Pottermore: Is the Sorting Hat Rigged?

On Pottermore, a lot of people are getting surprised by the Sorting Hat. People who have identified throughout their entire Harry Potter lives with one House or another are getting put into “the wrong House”!!!

So what’s happening?

The Numbers Game

Some people think that the sorting is all really a numbers game. After all, they say, look at the House numbers!

Currently, with 392,561 students inside the Great Hall, the House breakdown looks like this:

Hufflepuff: 98,573 members (25.1%)

Ravenclaw: 98,453 members (25.1%)

Gryffindor: 98,192 members (25.0%)

Slytherin: 97,343 members (24.8%)

That’s a fairly even distribution – too even for some people to accept that it could possibly result from an honest sorting mechanism. Could it possibly be a numbers game – and the sorting itself be completely random?

Well, some math geeks predicted precisely this result – i.e., that as increasing numbers of people entered Pottermore, the Houses would distribute more and more evenly. In the beginning, from what I understand, the results were decidedly skewed towards Ravenclaw. As more people have joined, the distribution has become more even.

At any rate, it does not make sense to me – strictly from a business perspective – that JKR would involve herself in  Pottermore, brand it as “more Potter” from J.K. Rowling, claim pride in the accuracy of her sorting mechanism… and then just leave the sorting to random chance. She knows the Houses. She wrote the questions. She claims that the people in her life who have taken the Pottermore sorting quiz have ended up in exactly the Houses she predicted they would end up in.

No, as crazy as those numbers might look, the notion that JKR would intentionally mislead the fandom about the sorting on a site that has involved multiple years of planning (and a tremendous amount of J.K. Rowling branding) simply makes no sense at all.

But I’m a Ravenclaw! How Did I End Up in ______________ ?!?!?!?!?

Ravenclaw is the new Gryffindor. Everybody wants to live in Ravenclaw Tower these days… and hardly anyone wants to end up in Hufflepuff. We see this fandom trend even in the Expecto Patronum! poll:

Ravenclaw (197 votes):
30.78%

Gryffindor (160 votes):
25%

I don’t have a preference. I’ll let the Pottermore Sorting Hat decide (135 votes):
21.09%

Slytherin (112 votes):
17.5%

Hufflepuff (36 votes):
5.63%

The reason for the strong Ravenclaw preference is that the fandom stereotype of Ravenclaw is that these are the smart, bookish, nerds. But are they really?

In the Ravenclaw House History, I learned that Luna Lovegood is not an outlier. She is the norm. Ravenclaws may possess “wit beyond measure,” but according to the History, Ravenclaw’s strongest claim to fame is the eccentricity of the House – filled with famous Ravenclaws wearing jellyfish hats, communicating only through smoke, or asserting the Wizarding World’s “inalienable right to party.”

Slytherin can be equally intelligent as Ravenclaw, but the House is focused less on eccentricity than on achieving greatness… i.e., on doing something extraordinary and learning as much about magic as possible. Unfortunately, such a goal can easily be abused (see Tom Riddle), but it doesn’t have to be abused (see Merlin, the greatest Slytherin of all time).

A lot of people think that the Sorting Hat is mis-sorting people because fandom stereotypes of the Houses are often not being confirmed in the sortings. Self-identified Slytherins are ending up in Ravenclaw. Self-identified Ravenclaws are ending up in Slytherin… and Hufflepuff… and, occasionally, Gryffindor!

But is the fandom right about the Houses… and JKR wrong? She wrote the questions, and she stands by the sorting. Is the fandom perhaps misinformed about the true nature of the Houses and needs to start re-evaluating the Houses based on the new information provided?

I know my answer. What is yours?

ETA:
My friend arithmancer has provided a theory in the Comments indicating how it would be possible to base the sorting quiz results entirely on the respondent’s answers and simultaneously quarter the students. Check it out.

96 responses to “Pottermore: Is the Sorting Hat Rigged?

  1. still haven’t got in. starting to lose interest in something i wanted so bad. doesn’t seem like a challenge any more. figured i don’t mind waiting a couple weeks but sept is almost gone and don’t even come across people that were so excited posing any where. wondering if it’s still worth the wait. thanks for listening.

    • I haven’t gotten in either. The excitement is waning fast as I keep wondering what my reaction will be if after all the sleep I lost trying to find the quill & get an a/c I gain access a day before the site opens to the public. Hhhmph! I think I might delete my account in protest if that happened. Anyway, we’ll see what happens & hopefully the site will be able to rekindle our interest and make up for being so horrendously late….

      • I’m sorry for how long it’s taking. :(

        My best guess, though, is that it won’t open on October 1, but that they will try to get everybody in before September 30 – i.e., in the next 10 days.

        If they open the site on October 31 (my preferred opening date, due to its significance in the story), then you’ll have a month to play around before they open the site to the public.

        But of course, nobody knows if that’s the way it’s going to go down.

  2. I do not think that the sorting hat is rigged, and I’ll be happy in whatever house I’m sorted into (I’m still waiting for Errol to find his way here). It’s kind of like flipping a coin or rolling a dice – you may have some uneven results to start off with, but the more times you flip the coin or roll the dice, the more even the results should be.

    I think that, perhaps, people have certain paradigms regarding the houses that are not entirely correct. Using Slytherin as an example – “Slytherins are often nasty people because there is that link between Slytherin House and the Dark Arts.” People see they’ve been sorted into Slytherin and think, “but I’m nothing like a Slytherin!” because they immediately think of characters such as the Malfoys, Crabbe, Goyle, Death Eaters and Voldemort. However, not all Slytherins are like that. Let’s not forget, Gryffindor had a Death Eater too…
    I think if the people who are sorted into the “wrong house” in Pottermore just embrace the house they are sorted into, most will come to love it. Still – it could be a bit disappointing if they’ve spent a lot of money on ties, socks, jerseys etc. for the wrong (pre-Pottermore) house!

    • @HazelSnidget: “It’s kind of like flipping a coin or rolling a dice – you may have some uneven results to start off with, but the more times you flip the coin or roll the dice, the more even the results should be.”

      I still don’t see why this should actually be the case. How can we (or why should we?) presume that the human race can be split into four equal categories? To me–barring the hypothesis that it is rigged–that could only happen if the sorting is an exceptionally sensitive instrument. I suppose it is possible that I failed to read enough into each of the nearly arbitrary decisions I was asked to make while being sorted.

      • Hi Bill,

        To quote this blog:

        “Well, some math geeks predicted precisely this result – i.e., that as increasing numbers of people entered Pottermore, the Houses would distribute more and more evenly. In the beginning, from what I understand, the results were decidedly skewed towards Ravenclaw. As more people have joined, the distribution has become more even.”

        I understand what you mean about humanity being split evenly into four categories. I am working with probability, I do not dispute that we are unlikely to be completely even (according to the numbers, we aren’t anyway), but probability says that the more people there are, the more even it will be. No, probability is not perfect (what is?), but I think a big reason fans pull more towards certain houses and much less towards others is because they do not fully understand the qualities of each house. If we take into account only what J. K. Rowling and Pottermore have told us about the houses, I do think it should come out somewhat even, and certainly more even than how we fans have split ourselves.

        Apart from that, JKR stands by the sorting system. While it may be hard to understand, she wrote the books, so I think she is more than qualified to create the sorting quiz.

        Though I could probably say more, I think it is time for me to stop typing for now. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome plus two trips out today makes my thinking somewhat… blurry xD

        • Yes, I read the blog. :)

          What I was hoping to express is that becoming more evenly distributed makes sense, but becoming uniformly even doesn’t have to follow at all–unless the mechanism is designed to make it so.

