We can think of alternative things that could have happened or could have been said until the cows come home, but the point is that he didn't say anything to defend himself or deny the accusation of him being a Death Eater and silence speaks volumes. I honestly think that his silence was the most telling moment in that whole scene and was almost like a seal of fate. That line describing his lack of response was written for a reason, and I'm doubting that it was written to show us that Snape was having a brain fart


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  #149  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 7:03 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

Sorry to interject here, but mostly I believe his "lack of response" was written the way it was to indicate what Lily has concluded about him and not necessarily what Severus was thinking.

From Severus's point of view I believe his lack of response is first because she doesn't give him much of a chance to respond, just continues to accuse him. And his second lack of response can be seen as him trying to process the information he's hearing, and perhaps gather his thoughts and words. He isn't the best at articulating himself when he's around her. Prior to this we have several scenes of him putting his foot in his mouth or not understanding things which would be obvious to those who are more socially well adjusted.


  #150  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 7:04 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
From what is shown in canon, IMO Lily did break off with Snape the first time she heard him use the word.
DH - TPT"--to call me Mudblood? But you call everyone else of my birth Mudblood, Severus. Why should I be any different?"
He struggled on the verge of speech, but with a contemptuous look she turned and climbed back through the portrait hole...


Quote:
Originally Posted by random_musing View Post
That wasn't about justifying his Mudblood statement, I'm talking about his lack of defense to Lily's accusation that he wanted to be a Death Eater. He had nothing to retaliate with because she was right. But I suppose that at that point Snape wasn't THAT socially inept to think that Lily would be okay with him admitting to wanting to be a Death Eater right then and there.
Apart from Lily's opinion there is nothing to say that Snape was wanting to be a DE in his fifth year. His friendship with Lucius Malfoy or Avery or Mulciber because he was in the same House as them does not mean that he too wanted to become like them. For instance he never played pranks on Mary and other muggleborns like Avery did or Mulciber did. Maybe he was fascinated by their tales of glory, much as Draco was before he found to his cost what being a DE was all about; maybe he was not even thinking about it at that time; maybe he started thinking about it after Lily told him what she thought of he would become in his future; we have Lily's opinion, spoken in anger and in contempt to a boy she wanted to break off with; there is nothing more in canon to suggest that at 15 years, Snape was on the road to become a DE.

Just because he became one later, does not mean he was already one in his fifth year or that he was planning to become on in the holidays of that year IMO.


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  #151  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 7:10 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by RavenStar83 View Post

I think whatever I wanted to reply to you was explained above already. Even if Snape's racism came mostly from peer pressure and that it just came naturally to him, it still doens't make it any less racist.
I don't deny he was racist. But racists are individuals all the same and I don't think it's fair to say that he felt Lily was inferior because some other racist may feel that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boushh View Post
Sorry to interject here, but mostly I believe his "lack of response" was written the way it was to indicate what Lily has concluded about him and not necessarily what Severus was thinking.

From Severus's point of view I believe his lack of response is first because she doesn't give him much of a chance to respond, just continues to accuse him. And his second lack of response can be seen as him trying to process the information he's hearing, and perhaps gather his thoughts and words. He isn't the best at articulating himself when he's around her. Prior to this we have several scenes of him putting his foot in his mouth or not understanding things which would be obvious to those who are more socially well adjusted.
I read the scene the same way. I never saw his silence as an omission of guilt. If someone accuses you of something that horrible you might need a minute to process the information.


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  #152  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 7:21 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
I don't deny he was racist. But racists are individuals all the same and I don't think it's fair to say that he felt Lily was inferior because some other racist may feel that way.
I agree with the folks who think Sev did not think of Lily as an inferior. I don't think anything ever changed in that regard from this scene:

DH“Tell me about the dementors again.”

“What d’you want to know about them for?”

“If I use magic outside school ---“

“They wouldn’t give you to the dementors for that! Dementors are for people who do really bad stuff. They guard the wizard prison, Azkaban. You’re not going to end up in Azkaban, you’re too ---“

He turned red again and shredded more leaves.


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  #153  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 7:27 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Just because he became one later, does not mean he was already one in his fifth year or that he was planning to become on in the holidays of that year IMO.
Neither I nor Lily was insinuating that. But I think it would be counterproductive and frankly rather false to act as though as though--given who he kept up with, his extracurricular interests, and the fact that he DOES become a death eater--Lily's accusation was false. Nothing in canon opposes Lily's notion that Snape wanted to be a Death Eater. Why should we assume that this is false or misguided when there is nothing to prove otherwise and much more evidence to support the idea that it was ture? I think that at this point, since the books are over, most of what is told in canon and isn't specifically debunked in canon can be taken as truth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by boushh View Post
From Severus's point of view I believe his lack of response is first because she doesn't give him much of a chance to respond, just continues to accuse him. And his second lack of response can be seen as him trying to process the information he's hearing, and perhaps gather his thoughts and words. He isn't the best at articulating himself when he's around her. Prior to this we have several scenes of him putting his foot in his mouth or not understanding things which would be obvious to those who are more socially well adjusted.
It is true that he's not very good at articulating himself when he gets worked up about something, but I simply don't think it's very hard to believe that Snape didn't have a proper defense and that it was true. It's a much more reasonable and straight forward explanation than a variety of roundabout reasons for his silence.

