I’m very excited about Map 67. It involves the magical world of a certain orphan with a lightning scar on his forehead. I speak, of course, about Harry Potter. JK Rowling, genius author of the Harry Potter novels, has continued to release content about the Wizarding World through her website, Pottermore, since finishing the seven part series in 2007. Fans have learned a lot of background information regarding characters and the greater wizard community, and yesterday that included a map!
We’ve always known magic wasn’t limited to the United Kingdom. There are supposedly 11 major magical academies throughout the wizarding world (much like muggle universities, there are major ones and smaller, less prestigious ones). Readers learned about some of the schools in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth book in the series. Groups of students from two other magic academies ventured to Hogwarts with their headmasters to celebrate the Triwizard Tournament, a magical Olympics of sorts. The other two schools were Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. The best witch or wizard from each school competed in three tasks/challenges to test their wizarding knowledge and bravery. During the story, readers learn a bit about the foreign schools and their students. We are told that Beauxbatons is in the South of France in the Pyrenees Mountains. The student body is made up of French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Luxembourgians and Belgians. Durmstrang is further away in “the North” of Europe. The location is kept ultra-secret. The Durmstrang competitor in the Triwizard Tournament was Viktor Krum, a famous Bulgarian Quidditch Seeker. Bulgaria is hardly in “the North” of Europe, however. Durmstrang is likely in Norway or Sweden according to Pottermore. The school has a reputation for dark magic so children of questionable families from all over Europe head there. Draco Malfoy mentioned the possibility of going there when he found Harry’s influence at Hogwarts to be worrisome.
The new information released this week concerns more of the magical schools. JK Rowling divulged the names and locations of four more academies, meaning we now know about eight of the eleven major schools. The new names dropped are Mahoutokoro in Japan, Castelobruxo somewhere in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil, Uagadou in Africa, and Ilvermorny in the United States (specifically New England). Apparently, Koldovstoretz in Russia was previously named in another of Rowling’s side writings of which I was not aware. That makes eight with three more to be announced. The blurbs she wrote for three of the four new ones are really interesting. I suggest Potterheads click on over to Pottermore and check them out (just remember to come back). The page for Ilvermorny so far says “Coming Soon”. I assume she is saving those details until the upcoming movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them premiers. The new film, with a screenplay by JK Rowling herself, takes place in part in America. I expect it won’t be long before we know about all eleven schools in more detail. They don’t all appear on the map, including the one in Russia, but I look forward to learning all about them some day soon!
Map 68 is about another interest of mine, muggle sports! I found it in a link posted on Facebook by George Takei. The original map was apparently found on imgur.com. There is a ton to see in this map. It’s no surprise football is the most popular sport in the most places. Anyone that’s seen the World Cup or the Olympics knows that. Most of the planet goes nuts for the sport. American Football is very popular in the United States, of course. It’s my favorite personally. Not all states agree, apparently. I don’t know where they got their data but I believe American Football is more popular than indicated below. In order, my favorite sports are American Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Football/Soccer. Hockey is okay, a lot of my friends love it, but it’s my fifth favorite of the major American sports. I will, however, watch just about anything. I especially love the Olympics. The Summer Games in Rio are 188 days away but who’s counting? #OlympicsNerd
Examining the map, Canadians and Fins love hockey (that’s obvious). Baseball is popular in a couple states, Japan, and many Caribbean countries. Table tennis is China’s favorite sport. They do so well in a variety of sports during the Olympics so I wonder why table tennis was the winner. Cricket is very important to the people of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Australia. Rugby won over nearby New Zealand. Basketball, a top three sport in the United States, is the most popular sport in California and some Baltic countries. Not one country or state above is represented by Quidditch! I guess they didn’t poll the wizarding community! Muggles in many American colleges have formed Quidditch teams in the past decade. Players run with brooms between their legs, incapable of actual flight, but the basic premise of the game remains.
What’s your favorite sport? Do your fellow countrymen and women agree? If you love an unconventional sport that your friends and neighbors simply do not understand, tell me why in the comments.