Transcript #27

MuggleCast EP27 Transcript


Andrew [Show Intro with music in background]: This is MuggleCast – Episode 27 for February 12th, 2006. GoDaddy hosting plans are now more powerful than ever. Best of all plans start at just $3.95 per month. No matter what plan you choose your site receives 24/7 maintenance and protection in the world-class data center. I use them for my personal website,, and I know that GoDaddy has some of the best, affordable hosting plans online. I recommend you use them for your upcoming website or podcast because as a MuggleCast listener, enter the code MUGGLE, that’s M-U-G-G-L-E when you check out, and save an additional 10% on any order. Get your piece of the Internet today at

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another edition of MuggleCast! I’m Andrew Sims.

Ben: I’m Ben Schoen.

Eric: I’m Eric Scull.

Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Dylan: And I’m Dylan Spartz.

Andrew: And this is the show where we bring you the latest in Harry Potter news, theories, discussions, trivia, whatever you want. And now with 100% more Dylan Spartz.

Ben: Yay!

Laura: Yay!

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Hooray!

Ben: And I’d just like to take a moment to congratulate U2 on their five Grammys. Okay, Harry Potter. Let’s go.

Andrew: Oh me too.

[Ben and Andrew laugh]

Andrew: Welcome Dylan, to the show. We had you on a few weeks ago – by weeks, I mean months.

Ben: Yeah.

[Ben, Eric, and Andrew laugh]

Andrew: And we had to cut you out because there were audio problems.

Dylan: Right, that’s what you say.

Andrew: [laughs] None this week.

Ben: Yeah.

Andrew: You sounded like a chipmunk. I didn’t want people getting the wrong impression.

Dylan: Right.

Andrew: I’m not even joking, man. [laughs] Before we go anywhere else, first let’s check in with Micah for the past week’s top Harry Potter news stories.


Micah: Thanks, Andrew.

CBBC Newsround reported Friday that after their absence from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Dursleys will return in Order of the Phoenix. They also announced some of the other actors cast for the fifth Harry Potter film.

Sian Thomas will play Amelia Bones the Head of the Magical Law Enforcement Office. She’s appeared in several productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as roles in television and film.

Lending more credibility to the rumor that the Dementor Attack will appear in Order of the Phoenix, Jason Boyd has been cast as Pier Polkiss and Richard Macklin will play Malcolm, two of Dudley’s friends.

Young Peter Pettigrew will be played by Charles Hughes and Young Lily Potter will be played by Susie Shinner.

Finally, Richard Leaf will play Ministry Auror Dawlish and Nick Shim has been cast as Zacharias Smith.

Warner Bros. said earlier this week that both Gary Oldman and David Thewlis are still under negotiations to appear in Order of the Phoenix.

Filming began for the fifth film on Monday.

Moving from Order of the Phoenix to Goblet of Fire, Warner Bros. has released a commercial for the upcoming Goblet of Fire DVD! You can check it out as well as a review of the new DVD over on

The Harry Potter series has been nominated for a Kids’ Choice Award in the category of Favorite Book while Goblet of Fire is up for consideration in the Favorite Movie category. You can vote on the Nickelodeon’s website starting March 6th. The Awards will be presented on Saturday, April 1st at 8 PM.

And don’t forget voting for the 2006 AOL Moviefone Moviegoer Awards is still open. Nominations are in the areas of Movie of the Year (Goblet of Fire), Actor of the Year (Dan Radcliffe), Actress of the Year (Emma Watson), Best Scene-Stealer (Brendan Gleeson), and Vilest Villain (Ralph Fiennes).

Finally, you’ve asked about if for months, now the video from our LIVE New York City podcast is available over on’s Episode Page.

That’s all the news for this February 12th, 2006 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.

Andrew: Okay. Well thanks, Micah Tan.


Andrew: Let’s go to some announcements before we do anything else this week. One e-mail that we have been getting a lot of is where did all of the older episodes go on the feed?

Ben: The reason we don’t have any more than ten episodes on the feed is because it gets sort of crowded and it is not necessary. So, if you want to have episodes before that, go to, click on “Episodes.”

Andrew: That’s what I just said.

Ben: I don’t know why it was so hard for him to say that. [laughs]

Andrew: Because I have ADD. What’s the… What’s the… You trying to insult me or something?

Eric: But so guys, guys, won’t that mess up the way people play MuggleCast on their iPods? Because it won’t show up under podcasts, it’ll show up under…

Andrew: Well, some people were saying that, but is that true?

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: When it goes out of our feed it deletes it from their podcast directory?

Ben: No, it doesn’t. It shouldn’t.

Andrew: Yeah, I don’t think so.

Eric: What it does is, it shows up as “Songs.” Except the problem is the earlier episodes don’t have the same artists. They’re under like Andrew Sims, Ben Schoen, you know?. Now, it’s just as The MuggleCasters. So, it’s almost impossible…

Andrew: But, if you go to “Podcasts,” if you go to “Podcasts” on your iPod…

Eric: Yeah?

Andrew: All the ones that aren’t on our feed anymore aren’t there? I don’t think that is true.

Eric: I think…

Andrew: I’m not able to test it because of my settings.

Eric: All I am saying is if you direct download it, there’s no way to get it on the podcast part of the thing.

Andrew: Oh, right! [coughs] Right. Well…

Eric: It just shows up as a random episode.

Andrew: Yeah, well…

Eric: Or random song.

Andrew: [laughs] …what are you going to do?

Eric: There’s no way to fix it.

Ben: So, yeah. Buy an iPod.

Andrew: That’s the problem. [laughs] People, people…it’s going to show up in a different place on their iPod, that’s what he is saying.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: But it’s not an issue if you have already downloaded all of them through the feed.

Eric: Well, right, but it actually…

Andrew: New people, yes.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Okay. [laughs]

Ben: Now this is, this is the borefest with Andrew and Eric.

Andrew: I know. [laughs] This is “This Week in MuggleCast Tech.”

Ben: Yeah.


Andrew: All right. And now the update on the Andrew’s Listener Challenge that is sweeping the nation are my contests, my segment contest – “Create Your own MuggleCast Segment” – that will then be aired on our show, and you’ll also win a fabulous MuggleCast T-shirt for you and everyone who participated. I’d like to remind everyone that you must send your final entries to challenge at staff dot mugglenet dot com. And send any questions to me at andrew at staff dot mugglenet dot com. This is the final week for the contest because it closes on the 18th.

Ben: Yeah!

Andrew: When we release our next show – it is closed! So get them in this week.


Andrew: So Ben, we have to remind everyone that we are now selling MuggleCast T-shirts.

Ben: That’s right! Get yours today! Visit and there’s a link that says “Store” where you can buy a T-shirt comes in two designs and a variety of sizes. They cost is around $15.00. And for every shirt you buy, it supports the site and it supports MuggleCast in itself.

Andrew: And they come in two great designs, a little – what do we want to call it, Ben?

Ben: Ehhh…

Andrew: [whispers] Not iPod. Shhh.

Ben: Generic headset that are coincidentally white style.

Andrew: Mhm. And have different color backgrounds. You guys will love them. They look great. I mean Ben and I both have them. We wear them proudly.

Ben: Exactly.

Andrew: And we get noticed for once. [fakes crying]

Ben: Oh, yeah. [laughs]

Andrew: And then also the second design is a Micbolt, which is a microphone and lightening bolt skewed into one. It’s really cool. It’s a great design for our show – it fits perfectly.

Ben: But not only that, Andrew. We need to remind them that – it is actually a T-shirt I am wearing at this moment – you can buy MuggleNet T-shirts at, the Harry Potter website this podcast is for. And those T-shirts go towards supporting the podcast and go towards supporting the site. So…

Andrew: We appreciate your purchase very much.

Ben: So, go… Any business, we love it.

Andrew: Mhm.

Ben: So, thank you.

Andrew: And go buy one today.

Ben: Right now.

Andrew: All right. So, thanks everyone!


Andrew: And we have two corrections from last week’s show. For one, we mentioned that we asked, “Well, what the hell does Wormtail do with his silver hand?” and Margaret from New Orleans and a few other people pointed out to us that when Wormtail receives it, he crushes a stick to dust with his new shiny hand, which means that it is very powerful. So, we really did know what it was for.

