Episode #571: What if ‘Deathly Hallows’ Played Out Very Differently?

This week, we wrap up our month-long Deathly Hallows 15th anniversary celebration by discussing a number of “What If” scenarios from the final installment of the Harry Potter series! What if things had gone drastically different at several key moments of the seventh book? Would Harry, Ron and Hermione have found another way, or would it have just been GAME OVER?

  • Welcome back Sequoia, from Fanatical Fics and Where to Find Them podcast! Also be sure to check out But Make It Scary, and find Sequoia on Twitter
  • Don’t miss our 2022 Patreon Gifts – The MuggleCast Collectors Club and the MuggleCast Wand! Pledge to our Patreon by August 7, 2022 and fill out the form(s) to receive your gifts! We are so proud of this year’s items and hope you check them out!
  • News: Quidditch is changing its name to Quadball
  • We continue our Deathly Hallows 15th Anniversary Celebration!
  • Main Discussion: What if… Deathly Hallows Edition
  • What if… Harry had been sorted into Slytherin?
  • What if… Harry had not inadvertently destroyed the Diary Horcrux in Chamber of Secrets?
  • What if… Lily and James had kept Sirius as their Secret Keeper?
  • What if… Cedric Diggory didn’t die in Goblet of Fire?
  • What if… Draco had changed allegiances and served as double agent for Dumbledore’s Army? What if… he was a double agent all along?
  • What if… Rita Skeeter never published The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore?
  • What if… Dumbledore got it all wrong and Harry died? How would the Epilogue be different?
  • What if… Snape never shared his memories with Harry?
  • What if… Harry didn’t disarm Draco at Malfoy Manor? What if… Draco had given up the Trio to Voldemort?
  • What if… Ron or Hermione had died?
  • Listener What Ifs cover Hermione leaving instead of Ron, Narcissa’s confirmation of Harry’s death, Dobby and more!
  • Next Week: We will be reviewing the Secrets of Dumbledore script book and see if we can gleam any new details from it!
  • Quizzitch: What resident of Little Hangleton is quoted as saying that Frank Bryce definitely killed the Riddles no matter what the police think?
  • This week’s episode is brought to you by Upside (Download the free Upside appand use promo code ‘mugglecast’ to get $5 or more cash back on your first purchase of $10 or more), Shudder (stream your first 30 days of Shudder for FREE at Shudder.com/MuggleCast) and BetterHelp (Get 10% off your first month of therapy at BetterHelp.com/mugglecast)!

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Episode #570: ‘Deathly Hallows’ Turns 15! Revisiting Our Dramatic First Impressions

This week, the hosts grab their Time Turners and summon all the nostalgia that will fit in their beaded bag as they revisit the day after receiving Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Andrew, Eric and Laura were in London for a live podcasting event at Waterstones, and Micah was stateside. We reflect on our initial impression of the book, what things we feel differently about 15 years later, and how magical it felt to witness the “end” of an era together. Also on this episode: dramatic line readings of some Book 7 reactions and e-mails from the day after that we finally respond to!

  • We’ve just announced our 2022 Patreon Gifts – The MuggleCast Collectors Club and the MuggleCast Wand! Pledge to our Patreon by August 7, 2022 and fill out the form(s) to receive your gifts! We are so proud of this year’s items and hope you check them out!
  • Main Discussion: Revisiting MuggleCast #101, our first Deathly Hallows reactions episode
  • Why did we start off Episode 101 talking about Lord of the Rings? Eric reminds us of how things have changed since 2007.
  • Laura and the hosts lament the lack of return to the Department of Mysteries, across two time periods!
  • Podcasting had made all the hosts cold, hard people. Did the deaths in Book 7 really even affect them?
  • Did any of the deaths feel ‘unnecessary’ to us then, and do they now?
  • 15 years later… does the epilogue feel satisfying? And what about those names for the kids?
  • The hosts listen to themselves predicting what the Deathly Hallows movie will entail.
  • We read some of the most dramatic reactions to the book, found in the MuggleNet Comments Section on July 21, 2007.
  • Listener e-mails include: Who was the late-blooming Hogwarts student? What was it about Lily’s eyes? And, what happened to Kreacher?
  • Quizzitch: Who witnessed Dumbledore using the Sword of Gryffindor to destroy the Gaunt Ring?
  • This week’s episode is brought to you by BetterHelp (Get 10% off your first month of therapy at BetterHelp.com/mugglecast) and HelloFresh (Get up to 16 free meals and three free gifts by going to HelloFresh.com/muggle16 and using code muggle16 at checkout!)

