A Certain Lack of Focus

Friday, May 16, 2008

Muggle Musings (kinda sad, I know)

I was re-reading the Harry Potter series the other day, I think thats third time or so I've read the final book (I've read the others more obviously). Whenever you reread something you tend to notice things that you missed the first (and second) time around, and I'm certainly picking up on mistakes that I managed to miss in the first place.

That's not to say I didn't find lapses in logic in my first reading, but most of the big ones, the obvious ones, were explained away. Snape's character for example always seemed a bit flat to me; in spite of the fact that I never believed he was a "bad guy" he was a little too conveniently and consistently nasty. The more times I read it though, particularly the final book, the more whole a character he seems.

He's not perfect mind you, there are still huge gaps, and I still feel like there was some scrabbling going on in the final book to explain how he could possibly be a good guy. I can accept that he hates Harry on site, the fact that he looks so much like his father is explanation enough for that, but why is he such a jerk towards everyone else? Aside from rivalries, he actually seems to get along well with Minerva McGonagall and the other professors, which would seem unlikely if he were so obviously wretched to everyone not in his own house. I think he starts to redeem himself in book five, when he seems to be more pretending to be cruel, but there's a big gap between "I see no difference" comment when Hermione's teeth grew all over the place and his suggestion that Crabb (or was it Goyle?) not choke Neville to death in order to avoid tedious paperwork. I've gotta wonder if in book four Rowling was really sure what she was going to do with Snape, because it seems like he could have been just as mean in less obvious ways, without giving away his uncertain status in Harry's eyes.

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