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Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3



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  #21  
Old May 23rd, 2013, 10:08 am
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

To be quite honest, I think this thread would profit from moving away from the 'agape' discussion. It seems as if this term has to be shoehorned into Lily's character analysis in contrast to a term that is necessary to describe Lily's actions, if that makes sense. And this whole debate really seems to be based on one's understanding of the original Greek meaning or its Christian 'adaptation', and therefore a) alienates posters who have no such knowledge and b) tempts you all to post definitions from various sources which always tends to come across as didactic. So let's just not, okay?


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Old January 31st, 2014, 3:52 am
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

It's my last chance to say it -

I can't imagine what Lily saw in either Snape or James. There were both bullies. She must have been one of those women who like to fix men.



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Old January 31st, 2014, 4:47 am
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by SusanBones View Post
It's my last chance to say it -

I can't imagine what Lily saw in either Snape or James. There were both bullies. She must have been one of those women who like to fix men.

Oh my gosh! I am sooooo right there with you! I would not have given either one of them the time of day after the events of SWM.


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Old January 31st, 2014, 11:32 am
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by SusanBones View Post
It's my last chance to say it -

I can't imagine what Lily saw in either Snape or James. There were both bullies. She must have been one of those women who like to fix men.

This! This!

Although I am still grateful that JKR didn't give Lily one of those Hollywood story arcs where the hot girl is asked out by both the hot jock and the shy, sensitive, physically unattractive nerd, but little by little she learns that the shy boy "deserves" her and that wanting to date the hottie is "superficial"...

At least Lily got to keep the hottie, even if he was a bit of a bully.


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Old January 31st, 2014, 12:04 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by SusanBones View Post
It's my last chance to say it -

I can't imagine what Lily saw in either Snape or James. There were both bullies. She must have been one of those women who like to fix men.



I think that's pretty perceptive, Susan!


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Old January 31st, 2014, 12:44 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

Actually, I'd say Lily told off both James and Snape for being bullies after SWM, and walked away. I think as far as she was concerned, it was up to the boys to fix themselves-- she'd already put up with their goings on for years and it seems to me that she decided at that point that she had better things to do with her life. I don't think she was going to give either of them the time of day from that day forward, unless they actually changed enough to make it worth her effort, no matter what other good qualities or past history or potential feelings she might have towards them.

She quit having to anything to do with them when they were bullies, and I thought she clearly stated that as her reason for not wanting to associate with either of them. I don't think she would, so if more than a year later she does start associating with one of them, but not the other, I'd say it is a reflection of how James changed. As this was seventh year, not fifth when Lily did her telling off and walking away, I'd say Snape"s and James's seventh year actions and attitudes were more a factor in Lily's decision than their fifth year actions. Since James had a ton of good qualities, if he lost the bad I don't see what's so odd about Lily getting together with James.

ETA: I guess I view SWM not at all through a high school romance lens. To me, that scene and the one after where Lily refuses Snape's excuse making represent a watershed event for Lily, wherein it crystalizes for her what is important to her and what is worth standing up for and what sort of people she wishes to associate with, and she decides to stand up for what she wants and her own goals. The scene ends with her declaration that she has chosen her own path. I would say she is done with bullies and bigots and excuse making. I would also say that she need not view those people through a static lens, and make her decisions on any future associations based only on how things were exactly at SWM is hardly a given; she probably has consideration for the things that continue to happen or change as time goes by. But, basically, after her declaration, but I think anyone who wanted to be considered her friend would have to on her path from that point on.


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  #27  
Old January 31st, 2014, 12:58 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
Actually, I'd say Lily told off both James and Snape for being bullies after SWM, and walked away. I think as far as she was concerned, it was up to the boys to fix themselves-- she'd already put up with their goings on for years and it seems to me that she decided at that point that she had better things to do with her life. I don't think she was going to give either of them the time of day from that day forward, unless they actually changed enough to make it worth her effort, no matter what other good qualities or past history or potential feelings she might have towards them.

