In my opinion, what makes the Harry Potter series so magical is the fact that it takes place in the faraway land known as the United Kingdom. Okay, maybe it’s not so magical to you, but I’ve never been to the U.K., so it’s like a whole new world to me. The accents, the buildings, the eerie weather… it all just seems so magical, right? But what if Harry Potter took place somewhere else? Like, say, the United States? It would be… different. In both good and bad ways. Actually, they are mostly bad ways, but we’ll get to that in a minute. I recently came across a Reddit thread that prompted readers to explain how different the HP world would be if it took place in the U.S. The answers really made me think.
As someone who desperately wishes that this wizarding world was real, I must admit that if we had all of that stuff here in America, it would be weird. I mean, for one, Harry probably wouldn’t be named Harry, but some very American name like “Brad” or “Mike.” Also, there wouldn’t be accents, which is most of the appeal of HP, right? JK, but a wizard with a Southern accent would be pretty funny, IMO. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what the Harry Potter world would have been like if it took place somewhere else, check out these ways that the series would be different if the series took place in the U.S.
They Would Use Different SlangIf you're American, you might notice that the books contain some unfamiliar words like "the loo" and such. Imagine how different the manuscript would be without British slang - especially when it comes to curse words. It would be a little less magical, IMO. Chaplike said, "There would be a distinct lack of ' BLOODY HELL HARRY'" This is true - it would probably include phrases like, "Damnit, Harry!" which definitely doesn't have the same ring to it.
Hogwarts Wouldn't Look CoolIf you're an American, I'm sure you realize that we are lacking some cool castle-like buildings. If Hogwarts was an American school, it would probably be a more modern building in a far less interesting atmosphere. As Brenda_Butler put it, "Hogwarts would only be about 75 years old. And it was probably renovated in the 90s." Yeah...we aren't a big fan of old things here in the U.S., so everything would have been renovated. Just imagine Hogwarts as a Yale type of building with American flags instead of spooky turrents.
Students Would Be In DebtAs you may or may not know, most American students are in debt. Like, a lot of debt. If Hogwarts was in the US, every student would be taking out loans and graduate with a LOT of debt. I mean, magic school must cost a lot. Those cauldrons definitely aren't cheap! As mannequinskywalker said, "All the Hogwarts students would be too depressed to conjure spells because they're facing crippling financial debt." That sums it up!
Wizards Would Have Gotten In Trouble... A LotThe U.S. has strict rules on mostly everything. If Harry pulled the same stunts he pulled in the UK, he would probably be in jail. As irishmickguard said, "Harry and Ron would have been shot down by the Air force if they tried flying that car over D.C." Yeah...there are a lot of things from the books that would not have been cool with the U.S. government.
Quidditch Would Be More Important Than MagicWe LOVE sports here in the U.S. for some odd reason, so odds are good that this country would appreciate Quidditch players a lot more than, say, Aurors or professors. As Radicalpoopparticle said, "Most Quidditch players don't know shit about magic, nor do they care. They just came to Hogwarts on a sports scholarship." This is exactly how it is with football in America.
There Would Be No HousesThis is interesting and I guess I've never thought about it, but American schools don't normally have houses. Ohbrotherwherewego said, "There wouldn't be any 'Houses.' Houses actually exist in real British schools but they don't in North American ones. I actually thought it was just a Harry Potter thing until I moved to the UK and taught at a school there. An American writing Harry Potter wouldn't think/know to put houses in. So the whole sorting hat and the houses and the points probably never would have existed."
Security Would Be Intense AFSecurity at train stations and airports is already intense, but imagine if they were jumping through walls and stuff? Weep2d2 said, "Due to security checks you need to arrive three hours early to catch a train at platform 9 & 3/4." Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if Platform 9 & 3/4 was replaced with a metal detector.
Voldemort Probably Would Have Died EarlierIt's not really a secret that America has a gun problem. We have way too many mass shootings and murders because of how common guns are. So, if Harry Potter took place here, chances are good that someone would have shot him at some point. As kyledwray said, "Voldemort would've been shot about 17 times all those years ago when he broke into Lily and Jimmy Potter's house. About a 2 page book. More of a leaflet, really."
How do YOU think Harry Potter would be different? Tell us in the comments!