"I'll teach the lot and treat them just the same."
—Hufflepuff's view, unlike that of the other founders[src]

Helga Hufflepuff (fl. c. 993) was a Welsh witch and was one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. While the other founders chose to have special students, Hufflepuff accepted them all, but the students of her house are described as loyal and hard-working. It is unknown when she died. Helga's portrait remains at Hogwarts.


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]

Hogwarts founder

Helga Hufflepuff was one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[4] Though she got on well with all her fellow founders, her greatest friend was Rowena Ravenclaw. Hufflepuff helped to build the school and, while the other founders took students based on either ambition, bravery, or intelligence, Helga Hufflepuff took the loyal, hard-working, patient and tolerant and treated them all equally.[6] She brought people from different backgrounds together to help in the building of the school and was known for her charming ways.[7]

Helga Hufflepuff had a gift for Food-related charms, and her recipes are still used as the basis for many Hogwarts feasts.[8] Helga Hufflepuff 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.[9]

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, Ravenclaw and Gryffindor refused this, however, and it escalated to such degrees that Slytherin ultimately left the school permanently.



Helga Hufflepuff's Famous Witch card

Helga Hufflepuff lent her name to one of the four Houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Hufflepuff. She does not appear to have applied particularly strict standards of selection to her house, which sets her apart from the other founders by making her an egalitarian. She also lent her magic to the creation of the Sorting Hat, so as to answer the question of who would sort the students after her demise.

One relic of Hufflepuff's, a small golden cup, had been passed down to her distant descendant Hepzibah Smith. Smith said the cup was supposed to have some magical powers, many of which she had not tested. The Cup was stolen from Smith by Tom Riddle, who corrupted Helga's legacy by changing it into a Horcrux. However, the Cup was destroyed by Hermione Granger with a basilisk fang during the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998.[10]

The symbol of Hufflepuff house is the badger, and the colours are yellow and black.

Physical appearance

PR 007 001-e1313269883743

Hufflepuff's portrait at Hogwarts

Hufflepuff was a round, plump woman with red hair and blue eyes, and usually wore a brown or yellow dress. She often sported a wide smile.

Personality and traits

Hufflepuff favoured loyalty, honesty, fair play, and hard work. Members of her Hogwarts House usually display at least one of these traits in varying degrees. Additionally, Hufflepuff was renowned for her compassionate nature. 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.

While the other founders were careful in selection of students, Hufflepuff took in the rest.[11] She was said to be kind and caring, and particularly famous for her dexterity at food-related charms. She was also a woman of tolerance, as she was willing to accept Muggle-born students and disagreed with Slytherin's pure-blood exclusiveness. Given that all of her portraits show her with a wide smile, it can be inferred that she was a very jolly woman.

Magical abilities and skills

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

  • Magical Device Invention: Hufflepuff created a cup which, according to her descendant, Hepzibah Smith, had special magical powers (though it was never revealed as to what they were).
  • Charms: Hufflepuff was very skilled in food-related charms, and many of her recipes are still used in Hogwarts, showing her unique talent as a cook.[8] She could also produce a non-corporeal Patronus,[5] a testament to her superior magical abilities as a witch, given the immense difficulty of performing the charm. Furthermore, combined with the help and abilities of her fellow founders, she helped to bewitch the Sorting Hat into a sentient magical artefact with personality, in order to sort students well after their lifetimes.




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 was the May 2007 "Wizard of the Month" on J. K. Rowling's website. Both the famous wizard card and the illustration on Rowling's website depict her as a plump woman with red hair.
  • While the other founders took students based on either ambition, bravery, or intelligence, the "Good Hufflepuff" took the rest and taught them all she knew, which is further proof of Hufflepuff's kindness.
  • 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's 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 did not meet the needs of the other houses.
  • 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.
  • 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.

See also


The Harry Potter Wiki has 12 images related to Helga Hufflepuff.
Helga Hufflepuff

Helga Hufflepuff in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7

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 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 Muggleborns, it's unlikely he'd work with one.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9 (The Writing on the Wall)
  5. 5.0 5.1 LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
  6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  7. Famous Wizard Card
  8. 8.0 8.1 Wizard of the Month, Rowling's official website
  9. J.K. Rowling PotterCast Interview
  10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  12. 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.

