These Might Be the Very Silly Names of the Houses in Harry Potter’s American Wizarding School

Egad! Photo: Warner Brothers

In a tale as old as the internet, J.K. Rowling's veil of secrecy around Harry Potter's new American wizarding school has been broken by some rando who looked at the source code. A bit of JavaScript on the Pottermore website refers to an Ilvermorny sorting ceremony, with four houses to choose from, called Horned Serpent, Wampus, Thunderbird, and Pukwudgie. There's no further explanation about the houses, but each name corresponds to a creature from American folklore: The Wampus is a cougar-like big cat; the Thunderbird and Horned Serpent are fairly self-explanatory, though both have special resonance in various indigenous cultures; and the Pukwudgie hails from Wampanoag mythology and resembles a human, though much shorter and with fingers, ears, and nose. Keep in mind that representatives from Pottermore have not confirmed these reports. There's no reason Ilvermorny would have to have a sorting ceremony like Hogwarts', much less houses at all. Still, the house names are a) pretty silly and b) appropriating Native American culture from a British perspective in a way that's not entirely comfortable, so, yeah, this is consistent with everything else J.K. Rowling has written about American wizarding history. Go Pukwudgie!