Pottermore Sorting: Sorting Hat Analysis and Meta


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What I don’t understand is how did Hufflepuff never manage to win a quidditch cup or generally do good? Like one of their house specifications is that they are particularly good finders so yeah they should be the ones with records like "found the snitch in under thirty seconds sweet Merlin is that even possible" cuz damn that snitch is worth 150 points and you can bet ur cauldron cakes that realistically Hufflepuff seekers would totally kick ass.

One of their House specifications in A Very Potter Musical is that they’re particularly good finders…it’s not something from the actual books/movies/canon anywhere, it’s something that Starkid made up to make fun of the fact that most people didn’t know what Hufflepuff House was canonically for anyway.

(via kreluclor-deactivated20140713)

Filed under seriously it's the starkid answer to 'what the hell is a hufflepuff?' which is followed by awkward silence and then cedric ...why is it that people always remember this and take finders as canon but nobody's all 'yeah that swimming pool that's totally canon' or 'hey dumbledore's boss zefron poster that's canon' or idk quirrellmort seriously 'pressing wildflowers' made it into pottermore canon on quirrell the 'if i ruled the world i'd plant flowers' is actually the part of avpm that's closest to canon q

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Anonymous asked: I'm so sorry about the wand request I just sent. I was stupid and didn't read your description first and I'm sorry.

That’s okay! Like my last post said, wanddecipher is back up and running so you’ll probably want to check them out.

Filed under Anonymous

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genderbent founders: hugo hufflepuff

Hugo Hufflepuff, one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was a wizard who was well tempered, and saw the importance in every young witch or wizard—skilled, or unskilled. While the other three founders sought students with remarkable skills and traits, Hugo Hufflepuff sought thought loyal and hard-working.

Filed under hufflepuff rule 63 helga hufflepuff q

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Anonymous asked: I'm wondering what you think about the possibility of family members ending up in the same house? Canonically most do but I'm not sure how it would apply to real life. I'm a Gryffindor, my sister and dad are Hufflepuffs and mum's a Ravenclaw according to Pottermore. If I did a shallow sorting of my relatives I think most would be Hufflepuffs, with some Gryffindors and Ravenclaws thrown in (not many Slytherins as far as I can tell). Is that much diversity even possible? Thoughts?


That much diversity is definitely possible - my mom and dad are both Pottermore-Sorted Gryffs (…although I would’ve put my mom in Hufflepuff and had my dad somewhere along the Slyth/Gryff spectrum…probably Gryff, tbh, but definitely a Hatstall) and I’m a Ravenclaw; my cousins are Slyth and a Gryff/Puff Hatstall who chose Gryff…I would definitely think that families IRL tend to show more diversity.

This is twofold: I think that JKR assumes families will instill in their children the same values that they themselves hold, resulting in Gryffs producing Gryff children unless those children rebel (like Sirius rebelling against his Slytherin family), and also that there’s going to be a certain amount of House pride resulting in the children of Gryffs wanting to be Gryffs themselves (Ron and probably mostly all of the Weasley children; Draco’s disgusted “I think I’d leave” and determination for Slytherin.) There would also be pressure in certain families to get a specific House. 

I think that there’s some merit to there being more continuity in the Wizarding World - I do think that there would be the alumni issue - but I also think that the whole “usually runs in families” thing would not be quite as strong as it is in the books, especially because I’m assuming inter-House marriages are much more common than portrayed in the books. (Ted/Andromeda is presumably one such marriage; Neville/Hannah and Remus/Tonks are the other two, although technically Neville/Hannah isn’t in the books and Tonks’s House is never named in-series. Fleur went to a non-Hogwarts school so I’m not counting Bill/Fleur. If it does run in families, there’s the possibility of Luna/Lorcan being a Claw/Puff marriage, but that’s way too speculative and also outside of the books. In-text, we have Molly/Arthur, James/Lily, Narcissa/Lucius, basically any of the Black or pureblood marriages, Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, George/Angelina, presumably Draco/Astoria…but I would tend to think that people would marry outside their House more often than they marry within, just because of averages. You could argue that people are more likely to marry people with similar values, increasing the frequency of same-House marriages, or that people who meet in school are more likely to marry people of the same House, but in general I’d think that most people meet the person they’re going to marry post-Hogwarts and that House wouldn’t come up. )  

Anyway, I think that in-world marriages between different Houses are more common than what we saw in canon, and that therefore you’d probably have kids born of Gryffinclaw or Gryffinpuff or various marriages where it can’t entirely run in families, or where having parents from 2 different Houses makes you feel better about entering a third. 

