Chamber of Secrets Chapters 9-12 Discussion Thread

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Chamber of Secrets Chapters 9-12 Discussion Thread

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Editado: Out 15, 2007, 11:04am

Here it is, Monday again, and that means time to discuss! This week's chapters are:

  • 9. The Writing on the Wall
  • 10. The Rogue Bludger
  • 11. The Dueling Club
  • 12. The Polyjuice Potion

  • I'll add my own thoughts later, but for now, have at it!

    (edited to tweak HTML)

    Editado: Out 15, 2007, 11:41am

    Just a thought, to get things going. . . .

    I was thinking about the way CoS seems to be a less-favorite with many of us, and I wondered: Several of the characters introduced in this book (maybe most of the characters introduced) are in some way unpleasant. I mean, you have the egotistical and obnoxious Gilderoy Lockheart, weepy Moaning Myrtle, Dobby (whom I rather like, but some find him obsequious and irritating) . . . and I think this is the first book Lucius Malfoy actually appears in, though he may have been mentioned in SS/PS. Of course, the Dursleys were plenty nasty in the first book (not to mention dear Severus, the ever-unpleasant), and even more unpleasant characters come in further along the series (Umbridge, for one) -- what do you think about this? Does CoS introduce any really likable characters? Do you have a different take on any of the ones mentioned? Anything you'd like to add?


    Out 15, 2007, 11:43am

    well the teacher that always filled in for Hagrid was introduced...for some reason I can't think of her name.

    Out 15, 2007, 11:47am

    Grubbly-Plank? (Was she in this one? *goes back to reread*)

    Out 15, 2007, 11:51am

    well Hagrid had been taken off so someone had to replace him 8)

    Out 15, 2007, 11:58am

    Yeah, but he wasn't Care of Magical Creatures teacher yet -- just grounds keeper. (Or am I really confused? It's been known to happen before.)

    Out 15, 2007, 12:01pm

    *scratches chin* lol that's a good question i thought he was CMC teacher by then but i better double check 8)

    Editado: Out 15, 2007, 12:50pm

    My son and I just started the Goblet of Fire and we haven't run into anyone named Grubble-Plank or seen anyone replace Hagrid in any capacity yet, so I believe you are mistaken. And Hagrid becomes the CoMC teacher in the Prisoner of Azkaban (he was cleared of the offense that got him expelled from Hogwarts at the end of CoS so he couldn't have been a teacher during this book).

    Out 15, 2007, 12:54pm

    #8 -- I know she makes an appearance in GoF, and also later in the series. But I didn't think I remembered seeing her earlier.

    Okayyyyyy . . . back to Chamber of Secrets, chapters 9-12! Any thoughts?

    Out 15, 2007, 12:58pm

    I think it's the Dobby factor for me. Not so much Lockhart--all the DADA teachers are uniquely obnoxious, that's why they're great.

    Dobby just bugs. Winky, too. I can deal with Kreacher, but in general house elves are annoying. I hate SPEW, too. Does this make me racist?

    Out 15, 2007, 1:08pm

    #7 Okay folks I went back and reread where they take Hagrid and I bow out. they never mention anything about grubbley-plank *sigh* I got all ahead of myself 8)

    Out 15, 2007, 1:22pm

    A couple of thoughts occurred to me during this read-through:

    1. Who does a wizard's laundry? The house elves can't touch it or they get freed.

    2. Why does everyone only get petrified? Why doesn't the snake actually kill anyone? It just looks at them and moves on. What good is a death stare if you can't tell whether it worked or not?

    3. If I were Dumbledore, I would make sure there were plenty of roosters hidden away somewhere, once it was obvious the chamber was really open.

    4. There are so many clues about Ginny being involved. How did I miss them?

    5. I love Tom Felton in the film. He's a perfect slimey Malfoy.

    Out 15, 2007, 3:39pm

    12> For 2, it was explained at the end that all the gazes were attenuated by something, the camera, a mirror (for Hermione), and someone got it while looking through Nearly Headless Nick. Oh, and for the cat the gaze was reflected in all the water on the floor. All of it adds up to an uncomfortably big coincidence if you ask me.

