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Thread: Gryffindor Qualities

  1. #11
    Vorona
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    I disagree with Maple in that I think everyone in all the houses are passionate---it's what they're passionate *about* that determines the house . . . and that's why choice plays such an important role in Sorting.

    Gryffindors: passionate for what they think is the "right" thing. Gryffindors are really concerned about right and wrong, and fairness.

    Ravenclaw: passionate about matters of knowledge. Hermione could have been a Ravenclaw, but her passion for right vs. wrong is stronger than her passion for knowledge.

    Hufflepuffs: passionate about a person or ideal to which they are loyal. Passionate about staying true to their friends and causes.

    Slytherins: passionate about achieving their goals. This is how they end up as cunning and ambitious -- because their goals are what is most important to them.

    This is just my opinion, though.

  2. #12
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    I can see your point, I guess I simply phrased it wrong. For me, passion is different from what your describing. I find if you look at each of the Gryffindors, there is some undermining thing that pushes them throughout their whole life. For example, Neville fights like he does not for the rush, but for his parents and friends. I find Gryffindors are much more passionate and their passion pushes everything. For example, the Ravenclaws may be passionate about knowledge, but it doesn't undermine everything they do, you know??? I don't know if I'm portraying what I think in the best way, but I'm trying. I'll try it this way. For me, Gryffindors are the Beethoven of the magical world. Their passion can be seen in their every action, as it undermines everything, such as Beethoven's music, which displays his passion in every sense, and is why it doesn't always follow the correct forms. Ravenclaws are more like the Clementi of the musical world. Establishing form, making the discoveries, learning and following the rules. Hufflepuffs, the Mozart. Passionate, yes, but not so much as it undermines everything and pushes them to do things outside of what's expected. So yes, all houses are passionate, but Gryffindors' passions undermine everything and push them to do things. Hopefully that makes sense.
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  3. #13
    A.H.
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    Gryffindors also seem to be the more adventurous house. Harry and co.'s adventures for one, also the Marauders in their school year, Lupin's proposal in DH (The Bribe). I know it could very well simply be because we don't get to know people from the other houses as well, but Gryffindors seem to take the cake far as adventures go.

    I also think Gryffindors are bold to the point of stupid, Harry a prime example. Lupin again, too, in the same instance cited above. Neville, who won't stick up for himself in any other situation but is for some reason won't stand for the Trio sneaking out at night. Harry is most well known for acting without thinking but several Gryffindors are seen doing such as well. You wouldn't find a Slytherin dashing in to a battle without a plan, but it's basically Gryffindor's default plan, not having a plan.

    Also, I like the way you phrased that, Maple.

  4. #14
    Vorona
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    You might be right. That's not really how I see it, though. It's hard to tell when you don't have a lot of examples from Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, and where the Slytherins are such a mixed bag.

    I look at Luna and I don't see the type of measured rationality that most people seem to ascribe to Ravenclaw, but she does have a passion for discovery and new knowledge, and in my opinion, it does push her throughout her whole life, in the same way it does with the others you mentioned. It even seems to have determined her choice of a marriage partner! And while it's likely she does follow Hogwarts rules, she certainly doesn't follow traditional social conventions. Part of the reason she doesn't have any friends is how passionate she is about not giving up her ideas on the magical creatures she finds so intriguing.

    I see Gryffindors as being mostly passionate about what they feel is right, and it does push them, as you say, but that doesn't mean they are more passionate than other Houses. I think it's possible that they're less concerned about how they go about pursuing their passions, with their willingness to break rules and in general make themselves obvious. Plus, when you consider that two of the other houses have words that imply passion: loyalty (passion directed to whatever they're loyal to) and ambition (passion about achieving one's personal goals), I find it hard to posit Gryffindor as the house most affected by passion.

