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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6



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  #1261  
Old February 9th, 2014, 4:43 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
Perhaps a possibility; but I think Snape still kept to the same habit of completely disregarding Harry. In my opinion Snape merely wanted to focus on Harry's green eyes and pretend they were Lily's.
I've thought the same thing for years. I've just finished rereading DH, though, and it just occurred to me that Harry and Lily came together for him in the last moment of his life. I could be way off-base, but there it is.


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  #1262  
Old February 9th, 2014, 5:10 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I've thought the same thing for years. I've just finished rereading DH, though, and it just occurred to me that Harry and Lily came together for him in the last moment of his life. I could be way off-base, but there it is.
The way I see it, Snape knew he was dying; he was content in knowing that he kept his promise to Dumbledore and did all he could to help bring down Voldemort; but not so regarding the fact his actions in part contributed to Lily's death. I think he may have been asking for forgiveness from Lily in his own way.


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  #1263  
Old February 9th, 2014, 5:34 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
Don't you get the impression that Snape's protection of Harry was a rather grudging thing he would just have soon foregone?

My grandmother used to tell me that doing something unselfishly was a blessing, particularly if it required a sacrifice on your part - but that if you were doing it grudgingly, resentfully, the blessing was lost.

I see Snape on the lost end of that stick. His behavior towards Harry proves he wasn't doing anything helpful out of the goodness of his heart. He hated that kid from day one. He had no qualms about showing it, either. He strikes me as doing what Dumbledore had asked of him - "Help me protect Lily's son" - while abusing and mistreating him when he wasn't needed on the saving end of things.

I'm sorry. I hate the character.
Yes I do agree with you ,but only at first, I still feel that by the 5th. book he had grown up enough to be willing to protect almost anyone .
Snape was not a nice person . He was damaged as a kid and never got or was given a chance to properly heal .

I understand that you hate the character .

However he does play a very important part in the series ,and I find that I can grudgingly respect him . Would I ever invite him over for Dinner, NO! ,but I can't condem him totally either.


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  #1264  
Old February 9th, 2014, 2:06 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
Don't you get the impression that Snape's protection of Harry was a rather grudging thing he would just have soon foregone?
Yes absolutely. I loved those lines he said to Sirius about teaching Harry Occlumency ("Headmaster's privilege to delegate less enjoyable tasks" .. "I assure you I did not beg for the job").

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My grandmother used to tell me that doing something unselfishly was a blessing, particularly if it required a sacrifice on your part - but that if you were doing it grudgingly, resentfully, the blessing was lost.
I don't think he did it to get any blessings. I think he saw it as a penance for his mistakes.

Quote:
I see Snape on the lost end of that stick. His behavior towards Harry proves he wasn't doing anything helpful out of the goodness of his heart. He hated that kid from day one. He had no qualms about showing it, either. He strikes me as doing what Dumbledore had asked of him - "Help me protect Lily's son" - while abusing and mistreating him when he wasn't needed on the saving end of things.
Snape could never see Harry as Lily's son. He was always James' son and it didn't help that Harry looked exactly like James. He need only look at Harry to relive bad childhood memories. It would have taken little imagination to see Harry walking down the corridor as James strutting through. It just strikes me now that both Snape and Sirius saw much of Harry as James.

I think any child of James (or Sirius for that matter) was going to be in for rough treatment with Snape.

As for the Dumbledore scene, I think Snape was being truthful. He may have hated Harry but he didn't want him dead. After all these years of trying to protect Harry, Dumbledore shocks him by telling that Harry must die. IMO Snape tried to deal with his guilt for causing Lily's death by keeping Harry alive and that had just gone up in smoke. In short, Dumbledore had sold Snape the dummy and everything Snape had done was about to be irrelevant.

I think, in the end, Snape came to respect Harry a little. I like HedwigOwl's idea of Snape asking for Lily's forgiveness. A combination of "I'm sorry", "I tried", "do you still hate me".


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  #1265  
Old February 9th, 2014, 3:11 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by wolfbrother View Post
Snape could never see Harry as Lily's son.
I think it's possible that he did see Lily in Harry in the last moment of his life.


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  #1266  
Old February 9th, 2014, 8:28 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

I don't think that Snape protected Harry grudgingly. That completely ignores Snape's past associations with both of Harry's parents. Snape said that he would do "Anything" in return for Dumbledore protecting Lily and when that failed he agreed to protect Harry and I think that "Anything" still applied. A lot is asked of Snape, yet the only thing he baulks at is killing Dumbledore, and still in the end he does it. I think he takes his job as Harry's protector very seriously, and we see this in every book. For example: In PS he referees the quiditch match to protect him from Quirrell; in CoS it is Snape that is looking for and indeed finds Harry when he doesn't arrive on the train; in PoA he keeps a very close eye on Lupin whom he perceives as a threat to Harry; in GoF it is Snape who gets up to investigate in the middle of the night when Harry drops his egg, and at the end Snape returns to Voldemort despite the danger it puts himself; in OotP it is Snape who searches the forest and informs the Order that Harry has not returned from the forest; in Half-Blood Prince Snape is almost stalking Harry to keep him safe and in Deathly Hallows his dying act is to give Harry the information he needs. I don't think that he does any of this grudgingly. I think he does it willingly, but Snape is a man overwhelmed with guilt - tortured by it. Harry is a living embodiment of the love Lily had for another man and is the person she gave her life to protect. He is also the image of the man who tormented him in his youth and married the girl he loved. That being so the sight of Harry is tortuous to him and he responds with hostility which is extremely unfair on Harry, but does not mean that he is protecting Harry grudgingly. With the history Snape has with Harry's parents it's not surprising that he has "issues" with the boy, but his commitment to keeping Harry safe was absolute and total. Indeed some of his reactions to Harry's escapades are almost parental!


