Gilderoy Lockhart is a key figure from the early Harry Potter era.
I’ve read the Harry Potter series to my children twice. We are working on a third time; presently we are about a third through Order of the Phoenix.
Before I got hold of Harry, my wife read the entire series to the children. I’d overhear bits when I came up from work. Parts I heard from the last three books drew me in. From that point of view, I was a late comer to the earlier books.
Arriving at the series the way I did, I definitely think there are two eras of Harry Potter. In the first three books – Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and Prisoner of Azkaban – the kids are young. The stories are more tender because the kids are vulnerable due to their youth.
Later in the series, the books focus on how damage during childhood affects peoples’ later lives. That psychological focus unifies the last three books – Order of the Phoenix, Half Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows.
Gilderoy Lockhart, the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher from Chamber of Secrets, is a popular buffoon. Although he turns out to be unethical, he’s not evil. His playfulness and vanity stand out uniquely among the Potter characters. In many ways, Chamber of Secrets is his story as much as anyone’s.
Lockhart’s benign flaws fit in easily with the younger, more innocent period of the Potter books. Later on, his dominating early presence is all but forgotten. Yet, he remains a compelling figure, partly because of his unique ability to captivate other characters who endure through all seven books.
Here’s Gilderoy Lockhart, smiling as normal.
PS: I regret that I’ve not posted in over two months. The summer was good, but very busy. I have much to share, and will try to do so in more frequent posts starting soon. Until then, take care. I hope all is well with you:)