Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin are common terms with which every Potterhead is familiar with and most of them identify or associate themselves with at least one of these terms. The terms, in this case, are the houses (with different mascots) in which all the students of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are sorted. These houses have been existing ever since Hogwarts was founded. It is popularly known that Hogwarts was founded by two witches and two wizards who were deemed the greatest of their time. Their names were Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin.
They came together and found the school. They, however, started having disagreements about the students they wanted to let in the school and teach magic. They all had different belief systems and wanted to act on those beliefs. And thus, they each formed their own house, and the students who fitted their belief systems the best were sorted in their house.
Godric Gryffindor’s hat, now known as the sorting hat, was used to sort the students into houses they would best suit. The criteria for sorting is based on how close the student being sorted resembles one of the four founders of Hogwarts. Every house has its own name, color, and mascot.
The Gryffindor house has red and golden colors and its mascot is a lion. Hufflepuff house is laden with yellow and black colors and its mascot is a badger. Slytherin’s mascot is a serpent and it has green and silver colors. Lastly, Ravenclaw’s mascot is an eagle and its colors are bronze and blue. Over time, each house had its own common room, a quidditch team, and its own table in the great hall.
Each of the Hogwarts houses was named after their founder, as is evident, but it has been long in question that what do the mascots of each house represent? There is a theory that the mascot of every house is the Patronus of its founder. I stand by this theory as it makes so much sense. Godric Gryffindor’s Patronus being a lion would reflect his great leadership abilities and the courage that Gryffindors are most known for. Salazar Slytherin was a well-known parselmouth.
His ability to be able to speak with snakes and the fact that he left a giant snake in the chamber of secrets shows his close association with snakes and it makes sense that his Patronus would be a snake. Badgers are animals who are often underestimated and are non-threatening and non-aggressive unless provoked. So this animal being Helga Hufflepuff’s Patronus as a badger fits her personality very well. Hufflepuffs are also extremely underestimated and often deemed weak, which is very false.
Rowena Ravenclaw’s Patronus being an eagle is also fitting as eagles are symbols of power, leadership, and strength, and Rowena was known for all those traits. Eagles are also extremely intelligent birds, and being intelligent is a quality found in Ravenclaw students.
So, if this theory is true, then the names of Hogwarts houses are simply named after their founders and the mascots of these houses represent the Patronus, and by extension, the personalities of these founders. Even if the theory of the mascots being the patronuses of the founders is untrue, the animals chosen for being their house mascots are very fitting to the house founders and the house students.
There, however, is a problem with the mascot of Ravenclaw house as many people think that because the name of the house has the word “raven” in it, the mascot of the house should be a raven and not an eagle. This logic makes sense only to, well, stupid people who have no idea of the depth behind the name and the sigil. For one, the meaning of the word “raven” is not only limited to the bird which is named raven. Raven also means black in English. So, the word Ravenclaw essentially means ‘black claw’, and eagles have black claws.
Even if we ignore this fact, the four houses were named after their founders and mascots were chosen by them (Patronus theory or not) and even though Rowena Ravenclaw’s name had “raven” in it, she shouldn’t be bound to choose a raven as her house sigil (again, Patronus theory or not). Some people say that even though eagles are highly intelligent birds, ravens tend to be more intelligent than them. It should be kept in mind that even though intelligence is the most prominent trait of a Ravenclaws, it is not their only trait, and Rowena as well as everyone in her house resembles the bird eagle in many senses as mentioned above.
The Harry Potter film series (in want of a better word) screwed over the Ravenclaw mascot and put a raven instead of an eagle which was a totally stupid move by whoever did that. They also changed the colors of the house from blue and bronze to blue and silver. These two moves have made it extremely difficult for Ravenclaw Potterheads to find any merchandise in the right colors and with the right sigil. Most of Ravenclaw merchandise has the color silver instead of bronze and has a raven instead of an eagle, which is an inconvenience to many of the Ravenclaw Potterheads.
Hopefully, this will change and our Ravenclaw fellas will find the right kind of merch with the right colors and right sigil.