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  #1267  
Old February 9th, 2014, 10:07 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

You mentioned Snape only balking at a mercy killing for Dumbledore. I remember a lot more going on in that conversation. Snape was jealous of the time Dumbledore spent with Harry in HBP, and resentful that Dumbledore might be sharing information with Harry that Snape himself wasn't privy to. "Why may I not have the same information?"

So resentful, in fact, that he threatened to withhold the mercy killing he had previously agreed to. That struck me as immature behavior from a man who knew Dumbledore was nearing the end of his life - almost a childish competition between himself and an unaware Harry.

Snape already knew why Harry didn't arrive on the train in CoS. He showed the two boys the newspaper articles about the six or seven Muggles who had seen the flying car. And any "Snape caring for Harry" talk goes out the window when you consider he was pretty darned determined to get the two boys expelled that night. Dumbledore had to remind him that Harry and Ron were McGonagall's responsibility, not his.

I also don't see Snape's behavior toward Lupin as having anything to do with Harry. Lupin was a reminder of James and Sirius - "I've told the Headmaster that you've been helping your old friend... and here's the proof!" - and Snape did everything he could to get Lupin sacked throughout PoA. Not for Harry's sake. For Snape's old grudge.

And, good Lord, I don't see anything parental about Snape's interactions with Harry, unless, of course, we're talking about abusive parents.


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  #1268  
Old February 9th, 2014, 11:26 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
Don't you get the impression that Snape's protection of Harry was a rather grudging thing he would just have soon foregone?

My grandmother used to tell me that doing something unselfishly was a blessing, particularly if it required a sacrifice on your part - but that if you were doing it grudgingly, resentfully, the blessing was lost.

I see Snape on the lost end of that stick. His behavior towards Harry proves he wasn't doing anything helpful out of the goodness of his heart. He hated that kid from day one. He had no qualms about showing it, either. He strikes me as doing what Dumbledore had asked of him - "Help me protect Lily's son" - while abusing and mistreating him when he wasn't needed on the saving end of things.

I'm sorry. I hate the character.
I agree with ccollinsmith here and would like to add that while Snape wasn't saving Harry out of the goodness of his heart for Harry in particular (beyond just wanting to save lives that he could save, at a certain point, in general) he was working to save Harry out of the goodness of his heart for Lily, because Snape knew that's what Lily wanted because she died so that Harry could live, and he wanted to do some good for Lily to atone, which I think is demonstrated in the text in TPT. At the same time, Snape was very flawed, and had compartmentalized "saving life" from "protecting quality of life" and was in denial that he needed to protect Harry beyond just protecting his life, in order to fully honor what Lily wanted, IMO.

I think with Snape, there's an opportunity to see the glass half full, and decide to like/love him in spite of his flaws, and an opportunity to see the glass half empty, and decide to dislike/hate him in spite of any redeeming qualities and/or character growth he had in the right direction.

As far as I'm concerned, someone could agree with me totally on what the facts of canon are or are most likely to be (what actually happened or is most likely to have happened, and what is most likely to be going on with the characters, internally), and hate Snape at the same time, and that would make just as much sense as me deciding to forgive and like Snape, IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
Perhaps a possibility; but I think Snape still kept to the same habit of completely disregarding Harry. In my opinion Snape merely wanted to focus on Harry's green eyes and pretend they were Lily's.
Based on the following quote by JKR, I think Snape had some last minute epiphanies, and "finally saw Lily in Harry" as purplehawk said here, when Snape made some peace with Harry.

Emphasis mine:
Quote:
“Q: Is Severus Snape's portrait in the headmaster's office?
JKR: ...I know Harry would have insisted that Snape's portrait was on that wall, right beside Dumbledore's. …And I was so heartened to see that people on the message boards that people were still arguing about Snape. The book was out, and they were still arguing whether Snape was a good guy But that was really wonderful to me, because there’s a question there, was Snape a good guy or not? In many ways he really wasn’t. So I haven’t been deliberately misleading everyone all this time, when I say that he’s a good guy. Because even though he did love and he loved very deeply and he was very brave, both qualities that I admire above anything else. He was bitter and he was vindictive… but right at the very very end, he did, as your question acknowledges, acheive a kind of peace together and I tried to show that in the epilogue.” (Carnegie Hall, October 20, 2007)"

ETA:
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
You mentioned Snape only balking at a mercy killing for Dumbledore. I remember a lot more going on in that conversation. Snape was jealous of the time Dumbledore spent with Harry in HBP, and resentful that Dumbledore might be sharing information with Harry that Snape himself wasn't privy to. "Why may I not have the same information?"

So resentful, in fact, that he threatened to withhold the mercy killing he had previously agreed to. That struck me as immature behavior from a man who knew Dumbledore was nearing the end of his life - almost a childish competition between himself and an unaware Harry.
When Snape was first asked to kill Dumbledore, he balked at it for non-petty reasons (concern for his soul/morality), IMO. And I think Snape had a point about being asked for such a heavy favor and yet not being trusted fully (I think it's reasonable to be a bit 'what the heck?!' about that, and I do think Dumbledore being overly secretive was one of Dumbledore's flaws). Having said that, IA that Snape was jealous of the time Dumbledore spent with Harry and of Harry being given info he wasn't, and that was petty, and IA that Snape's response to [both the petty and non-petty reasons for] his resentment was immature.


