Chamber of Secrets Chapters 5-8 Discussion Thread

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Chamber of Secrets Chapters 5-8 Discussion Thread

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Editado: Out 8, 2007, 8:19 am

It's Monday . . .

and that means it's time to start our discussion of the next four chapters in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Those chapters are

(5) The Whomping Willow
(6) Gilderoy Lockheart
(7) Mudbloods and Murmurs
(8) The Deathday Party

So, any thoughts? (I'll give my opinions in a later post; right now I just wanted to get the thread going!)

Out 8, 2007, 9:09 am

I always decided in that 6th chapter that I just wanted Gilderoy Lockheart just to go away. I hated him, I just was so done with him from that chapter that it was ridiculous.

(Oh, and did anyone else take a small guilty pleasure in Ms. Filch being petrified. I know it's sad, but now that I know that she's not dead....)

Out 8, 2007, 9:21 am

GL, I always felt a bit sorry for him, inventing a life because he was too ...uh....unmotivated to live his own.

Even cat lovers must feel a slight sense of vindication when mrs Norris got petrified, after all ,she's not a normal cat! I always wondered why he named her Mrs Norris? Maybe she used to be his lady love!

The Deathday party- well all I can say is ....eeeewwww!

Out 8, 2007, 9:24 am

polly i loved Peeves at the deathday party. He was in his element!

Out 8, 2007, 9:26 am

thats true! But still eeeewwwww!

Out 8, 2007, 9:29 am

(Okay, I'm back!)

Boy, a lot happens in these chapters. Like LG mentioned on last week's thread, I'm finding it hard to remember why this book is my least-favorite of the series (it still is, though).

I do love the scene where Harry and Ron, having just arrived by flying car, are looking in the windows and fantasizing about why Snape's not there:

"Maybe he's ill," said Ron hopefully.
"Maybe he's left, said Harry, "because he missed out on the defense against the dark arts job again!"
"Or he might have been sacked!" said Ron enthusiastically. "I mean, everyone hates him--"
"Or maybe," said a very cold voice right behind them, "he's waiting to hear why you two didn't arrive on the school train."

Love it! And it did get me thinking about a question for discussion: why did Snape want the DADA job so much?
(Book 6 & 7 SPOILERS follow!)
First of all, we hear about it from Percy in the first book: "He teaches Potions, but he doesn't want to -- everyone knows he's after Quirrell's job. Knows an awful lot about the Dark Arts, Snape."
This seems to suggest that Snape's early fascination with Dark magic makes him want the job -- but I rather think he got over that after Lily died. Which brings me to my next thought:
The job was cursed: "You see, we have never been able to keep a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher for longer than a year since I refused the position to Lord Voldemort." (Dumbledore, Book 6.) So, knowing this . . . death wish, Sev? Suicide by job choice? I discarded this idea pretty quickly, though I did wonder if that's why DD wouldn't give the job to Severus until HBP (DD knew that there would be changes the following year, since he knew his own death was impending). But that train of thought brought me to what Snape said when he did get the job:
(Harry:) "What's Dumbledore playing at, anyway, letting him teach Defense? Did you hear him talking about the Dark Arts? He loves them! All that unfixed, indestructible stuff--"
"Well," said Hermione, "I thought he sounded a bit like you."
(Heh, heh! Just what Harry loves to hear! But she has a point.) So, my conclusion, thinking back over circumstances, is that Snape really did want to teach, not "Dark Arts," but "Defense Against." I think he really did want to teach students to fight it, because he of all people had reason to hate it.

And, while we're still on the subject, notice that in the Book 2 scene I was originally discussing, when Harry doesn't show up where he's supposed to be, Snape is the one who goes to look for him? You're all sick of my pet theory about Snape doing his best to protect Harry from actual harm (while still allowing himself to be as verbally unpleasant as he likes) -- but there's another example!

