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Thread: The Sorting Hat

  1. #1
    Fifth Year Gryffindor
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    The Sorting Hat

    Hello! I have a few important questions for my story regarding the Sorting Hat. I've looked in most (but not all) of the archives, and couldn't find the answer (so I really hope it hasn't been answered yet!).

    Does the Hat only Sort eleven-year-olds? Would it be able to tell while Sorting if it was on the head of someone not Hogwarts age?

    Also, how powerful is the Sorting Hat? Do you think the Sorting Hat is infallible? Supposedly it can see into your head...if you were an accomplished Occlumens/Legilimens, could you control what it saw? I know no eleven-year-old would be that powerful of a wizard, but hypothetically, could it happen?

    The Goblet of Fire was tricked into choosing Harry, as if from a fourth school. Could this happen with the Sorting Hat? Could it be tricked into Sorting a person into the wrong House...or no House at all?

    I'm forgetting a few, I'll edit/repost with more later if I remember!

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  2. #2
    Fourth Year Gryffindor
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    Oooh, interesting. I also wondered if the Hat could sort other than eleven-year olds.

    Here's what I think. I don't think the Sorting Hat can only sort eleven-year olds. It was made to sort. The Sorting Hat is, I think, a very intelligent hat that could get inside your head (but not like an Occlumens kind). Something like it could hear your thoughts. Due to the fact that it sorts 1st years, I think it would know whether the person in question (the one's who'll be sorted) is older or not because the minds of a) how eleven-year olds and, let's say, fifteen-year olds think, differ in maturity, including how you see things in a kind of perspective. Unless the fifteen-year old is mentally challenged, or just really, really, immature, but I think the Hat would still know. b) it could go over your memories. Again, it think it would be different than how Occlumens work. Remember when Harry got sorted?

    And there's talent, oh my goodness, and a nice thirst to prove yourself.
    If the Sorting Hat could see more than a person can see in himself/herself (Harry was too modest to even admit he's a great person, but at the time he was just a first year, he didn't know much about himself), I'm pretty sure it would know if you're sixteen or eighty.

    Yes, I do think the Sorting Hat is infallible... in the moment that you tried it on. The Sorting Hat sees what your talents are at the moment, but not at the years later. In DH, Dumbledore said that he thinks they sort too soon because Severus was almost like a Gryffindor, risking his life for the good side, but I think he's a Slytherin, too since he tricks the Dark Lord for it. So as the person grows older, the decisions he make will change him. He could be more of a Hufflepuff if he learns to be peaceful, but he could also stay as a Slytherin because there would always be that part of you that would stay the same.

    If you were an accomplished Occlumens/Legilimens, I don't think you could control what the Hat will see, because the Hat doesn't use that kind of spell. It's enchanted and to see in your mind is what it is made for. When Harry got sorted, it didn't describe how Harry felt like how it did when Severus was teaching him Occlumence because the Sorting Hat couldn't use Occlumence, so I would think you can't get back to it by using Occlumency/Legilimency. If you really plan for your character to get into the Sorting Hat's "mind", I think it would be best (though I don't recommend it) if it was during the Founders Era. The Four Founders were the ones who created the Sorting Hat, so maybe they would know how to deceive that hat, but I'm pretty sure that won't happen.

    For me, No. I don't think the Sorting Hat could be tricked the same way as the Goblet of Fire. Remember that the Hat is intelligent. It has a mind of it's own. The Goblet does not. As I said before, it could somehow "hear" your mind, and sense what kind of person you are. It couldn't be decieved to sort Ron into Ravenclaw, because it's not in him. The Hat sees that. Now, if the person was imperiused to even delude himself to think he was a Slytherin, that's another question, but for me, the Hat would still know. It is a powerful enchantment in itself, and the Imperius curse is a mere curse to control. Unless JKR says it's not.

