"You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart
The Sorting Hat[src]

Gryffindor is one of the four Houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, founded by Godric Gryffindor. The particular characteristics of students Sorted into Gryffindor are courage, chivalry, and determination. The emblematic animal is a lion, and its colours are red and gold. Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, also known as "Nearly Headless Nick" is the house ghost.  

Gryffindor corresponds roughly to the element of fire, and it is for that reason that the colours red and gold were chosen to represent the House[1].The colour of fire corresponds to that of a lion as well, red representing the mane and tail and gold representing the coat.



Gryffindor's founder, Godric Gryffindor

The Gryffindor house emphasises the traits of courage as well as "daring, nerve, and chivalry," and thus its members are generally regarded as brave, though sometimes to the point of recklessness. They can also 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 Phinaes Nigellus Black, members of other houses, particularly Slytherin, sometimes feel that Gryffindors engage in "pointless heroics." Another Slytherin, Severus Snape, considered many Gryffindors to be self-righteous and arrogant, with no regard for rules.


"The House of Godric Gryffindor has commanded the respect of the wizarding world for nearly ten centuries."
—Minerva McGonagall on Gryffindor's reputation[src]

The lion, symbol of Gryffindor House

Gryffindors and Slytherins have 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 which Gryffindor felt was wrong. There might also be an element of feeling wronged, as Harry and his fellow Gryffindors tend to win in a lot of circumstances which, when viewed from a neutral point of view, may be considered unfair. Examples of this include the last-minute points awarded by Headmaster Dumbledore at the Leaving 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 are not normally permitted their own broomsticks because of danger.

Nearly Headless Nick

House ghost, Nearly Headless Nick

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 stealing Hufflepuff student Cedric Diggory's thunder unfairly.

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 lacked any Slytherins (but this also could have been because news of the group was passed by word of mouth, and Harry who founded it did not associate with any Slytherins). During the Battle of Hogwarts, the Slytherin students were forced to leave while students from the other three houses were allowed to remain behind to fight against Lord Voldemort and his army. Most of the known Death Eaters (besides Peter Pettigrew, Quirinus Quirrell, and possibly others) have been in Slytherin, and that might have been another reason as to why the other two houses sided with Gryffindor over Slytherin.

Common Room

Gryffindor common room

The Gryffindor common room

The Gryffindor Common Room is located in one of the castle's towers (Gryffindor Tower), the entrance to which is located on the seventh floor and is guarded by an oil painting of the Fat Lady, who is garbed in a pink silk dress. She permits entry only after being given the correct (regularly changing) password. Behind her painting is a large common room, with a fireplace, and two staircases leading up to the girls' and boys' dormitories.

There is a spell on the girls' staircase that prevents boys from using it, however there is no such enchantment on the staircase to the boys' dormitory, allowing girls to use it whenever they wish, due to the founders' belief that girls were more trustworthy. The common room is very comfortable, and members of the Gryffindor house meet there for study groups, celebrations, or relaxation. The walls are lined with portraits, each one depicting a previous or current Head of Gryffindor

Head of House

The head of house before and during the Hudbars' time was Minerva McGonagall. Minerva became the head house possibly at the same time she was appointed Transfiguration professor at Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry, in 1956 when Albus Dumbledore became Headmaster, she took over his previous teaching position. She resigned in 2024 and Jace Herondale was named as the new Head of Gryffindor House by Headmaster Raeken.

