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The Best (And Worst) Gryffindor Traits

They're known for their bravery and drive, but Gryffindors do have their shortcomings.

If someone asks you to name a Hogwarts house, Gryffindor is likely the first to come to mind. It's the house that Harry Potter himself is in, and the one we learn the most about throughout the books and the movies. But while we recognize Gryffindors' bravery and valor, there's more to this house than meets the eye—and that means both pros and cons. Read on to find out the best and worst Gryffindor traits.

RELATED: The Best (And Worst) Hufflepuff Traits.

What Does It Mean to Be a Gryffindor?

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Gryffindor was founded by its namesake, Godric Gryffindor, and is represented by the lion and the colors scarlet and gold. Godric valued the bravest and boldest Hogwarts students, and it's rumored that his hat was the one that became the official Sorting Hat used to determine which house each student belongs in. His sword is another valuable artifact that can present itself to any worthy Gryffindor in need.

Godric was known for his accepting nature and interest in teaching Muggle-born students, differing from one of his fellow founders, Salazar Slytherin. As such, this house is filled with students who will always stand up for what's right and challenge those who disagree.

RELATED: 38 Harry Potter Spells Every Wizard and Witch Should Know.

The Best Gryffindor Traits

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Gryffindors are brave.

No list of Gryffindor traits is complete without mention of their bravery. Harry is best known for this, as are his best friends and fellow Gryffindors, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. Across seven books and eight movies, the trio take on fierce opponents to defend the magical world, never backing down from a challenge.

Harry's parents, both Gryffindors as well, also bravely gave up their lives to save their son from Lord Voldemort. And when the time came for the Battle of Hogwarts, Gryffindors were the first to stand up and say they were ready to fight.

On a smaller scale, we have to follow the lead of Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and give kudos to Neville Longbottom, who is brave enough to stand up to his friends when they're going to break the rules yet again.

Gryffindors are loyal.

Another trait Gryffindors have no shortage of is loyalty. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are the best examples of devotion to one another throughout the series. Much like Hufflepuffs, witches and wizards in this house would not typically have their loyalty called into question.

Gryffindors aren't just loyal to their friends either—they're loyal to the causes they care about. Hermione clearly shows this, as she fights to bring attention to the mistreatment of house elves in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. She even starts her own organization, the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare (S.P.E.W.) to advocate for their rights.

Gryffindors are intelligent.

Gryffindors are smart, too. While he's not necessarily the best student, Harry's intelligence is somewhat underestimated throughout the series—he's truly talented at thinking on his feet. Who can forget when he destroyed Tom Riddle's diary by stabbing it with a basilisk fang?

Naturally, we have to point to other Gryffindor smarties, including Professor Minerva McGonagall, Ginny Weasley, Dumbledore, and everyone's favorite know-it-all (in the best way) Hermione. There's no problem Hermione can't sort out, from making the extremely complicated Polyjuice Potion in her second year to figuring out a way to destroy Horcruxes.

Gryffindors are ambitious.

There's no shortage of ambition in Gryffindor—just take Fred and George Weasley. Following one too many run-ins with Dolores Umbridge, the twins decide to drop out of Hogwarts to pursue their dreams of starting a joke shop. And while their mother, Molly Weasley, might not have been thrilled about them leaving school, the joke shop ends up becoming a wild success: a true testament to their drive and skill as businessmen.

Dumbledore was also known for his ambitious goals throughout life. And while Harry sometimes doubts himself, he has the dream of becoming an auror and ends up succeeding.

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Gryffindors are natural defenders.

In addition to displaying bravery, Gryffindors are chivalrous and always ready to stand up for others. This was a core belief of Godric Gryffindor that Harry clearly values, too. He's there for Neville, who is constantly being bullied—especially in The Sorcerer's Stone when Harry stands up to Draco Malfoy and wins back the stolen Remembrall. He also cares for the house elf Dobby and even wins him his freedom from the abusive Malfoy family.

While Harry doesn't necessarily need defending, Ron is typically there to back up his best friend whenever Harry's integrity is being questioned. Ron's younger sister Ginny isn't afraid of a conflict either. She takes on Draco early in the series when he insults Harry at the Flourish and Blotts bookstore.

Gryffindors are kind.

Along with their willingness to stand up for others, Gryffindors are kind. With a few exceptions, most in this house typically treat others how they would want to be treated. Lily Potter is recognized for her fair treatment of everyone, including her best friend, Severus Snape, who ends up in Slytherin. The Weasley family, as a whole, displays unfailing kindness to Harry throughout the series, essentially taking him in as one of their own.

Despite his flaws, Dumbledore is also a kind and just leader at Hogwarts—and even more admirably, he shows the same amount of kindness and respect to people he dislikes.

Gryffindors are daring.

Gryffindors love a little bit of adventure, and they're willing to take risks when it's required. Harry, of course, steps up when the situation calls for it, regardless of what the consequences might be. He also founds and leads Dumbledore's Army (after some coaxing from Hermione) in defiance of Dolores Umbridge, inspiring others to take a risk and fight back as well.

Gryffindors know how to have a good time.

While they're going to be stoic and strong when necessary, Gryffindors also like a good party. They love to celebrate a Quidditch win, and the Weasley twins are always going to make people laugh with their jokes and pranks. Ginny, too, is quick-witted and funny, which certainly made her popular during her time at Hogwarts. And when it comes to indulging, Hagrid is always up for a drink and a good time at the local pub.

