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Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis



 
 
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  #21  
Old October 20th, 2006, 11:49 pm
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by HP4evr1807 View Post
I think that Slughorn is very knowledgeable, and is very skilled in Potions, and some other areas as well. He could be a great use to eiether side.
What I'd like to know is how he got that knowledge. I mean he knew about Horcrux's! Not even Dumbledore knew about them in such detail I don't think...I would love to know where our friend got such information...


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  #22  
Old October 21st, 2006, 12:16 am
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by RemusLupinFan View Post
I think at first his intention is to use the students to feed his own ego and to build a base of future influential people. So at first, his intention is purely for self-betterment. However, I believe that through getting to know these students better by having them attend various dinners and such, he may come to feel genuine affection. Like with Lily, he seemed to genuinely like her, as he speaks pretty highly of her, and it was only the mention of Lily that got Slughorn to open up to Harry about the horcrux memory. I actually think Slughorn has a bit of a soft spot for Harry as well, whether or not that’s due in part to the fact that he’s Lily’s son and the fact that he appears to be a genius at Potions.
I totally agree in all accounts. Also, not only do I think he can feel affection by his students, as I also believe that he sometimes risks getting manipulated by those students he likes because he cannot refuse them anything. He couldn't refuse Riddle an anwer to his Horcrux question and he wasn't able to refuse Harry the memory. It's not just becase they were clever in the way they did it - it's also because he liked them so much.

About Harry, I think he is exactly the kind of student Slughorn likes the most and that is why he tries so hard to "collect" him. He is charismatic and very famous already, he is excellent at his classes and his mother was also one of his favorite students. Dumbledore knew all this, of course (except the Potions part) and that is why he asked Harry to help him hire him, And later trusted him with the mission of getting the memory.

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Originally Posted by Virtuousdream View Post
What I'd like to know is how he got that knowledge. I mean he knew about Horcrux's! Not even Dumbledore knew about them in such detail I don't think...I would love to know where our friend got such information...
Dumbledore also knew about Horcruxes. And the best proof of that is that he did his best to keep the students from having access to this type of information. Even Slughorn told Riddle that Dumbledore wouldn't want them to know about that subject.


  #23  
Old October 21st, 2006, 12:01 pm
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by SofiaR View Post
Dumbledore also knew about Horcruxes. And the best proof of that is that he did his best to keep the students from having access to this type of information. Even Slughorn told Riddle that Dumbledore wouldn't want them to know about that subject.
I know DD knew about them, but I don't think he knew about them in such detail, otherwise he woulds have clicked about Riddle more quickly. Anyway, whether he did or didn;t know, I'd still love to know where both of them got the knowledge!


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  #24  
Old October 21st, 2006, 3:18 pm
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

Remember that Dumbledore had no way to know that Riddle was researching the issue. We don't really have a timeline for all Dumbledore's discoveries about Riddle/Voldemort. We do know he questioned Slughorn about it because he got that fake memory.


  #25  
Old October 26th, 2006, 11:00 pm
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

Slughorn is to play a huge role in the 7th book. After Snape took the vow with Narcissa, he went to Dumbledore and told him about it. {I believe Snape is under direct orders from Dumbledore to stay undercover at all cost even if it means killing Dumbledore}. Knowing that he and Snape would be gone from Hogwarts he had to find somebody to help Harry in his quest against Voldemort. The only person that fit this role was Slughorn. He has two very strong qualifications:

1. He is very good at occlumency and legilimency in which he can teach Harry.
2. He knows about some really dangerous Dark Arts {Horcruxes} which will help Harry defeat Voldemort.

I expect a lot of slughorn in the next book, helping harry getting by the horcruxes, and teaching him new and interesting things.


  #26  
Old November 1st, 2006, 5:26 am
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Badgers_Rule View Post
Slughorn is to play a huge role in the 7th book. After Snape took the vow with Narcissa, he went to Dumbledore and told him about it. {I believe Snape is under direct orders from Dumbledore to stay undercover at all cost even if it means killing Dumbledore}. Knowing that he and Snape would be gone from Hogwarts he had to find somebody to help Harry in his quest against Voldemort. The only person that fit this role was Slughorn. He has two very strong qualifications:

1. He is very good at occlumency and legilimency in which he can teach Harry.
2. He knows about some really dangerous Dark Arts {Horcruxes} which will help Harry defeat Voldemort.

