Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

J.K. Rowling shares details of the American Hogwarts

(Photo: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them/Warner Bros.)

As part of her quest to get everyone up to speed on American witches and wizards in time for the fall release of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, J.K. Rowling has written a detailed account of the history of Ilvermorny, the American version of Hogwarts. In the piece available on Pottermore, Rowling tells the tale of the school’s scrappy founder Isolt Sayre, who has a sad backstory involving dead parents. It’s not entirely unlike Harry’s tale: Isolt was born in Ireland where her family was murdered by an evil aunt who hated Mudbloods. She escaped to America on the Mayflower with a stolen wand, befriended a cantankerous creature, stumbled across two orphaned wizard children, and fell in love with a No-Maj named James. Together they founded Ilvermorny.

But let’s not kid ourselves. You really just want to know what house fits you best. Rowling writes:

It is sometimes said of the Ilvermorny houses that they represent the whole witch or wizard: the mind is represented by Horned Serpent; the body, Wampus; the heart, Pukwudgie and the soul, Thunderbird. Others say that Horned Serpent favours scholars, Wampus, warriors, Pukwudgie, healers and Thunderbird, adventurers.


Ilvermorny’s sorting system is different than the one at Hogwarts. No one’s fate lies in a hat. Instead, “enchanted carvings” representing each house will indicate whether they want a kid. In some cases, more than one house will vie for a student, who will then get to pick their affiliation. And, of course, for those of us that don’t live in Rowling’s fantasy world, Pottermore has a quiz that will do the sorting with the magic of the Internet.

Share This Story