In the HP universe, Gryffindor house is somewhat a metaphor of righteousness and morality. On the other hand, Slytherin house represents the dark side. However, there are a few exceptions on the Slytherin part such as Merlin, Professor Slughorn, Severus Snape etc. The only known Gryffindor Dark wizard (as far as I could find) is Peter Pettigrew. As Slytherin house is reputed to have produced more than one good wizard, were there any more Dark wizards (apart from Wormtail) who were sorted to Gryffindor house?


Its mentioned on Pottermore that Hufflepuff has had the fewest (meaning less than Gryffindor) Dark wizards.

The Hufflepuff welcome letter on Pottermore makes a claim about their dark wizard turnout:

However, it’s true that Hufflepuff is a bit lacking in one area. We’ve produced the fewest Dark wizards of any house in this school. Of course, you’d expect Slytherin to churn out evil-doers, seeing as they’ve never heard of fair play and prefer cheating over hard work any day, but even Gryffindor (the house we get on best with) has produced a few dodgy characters.

Now assume that Gryffindor has produced only one! So there's a contradiction, hence there was somebody else!

  • 2
    @TomDoyle But the gravity of his crimes is paramount. Voldemort's rebirth, Potter's murder, murder of Cedric are more then enough to make him a Dark Wizard
    – Tom Lynd
    Aug 12, 2014 at 13:12
  • 3
    This is no excuse :). By the way why did he go to Voldemort in the first place?
    – Tom Lynd
    Aug 12, 2014 at 13:14
  • 1
    He showed no true loyalty to Voldemort. ""Your devotion is nothing more than cowardice. You would not be here if you had anywhere else to go. Voldemort goes on to further state, "How am I to survive without you, when I need feeding every few hours? Who is to milk Nagini?"
    – Tom Doyle
    Aug 12, 2014 at 13:21
  • 4
    How does "Hufflepuff has had the fewest Dark wizards" mean "greater than Gryffindor"? Also, I hardly think Death Eaters are the only Dark Wizards Hogwarts has ever produced in its' 1000 year history?
    – Shisa
    Aug 14, 2014 at 17:02
  • 6
    My high school produced even fewer dark wizards than Hufflepuff! I've never been so proud!
    – Misha R
    Oct 10, 2016 at 17:10

8 Answers 8


I don't assume there was only one dark wizard in Gryffindor — statistically, that makes no sense. According to J.K. Rowling and Pottermore, yes, Gryffindor has produced dark wizards. All the houses have — they just don't like to admit it!

Here's a clip from the Slytherin welcome letter from Pottermore, verifying all four houses have produced dark wizards.

Screenshot of the Slytherin welcome letter on Pottermore, transcribed below

Now, there are a few things you should know about Slytherin — and a few you should forget.

Firstly, let's dispel a few myths. You might have heard rumours about Slytherin house — that we're all into the Dark Arts, and will only talk to you if your great-grandfather was a famous wizard, and rubbish like that. Well, you don't want to believe everything you hear from competing houses. I'm not denying that we've produced our share of Dark wizards, but so have the other houses — they just don't like admitting it. And yes, we have traditionally tended to take students who come from long lines of witches and wizards, but nowadays you'll find plenty of people in Slytherin house who have at least one Muggle parent.

Slytherin House welcome letter, Pottermore; emphasis added

So, yes, Gryffindor has produced dark wizards other than Peter Pettigrew. Canon does not identify the Gryffindor dark wizards by name, nor does J.K. Rowling or Pottermore. Note: I am addressing specifically the issue of dark wizards because that is what the question asks about. It does not ask about Death Eaters, so to bring that into the fray would be extraneous. A dark wizard is not synonymous to Death Eater.

  • 5
    Given J.K. Rowling’s maths, I’m dubious of any argument that rests on statistics ;) But the image is convincing – have a +1
    – alexwlchan
    Oct 11, 2014 at 21:15
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    For what it's worth, teen Dumbledore supposedly had fairly grim ideas. He might count like a dark wizard within Gryffindor, albeit replacing his ideas later on.
    – Saturn
    Oct 12, 2014 at 3:40
  • 3
    If someone had converted the image to text, or at least added some alt text, then I'd be able to read it...
    – OrangeDog
    Oct 15, 2016 at 19:51
  • 3
    Are you at least open to adding a transcription for alt text? Those of us who use screen readers would really appreciate being able to read the image. Apr 11, 2018 at 3:48
  • @OrangeDog does this work for you?
    – SQB
    Apr 11, 2018 at 6:32

Albus Dumbledore was (temporarily) a somewhat Dark wizard.

While he did “reform”, in his youth, Albus Dumbledore held ideology that was very much in line with what many Dark wizards believed. He believed that wizards should rule over Muggles - and was taking concrete steps with his then-friend Gellert Grindelwald to make that a reality. He sought domination over Muggles and to establish wizard rule, presumably with himself and Grindelwald as the rulers.

