|“||Celebrity is as celebrity does.||”|
–Gilderoy Lockhart to Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, O.M. (Third Class), (b. 26 January, 1964) was a half-blood wizard, a Ravenclaw student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and later a famous wizarding celebrity who authored many books on dark creatures and his encounters with them. Prior to his tenure as Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry during the 1992–1993 school year, he received many prestigious awards, such as Order of Merlin, Third Class; Honourary Member of the Dark Force Defence League; and five-time winner of Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile Award. He invented an Occamy egg yolk shampoo, which was too dangerous and expensive for open market; it subsequently became his dream to market these products. His favourite colour is lilac.
He never actually did any of the heroic acts he claimed he had done, but instead used his considerable talent in Memory Charms to force the actual people who had done them into forgetting what they did. Ironically, Lockhart lost all his memory on 29 May, 1993 due to a backfired Memory Charm cast by Ron Weasley's damaged wand and he became a permanent resident of St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Following his hospitalisation, he dictated his final book entitled Who Am I?.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Physical description
- 3 Personality and traits
- 4 Magical abilities and skills
- 5 Possessions
- 6 Known published works
- 7 Relationships
- 8 Etymology
- 9 Behind the scenes
- 10 Appearances
- 11 External links
- 12 Notes and references
|“||It's not all book signings and publicity photos, you know. You want fame, you have to be prepared for a long hard slog.||”|
–Lockhart speaking about his life during a detention session., Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Gilderoy Lockhart was born on 26 January, 1964, to a Muggle man and a witch, and had two elder sisters, both of whom were Muggles (or squibs). Lockhart's mother loved him more than any of his siblings, and this, combined with the revelation of his wizardry and acceptance into Hogwarts, caused his vanity to grow like a weed. He and his mother forgot, in their excitement, that Hogwarts was a school for all British and Irish wizards, and thus his introduction into the school along with everyone else was, in his eyes, extremely dull.
He had hoped to be greeted by whispers and stares, as in his mind he was already a fully-fledged genius with extreme magical prowess; the fact that he was merely ordinary disappointed him. He did have tremendous ability, and he was cleverer than most of his classmates, but he had a bad flaw in that he would not try unless he was the very best.
His vanity was such that he valued learning not for education, but because it granted him attention; he craved attention and prizes, and begged the Headmaster to start a school newspaper purely so he could see his own name in print. When these exploits failed to grant him attention, he took to grander, more dramatic means of garnering attention. Though he had never been popular with the other students, he did manage to achieve small notoriety by carving his name into the Quidditch pitch (earning him a weeks' worth of detentions), shooting a hologram of his own face into the sky like the Dark Mark, and sending himself eight-hundred Valentines, causing breakfast to be cancelled due to the number of droppings and feathers in the porridge.
|“||Why, I remember the time when I was writing my second bestseller, Gadding with Ghouls. I believed that the more exposure I got in the press, the better my career would progress. Trouble was, I became overexposed! And it wasn't until I went mysteriously missing for three weeks, subsequently leaking the story to the Prophet that I'd been captured by Trolls in the wilds of Stockton-on-Tees, that I managed to regain my former prominent position as the world's most popular wizard.||”|
After his graduation from Hogwarts in 1982 (with a faint sigh of relief from the entire school), Lockhart became an accomplished author, travelling to exotic parts of the world and, having mastered Memory Charms shortly after his graduation, tricking accomplished witches and wizards into revealing their greatest deeds and then erasing their memories. He then returned to Britain with a new book each time; known victims of his trickery included an Armenian warlock and a witch with a hairy chin. His books were very popular, and he reserved a special quill of peacock feather just for book signings. He also received many awards for his supposedly great deeds, and was invited to join the Dark Force Defence League as an honorary member, all the while managing to successfully hide his fraudulence.
According to Lockhart, he initially believed that the more exposure he got in the press, the better his career would progress. By the time he was writing his second bestseller, Gadding with Ghouls, he became overexposed, something that damaged his popularity. He, then, went mysteriously missing for three weeks, after which he leaked to the Daily Prophet that he had been captured by trolls in the wilds of Stockton-on-Tees. The story boosted his popularity once again.
According to Lockhart, one must be "sparing with [one's] public appearances, at first", as one might become overexposed as it happened to him during the time he was writing his second bestseller, Gadding with Ghouls.
Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster during Lockhart's time, happened to have known two of the wizards whose memories Lockhart erased, and had a shrewd and accurate idea what was happening. He correctly believed that dragging Lockhart into a normal, school atmosphere would reveal his fradulence and, a vacancy in Defence Against the Dark Arts having opened up in June 1992, tracked down the author and, slyly hinting that teaching Harry Potter, who was a second-year student there at the time, would boost Lockhart's popularity beyond anything else, convinced Lockhart to return to Hogwarts (something Lockhart had not been too keen to do, as many of his teachers were still there and might have remembered his foolishness and ineptitude).
Lockhart thus became the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher for the 1992-1993 school year, and several of his books were assigned for the course that year, resulting in an unusually expensive book list. In August of 1992, Lockhart went to Flourish and Blotts to announce his employment; it was there that he met Harry Potter for the first time. He became quite excited and dragged Harry to the front, taking as many pictures as he could with the famous boy and then gifting him all of the set books in an attempt to garner some of Harry's affection. The incident, in fact, merely embarrassed Harry, who gave his books to Ginny Weasley, both because he could afford his own set and also because he did not particularly cherish his interaction with Lockhart.
Career at Hogwarts
|“||Let me introduce you to your new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.... me!||”|
–Gilderoy Lockhart, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
Being the only willing applicant for the cursed position, Gilderoy Lockhart became Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry during the 1992–1993 school year. His classroom and office at Hogwarts were decorated with pictures and portraits of himself (even one of himself painting another portrait of himself) which moved and smiled. He also decorated the office with copies of his publications.
For his first lesson, he gave his second-year class a "little quiz" which had nothing to do with defence, but instead concerned his autobiography, Magical Me and the parts of his books just referring to him, such as his favourite colour and his ideal birthday present; he simply wanted to see how much the class has read his books. Despite his claim of "little", it ran for three pages with fifty-four questions and only Hermione got all of them correct. He then proceeded to release a cage full of Cornish Pixies into the classroom, causing a large amount of pandemonium, then irresponsibly instructing Harry, Ron, and Hermione to clean up after the mess while running back into his office. He was the least bit popular among his fellow Hogwarts staff members and constantly gave them unsolicited pieces of advice on their specialties. Harry and his friends also found him quite obnoxious and could not take him seriously as a professor. Even Rubeus Hagrid, the gamekeeper, who usually refrained from criticising teachers, showed public disdain for Lockhart. Many male students, such as Ron Weasley, also considered Lockhart to be annoying and incompetent, and gave him very little respect outside of his presence. However, Lockhart's charms had attracted many schoolgirls such as Hermione Granger and Susan Bones.
After the pixie chaos, Lockhart did not bring any more live creatures into class, but instead read from his books and re-enacted several portions of his "achievements," sometimes dragging Harry to help him with it. The only reason Harry agreed to do so was to get a signed permission from Lockhart for a book in the Restricted Section of the library, which Lockhart signed without even paying attention to what book they wanted. Due to Lockhart's overall poor performances, the class did not learn anything about true defence, and Ron claimed that he only learned not to set pixies loose, and would have dropped the course had he been allowed to.
Irritating Harry Potter
|“||You could've fried an egg on your face.||”|
–Ron Weasley, after Lockhart embarrasses Harry, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
For the majority of the year, Lockhart kept hounding on Harry, trying to use him to boost his own fame, much to Harry's humiliation and irritation. Lockhart made it look as though Harry was trying to use his fame of defeating Lord Voldemort to make a name in the wizarding world, that the Flying Ford Anglia he rode on to school was a publicity stunt, and that he was enjoying his companionship with Lockhart and ignored much of Harry's attempted contradictions to these ridiculous hypotheses.
Lockhart personally requested Harry to help him answer his fan mails for detention, while bombarding Harry with his advices for fame, and thought Harry would think of this as a treat, much to the contrary. In fact, Harry practically begged Professor McGonagall to help Ron's detention in assisting Argus Filch in cleaning the Trophy Room instead, though the strict Transfiguration teacher refused. Harry then suffered several long hours of dull boredom, addressing envelopes. When Harry heard mysterious voices during this detention, Lockhart thought Harry was merely tired. Following the disastrous episode in which he released pixies in class, Lockhart staged dramatic readings from his books and often chose Harry to participate in re-enactments, much to Harry's aggravation.
After a Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Slytherin, in which the Gryffindor Seeker Harry Potter had his arm broken by a rogue Bludger, Lockhart offered to help repair his arm, while ignoring Harry's refusal, but ended up removing all the bones in Harry's arm. Lockhart founded a short-lived duelling club for students. He made a fool of himself at the very first meeting by firstly being disarmed by Severus Snape and then claiming that he allowed Snape to do so. He also angered a snake conjured by Draco Malfoy by launching it into the air rather than vanishing it, causing it to aim at Justin Finch-Fletchley. Lockhart was also indirectly responsible for bringing out Harry's full-fledged Parselmouth ability, because if he had vanished the snake successfully, there would be no need for Harry to run at the snake and demand it to leave Justin alone.
