Many fans of the Harry Potter Universe are continuing to learn more and more about the wizarding world, as the world expands through new media content, including Pottermore.

One of the more recent additions, and by recent I mean in the past five years or so, comes in the form of an American school called, Ilvermorny, which like Hogwarts, has four houses.

I'm sure, I like many people, have taken the Pottermore sorting quiz to see what Ilvermorny House they would belong to, but I was wondering if in-universe the induction to the houses is the same as Hogwarts? Does Ilvermorny have their own sorting hat or do they come to be inducted by another [magical] process?

1 Answer 1


There's no sorting hat but their sorting ceremony is still based on magical selection. One assumes that much the same legilimency-based magic is used.

Marble statues of Isolt and James flank the front doors of Ilvermorny Castle. The doors open onto a circular room topped by a glass cupola. A wooden balcony runs around the room one floor above. Otherwise the space is empty except for four enormous wooden carvings representing the houses: the Horned Serpent, the panther Wampus, the Thunderbird and the Pukwudgie.

While the rest of the school watches from the circular balcony overhead, new students file into the round entrance hall. They stand around the walls and, one by one, are called to stand on the symbol of the Gordian Knot set into the middle of the stone floor. In silence the school then waits for the enchanted carvings to react. If the Horned Serpent wants the student, the crystal set into its forehead will light up. If the Wampus wants the student, it roars. The Thunderbird signifies its approval by beating its wings, and the Pukwudgie will raise its arrow into the air.

Should more than one carving signify its wish to include the student in its house, the choice rests with the student. Very rarely – perhaps once a decade – a student is offered a place in all four houses. Seraphina Picquery, President of MACUSA 1920 - 1928, was the only witch of her generation so honoured, and she chose Horned Serpent.

Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry By J.K. Rowling

  • 4
    So it's the team-selection mechanic from The Voice. Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 18:28

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