February 4, 2016

Hogwarts isn’t the only game in town anymore


Wizarding Schools, via Pottermore

Wizarding Schools, via Pottermore

This weekend, while Universal Studios was in the middle of its third annual “Celebration of Harry Potter” (a three-day event that features Q&As with actors and draws thousands of visitors), J. K. Rowling’s website Pottermore revealed the general locations of five other magical schools registered with the International Confederation of Wizards.

Specific details about the schools are kept secret, obviously, to guard against “Muggle persecution,” but Rowling will concede that “as a general rule, magical schools tend to be situated in landlocked, mountainous areas . . . as such regions are difficult for Muggles to access, and easier to defend from Dark wizards.”

Uagadou, for example, is “carved out of the mountainside and shrouded in mist” and welcomes students from across the African continent; Mahoutokoro “is made of mutton-fat jade, and stands on the topmost point” of a volcanic Japanese island; Castelobruxo is hidden deep within the Brazilian rainforest; Beauxbatons is a castle “situated somewhere in the Pyrenees;” and, last but not least, there’s Ilvermorny, which Rowling hinted on twitter is located some place with “relevance to Native American Indian Culture” (as reported by Alison Flood for The Guardian).

To find out if there’s a wizarding school in your area, Rowling suggests you “address an owl enquiry to the International Confederation of Wizards, Educational Office.”



Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.