History Headscratchers / HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallowsSeverusSnapeGoodOrBad

4th Mar '17 9:25:36 PM cillianflood
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** This suggestion makes the Death Eaters sound like a bunch of Saturday Morning cartoon villains. "No, we won't let him join us. He's a teacher and that's not EVIL enough!" Why on earth would the vicious murderers care about how Snape treats his students. The fact that he works for Dumbledore is a big enough red flag to make them dubious of him. Wether he's mean or nice to a few kids is such a massively irrelevant point. Not to mention we actually to get to see via flashback how Snape thinks of elven year old Harry.
4th Mar '17 9:13:19 PM cillianflood
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*I'd extend possibility B to include the possibility that Harry exaggerated (or even outright lied about) the bad events we did see. Ultimately though we have to wonder why JK put that offhand sentence in. If a writers good then every single sentence will have a clear and defined purpose in the writers own mind. Given the position in the series it's said, I think the intent was to start moving passed Snape as a dick teacher and more towards Snape as a double agent that would be the principal role of this character in the later books. So the idea that everyone managed to pass despite his abuse was a subtle suggestion that he wasn't as clear cut a character that he might appear to be. He could actually be a decent teacher as well as a dick (in the same way he ultimately could be a decent person as well as a dick). The actual explanation has to how he could possible be a good teacher despite what we see isn't expanded upon (either because it wasn't considered important enough or because it might draw too much attention to his redeemable qualities before the last book) so in the end we can only assume it's based off stuff we didn't see.
4th Mar '17 8:43:11 PM cillianflood
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** I think thing people should consider, when it comes to a conflict where people's lives are on the line and death and torture on common place, is being a dick really all that bad? A bad teacher is certainly not something that should be glorified but it's pretty minor when put beside pure evil.
4th Mar '17 8:11:14 PM cillianflood
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** ^That's true but it was actually Sirius who put Snape in said dangerous situation, not James. But Harry does indeed bring it up at one point and Snape basically says he doesn't give a crap about the fact that James saved his life since (from his perspective) James did it selfishly to spare his own skin. Also regarding Neville, I'd say there's a very real probability that Snape tried to convince Voldemort that it was him since Snape willingly handed the prophecy over to Voldemort and when meeting Dumbledore Snape said "he thinks it refers to the Potters." Also bear in mind the Longbottoms were specifically hunted down and tortured by Voldeys most loyal supporters afterwards so it's very likely there was a plan to eliminate them too that Bellatrix was following up on (though I can imagine she didn't really know why since Neville himself was spared).
11th Dec '16 11:28:51 AM nombretomado
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** I never said Snape needed to be ''good''. He just needs a good reason for being bad. Which he doesn't have. [[CodeGeass Lelouch]] toys with free will and sacrifices human lives like pawns, and he's clearly doing evil- but he's doing it in order to topple another evil empire. He's a cold, manipulative jerkass because he sees everyone and everything as a potential resource in his fight against the empire. Snape, however, is a jerkass because he's a playground bully in an adult's body. Also, if you're going to dispute "Snape fought against Voldemort because of Lily" then you're going to have to take it up with [[{{Canon}} J. K. Rowling]]. It's almost stated explicitly in "The Prince's Tale" chapter of DH, i think. Dumbledore keeps reminding him "Do it for Lily!" whenever the going gets tough.

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** I never said Snape needed to be ''good''. He just needs a good reason for being bad. Which he doesn't have. [[CodeGeass [[Franchise/CodeGeass Lelouch]] toys with free will and sacrifices human lives like pawns, and he's clearly doing evil- but he's doing it in order to topple another evil empire. He's a cold, manipulative jerkass because he sees everyone and everything as a potential resource in his fight against the empire. Snape, however, is a jerkass because he's a playground bully in an adult's body. Also, if you're going to dispute "Snape fought against Voldemort because of Lily" then you're going to have to take it up with [[{{Canon}} J. K. Rowling]]. It's almost stated explicitly in "The Prince's Tale" chapter of DH, i think. Dumbledore keeps reminding him "Do it for Lily!" whenever the going gets tough.
16th Oct '16 11:27:39 AM GranChi
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* Here's a thought. What if Voldemort had decided to go after Neville? Snape would have been ''perfectly'' fine with that. While I will admit Snape did good things and was ultimately on Dumbledore's side, he's still an evil bastard. He was inexcusably rude to his students. As a teacher, his role is to teach the students how to do what they need to do, and to help them when they are struggling. A teacher's role is ''not'' to write instructions on the board, then sit back while everyone does it while occasionally assigning them homework. And it is '''NOT''' MAKING FUN OF STUDENTS WHEN THEY DO SOMETHING WRONG. I have teachers that have done both of these things and it is completely inexcusable. Neville was scarred for life by Snape. Snape was a man who joined the Death Eater regime solely on his own. He wasn't someone like Wormtail who joined Voldemort because he was scared of what would happen if he didn't. He was a person who fully and truly believed in the pure blood supremacy [[{{Fanon}} (and still does, seeing as he calls STUDENTS the Wizarding equivalent of the N-Word)]]. And he only left that particular group because they killed the only person he truly loved. This is one of my big problems with the book. It seems to be based on the theory that the only thing different between good and bad is capability to love. While I will admit that someone incapable of loving would generally be considered evil, almost every human on this planet has loved someone; it's a natural part of life. Severus Snape is not a Hero, Anti Hero, Villain, or Anti Villain. He's just an evil asshole who happened to be on Dumbledore's side.

