images by Katherine Makowky
You love Jane Austen. You love Harry Potter. So why not sort your favorite Austen characters into Hogwarts houses? I could not come up with a good reason not to.
I’m the sort of person who wonders how Elinor and Marianne Dashwood’s Myers-Briggs personality types made their sisterly relationship complicated. And I’ve spent a lot of time considering whether the Weasley’s are probably Catholics. Austen’s novels and the Potter series are my stories that I keep coming back to year after year, so why not create a delightful mashup?
When sorting Jane Austen characters into Hogwarts houses, I discovered that it was incredibly tricky and that I was tempted to sort my favorites into my house (Ravenclaw) and to keep all of my favorites out of Slytherin. But I tried my hardest to be as objective as the Sorting Hat!
Need a refresher on which house has which characteristics? Here goes:
A Gryffindor’s crowning trait is his/her bravery. While they may have other characteristics such as rashness and spunk, courage is their number one defining trait.
Hufflepuffs are loyal. They are deeply committed to their friendships, very hardworking, and can be quite selfless.
Ravenclaws are brainy and bookish. They highly value wit, wisdom, and learning.
Slytherins are ambitious. They’re often talented, can be manipulative, and have a very strong regard for ancestry.
Slytherin Note: Keep in mind that these characteristics don’t necessarily make them bad. There are good Slytherins, ones who can even exhibit the good qualities of other houses. Take Regulus Black who was highly courageous like a Gryffindor and selfless like a Hufflepuff or consider heroic, loyal, and self-sacrificing Severus Snape! So while it pains me to put some of my favorites into Slytherin, let’s remember that, as Harry said to young Albus Severus, it just means that “Slytherin house will have gained an excellent student!”
Here we go!
There’s no better place to start than Pride & Prejudice’s vivacious heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, right? Like all of Austen’s complicated heroines, I could see Lizzie’s sorting going more than one way. But her defining characteristics seemed to be most consistent with Ravenclaw. Lizzie’s quick wit is legendary and in addition to her fine eyes, she possesses “something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.” Textbook Ravenclaw.
Could have been a……Gryffindor. Elizabeth is also…well, spunky. And quite courageous to stand up to Lady Catherine de Bourgh! I can see her as a bookish Gryffindor like Hermoine.
And as sortings are often similar in families (the Weasley’s for example were ALL Gryffindors) I would imagine that Mr. Bennet who basically lived in his library and Mary Bennet (who proves that insufferable Ravenclaws are a thing) are in the same house as Lizzie.
While Marianne’s rashness would also make her a good candidate for Gryffindor, I think this Sense & Sensibility lass is also in Ravenclaw. Her admiration of beauty, poetry, music, and ideas all points to a love for the life of the mind.
- Jane Fairfax of Emma
- Captain James Benwick of Persuasion
While I assumed many of my favorite Jane Austen heroines would turn out to be Gryffindor, I discovered that the only one that really fits with the scarlet and gold is Elinor Dashwood–an unexpected Gryffindor. While she has many of the best Hufflepuff characteristics, it’s her courage that has always struck me. She holds her family together and bravely leads them into their new life away from Norland. Living her life while carrying so many sorrows and disappointments requires so much gumption that I’m inclined to shout Gryffindor!
Could have been…Hufflepuff. There are certainly courageous Hufflepuffs (like Cedric Diggory), so I don’t think it’s out of the question for Elinor to be sorted there.
I think my quintessential Austen Gryffindor is Captain Frederick Wentworth from Persuasion. He’s brave (hello, naval captain) as well as slightly rash. Remember that whole Louisa Musgrove and the fall at Lyme thing? But, while headstrong, he makes the right choice in the end.
The rake of Sense & Sensibility is a good example of a bold Gryffindor gone wrong: rash and heedless with a character that COULD have turned out noble and courageous under other circumstances. He’s not cunning like a Slytherin, he’s just weak and intemperate.
- Louisa Musgrove
- Colonel Brandon
- Mr. Knightley (My favorite of all time forever and ever.)
Let me say first that I adore Emma. I identify with her and as frustrating as she can be, I’ll never stop loving her. I tried to justify sorting her anywhere else, but homegirl is a Slytherin. She’s conniving, manipulative, and cares way too much about pedigree–as became apparent when she tried to convince her friend Harriet not to marry the adorable farmer Robert Martin because his station wasn’t high enough. (Good thing that all ended well). Now, she has the best of intentions but she has a lot of growing to do during the novel to become a decent human being. And her redemption is due in part to falling in love with an excellent Gryffindor.
