The possibilities in the Harry Potter franchise are seemingly endless, including the power of the Sorting Hat placing particular wizards and witches of magic into Hogwarts Houses that either seem perfect or erroneous to the nature of their character. While many devoted fans of the franchise are split down the middle regarding Harry Potter’s questionable Gryffindor placement, fans are even more divided over the question of why Hermione Granger wasn’t a Ravenclaw.
Before that question can be directly answered, it’s important to understand the significance of the four Houses in the Harry Potter saga. Each one features its own structure of traits — Gryffindor is synonymous with bravery, Slytherin is highly ambitious, Hufflepuff is known for its loyalty, and Ravenclaw is known for its intelligence. When it comes to Ravenclaw, individuals of the house are extremely sharp, relying on their quick wits and logical outlook on the world around them. Additionally, Ravenclaws have a tendency to be more book smart than anything else.
So why wasn’t Hermione a Ravenclaw?
While many will argue that Hermione is an extremely intelligent individual ⏤ which she is ⏤ she relies more heavily on her outright courage and bravery, both of which are credible Gryffindor traits. Moreover, Hermione values her close friendships, namely with Harry and Ron, over the gift of learning and creativity. This is especially apparent in something she says to Harry toward the end of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
“Books! And cleverness! There are more important things — friendship and bravery.”
Interestingly, the Sorting Hat initially spent a considerable amount of time deciding on where to place Hermione. In fact, the Hat even considered Ravenclaw for her landing spot, taking nearly a total of five minutes to make the difficult decision. In one of the later books, Hermione even makes mention of this by stating that the Sorting Hat was heavily leaning toward placing her in Ravenclaw. In the end, the Sorting Hat firmly recognized her bold courage over her intellect and decided to place her in Gryffindor.
Additionally, many believe Ravenclaw to be the “Smart House,” which is arguable in the way it’s actually presented. Ravenclaws are thought to be intelligent creatures with a desire to learn and be open-minded. While Hermione undoubtedly bleeds intelligence, she isn’t entirely open-minded and has a rather firm way of thinking. Her fearlessness and devout courage are what make her a strong member of Gryffindor and therefore a perfect choice for the House.