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Trivia / Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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The Book

  • Blooper:
    • In the book, Harry breaks his right arm, but in the illustration by Mary GrandPré, his left arm has been broken.
    • The first edition of the book has Dumbledore incorrectly identify Voldemort as "the last remaining ancestor of Salazar Slytherin". Later editions change this to "last remaining descendant".
  • What Could Have Been: See page.
  • Working Title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. J. K. Rowling's comments on this imply she had originally intended to use the Half-Blood Prince's entire plotline in the second book, but moved it back when she found it didn't fit very well into that book's plot.
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The Film Adaptation

  • Ability over Appearance: The casting call for Tom Riddle insisted on actors aged 15-17. Christian Coulson, who was twenty three, gave the best audition and was cast. He did not, however, reprise the role for the sixth film, being deemed too old by that time.
  • Acting for Two:
    • Jason Isaacs joins the cast as Lucius Malfoy in this film. He also provides the hissing and parseltongue sound effects for the Basilisk.
    • Jamie Waylett (Crabbe) and Joshua Herdman (Goyle) play the disguises Ron and Harry respectively take after they drink the Polyjuice Potion.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Jason Isaacs came up with the idea for Lucius Malfoy to have long blonde hair and a walking stick to conceal his wand.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Rupert Grint is terrified of spiders like Ron is. He wasn't acting during the Acromantula scenes; he was genuinely terrified.
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  • Blooper: After Harry hits Malfoy during their duel, a cameraman can be seen on the left side of the screen when Snape pulls Malfoy up.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Jason Isaacs originally auditioned for Gilderoy Lockhart, but Chris Columbus asked him to try for Lucius Malfoy too.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • A personal letter from David Heyman to Alan Rickman following the production of this movie reveals that the actor was occasionally frustrated with the role. This is not particularly surprising if you remember that Snape has a limited role in this particular movie.
    • Screenwriter Steve Kloves disliked the Slow Clap scene at the end of the film, feeling that it was inauthentic. Apparently, the scene was the idea of Chris Columbus, who thought it would make for a good moment to end on.
    • The three main actors dislike watching their performances in this film, along with the first one, as they consider their later appearances to be much better in comparison.
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  • Creator's Favourite Episode: Daniel Radcliffe has said that this is his favourite book in the series.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • As noted above, Christian Coulson was twenty-three playing sixteen. Likewise, Shirley Henderson, who plays school-age Myrtle, was thirty-seven.
    • Robbie Coltrane portrays both his current-day and teenage versions, with his younger self distinguished by being clean-shaven with shorter hair. Him appearing much older than he actually was could be explained through his giant anatomy, though.
  • Deleted Role:
    • Edward Tudor Pole had a scene as Mr Borgin that was cut from the final film but included as an extra on the DVD. The scene was also restored for the extended cut.
    • Sally Montemor was cast as Madam Pince the librarian but her scenes were cut. She's seen in the background in the library and at the staff table during dinner.
  • Deleted Scene: Bonnie Wright revealed that she filmed a scene in which Ginny strangles roosters outside of Hagrid's hut. In the book, it was revealed that Ginny, under Tom Riddle's influence, killed Hagrid's roosters, since the crow of roosters is fatal to the basilisk. This fact is entirely omitted from the movie, therefore the scene was cut. Presumably, it would have been one of the flashbacks that appear during Riddle's Evil Gloating.
  • Duelling Movies: In a repeat of their respective previous instalments' duel the previous year, the film came out one month before the movie of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. As before, the outcome was pretty much a tie and both were massive box office hits. To date, this is the last time the two franchises have competed at the box office. The Rings trilogy concluded in 2003 while the third Potter film came out in 2004, and the trilogy of The Hobbit was released between Deathly Hallows, Part 2 and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Minor example. Daniel Radcliffe had to shave his leg for the scene where he gives Dobby his sock.
  • Enforced Method Acting
    • In the scene where Harry meets Mr. Weasley and the latter asks him a question about Muggles, Mark Williams ad-libbed a different Muggle object in each take (the final cut's being a rubber duck) so that Daniel Radcliffe would actually be caught off guard by the question.
    • Rupert Grint has such a severe case of arachnophobia, he had trouble watching the entire scene where Ron and Harry are in Aragog's hollow. In that scene, Ron's frightened look, and his uncomfortable squirming throughout, was not from acting, but from Rupert being legitimately terrified at even the thought of spiders.
    • Jason Isaacs said in the 20th Anniversary reunion special that in a deleted scene taking place in Borgin & Burkes, Lucius smacks Draco's hand with the snake-head on his Classy Cane and scolds Draco to not touch anything. However, the snake-head had little sharp fangs that punctured Tom Felton's hand. Isaacs immediately broke character to apologize profusely to a tearful Felton, who replied through his tears, "it's alright, it's good for the scene..."
  • Hostility on the Set: Miriam Margolyes recalled:
    On the first day I came down for breakfast, Richard Harris was having his toast and marmalade at another table with Maggie Smith. I said to him, brightly, "Good morning", and he growled, "Fuck off". I didn't know that he had leukaemia, so I was quite offended at the time. I kept myself to myself after that, at least where Dumbledore was concerned.
  • In Memoriam: The film is dedicated to Richard Harris, who passed away a few days before the premiere.
  • Looping Lines: For when Harry and Ron are using Polyjuice to impersonate Crabbe and Goyle, Jamie Waylett and Joshua Herdman play them on-set, then Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint re-recorded their dialogue during post-production.
  • Never Work with Children or Animals:
    • A minor example at the end. Hermione was down in the script to hug Harry and Ron, but Emma Watson was too embarrassed to hug both boys in front of a set full of people (it's in the Great Hall). They came up with the compromise that she would only hug Harry and give Ron an awkward handshake. In post-production, they even had to slow down the film when Hermione is hugging Harry. Emma kept breaking it too quickly.
    • On the animal side of the equation, the scene with all the animals in McGonagall's class had a problem with a mandrill who wouldn't stop masturbating. This mandrill's naughtiness even made it into the completed film, albeit in the background and only for a couple seconds.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Sort of. Madam Pomfrey only appeared in the background of the first film, played by an extra. Here Gemma Jones assumes the role and keeps it for the remainder of the series.
    • There were some changes in the cast of the Latin American Spanish dub due to it being made in a different studio, such as Víctor Hugo Aguilar replacing Humberto Solórzano as Hagrid, or Keta Leonel replacing Magda Giner as the permanent voice for McGonagall. Carlos Segundo (Professor Snape) and Arturo Castañeda (Harry) also left because of disagreements with their salaries, and were replaced by Rolando de Castro and Claudio Velázquez, respectively.
  • The Other Marty: Hugh Grant was cast as Lockhart but had to withdraw at the last minute, being replaced by Kenneth Branagh.
  • Posthumous Credit: Richard Harris managed to complete all of his scenes before he succumbed to Hodgkin's disease on 25 October 2002 a few days before the premiere.
  • Real-Life Relative: All four of Chris Columbus's children appear in this movie. Eleanor Columbus plays Susan Bones (she also played her in the first movie), Brendan Columbus played a boy in study hall, Violet Columbus played the little girl with flowers, and Isabella Columbus played the little girl in the bookstore.
  • Throw It In:
    • Lucius attempting Avada Kedavra on Harry was ad-libbed by Jason Isaacs. At this point, he had only read the fourth book and that was the only spell he could remember. Additionally, Isaacs had to keep his head tilted back to prevent the long blond hair from falling in front of his face, which helped make Lucius appear even more haughty and snobby. He even improvised kicking Dobby; he lost track of where he was supposed to look during filming, to which Chris Columbus told him to look anywhere and the effects team would put Dobby there. He added in the kick for good measure, and Columbus initially thought he was slipping before Isaacs explained it.
    • Jason Isaacs also ad-libbed his famous remark to Harry in Dumbledore's office, as he felt it fit Lucius's character to always try to get the last word in. To his surprise, Daniel Radcliffe then improvised Harry’s equally iconic response.
    Lucius: Let us hope that Mr. Potter will always be around to save the day.
    Harry: Don’t worry. I will be.
    • Hermione was supposed to hug both Harry and Ron at the end. But Emma Watson was too embarrassed to hug both boys in front of a crowd of people. Thus came the compromise where she hugs Harry but only shakes Ron's hand. It ended up as an accidental foreshadowing of their future relationship (which didn't get hinted at until the fourth book). What's more is that the film had to be frozen for a few seconds because Emma kept breaking the hug too quickly.
    • Draco Malfoy's "I didn't know you could read" line to Harry-as-Goyle was ad-libbed by Tom Felton, who had forgotten his lines.
    • Draco grumpily dragging Crabbe down when he stands up with the rest of the students to applaud Hagrid's return was a result of Crabbe's actor, Jamie Waylett, forgetting that he wasn't supposed to stand up and join in.
  • What Could Have Been: See page.
  • You Sound Familiar: Two retroactive examples in the Brazilian dub: Hamilton Ricardo played the Bazilisk's voice, and would reappear from the next movie on as Lupin, and Luiz Carlos Persy, who voiced Araragog, would be cast later as Voldemort.

