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My Slytherclaw Identity Crisis

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slytherclaw

This week Pottermore is celebrating House Pride, a topic that at one point caused me to practically hyperventilate. Growing up as part of the Harry Potter generation meant that sorting ourselves was serious business. All my friends immediately knew to which houses they would belong and happily began collecting the corresponding house gear.

Except me.

You see, I always fancied myself being in Slytherin. Sure, it was the house with the bad reputation, but it’s also a house full of movers and shakers. Even though the books largely focused on the negative sides of ambition and determination, surely there were good Slytherins. My reasoning proved true later: Severus Snape, Regulus Black, and Horace Slughorn weren’t perfect, but they all did the right thing in the end. Then there’s Andromeda Tonks, born into the most pureblood-crazed family of all, who still followed her heart and married a muggleborn. I would be one of those good Slytherins that were rarely seen in the books.

However, all my friends used to insist that I was a Ravenclaw. It’s true–I like school, and I like learning. I enjoy creative pursuits and was a member of the Academic Decathlon team at my high school. I do identify with several of the Ravenclaw traits and could see myself easily fitting in that house as well. I used to be jokingly called Hermione by my friends. But if Hermione could be sorted Gryffindor, then why couldn’t I be bookish and be a Slytherin?

Sorting hat quizzes did little to alleviate my distress. I would get Slytherin and Ravenclaw almost equally. In fact, much to my dismay, I got Ravenclaw a bit more often. Surely this could not be right when I so strongly identified with Slytherin. I was resolved that I was a Slytherin and would always be a Slytherin. I had the hat and tie, after all! I remained steadfast in my Slytherin loyalty; once a snake, always a snake.

Then Pottermore happened. At first, I was ecstatic. Finally! A sorting hat that would reveal the truth! This time it would be right; I would know exactly where I belonged, and my house identity crisis would be over.

Oh, how mistaken I was. You see, when I finally got my beta account and got to take the J.K. Rowling-approved sorting hat quiz, something happened…. I was sorted into Ravenclaw.Β At this point, I resented the very institution of sorting. Why on earth would a large group of people with similar personalities living together in one dormitory be a good idea? Quite frankly, it sounded like a rubbish one to me. Clearly the whole process was utter nonsense if I, clearly a Slytherin, kept getting put into Ravenclaw.

After a while, I realized that maybe I was a Ravenclaw, even if I felt like a Slytherin. I remedied this division by bringing the two together. A Slytherclaw! Yes, I would be a Slytherclaw and all would be right with the world. I declared my Slytherclaw identity loud and proud…

… Only to be met with snide comments from the online Potter fandom. I was told that I couldn’t be a Slytherclaw and be welcome amongst other Slytherins. While it was a small minority that hassled me, it was still frustrating. Slytherins are supposed to stick together, even if one of their housemates is part Claw! Again, I felt defeated.

Luckily, I had my friends to fall back on. Not only did I have other Slytherclaws, I had self-identified Hufflepuffs who were sorted into Gryffindor, Gryffindors who were sorted into Ravenclaw, and even a few hatstall friends. Together we got through the shock that was the Pottermore sorting process and go on to embrace our dual identities, knowing that they represented us as we are.

For those who are not big into the Harry Potter fandom, it may seem silly to let something like house sorting cause a full-on identity crisis. For those of you who are Potterheads, you know how important it can seem. We grew up with Harry Potter. We waited for our Hogwarts letters together and wondered where we would be sorted and what it would be like. We can quote the book by heart, we can sing a long to A Very Potter Musical.Β Harry Potter brought us together and is forever a part of our identities.

So maybe what house we’re in doesn’t matter that much after all.

P.S. Critique Geek is happy to report that she retook the Pottermore sorting hat quiz after it was recently rebalanced. She was a hatstall between Slytherin and Ravenclaw.Β 

Did you ever have a house identity crisis? Was your Pottermore sorting a surprise? Let us know in the comments!

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Author: Critique Geek

Writer and dreamer with a BA in Sarcasm. All-around nerd and lover of geeky things.

19 thoughts on “My Slytherclaw Identity Crisis

  1. I feel I have a similar issue! I always wanted to be Slytherin but quizzes and such would sort me into Hufflepuff (yeah…) but when Pottermore came about, I was sorted into Slytherin! I was so excited =)

  2. I have a friend who is adamant she should be a Slytherin and keeps ending up in Gryffindor much to her disgust. I’m all Ravenclaw though.

