The Characters of
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

-- List and Analysis of Selected Major Characters --


Main Characters
Dumbledore, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian

Professor Dumbledore, as he is now called, is the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, located "somewhere in Great Britain." Once the professor of Transfiguration, he has been around for a very long time. We only know incidentally of his brother Aberforth and that, in a previous accident, he received a scar in the shape of the London underground on his knee, which he considers "very handy."
Except as an infrequent disciplinarian, Dumbledore seems to let Harry 'get on with it' without much intervention. He has been at Hogwarts for over 50 years, we now realize, and was transfiguration professor when Tom Riddle attended the school. We also discovered that he had to intervene in Hagrid's behalf to keep the accused boy at the school after he was expelled. He also kept an 'annoyingly close watch' on Riddle after the incident. His pet phoenix, Fawkes, is extremely loyal to him and assisted Harry in dealing with Riddle when the boy defended Dumbledore. His last chapter 'mentoring' of Harry, did answer some further questions about Voldemort — and Harry; but, there is obviously a lot left unsaid.
Potter, Harry James

Harry is the title character of the seven part novel by J K Rowling set in the Great Britain of the not-so-distant past. The orphaned son of James and Lilly Evans Potter he was reluctantly fostered by Petunia, Lilly's sister, and her husband Vernon Dursley, along with their son Dudley. The abusive atmosphere in which he was raised seems not to have affected him as much as one would expect. He is unassuming, unaffected, and honest; but, also has more self-assurance, courage and initiative than such abuse would normally produce.
Harry, bless the little twit's heart, is sometimes his own worst enemy — not that he needs another with Draco, Snape and Lockhart doing the job. Perhaps it's the abuse from his step-parents, the Dursleys, that has soured the boy from trusting or confiding in adults, [or perhaps its what is needed for JKR's plot]; but, that's the way he works. He's growing physically and in his ability to get himself out of trouble. He seems fearless, which, coupled with his poor choices, places him in dangerous, if not deadly, situations. He is honest with himself and is able to change his opinion when facts, even difficult to accept, warrant it. And he was shown to actively avoid gossip or making untrue statements, even about his enemies. He is full of integrity and loyalty to his friends; and, despite his maltreatment while growing up, treats most people with respect — sometimes more than they deserve.
Riddle, Tom Marvolo
Even as a 16 year old boy, Riddle showed that he was well along the path of becoming the ages most evil man. He detested his family name so much that by then he had devised an anagram of his given names and assumed the moniker 'I am Lord Voldemort.' Even then, his goal was to be feared by all and to assume a name that no one would even dare speak. He had discovered that he was, in fact, the last descendant of Salazar Slytherin, a cofounder of Hogwarts. And, he discovered and opened Slytherin's secret chamber, releasing it's monster onto Muggle-born students. When it suited his gains, he stopped using the Chamber and framed Hagrid. It is not revealed how, but he created a diary which could think for itself, and placed his memories in it. The goal: to possess a future student, re-open the Chamber and continue Slytherin's purge of 'Mudbloods' from the school. Fortunately, for Harry, Riddle showed such an arrogant lack of understanding for 'lesser beings' that he 'forgot' several critical items until it was too late. The specter of Riddle was removed once and for all from the diary, using a Basilisk fang and assistance from Fawkes.
Voldemort, Lord

An orphan born of a Witch mother and Muggle father, he was once the boy known as Tom Riddle who attended Hogwarts during the time of Armando Dippet, Headmaster, and is now known as "he who must not be named." He fears no man, except Albus Dumbledore, and speaks of himself as "Lord Voldemort."
Voldemort, fortunately 'sat this one out,' except that his 'former self' caused the books crisis and conflict.

Supporting Characters
Granger, Hermonie Jean

She is a curly haired, know-it-all, who was born to a Muggle family of dentists. She is self-assured, if not self-centered, and bossy which hides her true feelings of inadequacy. She has an inordinately developed compulsion for academic success; but, is never satisfied with her accomplishments. [JKR has said the character is based upon herself]
Hermione seems to have mellowed a bit — still just as smart, but a little less bossy. Regarding her studies, she has a complete inability to decide what she doesn't need to learn and ended up registering for everything on the third-year elective list. She also has learned how to manipulate the boys into seeing things her way and is able to 'take charge' in difficult situations. Unfortunately, she spent much of this book's major trials lying in bed in the hospital wing — petrified.
Hagrid, Rubeus

Hagrid, as he is known to- well, everybody, is the "keeper of the keys and grounds at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" where he has lived since he attended there at eleven. Almost "too big to be allowed," his heart matches his enormous stature, even if his countenance is often- "unexpected."
Hagrid, we learn, was framed by Tom Riddle for something he didn't do: opening the Chamber of Secrets. He was expelled then, probably without much due process; and was arrested now, under much the same conditions. Unfortunately his size and odd nature stack the decks against him, in the credibility sense. A bit 'thick' when it comes to animals and pets, he raised an Acromantula spider from an egg and actually sent Harry and Ron into its lair without once thinking that it might be dangerous. As far as loyalty to Harry though, there can be no question.
Weasley, Fred

