Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 17, ‘The Heir of Slytherin’ (True/False Quiz and Discussion Point)

Chapter 17 Quiz: “The Heir of Slytherin”

Mark True statements with a “T” and False statements with an “F.” Answers tomorrow with responses to discussion point posts (if there are any).

1. _____ When Harry enters the Chamber of Secrets, he finds Ginny laying at the feet of a giant wizard statue, which statue has a face that is “ancient and monkeyish.”

2. _____ Harry learns from Riddle that the young man is a ghost “preserved in the diary for fifty years.”

3. _____ Ginny Weasley was won over to Riddle’s side as Quirrell had been; she opened the Chamber of Secrets, strangled the roosters, wrote the messages on the wall, and set the Basilisk on the Mudbloods.

4. _____ Dumbledore realized Hagrid was innocent 50 years ago when Riddle accused him of being the Heir of Slytherin; he set a close watch on Riddle after that which prevented the boy from killing more students.

5. _____ Riddle wants to know how “a skinny boy with no extraordinary magical talent managed to defeat the greatest wizard of all time.”

6. _____ Harry’s loyalty to Dumbledore and defiance of Lord Voldemort brings Fawkes into the Chamber singing Phoenix song and carrying Godric Gryffindor’s sword by the hilt in his beak.

7. _____ Riddle/Voldemort notes that Harry and he are very much alike; “both half-bloods, orphans, raised by Muggles…Parselmouths…. We even look something alike.”

8. _____ Riddle sets the Basilisk on Harry who is fanged by the giant serpent after blinding it and killing it with his sword.

9. _____ Fawkes the Phoenix saves Harry’s life by destroying the diary which makes the memory of Riddle and the real Basilisk (and its fang) disappear.

10. _____ Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Gilderoy are flown up the chute from the Chamber’s tunnels to Hogwarts by holding each others’ hands and grabbing Fawkes’ tail feathers.

Discussion Points:
(a) Echoes and differences with Harry’s confrontation with Quirrelldemort at the end of Philosopher’s Stone, (b) most interesting element in this chapter when viewed in the Deathly Hallows rear-view mirror; and (c) the importance of Chapter 17 in understanding the meaning of Chamber of Secrets and the series as a whole.


  1. 1.T, 2.F, 3.T, 4.T ,5.T, 6.F, 7.T, 8.T, 9.F, 10.T

  2. Whoops! Please don’t post your answers until I put mine up; feel free to correct my mistakes, though.

  3. 1.T, 2.F, 3.F, 4.T ,5.T,

    6.F, 7.T, 8.F, 9.F, 10.T/F

    Mouse, Ginny wasn’t won over in the way Quirrell was and Harry doesn’t blind the Basilisk with his sword. The last question is True or False because Ron holds the back of Harry’s robe.

    Discussion Point (a): Echo? Harry is fighting with Voldemort but not the real Lord Thingy. Voldy/Riddle also again underestimates boy Harry. We again have Harry’s faux or near death followed by his resurrection in the presence of a symbol of Christ (here the phoenix). The differences are the uses of memory (and Riddle is a memory who forgets…), the first-rate battle with a Basilisk, and the rescue of a person. Harry’s people-saving-thing is upon us.

    (b) In the DH rear-view mirror, we have the destruction of a Horcrux with Basilisk tooth/poison that will be critical in the finale, fair Ginny quite open in her affection for Harry, and the stupid mistake Voldemort makes in letting Fawkes weap into Harry’s wound. As the Thomistic formula goes, “concupiscence darkens the intellect” (sin makes you stupid) so bad guys always blunder at crunch time. Think of Voldemort’s belief that Snape was the Elder Wand master at the end of Deathly Hallows. Nice perumbration.

    (c) The importance of ‘The Heir of Slytherin” chapter in Chamber and in the series as a whole is in its being the transparent Christian morality tale that really blows the lid off her attempt to smuggle the Gospel. I explain this in great detail in Looking for God in Harry Potter and online something I wrote in 2002 for the NY CSLewis Society. This is Ms. Rowling’s equivalent of Aslan on the Stone Table with Harry starring as the Christian Everyman of medieval legend. As Scott Moore of Baylor told Time Magazine when the Chamber movie was made, it is a miracle that they filmed this chapter pretty much straight from the text, bald Christian soteriological allegory that it is.

  4. Well I missed #3 because I was thinking Voldy posessed Quirrel the same way he did Ginny. Gess I should have checked my facts.

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