          Not only that, but JKR doesn’t have advanced degrees in psychiatry, and she has not as far as I know invented any device that can neurochemically or psychically access the mind and evaluate the feelings, values, memories, and potential of a person. So pardon, but she’s not really qualified to do anything of the sort. :) The sorting quiz is for fun–it is not a binding evaluation of anyone’s personality.

          • I agree with this. I think people have way too much faith in the woman’s ability to be faithful to how we view HP. Not that she shouldn’t be highly respected, but she isn’t a genius or divine. She can make mistakes and have other motives. A person, even highly intelligent ones, can put months of hours into a project, and then once it is done they say, “Man, I didn’t plan that as well as I could have.”

            She may stand by it, but that may not mean more than she likes the program. The primary objective of Pottermore is game-related, which requires competition. Hence, one of the deciding factors on how to sort IS to make things even.

            The sorting hat is very much like astrology. Make the descriptions wide and vague enough, and the chances greatly increase that a person will say, “Wow that definitely is mostly me.” Not always, but this has proven to be quite common (and why newspaper astrologies are so popular). The difference between the houses and astrology is obvious: we are already attached to being sorted into a specific house.

          • A fairly uniform distribution is faithful to the books, however, and I do think that JKR and the programmers/statisticians/psychologists/whomever-else-may-have-been-employed-in-designing-the-sorting-mechanism have designed the test to be as faithful as possible to her vision of the true natures of the Houses.

            I do like arithmancer’s theory here for how it’s possible to achieve a reasonably accurate sorting and at the same time quarter the students:

            http://expatronum.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/pottermore-is-the-sorting-hat-rigged/#comment-1534

            Note: arithmancer is more than a Math geek. She’s a Mathematician.

            ETA:
            Also, this means that many people are not necessarily sorted according to some Platonic ideal of the Houses but for a sufficiently good fit. I’m probably in-between Slytherin and Ravenclaw somewhere, but there were an overwhelming number of Ravenclaws on the site when I got sorted. According to arithmancer’s theory, I would have needed to be ueber-Ravenclaw under those circumstances to get sorted into Ravenclaw. And I’m more than happy with Slytherin. In fact, by the time I got sorted, I had already read the House Histories and was kind of hoping for Slytherin. ;)

          • I never said that the sorting was a binding evaluation of a person’s personality, and I do not believe it to be so ;)
            The reason I believe JKR is qualified to create the sorting quiz is because she wrote the books. She knows how the entire world of Harry Potter works, and she isn’t blinded by fan’s assumptions or expectations, true or false.

            When it comes right down to it, most people could fit into multiple houses. Even the characters could – Luna and Hermione, for example, were both brave and highly intelligent. However, Luna was a Ravenclaw and Hermione was a Gryffindor. I have not taken the sorting quiz, so I am just going on what others have told me, but I believe it should sort most people into a house where they will fit in well. I am sure, though, that will have been designed to be as faithful as possible to the books.

    • @HazelSniget. Very good points. And I am wondering if a lot of people who are disappointed were answering questions according to their assumptions about the houses. I mean, how long were the houses established? And how many years did we glimpse the houses? People change, as well. Longbottom was in no way overtly Gryffindor-like. It was a hidden courage, and it took him a number of years to fully own his courage.

      I also think a nice idea for the sorting patterns is that it is a communal process, not an individualistic one. Hermione is a great example. She by far overtly reflects Ravenclaw. However, it was her bravery and intellect that was so essential to the defeating of Voldemort and protecting Harry. Hence, she was chosen to be in G not just because she was brave but because that bravery played a communal purpose. To get philosophical, there is a teleological component: there is an intended end that is calculated into the sorting.

      This also gets into free will versus determination. There seems to be a tension between these two in the books/sorting.

  3. I think it’s quite wonderful we get to know new qualities of Houses, something that so far existed only in JK’s imagination and notes. It has a potential of changing the stereotypical way we see Potter’s world. Also, I believe it makes it much more real… The simplified divide of Slytherin=bad / Gryffindor=brave / Rawenclaw=smart / Hufflepuff=yy… the rest.. is quite boring. I believe this matches reality better than the previous view. Plus, I found out to my astonishement that I am a Slytherin and according to house spirit/people/new description I found myself fitting right in :) My surprised was caused by previous simplified view, I suppose.

  4. The big thing about Ravenclaw isn’t so much eccentricity as it is independence. We’re more likely to be loners and see things through our own eyes, and accepting of other’s originality as well. When you have that mindset, you’re less interested in “greatness” and “power” because, unless we’re discussing oneself, in order to be described with those attributes, you have to have a certain degree of focus on other people. Ravenclaws go off on their own.

    Independent people who aren’t interested in influencing others will often do things considered “odd.” They’re also the ones who go off and read a book . They enjoy knowledge in and of itself, rather than it’s use in the “real world.”

    Myself, I never saw Luna as an outlier, any more than i did Flitwick, but I know many people did. Flitwick wasn’t a “joiner” either. He never joined the Order or the DE, but he was an expert duelist, and you knew where his loyalties lie.

    I don’t think the sorting hat was rigged. I don’t think people truly understand the houses.

    • Ah, but I didn’t say its “core characteristic” but rather its “strongest claim to fame.” :p

      Given the famous Ravenclaws that the History chooses to focus on, I think we can legitimately argue that Ravenclaw is most famous for the eccentricity of its members. :)

      I do like what Zara (arithmancer) said about people being good fits for multiple Houses though. I am quite independent and intellectually curious and certainly not a conformist.

      But I ultimately do not view the sort of autonomous individualism that the Ravenclaw House History reveals to be one of my assets. I consider it, in fact, one of my heaviest liabilities – something that I possess in spades but that interferes with my life.

      So maybe that’s why I ended up in Slytherin. I could probably fit quite well in Ravenclaw, but I don’t think being a Ravenclaw would be good for me. It would only encourage me not to care what others think. And that’s not a quality I admire in myself. But that’s not to say that being in Ravenclaw would be equally bad for other people.

  5. I don’t really have an opinion yet since I have yet to get my owl. At first I was really irritated, but now I am glad. There were so many problems. I would rather get in after the problems are solved. 90 minutes to make a potion? I don’t have that kind of time!

    I hope I get into one of the houses that I belong, which would be Slytherin or Ravenclaw. But a lot of people seem very disappointed. The questions are extremely vague, odd, or even Jungian it seems. But if they were straight forward, everyone would simply be sorting themselves. And like you pointed out, the disparity would be too great since “Potterheads” have their own idea of how they want to be identified.

    Potterheads do not want to be “the average Joe,” which is why I think a lot of us don’t want to be in Hufflepuff. Hufflepuffs are “average” in that they are quite prevalent in normal American society. There is something too “white bread” about them. I bet, per the enneagram, there are a lot of 5’s and 4’s in the Potterhead community. 4’s want to be “special” and 5’s are internally intense and pensive.

    • I definitely think there’s a Jungian element to the sorting questions. I think a lot of them are tapping into more unconscious processes… which is good, I think, because the conscious mind is not the only element the Houses measure.

      Interesting comment about Potterheads. I didn’t want to be a Hufflepuff, but I didn’t have a problem with my sister being sorted into that House. I didn’t want to be in Hufflepuff largely because I’m an intuitive, and I see Hufflepuff as a “sensing” House (associated with the element of earth).

      I’m nowhere close to being a sensor, so it would really have messed with my head to find myself in Hufflepuff. I think Slytherin is the most intuitive of the Houses (associated with the element of water). So it’s a good fit, since I’m an off-the-scale intuitive.

