Ravenclaw is the house that champions those with a ‘ready mind’, yet it has lived a little in Gryffindor’s shadow. But there’s a lot more to Ravenclaw than its reputation for intelligence. Here’s why…
Sybill Trelawney looking mystically mad from the Prisoner of Azkaban

Ravenclaw is famous for welcoming eccentric people

Ravenclaw hasn’t half produced a band of fascinating minds, many of whom touched Harry’s life: from Cho Chang and Moaning Myrtle, to the never-ending abstract charms of Luna Lovegood.

Intensely intelligent, Ravenclaws are also unique and think outside the box. This is usually a good thing, unless by ‘thinking outside the box’ you mean stealing other wizards’ stories and erasing their memories, like a certain Ravenclaw called Gilderoy Lockhart.

Getting into the Ravenclaw common room sounds like a lot of fun

For a house that thrives from bountiful brains, it is not at all surprising that to get into Ravenclaw Tower, one must complete a riddle.

Harry discovered this when accompanying Luna Lovegood to her common room. She answered the deep question ‘Which came first, the phoenix or the flame?’ with an even deeper response: ‘A circle has no beginning.’ So every time a student wants a bit of kip, they have to engage in a philosophical debate first. Classic Ravenclaw.

Ravenclaws aren’t just in it for the glory

Most of Ravenclaw house threw their support behind Cedric Diggory rather than Harry during the Triwizard Tournament. Like Ron, many of them thought Harry had worked some trick to get himself into the competition.

With the exception of Professor Lockhart, Ravenclaws are usually a little more demure when it comes to seeking glory.

They speak their mind

For such clever people, Ravenclaws can also be surprisingly outspoken. The spokesman for unwittingly blunt statements was, of course, Luna, who was often so matter-of-fact about things she could have been a successful stand-up comedian in another life.

From announcing that Harry, Ron and Hermione’s beloved friend Hagrid was ‘not a very good teacher’ to telling Ron that Padma Patil didn’t enjoy being his date at the Yule Ball very much, can we please hire Luna to tell people things we’re too polite to say?

Their house emblem is awesome

With a triumphant eagle as their emblem and a glorious blend of blue and bronze as house colours, anyone Sorted into Ravenclaw is going to look automatically fabulous.

As well as being able to adorn oneself in a rather flattering hue at Quidditch matches, Ravenclaws can also take solace in the fact that their house animal, the eagle, is probably one of the coolest birds out there. The eagle is a symbol of strength, immortality and closely linked to gods Zeus and Odin. Ever-so-slightly more regal than, say, a badger.

…and their founder has the most tragic and intriguing backstory

Rowena Ravenclaw’s story is the saddest and most enchanting of the Hogwarts founders. She built Hogwarts alongside the other three founders. Her daughter Helena is the Grey Lady, ghost of Ravenclaw Tower. Harry learnt her sad story while tracking down the magical artefacts that Voldemort made into Horcruxes, including Ravenclaw’s lost diadem.

The Grey Lady drifted silently down Hogwarts corridors with no explanation for many years. We finally learnt that the reason this ghost never cracked a smile was due to a grave secret. Out of jealousy of her mother’s cleverness, Helena stole Rowena’s diadem – a powerful object that gives the wearer wisdom.

Despite Helena’s theft, a fatally ill Rowena Ravenclaw sent the Bloody Baron to track her down, which he did, but with further tragic consequences.