Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows discussion


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SPOILER WARNING: Snape

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Ember Well this seems empty I use to hate Snape but in this book you learn about how he likes Lily and how he only protected Harry.He is so sweet and now seems less of a mean teacher and is my favorite character.

I <3 Snape


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

He is my second favorite character! Luna's my first (: But I agree, he is super sweet and epic (:


Dani He's actually really brave. I have Respect (note the capital 'r') for Snape :D


Mickey Alex wrote: "But Neville? That guy had parents who were tortured to insanity, and his greatest fear as a 13-year old was his teacher! "

I've often thought that the boggart incident (which is what I think you're referring to when you talk about Snape being Neville's greatest fear) is being taken way too literally by people. Every other boggart is obviously a stand-in or an allegory for something else (except Ron's spider). Take Harry's, for instance, his boggart was a dementor, but this did not mean that his greatest fear was a dementor, but, as Lupin claimed (at least in the movie), his greatest fear was fear. Hermione's boggart featured McGonagall telling her that she had failed, but we know that her deep-seated fear is a fear of failure, her greatest fear is not centered on McGonagall. McGonagall was probably pulled in because she was the sternest authority figure and most exacting teacher.

If we look at what Snape is most likely to represent to Neville, it might be that Snape was a well-known Death eater at one time and so, in absence of knowing much about the people who damaged his parents, Snape would be a stand-in for them, whom Neville might not know anything beyond their names. Or perhaps, Darth Vader-like, Snape can represent the fear of going to "The Dark Side".

There's also the idea that being afraid of a teacher as a child is not necessarily strong evidence of wrong-doing by the teacher. I was freaked out over one of my elementary school principals because she never smiled and crossed her arms a lot. My sister was scared of an English teacher in high school (whom she never had as a teacher) because she saw her yell at a couple of students once in the hallway. Nervous, high strung, shy students often seem to be prone to reacting this way. Not that I think this fits with the Snape/Neville situation, but I just didn't like the idea that a reaction like that is necessarily evidence of any fault in the teacher.

Snape was very mean to Neville, I don't think anyone is denying that. I don't think that Neville's boggart was ever meant to be taken as being more about Snape and less about Neville.

Just a thought...


Hannah Alex wrote: "I hate to be a Debbie downer here, but while I obviously thought Snape was incredibly brave for putting himself in danger's way in the war, I hated the way he treated Neville. I mean, he had a reas..."

I think one of the reasons Snape was so mean to Neville was that Neville could have been the chosen one. Voldemort could have decided that the pure blood wizard born in late july would have been the bigger threat, and tried to kill Neville. That would have meant that Lilly never would have been harmed (theoretically). It's irrational and selfish, but Snape hated Neville for not being in the position that Harry was in.


Astra I feel so sorry for Snape. He had an awful life. :(


Bethany (thelittlebookblog) Easily one of the most intricate characters ever written about....


message 8: by Leon (last edited Apr 22, 2013 11:52AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leon RE Mickey wrote: "Alex wrote: "But Neville? That guy had parents who were tortured to insanity, and his greatest fear as a 13-year old was his teacher! "

I've often thought that the boggart incident (which is what ..."


Yes I think the boggart was just meant to represent rather superficial phobias/fears. Like Ron is scared of spiders but there is probably no real significance to his fear of spiders. And Lupin is scared of the moon but that is only because of his werewolf condition. It has nothing to do with himself as a person.


Lindsey Snape may have loved Lily but that's all. It seems like people are suddenly forgetting all the other horrible things he has done.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Lindsey wrote: "Snape may have loved Lily but that's all. It seems like people are suddenly forgetting all the other horrible things he has done."
I haven't.


Casey I pitied Snape, however his behavior towards Harry and many other students was inexcusable. I understand the anger and the hurt. But, that does not justify his actions. I certainly don't hate him, but he is definitely not one of my favorite characters.


Lindsey Casey wrote: "I pitied Snape, however his behavior towards Harry and many other students was inexcusable. I understand the anger and the hurt. But, that does not justify his actions. I certainly don't hate him, ..."

