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Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3



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Old March 23rd, 2010, 6:29 am
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Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

The question is pretty simple, why was peter in Gryffindor? We see him showing bravery at times but thats only in self-serving, a trait fit for Slytherin so why did the sorting hat put him in Gryffindor? Did the sorting hat go wrong for once?

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Old March 23rd, 2010, 9:45 am
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

Because not everyone in each House is a carbon copy of each other?


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Old March 23rd, 2010, 10:04 am
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
Because not everyone in each House is a carbon copy of each other?
Thats quite right, but the essential qualities that need to be there in particular person, the very basis of them getting sorting into different houses, those need to be similar if not exactly same. Which qualities do you think Peter possessed that landed him in Gryffindor?


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Old March 23rd, 2010, 10:29 am
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

I say he was brave in a way.
Bravery doesn't necessarily mean good deeds. Bravery is essential in bad deeds as well as good ones. I think it takes a lot of bravery to cut off your own hand, to trick people like Dumbledore, Moody, his own friends, etc.
Its true that he did those things out of pure terror from Voldemort, but still he needed a great amount of bravery to accomplish them.

I still agree with Yoana, that not every person carries the exact qualities of their house.
This thread rather reminds me of another one, with the title: Did the sorting hat mis-sort key characters?.
I don't think that Peter -and others- were mis-sorted. Just that they had different and varied qualities. You can't find some one who is purely brave, or purely intelligent, etc.
So it comes down to the person's preferance and the quality that is more distinct and powerful. .


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Old March 23rd, 2010, 11:15 am
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
Because not everyone in each House is a carbon copy of each other?
This.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysterious View Post
Thats quite right, but the essential qualities that need to be there in particular person, the very basis of them getting sorting into different houses, those need to be similar if not exactly same. Which qualities do you think Peter possessed that landed him in Gryffindor?
Except these qualities aren't exclusive to each other eg. Cormac has demonstrated signs of bravery, but he also has an overwhelming ego. Pettigrew has displayed bravery but in different circumstances which are albeit selfish.

However the traits a student has that place them in a house is something that can't be controlled by a hat, it can only be observed and commented on by The Sorting Hat ie. having the bravery trait of Gryffindor doesn't mean you can't have the intelligence attributed with Ravenclaw etc. (Slytherin-ambition & Hufflepuff-hard working). We even see this in the main characters especially Harry who asked The Sorting Hat to sort him into Gryffindor.

The theme itself was part of Harry's character development in CoS when he was wondering whether he was put in the right house. Dumbledore's advice that 'it is our choices, far more than our abilities' helped ease Harry's doubts. For all we know Pettigrew may have just wanted to be in Gryffindor and he had the bravery for The Sorting Hat to say; 'Gryffindor'. Motives for wanting to be in a particular house don't have to be the same for everyone.


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Old March 23rd, 2010, 12:39 pm
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by mysterious View Post
Thats quite right, but the essential qualities that need to be there in particular person, the very basis of them getting sorting into different houses, those need to be similar if not exactly same. Which qualities do you think Peter possessed that landed him in Gryffindor?
You yourself said he exhibited bravery. According to the Sorting hat, that's enough to land you in Gryffindor. It doesn't qualify the type of bravery you need to possess - self-sacrificial tendencies aren't on the list of requirements for Gryffindor.


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Old March 23rd, 2010, 12:56 pm
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

I think a contributing factor could be that, for whatever reasons, Peter wanted to be in Gryffindor and thus was. We see Harry able to pick his house this way, and we also see him telling Albus Severus that he too can choose where he would most want to go. It takes what you want into account.


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Old March 23rd, 2010, 5:38 pm
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

I don't think the Sorting Hat has misplaced anyone

Peter Pettigrew had most of the qualities of Gryffindor. He was brave (to betray his friends, Order members, and join the Death Eaters) and loyal (to Voldemort). He was not completely chivalrous, but if we look at Harry's comments in DH before he jumped in the pond to get the sword, it's likely that few people even understood what the word meant.