She quit having to anything to do with them when they were bullies, and I thought she clearly stated that as her reason for not wanting to associate with either of them. I don't think she would, so if more than a year later she does start associating with one of them, but not the other, I'd say it is a reflection of how James changed. As this was seventh year, not fifth when Lily did her telling off and walking away, I'd say Snape"s and James's seventh year actions and attitudes were more a factor in Lily's decision than their fifth year actions. Since James had a ton of good qualities, if he lost the bad I don't see what's so odd about Lily getting together with James.
This is excellent. James basically grew up between his fifth and seventh year at Hogwarts. I get the feeling that Snape didn't; instead he continued along his chosen career as a death eater - something Lily made quite clear she was not interested in after the OWLs. She made the right choice.


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  #28  
Old January 31st, 2014, 2:05 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

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This is excellent. James basically grew up between his fifth and seventh year at Hogwarts. I get the feeling that Snape didn't; instead he continued along his chosen career as a death eater - something Lily made quite clear she was not interested in after the OWLs. She made the right choice.
I agree with you. I think she made the right decision to associate only with people who shared her morals and supported the cause she found important from that point on.

Choice is a very powerful running theme in the Harry Potter series, in my opinion. Lily makes the declaration, "...You've chosen your way, I've chosen mine." (I love that quote; it is in my sig) She has chosen what is important to her and what she wants to do about it. She is also recognizing that what other's choose to do is their own choice of path. She can't choose for them. What she can do is choose not to support or excuse make for them-- again, I see this as Lily's moment of recognizing that she had the power over her own choices, including her choice not to support other people's bad choices. Before this point, she might move taken on a fix it project, but after this point I can't see it at all-- she had too much recognition that people--including herself-- needed to own their own choices and the impact they made.


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  #29  
Old January 31st, 2014, 2:22 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
Actually, I'd say Lily told off both James and Snape for being bullies after SWM, and walked away. I think as far as she was concerned, it was up to the boys to fix themselves-- she'd already put up with their goings on for years and it seems to me that she decided at that point that she had better things to do with her life.
...........

She quit having to anything to do with them when they were bullies, and I thought she clearly stated that as her reason for not wanting to associate with either of them. I don't think she would, so if more than a year later she does start associating with one of them, but not the other, I'd say it is a reflection of how James changed. As this was seventh year, not fifth when Lily did her telling off and walking away, I'd say Snape"s and James's seventh year actions and attitudes were more a factor in Lily's decision than their fifth year actions. Since James had a ton of good qualities, if he lost the bad I don't see what's so odd about Lily getting together with James.
.
Even being a Snape fan, I agree completely with almost all of this. I don't see Lily as someone who would try to "fix" people, and after SWM, she walked away from James and from Snape.

Snape didn't change. I think James gave up 95% of his bullying (he and Sirius had a filing cabinet full of detentions where they had bullied many students, and not just Snape) but as Sirius and Lupin told Harry, James and Snape continued to attack each other, although James hid that from Lily.

I think Lily chose James because of common values and similar personalities. I can't see her as having even considered someone who wasn't in the Order.


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  #30  
Old January 31st, 2014, 2:22 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
Choice is a very powerful running theme in the Harry Potter series, in my opinion. Lily makes the declaration, "...You've chosen your way, I've chosen mine."
That is a good quote. I like that Lily doesn't settle for two men who were, at the time of SWM very unworthy of her; that she's strong enough to walk away from someone who was once a friend, but is now headed down the wrong path.


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  #31  
Old January 31st, 2014, 2:29 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
Actually, I'd say Lily told off both James and Snape for being bullies after SWM, and walked away. I think as far as she was concerned, it was up to the boys to fix themselves-- she'd already put up with their goings on for years and it seems to me that she decided at that point that she had better things to do with her life. I don't think she was going to give either of them the time of day from that day forward, unless they actually changed enough to make it worth her effort, no matter what other good qualities or past history or potential feelings she might have towards them.

