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Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis



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  #361  
Old March 27th, 2013, 5:24 pm
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
Rowling interview, underlining mineNithya: Lily detested mulciber,averyif snape really loved her,why didnt he sacrifice their company for her sake
J.K. Rowling: Well, that is Snape’s tragedy. Given his time over again he would not have become a Death Eater, but like many insecure, vulnerable people (like Wormtail) he craved membership of something big and powerful, something impressive.

http://www.mugglenet.com/jkr/intervi...-webchat.shtml

IMHO, Peter craved power, I think. He was fearful himself, and felt weak (a mouse) and thought that by joining bullies - "the biggest bullies on the playground" is how i think Sirius described it - he would be protected and have power by association. Typically, if you are part of the group which is doing the oppressing, or appear to support it, it helps save you yourself from being a target, and it also gives you power by association from belonging to the group. I personally see nothing contradictory from Sirius' quote and Rowling's quote, and my personal opinion.
I am sort of ambivalent about whether Peter craved power and that being his ultimate motivation for joining the death eaters; the reason for this ambivalence being that I think it's more complicated that just craving power. I think that his personality, which manifested itself through outward insecurity and feeling vulnerable, lended itself to a combination of factors that all would have led to Peter joining the death eaters: He would have been insecure meaning that his feelings of security and vulnerability would have been boosted by joining "the biggest bully around," his insecurity and vulnerablility would have lent itself to being more easily swayed by bullying and intimidation to get him to join the biggest bully around in the first place (and thus led in part to a decision to join Voldemort based on saving his own skin) and, on top of those things, his feelings of insecurity and vulnerability would have been greatly diminished by him joining a group where he would gain status and/or power simply by associating with said group even if he was scared $#!^less of that group. I don't think we can whittle down his motivations to a single factor such as "he wanted power," as with most decisions in life there is more going on that must be considered.

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Originally Posted by horcrux4 View Post
He didn't need to tell Voldemort he was the Secret Keeper - Voldemort would not have known. Perhaps he saw Voldemort as the probable victor in the war they were all involved in and wanted to be sure he was on the winning side. He killed a dozen Muggles in his escape from Sirius and setting Sirius up to take the rap which is probably one of the worst acts of murder we hear about.
I agree that Peter at least partly joined Voldemorts side as a way of hedging his bets and joining what he thought would be the winning side as a way of perserving his own life; curry favor with the winner before he wins and he'll have mercy on you afterwards. (To paraphrase Maggie Smith from Downton Abbey, if you will not have him when he could be poor he won't want you when he will be rich.) I also think that it's pretty clear that Peter is a very selfish character who would do anything, including betray his friends and murdering people, in order to save his own life. That tallies pretty well with the idea of an insecure, vulnerable-feeling person who craves the protection of powerful friends - and when he feels like he has no friends he goes into 100% self-preservation mode.


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  #362  
Old April 3rd, 2013, 12:49 pm
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis


Would Peter have remembered that he had a life debt to Harry if Harry had not managed to remind him?


No, I don't think he would have.

What prevented Peter from fleeing Voldemort's side? "Loyalty" or fear?

I think he simply had no where else to go. That's why he ran to Voldemort in the first place in between PoA and GoF.

Voldemort "gifted" Wormtail with a silver hand. How much of an impact if any did this have on him?


I don't think it had any noticeable impact on him.

Did Peter develop throughout the series? If Wormtail liked the choices he made, why did he bite Goyle on the Hogwarts Express?

I have no idea why he bit Goyle. Maybe he thought Goyle was trying to hurt him?

Did he develop? No. I think everything he did was justified in his mind. I don't think he ever felt true remorse for any of his actions.


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  #363  
Old April 3rd, 2013, 9:40 pm
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

Would Peter have remembered that he had a life debt to Harry if Harry had not managed to remind him?
No, I don't think so. He was too concerned about himself.