That's exactly how I feel!


message 13: by Jay (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jay Mickey wrote: "Alex wrote: "But Neville? That guy had parents who were tortured to insanity, and his greatest fear as a 13-year old was his teacher! "

I've often thought that the boggart incident (which is what ..."


Snape was under constant pressure and never ending grief. That would twist anyone's personality and I find it amazing that he ended up being the hero that he was by the end of the series!


Ashleigh I have to say I can't like Snape. His love for Lily and the way he protected Harry doesn't exactly make the bad things he did throughout his life go away for me. Yes he had a bad life but so did Harry and he wasn't twisted the way Snape was. (Just my view though). I've never liked Snape, and honestly? I dislike that all the bad things he did are forgotten because of what his story ended up as.


Sparrowlicious I'm really unsure about Snape. I mean, okay, it was quite nobel of him to protect Harry despite actually hating him. Snape did the most 'logical' thing for someone who loved the mother of a kid he hated: protect the kid because Harry's mother loved him so much that she defeated Voldemort with her love.
So yeah, I'm unsure what to think about this because it's so logical and not emotional.
More emotional would have been that Snape figured out that although Harry shared some traits with his father that he was NOT his father. In the beginning of the series Harry only reacted to Snape's behaviour and then started to dislike him and distrust him because Snape's behaviour led to this.
It was probably because of Snape being a double-agent that he couldn't warm up to Harry. Or maybe he just didn't want to because he felt reminded of Lily every time he saw Harry or whatever.

Let's not forget that Snape is an adult as well as a human character which means he had the chance through his life to overcome his grief in some way. Even if he still loved Lily.

Concerning Snape's ending ... well, what a clever move of the author because after all, those who hated Snape hated him even more when he became Hogwart's headmaster under Voldemort. This "aww, he still loved Lily" and "he wanted to protect Harry" thing suddenly redeem him for most people. It's so clever, I might steal that idea. :'D (Not the exact way Rowling executed it but the idea of redeeming a "villain" in the end through some emotional stuff.)


Wendy Ashleigh wrote: "I have to say I can't like Snape. His love for Lily and the way he protected Harry doesn't exactly make the bad things he did throughout his life go away for me. Yes he had a bad life but so did Ha... I dislike that all the bad things he did are forgotten because of what his story ended up as."

This. You can try to excuse his behavior all you want, or try to brush off Neville's fear of him, but that doesn't change the fact that he's a terrible, abusive teacher, and that he willingly became a Death Eater.

Actually, I liked Snape a little before. When Harry was being particularly annoying, I couldn't help rooting for him a little, and hoping he would put Harry in his place.

Finding out that this whole time he was still 'in love' with Lily actually made me hate him, and made all of his good actions feel cheap to me. He wasn't noble, he wasn't brave, he was pathetic and horrible. And his 'love' for Lily didn't change him at all. He was still selfish, cruel, and a bad person. Just because he did a few good things to impress a dead person doesn't make him a good person, because he still did a lot of terrible things.

It would have felt much deeper and more meaningful if he had simply had a change of heart, realized the error of his ways, and truly repented, helping Dumbledore for that reason instead. It would have made his actions during the sixth and seventh books particularly poignant. The way Rowling wrote it, he didn't care that he'd done wrong, he only cared that someone he loved (possibly the only person he loved) got killed. What about all the other people? He doesn't care about them--Dumbledore really had to guilt-trip him hard to get him to work for him, and in the end it was not guilt, it was vengeance on Snape's part because Voldemort went back on his word. What is noble about that? It's human, yes, but not admirable.

Also, Neville's boggart is irrelevant--if you read Neville's interactions with the real Snape, that alone would be enough to get a teacher in the real world fired and practically blacklisted. He terrorized children on a daily basis. That is not, and never will be, excusable, and I don't want to hear the 'he couldn't blow his cover!' excuse ever again. If Voldemort had placed him there as a spy, don't you think he would expect him to try to fit in and play the good little servant of Dumbledore, rather than practically putting out neon signs that say 'Death Eater in residence'? That part makes no sense.


