At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.
Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, O.M. (Third Class), (b. 26 January, 1964) was a half-blood 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 supposed 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 invented an Occamy egg yolk shampoo, which was too dangerous and expensive for open market; it subsequently became his dream to market these products. His favourite colour was lilac.
Lockhart 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 of his memory on 29 May, 1993 due to a backfired Memory Charm cast by Ron Weasley's damaged wand.
Lockhart then became a permanent resident of St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. He was institutionalised in the same ward as Neville Longbottom's parents, the Janus Thickey Ward for permanent spell damage. Following his hospitalisation, he dictated his final book entitled Who Am I?.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early life (1964–1975)
- 1.2 Hogwarts Years (1975–1982)
- 1.3 Career as an author (1982–1992)
- 1.4 Career at Hogwarts (1992–1993)
- 1.5 Permanent incapacitation (1993–?)
- 2 Physical description
- 3 Personality and traits
- 4 Magical abilities and skills
- 5 Possessions
- 6 Known published works
- 7 Relationships
- 8 Media
- 9 Etymology
- 10 Behind the scenes
- 11 Appearances
- 12 External links
- 13 Notes and references
Early life (1964–1975)
- "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]
Gilderoy Lockhart was born on 26 January, 1964, to a Muggle man and a witch, and had two elder sisters, both of whom were Squibs. Lockhart's mother loved him more than any of his siblings, and this, combined with the revelation of his wizardry and acceptance into Hogwarts, caused his vanity to grow like a tenacious weed. He and his mother forgot, in their excitement, that Hogwarts was a school for all British and Irish wizards, and thus his introduction into the school along with everyone else was, in his eyes, extremely dull.
Hogwarts Years (1975–1982)
Gilderoy Lockhart entered Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on 1 September, 1975, and was four years below James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Lily Evans, and Severus Snape. He was Sorted into Ravenclaw, but he came close to being a Hatstall, as the Sorting Hat also found him an excellent fit for Slytherin, but decided against it by a narrow margin.
He had hoped to be greeted by whispers and stares, as in his mind he was already a fully-fledged genius with an exceptional magical prowess; the fact that he was merely ordinary, that more talented and gifted children were there, and that nobody was particularly impressed by his naturally wavy hair, disappointed him. He did have above-average abilities, and he was cleverer than most of his classmates, but he had a bad flaw in that he would not try unless he was confident that he was the best of whichever particular team, group, or class he happened to be with at the time.
Gilderoy did achieve good marks and his teachers did think that, with hard work, he might be able to make something of himself. Even if he fell short of his ambitions that he would freely share with anyone who bothered listening (he told them that he would succeed in creating the Philosopher's Stone before leaving school and that he intended to captain England’s Quidditch team to World Cup glory, before knuckling down to becoming Britain’s youngest Minister for Magic). Despite this, according to him at some point during his education he managed to play as Seeker for the Ravenclaw Quidditch team.
His vanity was such that he valued learning not for education, but because it granted him attention; he craved attention and prizes, and begged the Headmaster to start a school newspaper purely so he could see his own name in print. When these exploits failed to grant him attention, he took to grander, more dramatic means of garnering attention. Though he had never been popular with the other students, he did manage to achieve small notoriety by carving his signature in twenty foot long letters into the Quidditch pitch (earning him a weeks' worth of detentions), creating a spell that shot a hologram of his own face into into the sky in imitation of the Dark Mark, and sending himself eight-hundred Valentines, causing breakfast to be cancelled due to the number of droppings and feathers in the porridge. He increasingly devoted his talents to insincere shortcuts and cowardly dodges, focused on attention and neglecting true learning.
During the course of his magical education, the school fell under the threat of the sinister defensive measures of the fabled Cursed Vaults after one of his peers tampered with them, although Lockhart was not known to have been impacted in any way during the ordeal.
- "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 talking about his early adventures[src]
After his graduation from Hogwarts in 1982 (with a faint sigh of relief from the school staff), Lockhart became an accomplished author, travelling to exotic parts of the world and, having mastered Memory Charms shortly after his graduation, tricking accomplished witches and wizards into revealing their greatest deeds and then erasing their memories. This sole focus on Memory Charms came at heavy cost. All his other magical abilities had degraded to the point they were beyond repair, which spelled the end of Lockhart's fame when Lockhart became a Hogwarts Professor.
He then returned to Britain with a new book each time, all of them self-promoting and filled with a wealth of invented details that (for the parts referring to him) were nothing but conceit, self-praise, vanity, gross exaggerations, sensationalizations, and when referring to other things and people, idle speculations; known victims of his trickery 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 Ministry of Magic's Dark Force Defence League as an honorary member, all the while managing to successfully hide his fraudulence. His former teachers, who were unaware of his status as a con artist, began to think that they might have misjudged him, due to his supposed bravery and resilience in combating the Dark Arts.
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. Through this experience, he claimed that one must be "sparing with [one's] public appearances, at first", as one might become overexposed.
At some point after the release of Wanderings with Werewolves, Gilderoy held a symposium centered around his alleged experiences fending off the Dark Forces to talk about his supposed defeat of the Wagga Wagga Werewolf. In attendance were among others Cecil Lee of the Werewolf Capture Unit. During this event, he gave a public demonstration of the Homorphus Charm, which he claimed he could cast so effectively as to cure werewolves. During the same conference, he also said that werewolves were weakened by sunlight, presumably as a joke.
Outside of writing, Lockhart was an amateur potioneer. He invented a shampoo that guaranteed lustrous locks of hair, one of his few claims that proved to be true. Due to its main ingredient being too dangerous and expensive to procure, it was never produced for mass marketing. Lockhart hoped to gain a steady stream of income by marketing other high-priced products, but this never came to be due to few people be willing to risk their lives for such a superficial issue as hair care.
Voyages, Vampires, and Valentines!
In 1988, Lockhart came to visit Hogwarts shortly before Valentine's Day as a part of his book tour. He invited six Hogwarts students to his book signing at Flourish and Blotts, claiming the students were randomly selected.
After the book signing, he and the six students went to Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop, where he informed the students that they were special guests and planners of an event called Voyages, Vampires, and Valentines! held at the tea shop on Valentine's Day. In reality, he was planning to use this as an opportunity to learn the students' stories and Obliviate them afterwards in order to use these stories for a new book. At some point, he talked about his plan on the Grand Staircase, where it was heard by the portrait of Sir Cadogan.
During the event, Gilderoy Lockhart interviewed the students. During the interviews, two of the students involved, one of whom was Jacob's sibling, figured out that Lockhart was using the students and planned to inform Albus Dumbledore. In order to avoid exposure, Lockhart cast a Memory Charm on the students. As the spell was cast hastily, the students only forgot parts of their recent memories. Lockhart soon escaped the tea shop by Apparating.
Outdoor celebration of magic
Lockhart returned to Hogwarts in the 1988–1989 school year and gave a speech about himself at the outdoor celebration of magic. He demanded to clear the dance area to demonstrate his duelling expertise, but Jacob's sibling intervened and duelled Lockhart themselves on the Training Grounds. After losing the duel, Lockhart still did not want to leave, so Jacob's sibling transfigured a gobstone into a skunk, which sprayed Lockhart, forcing him to leave.
Employment by Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster during Lockhart's time, happened to know two of the wizards whose memories Lockhart erased and easily deduced the truth behind Lockhart's fame and decided to make Lockhart pay for his crimes. He correctly believed that dragging Lockhart into a normal, school atmosphere would reveal his fraudulence, and with a vacancy in Defence Against the Dark Arts having opened up in June 1992, tracked down the author and offered Lockhart a job at Hogwarts (something Lockhart had not been too keen to do, as he saw how well his career as an author was progressing and because those who knew him from his time as a student like Minerva McGonagall and Severus Snape were still there as well).
Dumbledore slyly hinted that Harry Potter was a second-year student at the school, and being a teacher to the "famous Harry" would propel Lockhart's fame into the stratosphere. Ego, fame-hunger, and glory-thirst overruled caution, and Lockhart took the job. The other teachers remembered Lockhart as the obnoxious attention seeker back then, regardless of his later achievements, and were baffled at Dumbledore for inviting Lockhart to teach; Minerva McGonagall, in particular, asked what possibly could be learned from such a vainglorious man, in which the headmaster replied there was plenty to learn from even a bad teacher: what not to do, how not to be. Hagrid correctly deduced that Lockhart only got the job because he was the only applicant for the jinxed position due to the fact that no one at the Ministry who was a specialist in Defence Against the Dark Arts with impeccable credentials or who was a trained professional who worked in either the Auror Office or the Dark Force Defence League wanted the job because of what happened to Quirinus Quirrell at the end of the 1991–1992 school year.
Lockhart thus became the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher for the 1992–1993 school year, and several of his books were assigned for the course that year, resulting in an unusually expensive book list (his books alone amounted to 35 galleons). In August of 1992, Lockhart went to Flourish and Blotts to sign books to his fans and announce his employment; it was there that he met Harry Potter for the first time. He became quite excited and dragged Harry to the front, taking as many pictures as he could with the famous boy and then gifting him all of the set books in an attempt to garner some of Harry's affection. The incident, in fact, embarrassed Harry, who gave his books to Ginny Weasley, both because he could afford his own set and also because he did not particularly cherish his interaction with Lockhart.
Career at Hogwarts (1992–1993)
- "Me, 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 — but I don’t talk about that. I didn’t get rid of the Bandon Banshee by smiling at her!"
- — Lockhart arrogantly introducing himself to his second year Defence Against the Dark Arts students[src]
Being the only willing applicant for the jinxed 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 (before the class started, Fred thought that the teacher must be a fan of Lockhart, for which he was certainly correct) which moved and smiled (there was even one of himself as a classical artist painting another medieval version portrait of himself). He also decorated the office with copies of his publications.
For his first lesson, he showed everyone in his class what he really was. He first did this when he gave his second-year class a "little quiz" which was filled with questions that had nothing to do with Defence Against the Dark arts, but instead concerned his autobiography, Magical Me, and the parts of his books just referring to him, such as what his favourite colour and his ideal birthday present was; 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. Lockhart, delighted with Hermoine's perfect score, awarded Gryffindor ten house points. He showed his true colours a second time when he then proceeded to release a cage full of "freshly caught" Cornish Pixies into the classroom, causing a large amount of pandemonium. He showed his true colours further a third time when he tried to stop them with a spell that had absolutely no effect on the pixies and then irresponsibly instructed Harry, Ron, and Hermione to clean up after the mess while running back into his office.
He was not the least bit popular among his fellow Hogwarts staff members and constantly gave them unsolicited pieces of advice on their specialities. Harry and his friends (except for Hermione Granger) 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, saw immediately that Lockhart was an annoying and incompetent fool whose reason for doing so poorly was because he had no idea what he was doing, 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. Muggle-born students who have recently been introduced into the wizarding world, such as Justin Finch-Fletchley and Colin Creevey, also admired Lockhart due to their lack of experience with the magical community, and easily ate up his tall tales.
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 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 (Hermione claimed she was interested in reading more about Slow-acting venoms, but in reality she wanted to learn how to brew Polyjuice Potion). His idea of homework included composing a poem of one of his alleged achievements and offered a signed copy of his autobiography as a reward to the best composer. Due to Lockhart's overall poor performances, the class did not learn anything about true Defence Against the Dark Arts, and Ron claimed that he only learned not to set pixies loose, and would have dropped the course had he been allowed to. Lockhart's once powerful potential had been wasted from years of misuse and neglect, resulting in him being unable to properly teach (or even understand what he was attempting at times).
Irritating Harry Potter
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.
After Hagrid told him that Harry was more famous than him without trying, Lockhart personally requested Harry to help him answer his fan mails for detention while bombarding Harry with his advice for fame and thought Harry would think of this as a treat, much to the contrary. In fact, Harry practically begged Professor McGonagall to be in 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 "freshly caught" Cornish 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 had his arm broken by a rogue bludger, Lockhart offered to help repair his arm. Ignoring Harry's refusal, he ended up vanishing all the bones in Harry's arm, using the spell ‘Brackium Emendo’.
- "Let me introduce my assistant, Professor Snape, He tells me he knows a tiny little bit about duelling himself and has sportingly agreed to help me with a short demonstration before we begin. Now, I don’t want any of you youngsters to worry — you’ll still have your Potions master when I’m through with him, never fear!"
- — Lockhart foolishly underestimating Snape's far superior duelling skills[src]
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 falsely claiming that he had 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. Lockhart was also indirectly responsible for bringing out Harry's full-fledged Parselmouth ability because if he had vanished the snake successfully, there would be no need for Harry to run at the snake and demand it to leave Justin alone. The snake was subsequently successfully vanished by Snape immediately afterwards.
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
- Snape: "I certainly remember you saying you were sorry you hadn’t had a crack at the monster before Hagrid was arrested, Didn’t you say that the whole affair had been bungled, and that you should have been given a free rein from the first?"
- Lockhart: "I — I really never — you may have misunderstood —"
- McGonagall: "We’ll leave it to you, then, Gilderoy, Tonight will be an excellent time to do it. We’ll make sure everyone’s out of your way. You’ll be able to tackle the monster all by yourself. A free rein at last."
- Lockhart: "V-very well, I’ll — I’ll be in my office, getting — getting ready."
- — Lockhart reveals his cowardice and incompetence in front of all the other Hogwarts Professors[src]
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 unwelcome suggestion about performing Entrancing Enchantments and brewing Love Potions, suggesting that they should ask Professors Flitwick and Snape, respectively. This made Flitwick bury his face in his hands in embarrassment, and Snape furious enough for Harry to make a bet that he would force the first person who dared to ask him for a Love Potion to consume poison. He even had dwarfs wear golden wings and carry harps to deliver valentines throughout the school, which they did (even if they have to do so forcibly), much to Harry Potter's embarrassment when one forced him to listen to one from Ginny Weasley by knocking him down. This event was, ironically, somewhat a repeat of his attempt to earn attention during his youth in Valentines Day, being equally as annoying.
When the Chamber of Secrets was opened, Lockhart made false claims that he knew where the Chamber was and what the Salazar Slytherin's monster was all along. He even claimed that he knew Rubeus Hagrid was guilty all along when the Minister for Magic arrested the gamekeeper, even though it was only done as a precaution. While the other teachers were serious and tense from all the attacks, Lockhart was the only one who remained relaxed and unconcerned about these security measures. For instance, after Ginny Weasley was taken into the Chamber, he walked into the Hogwarts staffroom and simply told the other present Professors "So sorry — dozed off — what have I missed?", showing his complete lack of awareness and smug nonchalance.
On 29 May, 1993, after the aforementioned occurrence, the other teachers, after giving him stony looks of hatred, 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.
- "The adventure ends here, boys! I shall take a bit of this skin back up to the school, tell them I was too late to save the girl, and that you two tragically lost your minds at the sight of her mangled body — say good-bye to your memories! Obliviate!"
- — Lockhart's attempt to erase Ron and Harry's memories, his final mistake[src]
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, blasting him against the rocks and causing him to lose all of his memories, giving him complete amnesia. Lockhart was eventually rescued from the chamber with Dumbledore's pet Phoenix Fawkes, along with Ginny, Harry and Ron after Harry slayed the Basilisk, with him proclaiming, the whole situation was "just like magic". An amnesiac Lockhart then arrived in Minerva McGonagall's office with Ron, Harry and Ginny, where a returned Dumbledore was present, who then derided the clueless Lockhart of his recent memory loss, having achieved his mission of exposing his fraudulence, before sending Ron to take him to the Hospital Wing. His departure from school was met with the joy and celebration of many students and teachers, as he had ceased to be universally popular at Hogwarts. He was then became a permanent resident of St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, in the Janus Thickey Ward, for permanent spell damage.
Permanent incapacitation (1993–?)
- "But as he stepped on to the landing he came to an abrupt halt, staring at the small window set into the double doors that marked the start of a corridor signposted SPELL DAMAGE. A man was peering out at them all with his nose pressed against the glass. He had wavy blond hair, bright blue eyes and a broad vacant smile that revealed dazzlingly white teeth."
- — Lockhart in the Janus Thickey Ward at St Mungos[src]
Blissfully ignorant of his own fraudulence, or of anything else, for that matter, Lockhart's many crimes were never actually revealed to the public, presumably because his former employer, Professor Dumbledore, felt that Lockhart had already got what he deserved and decided against making his fate any worse by exposing him to the wizarding world and see him treated with contempt for the rest of his life for wrongdoings he had no idea he had even committed. This is evident by how not even the Healers at St Mungo's had been informed about the details around his admittance, as Miriam Strout, one of the employees at the long-time ward he was admitted to, spoke casually about how Gilderoy had been "quite well-known a few years ago" and were optimistic to the prospect of Gilderoy's signs of improvement later in his treatment. Due to this, the ex-professor was allowed to continue his career as an author, after a fashion, getting someone to help him write the book Who Am I?. Based on Miriam's statement, it appears that the wizarding world in general came to forget about Lockhart.
On Christmas, 1995, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Ginny Weasley 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.
- "Teach? Me? Did I? Taught you everything you know, I expect, did I? Well, how about those autographs, then? Shall we say a round dozen, you can give them to all your little friends then and nobody will be left out!"
- — An Amnesiac Lockhart humorously demonstrating his remaining vanity and extravagance[src]
It is known that Gilderoy never got visitors, suggesting that his family was either deceased or did not care for him. However, Lockhart still received fan mail including weekly letters from Gladys Gudgeon (further evidence that the foundation of falsehood on which he had built his career as an author never became common knowledge), 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 retained some memories, Lockhart never fully recovered. Fortunately, however, he is known to be happier that way. It's unknown if Lockhart ever returned to Hogwarts, was released from the hospital, or ever encountered Harry Potter and his friends after 1995.
- "There was a big photograph on the front of a very good-looking wizard with wavy blond hair and bright blue eyes"
- — A physical description of Gilderoy Lockhart[src]
Gilderoy Lockhart was a foppish, handsome wizard with wavy blonde hair and particularly straight and shiny teeth. He was known for wearing flamboyant, flashy and incredibly extravagant 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
- "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's defining characteristics were his extreme arrogance and exceeding vanity, conceit, egomania, narcissism and self-obsession. He was a voracious self-promoter and claimed to have done many great deeds, though in actuality he was a fraud and merely took credit for other wizards and witches' accomplishments and whose claims about himself were for the most part nothing but conceit, self-praise, and vanity and whose claims about other things were idle speculations, gross exaggerations, and pure sensationalism; he went as far as to claim his winning of the Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile Award five times in a row was more impressive than Harry Potter defeating Lord Voldemort.
He also made outrageous 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 fabricated concepts on the spot rather frequently just to impress his admirers. Even as a student, he already made far-fetched claims of his goals such as creating a Philosopher's Stone before graduation, intending to captain England's Quidditch team to World Cup glory, before knuckling down to becoming Britain’s youngest Minister for Magic, none of which he accomplished. 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 (a proven nonsense incantation), and possibly the Transmogrifian Torture along with the Homorphus Charm. Indeed, many of his books contained a large number of invented details to promote his supposed feats. Lockhart was very proud of his books, since his falsely-acquired achievements recorded within were highly popular with its readers, and would always make reference to them whenever giving advice based on his so-called experience.
In addition to his self-promoting nature, he was also highly impractical, to the point of being reckless, in many situations. When the Chamber of Secrets opened, he made many pointless suggestions and false volunteers despite the seriousness of the situation, and his "morale booster" outright disturbed classes instead of building up confidence. His school lectures and materials were simply selling his overly expensive autobiographies while reading out chapters from these uninformative books and even theatrically reenacting them, thus lacking any educational purposes. He insisted on mass-producing his own shampoo despite the ingredients being too dangerous and expensive to procure, especially for something as superficial as hair-care. With a little flattering, Hermione Granger was able to get Lockhart to sign a permission form for a book within the library's Restricted Section, to which Lockhart did not even bother to look at the book she wanted, much less question her for reasons for wanting a potentially dangerous document, which other teachers would not be so reckless. Later, being the only teacher to not take the reopening of the Chamber of Secrets seriously, he neglected his duties of leading his students to their next class when Harry and Ron flattered him, as Ron pointed out, in order to fix his hair. Even in his time as a student, his antics of garnering attention caused huge amounts of trouble that earned him scorn and loathing instead of the popularity and praise he desired.
Lockhart's overbearing self-centred personality and insensitivity 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. However, his arrogance did have limits and he recognised that Albus Dumbledore, his employer and Headmaster of Hogwarts, was a greater wizard than he was, as he never displayed that he believed himself to be above Dumbledore. Also, like many magical folk (human and nonhuman alike) Lockhart feared Voldemort to the point where he could not call him by his name. 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.
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. His ignorance, arrogance, and self-serving nature ultimately led to his downfall when he attempted to use Ron's damaged wand to perform the complex Memory Charm despite seeing the backfires it has caused over the year (mainly in the Duelling Club), evidently forgetting the dangers of attempting such a feat (or that the wand was even damaged).
When faced with true danger, Gilderoy showed his true nature of a self-serving coward. He attempted to flee from Hogwarts when the other teachers pressured him into entering the Chamber of Secrets after Ginny Weasley's abduction (though this was more to get him out of the way so the teachers could get the real work done), 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.
Although Lockhart started out as a clever and very skilled student, being sorted into Ravenclaw house, his main flaw was that he would never try in his studies (or anything) unless he was the very best at it, having been spoiled by his mother's overly affection and his own ego. Even in his childhood, he already expected the students and teachers to greet him with admiration and excitement, as he deluded himself into thinking he is a genius above all others of undeserved rights, and was very disappointed and dulled when he was not given any special treatments. He studied not for education, but for attention and awards, and spent much of his time with annoying vanity projects for fame and glory that instead earned him a small notoriety. He was never an unskilled wizard, just a lazy one who increasingly directed his talents to insincere shortcuts and cowardly dodges; his gifts wasted away, as the only spell he focused on was the Memory Charm. His abilities eventually deteriorated nearly beyond the point of recovery, which went past that point when he was struck with his own backfiring Memory Charm. Despite his ineptitude in most other areas of magic due to long-term neglect and misuse, Lockhart was skilled in Memory Charms, it being the one spell he focused on for his entire life, 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, though he did understand that the readers would not be nearly half as interested in his books if they realised his feats were no more than fictionalised plagiarism. He also added many invented details in such feats to promote himself further, distorting facts with fictional concepts. Lockhart's fraudulent lifestyle has proven a certain degree of cunning, resourcefulness and disregard for rules, qualities that fall under the specifics of Slytherin, which he was narrowly able to avoid being sorted into.
In addition to his other flaws, Lockhart may have had a spiteful streak in him. After learning from Hagrid that the Gamekeeper hadn't read any of his books and that Harry Potter was more famous than Lockhart without trying, Lockhart was put out and later insisted that Harry serve detention with him so he could show off his fan mail to Harry and gloat about it. After Hagrid's arrest, Lockhart openly claimed to be certain that Hagrid was truly guilty, but whether this was a real hint of ill will or another sign of Lockhart's ignorance is unknown.
By his own claims (written in his many published works), his favourite colour was lilac, his secret ambitions were to rid the world of evil and to market his own range of hair care potions, and that he desired harmony between magic and non-magic peoples as a birthday present. Given his egotistical and self-serving cowardice attributes, some of these may have been fabrications to boost Lockhart's own reputation as opposed to truth. His empty ambitiousness shown since his studentship, such as claiming to create a Philosopher's Stone before graduation, captain the England Quidditch team into championship before knuckling down to become the youngest Minister for Magic yet accomplishing none of which he speak, it is very likely his "secret ambition" and "ideal birthday present" were just the same meaningless claims to gain attention.
After losing his memory, however, Lockhart became a much more humble and happier person, even if he did not particularly know it. Upon seeing Harry and Ginny after the spell hit him, he greeted them cheerfully and spent most of the time humming to himself absentmindedly. When addressed as Professor, he expressed surprise at the idea and remarked that he must have been hopeless, without any reluctance at all. Despite forgetting his desire for fame and attention, he continued to enjoy signing autographs and responding to fan letters, a trait that Harry noted had not changed.
Magical abilities and skills
- "Harry, Harry, it's not nearly as simple as that. There was work involved. I had to track these people down. Ask them exactly how they managed to do what they did. Then I had to put a Memory Charm on them so they wouldn’t remember doing it. If there’s one thing I pride myself on, it’s my Memory Charms."
- — Lockhart explaining to Harry Potter his gift for Memory Charms[src]
In his youth, Gilderoy was acknowledged by his professors as having been cleverer than most of his classmates, having been of above-average in intelligence and ability, and for having had the potential to become a great wizard by his teachers, had he just decided to work hard to get there. Years of misuse and abandonment and sole focus on the Memory Charm eventually diminished and rusted his magical abilities nearly beyond repair, thus making him unskilled and incompetent in most fields of magic.
- Charms: Lockhart demonstrated most of his genuine magical abilities in the field of charms. By the time Lockhart returned to Hogwarts, his magical skills had become irreparably neglected, with his only real focus being the Memory Charm, an advanced charm which he spent years perfecting. He eventually reached the level where he could cast the intricate charm without fail on any situation, considering himself highly gifted with it. Indeed, not only did he manage to do so to accomplished wizards and witches upon catching them off-guard, enabling him to propel himself to fame by stealing their credit without suspicion, but he on at least one occasion wiped the memories of a whole room with a single spell. Lockhart was also able to produce a non-corporeal Patronus. Lockhart was also able to cast a number of simple enchantments successfully, such as the Tickling Charm, Softening Charm, Verdimillious Charm, Verdimillious Duo Spell, Verdimillious Tria Knockback Jinx, Tongue-Tying Curse, Full Body-Bind Curse, and the levitation spell Alarte Ascendare. Lockhart furthermore claimed to have the ability to cast the immensely difficult Homorphus Charm, a charm that could change Werewolves to human form. Having taken credit for the defeat of the Wagga Wagga Werewolf from a more accomplished and courageous person, however, it was unlikely this was the case. He did, however, know the theory of the charm well enough to accurately instruct others on how to use it, as Cecil Lee of the Werewolf Capture Unit, said he learned it from him and could cast it himself.
- Defence Against the Dark Arts: Lockhart claimed himself to be an expert in the field of fighting the Dark Arts, although given his fraudulence and lack of genuine experience, he was an incompetent Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. His lessons were nonsensical and lacking in useful intellectual content, nonetheless, he had at least some theoretical knowledge of this subject. He was a honorary member of the Dark Force Defence League, and his knowledge and skills in this field were adequate enough that it allowed him to retain his membership for long enough time without arousing suspicion. Furthermore, Lockhart claimed to have considerable understanding in this field, such as by his claim of to have knowledge of a lethal curse known as the Transmogrifian Torture, and the relevant counter-curse to it, but given his deceit, his claims were not fully verified.
