The four houses of Hogwarts have become a universal template for Harry Potter fans to evaluate themselves, their friends, and their favorite characters from other franchises. Each house has unique strengths and weaknesses, made evident by the wizards it trains.
Gryffindor, whose denizens display courage, determination, and sometimes recklessness, probably wins enough trophies to crown itself the best Hogwarts house. These quotes from Gryffindor characters in the Harry Potter movies prove that their house fosters some of the most desirable qualities in a wizard.
10 “It Takes A Great Deal Of Bravery To Stand Up To Your Enemies…”
Albus Dumbledore – The Sorcerer’s Stone
Dumbledore shares this comforting aphorism, concluding with “…but a great deal more to stand up to your friends,” when awarding the final house points to Neville Longbottom. It’s a touching moment that honors quieter moments of courage, which usually go unacknowledged.
Because Dumbledore makes this such a public pronouncement, and it leads to widespread celebration of Neville, it encourages the boy to continue trusting his instincts. Neville will eventually develop into a key fighter for justice at Hogwarts, and Dumbledore’s early encouragement paves the way. Of course, Dumbledore is also slyly rigging the House Cup, proving that it’s good to be a Gryffindor in charge.
9 “Fear Of A Name Only Increases Fear Of The Thing Itself.”
Hermione Granger – The Chamber Of Secrets
One of Hermione’s best quotes, this nugget of wisdom comes when the Muggle-born witch stands up directly to Pureblood Slytherin Lucius Malfoy. Not only is Hermione siding with the courageous effort to face objects of fear and terror, she does so in the face of a prominent, powerful member of the wizarding world.
This ability to speak truth to power is a strength many Gryffindors boast. In Hermione’s case – and here, she aligns with Harry and Dumbledore’s efforts to use Voldemort’s name rather than “You Know Who” – it’s a statement of her position with a characteristically logical approach.
8 “I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up To No Good.”
Harry Potter, Fred & George Weasley – The Prisoner Of Azkaban
The Marauders’ Map is one of the most recognizable magical objects in the Harry Potter series, giving the user a birds-eye view of Hogwarts, its inhabitants, and its secrets. Knowing that it was created by a group of intrepid Gryffindor students, it’s especially satisfying that this tool of mischief falls into the hands of the Weasley twins, and then Harry.
The magic words that cause the Marauders’ Map to reveal itself on the blank parchment are a great allusion to the fact that Gryffindors, with all their bravery and chivalry, also tend to disregard rules. Gryffindors are guided by an inner sense of what’s right – and sometimes, that means deliberately bucking authority. Fans would love to see a Harry Potter spin-off focused on the Marauders, which would illuminate more of what makes mischievous Gryffindors so appealing.
7 “You Are Not Weak, Harry.”
Remus Lupin – The Prisoner Of Azkaban
Many of Lupin’s best quotes are left out of the Harry Potter movies, but that’s a consequence of having so much insight. Here, he reassures a young Harry who feels insecure about being dramatically affected by the presence of Dementors. According to Lupin, Harry’s position is the result of immense trauma, which other’s don’t always recognize.
Because Harry must regularly confront the horrors of his past – and he will undergo further traumatic experiences in the future – Lupin argues that he’s stronger than most. This heartfelt care, constructive mentorship, and recognition of others’ suffering are central to what makes a Gryffindor. They recognize that bravery comes in many forms and that such qualities should be nurtured and rewarded.
Harry Potter – The Goblet Of Fire
In their first showdown in the flesh, Harry and Voldemort put their magic skills to the test. Naturally, Voldemort chooses to send a Killing Curse flying at Harry; Harry, however, chooses the non-lethal Disarming Charm, a cornerstone of defensive magic. This becomes Harry’s signature spell and one of the best in the series, and his choice to use it over something more destructive illustrates his conscience and self-assurance.
Harry refuses to use deadly force, and he sticks to this conviction even in the most hopeless moments. It’s the same instinct that propelled Harry to spare the life of Peter Pettigrew. Like a true Gryffindor, Harry believes in the value of human life and the power of forgiveness. Showing bravery to the point of self-sacrifice, Harry is willing to risk his own life in using a defensive spell, rather than take a life.
5 “We’ve All Got Both Light And Darkness Inside Us…”
Sirius Black – The Order Of The Phoenix
As Harry processes trauma and fights the mental influence of Voldemort, he worries that he’s turning to darkness without control. With godfatherly tenderness, Sirius offers nuanced words of comfort, assuring Harry that “what matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”
Sirius perhaps understands this sentiment better than anyone, given his quest for revenge against the Potters’ betrayer. The quote acknowledges the Gryffindor instinct for reckless action and single-minded determination, but also the potential for grace. Just as Harry chose Gryffindor over Slytherin during the Sorting ceremony, he can choose his path through life – and he can trust his loved ones and fellow Gryffindors to help guide him.
4 “Be Brave Like My Mother.”
Harry Potter – The Half-Blood Prince
A true Gryffindor can galvanize others through their acts of courage. In convincing Professor Slughorn, a Slytherin, to divulge an unflattering memory, Harry – under the influence of Felix Felicis – issues a challenge. He calls on Slughorn’s admiration for Lily Potter and encourages him to summon a fraction of the bravery she displayed when giving her life for Harry’s.
When Slughorn shakes while extracting the memory, it’s Harry who steadies his hand. Harry shows both urgency and tenderness, demonstrating the Gryffindor ability to inspire. This kind of authoritative, yet kind, leadership is what spurs Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws to join the fight against Voldemort.
3 “Not My Daughter You B*tch!”
Molly Weasley – The Deathly Hallows
This truly iconic exclamation – one of the best quotes in all of Harry Potter – is a triumph for Molly Weasley. Going head to head with Bellatrix LeStrange, one of the most dangerous Death Eaters, she proves her Gryffindor flair.
It’s appropriate that Molly summons her most devastating magic when defending her youngest child. Molly epitomizes the Gryffindor quality of fierce loyalty and protection of loved ones. As a founding member of the Order of the Phoenix, mother of nine heroes of the Second Wizarding War, and surrogate mother to Harry, she sets an example for keen, involved Gryffindor parenting.
2 “Do Your Duty To Our School!”
Minerva McGonagall – The Deathly Hallows
It’s electrifying to see the Deputy Headmistress do the spell she’s always wanted to do, waking statues to serve as protective soldiers for Hogwarts. Not only does the spell demonstrate McGonagall’s ingenuity and magical ability, but it casts the Head of Gryffindor House as a natural leader in times of crisis.
With Hogwarts under attack, McGonagall does not hesitate to spring into action, organizing evacuations and resistance fronts among the students, teachers, and Order members. She is an impressive role model for the students she instructs – and her colleagues from other houses – for her logical and authoritative approach.
1 “He’s Still With Us. In Here.”
Neville Longbottom – The Deathly Hallows
After Harry’s apparent death and Voldemort’s advance on Hogwarts, all seems lost. Yet it’s at this moment that Neville Longbottom – who has come out of his shell over the course of the story – doubles down on the good fight. He stands up directly to Voldemort and offers a rallying cry to his heartbroken allies.
This moment proves that beyond the bombast and flashiness of Gryffindor, there’s deep tenacity. Fighting on a winning team is one thing; continuing to uphold your beliefs when it seems like a lost cause is another. Neville, who was such a timid and ungainly child, represents the potential in everyone. His transformation reinforces the value of being surrounded and nurtured by brave, loyal Gryffindors when coming of age.
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