Ben: Yeah.

Dylan: Because he is cool like that.

Andrew: We didn’t, we didn’t look into that fully, So, sorry about that. And…

Eric: Andrew, I’ll handle the second one.

Andrew: Oh, oh, okay. Go ahead.

Eric: All right. I can handle the second one. The second correction to last week…

Andrew: In an hour or less.

Eric: Okay. No, absolutely. [laughs] A few people sent in concerns saying last we discussed whether or not Peter Pettigrew could reveal himself fully to the public. And I had speculated in the episode with everybody else that he could not indeed show his face because that would mean that Sirius was innocent, and there would be this big revolution and everything. However, people sent in copies or segments of the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince during “The Other Minister” where Fudge is admitting to the Muggle Minister that Sirius was innocent. Now, what I wanted to say was that I had this in mind while thinking about it, and I truly don’t believe that the wizarding public has been informed that Sirius is innocent. I just think that was Fudge giving into explaining… At that moment he was explaining everthing to the Muggle Minister, and even though Fudge admits to the Minister that he was, you know, that Sirius was innocent, that he was wrong and…

Laura: Yeah, I agree. I think if Sirius’ name had been cleared that Jo would have mentioned it, definitely.

Eric: I don’t think that Fudge is the kind of Minister, the kind of politician who would admit things to the public. So, even though he may have thought, even though he may have admitted to the Minister, I still don’t think the public knows.

Andrew: And was there really any reason for the Prime Minister to tell the public because he would have been the one who told the public, right?

Eric: There wasn’t. It was just a matter of the Minister at that time was running through with Fudge all that stuff he had told him in the past, and Fudge had to correct himself because, “Oh gee, that was very unfortunate that we were wrong.” But, I swear, I really don’t think he told the public.

Micah: Not to mention Fudge would have been in a whole lot of trouble for getting the wrong guy.

Eric: Yeah. And he would have been ousted out before they deemed him incompetent. They would have kicked him out long before that.

Andrew: So take that and rewind it back! [laughs]

Eric: Yeah! That’s right! Take that, fans! Okay.

Andrew: No, I’m just kidding. We appreciated when fans point out when we make mistakes.

Eric: We really do, but I had that in mind.

Ben: Yeah.

Andrew: Because we’re not perfect. It’s hard to get every detail nailed down into our heads and sometimes we are going to screw up. So…

Ben: You, especially.

Andrew: Rarely. Rarely. Very rarely.

Eric: We do appreciate when you keep us in check.

Laura: Also… I did get several emails concerning the fact that people thought that we were saying that Dumbledore knew that Pettigrew was the Secret-Keeper and I just wanted to clear up that I don’t think that was the point we were getting at. I think we were getting at the point that Dumbledore thought one of the Potter’s friends was a traitor, not anyone specifically. So…

Andrew: Right. Yeah. I saw emails about that too.

Ben: Thank you.

Andrew: People think we’re crazy sometimes.

Eric: Any other corrections from last week?

Andrew: No, that’s it, Eric.

Eric: Cool beans.

Ben: We’re like the New York Times: we have corrections section on our show, man.

Eric: That was a nearly…

Andrew: Yeah, you know…

Eric: …nearly perfect episode. I thought that was very well…

Andrew: Yeah, people really appreciated last week’s show.

Ben: What about it?

Andrew: They liked what, well, for one, you weren’t on. That was a big plus.

Eric: Yeah.

Ben: Awww…ouch, come on.

Andrew: That was highly rated. Just kidding. Okay…

Ben: Like a knife to my heart.

Ben’s Top 10

Andrew: Okay, now for the main discussion this week, as most of you know unless you’re living under a rock and/or you are extremely anti-social, Tuesday is Valentine’s Day so it would only be right if we discussed a little bit of Valentines. Alright, so, Ben, you haven’t been on the show; you weren’t on last week and you’ve been sort of neglecting the Top Ten List…which is upsetting.

Ben: Yeah, I’m terrible.

Andrew: Yeah, you’ve upset many fans. So, you have one for us this week, right?

Ben: Yeah so, in the whole spirit of Valentine’s Day, I think it’s time that we do Top Ten Harry Potter Relationships.

Andrew: Ooooo.

Ben: Yeah let’s…

Andrew: Fitting for Valentine’s Day…Show Special. [laughs]

Ben: Very fitting. So, when you’re listening to MuggleCast, snuggling up with your loved one…

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: It’s time for our Top Ten List. Number ten… some of these are very generic, some of these are very wild, you know, some of these are…

Andrew: Was this created by anyone or was this created by you?

Ben: This is created by me, so…

Andrew: Okay.

Ben: If it sucks, email me. [laughs] Number ten…Harry and Ginny. Number nine…Ron and Hermione. Now, right now, many of you are thinking, “This Top Ten List sucks” but it’s heating up here.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Number eight…Dobby and the Giant Squid.

Andrew and Ben: Oh!

Ben: [Laughs] Number seven…Trelawney and Umbridge.

[Andrew and Ben groan]

Andrew: Oh, Ben! [laughs] Took me a second to catch that one.

Ben: No…number six…Harry and Hagw…Hedwig. [laughs]

Andrew: [Laughs] Harry and Hagrid…Hedwig.

Ben: Hagrid? Harry and Hagrid, that one should have made the list too, what am I thinking?

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Now, number five…Snape and McGonagall. Number four…Draco and Pansy. Number three, this is probably my favorite, Micah and Eric.

Andrew and Ben: [laugh] Oh!

Ben: Just kidding, guys, just kidding. Number two, Emerson and Melissa.

[Andrew and Ben laugh]

Andrew: [Whispering] Melissa, that was Ben’s idea.

Ben: Memerson for life, yo.

Andrew: [Laughs] Yeah.

Ben: Number one, perhaps my favorite…Snape and the Nimbus 2000. [laughs]

Andrew: Oooooh! [laughs] Yeah, is that a fan fiction somewhere?

Ben: Yeah.

Andrew: Oh, is it really?

Ben: Yeah, there is.

Andrew: Link me to it.

Ben: That’s a link that will not be in the show notes.

[Andrew and Ben laugh]

Love In The Harry Potter Series

Andrew: So, there hasn’t been much that has happened on Valentine’s Day in the Harry Potter series, strangely, because Harry Potter is such a novel of romance and mystery and…

Ben: And loooove.

Andrew: Loooove. [laughs]

Laura: Oh yeah.

Eric: Yeah, the key to the series is love, everybody.

Andrew: The first thing would be Harry’s first date with Cho Chang in, as we all know, Order of the Phoenix, which was closely followed by Rita’s interview with Harry for The Quibbler. Okay, and on top of those two things, there was in Chamber of Secrets: THE Valentine.

Eric: As we all know, thanks to JK Rowling in Book 6, Harry and Ginny have a thing going on. And, in Chamber of Secrets, four years prior to it, Ginny sent Harry the Valentine with the little cupids that really, really embarrassed him. And it was the singing Valentine and Ginny sent that to him.

Andrew: If I may…

Eric: That was…

Andrew: If I may just interrupt you here for a second, Eric.

Eric: Sure.

Andrew: You said that it embarrassed Harry…I would like to quote the book. “Harry would have given all the gold in Gringotts…

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: …to evaporate on the spot.” That is how much he was embarrassed.

Eric: [Laughs] Which is interesting, as well, his reaction to it. I think the two most interesting facts are that Ginny was only, what, eleven at this time, and she was, you know…and that’s the perfect, you know, little girl action to…but even that she was displaying magical talent to bewitch, you know, cupids to show up and give him a Valentine.

Laura: That wasn’t what happened, actually. Lockhart commissioned a bunch of the little…

Andrew: To send Valentines…

Laura: …cupids to come in and you could, yeah you could have them send Valentines.

Eric: Oh, wait I mixed them up so, okay then she just…But still, she was acting on her affections for Harry at a very young age and, of course, she told Riddle about it too, because that’s how he knew about Harry.

Andrew: Now maybe one of you can answer this for me, but I don’t know why there’s so much speculation as to why it might have or might not have been Ginny. Because in the book, Draco insulted the Valentine and he sent it towards Ginny…I don’t remember what he said exactly, but it was something along the lines of “looks like Harry didn’t like…”

Laura: Yeah, didn’t like your Valentine.

