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I seem to recall seeing a reason somewhere, but I've no clue and, as the question hasn't been asked before: why is Hermione not in Ravenclaw? She's clearly the smartest person in the year and, as Ravenclaw prides itself on its intelligent students, why wouldn't she be in Ravenclaw rather than the brave Gryffindor?

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According to OOTP - the sorting hat did consider putting Hermione in Ravenclaw - but I guess Hermione's courage outweighed her intelligence. –  mustard Apr 24 at 5:27
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Out of canon, all the heroes are in Gryffindor. How else would you know they're the heroes? (Warning: TVTropes). Even Neville is in Gryffindor. It's my major peeve with the Harry Potter universe: good guys in Gryffindor, bad guys in Slytherin, extras in Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. –  SQB Apr 24 at 6:04
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I regard Luna as a Hero wasn't she in Ravenclaw? –  Simon Apr 24 at 8:00
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She's not very intelligent IMO. Have you seen her silly idea of liberating house elves? Kids these days... –  Voldemort Apr 24 at 8:17
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Not an answer, but it's possible she, Harry and Ron were all placed into Gryffindor to discover the flaws in their most notable traits - Harry discovers that proving himself worthy isn't the most important thing in life, Ron discovers that loyalty has its limits, and Hermione discovers that an obsession with knowledge isn't always the right way to go about things. Yes I think Harry belonged in Slytherine, Ron in Hufflepuff, and Hermione in Ravenclaw, and I'm not going back on it. –  Zibbobz Apr 24 at 13:43

6 Answers 6

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The Sorting Hat actually spent a long time deliberating over Hermione. She mentions it when somebody asks her about a particularly complicated piece of magic in Order of the Phoenix:

“How come you’re not in Ravenclaw?” he [Terry Boot] demanded, staring at Hermione with something close to wonder. “With brains like yours?”

“Well, the Sorting Hat did seriously consider putting me in Ravenclaw during my Sorting,” said Hermione brightly, “but it decided on Gryffindor in the end.”

Pottermore has some more information on borderline candidates:

Hatstall. An archaic Hogwarts term for any new student whose Sorting takes longer than five minutes. This is an exceptionally long time for the Sorting Hat to deliberate, and occurs rarely, perhaps once every fifty years.

Of Harry Potter’s contemporaries, Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom came closest to being Hatstalls. The Sorting Hat spent nearly four minutes trying to decide whether it should place Hermione in Ravenclaw or Gryffindor.

As for why Hermione is sorted into Gryffindor over Ravenclaw, I think she answers this herself in Philosopher’s Stone. On the Hogwarts Express, she shows a clear preference for Gryffindor over Ravenclaw:

”I’ve been asking around and I hope I’m in Gryffindor, it sounds by far the best, I hear Dumbledore himself was one, but I suppose Ravenclaw wouldn’t be too bad…”

We know the Sorting Hat takes your choice into account, so if it was struggling to place her, then it might use her preference as the deciding factor.

Later, in the dungeons as they’re trying to get to the Philosopher’s Stone, we have this particularly telling line:

“I’m not as good as you,” said Harry, very embarrassed, as she let go of him.

“Me!” said Hermione. “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things – friendship and bravery and – oh Harry – be careful!”

Hermione holds the values of Gryffindor – courage and bravery – higher than those of Ravenclaw – raw intelligence and knowledge. (Which is not to say one is necessarily “better” than the other; merely that Hermione sees it that way.)

She doesn’t just value these traits; she exhibits them throughout the books. She encourages Harry to start Dumbledore’s Army; she fights with him in the Ministry of Magic; she works alongside him in the hunt for Horcruxes. But she starts off as a stereotypical know-it-all, and we don’t really see much courage or bravery.

The Sorting Hat placed her in Gryffindor because she has the traits of a Gryffindor within her, and placing her in that house can bring them out. She’s already very studious and intelligent, more so than a lot of Ravenclaws, so I think she has more to gain from Gryffindor than Ravenclaw.