    That said, certainly, if you're going with the element metaphors (which is kind of weird, as it usually doesn't work with Slytherin or Hufflepuff) in which Gryffindor = fire, Ravenclaw = air, Hufflepuff = earth, Slytherin = water (which is what Rowling said it would be, somewhere, not sure where), I can see how Gryffindor would end up with Fire. But then, Slytherins would all be about love and emotion and Hufflepuffs would be concerned with material resources. It doesn't really play out that way in the books, despite what Rowling said about it.

    I don't know that there's any way to know for certain, but putting passion and being pushed/driven by passion into just one house doesn't seem right to me.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vorona
    That said, certainly, if you're going with the element metaphors (which is kind of weird, as it usually doesn't work with Slytherin or Hufflepuff) in which Gryffindor = fire, Ravenclaw = air, Hufflepuff = earth, Slytherin = water (which is what Rowling said it would be, somewhere, not sure where), I can see how Gryffindor would end up with Fire. But then, Slytherins would all be about love and emotion and Hufflepuffs would be concerned with material resources. It doesn't really play out that way in the books, despite what Rowling said about it.
    I don't see how water means love and emotions. Water is flexible, it bends to where it's needed or where it can flow. Earth is a stubborn element, not necessarily material. I would ascribe that to your general Slytherin or Hufflepuff sense of morality. Puffs are more likely to stick with those that they believe in, the causes that they believe in. Slyths are more flexible with their morality and their beliefs. If someone will not, cannot help them get what they want, then they can cast them aside.

    But back to the Gryffs since that's what I'm worried about. I'm starting to think that the character in question needs a big revamp to be a believable Gryff. She's way too much of a Slytherin right now.

    - brave/bold to the point of stupid and/or reckless particularly since they often do not have a plan for doing something
    - interested in right and wrong and correcting it

    Do you think Gryffs are more likely to ascribe to a black and white morality? Would Gryffs have a harder time conceiving of a gray and gray world, in terms of morality?

    Are Gryffs compassionate? Is compassion what drives them to "fix" problems in the world?

    How does "chivalry" fit into this?
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vorona
    I look at Luna and I don't see the type of measured rationality that most people seem to ascribe to Ravenclaw, but she does have a passion for discovery and new knowledge, and in my opinion, it does push her throughout her whole life, in the same way it does with the others you mentioned. It even seems to have determined her choice of a marriage partner! And while it's likely she does follow Hogwarts rules, she certainly doesn't follow traditional social conventions. Part of the reason she doesn't have any friends is how passionate she is about not giving up her ideas on the magical creatures she finds so intriguing.
    But can one really make a rule from one character? This is specifically Luna, not necessarily every other Ravenclaw. And we have to look at the houses as a whole too, not only individual persons. On the other hand, we can't lay down ground rules for every house and expect them to belong to every person in that house. Also, being a Gryffindor does not automatically make you brave: again, look at Peter Pettigrew. I don't know why the Hat sorted him into Gryffindor - was it because he did possess the courage to do what is right, but he was too afraid to use it? (If that makes sense) Or was it because he did know what was right and what was wrong, yet he did not act upon it. If we were to scrutinize every student ever placed into Gryffindor, we might not have any closer idea as to what being a Gryffindor really means. Overall, though, it is having firm beliefs on the topics you find important, and wanting to act upon these beliefs.