- Magizoology: Although Lockhart was not even able to control a simple cage of Cornish Pixies, he still displayed a reasonable amount of knowledge on magical creatures. He appeared to have at least learned the theory of how to understand and handle them based on the books he wrote, which were based on actual feats other wizards and witches achieved. He was able to teach his students about various dark creatures he had supposedly encountered in his DADA lessons, such as Banshees, Ghouls, Hags, Trolls, Vampires, Werewolves and Yetis to some degree, but fell short of teaching them practical manners of defending themselves from them, meaning his experience in this field was limited.
- Spell creation: While still a student at Hogwarts, Gilderoy invented a spell that sent skyward a glowing, holographic image of his own face, similar to the Dark Mark. Given how spell creation is a particularly advanced, complicated and even dangerous branch of magic, his ability to invent his own spell was proof of his potential superior magical potential and ability in his youth.
- Nonverbal magic: Gilderoy Lockhart was capable of casting spells without having to say the incantation aloud, which is highly advanced, N.E.W.T.-level magic. Rusty from neglecting his magical prowess, however, he did so with varying success. For example, although he performed the charm Alarte Ascendare without fail, he later accidentally vanished the bones in Harry's arm after casting a spell to mend broken bones inaccurately. He could also cast a non-verbal Knockback Jinx.
- Potions: Lockhart possessed a reasonable level of talent in potion making as an amateur Potioneer. He invented a shampoo made of Occamy egg yolks, which provided hair with "locks of lustrous luminosity", showing success with the potion's creation. However, the product proved to be a failure, proving to be too expensive to put on the market, along with the procurement of the main ingredient being too dangerous. Furthermore Lockhart claimed to have the ability to "whip up a Mandrake Restorative Draught in my sleep", but this claim like his others, was most likely false.
- Healing magic: Lockhart had a fair amount of knowledge, if limited ability in medical magic. This was apparent when he after a moment's examination of Harry's arm was able to both correctly conclude that his arm was broken, as well as to perform the approrpiate spell to mend the injury, although his lack of experience led him to cast it incorrectly, thus accidentally vanishing the bones.
- Flying: According to Lockhart sometime during his Hogwarts years, he played for the Ravenclaw Quidditch team as Seeker, meaning he must have been a skilled broomstick flyer and Quidditch player in his youth. However, it is unknown if he retained his flying skills in adulthood, given his neglect of his other magical abilities.
- Apparition: Like most accomplished adult wizards and witches, Lockhart was capable of apparating successfully at will.
- Duelling: Although Lockhart claimed to be a master duellist himself, his actual skills in this field were far from outstanding. During the Outdoor celebration of magic, he was able hold a friendly duel against Jacob's sibling, and was able to cast basic offensive spells against them successfully, but he allowed himself to be beaten easily by Jacob's sibling, and they themsleves were a highly talented duellist despite their young age. However, any duelling skills Lockhart appeared to have had appeared to have entirely vanished in the 1992–1993 school year when he held a Duelling Club meeting with Severus Snape, as he was effortlessly floored with the Disarming Charm by the far superior duellist, and was also totally unable to teach students how to block spells, embarassing himself most terribly in front of the entire club. Lockhart was also granted an award by the British Wizard Duelling Association at some point, but this was possibly a forgery, considering his considerable dishonesty about his achievements and talents.
- Intelligence: Lockhart teachers acknowledged him as being cleverer than most of his fellow students and he got good marks on his schoolwork. The full extent of Lockhart's cunning and resourcefulness was demonstrated in his adulthood when he managed to successfully take credit for the achievements of other wizards. His unscrupulous cleverness was prominent enough that he was nearly sorted into Slytherin, which was demonstrated in his pursuit for fame. He was capable of easily deceiving nearly the entire magical community (apart from Dumbledore) that he was a highly accomplished wizard and courageous hero, while in actuality he was a fraud who stole the credit for the achievements of more courageous and accomplished wizards for his books. It was only because Dumbledore decided to expose him by luring him into becoming a teacher at Hogwarts, knowing he would make a horrible teacher, that he was finally exposed.
- Tracking skills: Lockhart was able to track down other witches and wizards whose achievements he fraudulently took for his own, showing he was skilled at tracking down certain individuals.
- Knowledge: In addition to his seven years worth of education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he learned, not for the sake of learning but for the attention it brought him, Lockhart also displayed an intellectual dedication through his endeavour to take credit from other accomplished wizards. Having amassed a great deal of knowledge in magical feats and creatures, he was knowledgeable of the existence various complex spells such as the Homorphus Charm and Transmogrifian Torture, among many other things, even if he couldn't put them into practice himself and only knew the basic theory. Willing to educate himself if it could bring him attention, honours and glory, he gave irking suggestions on how his fellow professors to improve in areas on which they themselves were experts, and being able to maintain the facade of being accomplished in a multitude of fields suggested he had at the very least a minimum of knowledge in those disciplines.
- Actor: Lockhart was also highly adept in acting and deceiving others, as he was able to fool the wizards and witches whose heroic deeds he used as a basis for his books to tell him thoroughly how they achieved their feats so he can pretend that he did it perfectly before modifying their memory and making them forget. His acting skills also contributed in his ability to completely hide his fraudulence and ineptitude in most fields of magic from almost all of the Wizarding World with his tall tales, making him world-wide famous, with only Dumbledore seeing through Lockhart's facade. His charisma also helped to boost his popularity in the eye of the wizarding public. It was only when he took on the position as a teacher did his act finally fell apart, as he lacked the required experience to know actually how to deal with the Dark Arts.
- Author: Lockhart's most significant skill apart from his speciality with Memory Charms was that he was an extremely accomplished author, which was the career he chose after leaving Hogwarts. His skills as an author were such that he was able to completely hide both his fraudulence and magical ineptitude to the general public by claiming credit in his books for deeds which other witches and wizards had done. He did this to the point that he was initially idolised by the majority of the wizarding world and many Hogwarts students. Even after his memories were erased, Lockhart still retained some of his writing skills despite his popularity having fallen, which was shown when he wrote and published the book Who Am I?.
- Artist: At a glance, Lockhart appeared to be a talented and accomplished painter, often painting exquisite portraits of himself in his free time (including a moving picture of himself, painting a picture of himself). His talent in painting portraits of simply himself further showcased his extravagant vanity and his love of aesthetics.
- Wand: Lockhart's wand was made of cherry wood and had a dragon heartstring core. According to him, it was expensive.
- Luggage set: Lockhart possessed a large set of fine luggage to hold his many belongings from his years of fraudulent fame, mostly related to his vanity. These include his many robes of varying colours, portraits and photos of himself, and a false hair piece. He tripped over one of the trunks when Harry disarmed him.