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And let's not forget her rebellion against authority in founding SPEW amidst a complete lack of support from even her best friends. –  JLRishe Apr 24 at 8:15
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Great answer, especially the last sentence! –  Lohoris Apr 24 at 9:33
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I think a really key point is that even if we argue that Hermione is "more" intelligent and studious than she is brave and courageous, she values bravery more. To be studious is a natural proclivity of hers, but bravery is something she has actively chosen to try to be (and she is). –  KRyan Apr 24 at 13:16
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Hermione sticks up for herself, she sticks up for her friends, and she sticks up for the weak. That's why I like her. You can also compare her kind of courage to Harry's. Harry's bravery is foolhardy--in the heat of emotion, he'll take extraordinary risks. Whereas Hermione, she's never reckless, but she is committed to do what she believes is right, and sometimes that needs her to be brave. –  Colonel Panic Apr 24 at 20:27
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Dumbledore was exceptionally 'brainy' as well, probably the most brilliant and most cunning Wizard; yet he was in Gryffindor. Voldemort, another exceptionally brainy and inquisitive young Wizard; yet he was sorted into Slytherin. Just goes to show that being intelligent isn't the only thing the Sorting Hat considers. –  Mooz Apr 29 at 1:54
  1. Hermione is smart, intelligent, but also, she is the "take matters into your hands" type person, which is not a very Ravenclaw-y trait. She wasn't very hesitant to creat polyjuice potions despite knowing that they are highly illegal. She also went ahead and trapped Rita Skeeter. She just goes for the right thing if it fits her conviction. If you think about it, She is actually the perfect combination of Ravenclaw AND Gryffindor traits.
  2. She is also strong and courageous when it comes to the tough decisions. Erasing yourself from your own parents memories is something that would take more than all the courage in the world.

    I feel we see a lot of her stronger aspects throughout the series. She has all the identifying marks of Gryffindor on top of her intelligence, smartness. This makes her a Gryffindor.
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Why the downvote? –  ash_k29 Apr 25 at 10:08
    
Just a guess - possibly the long, run-on paragraph without formatting? Your content looks sound. –  scubbo Apr 25 at 10:29
    
But it wasn't that long a paragraph :( .... Anyways, I've re-formatted it now. –  ash_k29 Apr 25 at 10:42
    
It would've been nice to comment about formatting rather than straight away giving it a down-vote :( –  ash_k29 Apr 25 at 10:43
    
I agree (and, to be clear, I didn't downvote you - just giving a suggestion of why others might have done). The re-formatting does look nicer, though! –  scubbo Apr 25 at 11:21

The author wanted to avoid a house hopping. She wanted to have characters that interact. It would have been more difficult to let them interact when Harry, Hermione and Ron would have been in different houses. With the setup taken she could show then getting friends without too much interaction between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor.

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This explains why Rowling chose this setup. But I feel the question is more about an in-universe explanation. –  Einer Apr 25 at 6:35
    
@Einer - that would be correct –  N.Soong Apr 25 at 6:47

If you will allow for Keirsian Temperament types , http://www.keirsey.com/sorthat.aspx, Gryffindor was Idealist and Ravenclaw was Rational.

Hermione is an INFJ. Idealists often act like Rationals while they are growing up, especially until they learn to fit in. Hermione, whose parents were not magical, worked very hard to fit in, acting much like a Rational to the untrained eye.

So, at first glance, she would fit into Ravenclaw, but on further analysis she was truly Gryffindor material.

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I've read this explanation:

Harry, Ron and Hermione represent the three other houses. Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, respectively. Or, that's where they would have been placed if it hadn't been for the fact that they asked to be put in Gryffindor. After all, by the mere act of asking to be placed with the house of bravery, one demonstrates bravery!

Or, perhaps Neville was the would-be Hufflepuff. Note that Harry, Hermione and Neville all had near-hatstalls: it took quite a long time for the Sorting Hat to place them.

Edit: I found the original proposition, which was on Tumblr: The Golden Trio House.

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It'd be a better answer if you indicated where you read this. An interesting theory, however, and not without merit! –  DVK Jul 13 at 23:25
    
Well, I read it on a post somewhere on Tumblr, so unfortunately not very citable. But it provided interesting food for thought. –  John Peyton Jul 14 at 16:05

Well, Hermione was very intelligent. The Sorting Hat was considering Ravenclaw, but it noted that she valued friendship and courage just as much, if not more. Hermione is also very brave. You don't always have to have a trait to be in a house. It can also depend on what you value. Plus, Hermione wanted to be in Gryffindor, and the Hat would have noticed that.

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How is this any different from information in all the OTHER answers? –  DVK May 13 at 14:23

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