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Of the many fearsome beasts that roam our land, none is more deadly than the Basilisk. Capable of living for hundreds of years, instant death awaits any who meet this giant serpent's eye. Spiders flee before it.
―Harry Potter reading from the library book page Hermione held on to
Parseltongue won't save you now, Potter. It only obeys me!
―Tom Riddle telling Harry that his ability to speak Parseltongue won't do him any good because he has no control over the Basilisk

The Basilisk is the central main antagonist of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It is a fearsome creature with extremely dangerous powers, particularly the ability to instantly kill people who make direct eye contact with it and its venomous fangs, that can only be controlled by Parselmouths like Herpo the Foul, who first created the monstrous snake. 

History

When Hogwarts was founded a 1000 years ago by Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin, the four eventually had a disagreement as Slytherin believed only all-magic families should be allowed to learn about magic. He left the school as a result; before leaving, he constructed the Chamber of Secrets and hid a female Basilisk that could only be controlled by his Heir inside the Chamber to eradicate all muggle-born students from Hogwarts.

During his time at Hogwarts, Tom Riddle discovered he was a descendant of Slytherin, and found the Chamber of Secrets, unleashing the Basilisk, killing one student, a girl named Myrtle Warren, who was hiding in the second floor girls' bathroom, which had a secret entrance to the Chamber of Secrets under the sink. To ensure Hogwarts wouldn't shut down, Tom framed Rubeus Hagrid for the murder. Albus Dumbledore then kept a close eye on him afterwards. Knowing it was risky to open the Chamber again while still at school, Riddle left a diary containing his 16-year-old self in its pages behind so he could finish what he started in the future.

Physical Appearance

The Basilisk is a gigantic serpent with greenish-grey scaly skin, flat spikes on the back of the head and along its body (if it were a male, there would be a scarlet plume on its head), sharp fangs that contain potent venom and yellow eyes that can instantly kill people who look directly into them, until Fawkes blinded the Basilisk.

Abilities

Being a magical creature, the Basilisk is considerably powerful and dangerous. Its venom is potent enough to kill a person in just a little more than a minute. Of course, its huge yellow eyes are what makes it extremely dangerous; anyone who looks directly into them will die instantly. In fact, the Basilisk's gaze is even fatal to the Basilisk itself; if a person were to hold up a mirror in front of the Basilisk and it stares at it, then it would go down as quick as a finger snap.

Role in the film

When Harry Potter starts his second year at Hogwarts, despite warnings from Dobby the house elf, Lucius Malfoy, Draco Malfoy's father, slips Tom Riddle's diary into Ginny Weasley's belongings, resulting in Ginny being corrupted by Riddle's spirit. Under Riddle's influence, Ginny reopens the Chamber of Secrets and unleashes the Basilisk again.

Fortunately, no one is killed, just petrified. Among the Basilisk's victims this time are Mrs. Norris, Colin Creevey (a camera-wielding first year), Justin Finch-Fletchey, and Hermione Granger (who just discovered the Basilisk was the evil creature living in the Chamber thanks to a library book page on it, which she held on to). Harry and Ron find the page when they visit Hermione again in the hospital wing. After learning that the Basilisk had taken Ginny into the Chamber of Secrets, Harry and Ron attempt to save her, with the help of a reluctant Gilderoy Lockhart, who attempts to perform a memory charm on them, but accidentally erases his own memory when it backfires, and causes a cave-in.