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Episode #569: What Happened to the Room of Requirement? And More Questions ‘Deathly Hallows’ Didn’t Answer

On this week’s episode of MuggleCast, we begin our celebration of the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by looking at the burning questions the seventh  book didn’t answer. In the weeks ahead, stay tuned for more Deathly Hallows book discussions in honor of the anniversary!

  • We’re excited to announce our 2022 Patreon Gifts – The MuggleCast Collectors Club and the MuggleCast Wand! Pledge to our Patreon by August 7, 2022 and fill out the form(s) to receive your gifts! We are so proud of this year’s items and hope you check them out!
  • Main Discussion: Burning Questions Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Didn’t Answer
  • Did Deathly Hallows provide the conclusion we all wanted?
  • Which character(s) got the most disappointing Deathly Hallows resolution?
  • Lavender Brown: dead or alive?
  • What retributions (if any) were there for Death Eaters and Voldemort sympathizers after the second war?
  • Did Kreacher live through the Battle of Hogwarts, and did he ever find out that the locket was destroyed?
  • Gringotts, The Room of Requirement & Grimmauld Place: what happened to some of our favorite wizarding world locations?
  • Listeners share their questions on everything from The Veil to Snape’s Boggart to Fawkes and more!
  • How did Harry figure out so much during his time at Shell Cottage?
  • Did the snake Harry set free in Sorcerer’s Stone ever make it to Brazil?
  • Nagini & Bathilda Bagshot… HOW?!?
  • What was the relationship like between Harry and Ginny? Luckily, Eric’s filling in the gaps in his fan-fiction!
  • Was the taboo on Voldemort’s name a copout?
  • Was Azkaban absolutely PACKED after the Battle of Hogwarts?
  • On next week’s episode, we’ll revisit our reactions to Deathly Hallows after reading the book for the first time, and read old e-mails from the days just after the book was released!
  • Quizzitch: In Deathly Hallows, during the camping scenes, after complaining about their meal to Harry and Hermione and saying his mom can conjure food from thin air, what does Ron Summon for dinner?
  • This week’s episode is brought to you by MasterClass (get 15% off an annual membership at MasterClass.com/MuggleCast) and BetterHelp (get 10% off your first month at BetterHelp.com/MuggleCast)!

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Episode #568: Indefensible Characters in Harry Potter, and How to Understand Them

On this week’s MuggleCast, the hosts take on the most indefensible characters, and figure out what about them gets under our skin. How can we defend the actions of someone like Gilderoy Lockhart or Rita Skeeter? Do we really believe that James Potter matured out of being a bully? And finally, is Umbridge a case of nature or nurture? Join Andrew, Eric, Micah and Laura for a deep look at characters who bug us in Harry Potter.

  • For Pride month, MuggleCast is participating in The Hogwarts Hunt, a fundraiser and scavenger hunt to benefit LGBT charities. We’re team Hufflepuff! Visit our social media for more info.
  • Who are the most indefensible characters in Harry Potter? Why do we say that they can’t they be redeemed?
  • The hosts unexpectedly discuss a few Ravenclaws and Micah and Laura get nervous.
  • Micah says the Death Eaters would actually approve of the Dursleys’ treatment of Harry if they knew.
  • Among the irredeemable characters, which ones do we LOVE to hate and why?
  • Characters like Snape or Umbridge have scenes that are greatly written as to illustrate their motives clearly, and we are shook.
  • Could anything or anyone humanize Bellatrix Lestrange?
  • What allow us to defend some characters, but not others? Their upbringing? Their intelligence and skill? Where do we draw the line?
  • Is Argus Filch a character we understand? Would a Squib living at a magic school always have his attitude?
  • Is James Potter a defensible character, since we see so little of him and when we do he is still that teenage bully of Snape?
  • Do we believe that James would have made a good father and raised Harry without prejudice, had he lived?
  • Debate: Umbridge, Nature vs Nurture?
  • Quizzitch: Which of Umbridge’s Educational Decrees (what number) barred teachers from giving the students any information that was not related to the subjects they were hired to teach?
  • Andrew was on Swish & Flick podcast discussing the history of Dumbledore’s sexuality! Check it out here or wherever you listen to podcasts!
  • This week’s episode is brought to you by BetterHelp (Get 10% off your first month at BetterHelp.com/mugglecast) and Warby Parker (Try 5 pairs of glasses at home for free at WarbyParker.com/mugglecast)

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Episode #567: ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ Illustrator Thomas Taylor Reveals the Secrets Behind the Cover

On this week’s episode of MuggleCast, we’re joined by a very special guest, Mr. Thomas Taylor, who originally illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1996!  He talks about what it was like to land the job and all that ensued! Join us as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the book that began a phenomenon!

  • Welcome Thomas Taylor, illustrator of the very first Harry Potter book in the UK!
  • Thomas shares what it was like to get the job at just 23-years-old!
  • How did he decide to illustrate the iconic Hogwarts Express scene?
  • Did he ever speak with J.K. Rowling?
  • What was it like to be one of the first people to ever read Harry Potter?
  • Was he ever asked to work on the remainder of the series?
  • Who is the mysterious gentleman on the original back cover, and what’s in his pocket?
  • Harry’s wearing what looks like a Gryffindor scarf on the cover even though he hadn’t been sorted — Coincidence or part of the plan?
  • Thomas reveals the secret message he placed on Dumbledore on the back cover!
  • Did you know there is a connection between Dumbledore and The Hobbit? Thomas reveals the secret message he placed on the back cover!
  • Thomas shares his thoughts on the first Harry Potter movie, his favorite characters and his Hogwarts House!
  • What was it like for him to transition from illustrator to author?
  • Be sure to check out Taylor’s other works, including The Legends of Eerie-on-Sea and follow him on Twitter and Instagram
  • Quizzitch: Dumbledore’s nose appeared as though it had been broken how many times, according to the first chapter of Philosopher’s Stone?
  • This week’s episode is brought to you by MeUndies (get 15% off your first order, 25% off your first Membership item, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee at MeUndies.com/MuggleCast) and Shudder (stream your first 30 days of Shudder for FREE by going to Shudder.com and entering code MuggleCast)!
  • Bonus MuggleCast, available later this week: In celebration of Pride Month, we had fun whipping up some gay Harry Potter pick-ups lines (parental advisory warning: these pick-up lines are of an adult nature and not suitable for children). Become a supporter of the show today at Patreon.com/MuggleCast!

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Episode #566: WB is Planning HBO Max Harry Potter Shows — We Pitch Lots of New Ideas!

A merger of Warner Bros and Discovery, Inc. has led Andrew to speculate as to what the future of the Wizarding World may look like on film and TV. And he’s prepared a presentation about it! Hosts Eric, Micah, Laura and special Slug Club guest Neil join in and speculate as to the future of Fantastic Beasts, and what – if any – television series set within the Wizarding World we might see from Discovery Time Warner. It’s a jam-packed episode with lots of laughs and really cool ideas!

