MuggleCast EP36 Transcript
Andrew [Show Intro with music in background]: Because Battlestar Gallactica is a re-run this week, MuggleCast 36 for April 23rd, 2006!
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Hello everyone and welcome back to the show! I’m Andrew Sims.
Ben: I am Ben Schoen.
Eric: I am Eric Scull.
Laura: I am Laura Thompson.
Jamie: And I’m Jamie Lawrence. Last again, for the second time tonight.
Andrew: Sorry about that, Jamie.
Laura: We love you, Jamie.
Andrew: As everyone knows by now, this is the show where we bring you the latest in Harry Potter news, theories, discussion, analysis, whatever you want to make of it. It’s all right here.
Ben: All bundled in to one hour.
Andrew: Ben, we finish each other’s sentences now.
Ben: I know.
Andrew: Our relationship is growing.
Laura: It’s meant to be.
[Andrew and Ben laugh]
Andrew: Before we go anywhere else, let’s check in with Micah Tannenbaum for the past week’s top Harry Potter news stories.
Micah: Warner Bros. announced earlier this week that the IMAX version of the fourth Harry Potter movie has grossed over $20 million worldwide. These earnings make the film the first digitally re-mastered 2D IMAX release to reach such a milestone.
And speaking of movies, last week we confirmed the US release date of Order of the Phoenix as July 13th, 2007. We’ve now learned from Warner Bros that UK fans will be seeing the film on the same date. Other release dates include Australia on September 6th, 2007. France will get in on July 11th, Ireland and Norway on July 13th, Hungary on July 19th, and Bulgaria on July 20th.
HPANA reported Tuesday that Nicholas Hooper, one of the UK’s leading media composers, is set to compose the soundtrack for the Order of the Phoenix movie. In 2004, he won the Best Original Score BAFTA for The Young Visitors and was nominated several other times for the prestigious awards. However, this has yet to be confirmed by Warner Brothers, so stay tuned for more information.
And Jim McManus is set to play Aberforth Dumbledore in Order of the Phoenix, confirming that Dumbledore’s goat loving brother will appear in the fifth film.
Rupert Grint, along with James and Oliver Phelps, appeared on BBC Radio 1’s Jo Whiley show Wednesday morning where they discussed filming of the fifth Harry Potter movie. Head over to MuggleNet.com to see the full interview.
The Sunday Times’ 2006 rich list of young people in the UK placed Daniel Radcliffe at #9, with a net worth of £14m ($25m). The list determines the richest 1,000 British people or families by identifying their wealth in terms of property, assets or significant shares in companies.
JK Rowling topped the list of the film and television millionaires, with an estimated worth of £520m ($926m).
Jo has been listed on TIME Magazine’s poll for the top 100 most influential people. Each week visitors can vote on a different category, with this week’s being Artists and Entertainers. Jo is up against the likes of actor George Clooney and comedian Jon Stewart. So be sure to go vote.
JK Rowling has donated a “major” sum of money to help create a research center for Multiple Sclerosis in Edinburgh. The figure, which is undisclosed at this time, will help fund the over £2m project at The Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Edinburgh University. Scotland is the MS capital of the world, with around 10,400 sufferers.
David Thewlis talked with This is London, Richard Griffiths spoke with the New York Post and Rupert Grint with Alloy Magazine recently. Be sure to head on over to MuggleNet to read these interviews. And speaking of Rupert, the actor who plays Ron in the Potter films will be in New York to view a screening of Driving Lessons at the Tribeca Film Festival. The screening takes place on April 30th at 8:30 PM (that’s a week from this Sunday), and tickets are only available at the door.
That’s all the news for this April 23rd, 2006 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.
Andrew: All right. Thank you, Micah.
Andrew: Now, moving on to some announcements. Don’t forget – buy your own MuggleCast T-shirt and you will fit in at your school.
And also, everyone please express their interest in our “Show Us Your Character Sweepstakes” over at MuggleNet.com. Basically what happens is you make your own Harry Potter impersonation video. So send it into ShowUsYourCharacter.com. Then send us that link over at MuggleNet.com. And you can win some awesome prizes, including a Harry Potter iPod. Yay! So visit MuggleNet.com and click on “Competitions” at the left for full details.
Jamie, do you want to do a contest reminder?
Jamie: Yeah, I will. Please look in the “Show Notes” for a link to the competition that allows you to win a place on the podcast panel at Collectormania 9, where we will be interviewing and talking to Robert Pattinson, James and Oliver Phelps, and other Harry Potter stars, hopefully. And you can also win a Gold Pass ticket, which basically allows you free reign over the entire Collectormania event, worth £175. So, please enter. And also, if you want tickets to the podcast, please do e-mail me because I think there are some still left. Thank you.
Eric: 175 “pounds” – that’s pretty heavy.
Ben: That is pretty good.
[Andrew and Ben laugh]
Andrew: And now it’s time for a big old birthday wish to our very own Eric James Scull, who turns 18 this Sunday, the 23rd.
Eric: 18, April 23rd. That’s right, Andrew. Yours truly, the Caption Man is the big 1-8. He’s legal starting…
Andrew: You are legally – legal what? I don’t know what you are saying.
Eric: Eh, that’s okay Andrew. You’re a little too young. I can’t explain that to you.
Andrew: [in baby-like voice] I’m still little!
Andrew: Eric, I hope you get some good presents. Send Eric some presents if you love him to the MuggleCast PO Box at? Ben?
PO Box 223
Moundridge, Kansas 67107
Listener Rebuttal – Young Voldemort
Andrew: All right. Now it is time for this week’s Listener Rebuttals. The first one comes from Kristen, 17, in Massachusetts. She writes:
Jamie: Do you know what’s weird – do you know what’s weird though? Thinking about that. What does Voldemort translate to mean again? What was it? “Flight from death?” Is it “Vol-de-mort”?
Eric: Flight from death.
Jamie: Yeah, flight from death. Well, he must have thought about his Horcruxes then and put significant thought into… No, actually thinking about it, do you think the “flight from death” means that after he tried to kill Harry, he flew from death there? Or which thing do you think it relates to? Because…
Ben: I think it relates to him being immortal.
Eric: [same time as Ben] Immortal or… Yeah, very powerful.
Jamie: Then he must have automatically came up with – I mean he must have had his plan by the time he wanted his friends to call him Voldemort, or he couldn’t have adopted that name without realizing its etymology.
Eric: That’s just like saying that [coughs] he wouldn’t be a Latin major, you know? Or wouldn’t be, you know? How he could come up with that. I don’t know. Does… I tend to think the whole Voldemort meaning “flight from death” is one of the Rowlingisms, where Rowling put it in and we know the significance of it and that’s why it’s cool. But, I don’t necessarily know that Tom Riddle was sitting there like, okay, with a Latin dictionary…
Jamie: No, no. It’s French. It’s French. Vol-de-mort.
Eric: Oh, sorry – French.
Jamie: “Mort” is “death.”
Jamie: He just went on CoolEvilWizardNames.com.
Ben: Oh yeah.
Jamie: It’s an excellent site. I do recommend it.
Eric: No, I mean French… I’d like to think – but at the same time, yeah, I don’t know. I think the whole fact that Voldemort means “flight from death” is just one of the cool Rowling things. So I’m trying to guess – I guess I am saying he chose Voldemort without knowing that, but that’s kind of a stupid, weird thing to do. You know? To rearrange the letters to be Voldemort?
Jamie: Yeah, that’s true.
Eric: That’s… I don’t know.
Laura: Well, no, actually I would have to agree with Eric because I don’t think that people in the series name themselves or their children specific names, thinking that it has some kind of mythological or tie through a definition to them and their personality. I just think it’s something that Jo does.
Jamie: Voldemort liked trophies and stuff. And I think he would have liked his name to have a deep etym – sorry, etymological grounding. Sorry, it’s late. I can’t even say that. So, I think it would have appealed to him.
Ben: And I agree with what Jamie is saying because…
Jamie: Oh, thanks Ben.
Ben: …when you name a kid – when you name a kid, you don’t know what they are going to become. Voldemort knew that he was going to try to cheat death.
Jamie: Yeah, exactly.
Ben: So, it makes sense that he named himself that.
Eric: I agree with that.
Laura: Yeah, I can go with that.
Andrew: I’m trying to remember, didn’t – I think the point of this e-mail was that last week we said something about…
Jamie: When Voldemort came around, didn’t we? Or something like that? I can’t remember.
Andrew: Right. Yeah, something like THAT.
Laura: It was a Dueling Club.
Jamie: Oh yeah, yeah, that’s it.
Ben: But what I refer Voldemort as, is like the modern-day Voldemort.
Jamie: Yes, I agree. Yeah.
Ben: Not the – when he was 16.
Jamie: I agree completely.
Ben: So, when he’s 16, I still think he’s in the Tom Marvolo Riddle stage where he’s sort of a “I want to be Voldemort.” But then after… But then later on when he starts developing his following, that’s when I sort of see the real transformation happen. Because at the time he was still a student and he was still learning and really hadn’t went on a rampage yet. That’s just the way I look at it.
Eric: So, I would think of Voldemort as beginning after he did all those magical things like change his face…
Jamie: Yeah, definitely. Yeah.
