Sorting “Downton Abbey” Characters into Hogwarts Houses
Downton Abbey has finally returned for its sixth and final season on PBS’s Masterpiece Classic. In honor of the most popular British period drama of all time, it seems only fit to Sort this aristocratic bunch into Hogwarts Houses.
Lord Grantham – Slytherin
Lord Grantham has been called an old dinosaur by the actor who portrays him, Hugh Bonneville, because of his inability to accept change with open arms. Indeed, Robert is stuck in the past when the Edwardians ruled the British aristocracy. He wishes he could turn back time and return to his glory days and is someone who values tradition and the old way of doing things. He can become quite grumpy when people team up against him and take away his power as the lord of the house and family. Although he is usually well-meaning, Robert tends to do things that benefit himself and the prejudices society still holds.
Lady Cora – Hufflepuff
Cora is often the voice of reason at Downton Abbey. Her practicality helps ground the family and bring balance to any situation. She grew up in America and can’t understand the British dislike of comfort. The most important thing to Cora is to feel useful. When Downton Abbey is opened as a convalescent home during World War I, she finds that she is needed in ways she has never known before. In fact, she states in a later season that she misses the war (and is aware of the selfishness behind this statement) because for once she was useful. She enjoys when people take the time to listen to her, and this pushes her to bond strongly with another man in season 5 who listens to her opinions about art when Lord Grantham does not.
Carson the Butler – Slytherin
Carson is very much a traditionalist like Lord Grantham. Unlike most of the servants, he very much enjoys his lot in life and holds on to the idea that the people he serves are always to be obeyed and respected. He is a fair leader but often does not extend enough sympathy to his employees, which gives him a level head but also a mean exterior. His relationship to the eldest daughter, Lady Mary, shows that underneath the strict exterior, he can be a teddy bear. It makes sense that he would bond with the daughter who shares his House because Slytherins are intensely loyal to one another.
Mrs. Hughes – Hufflepuff
Mrs. Hughes desires a coordinated house just like Mr. Carson but goes about it in an entirely different manner. She looks to create harmony within the group of people she instructs. Her job is important to her, so she puts a lot of thought into how she manages those she works with and those in her personal life… when she had a personal life before working at Downton. Stability is also important to her since she values her job and position over accepting a marriage proposal early on in the show. She is a very strong woman, and while she values the past, she is much more interested in growth and what the future has to offer.
Lady Mary – Slytherin
The cold and sophisticated Lady Mary isn’t obsessed with tradition but believes it her duty to preserve tradition in the sense that she wants her family to obtain the greatness it was once labeled with during the Edwardian era. She remains intensely loyal to her family (except Edith) and close relations, particularly to the Slytherins like herself (wink wink). Mary’s disgust for Edith certainly stems from sibling rivalry, but it is important to note that Slytherins hate being overshadowed, and Mary is at her most fierce when Edith is outdoing her. Mary demands the attention to stay on her. While she does possess a good heart, she often acts out of desire for herself and doesn’t consider the feelings of others as often as she believes.
Lady Edith – Ravenclaw
Edith is one character on Downton Abbey that has shown consistent character growth throughout the entire run of the show. The middle child, often overshadowed by her entitled older sister and strong-willed younger sister, Edith has had a lot of time to think about who she is in relation to the world around her. This moves her to be more open about the world and grab knowledge wherever she can find it, whether it be through books or real-life experience. Although Edith wants a life partner, she is content with being alone and working with the newspaper she now owns after inheriting it from Michael Gregson. As she grows to be a stronger person, she becomes gutsier and much more open to the possibilities the world has to offer her, moving away from the traditional lifestyle Mary is embracing.
Anna Bates – Hufflepuff
Anna is a very selfless individual. She never looks toward her own happiness but the happiness of those around her. Her resolve to be a team player earns her a lot of brownie points with her coworkers and those in high authority positions. It is important that she has reliable people in her life, and Mr. Bates seems to fit the mold in the sense that she knows he will never let her down or be unfaithful to her. Out of all the servants, she shows the most kindness and decency toward all those she encounters.
Mr. Bates – Gryffindor
Mr. Bates is a very mysterious man. He tends to be seen as the Christ figure of the show because he never condemns those who hurt him. At the same time, Bates is not one to stand by when a person hurts someone he loves. He is always moved to some sort of action. Whether or not that action is moral is not on his radar. All he can think of is the person who was hurt. His character is a great opposing force to Thomas (guess which House he is in).
Tom Branson – Ravenclaw
Tom is an Irishman who arrives at Downton Abbey to work as the chauffeur. He longs for Ireland to be free from British rule. He is a free thinker and longs for equality among the classes. He is deeply interested in Irish politics and values other free thinkers. In later seasons, we also see him encouraging freethinking in others… if not a bit misguided. He falls in love with the youngest daughter, Sybil, not because she agrees with him but because she is a free thinker and sees things for what they are versus seeing things behind the rose-colored upper-class glasses.
Thomas Barrow – Slytherin
Thomas is a rough diamond. He struggles to find his place in the world as a gay man in Edwardian England. He is very ambitious, wanting to move up from a footman to a valet to Lord Grantham and will use any means necessary to get what he wants. His manipulative nature often gets him places, but he is often clumsy with the execution of his plans. Yet there is also a very soft side to Thomas, who at the end of the day really wants to be loved and goes about looking for it in the wrong ways. His individualistic nature keeps him from forming close bonds with those around him, which comes to haunt him in later seasons. He is mysterious, much like the House he belongs to.
Isobel Crawley – Hufflepuff
Isobel Crawley is a true gem of a woman. While some say she be a bit meddlesome, her heart is always in the right place. Isobel tries her best to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. When she learns that her son is heir to Downton, she is suddenly thrown into a new world that she is entirely unfamiliar with and must show real bravery. While this trait of bravery seems to be more suited to Gryffindor, Isobel is not a hothead. Rather, she strives to be a bright light to inspire those around her. She may not be as rich as her newfound family members, but she is unafraid of toil and never backs down in standing up for what she believes. Once you become friends with Isobel, you have a loyal friend for life.
Daisy – Gryffindor
Daisy is first introduced to us as a lowly kitchen maid. Her story can be compared to that of Neville Longbottom. She doesn’t seem like much in the beginning, but as she grows older, she becomes more outspoken about her beliefs and braver. She always tries to speak her mind, which gets her in trouble at first but always turns right in the end. Her outbursts earn her the respect of her peers. Daisy doesn’t want to remain the lowly kitchen maid. She wants to achieve great things, and we see this when she considers going to America and with her focusing on her studies.
Lady Violet – Slytherin
Lady Violet enjoys the position she holds in society and the power and elegance that it has. She doesn’t hold back her opinions but is very upfront about her somewhat outdated beliefs. Her age gives her advantages, of course, making her come off as witty and amusing more than snobbish and ignorant. She has no time for useless information but only desires facts that will help the family. For example, when she learns Mary has invited Evelyn Napier to the house for the hunt in Season 1, she perks up when Cora tells her that his family has a lot of money. She isn’t afraid of taking a risk to reach her end goal, which leads her to many confrontations with those around her. Fair play isn’t something she always conforms to even though she expects it from others. There is an element of mystery that hangs about her, suggesting we just haven’t gotten enough backstory for her character. Prequel, anyone?
Do you agree with this analysis of the Downton Abbey characters, or do you disagree? If so, where? Some characters were not included on this list. Where do you think they should be Sorted? Let us know in the comments below.