She quit having to anything to do with them when they were bullies, and I thought she clearly stated that as her reason for not wanting to associate with either of them. I don't think she would, so if more than a year later she does start associating with one of them, but not the other, I'd say it is a reflection of how James changed. As this was seventh year, not fifth when Lily did her telling off and walking away, I'd say Snape"s and James's seventh year actions and attitudes were more a factor in Lily's decision than their fifth year actions. Since James had a ton of good qualities, if he lost the bad I don't see what's so odd about Lily getting together with James.
I pretty much totally agree with this (although I don't think James lost all his bad qualities, he just matured and toned it down enough to not be toxic to Lily and for her to be able to fall in love with him).

Also, Lily wasn't even friends with James before SWM (she thought he was an arrogant toe-rag, even before that) although she did see some attractive and redeeming qualities in him (from what I gather from JKR and the text).

I do think Lily had some bad boy syndrome stuff going on (but only to a point, she had her limits), and I think she was attracted to the notion of helping someone become a better person, but I think she would only allow herself to fall in love with a "good bad boy" (no worse than a Disney Anti Hero or Jerk With a Heart of Gold or Messed Up Dude on the Path to Healing/Redemption, things like that, I'm thinking). And she did tend to make excuses for Snape, when he was her best friend, so I think woobie-ing the people she loves was one of Lily's flaws (and she certainly loved Snape as a friend, and could have fallen in love with him if he toned down the bad stuff, according to JKR) . ETA: I think she learned to not make excuses so much after what happened with Snape, though.

---

On a general note, I love Lily! She's my second favorite character, of all time! (I'm so glad the Lily thread perked up before CoS closed). I think she's brave, and sassy, and good without being a goody-goody, and I think her character and plot arcs are very interesting. I hate that she had to go through so much heartbreak and strife in life and had to die so young.

And, while I ship Snape/Lily in an AU where Snape makes better choices before it's too late, like burning, I totally support James/Lily in canon (and I don't hate James, I like him well enough, I just don't find him as interesting as some other characters). In fact, I'll even read James/Lily fanfic, if it's by one of my favorite authors. (And I don't wind up reading or liking that much Snape/Lily fic, since not a lot of people seem to write Snape/Lily in the way I like it to be shipped or because I'm not in the mood for the ultra angst of well written canon Snape->Lily). And I love me a good Lily-centric fic (of any variety, gen or with some romance thrown in)! And I'll read her paired with other peeps if the story sounds interesting and I run across it.


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Last edited by sailorlum; January 31st, 2014 at 2:34 pm. Reason: added some stuff
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  #32  
Old January 31st, 2014, 3:14 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

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I pretty much totally agree with this (although I don't think James lost all his bad qualities, he just matured and toned it down enough to not be toxic to Lily and for her to be able to fall in love with him).
Dumbledore, Sirius, Lupin and Jo would beg to differ with your opinion. There's enough canon to support him being a really great guy.


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  #33  
Old January 31st, 2014, 3:23 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

Maybe leave posts which are mainly about James to the James thread? And, all of you, even at this late stage, be nice to each other, while you still can.



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  #34  
Old January 31st, 2014, 4:44 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

First off... Hi everybody! It's good to see all of you here on the last day.

To clarify: The point I was making - and I think the point Susan was making - was that Lily's choices were not so limited. It did not have to be either James or Severus. It could have been somebody entirely different - someone who did not engage in disturbing behavior.

Now, I like Lily. I admire her strength in standing up to Severus, and I have maintained that point consistently throughout the years of debate on CoS. But here is what I find problematic in her ultimate choice of James:

James not only attacked Lily's friend, but he held her friend hostage in an attempt to blackmail a kiss of out of Lily. As a woman, I find this to be degrading and extremely disturbing "flirting" behavior, and as a woman, I find it hard to imagine Lily getting past that before her graduation from Hogwarts.

Now I realize that this is my subjective reaction, but it is based on how I actually have reacted when I have had similar things done to me - hence my comment that I would not have given either one of them the time of day after SWM.