Eric: …and change his appearance. And when he came back to Dumbledore asking to teach at Hogwarts, I think that’s probably when he was Voldemort.
Listener Rebuttal – Snape Good? He Saves Harry In Book One
Andrew: All right. Now moving on to the next listener rebuttal. This one comes from Zach, 21, of New “Yawk.” He writes:
Andrew and Jamie: Oooh!
Jamie: Clever guy!
Ben: I disagree with this for two reasons. Firstly, Snape didn’t know that Quirrell – that Voldemort was on the back of Quirrell’s head. And he perhaps thought that Voldemort was gone for good like some of the other people thought, so he wouldn’t really try to combat them. And secondly, he already – the reason that he tried to save Harry was that he owed a debt to Harry’s father…
Jamie: Yeah, I was going to say that.
Ben: …just like something…
Ben: Like in the end we may see Peter Pettigrew betray Voldemort, because he owes a debt to Harry. That’s what I’m saying and Jo’s mentioned throughout the series that when you owe a debt to someone, it’s like, very strong and very binding, so I think that makes sense. So even if he did know, which I don’t think he did, that Voldemort was on the back of his head…
Eric: Yeah. I think that’s also like asking – well first of all Snape I think, himself, saw Quirrell as greedy, or just wanting the stone for himself. I think that’s what Quirrell said. Quirrell’s own words were something like that. That he didn’t know about Voldemort being on the back of his head, but also I think it’s like asking why Voldemort would take Snape in and let Snape be on his side after the events of Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s kind of like asking that question because, you know? You think with Snape confronting Quirrell, that Voldemort would never trust him again. You know?
Eric: Because he would have seen him approaching Quirrell, and trying to stop him – all that stuff. But Snape does – did owe a debt to Harry and…
Jamie: It’s basically that.
Ben: And at the same time about when you said that Voldemort would hear what Snape said. Another thing you have to remember, basically, is that there are a large amount of people who were originally loyal to Voldemort that broke that loyalty oath, and basically denied that they were ever on his side.
Ben: You know, there was the Malfoys, Crabbe, Goyle, all of them who denied it.
Jamie: Going from that, this kind of thing transcends the good vs. evil debate, because obviously Voldemort supporters don’t think they’re evil; they think that Dumbledore’s evil, and I’m sure it’s possible to be in between Voldemort and Dumbledore, and not be evil, and not be good. You know? You’re just neutral.
Ben: Like amoral?
Jamie: No, no, no. Obviously Snape is a supporter of one or the other side, but he’s still a teacher and he has a duty to protect his students. If he sees Quirrell trying to knock Harry off his broom, he has a duty, foremost as a teacher, to stop him from doing so. I just think, I know he told Bellatrix in London that he couldn’t kill Harry because it was right under Dumbledore’s nose, but it could just be that, you know, that he has responsibility as a teacher as well. He could be on Voldemort’s side, but he’s still, you know, his loyalty to Voldemort doesn’t extend to being really evil and just killing students. You know? He still has a loyalty to them.
Snape’s One Side – His Own
Ben: I don’t want to exacerbate the Snape conversation too much here, but my question here is do you think it’s possible that Snape is on his own side?
Jamie: Yes, definitely. Yeah.
Ben: He’s not good, he’s not evil, he’s just working for himself?
Eric: Well, you’ve brought that theory up before. What I wanted to say though – because of this, in reference to this rebuttal, you know, he’s asking if the fact Snape saved Harry this time, if it means that he’s good for good? What I wanted to say was just in the whole book,, you know the whole book, we’re led to believe Snape is evil, and it turns out he’s not. I just wanted to ask the question of does that mean Jo is fooling us so that he can actually be evil later in the books, [coughs] or is that truly a parallel where we’ll always think Snape is bad, and it will turn out he isn’t?
Jamie: Yeah, that could be it as well.
Andrew: But if he’s in it for himself, what does he have to gain from this? Ultimate power over Voldemort or what?
Ben: Well, just staying alive.
Eric: I don’t think he’s in it for himself. I really don’t think Snape is in it for himself. A lot of the – I think Snape is too well educated to be in it for himself.
Ben: Or he’s well educated enough that he could play the game, and play both sides well enough.
Eric: Eh, possibly.
Book 7 vs. Movie 5 Release Date
Andrew: All right, that wraps up this week’s Listener Rebuttals. Now, we’ve been doing this for the past two shows, and we’ve gotten such great feedback that I thought we should spend another ten minutes or so on the Book 7/Movie 5 release dates, because…
Jamie: Don’t you mean…
Andrew: It’s just so interesting…
Jamie: Can we do twenty?
Jamie: Can we do twenty minutes? Yeah, twenty minutes.
Andrew: What do you guys think? Twenty?
Jamie: Yeah, give the fans a treat. Give the fans a treat.
Ben: Actually, I think we should spend the rest of the show…
Andrew: [laughs] The rest of the show? [laughs] A treat.
Jamie: Yeah. Let’s just call it Release-Date Cast. We only talk about the release date.
[Andrew, Ben and Laura laugh]
Andrew: All right, well, actually, guys, we’re just kidding. We [laughs]…
Ben: We got plenty of e-mails about that.
Andrew: Some people enjoyed the discussion, but some people thought we over-killed it.
Andrew: I thought it was an interesting debate…
Laura: I did too. [laughs]
Andrew: …but we’re just going to have to wait and see. [laughs] So…
Andrew: I guess it’s one of those discussions where, like, it’s only interesting to some people if you’re actually involved.
Ben: Yeah, but a final thing – one final closing point on that…
Jamie: Yeah, but with a release date it’s that…
Ben: No, no. Hold on, hold on. Jo probably… They probably take into account when Jo is going to release the book, and she probably doesn’t know yet, so if they – say she decides 07/07/07, they’ll probably move the movie, and that’s all there is to be said about it.
Eric: I don’t know.
Andrew: Good point.
Eric: They shouldn’t have made it official. Why did they go and make it official, Andrew, why would they do that?
Andrew: Okay, but we’re not discussing this.
Chapter-by-Chapter: Chapter 10, Sorcerer’s Stone
Andrew: Anyway, moving on.
Andrew: Now it’s time for this week’s Chapter-by-Chapter discussion, Chapter 10 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone…
Jamie: Or Philosopher’s Stone.
Andrew: Titled “Halloween” – Or Philosopher’s Stone, if you’re like Jamie and live across the pond.
Jamie: It’s only a small pond.
Andrew: All right, Eric. You’ve been gone for what, two shows? Two weeks?
Eric: Two shows.
Andrew: What have we done without you?
Jamie: I don’t know how we’ve coped. It’s been difficult.
Andrew: Yeah, I don’t know how we coped either, honestly. Yeah. All right, so there’s quite a few things that happened in this chapter, so let’s get right to it.
Chapter 10 – Halloween
Laura: Last week, we were debating whether or not Malfoy was actually planning to go and chickened out or if he tipped off Filch, and I think the beginning of this chapter pretty much confirms that he tipped Filch off.
Jamie: Yeah, definitely.
Laura: Because it says: “Malfoy couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw that Harry and Ron were still at school the next day.”
Eric: Yeah, that’s nice.
Laura: So, I think that pretty much settles that debate.
Eric: It was just a simple ploy.
Andrew: I stand corrected, Laura. I’m sorry.
The Nimbus 2000
Eric: Okay, on pg. 164 of the US edition, this might be – I don’t know if anybody is going to narrate this chapter. I can’t because I’m getting over the flu and I’m coughing, but whose phone is that? Anyways, pg. 164 in the US version, is actually when Harry gets his Nimbus 2000 from McGonagall. I just wanted to remark that this letter from Professor McGonagall is pretty useless, considering everybody knows, or will know, what Harry gets anyway.
Andrew: Yeah, wouldn’t it have made more sense if you sent the letter first – sent the note first. Or why not just hand deliver it?
Eric: Well, I would have actually just given Harry the broomstick somewhere else. You know?
Jamie: Later on perhaps?
Jamie: Held him back after a lesson.
Eric: I think it’s possible, too, that they could have sent the – yeah, exactly. I think they could have sent the letter first anyway. Maybe they did, it’s just the owl who was carrying the parcel was faster, or something like that. I don’t think – but…
Andrew: There were six owls carrying the parcels. So…
Eric: Okay, yeah. So I guess the letter owl was just dumb.
Eric: So, sending it through the Great Hall is the one way to ensure that everybody knows he’s getting one.
Laura: I think what she meant was, “I don’t want everybody knowing that the school paid for your broom.”
Jamie: Yeah, I think that…
Eric: No, but I don’t see how even getting the thing would make them know that, or not know that anyway. By the time he plays Quidditch and is on the broom, they’re going to be like, “That’s a Nimbus 2000, where did he get one?”
Jamie: He can lie. He can lie and just say, “I bought it,” or “I found it.”
Eric: [laughs] “I found it.”
Andrew: We don’t know for sure who paid for this broom or – well, we know why, but we don’t know for sure who paid for this broom.
Jamie: I think Laura’s right, that the school had to pay for it, or why would they care that they got one? Because everyone is going to find out that he’s playing soon enough, and they’re going to see he’s flying a Nimbus 2000.
