Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Harry Potter Identity Crisis

I've been a Harry Potter nerd for about 18 years now, ever since the kids in my 8th-grade classes handed the books to me when I started teaching. And since the very beginning of my fandom, I started to think about which Hogwarts house I myself would be sorted into.

It was obviously Ravenclaw. Traits of Ravenclaws include wit, wisdom, intelligence, and creativity.

I didn't mind that everyone kind of wants to be a Gryffindor. Gryffindors are courageous, daring, and chivalrous. Harry Potter himself is one, and so are all his best friends. It would be cool to be a Gryffindor!

But, their defining characteristic is bravery, no question. I am only brave when it's absolutely necessary, so I knew that couldn't be me.

Anyway, maybe three years ago, I joined Pottermore, the ultimate official J. K. Rowling site for Harry Potter nerds. There, you can take the ultimate official sorting quiz. You can only take it one time. The results are binding! I held my breath, was brutally honest, and...

It said I was Hufflepuff.

Well, I've always imagined Hufflepuffs to be sort of blundering, doughy-faced, and dull, notwithstanding handsome and heroic Cedric Diggory's placement there. The result of the quiz triggered a major identity crisis. As such, I began feverish research and eventually, I came to terms with the sorting. When I really started thinking about it, I imagined that the Pottermore quiz had, in fact, identified my better angels - angels like loyalty, hard work, dedication, and fair play. And Cedric Diggory.

So, I've been merrily telling anyone who cares (and some people who don't) that I'm Hufflepuff. Some in the know tell me that's totally wrong, and that I'm obviously Ravenclaw, but I'm smug about it. "I'm loyal and kind," I tell them. What can they say to that?

And then, for the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book's publication, along comes a new Harry Potter sorting quiz from Time Magazine. This one is researched by umpteen social scientists and tested with 10,000 data points. It claims to be the definitive source on Harry Potter sorting. I took it, knowing full well that I'm Hufflepuff now and proud of it.

It said I'm Ravenclaw, with Hufflepuff as a close second.

What?!

After studying the new quiz and thinking hard about each question, I think I understand the discrepancy. The Time Magazine quiz is prizing work ethic as the tippy-top Ravenclaw trait; whereas Pottermore assigns that trait at least partially to Hufflepuffs. The Time Magazine quiz puts humility as a top Hufflepuff trait.

Work ethic is obviously my defining characteristic, especially as no house lists "compulsion" as a commonality. As for humility? Let's not delve too deeply there.

2 comments:

mm said...

I was intrigued, so I found a quiz online. It says I belong in Gryffindor, "where dwell the brave of heart." I've been a little nostalgic about this whole 20 years of Harry Potter. How can it be?

LH said...

So Ravenclaw it is.

But I really do love your loyalty and kindness.