Finding Roanoke: A Fantastic Beasts Theory (+News Roundup)

Congratulations! You are only about 440 days away from seeing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!

While we have so many more answers than we had two years ago when Fantastic Beasts was first announced (I can’t believe it’s already been two years), there are still so many questions. Let’s start with what we know:

  1. David Yates is set to direct the first installment of the Fantastic Beasts trilogy (announced last year).
  2. These Harry Potter prequel stories will extend into online media, including, which will close the doors to Hogwarts (and presumably proclaim everyone graduated from the school) on September 16th.
  3. Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne will play Fantastic Beasts author, Newt Scamander (announced in June).
  4. Ezra Miller will play Kredan, whom Newt meets during his travels in New York (announced in June).
    • Note: Ezra played opposite Emma Watson (Hermione) in Perks of Being a Wallflower.
  5. Colin Farrell will play Graves, whom Newt also meets during his travels (announced in August).
  6. Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol will play sisters Porpentina (Tina) and Queenie Goldstein (distant relations to Anthony Goldstein, a minor character in the Harry Potter series). Tina eventually becomes Newt’s wife.
  7. Dan Fogel plays Jacob, a Muggle (interesting) whom Newt befriends during his adventures.
  8. Filming started on August 17th at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden.

Let’s be honest, though. I care very little about the actors and director. I care a lot more about the characters and the story, which we have precious little of at the moment. All we truly know is what JKR has revealed via her official Twitter account (though we can possibly expect to see more on Pottermore in the next couple weeks).

We do know from Twitter that, while Newt will not be visiting the American wizarding school, he will meet some alumni. Here’s the actual exchange between J.K. Rowling and very curious fans on June 6th-7th:

Certainly very interesting information, though in true Rowling form, it raises more questions than it answers. Back when Goblet of Fire was released on Pottermore, JKR revealed that eleven Wizarding schools exist in the world, which hardly seems like enough, though I suppose we have to accept that number as canon. It’s exciting to know that the American school has American Indian roots. Even more interesting: the name of the school is of immigrant origin.

One week after these tweets, I was in London, Ontario for a wedding with my LeakyCon friends—friends who are bigger Harry Potter fans than anyone that I’ve ever met before or since. One night before the wedding, we were up late doing what else but theorizing, like we used to do in the old days—those desperate years before Harry Potter books 5-7.

That night, my friend Lizzie (I need to give credit where credit is due), after bringing up these tweets, looks at me and my friends Margaux and Olivia and says: “What if it’s in Roanoke?” After that, we all collectively LOST IT.

Here’s a summary from the Wikipedia article about Roanoke Colony:

The Roanoke Colony, also known as the Lost Colony, established on Roanoke Island, in what is today’s Dare County, North Carolina, United States, was a late 16th-century attempt by Queen Elizabeth I to establish a permanent English settlement. The colony was founded by Sir Walter Raleigh.

The colonists disappeared during the Anglo-Spanish War, three years after the last shipment of supplies from England. Their disappearance gave rise to the nickname “The Lost Colony.” To this day there has been no conclusive evidence as to what happened to the colonists.

Until now.

Farther down this (rather long) article, the “only clue” is detailed:

[John White, an artist and friend of Sir Walter Raleigh who had accompanied the previous expeditions to Roanoke, landed there] on August 18, 1590, but found the settlement deserted. His men could not find any trace of the 90 men, 17 women, and 11 children, nor was there any sign of a struggle or battle.

The only clue was the word “CROATOAN” carved into a post of the fence around the village. All the houses and fortifications had been dismantled, which meant their departure had not been hurried.

Allow me to explain: in the article, there are many Muggle theories (none conclusive) as to what happened to the colonists. Our Wizarding theory states that the Croatoan tribe was a magical one, and that the CROATOAN carving is actually a Muggle-repelling charm. As we know, Hogwarts is hidden from Muggles by strong repelling and cloaking charms that, to a Muggle’s eyes, would make Hogwarts look like abandoned ruins. In this case, it’s an abandoned colony.

The Croatoan tribe was a small one, so it makes sense that JKR isn’t able to reveal the name, because fans would search it and guess the location, a concern she mentioned. The name of the school? Roanoke, an immigrant name.

As you can see, it all fits! Now comes the best (but also most agonizing) part of theorizing: waiting to see if we’re right!

Could the American school be located on Roanoke Island? Theorize with us in the comments!