  3. Interesting. I always had a different view of the Houses, colored by the fact that Harry ‘chose’ Gryffindor over Slytherin. I identify each house with a distinguishing characteristic. Gryffindor is courage/loyalty; Slytherin is ambition/drive; Ravenclaw is intelligence; Hufflepuff… takes everyone else. πŸ˜› (I know, I rank on Hufflepuff a little, sorry about that! It doesn’t mean they aren’t good-hearted!)

    The way I see it, Slytherin is the ‘highest’ house. And I don’t mean that it’s better than the other houses. It’s just, if you have the qualities of a Slytherin, you’re in Slytherin. Period. Smart, dumb, courageous, cowardly, middle of the road or way out there… is all irrelevant. Being placed in Slytherin is all about choice, about focus and willpower – because those define people of ambition. These qualities sometimes call for unscrupulous sacrifices… which is where Slytherin can get its reputation.

    The second house down is Gryffindor. I rate Gryffindor as the second, not equal to Slytherin, because you can ‘qualify’ for Gryffindor based on moral character but you ‘choose’ Slytherin based on rational choice. So a Gryffindor has chosen not to climb the path of daggers (so to speak), but are still powerfully and intrinsically defined by a set of strong internal values which they hold above all else, even (often) their own safety. It is no surprise that many of our ‘natural’ heroes come from this house; the house is practically built for them!

    Those without the driving, determined ambition and who are not foremost defined by their loyalty are ‘left’, and they fall into Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. Ravenclaw are the scholars, those who love knowledge for its own sake (not for its ‘uses’ to ‘them’ or the success – that’d be Slytherin), and Hufflepuff are… everyone else.

    So if you are smart enough to be a Ravenclaw – but have an incredible amount of courage/loyalty that defines you above and beyond your intelligence (looking at you, Hermione) then you’re in Gryffindor. If you’re smart enough to be a Ravenclaw – but that knowledge is not for knowledges’ sake, but rather to be used to some end of self-determination, power, success, strength, certainty, and ambition… congratulations, you’re in Slytherin.

    Seems to me you and I both know where you belong. πŸ™‚
    … that being said, I’m a Ravenclaw myself.

    • I was almost insulted by this hierarchy… until I realized that you are absolutely right. I’m a Ravenclaw because I value knowledge for knowledge’s sake, not because of what it could do for me. Practicality is entirely wasted on me. I’m intelligent, but I don’t particularly care where my intelligence will take me, and it is that drive that separates Ravenclaw from Slytherin.

      That being said, I don’t agree with your assessment of Hufflepuff. It’s severely, and unfairly, underrated. In my humble opinion, Hufflepuff is the most balanced of houses. They can be brave when they want to be, but unlike Gryffindors, they’re not rash when leaping into dangerous situations. They can be ambitious when they want to be, but unlike Slytherins, they are unwilling to do anything to achieve their ends (which, as you stated, is partially responsible for their less-than-favorable reputation). And they can be intelligent, but unlike Ravenclaw they don’t value knowledge just because it’s fun to know stuff. Hufflepuff is the house of unconditional support, loyalty, and hard work. All of which are incredibly admirable qualities.

      I’m undeniably a Ravenclaw. If I was more ambitious I’d be a Slytherin.

      But sometimes I wish that I could be a Hufflepuff.

      • You’re right. I’m not giving Hufflepuff the respect it deserves (and it does deserve it). Because there’s a balance to having those strong identifying characteristics – it’s not all advantage. Gryffindors can be *too* brave/loyal to the point of being stubborn or reckless (think Harry going to save Sirius) – Slytherins can be too driven and ambitious to, well, obvious consequences – Ravenclaws can be so wrapped up in knowing for its own sake that they don’t consider the consequences of that exploration (which really speaks to me, as a scientist).

        Hufflepuffs, though, don’t suffer from these unbalancing flaws. They will be brave when they need to be… but won’t be unthinking or foolish about it. They’ll seize the day like any Slytherin… but won’t let that undermine or destroy the rest of their lives. And they can be as smart as any Ravenclaw… without being too caught up in the intelligence game. That’s what makes Hufflepuffs so able to be balanced, decent, goodhearted people. More than any other House they know what it means to need help, to give help, to support and be strong and buckle down and see it through. And they deserve respect for that.

