HELLO INTERNET AND WELCOME TO ANOTHER EPISODE OF- oh, sorry guys, I’ve been listening to way too much Potterless recently. HOWEVER. We absolutely will be keeping on the topic of Potter today, as I introduce you all to the Hogwarts House Book Tag! Now, I know, I know. I’m sure this has been done a million times, and I absolutely have no intentions of taking complete credit for what I can only imagine is a wildly unoriginal idea. That being said, I promise I did come up with all of these questions, and this was wholly inspired by me being an enormous nerd, Schubes of Potterless fame ranting and raving about house qualities (or lack thereof), and just my own general desire to come up with something a little fun to spruce up my blog! So, here goes.
- Thank the person who nominated/tagged you, and make sure you link back to them in this post!
- Answer all of the questions as best you can!
- Link back to the original post at anovelidea!
- Tag some Potter fans!
- List the rules, get involved, and have fun!
Try me on and I will tell you where you ought to be;
which hogwarts house do you belong to?
Ravenclaw! I have pretty much always identified as a Ravenclaw, even at eight years old when my Potter-obsessed teacher (who I loved for this very reason, it was a bonding moment when I entered year three) had us all sorted into houses, I was a Ravenclaw! On reflection, it probably doesn’t make any sense, and I know that everyone who knows me is woefully aware of how stupid I am, but all the same.
For each did value different virtues in the ones they had to teach;
which of the traits most heavily associated with your house do you value the most?
Can I say wit and learning? (Who am I asking? I made this tag!) I don’t know. I think the want and the need to learn is amazing, because it can come in all forms? It’s just about learning new things, acquiring new skills, no matter how miniscule or major they might seem; we’re all learning new things, one way or another, each and every day. And, well, who doesn’t love good wit? Witty people are some of the best kinds of people.
I’ve never yet been wrong, I’ll have a look inside your mind and tell where you belong;
have you been sorted on pottermore, and if yes, do you agree with the hat’s decision?
I have! I was sorted into Ravenclaw, so naturally I’m happy about it.
I wonder whether sorting may not bring the end I fear;
do you believe that the concept behind the houses and sorting ceremony is flawed, or a success?
I really like the idea of the houses, but I do think they’re incredibly flawed. I think it’s so simple for absolutely anybody to fall into each category, because we’re all layered people and everyone has a little bit of something from each house, I think. I do really enjoy the whole concept, and I get a lot of joy out of sorting myself, my friends, my favourite characters, etc, but I think in the long run, as is often proven throughout the series, the houses only act as a way to divide the students, even as they surpass their school years. There’s a certain hierarchy depending on which house you’re sorted into, despite endless evidence that various characters carried traits from more than one house and could have ended up going in either direction, not to mention the fact that you’re at perfect liberty to choose your house. Plus, it’s never such a great idea when the hat itself is questioning its own existence/purpose, so I’d say for me it’s absolutely flawed.
Additionally, I’ve been listening to a lot of the Potterless podcast recently, and quite often Schubes has raised the discussion on ‘are Slytherins good people?’ and gets a lot of flack for being a little anti-Slytherin. Generally, he points out that within the series, Slytherins aren’t necessarily the most likeable of people, whereas in real life, they’re much more endearing. I think this also raises the issue that the houses, and the traits that are attributed to each one, aren’t entirely as fleshed out as we’d like them to be, and that JKR doesn’t explore a great deal of diversity when it comes to a wide spectrum of characters coming from each house. Now, I understand that that’s because there’s a lot of other work to be done and focused on within this series, but I do think it’s often worth remembering that a lot of the way that Hogwarts houses are perceived actually is reliant on fanon a lot of the times, rather than canon, and that’s what allows real Slytherins to break free from some of their houses more damaging tropes, and which allows us to flesh out the less explored Ravenclaw and Hufflepuffs a little more intricately, and so on. So, yeah, I do think they’re flawed, in a multitude of different ways, but can still be lots of harmless fun in the real, Hogwarts-less world!
You might belong in Gryffindor where dwell the brave at heart;
a character that you love who shows a lot of inner strength?
Starr Carter from The Hate U Give, for sure. She goes through such an immense, unimaginable amount of pain in so many ways, and I think what’s so raw about her, and her whole entire ordeal, is how real it is. Everything that Starr goes through is something that countless black people (and other people of colour, too) experience regularly, and the horror and truth of that is just heartbreaking. I know that Starr herself doesn’t identify as a Gryffindor, but she absolutely shows a lot of strength, both inner and outer, throughout the course of the book.
Their daring, nerve and chivalry set Gryffindors apart;
a character who falls into the ‘knight in shining armour’ trope?
