Sorting Hat Saturday: The Horse and His Boy

I’ve sorted the Pevensie siblings and Prince Caspian characters, and today, I’m looking at the characters from The Horse and His Boy.

 Shasta/Cor is a Hufflepuff. He hasn’t had an easy life, but he never loses his optimism or kind heart. He easily accepts not just that a talking horse can exist (when they are almost unheard of in Calormen), but that the horse is his equal and partner rather than simply an animal. He sets off on a risky journey with three strangers not out of Gryffindor bravery or Slytherin ambition (although the journey requires him to be very brave and results in him discovering he is a prince by birth), but because they are all seeking freedom and a better life. As the journey continues, it becomes clear that loyalty is one of his strongest qualities. He risks his life to protect his traveling companions and to defend Archenland not out of any desire for heroics, but because he is loyal to them and it’s the right thing to do.

Aravis is a Slytherin. She’s nothing if not cunning. She’s able to trick her father into believing she’s overjoyed at the thought of an arranged marriage to a much older man, drug the maid who’s supposed to be keeping an eye on her, plant a note that leaves a false trail as to where she went, and escape to another kingdom. She’s also a little ruthless sometimes. She doesn’t consider, for example, that the maid will be punished for her escape, and doesn’t really care. She later uses an old acquaintance’s help to escape from her father, manipulating the other girl’s fear over a dangerous situation in which they find themselves to ensure that she goes through with their plan. However, when she grows to care about someone – as she does for Shasta and the two talking horses – she becomes resolutely loyal to them. This isn’t a warm, all-encompassing Hufflepuff sort of loyalty, but rather, an iron will and determination that she will do whatever is necessary to help and protect them.

Prince Corrin is a Gryffindor of the Fred and George type. He is bold, full of energy, and definitely a bit of a troublemaker, but when it comes to a battle to protect his kingdom, he refuses to sit on the sidelines while older and more experienced men fight.

Bree is a Slytherin. His patience might be mistaken for a Hufflepuff trait, but he’s biding his time and planning his escape the whole time. He comes up with all the clever plans that help him and Shasta to run away together. Later, it’s clear that one of his biggest flaws is his pride. Having been away from Narnia for most of his life, he wants to make a good impression on his fellow talking horses and is terrified of failing to do so, to such an extent that he nearly chooses to turn back.

Hwin is a Hufflepuff. The second talking horse in the story is kind and compassionate, as patient as Bree but without his clever schemes, and much more practical. While he worries what he’ll look like arriving in Narnia with his tail cut ragged and short, she wisely points out that “the main thing is to get there”. She could almost be mistaken for a Ravenclaw, but her wisdom comes more from a down-to-earth, grounded sort of personality than from pursuing knowledge and experience in the way a Ravenclaw would.

Sorting Hat Saturday: Prince Caspian

About a year ago, I published a post about the Pevensie siblings’ Hogwarts houses. My sortings were a little unconventional, but I stand by them – although I’m now even more convinced that Susan is a Slytherin and Lucy a Gryffindor. Anyway, I was thinking about Prince Caspian and realized I have pretty strong feelings on its characters, too, so here are my thoughts:

Prince Caspian is a Ravenclaw. As a young boy, he was fascinated by stories of old Narnia. His favorite people in the world were his nurse, who told him stories about Narnia’s past, and later, his tutor, who defied his uncle’s instructions by doing the same. The young Prince Caspian enjoyed his lessons with Dr. Cornelius in general, but the forbidden knowledge of the distant past was even more fascinating to him, perhaps because it was forbidden. His later decision to side with the Narnians is not simply a Slytherin’s practical choice to oppose the uncle who wants him dead. He was, in a sense, already on the Narnians’ side long before that, all because of childhood stories and the advice of a wise old tutor. However, in the movie, where much of his backstory is left out, he ends up looking more like a classical Gryffindor.

Dr. Cornelius is also a Ravenclaw. A wise old man who shares his knowledge, both mundane and fantastical, with Caspian, Dr. Cornelius never seems to imagine a violent uprising as the end result. Instead, he talks to Caspian about the ways he can change things peacefully once he becomes king. He risks his life by telling forbidden stories because he believes that the knowledge he can share will make Caspian a better king than his uncle.

Miraz is a Slytherin. He seized power through murder and is willing to commit more murder to keep it. He takes ambition and cunning to an awful extreme, and still manages to be matched in evil by his own subordinates, who think they can rule just as well without him and use the Narnians’ uprising to try to get him killed.

Reepicheep, of course, is a Gryffindor. Like, does this even need to be explained?

Trufflehunter is a Hufflepuff. Even aside from the fact that he is literally a badger, he’s the embodiment of everything Hufflepuff is supposed to be: patient, practical, down-to-earth, and extremely loyal.

Nikabrik is a Slytherin, of the “use any means to achieve their ends” variety, while Trumpkin is a Hufflepuff. He’s both very brave and occasionally ruthless, but his main defining trait is his fierce loyalty, both to his fellow Narnians and, eventually, to Prince Caspian. He’s willing to fight in dangerous battles, go off on what he sees as a wild goose chase, and make leaps of faith in spite of his own skepticism, all for the sake of the people he’s loyal to.

Sorting Hat Saturday: The Pevensie Siblings

Welcome back to Sorting Hat Saturday. Today, I’m going to be sorting Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, from The Chronicles of Narnia. But if you think you know where this is going, think again; in my version, there’s not one sibling for each house, and two of the four are hatstalls.

Peter: Gryffindor. Peter is the classical hero, fighting courageously for what’s right, leading armies into battle and putting his own life at risk. Peter never backs down from a fight and never hesitates in taking risks. He is also the leader among the siblings, which I think has as much to do with his strong personality as the fact that he’s the eldest.

Susan: Ravenclaw/Slytherin. Susan is the logical one of the four, and seems to value knowledge and reason very highly. However, Pottermore suggests that Ravenclaws are open-minded and able to think outside the box, while Susan has trouble believing in anything she can’t see. On the other hand, I wouldn’t describe her as cunning, but her practicality, bossiness, self-sufficiency, and ability to adapt to whichever world she finds herself in would make her well-suited to Slytherin. Movie Susan, who fights in battle alongside her brothers, could be a Gryffindor, but in the books she is Queen Susan the Gentle and is known for being kind rather than courageous.

Edmund: Hufflepuff. I know what you’re thinking; Slytherin was my first instinct, too. But Edmund isn’t a Slytherin. He shows some ambition in his reasons for betraying his siblings, but he quickly regrets it. By the end of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, he has become King Edmund the Just, and his loyalty never wavers again. In other words, he adopts a Hufflepuff value system. The sorting hat takes into account what a person values and aspires to be as much as what they are, so I find it hard to believe that it would sort Edmund according to his greatest regret rather than the values he chooses to pursue for the rest of his life.

Lucy: Gryffindor/Hufflepuff. Lucy is brave in a different way from Peter; hers is an inner strength and a refusal to do anything but what she believes is right. She is known as Queen Lucy the Valiant for a reason, and out of the four siblings, she is the one most often held up as an example of courage, goodness, and righteousness. However, Lucy also shows extreme loyalty, both to her siblings, to Aslan, and to Narnia. She is the only one of them who always believes and never doubts. It could be said that she exemplifies the best of both Gryffindor and Hufflepuff, but if I really had to choose, I think I’d put her in Gryffindor.