- "I'll teach the lot and treat them just the same."
- —Hufflepuff's view, unlike that of the other founders[src]
Helga Hufflepuff (fl. c. 993—1000) was a Welsh witch and was one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. While the other founders chose to have special students, Hufflepuff accepted them all, but the students of her house are described as loyal and hard-working. It is unknown when she died. Helga's portrait remains at Hogwarts.
Founder of Hogwarts
Helga Hufflepuff was one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Though she got on well with all her fellow founders, her greatest friend was Rowena Ravenclaw. Hufflepuff helped to build the school and, while the other founders took students based on either ambition, bravery, or intelligence, Helga Hufflepuff took the rest, treating them all equally and teaching them all she knew, though she was particularly known to value loyalty, fair play and affinity for hard work. She brought people from different backgrounds together to help in the building of the school and was known for her charming ways.
Helga Hufflepuff had a gift for Food-related charms, and her recipes are still used as the basis for many Hogwarts feasts. Helga Hufflepuff also arranged for the house-elf contingent to work in the kitchens, giving them somewhere safe to work, where they would not be mistreated or abused.
After a time in which the school enjoyed great prosperity, Helga's fellow founder Salazar Slytherin proposed a controversial action in which Muggle-born students should not be admitted to Hogwarts based on their heritage. Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Gryffindor refused this, however, and it escalated to such degrees that Slytherin ultimately left the school permanently.
Helga Hufflepuff lent her name to one of the four Houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Hufflepuff. She does not appear to have applied particularly strict standards of selection to her house, which sets her apart from the other founders by making her an egalitarian. She also lent her magic to the creation of the Sorting Hat, so as to answer the question of who would sort the students after her demise.
One relic of Hufflepuff's, a small golden cup, had been passed down to her distant descendant Hepzibah Smith. Smith said the cup was supposed to have some magical powers, many of which she had not tested. The Cup was stolen from Smith by Tom Riddle, who corrupted Helga's legacy by changing it into a Horcrux. However, the Cup was destroyed by Hermione Granger with a basilisk fang during the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998.
The symbol of Hufflepuff house is the badger, and the colours are yellow and black.
Hufflepuff was a round, plump woman with red hair and blue eyes, and usually wore a brown or yellow dress. She often sported a wide smile.
Personality and traits
Hufflepuff favoured loyalty, honesty, fair play, and hard work. Members of her Hogwarts House usually display at least one of these traits in varying degrees. Cedric Diggory, the deceased Triwizard Tournament Champion, was one of the students who appeared to embody all four. Additionally, Hufflepuff was renowned for her compassionate nature; she took in the house-elves to work in Hogwarts Kitchen where they could work in peace and safety, and while the other founders were careful in selection of students, Hufflepuff took in the rest. She was said to be kind and caring, and particularly famous for her dexterity at food-related charms. She was also a woman of tolerance, as she was willing to accept Muggle-born students and disagreed with Slytherin's pure-blood exclusiveness. Given that all of her portraits show her with a wide smile, it can be inferred that she was a very jolly woman.
Magical abilities and skills
Hufflepuff was described as one of the four greatest witches and wizards of her age.
- Magical Device Inventor: Hufflepuff created a cup which, according to her descendant, Hepzibah Smith, had special magical powers (though it was never revealed as to what they were).
- Magical Cookery: Hufflepuff was skilled in food-related charms, and many of her recipes are still used in Hogwarts.
- Enchanting: Hufflepuff combined her abilities with the other founders to create the Sorting Hat.
The name Helga is from Helge, from Old Norse heilagr, meaning "prosperous" or "brave." Their symbol is the badger, a large mammal related to the weasels with distinctive white stripes on its head. In Celtic mythology, a badger was a guide. The badger also can symbolise a tendency to be hard-working, strong, and tenacious. Hufflepuffs are known for loyalty and hard work.
Helga was a name which was common in northern Europe; in countries such as Norway. It was soon adopted by many soviet countries and others which bordered with the north, including; Russia, Latvia, Denmark and Belgium. As those in northern Europe pronounced the 'e' in Helga as more of a cross between 'e' and 'o', and, like the french, didn't pronounce the 'h', the soviet countries adopted the name as 'Olga'. Some countries, including Germany, kept the name as 'Helga'.
Hufflepuff could mean "huff and puff" or blustery. "Huff" also means to breathe; "puff" is a medieval term for pastry.
Behind the scenes
- Helga Hufflepuff was the May 2007 "Wizard of the Month" on J. K. Rowling's website. Both the famous wizard card and the illustration on Rowling's website depict her as a plump woman with red hair.
- While the other founders took students based on either ambition, bravery, or intelligence, the "Good Hufflepuff" took the rest and taught them all she knew, which is further proof of Hufflepuff's kindness.
- It is theorised that Zacharias Smith is related to Hepzibah Smith and thus is a descendant of Helga Hufflepuff. Although Smith is obviously a very common last name, both Zacharias and Hepzibah are uncommon names of Hebrew origin. It seems unlikely that the two first names are a coincidence. Should Zacharias be truly a descendant of Hufflepuff, this would be an odd irony because he lacks the loyalty and fair play that Hufflepuff's house commands, despite being in her house. It's possible that Zacharias was only put in Hufflepuff because he lacked the qualities needed for the other houses and going by one of the Sorting Hat's songs, Hufflepuff did take those at Hogwarts who did not meet the needs of the other houses.
- At The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Helga Hufflepuff speaks in a Welsh accent in her portrait on the Forbidden Journey Ride. This lends further credence to her coming from Wales.
- Both Helga and her friend Rowena were referred to as males in the Sorting Hat's song in early German editions and in the German audiobook of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire read by Rufus Beck. This was corrected in later editions of the book.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (Mentioned only) (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Wizard of the Month
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Appears in portrait(s))
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9 (The Writing on the Wall) - "You all know, of course, that Hogwarts was founded over a thousand years ago - the precise date is uncertain - by the four greatest witches and wizards of the age." Binns says this late in the year 1992.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 12 (The Triwizard Tournament) - The Sorting Hat refers to Helga as "sweet Hufflepuff, from valley broad" which is likely a reference to the South Wales Valleys. Furthermore, at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Helga's portrait speaks with a Welsh accent.
- ↑ Given Slytherin's hatred of Muggleborns, it's unlikely he'd work with one.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9 (The Writing on the Wall)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ Famous Wizard Card
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Wizard of the Month, Rowling's official website
- ↑ J.K. Rowling PotterCast Interview
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ Hufflepuff is available in the Nintendo DS version of LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7. For other devices, she is available in the "Downloadable Character Pack" DLC for the game.