Colors hold magic and Harry Potter witnessed it wonderfully!
It was the year 1997 when a struggling writer in her 30s made her debut in the book industry with a book about the magical world and a child of prophecy. No one knew back then that this would be the beginning of something that in coming years won’t even need an introduction. Just the simple round specs or a lightning bolt mark or the ‘H’ written in bold on a crest would make people smile and remember the entire epic.
Harry Potter has been a part of everyone’s childhood and no one can thank J.K. Rowling enough for the beautiful gift she gave to the literary world. No matter if you prefer movies or books, Harry Potter is a place where people of either preference come together to share their love and appreciation for the magical world of Hogwarts. Speaking of Hogwarts, you would be lying if you say to me, you never wondered which house you will be sorted into and what you will be – a brave Gryffindor, an intellectual Ravenclaw, a hardworking Hufflepuff, or an ambitious Slytherin.
Whatever may be your preference, you know all houses are unique on their own (but still you prefer yours more, don’t you?). People of all ages excitedly take the quiz on Pottermore, the official website for all Potterheads to experience the magical world closely, to find out which house they belong to. We have to do this for two reasons – 1) We don’t have the Sorting Hat and 2) I guess, we are muggles and this is all we get (sigh!).
But today, I am not going to tell you what each house means but how the filmmakers of Harry Potter and JK Rowling’s brilliance did with these houses. While portraying on a visual medium, it was important that colors are used to symbolize the meaning behind each house. Colors are a strong medium of conveying deep emotions without the use of words and JK Rowling wished to do the exact same thing. She wanted us to see a combination of red and gold and automatically associate it with Gryffindor.
Besides creating an association of the colors with their houses, there was another intention of using these colors. Colors often represent a personality trait of individuals in some discreet and secretive manner. The author of Harry Potter used this to her advantage and besides just obviously telling the features of each house, she used colors to show side by side what these houses represent.
The color Red often is associated with love, passion, leadership, anger, and strength. The color Gold represents illumination, compassion, magic, bravery, and courage. Together, these colors began to represent the characteristics of every individual in Gryffindor. So, in the character of Harry, Hermione, or Ginny Weasley, we find a magical mixture of compassion, leadership, and courage.
Blue is symbolic of vastness, great depth like ocean or lake. It is peaceful and calm, very much like the intellectual Ravenclaw members. The color blue also symbolizes open spaces, freedom, imagination, sensitivity- all those traits that our dear friend Luna Lovegood inherits. Every time you want to enter the Ravenclaw common room, you have to solve a riddle and prove your wit, do you remember?
Yellow is bright, playful, and friendly. It is refreshing and joyous. It is the most optimistic color- very close to the people of Hufflepuff. Along with yellow they have the color black in their flag. Black symbolizes strength, seriousness, power- which makes one a worthy Hufflepuff, just like the Hogwarts heart-throb, Cedric Diggory.
Green is related to safety, environment, harmony and also, jealousy, ambition, cunningness, etc. Do the last traits remind you of a rich boy with silver hair and a habit of saying, ‘Potter!’ often? Yes, these are the traits of Slytherin house members. Apart from green, silver is the color of Slytherin. If you remember biblical history, silver always represents betrayal. What else can be the color of Tom Riddle (AKA Lord Voldemort)?
So you see how each house color reveals more about the respective characters than you have ever discovered. We are a generation that has grown up watching and reading Harry Potter and loving every aspect of it. Deep down, we still wait for our Hogwarts letter. Whenever you see a person dressed in something green, you think for once at least, ‘Ah, an heir of Slytherin’, or when you see a pretty girl in a blue hoodie, you say ‘A smart Ravenclaw’!