Andrew: Why would it be the entire school? Wouldn’t it make more sense if it was McGonagall, or maybe the Gryffindor team chipped to help pay for this to ensure Harry comes on the team this year?
Laura: Well, I don’t think it was anyone specific. I think it was just the school in general.
Eric: I think it was Dumbledore, actually.
Jamie: Oh no.
Laura: Well, I mean, it’s just money that came from the school. It doesn’t matter really specifically what teacher or who got together about it.
Eric: [laughs] Taxes. Yeah, it was taxes.
Jamie: Broomstick fund.
Eric: Yeah, it was the broomstick fund.
[Jamie and Laura laugh]
Eric: Yeah the people around the students pay taxes, and they paid for Harry’s broom.
Eric: It’s tax deductible, the broomstick fund.
Jamie: Oh yeah it is, definitely. Not for profit.
[Eric and Laura laugh]
The Quidditch Lesson
Andrew: All right, so moving along, he gets into his Quidditch lessons. Is there anything really to point out here?
Jamie: Only that Wood doesn’t know what basketball is, but he [laughs] gets out a pack of golf balls.
Andrew: I thought that was pretty dumb.
Jamie: Do they have stores there now?
Andrew: I don’t know how you wouldn’t know that. Wouldn’t you have some – wouldn’t you go back into the Muggle world and read in the paper or…
Jamie: No, exactly. Yeah.
Andrew: …overhear it.
Andrew: I don’t get that. That makes them seem really imaginary.
Andrew: It kind of makes me sad.
Jamie: I makes me cry.
Eric: I don’t know. Is basketball big in Britain, Jamie?
Jamie: No, not really.
Andrew: I guess that means Wood didn’t take one class: Muggle studies. Ah! [laughs]
[Everyone laughs sarcastically]
Andrew: Well it’s true, right?
Andrew: There, I just made a new fact.
Eric: Actually, I don’t even know that Muggle Studies would focus on…
Andrew: Of course Muggle Studies would cover sports.
Eric: I don’t know, you think? I mean the wizards are completely…
Andrew: That’s crazy talk!
Eric: Well, Muggle Studies just sounds like a sad excuse to pretend they know a lot about Muggles, when clearly they – clearly the first class, the first day of Muggle Studies should focus on proper dress.
Eric: You know? How the guys don’t wear the dresses?
Andrew: Good point.
Eric: You know? Or nightgowns.
Jamie: Eric, that thing you were saying about that Wood said that he could turn out better than Charlie Weasley, and he could have played for England if he hadn’t gone off chasing dragons. Do you think that’s foreshadowing?
Jamie: That after Harry sorted out all that stuff with Voldemort, and if he lives of course, he could like completely purge everyone’s emotions about the evil versus good and just play for England, play Quidditch for England.
Eric: No, I don’t think that will happen for one reason, which is JKR hates Quidditch, and…
Eric: I think she does! I think she really does, doesn’t she? Didn’t she say that she was really, really, really tired of writing about Quidditch?
Andrew: Yeah, I’m pretty sure she did.
Eric: And it’s funny…
Eric: …because I kind of got that feeling by Book 4, there wasn’t Quidditch. By Book 5, he wasn’t on the team. I’m like, “Wow!” But, she did write about so many different games that it’s just like she got tired of trying to find new ways to write about games that haven’t happened yet.
Jamie: That is true, yeah.
Eric: I really don’t think – even if she writes about it, I really don’t think she’ll have Harry going off and playing Quidditch, just so she doesn’t have to imply that she is ever going to write about any more about Quidditch. I just don’t think Quidditch…
Jamie: That’s true, yeah.
Eric: As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think she wants to think about it anymore.
Laura: I think even if Harry had the opportunity, he wouldn’t, because he doesn’t like fame.
Ben: That’s just – yeah.
Laura: I mean he hates it enough already. Why would he want to go become a famous Quidditch player?
Jamie: He loves broomsticks and balls, doesn’t he? I think he’d jump at the chance to go off and play Quidditch.
Laura: I think he likes it, but I think that were he to [laughs] – if he’s going to survive this war with Voldemort, then I’m not sure he’s going to want to go play Quidditch.
Jamie: Yeah, I agree. Yeah.
Laura: I think he’s going to want to settle down and live a quiet life.
Jamie: You’re probably right.
Eric: Harry’s never wanted to acquire attention, because he’s always been provided with it.
Eric: It’s true to say that, like, if he were to go on…
Jamie: Yeah, but if he played Quidditch, he’d do it for himself, though, he wouldn’t…
Eric: But, if he were to go on to be an Auror, he’d probably acquire fame, too, for hunting down all the remaining bad guys. But I just think – I don’t think of Harry as a jock. He’s always been successful, and he’s always been a good sports person…
Eric: …but to pursue a career where you’re just constantly showing that you’re a better teammate than somebody else, I think something about that would not appeal to him.
Jamie: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: Well, he’s into the excitement, and what other job would he work at?
Eric: Quickie Mart.
Andrew: That wouldn’t give him so much stress?
Laura: Does he even really need a job…
Eric: He doesn’t need a job!
Andrew: Well, he might have enough cash, yeah.
Ben: He’s going to die anyway!
Andrew: Good point!
Andrew: Thank you, Negative Ben!
Andrew: Ben, I’m sure…
Eric: He’s going to die.
Andrew: Ben, that’s your response to everything. [Mimics Ben] “Who cares? He’s just going to die anyway!” Yeah, just say that about everyone that we bring up!
Jamie: [laughs] I’d love Harry to be a hot dog vendor. That’d be the best thing ever!
Jamie: That would be so good! Please say he’d be one! Please Jo, please make him a hot dog vendor! “So, Harry, are you going to go off and kill Voldemort?” “Nope. I’ve opened up a pork and link sausage business just down the road.”
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Jamie: I’m going to sell loads and make a fortune. Harry’s Hot Dogs!”
Charms And Nonverbal Spells
Andrew: So, Harry, Ron, and Hermione move on to the Charms lessons, where we see that Hermione is a big, fat know-it-all.
Jamie: Wingardium Leviosa!…
Andrew: Wingardium Leviosa! Wingardium Levi-O-sa!
Laura: You’re saying it wrong, Andrew!
Eric: It’s Levi-O-sa! Not Levio-SA!
Laura: There you go!
Jamie: You know when you do nonverbal spells, do you have to say the word in your mind, or does it just happen?
Eric: I don’t know. That’s just like saying, you know? I don’t know.
Andrew: You have to say it in your mind, don’t you? You have to think it, right?
Eric: There’s like this… Yeah, but you have to say it correctly. Nonverbal spells said wrong could – I don’t even know.
Jamie: What happens if you just think it? Do you just think, “I want this door to open,” you just point your wand at it. The thing about Wizard Baruffio, I don’t actually understand that. Why did he end up with a buffalo on his chest? Because he said…
Eric: I was just thinking that! I mean, everybody, every American, “Fl…”
Jamie: So, it would be, okay, “Swish and fl…,” no, “Fwish and slick.”
Laura: No, he wasn’t talking about the Wingardium Leviosa spell specifically.
Jamie: Oh. Oh, right. Cool.
Laura: He was just being…
Jamie: Oh, okay.
Eric: “And saying the magic words properly is very important, too – never forget Wizard Baruffio, who said ‘s’ instead of ‘f’ and found himself on the floor with a buffalo on his chest.”
Jamie: I think it was funny, and it was cute, but I didn’t really understand what that was…
Eric: That’s from pg. 171 of the US edition.
Eric: It’s just really funny to contemplate where “s” instead of “f” would really have frewed him over, or screwed him – frewed him. I tried to make a joke. It didn’t…
Jamie: Yeah. What about also, when Seamus got so impatient that he prodded it with his wand and set fire to it, and Harry put it out with his hat. I’m sure in a future book, early on, it says that Harry had to put it out with his wand with water. So, perhaps just to show that Harry doesn’t have any skill now whatsoever. He really is still in the Muggle world.
Eric: Oh yeah, it’s cool. Seamus set fire to it. I think that was really funny in the movie. Good comic relief.
Jamie: Yeah. [laughs]
Jamie: Levio-… Levi-O… [makes explosive sound]
Eric: There’s emphasis, strange emphasis, on Ron’s arms here. It says, “Ron, at the next table, wasn’t having much more luck. ‘Wingardium Leviosa!‘ he shouted, waving his long arms like a windmill.”
Andrew: It’s to make him look big and stalky, like he always does.
Laura: Yeah, I’d have to agree.
Eric: Quirrell comes in, screaming, ranting. They sneak off and they lock the troll in the bathroom with Hermione, [laughing] even though she wants to be alone. They’re like, “Hey! Let’s go lock the troll in the bathroom with Hermione!” So they do. Then they realize that they’re stupid, and then they open it up and try and save her.
Laura: That really meant something to me, because currently, in the next county over from me, there is a woman trying to get the Potter books banned from all of the school libraries in her county, and she runs…
Laura: Yeah! [laughs] And she runs around saying that Harry lies, cheats, steals, and he’s not held accountable, and he has no conscience, and he does all these horrible things, yet he does all these horrible things…
Laura: …yet he accidentally locks a troll in the bathroom with someone who just annoys the hell out of him.
