Dumbledore is “Machiavellian,” and Snape “Vindictive” Says J.K. Rowling

113

Oct 16, 2007

Posted by SueTLC
Uncategorized

New details pertaining directly to the Harry Potter books emerged tonight, as MTV has now posted some of the questions and the fascinating answers from J.K. Rowling at the Open Book Tour today in Los Angeles. In the Q & A Jo was asked about Professor Dumbledore (“he’s quite a Machiavellian figure, really”), Hedwig, and the always controversial Severus Snape. Jo said:

“Snape is vindictive, he’s cruel. He’s not a big man,” she insisted. “But he loves. I like him, but I’d also like to slap him hard.”

To read the rest of the article, with some very interesting further and SPOILER ific details, click here. Please note for those wishing to avoid spoilers to Deathly Hallows, a caution is given.





65 Responses to Dumbledore is “Machiavellian,” and Snape “Vindictive” Says J.K. Rowling

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Yes, I think a lot of people wanted to slap Sir Snape.

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Whoa, Dumbledore is dark. :O I never really though of him as Machiavellian… And yes, I would quite like to slap Snape too, but I would also like to give him a hug. :S

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I confess I am never suprised by JKR, and her interviews. She is the most delightful person I have ever “read”. How I wish I could be one of those students, lucky enough, to be with her. She is one great person! Those are the first of many, many lucky kids!

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Finally some important potter news!!!

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I’m glad Jo said that about Dumbledore. He used Harry throughout the entire series, and that slowly became clear in HBP when he used Harry to get Slughorn to return to Hogwarts. He wasn’t the perfect person we thought he was. He’s still a good man though.

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Oh, this is amazing, all of this information and news! Christmas has come early!

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And people said Harry Potter would die out after book seven. I still have to a lot of Potter energy to waste, if only I could met Jo. The slightest news from her makes my world go crazy.

MAY THE POTTER BE WITH YOU

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Cool news! I can definitely see Dumbledore as very Machiavellian character, not exactly a bad guy, but far from a good one in a lot of ways. He’s a tad amoral. But I love him, I mean, Dumbledore’s (wo)man, through and through, yeah? I can’t lie and say that I wasn’t really distraught by the big Dumbledore reveal in the end…he was a risky, manipulative guy. A great one, nonetheless.

Snape, oh Snape…you are quite an admired and beloved character, for some reasons I will not and may never comprehend. He did love, and the loyalty he had to this love is certainly admirable.

Aww, the little girl with the Hedwig plush. That is too cute for words. I was saddened by that death…Merlin’s bird, she was his pet! :(

I can wait a thousand years for that encyclopedia. Honestly, I am just eagerly awaiting another Rowling masterpiece.

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Well, I find that line about Dumbledore being “Machiavellian” to be typical JKR misdirection. She said in reference to Snape’s character arc. And in the scene being referred to, Dumbledore keeps his eyes shut tight while talking to Snape. I’m pretty sure that it’s Snape who’s having his strings pulled.

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I have to say that describing Dumbledore “machiavellian” is perfect and I honestly can say that’s a hard pill to swallow. But at the same time, I’m so glad b/c he wasn’t like another famous wizard whom he gets compared to a lot; Gandalf.

OH Snape, I’ve never actually liked Snape in the way where people love him b/c he’s “smexy” or w/e. I just never could relate to him. But until the last book, the Prince’s Tale, I finally liked him. He is a complicated character and I’ve finally appreciate that about him.

Aw, plush Hedwig doll! I want one. mutters I wish someone had a pic of the little girl holding the doll. It’d be too cute!

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Those lucky, lucky kids. Gah my first year as not being a technical school child (through high school right haha!) anymore and so much awesomeness happens for them. The plush Hedwig is oh so cute and it seems like Hegwig indeed lives. ;)

I never would have thought to pair the words Dumbledore and Machiavellian in a entence but it does make quite a bit of sense. Machiavellian does have a negative connotation to it but it does not necessarily mean evil like most people think that it does. I still think Dumbledore had the right mindset for everything and he’s just amazing. :-)

As for Snape…ah Snape. I think Jo will be getting questions about Snape from now until the cows come home. But then again he’s enough of a complex character to get all of those questions.

I can wait as long as it takes Jo to write her encyclopedia because that just means there’s more time to question and speculate. Hooray!

