Hi, I’m a blogger and I’m addicted to sorting fictional characters.
Greetings peasants! We are back with a new a Sorting Hat Anonymous, this one based off J.R.R. Tolkien’s timeless fantasy classic—er, one of his timeless fantasy classics, that is. Just a note: we did base our sortings off of the film trilogy, because a few of the characters do vary quite considerably between the book and the movie (looking at you, Thorin.)
Just a quick refresher on how we sort: we look first at the character’s personality, and what house the Sorting Hat would suggest for them, and then we’ll consider what house that character would actually want.
“In a hole in the ground there lived a Ravenclaw—er, a hobbit.” From the moment that Bilbo wanders onto the pages of The Hobbit, the fact that he’s a Ravenclaw is glaringly obvious. Bilbo lives in a comfortable world of his own making. He seeks out knowledge from his books and his maps, but prefers the world to stay on the page in a neat, manageable fashion. He’d prefer to live a solitary life, and only dream about adventure—like he tells Gandalf, running about in the woods slaying orcs isn’t really his thing. But once Bilbo embraces his inner spark of Ravenclaw Curiosity, and joins Thorin and Co., he (and the dwarves) realize that he is a much better adventurer than anyone ever imagined. Bilbo’s personality helps the dwarves out of some sticky situations. When faced with a problem, he would rather talk than punch his way out. Bilbo had the nerve to stall for time when the company was captured by trolls, and exchanges some clever banter with Smaug to hold off his imminent doom. Though he may start out as a normal little hobbit, Bilbo is sharp, cunning and clever. Just look at how he uses the ring to his advantage! Bilbo’s character arc is essentially him gaining courage, and learning how to use his Ravenclawness to his advantage.
“And he never forgave…and he never forgot…” It’s not really a question of WHY Thorin is a Slytherin, but more of a question of how could he possibly belong in any other house. Just look at the dwarf. He’s self-reliant to the core, but he is smart enough to accept help from those he trusts and those whose help he could not do without (i.e. Gandalf). Thorin is extremely loyal, not only to his company of fourteen, but also to Dwarves in general—though he won’t hesitate to fight other Dwarves, of course, if it becomes necessary. He possesses all the markings of a great leader: he is not charming, per se, but he is extremely charismatic and majestically authoritive. Balin remembers the moment he first saw Thorin don the mantel of Leader, and instantly knew “that I could call him my king.”
Thorin’s entire quest is motivated by self-serving ambition, but ironically, Gandalf used these exact qualities to get Thorin to agree to the quest at all. If Gandalf had asked Thorin, “Hey, I’m really worried about this Dragon and the possibility of him becoming a tool for Evil—would you kill Smaug and possibly save the world?” Thorin would have scoffed, “Who cares about the world?” Instead, Gandalf played off Thorin’s Slytherin tendencies, and Thorin set off on a quest for Erebor, without realizing he was also questing for the Greater Good.
GANDALF THE GREY
Gandalf is absolutely ruthless in perusal of his goals, whether he’s trying to kill a Dragon or destroy the One Ring. Gandalf is iconically stubborn and “grumpy”—he refuses to back down from what he knows to be right. He seizes any available opportunity which might work to his advantage, such as his subtle manipulation of Thorin during the Erebor Quest (as we explained while typing Thorin). Though many of these descriptions may seem to peg Gandalf as a Slytherin, he is too unerringly moral to contemplate turning over the “dark side.” Gandalf is ruthless, sure, but he’d never compromise his ideals like a pressured Slytherin might. And that’s not the only anti-Slytherin side of his character: Gandalf values trust, dislikes manipulators, and is always in it for the little guy.
Gandalf has the utmost faith in his own competency, so he has no problem going off the beaten path and doing his own thing, even when it pits him against the entire Elven council. In keeping with his Gryffindor-Get-It-Done-Attitude, Gandalf solves his own problems—unlike some people who barricade themselves inside their mountains and let the rest of the world deal with their idiocy. Probably the oddest part of Gandalf’s character is his obsession with innocence. He tells Lady Galadriel that he thinks the innocence of ordinary folk is what keeps evil at bay. Is this a cutesy greeting card line, or a glance into Gandalf’s Hobbit obsessed brain? Needless to say, Gandalf sees innocence for the weapon that it is and he isn’t afraid to use it.
FILI AND KILI
(Slytherin and Gryffindor, respectively)
Not much of Fili and Kili’s characters are revealed in the movies (or the in book!), so their personal thoughts and motives can only really be analyzed via speculation. To type Fili and Kili, we relied on a rather helpful Tumblr post:
“I want to be” definitely sounds like Kili. He follows his moral compass, and is completely dedicated to his company, his uncle, and his cause. But for all of Kili’s dwarfish loyalty, he can be completely illogical and impulsive–just look at his entire relationship with Tauriel. Jeez, Kili, it probably wasn’t the best idea to get attached to an overly emotional Hufflepuff Elf working for a king who has a personal vendetta against your uncle.
With Fili we leaned more towards “I will be.” Fili is next in line to be king, so it makes sense that he would be a little more logical, and a little less impulsive. Fili has a more mature vibe then Kili does , even though he still jokes around with the rest of the company. A deciding moment that marks Fili as a Slytherin is when he forgoes the quest to the mountain to stay with (mortally injured) Kili. In the end, it seems he’s more loyal to his brother than to “The Greater Dwarfish Good”.
