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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6



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  #81  
Old November 4th, 2011, 9:46 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Bad thing about becoming a DE, though: no way out but death.
Occupational hazard of serving a murdering megalomaniac.

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And, our opinions differ greatly on whether Severus would have given Voldemort the prophecy or not if he'd gotten the job. I don't think it would have seemed as important since he'd have achieved the purpose he was sent for and that was what he would have been pleased to report to Voldemort.
Why wouldn't he? As Dumbledore said, he hastened to tell Voldemort, for it concerned his master most deeply. It would have been a big way of gaining brownie points with his master, whether or not he got the job.

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I'm afraid I missed the part where Severus tried to separate Lily from James. He went along with Voldemort's assumption that he wanted Lily's life spared so he could have her, but, I think we can agree that Severus would have never expected that.
Asking Voldemort to spare Lily would have separated Lily from her family. IMO, he would have expected to have Lily in that case, perhaps as a "reward" for the prophecy - Voldemort did reward his followers, after all. However, he came to realise that Voldemort might not keep his promise.

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Immediate concern for a loved one in danger over those one does not know is a human trait. I can't really fault Severus for this. He agreed quickly enough to do "anything" to protect them all. There was no argument about that. So, while it would have been magnanimous for him to have asked to have them all protected right off, it wouldn't have been most peoples' reaction, IMO. But, he did the right thing in the end. I don't know what more he could have done.
Magnanimous? I think it would have been basic human decency. And again, it was not a matter of picking which person to drag from a burning building - protecting all would have been the same as protecting one.


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Since we don't see any interaction between Voldy and his crew in Voldy War I, we don't know for sure whether he dispatched the errant DE now and then in a way that would strike terror in the hearts of the rest or not. I can see him doing that and enjoying it.
I think they preferred murdering Muggles and people with the conscience to oppose them.

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I don't personally see that, but, of course you're entitled to your opinion. I don't know of a time we're shown when Severus is in the position of judge, jury, and executioner, though. I don't think he or any other DEs had that power without Voldemort's say so.
What about all the Muggle killings for fun in the first war? The DEs decided they had the right to power over life and death.

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People sometimes see what they want.
Whch I consider wilful ignorance.

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Again, your opinion. I choose to differ. To me, it was only a very nasty word, but, unless it was back up with an action against someone by the user, it was still only a word.
It wasn't just a word - it was a word loaded with meaning. It was a word that carried the weight of a dangerous prejudice. It was a word associated with the bigots who were out murdering people because of the ideas associated with that word.

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I've already stated why I think he gave Voldemort the prophecy. And, as I said, I don't think he actually analyzed it before he told it to Voldemort. To him it was either something to make up for not getting the job, or, possibly a way to earn an additional Brownie point and keep from being the "Errant DE of the Month" and roasted on a spit or something.
There is nothing to suggest that Voldemort regularly killed off DEs who messed up - if he did, he wouldn't have any left.


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Originally Posted by LoonyLuna22 View Post
I agree with Minerva. Some of the Death Eater's beliefs stemmed from witch/wizard prosecutions from centuries ago when muggles burned them at the stake, ect. They wanted to keep magic to pureblooded families. Although these beliefs were biased and wrong they were not unfounded.
I believe they were unfounded and downright arrogant beliefs. By the time of the series, anti-Muggle/anti-Muggleborn sentiment was no longer about safety but about the deluded and arrogant idea that pureblood was superior and Muggleborns were "filth".


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He truly loved her and wanted her happiness. I believe he could have shared in that happiness had he not made such bad choices..
If he wanted her happiness, he would have asked Dumbledore to protect her entire family


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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
I agree that the responsibility does not entirely vanish based on his having gone to Dumbledore. However, I do believe that his going to Dumbledore is a mitigating factor in considering the extent of his culpability.
IMO, the extent of Snape's culpability cannot be changed. His actions were evil and selfish - he put a family in mortal peril, for his own gain. I don't think that changes because it came back to bite him. I don't think it changes because he took action to avoid the suffering he was perfectly willing to cause to others. That he took action when the consequences bit him is a good thing, even if the motivation was selfsh, but it doesn't change the consequences of hs actions.

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I'm saying that my tradition would consider this factor in weighing the extent of his culpability because this factor would determine the extent to which Snape was operating under absolute freedom of will - i.e., was he thrilled to be carrying the prophecy to Voldemort? (freedom of will) or was he terrified of NOT carrying the prophecy to Voldemort? (limited freedom of will)). IF his freedom of will was limited in some way (note: this is a hypothetical, not a statement), then his culpability would be considered to be further limited.
I don't see this as an issue. Snape joined the DEs of his own free will. I don't see the DEs as victims in any way, shape or form - and I include Snape in that. Snape knew he was joining an organisation that people lived in fear of. He knew he was going to be serving a man whose name people feared. He knew he wasn't joining the Hogsmeade Choir Group, but rather a group of murdering bigots. Also, if Snape was some innocent coerced victim, his story cannot be about redemption, IMO.

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Wizards did endure centuries of genocide perpetrated by Muggles, and this is where the prejudice against Muggleborns originated. According to Professor Binns, I believe, the Wizards who accepted this prejudice believed - wrongly - that Muggleborns would ally themselves with their Muggle friends and relatives in the genocide against Wizards. Muggleborns were viewed by these Wizards as potential spies and therefore untrustworthy.
How does this relate to or justify the genocide the DEs engaged in, centuries later?


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So the prejudice did not come out of nowhere. It came from being nearly wiped out by the society that the Muggleborns were born into. The problem is that the fear and suspicion of Muggleborns evolved into a lingering animosity that did not abate in some segments of Wizard society even as Muggleborns proved their alliance and loyalty to Wizard society.
By the time of the series, it was nothing to do with a danger from Muggleborns. It was a lot more to do with the arrogant delusion that pure-blood was superior and that Muggleborns were "filthy little mudbloods". Not that they were dangerous, that they were "filthy".