I’ll admit that I’ve picked a hard one with this question, so I definitely struggled to decide for this? And I think this might be an unpopular opinion, so apologies if I do offend anybody, but I think probably Jace Wayland of The Mortal Instruments is the first that sprung to mind. Just because I think Jace carries the weight of the world on his shoulders fairly often, and he definitely falls into that trope of wanting to protect and rescue people and wanting to be the hero. I think it’s something that he definitely grows out of, in a lot of ways, as he comes to terms with the fact that he doesn’t need to do it, and that his loved ones (especially the women in his life such as Clary) can protect themselves, but he’s fiercely protective and to a fault, at times.
By Gryffindor, the bravest were prized far beyond the rest;
a character who values bravery above all else?
Peter Pan! I don’t necessarily think he always has the correct definition of bravery, nor do I think he’s always particularly agreeable (he certainly shares that same arrogance and obnoxious nature that is quite prevalent within Gryffindors). I certainly believe he’s a character that looks down upon weakness, even if his own concepts of what makes a person brave and what makes a person weak are very questionable. I suppose, in this case, it’s moreso the discussion of what each individual believes it means to be brave, but I definitely think that Peter is the kind of character who values a person more based upon their penchant for adventure and valour as opposed to any other traits.
Said Gryffindor, we’ll teach all those with brave deeds to their name;
a book that taught you a lot about courage?
The Color Purple, definitely. I know I talk about it incessantly, but I do think it’s a story that really puts into perspective the the choices that we make, the things that we (and others) endure, and the unbearable strength that it takes to stand up in the face of so much pain and trauma. There’s a lot to be learned from this book, and
a book you love that is red?
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I know I’m not in the minority with this one, so I needn’t say much, but what a fun, easy, and fluffy read! I just absolutely adore Simon, Bram, and this book.
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw if you’ve a ready mind;
a character that you love who excels academically?
I think I have to go for Matilda Wormwood, because she absolutely deserves to be featured in here somewhere. I love Matilda, and I think she’s such a wonderful character. The fact that she has experienced everything she has, all that pain and trauma, and even with her powers bubbling on the surface, and she still manages to focus the vast majority of her time and energy into reading and learning? I find that not only extraordinarily inspiring, but extremely relatable. She’s a smart girl for her age, as is established within the story, and she pours all of her time into reading and learning, both fiction and non-fiction. Not only does this help her excel in an academic aspect, but Matilda’s constant yearning for books and knowledge is simultaneously heart warming and gut wrenching, as the vast majority of what she is seeking is some sort of safe space and escape; a world that she can lose herself in and, for once, feel as though she is not alone.
Where those of wit and learning will always find their kind;
a character well known for their sharp wit and humour?
Juliet Ashton from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, for sure! Juliet is a fantastic character, and one who I adore immensely. She’s incredibly intelligent, compassionate, and emphatic, and yet she always maintains a great banter with the other characters throughout the course of the novel, always on hand with witty retorts where necessary, yet also capable of being sensible and serious should she need to be.
For Ravenclaw, the cleverest would always be the best;
a character who believes themselves to be smarter, and better than others?
Controversial take, but I’m going to say Richard Gansey from The Raven Cycle. This is by no means an insult, because I absolutely don’t think Gansey has any bad intentions – he’s possibly my favourite character from the series, so I definitely don’t think of him as a bad guy in any capacity! He’s a really wonderful character, exceptionally layered and nuanced and I enjoy all of his dynamics so much. That said, not only is he a very intelligent guy, but he’s been raised with an immense amount of privilege that he isn’t always aware of. So many of his conflicts with Adam are based around the fact that he thinks he knows what is best for Adam, and so often he is so stubborn in his beliefs (as is Adam, of course!) that he’s the one doing the right thing, and that people should listen to him more often. Countless times they butt heads – as does he with other characters, such as Blue and Ronan! – and I think a great deal of this is due to his upbringing, and the environment that he’s in. I don’t think that he ever consciously believes he’s better than others, not in any kind of detrimental or damaging way, as I think it’s generally more to do with his upbringing and his privilege than any concrete belief that he is somehow worthier or better for having money and for coming from a wealthy background, but I do think it’s one of his flaws. And, well, he is a smart guy, so he does get a little high and mighty at times. That said, he’s got a great arc (as do all the core characters in this series!) and it’s great watching him adapt and grow, as well as see the other characters call him out on some of his rubbish. And, on that note, I am long overdue a reread!
Said Ravenclaw, we’ll teach those whose intelligence is surest;
a book that you learned a lot from?
