The Philosophical Hypocrisy of Harry Potter


Okay, a couple of disclaimers… I probably hate pop culture over-analysis more than most of you guys. There’s nothing that irritates me more* than the posts that start off with things like “6 Lord of the Rings Characters Who Actually Suck at Life.” So don’t take this as a simple snark-fest.

It should also be mentioned that this isn’t a dismissal of worth. The first three books are great, and the third and fourth movies in the series rank among the finest fantasy films of all time.

But the thing that makes Harry Potter’s problems particularly difficult to ignore isn’t that they’re kinda silly and easy to make fun of. Rather, it’s that they are a) pervasive for the length of the series and b) totally at odds with one of its core messages. In other words, (see title).


The biggest problem begins with that obnoxious Sorting Hat. Eagle-eyed readers will notice that every last one of the major heroic characters gets sorted into Gryffindor, the “brave” house. Nearly all of the villains get sorted into Slytherin, the “ambition” house.

Already you’ll notice that things are getting a little bit vague, as “ambition” is a substantially more nebulous concept than “hard work” or “cleverness.” Well, that or it simply comes packaged WITH all those other virtues. But the point is our heroes and villains all get lumped in together.

So, not only is bravery implied to be the best of all virtues, but it also apparently trumps intelligence or hard work. Fine, sure. We’ll just go with that. And we’ll also try to ignore the blatant violation of these sortings that occur over and over again through the series.**


I get that this is just a way to make a “hero” house and a “villain” house. Normally I’d write this off as typical fantasy-movie simplicity. Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and a host of others do the same thing; they create a group of cartoonish baddies to embody the opposition to our hero. We’re not meant to really question it. Evil is evil.***

The problem with doing this in the Harry Potter universe is the books and movies are obsessively focused on tearing down the walls built by prejudice and groupthink.

This focus comes most obviously front-and-center in the Goblet of Fire novel, wherein Hermione starts up an organization to liberate the historically put-upon House Elves. Despite being a narrative slog at times, the idea isn’t a bad one, and in the end the House Elves wind up being a powerful ally for the main characters.


There are plenty of other passages. The centaurs in the Forbidden Forest despise their classification as a lower form of creature than humans. Voldemort and his contemporaries are obsessed with purifying the wizard race. Over and over again, the books show the heroes confronting and dismantling the notions of thoughtless discrimination.

So why, then, is it just like… totally cool to write off as bad every single person chosen to be in Slytherin House?

I mean, I know WHY. Slytherin students are constantly undermining their classmates, and adults who graduate from the house tend to go on to undermine the rest of the wizarding community. It’s stated as fact that no evil wizard ever walked the earth that WASN’T a member of the house at some point.


Sure, the series humanizes certain individuals in the Slytherin house. Snape, Slughorn, Draco… these are reasonably well-rounded characters by the standards of the series. They aren’t all bad.

I could simply counter that point by adding, “but the vast majority of them are.” But instead I’ll mention the scene in the last movie where the whole house of Slytherin is sent to the dungeons before the final battle, because… well, they’re the Slytherins. It’s also pretty obviously played as a “get up and cheer” moment for the audience. The scene doesn’t play exactly like that in the book, by the way, but J.K. Rowling had veto power over any changes from book to movie. We have to assume the portrayal resonates with the outlook of the series.

The fact of the matter is that for the vast majority of the series, “Slytherin” is short for “bad guy,” or at least “a-hole.”


Oh, and speaking of that dungeon thing… they keep the Slytherins in the dungeon. I mean, come on. No wonder they don’t like anybody else. The rest of the school treats them like crap. Even Headmaster Dumbledore (a former Gryffindor) basically throws the house cup competition to keep them from winning.


And Harry was almost a Slytherin. All he did was ask not to be, based mostly on conjecture shared with him by another eleven-year-old. And yes, I get the point being made about choice and all that, and I even think that particular sentiment is a rather nice one… but if Ron hadn’t told him that he wouldn’t have even known to choose.

That’s just grossly unfair. And, to bring us back to our topic, completely at odds with the moral compass of the story. The Harry Potter series contains a blunt but powerful endorsement of thinking outside the established order and not giving into preconceptions. Villains are revealed to be heroes; servants overthrow their masters; idiot teenagers defeat battle-worn dark wizards. In the end, in Harry Potter, there’s nothing more valuable than understanding and equality.


