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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2008 :  15:28:07  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn
What did bug me - a LOT - was the reason DD gave to Snape when he asked Snape to kill him. I expected something along the lines of, "You need to save Draco..." or "You need to convince Voldemort that you are his most trusted servant..." These would have been important goals worthy of Snape's sacrifice. But for DD to ask Snape to throw his life away simply to provide DD with an easier death... talk about cowardly and selfish. I wanted to slap DD for that.

Interesting point, Theo. I have avoided rereading DH so I had forgotten that an easier death was the reason given. It's not very IC with DD's characterization before DH--the whole "death is the next great adventure." We know that those other things had to have been considered, but it is rather strange that DD picked that particular reason. It lends credence to the view that Snape was actually a very emotional guy who worked hard to button them up so they didn't get away from him, rather than the logical, thinking machine often portrayed in fanfic.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2008 :  12:16:35  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Snape was definitely a passionate fellow, ruled by emotion, but that still doesn't really explain DD's request. Surely, appealing to Snape on Draco and Harry's behalf would have been at least as effective at tugging Snape's emotions. So yes, asking Snape to kill him to spare him pain seems very OC and, honestly, I'm beginning to think that sometimes DD lied just for the sake of lying, as if that was simply his default response. Instead of revealing that he desperately needed Snape to save Draco and help Harry, he chose to deflect Snape from that truth by claiming that he didn't want to die a painful death. Bizarre as that seems, I can see DD's mind working this way. Lying was so engrained in him. And I'd actually rather think that he was lying than that he was being sincere.

Because DD wasn’t a coward. If he had been; if I could believe that he was truly afraid, then I could forgive him. But, his actions in the cave (which chronologically came after his appeal to Snape) prove that he was perfectly willing to endure the worst for a good cause. He cared next to nothing for his own suffering. Are we to believe that he cared even less for Snape? If DD’s main reason for wanting Snape to kill him was to avoid suffering, then he truly did care nothing for the man. Personally, I prefer DD as a compulsive liar rather than as someone who could have such utter disregard for an ally.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 02/06/2008 12:25:26
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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2008 :  14:27:06  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Theowyn
Personally, I prefer DD as a compulsive liar rather than as someone who could have such utter disregard for an ally.


Unlike Pesky, I am not happy to have had my view of DD downgraded, and I really don't want to think of him as a compulsive liar, Theo. But if we "play the game" and assume that Rowling consciously wrote his characterization in these moments, you may be right. He certainly "lied" to Harry in PS/SS when he told him Snape's motivations for saving Harry. Which makes the statement "I will not, of course, lie to you" another compulsive lie.

Not "playing the game", I think Rowling changed her mind on certain plot points and didn't always think through the ramifications of what characters said when she put words in their mouths. Yes, she knows her characters, but worrying about a painful death when you're asking someone to split their soul really doesn't jive with numerous other DD statements throughout the series.

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n/a
deleted

1483 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2008 :  16:31:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Keep in mind that while Rowling was framing the overall plot in her mind, she lost her own mother to a terrible extended illness. After that experience, she may well have believed that saving a beloved character from such a painful death was a completely conscionable, if not noble act. I think this element of intent is how she justifies that Snape's soul would not be terribly damaged by the killing, at least not nearly so much as Draco's, if Draco was killing in cold blood.

However, I agree with sunsethill that within the context of the rest of the story, this idea doesn't quite work, or at least it doesn't work nearly as well as Rowling thought it would. This is another one of those things she just expected us all to know and understand as she does, but she may have misjudged how it all would read from the "outside." (Similar to her treatment of the characters of James and Lily Potter.) To me, Dumbledore's request is but one of the many out-of-character moments and contrivances that were necessary to put the whole "grand plan" into motion. As a result of those inconsistencies, what Rowling thought was a brilliant plot piece left me feeling very cold and not a little bit jerked around.

I have not re-read HBP since DH was released. I've been putting it off, actually. I had thought HBP was such a well-written and enjoyable book, but now I'm afraid that knowng the contrived background plot will diminish my enjoyment. The book has already lost some credibility in my mind.

*sigh* I don't mean to sound so negative. I actually recently re-read DH and enjoyed it much more than in July. I think the book reads much better when taken over a ten- or twelve-day period, with digestion time built in, than when read all in one or two nights. But I think that Rowling, like Dumlbledore, worked a little too hard at being clever and not hard enough at being genuine. She liked the power she held over us, and sometimes deliberately miseld us and played with our emotions, all for the sake of her "surprise" twist at the end. Personally, I'd have rather had less sensationalism and more moral fortitude. But I still enjoyed the book very much ... I simply accept some of the ideas as hers and not particularly mine.

