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Godric Gryffindor Character Analysis: Sword, Personality Traits, Family & Patronus

Godric Gryffindor Character Analysis: Sword, Personality Traits, Family & Patronus

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Godric Gryffindor is one of the four wizards that founded Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the 10th century and is considered one of the greatest wizards of his age. His home village in the West Country is known as Godric’s Hollow in his honor.

He prized bravery and a willingness to fight for what is right among all things. He was considered one of the best duellists ever to have lived, both in magical combat and with a sword. The wizard chose students with these characteristics to be members of his house, Gryffindor.

When the founders were worried about who would sort students after they were gone, he removed his hat, and with the help of the other three co-founders of Hogwarts, enchanted it to become the sorting hat.

Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin were great friends, but they differed in their attitudes towards muggle-born wizards. While Slytherin believed that only pure-blooded wizards should learn magic, Gryffindor strongly supported the rights of muggle-borns to learn and study at Hogwarts. This caused a rift between the two, and Slytherin left the school.

About Godric Gryffindor

BornPre 976 in the West Country, England
Died11th century (assumed)
Blood StatusPure or Half-Blood
OccupationCo-Founder of Hogwarts
PatronusLion (assumed)
HouseGryffindor
WandUnknown wood and core
Zodiac SignLeo (speculative)
OtherCreated Gryffindor’s sword
Created the Sorting Hat

Godric Gryffindor Personality Type & Traits

Gryffindor was well-known for his bravery and valor, and these were the principal qualities that he sought in students for Gryffindor house. He believed in the value of the martial arts and was one of the best duellists ever to have lived, both in terms of martial magic and swordsmanship.

Gryffindor procured his famous sword so that he could fight with muggles when necessary. He considered it unfair to use magical means against a muggle component.

Fighting without magic also allowed him to test himself and grow. Self-development seems to be another character trait that Gryffindor possessed and prized.

Despite his warrior attitude and natural leadership ability, Gryffindor seems to have had no problem cooperating with his fellow Hogwarts founders Rowena Ravenclaw, Helga Hufflepuff, and Salazar Slytherin. In fact, when the group worried about who would sort students on arrival, Gryffindor removed his own hat to create the magical sorting hat to continue to sort students along their principles in the years to come.

But it is also that Gryffindor could stand his ground. He did not budge when his close friend Slytherin wanted to exclude muggle-borns from Hogwarts. Instead, he believed that anyone with the talent and bravery to learn magic should be allowed to do so at the school. Gryffindor’s will won in the end, and Slytherin was forced out of the school.

Godric Gryffindor Zodiac Sign & Birthday

Leo Zodiac Sign Symbol with Dates

J.K. Rowling never tells us Godric Gryffindor’s birthdate, and therefore his zodiac sign is unknown. Nevertheless, many fans speculate that he was probably a Leo, so with a birthday between July 23 and August 22.

He is often described as looking lion-like, and he shows the bravery and charm of a Leo.

Also, Harry Potter, arguable the most famous member of Gryffindor house after Godric himself, is also a Leo.

Godric Gryffindor Sword

Godric Gryffindor Sword

The most famous artifact associated with Godric Gryffindor is his sword. This sword is kept in the headmaster’s office at Hogwarts and comes to Harry’s aid in the Chamber of Secrets when he calls. The blade was also used to destroy three of Lord Voldemort’s Horcruxes.

Unlike many other magical artifacts we encounter at Hogwarts, Gryffindor did not make his sword. We learn from the Goblin Griphook in the final Harry Potter book that the silver-sword was made by the Goblin Ragnuk the First a thousand years earlier at the time of Gryffindor.

There is some controversy about the ownership of the sword. While wizards believe that Gryffindor gave Ragnuk the specifications and purchased the sword from him fairly, Goblins believe that the sword was only ever on loan and should have been returned after Gryffindor’s death. So, in their opinion, the sword was stolen and rightfully belonged to them.

The blade was enchanted so that it could not be damaged. It would only ever be strengthened by whatever it touches.

Gryffindor’s Sword in the Harry Potter Books

After the death of Godric Gryffindor, we first see the sword when Harry is in the chamber of secrets and calls for help. The Phoenix Fawkes arrives with the sorting hat in its talons. The sword materializes within the hat, and Harry can use it to kill the Basilisk.

The sword was imbued with the strength of the Basilisk at this time, making it one of the few weapons capable of destroying Horcruxes. Dumbledore destroys Marvolo’s ring with the sword.

When Dumbledore dies, he wills the sword to Harry, but the Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour, is unwilling to pass it on. He says that it was not Dumbledore’s to give.

Suspecting this outcome, Dumbledore placed a copy of the sword in his office. He put the actual sword in a hidden compartment behind his portrait.

In the end, this thwarted more than the Ministry of Magic. The counterfeit sword was later passed to Bellatrix Lestrange. She stored the sword in her vault at Gringotts along with Helga Hufflepuff’s cup.

As the new principal of Hogwarts, Severus Snape was able to secretly pass the real sword to Harry and his friends. He hid the sword in the forest near them and used his Patronus to draw them to the sword. In the end, Ron retrieved the sword, and used it to destroy the locket Horcrux.

After this, the Goblin Griphook only agrees to help Harry, Ron, and Hermione break into Gringotts to retrieve Helga Hufflepuff’s cup if he is given the sword. They agree to the terms but don’t intend to honor the agreement, at least not immediately. But in the end, they are given no choice as the Goblin steals the sword and runs off.

But the enchantment of the sword to help Gryffindors in need holds firm. The sword appears within the sorting hat again during the Battle of Hogwarts; Neville retrieves the sword and uses it to slay many foes. He also destroys Voldermort’s snake Nagini, the last Horcrux (aside from Harry himself).

Godric Gryffindor Patronus

A Patronus is a non-corporeal shield that some talented wizards can generate to protect themselves against dark forces, such as the Dementors.

A Patronus will take the form of an animal and reveal something about the personality of the caster.

Rowling never specifically noted the form of Godric Gryffindor’s Patronus. But it was very likely a lion. Gryffindor is said to have looked like a lion, and the animal symbol of Gryffindor house is also a lion.

Godric Gryffindor Descendants & Family Tree

We don’t know anything concrete about Godric Gryffindor’s descendants from the books. However, there is a strong suggestion that either Dumbledore, Harry, or both are related to Gryffindor. This is because both of their family homes are at Godric’s Hollow.

There is also a potential link between Gryffindor and the Peverells. The brothers that owned the deathly hallows were also from Godric’s Hollow.

In Harry’s case, his descent must be through his father, James Potter, as his mother was muggle-born. Harry is related to the Peverells, as he inherits the invisibility cloak, one of the deathly hallows, through his father.

Godric Gryffindor Portrait

Godric Gryffindor's Portrait

Gryffindor’s portrait hangs at Hogwarts guarding a secret shortcut between the seventh-floor landing of the Grand Staircase and the Entrance Hall side room. Interestingly, there does not seem to be a portrait of him in the headmaster’s office.

Gryffindor is tall and muscular with red lion-like hair and beard. He wears magnificent red rives with gold highlights and is always with his sword. Perhaps this is where the sword stays when it is not appearing out of the sorting hat.