Episode 212: Ilvermorny – Choo-Choose It!

We’re setting course for a whole new world of magic. This week, join Alison, Caleb, Michael and guest host, Nicole, as they journey to the top of Mount Greylock to explore the hallowed (and oddly familiar) halls of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

On Episode 212 we discuss…

→ Ilvermorny: A (Brief Recap) History
→ No one got the Salem Witches’ Institute joke
→ Connections to the British wizarding world
→ What is Ilvermorny Castle like?
→ Controversy with using Native American culture
→ Are classes different at Ilvermorny?
→ Quidditch and Quadpot and wizard lacrosse!
→ Symbolism of the Gordian Knot
→ “We choo-choose it!”
→ Sorting, wands, and Rappaport’s Law
→ Ilvermorny vs. Hogwarts Houses
Welcome to Ilvermorny (art)
→ We bid Caleb a fond farewell as a host

To listen to the show, simply click the player below or direct download the episode. You can also subscribe to us on iTunes. For more information about the podcast and to find out how to be on the show, check out our Be On The Show! page.

Skype users can send us a message to username AlohomoraMN. And as always, be sure to continue the discussion below!

Listen Now: | Download


RECAP: EPISODE 211

On this recap we discuss…

→ Raise your wands in memory of John Hurt
→ Did Dumbledore repair Hagrid’s wand?
→ Twins and their wands
→ Harry’s Horcrux messes up everything again

Listen Now: | Download

  • Order of Merlin

    I went from Slytherin (old Pottermore) to Gryffindor (new Pottermore), But I align more with Slytherin. As for Ilvermorney, I’m in Pukwudgie

  • Arthur Dent

    Gordian Knot is a bit of a misnomer… the symbol all over Ilvermorny is actually a Celtic Knot.

    • Agreed, and I think one should not read too much into the significance of the Gordian Knot in history. It’s meaning has much more to do with Isolt’s relationship to her mother, her tenuous connection to a disconnected past, and how she infused all that into the very foundation of Ilvermorny.

    • Phoenix

      True! The Gordian knot has no specific shape/symbol as far as I know. Very strange to call it that…

  • Centennial Star

    I’m a Ravenclaw and a Thunderbird. Interestingly enough, my Ilvermorny house aligns with my wand wood, maple, which is also associated with adventure and exploration.

    In response to the discussion about how Ilvermorny is allegedly more democratic despite the fact that the American wizarding world seems to be more authoritarian and regressive than the UK one, I think this actually makes a lot of sense. The United States was founded on the idea that all men are created equal, but slavery, of course, persisted until the mid-19th century and its lingering repercussions are still an issue today. The magical USA, just like the real USA, is rooted in a contradiction.

    • This observation is spot-on. It’s no mere coincidence that Rappaport’s Law was repealed in 1965, amid the No-Maj Civil Rights Movement. Kind of makes one wonder what’s happened since then to make up for all that nonsense, and what the wizarding world in America might look like now, considering all that’s happening in the No-Maj world right now in 2017.

    • AurorPhoenix

      I am a Ravenclaw/ThunderBird as well

  • I am a Gryffindor and Thunderbird. My own personal understanding of some of the more arcane ideas giving structure to Harry Potter’s world draws relationships between the 4 classical elements and the 4 fundamental aspects of life, the universe and everything (to borrow a phrase from another literary genius in the same camp as JKR).

    Water = Mind = Time = 1st dimension
    Air = Spirit = Space = 2nd dimension
    Earth = Body = Matter = 3rd dimension
    Fire = Soul = Energy = 4th dimension

    With this in mind, Rowling’s association of Ilvermorny houses to those 4 fundamental aspects of life had me making instant associations with Hogwarts houses when I first read the story on Pottermore.

    Horned Serpent = Mind = Water = Slytherin
    Pukwudgie = Heart (Spirit) = Air = Ravenclaw
    Wampus = Body = Earth = Hufflepuff
    Thunderbird = Soul = Fire = Gryffindor

    If anyone is interested, I’ve been working for nearly a decade on a fan fic that explores the wizarding world in America, and it is 100% compliant with Ilvermorny and Fantastic Beasts canon. It’s called Jina Dare and the Emerald Tablet, and you can read it on the MuggleNet Fan Fiction site. Among other things, it answer’s Michael’s questions about Quidditch vs Quodpot, and I wonder if after reading the story he would continue to characterize the latter as “lame”. The story has also featured a pukwudgie as a major character since 2009, which kind of makes me wonder if JKR has indeed been one of the rare few on earth to ever notice this work over the years.