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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; February 10th, 2014 at 3:43 am. Reason: added "redeeming qualities and/or" and an ETA
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  #1269  
Old February 10th, 2014, 4:21 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by Sailorum
Based on the following quote by JKR, I think Snape had some last minute epiphanies, and "finally saw Lily in Harry" as purplehawk said here, when Snape made some peace with Harry.
Actually, I think it was Harry who made some sort of peace regarding Snape. I really don't see Snape reconciling at all -- he did stay loyal to his promise to Dumbledore to the end and that's very commendable. But that's all I see.


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  #1270  
Old February 10th, 2014, 4:28 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
Actually, I think it was Harry who made some sort of peace regarding Snape. I really don't see Snape reconciling at all -- he did stay loyal to his promise to Dumbledore to the end and that's very commendable. But that's all I see.
But in a way, I do think that he saw Lily in him, in regards to his eyes. But it was still Harry. He never saw Harry more than he wanted to. He only wanted Lily. And that's how it was up to the end. But I do have respect for the fact that he stayed loyal to Dumbledore, promise wise.


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  #1271  
Old February 10th, 2014, 11:45 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
You mentioned Snape only balking at a mercy killing for Dumbledore. I remember a lot more going on in that conversation. Snape was jealous of the time Dumbledore spent with Harry in HBP, and resentful that Dumbledore might be sharing information with Harry that Snape himself wasn't privy to. "Why may I not have the same information?"
Well if you were a spy in the enemy camp and were being asked to go deep under cover (ie into a situation where you were working for one side and everyone thought you were working for the other side) then I think it is quite natural to want all the information available. I don't think Snape was resentful just fearful.

Quote:
So resentful, in fact, that he threatened to withhold the mercy killing he had previously agreed to. That struck me as immature behavior from a man who knew Dumbledore was nearing the end of his life - almost a childish competition between himself and an unaware Harry.
I don't agree that Snape threatened to withold the mercy killing because he was resentful of the information and time Dumbledore was sharing with Harry. There were much bigger issues on Snape's mind. He knew that after killing Dumbledore he was completely on his own in the enemy camp and likely to be killed on a whim by Voldemort - as indeed he was. And if Voldemort didn't kill him then there were plenty of Order members ready to take him out, and he still had somehow get the necessary information to Harry. Given what was being asked of him, and what was at stake I think it is understandable that Snape wants all the available information.

Quote:
Snape already knew why Harry didn't arrive on the train in CoS. He showed the two boys the newspaper articles about the six or seven Muggles who had seen the flying car. And any "Snape caring for Harry" talk goes out the window when you consider he was pretty darned determined to get the two boys expelled that night. Dumbledore had to remind him that Harry and Ron were McGonagall's responsibility, not his.
Snape was well aware that Harry's fate rested with McGonagall which was why he was able to threaten him with expulsion knowing that it was an empty threat designed to frighten Harry (a lot of parents do this when their kids do something really bad)Snape knew they had taken the car and had been seen by Muggles. This was not some simple breach of school rules but a serious breaking of Wizard law. I honestly think if it was anyone other than Harry they would have been expelled. And no one knew where Harry and Ron were. So yes Snape did have to go and look for them. We knew they were safe but no one at Hogwarts knew that, and they could have landed in the forest which would have put them in a lot of danger. It is easy to assume that Snape is "out to get" Harry, but his actions take on a different meaning once we know that he has sworn to protect Harry. Protecting Harry and being nice to Harry are not the same thing.

Quote:
I also don't see Snape's behavior toward Lupin as having anything to do with Harry. Lupin was a reminder of James and Sirius - "I've told the Headmaster that you've been helping your old friend... and here's the proof!" - and Snape did everything he could to get Lupin sacked throughout PoA. Not for Harry's sake. For Snape's old grudge.
Snape's grudge against Lupin was based on the belief that he was working with Sirius Black, the man whom everybody believed had betrayed the Potters. He knew Lupin was a werewolf and thought he would be a threat not just to Harry but to all the students. Snape didn't trust Dumbledore's judgement on Lupin - he believed that Dumbledore was wrong to hire Lupin and he acted on that belief to protect Harry. He was wrong in his belief, but he still protected Harry.

Quote:
And, good Lord, I don't see anything parental about Snape's interactions with Harry, unless, of course, we're talking about abusive parents.
Snape's tirade at Harry and Ron is very similar to Molly's howler. Snape is hard on all children - some parents are like that. The fact remains that Harry survived and that Snape continuously looked out for him and kept him safe. Harry recognised that and honoured it in the same way as he honoured his parents, god father and Dumbledore, by naming his child after him.


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Last edited by CathyWeasley; February 10th, 2014 at 11:52 am.
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  #1272  
Old February 10th, 2014, 6:04 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Cathy, there's a lot of attribution in your post that just isn't supported by canon.

I'll leave it at that.


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  #1273  
Old February 10th, 2014, 6:15 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

I'd rather you posted canon to back up your opinion, otherwise it's not a very constructive comment, is it? Indeed, it falls into the category 'I agree/I disagree' which is conventionally deleted in LS. Don't make me delete posts already!


