If you were always resentful that you didn’t get your letter from Hogwarts, wait until you see how many more schools of magic didn’t admit you, because it turns out there are a bunch more such institutions around the world than we knew before.
At Pottermore and on Twitter, J.K. Rowling announced the names and locations of additional, never-before-revealed Schools of Witchcraft and Wizardry, telling us that there are eleven in total, though she did not name all of them or their locales yet. At the site, she posted a longer explanation of how and why there are so few countries that have their own school, along with a map showing some of the others in addition to the three we already knew about from the books.
“The number of countries that have their own magical school is minuscule compared to those that do not. This is because the wizarding populations of most countries choose the option of home schooling,” she wrote, “The precise location of each of the following schools is a closely guarded secret. The schools fear not only Muggle persecution, for it is a sad fact that at various times in their long histories, all of these institutions have been buffeted by the effects of wizard wars, and of hostile attention from both the foreign and domestic magical communities.”
Besides Hogwarts, we knew of Durmstrang Institue somewhere in northern Europe, and Beauxbatons Academy of Magic in Europe’s Pyrenees mountain range. We also knew that an American school existed, and now we know the name of it: Ilvermorny, somewhere on the East Coast.
Obviously, that names means something. Pottermore says, “All of you eagle-eyed fans had an inkling that word was going to mean something special, and Pottermore will bring you more writing by J.K. Rowling on this magical school soon.”
So what are the other, totally new schools?
One is the Japanese Mahoutokoro (Mah-hoot-o-koh-ro). The “ancient school “has the smallest student body of the eleven great wizarding schools and takes students from the age of seven (although they do not board until they are eleven)” and they “are flown back and forth to their homes every day on the backs of a flock of giant storm petrels.” She even said where this one actually can be found, saying it “stands on the topmost point of the ‘uninhabited’ (or so Muggles think) Volcanic island of Minami Iwo Jima.”
They are also given “enchanted robes” that grow with the students, and change colors, including to white if the student uses Dark Magic.
There is also a school in Brazil, Castelobruxo (Cass-tell-o-broo-shoo). Located somewhere “deep within the rainforest,” the school is “an imposing square edifice of golden rock, often compared to a temple” and it is protected “by the Caipora, small and furry spirit-beings who are extraordinarily mischievous and tricky, and who emerge under cover of night to watch over the students and the creatures who live in the forest.”
The school’s students “wear bright green robes and are especially advanced in both Herbology and Magizoology.”
The other announced school is the African school Uagadou (Wag-a-doo). It is “at least a thousand years” old, and as the “largest of all wizarding schools” it takes in “students from all over the enormous continent.” The only referred to location is the “Mountains of the Moon,” and “visitors speak of a stunning edifice carved out of the mountainside and shrouded in mist, so that it sometimes appears simply to float in mid-air.”
While they do use the European created wand, “many spells are cast simply by pointing the finger or through hand gestures,” which allows students to claim they didn’t break “the International Statute of Secrecy” because they were just waving their hand and it happened by accident.
All of this is very fun and exciting, and gives further depth to the world of Harry Potter that Rowling created. Even more exciting is that we still have four more schools to learn about, though we might have some hint of where at least a couple more will be found.
One fan asked where “Aussie wizards” go to school.
Another asked about a Canadian school of Wizardry.
I bet you the students at that school are really, really polite.
The last Harry Potter book and movie may have been finished long ago, but this world is nowhere near reaching its end. Later this summer, the play Harry Potter and The Cursed Child will open in London, and then this fall we’ll get the prequel movie Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them, where we’ll get to learn a lot more about the world of American witches and wizards.
For today though, muggles from around the world can commiserate with some specificity with our fellow magic-less cohorts in Europe about those admission letters we never got.
With all of this new information to sort through, which do you find the most exciting? Cast a spell with your thoughts in the comments below.