At Harry Potter's Hogwarts, the Sorting Hat determines which house the students will be in when they are only 11 years old. The students are so young when the storying occurs that it’s no wonder that the Hat sometimes makes the wrong choice. Dumbledore himself even mentions in the books that he sometimes thinks they sort the students too young. While there is some discussion in the books about certain characters who might have been sorted wrongfully, there are even others who might have done better in other houses.
We’ve put together a list of 10 mistakes that the Sorting Hat made.
10 DUMBLEDORE: SLYTHERIN
It’s very clear to fans of the books that J.K. Rowling had a habit of saying most of the main or important characters into Gryffindor. There’s definitely a bit of an imbalance, and the books definitely set up Gryffindor as the best house.
While Dumbledore might have been a Gryffindor, a good argument could be made for him actually being a Ravenclaw. But, even more than that, he belongs in Slytherin. Given his ambition and his cunning, also his propensity to lie to achieve his ends, he probably would have fit in well there.
9 CRABBE AND GOYLE: HUFFLEPUFF
The four Hogwarts Houses can sometimes be a pretty reductive system as most people don’t fit evenly into one of four categories. Crabbe and Goyle obviously were sorted into Slytherin because the books set it up that all bad wizards and Death Eaters come from that house. The truth is, however, that Crabbe and Goyle weren’t particularly cunning or ambitious. In one way, it would make more sense to have them in a house like Hufflepuff, but, at the same time, they were mean enough maybe Slytherin was right for them.
8 PERCY WEASLEY: SLYTHERIN
The Weasleys take great pride in always being sorted into Gryffindor. In a way, it’s a little messed up how much pressure they put on their kids to be in this house.
While most of the Weasleys are brave, they are all individuals. Percy was always all about ambition and working his way up in the ministry. His entire life was about working up in the world and being the best he could. These aren’t bad traits at all, but they are very Slytherin traits.
7 REMUS LUPIN: HUFFLEPUFF
While having all of the Marauders be in the same house makes sense from a storytelling perspective, some of them might have done better in another house. Remus was always the most level headed of the group. He cared a lot about loyalty and fairness. He would likely have fit in very well in Hufflepuff. An argument could also be made that he would fit in well in Ravenclaw as he was more quiet and bookish while in school.
6 PETER PETTIGREW: SLYTHERIN
This example is one of the most obvious ones that is talked about in the book. Peter Pettigrew is not really brave in any sense of the word.
He is very cowardly and was willing to betray his friends to save himself. He was always a character that was looking to find powerful people to take care of him. While not all Slytherins are evil, his desire to use other people to achieve his ends makes him a Slytherin in this case.
5 NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM: HUFFLEPUFF
Neville Longbottom is definitely brave. There is no contesting that he has a lot of courage and bravery. However, he also has a huge heart and isn’t reckless like many Gryffindors. Having Neville in Hufflepuff would have shown how much people from other houses can also be brave at times. Neville likely would have fit in really well in the Hufflepuff House, and it would have been great to have such an important character not be in Gryffindor.
4 GILDEROY LOCKHART: SLYTHERIN
Gilderoy Lockhart is another character who was definitely sorted into the wrong house. While he was a Ravenclaw, he would have made an even better Slytherin. While in one sense he was smart enough hat trick people and get away with things, he wasn’t actually smart in the Ravenclaw way. His intelligence was a lot more about cunning and manipulation. Plus, he was really ambitious and was willing to do whatever it took to become famous.
3 LUNA LOVEGOOD: GRYFFINDOR
Luna Lovegood is definitely one of the most well-known and important Ravenclaws in the entire book series. While Luna might have fit into Ravenclaw in some ways, she definitely has the heart of a Gryffindor.
She was brave through and through and always loyal to her friends. While often the books sorted way too many characters into Gryffindor, Luna is the one time where a character wasn’t sorted into that house but should have been.
2 HERMIONE GRANGER: RAVENCLAW
Hermione is another character that is briefly talked about in the books as having possibly been sorted into the wrong house. While she did well in Gryffindor at times, she definitely was way more devoted to learning and studying than most of the other students in that house.
While it was a refreshing change to have a character break some of the house stereotypes, she probably would have felt more relaxed in the Ravenclaw environment. But, from a storytelling perspective, having most of Harry’s friends by in Gryffindor made everything a lot simpler.
1 HARRY POTTER: SLYTHERIN
This might be somewhat of a controversial opinion, but it’s the one that’s most talked about in the books. The Sorting Hat thought of putting Harry into Slytherin, but Harry’s choice made the difference.
While it’s powerful that some students can have some choice in their placement, having Harry not be in Gryffindor would have made an amazing point. Showing that Harry could still be just as good and brave would have bucked all the stereotypes. However, he likely wouldn’t have fit in well.