Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

“It is not our abilities that show what we truly are; it is our choices.”

Though a house elf tries to stop him from returning, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) makes it back to Hogwarts for his second year. The opening of a lair in the school called The Chamber of Secrets grips the students in terror, especially when Harry himself starts hearing voices that no one else can hear.

Harry Potter: Identity vs. Confusion
As Harry reaches age 12, he moves from industry versus inferiority into Erik Erikson’s next developmental stage. I’ll save you the suspense, Readers; this is where he remains for the rest of the series. Harry’s lack of knowledge about the wizarding world is at stake again when he discovers that he can speak Parseltongue – the language of snakes. Associated with evil wizard, Lord Voldemort, Harry is worried about his new-found ability and struggles to justify his placement into Gryffindor over Slytherin.

Ron Weasley: Arachnophobia
Ron Wealsey (Rupert Grint) is about as useless as it gets. There. I said it.

Showing his truly useless colors for certainly not the last time, he squeaks and shivers his way through an encounter with abnormally large spiders. A fear of something to the point where it affects daily functioning is called a phobia (remember Maggie in Runaway Bride? She was afraid of being watched). Ron is terrified of spiders; fans of the book may recall that this is due to an incident when Ron’s teddy bear was turned into a spider by one of his many older brothers. To Ron’s credit, he does go with Harry into the Forbidden Forest, despite his fear. And to further credit him, those spiders are way too fucking big.

Some evolutionary psychologists suggest that a fear of something like spiders is ingrained in humans because spiders are sometimes lethal. The idea is that some anxieties are leftover from ancestral experiences. In this way, fears of things like bears or sharks are considered rational fears because bears and sharks can harm human beings; some spider species also have this ability, making a fear of spiders both common and fairly normal.

Gilderoy Lockhart: The Imposter
I hinted at Imposter Syndrome in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but this character is a true imposter. Stealing from acclaimed witches and wizards, Gilderoy Lockhart (Kenneth Branagh) modifies their memories and takes credit for their achievements. He’s a big fraud.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Oh hey, it’s our old friend the personality disorder. Gilderoy’s imposter characteristics are rooted in his image. Fame is certainly a fickle friend, but so is anyone with a full-blown personality problem like Gilderoy.

  • Grandiosity
    Between the colorful robes and the inflated sense of self, I don’t think I have to argue this one too much.
  • Excessive Need for Admiration
    Duh. The guy steals credit for others’ work because he preys on attention. He even takes a dig or two at Harry to imply that Harry’s fame is somehow less founded than Gilderoy’s; the difference, of course, is that Harry never asked to be famous.
  • Callous Traits
    We can all agree that dementing a person with the power of magic so that you can take credit for their work is a pretty callous (read: shitty) thing to do. Karma though, she’s an even more fickle friend than fame where Gilderoy Lockhart is concerned.

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