Edited by - n/a on 02/06/2008 17:19:30
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sunsethill
Confunded

USA
653 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2008 :  11:47:06  Show Profile  Visit sunsethill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Pesky Pixie

Keep in mind that while Rowling was framing the overall plot in her mind, she lost her own mother to a terrible extended illness. After that experience, she may well have believed that saving a beloved character from such a painful death was a completely conscionable, if not noble act. I think this element of intent is how she justifies that Snape's soul would not be terribly damaged by the killing, at least not nearly so much as Draco's, if Draco was killing in cold blood.


Interesting point, Pesky. I do know that her mother's death hit her quite hard and have even seen other people speculate that since she has not really come to terms with it herself, it colored how she was able to deal with that strong theme in the books.

quote:
This is another one of those things she just expected us all to know and understand as she does, but she may have misjudged how it all would read from the "outside." (Similar to her treatment of the characters of James and Lily Potter.)
Yes, she does seem to suppose that just because SHE feels a particular way about something, she does not need to be careful to write the story in a way that WE feel that way. I was amazed at how she treated James and Lily in the story. Sheesh, James died without firing a shot--how useless does that make him? And he attacked Snape AFTER Sirius had almost killed him in the Shrieking Shack! I know y'all here would argue that Snape could be just as nasty, but when it comes to what we SEE of their teenage interactions, that is certainly not SHOWN. And then Rowling wonders why people don't view James as the hero she believes him to be.

quote:
I actually recently re-read DH and enjoyed it much more than in July. I think the book reads much better when taken over a ten- or twelve-day period, with digestion time built in, than when read all in one or two nights. But I think that Rowling, like Dumlbledore, worked a little too hard at being clever and not hard enough at being genuine. She liked the power she held over us, and sometimes deliberately miseld us and played with our emotions, all for the sake of her "surprise" twist at the end. Personally, I'd have rather had less sensationalism and more moral fortitude.
Your experience of liking the book better on a slow reread is encouraging. I may give it a try since there were parts that I liked the first time around. But I think you really hit the nail on the head, Pesky, when you say she wanted to "surprise" us too much. And this led to a lot of the problems with her characterization. By trying to trick us, she ended up being dishonest with us. And the final book lacked the emotional impact it should have had because of that.

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Theowyn
Looney

1078 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2008 :  15:01:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I doubt that I will ever read DH again. The plot contrivances really do ruin it for me, though I know that's not true for everyone. I think HBP still holds up well, however, and I even find it more interesting in light of DD's true character. He was the grand manipulator from the very beginning of the book: the way he used Harry to get Slughorn to return to Hogwarts and again to get the memory of Riddle. And he never needed to show Harry all those memories. He could have explained everything to Harry about Riddle and the horcruxes in an afternoon and Harry would have believed every word. But he knew that he needed to draw Harry in, make him feel involved and needed. DD was very, very good at what he did.

quote:
Not "playing the game", I think Rowling changed her mind on certain plot points and didn't always think through the ramifications of what characters said when she put words in their mouths. Yes, she knows her characters, but worrying about a painful death when you're asking someone to split their soul really doesn't jive with numerous other DD statements throughout the series.
Yes, I'm convinced that you're right. Rowling clearly didn't believe DD to be as dark as she wrote him to be.

quote:
quote:
This is another one of those things she just expected us all to know and understand as she does, but she may have misjudged how it all would read from the "outside." (Similar to her treatment of the characters of James and Lily Potter.)
Yes, she does seem to suppose that just because SHE feels a particular way about something, she does not need to be careful to write the story in a way that WE feel that way. I was amazed at how she treated James and Lily in the story. Sheesh, James died without firing a shot--how useless does that make him? And he attacked Snape AFTER Sirius had almost killed him in the Shrieking Shack! I know y'all here would argue that Snape could be just as nasty, but when it comes to what we SEE of their teenage interactions, that is certainly not SHOWN. And then Rowling wonders why people don't view James as the hero she believes him to be.
I was stunned at Rowling's treatment of James. To have him die without firing a shot - what was the point of that?! It made no sense within the story or in the way she clearly views James as a hero. And it's one more inconsistency since I'm sure I remember Quirrelmort telling Harry in PS that his father fought bravely. With what, his bare hands?

Teenage Snape is another great example. He didn't come across as anywhere near bad enough. When Lily has to berate him for what his friends are doing, then clearly he isn't doing anything awful himself. He was fascinated by the Dark Arts, hung with a bad crowd and used a foul name for Muggle-borns. In other words, he was a posturing teenage male who thought that being a dark wizard would make him cool. Stupid, but hardly worthy of being sent to face a werewolf or pants in front of half the school by James and Sirius.

