Snape again (major spoilers!)

ghost8772

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2007
Messages
361
Snape was definitely conflicted. obsessed (yeah that is exactly the word) with Lily, seeing her living the life he wished he had, then they both go to the same school, and she's the only one remotely nice to him. Him having serious impulse control issues, which seem to still be around, which causes her to break off even the tenuous relations they had. To get back at "them" he joins the death eaters, but the old obsession comes back fast when he finds out Lily is a target. Impulse control, or lack thereof, he effectively sells his soul to Dumbledore to save her, she dies, but Dumbledore is holding him to his word. a decade later, Potter's son shows up, and Snape is trying like mad to hurt him like his father hurt snape. Dumbledore having to remind him what seems like every time they are in each others' presence, that he is Lily's son too... Hates him, but helps him when there is no other choice. and yeah, impulse controls still not working. serious playing of favorites in all things Slytherin.
 

summeriris

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Messages
46
I don't know if I would go along with saying Lily was Snape's only friend. She does mention his hanging out with Avery and Muliciber and he obviously saw something in them because she questions Snape about what it is he sees in them. Apparently he liked their sense of humour, torturing other students with Dark Magic, such a hoot.
 

Boaz

Happy Easter!
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
5,834
There was no love and goodness inside Snape.
I disagree. He has great desire to love and be loved, but he does not have a clue as to how to go about it. Most every action of Snape's is petty at best, but usually he's cruel. He was not nice, but he did commit some good.

Yes, Severus Snape was cruel to Neville. But this is not because he enjoys knowing that Bellatrix tortured his parents to the point of insanity. Snape is overly proud of his position as Potions Master. I daresay only a handful of wizards are Snape's equal in potions. Snape's derision towards Neville is because 1) of Neville's lack of potion making talent, 2) of Neville's friendship with Pottter, 3) that Neville is a Griffindor, 4) that Snape is cruel, and 5) that Neville is the mirror image of the timid boy that Snape tried hard not to be.

Yes, Snape is immature. He chose long ago to reject friendship and all appearances of weakness. This led him to harbor a manically obsessive hatred for James and Sirius for decades afterwards. That's sad. Sadder is the fact that the hatred carried on to Harry. This hatred blinded him in assisting Harry in Voldemort's downfall... Snape's ultimate goal!

It was not until the very end, and under Dumbledore's command, that Snape was able to assist Harry by giving him his memories.

In this Severus Snape did good. He provided Harry with the very information that was the final crucial piece to allow Harry to defeat Voldemort. And don't forget that Snape assisted Dumbledore for decades. He may have grumbled a lot, but in the end he successfully sabotoged Voldmort's most vital plots.

Snape misled Voldemort to think that Voldemort was the master of the Deathwand. Maybe Snape did this inadvertantly, but the result was the same.

Snape also was the most important person in saving Draco's life (more than once) and giving him a chance to find a better way. Draco may not have seized that chance, but he only had it due to Snape.

Severus Snape may not have been polite. He may not have been gracious. He certainly never gave anyone any gifts. But he undertook the most dangerous assignment in the story... he served as a double agent (pretending to be a triple agent) to the most evil wizard in history for sixteen years. And in the end, Snape was vital in defeating Voldemort.
 

summeriris

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Messages
46
=Boaz;1507582]I disagree. He has great desire to love and be loved, but he does not have a clue as to how to go about it. Most every action of Snape's is petty at best, but usually he's cruel. He was not nice, but he did commit some good.
Snape only wanted to 'love' Lily. I don't even think that it was love he felt for her. He certainly was obsessed with her and he certainly wanted her to worship him, IMO.

Yes, Severus Snape was cruel to Neville. But this is not because he enjoys knowing that Bellatrix tortured his parents to the point of insanity. Snape is overly proud of his position as Potions Master. I daresay only a handful of wizards are Snape's equal in potions. Snape's derision towards Neville is because 1) of Neville's lack of potion making talent, 2) of Neville's friendship with Pottter, 3) that Neville is a Griffindor, 4) that Snape is cruel, and 5) that Neville is the mirror image of the timid boy that Snape tried hard not to be.
I don't care what Snape's motives were in his treatment of Neville Nothing justifies him being a bully to a child that he has total control over in the classroom. Isn't Snape supposed to be the adult teacher there and does anything justify the bullying of a pupil by a teacher? Neville could have been, (probably was) the worst pupil to ever try and lear Potions, It was Snape's job to teach him without threatening to poison his pet and Snape was not a timid child, IMO. I think timid children do not usually cause heavy tree branches to fall on other children.