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Old March 23rd, 2010, 6:44 pm
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

Maybe he just told the Sorting Hat that he wanted to be in Gryffindor. After all, Harry didn't want to go to Slytherin, and Hermione said that it considered her for Ravenclaw. So their choices count.


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Old March 23rd, 2010, 6:51 pm
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

Um... sorry if I'm being extremely stupid, but do we actually have canon that tells us Peter was in Gryffindor? I can't seem to recall any, please, please correct me. I agree that James, Sirius and Lupin are the last people who'd willingly hang out with a Slytherin, but couldn't he have been, say, a Hufflepuff? Sorry if I'm being extremely thick-skulled.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mexicant View Post
I think a contributing factor could be that, for whatever reasons, Peter wanted to be in Gryffindor and thus was. We see Harry able to pick his house this way, and we also see him telling Albus Severus that he too can choose where he would most want to go. It takes what you want into account.
Maybe Peter wanted to be in Gryffindor, but I dont think we can compare Harry's and Peter's cases at all. With Harry, the Sorting Hat was confused about whether he should be Slytherin or Gryffindor because it saw Harry's Slytherin-like qualities which he had because a part of Voldemort's souls was in him. In PS/SS, the Sorting hat says of Slytherins:
Those cunning folk use any means
to achieve their ends.

In GoF, it says:
While power hungry Slytherin
loved those of great ambition.

And in OOTP, it says:
Said Slytherin, we'll teach just those
whose ancestry is purest.

Harry is not cunning, power hungry, ambitious or a pure blood (though neither is Voldemort). His dominant trait (as also certified by the poll in Harry Potter: Character Analysis) is courage, and the ability to love ('compassion' in the poll). I'd say the Sorting Hat would take your choice into account, but not totally regardless of your qualities. When Harry chose Gryffindor, his choice was also prompted a lot by the fact that he wanted to be where Ron was likely to be, and not where Malfoy had been put.
Peter might have shown bravery in some situations, but it definitely wasn't his dominant trait. Note that Wormtail isn't there (or at least, isn't mentioned) in James' and Sirius' compartment on the Hogwarts Express when they're going to Hogwarts. I'd say his dominant trait in school years was hero-worshipping James and Sirius, which could have prompted any desire to be in Gryffindor.
Quote:
Peter wanted to be in Gryffindor and thus was.
Can you provide any evidence that he wanted to be in Gryffindor?


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Old March 23rd, 2010, 8:35 pm
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by WeasleKing View Post
but do we actually have canon that tells us Peter was in Gryffindor?
Harry sees Peter Pettigrew get sorted into Gryffindor in The Prince's Tale (DH):

TPTThe roll call continued. Harry watched Lupin, Pettigrew and his father join Lily and Sirius at the Gryffindor table.



Last edited by Annielogic; March 23rd, 2010 at 10:38 pm. Reason: edited quote
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 8:58 pm
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

I have not been keeping up with this thread, so excuse me if I go over something you discussed ages ago and is not relevant anymore or you're tired of rehashing.

When being sorted I don't think what they will become is taken into account. It's who they are at that point in their lives. Harry makes a point that choices are considered. Peter probably wants to be a Gryffindor. His parents might have been Gryffindors. We don't know anything about them. Brave doesn't mean making smart decisions. I think he was brave to become an animagus.

He also probably fits into this house more than the others. He's not smart enough or into studying enough to be placed into Ravenclaw. Loyalty is not something he values very much as an adult and I suspect it could be the same as a child so he's not fit for Hufflepuff. The two choices are Slytherin and Gryffindor. We often think of Slytherin as the bad house. If it truly is then I don't think Peter was bad as a child. But, it's not really the bad house. Their qualities are cunning, pure-blood (can you be anything else and be a Slytherin? I don't think Salazar Slytherin would like that, though half-bloods like Tom Riddle and Severus Snape are Slytherins), ambition, and resourcefulness. I don't think Peter is anything like that. Well, he could be pureblood. We don't know his parents. I don't think he has ambition. He just wants to fit in and have friends. It just makes sense to me that he fits most into Gryffindor.


