Harry Potter's Biggest 'Why' Explained: Hermione and Pettigrew Were Sorted into Gryffindor For One Simple Reason
Many Potterheads find the Sorting Hat’s decisions questionable and argue that it was but a plot device — but the canon has the perfect explanation for all these cases.
At this point, it seems like more Potterheads agree with Voldemort than with the Sorting Hat.
Wherever you go, Harry Potter fans debate the Hat’s decisions and argue that most characters ended up in the wrong Houses. Many claim, for example, that Hermione Granger should’ve gone to Ravenclaw; Peter Pettigrew was an obvious Slytherin; and so on, and so forth. Fans think that the Sorting Hat was but a plot device.
We can definitely see where this sentiment is coming from. Surely, Hermione’s thirst for knowledge is begging for her to be placed among like-minded students. And of course, the petty betrayal that Peter Pettigrew pulled off on his friends was not deserving of a Gryffindor whatsoever. But the Sorting Hat had its own reasons.
So, How Does the Sorting Hat Pick the Houses?
The solution to the mystery has been out in the open for years, literally since the very first book: the Sorting Hat does not sort students based on their inner traits alone. If it was judging purely by those, Harry Potter would’ve ended up in Slytherin since the Hat immediately recognized the qualities associated with that House in the boy.
Why didn’t Harry go to Slytherin? Because he made a choice not to!
Motivations and aspirations are just as important to the Sorting Hat as the engraved qualities, and since Harry wanted nothing to do with Lord Voldemort and aspired to follow in his parents’ footsteps instead, he was sent to Gryffindor. But while Harry openly stated his desires to the Hat, it was capable of sensing them in everyone.
Why Hermione Granger Isn't in Ravenclaw
Hermione Granger, though obsessed with knowledge, valued loyalty and would do anything for her friends; she sought a community that would accept (and maybe even protect) her.
Her brave soul and inner feats were recognized by the Hat, and the girl was sent to Gryffindor where she found exactly what she was looking for.
Why Was Peter Pettigrew Sorted into Gryffindor?
Peter Pettigrew, too, was a shy boy looking for brave and strong friends who would recognize him and treat him well, and he wanted someone to look up to — so to James and Sirius he went. Some may argue that he was more qualified for Slytherin, but let us remind you: cowardice is not on Slytherin’s list. Ambition is, and he had none.
So the Sorting Hat was not wrong when it sorted these or any other students into their respective Houses. It saw the aspirations and the potential, but we can’t blame the poor old Hat if later down the line, some person turned out differently.