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Thread: Lily (Evans) Potter

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  1. #1
    nenya
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    Lily (Evans) Potter

    I could do with a bit of help with my charactisation of Lily Evans. My story is set in the Seventh Year, and at the moment, I have her as almost a hybrid of Hermione and Ginny - so she's all up for a bit off fun, yet she doesn't really cross the line with the rules (but that's only because she is now Head Girl) - but she does enjoying showing her family her newfound talents.

    Now, I'm trying to avoid the annoying character cliche's I continually read - such as she falls in love with James Potter within a week of returning to school in the seventh year.

    But at the moment, she's a little 2-D and I want to flesh her out a bit, I was wondering what opinions you guy's could give me.

  2. #2
    AshNight
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    I tend to think of Lily as one of those girls who has no lines in who she makes friends with. Lily seems very open to others and I can imagine her rather talkative. She seems like she has a major beef with James (are you going into why and how in your story?) so Lily can get angry and stay angry. I hope this helped even the littest amount!

  3. #3
    nenya
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    Well in my story the reason that Lily started disliking James, was because she is a kind and caring sort of person, who has no time for arrogance, so I they just got off on the wrong foot, and things kept getting worse. So that everytime she saw him, he was showing off or hexing Snape (or anyone else for that instance.)

  4. #4
    wishiwereaweasley
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    I tend to see her as spunky, but almost cold. She doesn't let people in easily and she pushes herself to prove to everyone that she belongs there.

    It seems like you're on the right track, even if you haven't worked out the details. Jo has said that Lily was very popular and something like Ginny, so you've got that bit right. What you have to do is figure out some of her flaws, so she doesn't end up staying 2D. A happy, perky, brilliant and beautiful Lily has been written loads of times.

    I know some flaws that have been suggested for her are pride, arrogance, the ability to hold a grudge, stubborness. I think you could work with these a bit. We know she's a Muggleborn, and with times being what they were then, she probably took a lot of crap for it early on. This could have pushed her to become the brilliant student (good for sure at Charms and Potions--it's a good idea to make her have a little trouble with a subject as well, she can't be good at everything), and given her a bit of a tough shell. Being popular and well-liked doesn't mean you trust easily. She could then come off as being a bit proud herself.

    In resisting James, we see her stubborness. It might not be canon that he asker her out every day of her life (!), but it's likely he did it frequently, and she never caved. You should probably give a reason. Just his immaturity? Or did she feel threatened by his purebloodness? Perhaps her grudge-holding could come into play here as well. Maybe he...insulted her once, or didn't stand up for her once, and she can't forgive him for it.

    Another popular theory is that she was friends with Snape and then, after his worst memory in their fifth year, kind of gave up on him. That could have been something else which added to her...toughness. That she let him in and then he betrayed her. This incident also shows that she has the Gryffindor nobility. She stood up for the Slytherin that no one liked, rather than siding with the people of her own house.

    5 points to Ravenclaw

  5. #5
    Lily Luna Lupin
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    I'm sad.
    It always seems like my take on the books is different from everyone else's. I've always thought of Lily as something of a loner, a bit of a teacher's pet. Maybe not exactly a loner, but not overly popular and spunky. Independent and smart, and cheeky, but never overly. It just depends on your take on the books. For some reason, Lily never seemed like someone with an overly large amount of friends. I'll go and rerereread OotP now.

  6. #6
    Acroma
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    I kinda see Lily as Ginny with Hermione's popularity. Like, she's firey and beautiful, but only has a small circle of friends (probably because of her temper). She's also a little intellegent, and, of course, good at Potions (the books never say she herself is good at Charms, only her wand's good for them)

  7. #7
    Stubby Boardman
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    I've always thought of Lily as something of a loner, a bit of a teacher's pet. Maybe not exactly a loner, but not overly popular and spunky. Independent and smart, and cheeky, but never overly. It just depends on your take on the books. For some reason, Lily never seemed like someone with an overly large amount of friends. I'll go and rerereread OotP now.
    That surprises me because I've always seem Lily as strong, a little cold at times and maybe even sarcastic when irritated but definately witty and fairly popular. It's perfectly fine to have your own views on the books, especially about characters - I mean, look at the movies. I wouldn't have cast half the actors and they seem to be developing as characters differently from the books. The Ginny I see in Lily is how popular with the lads, but I suspect Lils was more of a too-good-for-you kind of girl, although maybe just to James. And yeah, I never thought she was incredibly cheeky. She didn't go out of her way to make witty comments.

    Acroma, I think she wasvery intelligent, and (I may be making assumptions here, but I do think it was implied this way) if her wand was good for Charms she was an able Charms student. And I see her the other way around: Hermione with Ginny's popularity. That being said, Lily was very much an individual; I don't think she's liking being labelled here, lol.

    Also, with OotP, she was part of that big group of girls down by the lake. Not many people take that scene into consideration; the James/Lily fics I read usually pair her up with only two or three girls.

