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Kitty

Help me, O Potterphiles

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Kitty

I don't get Snape.

 

Well, I do, I just don't get the appeal. I think he's a brilliantly-written character, very well-rounded, and St. Alan does an awesome job of playing him in the movies. But I don't get why people like Snape as a person.

 

Up until around the fifth book, I never once thought Snape was particularly awesome. I mean, shit, he was a giant asshole, possibly the biggest one in the series barring Voldemort. I did like him in OOTP whenever he and Umbridge were on the same page, but that's about it. I didn't really begin to like him until the later part of Deathly Hallows, when he stopped being such a douchnozzle. Then again, I didn't like him until he was dead and then the Prince's Tale...

 

Anyway, I don't get the Snape fangirls. At all. He's not sexy (in the books, anyway, and it's not like St. Alan had to be prettyfied in order to play him- sort of the opposite, imo), he's a raging dickhead most of the series, and it seems to be because of a grudge he's holding against a guy who's been dead for about 16 years. I ran into the fangirls well before DH, books or movies, and fuuuuuuck were they annoying.

 

What's the appeal?! I'd also like to know why Draco and Lucius Malfoy are supposed to be so appealing too- they're fucking Death Eaters, major assfaces as well, and it seems the only thing going for them is that they're both tired of being kicked around by Voldemort and are played by rather good-lucking actors.

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Patsy

"I could change him. Those other bitches just don't UNDERSTAND him, but I would. He's such a misunderstood, victimised person, and the fact that he is three-dimensional and has had pain in his past means that everything he does is justified and awesome. Also he's probably actually sexy. He's rude to pretty much everyone, but I know he'd like me, teehee!"

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Kitty
"I could change him. Those other bitches just don't UNDERSTAND him, but I would. He's such a misunderstood, victimised person, and the fact that he is three-dimensional and has had pain in his past means that everything he does is justified and awesome. Also he's probably actually sexy. He's rude to pretty much everyone, but I know he'd like me, teehee!"

It just occurred to me that this was probably Lily Potter's mindset too... up until Snape called her the magical version of the N-word.

Ugh. I really hate fangirls who squee over the WORST male characters.

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treemom

I figured out the snaps story line in book 5 and it was the idea of redemption that made me love him. I never thought he was a bad guy per se, although he certainly would have been an ass to me. But I honestly love the character, I love his story arc and I like the theme of redemption, I cried and cried at the beginning of book 6 because I feared what it would mean.

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Kitty
I figured out the snaps story line in book 5 and it was the idea of redemption that made me love him. I never thought he was a bad guy per se, although he certainly would have been an ass to me. But I honestly love the character, I love his story arc and I like the theme of redemption, I cried and cried at the beginning of book 6 because I feared what it would mean.

Yeah, so did I, and I was pretty upset when Dumbledore announced Snape was going to be the DADA teacher. Guess Snape had grown on me, even then. I think that's what made Dumbledore's death that much more painful, too. But I didn't really begin to like Snape until, well, the scene where he died in DH. Because that was literally the first scene in the whole series where he's not being an asshole.

A lot of the fangirls, though, think he's an absolutely cuddly chap underneath the greasy exterior. That's what I don't get.

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Boogalou

I love Snape - as a character. I think he is the most interesting character in the entire series. However, as a person I don't like him because for oh so many reasons, most of which you listed. I love the Harry Potter books but I have never really hung out in the online communities, it gets weird in there.

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Patsy

It just occurred to me that this was probably Lily Potter's mindset too... up until Snape called her the magical version of the N-word.

Ugh. I really hate fangirls who squee over the WORST male characters.

Given the fangirls' response to her calling off the friendship ("She is a SLUT, a real friend would put up with the perfect person using racial insults at her! OBVIOUSLY she was never a true friend and is a bitch and was just waiting for an excuse to call it off because she's a bitch!") I'm inclined to think that a TRUE fangirl wouldn't have reacted the way she did ;)

(... might be a Lily fangirl, though)

and treemom and Boogalou, I'm commenting on the w00bie fangirls, not people who just generally like Snape or think he's a really good character ;)

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prairiemuffin
I figured out the snaps story line in book 5 and it was the idea of redemption that made me love him. I never thought he was a bad guy per se, although he certainly would have been an ass to me. But I honestly love the character, I love his story arc and I like the theme of redemption, I cried and cried at the beginning of book 6 because I feared what it would mean.

