Getting sorted in Pottermore can be a traumatic experience for some people.  Many fans self-sorted themselves long ago.  They’ve bought  the “right” house ties and robes for their wardrobe, use House appropriate nicknames, etc.

So what really happens when you get sorted in Pottermore?

The sorting takes place when you reach Chapter 7- The Sorting Hat moment.  The test is a combination of personality test and literally a flip of the coin.    I suspect that a number of questions are set up to put you in potentially two houses and then a series of “coin flip” questions helps select which of the two you’d enter.  You can try to “game” the answers but that “coin flip” could easily throw you off…especially if the system is looking to balance the numbers between houses.  Somehow I really doubt there are an equal number Slytherins and Hufflepuffs in the world.

Questions are multiple choice.  The personality trait questions include what would you most like to learn at Hogwarts or or what do you want to most be known for?   The “flip of the coin” are literally “heads or tails” or “black or white.”

Your mood can also influence the final decision-making you choice and object or a road that maybe you wouldn’t have selected had you been in a better (or worse) mood.

For those who are put into the “wrong” house, this sense of injustice comes from a truth that we found out about in the second book. That is…the hat will take your choice into account.    So for those who feel they are in the wrong house–do you think it could possibly be a misperception of your strengths or the true nature of the houses?  Afterall, it’s JK Rowling’s world and she’s the one who makes up the rules.  Or, do you feel cheated that the system did not give you an option?

There are two possible remedies for this “injustice.”   The first is for the Pottermore system to consider give people an option (of at least two houses) once the beta testing is complete.  The second is that you wait for the system to be opened to the general public and get a new account so you can attempt to “game” the system. 

If you are selected for the same house the second time then may I share with you the Kubler-Ross 5-step model for grief and overcoming it…with a few modifications.  It’s usually for a traumatic loss. Then again, people are getting traumatized when the see the sorting hat results.

  1. Denial — “This can’t be happening, not to me.”
    Denial is the first emotion. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of possessions (and how much money you spent on House-related items)  and individuals that will be left behind (since you no longer belong to that meet-up). 
  2. Anger — “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?”
    Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Denial is replaced by anger, rage and even envy.  The system programmers are blamed for not setting up the sorting test correctly or not fully understanding JK Rowling’s descriptions of the Houses.
  3. Bargaining — “I’ll do anything…”; “I will give my life savings if…”
    The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death entering the House in question. Usually, the negotiation for a second chance  is made with a higher power. For example, sending crazy tweets to JK Rowling or  Melissa Anelli of The Leaky Cauldron  in the middle of the night in exchange for a re-set of their profile (sorry folks, this won’t work).  Psychologically, the individual is saying, “I understand I will die be sorted into X  House., but if I could just do something to try again one more time…”
  4. Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to be stuck in this House so what’s the point?”; “Why go on exploring the rest of the Pottermore site?”
    During the fourth stage, the person begins to understand the certainty of the sorting. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse friends, hide their usernames, deny that they have beta access to Pottermore, and/or spend much of the time sulking. This process allows the sortee to disconnect from things of love and affection (ie the Potterverse). feeling. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage.  It is an important time for grieving that must be processed so dont’ be bragging about your house or your wand.  They don’t want to hear it!
  5. Acceptance — “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it (my house), I may as well join it.”
    In this last stage, individuals begin to come to terms with their house assignment, or that of a loved one, or other tragic event.

For more information on the five stages of grief check out:

For more on the sorting ceremony check out this blog: