Gryffindors Are Under Attack (and Not by Lord Voldemort for Once!)
Where have all the Gryffindors gone?!
There used to be a time not so long ago when we would shout out with pride that we were a Gryffindor. But while we sat around a table in a cozy pub at a Harry Potter society meeting, my fellow Gryffindors and I were hugely outnumbered. Not only did this not go unnoticed, but we entered into a debate as to why the popularity of Gryffindor seems to have dipped, and it was at this moment that I felt this needed to be addressed!
The main point that was thrown around the most (*cough* by the Head of Slytherin) was that anyone can be brave, and in real life — a.k.a. when Lord Voldemort isn’t chasing you — there are other qualities that are more important. Now, to a point I do agree, but I feel that Gryffindor is being given a particularly rough time. There is almost a stigma associated with the fact it was Harry’s House; it has been mentioned that some fans find that people say they’re a Gryffindor just as an easy option or to end the self-searching question of “What house should I really be in?” We all know that Harry made some poor choices about how to tackle the issues he was facing, but he used a special type of bravery to solve this. He learned from his mistakes and (eventually) was able to admit to them. I think we forget that we followed Harry through the tough teenage years, and I am sure we’d all agree that we, too, did some pretty silly things.
I often feel that the Gryffindors have a special camaraderie: They strive to change things for the better and aren’t put off by the fact that this isn’t always the easy option. I’m not saying this is a unique quality, but it is an important one. A good example is the unity the House showed against Professor Snape in Prisoner of Azkaban. They all stuck up for Hermione when Snape called her “an insufferable know-it-all.” Also, don’t forget that it was a no-brainer for the Gryffindors to stay for the Battle of Hogwarts; they rallied together to fight for what was right. Another character deserves some recognition here, too. Ron Weasley had many a battle with himself; we saw him in Goblet of Fire fighting with his own insecurities, but he came around and was there to support Harry when it mattered. We see this repeated again in Deathly Hallows, but he came back instead of doing the easy option and leaving for good.
The female characters featured within Gryffindor deserve a special mention here, too. Not only do we have the formidable and awesome Minerva McGonagall who was a pillar of strength and knowledge, but there are many other fierce females. Ginny Weasley always stood up for what she believed in and for those less able than herself, and even though Lavender Brown slightly lost herself when she was with Ron, she still stayed and fought against the dark powers and at the final battle. Gryffindor is also the home of Hermione, the brightest witch of her age. I think we all wish for such a loyal and strong female friend in our lives. She manages to study harder than anyone I know, but she also understands when her friends need her and the reality of life away from textbook scenarios. She has morals and sticks to them and believes in creating an equal world for everyone to enjoy.
It also seems, to me at least, that Gryffindor House is able to support and encourage their students to grow. Take Neville Longbottom, for instance; his transformation (and I’m not talking about Matt Lewis’s – but still, wow!) was incredible. Who would have thought that from our first introduction to Neville, he would rise up to be a truly great man? But with the companionship, unity, and camaraderie that Gryffindor gave him, he was able to blossom and grow into an incredible (and brave) person.
Hermione is a great example of trying to make the world a better place; she creates SPEW, and even when everyone is trying to stop her, she carries on. A true Gryffindor knows that everyone deserves to be treated as an equal, and Hermione believes in being a voice for those who don’t have one. It is this quality that a lot of Gryffindors have; they don’t boast about it but quietly carry on in an attempt to make the world a better place. They give people the opportunity to better themselves: Dumbledore forgave Snape because he believed he had something inside of him that was worth forgiving, Harry rescued Draco from the Room of Requirement even though he had attacked him, and McGonagall not rising to Dolores Umbridge incessant interfering. Gryffindors have an ability to respect their fellow human beings; it’s a quiet, constant quality that helps to make them a united House.
I’m not saying that the other Houses suck compared to Gryffindor; I’m just trying to make people rethink. Every House deserves its moment, and maybe the time has passed for it to be Gryffindor’s moment, but that doesn’t mean that Gryffindors should be sitting back and letting things slide. Come on, let’s remind everyone why we’re awesome and stand up for what we believe in!