In the second book of the wonderful Harry Potter book series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry will travel with his dearest friends Hermione and Ron to the catacombs of Hogwarts, to protect the students from the latest threat. In this article, one magical creature chosen by the audience, will be analyzed in depth: the phoenix.
"This is my favorite Harry Potter book, I love the old and new characters, the plot, and how the author again makes hours enjoyable," said a student.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Fun Facts and Blurbs (*No Spoilers*)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second book of the Harry Potter series, was written and published by J.K Rowling on July 2, 1998. It was classified as fantasy. The movie adaptation came out on the year 2002 and it was directed by Chris Columbus and distributed by Warner Bros.
Something that you may not know is that filming this second movie took place just three days after they finished filming the first one, Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone. Also, this book is the shortest one of the series, but it is the longest movie.
"I like this book. It is not my favorite, though, it is good. But I do not find it as interesting [compared to the other books,]" said an anonymous source.
This story begins on summer holidays, with a bored Harry that is trying to figure out how to survive the vacations with the Dursleys. He has not yet received any letters that Ron and Hermione promised him, and he wonders if they have forgotten about him, feeling more alone that ever. All of this suddenly changes when a strident but attentive domestic elf named Dobby tries to persuade Harry to stay there instead of going to Hogwarts because there is a threat. Without any doubt, Harry goes to Hogwarts in a flying car, but starts to reconsider his decisions when students start appearing completely petrified. Whispers he can only hear surround the corridors, and a blood message is written on the wall: The Chamber of Secrets has been opened.
The Phoenix, a Very Particular Magical Creature
A phoenix is a magical creature that we constantly see in the Harry Potter books. One example of its importance is that in the fifth book of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix, includes it on the title.
Phoenixes were not created by JK Rowling, they appear in multiple cultures. One of its characteristics, mainly portrayed in Greek mythology, is that when it is the time of a phoenix to die, they are reborn in a beautiful explosion of scarlet and golden fire, coming out of the ashes as newborn chicks.
Egyptians consider the phoenix the spirit of the god Ra. Its return after their rebirth was greatly appreciated as it is an Egyptian sign of good luck, period of wealth and fertility. Also, the Egyptian culture associates this creature with the sun and it is believed that the myths come from the Egyptian Bennu bird, also associated with Heliopolis. Also called The Lord of the Jubilees, the Bennu bird renewed itself everyday, just like the sun.
The main difference between the Greek and the Egyptian version of the phoenix is that in Greek culture, a phoenix dies every 500 years; however, Egyptian mythology does not portray the death of the phoenix, mainly because it is considered a deity.
Both cultures symbolize the phoenix as a new beginning, a new birth or a new start.
"I love phoenixes. They are my favorite magical creatures, so smart and beautiful," said an anonymous source.
In the magical world of Harry Potter, phoenixes have many magical properties, such as tears that heal, feathers with magical properties, etc. Because of this, some wizards have phoenixes as pets. For example, Albus Dumbledore's pet is a phoenix named Fawkes.
When Harry met Fawkes for the first time, Fawkes looked ill and decrepit. Just a few minutes after, it suddenly exploded and scared Harry. Dumbledore answered to his concerns saying the following:
"About time, too," he said. "He's been looking dreadful for days; I've been telling him to get a move on. Fawkes is a phoenix, Harry. Phoenixes burst into flame when it is time for them to die and are reborn from the ashes." -Albus Dumbledore to Harry
Fawkes is a loyal and courageous phoenix that just happens to be the one that donated the feathers Ollivander, a wandmaker, used to make Voldermort's and Harry's wands. Also, it is the patronus of Albus Dumbledore. It is an example of Fawkes' bond with Dumbledore.
Fawkes has been really helpful in many situations, like in the chamber of secrets when Harry is fighting against the basilisk. After finding out that Harry had been injured by the venom of the basilisk, Fawkes cried and the wounds of Harry were magically healed. Later on in the story, Fawkes helped Harry kill it, making the basilisk blind with its beak. Additionally, Fawkes was really strong and carried both Ginny and Harry out of the chamber of secrets without any effort.
(*MAJOR SPOILER OF BOOK 6 IN THE NEXT SENTENCES*)
Finally, one of the most beautiful qualities of Fawkes is the song of the phoenix. It is said to be extremely comforting and feels like it touches the soul of the audience. It inspires calmness, courage, and harmony. When Dumbledore died in Harry Potter and the Mudblood Prince, Fawkes started flying in the sky, singing his particular melody and he was never seen again.
"Somewhere out in the darkness, a phoenix was singing in a way Harry had never heard before; a stricken lament of terrible beauty... They all fell silent. Fawkes's lament was still echoing over the dark grounds outside." -Fawkes's song
Link to Fawkes's song: https://youtu.be/T5g4ruyPOf8?t=1