Harry is forced to go it alone. He finds Ginny as well as Tom Riddle, who tells Harry that Ginny (under his influence) was responsible for all the terrible things that have happened, and then reveals himself to be Voldemort. When Harry expresses support for Dumbledore, Fawkes, Dumbledore's pet phoenix, flies in with the Sorting Hat. Riddle then unleashes the Basilisk to kill Harry. Harry makes a run for the door, but trips on the slippery floor. Fortunately, Fawkes blinds the Basilisk, allowing Harry to face it head-on. Harry manages to get the Basilisk off his trail, but it reappears out of the water surrounding the statue of Salazar Slytherin. It is then that the Sorting Hat produces the Sword of Godric Gryffindor. Harry takes the sword and climbs the Slytherin statue; the Basilisk blindly follows Harry's movements. A tense battle ensues, with Harry attacking the Basilisk with wild sword swings, and the Basilisk lunging at Harry, missing and causing minor damage to the statue. The two eventually take their fight to the top of the statue's head. For a moment, it appears Harry has the upper hand, but the Basilisk knocks him down, causing him to almost lose the sword; he retrieves it at the last second and fatally impales the Basilisk as it comes in for the kill. However, as Harry pulls the sword out, one of the Basilisk's fangs falls into his arm, poisoning him.

Harry then uses this fang to stab Tom Riddle's diary, destroying Riddle and saving Ginny from death. Fawkes then heals Harry's injury with his tears and flies them out of the Chamber.

In Deathly Hallows: Part 2, when Ron and Hermione go down to the Chamber of Secrets to get some Basilisk fangs, the Basilisk's body has decomposed, leaving only its skeletal remains. After they destroy Helga Hufflepuff's cup, one of Voldemort's horcruxes, the Basilisk's skeleton is presumably destroyed.

Quotes

Gallery

Trivia

  • Of the three creatures that Harry faces in the series, the Basilisk, the Mountain Troll, and the Hungarian Horntail, the Basilisk is the only one that is a main antagonist.
v - e - d
Potterverse logo
Media
Films: Harry Potter Logo Philosopher's Stone | Chamber of Secrets | Prisoner of Azkaban | Goblet of Fire | Order of the Phoenix | Half-Blood Prince | Deathly Hallows (Part 1 / Part 2)

Spin-off films: Fantastic Beasts and where to find them logo
Video games: Philosopher's Stone | Chamber of Secrets | Prisoner of Azkaban | Goblet of Fire | Order of the Phoenix | Half-Blood Prince | Deathly Hallows (Part 1 / Part 2) | Quidditch World Cup
Lego Video games: Lego Creator: Harry Potter | Lego Creator: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets | Lego Harry Potter: Years 1–4 / Years 5–7
Soundtracks:
Home video: Video

Characters
Original characters:Harry Potter | Ron Weasley | Hermione Granger | Albus Dumbledore | Rubeus Hagrid | Fred Weasley | George Weasley | Angelina Johnson | Alicia Spinnet | Gilderoy Lockhart | Remus Lupin | Alastor Moody | Quirinus Quirrell | Horace Slughorn | Percy Weasley | Cho Chang | Colin Creevey | Cedric Diggory | Ginny Weasley | Neville Longbottom | Luna Lovegood | Sirius Black | Vernon Dursley | Dudley Dursley | Petunia Dursley | Lord Voldemort | Draco Malfoy | Lucius Malfoy | Cornelius Fudge | Dolores Umbridge | Alecto Carrow | the Dementors of Azkaban | Amycus Carrow | Vincent Crabbe | Gregory Goyle | Argus Filch | Severus Snape | Bellatrix Lestrange | Bartemius Crouch Jr | Regulus Black | Pius Thicknesse | Salazar Slytherin

Spin-off characters: Newt Scamander | Tina Goldstein | Jacob Kowalski | Queenie Goldstein | Percival Graves | Seraphina Picquery | Credence Barebone | Mary Lou Barebon | Gnarlack | Henry Shaw Sr. | Langdon Shaw | Henry Shaw Jr. | Modesty Barebone | Chastity Barebone | Gellert Grindelwald | Leta Lestrange

Creatures
The Basilisk | The Mountain Troll | The Hungarian Horntail
Mascots/Pets
Crookshanks | Nagini | Hedwig | Fawkes | Buckbeak
Mystical Animals
Locations
Hogwarts Castle: | Grand Staircase Tower | Great Hall | Gryffindor Tower | Hogwarts Quidditch Pitch | The Forbidden Forest | Forbidden Third Floor Corridor | Underground Chambers | Hospital Wing | Slytherin Dungeon | The Chamber of Secrets | Topmost Tower | Platform 9¾