    Out 15, 2007, 4:31pm

    #13 yes, I understood that part, but wouldn't it make sense for the snake to know it had to look them right in the eye, not through some medium?

    The coincidence thing, too, is annoying. I always thought at least one person should have been actually killed, but at the time I was thinking she wouldn't go there because it was a kid's book. Remember those halcyon days before Goblet of Fire?

    Out 15, 2007, 4:34pm

    grubbly plank first appears in PoA when hagrid goes to court for Buckbeak

    Editado: Out 15, 2007, 4:35pm

    #14: I was thinking about this, too. It seems like there was a trade-off -- in the early books, there's a good bit of coincidence and suspension of disbelief; in the later books, there are some deaths that seem senseless or gratuitous.

    Out 15, 2007, 6:42pm

    12 - 4. There are so many clues about Ginny being involved. How did I miss them?

    That is what really hit me, but I guess I just thought she was an "ickle firstie" and that was her reaction to the whole thing. It is just another example of Rowlings great writing!

    Out 15, 2007, 6:58pm

    Hi, I am new to LT as of yesterday. I'm delighted to see this thread...after years of "I'll read HP as soon as I have time," I finally started reading the series a couple of weeks ago and had just passed this week's chapters! I'll try to take part as soon as I find and read the previous chapter threads. Thanks!
    BTW, I'm an adult w/o kids, and the last in my circle of friends to read HP. At least I am current on the films. ;)

    Out 15, 2007, 7:07pm

    Welcome, gallifrey! I was just thinking I should make a thread that links to all of our past discussion threads -- maybe, if work is quiet this evening and I get through my in-basket, I'll have a chance to do that. At any rate, welcome! Be careful of spoilers, if that sort of thing bothers you, because we do tend to discuss in light of what happens in later books (or, as you may have seen above, what happens later in the same book). But please join in often! It's always great to get the perspective of a first-time reader.

    Out 15, 2007, 7:36pm

    Did anyone else giggle at the fact that Dobby thought to save harry potter he'd sic a bludger on him?

    I always found that funny.

    Icky Icky polyjuice potion

    Out 15, 2007, 7:43pm

    20: Yeah, better to be sent home incapacitated than to stay at Hogwarts!

    Out 15, 2007, 7:48pm

    "Harry Potter must not return to hogwarts!!!"

    Out 15, 2007, 7:49pm

    Dobby's craaaaazzzy:0

    Out 15, 2007, 7:52pm

    gosh I love that little nutsy elf though.

    Out 15, 2007, 8:01pm

    he was really cool when he turned on Mr malfoy! "you shall not harm Harry Potter!

    Out 15, 2007, 8:42pm

    15 > Pollysmith, can I get a page number on that? I skimmed the whole section of PoA around where Hagrid goes to court for Buckbeak and I find no mention at all of there being a replacement.

    Out 15, 2007, 8:51pm

    I think you may be right,jj I was relying on memory earlier but I can't find her mentioned in PoA

    Out 15, 2007, 8:55pm

    hello....chapters 9-12 here! Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

    Out 15, 2007, 8:56pm

    sorry! (blush)

    Out 15, 2007, 8:57pm

    whoa someone scolding polly. Never thought I'd see the day!

    Out 15, 2007, 9:03pm

    I love when Ron says "D'you think we've got nothing better to do in Potions than listen to Snape?"

    I love how the first thing the kids see in adult wizards duelling is Snape using expelliarmus!, Harry's favourite spell.

    When Snape tells Draco to conjure up the snake in the duel, was he testing Harry to see if he was a parselmouth? Did he already suspect?

    Interesting that Harry spends so much time wondering if he's descended from Salazar Slytherin, when his heritage does become important later on.

    Someone play along with me, I feel like I'm all alone out here....sigh...

