Everything We Know About the (Rumored) American Hogwarts Houses
Anyone who loves Harry Potter has got a Hogwarts house — or has at least tried to figure theirs out. House identity is a huge deal to the Potter fandom, which is why there has been so much speculation about how J.K. Rowling will configure the 10 non-Hogwarts wizarding schools in her magical universe. With the upcoming release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the American version of Hogwarts, Ilvermorny, has been the primary focus of these speculations.
Apparently, one fan was perplexed enough about the unanswered Ilvermorny questions that he went rooting around in Pottermore's source code for answers. By some stroke of shady, shady luck, he came across an unfinished sorting ceremony quiz that supposedly lists names of the American school's houses: Wampus, Thunderbird, Pukwudgie, and Horned Serpent. These names, each representative of magical creatures native to North America, are likely the mascots for each Ilvermorny house.
Rowling briefly mentioned two of these creatures in her recent Pottermore series, History of Magic in North America. "The Thunderbird is a magical American bird closely related to the phoenix," the author describes in one piece about magic in 1920s America. In the same installment, she mentions "hair of the Wampus cat" in passing as a wand-core material.
According to Hypable, the Wampus is closely related to the cougar. The Pukwudgie is supposedly a gray humanoid creature with enlarged features, while the Horned Serpent is a large reptilic being often featured in Native American lore.
While one might expect Potterheads to jump with joy over this unsanctioned news about their beloved universe, many have voiced frustration with the speculated housing system.
One of the major complaints about these picks is not only that they seem to be similar picks as the Hogwarts mascots, but also that American schools tend not to have separate houses — some feel that a house system isn't representative of American academic culture. Others have taken offense to Rowling's use of Native American mythological creatures, dubbing it cultural appropriation.
Before getting up in arms about this information, it's important to remember that none of this information is official — it was leaked in a way that's likely frustrating to Rowling and her entire Pottermore team. Jumping to conclusions about her choices before she's even announced them is unfair to her as the series creator and — to be quite frank — an ungrateful move by the Potter fandom. For now, we'll write this off as speculation . . . we're sure that Rowling would like the chance to speak for herself.