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The Biggest Mistake Hogwarts's Founders Made In Harry Potter

Harry Potter's Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry might seem like a dream to most fans, but there's one glaring flaw in the way the school operates that we just can't overlook anymore.

When Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), and their classmates begin their first year at Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, they must go through an important ritual before they can really get started. One by one, the incoming group of eleven year old first years must don the Sorting Hat, a magical and ancient object shrouded in mystery, and get sorted into one of four houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. As the Hat informs the new students, the bravest of them will go to Gryffindor, the smartest to Ravenclaw, the hardest working to Hufflepuff, and the most cunning to Slytherin.

Harry, Ron, Hermione are all sorted into Gryffindor, while other students head to Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin in equal measure. However, if you really think about this system, it's pretty weird — especially considering that, after being assigned to a house at such a young age based on a pretty limited number of personality traits, the new kids at Hogwarts basically only associate with people in their own house. Here's the biggest and most obvious mistake that Hogwarts's founders made in Harry Potter.

The founders of Hogwarts didn't think the sorting system through

Once students are sorted into houses, their lives at Hogwarts can finally begin... but everything from their social lives to their exploits become seriously narrow. Throughout the series, students in each house — who live together, take the same classes, and spend time in their common rooms separated from other houses — pretty much tend to stick together. To make it even more complicated, the students are even encouraged to compete against one another on a constant basis, whether it's for the House Cup (which is won by the house with the most points at the end of the school year) or for the Quidditch Cup.

Though founders Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw, Helga Hufflepuff, and Salazar Slytherin meant for Hogwarts to be a unified and diverse place of learning for young witches and wizards, they clearly didn't stop and think about how dividing students into unchangeable houses would affect students for generations going forward. Beyond that, what if a particular student has multiple traits associated with different houses? According to the online Potter encyclopedia Wizarding World, some Hogwarts students — including eventual Transfiguration professor Minerva McGonagall (Maggie Smith) — were "Hatstalls," meaning that the Sorting Hat had so much trouble figuring out where to put them that their Sorting took much longer than normal. However, even Hatstalls end up adhering to the rigid binary of Hogwarts' four houses.

Whether you're a bold Gryffindor or a helpful Hufflepuff, the four houses of Hogwarts were definitely a nice idea... but put students into strict boxes that could do more harm than good. If you want to rethink the house system in Harry Potter, the films are available to stream on Peacock now.