Transcript #41

MuggleCast EP41 Transcript


Andrew [Show Intro with music in background]: Because the family members hanging out with you today for Memorial Day are just not cool enough, this is MuggleCast – Episode 41 for May 28th, 2006.

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Hello, everyone, and welcome back to MuggleCast. I’m Andrew Sims.

Kevin: I’m Kevin Steck.

Eric: I’m Eric Scull.

Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.

Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Andrew: And this is the show where we bring you the latest in Harry Potter news, theories, discussions, and oh, so much more by sticking a little additive in your ears to keep you coming back for more and more. Before we do anything else, let’s check in with Micah Tannenbaum for the past week’s top Harry Potter news stories.


Micah: This is North Scotland has published an Order of the Phoenix filming update this morning. According to the article, film crews have arrived in the West Highlands, Glenfinnan, Glencoe and Glen Etive.

The article goes on to say that filming for Hagrid’s Hut has been done with a computer-equipped helicopter to bring new light to the Hut. You can read more information on this over at

Dan Radcliffe turns 17 on July 23rd. He’s requested in a letter to his fans that instead of sending presents, you can simply make a donation to the Demelza House.

Miranda Richardson, Rita Skeeter in the fourth Harry Potter movie, recently did an interview with The Independent. In it she discusses how she portrayed the role and the fan reaction after her appearance in Goblet of Fire.

She loved playing the tabloid journalist Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. She combined elements of the Vivienne Westwood of yesteryear with “someone like Liz Smith,” gossip columnist for the New York Post.

“Kids are very generous. I got some really sweet letters saying: ‘You were exactly how I thought you would be,’ so I was very relieved about that,” she says.

While on her visit to India, Bloomsbury co-founder Liz Calder said in an interview that she suspects the final Harry Potter book will be released in 2007.

Finally, Helen McCrory will no longer play the part of Bellatrix Lestrange in the fifth Harry Potter movie as she is currently pregnant and will be heavily so by the time they film the Ministry scenes. She is set to be replaced by Helena Bonham Carter. Helena played the part of Charlie’s mother in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Apple Brook, who’s appeared in stage, TV and film productions for more than 25 years, will portray Care of Magical Creatures substitute teacher Professor Grubbly-Plank.

Younger versions of Sirius, Lupin, and Snape (who all appear in “Snape’s Worst Memory”) will be played by James Walters, James Utechin, and Alec Hopkins, respectively. Also, Jason Piper will “play” the part of Bane the Centaur. Whether or not he’ll simply lend his voice for the role, we don’t know yet.

That’s all the news for this May 28th, 2006 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.

Andrew: All right. Thank you, Micah.

Micah: Oh, you’re welcome.


Andrew: Oh guys, I am so excited. This Friday is the big day. [laughs]

Kevin: What’s that?

Andrew: Everyone forget? [gasps]

Eric: He’s getting married.

Andrew: Well, that too. But also, this Friday, June 2nd is National Wear Your MuggleCast T-Shirt Day. What does that mean? That means that everyone who has purchased a MuggleCast T-shirt to date will wear it out and about, take a picture of themselves wearing it, sending it in to us, and then the – we’ll randomly select five people who sent in their pictures and send them a sweet, new Lumos 2006 T-shirt that is [in high-pitched voice] awesome! And no one else has seen yet. And we’re all going to be wearing our shirts, right?

Kevin: Of course.

Laura: Oh, of course.

Micah: Absolutely.

Andrew: And take a picture of ourselves wearing them in public.

Laura: Yeah, sure I will.

Andrew: Micah is going to be out in Times Square taking a picture of himself.

Micah: Absolutely.

Kevin: I’m sorry. Andrew, you know – you know I don’t go into public.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Not in sunlight, anyway.

Kevin: I’m reclusive, you know? I just sit in my house, crying the day away.

Andrew: [laughs] Force yourself.

Micah: Well, this can be a one-time only…

Kevin: Okay.

Andrew: Just run… Yeah, just run out into the street.

Micah: All your fans are going to come out just to see you.

Andrew: [ laughs] Yeah.

Kevin: I think that would be a reason for me to stay indoors as well.

Micah: Yeah.

Kevin: But, no…

Eric: [singing] Stoop kid’s a… The stoop…

Andrew: So, don’t forget to that. It’s going to be a lot of fun and we’re going to be taking over the world in just one single day. So, don’t forget to purchase a MuggleCast T-shirt. It’s too late to get it for National Wear Your MuggleCast T-Shirt Day, but it’s never too late to look cool. Ding!

And just one final note. Last week, oh boy, I messed up big time. I accidentally spoiled the OC finale for our foreign listeners. And…

[Micah laughs]

Kevin: Oh yeah, I got a couple – I got a couple of angry fans.

Laura: Oh no! [mockingly]

Kevin: Yep.

Andrew: Oh wait, on the voicemail?

Laura: Marrrisssa!!!

Kevin: No, not on the voicemails…

Andrew: Oh.

Kevin: …but they sent me e-mails directly, saying…

[Andrew laughs]

Kevin: …”Tell Andrew and Ben to stop spoiling the OC finale…

Andrew: Yeah.

Kevin: …because we’re very upset.”

Andrew: We got a ton of e-mails – like, I got a ton of e-mails too. I’m really [laughs] – I’m sincerely sorry for doing that. [laughs] I know I would be upset if I got it spoiled for me too.

Kevin: So, we had – for the first time we had fans listening to MuggleCast crying because they were actually sad.

Laura: I know.

Andrew: [laughs]. Yeah, so.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Yeah, what Andrew is failing to mention is that several people sent knives and letter bombs to Ben in the PO Box…

Andrew: Oh, yes.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: …and that’s why he’s not on this week. He’s…

Kevin: Which he has not gotten to yet. So…

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Thankfully. All right.

Eric: So, he’ll have a surprise waiting for him.

Andrew: So…

Kevin: Let’s just have Laura open all the mail for us from now on.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: She’s not a sacrifice.

Laura: Thanks!

Andrew: For the millionth time. [laughs]

[Laura laughs]

Kevin: I’m sorry, I forget these things.

Andrew: Yeah, so sorry about that, everyone, and I’ve learned my lesson. [laughs] So…

[Kevin and Laura laugh]

Listener Rebuttal – Swearing

Andrew: Ah, all right. This week’s listener rebuttals – we’ve got a lot of them. She writes to us concerning swearing in the books. She says:

Hey guys, Jakki K here. I’m new to MuggleCast but I love it, awesome job! Anyway, I just have a quick comment about the swearing topic from Episode 40. I read like all the time, so I have to say when it comes to swearing in books (espically those for people 12 and older) the book almost needs it or it sounds too childish. So I think that when it comes to swearing in books for emphasis, it makes the book better, in some ways. Like, if you took out Ron’s little catchphrase, “Bloody Hell!” for example, it just wouldn’t be the same. You almost have to have some “appropriate” swearing in books, otherwise, they just aren’t as good.

Eric, you never got your say in this last week, what do you think?