Unless we’re talking about those nasty Slytherins.


*That’s actually not true at all.

**Like Cedric Diggory, that guy who was basically as brave as Harry? He somehow winds up in Hufflepuff. Neville Longbottom, on the other hand, does not. Of course, the house logic evaporated early in the first book when Hermione was put in Gryffindor, instead of Ravenclaw. Not just because she’s clever, but because she’s regularly described as the actual smartest witch in the school. I assume that the house system is little more than a convenient way for Rowling to engineer or avoid “party-line” conflict on a per-novel basis.

***Well, actually, Star Wars starts tearing this idea apart as early as Empire. By the time the Prequels finish, hardly anything in Lucas’s world is black-and-white. But you guys get where I’m coming from.

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  1. This was the worst and most pretentious piece of pseudo-intelligent writing I’ve seen in a long time. Did you even read what you wrote? The whole ‘it’s not all black and white’ is the point of the entire series.
    Hagrid is used to specifically set the stereotypical premise that “no evil wizard ever walked the earth that WASN’T a member of the house at some point”. He is the real world equivalent of the jolly well-rounded simpleton with a slight archaic racist(?) attitude, juist like your gramps. The premise that is first established is used to make it seemingly true. But over the course of time, we find out that everyone can be an asshole if they choose to be.
    Peter Pettigrew was in Gryffindor. He was neither brave, nor loyal or good. The opposite of everything the house stood for. Hermione was put into Gryffindor for this very reason. Rather than portray her as the cookie-cutter smart, top-of-the-class witch, JKR uses these class distinction to show kids how blurry real-life can get, and that they are not destined to be one or the other. That was the whole point of EVERYONE!! Neville, Dumbledore, Hermione, Snape, James, and a million other characters.
    Seriously, if you couldn’t catch the very obvious theme of the book, you probably have to have someone entire the whole series to you.

  2. Is it really that shocking that series of books that started out intended only for children has a simple black and white concept of the good wizards and the bad wizards? For the age group the books were originally targeting the way things were done make sense.

    By the end of book four, Rowling was already trying to work outside the concept as best she could within the framework she set up in the first book. Dumbledore’s big speech about how they needed to forget differences and work together? Hermione going against the class system? But the majority of people in the books didn’t want to change the established system, preferring to stay with the familiar until change was forced upon them.

    And as a side note, people need to stop harping on that stupid line about no dark wizard ever walked the earth that didn’t come from Slytherin. It was spoken by an 11 year old to another 11 year old. That doesn’t make it gospel truth. If an 11 year old told you that the best pizza in the world came from Chuckie Cheese, do you have to accept that as fact for life? No, because they have the limited worldview of an 11 year old. That statement doesn’t even account for the fact that there are other schools out there. Unless wizards from other countries send their potentially dark children to the UK so they can join in the slytheriny fun? Ok, enough ranting from me.

  3. Or as Harsha said, maybe Hagrid said that and I haven’t read the books in a long time? Whoops. Not that that invalidates my point, Hagrid wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer and just because he says it doesn’t mean he’s the authority on dark wizards in the world.

  4. @Harsha

    There are way better ways to open up a comment on an article. If you have good points to make, they’ll stand on their own without you having to tear me (or others) down first.

    But in response to the rest of what you said…

    I did mention that there are several wizards who fall outside of the starkly black-and-white typecasting the houses encourage. The fact remains, though, that the Slytherins are outright exiled during the series’s climax. This is the story’s final statement on its characters, a final statement that Slytherin House sits opposite to the mission of the school.

    Rowling has a lot of interesting ideas in this series, but she has a consistent problem with sticking the landing. I had this problem with Dumbledore and Neville, too.

    Had the final battle gone differently — either they had stood and fought with the rest, or their exile cost the rest something — I might feel differently. Had Gryffindor not won the House and Quidditch Cups so often (to the intended delight of the readers), I might feel differently. Had Slytherins not lived in a dungeon, not been self-described “purebloods” and racists, and not constantly tormented and opposed to the hero of the story, I might feel differently.

    I suspect Rowling didn’t entirely mean to have this effect, but the biggest problem I have with her writing in general is that it often just feels too convenient and safe to really dig past the basic tropes she’s caught up in. The movies, unfortunately, exacerbated this effect once David Yates came onboard. They are official, though.

