The Harry Potter houses tend to come under both a lot of praise and a lot of fire. Gryffindor, for example, tends to get thought of as the best house to be in because all the main characters were there. Hufflepuff is stereotyped as a house for pushovers. Slytherin is thought of as the ‘evil’ house.
The truth is, none of the Hogwarts houses are this two-dimensional. They each have positive and negative traits, and no two people are the same. Likewise, no one is purely good or purely evil.
Updated on February 18th, 2022, by Rhys McGinley: One of the many ways that Potterheads connect themselves to the Wizarding World is through the four Hogwarts houses to which they align themselves, or which various quizzes place them in.
Being in one of Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw often signals a variety of traits and attributes of the individual, both good and bad. While not every trait fits every individual in the house, it is fair to say that generally, these positive and negative traits sum up those placed in the house, showcasing both sides of the individual and the group.
The Best Hufflepuff Traits
J.K. Rowling pointed out that in the final book, the Hufflepuffs were the ones who stayed in the fight in the battle because they knew it was right, not because they wanted credit or to show off, many Hufflepuffs are incredibly brave without having to brag about it. Hufflepuffs are loyal to their morals and their friends right till the bitter end.
They often get stereotyped as not having a lot of ‘strong’ traits but in this regard, they are actually the strongest of all the houses. The song also points out that they are ‘unafraid of toil’, so it is pretty confusing as to why they are even thought of as not having any strong, defining traits in the first place.
One of the big differences between Hufflepuff and the rest of the Hogwarts houses is the complete lack of arrogance, with Hufflepuff’s generally being far more humble than the likes of Gryffindor and even Slytherin and Ravenclaw.
Hufflepuffs are known for their kindness, and that is a big reason for them being such humble individuals, they do not look to ruffle feathers and they want to make everyone happy, not looking to get attention for their own achievements. While being a people pleaser may not be the best thing, not looking to brag and having a sense of humility is far from a bad thing.
The Worst Hufflepuff Traits
Hufflepuffs are incredibly friendly and are, as previously pointed out, loyal to those people they form connections with. Where this turns a bit negative, though, is when they become a bit too codependent on others.
At times Hufflepuffs will seriously struggle with the prospect of being alone. Not only does this make them codependent but it can also lead to them avoiding confrontations with those close to them and not putting forward their own opinions. Another consequence of their codependency can be their potentially naieve belief in people, and being too forgiving and faithful to people who do not deserve it.
The problem with Hufflepuffs is that sometimes they think because they are fiercely loyal and kind, everyone else is. This sadly isn’t true of the world. Hufflepuffs expect that same loyalty back and often don’t get it. That means they’re often going out on a limb for people that just would not do the same for them.
Hufflepuffs are the easiest to take advantage of, and their good hearts mean that their kindness can sometimes be a burden on them. They would do well to be a bit more cynical of people instead of automatically assuming everyone wants the best for them.
The Best Gryffindor Traits
Gryffindor is the house of the brave. Harry ended up there because of his courage. Hermione and Ron joined him for the same reason. The Harry Potter books preach the lesson of how important it is to be brave in the face of hard times over and over, and each of the most courageous characters is placed in Gryffindor.
It’s a house known for this trait, the one that people scramble to be in because they want to be thought of the same way. Gryffindors should be proud of having this great quality.
Gryffindors can often be incredibly likable individuals and one of the traits that best showcase why is their admirable sense of adventure which they often take into every aspect of life. To them, generally, life is one big adventure to be relished and enjoyed.
Of course, not taking life seriously is not the best thing. But, it is not that Gryffindor’s are necessarily immature, more so that they just like to make the most of life, to find the fun and sense of adventure in all facets of it from career to social life to education. They love to get out there and do rather than sit in and dream.
The Worst Gryffindor Traits
As much as people think of Gryffindor as being flawless heroes, this simply is not the case – in fact, they share many traits with the often lambasted Slytherin house. Gryffindors are not without their imperfections, and trying to argue with a Gryffindor or change their mind on a subject is a near-impossible task.
This makes them hard to debate with and also can just make them a pain to deal with in general. Even Harry, the hero of the series, never wants to admit when he’s wrong. Look at when he runs off chasing Sirius and cannot accept that it might have been a trap set by Voldemort – which it was.
