Four Missed Opportunities and Problems with Pottermore’s Ilvermorny

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  1. Algernon Laugen-Kelly says:

    To tell the truth I wasn’t too surprised when I read about the Ilvermorny controversy. It is the sort of thing that I have come to expect from J.K. Rowling, despite her admirable imagination and storytelling. Even reading the original seven Harry Potter books I was left questioning some things. Obviously, the North American wizarding community isn’t really relevant to the plot, as it’s all about Hogwarts, which caters to the British Isles. As an Irishman I am not particularly fond of the term ‘British Isles’, but I use it deliberately here. A sizeable portion of Hogwarts’ students must be Irish, yet this gets far less acknowledgement than it should. We have Seamus Finnegan with his accent and his fear of banshees. We have leprechauns. We have representation in the world of Quidditch. But there is precious little else, which is absurd considering what could have been, what with Ireland’s rich and magical mythology, the cultural background that this sizeable portion of Hogwarts students would have had. The students at Hogwarts nearly all appear to be English, or thoroughly anglicized, with just the odd Scot here and there. And the British Ministry of Magic appears to govern Ireland as well! I don’t know what justification JKR has given for that, if any – because it is more convenient that way? Because witches and wizards don’t really have the same political cares as Muggles do, having that “sense of kinship” instead? That is surely absurd.
    Now obviously, one can argue that there is a lot more to it that didn’t make the books, because the narrative is from Harry’s point of view, and Harry is bad at noticing things, even things like the names of at least two Gryffindor girls in his year. But that is very convenient, is it not? Very convenient, very colonialist, and a great pity.

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