This week, in our penultimate Pottermore Feature of the Week, we are discussing the Ravenclaw Welcome Message.
Most of you know that J.K. Rowling wrote Welcome Messages for each house, which can be read once you get sorted into your respective house in chapter seven of the first book. Each Welcome Message is unique and specialized for each house, written from the viewpoint of a house prefect.
The Welcome Message is told from the viewpoint of Prefect Robert Hilliard. In most of the entry, Hilliard boasts about how Ravenclaw is the best at everything, that they’re smartest house, and that they are simply the best. Although its perfectly fine to speak of these feats, because no one can doubt that they earned the reputation, but to do it with arrogance is a little wrong. For this reason, I award Robert Hilliard as the most arrogant Ravenclaw I’ve ever heard of.
I’ve bolded some points for discussion below.
Excerpted from “Ravenclaw Welcome Message”
Congratulations! I’m Prefect Robert Hilliard, and I’m delighted to welcome you to RAVENCLAW HOUSE. Our emblem is the eagle, which soars where others cannot climb; our house colours are blue and bronze, and our common room is found at the top of Ravenclaw Tower, behind a door with an enchanted knocker. The arched windows set into the walls of our circular common room look down at the school grounds: the lake, the Forbidden Forest, the Quidditch pitch and the Herbology gardens. No other house in the school has such stunning views.
Without wishing to boast, this is the house where the cleverest witches and wizards live. Our founder, Rowena Ravenclaw, prized learning above all else – and so do we. Unlike the other houses, who all have concealed entrances to their common rooms, we don’t need one. The door to our common room lies at the top of a tall, winding staircase. It has no handle, but an enchanted bronze knocker in the shape of an eagle. When you rap on the door, this knocker will ask you a question, and if you can answer it correctly, you are allowed in. This simple barrier has kept out everyone but Ravenclaws for nearly a thousand years.
Another cool thing about Ravenclaw is that our people are the most individual – some might even call them eccentrics. But geniuses are often out of step with ordinary folk, and unlike some other houses we could mention, we think you’ve got the right to wear what you like, believe what you want, and say what you feel. We aren’t put off by people who march to a different tune; on the contrary, we value them!
The Gryffindors are OK. If I had a criticism, I’d say Gryffindors tend to be show-offs. They’re also much less tolerant than we are of people who are different; in fact, they’ve been known to make jokes about Ravenclaws who have developed an interest in levitation, or the possible magical uses of troll bogies, or ovomancy, which (as you probably know) is a method of divination using eggs. Gryffindors haven’t got our intellectual curiosity, whereas we’ve got no problem if you want to spend your days and nights cracking eggs in a corner of the common room and writing down your predictions according to the way the yolks fall. In fact, you’ll probably find a few people to help you.
As for the Hufflepuffs, well, nobody could say they’re not nice people. In fact, they’re some of the nicest people in the school. Let’s just say you needn’t worry too much about them when it comes to competition at exam time.
I think that’s nearly everything. Oh yes, our house ghost is the Grey Lady. The rest of the school thinks she never speaks, but she’ll talk to Ravenclaws. She’s particularly useful if you’re lost, or you’ve mislaid something.
And once again: well done on becoming a member of the cleverest, quirkiest and most interesting house at Hogwarts.
I don’t know if anyone else got this feeling, but as I was reading this, I felt that maybe Ravenclaws thought they were better than everyone else. From the bolded parts especially, Ravenclaws sound very cavilar. I don’t know if this is what J.K. Rowling intended, but that’s sure how I felt. Was she trying to depict the typical Ravenclaw with Robert Hilliard?
Take aside all of the arrogance, and its a very pleasant, informative piece. Parts of it, specifically in the third paragraph listed, you get the feel that Ravenclaws kind of dance to a different tune – a modern tune. They are far from old-fashioned. Instead of pointing out one’s differences, they celebrate them. You could call them the hipsters of Hogwarts. Its a futuristic way of thought considering they go to a school in a 9th Century castle.
You can also see some foreshadowing in the second-to-the-last paragraph, when he says “[The Grey Lady is] particularly useful if you’re lost, or you’ve mislaid something.” In a way, it foreshadows to the final book when Harry goes searching for Rowena Ravenclaw’s Lost Diadem which has been lost for centuries (hence the “lost diadem” title ;)).
What do you think about the entry? Do you find Hilliard’s remarks arrogant? Do you disagree? Answer those questions and share your thoughts in the comments below.
Note: The writer of this entry is indeed a Ravenclaw. A Ravenclaw that is now very much in denial…