Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

ChrisHallquist comments on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 22, chapter 93 - Less Wrong

5 Post author: daenerys 06 July 2013 03:02AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (351)

You are viewing a single comment's thread.

Comment author: ChrisHallquist 06 July 2013 07:51:08PM 21 points [-]

Prediction: Snape will end up playing a crucial role in the climax of the story, similar to canon but even more satisfying. Evidence:

  1. I forget where, but at some point Dumbledore tells Harry that Snape is one of his most valuable allies.
  2. The most Snape-centric chapter is called "sunk costs." Notice that this is the name of a fallacy. Snape thinks his life is an unfixable wreck, but he is wrong, and good story telling demands that this be revealed in a suitably moving fashion.
Comment author: Spurlock 07 July 2013 02:29:58AM *  14 points [-]

I believe Snape's "Sunk Costs" hangup is also alluded to in Ch 91:

"Do you intend to declare that your life is now a ruin and that there is nothing left for you but vengeance?"

"No. I still have -" The boy cut himself off.

"Then there is very little advice that I can give you," said Severus Snape.

Comment author: gjm 06 July 2013 10:59:00PM 6 points [-]

at some point Dumbledore tells Harry that Snape is one of his most valuable allies.

I can't help suspecting that what you're actually thinking of is this:

My beloved son:

I would say that you have been so fortunate as to meet someone who enjoys the intimate confidence of our friend and valuable ally, Severus Snape.

in chapter 7, which of course was written not by Dumbledore but by Lucius Malfoy.

Comment author: drethelin 06 July 2013 11:29:55PM 7 points [-]

Snape is in a perfect position to cleave together the cleft worlds of wizardry. If he can convince Malfoy that not Dumbledore but Voldemort threatened the life of his son, he can make these old enemies into allies against voldemort.

Comment author: ikrase 07 July 2013 02:47:51AM 3 points [-]

Snape is also the most Muggle-aware main character.

Comment author: Rukifellth 07 July 2013 03:49:59AM 1 point [-]

I'm rather curious about Snape's magical power. Is he considered the "Bellatrix Black" of the Light?

Comment author: hairyfigment 07 July 2013 06:50:21AM 0 points [-]

By who? The Purebloods who see him as an ally aren't afraid of him. But yes, in Hogwarts - see Eliezer's response here. I don't know how Snape compares to artifact-holder Moody (who seems more likely to scare Death Eaters). Severus outranks dueling champion Flitwick in power (according to the reference in that thread) but Moody would tell you not to trust duels as a measure of combat readiness.

Comment author: ChrisHallquist 06 July 2013 11:27:06PM *  1 point [-]

When I wrote my comment, I went looking for the passage I was thinking of, and found the one you quote instead. But I could have sworn there was a later passage where Dumbledore tells Harry essentially the same thing.

I'd put more weight in Dumbledore's claim, as we see Snape helping Dumbledore/Harry extensively, and all of his actions seem to have the best of intentions. (Also, Eliezer does not seem to have tampered with canon allegiances much.)

EDIT: Upon looking through the HPMOR archives, I think I may have been thinking of chapter 18, where Dumbledore says that Snape has his fullest confidence. Other useful information on Methods!Snape's loyalties are to be found in chs. 77 and 86. I feel like there may be some other relevant chapter here, like after Dumbledore had more fully taken Harry into his confidence, but not in a discussion with Snape or McGonagall present.

Comment author: gjm 07 July 2013 12:13:29AM 1 point [-]

I agree: in HPMOR as in canon, Snape appears to be on the whole one of the Good Guys, and it seems likely that he has more to do.

Comment author: William_Quixote 06 July 2013 09:06:53PM 2 points [-]

2 is very interesting. Nice job noticing that detail on sunk costs