  6. I think fandom opinions on what the Houses are is to blame for a lot of the dissatisfaction, yes. And also the opinion that every person has a fixed inner nature that corresponds precisely to one of the four houses. What House do I want? Based on the writeups, Slytherin. What House, really, do I think schoolgirl me would have done well in? Any of the four. Though my dormmates in Ravenclaw and Gryffindor would have been a bit of a trial… Maybe not everyone would do well in any House, but I think most people would be OK in more than one!

    However, I think the Sorting system is probably designed to “quarter” the students. (Which in my opinion, is exactly what it should do, it is what the book Hat says it does.)

    I note the following facts:

    1) The Sorting appears to consist of 7 questions for each respondent (possibly also referencing in some way either the questions to, or results of, the Wand Quiz).
    2) Sorting questions have anywhere from 2 to many more than 4 answers.
    3) There are many, many more Sorting questions than 7.

    With these design specifications, it seems to me eminently plausible that one can build a system such that, as the number of students Sorted gets larger, it tends to put 25% of people in each House, even while the Sorting is conducted strictly on the basis of the answers given.

    Let us imagine that an answer to a question generates four numeric weights, one for each House. Most obviously, a hypothetical question like “Would you like to be considered brave, clever, great, or loyal”? with the answer “brave”, might generate a weight of 1 for Gryffindor, and 0 for the other three Houses. And at the end of the 7 questions, these weights would be totalled and the House with the highest number would be the one a respondent winds up in. (Or results in a Hatstall if there is a tie at the top).

    Now, suppose that there is a surplus of Gryffindors at some point in time. What if the program dynamically alters the weights to 1/2, 0, 0, 0, only for the answer “brave”, until balance is achieved? Well, to wind up in Gryffindor, respondents would need to be just a bit “more Gryffindor” to overcome that and wind up in that House. A Gryff through and through would still pick the Gryff answers to the other 6 questions, and still be Sorted there, but someone who might otherwise have very narrowly wound up there based on this first question even though some other later answers indicate other Houses, might end in a Hatstall. Or, very narrowly, in another House. One for which they are well suited, based on answers to the other 6 questions.

    Alternatively – it seems to me that from what I have heard, the follow up questions you get may depend on your earlier answers. (Several people I have heard from indicate their last question or two had only 2 options…) So, another way to deal with my hypothetical surplus of Gryffs, is for the algorithm to present different questions at such times. Say, questions with many choices, which have answers skewed towards the other Houses. Again, even if only 1 choice out of 7 weights on Gryffindor, (for example) the Hat leaves that option open, but less one-note respondents may be attracted by some of the other options, resulting in more borderline people winding up in other Houses.

  7. My impression is that house identification isn’t the problem, but identification with beloved (or despised) characters. Several of the unhappy users I’ve talked to have first and foremost felt unfavorably likened to certain characters they never felt any connection with before.

    What I have tried to remind some of them is that just as with every person, there’s a light and a dark side to every house: Gryffindor bravery might result in recklessness; Ravenclaw intellect doesn’t do much good if it’s never applied; Hufflepuff integrity could be characterized as naïveté; and Slytherin ambition might… well we know how that might end up. So maybe in the books Hufflepuffs are uninteresting, I won’t argue with that, but I wouldn’t feel upset if an online quiz told me honor and integrity were among my most prevalent qualities.

    In any case, people are not characters in a book. As much as JKR might have faith in how her sorting concept is carried out, I think it’s deeply flawed in the books, and it could only ever be less successful upon real application. My advice is to forget about it and enjoy the rest of the content if you can.

  8. I’m one of those people that was sorted outside anywhere I had imagined, becoming a Ravenclaw after long associating with Hufflepuff and Slytherin. However, the sorting hat, is not, I would think, rigged.
    People have been sorting themselves according to their understanding of the houses, or perhaps to their friends’ recommendations. My friends constantly chided me on being a loner and rather mean, a typical Slytherin.When I was sorted, I realized how wrong they were on my house. I had a mini panic attack when everything, every last thing, applied to me about Ravenclaw. And up until that point, I had hated that house. Now I love it :)

  9. After reading the houses descriptions (and before joining Pottermore), I was sure I was a Slytherin or a Ravenclaw, although I was more inclined to Slytherin. I’m not a Gryffindor or a Hufflepuff.

    I’m not eccentric, I try to fit and be great. I’m not usually kind, open or loyal to people I don’t know, but I do care people who care with me.

    And I ended up In Ravenclaw. Not far from what I initially thought… I’ll probably try again in October, to see if Ravenclaw is my true house. Until then, I’m hoping Ravenclaw wins the House Cup.

    And about the House Cup:

    The House Cup is the reflection of the qualities of the Houses:

    Slytherin and Ravenclaw are neck to neck.
    Slyhterins want the greatness, and they do ‘whatever’ is need to achieve it. So they brew, brew…

    Ravenclaws like to practice and do their homeworks. If brewing means house points, the better.

    Hufflepuffs are kind, and they like winning too. However, they aren’t geeks who like to spent their free time staring a web page during 100 minutes. They prefer to comment and re-read all the moments and new informations of Pottermore.

    Gryffindors… well, they’re brave and they looove to win, but they are not brewers. They like to duel and I’m sure when the duel page opens, they will catch the Claws ad Slyths.

  10. In a way everyone of us has the characteristics of each house. It’s like how the horoscopes are made. When we read the horoscope for our astrological sign, more often than not, we agree with what it says. Or even when a fortune teller describes you, you’ll be amazed when she describes you correctly. “Wow, how did you know that?” We never realize that the fact is everyone has the same characteristics, just with different levels. Even if you’re not, say, obviously problematic, it’s still there. You still have that little part of you that is problematic.

    We are not as different as what we think.

    Personally I know that I’m a
    1) Ravenclaw – because I’m odd sometimes if not often. I love weird things and I love wisdom. Just Give Me A Book And Leave Me Alone is often the story of my life.
    2) Gryffindor – because I’m very persistent and always do my best to get what I want. That’s bravery at its best. This is “war” in real Life.
    3) Slytherin – because I have a bad side and although not yet fully recognized, I know that it’s there and I want to explore it. (Even the psychologist Carl Jung believes everyone has this dark side). Not that “bad side” is bad. It’s doing “bad” things without bothering that it’s bad and just focusing on the fact that it’s fun.
    4) Hufflepuff – because I am conscious of what is “right” and “wrong” and often do the right thing. Everyone definitely is a puff because everyone has Ego.

    I don’t remember any of my answer to the Sorting Hat quiz that made me a Gryffindor. I agree with this: “possibly also referencing in some way either the questions to, or results of, the Wand Quiz” because I remember that my answer to “You pride yourself with____” is Determination, which is very Gryffindor.

    -QuillCentaur207

    • Your thoughts on how you would fit into the houses indicate precisely why there is so much dissatisfaction among fans about which house they end up in, because I think your interpretation of the houses is totally, totally wrong. Especially Slytherin. Why is being ‘bad’ a Slytherin trait? Slytherin’s go bad in a specific way, having to do with their ambition and willingness to do what needs to be done regardless of whether it’s the ‘right’ thing to do for all involved. They’re not just people who have more evil in them. They just have qualities that circumstances often lead to what may be perceived as evil. I don’t agree with any of your other interpretations either, but since I’m a Slytherin, I’ll leave it at that.

  11. Pingback: The Sorting Hat Mechanism « Pottermore Tips

  12. I think there are different tests. Because I needed to answer “which box I would try to open” and there were 4 answers, but, in my boyfriend’s there wasn’t this questions. In his, there were: which magical creature would you like to study? and another about a enchanted garden. My test didn’t have his questions…
    Anyway, I’m Gryffindor. All tests I’ve already taken about the houses said I was first Ravenclaw, second HufflePuff, third Gryffindor and last Slytherin.
    I don’t know what happened. I’m not soooooooooo happy about my house because I really think I’m more Ravenclaw or even Hufflepuff than everything, but that’s OK.