Lindsey Wendy wrote: "Ashleigh wrote: "I have to say I can't like Snape. His love for Lily and the way he protected Harry doesn't exactly make the bad things he did throughout his life go away for me. Yes he had a bad l..."

Everything about this is exactly how I see it. Thank you for putting it down in words!


Ashleigh You're welcome.


message 19: by Jay (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jay What exactly did Snape do that was so evil? Per his agreement with Dumbledore he never breaks his cover of deatheater, which would require him to be arrogant, rude and mean. He kept his promises to protect Harry and when necessary reveal what is required for Harry to do in order to defeat Voldemort. Harry himself names one of his kids after him so how evil could he think he was? His actions as a deatheater are never discussed.


Ashleigh He was a bully and les not forget he was a death eater. Changing sides doesn't excuse that fact. I am just saying both sides of his character should be considered and he shouldn't be forgiven everything and the rest let slide because of what he did. You can't do that for any fictional character.


message 21: by Jay (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jay Ashleigh wrote: "He was a bully and les not forget he was a death eater. Changing sides doesn't excuse that fact. I am just saying both sides of his character should be considered and he shouldn't be forgiven every..."

It is what humanizes his character. His flaws, imperfections, inconsistencies are what makes him jump off the page and transform into a breathing person instead of a flat character on a page. Each and every person on this planet has done things they shouldn't be forgiven for either. Its what makes us believable. Ms. Rowling is brilliant in how she transforms 2 dimensional characters into people that inspire conversations like this one!


Ashleigh I know, my issue is with people who ignore the bad and only love him for his love for Lily. I think it's fine to look at both and judge but to take one over the other is something that doesn't sit right with me, if that makes sense.


message 23: by Jay (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jay Yes it makes sense. I also think that it is part of human nature to want to see the best in people or to have a reason to believe in them. That seeing people objectively acting in a cruel or mean way to others is something we can't or won't understand.
I would bet that you can read people pretty well and don't get fooled very often. This is why the seemingly abrupt character change for Snape is one you don't wholeheartedly believe in.


Ashleigh Thank you. :)


message 25: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam I think his attitude towards Harry was to keep his cover and make it seem as if he was on Voldemort's side. Also I think that Snape was one of the best written characters in all of the books I have read!


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Snape was mistaken. i have a friend who read the whole series yet she stil hates snape. she thinks he only loved lily and hated harry. but honestly, snape is my favorite character and will always be my favorite character.


Prashamsa i do not like snape just because he loved lily and protected harry. they maybe some of the many reasons i like snape for. yes he is cold and ruthless but only towards the gryffindors and most of the times he had been mean , it actually turned out that he was trying to save them. and the trio's complete disregard for school rules may have reminded him a bit of james and his gang making him miserable in his hogwarts days
plus a little competitive feeling has always been there between the slytherins and gryffindors. he is capable of getting along well with people too. i mean he does treat draco and all like he likes them. he gets along okay with other professors and he hid serve his part well well in the order.

now lets talk about why snape treated neville like crap. first of all neville was not a good student, far form it, there was no reason snape would just go and hug neville for being so gullible. and secondly, as sadi by J.K.R. herself the reason snape hates neville was because he could have been the chosen one and then lily would have stayed alive.

snape being a bully... he was bullied so much by the marauders.. he needed to be strong, maybe that is one of the reasons for his inclination towards the dark arts.
the whole thing he did with dumbledore, he did on the orders of dumbledore. and yes he needed to cat cold and unconcerned to sell himself as a deatheater.
plus the way he handled harry really deserved respect, think about it.. he loves lily and harry's presence is a constant remainder that lily is no longer there plus had never been his, it also reminds him of james and all his bullying. what else was snape actually supposed to do except feel a mixture of caring and loathing towards harry..


Wendy Prashamsa wrote: "i do not like snape just because he loved lily and protected harry. they maybe some of the many reasons i like snape for. yes he is cold and ruthless but only towards the gryffindors and most of th..."

