Ok so I’ve seen a lot of posts lately about James Potter’s patronus vs Snape’s patronus. People have been talking about how since James’s is a stag, he complements Lily, and it means he loves her, while Snape’s doe shows his obsession with her. (Obviously since Lily’s patronus is a doe) And there’s been talk about how “love is different than obsession and this is why Snape didn’t *really* love her, and that’s why she would always have chosen James blah blah.”
I’m not arguing the fact that she would’ve always chosen James. James and Lily have complementary patronuses. Lily is a doe, and James is a stag. Their patronuses were not influenced by each other, but they are a pair because they themselves fit as a pair. Their personalities and experiences make them alike and compatible.
But Snape having the same patronus as Lily doesn’t make him obsessed with her.
Expecto Patronum literally translates to “I await a guardian.”
A patronus takes the form of an animal, and the charm becomes semi-sentient, seemingly with a mind of its own.
The Patronus is a protector against dementors, which take good memories and leave only bad ones.
What form a person’s patronus takes is dependent on their personality, their experiences, and their good and bad memories.
Harry’s patronus is a stag, like his father’s. THAT IS PIVOTAL BECAUSE IT IS STRESSED THAT HARRY’S PATRONUS IS **THE SAME AS HIS FATHER’S.**
Throughout his years at Hogwarts, Harry uses the idea of his father as a shield and almost like a security blanket. He decides to die on his feet, *like his father.*
He plays Quidditch, *like his father.*
He looks like his father. He “struts” like his father.
The idea of his father as a hero he can emulate gives him strength.
And Harry is very like his father. But he is also an individual, with a very different personality, and very different experiences.
Harry’s patronus isn’t a stag.
Harry’s patronus is his father.
His father is the guardian that he holds and the ideal and role model that he expects to see him through dark times.
When saving Sirius from the dementor’s kiss, his intention is to protect an innocent man, and his godfather, but more importantly his dad’s best friend. He draws on James and what he knows of him, and his patronus takes the form of a stag…
Not because he’s so like his father that they have the same patronus, but because James is Harry’s patronus.
That established, Snape’s patronus is a doe for similar reasons. Snape loved Lily. He was influenced by her. She was his happy memory. In dark times, Snape held on to the thought of Lily, as is apparent from his years of bitterness risking his life and protecting her son.
When Snape casts a patronus in the astronomy tower, Dumbledore asks, “Lily? After all this time?”
Snape’s patronus isn’t a doe because he’s obsessed with Lily.
His patronus *is* Lily. Lily is his unwitting guardian against the dark, just as James is for Harry.
Snape’s patronus may take the form of a doe, just as Harry’s patronus takes the form of a stag, but their patronuses are Lily and James.
And I don’t mean that the souls of Lily and James are chilling out around town to pop up and save Snape and Harry from dementors when the need arises, but the essence of Lily and James, the memory of them, the idea of them, the comfort they bring, are the patronuses. Snape’s patronus looks like a doe because Lily’s patronus is a doe and Snape’s patronus is Lily redeeming him. Harry’s patronus looks like a stag because James’s patronus was a stag and Harry’s patronus is his father protecting him.
Snape’s patronus being a doe doesn’t mean he’s obsessed with her. He loves her. His patronus is a doe because he sees Lily as his protector and his guardian, as he did in school, and as he “always” will.
Harry looked over at Hermione and the question he had been about to ask died in his throat. Hermione was watching Ron fret over the fate of the Cattermoles, and there was such tenderness in her expression that Harry felt almost as if he had surprised her in the act of kissing him.
forest fires - axel flóvent|I’ll be there in the summer, ‘cause your heart isn’t safe, you won’t go, you are not a runner, so you won’t run away, if you could follow your heart gently, there wouldn’t be this mess, maybe someday, just someday you’ll find a way back
→ From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe. She landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
So, I hit 1k a little while ago and in addition to being very confused, I’m extremely grateful! Thank you so much, I seriously adore every single one of you and I honestly can’t believe I’ve made it this far. This is my first time doing one of these and I’m a huge mess, so sorry if I made any mistakes! Thanks again, you guys are seriously awesome.
when i first started this blog, it was nothing more than to reblog posts of harry potter because my trash self fell in love with a story about a boy who sought nothing short of love and friendship and family. so thank you guys so much, i couldn’t have asked for better people to share our love for harry potter with and so i decided to do my first follow forever. and if you’re ever feeling down, just remember that the deathly hallows book is dedicated to you, if you have stuck with harry until the very end.
if i made any mistakes pls tell me, i know i’m a mess.