Generally, the House of Slytherin is perceived to be the “evil” house — the house that spawned ever dark wizard in recent history. Of course, this is a lie. Pottermore itself says that an equal amount of dark wizards spring from all the other houses (yes, even Hufflepuff), they just don’t own up to it. Remember Peter Pettigrew? He was an amateur at being evil, but that Gryffindor was pretty darn evil. Professor Quirrell? House Ravenclaw. And yet Severus Snape was a Slytherin, and so was Regulus Black. Let’s be honest, if an entire quarter of a school system was going to eventually grow up to be evil, why would you even bother teaching those people magic?
It’s fair to say that perhaps this anti-Slytherin sentiment is colored by the fact that we mostly see Hogwarts through Harry’s eyes, and it’s not as though Draco Malfoy is the poster child for a “good” Slytherin. In fact, with a few exceptions, it would probably be almost impossible to find a decent Slytherin given the “unfair slant” we’re exposed to in the book series itself. So why not look outside of the book series? We've already compiled lists of novels every Slytherin should read, with a special focus on a specific series, but let's have fun and do a little sorting of our own. I’ve compiled a list of seven literary characters who would definitely be sorted into house Slytherin if they were ever sent to Hogwarts. Take a look, maybe you’ll agree with me.
1. Victor Frankenstein from Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
It could be argued that Frankenstein, with his book-learning and total nerdiness, is definitely a Ravenclaw. You would be wrong, unfortunately. Do you think that Rowena Ravenclaw, who values wit and wisdom, would actually appreciate messing around with the balance of life and death? Heck no, that Icarus-like flying-too-close-to-the-sun mentality is completely and totally Slytherin. Raising a corpse from the dead and then freaking out and running away is probably something Draco Malfoy has already done. Obsessive, ambitious, and willing to bend the very rules of reality itself. Yup, I know where the Sorting Hat would put Frankenstein.
2. Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
It could also be argued that Scarlett and Rhett are basically the Slytherin power couple of the century, but of course Scarlett O'Hara is a Slytherin. Determined, ambitious, and willing to do anything to get what she wants, Scarlett borders on downright evil. Do you think a Gryffindor would even conceive of marrying their sister's beau in order to take over a lumber mill and save her beloved home? I think not. That sort of serious determination and willingness to do whatever it takes in order to save herself and the land she (begrudgingly) loves is all Slytherin. It's really unfortunate, however, that she thinks she's in love with SUCH a Hufflepuff for so many years.
3. Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar
Blair Waldorf is the ultimate high school mean girl. Seriously, she's Napoleon Bonaparte in a blazer and a plaid skirt. Although the literary Blair Waldorf is a little bit different than her completely TV counterpart, the core tenants of her personality are the same. Blair Waldorf knows what she wants, and she loves ruling her clique on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There is an impossible drive inside of Blair — a person who has all of the wealth and privilege you could possibly get this day in age but still wants more. She's essentially a non-magical Hermione Granger, and yet her drive is more about status, romance, and power than bravery and the good of mankind. In fact, Gryffindor would simply hold her back, which makes Blair a true Slytherin.
4. Lestat de Lioncourt from Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
Name any other house that would have a member who would destroy the life of a five-year-old girl in order to keep his boyfriend from leaving him. His addition to the list may not portray House Slytherin in the best of lights, but it is what it is. Lestat is snobbish and a bit of a brat, but he also ends up being the most powerful vampire in the world by the time he's through. As a French aristocrat, a mortal and magical Lestat de Lioncourt is used to the finer things in life, but his gothic sensibilities would absolutely put him at home in the eerily lit Slytherin common room underneath the lake. His sense of drama, desire for power, and bratty nature would make him a Slytherin prefect in no time.
5. Lord Henry "Harry" Wotton from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
To quote the poor painter Basil to Lord Henry Wotton, "You never say a moral thing, and you never do a wrong thing." Lord Henry Wotton is a Slytherin, indeed. Although he corrupts poor Dorian Gray with his lifestyle of hedonism, Wotton himself seems to lurk behind the scenes, preferring to manipulate the people around him with his trademark elegance and wit, not willing to get his hands dirty himself unless he absolutely has to. This is much like how the Slytherins (and some of the Ravenclaws) ended up holding back during the Battle of Hogwarts until the best time to join the fray. Indeed, I believe that in House Slytherin, Lord Wotton would absolutely find his true friends, and would probably end up bringing a lot of awesome witty repartee to the table.
6. Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Peeta may seem like a Hufflepuff, but looks can be deceiving. Who was the person who originally came up with the idea to fabricate the romance in order to stir up civil unrest? Peeta. Who was the one who knew how to absolutely work a crowd, while Katniss (a Gryffindor, probably) could barely face the television cameras? Who manipulated the career tributes into allowing him to join the group even though he never actually killed anyone during the course of the Hunger Games? Who was pretty much the master of making himself look like vegetation in order to hide from the other contestants? Peeta Mellark, Slytherin extraordinaire.
7. Sherlock Holmes from A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Yes, some people may think that Sherlock Holmes is a Ravenclaw, and I bet that the Sorting Hat would have a very rough time figuring out exactly where to put Sherlock, but after much deliberation, he could truly only be considered Slytherin. For one, Holmes's knowledge isn't as comprehensive as a Ravenclaw's would be. Instead, it seems as though he's highly specialized; he could tell you the soil composition of nearly every county in England, but couldn't tell you if the Earth revolved around the sun. Sherlock would be right at home in the dungeons working on Potions, which seems to be a favorite of the Slytherin set. With his obsessive nature and love of lording his intelligence over others, he'll probably annoy even the most slithery Slytherin, but there's nowhere else he could possibly be.
Image: Warner Bros. Pictures