Eric: I would agree with this, I think. But, at the same time it’s like – yeah, JKR is not the kind of author who is going to swear just to swear. And, I mean her characters may swear just to show they grow up or whatever, but it’s not in excess. There’s not too much swearing in the books. And I think when it is, it’s just a symbol of the – them growing up and them being able to use dialogue more lucratively.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: That’s a word, right? Lucratively?

Andrew: Yeah. I think so.

Eric: Okay, cool.

Andrew: Our next…

Kevin: Inventing words here on MuggleCast.

[Everyone laughs]

Listener Rebuttal – Not all Christians Hate Harry Potter

Andrew: Our next rebuttal comes from Niki, 25, of Ohio. She writes concerning last week’s “Give Me A Butterbeer.”

I just wanted to let everybody know that not all Christian parents are against Harry Potter. I’m a 25-year-old stay at home mom of two toddlers. I’m also very involved in my church and I’m a huge fan of HP. I’ve often said that I can’t wait for my toddlers to be old enough to read Harry Potter. I think that people who are trying to ban the books for religious reasons is an insult to my intelligence and my faith. I find Harry Potter a heartbreaking, albeit fiction story of a young boy overcoming evil knowing it’s the harder road and that he and his loved ones could die in the process. Also, I think it’s a good example of character and growth for young kids who may go the wayward path due to peer pressure, even for Christian kids. I wanted to thank you for doing this segment. I loved it.

Kevin: You’re welcome!

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: We caused a little bit of controversy last week with this Butterbeer segment.

Laura: I don’t think anyone meant to imply that all Christians are against Harry Potter. Not all.

Kevin: I mean, there are always going to be people out there that are more fanatical than…

Laura: That take things to the extreme.

Kevin: Exactly!

Laura: Yeah.

Kevin: Although fanatical, I wouldn’t say fanatical. I mean it’s their own faith and they choose how to follow it, but there are some people who do take things very seriously and others that are somewhat normal. [laughs]

Micah: Then don’t read it!

Andrew: Right.

Micah: No one is forcing you to.

Kevin: Yes, but I think the people – I think at least I noticed in my e-mail box, there were people upset thinking that we were trying to stereotype all Christians.

[Laura laughs]

Kevin: Which is not the case.

Andrew: Exactly. And like Kevin said last week, he is Christian and so am I and…

Kevin: Catholic.

Andrew: Or Catholic.

Kevin: Yes.

Andrew: And so am I. So…

Eric: And am I.

Kevin: That’s another thing, I got a lot of e-mails about my comments on The Da Vinci Code, and do I have to say that not everyone in the Catholic Church is supportive of The Da Vinci Code.

Laura: No, not at all.

Kevin: And it’s much like Harry Potter where you have a separation.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: But you know what’s happening with that?

Kevin: So…

Eric: The Vatican is now saying that they were forced to speak out against the movie. They are saying now that movie now is a lot less controversial than the book, which is my opinion. But now they are saying that they were forced for a media ploy to actually speak out against it, and really they felt the movie was dull and tiring.

Kevin: It actually wasn’t that great of a movie.

Eric: I don’t know. I found it compelling.

Kevin: It wasn’t all that great.

Eric: But, I don’t know. It’s…

Kevin: But…

Eric: It seems like by admitting to participating this marketing ploy, they’re also admitting to just trying to waive the public into seeing the movie or something like that, like manipulating.

Kevin: Yeah, and I think the whole point of both Harry Potter and The Da Vinci Code when they have religious implications, is that you have to realize that it’s fiction when you’re reading it.

Eric: But also the…

Kevin: Not everyone’s going to enjoy it because some people believe it questions their faith and other things such as that, but it is fiction – and so long as you realize that, it’s not a big deal.

Eric: And there are books that are meant to question faith and there are ones that do it anyway. Even if they aren’t like, intended to – like Da Vinci Code

Kevin: Oh, of course.

Eric: …would seem like it’s obviously more into it but that’s just something like that so…

Kevin: Right.

Listener Rebuttal – Norwegian Translations

Andrew: Alright, next rebuttal. Christian, 17, of Norway. He writes:

“I hate the Norwegian translations. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them!”

[Andrew and Eric laugh]


“However, I don’t think the translations are bad.”

[Everyone laughs]


“It is just that I started reading the British versions of Harry Potter before the release of Book 3, and I really liked them in English. I didn’t read the Norwegian version until I was done with the British book number four. However, I daresay I can pinpoint what is wrong with the Norwegian translation. It is translated as a children’s book. At the early books the translators must have thought, ‘Awww, what a cute book for children,’ not considering the possibility that it might become something else later in the series. They have translated most of the names (apart from Harry Potter of course), where I dont think the names really need to be translated, and in my opinion, the translation is in general quite childish. However, children in Norway love the Norwegian translations, and I am sure many grown-ups do as well. This is what they are used to, this is what they are getting. All the hardcore Harry Potter fans I know read the British version of the books anyway, so as long as everyone can get what they want.”

That’s really a shame that the – [laughs] something as simple as the names get translated to something childish. Although, I’m not sure exactly…

Kevin: How they get – yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Kevin: But at the same time, I mean – I don’t see why they would try translating the names. If there’s not an equivalent, just keep the name the same.

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: I mean, names – the whole concept of a name…

Andrew: Which they do often.

Kevin: Yeah. I mean, it’s a proper noun, so it’s not as though it’s different from language to language. You can call me Kevin in whatever language you want to call me Kevin in and it will still mean the same thing.

Andrew: Right.

Kevin: It’s not like you’re translating the meaning of a word.

Eric: Hey, Kevin.

Kevin: Yes?

Eric: I just addressed you in Thai.

Kevin: Exactly.

Eric: Oh except they would say “kay” – they would…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Nevermind – no they wouldn’t say “hey.” Nevermind. Whatever.

[Andrew, Kevin, and Laura laugh]

Listener Rebuttal – Translation of Names

Andrew: Another translation rebuttal comes from Trisha, 13, of California. She writes:

“A lot of names are different to make them sound more French, but I think that the kids who read them understand that the books are English. For example, the title of the first book is literally, “Harry Potter at the Wizard’s School.”

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: …I think some translators could do a better job than that!” I mean, it relates to the book, but – [laughs]

Kevin: Yeah, that’s pretty bad. Yeah.

Andrew: I mean, if you go to France and you say, “Hey, I’m looking for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” they’re gonna be like, “What?”

Eric: I think American influence would probably make them realize what it is you’re talking about. But at the same time, you’re right, and these kinds of translations – you know, to either more childish terms or less descriptive terms as the Norwegian man was saying, or just things like Harry Potter at the Wizard’s School. It’s all about who translates and things, and like the Norwegian man came up as a solution – if you understand English, to read the British books. I mean, that’s really the mother language. I bought the British books – not because I wasn’t content with the US books, but because I wanted to read exactly what JKR wrote or what exactly – what got into the British versions of the books. I just felt it was more pure no matter if it was still in English in the US or not. Maybe I’m weird.

Listener Rebuttal – Translation of ‘Lunatico’

Andrew: And one last translation-related rebuttal comes from John of Georgia. Shoutout to Laura.

“Hey guys. On the last episode, Laura mentioned that in the first Spanish translation of Prisoner of Azkaban that they used the word ‘Lunatico’ in place of ‘Moony.’ I don’t speak Spanish, but I was curious and decided to look up the term. While the direct translation of the word is indeed ‘lunatic,’ I found a description of the word’s etymology; it was written in Spanish on the website, but I managed to translate it: ‘Lun┬Ětico’…”

I like saying that.

“…refers to someone that suffers from madness in intervals, which is to say not all the time. The word ‘lun┬Ětico’ comes from the Latin ‘lunicatus’?”

Eric: Lunicatus. [laughs]


“…and is related to the phases of the moon. In the time
of the Romans, they noticed that certain crimes, suicides and mad
behavior were more frequent during the nights of the full moon. I
imagine that these things were more noticeable at the time, when the
lunar calendar was still in use before the reign of Julius..” or Hulius, “…Caesar.”

Eric: [laughs] Hulius.

Kevin: [laughs] Hulius.

Laura: You know, I feel – I feel very put to shame because I am …

Andrew: Wait, hold on, wait. It’s not done yet. [laughs]

Laura: Oh, okay. I thought you were done. I’m sorry.

Eric: You can feel put to shame in a minute.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: It’s been bottling up. [laughs]

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Kevin: Bottling up the shame.

Eric: He’s not done yet.

Andrew: [laughs]

“So actually the name ‘Lunatico’ makes a lot of sense, since Lupin was prone to mad behavior in intervals, and during nights when there was a full moon.”

Laura: You know…

Andrew: Now you can be…

Laura: I can feel put to shame. [laughs]

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: I feel put to shame because I am semi-proficient in Spanish, and I went all over the internet trying to find some sort of translation for “lunatico,” and I couldn’t find anything, so I just sort of came to the assumption that it was kind of a nonsense word, like “Moony” is in English. So thank you for pointing that out to me and I’m going to go cry in my corner now. [laughs]

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Feeling put to shame.

Andrew: See you in a few, Laura. All right, that does it for this weeks rebuttals.

History of MuggleCast

Andrew: Well, ladies and gentlemen, moving along right now. It was one year ago today, Sunday, May 28th, that the idea for MuggleCast – [sniffles] I’m going to cry – was spawned.

Laura: [laughs] Spawned.

Andrew: It was brought up in our staff forums…

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: …by our very very own Sara – who is an editor at the MuggleNet editorial section, which is absolutely fantastic – and she had seen a segment on podcasting on her local news station, and after hearing about it, thought it’d be a good idea for a MuggleNet show, so she brought it up in our staff forums, and from there [laughs] – it was all downhill from there!

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: No, it was…

Eric: About five weeks later when somebody noticed her topic…

[Everyone laughs]

Kevin: It’s true, yeah.

Andrew: No, to be honest, when – when I first saw that brought up and I read what she was saying about it, I got all excited as – as all of you can check back in the staff forums and read – because I had already listened to This Week In Tech…

Kevin: Now we’re gonna have people looking for the staff forums.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Well, I had originally been into podcasting even before this was brought up because I’d listen to This Week In Tech, and the Daily Report.

Kevin: Oh yeah. Both of us were.

Andrew: Yeah, and then we were throwing the idea around for MuggleCast for a good month and a half, and people were trying to get on. Laura, do you want to explain your story? Because yours is pretty amusing.

Laura: [laughs] Yeah. Originally I was supposed the be on the pilot episode of MuggleCast and I…

Andrew: That we never intended of releasing, mind you.

Laura: Yeah and I remember it wasn’t even – I don’t even think it was this crew of people that were going to be on originally.

Kevin: Oh, no. Definitely not. I wasn’t going to be on originally.

Laura: And…

Andrew: Not even Kevin – I’m not – I don’t even think Ben was. Ben originally wanted to just listen in. He didn’t actually…

Laura: Yeah. I remember that.

Andrew: Do you remember that?

Laura: It was going to be like, me, you, Jess, Ciaran, and some other people.

Kevin: We are all shy at the time. You have to realize this.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: And Tom, I think.

Laura: And I remember…

Kevin: The whole recording voices was new to us.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: I go into the staff forum and I see Andrew makes this post, and he’s like, “Just be on between 6 PM and midnight, and we’ll do it sometime between then.” And I’m like, “Okay!”

[Andrew and Kevin laugh]

Laura: “That sounds good.” And so I sat there…

Micah: That sounds familiar.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Yeah. That’s kind of like how it goes now.

Kevin: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: And so I sat there for, like, hours, waiting for this thing to happen, and I didn’t hear anything – and the next day I go in and look, and Andrew’s like, “The audio equipment didn’t work so we didn’t do it.”

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: And I was like, “Okay, okay. We’ll see how this goes.”

Kevin: And so we actually need equipment.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Kevin: Our high-tech equipment here at MuggleCast to use.

Laura: And, yeah. So I figure – I figure within the next couple of weeks there’s going to be another post in the staff forum, or someone’s going to IM everybody or send out an email…

[Kevin laughs]

Laura: I never see anything. And then one day this post comes up in the staff forums and it’s like, “It’s done! Me, Ben, and Kevin did it!”

[Andrew and Kevin laugh]

Laura: And I was like, “What?!”

[Andrew and Micah laughs]

Laura: And I got so mad! And all I did was just complain and whine and moan for weeks on end until they let me on.

Kevin: I know. And you know what was funny about that…

Laura: I wouldn’t shut up.

Kevin: It was me – It was Andrew, Ben and I – we were, what, we were chatting online in the middle of the night. It was probably like, what? Two o’clock in the morning?

Andrew: I don’t remember this at all. [laughs]

[Laura laughs]

Kevin: And then we just decided to record. Out of nowhere we’re just like, “Hey. We should just record this.”

Andrew: Get it over with.

Kevin: And we did. Yup.

Andrew: Yep.

Laura: So it’s your fault.

Kevin: It is my fault.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: I blame you. Okay.

Kevin: You should blame me.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: And here’s another secret…

Kevin: Everyone blame me for all the misgivings in MuggleCast.

Eric: For the existence of MuggleCast?

[Laura laughs]

Kevin: Exactly. Yeah.

Andrew: Ben and I…

Eric: Darn you, Kevin.

Andrew: Ben and I – we’re kind of kicking ourselves now. Ben and I were trying to find the original MuggleCast files from the first episodes, because it took us about ten minutes just to get past the introduction.

Kevin: [laughs] It was funny. It’s true. [laughs]

Andrew: [laughs] And I kept trying to do it and we just didn’t know how to start it off. And then Ben finally got it so that’s why he sort hosted of that first episode. Kevin, I don’t – I never asked you. You don’t have those files, do you?

Kevin: I could look.

Andrew: ‘Cause – well, go ahead and look. That would – that would be really cool to have those.

Kevin: I’m a pack rat.

Andrew: I mean, I’m pretty sure Ben recorded it but he had to re-format his computer and he lost everything so…

Kevin: When it comes to files…

Andrew: So anyway…

Kevin: …I keep many.

