HP Re-read: 1.7 The Sorting Hat

In this chapter, we’ve got a Sorting and a grand feast to attend!

First off, let’s listen to understand the infamous Sorting Hat song.

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you’ve a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You’ll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.

This didn’t make in the movie, which is a shame. The Sorting Hat has got to be one of my favorite minor characters, and this chapter has got to be one of the most important chapters in the entire series.

Here are my notes:

  • The sorting ceremony itself is quite funny. All these nervous 11-year-olds assuming the worst as to how they will get sorted into their Houses. I mean, Ron believed he was going to fight a dragon!
  • The Hogwarts Houses! Personally, when I first read the book as a 13-year-old, I don’t remember having a strong inclination to go Griffyndor, which I think what most would prefer given that it’s the House majority of the good guys are in. Yeah, looking back, I don’t remember choosing one House over the other. Maybe because even then I knew that I didn’t really embody any of the major attributes those Houses are requiring their members to be. Like, I wasn’t brave or daring enough to be a Gryffindor; wasn’t just or loyal enough to be in Hufflepuff; wasn’t smart enough to be a Ravenclaw; and wasn’t cunning and ambitious enough to be in Slytherin. I guess what I’m trying to say is you can’t really fit anyone in just one broad description; we are all a mixture of a variety of attributes.
  • Which brings me to my second point, let’s look at Harry, Hermione, and Neville, who are all in Gryffindors, who are brave at heart. But I think they possess different feats of bravery.
    • Harry – he rushes to dangerous situations without  a plan [RIP, Sirius] and deals with the consequences later. That is fearless bravery.
    • Hermione – you would think that she is better suited in Ravenclaw, but she is always ready to face dangerous situations too – and that is bravery. However, unlike Harry, she usually has a plan, and if she doesn’t she is capable of keeping calm and thinking rationally. Like when she was being tortured by Bellatrix but still managed to get a strand of her hair so they can make Polyjuice Potion later. Hermione’s one of my absolute favorites character bar none.
    • Neville – what Neville has is a quiet sort of bravery, which is perfectly explained by Dumbledore later on in this book. He’s easily regarded as a wimp because he is forgetful, soft-spoken, and always stumbles. But we see eventually see Neville grow into a fierce individual while still maintaining his inner gentleness.
  • I could go on and on about trying to scrutinize the key parts of the descriptions of the Houses and how the students get sorted into which House, but I’ll stop here after my next bullet) as I have a few more notes I’d like to get across.
  • Harry could have been in Slytherin! But the Sorting Hat takes his preference into account. If he had grown up in the wizarding world and in under different life circumstances, I believe he would have definitely been a Slytherin. We were also constantly reminded throughout the series that he’s got a lot of Slytherin traits in him.

“Hmm,” said a small voice in his ear. “Difficult. Very difficult. Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind either. There’s talent, oh my goodness, yes – and a nice thirst to prove yourself, now that’s interesting….So where shall I put you?”

Harry gripped the edges of the stool and thought, Not Slytherin, not Slytherin.

“Not Slytherin, eh?” said the small voice. “Are you sure? You could be great, you know, it’s all here in your head, and Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness, no doubt about that – no? Well, if you’re sure – better be GRYFFINDOR!”

  • The Hogwarts Ghosts! Who would have thought they would be a huge part of the story in the final book?! I mean, that’s some really admirable writing and planning and conceptualizing in JK Rowling’s part.
  • Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Lol, say wut, Dumbledore?! I love that we see Dumbledore as this adorable, eccentric grandfather, but he is also “the only one You-Know-Who has ever feared.” Both at the extremes.
  • We see Harry’s first scar twinge in this chapter! And the first glimpse of Severus Snape. Of course, rereading it, we know it wasn’t Snape who caused the scar tweak! I saw a thing posted all over the internet how it was the very first time Snape saw Harry after all these years, so it must have reminded him so much of Lily. My goddamn feeels! 😦
  • All. Of. The. Food. All. Of. It. The movie did it justice when they showed just how grand a feast they were having in the sorting ceremony. Heck, even on normal, regular days, there’s an assortment of delicious spreads of food just there for the Hogwarts students to enjoy. I personally can’t wait to visit the Harry Potter theme park to try out some of the food and drinks mentioned in the book IRL.
  • We end this chapter with a dream Harry is having about him trying on Quirrel’s turban. Rereading this bit, Harry’s supposedly amusing dream proved to be prophetic on several levels.

2 thoughts on “HP Re-read: 1.7 The Sorting Hat

    1. It really is! I thought the song was really interesting and gave a lot of insight into Hogwarts’ history.

      And awesome birthday party idea! Wish I did that for my sweet 16!

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