J.K. Rowling Explores the “History of Magic in North America” in New Story

The best fantasy books don’t just pull readers into a new setting, they hint at an entire alternative universe. Think of Tolkien’s legendarium, the extensive mythology surrounding Lord of the Rings, or the complex histories of “The Known Universe” of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones. Part of the joy of reading the Harry Potter series is dropping into J.K. Rowling’s fully realized magical world, but over the years Rowling has taken it a step further, expanding on the books by publishing new stories (and backstories) on her site, Pottermore.

In the novels, Rowling introduced readers to a couple magical schools outside the UK (remember those strapping, somersaulting students from Durmstrang?), but she’s only recently revealed the specifics of wizarding schools across the world. Readers of Pottermore can learn the history of Castelobruxo in Brazil, Mahoutokoro in Japan, Uagadou in Africa, and, as of 6 a.m. Pacific Time, Ilvermorny, the American wizarding school. “History of Magic in North America” will be released on Pottermore in four parts, one story every morning through March 11. Rowling has revealed that there are substantial differences between magical America and magical Britain. For example, unlike in Britain, American wizards live among their non-muggle counterparts, have a magical congress, and remake good British TV shows into series that are twice as long as they need to be. (Hopefully she has a magical solution for that last.) These short stories come before the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a movie prequel to the Potter books which comes out in theaters this November.

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