Do you think the nature of the Hogwarts houses reflects on the founders?

Potterhead July Post

Hey guys! I totally forgot about this until about two hours ago. In typical Amy fashion. So basically, I have half an hour to write this and still get it posted on time! (If I’m a few minutes late, I do apologize- I’m trying my best!) Now, let’s get this show on the road!

The lovely Aentee @ Read at Midnight came up with the FANTASTIC idea of Potterhead July! Approximately 85 posts were on the schedule, which means about 85 people jumped at the chance to talk about Harry Potter and be a part of this beautiful thing! (Tip: If you click on the link above, it’ll take you to the schedule and you can go through and click on every single one of those posts. Yes, really. I know I’m going to!) Anyhoo, I saw her talking about it on Twitter, and I was one of those special 85 who then jumped on my laptop and filled out the sign-up form! Now, at the time, I really didn’t have comprehensive words to explain what I meant to say, so I don’t think the topic I wrote down made any sense. But here I am today (which totally snuck up on me), ready to talk to you about….

How the Nature of the Hogwarts Houses Reflects on their Founders

Now, you may think this is fairly self-explanatory. Okay, it is, in part. But the Hogwarts founders were all very specific-minded, and each had their own personality! This definitely reflects in their houses, and the kids who are sorted into them. Speaking of the sorting, the Sorting Hat helped me out a lot, because it explains the story.

A thousand years or more ago
When I was newly sewn,
There lived four wizards of renown,
Whose names are still well-known:
Bold Gryffindor, from wild moor,
Fair Ravenclaw, from glen,
Sweet Hufflepuff, from valley broad,
Shrewd Slytherin, from fen.

They shared a wish, a hope, a dream,
They hatched a daring plan
To educate young sorcerers
Thus Hogwarts School began.

Each formed their own House,

For each valued different virtues;
By Gryffindor, the bravest were
Prized far beyond the rest;
For Ravenclaw, the cleverest
Would always be the best;
For Hufflepuff, hard workers were

Most worthy of admission;
And power-hungry Slytherin
Loved those of great ambition.”

-Goblet of Fire (all quotes from the Leaky Cauldron)

This shows both sides of the equation; the founders themselves, and the houses’ virtues. Gryffindor is “bold”, Ravenclaw is “fair”, Hufflepuff is “sweet”, and Slytherin is “shrewd”, while the houses have similar traits. Gryffindor brave, Ravenclaw clever, Hufflepuff hardworking, and Slytherin ambitious.

The next year, the Sorting Hat told of how the founders were separated:

In times of old when I was new
And Hogwarts barely started
The founders of our noble school

Thought never to be parted:
United by a common goal,
They had the selfsame yearning,
To make the world’s best magic school
And pass along their learning.

For were there such friends anywhere
As Slytherin and Gryffindor?
Unless it was the second pair
Of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw?
So how could it have gone so wrong?
How could such friendships fail?

Said Slytherin, “We’ll teach just those
Whose ancestry is purest.”
Said Ravenclaw, “We’ll teach those whose
Intelligence is surest.”
Said Gryffindor, “We’ll teach all those
With brave deeds to their name’
Said Hufflepuff, “I’ll teach the lot,
And treat them just the same.

So Hogwarts worked in harmony
For several happy years,
But then discord crept among us
Feeding on our faults and fears.
The Houses that, like pillars four,
Had once held up our school,
Now turned upon each other and,
Divided, sought to rule.
And for a while it seemed the school
Must meet an early end,
What with dueling and with fighting
And the clash of friend on friend
And at last there came a morning
When old Slytherin departed
And though the fighting then died out
He left us quite downhearted.
And never since the founders four
Were whittled down to three
Have the Houses been united
As they once were meant to be

-Order of the Phoenix

First, the Sorting Hat says that Slytherin and Gryffindor were a pair, as were Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. In the houses of the books, you see this- in a way. Slytherin and Gryffindor generally despise each other, while Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw seem to get along just fine. Then, the founders picked their traits (for sure): Slytherin pure ancestry, Ravenclaw intelligence, Gryffindor bravery, and Hufflepuff the rest. This reflects on Slytherin’s being “shrewd”, as Slytherin thought pure ancestry would be smartest and most adept. It also shows “sweet” Hufflepuff, because she didn’t care what the kids were like; she cared about them all no matter what. Then finally the Sorting Hat tells us that “…never… have the Houses been united As they once were meant to be” since Slytherin left. In the books, Slytherin generally doesn’t interact with the other houses, as they are often more stuck-up or just don’t get along with the others. Now, hopefully we can see some change from that in the Cursed Child, because Slytherin is still a well-respected house, but that is how they were, for the most part, portrayed in the books.

Well, that’s all I have to say on this matter, but I really enjoyed this topic, and the chance to be a part of such a neat idea! I’d love to know if you’re going to or already have published a post for Potterhead July (if so, feel free to leave your link down below!), and please let me know what you thought of my ideas, and whether I left anything out or not! And of course, if you disagree, tell me why! I’m certainly open to suggestion. 😉 Toodles!


19 thoughts on “Do you think the nature of the Hogwarts houses reflects on the founders?

  1. Unfortunately, I’d have to agree. But as we all know, one does not fully belong in just one house. There’s always a secondary – making students more than just what the founders expect them to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a really cool idea! I guess I’ve never really analysed the songs, but it is interesting how much the founders reflect their houses 🙂 I’m trying to catch up on all the posts too, but it’s hard! I know I followed everyone else who’s doing it 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Me either, but when I was brainstorming an idea I got a muddled thought about the Founders and I just went from there. 🙂 Hahaha, I haven’t even started! I currently have three windows of tabs (mostly blog posts) open on my laptop that I need to sort through first, and then hopefully I can do the Potterhead July ones. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I wonder if there could be some mythology involved as well. While I don’t doubt the founders had the traits their houses became associated with as those had to be the traits they valued, I wonder how much those traits have been exaggerated as people tell their stories over and over. Like, Gryffindor was probably a brave person. He at least valued bravery enough to make it an important part of his house. Still, I can easily imagine the Gryffindors of the future going on and on about Gryffindor’s until his bravery is seen in an almost exaggerated way. The same with the other founders.

    Still, Slytherin did create the Chamber of Secrets, so maybe the legends about them aren’t all that exaggerated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You make an excellent point! Over long periods of time, usually “heroic” stories get exaggerated and the people in them become more like legends than real people. But hey, maybe some of them were more so than the others!


  4. I definitely think it’s interesting how each of the houses come to represent something greater than the idea that the founders started with. I think that much is clear even from the Grey Lady and Bloody Baron, and their contrast to the other students. And yet, I do think it’s kind of disappointing that as much as the four founders had their struggles, the students they taught never got past those rivalries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! It’s always interesting to watch people grow, and even more so to watch it happen from one generation to the next. I do too; I’m rather hoping that the Cursed Child will tie up those loose ends!


  5. I never thought about this. I noticed how the personality of the founders reflect on the students of the houses, and how they’re sorted, but I never noticed its corellation with impact it has at Harry’s time in Hogwarts. I never noticed about Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff’s closeness, since I don’t think its ever explicitly mentioned. But yeah, I do see how the founders feud vs Slytherin might be the reason why Slytherin is the most despised house at that moment. Interesting post! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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