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Old February 10th, 2014, 6:50 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

I would say that Cathy's post is a reasonable interpretation of canon.

After all, we never see inside Snape's mind, inside his actual thoughts. Of course we can build up quite a comprehensive picture of his character, including the glimpses into his childhood and teenage years, etc. etc. etc.

For example: we never get a clear explanation as to why his face was filled with 'hatred and revulsion' when he pointed his wand at Dumbledore to perform the Killing Curse, but the revelations in The Prince's Tale, and his initial appalled reaction to being told by Dumbledore that he had to perform this mercy killing, mean that the only possible interpretation of his hate-filled expression was that he was filled with hatred and revulsion at the act Dumbledore had asked him to do.

I think Snape was more than reasonable to object to that, actually, and to get angry with DD when DD volunteered so little information, after asking Snape to do this awful deed. In fact, I've seen Snape get flak for not objecting to Dumbledore's request more ...

'What of my soul, Dumbledore?' Indeed. It was a truly terrible thing to ask of him, especially when both he and Dumbledore knew that the Order of the Phoenix would never, ever trust him again. Dumbledore did ask a lot of Snape. No more than Snape deserved, many would say, and fair enough ... but it was a lot, and in the end it cost him his life.

I am very sorry that Snape could not get past taking out the sins of the father on Harry and I think he should have been able to move well beyond that. Especially when the man who bullied him in childhood was dead. C'mon, Severus ... sigh.

But I am not sorry that Jo didn't write him as 'nicer'. I don't think he would have been nearly so memorable if she had softened his character, so I think she knew what she was doing.


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  #1275  
Old February 10th, 2014, 7:02 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
You mentioned Snape only balking at a mercy killing for Dumbledore. I remember a lot more going on in that conversation. Snape was jealous of the time Dumbledore spent with Harry in HBP, and resentful that Dumbledore might be sharing information with Harry that Snape himself wasn't privy to. "Why may I not have the same information?"
Exactly. Don't you think he deserved a little bit of trust, having agreed that he would kill Dumbledore? Which meant he would be alienated from the Order and completely alone on enemy's ground. Trust and information are the only forms of recognition he asks for his sacrifice.


Quote:
So resentful, in fact, that he threatened to withhold the mercy killing he had previously agreed to. That struck me as immature behavior from a man who knew Dumbledore was nearing the end of his life - almost a childish competition between himself and an unaware Harry.
I think Snape had right even to completely withold the promise. It was about killing, for Merlin's sake! I'm suprised he did agree at all, especially with the reason D-dore gave him when he asked to be killed. I don't think reconsidering that kind of situation is immature.


Quote:
I also don't see Snape's behavior toward Lupin as having anything to do with Harry. Lupin was a reminder of James and Sirius - "I've told the Headmaster that you've been helping your old friend... and here's the proof!" - and Snape did everything he could to get Lupin sacked throughout PoA. Not for Harry's sake. For Snape's old grudge.
Considering that Snape had almost got eaten by Lupin in his nice furry form, I agree he didn't need Harry's interference to find Lupin dangerous. And he was partially right about him - Lupin didn't tell Dumbledore about Sirius being a dog animagus. Maybe he wasn't actually helping Sirus, but definitely not helping to stop him, either.

ETA: I"m without Pearl as for the interpretation of the canon.


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  #1276  
Old February 10th, 2014, 7:40 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by Moriath View Post
I'd rather you posted canon to back up your opinion, otherwise it's not a very constructive comment, is it? Indeed, it falls into the category 'I agree/I disagree' which is conventionally deleted in LS. Don't make me delete posts already!
Assuming you were talking to me, here goes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyWeasley View Post
I don't think Snape was resentful just fearful.
DH, The Prince's Tale, p.684-685"What are you doing with Potter, all these evenings you are closeted together?" Snape asked abruptly.

"He is his father over again - "

"Information,' repeated Snape. "You trust him ... you do not trust me."

"It is not a question of trust. I have, as we both know, limited time. It is essential that I give the boy enough information for him to do what he needs to do."

"And why may I not have the same information?"

[...]

"Yet you confide much more in a boy who is incapable of Occlumency, whose magic is mediocre, and who has a direct connection into the Dark Lord's mind."

[...]

"You refuse to tell me everything, yet yet expect that small service of me!" snarled Snape, and real anger flared in the thin face now. "You take a great deal for granted, Dumbledore! Perhaps I have changed my mind."


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy
There were much bigger issues on Snape's mind. He knew that after killing Dumbledore he was completely on his own in the enemy camp and likely to be killed on a whim by Voldemort - as indeed he was. And if Voldemort didn't kill him then there were plenty of Order members ready to take him out, and he still had somehow get the necessary information to Harry. Given what was being asked of him, and what was at stake I think it is understandable that Snape wants all the available information.
There is nothing in the passage I've quoted - or anywhere else in any of the seven books, for that matter - to indicate that Snape was motivated by any emotion or thought other than hatred of Harry and his resentment that Harry might know something he didn't. Neither he nor Dumbledore even mention the fears you're attributing to Snape in that conversation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy
Snape was well aware that Harry's fate rested with McGonagall which was why he was able to threaten him with expulsion knowing that it was an empty threat designed to frighten Harry (a lot of parents do this when their kids do something really bad)Snape knew they had taken the car and had been seen by Muggles. This was not some simple breach of school rules but a serious breaking of Wizard law. I honestly think if it was anyone other than Harry they would have been expelled. And no one knew where Harry and Ron were. So yes Snape did have to go and look for them. We knew they were safe but no one at Hogwarts knew that, and they could have landed in the forest which would have put them in a lot of danger. It is easy to assume that Snape is "out to get" Harry, but his actions take on a different meaning once we know that he has sworn to protect Harry. Protecting Harry and being nice to Harry are not the same thing.
Again, you're attributing motivations to Snape that just aren't supported in the canon. Reading his attitude and comments, the only reasonable conclusion is that he wanted Ron and Harry expelled:

