The Houses at Hogwarts - Qualities Necessary to Belong?

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The Houses at Hogwarts - Qualities Necessary to Belong?

Post  Elanor on Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:29 am

The Houses at Hogwarts - Qualities Necessary to Belong?

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. At that time, this thread was still set in the "Archived Thread to be Worked" folder of the WC forum. Elanor

MissLuvaLuva98 - Sep 17, 2003 4:42 am
Edited by Kip Carter Jan 12, 2006 12:10 pm
I was curious - do you absolutely HAVE to be pure-blood to be accepted into Slytherin?

If you do, then why were Voldemort and Harry accepted into Slytherin (even though Harry chose not to)?

You could also go further to argue that they are both Parselmouths, and as this is a desired characteristic of a Slytherin, they were accepted.

Then again, Sirius said there are not many pure blood families left. Surely this would, in turn, mean that there is a significant low number of Slytherin students - as compared to the other houses?

Plus, Hagrid stated, towards the beginning of the series, that 'there's not one person who was in Slytherin that didn't go bad' - or essentially, thats what he meant. Even though this is obviously an exaggerated, there is an element of truth - an awful lot of evil people have come out of Slytherin. Agree with me so far?

Well, why would you still want to maintain a house that only produced evil human beings? Surely this fact would be realised and, if possible, changed?

Then again, the whole 'your qualities distinguish what house you go into' idea can't really be a plausible theory in real life.

I mean to say, I'm not exactly a brave person - does this mean I can't ever go into Gryffindor house - even though there are certain, rare instances where I present true bravery?

I know you are saying 'it's your choices that matter, not your abilities'. This is true, to some degree. Your abilities do effect your choices to a large extent - don't you agree?

Just want to know your thoughts, thanks.
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The Houses at Hogwarts - Qualities Necessary to Belong (Post 1 to 21)

Post  Elanor on Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:30 am

megfox - Sep 17, 2003 3:17 pm (#1 of 21)
My name is Madeline Guinevere Fox, and I am pleased to make your aquaintance!
Wowo, RavenChick, that's a lot of questions. While I don't doubt that we could benefit from condensing a lot of our thoughts here, have you tried looking up any of your questions using the search function? I know that we have discussed jsut about every one of these questions before, just in individual threads. I would try that approach too!

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mischa fan - Sep 17, 2003 4:44 pm (#2 of 21)

Easy being green, it is not
Hi RavenChick,

You have Hagrid's statement from P/SS backwards, Hagrid said their wasn't a witch or wizard that went bad that wasn't in Slytherin, not that their wasn't a Slytherin who hasn't gone bad.

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Vicky Leery - Sep 18, 2003 1:34 pm (#3 of 21)

Here's an essay mentioned in "the Importance of Hufflepuff" which could shed a lot of light on this discussion: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I tend to go with the Sorting Hat's version of what the houses are all about. In that case, Slytherins would not have to be evil or pure-blooded, only ambitious, and willing to do anything to reach their goals. This attitude, unfortunately, is a quality of many dark wizards.

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haymoni - Sep 30, 2003 5:45 am (#4 of 21)

I don't have any of my books with me so I can't quote.

When I read SS, I thought the hat said that Harry was difficult to place and Harry, having heard from Hagrid that Slytherin was not the place to be, asked for any place but Slytherin.

The hat did not put Harry in Slytherin. It questioned Harry about his request NOT to be put there and told him that he would do well in Slytherin..it was all here in his head... and then the Sorting Hat put him in Griffindor. I never got the impression that if Harry had kept silent, he would have been placed in Slytherin.

I think Harry would have done well in ANY house. He is smart, loyal, cunning AND brave.

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Madame Librarian - Sep 30, 2003 8:23 am (#5 of 21)

I know the film is not canon, but I watched PS/SS last night (truly--only for the 2nd time since its release), and because of joining this Forum, my ears and eyes were on constant alert for "stuff."

The sorting hat scene follows so soon after Harry meets Draco and learns how nasty he is, it just made sense that Harry would've wished to not be in Slytherin. (Remember, Draco is pretty sure to get chosen for Slytherin.)