    I hope I've been of some help, I know wishiwereaweasley especially had some excellent points. Good luck writing, and don't be afraid to write your "take on the books".

    5 points to Gryffindor [especially for notably paying attention to previous posts in the discussion]

  8. #8
    type-n-shadow
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    [QUOTE=wishiwereaweasley]I tend to see her as spunky, but almost cold. She doesn't let people in easily and she pushes herself to prove to everyone that she belongs there.

    I know some flaws that have been suggested for her are pride, arrogance, the ability to hold a grudge, stubborness.[/QUOTE=wishiwereaweasley]

    I disagree there. J.K. Rowling has already mentioned several times that Lily Evans was a person to forgive easily. Just think how she married someone whom she had disapproved of previously for years. I imagine her as someone who gets angry quickly and cools down just as fast.
    She has a strong sense of right and wrong, it's true, but she also knows when something wrong done for the right reason is a good thing.

    I think she was a sunshiny person. Anyone who came in contact with her was better for it. I think she treated James the way she did because she was showing him that she didn't approve of his actions, but I'm sure that whenever he behaved well she was just as fast to reward him for it, perhaps with a smile.
    I agree that the cliched, slap-happy Lily Evans is not plausible.

    J.K. Rowling has said she was a "catch," and she was, but she wasn't the popular, cheerleader type. She was a girl very different and not afraid to be good, and I think she may have intrigued many because she was unique - a beautiful girl who's anything but shallow.

    What's wrong with being beautiful? What's wrong with being talented? Just because not everybody is like that, doesn't mean she can't be. Otherwise she wouldn't have been so significant.
    I think everyday she tried to improve herself and her friends.

    She does have faults. As I said earlier, I think she had a quick temper (but no grudges.) I think she may have been overbearing and motherly-ish, which can be a fault.

    She also had fears and hopes. As a young girl J.K. Rowling hints that she was eager to dispel any thoughts of Muggle-born inferiority, and that probably continued on with her as she got older, so any reference to her blood status would probably offend her.

  9. #9
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lola-Louisa

    You've got to remember the way she is represented in the books is purely from Harry's view. Harry owes her a life debt, so he's hardly going to sit there and talk bad about her. In Harry's eyes, his mother was perfect and he didn't go on the look out for her flaws.


    Lola x
    I completely agree with this, and I think that sometimes, when people die tragic and/or heroic deaths, certain parts of their personalities are glazed over and people only remember the very best things about someone. Iím not suggesting that this means that Lily was actually a demon, but from what people say about her in the book, she comes across as an excellent person, very nice, pretty, kind and talented, and that does seem a tad unlikely to be that amazing a person; she must have had a few personality flaws. But, because of how she died, I reckon people might forget the fact she was bit stubborn, or quick tempered, and so in the books, this was never mentioned.

    This happens with James; all Harry is ever told about his father is that he was brave, talented, excellent at Quidditch and generally a good man, but we learn in OoTP that in school he wasnít that great. This aspect of his character could have been slightly forgotten by people like Hagrid, Dumbledore, Madam Rosmerta etc (canít remember who else talks about James, my books are at uni so I canít check) because of the instant hero he became when he died defending his family from Voldemort.

    Considering this, Lily probably did have flaws, they just arenít remembered. She may have been stubborn (consider what JKR says about Lily in response to the question about why did she marry James, and also Sirius's response to a simelar question from Harry), and perhaps too opinionated (her cheeky answers to Slughorn regarding Slytherin), I for one am inclined to believe this. I think I remember reading somewhere that Lily definitely would have got an owl or two warning her about underage magic in the summer holidays, so Iím sure this would reflect back onto her school behaviour. She wouldnít have been as flagrant in her rule breaking as James and the other Marauders, but I do believe she would have been caught a few times, though she got away with it much more often.

    Quote Originally Posted by type-n-shadow

    I disagree there. J.K. Rowling has already mentioned several times that Lily Evans was a person to forgive easily.
    But if she was able to forgive easily, how could she not forgive Snape when he called her a Mudblood? I believe that that incident must have been the last straw in a series of events that hinted to her that Severus was more inclined to the Dark Arts.

    Iíve got a question. I donít know if itís been asked before (I did try and read all of this but it is sixteen pages long, I might have missed some things!), but I read a fic recently that had Lily as confiding in someone (when she had been drinking, admittedly) that she was slightly scared about how fast her relationship with James was progressing. Iíve gone over the dates, and everything does seem to happen incredibly fast. Do you think it's plausible that she would sometimes have doubts about the speed of their relationship? Or do you think that they would have both been keen for it to go at this pace, considering something Molly Weasley said in HBP about how Ďlast time people were eloping left right and centreí? Do you think James, coming from an old and traditional Pureblood family, would sort of be *expected* to marry quickly, and would be more inclined to settle down early? (Sorry if this last part belongs in the James thread, but I think it still relates to Lily)

    Sarah xx

  10. #10
    The Canon Queen Hufflepuff
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    Please continue this discussion here.

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