Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by

J. K. Rowling

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The Sorting Hat Symbol Analysis

The Sorting Hat Symbol Icon

Very simply, the Sorting Hat—the old hat that once belonged to Godric Gryffindor that has sorted Hogwarts pupils into different Houses since the school's founding—represents Hogwarts itself, and specifically, the ideal of the diverse school that Dumbledore promoted. The act of sorting students into four different houses suggests that the founders valued difference and diversity, and they recognized that making space for all types of students would be the best way to create a welcoming environment and most effectively educate students. Voldemort, on the other hand, sees diversity as a threat to the monolithic and pureblooded society he wants to create. For him, then, destroying the Sorting Hat itself is the easiest way to destroy Dumbledore's vision of Hogwarts and replace it with his own.

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The Sorting Hat Symbol Timeline in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Sorting Hat appears in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Thirty-Six
Choices, Redemption, and Morality Theme Icon
Knowledge and Power Theme Icon
Mortality and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Friendship, Community, and Resistance Theme Icon
Harry watches as Voldemort Summons the Sorting Hat . Voldemort declares that Slytherin will be the only House going forward, curses Neville to... (full context)
Epilogue
Choices, Redemption, and Morality Theme Icon
...headmaster. He says that Slytherin will be lucky to have him, and says that the Sorting Hat listens to requests. Albus leaps onto the train and Harry waves as it disappears. He... (full context)