Andrew: Yeah.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: And the original idea for the podcast was to provide news updates for the listeners, and it was only gonna last like, 20, 30 minutes. It was just going to be like, [Impersonates a deep voice] “Here’s the latest news.” [laughs]

[Laura laughs]

Micah: Was that an impersonation?

Andrew: That was it, and…

Kevin: Of himself, yes.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Yes. That was my – that was my news impersonation.

How Micah Got On

Andrew: Before Micah. Micah, you’re only on the MuggleNet staff because of MuggleCast.

Kevin: Yeah, he started harassing me. Yeah.

Micah: Yeah, that’s right – and thanks to Kevin.

Andrew: Do you remember how you got on? Yeah. [Laughs]

Micah: It’s all due to Kevin, actually. We were sending emails back and forth to each other, I think after the first episode came out, trying to come up with ideas for how to make the show better or just to make some changes, and… Do you remember that one day, Andrew? You and I just went back and forth trying to – we were working on some kind of intro or something like that.

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: And…

Andrew: Yeah, because you didn’t want to do news at first. You wanted to intro the show with your – you had, like, a little summary you were going to do before each episode. And then that just didn’t really work out, so I said, “How about you start doing the news?” Is that right?

Micah: Something like that. I think I first said to you, well – something about transcripts. I don’t know why the hell I asked you about that. [Laughs]

[Everyone laughs]

Kevin: Oh geez.

Micah: But…

Eric: Ladies and gentlemen, this presents Micah’s undoing.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: Exactly. No, I think the transcripts came first, and then a week or two later you’re like, “Do you want to do the news?” And I said, “Yeah, sure.” And it went from there.

Andrew: And here we are, 41 episodes later.

Name Ideas

Andrew: You know, I was looking through this – one of the threads in the MuggleCast staff forum that doesn’t exist anymore.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: But there was one thread for name ideas, and I thought it would be fun if we mention a couple of the names here.

Laura: Oh yeah! I remember that! [Laughs]

Kevin: Oh yeah.

Andrew: I don’t remember what order exactly they went in – I have them written down here. But Ben suggested two, and hopefully we’re not saying these and everyone is going to be like, “Whoa, I love that name!”

Kevin: Yeah.

Andrew: “Why didn’t you use it?”

[Everyone laughs]

Kevin: “Your current name is stupid compared to that name.”

Andrew: Two of the names Ben suggested was “The Wizarding Wire” and “Wizarding Wireless.” And “Wizarding Wireless” sort of went down the chute because it sounded too much like a mobile phone sort of thing.

Kevin: Yeah, especially with… yeah.

Andrew: I don’t know why – that doesn’t make sense. Wizarding Wireless? [laughs]

Kevin: Yeah, I doesn’t.

Andrew: I don’t know what he was thinking.

Andrew: And then I brought up the idea of MuggleCast and some people…not everyone liked it at first, and I don’t know if people still don’t like it.

Kevin: Yeah, I remember that, you were polling people to see if they actually liked it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Kevin: But it sort of caught on.

Andrew: Because people thought it didn’t – yeah, and people didn’t think it rolled off the tongue easily. I don’t know, I guess we kind of gotten used to it.

Kevin: Now it does. It’s a common name – now it does [laughs].

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, and here’s another one that would have been problematic. “PodderCast.” P-O-D-D-E-R-C-A-S-T. That was suggested by Ben. And then it got worse. Sara suggested “iPotterCast”, P-O-T-T-E-R, and then just “PotterCast.” And that would have been a problem!

[Everyone laughs]

Kevin: Yes, it would have.

Laura: Yeah.

[Everyone still laughing]

Kevin: Especially since someone bought the domain far, far in advance.

Andrew: Yeah. We would have looked for it and went, “Uh-oh.”

Kevin: Yeah.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: There’s another show called PotterCast?

Andrew: That’s what I hear.

Kevin: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: That’s the rumor around the – yeah, so…

Kevin: On the wire?

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: We should do a search for it, have a listen.

Andrew: Do a what?

Laura: Do a search for it.

Micah: You don’t want to give them any more hits.

Laura: Have a listen.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: All right, how about “iPotterCast”? Yeah, so, there you go. August 7, 2005 was the first episode. It took us – we sort of were killing time, we weren’t really rushing to put out the first episode because we were all really unsure of it. We didn’t know how it was going to work. But like I said, I just want to take a second to thank Sara for originally suggesting the idea. And once we got into it and started planning it, she was so happy for us and she was – she kept saying to us, “I’m so sure this is going to take off, this is going to be a big hit.” And sure enough, she was right, and it did. So thanks, Sara. We had her on a few weeks ago for an editorial segment.

Laura: Yep.

Andrew: Right?

Laura: Mhm.

Micah: Yep.

Kevin: And no one would have known…

Andrew: It’s gone unmentioned until now.

Kevin: …that she was the Godmother of…

Andrew: Yeah, she is.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: The Godmother.

Andrew: She really is.

Eric: Kevin?

Kevin: Yes?

Eric: I just addressed you in Swahili.

[Everyone laughs]

Kevin: Ah, okay.

Chapter by Chapter – “The Forbidden Forest”

Andrew: All right, so let’s move on to Chapter by Chapter. This week, Chapter 15 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – or Harry Potter and the Wizarding School, if you live in France – [laughs] titled “Forbidden Forest.”

Eric: Chapter Fifteen, “The Forbidden Forest,” starts off with, I guess, Harry and Hermione and Neville and Draco in McGonagall’s office – is that correct? Do you guys…?

Kevin: Yes, I believe so.

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s right.

Eric: And they’re getting punished for the whole Norbert event. It turns out that Neville heard that Draco was going to try and see Harry off, get him in trouble. And basically, the four of them were all out of bed and they all got a lot of points lost for Gryffindor and four detentions. Now in the aftermath of Norbert’s events, or those events, Harry’s really disliked – like, all the Gryffindors suddenly hate him. It says something about him going from being the most liked person in Gryffindor to one of the most hated. In fact, his own Quidditch team refers to him, during conversations, in third person as “the Seeker.” And this kind of reminded me of the Dursleys who used to refer to him as “the boy” right to his face. So once again, we find that he is being referred to in the third person. That’s kind of interesting.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, it’s…

Eric: Well, not interesting. It’s just demeaning…

Laura: It’s sad.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: It just kind of sucks. So, because of all this stuff, Harry’s resigned himself not to poking around. He’s like, “I’m just simply not going to do any poking around because it doesn’t do us any good.” Now, that isn’t really how things happen in the future when he gets in trouble. He’s never like, “Oh, I’m never going to do this again.” It kind of just empowers him. So do you guys think that maybe something changed that? Because he vows to himself never to poke around again, but that doesn’t really ever happen.

Laura: Well, I think he comes to realize that there’s something very different and special about him in the fact that he has Voldemort constantly after him, and he knows that he has to defeat him. So I think it’s more of a responsibility that he feels. Kind of an obligation.

Kevin: Yeah, definitely.

Andrew: Yeah, I was going to say I don’t think he can hold back.

Eric: Yeah – can hardly help himself. Here’s something you all should enjoy talking about, at least. Hagrid says, “Nothing in this forest will hurt yeh if you’re with me and Fang.” [Laughs] And…

[Kevin coughs]

Andrew: But Fang’s a wimp.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Yeah, as long as – yeah sure, just mention Hagrid’s name and you’re not going to get eaten by giant spiders or anything.