Yes, Snape is immature. He chose long ago to reject friendship and all appearances of weakness. This led him to harbor a manically obsessive hatred for James and Sirius for decades afterwards. That's sad. Sadder is the fact that the hatred carried on to Harry. This hatred blinded him in assisting Harry in Voldemort's downfall... Snape's ultimate goal!

It was not until the very end, and under Dumbledore's command, that Snape was able to assist Harry by giving him his memories.
This I agree with, I always wonder though why no memories of his actions as a Death Eater were included in 'The Life and Times of Severus Snape'.

In this Severus Snape did good. He provided Harry with the very information that was the final crucial piece to allow Harry to defeat Voldemort. And don't forget that Snape assisted Dumbledore for decades. He may have grumbled a lot, but in the end he successfully sabotoged Voldmort's most vital plots.
He kind of foiled one of Voldemort's plots. The last one. Voldemort seemed to have a pretty successful run to power throughout HBP and Deathly Hallows.

Snape misled Voldemort to think that Voldemort was the master of the Deathwand. Maybe Snape did this inadvertantly, but the result was the same.
I think it must have been inadvertant because Snape didn't even know there was an unbeatable wand.

Snape also was the most important person in saving Draco's life (more than once) and giving him a chance to find a better way. Draco may not have seized that chance, but he only had it due to Snape.
I think Snape only saved Draco once. When Harry used Sectumsempra in the bathroom scene. Granted he saved Draco, he also saved himself. I don't think Dumbledore would have looked kindly on his grand creation, Sectumsempra.

Severus Snape may not have been polite. He may not have been gracious. He certainly never gave anyone any gifts. But he undertook the most dangerous assignment in the story... he served as a double agent (pretending to be a triple agent) to the most evil wizard in history for sixteen years. And in the end, Snape was vital in defeating Voldemort
He was brave for the time before the Potters were killed. That was about a year, maybe. The timeline is not really clear how long he spied then. It could have been a year, it could have been six months, it could have been one week. Then there was the fourteen years holiday from spying up to the end of GOF. The three and a half years after that was probably fraught, well the last two years when Voldemort was killing people right and left was certainly fraught. So yes, for four, maybe five years he served bravely. I wouldn't say he was brave in the same way Harry was in the graveyard scene, when Voldemort tortured him yards away from Cedric's body or any of Harry's very close encounters with Voldemort, but he was brave. I guess you can tell, I'm not Snape's greatest fan. Yes he was brave, but so was everybody else. I think of Lupin infiltrating the werewolves, Hagrid going to the Giants. A bunch of schoolkids facing the Death Eaters in the Hall of Mysteries. Snape was accomlished at Occlumency, very accomplished. He knew he could fool Voldemort, but yes he showed a heck of a lot of courage.
 

Boaz

Happy Easter!
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
5,834
sumeriris, I don't think I've been back to this thread since I last posted. My apologies for the length of time.

I agree that there is not any excuse for the intentional bullying (causing emotional anguish for the sake of receiving emotional pleasure, i.e. sadism) of a student by a teacher. None. Snape did not emotionally torture Neville, imo, because of a desire to make Neville relive his parents' torture, but rather because of Snape's own ego and infatuation with the Dark Arts. Either way, Snape mistreated Neville... and Snape, of all people, should have known better.

I do think Snape was a timid child... socially. Snape only spied on Lilly for the longest time. Lilly became his only real friend. He was in the group of Slytherins who loved the Dark Arts... but the DA was their connection, Snape did not have personal connections with those students. I find it interesting that Snape's childhood social experiences and his adult teaching experiences did not make him sympathetic towards Neville. There is something selfish, and even narcissistic, inside Severus Snape. His lack of sympathy to see Lilly in Harry confirms this.