    • It’s not so much different tests as different combinations of questions. Presumably each test is unique.

      As for fan-written tests… fans have different ideas of what the Houses represent than Rowling does, so it’s not surprising, imo, that people are not getting results that match the results of fan-written tests. I usually test Ravenclaw first and Slytherin last on fan-written tests. On Pottermore, I was sorted into Slytherin. But that’s fine with me because I assume that Rowling knows more about Slytherin than the fans do… and the House History for Slytherin is actually pretty awesome, so I’m happy.

    • Apparently, you have to wait for the next book to come out. However, there is a possibility that they will reset things like Galleons and House points at the end of the Beta. So we might get our money back… and already know how NOT to waste money on Potions stuff. LOL.

  13. *contains Pottermore spoilers regarding how the Sorting Hat works, as well as the specifics on the final two questions*

    The final two questions are always two-answer questions – one appears to always be “moon/stars,” “dawn/dusk,” or “forest/river,” while the other appears to always be “black/white,” “right/left,” or “heads/tails.”

    There appear to be around 28-30 possible Sorting questions total, with a strong likelihood that certain questions only have the chance to appear as question 1, question 2, and so on. Each test can’t be unique, but there appear to be about 8000-9000 possible combinations of questions (someone else, more mathematical than I, did those calculations.) Thus, the odds of two people discussing their Sortings and getting the same questions (let alone giving the same answers), are highly improbable.

    My theories about achieving House balance are that the follow-up questions (particularly questions 6 and 7) may depend on your answers to previous questions; also, I think that some of the questions may grant weight to more than one House, particularly the questions with more than 4 answers (but also possibly the 4-answer questions.) I also think that the 7 questions themselves may not be equally weighted (for example, one of the answers on one of the 2-answer questions appears to have a very strong inclination towards one House in particular.)

    I’ve been basing my theories on collecting Sortings. To see that (spoilery but not copy-pasted data), look here:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ah5Z8a6rXFL8dGQtbW85ZGlSc1VaV3FldmdTWG1sQmc&hl=en_US#gid=0

    You can find a listing of all possible Sorting questions on tumblr (or through Google); knowing the questions is required to understand the data on the spreadsheet. HPANA’s Pottermore forum also has an ongoing topic discussing this, although it’s been more analyzing individual questions and people asking “how could I have gotten this House?” than doing any math.

  14. Is Pottermore Sorting Rigged? My short answer is No. I don’t believe so. I adhere to the KISS principle, except when writing rambling answers like this one. (keep it simple) ;-) Rigging the sorting process would simply take too much effort.

    Think about moderating each and every sorting and then assigning a house. Too much effort. I am sure that moderating comments is already a burden. Imagine how much energy would be expended in moderating all of the sortings. I suppose it is possible to even out the results by devising a method for doing so into the algorithm, as has been suggested. However, this is just not the simplest solution.

    Of course the process could be totally random, but I doubt it. Why would they have taken the effort to devise a test with so many possible of questions and answers and then make the final outcome (which house) random?

    I am just where I thought I would be, as so are so many others. I’m in Hufflepuff, and it is So Me. I’m practical (some of the time), like practical applications, love crafts, gardening, and I’m a social worker. Oh yeah, and I’m also a Capricorn, an earth sign. So where else would I be? Hufflepuff and proud!

    On the other hand, I love intellectual pursuits; so I could have gone into Ravenclaw. I’m fairly adventuresome and idealistic, until reality pulls me down to earth – Gryffindor. My love of science fiction came about long before sci-fi was popular. I think this would be associated with either Gryffindor or Ravenclaw. And then I have that odd love of snakes and a totally twisted sense of humor. (Anyone giving Parselmouth lessons?) I believe that I am like most others — we have personalities with characteristics that could fall into each of the houses. The difference is in which elements dominate.

    Devising a test that is front loaded and designed to yield a relatively even distribution of people assigned to each of the houses would be the simplest solution. I think that the likely reason for uneven distribution in the beginning, is because there was an insufficient number of people had been sorted into their houses to give a more even distribution. A small sample is much more subject to being skewed. (Basic statistics) The larger the sample gets, the more the results even out.

    I am assuming that front loading a test designed to yield an even distribution is possible, as long JKR collaborated with individuals knowledgable about developing psychometric tests. The alternative is that she is trained in developing psychometric tests herself. If she developed the test without such collaboration, then I think that the previous scenario of evening out the results by tweaking the algorithm becomes more likely.

    I could be wrong, but I would also think it would be easier to tweak an existing psychometric test, which tests for qualities like those represented in the four houses, if there is such a test.

    I have seen several pre-Pottermore sorting quizzes, which seem to base themselves on Myers Briggs and even say so. However, Myers Briggs is an objective test and not a projective one. Still, Myers Briggs was based on Jung’s work in personality types.

    Was the Pottermore test, itself, really based on it? Hard for me to tell. Myers Briggs results fall into 16 groupings, which don’t seem to combine very neatly into just four houses, at least to my eye. The possible number of combinations of questions and answers in the Pottermore test seems staggering. It would really be interesting to get some background on how the real sorting test was devised.

    I think you are right, that the test is trying to get at some subconscious feelings and desires. There is a verbal component, but this combines with images, making it more like a projective test (ie. the Rorschach Test), designed to “short circuit” that analytical part of the mind and get at underlying feelings.

    All of this assumes that the test has a certain level of sophistication, which I believe it has. I think it would be very interesting to have our cousin, who is a clinical psychologist, weigh in on this one. Knowing him, I would think he is a fan.

    I’m glad my sister didn’t have a problem with me in Hufflepuff! :-) I don’t have a problem with her in Slytherin. In fact, I find it intriguing. I like Merlin and Snape. :-) And aside from Hufflepuff, Slytherin ended up being one of my top two choices.

    And while you may be correct about Hufflepuffs generally being more “sensing” (while I am on Myers Briggs), on the real MBTI, I tested out as ENTP. However, I was so nearly dead center on all the axes, that a few ticks in the other direction would have yielded a different result. It would be interesting to know how many other people hit near dead center on the different axes and how many show a more pronounced tendency toward either end of the axis being tested for.

    Similarly, the Pottermore sorting test may depend on how strongly one of the sorted for tendencies is expressed, and those results, or combinations of results, determine which house someone gets sorted into. As for me, I’m having fun being a Hufflepuff, with Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin tendencies (or is that Huffledorravenslyth?).

    • Hahah… I like your quick combination of the four House names. I agree with you completely. The truth is everyone has tendencies that could land them in any of the houses. I know I do. There has to be a very complex psychological basis to the test to subconsciously reveal aspects of the individual that usually go on being ignored by that person or that they don’t see those parts defining who they are on a large scale so they turn a blind eye to those behavioural parts and focus only on the parts of personal preference. (I hope I’m making sense) :D

      • Sorry to take so long to reply, but I think what you say makes sense. I think the sorting quiz tests not just for conscious traits but for unconscious traits as well. This is why it often yields different results from the online sorting quizzes (which just test for conscious traits – and can easily be manipulated toward a specific result based upon fan beliefs about the Houses). It’s a bit harder to trick the Pottermore sorting quiz in that way. People who TRY to trick it often end up in a completely unexpected House! :lol:

  15. I am thoroughly convinced the Sorting Hat is entirely random.

    I got sorted into *Gryffindor*, of all places.

