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I'm just curious about why the Slytherin dormitories are in the dungeons. Because that dungeon extends partway under the lake. Is it because that their founder was very fond of snakes and snakes live underground?

  • 14
    Because Slytherin is eeeeeevil. – Valorum Jul 31 '17 at 17:54
  • 7
    Because they got first choice. – Mike Scott Jul 31 '17 at 18:01
  • 6
    Humor aside, Valorum is right. But it's more complicated than that. It's not so much that they are 'evil', as they are associated with 'evil' in terms of their preferences and desires. So they end up with the stereotypical 'evil' locations; hidden (or not well know, for sure, per HP7), hard to spy on (surrounded by earth, covered by water), VERY conducive to hidden passages and such, somewhat Dark (or shielded from the gaze of the Sun), etc. Evil tends to prefer such things for secrecy; thus, too, Slytherins, evil or not, because of stereotypical 'Evil' tendencies. – K-H-W Jul 31 '17 at 18:04
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    I think it's been established already that Slytherin is evil and they like it that way. – Gallifreyan Jul 31 '17 at 18:12
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    They wanted to be as far away from the Gryffindors as possible. :P – Bellatrix Jul 31 '17 at 19:20
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Salazar probably just chose the location because he liked it.

Each house has their common room in a different location. The Gryffindor and Ravenclaw common rooms are both in towers, the Hufflepuff common room is in the basement near the kitchens, and the Slytherin common room is in the dungeons.

“As it was Sunday morning, nearly all the students were inside their various common rooms, the Gryffindors in one tower, the Ravenclaws in another, the Slytherins in the dungeons and the Hufflepuffs in the basement near the kitchens.”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 21 (The Unknowable Room)

Each Founder would be able to choose where they wanted their house common room to be, and there are reasons that Salazar would have chosen the dungeons.

The quiet of the dungeons would distill the mind, and ensure that the Slytherin students would remain relatively undisturbed by the other Houses. The dungeons are rather dark and out of the way of the main part of Hogwarts. They're not somewhere that most students would seek out without some sort of purpose, so it would be a quiet sort of place to be. In addition, it would help keep the other students, especially the Gryffindors, who most Slytherins would usually rather avoid, at a distance. The other students' dislike of the dungeons would be useful to keep them from coming to bother the Slytherins.

Salazar’s own secret room was far below Hogwarts, below even the dungeons and his House common room.

“It was like rushing down an endless, slimy, dark slide. He could see more pipes branching off in all directions, but none as large as theirs, which twisted and turned, sloping steeply downwards, and he knew that he was falling deeper below the school than even the dungeons. Behind him he could hear Ron, thudding slightly at the curves.”
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)

It's also under the lake, just like the Slytherin common room, so it's entirely plausible that the reason was that Salazar simply preferred underground locations with a dark sort of atmosphere, under the lake.

“We must be miles under the school,’ said Harry, his voice echoing in the black tunnel. ‘Under the lake, probably,’ said Ron, squinting around at the dark, slimy walls.”
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)

The Dark Lord found a quote from Pottermore that confirms all of the Founders, which would therefore include Salazar, chose the locations of their House's common rooms and dormitories.

"There is no doubt that each of the four founders sought to stamp their own mark upon the school of witchcraft and wizardry that they intended would be the finest in the world. It was agreed that each would construct their own houses, for example, choosing the location of common rooms and dormitories."
- Chamber of Secrets (Pottermore)

The dungeons might not be to everyone's taste, but they're not objectively bad. It's entirely possible that Salazar could have actively preferred them to other locations. Professor Snape, as well, seemed to enjoy a quiet and dark atmosphere, as seen when he takes over the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, which previously did not have this sort of atmosphere before Professor Snape took over.

“Snape had imposed his personality upon the room already; it was gloomier than usual as curtains had been drawn over the windows, and was lit by candlelight.”
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 9 (the Half-Blood Prince)

I'm not sure if I'd really consider it canon, but the Pottermore welcome letter for Slytherin certainly seems to enjoy the location of the common room, so it's not an objectively bad location, though it might not be to everyone's liking.

Our emblem is the serpent, the wisest of creatures; our house colours are emerald green and silver, and our common room lies behind a concealed entrance down in the dungeons. As you’ll see, its windows look out into the depths of the Hogwarts lake. We often see the giant squid swooshing by – and sometimes more interesting creatures. We like to feel that our hangout has the aura of a mysterious, underwater shipwreck.

  • 3
    To add to this, we know from Pottermore (Chamber of Secrets) that it was Salazar Slytherin himself who picked the location of the dorms: "There is no doubt that each of the four founders sought to stamp their own mark upon the school of witchcraft and wizardry that they intended would be the finest in the world. It was agreed that each would construct their own houses, for example, choosing the location of common rooms and dormitories." – The Dark Lord Jul 31 '17 at 21:39
  • @TheDarkLord Thanks so much! :) That's great, so Salazar did choose where his House's common room and dormitories were! – Bellatrix Jul 31 '17 at 21:46
  • You get my plus one - I find the Pottermore bit most compelling because it sounds really cool! Yes, it's 'in the dungeons' but it sounds like a themed hotel. – ThruGog Aug 2 '17 at 7:07

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