    As one who has put a LOT of thought into how the wizarding world would work in America and how a compelling new story that dovetails with Harry’s might come out of it, I can tell you that Rowling’s vision for Ilvermorny and magic in North America, not to mention the narrative of Fantastic Beasts, really are like an untapped a gold mine, and I for one am ready, willing and able to write 7 books on the subject, if given the chance.

    • travellinginabluebox

      Wow. You really have been given this hole thing a proper thought. I will still disagree with you on alligning Hogwarts houses to the Ilvermorny ones as I don’t see them comparable like that. With the table you have set I just fail to see the connection (only a really forced one) between the 4 elements and mind, spirit, body and sould to be honest. Maybe if you could explain the connection that you see between those I would understand it as well.

      But I am definitely interested in your fanfic now, as it seems you predicted a lot of canon way back when we didn’t now anything about Ilvermorny. I will certainly check it our later 🙂

      • These again are just my own interpretations of various esoteric ideas, but it is worth noting that the 4 houses in my fan fic have always had these relationships, and Rowling’s vision for Ilvermorny was kind of a nice sort of validation that I was at least in the same ballpark.

        A deeper dive into the unseen forces that make Harry Potter tick (much thanks to the Hogwarts Professor John Granger!) wound up teaching me a thing or two about alchemy and related philosophies, and I’ve spent an awful lot of time thinking about stuff like why the ancient world created concepts like the 4 classical elements, how they drew distinctions between nebulous things like spirit, soul and mind, and how to use all this weird arcane knowledge to craft a decent story about magic, as Rowling did (and continues to do, in my opinion, with her latest work).

        To shed a little light on one of the elemental relationships I mentioned that probably makes no sense to anyone but me, I don’t see the mind in the typical modern light as being the seat of intelligence and rationality, I see it simply as a stream of consciousness, which is highly subjective, irrational, driven by selfish impulse, easily fooled, easily distracted, easily broken, often idle, and indeed rather dumb most of the time (at least in contrast to the smarts that are usually associated with the mind). It’s essentially just a point in time, riding along a linear wave as the seconds tick by, like a boat on a river that ebbs and flows and meanders according to its path, its rider looking around at the scenery and focusing on whatever they happen to find most interesting at that moment. This, I believe, is what many of the ancients were thinking of when they settled on water as being a fundamental element in nature. They weren’t so much talking about literal H2O as they were using it to describe things like the mind and its relationship to time.

        So while many would immediately associate a house like Ravenclaw with the mind, its association with air instead relates it to the spirit, according to my personal worldview, and this makes perfect sense to me. The spirit is the seat of wit and wisdom, the accumulation of a lifetime of experiences collected through the mind, and the personality that emerges from one’s own take on all that stuff.

        Likewise, it follows that Slytherin would in fact be associated with the mind, considering the definition I laid out above.

        • travellinginabluebox

          Thanks for the long explanation, now it makes sense to me and I do see your point. Whilst I am still not sure we could say that someone who had this Hogwarts house would automatically be in this Ilvermorny house, also given by the difference of the sorting ceremony itself, I do see what you mean.

          I would also say, whilst we can associate the Hogwarts and Ilvermorny houses with each other they don’t project the same overall values. Which is of course easily explained by the difference of their founding. Where the Hogwarts houses closely resemble the 4 founders and those character traits they valued the most, the Ilvermorny founders did choose their favourite magical beast without giving their house special values. At least not to my knowlegde. There isn’t a song sung by an old hat telling the first years what the founders valued or that all smart kids join Ravenclaw (I mean the sorting hat really is handing out a lot of opinion in his songs, anyone would be biased after that), so in a refreshing way Ilvermorny houses are a lot less firm in their characteristic traits.
          So why I can see the parallels between both schools I would say it’s the differences that make them so unique in their own way.

          • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

            Your breakdown does apply in my case, as a Ravenclaw/Pukwudgie. I wasn’t really sure how I ended up in Pukwudgie, I’m definitely not the healer type. However, using those associations of mind to heart to spirit, it makes a lot more sense for me anyway. Not everyone’s houses line up this way so I would say ultimately there isn’t a clear connection between Hogwarts and Illvermorny houses. This is an interesting way of analyzing it though, and not without value.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I don’t generally delve into fan-fic much, but you have me intrigued. I’m interested in your take on quodpot for sure lol.

  • travellinginabluebox

    I am a Gryffindor and a Horned Serpent. Since a lot of people compare Horned Serpent with Slytherin, and I am the Sirius Black in my family, with both my sisters being Slytherins, I always thought it funny that I was a Horned Serpent.

    In a way this also convinced me though that Horned Serpent can’t be put in line with Slytherin completely. Regarding the sorting test, that shows you the percentages of each Hogwarts house, the house I would incline to be in after Gryffindor (40%) would be Ravenclaw (27%) followed by Hufflepuff (22%) and Slytherin (11%). So in this regards the choice of Horned Serpent makes more sense to me, given that Horned Serpent could also easily be compared with Ravenclaw.

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      Hello, fellow Horned Serpent! We seem to be few and far between, compared to some of the other Ivermorny Houses.

      • travellinginabluebox

        Yes, it does seem like there are a whole bunch of Thunderbirds and the Horned Serpents are slightly underrepresented. But hey, more space for us in our common room 😉

  • travellinginabluebox

    Everyone!
    I have created a doc where you can add yourself regarding your Hogwarts and Ilvermorny house, so maybe we will see a pattern or maybe we won’t at all. Either way we would have a result to show us if there is a connection between Hogwarts and Ilvermorny houses. So please follow the link and add yourself in the right field (+1 to the number in the field). If you have questions feel free to ask! https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xOGonjWXd78qXEKvelvmj4MFT4YcNyrbH0jsHuuK_No/edit?usp=sharing

    Would be really cool if everyone could do this!

    • travellinginabluebox

      I took the liberty of adding the hosts (and guest host) as well as Arthur Dent, Order of Merlin, D.C. Evans and Centennial Star

      • AurorPhoenix

        I added myself to Thunderbird/Ravenclaw

    • travellinginabluebox

      Thanks everyone who already added themselves to the list. We are currently at 20 people total and I am hoping for more to add their houses.

      Interesting enough no one so far is in the slot for Slytherin and Horned Serpent!

    • DoraNympha

      Good thinking! Added myself too as a Ravenclaw/Thunderbird. Thought I’d be a Horned Serpent but to be honest if I could choose between them I’d have gone for Thunderbird by choice.

    • SnapesManyButtons

      I added myself and my daughter earlier in the week. I’m a Hufflepuff/Pukwudgie and my daughter is a Ravenclaw/Pukwudgie. I don’t mind being Hufflepuff or Pukwudgie, but I wonder why I got all the weird sounding houses?

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        Haha, I think for that reason people initially were trying to align Hufflepuff and Pukwudgie. “Oh, it sounds ridiculous? Must be the Hufflepuff of Illvermorny”

      • travellinginabluebox

        Weird sounding houses 😉 I actually always thought that Wampus sounds strange but I get you point.

        • SnapesManyButtons

          Well, Pukwudgie not only sounds weird, it’s character looks weird… at least to me.

    • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

      Attempting to add myself, although my tablet is giving me some difficulties opening the sheet in the app. In case I can’t get it to work, please add me as a Ravenclaw and Horned Serpent.

    • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

      Added myself as well. ThunderClaws ROCK!! 😀

  • Marissa Osman

    I’ve always identified as Ravenclaw but Pottermore (both old and new) let me pick between Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. I got sorted into Wampus but I feel like more of a Horned Serpent… So I guess I’m a Ravenclaw/Wampus officially. I’ve never doubted Pottermore before so why start now, right?

  • FantasticFlobberworm

    I have a theory on how muggles, like Isolt’s husband and child or the Grangers, can see magical places like Ilvermorny or Diagon Alley. I think you discussed this on a previous episode (or it might have been SpeakBeasty) and I’ve thought about this ever since. I don’t know if any of you have read any of the Shadowhunters books by Cassandra Clare but in those the Shadowhunters (demon hunters who are part angels, with special abilities) can put something called a “glamour” on their buildings, vehicles or even on themselves to make them invisible or looking like something else so that the mundanes (i.e. normal people) can’t see them. But the mundanes can be taught to see through glamour. I’m thinking it could be the same with the spells that are meant to hide Ilvermorny, Hogwarts or Diagon Alley. If a muggle is told what to look for they can learn how to see through the spell. I guess that was pretty much what you said, but I wanted to share my thought anyway.