When the hat does it's pondering while on Harry's head, it really sounded like it could have placed Harry in any of the 4 houses, so the film "agrees" with how the scene was in the book and with the point Haymoni is making. When Harry said something like "anything but Slytherin," I offer the somehwat less-than-grandiose reason that he already disliked the kid who was likely to be the leader of the pack of Slytherin first years (Harry has had enough bullying from Dudders for the last 10 years), and he'd made a couple of friends on the train. Ron had already stated that he was hoping to get into Gryffindor since all his older brothers had been, and Hermione has already been selected.

Ciao. Barb

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Joost! - Oct 1, 2003 3:26 am (#6 of 21)

Second line of information
The reason that Harry wanted to became a Gryffindor and not a Slytherin is because he likes Ron and dislikes Malfoy. And Hagrids view on the Houses.

The film is slightly different from the book, in the book Harry meets Malfoy in Madame Malkin's. Malfoy was actually sort of kind to Harry and if I remember correctly even offers his friendship to Harry at one point. Harry just doesn't like him and his ideas.

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haymoni - Oct 1, 2003 10:35 am (#7 of 21)

I think Lucius told Draco to find Harry and make friends as soon as possible. Draco recognizes Harry as the boy from Madame Malkin's and I think his question to Harry on the train is "They say Harry Potter is in this compartment. Is it you?"

Harry had asked Hagrid what Hufflepuff and Slytherin are after his first conversation with Malfoy and that's when Hagrid says that people think that those in Hufflepuff are "a load of duffers" but better Hufflepuff than Slytherin and that the witches & wizards that went bad were in Slytherin House.

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MoaningMyrtle101 - Oct 4, 2003 7:54 pm (#8 of 21)

Edited by Oct 4, 2003 7:56 pm
But why do all of the Slytherins seem so evil? There has to be at least one ambitious person who lets the Sorting Hat put him/her in Slytherin who's not evil, yet NO Slytherin we've seen yet has been friendly, or even decent to other people or groups of people from Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Gryffindor. Are there any nice Slytherins at all? They can't all be evil, can they? Especially since being incredibly rude and vicious isn't in their House's description.

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Denise P. - Oct 4, 2003 8:12 pm (#9 of 21)

Ravenclaw Pony
Myrtle, you have to remember that we are seeing things through Harry's eyes and his perspective. *He* believes that all Slytherin's are rotten and that is how he sees them. I don't think they are all evil.

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zixyer - Oct 4, 2003 9:33 pm (#10 of 21)

They definately are not all evil, but almost all of them are jerks.

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Lumos* - Oct 4, 2003 9:48 pm (#11 of 21)

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet?
Even though we are seeing from Harry's purspective (sp?) most them are major evil people I think we can all agree...

Even if we were to see the story through Draco's eyes, the things he does would still make us think he was evil.

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Grant the Great - Oct 4, 2003 10:50 pm (#12 of 21)

Ummm . . . I'm kind of stupid on the subject, but I'd wager that there are some Slytherins who aren't mean, but they don't stand up for what they believe is wrong or right. I mean, think about it, most of the Slytherins are cruel and many are Death Nibblers. Well, I'm guessing they are downright cruel to anyone who gets in their way (wow, my assumption is amazingly correct :end sarcasm:). Say good old Bob Bilbob--a Slytherin student--stands up to Malfoy for cursing Harry. Can't you just see what he would do to him. I mean, I wouldn't like to wake up to find surran wrap (can't spell) wrapped around me, holding me to my bed and suffocating me. And that would probably be mild, considering they all have wands.

So, there are probably Slytherins that are nice at heart (at least while they are still naive first-years; they might let the "evil" Slytherins rub off on them as they grow) but don't stand up for what is right (heck, bravery is a Gryffindor trait, anyway).

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Vicky Leery - Oct 5, 2003 5:22 am (#13 of 21)

The sorting hat once mentioned that Slytherins "use any means to acheive their ends." If there was a Slytherin that was truly good, then I don't think they would let their nastier housemates keep them from doing good. However, because they use "any means," they might be viewed as evil simply because their methods are questionable.

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Madame Librarian - Oct 5, 2003 8:10 am (#14 of 21)

There might be Slytherin students who lay low (and therefore do not participate whole heartedly in Draco's nasty activites) because, in keeping with the trait of using any means to gain their ends, they sense a big upheaval in the WW and wish to end up on the winning side whether it be Good or Evil. They are young yet and don't have to declare allegiance at this point. If things seem to be tipping to the Good side, they'll be quite eager to be Good supporters. One characteristic I think is implied in the Slytherin "type" is deviousness and the ability to switch allegiane easily. Does this make sense?