Kevin: Or, you know, get attacked by Voldemort himself.

Eric: Or, it’s a hundred children – yeah.

Why Did Dumbledore Let the Detention Happen?

Andrew: One question I wanted to bring up here was what goes on with choosing a detention. Did Dumbledore know about this? Like, he insists in the beginning that the Forbidden Forest is strictly off limits, so why?
Why, why, why can Hagrid just take them out there for a detention?

Eric: It’s a brilliant question, considering what happens.

Kevin: Yeah, and a lot of people wondered that. I know that before Book 4 and 5, a lot of people were wondering exactly why they would bring the kids into this incredibly dangerous place.

Andrew: Yeah, and not to mention that Dumbledore doesn’t give Hagrid any flack about it. At least, we don’t see any.

Eric: No. Well, the thing is also, considering the outcome and considering what it does for the plot, Firenze later on in the forest – you know, at the end of the detention, goes and pretty much tells Harry that it’s Voldemort trying to seek the stone, and this whole final puzzle piece comes right into play. And it’s interesting to wonder if Dumbledore knew or could prevent their detention, because if he did know about it, he certainly chose not to, and it seems like that was a smart idea. Like if he knew what was going to happen – and then because that allowed everything to fall into place and Harry was able to then worry for Quirrell and pay closer attention, and the trio were able to do the things they did.

Micah: That’s a pretty big risk to take.

Kevin: I know, it’s like…

Laura: Yeah.

Kevin: …”Hey, let’s…”

Eric: But, is it?

Kevin: Yeah, but at the – it is a big risk because at the time, Dumbledore did know about the prophecy, so he did know that if he’s giving Voldemort the opportunity to get to Harry, then of course it’s a risk. I mean, knowing that Voldemort is the only person who can kill Harry, and Harry – so you’re basically saying…

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: “Hey Harry, your first year, you have no skills to defend yourself and yet, hey, go into the forest and hope Voldemort doesn’t attack.”

Eric: Well, that’s right. And I don’t quite agree with that kind of logic. That makes sense that he wouldn’t do that. But at the same time, at the end of the year, Dumbledore admitted to thinking that Harry should have a right to face Voldemort himself. And that kind of thing – I don’t like the idea of Dumbledore necessarily just leaving Harry alone, but he was protected by Firenze, we saw. It’s not to say that Dumbledore said, “Yo, Firenze, go disobey your own culture and go save this boy for me while I let him out there to die.” I don’t think that happened, but at the same time, what did happen is he was protected, and I’m not against the idea that Dumbledore may have known what was going to happen or may have let the detention take place.

Kevin: Well, I don’t only think it’s – I don’t only think it’s that. I think it’s – we’ve seen throughout the books that Dumbledore has tried not to shelter Harry too much.

Laura: Mhm.

Kevin: And I think that Dumbledore is sort of going on faith that he’ll – you know what I mean? Like, what happens, happens kind of thing? I don’t know. Because he…

Eric: Kind of.

Kevin: …he hasn’t really tried to shelter Harry all that much, if you noticed. He let Harry get into some pretty sticky situations.

Laura: Yeah, he has. [Laughs]

Could Voldemort Have Killed Harry?

Eric: Well the question is also, too, could Voldemort have even killed Harry in that kind of state?

Kevin: I believe so, absolutely.

Eric: I mean, if you think about it – well, I don’t know. The centaur – what was it, Ronan or Bane or somebody, just jumped over Harry and kind of charged at it and it flew away.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Like, Voldy-Quirrell thing just flew away…

Kevin: Yeah. I mean…

Eric: …and I mean, a centaur is obviously more powerful than a child, but Voldemort in his weakened state probably could have attacked Harry. But I don’t know if it could have killed him before help couldn’t have arrived.

Kevin: Oh, I think he could have killed him, though. I…

Laura: Well, I don’t know. Voldemort in his weakened state killed plenty of other people. He killed Frank Bryce.

Eric: But that was years later.

Kevin: I think the question is is that…

Eric: That makes sense.

Kevin: I think the question…

Laura: But still – he was still weakened.

Kevin: I think the question we should be asking ourselves is, could Harry have defended himself?

Andrew: No.

Kevin: Because although Harry seemed weak, he has been known to cast magic without actually meaning to in def – you know.

Eric: Hmm. Like ending up on the school roofs.

Kevin: Exactly – in defense of himself.

Laura: Mhm.

Kevin: So you wonder if a fluke would have happened, just – you know what I mean?

Eric: Maybe he would’ve…

Laura: Yeah, possibly.

Eric: Maybe he would’ve caught another updraft. [laughs]

Kevin: Exactly. [laughs]

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Eric: Just found himself on top of a tree.

Kevin: Yeah.

Andrew: In this situation when he was caught – he was caught so off-guard, and he was nervous this time around, and in situations like – what was your example you just said, Eric? When he went to chase – chase after Draco?

Kevin: The school, yeah.

Harry’s Scar

Eric: Well, since we did go a little bit ahead in the notes here, it’s important to point out the other aspect of what we’re talking about, at least with Voldemort and Harry, is that this first time – or rather, this meeting between Harry and Voldy-Quirrell has triggered Harry’s scar hurting. For the very first time, his scar itself, as a single entity – just his scar – burns like fire.

Kevin: Oh, I didn’t really notice that.

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: You’re right.

Eric: It’s from then on – it serves – and we know throughout the series that it later serves as a warning beacon and that kind of thing; but before their first meeting, it was like an un-active entity. So do you guys think that this proves or disproves the Horcrux theory? Since – like, his scar being a Horcrux? Because it only started like, taking effect or doing something in the presence of Voldemort – or maybe that reinforces it. But the question is, would he have had weird, strange dreams or that kind of thing earlier in his life? Would his scar have done things separately?

Kevin: I think the actual pain he feels in his scar was explained by the Occ – how do you pronounce it? [mispronounces] Occlumency?

Eric: [mispronounces] Occlumency.

Laura: Occlumency?

Eric: Occlumency.

Kevin: Yeah. I mean, I think that’s – that essentially has been explained. I don’t think it proves or disproves the Harry being a Horcrux theory.

Eric: So wait, what about Occlumency triggers the scar?

Kevin: Well, because didn’t they mention in the fifth or sixth book it’s due to the link between Voldemort and Harry – like, the physical, mental link between them?

Eric: I think it is a link.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: Well, it allows for a link. It at least allows for like, a – I think it’s called an axis or something like that.

Kevin: Exactly. And I think that – that’s as simple as it gets. I mean, I think…

Eric: Okay.

Kevin: …it’s just because of the fact of them being mentally connected somehow.

Eric: So, they hadn’t – and physically they hadn’t been closer since the first night.

Kevin: Well, it’s not only that. It’s that Voldemort wasn’t in any state to – I think they described him as being sort of like a spirit just wandering, trying to – you know what I mean? He wasn’t all that powerful.