“Your point about wizard dominance being FOR THE MUGGLES’ OWN GOOD – this, I think, is the crucial point. Yes, we have been given power and, yes, that power gives us the right to rule, but it also gives us responsibilities over the ruled. We must stress this point, it will be the foundation stone upon which we build. Where we are opposed, as we surely will be, this must be the basis of all our counter-arguments. We seize control FOR THE GREATER GOOD. And from this it follows that where we meet resistance, we must use only the force that is necessary and no more.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 18 (The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore)

He didn’t seem to enjoy the thought of killing, and he didn’t reach the Dark Lord or even Grindelwald in heights of deeds actually done before he changed his mind, but then, neither did Wormtail or most of the other Dark wizards we know of.

His ideology was nearly identical to Grindelwald’s, and as implied by his eventual chosen slogan, it’s entirely possible that Grindelwald also believed what he was doing was right. Dumbledore believed that what he was doing was right, yes, but many of the wizards considered Dark that we see throughout the series earnestly believed they were right. Grindelwald may have thought everything he did was “for the greater good”, but he’s still remembered by history as a very Dark wizard. So, at least for a time, Dumbledore could be considered a Dark wizard from Gryffindor.

There are likely more - we don’t know every Dark wizard’s house.

There are likely to have been several Dark wizards who attended Hogwarts since its founding, a time period spanning centuries, and we only see a small subset of those in the series. The characteristics of Gryffindor don’t eliminate the possibility of Dark wizards being sorted there - the main requirement is bravery, which isn’t exclusively a trait of “good”, though it is usually associated with it. The only quality the Sorting Hat mentioned as one favored by Gryffindor that tends toward “goodness” is chivalry. The most definitive Gryffindor trait, however, is bravery, which doesn’t eliminate the possibility of certain types of Dark wizards being suited for Gryffindor.

We don’t know the houses of even all the Dark wizards we do see as named characters in the series, mostly among the ranks of the Death Eaters. None of the ones we know of are known to be Gryffindors (other than Wormtail of course), but many are never mentioned as being in a specific house. Barty Crouch Jr., Yaxley, Macnair, and Rookwood are just some of the Death Eaters whose house is unknown and not hinted at.

  • I would not agree that just sharing an idea with Dark wizard makes someone a Dark wizard himself. To my understanding, Dark wizard is someone who uses Dark Magic and we don't have evidences Dumbledore ever used it.
    – Shana Tar
    Nov 22, 2018 at 8:03

The first time Harry learns about the four houses, Hagrid says:

There's not a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn't in Slytherin. (Sorcerer's Stone Chapter 5)

At the time of that statement it was not yet known that Peter Pettigrew was bad. Once this became known, he would then be the only bad wizard not from Slytherin (unless another wizard had gone bad during those two years).

(Of course, Hagrid might have been exaggerating, and he is hardly the most reliable source.)

  • Actually, when no one knew who was really Peter Pettigrew, everyone thought that Sirius Black was the bad one, and Sirius was in Gryffindor too. And Hagrid personaly knew Sirius, given he was the one who gave him the flying bike.
    – Lyzvaleska
    May 16, 2018 at 14:09
  • James Potter
  • Sirius Black
  • Fred Weasley
  • George Weasley
  • Percy Weasley
  • Harry Potter!

While none of those characters are outright evil like Bellatrix or Riddle, they are quite shady at times.

Remember the scene while James Potter was bullying Snape, when Lily complained James was friends with Death Eaters. If it was not for Lily, James could easily have ended up a Death Eater.

Fred and George are known for an utter disregard of the rules. It's almost that they break the rules not because they disagree with any, but because they are rules.

Percy worked for the Ministry while it was evil (either Death Eater Evil, or Bureaucratic Evil) for a long time before coming to his senses. With different circumstances, I can easily see him becoming a new Umbridge.

Harry Potter has the same disregard for rules of his father. For Harry it's more a case of "I'm too good for rules." This is behavior that can easily upgrade to full sociopathy.

You will tell me that I'm not answering the question. That none of those characters were Evil Dark Wizards.
They could have been! It was only a question of circumstances, and a question of the definition of 'Evil Dark Wizard'.

So yes, I can easily see Gryffindor spawning a Dark Wizard, the same way I can see Slytherin spawning the most altruistic wizard ever.