The Video Game

  • Acting for Two:
    • Lewis MacLeod voices Draco, Dumbledore, the Weasley twins, Percy, and Oliver Wood.
    • Victoria Robinson voices Ginny and Moaning Myrtle.
    • Allan Corduner voices Snape, Flitwick, Filch, Lucius Malfoy, and the Sorting Hat.
    • Mark Lowenthal voices Lockhart and Mr. Borgin.
    • Ève Karpf voices McGonagall, Hooch, Sprout, and the Fat Lady.
  • Dummied Out:
    • The PC version has a hidden challenge level in the Gryffindor common room that can only be accessed by enabling the debug mode. There's also code for a minigame where the player would fly the Ford Anglia to Hogwarts at the beginning of the game and a meter with an eye that would apparently fill up as muggles noticed the car. It was scrapped and replaced with a cutscene, seemingly before a level was designed for it.
    • The Game Boy Color version has three enemies that don't appear in any area of the game. The Doxy Queen, Emerald Firecrab, and Dark Goblin all have Folio Bruti entries, but aren't programmed to appear in any encounters.
  • Executive Meddling: The developers of the PC version wanted to make it so that the other houses could win at the end, but the EA executives forced them to rig it so that only Gryffindor could get the House Cup. The final Chamber of Secrets level was also much more elaborate with difficult puzzles and enemies, but the producers demanded it be simplified to running past fire-breathing snake statues because they thought the original idea was too hard for kids.
  • The Other Darrin: Some of the voice actors from the first game have been replaced:
    • Tom Attenborough (grandson of Richard) replaces Joe Sowerbutts as Harry.
    • Lewis MacLeod replaces Joe Sowerbutts as Draco, David de Keyser as Dumbledore, and Gregg Chillin as the Weasley twins. Chillin does, however, continue to voice Ron.
    • Gary Fairhall replaces Harry Robinson as Neville.
  • Two Voices, One Character: In the PS1 game, Quidditch commentator Lee Jordan ends up having two different voices between the main game and the Quidditch League side mode. In the main game, he has the younger-sounding voice he had in the first game, while Quidditch League gives him a deeper voice more in line with the film’s depiction. This comes as particularly odd due to Quidditch League reusing the commentary from the first game wholesale, while the main game is almost entirely new lines.

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