Gryffindor Is for the Casual Fans
We have all been there. You hear someone bring up Harry Potter and your Potterhead Bat-Signal goes wild. Immediately, you jump into the conversation, asking, “What House are you in?” It’s a question that even the most casual of fans can answer. But perhaps that is the issue.
It seems like everybody these days knows that Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley were in Gryffindor House. However, many “casual fans” – those who have only seen a few movies or read the books many years ago – seem to forget that there are three other Houses, each representing equally important traits. Instead, these fake fans call themselves Gryffindors because they don’t know any others. Besides, if the protagonist was Sorted there, it must be the best… right?
Personally, I never realized how big of an issue this had become until the other day (maybe I’m surrounded by too many Muggles). I was staffing a retreat and was put in charge of dorm bonding. Feeling that the usual icebreakers had grown tired, I went around the circle and asked for everyone’s House. Much to my initial excitement, at least 75% of the group claimed they were Gryffindors. Going last, I told the group that I, too, was a Gryffindor when an exasperated girl turned to me and asked, “But are you really? Or are you just saying that because everyone else said it?” Naturally, I was furious. How dare this random person call me a fake fan! Can anyone else here recite full pages of the novels by heart? Does anyone else here have more Harry Potter memorabilia than space to put it?
Once I quelled my inner Draco Malfoy, I understood her point: Many people call themselves Gryffindors simply because they know it. Similarly, people will claim to be Slytherin because they want to be “cool” or “edgy.” In reality, these fake fans are oversimplifying the intricacies of Sorting into black and white categories, going with the most popular and well-known Houses. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at Hufflepuff. Before the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, everyone believed Hufflepuffs were lame, and finding a true Hufflepuff was almost as difficult as finding Hufflepuff merchandise. Now those yellow and black accessories have found a nice home among their serpent- and lion-emblazoned companions.
Is there a solution to this ever-growing problem? Aside from forcing everyone to take an official Sorting quiz and declare public allegiance to their Hogwarts House, it may be difficult to sort out. There are steps that can be taken, however, such as ensuring equal representation of all Houses, allowing even fake fans to make informed decisions. Oh, and please, for the love of Merlin, can we please stop harassing the real fans just because they are in a House flooded by the insincere?