    Every student in Hogwarts has to be placed into a house, and they will be placed into the one their characteristics fit in the best, but what about the people who are completely different? They are put into Hufflepuff, correct? Yet Hufflepuff is said to be the house of loyalty, ect, but why exactly is that? Are there two groups of Hufflepuffs: one being the ones sorted into said house because they have the house trait, being loyal, and the others sorted into Hufflepuff because they don't belong into Gryffindor, Ravenclaw or Slytherin? Or is it that loyalty does not belong to the other houses, and because of that, they all become Hufflepuffs? This thread is a thread discussing 'Gryffindor Qualities,' but I am never really clear on what exactly being a Hufflepuff means, and I think it's important to know what the other houses represent to know what Gryffindor does. After all, they are all linked in some way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vorona
    I think it's possible that they're less concerned about how they go about pursuing their passions, with their willingness to break rules and in general make themselves obvious.
    I agree in half. I think Gryffindors are more willing to break rules, yes, but perhaps not because they find their means less important. We come back to chivalry, or, if the definition is not clear, to some sort of honour and justice. I can't see Gryffindors doing a 'wrong' to stand up for what they believe. All of us agree, I think, that Gryffindors have a strong sense of the rights and wrongs, so it is not that they would wrong to stick up for what they think is right - that makes no sense at all. That is a 'for the greater good' idea. Harry broke rules in PS (the 'wrong') to prevent Voldemort from coming back to power (his belief- Voldemort shouldn't). The other houses might think more of the rules, or Gryffindors might just think it more important to do do what is right, no matter the cost, and if they get in trouble for breaking rules, then it will be worth it. I think it is what one values as well as your person traits that place you in a house (that is why you can ask the Hat and it will listen).

    Quote Originally Posted by Vorona
    That said, certainly, if you're going with the element metaphors (which is kind of weird, as it usually doesn't work with Slytherin or Hufflepuff) in which Gryffindor = fire, Ravenclaw = air, Hufflepuff = earth, Slytherin = water (which is what Rowling said it would be, somewhere, not sure where), I can see how Gryffindor would end up with Fire. But then, Slytherins would all be about love and emotion and Hufflepuffs would be concerned with material resources. It doesn't really play out that way in the books, despite what Rowling said about it.
    I can see how what Rowling says fits to the books. Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, yes. Slytherin as water - maybe she was referring to the fact that water can find a way to slip through almost anything, and this also fits to the image of a snake. And the question is always, I think, what the elements mean to you. Personally, I can see Hufflepuff as the earth. From the elements, I think earth is the kindest. It would also be the strongest, in a way. Water, Fire, and dangers from the air (tornadoes, the like) might all inflict causalities on the earth, but in the end the earth is still here and has the power to stop them with smaller things. Sand can put out fire, a barrier can even stop the wind and water. So maybe that means that human kindness and the like is the most important. I might have confused you all with my babbling, but let's just say I agree with AidaLuthien.

    Sorry, AidaLuthien, that I have again strayed so far from the topic, so I will try and answer your question best I can:

    Do you think Gryffs are more likely to ascribe to a black and white morality? Would Gryffs have a harder time conceiving of a gray and gray world, in terms of morality?
    In my opinion, yes. I also think that as soon as a Gryffindor believes a person to be a 'bad' person, it will be very very hard to convince them otherwise (thickheadedness, the belief that they know what is right and wrong). Take Harry and Snape for example.

    Chivalry- isn't this also what medieval knights stood for? Manners, yes, but also the willingness to risk your life for others?

    Okay, who thinks I'm beginning to read to much into this topic? Gosh, did Rowling even think about it this much? >.> Because it really is a simple idea at first: when I first read PS I didn't spare it a second thought (it seemed simple: a house for the brave, and house for the intelligent, a house for the ... sef-preserving and a house for the rest). It seems like it becomes more complicated the more one thinks. /waaay too long post
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  7. #17
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    I give up trying to prove my passion thing. I know that in my head it makes sense, but I clearly cannot portray it in words. Though fire is most often associated with passion. Yes, they are all passionate, but you don't see Padma Patil or Professor Flitwick letting their passions drive them, and most of the things Luna does in the books aren't driven by her passion of adventure or discovery or whatever. Likewise, we don't see Cedric being driven on passion, but on a quest to prove himself. Malfoy also isn't driven by a passion, but by orders.

    Anyway, back on subject.

