One of the many reasons Harry Potter fans have to be excited for Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is because the prequel-ish film will expand J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world across the pond to the United States, where we know almost nothing about how the magical community operates. Today, included in a photo of the lead character, Newt Scamander, comes some crucial information related to that subject. What is the American version of the Ministry of Magic? We now know what it’s called and where it’s located.

The image, which you can check out here, shows Eddie Redmayne’s character, Newt Scamander, standing atop a seal, which shows the words "Congress of the United States of…"

macusa

Entertainment Weekly confirms that the character is standing inside the Magical Congress of the United States of America, also known as MACUSA. The organization was referenced on Pottermore previously, and Rowling once stated that it's a single body (when asked if wizard congress was a "two party system"), but not much is known about the history of the organization. EW's recent article does confirm that MACUSA is the American version of the Ministry of Magic. And it’s located inside the Woolworth Building in New York City. For reference, here’s a photo of the building circa 1913, when it first opened:

woolworth
Copyright by The Pictorial News Co., N.Y. No. NN 98. {{PD-US}}, via Wikipedia.

The downtown New York City building would have been relatively new (about 13 years old) when Newt Scamander arrived in New York City in 1926, which makes me wonder just how old the magical government is in the United States. Was it only recently established, perhaps sometime around the turn of the century? Or had it been around for much longer and changed locations to the Woolworth Building around or after it was built? It’s a curious location, especially when we consider that it was the tallest building in the world at the time. Not exactly inconspicuous, especially when we compare it to the Ministry of Magic, which is hidden away underground.

What’s the story?! Need answers.

It’s exciting to have some new information to ponder (or obsess) over, and as Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is Entertainment Weekly’s upcoming cover story, we’re likely in for more details about the film, the characters and maybe even the U.S. magical community when the issue comes out. Also to be answered is, what is Newt doing at MACUSA? We know that the Ministry of Magic has commissioned him to write the titular textbook, so perhaps he’s checking in at the Magical Congress of the United States of America on behalf of the MoM. Or maybe there’s someone there that he’ll be working with as he conducts research in the U.S.

We also still don’t know if there’s a U.S and/or NY equivalent to Gringotts, the Wizarding Bank, or a hidden Diagon Alley-like part of the city where witches and wizards can do their shopping. Another big question that’s expected to be answered in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is where U.S. witches and wizards attend school. Given the setting and what we know of the plot, we may not actually get to see the American version of Hogwarts, but hopefully we’ll get some interesting details about where the school is located and what similarities or differences exist between U.K. education and magical education in the U.S.

At the very least, we now know to keep an eye out for owls (and eagles?) when in the vicinity of the Woolworth Building.

Written by J.K. Rowling, and directed by David Yates, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them arrives in theaters November 18, 2016.

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