When Hermione Granger was in the hospital wing for a malfunction dosage of Polyjuice Potion, Lockhart sent her a get-well card, with an unnecessarily long introduction of himself as a signature. Hermione slept with this under her pillow, much to Ron Weasley's disgust.
Valentine's Day and the Chamber of Secrets
During Valentine's Day, Lockhart, wearing lurid pink robes, completely redecorated the Great Hall with pink flowers and raining heart-shaped confetti as a morale-booster to cheer up the mood against the Chamber of Secrets incident, much to the distaste of Ron Weasley and the teachers. Lockhart received at least forty-six valentines, one of which was from Hermione Granger, and made insensitive comments about Entrancing Enchantments and Love Potions towards Professors Flitwick and Snape, respectively. This made Flitwick bury his face in his hands in embarrassment, and Snape look as though he would force-feed poison to anyone who dare ask him for a Love Potion. He even had dwarfs wear golden wings and carry harps to deliver valentines throughout the school, which they do (even if they have to do so forcibly), much to Harry's embarrassment when one forced him to listen to one from Ginny Weasley by knocking him down. This event is, ironically, somewhat a repeat of his attempt to earn attention during his youth in Valentines Day, being equally annoying.
When the Chamber of Secrets was opened, Lockhart made false claims about that he knew where the Chamber was and what the monster of Slytherin is all along. He even claimed that he knew Rubeus Hagrid was guilty all along when the Minister for Magic arrested the former. While the other teachers were serious and tense from all the attacks, Lockhart was the only one who remained relaxed and uncaring about these security measures. In one instance walked up to a scene with a cheery personality and stated, "Sorry I'm late, what did I miss?"
On 29 May, 1993, when Ginny Weasley was taken into the Chamber of Secrets, the other teachers told Lockhart to go down to the Chamber and deal with the monster, in response to his arrogance and many claims that he knew how to solve the problem. Instead of trying to rescue Ginny, Lockhart attempted to run away from the school, but was caught by Harry Potter and Ron Weasley when they came to his office to give him information regarding the Chamber, and he accidentally revealed his life-style of fraudulence. Harry and Ron forced Lockhart to go down to the Chamber with them.
There, Lockhart seized Ron's broken wand and attempted to perform a total Memory Charm on Harry and Ron, planning on taking a piece of basilisk skin back up to the surface and tell everyone that he was too late to save Ginny and that the two "tragically" lost their minds at sight of her mangled body. The wand backfired and the charm hit Lockhart instead, causing him to lose all of his memories and become a permanent resident of St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. His departure from school was met with the joy and celebration of many students and teachers.
Despite his incapacitation, Lockhart continued his career as an author, after a fashion, getting someone to help him write the book Who Am I?
On Christmas, 1995, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and Ginny Weasley saw Lockhart at St Mungo's in the Janus Thickey Ward. He had regained his memory to the extent that he could write in cursive ("with joined-up letters"), and still enjoyed signing autographs. Ron felt somewhat guilty, since his malfunctioning wand was responsible for damaging Lockhart's memories, but Harry felt less sympathetic, for it was Lockhart's attempt to remove their memories in the first place that resulted in this backfire. Overall, Harry observed Lockhart had not changed much and voiced this opinion, making Ginny giggle.
The Healer who looked after Lockhart, Miriam Strout, stated he never got visitors, suggesting that his family was either dead or did not care for him. However, Lockhart still received fan mail including weekly letters from Gladys Gudgeon, though he had no idea why. He also kept his peacock-feather quill, though it had become somewhat battered by that time, so that he could keep signing autographs.
|“||To Miss Granger, wishing you a speedy recovery, from your concerned teacher, Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, Order of Merlin, Third Class, Honorary Member of the Dark Force Defence League and five-time winner of Witch Weekly's Most-Charming-Smile Award.||”|
–Lockhart's 'Get Well' card to Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Gilderoy Lockhart was a foppish, blandly handsome wizard with wavy blonde hair and particularly straight and shiny teeth. He was known for wearing flamboyant and flashy robes in a wide assortment of colours.
However, during his moments of cowardice, Lockhart's handsomeness was lost, as he looked weak-chinned and foolish in the midst of his ineptitude.
