10 New Harry Potter Questions That Desperately Need Answers

Since 2012, J.K. Rowling has used Pottermore to fill in the gaps of magical history left over from the conclusion of Harry Potter. These updates have ranged from fun (did you know a Malfoy once tried to marry Queen Elizabeth?) to fascinating (Azkaban has a really dark past), but usually answer more questions than they raise.

 

Harry Potter Author JK Rowling

Image Via: Screenreels

 

Uncharacteristically, Rowling’s new History of Magic in North America, four very short stories meant to set up the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, opens more holes in the Potterverse than it closes. The more troubling questions these stories raise have already been well-covered, so instead I want to take a closer look at some of the smaller ones.

 

How The Heck Did European Wizards Get To North America So Early?

In the VERY FIRST paragraph of the new stories, it’s implied that European and African magic users were not only aware of their North American counterparts, but had traveled there as early as the 14th century thanks to “modes of magical travel – brooms and Apparition among them.”

 

mywebroom blog harry potter broomsticks gif

 

Everything we know about brooms (even Harry’s Firebolt is too slow for a flight to America) and Apparition (which requires a strong familiarity of the destination) makes trans-Pacific travel pretty unlikely. I’m guessing 14th century wizards didn’t have flying cars, so I have to wonder.

 

Instead Of Magic, Do Wands Actually Channel Emotions?

We knew that wands make magic easier, but now we know which kinds of magic. Per the story, “wandless magic can attain great complexity, but Charms and Transfiguration are very difficult without one.” Wandless potion and healing magic are described as being much less difficult.

 

Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts Newt Scamander Wand

Image Via: Glamour

 

On Twitter, Rowling clarified that wands help magical children control the magic they produce under emotional stress. Remember when Snape tried to teach Harry wandless Occlumency and Harry failed because he couldn’t shut off his emotions? So, do wands focus emotions or magic?

 

 

What Other Wand-Like Objects Have We Seen Without Realizing It?

I’ve always thought of wands as their own kind of magical object, but Rowling included them with brooms as objects that channel certain kinds of magic (emotional, transportational) to make those tasks easier for wizards. Then she said something about it on Twitter raised my eyebrows:

 

 

Wait. Flying cars? As I tried to make that new piece fit, I realized that all of these “magic channeling” objects have something in common: personalities. And that got me wondering what kinds of magic other intelligent objects like the sorting hat or the Sword of Gryffindor must be channeling, and what other objects also fit the bill.

 

Harry Potter Draco Malfoy Minerva McGonagall Sorting Hat

 

What Other Words For Non-Magical People Are There?

We didn’t learn that Americans call non-magical people No-Majs (the term inspired a lot of angst when it was revealed) instead of Muggles in the new stories, but they did confirm that “every nationality has its own term for ‘Muggle.’” So what do Fluer and Viktor call Muggles?

 

Harry Potter Durmstrang And Beauxbatons

 

It turns out that we already kind of know. Different international editions of the books translate “Muggle” into awesome words like “Gomp” and “Normalac.” Still, there are almost 200 countries in the world, and far more languages, each a new opportunity for something glorious…

 

Does All Of No-Maj History Really Owe Its Existence To Wizards?

Despite their best efforts to remain separate, it’s impossible to ignore the influence wizards and No-Majs have on each other. I still get chills from the moment Britain’s Prime Minister was made aware of Voldemort’s war. But the new stories seem to change the nature of this relationship.

 

Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts Magical Concress

 

We now know that there were, essentially, wizard cowboys known as Scourers long before the No-Maj Wild West period. We also learn, astonishingly, that North American wizards had their own United States Congress almost 100 years before we even had a United States!

 

And do you know what else we know American wizards had at least a century ago? Woman presidents. Now, I’m not saying…

 

What Does The Magical Bill Of Rights Look Like?

If the Magical Congress of the United States of America influenced the eventual creation of the non-magical USA, a magical Bill of Rights is only logical. It’s also confirmed! The stories directly refer to the prohibition amendment (wizards love their cocktails), and then this happened:

 

 

I mean, of course American wizards protect their right to bear wands. But what else can we extrapolate from this? I reached out to the current President of the MACUSA to comment on the issue, but she pled the fifth…

 

Harry Potter Wand Expecto Patronum Magic

 

Are There Entire Generations Of Wizards Who Just Have To Deal With Crappy Wands?

We finally learned the names, backgrounds, and specialities of America’s top wandmakers, and while none of them are as versatile as Ollivander, each is regarded among the world’s great wandmakers. One detail in particular filled me with questions, though.

 

Harry Potter Ollivander

 

Thiago Quintana’s wands are made with materials that only he knew how to get, and when he died, those wands “ceased production.” So I have wonder: Are there periods when wizards are just stuck buying cruddy warehouse wands, waiting for the next great wandmaker to show up?

 

What In The World Was The Great Sasquatch Rebellion Of 1892?

Apparently just a throwaway line in the last of the four new stories, Rowling mentions the “Great Sasquatch Rebellion of 1892” and suggests the book “Big Foot’s Last Stand” for additional reading. I want to assure you, this is not the simple throwaway joke it appears to be.

 

Harry Bigfoot Sasquatch

 

This is a tragic piece of fictional history on par with Luke casually mentioning the Clone Wars in A New Hope. What incited the Great Sasquatch Rebellion? It wouldn’t be the first magical creature rebellion to end with dire consequences. Was this only the end for Big Foot or for all American Sasquatches? We must know.

 

How Does Rappaport’s Law Even Work?

Rappaport’s Law, in short, is an American law completely segregating the wizarding world from the non-wizarding one. This law, created in response to repeated attacks on wizards from the descendents of Scourers, was intended to protect the wizarding world through… obliviation?

 

Harry Potter Hermione Obliviates Her Parents

 

But… how? We know that magical children are regularly born into non-magical families, and the new stories also tell us directly that American wizards don’t really care about blood purity. Shouldn’t all this make total segregation as unpopular as it is unenforceable?

 

Am I Really Supposed To Believe Wizards Invented The Insult “Dork”?

Yes, this is a real question. See, a significant chunk of the new material concerns an unskilled witch named Dorcus Twelvetrees. Dorcus, “as dim as she was pretty,” is duped by a charismatic witch hunter into revealing information that endangers the entire magical community.

 

Ron Weasley Is A Dork

Image Via: Sugarscape

 

After the near catastrophic fallout from this mistake, it came to be in America that “‘a Dorcus’ was slang for an idiot or inept person.” And this is, finally, where the suspension of disbelief fails me. Because even in a world where you can vomit slugs, I just can’t believe this.

 

Take our Harry Potter Quiz to find out which Hogwarts house you belong to! And if you want more to hold you over until Fantastic Beasts, check out our Harry Potter folder!

 

Link Roundup

Mental Floss

Book Riot

Firebolt Broomstick

Mirror

Magical Objects With Personalities

Muggle Net

Mashable

Business Insider

Wand Ban

Newsweek

The Daily Dot

Wizarding Terms In Translation

Movie Pilot

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