Sorting Hat Saturday: Star Trek – The Next Generation

My latest fictional obsession is Star Trek. I’m actually watching Deep Space Nine right now, but I’m only on season 4 and want to see how things play out before I do a Sorting Hat Saturday for it. So I’m going to start with Voyager and The Next Generation.

TNG was surprisingly difficult. Nearly all of its characters have the virtues of three different houses (Gryffindor bravery, Hufflepuff loyalty, Ravenclaw intelligence), so it was hard to know exactly which one to put each of them in. Picard in particular was difficult for this reason.

Captain Picard: Ravenclaw. Picard has the virtues of all houses except Slytherin. He has a strong moral compass and does not hesitate to stand up for what he believes is right, although he prefers to do so in non-violent ways when possible. One doesn’t get to be a Starfleet captain without being courageous. He’s incredibly loyal and hard-working, and he cares about fairness and justice rather than blindly following the letter of the law. He also tends to work more collaboratively than other Starfleet captains, asking for input from his senior officers and letting others lead the away missions. However, while it’s not hard to imagine Picard as a Gryffindor or a Hufflepuff, I think he fits best in Ravenclaw. He is a reserved intellectual content to spend his free time with a book of classical literature and a cup of Earl Grey tea. He takes time to think through all the implications of whatever problem they are facing in the episode, and he likes to have all the information before he makes a decision, which is part of why he encourages other characters to share their thoughts and opinions. He has a genuine respect for aliens’ ways of life and seems to embrace the Prime Directive more fully than any other captain. Picard seems to enjoy exploring far-off places and engaging diplomatically with other species and cultures. He is a quiet, thoughtful man who would fit better in Ravenclaw than any other house.

Commander Riker: Gryffindor. Riker is the standard hero figure in every way that Picard isn’t. He’s young, courageous, quick-to-act, and sometimes overconfident. He’s not ambitious or cunning – in fact, he passes up promotions in order to remain on the Enterprise – and while everyone in Starfleet is intelligent, he tends to leave the analysis and philosophical debates to other characters. He does have some Hufflepuff qualities. He is strongly loyal to Starfleet and to Captain Picard, and despite sometimes being overconfident and impulsive, he’s also a hard worker who does his duty to the absolute best of his ability. However, I think overall, Gryffindor is the best fit for him.

Doctor Crusher: Hufflepuff. It’s tempting to put her in Ravenclaw – she’s very smart and wears blue – but I’m not convinced. She seems to care more about helping people than she does about knowledge and information, using the latter as a tool to help her with the former. Doctor Crusher shows a great amount of compassion and kindness in her work as a doctor. Unlike Dr. Bashir and Voyager’s EMH, she has excellent bedside manner and a gentle, calming presence. Much like Helga Hufflepuff, she values fairness and equality, doing her best for her patients whether they are Enterprise crew members, people from pre-warp societies, or even enemies of the Federation. She has little ambition and is content to work behind the scenes in a supporting role.

Data: Ravenclaw. Data’s greatest desire in life is to understand what it means to be human. Despite being a machine and claiming to have no emotions, he is curious about the world around him and about the flesh-and-blood people who make it up. He uses every opportunity available to him to study the human condition and figure out the people around him. He was programmed to not only be intelligent but to be capable of learning and changing over time, and he makes full use of this ability. He is one of the most knowledgeable members of the crew and is constantly acquiring more knowledge.

Worf: Gryffindor. Nearly all Klingons seem to be Gryffindors. Their highest value is honor, but not just any honor: the kind that comes from fighting in battle and having no fear of death. Worf is unusual in that he’s a member of Starfleet and is willing to follow Picard’s lead, and since his captain prefers to try diplomacy first, he does a good deal less fighting than your average Klingon warrior. However, he still cares a great deal about honor and courage and would certainly be a Gryffindor.

Deanna Troi: Hufflepuff. Troi’s Betazoid empathy gives her insight into what others are feeling, which doesn’t necessarily make her a Hufflepuff on its own. A Ravenclaw with similar abilities, for example, might simply observe the emotions of others with curiosity, while a Slytherin would search for ways to exploit and manipulate them. Deanna Troi does neither of those things; she pays careful attention to what others are feeling in order to help them. In her role as the ship’s counselor, she is kind, supportive, and understanding, but not afraid to challenge others when they are not being truthful with her or themselves. She is a warm and caring Hufflepuff.

