The Four Houses: Cool, Dope, Fresh, and Smart-Brained by Hannah Madonna

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We, as a species, have always liked sorting ourselves and others into different, discrete categories. Think about astrological signs, or Meyers-Briggs types. These give us some insight into ourselves and others. Whether or not that insight is accurate is less important than the feeling of revelation that we may have when we can point to something and say, “Yes, that’s just like me! And here are others like me, too.” We love talking about ourselves – browse Twitter and you’ll see sun signs in twitter handles, Meyers-Briggs types and Hogwarts houses in bios. And those are just three examples. We continue to create all different ways to sort and categorize ourselves. This can form a big part of our identity: thinking “I am Thing A” or “I am Thing B” can come to define at least a part of who we are.

And ever since the most ancient year of 1997, when the first Harry Potter book was released, there has been a long history of sorting people and fictional characters into their Hogwarts houses. This is so popular, in fact, that a website was created just to give people the virtual experience of being sorted.  (A site which, for the record, is wrong, because I’m clearly a Ravenclaw and it has tried to sort me into Gryffindor twice?  What?)  

With my favorite currently airing show The Good Place coming to its fourth and final season soon, I have been thinking a lot about its characters. And I idly began to wonder: which Hogwarts house would each character fall into? There are four characters and four houses, so naturally I had to see if there was a correlation. Without further ado, here are the characters from The Good Place sorted into their Hogwarts Houses!

  1. Eleanor Shellstrop – Gryffindor

The defining characteristic of Gryffindor house is bravery – as the Sorting Hat says, “their daring, nerve, and chivalry set Gryffindors apart.”  Eleanor may not possess an abundance of chivalry, but she has some incredible nerve. She faces down the revelation that they’re in the Bad place by gloating that she knew it all along.  Whatever the plan is, she’ll jump in headfirst. She’s impulsive and – in her own way – idealistic. Gryffindors often work in a framework of how the world should be, or how they want it to be, and Eleanor has no problem expressing herself about how she feels things should be.  And when it comes down to it, she’ll bravely sacrifice herself for the good of her friends (like in S1 when she planned to go to the Bad Place by herself after she couldn’t net the points she needed).

2. Chidi Anagonye – Ravenclaw

This was, ironically, a no-brainer.  Chidi is a Ravenclaw. This is the house of wit and learning, where knowledge is its own reward.  You don’t have to be a bookworm or love reading, but I do think it’s telling that when Chidi thinks his soulmate might be books, he’s visibly unhappy about it but he also kind of believes it.  He’s interested in navigating the moral fabric of the world, and trying to understand what it means to be a good person and live a meaningful, authentic life. He reads the thoughts of scholars who have come before him, and he’s genuinely excited to share that with others.

3. Tahani Al Jamil – Slytherin

Slytherins are ambitious, but also this is the house most focused on appearances and connections.  It’s the house of many of the wizarding world’s old, monied families. Strip away the association with dark wizards, and this is the perfect fit for Tahani.  She’s willing to do whatever it takes to achieve her goals. In Season 3, even after she swore off all her worldly possessions and moved to the monastery, as soon as she decided to re-enter her old world she became a motivational speaker and got a book deal.  She wants to impress others and be seen as high status – which she is, of course. 

And finally, that only leaves…

Jason Mendoza as – 

Just kidding, it’s Michael!

4. Michael – Hufflepuff

I was delighted when I realized how perfectly Michael fits into this house. The Hufflepuff house is characterized by loyalty and hard work, as well as fairness.  Michael immediately shows how hard he’s willing to work by trying to craft the perfect Bad Place neighborhood.  And then, so sure that it’s going to work – and so eager to save himself from his bosses’ wrath – he reboots the neighborhood and starts all over again more than 800 times.  He grows to care about the residents, and becomes fiercely loyal to his new friends. When he finds out that humans are being sent to the Bad Place unfairly, and the whole system is now basically broken, he sets out to fix it not only because he cares about his friends, but also because he hates how unfair it is.  Though he may be a demon, Michael proves over and over again he’s also a perfect fit for Hufflepuff.

And there you go!  I’m curious to know if anyone else has any thoughts or insight into character sorting, especially for Jason or Janet.  In the meantime, I invite you to sort yourself into one of the Good Place houses as outlined by Jason himself:

Cool, Dope, Fresh, or Smart-Brained

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