Movie Reviews

The Harry Potter Books Perfectly Flip 1 Chamber Of Secrets Reveal In Half-Blood Prince


  • Chapter 13 in both Chamber of Secrets and Half-Blood Prince reveal key plot points and mirror each other in surprising ways.
  • Draco Malfoy’s character arc is cleverly developed through these chapter 13 parallels, showing growth and moral complexity.
  • The discovery of Horcruxes in both chapter 13s foreshadows crucial events in the series, highlighting the power of choice in shaping one’s destiny.

The Harry Potter books took advantage of their repeated formula to flip an important Chamber of Secrets reveal in Half-Blood Prince. Though these two stories were significantly different, with Harry and the gang much older in Half-Blood Prince, there are some similarities between the mysteries featured in each. Chapter 13 of both books was cleverly used to create parallels between these two different points in the Harry Potter series, and in doing so, the rivalry arc between Harry and Draco Malfoy was made all the more enjoyable.

As pointed out by Mugglenet, chapter 13 of each Harry Potter book follows a similar formula. Though subtle, it’s clear when observing all seven 13th chapters under a microscope that this was always a turning point in the books. A major question within that school year’s central mystery would be answered, a perpetrator would be accused while the real villain was secretly identified, and a new magical object or mechanic would be introduced. While these chapters typically stood alone within their respective Harry Potter books, Chamber of Secrets and Half-Blood Prince were the exception.


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The Harry Potter Books Flip Chamber Of Secrets’ Draco Malfoy Reveal In Half-Blood Prince

Draco Malfoy’s Eventual Villain Reveal Was Foreshadowed In Chamber Of Secrets

In Chapter 13 of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, “The Very Secret Diary,” Harry discovers Tom Riddle’s diary, is sucked into a young Voldemort’s memory, and learns that Hagrid was expelled from school for allegedly opening the Chamber of Secrets. Harry had been sure up to this point that Draco Malfoy was the Heir of Slytherin and that he had taken over his father’s role. However, Riddle’s diary revealed this couldn’t be true since the timelines didn’t match up. Malfoy might have been a prejudiced jerk, but he wasn’t the attempted murderer.

In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, chapter 13 is similarly named “The Secret Riddle,” and the events see Harry again witness a memory involving a young Tom Riddle (through Dumbledore’s Pensieve). Additionally, Harry is adamant that Draco Malfoy is behind another attempted murder, this time with Katie Bell as the victim. He tells Dumbledore of his suspicions, though the headmaster dismisses him immediately. The events and subjects of these two chapters are remarkably similar, but in the case of Half-Blood Prince, Harry is correct about Draco Malfoy.

Harry Potter’s Early Draco Suspicions Perfectly Set Up The Later Books

The Parallels Between Chapter 13 Of Chamber Of Secrets & Half-Blood Prince Support Draco’s Character Arc

The similarities between chapter 13 in Chamber of Secrets and Half-Blood Prince draw attention to the fact that Katie Bell’s attack wasn’t the first time Harry suspected Draco of attempted murder. The first time around, Draco made it clear that he supported whoever was attacking Muggle-borns and made it seem as if he would gladly murder those who weren’t of pure blood if he could. This was pretty damning, but it ultimately turned out that Draco was innocent of the crime and that Harry was wrong despite his strong instincts.

The fact that Harry was wrong about Draco in Chamber of Secrets cast some doubt over his suspicions in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Ron and Hermione had been on Harry’s side during their second year at Hogwarts, but his friends were no longer so easily convinced when Harry accused Draco again during the sixth. They even reminded Harry that they had gone down this path before, warning him not to make the same mistake twice. Dumbledore also disregarded Harry’s accusation, which seemed to settle the matter.

These two chapter 13s draw attention to this critical piece of Draco’s character arc, demonstrating that pure-blood indoctrination was the true villain, not the Slytherin boy himself.

Draco was, in fact, responsible for the attack on Katie Bell. However, the big surprise of all this was that the boy no longer desired to hurt anyone. Unlike in Chamber of Secrets, Draco’s Half-Blood Prince counterpart realized that he didn’t want to kill and had gotten in way over his head. These two chapter 13s draw attention to this critical piece of Draco’s character arc, demonstrating that pure-blood indoctrination was the true villain, not the Slytherin boy himself.

Chapter 13 Of Chamber Of Secrets & Half-Blood Prince Mirror Each Other In Multiple Ways

Voldemort’s Horcruxes Are Foreshadowed In These Chapter 13s As Well

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter with Quill Pen and Tom Riddle's Diary in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Interestingly, Draco’s progression from a hopeful criminal to an actual attempted murderer isn’t the only thing Chamber of Secrets and Half-Blood Prince‘s chapter 13s draw attention to. As previously mentioned, these chapters see Harry dive into Voldemort’s past, which means coming into contact with or seeing two of the Dark Lord’s Horcruxes. In Chamber of Secrets, Harry obviously interacts with Riddle’s diary, and in Half-Blood Prince, he sees a memory of Riddle’s mother, Merope, selling Slytherin’s locket.

Chamber of Secrets
chapter 13 saw Harry question why Tom Riddle felt like a friend he had known his whole life, which also foreshadowed his connection to the Horcrux.

Of course, this is significant since the ending of Harry Potter pivots on the Horcroxes, with Harry technically being one of them serving as the major twist. Draco’s story is interlaced with the reveal of Horcruxes, which is no coincidence, either. The boy’s arc reveals that he could have easily become like the Dark Lord, but like Harry, his soul was saved by his mother’s love and the sliver of goodness it inspired. Voldemort, Harry, and Draco all serve as reminders in Harry Potter that a person chooses their own path, and the clever formula of the various chapter 13s drives this fact home.

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