29

On the surface of it, this sounds like a ridiculous question. Every student in the books is described as a Slytherin, a Gryffindor, a Hufflepuff, or a Ravenclaw. There aren't even any "unaffiliated" students. However, we do have this tweet from J.K. Rowling:

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She seems to confirm the existence of Slytherpuffs, apparently a hybrid of Slytherin and Hufflepuff.

Can Hogwarts students be sorted into more than one House?

  • 7
    Consider that each house was both an affiliation and a physical space within Hogwarts Castle, with dormitories and common rooms. How would it work for one student to belong to more than one house? Would they have bunks in each? Similarly, how would an unaffiliated student be accommodated? Makes sense to me that student accommodation is divided into a number of residence wings - let's call them houses, each student is assigned a space in one, and each house has an identity to which the student is then affiliated. Hence each student is sorted into exactly one house. – Anthony X Apr 28 '16 at 3:40
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    Some of the House-sorting quizzes online will use terms like this to describe someone who belongs to one house but also has traits of another house (e.g. a Slytherpuff might be a Hufflepuff with traits of a Slytherin). It seems to be a fan thing. JKR might have heard about the terms and decided to use them without actually meaning to imply that it was possible, in-universe, for someone to be in two houses. Even in-universe, we could describe Hermione is a Ravendor, or Harry as a Slytherdor, since the hat was conflicted about them. – Torisuda Apr 28 '16 at 4:50
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    @Torisuda ‘Slytherdor’ sounds like one of those talking, happy doors from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. ‘Gryfferin’? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 28 '16 at 6:35
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    @Marakai Have you met Dolores? – Attack Helicopter Apr 28 '16 at 12:04
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    Aren't people who belong to two houses divergent?.......<ducks> – Mike Clark Apr 28 '16 at 14:41
19

She is referring to the idea of a Hatstall - where the Sorting Hat can't easily decide between students and their houses.

I had said that examples include Harry, who wasn't an easy choice between Gryffindor and Slytherin and Hermione, Professor McGonagall and Professor Flitwick, who were all considered for both Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.

In actual fact, as the Pottermore writing explains, only McGonagall and Peter Pettigrew were true Hatstalls because they took so long (over five minutes/in Pettigrew's case the stall was obviously between Gryffindor and Slytherin). The others were 'near Hatstalls' (thank you @Janus Bahs Jacquet).

On Pottermore, in some cases, the final question is "Which House do you want to be in?" And you are presented with two choices.

I think Rowling's joke that they are incredibly rare is about the apparent contrast between Hufflepuff and Slytherin, but a couple of friends of mine had this on Pottermore. They came to find quite a strong link between the ambitious, strong-willed values of Slytherin and the truth/loyalty based strong-willed values of Hufflepuff. A Ravenclaw, in contrast, could be considered quite apathetic and remote.

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    Harry, Hermione, and Flitwick weren’t Hatstalls, they’re Near Hatstalls. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 28 '16 at 6:32
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    Hermione was a Hatstall? If I remember book 1 correctly, didn't the hat nearly instantly decide on Gryffindor for Hermione? Or was that Draco Malfoy in Slytherin? – Nzall Apr 28 '16 at 10:50
  • @NateKerkhofs At one point, Hermione says that the hat considered putting her in Ravenclaw. – LindaJeanne Apr 28 '16 at 11:30
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    But was Harry a hatstall actually or was the hat merely reacting to the presence of Voldemort? – Chris Becke Apr 28 '16 at 11:34
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    @ChrisBecke ask that in its own question. The answer might be easy, but worth it. – Mindwin Apr 28 '16 at 14:52
81

JKR's tweets are usually inspired from some form of intoxication.

Her tweets are not to be considered Primary Canon especially when they seem completely facetious, and completely contradict the books. She is a real person first, and an author second or third (she is also a mother (might be 2nd who knows)) so statements that seem funny, and don’t correlate to her books in a logical sense are, more often than not, simply a joke.

We can be reasonably confident that the Sorting Hat is not capable of sorting people into 2 houses, especially after Harry's own sorting.

‘Not Slytherin, eh?’ said the small voice. ‘Are you sure? You could be great, you know, it’s all here in your head, and Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness, no doubt about that – no? Well, if you’re sure – better be GRYFFINDOR!’ - Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone.

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    Additionally, if you look at the replies to JKR’s tweet (and presumably also the tweet she was replying to, though __dominika’s tweets are protected, so I can’t tell), it seems to be talking about people who were sorted into different houses on different sites; e.g., people who were sorted into Slytherin on the old Pottermore, but Hufflepuff on the new Pottermore. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 28 '16 at 6:34
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    "JKR's tweets are usually inspired from some form of intoxication." Citation needed. – jpmc26 Apr 29 '16 at 0:24
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    "Slytherin! ... Just kidding, Ravenclaw!" – user11521 Apr 29 '16 at 1:16
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    @jpmc26 projection ... (Himarm is the local drunk in Mos Eisley) – Rand al'Thor Apr 21 '17 at 23:46
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    Does this mean the infamous "Hufflepuff group masturbation" tweet was just a joke? Phew, thanks goodness for that! – F1Krazy Nov 12 '17 at 11:56
1

I don't think it is possible to be sorted into more than one House, however, it seems possible to display traits from more than one. In the end, it appears to boil down to either which traits are strongest, or the House you choose as the one you believe to be most fitting for you.

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    What do you make of the tweet? Is that utter gibberish or a bending of the rules in your opinion? – Edlothiad Aug 12 '17 at 21:51
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    I think it just refers to the fact that a person can display traits of both Houses. Perhaps the person in question would sometimes act like a Slytherin would, while other times, it would be the way of a Hufflepuff that was chosen. – Liv Nilsen Aug 12 '17 at 21:54

protected by Valorum Nov 12 '17 at 12:08

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