        • I think everyone gets so focused on Ravenclaw being about learning only for learning’s sake that they leave out the more important piece of the house. Ravenclaw also needs to be defined by a voracious need to create and verify. It’s not about acquisition, it’s about an expansion of what already exists and a discovery of new parameters. They’re not without drive like so many people think (including most Ravenclaws), but the drive isn’t personal, it isn’t about getting themselves somewhere it’s about getting the information or the art somewhere so that more information can be learned or more and better art can be created.

          Also, Hufflepuffs have an enormous unbalancing flaw just like everyone else. They can become so concerned with the happiness and wellness of others that they forget their own and end up exhausted or severely depressed.

  4. okay. just went and took three different quizzes and was put into three different houses. The first was Ravenclaw. Nope. So, on to the second one – Hufflepuff – I think not! So, onto the third – Gryffindor! That’s the result I’ll go with. Interestingly, I was within mere points of each other on each quiz. I mean, there were only 2% points between most of the houses! πŸ™‚ So, I see your problem! It’s not easy to be sorted!

  5. I’m lucky. I’ve always identified as a ravenclaw and when pottermore came around I got sorted in with the claws. I sometimes refer to myself as a ravenpuff though. I’m a really really good finder ;D

  6. Reblogged this on EpicFandoms and commented:
    Yep. So true! ^^

  7. I’ve always identified as Raveclaw, I’m studious, love reading, am creative, love learning (although I hate actual school), and my career choice was to be a librarian. Clearly, I am a Ravenclaw. But I’m also determined like a Slytherin and a bit ambitious too. My friends joke that I’m a Ravenclaw with Slytherin tendancies. And that’s OK by me! Every test I take, including Pottermore’s sorts me into Ravenclaw, but I know I’ve got a bit of Slytherin in me somewhere to get as far as I’ve gotten in life with all the crap I’ve had to deal with.

  8. I mean, the thing that needs to be factored in is, the hat takes into account where you WANT to go as much as where you NEED to go. I’m more or less a Slytherclaw myself, but I consider myself to be a Slytherin. Slytherin is the house I would have ended up in, because I would have told the Sorting Hat to put me there. You choose the house as much as it chooses you!

  9. I’d say I identify with Ravenclaw 75% of the time, and Slytherin the other 25%. I read somewhere (can’t remember now) that the house you’re sorted in is dependent on the qualities you value the most. So since I value learning for learning’s sake and not learning for getting ahead, I’ve always fallen more in the Ravenclaw house. Pottermore sorted me in Ravenclaw both times I took the test, so I guess that’s where I’m sticking πŸ™‚

  10. I have a similar problem. I always wanted to be a Gryffindor. But I’m not a Gryffindor by qualities – I don’t think. I took quizzes, I really listened to the sorting hat, and I realized I would be a Hufflepuff. I accepted this. After all, most healers from from Hufflepuff and I am now a nurse and let’s face it, I can find anything. But when I got pottermore they sorted me into Gryffindor. After all this time of learning to accept I am a Hufflepuff, they sorted me into Gryffindor! I am a proud Hufflepuff – I have a shirt and a scarf and I wear them with pride. I really don’t think of myself as a Gryffindor except on Pottermore and even then – I still root for the Hufflepuffs to win – shhh don’t tell my house.

  11. So, I essentially experienced the exact opposite from the author. From the beginning I identified as a ravenclaw, studious, creative, even a bit head in the clouds. Slytherin never occurred to me given the reputation it had in the books/at the time of Harry Potter. Knowing that I would have been able to choose, if I were HPs classmate I would have 100% chose the claws, not wanting to be roped in with the “wrong crowd.” At the time.
    Most every quiz I took was ravenclaw, though I knew that Pottermore would provide the ultimate truth.
    Then came time for the beta test version of sorting. Low and behold, I got Slytherin! I must say I was absolutely furious, thinking the test was all wrong and made absolutely no sense. I even already had my lovely ravenclaw scarf! I left pottermore alone for a few years after that.
    Then, this summer, I wound up bonding with a friend who experienced the same sorting, and she helped set me straight a bit and see some of the reasons why I was sorted this way.
    I had never cared to know what the characteristics of slytherins were, other than the stereotypical evil, slimy, pure blood. However, after reading a bit about the characteristics of extreme determination, ambition, superior leadership skills and loyalty to other snakes, I could start to identify.
    Though I believe I was naturally born a whimsical, curious type of ravenclaw, my life experiences this far and my dreams for the future have strengthened the syltherin side of myself.
    These days, I like to think that if I were HPs classmate, I would have been a claw, but any other day, without the long shadow of he who must not be named, I would have chosen, proudly, to be a slytherin. I love learning, but I want to do something with myself that is successful, gains me influence, and allows me to lead. I am also fiercely loyal to my friends, as slytherins stick together.
    So, in conclusion, I am one proud slytherclaw!

