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When Harry Potter and the Cursed Child released in July, it created a lot of buzz for a lot of reasons (the most obvious being that it was New! Canon! Harry! Potter!). One of those reasons was that after two decades of the Harry Potter fandom widely accepting that there were three “good” Hogwarts houses and one “bad” one, the protagonists of Cursed Child were both members of Slytherin house.

This was shocking news to a lot of Harry Potter fans, but when you really examine the characteristics of Slytherin house, it shouldn't be all that surprising. According to Pottermore, Slytherins are cunning, ambitious, resourceful, shrewd, and determined. As a matter of fact, were they to attend Hogwarts, many beloved heroes from television, books, and movies would probably be sorted into Slytherin. Below are a few you might have guessed… and some that may surprise you. 

 

Damon Salvatore, The Vampire Diaries

From his very first introduction, lying in the middle of the street to lure in his unsuspecting victims, the eldest Salvatore brother's cunning has been on full display. Since then, Damon's resourcefulness and determination has always played a huge role in the course of the show, and his ambition determines whether that role is to save the day or destroy it. Damon may have mellowed out in recent seasons, but underneath it all, he's still Slytherin to the core.

 

Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games series has no shortage of Slytherins, and its protagonist is no exception. No one who watched Katniss win the Hunger Games would dare doubt her resourcefulness or determination, and as the series continues, her cunning and ambition become increasingly prominent. While every participant in the Hunger Games had to be resourceful to some degree in order to survive, the books make it clear that Katniss's thought process went beyond mere survival, to the point where not even those closest to her knew for certain whether her actions and emotions were genuine, or the carefully calculated moves of a shrewd Slytherin. 

 

Nick Fury, the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Whether it's having the foresight to assemble an elite team of superheroes, faking his own death, or taking down a rotten government agency from the inside, Nick Fury has consistently proved to be a master of shrewd, calculated maneuvering and relentless determination. In another world, Nick Fury is not only in Slytherin house; he's probably the Head of it.

 

Carol Peletier, The Walking Dead

Thanks to her chameleon-like ability to blend into her surroundings and adapt to new challenges, Carol has become one of the most resilient and beloved characters on The Walking Dead. Time and time again, Carol has demonstrated her cunning by convincing her adversaries to overlook her until it is too late, and her resourcefulness has gotten her out of countless situations that would've killed any other character. Honestly, if there is any Hogwarts house most likely to survive the zombie apocalypse, it's Slytherin. 

 

Bruce Wayne, Batman

There have been many iterations of Batman over the years, and not all were Slytherin (looking at you, Adam West), but most of the more recent versions have been. It's no secret that Gotham City has some of the most psychologically twisted villains out there, and there's no way Bruce could go up against them and survive unless he had a hefty dose of shrewdness and cunning himself. Only a resourceful person would come up with most of the gadgets on his utility belt (not to mention the Batmobile). Plus, the whole never-ending vengeance quest thing just seems like an extremely Slytherin thing to do. 

 

Mary Crawley, Downton Abbey

It might be easy to overlook the period drama thanks to its quaint setting, but Downton Abbey is positively Crawley-ing (*snort*) with Slytherins, and there is no better example than its leading lady herself, Lady Mary Crawley. Mary's ambition was a driving force throughout the six seasons of Downton; she was going to marry and live well, no matter how much scheming and conniving she had to do to achieve it. Frankly, after that episode in season 1 where she quietly moved a dead body in the middle of the night, no one should be surprised to see Lady Mary on this list. 

 

Ragnar Lothbrok, Vikings

The charismatic hero of History Channel's Vikings has enough ambition for a generation of warriors. It is not enough for Ragnar to rule his village of Kattegat, or even to become the Viking King; it seems he will not rest until he has conquered the whole world. Though he started out as a simple farmer, Ragnar's shrewd mind helped him rise to power, and his cunning strategies have enabled him to triumph over armies and cities that should have easily defeated him. Ragnar is ruthless, determined, and undoubtedly Slytherin.

 

Elizabeth Swann, Pirates of the Caribbean

Throughout the course of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Elizabeth has faked multiple fainting spells to create a distraction, faked drunkenness to start a signal fire, faked attraction to trap a man on a sinking ship, stowed away on ships, talked her way out of countless certain-death situations, and maneuvered her way into being named the Pirate King. The Sorting Hat wouldn't even need to touch her head. 

 

Oliver Queen, Arrow

Arrow is another show that is positively brimming with Slytherins, particularly when it comes to the Queen family. Though Oliver started out demonstrating very little ambition (unless “live lavishly while doing no work” counts as ambition), he has since shown unwavering determination, both in his training to become the Arrow and in his pursuit of justice. Much like Bruce Wayne, Oliver's cunning is evident in how he deals with his villains, and while ruthlessness is not always necessarily a Slytherin trait, it's hard to imagine him in any other house. 

 

Claire Fraser, Outlander

It's not every character who could get thrown two hundred years back in time into tumultuous eighteenth-century Scotland and not only survive, but thrive, but Claire makes it look almost easy. From practically the first moment Claire stumbled through the standing stones, she was reading her surroundings, calculating how much to reveal and who to trust, and plotting her next move. Her cunning and resourcefulness helped her establish herself within Clan Mackenzie, and everything she accomplished from that point on was achieved through a mixture of shrewd determination, quick thinking, and the occasional ruthlessness of a proud Slytherin. 


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Lauren Thoman

Lauren is a writer of YA speculative fiction and a dedicated eater of queso. She lives in Middle Tennessee with her husband, two daughters, and a half-blind dog. When she’s not busy with her family, binge-watching TV shows, or writing books about dragons or superheroes, she can probably be found on Twitter, or in close proximity to coffee, tacos, or a bookstore.