Oh and also why is this reported through MTV of all “news” sources? I mean I’m glad that there is coverage over it but really MTV? shrugs Who knows maybe MTV is coming into the light with a Wizard Rock segment and now this.

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I have to admit, that after reading the enlighting chapter the Prince’s Tale (The Deathly Hallows), that I too saw Dombledore as a Machiavellian figure. He oviously had Harry’s whole jerney with Volodemort plained out long before Harry ever went to Hogwarts. But I do not believe that he did not care for Harry. I believe that Dombledore understood that this was a battle (so to speak) that Harry and Harry alone could fight and there for all he could do is help set the steaks in Harry favor. To quot Dombledore himself “For the greater good”. As for as Snape, after reading the Prince’s Tale I found myself feeling a little sorry for him even if he is a vindictive jerk. Even Snape is capable of love.

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Slap Snape? Never!

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HERE HERE, E.S.! I always knew there was something about him, but then I always go for the ’’questionable characters’’...or the down right baddies.

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She wants to slap Snape? Well, I would comfort him instead, a heartbroken character like him. He was not nice, I never thought this, but I have mercy for him because he was described as someone who has hitten rock bottom.

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You know what? I really don’t care what she thinks of the characters. See, when you write a book, it gets read by a variety of people, all of whom bring their own opinions, backgrounds, and “issues” to the reading. While it’s true a writer creates the characters and situations, once they go out the public, they lose control over how those things are interpreted. Yet it seems to me that Jo isn’t particularly open to other people’s views of the HP characters, which is kind of annoying.

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When you think back to Order of the Phoenix when Dumbledore was telling Harry “everything” (which wasn’t really everything), he said that he had let something get in the way of his grand plan. And that was that he cared too much for Harry. So what Snape finally learns is that Dumbledore was very manipulative, for all the right reasons, but he needed Snape’s help to carry it off. If he’d told Snape the whole truth from the beginning (that Harry would have to die, or so Dumbledore seemed to think at one point anyway), I don’t think that Snape who was motivated by his love for Lily would have gone along with the plan.

So there is that tragic side to Snape, that shows more as his fear that someone will know just how much he loved Lily, and that he was willing to risk everything to honor her memory. The times that I wanted to smack Snape was when he was so unnecissarily mean to Harry, Hermione and Neville. Some of that was needed so that all the Death Eaters’ children would help him maintain his status as a loyal follower of Voldemort. But there were times that he went too far.

In so many ways, both Dumbledore and Snape were trapped by the mistakes of their youth. Again, it was their choices that defined who they really were. I love the way Jo tied all that together, from the very first book. And I love it that she is sharing some of those thoughts with all of us now. It’s been fascinating to get insights into the thinking of an author.

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I totally agree with her about loving Snape but wanting to slap him. He really does need a good ol’ slap in the face…perhaps by Lily.

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@Ashley

Lily (the so called goodhaerted person) acted merciless and therefore wrong. I bad example for everybody.

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Eeyore: nice comment and avatar. =)

the “slap Snape” idea’s funny. i know Jo loves Snape, though… didn’t she say once before that HBP was her favorite of the series?

...gawd until now i still teary eyed thinking about The Prince’s Tale. that Sev and Lily were friends and that he loved her kills me.

like Eeyore, i enjoy reading an author’s insights - on this case, Jo’s - on their own writing.

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Yes, it is revealing to know that JKR loves Dumbledore: http://www.geocities.com/lilysnape03/snape_excerpts.html and lay her own Machiavellian personality into DD just to kid the readers.

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“I like him, but I’d also like to slap him hard” – that counts for SO MANY of the characters for me. Snape’s the one I want to slap least! James just gets a slap without the liking.

Hmm… Dumbledore. The guy would have done fantastically in Slytherin :P Some of his actions were exceedingly cold and distant (when Snape found out Lily was dead I was shocked at the lack of emotion Dumbledore was showing about it) but it was all done with love, the same as Snape, except that Dumbledore’s love was more general while Snape’s was incredibly specific. Dumbledore did what might have needed to be done – I’d call it a cross between being Utilitarian and Machiavellian. Manipulating everyone, but for the greater good rather than personal power.

Of course JKR likes Snape, she was a teenage Smiths fan ;)

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Whoo hoo! Here come the crazies!

