7

The Sorting Hat is able to look into a person's mind to learn about their talents, and can hear the thoughts of the person as well.

Hmm," said a small voice in his ear. "Difficult. Very difficult. Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind either. There's talent, A my goodness, yes -- and a nice thirst to prove yourself, now that's interesting.... So where shall I put you?"

Harry gripped the edges of the stool and thought, Not Slytherin, not Slytherin.

"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!"

—Chapter 7: "The Sorting Hat", Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Does the Sorting Hat get its mind-reading powers from the use of legilimency (the art of mind-reading)? Could someone skilled in occlumency (the art of closing one's mind against legilimency) be able to prevent the Sorting Hat from working?

  • 1
    Probably. It only needs to work on untrained 11-year-olds, after all, so building in an anti-occlumency spell would be major overkill. – Harry Johnston Jan 26 '18 at 2:06
  • It does use legilimency as it has already been answered previously here: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/10205 And since it does use legilimency then occlumency should work against it, but of course no 11 year old would be able to do that and even if they could then what would be the point of sorting anyways. – dobby Jan 26 '18 at 6:39
3

According to Pottermore on the Sorting Hat:

The Sorting Hat fact file MAGICAL PROPERTIES Talks, sings, uses Legilimency

If you're skilled in Occulmency then technically you could prevent the Hat from talking to you. Though this is more of an opinion based question than the first. There's no canon on this.

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