I expect a lot of slughorn in the next book, helping harry getting by the horcruxes, and teaching him new and interesting things.

I agree with this completely. In fact I'm going to go further and speculate on the exact role that Slughorn will play in book 7 - I believe the school govenors are going to appoint him as the new Headmaster of Hogwarts. Until now everyone has assumed that McGonagall will be headmistress of Hogwarts in book 7. I think that it's possible she won't be. Here are my reasons:

1. Consider that with the events in book 6 the governors of Hogwarts are going to be considering whether or not the school should re-open. The obvious main concern is that if Hogwarts does re-open then it will once again be a target, especially if McGonagall is headmistress. What better way to reduce that risk than to put someone in charge who is as close as possible to "neutral". The governors don't know about Slughorn's memory so as far as they can see he is neutral - neither strongly supporting Voldemort and not in the Order of the Phoenix.

2. There will also most likely be ministry pressure regarding the conditions under which the school can re-open and no one on the Hogwarts staff has more influence and ministry support than Slughorn. According to them he would seem like the ideal choice.

3. It would strongly support the plot. In the headmaster's office Slughorn will be exposed to and possibly influenced by the portrait of his very close friend Dumbledore who can gently encourage him to give Harry the help he needs to destroy Voldemort.

4. As a former Slytherin who has favourites from all the houses he would also be seen as having the least amount of house bias, thus encouraging unity amongst all the Hogwarts houses.

5. JKR likes springing these sorts of surprises on us. And this one seems right up her alley.

Whatever his role is in the next book, I definately think it will be significant!


  #27  
Old November 3rd, 2006, 5:16 am
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by jcricket View Post
In fact I'm going to go further and speculate on the exact role that Slughorn will play in book 7 - I believe the school govenors are going to appoint him as the new Headmaster of Hogwarts.
Remember how Dumbledore described Slughorn though:
Chapter 4, HBP"He has never wanted to occupy the throne himself; he prefers the backseat-- more room to spread out, you see..."
I think becoming headmaster of Hogwarts would be too high profile for Slughorn. He likes his trophies and his creature comforts, but he seems to be content with being in the background.


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Old November 4th, 2006, 12:51 am
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

I believe Dumbledore and Slughorn where both tought about Horcruxes at Hogwarts before it was banned, Dumbledore went there over 150 years earlier and he isn't much older than Slughorn. Thats why I think Slughorn knows alot of dark magic, back then they taught it, and he can teach Harry some really cool stuff, So he can face and defeat Voldemort.


  #29  
Old November 4th, 2006, 9:19 am
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

Horace Slughorn at first read, reminded me strongly of a classic movie version of a mafia boss.

At first I think he was one of those genius teachers.....knew a little about everything, but at some stage this changed and he became the 'mafia boss' as well. Now, as well as the knowledge, he also knows all the right people, has contacts everywhere - good and bad, and therefore is able to appear neutral.

By staying at Hogwarts, he has chosen to rest for a moment, knowing that he has protection and also the ability to get to know the death eaters -snape and malfoy, and also get to know Harry. I think he is widening his web of contacts, and laying an each way bet.

I think, like Mundungus, he will go with the winning side. I don't admire him as a person, as if he chose a side, he would be of enormous benefit to them, but he doesn't choose, and therefore is helping both. I see it as a confidence thing.......he wants to be accepted by both.


When he gave info on the horcruxes to Tom, I still see it as a 'please like me' moment. I think he is a lonely person

Has anyone else noticed the similarity of physical descriptions between him and Vernon? (I'm not sure that it goes anywhere, but it would be a good moment to see him introduce himself to Vernon)


  #30  
Old November 6th, 2006, 8:08 am
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

I thought JKR did a good job of showing us a "good" Slytherin. He is driven by self-interest, but he is basically good. He takes advantage of his position to establish contacts with influential (or future influential) people. And he brags about these contacts. He makes money on the side with Unicorn hair and Acromanta venom (and he doesn't share the profits with Hagrd). He does have some prejudices, but he usually manages to set them aside. He treats muggleborns as well as others, but does express surprise when they excel.


