Told You So

Well, I finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince about 48 hours after I bought it. I have to say, that I correctly guessed who would die, while being simultaneously very sad about who did in the character in question. Since I’m not a total jerk, here is some spoiler space for those of you who haven’t made themselves ill like I have by plowing through that book in less than 2 days:
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I knew that the character who died would die, but I’m supremely irritated that Snape done ‘um in so to speak. I have a pet theory on Snape. Snape is my favorite character since Snape is the only character who has the opportunity to be dynamic. Think about it. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Lily & James–all Good. Lucius, Voldemort, Wormtail–all Bad. Snape….Uh, humm. We just don’t know. He talks crap yet seems to protect Harry. He is mean to Harry, yet on more than one occasion, does things to help him, even though it is clear he doesn’t do it because he likes Harry. I think he has some overriding reason that makes him an agent for the Order.

I always thought that in the end, something would happen that would prove that Snape, though a complete twit, wasn’t actually evil, just mean. I’ve had this theory for years. When Harry saw the memories of Snape’s when he was a little boy in a bad home, when he was a stringy teen being teased by James and to his horror, defended by Lily, I was sure JK was showing us why Snape was mean generally and especially mean to Harry. She was humanizing him, making him a little more understandable. Now that he’s had to swear that swear to Malfoy’s mother Narcissa, and now that he’s had to kill Dumbledore, I feel my theory has taken two big hits. It’s not dead, but it’s on life support.

Here’s the thing. The basic problem is this: Dumbledore trusts him. Dumbledore isn’t a moron; whatever story Snape has told him has got to be believable and has got to be a very big deal. I think Dumbledore learned his lesson about people with his attempt to help Riddle. He is judging Snape after he sort of blew it with Riddle, so I think he would not be easily duped. Just think about it. When Harry argues with Dumbledore in his office before they go to the cave, he demands an answer about why Dumbledore trusts Snape, since Snape told Voldemort about the Prophecy. Dumbledore clearly considers telling Harry the answer, decides not to, and just says nothing. That silence holds all the answers about Snape, I think. Because of some unknown reason, Dumbledore has given Snape some sort of horrible assignment. I always believed that to be reactivation as a spy for the Order, under orders to help get rid of Voldemort no matter what. I think that he loathes this assignment because he doesn’t want to get killed by the Death Eaters or Voldemort and because he sees that Harry Potter is part of the reason for it.

To do this assignment, he has to go back and convince the Death Eaters that he was loyal to Voldemort all along. Clearly this is not easy. Since he has not gone to Azkaban and has even been a teacher at Hogwarts, he just looks like a huge traitor. Bellatrix doesn’t believe him, and consequently he winds up having to swear that swear to convince her and Narcissa that he is on their side. Assuming he’s swearing to convince them, he’s now in an awful place. If that isn’t bad enough, when the Death Eaters gain entrance to the Castle, he now has to choose who to fight with. If his assignment is to help take down Voldemort, this is simply NOT the time to swap to the Order’s side. Only in fighting with the Death Eaters can he convince them his is on their side. He finds there is a moment when he has to choose between blowing his spy assignment (bad, he would probably die) *and* the promise to protect Malfoy (who most definitely would have gotten hurt or worse for not doing in Dumbledore)*and* killing Dumbledore himself. Not protecting Malfoy would endanger him personally, too, since he would have to carry out his end of the Unbreakable Vow. Not doing in Dumbledore would have given his true loyalties away, gotten him killed and possibly finished his assignment disastrously. The only course of action he could take and remain a spy was what he did and go on the run.

Of course, now that he’s done this, he’s messed up his life forever. The only way he can redeem himself now is to die saving Harry or putting Harry where he needs to be to destroy Voldemort. Which is how I have been thinking Snape’s life will have to turn out in the end for about 3 books now. The complication of him doing in Dumbledore was, shall we say, unforeseen. I did figure he was the Half-Blood Prince however. Who else would be that good at Potions? In fact, when Harry goes back for that book, which he will have to do to get more information, I think, he will find out more about Snape. I can only hope we learn more about Snape and his motivations. I really really hope that Snape has more than one dimension. I think he is easily the best drawn character in the book. And anyway, who can completely vilify someone played by the marvelous Alan Rickman in the movies, no matter who he kills?? Assuming, of course, that it was really Dumbledore who bit it… (It was; for Harry to ever be an adult, all those close protectors of his, Sirius and Dumbledore, and maybe others, have to die. JK hasn’t pulled any punches yet. That we know of.)

😀

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Spoiler’s over; mischief managed!

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