The redemption and the undercurrents of him being so tortured is what made him one of my favorite characters as well. But no, as an actual person-not so much. He was still a douche a lot of the time, plain and simple.

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Sax Russell

I maintain that Snape should have been fired for his treatment of Neville (and some of the other principal characters). I do not think bullies are effective teachers, and Snape was absolutely a bully. In fact, Snape's retention as a faculty member speaks quite badly of Dumbledore.

As for why some folks love him? I always figured Alan Rickman was behind that - he really is perfect in the role. It's like the negative version of Gregory Peck and Atticus Finch.

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MadameX

From moment one, Snape was my favorite character. He's much more complicated than the others. We're meant to trust Dumbledore as this sort of mighty fortress of good and right, and he trusts Snape. So it really makes you think for most of the series, until that mystery is revealed a little more in later books, that there is a lot more to Snape than we know.

I agree that bullying the students was always really distasteful, as well as siding with Slytherins unfairly all the time. But another big part of Snape's appeal is his fallibility. Snape effs up. A lot. But even though his mistakes ultimately ruin his life, he keeps his eye on the prize and does a lifetime of penance. There are bound to be cracks in that kind of personality, not to mention the exhausting facade he had to maintain once Voldie returned, lest Voldie enter his mind.

Lastly, I think Snape is a great example of the fact that bullied children grow up to be bullies.

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Kitty
I maintain that Snape should have been fired for his treatment of Neville (and some of the other principal characters). I do not think bullies are effective teachers, and Snape was absolutely a bully. In fact, Snape's retention as a faculty member speaks quite badly of Dumbledore.

Oh, in the books it's pretty obvious that a good chunk of the faculty is there just because Dumbledore is trying to protect them. Like Trelawney, she may be a lot nicer than Snape but she's still largely incompetent. Lockhart was absolutely useless as DADA. Umbridge was just as incompetent as Lockhart but she was forced in by the Ministry and Dumbledore couldn't do anything about that. But Quirrelmort and Fake!Moody? WTF?

One argument I've heard for Snape's continued employment, though, is that he does seem to get results, so he's doing something right. And that Snape is based off a teacher JKR had in school, so it's not like Snape's behavior was so heinous it wouldn't even fly in real life, because well... it did, and it still does today.

Lastly, I think Snape is a great example of the fact that bullied children grow up to be bullies.

^This. This comment actually made me think of how useless adults can be when it comes to bullying, because it's always "kids are cruel, but they grow out of it" or some shit like that. Clearly Snape didn't.

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doggie

Come on now does there have to be logic in it? the duggers have fangirls that think they walk on water. that's what a fan person is really someone who see's who they want to see.

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freejoytoo

I think Snape's a dick. A fantastic written character, but still a dick. What I don't get is everyone saying it's Harry's fault Snape hates him, like Harry chose who his dad was, and that he shouldn't be rude to him. Hello? Snape BULLIES him and his friends through the entire series! And maybe Lily wouldn't have gone off with James in the first place if Snape hadn't started hanging out with the magical equivalent of Nazis, for God's sake!

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MadameX

I think the implication of Snape going off with the magical Nazis is that it's ultimately dangerous for society to treat poorly or bully people who they perceive as weak, because if a bigger bully comes along that person will be only too eager to hitch his star to the bigger bully's wagon.

I've never seen anyone say it's Harry's fault.

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freejoytoo

I have. I used to post on HP forums and a lot of people would say it was Harry and Ron's fault for being picked on because they were so rude to Snape.

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Bookworm

I'm relatively new to HP - less than a year, in fact - but I'm sort of a Snape fan. In real life, I think I would strongly dislike and pity him, and spend a lot of time plotting how to reach out to him and hopefully help him in some way, if only to decrease the harm and bullying he did. Meanwhile I would try to help whatever Neville-ish person he was picking on at the moment. As a character, he is incredibly fascinating and made me cry buckets from regret over his past and his all around terrible life. He just interests me, in a way that the Malfoys never did. I think it has something to do with the way he TRIES. Even in the early books you can see how hard he works at things.