So…yeah, I do think that the whole “runs in families” thing is a bit overrated, but I do think that there would be families where alumni pride was strong or where kids felt pressured - particularly in Wizarding families where both parents were of the same House and really loved their time at Hogwarts. Growing up hearing stories of Ravenclaw Tower, the enchanted eagle knocker, the fun times spent with classmates, secret House customs…all of that would incline a kid to want to be Ravenclaw because of all the good things about it. (Or you might have a Slyth family whose child has only heard terrible things about the Gryff rivals and wouldn’t want the House, etc.) So the Wizarding World is more likely than the real world to produce less-diversified Sortings, but only in some cases.

(Basically, IRL we’re all Muggle-borns and generally don’t have parents telling us how awesome one House is; we also don’t have parental or sibling pressure to get a House, or too many preconceived notions/rivalries/etc. I suppose you could say that larger fandom’s predilection to Gryffindor is like growing up with Harry as a parent, telling us how awesome Gryffindor is, and that the people who automatically think Gryff is the best because of it reflect the kids in the Wizarding World who would go in wanting Gryff because of that. And then you have the ones who rebel and choose Slytherin like Sirius, or the people who read more about the other Houses and decide those would be better for them…that’s really the closest analogy we have to being non-Muggle-borns being Sorted in the WW.) 

Filed under obligatory meta crosspost metaish sorting hat hogwarts

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Anonymous asked: Oh pretty please do a meta on the definitions of Dark Magic within the two Harrys' different magic systems. I would so be here for that!

Consider this something that I will DEFINITELY do, because I think that the Dresden Files and Harry Potter tackle Dark Magic in very different but very fascinating ways (and certain other things…the lifespan and population issues are better-handled in TDF, because Jim Butcher Can Do Math a little bit better than JKR. OTOH, JKR wins at creating a world I’d like to be a part of (at least in theory/in fanon!WW), at constructing female characters who aren’t romantically interested in her Harry and/or femme fatale tropes, and at various other things…and, yeah, I know Butcher hates comparisons between TDF and the series with “that other wizard Harry,” but YOU ARE DEFINITELY GOING TO GET THEM because the series are fundamentally similar - both are modern-day fantasy-genre series in which each book is centered around a single mystery while building towards a larger myth-based arc, with large casts, extensive worldbuilding, and reliance on older magic/legends recast into a new light (they both have werewolves, trolls, vampires, etc.)

They also have protagonists who are orphaned under circumstances that are not what they initially seem (“car crash,” “aneurysm/childbirth”) and are going to turn out to be the Chosen One to save the world (“Chosen One”/”starborn”) with magical mothers who are super-important in the great scheme of things and who gave them magical protection by their deaths. Who are both named Harry. 

Yes, I think a comparison is fair, especially because they do ultimately end up constructing their magic in very different ways. 

I’m DEFINITELY going to do a meta about Dark Magic (and just magic in general, maybe) in Harry Potter vs. Harry Dresden. (People who are HP fans who haven’t read the Dresden Files, bear with me or blacklist “The Dresden Files,” because the series both have very in-depth worldbuilding and very different mechanics for magic and specifically Dark Magic.) 

Filed under metaish idk how to tag but i will DEFINITELY write this Anonymous

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bronzedragon asked: So, hooray new wand/patronus blog! I'm a Ravenclaw. Let's do two wands - Pottermore version (13'', elder and dragon, hard) and a stamping comm version (walnut and phoenix, can go with same length and flex.) Patronus as well, please?


Hello! First let’s start with your first wood, Elder:

The rarest wand wood of all, and reputed to be deeply unlucky, the elder wand is trickier to master than any other. It contains powerful magic, but scorns to remain with any owner who is not the superior of his or her company; it takes a remarkable wizard to keep the elder wand for any length of time. The old superstition, ‘wand of elder, never prosper,’ has its basis in this fear of the wand, but in fact, the superstition is baseless, and those foolish wandmakers who refuse to work with elder do so more because they doubt they will be able to sell their products than from fear of working with this wood. The truth is that only a highly unusual person will find their perfect match in elder, and on the rare occasion when such a pairing occurs, I take it as certain that the witch or wizard in question is marked out for a special destiny. An additional fact that I have unearthed during my long years of study is that the owners of elder wands almost always feel a powerful affinity with those chosen by rowan.