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* Here's a thought. What if Voldemort had decided to go after Neville? Snape would have been ''perfectly'' fine with that. While I will admit Snape did good things and was ultimately on Dumbledore's side, he's still an evil bastard. He was inexcusably rude to his students. As a teacher, his role is to teach the students how to do what they need to do, and to help them when they are struggling. A teacher's role is ''not'' to write instructions on the board, then sit back while everyone does it while occasionally assigning them homework. And it is '''NOT''' MAKING FUN OF STUDENTS WHEN THEY DO SOMETHING WRONG. I have teachers that have done both of these things and it is completely inexcusable. Neville was scarred for life by Snape. Snape was a man who joined the Death Eater regime solely on his own. He wasn't someone like Wormtail who joined Voldemort because he was scared of what would happen if he didn't. He was a person who fully and truly believed in the pure blood supremacy [[{{Fanon}} (and still does, seeing as he calls STUDENTS the Wizarding equivalent of the N-Word)]].supremacy. And he only left that particular group because they killed the only person he truly loved. This is one of my big problems with the book. It seems to be based on the theory that the only thing different between good and bad is capability to love. While I will admit that someone incapable of loving would generally be considered evil, almost every human on this planet has loved someone; it's a natural part of life. Severus Snape is not a Hero, Anti Hero, Villain, or Anti Villain. He's just an evil asshole who happened to be on Dumbledore's side.
2nd Oct '16 7:54:16 AM inspibrain101
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** B. Harry, being a somewhat unreliable narrator, (this time, I actually mean the definition on our [[UnreliableNarrtor Unreliable Narrator]] page,) 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?

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** B. Harry, being a somewhat unreliable narrator, (this time, I actually mean the definition on our [[UnreliableNarrtor [[UnreliableNarrator Unreliable Narrator]] page,) 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?
2nd Oct '16 7:51:16 AM 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 ''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 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, just by 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 advanced classes with unusual teaching styles, where it doesnít seem like the class learns anything, yet by the time 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?

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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 ''ever'', in SEVEN YEARS. Now, some may argue many on this page are arguing 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 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, just by cramming the week before, managed to pass, pass a major standardized test, even though the teacher didnít teach them anything? No, doesnít cut it.Barely Sensible. 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 (By the way, Lupin's a werewolf.)Ē (Seriously, what ''are'' the characteristics of a werewolf in human form? That would have been darn useful.) I have a few hypotheses to explain this:
these seemingly irreconcilable facts:
** 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 advanced classes with unusual teaching styles, where it doesnít seem like the class learns anything, yet by the time exam day rolls around, weíre surprised to find that we know all the material. Mr. Miyagi style, only we can all agree that Snape is nowhere near as nice as Mr. Miyagi.
***Just to be clear, when I say "unreliable narrator," I don't refer to the literal definition on our [[UnreliableNarrator Unreliable Narrator]] page; I'm not saying that Harry is lying. What I mean is that he's not omniscient, and two people can remember the same series of events very differently. For example, obviously we get a lot of play-by-plays from Harry's Quidditch games, because Harry loves Quidditch, but we don't get a lot about History of Magic with Professor Binns. (That being said, the events told from Hermione's perspective must have been a ''very'' boring book.)
** B. Harry, being a somewhat unreliable narrator, (this time, I actually mean the definition on our [[UnreliableNarrtor Unreliable Narrator]] page,) exaggerated when he said that everyone passed their OWLs. You really expect me to believe that no one ''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?
2nd Oct '16 4:46:21 AM Luppercus
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** I disagree with the Dursleyís part, sadly in real life you need much more for social services to intervene.
2nd Oct '16 4:42:45 AM Luppercus
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** This troper is a psychologist and finds this very interesting. In real life, no one is absolutely good, but psychopaths do exist and can be considered ďpure evilĒ to some degree, so in some regard Rowling [and GRR Martin] does portray that successfully; good vs evil could not be of absolutes and though ďabsolute evilĒ does exist absolute good doesnít.
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