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  #31  
Old November 6th, 2006, 8:45 am
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by ComicBookWorm View Post
I thought JKR did a good job of showing us a "good" Slytherin. He is driven by self-interest, but he is basically good. He takes advantage of his position to establish contacts with influential (or future influential) people. And he brags about these contacts. He makes money on the side with Unicorn hair and Acromanta venom (and he doesn't share the profits with Hagrd). He does have some prejudices, but he usually manages to set them aside. He treats muggleborns as well as others, but does express surprise when they excel.
I wouldn't call that a "good" but a normal or not bad Slytherine. I agree to the fact that he is good in the comparative study of other slytherines and him but he not all that good. He can be selfish and self ridden at times and that is not good but all in all he is an excellent person who IMO will help Harry in his horcrux hunt.


  #32  
Old November 6th, 2006, 11:53 pm
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by lilysmum7 View Post
Horace Slughorn at first read, reminded me strongly of a classic movie version of a mafia boss.
Don Slugheorne…

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Originally Posted by Badgers_Rule View Post
I believe Dumbledore and Slughorn where both tought about Horcruxes at Hogwarts before it was banned, Dumbledore went there over 150 years earlier and he isn't much older than Slughorn. Thats why I think Slughorn knows alot of dark magic, back then they taught it, and he can teach Harry some really cool stuff, So he can face and defeat Voldemort.
You may well be right. I don't know who was responsible of banning the horcrux subject (I suspect the Ministry), but I think it was a stupid decision. Any good rarely comes out from banning discussion topics – I mean completely, I'm not suggesting the students should be given details on how to perform horcrux spells, but completely denying such thing exists means only the most evil people will know about it, and can develop their wicked pursuits in tranquillity.

While I can imagine Dumbledore would indeed be a kind of person who disregards rules he finds silly, I'm not sure about Slughorn. In a way, I imagine that for Horace, the topic being forbidden makes it even more tempting to appear knowledgeable in front of a clever student.

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Originally Posted by mysterious View Post
I wouldn't call that a "good" but a normal or not bad Slytherine. I agree to the fact that he is good in the comparative study of other slytherines and him but he not all that good. He can be selfish and self ridden at times and that is not good but all in all he is an excellent person who IMO will help Harry in his horcrux hunt.
I certainly agree he is not evil, but whether he is particularly good even in relative terms in the Slytherin subset, I'm not completely convinced. We don't have many examples of good Slytherins (apart from Snape if we believe he is good), but having ambition cannot automatically lead into immorality, so I hope we'll see some better examples in the last book.


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Last edited by janusincantus; November 6th, 2006 at 11:56 pm.
  #33  
Old January 19th, 2007, 1:58 pm
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

1. Slughorn surrounds himself with select students and helps them get ahead in exchange for favor both in school and beyond. Does he feel genuine affection for these students of is he just using them to flatter his own ego.

I see Slughorn as a person who is firstly concerned with his own well being. He never showed any real interest in his students, unless he can get better from it. For instance, he only agreed to come to Hogwarts, when Harry showed him that he would be safer there then anywhere else. He invites people to his Slug Club because they are well connected. When Tom Riddle asks about the horcruxes, Slughorn seems more concerned about what could happen to himself, if anyone would find out he told Riddle about them. So I don't think he has a lot of feelings for anyone except himself.


2. Slughorn refuses to join both the Death Eaters and the Order. Why do you think he refuses to side with either group? Why do you think he chose to live on the run before deciding to work at Hogwarts?

Because he isn't the person for active involvement in battles, his posture doesn't agree with that. Besides if he joined one group and the other would win, he would be in danger of losing his position as "society leader".

He was on the run because he knew Voldemort might come for him. Voldemort isn't stupid and must have remembered that he asked Slughorn about the Horcruxes. Voldemort also knows that Slughorn was a friend of Dumbledore, which could have made him tell things. As former head of Slytherin, Slughorn knew Voldemort well enough. So instead of waiting for him, Slughorn thought it better to run.

3. Did Slughorn know what he was doing when he told Riddle about the horcruxes? Did he realize later when Riddle became Voldemort?

I don't think Slughorn knew what Riddle was planning to do. Tom was already very secretive at that moment in his life. It's very possible that Slughorn just thought that Riddle was only interested in all sorts of magic and he was rather blinded by the bribe Riddle used.

I guess Slughorn must have thought about horcruxes when Voldemort disappeared after the attack on the Potters. But he would never have said anything to Dumbledore, because it would have jeopardized his comfortable position.

4. Is Slughorn a good person? A bad person?

He is a selfish person, who thinks about his own position first before anything else. That's not really bad, but not entirely honest and right either.

