Why Hermione Is Not a Ravenclaw

It’s easy to look at Hermione Granger and say she should have been a Ravenclaw. After all, she’s the top of all her classes, seems obsessed with studying, and is frequently described as the brightest witch of her age. However, despite her academic success, Hermione Granger is not a perfect fit for Ravenclaw.

The first reason she’s not a Ravenclaw relates to a common misunderstanding about the House itself. Despite what many people believe, Ravenclaw doesn’t necessarily mean good grades. People tend to write it off as the “smart House” and assume that everyone in it is as obsessed with academics as Hermione, if not more so. But just because you’re intelligent doesn’t mean you get good grades. There’s more than one way to be smart. So just because Hermione is a good student doesn’t automatically make her a good Ravenclaw.

But if academics doesn’t make a good Ravenclaw, what does? According to the Sorting Hat, you belong in Ravenclaw “if you’ve a ready mind,/ Where those of wit and learning,/ Will always find their kind.” Looking at this description, it seems like Ravenclaw is less about getting good grades and more about creativity and openness of thought. A ready mind is one that’s eager and prepared to accept new ideas. Wit doesn’t just mean intelligent; it also means creativity and inventiveness. And learning doesn’t just apply to classes.

This view of the Ravenclaw is further supported by the most prominent Ravenclaw in the entire series: Luna Lovegood. Luna is pretty much the definition of open-minded and no one can doubt her creativity. Admittedly, Luna might be an extreme example of both those traits, and its unlikely most Ravenclaws reach her level of open-mindedness and creativity. However, Luna is still the Ravenclaw the books focus the most on, so it makes sense that she would exemplify Ravenclaw traits.

Now, having established what it means to be a Ravenclaw, we can now see why Hermione is not one. For all her intelligence and book smarts, Hermione is not very open-minded and can be rigid in her ways of thinking, and while she does get better by the end of the series, she was Sorted at age 11, before all that character growth. One example of her rigid ways is how, in her first year especially, she holds books and authority figures to be absolutely right and not to be questioned. Another example is her reaction to Luna, completely dismissing her viewpoints and beliefs. She’s close-minded enough that she doesn’t even consider the possibility that what Luna is talking about might be real.

Don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t make Hermione a bad person by any means. Everyone has their flaws and this just happens to be one of hers. Also, as I said earlier, she does become more open-minded as the books go on. However, this isn’t an innate trait of hers. It’s something she had to learn. And this is why Hermione does not fit into Ravenclaw, since she lacks their creativity of thought. When you also add in her fearlessness and her strong convictions about right and wrong, which are inherently Gryffindor traits, then there was even less of a chance she’d end up wearing blue and bronze.

Mikaela Renshaw

I picked up a Harry Potter book for the first time when I was six years old and promptly fell in love. However, it didn’t take long for my love of literature to go beyond just Harry Potter and I am now working towards my PhD in English. Outside literature, I love Irish-dancing, D and D, going to the beach, attending Comic-Con, and playing with my dog.