Andrew: Right, and then Ginny covered her face and ran off. So…

Laura: Which, I felt really sorry for her because that would have sucked.

Andrew: It was an innocent…like…

Eric: Yeah, that was bad.

Andrew: It was an innocent, I don’t even know how to put it…innocent…[in a crying voice] innocent love. I’m crying all over this episode.

Eric: Yeah, and so then, the second thing I wanted to bring up as far as that Valentine event goes is how Harry reacted to it as well. Like you said, Andrew, with your fabulous book quote, that Harry would have given “…all the gold in Gringotts to evaporate on the spot.”

Andrew: Right, that was on page 238, chapter 13, US edition.

Eric: Nice.

Laura: Thanks!

Eric: Nice specs!

Andrew: Yeah, I have it all in my head.

Eric: Nice.

Laura: I’m sure you do.

Eric: That’s pretty much Harry’s typical reaction and I think in Chamber of Secrets, Harry is very characterized as not wanting fame and you know with Lockhart around, always giving him tips on being very famous, it seems Harry is really an impenetrable character. When it comes to showing affection and he just doesn’t want to be classified as arrogant or attention-seeking.

Ben: Let’s talk about ‘shipping. What is ‘shipping? What is ‘shipping?

Laura: ‘Shipping is…

Ben: I’m like Dr. Phil. I’m like the Dr. Phil of ‘shipping.

Laura: Oh my God.

Ben: [Impersonating Dr. Phil] Well, you know what I’m going to say here. I think ‘shipping…it is very, very important to the Harry Potter series.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: ‘Shipping is very important to a lot of people in the Harry Potter series.

Ben: Mhm, and some people take it a little too seriously.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: It’s fueled by the fan fiction. It’s fueled by these crazy fans. It’s fueled by shows like us. It’s fueled by…

Ben: Guys like us.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: I think it’s next to the whole plot, the in-depth plot and figuring all of that out. It’s just amazing. [laughing]

Laura: Yeah, I really don’t get it. You look at the books and they really don’t have a very heavy romance line in there but you go to MuggleNet Fan Fiction and romance is the largest category.

Ben: Right, because that what people love writing about things they can compare to, you know? And another thing is, what’s surprising is that Harry and Hermione is the most popular ‘ship. There is no denying that even though it isn’t going to happen it‘s still the most popular one that people like to write about.

Eric: We’re not talking about, I don’t think we should talk about delusional people at all.

Ben: No, we didn’t talk about delusional people.

Laura: We’re not, we’re not.

Eric: Well, you’re bringing that up, I mean. But I liked what Laura said about fan fiction and romance being the largest thing. As far as JKR not mentioning it in the books or it not taking place in that books, I think that’s also what gives them free room to write. And wherever there are characters, there will be relationships formed and I think people just have their own interpretations of what characters should be with who and they let it free roam and other people say “Hey we really like that, so let’s write about it.”

Andrew: You keep referring to people, but it’s…I think we need to be more specific. It’s these teenage girls. Their hormones are raging. Yes, you can…yeah…

Eric: Oh, come on.

Ben: It is.

Andrew: It is!

Laura: It’s true, it’s true.

Andrew: Eric, do you have an argument against this?

Ben: Andrew, I’d be…hold on, Andrew.

Andrew: What?

Ben: I’d be careful of insulting teenage girls.

Andrew: I’m not insulting!

Ben: Because they account for 72 percent of our audience, so…

Andrew: I’m not insulting. I’m just saying it’s the perfect thing for them. It’s…

Laura: The majority? Yeah.

Andrew: What interests them the most. That’s why Harry Potter, that’s probably why it’s so successful because you’ve got these teenage girls, on top of swooning over Harry, they have this huge world of ‘shipping they can get into. There’s PodCasts about ‘shipping! [laughs] It’s huge!

Laura: No, no, it really is true because if you look at…whenever I was in public school, most of the girls my age were reading romance novels. So it’s really, it’s just something that teenage girls get into. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just an age thing.

Andrew: Eric, did you have an argument against this?

Eric: Um, no. I think it was proper in pointing that out and I think that Harry Potter, among other things like romance novels, it’s just something for teenage girls to get into because of whatever reasons but, it’s just a shame they aren’t in real relationships. Not that it’s their fault.

[Ben laughs]

Andrew: Do you think…

Ben: So yeah, if you’re not in a real relationship, call up Eric Scull. He’ll hook you up.

Andrew: Jo has said in the past that nothing she reads online and the movies don’t affect her writings of the book or anything like that but, do you think JK Rowling takes in all this ‘shipping and puts it into her books because well, the kids like it, then might as well. Might as well if it’ll interest them more.

Dylan: I don’t think so. I think she writes what she writes.

Eric: Yeah.

Dylan: I mean, she knows exactly what she’s going to write.

Eric: Dylan’s correct.

Dylan: She can’t be persuaded by any party.

Eric: Um, Dylan’s right except where a certain emphasis lies. I think no matter what relationships had to occur in the books but JKR was very adamant about putting in hints and clues that Ron and Hermione were going to get together and not Hermione and Harry. And so she’s pointed in the direction and I think she’s responded to the ‘shipping but just making it not a little more clearer than she might have, prior of. Just like everyone pronouncing Hermione’s name Hermy-own and she has that thing in Gobelet of Fire where she made Viktor pronounce it right so we all knew. It’s just JKR’s way of kind of responding to us subtly, but I mean as Dylan said, I think she does know who’s going to get together. It’s just a matter of, I think she might not have pointed it out as much as she did if the fans hadn’t been ‘shipping other things.

Dylan: Well she…she wants to write the books how she wants to write them because I think we have that figured out. It sort of started out like a kids’ book and then by the sixth book, we know it’s not a kids’ book at all.

Andrew: Right. She doesn’t have to turn it into a whole plot. If she throws one sentence in there saying, “Snape and McGonagall looked at each other in a funny way,” it’s going to start up a whole new frenzy.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: These people are intense about this kind of stuff.

Micah: I think it was a way of her humanizing the series a little bit, too. I mean, you know what I mean?

Andrew: It’s…yeah.

Micah: So people can relate to it.

Laura: I also think that in comparison to the first five books, Book 6 really seems it has this huge romance line it but really, when you look at it on its own as just its own book, it’s really not a lot when you compare it to other books you might be reading that have huge romance lines. So, I really don’t think she’s just doing it because a lot of people seem to like it, I think she’s just doing it because it’s part of growing up. I mean, how weird would it be if Harry had gone six books without kissing anyone?

Eric: I agree with Laura also that it needed to take place. It would have been really weird. So yeah, Book 6 was the point where JKR had to establish that before it was way too late.

Ben: I know but the thing that got to me was when I read the part where Harry, like, first kisses Ginny. It felt like straight out of a fan fiction story. I don’t know.

Laura: It was definitely…

Eric: There’s nothing wrong with that.

Laura: No, there’s nothing wrong with it. It was definitely a little…I would say overdone, but not bad, just not what I was quite expecting.

Eric: When I read Half-Blood Prince, I read it twice in about a week, once was in 24 hours and the second time I took my time, but, um, I thought at first that the book was all about snogging and I was so tired and everybody I was talking to was all, “Oh man, I couldn’t get enough of that snogging,” and it was just snog, snog, snog this, snog that. And I read it again and the second time through, it really didn’t seem that big at all. I was, like, shocked. I was, like, “Wait a minute, where is all this snogging?” And it was funny because when I was first reading it, I was like, “Oh my God, this is so much more romance,” but at the same time, the second time around, it didn’t seem like any. And it seemed very, very minor, in fact. So, it’s interesting to find out how much romance is actually in that book.

Andrew: Well, Ben brought up a good point that it sounded like it came straight out of a fan fiction, so is she being influenced? I mean, I hate to say that but she says that she looks at the sites…

Laura: I don’t think so.

Andrew: And reads all the crazy stuff that’s going on.

Eric: I think that it’s less influence and more the fact that it did go six books without waiting. I think it just seemed more like a fan fiction and more outward because she had waited so long and, you know, anything Harry and Cho did in Book 5 still wasn’t adequate enough to set the whole stage for romance in the book. I just think it was just JKR’s way of…I think it’s just the way the book came out and it may have seemed like a fan fiction because we weren’t used to it but, I mean, that’s only because we just hadn’t had any of it.