Geordi LaForge: Hufflepuff/Ravenclaw. On the one hand, Geordi is an incredibly kind and loyal person and a true friend. He has an easygoing, down-to-earth personality and strong work ethic that could easily put him in Hufflepuff. On the other hand, though, he has a sharp mind and a sense of ingenuity that serve him well in his position as Chief Engineer. Episodes which focus on him often have him thinking his way out of a problem and coming up with creative and unconventional solutions. He could easily be either a Hufflepuff or a Ravenclaw.

Guinan: Ravenclaw. A wise, somewhat eccentric woman who is always willing to listen and gives excellent advice, Guinan could be a Hufflepuff or a Ravenclaw, but I would guess she leans more toward Ravenclaw. She has a wealth of experience, having lived for hundreds of years, and she is observant and perceptive while also being tactful.

Ro Laren: Slytherin. “Those cunning folk use any means to achieve their ends” is a pretty good description of Ensign Ro, who seems to exist mostly in order to contrast with the rest of the Enterprise crew. Her heart is in the right place, and her intentions are good, if sometimes self-serving, but her mindset and methods are far different from those of the other characters. She prefers to do things her own way and casually dismisses protocols and regulations as being beneath her. The rest of the crew seem to see her as someone who is not to be trusted or at least has a lot to learn, but she tells Picard that Starfleet could learn a thing or two from her, and she seems determined to make everyone see what she’s capable of.

Sorting Hat Saturday: Star Trek Voyager

My latest fictional obsession is Star Trek. I’m actually watching Deep Space Nine right now, but I’m only on season 3 and want to see how things play out before I do a Sorting Hat Saturday for it. So I’m going to start with Voyager and The Next Generation.

Voyager is a starship full of Slytherins and Hufflepuffs, and I mean that in that in the best way possible, because I actually have a huge soft spot for Voyager. The characters are far from home, often in hostile territory, bending and breaking the Prime Directive, using whatever means necessary to survive (but not to the extent that the Equinox does), setting their sights on an incredibly ambitious goal: to travel 70,000 light years within a single lifetime and arrive home in one piece. At the same time, they’re a mismatched crew full of underqualified people, some of whom should by all rights be enemies, who manage to come together to form a tight-knit family, continue giving their best even when things look hopeless, keep on trying diplomacy before resorting to more Slytherin means of negotiation, and try to live up to their own ideals as much as they can given their situation.

Captain Janeway: Ravenclaw/Slytherin. It’s not just her background as a Science Officer or her ability to spout off technobabble as easily as Seven and B’Elanna. Captain Janeway seems to see their situation of being stranded in the Delta Quadrant not just as a difficulty but as an opportunity to learn more about an uncharted part of space as well. She genuinely gets excited about all the new and unusual things they encounter, even when those things are dangerous, and sees the value in exploration even if Starfleet may never know what they’ve achieved. Her Slytherin side is carefully balanced with a set of ethics and rules that she tries to live by – but is not above bending and breaking when necessary. Declaring that she will get Voyager home is incredibly ambitious, given that it means defying the laws of physics. She’s pragmatic and resourceful, makes increasingly risky alliances (Maquis, Kazon, Borg), and will use any combination of diplomacy, creative thinking, aggression, and manipulation to overcome obstacles and protect her crew. I would say that she becomes more Slytherin and less Ravenclaw as the series goes on, from destroying the array in the premiere and embracing the chance to explore a new part of space, to stealing time travel technology and breaking the temporal prime directive in the finale to get her ship, crew, and past self home early.

Chakotay: Hufflepuff. Chakotay is a foil to Janeway. Where she is hyper-focused and driven, he is calm and laid-back, hard-working but not consumed by duty in the way that she is. She never gives up and resorts to some pretty desperate schemes to keep going, whereas he is more cautious and willing to accept that they may not succeed. She’s a natural leader and future Admiral; he has very little personal ambition and is content to follow her lead. He is patient, down-to-earth, and simply wants what’s best for the crew. Hufflepuffs are “just and loyal”, “patient”, hard workers, and value fairness and equality – basically Chakotay in a nutshell. Loyalty might be the only question mark, but then again, his backstory is about conflicting loyalties, not lack of. His loyalty to Voyager and Captain Janeway is one of his defining traits. While he is also courageous and could possibly be a Gryffindor, he seems to be a better fit for Hufflepuff overall.

