Is Moaning Myrtle the Most Tragic Character in the “Harry Potter” Series?
Everyone is aware of “Miserable, moaning, moping Myrtle,” (CoS 54), the vexing ghost who haunts Hogwarts' second-floor girls' bathroom.
We know she was killed when the Chamber of Secrets was first opened, but what else do we know about her death? And, perhaps more depressingly, what do we know about her life? In both life and death, I consider her to be one of, if not the, most tragic characters in the Harry Potter series.
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She Was Just 14 When She Died
Myrtle's life was tragically cut short when she was killed by the Basilisk on Tom Riddle's orders. It's not surprising that she remained a ghost.
She was so young and hadn't had much of life to experience. Ghosts in the wizarding world are often either afraid of death or have a strong connection to the places they haunt, and both seem likely to apply to Myrtle.
Furthermore, she is said to have remained a ghbbbbbbbbost in order to haunt Olive Hornby, the Hogwarts student who bullied her on the day of her death. Myrtle returned to Hogwarts after the Ministry stopped her from stalking Olive, where she later met Harry.
She Was Only Hiding in the Bathroom When She Died Because She Had Been Bullied by a Fellow Hogwarts Student
Myrtle was bullied at Hogwarts her entire life, both for her physical appearance and her personality. As previously stated, she had been bullied by Olive Hornby about her glasses on the day she died and had sought refuge in the girls' second-floor bathroom.
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I'd gone into hiding because Olive Hornby was making fun of my glasses. I was crying as the door was locked, and then I heard someone enter. They made a funny remark.
It had to have been a different language, I believe. Anyway, what drew me in was the fact that it was a boy speaking. So I unlocked the door and told him to use his own toilet, and then – I died.” (CoS 299)
She was so upset by this that she haunted Olive Hornby after her death. Myrtle was bullied not only during her life but also after she died. She didn't have any friends, not even other ghosts. Peeves – a poltergeist, not a ghost – bullied her to the point where she wanted to kill herself before realizing she was already dead.
She was mocked by Harry and his peers (usually behind her back), and she herself stated that her “life at [Hogwarts] was nothing but misery, and now people come along ruining [her] death!” (CoS 156).
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Frequently Asked Questions
How Did Moaning Myrtle Die in the Bathroom?
The Basilisk Stared at Myrtle at Riddle's Command, and Their Gazes Locked. Because Looking Into a Basilisk's Eyes is a Fatal Act, Myrtle Was Killed Instantly and Her Body Fell to the Bathroom Floor, Becoming Tom's First Victim.
Was Moaning Myrtle's Death an Accident?
Myrtle's Death Appears to Be Unintentional, So Tom Immediately Set About Finding a Fall Guy and “Closing” the Chamber to Avoid School Closing Early (and Being Sent Back to the Orphanage).
Was the First Horcrux Moaning Myrtle?
Tom Riddle Murders Myrtle Warren (a.k.a. Moaning Myrtle) in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry's First-floor Girls' Bathroom on June 13, 1942, Sending a Piece of His Soul Into His Diary. It is His First Horcrux.