Against the Grain

Slightly more than just jibba jabba

Lily Evans Potter, continued.

Posted by Patrick on 25 Feb 2007

My initial post on Lily, presented more as a connection with Snape.

On 12 October 1999, JK Rowling did an interview with WBUR, and this question was asked about Lily. Her answer is quite unsurprising now that book 6 is published and book 7 is in its final editing, but read it completely and rather slowly.

Hi, I really like the books and we already learned a lot about Harry’s father and I was wondering ‘Are we going to learn a lot about his mother?’
JKR: Yeah, you will. It’s —- yet again —- you won’t find out —- OK, in Book 3 you’re absolutely right. You find out a lot about Harry’s father. Now the important thing about Harry’s mother, the really, really significant thing, you’re going to find out in 2 parts. You’ll find out a lot more about her in Book 5, or you’ll find out something very significant about her in Book 5, then you’ll find out something incredibly important about her in Book 7. But I can’t tell you what those things are so I’m sorry, but yes, you will find out more about her because both of them are very important in what Harry ends up having to do.

Yes, it’s subtle isn’t it. What we learn about Lily in book 5 and what we find as significant about Lily in book 7 both play a very important part in what Harry ends up having to do…. let’s dwell on this for a few minutes. At the time of this interview, I believe only the first 3 books were published. It’s reasonable to blow this off as a cover for Harry’s apparent course of action at the end of book 6. I don’t like to lay spoiler unnecessarily, so as long as you’ve read the first 5 books. If you haven’t read OotP, you may want to stop reading this article now and revisit it later.

But, the question for me is, what did we actually learn about Lily in book 5? Better stated, what is the one thing we learned about Lily in book 5 which drives home as critically important in book 7? Let’s recant the mentions of Lily in OotP:

  1. When Harry is being picked up from the Dursleys, one wizard restates, “Lily’s eyes”
  2. In Ch. 28, we see Snapes Worst Memory that involves her defending him, only to be called a mudblood in return
  3. In Ch. 29, Harry recants his seeing of this memory to Sirius and Lupin, and they both reiterate the importance of Occlumency lessons

So, clearly Lily’s mentions in book 5 are limited at best. We have to go on about it knowing that we learn something in seeing Snape’s worst memory. In detail, we see Lily defending Severus, and threatening James to release him from curse/hex things that he is throwing around. We also see Lily biting James’ head off when he offers to let Snape go if she goes out with him. Clearly this happened in their 7th year, we find out in the following chapter. And we see Lily beside herself when Snape calls her a mudblood and she storms away after insulting James a final time. This is pretty much the extent of it, I believe. (Incidentally, we also get a glimpse of Snape’s sectumsempra curse during this scene, but it isn’t known until the end of book 6 that this is how Snape cut James’ face)

I’ll draw a conclusion here that JKR wants us to see that Lily was in defense of Snape during their 5th year. We also need to remember that Snape exercises deep regret for having called Lily a mudblood. Surely he had been hexed many times by James, but it has to have been Lily’s presence and his insult to her which set this one time apart from the others.

As I said in my previous post, we are browbeaten about Harry having Lily’s eyes. What are eyes good for in the world of magic?

  • good eye contact required for spellcasting
  • required for occlumency

I am of the belief that Occlumency is the reason. We hear oh-so-very-briefly about the 2-way mirror Harry gets from Sirius, with notes that it’s important in the last book. My theory — Harry gets the pair of the mirror behind the veil somehow and is able to communicate with some people who have already passed on.

Snape plays a role in what happens. It may even come to pass that Harry and Snape have to do something together, or that Lily’s influence over Snape through Harry causes some major significant action to take place that shifts the mood in the entire story from good to better or from bad to worse.


9 Responses to “Lily Evans Potter, continued.”

  1. leslie r said

    I also believed that Snape was in love with Lily. You have some very good points that I never even considered. Like the fact that Lily was possibly being taught potions by Snape. Or it could be that Lily was a natural and that was what brought Snape and her together. Regardless, I believed that the importance of Harry having Lily’s eyes was what makes Snape hate him so much.
    Snape is always making a point of saying how very much like James he is, but it’s probably the most important thing about Harry (his eyes) that remind Snape of Lily.