Personality and traits
|“||Yes, yes, I know what you're thinking! 'He's an internationally famous wizard already!' But when I was twelve, I was just as much of a nobody as you are now. In fact, I'd say I was even more of a nobody! I mean, a few people have heard of you, haven't they? All that business with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named! I know, I know -- it's not quite as good as winning Witch Weekly's Most-Charming-Smile Award five times in a row, as I have -- but it's a start, Harry, it's a start!||”|
–Lockhart displaying his arrogance as he talks to Harry., Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Gilderoy Lockhart's defining characteristics were his exceeding vanity, narcisissism and self-obsession. He was a voracious self-promoter and claimed to have done many great deeds, though in actuality he was a fraud and merely took credit for other wizards and witches' accomplishments; he went as far as to claim his winning of the Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile Award five times in a row is more impressive than Harry Potter defeating Lord Voldemort. He also made claims and suggestions, whether about other people's professions or in times of danger, in order to make himself look more important and powerful than he truly was. Like Stan Shunpike, Gilderoy tends to come up with made-up concepts on the spot rather frequently just to impress his admirers. His attempts to earn himself more fame also led him to attempt spells without fully understanding them (such as removing Harry's bones instead of mending them, and launching a snake into the air instead of making it vanish). It is also speculated that he invented some incantations and names for spells that do not actually exist, such as Peskipiksi Pesternomi, the Transmogrifian Torture, and the Homorphus Charm. As part of his vanity, Lockhart was very proud of his books, and would always make reference to them whenever giving advice based on his so-called experience.
Lockhart's overbearing self-confidence and insensitive suggestions irked most of the people he encountered who were not included among his fans. His unprofessional behaviour earned him the dislike of the Hogwarts faculty, as well as many of the students. Lockhart was overall considered a joke by Hogwarts, and when he left due to memory loss, the majority (if not the entirety) of the school was elated to see him go.
|“||Lockhart'll sign anything if it stands still long enough.||”|
He also seemed to be completely oblivious to the reactions he elicited from other people, or misinterpreted them completely. When Ron looked revolted at his ostentatious peacock quill, Lockhart thought Ron was admiring it. He ignored Harry's many attempts to contradict his theories of enjoying his company and attention, as well as Harry's pleas for Lockhart to leave his broken arm alone, and also completely failed to notice the looks of hatred he received from the rest of the faculty for his ignorance. He asserted that Hogwarts was safe from the monster of Slytherin after Hagrid was arrested, claiming extra security was no longer necessary, and though proven wrong almost immediately, Lockhart stubbornly refused to retract his earlier claims, and continued to complain about how the extra security was tiring him out.
When faced with true danger, Gilderoy showed his true cowardice. He attempted to flee from Hogwarts when the other teachers pressured him into entering the Chamber of Secrets after Ginny Weasley's abduction, and claim that his books can be misleading, contradicting his past vain support on them. Even after the location of the Chamber's entrance was discovered, he was willing to leave Ginny Weasley to die, attempting to modify Harry and Ron's memories to cover himself.
Although Lockhart started out as a clever and very skilled student, being sorted into Ravenclaw house, he had a critical flaw in never trying in his studies (or anything) unless he was the very best of it, having been spoiled by his mother's overly affection and his own vanity. Even in his childhood, he already expected the students and teachers to greet him with admiration and excitement, as he deluded himself into thinking he is a genius above all others of undeserved rights, and was very disappointed and dulled when he was not given any special treatments. He studied not for education, but for attention and awards, and spent much of his time with annoying antics for fame that instead earned him a small notoriety. This led his talents to be wasted away, as the only spell he focused on was the Memory Charm. His abilities were eventually deteriorated beyond the point of recovery.
|“||My dear boy, do use your common sense! My books wouldn't have sold have as well if people didn't think I did all those things...||”|
–Lockhart's response to Harry Potter., Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Despite his ineptitude in most other areas of magic due to long-term neglect and misuse, Lockhart was skilled in Memory Charms, it being the one spell he focused on for his entire life, and was conniving enough to deceive other wizards and witches to thoroughly reveal their work to him before erasing their memories and claim the credits for himself. He also appeared to have been a skilled writer, publishing many books consisting primarily of his embellishments of other people's achievements, taking credit for them as his own. Given his propensity for lying, however, it cannot be said for certain that Lockhart himself actually wrote any of the books.
Magical abilities and skills
Although Gilderoy Lockhart was very skilful in his youth, years of misuse and abandonment had diminished and rusted his magical abilities nearly beyond repair.
|“||Yes, now you mention it. I'm rather gifted with Memory Charms.||”|
–Lockhart in 1992, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Charms: Lockhart dedicated most of his life to learning and perfecting the Memory Charm, which he could eventually do without fail. He was also capable of performing, simple, minor enchantments such as the Verdimillious Duo Spell.