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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
I do not, however, think he was responsible for the deaths of the Potters, only for Voldemort's seeking to kill them. They had every protection possible, because of Severus' meeting with Dumbledore, and would have been safe if they hadn't been betrayed. That is where the true responsibility lies -- with the betrayer, Pettigrew, and the actualy murderer, Voldemort.
And they died because Voldemort made them top of his hit-list - thanks to Snape's information


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I do think he grew to love her over their years as friends, and, would have continued to love her even if she'd lost her magical powers.
That wasn't going to be an issue, as in HP, people don't "lose" their magical powers. They're either born with them or they're not. Lily was never going to "lose" her magical powers.


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Obviously, Hogwarts' House system put a major strain on their friendship. Their time together was limited, they were exposed to totally different philosophies by Housemates and were influenced by them.
I agree - Lily's housemates encouraged her to see what Voldemort was doing as an evil thing, Snape's friends within his house encouraged him to see it as a positive thing.


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IMO, Lily was "moving on" and moving away from their friendship even before the 5th year. She was beautiful, popular, and talented. I'm sure that she got a lot of flack from her female Housemates about how she could do much better than Severus. So, I feel there was already a crack in the friendship prior to the "Mudblood" incident.
I think it has nothing to do with Lily being attractive, popular and talented. It's not some high-school cliche-fest, they were living at a time of a war based on bigotry and genocide. Her friends did not want her hanging around someone they considered dangerous -someone who practiced Dark Magic and who called others "Mudblood". Any good friend would worry about their friend hanging out with dangerous people - just as Lily worried about Snape's friendship with Avery and Mulciber.

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I think he felt this too and was clinging to their friendship because it was all he had. I don't think he really considered Avery and Mulciber "friends," but, he could hardly ignore or avoid his Housemates anymore than Lily could her's.
The Slytherins were not all DE-wannabes. They were not all arrogant bigots. Snape did not have to hang around with the racists of Slytherin.


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IMO, we can all see a bit of Severus in ourselves and we are either willing to accept that and consider that we, too, have flaws and shortcomings, or, we fight against it and just cast him aside as an "evil" person who cannot be anything like us.
I don't think it can be generalised that everyone can see a bit of Snape in themselves. I certainly don't. I think there are other, far more relatable characters in HP, nad characters far more like people I know and trust. Everyone has flaws, not everyone's flaws are as glaring as Snape's, nor do they cost lives, as Snape's did.


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And, I think he saw in Harry how much it meant to be loved, by your family and your friends, and watching how Harry loved them and what he risked for them, I feel that Severus did grow to care for Harry as the story progressed. Unfortunately, by the time he did he couldn't show it because of his cover as a spy (which, IMO, made him increase his outward signs of dislike).
In other words, there is no evidence that Snape ever came to care for Harry.

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I agree. But even before the Prophecy was made and Voldemort chose them, they were targets, they feared Voldemort and his DEs enough to go into hiding. From Snape's point of view, I think he was responsible for making the Potters specific targets because of the Prophecy.
Perhaps they were in hiding because they had a baby and Dumbledore had told them of the prophecy? Voldemort was not specifically hunting the Potters until he had the prophecy. He would have killed them if he got the chance, but I don't think he'd have gone out of his way to find just two ordinary members of the Order for no reason.

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I agree that passing information that will get people killed is a mistake. But, passing information that should have saved the said people? If those people do not act on the information, is Snape still to be blamed for that? That is where I disagree, because I feel Snape need not be blamed for that.
It doesn't undo what he did. His actions were the reason Voldemort was targetting the Potters.

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Then, do you think Snape came to Dumbledore on the hill because he also had in mind at that time about Voldemort's order and his anguish was partly an act to get a job at Hogwarts?
I think it may have been a combination of both. It is canon that Voldemort sent him to get a job at Hogwarts, that he was at Hogwarts on Voldemort's orders at Halloween 1981.

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
To me, that they were already in danger from Death Eaters is moot to the point of Snape choosing to put their lives in more danger.
I agree. I don't see the logic behind the idea that Snape was somehow less culpable because the Potters took a stand against Voldemort.


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But that does not remove the threat of Voldemort, that simply shifts the responsibility for the Potters not getting murdered onto someone else. If the threat of Voldemort wanting to murder the Prophecy Baby is not removed, then I do not see that Snape undid the harm he did, because that is the harm he did.

I agree. Voldemort wanted to kill Harry because of Snape's information. If not for Snape, Voldemort may have killed the Potters if the opportunity arose, but he would not have been hunting them down specifically.


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But at any rate, I think Snape's journey was about recognizing and accepting the responsibility for his actions, and not so much about undoing them so they didn't count. I'd say that the latter was an impossible task.
I agree. Snape could never, ever make his evil deed not count. There was no way to undo what he had done. What he could do was take responsibility, repent, and work to help the child he had helped to orphan.


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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
But, yes, the idea of any group holding itself above another is wrong and when that group uses thug and terrorist tactics to achieve it's goals then the group, as an entity, is evil in its intent. Joining the group was wrong, and stupid. But, I'm against painting all members of a group with a broad brush as many join for reasons that really have nothing to do with the ideals of the group (peer pressure, status, etc.) and have the ridiculous feeling that they can get out if things really get too terrible. I think we see this a lot in gang members these days.
The DEs are a group that people chose to join - therefore, IMO, they can be considered as evil people at the time they're loyal to that group. IMO, there was no good reason or justfication for joining such a group. There was no innocent reason for being a terrorist, IMO. As for status - who wants status by destroying the lives of innocent people?




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Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
From what I understand the only information we have on Snape's duties as DE, was that he was used by Voldemort as a spy.

HBP, Spinner's End
"You asked where I was when the Dark Lord fell. I was where he ordered me to be, at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, because he wished me to spy upon Albus Dumbledore. You know, I presume that it was on the Dark Lords orders that I took up the post?"


We know from Karkaroff in GoF that Voldemort had a network of spies. So I think that previous to being sent to spy on Dumbledore, that Snape was already part of this network of spies.

And spying for Voldemort would mean putting people in danger. Even if that is all Snape did, it was putting people in mortal peril for his own gain. It's helping Voldemort to destroy lives, for his own gain.


