Gryffindor is one of the four Houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, founded by Godric Gryffindor. Its emblematic animal is the lion, and its colours are red and gold.Minerva McGonagall is the most recent known Head of House. SirNicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, also known as "Nearly Headless Nick" is the house ghost. The particular characteristics of students Sorted into Gryffindor are courage, chivalry and determination.
Gryffindor corresponds roughly to the element of fire, and it is for that reason that the colours red and gold were chosen to represent the House. The Gryffindor house emphasises the traits of courage as well as "daring, nerve, and chivalry," and thus its members are generally regarded as brave, though sometimes to the point of recklessness. They can also be short-tempered. Notably, Gryffindor house contributed many members to Dumbledore's Army and the Order of the Phoenix.
According to Phinaes Nigellus Black, members of other houses, particularly Slytherin, sometimes feel that Gryffindors engage in "pointless heroics." Another Slytherin, Severus Snape, considered many Gryffindors to be self-righteous and arrogant, with no regard for rules. Gryffindors and Slytherins have shared a fierce house rivalry since their founders,Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin, respectively, had a severe falling out over Slytherin's emphasis on blood purity. There might also be an element of feeling wronged; as Harry and his fellow Gryffindors tend to win in a lot of circumstances which, when viewed from a Slytherin's point of view, may be considered unfair. Examples of this include the last-minute points awarded by Headmaster Dumbledore at the Leaving Feast, which conveniently put Gryffindor ten points ahead of Slytherin in the 1991–1992 school year, the fact that no points were deducted for the rule breaking that happened during that night and Harry being permitted byProfessor McGonagall to have his own broomstick for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, even though first-years are not normally permitted their own broomsticks. Even members of other houses might have felt that Gryffindor received favouritism, considering that many saw Harry being chosen as the fourth competitor in theTriwizard Tournament as stealing Hufflepuff student Cedric Diggory's thunder unfairly.
Overall, however, the houses of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff tended to side with Gryffindor in its rivalry with Slytherin. This was particularly notable during theSecond Wizarding War — the members of Dumbledore's Army were from Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw, but lacked any Slytherins (This may be because they were not notified of the Army's creation as it came through word of mouth and they did not seem to associate with many or any Slytherins), and during the Battle of Hogwarts, the Slytherin students left while many students from the other three houses remained behind to fight against Lord Voldemort