In the realtor's heaven that is beachy Monterey, California, appearances matter. If someone is late to pick up their kid from school, it's a big little deal. Big Little Lies centers around the goings-on of ritzy public school Otter Bay Elementary, where lines are drawn in the sand so much, the sandbox looks more like train tracks. Stay-at-home moms vs. career moms; households that earn over $150K/year vs. under. Admittedly, this suburban pettiness is much easier to take with a view of the ocean. It's so rejuvenating to stare at the waves as you plot against your enemies...
Yes, the parents of Big Little Lies tend to act more like school children than their own kids, with their cliques and quarrels and quibbles. Their battles are reminiscent of Hogwarts house rivalries in Harry Potter. The four houses—Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw—are their own distinct groups. However, they're determined by personality as opposed to who showed up at the last PTA meeting and who did not. The Big Little Lies characters are so used to judging each other, how would they feel in the hot seat, under the Sorting Hat?
10 Madeline Mackenzie - Gryffindor
Speaking your mind is courageous; speaking your mind in Monterey is braver than fighting Lord Voldemort. Madeline Mackenzie never met an opinion that didn't fly out of her mouth at first opportunity. This mouthy Gryffindor mama loves to express her emotions, particularly rage. It's not enough for her to honk at teenagers who are texting and driving; Madeline has to get out of her car—in the middle of traffic—to give them a stern tongue lashing. Her heart's in the right place, but she should have thought twice, as indignation and designer heels don't go well together. Madeline takes a pretty bad spill storming off.
Then again, if Madeline thought things through before acting on her desires, she'd hardly be a Gryffindor. The lion-hearted house never met an impulsion they didn't pounce on. Sometimes this is good, like telling off meanie mom Renata; other times not so much, as demonstrated by Madeline having an affair with her co-worker. She'd be a whiz at Potions class, because Gryffindor Madeline loves to stir the pot.
9 Celeste Wright - Ravenclaw
Whereas Madeline never stops talking, Celeste Wright never stops thinking. She's often caught staring off into space, as she's forever analyzing her abusive marriage to Perry, the effect it has on their twins, and potential next steps. A PET scan would reveal a Ravenclaw's brain as a yellow legal pad, analyzing the pros and cons of any situation. Celeste makes repeated trips to therapy to learn more about her situation from a psychology standpoint. When she decides to leave Perry, she makes sure all the pieces are in place first.
Celeste is at her best when she gets to put her lawyer hat on. She jumps at the chance to help out Madeline's community theater by defending an upcoming production of Avenue Q. While Ravenclaws aren't thrill-seekers, they sure love the adrenaline rush of winning a case.
8 Jane Chapman - Hufflepuff
The world knows no harder workers than single parents and Hufflepuffs. Jane happens to be both. She works tirelessly, trying to drum up bookkeeping work to support her shy son, Ziggy. Jane wants to give him the best life possible and wants to keep her head down and live a quiet life in Monterey. However, at Otter Bay Elementary, drama is like mosquitos—it's only a matter of time before you get bit. Ziggy is accused of bullying and Jane secretly worries that he has a violent streak, as he was the product of rape. She proves her Hufflepuff responsibility by taking him to see a child psychologist, who assures her Ziggy is not a sociopath.
Jane has a traumatic past, as shown to the viewer in flashbacks, and while that drives her character arc, it's not what really defines her. What defines her is her Hufflepuff devotion and loyalty she has for her son.
7 Perry Wright - Slytherin
He's a rapist who beats up his wife. There's no other house for him but Slytherin. Really, not all Slytherins are monsters but Perry decidedly is. This hotshot lawyer makes a cracking good case as to why he's the worst. Even when he stops abusing women for two seconds, he demonstrates the Slytherin ability to be a master manipulator. Perry repeatedly convinces Celeste that despite his violent behavior, it would be her fault for leaving and breaking up her family. He showers their twins with love and affection and uses his wealth to provide them and Celeste with anything they could ever need or want. How could she leave all that?
Perry has a masterful ability to go from controlling cad to loving family man at the flash of a Ferrari headlight. Or so he thinks. When he learns that Celeste really plans to leave him, he blows up in public and his outburst leads Bonnie to push him to his death. Not even Slytherin money can buy off gravity.
