Wendy (here_be_dragons) wrote,

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I wrote this last night and posted it to HP4GU, and I thought I'd post it here, as well. More for my own reference as anything - it's a pain to hunt through the list's message boards (what with Yahoomort and all), but sometimes I want to refer back to particularly fascinating, stimulating, and all-around-fantstic posts that I've written. LOL! Assuming I've ever written a post like that, which I surely haven't. However, I do think this one is a bit interesting, and as the subject will undoubtedly come up on the list again (and again and again and again), I thought I'd log it here (along with any particularly insightful reponses), for my future reference, and your present enjoyment. If you're on HP4GU, you may have already read it - there's nothing new. It's just a few ideas on why I like to read Snape as a Vampire.

So, if you're curious,

I wasn't planning on responding to this thread this time around, but
someone e-mailed me privately and asked for my take on the subject. In the
course of writing my response to her, I decided that some of my thoughts
are probably post-worthy, and since I'd already written the thing, I might
as well spruce it up a bit and post it to the list.

Some of my points have already been made admirably by K in another thread,
I think she and I are on pretty much the same page. But I'm also saying
some things that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere in this particular round
of the discussion. So, onward!

Okay. My take on Vampire!Snape. My answer to this is in two parts. I don't
think it's a bunch of hooey, but I'm also not certain that Snape will prove
to be a vampire in canon. I feel certain that JKR put in the clues
deliberately, but whether she meant them as clues or as red herrings, it's
difficult to say. There is just too much vampire imagery surrounding Snape
for it to be our imaginations. Oops. I slipped there, and I think that my
use of the word "our" has probably given my position away. ;-) But bear
with me, and you'll see why I'm personally in favour of it.

I won't go through and detail all the evidence (that's been done admirably
elsewhere), but IMO the big bit is the vampire essay that Lupin assigned,
seemingly in "retaliation" for Snape's werewolf essay. There are plenty of
smaller "clues" as well. Okay. So we've got clues. The question is this:
JKR is obviously clever at putting in her clues. But just how clever? Is
she trying to trick us, or trying to trick us into tricking us? (That makes
no sense, does it?) *G* I believe the vampire clues are intentional, which
means that she either A) put them in so that when we learn he's a vampire,
she can say, "look, it was there all along;" or B) she's put the clues in
to trick us into thinking he's a vampire, so she can say, "Gotcha!" with
something else when he turns out *not* to be. What's interesting to me is
that there are people who have analysed pretty much every tiny detail of
these books (anyone who has been following HP4GU for any length of time,
for example), and I don't think JKR ever expected that to happen. She knows
that it's happening now, and I do believe the popularity of these books may
have affected the way she wrote in her clues in OoP, and possibly even in
GoF. However, there were plenty of good vampire clues in PoA and PS/SS, and
I'm not sure she was trying to be quite so sneaky way back when. Sneaky,
yes. Knowing that every word she writes is going to be analysed 40,000
times, and trying to outsmart these obsessed readers? No. I don't believe
that she's changing the fundamental content or storyline because of the
popularity of the books, but I do think she's trying harder to be deceptive
with her clues and red herrings now that she knows just how closely people
are reading. Part of the fun (for her and for us) is the plot twists and
surprises, and it's obvious from interviews that she doesn't want that to
be spoiled. However, since this whole vampire thing appeared in the first
book, I think it's possible that she intended for the revelation that
Severus is a vampire to be a big bang later in the series, and she just
never thought so many of us would pick up on it, and find it so obvious.

Of course, I think there is also a good chance that it is a total red
herring, and she would laugh herself silly to find out just how much
discussion goes on about it.

That's the first part of my answer. Obviously, we don't yet know for
certain whether he's a vampire or not, but I think a good argument can be
made either way. And I certainly don't think we can safely say that JKR has
written this particular piece of her puzzle with the utmost deviousness,
because I just don't believe she realised from the start just how devious
she would need to be to outsmart us! :-)

Now, for the second part of my answer, which is why I choose to read Snape
as a vampire. Well, actually a half-vampire. The answer is: purely personal
preference, and nothing particularly to do with the actual canon. I do
think there is compelling canon for this. I also think it's equally valid
when people say they aren't compelled by the canon. But I have always been
fascinated with vampires, as long as I can remember. In general, I think
they're sexy, and the idea of Snape (who is already Dead Sexy in my book)
being a vampire just adds another layer of attraction to him for me. Bent?
Maybe. *G* But I'm not the only one! ;-)