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  #82  
Old November 5th, 2011, 2:04 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Just a scenario that I’d like to run past my fellow posters:

Shortly after delivering the prophecy to Voldemort, Snape risks everything to contact Dumbledore and ask that he protect Lily. Why? He doesn’t want Lily to die and he does not trust Voldemort to keep her safe. But this wouldn’t be a sudden realization for Severus. If his doubts about LV hadn’t been building up for some time, he would not have been able to defect--to accept the role as spy for Dumbledore--so quickly. So I think, at the time he heard the prophecy, a few months before, these doubts were already nagging at him.

So then Snape overhears part of the prophecy:

“The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches...Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies...”

When Bellatrix (in Spinner's End, HBP) challenges Snape on why he didn't kill Harry when Harry showed up at Hogwarts, part of his answer is:

"I should remind you that when Potter first arrived at Hogwarts there were still many stories circulating about him, rumors that he himself was a great Dark wizard, which was how he had survived the Dark Lord's attack. Indeed many of the Dark Lord's old followers thought Potter might be a standard around which we could all rally once more.”

I think it entirely possible that when Snape overheard part of the prophecy, he assumed that the "one approaching" would also be a Dark wizard. From Snape's perspective at the time, I think he believed that the Dark Arts were the strongest type of magic. In fact, I think it’s doubtful he would be able to recognize that a wizard powerful enough to defeat Voldemort could be anything but another Dark wizard.

Now odds were that a Dark wizard would most likely come from one of the pureblood Slytherin families that were among Snape’s DE associates. The part about “thrice defying him” could still apply to someone among the DE’s because LV, being such a paranoid psychopath, would be able to interpret the slightest failure or comment as defiance. (And what evidence is there that the Potters defied him thrice?)

So what is Severus really doing when he turns over the prophecy to Voldemort? Would it be possible he hopes that in the resulting internal mayhem he can cut himself loose from the DE’s? Would it be wrong, immoral or evil for the family of a child that would grow up to be a Dark wizard as bad or worse than LV to be marked for death by the Dark Lord?


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  #83  
Old November 5th, 2011, 3:09 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by mirrormere View Post
So what is Severus really doing when he turns over the prophecy to Voldemort? Would it be possible he hopes that in the resulting internal mayhem he can cut himself loose from the DE’s? Would it be wrong, immoral or evil for the family of a child that would grow up to be a Dark wizard as bad or worse than LV to be marked for death by the Dark Lord?
I don't know what you mean by cut himself loose. Voldemort would have taken out the person silently and made up a cover story. This is if Voldemort thought that the killing had the possibility of causing internal strife. We see that generally Voldemort had no problem threatening DEs. Whatever the situation, I don't see Severus escaping that way. IMO his best bet would have been to fake his own death and live in hiding.
Also, in my personal opinion, I don't think I would condone the death of child even if he was prophesied to grow up to a dark wizard.


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  #84  
Old November 5th, 2011, 3:41 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by mirrormere View Post

So what is Severus really doing when he turns over the prophecy to Voldemort? Would it be possible he hopes that in the resulting internal mayhem he can cut himself loose from the DE’s? Would it be wrong, immoral or evil for the family of a child that would grow up to be a Dark wizard as bad or worse than LV to be marked for death by the Dark Lord?
I think if Snape wanted mayhem and wanted to be rid of Voldy, he would not have shared the prophecy with him, and given the child the chance to grow up, in the hopes he would defeat Voldy. Instead he decided to curry favor with him.

Snape seems to think you need a knowledge of the Dark Arts in order to defeat a dark wizard, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to be a dark wizard yourself. When he went to DD and asked him to protect Lily, he knew DD wasn't a dark wizard, but would be the best chance of spoiling Voldy's plans.

Even if he did think the baby would grow up to be even worse than Voldy, I personally think it's wrong to target that child. I don't believe our future is written in stone, and that baby had the right to grow up and make its choices - to be a "good witch" or a "bad witch" or even an ordinary once. "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." - Albus Dumbledore


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  #85  
Old November 5th, 2011, 5:40 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

I'm not sure Severus really thought the whole situation through. I know, seems a bit strange to say of the man who became a successful spy, but I see the young Severus as having an impulsive streak, which he only later tamped down when he first began spying and using Occlumency. He appears unable to contain himself any longer and leaps out of the bushes when he first meets Lily. His indignation at James is so overpowering it makes him stumble over his words as a teen. He was so horrified at the identity of the child's mother that he asked Voldemort himself to spare a Muggleborn, then stood out in the open on a hillside waiting for the leader of the opposition, who he believed might kill him. These actions seem to be very emotionally-motivated, and I think the same can be said for his delivering of the Prophecy: wanting to gain favor (and therefore less likelihood of getting Crucio'd), and then, later, wanting to pull out all the stops to make absolutely sure Lily is protected, even if it means treachery to the Dark Lord.

What does this say about his loyalty to Voldemort? Mostly, I think, it means that his loyalty to Lily turned out to be far more powerful. I'd also add that I think it suggests he had no deeply ideological reasons for working among the DEs (once again, I look to emotional reasons for that), as he doesn't make any comment to the effect that he feels he is doing any wrong by betraying the DEs and their cause.


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  #86  
Old November 5th, 2011, 7:50 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

This was a very interesting twist to contemplate and took a good bit of thought. It also helped reading some of the other ideas before I posted this.

To start, one thing that makes me think Severus knew the child would be born to a pair of the "good guys" is that I don't think any DEs would have "thrice defied" Voldy and lived. And, with all that was going on at the moment he was accosted by Aberforth, I don't think Severus gave the whole prophecy itself that much thought, other than it pertained to the vanquishing of Voldmort.

This is my idea of what happened with Severus, the Prophecy, and the aftermath:

Severus was a young DE who hadn't "made his bones" as they say. I don't think he'd done anything outstanding enough to be on the in with LV, where it was reasonably safe, rather than being just one of the rank and file DEs who were like canon fodder to LV. But, Voldemort saw something in him that made him think Severus would make a good candidate for a position at Hogwarts. This is another reason I don't think Severus had a very "tarnished" background, as the more "active" DEs seemed to be well know and their faces on wanted posters. While Dumbledore knew, somehow, that Severus was a DE when he met with him on the hilltop, it seems that fact was not known to anyone else on the "good side".