None of that justifies treating a child the way Snape does. I don't care how bad a student Neville was, it still isn't okay for a teacher--or any adult--to treat a child that way. It isn't Neville's fault that Lily died, and just because Snape sees it that way doesn't make his behavior okay. Snape didn't need to 'hug' Neville, he needed to teach him how to make potions safely, without scaring the daylights out of him, because that was his job as a teacher. As for Harry, with and without his posse? I don't care if they disobeyed school rules, that's what detentions are for. There are perfectly legal channels to go through, rather than resorting to bullying and harassing your students.

Would you feel it was okay for a teacher in real life to treat a student that way because he got bad grades? I would hope not. Would you feel it was okay for a teacher in real life to treat a student that way because his parents weren't the ones who got killed? I would hope not. Because bullying isn't okay.

And the fact that Snape himself was a victim of bullying in his youth gives him even less excuse--he knows how it feels to be on the other side of that, and yet he's doing it anyway. It's even worse in the situation with Neville because there's nothing Neville can do to fight back. It may have been four against one with the Marauders, but at least they were all the same age and therefore relative equals.

And your point about Snape getting along with Draco and the other Slytherins and the other teachers...serial killers are able to get along with people, too, but that doesn't make them good people.

In short, even if those were Snape's underlying feelings, he should have controlled them. I would have felt more understanding and sympathetic if he had controlled himself and not bullied eleven-year-olds.


message 29: by Gina (new)

Gina Wendy wrote: "Prashamsa wrote: "i do not like snape just because he loved lily and protected harry. they maybe some of the many reasons i like snape for. yes he is cold and ruthless but only towards the gryffind..."

Also, whoever said Neville was a bad student? He's clumsy and accident-prone, but it's never stated that he doesn't work hard at things. If he wasn't a good student, he would do average work like Ron does most of the time, instead of excelling in a subject like Herbology where he (a) has more talent, and (b) has an understanding teacher. (B) being more important here since we're talking about Snape. If Neville was just a "bad student" who didn't care about doing well, he wouldn't have listened to Hermione's advice, let alone accepted it so eagerly. If Snape had taken the time, he could have at least had Neville at an Acceptable level in the class. In any case, I'm just saying - agreed, man, agreed.


message 30: by Jay (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jay If Snaoe was wonderful with all the students where would the believability be? Or the plot? Its a book people!


Wendy Nobody said he had to be wonderful with the students, just that him bullying them was wrong and makes him an unlikeable character. That's ultimately my point--these are all flaws that make the character unlikeable. He could still be flawed and believable if he was also likeable, just as he could still be a terrible teacher without also being a bully.


message 32: by Gina (new)

Gina Jay wrote: "If Snaoe was wonderful with all the students where would the believability be? Or the plot? Its a book people!"

The point isn't "the character shouldn't be this way in the book," it's "the character would not be a good person in real life and therefore is not likeable," which is not necessarily a bad thing. Some characters are not made to be liked - like villains, Voldemort himself.

Although I have to say, I think it is not believable that he is as cruel to the students as he is. It is acceptable in the final book, because Voldemort has basically taken over the school, but the previous books do not hold up in that sense. As Voldemort's spy, he should be acting as little like a Death Eater as possible to get close to Dumbledore. Just because we, as readers, know that he is on the right side and not really spying for Voldemort anymore doesn't mean he doesn't have to keep up appearances - which would mean being nice to get in Dumble's good graces, not the other way around. But I digress.


message 33: by Joel (last edited Sep 09, 2013 11:22AM) (new)

Joel Elezaj Snape was a bad person, people seem to forget that Snape was a Death Eater before he was a spy for the light, and I think it's pretty widely accepted that Death Eaters were terrible people. He held onto a schoolyard grudge for his entire life, not saying James was justified but honestly the man's in his 30s now at least, and his tormentor has been dead for over a decade. People really like to focus on his love (more of an obsession) on Lily, he only wanted Voldemort to spare Lily, he was perfectly fine with letting the man she loved and her young child suffer and die, yeah really nice guy. Also don't forget that Voldemort likely wouldn't have even gone after the Potters at all if it wasn't for Snape.
That's not to mention his horrible attitude towards students, in any decent school that kind of conduct would've been cracked down on and Snape would've been fired, never being allowed to teach again. You do not tell an 11 year old that he is an idiot on his first ever potions lesson just because he looks like his father. He doesn't need to be wonderful, hell I've had teachers who aren't wonderful, Snape was a bully plain and simple, and likely a murderer to boot, guy made a curse which only exists to cause harm as a teen, when teenagers start hurting things on purpose that is when you know they have a problem. Mix that with his fixation on Lily and he didn't really come across as 'stable' to me.