CoS, The Whomping Willow, p. 79"Silence!" snapped Snape again. "Most unfortunately, you are not in my House and the decision to expel you does not rest with me. I shall go and fetch the people who do have that happy power. You will wait here."


Snape tried again two pages later and his point then, as above, was that the two boys should be kicked out. Not a word of the worry you suggest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy
Snape's grudge against Lupin was based on the belief that he was working with Sirius Black, the man whom everybody believed had betrayed the Potters. He knew Lupin was a werewolf and thought he would be a threat not just to Harry but to all the students. Snape didn't trust Dumbledore's judgement on Lupin - he believed that Dumbledore was wrong to hire Lupin and he acted on that belief to protect Harry. He was wrong in his belief, but he still protected Harry.
On this point, we'll just have to disagree. I believe Snape's motivations were (1) payback and vengeance against one of the Marauders; and (2) the fact that someone he deemed unacceptable - werewolf bigotry - got the job he wanted. In fact, his behavior in the Shrieking Shack only underscores both points.

Cathy, I'm willing to reconsider if you have something in the texts to support your points. I just haven't found it.


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  #1277  
Old February 10th, 2014, 8:33 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

I'll try again. It is acceptable to tell another member that you disagree with their interpretation of the text. It is not acceptable to tell another member that their interpretation is wrong or that you understand canon better than they do. The next person who does that is going to get a nice long forum ban.


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  #1278  
Old February 10th, 2014, 9:30 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post

DH, The Prince's Tale, p.684-685"What are you doing with Potter, all these evenings you are closeted together?" Snape asked abruptly.
"He is his father over again - "

"Information,' repeated Snape. "You trust him ... you do not trust me."

"It is not a question of trust. I have, as we both know, limited time. It is essential that I give the boy enough information for him to do what he needs to do."

"And why may I not have the same information?"

[...]

"Yet you confide much more in a boy who is incapable of Occlumency, whose magic is mediocre, and who has a direct connection into the Dark Lord's mind."

[...]

"You refuse to tell me everything, yet yet expect that small service of me!" snarled Snape, and real anger flared in the thin face now. "You take a great deal for granted, Dumbledore! Perhaps I have changed my mind."




There is nothing in the passage I've quoted - or anywhere else in any of the seven books, for that matter - to indicate that Snape was motivated by any emotion or thought other than hatred of Harry and his resentment that Harry might know something he didn't. Neither he nor Dumbledore even mention the fears you're attributing to Snape in that conversation.
Firstly I think given what Snape was going to have to do - kill Dumbledore and then become Voldemort's right hand man, he must have been afraid whether it is mentioned or not. Secondly there is no mention of resentment either. If anything Snape sounds upset that Dumbledore doesn't appear to trust him as much as he trusts Harry. Given what Snape has already done (protected Harry; resumed spying on Voldemort for Dumbledore) I can understand him feeling peeved at this. But Dumbledore explains that it is not a matter of trust - that he doesn't want to give Snape secrets because his spying role could compromise the safety of those secrets. What Snape does is explain why telling Potter could also compromise those secrets. Given what he is currently doing and has agreed to do I think he is quite justified in getting angry with Dumbledore for not telling him "everything" As he sees it he deserves and possibly even needs to know. Of course he is wrong and it is best that he doesn't know, but I can understand why Snape on the brink of going deep undercover would want to know everything.

Re: CoS
Quote:
Again, you're attributing motivations to Snape that just aren't supported in the canon. Reading his attitude and comments, the only reasonable conclusion is that he wanted Ron and Harry expelled:

CoS, The Whomping Willow, p. 79"Silence!" snapped Snape again. "Most unfortunately, you are not in my House and the decision to expel you does not rest with me. I shall go and fetch the people who do have that happy power. You will wait here."


Snape tried again two pages later and his point then, as above, was that the two boys should be kicked out. Not a word of the worry you suggest.
Firstly the worry is expressed in his actions. He goes to look for Harry. A parent going to look for their missing child is expressing concern and worry.

Secondly Snape knew that Harry was the Chosen One and that Dumbledore was aware that Harry was the Chose One.
As such it must have been obvious to Snape that Dumbleore was never going to expel Harry. No matter what Harry did, he had to be prepared to face Voldemort (both Dumbledore and Snape knew he would return). So if Snape knew Dumbledore would never expel Harry why threaten him? Because that is what Snape does! (Light bulb moment: That is what he is doing to Dumbledore when he suggests that he has changed his mind)
Just to be clear I don't think this is a good thing! It's not a good thing to threaten people, but time again Snape makes threats that he would and could never carry out.