RELATED: The Best (And Worst) Ravenclaw Traits.

The Worst Gryffindor Traits

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Gryffindors always want to be the hero.

We love the brave and chivalrous Gryffindors, but sometimes, their need to be the hero is a bit much.

In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the young heroes head to the Ministry of Magic without consulting anyone or really understanding the gravity of the situation. Thankfully, adult members of the Order of the Phoenix show up when the students are met by Death Eaters. But they probably would have been better prepared had Harry not acted on impulse, feeling the desperate need to save his godfather, Sirius Black.

In The Goblet of Fire, Harry also goes out of his way to save Fleur Delacour's sister in addition to Ron during the second task. While he is awarded second-place points for his bravery, his fellow contestants aren't exactly thrilled with his need to be the hero.

Gryffindors can be stubborn.

Another negative Gryffindor trait is stubbornness. Ron is known to be a bit inflexible at times, especially when his insecurities are getting the best of him. When Harry's name is pulled from the Goblet of Fire, Ron is convinced Harry betrayed him and found a way to enter the competition and left him out on purpose. It's not until he realizes how dangerous the competition is that he comes around and understands that Harry wouldn't have entered willingly.

When it comes to their love story, both Ron and Hermione's stubbornness and inability to communicate their feelings delay their happiness longer than necessary.

Gryffindors have short tempers.

One of Harry's major flaws is his temper, which he loses on a few different occasions. (However, can we really blame him for going off on Aunt Marge when she slanders his parents?) Ron has a bit of a temper as well, particularly when it's fueled by his own insecurities and jealousy. He unfairly chides Hermione at the Yule Ball for going with Viktor Krum in The Goblet of Fire, and in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, he picks a fight with both Harry and Hermione when the locket (which is a Horcrux) convinces him that something is going on between his friends.

Fellow Gryffindor Cormac McLaggen also displays his temper in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, losing it when Harry won't give him a second Quidditch tryout.

Gryffindors are reckless.

Going somewhat hand-in-hand with their daring nature, Gryffindors don't always think before they act. Harry displays this during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, as well as back in his first year when he risks potential expulsion to secure Neville's Remembrall. That same year, he and Ron decide to take on a troll themselves rather than seek help from teachers.

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Gryffindors can be lazy.

Even though Gryffindors are typically up for a challenge, they're not always at the ready. Ron exudes laziness quite often in terms of his schoolwork, expecting Hermione to help him with every assignment—or even to complete it for him. In The Goblet of Fire, Harry also procrastinates while competing in the Triwizard Tournament: The night before the second task, he's still unsure how he's going to breathe underwater for an hour.

Gryffindors can be conceited.

Noble Gryffindors can be a bit pompous at times. Cormac McLaggen is particularly prone to boasting about his Quidditch skills and is over-confident and pushy in pursuing Hermione. He's not exactly a team player, consistently offering unsolicited advice to other players on the Quidditch pitch rather than focusing on the game. James Potter is also described as being fairly arrogant, bullying his peers during his time at Hogwarts.

Gryffindors are sometimes power-hungry.

Gryffindors aren't necessarily known for their modesty either. While Harry doesn't really want any fame as "The Boy Who Lived," his mentor, Dumbledore, once desired power more than anything. Percy Weasley also shuns his family as he attempts to climb the ranks at the Ministry of Magic. Percy always wants to be in charge, starting as a Gryffindor Prefect and later becoming Head Boy.

Gryffindors can be mean.

Kindness is certainly a trait that Gryffindors exude, but they are human, and they can be cruel at times. James, Sirius, and Remus Lupin display this in their treatment of Snape while they are all at Hogwarts. Ginny, too, isn't all that kind to Fleur when she finds out that she's going to be marrying her brother Bill.

We can't ignore Peter Pettigrew when it comes to the bad apples of Gryffindor. One of the few Gryffindors to become a Death Eater, he betrayed his friends Lily and James and allowed Voldemort to murder them.

RELATED: 20 Harry Potter Quotes to Get You Through Any Situation.

Notable Gryffindors

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  • Harry Potter: The protagonist of the series who ends up saving the wizarding world from Voldemort.
  • Ron Weasley: Harry's best friend and fellow Gryffindor, known for his bravery, strength, and sense of humor.
  • Hermione Granger: One of the brightest witches and Harry's other best friend. Hermione is exceedingly loyal and a natural problem solver.
  • Albus Dumbledore: Headmaster of Hogwarts and one of the greatest wizards of all time. It is rumored that Dumbledore is the only wizard Voldemort ever feared.
  • Minerva McGonagall: Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts, transfiguration professor, and head of Gryffindor house. Professor McGonagall is stern but fair, and someone Harry greatly respects.
  • Godric Gryffindor: The founder of Gryffindor who valued bravery and chivalry.


emma watson in harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban
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Like other Hogwarts houses, Gryffindors have their pros and cons. While they are always standing up for others and down for a challenge, sometimes their "bravery" is actually reckless and lands them in trouble.

Still, this house is home to Harry Potter, as well as several of the greatest witches and wizards of the modern age. Being sorted into Gryffindor is certainly an honor, and a perfect fit for "those brave at heart," as the Sorting Hat says.

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Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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