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Old 02-27-2011, 10:34 PM   #51 (permalink)
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I don't think they were alll like this, yes many of them were, I can't deny that, but not all of them were bad. For instance Regulas Black, he turn out to help but not help, destroy the horcrux, he was against Voldemort, he wasn't evil, but still a slythrin.

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Yeah, most Slytherins weren't evil at all, a lot of them other than Malfoy seemed to really just mind their own business for most of the series and didn't really cause many problems. The characteristics of Slytherins were basically that they were ambitious and cunning and that they were probably a bit more selfish than some people, which for most of the kids put in that house it just meant they were fairly smart kids who wanted to achieve a lot.

I think Voldemort is part of the reason why they're seen in such a bad light in the wizarding world by some people, I mean having pretty much the most evil wizard to ever live in your house can't be good.
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:38 PM   #52 (permalink)
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Slytherins aren't evil..

I think there are a lot of reasons why most people look that Slytherin house as an evil little house.

1. Most of its members came from pureblood families. Pureblood families tend to stick together to the point that they become very discriminatory against other wizards who aren't pureblood.

2. Salazar Slytherin's desire to keep the school exclusive to purebloods, I guess when students learned of this, they weren't very happy that one of the founders wanted to keep the school exclusive, and of course, those who were sorted under his house, would agree, so it gives them an evil rep.

3. Voldemort and his death eaters. When Hagrid said that there isn't a wizard who had gone bad who wasn't in Slytherin, I expect he would be referring to the dark lord and his death eaters. Voldemort, who was sorted into Slytherin, believed in bloody purity, and of course. his housemates would agree. So, who better than to start making plans with than those who sympathize with his cause, which are also Slytherins. Then the people who used to be the original death eaters, simply passed on their beliefs to their children, making them sympathetic to the cause as well, making them death eaters...

Thus the misconception of evil Slytherins.
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:40 PM   #53 (permalink)
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The sorting hat can be wrong even in the 7th book when dumbledore is talking to snape in the memory Dumbledore tells Snape that they sometimes sort to soon. but the sorting hat is also right alot of times just look how smart hermione is. she could of been in Ravenclaw but she turned out to be very brave so the sorting hat put her in the right house.

And I dont think Peter would pull the sword out of the hat any time soon.
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:57 PM   #54 (permalink)
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I don't really no why either. Maybe not all slytherins where like that. Maybe some of them where good, but jk just made the bad and mean one stand out. I mean, almost all of the slytherins that are mentioned or have a part throughout the series have had something or other to do with malfoy, I.e - crabbe & goyle where his minions, blaze zabini was his friend, and pansy parkinson was his girlfriend. I mean, if you all think about it, not many other slytherins are mentioned other than them. Except for Marcus Flint. They're only a couple of slytherins, and think how many more there are. In all of the years (1st year, 5th year) there Is probably about 100 students in each. So there is probably many students in that particular house that didnt turn out bad.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:32 PM   #55 (permalink)
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I think that JK describes all of the Slytherins to be bad up till book 6 when we see that Draco can be scared and unconfident. This tells us they aren't all what their facade seems to be. Draco represents the students at a time when everyone shoud be afraid of what is to come.
Then at the end of the series Snape shows that Slytherin House have students who should be looked at from within. They are not all bad and bad ones could be from their teachings from their parents which is likely as if your parents were in Sltherin you may well be. Snape represents the changed man, a man that used love to conquer evil, he could change himself to do what was right.
I think JK made the Slytherins as they were because she needed to show us a deep emotional contrast between the 'bad Slytherin' and Snape and Draco too.
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Old 05-22-2011, 03:30 AM   #56 (permalink)
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Judging by the personality traits Slytherins are supposed to have, they aren't all bad people. Just a lot more ambitious than a lot of others and maybe a bit selfish.
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:47 PM   #57 (permalink)
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Also people, let's not forget Regulus Black... he wanted to put a stop to the Voldemorts reign... even though we don't know why... I think a lot of the personality traits of slytherins might be due as well to their home lives... If you grow up with the notion you are better, you're going to believe it sooner or later... I also think that because Slytherin's are in my view very competitive and as mentioned ambitious and cunning, I'm sure they don't like losing, so there is always going to be tension between them and the other houses...
Another theory: Might it all be about expectation? Everyone expects a slytherin to be cruel, so is it possible that they might expect it from themselves when they're sorted and think 'well hey, I guess I'm supposed to be a bit of a deuce now that I'm slytherin...'?
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Old 07-10-2011, 07:39 AM   #58 (permalink)
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I don't really see what's wrong with being ambitious unless you take it the wrong way like Voldy did, which most people don't
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:35 PM   #59 (permalink)
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That is actually a good point. I expect that a lot of the slytherins where not what everybody made them out to be. Most of them where probably nice and sweet. Just that JK made the vile, cruel and dispicable ones stand out more.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:47 AM   #60 (permalink)
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I thought that, by the time book 7's epilogue rolled around, Harry was quite accepting of Slytherins.

