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Looking at Spinner's End by Shewoman
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Looking at Spinner's End by Shewoman
LOOKING AT “SPINNERS END

By Shewoman on July 09, 2007, 12:06:44 PM

Quotations not otherwise identified come from “Spinners End,” HBP

Half-Blood Prince may be my favorite of the Harry Potter books. It’s hard to say until I know how the storyline ends in Deathly Hallows. There is much to like here: Slughorn and his tireless collecting of students as trophies (but also the fact that he is—at least so far—a Slytherin we can like if we choose, one whose love for Lily indicates that he is without the pureblood mania that has done so much damage in the Wizarding World). That reminds me: I must try some crystallized pineapple one of these days. There’s the general (non-Ron-and-Bill) Weasley attitude towards Fleur, Harry’s development as a Potions scholar of note and as a love object for quite a few girls, the backstory on Tom Riddle (Dumbledore in that plum velvet suit!), Won-Won, Lav-Lav, and McLaggen, Harry and Ginny’s first kiss, the revelation of Snape the Healer, and Luna’s incomparable commentary on the Quidditch match. She should have been doing it all along.

But my favorite scene is Spinners End. How wonderful that the book that ends by questioning Snape’s loyalty to Dumbledore more than ever before begins (in the second chapter) by showing us all the reasons why a rabidly loyal Death Eater does NOT believe he is loyal to Voldemort! By book’s end we have a great deal of data spread out before us . . . if only we knew what to do with it.

I will divide this chapter into two parts. The first goes from the beginning of the chapter through Snape’s statement that Dumbledore has never stopped trusting Severus Snape (pp. 19-31 in the USA hardback). We begin in a very plebeian Muggle mill neighborhood that comes complete with a scavenging fox, soon killed by an Avada Kedavra cast by a Death Eater. Foreshadowing? What makes you think that? Bella and Cissy, arguing all the way about whether they should be there, arrive at Snape’s house. Snape tells them that Wormtail is there as well; he seems to be grouchily spying on Snape and/or his visitors in his two appearances. Enjoy them; we won’t see him again in this book. He unwillingly brings a dusty bottle of elf-made wine and three glasses. In the next chapter, “Will and Won’t,” Dumbledore will conjure a dusty bottle (Rosmerta’s mead this time) and five glasses to share with the Dursleys. Neither of these occasions will be noted for their exuberant good fellowship; the Black sisters will at least drink their drinks. (You know you’re in dire need of charm school when your behavior is unfavorably compared to that of Bellatrix LeStrange). Soon, however, a distrustful Bella is asking Snape a number of pointed questions about his relationship with Dumbledore, his absence when Voldemort returned at the end of Goblet, and his failure to kill Harry, among other things. Snape responds to her questions with some things we’ve heard before and some we haven’t.

Part I: Things to consider

1) We see Snape in action in this chapter as he mixes fact and fiction in his responses to Bellatrix, manipulating her into seeing both past and present as he wants her to. This is the double agent’s craft. Does he do this to Dumbledore as well? Was his “tale of remorse” a manufactured one? Can he tell the truth? Does he know the truth? Could we handle the truth (cameo by Jack Nicholson)?
Note that for once there is no “Harry Filter”—and no mention of greasy hair. He has “long black hair parted in curtains around a sallow face and black eyes” and greets his guests politely.

2) Why exactly is Wormtail there? He and Snape are no Remus and Sirius, that’s for sure.
For all of Narcissa’s protestations of faith in Snape and his relationship with Voldemort (she says “I-I think you are the only one who can help me; I have nowhere else to turn,” and, when Snape tells her he knows about Draco’s task, she responds with “I thought you must know about it! He trusts you so, Severus . . . ,” I think it’s clear that Wormtail is spying on Snape. Aside from bringing a tray of drinks, that’s all we see him do. Snape makes sure the women know that he’s there (Narcissa: “We are alone, aren’t we?” Snape: “Yes, of course. Well, Wormtail’s here, but we’re not counting vermin, are we?”) and when Narcissa starts to ask him for help, “Snape held up a hand to stop her, then pointed his wand again at the concealed staircase door. There was a loud bang and a squeak, followed by the sound of Wormtail scurrying back up the stairs.” Wormtail doesn’t strike me as the sort to spy on a powerful and easily angered wizard for the sheer fun of it. I think Voldemort is frustrated with Wormtail for taking so long [at least a year] to deliver the Potters to him and is also suspicious of Snape, who has spent 16 years under Dumbledore’s influence and failed to Apparate to the Dark Lord at the end of GoF until two hours after summoned. He has thrown them together with instructions to keep an eye on each other until he can figure out what to do with them. Snape encourages the sisters to believe that he is in favor; it is the only way he can find out what is going on in Death Eaterdom.