  2. ANITA said

    I’ve been scanning every page of every book in an effort to crack the ending. I am usually very good at this sort of thing. I’m one of those people who guesses the end of a story right off the bat. proably years of scriptwriting. I saw an interview with the boy who wrote abook about the series on FOX channel and his comment that, “JK R has put everything we need to know to work out the enddng in the books so far”, that was it…. i had to try to crack it. I have a therory… ps – excuse spelling and grammer – or lack there of – as im at work and shouldnt be doing this right now so am typing flat stick! okay… i am absolutely convinced that my idea is right… and i beleive i can back it up completely with info found in the books. Here it is.. ” Snape is Lily ” Now i know this is really weird but i truly beleive im right….i’ll quickly list some of the clues and see what you think….. my daughter-an absolute loyal fan, thinks im nuts! okay.. here goes… now im just gonna throw them down…you can put them all together…. lily was great at potions- “even better than you snape” slughorn said…..lily’s other specialty – trnasfigaration… snape protects harry – thats obvious – snape was in love with lily….even vold. said in the graveyard scene when talking about his death eaters that hadn’t returned….the one with the hook nose that loves muggles – (or mudbloods…not sure without checking) alluding to snape lovong lily….therory when owrmtail told vold where james and lily were…snape then a death eater heard this and what volds was gonna do and rushed to get theri first warn them and swapped himself(sacrificed-this would still count as the love counter curse protection thing) proably without telling lily… as she wouldnt of left her boy…and so snape proably new the old majoc protection thing… he put some spell on lily and put her in a safe place… took the potion and transformed into her took the boy and faced volds…sacrificed for her as he loved her…knwing harry would be protected….then lily was found and baby too and then the plan was set in motion that lily would take snapes place usig pollyjuice potion and prbably hair from her hair brush and she would infiltrate volds world thus getting the insode scope for protecting harry till he was of age to forfill thge proficy… she had to be mean so as not to arrose suspicion…she could teach potions…shecan keep close to dumble and keep hary safe from afar…no one knows but dumble i would i read l;ast night that if someone dies while under the pollyjuice potion as in the image of another th would stay in theat image which explains lily in the visions etc…notice she doesnt say anything reaLLY REALLY MOTHERLY—JUST PRACTICAL AND CONCERNED ETC…. the father does though, james…alsosnape its posssible that snape spent the holidays with lilys family…maybe they lived close and new each other as children before going to hogs…maybe they were freinds then…snape loved her…maybe lilys sister prutuna was in love witt him and she was jealous of snapes love for lily…maybe lily was adopted…notice in the first film that potuna says-in front of hagrid- my parents loved her because of what she was….she said MY parents and WHAT she was not WHO she was!!?/ i havent checked the book to check that yet,,,will do so tonight…and also i think it is possibly that lillys muggle parents adopted lilly…and its possibly she is volds daughter…. they have the same green eyes afterall and that is suppose to mean something…and harrys are green…..that would make harry the last hier of slyerine as was hinted at and alluded to in t 2nd book….and then swept under the mat…but maybe…also in one of harry and dumbles conversations harry is concerned that badness is in him and volds says that its not what is running in his veins but what decisions he makes or something close to that…… if yo o the math. volds is exactly the right ag to be the father to one of that lot lilly james snape sirius etc….exacly the right age… so its possibly…also the have been words and talk in the book that alude very vaguelky that harry could be the final heir to gyrinndor…thats would make sense when the sorting hat couldnt decide between the two…i think both griff anf slyth blood run in harry vieins and weather he is good or bad is up to him and his upbringing so making the story about the decisons we make forming our lives not the heritage we are born into…..also vold has to have harrys blood to be whole again…also…why does snape ask harry whose dog chased him up a tree?? weird little things… why does snape have such a massive supply of pollyjuice potion? Why does jkr tell give us the polyjuice potion and all its things that it does…
    why does lillys specialty have to potion making….if lily were alive what would she do for a living – be potions teacher at hogwarts proably… why does snape continuously rundown james and never lily—y, if snape is lily does she run down james???? well i beleive james was an asshole….and he cast a spellon lily to fall for him…this is how she ended up with him….now we all know that when the caster of the spell dies the spell is lifted so she would know know this(as snape) and thats why sse is mad with james…she may of been in love with snape all along – though i think she just proably loved him as a freind much like hermoine loves harry….. god i hope you can read this mess…all the pieces fit perfectly…..there is only one thing i could find that didtnwork and that was the meaunderes map…if lily was transformed into snape then wouldnt the map show lily walking thru the halls not snapes name as it showed wormtails name and he was a mouse albiet still alive however…still, food for thought..

