JK RowlingIf we thought the saga of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World was finished with ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ we were very mistaken.  Fans are still ravenous for more and Rowling is delivering without being afraid to take things in intriguing new directions.  The London stage production ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ is the most direct follow-up, following the exploits of grownup versions of Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermiony plus Harry and Ginny’s son Albus.  The biggest expansion is this winter’s ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them’, a new big budget film from Warner Brothers, which should kick off a new film series.

But Rowling’s imagination is vast and she’s got even more ideas to beguile fans.  This spring, she released ‘The History of Magic In North America’ exploring the evolution of mysticism in the New World, incorporating elements of Native American culture and the infamous Salem Witch Trials.

One of the big reveals was the name of the North American version of Hogwarts: Ilvermorny.  But what fans may not have suspected is just how much more Rowling had planned for this new locale.  Like ‘The History of Magic…”, Rowling has released ‘Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’ via her website Pottermore.  Whereas ‘The History of Magic…’ was a much briefer summary, ‘Ilvermorny’ is a much more in-depth story, fleshing out this school similarly to the way that fans got to know Howarts.  Like that famous school, Ilvermorny is divided into four Houses: Horned Serpent, Pukwudgie, Thunderbird and Wampus and readers can even get sorted into their proper school.

The story follows the exploits of Isolt Sayre, the founder of the school.

Entertainment Weekly has compiled a listing of 12 new facts revealed in this latest chapter:

1. Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is located on Mount Greylock in Massachusetts and was founded in the early 17th century.

2. One of its co-founders, James Stewart, was a Muggle.

3. The school with its four houses was based organizationally on Hogwarts.

4. The houses—Horned Serpent, Wampus, Thunderbird, and Pukwudgie—each represent the favorite animals of Isolt Sayre’s family.

5. Where Ilvermorny differs from Hogwarts is in its sorting ceremony. Students are chosen by respective houses. If more than one symbol indicates a desire for the student, he or she will pick a house.

6. Young American wizards, before the repeal of Rappaport’s Law in the 1960s, didn’t get full possession of their wands until graduation from Ilvermorny at the age of 17.

7. Terry Boot, a Ravenclaw in Harry Potter’s year and a member of Dumbledore’s Army, is a descendant of Webster Boot, Isolt’s adopted son

8. Not all of the descendants of Salazar Slytherin were evil. Isolt, who is related to the Hogwarts founder through her Gaunt lineage, inherited the family’s Parseltongue ability, which in the end saves her family from Gormlaith’s attack.

9. Slytherin’s wand, which ends up in the possession of Isolt, had a Basilisk horn core.

10. Wands with shared cores, like those belonging to the Boot boys, can amplify magical powers when used against a common enemy.

11. Pukwudgies, which Rowling describes as “a short, grey-faced, large eared creature distantly related to the European goblin,” make for an excellent addition to the world of magical creatures.

12. Hidebehinds, magical creatures that can shapeshift in order to duck behind any object, are terrifying.

Rumor has it that Rowling is planning a new movie franchise that will be set at Ilvermorny.  Whether that will be based on the story of Isolt Sayre or a more modern generation of magicians remains to be seen.

What do you think of this exploration of magic in the New World?

Source: Entertainment Weekly