What prevented Peter from fleeing Voldemort's side? "Loyalty" or fear?
Definitely fear. I think he originally joined Voldemort out of fear but he didn't really care for him. He went looking for him later on because of what Sirius said about the DEs in Azkaban blaming Voldemort's downfall on him. Peter wanted to make sure he was on Voldemort's good side plus Voldemort was the only bully left to take care of him so it made sense to him to try and find Voldemort.

Voldemort "gifted" Wormtail with a silver hand. How much of an impact if any did this have on him?
I didn't see any noticeable impact. Maybe he thought his rank in the DEs would go up but from what I could tell, it didn't because no one treated him with respect.

Did Peter develop throughout the series? If Wormtail liked the choices he made, why did he bite Goyle on the Hogwarts Express?
He seemed to stay pretty much the same when we first saw him (as a human) in PoA 'til DH. He may have bitten Goyle because as halfbreedlover said he might have been afraid Goyle was going to hurt him.


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  #364  
Old April 4th, 2013, 5:29 pm
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

Quote:
Would Peter have remembered that he had a life debt to Harry if Harry had not managed to remind him?
I don't think so. He seemed to be pretty much out for himself, only staying around those who had power. First with Harry's dad, James and his friends... since they were popular, and the later with Voldemort -- since he (Voldemort) had the power he craved to be around. Don't think he would have given a damn about the life debt, if Harry hadn't mentioned it to him. He probably would have tried to kill him without a second thought.


Quote:
What prevented Peter from fleeing Voldemort's side? "Loyalty" or fear?
Probably a combination of both. Mainly loyalty in the form of wanting to be around someone who is powerful, and not really the true form of loyalty. As for fear, this is far more likely... he was a coward, pure and simple. He wanted to save his own skin, and if it meant staying by Voldemort's side, then so be it.


Quote:
Voldemort "gifted" Wormtail with a silver hand. How much of an impact if any did this have on him?
Don't think it really made that much of a difference.


Quote:
Did Peter develop throughout the series? If Wormtail liked the choices he made, why did he bite Goyle on the Hogwarts Express?
Not really. He was a coward from beginning to end. As for biting Goyle, I think it was part of him staying undercover as Scabbers. He couldn't afford to blow his cover.


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  #365  
Old April 23rd, 2014, 2:44 am
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Goddess_Clio View Post
I am sort of ambivalent about whether Peter craved power and that being his ultimate motivation for joining the death eaters; the reason for this ambivalence being that I think it's more complicated that just craving power. I think that his personality, which manifested itself through outward insecurity and feeling vulnerable, lended itself to a combination of factors that all would have led to Peter joining the death eaters: He would have been insecure meaning that his feelings of security and vulnerability would have been boosted by joining "the biggest bully around," his insecurity and vulnerablility would have lent itself to being more easily swayed by bullying and intimidation to get him to join the biggest bully around in the first place (and thus led in part to a decision to join Voldemort based on saving his own skin) and, on top of those things, his feelings of insecurity and vulnerability would have been greatly diminished by him joining a group where he would gain status and/or power simply by associating with said group even if he was scared $#!^less of that group. I don't think we can whittle down his motivations to a single factor such as "he wanted power," as with most decisions in life there is more going on that must be considered.

I agree that Peter at least partly joined Voldemorts side as a way of hedging his bets and joining what he thought would be the winning side as a way of perserving his own life; curry favor with the winner before he wins and he'll have mercy on you afterwards. (To paraphrase Maggie Smith from Downton Abbey, if you will not have him when he could be poor he won't want you when he will be rich.) I also think that it's pretty clear that Peter is a very selfish character who would do anything, including betray his friends and murdering people, in order to save his own life. That tallies pretty well with the idea of an insecure, vulnerable-feeling person who craves the protection of powerful friends - and when he feels like he has no friends he goes into 100% self-preservation mode.

