History Headscratchers / HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallowsSeverusSnapeGoodOrBad

8th Jul '16 10:15:24 PM inspibrain101
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* I believe itís mentioned that every student in Harryís year at Hogwarts managed to do well on their OWLs for Potions- even Neville, who is so scared of Snape he was unable to brew a single decent potion (that we know of). Now, some may argue that the reason Neville, at least, did so well is because Snape was not in the room when they were taking the test, thus Snape is a bad teacher. Iím not going to argue that Snape is the greatest potion brewer to grace the dungeons of Hogwarts or anything, but I just canít buy that heís a HORRIBLE teacher. Hereís my reasoning: Itís one thing to do well on, say, an oral examination as opposed to a written test, or essay questions as opposed to multiple choice, or you might learn better with different teachers or teaching styles or whatever. What you canít attribute to teaching style, however, is the knowledge itself. I canít buy that just because the greasy haired git isnít scaring the socks of Neville anymore, he is magically (pardon my pun) gifted the ability to brew a potion for his OWLs. Potion brewing requires practice. And what about all the other kids who passed the OWLs? It was implied that Harry and his friends really had to cram for their potions exam because Snape didnít teach them anything. Again, I donít buy this. EVERY SINGLE KID cramming the week before managed to pass, even though the teacher didnít teach them anything? No, doesnít cut it. But then again, we never really see Snape actually teaching the kids anything particularly useful- just, ďInstructions on the board, go! Meh, you suck, Harry and Neville. Ten points from Gryffindor. Ten points to Slytherin.Ē I have a few hypotheses to explain this:
A. Harry, being a somewhat unreliable narrator, only bothers to note the times that Snape is acting like a slimy git, when all the while, Snape is actually teaching them things in his roundabout, slimy git way. I have had teachers for AP classes with unusual teaching styles, where it doesnít seem like the class learns anything, yet by the time AP day rolls around, weíre surprised to find that we know all the material.
B. Harry, being a somewhat unreliable narrator, exaggerated when he said that everyone passed their OWLs. You really expect me to believe that no one got test day jitters and fumbled with the moonstone dust or the unicorn hairs at the last minute, and accidentally botched their potion? Not one? Not even a Hufflepuff? Not even Neville?
C. Honestly, it would be a lot simpler if JK just didnít include this offhanded sentence- but then again, thatís why itís a headscratcher. The whole thing seems at the very least ironic, if not completely incongruous with what we know about Harryís potions experience and Snapeís teaching methods.

