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Gilderoy Lockhart

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"Celebrity is as celebrity does."
—Gilderoy Lockhart to Harry Potter[src]

Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, Order of Merlin, Third Class, (b. 26 January,[1] unknown year) was a 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; Honorary Member of the Dark Force Defence League; and five-time winner of Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile Award.

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?


Early life

"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.[src]

Little is known of Lockhart's early life, and considering his dishonesty, everything he says is worth a doubt. He claimed that he was once a nobody and, apparently, tried to get himself noticed as a child, but failed, although he developed a precocious talent for Memory Charms.


Lockhart in Ravenclaw Quidditch robes.

Born on 26 January,[1] Lockhart attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and was Sorted into Ravenclaw House.[4][5] However, given his complete inability to cast simple spells, he may not have excelled in his studies. Lockhart also claimed that he was once a Seeker, suggesting that he played Quidditch, and offered to give Harry Potter private Quidditch lessons, an offer to which Harry did not respond. A photo he kept in his classroom showed him riding a broomstick and wearing Ravenclaw Quidditch robes, so it is possible that he was once on the Ravenclaw Quidditch team, or else that he staged the photo to make it appear as if he had been.[5] He also claimed that he had been asked to try out for the National Squad but turned the offer down to dedicate his life to, in his words, "eradicating dark forces." However, this is most probably false as he never actually 'eradicated' any dark forces.

Career as an author

"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."
—Lockhart to Harry Potter at the Flourish and Blotts.[src]
Gilderoy Lockhart 002

Lockhart and his books.

After graduating from Hogwarts (it is unknown how he did so, considering his poor academic abilities), Gilderoy Lockhart became an accomplished author. Tracking actual accomplished wizards and witches who did great deeds, Lockhart tricked them into revealing their courses of actions, then erased their memories with his Memory Charms, and used what he learned from them to publish such great deeds in his own name and credits; his victims 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.[6]

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.

"Nice big smile, Harry. Together, you and I are worth the front page."
—Lockhart to Harry in Flourish and Blotts[src]

During the 1992–1993 school year, seven of his books were assigned to become textbooks for the Defence Against the Dark Arts course for Hogwarts school that year, which resulted in a very expensive book list; all the books, in fact, were simply extensions of his autobiography of life experiences that he stole from other wizards, with some information even exaggerated or inaccurate, and thus were no use for educational purposes. As a publicity stunt, Lockhart dragged Harry Potter into the limelight during his book-signing of Magical Me at Flourish and Blotts, where the photographer kept taking pictures of the famous pair, and then gifted Harry with a brand-new set of all his books that were required for school, along with his autobiography. Harry gave them to Ginny Weasley, both because he could afford his own set and also because he did not particularly cherish his interaction with Lockhart, but instead felt embarrassed from all the unwanted attention that Lockhart attracted for him. Unaware of Harry's resentment and forfeiture of the gifted book set, Lockhart announced that he would become the professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts of Hogwarts, which was met with applause from the audience.

Career at Hogwarts

Early classes

"Let me introduce you to your new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.... me!"
—Gilderoy Lockhart[src]

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.


A signed photograph of Gilderoy Lockhart.

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[src]

Harry helping Lockhart answer fan-mail

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.

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.

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?"

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Harry and Ron force Lockhart to go to the Chamber with them.

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.


Lockhart accidentally erases his own mind.

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?

Permanent incapacitation

Lockhart St Mungo's

Gilderoy Lockhart after the Chamber of Secrets incident.

On Christmas, 1995, Harry Potter 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, or consists of only Muggles. 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.

Though he did retain some memories, Lockhart never fully recovered. Fortunately, however, he is known to be happier that way.[7]

Physical description


Gilderoy Lockhart holding up his Magical Me book.

"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[src]

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

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Lockhart's love for vanity.

"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.[src]

Gilderoy Lockhart was extremely vain, very annoying, and highly self-obsessed. He 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 narcissism 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."
Ron Weasley to Hermione Granger[src]
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.

"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.[src]

Despite his lack of ability in other areas of magic, Lockhart was skilled in Memory Charms, 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.

Lockhart's sorting into the Ravenclaw house is also a bit odd, as he did not show the intelligence that characterise its students. However, the Sorting Hat does take into consideration the wishes of the students, as in the case of Hermione Granger and Harry Potter. It also may have sorted him into Ravenclaw because of his ability to affect the minds of others and while he was not intelligent himself, Lockhart did have a talent for using spells that affected other peoples minds (if only the Memory Charm).

Magical abilities and skills

Lockhart's wand

Lockhart's wand, that, according to him, was expensive.

Lockhart was generally described as being an incompetent wizard, with the possible exception of Charms and Flying.