Never change, Snapefen! You’re up their with the Harmoanians.

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I know quite a few people who would like to slap JKR. The last book was so sloppily written and poorly edited. :/

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Well… i didn’t like HP7, but I am so far to like to slap JKR! And I will be happy is she slaps Snape :P

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LOL rabid Snapefen. Never stop. What would we do without you?

I don’t care how much you love Snape. He deserves to be slapped for his treatment of his students alone. Nothing justifies that. Nothing.

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Hm, I still dislike Snape and yes, he deseves to be slapped. And I still like Dumbledore. Even if Harry was his puppet it turned out to be the right thing. Still and interesting comment from Jo.

But I want to know more ;c) I still don’t know what happened to Kreacher.

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Did I lose my avatar??? Second try.

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OK, I give up. I was waiting for someone to ask “what is Machiavellian?”. Alas no. So I will now have to surrender my username title of “Professor Potter” and very humbly ask you clever people um….what is Machiavellian???

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I’ll quote wikipedia, for my English is not good enough for explaining this: “Machiavellianism is primarily the term some social and personality psychologists use to describe a person’s tendency to deceive and manipulate others for personal gain.” That pretty much sums it up. The term is of course named after the Italian Niccolò Machiavelli, who wrote the Il Principe.

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“The term is of course named after the Italian Niccolò Machiavelli, who wrote the Il Principe.”

Of Course ;) Thanks for that clear as crystal definition, Yukito! I’m a bit too fond of my username to give it up just yet though ;)

OK, so Machiavellian refers to manipulation of others for their PERSONAL gain. In which case, I would not associate that with Dumbledore. Yes, Dumbledore manipulated Snape, Harry and who knows how many others. But he did that for the “greater good” not for himself. He accepted dying for the greater good (I know he didnt volunteer to die but he accepted his fate with no hesitation). This does not sound like the act of a selfish person. More like arrogant, if anything! Of course when he was young, he did have a selfish intention of gaining power but he learnt from that and knew his flaw. So, i wouldnt agree with JK on describing Dumbledore that way. I know she is the author but that is what makes her great – she creates scenarios and characters which are so open to debate that even herself sometimes cannot decide how she feels about them. For instance, she wrote Kings Cross to be interpreted in different ways and even she only guesses where Harry is. And i do feel she is somewhat uncertain how she feels about Snape because she has made slightly different comments about how she feels about him.

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Anyone know when will the full list of questions be up?

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I agree, I would not call Dumbledore Machiavellian either, I would call him “thoroughly human.” He recognized his own weakness (powerhunger) when dealing in his youth with Grindelwald, and he CHOSE to stay at Hogwarts, and later CHOSE to confront Grindelwald, when he thought that GW was going out of control.

Everyone has a “bad spot” and Dumbledore recognized his own and did not dwell on the bad, but went instead the other direction. I admire that.

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“Both Dumbledore and Snape were trapped by the mistakes of their youth. Again, it was their choices that defined who they really were.” Well done, Eeyore—that’s very perceptive and well said.

I also think Jo’s description of Dumbledore as “Machiavellian” is a vindication of casting Michael Gambon to replace the late Richard Harris as the Hogwarts headmaster. When none of us knew which way the stories would lead us, Harris was a genial and comforting choice for this role; we want little Harry to have a kind, gentle protector in his strange new world.

But Gambon, a prodigiously talented actor whom I’ve seen on stage and TV, is far more capable of handling his character’s mental convolutions and far more physical tasks in the later books. I think Gambon’s going to blow us away in the next two films, and silence all the doubters. As Stan Lee would say, ”’Nuff said”.

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Machiavellianism is also associated with expediency, doing what has to be done regardless of pain or associated damage the action may cause, the ends justifies the means.

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I wanted to slap Snape about 500 different times throughout the series. He certaintly would have deserved it. He was a mysterious character, but there were definitely alot better and more interesting characters than him. Snape’s mystery is the only thing that made him appealing in my opinion, other than that he was an evil, slimy git.

