JK Rowling’s Twitter account is always brimming with facts about the world of Harry Potter, and the confirmation of an American school of witchcraft and wizardry is the latest nugget of information the author has shared.
It comes as fans’ questions to the author turn to the subject of upcoming big-screen spin-off trilogy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which will follow the story of magizoologist Newt Scamander. As we know from the original series, the wizard will go on to pen the school textbook of the same name.
Some information requires absolutely no veritaserum (truth serum for Muggles, duh): Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne is donning Newt’s wizarding robes, the story is set seventy years before that of Harry’s, Rowling is writing the screenplay and David Yates (who oversaw the final four HP films) is directing.
But if you’re after more, crumbs of news from the author will keep you going until the first of the three films is released in November 2016.
The revelation of an American version of Hogwarts has certainly captured fans’ imaginations. Obviously we’ve always known there were more schools like Hogwarts, what with the Triwizard Tournament including students from European schools Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. But this is the first time we’ve had some more specific details of a US counterpart, not that Rowling was going to give up all of her secrets that easily.
So, what do we know? Well, according to Twitter, Newt won’t visit the school (whether this means we won’t catch a glimpse of it at all remains to be seen), but will meet students who studied there. Rowling makes good use of brackets to give us an extra hint: the school is not based in New York.
But we know that Newt’s story will take place in the Big Apple, after fans solved an anagram sent out by Rowling.
The author teases us further by adding that the name of the US school is of “immigrant origin”, noting that “indigenous magic” was important when it was first established..
Some readers thought this pointed to The Salem Witches’ Institute, mentioned in the original series, which could hint at a Massachusetts location – but Rowling has since quashed such speculation.
Besides talk of the school, Rowling has also addressed fans’ concerns that Newt’s wife, Porpentina, will be known as ‘Tina”.
As for Newt, Rowling has already shared various titbits of information. He’s a Hufflepuff, for example.
He’s made of pretty stern stuff and isn’t one to run away from things.
He travelled to New York for a purpose.
And, naturally, being a magizoologist he is not in the habit of harming beasts.
This may not be Fantastic Beasts-specific, but still, a warning: best not to get too attached to your favourite characters when the writer is someone who’s “all about the death”…
And should there be any rumours the films aren’t actually happening, well, Rowling has something to say about that, too.
Mischief managed. For now.