Why Newt Scamander is a Hufflepuff
J.K.Rowling tweeted that Newt Scamander of the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films is a Hufflepuff!
So what does this tell us about Newt?
We know that Hufflepuffs are tenacious, hard working, and patient. For a magizoologist, all of these traits are compulsory in the job description – after all, you’d have to be “unafraid of toil” if you’re going to spend your time examining dragon dung while tracking Chinese Fireballs in the Himalayas, and the Hufflepuff aptitude for patience and tenacity would be invaluable while lying in wait on a deserted Okinawan island straining to catch a glimpse of a Demiguise.
And really, which other House is more suited to searching for strange magical creatures – after all, Hufflepuffs are very good finders…
**Pottermore Sorting Spoiler Alert** Interestingly, according to unofficial analyses of the Pottermore Sorting test, there is a significant correlation between having an affinity for animals and Hufflepuff. For example, the question about what super power you would want appears to give greater weight to a Hufflepuff sorting if you choose “ability to talk to animals” as your superpower. Although this is not confirmed, it is a great explanation for Newt’s sorting.
In light of his childhood, and his affinity with animals, Newt’s sorting had an apparently obvious outcome.
But Newt, in his adult life, was not an obvious choice for Hufflepuff. He showed significant Gryffindor-like qualities while serving on the Dragon Research and Restraint Bureau. Such a position obviously called on acts of bravery, especially when faced with the task of subduing an angry Ukrainian Ironbelly. Not to mention the many acts of bravery he would have performed during the making of his book, like stalking the terrifying Lethifold in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Obviously, Gryffindors don’t have a monopoly on bravery – Cedric Diggory and Nymphadora Tonks were both heroic Hufflepuffs while Severus Snape is famously “the bravest man” Harry ever knew – although it is a defining Gryffindor House trait.
Likewise, Newt’s application to be in Ravenclaw would also have been difficult to turn away. His endeavor to “learn” about all fantastic beasts and contribute to wizarding kind’s vast store of knowledge, as well as his obvious “wit” when confronted with the sphinxes of Egypt, makes him a very strong candidate for Ravenclaw-hood – and yet he wasn’t.
Slytherin was also a worthy house for Newt; perhaps he was not “power-hungry” per se, but his work in the creation of a Werewolf Register in 1947 (aged 50), as well as instituting a Ban on Experimental Breeding in 1965 (aged 68), both testify to his political “cunning.” Not to mention his ambition in taking on Augustus Worme’s offer to write Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in the first place.
So maybe he was a perfect Hatstall. He had to have shown bravery in his later dealings with dragons, he was obviously smart enough to become a world authority on magical creatures, and above all, he was ambitious enough to try.
Maybe Newt is a case study of a perfect four-way Hatstall. And when that happens, Hufflepuff, which takes “the rest,” ends up being the best choice.