    About the houses. I’m a Ravenclaw since age 11, and I have only ever been sorted in Ravenclaw, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve started to identify more with Hufflepuff and today I consider myself 51% Ravenclaw and 49% Hufflepuff. I was first sorted into Pukwudgie, and then Thunderbird (I think? Might have been Horned Serpent) and I see myself as a Pukwudgie. A bunch of my friends took the Ilvermorny test as well, and four of us were sorted into Pukwudgie even though none of us are in the same Hogwarts house. I thought that was pretty interesting.

    • Rosmerta

      I think the Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus books have a similar idea regarding being taught to see through the magic?

      • frumpybutsupersmart

        Yeah, there’s a Mist on everything magical which distorts normal people’s vision – once, when Percy’s holding a sword, everyone thinks he’s holding a baseball bat, and it even looks like a bat in a photo. Some non-magical people just happen to be able to see through it; it can’t be taught, as far as I know.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I like this idea for how muggles can see magical places but I almost think it isn’t even that complicated. I think that simply knowing that it is there is enough to do the trick. Thinking back to Stan Shunpike-“Muggles, don’t listen properly, do they? Don’t look properly, either. Never notice nuffink, they don’.” It would seem that when a muggle isn’t oblivious to the existance of magic, when they actually ARE looking for it, particularly if they know what they are looking for, then perhaps they would notice things.

      • frumpybutsupersmart

        I think of it like a perception filter from Doctor Who. Anything concealed by it can be seen, but only if you’re trying to see it. One of the characters says, “It’s like I know you’re there, but I don’t wanna know”. So anyone who knows that there’s something there that is hidden will be able to see it more easily.

    • Michael Harle

      That Glamour concept sounds similar to the one used in Fables.

  • AurorPhoenix

    I liked the points you all made regarding it almost giving you a “better picture of the whole person.” This was the way that I justified my split of Thunderbird/Ravenclaw. My thought was they don’t match up, because they show different sides of one person. Almost the left brain, right brain sides of one person. Maybe, this was Jo’s way of rectifying what we all had to deal with for a long time when were first sorting ourselves. “Well I am a Hufflepuff, but I think i have more Gryffindor traits.” Or, “I agree, I am very ambitious and cunning like a Slytherin, but I am very bookish, and thought I was a Ravenclaw.” Now, you can say I am very intelligent, like a Horned Serpent, but caring like a Hufflepuff.

    I assumed I would get Horned Serpent, since I was Ravenclaw, but felt that being a Thunderbird did indeed fit better. Like Allison mentioned, I feel as though internally and ideologically I do approach life and its challenges as adventurous. Additionally, when making choices I rely heavily on my core, belifes, gut, etc to drive me through life which could show soul and subsequently show Thunderbird.

    However, when it comes to taking action or execution I often rely on finding the most logical path to reach the most beneficial end. Also, before I act, I try to do as much research as possible. I’ve never found my self as “bookish” necessarily, but would do value knowledge and the seeking of it for knowledge’s sake.

  • George’s Holey Ear

    I’m a very proud Hufflepuff with the ever so slight hint of Ravenclaw the older I’ve gotten.
    I got Wampus 2/3 times I took the test, the third time i got Puckwudgie – I changed my answer for the ‘would you rather hunt or heal’ question from hunt to heal and got that result. It’s weird because though I re-take the Hogwarts tests yearly I generally always get Hufflepuff however I retook the Ilvermorny test within a month or so of each other and during the time I last took the test (resulting in Puckwudgie) I went through a few life changes which may have affected my result on the third taking. Hopefully that made sense. Overall, for me I kind of see the Hogwarts test as being who we are at our core and the Ilvermorny test a result of who are during that given moment or period in life. For example I think that Hermione is a Gryffindor however if she were able to choose a house (after the battle of Hogwarts era) she would pick Horned Serpent.

    P.s I’m going to miss hearing your voice Caleb! All the best! 🙂

    • George’s Holey Ear

      Hufflepuff / Wampus!

