The Reinterpretation of Slytherin
It’s Slytherin Pride Day! Make sure that you show the Slytherins in your life some appreciation today. It’s not easy wearing green and silver. We have the hardest time out of all of the Houses because of the bad reputation we have in the books. Thankfully, the Harry Potter fandom has done a lot in the past few years to reinterpret the image that Slytherins project. It has been a long journey to get to where we are now.
When I started reading the books as a kid, I knew that I was a Slytherin. I don’t fit into any of the other Houses, and I’m not even sure if I have a secondary House. Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw are all great, but I know that if I went to Hogwarts and got Sorted into a different House I would not be able to stand it. I’d go crazy if I had to spend more than an hour in the Gryffindor common room. Think of how loud it must be in there. All of that constant socialization would kill me. No, Slytherin is the best House for me with the cool, dark, and quiet common room.
There’s more to a Sorting than the common room situation, though. Personality is the most important part. The perfect Slytherin is ambitious, cunning, clever, resourceful, and determined. Being a Slytherin is like being part of a brotherhood. We look out for each other and protect our own. Of course we, like all of the Houses, have some negative characteristics associated with our House like narcissism, elitism, arrogance, and a tendency to use the Dark Arts. These negative characteristics are most of what you get to see of the Slytherins in the books. This doesn’t mean that all of the Slytherins are evil. It just means that Harry had very limited interactions with a few Slytherins who were antagonists in the story.
But we’re not bad people. We’re like our emblem, the snake: sleek, powerful, and frequently misunderstood.” – Pottermore
I joined the fandom at a very young age, and from the beginning, I was exposed to people who had very negative ideas about Slytherins. All we had at that point was the information in the first four books, which really wasn’t much. This meant that I, as well as many other young Slytherins, had a very hard time at first. We started to band together to change how being a Slytherin was interpreted. Fans wrote many essays analyzing the characteristics of all of the Houses. Fan fictions explored the lives of Slytherins from their point of view. The Harry Potter fandom completely reinterpreted how Slytherins were seen.
Things have changed a lot for us over the past decade. The last few books showed that not all Slytherins are evil. We finally got to see some of the good characteristics. Pottermore revealed new information about the House, describing us as cool, edgy, and great. There are good Slytherins and bad Slytherins just like there are both good and bad Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, and Ravenclaws. Slytherin does not equal Death Eater, blood supremacist, or evil. Yes, there are many Slytherins who fall under one or all of these characteristics, but there are also members of other Houses who do as well. Merlin, one of the greatest wizards ever, was a Slytherin. It’s very important to show your appreciation for the Slytherins in your life because we fought so hard to get to where we are now.