“…Let the Sorting now begin!”

People identify themselves in many different ways: as introverts or extroverts, by their Myers-Briggs personality type, by their generations, even by their star signs. For me, though–and for many others–few identities are as defining as their Hogwarts House. Over the past two decades, millions of people around the world have sorted themselves, their friends and family, and even their favorite characters into Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. As a ride-or-die Hufflepuff with very strong feelings about House placement, I decided to see where some of Mary’s characters might end up if I were to play Sorting Hat!

Oh you may not think I’m pretty, but don’t judge on what you see; I’ll eat myself if you can find a smarter hat than me. / You can keep your bowlers black, your top hats sleek and tall; For I’m the Hogwarts Sorting Hat and I can cap them all. / There’s nothing hidden in your head the Sorting Hat can’t see, so try me on and I will tell you where you ought to be.

You might belong in Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart; their daring, nerve, and chivalry set Gryffindors apart; / You might belong in Hufflepuff, where they are just and loyal; those patient Hufflepuffs are true and unafraid of toil; / Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, if you’ve a ready mind, where those of wit and learning will always find their kind; / Or perhaps in Slytherin you’ll make your real friends; those cunning folks use any means to achieve their ends.

So put me on! Don’t be afraid! And don’t get in a flap! / You’re in safe hands (though I have none) for  I’m a Thinking Cap!  – J.K. Rowling, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

Stands With A Fist: “One day [a woman] was calling me these bad names, her face in my face, and I hit her. I was not very big, but she fell down. She fell hard and didn’t move. I stood over her with my fist and asked if any other woman wanted to call me bad names. No one bothered me after that day.” If this doesn’t scream Gryffindor, I don’t know what does. A strong, stubborn woman who stands up for herself and for others, who loves deeply and at times painfully, who is extremely loyal to those who have earned it, and who takes great risks and shows tremendous courage in difficult situations–I feel very confident placing her in this House. She also has a reckless, impulsive streak that lends to the Gryffindor placement.

Laura Brown: We don’t get to know Laura very well due to limited screentime, but what we do see of her seems very emblematic of Hufflepuff. She’s extremely nurturing, devoted to her family, a determined and hard worker who doesn’t give up in the face of adversity, and she’s open-hearted enough to welcome a stranger into her home and into her life. She seems to be a good judge of character, and–though we don’t get to see it–it’s safe to assume that she’s a very open-minded and accepting woman, because she ends up sharing her life with a man who comes from the future!

Virginia Dixon: Virginia takes great comfort in reason, rationality, and rules. She thrives on making sense of things, putting pieces together. It’s what makes her such a gifted surgeon. Her reliance on order and logic is perhaps more extreme than most Ravenclaws, but it makes sense for her. As a person with Asperger’s, she seems to use these things as a touchstone when other elements of the world are overwhelming. She isn’t always able to read people or emotions very well, but she’s sharp–she knows when she’s being mocked, and doesn’t stand for it. We didn’t get to spend much time with her onscreen, unfortunately, but my impression is that she’s an incredibly smart and passionate woman–still waters run deep–and one who does Ravenclaw credit.

Dott Emerson: All of the great qualities of Slytherin, intelligent, ambitious, loyal, and passionate, Dott has in spades. The less savory qualities, selfish, vain, cutthroat, are also extremely evident. Dott is an extremely entitled woman who lives a glamorous, self-absorbed life, but she also is a successful businesswoman who runs her own company and is extremely caring and generous when it comes to the people she loves. She’s witty and thrives on attention, which she will go to great lengths to get, but at the end of the day has her priorities more or less in order (or at least, moreso than her other half, Ellie, does). She knows what she wants and almost always, she gets it.

Dora Overton: Gryffindors tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves, which Dora decidedly does not, but I think the fact that her walls are so high is in part because her emotions are so intense that it’s the only way she feels she can contain them. She is bold, direct, outspoken, and extremely determined; she has a strong sense of justice and will go to great lengths to ensure it is met. She also has a masochistic streak, evidenced by her spending her life in the small town where she’s known as the daughter of a murderer. She values internal strength and independence above almost everything else, and I think that Evidence of Blood ends with the opportunity for her to embrace her natural Gryffindor courage and let down her defenses a little bit, now that her quest is finally over.