Okay, I'm done going on about Snape for now. I did have thoughts pertaining to other characters and events in these chapters. A lot of good stuff is introduced:
-- We learn more about Filch, who becomes a moderately important character, at least in this book. The Kwikspell Course is a great way to both give insight into why Filch is such an unpleasant, bitter fellow, as well as introduce the concept of "Squibs" to the reader, I thought.
-- The idea of prejudice based on purity of blood is really emphasized, and goes on from there to become one of the themes of the entire series.
-- With the Deathday party, readers have what I believe is their first chance to put actual dates on the series: Nick mentions that it's his 500th, and the date on the cake is 1492, meaning that CoS is set in 1992 (and Harry and I are the same age).
-- Special mention to Nick for referring to his rival as "Sir Perfectly Decapitated-Podmore!"

Gripe about the movie: I actually think that CoS is the movie so far that stays most true to the book, but I do have one gripe -- Neville's earmuffs. In the movie, Neville faints during the Herbology lesson with the mandrakes (either because he'd been "neglecting his earmuffs," whatever that's supposed to mean, or because he was just overwrought by the sight of a mandrake, which is even dumber). This didn't happen in the book, and for good reason: Herbology was always Neville's best subject. I don't like that the movie took that away from him for the sake of a running gag ("It's always Neville").

On the other hand, the casting of Kenneth Brannaugh as Lockheart is one of the movie casting decisions that I wholeheartedly support!

Okay, now that I've rambled on extensively, what does everyone else have to say?

Out 8, 2007, 9:34 am

Nothing, fd, you've said it all! hehe (just kidding) you have brought up some majorly good points that I never thought of!

Out 8, 2007, 9:36 am

(Which is Polly's way of saying that I was really long-winded! It's all right, I know I was!)

Editado: Out 8, 2007, 9:40 am

Not at all FD I never thought that snapes being the one to find them as a protective thing, I always thought snape had a certain sensitivity ESP if you like about things happening around the castle and grounds.

Editado: Out 8, 2007, 9:41 am

good lord FD your fingers must hurt.
Now to your points:

I always thought that the reason Snape didn't get DADA was because Dumbledore thought he might refer back to his old ways but after reading all of them I'm not so sure. What if, and roll with me here, Dumbledore just didn't want him to get hurt. IF there was a jinx on the position, maybe Dumbledore wanted to keep Snape around and that's why he wouldn't let him have the job. Maybe he was just trying to protect Snape the was Snape protected Harry

Which rounds the bend to my next point I loved that scene when their talking about why Snape's not there. I always wanted to yell "STOP" at the book when I read this, (Though i usually love to yell a lot of things at that book it's one of my weird things. I yell at movies, and then generally get in trouble) Because all kids say stuff about their teachers when the teachers right behind them. It's like a curse I tell you! It's one of those scenes that make the books more real to me. It makes it like they're real kids, just a little more unlucky then me.

and that's all I have to say for right at this moment!

Out 8, 2007, 9:46 am

#9 -- that's what I always thought . . . about Filch! ;-)

#10 -- Yes! I agree (with pretty much everything you said). I'm really sad that the movie didn't do the scene with them talking about Snape, with him standing right behind them.

Out 8, 2007, 9:48 am

I think Mrs. Norris was the one with ESP she knew everything that was going on.

Out 8, 2007, 12:55 pm

#12 -- True. And putting her out of commission for most of the book probably made it easier for a lot of the sneaking-around that's done later in the book!

Out 8, 2007, 4:34 pm

Perhaps DD didn't give Snape the DADA job because Snape actually was doing so much to defend the school from Voldy, he didn't want any more attention brought Snape's way.

I love the Deathday party. Always thought the movies gave the ghosts short shrift--and left Peeves out completely. Stupid, especially since SPOILER all the stuff that comes out about them in book 7. Speaking of which, where is the Ravenclaw ghost lady (I forget her name)? She should have been mentioned in this book.

I always thought the movie was close to the book but there's a lot left out. I do like Branagh as Lockhart. He's so slimey, what a great character. I just want to punch him!

Out 8, 2007, 4:37 pm

yeah, I would have loved to see Peeves in the movie! And more of the fat lady and sir cardogon!

Out 8, 2007, 4:38 pm

I missed dobby in goblet of fire as well! and winky and S.P.E.W.