    Out 15, 2007, 9:04pm

    i'm here but very tired, I'm just reading

    Out 15, 2007, 9:14pm

    never thought of Snape testing Harry, just thought he was malevolent. (took 2 tries to get that spelled right) now though snape was probably poking around to see what if...

    I am so glad that Harry isn't a descendant of Slytherin, that woulda annoyed me, cuz he's such a good guy

    Out 17, 2007, 9:00pm

    think about the polyjuice potion. If you could turn into somebody else for an hour who would it be? This could be a whole new thread! I would be Hermione!

    Out 17, 2007, 9:09pm

    Gosh, think of the pranks you could pull! (Actually, I'm not much of a practical joker, so maybe not me, but I'm sure somebody around here would have good ideas.)

    Really, there's nobody I can think of that I'd want to look like for an hour. At least, not enough to drink that seriously nasty stuff and face the pain of transformation.

    Out 17, 2007, 9:12pm

    comeon foggi! it only lasts a minute! (lol)

    Out 17, 2007, 9:14pm


    *screws up mouth, tight shut*

    Not drinking it!

    Out 17, 2007, 11:50pm

    I agree. grrrrooooossss!!!

    Out 18, 2007, 12:32pm

    Does it have to be someone in the series, or anyone, in fiction or RL? I would have to think about it.

    In the series, I think I'd like to be a Weasley.

    btw, CoS has only 6 chapters left...should we just read to the end this week? I'd hate to stop in the middle of the big climax.

    Out 18, 2007, 1:01pm

    I was thinking either read through all six, or split it three and three. I'm fine with doing all six . . . what does everyone else think?

    Out 18, 2007, 1:02pm

    might as well, or split it into 3 and 3.

    Out 18, 2007, 1:04pm

    Which would you prefer, meg?

    Out 18, 2007, 1:09pm

    doggonit! stupid slow computer! I think 3 and 3 will work best. Don't want to over tax the busy people. Wait! I'm a busy people this week! I nearly forgot! Definately, let's draw this out for two more weeks and make it 3/3.

    Out 18, 2007, 1:12pm

    Okay, how about everyone else?



    Out 18, 2007, 1:16pm

    I think we're the only two currently here, FD. do you want to do the last 6 chapters?

    Out 18, 2007, 2:07pm

    Oh, I don't know. I go back and forth. I've just gone through midterms, so I don't really have much of a brain left right now. And I'm sure people with opinions will be along shortly! :-)

    Out 18, 2007, 2:18pm

    Either way, but polly will talk about the whole 6 chapters anyway.

    I'll just read to the end and comment appropriately, how's that?

    Out 18, 2007, 2:21pm

    LOL! Actually, I'm liable to talk about the whole six chapters anyway . . . or the whole darn series, if I get going, much to the chagrin of people who want to stay on-topic!

    Out 18, 2007, 2:58pm

    I'm game for whatever being one of the less busy people

    Out 18, 2007, 6:37pm

    Dowsn't matter to me I'm already reading PoA

    Out 18, 2007, 8:57pm

    I'm looking forward to PoA, but I'm looking forward to taking my time with it.

    Out 18, 2007, 11:50pm

    Why don't we start 2 threads on Monday, Chpt 13-15 and 16-18. That way people who have finished the book can talk about the last chapters, but those who can only manage 3 chapters still have a place to discuss stuff.

    Out 19, 2007, 12:58am

    I somehow don't like the idea of splitting the discussion up like that. How about we go ahead and post one thread for the next six chapters, but plan to take a week off before starting Prisoner of Azkaban. That way, those who can only read three or four chapters this coming week can catch up the following week.

    What does everyone else think?

    Out 19, 2007, 7:52am

    i think That is a great Idea Foggie!

    Out 19, 2007, 8:05am

    smooth foggi, smooth

    Out 19, 2007, 11:08am

    Well, then the slow people have nowhere to post next week, but like I said, whatever you girlz want is fine with me.

    personally, I can't wait to get to PoA. It's still my favourite.

