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Author Topic: HBP -- some recent thoughts  (Read 254 times)

Cho Chung

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HBP -- some recent thoughts
« on: June 07, 2007, 11:56:50 AM »

So, I've started re-re-reading HBP in preparation for book 7 coming out and one thing struck me (that was probably already obvious to everyone else in the HP universe): 

1)  If there has been a curse on the DADA position for as long as there has been, why would Snape want the job so much?  Wouldn't he know that being granted that job would, in essence, be sealing the fate of his future at Hogwarts?  If his story to Narcissa and Bellatrix about why he's stayed at Hogwarts is true (it was a comfortable job, an easy place to hide, learn Dumbledore's strengths, etc., etc.), then why would he continue trying to get into that very spot that would lose him his comfortable job and the protection of Dumbledore?  I'd find it hard to believe that he didn't know about the curse.

2) Why does Dumbledore choose this particular year to move Snape into the DADA position when he obviously knows about the curse on the job?  Is it because he knows about Snape's Unbreakable Vow to Narcissa (either because Snape told him or because he legilimens-ed it out of Snape) and, thus, must be resigned to the fact that Snape has to leave anyway (one way or the other)? 

3)  That last one also raises the question of what really is an Unbreakable Vow?  Does that mean if you don't follow through with it you die?  Or does it mean that once you make the Vow you are somehow magically compelled to follow through with it, even if it later becomes something that is against your will?

Anyone have any thoughts?
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Re: HBP -- some recent thoughts
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2007, 01:38:19 PM »

1) Well, it might not be exactly common knowledge that the job was cursed. It seems the sort of thing people joke about, though if it had been going on longer than the years Harry's been at Hogwarts, it would seem like it'd just get too obvious. Still, if he did know it was cursed, maybe he was trying to break the curse? Might seem like something for an ambitious type to try.

Then again, we only have F&G's word that Snape wanted that job, correct? He took it, but maybe because he knew that getting Slughorn to safety was more important than being able to teach his favorite subject. (Which potions really does seem to be.)

2) I'm rather interested that Dumbledore KNEW the job was cursed, yet was putting people in jeopardy every year by employing them. Maybe he hoped Snape would break the curse. Maybe he knew it was time to let Snape go anyway.

Mike Schramm review's of the book points out that it seemed to him that Snape and Malfoy are more important to the success of Dumbledore's plan against Voldemort than Dumbledore is, seeing as how Dumbledore is willing to die rather than let one of them get killed.

3) I think it's that you die if you don't follow it. Like a geas. (Which is not a bird.) :) I think you still have the choice, but if you choose not to do it, it means you're gonna die.

My random thought for the day is that I think Harry needs to stop calling him Voldemort and start calling him Tom.
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Cho Chung

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Re: HBP -- some recent thoughts
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2007, 07:43:33 PM »

1) Well, it might not be exactly common knowledge that the job was cursed. It seems the sort of thing people joke about, though if it had been going on longer than the years Harry's been at Hogwarts, it would seem like it'd just get too obvious. Still, if he did know it was cursed, maybe he was trying to break the curse? Might seem like something for an ambitious type to try.

Then again, we only have F&G's word that Snape wanted that job, correct? He took it, but maybe because he knew that getting Slughorn to safety was more important than being able to teach his favorite subject. (Which potions really does seem to be.)

Actually, we have Snape's word in the beginning of HBP that DADA is his beloved subject but Dumbledore wouldn't give it to him because he was afraid Snape would fall back into his old ways. 

I find that thought about Malfoy and Snape interesting, too.  I guess I sort of chalked it up to Dumbledore having the same hero complex that Harry does -- he'd rather die than let someone else do so.  Makes you wonder whether he thinks Draco is saveable, eh?

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Re: HBP -- some recent thoughts
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2007, 05:05:39 PM »

Quote
Actually, we have Snape's word in the beginning of HBP that DADA is his beloved subject but Dumbledore wouldn't give it to him because he was afraid Snape would fall back into his old ways.

*blush* I really need to go back and read the book at a much slower rate. :)

It could be that Dumbledore has the hero complex, though if he does, I think he deserves it a bit more than Harry does, because he's managed to defeat other dark wizards, and nobody seems to do anything when he's around anyway. ;)

I am pretty certain he thought Draco was savable. Why else try and talk him down? He kept Draco from taking the worst possible step down the dark path (murder). If he didn't think he was able to be saved, he wouldn't have wasted the effort, methinks.
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Re: HBP -- some recent thoughts
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2007, 04:23:48 PM »

Okay, another thought/question.  Recall that in book 6 Harry is excelling in Potions all over the place because he's always following the Prince's instructions.  I am struck this time by how often Slughorn applauds his Potions work and says over and over again how much like his mother is, what a natural she was at potions, etc., etc. 

