Is there any canon information, quotes, or interviews with J.K. Rowling that suggests the Hogwarts houses are (loosely) based on the four temperaments: Choleric, Sanguine, Melancholic, and Phlegmatic?

  • 2
    I don't think so. Other than there being four of each, there doesn't seem to be any connection. Slytherine is opportunistic and clever - what would that be? Choleric? Sanguine? Hufflepuff could be Sanguine, but so could Gryffindor. Ravenclaw is full of nerds focused on knowledge. Not sure where that goes. Melancholic? Phlegmatic? Not quite either one. Nah. – Misha R Jan 23 '15 at 1:08

Not the temperaments, but the four elements. J.K. Rowling mentions this in reference to Slytherin House:

JKR: Probably. I hear you. It is the tradition to have four houses, but in this case, I wanted them to correspond roughly to the four elements. So Gryffindor is fire, Ravenclaw is air, Hufflepuff is earth, and Slytherin is water, hence the fact that their common room is under the lake. So again, it was this idea of harmony and balance, that you had four necessary components and by integrating them you would make a very strong place. But they remain fragmented, as we know.
The Leaky Cauldron and Mugglenet - 2006

  • 5
    This I like. Gryffindor is all sorts of heroic, Ravenclaw is aloof, Hufflepuff works hard, and Slytherine is full of slippery bastards. Makes sense. – Misha R Jan 23 '15 at 1:10
  • Beat me to it by like two minutes :-( – Valorum Jan 23 '15 at 1:11
  • @Richard - I remembered that JKR had mentioned this. – Slytherincess Jan 23 '15 at 1:16
  • 8
    @Richard I'm surprised you thought there was a chance against Slytherincess :p – Möoz Jan 23 '15 at 1:46
  • 6
    It is worth noting that the four temperaments are traditionally associated with the four elements, but they don't quite match up with JKR's descriptions. Choleric is Fire (Gryffindor), which (mostly) matches well, as choleric people are characterized as extroverted, passionate, and natural leaders. Water (Slytherin) is associated with the phlegmatic temperament, though, which is supposed to be private, calm, caring, and tolerant. I don't think "tolerant" is a very good description of most Slytherins, though. – KSmarts Jan 23 '15 at 16:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.