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If we got to choose our Hogwarts house,
how many of us would pick Hufflepuff?

“I was sorted by the
Sorting Hat on Pottermore.

I'm 100% Hufflepuff.”
“I'm so sorry” [laughs]
To quote Mindy Kaling:
“Nobody wants to be Hufflepuff.”

In the first Harry Potter book, Malfoy says,
“Imagine being in Hufflepuff,
I think I'd leave, wouldn't you?”

In our Slytherin video,
we talked about the story's
anti-Slytherin bias.

but at least that house has a
certain coolness and prestige.

The story pretty much dismisses Hufflepuff

essentially, insignificant and boring.
It's got the silliest sounding name
and the least badass mascot.

People write off Hufflepuff
as the place

where you sort those leftover students
who don't have something special about them.

“We play our game,
Hufflepuff doesn't stand a chance.

We're stronger,
quicker and smarter.”

Yet if you look at the facts,
this perception of Hufflepuff is
completely off-base.

Hufflepuffs aren't
the riff-raff of Hogwarts-

if anything, they're aspirational.
Hufflepuff represents decency and goodness
that doesn't seek to be recognized.

It embodies fairness, justice
and loyalty for their own sake-

even when no one is looking.
In short, what the world needs now,
is more Hufflepuffs.

So maybe it's time
that more of us started stepping up

and claiming the Hufflepuff identity
with Pride.

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“You know what I see in Hufflepuff?
I see loyalty, I see fierce friendship.
So we are hardworking,
we are compassionate,

and at the end of the day,
we are going to do the right thing

and not because of the glory,
not because of the glory,

but for the greater good”.
The philosophy of Hufflepuff is this:
always do the right thing,

just because.
In the first book,
the Sorting Hat tells us:

“You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,

Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil.”

Just take a second to think about
how long this list is.

Hufflepuffs are,
one, fair,
two, loyal,
three, patient
four, honest
and five, hardworking.
Put another way,
is there anything wrong
with Hufflepuffs?

They're almost morally perfect-
deeply virtuous people.

“You saved me!
Take it!”
If you had to use one word
to sum up Hufflepuff's superpower,

it would be integrity.
And this is precisely
what we hope for from the people

we'd like to make up
the world around us.

Loyalty, friendship,
a good work ethic and honesty,

that's everything we'd want
in a friend or a colleague.

Yet, at the same time
most of us would like to
think of ourselves as

successful Slytherins,
or daring Gryffindors,

or genius Ravenclaws.
Rowling speaks of
her love for Hufflepuff,

“In many, many ways,
Hufflepuff is my favorite house.”

But, of course, the author herself is
partly responsible

for this dismissiveness
towards the house.

Listen to this anecdote:
“My daughter Jessica
said something very profound to me,

not many days ago actually,
she said to me—

and she, by the way,
was not sorted into Hufflepuff house—

she said to me,
'I think we should all
want to be Hufflepuffs.'”

Did you notice how
even as she's praising Hufflepuffs,

in the same breath,
she feels the need to clarify

that her daughter is
definitely not one?

So why is it that few of us
like to identify as Hufflepuffs,

when it's clear that Hufflepuffs
make the world a better place?

Part of the problem is
that Hufflepuff strengths

are devalued in our society -
patience, honesty, and loyalty
are far less rewarded

than smarts or bold moves.
The biggest reason Hufflepuffs
don't get appreciation, though,

is probably that they're
not out there bragging about their achievements.

Rowling explained
her respect for Hufflepuff

by referring to their behavior
during the Battle of Hogwarts:

“The Hufflepuffs virtually to a person stay,
as do the Gryffindors.

Now, the Gryffindors comprise a lot of
foolhardy and show-offy people...

You know, there's bravery
and there's also showboating.

Now the Hufflepuffs stayed
for a different reason --

they weren't trying to show-off,
they weren't being reckless.

That's the essence of Hufflepuff house”.
Hufflepuffs do good
without expecting anyone to see it.

And that's a rare and special person,
who embodies both courage and humility.

How many of us can really
sustain virtuous behavior

without getting back
some kind of validation or gratitude,

even just a simple acknowledgement?
“Sorry to burst that bubble, Pheebs.
But selfless, good deeds don't exist.”
“I'm going to find a selfless, good deed.
I'm going to beat you, you evil genius.”
Only a Hufflepuff can pull off
a selfless good deed.