Diagon Alley: | Gringotts Wizarding Bank | Ollivander's
Residences: 4 Privet Drive | The Burrow | Godric's Hallow | Potter's Cottage
Other Locations: Limbo | England | Azkaban | British Ministry of Magic | Department of Mysteries

Objects
Weapons: Godric Gryffindor's Sword

Brooms/Nimbus: Nimbus 2000 | Nimbus 2001 | The Firebolt
Wands: Harry's Wand | Ron's Wand | Hermione's Wand | Voldemort's Wand | Elder Wand
Others: The Remembrall | The Invisibility Cloak | The Philosopher's Stone | Mirror of Erised | The Sorting Hat | The Basilisk Fang | Tom Riddle's Diary | The Marauder's Map | The Goblet of Fire | Deluminator

Transports
Powders: Floo Powder | Floo Network

Vehicles: Flying Ford Anglia | Flying Motorcycle | Hogwarts Express

Organizations/Groups
Order of the Phoenix | Dumbledore's Army | Death Eaters
People
Directors: Chris Columbus (12) | Alfonso Cuarón (3) | Mike Newell (4) | David Yates (58)

Producers: David Heyman | Chris Columbus (3) | Mark Radcliffe (3) | David Barron (58) | J. K. Rowling (78)
Screenwriters: Steve Kloves (14, 68) | Michael Goldenberg (5)
Cast Members: Daniel Radcliffe | Rupert Grint | Emma Watson | Maggie Smith | Robbie Coltrane | Alan Rickman | Tom Felton | Richard Harris (2001-2002) | Michael Gambon (2004-present) | Helena Bonham Carter | Warwick Davies | Ralph Fiennes | Brendan Gleeson | Richard Griffiths | Jason Isaacs | Gary Oldman | Fiona Shaw | Mark Williams | Julie Walters | Emma Thompson | Timothy Spall | David Thewlis | Miranda Richardson | Ian Hart
Novelist: J.K. Rowling

See also
J.K. Rowling | Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


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Comics
DC Comics: JokerLex LuthorDeathstroke
Shorts
Warner Bros. Cartoons: The CrowBeaky BuzzardBluebeardRocky and MugsyYosemite SamElmer FuddMarvin the MartianWile E. CoyoteGossamerThe CrusherWitch HazelToro the Bull
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Animated films: RuberMr. SwackhammerKent MansleyThraxLord BusinessHunterKralahomeDrakeDarla DimpleRockyKing SalazarQueen GnorgaKing LlortMouse KingMouse Queen

Animated television: MandarkSnowballDelightful Children From Down The LaneRed GuyMojo JojoHIMFuzzy LumpkinsThe Gangreen GangFatherTerrenceKing SandyJokerLex LuthorAlexander Luthor Jr.DeathstrokeBlackfireMr. FreezeMr. FizzPrincess MorbucksThe Rowdyruff BoysMr. BossCree LincolnChad DicksonQueen Tyr'ahneeHella, Ramona and AngelicaWinifred ChanticleerNew CadetDrake DarkstarArchduke ZagCounselor DishCatapoidsSinestroRona VipraGeorgiaHelgaEmiliaMartian CenturionCaptain LongThe FuddMartian Commander X-2QuackerCrazy Robot

Live-action Productions
Live-action films: Léon RomMr. ChairmanJokerLex LuthorDeathstrokeLord VoldemortQuirinus QuirrellNaginiThe BasiliskThe Mountain TrollThe Hungarian HorntailDolores UmbridgeDraco MalfoyLucius MalfoyShang TsungFulton GreenwayDorian TyrellThomas GriffinThe Grand High WitchJack TorranceOliver PorterPennywisePazuzu
Video games
Mr. Chairman
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