  • I am also a Hufflepuff – Thunderbird

  • I’m just wrappigng up a reread of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and in one of the books there is a while bit about the Gordian Knot! Interesting how both Isolt and the Baudelaires became orphans after a fire killed their parents…

    • Alison

      I just finished them too, and that’s actually how I remembered the story behind it, funny enough!

      • Reading this series again reminds me of how quirky the early Potter books were and it makes me a little sad that things had to get so dark and serious later on in the story. One reason I disliked Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts as much as I did was because that light quirkiness was nowhere to be found.

        Potter does not have to equal bleak dark drama. The magic should be bright!

  • Oscar Aguirre

    Ravenclaw/Wampus

  • Silverdoe25

    For the purposes of ongoing sociological research: Ravenclaw/Pukwudgie.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Same!

  • So Wormtail is a coward, but there is no Hogwarts house for cowardice. And yet he is sorted into Gryffindor. There must have been a bit of him that wanted to be brave. That, or he was so horrified at the idea of being stuck around intimidating and “evil” Slytherins that the only house left for him was Gryffindor?

    Cowardice can lead to bravery right? You cannot be BRAVE until you have conquered or faced your FEARS. Could the hat have worked backwards like that to sort Wormtail into Gryffindor?

    • SnapesManyButtons

      I see Wormtail as the counterpoint to Neville, who also seems unfit for Gryffindor at first. One later reveals his bravery in protecting others while the other is just saving himself. At first Wormtail seems just a flunky for the Marauders, but it turns out he’s been feeding information to Voldemort for a year before the Potter’s were killed. That’s pretty risky because if he got caught he knew he’d have to be just as afraid of what the Marauders would do to him as what Dumbledore would do. Then he not only kills all those Muggles, he cuts off his own finger to fake his death! All to frame his own friend. That’s something few would even think to do, much less be able to pull off. Then later he not only goes to Romania to find Voldemort and help him rise, but he finds Bertha Jorkins and lures her to the Dark Lord. This is not your typical bravery, it’s selfish, not selfless, but it is the kind of blind, Go-For-It attitude that Gryffindors are known for. He’s protecting his own skin rather than others, but he does some pretty dangerous things that few would dare do, even out of self-preservation. By definition, Bravery is, “ready to face and endure danger or pain,” it doesn’t have to only be done for Good.

      • Rosmerta

        Good thoughts, particularly the definition of bravery. We take it to mean to protect others, in a self-sacrificing way like Harry/Neville. Your ideas make it much clearer why Pettigrew was sorted into Gryffindor.

  • Rosmerta

    Ravenclaw/Thunderbird
    Great episode, although it was a little difficult to hear the guest.
    One question, and may have been that I’ve just missed it, Jo is a Gryffindor but do we know what Ilvermony house she is?
    And thanks Arthur Dent for clearing up the Gordian knot think, of course it’s a Celtic knot!

    • MartinMiggs

      I believe she said Thunderbird

      • travellinginabluebox

        Yep she tweeted that

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    Mugglenet Academia Lesson 51 was a good place for me to start learning about Native American history and culture, with two guests who are “authorities on literature and First Nations traditions”
    http://mugglenetacademia.libsyn.com/mugglenet-academia-lesson-51-harry-potter-and-the-indian-in-the-cupboard

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Yeah, I listened to this one too and found it helpful. One of the points made that I hadn’t thought about before was the boarding school experience of Native Americans, which is drastically different from the tradition of boarding school narratives in England. For children from various tribes, boarding schools were forced upon them in order to “civilize” them, effectively separating them from their own cultures and languages and forcing them to adopt European culture as their own. This is a terrible, and real, piece of American history in contrast to the fun and adventure of boarding school stories in England. I wonder if Jo considered at all that maybe tying Native Americans to a boarding school, even a magical, egalitarian one, wasn’t such a good idea.

  • Jared Jenkins

    I’m a proud Slytherin and Horned Serpent, so I’m a double serpent.

    • travellinginabluebox

      I will add you to the doc then 😉

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    Aww, Caleb…travelinginabluebox and I just had a conversation recently where we surmised you’d be leaving soon. Thanks for all the time you’ve put into the show and your many great thoughts over the years. Good luck in your future endeavors!