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I found this definition : (No.2 being the most relevant I think)

1. of, like, or befitting Machiavelli. 2. being or acting in accordance with the principles of government analyzed in Machiavelli’s The Prince, in which political expediency is placed above morality and the use of craft and deceit to maintain the authority and carry out the policies of a ruler is described. 3. characterized by subtle or unscrupulous cunning, deception, expediency, or dishonesty: He resorted to Machiavellian tactics in order to get ahead. –noun 4. a follower of the principles analyzed or described in The Prince, esp. with reference to techniques of political manipulation.

Ladyhawk, your definition would sound more appropriate for Dumbledore. This definition is pretty much the same but for one important addition “expediency is placed above Morality”. I suppose it depends on whether deceiving for the “greater good” is considered moral or not. I personally think Dumbledore is ating morally thoughout albeit in a most controversial way! So I suppose you can say there are chunks of elements of Machiavellianism in Dumbledore but not wholly so.

My what an interesting subject. And for a good 9 years we thought Snape was complicated! I wonder if there is a word for “one who deceives or acts cunningly for the greater good”

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With JK using words like Machiavellian, I think we are going to have to start doing cryptic crosswords in preparation for her next book. I learnt one big word today but I sure as hell wouldn’t know how to even begin pronouncing the damn thing!

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I’m glad that she specified that Dumbledore wasn’t all lollipops and rainbows. Honestly I’ve thought he was up to something since the second book and it says a lot about Harry that he was able to forgive Dumbledore for using him like he did.

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As much as I’m excited that she’s on tour and doing this for a bunch of students, we really aren’t learning anything new. The young kids are asking the same questions she gets asked at every interview (did you always have a big imagination?, who are your influences?, etc) and the snippets about Snape and Dumbledore ought to be obvious to anyone who’s read the seventh book.

I will say that I’m horribly jealous of everyone who gets to go. It must be surreal to have Harry Potter read to you by JK Rowling herself. AH! Fun!

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So it is Dumbledore who is the Spinner. His end was actually the reason for the chapter Spinner’s End.

I got quite a bit of heat from others who insisted Snape is the spinner.

I’m glad I’m right – AHA!

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Ha! I just learned about Machiavelli in my political science class. So Dumbledore is all for power? I can see that after reading DH.

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I can’t see that DD is using the others for personal gain or to gain power either. As someone else said he gave himself up for the cause, too. In the end it was really for the greater good. And all the students and fought against Voldemort for the greater good, too. So is he really Machiavellian???

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Ok, Dumbledore DID make all his sacrifices for the greater good. Let’s get that argument out of the way. Whether this makes him Machiavellian or not doesn’t really matter. I think Jo just said this in a “joking around” remark anyways and it is being blown way out of proportion.

What you can take back from these quotes is simply that DD was brilliant in the fact that he had Harry’s life planned out for him ever since he heard the prophesy which stated that Harry is the only one that can truly kill “He Who Must Not Be Named”. DD also disregarded any moral values he may or may not have had in order to obtain his ultimate goal; to destroy the antagonist, Lord Voldemort.

In regards to Dumbledore’s past, in my honest opinion, I believe that the only reason that Rowling put the history of DD in the seventh novel is to show the human side of Dumbledore and to raise doubt in Harry’s mind which would burden him and be an added threat to Harry’s journey.

Again, this whole thing about slapping Snape is, of course, a joke. You guys are taking it completely out of context. It’s not that Rowling doesn’t like Snape. It is that Snape allowed his grief about Lily and his jealousy of James to cloud his judgment of Harry (and anyone associated with him).

Again, to reiterate my point, Rowling most likely made these statements lightly and in a joking manner. She probably didn’t think they would be analyzed to such a degree and they probably shouldn’t.

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Brian said: “Rowling most likely made these statements lightly and in a joking manner. She probably didn’t think they would be analyzed to such a degree [...]”

If she really thought that at THIS point in her career, she’s a fool.

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Ok, I may be experiencing one of the side-effects of Post Potter Depression known as grumpiness, but… is that it? I’m pretty disappointed, all we’ve got is that Snape is vindictive, which we know anyway (even though I like the guy now) and that Dumbledore is macky-wotsit… and I hate not being able to love Dumbledore as much as I used to :(

Oh well, at least we know she is definitely going to do the Encyclopedia, even if not for a while yet.

