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‘History of Magic in North America’ Comes to Pottermore this Week

Posted by Jess on March 9, 2016

magic-in-north-america-featuredThere are a lot of things for Potterheads to be excited about this year: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will hit London’s West End this summer, the stage play will be made available in book form, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them comes out in November.

I’ll admit, I was lukewarm on the movie’s release at first – but now I am riding this hype train all the way to Releaseville! This may or may not be due to the fact that part of the movie’s release includes new content from JK Rowling herself.

Over the next few days, a new part of the series “History of Magic in North America” will be released on Pottermore. The whole series will consist of four parts, spanning from the fourteenth century up until 1920, right before Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set to take place. The first part was published today, covering North American wizard history from the fourteenth to seventeenth century.

In this installment, we learn that the first wizards in North America were primarily Native American. No surprise there, considering that mass European colonization didn’t start for another century. What is interesting is that most of these wizards were wandless – confirming that wizards can, in fact, perform magic without a wand (which explains Harry’s innate magical ability, like ending up on the roof of the school when bullied in Sorcerer’s Stone and “blowing up” his aunt in Prisoner of Azkaban). As it turns out, wands serve to channel magic, making it more powerful and accurate – so it’s better for more precise magic like Charms and Transfiguration.

These early Native American wizards were also extremely skilled Animagi (wizards that can turn into animals) – which is where the legends of “skin walkers” originated. Many Animagi used their power to help hunt for the tribe, which is a pretty cool application I’ve gotta say. Transforming into a wolf to take down a deer would probably be far more effective than tracking and attempting to take one down with an arrow.

Personally, I couldn’t be more excited for these new installments on North American wizards. One of the biggest criticisms I hear about JK Rowling’s work is that it’s not “deep” enough. They compare the Harry Potter series to something like Lord of the Rings. But honestly, at the height of Potter popularity, Rowling was releasing a new book every 1.5 years. She just simply didn’t have the time Tolkien did to put the same level of detail in. So it’s exciting to see Rowling add depth to the world she’s created through series like “History of Magic in North America”.

You can read the first part now on Pottermore, and be sure to check back throughout the week for the remaining three!

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About Jess

She's is just your average cat-herding, world-traveling, tech-loving otaku. She'll brazenly defend her love of Harry Potter and Sailor Moon to any who challenge it, and can usually be found under a stack of unread books and graphic novels.

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