Hawkins Heroes in Hogwarts Houses

Two summers ago, Netflix took the worlds of science fiction, horror, and youth adult story writing by storm when it unleashed the first season of its newest original series, Stranger Things. Set in the quiet suburban American neighborhood of Hawkins, Indiana, the lives of a select handful of 80’s kids usually dismissed by their baby boomer parents rapidly become exceedingly complicated when three mysteriously disappear. Will Byers goes missing on the sinister Mirkwood road, a street leading into the dense woods surrounding a reclusive laboratory; Elle, a small girl with buzzed hair and tattooed wrist, escapes the clutches of scientists hell bent on turning her into a weapon to fight the Russians; and a faithful, intuitive best friend named Barb vanishes into thin air on a social recluse’s camera.                  


Currently in its second season with a third in the works, Stranger Things is becoming a cult classic faster than Dart can chow down Three Musketeers chocolate bars. Teens and young adults are inhaling the marvelous misadventures of these twelve to seventeen year olds somewhat similarly to how we impatiently awaited for our Hogwarts owls not so long ago. In the early 2000’s, we loved the little boy wizard who escaped the cupboard under the stairs and ventured into a world of pure magic, and now in the late 2010’s we cheer for the little girl whose future seemed hopeless until she became a wanted fugitive. And in accordance with their respective timelines, if we were to smoosh these stories together, Percy the Prefect Weasley (Ron’s infamously irksome older brother), would have technically been at Hogwarts alongside The Stranger Things gang, easily crossing paths. He could have nagged Dustin for swearing.


So if their paths DID cross, which Hogwarts Houses would the Hawkins heroes belong in?      


Mike Wheeler - Gryffindor     


Mike has demonstrated a fantastic disregard for the rules in both installments of Stranger Things, relying on his heart and gut instead of say, the laws of the state of Indiana, or the United States for that matter. He skips school to take care of Elle, a fugitive running from government scientists, resolving to hide her in his basement under a makeshift pillow fort without telling his parents or sister. At Will’s memorial assembly, he shoves Troy for making homophobic comments about Will, and later agrees to jump into the quarry to keep Dustin safe from Troy’s wrath. Undoubtedly, Mike is terrified by everything life in Hawkins whips at him, but he fights through it because he loves his friends more than he fears for his own safety. Even when Elle “disappears” with the monster and the surviving “bad men” warn him about the consequences of hiding her again, Mike still tunes into his walkie talkie every night trying to find her.      


Steve Harrington - Gryffindor. Billy Hargrove - Death Eater.

Despite a funky start in season one (my dad could not wait for the demogorgon to eat Steve), Steve Harrington’s redemption arc becomes fantastically epic. He ditches his old “popular” friends, resigning as “King Steve” because Nancy (and his kids) mean so much more to him than winning any popularity contest. He apologizes for being a jerk, and does everything he can to show he refuses to be the same f*boy he once was before. Steve runs straight back into Jonathan’s house to help fight the demogorgon, replaces Jonathan’s broken camera, and in season two he becomes the ultimate babysitter. Moreover, when he and Nancy break up, he doesn’t decide to hate her. He does not try to get revenge or sabotage her budding relationship, nor does he maltreat Jonathan, her new beau. He’s heartbroken, but he never throws away his respect for his friends or himself, remaining kind and chivalrous.


Billy, on the other hand, is an immature mouth breather with an intensely fragile masculinity. The Sorting Hat refuses to let him in. He’s a nasty Death Eater.    



Jonathan Byers - Hufflepuff

Jonathan Byers is one of the biggest Hufflepuffs to ever puff in the history of cinnamon roll Hufflepuffs. He is loyal and unafraid of toil, and has the perseverance to quite literally save the world (and get the girl). He remembered Nancy as the girl who, despite hanging with some popular, jerk-ish kids sometimes, never wanted to entirely stoop to their level, remaining kind to him despite her ambitions and heart eyes for Steve. And so when the girl with the biggest heart gets hers broken, he does not hesitate to start swinging.


Dustin Henderson - Ravenclaw

Wit beyond measure is Dustin’s greatest treasure. He correctly draws similarities between Elle’s “powers” and The Force from the Star Wars Universe, as gifted individuals from both realms use psychokinetic manipulations to move objects, sense danger, and fight. Plus, he infers that these powers function like a bad battery in the sense that the more they are used, the faster they begin to falter, sp Elle needs rest the way a weak battery needs an electrical outlet after a few uses. One of the most ingenious Dustin moments is when he realizes the “bath” Elle is describing to them is a sensory deprivation tank that allows her to focus better, so he calls his science teacher on the phone 10pm on a Saturday night and convinces him to explain the mechanics of constructing one. Dustin Henderson is a twelve year old who correctly builds a sensory deprivation tank based on directions he received over the phone in one sitting. Normal middle school science curriculums do not teach that.              


Nancy Wheeler - Gryffindor/ Slytherin

I know what you are thinking - WHY NOT RAVENCLAW? SHE IS SUCH A NERD! True, but her motivations for learning and studying are not simply for the sake of knowledge and advancing academically like Dustin. She does indeed adore school, but ditching to go save the world with Jonathan? Absolutely, it’s road trip time. Nancy clearly breaks way more rules than those she follows, as both a high school student and as a teenage girl in the 80’s. She confidently tells Jonathan all about her plans to NOT follow her parents’ “get married and buy a nice suburban house” model. She also lies to the cops because she thinks their interrogation is bulls**t and too focused on “what were you and Steve doing upstairs”, instead of retracing Barb’s steps, and later is shown screaming at her (conservative? Think about that Reagan yard sign...) mother that yes, she slept with Steve. Nancy does indeed desire to advance academically and socially, vehemently refusing to let anyone or anything get in her way for too long. She’s definitely ambitious and cunning, and is impatient to prove her worth to her friends, family, and society, like a classic Slytherin, but she’s also brave and rebellious and passionate, following her heart like a Gryffindor. If the Sorting Hat were placed on her head, Nancy would decide on her own terms and her terms alone as to where she would belong.           



Elle - Gryffindor

Throughout both seasons, Elle uses her powers to save her friends without the slightest hesitation, even when doing so puts her in grave danger; using her abilities not only weakens her the way a bad battery drains after prolonged use, BUT it substantially increases the chances that the “bad men” will track her down because what she can do is NOT something normal Indiana folks witness everyday. Saving her friends puts a major target on her back that grows each and every time. For instance, Elle literally incapacitates herself without hesitation twice in season one, and ventures into the demodogs infested lab to seal the gate in season two. Moreover, towards the end of season one, when Brenner finally gets a hold of her, Elle uses her last bit of strength to mutter “Mike..Mike...blood. Blood!” because she knows the demogorgon is coming and the boys need to run for it. If the boys could escape and the monster could just be satisfied with devouring her and Brenner instead, so be it. Moments later in the science classroom, she pulls herself off the table and kills the monster once and for all, knowing all too well that by unleashing her full abilities, the energy loss could destroy her. Although Elle doesn’t perish after all, she very well could have, which is why she whispers “goodbye, Mike” before annihilating the demogorgon. Gryffindor, 11/10.


Chief Hopper - Gryffindor

I don’t even need to really explain myself, honestly. The Sorting Hat would yell GRYFFINDOR before the fabric could even touch his head.