For a long time I agreed with what you have posted. Vulnerability and the need for powerful friends...but I am no longer sure that I believe that. The reason being is that he could have started running around with the DE crowd in school. Were they "popular" no...but the student body noticed them and were fearful of them as a group. So why didn't Peter choose to go that way when it is apparent that he really had more in common with a Slytherin? Even Snape had enough self-esteem to recognize what gifts he would be bringing to his new friends. What would Peter have brought to that early gang of death eaters? Nothing. And it wasn't like the Marauders were very nice to him either. So why did the Marauder's accept him, and trust him implicitely, when likely Snape and his group would not have? Were the Marauder's simply too trusting? Did Peter hate being pitied? There is no mention of him learning the path of the Dark Arts in school. With the Marauders as friends he would have had no need to learn these kinds of dark magic. Yet he did learn them, and became proficient in their use, in a very short amount of time.

If anything I believe that Peter had an over-inflated sense of his own worth. And as the Marauder's racked up more and more accolades, his name was always at the bottom of the list below a werewolf, for goodness sake. And a girl. When they joined the Order he was probably bitter that the Marauders just merrily expected him to follow their lead. Again.

We see time and again people acting "outside of their house" but that is after school. The hat either misread something in Peter, or more likely, Peter asked the hat to put him in Gryffindor because he was afraid of the things he could do. Much like Harry. And once you are in a house to make close friends with those outside your house is nearly impossible. Peter just couldn't overcome his nature, and found, with Voldemort's return, that he didn't have to. And he didn't have to put up with the stupid "houses" of Hogwarts. And he didn't have to put up with the stupid Marauders anymore, and he didn't have to worry about Snape's lot because he would prove himself far more valuable to Voldemort than anyone ever knew.


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Old May 5th, 2014, 5:25 pm
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Re: Peter Pettigrew: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by flimseycauldron View Post
For a long time I agreed with what you have posted. Vulnerability and the need for powerful friends...but I am no longer sure that I believe that. The reason being is that he could have started running around with the DE crowd in school. Were they "popular" no...but the student body noticed them and were fearful of them as a group. So why didn't Peter choose to go that way when it is apparent that he really had more in common with a Slytherin?
In school, the Marauders were popular, the DE wannabes were not. The DE wannabes were feared, but they didn't have the kind of power their adult counterparts in the outside world had. At Hogwarts, popularity among peers was more important to Peter. Outside, the perceived "safety" of being inside the group of murderers was more important. At school, Peter seemed to have been just a kid looking at what group he could be most important with. Within a small group, such as the Marauders, he was significant, one of the four, one of the Animagi, one of the few who knew Remus' secret. To go along with the DEs, he would not be significant, would not be liked by the students, would be one among a large group.


Quote:
If anything I believe that Peter had an over-inflated sense of his own worth. And as the Marauder's racked up more and more accolades, his name was always at the bottom of the list below a werewolf, for goodness sake. And a girl. When they joined the Order he was probably bitter that the Marauders just merrily expected him to follow their lead. Again.
Do we know that Peter had a problem with werewolves?
Perhaps he didn't like being expected to follow their lead into the Order. Perhaps that led to him deciding that his safest path was to cower and be protected from the DEs. But he did have the option of saying that he didn't want to join the Order. Perhaps to someone so used to following, it didn't seem like he could.

Quote:
We see time and again people acting "outside of their house" but that is after school. The hat either misread something in Peter, or more likely, Peter asked the hat to put him in Gryffindor because he was afraid of the things he could do. Much like Harry.
[/quote]

Harry did not ask the hat to put him in Gryffindor; he asked it not to put him in Slytherin. There is a difference - "not Slytherin" left the hat with three houses to choose from. I don't think the hat would put someone in a house they were completely unsuited for just because they asked.

I think that at the age of eleven, Peter may have valued courage, but I think he grew lazy and dependent, having three strong friends. I don't think he tested or developed his own courage much while at school, and as a result, hadn't grown in courage and self-sufficiency by the time he left school.


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