  • Charms: Lockhart's ability to charm is not truly known, though there is some evidence to suggest that he was truly proficient in this area of magic in general. He could magnificently perform without fail the Memory Charm, which he used to erase the memories of others to gain his fame. He could also competently teach the second year charm Verdimillious Duo. However, his dubious information on the Homorphus Charm seems to counter the theory of his proficiency in Charms altogether, as what he said about the charm in question is seemingly impossible.
  • Defence Against the Dark Arts: Lockhart's self-claimed expertise in public is Defence Against the Dark Arts, as he claimed that he has defeated many dark creatures, and a vast arsenal of spells to do so. However, since he simply obtained the credits from other wizards and witches, the only thing he is proficient in the field is his knowledge, which also seems limited, as he usually made exaggerations in the effects of the curses he theorises.
  • Flight: Lockhart owned a picture of himself in Quidditch robes, suggesting that he possibly played for some Quidditch team (though his claim of being propositioned by International Quidditch team is somewhat more dubious). He also owned a broom and aimed to flee Hogwarts on it, showing some credibility to this claim.
  • Magical knowledge: Lockhart has made many claims regarding magical situations and his expertise in them, such as the Transmogrifian Torture and the Homorphus Charm, either when authoring his books or giving out pointers. Given that he merely stole credits from more able wizards, it stands to reason that Lockhart merely used whatever he learned from his victims to show off, and that he himself has no true understanding of what these facts meant. This seems especially true when he attempted to practise actual magic in front of people; the spells he chose always had unforeseen effects (he'd most likely heard of them from his victims and chose them for their impressive sound, without knowing what they actually did). Furthermore, his accuracy with such facts may be exaggerated when he speaks of them, as they seem impossible by magical standards, such as the Homorphus Charm can cure lycanthropy, which is in truth an incurable condition.
  • Duellist: Lockhart considered himself to be a skilled duellist and was in charge of the Duelling Club during his year at Hogwarts. However, Severus Snape easily disarmed him with a single spell and later he was quickly disarmed by second year student Harry Potter.
  • Spellcraft: Lockhart may have fancied himself as a Spellcrafter; it is very possible that any of the spells he was seen performing were made up by him on the spot (this would explain why they never seemed to go the way he intended). However, although he did not get his intended effect the spells he used (bar Peskipiksi Pesternomi) generally worked (as far as can be told from the etymologies) and as such, it is possible that he may have had an aptitude for this area of magic.

Known published works

"For full details, see my published works."
—Lockhart referencing his advices to his books.[src]

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.



Gilderoy Lockhart at Flourish and Blotts (concept artwork)

Lockhart signing his books for his fans.

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.

Hogwarts staff

"That's got him out from under our feet."
Professor McGonagall expressing her happiness at sending Professor Lockhart away.[src]

The staff of Hogwarts, minus Lockhart himself, whom the staff dislike.

During the 1992–1993 school year, Lockhart taught Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts, or rather, made an utter mess out of the subject due to his incompetence. Lockhart annoyed most of the teachers 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. 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.

Lockhart: "I'll make it. I must have done it a hundred times, I could whip up a Mandrake Restorative Draught in my sleep –"
Snape: "Excuse me, but I believe I am the Potions master at this school."
— Lockhart irritating Severus Snape.[src]

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. To this end, they took Lockhart's earlier claims and used it against him, while ignoring his attempt to stammer his way out with feeble excuses.

According to Hagrid, the main reason for Lockhart's appointment was that he was the only applicant for the cursed position, and the other teachers were pleased to see him leave at the end of the year, going as far as to join in the students' applause of the announcement.

Harry Potter

"You're a fraud! You've just been taking credit for what other wizards have done!"
—Harry Potter confronting Lockhart.[src]
Lockhart, Harry, Ron

Harry Potter and Ron Weasley both disliked Lockhart.

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. 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. 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.

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.

Ron Weasley

"I haven't learned anything from him except not to set pixies loose."
Ron Weasley dismissing Lockhart's lessons.[src]

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.

Hermione Granger

"Why have you outlined all Lockhart's lessons in little hearts?"
—Ron Weasley upon seeing Hermione's timetable.[src]
Lockhart and Hermione

Lockhart with Hermione

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".

Other Hogwarts students

Lockhart 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.




Gilderoy Lockhart

Gilderoy is defined as a highwayman known for being handsome (which is appropriate, considering he made a living out of robbing people of their memories whilst also appearing physically attractive). May also come from the word "gilded", which is defined as having a "pleasing, showy appearance, which covers something of little worth". This is very fitting considering Gilderoy's supposed good looks covered up the truth about his inability to function as a powerful wizard.

The word "Gilder" can be both a noun and verb, referring to the occupation of someone who applies a layer of gold or gilt to a metal, or the action of doing so, respectively. The word originates from medieval English and is a name used to refer to Gold. The derivation is made from the Old English, pre 7th Century, word "gyldan", and the Old High German word "gold(e)", meaning a refiner, a jeweller, or a gilder.

The name "Roy" was originally Old French for "regal one" or "king". The name was later brought to the cultures of the Celts and the Gaelics, as well as the countires; England, Ireland, Scotland and Holland, where the name became rooted in each culture with similar meanings. In Ireland, Scotland and England, Roy shared the meaning "king" with the Old French, while in both Celtic and Gaelic cultures, Roy is noted to mean "red" or "red haired".