Hmmm. You said that there was no love in Snape. If love is as the Apostle Paul writes,
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
then, Snape had great passion, but did not love. But I still say he has a desire to love and to be loved... he just did not know how to go about it.

Again, I think Snape is by far the most interesting and the most well conceived character in the story.
 

Myra

Time is a Fickle Thing...
Joined
May 14, 2012
Messages
103
Location
Reading, Writing, Films, Gaming = <3
There was no love and goodness inside Snape.
In my personal opinion of Snape, he was only perceived that way because every one thought of him as the evil Potions Master of the Dungeons. When I read the books it was surmised from the very beginning that Snape was evil, but did anyone except Dumbledore really give him a chance? Also, on the Harry front, I believe he didn't really hate Harry, but his hatred stemmed from the fact that Harry looks like James and he has the same trouble maker qualities as well and so Snape targeted him. I think deep down Snape looked at Harry as if he was the son he never had with Lily and by the last book it was kinda proved by the Pensieve memories of Snape and Lily. He wanted to protect Harry because he loved him like a son, but didn't want to drop the persona that everyone had given him?

I may be totally off, but that's what I think in general.

Everyone is capable of love and goodness...and I believe Snape harboured this inside him somewhere as well. Otherwise he wouldn't have done what he did for the Order, for Harry or for Draco.
 

summeriris

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Messages
46
sumeriris, I don't think I've been back to this thread since I last posted. My apologies for the length of time.

I agree that there is not any excuse for the intentional bullying (causing emotional anguish for the sake of receiving emotional pleasure, i.e. sadism) of a student by a teacher. None. Snape did not emotionally torture Neville, imo, because of a desire to make Neville relive his parents' torture, but rather because of Snape's own ego and infatuation with the Dark Arts. Either way, Snape mistreated Neville... and Snape, of all people, should have known better.

I do think Snape was a timid child... socially. Snape only spied on Lilly for the longest time. Lilly became his only real friend. He was in the group of Slytherins who loved the Dark Arts... but the DA was their connection, Snape did not have personal connections with those students. I find it interesting that Snape's childhood social experiences and his adult teaching experiences did not make him sympathetic towards Neville. There is something selfish, and even narcissistic, inside Severus Snape. His lack of sympathy to see Lilly in Harry confirms this.

Hmmm. You said that there was no love in Snape. If love is as the Apostle Paul writes,

then, Snape had great passion, but did not love. But I still say he has a desire to love and to be loved... he just did not know how to go about it.

Again, I think Snape is by far the most interesting and the most well conceived character in the story.
As I haven't been on the thread for a while I am not going to complain. I think the best that could be said about Snape is that he is interesting as long as you don't look too closely. Snape was a text book example of narcissism. Every single thing he did he did because he thought that he loved Lily. I say he thought because I don't think he did love Lily. He loved the Lily he wanted her to be. The little grateful Mudblood that would be the only personal exception to his bigotry. Of course that wasn't Lily. She had her own ideas and dreams. Those dreams certainly did not include being Snape's exception to the general place where Mudbloods belonged, for instance...dead or enslaved. I can't forgive him for his bullying of schoolchildren and people he thought he could get away with being vicious to. It wasn't just Neville. There was his behaviour during Harry's first lesson, his cruelty to Hermione when her teeth were cursed, his nasty and entirely uncalled for remark to Tonks and his downright vicious remarks to Sirius. Even after he knew that Sirius had not betrayed Lily. Certainly not in the way Snape betrayed her himself.

=Myra;1610406]In my personal opinion of Snape, he was only perceived that way
because every one thought of him as the evil Potions Master of the Dungeons.
When I read the books it was surmised from the very beginning that Snape was
evil, but did anyone except Dumbledore really give him a chance? Also, on the
Harry front, I believe he didn't really hate Harry, but his hatred stemmed from
the fact that Harry looks like James and he has the same trouble maker qualities
as well and so Snape targeted him. I think deep down Snape looked at Harry as if
he was the son he never had with Lily and by the last book it was kinda proved
by the Pensieve memories of Snape and Lily. He wanted to protect Harry because
he loved him like a son, but didn't want to drop the persona that everyone had
given him?
No it wasn't surmised from the beginning. At the beginning Harry didn't have any idea who Snape was. Snape himself gave the impression that he was a child abuser when he verbally attacked and was nasty to Harry in the first lesson. He gave this impression when he tortured Neville by threatening to kill Neville's pet. Snape may(?) have been working for Dumbleore but that did not make him a decent human being. If anything it is proof positive that being on the "good side" does not make you good. In Snape's case it meant that he could work on getting revenge on Voldemort for breaking his promise to spare Lily when Voldemort killed her husband and child. This meant of course that Lily was not available to become Snape's possession. And the last thing Snape wanted was to regard Harry as a son. Harry was James Potter's son and as such the only thing Snape wanted for Harry was to disappear. How dare Harry even exist, proof positive that Lily loved another man.

