And here we present Gilderoy Lockhart. He is the proof that not every Ravenclaw is good, but there had to be a rotten apple somewhere around the tree. However, it doesn’t mean every aspect of his personality has to be awful.
First of all, he got sorted into Ravenclaw, which means that the hat saw something in him. Also, the teachers seem to have believed him to be more intelligent than the average witch or wizard. The problem is that they probably didn’t think Gilderoy was as smart as he himself believed.
Whatever the opinion everyone has of him, Gilderoy Lockhart managed to convince the whole wizarding world of the fact that he was and adventurer and inventor. In fact, maintaining such a lie convincingly requires an intelligent person with a ready mind. I mean, he had to avoid highly problematic issues and get out of tricky situations, and until reaching Hogwarts, he managed to do so.
Not only that, but the people who knew him from school truly believed him capable of everything he said he had done. This only adds to the impression we have that he has an amazing brain inside that twisted head of his.
It would probably be a lot better to talk about his pride of his real accomplishments, but there seems to be a lack of those. Lockhart really valued learning, but not to improve himself, only to get more attention. This shows a huge amount of vanity and pride.
The biggest problem with this is that, to satisfy his vanity and pride he had to become famous, no matter how. He focused all of his energy into learning memory charms so that he could claim other’s achievements as his and become famous a lot quicker than if he had tried to do it himself. But I’m sure if Gilderoy had put all of that intent into really learning things, he would have become a much better wizard. Pity that.
It is certain, when reading the books, that Lockhart is a clearly ambitious person. Whether he remembers it now or not, it is the main force driving his whole adult life. Many would argue that this is a Slytherin trait, but ambition is not only a characteristic of the snake house.
Certainly, intelligent people sometimes tend to be ambitious, and we can see from Gilderoy’s behavior that he is definitely there. In the scene at the bookshop, he sees an opportunity to get a bit more press when he finds Harry Potter is there, and he takes it. Not only that, he tries to make himself look generous by gifting Harry all of his books, which have been set as Defense Agains the Dark Arts textbooks. So really, what he is doing is marketing, which is actually a smart move. I mean, the man has to keep himself looking amazing 24/7 and that is not cheap.