Perhaps the most perplexing object in Jo Rowling's magical world, the Sorting Hat has been a figure of great mystery ever since it's first introduction to us in the Great Hall.
Read articles below from real-world Unspeakables who have tried to make sense of the mysterious Sorting Hat, together.
What is the Sorting Hat?
How could the sorting hat make such a huge jump from ordinary hat to a extraordinary all-knowing-gives-warnings-in-grave-peril hat? It says that "the founders put some brains in me so I could choose instead." Yet how was this done?
Is Sorting students a flawed system?
A question put to the users of MuggleNet is whether the Sorting process is inherently flawed. To look at this question, we must consider the drawbacks and the influences that Sorting has upon the young witches and wizards of Hogwarts, looking at examples of those who have either flourished (for good or for evil) or struggled in the environment the Sorting provided them.
Choice is Everything
What JK Rowling argues throughout the series is that a person's choices are what defines them the most, which makes the hat's sorting largely irrelevant in the big picture.
More Important Things: How the Sorting Hat Sorts
I question whether the Sorting Hat makes its decisions based on the personality of the students, or their values. And if it's their values, does that help explain why some characters didn't end up in the House that seems to best fit them?
The Sorting Hat: A Vessel For The Founders' Intentions
I am responding to the following question: "Mr. Weasley has said you better not trust something if you can't see where it keeps its brain... but can the hat be trusted? Is it not indirectly responsible for producing such villains as Lord Voldemort, by placing him in a house where his hostile nature and racist beliefs could flourish?"
Can we trust the Sorting Hat?
Can we really trust this hat to be able to make such a critical decision in a person's life? Is there a better system we should be using?
The Sorting Test: A Look at the Houses' Personalities
I am quite proud to be a Ravenclaw. However, I have often come across people who have trouble understanding the Houses and what makes them different. It seems at first like a simple answer: Gryffindors are brave and courageous, Hufflepuffs are loyal and hardworking, Ravenclaws are intelligent and witty, and Slytherins are ambitious and cunning. However, this still does not paint a totally accurate picture. We know of loyal Slytherins (Snape) as well as cowardly Gryffindors (Wormtail). I believe it is more than a general adjective that describes a house but more of a personality.
Hogwarts House: Analysis of Characteristics
This essay puts forward some overlaping characteristics on the four hogwarts houses, along with different theories of 'the darker side' of a personality trait. Is Slytherin deserving of the 'dark wizard' label? Is Hufflepuff really full of duffers? Just which house would work better in the society we live in today?
A Theory on the Origins of House Traits
Random browsing of the various essays published on MuggleNet led to a thought about the traits that the four houses are known for. This, in turn, led to comparisons between medieval jobs and their relevance to the four Hogwart's houses.
A Guide to Sorting (Part 1: Gryffindor)
Sorting and the qualities of the four Hogwarts houses have recently entered the limelight, thanks to Pottermore and a general movement in the fandom toward understanding J.K. Rowling’s books at a deeper level. Many hasty assumptions and misconceptions about the qualities of the houses have emerged. So I think it’s time to take a closer look at the information provided by our best guide, the Sorting Hat itself.
A Guide to Sorting (Part 2: Hufflepuff)
I call Hufflepuff the confused house because no one really seems to know what its qualities are, including some Hufflepuffs themselves. Hufflepuffs are often seen as the misfits. And though this is patently untrue, it does have a certain basis in the books.
Ravenclaw and Hermione Granger: Not A Match Made in Heaven?
As a proud Ravenclaw myself, I’d like to give my fellow walking brains some character and prove that cleverness is not the only requirement to be a Ravenclaw. I will also discuss why I think Hermione Granger, though arguably the smartest person we meet in the series, didn’t become a Ravenclaw (and no, the answer is not because Rowling needed all three main characters to be in Gryffindor).
The Emancipation of the Sorting Hat
Alright, so emancipation might not be the word that I want to use. Though, it got your attention as a reader so I hope you stay and read what I've got to say.
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Ah, well, people can be a bit stupid abou' their pets.
Hagrid Goblet of Fire
So many fans visit King's Cross station to take pictures of platforms 9 and 10 that the station management erected a sign that says 'Platform 9 3/4 which, in the Potter books, is invisible to Muggles but acts as a gateway for witches and wizards.