    Out 19, 2007, 12:23pm

    Yeah, PoA is my favorite, too!

    And the "slow people" can still post on the thread we'll start on Monday -- it will just serve as the discussion thread for two weeks. After all, there's no reason that these threads have to just die after a week!

    Out 19, 2007, 1:52pm

    You're assuming that everyone has read to the end and won't get spoiled. But that's probably the case, anyway, so it's all good.

    Out 19, 2007, 3:26pm

    True. If anyone's reading through for the first time, they might want to wait until they finish the book to post.

    Jul 6, 2009, 12:35pm

    I haven't used the Resurrection Stone in a while, but I'm reading CoS on my lunch break and had to post. It suddenly stuck me how interesting it is that Harry learns his "favorite spell" (Expelliarmus!) from Snape! Snape's the first person we ever see use it in the series and from that point on I think Harry uses it at least once in every book. So, Harry was learning and utilizing spells from Snape long before *SPOILER* HBP comes along, *END SPOILER* whether he admits it or not.

    Jul 6, 2009, 7:47pm

    Prehaps Out of love for Lily and to be sure that someone could vanquish V, Snape taught Harry the things he should know......?

    Jul 6, 2009, 9:01pm

    #60 -- I've always loved that bit of irony!

    #61 -- The thing is, he taught Harry that spell in the context of the dueling club -- it wasn't one-on-one, like occlumency. I think it was a deliberate decision on JRK's part, to have Harry learn his "signature spell" from Snape, but I don't think it can be said that Snape taught it to Harry with any particular intent.

    Jul 6, 2009, 9:39pm

    I don't know, it could be either way but surely Harry would have learned it soon anyway?

    Jul 6, 2009, 9:51pm

    #63 -- Not necessarily, considering the incompetent git that was passing for his Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher that year.

    Jul 7, 2009, 8:54am

    62/61: That's how I feel. Perhaps a subtle hint on JKR's part that Snape actually does have a lot to teach and that when removed from the context of their relationship, Harry is more than capable of applying it. A lovely bit of, not really foreshadowing, but certainly a hint at what's to come.

    63 & 64: I'm sure he would have learned it eventually, the question is would it have had the same power if he had learned it in a classroom? There's such a difference in retention with Harry between classroom and independent study if you look at his track record. Think about GoF when he can't do a Summoning Spell to save his life in class but manages to learn it on his own when it really will save his life later! Or all the extra work he does for the other tasks. Or all the learning he does in order to teach the D.A. Classrooms just obviously aren't his thing. Heck, he even ignores homework from DD for as long as he can.

    Well, that got long and rambly. Sorry!

    Jul 7, 2009, 4:59pm

    so in your opinion was Harry a bad student? or did he learn what he needed to learn and dismissed the rest?

    Jul 7, 2009, 5:06pm

    No, I just think his style of learning wasn't well suited to the classroom.

    Jul 7, 2009, 5:21pm

    Yeah but SPOILER FOR HBP: he learned plenty from Snape's potions textbook, which is pretty "classroom-ish." I think Harry can learn from Snape only when it's not direct.

    Jul 7, 2009, 6:32pm

    That's pretty much what I'm saying. Except I don't think that the textbook was actually all that classroom-y, as it encouraged stepping away from the accepted. And with the textbook, it was Harry's choice to learn from it, he wasn't being forced to sit and learn, and I think that's what he seems to respond to best.

    Jul 7, 2009, 6:36pm

    Yeah, that makes sense.

    Our Harry, such a rebel!

    Jul 7, 2009, 7:30pm

    and that makes Snape a rebel too, right?

    Jul 7, 2009, 7:36pm

    Naturally. ;-)

    Jul 7, 2009, 7:41pm

    Snape was a Nerdfighter!

    Jul 7, 2009, 7:56pm

    Makes sense, since Snape, like John and Hank Green, is made of awesome.