Still not convinced? Think on this: if Kili had been kidnapped at some point during the quest, Fili would have dropped everything to save him. Kili, on the other hand, would have struggled between his loyalty to his Uncle and his loyalty to his brother. In the end, however, each of them would have gone to the rescue of the other.
Enter Thranduil, the ultimate evil Slytherin. Eh, he’s actually more of an anti-hero, but it all comes out the same in the end. Thranduil seems to spend most of his time moping about his castle and lounging on his throne…for very unclear reasons. A tragic backstory perhaps? He lost his wife—and his pet Hobbit in a terrible Eagle crash? (Tolkien probably has Thranduil’s entire history written out somewhere, but until we find said history and read it…everything is conjecture).
Thranduil approaches life with a cynical “What’s in it for me?” attitude. He cares solely for his kingdom and his people— “Other lands are not my concern,” he tells Tauriel. He’s also quite assertive, and knows how to manipulate a situation to get his desired outcome. Remember when Thranduil threatened to lock Thorin up for all eternity until Thorin made a deal with him? Thranduil doesn’t want to help the dwarves because he doesn’t believe in backing the loosing side. But by the time the third movie rolls around, he senses a power shift and decides to back the men of Laketown (and really, the only reason he cares about the Lonely Mountain AT ALL is because Smaug stole some of his jewels and Thranduil wants them back. Yep, Thranduil started a war over jewels. Slytherin much?) And of course, we must mention the famed Slytherin Loyalty—though in Thranduil’s case, it comes out more as a snotty “My-son-is-too-good-for-a-lowly-Silvan-PEASANT-Elf” attitude. However, Thranduil’s position on the whole LeggiexTauriel “ship” (because is it really even a ship??) is justifiable. Tauriel is a moon-eyed, dwarf-chasing peasant. Unlike Thranduil, who possesses much swag and majesty (Slytherin majesty is a THING, let’s be honest here).
If you were to align each race in Middle earth with a Hogwarts House, the elves would undoubtedly end up as the Ravenclaws. Legolas has that natural elvish talent for poetry, a tendency for drama, and awesome hair (which is of course a Ravenclaw trait). But what happens when you take Dreamer Legolas and try to make him into a Slytherin? You end up with Creepy-Legolas-From-The-Hobbit-Movies, that’s what. Legolas wasn’t supposed to be in The Hobbit, anyway, and the fact that his characterization in the Hobbit trilogy was totally different from his portrayal in LOTR was the death blow to his character.
In the original LOTR trilogy, Legolas was a dreamer. The line, “The Red Sun rises, blood has been spilled this night” is a complete reflection of his character. Would Aragorn say something like that? Uh, no. In LOTR Legolas was attentive, sensitive to detail (he picked up on things that the rest of the fellowship missed), and overall, he was just prosy. He might not have been overly wordy, but what he did say carried weight. Almost of his lines screamed, “My inner poet is just waiting to be released!!!”
When we first heard that Legolas would be in The Hobbit, we were totally stoked to hear about his backstory. I guess we were expecting a happy little Leggy running through the trees with a stack of books, dreaming about adventure. Instead, we got this troubled-Slytherin-Legolas-persona crammed down our throats. The directors tried to make him weirdly emotional in order to add drama and interpersonal conflict, but Legolas is just not naturally the dark, broody type. Still, if the movies were going to follow this path, Leggy as an emo needs to be cannoned. (Because he probably did go through an emo phase and have shaggy blonde bangs and wander around Mirkwood in the dark quoting creepy elvish poetry).
When we say Tauriel’s a Hufflepuff…well, she’s no Snow-White-Hufflepuff (which is good thing, FYI). No, Tauriel is your classic “Tough Puff.” She’s perseverant, as shown through her determination to rescue Thorin and Co. from the Pale Orc. She pursues her goals relentlessly, but not in a Slytherin sort of way—she’s intent on always staying fair, honest, and moral. Tauriel is loyal to both Legolas and Killi (as evident by her willingness to risk her life for both of them), but over the course of the films her loyalties are tested—hence the love triangle.
Tauriel is also quite emotional, and she solves problems by following her heart and trusting her instincts. She is skeptical of Slytherin-types who make decisions based off of cold logic, and she views such people as heartless and cruel (“You have no love in your heart!”). Tauriel has a romanticized view of the world, possessing faith that even the worst of people have hidden depth and goodness. Her idealism sometimes comes off as naivety (even as she “agrees” with Thranduil that Legolas could not “pledge himself to a lonely Silvan elf,” hope is shining in her eyes and it’s obvious that she desperately wants Thranduil to respond with, “Nope! Elf status don’t mean a thing!”). Tauriel’s every action is driven by her warm moral compass, which is why she ultimately decides to help Bard’s children and to heal Kili. She probably went into charity work or something after Kili died—after all, she’s a Hufflepuff to the core.
What do you think of our sortings? Did we miss any characters that you were desperately interested in having sorted? (Yeah, we didn’t do Bard, but he’s a pretty clear-cut Gryffindor, in case you were wondering.) What’s your favorite Hobbit movie/character? ALSO–what would you do if someone gave you the One Ring??? (Destroy it–or CONQUER THE WORLD. Muwahaha.)