    • SnapesManyButtons

      It was a surprise to me, we’ll really miss you, Caleb! Glad to know you’ll be listening with us, though, maybe we’ll see you here in the comments, at least.

  • SnapesManyButtons

    Okay, I have to say it, I hate the Ilvermorny song because the tune and the lyrics are hard to follow. Not that I didn’t like the deleted scene, it was adorable, but school songs are supposed to be simple, not a history lesson. Not that the Hogwarts song is great, but its funny and has a bouncy beat (though technically you can sing any tune you want with it…)

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I didn’t have a problem with the lyrics but it did strike me as a rather difficult tune for the average, musically untrained student to pick up. Some of those harmonies…yeesh. Some parts I couldn’t tell if it was intentional dissonance or if Tina just wasn’t hitting the right notes. It’s kind of an odd key for a school song.

      • Slughorn’s Trophy Wife

        Yeah, I wasn’t thrilled with Tina’s singing either, but Queenie’s was perfection 😀 And I wasn’t thrilled with the song the first time through, but now that I’ve heard it several times, it keeps getting stuck in my head 🙂

  • SnapesManyButtons

    When I read some of the criticisms of Rowling, whether the original books or the newer writings, I wonder sometimes if people forget she is not an actual God creating a world, but a writer (albeit an amazingly talented one) telling her story as best she can. If she leaves out some aspect of society that some feel deserved representation, it’s not because she is out to get anyone. If she misunderstands how some culture works, it’s not an outright attack. She is a human with her own frailties and perspectives and she doesn’t owe anyone anything except to do her best and put her works out there to read or not. As much as I love the discussions, and delving deep into the whats and whys, sometimes I think a thestral is just a thestral. Maybe there is no explanation for how death enables you to see it except that the concept worked for her narrative. And when when she wrote the Ilvermorny story, she certainly didn’t set out to create a controversy or offend anyone. She’s a writer who makes mistakes like any writer, but whose audience is so enormous that there’s literally nothing she can do that someone won’t find fault with.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      I completely agree with you that she shouldn’t be villified for her missteps and I think we can be certain that her intent was never to offend. However, that doesn’t mean that such criticisms shouldn’t be voiced, particularly when they have to do with still living, breathing cultures. Pointing these things out is what helps us grow and better ourselves as a society. No writer is perfect but all should be striving for a sense of accuracy and fair portrayal when it comes to aspects of the real world. Jo is so vocal about issues like representation and equality that there is an expectation set for her to demonstrate that in her writing as well. Plus, with FB she has become more entrenched in film, which in particular has a lot of issues with under/misrepresentation, so she probably needs to tread carefully there and not commit the same errors that are becoming a huge isssue these days.

      While these kinds of criticisms are valid, I don’t think she should be less respected as a writer because of them. Hopefully, lesson learned when it comes to her future writings. I’m actually more dissapointed that she hasn’t done anything to address the criticisms of the Illvermorny writings, though it may just be a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation at this point. I think earlier on a simple apology and statement that she never intended to offend but acknowledges the issue, might have been a good move. It’s not like she can take it all back or anything.

      You are right about reading too much into things sometimes though. While we love to pick her writing apart, sometimes doing so does create problems where there really aren’t. And someone is always going to be upset about something; it’s just that somethings have more validity than others “She shouldn’t have made Ron and Hermione get together!” versus “There are no clearly gay characters despite her advocacy for gay rights and representation”

      • Lisa

        Agree with you completely. I’m not part of any minority but if someone were to write a story set in my home-country for example I would expect them to do their research thoroughly and not write it based on stereotypes. There’s no obligation for her to write about a certain country or part of the world but if she chooses to do so then she ought to do it properly, IMO.

        Also agree about the fact that she never addresses criticism. Not just in the case of Ilvermorny but in other aspects of her stories as well. For example, in connection with the FB movie there’s been a huge controversy about Johnny Depp being cast as Grindelwald considering him being accused of abusing his ex-wife. Myabe she wasn’t wrong to want to work with him anyway, but it is a bit frustrating that she never even answered this criticism when she’s usually very quick to tell people off for being sexist/homophobic/whatever.