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* I believe itís mentioned that every student in Harryís year at Hogwarts managed to do well on their OWLs for Potions- even Neville, who is so scared of Snape he was unable to brew a single decent potion (that we know of). ''ever'', in SEVEN YEARS. Now, some may argue that the reason Neville, at least, did so well is because Snape was not in the room when they were taking the test, thus Snape is a bad horrible, abusive teacher. Iím not going to argue that Snape is the greatest potion brewer to grace the dungeons of Hogwarts or anything, but I just canít buy that heís a HORRIBLE teacher. Hereís my reasoning: Itís one thing to do well on, say, an oral examination as opposed to a written test, or essay questions as opposed to multiple choice, or you might learn better with different teachers or teaching styles or whatever. What you canít attribute to teaching style, however, is the knowledge itself. I canít buy that just because the greasy haired git isnít scaring the socks of Neville anymore, he is magically (pardon my pun) gifted the ability to brew a potion for his OWLs. Potion brewing requires practice. And what about all the other kids who passed the OWLs? It was implied that Harry and his friends really had to cram for their potions exam because Snape didnít teach them anything. Again, I donít buy this. EVERY SINGLE KID KID, just by cramming the week before before, managed to pass, even though the teacher didnít teach them anything? No, doesnít cut it. But then again, we never really see Snape actually teaching the kids anything particularly useful- just, ďInstructions on the board, go! Meh, you suck, Harry and Neville. Ten points from Gryffindor. Ten points to Slytherin.Ē I have a few hypotheses to explain this:
** A. Harry, being a somewhat unreliable narrator, only bothers to note the times that Snape is acting like a slimy git, when all the while, Snape is actually teaching them things in his roundabout, slimy git way. I have had teachers for AP advanced classes with unusual teaching styles, where it doesnít seem like the class learns anything, yet by the time AP exam day rolls around, weíre surprised to find that we know all the material.
** B. Harry, being a somewhat unreliable narrator, exaggerated when he said that everyone passed their OWLs. You really expect me to believe that no one got test day jitters and fumbled with the moonstone dust or the unicorn hairs at the last minute, and accidentally botched their potion? Not one? Not even a Hufflepuff? Not even Neville?
** C. Honestly, it would be a lot simpler if JK just didnít include this offhanded sentence- but then again, thatís why itís a headscratcher. The whole thing seems at the very least ironic, if not completely incongruous with what we know about Harryís potions experience and Snapeís teaching methods.
8th Jul '16 10:04:30 PM inspibrain101
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*** Heartwarming moments with Professor Snape! ... Yeah, that's pretty much it.
7th Jul '16 5:40:05 AM CrypticMirror
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[[folder: A well-written character?]]
* I'm not about to argue that Snape isn't a good guy. Even if he's not particularly nice, he still went to great lengths to protect Harry from Voldemort when he could've just as easily left him, all out of love for Lily, and what remained of her in Harry, not to mention he seems to have taught everyone at least ''something'' during his years as Potions master. But everywhere I look, he's always labeled as the best character or the most well-written character...and I'm left wondering how this can be true. Despite his ulterior motives, Snape throughout the entire series was written as being shady, grouchy, suspicious, rude, and even sadistic at times. Every other aspect of his character is either shown to us in a grand total of two different flashbacks or exposited piece by piece by another character, and it isn't until that one chapter near the end before Harry finally considers him to have been anything more than a sadistic teacher at best and a backstabbing Death Eater-in-disguise at worst. How is that supposed to be looked at as well-written?
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[[folder: A well-written character?]]
* I'm not about to argue that Snape isn't a good guy. Even if he's not particularly nice, he still went to great lengths to protect Harry from Voldemort when he could've just as easily left him, all out of love for Lily, and what remained of her in Harry, not to mention he seems to have taught everyone at least ''something'' during his years as Potions master. But everywhere I look, he's always labeled as the best character or the most well-written character...and I'm left wondering how this can be true. Despite his ulterior motives, Snape throughout the entire series was written as being shady, grouchy, suspicious, rude, and even sadistic at times. Every other aspect of his character is either shown to us in a grand total of two different flashbacks or exposited piece by piece by another character, and it isn't until that one chapter near the end before Harry finally considers him to have been anything more than a sadistic teacher at best and a backstabbing Death Eater-in-disguise at worst. How is that supposed to be looked at as well-written?
[[/folder]]
6th Jul '16 4:30:53 PM QuarrelsomeChevon
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* I'm not about to argue that Snape isn't a good guy. Even if he's not particularly nice, he still went to great lengths to protect Harry from Voldemort when he could've just as easily left him, all out of love for Lily, and what remained of her in Harry, not to mention he seems to have taught everyone at least ''something'' during his years as Potions master. But everywhere I look, he's always labeled as the best character or the most well-written character...and I'm left wondering how this can be true. Despite his ulterior motives, Snape throughout the entire series was written as being shady, grouchy, suspicious, rude, and even sadistic at times. Every other aspect of his character is either shown to us in a flashback or exposited by another character, and it isn't until that one chapter near the end before Harry finally considers him to have been anything more than a sadistic teacher at best and a backstabbing Death Eater-in-disguise at worst. How is that supposed to be looked at as well-written?

to:

* I'm not about to argue that Snape isn't a good guy. Even if he's not particularly nice, he still went to great lengths to protect Harry from Voldemort when he could've just as easily left him, all out of love for Lily, and what remained of her in Harry, not to mention he seems to have taught everyone at least ''something'' during his years as Potions master. But everywhere I look, he's always labeled as the best character or the most well-written character...and I'm left wondering how this can be true. Despite his ulterior motives, Snape throughout the entire series was written as being shady, grouchy, suspicious, rude, and even sadistic at times. Every other aspect of his character is either shown to us in a flashback grand total of two different flashbacks or exposited piece by piece by another character, and it isn't until that one chapter near the end before Harry finally considers him to have been anything more than a sadistic teacher at best and a backstabbing Death Eater-in-disguise at worst. How is that supposed to be looked at as well-written?
6th Jul '16 4:29:08 PM QuarrelsomeChevon
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Added DiffLines:


[[folder: A well-written character?]]
* I'm not about to argue that Snape isn't a good guy. Even if he's not particularly nice, he still went to great lengths to protect Harry from Voldemort when he could've just as easily left him, all out of love for Lily, and what remained of her in Harry, not to mention he seems to have taught everyone at least ''something'' during his years as Potions master. But everywhere I look, he's always labeled as the best character or the most well-written character...and I'm left wondering how this can be true. Despite his ulterior motives, Snape throughout the entire series was written as being shady, grouchy, suspicious, rude, and even sadistic at times. Every other aspect of his character is either shown to us in a flashback or exposited by another character, and it isn't until that one chapter near the end before Harry finally considers him to have been anything more than a sadistic teacher at best and a backstabbing Death Eater-in-disguise at worst. How is that supposed to be looked at as well-written?
[[/folder]]
28th Apr '16 8:10:27 PM inspibrain101
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Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Good Test Scores, Good Teacher?]]