    Every sorting hat test puts me there dead last – I was expecting a Slytherin/Ravenclaw hatstall, but wouldn’t have been surprised to get put in Hufflepuff, given the oddities of this hat. And from looking at the spreadsheet, I cannot find any pattern at all, save for that most people enjoy violin and piano music.

    But the real Sorting Hat likely does something similar, to make the numbers even – it has a pretty good idea in advance where some children are very likely to be going, since it spends most of the year in the same office with the Magical Quill and book of names, so it can hold open a spot for the expected Malfoy or Weasley in Slytherin or Gryffindor while it’s sorting the rest, so it won’t *look* more random at the end of the alphabet when filling the houses. If a kid’s only a good fit for one house, they probably go there, but who knows how many children are sorted not because they *are* that house already, but have the potential to grow into it with time? A third of them, half? More? Look at Hermione, Neville, Lupin, Snape…who can’t imagine them in different houses? Not all of them *tell* the hat what to do!

    The Sorting Hat does call itself a “thinking” cap, not merely a “seeing” cap. Who knows its motivations?

    • I am not convinced that the Pottermore quiz is random, but your analysis of the Hogwarts Sorting hat is pretty much in line with mine. I think it looks for possibilities, not just the perfect fit. For some kids, there is only one viable option for House. But for others, there are potentially two or three options.

      Oddly, I disagree that Neville is one of those choices… because he argued with the Hat for 5 minutes to put him in Hufflepuff and the Hat stood steadfastly for Gryffindor. Neville lost that argument, so the Hat clearly saw him in Gryffindor.

      But you raise an interesting question… was Neville more NEEDED in Gryffindor (where he would team up with the Trio and ultimately be in position to slay Nagini) or does Neville most BELONG in Gryffindor? To what extent does the Hat have some measure of prescience?

      In fact, this is a question I ask myself about Dumbledore’s sorting. Dumbledore has Gryffindor qualities, but he also has some Ravenclaw qualieis… and most significantly, he has some very strong Slytherin qualities. I would say his inherent Slytherin qualities outnumber his inherent Gryffindor or Ravenclaw qualities. BUT he clearly was needed to learn from Gryffindor and to lead from the position of a Gryffindor. Did the Hat know that? Is that why the Hat placed him where it did?

  16. I’ve always thought I would have been sorted into Ravenclaw. I’m a little strange (into gothic styling, cartoon of all sorts, bring up random topics at unusual times), I put a lot of creativity into projects and artwork, and I love a good book. But I’m not sure if I care anymore.

    If it turns out that pottermore puts me in Hufflepuff; like a couple of sorting hat quizzes have done or ranked my ‘score’ and I’ve been two points off being in Hufflepuff instead of Ravenclaw, then I won’t mind.

    We were quick to read the books and assume the four houses were simple:
    Gryffindor’s – the jocks and slightly crazy.
    Slythetin’s – the bad asses and emos
    Hufflepuff’s – the populars (material girls and hair gel guys)
    and
    Racenclaw’s – the nerds and socially awkward

    We took typical high school stereotypes and branded the hogwarts houses with the most likely match.

    Now there’s new information about them and its obvious that there is something to be proud of from being placed in any of the four.
    JKR has revealed that our assumptions based on information from the books alone were wrong.
    Not all Slythetin students are “bad”. Some Ravenclaw students, god forbid procrastinate or don’t wear glasses. Hufflepuff students aren’t really just the ones that weren’t ‘good enough’ to be placed in either of the other houses. Gryffindor students are not all guttsy daredevils.

    Lets face it, humans are way too complicated to be defined, as individuals with such basic differentiation methods.

    So go ahead pottermore… Place me in Hufflepuff if that is where I truly belong. Or Ravenclaw! :D

    • Agree that the Houses are much more complex than the stereotypes indicate. Since I wasn’t in High School when I read the series, it never occurred to me that the Hufflepuffs were the popular kids. But then, there IS Cedric Diggory, isn’t there? ;)

      • Pretty much… I just hope people can get over that they were wrong. JKR could make the sorting hat into whatever she wanted. She created it after all.

        I have seen though first handed that it can depend on the questions you are asked to which house you will sorted into. A couple of my friends were curious and created second accounts to test their ‘theory’ and they were both sorted into different house from the their first accounts. I have heard some people do the same thing and still being sorted into the first house they got the second time they tried.

        If there is something in place to attempt to even the numbers in the houses I’d say that that is it. Everyone doesn’t get asked the same questions… this can effect the result of which house they are placed in.

        i suppose as well, with Harry himself in mind asking the hat to not place him in Slytherin, the questions given to us and the answers we give will tip the scales just as our thoughts would during a ‘real’ sorting ceremony. If that makes sense.

  17. If I’m not in Gryffindor I’m quitting. EVERY and I mean EVERY Sorting Hat quiz on the internet has placed me in Gryffindor.

  18. I thought the same thing. I’m a self-proclaimed Gryffindor but was sorted into Slytherin. I was pretty mad….until I read about the Slytherin house. Now I’m pretty cool with being in Slytherin. I actually kind of like it….

    • Congratulations! Welcome to Slytherin!

      Yes, Slytherin House really is pretty cool. I mean…

      We’ve got Merlin!!!
      (I’m glad I can shout that now without using spoiler tags)

  19. I was sorted into Slytherin.

    I have qualitites of all four houses –
    I possess the gutsy determination of a Gryffindor (I truly enjoy being under pressure!!);
    I’m a Hufflepuff ‘cos I’d like to believe that I have a great sense of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong';
    I am a Ravenclaw in the sense that I like to make my own observations before judging, and I’m a complete nerd (I like to think that academics is my life!!);
    I’m a Slytherin ‘cos there a side of me that everybody needs to be wary of. When I’m upset or p***ed off, I can just like Severus Snape. Of course, I can’t throw around snarky insults like him, but I’m quite an unpleasant person (on a bad day). Also, if someone hurts me (if I haven’t done hurt anybody else), I’m quite a vindictive person. I plan my moves in an extremely calculating manner. As long as you are nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Plain and simple.

    From the above self-analysis, I think I truly belong to Slytherin. I think we all possess qualities of all four houses. We land up in that house whose qualities are present in us to the maximum extent. At least that is how it has worked for me. I possess the maximum Slytherin qualities, therefore I’m in the right place.

    • Congratulations! Welcome to Slytherin!

      I’m not sure that unpleasantness, though, is a quintessentially Slytherin trait.

      The Slytherin core value is the pursuit of greatness. That can lead people to unpleasantness, but it doesn’t necessarily do so. :)

  20. Looking at how close the house members are now with over 1 million students its hard to believe that the sorting hat isnt just placing people in houses to keep percentages even.

    Honestly its kind of killed the magic for me. I cant have pride in my house (Hufflepuff) any more now that ive realised im just another number in the system.

    • The Sorting Hat at Hogwarts roughly quarters the students but still finds a good match between House and individual. So does the Hat at Pottermore. Take a look at arithmancer’s post upthread to get a mathematician’s perspective on how this can be done at Pottermore and still also test for House qualities and find a good match.

      Many people who have taken a serious look at the sorting mechanism – both in the books and in Pottermore – have concluded that there is not necessarily a 1-to-1 correspondence between an individual and a House. I would agree with this view. Most individuals, both in the books and in Pottermore, could do well in more than a single House. So we are looking at a good match, not necessarily at an only match. The Hat needed you to be in Hufflepuff, and Hufflepuff is a good match – based on your answers to the questions. I could fit well in either Slytherin or Ravenclaw. But the Hat put me in Slytherin. And I’m fine with that.