    And, you can totally disagree. I have no problem with that. Let’s just do it nicely, okay?

  5. I’m sorry to bust it to you, but Harry Potter is just a children’s book with no clever underlying themes. Yes, it has a cool atmosphere and interesting lore, but in the end it’s a children’s book. People that glorify it for the awesome theme and plot are just not being honest with themselves.

  6. Well, I see where you are coming from, but you’re forgetting something: since most (if not all) Slytherin students are indeed “purebloods”, and most (if not all) of Voldemort supporters are also “purebloods” and Slytherin alumni, many of those students are indeed sons and grandsons of the attacking wizards.

  7. @sean

    Fair point. The only thing is the epilogue still feels like trying to have its cake and eat it, too (at least, to me). Doesn’t it end with Harry saying something like “but you can still ask to not be in Slytherin if you like?” And even so, I’d be more inclined to account for those sentiments if they’d been woven into the main action of the storyline more thoroughly.

    Like, in Return of the Jedi, Vader outright destroyed the Emperor. I don’t feel like Harry Potter ever made a statement of that significance, and I also don’t think Vader’s arc would have worked WITHOUT something that bold and important, no matter what else might have been said along the way.

    But like I said, fair point. And in retrospect, “Have its cake and eat it too” might have been a somewhat more accurate way to title/angle this post.

  8. If this is the worst thing Harsha’s read recently, he/she needs to read more. A lot more. Hypocrisy does abound through the series, and you barely touched on it. But yeah, the biggest thing is that they spend the entire series making Slytherins as evil as possible (which makes one wonder why they even get trained) and then try to flip it towards the end like raising up hundreds of evil wizards is totally worth it as long as Snape can redeem himself (and his house) once. Derp! And yeah, locking up the entire house i\was straight fascism. You have to wonder if there weren’t gas vents in that dungeon, just in case. But at the end of the say, the Potter books are for children and the fact that they become such a massive media sensation makes adults want to overanalyze them to justify spending so much time obsessing over kiddie books when the fact is they just read them because everybody else was doing it. I think Potter just ain’t gonna hold up like the works of Tolkien and Martin will. Rowling hit the pop culture lottery, but her actual work is far from top tier work even within the fantasy genre.

  9. Speaking towards the “Slytherins are always evil” bit, was anyone else enraged as much as I was when Draco Malfoy did actually end up being the one plotting against Dumbledore in the 6th book? As I read the book, I saw how obsessive, childish, and annoying Harry can be as every single page was a rant about Malfoy and how Harry just KNEW that he was bad, even though there was no evidence for the first few hundred pages. I almost stopped reading when they finally did show that Malfoy was bad. I wanted Harry to be wrong SO bad, because the way he conducted himself in the 6th book was atrocious and very out of place. He was a whiny, entitled brat of a kid who was obsessed with the idea that HIS ARCH NEMESIS was the one who was evil. I absolutely abhorred it when he just happened to be right, and all of his dickishness throughout the book ended up being justified. It actually made me hate Harry until the second half of the last book, when he finally stopped whining and actually did something.

  10. Oh, one more thing. I get WHY Harry was acting like that. It actually started in the 5th book, and ran through to the middle of the 7th book. JKR made this series sort of a coming-of-age tale, so she had to show Harry maturing. As such, it was obvious that he needed to go through puberty and be an A-hole teenager at some point. The only issue I have is that JKR, for some inexplicable reason, decided that in his hormone-induced rage, he would still be right. His incoherent ravings about the boy who has been his biggest rival over the last five years just happen to ring true, and he is vindicated and praised (in the minds of the readers, not int he actual book) for how forward-thinking and intuitive he was. THAT is the only problem I have with that.

  11. I get in arguments with my gf all the time. She’s pro-Gryffindor. I’m defiantly anti-Gryffindor as they are pretty much the spoiled kids.

    Ravenclaw all the way, wooooooooooo (even though there’s virtually nothing on them in hte series. the last book throw-in is more about the character than house so doesnt count)

  12. @wevs and @trashcanman

    The sentiment that any book is “just a kids books and should therefore be disregarded” is one that I find extremely frustrating. All literature is a product of the time in which it is written, and the moral lessons imparted from children’s books are somewhat more overt than more “adult” literature. As such, they are much easier to discuss (and possibly criticise).

