J.K. Rowling introduces Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Alright wizards and witches it is a great day for us, J.K. Rowling just released big details on “American Hogwarts” known as Ilvermorny. The school originates from a tale of an Irish girl known as Isolt Sayre. J.K. Rowling explained on Pottermore that Sayre’s parents were murdered and Sayre was saved by her aunt Gormlaith Gaunt. This is quite surprising to Sayre as Gormlaith was not the greatest aunt. But not to her surprise, turns out Gormlaith was the killer of Sayre’s parents. She also manages to use dark magic and contain Sayre for 12 long years.
Gormlaith speaks Parseltongue and is a Slytherin House alumni?
Sayre’s magic and her life was spent in exile due to her aunts dark magic, but Rowling did not stop there with Gormlaith’s talents. Gormlaith had used Salazar Slytherin’s wand (which she stole) and spoke Parseltongue.
Sayre Escapes and makes new friends
Sayre disguises herself as a muggle boy Elias Story, cutting hair down just enough to fool her fellow passengers on the Mayflower. After arriving to America, she wonders into the mountains and comes across the magical nature of the country. She meets two magical creatures, a Pukwudgie (“short, grey-faced, large-eared creature distantly related to the European goblin”) and a Hidebehind (a “nocturnal, forest-dwelling spectre” that can hide behind almost any object). Being the special girl Sayre is she feels a strong connection to her new friends and names the Pukwudgie William, after her father. William becomes Sayre’s guide to the magical world surrounding her, which her aunt blinded her to for all her life. He introduces her to creatures, such as the Horned Serpent, a terrifying creature as the name elucidates.
Sayre later continues her adventure and meets a Muggle named James, a relationship which led to marriage.
Ilvermorny begins as a necessity.
Sayre and James, adopt two orphans Webster and Chadwick. The boys’ parents were taken away from them by a Hidebehind. Sayre as any magical parent would, teaches her children magic and due to the lack of wands in America, she becomes creative with a Horned Serpent to make her boys wands. Once the boys had their supplies, Sayre starts Ilvermorny (Named after the cottage Sayre was born in), she also has couple more students from neighboring magical families. Sayre and James create wands for the other children and Ilvermorny officially begins with its first class.
Ilvermorny has new houses and bye-bye sorting hat
If there is a single thing we can expect from J.K. Rowling, that is originality and creativity. And she did it again, as Ilvermorny introduces houses which are different from Hogwarts. So forget about Griffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, and Hufflepuff – meet – Horned Serpent, Pukwudgie, Thunderbird, and Wampus. Similar to Hogwarts the Houses have animals attached to them, each chosen by James, Isolt, Webster, and Chadwick.
However, how will the children be sorted into houses? Well forget about the sorting hat. Ilvermorny uses a wall to sort…sounds weird huh? Wait for it. It goes like this, the young witch/wizards stand in front of a wall with enchanted wooden carvings of each house. If the student is a Pukwidgie, it will raise its arrow toward the sky, if Wampus it will roar, if a Horned Serpent’s crystal in its forehead will light up, lastly if a Thunderbird it will start beating its wings. Rarely do any students get approved or selected by more than one house, if they do, they can choose where they’d like to go.
Find out which house you would be at in Ilvermorny
And if you are a Pottermore fan, you probably are familiar with the Hogwarts ‘which house do you belong to’ quiz, well there is already a quiz on Pottermore to find out to which house you belong. to at Ilvermorny.
Yes, there are attributes to each houses students similar to Hogwarts.
- Pukwudgie – “The heart”: This one is the we would think is “distantly related to the European goblin,” but it is far more tricky and favors healers. It is grumpy, let it be with Muggle’s or Pure blooded individuals.
- Wampus – “The body”: Tends to like warriors and strong individuals.
- Thunderbird – “The soul”: Adventures individuals are favored
- Horned Serpent – “The mind”: Tends to “favor scholars,” (Sounds like Slytherin but seems to have attributes similar to Ravenclaw?)
Welcome cranberry and blue robes
Forget about those black robes you’ve loved for so many years, Ilvermorny has different ones. Each color representing something about Isolt and James. Rowling explains “Blue because it was Isolt’s favourite colour and because she had wished to be in Ravenclaw house as a child; cranberry in honour of James’s love of cranberry pie.” But wait we are not done yet, “All Ilvermorny students’ robes are fastened by a gold Gordian Knot, in memory of the brooch Isolt found in the ruins of the original Ilvermorny cottage.”
Gormlaith returns for vengence….SMH
Every story needs its dose of evil and Gormlaith brings the darkness to Ilvermorny and is back to set things straight with her niece, who married a Muggle…whoops. She returned in a big bang using her Parseltongue cursing James and Isolt and later makes Sayre’s wand useless by saying “a single sibilant word in Parseltongue.”
Don’t worry Gormlaith is history
Later Gormlaith faces her demise due to William and Sayre’s family, he wand is planted and results in a “unknown species of snakewood tree.” The tree symbolizes Salazar’s goodness and nobility with its medicinal powers.
Sayre’s family settles down after Ilvermorny
Webster becomes an Auror, marrying a Scottish witch and working in London. His descendants move to the Hogwarts district.
Chadwick unlike his brother becomes a famous wizard, marrying a Mexican healer named Josefina Calderon and settling down in America. His family continues to be one of the greatest magical families in America. Chadwick also authored “Chadwick’s Charms Vols I – VII, which are standard texts at Ilvermorny.”
James and Sayre have their own children, twins names Rionach and Martha. Rionach teaches at Ilvermorny, as the professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts, speaks Parseltongue. Whereas Martha, very different from her twin, chooses to live without magic in her life.
It will be interesting to see how Parseltongue runs in Sayre’s family and if any direct relation exists to Salazar. Could it be related to Sayre’s father being a direct descendent of “the famous Irish witch Morrigan.” Additionally, seeing how this tale will be used in Fantastic Beasts will definetly be exciting. I personally hope that Rowling will show a glimpse of Ilvermorny and its student body in at least a single scene of the first of the trilogy.