Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh)

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Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh)

If there were a Gilderoy Lockhart fan club (and we're guessing there is) Gilderoy Lockhart would definitely be the president. Seriously, this guy is his own #1 fan. Not only has he written tons of books telling the world all about his amazing adventures, he travels around shamelessly promoting himself to everyone he meets.

Narcissus, meet your match.

We first meet Lockhart in the bookstore as he's doing a signing. He spots the famous Harry Potter right away and Lockhart scoops him up for a photo op. Later, at Hogwarts, he isn't shy about telling everyone about all the awards he's won and the monsters he's slayed.

But when Lockhart gets in situations when he actually needs to use magic, his skills are a bit, um, lacking. He can't even figure out how to get a bunch of Cornish pixies back in their cage. He gets schooled by Professor Snape at dueling club. Later, he removes all the bones in Harry's arm instead of healing his broken bones. Epic fail.

By the time the other teachers suggest that Lockhart head down to the Chamber of Secrets and slay the monster once and for all, it's obvious that this guy is not what he seems.

Harry and Ron finally confront him as he's heading out:

HARRY POTTER: You're running away? After all you did in your books?

GILDEROY LOCKHART: Books can be misleading.

HARRY POTTER: You wrote them!

GILDEROY LOCKHART: My dear boy, use your common sense. My books wouldn't have sold as well if people didn't think I'd done those things.

HARRY POTTER: You're a fraud. You've been taking credit for what other wizards have done.

So, clearly Lockhart is a liar. And a craven coward. But he's also a bit more dangerous. Just look how he acts down in the Chamber of Secrets. Once Harry and Ron have forced him down there, Lockhart grabs Ron's wand and threatens the boys:

GILDEROY LOCKHART: The adventure ends here, boys. But don't fret. The world will know our story. How I was too late to save the girl. How you two tragically lost your minds at the sight of her mangled body. So you first, Mr. Potter. Say goodbye to your memories.
Think about this—Lockhart is willing to let Ginny die and erase Harry and Ron's memories all so he can maintain his reputation and keep selling books. That's pretty messed up. There's a difference between wanting a little taste of the limelight and standing by while people are murdered, right? Lockhart is so self-involved at this point that he just doesn't care.

In the end, his spell backfires and all his memories are total wiped away. Though, in an after-credits scene at the end of the movie, we see a book with Lockhart's face on it titled Who Am I? Only Gilderoy Lockhart could find a way to sneak in one more book about himself…even if it's a self he can't remember.

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