Debate rages about whether saying you're a 'proud Slytherin' really makes you a Hufflepuff

Debate rages about whether saying you're a 'proud Slytherin' really makes you a Hufflepuff
“Time to ritually pigeonhole some children!”

Image: warner bros

Time to get to the bottom of this once and for all.

A tweet about people claiming fealty to Hogwarts houses went up on Tuesday, and has caused some conversation among Potterheads.

Okay, let’s unpick this.

The sorting hat explains in its various songs that each of the four Hogwarts founders had a quality they prized in their students. Here’s a recap of what the sorting hat said about Hufflepuff and Slytherin in Harry’s first sorting.

“You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil.”

“Or perhaps in Slytherin
You’ll make your real friends,
Those cunning folks use any means
To achieve their ends.”

So Hufflepuffs are hard-working and Slytherins are mercurially ambitious. Seem like pretty separate qualities. So why the anger?

Well, Hufflepuffs are sometimes the subject of derision. Hard-work apparently doesn’t pay off, as they’re broadly characterised as “a lot o’ duffers” (credit to Hagrid for providing that insightful analysis of clique culture in schools).

This broad derision has been applied directly to those who identify as Slytherins.

There seems to be some consensus that proclaiming yourself a Slytherin has a whiff of cool-guy pretentiousness. But regardless of what constitutes Slytherinhood or Hufflepuffery, but here’s the kicker. 

Young Harry Potter was going to be sorted not into Jock House (ahem sorry, Gryffindor) but into… dun dun dun… Slytherin. The only reason he didn’t get put in there was because he actively thought “not Slytherin!” during his sorting.

So basically you can proclaim yourself member of any house, because it’s our choices who define who we are, far more than our abilities (H/T Albus “Gets-Small-Children-to-do-his-dirty-work” Dumbledore). You go ahead and be a proud Slytherin if you want. Alternatively you can take the house quiz at Pottermore.

Or you just could try not slotting yourself into the incredibly restricted categories that are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Or, as I like to call them: Jock House, Dork House, Nerd House and Evil House.

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