I’m listening to all the Harry Potter books on audiobook these days,
because why not? And I recently finished book 2, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It was always my least
favourite, I don’t know why, I think it’s just because I love the others more.
This won’t be like a review, this’ll just be me rambling about things in Harry
Potter that I like or find confusing.
So this is book two, and it is about Harry’s second year of school at
Hogwarts. And I’m not going to go deeply into plot, because it’s Harry Potter.
Essentially a monster controlled by the Heir of Slytherin is petrifying
students and terrifying the student body. Harry and Ron break some school rules
and you know. Hilarity ensues.
One of the best things about The Chamber of Secrets is Gilderoy
I thought about him more and more this time. If you haven’t read the
book he is the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in the second book, and he
is best described as a self-indulgent, egotistical, idiotic fop. He has very
little magical ability, it seems, and has gotten the job mainly because he’s the
only applicant. He’s also written like seven books that are quite
sensationalist and extremely popular, probably because he’s a handsome man, and
quite charming. It’s revealed during the book that he didn’t do any of the
things in the books, he found people who did impressive things, he stole their
stories and modified their memories. He is a useless wizard and he is pretty
much only good at memory charms. He still volunteers for everything, brags
about everything he’s done or what he can do, or how he would fix something,
and seems to have no insight into how people find him to be both idiotic and
What always fascinated me about Lockhart is that he must know that he’s
a completely useless wizard. He knows he didn’t do any of the things that he’s
written about. He knows he’s no good, and yet he keeps trying to insert himself
into dangerous situation or to impress people. Like for instance trying to
repair Harry’s arm, and completely failing. In front of the entire school. He
also starts a duelling club despite the fact that he must know he’s no good at
it, and that Snape is an excellent wizard. He must know he’ll look like an
idiot in front of the student body again. So why is he doing all this nonsense?
I developed a theory when I listened to it this time. I feel like
Gilderoy Lockhart never really had any friends because he’s too vain, too
narcissistic, and too intense, and tries too hard. So people don’t really like
him, and it’s made him try too hard, and turn to being impressive instead. And
he has kept up with this, because he probably has still no idea how to make
friends, and he keeps trying to be impressive. He doesn’t seem to realize that
he will be held accountable for the things he says, at least for a while. When
he says he knows where the Chamber of Secrets is he will obviously be sent to
find it and save Ginny. Because no one else knows.
One thing that bothered me before, but which I get more now, is Hermione’s
infatuation with him. She finds him very attractive, impressive, and she really
adores him. As someone who is so clever and level-headed as Hermione it seems
very out of character. No matter what Lockhart does, and no matter how often he
messes up, she is willing to forgive him. The thing is, Hermione is 12/13 (her
birthday is in September I think), and Lockhart is very handsome and very
charming, and he sets himself up as a very impressive guy. And it’s normal for
young girls to have crushes on their teachers. So it’s not a completely insane
thing for Hermione to feel. Even though Lockhart fucks up she’s willing to
forgive him and look past it. The thing about Hermione is that she puts
enormous stock in books. If it’s from a book it’s trustworthy, unless she’s
already got bias against the author, like Rita Skeeter. So when she’s read
Lockhart’s books that’s cemented him as an impressive, incredible wizard in her
mind, and she isn’t great at revising her opinion when she’s decided on
something. So she needs incredible evidence to revise her opinion. Which is why
she wouldn’t be a good Ravenclaw, she’s an excellent Gryffindor.
Baffling things about the book
- When Ron and Harry have taken the Polyjuice potion
they then go to look for the Slytherin common room. The potion took a month to
make. Why didn’t they try to find it before that?!
- Why, on earth, does Ron throw Gilderoy Lockhart’s wand
out of the window? I know why it has to be that way for the book to work, but
oh my GOD it’s stupid as hell.
- When McGonagall cancels all exams at the end of the
year does that include the O.W.L.s and N.E.W.Ts? Do those seventh years now
just not have qualifications? Like what the fuck McGonagall? It’s their last
- Some kids, Justin and Colin, spent most of the year in
the hospital wing, why aren’t they held back a year? This is a crazy school.
These are my thoughts on Lockhart, who by the way is excellently
portrayed by Brannagh in the movie by the way, and other things in the Chamber of Secrets.