To add on actually, why do people think Snape is a deep and intricate character? He was abused as a kid, made a friend who he grew to obsess over, got bullied for being dark in a time where the dark faction were feared and reviled, became a Death Eater straight outta school, got his secret love killed, felt guilty and sorry for himself and switched sides while still being a bitter, cold-hearted bully.

I understand that he had to keep his cover and all but he is still unlikeable, I commend Harry for being able to forgive years of abuse from the man, on top of the mind rape in the 5th book, which contributed to Sirius' death as it weakened Harry's mind.


message 34: by Shubham (last edited Sep 09, 2013 10:42AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Shubham Tripathi Snape was a member of Slytherin House. The way he was taught and brought up was completely according to the attitude of fellow Slytherins. He was also hostile towarsd other fellow Gryffindors (except Lily) because of the history of spats between James Potter (& his group) and Snape. I find it only natural that he ventured off to Voldemort's side in the beginning.

However, the genius of J.K. Rowling's story is that people choose their own fate, they make their own destiny. After the incident of Voldemort's murder or Lily Potter, Snape realised the wrong he had been doing. Prior to that, he was just a member of the house of Slytherins, who believed they were superior to everyone and justified all efforts towards achieving power. But the Lily Potter incident made him realise the evil that Voldemort was. He changed over a new leaf and protected Harry silently throughout his years at Hogwarts. He even risked his own life on several occasions, followed Dumbledore till the end and made sure Voldemort met his end by Harry's hands.

In life, people have flaws. They have defects which might be there because of their upbringing or circumstances that they faced, but if they decide to do the right thing in the end, I think that justifies their special position in the lives of others. Snape's bravery and unmatched courage, made him perhaps the greatest warrior in the fight against Voldemort!


message 35: by Julia (last edited Sep 09, 2013 12:09PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Julia Mickey wrote: "knowing much about the people who damaged his parents, Snape would be a stand-in for them"

I don't think so. I got the impression that Snape's involvement with the death eaters - while not a secret - was not widely talked about.

I think Neville's fear was that he would amount to nothing. His grandmother frequently reminds him that he doesn't have his father's talent, and Snape makes him feel worthless all around.



message 36: by Alec (new) - rated it 5 stars

Alec Shubham wrote: "Snape was a member of Slytherin House. The way he was taught and brought up was completely according to the attitude of fellow Slytherins. He was also hostile towarsd other fellow Gryffindors (exce..."

Mickey wrote: "Alex wrote: "But Neville? That guy had parents who were tortured to insanity, and his greatest fear as a 13-year old was his teacher! "

I've often thought that the boggart incident (which is what ..."


I've actually never thought about it like that. I'm still not a big fan of snape, but I can see where you're coming from.


Rachel Paige Awful life or not, he was still a mean person. I don't like him.


Holly With the conclusion of Deathly Hallows we learn all about Snape and he has become one of the classic romantic figures of literature; right up there with Heathcliffe, Rhett Butler and Maxim de Winter.


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Holly wrote: "With the conclusion of Deathly Hallows we learn all about Snape and he has become one of the classic romantic figures of literature; right up there with Heathcliffe, Rhett Butler and Maxim de Winter."
Maybe in the future...


Megan Gina wrote: "Wendy wrote: "Prashamsa wrote: "i do not like snape just because he loved lily and protected harry. they maybe some of the many reasons i like snape for. yes he is cold and ruthless but only toward..."

Just to address the Neville thing. Neveille was a terrible student. But not because he was a bad wizard. We all know that the wand chooses the wizard, and it's mentioned a few times that Neville's wand is not his own, but his father's. It's not until the Half-Blood Prince when Neville starts showing promise-which is when he gets his wand from Ollivander.