After reading this passage, I do believe that this is a wood that goes quite well with Ravenclaw. For starters, this wand bonds to those who are quite unique and original, which happens to be one of the traits of Ravenclaw house, which makes me believe that you are creative and often do not care of others’ opinions of yourself. Also, this wand (with its core, which I will get to later), tends to make mistakes and be overall unlucky, so it is good that it is in the hands of a Ravenclaw to be wise enough to control it. Overall, may I just say that you must be one powerful witch that absolutely nobody should dare to cross or duel, and I believe you to possibly be lucky, as it can cancel out that particular trait of the wand. Plus, I feel like other houses would respect you, especially Gryffindors and maybe Slytherins.

Now, let’s talk about your core, dragon heartstring:

As a rule, dragon heartstrings produce wands with the most power, and which are capable of the most flamboyant spells. Dragon wands tend to learn more quickly than other types. While they can change allegiance if won from their original master, they always bond strongly with the current owner. The dragon wand tends to be easiest to turn to the Dark Arts, though it will not incline that way of its own accord. It is also the most prone of the three cores to accidents, being somewhat temperamental.

The most powerful core with one of the most powerful wands. You must be careful though, as Elder is unlucky, and Dragon core tends to cause accidents. But, again, paired with a Ravenclaw, I hope that you will be able to prevent as many mistakes as possible with this wand, as opposed to some zany Gryffindor who is not too careful (I am in no way hating on Gryffindors; I am one {Pottermore sorted}). Overall, this combo tells me that you are powerful, and nobody should get in your way when you have your mind set on something.

Now, let’s talk about your wand length, 13”:

This is quite a tall wand, but not the tallest available, which makes me believe that although you have a large personality, as bigger wands are given to those with one, you can “turn it off” per say, or be calm and collected when needed to be.

Now, let’s talk about your flexibility, hard:

This to me means one of two things: either you do not adapt to change well, or you are stubborn, not swaying from your beliefs easily.

Before we get to your patronus, let’s talk about your other wand. I will start with the wood, Walnut:

Highly intelligent witches and wizards ought to be offered a walnut wand for trial first, because in nine cases out of ten, the two will find in each other their ideal mate. Walnut wands are often found in the hands of magical innovators and inventors; this is a handsome wood possessed of unusual versatility and adaptability. A note of caution, however: while some woods are difficult to dominate, and may resist the performance of spells that are foreign to their natures, the walnut wand will, once subjugated, perform any task its owner desires, provided that the user is of sufficient brilliance. This makes for a truly lethal weapon in the hands of a witch or wizard of no conscience, for the wand and the wizard may feed from each other in a particularly unhealthy manner.

Again, this is a great wand for Ravenclaws, bonding to the highly intelligent and innovative. The fact that this wood is submissive can possibly reflect that the owner can be swayed easily by their beliefs, or is possibly a “pushover”, although, with a wood like Elder, that may not be so true. Also, this wood tells me that you are versatile, perhaps performing well in all different types of magic and subjects. Lastly, this wood tells me that you do have a strong moral compass - erm - at least I hope you do, because the world does not need another Bellatrix Lestrange on its hands anytime soon, in my opinion.

Now let’s talk about your core, Phoenix:

This is the rarest core type. Phoenix feathers are capable of the greatest range of magic, though they may take longer than either unicorn or dragon cores to reveal this. They show the most initiative, sometimes acting of their own accord, a quality that many witches and wizards dislike. Phoenix feather wands are always the pickiest when it comes to potential owners, for the creature from which they are taken is one of the most independent and detached in the world. These wands are the hardest to tame and to personalize, and their allegiance is usually hard won.

This basically tells me that no matter which form of magic you choose to participate with, you will be powerful in whichever your choice. Also, it is an interesting mix, as Walnut wood does whatever its owner wishes, whereas Phoenix tends to act on its own accord.

Since we have already talked about your flexibility and length, I will just discuss on how it relates to Walnut:

Your flexibility, hard, means whichever branch of magic you wish to do, either good or bad, you will not be swayed from fulfilling your wish.

