Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling


Rate: 5/5


Medium: Audiobook


Overview (No Spoilers):

As I had last revisited the Harry Potter series as a kid, I was excited to revisit the series, however I didn’t anticipate how much I would be thoroughly enjoying diving back into this world of wizardry and magic.  In late October, I began my second tour of Hogwarts adventures with the reread of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, with enough time having elapsing between reads that much of the minor details and nuances had been forgotten, brewing a delightful mix of rediscovery and nostalgia.  This trend continued with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, as I got to relive many iconic scenes that had grown hazy with time.  Our three musketeers continued to develop in this second installment, both in depth and friendship, however they are still shadows of what they will later become in the series.  Furthermore, new key side characters are introduced, primed to take a bigger part in additional novels, alongside enemy lines being more clearly defined during Harry’s second year in Hogwarts.  I remember Tom Riddle’s diary being one of my favorite literary inventions by Rowling as a youth, with my imagination running wild at the time with implications and alternative plots.  I wonder if now as an adult, a different innovative creation by the ingenious Rowling will capture my imagination during my reread.  Overall, if I ever have children of my own, I can’t wait to introduce them to the magically, fantastic literary realm of Harry Potter, that manages to span and captivate not only children but adults as well.


Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  • One of the early scenes we see Nearly Headless Nick is sulking over a letter he received rejecting him from the Headless Hunt. How do Ghosts write letters?
  • Who was Gryffindor’s Ghost before Nick? Did he go to Hogwarts?
  • Gilderoy Lockhart was such a smooth liar and twisted the world to fit his own perspective. I couldn’t help but draw conclusions to how modern politics is discussed and debated.
  • Why didn’t Harry try to talk to or command the basilisk? What did the big snake eat over these long years?
  • Would the basilisk know the difference between Tom or Harry?Why did Lucius wait so long to plant the journal? Did he know what he had or did he talk to it?
  • Why didn’t Fawkes the phoenix turn to stone during the battle?
  • How did Ginny get out of the Chamber of Secrets on previous visits?
  • If Tom Riddle had killed Harry, one of the horcrux would have killed off another. I realize Harry did it but I doubt Voldermort would have encouraged this one to kill off another one. Wouldn’t it have hurt Tom to kill Harry?

 

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49 comments

  1. kind of blowing my mind there with that question about fawkes not turning to stone. that’s really intriguing.

    for your last question, i think the answer is that Voldemort didn’t realize harry was a horcrux? or thought that killing him off while all his others were intact wouldn’t affect him too much to keep going with this plan. BUT then he couldn’t have used Harry’s blood to come back in GoF. oh boy oh boy now i’m all mixed up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kristina! 🙂 They’re fun to ponder!

      I think that Voldermort’s entity in the journal and his actual self are totally different. I do agree that they both don’t know that they are horcruxs. I think this is likely a result of the series developing as Rowling comes writes them.

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  2. I love your insights to the book, and now I’m trying to find answers on the Internet. The only thing I can guess is the answer to Harry and the Basilisk. Like the child Harry is in that book, I think he is taking it as absolute truth that only Tom can control the Basilisk. I think Tom says something to that effect, but that might only be in the movie. If that conversation is not there, he could think that being the direct Heir of Slytherin has a lot more weight for Slytherin’s Basilisk than any Parselmouth. It’s also possible that I don’t remember the exact words because I haven’t read the book in years.

    I’ve been following a fanfic for a couple of years that’s trying to explore what might have happened if Tom Riddle had figured out in the Chamber of Secrets that Harry is a Parselmouth.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If you are interested in podcasts, you may enjoy listening to “Harry Potter and the Sacred Text”. They do do a religious study on the books, but it is interesting all the same! Note I am not religious and I still enjoy them!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I re-read these this year, too, in preparation for reading The Cursed Child. (Love seeing all these commenters re-reading these books!)
    Let me throw in my two cents.
    How do ghosts write letters? Magic, of course. 🙂 The ghosts all wear clothing, and they have a feast in that book, where they have various ghostly things, musical instruments, food, whatnot; it seems they can have and manipulate ghostly possessions. Peeves can manifest objects, can’t he? Wouldn’t that be about the same? Presumably Sir Nicholas has a secret ghostly room where he keeps his ghostly possessions. Maybe their letters are delivered by ghostly owls.
    Gilderoy Lockhart is absolutely a modern politician. Especially with stealing credit for everyone else’s accomplishments.
    I think I remember Harry walking over a mountain of bones when he reaches the Chamber; I suspect the Basilisk has been eating small animals, maybe from the Forbidden Forest. It’s not clear to me how large the Chamber of Secrets is, or if there are passages the Basilisk can get out through that humans couldn’t. Where is the Basilisk before Riddle summons it during that last battle? Did Ginny have to let it out and then stay in the Chamber to let it back in, every time? Or was “letting it out” more a question of sending it on missions into the school proper, whereas it has always been able to get, say, into the sewers to eat rats? It’s a terror to the spiders; maybe it eats spiders.
    Lucius Malfoy wanted to get rid of his Voldemort memorabilia because the Ministry of Magic has been performing more raids, now that they have confirmation from Dumbledore in the first book that Voldy is actively seeking resurrection. Though now that I write that, I can’t remember if it happens in a later book or not. But don’t he and Arthur Weasley talk about that in the bookshop before Malfoy gets all I’m-richer-than-you-neener-neener?
    And no: according to Dumbledore, Voldemort did not know that Harry was a Horcrux; that’s why Voldemort had to be the one to “kill” Harry (Sending him to King’s Cross Station) and destroy the horcrux-part of Harry so Voldemort could finally die. And remember, the Tom Riddle persona is a captured version of Voldemort from when he was 18; he doesn’t know anything about the future Voldemort other than what he has discovered through Ginny. Oh — and Ginny got in and out because Riddle possessed her and spoke Parseltongue through her. It’s a real question, though, why the Basilisk obeyed Ginny, even if she was possessed by Riddle, since she was not the Heir of Slytherin. Maybe the spirit of the Heir is enough?

    That’s what I think I remember. Probably wrong in several places.
    Good review! Good questions!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dusty! Those are all amazing points!

      Of note. Peeves is a poltergeist. That’s somehow different than Nick and the rest. I’m not quite sure how. I think they mentioned in the first book that he could handle objects and cause more mayhem than the other ghosts.

      Lucius had the conversation you’re referencing with regard to the memorabilia with the shopkeeper at the shady store. Just pitching Voldermort’s journal seems a bit rash though because of a threat. Maybe hide it better. 🙂

      Great questions and comments all around though! You’re a pro at this!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hello! Hello! And thank you! I do slightly disagree with you on the heir aspect. Tom is as much Voldermort’s heir as Harry because they are both horcruxes. We never saw Harry actually try to command the basilisk. I’m not saying your wrong. I just don’t think it is as clear cut as it first appears.

      Liked by 1 person

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