Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Animation based on JK Rowling’s ‘Fantastic Beasts’ explores ‘American Hogwarts’


With the theatrical release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them creeping closer, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has been busy introducing fans to new parts of the wizarding world. Making good on her promise to delve further into North America’s magical history, Rowling has penned new writing on Hogwarts’ American equivalent, the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was published Tuesday on Pottermore, along with a beautiful animated short that introduces the work.

The story of Ilvermorny is worth a series itself, but for now, we’ll take the nearly 2-minute video and 5,330-word piece. Through both, we learn about the American school and its founder, an Irish woman named Isolt Sayre. The writing unveils a lot more specifics, but the video will certainly capture your attention if you loved the Harry Potter books.

Like Rowling’s original hero, Isolt is an orphan, and her story features a pureblood-loving villain, a unique connection to snakes, and a special wand. Love, loyalty, and revenge are also key to the tale, adding still more familiar elements. A huge difference, though, is the time period and setting; Isolt was born in Ireland around 1603 and ended up taking the Mayflower to the New World in 1620.

Get your weekly teardown of the tech behind PC gaming
Check your inbox!

With Fantastic Beasts set in the 1920s, we don’t expect to see Isolt herself in the film. However, American witches and wizards educated at Ilvermorny will be, so learning about the enchanted institution now is helpful. Like Hogwarts, it is hidden from the non-magical community (whose members are called No-Majs in the U.S. instead of Muggles). The video describes Ilvermorny as “one of the greatest secrets of the magical world,” and highlights that “its enchanted stone walls have stood strong through the ages, surviving fearsome battles and weathering powerful storms.”

As usual, J.K. Rowling has piqued our curiosity, making the Fantastic Beasts release date seem even further away. We’ll have to wait till November 18 to see how Ilvermorny ties in with protagonist Newt Scamander’s New York adventures.

Pre-order the original screenplay on Amazon

Editors' Recommendations

Stephanie Topacio Long
Stephanie Topacio Long is a writer and editor whose writing interests range from business to books. She also contributes to…
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore trailer sends the wizards to war
The cast of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

There's a war coming to the wizarding world, and Albus Dumbledore has been forced to the sidelines while the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald assembles his forces. However, the first trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore demonstrates that Albus is far from helpless. Thanks to his efforts, an unlikely team of wizards (and one muggle) may be enough to turn the tide against Grindelwald. Their bravery is inspiring, especially in the face of Grindelwald's evil. But he has already arranged a nasty surprise for Dumbledore: A long-lost brother who wants him dead.

Since Johnny Depp was forced to step down from the franchise, this trailer marks the official debut of Hannibal's Mads Mikkelsen as the new Grindelwald. It's unclear if the character's new face is part of the plot or if the audience is supposed to simply accept the recasting without explanation. Regardless, Mikkelsen's Grindelwald is appropriately sinister and powerful in the new footage. He has also convinced Credence Barebone that Albus wants him dead because Credence is actually Aurelius Dumbledore. This information is coming solely from Grindelwald, so we can't actually take what he says at face value. Yet Credence believes it, and it fuels his confrontation with Albus in the trailer.

Read more
Fantastic Beasts 3 now has an official title and 2022 release date
Jude Law and Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Nearly three years ago, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the most recent installment in the Harry Potter prequel film series, left moviegoers with a big cliffhanger. Now, we know when the next sequel will arrive. Warner Bros. has announced that Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will hit theaters on Friday, April 15, 2022.

Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling is once again collaborating with screenwriter Steve Kloves on the script. David Yates, the director of four Harry Potter films and both of the earlier Fantastic Beasts movies, is also returning to helm The Secrets of Dumbledore.

Read more
Porto vs Benfica live stream: Can you watch for free?
UEFA soccer league goal-line technology

Liga Portugal leaders Benfica head to Estadio do Dragao today for a massive showdown with Porto. It's always a must-watch scenario when it's O Classico, and this one should be no different with Benfica fighting for the top of the table and Porto looking for revenge after two early-season losses in this rivalry.

The can't-miss match is starting soon, at 3:30 p.m. ET, and will be televised on Gol TV in the United States. If you want to watch a live stream, there are a handful of different ways to do so, including some free options.
Is There a Free Porto vs Benfica Live Stream?

Read more