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"I'll teach the lot and treat them just the same."
— Hufflepuff's unbiased view[src]

Helga Hufflepuff (fl. c. 993) was a Welsh[2] witch and was one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. While the other founders chose to have special students, she accepted them all without preference, although she did want them to be loyal and hard-working. Helga's portrait remained at Hogwarts by at least the 1980s.


Early life[]

"From valley broad...."
— The Sorting Hat on Hufflepuff's birthplace[src]

Helga Hufflepuff was born in the 10th century and came from the broad valleys of Wales.[2] She was either born or married into the Hufflepuff family. Helga's greatest friend was Rowena Ravenclaw from the Scottish glens.

Hogwarts founder[]

Helga Hufflepuff

Helga Hufflepuff with her cup

United by the common goal of creating the world's best magic school,[9] Helga Hufflepuff and her good friends Rowena Ravenclaw, Godric Gryffindor, and Salazar Slytherin built Hogwarts Castle together and established Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry sometime around 993. She brought people from different backgrounds together to help in the building of the school.[10]

While the other founders took students based on either ambition, bravery, or intelligence, Helga took the loyal, hard-working, patient, and tolerant and treated them all equally.[9] She had a gift for food-related charms, and her recipes were still used as the basis for many Hogwarts feasts.[7] She also arranged for the house-elf contingent to work in the kitchens, giving them somewhere safe to work, where they would not be mistreated or abused.[11]

After a time in which the school enjoyed great prosperity, Helga's fellow founder Salazar Slytherin proposed a controversial action in which Muggle-born students should not be admitted to Hogwarts based on their heritage. Hufflepuff and the rest of the founders refused this, however, and the problem escalated to such degrees that Salazar ultimately left the school permanently.[5]


A relic of Hufflepuff, a small golden cup, had been passed down to her distant descendant Hepzibah Smith. Smith said the cup should have had some magical powers, many of which she hadn't tested.

The cup was stolen from Smith by Tom Riddle, a distant descendant of Helga's former friend Salazar Slytherin. Riddle corrupted and befouled Hufflepuff's legacy by turning it into a Horcrux. However, the cup was destroyed by Hermione Granger with a Basilisk fang in the Chamber of Secrets during the Battle of Hogwarts on 2 May 1998.[12]

Physical description[]

Helga was a round, plump woman with brown hair and blue eyes.[7] She often sported a wide smile. Helga usually wore a brown or yellow dress.[6]

Personality and traits[]

Helga favoured loyalty, honesty, fair play, and hard work, but was known to accept all students regardless of whether or not they possessed these traits. Members of her House usually display at least one of these traits in varying degrees, however. Given that all of her portraits show her with a wide smile, it can be inferred that Helga was a very jolly woman. Her affinity for food-related charms and plump shape might also indicate that she had a large appetite.

Helga was renowned for her compassionate nature and charming ways. She took in the house-elves to work in Hogwarts Kitchen, where they could work in peace and safety. This was considered to be the best option at the time for house-elves. When the other founders were careful in selection of students, Hufflepuff took in those who did not fit the standards of other houses.[13]

She was also a woman of tolerance, willing to accept Muggle-born students and disagreed with Slytherin's pure-blood exclusiveness,[5] as well as bringing together people of varying backgrounds to construct the school and ensuring a decent working environment for house-elves, who were generally treated with indifference if not outright cruelty by most wizards.

Magical abilities and skills[]

Hufflepuff was described as being one of the four greatest witches and wizards of her age.

  • Charms: Helga was highly talented in food-related charms and many of her recipes are still used in Hogwarts today, testifying to her unique talent as a magical cook.[7] With the help and abilities of her fellow founders, she bewitched the Sorting Hat into a sentient magical artefact with personality in order to sort students well after their lifetimes. Furthermore, Helga was capable of conjuring a non-corporeal Patronus,[8] which was a highly advanced piece of magic as well as a mark of superior magical skill.
  • Magical manufacturing: Helga created a cup with special magical powers, which was eventually passed down to her descendant, Hepzibah Smith.


Cup Pottermore 2

Hufflepuff's Cup


  • The name Helga is from Helge, from Old Norse heilagr, meaning "holy" or "blessed". Their symbol is the badger, a large mammal related to the weasels with distinctive white stripes on its head. In Celtic mythology, a badger was a guide. The badger also can symbolise a tendency to be hard-working, strong, and tenacious. Hufflepuffs are known for loyalty and hard work.
  • Helga was a name which was common in northern Europe; in countries such as Norway. It was soon adopted by many soviet countries and others which bordered with the north, including; Russia, Latvia, Denmark and Belgium. As those in northern Europe pronounced the 'e' in Helga as more of a cross between 'e' and 'o', and, like the french, didn't pronounce the 'h', the soviet countries adopted the name as 'Olga'. Some countries, including Germany, kept the name as 'Helga'.
  • Hufflepuff could mean "huff and puff" or blustery. "Huff" also means to breathe; "puff" is a medieval term for pastry.