(I wonder how Severus contacted Dumbledore to meet with him, as the meeting was obviously prearranged? I doubt if he sent an owl, as it might be intercepted...any ideas on this?)

I think that being sent to secure a place at Hogwarts as a spy was his ticket to a "better life." As a spy, he would be expected to blend in and I doubt he'd be used as a "soldier" and sent off to torture and kill anymore. LV would want him to be above suspicion. IMO, it was an out for him from the regular jaunts that the DEs seemed to carry out so regularly, and it would please Voldemort that he was on the inside where he could keep an eye on Dumbledore. It was kind of a win/win for Severus

I agree with Iggy that he was very impulsive as a young man, and I think that's one of the reasons that he worked so hard later to change that -- to gain and maintain such control of himself (except when it came to Harry and Neville). And I think it was this impulsiveness that led to him being careless while eavesdropping.

As I imagine it, he was waiting his turn, and, it seems logical that he heard the change in Sybil's voice as she was reciting the Prophecy, and may have even heard enough to know it pertained to the Dark Lord. So, he became curious as to what she was saying, and that was what he was listening to when Aberforth caught him.

Dragged before Dumbledore, exposed as an eavesdropper, now, he'd lost the opportunity to get inside Hogwarts, which wasn't going to make the DL very happy, and, he would have to continue to try to avoid taking part in the activities of Bella and crew. He might have even been faced with being sent to the "front" as punishment for his failure and it would be pretty difficult to find a "hole to slither into" when the going got too bad.

But, he did have one thing, that portion of the Prophecy, that he could offer to assuage LV's anger a bit. So, I think he hurried back with that in order to save his butt. I don't think he thought who it was about or the consequences of relating it to Voldemort -- I think he was just trying to cover his failure as best he could.

Once it became clear that Voldemort was hunting for Lily and her child, his love for her overshadowed his fear of Voldemort enough to give him the courage to ask for her to be spared. He went along with LV's thinking he just wanted her for himself, and, he sure couldn't have asked him to spare James, if he'd wanted to, as that would have made Voldy very suspicious. LV could understand lechery, but if Severus asked for the husband's life, too, that would mean a whole different thing -- that would be compassion, which was beyond his comprehension. And, would probably assured that, not only would Lily be given no chance, Severus would have been putting his own neck on the block for asking for something like that. So he asked for what he thought he could get.

I think something in LV's manner, or the fact that Severus knew he really couldn't be trusted, made him rethink this, and he decided to go to Dumbledore and beg for Lily's safety. Maybe LV made it clear he was just going to offer her a chance to step aside while he killed the child and Severus knew she would never do that.

When Severus went to Dumbledore there was pretty much a shoot on sight policy for DEs, and he knew he was risking his life, and, at the very least, his freedom. He more than likely thought there was a one-way ticket to Azkaban waiting for him once he'd finished making his request. That's what he was risking just to ask for Lily's safety -- he had no assurance that it could or would be provided, although, knowing Dumbledore, I'm sure he figured there was a good chance.

When sternly admonished for not requesting the safety of the husband and child, Severus did quickly, and with no argument, agree to do "anything" to protect them all. And, he had no idea at the time what that "anything" might have been. But, he was willing to do it.

That's why I don't see his act as selfish and being done because of the pain Lily's death would cause him. There was too much else in store for him: being killed on sight, going to Azkaban, having Voldemort find out he'd betrayed him...any of these would have been things I think he'd have wanted to avoid, and would have done so if he was only acting for selfish reasons. I see this act as "selfless" and the first step in his redemption, the second being his realization that he was going to allow two other people to die when he could save them, too, with just one word: "anything."

So, that's my take on the "Prophecy Incident." It is, of course my own opinion and perception, but is based on several readings of the books and many, many discussions of this portion.

And, while it was mentioned to Bella at Spinner's End, I don't think the idea that Harry might be a Dark Wizard developed until after Voldy had been zapped by Harry's protection (provided by his mother sacrifice out of love).


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  #87  
Old November 5th, 2011, 7:51 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
I'm not sure Severus really thought the whole situation through. I know, seems a bit strange to say of the man who became a successful spy, but I see the young Severus as having an impulsive streak, which he only later tamped down when he first began spying and using Occlumency. He appears unable to contain himself any longer and leaps out of the bushes when he first meets Lily. His indignation at James is so overpowering it makes him stumble over his words as a teen. He was so horrified at the identity of the child's mother that he asked Voldemort himself to spare a Muggleborn, then stood out in the open on a hillside waiting for the leader of the opposition, who he believed might kill him. These actions seem to be very emotionally-motivated, and I think the same can be said for his delivering of the Prophecy: wanting to gain favor (and therefore less likelihood of getting Crucio'd), and then, later, wanting to pull out all the stops to make absolutely sure Lily is protected, even if it means treachery to the Dark Lord.

What does this say about his loyalty to Voldemort? Mostly, I think, it means that his loyalty to Lily turned out to be far more powerful. I'd also add that I think it suggests he had no deeply ideological reasons for working among the DEs (once again, I look to emotional reasons for that), as he doesn't make any comment to the effect that he feels he is doing any wrong by betraying the DEs and their cause.
I agree, and I think that goes back to Snape talking about fools "who wear their hearts on their sleeve" in OotP, because at one time he was one of them, and impulsively spilled the fact to both Voldemort and Dumbledore over Lily. Of course, if someone is going to be impulsive, love might be a good reason, as it sometimes is with Harry, and not just love of adventure or risk-taking. It was certainly risky with Voldemort, which is why Snape hedged his bets on Lily's life with Dumbledore - he's a smart gambler.

I think the "Pureblood Cause" was always a stretch for Severus, being a Half-Blood, so his involvement was more to do with being a proud Slytherin (at first), and finding involvement in a group of other Slytherins. In my opinion, he had nowhere else to go at that point. His school years had taught him that he might never be accepted by people in any other house - the Hogwarts School of Hard Knocks, so to speak.