    I’m a fan of this article, though I don’t think it goes far enough. There are inherent hypocrisies in JKR’s invented world, not the least of which is the bizarre profiling employed by the sorting hat. My initial reaction to the entire process involved a prolonged disbelief. If slytherin was so malicious and evil, why the hell were any of those wizards trained? Why doesn’t the sorting hat just boot kids straight out of the school?

  13. I think Harry Potter will stand the test of time; I am not sure how JK’s Harry Potter can be compared to George RR Martin’s incomplete Game of Thrones saga. When and if he finishes, that would be a fair time to compare their works. While I am a Game of Thrones fan, I think in contrast to the Harry Potter books, which seemed to get better as the series progressed, the Song of Ice and Fire books have gotten worse. The Harry Potter series has broader appeal for sure.

    Also, I disagree with most of what the author of this article had to say. I don’t see any philosophical inconsistencies with sorting people by house; in fact, sorting people by their deepest values seems like a good way to sort people. Ambition isn’t a bad thing.

    And I think Peter Pettigrew is a pretty solid example of an evil wizard, and HE wasn’t in Slytherin house…

  14. “Eagle-eyed readers will notice that every last one of the major heroic characters gets sorted into Gryffindor, the “brave” house.”

    So Snape, not a major heroic character. Luna Lovegood, not a major heroic character. And it seems to me that saying Hermione belonging in Ravenclaw, and Cedric Digory belonging in Gryffindor sort of undermines your point.

  15. Although the first comment was harsh, every non-personal comment about the article is true.

    The book and the movie are complete different worlds really (Harry has blue eyes in the movies… wtf). One of the biggest problems I had with the last movie was the ending when all the Slytherins are just dismissed as bad and assumed to be on the other side, while in the book they are given an opportunity to choose. As we have seen throughout the series, Slytherin has always been defaulted to bad. Also, as other commentators have noted, Rowling has emphasized the importance of understanding that things are not always black or white. So the point in the end that summarizes the picture of Slytherin for the whole series and the untold future of that world, is that in the end it is your choices that count. Just like Slytherins were given the choice to fight for the good guys in the final battle (in the book), and just like plenty of non-Slytherns choose to do bad things. Which is why Harry tells his son in the epilogue that it doesn’t matter what house he ends up in, when Albus Severus worried about ending up in Slytherin.

  16. @I_like_icecream:
    So any novel has a complex theme, philosophical undertones and morals? Even if that were true, which is not, it doesn’t mean the author was correct, or didn’t completely screw up the message. Popularity is not a factor *cough*twilight, 50 shades*cough*.
    As I said, I enjoy the Harry Potter franchise, but it’s hardly because of the genius plot – I like the characters, bar the main protagonist, because I really find him an insufferable twat as well for the most part, I also like the lore behind the universe.

  17. @David R The sorting hat does not use profiling. It takes the desires of each student into account when selecting a house. Luna could have easily been profiled for Gryffindor based on her bravery. A theme of the novels is overcoming prejudices, which is something that everyone has. Harry tells his son that it is OK to be in Slytherin. Being in Slytherin doesn’t mean he is a bad person, or isn’t brave or clever. And being in Slytherin won’t make him a bad person.

  18. @David: I didn’t realize how personal and harsh my first comment sounded when i first wrote it. I’m really sorry. No offense, man.

    JKR’s series isn’t very solid. Consistency is a problem all major book series tend to have. The harry Potter books have a lot of problems like plotholes (eg. The Time Turner, etc.) but class distinction is one that is handled pretty well.
    You make a good point about the Slytherins being exiled during the finale. This is somewhat similar to a sub-plot in Homeland(the TV show), the CIA, is prioritizing a bunch of suspects, and one of the main protagonists out rightly tells them to target the middle-Easterns in the list first. He gets called out for racial profiling. The protagonist however justifies his decision saying that it’s really actual profiling because most of the terrorists he’s been dealing with are from there.
    In the finale, the situation was beyond just hostility, they were at war. Most of the death-eaters they were fighting against were family members of the Slytherin kids. You can’t always afford to be politically correct in the middle of a crisis. Sending them back to the dungeon , was a pretty realistic decision, IMO.

