Ilvermorny, the US wizardry school !
Just like France, Scandinavia and the UK, the US has its very own wizardry school, Ilvermorny !
The school as mentioned for the very first time in the Fantastic beast movie and as the second one is coming up soon, it’s high time we knew more about it ! Plus the next movie should introduce Prof Eulalie Hicks from Ilvermorny so read on!
According to what J.K Rowling explained, the school was founded during the 17th century. Its founder is an Irish-born witch named Isolt Sayre whose origins are very magical indeed as a distant ancestor of hers is none other than Salazar Slytherin ! This however created a lot of unhappiness for the young witch as she had to flee from her Pure-blood obsessed aunt just like Marvolo and Morfin Gaunt were later on.
Hopefully, Isolt managed to escape from her aunt and arrived in America where she married a no-Maj, James, and started a family of her own. She also taught her children, leading her to start her school of wizardry in Massachussets, named after her childhood house although some fans have other opinions about the name. Like Hogwarts, Ilvermorny has four Houses: Horned Serpent, Wampus, Thunderbird and Pukwudgie, named and created after Isolt’s family members.
Porpentina Goldstein was a Thunderbird House student (like J.K Rowling!) and her sister Queenie was sorted in Pukwudgie while they studied in Ilvermorny. The Horned Serpent represent the wizard’s sprit (and is also Seraphina Picquery's House, MACUSA’s leader,), the Thunderbird his soul, the Wampus his ability to protect those weakers than him and the Pukwudgie his body in the physical sense (akin to Gryffindor’s quality such as courage and a sense of adventure). You can find out about your House here ! Each House symbol is linked to Native American legends but you could also see a link with Aztecs and pre-Colombian mythology with for example the Aztec feathered snake, Quetzalcoatl.
Following the American magic laws, prospective students can only receive a wand after they enter the school. The sorting ceremony relies on the Houses’ animals four statues: when the statue moves, it means the student has been accepted. Only after can student be granted a wand.
Regardless of the House they belong too, students wear a blue and red uniform, Isolt’s and James’s favorite colors, decorated with a Gordian knot brooch, a memento from Isolt’s mother she could retrieve from her childhood house that burned down, killing both her parents. Isolt’s name reminds us of Tristan and Isold legend and the brooch with the Gordian know can be traced back to antique fibula worn throughout Antiquity in Europe, including in Isolt’s native land, Ireland. Ilvermorny is definitely an international school filled with myths from all over the world!
Just like Hogwarts, Ilvermorny has its own anthem which was written by J.K Rowling and Alison Sudol who plays Queenie Goldstein, the first couplet is “ We stand as one united / Against the Puritan/ We draw our inspiration / From good witch Morrigan “.
Cover picture from Pottermore Wiki