- Potions: Lockhart was capable of creating some basic brews, such as an Occamy egg yolk shampoo, which was too dangerous and expensive for the open market. He claimed that he made the Mandrake Restorative Draught so many times that he could do it in his sleep, but this was a lie to garner more attention for himself.
- Wand: Lockhart's wand was made of cherry and dragon heartstring. According to him, it was expensive. He lost it when Harry Potter disarmed him and Ron Weasley threw the wand out of an open window.
- Luggage set: Lockhart possessed a large set of fine luggage to hold his many belongings from his years of fraudulent fame, mostly related to his vanity. These include his many robes of varying colours, portraits and photos of himself, and a false hair piece. He tripped over one of the trunks when Harry disarmed him.
- Peacock quill: Lockhart possesses a quill crafted from a peacock's feather. He saved it for special occasions, such as signing autographs, and is rather proud of it. He completely misread Ron's revolt at the quill as admiration. After his memory loss, Gilderoy continued to use the quill to sign autographs, but it has become battered since.
Known published works
|“||For full details, see my published works.||”|
–Lockhart referencing his advices to his books., Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Lockhart was an accomplished author, with twelve of his books shown. Although nine of them were supposed to be about eradicating dark forces, they were in fact just recollections of his experiences (of which he stole from other people) and his personal profiles, somewhat an extension of his autobiography. All of these were published before his stint as a Hogwarts professor (except Who Am I?). Due to the immense popularity, the books were very expensive; he gifted an entire set to Harry Potter as a publicity stunt, to which Harry donated to Ginny Weasley.
Lockhart assigned seven of these books to be his textbooks for his Defence Against the Dark Arts course, though it was simply an excuse for him to sell his works to the students, as none of them have any educational usefulness. He gave an overly long "little quiz" during the first lesson to test out how much his students took in from his collected works, but most show little interest and did poorly. After the first lesson ended up in disaster, Lockhart simply read from these books aloud and sometimes reenact the contents to the class in a theatrical manner.
- Break with a Banshee
- Gadding with Ghouls
- Gilderoy Lockhart's Guide to Household Pests
- Holidays with Hags
- Magical Me (autobiography)
- Marauding with Monsters
- The Travel Trilogy
- Travels with Trolls
- Voyages with Vampires
- Wanderings with Werewolves
- Who Am I?
- Year with the Yeti
Gilderoy was born in the Lockhart family, with a muggle father, witch mother, and two elder sisters, both of whom were muggles. His mother loved him more than she did her two daughters, which, when combined with Gilderoy's revealed wizardry and acceptance into Hogwarts, lead his vanity to grow like a weed. Both mother and son were too excited to remember that Hogwarts accepts all students from Britain and Irish, and she was as deluded as her son in thinking that he was special amongst all children of his age. Due to Mrs. Lockhart's overly love and pampering, she completely spoiled and deluded her son, which would lead to a very negative impact onto his future.
When Gilderoy was admitted to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries due to self-inflicted amnesia, none of his family members nor relatives visited, as his father and sisters are muggles and seemingly cannot enter. Why his mother is did not attend to him is unknown.
Most of Lockhart's fans were composed of middle-aged housewives, such as Molly Weasley, and young schoolgirls, such as Hermione Granger and Susan Bones. They were charmed by his looks and impressive claims, but neglected to notice other dimensions of his personality, like his narcissism and general incompetence. Lockhart's notable fans, such as Gladys Gudgeon and Veronica Smethley, regularly wrote him adoring fan mail. Once Lockhart was exposed as a fraud and suffered permanent amnesia, the majority of his fans most likely lost interest in him, though Gladys continued to send him letters.
|“||That's got him out from under our feet.||”|
–Professor McGonagall expressing her happiness at sending Professor Lockhart away., Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
During his time as a Ravenclaw student, Lockhart was already unpopular with the school's residents almost immediately due to his self-delusions and obnoxious vanity. He was expecting everyone to whisper and stare about him, and found it dull and disappointing when they did not. His attempts to gain himself more attention did him little good, instead made him more of an annoying troublemaker when he begged headmaster Albus Dumbledore to start a school newspaper solely for his own name to appear in its print, carved his name into the Quidditch pitch (earning him a weeks' worth of detentions), shooting a hologram of his own face into the sky like the Dark Mark, and sending himself eight-hundred Valentines, causing breakfast to be cancelled due to the number of droppings and feathers in the porridge. His squandering of his own talents and refusal to take his studies seriously also earned him the scorn of his teachers. Lockhart's graduation was met with a faint sigh of relief from the entire school.