Why Half-Vampire? Because I like to think he was born that way, and was
already vampiric as a Hogwarts' student. But in canon, we've seen him age,
so he couldn't have been just a pure vampire, or his age would remain
static (unless JKR decides to play with that, which could very well be the
case - more on this in a bit). I actually have a rather specific backstory
in my head for this: Snape's maternal grandmother was a pureblood
"aristocrat" who'd fallen on hard times, and so basically "sold" her
daughter (Snape's human mother) in marriage to Snape's vampire father.
That's delving into fanfiction, obviously, and there's no canon to support
it at all, although the canon we have about the abusive man and cowering
woman doesn't contradict it, either (although the fact that Snape's family
looks to have been poor would indicate that grandma made a poor choice if
she was trying to boost the family fortunes. I think Snape Sr. may have had
a nifty Addams Family style mansion, but no cash in Gringotts).

Now, this next bit is the other major thing I want to say. As soon as the
subject of Vampire!Snape comes up, there are tons of posts back and forth
about "but he can go out in daylight," and "What about the garlic in
Quirrell's turban," blah blah blah. Well, none of that matters. I think
this bears repeating. None. Of. That. Matters. Any inconsistencies with
what we *believe* to be "the truth about vampires" have *no relevance*
here, because JKR can make her vampires exactly the way she wants them to
be. (K also pointed this out in one of her posts). As long as they drink
blood, pretty much anything else goes. Vampire myths are wide-spread
throughout the world, and vary significantly in details from place to
place. For example, many vampire myths *don't* include any reference to the
vampire being unable to survive in sunlight. In fact *most* vampire myths
don't make reference to this trait. Arguably the most famous vampire of all
time, Stoker's "Dracula" was able to go around in daylight; he just had
reduced supernatural powers. So, the fact that Snape refereed that
Hufflepuff Quidditch game in daylight isn't a deal breaker. This also
applies to questions of "what the heck is a half-vampire, anyway?" If JKR
wants a half-vampire, she can write one. There is no one to stop her, and
there is no one "true vampire myth" to which she must remain faithful, so
any arguments that Snape doesn't follow existing vampire "conventions" just
flat out have NO VALIDITY WHATSOEVER. None. Nada. Zip. Zlich. Additionally,
JKR has given us precious little canon for what it means to be a vampire in
the Potterverse, and none of what she has given us contradicts anything we
know to be true about Snape. So, at this point there is simply no way to
"prove" that Snape either is or is not a vampire. It just can't be done,
not to my knowledge, anyhow. So how about we stop trying, eh? *G*

So, since I dig vampires in general, and the idea of a blood-sucking
Severus in particular, I choose to believe that the vampire clues in the
books are genuine. In fact, if, by the end of Book 7, JKR hasn't come out
and specifically mentioned that Snape is *not* a vampire, I will forever
believe him to be one, even if she never *confirms* this in the text.
Someone who really doesn't like the idea of Vampire!Snape can easily take
the opposite approach.There have been several people lately who've said
they don't like Vampire!Snape because it makes the character "too Goth." I
also remember arguments that Snape's snarkiness seems somehow diminished if
we find out later that he's nasty because he's a vampire, and there are
other arguments along these lines. Personally, I don't agree. HOWEVER, it's
important for me to note that *these* are all valid counter-arguments:
personal preferences for what it does to the storyline, or Snape's
characterisation, or whatever. Some people like to read Snape as a vampire;
others don't. That's cool. I think there's plenty of evidence in the text
to support the theory, and plenty of reasons for its detractors to believe
it's a red herring, and that for now it comes down *purely* to personal
preference. I get annoyed with people who post, "Snape can't possibly be a
vampire because blah blah blah." That's just not true. JKR can most
certainly make Snape a vampire if that's what she wants to do. We don't yet
know if she will, but there is absolutely nothing in the canon or anywhere
else that rules it out conclusively. We just don't have enough information.
So, to each his own, I say. I like to think of him that way. Those who
don't are certainly entitled to think of him the other way. Both sides have
equal validity at this point, because JKR hasn't come out and told us yet,
one way or the other. Maybe she never will, in which case we'll each get to
decide after the end how we prefer our Snape.

Tags: harry potter

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