Are you a Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ravenclaw of Gryffindor? Harry Potter is one of the most revered franchises in popular culture and every Potterhead around the world has a wizarding house that he or she identifies with and tries to emulate. If you really want to know which house you would be a part of, you can visit the Pottermore website to find out for sure where you belong. This is your virtual sorting hat. Maybe you even have a scarf you wear that represents you favorite House in Hogwarts, or you simply embody the characteristics of a typical member of one of the houses.
If you have a bit of an edge maybe you consider yourself to be a Slytherin like the gothic but ultimately extremely heroic Professor Snape, who was portrayed by late actor Alan Rickman. To be a member of Slytherin you must be practical, sly, cunning and sometimes even downright dastardly if you hope to get ahead in the world of wizards and witches. If you are loyal and a good friend perhaps you are a Hufflepuff like the star of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Newt Scamander. You might be a Ravenclaw, like Luna Lovegood, if you have a passion for learning and interest in discovering new things. But what if you are a true hero willing to sacrifice yourself for others and the greater good? If that’s the case, then you are most likely a Gryffindor like the famous wizards Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
How much do you know about the most famous and revered wizarding house in Hogwarts? If you are an extreme Harry Potter fan you might fancy yourself an expert, but perhaps there are a few facts you didn’t know about the legendary House of Gryffindor. Here’s a look at 15 facts you probably didn’t know about House Gryffindor.
15. Gryffindor & Slytherin Founders Were Friends
The rivalry between House Gryffindor and House Slytherin is one of the most intense in all of popular culture. It’s a rivalry that extends far beyond just the Quidditch field, potions classes and dining hall. It’s no secret that many Slytherin and Gryffindor members simply don’t get along – Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter for example. Severus Snape and Jame Potter is another perfect example of this rivalry. Do you have any idea where this heated rivalry between the two houses all started? The bad blood goes all the way back to when Hogwarts was founded. Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin were two of the founding members of Hogwarts, and in their youth they were very close friends and allies. Think Professor X versus Magneto, but with even more bad blood in the end. The two had a major falling out over the issue of blood purity of wizards and witches. Salazar Slytherin didn’t want any muggle born wizards, such as Hermione Granger, to be in Hogwarts, and Godric Gryffindor wouldn’t put up with that xenophobic nonsense. Godric wanted to see all wizards afforded the opportunity to study at Hogwarts, regardless of blood line or wether they were half bloods. The intense hatred the two had for each other continued long after they were gone and the Houses of Gryffindor and Slytherin are still on uneasy ground to this day.
14. J.K. Rowling Is A Gryffindor
Harry Potter creator and author J.K. Rowling went from being broke and nearly homeless to a billionaire after creating the popular book series. Her hard work and dedication are trademarks of Gryffindor members, so it is fitting that she was sorted into House Gryffindor herself. She became an honorary member of Gryffindor thanks to the official Harry Potter website called Pottermore, which she herself also created and envisioned. It makes sense that Rowling would be a Gryffindor along with her own creation Harry Potter. Other celebrities have been sorted into House Gryffindor on the Pottermore website, too, including Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films.
13. Gryffindors Are Skilled in Transfiguration
Gryffindor members and alumni are highly skilled in all manner of spells, wizardry and magical arts, but one subject that they tend to do extremely well in is transfiguration. Transfiguration allows a wizard to change one object into an entirely different object by manipulating the molecular structure of said object. It is one of the most difficult spells to master, and it is extremely easy to mess up in frightening ways. One false move and things can go horribly wrong. This spell requires precision and a highly scientific mind. Gryffindor members such as Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall were highly skilled in transfiguration, and both were professors of the subject. They both later went on to become headmasters at Hogwarts, too.
12. Gryffindor Crest Based on English Coat of Arms
Is there anything more British than Harry Potter? There probably isn’t, so it makes sense that the Gryffindor Coat of Arms was designed based on the English Coat of Arms. The Gryffindor Coat of Arms has many striking similarities to both the Coat of Arms of Great Britain and the Royal Arms of England. Red and gold are predominant colors, and each features iconography of a powerful Lion. The red in the Gryffindor Coat of Arms represents fire and the gold represents the golden mane of a strong lion. If you didn’t know it you would think the Gryffindor Coat of Arms was just a centuries old medieval logo rather than a symbol from a fictional fantasy series.
