13

Was there no effect of the basilisk's deathly stare on Fawkes as it flew into the chamber of secrets? After all, we know a basilisk has a fatal effect on animals too (Mrs. Norris).

Agreed that it will respawn, but shouldn't there be any effect on Fawkes?

7
  • 4
    I agree there is no reason to think Fawkes should not be affected, but there is also no reason to think he looked the basilisk in the eye. Harry was down there a while and managed not to.
    – BoBTFish
    Feb 19, 2014 at 9:27
  • 2
    but Fawkes apparently poked his eyes out. That should be hard to do without looking at them
    – user13267
    Feb 19, 2014 at 10:08
  • 5
    As a bird owner, I can tell you that they can do a lot of damage without actually looking directly at you.
    – phantom42
    Feb 19, 2014 at 16:01
  • 1
    yeah, well it was a gigantic snake that wants you dead, so poking its eyes out without so much as a peek sounds daunting.
    – rkj
    Feb 20, 2014 at 4:09
  • I believe that Phoenixes are considered to be immune to the effects of the stare.
    – JohnP
    Apr 9, 2014 at 22:57

3 Answers 3

14

According to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, the phoenix lives an inordinately long life, but it is not immortal:

The phoenix lives to an immense age as it can regenerate, bursting into flames when its body begins to fall and rising again from the ashes as a chick.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - page 32 - Scholastic - An A-Z of Fantastic Beasts

All the circumstances under which a Harry Potter Phoenix will regenerate or not be killed is not known. However, in Order of the Phoenix Fawkes swallows the Avada Kedavra curse as he's protecting Dumbledore from Voldemort, and he does survive that. It's entirely possible that, so ostensibly it should be possible for him to survive the Basilisk's gaze as well. But I think, from what we do know about phoenixes in Harry Potter, that something would have to happen -- like the Basilisk's stare would have to kill Fawkes and Fawkes would have to regenerate.

Personally, because Fawkes is never a Phoenix chick in the Chamber of Secrets, even after encountering the Basilisk, I think he never directly made eye contact with the Basilisk and, therefore, was never at risk for death and regeneration.

5

It may be that Fawkes never looked the basilisk directly in the eye. Many birds have eyes on the sides of their heads which give them nearly 360 degrees of vision without actually focusing on something in particular like humans or even snakes do. Everybody else who looked at the basilisk did stare directly at it and make eye-contact so this could be where the discrepancy comes from.

1
  • 2
    "Many birds have eyes on the sides of their heads which give them nearly 360 degrees of vision without actually focusing on something in particular like humans or even snakes do." This is true, but phoenixes are typically depicted as having more of a predator makeup than prey. As such, they have front-facing eyes; the film version of Fawkes matches this.
    – phantom42
    Mar 10, 2014 at 17:36
1

It is not the gaze of the basilisk that kills, but eye contact. Fawkes could have clawed out the eyes of the serpent without looking at those eyes, thus avoiding death. The HP wiki also says that phoenixes are immune to the basilisk stare, but there is no direct source on it so take that as you will.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.