Out 8, 2007, 5:16 pm

I hate that they left out all of the best parts, which is the reason I haven't seen the fifth movie.

Out 8, 2007, 6:31 pm

i think, later on, they should make the movies (no matter how long) exactly like the book, down to the lines I would totally head up that project

Out 8, 2007, 6:54 pm

I disagree--books and movies are different. Good thing we have both!

Out 9, 2007, 12:29 pm

I think the fans should have some say in what goes in a movie!

Out 9, 2007, 12:49 pm

I leave movie making to the professionals. It's a visual medium. It's much more effective to have an actor convey the character'sthoughts and emotions through body language and inflection, etc., rather than voice overs or long conversations.

Books do some things better, movies other things. What's great about the movies are the special effects. What's great about books are getting into the characters' heads. Both are nice. And thinking fans should tell the director what to do is like saying fanfic should be canon.

Besides, sometimes movies cut out the chaff and a storyline ends up better. MOVIE/BOOK 5 SPOILER---For instance, who needs Marietta? It makes much more sense for Umbridge to have tortured Cho.

just mho, of course.

Out 9, 2007, 5:35 pm

For some reason, Chamber of Secrets is my least favorite of the books - I'm not sure why. I'm sorry I haven't been posting here! My work is crazy - we need a manager and a co-manager, and I just may get a promotion very soon. However, there's no place like home, and LT is definitely home! I'm hoping to get back to this thread with something to actually say by tonight (er, in my time zone, that is. :) You guys are doing great here! And #8 foggi: no better place than LT for that, right? :)

Out 9, 2007, 9:04 pm

#22 -- if you say so, Kerian! And I look forward to hearing your thoughts on CoS.

Several of us have mentioned that Chamber of Secrets is our least-favorite book (or one of our least-favorite books) in the series. I'd be interested on hearing why that is, for each of you.

For me, I think it's just less interesting, content-wise, than many of the others. It comes between PS/SS, which was the first and got us all interested, and PoA, which is my personal favorite (and I know there are others who feel the same) -- CoS feels like a "bridge" book to me in some ways. The most interesting things and characters are the ones that have significance for later books, and there are a lot of them in this book.

What does everyone else think?

Out 9, 2007, 9:11 pm

I always dislike 2 for a lot of the same reasons. The plot is exciting enough, but I guess it doesn't' tie in real significant new characters. Or atleast they don't seem all that important now. It was definitely a bridge book.

Also god I hate hate hate the Basilisk and the fact it lives in the school! Gah *shivers*

Out 9, 2007, 9:18 pm

#24 -- yeah, what was it doing all those years? Sleeping? Hibernating? Crawling around the pipes waiting for Slytherin's heir to let it out? Ick!

Out 9, 2007, 9:28 pm

probably sleeping, it didn't seem very ambitious if it wasn't ordered

Out 9, 2007, 10:14 pm

#22 K your job sounds like my job right now.

#23 Foggi, PoA is my favorite too. I agree with all the comments about it being a bridge book. I also think that that it is a bit of a cheat to have the heir of slytherin be a memory of Voldemort. It is kind of like having a mystery and the murdered does it because he can fly. It is just a bit of a cheat.

I also think the stories that reveal Harry's history are more interesting. Hence PoA being my favorite. We understand more about Harry's family and him and the revelations about Sirius are legitimate not forced.

I don't like how self-depricating Dobby is. It is uncomfortable to read.

I do like the parallel of Hermione being turned to stone with Shakespeare's THe Winter's Tale which is where she drew the name - as soon as I saw the name I knew she'd be turned to stone at some point.

Out 10, 2007, 12:03 pm

#27 Yeah, what Marensr said.

Also, it's weird that JKR didn't do more with the other Horcruxes in regard to their personalities. We know that the ring attacked DD and Ron & Harry both got a whammy, but the diary had like a whole person in there.

I just couldn't quite grasp the idea that young Tom was living in the book. Maybe it's a failure of my imagination.

