Five Questionable Moments in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”
Last month, we made a list of questionable things found in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This month, Chamber of Secrets got the same treatment.
1. Fred, George, and Ron Going to Rescue Harry in a Flying Car
Beds empty! No note! Car gone — could have crashed — out of my
mind with worry — did you care? — never, as long as I’ve lived —
you wait until your father gets home, we never had trouble like this
from Bill or Charlie or Percy —“ (CoS 33)
Mrs. Weasley is right to tell off her three children for rescuing Harry in the family’s secret flying car. If they had been caught, the three of them and their parents would have gotten into so much trouble. Instead, Ron could have just told his parents that he was worried about Harry, and they could have tried to help.
2. Dumbledore Allowing Lockhart to Teach
Half an hour later, Lockhart collected the papers [quizzes] and rifled through them in front of the class.
‘Tut, tut — hardly any of you remembered that my favourite colour is lilac. I say so in Year with the Yeti. And a few of you need to read Wanderings with Werewolves more carefully — I clearly state in chapter twelve that my ideal birthday gift would be harmony between all magic and non-magic peoples — though I wouldn’t say no to a large bottle of Ogden’s Old Firewhisky!’” (CoS 100)
Although the Defense Against the Dark Arts position had a fair share of questionable teachers, Lockhart was probably the worst one Dumbledore hired. It would have been pretty clear in their first meeting that Lockhart would not be the best teacher. Dumbledore must have been really desperate if he hired Lockhart.
3. Lockhart’s Dueling Club
‘I wonder who’ll be teaching us?’ said Hermione as they edged into the chattering crowd. ‘Someone told me Flitwick was a dueling champion when he was young — maybe it’ll be him.’
‘As long as it’s not —‘ Harry began, but he ended on a groan: Gilderoy Lockhart was walking onto the stage, resplendent in robes of deep plum and accompanied by none other than Snape, wearing his usual black.” (CoS 189)
First off, hiring Lockhart as the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is bad enough, but Dumbledore allowing Lockhart to teach the kids anything else is just wrong. With Lockhart’s skills, the kids would have learned next to nothing.
4. Dobby’s Methods
‘Your Bludger?’ said Harry, anger rising once more. ‘What d’you mean, your Bludger? You made that Bludger try and kill me?’
‘Not kill you, sir, never kill you!’ said Dobby, shocked. ‘Dobby wants to save Harry Potter’s life! Better sent home, grievously injured, than remain here, sir! Dobby only wanted Harry Potter hurt enough to be sent home!’” (CoS 177)
Dobby is one of the greatest characters in the Potter universe, but he really doesn’t think through the methods he uses to keep Harry out of Hogwarts. He should have known that if blocking the barrier to platform nine and three-quarters didn’t stop Harry, then a cursed Bludger wouldn’t either.
5. Anti-Muggle-Born Sentiment
‘No one asked your opinion, you filthy little Mudblood,’ he spat.
Harry knew at once that Malfoy had said something really bad because there was an instant uproar at his words. Flint had to dive in front of Malfoy to stop Fred and George jumping on him, Alicia shrieked, ‘How dare you!’, and Ron plunged his hand into his robes, pulled out his wand, yelling, ‘You’ll pay for that one, Malfoy!’” (CoS 112)
Although the Gryffindors are outraged at Draco’s slur, the fact that Draco calls Hermione a Mudblood and doesn’t face any punishment from the Hogwarts teachers is atrocious. This prejudice should have faced at least some consequences at school.
Do you think anything else was questionable in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? Let us know in the comments!