Eric: Oh wait. Oh wait, nevermind. This is all ruined. A listener rebuttal is – a thousand listener rebuttal-ers were going to send in their rebuttals. I – the first time Harry’s scar hurts is at the opening banquet with Snape.

Kevin: Right! Yup. That’s what – okay.

Eric: I’m sorry. Okay. Then this is a little tainted…

Andrew: [laughs] A little?

Eric: …the way I presented it.

Andrew: “The first time ever!” [laughs]

Eric: But was there anything – okay! So it wasn’t “the first time ever!” okay? It was the second time ever, maybe. But, you know…

Kevin: You tricked us! You tricked us!

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Okay, okay. I’m sorry. But basically speaking, it’s still a good conversation that we’re having about this whole scar entity thing because at least then he knows – like, it was a direct thing that we saw that really triggered his scar…

Kevin: Exactly. Yeah.

Eric: I don’t know. I don’t know. Screw it.

Laura: Well, I thought – whenever you said that, I thought that maybe it said something the first time about his head just hurting. I couldn’t remember if it was specifically referencing his scar or not. So…

Eric: In the movie, it’s definitely his scar. But then again, in the movie…

Laura: So I was like, “Okay. Yeah.” [laughs]

Eric: Yeah. Okay. Forget it. But in the summarizing – I fail, I’m sorry. I fail at summarizing. We forgot to mention…

[Laura laughs]

Eric: …okay, yeah, they get the detention, it’s in the Forbidden Forest, and they – Filch leads them out one night and talks about all the old punishments and crap, and how they were so much better, blah blah. And then they go into the forest with Hagrid and they split up. Now, what happens is, Hagrid establishes that they split up into two groups: Hagrid and – I guess it’s… no, Fang and Neville, and then Hagrid, Hermione, and Harry?

Andrew: I think that’s it.

Eric: Are those the two groups?

Andrew: They reorganize a little bit later.

Eric: Okay. And he says…

Laura: Well, Draco went with – Draco went with Neville originally.

Eric: At first. Yeah, right.

Laura: Yeah.

Sparks From Wands

Eric: And so he said, “Okay, we’re in search of this unicorn that’s been injured,” and he says, “Well, if you find it, use – shoot up green sparks and we will see it and come find you. But if something happens and you should either be attacked or in danger, send up red sparks.” Now, this whole sparks with the wands thing, how do you guys think this works? I mean, when Harry first got his wand, it shot out red and gold sparks, which probably just means Gryffindor. But later in the series, like in Goblet of Fire and things, they were supposed to send out, like, red sparks to be found then too. So is there like, a spell or – because there’s a difference between red and green sparks, is there a different spell for – for sending out different sparks?

Kevin: I don’t think it’s…

Eric: Like, how is that even done?

Kevin: Sparks leads me to believe that it’s sort of like a backfire – like a sort of like a mistake, and it – it just – I think it’s one of those just natural things. I don’t think they were taught that. I don’t think there’s like a specific spell.

Andrew: Well…

Kevin: I think that when you first start playing with your – you know, with the wand, you start causing sparks as a result of misfiring a spell or something.

Eric: Do you think – so it’s something like you just have to think red, and then…

Kevin: Yeah, something like that. Or perhaps – I mean, or perhaps it could be a spell, but I don’t think it’s all that.

Andrew: In Goblet of Fire – I was just watching Goblet of Fire and he says a spell but I can’t – I can’t…

Kevin: Oh, that’s true. Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, he says Periculum. But I don’t think that was ever mentioned in the books, ever. Any time they talk about sending up sparks, it just says “Harry sent up red sparks.” Either it’s just something as natural as walking – you don’t really have to command your leg to walk…

[Eric laughs]

Laura: …or there’s just a spell and JKR didn’t really deem it all that important of mentioning.

Kevin: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah. It’d be interesting to look up Periculum, if that means anything – but I don’t think it…

Laura: I think it’s supposed to mean danger.

Eric: Oh. Peril.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: Peril. Like coming from pera – the latin something meaning something. I’m in Latin 2. Don’t bother me.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: So – well, this whole – lumos…

Andrew: Ooh.

Eric: …lumos – to lu – I mean don’t bother me ’cause it’s only Latin 2, it’s not like Latin – nevermind, I’m a bad student.

[Kevin laughs]

Eric: So – but lumos, lumos – to light up your wand, you need a spell, but sparks seems like it would be different and less – less spell-needing.

Micah: So let me ask you guys – the centaur comes after the sparks go up?

Eric: Yeah. The first time sparks are sent up, it’s just a warning because – it’s a false warning because Draco scares Neville and stuff. And then they change their groups and Draco’s with Harry and Fang, and Hermione is with Neville and Hagrid, and I…

Micah: Which is completely different from the movie.

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: Like, they don’t do the whole first part.

Laura: Yeah… Well, Neville’s not even in the woods with them in the movie.

Micah: Right.

Eric: Isn’t it – It’s not even – is it Ron? Like where – does Ron…

Laura: Yeah, it’s Ron that they throw in.

Micah: It’s Ron.

Eric: And that’s completely different, like, I was reading the book and I was like “Wait – why is Ron not here, and why is he staying behind?” But Harry finds Voldemort and gets scared off – and this whole centaur comes and scares him off, and he asks, eventually he asks – I don’t know how soon it is, but all the centaurs, except for Firenze, seem to keep asking Hagrid, “Do they teach up at the school?” Like, they do. They ask that at least two or three times. They’re like, “Do they teach up at the school,” and that’s a funny question. Like, what else would they do at the school? Or the centaurs – the centaurs seemed like accomplished people who were belittling human efforts, but I relate it to Professor Quir – I’m sorry, Professor Kirk from Narnia series, saying, “What do they teach in schools these days?”

Laura: I don’t know. I kind of took it as them mocking humans, just because they think that they’re more superior in every way, and I’m sure that that comes from centuries upon centuries of mistreatment and discrimination.

Eric: Oh!

Laura: So I just took it as Bane and the other centaurs being obnoxious, really.

Why Does McGonagall Hate Divination?

Andrew: Now let’s move on to “something about Divination.”

Eric: Right. In Book 1, Hermione says, “McGonagall hates Divination,” and she uses that to say Divination is crap. But this is curious, because even before we meet Professor Trelawney and even before all the books about McGonagall trying to discredit Trelawney and thinking she’s a fraud, and she is – but why does McGonagall hate Divination? This is mentioned – sorry, in Book 1 that McGonagall hates Divination. I just think that – but McGonagall doesn’t know about the prophecy.

Kevin: Well, you want to know the impression I got?

Eric: Sure.

Kevin: I got the impression that Divination should be left to the centaurs – like, the magical creatures. It gave me the sense that very few wizards are actually capable of doing it correctly, and therefore, there are a lot of wizards that…

Eric: Well, that’s true.

Kevin: I mean, it’s one of those unsure things that allow people to exploit it, you know? If I don’t know what I’m doing as a wizard – hey, why not pick up Divination? I can completely lie about what’s going to happen.

