strange_complex: (Snape by JKR)
On Monday night, I finished reading Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban. I had a couple of questions in mind when I started reading this book. One, about how Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban, was quickly and easily answered. The other was already bigger when I first asked it. It hasn't been completely resolved by reading the book, but I now have further thoughts on the issue, so here I shall record them.

The question was whether or not a narrowing of Alan Rickman's eyes during the 'Shrieking Shack scene' in the film was consciously supposed to represent Snape using legilimency to discover Sirius Black's innocence, but still persisting in trying to get him Kissed by the Dementors anyway. Or, as [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat put it so nicely, I wanted to know whether Snape was 'the man who knows Sirius is innocent and wants him Kissed anyway.'

The short answer is that I could not find anything in the equivalent scene in the book which indicated that Snape was using legilimency at this point. The long answer, is, well, a lot longer. In essence, I now think that for Snape not to use legilimency at this point in the story is almost as bad as using it and then ignoring the information it yields.

For more details, follow these cuts:

The nature and extent of Snape's legilimency )

Lupin the legilimens )

Snape's agenda: self-delusion, or something worse? )

Last but not least, the Dumbledore factor )

My conclusion to all this? Well, canon Snape is not very nice, is he? I'm increasingly finding that I want to distinguish pretty sharply between Rickman-Snape and book-Snape. And while the first is troubled but sexy, the second is really very difficult to like.

Now, I am going to bed to start Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

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