Tuvok: Slytherin. It would be easy to say that because he’s a Vulcan, Tuvok is obviously a Ravenclaw. However, while he is calm, introverted, and logical, his values are not Ravenclaw values; he has little interest in knowledge or learning beyond what will help him in his work. His brand of logic seems to be mostly about strategy and common sense. He is a very practical person who has chosen a career as a security officer and is devoted to maintaining order. I would almost be tempted to say Hufflepuff, except that Tuvok is also a spy, and a very successful one. Vulcans aren’t supposed to lie, but Tuvok spent months undercover in the Maquis and was able to rationalize his lies as being “true to his mission”. He shows great skill at creating logical arguments to justify his preferred course of action, even when those actions go against his orders or Starfleet rules. Many of the wizards most skilled in occlumency are Slytherins, and while such magic does not exist in the world of Star Trek, Tuvok expertly hides a whirlpool of emotions behind a calm Vulcan exterior and rarely lets on what he is thinking. He’s not particularly ambitious, but he handles authority well and shows a great amount of Slytherin cunning.

Tom Paris: Slytherin/Gryffindor. There’s a fine line between Gryffindor and Slytherin, and Tom seems like the kind of person who could reasonably be put in either house. However, I think he leans a bit more heavily towards Slytherin, even after his character development kicks in and he becomes more heroic. He starts off as a self-described mercenary who will work for anybody as long as he’s paid well, and his intentions when he joins Janeway’s crew are purely selfish. His friendship with Harry and the trust Janeway shows by making him a Lieutenant go a long way toward putting him back on the right path. However, even the reformed Tom Paris can be quite proud and ambitious, not to mention sneaky. His whole part in the plan to catch the spy in season 2 was heroic Slytherin at its finest, and his actions in “Thirty Days” show a willingness to look for loopholes and “use any means to achieve [his] ends”, albeit for a good cause. While he doesn’t have the “rule the world” kind of ambition so common in Slytherin villains, he’s fiercely competitive and proud of his accomplishments, to the point of being a show-off sometimes. I feel as though, if the Star Trek characters went to Hogwarts, he would be an Albus Severus Potter type, a Slytherin from a family of Gryffindors, proud and defensive of his house but at the same time seeing it as one more way he’s disappointed his father.

Harry Kim: Hufflepuff. By far the easiest Voyager character to sort. Harry is just about the nicest person on Voyager and just wants to be everybody’s friend. He seems drawn to people who feel like outcasts – such as Tom, B’Elanna, and Seven – and goes out of his way to make them feel like part of the Voyager family. He is generous, hard-working, and loyal, Hufflepuff through and through.

B’Elanna Torres: Ravenclaw/Gryffindor. On the one hand, she’s one of the smartest characters, and she’s chosen a career in engineering – something that requires her to use her intelligence and creativity – rather than becoming a warrior, as one might expect of a Klingon. She does not seem to care very much about Klingon ideas of honor or glory and has little interest in their traditions. However, she is courageous and outspoken. She never hesitates to say what she thinks or stand up for herself, and while she may not be a warrior, she doesn’t back down from a fight. Klingon honor means little to her, but she is more than capable of devoting herself to a cause and being willing to die for it. She is both very courageous and very intelligent. However, the sorting hat takes your choice into account, and I suspect that eleven-year-old B’Elanna would have been thinking “Not Gryffindor! Not Gryffindor!”, in an attempt to distance herself from her Klingon heritage.

Neelix: Slytherin/Hufflepuff. Neelix looks like a Hufflepuff at first glance, but before he joined the Voyager crew, he was a devious schemer who did whatever it took to survive. He only helped them in the first place when they offered to trade with him, and he double-crossed them before eventually ending up back on their side. He later admits to a woman who has impersonated Captain Janeway as part of a scam that he was once not too different from her. He quickly takes on a Hufflepuff-type role on Voyager, as cook, ambassador, guide, and morale officer, but there’s something very Slytherin about deciding you want to travel on a star ship, spotting exactly what that ship’s greatest need is, and adapting to fill it.