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 Eupraxia Mole | Vulpus | Phyllida Spore | Dexter Fortescue | Eoessa Sakndenberg | Ambrose Swott | Everard | Vindictus Veridian | Dilys Derwent | Quintin Trimble | Limebert | Phineas Nigellus Black | Walter Aragon | Basil Fronsac | Armando Dippet | Albus Dumbledore | Dolores Umbridge | Severus Snape | Minerva McGonagall | Brian Gagwilde | Elizabeth Burke
Deputy Heads Minerva McGonagall | Amycus Carrow | Alecto Carrow
Heads of House Filius Flitwick | Minerva McGonagall | Horace Slughorn | Severus Snape | Pomona Sprout
Teaching Staff Bartholomew | Bathsheda Babbling | Herbert Beery | Cuthbert Binns | Charity Burbage | Alecto Carrow | Amycus Carrow | Albus Dumbledore | Firenze | Filius Flitwick | Fortinbras | Rubeus Hagrid | Rolanda Hooch | Arsenius Jigger | Silvanus Kettleburn | Gilderoy Lockhart | Neville Longbottom | Remus Lupin | Minerva McGonagall | Galatea Merrythought | Quirinus Quirrell | Aurora Sinistra | Horace Slughorn | Severus Snape | Pomona Sprout | Swoopstikes | Sybill Trelawney | Septima Vector | Unidentified witch | |Unnamed Potions Professor (16th century) | Unnamed Potions Professor (2021)
Support Staff Boil-ridden house-elf | Rancorous Carpe | Dobby | Argus Filch | Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank | Rubeus Hagrid | Rolanda Hooch | Hankerton Humble | Kreacher | Ogg | Irma Pince | Poppy Pomfrey | Apollyon Pringle | Lucinda Thomsonicle-Pocus | Winky
Albus Dumbledore-101-chocFrogCard Chocolate Frog Cards Bridget-wenlock-card-lrg
Gold cards

Armando Dippet · Albus Dumbledore · Barberus Bragge · Bertie Bott · Carlotta Pinkstone · Dzou Yen · Godric Gryffindor · Hermione Granger · Herpo the Foul · Helga Hufflepuff · Harry Potter · Montague Knightley · Phillipus von Hohenheim · Roderick Plumpton · Rowena Ravenclaw · Ronald Weasley · Salazar Slytherin

Silver cards

Alberic Grunnion · Alberta Toothill · Andros the Invincible · Artemisia Lufkin · Blenheim Stalk · Bowman Wright · Chauncey Oldridge · Circe · Cliodna · Crispin Cronk · Cyprian Youdle · Daisy Dodderidge · Derwent Shimpling · Donaghan Tremlett · Dunbar Oglethorpe · Dymphna Furmage · Elfrida Clagg · Felix Summerbee · Fulbert the Fearful · Gaspard Shingleton · Gideon Crumb · Glenda Chittock · Gondoline Oliphant · Gregory the Smarmy · Gwenog Jones · Honoria Nutcombe · Ignatia Wildsmith · Joscelind Wadcock · Kirley Duke · Laverne de Montmorency · Leopoldina Smethwyck · Maeve · Mirabella Plunkett · Mopsus · Morgan le Fay · Oswald Beamish · Sacharissa Tugwood · Thaddeus Thurkell · Thurkell brothers · Wendelin the Weird · Xavier Rastrick

Bronze cards

Adalbert Waffling · Almerick Sawbridge · Archibald Alderton · Balfour Blane · Beatrix Bloxam · Beaumont Marjoribanks · Bridget Wenlock · Burdock Muldoon · Cassandra Vablatsky · Celestina Warbeck · Cornelius Agrippa · Devlin Whitehorn · Dorcas Wellbeloved · Edgar Stroulger · Elladora Ketteridge · Ethelred the Ever-Ready · Flavius Belby · Gifford Ollerton · Glanmore Peakes · Glover Hipworth · Greta Catchlove · Grogan Stump · Gulliver Pokeby · Gunhilda de Gorsemoor · Havelock Sweeting · Hengist of Woodcroft · Heathcote Barbary · Herman Wintringham · Hesper Starkey · Jocunda Sykes · Justus Pilliwickle · Merlin · Merton Graves · Merwyn the Malicious · Miranda Goshawk · Mungo Bonham · Musidora Barkwith · Myron Wagtail · Newton Scamander · Norvel Twonk · Orsino Thruston · Perpetua Fancourt · Quong Po · Roland Kegg · Stoddard Withers · Tilly Toke · Uric the Oddball · Yardley Platt

Famous Vampires cards

Blodwyn Bludd · Vlad Drakul · Amarillo Lestoat · Carmilla Sanguina · Herbert Varney

Famous Hags cards

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

Famous Giants cards

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

Famous Goblins cards

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

Dragon cards

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