In anticipation of the November film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling has released new writings that chronicle the history of wizarding in America. In her latest online stories, Rowling introduces Ilvermorny, a wizard school from across the pond. Central to the American wizarding world, Ilvermorny has a tumultuous past, and much like Hogwarts, includes houses for the sorting of students.
Rowling’s tale reads like a legend as she describes the seventeenth-century school shrouded in mists above the peak of Mount Greylock. Another new tale that features a female lead, Ilvermorny is the creation of Irish-born Isolt Sayer and her non-magical husband, James (a familiar name in the Potterverse). As the school grows, so do the magic wielders in the New World, laying the foundation for what will eventually be called the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA), akin to the UK’s Ministry of Magic.
The Potter parallels are blatant and abundant, but Rowling deftly connects both wizard worlds through the ancestry and history fans enjoy. In fact, the lineage and connections to the UK wizard world run so deep, one wonders just what Rowling has planned for the future. Another series featuring Ilvermorny? The window is certainly wide open for that owl to fly. All this set up begs for a new adventure with some American wizard kids.
Pottermore, Rowling’s immersive Potter website, features a preview animation you can view without joining, but if you feel inclined to create a login, you can read the full back story, get sorted into your Ilvermorny and Hogwarts house, and explore other elements of the Potter world. It’s great fun, and Rowling’s detailed world sucks you in even if you only consider yourself a casual fan. I’m a Ravenclaw and Thunderbird in case you were wondering.
Here’s the preview:
The Official Website for Fantastic Beasts is full of info too.