Since a lot has happened in the Star Wars franchise since I wrote my more personal post on this House, I decided to write another one with more fleshed-out information to match my more recent posts. In the previous installments, we looked at the loyalist Houses (Hufflepuff, who treats and sees everyone as equal of their protection; Slytherin, who prioritizes their loved ones and focuses on family first; and Gryfindor, who trusts their own gut instincts and will stand for truth, even if it goes against the common consensus). Now, let’s look at Ravenclaw.
Ravenclaws build and adopt an internal code through which they navigate the world. They built it by searching for personal truths and adopting a belief system they have chosen and believe to be true. This system is not an instinctual understanding of ethics, morals, or truth, but a decision to live according to who they want to be, even if it goes against their natural tendencies. Once they decide what their truth is, it motivates all their decisions. They act out of a chosen, ironclad moral conviction rather than an instinctual one.
Even if “born” into a belief system, the Ravenclaw will at some point challenge it and form their own convictions and principles to live by. We see this in Teen Wolf’s Allison Argent, who renounces her family’s code of ethics on werewolves to create her own belief system / moral system upon which she operates. She chooses this in defiance of her family’s instinctual biases and teachings, keeping some of what they teach her and outright rejecting the rest (she renounces their “kill all werewolves; all of them are evil” mentality in favor of selective targets).
We also see this in Sam Winchester in Supernatural, rejecting his family’s Hunter roots at first to go his own way, then returning to them, but on his terms. The primary source of conflict for several seasons between him and his brother Dean is Sam’s unwillingness to just swallow the Hunter Code without questioning it. He ruthlessly questions it and challenges the way their father did things, much to Dean’s annoyance. He flat out rejects Dean’s Hufflepuff mentality of “we hunt evil things to protect everyone; all monsters are evil” (Hufflepuff splitting—de-humanizing the “monsters” in order to deal with slaughtering them) and replaces it with the Ravenclaw Primary’s questioning and logic; what if they aren’t all the same, Dean? Or all evil? I refuse to treat them all the same. Like Allison, he rewrites the “family legacy” and lives it according to his own chosen beliefs.
Not all Ravenclaws build an entire system; they can simply choose to live according to one (in the real world, selecting a set of religious beliefs, for example, and trying to live up to their ideals). Some Ravenclaws adhere to an existing moral system, such as Javert in Les Miserables—a man who lives and dies on a systematic moral code of “law.” A Ravenclaw relies on a chosen and built frame of morality that stems not from a emotional sense that “everyone is equal” (Hufflepuff), or “my people are most important” loyalty (Slytherin), or even a “I feel this in my bones therefore it is what I will do” place of Gryffindor values. It is the Ravenclaw willingly bending their will to live according to a chosen/selected external Code.
In Star Wars, this is what Ben Solo does… but he’s not the only Ravenclaw in the family. Luke is also one. That’s why they clash and abhor each other for a time. The Ravenclaw thinks and builds, where the Gryffindor “intuits.”
Spoon-fed the Jedi Code from childhood, Ben rejected it in favor of choosing the Dark Side. He struggles to repress his emotional desires (to return to his parents and their love, to be good according to the Jedi Code) in favor of his chosen “system.” He prays for the strength to resist the Light, to avoid his emotions (difficult, because like his grandfather, they control him), and to hold firm to his constructed convictions. Even when his gut tells him to go home with his father, he rejects it in favor of adherence to what he wants to become, not who he is. These are ironclad ideals. Yet, he does not swallow any ideology whole—given a choice between saving Rey or obeying Snoke, he rejects Snoke, ditches everything Snoke taught him, and comes up with his own new ideal—in which he and Rey co-rule the New Order.
The Ravenclaw who cannot and will not change his system when it’s shown to be broken can only self-destruct—Javert, unable to reconcile Valjean’s goodness with his “sin” in allowing a criminal (even a kind one) to escape justice, commits suicide. But Ben casts aside the old for the new, shifting around his beliefs and trying to live up to a fierce, self-transforming ideal. Once convinced there is a better way to be – Ben abandons his old system and never looks back. He undergoes a complete transformation, without guilt for the former ideals he has discarded. He has found new, better ones. Once convinced their system sucks, or a better morality exists, a Ravenclaw can and will change it. And never look back.
Luke also builds a moral system out of his own reasoning and the virtues he ‘adopts’ along the way from others he knows and loves. He does not swallow the Jedi Code whole, nor fully abandon it when it fails him (Obi Wan, a Hufflepuff, can put it aside for Family and the over-reaching moral good), but instead grapples with it, and sets out to transform the world through his new version of it. Luke has faith in the Light, and remains unshaken even when the Emperor threatens to tear everything he loves—his father, his sister, his friends—away from him. It is only when he lets himself down, and causes the destruction of innocent lives—when he confronts his own “darkness” in the moment he considered killing his nephew in cold blood to stop the “evil” he saw in him, that Luke has a total meltdown. He has sacrificed his ideals, his highest principles—and he falls. Unable to cope with this, he rejects the outer world, flies to a distant planet, sinks his ship, and renounces being “in the world.” Only Rey can shake him out of this, and force him to re-engage one last time, to save his loved ones. Because part of Luke’s system is his love. He took the cold, brittle, unloving Jedi Code and infused it with love, compassion, and empathy.
In Narnia, it’s certain that Edmund is a Ravenclaw, and likely Susan is one. Edmund has no instinctual morality, unlike Lucy (a Gryffindor). He has no set of inborn duty or fairness like his brother Peter (a Hufflepuff). He was willing to betray his family for sweets, unlike a Slytherin. But as the series unfolds, Edmund forces the reality of the White Witch and comes to know Aslan. He constructs his own morality, his own beliefs, and an ironclad faith in Aslan as the ultimate king—a path from which he never wavers. Like Ben, Edmund is broken through his own choices but given a second chance, offered redemption, he repents and abandons them for new beliefs.
Susan has a similar journey, but hers takes her away from Aslan once she leaves Narnia. In Narnia, she grapples with what she cannot understand, she takes action based on what she thinks is rational and not based on her gut instincts. Everything must make sense to her, or she has trouble accepting it. Once returned to the outer world, she feels so shaken and betrayed by being cast back into it, she drifts away from Aslan, leaving him to find her “in the real world.” (In case this upsets you, I recently read that Lewis intended to write Susan a book or a story where she rediscovered Aslan in our world, but he never had the chance.) This leads us to conclude that she cast aside her old belief system for a new one; she could not live with one she felt was a lie, or that she held onto out of pure sentiment.
Do you know any Ravenclaws? Are you one?