5. Will Slughorn play a role in book 7 or do you feel that he's served his purpose?

I think he has served his purpose. I am sure that if he had known more, he would have come up with it. Certainly after Harry retrieved the horcrux memory. Slughorn was easy to approach and talked a lot at that moment, he must have seen the importance of it all.

He might also think that all the stuff about horcruxes and everything else that has happened is none of his business and just keep his mouth shut. If he keeps a low profile, nobody would bother him and that's his biggest wish.


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  #34  
Old February 1st, 2007, 6:37 am
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

It's nothing extremely important, but after reading HBP again, I couldn't help but be amused in the chapter "After the Burial" when I realized that Slughorn outdrank a half-giant. No wonder he has such a huge bar tab.


  #35  
Old February 1st, 2007, 7:35 pm
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by HesHPfan View Post
I guess Slughorn must have thought about horcruxes when Voldemort disappeared after the attack on the Potters. But he would never have said anything to Dumbledore, because it would have jeopardized his comfortable position.

I think Slughorn would have considered horcruxes once again after Voldemort made his first public appearance at the end of OOTP. I've always believed he's a lot smarter and more cunning than he appears to be. Perhaps he knows more about horcruxes than he told to Tom Riddle, and now that Voldemort seems to be actively looking for him Slughorn doesn't want to be made to divulge any additional knowledge.


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  #36  
Old February 4th, 2007, 2:03 pm
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
Perhaps he knows more about horcruxes than he told to Tom Riddle, and now that Voldemort seems to be actively looking for him Slughorn doesn't want to be made to divulge any additional knowledge.
It's very possible that he did know more. Tom Riddle was very skilled at hearing people out, so maybe Slughorn remembered just in time that horcruxes were forbidden at Hogwarts and kept more information to himself.

If Slughorn stays at Hogwarts I am sure he will try to avoid Harry again or he must suddenly start becoming unselfish, which is a thing I can't imagine.


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  #37  
Old February 5th, 2007, 1:52 am
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

i'm not particulary fond of slughorn, but here are my thoughts:
1) i think he surrounds himself with students/people he doesn't even know that well becasue he feels that he needs attention from people that do not really know him so his motives can be left secretive
2) i think he didn't side with either becasue he knew that if he did, he would be pushed and pulled by those who are against his choice and those who aren't; for example, if he had become a death eater, slytherins would trust him, and everyone else wouldn't, therefore eliminating many of his "groupies" -furthermore, the death eater's would probably have kicked him out for his behavior anyways, as would the order
3) no, he is too ignorant to know what he was doing at the time that he told riddle about the horcruxes, but upon his rise, he probably figured it out, thus his need to run from those who want him dead/taken out..just a thought


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  #38  
Old February 5th, 2007, 2:42 am
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

1. I think Slughorn is very much about connections. He doesn't really see himself becoming powerful on his own account, so he attatches his name to "promising" students so that they can elevate his status. I mean, he was the person to take an interest in them first, so he probably thinks he's entitled to some of their success. I don't think he has any real affection for them. He talks about Lily like he did, though. He might've just been playing that up if she were still alive, but as she isn't he doesn't have any gain for himself in doing so, I'm lead to believe he genuinely admired Lily.

2. I think there's a very simple answer to this one: Slughorn is all about himself. He obviously doesn't want to go against Voldermort by joining the Order, but he isn't Death Eater material either. He was on the run because Voldermort certainly hasn't forgotten their past. Voldermort might want Slughorn to use his "connections" to persuade others to join him? I think he went into hiding because he didn't want to be pressured into joining, because then he wouldn't really have any choice but to. By running away before he was asked, he could avoid putting himself in the position.

3. I don't think Slughorn knew. He's just very indulgent. He liked telling students little tips like he was something of a mentor. It only made his link to them that much stronger in his mind, I'd expect. He probably just thought Tom was exercising some harmless curiosity.

4. I love this bit! Slughorn is definitely not the typical "evil" Slytherin with no redeemable qualities. He's not by any stretch of the imagination selfless, but I don't think Slughorn has bad intentions at all. He's more likely to save himself than someone else, but many would do the same. He's cunning, but he doesn't really try to hurt other people, he just uses it to better his position. He's always stuck in a sort of middle point, I think, not wanting to get himself in trouble with either side. I don't think this makes him "bad".

5. Hmm.. I don't think we've seen the end of him. I hope J.K. has put him in Deathly Hallows, even if it's only for a short part.