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Old March 23rd, 2010, 9:02 pm
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

Maybe dumbledore was right -- maybe they did sort too soon. I'm inclined to agree that Pettigrew probably wanted to sorted into Gryffindor, which seemed to be the "in" House.


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Old March 23rd, 2010, 9:06 pm
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

I remember in The Prince's Tale that Dumbledore tells Snape: "Sometimes, I think we sort too soon." Some people change since their first year at Hogwarts, at 11 years old.

And I agree with many of the above. He did show some certain acts of courage, such as cutting off his own hand.


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Old March 23rd, 2010, 10:07 pm
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by WeasleKing View Post
Can you provide any evidence that he wanted to be in Gryffindor?
As you may read in my post, I used the words "could be" which means I was making a guess.

I don't agree that I can't compare Harry's and Peter's sortings because we know that the hat deliberated over Hermione as well. Regardless of where the hat thinks you should go, we have canon proof that your opinion matters and if it is strong enough, it can change the hat's mind.
Also, my opinion is that what the hat saw in Harry was all Harry and not Voldemort. You seem to see it differently, and I can respect that your interpretation differs from mine. ^_^


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Old March 23rd, 2010, 10:47 pm
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

It might help to know how he was brought up, family relation seem to be important too. For example all Weasleys were Gryffindor, all Blacks (except one) were in Slytherin.
Also he wasn't the traitor when he was 11 years old. People seem to assume that he was born a traitor and coward and hence shouldn't be in Gryffindor. Maybe these "traits" only developed later in life. Being cowardly is no reason not to put someone into Gryffindor, Neville wasn't the most confident student either.


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Old March 23rd, 2010, 11:34 pm
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by CurseCruciatus View Post
I remember in The Prince's Tale that Dumbledore tells Snape: "Sometimes, I think we sort too soon." Some people change since their first year at Hogwarts, at 11 years old.

And I agree with many of the above. He did show some certain acts of courage, such as cutting off his own hand.
I agree ^ ^ ^


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Old March 24th, 2010, 12:46 am
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

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Originally Posted by bellatrix93 View Post
I say he was brave in a way.
Bravery doesn't necessarily mean good deeds. Bravery is essential in bad deeds as well as good ones. I think it takes a lot of bravery to cut off your own hand, to trick people like Dumbledore, Moody, his own friends, etc.
Its true that he did those things out of pure terror from Voldemort, but still he needed a great amount of bravery to accomplish them.
I agree, he showed some bravery, just in a not-so-good(!) way. Even if it stemmed from a fear for his own skin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frank_KoG View Post
However the traits a student has that place them in a house is something that can't be controlled by a hat, it can only be observed and commented on by The Sorting Hat ie. having the bravery trait of Gryffindor doesn't mean you can't have the intelligence attributed with Ravenclaw etc. (Slytherin-ambition & Hufflepuff-hard working). We even see this in the main characters especially Harry who asked The Sorting Hat to sort him into Gryffindor.
Technically, Harry asked the Hat "Not Slytherin." He didn't specify an alternative House.


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Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
When being sorted I don't think what they will become is taken into account. It's who they are at that point in their lives. Harry makes a point that choices are considered. Peter probably wants to be a Gryffindor. His parents might have been Gryffindors. We don't know anything about them. Brave doesn't mean making smart decisions. I think he was brave to become an animagus.
Good point, eleven year old Peter wasn't twenty year old Peter who started passing information to Voldemort. The Hat couldn't have foreseen that would happen, imo. It seems that the war brought out the worst in Peter.