Coffee Boy by Austin Chant. This might seem like a strange choice, given how short it is, and on account of it being more of a romance than anything else. That said, I think that reading books from the perspective of, and written by, trans people is so incredibly important, and allows the reader to expand their own world views and the way that we view and approach certain scenarios. I consider myself to be incredibly open minded, but I am always welcome to being educated further on topics that I might not necessarily understand, or in scenarios where I hold a lot of privilege (for example, the fact that I am both white and cisgendered). Kieran’s love interest in this book is a cisgendered male, and while he’s very accepting of Kieran and never bats an eyelid regarding his identity, there are countless instances in which the two of them come head-to-head and Kieran points out his privilege and, both within the narrative and the dialogue, talks about how damaging certain well-intentioned approaches can be to transgender people. I think Austin’s books, and other books written by and about transgender people, are incredible and a must-read, and I always feel as though I’m learning while I take in the fluff and the sass.
a book you love that is blue?
How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. There was something very Doctor Who-esque about this for me, and between all the time jumps and the romance, I remember really enjoying it a lot, and it has a special place in my heart.
You might belong in Hufflepuff where they are just and loyal;
a character that you love who is fiercely loyal?
Viola Eade from the Chaos Walking series. I absolutely adore Viola, and I think that she’s such an empowering and inspiring character, and Patrick Ness really created something beautiful when he gave us Viola. She’s so wonderfully fierce and strong, her bravery astounding throughout the course of the trilogy, and she’s incredibly intelligent and independent. The growth we get to witness throughout these books is phenomenal, and she’s certainly a character who will stand her ground and fight for what she believes in, no matter who she has to disagree or argue with. That said, her loyalty to Todd throughout the books is her strongest resolve of all, and even when the two of them are on opposing sides and have differing opinions about the way things are unfolding, she always maintains her faith and trust in him, and grows all the more stronger for it.
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true and unafraid of toil;
a character whose trust and faith in others is their greatest downfall?
Okay, I know I’m the one that asked these questions, but I’ve stumped even myself with this one. I’m trying with all my might to not answer any of these with a Harry Potter character (even though, really, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t), so I’m floundering a little – which is why my answer here might be a little bit of a controversial one. Here, I’m going to go with Cameron Postfrom The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Now, this is a pretty sad book in a lot of places, especially for the general premise of what unfolds, and the path Cameron is taken on. I understand that it’s not necessarily filled with hope, but I do think there are countless instances in which Cameron puts her faith and her trust in others and it backfires on her, sadly. Cameron relies on, trusts in, and ultimately falls for, her best friend Coley, and places so much love and trust in the other girl. Ultimately, this doesn’t work out for Cameron, and when the two are caught together, Coley throws her under the bus and leaves her to face the ‘consequences’ for their actions, while she gets off scot-free. Then, Cameron makes the mistake of trusting her aunt, trusting that maybe she won’t let her down, that she’ll give her another chance, let her stay home; but again, her aunt disappoints her, she betrays her. Of course, Cameron’s trust in Coley comes into play again when we discover, further into the novel, that not only did Coley protect herself from any punishment (which, within this particular context, who can blame her?), she also through Cameron even further under the bus, placing all the blame on her, and further tarnished her name.
I know this is a controversial choice considering the premise of the book, which is why I want to point out that I don’t think that Cameron was wrong to hold onto that faith, that hope in others. I think sometimes it is easy to fall into the trap of being too open and at ease with others, that we allow ourselves to be taken advantage of. I don’t think that that’s the case here, though. Cameron was a young girl who needed guidance, and saw to the people closest to her, the people that she loved and relied on to help her, and they betrayed that trust, broke that faith, and put her in an unforgivable situation because of their own closed-minded, bigoted, and frankly dangerous beliefs.
For Hufflepuff, hard workers were most worthy of admission;
a character who worked hard to get what they wanted?
Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. There are a number of characters that fall into this category, of course, and usually they’re the protagonist of their own story. I think Katniss is a great example though, as we see her fight tooth and nail to get to where she needs to be. She perseveres throughout the Hunger Games events themselves, despite being in mortal peril, and each of her decisions are all rooted in protecting others, and getting out alive. She never backs down and always, even when she’s most afraid, stands up for the things that she believes in, and for the people that she loves. Absolutely anybody that knows me well knows that I hated the way this trilogy ended, and I’m not a huge fan of the latter half of Mockingjay. That being said, nobody can deny Katniss worked hard and was, quite honestly, an unstoppable force throughout the course of these books. She never backed down, and she absolutely never settled or gave into the pressures pushed upon her to compromise; she knew what she wanted, what she needed, and what was right, and she wasn’t going to stop until she got it.