Laura: Also because there are so many Harry Potter fans that it was extremely unlikely that Jo was going to come up with a situation for Harry and Ginny that hadn’t already been written in a fan fiction.

Eric: Well, I think if anything, the fact that book 6 seemed like fan fiction just says that we have some pretty good fan fiction writers out there.

Micah: Yeah, I think she felt that she had to add certain human elements, certain everyday elements of life to the book and to the series. And, you know, the whole romance angle is just one of them.

Eric: Yeah, and to say that the fanfiction writers couldn’t capture some of that angle would be a little bit of an insult, a little bit of a low blow. I think some of them have and some of them have created work that is sometimes adequate and worthy of Harry Potter.

Andrew: What about Book 7? I think it would be a great idea for Jo to throw in a lot of those little lines that would stir up some controversy just to…because Book 7’s the last book…

Laura: [Laughs] Just to leave it.

Ben: Yeah, just to leave it completely open and it’s going to keep the interest in the series going for a while.

Laura: See now, that would be really cool except for the fact that…

Ben: What are we talking about here?

[Ben and Laura laugh]

Laura: …there will be some weird fan fictions coming in after Book 7.

Eric: Oh my God…

Andrew: Jo, we need something to talk about. Please leave stuff open.

Eric: Oh my gosh.

[Laura laughs]

Main Discussion: Professor Umbridge

Andrew: We’re going to lose listeners and we’re going to have to live on the streets again. Please! Okay, so on top of the romance this week, we have to get into our character discussion because without it, MuggleCast is simply just not complete. So, this week, we will be talking about, of all people, Professor…former Professor…Umbridge.

Micah: But you know what, Andrew?

Eric: Dolores.

Andrew: What’s that Micah?

Micah: Nothing says Valentine’s Day like Professor Umbridge.

[Andrew makes drum noise and everyone laughs]

Eric: Well, no, Micah’s right. I mean, you know?

Andrew: [Laughs] What are you talking about?

Eric: Well, you told me that the character discussion was, like Umbridge and I was like, “What the hell?”

Andrew: Irony.

Ben: Oh, the irony.

Eric: But it’s so not…Micah’s right. Nothing says Valentine’s Day like Umbridge.

Ben: Dolores Umbridge. Umbridge was appointed to the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts at the beginning of the 1995-1996 school year, we don’t agree with that, but she does not seem to possess any talent for the subject. She was, however, both willing and able to commit at least one of the three Unforgivable Curses, the Cruciatus Curse. Part of her abilities are limited to negotiating circumstances in her favor and a penchant for cruelty, almost as depraved as the Death Eaters themselves…is that of the Death Eaters themselves. She’s short and fat. She’s toad-like. She has short fingers. She has a really annoying voice. She oftentimes gave Harry detention where she had this special quill where it would engrave it into his arm too…or a little spot on his hand, whatever he was writing. She used to be the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic and nothing’s really known about her early career. And just, we know that she was thrown in there because they needed another Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. And like every other Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, she didn’t last.

Andrew: And the one thing that we all absolutely hate about her the most is that she issued all those Educational Decrees that drove us insane.

Ben: Yeah.

Laura: Oh my god!

Andrew: As I read that book, I would pound my fist against tables. I could not stand it. It drove me nuts.

Ben: Is that why there were all those holes in your walls, Andrew?

Andrew: Yes, yes, yes.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Oh, wait, those holes? Those other holes? No.

Eric: All throughout Book 5, it was really just a question of: What will she think of next? And, you know, she was the absolute dictator, where it’s just like, what she’s tried to do goes and nobody supported her and it was great. The whole thing where Professor McGonagall openly opposed her and said to her, “I wasn’t sure that I had the authority to clean up that mess.” Or I think that was Flitwick or somebody. It was just so great because she was there at Hogwarts, nobody wanted her there, Dumbledore let her there because he couldn’t conflict with Fudge at that moment, and she was ruining everybody’s lives and she got no respect and I really…she really didn’t deserve any. So it was like, she knew she wasn’t welcome there, but she still made everyone’s life a hell anyway. And it was just the character that…it’s the only character that I actually just punched my pillow repeatedly after reading a line, or you know, from the book. She made me feel so…she’s the only character that…Lord Voldemort I love reading about but Umbridge, no.

Umbridge A Slytherin?

Andrew: So some of the questions, we have a series of questions, but one question that comes to mind is what house would she have been in? Not Gryffindor, I don’t think.

Laura: No.

Ben: Slytherin, duh.

Dylan: Slytherin.

Andrew: I don’t think she fits the Slytherin personality.

Eric: I think she does. She’s overly concerned about herself and her own personal morals. I think it’s one thing to be there stationed under the Ministry, but she actually took matters into her own hands beyond what even the Ministry would try to control Hogwarts as. And, if you think about it in the long run, she also sent the Dementors to Privet Drive, which is complete defiance of the Ministry. And if anything, it complicated a lot of things for the Ministry and for Harry and that was all because she, personally, wanted to.

Ben: I don’t know if it’s possible to determine whether she’s really a Gryffindor, whether she’s a…whatever she is.

Eric: She’s not brave.

Ben: Because, whoa, whoa, because here’s what happens, here’s what we do when we talk about sorting people into the Houses: the people we don’t like, they go into Slytherin, the people we do like go into Gryffindor, the people that are lamers, they don’t talk to anybody, they go into Hufflepuff, and the people that are smart go into Ravenclaw.

Eric: But what’s wrong with that? You know, I’m saying…

Ben: I don’t think that’s necessarly a true, accurate representation.

Eric: No, because I think it is.

Laura: Well, I would agree with you if it weren’t for the fact that she did something to endanger Harry’s life…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: But so did Pettigrew, and Pettigrew was in Gryffindor.

Laura: …by sending the Dementors to Privet Drive, yeah.

Eric: And defied her own law, you know, to do that.

Laura: And it’s…I think there’s definitely…I think what a lot of people don’t consider is that it’s not just good traits that get you put into Houses. It’s bad traits as well and Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw have them just as much as Slytherin does. Slytherin just happens to have gained a reputation for having bad traits.

Eric: Yeah. Well, we said that last week as well.

Ben: It all depends on the person because Dumbledore said that it’s our choices that make us who we are.

Eric: But I really, honestly believe that Umbridge would be in Slytherin because even though she’s supposed to be buddy-buddy with Fudge, she went and sent the Dementors after Harry to Privet Drive just because she wanted him…

Laura: Also, notice which students she buddied up with.

Eric: Yeah, exactly. The Slytherins were her Inquisitorial Squad. And first of all…no, she wouldn’t be in Gryffindor because she’s not brave at all. No, she needs to have a squad of little Dracos running around.

Ben: Okay, okay, okay. No, no. The flaw here is that…you fail to realize sometimes we wonder, “How did this person make it into this House?” And it’s because the Sorting Hat is the only person that can read their mind, so to speak, and tell who they truly are. Just because she gives out the appearance of being a big dictator and all these terrible things doesn’t mean that she would be put in Slytherin.

Eric: So, wait, are you trying to say that she’s actually a good person and that her whole Inquisitorial Squad and everybody she gets to wreak havoc on the school and write people up, good people including prefects and other things and get them into trouble, you’re saying that she’s actually not a Slytherin or not…

Ben: I don’t think I ever said any…I don’t think I ever said anything about her being good. I just said that her outward appearance doesn’t reflect how she truly is.

Eric: So you’re saying she’s not a Slytherin type of person or she’s not…

Ben: I’m not saying that she isn’t, I’m just saying that could be the case because, like, looks can be deceiving, that’s what I’m saying. And that we’ve seen that some people wonder, “Well how is Pettigrew in Gryffindor?”

Micah: Right, exactly.

Ben: Or if he was in Gryffindor, I’m not sure.

Micah: He was. We went through that this week with Pettigrew being in Gryffindor.

Ben: Yeah, then how is Pettigrew in Gryffindor if he’s so, you know, he’s working for Voldemort. How can a Gryffindor be working for Voldemort? That’s what I’m saying, Eric.