Re:PoA
Quote:
On this point, we'll just have to disagree. I believe Snape's motivations were (1) payback and vengeance against one of the Marauders; and (2) the fact that someone he deemed unacceptable - werewolf bigotry - got the job he wanted. In fact, his behavior in the Shrieking Shack only underscores both points.
Snape certainly didn't think that employing Lupin was a good idea. I think the main reason for this was his close call with Lupin when he was a student. That would certainly have made him particularly afraid of werewolves and particularly unconvinced that any precautions would be enough to safeguard the students.
Snape also believed that Lupin, regardless of his lycanthropy, was not a trustworthy person. Snape believed that he was actually helping Black to kill Harry. He was wrong about this; but not completely because Lupin was witholding information about Black being an animagus.
So yeah Snape didn't think hiring Lupin was a good idea.

I think Snape's motivation for trying to catch Black is made quite clear in The Prince's Tale. As much as Snape hated the marauders for bullying him they didn't leave him feeling suicidal as Lily's death did. His motivation once she was targetted by Voldemort, was "always" Lily. That was why he spied for Dumbledore and when Lily died he hated Sirius for betraying her far more than he hated him for bullying him. Snape was completely capslock in the shrieking shack, and if that was because of the bullying then he would have been equally angry on subsequent occasions, but we never again see Snape as livid with Sirius as he was in the shrieking shack and IMO this was because he then knew that Sirius was not the traitor. In the shack Lupin and Black thought Snape was angry because of what happened when they were at school, but they did not know the depth of Snape's feelings for Lily. They did not know that Snape loved her, only that Lily and Snape had been friends when they came to Hogwarts. In "The Prince's Tale," which is the exposition of Severus, there are only two (I think) interactions between Snape and the marauders whereas there are many which focus on Lily and Snape's relationship with her.

I also think that the reason why Snape was so absolutely livid and capslock - even deranged - was because as much as he was blaming Black for betraying Lily he knew he betrayed her first and he was projecting his own feelings of guilt onto Black. So when he is livid with Black that is how he feels about himself for betraying Lily.

Of course Snape still hated the marauders...

Quote:
Cathy, I'm willing to reconsider if you have something in the texts to support your points. I just haven't found it.
Well that's just it really, it's more of an adding all the little bits together than one or two particular texts. But disagreeing's fine It makes me think about it


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Last edited by CathyWeasley; February 10th, 2014 at 9:35 pm.
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  #1279  
Old February 11th, 2014, 3:17 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by HedwigOwl View Post
Actually, I think it was Harry who made some sort of peace regarding Snape. I really don't see Snape reconciling at all -- he did stay loyal to his promise to Dumbledore to the end and that's very commendable. But that's all I see.
JKR said "but right at the very very end, he did, as your question acknowledges, acheive a kind of peace together"

"Together" requires at least two, so "he [Snape] achieved a kind of peace together [with Harry]", is how I read it. Improbable or not, it happened, according to JKR, as far as I can tell.

I, personally, think what JKR said makes sense, seeing as Snape was willing, in his last moments, to tell Harry the truth about his love for Lily (by providing him with his memories), which is something he wanted kept secret from everyone, especially Harry. And Snape lets Harry see him be vulnerable many times in these memories (and Snape doesn't like to appear vulnerable to anyone, esp. those he hates, from what I can tell - Harry was worried about retribution from Snape from seeing his [Snape's] memories by accident during the Occlumency lessons, for a reason). Snape even lets Harry see him cry, as a grown-up, multiple times, in the memories he gives him at the end!

I think it's also telling that Snape included the memory where Dumbledore tells him that "he sees what he wants to see" in Harry, and Dumbledore is given the last word in that scene. Perhaps when Harry comes over to him, as he lays dying, and isn't cruel to him, as Snape might expect, Snape finally sees the good in Harry, the Lily in Harry, and that he was wrong to see only James in Harry, that he was in denial about the good in Harry, and Dumbledore was right, after all this time.

Granted, Snape needed to give Harry the information about him needing to die to defeat Voldemort, and needed Harry to trust that information, and he needed to include whatever was necessary for that, but I don't think Snape really needed the scene with him complaining to Dumbledore about Harry and Dumbledore chastising him for it, and there are a few other scenes that he could have probably left out, IMO, so I think that there was an element of confession to the memories Snape gave Harry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
I would say that Cathy's post is a reasonable interpretation of canon.

After all, we never see inside Snape's mind, inside his actual thoughts. Of course we can build up quite a comprehensive picture of his character, including the glimpses into his childhood and teenage years, etc. etc. etc.

For example: we never get a clear explanation as to why his face was filled with 'hatred and revulsion' when he pointed his wand at Dumbledore to perform the Killing Curse, but the revelations in The Prince's Tale, and his initial appalled reaction to being told by Dumbledore that he had to perform this mercy killing, mean that the only possible interpretation of his hate-filled expression was that he was filled with hatred and revulsion at the act Dumbledore had asked him to do.

I think Snape was more than reasonable to object to that, actually, and to get angry with DD when DD volunteered so little information, after asking Snape to do this awful deed. In fact, I've seen Snape get flak for not objecting to Dumbledore's request more ...

'What of my soul, Dumbledore?' Indeed. It was a truly terrible thing to ask of him, especially when both he and Dumbledore knew that the Order of the Phoenix would never, ever trust him again. Dumbledore did ask a lot of Snape. No more than Snape deserved, many would say, and fair enough ... but it was a lot, and in the end it cost him his life.

I am very sorry that Snape could not get past taking out the sins of the father on Harry and I think he should have been able to move well beyond that. Especially when the man who bullied him in childhood was dead. C'mon, Severus ... sigh.