11. Many Gryffindors Joined Dumbledore’s Army
Numerous members of House Gryffindor joined Dumbledore’s Army to learn techniques and spells to protect themselves against the dark arts and fight against Lord Voldemort. Harry, Hermione and Ron founded the army after the evil and corrupt Dolores Umbridge only agreed to teach textbook theory in her Defense against the Dark Arts class. Neville Longbottom and Ginny Weasley were also members of the group. Joining the group meant pledging loyalty to the cause, and anyone who betrayed the group would have the word “sneak” written on their face thanks to a jinx spell Hermione secretly instituted on the sign-up sheet for the army. How very clever of her to do that, but would you expect anything less from Hermione Granger?
10. The Crazy Passwords to the Gryffindor Common
Balderdash, banana fritters, baubles, Caput Draconis, dilligrout, fairy lights, flibbertigibbet, Fortuna Major, Mimbulus Mimbletonia, oddsbodikins, pig snout, Quid Agis, scurvy cur, tapeworm, wattlebird and even abstinence have all been passwords used to enter the Gryffindor common room in Gryffindor Tower at Hogwarts Castle. If you ever try to sneak into Gryffindor don’t bother trying any of these passwords; the passwords change daily so none of these ones will work. You have to recite the correct password to the fat lady in the painting if you wish to enter. Azkaban Prisoner Sirius Black managed to gain entrance to Gryffindor by pilfering a list of passwords written down by forgetful Neville Longbottom. How devious of Sirius Black, but he did so for the greater good of the entire wizarding world.
9. Gryffindor Did Have Terrible Quidditch Seasons
The Gryffindor Quidditch team is one of the best. Over the centuries they have won numerous titles and world cups thanks to teamwork, skill, practice, gumption and sometimes even pure luck – capturing the golden snitch requires a fair bit of luck just to see it from a great distance. However, the team is not some infallible dynasty. Team Gryffindor has had some pretty terrible seasons over the centuries. Some have been extremely embarrassing, and other losing seasons were because of bad luck and cancelled tournaments. In the 1691-92 season Team Gryffindor suffered a terrible defeat, and 300 years later they had another losing season after being flattened by its main rival Slytherin. Gryffindor has had pretty decent win streaks though. The team won the Quidditch Cup in 1985-86, 1993-94, 1995-96, and 1996-97. They are no New York Yankees, but catching a golden snitch is probably a lot more challenging than hitting a home-run or scoring a hat trick.
8. Neville Longbottom Didn’t Want to be in Gryffindor
Neville Longbottom is perhaps the most heroic and famous alumnus of Gryffindor. He might even be more heroic than Harry Potter because it was actually Neville who defeated Lord Voldemort in the end. Neville almost wasn’t a member Gryffindor though. He didn’t even want to be in house Gryffindor in the first place, partly because of the pressure and the fact that he felt he didn’t fit in the group. Luckily, he ended up a Gryffindor after all, because things might have been very different if he wasn’t able to confront Lord Voldemort when it seemed as if Harry had been killed and all hope was lost.
7. Only Godric Gryffindor’s Personal Items Survived
There are no items owned by any of the founding members of Hogwarts that lasted over the centuries, save for two which were owned by Godric Gryffindor. This is because many of them were Horcruxes giving Voldemort his power; they had to be destroyed in order to defeat Voldemort. The ones that did make it were Godric’s famous hat, which we know as the sorting hat, and Godric’s sword. The sword of Gryffindor was used by Harry and Dumbledore in hunting down Horcruxes in the quest to save the world and defeat Lord Voldemort. The magnificent sword is over 1,000 years old and was handcrafted by goblins. The enchanted sword consists of pure silver on the blade, and rubies that adorn the handle.
