This past week, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling revealed the locations of four more international wizarding schools. They are Ilvermorny in America (somewhere in New England), Mahoutokoro in Japan, Castelbruxo in Brazil and Uagadou in Africa. The announcement came from Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood, at the Celebration of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. In addition, Pottermore, the site for all things Harry Potter, tweeted out a map of the schools and even more information on them from Rowling.
Sure, this is all to help get the word out about the upcoming spinoff film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which is set in the wizarding world (Ilvermorny will feature in the film). But here’s the thing: Rowling has remained incredibly active in the Potter fan community, keeping the magic alive for us despite the fact that both the book and film series ended years ago.
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I guess this has been on my mind, both because of the death of Alan Rickman last month and the fact that they’re building the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, a few miles from me. As a Potter fan, it means a lot to have that world not just stay alive, but expand. It's wonderful that Rowling takes the time to answer fan questions on Twitter, brings us new stories to fill in the gaps and solve the mysteries left over from the books, and gives us fun facts about our favorite characters. The last book may have come out in 2007 and the last film in 2011, but I bet you still tell people what house you’re in. Of course you do. I bet you even have your wand on your desk right now.
Thank you, J.K. Rowling, for being so active in fandom. Thank you for keeping this alive for us. Thank you for telling us what Rickman knew about Snape. Thank you for standing your ground with the revelation about Dumbledore. Thank you for creating a whole new generation of kids who wait for the owl carrying their acceptance letter to Hogwarts, and for giving Potterheads around the world another part of this universe to love. Thank you for the magic.