"Please take these Occamy eggshells
as collateral for your bakery."

The main Hufflepuff we get
to know in the story, Cedric Diggory,

embodies the qualities of the house.
“Cedric Diggory was,
as you all know,

exceptionally hard-working,
infinitely fair-minded,

and, most importantly,
a fierce, fierce friend.”

Harry envies Cedric,
because he's essentially a better looking,
more popular, version of him.

“Just wondering if, maybe,
you wanted to go to the ball with me?”

“I'm sorry, but someone's
already asked me.”

Cedric is hardly the person
you want to be competing against,

either in the TriWizard Tournament,
or in romance.

“The other boy.
The handsome one.
Meanwhile, mature Cedric seems
to be above Harry's petty feelings

of competition and jealousy.
“Look, I realized I never really thanked

properly for tipping me off about those dragons.”
“Forget about it.
I'm sure you would've
done the same for me.”

In a way it's hard to imagine
this perfect Hufflepuff

being the hero of our story
because it's hard to relate to someone
who's so lacking in flaws.

“And this strapping young lad
must be Cedric, am l right?”

“Yes, sir”.
So while we tend to look down
on Hufflepuffs in the abstract,

it's really the Hufflepuffs
who have plenty of reasons

to look down on everybody else.
Cedric Diggory is the one
who earns his spot in the Triwizard Tournament

which means that, objectively speaking,
he's the best all-around student at Hogwarts.

“The Hogwarts champion,
Cedric Diggory!.”

Meanwhile, Harry just gets entered in
due to his special connection with Voldemort,

and Cedric ends up being
the casualty of that situation.

So this plot is
a perfect example of the way

that a Hufflepuff excels
and outperforms,

only to get overshadowed and even martyred
in a cruel, unfair world.

“We'll celebrate a boy who was
kind and honest, and brave and true.”

Likewise, in Fantastic Beasts
and Where to Find Them,

Hufflepuff Newt Scamander is
too good for this world

“You're too good, Newt.
You never met a monster you couldn't love.”
Newt embodies an empathetic humanity,
his selfless concern for animals
represents an alternative

to the human cruelty
that's dominating his world.

“They're currently in alien terrain,
surrounded by millions of the most
vicious creatures on the planet—

To further make the case for
why the world needs Hufflepuffs,

let's look at some pretty great ones
outside of Harry Potter.

This Is Us patriarch, Jack Pearson,
would be a Hufflepuff.

“I will encourage you,
trust and respect you.”

He's endlessly giving,
loving, humble and brave,

never seeking glory,
and always putting his family first,
over his own pride.

“You are…something else.”
“I try.”
In real life, “The Rock,” Dwayne Johnson
is a Hufflepuff

The world's highest paid actor this year
exudes down-to-earth friendliness and kindness,

essential Hufflepuff qualities
that are no doubt a big part of

why he's such a universally
likeable box office draw.

And despite his buff,
macho appearance,

he's also been open about
his struggles with depression -

“I fell into a deep depression,
and I remember at that time,

the only thing I wanted to do
was clean the walls.”

So this shows the Hufflepuff way
of doing the right thing,

over curating a self-aggrandizing image.
The deeply good Mr. Rogers
would be another Hufflepuff.

[singing] “Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?”
Instead of trying to
act macho or cool,

he's given boys a model for masculinity
that's about gentleness and decency.

We could actually group Jack, Johnson,
and Mr Rogers together because -

while each represents
a very different image of masculinity -

all three can be
nurturing and vulnerable,

and that's important
in male role models.

Some of the best friend
characters from literature and movies

would certainly be Hufflepuffs -
like Sam from Lord of the Rings.
He's loyal and hardworking,
and there's no way Frodo
would have got to his destination without

“I can't carry it for you,
but I can carry you.”

Samwell Tarly from Game of Thrones, too.
“I always wanted to be a wizard.”
Yes, he has a Ravenclaw-like bookish nature,
but he clashes with the Maesters

because they value knowledge
over doing the right thing,

“These Maesters, they set me to the
task of preserving that man's

wind-accounting, and enrollments,
and bowel movements, for all of eternity.