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I never thought I’d say this, but i don’t know why there are still people who still loathe snape, I absolutely hated Snape after reading HBP, though after reading Ootp i trusted him, but after the Prince’s Tale chapter, you realise that he is a tragic character who made a lot of mistakes, i feel sorry for him now, and I like him since he became loyal to Dumbledore,

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Can I just say how “verklempt” i got at the image of a little girl showing up with her Hedwig doll! I have to say that I agree with JkR and her assesments of Dumbledore and Snape. I was so distraught to find out how plotting the former was, even if it was necessary in the end, but still find that he was a good person and he did love Harry. In a way it made me respect AD more knowing what he had to put Harry through.

As far as Snape, as tragically heroic his character is, I can’t bring myself to like him. If he could unfairly bully students like Harry, Hermione, and Neville just because of the sins of James Potter that does not say much about his character. Snape was a Death Eater, and had it not been for Lily he would have stayed one without one bit of remorse. He turned to Death Eaters even at the cost of the woman he loved, that blows my mind. No one is perfect though and at least his love did turn him in the end. THat is what makes him an interesting and complex character that will be hard to forget. But I still can’t like him.

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i actually liked severus much better than dumbledore. having jo finally say something a lil negative about dumbledore – the Machiavellian bit was greatly appreciated! – really was good for me…...... although i will admit that slapping snape during “Snape’s Worst Memory” wouldve been nice. :D

<3padfootrocksmysocks

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“Again, this whole thing about slapping Snape is, of course, a joke. You guys are taking it completely out of context” – I read every comment, I see no one taking Jo’s remarks out of context – if anything you have taken the leaky boards’ comments out of context ;) Everyone is just simply expressing their different views some agreeing with jo’s view and some disagreeing and some even taking Jo VERY seriously ;) Jo’s crowning achievement to me is making these 2 characters complex in a way that forces different interpretations. Jo gives her own view (in more detail in the MTV article link) as from a reader’s point of view and not as an author (eg., using Harry as a puppet etc). If she is just jokingly saying all that, then you might as well say we are all jokingly expressing our views on this comment board! Ha ha – just kiddng, dont take this post too seriously :)

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I wasn’t surprised that Snape chose to become a Death Eater when he was younger. He came from an abusive home environment, where he no doubt learned what it was like to be powerless and helpless. Then, at school, he was bullied. James, Sirius, et. al, treated him with just as much disdain and scorn as Mulciber and crew viewed Muggleborns. It’s just the different side of the same coin, frankly. Being Sorted into Gryffindor doesn’t make it any more justifiable for one student to torment another.

While Lily cared for him as a friend, we don’t see any indication in the text that her feelings went deeper than that. It wasn’t as if she’d professed her love to him and then he became involved with Mulciber. If it had happened like that, then one could argue that he chose Darkness over her love, but in reality, he’d chosen male friends over her friendship – which isn’t exactly an odd choice for a troubled adolescent boy to make.

So, we have an introverted, isolated, abused boy who sees an offer of power, the chance to be someone important and special, the person on the other end of the torment. And he makes that choice. Is it the right choice? Hardly. But it’s understandable, given his circumstances. ‘The child is father to the man,’ is a statement that definitely applies to Snape.

They all made mistakes when they were younger. The Marauders for their torment of Snape. Snape for his decision to join the Death Eaters. Lily, for calling Snape that horrid nickname and leaving him to further torment instead of doing her Prefect’s duty during the lake incident. It’s what makes those characters more than mere archetypes, however. And each of them changed over the course of their lives. No one is the same at 15 as they are when they’re 25, or 35, and so on.

Snape’s love for Lily did bring about a change in his character, but it’s not visible at first glance. The fact that he saved Lupin’s life, albeit with aim that was a little off, proves that. Also, he had nothing to gain by working to protect Harry and follow Albus’ wishes. Lily was already dead. Even if she had survived, she would have never have been with him, and yet, Snape still stays the course.

He was suicidal at one point in his life, judging from the text. At any time during the intervening years, he could have left Dumbledore’s service. In ‘Goblet’ Albus even asks him if he’s tempted to join Karkaroff’s flight, and he says no. He works on behalf of Dumbledore – and protects Harry – without receiving any kind of recognition for his efforts until he’s dead, even going so far as to make Albus promise never to reveal the truth behind his actions. That speaks volumes about his character just as much as the way he treated some of his students.