He is also an interesting foil to Voldemort – in many ways they had similar beginnings and similar reactions to things, but Snape decided to turn his life around. And he stuck to his new principles. We can say he should have added more principles, like being nice to people if they aren't mean to him, but he did stick to what he decided was right for him to do. That is very admirable.

And, of course, St. Alan made him totally hot, so in that sense I'm definitely a fangirl!

Oh, and slight aside, in the Tale of Three Brothers which is the source of the Deathly Hallows, I love, love, love how the oldest one wanted to be able to conquer everyone and he got a Wand; the middle one was consumed with grief over his lost ladylove and wanted her back, and got the Resurrection Stone; and the youngest just wanted to avoid death, and he got the Cloak.

Voldemort wants power more than anything; Snape just wants Lily back and to have the chance to do things right; and Harry wants to survive and help others survive.

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AuntCloud

Just a thought (I really should be studying tax law right now, not posting rambling thoughts on HP): why are the Malfoys so icky, while Snape gets our sympathy? I think it's because he is genuine, and his pain is genuine. The Malfoys are all about status. They have it all - money, social standing, connections. They could have chosen to do good, but didn't. Snape doesn't care about money, or status. It doesn't look like anything he does is done to appease or please others, all he does comes from his own tormented soul. Or maybe I'm projecting my slight prejudice towards St. Alan now?

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Arete

Another Snape fan here. I never thought of the character as sexy (though I sure as hell think of Alan Rickman as sexy) or someone I wanted as a friend. However, I think he is the most interesting and well written character in the series. It's exactly BECAUSE he is not perfect that you want to find out what made him that way and what makes him tick. Agree with Aunt Cloud about the Malfoys-they are the rich people and classists that think their excrement doesn't stink. A lot of us know them in real life. Snape was obviously never going for money or status. If he wasn't, their was another motive to his favoring Slytherin and despising Harry. It was not rational.

His story begs the question-what would any of us do if our bad choices had contributed to literally destroying what we loved most? Is antonement even possible? I'm not ashamed to say I cried buckets when Snape said his last words to Harry..."LOOK AT ME!" He was dying and he wanted the last thing he saw to be the eyes of the only person he truly loved, Lily Potter. :cry:

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Maude

I think Severus Snape is J.K. Rowling's most complex, well-written HP character. I loved that about him from the very beginning, and it's what made me single him out as a favourite. I didn't begin to really like him as person, however, until we learned more about his background, and even then I found myself walking a fine line between emotions. In the end though, it really boils down to me feeling like he redeemed himself as much as he could, given the circumstances. It's easy to identify with him because he's very 'real.'

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JesusFightClub
I think Snape's a dick. A fantastic written character, but still a dick. What I don't get is everyone saying it's Harry's fault Snape hates him, like Harry chose who his dad was, and that he shouldn't be rude to him. Hello? Snape BULLIES him and his friends through the entire series! And maybe Lily wouldn't have gone off with James in the first place if Snape hadn't started hanging out with the magical equivalent of Nazis, for God's sake!

Harry's a bit of an arsehole too!

I agree Snape ain't nice but Harry isn't a wee angel either.

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Vex

Harry's a bit of an arsehole too!

I agree Snape ain't nice but Harry isn't a wee angel either.

Not until the later books when he grows sick of Snape calling his much-adored father an asshole, really. I can totally understand why Harry was so defensive of him, and in Harry's defense, once he finds out for himself that Snape has a good reason for hating his father he is really disturbed by his father's behaviour. He ends up really admiring Snape and appreciating his sacrifices.

I don't find Alan Rickman hot (don't kill me!), and I don't find Snape appealing at all. I loved Snape's complexity, but I never understood Snape as a sex symbol. At all. Especially the Snape of the books. That said, I think Harry is kind of a bastard and Ron is also kind of a jerk. The only characters I really like a lot are Luna, Neville and Hermione. I love the series, though, and I think it's a good thing that the principal characters are written as flawed and fallible.

Snape is really just another Draco In Leather Pants character. He's idealised and made into something by fangirls that has basically no resemblance to the original character.

