J.K. Rowling Reveals Four Houses, History of America’s Hogwarts

The U.S. may not have Hogwarts, but it has its very own wizarding school instead: Ilvermorny.

J.K. Rowling offered up new details on the institution with a new story on “Harry Potter” site Pottermore. It’s the latest in a series of information Rowling has dropped to whet appetites for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the upcoming “Harry Potter” spinoff movie set in New York City 70 years before the “Harry Potter” stories start.

The four houses are named after magical beasts: Pukwudgie, Horned Serpent, Wampus and Thunderbird. As Rowling puts it, “Horned Serpent favors scholars; Wampus, warriors; Pukwudgie, healers; and Thunderbird, adventurers.”

The short Pukwudgie is a distant relative of the European troll, and isn’t a fan of humans. The Parsel-tongue-speaking Horned Serpent is a river serpent with a jewel in its forehead. The Thunderbird can create storms as it flies, and the panther-life Wampus is “almost impossible to kill.”

The Ilvermorny Sorting Ceremony goes a little differently than the Hogwarts one. In Hogwarts, new students don the Sorting Hat, who decides where the student best fits. At Ilvermorny, students stand in front of four wooden carvings, each representing one of the houses, and waits for one to react.

Rowling also revealed some new details about the history of Ilvermorny. It was built in 17th century Massachusetts by an Irish woman who fled to the New World as a child to get away from her evil aunt.

Rowling is making her screenwriting debut on “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which stars Eddie Redmayne as the bookish Newt Scamander. It will hit theaters on Nov. 18.

More Film

  • Tarantino Movies Ranked Illustration

    All of Quentin Tarantino's Movies Ranked

    In the history of cinema, has any director done more to elevate the idea of movies as cool than Quentin Tarantino? Certainly, the idea that films could be made by fans dates back at least to the French New Wave, when a group of die-hard critics stepped behind the camera. A few years later, Spielberg, [...]

  • A Stranger on the Beach

    Anonymous Content Wins Film Rights to Michele Campbell's 'A Stranger on the Beach' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anonymous Content has won the adaptive rights to the forthcoming Michele Campbell novel “A Stranger on the Beach.” In a competitive situation, Anonymous outbid multiple players for the thriller, which it will adapt for the big screen with in-house producers Alex Goldstone and Rosalie Swedlin. “Stranger” has been likened to sensual thrillers like “Fatal Attraction” [...]

  • Ridley Scott Matt Damon Ben Affleck

    Ridley Scott, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Nicole Holofcener Team on 'The Last Duel'

    Ridley Scott looks to have his next directing job, as he has signed on to direct “The Last Duel” with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck attached to star. Damon and Affleck co-wrote the script with Oscar-nominated Nicole Holofcener. Scott, Damon and Affleck all producing along with Scott’s producing partner Kevin Walsh. Drew Vinton is also [...]

  • Jonathan Taylor Thomas Ed Asner Elliott

    Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Ed Asner, Elliott Gould Seek SAG-AFTRA Board Seats

    Ed Asner, Elliott Gould and Jonathan Taylor Thomas are seeking SAG-AFTRA national board seats as members of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Asner is the former president of the Screen Actors Guild, serving two terms from 1981 to 1985, and winning five Emmys for his role as Lou Grant and two others [...]

  • Natalie Portman Thor Comic Con

    Comic-Con: Marvel 'Shock and Awe' Strategy Dominates Twitter Buzz

    Disney’s Marvel Studios handily won the hype trophy from this year’s Comic-Con International San Diego. Marvel Studios — which returned to the 2019 Comic-Con stage with a chock-full Phase 4 slate of announcements — dominated the discussion on Twitter out of the convention, capturing the biggest volume of buzz for nine of the top 10 [...]

  • Chris Rock - Netflix

    Chris Rock's 'Saw' Reboot Moves Up Five Months to May 2020

    Lionsgate has moved Chris Rock’s upcoming “Saw” reboot forward by five months to May 15, 2020, vacating the pre-Halloween date of Oct. 23, 2020. The studio indicated Monday that it decided to move the untitled “Saw” movie into the summer slot after seeing early footage from the set of the film currently shooting in Toronto. The move [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content