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Last edited by amafaiope; February 5th, 2007 at 2:49 am.
  #39  
Old February 5th, 2007, 7:52 am
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

Slughorn is a great character. I am fascinated by multi-dimensional characters like this. If I were to compare him to Snape, I would say Slughorn is a good-character with dark shading (Snape being a dark character with highlighting). They are both a little of each, but different measures of light and dark.

I do think Slughorn cares about his students, but Slughorn doesn't mind getting favors back either...as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. I believe we have seen that, heard it in his voice as he talks about Lily and about other students pasts. He's a Slytherin with a conscience, and the first one of those we've met in the book so far. Horace feels shame, guilt and regret over mistakes. He does have his own set of moral principles. They may not be the same as, say, McGonnagal's, but they are there just the same. He doesn't appear to wish harm on anyone. I don't believe we've ever seen him break the law or even rules of the school ...okay, maybe bend them now and then, but he seems to like to live "clean" (no one bothers him that way--don't want any trouble!). He's very social...a social butterfly, I guess. He loves parties and is comfortable in large groups of people. He's intellegent and perceptive, and yes, does gravitate toward power like magpies to sparklies! He also is a wee bit vulnerable if you catch him at the right time, the right way. That gives him a bit more endearing, I think.

I think his one defining flaw is "not a risk taker". He doesn't want to get involved, doesn't want trouble, and wants to be left out of any conflicts. He wants to be safe. Horace doesn't do conflict well and seems to avoid it. I think that may be one of the reasons he hasn't gone out and made his own glory and riches...it's a risk. It's rough out there! Like a football coach he'd rather pick and train players, then send THEM out onto the field to get banged up. He can take credit for their win, but not get hurt himself. He's found his comfort niche, content to glean a few luxuries and pleasures from the crops he raises, and boast about his "players'" wins on the field of life. I think this comes from both a cowardly side (not willing to take the risk himself), a touch of ego and a smidgeon of a nurturing side of him, as well. He's not bad, he's "slick" lol.

I see Slughorn taking over Slytherin house next year, if the school reopens of course. I actually think this may be a good thing. Despite his shortcomings, he does know right from wrong and that there are ways to achieve power without becoming "evil", be a leader without being masochistic, and be a Slytherin while still being a nice guy. If the sorting hat sings true, the houses are going to have to unite against a great threat. As Slytherin was before Snape left and Draco and his goons were their top kids, there would have been no chance of Slytherin being involved in any form of unity between the houses. Now, I think it has a chance...and hopefully will save the school .

I believe Horace knows a lot more about horcruxes and other dark magic than he says. He doesn't want trouble, though...and I think it's going to be difficult to get at it in some ways, but I think Harry will. After all, even if Horace doesn't like to be on the frontlines of a fight, I think in the end he'll know what's at stake and step up (reluctantly, maybe) and do the right thing against his better judgement.


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  #40  
Old February 5th, 2007, 10:53 am
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Re: Horace Slughorn: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Redhart View Post
I do think Slughorn cares about his students, but Slughorn doesn't mind getting favors back either...as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. I believe we have seen that, heard it in his voice as he talks about Lily and about other students pasts. He's a Slytherin with a conscience, and the first one of those we've met in the book so far. Horace feels shame, guilt and regret over mistakes. He does have his own set of moral principles. They may not be the same as, say, McGonnagal's, but they are there just the same. He doesn't appear to wish harm on anyone. I don't believe we've ever seen him break the law or even rules of the school ...okay, maybe bend them now and then, but he seems to like to live "clean" (no one bothers him that way--don't want any trouble!). He's very social...a social butterfly, I guess. He loves parties and is comfortable in large groups of people. He's intellegent and perceptive, and yes, does gravitate toward power like magpies to sparklies! He also is a wee bit vulnerable if you catch him at the right time, the right way. That gives him a bit more endearing, I think.
Excellent post! I think Slughorn does indeed care about his students - or at least "his" students - he doesn't seem to care much for Ron, for example! However, as we saw with the memory, he puts himself first. He must have known how much was at stake and that Dumbledore and Harry really needed that memory, but he still offered only a fake one, and spent a lot of time avoiding Harry. Slughorn will help his favourites cheerfully - as long as helping them doesn't cost him anything. And, as we saw on the train with Belby, he will drop people unmercifully if they turn out to be less useful to him than expected.


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