Wednesday, May 29, 2013

House Thoughts to follow up the Real Book Club Conversation

Regarding houses..My husband brought up an interesting point - and one I can’t really get out of my head regarding the House system in Harry Potter.

  • Slytherin’s animal is the snake; Griffyndor’s is the lion; Ravenclaw has the eagle..

If Rowling had given Hufflepuff a goat, the houses could have formed a proper creature - a whole being. She didn’t. Is there a reason? It frustrates me..the Houses feel incomplete - almost a whole but not. Thoughts from anyone on this?

  • I’m all in agreement with Laura’s comment about not binding children to their 11-year-old decisions as well. I think I’d prefer the idea of switching them up for the first three years or so, in varying groups but only loosely associated with a House, so they could meet each other and develop themselves in a non-competitive way.

  • I’m also in agreement with poor Harry..Why don’t they do the sorting privately!! I would be such an embarrassed 11 year old at that point..I think I might just hide out in the bathroom and then come up after the feast saying .. Oops. I got lost, can you sort me privately. Thanks.


  1. If Rowling had given Hufflepuff a goat, the houses could have formed a proper creature - a whole being.

    Hah! That's a good point. Maybe Rowling just liked the badger better as an image -- snuffly-yet-tenacious -- maybe she didn't think of it. Can the chimera have stubby badger legs? It's -- it's not like it wouldn't have locomotive problems anyway . . .

    Unfortunately, we really never do see the Houses working together in any meaningful way. It was kind of a cool idea, but it's not surprising that it got lost amid everything else in the books.

    And none of the House Animals are herbivores! I never noticed that before. I guess they all had to be able to work together without anyone getting eaten. . .(?)

  2. If Rowling had given Hufflepuff a goat, the houses could have formed a proper creature - a whole being.

    ??? This is a mystery to me. Something in mythology? (If so, Rowling was more likely to know about it than I am...)

    Reasons she might not have chosen a goat for Hufflepuff House include, but are not limited to, 1) not knowing that goats make chimeras with eagles and lions and snakes, 2) not wanting the sheep-and-the-goats symbolism hanging over Hufflepuff's head when they already had the Loser reputation to deal with, 3) goats are not nearly as cool as badgers, 4) SPOILERFORTH got the whole goat thing all to himself, and 5) goats just don't have a a very nice reputation overall, and Niceness is the one obvious thing we Hufflepuffs do have going for us. Well, that, and according to the movies, we're apparently "really good finders".

    I've had goats, and I like them, but I don't think I'd want to be symbolized by one. Possibly I'm missing something symbolically. But if she'd have made us the Goat house, I think I'd have stuck with Gryffindor. :P

    1. "SPOILERFORTH". Love that.
      -The Neglected Husband

  3. A proper Chimera.. I suppose, might also have been part of the reason for NOT making it a goat ;)..Chimeras are exactly fun..but she's got all the other animals..and why isn't Gryffindor a griffin??? Does she explain that???

    None of the houses ARE herbivores... I wonder if that's part of the reason..and goats know..determined, anyway :)

    But you're right, Jenna, that goats don't really have a nice reputation (when I get them I want to name them after the Bad biblical women: Lilith (I know she's not technically there), Jezebel, Delilah..) Badgers at least have the whole C.S. Lewis thing going for them..I don't know Anything about Badgers..are they similar to woodchucks..because I hate woodchucks with a passion.

    Or maybe she did realize that the houses as she made them can never be cohesive..

    1. Hahahaha!! I like that idea. Be forewarned, though. My experience with farm animals is that they often live up to their names.

      Had to Google woodchucks. It doesn't look like they bear any close relation to badgers. And now I need to figure out how to disable autocorrect on this device, because it was determined to make me say Handbags instead of Hahaha and bashers instead of badgers. :P

    2. But Hufflepuffs are the OPPOSITE of bashers :( :(

    3. Yeah, aren't honey badgers the meanest animals of all?

  4. hahaha..that's a scary thought..and the only thing that kept me from naming our seven new, and interchangeably brown, chickens 'Legion' :p .. a bit too scary there!

  5. In here most loved animal is more like a baby. They need to be nurtured as if it were a baby. These animal are believed by some to be extinct, and even though that is half right, we still call them monkeys