List of known Gryffindors

Gryffindor Period attending Hogwarts Notes
Sir Cadogan Middle Ages His portrait guarded Gryffindor Tower in 1993.
Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington 15th century Now the house ghost.
Albus Dumbledore 1892 - 1899 Later Headmaster of Hogwarts, founder of the Order of the Phoenix.
Celestina Warbeck 1928 - 1936 Later became known as the "Singing Sorceress"
Rubeus Hagrid 1940 - 1943 Expelled for uncommitted crimes in his third year.
Minerva McGonagall 1947 - 1954 Animagus in the form of a cat, later became Head of Gryffindor House, Transfiguration Professor of Hogwarts, and eventually, Headmistress.
Fat Lady Unknown Now has a portrait that guards the Gryffindor Tower.
Fleamont Potter The father of James Potter and the grandfather of the famous Harry Potter.
R. J. H. King 1960s Member of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
Arthur Weasley 1961 - 1968 Member of the Order of the Phoenix. Eventually married Molly Prewett.
Molly Prewett Member of the Order of the Phoenix. Eventually married Arthur Weasley.
M. G. McGonagall 1960s-1970s Member of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
Mary Macdonald 1970s Was once victim of a curse used on her by Mulciber in her school years.
Remus Lupin 1971 - 1978 Prefect and a Werewolf. The Whomping Willow was planted because of him. Eventually married Nymphadora Tonks. Member of the Order of the Phoenix. Later murdered in the Battle of Hogwarts.
Peter Pettigrew Animagus in the form of a rat. Former member of the Order of the Phoenix, later joined the Death Eaters. Eventually dies when his Silver Hand turns on him.
Sirius Black Only member of the House of Black to be sorted outside of Slytherin house, Animagus in the form of a dog, member of the Order of the Phoenix. Murdered by Bellatrix Lestrange.
Jerry Russo Pure-blood Gryffindor wizard, husband of Theresa Russo and father of Justin, Alex and Max.
Oliver Tate Half-blood Gryffindor wizard. Father of Alec and Malia
Tristan Milton Pure-blood Gryffindor wizard, husband of Elizabeth Milton and father of Rami and Elizabeth.
James Potter Head Boy, Animagus in the form of a stag, and member of the original Order of the Phoenix. Husband of Lily Evans and father of Harry Potter. Murdered by Lord Voldemort during the First Wizarding War.
Lily Evans Head Girl, member of the Slug Club, and member of the original Order of the Phoenix. Wife of James Potter and mother of Harry Potter. Murdered by Lord Voldemort during the First Wizarding War.
Douwe Posthuma 1981-1988 Head Boy. Later Professor of Care of Magical Creatures.
Bill Weasley 1982 - 1989 Head Boy. Eventually married Fleur Delacour.
Charles Weasley 1984 - 1991 Seeker and Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Works with dragons in Romania.
Oliver Wood 1987 - 1994 Keeper and Captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
Percy Weasley Prefect and Head Boy. Eventually marries Audrey Weasley.
Reggie Mantle 1988 - 1995 Beater for the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Member of the Order of the Elementals.
Alicia Spinnet 1989 - 1996 Chaser for the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Member of Dumbledore's Army.
Angelina Johnson Chaser on, and later Captain of, the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Member of Dumbledore's Army. Eventually married George Weasley.
Adam Davenport 1990 - 1997 Keeper for the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
Archie Andrews Gryffindor student.
Cameron Puckerman Chaser for the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
Bella Thorn Former Chaser for the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Kicked out.
Jace Herondale Chaser for the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
Brett Talbot
Alec Tate 1991 - 1998 Captain and Seeker of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Has a crush on Brody Hudson.
Tate Langdon Muggle-born Gryffindor wizard.
Malia Tate Co-captain and Beater of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. In a relationship with fellow Beater Scott McCall.
Emilia Milton Chaser for the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
Samantha Giddings Muggle-born witch.
Cheryl Dewitt Bukater Pure blood witch. Younger sister of Rose Dewitt Bukater.
Jesse Bullock Beater of the Gryffindor Quidditch team. The bully of Brody Hudson and enemy of Jackson Whittemore and Theo Raeken.
Kim Hall Being a Gryffindor student. The ex-girlfriend of Brody Hudson

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, which match the colours of Gryffindor.
  • Rowling herself was sorted into Gryffindor House on Pottermore.[2]
  • 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.
  • Based on their portrait hanging in Gryffindor Tower, Valeria Myriadd, Oracutus Spheer, Damara Dodderidge, Percival Pratt and several other unknown individuals may have been Gryffindors.
  • 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.
  •  Evanna Lynch, the actress who portrayed Luna in the films, was sorted into Gryffindor house on Pottermore.[3]
  • It should be noted that 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.
  • The Sorting Hat considered placing Fillius Flitwick in Gryffindor before choosing Ravenclaw.


  • 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" 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. Even the French for Griffindor, Griffondor is a French homophone for the actual beast, Griffon d'Or.

See also

Notes and references

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Hogwarts Houses:
Gryffindor ClearBG2 Hufflepuff ClearBG2 Ravenclaw ClearBG2 Slytherin ClearBG2
Namesake Founders:
Godric Gryffindor · Helga Hufflepuff · Rowena Ravenclaw · Salazar Slytherin
Heads of House:
Minerva McGonagall · Pomona Sprout · Whitney Houston · Severus Snape
House Ghosts:
Nearly Headless Nick · Fat Friar · Grey Lady · Bloody Baron

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