Behind the scenes[]


Helga Hufflepuff as a LEGO mini-figure

Helga Hufflepuff

Helga Hufflepuff in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7

  • Both Helga and her friend Rowena were referred to as males in the Sorting Hat's song in early German editions and in the German audiobook of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire read by Rufus Beck. This was corrected in later editions of the book.
  • Helga Hufflepuff was the May 2007 "Wizard of the Month" on J. K. Rowling's website: “One of the four celebrated founders of Hogwarts, Hufflepuff was particulary famous for her dexterity at food-related Charms. Many recipes traditionally served at Hogwarts feasts originated with Hufflepuff”.
  • At The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Helga Hufflepuff speaks in a Welsh accent in her portrait on the Forbidden Journey Ride. This lends further credence to her coming from Wales.
  • It is theorised that Zacharias Smith is related to Hepzibah Smith and thus is a descendant of Helga Hufflepuff. Although Smith is obviously a very common last name, both Zacharias and Hepzibah are uncommon names of Hebrew origin. It seems unlikely that the two first names are a coincidence. Should Zacharias be truly a descendant of Hufflepuff, this would be an odd irony because he lacks the loyalty and fair play that Hufflepuff's house commands, despite being in her house. It is possible that Zacharias was only put in Hufflepuff because he lacked the qualities needed for the other houses and going by one of the Sorting Hat's songs, Hufflepuff did take those at Hogwarts who didn't meet the needs of the other houses.
  • According to information presented in Hogwarts Legacy, the school was built using and harbouring Ancient Magic. Which implies that the Founders could see and use this kind of magic
  • Both her Chocolate Frog Card and the illustration on J. K. Rowling's official site depict her as a plump woman with red hair, while Pottermore and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter depict her with brown hair.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 40 images related to Helga Hufflepuff.

Notes and references[]

  1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9 (The Writing on the Wall) - "You all know, of course, that Hogwarts was founded over a thousand years ago - the precise date is uncertain - by the four greatest witches and wizards of the age." Binns says this late in the year 1992. Given that Hufflepuff would be of age by the school's founding, the latest she could be born is 976.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 12 (The Triwizard Tournament) - The Sorting Hat refers to Helga as "sweet Hufflepuff, from valley broad" which is likely a reference to the South Wales Valleys. Furthermore, at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Helga's portrait speaks with a Welsh accent.
  3. Given Slytherin's hatred of Muggle-borns, it is unlikely he would work with one.
  4. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9 (The Writing on the Wall)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Pottermore
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Wizard of the Month, Rowling's official website
  8. 8.0 8.1 LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
  9. 9.0 9.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 11 (The Sorting Hat's New Song)
  10. Famous Wizard Card
  11. J.K. Rowling PotterCast Interview
  12. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
  13. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 12 (The Triwizard Tournament)
  14. Hufflepuff is available in the Nintendo DS version of LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7. For other devices, she is available in the "Downloadable Character Pack" DLC for the game.

See also[]