Whatever Rowling had in her head regarding these boys, it simply didn't come across in her writing and she really would have benefitted from an editor willing to tell her so.

quote:
quote:
I think that Rowling, like Dumlbledore, worked a little too hard at being clever and not hard enough at being genuine. She liked the power she held over us, and sometimes deliberately miseld us and played with our emotions, all for the sake of her "surprise" twist at the end. Personally, I'd have rather had less sensationalism and more moral fortitude.
I think you really hit the nail on the head, Pesky, when you say she wanted to "surprise" us too much. And this led to a lot of the problems with her characterization. By trying to trick us, she ended up being dishonest with us. And the final book lacked the emotional impact it should have had because of that.
Agreed, Rowling is quite unique. Most authors, even best-sellers, don't interact with their readers on anything like the scale that she has and I do think that she got a bit carried away with the adoring crowds hanging on her every word. Who wouldn't? But this puts her in the position of having not only her work criticized, but her own behavior as well - and she is very like Dumbledore.

The line you point out as being untrue, SH, "I will not, of course, lie to you" is very like something JKR once said - that she would mislead us, but never trick us. And yet, in the end she did just that and this is one of the cardinal sins an author should avoid. I know that many people will argue that it's her story so she can write whatever she wants, but there are limits to authorial license. I'm not talking about the general plot. The over-arching story is indeed the author's and it's not up for a vote. If the author chooses to kill off everyone's favorite character, fans can mourn or get angry, but they can't say that it's wrong.

But when we look at how an author tells their story, there's a great deal that we can objectively judge to be right or wrong. Would we read some dreadful, Mary Sue fanfic and say, "Well, the author can write whatever they like, so it's great!"? Of course not. We'd rip it to shreds. An author has a duty to her characters, her story, her readers and the craft of writing itself. Characters must be real and stay in character; events and actions must be believable and logically consistent; the author can't resort to contrivances that would earn a student in a freshman creative writing course a scathing rebuke from their professor. And an author can't lie.

Rowling made all of these mistakes in DH. She was too enamoured of her "surprise" ending and when it became apparent that everyone had figured it out, I don't think she was happy at all. I think this disappointment led her to lie and affected her writing of DH, causing her to emphasize the new bits we didn't know about while all but ignoring long-standing plot threads that needed resolution. It often felt as though she thought, "Well, they've already worked that out, so why bother spending time writing about it." It almost seems that Rowling lost track of her real purpose and was more focused on surprising her fans than telling her story to its fullest.

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Edited by - Theowyn on 02/07/2008 15:17:27
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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 04/24/2008 :  02:26:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Since I've had a nice day and a nice Snog with Harry over on the Kissing Game thread, I thought I'd wander in here for a pint.

Yes, I know - it's been somewhat deserted since we got infiltrated by Snape-lovers but we've aired it out for a bit now and the place is back. Nice gleaming bar, lovely red squashy leather chairs... big honking greasy nose to aim for in the center of the dartboard. There's really nothing like the S.I.N.U.S. thread for a pleasurable evening.

Slushy? Make mine a double please! And a nice fresh set of extra-pointy darts to throw. Thanks ever so much.


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.

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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2008 :  01:09:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sigh.

The place is deserted. The village is a shadow of its former self. The SINUS club is a lonely spot.

BUT.. to look on the bright side, it's very peaceful here. And since I never seem to be able to set even the smallest section of my own house aside for my own "space", I might was well enjoy this.

*ZZZZZZZZap* (creates a new side room with lots of windows, all of which look out on beautiful rain-soaked scenery)
Let's see.. nice calm soft rugs. Yoga mats. No Yoga music.. ick. How about some Dire Straits? Excellent.
Now.. some herbal tea.. and cookies.

Lovely.

If anyone comes by, looking for a nice game of Snape darts, I'll be in the meditation room, stretching.


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.


Edited by - AMC on 07/20/2008 01:10:43
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Starling
Confunded

United Kingdom
701 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2008 :  13:22:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey, I can see rain-soaked scenery out of my own windows, thankyouverymuch!

I wuv multicoloured werewolf puppies.
"When Mister Safety Catch Is Not On, Mister Crossbow Is Not Your Friend."
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Starling
Confunded

United Kingdom
701 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2008 :  13:45:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok, it's not scenery, it's another row of houses. A bit like Snape's abode. A lot like Snape's abode, actually.

I wuv multicoloured werewolf puppies.
"When Mister Safety Catch Is Not On, Mister Crossbow Is Not Your Friend."
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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2008 :  16:20:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Any elf-made wine to share with us, Martje? Or rat-like house boarders? Not that I want to share in any of those, you can keep them if you've got them. Just wondering exactly how Snape-like your abode really is.

The scenery out my windows is almost always sun-drenched. Believe it or not, I long for rain.... And fog and wind. I live in the WRONG place.


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.


Edited by - AMC on 07/20/2008 16:22:01
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Bee
Mediwizard

846 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2008 :  17:11:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You can swap with me if you like, AMC. All the rain you could wish for, and then some.

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AMC
Mediwizard

1710 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2008 :  01:33:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would swap with you in a minute, Bee - it's been so long since I've had my fill of rain, I think I'd even be willing to stay swapped for a while.


And I love you, I love you, I love you.
Like never before, like never before.

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