Laura: No…

Ben: That’s what I’m saying here.

Eric: Yeah, I think you’re right in pointing that out. I think, the case of Umbridge clearly…yeah, even though she is an evil-doer, I think, at the same time, she’s clearly had issues beyond that. Like, she seems to be a smart person as far as she knows what she can and can’t do. And, you know, the whole reason behind her, you know, Educational Decrees, was that she knew she could do that. So, why then would she actually go and send Dementors to Privet Drive? Do we know why she did that? I mean, clearly she was upset or, you know, she really is…

Ben: But, there’s so many other things you have to take into account. For all we know, she could be under the Imperius Curse. See that’s the thing…we don’t know who’s acted on their own will and who isn’t. And whether that’s truly how she is…

Laura: That’s very true.

Andrew: Well, what makes her…

Micah: Maybe she felt it was the right thing to do.

Truly Evil Or Simply Misunderstood?

Andrew: What makes her act this way? I mean, why is she like this? Could it have been early childhood, or could it have been, what I feel is probably the Ministry of Magic influencing her…telling her all this has to be done or she’s fired…

Ben: It’s a combination of those things.

Andrew: …or something like that.

Laura: Yeah, well.

Ben: Because, look who’s…

Laura: The Ministry is terribly corrupt.

Eric: Yeah.

Ben: Look who’s cutting her paycheck. It’s all about the galleons, baby.

Andrew: [Laughs] Yeah! [Still laughing]

Ben: You don’t have galleons…you’re not worth much.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Just replaced his own name…instead of saying “the Benjamins” he’s saying “the galleons.”

Andrew: Well, I mean, I really think that’s true. If Fudge or whoever is threatening to fire her, then what is she to do?

Eric: No, I understand that…

Andrew: You have to take control back of the school or you’re out. And that’s it. So, and if she really is close to her job and is really passionate about it, then…God bless her.

Eric: I understand her desperation…

Laura: Well, I also…

Eric: …but, she’s not…I mean, do you really think that Fudge told her he’d fire her if she didn’t make Harry cut into his own hand? I mean, the thing with Umbridge is that that was her preferred punishment of choice.

Ben: No, those are just side things, dude. Things that she…that…

Eric: That was her punishment of choice for Harry…is the most…

Laura: I think she’s just power-hungry.

Eric: The most heinous thing of…ever…is to dig into your own hand, and again and again and again. And she outright denied any claim that Harry made, that Quirrell was a good person and a good teacher and that, you know, she openly insulted and took pleasure in knowing…I think that’s what everybody’s forgetting because it’s all been a while since we’ve read Book 5…but she took pleasure in…

Andrew: I read it last night.

Eric: …in Harry…oh, you did, Andrew? Very nice. She took…

Laura: Yeah, I read mine a lot too, but that’s okay.

Eric: I’m sorry. Well, she took…she had so much pride in proving Harry wrong and making Harry suffer because he knew the truth and she was ignorant to it.

Andrew: But would she have done that to anyone else but Harry? I think she did it to avoid heat at the Ministry…

Laura: She did it to Lee Jordan…she did it to him.

Andrew: Oh, really?

Ben: Yeah, but it wasn’t the same…

Laura: Yeah, basically…

Ben: It wasn’t the same extent though, where we see, every night…

Laura: Yeah.

Ben: …every night Harry had detention, and he had to go home after he had to…

Laura: Not every night…

Ben: …dig into his hand. Well, it was a lot.

Laura: However, I think that Umbridge is the type of person who is so power-hungry and is just so…she just needs to show that she’s superior to everyone else by forcing people to do things that they don’t want to do by taking power over things. And, the first person who disagrees with her, they’re screwed.

Eric: And…

Ben: Watch out!

Eric: And screwed to a point where everybody else is afraid to speak up. I mean, I really liked…

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: …the very few people like Lee Jordan who stood up to Umbridge after they saw what had happened to Harry, perhaps, or even in the midst, where they understood that she was not going to tolerate their upheaval, they still did it anyway. And…

Ben: It’s…what’s the word I’m looking for? It’s totalitarianism, right? That’s what it is…

Eric: Well, it is. But also, I got the distinct impression, especially in the scene where Harry flips out on Umbridge the first time in class and says about how Lupin was a great teacher and about how Voldemort was growing out of the back of Quirrell’s head, you know, all that stuff…I got the distinct impression that she knew…that she was a person who actually was smart enough to understand where Harry was coming from and…

Laura: Of course she knew.

Eric: No, she knew!

Laura: That’s why she didn’t want him to say anything…

Eric: She knew the…

Laura: …because it threatened her position.

Eric: It did, but at the same time, she knew that Harry was right, and she openly denied him and punished him for telling the truth to everybody else because she was…

Laura: Yes, because it…

Dylan: Taking control of something, you know.

Laura: Yeah, basically just undermined anything the Ministry might tell the public if Harry was right, so of course she did….

Eric: Exactly. But, it was such…she did it with such pleasure I really don’t think she’s in a hard enough situation where she can be that mean just because she has to be, I think she wanted to be. And I think that’s what would probably make her…

Laura: Oh, I think she did too. I think she wanted to be. And I think that, assuming the common house stereotypes… considering those…she would probably be put in Slytherin but, obviously, we don’t know her true circumstances…

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: …as a child. Nor do we know terribly much about…in depth, I should say…about what the Sorting Hat does and does not accept for certain houses.

Micah: But for all the ruthless things that she’s done as a teacher, I would say that she’s probably one of the most influential characters in the series just because, without her, Dumbledore’s Army would never have started.

Eric: That’s true. That is very true.

Laura: Oh, I agree. Book 5 wouldn’t have been half as interesting if it weren’t for her.

Ben: Because, what’s been happening…because what has been happening in the series, is that each year, they get an inadequate or an incompetent Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and finally they realize, they’ve had enough and they say, well, let’s teach real Defense Against the Dark Arts. So, they start the Dueling Club…

Eric: No, they didn’t realize that but they…

Ben: …or whatever they call it. No, no. Not the dueling club…

Andrew: Dumbledore’s Army.

Ben: I meant, the Defense Association. Not the dueling club.

Andrew: [Laughs] They don’t have MuggleCast in Hogwarts.

Ben: They should.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: As much as we wish they did…

Eric: But know, they…I don’t even think that was…that they realize that their previous teachers had been incompetent because I don’t think they’d admit to that even if it were…I mean, I think they admitted Lockhart was not, but at the same time, I just think they weren’t going to learn actual defense under Umbridge and I think that’s what made them do the Defense Association, or Dumbledore’s Army, because they knew, you know…

Laura: Well…

Eric: …Dolores Umbridge was the kind of person who read from books and they seriously did not learn any actual, you know, spells in defense. It was all practical with the books and stuff so they really needed to take action and actually learn stuff because it was the time in the year where they just had to seriously learn to defend themselves.

Laura: And I don’t think it was just the education, I think it was the oppression that made them want to revolt against her. I mean…

Eric: I agree. It was…yeah.

Laura: You see that everyday in school. You have teachers who are unfair, or are seemingly unfair, and then the whole class just has this vendetta against that teacher, so…

Andrew: Can I tell you guys a secret? I didn’t make this connection earlier…I have this new study hall teacher…I won’t say her name in case she listens…but, she’s laying down the rules, you know, first class. She goes over, you know, “Okay, no talking, no iPods,” and then she says, “So basically, no fun.”

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: What are you?

Eric: Now that’s way too…

Laura: And she won’t know if she hears this…that you were talking about her…

Eric: That’s a bigger person…come on, “no fun”? Even…no, even if that’s true…

Dylan: No great story has a lukewarm bad guy. I mean, come on, every great story, like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter has got that Voldemort or that Sauron or whatever you want to do. But, every great story has to have a great bad guy.

Laura: Exactly, exactly. I completely agree with that. While I would hate Umbridge as a person, I love her as a character because she just brought so much interest to the book.

Eric: Agreed.

Micah: But is she, like, the first bad person that’s not necessarily a Death Eater that we meet?

Laura: No, she’s not, but she’s…I’m trying to think of a word to describe her…

Eric: I don’t…yeah.