  19. It all started with a straight-up children’s book. Rowling built from there and made the last books as “mature” as her audience had gotten, but there were important pieces already laid in the first, more lighthearted books. This series won’t stand any philosophical scrutiny because it didn’t start as adult or young-adult fantasy. Its pillars are on what was always meant to be a children´s book.

  20. Hello! I’d like to drop my two cents in here:
    You are sorted into the houses according to what you value. So Hermione is the brightest witch in Hogwarts at the time, but she values bravery over intelligence and cleverness.
    “Hermione: You’ll be okay, Harry. You’re a great wizard. You really are.
    Harry: Not as good as you.
    Hermione: Me? Books and cleverness. There are more important things: friendship and bravery. And Harry, just be careful. ”
    That’s why she’s a Griffyndor.
    Hufflepuffs value loyalty, hardwork, and fair play, Ravenclaws value intelligence and cleverness, and Slytherins value cunning, ambition, and resourcefulness. Cedric Digory? Values fair play and loyalty over bravery, thus a Hufflepuff. When Harry helps him, he helps Harry and keeps it fair. Neville values bravery over other things, thus a Gryffindor. Every single bad person is a Slytherin because bad people are the ones with strong ambitions for power, they value cunning because it’s how they can get what they want. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t have the traits other houses value, or that they don’t care for them. The characters are juts as complex as real humans. The hat takes your choice into account because you decide your values. If you value both ambition and bravery equally, then the choice is yours on which one you would value more. At the young age of 11, you don’t know yourself very well yet, that’s why the sorting hat is there. It picks apart your young brain and finds your values, and sorts you into the corresponding house.

  21. Where to begin. I haven’t read all the comments, so forgive me if there’s a little repetition. There seems to be a huge discrepancy about Slytherin house and JKR repeatedly bashing them and that this is inconsistent with the message of the series, particularly at the end. Slytherin was himself obsessed with blood purity and the deserving magical community. It makes total sense then that those in Slytherin, for the most part, are descended from pureblood lines and were brought up to be really snobbish about it. This is consistent throughout the series. At the end, the reason Slytherin house is escorted out is not simply because they are Slytherins, but because instead of fighting for justice and understanding that Voldemort killing Harry isn’t the best option ever, they opt to sabotage the effort and throw Harry out. After MONTHS of dealing with death eaters treating everyone like scum except Slytherin house, can you really blame them for this reaction? When you combine a snobby, outdated superiority complex with ambition and a clawing desperation for power and influence, who do you really expect to come to school?

    Also, JKR wrote book 1 as a desperate effort to keep herself afloat. It was a fluke that the book took off and gave her the opportunity to write more. It was supposed to be a 1 volume, self-contained story for basically elementary school students, so the premise and separation of good and evil needed to be obvious and easy to swallow. Moral complexity would have stymied JKR’s purpose in writing it. Later, however, she clearly shows the breakage in stereotypes that she shows in the beginning: Harry tells his son that being in Slytherin is ok; one of the bravest men he’s ever known was in Slytherin, Draco has a change of heart, along with his family, and helps in the defense effort (eventually, and only after almost dying, but still).

    It is Harry and Hermione that are the beacons of challenging normal modes in this series, as Harry is consistently called an “odd” wizard and is doing things that regular wizard society would consider untoward or antiestablishment. It is implied that this is because of his muggle/difficult upbringing, giving Hermione the same path, as she is the best young witch in the series and comes from a muggle household. This is affirmed in the final book when Ron is the one who has all the problems with the horcruxes, never having been away from mummy or having to deal with institutional discrimination, as he is a pureblood.

    If you want to get really deep, the main abstract to conquer is, in fact, racism, as that is basically the whole reason for all the villains’ actions. This is overcome with love and friendship, yada yada, and those taken for granted or treated poorly because of their ancestry prove themselves to be so much more than anyone expected of them, surpassing their oppressors in value.

    I appreciate the attempt at an unmasking here, but given the premise and purpose of the first novel and the subsequent character development, I must admit that I see no validity in your proposal at all.

  22. I believe that the point of sitting down with a book is for pure enjoyment (if not for education).

    Harry Potter falls into the former, mainly because it’s a fantasy novel based on (well, what do you know) fiction. With that crystal clear, we can assume that this novel is meant for entertainment. Now, for all of each of us, there’s varying forms of entertainment. Some just want to read it to get lost in the world of wizards and witchcraft. Others want to analyze this novel for underlying themes (most of which I think are hogwash).

