Hogwarts and Ilvermorny: Why the House Divide?

Too often do I hear surprise in someone’s voice when I announce proudly that I’m a Hufflepuff. This is usually met with a response of “I’m sorry.” Or when I mention that one of my friends got Sorted into Slytherin, I usually hear surprise at the fact that a Hufflepuff and a Slytherin could ever get along. The stereotypes given to each House and the lines people draw between them all make less sense to me the more I think about the actual attributes of each House. For example, don’t hard work and ambition go hand in hand? So why the big divide?

When the Ilvermorny Sorting test became available, fans scrambled to match each House from the American school to a Hogwarts counterpart. The result was confusion and many different answers. Fans found out that there was no clear-cut “Gryffindor of Ilvermorny.” With the newly revealed Houses, things became less black and white and more gray all around. Do Gryffindors belong in Thunderbird with the adventurers, or in Wampus with the warriors? Or even still, would those brave lions who often act on their feelings be put into Pukwudgie, which represents heart?

It is my belief that the Ilvermorny Houses are less distinctive to us because we have no preconceived notions of what it means to be a Horned Serpent, like we have been provided with when it comes to what kind of characters belong in Slytherin. By stripping away these ideas that have become deeply rooted in us as we’ve immersed ourselves in Harry’s world, we can begin to see the overlaps in the Hogwarts Housing system as well.

I’ve already pointed out the similarity between hard work and ambition, but what about cunning and wisdom? Ravenclaws and Slytherins share a certain brain power. There’s also an overlap between Hufflepuff and Gryffindor since chivalry is a combination of traits that includes the loyalty Hufflepuffs are said to possess. So after finding that we aren’t all that different, whether we be badgers, snakes, lions, or eagles, why all the hate and separation? It may be a very Hufflepuff thing of me to say, but isn’t it time for us all to get along?