6 Ed Mackenzie - Hufflepuff
Always being the dependable one is the plight of the Hufflepuff, a fact Steady Eddy is all too familiar with. Being married to a spitfire like Madeline means that Ed is forced to keep a cool head at all times. Ed is attracted to Madeline's passion, but to him she seems to direct it more towards hating her ex than to enriching their marriage. Ed is so able to keep his feelings in check that he can turn off any negative emotions and schedule them for a more appropriate time. If anybody can handle working two jobs it's a Hufflepuff, which bodes well for Ed's simultaneous careers as web designer and peacekeeper.
5 Renata Klein - Slytherin
Being Queen Bee of the Monterey Moms and have a high-powered career takes the resolve of a Slytherin. Renata has to be the top of every heap, and she'll throw off any dirty rascal who threatens her status or her family. When her daughter Amabella accuses Ziggy of bullying her, Renata sentences him to a fate worse than death for a first grader: she excludes him, and only him, from Amabella's birthday party. While many parents have an understandably strong reaction to their kids being bullied, most look for... proof. Renata definitely has egg on her airbrushed face when she finds out that Ziggy wasn't her daughter's tormentor.
When the truth is revealed, Renata shows remorse uncharacteristic of a Slytherin, but don't let that fool you. Renata will be on the warpath again soon enough, ready to devour her target whole.
4 Bonnie Carlson - Ravenclaw
Bonnie may look like a hippy dippy yogi, with a head full of pop yoga psychology and sage smoke, but she's one of the most grounded characters on the show. Despite being the target of Madeline's wrath, Bonnie seems to be immune to all the Otter Bay Elementary drama. Of all the houses, Ravenclaws have the least concern for trivial tiffs and spats.
That doesn't mean she has master social skills; many Ravenclaws do not. Sometimes Bonnie uses logic without thinking about the emotional consequences of her actions. She takes Abigail to get birth control, which may seem like the rational next step when Abigail asks for it, but Bonnie performs the major gaffe of not talking about it with Madeline, Abigail's mom, first.
Though she killed Perry in a blind rage, this is an eensy-weensy blip on her otherwise calm, Ravenclaw personality. Namaste, indeed.
3 Nathan Carlson - Gryffindor
While running out on your wife and young daughter is hardly brave, it's definitely impulsive. Nathan is the worst kind of Gryffindor. He always needs to be the alpha male, yet he stands up for nobody but himself. He'd be in good company with James Potter and Sirius Black, strutting around and bullying people from rival houses. Nathan should be eternally grateful to Ed for raising his daughter while he was off doing goodness knows what. Instead, he puts Ed down at every opportunity, threatens him, and cares more about being the best Elvis than anybody ever should. For a show known for its twists, the biggest one of all would be to give Nathan a decent personality.
2 Abigail Carlson - Gryffindor
In the later years of Harry Potter, Harry and the gang definitely experienced their fair share of teen angst. Abigail would fit right in. She frequently butts heads with her fellow strong-willed Gryffindor mom, to the point where Abigail chooses to live with her father. Gryffindors tend to do whatever they want without concern for emotional fallout. Abigail's actions are a slap in the face to Madeline, who shows her unconditional love and raised her almost singlehandedly, while Nathan was out of the picture.
Abigail shows misguided nerve by prostituting herself online as part of solidarity with sex slaves all over the world. This is beyond dumb, but Abigail's Gryffindor determination to support a cause is admirable. In the end, she takes down her website, proving that Gryffindors can be brave and have common sense.
1 Mary Louise Wright - Slytherin
This is a bit of a leap, as the viewers haven't met Mary Louise, mother of the deceased Perry, yet. She'll be joining the Monterey 5 in the much-anticipated Season 2. Mary Louise is searching for answers about her son's death and doesn't appear to believe the cover story. It's an educated guess, but Mary Louise will likely use any tactics at her disposal, no matter how underhanded, to root out the truth. Plus, that death stare of hers, as seen in the trailer and photos, would make anyone squirm. A Slytherin's craftiness is equally met by their ability to deliver a withering gaze.
Big Little Lies Season 2 premieres on June 9th, 2019 on HBO.