So Neville was a poor student, but it wasn't his fault.


message 41: by Victoria (last edited Apr 11, 2014 08:19PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Victoria Snape wasn't a nice man, he wasn't a bad man either.

We do not know the specifics as to why he joined the deatheaters, but I can tell you it wasn't because of blood superiority. I would wager that he joined because the deatheaters were the only ones in his class that were interested in him, to use him for is interest in the dark arts.

The "childhood grudge" nearly killed him. Infact, seriously hurting him/making him into a werewolf/killing him were the most likely outcomes with the prank that Sirius pulled on him.

The his only friend that reached out to him for him, wouldn't give him forgiveness for a word that he was too. It's his fault too - but it's far more irrational to burn a bridge and befriend a group of boys that tortured him than to have a moment of anger and say something that regretful.

It's unclear if he wanted to be a teacher or if Dumbledore forced him. Edit: Voldemort told him to be a teacher and spy. He was forced, but I wonder if Dumbledore made him stay.

After joining the Deatheaters for a short time and then wanting out, he was then a double agent. A life sentence in a "free" world as "Snape the Deatheater" instead of what he wanted to be.

The list goes on. I like Snape because the spaces between his story are interesting to me. I wonder what he would have been like if he was able to choose a profession, grieve for Lily, and be able to live in a world of "The man who repented". What if he lived?


message 42: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna for some reason unlike other people I don't really see Snape "turning good." He's not completely evil, but he's by no means a good guy either. There are some positive things about him but that doesn't meant he choose good. It seems like he choose to be anti-Voldy only because of his love for Lily - it didn't change anything about him, he didn't turn good for Lily, he just changed sides. He still enjoys the dark arts or whatever you call it that he was always interested in since Year 1 in Hogwarts. If the situation allows him torturing people = love Lily, then he would gladly do it. What i meant is, he never made the choice the be good - he simply loved Lily, and Lily was anti-Voldy. There's a difference.


Victoria He wasn't a nice guy but he wasn't evil. He did quite a few good things. When he was headmaster, he prevented the students from being tortured, and saved a number of their lives. He brought the godric's sword to Harry. He sacrificed the better part of twenty years of his life as a double agent. For Dumbledore, for Lily, for Harry, for his students.

For being so intelligent, he made a ton of bad decisions and had a sour temper and a sharp tongue. However, he did not truly hate the people around him and only had a single love for Lily. I highly doubt that was his single motivation.


Cats Read Manga, Too Casey wrote: "I pitied Snape, however his behavior towards Harry and many other students was inexcusable. I understand the anger and the hurt. But, that does not justify his actions. I certainly don't hate him, ..."

Agree with you, too.


Daisy @Casey, message 12: Casey, you totally sum up my whole view and feelings about Snape! The poor guy, I think I do feel a bit of love for him, but, after his almost abusive and unfair behaviour towards Harry and Neville, he can never be one of my favourites. My sister is always getting really annoyed at Harry because he hated Snape extremely strongly, but then found out he loved his mother and suddenly loved him! Loved him so much he even named his child after him! She hates the way he just forgot how Snape was mean to him completely. That's just her view though, I thought she was slightly overreacting, and I'm glad he named his child Albus Severus. It's nice.


shelsel.lh JK just add a kick to the story. she makes it looks like Snape is the bad guy, But he was trying to save harry. I think that in the last book that snape finds himself likening Harry. but as a severant to the Dark Lord, he must act badily towards Harry!


message 47: by Rachel Paige (last edited Jul 15, 2014 01:22PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rachel Paige I do think he was a very brave person.
Anyone who risks their life by "helping" Voldemort, while actually being a spy is brave by any measure.
However, I think he was still a awful person. He was awful to Harry because he was jealous that his childhood crush had married someone else, over eleven years ago. I don't know exactly when James and Lily had Harry.
Anyway, he was awful to Harry over really, quite a petty thing from when he was at school. At some point, let it go.
Also, he was a death eater, not a spy, for many years. I'll even forgive that because he did rejoin Dumbledore at a great risk for himself.

I don't think he's sweet at all. The movie portrayed him more that way than the book. I think if he really cared for Lily, he would have been much nicer to Harry, despite him looking like James.


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