Could have been…Gryffindor. I think it’s possible that Emma is a Gryffindor gone slightly awry who’s had “too little to vex her” and hasn’t done a lot of the character building she should have done early on until later in life. She’s a little bit heedless, and she’s certainly no coward! I suppose it all depends on when Emma was sorted. At age, 11, she would probably have been Slytherin, but then, as Dumbledore says “I sometimes think we sort too soon.”
Don’t tar and feather me until you hear me out, folks. When my husband first argued the case that Darcy is a Slytherin I was appalled. OF COURSE HE’S NOT, I said. But then I started to think about it.
One of his defining characteristics is his pride in the ancient and most noble house of Darcy–a house trait he probably inherited from fellow Slytherin Lady Catherine de Bourgh. His obsession with ancestry and position kept him from pursuing Elizabeth (and almost ruined Bingley and Jane’s romance forever). He has good qualities from other houses, of course, but I think what we have here is a noble Slytherin. He just needed to gain some humility and to fall for a witty Ravenclaw with fine eyes to see what really matters.
Could have been…..Gryffindor. Mr. Darcy could also be a Gryffindor that needed to get over his enthusiasm for station and lineage. Think Percy Weasley, a Gryffindor who obsessed over the wrong things and then saw the light. Darcy certainly needed bravery to stand up to Lady Catherine to tell her that he was going to marry Lizzie!
Could have been….Ravenclaw. He maintains a “delightful library” at Pemberley and does admire Lizzie’s quick tongue. Would he say “wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure“? I’m not sure.
Another famously Slytherinish family is Persuasion’s Elliots. Sir Walter Elliot, Elizabeth Elliot and their cousin Mr. Elliot are all hopelessly Slytherin (and not in a noble Darcy-ish way). Just think how much they’d despise the Weasleys! Anne breaks the mold, of course, (more on that in the Hufflepuff section) and Mary Elliot Musgrove probably had too many hypochondriac episodes to even go to Hogwarts.
- George Wickham
- Lucy Steele
- Mr. Elton
- Mary Crawford
- Maria Bertram
To me, Jane Bennet is the classic Hufflepuff. Loyal, loving, selfless, and endearing. And there’s two Austen leading ladies that are strong candidates for the badger house.
She’s just SUCH a Hufflepuff. Fanny is the most underrated of all the Austen heroines. She not fearless, she doesn’t have an ambitious or cunning bone in her body, and she’s not a vivacious wit. She is a selfless, kind, loyal soul with a great intuition for reading the hearts of men (she knew the Crawfords were evil before anybody else did!). Fanny isn’t given enough credit, but I love her and always will.
While Anne is hard to place, I think she most neatly fits into Hufflepuff, primarily for her loyalty. She is ever faithful to her first love, intrepid Gryffindor Frederick Wentworth, despite thinking they were separated for ever demonstrating “loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone.” Of course, it’s Austen, so it all worked out all right in the end!
Anne, in typical Hufflepuff fashion, also highly values relationships like friendship why is why she took her friend Lady Russell’s warning about the prudence of the match so much to heart and why she keeps up with old school friends like Mrs. Smith. She also demonstrates a Hufflepuff’s hardworking spirit as she is always selflessly handing everyone else’s problems: the arrangements for leaving Killynch and caring for whatever ill or injured family member needs nursing. You’re the best, Anne. You deserve an unbelievably handsome,dashing, and successful sea caption.
- Edward Ferrars
- Harriet Smith
- Mrs. Jennings
- Sir John Middleton
When trying to place Pride & Prejudice’s Mr. Collins, I came to the realization that he is most likely a squib. And Lydia Bennet is most likely a muggle. And we all know that Mrs. Norris, the most vile of all Austen’s characters, is Filch’s horrible cat.
There’s a LOT of characters that I haven’t sorted yet and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the sorting in the comments!
If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy Is Your Favorite Saint a Gryffindor?: The Definitive Guide to Sorting Saints into Hogwarts Houses.
Note on the images: My friend Katherine Makowsky drew the Austen heroines for this post. You can follow her on Instagram (I highly recommend it!) and find her at her blog. She’s so talented and she takes commissions for custom pieces of art.