3) Snape begins by reminding Bella that Voldemort himself ordered him to get a job at Hogwarts (she agrees) and that Voldemort clearly has no problems with his behavior, as demonstrated by the fact that he is breathing.

Since Bella understands that Snape did in fact go to Hogwarts on Voldemort’s orders, that is probably true. That does not, of course, preclude the possibility that both Dumbledore and Voldemort wanted him “employed” at both places. Enemies sharing a double agent is wonderfully economical.

4) He tells her that he has not taught DADA because Dumbledore feared it might make him relapse into a Death Eater. Nonetheless, he now has 16 years worth of information for the Dark Lord.

I find it surprising that Bellatrix doesn’t know about the DADA curse (which I’m sure is the real reason for Dumbledore’s not giving Snape the post). And I doubt the accuracy of Snape’s response to Bella. Dumbledore would not employ a teacher at Hogwarts for sixteen years while suspecting he might revert to his Death Eater loyalty if offered any provocation. We’ve heard him say variations on “I trust Severus Snape” too many times to believe that. But he would have denied Snape the DADA post for another reason if the post were not cursed: to keep Snape from being caught between Dumbledore and Voldemort. Voldemort’s interest in the DADA job must have been in having it taught badly, resulting in young adults who would not be prepared to defend themselves. Dumbledore could not have the class taught that way and Voldemort would not want a genuine Defense Against the Dark Arts class at Hogwarts at all.

5) In response to her question about the battle at the MoM in Order, Snape tells her he was ordered to remain behind. (Favorite line: when Bella complains at his absence, he says “You speak of dangers . . . you were facing six teenagers, were you not?”)

This is probably true. If Voldemort wanted Snape at Hogwarts, he wouldn’t want to risk revealing Snape as a Death Eater except for a supremely important gain, and I’m sure he never thought that Lucius and the others sent to the MoM that night would be unable to persevere against Harry. I somehow think he wouldn’t expect Harry’s friends to accompany him, given the failure of

VOLDEMORT’s “friends” to look for him in his seeming vanquishment (The Lestranges and Barty Crouch, Jr., did try to find him).

6) When Bella asks about the Order Headquarters, he reminds her of the Fidelius Charm—fleshing out his explanation by claiming to have given information that contributed to the murders of Emmeline Vance and Sirius.

This one is just ridiculous, a ball JKR sets up for Snape to hit out of the park. Why would Bellatrix ask? She’s bound to know how the Fidelius Charm works. _I_ know, and I’m a Muggle.

As for Emmeline Vance’s death . . . well, I’m not convinced she’s dead. We hear people at Hogwarts refer to Amelia Bones’ death, but no one mentions Vance’s whose knowledge of it isn’t limited to the newspaper reports (as in Harry to Dumbledore in “Horace Slughorn” and Fudge and the Muggle Minister in “The Other Minister”). We know from Dumbledore’s speech on the Tower at book’s end that it is possible to hide people from their enemies; Emmeline could be taking advantage of that.

It’s only by great mental gymnastics that Snape could possibly claim to have given information that caused Sirius’ death. It wasn’t information he gave to Voldemort (Kreacher provided that, through Narcissa [“The Lost Prophecy,” OotP]); it was information he gave to Sirius and the Order—namely, that Harry was quite possibly at the Ministry of Magic facing Death Eaters on his own. When telling Sirius this, Snape reminded him that he was to stay at 12G. I’ve heard all kinds of interpretations of this, but I don’t care what tone of voice Snape said this in: Sirius was an adult who knew that Dumbledore wanted him to stay where it was safe. His decision to go anyway was his and no one else’s. Snape did not betray him.

7) As far as not killing Harry is concerned, he points out that it was advantageous to Voldemort that Harry was alive and available for the Potion that restored the Dark Lord’s body and that to have harmed him while working for Dumbledore would have been fatal to their relationship and might have ended up with him in Azkaban.
It is true that harming Harry would have been injurious to Snape’s employment and freedom. I doubt, though, that that is his only reason for not doing so.

8) In the same context, he tells Bella that “when Potter first arrived at Hogwarts there were still many stories circulating about him, rumors that he himself was a great Dark wizard, which was how he had survived the Dark Lord’s attack. Indeed, many of the Dark Lord’s old followers thought Potter might be a standard around which we could all rally once more. I was curious, I admit it, and not at all inclined to murder him the moment he set foot in the castle. Of course, it became apparent to me very quickly that he has no extraordinary talent at all . . . He is mediocre to the last degree.”

