We covered last week that J.K. Rowling had revealed new schools of witchcraft and wizardry, similar to Hogwarts, in the Harry Potter universe. Blizzard concept artist Evan Amundsen created art for a school of his own imagining. The school inspired by Nordic myth and magic. Meet the faculty of Vølurheim:
HEADMSTER TORBJØRN JOTUNHORN
Amundsen had been a fan of the series for quite some time. “I finished the Harry Potter books (again) not so long ago, and got the idea that it was incredibly unfair that we didn’t have a school for the magical arts in Scandinavia. I mean, if they can see fit to open such establishments in England, France and Bulgaria, I think it only fair we have one up north as well, so here is our headmaster,” he described, in revealing Torbjørn.
KARI “MANNEVOND” SIGFRIDSDOTTIR
Don’t let the sweet smile fool you. Her nickname, mannevond, is Norwegian for vicious, which is an ominous warning for those who may cross this Professor of Curses and Charms.
Professor of Dragon Lore and Care, Ragnhild is described as a fixture of the school, having held her position for 79 years. She’s also considered a world authority on the Norwegian Ridgeback dragon in greater magic society. For her students, however, Amundsen warns that, “she is well known to get along better with her charges than with her students.”
This mellow Professor of Herbology is described as a thinking man, a friend to the timid and shy, and a wanderer (the school likely has flexible sabbatical policies for staff, allowing Mummrikk to wander the earth as he’s known to do.) “The design of this guy will probably be quite familiar to those of you who are fans of the Moomin series, as he is heavily inspired by the character Snufkin, who goes by Snusmumrikken in norwegian. Could not pass up a chance at giving one of my favorite characters of all time a little nod,” Amundsen confesses in describing the source of inspiration for this character.
Grimstav looks like a scary BAMF, but there’s a reason for that. A veteran of the Troll Wars turned Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts, Grimstav is one of the few wizards who closely befriended and studied alongside dwarf kind. So close is his kinship with the dwarves that the tattoos of his tales have been magically imbued with dwarvish runes of power and protection. Don’t get caught passing notes in his class, or doing anything else Grimstav might take offense to. “Even though dignified and reserved most of the time, he will make settling grudges a point of honor, and when irked might throw his robes aside and appear as one sees him here, ready teach some life lessons.”
HULDA KVÆ NANGSDOTTIR
Hulda isn’t human, but rather of the hulders, a forest folk of Scandanavin folklore. She is one of the best known of her people to live openly among humans. She is the Professor of Healing Arts, but also offers a special class for advanced senior students: that of Ancient Blood Magic. There is a great deal of tension between her and Grimstav, however, as Admunsen describes. “Her fascination with the old magicks, and her belonging amongst the hulderfolk, has her sympathetic to trolls and tusser (nordic feral goblins) and has her in almost constant conflict with Professor Draugsleiven.”
What’s the deal with Keepers of Keys and Lights at these magical schools loving cats? Dagfinn is the only nisse/tomte on staff, a Norwegian magical folk that is something of a cross between a gnome and a gift-bearing santa-type creature. He and his oversized cat, Knerten keep mice from overrunning the school.
Potterheads: tell us which of these professors you’d want to take classes from in the comments below!