I may be totally off, but that's what I think in general.





Everyone is capable of love and goodness...and I believe Snape harboured this
inside him somewhere as well. Otherwise he wouldn't have done what he did for
the Order, for Harry or for Draco.
IMO the thing that Snape was capable of was blaming everybody and anybody for his mistakes. He didn't have to invent Dark Curses, that was his choice. He didn't have to enlist with the terrorists and murderers, that was his choice. He didn't have to carry the Prophecy to Voldemort in the sure knowledge that in doing so he was entering a conspiracy to murder some family out there. Snape didn't have to be a child abusing bully in the class room, but hey, when did doing the right thing just because it was the right thing ever enter Snape's head? That would be right around the 12th of never IMO. Snape was not a good guy, the best that could be said about him was that he was ambigous. If some man loved me like he loved Lily, I'd get a restraining order and a large shotgun.
 

AnyaKimlin

Confuddled
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
5,823
Location
North Scotland
I'm with you I, Brian. But I remain to be unconvinced that the love of his life wasn't Dumbledore. Those two men had a very strong bond and a high level of trust. What with Dumbledore being outed I wonder...

Maybe Lily was just a friend to Snape someone who was more kind than a bully.

I actually think he was shy and awkward not bad or evil in anyway. Sort of the Neville Longbottom of the earlier generation.
 

Silver Owl

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
106
I'm with you I, Brian. But I remain to be unconvinced that the love of his life wasn't Dumbledore. Those two men had a very strong bond and a high level of trust. What with Dumbledore being outed I wonder...

Maybe Lily was just a friend to Snape someone who was more kind than a bully.

I actually think he was shy and awkward not bad or evil in anyway. Sort of the Neville Longbottom of the earlier generation.
I'll never forgive him for mercilessly bullying Neville. To the extent where his boggart (worst fear) is Snape
 

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
22,359
Location
Highlands
What really peeved me about Rowling's treatment of Snape in the last book was that surely the big pay-off for Snape in emotional terms would be for Harry to discover that he'd been on the goody side all the time and to feel suitably chastened by his horrible treatment of Snape from Book One onwards.
I think this is because we expect that in stories. However - and going only by the films - there was simply too much to tell. With Snape dying, he could never have given any explanation justice through dying words - not without it looking terribly cheesy (oh, look, Snape is still talking, and not dead, 40 mins after being "killed").

There's also the point that Snape did not need Harry's approval, or anyone else's - he only confided with Dumbledore, but otherwise locked everything in. A man who needed public approval would not have made so much effort to keep Harry Potter safe.

I'll never forgive him for mercilessly bullying Neville. To the extent where his boggart (worst fear) is Snape
Pfft! Snape never asked anyone to die for him. How many died for Harry Potter? :)
 

Overread

All Hail Skaven!
Joined
Aug 22, 2007
Messages
3,719
Location
Hunting in the woods
I wonder if part of Snape's problem is that he simply lacks any understanding of other peoples emotional side. It not always being that he want's to be cruel, but that he simply lacks a feeling of empathy for them to the point where its hard to impossible for him to actually respect others emotional state. As a result he also has an inability to be able to really confide in others, his history of a Death Eater and his past crimes might also have solidified his own mental idea of himself as an island - unable to reach out to others and make connections.

Bottled up he likely runs with a high amount of daily stress and personal self loathing to some extend which he then vents upon his students - taking a specific focus to certain individuals who have some weak or strong connections to his own past; but he also targets other students as well (he's likely been teaching and being mean to Griffendors for most of his teaching career - likely getting worse the higher up the teaching ladder he went).