    It doesn’t bother me one bit how hypocritical anything is (unless it blows the plot away, kind of like time paradox plot driven stories…oh, I HATE the concept of time paradox). As long as something can get me interested and forgetting about these hypocrisies, then I would consider it successful.

    Not saying that the hypocrisy isn’t there, because it is. I agree that just thinking “I don’t want to be Slytherin, put me in Gryffindor” and placing Harry into Gryffindor was….well….it threw away the main point of a sorting hat in the first place.

    This is all just my thoughts.

    In the end, we can all agree that the Harry Potter series was most enjoyable.

  23. So, just wanted to put out there, much of the book is meant to come from Harry’s perspective, and seeing that he is a child maturing into an adult through the books, the perspective shown is obviously flawed. Harry, because of what has been told to him from the first person he meets when he is introduced into the wizarding world, sees Slytherin as evil and Gryffindor as good, and its only after many revelations that he starts to notice this may not be the case. (Between Pettigrew betrying his parents, and learning his Dad was an awfully bully, to dealing with his own housemates treating him like crap because of gossip. And on the other side, learning about Snape to seeing that Slughorn isnt anywhere near evil, though I will admit that showing off good Slytherins is definitely a shorter list which is problematic within itself)

    The basic meanings of the 4 houses are Bravery(Gryffindor), Cunning(Slytherin), Wisdom(Ravenclaw), and Loyalty(Hufflepuff). But the idea is not that you are the embodiment of these traits, but that everyone has these traits. What house you are put in has to do with the traits that you are most often going to employ along with a bit of choice. Harry is all sorts of sneaky and cunning, but at the end he uses his bravery in most situations. Hermione is the same way, she is book smart (not actually wise, nor is she really all that inventive. She is more likely to just employ things that she has already read instead of making up her own. So she is just a well read Griffindor but not all that creative, which is another trait of Ravenclaw she doesnt really have) but is more likely to just out and use bravery to fight than she is to sit back meekly and try to think her way out of the situation.

    Harry mostly deals with Gryffindors because hey, he is one and so were his parents, so he is either dealing with friends he made in his house, his head of house, or his parents friends. If you actually read through the books, there are a lot of other people on the side of good that are from all the other houses (Tonks is a hufflepuff, all the other professors and heads of houses that are not McGonnagal, Dumbledores army is full of houses that are not Gryffindor) The only reason it seems very Gryffindor centric is that, once again, Harry is a Griffindor.

    I agree that the “Slytherins go to the dungeons” in the last movie (I think that happens in the book too) was way over the top. The fact that no one would trust the Slytherins just because people think they are evil was a pretty rash decision (Though from McGonnagals perspective, many of them may have family or friends who would be on the opposing side. But you could say the same thing about any other house too).

    So really the only reason the other houses are forgotten, is because Harry forgets about them all the time. I know this isnt in the actual books, but if you read through Pottermore, you learn that wizards like Merlin were in Slytherin, and that Slytherin isnt evil or bigoted by nature, Harry just is told that, meets one kid that enforces what he was told, and uses it as justification for the rest of the books (until the whole Snape revelation).

    So yeah, i can understand why JK wrote it the way she did. Stay true to your character and all that. But I can also understand that her way of dealing with the houses was flawed and showed pretty intense bigotry on the side of the good guys, which honestly probably wasnt what she was going for.

  24. I see a few MAJOR problems with your arguments: 1. You’re assuming that if Ron hadn’t told Harry about the reputation Slytherin has he would’ve become a member of that house, not true. The Sorting Hat still had trouble placing him even when Harry was telling it not to put him in Slytherin. Throughout the series, Harry still house doubts about the Sorting Hat’s decision, even thinking at one point that he SHOULD have been put in Slytherin house. 2. Didn’t it strike you as odd that Snape, who despised everything about Harry straight out of the gate because of his father, spent the ENTIRE series trying to protect him? And there’s the glaring omission of any relationship he had with Lilly Evans. 3. People assume that the Sorting Hat never made a mistake or miscalculation. Hermione, and intellectual, in Gryffindor? Peter Pettigrew in the same house? The sorting hat wasn’t looking for ‘good’ or ‘evil’, it was looking for an overriding emotion and personality trait that comes out stronger than the others.

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