Friday, July 29, 2005

Harry Potter: The Snape Factor SPOILERS

(If you don't want to know what happens in book 6 stop reading.)

Okay, I've waited long enough, it's time to talk about Severus Snape.

Poor Snape (or wicked, evil Snape, depending on your interpretation) has always been shrouded in mystery. In the last five books he's conducted himself with the most frustrating ambiguity. There were only a few things that seemed clear about Severus Snape: he is a champion at holding a grudge, he is trusted by Dumbledore, he wants the Dark Arts job and he's a Death Eater, in body if not in spirit.

In Book 6 the long standing question of Snape's allegiance seems to be answered when the man turns his wand on Dumbledore, killing him before Harry's own eyes. Okay, Dumbledore was wrong, Snape is bad. Or is he?

Entertainment Weekly put two of it's writers to the task of debating this question. Since the evidence against him is fairly obvious, I won't bother going into it. Here is Paul Katz's defense of Snape:

  • Snape must fulfill his do-or-die Unbreakable Vow to protect Dumbledore's would be assasin, Draco Malfoy - preserving his cover as a double agent. So reluctantly he kills the Hogwards headmaster...
  • Dumbledore was ordering Snape to kill him, not begging for his life. He'd never beg!
  • Even while battling Harry, Snape reminds him to "keep your mouth shut and your mind closed" - sound advise for his former occlumenscy pupil. Plus, Snape has rescued Harry several times - however begrudgingly - and even tells the Death Eaters in Book 6 to hold off on killing him.
  • Dumbledore trusts him "completely." That's good enough for us.
I'd add a couple more things
  • Not only does Dumbledore trust him completely, but the presense of Pettigrew at Snape's house in chapter two makes one suspect that Voldemort does NOT trust him completely.
  • Harry continually defended the Half-Blood Prince, insisting that the person who had left the notes in his potions text book was not the kind of person he'd encountered in Tom Riddle's diary. He even continued to defend the Half-Blood Prince after discovering the mysterious figures tendency toward the dark arts. We learn toward the end of the book that the Half Blood Prince is Severus Snape.
So I'm still holding out hope that Snape will come through in the end and somehow make ammends for carrying the information about Trelawney's prophecy to Voldemort in the first place, thus pretty much putting a death sentence on Lilly and James. Snape owes Harry big time!


Crystal said...

This is a post I shouldn't read right?

Kim Traynor said...

You didn't read it, did you? Absolute spoilers - no messing around here! Shut your eyes while you scroll past this post!

Crystal said...

Nope I didn't read it! Yee haw for me!

Weren't you guys just raggin' on people giving away secrets about this book?


Kim Traynor said...

On Best Week Ever the guy just blurts it out with no warning of spoilers! I wouldn't do that (except when the time I put up the article about the betting, but I didn't really consider that spoiler material.) The guy on Best Week Ever also gave away the ending ot Million Dollar Baby, but that's been out longer so it wasn't as big a deal.

Beth Robinson said...

I think they planned it and Snape is on the side of light and Dumbledore isn't really dead. :)

B-W said...

My own theory (spoilers to those who are actually STILL needing them!) is the Dumbledore really IS dead (I doubt Rowling would pull a fast one and say that "Avada Kadavra" isn't actually so deadly after all...), but that he actually did intend Snape to kill him. I've seen one site speculate that this may have been to protect Malfoy from doing a deed so evil that he could not be redeemed. Perhaps Dumbledore knew that he could be saved from the poison he'd already drank, and needed to give Harry a chance to escape. I don't know.

Surely, book 7 will clarify these matters....

Kim Traynor said...

I think you're right - Snape and Dumbledore wanted to protect Malfoy...and maybe that poison would have killed Dumbledore either way.

Entertainment Weekly says that RAB is probably Sirius' late brother - do we know how he died? I can't remember, but maybe (if he really is the one that got the locket) the poison killed him.

Have you heard the theory that Harry's scar is actually a horcrux? How awful would that be?!