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Old January 31st, 2014, 4:52 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

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Dumbledore, Sirius, Lupin and Jo would beg to differ with your opinion. There's enough canon to support him being a really great guy.
Let me bring it back to Lily and put it another way, in an attempt to clarify what I think regarding Lily's standards and what that means for her loved ones: I think for Lily to have "deemed someone to have matured and toned it down enough to not be toxic to her and for her to be able to fall in love with them", they'd have to at least be on the path to being good (with what she would judge to be enough progress or heading in the right direction), and for her to stay with them they'd need to be continuing on that path, which would eventually get them up to being a great person or at least a pretty good person (how good someone has to be, to be deemed great, is a bit subjective) and I'm of the opinion that a "good bad boy" can be a great/pretty good person (it's not like any character is flaw free, and I don't think Lily required that someone become flaw free or a goody-goody or a saint for her to deem them to be someone who was non-toxic and for her to be able to fall in love with them and stay with them, and I don't see her as someone who wants a goody-goody, anyway - I see her as liking a bit of mischief).

I'll further clarify by adding that I don't think Lily would have fallen in love with James if he were still a bully (not that he need be perfect and never bully again...maybe crank it down by 95%, as someone suggested up thread, or something).

And JKR said that Lily could have fallen in love with Snape, if he had dialed it down by not being so attracted to such awful people and acts (or no longer being so attracted to those sorts of things, before it was too late, since Lily was satisfied with James changing for the better), so I am going with JKR on Lily's bare minimum requirements for falling in love with someone, IMO. And that doesn't mean that James couldn't/didn't exceed the bare minimum (by some point, if not at first).

If you want to discuss James in depth, I'm willing to head on over to the James thread (or you or I can make a James thread at Arry's Hogsmeade forum, and we can discuss there). Let me know.


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  #36  
Old January 31st, 2014, 4:57 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

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James not only attacked Lily's friend, but he held her friend hostage in an attempt to blackmail a kiss of out of Lily. As a woman, I find this to be degrading and extremely disturbing "flirting" behavior, and as a woman, I find it hard to imagine Lily getting past that before her graduation from Hogwarts.
For myself, making a choice, I agree with you. Completely.

But Lily was different. She seems to have hidden her friendship with Severus - Remus and Sirius didn't know about it. At one point, she even said to Severus "my friends don't understand why I talk to you." To me, this suggests she cared very much about popular opinion and what her Gryffindor friends thought. In James, she saw someone popular, outgoing, well liked, financially secure, and willing to join the Order and to fight to protect her. He met her expectations for the life she wanted. Granted, she expected James to change a bit, and he did.

All my own opinion, but this is how i see her.


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Old January 31st, 2014, 5:06 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

My last chance to say this. Lily was too good for everyone. If the books had it where she decided to just punch anyone who did her wrong, she would have my support.


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  #38  
Old January 31st, 2014, 5:15 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

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At one point, she even said to Severus "my friends don't understand why I talk to you." To me, this suggests she cared very much about popular opinion and what her Gryffindor friends thought.
Actually, I read that quotation totally differently - to me it suggests that she is NOT that influenced by popular opinion. She has continued to be friends with Snape for years, despite the fact that her Gryffindor friends think this is odd. And let us remember that when she finally does break off her friendship with Snape it is because of his behaviour to her, not to please her Gryffindor friends.


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Old January 31st, 2014, 5:30 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

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And she did tend to make excuses for Snape, when he was her best friend, so I think woobie-ing the people she loves was one of Lily's flaws (and she certainly loved Snape as a friend, and could have fallen in love with him if he toned down the bad stuff, according to JKR) . ETA: I think she learned to not make excuses so much after what happened with Snape, though.
I think she did have that flaw, too. I think she wanted to hold onto Snape for as long as she did because of what happened between her and Petunia and losing that relationship. But I also see the events of SWM as her realizing that she can only make choices for herself, and try to make good one's, but she can't fix it from another person's side; that is up to them and their choices. So I see this as Lily learning to overcome her flaw through character growth.


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Old January 31st, 2014, 5:40 pm
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Re: Lily Evans Potter: Character Analysis v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
First off... Hi everybody! It's good to see all of you here on the last day.

To clarify: The point I was making - and I think the point Susan was making - was that Lily's choices were not so limited. It did not have to be either James or Severus. It could have been somebody entirely different - someone who did not engage in disturbing behavior.
I agree with this totally.


