Tom Riddle used Ginny Weasley to open the Chamber of Secrets, which requires the ability to speak Parseltongue.

Ginny must have spoken Parseltongue to open the chamber -- does this qualify Ginny as a Parselmouth?

  • hasn't this been discussed already?
    – user13267
    Jun 14, 2014 at 1:10
  • 2
    also, Ron also used Parseltongue to open the Chamber during the final, but it doesn't make him any more of a parselmouth.
    – user13267
    Jun 14, 2014 at 1:11
  • @user13267: There have been quite a few Parseltongue-related questions recently, but I’m fairly sure this is a new one.
    – alexwlchan
    Jun 14, 2014 at 2:00
  • 1
    @user13267 -- As far as I know this specific question has not been discussed. If it has been, and I missed it in my due diligence, well, people know what to do. :) Jun 14, 2014 at 2:12

2 Answers 2


No, absolutely not.

  • Ginny was under Voldemort's possession each time she opened the chamber.
  • He was using her as a meat puppet
  • It's Voldemort that can speak Parseltongue, not her.

‘Yes,’ said Riddle, calmly. ‘Of course, she didn’t know what she was doing at first. It was very amusing. I wish you could have seen her new diary entries … far more interesting, they became … Dear Tom,’ he recited, watching Harry’s horrified face, ‘I think I’m losing my memory. There are rooster feathers all over my robes and I don’t know how they got there" Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


‘Well, can you remember everything you’ve been doing?’ Ginny asked. ‘Are there big blank periods where you don’t know what you’ve been up to?’

Harry racked his brains. ‘No,’ he said.

‘Then You-Know-Who hasn’t ever possessed you,’ said Ginny simply. ‘When he did it to me, I couldn’t remember what I’d been doing for hours at a time. I’d find myself somewhere and not know how I got there.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Out of universe, JKR specifically spoke to this issue in a 2005 interview;

MA: Someone put it to me last night, that if Ginny, with the diary...

JKR: Harry definitely destroyed that piece of soul, you saw it take shape, you saw it destroyed, it’s gone. And Ginny is definitely in no way possessed by Voldemort.

MA: Is she still a Parselmouth?

JKR: No.

Note also that given that since Harry loses his ability to speak Parseltongue after he destroys the horcrux fragment, there's a pretty fair argument to be made that the only true (living) Parselmouth in the Harry Potter series is Voldemort himself.

  • A really interesting answer! Thanks :) Here's what strikes me: "Of course she didn't know what she was doing at first [...]" I wonder if that means there was any point at which she was aware and, if so, if she was able to understand and speak Parseltongue because of Tom Riddle's possession of her. Even though she lost the ability to speak it after the diary was destroyed, I wonder if there was any time that Parseltongue made sense to her. +1 for using "meat puppet" in your answer (it's a good answer all in all) :) Jun 13, 2014 at 22:59
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    I think he's implying that she slowly came to realise that she was being used, not that she somehow learned to speak parseltongue
    – Valorum
    Jun 13, 2014 at 23:00
  • I'd argue that the Gaunts would count as "true Parselmouths" too, wouldn't they? They're related to Slytherin and their ability does not seem to come from a Horcrux-like connection.
    – Jenayah
    Aug 29, 2018 at 10:58

I would say no.

In a Leaky Cauldron interview in 2005, JK Rowling confirmed that Ginny definitely lost any ability she had to speak Parseltongue when the diary was destroyed:

MA: Someone put it to me last night, that if Ginny, with the diary—

JKR: Harry definitely destroyed that piece of soul, you saw it take shape, you saw it destroyed, it’s gone. And Ginny is definitely in no way possessed by Voldemort.

MA: Is she still a Parselmouth?

JKR: No.

“The Leaky Cauldron and Mugglenet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Three,” The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005

(The word “still” might imply that she would have been a Parselmouth while under Voldemort’s influence, but that was the Melissa Anelli’s words, not Rowling’s, and I can’t find any ref for that.)

I think Ginny’s use of Parseltongue is more comparable to Ron’s: since she was being possessed by Voldemort, the understanding of the language came from him, not her. At best, she was making sounds that happened to resemble Parseltongue, but Ginny herself never understood them.

And if I quote you in an answer to a previous Parseltongue question:

You have to be able to speak Parseltongue in order to be a bona fide Parselmouth.

Ginny has never shown any ability to speak Parseltongue when not being possessed by Voldemort, so I’d say that he’s the Parselmouth, not her.

  • I feel like I want to steal this whole answer and cram it into my answer...
    – Valorum
    Jun 13, 2014 at 22:37
  • I also thought of Ron who, in Deathly Hallows, mimics Parseltongue in order to gain access to the Chamber of Secrets, and that I have never considered him to be a Parselmouth. The reason I thought Ginny might be different is her possession by Voldemort. That's a great quote -- which interview did it come from? The way I read Melissa and JKR's exchange is that Ginny at one point may have been a Parselmouth. Otherwise, I believe JKR's answer might have been along the lines of, "No, and she never was." Of course I could be wrong, but when I look sideways, I see that possibility. :) Jun 13, 2014 at 22:53
  • @Slytherincess: Leaky Cauldron and Mugglenet interview, July 2005. Link is above the quote, but I’ll add an inline one.
    – alexwlchan
    Jun 13, 2014 at 22:55
  • @alexwlchan -- Thanks! I've read that interview many, many times and I honestly do not remember that bit. I will re-read it more carefully. :) (Oh, and I gave you +1 too for such a nice answer) Jun 13, 2014 at 23:02

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