6. Nearly Headless Nick was Decapitated for Giving a Woman a Pair of Tusks
Each house at Hogwarts has its very own ghost. The Gryffindor Ghost is Nearly Headless Nick, who was played by John Cleese in the Harry Potter Films. Do you know how the Gryffindor ghost became a ghost in the first place? In his adult life, after he graduated from Hogwarts, he became a wizard in the royal court. He attempted to use his powers and magic skills to help a woman straighten her teeth – there were no orthodontists back in the day, you know. The spell backfired horribly and instead of having her teeth fixed the woman grew a pair of tusks. This unfortunate mishap made things a whole lot worse for both her and Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, as he was know at the time. His incompetence resulted in his decapitation, but that didn’t quite go according to plan either. The execution was botched, too, and in death he is known as Nearly Headless Nick. His bad luck never seems to end.
5. Other Houses Envy Favoritism From Dumbledore
Most Harry Potter fans cheer for Gryffindor. In the books and films Gryffindor has a reputation for being the house where all the good guys come from and Slytherin is the house where all the bad guys come from. Lord Voldemort was a Slytherin and Harry Potter was a Gryffindor, but things really aren’t that simple. In fantasy, just as in real life, things aren’t always black and white. After all, Snape ended up being a hero. During his time as headmaster, Albus Dumbledore sure made it seem like he would randomly give Gryffindor extra points so they could end up ahead in the end. The blatant favoritism resulted in outrage from the other houses, especially Slytherin. However, Dumbledore was headmaster, so what exactly could they do but grin and bear it?
4. Boys Can’t Enter the Gryffindor Girls Dorm
House Gryffindor has some pretty strict rules when it comes to fraternizing with the opposite sex. The boys of House Gryffindor are not allowed into the girls side of the dorm because it is blocked by a spell that makes it impossible for them to enter. The boys side of the room has no such spell however. Any girl who is a member of house Gryffindor could easily walk into the dorm where the boys are with no trouble at all. Why the rules for boys but no rules for girls? Well, the tale goes that women are simply more trustworthy than men. What do you think of this rule at Hogwarts? Is it practical, or perhaps it is a bit sexist? You decide.
3. Gryffindor Has a Long History of Potters
Just about every member of the Potter family lineage has been sorted into House Gryffindor – all the way back to Henry Potter and up to Lilly Luna Potter. However, not every Potter was sorted into House Gryffindor. Harry Potter’s second son, Albus Severus Potter, was actually sorted into House Slytherin. Albus sort of resented having to live up to the lofty expectations of being the son of one of the most famous wizards of all time, so it made sense his rebellious attitude would result in him becoming a member of House Slytherin. After all, he was named after Professor Snape.
2. Sirius Black Was The Only Black In Gryffindor
We all thought Sirius Black, played by Gary Oldman in the Harry Potter franchise, was a bad guy at first, but it turns out he was actually a good guy. Most members of the House of Black were up to no good, and followed Lord Voldemort. They shared his view that being a pure blood wizard was superior and had no problem in practicing the dark arts. They had zero regard for muggles and squibs, and they even expelled them from their family trees in an attempt to make it seem like they were truly pure blood. However, Sirius Black was different, and he wasn’t fooled by this attempt to rewrite history and lineage. It was being sorted into Gryffindor that lead him down the path of good and later made him join the ranks of the marauders alongside James Potter. They fought together in the First Wizarding War with Petter Pettigrew and Remus Lupin.
1. Some Gryffindor Alumni Became Death Eaters
As stated before, not everything is black and white in the world of Harry Potter. Some Slytherins fought against the evil Lord Voldemort, and some Gryffindors turned evil and stood beside Lord Voldemort as Death Eaters. Followers of Lord Voldemort did so out of fear, cowardice, hate or simply a need for power. The most famous Death Eater who came from House Gryffindor was Peter Pettigrew, also known as Wormtail. The fact is that there have been dark wizards from every House in Hogwarts, so the idea that Gryffindor is perfect and saintly is a myth of epic proportions. There have been Gryffindors that were really bad dudes, but most Gryffindor alumni won’t admit to this truth.