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Opinion on Slytherin Harry

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Jocelyn24, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. Stan

    Stan Order Member

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    That's not true at all. In fact, JKR quite explicitly says that Tom wouldn't have been as he was had the circumstances been different, even though he still would have been a magical rape baby. There's no "because" there either; it was meant to symbolic of Tom never having known love.

     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  2. Jocelyn24

    Jocelyn24 Squib

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    Well, Harry was born in similar circumstances and he didn't become evil, so I think it's safe to assume that some part of Riddle is inherently dark/evil.
     
  3. JunglePlayer

    JunglePlayer Squib

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    Sorry, gonna have to disagree with Taure on this one. It wasn't only the Hat that had thought Harry possessed Slytherin qualities in canon, Dumbledore saw it as well.

    Note that it wasn't just the Parseltongue that convinced the Sorting Hat that Slytherin would be a good choice for Harry, there were other crucial, determining qualities that Harry possessed as well. Also, it wasn't only the Hat that saw it, in fact Dumbledore had observed these things in Harry, basicallly confirming the Hat's view, proving that the Hat was not simply tricked into thinking so by Riddle's small bit of soul, but these were present in Harry himself as well.

    If you look for texual evidence in the rest of the book, Dumbledore certainly isn't (forgive the language) talking out of his arse here. Plenty of incidents support Dumbledore's observation. Like fire said, HBP alone is proof enough, though I can see it all over the seven books.

    Another thing I find interesting about this particular exchange is that Dumbledore stresses to Harry that the simple act of choosing against Slytherin showed him to be different from Riddle, yet Harry's reasons for choosing so were quite trivial and unfounded (buying into rumours, prejudices, judging an entire House based on one person, and thinking all Slytherins will go bad and such nonsense), and I'm sure Dumbledore is aware of that as well.

    For me there are two ways of looking at it: the first is that it wasn't the choice itself that set Harry apart from Riddle, since I personally can't see those as valid reasons for making a choice (I see him as misinformed), but it was the consequences of the choice that set Harry apart from Riddle. One's perception of self has just as much to do with one's personality as one's innate nature, if that makes sense. The title of Gryffindor set up the model and morals for Harry: value your friends, be brave, rather risk being reckless than being cowardly, and so on, and Harry will therefore come to favor this side of his personality more than the rest as this is his perception of self now, even going out of his way to conform to it. Because this is how he fits in, and it's always been vital for Harry to fit in, to acquire the validation and acceptance that he was deprived of at the Dursley's.

    The second thing is that, for all the similarities that Harry and Riddle apparently displays, there IS one major difference, and it's not the choice during the Sorting. Like Dumbledore says later on, it's the capacity for love, and Harry has always been capable of love, well before the Sorting, while Riddle never really stood a chance.

    ---------- Post automerged at 19:20 ---------- Previous post was at 19:15 ----------

    I think what Stan meant was that even if Riddle was born "evil", textually speaking, it wasn't the Amortentia that made him a sociopath. Yes, he may be born with sociopathic tendencies, yes, Merope employed Amortentia and made Tom's birth a loveless one with this act, yes, there is a symbolic importance to the method of conception according to Rowling, but no, Tom wasn't born "bad" because he was conceived using Amortentia, for canonically there is no evidence stating that babies born under the influence of Amortentia will suffer an increased probability of growing to be a loveless person as well.

    Textually speaking, these two facts are not cause-and-effect.

    ---------- Post automerged at 19:35 ---------- Previous post was at 19:20 ----------

    A popular one, you've probably guessed it. Yes it's OTWTG. I know it isn't for everyone, and if you're more into fics that veers off wildly from canon plot-wise, supplements with a lot of personal inventions, or makes a few drastic changes to Harry's personality, then this one probably isn't for you. However, if you 're interested in fics that explore the probabilities and vagaries of canon itself, innovates within the structure and background of it, sticking to its principles and details while still capturing the ripple effects of a few changed choices - then you might find it to your tastes.

    For me this is the only one starting from Year 1 that I'll accept, and it far surpasses even my wildest dreams. For me, it has been the canon universe of "if Harry went to Slytherin."
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  4. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    There's a disconnect between the argument you're making and the thing you're trying to prove.