    About the black and white thing, I don't know if we can really set everything by Dumbledore, but he was always willing to accept that not everyone is pure evil and pure good. He sees the good in the most dislikable characters, such as Malfoy and Snape. I think the problem with Gryffindor is we set too much of their traits on what Harry is like. Hermione always refused to see someone as purely bad straight away. For her, Snape was always in the grey. Harry is rather tempermental and quick to judge, and I think we should be careful and not use Harry as the "typical" Gryffindor. Also, a character doesn't have to portray every trait of a certain house. They just need to portray some and not many of the other houses traits. However, Harry also accepts Sirius, and Sirius is a very grey character as well. He commits many crimes to prove his innocence.
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  8. #18
    Vorona
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    Good point, Aida, about flexibility. That probably is what she was thinking of. I was thinking of the usual correspondences with water, where fire=passion, water=emotion, air=intelligence, earth=matter.

    LuNaLoVeGoOdLoVer:
    Yes, while we can't make a rule from a character, I don't think that one of the two only characters from a given house should be seen as a complete exception to the rule. And, to be honest, Cho didn't seem all that rational either. Maybe Marietta, but we don't really know anything about her feelings about rationality. When you have only three characters to go by, and neither of them show the trait in question, I think it's pretty clear that that isn't a house trait. Also, I want to point out that I wasn't making a rule, I was discounting the theory that Ravenclaws are all about rationality. And as for following rules - we don't see much evidence of that, either, other than Marietta.

    Also I agree about Gryffindors not doing what they'd feel is wrong -- that goes back to the fact that their passion IS right vs. wrong. So, while they're perfectly fine breaking rules created by others (unless one of their morals is that we should all obey all rules, perhaps like Percy), they would not go against any of their own personal morals. My point was that their internal sense of right vs. wrong would be stronger than externally imposed rules.

    As for the question:
    Do you think Gryffs are more likely to ascribe to a black and white morality? Would Gryffs have a harder time conceiving of a gray and gray world, in terms of morality?

    Yes, I do think they are more likely to do so. I don't think that necessarily means that every Gryffindor would have strong black and white morality, though, just that they're more likely to. Also, (after seeing Maple's response), I don't think that even those who do ascribe to a black and white morality would necessarily see *people* that way. They might see certain actions as always being bad, but they wouldn't necessarily think that only one such action made a person completely evil. For example, I think Hermione has a very black and white world view, but she doesn't think specific people are black or white. She waits to find out what they're really like before deciding what she thinks of them.

    Are Gryffs compassionate? Is compassion what drives them to "fix" problems in the world?

    I think it depends. Probably most of the time, they would be, but I think it depends on what they consider "right." If, for some reason, they found compassion to be something that was bad, they wouldn't be compassionate.

    How does "chivalry" fit into this?
    Chivalry is a knightly code, so I think it might be something a Gryffindor would find either useful or problematic. If it helped them to do what was right, they would probably be really into it, but if, like other external codes (i.e. rules) it prevented them from doing what they felt was right, they probably wouldn't.

    Edit (Maple posted while I was writing):
    That's just it -- in our heads it always makes sense, and since Jo didn't really lay out anything more specific than the Sorting song, it's hard to see anything. A lot of people have disagreed with my view, also. I think in the end each of us should go with what makes sense in our own writing, and share our perspectives. The things that come up the most frequently will be the ones that matter, and where we differ will be the places where our writing is most unique and interesting.

    For me, it makes sense that passion is not limited to one House, even in the sense of being driven by it. But that doesn't work for you.

    Again, just my thoughts.

  9. #19
    HARRYHARRYHARRYs_twin
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuNaLoVeGoOdLoVer
    Every student in Hogwarts has to be placed into a house, and they will be placed into the one their characteristics fit in the best, but what about the people who are completely different? They are put into Hufflepuff, correct?
    I'm sorry, but I don't agree with this. Where in canon does it say that all the rest go to Hufflepuff? Yes, the Sorting Hat's song said Helga would take anyone, but it's unfair to say that everyone who 'doesn't fit' goes there. Do you know anyone who is completely different, as you phrased it? I don't. I can't say that everyone's character is clearly drawn into one of the Houses, because they aren't. But I don't know of anyone who I wouldn't be able to place into one of the Houses.