Said Hufflepuff, we’ll teach the lot and treat them just the same;
a book that inspires the reader to be more open-minded and welcoming towards others?
I’m going to go with In The Silences by Rachel Gold. This is the book that (at the time of writing this post) I’m currently reading, having been lucky enough to receive an ARC over on Netgalley. Now, I haven’t finished the book, but so far I think it’s doing a really great job of handling a lot of sensitive issues (ie: gender, sexuality, race, etc). The protagonists both deal with their own struggles from gender identity, sexuality, and systematic racism – and all along the way they hold each other’s hand through these problems, while educating one another and learning in the process. Not to mention, they obviously face a lot of backlash for their beliefs, for who they are, etc, and I think (so far) it’s a book that handles these issues with caution and with great care and research, while showing us just the difference in mindset and how our thoughts, words, and actions can impact those around us.
a book you love that is yellow?
It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne. I read this quite recently, actually, and while it hit a few sore spots re: mental health, alcoholism, and other such triggers and sensitive topics, I thought Bourne approached them very well. Plus, despite the darker themes, it was a great read, Audrey was very fierce, and it got a good giggle out of me from time to time, too.
Or perhaps in Slytherin you’ll make your real friends;
a character that you love who reminds you of one of your friends?
Keri Hollis from Meddling Kids. Not only did Jenny recommend me this book, but Keri constantly reminded me of her, too! She’s a cute redhead, and her general appearance and, often, taste in fashion seemed to be pretty much the same as Jenny’s. Not to mention, while they certainly both have different strengths, they’re both girls who are fiercely confident within their own appearances, open about their sexuality in a wildly empowering manner, as well as both breaking down the stereotype that beautiful also means stupid, when in reality they’re both gorgeous, smart, and loyal to the end. Plus, they’re both sarcastic shits!
Those cunning folk use any means to achieve their ends;
a character who would go to any lengths to get what they want, no matter the consequences?
Joe Goldberg from You. Maybe this is a bit obvious, but even so. Joe’s narrative is so terrifying to read at times, which is what makes this such a great book. He’s such a realistic character in that he represents at least one guy that most women know or fear. Joe claims he’s a good guy, and that he’s just doing what needs to be done, taking what he deserves, but all of it comes from the perspective of an entitled man who thinks that he owns the women that he falls for, that they owe him their love in return, and is someone who will do absolutely anything to not only get, but take what he wants.
And power-hungry Slytherin loved those of great ambition;
a character who became obsessed with power and took advantage of others because of it?
Mayor Davy Prentiss from the Chaos Walking series. This is probably another obvious answer, on account of him being a villain, but I think that there’s something very sneaky, and all the more terrifying, about Prentiss and his approach. Right from the off both the reader and Todd are aware that they can’t trust him, and yet as the books go on, you find yourself wondering what his agenda is, and just who you can and can’t trust, and I think that has a whole lot to do with the mind games that he plays through the course of the series. He will do anything to remain in power, and to be in charge, constantly lying and warping his own perspective and supposed mindset to suit the needs of others, always morphing into something new to win people over, only to use it to his own advantage and use it as a weapon against them.
Said Slytherin, we’ll teach just those whose ancestry is purest;
a book that opened up a conversation about race and/or class?
Dear Martin by Nic Stone! While there certainly seems to be more and more books on the rise that really challenge societal norms as far as race and class politics go, I read this one not too long ago, and I really appreciated the approach. We got a few different viewpoints as far as race and privilege go, some positive and some negative, and varying perspectives from the black main character, his Jewish love interest, as well as his more close minded, white peers.
a book you love that is green?
The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro. I love Cavallaro’s Holmes retellings, and I was so happy to dive back in with the second book in the series, and it was just an absolute delight to immerse myself in these characters and this world again. Also, without spoiling anything, there are certain aspects and elements that are particularly triggery or difficult for me to read that I thought she handled very well, so props there too.
And there we have it! I’m going to tag the following:
- esme @ esmooglreads
- becca @ beccaleighanne
- destiny @ howlinglibraries
- delly @ dellybird
- amy @ bookishheights
- cait marie @ functionallyfictional
- lauren @ bookishlaurenblog
- brianna @ briannathebookworm
- jenny (who doesn’t have a blog, but asked me to tag her for her bookstagram)
And, for anybody that might want to take part over on their instagram (I’m looking at you, Jen), I’ve created some templates for you to throw up a post! If you do to decide to, feel free to tag me over at @ganseyreads, and otherwise, have fun, and get tagging!