Kes: Ravenclaw. Her kind and caring nature might make her seem like a walking Hufflepuff stereotype, but what stands out most to me about Kes is how inquisitive and open-minded she is. She identifies with Captain Janeway’s urge to explore rather than simply traveling from point A to point B, and she absorbs knowledge about nursing and medicine at a rate that impresses even the Doctor. She is the first to consider the possibility that the Doctor is a person rather than simply a program, which could be a point toward Hufflepuff but also displays a willingness to consider things that never occur to other people – a tendency she also displayed on her home planet, when she challenged the leaders’ orders to remain hidden underground. Kes reminds me a little of Luna Lovegood: open-minded, a bit eccentric, a lot smarter than she seems, and unwilling to be anyone but herself.

The Doctor: Slytherin. What the Doctor wants most is respect and recognition. Once Kes puts the idea in his head of being a person and a crew member rather than simply a piece of technology, he becomes insistent that others recognize him as such and makes it his mission to grow beyond the limits of his programming. He essentially reprograms himself to be a fully-developed individual. In stark contrast to Data, another artificial life form, the Doctor has strong emotions and human-like flaws, the greatest of which is his pride. Fame and appreciation easily go to his head and influence him into making risky choices.  His wide range of interests and creative nature could put him in Ravenclaw, but everything he does to expand his program is, essentially, a statement of defiance and a move towards reaching his full potential. The Voyager crew is just lucky he has all those ethical subroutines, because a machine that’s decided it’s your equal and refuses to let you forget it could be a terrifying villain if he wasn’t also a doctor bound by medical ethics.

Seven of Nine: Hufflepuff. Perhaps the most counterintuitive of my Voyager sortings, but I’ve been over it again and again, and this is what I keep coming back to. Seven is efficient and ruthless, but as a former Borg drone, she has no ambition whatsoever, and she is far too straightforward to be cunning; she’s not a Slytherin. She is very intelligent and knowledgeable, but she has little interest in expanding her knowledge and is endlessly frustrated by Captain Janeway’s desire to explore. She has very little intellectual curiosity, so she is not a Ravenclaw. One could argue that Seven is brave, but on the other hand, she sees herself as an expendable drone and does not value her own life at all, so that’s more the effect of brainwashing than a true personality trait. What she does value more than anything else is being a part of something greater than herself. She is distraught at being separated from the Borg Collective and is not able to recover until she finds a new “collective” on Voyager. She values efficiency, which is another way of saying she has a strong work ethic, and she sees Voyager’s command structure as inferior to the hive mind equality of the Borg. She’s not warm and fuzzy, but her values are Borg values, which are essentially Hufflepuff values taken to their most horrifying extreme. As she becomes more human and less Borg, she retains those values, although the way she pursues them changes.

Sorting Hat Saturday: A Wrinkle in Time

Meg: Ravenclaw. Meg is the perfect example of a gifted child whose grades do not reflect her abilities. Although her mother refuses to tell her what her IQ is, it’s implied to be pretty high. However, Ravenclaw isn’t purely about intelligence any more than it’s about grades or test scores. Ravenclaws are the researchers and experimenters of the world, hungry for knowledge and filled with a love of learning. Meg displays those qualities in ways that have nothing to do with school. As a child she loved playing number games with her father (which resulted in her learning “far too many shortcuts” and having trouble showing her work at school). On their journey through the universe, she constantly attempts to make sense of the strange things around them, looking at everything with an open mind and yet not without thinking critically about it all. Once Charles Wallace is taken over by IT, Meg is the one who figures out most of what needs figuring out, like how to use her faults to resist IT’s temptation and how to use Mrs. Who’s glasses to rescue her father. She has to be very brave, as well, but her journey is mostly about finding answers and seeking understanding, and it is her intelligence, self-knowledge, and emotional strength that enable her to succeed.

Charles Wallace: Ravenclaw. Is there any question here? Not only is Charles Wallace a child genius whose mind “breaks out of the ordinary mold” entirely, and who understands the mysteries of the universe more thoroughly than even the greatest adult minds, but he’s also far more comfortable with his outsider status and high level of intelligence than Meg. His fatal flaw is his pride, but it’s not the ambitious pride of a Slytherin; he’s simply used to being the smartest person around and doesn’t anticipate a situation where his mind literally isn’t strong enough to do what he wants it to.