As far as I know, this is the first time we’ve heard that anyone thought young Harry might be a Dark Lord. If Death Eaters were thinking of rallying around him, I think Voldemort (if he ever heard about it) would have had some harsh words for them upon his return. They begin with A and K. Snape says he himself was curious about Harry. This, I think, is true, although not for the reason he gave Bellatrix. In Snape’s first Potions lecture in PS/SS, he does target Harry and asks him many difficult questions. But they don’t seem like the kind of questions you’d ask to determine if someone was a potential Dark Lord: they don’t deal with hexes or curses. They deal with Potions—the kind of questions you might ask the son of a gifted Potions student if you couldn’t wait to find out if he’d inherited any of his mother’s talent. Nor do I think he finds Harry mediocre. He’s surprised when Harry speaks Parseltongue at the Dueling Club in CoS and considers his attempts to avoid being Legilimensed “Not as poor as it might have been” in OotP (“Occlumency”). He also knows that Harry tied for first in the Triwizard Tournament in which he was the youngest champion ever and, with his friends, fought off the DEs in the MoM until the Order arrived.

9) When Bella asks how Dumbledore could have never suspected Snape, he replies “I have played my part well, and you overlook Dumbledore’s greatest weakness; he has to believe the best of people. I spun him a tale of deepest remorse when I joined his staff, fresh from my Death Eater days, and he embraced me with open arms. . . . I am pleased to say, however, that Dumbledore is growing old. The duel with the Dark Lord last month shook him. He has since sustained a serious injury because his reactions are slower than they once were.”

Ah, this one’s the craftiest. I believe this is the first time we hear about Dumbledore’s “need to believe the best of people.” I know we don’t hear of Snape’s remorseful return to Dumbledore until “The Seer Overheard,” nearly at the end of HBP. So when we get to that passage, having read this one, we are immediately invited to question what Dumbledore says.


Part II

With Bella’s questions answered, the discussion now proceeds to Draco’s task. Snape, unsurprisingly, continues to play his part well. He refuses to let Narcissa tell him what the Dark Lord has told her not to discuss--a necessary attititude if he is to survive Bella’s presence in his home. But this leaves him in a bind: he very much needs to know what the task is. This, I think, is why he looks out of the window. Others have postulated that Dumbledore might have been outside, but I think that Snape is simply taking a moment away from his guests in order to come up with a strategy that will allow him to discern the task without obviously transgressing Voldemort’s command. So he tells the sisters that he knows what Draco is to do. Cissy’s reaction to his statement that Voldemort will not change his mind about the task tells him that whatever it is is dangerous to Draco, as does Bella’s affirmation that “he seems glad of a chance to prove himself.” Narcissa cries and Snape looks away “from the sight of her tears as though they were indecent.” Perhaps they remind him of another mother weeping for her son. Eileen? Lily? Cissy’s categorization of the task as “vengeance for Lucius’ mistake” is additional proof that Draco is being asked to do something he may well not survive. Cissy’s next statement is “But he won’t succeed! How can he, when the Dark Lord himself—“ and Bella gasps. Trying to think of what the Dark Lord has never done . . . taking tea with the Queen? Winning at Ascot? Dating Winky? No; it's something so dangerous the perpetrator might well not survive. It had to be killing Dumbledore and there’s no way Snape didn’t reach that conclusion by then. He suggests that perhaps Voldemort intends him to finish the task Draco presumably won’t be able to complete. Narcissa breaks down. At this point Bella loses all hope of being named “Aunt of the Year” (“If I had sons, I would be glad to give them up to the service of the Dark Lord!”).

Snape now volunteers to help Draco, which leads to mention of the Unbreakable Vow. Snape’s expression is unreadable. Moments later, he and Narcissa take the Vow. “Will you watch over my son as he attempts to fulfill the Dark Lord’s wishes?” “I will.” “And will you, to the best of your ability, protect him from harm?” “I will.” “And, should it prove necessary . . . if it seems Draco will fail” (Snape’s hand twitches), "will you carry out the deed that the Dark Lord has ordered Draco to perform? “I will.” And the Vow is enacted.

