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Reviews for Tobias and Severus

Vorona 2007.04.29 - 11:32PM 1: One-Shot Signed
This is interesting. I think we don't know much about that memory -- it's very short. My personal feeling is that it *wasn't* his father, and that it was actually one of his Prince relatives... perhaps berating Eileen for marrying a Muggleborn? But that's mere speculation -- I have no evidence. I do think that his early life was not pleasant and that in particular, his family wasn't all it could have been... but he seems more neglected than abused...

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. In a sense, I agree that Snapes early life was not always pleasant. However, there are many things other abuse or neglect that could account for that. There is enormous conflict between the ambition that landed him in Slytherin House and his background as poor and Half-Blood.

Anonymous 2007.04.01 - 10:42AM 1: One-Shot Anonymous
08-02-2007 00:24 Rated 10

There are some very valid points given here. We must all remember that we see Snape from Harry's point of view - like everything else. Also Dumbledore, Moody, Remus, Minerva, Hagrid and even Arthur seemed to have some trust in Snape throughout the books. It will be interesting to see what JK divulges in her final book. This article may just be proven correct.


Author's Response: Thanks for your review. I don't think Harry will ever get anything right about Snape until he learns not to hate him.

Anonymous 2007.04.01 - 10:41AM 1: One-Shot Anonymous
14-12-2006 23:49

Some nice deductive work here; I completely forgot about the matchbox. I agree with your conclusion, though I don't think we really have enough evidence for this position. Though I have always thought that those fics portraying Eileen as an abused wife don't ring true because she's a pureblood witch, and even though she condescended to marry a Muggle, I don't think she'd put up with that crap. And maybe that memory stands out in Severus' mind because it was unusual.


Author's Response: Thanks for the review. I'm so sorry I didn't get back to you sooner! I don't think that Eileen was a pure-blood, although that thinking definitely puts me in the minority.

ZahariaCelestina 2007.04.01 - 10:41AM 1: One-Shot Anonymous
12-11-2006 16:47

I think, like the others, that your points are interesting. However, no matter how much I agree with the fact that JKR loves to plant little clues here and there in more or less subtle ways, she also admitted that she is completely sloppy on certain details. She was once questioned on the number of students who attend Hogwarts, and she solved the matter quickly by, more or less, saying that she was not good with numbers anyway (and, clearly, did not care that much about it). She will also be quick in killing characters in order to make things fit her plot line (effortlessly, if you ask me); James' parents are a fine example to that. Building a rationale from the Bible is, in my humble opinion, risky, for we are not sure how religious JKR might be (or she made a statement that I did not read about, which is very possible as I tend not to read too many interviews with her).

So... though I agree that the "matchbox" statement might have been a clue, I'm not sure it was put there that intententionally to make us have doubts about Snape's blood status. Isn't it a common expression anyway? Wouldn't she have aimed at Snape's attitude and behavior to plant such clues instead? And couldn't Snape's insult to Lily simply be explained by the fact that he was already spending time with the "bad crowd" and was strongly influenced by it, being the loner teenager that he was and, maaaybe, already considering joining the DEs and overdoing the "must-show-contempt-and-hatred-for-Mudbloods"?

Lastly, about Snape's childhood... as a psychologist, I can't believe that, if his attitude is truly genuine and not acted (because he might be overdoing that, too, by acting that way towards Harry), he had a happy-cosy-normal one. It just runs too deep in his case. Whether or not he had a nice father-and-son relationship is not that central, but one must consider that stress or instability had to characterize his growth one way or the other. He clearly has self-esteem issues and it's obvious that he is anxious, not just stressed, and manages it poorly in certain instances.

I have seen, as a writer, readers make all kinds of exotic conclusions, links, assumptions and so on about the characters I created and the directions my plot was going. And I always made darn sure that the info I gave them was enough to spark interest and speculation, but not enough to really see what was coming next. JKR does the very same, I'm very sure, so I do have a few hypotheses about the book, but I also keep very much in mind that she probably made sure we would not be able to deduce the loose ends. All we can do is guess instinctively, and that, too, is biased, thanks to her! ;)

My two cents...

Author's Response: Thanks for the thoughtful review! I base my bible rationale not so much on religion as on the associations of the name. If you google "Tobias", the second site entry you get is that book of the bible. I'm not aware of any other associations the name would have. As for Snape's childhood being "happy-cosy-normal", I'm not actually saying that in this analysis. I'm just saying that the relationships in his immediate family were good. In my story, "The Highest Value," I postulate that Snape was dealing with issues of poverty, class prejudice and blood prejudice growing up. The first two or three chapters set the stage for what I'm talking about. I just don't locate the issues that have made Snape the way he is as an adult in his immediate family. Perhaps, though, you think that is where they have to have been? With his primary caregivers? Hmmm.

Reader's Response: Thanks for taking the time to reply! :) About the bible comment, I was more commenting on the fact that we don't know if JKR would look there for character name ideas. I think the fact an author takes his/her ideas from the Bible, the Coran or the city's phone book can be telling on the author, hence my doubts that the relationship between the Bible Tobias and the HP Tobias might be purely coincidental. JKR does not strike me as a pious Catholic...

As for Snape's environment when he was growing up, I do believe, like you, that he was not living in wealth. I do agree that he was the victim of quite a fair amout of discrimination, harrassment, bullying, and so on, for all kinds of reasons (didn't have beauty, didn't have an appealing personality, didn't have money, didn't have the right blood status, and so on). But the damages of these sources of stress could have been greatly tempered or buffered by a strong, loving and self-esteem boosting family (I'm everything but Freudian, so family is used as a general term here and applied all the way through one's development, including adulthood).

However, from what we know of Snape's temper as an adult, the stressors of his environment went right through and reached the right targets, leaving scars and wounds that run quite deep. Hence my conclusions that his familial environment was not able to "buffer" correctly. I think he's rather the type of guy who would believe he raised himself, learned life the hard way and doesn't need anyone.

Mummsy 2007.04.01 - 10:41AM 1: One-Shot Anonymous
31-10-2006 07:27 Rated 10

Wow - some one else who thinks as I do. I had picked up on the muggle blood line for Snape before HBP came out - why? - there is no mention of family Snape on the Black's family tree, which given the heavy hints about pureblood families intermarrying seemed rather strange. Once I had realised that, then the rest became obvious. There is other stuff that I have considered which at present does not agree with accepted canon, but I feel sure will in the fullness of time come out.

Author's Response: Thanks for the review. Glad you like it. Have you taken a look at "The Highest Value?" I'd be interested in hearing some of that other stuff.

Reader's Response: Some of the other stuff that I feel will emerge is that Snape was 'groomed' by Tom Riddle (not co-incidence that his mum was in school at the same time as Riddle) to be his 'Half-Blood Prince'. In such a position, it would explain Snape's confidence in his reception from Voldemort. That is a meeting we have not had the priviledge of seeing - yet. I will read 'The Highest Value' - thanks for the response.

Paige 2007.04.01 - 10:40AM 1: One-Shot Anonymous
30-10-2006 09:36

I just wanted to say that I find your points very interesting. Though it's likely no one will believe me now that Snape's heritage is confirmed, I had always believed him to be a Half-Blood, based on interviews with JKR and her tendency to distract the reader with slyly worded truths. Still, I'm not sure I'm entirely inclined to believe that Snape's homelife was indeed a happy one. The points you make are food for thought, and will probably trigger many internal debates as I read through each book and interview again. Cheers!

Author's Response: Thanks for your review. I'm glad I gave you food for thought!

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