Laura: …that isn’t a swear word. [laughs]

Andrew: She’s Andrew’s study hall teacher.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: No, Andrew…

[Everyone still laughing]

Eric: You’re completely right, Andrew. And, you know, to say “no fun,” even if it’s true…even if the rules do constrict fun, their view would be that it constricts misbehaving. But for her to go out and summarize the rules…the rules don’t say “no fun,” even if by abiding by all the laws, there is no fun. Just the kind of person who would say [in a sinister, high-pitched voice] “in other words, no fun” is just a mean person. And there’s…

Andrew: By the way, I forgot to mention that the whole “me doing the MuggleCast thing” is all over my school website, so…

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: [Still laughing] Bad publicity.

Ben: Okay guys, so what about Umbridge…the toad imagery that Jo uses? Could it be because she is…she’s able to transform into a toad, or maybe that’s her Animagus or…?

Laura: I don’t think so.

Ben: What’s up with the toad imagery?

Laura: Because you see…

Andrew: Honestly, she looks a lot like one, I mean…

Laura: Yeah, but you see a lot of correlations between people and animals in this series. Like Scrimgeour, she described that he was sort of like a lion.

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: And you have…

Eric: And Slughorn like a walrus.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: That threw everyone off…with the Half-Blood Prince thing…

Laura: Yeah. It’s just an association, I think.

“Crazy” Umbridge Theories

Micah: You guys want to know a crazy editorial that I read? It said that…

Eric: Yeah, sure.

Laura: Sure.

Micah: Umbridge was actually Trevor.

Laura: Oh, I’ve heard that one. [laughs]

Eric: Guys, actually…

Andrew: [Laughs] Oh yeah.

Eric: I have something to add that might throw you all skyrocketing sideways. I read something on one of the forums in the past that actually speculated Umbridge…drum-roll please…[someone does sound of a drum-roll] Somebody said that the way Umbridge and, believe it or not, Peter Pettigrew were described, was similar in the way that she might be his mother.

Andrew and Laura: [Laugh] Ewwww.

Eric: Do you think?

Ben: Well, if you think about it…

Eric: Maybe, no, we’re talking about this. Maybe that is why she is out to get Harry and, if you think about it, it would mean that Umbridge was actually mentioned in the past, which is JKR’s style. Because, in Book 3 when they talk about Peter Pettigrew, all his mother got back was his finger, which was obviously the plot element because, you know, he was missing his toe as Scabbers. But, what do you guys think? Could that be a possible reason for why Umbridge is so mean to Harry?

Ben: Well we know, okay, if that’s the case…

Eric: And why she’s so bitter? And personal about…

Ben: Hypothetically, theoretically speaking, if that is the case…

Andrew: We already…

Ben: Say that Umbridge is Pettigrew’s mother, then there’s no way that she’s in Lord Voldemort’s circle, because she’d have to know, she’d have to be under the assumption that Peter’s dead, right?

Eric: Okay.

Ben: So, what I’m saying is that, I don’t know if that’s true or not. [laughs]

Eric: But I don’t think…

Laura: I just don’t think so. I don’t…I can’t think of anything to disprove it…

Andrew: It’s just another one of those crazy theories.

Laura: …but, I just don’t see it happening.

Dylan: I don’t think she’s old enough to be. I really don’t think she’s old enough to be.

Andrew: Well there’s solid evidence at the same time.

Ben: The wizarding world age is kind of relative…you…isn’t…you don’t really know.

Andrew: Now Micah, what question you had on your mind? Or was it Kim Parker’s mind?

Micah: That was Kim Parker’s mind. [laughs]

Umbridge and Hermione

Andrew: [Laughs] Yeah, okay. What question did Kim Parker have on her mind? Was…is there a parallel between Umbridge and Hermione? Can you elaborate that…on that a bit little more?

Micah: The question is…

Andrew: Micah?

Micah: Yeah, the question is basically would Hermione have become like Umbridge if it wasn’t for Ron and Harry sort of coming in and befriending her the way that they did?

Laura: No, I don’t think so. Because Umbridge is very clearly filled with malice and I don’t see Hermione as a malicious person. Now, Hermione was kind of militant in Sorcerer’s Stone, even a little bit in Chamber of Secrets

Ben: She was an innocent little Gryffindor, is all she was.

Laura: Yeah, and the thing is, but the thing…she doesn’t, she’s not out to get people…Umbridge is.

Micah: Well, I think it was moreso along the lines of following the rules and being strict to those sorts of things.

Ben: And the thing is, that you guys will realize, is that Umbridge wasn’t always …hasn’t always been that way, just like Lord Voldemort hasn’t always been the way he is. I mean, at one time, he was a kid…

Eric: Wait, no. Voldemort was always the way he was and I think that..he was…

Laura: Ummm…

Eric: He was. No, he was. No.

Laura: He strangled bunny rabbits. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, in Half-Blood Prince, we see a lot of…background.

Eric: Yeah, I think…No, that’s the point with Voldemort which actually…

Ben: No, no, no. No, but what I’m saying is that he’s living a lot differently now. You know, I’m just trying to point that things have changed. He used to have a real body, now he’s this mass…this blob of flesh.

Eric: What disappoints me with Voldemort, since Ben brought it up, was that JKR kind of made a point that he was always evil, even as a kid. And genuinely evil, like to torture kids and that…and you know, she truly believes, at least in the series, it says that people can be evil from birth and just be rotten eggs to begin with because, even…I mean, it’s really sad, but Voldemort was characterized as the kind of kid who said, “Well, my dad must have been the one with magic because my mom would have been not so weak and, you know, she was weak and died.” And, even though he’s got this, even though I feel very bad for Merope gone, Voldemort was not the kind of person who was…I mean, he was raised in an orphanage and yeah, and that sucks, but he seemed to be very genuinely evil from birth and I think that’s a little off, from what I’d imagined for how most dictators are just created.

Ben: Not necessarily…

Dylan: Well, it’s a mixture of both, I think.

Ben: Dictators are sort of found…

Laura: I think it can go either way.

Ben: …like, there has to be a reason. For example, Hitler, the reason that he came to power was because all the Jews were getting blamed for everything and he found a rallying cry. And the ironic thing was that he was…there’s a lot of similarities between Hitler and Voldemort. Hitler was…is half-Jewish actually…his grandfather was…

Dylan: I think dictators come from a mixture of being cruel from birth, I mean, if they do such terrible things, then of course they have to have a cruel background, but it’s also fueled by some sort of inspiration, like Eric was saying.

Eric: I mean, in a way it makes sense that, you know, Voldemort got no love and, you know, he’s been raised in an orphanage where nobody could love him, but at the same time, he’s not a lovable kid and he never was, if he was taking kids into, you know, caves and scaring them and Dumbledore saw it, you know, Dumbledore should have known right then and there and I think he actually did that…it just wasn’t…he’s the kind of kid who was proud that he could talk to snakes and send them and make them so what he wanted to and all that stuff. So, do you think Umbridge is the same way? Do you think, you know, going back to Umbridge, that she, as a dictator, was…is power-hungry by birth or is she power-hungry because she really thinks she needs the power?

Ben: It’s innate, man.

Eric: The authority?

Ben: It just sort of happens. It’s a personality trait that she developed.

Micah: Yeah, I mean…

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: Or is it just that she thinks that she’s doing the right thing? I mean, that could be it too.

Eric: No, but she knows she’s not. That’s the thing. She knows that…

Laura: She’s thinking about doing the right thing for herself…

Micah: Right.

Eric: Yeah and…

Laura: …to benefit her.

Micah: And for the Ministry, in her mind.

Eric: But I, no. I think as far as the Ministry goes, she knows that, yeah, she’s supporting the Ministry because she knows that Lupin was a good teacher, and she knows that everything Harry stood for is probably correct, but she still goes with the Ministry.

Laura: She’s forgetting that the Ministry is around to serve the people of the wizarding world and not the people in power.

Eric: I like that. But, is the Ministry serving the people? It’s really not.

Laura: No, they’re not.

Eric: They aren’t, there’s…

Laura: No, they’re not! And she’s forgetting that that’s what she’s supposed to be doing.

Ben: Okay, then what will Unbridge- Umbridge’s role be in Book 7? If any.