Calvin: Hufflepuff. While Calvin is certainly intelligent, he’s driven by his heart more than his mind. He’s a team player who fits in well at school and yet is kind and warm towards the unpopular Murray kids. He seems to be at his happiest when he is helping or protecting others and is more than willing to take on his friends’ mission as his own despite having no personal stake in it.

Mrs. Murray: Ravenclaw. Meg and Charles Wallace’s mom is defined by her immense capacity for belief and understanding. Not only is she a brilliant scientist in her own right, she’s open-minded toward the weirdness happening all around her. She’s willing to believe and accept that her youngest child is an unusually gifted genius while still allowing him to be a five-year-old as well. Not only that, but she’s able to keep faith that her husband is still out there and be open-minded about the crazy project he was working on when he disappeared. Keeping in mind that Mrs. Murray herself hasn’t seen anything weirder than Mrs. Whatsit dressed in stolen bedsheets, it’s pretty incredible that she doesn’t think her whole family has gone insane.

Mr. Murray: Ravenclaw. While we don’t know a huge amount about Meg’s father, who is gone for most of the book, we do know he was a scientist and a very intelligent man. He must have been open-minded to believe that tesseracts could be possible and dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge in order to test out such a dangerous experiment himself. While he’s one of the less-developed characters, everything about him points to Ravenclaw.

Sorting Hat Saturday: The Lion King

Simba: Gryffindor. While he’s a little hesitant and unsure of himself, Simba’s whole story is about finding courage, something he has no shortage of as a cub but has to re-learn as an adult. Young Simba is adventurous and fearless, while the older Simba has a lot to be afraid of but learns to put that aside and do the right thing anyway.

Nala: Hufflepuff. While she’s just as brave as Simba, Nala’s defining trait is her loyalty. She is loyal to the pride and stays even when Scar takes over and things go horribly wrong. Although she loves Simba deeply, she’s horrified to find him avoiding his own duties and does her best to convince him to return and take his place as king. A Gryffindor in her place might be plotting rebellion, but she’s too humble to think that she could do so herself, as ready as she is to support Simba when he returns to claim his rightful place. She has strong opinions about what the right thing to do is and who should be in charge, but those ideas are rooted in her Hufflepuff loyalty and work ethic.

Mufasa: Gryffindor. Brave, noble, selfless, and an actual lion – what else could he be?

Scar: Slytherin. Ambition? Check. Cunning? Check. Self-preservation? Check. Willing to “use any means to achieve [his] ends”? Oh, definitely. Scar is more of a Slytherin than half the actual Slytherin characters in Harry Potter.

The hyenas: Slytherin. The hyenas are slapstick comic relief villains and thus are too silly to be cunning or manipulative in the way Scar is. You could argue that they’re ambitious, though, playing their part in Scar’s evil plans in hopes that they will stand to benefit. Mostly, though, they’re selfish and slippery, doing whatever seems most likely to benefit them at the moment. They’re the Crabbes and Goyles of the Lion King world: while they’re not evil masterminds plotting world domination, and wouldn’t be capable of doing so, they put themselves first and therefore are drawn to the biggest and most powerful allies – who they’re also willing to turn on in an instant.

Timon & Pumba: Slytherin. Yes, they do look like Hufflepuffs at first glance, but think about it. Why do they save Simba’s life? Not because he’s another living creature and it’s the right thing to do, but because they think a lion friend could turn out to be useful. When he saves them from another lion, they’re proven right. Their “Hakuna Matata” attitude – namely, that problems are someone else’s to deal with – is hardly that of the Hufflepuffs, who, like the Gryffindors, nearly all stayed to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts. While they do ultimately care enough for Simba to help him defeat Scar, they make it clear that they don’t understand why he would want to do so. They are good friends to each other, and eventually to Simba, but they don’t have a Hufflepuff’s sense of loyalty to something greater and certainly not any work ethic. While they’re not that ambitious and are too comical to be truly cunning, they look out for themselves (and each other) first, prioritizing their own wellbeing and survival above any greater sense of purpose – a Slytherin trait, and the same reason I put the hyenas in Slytherin. In a movie mostly filled with noble Gryffindors and duty-driven Hufflepuffs, they’re outliers among the heroes.