But I am not sorry that Jo didn't write him as 'nicer'. I don't think he would have been nearly so memorable if she had softened his character, so I think she knew what she was doing.
Well made points on the interpretation of canon. (And IA about Snape and the Killing Curse and whatnot).

I wouldn't wish for JKR to write him 'nicer' (or less ambiguous) in canon, either. That's what makes him so interesting, in canon, IMO. For the world of HP, I wish he had more character growth before the end, but I can always take it AU and write some fic, if I want to see that and explore that (and it wouldn't be as fun or meaningful for me to do that, if canon were different).

Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyWeasley View Post
Well if you were a spy in the enemy camp and were being asked to go deep under cover (ie into a situation where you were working for one side and everyone thought you were working for the other side) then I think it is quite natural to want all the information available. I don't think Snape was resentful just fearful.
I agree that it is quite natural for a spy to want all the information available, and that Snape was justified in wanting more info for that reason, and that it's reasonable to assume that Snape wanted information for that reason, since he was a spy, IMO. However, I think Snape bringing up the amount of time Dumbledore spent with Harry and the information shared with Harry and not Snape, as a point of contention, indicates that Snape was jealous of Harry in this regard, and that Snape's reasons weren't entirely free of pettiness, IMO. So, I think Snape was both genuinely fearful and resentful, and he had good and bad reasons for being angry with Dumbledore in that scene.

ETA: I posted before I saw your latest response, so I'll include this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyWeasley View Post
But Dumbledore explains that it is not a matter of trust - that he doesn't want to give Snape secrets because his spying role could compromise the safety of those secrets. What Snape does is explain why telling Potter could also compromise those secrets.
I think Snape has valid concerns about Harry being given sensitive information, and I think it's reasonable to be 'what the heck?!' about Harry being given info his isn't, on that point, but since he can't resist carping about Harry "being his father over again" I sense resentment and jealousy, as well. I think there's a lot going on with Snape.

/ETA

Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyWeasley View Post
I don't agree that Snape threatened to withold the mercy killing because he was resentful of the information and time Dumbledore was sharing with Harry. There were much bigger issues on Snape's mind. He knew that after killing Dumbledore he was completely on his own in the enemy camp and likely to be killed on a whim by Voldemort - as indeed he was. And if Voldemort didn't kill him then there were plenty of Order members ready to take him out, and he still had somehow get the necessary information to Harry. Given what was being asked of him, and what was at stake I think it is understandable that Snape wants all the available information.
Well, Voldemort didn't really kill Snape on a whim, IMO - it was because he thought he needed to do so in order to have mastery over the Elder Wand. (Granted, if Snape had been told about Dumbledore's plan with the Elder Wand, then he could have figured that he'd need to get the wand from Dumbledore's grave and destroy it, which could have prevented him from being killed over it, so Snape had good reason for wanting all the information he could get, IA with you there.)

Having said that, since I do think that Snape was also resentful and jealous of Harry, I'd say that his reasons for threatening to withhold the mercy killing were based on both a justified anger and a petty anger. It's possible Snape's threat was calculated from a purely tactical standpoint, designed to get Dumbledore to give up some information by bluffing, but I would think that if Snape was being totally cool and logical and bluffing and acting, then he'd leave out the carping about Harry (and JKR would have him do so), and he'd retain a focus on the injustice of being asked for such a heavy favor while not being trusted with what could be useful, life saving, and/or mission saving information.

However, it seemed to me, in the scene, that there was kind of a snowball effect, with Snape genuinely losing his temper after being rebuffed the first time, and it reaching a critical mass where he was not bluffing about refusing to kill Dumbledore (which would also mean letting the Vow kill him). Harry said that Snape looked mutinous , at this point, and I get the feeling that Harry was right, and in that moment, Snape was feeling mutinous and fed up and like he just wanted to quit and let the Vow kill him if this was the way it was going to be, and regardless of his reasons, I don't think that was a mature response (provided I'm right about it not being a bluff).

Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyWeasley View Post
Snape was well aware that Harry's fate rested with McGonagall which was why he was able to threaten him with expulsion knowing that it was an empty threat designed to frighten Harry (a lot of parents do this when their kids do something really bad)Snape knew they had taken the car and had been seen by Muggles. This was not some simple breach of school rules but a serious breaking of Wizard law. I honestly think if it was anyone other than Harry they would have been expelled. And no one knew where Harry and Ron were. So yes Snape did have to go and look for them. We knew they were safe but no one at Hogwarts knew that, and they could have landed in the forest which would have put them in a lot of danger. It is easy to assume that Snape is "out to get" Harry, but his actions take on a different meaning once we know that he has sworn to protect Harry. Protecting Harry and being nice to Harry are not the same thing.
While Harry and Ron did do something worthy of expulsion, IA, I think Snape was also having vindictive feelings towards them (esp. Harry), since Snape's speech toward them had a vindictive edge to it, IMO, and since Snape has gone on and on about how bad he thinks Harry is and that he's just like his father and about how bad his father was, and so forth and so on, at various points all throughout the books, so this indicates to me that Snape was holding a massive grudge against Harry because of his grudge against James, which indicates to me that Snape is likely being vindictive, in addition to anything else, in this scene.

