History of Magic in North America: 14th – 17th Century

The first of the four deep dives into the History of Magic in North America has arrived on Pottermore.

The first story from the history of North American Wizardry has arrived on Pottermore this morning. You can read it here.

The first thing of note, as was suggested in yesterday’s video, is that Rowling is expanding her magical historical repertoire. Where the magic of Hogwarts and the original Harry Potter series was deeply rooted in the European magical traditions, Rowling right off the bat begins rooting North American magic is the traditions of the Native Americans.

It should also be noted that she also introduces the idea of persecution of wizards and witches on the North American continent. Perhaps because the Harry potter series was viewed primarily from a wide eyed child’s perspective when it was introduced, along the the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy of 1692, the divide between Muggles and Wizardkind seemed to be based more on ignorance of the other’s world, rather than living through open prosecution. This is clearly partly because the upcoming movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them roots the plot in American Wizard’s terror of discovery by no-majs and the ‘bad guy” instead of being a dark wizard intent on gaining power, is in fact someone who runs a group called “The New Salemists” and is calling for the execution of those with magical abilities.

This is also the second story where Rowling talks about “wandless magic.” In the story about the International Wizarding School Uagadou, she mentions that wizards and witches of African decent still don’t bother with wands today, as they are a European creation. The fact that this comes up again in the Native American history is curious, and suggests that “wandless magic” might be an important plot point down the line.