While the secret to defeating the Night King
is probably sitting on
a dusty shelf somewhere

completely ignored.”
and Sam puts helping his friends,
and saving humanity, first.

“I made a promise to defend the wall,
and I have to keep it.

Because that's what men do.”
More Hufflepuffs in Game of Thrones
would be the incomparably faithful knight

“Nothing's more hateful than
failing to protect the one you love.”

The morally steadfast Ser Davos,
[Shouting] “You burned
a little girl alive!”

“I only do what my lord commands.”
“He commands you to burn children,
your lord is evil!”

and Jorah Moramont, who, despite a dark past,
is now defined by his loyalty

to Daenerys and her cause.
“All I've ever wanted was to serve you.”
Ned Stark some might call a
Gryffindor, because of his bravery,

but he's a Hufflepuff,
because he does the just thing
for its own sake,

without expecting any credit -
“I hope I serve you well.”
Just look at the way he let everyone
falsely believe he had a bastard son

in order to protect Jon Snow.
Looking at some beloved literary figures,
Jane Eyre could certainly be a Hufflepuff.

She's humble, modest,
and doesn't think a lot
of herself, or chase glory.

“I must respect myself.”
Beth from Little Women would be Hufflepuff

she's almost unbelievably
kind and virtuous -

“Perhaps you could send
the Hummels our bread.”

that's why it breaks
everyone's heart when she gets.

“God wants me with him,
there is none who will stop him.”

“I never saw myself as anything much.”
Unfortunately, because Hufflepuffs
are so morally pure,

they make great martyrs and victims,
and they get killed off by writers
who want to manipulate our emotions.

George Bailey from
“It's a Wonderful Life”

is someone who struggles
with his Hufflepuff identity -

he'd like a more exciting life
“I'm shaking the dust of this
crummy little town off my feet,

and I'm gonna see the world!”
but in the end, his Hufflepuff integrity
forces him to put his personal dreams aside

“I got two-thousand dollars,
here's two-thousand dollars,

this'll tide us over
until the bakery opens.”

so that he can help all the regular
folks from his home town who need him.

“To my big brother George,
the richest man in town.”

Looking at some of our animated favorites

Dory and her mantra
[singing] “Just keep swimming,
just keep swimming,

just keep swimming,
swimming, swimming.”

remind us of that Hufflepuff optimism
and friendship.

“Come on, trust me on this!”
“Trust you?”
“Yes trust.
It's what friends do.”
Baloo from The Jungle Book is
likewise a great friend,

and values the simple things of life.
[singing] “Look for the bare necessities,
the simple bare necessities.”

And you could say that the Disney princesses
across the board embody Hufflepuff virtues,

especially the originals.
Their defining characteristic is kindness,
followed by patience, honesty,
loyalty, fairness, and optimism.

Giselle from Enchanted,
who's kind of a summary
of the Disney princesses,

shows how bringing this
Hufflepuff good-heartedness

into our cynical modern society
“You are very lucky.
I mean just look
at how her eyes sparkle.

It's no wonder you're in love.”
makes the world a far better place.
“But dreams do come true,
and maybe something wonderful will happen.”

Hufflepuff's colors are
yellow and black.

“Yellow” is associated
with warmth and the sun.

It makes us think of
a positive outlook.

Studies show that people
connect yellow to words

like “cheer,” “happiness,” and “playfulness.”
There's also The Wizard of Oz's
“yellow brick road,”

[singing] “Follow
the yellow brick road!”

which symbolizes that -
if we want to succeed-

we just have to stick to a steady path
with our friends by our side.

Black makes us think of
seeing things as “black and white” --

this color doesn't have different shades,
so it represents a fixed moral code.

While Hufflepuffs have sunny,
optimistic “yellow” natures in daily life,

the black represents their intense,
fighting serious spirit

that comes out when it's needed.
And Hufflepuff's the only Hogwarts house
that doesn't have one metallic color,

just as Hufflepuffs don't
feel the need to shine and show off.

The house is linked to
the element earth.

Hufflepuffs feel “down to earth”
and “of the earth.”

In astrology, earth signs are seen
as hardworking and practical.

And of course,
earth is where plants grow --

“Today we're going to re-crop Mandrakes.”
And more broadly, there's something inherently
nurturing and life-giving about Hufflepuffs.