Fred and George Weasley are twin older brothers of Ron and younger siblings of Percy. Like them all they have red hair, but, unique to themselves they have a very down-to-earth philosophy of life. Typical of students who are "bored" with school due to lack of stimulation for their advanced abilities, they have a reputation as "troublemakers-in-residence" at Hogwarts.
We are beginning to see that the twins consider their purpose in life to be: having as much fun as they possibly can. Seriousness is not their forte' — if not an impossibility; and they usually attempt to break anyone they come in contact with of any 'stodginess' they see. They stole their fathers car in order to rescue Harry from the Dursleys. Then, when Harry was being accused of being the heir of Slytherin, they continually tried to lighten the situation by stretching the accusation to the point of ridiculousness. You pretty much don't see one twin without the other.
Weasley, George

See under Fred Weasley.
Weasley, Ronald Bilius

Ron is the second from the youngest child of Arthur and Molly Weasley and has his families universal red hair. He is an avid follower of Quidditch, good at Wizard Chess and is sensitive about his families "adequate-but-not-excessive" financial situation. He doesn't seem to respond well to criticism and allows himself to be overly concerned of other's opinions. He is of high moral character and is not usually malicious; but, sometimes, without thinking, says things that are hurtful. He was the first friend Harry made once he knew he was a wizard.
Ron is a bit of a bumbler, when it comes right down to it. A true friend and defender of Harry, he, despite having a broken wand, put aside his own deathly fear of spiders and trailed them into the forest following Hagrid's clue. He came by his acrophobia honestly when, as a child, his teddy bear was turned into a giant spider while he was holding it, as a 'pay-back' from Fred and George. His family size and financial situation serve as fodder for taunts from Draco Malfoy, and he is not above seeking revenge, even if it means belching slugs and detention.
Dursley, Petunia Evans

The wife of Vernon Dursley and the mother of Dudley ("Dudders"), she keeps a proper house at Number 4 Privet Drive where she keeps hidden the fact that her sister, Lilly, was a "muggle born" witch of some renown. Like her husband she detests anything magical although accepted custody, albeit reluctantly, of Lilly's orphaned son, Harry.
Petunia is every bit as much of a bigot as her husband, and complies fully with the 'wicked stepmother' archetype over Harry. Despite being his only living relative, she aids and abets, if not participates in, her husband's abuse of Harry. Her dislike of Harry is only exceeded by her complete blindness to the faults of Dudley. Her fawning over the miscreant has, at least partially, led to his emense size and spoiled brat personality.
Malfoy, Draco

The only son of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, Draco claims to be better than pretty much everyone else as a "pure blood" wizard. Where Harry had Dudley as a nemesis in his muggle life, Draco completely filled the role in Harry's wizard life— and then some. It's hard to understand the maliciousness that Malfoy showed Harry, from the moment he realized who Harry was. Either he's just a naturally evil person or there is something else— or both. He showed he is very skilled at heaping verbal abuse and taunts, which bespeaks having experienced it from somewhere, most likely his family. He copes with failing at something by tearing down those who have succeeded.
Having now met his father, we realize that Draco 'hasn't fallen far from the tree' when it comes to bigotry. His detesting of any non-pure parentage is reflective of his father's, and his arrogantly rude handling of others (including his 'friends') mimics his own treatment at home. It is no wonder why he has such an overcompensating attitude for his own low self-esteem. We understand now that he is not a relative of Slytherin, but he comes from a family which supported (or supports) Voldemort. He is dishonest and a cheater who will do pretty much anything to obtain his desires — including cause harm, if not death, to another person.
Snape, Severous

It's hard to decide which side of "good and evil" Snape is on. He may be a good Potions Master but is not a good teacher. A graduate from Hogwarts as a member of Slyterin house he is now its head. He acts guarded, distant, unhappy and malicious. He shows unexplained hatred for Harry and gives preferential treatment to members of his house.
The potions master is as much of an enigma as he is a constant enemy to Harry. The animosity he continually shows to Harry is, as yet, unexplained; but seems to be crystallizing and expanding into full blown hatred. We know nothing about his background; but, despite his collegial relationship with Dumbledore, he seems to be a damaged man. It is uncertain why Dumbledore continues his employment as a professor, because he certainly is not a very good teacher — on the other hand, he may not be much different than a ghost who monotonously reads his history lectures.