Laura: And he immediately goes tearing back, risking his life to save this person, so, you know what?
Jamie: Who he doesn’t even like yet.
Eric: Yeah, exactly!
Laura: Exactly! So…
Eric: I’d actually be surprised if the school libraries were updated enough to have the Harry Potter books.
Laura: Woman from the next county over, you need to get over it! Thank you.
Jamie: You know when Hermione says, “Is it dead?” And then Harry says, “I don’t think so. I think it’s just been knocked out.” Doesn’t later in the book, when they go down to the Philosopher’s Stone, doesn’t Jo say this one was definitely dead, do you think it’s the same troll? That Quirrell sort of roused from his unconscious state and nursed back to health?
Eric: I don’t think so.
Jamie: And then brought down into the – You think he’d be a bit stupid after just being knocked out, but I don’t know.
Eric: I think it’s a different troll.
Jamie: Probably not though.
Laura: It seems like it said – yeah, because it seems like Harry said something like, “It’s a good thing that one’s knocked out, because was a lot bigger,” or something like that. “Good thing we didn’t have to fight that one.”
Eric: Oh, right!
Jamie: Oh, right. Yeah, yeah, yeah!
Eric: That’s jumping ahead, but yeah.
Jamie: I think you could be right, yeah.
Eric: That’s cool. That sounds very interesting. I think it’s important to mention that Hermione does the unthinkable, and she says that she thought she was cool and…
Andrew: She lies!
Eric: Yes! She says, “I thought I was little Miss Goody Two Shoes who could handle the troll, so I went looking for it, and Harry and Ron…
Eric: …knew that I was nothing really special after all, and they went and stopped it for me.” So, McGonagall, knowing how McGonagall knows, that she can take five points from Hermione, give five points each to Harry and Ron, and voila, by the end of the night…
The House Points System
Jamie: It doesn’t mean anything, five points, does it?
Eric: It’s nothing. It’s interesting to note, too, how, later in the books, the teachers seem to take a heck of a lot more points away.
Ben: Yeah, that’s weird!
Eric: For even…you know?
Jamie: And give, yeah.
Ben: Because I remember Snape was like, [imitating Professor Snape] “You just lost a point for Gryffindor!”
Eric: Yeah! It’s like fifty…
Andrew: Yeah, but it was a single point!
Eric: Fifty points for saying something about Hermione’s front teeth and defending yourself against that, but five points for almost dying by a troll.
Ben: Well, I see what it is – I see what it is. It’s that it’s all relative, because maybe some teachers started giving out more points for things that were insignificant, and so it sort of turned into a competition.
Eric: You know what it is.
Jamie: Maybe, yeah.
Eric: It’s – it’s inflation. It’s JKR’s way of commenting on the economy now.
Andrew: [laughing] Yeah.
Ben: It’s inflation of house points.
[Ben and Jamie laugh]
Eric: Throughout time, everything inflates. So, you know, fifty points by Book 4 is the same as five points back then.
Jamie: You can get a really good exchange rate for house points.
Andrew: Oh yeah.
Jamie: Fifty to the dollar.
Andrew: Let’s talk about that for a second. Is it because – is it because maybe Jo didn’t take the point system as seriously when she was originally writing this?
Eric: Eh, I just…
Jamie: That could be it, yeah.
Eric: …think that she didn’t know where she was going to go with it. I mean, I don’t know.
Andrew: Because one point. Or, or was it that they went easy on the freshmen?
Eric: Snape wouldn’t go easy.
Andrew: Like an unwritten rule.
Laura: Yeah, that was always the impression that I got.
Andrew: [laughs] I called them freshmen…
Jamie: Oh, I know. You’re terrible.
Laura: Awww, that’s kind of what they are, but…
Andrew: They are, yeah.
Laura: …I always got the impression that it was sort of a regulation for teachers to go a little bit easy on first years, especially at the beginning of their first term.
Andrew: One point just seems like… [laughs]
Ben: Well, when you – when then later on McGonagall takes away, McGonagall takes away fifty points, and that’s like the big shocker. And it wouldn’t have been that big of a shock…
Ben: …and everyone wouldn’t have been as mad at them if there was a regular occurrence that they got taken away, even by the older students, if you catch my drift.
Laura: Yeah, and I don’t think that the one point that Snape took away from Harry was really about losing house points. I think it was about Snape making a point.
Ben: Or taking – taking a point, you mean.
Laura: Like, I don’t like you.
Ben: Taking a point. [laughs]
Laura: No, no, no – ha, ha, ha, Ben. I think it was strictly about Snape making it known that he dislikes Harry. I think he wanted Harry to know that right from the start, so he was going to find any excuse he could to take a point.
Jamie [at same time as Eric]: Yeah, it could be.
Eric: And – and it didn’t really matter about house points.
Ben: But, no. Okay, he would take away more points than just one. I think it’s just the inconsistency.
Laura: No, but that’s the thing, I don’t think it was about taking house points.
Eric: I agree with Laura, and I have to say that when he did take away more points than just one, when he took away ten, or twenty points, it was specifically so that the rest of the Gryffindors would know that Harry had cost them something, and that it was Harry who had done this, you know? I think at one point in the books it said that, you know, the Gryffindors woke up the next morning to find that like, fifty to one hundred points were gone, and you know, they would wonder why, and they would think it was a mistake, and that way they would be able to know that it was all because of Harry. So I think Snape, whereas in the first scene he only took one just to jab at Harry, he takes away significant amounts to get Harry’s own house upset with him.
Ben: Right, but about that, one final thing about that is…
Andrew: Aren’t there…
Ben: …how do they know who got the points taken away? Is there like a log up there or a scoring marker?
Jamie: No, no, no, it just spreads around.
Eric: It just spreads, it’s a rumor.
Jamie: It just spreads around the school, it’s just word of mouth.
Eric: Now here, the last line of the chapter is what I wanted to mention, it’s the last thing I have as a note, and it says, “But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.”
Andrew: That’s another classic JKR moment.
Eric: [laughs] I thought that was – that was a brilliant, classic JKR moment. It totally is, because…
Jamie: It is, definitely.
Laura: It’s like doing MuggleCast.
Andrew: MuggleCast is hell, what are you talking about?
Andrew: I just wanted to point out that Jo’s editors actually were considering cutting the entire troll scene, but she fought them to try to – well, she fought to keep it in the book.
Jamie: Oh no.
Eric: But it’s such a plot – were they really?
Eric: It’s such a plot…
Jamie: …it’s just to establish their friendship, maybe?
Andrew: So, she actually wrote on her website, “Hermione, bless her, is so very annoying in the first part of Philosopher’s Stone that I really felt I needed something literally huge to bring her together with Harry and Ron.” Just a little tidbit there.
Eric: I mean that’s the whole – I can’t believe they were thinking of cutting that. That’s the whole point of like how they became – you know, this big boom! thing to get them to become friends, and from that moment on they were best of friends. She helps them cheat on their homework, you know what I’m saying?
Eric: I mean, she just does that for them, and it’s like this strange bonding experience. I think it was very important to include there because people do become friends for weird reasons sometimes.
Andrew: And it developed Harry and Ron, too, in that they were brave enough to fight the troll.
Eric: And they took responsibility for their own actions…
Eric: …by going to find her, because it was their fault that she ran off. So, I think that was big character development and it really worked out for everybody.
Andrew: Let’s go talk to these editors. Do me a favor.
Laura: Yeah, I’m glad she fought for that. That would have been stupid.
Ben: Don’t you guys think that it would make sense that she fought to keep it in because it was foreshadowing?
Eric: I wouldn’t be too upset at the editors. They probably had their own reasons, I mean, some editors obviously didn’t realize that Hermione was going to become this big, central character as well. I mean, even if they did, I wouldn’t be too upset at the editors, they just – they made a suggestion.
Voicemail – Wands
Andrew: Now moving on to the general voice mail questions, this first one comes from Allison.
[Audio]: Hey MuggleCasters, this is Allison from Fairfax, Virginia, and I have a question for you guys. In the book, when a wizard’s wand breaks or gets damaged, they go to Ollivander’s to get a new one. However, like Ollivander says to Harry in Book 1, “No two Ollivander wands are the same, just as no two unicorns, dragons, or phoenixes are quite the same.” So, when a wizard goes to replace his wand, what does he get if the first one was the best one for them? Just wanted to know what you guys thought. Love the show, especially Jamie! Bye!
Eric: The second-best.
Andrew: The second-best.
Ben: Well, no, I don’t know about that. I think – how do you know they actually found the wand that was best for them when they went the first time.
Jamie: Yeah, that’s right.
Ben: Because we know there’s like millions of wands in there. Not literally millions, but there’s a lot of wands in there. And it isn’t like they go through each and every one of them and choose it.
Eric: I think they do. Because if you – if you read the book, Ben, that’s what Ollivander did for Harry. And I understand that Harry might have been a special case.
Ben: He didn’t go through every wand that’s win the store.
Eric: Yeah he did, pretty much. They went on for hours…
Laura: No. They went through them until they found one that worked.
Eric: Until they found one that glowed or did the special thing.