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Old November 5th, 2011, 8:39 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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So what is Severus really doing when he turns over the prophecy to Voldemort? Would it be possible he hopes that in the resulting internal mayhem he can cut himself loose from the DE’s?
Interesting thoughts.

a) I don't think he was doing much except that he realised he had with him some of what sounded like a Prophecy regarding Voldemort and Snape took that to him. I think it's entirely possible that Snape was sent to spy on Dumbledore because he was a new recruit, so Dumbledore would have suspicions about Snape. I think Snape was much too scared of Voldemort to do anything except follow Voldemort's orders, and report what happened to him IMO.

b) I think it's possible that even by that time (assuming Snape was indeed a very new recruit) Snape was disillusioned, but I think that until Lily was targeted Snape never even thought of an out from Voldemort's service. I think the reason was that he was too scared of what Voldemort, Bellatrix and others could do once they caught up with him. All the more so, if he was there at the time or heard about Regulus who went against Voldemort and was killed. I don't think he would have had the confidence or the ability to hide successfully all on his own (at that time) from them if he left them. But once Lily was targeted and that too because he happened to take the small bit of the Prophecy, the whole scene changed for Snape. I think that act of his and the follow up action of Voldemort acted as a powerful instrument in helping him walk away from Voldemort.


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Old November 5th, 2011, 10:12 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I agree, and I think that goes back to Snape talking about fools "who wear their hearts on their sleeve" in OotP, because at one time he was one of them, and impulsively spilled the fact to both Voldemort and Dumbledore over Lily. Of course, if someone is going to be impulsive, love might be a good reason, as it sometimes is with Harry, and not just love of adventure or risk-taking. It was certainly risky with Voldemort, which is why Snape hedged his bets on Lily's life with Dumbledore - he's a smart gambler.
Yes. We see that, other than a few incidents with Harry, Severus is very much in control of his deep emotions. I don't count his frustrations with Neville in this as I think they're something entirely different. But, what goes on with him in his interactions with Harry seems to wear his emotional armor pretty thin at times.

It may have been allowing both Voldemort and Dumbledore to see his "weakness" in loving Lily enough to risk his life to beg for her's that helped to spur him to shutting everyone else out. Letting Voldemort almost see was dangerous and, I have a feeling he may have seen what LV could do with little tidbits like that. Letting Dumbledore see got him locked into a dangerous life of espionage. And neither saved Lily in the long run. Lessons learned.

Quote:
I think the "Pureblood Cause" was always a stretch for Severus, being a Half-Blood, so his involvement was more to do with being a proud Slytherin (at first), and finding involvement in a group of other Slytherins. In my opinion, he had nowhere else to go at that point. His school years had taught him that he might never be accepted by people in any other house - the Hogwarts School of Hard Knocks, so to speak.
I agree that the "purist philosophy" didn't mean anything to Severus and that his involvement was at first through his being in Slytherin and then not having anywhere else to go. He might have "bucked the system" and gone against his Housemates, and that would have made Lily happy. But, it still wouldn't have guaranteed him an invitation to join the "good guys" once he left school. And that would have left him in a very uncomfortable position. In Voldy's mind it was probably, "You're either with us or you're against us." Not a good position to be in.

Come to think of it, I don't remember any Slytherins, as a matter of fact, who were fighting on the good side. Slughorn was fairly safe, because he was at Hogwarts, and probably spent breaks and holidays there as well. He's the only Slytherin that I can recall who didn't join up with Voldemort. And I'm pretty sure not all of them were blood purists or potential DEs. So, it seems that just being a Slytherin was enough of a taint on one to be excluded. I wonder what happened to the Slytherins who tried to remain "neutral"?

I like that phrase: "The Hogwarts School of Hard Knocks." Very appropriate.


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  #90  
Old November 5th, 2011, 11:00 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by mirrormere View Post

When Bellatrix (in Spinner's End, HBP) challenges Snape on why he didn't kill Harry when Harry showed up at Hogwarts, part of his answer is:

"I should remind you that when Potter first arrived at Hogwarts there were still many stories circulating about him, rumors that he himself was a great Dark wizard, which was how he had survived the Dark Lord's attack. Indeed many of the Dark Lord's old followers thought Potter might be a standard around which we could all rally once more.”
This comment intrigues me the most in your post, mirrormere. I must have overlooked it in HBP.

I believe there has to be a strong element of truth in the statement, because Voldy would have questioned his followers, and if Snape told him this and had lied to him, it would have diminished Voldy's trust in him.

So...Harry arrives at Hogwarts, and on the first day of class, Snape begins questioning him. Perhaps those Slytherin students were told by their "reformed" DE parents to get to know Harry and see if he would be a good rallying point, and Snape wanted to squash that as quickly as he could, for Harry's safety (plus Snape didn't know Harry yet - what if Harry was the type who would love the attention and want to be the new leader?) and because he didn't want another potential Dark Lord? And he wanted to highlight Neville's deficiencies as well, in case some of the students decided Voldy went after the wrong guy, when Neville was actually the one the prophecy referred to?

Thoughts?


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  #91  
Old November 6th, 2011, 1:32 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
Snape seems to think you need a knowledge of the Dark Arts in order to defeat a dark wizard, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to be a dark wizard yourself.
True. And I've always felt that one reason for Snape's fascination with learning the Dark Arts was defensive. Feeling the need to defend himself would be a significant consequence of his upbringing.

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
When he went to DD and asked him to protect Lily, he knew DD wasn't a dark wizard, but would be the best chance of spoiling Voldy's plans.
Ah, Dumbledore. I agree that once between a rock and a hard place, Snape decided to turn to DD as he was considered the most powerful "good" wizard. But at that time, I'm not sure if he thought DD more powerful than LV. Snape had seen LV's power displayed. I think DD's not so much. After all, and this is something I have a hard time reconciling with DD's character-if the amount and severity of bullying that went on at Hogwarts happened in schools today, the principal would get canned 10 times over. DD never protected his students from that (even from Snape years later when he should have taken his potion master in hand) which may have given some of them, Severus included, the impression DD was weakening in his old age.


