Sorting Hat Saturday: The Missing

For the past two weeks, I’ve been sorting the characters of Margaret Peterson Haddix into Hogwarts houses, and I’m wrapping that up today with The Missing, a series about time travel and kids kidnapped from history. I never finished the series when they were first coming out, and I didn’t make it to the end re-reading them either. To be honest, I found the later books a bit convoluted and rushed. Maybe it’s just the lack of childhood nostalgia that I have for her other books. I don’t know. But I did love the first few, and they gave me a lot to think about Sorting-wise, so I decided to go ahead and sort the characters from the first three books.

Jonah: Hufflepuff. At first glance he may look like a Gryffindor; after all, he often acts courageously and becomes something of a leader for the “missing” kids. However, Jonah rejects both Gary and Hodge’s reckless selfishness and JB’s noble but harsh ideas about sacrifice for the greater good. Instead, he sides with the other kids themselves and won’t save the world unless he can save all of them as well. Just like the Hufflepuffs who fought in the Battle of Hogwarts did so for different reasons than the Gryffindors, Jonah’s reasons for traveling to dangerous time periods again and again are more about protecting people than fighting for ideals. He doesn’t allow himself to play favorites, either; when he is sent back in time with his sister, his best friend, and a kid he’s never met before, he tries just as hard to save the stranger. That sort of fairness is a very Hufflepuff quality.

Katherine: Gryffindor. When presented with the idea of time travel, Katherine’s first thought is to go back in time and prevent historical tragedies: to assassinate Hitler, stop the Titanic from sinking, prevent 9/11, etc. She fights as hard as she can for a cause that’s not even hers; of all the kids, she’s the only one who isn’t a missing child from history. She gets angry about injustices, such as women’s lack of rights in some of the time periods they visit, and she’s not afraid of breaking the “rules” of time travel when her gut tells her it’s the right thing to do. While she gets scared as easily as the other kids, she rarely lets fear hold her back.

Chip: Slytherin. While Katherine thinks about changing the past for the better, Chip’s first instinct is to use time travel for his own benefit, to go back and bet on things he knows will happen. He’s thrilled to find out he was a king in his original timeline and eager to fight for his crown – so eager he nearly gets himself killed. He’s a nice kid, but that’s Slytherin ambition.

Alex: Ravenclaw. I always question my instincts when sortings work too neatly, like when a group of four or eight ends up split evenly. But out of the four kids who travel back in time together in book 2, I’ve already talked about why Jonah is a Hufflepuff, Katherine a Gryffindor, and Chip a Slytherin. Alex is definitely a Ravenclaw. His brain just never stops. He remains logical when the other kids are freaking out, tries to figure out the science behind their weird experiences, and looks at the whole experience with curiosity rather than fear.

Andrea: Slytherin. I’m very hesitant about this. My first instinct was Hufflepuff, because she’s certainly kind and loyal. But it’s a selfish sort of loyalty. Other characters debate preserving history versus saving its victims, but as far as Andrea is concerned, time itself can unravel and paradoxes destroy the world if only she can save her family. “Use any means to achieve their ends” describes her pretty well.

JB: Gryffindor. JB’s main goal at the beginning of the series is to find the missing kids and put them back in their proper time periods, regardless of what that will mean for them. Devoted to fixing the past and aware that sometimes sacrifices must be made for the greater good, JB is actually an excellent example of a well-intentioned but flawed Gryffindor. Nothing he does is for personal ambition and certainly not out of cruelty; he is brave and selfless and believes others have a duty to be selfless as well. But it takes Jonah’s people-focused Hufflepuff attitude to make him question whether he’s right. As the series goes on, he becomes more of a traditional heroic Gryffindor.

Gary & Hodge: Slytherin. I’m not sure this needs any explaining. Who but a Slytherin would ruin the timeline out of nothing but greed?

Angela: Ravenclaw. After witnessing the impossible and being branded as delusional, Angela does not question her own sanity or dismiss what she saw. Instead, she spends thirteen years doing research on theoretical physics to try to explain it. Angela is the voice of truth in the first book; the other adults are more concerned with their own agendas, while Angela thinks the best thing to do is present the facts and let the kids make an informed decision. That’s definitely a Ravenclaw attitude.


One thought on “Sorting Hat Saturday: The Missing

  1. Pingback: If Hufflepuffs Had Time Travel … – The Hogwarts Pensieve

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