Its elements have been analyzed to pieces. “Will you, Severus, watch over my son, Draco, as he attempts to fulfill the Dark Lord’s wishes?” doesn’t seem all that specific or demanding and clearly ends when the task is completed (but why does she specify “Draco”? Does she have other sons?). “And will you, to the best of your ability, protect him from harm” offers a different out—what is the best of Snape’s ability?—but does it end when the task is completed? This isn’t specified here, although it is implied in the first part of the Vow. These two requests are sworn to separately, but should they be considered together? The third one seems to surprise Snape. “And, should it prove necessary . . . if it seems Draco will fail” (Snape’s hand twitches), “will you carry out the deed that the Dark Lord has ordered Draco to perform?” This would seem to leave it up to Snape’s judgment whether or not it “seems necessary” to intervene; what would constitute “seeming failure”? As long as Draco and Dumbledore are both alive, there’s still a chance he might succeed.

I’m not quite clear as to why Narcissa asks this. If, as seems likely, the point of the task from Voldemort’s point of view is to punish the Malfoys, how will it help for Snape to complete it? I think that would only make Voldemort angrier—at Snape as well as Draco and Lucius. In “The Lightning-Struck Tower,” Draco tells Dumbledore, “I haven’t got any options! He’ll kill me! He’ll kill my whole family!” which does sound like how Voldemort rewards failure.

There is another possible angle on this chapter, though. I have already pointed out that “Spinners End” and the next chapter, “Will and Won’t,” both show dusty bottles of alcoholic beverages being conjured and offered to people in somewhat uneasy circumstances. Snape does this in SE and Dumbledore in W/W. Is the repetition of dusty bottles in these chapters a signal that the main adult character in each is the same? If that’s true, perhaps in actuality it is Dumbledore rather than Snape in both cases. If Dumbledore takes the UV, that means Snape is in no danger from the UV itself, although since Cissy, Bella, and probably Wormtail and Voldemort believe Snape took it, there could be unpleasantness from the sisters and Voldemort if he seems not to have upheld his end of the bargain (although they would be confused at the lack of magical repercussions). Dumbledore, however, is watching over Draco in HBP--enough to be aware of what he’s is doing (to Katie, to Ron), and when Draco is clearly unable to kill Dumbledore, he offers Draco protective sanctuary. When this offer is refused, Dumbledore is doomed by the UV. He can, however, carry out the task and perhaps save the Malfoys if—Severus, please—someone kills him before the broken Vow does.

Or perhaps it is Snape rather than Dumbledore in both cases, in which case he did take the UV and will die if it isn’t fulfilled. Causing the unwanted glasses of mead to bump repeatedly against the Dursleys’ heads does not sound much like Dumbledore, but matches Snape’s sense of humor. “Dumbledore” in “Will and Won't” and “Horace Slughorn” does speak more floridly than he generally does. If that’s really Snape, then 1) do the Dursleys have access to 12G now? Can they see it? Snape is not the Secret Keeper for the Order (and the Order was not mentioned in this conversation, although Harry did refer to its being “Headquarters”), and 2) when “Dumbledore” tells Harry in the Weasleys’ broom shed that the only two people who know the full Prophecy are in that shed—well, if that’s really Snape and if he’s telling the truth, then Dumbledore must already be dead. I do think that Dumbledore’s death is more complicated than it appeared in HBP. I’m sure he’s dead. But in a world of Polyjuice Potion, Transfiguration, and apparently a legion of unregistered animagi, I’m just not sure he died when we think he did.

In the wake of the events on the Astronomy Tower, we are invited—required—to examine Snape more carefully than we ever have before. Spinners End gives us some of the tools we need to do so. It shows us the Death Eater organization in disarray after the events at the end of OotP—Snape and Wormtail in an uneasy and unwelcomed partnership, the raid on the Ministry putting many of the Death Eaters in Azkaban, including Lucius Malfoy, whose wife is going against Voldemort’s direct orders in an effort to save their son from being the instrument of Voldemort’s punishment and implicating Bella in this disobedience as well. Snape, of course, is also part of the Death Eater organization, and we see that one of its staunchest members doesn’t trust him at all until he is willing to risk his life for that trust. I wonder if Bella, convinced by the UV, will trust Snape with something vital in DH.

We also notice at the end of the book that none of the well-known DEs participate in Draco’s raid, including the aunt who taught him Occlumency: we have instead the Carrows, Fenrir, and a big blond Death Eater. We’ve heard of the first three but we haven’t seen them before. Have some of the DEs been sent on tasks elsewhere? Has Voldemort forbidden them to help the Malfoys? Or are the DEs as angry at Lucius’ failure as Voldemort is? By the beginning of Deathly Hallows, the group may have become functional again—but in Spinners End, it is not.