Ben: Yeah, until they found one that worked. And maybe – and maybe if you’re… The book’s all about destiny and stuff, so maybe if you’re destined to end up with that other wand. Maybe the reason the wand broke to begin with was because it truly wasn’t the wand for you.
Jamie: Isn’t it like that’s the best wand at that time?
Jamie: And you know? A new wand could come out that suits you. It’s like, if each person has certain statistics, so say that one person’s brave, bravery equals dragon heart string or something, and they’re also courageous, which equals twelve inches, and they’re also friendly, which equals oak.
Jamie: You know? That would be the perfect wand because it matches them in their powers, so – and like, there are degrees of perfection. So, say Harry’s holly wand that he has now could be extremely good, but there could just be tiny, tiny changes that could make it an even better wand, or something like that. I don’t know.
Andrew: Mr. Ollivander is very educated with his wands, so he would probably pick one of the best ones for the wizard right off the bat. Right?
Jamie: Yeah, I think that could be right.
Andrew: It’s not like he – he doesn’t have to go through all the wands, he knows, he can narrow it down to a group of them.
Ben: Right, yeah, he has a lot of experience with wands.
Jamie: Unless there’s no correlation whatsoever between a wand and who it picks. It could just be that one wand likes a certain person, just from that. If there’s no connection whatsoever, then he really does just have to try as many as possible until he… I mean, it’s just luck then. It could just be luck.
Eric: Ollivander did try one hundred wands before Harry found the one that – you know? The spindly chair was…
Eric: …ready to break from all the wands that they were using, but it came upon to me…
Jamie: Yeah. But is there always a wand for a person or not?
Eric: Well, I was wondering, because Ollivander, he spends all that time, and Harry tries all these wands, that doesn’t work, and destroys half his shop doing it – if you follow the movie. And he finally picks out this wand and says, “I wonder.”
Eric: And, you know, does this whole thing, and he knows where the holly wand comes from. He knows, you know, the phoenix feather, that it’s Fawkes, Voldemort’s – why didn’t he try that sooner? I mean, maybe it was in the back of his mind, maybe.
Jamie: It just came to him. It just came to him, maybe.
Ben: No, maybe – maybe it was about one hundred wands down the aisle, and we went and tried the other ones.
Jamie: But, also couldn’t it be that – I mean like, Squibs don’t have any magical properties. Couldn’t it be that Squibs can’t get wands? That could be one reason. I mean, I know they say that you can do magic without a wand, but you can’t do – you can’t be, like a proper, powerful wizard without one. It’s like, even though Jo says that magic comes from within you, you need a wand to centralize it and focus it. Could it be that, if say Filch goes into – goes into Ollivander’s, that there would be no wand for him? And that could be part of the reason why he’s a Squib. I don’t know.
Eric: Well, there’s that, but there’s also this other thing Jamie, about this whole wand thing. Some people use their father’s wand, or their brother’s wand. Like, you know Ron, even when Ron started off, he wasn’t using…
Eric: …he was using Charlie’s wand, wasn’t he?
Jamie: Yeah. So… Yeah, he was.
Eric: And then it broke, he kind of got one – so it’s really interesting how people just…
Jamie: It could be genetic then, you mean?
Eric: Genetic? I…
Eric: I mean, it could be anything, because people don’t even need to go into Ollivander’s and get wands, you know, they can use their brother’s wand, or…
Jamie: Yeah, yeah.
Ben: Or maybe it was that Ron’s family was too poor to buy him his own wand, so…
Eric: No, that’s what it is.
Ben: …he said – yeah, I know, but…
Eric: But then Charlie – Charlie needs a wand of his own.
Ben: Right, but, the wand, it didn’t function properly with Ron though. That’s the thing.
Jamie: But do you think like, there are some wands which you just can’t use? It just doesn’t suit you at all?
Laura: Yes, I do.
Jamie: Like, if Harry…
Laura: I do.
Jamie: …used Voldemort’s wand. Sorry, if Hermione used Voldemort’s wand. It’s a powerful wand that’s been used for evil, could she really, you know, wield that power? Or if Neville used it or something, I just don’t know if they could do it.
Laura: Well here’s my two cents. I think that saying that there is one wand for one wizard is like saying there is one person you can be friends with, or there is one person that you can fall in love with in this whole world, and I just – I don’t think that’s true. I think that here are different wands that can suit you, and it can also depend on how you’ve grown as a person. It might change later.
Jamie: Well, I only love Ben. Don’t know about…
Ben: Using the love analogy – you know you can, like, you can have people that maybe you fall in love with and stuff, but maybe there’s only one true love. Maybe there’s only one wand.
Jamie: You, Ben, for me. I love you, Ben!
Ben: That truly fits you.
Jamie: Actually, Ben, this is a perfect moment for this. I’ve been meaning to ask you this for a – for a while now. I’m afraid I can’t get down on one knee, but Ben?
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Jamie: [laughs] Ben Carla Schoen…
Eric: Carlo. His middle name is Carlo.
Jamie: Will you marry me?
Laura: Can I be the flower girl?
Ben: Of course, Jamie.
Jamie: Oh, yes!
Ben: Of course.
Jamie: Yes, definitely. Definitely.
Ben: Yeah. [laughs]
Eric: Can I be the best man?
Jamie: Eric, you aren’t doing the speech.
Jamie: Eric, you are not doing the speech.
Ben: Yeah, you’re definitely not.
Eric: Awww, come on, okay.
Eric: No, but one final thing on this voicemail question that’s gone on and on and on forever. I wonder what JKR’s position…
Ben: You like it that way.
Eric: …on this whole wand thing would be, considering she…
Jamie: Yeah, I think we’re interested to find out.
Eric: …she did make effort to characterize James’ and Lily’s wands as good for Charms or, you know, very swishy…
Eric: …very pliable, good for this, good for that. And so Ollivander did kind of classify what wand was what for his parents. And so it’s just interesting to see, well, what happens, and is one wand – you know, does it, as a person changes, does another wand suit them better? Or what’s the deal with that?
Jamie: Yeah, that’s true, yeah.
Ben: Somewhere out there, Jo, I know you’re listening.
Eric: You listened to the…
Ben: Announce it on your own site.
Eric: I’m sure she turned it off when she heard the marriage announcement, though. She’s like, “Oh, crap.”
Eric: “They’re proposing to each other, it’s time to stop.”
Andrew: Next voicemail. Ben from New York.
Voicemail – The Pensieve
[Audio]: Hi, this is Ben from Buffalo, New York, and I was – I had a question about the Pensieve. When Harry and Dumbledore try to convince the Muggle community – the magic community about Voldemort’s return, why can’t they put Harry’s memory in a Pensieve and show the Minster of Magic? Thanks, I love the show! Bye!
Jamie: You can – I’m sure that you can fake memories. If I think that I can fly away to a castle, and I’m picturing it now, and I’m picturing myself freezing. Freezing my ass off, flying to a castle, thinking I’d love to be at the nice warm castle now. I’m picturing all the imagery and everything. I could put that into a Pensieve, I think. Or could you? Or could you?
Ben: Well, look to Half-Blood Prince, where Slughorn tries to modify a memory that Dumbledore has because he doesn’t want Dumbledore to find out …
Ben: …that he told Tom Riddle about the Horcruxes. So, I don’t think you can truly forge a memory, though.
Jamie: But the thing is, that’s an extremely badly done, obviously you know, attempt at changing his memory. Is it that he’s just a bad memory-changer, or is it just exceptionally difficult?
Ben: Or maybe if he truly believed that, though. I think maybe if you – you know sometimes if you…
Jamie: He obviously felt very strongly about it and he got extremely emotional.
Ben: Like if you reinforce a perception in somebody, maybe they’ll actually truly believe they…
Ben: …could fly away to England…
Jamie: And freeze their ass off, yeah.
Ben: …like you think you could do, or…
Eric: Well, that’s like saying if you use Veritaserum and somebody truly believes that they’re telling the truth, will they lie, or will they tell the truth? Like…
Jamie: No, no, it isn’t, because it forces you to tell the truth. It can’t be subjective – the truth can’t be subjective. It’s just facts. It forces you to tell fact, that’s it.
Eric: But facts can be wrong. If you’re brought up to believe…
Laura: Fact about what you know. Fact of what you’ve been told.
Jamie: No, they can’t be wrong. It forces you to tell the truth. It’s magical, it can’t be wrong. It forces you to tell the truth.
Ben: And – right. The difference with a Pensieve is that your memory – your memory is biased towards your point of view.
Jamie: That is subjective. Your memory’s subjective. Yes, exactly. Whereas Veritaserum forces you to tell the truth. Obviously, there are – I mean, there are obviously antidotes to it and ways to fight it, but if it catches you and ensnares you, then it forces you to tell what is the truth.
Eric: Not just the truth as you know it – THE truth.
Jamie: There’s no subjective version of the truth. Yeah, exactly. You can’t…
Eric: I don’t know. That’s interesting.
Jamie: You can’t say, “my truth is wrong.” It’s a paradox. You can’t say that.
Laura: I was always under the impression that Veritaserum worked in the fashion that you tell the truth about what you know. Like, someone could have…
Eric: Yeah, that’s what I’m saying!