    I hope you get my point. It's very hard for me to get my opinions across since I'm bad at describing what's in my mind. It's all jumbled. Please let me know if you didn't get some parts of what I said. I would be more than happy to make sense of my thoughts for you

  3. #3
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    As to whether the Sorting Hat can Sort someone who isn't eleven, I'm sure it can. After all, it Sorts students into their Houses by reading their minds, and a Hat that can only read the minds of someone in their eleventh year of life, that really is kind of a pathetic power.

    The more important question I think is whether the Hat would be willing to Sort someone who wasn't a incoming first-year. These are the only occasions where the Hat is used. But, say, if someone from a foreign school snuck into the Headmaster's office during the Triwizard Tournament and come across the Sorting Hat and try it one to see what House they would be Sorted into if they were Hogwarts students, would the Hat be willing to abide them? Or would the Hat just become annoyed and tell him to leave it alone and go away.

    What scenerio were you think this for? And does anyone have any further insights into the Sorting Hat's personality?

    As to whether the Hat can be tricked, I'm not quite sure if this is really a valid concern. Being Sorted really isn't a black and white answer. Hermione could have fit in in either Gryffindor or Ravenclaw, according to the Hat, but the Hat didn't pick the right or the wrong answer by Sorting her into Gryffindor. This might have been the right answer in terms of the storyline or the plot, but in the grand scheme of things, there really isn't a right or wrong answer.

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  4. #4
    Fifth Year Gryffindor
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med:
    What scenerio were you think this for?
    Well...the scenario is kind of a major turning point in the story I *hope* will be posted on MNFF, so I can't really say...

    But what I'm really wondering is: Do you think there is a believable way for the Hat to be tricked? Because this needs to happen in my story (I suppose it doesn't have to happen, but it'd be the easiest way) without sounding outrageous.

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  5. #5
    Virgil
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucca4
    Do you think there is a believable way for the Hat to be tricked? Because this needs to happen in my story (I suppose it doesn't have to happen, but it'd be the easiest way) without sounding outrageous.
    Well, in order to make something that may or may not be impossible sound believable, what do you do? I think that the only way for the Hat to be tricked is if it was somebody really powerful - maybe Dumbledore or somebody of almost equal talents could do it. I think it's a different sort of magic from Occlumency and such - just the way it'd described in the books, the way the Hat talks to you inside your mind. It wouldn't necessarily be a Legilimens, you know?

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  6. #6
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    Perhapes the Hat could be replaced with a doppelganger that will Sort the child into where ever the bad guy wants, while he controls it from the side.

    I don't even know how you would go about tricking a thinking Hat. I don't imagine there is a lot of president for it.

    Hmm...maybe there could be some sort of spell that was placed on the Hat so while the Hat was reading the thoughts of the child it is placed on, somehow the child instead becomes a channal between the Hat and the person casting the spell so it will read the spellcaster's thoughts instead of the childs?

    I'll continue wondering.

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  7. #7
    Virgil
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    I don't even know how you would go about tricking a thinking Hat.
    Maybe you don't trick it, per se - maybe you just have to control it. Do Imperius curses work on enchanted objects? I don't see why not...

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    Virgil

  8. #8
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    First off, we see the Hat on people's heads who aren't eleven. Harry tries it on again at the age of twelve and gets the same answer, plus the Hat is very intelligent and knows exactly why Harry is trying on the Hat again.

    As for tricking the Hat, perhaps your person could express a strong desire for one House over another. If he could be Sorted into either Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff, and for some reason needed to be a Puff then the Hat would take that into consideration.

    Equally, I think anyone who came up to the Hat with a strong urge to be a Slyth, would be Sorted automatically, even if they were razor sharp intelligent. Snape looks to be an unlikely Slyth when you think about his intelligence and the fact that he's a half-blood, but he wanted Slytherin.

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  9. #9
    h_vic
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    It does seem like the Hat will listen if the person being Sorted has a preference - it certainly did with Harry's wish not to be in Slytherin.

    However, if you wanted someone other than the person who was being Sorted to trick it, perhaps something along the lines of a Confundus or Imperius, or some other equivalent, placed on the Hat itself might work, as the Hat does think for itself.

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