Now, let’s talk about your patronus.

For your patronus, I have selected an Eagle. In my humble opinion, this is a great match for a badass Ravenclaw like yourself. Eagles tends to symbolize things like wisdom, dominance, determination, power, which are traits that I can pick out from both your Elder and Walnut wands. If you are unhappy with this patronus, I believe a maned wolf would also fit quite well, symbolizing being innovative, unique, and individualistic, again, having traits from both woods. Either way, you cannot go wrong with either choice.

Since I have gotten some asks about this, now would probably be a good time to point out: 

  • Pottermoreanalyses does wand analysis and Patronus analysis. 
  • Pottermoreanalyses is not this blog. This blog is pottermoreanalysis, which does not do wand or Patronus analysis.
  • Pottermoreanalyses is also not related to this blog - it’s not mine, I don’t run it, etc. etc. 
  • So if you want wand/patronus analysis, go there, not here! 
  • On a side note, for wand/patronus analysis, Wanddecipher is back! He’ll be doing one wand analysis per day and resuming shortly, so that gives you more options for getting a wand analysis done! (Also, pottermore-wands appears to be semi-defunct - they were back for a bit in July and are gone again, so AFAIK pottermoreanalyses and wanddecipher are the two currently-functional wand analysis blogs I know of.) 
  • so please send the wand and patronus analysis requests to one of those blogs because I will just be deleting the wand analysis requests from my inbox from now on.
  • I also have a submission in to wanddecipher for the wand analysis, so that when my wand gets analyzed I’ll reblog and you can compare the blogs.

Filed under wand promo patronus

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blairwaldorffs asked: hey, I've got a question maybe you can answer - if in House dormitories year 1 boys share a room etc and there are 5 boys in a room, does it mean there are only 10 people in a year? (5 boys and 5 girls) and if yes, then how it is that exactly 10 people get sorted into each House? are there no years when majority went to 2 Houses? Does the sorting hat think 'oh man, I've already sorted 5 boys into Gryffindor, can't put more there'? I find this really odd

The math does indeed indicate that there are only roughly 10-12 people in a year (and therefore about 280 students at Hogwarts, which conflicts with both JKR’s varying estimates placing the castle population at two to three times that number, the overall population of the Wizarding World in Britain, and the 100,000 wizards at the World Cup with tickets being hard to come by…but does match the internal evidence at Hogwarts we have, including things like having one professor per subject, the class size, and things like that. Given that JKR has confirmed Hogwarts is the only wizarding school in Britain and that there aren’t thousands of home-schooled wizards, this poses larger problems in terms of population and math, but JKR Does Not Do Math is a trope that you basically just have to accept, ignoring the places where this doesn’t work out.) 

Basically, all book-related evidence indicates that there are only 10 people per year - but your Sorting dilemma is something that would have to be faced no matter what the class size, the larger question of “does the Sorting Hat try to meet a quota?” 

I think the answer to that is no - the Weasleys aren’t a Gryffindor family just because the Hat is trying to meet its Gryff quota by the time it hits the letter W. Given that this is a world where choice is an overwhelmingly important theme, I think it’s safe to say that the Yaxleys, Zabinis, and Zellers of the world are not being screwed over by an arbitrary quota, and that the Hat doesn’t feel pressure to make House numbers exactly equal.

I do think that we’re supposed to presuppose that the traits are about equal - that there are roughly equal numbers of people who prize bravery, intelligence, ambition, and hard work in this world. Also, given that Sorting “usually runs in families” in the WW - far more often than it seems to IRL, in terms of people who’ve Sorted their families - you’d have a roughly equal basis for the Houses on that alone, once you’d established an equal pattern (assuming that each House is equally successful and willing to reproduce - assume an equal birth rate for homey Hufflepuffs and daredevil Gryffindors.)

In any case, I think we’re supposed to assume that humanity is fundamentally quartered (any system that Sorts people - think the faction system in Divergent, too - also seems to assume that humanity will end up dividing itself into roughly equal groups.) This does rely on the supposition that each trait is equally valuable, or that roughly equal numbers of people will find one trait more valuable than the others, but again that’s an assumption we’re inherently supposed to make - and it does look like fandom bears that out, as far as I can tell, although of course that’s hard to measure (Tumblr fandom has a shortage of Gryffindors, but the more casual fandom has a very large percentage of Gryffs; Ravenclaw had a numbers edge in Beta that vanished after the public opening; Hufflepuff account abandonment was a huge problem, but that’s more of an issue with how Hufflepuff was portrayed versus a reflection of how many people have Hufflepuff values.) 