This lack of cohesion in the DE ranks offers Dumbledore and his people a chance to create their own plan. Dumbledore has been seriously wounded and, for all his skill, Snape has not been able to heal it (although the infection[?] has been contained). If they are aware from the beginning of the year that Dumbledore is dying, they can stage that death in such a way as to get whatever benefit they can from the great loss of the Headmaster, “the only one he ever feared.”

The first reading in this essay is more simple and probably more likely. But the second does sound like something JK Rowling would do.


"
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Reply #1: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: LoveLupin on July 09, 2007, 12:46:49 PM


Wonderful essay, Shewoman, truly wonderful. Spinner's End was my very favorite chapter in my very favorite book. I enjoyed reading your essay more than I've enjoyed reading anything since... well, since reading Spinner's End! Excellent essay. :notworthy:


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Reply #2: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: Shewoman on July 09, 2007, 01:26:24 PM

WOW, LoveLupin! High praise indeed! Thanks so much.
I'd been messing with it for a week or so and suddenly realized that if I was going to post it, it really should be now . . . .


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Reply #3: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: Serpentine on July 09, 2007, 02:47:22 PM

:applause: Wonderful analysis of a wonderful chapter, Shewoman! (Yes, it's my fave too.)

Just to add a few things that crossed my mind while reading:

1) As for Snape's claim that Harry was mediocre, there's yt another point that contradicts this, namely Harry's ability to resist the Imperius curse. Snape mentions this in his first Occlumency lesson and compares the two skills, saying that a similar skill is needed to use Occlumency. But if FakeMoody's class in GoF is any indication, that in turn seems to be a rare skill as well. (It'd be interesting to know how Snape found out about Harry's resistance to Imperius... theoretically he could have heard it mentioned in the staff room, but my guess would be that he learned about it during his belated graveyard visit. After his return he gives Harry an odd look from the staff table, which just might be a similar kind of respect at a new and unexpected ability as after the CoS Parseltongue revelation.)

2) Voldemort's task for Draco which he never succeeded at himself, "Winning at Ascot?" :spinny: Theoretically Dumbledore wouldn't have been the only option here, but Harry would have been a possibility as well. Dumbledore was "the only one he ever feared", but Harry was "the Chosen One" and "The Boy Who Lived (and dared to diminish His Dark Lordship to less than the meanest ghost)". Of course this option is moot now since by the end of HBP we know it was Dumbledore, but I do wonder at what point it was really certain who the victim was meant to be. Maybe only after the first, or the second, unsuccessful attempt to murder Dumbledore?

3) I've heard it suggested elsewhere that it must have been Dumbledore impersonating Snape at Spinner's End (because Snape would of course NEVER be so polite to offer his guests a drink, would never actually smile and, being a self-serving Slytherin, never accept the Vow for anyone's protection... :Smile ), but your idea to turn it around and have Snape act as Dumbledore in the following two chapters is a refreshing and new concept IMHO. Kudos for it! :thumbsup: It certainly has merit - as a means to enable him to meet Harry on a different level than the usual Hated Potions Master and Bratty Student interaction (foreshadowing for DH?), and the politely aggressive glasses of mead are certainly a rather Snapish touch... :evil: Am I remembering it correctly that "Dumbledore" was also just a tad less patient here than usual? Wink I'll have to re-read chapters 3 and 4 with your suggestion in mind. SnapLedore poking an overlarge "armchair", discussing Dragon's Blood and a forgotten fake Morsmordre sign over the house (how would Sluggy know to conjure one at all?) with his former Potions teacher and Slytherin Head of House, who is now "on the run from Voldemort and his DEs"... that has possibilities. :evil:

As for the comment about the prophecy and "the only ones who know it in full are here in this shed": I don't have the book handy, but did he mention that it was only the two of them? It has been remarked elsewhere hat Snape could have been present as well in that shed as a spider animagus. Since what begins in "Spinner's End" ends with Dumbledore's death on the tower, along with your suggestion it could have been Dumbledore then who was implied in that secret as a spider animagus present. Hermione did look the current Animagi up in PoA, but only from this 20th century, and 150-year-old Dumbledore was born in the 19th century (around 1840).

All in all, a worthy read, Shewoman. Congratulations for your essay! :applause:


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Reply #4: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: Shewoman on July 09, 2007, 08:33:31 PM

Serpentine, I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was fun to write--and we don't have much time left to write these essays before we have to say, "Of course, we know NOW that . . . ."

I thought I put the Imperius thing in! Well, no, I didn't. Thanks for mentioning it.

