ATTENTION: THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE HARRY POTTER SERIES
I honestly didn’t like The Chamber of Secrets when it was first released. It didn’t seem as magical to me as the first, and once I had read the third book, my favorite of the entire series, it just didn’t seem to hold up as well as the others.
In retrospect and after many subsequent readings of the second installment of the Potter saga, I now quite enjoy the book, though it still isn’t one of my favorites. It might have something to do with the fact that in the second book Harry has succeeded in destroying one of Voldy’s horcuxes (though we don’t know it yet) or just the fact that Kenneth Brannagh’s portrayal of Lockhart in the film version is so fantastic. Either way, I can definitely say that the introduction of Dobby plays a huge role in my appreciation for the book.
For those who have only watched the films, they can’t quite grasp the importance of Dobby. Unlike in the films, Dobby appears in every single book except for the first and the third and plays a huge role in Harry’s life and survival. Whether he is saving Harry’s life by sending a rogue bludger after him, making him socks or spying on Draco Malfoy for him, his loyalty to Harry is something that anyone would be lucky enough to command from a friend. Chamber of Secrets sets up a friendship that will last until the final book, when Dobby’s ultimate demise is, in my opinion, one of the saddest deaths of the entire series.
On a different note, Chamber of Secrets also reminds me how much I wish that J.K. Rowling would write and publish a real Hogwarts: A History. How awesome would that be? Hopefully pottermore can make my dreams come true.