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  #92  
Old November 6th, 2011, 2:01 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
(I wonder how Severus contacted Dumbledore to meet with him, as the meeting was obviously prearranged? I doubt if he sent an owl, as it might be intercepted...any ideas on this?)
Yeah, I'd say sending an owl without any precautions would not have been a wise move. Even in his distress, I doubt he forgot just how terrible were the "punishments" Voldemort meted out to his servants. I'd say that he'd make hasty precautions, either had a way of keeping his owl protected, or he sent a note through the Floo or a third party.

Then again, it's also possible that he went straight from Voldemort to Dumbledore, was panicked enough to send an owl, and simply got lucky.

What I'd be curious to know is just how much time passed between the moment Voldemort revealed to Snape the identity of the prophesied child, and the meeting between him and Dumbledore. That may help clear up the question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
So...Harry arrives at Hogwarts, and on the first day of class, Snape begins questioning him. Perhaps those Slytherin students were told by their "reformed" DE parents to get to know Harry and see if he would be a good rallying point, and Snape wanted to squash that as quickly as he could, for Harry's safety (plus Snape didn't know Harry yet - what if Harry was the type who would love the attention and want to be the new leader?) and because he didn't want another potential Dark Lord? And he wanted to highlight Neville's deficiencies as well, in case some of the students decided Voldy went after the wrong guy, when Neville was actually the one the prophecy referred to?

Thoughts?
I think Snape did see a real danger in Harry letting the fame get to his head. After all, being complacent is the last thing the Chosen One ought to do. I think that Severus did later, after Harry had defeated Voldemort the first couple times, come to the conclusion that Harry would never go bad (just arrogant and obnoxious ), but could he have come to that conclusion by the first potions class? Who knows...

We know he makes a particular remark about Harry's fame and suggests Harry feels himself too good to study. He also seems to take great pains to emphasize that he has, to put it as he did in GoF, not joined Harry's little fan club. I'm inclined to think that, future Dark Lord or not, what Severus is really wanting to do is squash the arrogant tendencies he is convinced Harry has, as well as convince himself that Harry indeed has them. I would say that any aspirations Harry might have to dominate others would also be squashed along with his arrogance. You've got to be pretty self-assured to aim for the position of Dark Lord.


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  #93  
Old November 6th, 2011, 2:08 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
I'm not sure Severus really thought the whole situation through. I know, seems a bit strange to say of the man who became a successful spy, but I see the young Severus as having an impulsive streak, which he only later tamped down when he first began spying and using Occlumency. He appears unable to contain himself any longer and leaps out of the bushes when he first meets Lily. His indignation at James is so overpowering it makes him stumble over his words as a teen. He was so horrified at the identity of the child's mother that he asked Voldemort himself to spare a Muggleborn, then stood out in the open on a hillside waiting for the leader of the opposition, who he believed might kill him. These actions seem to be very emotionally-motivated, and I think the same can be said for his delivering of the Prophecy: wanting to gain favor (and therefore less likelihood of getting Crucio'd), and then, later, wanting to pull out all the stops to make absolutely sure Lily is protected, even if it means treachery to the Dark Lord.
I know JKR shows us moments when Severus seems to be acting impulsively, but I don't feel that is his usual state, even as a young child. The type of home he grew up in would require a child to have complete control of his emotions at all times. if you do not, you become a target for one or both parents' wrath. Living in that kind of environment extinguishes any type of spontaneous emotional behavior-even smiling or laughing. He would be "walking on eggshells" every minute of everyday.

Many times what comes off as perhaps impulsive emotion on his part, I believe is just his very inexperienced attempt at social discourse. He watched Lily and Petunia for a very long time before finally trying to interact with them and then didn't do so well because he simply didn't have the social skills. His first attempts at verbal sparring with the Marauders were inexperienced but he quickly got the hang of that (obviously.) The meeting on the hill with DD was prearranged, though we're not sure how (perhaps a secret message via Aberforth or Rosmerta?) not a spur of the moment whim.

And we have to remember that LV, even at that point, was considered the greatest Legilimens that ever lived. But Snape, shortly after his meeting with DD, has to go back to LV and conceal all his concerns and emotions about Lily, the fact that he has had a secret meeting with DD and that he is now spying for DD and is committed to destroying the Dark Lord's regime if not the Dark Lord himself. And he's what? Twenty-one, twenty-two? And he pulls it off. At that point he is already a better Occlumens than LV is a Legilimens. I've always felt that Severus was a natural Occlumens and that his unfortunate childhood only strengthened that ability.

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Severus was a young DE who hadn't "made his bones" as they say. I don't think he'd done anything outstanding enough to be on the in with LV, where it was reasonably safe, rather than being just one of the rank and file DEs who were like canon fodder to LV.
I may be mistaken (it happens way too frequently for my taste), but my understanding was that not everyone that followed LV was accorded the status of Death Eater. Is that incorrect?

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But, Voldemort saw something in him that made him think Severus would make a good candidate for a position at Hogwarts.
Since he so excelled at potions, I've always felt that he was working in that capacity for Voldemort. That would make him very valuable, keep him behind the scenes, thus the "untarnished" reputation and make him a good candidate for Hogwarts professor. How do you make Inferi anyway?

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
I think something in LV's manner, or the fact that Severus knew he really couldn't be trusted, made him rethink this, and he decided to go to Dumbledore and beg for Lily's safety. Maybe LV made it clear he was just going to offer her a chance to step aside while he killed the child and Severus knew she would never do that.
I think his suspicions of LV being untrustworthy had been building for awhile or he would never have attempted his request to DD. But I like your thought that Snape knew Lily would never step aside and allow her son to be murdered. That definitely would have added to Severus' anxiety.

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
And, while it was mentioned to Bella at Spinner's End, I don't think the idea that Harry might be a Dark Wizard developed until after Voldy had been zapped by Harry's protection (provided by his mother sacrifice out of love).
I think this is one of Snape's 'thinking on his feet' moments. Where do we hear, in any of the books, this opinion expressed by any of LV's followers? If this were the case, wouldn't we see some attempt to discern that? The closest we come is Draco offering his friendship to Harry, and being rebuffed, his first day at Hogwarts. I don't think the adults would take that as conclusive proof. That lack is one of the main reasons I believe Snape expected the prophecy to be about a Dark wizard-he's the only one that ever mentions it.

