You know you’ve been reading too much Harry Potter the last two days when you’re watching the history channel, and they’re discussing some guy who couldn’t unlock a door during some secret military operation, and you’re like “why didn’t he just use magic to open it?” before you remember that they’re discussing Real Life™ things and not a fantasy world J.K. Rowling created for children.
Anyway, I’m 11 chapters into Chamber of Secrets right now. I spent most of my weekend reading it and drinking way too much tea, so I’m hoping to finish it up soon (although I will also be very sad to finish it, because, as with the first book, the illustrated edition is AMAZING and I don’t want to go back to reading the boring, non-illustrated copies for books 3-7).
Without further ado though, I’ll get right into some of my thoughts, structuring this post similarly to the last one.
Let’s start with the true star of this book, Lockhart. Now, the last time I read the HP books was 5 or 6 years ago, but the last time I watched all the movies was about 2 years ago, so for the couple years, when I’ve thought back on the series, I typically have been picturing the movies and not the books. In the movies, Lockhart’s conceitedness makes him kind of unbearable, and I found him to be a mostly annoying character, so that’s been the image of him that I’ve had in my head. WELL. That opinion has now changed, having gone back to the books.
This man is just…wonderful. As a character, as a comical device throughout the story, as everything. He’s still conceited beyond measure and so utterly ridiculous as a person, but while it’s annoying in the movies, in the book it’s just funny. I can’t believe I didn’t see it as a kid. I remember chuckling at a couple parts back then, mostly when he lost his memory, but honestly, I’m not even looking forward to that part of the book anymore. I’m cracking up at every scene that Lockhart is in now. He’s just over-the-top, incredibly oblivious, and so, so full of himself; he’s such a fun character to read about (and probably to have written about, too). I want a whole separate story from Rowling about his life now: there doesn’t even have to be any plot, I just want a story that follows everything he does for like 3 days, just to see how ridiculous it is.
Also, though, speaking of the movies, have you ever Googled Gilderoy Lockhart? And looked at some of the pictures that come up? I did yesterday, and I have no idea why these exist, but they also amuse me to no end. Just look at them, please.
This is so far the most unexpected part of this reread for me: I never thought I’d be singing praises about Gilderoy Lockhart. Yet, he is a delight (I’m tempted to say he’s my favorite DADA teacher in the series, but that would be an insult to Remus Lupin).
The part where Ron accidentally curses himself and starts throwing up slugs brought up a memory from ages and ages ago: I used to be terrified of throwing up slugs as a kid because of this scene. My mom read me the first few books when I was so young that I don’t think I like, fully realized that throwing up slugs is not a thing that just happens to normal people, and apparently no one corrected me, because I remember being afraid of it for a few years before I finally realized it’s impossible.
Book Ginny vs. Movie Ginny
I think everyone familiar with Harry Potter probably knows about the huge differences between Ginny’s character in the books compared to the movies. I was thinking about that, and I’m pretty much convinced whoever was in charge of characterizing Ginny in the movies only read like, the first 9 chapters of Chamber of Secrets, said “wow, Ginny is this quiet, passive girl who just obsesses over Harry all the time, she must be like this throughout the whole series” and then gave her that personality for the next 5 and a half books. I’ll be so relieved to get to some of my favorite Ginny Weasley moments later on in the series.
That’s about it for now. I have a couple more complaints about Dumbledore and his mysteriousness, but I think I’ll get to those in my post on Saturday. For now, I want to try to finish this book today!