When I first read the chapter I thought the task must be to kill Dumbledore because Narcissa says, "But he won't succeed! How can he, when the Dark Lord himself--" and I mentally finished her sentence with "has never even tried!" He did in various ways make attempts on Harry's life--when Harry was 15 months old, and again as Quirrellmort in Book 1, and through Tom Jr's use of the Basilisk in CoS, and in person in the graveyard in GoF. So that just pointed me to Dumbledore. I also didn't think Cissy would be so terrified if Draco's target was a boy his own age. Plus, HOW many times have we heard characters say something along the lines of "As long as we've got Dumbledore, I'm not afraid"? They might as well have been nailing him into his coffin.

Wasn't it fun hearing and seeing Snape without the Filter? Aren't you tempted to rewrite the whole series this way? Of course he'd offer his guests refreshments--it's not like he's a Dursley! He always struck me as rather courtly in his treatment of McG (I don't mean anything romantic--just gentlemanly). I can't accept credit for the idea of Snape being Dumbledore; John Granger has suggested that throughout the HBP year the failing Dumbledore is played by Snape and Slughorn. I don't remember if he thought it started this early and I have OF COURSE lent the book out. "Dumbledore" was less patient in "Will and Won't," basically forcing himself into the Dursleys' house and living room when they clearly did not want him there.

Near the end of Chapter 4, "Dumbledore" says "There are only two people in the whole world who know the full contents of the prophecy made about you and Lord Voldemort, and they are both standing in this smelly, spidery broom shed."


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Reply #5: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: 23DuelsADay on July 09, 2007, 08:45:16 PM

OK, I'll admit, I'm not the biggest fan of the "everyone is really everyone else" theories (seems like old hat by now), but I really liked this essay. Heck, I'd been thinking of doing a Spinner's End essay, but this is probably better than whatever I'd write. Tongue

One thing to add: On the tower, assuming that Snape and Dumbledore are themselves the whole thing (ie. Snape took the Vow, he runns up to the tower), the part that really screws Snape is when Amycus says that Draco "appears unable" to kill Dumbledore. This is just a leeeeeettle to close to the Vow's wording for Snape's comfort, yeah? Wink


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Reply #6: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: severa78 on July 10, 2007, 04:11:38 AM

Great essay Shewoman!

I had never heard the idea that it was Snape impersonating Dumbledore at the Dursley's even though I find it hard to believe. For one thing, would Polyjuice Potion copy the hand injury as well? And.. would/could Dumbledore give Snape the ring Horcrux? It would be much more realistic if the ring was meant to never come off the injured hand and keep whatever curse was on it active, sounds like something Voldemort would do that parallels the potion.. acts slowly but inevitably, to give Voldemort time to track down the enemy and see him/her suffer a lot before the end. So I doubt Dumbledore could take it off and give it to a polyjuiced Snape (we know Polyjuice doesn't transform clothes or anything else).

Nevertheless the drink offering part was an interesting parallel I had never thought about. To me it just shows that Snape is a better person than Harry think he is, and that he has learned a lot form the Headmaster.

Also I would like to add a comment to the first part, point 9).
Snape says "I am pleased to say, however, that Dumbledore is growing old. The duel with the Dark Lord last month shook him. He has since sustained a serious injury because his reactions are slower than they once were.” (bold mine)
The injury he's referring to seems obviously the hand. He makes it sound as if it's an aftermath of the duel in the MoM.. or anyway the consequence of a sort of duel, pinning the cause of the injury to slow reflexes. We don't know what it took to destroy the Horcrux, but I doubt it envolved dueling with the ring, or that fast reflexes would have saved him from the curse.. Voldemort is way too good for such an easy solution. So Snape's cleverly hiding information mixing it with a part of truth. It's what he's been doing all along.. passing some minor information back and forth, twisting it to look like something else. That line alone should give it away once we learn of Snape's help in stopping the injury: he was spinning a tale to Bella.


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Reply #7: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: Shewoman on July 10, 2007, 09:13:05 AM

Thanks for your kind comments, 23 Duels. I don't see why you can't post something on Spinners End. Imagine if we had only one essay on Snape . . . .

You're quite right about Amycus' comoment. Hit us over the head, Jo!

Severa, Barty Jr's Polyjuice in GoF gave him all of Moody's scars and the magical eye.

If there is some kind of manipulation going on during HBP regarding Dumbledore, his health, and his death, he would have to cooperate. He trusts Professor Snape and I don't think he'd balk at giving him Marvolo's ring--although you raise an interesting point about the ring being intended to reinforce the Horcrux injury. But would someone deactivating a Horcrux put it on in the process? I wouldn't, although I might wear it as a trophy once the soul piece was gone.

