|“||Come... Come to me... Let me rip you... Let me tear you... Kill... time to kill... so hungry... for so long. I SMELL BLOOD! I SMELL BLOOD!||„|
|~ The Basilisk speaks in Parsletongue, heard only by Tom Riddle and Harry Potter.|
|“||Of the many fearsome beasts that roam our land, none is more deadlier than the basilisk. Capable of living for hundreds of years. Instant death awaits any who meet this giant serpents eye. Spiders flee before it.||„|
|~ Harry Potter, reading information on the Basilisk.|
The Basilisk is a serpentine monster belonging to Salazar Slytherin, which served as the secondary antagonist in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, behind Lord Voldemort's Horcrux and Lucius Malfoy. It lived in the Chamber of Secrets until Ginny Weasley (possessed by part of Tom Riddle's soul contained in his diary) opened the Chamber of Secrets. The Basilisk escaped inside the school and petrified a few people - a cat named Mrs. Norris, Colin Creevey, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Nearly Headless Nick, Hermione Granger and Penelope Clearwater - who witnessed the monster and did not make direct eye contact. The Basilisk comes from a magical but deadly species of the same name and the creatures from that same race were bred by Dark Wizards, including the first person who bred his own known as Herpo the Foul, and one of the four Founders of Hogwarts School known as Salazar Sytherin.
The first member of this Basilisk's species was created in ancient Greece by Herpo the Foul and was one of the first examples of the Dark Arts and was considered highly dangerous, inhumane and illegal to breed. The Basilisk was considered the enemy of almost everything, the enemy of humans, spiders, and roosters. The Basilisk was especially feared by spiders, with them even fearing to name it, presumably because of their eight-eye vision which would render them vulnerable to paralysis.
The Medieval Period
There were no recorded sightings of Basilisks, but Slytherin himself bred a Basilisk deep within Hogwarts castle, marking the beginning of the Basilisk's reign of terror in the school. The Basilisk lived for 200 years, unless killed, and it posed a serious threat, which would be seen in the 12th century.
The beast was summoned up by Slytherin's heir, Tom Marvolo Riddle, in 1943, to continue its original purpose and purge Hogwarts of those "unworthy to attend" (Muggle-borns). It petrified many students and ended up killing one girl (Moaning Myrtle), sending the school into a panic and threatening its closure. To prevent his beloved Hogwarts from closing, Riddle called off the snake and framed Rubeus Hagrid and his illegal pet, Aragog the Acromantula, as the ones responsible. The Basilisk was sent to slumber once more within the recesses of the Chamber.
Fifty years later, the monster was woken once more to finish the job after Riddle's shade from the diary possessed Ginny Weasley and used her to open the Chamber of Secrets. The school roosters were killed by Ginny to prevent them from interfering with the Basilisk's mission, and attacks on many students (as well as Filch's cat and one of the school ghosts) sprung up. Several signs pointed to the Basilisk as the culprit, with most victims petrified, the roosters dead, spiders fleeing from the school, and Harry Potter hearing threatening voices within the walls (as it used the plumbing system to travel from place to place). Harry was thought to be responsible for the rerelease of Slytherin's Monster event because he could speak Parseltongue, the language of snakes; an ability shared by Voldemort and the great Salazar Slytherin. When Hermione Granger became petrified everyone started to think otherwise because she was one of Harry's best friends. Harry and Ron went to the spider Aragog, who told them that it was not he who was the monster in the Chamber of Secrets, and informed them of the "unspeakable horror" living in the depths of the school. Harry and Ron then visited Moaning Myrtle, who was actually the girl that the Basilisk had killed the first time that it was let out of the Chamber. She told them that she had seen a pair of "great yellow eyes" beside one of the sinks in the girls' lavatory.
Harry and Ron investigated and found a small snake engraved on the side of a sink, hinting at the location of the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets; Harry figured that he had to speak in Parseltongue in order to access the Chamber portal, which turned out to be a large pipe that led directly under the school and the lake. Harry was able to slay the Basilisk (with help from Fawkes the phoenix and the Sword of Godric Gryffindor) and save Ginny from Riddle, who turned out to be a part of Voldemort's soul encased in the Diary.
Later, in 1998, Ron and Hermione were able to reenter the Chamber of Secrets (with Ron providing a surprisingly good imitation of Parseltongue needed to open the sink) to collect fangs from the Basilisk's corpse, which they used to help Harry destroy Voldemort's Horcruxes.
|“|| Ron Weasley: But if it kills by looking people in the eye, why is that no one's dead? |
Harry Potter: Because no one did look it in the eye. Not directly at least.
|~ Harry and Ron discussing why no one has been killed by the basilisk.|
- Several unknown students attending Hogwarts in 1943.
- Myrtle "Moaning Myrtle" Warren (died, became a ghost).
- Mrs. Norris (petrified, restored to health) (looked at its reflection in the water)
- Colin Creevey (petrified, restored) (saw it through his camera)
- Sir Nicholas "Nearly Headless Nick" de Mimsy-Porpington (petrified, restored though already a ghost)
- Justin Finch-Fletchley (petrified, restored). (looked at it through Nick)
- Penelope Clearwater (petrified, restored). (saw it in Hermione's mirror)
- Hermione Granger (petrified, restored). (saw it in her mirror)
- Salazar Slytherin's Basilisk is female. Male Basilisks have a red plume of feathers on their heads. However, the Lego Basilisk is a male because it does feature the red plume on its head.
- In the movie, Penelope Clearwater was not shown as a victim of the Basilisk.
- Daniel Radcliffe suggested to director Chris Columbus that his father be cast as the voice of the Basilisk in the movie, recalling that he gave the Basilisk 'a great voice' when he read his son the first two books. Radcliffe's father was reportedly mortified by the suggestion.
- The Basilisk in the movie was a mix between CGI technology and an animatronic puppet. 20 ft of the creature and the head were build in the studio for close-up shots of the snake.
- The Basilisk's corpse can be seen inside the Chamber during the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida.
- In Jimmy Neutron, Finbarr Calamitous made a robot based off the Basilisk when Jimmy is playing a Harry Potter-based character and Carl playing a character based on both Quirinus Quirrell and Tom Riddle(with the former being a vessel for Voldemort and the later being an Incarnation of Voldemort).
- Ironically, the Basilisk that Voldemort used to purge Hogwarts of Muggle-borns and Harry Potter was used against him by having its venom destroy most of his Horcruxes, which eventually led to his death.