Bellatrix has been in Azkaban, what does she know, or can remember after living with dementors for years? Narcissa isn't going to contradict the man she's begging to help her son.

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I agree, and I think that goes back to Snape talking about fools "who wear their hearts on their sleeve" in OotP, because at one time he was one of them, and impulsively spilled the fact to both Voldemort and Dumbledore over Lily.
I love this forum because there are so many diverse perspectives! I've always thought Snape's reference to 'fools who wear their hearts on their sleeves' was a reference to James Potter and his decision to 'follow his heart' use his friends as secret keepers in place of DD thus getting himself and Lily killed. Time to reread!

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I think the "Pureblood Cause" was always a stretch for Severus, being a Half-Blood, so his involvement was more to do with being a proud Slytherin (at first), and finding involvement in a group of other Slytherins. In my opinion, he had nowhere else to go at that point. His school years had taught him that he might never be accepted by people in any other house - the Hogwarts School of Hard Knocks, so to speak.
Agreed! And I think he got involved with the worst of Slytherin House for protection. You surround yourself with budding Death Eaters and your bullies aren't so quick on the attack. Unless you're alone. After an exam. I suspect he was his group's Hermione.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
This comment intrigues me the most in your post, mirrormere. I must have overlooked it in HBP.
RE: previous owl, that would actually surprise me.

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Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
I believe there has to be a strong element of truth in the statement, because Voldy would have questioned his followers, and if Snape told him this and had lied to him, it would have diminished Voldy's trust in him.
Hmm...I have to think about this and possibly revise my take on Snape thinking on his feet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
So...Harry arrives at Hogwarts, and on the first day of class, Snape begins questioning him. Perhaps those Slytherin students were told by their "reformed" DE parents to get to know Harry and see if he would be a good rallying point, and Snape wanted to squash that as quickly as he could, for Harry's safety (plus Snape didn't know Harry yet - what if Harry was the type who would love the attention and want to be the new leader?) and because he didn't want another potential Dark Lord? And he wanted to highlight Neville's deficiencies as well, in case some of the students decided Voldy went after the wrong guy, when Neville was actually the one the prophecy referred to?

Thoughts?
I'll have to think about this too. I've always felt Snape had a few ulterior motives with the attitude he took toward Harry besides just his dislike of James. This just might figure in.


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  #94  
Old November 6th, 2011, 4:16 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
Yeah, I'd say sending an owl without any precautions would not have been a wise move. Even in his distress, I doubt he forgot just how terrible were the "punishments" Voldemort meted out to his servants. I'd say that he'd make hasty precautions, either had a way of keeping his owl protected, or he sent a note through the Floo or a third party.

Then again, it's also possible that he went straight from Voldemort to Dumbledore, was panicked enough to send an owl, and simply got lucky.

What I'd be curious to know is just how much time passed between the moment Voldemort revealed to Snape the identity of the prophesied child, and the meeting between him and Dumbledore. That may help clear up the question.
Yes. It definitely would!

From his opening remark, Dumbledore seems to be under the impression that Severus has come with a message from Voldemort, so he may have used some form of communication that DD associated with LV. He asks Severus what message he has from LV, or something along those lines. Then Severus tells him he's there on his own and starts telling DD about the plan to kill the chosen child, etc. I'm just curious as to what form of communication Severus could/would have used? And, did he maybe set it up to seem like he was coming with a message from LV so that Dumbledore would meet with him and hear him out? Maybe he didn't think DD would just meet with a rank-and-file DE.

Quote:
I think Snape did see a real danger in Harry letting the fame get to his head. After all, being complacent is the last thing the Chosen One ought to do. I think that Severus did later, after Harry had defeated Voldemort the first couple times, come to the conclusion that Harry would never go bad (just arrogant and obnoxious ), but could he have come to that conclusion by the first potions class? Who knows...

We know he makes a particular remark about Harry's fame and suggests Harry feels himself too good to study. He also seems to take great pains to emphasize that he has, to put it as he did in GoF, not joined Harry's little fan club. I'm inclined to think that, future Dark Lord or not, what Severus is really wanting to do is squash the arrogant tendencies he is convinced Harry has, as well as convince himself that Harry indeed has them. I would say that any aspirations Harry might have to dominate others would also be squashed along with his arrogance. You've got to be pretty self-assured to aim for the position of Dark Lord.
I think it goes back to Severus' experience with James, who, I think we can all agree, was arrogant during his time at Hogwarts. This isn't meant to be an offensive statement, just a statement of fact based on what we see of him (as little as it is) in the series.

Maybe Severus imagined someone with James' arrogance and charisma, only with tendencies toward the Dark Side. Not just Dark Arts, but someone who wanted the same thing Voldemort did: absolute power. That would be as scary as having Voldemort back in the flesh.

Since no one really knew how Harry had zapped LV the first time, there may have been serious thoughts that it was Dark Magic -- doubting that most of Voldy's followers would have given the power of love that much credit. So, it sounds logical that some may have been waiting for Harry as another DarK Lord to rally 'round. Possibly Severus felt by nipping the whole thing in the bud, he would be able to head that off, at least for a while.

And, even without being a budding Dark Lord, I'm sure Severus had had enough of James' arrogance and didn't want a repeat performance from his son. We know that for the first year or two he could only seem to see James whenever he looked at Harry...



Quote:
Originally Posted by mirromere
I may be mistaken (it happens way too frequently for my taste), but my understanding was that not everyone that followed LV was accorded the status of Death Eater. Is that incorrect?
No, that's my understanding, too. Greyback was not a DE because he was an "inferior," being a werewolf. But, I think any of the followers who carried the dark mark were definitely considered DEs. I think that was their "badge."