He’s a deeply wounded person, ever-conscious of his mistakes and willing to sacrifice everything to try and ensure Voldemort is defeated. His motivation is deeply personal, rather than general, in scope. He’s not capable of loving people other than Lily, and that simply adds to the tragic nature of his life. There’s a lot of ‘if only’ to Severus’ story.

Albus and Harry can extend love and compassion to others. Harry even extends it to those who’ve treated him poorly. It’s a source of their strength. Severus can’t, and it’s a sign of his weakness.

It’s easy to see Snape as one extreme or the other, depending on a person’s own experiences and views. People will see him how they wish. He’s been both victim and tormentor. Snape’s not a saint. He’s not a monster, either. Instead, he’s one of JKR’s best-crafted characters. Would I want to slap him? Of course. He’s a frustrating character. And yet, if it wasn’t for Snape, I would have stopped reading the books after ‘Azkaban.’ :D

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Avalon, that is so well-expressed and perceptive - I think you’ve really hit the nail on the head as far as Snape’s childhood psychology affecting his life choices. What a contrast he (and Voldemort) are compared to Harry - all three with loveless/missing families, isolated and friendless in their early years—and yet Harry continually chooses compassion, self-sacrifice, and protection of those abused like him. Why Harry can make those positive choices, and why both Snape and Voldemort choose instead to subjugate others through fear and hatred have given us unforgettable characters we’ll be discussing for years to come.

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Sorry. I’m reposting this because every time I use dashes, the text gets struck through!

Avalon, that is so well-expressed and perceptive. I think you’ve really hit the nail on the head as far as Snape’s childhood psychology affecting his life choices. What a contrast he (and Voldemort) are compared to Harry. All three were scarred by loveless/missing families, isolated and friendless in their early years, and yet Harry continually chooses compassion, self-sacrifice, and protection of those abused like him. Why Harry can make those positive choices, and why both Snape and Voldemort choose instead to subjugate others through fear and hatred have given us unforgettable characters we’ll be discussing for years to come.

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Well for me Severus Snape IS a BIG man… he loved, felt remorse for what he has done and acted accordingly henceforth. There was nothing more he could have done. Dumbledore used him, a put him in danger and asked a lot from him emotionally ( I mean asking someone to kill you is really questionable!) Who would have believed Snape that he killed on request, hadn’t Harry been there in his last moments to collect his memory of what really happened? Yes, Snape would have needed a good shake but his resentments against Harry were based on a difficult past. He made up for it though by giving Harry his last thoughts which revealed his secret – his love for Lily.

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Excellent analysis of Snape there, Avalon. Best one I’ve read so far. I think JK has created one of the most fascinating characters in literature. Apparently, Severus Snape is the most written about in the Essays section – why am I not surprised!

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I used to be Snape fan, but after “The Prince’s Tale” I’ve changed my mind. I have felt that if “Snape asked Lily to be spared”-theory will come true, then I’ll hate him forever.

Snape cried to DD: “Don’t kill me!” and I’m asking: how many Muggles, Wizards and Witches cried this sentence too? To be spared, to be shown mercy… But Snape and his precious little Death Eater friends did not spare them, did they? These people were worthless, because they weren’t his beloved Lily; the faceless, the nameless -always a good killing off material. Why care?

And he was mourning ONLY Lily’s death, not the fact that he has played a part in making Harry an orphan. He has owed this little boy and was completly indiffrent to what has happened to him. It was Dumbledore who told Snape the matter of protecting the child. Snape himself, IMO, would have never arrived at the idea.

Look at Frank Bryce: he didn’t love Harry or his mother, he didn’t know them, but he has tried (or at least he wanted to try) to safe Harry from Voldemort using his Muggle-ways: calling the police. Frank acted purely of deceny in view of LV cruelty.

As far as Dumbledore is concerned: do you really believe, had he been Potters’ Secret Keeper, they would have ended up dead? Cause I don’t believe it. Dumbledore and giving away their place of safety for the greater good? NEVER!

Sorry for my English! I’m not native speaker.

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aillinne said; “But Snape and his precious little Death Eater friends did not spare them, did they?”

I’m pretty sure Snape never killed anyone.

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Sorry for the double post:

aillinne: “It was Dumbledore who told Snape the matter of protecting the child. Snape himself, IMO, would have never arrived at the idea.”