When Lockhart had erased the memories of two wizards, Dumbledore eventually found out and decided to track him down and make him pay for his crimes. Dumbledore offered Lockhart a position as the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, under the correct belief that school is the best location to expose the fraud for what he is. Lockhart was reluctant at first, as he was aware that his former educators remain vigilant of his incompetence, but was instantly swayed when Dumbledore mentioned Harry Potter's fame, which Lockhart would believe as a boost to his own. Whether the other professors knew of Dumbledore's ploy against Lockhart is unknown, but according to Hagrid, the main reason for Lockhart's appointment was that he was the only applicant for the cursed position.
During his tenure in the 1992–1993 school year, Lockhart made an utter mess out of the subject due to his incompetence. He also annoyed most of the teachers (some of whom remember his time as a student) by making it look as though he was superior to them in every one of their fields, while proving otherwise with his consistently terrible performances. As such, his coworkers found him extremely obnoxious and could not take him seriously as a professor. Lockhart's insensitive nature embarrassed Snape and Flitwick on Valentine's Day, when he made comments about Love Potions and Entrancing Enchantments regarding them, respectively, while disgusting everyone else by just overdecorating the Great Hall, and releasing dwarfs throughout the school to deliver Valentines, interrupting classes in progress. By the end of the year, the other teachers were pleased to see him leave, going as far as to join in the students' applause of the announcement.
Even Rubeus Hagrid, who normally would never have criticised a teacher, publicly expressed disdain for Lockhart. Lockhart, on the other hand, did not seem to notice the resentment the teachers had for him, and instead kept on annoying everyone. When Hagrid was sent to Azkaban based on Cornelius Fudge's misguided beliefs, Lockhart adamantly believed Hagrid to be guilty of opening the Chamber of Secrets, despite future events and the continuous tension of the atmosphere prove otherwise. This might have been the result of Hagrid claiming that he never read Lockhart's books, and that Harry would not be giving out signed photographs, both of which made Lockhart disappointed.
Gilderoy was particularly disliked by Professor Snape for not only taking the teaching post he coveted so much, but also for his constant and presumptuous attempts to advise Snape with largely nonsensical suggestions; Snape looked as though he was prepared to kill Lockhart during the duelling club, as Harry described, and something even Lockhart eventually saw when he looked at Snape's expression. When Ginny Weasley was taken into the Chamber of Secrets, Snape immediately sent Lockhart to deal with the monster within. The other teachers agreed unanimously, in the hopes of scaring Lockhart away, especially considering he had walked in obliviously while the other teachers were devastated by Ginny's impending doom. In revenge, they took Lockhart's earlier claims and used it against him, while ignoring his attempt to stammer his way out with feeble excuses.
While unpopular during his time as a student, Lockhart, as a teacher, had a mixed relationship with the students of Hogwarts: about half of them admired him for his celebrity status, while the other half resented him for being obnoxious and fake. However, by the end of the year, when Lockhart revealed his own fraudulence and left school due to his accidental self-induced amnesia, pretty much every student gave their round of applause at the news.
The half of the students who initially admired him were mostly girls like Hermione and Susan, who fell for his good looks, and people who actually believed in the accomplishments in his books, such as Justin Finch-Fletchley and Colin Creevey. They remained ignorant of Lockhart's true colours, even when he revealed them little by little throughout his terrible performances. When he was finally exposed as a fraud, they most likely abandoned their faith in him.
Much like most of the faculty, the other half of the students simply found Lockhart to be annoyingly unpleasant. His ineffectiveness in teaching them anything useful had caused a rift for their education experience. Draco Malfoy, while showing no sympathy either for or against Lockhart, mocked Harry for being dragged into the spotlight by the professor.
|“||Harry yearned to throw Gadding with Ghouls right in Lockhart's stupid face.||”|
–Harry Potter's feelings towards Lockhart., Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter particularly disliked Lockhart for dragging him into the spotlight against his will (the moment they first met), beginning with the book-signing during which Lockhart made a spectacle out of Harry as a publicity stunt, and for making Harry seem as though he was constantly seeking attention; the only reason Lockhart returned to Hogwarts to teach was under the presumption that getting close to Harry would boost his own popularity. Lockhart only further infuriated Harry by doing far more damage than help when he removed Harry's arm bones instead of mending them when they were broken by Dobby's tampered Bludger, requiring him to use Skele-Gro. Their first lesson was enough to make Harry realise that Lockhart was incompetent, he would spend much of the school year avoiding Lockhart to the best of his power, and practically begged Professor McGonagall to allow him an alternate detention when he was assigned to help Lockhart answer his fan-mails, which Lockhart thought was a treat, when Harry thought otherwise. Lockhart would often drag Harry to the front of the class to reenact some of the more dramatic portions within the textbooks' contents in a theatrical manner, as part of the "lecture", something Harry would have refused if he did not have a very good reason then. Lockhart even offered Harry some private Quidditch lessons, to which Harry refused.