Rafiki: Ravenclaw, of the Luna Lovegood variety. Behind his weird mannerisms, he is wise, perceptive, and a bit mystical. He believes in things he can’t see and speaks with the dead as if they’re still alive – and while he seems crazy, he’s also right. It’s his knowledge and advice that help Simba realize he has to return to Pride Rock.

Zazu: Hufflepuff. He reminds me a bit of Bahgeera from The Jungle Book, who I put in Ravenclaw; they are both sensible, no-nonsense mentors who the young Gryffindor heroes rebel against. However, Zazu is defined by his loyalty first and foremost. He is loyal to Mufasa and endures everything from Simba’s childish antics to Scar’s cruelty while remaining steadfastly devoted to his king; it’s not until a much more mature, grown-up Simba defeats Scar and takes the throne that the bird’s loyalty shifts from Mufasa to the new king. He believes in hard work and devotion to duty and is endlessly frustrated by young Simba’s flighty independence and disgusted by Scar’s selfish tyranny. He may be stern and serious rather than warm and fuzzy, but the things he values most definitely point to Hufflepuff.

Sorting Hat Saturday: The Jungle Book

Because apparently I’m on a roll with kids’ movie-themed Sorting Hat Saturdays, here are the Jungle Book characters. This is based on the animated movie, not the live action one:

Mowgli: Gryffindor. He’s very, very brave. He’s not afraid of trying to survive on his own in the jungle and refuses to leave even with an evil tiger after him. When he finally confronts Shere Khan, he doesn’t allow himself to be intimidated and is very much ready to fight for his life.

Bagheera: Ravenclaw. He values brains over brawn and logic over emotion, and while his own actions are shaped by his affection for Mowgli, he also knows that a human child doesn’t really belong in the jungle and will be safer with his own people. He has good insights into others and always seems to know what they will do. He almost looks like a goal-oriented Slytherin, but he’s not very ambitious and is more intelligent and practical than cunning, so I would lean more toward Ravenclaw overall.

Baloo: Gryffindor. He’s not necessarily very good at his attempted acts of heroism, but it’s not for lack of courage. He wants to do the right thing and isn’t afraid to risk danger to help others. He is eager to help Mowgli learn to survive in the jungle and loves him like a son, but is willing to let him go for his own good, which requires its own form of bravery. In the fight with Shere Khan, his willingness to risk his own life for Mowgli’s sake requires the same sort of courage that defines the noblest of Gryffindor characters. I did consider Hufflepuff based on his loyalty and his “bare necessities” philosophy of life, but I’d say that overall he is defined more by his bravery.

King Louie: Slytherin. He’s an orangutan who thinks that using fire will make him human and is willing to kidnap a human child to gain it. He has the ruthless ambition thing down. There are a lot of Slytherin characters in The Jungle Book, but King Louie is probably the one who fits the best. He’s also the least obvious, though, in that he’s not really a straightforward villain and – unlike Kaa and Shere Khan – doesn’t really have malicious intentions toward Mowgli.

Kaa: Slytherin. He’s literally a sneaky snake. What more can be said?

Shere Khan: Slytherin. He’s not brave – in fact, he’s defeated by his own fear of fire – but he is good at appearing fearless and intimidating. He’s intelligent, but not in a Ravenclaw “books and cleverness” kind of way. He’s very good at being sneaky and manipulative.

The Vultures: Hufflepuff or Slytherin. They work as a team and value friendship and community. They even get a little song about the importance of friendship. They are loyal to each other and eager to welcome Mowgli into their group. However, they’re so terrified of Shere Khan that they abandon Mowgli when the tiger shows up. They do come back and help him in the end, but they do it with Slytherin methods, coming up with a plan for Mowgli in which the human boy, rather than the vultures, plays the most dangerous part.

Sorting Hat Saturday: Finding Nemo

One of the funny things about being a teacher is how often it makes me think back on my own childhood. Yesterday in afterschool, they showed Finding Nemo – a movie I loved when I was eight but haven’t seen or thought about in years – and now I can’t stop thinking about it! Of course, one thing I’ve acquired since I was eight is a tendency to compulsively sort characters from other stories into Hogwarts houses, so here I go:

Marlin: Gryffindor. While Nemo believes his father to be cowardly and afraid of the ocean, he’s afraid for Nemo, not for himself – and he learned the hard way to be cautious. When his son is taken by a scuba diver, he immediately abandons his cautious nature and risks everything to try to find him.

