In a deleted scene from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling gives Potterheads more insight into American wizarding school, Ilvermorny.
Founded by County Kerry-born Isolt Sayre in the seventeenth century, Ilvermorny’s four houses were named after the favorite magical creatures of Sayre’s family. Thunderbird, Wampus, Horned Serpent and Pukwudgie (distantly related to the European goblin, it is native to America and is a grey-faced, large-eared creature,) don’t have quite the same ring to them as Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin, but the Ilvermorny school song is far superior to the Hogwarts anthem.
The song begins with the sound of a Thunderbird, followed by the purr of the Wampus, a panther-like creature that Pottermore states is “fast, strong and almost impossible to kill.” Queenie and Tina Goldstein (Fine Frenzy and Katherine Waterston) harmonize about standing against Puritans and becoming a school when their founder fled Ireland after being “persecuted by wandless men.”
“We draw our inspiration from good witch, Morrigan,” the sisters sing. Sayre was a direct descendant of Irish witch, Morrigan, who became a crow in Animagus form. Sayre’s father nicknamed her Morrigan due to her love of nature.
Further lyrics include talking about Ilvermorny’s castle walls keeping its students safe (there must not be any basilisks hiding in school dungeons, or three-headed dogs guarding treasure in the third floor corridor,) and how their days at Ilvermorny were a dream.
“Where’er we roam, where’er we roam, our one true home, our one true home, is Ilvermorny, dear!” the song ends.
While the Hogwarts school song is ever-changing and Albus Dumbledore even encourages singing it whichever way the students choose, it seems the Ilvermorny school song is a permanent fixture. And while I much prefer Hogwarts to Ilvermorny, the American school has the far better song compared to “Hoggy Warty Hogwarts.”
The deleted scene would’ve been a good addition to the movie, as the audience would’ve been given another scene to strengthen the bond between Newt Scamander, the Goldstein sisters and Jacob Kowalski. However, in regard to pacing and the overall picture, it’s probably better that it was cut.
Thankfully, we can still learn the Ilvermorny song in the deleted scene.