Laura: …lied to you.
Jamie: About what you know, yeah.
Laura: Someone could have lied to you and you could be telling them what they – yeah!
Andrew: Well, that’s absolutely it. Yeah.
Eric: But that’s all I’m saying, Jamie, is that if you’re brought up to believe…
Jamie: Well, obviously. Yeah.
Eric: …you know, that you can’t tell the truth. It’s a false truth.
Jamie: You could tell the truth that somebody had lied to you – no, sorry, that somebody had told you this and that this is what happened. But you couldn’t say this is the truth, because you don’t know it’s the truth. You just say, “John Smith came up to me and told me that this is what happened.” Obviously, you can’t add, like, “and I thought this was wrong,” or “I thought this was bad.” This is what happened.
Eric: I don’t even know where this is going. What I wanted to say about this whole voicemail question…
Jamie: It’s a narrative. It isn’t analysis.
Eric: Well, I think we agree with each other…
Jamie: It’s complete narrative.
Eric: I don’t even know. Okay. All I wanted to say was that it’s the truth as you know it with Veritaserum. But I think – I don’t think Vol – you know, the Ministry of Magic or Fudge would have taken the time to have Harry walk over to a Pensieve and put his memory. He doesn’t, you know – he doesn’t, like – I don’t think he cares.
Jamie: Right, exactly. Yeah.
Eric: I don’t think he cares at all about whether it’s the truth or not. I think he just wants to incriminate Harry and he wants a response out of him, and he’s not going to believe Harry, or, you know…
Jamie: It isn’t only that, though, but – sorry, go on, finish your point.
Eric: He isn’t going to believe Harry no matter what he says, or believe Dumbledore. He’s always trying to discredit him, and I don’t think – you know, even if Harry could prove, could put his memory in the Pensieve, they would have just said, “Oh, that’s a false memory,” or some crap like that.
Jamie: But they’ve got to be scared of it being the truth as well. If people trust Pensieve memories, then it would prove that the Ministry of Magic were incorrect. But also, they have to draw the line somewhere. I mean, obviously, they use Veritaserum on the criminals and everyone like that to get confessions and stuff. But there comes a point where you – I mean, I don’t know, I just don’t think they could viably use Veritaserum on an 11-year-old schoolboy, or however old he was at the time, without causing an uproar. I mean, clearly there’s corruption going on, because I doubt that, and I doubt that the public would approve of the use of Veritaserum on everyone, right?
Eric: I don’t think the public would know, but…
Jamie: No, exactly. Corruption in the upper echelons of government. Oooo! Dan Brown!
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Eric: I just read that!
Jamie: Seriously, there is.
Eric: You know, I just read The Da Vinci Code, and Angels and Demons. Great books.
Jamie: Ah, good man. Good man.
Laura: Oh, I love Angels and Demons.
Jamie: The next book, Eric, is Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Read that.
Eric: I’m on to Narnia.
Andrew: Isn’t that the book that the guy is, like, tried to sue Dan Brown?
Eric: There’s a hundred people…
Andrew: Isn’t that in the news recently?
Jamie: Yeah. Baigent and Leigh did it.
Andrew: Yeah, for copying or something.
Jamie: Yeah, but he won it. There were like – he claimed that there are kind of, there are small inconsistencies – like there’s a character in The Da Vinci Code called Leigh Teabing, and Teabing is an anagram of Baigent, who’s the author of Holy Blood, Holy Grail. And Leigh is a – sorry, and – yeah. And Leigh is the last name of one of the other authors. And then there are other things as well, like they reference Holy Blood, Holy Grail – Leigh Teabing references it directly in the book. And there are all other tiny things as well, but I mean, I just think it’s based on it. It’s not – he doesn’t actually plagiarize. It’s facts…
Andrew: Yeah, it’s…
Eric: Personally, all this stuff about Da Vinci Code…
Jamie: …you know? I don’t know.
Eric: I think Angels and Demons is a better book anyway. Da Vinci…
Laura: I thought so too!
Eric: Yeah. Da Vinci Code…
Jamie: I Angels and Demons is awesome – yeah.
Eric: …rips off of Angels and Demon‘s plot completely. Like, everything happens the same, there’s the same…
Jamie: They’re all the same, though.
Eric: Yeah, exactly. The assassin is led to believe there’s an organization – it’s, like, so many similarities it’s just…
Eric: …I prefer Angels and Demons.
Jamie: But Eric – but Eric, I thought the ending to Angels and Demons was a bit disappointing. I thought The Da Vinci Code was better.
Andrew: But moving on with the discussion, Jamie, what were you going to say?
Jamie: Perhaps it’s just an inadmissible in their courts of law. Like over here – I don’t know, just from the back of my memory being drunk isn’t an excuse for criminal intent. So you can’t say…
Eric: You can’t plead ignorance.
Jamie: Well, no. It’s more like – it’s more like if you get absolutely drunk out of your head and kill somebody, that being drunk is no excuse. It’s absolutely no excuse whatsoever. So, you know, it’s just like – I think it could be just like that. Perhaps the Pensieve isn’t concrete enough.
Andrew: Next voicemail comes from Lauren and Alex from Florida.
Voicemail – Moody And The Boggart
[Audio]: Hi, this is Lauren.
[Audio]: And Alex!
[Audio]: From Fort Lauderdale, Florida. JK Rowling says that nobody has ever seen a Boggart in its original form. However, Mad-Eye Moody used his eye at Grimmauld Place to see if a Boggart was hiding in the cupboard there. Do you think he saw the Boggart in its original form, or did he just see his greatest fear? Thanks! We love the show!
Eric: I think that would probably be – I think it’s doubtful that Moody would have seen the Boggart in the form of his fear. I think he did see it in its original form because the Boggart – the fact is, the Boggart changes based on who it sees you know? The Boggart takes one look at you and figures out your biggest fear. But I don’t think the Boggart can see through the cabinet, so…
Laura: Yeah, but – go ahead. I’ll go after you. [laughs]
Eric: Okay. Well, if Mad-Eye Moody is downstairs and he looks up through five ceilings and he sees on the top floor of something that there’s a Boggart, I don’t think the Boggart is going to know that he’s being looked at enough to change into his fear.
Andrew: Yeah, because the Boggart doesn’t have a magical eye, and that’s all it comes down to. It’s not like… [laughs]
Jamie: But no, no it doesn’t! That’s not true. It’s two points. Number one, Mad-Eye would have to have seen a Boggart before to know what it’s original form was if he was to, you know, if it appeared in its original form here, or he wouldn’t know that it was a Boggart. So either he’d have to had seen one before to see that it was there in its original form. Or, his eye can see – I don’t know, the chemical make-up or something, and he recognized it was a Boggart. Or, it – I mean I think personally, what it comes down to is whether – when the Boggart transforms into your greatest fear, whether it needs line of sight to see you or whether it’s, you know, sort of linked telepathically or something.
Jamie: Or it can sense you – sense you seeing it or something like that and then it can turn into your greatest fear.
Laura: What I’m wondering is if a Boggart is more like your own – because it turns into your personal fear. Is it like when you walk around in the dark and you think you see things, but they’re not really there? Is it more of something that you do to yourself, or is it something that the Boggart does to you?
Jamie: Oh, that’s interesting.
Eric: In Defense Against the Dark Arts class, in Prisoner of Azkaban, everybody saw the Boggart turn into a spider for Ron. Everybody saw the Boggart turn into the moon.
Laura: That’s true.
Jamie: The Boggart doesn’t serve them, yeah.
Eric: It’s not like everyone saw their own fear by looking at the Boggart. So, I think by that very definition then, when you look at the Boggart, it isn’t what you see. It isn’t your fear.
Laura: It’s what everyone sees.
Eric: Because the Boggart’s choice on who to turn into – what to turn into.
Jamie: Even though – yes – but even though Lupin said the way to kill a Boggart is laughter so it doesn’t know who to hone in on, how does it decide who to hone in on? Does it pray on the weak? Or – what happens, what happens if the person can’t get rid of the Boggart in time? If it can’t Riddukulus it into hell? [laughs] In the film when, I think it was Parvati, had the rattlesnake she performed the spell just before it striked. What would have happened if she dropped her wand or she couldn’t strike it in time? Or she couldn’t get rid of it?
Eric: She probably would have – well look at what happened to Molly. She was crying on the floor next to the dead Weasleys or whatever, that she saw.
Jamie: Can it hurt you physically? Can it hurt you physically?
Andrew: Well, to answer the first part of your question, I think this is what you were asking, wouldn’t it transform into the first person…
Eric: Yeah, I think so too.
Andrew: …it had eye contact with?
Jamie: Yeah, but if it’s eye contact, what happens if everyone keeps their eyes – yeah, but if everyone keeps their eyes closed then it still fits in with the thing that no one’s ever seen a Boggart. You know?
Jamie: Because if they have their eyes closed they can’t see it, but as soon as they open their eyes they do. But that leads on to something else, do Boggarts, when they change form, share the original powers of the thing they turn into? I mean obviously the Dementor did but – and also, do they have any allegiance apart from scaring the person who they are trying to scare? Because if you were terrified of Voldemort and it turned into Voldemort, couldn’t you tame him? Couldn’t you use him to fight against the other side or something like that? I don’t know. It’s a really interesting topic though, I think.