Andrew: Well, we didn’t see her much in Book 6, so…

Eric: That surprised me. With all the roles of the Ministry, including Scrimgeour and how he was undermining Harry and wanting him to be his supporter, I thought that Umbridge was too missing. Like, too missing. She needed to be there. If you think of the Ministry post-Book 5, you’re supposed to think of Umbridge and Fudge, and all the new characters in 6. But with all the people we met in six and how they were trying to change people and arrest the innocent and all that stuff, I am very shocked that Umbridge was not mentioned.

Andrew: As much as I hated her, I liked her. [laughs]

Laura: I was looking for her. Yeah, I was looking for her in Book 6…

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: …so I’m a little nervous about what she was up to.

Eric: But she was there too!

Laura: Yeah, she was there.

Andrew: So…

Eric: She almost…she didn’t deserve to be there. She was- that was a mockery. That was…

Ben: The thing is…no, no, she served her purpose. The reason she was there is that she was still working for the Ministry. I don’t know how that worked out, but…

Laura: Yeah. She was trying to make the Ministry look good.

Micah: But if she served her purpose, shouldn’t she be dead according to all of us?

Ben: According to the other bozos, it’s not according to me. I don’t think “Oh, they serve their purpose and then they die, everyone dies.”

Andrew: [laughs] No, I disagreed with that, too.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Not everyone who doesn’t serve a purpose dies.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Laura: No.

Andrew: But we don’t need to go there.

Ben: There’s Eric’s philosophy.

Andrew: Well the point is…

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: …I think we’re all on the same page with that.

When Centaurs Attack

Micah: So, at the end of Book 5, what do you guys think happened to her when the centaurs took her into the forest?

Eric: I’m surprised she survived! Maybe that’s where she was in Book 6. She was in the Recovery Ward at St. Mungo’s for the whole year. Because I honestly don’t think- I mean the centaurs, at certain points in the book, were ready to kill Harry.

Laura: Mhm.

Eric: And a lot of the creatures in the forest were ready to kill Harry. And even though the centaurs knew what was supposed to happen to him, and they still would have done it – maybe that’s what was supposed to happen to him. But besides that, the centaurs won’t stop to kill humans and they won’t bow to humans. And they’ve said that. And even though I was very happy that they paid tribute to Dumbledore at his funeral and stuff, but they really don’t take crap from humans trying to treat them as animals. And so, I thought Umbridge was going to die, actually, when that happened. And I’m really surprised she got out alive.

Micah: And it… [laughs] It was Dumbledore that saved her, too.

Eric: Yeah, it was Dumbledore. I was just going to ask if- yeah. Dumbledore would probably be the only one that could- that could save her. And I thought it was very noble of Dumbledore… but I was just going to ask if anyone saved her?

Micah: Maybe that’s why she was at the funeral.

Eric: You know what, I agree with that.

Micah: To show her respect.

Eric: I agree with that, because Dumbledore had no reason to, you know, morally, he didn’t really have to.

Laura: Looking at Umbridge’s character, I think it was just to keep up face for the Ministry.

Andrew: Alright, so that wraps up our Umbridge discussion for this week. Good job, gentlemen. And Laura.

Laura: Yeah, thank you!

Dueling Club

Andrew: So now it’s time for this week’s Dueling Club: Dueling Club version two. We’re now… we pick randomly. You don’t know who the other person is going to duel against you. We’ve gotten emails about last weeks’. People really seemed to like it. So, Eric, you had one?

Eric: I’ve got one.

Laura: I’ve got one.

Andrew: Okay, on three. One, two, three.

Laura: Cornelius Fudge.

Eric: [At the same time as Laura] Romilda Vane.

Andrew: Who did you say, Eric?

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Romilda Vane.

Andrew: Ooo!

Eric: And Cornelius Fudge.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Maybe she can fall in love with him and give him love potion and…

Laura: Yeah! Hey, that’s…

Micah: Take him to the forest.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: Maybe they can just live happily together. Do you think they’d fight? Or would she… I don’t know, he’s an older man. What do we know about Romilda and…

Laura: Yeah, he’s a fully trained wizard, and Romilda was what, a fourth year… I want to say?

Eric: Something. And she was all into the whole Ronald being an older gentlemen, so…

Laura: Yeah. And she seems kind of…

Eric: We’re, like, supposed to be defending them fighting and we’re like, “Maybe they won’t fight! Maybe they’ll love!”

Laura: [Laughs] I know!

Eric: Maybe they’ll make love one day! Well, no. In a fight, who would… [laughs]

Laura: Eugh!

Eric: Who would win?

Laura: Ew.

Eric: Fudge is incompetent. Would anybody take down Fudge? Could a student take down Fudge? Or could Fudge actually hold his own in a fight?

Laura: I’m sure there are some students who could take down Fudge.

Andrew: So, Dylan, think of someone else and then… alright. Okay, then Micah. Ready?

Micah: Alright.

Andrew: One, two, three.

Dylan: Peter Pettigrew.

Micah: [At the same time as Dylan] Slughorn.

Eric: Slughorn and Pettigrew. Very nice.

Laura: Hmm. That’s interesting.

Dylan: I think Pettigrew would win. Just because Slughorn’s good at making potions. I don’t know, we haven’t seen his hand with a wand.

Eric: Slughorn is like a little bit… it amazes me how close to Hagrid Slughorn is sometimes, as far as… especially when he’s drunk, and you know, they’re drunk and singing together. I don’t know, I’ve always made- he seems like a jolly fellow that like being accepted by people. But Pettigrew really likes being accepted by people too.

Micah: Well he also knows a lot of powerful people, so I’m assuming he learned a lot from them along the way. And he knows about Horcruxes too.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: Not that that would be useful in a duel, but…

Eric: But he is one of the more powerful…

Dylan: Unless he’s like, you know, very bad at dueling. [laughs]

Eric: He could throw, like, some potion in Peter’s eyes and turn him into something.

Dylan: I don’t know, Peter would probably run from a fight though. He’d be like, [imitates Peter Pettigrew] ” Ohh! Master! Save me!”

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Well, if the Dueling Club stipulations say that a character can run away, then yeah, Pettigrew would win.

Dylan: Well, I guess he could crush him with his silver hand or something like that.

Micah: I think he’d just sit on Pettigrew, and that would be the end of it.

Dylan: I don’t know, I don’t know. It would be a close battle because Peter Pettigrew would probably do some sort of flash and then run. [laughs]

Micah: He’d turn into a rat and then Slughorn would chase him down and eat him.

Dylan: Oh yes. Right. [imitates Slughorn] “I make a good rat stew, m’boy.”

[Dylan, Micah, and Eric laugh]

Eric: Well rat stew makes good… good magical properties there.

Andrew: Okay, Eric and Laura. On the count of three. One, two…

Laura: Grindelwald.

Eric: [At the same time as Laura] Eric.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Okay, Eric…

Eric: No, no, not myself! Andrew, not myself! There is an Eric…

Andrew: Oh!

Eric: …in the Harry Potter series!

Andrew: Oh! Well why do you think he would win?

Eric: There actually is! Do you guys… do you… did you… did you pick this up?

Laura: I think Grindelwald would take Eric, whether it be MuggleCast Eric or Harry Potter Eric.

Eric: Ohhh, ohh, that’s low. Come on.

Laura: No, NO! Grindelwald would kill me too! [laughs]

Eric: Do you know the Eric I’m talking about? Did any of you guys, did you pick this up? Do you remember an Eric in the book?

Laura: It seems like there was someone called, like, Eric Abercrombie or something like that in the books. I can’t remember.

Eric: I think Eric was the name of the guy in Order of the Phoenix who worked in the Ministry. He was, like, a doorman, or something. It was like an incredibly insignificant job, and he’s probably not established well enough in the books for me to argue with him. But I thought it was cool. And I thought I’d show some Eric love, since it is Valentine’s day.

Laura: Well, there is a Laura in the book too, so… [laughs]

[Eric laughs]

Laura: [Laughs] I mean, there are lots of different names in there…

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]

Laura: …that I recognize, but…

Eric: I know, but I just thought it was cool. She didn’t even, like, I don’t even think she gave him a last name. It’s just really awesome, because, you know, he’s named Eric, and I was like…

Andrew: Eric was like, [imitates Eric] “She named him after me! Ahahaha!”