Eleanor Carter: Hufflepuffs tend to be emotional people, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. In Eleanor’s case, it ended up being harmful: instead of coping with the tremendously emotional experience of losing her child, she tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to shut down her feelings altogether to try and avoid feeling that pain. Every indication is that she was a loving and kind woman prior to that trauma, but after the fact, she isolated herself. The intense guilt she feels and her loyalty to the memory of her dead son strike me as very Hufflepuffian in the unhealthiest sense, and the fact that her healing process involved connecting with and comforting another child is a further indication that she is a badger at heart.

Sharon Raydor: James Duff confirmed this one in a Facebook Q&A, but I think it’s pretty obvious even without that. Sharon is a sharp, smart woman who values intellect and, more importantly, wisdom. She’s a wise boss who looks at the big picture, reads people extremely well, and places tremendous emphasis on structure and support. As a Ravenclaw she’s generally able to distance herself from her emotions more effectively than other Houses might, not because she’s unfeeling, but because she recognizes that cooler heads prevail in the sorts of crises her job often presents. She’s a deeply caring woman, a little snarky, and while she’s proud and ambitious, those qualities don’t often cloud her judgment.

Rose Darko: As Hagrid so eloquently puts it, Hufflepuffs have a reputation of being “a load of o’ duffers,” but, speaking as a Hufflepuff, that is abjectly untrue. Rose Darko holds together a faltering family with a steel spine, consistently putting the needs of others over her own, loving the people in her life without reservation but accepting no bullshit from those who make their lives difficult. She is a fiercely dedicated mother and supports all of her children wholeheartedly, refusing to let her son get lost in his own mind, encouraging her daughter’s political ambitions, and attending school events. Her commitment to Sparkle Motion may be in doubt, but her loyalty to her loved ones is unquestionable.

May-Alice Culhane: Slytherins get a bad rap, but it’s often undeserved; I find that more often than not, Gryffindor and Slytherin are two sides of the same coin. May-Alice is a great example of that. As an actress who left her childhood home to pursue her career, we already know that she’s ambitious and probably had to be a little cutthroat to advance as far as she did. Like Laura Roslin, we meet her in the immediate aftermath of an extreme, life-altering event; anyone could react poorly to her circumstances, but the ruthlessness of her lashing out and her prideful reluctance to accept help are very indicative of Slytherin (and Gryffindor, as well–two sides!). She has a sharp wit to her and doesn’t let many people in, but once someone has proven themselves to her, she is a fierce friend, and Slytherins are great friends to have.

Laura Roslin: Possibly the hardest to place, both because she’s such a complicated character and because we first meet her in extreme circumstances, which force her to sacrifice what comes naturally to her and embrace her more dormant qualities. Those qualities are overwhelmingly Slytherin, yes–ruthlessness, cunning, loyalty, and ambition (admittedly far more selfless than selfish)–and over the course of the series she becomes increasingly comfortable with them and they seem to become something of a second skin, but I would argue that that is an armor developed by circumstance rather than her natural inclination. Dumbledore tells Harry, “it is our choices that define us, far more than our abilities,” and I think that the qualities that Laura has and chooses–those values that she lived by before, and embraces again when given the chance on New Caprica–are more Ravenclaw-esque. She’s a teacher: thoughtful, strategic, and comfortable leading and learning from others; deeply invested in history and culture; sometimes aloof and classist; enjoys debate and philosophy, and her love story is chronicled through storytelling. Courage, loyalty, selfishness: these are all evident in Laura Roslin, but ultimately, that Dumbledore quote leads me to give the edge to Ravenclaw.

What do you think? As I said, people are passionate about Hogwarts Houses –do you agree or disagree with these choices? Where would you place Mary’s other characters?

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