Myrtle Warren, known to Hogwarts residents as Moaning Myrtle, was a student at the same time as Hagrid and Tom Riddle. Myrtle died in a second-floor girl’s bathroom by looking into the eyes of a Basilisk.
According to Myrtle, it was swift death: one second, she was telling a boy to go to another bathroom, and the next, she was floating.
Was Moaning Myrtle’s Death an Accident?
We are not entirely sure if Myrtle died accidentally or not. We can only guess and speculate.
Moaning Myrtle’s death could have been planned. It is possible that Tom Riddle was targetting Myrtle as one of his victims. She was, in fact, a Muggle-born.
It would also be rather easy to track her down since she spent quite a lot of time hiding in the bathroom crying. Olive Hornby knew where to find Myrtle. Why not Tom Riddle?
He was opposed to Muggle-borns, and he was a brilliant boy. Another argument for Myrtle’s death being planned is that, according to J.K. Rowling, Tom Riddle used Myrtle‘s death to create his first Horcrux, the diary.
Moaning Myrtle’s death could have also been an accident. We can’t know for sure, but considering Myrtle was in a bathroom stall when she heard Riddle’s voice, he might not have known she was there.
It also happens that the very bathroom Myrtle used was an entrance to the Chamber of Secrets. We could say she died because she was in the wrong bathroom at the wrong time.
Why Was Moaning Myrtle Killed?
The reason why Moaning Myrtle was killed is not precise, because it could have been an accident, or she could have been a target of the Slytherin’s Heir, Tom Riddle, because of her heritage.
Her death could also be a way to cover tracks. Tom could have realized that once Myrtle saw Tom releasing the Slytherin monster, she could have told everyone.
Of course, there was still a fifty-fifty chance of that happening, considering that Myrtle came back as a ghost, but for some reason, she never told anyone how she died until Harry and Ron asked her.
How Did Moaning Myrtle Die if She Was Wearing Glasses?
Many people wonder how it is possible that Moaning Myrtle died since she was wearing thick glasses. There are instances that people looked into Basilisk’s eyes and got „only“ petrified.
The reason could be because they saw a reflection of the eyes, like Mrs. Norris, who saw the reflection in the water, of Hermione and Penelope Clearwater, who saw it in a mirror.
Justin Finch-Fletchley saw the Basilisk through a ghost of Sir Nicholas, who took the brunt of the cursed eyes but was already dead. Also, small Collin Creevy saw the eyes through his camera, which we know had burned film inside after the encounter.
Myrtle didn’t have the luck to be shielded from the Basilisk. We think that her thick lenses could even magnify the deadly stare, making it quicker, if anything.
Why Did No One Ask Moaning Myrtle How She Died?
Moaning Myrtle got her nickname because she was, as Hermione stated, a little sensitive, which meant that any small remark, even seemingly unrelated one, would set her off crying, moaning, and wailing. Nobody wanted to put up with that, and they usually left her alone.
Lots of people also thought that asking how she died would be tactless and upset her even more.
Another reason is that there was nobody that would care for Myrtle, even when she was still alive. She admits it herself.
“Nobody missed me even when I was alive. Took them hours to find my body – I know, I was sitting there waiting for them. Olive Hornby came into the bathroom – “Are you in here again, sulking, Myrtle?” she said, “because Professor Dippet asked me to look for you -” And then she saw my body…”
Moaning Myrtle’s death was a quick event, although we can probably assume not a pleasant one. She died by looking into the eyes of Basilisk, which is also known to be poisonous. So on that account, we can say she got lucky.
Unfortunately, we can’t be sure if her death was an accident, cover-up, or preplanned incident. There are too many unknown parts to conclude.