    Here are two separate questions:

    1. Does Harry possess "Slytherin" character traits?

    2. What was the cause of the Hat wanting to put Harry in Slytherin?

    The answer to the first is "yes". The answer to the second is "the horcrux". These are not incompatible. To make them incompatible you'd have to show that the Hat puts people into houses according to their character traits, which:

    a) We're told by the Hat isn't the case. The Hat tells us in its song that it puts people into houses according to how the Founders would have decided (so, for example, Muggleborns didn't go into Slytherin until after the books because Salazar wouldn't have taken them, no matter how cunning they might have been).

    b) It's not borne out by the text either. The Hat clearly decides to put people into houses according to what will be best for their personal development.
     
  5. JunglePlayer

    JunglePlayer Squib

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    You have a point here, however I'm not convinced that the Hat wanted to put Harry in Slytherin because of the Horcrux, or entirely because of the Horcrux, at least.

    Yes, the soul fragment may have greatly contributed to the Hat's preference for Slytherin, especially in the Parseltongue department (I tend to think of "there's talent, oh my goodness, yes" as the moment the Hat may have saw the Parseltongue bit), but I'm highly doubtful that if Harry himself had no Slytherin traits whatsoever, the Hat would still have considered Slytherin just based on that minor part of the soul and the distant, nebulous possibility of it merging into Harry's main soul or main personality or whatever.

    Yes, the soul piece was possibly part of the reason why Harry would have been "great" in Slytherin, but it simply cannot be the entire reason, that would not make sense.

    I interpret Rowling's statement as such, that if the soul piece wasn't there, the Hat would have been "tempted", but the presence of it made the Hat "strongly tempted". It's not a cut-and-dried statement.

    Furthermore, Muggle-borns are not unheard of before the books ended, they're just extremely rare (see DH C23, "There ain't a lot of Mudblood Slytherins" - Scabior, which means they exist). There's also Mafalda, who was cut from the 4th book, daughter of a Weasley squib and a Muggle. If you count that as Muggle-born (I strongly suspect it would count as such to Salazar Slytherin), then even before the books ended, Rowling imagined Slytherin as having Muggle-born students. The only reason Mafalda was cut was because she failed to fulfill the role Rowling imagined for her, and had to give up her place to Skeeter instead.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  6. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I think we're going to have to agree to disagree here.

    The Scabior quote is hardly conclusive. Even discounting the common use of hyperbole in speech which this could easily be an example of, Scabior is not presented as someone who is well educated. I doubt he would know either way.

    And a deleted character is also very much not conclusive. For all we know, Rowling might have wanted to include her because it would make an interesting plot point that a Muggleborn had managed to get into Slytherin.

    There are three main reasons to think Slytherin did not take Muggleborns until after the war with Voldemort:

    That is, the Hat works by deciding as the Founders did while they were still alive.

    Salazar Slytherin didn't take Muggleborns when he was alive.

    There was some fundamental change post-war which results in Muggleborns being in Slytherin.
     
  7. JunglePlayer

    JunglePlayer Squib

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    I'll give that Scabior may have been employing slight hyperbole or figure of speech, as I have considered that possibility as well, but note that Scabior was actually in Slytherin, and would have received an equal amount of education as everyone else who graduated from Hogwarts (and even more than Harry & co. since they did not finish seventh year), so I'm guessing he has some clues about the blood make-up of his own House.

    Furthermore, just based on the fact that he worked for Voldemort's whole Mudblood-cleanse-out ordeal, I'd say he heard plenty about the process and incidents, and he may well have heard about the few "Mudblood Slytherins" if any were captured.

    Of course, you could still say that they were instructed to ask anyone who claims to be Slytherin to describe the Common Room, and he could have known its location without going to Hogwarts. But the thing for me was that Harry described a lot, and Scabior immediately bought it after his speech, never checking with anyone in the crew for confirmation, so I'd say he's been to the place.



    And see, that's what's so confusing about the Hat. It says that Salazar only took purebloods, and if you go by that then no half-bloods could get in neither, yet there is direct evidence contradicting this claim, namely that Tom Riddle and Severus Snape, both half-bloods, were in the House, and Harry Potter would have made it in too if he so chose. If Parseltongue was Riddle and Harry's excuse for getting in, then what was Snape's?

