Sorting Hat Saturday: Wicked

Last week, I did The Wizard of Oz for Sorting Hat Saturday, and this week I’m doing Wicked … although I should mention that I haven’t read the novel, which I’ve heard is quite different, so this will be based only on the musical.

Elphaba: Gryffindor. Yes, the Wicked Witch of the West is a Gryffindor, and that’s where the story’s tragedy lies. Elphaba doesn’t intend to be wicked at all. She fights for what she believes in, stands up for what is right when no one else will, and yet it only leads her to be reviled and viewed as wicked. I’ve said before that a Gryffindor villain would have to see themselves as the hero, and she does, right up until she reaches her breaking point and decides that “no good deed goes unpunished”. It’s only in taking her righteous crusade too far and seeing too many people she cares for end up worse off than before she tried to help them that she becomes the villain everyone already believed her to be (and by the end, she seems to have found herself again). Most importantly, as Dumbledore once said, “It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends”, and Elphaba is willing to stand up to not just the Wizard, but Glinda as well.

Glinda: Slytherin. Glinda is not a bad person; quite the opposite. While she starts out a bit superficial, she develops into a very good person who is also trying to do the right thing. It’s how she goes about it that makes me convinced she would be a Slytherin. While Elphaba is outspoken and reckless, Glinda’s decisions are carefully calculated and often safer. She presents a constructed persona in order to make herself “popular”, aware that it is public perception that will enable her to achieve her goals. Later, she refuses to flee the Emerald City with Elphaba, instead choosing to stay and support a corrupt leader. Her status, reputation, and ambitions are too important to throw away in a rash decision, whereas to Elphaba those things mean nothing compared with doing what she sees as right. Glinda is definitely a very nice and well-intentioned Slytherin, but evil isn’t actually a prerequisite.

Fiyero: Gryffindor. When I did The Wizard of Oz, I put the scarecrow in Ravenclaw, but Fiyero is anything but: he starts off as a spoiled rich boy who has been kicked out of numerous schools and has no interest in learning anything, rather than being intelligent but literally brainless. Nor does he have a Slytherin’s ambition or a Hufflepuff’s work ethic, but he develops into a courageous man who is willing to risk his life for Elphaba and her cause, so out of the four houses, I think Gryffindor is the best fit for him.

The Wizard: Slytherin. The Wizard is almost always a Slytherin, by nature of his deception and his grab for power upon arriving in Oz, but the one from Wicked is a particularly unpleasant kind of Slytherin who is not just a fake but a corrupt dictator.


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