|love you too, Gilderoy ;)|
Gilderoy Lockhart is pure delight! Obviously, he fails on a human level..but he's supposed to fail. He's a self-absorbed monstrosity..and I think it's in caricatures like Gilderoy that Rowling's talent really shows itself. While I'm forever disappointed with her primary characters, her peripherals are delightful, cartoonish, and consistent. Lockhart is one of my favorites, he so unabashedly self-serving..and his office is full of his own signed photos!!! What could be better - especially wizarding photos that seem just like tiny little mockeries on the wall. We are supposed to laugh, shaking our heads at him, and we do, because really, there's no other way to respond. Hermione does break character though, in her little crush on him. I can't really believe that Hermione isn't one of the first to notice his shallowness and his weak magic. It's not really fair to Hermione's character that she giggles and blushes with the rest of the girls whenever Lockhart goes by. I feel like there's a confusion here - Hermione seems to be passionate about knowledge until it comes to Lockhart, and then she's sort of reduced to just being impressed that he's "written most of the booklist"..and while Laura's right in saying (back in the comments somewhere) that it's tough to be consistent when you're 12, I think Rowling makes Hermione a bit weaker of a character when she has her hold on to the illusory Lockhart months after meeting the real man.
Jenna brought up an interesting point about believability - Ron's wand is an obvious Plot Necessity. If it weren't, any decent school would have it replaced, because he really can't do anything with it. Right now, it's just for humor: Ron attempts a spell - Failure! The general disorder of the school though, makes Lockhart's careless release of freshly caught Cornish Pixies acceptable and fun, but at some point you'd expect one of the more aware teachers to catch on to Ron's troubles and loan him a dumpy sort of school wand for the year. All that said, this book is doing a great job so far of bringing us back to Hogwarts without making us feel we're repeating anything.
|Cornish Pixie, bored by Lockhart's chatter|