Pottermore reveals Ilvermorny houses and backstory Houses correspond to a magical creature as well as personality

Via Pottermore

The world of Harry Potter just got a whole lot bigger. On Tuesday June 28, the Pottermore revealed the houses for the North American equivalent of Hogwarts, Ilvermorny.

The reveal include an introductory video to the school and a short story detailing it’s founding. Like Hogwarts, Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is divided into four houses. The post also unveiled a new sorting quiz, allowing Pottermore members to answer questions and determine which new house they would be best suited for. Each house draws their names from a corresponding magical creature from North American folklore. The animals chosen represent different aspects of the witch or wizard in the house as well as “favor” different aspirations.

Via Pottermore

The crest for Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

First on the list is Horned Serpent. The creature appears in a number of Native American cultures, particularly in the eastern United States and Canada. In mythology, the creature is associated with rain and thunder. The Horned Serpent represents the mind and favored scholars.

The next house was Pukwudgie, which descends from Wompanoag tribe folklore. A Pukwudgie is a “short, grey-faced, large-eared creature distinctly related the European goblin” according to their introduction. Like goblins, they are capable of magic. It represented the heart of the member, and favors healers.

In Native American cultures, the Thunderbird is associated with power and strength. In the Pottermore canon, it is a magical bird capable of “creating storms as it flies”. Within Ilvermorny, it represents the soul of the witch or wizard and favors adventurers.

The final house of Ilvermorny, Wampus, was named after the “magical panther-like creature”. The creature itself is also described as “fast, strong, and almost impossible to kill.” Representing the body of the witch or wizard, the house favored warriors.

The backstory for Ilvermorny was released as a short story by J.K. Rowling herself. It involved a witch named Isolt Sayre who found two gravely ill young brothers named Chadwick and Webster Boot. Nursing them back to health, she also found James Steward, a No-Maj (non magical person) from a Plymouth settlement. They formed Ilvermorny in the early 1600s and named the houses after their favorite magical creatures. Chadwick Boot founded Thunderbird, Webster Boot founded Wampus, Sayre founded Horned Serpent, and Steward founded Pukwudgie. The school grew rapidly in attendance, and went from a small granite house to a castle. Sayre and Steward acted as Headmaster and Headmistress of the school.

A number of users have taken to Twitter and Facebook to post their new house. Facebook has even offered a temporary profile picture badge to commemorate the occasion. J.K. Rowling revealed on Twitter that she was sorted into Thunderbird.

All four Ilvermorny house names had leaked in May. Ian Cervantez, a software engineer, stumbled upon them when he was examining some of the Javascript of the Pottermore site. They had been listed under a quiz titled “Where do you belong? Horned Serpent, Wampus, Thunderbird or Pukwudgie…”. He subsequently posted his findings on Reddit and later did a write up on Linkedin, using the finding as an example of how code needed to be better secured. The rumor persisted until the Pottermore reveal (the page with the code has subsequently been taken down).

Pottermore launched in 2012 as more of a game compared to the current design. It then a massive redesign in 2014, where it became a news and information hub for Harry Potter fans. The announcements for Ilvermorny and subsequent expansion of the Harry Potter universe is in part due to the upcoming release of the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  The film stars Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterson and will debut on November 18, 2016.

About the author

R.C. Beiler

Robert Beiler is a journalist from Lancaster, Pennsylvania who serves as Editor-in-Chief for CommonGeek. He is also the former Editor-in-Chief of Live Wire Lancaster. He can sleep when he's dead.