        • SnapesManyButtons

          There’s nothing wrong with criticism and discourse, it’s the people who act like she should know and believe everything they know and believe. Who decides what the “proper” way is to depict something? If the goal is to never upset anyone, it just can’t be done. Not everyone in a particular group feels the same about everything. Not every Native American was offended by the Ilvermorny story. Not everyone has a problem with Depp. Plenty of people acknowledge that Johnny Depp hasn’t been proven guilty and believe his wife is falsely accusing him. I guess the point is that for every person criticizing her for something, there’s another who thinks she’s right. She has an incredibly thick skin and I’m amazed that she deals with things as well as she does.

          • Lisa

            I don’t think it’s a matter of if the majority doesn’t think something is wrong then she doesn’t have to address it. Sometimes people don’t pick up on certain things or don’t care enough to actually express criticism about it. Just because not everyone has a problem doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. The people who have voiced criticism over the Ilvermorny thing or the lack of representation for example have often had good arguments. As for Depp, the attitude you mention with people saying he’s been falsely accused is part of the problem because that tends to be the default whenever a famous and admired man faces such accusations.

            I really believe that if JKR weren’t so self-righteous about her politics and didn’t make some of the statements she makes, that people wouldn’t hold her to such close scrutiny either. It’s not like all writers get accused of queerbaiting or of being culturally insensitive. People want her to live up to what she preaches. And unfortunately when it comes to social issues in her stories, things have been quite disappointing for a while now. No canonically gay characters, hardly any non-white characters, no female main characters, and now the Ilvermorny controversy as well. Of course I agree with you that she doesn’t owe anybody anything. But the thing is that she _wants_ to be seen as liberal, progressive and culturally aware. And many times people think she just doesn’t deliver on that front. I agree that it’s unfair sometimes, because people shouldn’t expect more from you just because you “come out” as a liberal. But it is what it is. I appreciate that her intentions are good and love that she’s generally a great role model politically. I just wished she discussed some of the things her fans have pointed out as upsetting.

          • Michael Harle

            ^ This.

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    Haha…typical. Nerds.

    (I know because I’m one too..)☺️

  • travellinginabluebox

    Sure no problem 🙂

  • Soc.forRescueofVanishedAnimals

    Caleb, you will be missed! It’s impressive that you were part of the entire series re-read from the beginning. Congrats on finishing law school and all the best for the future!

  • Michael Harle

    I hope you’d say hi! :{D

  • Guys…

    I like Harry Potter

  • I don’t mean him specifically. Just the series!

    • Rosmerta

      Isn’t that the reason we’re all here?

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      Of course… I was reaching, there was a Simpsons reference to be made

      • Simpsons!?! I thought you were referring to the Illvermorny song! Haha. That’s such a classic Simpson episode though, I instantly thought the Illvermorny song was ripping off of it! Because really, why else use the words that way?

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Well, both really- the song and timing of your comment brought that particular episode to mind. It’s like the perfect setup for a game of “make the connection”.

  • So if Cursed Child is canon, then is it safe to say that Voldemort’s appearance in The Lego Batman movie is also canon?

  • Rosmerta

    Bit late to add to this discussion probably but in an interview on BBC, David Yates said that he asked Jo about the MACUSA president and “she came back the next day with a 10 page document on the history of magic in North America” which would seem to indicate that it came purely from her imagination and existing knowledge rather than thought-out research. I’ll try & find the link but it may not work internationally.

  • CatOak123

    I am a Gryffindor (with Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw tendencies) on Pottermore, and Pukwudgie in Ilvermorny. I have added my +1 to the doc.

  • Sherry Gomes

    I enjoyed the discussion this week about Ilvermorny. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I did get sorted on Pottermore. My house is Horned Serpent, and I am still baffled over that. I’m smart and well-read, but I don’t consider myself scholarly or of the mind. I’m a very heart oriented person. For Hogwarts, I was sorted into Gryffindor, and I consider that more like me, that or Hufflepuff, because I’m exceedingly loyal and count loyalty as one of my most valued things in other people. I might sign up on Pottermore with a different email address and try again. Anyway, loved the discussion. and farewell and good luck Caleb! Since I discovered the Alohomora podcasts, I’ve loved listening to your thoughts and comments, often agreeing with you. And I’ll miss having a Gryffindor regularly on the show. Good luck with your future and whatever your Dumbledore’s Army is fighting for. I know the fight will be worthy and you have the energy and heart for the battle.
    Sherry