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Slytherin House Personality Traits: Good and Bad

Slytherin House Personality Traits: Good and Bad

Slytherins are full of both good and bad personality traits that make them who they are.

Slytherin House has the worst reputation of all the houses and while some of it is for good reason, granted it produced the ultimate dark wizard, not all Slytherins are inherently bad.

There is more to a Slytherin than meets the eye.

What kind of a person is a Slytherin?

Slytherins are highly complex individuals that are intelligent, ambitious, resourceful, quick-witted, and cunning. While some poor Slytherins reputations do precede them, Slytherins can actually be the most relatable of the Houses at Hogwarts.

Good Slytherin TraitsBad Slytherin Traits
Problem-solversRule breakers

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Good Slytherin Personality Traits

Slytherins are not inherently bad; they are determined, highly intelligent, problem-solvers, and full of self-confidence. Slytherins are fiercely loyal to their family and friends and stand by those they love. All of these traits combined make Slytherins great and successful leaders.


Salazar Slytherin Hogwarts Founders
Salazar Slytherin – One of the four founders of Hogwarts School

Even though the method of accomplishing their goals might not be the best way to do it, when a Slytherin sets their mind to something, they achieve it.

For example, Salazar Slytherin, one of the cofounders of Hogwarts, made a point to primarily have pureblood, cunning, and ambitious witches and wizards sorted into Slytherin House.

While his idea of muggle-born wizards being “less than” was not well-respected, the legacy of Slytherin House and what they stood for lived on, proving that Slytherins know what they want, and they go for it.


Severus Snape Half Blood Prince
Severus Snape

Although intelligence is the staple quality of Ravenclaw house, it doesn’t mean the other houses are less intelligent or that intelligence means only being “book smart”.

Slytherins are always aware of their surroundings, quick on their feet, clever, and resourceful. Snape proves himself to be highly intelligent when we learn that he’s the Half-Blood Prince and has been creating and perfecting a variety of powerful potions.

Strong leaders

Tom Riddle Plot to open the Chamber of Secrets
Tom Riddle and Harry Potter

Slytherins encompass all the characteristics of a strong leader even though their priorities and intentions do not always line up with the “right thing.”

Tom Riddle is the prime example of a wizard with great success in establishing loyal followers (even if it’s mostly out of fear).

Severus Snape, for all his shortcomings, stands strong in what he believes in and teaches others to do the same. And lastly, Salazar Slytherin was considered one of the brightest wizards of his generation as a cofounder of Hogwarts.


Malfoy Family
Malfoy Family

Loyalty is a character trait you may have never associated with a Slytherin, but if you look closer, you’ll see that loyalties to certain people (or ideas) run deep in Slytherin House.

An example of this is the Malfoy family and how much they’re willing to sacrifice for each other. When Harry tells Narcissa Malfoy that Draco is alive, she is willing to betray Voldemort in hopes of saving her son.

While she was seemingly loyal to Voldemort, her true loyalties remained with her family first and foremost.


Draco Malfoy's Gang
Draco Malfoy’s Gang

One thing Slytherins do not lack is self-assurance and self-confidence. As mentioned before, they are intentionally loyal, but also incredibly self-reliant.

Since Slytherins don’t trust easily they tend to count on themselves to get the job done. You might notice this in the way Draco bosses Crabbe and Goyle around and has them do things for him, but if he wants something done right, he does it himself.

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Bad Slytherin Personality Traits

Not all of them, but most Slytherins are prideful, malicious, rule-breakers, sneaky, and manipulative. They get what they want, but usually by stepping on, hurting, or using the people around them to do it.


Voldemort and Harry Potter Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter and Voldemort

There’s a fine line between being self-confident and being prideful, and Slytherins cross that line frequently when they think of themselves more highly than others.

As the proverb goes, “pride goes before a fall,” and a Slytherin knows this very well.

Arrogance often leads to disaster and we see this manifested in Lord Voldemort each time he overestimates himself and underestimates Harry, only to be defeated in the end.


Slytherin Quidditch
Slytherin Quidditch Team

It’s true that not all Slytherins are cruel, but as you can see how Draco and his friends, and even Professor Snape, treat the other students, it’s a plausible conclusion that Slytherins are malicious.

In general, they don’t care who they hurt as long as it benefits them.

While we do see the softer side of many who come from Slytherin, excluding Voldemort of course, the overwhelming evidence points to Slytherins being unfair or mean to those outside their inner circle.

Rule Breakers

Draco Malfoy Quidditch
Draco Malfoy Playing Quidditch

While we see Harry, Hermione, and Ron frequent Dumbledore’s office for being disobedient, Slytherins are different in the sense that they enjoy pushing the boundaries when it comes to rule following.

If it serves them, they’re more than happy to oblige, but when it no longer benefits their wellbeing, they’re ready to wreak havoc.


Tom Riddle and Professor Slughorn
Professor Slughorn and Tom Riddle

Maybe being sneaky wasn’t so bad when it was Snape tricking the Dark Lord, but most of us can see past his questionable actions for the greater good.

Slytherin House is credited with being sly, cunning, and sneaky and you couldn’t be fully sure they were telling you the truth or lying to you.

After all, Tom Riddle even fooled Professor Slughorn under the guise of wanting to learn. Granted their mascot is a snake, and snakes are known for being sly, it makes sense.



No matter what House, every person can be manipulative, however, Slytherins enjoy manipulating others into helping them or achieving something.

Not all Slytherins of course, but in the same way that a bad apple can ruin the bunch, the ones that are manipulative tend to stand out.

The best example of this is Lord Voldemort himself. He stopped at nothing to manipulate those around him to get what he wanted, no matter the cost.

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What are the zodiac signs of Slytherin?

If you are a Slytherin, then you are more than likely a Scorpio or a Capricorn. Both Slytherins and Scorpios tend to be emotional at heart, but ambitious in thought and action. Capricorns and Slytherins are both determined, and their hard work is unmatched.


Scorpio Zodiac Sign Symbol with Dates

Scorpios are commonly misunderstood in the same way Slytherins are often misconstrued as the house no one wants to be in (unless of course you come from Slytherin lineage).

We see this in the way Harry whispers, “Please not Slytherin. Please not Slytherin,” when wearing the Sorting Hat.


Capricorn Zodiac Sign Symbol and Dates

Capricorns are very ambitious and goal oriented. They know what they want and take the steps necessary to achieve it.

Capricorns and Slytherins are patient in their success, which makes a lot of sense when you consider how many years it took Tom Riddle to gather his followers in order to destroy Harry and take over Hogwarts.

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Slytherin House Personality

All in all, Slytherins tend to live in the “grey area” more than Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff.

Slytherins are arguably the most relatable of the four Houses because they’re at least honest about their shortcomings.

Slytherins are fiercely loyal to their own, highly intelligent, goal-oriented, and achieve success when they put their minds to something.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get close enough to see the soft side of a Slytherin someday.

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