The Harry Potter franchise – with all of its books, films, stage adaptations, and theme park attractions – has been analyzed greatly. But with so many ever-evolving aspects, there’s always more to discuss.
One core element of Harry’s magical school that still deserves more unpacking: Slytherin house. Based on the archaic division system at Hogwarts, Slytherin comprises one-quarter of the entire Hogwarts school. And yet, there are major tenets of it that make absolutely no sense.
One questions fans have is why Severus Snape would be allowed to be head of house. Draco Malfoy as a prefect makes sense because the Malfoy family has a lot of pull with the school, but there’s really no reason for Snape to be in charge of Slytherin.
Not only was he a former Death Eater, but he was also actively toxic to his students. There is no plausible academic setting in which “Dumbledore vouched for him” would be a passable defense to any sort of greater oversight committee.
Granted, Slytherin house was built by someone who was also unsavory. Snape may not be a good guy, but the history of Slytherin is populated with leaders who were even worse than him. The founder, Salazar Slytherin, was always up to no good.
For example, it was he who devised the Chamber of Secrets as a way to teach certain students in peace away from the watchful eyes of his three co-founders. Putting aside the notion of why they’d want to work with him anyway, how did they never notice this massive bit of infrastructure that also contained a basilisk? It’s nonsense.
This is a nonsensical element that might apply for Hogwarts, as a whole, and not just Slytherin house. But seriously, whenever the houses gather in the Great Hall, there is always a perfectly even amount of students at each table!
What’s the Sorting Hat up to here? Does he sort a whole bunch of clever students in Ravenclaw and heartful students in Gryffindor and then look at who he has left to sort and see that he’s eight kids behind in Slytherin? Are the kids with surnames beginning towards the end of the alphabet just thrust into Slytherin because they need to make up the numbers? There can’t always be the same amount of easily divisible kids, right? It seems strange to imagine the houses are always perfectly equitable.