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A Brief Guide to Hogwarts’ Houses

A Brief Guide to Hogwarts’ Houses

By October 2, 2014 Pulp Non-Fiction 5 Comments

If “Hedgwig’s Theme” isn’t playing in your head right now, I want you to know that I’m highly disappointed in you.

Is it playing NOW? Great, let’s continue.

Every Potterhead, at some point in their Potter-loving life, has wondered in which Hogwarts house they would be sorted.

To determine your house, first ensure that you’re putting aside your preference for one character over another and choosing your house based on your personality and abilities. Sure, if we were to attend Hogwarts, the Sorting Hat would be the one deciding your house… unless you whisper something like “Not Slytherin, not Slytherin.” I’m side-eyeing you, Harry.

There are different theories as to what, exactly, the Sorting Hat’s method of choosing the house for each student: some say the decision is based on qualities the student values rather than the qualities they exhibit; some others say it can detect nascent qualities in a student in order to place them in a house that will challenge them and put their character to the test, while others say the hat takes on count the student’s wishes, implying that one’s personal choices are a reflection of the qualities they value in themselves. Personally, I think the Sorting Hat does all of that. It’s quite complicated, like almost everything in the wizarding world.

Sadly, I don’t know anyone who has gotten their acceptance letter and subsequently gone through the Sorting Hat experience, so for now we will have to deduce our placement the good old way: with a guide.

1- Gryffindor

Founded by Godric Gryffindor, this house values bravery, daring, nerve and chivalry. Its emblematic animal is the lion and its colours are gold and scarlet.

Every house has a Head Teacher and a house ghost; Gryffindor’s teacher is the always badass Minerva McGonagall and the ghost is the ever-friendly Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, best known as Nearly Headless Nick (self-explanatory).

Some notable Gryffindors are Albus Dumbledore, Rubeus Hagrid, Minerva McGonagall, all the Weasleys, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Hermione Granger, Lily Evans, James Potter and, of course, Harry Potter.


2- Slytherin (My house!)

Slytherins value ambition, cunning, resourcefulness, fraternity and power. Founded by Salazar Slytherin, its emblematic animal is the serpent and its colours are green and silver. This house is composed mostly of pure-blood students, mainly due to Salazar’s mistrust of Muggle-borns.

Severus Snape is the Head Teacher and The Bloody Baron is the house ghost. The Bloody Baron was in love with Helena Ravenclaw who didn’t love him back, and so when she refused to go with him, he killed her. Once he realised what he had done, he stabbed himself with the same knife.

Some notable Slytherins are:

Horace Slughorn, Dolores Umbridge (although we wish she wasn’t), Bellatrix Lestrange, the Malfoys, Severus Snape and Tom Riddle, who later became the Dark Lord: Lord Voldemort.


3- Ravenclaw
Founded by Rowena Ravenclaw, mother of Helena, this house values intelligence, knowledge, wit, originality and creativity.

Filius Flitwick, the Charms Master, is the Head Teacher and the ghost going around the house is the Grey Lady, aka Helena Ravenclaw.

Its emblematic animal is the eagle and its colours are blue and bronze.

Some known Ravenclaws include Luna Lovegood, Padma Patil, Penelope Clearwater, Gilderoy Lockhart, Quirinus Quirrell, Myrtle and Cho Chang.


4- Hufflepuff
Hufflepuffs value hard work, patience, loyalty and fair play. I like calling them “the marshmallows of Hogwarts”.

This house was founded by Helga Hufflepuff and its emblematic animal is the badger. Pomona Sprout, the Herbology teacher, is the Head Master and the Fat Friar is the ghost.

The extra good thing about being a Hufflepuff is that the common room is near the castle’s kitchen. Yum!

Unlike Salazar Slytherin, Helga Hufflepuff’s policy was accepting of any student, which leads to the belief that Hufflepuff lacks talented wizards. Wrong! Hufflepuff is just as awesome as the other houses.

Some notable Hufflepuffs are Justin Finch-Fletchley, Nymphadora Tonks and Cedric Diggory.


We could dig deeper on the traits and history of each house but, for now, this abridged guide should be enough for you to get an idea of which house you would be sorted into.

IF you get your acceptance letter, of course. To be perfectly honest, I’m not losing hope on getting mine someday!

A Potterhead can dream, right?

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  • d20crit

    So, to become a Potterhead, should one read the books first or watch the movies? Do the movies even compare to the books? I will confess that I’ve got into neither (shocking, right? Your fearless leader has a nerd-gap! Shhhhh! I can’t be awesome at everything).

    • lizawesomness

      My recommendation is to read first, then watch all the movies. I loved the reading progression of the books maturing with Harry. The older he gets the darker the books get. I do love the movies, because they are a wonderful representation of the books. Up there with LOTR and Hobbit respectively.

      • d20crit

        Reading first, then watching is my usual MO. This could be the time to get that overdue kindle…

    • Adrienne Tyler

      You can watch the movies without reading the books BUT I strongly recommend you read the books, mainly because there is a biiig, important detail that the films never explain but the books did (specifically on the fifth book). DO IT FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS MAGIC! :3

      • d20crit

        I resisted the urge when they first came out because everyone – literally everyone – was reading it. I’d jump on the tube in London and it didn’t matter if they were school kids or office works, everyone had a copy and was reading it. Felt very much like a brain-wash “the greater good” thing going on – it was down right creepy.

        So, I ended up resisting and that meant the next thing I knew, the movies were coming out and that had a different set of problems… I really REALLY dislike children actors. If they can’t win me over in 10 seconds with their acting skills, I am, for some reason, incredibly dismissive of them. So, doing the math, that meant a lot of characters would have to try and convince me and that seemed tiresome.

        Now, those are my (silly) reasons… I will, however, go and read the books and then work my way up to trying to movies… I mean, magic… right?