And you're right, of course, about Snape spinning the tale of Dumbledore's injury to Bellatrix. If that was actually Dumbledore, I imagine he enjoyed that.

I do not mean to imply that we never actually see Dumbledore in the book. I think all the traveling in Chapters 3 and 4 might be a little much for him; I've wondered if perhaps he apparated to Slughorn's after "he" and Harry got there and hid in the bathroom, switching with Snape at that point and going with Harry to the Burrow. When D comes back from the bathroom, Sluggy points out that he was there for a long time. His speech after that sounds more like Dumbledore--and I'm not sure Snape would have been up to discussing Sirius with Harry.


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Reply #8: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: Silver Ink Pot on July 10, 2007, 10:33:11 AM

Bravo, Bravo - Shewoman, your essay is a joy to read! :applause:

I was laughing out loud during this "flourish" of you quill:


Quote

Narcissa cries and Snape looks away “from the sight of her tears as though they were indecent.” Perhaps they remind him of another mother weeping for her son. Eileen? Lily? Cissy’s categorization of the task as “vengeance for Lucius’ mistake” is additional proof that Draco is being asked to do something he may well not survive. Cissy’s next statement is “But he won’t succeed! How can he, when the Dark Lord himself—“ and Bella gasps. Trying to think of what the Dark Lord has never done . . . taking tea with the Queen? Winning at Ascot? Dating Winky? No; it's something so dangerous the perpetrator might well not survive. It had to be killing Dumbledore and there’s no way Snape didn’t reach that conclusion by then. He suggests that perhaps Voldemort intends him to finish the task Draco presumably won’t be able to complete. Narcissa breaks down. At this point Bella loses all hope of being named “Aunt of the Year” (“If I had sons, I would be glad to give them up to the service of the Dark Lord!”).

:spinny: :laughing3: :laughing6: :laughing9:

Chievrefueil always compares reading Spinner's End to eating candy, and that paragraph of analysis was an entire bar of Honeyduke's chocolate.

23Duels: Please - give us your own "spin" on Spinner's End! I'd love to read it! Big Grin



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Reply #9: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: 23DuelsADay on July 10, 2007, 07:12:56 PM

Argh, SIP, I've got fanfics to finish! By the time I'd get an essay done, DH would be out! (Add to that the fact all ou HP books are in boxes in the garage.... T_T)


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Reply #10: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: Silver Ink Pot on July 10, 2007, 11:10:09 PM

Doh - oh that's right - you are in a state of upheaval. I'm sorry, 23. I won't pressure you . . . until after you move! >Big Grin

I actually think it will be more fun to come back here and analyze Spinner's End again after DH! At least I assume it will be fun - I hope it will. Tongue


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Reply #11: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: 23DuelsADay on July 11, 2007, 12:17:46 AM

Should be. I mean, Snape! And Bellatrix!


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Reply #12: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: severa78 on July 11, 2007, 04:32:36 AM


Quote from: Shewoman on July 10, 2007, 09:13:05 AM

Severa, Barty Jr's Polyjuice in GoF gave him all of Moody's scars and the magical eye.

If there is some kind of manipulation going on during HBP regarding Dumbledore, his health, and his death, he would have to cooperate. He trusts Professor Snape and I don't think he'd balk at giving him Marvolo's ring--although you raise an interesting point about the ring being intended to reinforce the Horcrux injury. But would someone deactivating a Horcrux put it on in the process? I wouldn't, although I might wear it as a trophy once the soul piece was gone.

And you're right, of course, about Snape spinning the tale of Dumbledore's injury to Bellatrix. If that was actually Dumbledore, I imagine he enjoyed that.


Thanks Shewoman Smile

Are you sure Barty Junior got the magical eye through Polyjuice? I was under the impression that he took it from the real Moody locked up in the trunk. I don't have the book with me right now, so I might be wrong.. I remember the magical eye popping out of Barty's socket while was changing back to himself.. if it was part of the Potion magic wouldn't it change back to his normal eye?

Anyway, you make a fair point about not needing to put the ring on to destroy it but wear it as a trophy.. except that Dumbledore would try to keep the fact that he was tracking down and destroying Horcruxes very secret. Showing off the ring as a trophy seems to contrast this, so I'd rather think it was something he couldn't help. Harry doesn't notice the injured hand at once because it was partly hidden by the sleeve.. if he intended to parade it, and could take it off, wouldn't he be wearing it on the good hand?

