House Slytherin has certainly got a bad rap in the Harry Potter universe due to its dark history and connection to malicious wizards or witches. Whether it be the heinous crimes of Tom Riddle or the snobby remarks of Draco Malfoy, fans are almost conditioned to disliking this chaotic bunch, especially when its founder held a prejudice against Muggle-Borns and is the reason the baleful Chamber of Secrets was created. It also doesn’t help that Harry Potter, himself, whispers the iconic line, “not Slytherin,” when he is being sorted, leading viewers or watchers to believe that the house isn’t worthy enough.
I, too, had been convinced that Slytherin was a sinister crew, given that the books and films continuously showed their callous behavior with students and teachers. However, my perspective began to change with Draco’s character arc in Half-Blood Prince until it finally evolved into a flat-out declaration of love for the house in Hogwarts Legacy. Don’t get me wrong, I am a dedicated Gryffindor enthusiast, but it’s nice to see a change of pace with the game, where it doesn’t constantly ridicule this specific group.
One of the first pieces of evidence of this change can be seen in the introduction to the Slytherin student Sebastian Sallow, who befriends you no matter what house you are in. Not only will he help you in various missions, but he also showcases a sensitive side regarding his ill sister, differing from the cold-hearted nature we’ve seen before.
However, Sebastian isn’t the only Slytherin student who displays a kind-hearted persona since there’s a variety of characters that will support players along their adventures. For example, if you are sorted into the house, several individuals, like Imelda Reyes and Ominis Gaunt, will happily welcome you to the school. It’s also interesting to add that Ominis isn’t proud of his ancestry as a direct descendant of Salazar Slytherin because of the founder’s animosity towards non-pure bloods. So, instead of the typical line of, “do you know who my family is?”, it’s more like taking accountability and recognizing the faults within his lineage.
As for those sorted into different houses, the scenarios play out differently from the welcoming party since the characters can be a bit competitive toward players. Yet, they still express their benevolent nature as time goes on. In particular, when I met Reyes as a Gryffindor, she was resentful towards me at the beginning until she finally let her guard down and expressed her admiration for my flying skills. Therefore, even if you don’t have a good first impression, the Slytherins will slither into your heart by hyping you up, as well as assisting you.
Compared to other houses, the mean factor isn’t just limited to a particular set of students this time, considering that Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Gryffindor members can be rude to you too. That said, it demonstrates that a single person’s cruelty doesn’t indicate that everyone in the house is truly evil; anyone can be good or bad, depending on the circumstances.
Reddit user Joebranflakes discusses this subject further by mentioning the negative impacts of “identity politics” taking over a social group, regarding how Tom Riddle’s actions influence us to think that all of Slytherin are vile. Nevertheless, Hogwarts Legacy’s storytelling diminishes this separation and relatively balances the outlook of every house, including the teachers.
Speaking of professors, Aesop Sharp and Abraham Ronen (who are a part of Slytherin) are another reason why my bias against Salazar’s house changed due to their unique personalities and helpful teaching methods. While Sharp’s aloof disposition may seem like a copycat to Severus Snape, he encourages you in your studies and values your liability if you get into trouble. But, what displays the most diverse approach to this bunch is Ronen’s incredibly outgoing personality, a completely different aspect that hasn’t been done before.
I was even surprised to learn that Abraham is a part of the house since he always keeps the class going with his upbeat attitude. It just goes to show that not everyone is the same, and not every Slytherin has to be cruel.
So, now that Hogwarts Legacy has finally given the house some justice, more players could be joining the “dark side,” thanks to the broader outlook on students and teachers. I may even try out this household in my second playthrough because of my interactions with these individuals, and maybe you will too. It’s about time to get rid of the division between the houses and share the love for each one in the magical universe of Harry Potter.
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