An interesting alternative assumption would be that Hufflepuff would end up with the largest numbers and Slytherin with the fewest (especially if you go with a blood-purity-heavy-Slyth vs. fanon-revision Slyth, so that Muggle-borns are excluded), but I don’t think that’s borne out by the text - everything we see, notably the Great House tables and the fact that all four Houses have about equal chances at the House Cup - indicate that the numbers of students are roughly equal. 

That said, I don’t think there are exactly 10 students in each House, or exactly 5 boys and 5 girls (in fact, although I think JKR is likely to retcon it on Pottermore, I tend to personally believe that there are only 8 Gryffindors in Harry’s year - Hermione, Lavender, and Parvati as the only girls, with the boggart’s changing form in PoA due to it being confused and not due to the presence of two female students who Harry never notices, mentions, or hears anything about in the course of seven years.) I think that the Hat does an honest Sorting of each and every student, and that the law of averages/reversion to the mean guarantees that it averages out over the course of seven years - so that there may be 13 Gryffs and 8 Slyths one year, or 9 Ravenclaw girls and 3 ‘Claw boys one year and then 5 boys and 2 girls the next - but that eventually, this results in House sizes that are roughly equal, even if individual classes may have a dearth of Gryffs or an in-House gender imbalance. (Slytherin in Harry’s year probably has 9 students: Draco Malfoy, Theodore Nott, Blaise Zabini, Vincent Crabbe, Gregory Goyle, Tracey Davis, Millicent Bulstrode, Pansy Parkinson, and Daphne Greengrass…I think I’m not missing anybody there.) 

I don’t think you’d typically see years where EVERYBODY goes to Gryff or Slyth and nobody goes to Puff or Claw, or years where you have an all-female Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff class - again, the law of averages, combining with in-world factors (kids who come in wanting to be in a certain House, familial connections, the odds of having all 40 kids in a year valuing bravery more than anything versus any other virtue) - would probably lead to a natural distribution that’s at least semi-equal. Even post-war, where Slytherin’s reputation might have taken a hit because of Voldemort and the Death Eaters/the lack of Slyths in the DA, you’d still see kids who wanted to be there because of their families, or people who responded to a Slyth backlash with more emphatic Slytherin pride. 

Again, I think you’d see some years with skewed ratios, imbalances, etc., (and Harry’s year probably has more Slyths than Gryffs, and so is representative of that trend), but that over 7 years this would generally work itself out so that numbers are roughly equal. 

Also, there obviously aren’t going to be exactly 40 students entering Hogwarts every year anyway - some years will naturally have larger classes than others, and I’ve seen it suggested that Harry’s class may be one of the smallest, since they were born at the height of a war when birthrates would naturally be lower, since people would be scared about bringing children into a world that might soon be conquered by Voldemort. (My own personal headcanon has it that the Next Generation has larger class sizes - about 15-16 students per House per year, possibly even slightly more - because of a postwar baby boom, similar to what happened post-WWII IRL.) 

Overall, this might end up contributing slightly to House Cup imbalances - older students seem to earn more House points - but in terms of House Cups and what we see in the books, I’d say that’s the least of Hogwarts’s worries in terms of fairness. (And, in terms of the Sorting Hat - thematically, it’s going to be much more concerned with Sorting based on traits, and it would just be wrong if neither your choices nor your abilities mattered as much as the fact that the last five people to be Sorted ahead of you were all Slytherins and the Hat doesn’t have any Hufflepuffs yet.) The Hat is going to Sort based on traits and desires and let the numbers sort themselves out - because they should do so over the long run even if they don’t within any given year, and because we’re apparently supposed to see these traits as naturally inherent/important to one-fourth of the population. 

Filed under meta sorting hat hogwarts there are a lot of assumptions you have to make in terms of sorting and qualities but if you look at the basic ideas behind general sorting systems and the evidence we have in the books and the themes behind Sorting i think it's safe to say that the Hat is not going 'ah shit not enough Claws this year so you're going in' blairwaldorffs