This is a much closer tie between Lily and Snape than ever -- the fact that Harry, using Snape's Potions book and notes reminds Slughorn forcefully of Lily and her Potions talent. 

What do you think is going on here?  Is this just more ammo for the Snape-was-in-love-with-Lily theory?  Has JKR ever completely debunked the idea that Harry and Snape are related somehow?  Lily was muggle-born, right?  And Snape's mother(?) was muggle born as well? 

Thoughts????
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Re: HBP -- some recent thoughts
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2007, 10:36:11 PM »

I think she's made it clear that Harry's only living relatives are the Dursleys. Could be wrong. :)

Not sure what else to say. The potions thing...I mean, he really was being more like James than Lily, though Slughorn wasn't to know it, I suppose. Hrm. Arg. Can't think. :(
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Re: HBP -- some recent thoughts
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2007, 08:33:22 AM »

Okay, just finished book 6 last night.  Another question (one, I think, we may have covered in the Shrieking Shack before, but maybe not).  At the end, when the Order finds out that Snape is the one who killed Dumbledore, they all start discussing why Dumbledore trusted Snape so much.  Harry says he knows why and recounts that Snape is the one who overheard the prophecy and told LV about it, which set LV off to go hunt down and kill Lily and James to get to Harry.  Harry says that Snape was "really sorry," and Dumbledore believed him.  That was it.

There's got to be more to it than that, though, right?  Snape has to have done something or provided some kind of information, right?  Dumbeldore wouldn't really have believed him just because Snape said, "Ooops.  Sorry!" 

So here's a thought - perhaps Snape was sorry and angry about Lily being killed but not James.  Perhaps he felt the Dark Lord betrayed him by killing his love interest.  And so, to get back at the Dark Lord, Snape told Dumbledore some important secret that enabled him to ... I don't know what.  I don't know what else Snape could have done to weaken LV.  I mean, once LV tried to curse Harry, he disappeared from the picture for a long time, right?  So I suppose he could have ratted on various Death Eater people, but that's about all I can think of. 

Or perhaps he helped Dumbledore devise the spells and stuff that protect Harry while at the Dursleys.

And another thought, up on the Astronomy tower, Dumbledore doesn't start "pleading" until Snape shows up.  And as soon as Snape shows up, before he points his wand at Dumbledore, Dumbledore says his name quietly and, apparently, plaintively.  Why?   Why the minute Snape shows up?  Is it at that point that he realizes Snape has been the most effective double agent ever?   Is it (as some think) that he was pleading with Snape to kill him and save Malfoy?  Is that he just couldn't tell what Snape was going to do?

And, finally, in the end Draco didn't kill Dumbledore, right?  Snape did.  So isn't Draco going to face some consequences regardless?  Doesn't he still have reason to be afraid? 

Alright, I think that's all for now.

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Re: HBP -- some recent thoughts
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2007, 08:20:10 AM »

Okay.  Now I just finished book 4, and I probably won't have time to move on to book 3 before diving into trial, here, but here's one thought that came out of my re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-read of book 4.

In the pensieve, when Snape's name has been thrown out by Karkaroff as a Death Eater, Dumbledore stands up and says that Snape turned to our side "just before the Dark Lord's fall."  I had always thought that whatever Snape did to earn Dumbledore's trust, he did it after LV's fall, not before.  It didn't strike me that there was that much time between Snape overhearing the prophecy and LV killing Harry.  Am I wrong?  If so, what all could Snape have done before LV's downfall to demonstrate his remorse at being a death eater?
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Re: HBP -- some recent thoughts
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2007, 11:41:56 PM »

Ping said:
Quote
I think Harry needs to stop calling him Voldemort and start calling him Tom.

QFT

Thanks for that; biggest laugh I had all day.
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Re: HBP -- some recent thoughts
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2007, 11:29:52 AM »

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It didn't strike me that there was that much time between Snape overhearing the prophecy and LV killing Harry.  Am I wrong?  If so, what all could Snape have done before LV's downfall to demonstrate his remorse at being a death eater?

You know, you're right. I hadn't realized that. There had to be some lag time. After all, wasn't it the prophecy that drove LV to kill Harry? Since the Potters were so well-protected, he had to have taken some time to figure out how to get at them.

Hrm...

Nyah, just gonna have to wait for the book. I can't figure out what else must have happened. *beats head on desk for a while*

Quote
Thanks for that; biggest laugh I had all day.

*bows humbly* Happy to oblige. :)
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