Sorting Hat Sunday: Charlotte’s Web

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Sorting Hat Saturday – or anything, really – on this blog. But I realized the other day just how well the four main characters of Charlotte’s Web fit the four Hogwarts houses, and naturally, I just had to write about it.

Wilbur is a Hufflepuff. When Charlotte describes him as “humble”, she’s absolutely right – he’s humble in the best way. Even as he rises from runty pig to celebrity, he remains grounded and down-to-earth. He is a true friend to Charlotte and her descendants and is even polite to Templeton, although the rat does not return the favor. What’s truly extraordinary about Wilbur is the way he sees everyone in the barn as a friend and an equal, and brings them all together where they had been indifferent to each other in the past.

Fern is a Gryffindor. Nothing will stop her from standing up to injustice and doing what she thinks is right. Like many Gryffindors, she instinctively protects the weak, such as the runty piglet her father intends to kill. She is not afraid to stand up to those she loves, and as Dumbledore reminds us, that takes even more courage than standing up to your enemies.

Charlotte is a Ravenclaw. She is wise, helpful, and extremely intelligent. Not only does she fulfil the role of the wise mentor for Wilbur, giving him good advice and guidance, her attempts to save his life are also a good example of Ravenclaw heroics. As a spider, she is small and seemingly insignificant, unable to physically protect her friend, but she uses her intelligence, creativity, and inner strength in a very selfless way to save him.

Templeton is a Slytherin. While he sometimes helps out Charlotte and Wilbur, he looks out for himself first, plain and simple. He’s concerned with having plenty of food to eat and hoarding things in his den under Wilbur’s feeding trough, and usually has to be manipulated into doing anything for others. This often comes from the goose, a very different kind of Slytherin, who is not greedy and gluttonous like Templeton, but recognizes those as his weaknesses and uses them to threaten or tempt him into helping.