    (My guess is that any kind of recent blood relation to ancient pureblood families could suffice, regardless of blood purity, see Snape's Prince ancestry and Mafalda's Weasley ancestry.)

    I don't really believe that if the Hat tried, it couldn't have kept Slytherin stocked full of purebloods and no one else (they certainly weren't exactly in short supply), which means it wasn't adherering strictly to Salazar's demands of "only purebloods." Either its views changed over time, or it wasn't acting completely according to the Founder's wishes from the start, but was doing what it thought best according to each House's principles.

    Also, if the Hat acted entirely on the Founder's orders, then Mafalda wouldn't have made it in at all. As for after the war, say there are two possibilities. One, purebloods aren't eough to stock Slytherin anymore. If so, do the Hat still carry out Salazar's wishes? Clearly not. Then either it adapted and evolved (which is possible, as it has a memory and something of a personality), or someone put an enchantment on it to alter its decisions - which is a feat I don't imagine anyone capable of achieving. The Hat is a thousand-year old artifact, enchanted by four of the most powerful witches and wizards ever seen in England to be unfailing.

    The second possibility is that the Hat actively decided to change its behavior by itself, in order to prevent future conflict and improve the school. This is possible as it advised against a divided shool in 5th year, so it clearly could choose to act in such a way as it believes best, possibly going as far as amending some criteria for the sorting decisions.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  8. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    I think the line between Half-Blood and Pure-blood are rather more nebulous that the strictly defined Muggleborn. JKR has talked about this a few times: about how "Pure-blood" more or less ends up equating with "non-Muggleborns who agree with us about blood purity". This is because every so-called Pure-blood family actually has Muggles in their family trees, it's just they blast them off so as to maintain the appearance of purity. So the test of being a Pure-blood family isn't whether or not your blood is actually pure, but rather how willing you are to censor your family's history to accord with Pure-blood ideals.
     
  9. JunglePlayer

    JunglePlayer Squib

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    Do you mean to say that those who entered Slytherin after the war, who were not technically pureblood even in its loosest definitions, who likely had Muggle parents or grandparents, all agreed with Salazar's views, thus making them a pureblood as well? What are the chances of that, if there really are quite a few Muggle-born Slytherins after the war?

    If it's not that, then barring the possibility of someone doing the impossible and changing the enchantments on the Hat, the Hat must have decided independently to start changing the criteria to include Muggle-borns. Which means it has the freedom of acting on its own views, independent of the Founders's orders.

    Also, Harry does not fit the pureblood-minded-halfblood profile at all. Snape and Riddle fitted, but Harry, who clearly reacted negatively to Malfoy's conceit?

    And also, Muggle-borns aren't exactly "strictly defined", I'd say. According to Rowling, all Muggle-borns have magical ancestry (Squibs), only the information has been lost through time. This is exactly Mafalda, and regardless of whether Rowling intended to make her one-of-a-kind, the fact remains that she became a Muggle-born Slytherin before the Second War ended.

    We're clearly not going to convince each other of anything:) And we're getting rather far from the original point. I still rather think the soul piece played a limited part in the Hat's decision, and that Harry's own personality was the major factor. Harry has always had those traits, the piece of soul wasn't "active" according to Rowling in second year, yet Dumbledore still reasoned Harry could have been chosen by Salazar. But I am curious, suppose that your theory about the Hat choosing exactly as according to the Founders would have done is true, how does this relate to your view that the Hat chose Slytherin for Harry solely based on Riddle's soul fragment as proof? Not according to what he displayed at the time, but according to a certain, small, hidden potential that did not belong to him, and might never surface for all that we know?

    The Hat clearly weighs the portions of each person's traits, and chooses to their strongest. I don't believe Harry's whole soul is not enough to counterweight Riddle's pitiful fragment.

    (I'm also doubtful that Riddle's soul would have had an "effect" on Harry "in a fundamental way", in any case. The soul was not his, any impulse it might ever create will be foreign, and when Harry felt it flare like a snake was because Voldemort was peering from his eyes. The only influence the piece had had on him, that I can see, is his strengthened connection to the piece's original owner.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  10. Jocelyn24

    Jocelyn24 Squib

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    You each make compelling points, might be best to agree to disagree at this point haha.
     