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Hogwarts Houses
Gryffindor ClearBG
Hufflepuff ClearBG
Slytherin ClearBG
Namesake Founders
Godric Gryffindor · Helga Hufflepuff · Rowena Ravenclaw · Salazar Slytherin
Heads of House
Minerva McGonagall · Pomona Sprout · Filius Flitwick · Horace Slughorn
House Ghosts
Nearly Headless Nick · Fat Friar · Grey Lady · Bloody Baron
Hogwarts faculty
Founders Godric Gryffindor · Helga Hufflepuff · Rowena Ravenclaw · Salazar Slytherin
Headteachers Giffard Abbott · Walter Aragon · Phineas Nigellus Black · Elizabeth Burke · Antonia Creaseworthy · Dilys Derwent · Armando Dippet · Albus Dumbledore · Mordicus Egg · Everard · First Headmaster · Niamh Fitzgerald · Dexter Fortescue · Basil Fronsac · Brian Gagwilde · Limebert · Minerva McGonagall · Eupraxia Mole · Edessa Sakndenberg · Brutus Scrimgeour · Phyllida Spore · Severus Snape · Amrose Swott · Quentin Trimble · Dolores Umbridge · Fytherley Undercliffe · Vindictus Viridian · Vulpus · Heliotrope Wilkins · Gimlet-eyed Headmistress · Headmaster (1568) · Headteacher (1792) · Unidentified Headteachers
Deputy Heads Alecto Carrow · Amycus Carrow · Minerva McGonagall · Matilda Weasley
Heads of House Muldoon Cragg · Filius Flitwick · Godric Gryffindor · Gryffindor lady · Gryffindor man (II) · Gryffindor man (III) · Gryffindor man (IV) · Gryffindor Seeker · Helga Hufflepuff · Neville Longbottom · Minerva McGonagall · Valeria Myriadd · Uric Oapley · Podric Piles · Pink-faced Headmaster · Prendergast · Rowena Ravenclaw · Abraham Ronen · Horace Slughorn · Salazar Slytherin · Severus Snape · Pomona Sprout · Tobias Stump
Teaching staff Bartholomew · Bathsheda Babbling · San Bakar · Herbert Beery · Cuthbert Binns · Brindlemore · Charity Burbage · Herodiana Byrne · Camelia · Alecto Carrow · Amycus Carrow · Bartemius Crouch Junior (disguised as Alastor Moody) · Clodagh Dromgoole · Albus Dumbledore · Archibald Eagleton · Eleazar Fig · Firenze · Filius Flitwick · Fortinbras · Mirabel Garlick · Mirabel Garlick's predecessor · Jakub Gorski · Olivia Green · Rubeus Hagrid · Dinah Hecat · Rolanda Hooch · Bai Howin · Arsenius Jigger · Igor Karkaroff's Yule Ball partner · Silvanus Kettleburn · Chiyo Kogawa · Gilderoy Lockhart · Neville Longbottom · Remus Lupin · Elspeth MacGillony · Mazoni · Minerva McGonagall · Galatea Merrythought · Isidora Morganach · Mudiwa Onai · Prendergast · Quirinus Quirrell · Percival Rackham · Patricia Rakepick · Abraham Ronen · Charles Rookwood · Concordia Rowle · Luna Scamander · Satyavati Shah · Aesop Sharp · Arif Sikander · Aurora Sinistra · Horace Slughorn · Severus Snape · Pomona Sprout · Swoopstikes · Sybill Trelawney · Trocar · Dolores Umbridge · Septima Vector · Matilda Weasley · Matilda Weasley's predecessor · Unidentified professor · Charms professor (medieval) · Potions professor (16th century) · Holidaying professor (before 1890s) · DADA professor (1984–1985) · DADA professor (1985–1986) · DADA professor (1986–1987) · DADA professor (1987–1988) · DADA professor (1989–1990) · DADA professor (1990–1991) · Muggle Studies professor (1990s) · Music professor · DADA professor (1998–?) · Potions professor (21st century) · Charms professor (?th century)
Hogwarts house-elves Bilm · Boil-ridden house-elf · Cooky · Cosa · Deek · Dobby · Feenky · Filk · Gimkey · Gosby · Krafty · Kreacher · Nonsuch · Pitts · Retch · Ringkull · Rooky · Vekey · Wigby · Winky · Wooby · Unidentified house-elf (I) · Unidentified house-elf (II)
Support staff Phineas Nigellus Black's secretaries · Noreen Blainey · Rancorous Carpe · Argus Filch · Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank · Rubeus Hagrid · Rolanda Hooch · Hankerton Humble · Gladwin Moon · Ogg · Irma Pince · Poppy Pomfrey · Apollyon Pringle · Lucinda Thomsonicle-Pocus · Agnes Scribner · Wainscott · Carriage driver (1890s) · Gamekeeper (1890s) · Unidentified Healers · Librarian (?th century) · Librarian (21st century)
Albus Dumbledore-101-chocFrogCard
Chocolate Frog Cards
Gold cards

Armando Dippet · Albus Dumbledore · Barberus Bragge · Bertie Bott · Carlotta Pinkstone · Dzou Yen · Falco Aesalon · Godric Gryffindor · Harry Potter · Herpo the Foul · Helga Hufflepuff · Montague Knightley · Phillipus von Hohenheim · Rowena Ravenclaw · Salazar Slytherin

Silver cards

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Famous Vampires cards

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Babayaga · Malodora Grymm · Old Mother Hubbard · Cordelia Misericordia · Leticia Somnolens

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Bran the Bloodthirsty · Cyclops · Goliath · Morholt · Hengist of Upper Barnton

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Alguff the Awful · Eargit the Ugly · Gringott · Ug the Unreliable · Urg the Unclean

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Common Welsh Green · Hebridean Black · Hungarian Horntail · Norwegian Ridgeback · Romanian Longhorn

Beast cards

Billywig · Bowtruckle · Doxy · Double-ended Newt · Giant Purple Toad · Giant Squid · Gnome · Gytrash · Imp · Kelpie · Manticore · Mountain troll · Streeler · Phoenix · Unicorn