    so to summerize: and to give a story theory…
    lily -green eyes (proably volds child-maybe unbeknown to him – green eyes also- was adopted by muggle parents as a baby , probab ly abandoned or placed- as was harry-al green eyes – lived near child snape…childhood freinds – snape loved lily—lily loved snape but as hermoine loves harry…she protected him oe defended him at hogwarts- she hated james..why did she marry him…he cast a spell much like volds mother did over his father… when he dies the spell was broken… snape being a death eater at the time heard of volds plan to kill the potters and the kid and rushd to warn/sve them…put spell on lily – transformed into lily and took the kid(knew of the old spell) and died at volds hand – a scarifice of love also – and lily sacrificed her life to be snape therefore also protedting harry with the old curse…. hagrid or dumble found htemoth took to hogs – lilly was tranasformed into snape with pollyjuice potion a plan to protect harry till he was of age and stregth to forfill the prof and kill volds….also snape agreeing to the unbreakable curse to save maloy is also an indication that she is a mother..and understands that malfoy is a victum as well… and also there was a connection with the woman at hogs and also faaily ties from way back…. also dumbledor and snape were overheard talking and snape saying no he couldnt do it and dumble saying yes you know it has to be done…i bleive he was referring to killing dummble and he has to as that is what the proficy says and its like a map to folow to the eventual end of harry defeating dumble…..harry is related to dumble and vold therefore the last remaining heir if both slyerine and griffendor and for him to be powerfull enought o defeat vold he has to be the last remaining heir of griff so duble has to dye…also dumble is a sacrifice for hary and that strenghtens harry against vold…..hermoine will proabbaly be instrimental in figering it all out….dumble dying is proabbly a horcrux in itself…. have i convinced anyone yet!? GOD WHAT A MESS…..SORRY ABOUT THAT BUT YOU GET THE DRIFT…THERE IS ALL SORTS OF OTHER BITS AND BOBS…AND ALSO FOR INSTANCE WHY IS SNAPE THE ONLY CHARACTER THE JKR HAS SPOKEN TO ABOUT THEREI CHARACTER…WHY WOULD SHE DO THAT…..FOR IF HE IS LILY THEN AS AN ACTOR THIS IS VITAL INFORMATION…LASO IT COULD THEN BE KEPPT FROM THE DIRECTOR AND CSCRIPTWRITER….its perfect. and its the perfect answe….why also is the memorys harry has seen of snapes all have lily in htem too…..why because they are her memorys…….its all works… its all sublte bit it all works out perfectly…. why are the mother eyes so important….cause they are match of the volds… there is other stuff but im out of time and this is such a mess im embarrassed….if i think of more i will resubmit…..looking forward to your remarks….

  3. Patrick said

    Anita, thanks for your comment – I must say I have read much more far-fetched ideas in the last week. But I disagree with your main point; Snape is not Lily is not Snape, she is very much properly dead. However, I believe that it is Snape’s love for Lily which bids him to protect Harry after her death.

    We should remember that Voldy did not necessarily want to kill Lily ~ we must presume that Snape had pleaded with Voldy not to do so because of his love for her. But we don’t know that for sure, if at all, until this last story comes out. And Lily’s “specialty” is deduced to be charms, not potions, based on Ollivander’s comments about her wand.

  4. The girl who skived said

    I thought slughorn said lily was even better at potions than snape? And Hermione insisted the writing in the HBP book was a girls… I don’t think it was eileen princes writing i think it was lily’s, making notes to help him.

  5. The girl who skived said

    And i think snape is determine to see the hated james in harry, not lily, whose unnecessary death he so regrets. So he’s determined to see harry as a rule breaker and useless at potions because it’s easier for him. I like the joint heir theory!

  6. The girl who skived said

    Now i think about it, eileen prince was at school with Voldemort. Hmm

  7. Patrick said

    Well, first off I love the nickname. You are quite right that Slughorn says Lily was quite adept at potions, that Harry – by his use of the book, no less – was just as much a natural as she. But I’d also say that there isn’t much wand work in potion making throughout the stories; you certainly don’t stir your cauldron with it, so it’s quite possible that both subjects were where she excelled.

    I’m going to say that Harry is descended from a very old wizarding family, but we still do not know exactly how or why. He wouldn’t be descended from one of the Hogwarts founders, though it would fit very well with Voldy being the heir of Slytherin versus one of the other heirs. No, I think the deathly hallows has something to do with it, but not the founders of Hogwarts. What doesn’t carry an explanation is his invisibility cloak – why did Dumby have it; could James and Lily have used it to hide Harry when Voldy showed up if Dumby didn’t have it; what is the enchantment placed on it – is it just a very good disillusionment charm or some deeper magic; things like that which I think make the cloak pretty important. I think it’s some kind of family heirloom from an old wizarding family – it would fit to explain why he’s got so much gold in the vault though his own parents couldn’t have possibly earned all that?

    On the point of this post, namely Lily. Back in February when I wrote this post, I thought it was related to Occlumency; I don’t think so anymore, really. I’m hard-pressed to say they are related to anything magical at all, but simply that they serve as a reminder to Snape that he must protect Harry at all cost.

    This might be far-fetched, but I think Snape dies protecting Harry in this last story; that he goes down in a blaze of glory to fulfill his debt to the only woman he ever loved and the only one from whom he ever received any in return.

  8. The girl who skived said


  9. Patrick said

    I just re-read this post some months after HP:DH came out and the whole world knows what happened. I love the last paragraph I wrote and how dead-on it was five months before the book came out.

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