He likely could have functioned being nice if he'd had a strict upbringing and structure around how to be nice - ergo if he were directly taught how to behave. However its clear that he didn't get this and that as a result the darker influences shaped a greater part of his life structure and guidance.

And in that we find that deep down he's not an evil person.
He lacks empathy, he's childish in many ways and he's not the most social. But he rebelled against the evil and even sought its own destruction. As such we can say that whilst he's got many faults, he's not a deep down naturally evil person. Indeed had his upbringing and guiding influences from a point of youth been different he might well have been a very different person altogether.




Which in its own way raises the interesting question of why the school has Slytherin house in the first place as a point of guidance and influence upon students; as well as how effective the Sorting Hat really is. We know that Harry had "choice" when under the hat, how many more might have had that same choice element when being sorted and how much of it was deep down their inner self and how much was surface noise generated by other thoughts (parents were in the house - friend got sorted into the house - house has cool colours/motifs)
 

AnyaKimlin

Confuddled
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
5,823
Location
North Scotland
I'll never forgive him for mercilessly bullying Neville. To the extent where his boggart (worst fear) is Snape
One can't help but wonder if Snape's boggart is James Potter. And I suspect had Nevile been in serious danger Snape would be the first to save him as he did the others. I wonder if Snape had been in trouble would James Potter have saved Snape?

For me James Potter was by far the least understandable and least pleasant character in the series.
 

Boaz

Happy Easter!
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
5,834
Anya, I agree that James is not an appealing character. He ends up being a good guy, but we never saw the transformation... we only ever glimpse Snape's memories of James the Jerk.

The basic premise of The Karate Kid is similar to the story of Snape, Lilly and James. Snape (Daniel) is bullied and picked on by Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs (the Cobra Kai) in his attempt to woo Lilly (Ally). Even after Snape successfully retaliates, James (Johnny) beats him worse than ever. But in this case, Mr. Miyagi does not exist... Malfoy and the pre-Deatheaters don't really help Snape, nor was there a Triwizard tournament for Snape to show them his ability... I'm sure Sirius used to say, "Sweep, uh, I meant... Cruciatus the leg, James!" And really, who want to see Johnny get the girl? No one.

But Anya.... James did save Snape. Sirius set up Snape to either get bitten or killed by Lupin.... and James caught Snape just before Snape opened the Shrieking Shack.

We don't see James as an adult, but we do see Sirius. Sirius' one good quality is that he was a lifelong friend. He was loyal to James' memory decades after James died. (In this, Sirius and Snape were very alike.) Sirius still holds onto his arrogance, his social status, and his enmities... and I sort of assume that James would have been that way too. But then again, Remus was one of, if not the most humble and gracious characters in the story.... maybe James would have turned out like him instead.
 

Silver Owl

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
106
Didn't Sirius say that he reason Lily and James got together after them hating each other throughout school was because James "deflated his head a bit" in his final year.

I'm not prepared to judge James on what he was like at school, I know I did some stupid things at that age and so did James and as we see in Snape's memory so did he.

Snape got it into his head that he 'deserved' Lily because of how much of an idiot James was. When actually it's up to HER and she wanted James!
 

AGraceMartin

AGraceMartin
Joined
Aug 8, 2012
Messages
22
Location
Books, adventures, fantasy, spirituality, self-emp
My reaction to Snape being the good-guy was deeply emotional as a reader. When I first read the series as a teenager, I was shocked and surprised that I (as a reader) had also been wrong about Snape. The entire series I hated his character. To see that this perspective was wrong generated a greater reaction in me, and I did not notice that Harry did not have a great response, too. I felt that this was a situation in which the circumstances are set in such a way that the reader's personal experiences and background knowledge allow for an individual reaction.

As an adult and writer myself, I see the point being made. Harry could have had rejoiced more about Snape's life. However, the fact that Snape was spiteful was a realistic personality flaw. To save the child of the one he loved after she died must have stirred many mixed emotions within Snape, which is why he would save his life, but punish him and loathe him within the boundaries of school safety.
 

Similar threads


Top