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Hogwarts House Animal Meanings: Lion, Eagle, Serpent, and Badger

Hogwarts House Animal Meanings: Lion, Eagle, Serpent, and Badger

Each of Hogwarts Houses has a badge with an animal on it that represents the house. These badges are not merely for show. There are meaningful reasons why Gryffindor is a lion, Slytherin is a snake, Hufflepuff is a badger, and Ravenclaw is an eagle.

Much like one names a sports team after a specific object or animal, the houses wear their namesakes proudly. Not only do these animals signify the meaning of the respective houses, but they also say specific things about the member’s personalities.

Additionally, each house resembles an element—Gryffindor is fire, Ravenclaw is air, Slytherin is water, and Hufflepuff is earth.

This article will dive into the Harry Potter badge meanings and why each animal is appropriate to the corresponding house.

Gryffindor Badge Lion Meaning

Gryffindor House Personality Traits Good and Bad
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The Lion badge represents Gryffindor students’ bravery, courage, and daring nature. Those sorted into Gryffindor House have strength of heart and a solid moral compass. Lions are also associated with justice and chivalry.

Lions are the “kings of the jungle,” and not many animals dare to take on lions in a fight. Gryffindor is, in general, the top-rated house and has produced many great wizards and witches.

One of the less glamorous character traits that lions and Gryffindors share are laziness. When they are not ruling their kingdom, lions sleep for up to 18 hours a day.

Gryffindors achieve great things but do not always apply themselves to the mundane tasks of life. For example, Ron Weasley makes many significant, selfless sacrifices. But then he tries to convince Hermione to do his homework for him.

Other houses might argue that applying yourself to everyday tasks of life prepares you for the big moments.

Learn more about Gryffindor’s good and bad personality traits.

Is the Gryffindor animal a Griffin?

While the founding father of Gryffindor’s last name implies that the crest should be a griffin, he chose a lion instead.

A griffin does have the body of a lion but differs in that it has wings and the head of an eagle. It may be confusing because, as we will discuss, Ravenclaw’s animal is an eagle.

Arguably, the crest of the Ravenclaw could be a griffin just as much as it could be the crest for Gryffindor.

Ravenclaw Badge Eagle Meaning

Ravenclaw House Personality Traits Good and Bad
Craig Russell /

The Eagle badge represents Ravenclaws and their knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom. The quote associated with Ravenclaws is that they “soar where others cannot climb.”

As all the other houses admit, Ravenclaws are the logical and wise students Hogwarts desperately needs.

The elements are a large part of the meaning behind the animals of the houses. The language of birds (shrill singing and chirping) was thought by alchemists to be superior to our language.

Learn more about Ravenclaws’s good and bad personality traits.

Why is Ravenclaw an eagle and not a raven?

It seems like it would make more sense for Ravenclaw’s animal to be a raven instead of an eagle. However, eagles are most associated with the element of air and seen as prominent and regal creatures throughout history.

Eagles are seen as the “king of the skies” and fly higher than any other bird. They are seen as powerful and strong.

Ravens are also very smart. Ravens are problem-solvers and prepare for the future. Some people even train ravens to speak.

Nonetheless, just because “raven” is in the name Ravenclaw does not mean it has to be the house’s defining animal.

Slytherin Badge Serpent Meaning

Slytherin Personality Traits Good and Bad - Crest of Slytherin House at the Making of Harry Potter
Craig Russell /

The snake badge corresponds to Slytherins and how they are crafty, clever, and cunning. Slytherins are also sly in this way. They can be simultaneously manipulative and make some good decisions as well.

Additionally, snakes are associated with immortality and rebirth.

Lord Voldemort is the prime example of this. He attempted to achieve immortality and accomplished rebirth in his lifetime.

While Gryffindors and lions might seem like the best pairing of a house with an animal, Slytherins and snakes arguably might be better.

Learn more about Slytherin’s good and bad personality traits.

What kind of snake is on the Slytherin Crest?

The Slytherin crest consists of a silver snake that is not a specific type of snake.

This house received its namesake because its founder, Salazar Slytherin, was a parselmouth. He could communicate with snakes, which was rare.

Tom Riddle inherited this trait as a descendant of Slytherin himself. Harry Potter was able to do it only because of his connection to Voldemort.

Is the Slytherin snake a serpent?

While the type of snake is not specified, we learn about Salazar Slytherin’s serpent that he kept in the Chamber of Secrets, a Basilisk. So, maybe Basilisks are a good representative of Slytherin House since this is the serpent of Salazar’s choosing.

Dark Wizards typically bred basilisks, such as Salazar Slytherin himself. Naturally, these creatures had no master and did whatever they pleased.

However, Tom Riddle was able to communicate and command the Basilisk through Parseltongue, the language of snakes.

Looking a basilisk in the eye caused instant death, and looking it in the eye through a mirror or a ghost caused that person to be petrified. Basilisk’s venom is highly poisonous, the only known antidote being phoenix tears.

Hufflepuff Badge Badger Meaning

Hufflepuff House Personality Traits Good and Bad
Craig Russell /

Hufflepuff House’s animal is a badger. Many people think this is fitting because badgers are gentle, adorable creatures. Plus they are seemingly harmless. In reality, they can take on much larger animals than themselves.

Just like badgers, Hufflepuffs keep to themselves, and they are not aggressive unless provoked. Others see their non-threatening, kind nature as their biggest flaw.

However, they are intense and fearless fighters when it counts.

Compared to the animals of the other houses, it is not most people’s first choice.

Interestingly, honey badgers are nearly immune to snake venom. Hufflepuffs are not easily ruffled and do not take offense to a cruel comment from a Slytherin.

It takes more than that to set them off. They are loyal, and you can rely on them to be there when you need them.

Learn more about Hufflepuffs’s good and bad personality traits.

See more: Hogwarts School Motto Meaning: Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus