Episode #646: For the Love of Chicken Tendies (GOF Chapter 16, The Goblet of Fire)

Arriving with the foreign visitors to Hogwarts is a whole new set of cuisine options in the Great Hall, and – like some of the MuggleCast hosts – Ron is having none of it! Fred and George attempt to hoodwink a 700-year-old cup and a 150-year-old headmaster, failing spectacularly. And the trio learn that Hagrid has a crush! Join us as we deep dive into Chaper 16 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, “Goblet of Fire”!

  • Welcome to our very special musical guest James Durbin, whose new single “Hallows” excites us in all the right ways! Also check out his website and follow him on Instagram
  • Chapter-by-Chapter continues with Goblet of Fire, Chapter 16: The Goblet of Fire
  • 7-Word Summary: Poliakoff wants eternal wine because Krum’s better
  • Mini Discussion #1: Cultural differences at Hogwarts
  • While Ron turns his nose up at French cuisine, the hosts discuss which foreign foods they most enjoy since growing up.
  • The Beauxbatons students are laughed at for standin when Madame Maxime does. But isn’t it just showing respect and discipline?
  • Mini Discussion #2: Karkaroff and his favoritism
  • What exactly is headmaster Igor’s game? Is he gunning for a career in the celebrity entourage industry?
  • Why bring 19 other students to Hogwarts when it is so clear that Karkaroff detests the other kids?
  • What is Karkaroff really thinking when he bumps into Harry Potter?
  • Mini Discussion #3: Fred and George’s whimsy
  • Mini Discussion #4: Hagrid and His Crush
  • Odds and Ends: Despite Ron feeling cheated by Harry later, Harry never says out loud that he would love to enter the Tournament.
  • Quizzitch: What was the birthday present that Mad-Eye Moody received and smashed, thinking it was a basilisk egg?
  • Visit MuggleCast.com for episode transcripts, social media links, our full episode archive, our favorite episodes, and to contact us!

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Episode #645: Dumbledore the Matchmaker (GOF Chapter 15, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang)

This week, we find out which of our co-hosts should switch to Divination as their primary hobby as we check back in on our predictions about one another. In Chapter-by-Chapter, Harry develops a resistance to the Imperius Curse cast upon him repeatedly by Mad-Eye Fakey, who is TOTALLY casting those curses with the full knowledge and approval of Dumbledore… right? And, everybody’s getting ready for the arrival of more students! Listen as Andrew, Eric, Micah and special Slug Club guest Katie tackle Chapter 15 of Goblet of Fire, “Beauxbatons and Durmstrang”

  • Welcome Slug Club guest Katie to the show!
  • Did our host predictions from last week net any accurate results? We check in.
  • Spotify now lets users review individual episodes! Be kind to us and let us know what you liked!
  • Coming up in Bonus MuggleCast, we play MuggleCast’s first ever edition of The Snogging Club!
  • Chapter-by-Chapter continues with Goblet of Fire, Chapter 15: Beauxbatons and Durmstrang
  • 7-Word Summary: Foreigners arrive at the clean, squeaky school
  • Main Discussion #1: Mad-Eye Fakey’s never-ending Imperius Curses
  • Is there any way Dumbledore actually knows what’s going on?
  • Is Moody’s lesson tailored for Harry and, thus, only for this one class of Fourth Years?
  • Is Moody chewing with his food before he eats it, or is he actually helping Harry to resist Voldemort?
  • Why do NONE of the students say anything to other professors about these illegal happenings?
  • Inside Imperius: Does the description in the book meet what we would expect for such a curse?
  • Is Harry’s Horcrux helping him to do what no other student can, and resist?
  • Main Discussion #2: Tournament Anticipation
  • Ron insults Cedric Diggory. What’s the beef?
  • Teachers get the school in tip-top shape. But, it’s a centuries-old castle. How successful are they?
  • Odds and Ends touches on Hermione’s continuing efforts with S.P.E.W., and Snape’s threat to poison the students. Is Snape trying to out-do Mad-Eye Fakey?
  • Quizzitch: Which Durmstrang student asks Igor karkaroff to have some wine?
  • Visit MuggleCast.com for episode transcripts, social media links, our full episode archive, our favorite episodes, and to contact us!

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Episode #644: Constant, Never-Ceasing Vigilance (GOF Chapter 14, The Unforgivable Curses)

CONSTANT VIGILANCE! On this week’s episode of MuggleCast, you must be prepared for what awaits outside the walls of Hogwarts! Join us as we level up by learning the Unforgiveable Curses from a Death Eater-in-disguise, try our hand at Divination homework, and debate the rights of House-Elves!

  • News covers: Details about the third Wizarding World land coming to Epic Universe and and some updates to Hogwarts Legacy!
  • Bonus MuggleCast Alert: In May 2023, we spoke about what major ride we can expect in the Epic Universe land. And last month, we shared what we want to see Hogwarts Legacy add to the game. So, be sure to check them out at Patreon.com/MuggleCast!
  • Chapter-by-Chapter continues with Goblet of Fire, Chapter 14: The Unforgiveable Curses
  • 7-Word Summary: Neville reacts in a panic ….
  • Main Discussion #1: Mad-Eye Fakey’s First Lesson
  •  Do the hosts recall ever being so excited for a class because the professor’s reputation preceded them?
  • We compare and constrast Mad-Eye and Umbridge’s first lessons
  • Does REAL Mad-Eye Moody know or suspect the Defense Against The Darks Arts post is cursed? What about Barty Crouch Jr.?
  • Why is Barty Crouch Jr. so invested in teaching students how to recognize and combat dark curses? 
  • Do we think that the real Moody would have been able to cast these curses so seamlessly?
  • Imperio: Was this practical demonstration the best way to drive home the severity of mind control?
  • Crucio: Neville’s  bravery, his parents and Moody’s second attempt to build currency with Harry
  • Only at Hogwarts, would something as dark as the Killing Curse be taught to a class of fourth-years in their first lesson!
  • Main Discussion #2: The Aftermath
  • Do we think Mad-Eye is grooming Neville?
  • What can we learn from Harry and Ron’s Divination homework? The hosts take a crack at predictions for each other!
  • Did the author set Hermione up for success with a name like S.P.E.W.?
  • What does Ron’s reaction to S.P.E.W. say about his upbringing, his character and the wizarding world as a whole?
  • Quizzitch: What are the first two words of Sirius’ second letter back to Harry this year?
  • Visit MuggleCast.com for episode transcripts, social media links, our full episode archive, our favorite episodes, and to contact us!

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Episode #643: Karma is Crookshanks Purring in My Lap (GOF Chapter 13, Mad-Eye Moody)

This week, it’s a competence competition between several Hogwarts professors. As Harry attends his first day of his fourth year, we follow along and rank each class and its teacher. Finally, Draco bites off more than he can chew, and we remember that we love Barty Crouch, Jr. when he cosplays an ex-Auror. Join Andrew, Eric, Laura and Micah as Chapter-by-Chapter covers Chapter 13 from Goblet of Fire, “Mad-Eye Moody.”

  • In this week’s news, Deadline reports that the Harry Potter TV series is looking for its head writers. The hosts briefly speculate – Stay tuned for a Bonus MuggleCast in which we take a closer look at the writers under consideration.
  • Chapter-by-Chapter continues with Goblet of Fire Chapter 13: Mad-Eye Moody
  • 7-Word Summary: Karma comes full ferret for Draco Malfoy
  • Back in school, it’s time to rank the first lessons of the year and assess teachers’ competence!
  • Micah asks: given the usefulness of Bubotuber pus, does Professor Sprout have a side hustle?
  • What makes Sprout’s gross lesson soar, and Hagrid’s gross lesson fail? One of the teachers prepared the students better.
  • Is it okay to ask “what is the point” when discussing magical Beasts?
  • Would Hagrid be better off as a teacher’s assistant, or outside of teaching at all?
  • Trelawney, the most competent Divination teacher Harry has had so far, gets his birthday wrong. Couldn’t she have looked it up?
  • Rita Skeeter’s new article shades Mr. Weasley, but wasn’t he just doing his job? How was the event with Moody’s rubbish bins any different than his day-to-day?
  • How is Rita getting her information? Does she have inside sources, or is she using her Animagus secret to its advantage this early?
  • Draco can dish, but not take, criticism about mothers.
  • Is it right for “Moody” to teach Draco a lesson?
  • Laura points out that Barty Crouch Jr.’s comments about Lucius work on multiple levels.
  • What would Barty Crouch, Jr. have to say to Snape?
  • Andrew recaps Ron’s funniest moments of the chapter.
  • Next week’s Quizzitch question: What is Lavender showing Parvati in DADA that gets her scolded by Mad-Eye?
  • Visit MuggleCast.com for episode transcripts, social media links, our full episode archive, our favorite episodes, and to contact us!

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Episode #642: Mad-Eye Fakey (GOF Chapter 12, The Triwizard Tournament)

On this week’s episode, the security nightmare meter is off the charts! Grab your galoshes and some treacle tart, and treat yourself to the rainy Sorting Ceremony of the 1994 school year at Hogwarts!

  • Welcome back, Micah! We hear about his recent European travels to Paris and London, including a tease of an upcoming Bonus MuggleCast on the Harry Potter Studio Tour!
  • Our official Etsy store now contains some special discount and bundled items, such as the Comfy Cozy Combo Pack! Fancy yourself some socks and a warm beanie? Check out the full assortment of items available now!
  • Chapter-by-Chapter continues with Goblet of Fire Chapter 12: The Triwizard Tournament
  • 7-Word Summary: Thunderstorms announce the arrival of Mad-Eye Fakey
  • Main Discussion #1: The Teachers’ Precautions For The 1994 School Year
  • Debating the First Years’ arrival: safety vs. rite of passage
  • Do we think the weather is foreshadowing the year ahead?
  • If it weren’t for the intervention of The Giant Squid, would Dennis Creevey have drowned before Hagrid could reach him? Can Hagrid even swim?
  • Does The Giant Squid serve any other purpose? Does Dumbledore let him stay as a safety measure?
  • Peeves: The Indestructible Spirit of Chaos
  • Can Peeves actually be removed from Hogwarts? Why does he even bother listening to The Ghost Council?
  • Main Discussion #2: Excitement in the Great Hall
  • We hear The Sorting Hat song for the first time since Sorcerer’s Stone!
  • What does The Sorting Hat do the rest of the year? Does he have a side hustle?
  • Hermione’s Hunger Strike: who does she think was making her food all of these years?
  • The Triwizard Tournament is officially announced and Mad-Eye makes his grand entrance!
  • Odds & Ends cover Natalie Macdonald, Cho Chang and the return of the Dumbledore Lie Count!
  • Next week’s Quizzitch question: What is the trio’s first class of their 4th Hogwarts Year?
  • Visit MuggleCast.com for episode transcripts, social media links, our full episode archive, our favorite episodes, and to contact us!

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Episode #641: Freshly Floo’d Toast (GOF Chapter 11, Aboard the Hogwarts Express)

Choo Choo! It’s time to return to Hogwarts as our Chapter-by-Chapter series continues with Goblet of Fire Chapter 11, “Aboard the Hogwarts Express.” Join Andrew, Laura, Eric and Slug Club member Ning Xi as they dive deep into the topics that stand out on our latest reread.

  • Our official Etsy store now contains some special discount and bundled items, such as the Comfy Cozy Combo Pack! Fancy yourself some socks and a warm beanie? Check out the full assortment of items available now!
  • Chapter-by-Chapter continues with Goblet of Fire Chapter 11: Aboard the Hogwarts Express
  • 7-Word Summary: Traveling by train proves informative for Harry
  • Amos Diggory appears at the Burrow! In… the fireplace? Why!?
  • What makes (and doesn’t make) the Floo Network a fitting medium for the equivalent of telephone communications? The hosts all examine.
  • The toast Molly offers is Eric’s “I love magic” moment.
  • Mad-Eyes and misdirection abound. Does the fact that Arthur and Dumbledore like Alastor Moody make us more likely, or less, to believe that he is overly paranoid?
  • What would the function of real Muggle “Please-men” actually be? We speculate.
  • On the train to Hogwarts, Draco boasts that Durmstrang School does not let Muggleborns in. But, is that REALLY possible given the Statute of Secrecy?
  • How would a school that teaches Dark Arts, not just Defense Against the Dark Arts, actually operate?
  • Are the locations of the Wizarding schools hidden from the parents of the students who attend? Or just not known to Hermione in particular?
  • Should Arthur have told Ron, Harry et al about the Triwizard Tournament, which would have prevented Draco from bullying them for not knowing?
  • Shout-out to Barty Crouch Jr. who is actually pretty darn good at what he does. We’ll… be keeping track of that.
  • In Bonus MuggleCast this week over on MuggleCast’s Patreon, we review the recently announced sales figures for Hogwarts Legacy and discusswhat the future for Wizarding world video games may be given the game’s success.
  • Next week’s Quizzitch question: Name 2 of the 3 items that Filch has added to the list of forbidden objects (at the start of Harry’s year 4)
  • Visit MuggleCast.com for episode transcripts, social media links, our full episode archive, our favorite episodes, and to contact us

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Episode #640: Rita Skeeter: A Voice For Potter Podcasters (GOF Chapter 10, Mayhem at the Ministry)

Happy New Year! It’s our first episode of 2024 and we’ll be watching our words carefully, lest Rita Skeeter twists any of our statements to create some hot goss for The Daily Prophet!

  • Welcome officially to MuggleCast: 19 years later!
  • The MuggleCast Overstock Store is open again! This is where you can buy MuggleCast merch and help support the show! And we have an update: It’s cold in the Northern Hemisphere, so MuggleCast is helping you out this winter with the MuggleCast Beanie and Socks Comfy Cozy Combo Pack: Purchase this new combo set for $25 – it’s cheaper than buying the socks and beanie separate, and you’ll be warm on both ends of your muggle body for winter!
  • Chapter-by-Chapter continues with Goblet of Fire, Chapter 10: Mayhem At The Ministry
  • 7-Word Summary: Arthur laments over a problematic news cycle
  • Main Discussion #1: The Aftermath
  • Security Nightmare! Why did any witch or wizard hang around after the Death Eater attack? Evacuation plans should’ve been in place and activated!
  • We examine the exploitation of Mr. Roberts by both the Death Eaters and The Ministry. Why was he not taken to St. Mungo’s? Could they have used a Pensieve to remove the memory of the attack?
  • Freaking Out Molly: Had the author not conceptualized Patronus messaging yet? And not ONE Weasley could have gone home early?
  • Main Discussion #2: Rita Skeeter, Unethical Journalism & Ministry Blunders
  • We discuss Rita’s ability to acquire information being aided significantly by her being an unregistered animagus
  • Just WHAT do beetles represent?
  • Does Rita’s journalism, unethical at times though it is, do an actual public service in the case of both of the Quidditch World Cup and the disappearance of Bertha Jorkins?
  • Molly clearly recognizes that Rita is a hack, but later on in Goblet of Fire she laps up every lie printed about Hermione. Why?
  • Obviously, we’re familiar with the real-world consequences of this brand of journalism. Have any of the hosts ever been caught up in following salacious, gossip-based reporting?
  • Have we ever caught ourselves pulling a Mrs. Weasley: either dismissing or assigning merit to a piece of reporting based on whether it reinforced our personal beliefs?
  • Odds & Ends cover Mundungus Fletcher, Ron’s dress robes, Trelawney’s prophecy and more!
  • Quizzitch: What spell does Hermione start learning on the Hogwarts Express (in Harry’s fourth year)?
  • And don’t forget you can join our community at Patreon.com/MuggleCast and receive magical benefits, including early access to the show, Bonus MuggleCast, physical gifts and more!

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Episode #639: Christmas Lights or Chaos? (GOF Chapter 9: The Dark Mark)

On this week’s episode of MuggleCast, we’re wrapping up 2023 at the Quidditch World Cup! Grab your best pair of running shoes and dont forget your wand (*cough* Harry *cough*), as we try to avoid Death Eaters, Veela and annoying Ministry officials!

*Please note that we discuss some heavy topics in this episode and while we certainly pride ourselves on being a family-friendly podcast, the content may not be suitable for all ages.*

  • Happy Holidays and New Year to all of our listeners! It’s our final episode of 2023, but don’t fret because we’ll be releasing a couple of bonus segments over the break!
  • Chapter-by-Chapter continues with Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9: The Dark Mark
  • 7-Word Summary: Winky struggles to explain herself to Crouch
  • Main Discussion #1: Death Eaters & The Dark Mark
  • Death Eaters & Terrorism: Voldemort’s followers use the Quidditch World Cup celebration to cause mass hysteria
  • The Death Eaters are dressed in hooded cloaks with masks, and are marching in a clan-like formation. We discuss similarities to the KKK here in the United States.
  • We react to the torture of the Roberts family and exactly what Draco suggested be done to Hermione
  • The Dark Mark & the Swastika: Both marks inspire fear and convey hatred. As an adult that lived through Voldemort’s reign, what must it have been like to see the Dark Mark return?
  • Hermione is the only one of the trio who understands the gravity of the Dark Mark. What does this say about the wizarding world’s ability to insulate their children from the terror that Voldemort inflicted on the wizarding world?
  • Was the Dark Mark cast to inspire fear in those at the Quidditch World Cup or in the Death Eaters themselves?
  • Main Discussion #2: The Conviction of Winky & The Treatment of House-Elves
  • Winky is found at the scene of the crime and is unjustly accused (and convicted). 
  • Similar to other situations we’ve experienced with Ministry justice, much of the real evidence is ignored!
  • Our eyes are opened even further to the treatment of House-Elves by the larger wizarding world
  • How has Hermione growing up in the Muggle world informed her views on House-Elves? Do we attribute Ron’s views to immaturity or his own upbringing?
  • Hermione begins her outspoken criticism of the Ministry!
  • Evanesco That returns as Andrew lays waste to all of the  he-said-she-said-elf-said back-and-forth, blah, blah, blah in this chapter!
  • Odds & Ends cover Fred & George’s winnings, Beauxbatons, Madam Maxime, Stan Shunpike, Priori Incantato and more!
  • Quizzitch: What did Rita Skeeter once call Bill Weasley in an interview with Gringotts curse-breakers?
  • And don’t forget you can join our community at Patreon.com/MuggleCast and receive magical benefits, including Bonus MuggleCast! We have two brand-new ones for you in December, including our recap of the biggest events in fandom of 2023 and a look ahead to 2024! And, we celebrate with some of our favorite holiday Headcannons!
  • This week’s episode is brought to you by MasterClass! This holiday season, give the gift of one annual membership and get one free at MasterClass.com/MuggleCast!

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Episode #638: Nothing About Quidditch Is Fair (GOF Chapter 8, The Quidditch World Cup)

The Quidditch World Cup is a security nightmare! (Are you really surprised?) This week, the MuggleCasters dive in (from no less a height than the Top Box) to discussion about rogue mascots and classism as we discuss Chapter 8 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, “The Quidditch World Cup.”

  • Thanks to all who listen to our podcast on Spotify! You made our Wrapped something special.
  • Reminder to check out The MuggleCast Overstock Store for any last-minute holiday gifts you may be seeking! Give the gift of MuggleCast merch to you and yours!
  • Chapter-by-Chapter continues with Goblet of Fire, Chapter 8: The Quidditch World Cup
  • 7-Word Summary: Athletes compete vigorously against their formidable opponents
  • Main Discussion #1: House-Elves return!
  • Harry thinks he sees Dobby. But how exactly does Winky know Dobby?
  • Are Dobby’s ideas of being paid for his work too radical, or is Winky too conservative or downtrodden? And why is it a bad thing that Dobby remains free?
  • We also get a reunion of sorts between Lucius and Arthur. What is this chapter trying to tell us about class differences in the Wizarding World?
  • Main Discussion #2: The Veela are DANGEROUS!
  • Right after first seeing them, Harry almost jumps out of the Top Box! How are they allowed?
  • The Veela are of Slavic origin and may have roots in Greek myths; we explore.
  • Are the Veela more like modern cheerleaders in their purpose, or are they emblematic of something else?
  • Both team’s mascots should be banned in the future, we consider.
  • Quizzitch: From which book does Hermione learn about Beauxbatons Academy of Magic?
  • Coming up in Bonus MuggleCast, we review the biggest events in fandom of 2023 and look ahead to 2024!
  • This week’s episode is brought to you by Indeed (claim your $75 credit at Indeed.com/MuggleCast) and MeUndies (get 25% off your first order, plus free standard shipping at MeUndies.com/MuggleCast)!

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Episode #637: Crouchy Ouchy (GOF Chapter 7, Bagman and Crouch) feat. Fantasy Fangirls

Grab your plainest clothing, because we’re journeying to the Quidditch World Cup under cover and meeting Ludo the Gamblin’ Man and Grouchy Crouchy! Join Andrew, Eric, Micah, Laura and our friends Lexi and Nicole from Fantasy Fangirls for a camping trip you won’t soon forget!

  • Welcome, the hosts of Fantasy Fangirls, Nicole and Lexi! Fantasy Fangirls is currently covering Fourth Wing / Iron Flame, which has been one of the most popular book series this year! Follow them for hours of entertainment on Instagram and TikTok!
  • Lexi leaves everyone in awe as she rattles off every Goblet of Fire chapter from memory! And yes, she can do the entire series from Sorcerer’s Stone to Deathly Hallows – a fantastic holiday party trick!
  • Chapter-by-Chapter continues with Goblet of Fire, Chapter 7: Bagman and Crouch
  • 7-Word Summary: Arriving at the campsite makes much happen
  • Main Discussion #1: Hiding the Quidditch World Cup from Muggles
  • How does Arthur Weasley not know how Muggle money works?
  • What is the lasting impact of wiping Mr. Roberts’ memory 10 times per day?
  • Prohibiting witches and wizards from doing magic at the Quidditch World Cup is ABSURD! Why hasn’t a better plan been devised after all these years?
  • Just Hhw many witches and wizards are there in the world?
  • Why should Harry and Hermione have to put the tent together? Could it be foreshadowing to Deathly Hallows?
  • Brother and sister? Former lovers? Could there be a secret connection between Perkins and Mrs. Figg?
  • Main Discussion #2: Bagman and Crouch (our initial impressions)
  • We examine the ethics of Ludo Bagman placing and collecting bets on the Quidditch World Cup
  • What sticky situation did Arthur get Ludo out of that awarded him 10 VIP tickets?
  • What does it say about Barty Crouch Sr. that he completely botches Percy’s name?
  • Odds & Ends cover Ron fangirling over Krum, other wizarding schools, Bode The Unspeakable, magic carpets, water taps, Seamus Finnegan’s mom and more!
  • Quizzitch: What broomstick does Harry see advertised as being, “for All the Family” at the Quidditch World Cup?
  • The MuggleCast Overstock Store is STILL OPEN! Ever wanted one of our cool physical gifts that we send to Patrons, but didn’t want to subscribe to our Patreon? WELL, for the first time ever, we are selling leftover physical gifts from years past! Only while supplies last!
  • This week’s episode is brought to you by Uncommon Goods (get 15% off your first order at UncommonGoods.com/MUGGLECAST) & Indeed (claim your $75 credit at Indeed.com/MuggleCast)!

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