As well as some arrogance, some cockiness, and a lot of stubbornness, Gryffindor’s tend to be a reckless bunch, diving headfirst into situations and confrontations that could have done with cooler heads prevailing.
There are many reasons as to why this would happen, possibly out of arrogance and an innate need to prove themselves, or it may be down to an overly-enthusiastic sense of adventure. No matter the reason, they can find themselves in predicaments that they would look on and regret.
The Best Ravenclaw Traits
The password to the Ravenclaw common room is a riddle, that apparently most of its students even as young as eleven can solve but none of the other houses can. This alone is a huge indication that Ravenclaws are extremely smart.
Some of them may not be naturally so, but those who aren’t are inclined towards study, to keep improving themselves until they’re just as clever as the rest of their housemates. It is a huge intelligence compliment to be placed in this house, which is the main reason the Sorting Hat nearly put Hermione in Ravenclaw house — but which also sadly may put a lot of pressure on students when it comes to grades and exams.
Intelligence and wisdom are perhaps the most typical and most valued traits of Ravenclaw house, but right alongside the smarts is creativity, a trait that is not only valued by Ravenclaws but present in most individuals sorted into the house.
Someone like Luna, in all of her eccentricity and imagination, is the perfect example of this trait in action in Ravenclaws. Ravenclaws tend to be free-spirited, which only aids the quality and prominence of their creativity. Their intelligence and passion also play into their creativity, getting the creative juices flowing and creating a lot of brilliance in the Wizarding World.
The Worst Ravenclaw Traits
The thing about Ravenclaws, though, is that they know they are smart. They have spent their lives being told it, and it’s pretty much what makes their house—well, their house. They are aware of the high intelligence around them and this often makes them judgemental of others, deeming them inferior to themselves.
This might not be the case though, as much as it is what they are assuming. People from other houses may just be clever in a different kind of way. But arrogance and unfair judgement can be present in Ravenclaws and needs to be watched for in case it becomes too much.
The ignorance, arrogance, and dismissiveness of Ravenclaw house all stem from their superiority complex, and their confidence in their own intelligence, deeming themselves smarter and better than other houses.
Generally speaking, Ravenclaws are pretty closed off to ideas that go against their own logical ones. They are also pretty ignorant of others, more interested in themselves and their circles, rarely venturing out to form group friendships with other houses for example. While not on the level of Slytherin, there are definite prejudices evident in Ravenclaw.
The Best Slytherin Traits
Slytherin is the best house to have around in a crisis. They are good at keeping a cool head. They can pause, think, and find their way out of a situation when they need to. They are not likely to lose their minds out of fear and pressure, and they are inventive problem-solvers.
This trait has often been used for dark things, like what we see the likes of Voldemort and Draco Malfoy doing, but on its own, it’s a positive trait, and many Slytherins use it as such. Just look at Regulus Black, who managed to sneak around working on the Horcruxes right under Voldemort’s nose.
One of the main traits common in those aligned or sorted into Slytherin house is incredible ambition. This could be related to careers, education, or just life overall, but Slytherin’s that show no ambition are few and far between.
Of course, this trait plays into the hands of the worst Slytherin has to offer, fuelling their pursuit of power for example. But, generally, there is nothing wrong with ambition, it is an admirable quality for any group and any individual to have. The pursuit to be better, more successful, more important, or whatever it may be attract many to Slytherin. It is traits like these that make people, including the Sorting Hat, believe Harry himself was a Slytherin.
The Worst Slytherin Traits
Although Slytherins are not all evil, they do have their bad traits—like any other house. One of their main worst traits is that they can be manipulative. Sometimes it is unconscious, sometimes it is awful and on a large scale like Voldemort’s takeover, but it has a tendency to happen, and Slytherins should look for it within themselves and work on it.
They want to get their own way, and their ambition means they will go to any lengths necessary—which often means telling people things that are not true or twisting situations to move everything in their favored direction.
The unfortunate reality of Slytherin house is that, while they are perhaps unfairly judged, they do produce a great number of evil wizards, and as a whole can be called the cruelest of the houses.
Their elitist attitudes and prejudices are examples of this, as is many a Slytherin’s superiority complex. Examples of cruel Slytherins in action are Voldemort, Grindelwald, Bellatrix, Snape, Draco, etc. who are all cruel to varying degrees. Whether on the grand scale or on a more personal basis, cruelty is a trait that echoes throughout the history of Slytherin house.
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