71

Obviously the focus of the books is on the characters and school situated in England. But it seems to me that while there is mention of other schools, and quidditch teams, they are all European countries.

In the first book when Harry says he doesn't have any money Hagrid says this about banks

Hagrid: ...first stop fer us is Gringotts. Wizard's bank.
Harry: Wizards have banks?
Hagrid: Just the one. Gringotts. Run by goblins."

So in the entire wizarding world there is only one bank?

I can't think of a single reference to the American continents in all the books or movies, do the Americas even exist in the Harry Potter universe?

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  • 126
    Much like soccer, Americans are rubbish at quidditch.
    – user1027
    Dec 8, 2011 at 2:42
  • 19
    It could be that there is only one chain of banks, or only one bank in England. Either could lead to the phrase stated. Dec 8, 2011 at 3:57
  • 115
    Being an American, you wouldn't have noted, but many American books never make any mention of Europe. :)
    – sbi
    Dec 8, 2011 at 15:42
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    I also get the feeling that Hagrid isn't the most cosmopolitan of wizards, and might not know that much about other wizarding communities.
    – user1787
    Dec 9, 2011 at 0:18
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    In America there's a wizarding credit union.
    – Kyralessa
    Feb 17, 2012 at 20:25

6 Answers 6

144

There is a mention of America in Goblet of Fire:

*[...]while a group of middle-aged American witches sat gossiping happily beneath a spangled banner stretched between their tents that read: THE SALEM WITCHES' INSTITUTE.

Goblet of Fire - Page 82 - US Hardcover

In Quidditch Through the Ages, North and South American Quidditch teams are noted:

CANADA:

  • Moose Jaw Meteorites
  • Haileybury Hammers
  • Stonewall Stormers

AMERICA:

  • Sweetwater All-Stars (Texas)
  • Fitchburg Finches (Massachusetts)

SOUTH AMERICA:

  • Tarapoto Tree-Skimmers (Peru)

I can't speak to the bank issue! I would imagine there is more than one Wizarding bank in the world, though.

ETA: 06.10.15 - J. K. Rowling revealed there is indeed a school equivalent to Hogwarts in America. She did not say exactly where the American school for witchcraft and wizardry is located, but she did say it is not in New York. Apparently, it may figure into the plot of the upcoming movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

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  • 14
    There's also a mention of one of Ron's brothers (Bill, I think) having a penpal from Brazil.
    – Kevin
    Dec 8, 2011 at 5:24
  • 94
    I think Slytherincess is J.K. Rowling's SE account.
    – Kalamane
    Dec 8, 2011 at 20:33
  • 45
    @Kalamane - LOL! I wish I were sitting on that bank account . . . Dec 9, 2011 at 1:19
  • 23
    This is apropos...when you meet someone from, say, New York abroad and ask them where they're from, they'll reply "The United States" or "America". If you meet someone from Texas, they'll reply "Texas". Or more likely, they'll tell you before you ask... Dec 19, 2011 at 17:03
  • 7
    @ChrisB.Behrens It's not bragging if it's true. Mar 8, 2014 at 17:13
39

I guess there are many branches of the Gringotts bank. For example there is a mention of Bill Weasley working in Gringotts in Egypt, with other goblins. So, there must be many branches of the same brand around the world.

There is at least a mention of Brazil in one of the books.

1
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    As I recall it he was working there as a curse breaker. No mention is ever made of an actual Egyptian branch of the bank, just that there is (cursed) treasure in Egypt that he's retrieving for the bank.
    – Wildcard
    Dec 31, 2016 at 8:16
20

Brazil is mentioned in the first book, when Harry frees the boa snake.

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  • 1
    I don't see how exactly it answers the question
    – Kalissar
    Dec 8, 2013 at 12:12
  • 27
    Why isn't there ever any mention of the Americas? Well... Brazil is in the Americas... South America to be more precise. Dec 8, 2013 at 15:39
  • 23
    do the Americas even exist in the Harry Potter universe? -> Brazil. The latter being part of the Americas and all, it seems fairly clear that it at least answers part of the question. Dec 8, 2013 at 15:41
  • 1
    In the movie, the snake was a Burmese python. Dec 8, 2013 at 23:46
  • 23
    And in the books a boa constrictor from Brazil. Dec 9, 2013 at 8:22
8

As a more recent update, the following 2014 Daily Prophet article from Pottermore mentions not only several American Quidditch teams but also some of their members:

  • Brazil

    • Alejandro Alonso (Chaser)
    • Santos (Beater)
    • Clodoaldo (Beater)
    • Jose Barboza (manager)
  • USA

    • Susan Blancheflower (Keeper)
    • Darius Smackhammer (Seeker)
    • Pringle (Beater)
    • Picquery (Beater)
  • Haiti

    • [probably a cheat] (Seeker)
  • Jamaica

    • [someone who collapsed] (Seeker)

enter image description here

3
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    +1 for good answer. -10 because Ludo Bagman owes me rep! Jan 18, 2016 at 0:09
  • 1
    @DVK no problem, just wait for Harry Potter to win the Triwizard and give you his rep winnings.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jan 18, 2016 at 0:13
  • 1
    Hmm... Is that 'Picquery' related to the president? *wiggles eyebrows*
    – Mithical
    Jan 16, 2017 at 20:25
1

As for Gringots...well, they explain it fairly well - Gringots is run by Goblins, not wizards. And Goblins seem to be quite happy to be running the only bank for Wizards anywhere, ever. Bit of a monopoly on all of the wizarding money in the world.

You also have to remember that the wizards of the world do NOT outnumber the muggles, so there aren't as many people to headcount.

It's also entirely possible that Ron was making a hyperbolic statement - Gringots is the ONLY bank for wizards, meaning it is so important that it's practically the only bank in existence. Though the way he phrases it, it's more likely that it literally is the only bank. Or at least, the only bank chain, with perhaps some offices located across the world.

3
  • You also have to remember that the wizards of the world do NOT outnumber the muggles, so there aren't as many people to headcount. Apparently there are enough of them, at least, that the subset available to go watch a Quidditch game in person can fill up a stadium. Mar 23, 2015 at 18:57
  • 2
    @MasonWheeler That's only about 50 thousand. Barely a drop on the ocean. youtube.com/watch?v=gthjqHusvTw
    – Zibbobz
    Mar 23, 2015 at 22:40
  • @MasonWheeler actually they were 90 thousand (assuming the stadium was full, which it probably was), but still a tiny amount. May 31, 2015 at 21:17
0

I thought Ted Tonks was an American. (Father of Nymphadora Tonks, Married to Andromeda Black).

It comes from the audio books narrated by Stephen Fry, he uses American accents for the Tonks family. Stephan Fry of course consulted with JKR before Narrating the series, and his accents/voices for almost all the characters are perfect, especially Hagrid, Voldemort, Snape, Hermione, Fred, George, etc.

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    Is there anything that led you to that conclusion? I'm fairly certain nothing in the books suggests it.
    – Kevin
    May 17, 2012 at 19:13
  • 10
    Nope. Just speculation. But I'm not the only one. It comes from the audio books narrated by Stephen Fry, he uses American accents for the Tonks family. Stephan Fry of course consulted with JKR before Narrating the series, and his accents/voices for almost all the characters are perfect, especially Hagrid, Voldemort, Snape, Hermione, Fred, George, etc. englishforums.com/English/IdentifyThisEnglishAccent/nrqxk/… May 18, 2012 at 9:03
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    I would not call Stephen Fry's narration of Ted Tonks, nor Nymphadora, anything remotely resembling an American accent.
    – morganpdx
    Jan 3, 2014 at 20:08
  • 3
    @ManikSethisuwan that thread you linked to (same content, better formatting at this link) contains a long list of English accents Fry was mixing together to get Nymphadora's, and no hint at all that it was an American one.
    – KutuluMike
    Jan 17, 2016 at 23:11

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