Imagine you're teasing a friend about a crush you suspect they have on a boy. They respond by opening their mouth and then closing it. What is the most logical explanation? That they quite possibly do have a crush on that boy and are too embarrassed to admit it or that they're spending all that time and made that gesture coming up with a reason as to why you're wrong?
Quote:
Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
I agree with the folks who think Sev did not think of Lily as an inferior.
Honestly, the fact that he likely found other muggleborns to be inferior and just happened to like Lily and thought she was an exception does him no favors either way. It's still pretty darn awful.

Also, guys, did Snape once respond to something he found ridiculous with silence prior to this scene? Why does he all of a sudden respond to an "absurd accusation" with silence and not his usual carrying on like he did in the courtyard scene when Lily suggested that James saved him. Teenage!Snape didn't seem to need time to "process" before striking back against something he found ridiculous.


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Last edited by random_musing; February 2nd, 2010 at 7:34 am.
  #154  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 7:35 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
DH - TPT"--to call me Mudblood? But you call everyone else of my birth Mudblood, Severus. Why should I be any different?"
He struggled on the verge of speech, but with a contemptuous look she turned and climbed back through the portrait hole...




Apart from Lily's opinion there is nothing to say that Snape was wanting to be a DE in his fifth year. His friendship with Lucius Malfoy or Avery or Mulciber because he was in the same House as them does not mean that he too wanted to become like them. For instance he never played pranks on Mary and other muggleborns like Avery did or Mulciber did. Maybe he was fascinated by their tales of glory, much as Draco was before he found to his cost what being a DE was all about; maybe he was not even thinking about it at that time; maybe he started thinking about it after Lily told him what she thought of he would become in his future; we have Lily's opinion, spoken in anger and in contempt to a boy she wanted to break off with; there is nothing more in canon to suggest that at 15 years, Snape was on the road to become a DE.

Just because he became one later, does not mean he was already one in his fifth year or that he was planning to become on in the holidays of that year IMO.
I do believe that Lily broke off with Severus the first time he used the word in front of her. There is a clear gap in time between the altercation in the playground and later that evening when he comes to speak ro her. I can easily see her girlfreinds speaking to her and one of them saying that he used the word all the time, they just didn't want to tell her. It seems to me a perfectly reasonable explanation. Lily was a strong minded girl, I can't see her letting it slide for any length of time. IMO, Severus was on the wrong path, Lily hit the nail on the head and he couldn't bring himself to lie to her face.


  #155  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 7:37 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by random_musing View Post
We can think of alternative things that could have happened or could have been said until the cows come home, but the point is that he didn't say anything to defend himself or deny the accusation of him being a Death Eater and silence speaks volumes. I honestly think that his silence was the most telling moment in that whole scene and was almost like a seal of fate. That line describing his lack of response was written for a reason, and I'm doubting that it was written to show us that Snape was having a brain fart
Let's say that he was having a brain fart. What we know happens later is that Snape still becomes a deatheater. It doesn't matter if he didn't know how to articulate what he wanted to say at that time. Besides, what what was he going to say to her that was going to convince Lily that they should still be friends when he's hanging around future DE's and already called her mudblood?

If Snape really cared about what Lily thought and understood why she was upset, he could have chosen to distance himself from the future DE's after the night of the portrait hole. Knowing what he does later, I don't see evidence that he really processed anything she said. But lets say that because of what Lily says to him, Snape was convinced that was the end of their friendship, and just does whatever he wants. That's still his fault, and Lily should not bear responsibility for that. Especially considering what she's had to do (and would still have had to do) in order to stay friends with Snape. And it still shows that he didn't think hard enough about what she said or why she was upset.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
I don't deny he was racist. But racists are individuals all the same and I don't think it's fair to say that he felt Lily was inferior because some other racist may feel that way.
Yes, we are all human beings. But a person who uses a racial slur is still dehumanizing the people they are referring to. If stating that fact is unfair, well racists aren't very fair people either.