  • Welcome Slug Club guest Neil, who’s joining us from South Korea in the middle of the night.
  • What CEO David Zaslav might do with Fantastic Beasts, Harry Potter, and his upcoming meeting with JKR.
  • While Secrets of Dumbledore is the lowest performing Wizarding World film of all time, it still technically has broken even, reaching $400M globally. Is the future secure for its remaining announced sequels?
  • Hypothetically, what scripted Harry Potter TV shows could we see coming if not a direct reboot of the original Potter books?
  • The hosts all provide an idea for a television series that fills in canon and explores plot holes from the series.
  • Laura wants an episode dedicated to “The Missing 24 Hours“, while Micah wants a series focused on Tom Riddle’s ascent to power.
  • Is a Marauders series anybody’s second choice for new TV content? How about one that shows the events of Deathly Hallows from the students’ perspective in Hogwarts? And finally, Andrew’s idea for an Auror Dept. police procedural is intriguing!
  • Next, the hosts “Star Wars-ify” a Wizarding World story, pairing an adult and child character together in the style of Disney+’s The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • Would Salazar Slytherin look good boasting a gray area? Are outcasts Hagrid and Luna the perfect pair for an exploration of Wizarding World secrets? Would Tonks and Mad-Eye see eye to eye if placed together for long? How about Snape and Draco? And would a time-traveling Neville Longbottom learn a few things from Professor Sprout?
  • Finally, falling in line with Discovery Channel‘s past offerings, the hosts predict which educational and/or questionable reality programming we might get from the content creators.
  • Ideas include space-faring wizards, Charms disasters, a travel show, and “Trelawney Truckers”!
  • Quizzitch: Who illustrated the first book cover for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, published in 1997 by Bloomsbury in UK?
  • This week’s episode is brought to you by MeUndies (visit MeUndies.com/MuggleCast for 15% off your first order and 25% off your first membership item), Framebridge (Use promo code ‘muggle’ for 15% off your first order), and BetterHelp (Go to BetterHelp.com/mugglecast for 10% off your first month)

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Episode #565: Secrets of Dumbledore Movie Commentary Track!

Watch Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore with the MuggleCasters in our movie commentary track! We had a ton of fun watching the movie together and making sense of everything that’s going on. What are each character’s motives? What are we noticing now that we’re watching in the comfort of our own homes? Even the credits had a surprise that a couple of us weren’t aware of! We discuss every moment of the movie as we watch it together!

Secrets of Dumbledore was just released on HBO Max, and now you can watch the movie in real time with your Harry Potter friends (us). You will need to bring your own copy of the movie to get the full experience. Currently it’s available on HBO Max and will be released on DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital at the end of June.

At the beginning of the episode we help you sync up with us. Our sync point is just after the WB logo flies past the camera. For us, this was 53 seconds into the movie, but your timecode may differ if you don’t have a HBO ad at the beginning.

This week’s episode is sponsored by BetterHelp (Get 10% off your first month at BetterHelp.com/mugglecast) and Masterclass (Get 15% off an annual subscription by visiting Masterclass.com/mugglecast).

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Episode #564: Who’s the Threat in ‘Fantastic Beasts 4’ if Grindelwald’s Been Qilinized?

On this week’s episode, Micah and Eric talk about what Fantastic Beasts 4 needs to do in order to keep fans interested in the franchise. Then open our Muggle Mailbag to take feedback on Secrets of Dumbledore. Plus… Alakazam! Can wizards and witches really use spoons to do magic?

  • Main Mini-Discussion: What does Fantastic Beasts 4 need to do in order to be a satisfying story for fans?
  • With where Secrets of Dumbledore left us, what more story is there to tell? 
  • Can the franchise continue to hang its hooks on Potter nostalgia, but then fail to deliver?
  • Do we feel there is enough meat for five Fantastic Beasts films? Could a flashback movie work?
  • It’s time to bust open the Muggle Mailbag!
  • What did Grindelwald know about Dumbledore’s future when he said: “Who’s going to love you now?”
  • Will Jude Law’s Dumbledore ever reenact the Half-Blood Prince potion scene?
  • Is Secrets of Dumbledore too gay?
  • Did Dumbledore plan for Jacob to be an “assassin” all along?
  • Why did Leta choose Theseus? Is Newt to blame?
  • Which characters are the best examples from each Hogwarts House?
  • Can you use spoons to do magic?
  • Quizzitch: In Half-Blood Prince, during the cave scene, what does Dumbledore toast before drinking the potion?
  • On next week’s episode: we’re off for the Memorial Day Holiday, but back the following week with our Secrets of Dumbledore movie commentary!
  • This week’s episode is brought to you by Mint Mobile (to get your new wireless plan for just $15 bucks/month and get the plan shipped to your door for FREE, visit MintMobile.com/MuggleCast) and BetterHelp (get 10% off their first month at BetterHelp.com/MuggleCast)!