  • 6
    This isn't answering the question as they were not "Evil Dark Wizard".
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Apr 11, 2018 at 11:20
  • Fred, George and Percy are never seen to use Dark Arts, so they can't be seen as Dark wizards. Harry, James and Sirius may use some Dark spells occasionally, but not enough to be actually called Dark wizards. On the other hand Dark wizard does not have to be Evil. We probably can call Draco and Narcissa Dark, as they used Dark Arts on a casual basis. But they turned to be not exactly Evil.
    – Shana Tar
    Nov 22, 2018 at 8:11

I wish I could find the exact source, but I once found someone stating (on the Internet, so who knows where) what I think is a good answer. Simply put, there's no "light" or "dark side" in Hogwarts houses, they just take those possessing the qualities most appreciated by their respective founders. But of course, certain traits can go for bad or good, so Gryffindor's courage can also be ruthlessness, Slytherin's cunning can be malicious or not. So every house could produce a dark wizard, but I wouldn't expect them to boast about it, just like Harvard wouldn't put the numbers of serial killers that studied there on their pamphlets. P.S. Honestly I don't know WHY Wormtail was in the house that most love courage and loyalty, but maybe the Sorting Hat saw what could've been.


There are no canonically mentioned Dark Wizards except for Wormtail. Arguably, you could claim that Godric Gryffindor himself was an immoral character and close to being a dark Gryffindor but that's just a theory I thought up, though. basically, since someone kept all the information that lead to the legend of the Chamber of Secrets which portrays Salazar as the 'bad' guy, you could argue the story was written by Godric since Rowena and Helga really never argued or fought with the others according to the story. Personally, that seems suspicious since Rowena wouldn't like the unwise decision that Salazar made and Helga would be mad at both of them especially Godric for arguing and basically forcing the other to leave the school. But I digress. Wormtail is the only mentioned canonical dark wizard from Gryffindor but can't be the only one. I'm fairly certain that all the hatred Gryffindors have towards Slytherin would create a ton of pro-muggle born extremists who would use the same methods to exterminate pure-bloods and Slytherins seeing them as the villains and the Gryffindors as the heroes who must eliminate the evil house forever with the help of the 'friendly good' houses of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff who wouldn't fight with them for obvious reasons(anti-friendly decisions and unwise actions).

  • This has the makings of a good answer. It might help if you broke it up into two or more paragraphs and pared down some of the longer sentences. As it stands, it's a little intimidating to read. Dec 29, 2016 at 18:54

Every house has produced their fair share of dark witches and wizards. Hagrid DID say:

There's not a witch or wizard that went bad who wasn't in Slytherin.

But is he the most reliable source? He really only got three years of education and at Harry's first time meeting him he admitted he couldn't spell the Dark Lord's name.

I am sure there are many witches and wizards that mingled with the dark arts in all the houses. After all, they say that Hufflepuff had the fewest dark witches and wizards. FEWEST. Not none. And given that is true, Gryffindor.

Now, let's say every five years, one dark wizard or witch is released from Hufflepuff. Given the amount of students who attend, the reality is many more, This number increases for each house, ending at Slytherin. (Before the Dark Lord rose, because that made numbers much higher.) Like being put in Azkaban for mingling with the dark arts to murdering people. I have no doubt that Gryffindor has produced at least a hundred dark students. After all, the school has been open for over 1000 years.

  • 1
    Welcome to SFF! Whilst this may answer the question the majority of the answer is basically pure speculation. Could you edit in some sources/evidence to back up your claims?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jun 15, 2018 at 10:35

Keep in mind that it's not always especially black and white which House someone belongs in. While certain people were very clear-cut fits for their Houses, such as Voldemort and most of the Weasleys (with the possible exception of Percy, who was presumably a possible fit for Slytherin due to his extreme ambition but "came through" in the end), many of them weren't so obvious. For example:

  • Neville Longbottom could've gone to Hufflepuff
  • Hermione or Minerva McGonagall could've gone to Ravenclaw
  • The Sorting Hat wanted to put Harry in Slytherin. The main reason that he didn't end up there was that he begged the hat to put him anywhere but there.

And, of course, some people have other attributes that manifest themselves later - for example, Snape showed tremendous courage, which caused Dumbledore to remark that "sometimes I think we sort too early" (implying that he thought that Snape could've been a Gryffindor).

The book isn't all that specific about other evildoers from Gryffindor, but it was evidently at least somewhat uncommon. At a minimum, Hagrid claimed at one point that all of the Dark wizards had come from Slytherin. Granted, that wasn't exactly true, but it still suggests that the vast majority of them were from there.

The case of Snape is particularly telling: it's possible for people to change after they were sorted, either for the better (like Snape) or for the worse (like Peter Pettigrew). This is especially the case given that people were sorted when they were 11, before their personalities were fully formed. In fact, the fact that people make their own choices (and the later impact of the choices people already made) is a major theme in the book.

Also, there have been a lot of studies showing that it can also be remarkably difficult to predict who will become violent later, even for experts in psychology. That being said, there's no particular reason that Gryffindor wouldn't have produced other Dark wizards (either because they changed later, or because the Sorting Hat just "missed" them).

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