Nemo: Gryffindor. Like father, like son. Nemo is eager for adventure, becoming increasingly frustrated by his father’s overprotectiveness. He swims out into the open ocean to prove he’s not afraid, is willing to go along with Gill’s dangerous escape plan even though he’s the one put most at risk by it, and swims into a fishing net to try to save Dory, who he’s just met. He’s nothing if not brave.

Dory: Hufflepuff. As much as she reminds me of Luna Lovegood, she’s not a Ravenclaw. She’s defined not by her eccentric mind but by her caring nature and persistent optimism. She puts everything she has into helping Marlin even though she has nothing to gain from it, does her best to comfort him and keep him going even as he becomes more cynical, and believes that things are bound to get better if you “just keep swimming”.

Gill: Slytherin. Gill is a strategist first and foremost. The other tank fish look at Nemo and see a scared and lonely child, but Gill sees a fish small enough to swim through the filter that keeps the tank clean, and he immediately starts piecing together a plan to escape. He later regrets risking Nemo’s life and then risks his own life to help Nemo escape alone, but it’s not uncommon for Slytherins to treat those they care about very differently from those they only see as pawns. (See also: Severus Snape, Narcissa Malfoy, Professor Slughorn)

Nigel: Ravenclaw. A pelican who frequently visits a dentist’s office to watch root canal procedures? A sea-bird who is captivated by the story of a clownfish father trying to find his son and puts the pieces together to realize he knows who the son is? A member of a fish-eating species who has fish friends and carries them in his beak without being tempted to eat them? Well, according to Pottermore, “[Ravenclaws] are the most individual – some might even call them eccentrics, but geniuses are often out of step with ordinary folk”.

Sorting Hat Saturday: Star Wars

Luke Skywalker: Ravenclaw. While Luke has some traits of every house, his inner journey is essentially the journey of a young boy searching for truth. Having spent his whole life on his aunt and uncle’s farm, he gazes at the horizon, dreaming about what’s out there beyond the two suns of his home planet. While this could be interpreted as a Gryffindor quality, a longing for adventure and heroism, remember how reluctant he was at first to get involved with the Rebellion. I think it must have been more of a longing to see and experience something beyond the limited, monotonous world he was raised in. To discover that “bright center of the universe” he believes Tattooine is farthest from. His inner growth throughout the three movies is all about learning, about gaining knowledge and wisdom, and about uncovering secrets that have been hidden from him. Luke agrees to let Obi-Wan teach him to be a Jedi, and later leaves the Rebellion to find Yoda and continue his training, so this is clearly something that is important to him. He even puts up with Yoda’s criticisms and frustrating idiosyncrasies because he believes that he can learn something from the strange old creature. When he discovers that Darth Vader is his father, he seems to care less that his father is someone so horrible and more that his two most trusted mentor figures lied to him. In the end, he becomes an intelligent, intuitive young man who trusts his instincts and is wise enough not to fall for the Emperor’s manipulations. He pieces together his own, more complete version of the truth from the many different “certain points of view” he is given, and he emerges with a balanced view of the world that cannot easily be corrupted.

Leia Organa: Gryffindor. Far from being a damsel in distress, Leia is a fiery warrior princess. Like many Gryffindors, she believes strongly in her cause and is willing to die for it if necessary. She stands up to her captors in A New Hope and refuses to betray the location of the rebel base even under implied torture and extreme emotional manipulation. She’s more than capable of holding her own in battle, although her role in the Rebellion seems to be more political and she takes part in only a few of the large-scale fights. There are moments when Leia’s strategic side shows and she reveals a Ravenclaw or even Slytherin edge, a leader who can put her own feelings aside. For instance, locking Luke and Han out of the rebel base on Hoth was not exactly a Gryffindor move, and I don’t mean that it was cowardly. I just mean that it’s a logical, strategic decision that was necessary to keep the rest of the Rebels safe, not an emotion-driven, rush-into-danger-impulsively Gryffindor choice. However, even here, her motivation is her loyalty to her cause, and her decision is a selfless one. On the whole, she’s a bold, brave Gryffindor who will fight tooth and nail for what she believes in.

