Ravenclaw: Ruthless or Relaxed?
An original editorial by Sharon
Anyone who has ever read Edgar Allan Poes poem, The Raven, knows that there is more to this stately bird than meets
the eye. Growing up in a part of the country that saw thousands of crows, but never an actual raven, I must admit I
underestimated this large and fierce animal. A trip to Baltimore granted me my first opportunity to see one up close.
The bird was perched in a parking lot, just staring
I was not expecting the raven to be a bird larger than my cat.
The beak alone was powerful enough to crush bone to powder. Ravenclaw's mascot is the noble eagle, but the name "Ravenclaw"
is oddly fierce.
Such it is with Ravenclaw--the house that wisdom built, the house thats always second-best in everything. First it
trailed Slytherin, now it trails Gryffindor. Our only real glimpse into the house is through
mysterious females, much like the Grey Lady herself, who I cant remember hearing about until the first movie. First we met Penelope Clearwater, who is
seen emerging from the dungeons by a Polyjuiced Pair who mistake her for a Slytherin. Then we meet Cho, whose erratic
behavior and confused affections keep all of us on our toes. We begin to see her as weepy and hard to please. When she
loses the Quidditch Cupagainshe throws her broom and storms off. Chos got a temper, after all. Now we have Luna.
Although I like Luna, we all have to admit that shes eccentric and hard to read.
I get the feeling there is more to this house than meets the eye, as well. In Poes poem, a visiting Raven is at first
a curiosity, then a novelty and finally a grim reaper of sorts, tormenting a man who has suffered the loss of his lover.
Interestingly, he can never be happy again and feels as though hes lost his soul. That sounds ominously familiar. I have
no real basis to connect any of this with Ravenclaw house, but its certainly a well-known literary reference with which
JKR would be familiar.
Ravens are historically sinister. They are powerful and sleek, true, but they are also terrifying birds of prey.
According to naturalists at PBS, Long recognized as
one of the most intelligent birds, the raven also has a less than savory image throughout history as a scavenger that does
not discriminate between humans and animals.
One of the cleverest birds, apparently capable of cognitive thought, ravens are often manipulative and lead other
scavengers to potential prey before stealing the prey for themselves once the dirty work has been done. One begins to
wonder if Ravenclaw is just quietly biding its time, satisfiedfor nowwith being second fiddle to the more impulsive
houses. Slow to anger and slow to act, perhaps, but something tells me when Ravenclaw does decide to act, wed better hope
weve stayed on their good side.