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Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
Also he wasn't the traitor when he was 11 years old. People seem to assume that he was born a traitor and coward and hence shouldn't be in Gryffindor. Maybe these "traits" only developed later in life. Being cowardly is no reason not to put someone into Gryffindor, Neville wasn't the most confident student either.
Quote:
For all we know Pettigrew may have just wanted to be in Gryffindor and he had the bravery for The Sorting Hat to say; 'Gryffindor'. Motives for wanting to be in a particular house don't have to be the same for everyone.
I agree, esppecially if it was courage he valued, whether or not he possessed it- most of the Gryffindor first years we meet seem fairly ordinary kids, seeing as they're just eleven. If Peter wanted to be brave, if he valued courage, more than he wanted to intelligent, hardworking, or ambitious, I think that would have settled it in the Hat's opinion.
Similarly, Crabbe and Goyle aren't portrayed as all that shrewd and seem quite sycophantic, and yet are in the House for the ambitious and cunning (traits they probably value, even if they don't have them in spades).


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Old March 24th, 2010, 2:01 am
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

Quote:
Originally Posted by bellatrix93 View Post
I say he was brave in a way.
Bravery doesn't necessarily mean good deeds. Bravery is essential in bad deeds as well as good ones. I think it takes a lot of bravery to cut off your own hand, to trick people like Dumbledore, Moody, his own friends, etc.
Its true that he did those things out of pure terror from Voldemort, but still he needed a great amount of bravery to accomplish them.
Those aren't examples of bravery per se. He was forced to do it, like you have said. If I force you to jump out of a speeding bus and survive, some may say it was bravery but you would know that you had no choice.

Moreover Peter has shown bravery but those are in self-serving. A trait thats fit for Slytherins who are quite brave themselves, best example, Voldemort a true Slytherin who has dared things even a Gryffindor would not. For Gryffindors bravery isn't just limited to oneself and to one particular condition, its universal, which I haven't seen in Peter so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
You yourself said he exhibited bravery. According to the Sorting hat, that's enough to land you in Gryffindor. It doesn't qualify the type of bravery you need to possess - self-sacrificial tendencies aren't on the list of requirements for Gryffindor.
I think bravery by itself isn't the sufficient criteria for landing you up in Gryffindor. Like I said in above, Voldemort was brave, was he a Gryffindor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mexicant View Post
I think a contributing factor could be that, for whatever reasons, Peter wanted to be in Gryffindor and thus was. We see Harry able to pick his house this way, and we also see him telling Albus Severus that he too can choose where he would most want to go. It takes what you want into account.
Quite possible, but then in Harry's case the Hat was conflicted as to where he should sort Harry...he had a lineage that suggested Gryffindor and yet he had the soul of Voldemort in him which screamed Slytherin. I don't think such was the predicament in case of Peter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
Peter Pettigrew had most of the qualities of Gryffindor. He was brave (to betray his friends, Order members, and join the Death Eaters) and loyal (to Voldemort).
Loyalty for Wormtail, used to flicker with his best interests. If he saw a protector stronger than the previous one, he would flip side...that isn't loyalty. As far as his loyalty for Voldemort is concerned, he went into hiding to save himself, and returned to Voldemort only because he had no choice. Voldemort himself tells us that...

The Death Eaters, GoF“You returned to me, not out of loyalty, but out of fear of your old friends. You deserve this pain, Wormtail. You know that, don’t you?”
“Yes, Master,” moaned Wormtail, “please, Master . . . please . . .”


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenshi View Post
It might help to know how he was brought up, family relation seem to be important too.
Thats a good point, lineage might have been a factor. Like the Weasleys. The moment the sorting hat touched Ron's head it sorted him into Gryffindor, without even giving it a second thought.


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Old March 24th, 2010, 8:23 am
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Re: Why was Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor? v3

Peter became a traitor only after school. He kept Remus' secret throughout the seven years at Hogwarts and he became an illegal Animagus, too. Later he joined the Order. That's courageous and loyal. Granted, his main motivation for doing these things was peer pressure and the wish to be part of the gang, but he did them. I don't think the Sorting Hat can foresee the future. If it did, it may not have sorted Voldemort at all but screamed bloody murder. I think it sorted Peter as he saw him then, at eleven.


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