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Episode #563: Analyzing Eulalie Hicks, Our Favorite New Character

In their first dedicated character discussion since the premiere of Secrets of Dumbledore, the hosts of MuggleCast turn the pages of their study guides to Professor Eulalie Hicks of Ilvermorny! “Lally” was a huge highlight of the third Beasts film, and we’re here to say why that was. Join Andrew, Eric, Micah and Laura as they analyze the character through her words, attitude and relationships. It’s a fun episode for sure.

  • Main Discussion: Professor Eulalie “Lally” Hicks in Secrets of Dumbledore
  • Going back to the first section he ever headed on MuggleNet, Micah starts us off with Lally’s Name Origin
  • Jessica Williams, who portrays Lally, was herself a big Harry Potter fan, and even shares his birthday!
  • The announcement of Jessica’s casting likely took place at the next table over from Andrew, Eric and Micah when they saw Cursed Child on Broadway.
  • What makes Eulalie a member of Thunderbird house? It’s been a while since the hosts had a chance to talk about Ilvermorny canon.
  • As a Charms professor, Eulalie’s surely competent in some of our favorite Charms, which we recap.
  • Lally, like Newt, wrote a book which is widely circulated. She also has a unique-looking wand.
  • Professor Hicks and Professor Hagrid both share a job title in common! But… what does it mean?
  • We received some insightful e-mails regarding Lally’s “Transatlantic” accent, a relic of Old Hollywood in the 1930’s and 40’s.
  • Lally’s friendhsip with Jacob is a reason to see the film, even if it got off to a rocky (problematic?) start. The hosts discuss.
  • What do we see happening between Theseus and Lally romantically, if anything, and why?
  • Andrew’s idea for a Eulalie Hicks spinoff TV show will have you ready and waiting for the first season.
  • Quizzitch: What did students have to do in their end of year exam for Charms class in Harry’s year one?
  • This week’s episode is brought to you by Framebridge (Use promo code MUGGLE for 15% off your first order), Warby Parker (Go to WarbyParker.com/mugglecast and try five pairs for free right at home), and AMC Shudder (Use code MUGGLECAST for 30 days of Shudder for free)

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Episode #562: Answering Burning ‘Secrets of Dumbledore’ Questions With New Canon

On this week’s episode, the fearless MuggleCasters take it upon themselves to answer Secrets of Dumbledore’s biggest unanswered questions, using their extensive knowledge of the Wizarding World to provide plausible answers and put to bed the movie’s most dangling plot threads. Join Andrew, Eric, Laura and Micah on this fun journey through the plot points and listen as they finally discuss whether their own prophecy about the movie came true!

  • Main Discussion: Can our knowledge of book canon help us explain the events of Fantastic Beasts 3?
  • In what YEAR is the third movie set? Some title cards would have been helpful! Are there clues in the props?
  • What became of Nagini? Andrew, Laura and Micah provide a tragic outcome while Eric imagines a spa day.
  • Where is Tina Goldstein, really? The “she’s busy” explanation does not hold any giggle water for us!
  • Was Newt ever allowed back to Hogwarts after his expulsion, and did he complete his schooling there?
  • What makes Dumbledore “more than a teacher” to Newt, in his own words?
  • How and under what circumstances did Dumbledore and Eulalie Hicks first meet?
  • What is the little drop of “water” that Albus blew onto Credence? And is it connected with the Deluminator or an alternate dimension?
  • The Predictions of Tycho Dodonus… did they come true, and might they still? How about our predictions of Nostradamus?
  • Exactly when did Aberforth find out about Credence and when did they establish their mirror chats?
  • Regarding romances, where do Jacob and Queenie honeymoon, and is anything happening with Lally and Theseus?
  • The hosts wrap up discussing the most pressing questions that the next movie MUST answer.
  • Who Got it Right?! Laura and Micah sweep The Bunties ™ with Price is Right rules applying, on our various FB3 guesses.
  • Next week, a character discussion on Eulalie Hicks! Submit your questions and thoughts on the character!
  • Quizzitch: Who was the headmaster of Hogwarts school immediately before Dumbledore?
  • This week’s episode is brought to you by NordVPN (Go to NordVPN.com/muggle and receive a huge discount) and BetterHelp (Get 10% off your first month at BetterHelp.com/mugglecast)

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