Eric: I just think it looks like – it might have some characteristics as far as being able to like slither if it’s a snake, something like that, but as far as being Voldemort, I don’t think it had his memory or anything like that. I just wanted to say that I think it is its original form. I think Moody saw it in its original form. And I don’t even see why that’s a question considering he’s an Auror. He’s an Auror, you’re an Auror, you should have seen one before.
Jamie: Because he must have seen one before. He had to have seen one before.
Andrew: Not necessarily.
Jamie: How does he know it was a Boggart?
Andrew: You could have read it in a book – you could have read it in a book or someone could have described it to you.
Laura: But no one’s ever seen one, how can they describe it?
Jamie: No one’s ever seen one before.
Andrew: Has it been said that no one’s ever seen one?
Eric: Remus Lupin says…
Jamie: I think it does.
Laura: It does.
Eric: But at the same time, I don’t know. I think Moody saw its original form and I think as an…
Jamie: It just…
Eric: …Auror you should be able to trust if he’s seen one before or not. Because I think it’s strictly the Boggart’s choice who it turns into and it wouldn’t be able to tell until it came out of the closet, what it could turn into. I just think that makes sense to me. Because everybody saw something else.
Andrew: Yeah. It’s a special circumstance for Mad-Eye because he can see through walls and Boggarts – who’s to say that Boggarts can see through walls, and if they had to make eye contact with you and he wasn’t making eye contact with him, then…
Eric: It’s seen in the movie that the Boggart kind of knows ahead of time. Like, it comes out of the closet dressed as Snape, or something like that. By the way the movie works, you can kind of guess that it might know ahead of time, but…
Andrew: I think they did it in the movie that way because they didn’t know what a Boggart looked like.
Eric: Exactly. I think that’s a movie-ism.
Jamie: Just for effects.
Eric: I think that’s just…
Laura: Actually in the books, Snape did come out of the closet. They didn’t see the Boggart itself.
Eric: But maybe he heard them talking. I don’t know. I just think if you stare at a Boggart from a thousand feet away with a magical eye, it shouldn’t know to turn into your thing because everybody saw the fear turn into one specific fear…
Eric: Not everybody – it’s not like the Boggart stood in front of everybody and everybody saw it differently. It’s not.
Andrew: We’re all in agreement that it has to look at you in the eye, right?
Laura: Well, does a Boggart have eyes?
Eric: That’s a good question. Does it have eyes? I don’t know.
Andrew: Well, it has to look at you somehow.
Eric: It’s a magical creature.
Andrew: Well, it…
Laura: Why does it have to look at you? It can be like a Dementor.
Eric: It’s a magical creature. Yeah…
Laura: It can sense your fear.
Andrew: Because what if there is a group in the room? How does it decide which one to turn to?
Laura: I don’t think it has anything to do with if you have a group of people. I think it can sense different people’s fears and just a general…
Andrew: So, how does it decide who to turn into first?
Laura: I don’t think it matters. Whoever’s closest to it? whoever it can sense closest?
Eric: Which came first guys, the Boggart or the fear?
Laura: Well see, that’s kind of what I was kind of wondering. What happens if you have no fears?
Eric: Nobody has no fear.
Jamie: You have no fears, did you say?
Laura: Yeah, what…
Andrew: Everyone has a fear.
Jamie: Everyone has to [laughs]…
Eric: Even if it’s a fear of fear, everybody has to have one.
Laura: But theoretically, theoretically, if you’re afraid of nothing. What if Mad-Eye has no fears?
Ben: Then your immortal, man.
Laura: What if he’s just absolutely not afraid of nothing? Does that mean..
Eric: Then he would see it in it’s true form, or he would see nothing.
Laura: Would he – exactly. So, is it possible that, if Moody has no fears, it doesn’t matter if it would turn into anything because he would see it that way anyhow? [laughs and snorts]
Andrew: Well, all right, we’re going to leave this question open for now. There’s just not enough information to make assumptions.
Laura: We’re actually leaving something open.
Andrew: This is one of those questions where we’re like – well we do sometimes.
Eric: Very safe, maybe.
Favorite…Harry Potter Book
Andrew: Now it’s time for this week’s favorite segment where – actually it’s the second installment of this segment, where we pick a little topic in the Harry Potter series and we say “Hey, my favorite is” blank. And Eric, since you’re new to this one, start it off.
Eric: Well not, not until you’ve intro-ed it.
Andrew: I said – oh [laughs] This week’s topic – sorry – this week’s topic is favorite Harry Potter book. Oh by the way, thanks to everyone who submitted their favorite “blank” ideas. We’re going to put them all to use. Hopefully. So, favorite Harry Potter book. Let’s go around the table, Eric?
Eric: It was after I read Book 5, I said to myself, “What did I think about this book and do I think it’s better than 3?” Because I knew three was my favorite until that point and I say to myself, “Is this book truly better than 3?” And actually what I decided was “Yes,” that Book 5 was going to become my favorite book. But it never did. I always knew that I said it was better, but from weeks on I’d say 3 was my favorite and it just makes no sense to me. I just don’t know if I’m – I’m like a traitor to my own decisions. I’m going to say Book 3, but it’s probably not even true.
Ben: Ah geez, hmmm, my favorite book would probably have to be Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Eric: Say Book 4.
Ben: It’s just so intense. I don’t know, as I read it, it just keeps me on the edge of my seat for most of the novel. And just the part at the end of the chapter where Lord Voldemort rises when it says, “Out of the cauldron stepped a tall thin-like man. Lord Voldemort had risen again.” That part I about jumped out of my chair and started jumping up and down, punch in the air. That’s how excited I was.
Eric: [in high-pitched voice] Woo, Voldemort’s back, woo!
Ben: It was just so intense. It was such a build-up, it was great.
Eric: Ben that’s wasn’t even… Ben, that wasn’t even…
Andrew: I’ll have to say my favorite book was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. One, because of its length. I really enjoyed how long it was because, especially during the summer. It actually took me, I’ll admit… [laughs]
Ben: This is embarrassing right here.
Andrew: Yeah, this is going to be embarrassing. I bought the book, but then like after that I just – this is before MuggleNet and everything so I just wasn’t into… All right, I didn’t start reading it until a week after I bought it. [laughs] And I was actually there for the midnight release.
Laura: What is wrong with you?
Andrew: Yeah. I don’t know what happened. I think I might have been sick actually, but – so, once I started reading it I would sit in my living room. I’ve never spent so much time on a couch reading because it was so long.
Andrew: And it was Umbridge. I just love Umbridge and how angry she made me, and if there’s a book that can create that much emotion in me or anyone else, I think it’s great.
Eric: I loved hoping I could kill somebody.
Ben: You already have.
Eric: I loved fathoming death. I loved contemplating it.
Andrew: All right, Laura.
Laura: I definitely…
Andrew: Eric, it’s not your turn anymore.
Laura: I definitely agree with Ben, and say Goblet of Fire for a few reasons. The first and foremost one, that the summer Goblet of Fire came out is when I moved to Georgia from Texas and I knew absolutely no one.
Jamie: To Cumming.
Laura: And the – yeah, to Cumming no less, and…
Andrew: You don’t want to give out your location.
Laura: Oh, people all know I live in Cumming.
Ben: There’s three people. Three people – she’s one of three people that live there.
Eric: I doubt it’s on a map.
Eric: Andrew, it’s not like it’s on a map.
Laura: It’s really the only thing I had to look forward to that summer and I was so excited because I’d heard it was going to be so long and I just had this visual of me having this book to keep me busy all summer and in the end, it only kept me busy for three days. But I can’t really describe what it is I love about it so much. I just – I look at it and I look at my other books and this one is torn completely to pieces.
Laura: It’s got pages falling out and the cover is all torn and it’s – the binding is completely shot and I just loved it because it was such a turning point in the series and it really meant a lot to me, so…
Jamie: I – I just want to point out that I’m last again. [fake sniffs]
Andrew: I’m sorry.
Jamie: Okay, I think I love Half Blood Prince more than all the other ones put together. I just think it’s so good. I just love how the opening – and I just love how it’s so dark and it’s so serious. I love the serious side. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love like, the wands and buying – buying the owl – buying Hedwig and buying all the magical stuff. I just love the dark side. I think it’s so good and it’s weird because when Chamber of Secrets came out, that was my favorite, then when Prisoner of Azkaban came out, that was my favorite, then Goblet of Fire was my favorite. Order of the Phoenix I absolutely loved, but then Half Blood Prince I thought – I just – was absolutely amazing. So yeah, Half Blood Prince easily.
Ben: It blew the others out of the water.
Jamie: It literally – it pulled out an AK-47 and just tore them to pieces.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Jamie: It seriously – it didn’t leave a shred of paper. It cost me a fortune to replace because it just kept doing it.
Ben: [laughs] Yeah.
Ben: Yeah. And that was Jamie’s British Joke of the Day.
[Andrew and Ben laugh]
Jamie: Oh, no, no. I just thought of another one. But yeah…
Jamie: …I just love Half Blood Prince and I hope when Book 7 comes out, I’m going to like that more.