Of course Hagrid didn't like the Slytherins, his career at Hogwarts was destroyed by one of them. And Hagrid probably got a lot of tormenting from most of them, I'd reckon, given that Draco and company called him an "Oaf" a little too frequently for my comfort, and this when he was a teacher.

Other than Snape, Regulus Black was also a Slytherin. And he ultimately did the right thing. Then there was Slughorn. And I agree, Andromeda was probably also in Slytherin. We shouldn't forget-- Dumbledore was a Gryffindor and he was into "for the greater good" nonsense for a while, wasn't he?

I think the thing that makes Slytherins' unlikable is that a lot of them are selfish.That makes it harder for them to play the hero. But hey, in real life, self-preservation is kind of a good trait to have, isn't it?

You have to realize, during the time when the books are set, there was a war in the wizarding world, and those closest to the war knew that it was because of a Slytherin. That's why they all got painted as bad people. (Not fair, I know, but it happens very frequently in our world too) Once the war got over, I got the impression that Slytherin's rep. did undergo a bit of a change.
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Old 08-19-2011, 02:10 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Andromeda was a Slytherin, and she married a muggle.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:37 PM   #62 (permalink)
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It's because the novels are narrated from Harry's POV or people who were affected by the actions Slytherins which are often biased.

I think it would be unfair to say ALL Slytherins are evil because they are not (Snape, Professor Slughorn)... ect.

You also stated a valid point that Pettigrew was in Gryffindor (the house of bravery) but sold his own friends to save himself... Which is clear that he was indeed a coward.

An example of Slytherins being treated unfairly was in the Deathly Hallows part two. All Slytherins were not allowed to fight and directed by Professor McGonagall to go down to the dungeons...
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:27 PM   #63 (permalink)
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I think that not all Slytherins are evil, many just like power or protection and safety. We get a different view because we are seeing this from Harry. He is a Gryffindor and therefore biased towards his own house and against Slytherin in paticular.
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Old 11-13-2011, 11:27 AM   #64 (permalink)
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A lot of people in this thread have said something like "it's not your house, but who you are, that really matters". But there's a problem with that, as most of the time, it's the person's personality, that decides in which house they end up. So if you share one house's values, that's where you will end up. Of course, Peter Pettigrew is an enigma in this regard, but except for him, it's pretty much true.

Having said that though, it becomes clear as the series progresses, that not all Slytherins are mean bullies. Andromeda Black might have been a Slytherin, but she was the nicest one out of the three sisters (Sirius described her as his favorite cousin) and married a muggle-born despite the wishes of her family. Horace Slughorn seemed to be a nice enough guy, albeit with a slight pure-blood bias. And even the Malfoys got more depth in the last two books. I have to disagree about Snape being a good person though, no matter how much he turned out to be on the right side. He was a lousy teacher, who openly favored Slytherins over Gryffindors. I can feel sorry for him though, as he didn't have a good life, but it doesn't change how nasty he could be.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:36 PM   #65 (permalink)

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I know what you mean. It bothered me quite much too at first. But now I know it's because it's described from teh views of people form other houses. See, they don't know what deep inside, what a Slytherin is.

From all the books, it is mainly written from the point of Harry's view. And Harry views the Slytherins as "mean, cruel, bullies and muggle haters", because he doesn't know the real traits of a Slytherin. Other houses, like Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Huffle, are more opened houses. Their traits and characteristics are more known from the outsiders, that is is possibly why you read a lot of them from the book.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:03 AM   #66 (permalink)
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I looked through this thread awhile ago and I completely agree. I have been posting this stuff in every possible thread I could find about Slytherins. They aren't evil.

It is simply not true. Rowling has told Emerson that many Slytherins are good. And Slughorn is clearly a good guy. We on;y hear from five Slytherin students as being bullies. They are: Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle, Pansy, and Flint. Notice I did not include Zabini or whatever his name is. He seems to be a bully but we don't know much about him.

