Continuing my Hogwarts houses for Once Upon a Time characters, I’m doing Baelfire/Neal and Robin Hood today. I put them together – and early on – for one obvious reason: they’re both dead, and their stories have played out. While I’m still watching season 6 for the first time and waiting to see how other characters continue to develop and what their endings – happy or otherwise – might say about their Hogwarts houses, I already have all the information for these two.
Baelfire/Neal Cassidy: Hufflepuff
Neal is a difficult character to sort and doesn’t fully embody the traits of any house, but I would say he’s closest to Hufflepuff or possibly Gryffindor.
He’s not cunning or ambitious, and he’s so strongly opposed to dark magic that I’m certain he would have no desire to be a Slytherin. That’s the easiest house to rule out by far.
He’s not characterized as especially intelligent, but he’s not stupid, either. He has a good head on his shoulders most of the time. I wouldn’t say he especially values knowledge and learning the way that a Ravenclaw would, but on the other hand, he respects the characters that do and never seems to look down on “books and cleverness” as a weapon of choice. That’s easy to see in “Quiet Minds”, when he and Belle team up to bring back Rumplestiltskin and the first place they go is a library. I wouldn’t say he fits especially well in Ravenclaw, but he’s not automatically disqualified, either.
He does seem to value bravery. Young Baelfire – who was Hogwarts-age when we first meet him – is certainly brave. He’s willing to fight in the Ogre Wars even as his father tries desperately to protect him from being drafted, and he gives himself up to go to Neverland in place of Wendy’s brothers. As an adult, Neal struggles to be brave, but it’s still clear that he wants to do the right thing.
He has a lot of Hufflepuff traits, as well. I said that Snow White just seems to want a peaceful life with her family, and the same is true of Neal. Baelfire was completely uninterested in his father’s power and simply wanted a normal, happy family, while Neal is a down-to-earth kind of guy in contrast with all the bold heroes and scheming villains of the show. He’s willing to work hard toward positive goals, like saving Henry from Neverland, and cares less about claiming the glory than getting the job done. However, I’m having trouble thinking of anyone he’s especially loyal to, and his decision to abandon Emma does not seem like a Hufflepuff’s decision to me.
I would say that Neal is a Hufflepuff or Gryffindor who – as a result of what he went through as a teenager – lost sight of what was most important to him and devolved into the car thief who would let his girlfriend go to jail for him, but gradually found his way back to who he was meant to be. I tend to sort characters based on their values and strengths, not their mistakes. I would lean more toward Hufflepuff for him, because it’s very clear that all houses are capable of bravery, and Neal’s other values and the sort of life he wants to live are more Hufflepuff than Gryffindor.
Robin Hood: Gryffindor
Robin Hood is easy to sort. He’s cunning but not ambitious and refuses to steal for personal gain. He’s not unintelligent, but there are certainly things he cares more about than knowledge or wisdom. He is honorable, loyal, and concerned with what is fair and just, but his methods are not those of a Hufflepuff. When he attempts to live like a Hufflepuff, in the “Heart of Gold” flashbacks, it doesn’t last long.
However, Robin Hood is extremely brave. He spends his life as an outlaw, not out of necessity like Snow White, but because he finds it preferable. He never turns down the opportunity for a dangerous adventure. His strong sense of honor could be a Gryffindor value as well as a Hufflepuff one; both houses are typically concerned with doing the right thing. This version of Robin Hood is in love with the former Evil Queen, who regularly fights monsters and throws around fireballs, and was once famous for ripping out hearts – and at no point is he ever afraid of her, including the first time they meet and when they’re about to be put under a curse that will bring out their worst selves. He is willing to involve himself in things that are not even his problem, like following Emma to the Underworld in season 5, and regularly puts his life on the line for strangers as well as for friends and loved ones. Gryffindors tend to be leaders, and Robin Hood is definitely that, as well – not to the main characters or the town, but to the Merry Men. The alternate version of Robin from the wish realm lacks the code of honor and doesn’t steal from the rich to give to the poor, but he is still brave and adventurous.