  11. LinguaManiac

    LinguaManiac DA Member

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    This is true. But I read the books like I read the Constitution (being from the U.K., this will probably mean less to you). I go to the text first and then listen to Rowling clarify issues. The main moral argument of the book (which you rightly point out she undercuts constantly, like making Slytherin the 'evil' house in DH) is that its our choices and not our characters that make us who we are.

    Given Harry's character in Canon, given that he isn't a muggleborn (which you interestingly point out might not be accepted into Slytherin), given his parseltongue ability, and given his general... talent for (and contra) mischief, I still think it's safe to say that the Sorting Hat would have wanted a non-Horcrux Harry Potter in Slytherin.

    After all, CoS spends almost the entire book drawing parallels between the person of Tom Riddle and the person of Harry Potter, culminating in Dumbledore's quote about it only being Harry's choices that have saved him from Riddle's path.
     
  12. Sataniel

    Sataniel High Inquisitor

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    That was written about the start of pure-blood movement after establishment of Statue of Secrecy. Salazar's times were over half century before, and we don't know how he defined pure-bloodiness. The current movement also differs as the muggle ancestors are now enough into past to ignore them.
    Rowling wrote:
    So it's definitely not only about political stance.
     
  13. arkkitehti

    arkkitehti Groundskeeper

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    The differences between the houses are so small (if they exist at all beyond the blood-purity thing in Slytherin - and even then you must remember that as far as anyone knew Riddle was a muggleborn, and still rose to be a head boy from Slytherin) that Harry could have been in any of them without changing his characterization one bit. In fact, ALL of the main characters could have been in any of them.
     
  14. ashland

    ashland Second Year

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    I disagree. Characterizations will change not because the houses are different, but because the people in those houses are. Harry will have different friends. Friends who might be a lot less socially awkward causing Harry to be a lot less socially awkward. He will further change because the plot will change. Harry's grades are better because he doesn't give a damn about the stone. A Harry in Slytherin might embrace being a parselmouth; he might end up at Beauxbatons because Snape. Ginny might die and teenage Riddle might regain form. Sirius might be kissed. The problem I have with most Harry-in-a-different-house stories is that authors railroad canon events even if they don't logically fit.
     
  15. Sataniel

    Sataniel High Inquisitor

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    That's the reason why I'm not as fond of "On the Wsy to Greatness" as most people here seem to be.
     
  16. Jocelyn24

    Jocelyn24 Squib

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    Agreed, SlytherinHarry wouldn't give a shit about Hermione, whether it be from peer pressure, or his inherent Slytherin nature. Over time his Gryffindor traits would eventually disguise themselves more, and more, changing much of cannon.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  17. Arrowjoe

    Arrowjoe Auror

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  18. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Meh, I'm gonna have to disagree with you here.

    I saw this fic mentioned many times before on DLP and when I eventually decided to read through it just to see what all the fuss was about, I was pretty underwhelmed.
     
  19. Lesath

    Lesath Second Year

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    With a Forked Tongue I Lie in Wait (Taming Snakes) by DelusionalGrandeur in my opinion seems the best among slytherin!Harry fics I read. It was quite funny, with a lot of action and didn't repeat canon plot. Besides, Harry have Slytherin traits in this story and in the same time neither is loved by other snakes nor get super-powers.

    The problem with canon Harry is that he was definitely anty-slytherin. He didn't want to be in Salazar's house or even associated with it. In the end he just did everything, including behaving rash, loud and self-righteous, to accomplish this feat. It doesn't mean he wasn't cunning or resourcefull - he just avoided showing it in front of people(isn't it proof on it's own?). For example, bargaining with Dursley over allowance to Hogsmeade in exchange for being amenable in front of Marge, show it - it isn't simple to attain anything from someone dedicated to make you feel like dirt.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  20. masterpeng

    masterpeng First Year DLP Supporter

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    Slytherin Harry is interesting, though I admit I haven't read many great fictions of that category. A lot of them just retell the canon story with the exception of Harry sorted in Slytherin and befriending Malfoy/Daphne/Tracey, etc.
    I'd rather have Harry stay in Gryffindor, but with a modified character, just showing a bit more of a Slytherin treat. I have often wondered, why Harry did things like this and that in the books, add a bit ambition and cunning, and Harry could be so much more...
     
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