Everything you thought you knew about the Sorting Hat of the Harry Potter series could be wrong

If your Harry Potter obsession is strong, you'll likely have read the books over and over until you needed a wand and the reparo charm just to keep the spines together.

Couple that with multiple movie marathons and a subscription to Pottermore and you're an expert, right?

Possibly not...

A new theory has emerged on Reddit - as all good theories do - that calls into question what we've all thought about the Sorting Hat and how he works.

Up until now we've taken for ganted that the Sorting Hat matches you with a house - Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff - based on the person you are. But what if it matched you based upon what you value most and the person you want to be?


Reddit user Straw_Boats recently reread the tomes and this is what they came up with:

"First of all, many of the kids sorted don’t actually have the traits espoused by their heads.

"11-year-old Neville isn’t brave at all; he’s even scared of his own shadow. 11-year-old Draco isn’t anywhere near cunning (basically alienating Harry Potter, the wizarding world’s biggest celebrity).

"And don’t get me started on Crabbe and Goyle.

"Now Neville definitely becomes brave, and you could argue that Draco develops cunning down the line. But the point is, they didn’t have those traits the moment they were sorted. So perhaps the Sorting Hat can somehow predict their future? Or read into their minds to see which traits they’ll develop if nurtured.

"That’s certainly possible, but how can you possibly tell which traits an 11-year-old will have? They’re basically the age of a 5th grader. And let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that in the wizarding world personalities are somehow fixed at the age of 11 (unlike in the real world). Then shouldn’t the data the Sorting Hat collects be extraordinarily valuable to help ensure your students grow up to be healthy individuals? You wouldn’t use it to assign a student their dormitory and then never touch that info again.

"And that’s clearly also not true. Peter Pettigrew was sorted into Gryffindor and he never became brave. In fact his character is literately defined by its cowardice. Similarly, Marcus Flint gets held back a year. What’s cunning about that?

"And that’s not even addressing the biggest issue with the above theory (and the biggest thing in favor of my alternate explanation): students’ choice matters.

"Probably the biggest insight into how the Sorting Hat works is what Harry tells his son Albus – “The Sorting Hat takes your choice into account.”

So, what do you think? Does this theory make perfect sense or fall as flat as an injured Snitch?

Read the post in full here.

Most Read in #Discover