We already know that Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them will center on 1930s-era New York City. But now J.K. Rowling has revealed in a Twitter exchange that main character Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) will meet people who were educated at an American school that is not in New York.
The only glimpse of magical folk beyond Europe is found in The Goblet Of Fire, when Harry attends the Quidditch World Cup and walks by African wizards with impressive fire and a group of witches under a banner reading “Salem Institute Of Magic.” Turns out, it’s not a school, but a joke U.S. readers probably didn’t get, because so far the books have been very England-centric. That’s changing with the upcoming spin-off, however:
These morsels of information point to Newt Scamander meeting with students or former students of a school with an immigrant name, a history of native peoples playing a role in its founding, and somewhere other than New York. And as exciting as it is for fans to experience a whole new story set in the wizarding world, it’s also refreshing that J.K. Rowling is including native people in her world-building of American magical history. This is Rowling’s first foray into screenwriting, which allows her to imagine the U.S. world of magic more visually than she did the British one in her books. Maybe we’ll even see some of Dumbledore’s mother’s family, since she’s hinted at being Native American in Deathly Hallows.