Why the Pottermore Patronus Quiz Doesn’t Matter

Like many other Potter fans, I took the Pottermore Patronus quiz when it came out. And I wasn’t unhappy with my results. I could see my Patronus being a cat, although I admit I was confused as to why it was specifically a black and white cat. Patronuses are also silver, so how could specific colors be discerned? This pondering led me to think more and more on the Patronus quiz and to question the accuracy of its results, and eventually, I realized that there is no way for any Patronus quiz to ever be accurate.

The first issue with the Pottermore quiz specifically is, as I mentioned earlier, that Patronuses don’t have colors. As described in the book and shown in the movies, the spell produces a silver creature. Yet the results of the Pottermore quiz include black horses, white cats, etc. This just doesn’t make any sense. You might be able to theoretically distinguish patches on a cat Patronus, but those patches would just be slightly differing shades of silver, not black or white.

The second problem is with the concept of a Patronus quiz in general, and that is a matter of symbolism. Each Patronus is a symbol of certain qualities representing a specific person. However, animal symbolism is not universal. For example, while snakes are often feared in places like Britain and America, seen as symbols of sin and corruption, they’re viewed much more positively in India, where they symbolize strength and renewal.

Also, even outside of cultural influences, people just might have individual associations with animals due to their own experiences. For example, a dog is often viewed as loyal protector, which seems like a good Patronus. However, someone bit by a dog as a child is unlikely to see a dog as a protective figure, so that would be a terrible Patronus for them individually.

So how can you make a universal quiz keeping all these differences in mind? You’d have to have each individual person go through a list of animals and fill in what they personally associated with each and then have them take a personality quiz. And the end result of that would be a ridiculously complicated quiz that I doubt many would be willing to put in the effort for.

Also, there’s a third problem: Patronuses don’t always represent the caster. They can also represent someone the caster loves or views as a protective figure. This can be seen in the cases of Harry and Snape. So how on earth could any quiz account for that? Even if you did successfully manage to determine which animals represent both the caster and their loved ones, you’d then have the problem of having multiple potential Patronuses.

Thus, overall, a Patronus is a deeply personal spell and thus can’t be easily quantified by any quiz. So unlike the Sorting Hat quiz, Pottermore’s Patronus quiz cannot be considered accurate. If you liked the Patronus you got, don’t worry. You can still claim that as your Patronus. But if you didn’t like your results, take heart in knowing that you know your Patronus better than any quiz.

Mikaela Renshaw

I picked up a Harry Potter book for the first time when I was six years old and promptly fell in love. However, it didn’t take long for my love of literature to go beyond just Harry Potter and I am now working towards my PhD in English. Outside literature, I love Irish-dancing, D and D, going to the beach, attending Comic-Con, and playing with my dog.