After looking at the question Is Slytherin Evil?, it got me thinking. The loudest Harry Potter fans I see online all seem to be from Slytherin and they are so proud of it. I've seen people from the other houses, but it's not too hard to find some Slytherin shouting something about having pride in their house. I've heard people complain about others looking down on Slytherin and that the world mistreats those in Slytherin. Those from Slytherin try to say it's really about ambition and becoming what you want to be, yet we see so many examples in the books where they bully, they torture, they kill, they do whatever it takes to be what they want to be.

Yes there are a few examples of people from Slytherin who weren't evil (Snape, Slughorn, Regulus Black). Yes there were people not in Slytherin who were evil (Wormtail). So I get that Slytherin is not inherently evil.

But I don't really see what they have to be proud about. Who from Slytherin is really, truly that accomplished? Just Merlin? Anyone else? Can you really be proud of being in the house that generates all the most despicable people like was also the house of Voldemort and Umbridge and Bellatrix? What I am missing?

What do people have to be proud about in Slytherin?

EDIT: I see now how this question is fairly opinion based. I apologize for being rather biased and blatant about it. I think I see better now that Slytherin is really not evil, and that ambition can mean good things more than bad things. Thanks for the help!

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    "the house that generates all the most despicable people". I think you didn't fully understand that Slytherin is not evil. – Oriol Nov 5 '16 at 4:07
  • @Oriol Well you can't deny the fact that Voldemort, Bellatrix, and Umbridge came from Slytherin. But I guess you're right that I may still be a little biased in that regard. I'll edit it to be a little more fair. – Dumbledorality Nov 5 '16 at 4:56
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    I VTC this as primarily opinion based. It's asking to rationalize fan's emotions regarding an element of the stories under the presumption that a) people need a reason b) their reasons would be the same and/or c) the reasons already listed aren't good enough. There are too many possible answers here (every Slytherin could have their own reasons). – user31178 Nov 5 '16 at 6:15
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    Not everyone sorted into Slytherin is proud, only the proudest admit it, the rest don't even come forward. That's why it seems like they're all proud. :) – RedCaio Nov 5 '16 at 7:11
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    The other houses all epitomise unambiguously positive qualities (nobility, smartness and persistence). If you want to exhibit the ever popular antihero/scoundrel side of your character then Slytherin is the only game in town! – Sean Condon Nov 5 '16 at 11:34

Many evil things are done in the quest for power. Ambition does not necessarily mean a quest for power but some people are ambitious for power. You can be ambitious for knowledge. You might want power so that you can change for the better. Think of Dumbledore and Grindelwald, they had noble intentions but still thought that the best way to protect people would be to subjugate them.

A thirst for knowledge just for knowledge sake (or as in the riddle of the Mirror of Erised...to have knowledge -- which in the wizarding world IS power) just to have it not to use it could also be a noble ambition. As you mentioned Slughorn's ambition was to be well connected. To be the spider at the center of a web of power.

Ambition isn't an evil notion in and of itself. What that ambition drives a person to do or what a person does in the name of their ambition can be evil. Like Ollivander said Voldemort did Great things...terrible things but great nonetheless. Ambition can lead one to do great things...losing site of the impact of your ambition is what makes it terrible or wonderful.


Reasons to be proud to be in Slytherin House:

Positive attributes embodied by Slytherins: Ambition, drive and a thirst to succeed are often high on a list of negative characteristics but also make our world go round and are seen in many of our heroes as well as our villains. It's these things (among others) that the Sorting Hat saw in Harry but were also demonstrated regularly by Hermione, McGonagall and even Dumbledore. I think this is a pretty big focus of The Cursed Child also. In the Slytherin Pottermore welcome message, it explains that some may find themselves surprised to be in Slytherin but reassures them that they must have hidden talents and unexpected depth - this appeals to a lot of people.

Slytherin role models: Despite Bellatrix and Voldemort, in the years after Voldemort's downfall (as stated by Rowling) the truth of Severus Snape and Regulus Black did a great deal to improve the Slytherin name. While Slughorn had his vices, he defended the school despite obvious fear and a history of putting himself first, and even fought Voldemort himself face-to-face.

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