Hufflepuffs: Break the Mold
Hufflepuff may be the House that’s underestimated, overlooked, and sidelined, but really, it’s the House that stands out from the rest. This is to do with the House’s core values and philosophy, one that encourages its students to “break the mold.” These values can be seen in canonical and non-canonical Hufflepuffs alike. In celebration of Hufflepuff Pride Day, let’s dive deep into what makes this House different and possibly the most valuable House at Hogwarts.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Being in other Hogwarts Houses doesn’t mean that you don’t reflect or value other traits either. Just look at characters like Hermione Granger or Remus Lupin, who display more bookish, Ravenclaw tendencies, or characters like Severus Snape and Regulus Black, who don’t shy away from bravery when called upon. It’s not that other Houses are one-dimensional; it’s that Hufflepuff stands out by encouraging diversity rather than being so selective in the students it takes on.
If you look at something as simple as Hufflepuff’s House colors, you’ll see how deeply entrenched the values of open-mindedness and diversity in one’s ability and personality are. While other House colors have a cohesive feel about them, Hufflepuff’s black and yellow seem to be in stark opposition to each other. Black especially seems like an odd choice for the House whose values speak of kindness and tolerance. And while the choice of black points to Hufflepuff’s element of earth, its opposition to yellow also speaks to the value of open-mindedness. Hufflepuff’s philosophy is one that doesn’t care about a person’s capabilities or background; you don’t need to fit a particular mold in terms of intelligence, bravery, or ambition. As long as you’re open-minded and willing to work hard, you’ll be accepted.
I’ll teach the lot, and treat them just the same.” – Helga Hufflepuff (OotP, ch. 11)
That’s not to say that Hufflepuff receives the rejects of Hogwarts students. Far from it. Cedric Diggory. Nymphadora Tonks. Professor Sprout. Newt Scamander. These are all Hufflepuffs who are truly extraordinary, rivaling the wits of Ravenclaws and the courage of Gryffindors. These Puffs, as well as non-canonical Hufflepuffs, reflect a multitude of traits, many prized by other Hogwarts Houses. And yet at their core, they are all strong and proud Hufflepuffs.
Newt Scamander: Fantastic Beasts
It’s hard not to like Newt Scamander with his adorable demeanor and worn Hufflepuff scarf. Scamander is a champion of justice and fair play – his ongoing quest to understand and protect his “fantastic beasts” speaks to the Hufflepuff that he is. But his inquisitive mind and the curiosity that largely drives him cannot be ignored, nor can the courage that he displays when he takes on Grindelwald.
Samwise Gamgee: The Lord of the Rings
Is there any character in the Lord of the Rings trilogy braver than Sam? Whether taking on a giant spider in defense of his friend, fighting battles with a frying pan, or literally carrying Frodo up the slopes of Mount Doom, Samwise Gamgee displays a quiet and often underappreciated sense of bravery and courage. However, Sam is possibly the most obvious Hufflepuff of the story, his loyalty and persistence shining through at every turn. If he weren’t named “Samwise the Brave,” he’d certainly be “Samwise the Puff”!
Ser Davos Seaworth: Game of Thrones
Davos is again a clear Hufflepuff. Starting as a humble smuggler, Davos works hard to earn his title as Lord of House Seaworth and Hand of the King to Stannis Baratheon, which is no mean feat in a world that often values lineage above all else. He accepts Stannis’s judgment for his previous career, which suggests strong values of justice; not all would take the removal of four fingers in their stride. Yet Davos Seaworth also displays some of that cunning so prized by Slytherin House – and what better traits for a former smuggler?
Leopold Fitz: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Fitz is a brilliant scientist and has a curious mind. Taking his character at face value would instantly place him in Ravenclaw; his intelligence, curiosity, and dedication to science all point to it. However, at his core, it is the Hufflepuff traits that make him such a lovable agent. It’s loyalty to his friends and Jemma Simmons that makes him who he is and makes it all the more painful to him and to us when that loyalty is betrayed.
Nymphadora Tonks: Harry Potter
Auror, Metamorphmagus, and all-around female badass, Tonks exhibits as many traits from other Houses as different hair colors. She’s resourceful, brave, witty, courageous, and patient, and she values fair play, all the while possessing a loyalty that never wavers. Though she faces much adversity, danger, and heartbreak, Tonks is a proud Hufflepuff who won’t be put down by anybody.
So to the Hufflepunks and tree huggers, the introverts with cardigans and the extroverts who are the life of the party, the heroes and the quiet achievers, keep defying stereotypes. Be proud that you belong to a House that puts hard work and fair play above all other concerns. Let us know which other Puffs, canonical or otherwise, you admire. Happy Hufflepuffing!