Why do people view Slytherins as bullies then? Why did Rowling have the need to single out a group of kids as the bad guys? Did she just make a mistake? Why did she say in a chat that the Slytherins came back ion the battle with reinforcements, but forgot to actually write this in the book? It was probably just a mistake.
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:40 AM   #67 (permalink)
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Why do people view Slytherins as bullies then? Why did Rowling have the need to single out a group of kids as the bad guys? Did she just make a mistake? Why did she say in a chat that the Slytherins came back ion the battle with reinforcements, but forgot to actually write this in the book? It was probably just a mistake.
The first two or three books were essentially "children's books", so it was more black and white back then. And it wasn't until "Half blood prince", that is the sixth book, that we started getting a more balanced view on the Slytherin house. It was like Harry and his friends "needed" antagonists among their school mates, to get some drama and action into the story, and it was convenient for Rowling to put two houses against each other. We also have to consider who Salazar Slytherin, the founder of the Slytherin house, seems to have been. He had a falling out with the other three founders of Hogwarts, because he wanted to restrict the school to pure-bloods. So it's no wonder that his house attracted kids from pure-bloodist homes.
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:33 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Slytherin gets most of it's 'baddy' view due to Salazar Slytherin. He was intolerant to muggle-borns. And, we have very less main characters from Slytherin, so maybe that's the reason the slytherins didn't get much character development.

And, this is just my point of view, maybe Rowling wanted to add a touch of reality to the books. We have discrimination on the basis of birthplace, colour, race, etc in the muggle world, especially in places like India, Germany, South Africa, etc...maybe the same applies here.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:09 PM   #69 (permalink)
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The first two or three books were essentially "children's books", so it was more black and white back then. And it wasn't until "Half blood prince", that is the sixth book, that we started getting a more balanced view on the Slytherin house. It was like Harry and his friends "needed" antagonists among their school mates, to get some drama and action into the story, and it was convenient for Rowling to put two houses against each other. We also have to consider who Salazar Slytherin, the founder of the Slytherin house, seems to have been. He had a falling out with the other three founders of Hogwarts, because he wanted to restrict the school to pure-bloods. So it's no wonder that his house attracted kids from pure-bloodist homes.
I agree. Children's books in general have a mean group, and their bad guys usually dress in black. I am happy that Rowling later states that most are good, though. Not too glad when people start saying that they proof that Slytherin are bad after they looked at a sticker book in Wal Mart that puts Slytherin in "Forces of Evil" section.


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Slytherin gets most of it's 'baddy' view due to Salazar Slytherin. He was intolerant to muggle-borns. And, we have very less main characters from Slytherin, so maybe that's the reason the slytherins didn't get much character development.

And, this is just my point of view, maybe Rowling wanted to add a touch of reality to the books. We have discrimination on the basis of birthplace, colour, race, etc in the muggle world, especially in places like India, Germany, South Africa, etc...maybe the same applies here.
That is very original idea. That would be realistic, for people to discriminate. Some pure bloods are racist againts muggle borns, and many students and even a few adults are racist againts ALL Slytherins. Kind of like real life.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:09 AM   #70 (permalink)
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I have always had this complaint about the HP books.

JK portrayal of the students in Slytherin. She never gave them any depth or other traits other than being mean, cruel, bullies and muggle haters...
I don't agree at all. What is made most obvious is those traits that you mentions, true, but others were there!

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Where as the other houses had charries that ran the gamut of all character traits. I mean not all of the claws were smart. Some of the badgers had the capacity to be really mean they they wanted to be. Not all of the lions were brave. Peter turned in his own friends to save his own hide.

So why on earth couldn't the Slytherins get the same attention and dimensions as the other houses. I mean even before we get to the school Hagrid says "there isn't a witch or wizard whose gone bad who wasn't from Slytherin."

Is that all they were? Were all of them like this?

Was this a fair portrayal of Slytherin
Milicent Bulstrode had a cat - given to us in CoS - Animals lovers generally aren't evil people, showing us that she had a tender side.

Pansy Parkinson had a major crush on Draco. Just like any girl, she wanted a boy to like her back.

Crab and Goyle: these two were always with Draco. This showed their loyalty and deep friendship with Draco.

Draco - he had alot of pressure from his father (and Voldemort, later) seen in HBP when he's crying in the bathroom Kids who have a parent like that tend to lash out at other kids, because they can't stand up to their parents.

So, JKR wrote the Slytherins in depth, it just isn't flat out written.

I will give you this, Hagrid's perception of the Slytherins was terribly skewed. But that is a character's view, not how the Slytherins were actually written.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:19 PM   #71 (permalink)
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What is interesting is that I noticed a lot of people who are defending Slytherin and mad at the way Rowling portrayed them have been sorted into Slytherin house for a game. I believe it is the author's decision for how to portray characters, and she needed a house of villains. Slytherin house was founded on a person who wasn't exactly moral, which is why students who share similar qualities are picked for that house. There are a few exceptions like Snape and Wormtail, and even Dumbledore says they sort too early sometimes. However, the hat had its reasons for putting Pettigrew in Gryffindor and Snape in Slytherin. Like it or not, the Potters needed to be betrayed for them to fall and for Harry to become the chosen one who defeats Voldemort. So while sometimes a character doesn't fit the personality traits of a house precisely, the hat has its reasons for what it chooses.

