At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Hogwarts Legacy, Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, Harry Potter: Magic Awakened, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery.
Gryffindor was one of the four Houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and was founded by Godric Gryffindor. Gryffindor instructed the Sorting Hat to choose students possessing characteristics he most valued, such as courage, chivalry, and determination, to be sorted into his house. The emblematic animal was a lion, and its colours were scarlet and gold. Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, also known as "Nearly Headless Nick", was the House ghost.
Gryffindor corresponded roughly to the element of fire, and it was for this reason that the colours scarlet and gold were chosen to represent the house. The colour of fire corresponded to that of a lion as well, with scarlet representing the mane and tail and gold representing the coat.
The Gryffindor house emphasised the traits of courage as well as "daring, nerve, and chivalry", and thus its members were generally regarded as brave, though sometimes to the point of recklessness. Some Gryffindors had also been noted to be short-tempered. Notably, Gryffindor house contributed many members to Dumbledore's Army and the Order of the Phoenix, although this may have been because the main members made it a point not to associate with other houses.
According to Phineas Nigellus Black, members of other houses, particularly Slytherin, sometimes felt that Gryffindors engaged in "pointless heroics". Another Slytherin, Severus Snape, considered many Gryffindors to be self-righteous and arrogant, with no regard for rules.
Gryffindors and Slytherins had shared a fierce house rivalry since their founders, Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin, respectively, had a severe falling out over Slytherin's emphasis on blood purity. There might also be an element of feeling wronged, as Harry and his fellow Gryffindors tended to win in a lot of circumstances which, when viewed from a neutral point of view, may be considered unfair. Examples of this included the last-minute points awarded by Headmaster Dumbledore at the End-of-Term Feast, which conveniently put Gryffindor ten points ahead of Slytherin in the 1991–1992 school year, the fact that no points were deducted for the rule breaking that happened during that night and Harry being permitted by Professor McGonagall to have his own broomstick for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, even though first-years were not normally permitted their own broomsticks because of danger.
Members of other houses might have felt that Gryffindor received favouritism, considering that many saw Harry Potter being chosen as the fourth competitor in the Triwizard Tournament as an unfair stealing of Hufflepuff student Cedric Diggory's thunder.
Overall, however, the houses of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff tended to side with Gryffindor in its rivalry with Slytherin. This was particularly notable during the Second Wizarding War — the members of Dumbledore's Army were from Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw, but the Army lacked any Slytherins. (This, however, could also have been because news of Dumbledore's Army was passed by word of mouth, and Harry, who had initially raised it, did not associate with any Slytherins.) During the Battle of Hogwarts, the Slytherin students left, while senior students from the other three houses remained behind to fight against Lord Voldemort and his army - however, it is also worth noting that while Head of House Professor Slughorn left with his students, he then returned to the castle with reinforcements (possibly including senior students) and with Professor McGonagall and Auror Kingsley Shacklebolt, personally duelled Lord Voldemort. Most of the known Death Eaters (besides Peter Pettigrew, Quirinus Quirrell, and possibly others) had been Slytherin House members, and that might have been another reason as to why the other two houses sided with Gryffindor over Slytherin.
The Gryffindor Common Room was located in one of the castle's towers (Gryffindor Tower), the entrance to which was located on the seventh floor and was guarded by an oil painting of the Fat Lady, who was garbed in a pink silk dress. She permitted entry only after being given the correct (regularly changing) password. Behind her painting was a large common room, with a fireplace, and two staircases leading up to the girls' and boys' dormitories.
There was a charm on the girls' staircase that prevented boys from using it; however, there was no such enchantment on the staircase to the boys' dormitory, allowing girls to use it whenever they wished, due to the founders' belief that girls were more trustworthy. The common room was very comfortable, and members of the Gryffindor house met there for study groups, celebrations, or relaxation. The walls were lined with portraits, each one depicting a previous or current Head of Gryffindor.
Head of House
The Head of House before and during Harry Potter's time was Minerva McGonagall. Minerva became the Head of House possibly when she was appointed Transfiguration professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, taking over Albus Dumbledore's previous teaching position when he became Headmaster. It is unknown who later became the head of house when she was made Headmistress in 1998 following the end of the Second Wizarding War.
- Gryffindor could possibly be derived from griffin, which is a creature in mythology with the body of a lion and the head of an eagle.
- In Old English and Old High German dor means gate or door.
- In French "d'or" means "of gold," one of the Gryffindor House colours, though it can also come from the Greek word "dora" meaning "gift".
- A combination can be assumed; "Golden Gift of the Lion".
- "Griffe" (from the Latin "gryphus", which means "curved nose") is the French word for "claw", which could refer to the claw of the lion.
- "Gryffindor" could very well be explained by heraldry: "Gryffin" would then stand for the griffin beast, and the "[d]or" would refer to the metal tincture "[d'] or" (Middle English for "[of] gold", derived from French; corresponds to yellow).
- Gryffindor is also a pun on the golden gryffin, which is a lion that only has eagle wings, so it has the head and front paws of a lion, and has golden fur and feathers. The French for Gryffindor, "Griffondor", is a homophone for the actual beast, Griffon d'Or. Similarly, the Italian "Grifondoro" is a homophone of Grifon d'Oro. Coincidentally, Italy also has a high number of cities and towns which present a golden gryffin in their coat of arms. Examples of this are Agnone, Alessandria, Arzignano and Genoa.
Behind the scenes
- J. K. Rowling was once asked in an interview into which House would she sort British politician and former Prime minister Gordon Brown, were she the Sorting Hat. She jokingly responded that she would sort him into Gryffindor, because of the red colours of his political party (the Labour Party), which match the colours of Gryffindor.
- Rowling herself was sorted into Gryffindor House on Pottermore.