- Peacock quill: Lockhart possessed a quill crafted from a peacock's feather. He saved it for special occasions, such as signing autographs and was rather proud of it. He completely misread Ron's revolt at the quill as admiration. After his memory loss, Gilderoy continued to use the quill to sign autographs, but it became battered since.
- Lilac Ink: Lockhart owned a bottle of lilac ink, which he used to sign his many autographs with.
- Broomstick: Lockhart owned an elegant broomstick, which he even vainly christened with a personal name. He would have used this broomstick whilst he played Quidditch as a Hogwarts student.
- Hair Care potions: Lockhart owned various hair care potions which he used for cosmetic purposes, such as Wizarding Sculpting Gel and Occamy egg yolk shampoo, the latter which he even invented himself.
- Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor's Office: During his year spent in the post of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Lockhart occupied the office connected to his classroom by a flight of stairs, which he decorated with portraits of himself.
- Order of Merlin medal: Lockhart was given an Order of Merlin, third class, medal by the British Ministry of Magic, for his alleged achievements.
Known published works
- "For full details, see my published works."
- — Lockhart referencing his advice 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, and contained a good deal of invented details as opposed to pure facts. All of these (with the exception of Who Am I?) were published at some point between 1982 and 1992, before his stint as a Hogwarts professor. Due to the immense popularity, the books were very expensive; he gifted an entire set to Harry Potter as a publicity stunt at Flourish and Blotts, 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 had 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 showed little interest and did poorly. After the first lesson ended up in disaster, Lockhart simply read from these books aloud and sometimes reenacted the contents to the class in a theatrical manner.
- Break with a Banshee
- Gadding with Ghouls
- Gilderoy Lockhart's Guide to Household Pests
- Holidays with Hags
- Magical Me (autobiography)
- Marauding with Monsters
- One Hundred and One Practical Uses for Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans
- Travels with Trolls
- Voyages with Vampires
- Wanderings with Werewolves
- Who Am I?
- Year with the Yeti
Gilderoy was born in the Lockhart family, with a Muggle father, witch mother, and two elder sisters, both of whom were Squibs. His mother loved him more than she did her two daughters, which, when combined with Gilderoy's revealed wizardry and acceptance into Hogwarts, lead his vanity to grow like a weed. Both mother and son were too excited to remember that Hogwarts accepts all magical students from Britain and Ireland, and she was as deluded as her son in thinking that he was special amongst all children of his age. Due to Mrs Lockhart's overly love and pampering, she completely spoiled and deluded her son, which would lead to a very negative impact on his future.
When Gilderoy was admitted to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries due to self-inflicted amnesia, none of his family members nor relatives visited him. This implies that they too despised him and had no desire to spend time with him, or that they were even unaware of his unfortunate predicament, or had simply cut all contacts with him before. Even his mother who overly doted him did not visit, suggesting she was either deceased or came to hate him for his vain and annoying antics.
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 suffered permanent amnesia and disappeared from the public eye, the majority of his fans most likely lost interest in him, though some of them continued to send him letters at the hospital.
During his time as a Ravenclaw student, Lockhart was already unpopular with the school's residents, students like The Marauders and Severus Snape and the staff alike, almost immediately due to his being a spoiled child with a brat's sense of entitlement, self-delusions, and obnoxious personality. He was expecting everyone to whisper and stare about him and found it dull and disappointing when they did not, especially when they were not particularly impressed by his naturally wavy hair, of which he was very proud. His attempts to gain himself more attention did him little good; instead they made him more of an annoying troublemaker when he begged Headmaster Albus Dumbledore to start a school newspaper solely for his own name to appear in its print, carved his name into the Quidditch pitch (earning him a weeks' worth of detentions), shooting a hologram of his own face into the sky like the Dark Mark, and sending himself eight-hundred Valentines, causing breakfast to be cancelled due to the number of droppings and feathers in the porridge. His squandering of his own talents and refusal to take his studies seriously also earned him the scorn of his teachers, when they once hoped that if he had worked hard, he might have made something positive of his gifts. Lockhart's graduation was met with a faint sigh of relief from the entire staff. It was easily apparent that all of them would not hesitate to and perhaps even looked for opportunities to punish Lockhart out of sheer annoyance of his troublemaking and attention seeking personality, with the only Professor who didn't resent Lockhart and was willing to tolerate his antics appears to be Dumbledore, as he apparently saw Lockhart's antics as amusing rather than irritating, evidenced by the fact that Lockhart's pleads for Dumbledore to start a school newspaper was the only time where Lockhart managed to get away unpunished. When word of his supposed accomplishments of Defence Against the Dark Arts have reached his former educators' and, in Snape's case, peers ears, they began to think they had misjudged him due to his seeming resilience and bravery, unaware he was a mere charlatan who stole the credit of accomplishments made by true heroes. This misunderstanding, however, did not change their opinion on his annoying, attention-seeking personality, and they would later see him as the incompetent fraud he was.
- "Dear me. Impaled upon your own sword, Gilderoy!"
- — Dumbledore mocking Lockhart after his memory loss[src]
When Lockhart had erased the memories of two wizards Dumbledore knew personally, Dumbledore, having never been fooled by Lockhart's tall tales and always being suspicious of how Lockhart came to fame due to knowing just what kind of a person Lockhart was, easily deduced the truth behind Lockhart's fame and saw through his charade and decided to track him down and make him pay for his crimes. Dumbledore offered Lockhart a position as the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, under the correct belief that school is the best location to expose the fraud for what he was. Lockhart was reluctant at first, as he was more interested in his successful career as an author, but was instantly swayed when Dumbledore mentioned Harry Potter's fame, which Lockhart would believe as a boost to his own. The other professors, who remembered Lockhart as obnoxious, were baffled at Dumbledore's choice to invite Lockhart back to Hogwarts, and Minerva even asked what possible benefits could students gain from such a vain man; according to Hagrid, the main reason for Lockhart's appointment was that he was the only applicant for the jinxed position after what happened to Quirrell something the other teachers agree on, but still thought Lockhart's personality outweighed the desperate need for a new teacher. Dumbledore appeared to be the only one who Lockhart didn't express superiority to and possibly held some level of respect for his old headmaster.
During his tenure in the 1992–1993 school year, Lockhart made an utter mess out of the subject due to his incompetence and ignorance. He also annoyed most of the teachers (some of whom remembered his time as a student) by making unsolicited advice to look as though he was superior to them in every one of their fields while constantly 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. By the end of the year, the other teachers were pleased to see him leave, going as far as to join in the students' applause of the announcement.
- "Givin’ me advice on gettin’ kelpies out of a well. Like I don’ know. An’ bangin’ on about some banshee he banished. If one word of it was true, I’ll eat my kettle."