With regards to actually wanting Harry expelled, I agree and think Snape knew that Harry wouldn't be expelled, and didn't intend to really have him expelled (even though I think he'd like to be rid of him and protect him from afar, if he could, IMO), partly because I think Snape was pretty chill, for him, considering the level of infraction and that it involved Harry, and partly because I think he knew that wasn't an option regarding the mission to protect Harry. I think Snape was wanting to frighten them with expulsion for both practical reasons and vindictive ones, though, and I think a part of him was disappointed that Harry couldn't just be expelled (hence the pouting) and he was perhaps hoping that McGonagall and Dumbledore would rip into Harry and Ron more for the car incident.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyWeasley View Post
Snape's grudge against Lupin was based on the belief that he was working with Sirius Black, the man whom everybody believed had betrayed the Potters. He knew Lupin was a werewolf and thought he would be a threat not just to Harry but to all the students. Snape didn't trust Dumbledore's judgement on Lupin - he believed that Dumbledore was wrong to hire Lupin and he acted on that belief to protect Harry. He was wrong in his belief, but he still protected Harry.
Again, I think that while Snape had some justified concerns, he also had a grudge against Lupin just for being a part of the Marauders (as indicated by the fact that he lumps Lupin in when he talks about James having "four against one" against him when he attcked him, even though Lupin never participated, for instance, IMO) and Snape also seems to have some prejudice against werewolves, as indicated when he uses the term "tame werewolf", IMO, like Lupin is creature that needs to be tamed, when talking about Dumbledore's trust of him. I think Snape had some good reasons to mistrust Lupin (he failed to stand up to the other Marauders, which shows a flaw in his character, IMO) and some bad reasons (Snape seemed to think that Lupin being friends with James and Sirius automatically/definitely made him just as bad as either one, and seemed to be holding Lupin's werewolf status against him in a prejudiced way, IMO). I also think that Snape wanted to both protect Harry's life, and indulge his grudge, and that he was blinded by his grudge to a certain degree.

And I think worrying about the safety of the students if Lupin forgot to take his potion is one thing (that's reasonable, IMO), but thinking that Lupin would need to be tamed like an amoral creature is another (and prejudiced, IMO). I think Snape was concerned about both, so he had some good reasons to worry and some bad reasons to worry, on that count.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyWeasley View Post
Snape's tirade at Harry and Ron is very similar to Molly's howler. Snape is hard on all children - some parents are like that. The fact remains that Harry survived and that Snape continuously looked out for him and kept him safe. Harry recognised that and honoured it in the same way as he honoured his parents, god father and Dumbledore, by naming his child after him.
I think Snape's tirade had a more vindictive edge to it then Molly's howler (which I don't think is the healthiest device, to begin with, since it takes it beyond raising one's voice to screaming). Molly expressed the bad consequences of the incident and the worry and shame it caused and that she was disgusted by the behavior, but she didn't talk down to Ron like Snape did to Harry and Ron in his office, IMO. Snape was rather belittling of Harry and Ron, IMO, insinuating that Harry took the car because he was conceited about being famous and Ron was just his sidekick. That was unnecessary and just done to vent his low opinion of them, IMO. Granted, this is mild for Snape, in terms of meanness, IMO.

I think Snape goes too far, many times, in his dealings with his students, over the course of the books. I think he crosses the line from stern but fair, like McGonagall (who I think is overly harsh, every now and then), to bullying and vindictive, many times (like with the Hermione teeth incident, and the Neville toad incident, and Harry's first day in class, etc.). There are parents who behave that way in real life, but I don't think it's right or appropriate.

Harry did survive, and I think Snape did work to protect him from physical harm, but I think Snape didn't work to protect Harry from mental harm, most of the time, and rather, he caused Harry mental harm with emotional abuse and bullying, as I see it. Snape tended to talk down to Harry and just focus on the negative and was often verbally vicious about it (saying some really nasty and uncalled for things), and he tended to punish him at the drop of a hat (sometimes justified, other times, not so much, or over something really petty), IMO. Harry just forgives Snape for all that, because of the good he sees in Snape (Snape working to protect Harry's life due to his love of Lily, being one of those good things he sees), IMO.

JKR has even said that Harry forgave Snape for his unjust treatment toward him (and so forth), because Harry saw the good in Snape. Certainly, as far as author intent goes, IMO, Snape was not justified in his treatment of Harry (and many other students), many times, and he was forgiven on this point, rather than vindicated.


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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; February 11th, 2014 at 3:49 am. Reason: replaced "both" with "at least two", added an ETA, fixed typo
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  #1280  
Old February 11th, 2014, 9:09 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I've just finished rereading DH, though, and it just occurred to me that Harry and Lily came together for him in the last moment of his life.
I agree. I think Snape saw Lily through Harry's eyes and saw Harry for himself in the last moments of his life, where he gave Harry through his memories, his reasons and explanations and a glimpse of his life, his choices for Harry to understand.

Quote:
purplehawk
On this point, we'll just have to disagree. I believe Snape's motivations were (1) payback and vengeance against one of the Marauders; and (2) the fact that someone he deemed unacceptable - werewolf bigotry - got the job he wanted. In fact, his behavior in the Shrieking Shack only underscores both points.
I don't think Snape really wanted the DADA job; he would have seen how cursed it was, and that if he took it, that would mean his death or leaving the School after that year. I think he did allow rumours of wanting the job and perhaps even applying for it every year with Dumbledore's knowledge, so that he could tell Voldemort that.

Answered the rest in the Remus Lupin Thread


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here we go again, i want a pony, severus snape, time warp


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