Blather on the Daydverse concept of sorting:
* Again from the “principle behind the thing” and “take it way too seriously” process by which I approach the Daydverse so that it hopefully feels like a real universe with real rules where things work for Reasons, the Sorting Hat, all theatricality aside (and it is a piece of theatricality, but that itself is a huge part of magical, ceremonial, and school traditions, particularly when you’re impressing brand new children…it’s more or less a magical puppet that Dumbledore controls with little motions and a little bit of magically assisted ventriloquism) is a crude form of MRI. It detects which areas of the brain respond most strongly to direct but too minute to feel stimulus, allowing it to determine genuine “gut instincts” and motivations beyond the child’s conscious or conditioned choices.
* Gryffindor are the Idealists. A child sorted Gryffindor reacts most strongly in the inferior frontal and medial temporal gyrus of the brain which handle abstract concepts. Their choices will most heavily weight ideals or abstracts with which they identify, favoring these above other priorities. Some examples of abstract concepts may include but are not limited to the ideals of patriotism, religion, cultural belief systems, destiny, “karma,” fate, justice, or “right and wrong.” They will, if forced, sacrifice identity, group affiliation, personal safety, and concrete data in favor of their ideals or abstracts. Gryffindors are often seen as leaders and heroes because of their willingness to “buck the group” and “ignore the odds” “no matter what the risk to themselves,” but if their ideals are flawed, they can be exceptionally dangerous because no group pressure, facts, or threats to their safety will dissuade them. A true Gryffindor might be Joan of Arc…or a suicide bomber. Gryffindor does NOT mean that one is inherently “a good guy.”
* Hufflepuff are the Socialists. A child sorted Hufflepuff reacts most strongly in the amygdala, which responds to socialization and empirical determinism. Their choices will most heavily weight societal or group norms or units with which they identify, favoring those above other priorities. Some examples of societal or group units may include but are not limited to nationality, race, class, House, family, chosen peer group, profession, sports team, fandom, school, military unit, or team. They will, if forced, sacrifice personal morals, ideals, personal safety, and concrete data in favor of the welfare or requirements of their social group. Hufflepuffs are often seen as “followers” or “nice guys” because of their willingness to “take one for the team,” strong sense of unit-based identity and innate aptitude in following approved behavioral standards, but will also internally police their structures, and are absolutely necessary for the functioning of a viable societal or tribal unit. They can be as active for social change or structure creation as for stability dependent upon the nature of their unit, and are vital to the preservation of languages, customs, standards of behavior, and the “unwritten rules” of human interactivity. If their unit is based on flawed principles, they can be exceptionally dangerous because no “little voice of conscience,” facts, or threats to their safety will dissuade them. A true Hufflepuff might be Captain America…or a guard at a concentration camp following orders. Hufflepuff does NOT mean that one is inherently “a sheep.”
* Ravenclaw are the Rationalists. A child sorted Ravenclaw reacts most strongly in the prefrontal lobe of the cerebral cortex, which responds to logic and structural reasoning. Their choices will most heavily weight concrete data and logical constructions which they believe to be accurate, favoring those above other priorities. Some examples of concrete data may include the input of their senses, data imparted by respected authorities, information which they have been trained to deem factual, and information which presents a reasoned or ordered pattern that implies logical veracity. They will, if forced, sacrifice personal ideals and morals, personal safety, and social conditioning in favor of the perceived accuracy of concrete data. Ravenclaws are often seen as “nerds” due to their frequent disregard of social behavior standards that do not make sense to them, as well as their tendency to pursue data and information which can often take the form of scholarship. There is, however, no correlation between intelligence and rationalism; one can be a Ravenclaw with a low capacity for data, inaccurate data, or inaccurately drawn conclusions from that data. The separation of moral and societal ideals from concrete facts can also lead to what is generally considered “immoral” behavior or, conversely, the selfless pursuit of knowledge. A true Ravenclaw might be Galileo…or Mengele. Ravenclaw does NOT mean that one is inherently “clever.”
* Slytherin are the Preservationists. A child sorted Slytherin reacts most strongly in the fornicate gyrus, nucleus accumbens, and orbitofrontal cortex, portions of the limbic system deeply associated with the necessary functions of self-preservation. Their choices will most heavily weight personal benefit and likelihood of survival favoring those above all other priorities. Some examples of preservative behavior might include but are not limited to acquisition of social and material status or power, affiliation with groups or individuals seen to be in current positions of power, avoidance of activities, situations, or persons which might cause harm, procreation and protection of offspring, and cultivation of physical defenses. They will, if forced, sacrifice personal ideals and morals, social conditioning, and concrete data in favor of their own survival or perceived benefit. Slytherins are often seen as “evil” due to their willingness to “throw people under the bus,” abandon social and moral norms or manipulate data for their own needs, and tendency towards behaviors with a strong limbic reward that are often socially weighted, such as sexual or ‘luxury’ pursuits. A Slytherin can, however, be capable of profound kindness and altruism if they deem it beneficial in some fashion - including, if relevant, an afterlife or the will of a powerful deity according to their spiritual beliefs or practices - or even complete self-sacrifice to ensure the survival or well-being of a loved one, particularly their own progeny. A true Slytherin might be Bill Gates…or Lord Voldemort. Slytherin does NOT mean one is inherently “heartless.”
It is, therefore, entirely possible to have a selfish Gryffindor who is a classic “nerd,” loves to read, and has an intense loyalty to their friends…like Hermione.
It is entirely possible to have a devious, prideful, classist Hufflepuff who is brilliantly overeducated and capable of acts of breathtakingly selfless bravery…like Justin.
It is entirely possible to have a socially adept, extroverted, creative, cunning Ravenclaw who is an excellent athlete and incredibly courageous…like Michael.
It is entirely possible to have a charming social butterfly of a Slytherin who is repulsed by the mere thought of violent behavior, an accomplished scholar, and an overall nice guy who is even willing to take risks to help his friends…like Slughorn.
Sorting is based on ancient traditions of aptitude testing that were meant to help direct children towards what were at the time the most commonly pursued career paths for magical children. Those trained to be military champions were essentially being prepared as either mercenaries or for single ritual combat, and an idealist was best suited to enter the ring alone and shed his own blood In The Name Of ____. Those trained to be healers, “wise women/men” and keepers of folk tradition had to have an inherent empathy and respect for We Have Always ______. Those trained to be scholars had to be willing to keep formulae and spellcraft letter-perfect and pursue alchemy and other scientific arts without regard for what the current King or regime believed…or would do to you for it. And of course, those trained to be viziers, advisers, court magicians, and priests had to survive the political arena and the machinations of court, where those who don’t watch their own back get stabbed in it.
Sorting is NOT a system of value judgments, a hierarchy, a guarantee of personality traits, or in any way connected to race, religion, class, education, intelligence, interests, physical traits, sexual orientation, gender, future mate aptitude, success, blood status, talent, star/zodiac/sun/moon sign, birth order, favorite color, favorite animal, introversion/extroversion, social popularity, crush object, kink, or mental illness. It is a matter of endless debate whether its tendency to run in families is due to hereditary genetic factors, primary conditioning, or a combination of the two. What it DOES allow is a certain edge in predicting an individual’s choices under duress (though there can still be surprises such as in the case of Zach leaving the DA, where what seemed to others abandonment of his social group was a choice he saw as accepting personal consequences for the sake of BETTER serving both the needs of his larger adult-oriented social group and his family units by blood and choice).
And, of course, it makes for really good kone-style debates at 3am as to your ACTUAL sorting.