|“||You're a fraud! You've just been taking credit for what other wizards have done!||”|
–Harry Potter confronting Lockhart., Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
Harry would use Lockhart's ignorance against him, by requesting him to sign a permission slip for a library book in the Restricted Section that no other teachers would so easily do, and then have Lockhart return to class prematurely so Harry and Ron can sneak off from all security measures set. Neither Harry nor Ron had any qualms about attacking Lockhart and forcing him to enter the Chamber of Secrets, and they even made him go first as a buffer for any approaching harm. Harry didn't have much sympathy when Lockhart lost his memories after his Memory Charm backfired, as it was entirely his fault for attempting it on Harry and Ron in the first place.
|“||I haven't learned anything from him except not to set pixies loose.||”|
–Ron Weasley dismissing Lockhart's lessons., Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Ron Weasley, who was already annoyed since the book-signing at Flourish and Blotts made it look as though his family was unimportant, saw Lockhart for what he truly was during their first lesson, when the professor gave a test completely irrelevant to the subject, and then released a boisterous group of pixies he was unable to contain. Ron's disgust deepened over the year, when Lockhart's continuous ineptitude annoyed him repeatedly, going as far as wanting to drop out of Lockhart's class because of it, feeling very revolted (alongside the rest of the staff) with Lockhart's over-decorative "morale booster" on Valentine's day, sickened by Lockhart's overly lavish peacock quill (something Lockhart completely misinterpreted as admiration), and reached a critical level when Lockhart attempted to flee while allowing Ron's sister to die in the Chamber of Secrets; when they finally discovered where the fabled Chamber was, and that Lockhart inadvertently admitted himself as a fraud, Ron demanded that Lockhart go first into the Chamber as a test subject. However, three years later, Ron felt somewhat guilty for Lockhart losing his memories due to his Memory Charm backfiring from using Ron's damaged wand.
|“||Why have you outlined all Lockhart's lessons in little hearts?||”|
–Ron Weasley upon seeing Hermione's timetable., Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Unlike Ron and Harry, Hermione Granger was a big fan of Lockhart, showing excitement at the prospect at meeting him at Flourish and Blotts, saying that he has written almost the entire booklist. When Lockhart taught at Hogwarts, Hermione dismissed his mistakes, when normally she would become impatient whenever anyone cast a single spell wrong, such as after Lockhart's first lesson, she insisted that Lockhart just wanted to give them some hands on experience by bringing pixies to the class, and refused to see that he did not know what he was doing. She also dismissed his blunders as the usual honest mistakes, such as when he deboned Harry Potter's arm, and talking about "all the amazing things he's done."
Ron Weasley also noticed that she had outlined Lockhart's lessons on her timetable with hearts. It was presumed she was shocked when Lockhart was exposed as a fraud. It was possible, however, that she simply fell for his good looks, as she was described to be breathless when she saw him at St. Mungo's, despite Lockhart already having been exposed as a fraud. Hermione claimed that she admired "the amazing things he had done", but she had showed signs that she only admired his good looks, no matter what she said to the contrary. Also, when she claimed that she didn't like someone just because they're handsome after their second year, Ron coughed the word "Lockhart".
|“||Gilderoy, you naughty boy, where have you wandered off to?||”|
–Miriam Strout finding Gilderoy wandering around., Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
When Gilderoy was admitted into St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries due to is self-inflicted amnesia, the healer in charge of his ward, Miriam Strout, took care of him. She was very motherly to him, catering to his condition with an affectionate tone, leading him back into his room when he slipped out while speaking kindly to him as though he was a child out of place. She also took pity on him for the fact that nobody visited him.
Gilderoy was a name that J. K. Rowling found in Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. According to the dictionary, the name belongs to two different highway men who were both described as incredibly handsome.
Gilderoy is an Irish and Scottish name that refers back to Gilroy, which means "son of the red-haired servant", or "son of the king's servant."
Behind the scenes
- Lockhart is portrayed by Irish actor Kenneth Branagh in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; he was originally to be portrayed by Hugh Grant, but due to scheduling problems he was replaced. One of Grant's middle names is, coincidentally, "Mungo".
