Heart still broken after J.K. Rowling ended her magic-filled series with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? Cheer up. There’s a new era of the Wizarding World, one that takes place in the past. And it starts here and now.
Rowling has released the first part of her new history, which will form the basis of a four-story collection,“The History of Magic in North America.” (The first piece, “Fourteenth Century – Seventeenth Century” will be released over the next few days.)
We suggest you read it here, and not just because you’re a fan of All Things Rowling. It’s because, according to a Pottermore press release, these installments shed light on a “previously unexplored corner of the wizarding world…. And you’ll want to get up to speed before [Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them] comes around in November.”
In other words, this writing is a must-read for the upcoming film.
Here’s what we learned today:
1. Rowling’s segment isn’t a story.
As for the first part of “Fourteenth Century – Seventeenth Century,” it is in fact a history, not a story, as no characters are mentioned by name.
2. Magical people knew about each other before the Muggles did.
Magical people in Europe, North America, and Africa knew about each other years before the European expansion, thanks to alternative sources of travel, like brooms and Apparition.
3. North America has the same ratio of magical/non-magical people as Europe does.
The ratio of magical people to non-magical people (“No-Majs” in American) “seemed consistent across populations, as did the attitudes of No-Majs, wherever they were born.” That means there are no groups of people who are completely magical…and everywhere in the world, people without magic are suspicious, jealous, or both.
4. There are tales of evil witches and wizards in the New World.
Specifically, “skin walkers,” that is, “an evil witch or wizard [who] can transform into an animal at will.” Why evil? Because according to No-Maj rumors, they killed their own family to gain their transformative powers. In reality, the “Animagi” only transformed “to escape persecution or to hunt for the tribe.”
5. Wands are a European invention.
Although wizards and witches can use powerful magic without a wand, wands are used to focus magic. Therefore, certain types of magic are difficult to cast without them.
That’s just the first segment of the first chapter, with more to come in the following weeks. I would have liked to have seen some new characters introduced. But this is still an excellent background. What do you think about the first segment? And what do you want to see most?