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Harry Potter Theory Completely Changes What It Means To Be Gryffindor

Harry Potter famously chose to be in Gryffindor instead of Slytherin, but one theory suggests that his friends, Ron and Hermione, did too.

Hogwarts’ Sorting Hat famously placed Harry Potter in Gryffindor house after he chose it over Slytherin, but perhaps Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger chose their Gryffindor placements too. A particularly compelling aspect of Hogwarts was its process of dividing its student body into four distinct houses based on their personality traits and preferences. Gryffindors were defined by their brave and chivalrous nature, Slytherins by their cunning and ambition, Ravenclaws for their wisdom and creativity, and Hufflepuffs for their loyalty and work ethic. Everyone student has a certain degree of these traits, but their most dominant and valued qualities determine their house, as shown with Harry and, potentially, his friends.

The Sorting Hat views the minds of every first-year Hogwarts student at the start of the school year. During the Sorting ceremony, most students take only a few moments to have their houses determined. In some cases, like that of notorious Slytherin Draco Malfoy’s, a student’s house is decided almost instantly. If the Sorting Hat takes longer than five minutes to decide a student’s house, it’s called a Hatstall, an extremely rare event.

The Sorting Hat debated between placing Harry Potter in Slytherin or Gryffindor, believing that his personality traits made him better off in the former. Harry, rather strongly, made his preference for Gryffindor clear, and the hat ultimately chose the latter. Harry, closest friends, Ron and Hermione, were also Gryffindors, but they each often exhibit traits of other houses. Many have theorized that Ron was nearly a Hufflepuff and Hermione a Ravenclaw, but they similarly chose Gryffindor, putting them in the same house as Harry. In turn, this would shift the meaning of Gryffindor into simply being a choice, rather than necessarily being something more inherent.

Personal choice is a strong factor in determining a person’s Hogwarts house. Although Harry was glad that he ended up in Gryffindor, the Sorting Hat reiterated that he was well-suited for Slytherin in the book and film versions of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Personal choice might have been what placed Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor as well, considering that he lacked the most vital traits of the house and may have wanted to be among his friends. Malfoy’s lackeys, Crabbe and Goyle, were humorously unintelligent, and though they lacked the Slytherin cunning, they valued blood purity and were loyal to Malfoy, making their placement fitting.

Ron Weasley, though undeniably brave, frequently exhibited Hufflepuff traits. Weasley was humble, modest, and loyal to a fault. He’s reputedly shown to be a team player and his Hufflepuff-like patience is demonstrated in his skills as a Quidditch keeper and chess player. Most of Ron’s family members were Gryffindors, however, which may have motivated his preference for the house. Hermione Granger is often defined by her ingenuity and sense of logic, making her seem like an obvious match for Ravenclaw, but her dialogue at the end of her first year indicates that she values Gryffindor traits most, implying that the house was her choice as well.

A student’s preference doesn’t always determine their house, however, Neville Longbottom silently argued with the Sorting Hat, wanting to be put in Hufflepuff, but the Hat had its way in the end, putting him in Gryffindor. Whether or not Weasley and Granger chose Gryffindor, they both embody the house’s most prominent traits throughout the Harry Potter books and films. Both Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger prefer taking action against injustices, and (despite Hermione’s objections) have a penchant for rule-breaking, making their placement in Gryffindor fitting, regardless of their preferences.

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