— David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (via succexys)
jk rowling unilaterally writing that not a single member of slytherin house fought in the battle of hogwarts and instead every single one of them hid like cowards is honestly one of the laziest most flaccid writing decisions of our time
But the point of this detail was to expose the damage caused by the House System…JKR was not saying that all Slytherins were naturally disloyal cowards, but rather that Slytherin House fostered an insular culture of self-service and amorality that made hiding like a coward the easiest choice. For the Gryffindors, the opposite was true: Gryffindors who seemed cowardly as 11-year-olds (like Neville) were mocked and tortured until they toughened up. Easier to be a brave Gryffindor than a cowardly one; easier to be a self-serving Slytherin than a moral one. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy (like all the prophecies in HP): that’s why all the Gryffindors stayed to fight and all the Slytherins hid.
tldr I think it was a deliberate decision, and not a particularly subtle one, reinforcing one of the Central Maxims of Harry Potter: ”It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
~ this has been a rant by M