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Reply #13: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: Shewoman on July 11, 2007, 08:34:12 AM

Severa, you're right about Crouch Jr. using Moody's fake eye. But Polyjuice must have gotten rid of CJ's own eye in order for him to be able to put Moody's in the socket. My point was that Polyjuice seems to have replicated Real Moody's body onto Fake Moody's. So I think it would do the same thing with Dumbledore's if someone drank Polyjuice with a piece of him in it.

I think the fake eye popped out when CJ was changing back to himself because his real eye was restored and pushed it out.


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Reply #14: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: severa78 on July 11, 2007, 08:40:05 AM


Quote from: Shewoman on July 11, 2007, 08:34:12 AM

Severa, you're right about Crouch Jr. using Moody's fake eye. But Polyjuice must have gotten rid of CJ's own eye in order for him to be able to put Moody's in the socket. My point was that Polyjuice seems to have replicated Real Moody's body onto Fake Moody's. So I think it would do the same thing with Dumbledore's if someone drank Polyjuice with a piece of him in it.

I think the fake eye popped out when CJ was changing back to himself because his real eye was restored and pushed it out.

:Doh!: silly me! The blackened hand would be copied.. of course. Sorry about that.. I'm a bit slow in the uptake. You're right of course. So the only point is wether the ring could come off. Good job!

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Reply #15: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: Serpentine on July 11, 2007, 10:23:10 AM

Just quickly tossing in that I think the ring did come off - don't remember where in HBP it was (during one of Harry's VoldyPast lessons, but which?), but at one point Harry saw the cracked ring lying on Dumbledore's desk. Might have been the scene in chapter 23 in which he explains about his "own predigious skill, and Professor Snape's timely action when I returned to Hogwarts, desperately injured" (quoting from an earlier message but don't have the book handy). But either way, I do remember that Dumbles said in that scene with the ring on the desk that he didn't wear it anymore because it wasn't necessary anymore - apparently implying that in chapter 4 he wore it just for Sluggy's benefit, not because it wouldn't come off.



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Reply #16: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: severa78 on July 13, 2007, 06:11:26 AM


Quote from: Serpentine on July 11, 2007, 10:23:10 AM

Just quickly tossing in that I think the ring did come off - don't remember where in HBP it was (during one of Harry's VoldyPast lessons, but which?), but at one point Harry saw the cracked ring lying on Dumbledore's desk. Might have been the scene in chapter 23 in which he explains about his "own predigious skill, and Professor Snape's timely action when I returned to Hogwarts, desperately injured" (quoting from an earlier message but don't have the book handy). But either way, I do remember that Dumbles said in that scene with the ring on the desk that he didn't wear it anymore because it wasn't necessary anymore - apparently implying that in chapter 4 he wore it just for Sluggy's benefit, not because it wouldn't come off.



You are right, Serpentine! Harry did see the ring on one of the tables in Dumbledore's office when he was leaving after the very first lesson. I just reread that and noticed.. good memory!

Well.. as such.. I now bow to Shewoman. I can think of nothing else to disprove her theory, so she's got me pretty convinced it could be. Very well thought out. And forgive me for playing devil's advocate for a while.. it was so much fun! >Big Grin

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Reply #17: Looking at Spinners End
Post by: Shewoman on July 13, 2007, 06:50:21 AM

Devil's Advocate is a very important role!

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David W. Offline
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RE: Looking at Spinner's End by Shewoman
Thanks for restoring all this.



« L'homme n'est qu'un roseau, le plus faible de la nature, mais c'est un roseau *pensant*. Il ne faut pas que l'univers entier s'arme pour l'écraser; une vapeur, une goutte d'eau suffit pour le tuer. Mais quand l'univers l'écraserait, l'homme serait encore plus noble que ce qui le tue, parce qu'il sait qu'il meurt et l'avantage que l'univers a sur lui; l'univers n'en sait rien. »

( “Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a *thinking* reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him: a vapour, a drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this.” )

— Blaise Pascal



“如果你此生有幸,可以得到他的一个承诺。”

( “If you are truly blessed in this life, you might get a promise out of him.” )

— Caption on a Severus Snape splash-page from MovieView magazine, issue #412

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Silver Ink Pot Offline
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RE: Looking at Spinner's End by Shewoman
(08-06-2012 10:21 AM)David W. Wrote:  Thanks for restoring all this.

Thanks to Ianus's archive! Big Grin

Also, the author index and subject index are mostly complete now.

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