J.K. Rowling stated in a radio interview with BBC 4 that she found the name Lockhart on a war memorial, further clarifying in a later interview for Scholastic's Harry Potter Reading Club that this memorial was at a church in Edinburgh.[8] Robert Lockhart is a world renowned psychologist whose particular interest is in the study of memory and levels of processing. He did a lot of research in this area in the late 1970's. He is well known for his work as a cognitive psychologist especially in the areas of human memory and problem solving. This fits because the only magic skills Lockhart was truly gifted in were memory charms. Robert Lockhart received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Sydney in 1961 and 1963.[9] Lockhart is also a town in Australia near Wagga Wagga, which could be a reference to him having supposedly defeated the Wagga Wagga Werewolf in his book Wanderings with Werewolves. "Lockhart" could also be possible play on words as he seems to have so many women's "heart locked" on him.

The singular surname "Lock" is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has three distinct possible sources. Firstly, it may be a shortened reference for the occupation of a locksmith, from the Old English word "loc" from a pre 7th Century date, meaning lock or fastening. The name may also be from the word "loke", a place that could be locked, from the local Midlands' English. "Loke" is a development of the Old English word "loca" meaning lock-keeper or bridge-guarder. Finally, "Lock" may have originated as a nickname for someone with curly hair, from either, the Old English word "loc(c)", or Old High German word "loc", a lock (of hair). Gilderoy Lockheart had wavy blond hair.

The singular surname "Heart" is often assumed and taken as face value, to mean "heart" in the modern English language. There are, however, various roots and origins to the word. It originally came from the Anglo-Saxon era (as did it's counterpart - Lock), and is a good example of a large variety of names which were derived from habitually used nicknames. The first nicknames were given to refer to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, including supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance. This surname derives from the Old English, pre 7th Century, "heorot" or Middle English "hert", meaning stag, male deer, and would have been given to a swift or agile mover. Gilderoy wished to think of himself as elegant and graceful, possibly referring to agile actions and movements. The surname was first recorded in the mid 11th Century and can also be found as "Harte", "Hearte", "Hart" and "Hurt".

Behind the scenes


Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart.

Normal LHP CharRend Lockhart 01

Lockhart as a Lego Minifigure in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4.

  • 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."[10]
  • 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 seem 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.
  • Lockhart, despite being a Ravenclaw student (which encourages students with intelligence), does not show to be very brilliant. In fact, he may well be the opposite, seeing his complete inability to cast even the simplest spells. However, he does show the good-looks that attribute to the students of that house. It should be noted however, that while in his youth, though he probably possessed the intelligence to gain entry to the house, he chose to focus his energies on deception rather than study. He could also have been chosen for Ravenclaw due to his wit and cleverness, other traits of the house, more so than his intelligence.
  • When Lockhart suffered memory loss, he seemed to have forgot about magic being real, as expressing Fawkes's flying as "just like magic". This, coupled with his possibly muggle relatives not visiting him at St. Mungo's, might indicate that he was originally a muggle-born with no knowledge of magic.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, in a recent interview, that Lockhart's name was taken from a church, in Scotland.
  • In the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (the video game), 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'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.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 121 images related to Gilderoy Lockhart.

External links

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey, p. 74 (See this image
  2. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  3. See this image, which shows Lockhart holding his wand aloft with a silvery-white vapour emitting from it.
  4. 4.0 4.1 On the Pottermore Insider ("The best of house pride week"), "Gilderoy Lockhart" is one of the possible answers in the poll of the most popular Ravenclaw wizard.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 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.
  6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) - XBOX version
  8. Harry Potter Reading Club live webchat, 11 October 2012 (source here)
  10. Accio Quote - J.K. Rowling at the Edinburgh Book Festival
  11. 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.

Defence Against the Dark Arts (D.A.D.A.)
Professors: Galatea Merrythought · Quirinus Quirrell · Gilderoy Lockhart · Remus Lupin · Barty Crouch Jr. (as Alastor Moody) · Dolores Umbridge · Severus Snape ·
Amycus Carrow (as Dark Arts teacher)
Textbooks: The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection · Break with a Banshee · Gadding with Ghouls · Holidays with Hags · Travels with Trolls ·
Voyages with Vampires · Wanderings with Werewolves · Year with the Yeti · The Essential Defence Against the Dark Arts · Defensive Magical Theory · Dark Arts Defence: Basics for Beginners · Confronting the Faceless · Magical Drafts and Potions
D.A.D.A. at Hogwarts: Classroom 3C · Temporary Classroom · Hogwarts Turris Magnus · Professor's Office · Storeroom · Staircase · Lesson Cup · Race Cup · Dumbledore's Army
Spells covered under the subject: Curse of the Bogies · Knockback Jinx · Verdimillious Charm · Verdimillious Duo Spell · Verdimillious Tria · Wand-Lighting Charm · Freezing Spell · Seize and Pull Charm · Patronus Charm · Killing Curse · Cruciatus Curse · Imperius Curse · Impediment Jinx · Reductor Curse · Stunning Spell · Shield Charm · Nonverbal spells · Hex-deflection ·
Hex-Breaker · Hex Zapper
Creatures covered under the subject: Vampire bats · Iguanas · Cornish Pixies · Werewolves · Vampires · Hinkypunks · Boggarts · Red Caps · Kappas · Grindylows · Inferius

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