      One consideration: the numbers became far more varied after the doors opened. There are currently 24,000 more Gryffindors than Ravenclaws (arithmancer’s hypothetical “surplus of Gryffs”) – which is currently a difference of about 2 percentage points between those two Houses. That’s probably also about the largest difference in percentage that you would ever get from the Sorting Hat at Hogwarts.

      • I think the 2 perecnt effect the choice to much. I think they should be a little less tight only moving those who are have 2 prominent houses around.
        I also think more questions should be added. I get its not just the one test probably making my decision it probaby involves ollivanders and hell maybe even my familiar choice but that still doesnt add up enough to judge a person. Even the sorting hat needs alittle time to judge you.
        It seems to me that they used few qeustions to give less variation between houses in results so that they can put anybody anywhere with the idea that people fit in to more than one house.

  21. It’s not rigged-I was a hatstall. The game couldn’t decide whether to put me into Slytherin, Gryffindor, or Hufflepuff. It ultimately let me decide on my preference. GO SLYTHERIN! ;)

  22. I think it’s rigged to an extent.
    I just did the test and I was hatstalled – Slytherin/Huffelpuff so I though I could go back and do it again to see what happens if I answer the questions in a totally different way. I did, and what happened? Hatstall. Slytherin/Huffelpuff. One more time – hatstall Slytherin/Huffelpuff. I answered the questions very different each time, and even though all questions weren’t the same at least 2 or 3 was.
    I’ve heard hatstalls are quite rare as well, so getting three in a row with the same houses while answering the questions in a totally different manner than the time before makes me a bit suspicious.

    • You got three Slytherin/Hufflepuff hatstalls and you think the Sorting Hat is rigged? I know you gave different answers, but I’m not sure how relevant those differences are unless you got the same exact set of questions.

      What I’m seeing in your results is that – despite giving different answers – the Hat was astonishingly consistent in sorting you. This fits with my theory that the Hat is primarily testing for unconscious factors rather than conscious factors. A test looking for unconscious factors can make you think you’re answering differently because you give different answers to the “obvious” House questions, while you’re still giving the test essentially the same psychological profile repeatedly.

      Anyway, the consistency of your sorting makes me think it’s likely that the quiz tricked your unconscious into revealing which Houses were the best fit… and it spat out the same answer three times.

  23. I think the sorting hat is, in fact, rigged. When I first logged into Pottermore I was sorted into Slytherin. I preferred Ravenclaw and deleted my account. When I created a new account I was sorted into Gryffindore. In both cases I answered the questions honestly.

    • Actually, I think it all depends on what 7 questions you get. I had three accounts, and I got into Gryffindor in all of them, but I have a friend who was Slytherin, then Hufflepuff, then Slytherin/Hufflepuff hatstall.

      • I do think the questions play a large role. I just looked at my sister’s quiz, and I would probably have answered all of them the same as she did… until the last question. She got Hufflepuff (which is the House she wanted). I hope my answer of “left” (rather than her answer of “right”) still would have given me Slytherin or Ravenclaw. :)

    • It’s difficult to conclude, though, that it’s rigged unless you got the same exact set of questions. If you got the same seven questions and different results, then it is likely that the quiz tests for variables (such as whether or not there are too many students in Slytherin and not enough in Gryffindor) and looks for a “good” – though not necessarily optimal – match. I strongly doubt that the Hat is completely random or that it is “rigged” in the sense that it has a predetermined outcome for you before you answer a question. But I do think that it is attempting to quarter the students – since that is what the Sorting Hat at Hogwarts does.

  24. I got hufflepuff, theyre supposedly patient & im the furthest from patient a person can get. in every single test ive done before (even tests made by psychologists) ive ended up in either gryffindor or ravenclaw.

  25. I think we should not forget that the sorting hat in the book is in many ways “rigged.” For all the (rather excessive) verbiage devoted to explaining how Harry’s preference mattered, and that House doesn’t necessarily run in families, the outcome of a sorting is probably in many cases a foregone conclusion for people who know the student.

    I mean, “magical” doesn’t have to mean “mysterious.”

    • I think the key, as you put it, is knowing the student (not to mention knowing the Houses). But that’s not really rigging, is it?

      Or are you thinking of it in terms of families getting sorted into the same House? Still, we see the Black family outliers (Sirius in Gryffindor; Tonks in Hufflepuff) as well as the Patel Twins (Parvati in Gryffindor; Padma in Ravenclaw).

      The bit with Harry’s preference is overstated, I think, in the book. Neville (as we learn in Pottermore) argued with the Hat for five minutes and it didn’t make any difference in his sorting!

      BTW, haven’t seen you much lately… and I even did your accent challenge. :)

  26. WOOOOOOT!!!! Slytherin!! I’m so happy now.

    but to stay on topic, I don’t think it’s purely by the numbers. I mean, 2% of a few million people is still a lot of difference imho.

    I think J.K Rowling wouldn’t agree to a system that ran just by the numbers… but it’s also only logical that the system tries to keep the numbers somewhat even. If the majority of people end up in Gryff for example, the whole house cup system gets skewed. Unless they change it so the more people in a house, the less points they can earn, which again isn’t really fair.

    People should just accept their house. They all have their ups and downs.

  27. Well I don’t think the sorting hat is “rigged”, but I’m certainly not happy with my result. When I was 11 i liked gryffindor cuz of the movies, etc. So i discovered the online tests and ALWAYS got Ravenclaw, so I started liking it after a while. I checked the descriptions and I fit. So I was, in my mind, a true ravenclaw! I tried the sorting hat on and it placed me in gryffindor :( I wasn’t satisfied so I created another account just to do the test again, answered basically the same questions and I got slytherin… WTH? i dont know what to think now, especially since the last answers were confuse “left or right” or river/forest. I immediately did a couple more online tests and got ravenclaw on both. so… pottermore is a bit funny….

  28. No, it is not rigged. As a Slytherin, I’ve tried sorting myself 6 times (yes you heard that right, 6 times, different accounts), being as honest as a Slytherin can be to himself, and end up in Slytherin all 6 times. I also have Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws who want to get into their Houses and asked me to CHEAT for them. I did. They all got the House they want. Which means, Pottermore indeed DOES take your quiz answers into consideration. The end.

  29. I personally do not think that the sorting is rigged. However, when you are being sorted you need to remember that the hat is not really sorting you it can not read your mind and does not know what you were thinking like in the book. For example, the first time I personally took the test i was put into Syltherin, i was upset because all of the charcters in the book that were placed into Slytherin are considered evil, dark wizards. So, i retook the test and was placed into Ravenclaw answering the questions simiarly to how did the first time, but the test was slightly different so my answers varied and therefore my sorting was impacted. Overall, i think it just depends on how you answer the questions and some of the questions are just based on luck, such as which path would you take, or black or white etc.

  30. It’s not mechanized. I’ve gotten sorted five times, I’ve gotten Hufflepuff three times, Slytherin once because my hubby was over my shoulder directing me, and Gryffindor once. So, yeah, CLEARLY I am meant to be a Hufflepuff. These questions were SET by JK herself, she.. yes SHE is the sorting hat. Just because you think you’re some brave macho, doesnt mean you really are. I SWORE to here and back to heaven I was a ravenclaw. I can’t get Ravenclaw to save my life.

  31. A side note: the majority of confusing placements are in Hufflepuff. I’m not going off where I think people should be from what I know of them, but off their answers on the quiz. I’m guessing that while the houses are certainly not random, most Hufflepuffs are not necessarily the type of people who would be on Pottermore, so it gets the advantage of a little affirmative action – anyone with even a little ‘puff to them gets put in.

  32. Uh no. On my account I got into ravenclaw and I wrote down all the answers I put in. Then my bro made an account and wanted ravenclaw so we did the test with my answers. HE GOT INTO HUFFLEPUFF!

