Misconceptions About Hogwarts’s Four Houses

At LeakyCon Orlando in 2014, there were House meetups for every Hogwarts House, and when my friends reported back what happened at each meet-up, the stories seemed almost predictable: the Slytherins discussed their own awesomeness; the Gryffindors heard the Slytherins chanting and decided they had to chant louder; the Hufflepuffs had a group hug and talked about being seen as weak; and at my own House meet-up, the Ravenclaws held debates over unresolved issues with the series and celebrated the fact that the Doctor, Sherlock, Merlin, and Willow Rosenberg were all obviously Ravenclaws. So maybe there is some truth to the stereotypes we place on each other, but the “all Slytherins are evil” and “all Ravenclaws are nerds” tends to get irritating. I think we all need a reminder of the fact that each House has its good and bad traits, despite the labels we place on each other.

Hufflepuff: Probably one of the most misunderstood of the houses, Hufflepuffs are tougher than they look. People think Hufflepuffs are “pushovers,” at least according to Ron Weasley, but Hufflepuffs made up a large number of those who stuck by Harry’s side, even in the final battle. Characters like Cedric and Tonks showed that Hufflepuffs are truly “unafraid of toil” and stay strong to the bitter end.

Slytherin: Aside from Hufflepuff, Slytherins are the most misunderstood. There are many brave Slytherins (Regulus Black, Narcissa Malfoy, and Severus Snape all come to mind) – Slytherin is not an inherently evil house but one full of ambitious and clever people who are drawn to power, which can sometimes lead to evil actions but also many noble actions. Slytherins love harder than anyone; one needn’t look further than the sacrifices Narcissa made for Draco to see there’s more to Slytherins than most people see.

Gryffindor: Often stereotyped as cocky jocks, Gryffindor is actually home to many humble and loyal individuals, such as Remus Lupin and Ron Weasley (both of whom seem to struggle with having low self-esteem, rather than inflated egos). The jock stereotype is also patently false: look at Hermione Granger – the closest she ever got to Quidditch was dating Viktor Krum. Gryffindor is probably one of the most diverse houses, so to assume all Gryffindors are conceited airheads is entirely untrue.

Ravenclaw: As a Ravenclaw myself, I see a lot of people get Ravenclaw wrong. It’s not about who is the smartest or gets the best grades (if it were, Hermione wouldn’t be a Gryffindor) but who loves learning and knowledge the most. Many readers also forget that Ravenclaws are creative: we aren’t just highly logical geeks but writers, painters, and musicians as well. Ravenclaws aren’t just interested in facts but also ideas and artistic pursuits. A House based solely on rational thinking would not be the home of Luna Lovegood, after all.