Why Gryffindor is Overrated

Why Gryffindor is Overrated

Sydney Gager, Editor

Before I start dunking on Gryffindor, I want to preface with: I am a Gryffindor. I have a love-hate relationship with my house (I spent a lot of time thinking of myself as an impostor who probably belonged in Hufflepuff, but recently–thanks, of course, to Maddy Saffer–I realized I simply hadn’t understood my Gryffindor traits), but I’m not trying to hate on it in this article.  I am actually proud to be a Gryffindor, but many Gryffindors assume they are the best. I’m simply trying to take that type of Gryffindor down a notch.

The reason we have so many Gryffindor heroes is because of their outspokenness and hero complex. The very things that make them notable are also their weaknesses, primarily that Gryffindors are rash. Where a Ravenclaw will stop to review their options, a Hufflepuff will pause to make sure they are helping the most people, and Slytherins will assess the situations, Gryffindors will run in head first. In the series we see this as a good thing–if Harry doesn’t go where he doesn’t belong then there’s no plot. In reality, this is just as likely to cause problems as solve them. 

Gryffindors have strong emotions and more often than not these emotions control them. A perceived wrong can lead to a stubborn grudge, even when it’s not logical. (Think of the Gryffindor who never forgave the kid who stole their snack that one time in kindergarten). The Gryffindor drive for justice is perhaps the least forgiving of the four houses, which is why Ron and Harry fight so much in the series. Each is inflexible, assured that their point of view is accurate.

Gryffindors are often overly energetic and highly competitive, hence the large number of jocks in the house. Many Gryffindors are filled with the drive to prove themselves as the best and the strongest. While this is often compared to knights–given Gryffindor chivalry–the competitive Gryffindor needs to be self-aware, lest they become the guy yelling during P.E. (you know, the person that misses one basket and screams, while everyone else stares and goes: chill, it’s just gym class). 

Gryffindor traits can be important–that drive to save the world, the refusal to let someone step on others, and the constant journey to be the best possible–but they’re not, as some think, innately better than others. Hufflepuffs have the same drive to save the world, Ravenclaws have better battle plans, and Slytherins constantly adapt to become their best selves. Gryffindors aren’t as unique as they like to pretend, and they’re definitely not as awesome. 

When it comes down to it, Gryffindor’s positive traits are the loudest. Bravery, justice, and chivalry all need other people involved. The other houses’ cardinal traits (such as intelligence, loyalty, or cunningness) aren’t inherently loud–and one could argue that Gryffindor traits shouldn’t be either–and that’s the only real reason the other houses are less valued. In reality, Gryffindors are likely to have superiority complexes and behave rashly, something we shouldn’t celebrate. 

After February Break look out for Gryffindor is Overrated Part Two where I will be interviewing a Gryffindor to see if my take is accurate (or not).

It’s time to appreciate each house’s individual traits and stop assuming that Gryffindors are inherently the awesome.