Ciao. Barb

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Susurro Notities - Oct 5, 2003 8:26 pm (#15 of 21)

I agree with those who believe that some Slitherins might lay low to avoid being hassled. I also think some go along because that is what the group is doing. Many will likely rethink or relearn when they leave Hogwarts just as many teens change after they leave high school and come in contact with a larger more diverse world. Peer Pressure in a small group can be everything.

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Lyssers - Oct 15, 2003 4:10 pm (#16 of 21)

Unite

I've only read Order of the Phoenix once (*sob* People keep stealing it from me!), so I may have read this wrong. In the Sorting Hat song, no where does it say that the four houses need to combine. It does say to unite. I believe this means that all the qualities from the four houses will have to get together to defeat Voldemort. Such as Slytherin's ambition to keep going. Ravenclaw's intelligence for spells. Gryffindor's bravery to be like the leader of the battle. And Hufflepuff has the most important job at all: Keeping everyone together. This way, Draco can keep being Draco, but at least one Slytherin (Nott...or maybe not. Razz) can unite and stop Voldemort once and for all.

Thoughts?

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Joost! - Oct 30, 2003 7:47 am (#17 of 21)

Second line of information
What I've always found interesting is that the main characteristic of the Ravenclaws (intelligence) is something someone either has or hasn't, you're born with it. While the qualities for the other Houses (Bravery, Loyalty, Hard Work, Ambition) are all things you can work on, that you can change if you want.

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Psychedelic Enchantress - Nov 5, 2003 3:01 am (#18 of 21)

Wannabe writer
Edited by Nov 5, 2003 2:02 am
Hmm... I disagree. Hard work can take the place of 'real' intelligence (but the Sorting Hat would most likely know that, and select only those that were naturally smart for Ravenclaw). I don't really think that you can 'work on' bravery, either.

The oddest thing of all- or at least the way I see it- is that Hufflepuff is traditionally seen as the "duffer" house, for students not brave/smart/ambitious enough to get into the other three, and this is frequently commented upon. Draco says he would rather leave than be placed there, and the Hufflepuffs are antagonistic to Harry since when his name comes out the Goblet, he draws attention from Cedric- "It was so rare Hufflepuff got any glory."

But if you look at any Sorting, far more kids are put in Hufflepuff than the others.

Is this suggesting that the vast majority of kids aren't outstandingly clever etc., and the others are just freakish? Throughout we seem to be fed the line it's the compromise House, which is a little unfair. The only Hufflepuff we ever met who amounted to much was Cedric (and it was made clear throughout he was a special case).

Does anyone get a little tired with the way Gryffindor is shown as the house of the angels? Yes, they're brave, adventurous and loyal, but they're also hot-tempered, melodramatic, pig headed and seem to think one rule stands for them and another for everyone else. I know this is because it's Harry's house, and he's sure to be biased in its favour, but it does get kinda annoying.

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TomoƩ - Nov 5, 2003 7:09 am (#19 of 21)

Back in business
From the AOL Chat, 19 October 2000 :

If YOU went to Hogwarts, which house would they put you in?
Good name, Wizard. Well, I'd hope for Gryffindor, obviously, but I suspect they might want to put me in Ravenclaw.

Seem that JKR is a fan of Gryffindor, but I still Hope to discover some new characters from Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin in the next books.

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Mare - Nov 5, 2003 1:37 pm (#20 of 21)

I think allthough JKR was a huge fan of Gryffindor at first, and still is, the latest sorting hat song shows that our visions on the houses are supposed to be changing.
Gryffindor suddenly isn't flawless and perfect anymore and Helga Hufflepuff sounded much better. The houses have to stand united, and for that they have to find the things they have in common, instead of defining themselves with the traits that mark their differences.
I think that by the end of the book to Harry, Hermione and Ron as well as to us readers, the difference between the houses isn't going to be so big anymore. They turn out to have their good and bad sides and to have more in common then the children would have expected.

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Psychedelic Enchantress - Nov 6, 2003 5:00 am (#21 of 21)

Wannabe writer
It does make you wonder how this tide change is going to come about, when even the adults seem hopelessly biased about this issue...
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