The great North American school of magic was founded in the seventeenth century. It stands at the highest peak of Mount Greylock, where it is concealed from non-magic gaze by a variety of powerful enchantments, which sometimes manifest in a wreath of misty cloud.
As a huge Potterhead, any hint of news about upcoming new Potter excites me to no end. So imagine my joy at the release of a new wizarding school story on Pottermore on Wednesday afternoon.
To tie in with the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first in a new trilogy, due for release in December, JK Rowling is releasing the stories of the schools that inspired the magical setting of the film.
‘History of Magic in North America’ has been hinted at since February when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida, unveiled a map at a special Harry Potter Celebration event. Locating all of the wizarding schools from around the world, this held the promise that more work from Jo is definitely on the cards for the future.
The story of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is the fifth piece in the series, with Rowling have already penned four pieces about the wizarding world throughout the centuries. Depicting the telling the tale of its origin, what intrigues me about Ilvermorny is the heart-wrenching backstory of its founders and the strong allusions it holds to the tragic beginning of Philosopher’s Stone.
The story of Isolt and James is incredibly reminiscent of James and Lily Potter. James’s actions in the first of the Potter books were what any man would hope to do. To protect his wife and his son. However, in the case of Isolt and James, the roles are reversed. When the house comes under attack from her vengeful Aunt Gormlaith, it is Isolt that rushes out to meet her head on, defending the family while sending husband James to protect their two girls still in the house.
Is this JK reaffirming the theme of the ‘powerful woman’ as she did many times throughout the entire Harry Potter series? In some ways I think yes, but more importantly I think it’s also highlighting the side of men that we don’t often get see. Whilst James’ first thought would have been to rush to fight off evil alongside their foster-sons, he instead gives in to his paternal, nurturing side – the healing characteristics that JK has fixated to his persona.
I’m highly anticipating the next instalments to the ‘History of Magic in North America’ series with the same childish wonder that I felt as a 14 year old waiting for the midnight release of The Deathly Hallows. In the meantime I will be constantly pouring over the content already published to try and discover any theories or connections to the over-arching Harry Potter world that I may have missed.
You can find out more about Ilvermorny, as well as other exclusive writing by JK Rowling over on Pottermore.
Fantastic Beasts is set to hit the big screen November 18th 2016.