EDIT: I meant a few exceptions who don't fit into their chosen house... not implying Wormtail was in Slytherin.
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:20 PM   #72 (permalink)
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I have always had this complaint about the HP books.

JK portrayal of the students in Slytherin. She never gave them any depth or other traits other than being mean, cruel, bullies and muggle haters...

Where as the other houses had charries that ran the gamut of all character traits. I mean not all of the claws were smart. Some of the badgers had the capacity to be really mean they they wanted to be. Not all of the lions were brave. Peter turned in his own friends to save his own hide.

So why on earth couldn't the Slytherins get the same attention and dimensions as the other houses. I mean een before we get to the school Hagrid says "there isn't a witch or wizard whose gone bad who wasn't from Slytherin."

Is that all they were? Were all of them like this?

Was this a fair portrayal of Slytherin


I definitely hear where you're going with this and while I haven't read through all of the posts, I do want to point out something in your first post that caught my eye.

First off, just because a character states something in the book doesn't necessarily mean that it is so. In fact, we learn later on that not all wizards who went bad were from Slytherin (Peter being key in all of this).The fact that we learn how misjudged the Slytherin house is makes the house all the more significant. It's a great representation of how it's okay to hate the Slytherins on the basis of their house/background but not okay to hate all Muggleborns because of the way they were born. In either case, the logic is flawed.

I was actually introduced to the world of Harry Potter by someone who most likely would have been sorted in "Slytherin". In fact, I clearly remember the day my fifth grade teacher patterned us up for a creative writing activity. He was the kid that everyone always picked on when we were younger but eventually turned into a bully that everyone was afraid of. Although he was smart and funny, no one ever took him seriously or talked to him. I remember how I sat down next to him that day and he looked at me and said, "We're doing our activity on Harry Potter and you're going to go home tonight and read this book (OOTP) over the weekend so we can present on Monday." I just stared at him dumbfounded and did exactly as he said. Through Harry Potter, we actually became friends that year but no matter how hard I tried to convince my friends he was nice, they still thought he was dreadful. We've all had an experience with someone like him (a "Slytherin" if you will) in our childhoods but most people either misjudge them or completely disregard them.

The characterization for those in the Slytherin house was done purposely by JKR and she definitely progressed into hinting at this misjudgment throughout all of the books. Professor Slughorn was key in this campaign, especially in Deathly Hallows. In fact, during the night of the battle at Hogwarts, I clearly remember McGonagall waking Slughorn and saying something like, "it's time for the Slytherin House to pick its side." This shows that this prejudice was still apparent in the final book but Slughorn does gather several Slytherin students to defend the school alongside the Order. I also remember another powerful statement that gives this entire discussion a nice close. *goes to look it up*

Oooh, I lied...it wasn't Slughorn who said it but the point remains:


"And let it be known that Slytherin House played its part! Let our contribution not be forgotten!" (Phineas Nigellus, Deathly Hallows)
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:59 PM   #73 (permalink)
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The Slytherin house seems to breed mean cruel bullies who have no time for muggles. Ironically the dark lords wasnt fully magic background and he became a wizard he was in Slytherin and look how he turned out Harry kills him. I wonder what would have happened if the sorting hat forced Harry to go to Slytherin would Snape have been nicer to Harry. Would Harry have married Ginny. Did Harry do Slytherin a favour by joining Griffindor the dark lord may have found it easier to gain access to Slytherin being an old boy Malfoy might have been used to get to Harry.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:18 AM   #74 (permalink)
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Well, what about Slughorn? Or Snape? All are ambitious, and can be rather tedious, but the main reason they are shown as bad is that they are mostly in Malfoy's gang, or facing Potter on the Quidditch field. As such, they don't treat Potter well, and as this is told from Potter's point of view, that's not such a good thing. A for what Hagrid said, not all Slytherins are dark wizards, but all dark wizards come from Slytherin. Or witches. even Slytherin was Gryffindor's best friend. It was just the one;s that we saw were in Malfoy's gang, and were;nt great people.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:55 PM   #75 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: MiddleofNoWhere, USA
Posts: 37

Hogwarts RPG Name:
Emelia Callahan (Emmy)
Second Year
Gryffindor

So I hope this makes sense. I think the reason the ones we see are portrayed as stupid annoying gits is because these are the one's Harry, Ron, Hermione, etc. directly interact with. These guys are the ones who go out of their way to mess with them. We don't really see most of the Slytherin students, and since it's told through Harry's experiences, he doesn't know much about them, so we don't. They don't effect Harry or the story all that much, at least not individually, so it really would have bee useless filler if JKR had gone out of her way to show they aren't. They're portrayed as other people see them, not as they are.

...Sorry for the essay.
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