    *ps: as some other posters have said, if I could pick any house that is my actual favorite or that I would most like the qualities of, it would definitely be Hufflepuff. They’re super chill, friendly,
    help others and live by the kitchens. I bet that smells amazing πŸ™‚

  12. Well, I used to do all the online quizes too – only I tried to pick the ones where the answers AREN’T completely aligned to one House (for example, stuff like what do you like doing in your free time ? a) plotting, b) reading c) helping out others and d) looking for adventure) I got Gryffindor and Ravenclaw AND Slytherin pretty much equally, and so I thought to myself, I’ll wait ’till Pottermore does it!

    I got sorted into Ravenclaw. I was pretty okay with it. Lots of my friends hated their House (I had a self-identified Slytherin sorted into Hufflepuff, Cecilia, so I think that kinda trumps your crisis :P).
    Then I thought. Well, hang on? Is it rigged to get an approximately equal number of members in each House? So I took the quiz again. And got Gryffindor. So I took it again, and got Slytherin. So I took it for a final, fourth time, and got Hufflepuff.

    At no point did I get a hatstall. At no point did I repeat Houses, although each time I answered the questions as honestly as possible….

    I ended up just keeping my first account (which was my Beta account) and whenever someone asks, I babble this story in the hopes that someone experienced the same thing and they’ll identify with me πŸ˜€

  13. I usually get Gryffindor and Hufflepuff when I take the quizzes with the occasional Ravenclaw thrown in there. While I want to be Gryffindor I know in my heart I’m Hufflepuff. I am a Hufflepuff and I’m proud! So everyone stop being mean to us πŸ˜›

  14. I feel really lucky NOT to have the job of the sorting hat. Just last week, I was sorting all of my summer clothes into piles before packing them away for the winter; Too big, too small, too much cleavage, not enough cleavage, etc. But sometimes you can’t just pick one pile, RIGHT? You know who else was indecisive? Goldilocks. And look what happened to her…

  15. Delayed reaction: WOOO SLYTHERCLAWS! With all those online quizzes, I would ALWAYS get Ravenclaw, and I totally see myself as a Ravenclaw. There has never been any question in my mind about that, even after the Pottermore results. For my formative years – right up until I started at uni, in fact – my entire sense of self-worth was based on my intelligence and academic prowess. I still try to know as much about everything just for the sake of knowing it, and exploring the possibilities. I just… love learning, and knowledge, and intelligence/intellectual discussion. My other qualities didn’t start to show themselves until uni.

    I’d have to say that I could also see myself in Slytherin, since I’m a very ambitious individual. However, as a friend of mine once said, I’m not REALLY a Slytherin because I have too many limits on what I’m willing to do to achieve my ambitions, ie. not willing to step over people I care about to get there. Hell, I can even see myself as a Hufflepuff, because I’m loyal and hard-working and have that obnoxious tendency to put the happiness of others before myself.

    So… imagine my surprise when Pottermore sorted me into Gryffindor! I *still* don’t see it, no matter how often I try to wrap my mind around it. I’m not a Gryffindor. I’m not a brave/courageous/etc. person. Yes, okay, I’ll stand up for myself and the people I care about – but that’s also a Hufflepuff trait, isn’t it? Loyalty? And I’ll admit that moving across the country to work unpaid for six months just to get the experience was pretty damn brave and insane. But I did it because I was ambitious enough to take the risk and get ahead in my career – thus, a Slytherin trait.

    Point is… sometimes Pottermore gets it wrong. I still and will forever see myself as a Ravenclaw, but if someone wants to call me a Slytherin or a Hufflepuff, I’ll take it without complaint. But if Slytherclaw was a real house… that would totally be me. πŸ˜€

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