- Many members of the Gryffindor House seem to have a gift for Transfiguration; Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall were both Transfiguration professors, while the latter was the Head of this House. There are four known Animagi from Gryffindor house: James Potter (a stag), Sirius Black (a dog), Peter Pettigrew (a rat) and Minerva McGonagall (a cat). Gryffindor Hermione Granger was noted to be very talented in Transfiguration from her first class. James Potter's wand was also noted to be good for Transfiguration.
- In the films, Padma Patil, Parvati Patil's twin sister, is seen as a Gryffindor, while in the books she is a Ravenclaw.
- Rubeus Hagrid stated in the first book that all the wizards who went bad were from Slytherin, however, Peter Pettigrew, who was in Gryffindor disproves this. At this point, Hagrid was unaware that Pettigrew was still alive, or that he was working for Voldemort. (It should also be noted that Quirinus Quirrell, a Ravenclaw, was working for Voldemort at the time, although Hagrid was unaware of this as well.) Another reason why this is odd is that, at the time, Sirius Black was believed to have gone bad (Hagrid's comments in the Three Broomsticks prove that he knew nothing of the truth in this instance), and he was also a Gryffindor. So Hagrid would have known of at least one Gryffindor who had 'gone bad'. He most likely did not mention this so that Harry would not try to find out more about his godfather, or it could have been 'Gryffindor propaganda' since Slytherin and Gryffindor are known rivals. It is also possible that Hagrid did not remember these exceptions at the time.
- On Pottermore, the following actors and actresses of the Harry Potter films have been sorted into Gryffindor house:
- The colours and emblems of Gryffindor resemble the historical English coat of arms. Whether this was intentional on Rowling's part is unknown.
- Gryffindor House won the second House Cup in Pottermore; their reward for winning was Gryffindor-related downloadable material.
- Gryffindor's entrance changed locations once throughout the film series. In the first film, the students go down a long hallway to reach the entrance portrait. In the third film, the portrait is located very close to the Grand Staircase. It can only be assumed that this is its location for the rest of the series as the outside of the entrance would not be seen again for the rest of the film series.
Pottermore House Cup
- Gryffindor came second for the first house cup with 74,069,919 house points.
- Gryffindor won the second house cup with 48,538,348 points.
- Gryffindor came third for the third and fourth house cups with 26,740,444 and 24,610,105 points.
- Gryffindor came fourth for the fifth house cup with 27,299,570 points.
- Gryffindor came second for the sixth house cup with 32,279,991 points.
- Gryffindor came fourth for the seventh and eighth house cups with 49,335,378 points.
In translated editions, "Gryffindor" remains the same and is used for the Catalan, Croatian, Danish, Faroese, German, Icelandic, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal), Spanish, Swedish, and Vietnamese editions. The following translations have changed the name:
- Albanian: Grifarti
- Bulgarian: Грифиндор (Grifindor)
- Chinese (Simplified): 格兰芬多 (Gélánfēnduō) (phonetic)
- Chinese (Traditional): 葛萊芬多 (Gélánfēnduō) (phonetic)
- Czech: Nebelvír (nebe "sky", lvír → lev "lion")
- Dutch: Griffoendor
- Finnish: Rohkelikko (rohkea "brave")
- French: Gryffondor
- Georgian: გრიფინდორი (grifindori)
- Greek, Modern: Γκρίφιντορ (Gkrífintor)
- Hebrew: גריפינדור
- Hindi: गरुड़द्वार (garuḍ.advāra) ("Garuda-door")
- Hungarian: Griffendél
- Italian: Grifondoro (Grifon "Griffin", d'oro "golden")
- Japanese: グリフィンドール (Gurifindōru)
- Korean: 그리핀도르 (Gŭlipindolŭ)
- Latvian: Grifidors
- Lithuanian: Grifų Gūžta
- Norwegian: Griffing
- Persian: گریفندور
- Polish: Gryffindor (But the inhabitants are called Gryfoni; gryf "griffin")
- Portuguese (Brazil): Grifinória (Grifi from Grifo - gryphon - house's symbol)
- Romanian: Cercetaș ("scout")
- Russian: Гриффиндор
- Serbian: Грифиндор (Grifindor)
- Slovak: Chrabromil ("lover of bravery")
- Slovenian: Gryfondom
- Thai: กริฟฟินดอร์
- Ukrainian: Ґрифіндор (Gryfindor)
- Welsh: Llereurol (literal "Griffin of Gold")
- Vietnamese: Nhà Gryffindor ("House Gryffindor")
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (play)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
- Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter for Kinect
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- LEGO Creator: Harry Potter
- Creator: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- LEGO Harry Potter
- LEGO Dimensions
- J. K. Rowling's official site (Mentioned only)
- Wonderbook: Book of Spells
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Wizarding World
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
- Hogwarts Legacy
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9 (The Writing on the Wall)
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Colours" at Wizarding World
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 3 (The Letters from No One)
- All About Gryffindor from Pottermore (via The Internet Archive)
- A very important ceremony from Pottermore (via The Internet Archive)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 7 (The Sorting Hat)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 8 (The Potions Master)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 18 (Dumbledore's Army)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10 (Hallowe'en)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 17 (The Four Champions)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 19 (The Servant of Lord Voldemort)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 17 (Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four)
- The Making of Harry Potter (see this image)
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Sir Cadogan" at Wizarding World
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 9 (Grim Defeat)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 13 (Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 14 (Snape's Grudge)
- J. K. Rowling's official site
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Celestina Warbeck" at Wizarding World
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 13 (The Very Secret Diary)
- PotterCast 130
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Gordon Brown
- "J. K. Rowling Surprises Harry Potter fans on Live Global Webacast"