Out 10, 2007, 12:47 pm

I don't dislike this book, I just like it least. The way I look at it is the first book is learning about HP and his whole world in general, but CoS is more about Voldemort's history. I think that is why it doesn't fit very well. The other books deal w/ Harry and his friends and other people he deals w/day to day. CoS oviously involves those people too, but the point of the book, the focus, is who was Voldemort before he became Voldemort. Neccessary info, but disturbs the flow.

Did I make sense here, or did I ramble?

Out 10, 2007, 1:01 pm

Book 6 is all about Voldy too.

I dunno, but I'm liking CoS more & more.

Out 10, 2007, 1:31 pm

Re #29: "I don't dislike this book, I just like it least."

Thank you -- those are my sentiments exactly, but you stated it so much more succinctly than I did!

Editado: Out 10, 2007, 6:05 pm

When I first read it, Book 5 was my least favorite. Harry had so much teenage angst!

The movie for Book 2 bugs me the least and had some moments that were done even better than in my imagination. The dueling club and the actual chamber were great! When the passageway opens after Harry tells it to blew me away. I think this movie helped me like the book better. All the other movies have left me feeling short changed!

Out 10, 2007, 6:08 pm

I love how meg put nearly everything she said. That's a lot why I like 3 better because it's the one with the least amount of Voldemort. The main focus is on Sirius Black (whom I adore and adopted as my godfather when I read it)

Out 10, 2007, 8:41 pm

But Sirius doesn't really show up until the last few chapters of PoA, although he does get talked about earlier but not in a flattering way. What made you adore Sirius so much in PoA?

I actually didn't like the first book very much plotwise. The whole business of the challenges that had to be met to reach the stone didn't make much sense when you think about it.

Out 10, 2007, 8:48 pm

i liked him in the end, that really he was a good guy, he was only considered bad cuz he was trying to vindicate his friend. I always liked that about him. I also love the irony that everyone thinks he's the grim, there's something that makes me smile about that.

How did the challenge not make sense. With something a important as the stone why wouldn't it be guarded by a series of magical challenges

Out 10, 2007, 10:53 pm

#32 -- yes, I love the dueling chamber in the movie!

#34 -- we did talk about the challenges guarding the Stone in an earlier discussion thread, and about how they require readers to suspend disbelief (not because they're there, g, but because they could be breached by three reasonably bright first-year students). I think what we all loved about the first books was the characters and the world, and the overarching plot, the feeling that there was so much more behind that one book.

Out 11, 2007, 8:35 am

ooo, I get it now! About the challenges I mean

Out 11, 2007, 2:07 pm

G just likes "bad boys"!

Out 11, 2007, 7:46 pm

no I like funny boys

Out 13, 2007, 3:14 pm

Hey everyone -- while you're enjoying your weekend, remember . . .

The discussion of Chapters 9-12 is coming up! See you Monday!

Out 13, 2007, 6:31 pm

yup yup yup!

Abr 16, 2008, 11:52 am

"Snape looked as though Christms had been canceled."= priceless.

Abr 16, 2008, 11:56 am

Ooo...that reminds me, I wanted to post to PoA!

Abr 30, 2009, 6:31 pm

*turns the Resurrection Stone*

*adds (probably unnecessary) SPOILER WARNING for book 6*

I've just been listening to CoS, and for the first time, I realized that the Vanishing Cabinet that Draco uses in Book 6 to bring the Death Eaters into Hogwarts is probably the one that Peeves knocked over above Filch's office in Book 2. Just another example of JKR's careful plotting -- both of the Vanishing Cabinets are introduced in this book, though they don't become significant until Book 6!

Abr 30, 2009, 7:21 pm

Good observation,FD! I would never have thought of that!

Abr 30, 2009, 7:42 pm

Isn't she clever! I was very excited to realize that the picture of the vanishing cabinet in my HP Clue game looks just like the one in the new trailer.

Abr 30, 2009, 9:39 pm

*possible 5th book spoilers*

#44 more good planning is that same vanishing cabinet is mentioned in the 5th book when Fred and Gearge push a Inquestor in it for trying to dock points from them.