August 11, 2010

What the Sorting Hat really asks

I’ve seen quite a few Harry Potter “What’s your Hogwarts house?” questionnaires. Take them if they entertain you, but the whole thing can be distilled to one question:

You are asked to perform a laborious task.

What is the first reaction that comes to your mind?

  • Sure, no problem! It’s just work.
    You are a Hufflepuff.
  • Where’s the fun in that?
    You are a Gryffindor.
  • That’s beneath me. What’s in it for me?
    You are a Slytherin.
  • I’ll bet I can automate this.
    You are a Ravenclaw.


  1. I would have had Slytherin as “What’s in it for me?”

  2. True. Slytherin was originally “This is beneath me. Give it to someone who does that sort of thing.” The second sentence is implied by the first; I’ve changed it to “What’s in it for me?”

    This made me think about the Weasley twins. They’re always looking for a personal benefit—so should they be in Slytherin? I think their intent is different (although we all have many facets, and they certainly aren’t paragons of altruism).

    I originally had Gryffindor as “Aw, that’s not fun!” and thought to add “How can I make this entertaining?” (Fred and George’s true motivation). “Where’s the fun in that?” subsumes them both.

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