Han Solo: Slytherin. Ironically, in the situation on Hoth that I mentioned above, Han is the one doing the Gryffindor thing, rushing into danger to try to save a close friend. However, there are very, very few people he would be willing to do that for, and the fact that he does so for Luke shows just how much he respects and cares for him. Han’s whole modus operendi is to look out for himself first, and Luke, Leia, and Chewbacca are unique in that they’re just about the only exceptions to that rule. Even when he joins the rebellion, it’s more about him being there for them than about him suddenly becoming a selfless and idealistic Gryffindor or a loyal, hard-working Hufflepuff.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Hufflepuff. It would be so easy to call him a Ravenclaw just by virtue of the wise old mentor archetype, but then again, Dumbledore himself was one of those, and he was a Gryffindor. Obi-Wan values loyalty more than truth or knowledge. He sees missing data from the Jedi archives as simply an inconvenience to his mission, whereas a Ravenclaw would have been morally outraged at the thought of important information being covered up. Likewise, he plays his own part in covering up information when he tells Luke that Darth Vader killed his father. He easily rejects personal attachments in favor of loyalty to the Jedi as a whole and accepts their Code without ever really questioning it. He begs Yoda not to make him face his former friend and apprentice, but when he is ordered to, he goes through with it despite his reluctance, stopping just short of killing Vader. Many years later, he serenely sacrifices his own life for the greater good and makes plans for Yoda to continue Luke’s training. He sees himself as a piece of something greater than himself, and he is driven by loyalty and duty above all else.

Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker: Gryffindor. Darth Vader may be the villain, but he has very few Slytherin traits. For one thing, he has almost no ambition. While his younger self gave lip service to becoming “greater than any Jedi”, that power he’s craving is not the kind he ends up with under the Empire. He seems more focused on being able to decide how to live his own life, love who he loves without having to hide it, and protect the people he is closest to from dying. Those are not really Slytherin goals. He’s not particularly cunning, either. It’s the Emperor who comes up with all the grand schemes, in which Darth Vader is really little more than a pawn. As a young man, he had little patience with the diplomacy and negotiation that Padme insisted was necessary to democracy. He doesn’t think through his actions, and he doesn’t really stand for anything, which is why he’s so easily drawn into the Dark Side. But impulsive heroics and a deep-seated need to save everybody are Gryffindor traits, ones that can be seen in Harry himself, even if in this case they are tragic flaws that lead to his downfall. My only hesitation is that Gryffindors usually have some kind of guiding beliefs or moral compass; however, the one Gryffindor villain from the Harry Potter books is likewise lacking in this, and that is what leads him to the Dark Side as well. At least, unlike Peter Pettigrew, Darth Vader retains his bravery and impulsive nature after his fall from grace.

Padme Amidala: Hufflepuff. Probably the most difficult character to sort, Padme is a bit of everything. She’s intelligent, but her priorities are not centered around knowledge, truth, or wisdom. She’s strategic, but only in a selfless, ideal-driven way, much like Leia. She’s courageous, but she prefers to find a diplomatic solution rather than fight it out on a battlefield. I think her strongest trait is her loyalty: to the people who elected her, to the Republic in general, to the idea of democracy, and to her boyfriend/husband. It’s when these loyalties come into conflict that she is undone.

Yoda: Slytherin. Not for ambition, but for cunning. Yoda is nothing if not cunning. While he’s certainly wise and intelligent enough to be a Ravenclaw, he’s also very pragmatic. For one thing, he’s able to separate himself completely from emotions and personal affections, making decisions purely based on logic. While this is a Jedi thing in general, it comes far more easily to him than to anyone else, even the loyal Hufflepuff Obi-Wan. He’s also good at telling people exactly what they need to hear so that they will do what he wants; for example, he does not tell Luke the true identity of his father so that it will be easier for him to fight and kill Darth Vader. He’s clever enough to trick and test Luke when they first meet, convincing him that he is only an ordinary swamp-dwelling creature agreeing to take him to Yoda before revealing his true identity. And while he’s not driven by ambition, he has no problem with the suggestion that the Jedi take control of the Senate after getting rid of Palpatine.

Emperor Palpatine: Slytherin. Of the very worst kind: power-hungry, ruthless, and manipulative. I’m not sure what else there is to say here. There’s not a single thing he does that isn’t 100% pure Slytherin villainy.