Incidental Characters
Myrtle, Moaning
Myrtle was a troubled Hogwarts student 50 years before Harry's time; and is an odd ghost now. Inhabiting the "U-bend" of a toilet in the second floor Girl's bathroom, she makes the room pretty much un-usable. She was very sensitive in life and remains so, running (er, floating) to her toilet when she is criticized and splashing water over the bathroom floor. Her death occurred while she was in the toilet crying about being teased over her glasses by Olive Hornby. Hearing someone, a boy - Tom Riddle, come in and speak something unintelligible to a sink, she opened her cubicle door to chastise him - and she just "seized up and floated away." She came back and haunted Olive for spite. She took a fancy to Harry, who always treated her respectfully, and said she would have offered to share her toilet with him, had he died in the Chamber of Secrets.
Weasley, Ginevra (Ginny)

She is the younger sister of all the Weasley boys and, as such, doesn't play a significant part in their lives until she gets old enough to mandate being dealt with. She was emphatuated with Harry from her first site of him; but, completely stymied by her "shyness."
Ginny has developed a crush on Harry. So much so that she can hardly be in the same room with him, even though she is now attending Hogwarts. At eleven, she isn't much younger than Harry but is much more emotionally in turmoil and erratic. Completely without thought of how he would take it, she sent him a singing valentine which was heard by much of the student body and caused him great humiliation. Ignoring her father's teachings she recorded her emotional turmoil into an old diary and was answered by the evil spell placed on the book by Tom Riddle - the youthful Lord Voldemort. Eventually taken over by Riddle, she was captured and had to be rescued by Harry. As a character, she is a bit unidimentional this year; but, as a Weasley, we know she will be around throughout the series.
Dursley, Dudley

Almost the same age as his foster brother Harry, he is the son of Vernon and Petunia Dursley and lives at Number 4 Privet Drive. He has been "spoiled" beyond belief and has lorded his position over Harry to the point of being a bully. His self-centeredness is matched only by his weight.
Dudley didn't play much of a role during the summer between Harry's first and second years. Dudley has grown so immense that his "butt flowed over the chair." No mention was made about how he coped with his first year of school — after his tail was surgically removed. He may be a bit more reserved in his method of taunting Harry, but he is calculating in seeing to it that Harry receives no joy in his life. He sycophantically tried to assist his father in manipulating a client for a big order.
Dursley, Vernon

A graduate of Smeltings academy, he is now married to Petunia Evans Dursley with whom he lives at Number 4 Privet Drive with his son Dudley and his foster son Harry. He shares an equal resentment of "anything magical" with his wife Petunia, who, unfortunately, was sister to Lilly, a "muggle born" witch of apparent substantial capabilities. As such, he has made Harry's life, to date, a nightmare.
We were introduced to Vernon Dursley's abuse of Harry in the last book, but he reached new heights this summer. Locking all of Harry's school things under the stairs, he also locked up Hedwig, then persecuted Harry for the bird's vocalizations. We find that he is also a "toady" to the fullest extent when he attempted to flatter and manipulate his way to a big contract for lots of money. His treatment of Harry is designed to strip any sense of self-worth; and when his plans are not met, he demonstrated that he is not above heaping physical abuse by incarcerating Harry behind bars and starving him. Unfortunately, this abuse seems to be largely ignored, or 'incidental' by the author in favor of moving the plot along other directions.
Lockhart, Gilderoy
Gilderoy is a narcissist par excellence. Skilled in the use of back-handed "compliments" he annoyed nearly every other professor at Hogwarts, including Snape and that's saying something. Hagrid had his measure from the beginning, but his "pretty-boy" appearance seemed to entice the ladies, including Hermione. The truth of all his blustering and bragging was revealed, however, and it became known that he had lied about his accomplishments, which he had obtained by deceit. In order to continue his life of lies, he attempted to magically wipe Ron and Harry's memories, but failed. His end was almost Wagnerian in that his downfall was a backfiring of the same curse he had used on his own victims. [The only character that JKR admits was patterned after a real life person - but she won't reveal who it is.]
Malfoy, Lucius
The father of Draco, Lucius claims he is a "reformed" follower of Voldemort. Many such followers seemed to "come to themselves" after Voldemort's "death." Lucius, we learn however, still has a secret room under his house to contain dark items that he doesn't want the ministry to find - should they raid his house. He sold several dark items to Borgin in Diagon Alley. An arrogant #*!, he has instilled his bigotry against "non-pure" blooded people, to his son Draco. Somehow he has obtained possession of Voldemort's youthful diary and used it in a plot to discredit Arthur Weasley and his Muggle Protection Legislation. Malfoy provoked an altercation with Arthur in Diagon Alley, and slipped the diary into his daughters things during the confusion. Written by Tom Riddle, the true heir of Salazar Slytherin, the diary caused the Chamber of Secrets to be opened in the castle, and several students were harmed including Hermione. Ginny was enchanted, nearly killed and would have been blamed for the whole incident had not Harry intervened. Harry stood up to him in the end and was able to trick him into 'giving clothes' to his house elf, Dobby, thereby freeing him from slavery.