Thread: Discussion: Did Snape deserve redemption?
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Old 12-25-2022, 06:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hogwarts RPG Name:
Luther Apollo Starriver
Second Year

I read the series for the first time when I was 13. I remember hating and then pitying him. Then I reread the books. Like 4 times or so. As I grew up, I slowly started to understand the motives and the factors that shaped the character.

I definitely am not claiming to be a Harry Potter expert, let alone skilled enough to be a literary analyst. However, like many here, I read the series too many times. So, I think I have a couple of reasonable theories, per se.

Firstly, there are several Severus Snapes that are introduced in the series.

The first one is the Snape that we meet in the first book. The cold, surly, "dungeon-bat/vampire" as some fanfics refer to him. This one is rather one-dimensional as the misunderstood but still unpleasant antihero. I credit this to the fact that Rowling planned the book as a children's book. Like many other parts of the plot (e.g. Fidelius charm), this required changes and caused inconsistencies afterwards. This one does not need redemption for anything besides some childish spiteful taunts.

The second Snape we meet is the one who is the friend of "pretty and nice" Lily Evans and is tortured by the affectionately called Marauders. This one is admittedly a deeper character, yet still serves a purpose. (One would argue that this is a sign of good planning but I disagree, as I think any tool created by the author should be more than a tool as they should affect the plot and be affected by it.) This Snape creates a pitiable and suffering character maybe even a likeable one. The problem is we also learn that he called one of the worst slurs in the HP universe to his best friend. I agree that the Marauders' behaviours were not right in any way. As I discussed in another thread, the House system is ridiculous due to various reasons. A rather obvious example of this is this Snape. The poor abused Severus Snape becomes the cold and closed-off Half-Blood Prince because of his friends. This one does deserve redemption as he was the victim of the stupid unnecessary grouping of children.

The third and last one is the Snape we meet at the end of the last book. The one who did it all for love to some, and obsession to others. The difference is the key, I think. I believe that what the most developed version of Snape, in my opinion, felt was a mixture of obsession and longing for his long-gone past and future with Lily Evans, and most probably an imaginary version of her. The reason why I don't think this is love is his dislike for Harry. I don't think his attitude towards him can be justified as the after-effect of bullying. He was at least 30 years old by the time of Harry's first year. Moreover, we also have the Prophecy thing. I don't think there is neither any way nor any need to sugarcoat it, Severus Snape was a Death Eater. I will not speculate on how Voldemort picked his followers or what he demanded from them. However, we know how such organizations function so I will assume it was not so different for the Death Eaters. On top of that, even without knowing it would affect Lily, he should not have told Voldemort about it. With Lily being affected by it, this is the second worse thing a friend did to their friend after Pettigrew in the series. Thus, this Snape doesn't deserve redemption.

To sum up, no, Severus Snape does not deserve redemption.
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