Why Hagrid Should Have Been a Slytherin
Hagrid is one of the most beloved Harry Potter characters. This friendly half-giant welcomed not only Harry into a world of magic and wonder but all of us as well. Due to his friendly and kind nature, as well as his unique views of what is considered to be dangerous, people tend to view him as a perfect Gryffindor. But in truth, he would have made a far better Slytherin.
The first reason he should have been a Slytherin is that it would work much better narratively. One of the defining moments of Hagrid’s backstory is his expulsion from Hogwarts after being framed by Tom Riddle, a moment that makes more sense with Hagrid switching Houses. Prior to Malfoy becoming prefect, Harry never deals with the prefects from other Houses. We don’t even know their names. So why would an older Slytherin prefect know so much about the actions and movements of a second-year Gryffindor boy? If, however, the two of them were in the same house, then it makes perfect sense that Tom would know about Hagrid. Furthermore, it also would give him an even deeper motivation for choosing Hagrid as a scapegoat beyond just convenience since he could see the act as cleaning his House of impure blood.
This change could happen even without changing Hagrid’s well-known hatred for Slytherins since he easily could have come to hate them after seeing himself betrayed by his House. Thus, nothing in the first book needs to change, making the reveal scene of Hagrid’s apparent guilt in the second book much more dramatic. It also gives Harry another reason to believe Hagrid to be guilty, since he would have just had his entire view of Hagrid flipped upside down. Harry might have felt betrayed or lied to, and it’s a lot easier to think the worst of someone when you’re mad at them.
Another excellent reason for Hagrid to be a Slytherin is to get some better representation for the House. The number of good Slytherins in the book is pretty low. There’s Regulus Black, but he never physically appears. We only learn about him after his death. There’s Horace Slughorn, but he’s only technically good and is far from being a well-liked character. Lastly, there’s Severus Snape, but while Snape is popular among the fandom, it’s pretty debatable if Snape was actually a good person. So having Hagrid, a well-beloved and obviously good character, would provide some much-needed positive representation for the Slytherin House.
But of course, none of this matters if Hagrid doesn’t have the personality to fit into Slytherin. Thankfully, though, he does. Slytherins are known for being ambitious and for using any means to reach their ends, and Hagrid has both those qualities in spades. Just look at the first book! One of Hagrid’s lifelong ambitions is to own a dragon, a fairly lofty goal, and yet he successfully achieves it. Hagrid also engages in his own-crossbreeding experiments and manages to go from expelled Hogwarts student to the Care of Magical Creatures professor. Just because his ambitions are all creature related doesn’t make them any less ambitious, and Hagrid achieves them all, even if he has to rely on less-than-legal means. And that disregard for the law in and of itself does show some rather Slytherin resourcefulness.
Thus, while many people may think of Hagrid as the quintessential Gryffindor, that doesn’t mean Gryffindor is the best fit for him. Hagrid has the personality of a true Slytherin, and a change of House would only serve to deepen his character. So while official canon may say otherwise, Hagrid will always be a Slytherin to me.