Eric: Oh, yeah. Well, that’s true. I mean, we found out that Trelawney can’t do anything useful with Divination, except when she’s in that trance. Apparently her great Seer ancestor could. But instead of McGonagall saying she hates when humans do it, or instead of just saying that McGonagall doesn’t believe in Trelawney – you know, McGonagall does that thing in Book 3 where she goes out and says how Divination itself is just interpretation and kind of crap. So do you think that she doesn’t like Divination because it’s imprecise, and just for that reason? Or do you think – I mean, we know she doesn’t know anything about the prophecy or anything like that.

Kevin: Well, no. I think that she doesn’t like it because of the…

Eric: Of its misuse. Of its potential.

Kevin: Exactly!

Andrew: Good point, Kev.

Eric: I don’t know. I just felt like she had some kind of personal connection with Divination because she scorns it like crazy. So… But I think it makes sense that it’s just something very able to abuse.

Micah: I think she’s very education-minded and she questions what this could possibly add to the value of these children’s education.

Eric: I think that’s accurate, because, Micah, if you realize it, in Julius Caesar – and in fact, pretty much everything that involves a prophecy, the person – the fate – the prophesied event comes true, even if they try not to make it true.

Micah: Well, that goes back to the whole part of – because you know what it said…

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: …you try to do everything possible to prevent it, and it ends up happening as a result of the events you took.

Eric: Which sucks.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

“Just in Case”

Eric: So finally, in closing – I think, unless you guys have notes, in which case that’d be great to bring them up – Dumbledore returns Harry’s cloak to him. He says, “Just in case.” It’s attached to a note. So, if Dumbledore didn’t know about detention, and assuming all that stuff – assuming he didn’t put Harry out in the forest on purpose… Personally, I feel Dumbledore actually arranged for that detention to be in the forest or something like that, but that’s just my own idea. He returns his cloak to him. So, why would he – you know, that’s just like saying, “Go get into mischief.”

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: It really, truly is. He’s saying it in such a way – “Just in case” – that it seems like he understands Harry’s need to poke a little bit.

Andrew: No, I think it’s because it was his dad’s, so it’s sort of like a close posession…

Kevin: Yeah, it’s…

Andrew: …of his.

Laura: Yeah, but why “Just in case,” then?

Kevin: Well, I mean, it’s a very powerful defense you’re giving him. You have to realize that being invisible is one of the greatest defenses you can give someone. If someone’s breaking into your house and you know that they’re not capable of detecting the cloak, you just put it over yourself, and hey! The house is empty. You know what I’m saying?

Laura: Yeah. That’s true.

Kevin: So, I mean, with “just in case,” I believe that Dumbledore was referring to the fact that “Just in case…”

Laura: Voldemort pops up in your dormitory?

Kevin: …you’re enter into a situation that – exactly.

Eric: It would have been nice to have that before the detention, but…

Kevin: Yeah. Exactly.

Eric: But that’s okay. It’s cool, because Dumbledore found the cloak to begin with. Like, I’m not surprised.

Kevin: I think it was – wasn’t it passed to him by the Potters?

Andrew: Well, we were discussing that a couple of episodes ago, weren’t we? Who…

Eric: Yeah, because – yeah, it’s ironic that you should mention the fact [laughs] that if you were in your house with an Invisibility Cloak, somebody could say the house is empty, because that’s exactly what happened with the Fidelius Charm, or what would’ve – what was supposed to happen, and then Pettigrew snitched and Voldemort went to their house. But if they still had the Invisibility Cloak [laughs], he could still find the house open…

Andrew: Right.

Eric: …or empty, and they didn’t, because they passed it to Dumbledore for some reason before they – before they went into hiding.

Micah: Yeah, but we also argued how Voldemort could probably see through it, and…

Laura: See through it – yeah.

Eric: But – well, if Dumbledore can, then it seems appropriate that another powerful wizard – it might as well be Voldemort, considering.

“Mars is Bright Tonight”

Eric: But, the final thing is that I want to mention with this chapter is the centaurs, and [laughs] – they’re really men-slash-horses of few words. Their choice words, I believe, in this chapter are, “Mars is bright tonight,” and, “The forest hides many secrets.” So, I think when we’re at Lumos, we should totally play Whose Line Is It Anyway, and play that one game…

[Micah laughs]

Eric: …where they have…

[Andrew, Kevin, and Laura laugh]

Eric: …several characters who only say one line, and two of us should only be able to say, “Mars is bright tonight,” and “The forest hides many secrets…”

[Micah laughs]

Eric: …and act out a whole scene.

Andrew: That does it for Chapter By Chapter. Good work, Eric! [laughs] You saved us! No. Well, yes.

Give me a Butterbeer – Discrimination

Andrew: Anyway [laughs], moving along to this week’s Give Me a Butterbeer. Ben is not with us this week; however, he has taken the liberty – this is how much he loves the listeners – he has taken the liberty to record it for us. He’s actually in Nebraska this week visiting his grandparents. Take it away, Benjamin Schoen!

Ben: I received an overwhelming response to last week’s topic. I would like to take the time now to clear something up: In last week’s episode when I weighed in on the debate over Harry Potter and Christianity, many people were upset because I stereotyped Christians. This is my mistake. I truly was not intending to convey that stereotype. I apologize to anyone that I offended or alienated.

Last week’s topic actually helped to spawn this week’s: Discrimination and Harry Potter. Throughout the entire Harry Potter series, Jo’s work has displayed many underlying moral lessons and conflicts that are in society. Early on, Harry learns that the conflicts with racism in the Muggle world actually spread over to the wizarding world. Rather than the bigotry spawning from someone’s race, it comes from their magical denomination. In the HP world, whether someone is half-blood, Muggle-born, or full-blood often times determines their social status in the eyes of certain people. Many stereotypes exist throughout the series. All giants are baby-eating human bulldozers. All Slytherins are evil and aspire to join Lord Voldemort. And all Hufflepuffs are lacking in brains and are worthless.

Stereotypes similar to these are quite prevalent in society. On September 11, 2001, the United States was sucker-punched by the terrorist organization known as Al-Qaeda. Following 9/11, the US banded together like never before. There was an outcry of support for the Americans who lost loved ones on that day and for the US government. Unfortunately, the attacks on the World Trade Center that fateful day in September led to a negative stigma towards the Muslim population in the United States. All of a sudden, anyone with a dark complexion was automatically stereotyped as a terrorist.

There are also many stereotypes in politics. If you are a Democrat, you automatically hate Bush, support abortion, and are against the death penalty. If you are Republican, you’re evil, have low ethical standards, and support the death penalty. Not all Democrats or Republicans really believe this way.

Stereotypes never really encompass the whole of the population. In Harry’s world, all of the Slytherins who joined the Death Eaters get all the attention, while those who may have performed good deeds get ignored. On 09/11, a few radical anti-Americans that represent an extremely small percentage of the Islamic population made a poor decision. The rest of the people of Arabian descent should not be forced to pay the price.

So, in short, we’re all equals here. Whether you are African-American, Caucasian, Arabian, Slytherin, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, or Hufflepuff, it’s important to remember that it’s not the group that makes you who you are – it’s you. So I’m Ben Schoen, and I say, “Give me a Butterbeer!”

Eric: I’m Eric Scull, and I say, “Bravo, Ben Schoen!”