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Laura, Laura, we have to duel these guys! And actually, I think Eric would win. Do you know why?

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Why?

Eric: Because Grindelwald’s already dead!

Andrew: Ohh. [laughs]

Laura: Ugh. I mean alive Grindelwald.

Eric: [Laughs] You didn’t say that! You said Grindelwald.

Laura: Well…

Eric: And I think in his current state, I think in his current state…

[Laura sighs]

Eric: …if we do know that he’s dead, I think in his current state…

Laura: Well…

Eric: …I think that Eric would win.

Laura: …do we know that he’s dead, though?

Eric: No, we…

Laura: All it said was that Dumbledore defeated him.

Eric: Defeated him. It does not say dead. But at the same time, he’s not offending anybody that we know, so I think it might be safe to say that Eric might actually have it over him! Maybe.

Laura: Okay. [laughs]

Andrew: [Laughs] Just like Barty Crouch, Jr. is a good guy! It’s…

Eric: You expect me to rebuttal, but I’m completely impervious to your Barty Crouch, Jr. stuff.

Andrew: I don’t know what to do with you, Dylan. I mean [laughs] Eric.

[Laura laughs]

Dylan: Barty Crouch has got that, the…

Andrew: Anything else you

Dylan: Barty Crouch has that cute little tongue lick. I mean, come on.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: [Laughs] What?

Laura: That thing where he’s… yeah.

[Dylan makes slurping noises]

Eric: That was so weird. That was so wrong.

Laura: That was really weird.

Eric: That was a strict movie-ism, that was a Newell-ism, rather. They needed that for plot device stuff so that would make sense because so they didn’t have to…

Micah: What you guys didn’t know was that he was looking at Umbridge.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Eww.

Laura: Eugh!

Dylan: That is awesome.

Andrew: Okay, well…

Laura: Eugh.

Show Close

Andrew [Show Close with music in background]: Okay, well I think that does just about wrap it up for this week’s edition of MuggleCast. I’m Andrew Sims.

Ben: I am Ben Schoen. Yellowcard Lights and Sounds, out in stores now!

Eric: I’m Eric Scull, particularly fond of a group called the Electric Lights Orchestra.

Laura: I’m Laura Thompson, a fan of Green Day, and I think that Yellowcard sucks.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Dylan: And I’m Dylan Spartz.

Andrew: [Laughs] Dylan, thanks for joining us this week.

Dylan: Oh, my pleasure, Andrew!

Andrew: We’ll have you on the show again soon, and we’ll see everyone again next week for Episode 28.


[Groovy music starts]

[Audio]: Hi guys, this is Kirstan from Tennessee, and I’d just like to say that I love your show and it’s a really great thing! And I really enjoy it, so keep up the good work. Bye.

[Audio]: Hey, this is Summer. I’m calling on behalf of the Twain School drama department, where MuggleCast is always the best way to drown out our psycho director. Congratulations! You’ve won our most coveted unofficial award. Yay, MuggleCast!

[Audio]: Hi, I’m Sam from Washington, and I just wanted to say I love your show, you guys are awesome. Andrew is hot, Ben has a really awesome voice, really awesome. Jamie’s hot too and he’s British, and I love his British Joke of the Day and… yeah, that’s pretty much that. And everyone else that’s MuggleCast staff. Love you, Micah, love you, Laura, I love you, Kevin. All of you… yeah. Peace out.

[Audio]: Hey, this is Ashley and I’m from Connecticut, and I just wanted to say that I love MuggleCast. It rocks, and it’s so much better than PotterCast. But… [laughs] not that I don’t like PotterCast, but MuggleCast rules. So… that’s all I wanted to say! Thanks! Bye, guys. Oh, and Ciaran, you’re so hot. [laughs]

[Audio]: Hi guys! And Laura! [laughs] This is Kallie from Kansas, and I just wanted to say that I love the show. And I listen to it every… every few days before I go to sleep. Bye!

[Audio]: Caller 1: Hey guys, this is Ally.

Caller 2: And Alice, from the fan-listing.

Caller 1: We just wanted to call up and say…

Caller 2: …how much we absolutely love your show.

Caller 1: We’re so happy for all of your support…

Caller 2: …and all the participation on the forums.

Caller 1: Thanks again…!

Caller 2:! Bye!

Caller 1: Bye!

[Audio]: Hi, this is Katie from California, and I’m just calling to confess my love for MuggleCast. I listen to your show religiously every week, and I just love you guys. You’re so funny. And I just love Andrew- Andrew, you’re my favorite! I love you. And Laura, got to love Laura. All of you. I just love you so much. Thank you for having a wonderful show.

[Audio]: Hello MuggleCast, this is Jack from Just want to say hi and I love your podcast, and I realize that we’ll never be as good as yours but we’re out there. Tell your listeners to go to that place. Yeah. Enjoy… YEAH MUGGLECAST!

[Audio]: Hi, this is Devon and Taylor from New York. And we just wanted to say… [imitating Andrew] Yeah! Yeah!

[Audio]: Hey, this is Edna from India, and I just wanted to say your show is absolutely wonderful, and I really like Eric, and I just wanted to tell you that you guys are doing a great job. Keep going! Bye.

Andrew: Don’t forget that if you want your voice to be heard on MuggleCast, you can always call our hotline at 1-218-20-MAGIC. Please keep your message under 30 seconds and be sure to include your name and location.

[Groovy music ends]


Andrew: Okay, now for the main discussion this week: as most of you know, unless you’re living under a rock and/or you’re extremely anti-social, Tuesday is Valentine’s Day. So it would be only right… [laughs] it would only be right if we discussed a little bit of Valentine’s Day in the Harry Potter series.

Ben: Hey, hey, hold on a sec. What did [name blanked out] get you?

Andrew: [Laughs] Oh, Ben, come on!

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: No! No, no. [laughs] No, you’re taking that out. You’re taking that out. I will kill you- I swear to god.

[Eric laughs]

Laura: Who’s editing this week? Andrew?

Andrew: Yes.

Ben: Yeah.

Laura: Okay, if you don’t take that out, I am coming to New Jersey and I will castrate you. I swear to god.

Andrew: For everyone who doesn’t know, [name blanked out] is Laura’s 38… 30 year old from Canada.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: So anyway…

Laura: Take it out! Take it out! No!

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: I’m going to, Laura.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: [Imitating Laura] “No, take it off!”

Laura: Shut up, Eric.

Andrew: Okay, Melissa. Geez.

Ben: Eric, Eric. That was pretty funny.

Andrew: [Laughs] That did sound like Laura.

Dylan: Getting a little too friendly with Canada.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: I hate you. [laughs]

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Okay, well…


Micah: What do you guys think happened in the forest when she was taken away [laughs] at the end of Book 5?

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Micah, you are the- I cannot- first it’s whack, then it’s “what happens in the forest.” I just can’t… I just… Micah, I don’t know what to do with you.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Well, I’m pretty… were the centaurs…[laughs]

Micah: Magorian had his way with her?

Andrew: Grow up, everyone! Geez!

[Eric and Micah laugh`]

Andrew: So immature.

Laura: [laughs] I’m sorry.

Dylan: Centaurs like their toads.

Andrew: Micah, try asking your question again.

Micah: Should I ask that in a more serious way?

Andrew: Yeah, and we’ll try to grow up.

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Micah: So at the end of Book 5, what do you guys think happened to her when the centaurs took her into…

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: You said the forest…

Eric: Well, Micah. I think they took her all night long.

[Laura’s still laughing]

Eric: I think… I think they took her all night long, Micah. In the deep, dark…

Micah: You know, it’s a legitimate question.

Eric: It is a legitimate question!

Andrew: So answer it. [laughs]


Micah: Thanks, Andrew! CBBC Newsround reported friday that after their absence from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Dursleys will return in the fifth movie. They also announced some of the other actors cast for the fifth Harry Potter film. [pronounces incorrectly] See-on… see-on… [pronounces correctly] Sian… [pronounces incorrectly] see-on… that’s a blooper.


Andrew: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages. You have not laughed until you’ve heard… The Micah Tannenbaum Laugh.

[Micah laughs for six seconds]


Written by: Micah, Ally, Martina, and Sarah