I think we can guess that Lockhart's lessons were not the lessons EVERY student enjoyed. Having tests about his books where he asks "When is Gilderoy Lockhart's birthday and what would his ideal gift be?'", might be an example of the quality Lockhart based his lessons on the whole year to all the students. My question is, why did no student complain about this to their Head of House for example? I'm quite sure there were students other than Harry and Ron not happy with Lockhart and his lessons after awhile.

  • 10
    Well I dunno about you, but when I was at secondary school in Britain, you didn't complain to higher-ups about teachers, you sucked it up. You might have winged to your friends, but it would never have occurred to us that there might be some way to launch a formal complaint. And anyway, I doubt anyone would've been bothered by the quality of the teaching, to most schoolchildren lessons are just boring chores to get through. The thought that one might benefit by learning something isn't very prominent. Most people would probably be grateful for the easy ride
    – Au101
    Dec 6, 2015 at 1:10
  • 2
    And the Hermiones will get on with things quietly on their own. (Hermione herself, of course, was busy fangirling, but that's another matter). There's a common trope, you may have heard of it, of PE teachers making people who forgot their kit do the lesson in their underwear ... Quite frankly, if something as egregious as that hasn't traditionally been complained about, then cruddy teaching wouldn't be ...
    – Au101
    Dec 6, 2015 at 1:13
  • True, and that may be for second years at the time. However, I can imagine that as a 5th year student you start to worry more if you have to pass exams.
    – marciano
    Dec 6, 2015 at 23:33
  • 4
    My German teacher his first question at the first test was where in Germany he was born. :D Half the time he was telling stories. The class was more fun, not sure it applies to Lockhart's lessons that one. But no one ever really complained besides just saying to each other we didn't get to learn that much. Which 15 year old kids don't really mind after all :D
    – Don_Biglia
    Dec 7, 2015 at 7:51
  • If nobody complained about Snape's lessons, why complain about Lockhart's? Sep 6, 2018 at 19:45

1 Answer 1


They probably did.

Lockhart was clearly known to be a pretentious poser by the staff as well as the students: recall Snape's dismissive attitude at the Duelling Club, and most memorably towards the end when the rest of the staff told off Lockhart to 'go and deal with the basilisk, then' just to get him out of their hair while they dealt with the situation seriously.

But what could they do? He had the job of DADA teacher and couldn't be sacked unless they found a replacement. And finding DADA teachers was a very difficult task at the time (and indeed throughout the series), due to widespread rumours about the curse on the job. Dumbledore, as a great and knowledgeable wizard, may well have guessed that Lockhart was a fraud already, or at least that he'd be a rubbish teacher. But clearly he was the best the Headmaster had been able to find for the job that year.

And given that he couldn't be sacked, what other form of action could be taken against him? The other staff would have no influence on his teaching. The Headmaster might, but Lockhart is clearly far too 'up himself' to heed a request for him to pull his socks up and teach the students Defence Against the Dark Arts in a serious manner. I mean, how would it go?

McGonagall: Gilderoy, I've been hearing complaints from some of my students about your teaching.

Lockhart: Ah, nonsense - it's all in good fun, I can assure you. They all love me really, and my lessons are very instructive. I mean, I didn't defeat the Banshee of Blitheringidiot by not knowing my Defence Against the Dark Arts back to front, did I? [dazzling grin]

Dumbledore: I hired you to teach my students Defence Against the Dark Arts, not to induct them into your fan club!

Lockhart: But my dear fellow, they're all so eager to hear all about me! I do try to keep the topic firmly to the syllabus you provided, but I've never had such a keen group of fans. They're positively begging for my autograph. It's all I can do to teach them anything at all!

  • 5
    To add to this (but not enough to justify a unique answer) - the teachers also show a distinct habit of ignoring any the students try to tell them. Too many to count are the instances where one of the three could have stopped the McGuffin dead in its tracks if McGonngal or somebody else would have simply believed them for once.
    – NKCampbell
    Dec 6, 2015 at 1:27
  • 2
    dont forget all female students loved him so for every complaint from a male student they would get 2-3 complements from the female students
    – Himarm
    Dec 6, 2015 at 2:04
  • 5
    Your Lockhart impression is spot-on! Aug 31, 2017 at 14:32

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