One of the most interesting aspects of the Harry Potter fandom is the intensity with which we continue to examine the series, even years after Deathly Hallows made us feel all of the emotions and brought our childhoods to an end. The latest in Harry Potter fan theories comes from Reddit, where user Straw_Boats has some thoughts about the Sorting Hat’s mysterious ways.
We already know that Harry was placed into Gryffindor because he asked the Sorting Hat not to put him in Slytherin. And while Harry definitely lives up to the Gryffindor theme of bravery, there have always been some characters whose house placements seemed a little strange. Hermione, for example, would probably be quite at home in Ravenclaw, the house that emphasizes wit and intelligence. As Bustle points out, Peter Pettigrew was certainly not brave enough to warrant his Gryffindor sorting, and Crabbe and Goyle were out of place in Slytherin, the ambitious house.
Straw_Boats explains these anomalies by suggesting that the hat sorts students based not on the qualities they most possess, but on the qualities they most value and admire.
The Reddit post reads, “Specifically, a child who believes Bravery and Courage are the most important traits would go to Gryffindor, where as a child who values Intellectualism and Love of Learning above all else would go to Ravenclaw. The key difference is that a child need not possess that trait, but merely value it. This explains how Draco, completely inept at becoming cunning (but growing up in a family where it is prized), can be sorted into Slytherin while Hermione (who is an intellectual, but wishes to become like her heroes in Gryffindor) can choose to become a Gryffindor. Additionally, this neatly explains how polarized the houses are towards one another. If you take all the kids that value bravery and stick them into one house (an environment where everyone else also values bravery above all else), you’ll start to see them all become brave (and, in some cases, to the exclusion of the other traits).”
What do you think of the Sorting Hat theory? It makes a lot of sense, but I’ll be waiting for Queen Rowling’s input before I make any decisions.
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