Gryffindor is not only the most prominent of all Hogwarts Houses, but also the one that gets all of the action. Harry and company belong to Gryffindor, and are wonderful representatives of the House. Gryffindors are brave, chivalrous, honorable, and daring. However, they are also prideful, arrogant, hot-headed, reckless, and over-emotional.
Over the course of the story, and because of J.K. Rowling’s obvious preference for the House of gold and scarlet, Gryffindors are painted as heroic and awe-inspiring. However, upon taking a closer look, it’s easy to see that, for all its assets and triumphs, Gryffindor is less enchanting than it seems. And while the novels present a one-sided look at the House, readers and fans can tell that there’s a lot in Gryffindor Tower that doesn’t quite make sense.
10 Why Do They Always Win The House Cup?
Before the start of the series, Slytherin won the House Cup for six years in a row. All things considered, this made sense. After all, Slytherins are famous for being ambitious, cunning, and most of all, resourceful. However, once Harry arrives at Hogwarts, things take a drastic turn.
Gryffindor wins the House Cup during Harry’s first three years. And why, exactly? All Gryffindors do is get into trouble. They’re reckless and don’t exactly follow rules. They’re not the brightest either, that’s Ravenclaw. In the end, it all comes down to last-minute points awarded to Harry’s heroics. And considering the House Cup is meant to be a consistent, year-long effort, then it’s safe to say they’re undeserving of their wins.
9 Why Are They So Cocky?
Gryffindors are perceived as being arrogant. Even the welcoming message by the prefect makes it clear. However, it’s interesting to ponder why are they arrogant in the first place. Is it because of their daring and supposedly heroic nature?
Ravenclaw’s pride can be attributed to their wisdom, and Slytherin’s to their ambition. But what exactly does Gryffindor have to justify their arrogance? Bravery can only get you so far, and the books state many times that Harry has more than his fair share of fortune when it comes to life and death situations. Perhaps what the house needs is a little more humility.
8 How Does The Sword Of Gryffindor Work?
From its first appearance in Chamber of Secrets, Godric Gryffindor’s sword is little more than a deus ex machina. It’s a way to rescue Harry from certain death, and then a way for him to destroy the Horcruxes. Little information is given about the sword, precisely because the less the reader knew about it, the better.
The sword seems to have a mind of its own. And while that is common in the Wizarding World, a lot is said about how such objects are dangerous and should never be used, much less depended on. So why is the sword viewed as a hero’s tool? Why doesn’t anyone question its very existence?
7 Why Was Peter Pettigrew A Gryffindor?
Treacherous and cowardly, Peter Pettigrew seems to be everything Gryffindors aren’t. He is selfish and dangerous, pretending to be weak while hiding a knife behind his back. All these terrible attributes make him an ideal servant for Voldemort because someone so weak and unremarkable would want power the easy way.
However, that doesn’t explain his sorting to Gryffindor. It’s possible that he didn’t have enough qualities for Ravenclaw, and his weak nature probably canceled Slytherin. However, his cowardice and opportunism surely made him unviable for Gryffindor.
6 Why Are There Few Dark Wizards From Gryffindor?
And speaking of bad people, why is it that all Dark Wizards come from Slytherin? Ambition and resourcefulness are not necessarily synonyms for evil and cruelty. Slytherins crave power, but so do a lot of people. And being determined and cunning doesn’t mean they’re murderous villains.
The bias against Slytherin is especially obvious when taking into consideration some negative traits of the other Houses. Gryffindors, for example, are impulsive and reckless. They always believe they’re in the right, which fits the profile of a lot of dubious people in history. After all, most villains think they’re the heroes of the story.
5 Why Is Their Color Gold?
The Hogwarts Houses roughly correspond to one of the four elements. Slytherin is water, Ravenclaw is air, Hufflepuff is air, and Gryffindor is, of course, fire. This pretty much explains the red in Gryffindor’s colors and it might also justify the gold.
Another, more cynical explanation would be that the House chose gold because they believe themselves to be the winners. It’s fitting that J.K. Rowling’s favorite House would be the golden one, while Slytherin and Ravenclaw each took silver and bronze. This also fits with the roles and importance that each House is given during the series. But if Gryffindor represented the gold, why did they always lose before Harry’s arrival?
4 Why Are They Seen As Underdogs?
At the start of the series, Gryffindor is clearly seen as the underdog. They sadly claim that they’ve lost the House Cup to Slytherin for six years in a row, and because of the events of the first book, they finish last in the competition. Thanks to some very convenient last points, though, they ultimately win and their fate finally changes.
If Gryffindors are supposed to be the golden boys and girls at Hogwarts, why are they so often presented as underdogs? At times, they even assume the role of literal pariahs, like when the other three Houses resent them for Harry’s inclusion into the Triwizard Tournament, or when the Ministry successfully turns the Wizarding World against Harry. It doesn’t make sense that such a prideful House would be at the center of so many attacks.
3 Why Do They Use Passwords?
The way into Gryffindor Common Room is through the Fat Lady portrait. A password, which apparently changes constantly, is needed to gain entrance. Considering Hogwarts is a literal wizarding school, one might think they’d have better ways of keeping intruders out. Ravenclaw, for example, has riddles, which is a very effective way to repel those who don’t belong.
Prisoner of Azkaban shows the dangers of the system when Neville’s parchment with the passwords is stolen, allowing Sirius entrance to Gryffindor Tower. A lot of places in Hogwarts make use of passwords though, so it’s not like this is a Gryffindor problem only.
2 Why Is Their Common Room In A Tower?
And speaking of the Common Room, why is Gryffindor’s in a tower? Ravenclaw’s make sense, after all, their element is air. Slytherin’s is in the dungeons, underwater, also quite fitting. But like Hufflepuff’s, Gryffindor’s Common Room has no apparent correlation to either its element or its mascot.
Shouldn’t Gryffindor’s common room be at ground level, to better fit both their lion emblem and their fire element? Perhaps somewhere near the Hogwarts grounds, or maybe a space close to the viaduct? Having them in a tower seems to be more out of a desire to provide a “cool” location for their Common Room.
1 Why Are They The Stars?
Considering the traits of the other Houses, it’s easy to question why was Gryffindor chosen as the House for the protagonists. Hermione is clearly a Ravenclaw and a strong case could be made that Ron and Neville are Hufflepuffs. Similarly, Harry makes more sense in Slytherin. So why did Rowling go with Gryffindor?
It’s clear that Gryffindor is the House of heroes, which makes it an obvious and unsurprising choice for the characters. Wouldn’t it be more interesting if the hero came from Slytherin though? Or maybe from Hufflepuff, and then Harry could’ve been an actual underdog? With three arguably more interesting Houses, it’s odd that the most obvious of them ended up being the most important one.
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