Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is well-known in the world of Harry Potter for having four houses, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Slytherin, and Hufflepuff. Each of these houses has traits that define its existence, these traits really do speak to the characters that live and learn in each house and together create a character for each one of them. In fact, the houses are basically characters themselves. (And we don’t just mean the founders)
Having four houses means they will naturally be compared, and so the question arises, which one of them is the worst of the bunch? Although they all have their own kinds of negatives, one house that stands out as a candidate for the worst is Ravenclaw.
Updated April 14th, 2022 by George Chrysostomou With each progressive release of the Wizarding World fans learn a little bit more about Ravenclaw House. While there are some fantastic members including Luna Lovegood, there are some toxic traits amongst the group that suggest that really it might be the worst faction to be a part of!
They Might Be A Little Too Competitive
Competition is healthy within any context, especially at Hogwarts where the house system is designed for the students to try and push each other’s achievements. Everyone takes that contest quite seriously, although Ravenclaws see rivals in everything they do.
Even their head of house, Flitwick, appears to become quite involved in proceedings from choir to quidditch as he pushes his students to victory. That competitive nature can go a bit far, and Ravenclaws aren’t exactly the best at losing because of how they visualize their victories.
They Can Be Manipulative
Intelligence can be shown in many forms but for Ravenclaws, their cunning has come into play countless times. They are always scheming and the likes of Helena Ravenclaw and even Moaning Myrtle have used their wits to their advantage, manipulating those around them.
They are always trying to get one step ahead of those around them, sometimes operating with an emotionless logic to get exactly what they want. Cunning can be a good thing though when it benefits allies; just look at how Flitwick defends Hogwarts from attack for instance.
They Don’t Take Risks
Ravenclaws can be a little by the book in all aspects of their life, but that extends to the lack of risk-taking. Luna Lovegood seems pretty wild for the house, considering she takes the kinds of risks that her peers would see in their nightmares. Walking around without shoes? Ridiculous!
For Ravenclaws, risks don’t often play out as might be expected. There are too many variables at play and if the outcome can’t be predicted then perhaps it isn’t really worth it. Participating in Dumbledore’s Army was too big a risk for some of the house who contributed to its betrayal.
They Follows The Rules Too Closely
The lack of risk-taking also extends to following the rules, to the letter. Ravenclaws don’t like getting in trouble because it can impact their grades and perhaps even take away from the house cup competition. It’s rare for their team to actually lose points.
In the context of Quidditch, they are trying to abide by the rules even to their own detriment, and even Umbridge’s takeover meant that many would have been conflicted as to how to act. Ravenclaw housed a few Harry Potter doubters because of his reckless penchant for ignoring the law of the land and their contrast with that.
They’re Too Secretive
Ravenclaws don’t trust very easily and thus hold a lot of secrets. It could be about their personal life or some of the academic knowledge they have picked up, but the house really only confides in one another. It’s a trait that can actually be found prominently in many of their leading characters.
Even the bravest of members like Luna Lovegood kept their own secrets because she was afraid of what people may think about her home life, while also wishing to keep personal matters private. The Grey Lady kept some of the biggest secrets of all, which she eventually had to give up.
They Over-value Their Intelligence
Well, the house basically announces itself as the smartest around, no questions asked about who is actually joining it. Ravenclaws believe they are the wisest around, simply because of their house affiliation, which seems backward. It should be, Ravenclaw house is the smartest house because it is filled with the smartest peopleand not that if someone joins Ravenclaw house, they are automatically the smartest person around.
This kind of self-involved belief of their own wisdom makes this house the worse. As the audience knows there are many smart characters in all of the houses, and Ravenclaw certainly does not have a monopoly on intelligence, whatever its members would like to think.
Their Loyalties Are Unclear
It’s easy to say that Slytherins are likely to go dark-side and Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs are probably going to choose the sign of right, but it’s actually impossible to know where a Ravenclaw will fall. This kind of apparent neutrality can be incredibly dangerous and quite confusing.
Sometimes it feels like Ravenclaws believe they are beyond right and wrong, and thus don’t need to concern themselves with side choosing. But this kind of attitude often serves evil better than it does good.
They’re Too Concerned With Appearances
Ravenclaw seems very concerned with how things look. They are, by and large, the most aesthetic house, with a dainty common room, a beautiful ghost, and a common room full of beautiful people. An obsession with riches certainly plays into this.
Ravenclaws aren’t mentioned that much, but they are often described as attractive when they are. Ravenclaws seem like they can be very concerned with the semantics and aesthetics of things, but not so much with their heart.
They’re Too Removed From Everything
Like Gryffindors, who are removed for their own reasons, Ravenclaws literally live in a tower, separating them from the rest of the school. They also don’t seem to interact very much outside of their house.
Harry has friends from several different houses, but only rarely encounters Ravenclaws. This kind of removal makes the house less than stellar.
They Come Across As Uptight
Ravenclaws can sometimes be too uptight in both an educational and social setting. It is a Ravenclaw, after all, who reveals the secret group, Dumbledore’s Army, to Professor Umbridge, and later, Cho indignantly remarks upon Hermione’s anti-theft spell, as though it were Hermione in the wrong, not her friend Marietta.
Ravenclaws just seem overall tense, which is not the greatest quality. They just don’t seem like they’d be all that much fun to hang out with, basically ever, even some of the most notable Raevenclaws!
They Can Be Arrogant
Similar to the way they pronounce themselves the smartest, Ravenclaws carry this on beyond just their house description. In a lot of ways, it makes them unlikeable when they come across those who are outside of their house.
Ravenclaws believe they are right in most situations and don’t enjoy finding themselves to be otherwise. This arrogance is not an attractive trait.
They Are Dismissive Of Others
Ravenclaws are a bit cold. Whether it’s Luna’s brand of flighty dreaminess or Cho’s more self-absorbed hair flipping, Ravenclaws often seem to brush others away from them.
Although there aren’t that many main characters who are Ravenclaws, even the minor interactions seem to indicate that Ravenclaws leave those around them feeling small and left behind.
They’re Just Not Notable
Ultimately, there just aren’t that many Ravenclaws that stick with the reader. While this has to do with the focus on Harry and his friends, it remains true that there just aren’t many Ravenclaw protagonists, and overall, the house doesn’t achieve very much throughout the books.
Other houses, for good or ill, have a long resume of the things their characters have achieved throughout the Harry Potter franchise, but Ravenclaw’s is incredibly short. This lack of achievement leaves them low on the house ranking.
They Don’t Work Well With Others
Given that Ravenclaws believe themselves to be the smartest person in the room and they expect a level of perfection, they just don’t work that well with others.
This is underlined by the fact that the one time a Ravenclaw really joins a group adventure, they are responsible for its failure. Ravenclaws believe themselves to always know best and so do not play well with others.
They’re Self Serving
At the end of the day, the Ravenclaw thinks about themselves. There’s a kind of “neutrality” that reigns supreme in Ravenclaw, a belief in the purity of truth and wisdom.
But ultimately, Ravenclaws use that truth and wisdom to serve themselves. It’s incredibly dangerous to believe that one always knows best and has no equal.
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