Parsel Parallels

by Nicole Nover

Of the many fearsome beasts and monsters that roam our land, there is none more curious or more deadly than the Basilisk, known also as the King of Serpents. This snake, which may reach gigantic size and live many hundreds of years, is born from a chicken’s egg, hatched beneath a toad. Its methods of killing are most wondrous, for aside from its deadly and venomous fangs, the Basilisk has a murderous stare, and all who are fixed with the beam of its eye shall suffer instant death. Spiders flee before the Basilisk, for it is their mortal enemy, and the Basilisk flees only from the crowing of the rooster, which is fatal to it.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Ch. 16, p. 290 [US Edition]

Recently, while I was rereading the Chamber of Secrets, this description of the Basilisk caught my eye. Sure, we have all heard it before. Some of us, myself included, could probably recite all of this information, but there’’s something no one seems to realize from it.

We all know where the Basilisk comes from. We all know what creature is fatal to it, but have we really thought about it?

‘is born from a chicken’s egg, hatched beneath a toad.’

Therefore, a Basilisk is actually a chicken, taken away from its kind and hatched under a toad. If the Basilisk is a chicken, who would its father be? That’’s right, a rooster.

‘the Basilisk flees only from the crowing of the rooster, which is fatal to it.’

Reading this originally, I’’m sure you all probably asked yourselves the same question I did, why would such a great snake be so frightened of a little rooster? But knowing that the rooster is technically its father, we now know that the Basilisk, for some reason, is so frightened of roosters because it is its father. So therefore, the cry of its father is fatal to it.

Can you draw any parallels to Tom Riddle, the heir of Slytherin, the one most associated with the monstrous Basilisk in the book, here?

Tom= Chicken’s egg. The chicken’’s egg was taken away from its kind, to be hatched under a toad. Tom had no parents, so where was he sent?

Toad= Orphanage. The toad is what made the Basilisk the King of Serpents. Had it not been hatched under one it would have just been a chicken. Just a harmless, fangless chicken. One could say the same for Tom. If he had been able to live with his mother, or even been taken in by another wizard family, he probably would not have been so bitter, living eleven years, and several summers in an orphanage where he was probably mistreated definitely left its mark on Tom. So it would be logical to think that the rooster would be like Tom’’s father, but then you realize that Tom killed his father. So how does that work out? Not one rooster in particular is fatal to the basilisk.

Muggles = Roosters. Tom’’s father was a muggle, the basilisk’’s father was a rooster. But Tom hates muggles, he doesn’’t fear them. They don’’t seem to be fatal to him, he kills them off whenever he needs. So what does this mean? It makes you wonder though, might this be relevant to the fact that Voldemort has been reborn with his father’’s bone? Or could it mean that muggles might be the final destruction to Voldemort? Unlikely, but with JK Rowling you never know, she never puts anything in the books for no reason.