  33. Ended up here from searching if it was every confirmed about getting more money after each book release BUT anyways the evening out isn’t apparently happening all to much anymore as there is 90,176 student difference between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw although it never occurred to me that others who mention that the real sorting hat evens out the students somewhat but that is a very good point.

    LOL I always thought I never particularly identified with a house and I don’t have the attention span for 100 question sorting tests. But once I was officially sorted (because JKR had a hand in creating this test) I realized how many gryffindor things I had or how hard it was to find other house merchandise besides gryffindor

    • There’s still less than 2 percentage points difference between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. So even though the numbers indicate a 90,000 student difference, the percentages indicate that the Houses are still reasonably even. Slytherin is 45,000 fewer members than Gryffindor; Ravenclaw is 46,000 fewer members than Slytherin. :)

  34. when is the next book going to come out (sorry, out of context) i heard it was going to come out on the 31st of july (my birthday luckily!) but i dont know if that is true do you know? (im in griffindor btw)

  35. In my opinion, people are overlooking the deepest traits of each house. They look at the surface of each house, look at the people, and decide “this is where I belong!”. People forget that you can and will have traits of more than just one house. However, if you read further into each house, you’ll learn there is a lot more to learn, and you might actually belong where you were placed. One question can change everything. If you deliberated on one question, the answer you didn’t pick may have led you where you thought you belonged. However, there is more than meets the eye to each House. Let me break it down:

    – Ravenclaw –

    Ravenclaw is the house of intellect, of creativity, of eccentricity, of knowing when to fight and when to back down. It is the house of research and unusual talent. Ravenclaw is the house of the open-minded. Luna (creativity and eccentricity and open-mindedness), Marietta and Cho (Knowing when to fight/back down), Lockhart (research, unusual talent, knowing when to fight), Terry, Michael, and Anthony (Intellect, knowing when to fight, open-minded) are examples of each trait. Ravenclaws are clever and witty. They are crafty, quick-witted, witty, and fancy a good challenge, They like a battle of intellect, of wit, of creativity. Ravenclaws like and appreciate art and writing just a bit more than other Houses, for the meaning they look for, and for how the art or writing is pieced together. They like thinking of new ideas. Testing theories, thinking of new things to invent. They like to challenge themselves, and are not afraid to rebel against power, anything to show off how brilliant and creative and talented they are. Anything to experience new ideas, new fights; Ravenclaws like things new, that is, they like or tend to enjoy change. Ravenclaws do not like to be told they are wrong, and will fight to prove their point. Ravenclaws are the quickest to pick up spells, hexes, charms, and curses, and know how to use them. They are quick to analyze the surroundings, and pick up on insecurities and fears the fastest. Ravenclaws are perceptive, and helpful when needed, though maybe not when asked, jumping in uninvited.

    Ravenclaws can be “airy”, as their tower and element would suggest. They are logical, deep thinkers, and are not as quick to respond to a situation, because they look at all possibilities, rather than the first one. They lean towards being melancholy, and take a while to do what they think is right.

    – Slytherin –

    Slytherins are cunning, ambitious, and clever. They are not unintelligent, but show it off differently than Ravenclaw; they are talented, somewhat cocky and a bit braggy (though not without reason). They “use any means to achieve their ends”. Slytherins are not afraid to play dirty, and know when its in their best interests to leave. They are sneakier than other Houses, and are loyal, but to themselves and to whom it may be in their best interests to ally with. They are not afraid to hurt someone, and they are very smart, leaning more towards street-smarts than the book smarts of Ravenclaw. Slytherins are brave, and can jump to conclusions if it best interests them, even if they don’t like to admit having that in common with Gryffindor. In a way, you could say Slytherin is an inverse Hufflepuff (see below), in that they fight for the individual, where Hufflepuff leans more to the team. They can be cruel and crass, but seek out the best options. They are future-oriented, and look to see how each choice can best aid them before choosing (much like Ravenclaw). Slytherins can come off as shallow, but they rarely are. They look to see if the inside is as good as the out, and judge from there. They are traditional, and learn from history and past mistakes and choose life paths from there. Slytherins rarely make the same mistake twice, and if they do, it’s to run a test. Slytherins like to be the best, but are contented to work up there from behind and gain a marginal lead without a fuss, which their secretive nature often leads to cries of foul play.

    Slytherins are fluid, winding, laid-back; their element is water, like what surrounds their dungeons. They do not back the current, but play it sneaky; they go with the flow, but leave a trail behind because they like to leave their mark. They like to be known, and if for the right or wrong reasons depends on the Slytherin, but they will let you interpret their actions for yourself, even if they think you’re wrong.

    – Gryffindor –

    Gryffindors are the least level-headed House, and jump to conclusions sometimes. They go with the first action they think of, and don’t stop to consider the repercussions. They are interested in the now, and are quickest off the mark in acting against something. They are fighters, in physical, magical, and verbal ways. Gryffindors, like Ravenclaws, will not back down from a fight. They are daring, noble, and brave; they fight for what they believe in, and do not like to stand on the side lines. Gryffindors will stand up to their friends if they must. Gryffindors are susceptible to jealousy and anger, because they are easily offended, or else one thing can send them off the edge on top of other things. Gryffindors do not consider future dangers, just the present ones (such as Peter Pettigrew’s betrayal of James and Lily; he did not consider Sirius and Remus). Gryffindors are heroic and dangerous, wild and carefree. Gryffindors love being the centre of attention, and work their way up there, putting on a show the whole way. They are like firecrackers, and intend to make a bang and a show where ever they are. Gryffindors love to have the spotlight on them. Sometimes it takes a Gryffindor a while to realise their potential, but when they do, they are unstoppable. They aid, and become a force to be reckoned with. They are helpful, but only when asked, and tend to be lazy when it comes to actual work; they prefer action. Gryffindors need action to keep from getting too bored, either action they are in, or action they witness. They like gossip, and are easily persuaded with the right words. They charge right in, and don’t often look before they leap, often resulting in damage control. They are bold, caring, and nice. They care very much for each other, and hold the most pride of any of the other houses. Gryffindors are the ones who stand up for the weak, and look out for both each other and people who they see in the corridors.

    Like their associated element of fire, Gryffindors are burning, heated individuals, whose actions spread like wildfire. Gryffindors do not think before jumping in, because they are focused in doing what is right in their eyes, or what seems the best choice at the time. They spark and they burn for hours, and don’t stop until they hurt someone or something that matters.

    – Hufflepuff –

    I saved them for last, because I truly believe (even as a Ravenclaw) they are the ideal house. Hufflepuff students are loyal, hard-working, fair, and just. Hufflepuff students get the best and defining traits of the other Houses. They are intelligent, they set goals, and they strive to reach them. They are ambitious, and work hard to achieve those ambitions. Hufflepuffs fight for their beliefs, they fight for their friends. Hufflepuffs are open and friendly because they tend to believe everyone is equal. They are brave, and stand by what they are loyal to, be it a group or themselves. They are honest, sometimes brutally so, and work together. Hufflepuff students come to quick, well-thought conclusions. Anger a Hufflepuff, hurt one of their friends, and be prepared to see the worst harm you can come under. Like their badger mascot, they are fierce, daring, brave, loyal, and the very last ones you want to anger. Hufflepuffs are fighters, and they fight for what they believe is right, even when they are scared. Hufflepuffs can easily, like the badger, take down any foes. They can destroy Ravenclaws, Slytherins, and Gryffindors if provoked enough into fighting. If someone hurts their group, the group will fight as a whole. They defend others from different houses, and do not take abuse; they stand up for themselves, in addition to everyone else. They are far from weak, and have no problem getting their hands dirty. They are the most perceptive House, looking at the details rather than the big picture, and are the best at spotting flaws, either in others or in plans, and are more likely to judge internally than externally. They are good at finding (yes) details others may have missed, and are the best at planning. Hufflepuffs are caring, and while everyone sees them as the weak or generic House, they hide behind the stereotype, and wait for a worthy moment to prove themselves.

