“You might belong in Gryffindor / Where dwell the brave at heart / Their daring, nerve, and chivalry / Set Gryffindors apart” —The Sorting Hat
If you were to sit in the Great Hall with the Sorting Hat on your head, where would you end up? If the Hat thinks you belong in Gryffindor, have no fear! You’re in great company and tradition. Keep reading to find out more about this most noble Hogwarts House.
Hogwarts students who are sorted into Gryffindor House are known to be brave, courageous, daring, and determined. Its crest is depicts a lion’s head, and its colors are gold and scarlet.
Gryffindor roughly corresponds to the element of fire, which works well with its House colours.
Members of Gryffindor seem to have an aptitude for Transfiguration. Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall were both former professors (and Gryffindor students) in the subject, Hermione Granger is said to be very talented at transfiguration, and there are four known Animagi from Gryffindor: McGonagall (cat), James Potter (stag), Sirius Black (dog) and Peter Pettigrew (rat).
The House is so named for Godric Gryffindor, one of the four founders of Hogwarts. He was a huge proponent for the right of muggle-born witches and wizards to attend Hogwarts.
Godric’s Hollow, a village in the West Country of England, was also named after Godric Gryffindor. It was home at one point or another to the Potter family, the Dumbledore family, and Bathilda Bagshot. It was also the place where Lord Voldemort was defeated for the first time.
Long before the Sorting Hat was, well, the Sorting Hat, it belonged to Godric Gryffindor. The Hat’s song even talks about how Gryffindor was the one who had the idea of turning his normal hat into something much more, although all the founders had a hand in creating the Sorting Hat as we know it today.
Hogwarts is known for having ghosts, and Gryffindor House has its very own spectre: Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington. To the students he’s more often known as Nearly Headless Nick. Nick’s beheading was, unfortunately, botched, despite the 45 chops that tried to take his noggin off!
J.K. Rowling admitted during an interview that when she took the sorting quiz on Pottermore, she was a Gryffindor! She was a bit surprised, and said that she actually had soft spot for Hufflepuff. (Side note: the writer of this article also took the quiz, and was sorted into Hufflepuff. Hufflepuff pride!).
Evanna Lynch (who plays Luna Lovegood, Ravenclaw), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley, Gryffindor) and Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy, Slytherin) have all said they’ve been sorted into Gryffindor on Pottermore.
Here’s Gryffindor broken down and translated: A Griffin is a mythical creature that has the body of a lion and an eagle’s head and wings. “Dor” in Greek means gift, so “Gryffindor” loosely translates to “the gift of the griffin.” However, the spelling is also a variation of the French Gryphon d’or, which translates to “golden griffin.”
The Fat Lady, also sometimes referred to as The Pink Lady in The Prisoner of Azkaban video game, lives in the enchanted painting that guards the door to Gryffindor House. One must give her the password in order to access Gryffindor tower, and along with it the common room and dormitories of the House. The Fat Lady is a former Gryffindor herself, and is also known to change the password frequently, so you better keep your wits about you.
The four founders of Hogwarts didn’t have much faith in boys. Two sets of staircases separate the dormitories for each gender in Gryffindor House, and if a boy tries to go to the girl’s side, the stairs will magically transform into a slide and an alarm will sound. Harry and Ron learn this the hard way when they try going to find Hermione early in the series. Gryffindor girls, however, have no problem accessing the boys’ staircase.
The tower gets windy, which means the four-poster beds in the dormitories have thick scarlet blankets, decorated with gold embroidery, to keep Gryffindor toes nice and toasty.
Gryffindor tower looks over the Quidditch Pitch, Hogwarts Lake, and the Forbidden Forest. It features a portrait of Godric Gryffindor hanging over the fireplace, which is surrounded by cozy chairs. Other portraits of former Heads of Gryffindor as well as mythical creatures adorn the walls.
The Gryffindor and Slytherin Houses are known for their rivalry, which dates back to the founding days of Hogwarts. Salazar Slytherin believed in pure-bloods, while Gryffindor felt otherwise.
The Gryffindor Quidditch team has had a varied record over the years. During the 1691-1692 school year, they suffered a terrible defeat; it would take 300 years to beat that record loss. During Harry Potter’s school years, however, Gryffindor won the Quidditch Cup three times. Bonus fact: The Weasley siblings have played Keeper, Chaser, Beater, and Seeker collectively. Charlie Weasley was even Gryffindor Quidditch Captain!
Some of the more notable Gryffindors include: Dumbledore, McGonagall, Rubeus Hagrid, Sirius Black, James and Lily Potter and their son Harry, Arthur and Molly Weasley and all of their children, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, and Remus Lupin.
McGonagall is the last known Head of House for Gryffindor. She dropped the position when she took over as Headmaster of Hogwarts in 1998 after the Second Wizarding War, and there is no record of her successor.
McGonagall once said, “The House of Godric Gryffindor has commanded the respect of the wizarding world for nearly ten centuries.” That’s a long time, and a big reputation to live up to, if you ask us!
Godric Gryffindor had a sword made for him by a goblin, Ragnuk the First. The blade is pure silver and inset with rubies, and appears to any Gryffindor who finds themselves in need of it. Because it is made with Goblin silver, it imbibes itself with substances that make it stronger, and never requires cleaning. That’ll come in handy whenever Ron needs it. What? Sorry guys, but your fave is messy.
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