Until DD stated that he was sure Voldy was still alive, Snape had no reason to think Harry needed protecting. The book specifically says this.

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Snape killed Lily and James Potter in my opinion. He and Wormtail both are responsible for their deaths. So Snape is definitely a killer. Snape was a loser and greasy asswipe, so he definitely deserved to die. I don’t sympathize with him at ALL! I mean I’m not even sure he loved Lily, his relationship with her seemed more like an obsession. If he hadn’t been so obsessed with the dark arts then there’s a chance that he could have actually loved Lily and vice versa. But he was and so they didn’t. I see nothing interesting about a man that would bully and torment children.

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celia said: “Snape killed Lily and James Potter in my opinion. He and Wormtail both are responsible for their deaths.”

What about Voldemort? He’s kinda responsible, too…

“So Snape is definitely a killer.”

Right, cuz it’s not like he took any steps to save her. Oh, wait, yes he did.

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Fenm: He was a death eater working for Voldemort. What makes you think he didn’t kill anyone?

Right, cuz it’s not like he took any steps to save her. Oh, wait, yes he did.

He took steps to save Lily. He didn’t give a darn about other innocents being killed- James and Harry. He loved one woman obsessively but did not care at all about what she loved, or what made her happy.

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When she talks about Dumbledore. JKRowlings hit the nail on the head. Machiave, for those who don’t have any idea who that is. He wrote a book which became the standard of political science, even today. He said things like it is good to feared and loved, but it is better to be feared. If you read the book which is call the prince, still being published. Don’t read to into it about a next Potter book in ten years. It hit the nail on the head in book seven.

Yes, Snape is vindictive if you did not figure that out by book one shame on you. Most children who grow up the way he did would turn out but not all by the way.

Lilly, and his love for her is what saved him in the end and in someways made him a hero. She was the one Sun on an otherwise hateful life.

But in the end as Dumbledore said, it is not our background that makes us what we are its our choices. That is almost a quote for the prince.

If you see him through the eyes of the prince he is almost a copy of a book called the Prince. That had more in making him a great leader, than a making him a bad person. For a Prince can be either good and evil at the same time. As we sometimes all are. He just did it at a higher level. What saved him was the death of his sister. That did not make him a good guy but a more thoughtful one who learned that good and evil must have a balance. It also showed him through time that being like the prince, made him a more rounded person. One who could be loved and feared depending on the person he was dealing with.

Horas

That does not make them bad. Every one of us has moments that we are one or the other. It’s the choices that we make that matter.

Horas

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@Fenm

“I’m pretty sure Snape never killed anyone.”

Have you read “The Lightning Struck Tower” in HBP? He has definitely killed someone in there. And what did he do, in your opinion, in his DE-youth? Coffee for Chief Death Eater?

“So Snape is definitely a killer.” Right, cuz it’s not like he took any steps to save her. Oh, wait, yes he did.”

Hitler loved Eva Braun and his dog, but that doesn’t exclude the fact, that he was responsible for death and suffering of millons of people on this earth! Similar with Snape: he loved Lily deeply, but it’s not settling all his wrongdoings. (I’m not accusing him being mass-murderer! It’s only comparison!) Crying out aloud: “Snape loved Lily, so he’s O.K.!” is like saying, that love for one person levels all the horrible things done to other human beings. I cannot accept this. IMO, it’s terrible that you MUST be loved to be considered as worth-saving. Snape tried to save Lily, because he loved her, but IF it was Longbottom family… he wouldn’t have, IMO, asked LV to let Alice or Frank live. Neville stays for “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Have Lived” and I wonder, what Snape felt seeing HIM in his class – the boy, who meant nothing at all (to Snape).

“Until DD stated that he was sure Voldy was still alive, Snape had no reason to think Harry needed protecting. The book specifically says this.”

I’m sorry. I was very unclear here. Of course Snape thought Harry didn’t need protection. I should have put this in better words: it pained me, he didn’t express any concern about Harry’s future, ex.: - What will happen to her boy, now? - Is there something I could do? Lily would have wanted me to… . Etc…

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Ups! Error! “Neville stands for (...)”, not stays for, of course!

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I like nearly cried when snape said what he said about Harry at the end of DH, and my feelings for DD totally changed.. everything went flip-side up for me. but what Jo said totally makes sense for me..

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