1:45 pm EDT, May 8, 2016

Ilvermorny’s 4 houses unveiled thanks to secret code found on Pottermore

Warning: This headline may give you flashbacks to J.K. Rowling's old website.

The names of the four houses that make up Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s North American Wizarding School, Ilvermorny, appear to have surfaced online.

Update (May 25): It took two weeks, but Pottermore finally got rid of the source code with the Ilvermorny house names on their site. When you try to access it here’s the message you receive:


Original story (May 8): Someone on Reddit started digging through Pottermore’s source code recently and discovered a javascript file that runs the sorting quizzes on the site. The code has a reference to an upcoming “Ilvermorny Sorting Ceremony,” and it names the four houses. Hypable has verified that the following code lives on Pottermore’s servers:


The names of the four Ilvermorny houses are: Horned Serpent, Wampus, Thunderbird and Pukwudgie.

Pottermore’s source code does not offer additional details about each house, but quick Google searches reveal that each of these names refers to a creature from folklore or mythology.

Since we’re not up on this folklore, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about each of these creatures in a context outside of the Wizarding World. There are clear ties to Native American culture, which aligns with J.K. Rowling’s recent History of Magic in North America writings:

  • The Wampus is “a creature in American folklore, variously described as some kind of fearsome variation of a cougar.”
  • The Thunderbird is a “legendary creature in certain North American indigenous peoples’ history and culture. It is considered a supernatural bird of power and strength. It is especially important, and frequently depicted, in the art, songs and oral histories of many Pacific Northwest Coast cultures, and is found in various forms among the peoples of the American Southwest, Great Lakes, and Great Plains.”
  • The Pukwudgie is “a two-to-three-foot-tall (61 to 91 cm) being from the Wampanoag folklore. Pukwudgies’ features resemble those of a human, but with enlarged noses, fingers and ears. Their skin is described as being a smooth grey, and at times has been known to glow.”
  • The Horned Serpent “appears in the mythologies of many Native Americans. Details vary among tribes, with many of the stories associating the mystical figure with water, rain, lightning and/or thunder. Horned Serpents were major components of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex of North American prehistory.”

The North American Wizarding World is being unveiled ahead of the release of Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie, which is set in 1920s New York. Though Newt is a British Wizard who went to Hogwarts, he will likely encounter many American Witches and Wizards who went to Ilvermorny.

Fantastic Beasts book

We still don’t know when Pottermore plans to pull the curtain off of Ilvermorny (we currently know next to nothing about the school), but with code in place for an upcoming sorting quiz, it could be coming soon.

Whenever the Ilvermorny houses are officially unveiled, we’re sure Rowling will have lots to say about each one. And unlike our experience with Hogwarts and their four houses, we’re not going to have much time to decide which Ilvermorny house we want to be in. The Harry Potter books gave us lots of time to decide on our own, but with Ilvermorny, whose houses may be unveiled before Fantastic Beasts, we’ll just have to take the quiz to find out where we belong.

Can we purchase our Ilvermorny gear yet?

Thanks to Ian for the tip!

Source: Reddit

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