    Let's take a look at the canon -- here's the selections from the sorting songs that are relevent to Gryffindor:
    Quote Originally Posted by The Sorting Hat
    PS:
    You might belong in Gryffindor,
    Where dwell the brave at heart,
    Their daring, nerve and chivalry
    Set Gryffindors apart;

    GoF:
    Bold Gryffindor, from wild moor,
    ...
    By Gryffindor, the bravest were
    Prized far beyond the rest;

    OotP:
    Said Gryffindor, "We'll teach all those
    With brave deeds to their name,"
    ...
    While the bravest and the boldest
    Went to daring Gryffindor,
    So it looks like our qualities are bravery, daring, nerve, chivalry, and boldness, right from the Sorting Hat himself (itself?). There isn't much to add here. These qualities sound like your typical hero-type. It's up to the author to express the qualities (not nessicarily all of them; what's to say there isn't a shy kid Sorted here who seems to lack the daring boldness, but will fight to the death for what's right?) in a believable way, so the character isn't just a jumble of traits in a story.


    I think what everyone (sorry for the general blanket of this; I know this does not apply to all people who will read this) overlooks is that these things aren't clear cut. Sure, you'll have characters who are Gryffindor incarnate, but most aren't. Most people (and characters) could be a member of more than one House. My natural home would be Slytherin, but I would fare just as well in Ravenclaw. In my opinion, the best way to make a believable Gryffindor is to find what motivates them, and use that motivation to show the bravery and the daring in their conflicts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aida
    Do you think Gryffs are more likely to ascribe to a black and white morality? Would Gryffs have a harder time conceiving of a gray and gray world, in terms of morality?
    If we're putting a blanket judgement on the people with a majority of Gryffindor traits, I think they would be more likely to see things in black and white. Gryffindors are so caught up in right and wrong. They aren't like Slytherins. I always see things in shades of grey. I've always been dreadful at taking a point of view in a yes/no debate, as there's always a merit to the other side. Gryffindor types seem like the sort to stick to their first impressions of a problem, and see the opposite as 'bad'.

    Selina

  10. #20
    Fifth Year Gryffindor
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    I think you're missing one of the key elements of a Gryffindor--loyalty! Gryffs are almost blindly loyal sometimes to those they care about. I think it ties into the black and white morality question very nicely:

    Do you think Gryffs are more likely to ascribe to a black and white morality? Would Gryffs have a harder time conceiving of a gray and gray world, in terms of morality?
    Yes, on both accounts. I think Gryffindors are keen to stand up very strongly for what they believe to be right, and be very loyal to that stance, even when indications point that they are wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by LuNaLoVeGoOdLoVer
    Take Harry and Snape for example.
    Harry was blind to any signs that Snape might be on their side, even though Dumbledore said he trusted the man with his life. Harry ignored what a brilliant, wise man Dumbledore was and how good his assumptions usually were, and jumped at any reason to believe Snape was on the dark side.

    Are Gryffs compassionate? Is compassion what drives them to "fix" problems in the world?
    I believe they are compassionate to some degree, but I do not think they're driven to fix problems in the world--that's a little bit too Hufflepuff-ish. Gryffindors stick up for what they believe in, almost to a stubborn degree, and won't let anyone tell them they're wrong, so in that way they are compassionate.

    How does "chivalry" fit into this?
    I've always taken the "chivalry" description of Gryffindors as willing to take the bullet for someone--I don't really know how to rephrase that. Gryffindors will put themselves in danger to save anyone, be it a close friend or someone they just met. They're willing to take a risk for others, especially those weaker than them.

    Just out of curiosity, is your character on the Character Clinic boards?

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