- J. K. Rowling has made it known that Gilderoy Lockhart is the only character in the series to be based upon a real person, and claims that she "barely exaggerated" the personality. She has refused, however, to specify who that is. Furthermore, she stated that basing the character on this man "made up for having to endure him for two solid years."
- A rumour circulated that the character of Gilderoy Lockhart was based on J. K. Rowling's ex-husband, but this was roundly refuted on her website. She termed the rumour "toxic", "hurtful," and "damaging".
- Lockhart's movie version seems to be more likable and comical than his book version, as he was willing to clear Harry from Snape's insinuations that Harry was involved in Mrs. Norris' petrification, informing that Harry was in detention with him. It may be due to the fact that Lockhart's useless classes and his most annoying treatment of Harry were cut from the film, but his fraudulence and willingness to let Ginny die in the Chambers still preserves him as detestable.
- Lockhart was in an early draft of the Order of the Phoenix film, as he was in the book, but was written out of the final version. Had he remained, it would have been the first time Kenneth Branagh and ex-wife Emma Thompson were in the same film together since their divorce in 1995, along with Helena Bonham Carter, Branagh's former mistress.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, after losing his memory, Lockhart starts making tea. Also, he is the only teacher who is referred to by their first name. His hair is implied on many occasions to be a wig, as it keeps nearly falling off his head.
- As well as this, he is the only Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher to have no connection with Lord Voldemort (Quirrell housed Voldemort in his head, Lupin's former friend Peter Pettigrew was Voldemort's spy, Dolores Umbridge worked for the Ministry after Voldemort took it over, Moody was impersonated by a Death Eater, then murdered by Voldemort and Snape was Voldemort's former Death Eater and a spy in his ranks). Lockhart has no known connection with Voldemort, because Ginny opened the Chamber of Secrets, and he never saw Riddle's diary.
- Lockhart does, however, share Voldemort's trait of wanting to be special, as he was upset to find he wasn't the only wizard.
- Observing his flamboyant clothes, it's not difficult to imagine Lockhart as an expert of fashion and a regular reader of fashion magazines (and indeed, many fans found him to be a stylish character in the film series). Furthermore, he received Britain's Best Dressed Wizard Award sometime before 1992. Considering that his secret ambition is to market his own range of hair care potions, he may also be an expert on hair care and, possibly, make up.
- As one of Lockhart's stated ambitions was "harmony between magic and non-magic peoples," he may be in favour of greater rights for Muggles, though is not known to have done anything to specifically champion the cause. Given his ego he probably regretted that his fame was limited to the wizarding community.
- J. K. Rowling has stated that Lockhart's name was taken from a church in Scotland.
- In the video game adaption of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, it is very much evident that Lockhart is very vain as nearly the entire classroom is taken up by paintings of himself, as in the book, but it is much more exaggerated.
- Lockhart's favourite colour is lilac.
- Lockhart is similar, personality-wise, to Zapp Brannigan from the TV show Futurama," sharing good looks, fraudulent reputations, and nearly pathological self-obsession, along with being oblivious to how much they are detested by the other characters.
- Lockhart's mysterious disappearance for a few weeks early in his career may be a reference to a real-life episode in the early career of Agatha Christie.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Harry Potter LEGO Sets
Notes and references
- Pottermore - New from J.K. Rowling: "Gilderoy Lockhart"
- Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey, p. 74 (See this image)
- As exactly a decade (ten years) has passed between Lockhart's graduation and his employment in 1992, meaning his graduation was in 1982 and he began in 1975. He thus was born in 1964, being eleven years old at the time of his beginning at Hogwarts.
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- See this image, which shows Lockhart holding his wand aloft with a silvery-white vapour emitting from it.
- Lockhart wears Ravenclaw Quidditch robes in a photo taken for the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which can be seen in the "Lockhart's Classroom" feature on Disc 2 of the DVD, and in the picture-in-picture feature on Disc 1 of the Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray.
- "Exclusive: JK Rowling on Harry Potter character Gilderoy Lockhart - audio", at The Guardian (A Celebration of Harry Potter)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) - XBOX version
- BBC Radio 4 interview with J. K. Rowling, summer 2005 (excerpt here on Pottermore)
- Harry Potter Reading Club live webchat, 11 October 2012 (source here)
- Accio Quote - J.K. Rowling at the Edinburgh Book Festival
- Lockhart is a character in the "Downloadable Character Pack" DLC for LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7. His character is called "Lockhart (Straightjacket)" because he is shown wearing the straightjacket he wore in St. Mungo's.