Andrew: Yeah. Does anyone think that they’re going to just be blown away by Book 7?
Laura: Yeah, I hope I am.
Jamie: Yeah, completely. Mhm.
Andrew: I already think I will be.
Ben: Okay, actually I hope that Book 7 is the worst book in the series you know, just…
Andrew: So you can be like, “Oh, I’m done with this.” [laughs]
Ben: Yeah, just so I can reflect…
Andrew: Good thing it’s over.
Ben: Yeah. [laughs]
Andrew: Jo’s lost her touch. [laughs]. All right.
Ben: I hope she hears that. I hope she hears it.
Andrew: I’m sorry, Jo!
Jamie’s Britsh Joke Of The Day
Andrew: All right, now it’s time for Jamie’s British Joke of the Day.
Jamie: Okay. It’s a short one this week to make up for the essay last week. Okay. A mushroom walks into a bar and orders a drink. The bartender says, “I can’t serve you.” The mushroom says, “Why not? I’m a fun guy (fungi).”
Ben: I thought – Jamie, I actually thought that your joke was going to be something about a stool.
Jamie: [laughs] Yeah, yeah that’s good, too. Very good.
Dueling Club – Hermione vs. Young Lily Potter
Andrew: Great. Okay. All right, now moving on to – look at this we’re just moving along segment after seg – segment after segment. [laughs] Now moving on to this week’s Dueling Club. This is another user-submitted one. I think these creative ones are better than, like…
Jamie: Yeah. Dumbledore versus Gandalf.
Andrew: …the ones where we just match the two characters up. Yeah. Here’s another creative one. This one comes from Megan, 16, of Pennsylvania. She writes, “Hey guys, really love the show…” Is it obnoxious that I put in all the “really love the shows”?
Jamie: Yeah, it is.
[Andrew and Jamie laugh]
Andrew: Anyway, she says, “I was listening to your latest episode and you mention the Dueling Club and I thought a good match would be between Hermione and a young Lily Potter. What do you think? Keep up the good work.”
Ben: I think that we don’t know enough…
Jamie: Lily Potter.
Eric: I don’t think that – I don’t think that Hermione would ever fight Lily Potter.
Laura: Well, that’s not the point, though.
Ben: This is all hypothetically speaking.
Eric: I think Lily’s got – Lily’s got spunk, but so does Hermione. Like, if Lily were like – if it were like the Jerry Springer Show, okay, and Lily said something about Hermione being a know-it-all or something, I think Hermione could prove her wrong.
Andrew: But think about the situation. Lily was born among two Mudbloods – or, she’s a Mudblood.
Ben: Whoa, whoa, whoa!
Laura: Muggle-born, Andrew. God!
Andrew: What? Wait.
Eric: Muggle-born, not Mudblood.
Laura: God, you’re so prejudiced.
[Jamie and Laura laugh]
Andrew: Okay, so. [laughs] Oh, oh I see, you guys are trying to be courteous. You guys are such dorks.
Jamie: What did you say, Andrew? What did you say? I missed it.
Andrew: I said Mudblood! [laughs]
Jamie: Andrew! Andrew!
Andrew: These dorks are like, “Andrew, don’t say that!”
Eric: Well, they’re both Mudbloods. They’re both worth nothing anyway.
Andrew: Voldemort! Voldemort!
Andrew: [laughs] You guys are such dorks.
Laura: Shut up. You work for the site, too.
Andrew: I thought I was actually using the – I thought I was using the wrong term. You made me feel all stupid. But anyway – anyway. Yeah, but think about the situation. They’re both Muggle-born. So, don’t you think Lily was just as excited about it as Hermione was?
Jamie: Yeah, but it just seems that – I just think that Lily just seems like she had more power at that stage and that she knew more magic and she was Head Girl and everything. And even though – and even though Hermione is so clever, she, well I suppose Lily was in a thingamabob as well. But, I don’t know. I just think that – I just think that it would be Lily.
Eric: I agree with Jamie. I also think…
Jamie: I just think she has it in her.
Eric: …there’s this whole – there’s this whole extra reason that you’re not grasping and I want to help you with this. Check this out. Okay, if Lily – all right – Lily and Hermione, okay? Lily would totally blow her away for a completely different reason. Lily would use the old-school magic. And she would totally school Hermione with the old-school magic.
Jamie: That’s true, yeah, that’s…
Laura: Well, one advantage that I think Lily would have over Hermione is cleverness to a point because whenever I read Lily’s character, it just seems like she’s far more socially savvy than Hermione is and it sort of…
Jamie: Are you trying to say she’s thick?
Laura: No! No, no, no. I’m trying to say [laughs] I think that Lily knows more about people and their actions and why – what lies behind them than Hermione does. And I think that Lily would be more likely to foresee something Hermione would do.
Jamie: So, to sum up, Megan, we can’t even answer the question. That’s how bad we are.
Laura: [laughs] Well, that’s what I think the advantage is.
Andrew: I agree. If you’re socially superior, you’re going to have a mental advantage over your opponent. Mental and probably emotional. All right so, let’s vote in Lily’s favor.
Jamie: Yeah, I agree.
Chicken Soup For The MuggleCast Soul
Andrew: All right, next up – instead of calling this segment “The MuggleCast Heartwarming Story of the Week,” we thought it’d be better to call it “Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul.” Which, in the US, are books that make you feel better about yourself because of stories written by others, so this one comes from Helen, 14, of New York. She writes:
Jamie: Hope you’re feeling better soon! [blows a kiss]
Ben: Awww. Andrew, I love how you read that really slowly. That was beautiful.
Laura: That was nice.
Eric: I – I – that was a really nice story. I just want to say that my idol – ever since the movie Patch Adams came out with Robin Williams in it, I have always tried to benefit people’s health with entertainment.
Andrew: They do say laughing is the best medicine.
Jamie: Except – except if like – except if it’s like, you’ve broken your leg and you start laughing, it’s not going to mend itself.
Jamie: I have a really bad heart condition.
Andrew: That’s our goal here at MuggleCast. To save lives.
Jamie: Yeah. To mend broken legs.
Andrew: That’s what it comes down to.
Jamie: If your leg’s broken…
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Jamie: …just find a page of jokes and read them all and you’ll be walking in no time.
Andrew: Yeah, so, not in that sense, Jamie. It like, stimulates – stimulates your something-or-other. Yeah, so ever since we started this cute little segment, we’ve been getting lots of submissions. So, keep sending them in. Keep making us – no. Keep…
Eric: Warming our hearts. Warming our hearts.
Andrew: Nah, you know, just do whatever.
[Andrew and Jamie laugh]
Andrew [Show Close with music in background]: Next week on MuggleCast will be Chapter 11 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone called “Quidditch.” Anyway, so that does wrap up MuggleCast 36. Once again, I’m Andrew Sims.
Ben: I am Ben Schoen…
Ben: …and my phone’s ringing, too.
Eric: That’s not my phone.
Andrew: Okay, anyone else want to say bye?
Jamie: No, I’m waiting – I’m waiting until the end.
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Jamie: I’m so used to going last I’m just going to wait.
Eric: No, Jamie, go before me.
Jamie: Go on, Eric, go on, Laura, go on.
Eric: No, no, Jamie go before me.
Jamie: No, no.
Eric: I refuse to outro myself until Jamie goes.
Jamie: Same here, same here. This episode is going to be like, ten hours long because there’s no way I’m going next.
Andrew: Laura, are you next?
Laura: I’m waiting for Eric to go.
Jamie: Eric, Eric, go.
Eric: I already went. I said, “that’s not my phone.”
Laura: Oh my god, okay. I’m so sorry, Jamie. I’m Laura Thompson.
Jamie: Yay, thank you. Eric? I’m Eric Scull and I’m Jamie Lawrence – last again. Thank you very much.
[Andrew, Eric, and Laura laugh]
Andrew: Thanks for listening everyone. We will see you next week for Episode 37.
Eric: You’re so clever, Jamie.
[Audio]: Hi, my name is Alison and I’m from New Orleans and currently I am sitting in JFK International Airport and I have about five hours to go until my next flight, but you guys can help me waste an hour – over an hour. Thanks so much, MuggleCast! Bye!
[Audio]: Hey MuggleCast, this is John from Kansas. You guys are so cool. One day I had a really bad day. When I listened to MuggleCast, it cheered me up. Thanks a lot, guys! Bye!
[Audio]: Hi this is Bridget from Arkansas and I know that Kevin just had his birthday and Eric’s is coming up, so I just wanted to give them a birthday wish. [sings] Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you. Happy Birthday, Kevin and Eric. Happy Birthday to you. I love you guys! Bye!
[Audio]: Hi this is Rashmi from the Caribbean and I just wanted to wish both Kevin and Eric a happy, happy, happy birthday. I love you guys and I love the show!
Micah: And Jim McManus is set to play Aberforth Dumbledore in Order of the Phoenix, confirming that Dumbledore’s goat-loving brother [laughs] will indeed appear in the fifth film. [laughs] Goat-loving. Sometimes you just can’t write that any better.
Written by: Micah, Ally, Amanda, Jessica, Rhiannon, Roni, and Sarah