Ilvermorny

Any Harry Potter fan could tell you the ins and outs of the four Hogwarts houses — their quirks, their histories, their storied alumni — and knows in their bones which one they’d belong to. (I’m a Ravenclaw, myself.) But now that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them promises to open up a whole new corner of the Harry Potter universe, it’s time to get to know the four houses of Ilvermorny, the recently revealed American wizarding school. 

Software engineer Ian Cervantez discovered what appear to be the four American Hogwarts houses while poking around in the Pottermore source code. No one officially associated with the Harry Potter franchise has publicly confirmed that these are indeed the four new houses, so these details should be taken with a sprinkle of salt for now. But based on Cervantez’ findings (via ComicBook.com), it looks like the new houses will be called Horned SerpentWampusThunderbird, and Pukwudgie.

Each name is associated with a creature from Native American mythology. Let’s run down them one by one. (Since we know very little about how exactly these creatures fit into the Fantastic BeastsHarry Potter universe, details below are based in real-world mythology unless otherwise noted.)

The Horned Serpent is most often described as a large, “dragon-like” creature and is typically associated with “water, rain, lightning and/or thunder.”

The Wampus cat is a fearsome creature similar to a cougar. A Pottermore essay revealed that Wampus cat hair is the preferred wand core of Johannes Jonker, a Muggle-born wizard who became one of the great wandmakers of North America.

The Thunderbird is a strong, powerful supernatural bird that can create wind or cause thunder. It is described on Pottermore as close relative of the phoenix, and its tailfeathers are the core of choice for Choctaw-descended wandmaker Shikoba Wolfe.

The Pukwudgie might be the craziest sounding creature of all. It’s a sort of small troll with humanoid features, and boasts an array of special abilities: it has glowing skin, can appear or disappear at will, can transform into a walking porcupine, can lure people to their deaths, etc.

From here, these sound kind of silly, but then it’s not like “Hufflepuff” is a particularly dignified name either — we’ve just grown used to it after so many years. Ilvermorny is located somewhere on the East Coast of America, and according to Pottermore has been thriving for over 200 years by the time Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them picks up in the 1920s.

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, directed by David Yates from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling, arrives November 18.

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