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OddlyAmused

I like Snape as a character, though I know I would very strongly dislike him in real life. IMO, he's the best written character in the books-he's complex, which to me is what makes him the most interesting. He's obviously highly intelligent, but years of neglect and abuse have worked to turn whatever initial faults he might have had into downright nastiness and bullying. I agree that Lily probably thought she could change him and/or undo whatever damage had been done, but he ruined that. None of this gives him an excuse for bullying children into outright terror- he was, at least for several years, the thing that Neville feared the most!

I do agree that St. Alan was a major part of the reason for the Draco in Leather Pants treatment of Snape.

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Gizmola

I think part of the appeal is that many women (yes, I admit I'm one of them) dreams of a love that is as enduring as that which Snape had for Lily. When young, immature and weak he was a major douche and unable to articulate his feelings for her adequately nor be the kind of man who would deserve her. Obviously, his distress at her "betrayal" of falling for his sworn enemy fostered great enmity in him towards Harry who, in Rowling's words (paraphrased), is the proof of Lily's preference for another man.

One of the things that is so heartbreaking about Snape is that as soon as he realized his actions would possibly cause true harm to Lily, he started becoming the kind of man (to a degree) who would've deserved real love. His actions through the rest of his life reflect a desire to live up to being worthy of her love, even though she was gone. His love for her was unwavering, unselfish and full of self-sacrifice. Now, of course, if he had had any measure of honor and maturity then he wouldn't have needed to be self-sacrificial, etc.

But for me, the romantic ideal of a man who loves me truly and intensely, who would be willing to brave the deepest depths of danger to prove his love for me. Yes, yes, I know it's not realistic and probably in real life Snape's love for Lily was probably not healthy, etc. but in fantasy world, in the land of daydreams, a hero who would sacrifice everything for me is just snazzy.

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Conuly
One argument I've heard for Snape's continued employment, though, is that he does seem to get results, so he's doing something right.

He'd get better results if he weren't a bully. Neville in particular is stated as doing better whenever Snape isn't breathing down his neck.

I actually feel some sympathy for Snape as a teacher, though, because he's not particularly gifted at that job and he seems to have higher standards than the others do. Look at how he treats Hermione. Every other teacher gives her insanely high marks, but Snape, aside from his irrational seething hatred of everybody in the world, has a valid complaint - she never processes new information, she simply regurgitates the text. (And she DOES. That's why she got so pissed at Harry for doing better in potions 6th year, because Harry wasn't following the right instructions. He wasn't being any more thoughtful or creative than she was, but at her age and in her grade Snape was head and shoulders above her in ability because he actively researched and thought and tried new methods.)

But I don't think I'd like him as a person. I like him as a character, because I always like the bad guys in books as characters, but in real life I think the brutal bully teachers are only marginally better than the make nice-nice teachers. And really, even though it seems that James and co. were awful people as teens, it's completely idiotic to hold a grudge, years later, against the kid who never knew any one of them and also anybody who dares associate with said kid.

That said, I think Harry is kind of a bastard and Ron is also kind of a jerk. The only characters I really like a lot are Luna, Neville and Hermione.

Agreed on Harry, but I think Hermione is kind of a manipulative bitch. And how many times do we have to be told she said something "waspishly"?

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Vex

Agreed on Harry, but I think Hermione is kind of a manipulative bitch. And how many times do we have to be told she said something "waspishly"?

Huh, I hadn't considered that.

She was definitely awful to them in the first book without any real justification. She has moments of being unfairly impatient and superior throughout the series too.

Generally, I feel her waspishness was well-deserved. Not so much with the minor annoyances like the boys needing her to do things they didn't have the skill for, or asking her to do their homework because they were lazy, but stuff like Harry and Ron dragging her between them during arguments, and also the way Ron treated her for basically the entirety of Goblet of Fire.

So while I agree she could be a bitch at times, I'm not really sure where the manipulation comes in - I mean, she did manipulate situations, but the ones I'm thinking of were all things she did to help her friends. Can you give me an example of what you mean? I admittedly haven't read some of the books in ages so I've probably forgotten a lot of stuff.

My appreciation of her is mostly due to the last couple of books. She kept such a level head on her shoulders through the whole thing, thinking to do that undetectable extension charm on the purse, getting them in and out of places, keeping them safe. I admire the way she thought on her feet and refrained from murdering Ron when they were hiding out in the woods.

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