Abendroth Blutjager's Guide to Harry Potter

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Predicting Snape's Motives (character analysis part 3)

Severus Snape was sorted into Slytherin house for a reason. Slytherin house is described as the sanctuary for the ambitious and cunning, sometimes a place for the pureblood and the haughty. We know Severus isn't a pureblood -- Tobias Snape appears to have been a Muggle, and Severus once used (for reasons to be discussed later) the nickname "Half-Blood Prince". He can seem quite haughty at times, but there is an insecurity lingering just below the surface. He's definitely cunning, managing to stay alive after publicly leaving the Death Eaters... managing to reenter the fold while remaining a member of the Order of the Phoenix, spying on both sides.

And what about ambition? There's loads of it. You don't join two opposing teams and play them against each other (and consequentially put yourself in harm's way) unless you have some serious goals... that require info from both sides to meet them.

But let's go back a bit.... Severus is a young wizard of mixed-blood. He takes up this nickname, a play on his witch mother's maiden name and his mixed heritage. The trio later assume he chose the name to play up the wizarding side of the family, not like he's the "prince of the half-bloods", but why would someone trying to play up the wizarding side even bring any attention to the "half-blood" part? He probably wouldn't have been popular in Slytherin for his heritage, so I don't think this would be a name he used freely. It might even be a name given to him by another student and he just liked it. Personally I think Lily Evans came up with the nickname for him. The trio might have it backwards. What if Severus chose to use the name, perhaps only secretly, as a reminder of his heritage... and as a reminder of his main goal -- to be a champion for the wizards and witches of mixed or Muggle heritage?

When Harry takes that first trip on the train to Hogwarts, he reads the Chocolate Frog card for Albus Dumbledore. He seems more impressed by the moving picture than by the info given for wizard. Imagine eleven-year-old Severus first reading or hearing about Albus Dumbledore, most famous for his 1945 defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald. How would this impress upon Severus? Then he's at Hogwarts, with the venerable Albus Dumbledore as headmaster. Snape starts to wonder how this wizard managed to defeat Grindelwald. He might start to think Dumbledore has lost his touch....

Oh, my. I have to stop what would have been a particularly long-assed post. I've been tainted by the chapter titles. My predictions haven't changed due to anything I've seen. However, I'm a bit weirded out by actually having seen what I've now ... seen....

Basically, what I want to get across is that I think Severus Snape (for whatever reasons, like a desire for fame or recognition) has developed a plan to defeat Voldemort. The biggest flaw in his plan is that Voldemort ended up choosing one of Snape's enemies as the target. Snape might feel indebted to James even if there was never a Life Debt. So it's bad news if you've triggered something that will lead to your "saviour's" death. Add to this that Snape probably really did like Lily, and he wouldn't have wanted her to die. To add insult to injury, Snape now has to rely on the abilities and shortfalls of his enemy's son to carry out his wish: Voldemort's defeat. And this child will grow up to hate Snape, not just because of Snape's involvement in the Potters' deaths, but also because Snape must treat Harry badly to maintian his cover. This makes it particulary difficult for Snape to train Harry or give him important info. Harry will almost instinctively rebel against anything Snape says or does. Harry will continue to despise Snape and trip him up every chance he gets until Snape's facade finally falls away... or Snape gets killed trying to make Harry realize where Snape's really coming from.

Maybe more on this later, but the book is arriving so soon I might not be able to get my muddled thoughts together in time for an even vaguely cohesive post.... (sigh)

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Blogger karlii said...

I was posting over on my blog.. and I actually put a disclaimer at the top. What if I guessed right.. and someone tries to sue? ;-)

Yeah.. the chapter titles were intriguing.. and I half hope they ARE true... cuz now I want to know where they are going with some of them!

I hope you didn't get in on the other scans.. I didn't see them, and I'm glad.

Not sure what we CAN look at for the next three days!

Will we have gotten things right? I'd like to hope so!

3:51 PM  
Blogger karlii said...

I was posting over on my blog.. and actually used a disclaimer.. just in case I got anything right! I'd hate to get sued for a good guess!:-)

I too, saw the chapter titles. I half hope they are real.. as some of them are intriguing!!!

If they turn out to be fake.. they'll make WONDERFUL blog/fanfic fodder!

Saddly, though.. even looking at places like HPANA... it's hard to not catch some of the spoily things.. I hope the mods are on high duty, over at the Forum... All it takes is one person to ruin everything!

Three days... I haven't decided if I want to OD on Potter.. or try to switch gears.. to "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell".

3:56 PM  
Blogger Arran said...

Er... well I started reading the book, and I just finished reading chapter two. I believe that I'm read ing the real thing, not a fake. It appears to be the actual book, with GrandPre artwork and all.

I'm beyond making predictions at this point. I can continue to post (pre-book-availability) but only about what I think will happen... not what I've actually been able to confirm as true or false. I'd rather not give true spoilers, but I'd love to give some teasers....

I might do that. Read my blog at your own risk.

4:21 PM  
Blogger karlii said...

sorry about the double post.. but I honestly didn't think the first one went through.

Does an early chapter involve a certain character is walking with and talking to a tall person?

I saw that one ages ago... from some TV show she'd filmed last October.

What if the one you're reading is fanfic? What if it's better then the real one!! LMAO

5:21 PM  
Blogger Arran said...

I've finished chapter 3 now, and I must say this has got to be real. It's photos of the actual pages in the actual book, with all the artwork and everything. I don't think anyone would be able to pull off a fake this good....

Yes, Snape is in chapter one, walking with a taller wizard toward the same destination. If you want to know who that other wizard is... or where they are going, just ask....

8:01 AM  
Blogger karlii said...

ACK!! LOL You are tempting me!!! :-)

Spoilers don't really bother me, as it doesn't matter if I know it NOW, or if I know it LATER... it is all the same. There is no huge magic to it, imo.

That said.. I do not want to know who dies... as, for me.. I would like to get the whole context of the scenes.. not just the info.

I might crack yet, and ask who he was talking to.. but if I do, I'll email you.. ;-)

*stays strong for another hour*

1:28 PM  

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