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  #95  
Old November 6th, 2011, 6:06 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
(I wonder how Severus contacted Dumbledore to meet with him, as the meeting was obviously prearranged? I doubt if he sent an owl, as it might be intercepted...any ideas on this?)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
What I'd be curious to know is just how much time passed between the moment Voldemort revealed to Snape the identity of the prophesied child, and the meeting between him and Dumbledore. That may help clear up the question.
My guess is that Snape contacted him through Owl, only I guess he may have disguised it as an application for a Hogwarts job, with enough hints about that day at the Hog's Head to make Dumbledore agree to meet him, or he may have sent a simple request through owl asking for the meeting saying that he had something important for Dumbledore. Either way I think he may have known Dumbledore would meet him, because he was present at Hog's Head when Trelawney was saying her Prophecy. In both cases, I guess Snape would have ensured the letter was protected. I think his home life and the bullying he suffered in his school days would have instilled a sense of caution when dealing with most people, I'd guess all people except Lily, and later on, after he joined the DEs that caution would have only increased. Contradictorily coming to Dumbledore itself was an abandonment of that caution, but I think by that time Snape stopped caring.


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  #96  
Old November 6th, 2011, 10:37 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Yes. I guess there had to be other wizard "Post Offices" besides Hogsmeade. He may have used a "hired" owl that was not familiar to anyone. And, we don't read anything about him having an owl of his own, anyway. So, that was probably the way he sent the request.

I wonder if Dumbledore just assumed it was from Voldemort, and only being sent by a DE as a cover? (Going back to his initial question when he first sees Severus on the hillside, and after Severus begs him not to kill him.


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  #97  
Old November 6th, 2011, 12:19 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Guys, some of this discussion is getting way too speculative. As a guide:

1. Pointing out that we know from the Spinner's End dialogue with Bellatrix that many of the DEs thought Harry could be the new Dark Lord and suggesting that therefore when Snape handed over the Prophecy he might have assumed that the couple targetted would be on the dark side is perfectly permissible, because it's a deduction from the text. However, going on to hypothesise how this plan might have played out and what Snape might have done next is not permissible, because it's building a completely non-textual hypothesis on top of a debatable text-based one.

2. Pointing out that we don't know how Snape contacted Dumbledore for their hilltop meeting and that any form of contact would have been difficult and dangerous is fine. Speculating in detail about how he might have contacted him when we have no textual evidence on this point is not OK.


I'm sure there are plenty of social groups where you can take these speculative discussions.

Also, please remember, posts have to have substance. If you post a "Wow! Great post! Good job!" or "Sorry, I think you're wrong" kind of post and don't go on to say anything constructive, your post will be deleted.



Last edited by Melaszka; November 6th, 2011 at 12:22 pm.
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  #98  
Old November 6th, 2011, 3:20 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
I wonder if Dumbledore just assumed it was from Voldemort, and only being sent by a DE as a cover? (Going back to his initial question when he first sees Severus on the hillside, and after Severus begs him not to kill him.
I think after seeing Snape brought in, into Trelawney's room, in the manner he was, that is eavesdropping on what was happening between Trelawney and Dumbledore, any communication from Snape would have increased his caution. Whether Dumbledore questioned Snape or not (in the Hog's Head) I think he would be prepared for both the eventuality that Snape was a DE and would convey whatever he heard to Voldemort or that Snape was innocent; something he would find hard to believe though, since the meeting was taking place in Trelawney's room and Snape had been caught eavesdropping there.

So when Dumbledore received communication (by whatever means, owl seems most likely, since Snape would not have been privy to the Patronus communication, or through a Hogwarts house elf, if Snape knew about them), he would have come prepared for anything. And I suspect he knew Snape was working for Voldemort, because he greets Snape by saying "Well Severus? What message does Voldemort have for me?" DH - TPT.

Since there is no mention of Snape meeting Dumbledore after the Hog's Head, I think whether Dumbledore questioned him or not, was knowledgeable about Snape's position as a DE.


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  #99  
Old November 6th, 2011, 4:08 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

I guess it wasn't hard for Dumbledore to put two and two together and come up with Death Eater," since there wasn't much other reason for Severus to have been listening at the keyhole...obviously eavesdropping. Also, I'd guess DD was privy ot a bit more info than most about who was and was not involved with LV.

IMO, letting himself get caught listening like that shows that Severus wasn't all that adept at spying at that time, and really had to work to hone his skills later on. Maybe that, as Iggy alluded to earlier, was part of his working on not being so impulsive and maintaining better control of himself and his emotions. That, and allowing his love for Lily to be known. Funny how that registered so differently with LV and Dumbledore. I guess that shows the difference in one who is incapable of love and one who has loved someone himself.


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I held you in my arms, although I knew that death
Had already taken you. I held you close, hoping for a faint heartbeat or breath
To prove me wrong.
But, you were still, and could not hear or see
My grief, my tears, my heartbreak knowing that the rest of my life would be
Spent without you.
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  #100  
Old November 6th, 2011, 5:21 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Quote:
Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
So...Harry arrives at Hogwarts, and on the first day of class, Snape begins questioning him. Perhaps those Slytherin students were told by their "reformed" DE parents to get to know Harry and see if he would be a good rallying point, and Snape wanted to squash that as quickly as he could, for Harry's safety (plus Snape didn't know Harry yet - what if Harry was the type who would love the attention and want to be the new leader?) and because he didn't want another potential Dark Lord? And he wanted to highlight Neville's deficiencies as well, in case some of the students decided Voldy went after the wrong guy, when Neville was actually the one the prophecy referred to?

Thoughts?
I got the impression that very few people knew about the prophecy, or at least what it said. Jo said on her site that the Lestranges didn't know about it, and I can't see Voldemort passing the contents of the prophecy round and not including Bella. At Hogwarts only Dumbledore knew what the prophecy said when Harry started school, so I don't think Snape would have considered that others might think Neville was the potential Dark Lord.

I think that DEs might have assumed Harry had some power that had defeated Voldemort and therefore would have liked that power on their side, thus considering him a 'rallying point' for them. And I do think Snape would have wanted to nip that in the bud by putting Harry down in the presence of the Slytherin students so that they reported to their parents that Harry Potter was nothing special.

So I think Snape had double reasons for his behaviour towards Harry at first: to stop any DE children from taking him up and because he was the living image of James who Snape had hated so much. The first I think may have been the reason Snape was giving to himself for his behavious towards Harry and the second was his emotional response which perhaps he didn't even recognise.


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