- — Hagrid's disdain for Lockhart[src]
Even Rubeus Hagrid, who normally would never have criticised a teacher, publicly expressed disdain for Lockhart and did not believe any of Lockhart's fabricated claims, saying he would eat his kettle if they were true. 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 proved 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 due to being more famous than him without trying, both of which made Lockhart disappointed.
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: In fact, Lockhart was probably on top of the list of the DADA professor Snape resented the most, with the only possible exception being Remus Lupin, who even then still got along better with Snape than Lockhart despite Snape's resentment. 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. He was the most miserable of the teachers of Hogwarts when Lockhart held a Valentine Day celebration, to the point Harry described Snape at this point as "looking as if he had been forced to drink multiple Skele-Gro" and when Lockhart encouraged the students to ask Snape to teach them how to brew Love Potion, Snape looked as if he would force-fed poison to anyone who dared to ask him. 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; it was during this situation that they were all glaring at him with genuine hatred, something that he remained oblivious to. In revenge, they took Lockhart's earlier claims and used it against him, while ignoring his attempt to stammer his way out with feeble excuses.
While unpopular during his time as a student, Lockhart, as a teacher, 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 Granger and Susan Bones, 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 annoying. Many of them showed little knowledge or interest in his history or published works, as they all did rather poorly on his "little" quiz that purely consisted of questions about him. Him not teaching them anything useful had caused a rift for their education experience. Even those who showed no outright sympathy either for or against Lockhart, such as the Slytherins, appeared to have no respect for and could easily enjoy and mock him behind his back, as Draco Malfoy mocked Harry for being dragged into the spotlight by the professor, and along with the other Slytherins cheered when Snape effortlessly grounded Lockhart at the Duelling Club with the Disarming Charm.
It appears that the only one in the Staff and virtually all of Hogwarts who had any amount of pity and compassion for Lockhart and his current state was Dumbledore himself. While he had purposefully intended for Lockhart to be exposed as a fraud to the Wizarding World and evidently disapproved of Lockhart's attention-seeking , Dumbledore notably chose not to expose Lockhart's crimes to the public. Despite Lockhart's fraudulent nature, Dumbledore likely thought that the loss of his memory was punishment enough. Since Lockhart would not remember either the so called accomplishments or his fraudulent behaviour, it would be cruel to expose him to a likely sentence in Azkaban. It is also notable that unlike all the other professors, Dumbledore was always civil and cordial to Lockhart despite knowing of his crimes, further implying while Dumbledore decided to expose Lockhart, he bore no personal animosity to him and only did so to protect more heroes from being denied their rights to be acknowledged for their deeds. Lockhart himself clearly admired and respected Dumbledore, as he never claimed to surpass Dumbledore and was always polite to him and never directly or indirectly annoyed him, which is a sharp contrast compared to his interactions with the other teachers, indicating that despite his vanity, Lockhart's acknowledgement of how great Dumbledore also came with the acknowledgement that Dumbledore obviously surpassed him, a fact that was very much true. It appears that before he lost his memories that Dumbledore was the only staff member that Lockhart ever had any respect for.
Harry Potter particularly disliked Lockhart for dragging him into the spotlight against his will, 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 only to finally get told by Hagrid that Harry was more famous than him without trying; the only reason Lockhart returned to Hogwarts to teach was under the presumption that getting close to Harry would boost his own popularity. Lockhart only further infuriated Harry by doing far more damage than help when he vanished Harry's arm bones instead of mending them when they were broken by Dobby's tampered Bludger, requiring him to use Skele-Gro. Their first lesson was enough to make Harry realise that Lockhart was an incompetent fool who had no idea what he was doing, 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. Lockhart would often drag Harry to the front of the class to reenact some of the more dramatic portions within the textbooks' contents in a theatrical manner, as part of the "lecture", something Harry would have refused if he did not have a very good reason then. Lockhart even offered Harry some private Quidditch lessons, to which Harry refused. Harry would further dislike Lockhart for insisting that Rubeus Hagrid is guilty of opening the Chamber of Secrets, simply based on the Minister's incorrect move of arresting Hagrid as a preventive measure, and barely resisted the urge to throw a book into his face.
- "So you’ve just been taking credit for what a load of other people have done?"
- — Harry Potter confronting Lockhart[src]
Because of his growing hatred for Lockhart, Harry would use Lockhart's ignorance against him with pleasure, 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. When Snape easily sent Lockhart flying backwards at the Duelling Club, Harry felt no sympathy for him despite it was Snape who did it. Upon Lockhart inadvertently revealing his fraudulence in his refusal to enter the Chamber of Secrets, Harry's dislike and fury intensified, and swiftly disarmed Lockhart with such force that he sent the man falling back on his trunk. Neither Harry nor Ron had any qualms about attacking Lockhart and forcing him to enter the Chamber, and they even made him go first as a buffer for any approaching harm. Harry's sympathy was extremely limited 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 in addition to his intent to flee and leave Ginny for dead.
Ron Weasley, who was already annoyed the book-signing at Flourish and Blotts made it look as though his family was unimportant, saw Lockhart for what he really 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. When Snape easily sent Lockhart flying backwards at the Duelling Club, Ron felt no sympathy for him despite it was Snape who did it. 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, upon meeting Lockhart in the St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, Ron showed some guilt for Lockhart losing his memories due to his Memory Charm backfiring from using Ron's damaged wand. However, Ron's sympathy towards Lockhart was extremely limited considering Lockhart attempted to wipe out his memory along with Harry's and nearly cost his younger sister, Ginny's life.
- "Why have you outlined all Lockhart's lessons in little hearts?"
- — Ron Weasley upon seeing Hermione's timetable[src]
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 book list. When Lockhart taught at Hogwarts, Hermione, unlike Harry and Ron, completely 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 de-boned Harry Potter's arm, and talking about "all the amazing things he's done."
- "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]
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's true nature already having been revealed. 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 in their fourth year, Ron coughed the word "Lockhart".
When Gilderoy was admitted into St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries due to his self-inflicted amnesia, the Healer in charge of his ward, Miriam Strout, took great care of him. She was very motherly to him, catering to his condition with an affectionate tone, leading him back into his room when he slipped out while speaking kindly to him as though he was a child out of place. She also took pity on him for the fact that nobody visited him, not even any of his family members.
Gilderoy was a name that J. K. Rowling found in Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. According to the dictionary, the name belongs to two different highway men who were both described as incredibly handsome.
Gilderoy is an Irish and Scottish name that refers back to Gilroy, which means "son of the red-haired servant", or "son of the king's servant."
Interestingly, "Gilderoy" is similar to the term "gilded", which means both to cover something in a thin layer of gold to appear valuable and golden (when in reality it isn't), and "wealthy and privileged", both of which apply well to Gilderoy's character.