* I believe itís mentioned that every student in Harryís year at Hogwarts managed to do well on their OWLs for Potions- even Neville, who is so scared of Snape he was unable to brew a single decent potion (that we know of). Now, some may argue that the reason Neville, at least, did so well is because Snape was not in the room when they were taking the test, thus Snape is a bad teacher. Iím not going to argue that Snape is the greatest potion brewer to grace the dungeons of Hogwarts or anything, but I just canít buy that heís a HORRIBLE teacher. Hereís my reasoning: Itís one thing to do well on, say, an oral examination as opposed to a written test, or essay questions as opposed to multiple choice, or you might learn better with different teachers or teaching styles or whatever. What you canít attribute to teaching style, however, is the knowledge itself. I canít buy that just because the greasy haired git isnít scaring the socks of Neville anymore, he is magically (pardon my pun) gifted the ability to brew a potion for his OWLs. Potion brewing requires practice. And what about all the other kids who passed the OWLs? It was implied that Harry and his friends really had to cram for their potions exam because Snape didnít teach them anything. Again, I donít buy this. EVERY SINGLE KID cramming the week before managed to pass, even though the teacher didnít teach them anything? No, doesnít cut it. But then again, we never really see Snape actually teaching the kids anything particularly useful- just, ďInstructions on the board, go! Meh, you suck, Harry and Neville. Ten points from Gryffindor. Ten points to Slytherin.Ē I have a few hypotheses to explain this:
A. Harry, being a somewhat unreliable narrator, only bothers to note the times that Snape is acting like a slimy git, when all the while, Snape is actually teaching them things in his roundabout, slimy git way. I have had teachers for AP classes with unusual teaching styles, where it doesnít seem like the class learns anything, yet by the time AP day rolls around, weíre surprised to find that we know all the material.
B. Harry, being a somewhat unreliable narrator, exaggerated when he said that everyone passed their OWLs. You really expect me to believe that no one got test day jitters and fumbled with the moonstone dust or the unicorn hairs at the last minute, and accidentally botched their potion? Not one? Not even a Hufflepuff? Not even Neville?
C. Honestly, it would be a lot simpler if JK just didnít include this offhanded sentence- but then again, thatís why itís a headscratcher. The whole thing seems at the very least ironic, if not completely incongruous with what we know about Harryís potions experience and Snapeís teaching methods.

[[/folder]]
12th Apr '16 6:06:05 PM inspibrain101
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**Actually, that might have made Snape's hypothetical (I'll admit, at this point it's all entirely hypothetical,) mean person act all that much more necessary. Think about it- if Quirrellmort, even after seeing Snape being, well, Snape to all the Hogwarts students except the pureblooded Slytherins and Voldie STILL wasn't sure about his loyalties, then imagine how hard it would have been to convince him otherwise if Snape had acted like a decent human being!
12th Apr '16 5:24:34 PM inspibrain101
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** Going back to the original post in this folder. On that same note, the horrible things that Snape did to his students earlier on may have also been exaggerated in the POV of Harry Potter, as children are prone to do when recalling their least favorite school teacher. If we are to take everything presented to us with a grain of salt due to the biased viewpoint it is presented from, then we might be led to believe that Snape wasn't really as "evil" towards his students as was depicted in some of the earlier books, and was really closer to the light side the entire time.
Or, conversely, he was really, really gray.
12th Apr '16 4:57:11 PM inspibrain101
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*** I suspect that when the poster says "Out of character," they mean that the way Snape treats his students is inconsistent with his other character traits.




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**What would be really nice is if all of Snape's abuse towards the students was more of an exaggeration on the part of Harry. Haven't we all exaggerated the evilness of our least favorite teacher in our own minds? Not saying that that's absolutely what's going on, but it's certainly an idea.
12th Apr '16 3:59:39 PM inspibrain101
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** I'm a little confused about the premise of the first question. What Life Debt? (Yes, yes, I've read the books, I'm not literally asking what you're talking about). Snape didn't actually have any "life debt" that was motivating him to help James Potter's son. That was just a load of hogwash Dumbledore told Harry in Book 1, because it's a lot easier to feed something noble and heroic like that to a ten year old than, "Your least favorite teacher had a huge obsession with your dead mom". If anything, James kind of owed SNAPE, for putting him in danger in the supposed 'life debt' incident, before saving him. So, no, he probably didn't give a rip about paying back James.
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