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Canon discussion / Harry Potter Lexicon Minute

Chamber of Secrets 6-12 Canon Celebration

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Chamber of Secrets 6-12 Canon Celebration

Welcome to the fifth installment of our celebration series!

We’ve been warned not to return to Hogwarts, met some new allies and foes, and accidentally broken one of the most fundamental rules of wizarding society. What a way to start the school year!

Ready to have some fun exploring what’s next? Here we go!

Podcasts:

Chapter 6: Howlers, Mandrakes, and Muggleborns by Eileen Jones

Chapter 7: Mudbloods and Murmurs by Eileen Jones

Chapter 8: Ghosts by Eileen Jones

Chapter 9: Filch by Eileen Jones

Chapter 10: Harry, Draco and Quidditch by Eileen Jones

Chapter 11: Loyalty by Eileen Jones

Chapter 12: In Dumbledore’s Office by Eileen Jones

Reader’s Guides:

Mandrake "baby" screaming when being transplanted.These guides were originally written in March of 2002. Since that time, a few edits were made here and there but basically the text remained the same. To get ready for this Canon Celebration, our editors have been revising each one. We’ve added fan artwork to the Guide which illustrates the text. At the bottom in the Commentary section we’ve added a gallery of additional artwork. So even if you’ve read our guides before, please give them another look. And if you’re doing a re-read of the first book, have the Guide to each chapter open as you go! I’m sure you’ll find a lot of information you didn’t know.

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 6

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 7

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 8

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 9

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 10

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 11

Reader’s Guide to Chapter 12

Calendars

Fitting the first book into the real-life calendars isn’t easy! In fact, it’s impossible. But that didn’t stop us:

Day by day calendar of events in the book

Essays

Troubles with Time by Steve VanderArk

Hogwarts Ghosts by Mike Gray

How Do Duels Work? by Hugo Costa Paes

Interesting Artwork

We have hundreds and hundreds of pieces of fan artwork in our collection. Some subjects get a lot of depictions — Diagon Alley is a favorite topic, for example, and, well, of course it is! But there are a few pieces which illustrate more unusual moments in the text. Here are a few examples:

A nearly dead Errol arrives with a Howler (CS6)

The result of Ron’s wand backfiring (CS7)

The Deathday Party for Nearly Headless Nick (CS8)

Gryffindor vs Slytherin Quidditch match (CS10)


Snape and Lockhart’s Duelling Club demonstration (CS11)

Artwork Challenge

We have tons of images of Gilderoy Lockhart and Moaning Myrtle. Snape and Potions lessons are a very popular topic. However, we have very few of the House ghosts apart from Nearly-Headless Nick, his Deathday Party or of Dean, Lee, and Seamus. Our Artwork Challenge for all you fan artists out there is to depict one of the lesser known characters in the series. If we really like your work, we may feature it in the Lexicon! Here are some suggestions from these chapters:

  • a Howler delivering its message (CS8)
  • the inside of Hagrid’s Hut (CS7)
  • the Slytherin Quidditch Team in their green robes (CS8, CS10), although you could do something with Hufflepuff in yellow or Ravenclaw in blue if you’d prefer
  • the Trophy Room, specific trophies or a trophy cabinet (CS7, CS13)

Send your artwork to [email protected] By submitting it, you are giving us permission to display your work on the Lexicon. We would like to include your name with your artwork so you are properly credited, so when you send your work let us know what name to use. Please also include a way to get a hold of you so that if we decide to feature your work as part of our regular collection we can contact you for more details. All artwork we display remains the property of the artist and they retain all copyright.

Special Features

It is all about friendship and trust. Once the attacks start, the speculation about who the Heir of Slytherin might be runs wild throughout the school. Harry’s History of Magic class queries Professor Binns about the existence of the Chamber of Secrets. Students have checked out all the relevant books from the school Library. Other students converse in corners and corridors; some of them buy protective charms and amulets. Harry worries because he can hear evil voices as he moves around the school – voices that Hermione and Ron can’t hear. Harry even wonders about possible Slytherin ancestry and whether it is significant that the Sorting Hat had originally wanted to put him in Slytherin. After the Duelling Club incident, Harry is suspected because he can speak Parseltongue. However, he has the trust of his friends and Hagrid, and he will come through this with their support. 

Dobby’s tale of woe

We are given a few new clues as to what Dobby is trying to save Harry from in this long pleading rant. The key points:

  • House-elves were treated badly during Voldemort’s first rise to power, as evidenced by Voldemort’s treatment of Keacher (DH10).
  • Harry was seen as a “beacon of hope” to the downtrodden races, a theme that Griphook picks up in DH24 when he decides to help Harry. It’s very unclear how a one-year-old baby could be seen as anything other than an innocent bystander, though.
  • “… at Hogwarts, terrible things are to happen, are perhaps happening already, and Dobby cannot let Harry Potter stay here now that history is to repeat itself, now that the Chamber of Secrets is open once more …”
  • “Dark deeds are planned in this place …” but Dobby doesn’t want Harry around when they happen. So they haven’t happened yet? But the Chamber has already been opened and monster is loose. What else is Dobby afraid of?

So Dobby wants to protect Harry from what exactly? The monster from the Chamber? But Harry is a pure-blood and not in danger. No, the plot seems to involve more than just the release of the monster. Dobby is afraid that something will harm Harry beyond physical injury (since Dobby was willing to cause Harry physical injury to protect him from whatever it is). A very logical conclusion is that Dobby fears that Harry will be subverted to the Dark Side, which brings us back to the fact that the Malfoys believed that Harry might be a Dark Lord around which to rally their Pure-Blood cause. It also suggests that Dobby knew or perhaps sensed that the power of the Diary was stronger than even Lucius realized.

From the Atlas

Where is Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom? There are references in the book to its location being on the first floor:

“Oh no,” said Hermione, stopping abruptly. “Turn back, turn back, I don’t want to talk to Moaning Myrtle –”
“Who?” said Harry, as they backtracked quickly.
“She haunts the girls’ toilet on the first floor,” said Hermione. (CS8)

but also in the very next chapter on the second floor, just next to where Mrs Norris was petrified:

“Oh, Ron, there won’t be anyone in there,” said Hermione, standing up and coming over. “That’s Moaning Myrtle’s place. Come on, let’s have a look.”
And ignoring the large ‘Out of Order’ sign, she opened the door. (CS9)

It is still a mystery. The differences in floor numbering between the UK and the US can’t explain it either (what in the UK is called the ground floor is the first floor in the US). References to its location in other books (GF22, GF25, CC2) haven’t really been able to clear this up.

Coming up next week…

Our celebration will continue next week with the rest of the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, highlighting Chapters 13 through 18. Come and join us for the discussions!

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