    Hufflepuff, like the earth, is grounded, and whilst it can be moved and persuaded, at the core it is the same. They are steadfast, prepared, and successful. They can coax good out of almost anything with enough perseverance, and the patience Hufflepuff gets from being of the hard-working and ambitious sort. Of course, not all Hufflepuffs are patient, but they do have goals and do work towards them.

    – –

    So, there you have it. In-depth analysis of each house, for your benefit. Feel free to add on.

  36. i have no clue as to why this is happening exactly, but the idea that someone who’s answers will put them into a specific house will come into the game is also still random chance.

    the reason why the numbers distribute evenly as more people join is this: if you flip a coin say, 10 times, you wont actually get an even 50/50 on heads vs tales, because you don’t have a large enough test group. the more times you flip the coin, the more equal the distribution will be.

    you can take a random sample of numbers in a list and categorize them in a specific way, and no matter how randomly the people who made the list might have tried to make the numbers, they will still begin to distribute more and more closely to what was theoretically predicted. nothing is ever, in practice, the same way it was theorized (though it becomes closer with larger test groups). however, nothing is ever truly random, either–i learned that from the first episode of “Numb3rs”, and it really is true.

    you pick something as randomly as you like–or try to–but eventually some pattern will emerge.

    i am quite certain that the tests of pottermore really do sort in accordance with the characteristics of the houses, but given the range of personalities in the world, as long as people answer truthfully, and more and more people join, the houses will get closer and closer to being even. JKR probably designed it this way on purpose, because after all, it would be unfair to have so many more people in one house than in another. it’s all about profitability–i wouldn’t be surprised if the author and makers of the site had in fact sat down with a mathematician to figure this out!

    • We are starting to see some discrepancy in numbers… particularly between bloated Gryffindor and the smaller Ravenclaw. My guess is that a lot of people are answering dishonestly in order to get sorted into Gryffindor. LOL.

      I tend to think that most people have characteristics of multiple Houses. I could do well in Slytherin or Ravenclaw. I’m pretty sure I would do decently in Gryffindor. But I think I would do poorly in Hufflepuff.

  37. I was placed in the house I thought I’d be since I fell in love with the books. (Slytherin) After some others started saying they thought the sorting was “wrong” and the houses were skewed I started the sorting over, twice. All three times I’ve been placed in Slytherin. All three times I got completely different questions. I believe that it’s just a misunderstanding of the true houses and what they stand for. I’ve always felt at home with Slytherin, not because of Draco, or the “bad” reputation but because I’m cunning, sly, intelligent, and resourceful much like the description on the Harry Potter Wiki and books state. Most of the people I’ve found thought they were sorted wrong, did the research on their house and found it fit them better than they thought.

  38. I have 1 thing to say.it is not rigged!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I did the test like 4 times and I answered truthfully. And guess which one I got into slytherin!!!!!!!! I always thought of myself as one since I’m smart devious and love horror and obsessed with snakes ,spiders and all things creepy.it is not rigged!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Since when did Ravenclaw become so common? I thought it was still very much a sidelined house. Then again, how should I know? I’m not someone who is such an internet-social butterfly as to interact so much with the fandom. I just looked at the Sorting Hat’s rhyme and also took various quizzes online. I’ve done that for many years. I have, for the majority of the time, been Ravenclaw, the rest I was Hufflepuff (which I am also fine with – I would happily be a Hufflepuff). I have been put into Gryffindor! So many people are jealous. I don’t know why, it doesn’t matter if it’s Harry Potter’s house, I’m not interested, that means nothing. I don’t suit it. I am not a particularly brave person. However I do suit Ravenclaw if we are to take the Sorting Hat’s word as a general rule of thumb. I have enjoyed politics, science, knowledge for the sake of it since I started school, I am now 21. I am at (British version) college studying for my second type of qualification. Not only would I suit but I would select it as a choice just like Harry Potter did with Gryffindor.

    I’m not sure about rigging but to me it was just a few pictures, it doesn’t really tell you how a person is if it’s based on what picture they’ve chosen. I’m not particularly responsive to visuals. I am a auditory learner (works well with the spoken riddles that are used to allow entrance to the Ravenclaw common room).

    • Some of the smartest people in the books are in Gryffindor – Hermione, Dumbledore, McGonnagall. Ravenclaw is considerably more eccentric in its pursuit of knowledge than Gryffindor is (or than Slytherin is). I’m not sure that physical bravery is the only type of bravery that there is. Remember that Dumbledore gives points for Neville’s courage in standing up to his friends.

      I’m as smart as any Ravenclaw, and I love learning for its own sake. But I am a Slytherin – probably because I have always had a lot of ambition.

      Personally, I think the “Ravenclaw = smart and love of learning” paradigm is an over-simplification of Ravenclaw and that it assumes only Ravenclaw gets the smart people… which (as the books show) is demonstrable not true.

  40. This has now been brought up many times, but I find the notion that the Sorting Hat is “rigged” to be downright silly. I’m guessing that those who think so are the ones who got sorted into houses they didn’t like. I must confess, I was absolutely shocked when Pottermore sorted me into Slytherin. It was the last house I thought I’d get into. I, like many people, had expected to be in Ravenclaw, given my love of reading and learning. Out of curiosity, I took the quiz several more times, making sure to answer honestly and consistently. My Sorting Hat results would almost always vacillate between Ravenclaw and Slytherin (with one or two Hufflepuffs thrown in there). Out of all the times I took the quiz, Slytherin showed up the most. This has led me to the conclusion that, firstly, I seem to have many traits which could fit in both Slytherin and Ravenclaw house. And, secondly, the Sorting Hat did NOT make a mistake sorting me into Slytherin in the first place, as I had originally thought. The more I thought about it, the more it made me realize that I have many Slytherin traits — the desire to learn as much as I can, the ambition to be accomplished, etc. — I didn’t know I had. These traits could also, arguably, be Ravenclaw-like characteristics, depending on how one interprets them.

    Some people’s personalities fit easily into one house. But many, like me, can fit into several houses. So there you go…that was my sorting experience. ^_^

  41. I personally got into the house I always Identified with (Slytherin) and most of my friends did also but I know two friends who always thought of themselves as a Ravenclaw(or even Hufflepuff) was sorted into Gryffindor. I dont think its Riged people might not have the right idea about the house(like it say above)

  42. When I first joined Pottermore, Slytherin was by far the largest house, while it seems to be more even now, so, no, I don’t think it’s rigged.

    • When did you join?

      I got in 2 weeks into the Beta, and Slytherin has always been one of the smallest Houses since I got in. We have always contended, though, for the House Cup.

  43. I took it twice (two accounts) and got both GRYFFINDOR and RAVENCLAW. So I equally support both and JKR’s descison guess I’ll buy gryffindor things and ravenclaw ;)

  44. I was sorted into Hufflepuff and honestly, who cares. You still get to do the same things going through the whole Pottermore experience, as anyone in any of the other houses. And I don’t know why people don’t want to be in Hufflepuff. We just won the 4th house cup so obviously there are a lot of us that are loyal and go on there and do what we need to do. It’s a game people, not real life. We aren’t really going to Hogwarts and spending years with these people face to face, so accept the house you are in and have fun.

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