“Rescue, nurture, and protect them.”
Hufflepuff's house animal is the badger.
The mascot might seem like
a tame choice

compared to the other three houses's
animals of prey.

But in real life, badgers actually
are fierce carnivores,

Likewise, Hufflepuffs are often underestimated
or perceived as milder than they are.

Just look at cool, edgy Hufflepuff, Tonks.
[sternly] “Don't call me Nymphadora.”
The badger also brings to mind
the expression “to badger someone” --

which makes us think of persistence.
Badgers dig in the earth --
Hufflepuff's element --

and this symbolizes how
Hufflepuffs aren't superficial;

they understand it's
the deeper things that really matter --

think of how Newt can see beyon
the freaky, frightening
appearances of magical creatures.

In pop culture we meet a number of
badger characters with good hearts

who make the most loyal of friends.
These badger characters
might like to be homebodies -

and Hufflepuffs like
a cozy home space, too.

“Although he almost never went
in search of society,

he was always at home to his friends.”
Real badgers border on antisocial.
A Hufflepuff, like Newt, has
trouble connecting to other people…

“I'm writing a book about magical creatures.”
“Like... an extermination guide?”
A guide to help people understand
why we should be protecting these creatures

instead of killing them”.
but once he does,
he's the most faithful friend
you could ask for.

“Are you going somewhere?”
“No, WE'RE going somewhere”
On Pottermore, Rowling describes
the Hufflepuff common room

as, quote, “a cosy,
round, low-ceilinged room…

reminiscent of a badger's sett.”
In the books, Hufflepuff's common room is
near the Hogwarts kitchens.

We know that Hufflepuff's namesake,
Helga Hufflepuff,

was associated with food charms
and created many classic Hogwarts recipes.

So this house clearly enjoys eating,
and by extension, creating
a comfortable home life,

enjoying life's fundamental pleasures.
Rowling has said, quote,
“The complexity or otherwise
of the entrance to the common rooms

might be said to give a very rough idea
of the intellectual reputation of each house.”

Hufflepuff has the simplest common
room entrance of the houses --

it just requires someone to
tap out the rhythm of “Helga Hufflepuff.”

So we might take from this
that the rest of Hogwarts

perceives Hufflepuffs as
the lowest on the intelligence ladder,

but Rowling makes a point of noting that
we shouldn't conclude from this that quote,

“Hufflepuffs are dimwits or duffers.”
While they may not all be cerebral,
the Hufflepuffs we meet seem to be
perfectly intelligent, good students.

The simplicity of their entrance routine
reinforces instead

that they value a stable home life
without unnecessary complications.

Hufflepuff's ghost is
the jolly Fat Friar.

As a religious figure,
the Fat Friar reflects Hufflepuff's
humility and moral goodness.

He was executed after people in
the church started distrusting him

because he was able to cure the pox.
So this fits that Hufflepuff pattern
of not getting rewarded,

and even being punished
for their good deeds.

Helga Hufflepuff,
one of the four founders of Hogwarts,

embodied fair-mindedness.
In the Order of the Phoenix book,
the Sorting Hat tells us:

“Said Slytherin, 'We'll teach just those
Whose ancestry is purest.'

Said Ravenclaw, 'We'll teach those
whose Intelligence is surest.

Said Gryffindor, 'We'll teach all those
With brave deeds to their name.'

Said Hufflepuff, 'I'll teach the lot
And treat them just the same'”.

So fundamental to the Hufflepuff
philosophy is the democratic belief

that all people should be treated equally.
We see Helga's legacy continue
in the Fantastic Beasts sequel --

Newt teams up with Dumbledore
to try to defeat the fascist Grindelwald,

who believes wizards are entitled
to rule over muggles.

So to sum up,
it's about time we started
giving this house

the respect it deserves.
We should think of Hufflepuff,
the way we think of Cedric:

as somebody better than most of us,
as a moral role model
we can aspire to be like,

“Cedric did know this stuff.
He was really good.”
The world needs Hufflepuffs,
so let's all try to be a
little more Hufflepuff ourselves.

“I can only say to you,
that I would not at all
be disappointed to be

sorted into Hufflepuff house.”
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Harry Potter: The World Needs Hufflepuffs

91 Folder Collection
April Lu published on November 27, 2018
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