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Last edited by RavenStar83; February 2nd, 2010 at 7:44 am.
  #156  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 7:59 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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MistressofRaven;5491423]I don't deny he was racist. But racists are individuals all the same and I don't think it's fair to say that he felt Lily was inferior because some other racist may feel that way.
I'm sure that would have been a great comfort to Lily to know that her freind was racist but he didn't include her with the rest of the muggleborns. She was his own personal exception.

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I read the scene the same way. I never saw his silence as an omission of guilt. If someone accuses you of something that horrible you might need a minute to process the information.
Snape had a lot of time to process the information. It was 2 years before he left school. And when he left school he joined the DEs.



Last edited by eliza101; February 2nd, 2010 at 8:02 am.
  #157  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 8:02 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by random_musing View Post
Neither I nor Lily was insinuating that. But I think it would be counterproductive and frankly rather false to act as though as though--given who he kept up with, his extracurricular interests, and the fact that he DOES become a death eater--Lily's accusation was false.
That he became a DE later should not IMO be a yardstick to judge him at a time he was not one. He was, for example, not even part of the prank played by Avery and Mulciber IMO. And there is no canon to suggest he was thinking about joining the DEs once he left school. What do we have apart from Lily's angry words where she assumes what Snape wanted to be and leaves IMO. What are those words based on?

Snape was not allowed to answer by Lily. Maybe if she had allowed him to answer and if he had agreed with her words, then she was right. But as the break up scene is now, there is only Lily's opinion; no facts to go along with it IMO.

1) Does Lily accuse Snape of playing evil pranks?
2) Does Lily accuse Snape of practising the dark arts?
3) Does Lily say that she does not like his (supposed) fascination of Voldemort and his DEs?

She does not. There is nothing in canon except Lily's opinion, which remains as an opinion only, because she did not allow Snape to answer IMO.

DH - TPT"...I never meant to call you a Mudblood, it just--"
"Slipped out?" There was no pity in Lily's voice. "It's too late. I've made excuses for you for years. None of my friends can understand why I even talk to you. You and your precious little Death Eater Friends--you see, you don't even deny it! You don't even deny that's what you're all aiming to be! You can't wait to join You-Know-Who, can you?"
He opened his mouth, but closed it without speaking.
"I can't pretend anymore. You've chosen your way, I've chosen mine."
"No--listen, I didn't mean--"
"--to call me Mudblood? But you call everyone else of my birth Mudblood, Severus. Why should I be any different?"
He struggled on the verge of speech, but with a contemptuous look she turned and climbed back through the portrait hole...


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Nothing in canon opposes Lily's notion that Snape wanted to be a Death Eater.
There is nothing in canon to suggest Snape was planning to be a DE at the time of the SWM either IMO.

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Why should we assume that this is false or misguided when there is nothing to prove otherwise and much more evidence to support the idea that it was ture?
What is this assumption based on? This is based on Lily' opinion, on her thoughts and I don't agree that her thoughts and opinions are facts. Sirius, for example said Snape was a DE in OOTP (Occlumency), when everyone including Harry knew he was a spy for the Order. Would Sirius' statement make Snape a DE in OOTP?

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I think that at this point, since the books are over, most of what is told in canon and isn't specifically debunked in canon can be taken as truth.
In canon there is no evidence to suggest Snape was thinking of being a DE at the time of the SWM IMO.

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Also, guys, did Snape once respond to something he found ridiculous with silence prior to this scene? Why does he all of a sudden respond to an "absurd accusation" with silence and not his usual carrying on like he did in the courtyard scene when Lily suggested that James saved him. Teenage!Snape didn't seem to need time to "process" before striking back against something he found ridiculous.
I think it was because he was too shocked and perhaps even betrayed by a girl he thought knew him inside out. I think he was utterly taken aback by her words and her thoughts and before he could collect himself enough to speak his side, she was gone IMO.


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  #158  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 8:07 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
I'm sure that would have been a great comfort to Lily to know that her freind was racist but he didn't include her with the rest of the muggleborns. She was his own personal exception.
I'm just stating what I see, not what I want the characters to feel.


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Old February 2nd, 2010, 8:14 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I think it was because he was too shocked and perhaps even betrayed by a girl he thought knew him inside out.
Knew him how? And if Snape wasn't planning on becoming a DE at that time, why does he become a DE later?

And as for Lily being at fault for not letting Snape explain, explain what??


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Last edited by RavenStar83; February 2nd, 2010 at 8:16 am.
  #160  
Old February 2nd, 2010, 8:16 am
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Re: Snape and Lily: Joint Character Analysis v.4

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Originally Posted by RavenStar83 View Post
Knew him how? And if Snape wasn't planning on becoming a DE at that time, why does he become a DE later?
Maybe he decided in his sixth year to become a Death Eater. Maybe it was a last minute decision. Why should we assume that in his Fifth year he wanted to be a Death Eater just because Lily thinks so?


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