J. K. Rowling found the name Lockhart on a war memorial at a church in Edinburgh, and found it to be "a hollow kind of name", befitting of the character. Others have noted that 'Lockhart' sounds like 'lock-heart', which is reminiscent of Lockhart's use of memory charms to lock his victims' memories, though that is largely held to be coincidental.
The word Lockhart is of Scottish origin and is said to mean "brave" and "hardy", which is ironic compared to his character.
Behind the scenes
- Observing his flamboyant clothes, it is 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, makeup.
- 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. This said, and despite his other failings, he never once demonstrates any pure-blood prejudice. He in fact dotes on students such as Harry Potter, who is also a half-blood, and Hermione Granger, who is Muggle-born. Lockhart himself is half-blood.
- Since Lockhart went to Hogwarts from 1975-1982, he would have attended Hogwarts around the same time as Lily Evans, Severus Snape, and the Marauders, who would have been fifth years when he began attending. This could explain Snape's disdain towards him. Snape also started teaching Potions when Gilderoy was in his seventh year, and may have taught him if Gilderoy took N.E.W.T. level potions.
- J. K. Rowling has stated that Lockhart's name was taken from a church in Scotland.
- J. K. Rowling has made it known that Gilderoy Lockhart is the only character in the series to be based on 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."
- 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". Although it is not public who was the basis for Lockhart, Rowling inadvertently revealed it was not her first husband.
- Lockhart is portrayed by Irish actor Kenneth Branagh in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Originally, he was to be portrayed by Hugh Grant, but due to scheduling problems he was replaced. One of Grant's middle names is, coincidentally, "Mungo".
- Jason Isaacs has said that he initially auditioned for the role of Lockhart before accepting the role of Lucius Malfoy instead.
- Lockhart's portrayal by Kenneth Branagh in the second film are notably more likeable and comical than his book version, as he had several more moments of sincerity than his literary counterpart. This was seen when, for example, he after some time spent boasting of himself suddenly drew his wand and adopted a solemn demeanour while teaching the second years, thus showing that rather than simply using his classes to as an excuse to promote his published works like the book version did, film Lockhart at least on some level wished to make his lessons engaging for the students. Later, he wished Harry good luck in an earnest manner as Harry took the stage to duel Draco Malfoy during the duelling club, and displayed what seemed to be genuine concern and sympathy when Harry's arm was broken and, contrary to the book, seemed more concerned about mending Harry's arm than he was about the surrounding crowd seeing him do it. He was also notably and willing to clear Harry from Snape's insinuations that Harry was involved in Mrs Norris' petrification, informing Snape that Harry was in detention with him. It may be because Lockhart's egotism and his most annoying treatment of Harry were toned down, but his fraudulence and willingness to let Ginny die in the Chamber of Secrets still preserves him as detestable.
- Kenneth Branagh had to wear fake teeth over his own to look like he has perfect teeth like Lockhart because Branagh actually had bad teeth.
- Lockhart was in an early draft of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 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.
- 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. His hair is implied on many occasions to be a wig, as it keeps nearly falling off his head.
- 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.
- Lockhart did, however, share Voldemort's trait of wanting to be special, as he was upset to find he was not the only wizard in the world.
- In the video game adaption of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 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.
- Despite being a useless teacher in the book and film adaptation, in the video games he teaches Harry some very useful spells which are important to the gameplay, such as the Full Body-Bind Curse and Verdimillious Duo (PS1 version), the Tickling and Softening Charms (PC version) and the Disarming Charm (console versions). In the PC version, Harry mentions this in the Forbidden Forest level: "At least I learned something from Lockhart's class. Rictusempra!".
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Indirectly mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Appears on a portrait)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game) (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter for Kinect (heard)
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Appears on a portrait and Chocolate Frog Card)
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Wizarding World
- LEGO Harry Potter
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault (Mentioned only)
- Fantastic Beasts: Cases from the Wizarding World (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Gilderoy Lockhart" at Wizarding World
- Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey, p. 74 (see this image)
- Gilroy Fact File at Pottermore
- "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 6 (Gilderoy Lockhart)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 10 (The Rogue Bludger) - “So, Harry,” said Lockhart, while Hermione folded the note with fumbling fingers and slipped it into her bag. “Tomorrow’s the first Quidditch match of the season, I believe? Gryffindor against Slytherin, is it not? I hear you’re a useful player. I was a Seeker, too."
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 3 (The Burrow) - "There was a big photograph on the front of a very good-looking wizard with wavy blond hair and bright blue eyes."
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 3 (The Burrow)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4 (At Flourish and Blotts)
- 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.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 23 (Christmas on the Closed Ward)
- "J.K. Rowling comments on Lockhart's hair, Hogwarts House, mother via Pottermore" at SnitchSeeker.com
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- "Exclusive: JK Rowling on Harry Potter character Gilderoy Lockhart - audio", at The Guardian (A Celebration of Harry Potter)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 7, Chapter 6 (A Window of Opportunity)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1, Side Quest "Howling Halloween"
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, "Valentine's Day" Achievement
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, "FESTIVAL FUN" Achievement
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 7 (Mudbloods And Murmurs)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 10 (The Rogue Bludger)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 14 (Cornelius Fudge)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 11 (The Duelling Club)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13 (The Very Secret Diary)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 17 (The Heir of Slytherin)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 18 (Dobby's Reward)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1, Side Quest "Hallowe'en Feast"
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9 (The Writing on the Wall)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) DVD (Disc 2 - Lockhart's Office)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 15 (Beauxbatons and Durmstrang)
- BBC Radio 4 interview with J. K. Rowling, summer 2005
- Harry Potter Reading Club live web chat, 11 October 2012 (source here)
- Accio Quote - J.K. Rowling at the Edinburgh Book Festival
- 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.
|St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries|
|Founder Mungo Bonham|
|St Mungo's Admissions Department · Poisoning Department · Janus Thickey Ward · 'Dangerous' Dai Llewellyn Ward: Serious Bites · Purge and Dowse, Ltd|
|Positions||Healer · Mediwizard · Trainee Healer · Welcome Witch · Entrance dummy|
|Healers||Omar Abasi · Dilys Derwent · Lancelot · Rutherford Poke · Augustus Pye · Hippocrates Smethwyck · Helbert Spleen · Miriam Strout · Talbott Winger's mother|
|Katie Bell · Herbert Chorley · John Dawlish · Gordon Horton · Minerva McGonagall · Montgomery · Laura Thorn · Nymphadora Tonks · Arthur Weasley · Grubby-looking St Mungo's patient · Bitten St Mungo's patient · Winged St Mungo's patient · Unidentified St Mungo's patient · Unidentified werewolf|
|Long-term residents||Agnes · Alice Longbottom · Frank Longbottom · Gilderoy Lockhart · Broderick Bode (deceased)|