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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
Now, I like Lily. I admire her strength in standing up to Severus, and I have maintained that point consistently throughout the years of debate on CoS. But here is what I find problematic in her ultimate choice of James:

James not only attacked Lily's friend, but he held her friend hostage in an attempt to blackmail a kiss of out of Lily. As a woman, I find this to be degrading and extremely disturbing "flirting" behavior, and as a woman, I find it hard to imagine Lily getting past that before her graduation from Hogwarts.

Now I realize that this is my subjective reaction, but it is based on how I actually have reacted when I have had similar things done to me - hence my comment that I would not have given either one of them the time of day after SWM.
I think Lily was an extremely forgiving person, or she wouldn't have stuck with Snape for as long as she did, seeing as he was hanging out with pure-blood supremacists (with her being a Muggle-born, no less) and seeing as he made excuses for their use of Dark Magic, and seeing as she loathed Muliciber and Avery on moral grounds and Snape made excuses for them and wouldn't give them up, and it took him hurling a purist slur at her before she finally called it quits.

Now, I'd have lost patience with Snape some time before Lily did (there would have been some ultimatum before the time of SWM, if it were me, I'm pretty sure).

I'd be avoiding both James and Snape, after SWM, that's for sure. (And SWM is my shipping point of no return for mutual Snape/Lily, because that creates a greater hurdle for the ship than I want to even try and deal with. I gotta take it AU before that, to ship it.)

With James, they were in the same House, so that did put her into more contact with him than she may have chosen, otherwise, which may have allowed her to see enough depth of redemption for her to forgive the earlier sickening behavior, than she'd have otherwise had opportunity to see, if he was in another House and she could have avoided him more.

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MerryLore View Post
For myself, making a choice, I agree with you. Completely.

But Lily was different. She seems to have hidden her friendship with Severus - Remus and Sirius didn't know about it. At one point, she even said to Severus "my friends don't understand why I talk to you." To me, this suggests she cared very much about popular opinion and what her Gryffindor friends thought. In James, she saw someone popular, outgoing, well liked, financially secure, and willing to join the Order and to fight to protect her. He met her expectations for the life she wanted. Granted, she expected James to change a bit, and he did.

All my own opinion, but this is how i see her.
Actually, I read that quotation totally differently - to me it suggests that she is NOT that influenced by popular opinion. She has continued to be friends with Snape for years, despite the fact that her Gryffindor friends think this is odd. And let us remember that when she finally does break off her friendship with Snape it is because of his behaviour to her, not to please her Gryffindor friends.
That's how I read it too, Melaszka.

And regarding Sirius and Remus, according to JKR they did know that Lily was friends with Snape, but nothing more (I take that to mean they didn't know the depth of it, like how they had been friends for so long and lived in the same town and whatnot).

Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenStar83 View Post
My last chance to say this. Lily was too good for everyone. If the books had it where she decided to just punch anyone who did her wrong, she would have my support.


Great to see you here for the last CoS hurrah, Ravenstar, btw!

ETA:

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I think she did have that flaw, too. I think she wanted to hold onto Snape for as long as she did because of what happened between her and Petunia and losing that relationship. But I also see the events of SWM as her realizing that she can only make choices for herself, and try to make good one's, but she can't fix it from another person's side; that is up to them and their choices. So I see this as Lily learning to overcome her flaw through character growth.
I agree totally (not that I think Lily ever got up to perfect, because no one does).

Also, it's hard to let go of someone you love, so I think it would have been really hard for her even without the baggage from losing Petunia (although that added fuel to the fire).


__________________
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I prefer Severus/Lily in an AU, in a world where Snape makes better choices before it's too late, and they stay together forever. I support canon, I just want this parallel AU with Lily not losing her childhood friend and being hurt by that, and with Snape not screwing up his most important relationship and just generally wrecking his life, and with the friendship "upgrade" that certainly could have happened had Snape dialed down the awful choicemaking.

Last edited by sailorlum; January 31st, 2014 at 5:46 pm. Reason: added an ETA
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