Laura: Yeah!

Andrew: That was excellent, yeah.

Laura: I love this segment.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Has anyone else noticed how Ben is becoming more and more professional with the way he does these?

Kevin: He is, yeah.

Laura: Yeah…

Prejudice in the Series

Eric: He really is. One of the things – well, the thing that Ben is talking about is racism and prejudice in the series. But I think I’m probably a little bit correct in saying that racism in the whole series in general kind of really took place in the first two books, or definitely in the second book as a prominent theme, and then, with the exception of house-elves, even…

Kevin: Racism?

Eric: Well, prejudice. Prejudice.

Kevin: Okay.

Eric: Did prejudice even…

Kevin: Well, there’s a difference.

Eric: Okay, good point. But it only seems that prejudice really happened earlier in the series when the whole series as a whole felt more childish, so it kind of makes prejudice in general seem like – almost like it said that there’s prejudice, but it’s not really a real occurrence. We’re – in Book 6, we’re getting all these real world events happening, but none of them – that I know of at least – really have to do with prejudice. With the exception of the house-elves, which it seems like only Hermione is defending them, it doesn’t seem like they’re being – not many people are saying house-elves belong in the kitchen, but there just aren’t any people saying they don’t. Prejudice – in other words, I’m saying prejudice, while it may encompass the series, it doesn’t seem to be realistic, like realistically existant in Harry’s world as of Book 6. It’s not – it’s got to be still there. There have still got to be wizards who believe that they are better for being pureblood, but we just don’t see any of that, so it makes it seem like it was just Lucius Malfoy in Book 2.

Laura: Wouldn’t you agree, though, that the – a huge basis for the war and for Voldemort’s beliefs is prejudice? I mean, in Goblet of Fire, we had that Muggle family being tortured at the Quidditch World Cup, and there were attacks on Muggle towns in Half-Blood Prince. I think that a big part of this war is the fact that Voldemort is trying to prove that pureblooded wizards have superiority over everyone else, which is…

Eric: But that’s the same…

Laura: …ironic, because he’s half-blood, but…

Eric: Well yeah, but that’s also the thing about Voldemort. Why the Black family didn’t like Voldemort was they thought he was too fanatical. They supported the idea of purebloods being higher, but Voldemort goes after Muggles. He would target Muggles and half-bloods, and things like that. I think that Voldemort would kill everybody who’s not him. Voldemort just goes all out, and really – he’s out to destroy everybody, you know? And…

Kevin: Yeah, but at the same time, you have to remember his comments about his filthy Muggle father.

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: The whole reason why his father was filthy was because he was Muggle…

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: …not because he – but although, yes he’s indiscriminate on – or who he kills, he is in the fact that he hates Muggles.

Eric: So Voldemort is clearly worried – well not just Muggles, too, we have to somehow talk about how half-bloods and people less, like – people like…

Kevin: Yeah, but that’s what I’m saying. He, in his killing – although he seems very, “Hey who cares who I’m killing, I’m just killing someone.” He has specific hates against each of the people he kills because of a prejudice. He kills Muggles because they’re Muggles, not because – you know, he kills half-bloods because they’re half-blood. You know what I’m saying?

Eric: I’m wondering if his followers do. I mean, his followers are looking for some fun, a lot of them. Do they – people like Lucius Malfoy will use the word Mudblood, and they’ll use it freely just to do it, just to make people feel bad, just to belittle people and make themselves higher. But is it really used to kill people? Is it really – I mean, we’ve seen throughout the Hogwarts history. Slytherin – Salazar felt that only purebloods, and there it was a big deal, but I’m questioning whether all this prejudice – the house-elves thing is probably the closest example of prejudice that we can use that’s current in the Harry Potter series. But even then, like I said, it’s only really Hermione who feels any way in particular about that.

Laura: Well that’s because Hermione experience the prejudice first hand. I think that a lot of the time when you see that yourself, it sort of makes you kind of encompass it more, I suppose.

Kevin: Not to mention, just because no one else notices it doesn’t mean there’s no prejudice.

Eric: I agree. In fact, that’s the truth.

Micah: Eric, I agree with you. Book 2 was probably the biggest book in terms of the theme being all about prejudice, but I think it’s kind of something that kind of pervades the entire series, just because of what Laura was saying before. Hermione – every single book almost, any chance that Draco gets to point out that she’s a Mudblood he does, and it’s something that never goes away, and I think Jo tries to remind us of that. That it’s always going to be there, no matter what.

Eric: Okay. So even…

Laura: You know something…

Eric: Yeah.

Can Death Eaters Tell Purebloods from Mudbloods?

Laura: Something interesting that I noticed in Goblet of Fire – whenever they were running from the Death Eaters and they run into Draco in the woods, Draco said something like, “You might want to keep running. You don’t want them to see her,” and Harry said, “What are you talking about? She’s a witch, too,” and Draco said, “What? You think they can’t tell a Mudblood out from the rest of us?” What exactly is the distinguishing factor that makes someone able to look at someone of Muggle parentage?

Eric: I think it’s got to be common knowledge. It’s got to be something like common knowledge, because – pureblood, that’s the thing, too. Mudblood, I don’t know how they tell, but pureblood I think they could tell the difference between pureblood and half-blood and them…

Kevin: Well…

Eric: …because of the names of families or something.

Kevin: Exactly. That’s what I was going to say. It’s sort of like Bush or Kennedy. Everyone knows who Kennedy is. You know what I mean?

Laura: Mhm.

Kevin: And most people know who his family is, so it is probably very similar in the sense that…

Eric: So, if you don’t have a name like Kennedy….

Kevin: Or – no, it’s not that. It’s a common knowledge family name, and whenever any of the Kennedys has a child, everyone knows about it.

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: Yeah, but hold up. It’s not like the Death Eaters are going to be like, “Excuse me, what’s your name?” if they don’t know who they are.

Eric: Yeah. I mean, when they’re – Andrew has a valid point. When they’re running through the forest, I think Draco is just talk…

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: Right, exactly.

Eric: …because when they’re running through the forest, they’re not going to see this light above Hermione’s head and say, “Ooh, Mudblood. Let’s kill her!” So I think it’s a case of just Draco talking. But is Stan Shunpike – isn’t the point of Stan Shunpike getting throw into jail – wasn’t he a pureblood? Or wasn’t it something like that, where the government doesn’t even care who’s pureblood and who’s not because they just needed someone to lock up and throw better? But I thought it was pointed out somewhere that he was even a pureblood. He was getting treated like crap.

Laura: I’m not sure it ever…

Eric: I would be entirely wrong.

Laura: I’m not sure it ever pointed out what type of blood he was.

Eric: Okay.

Laura: I just though it was kind of an interesting point, because when you think about sort of mindless killings that happen all over the world – when you think about the genocide that happened in Rwanda in the 90s, you had the Hutus and the Tutsis, and you really couldn’t tell all that much of a difference between them, because they had gotten married over the years and they had children; but for some reason, they were able to see the differences that no one else could see, and they were killing each other. And it just seems like there are certain times, especially when Death Eaters get together in large groups, where they’re just going out, and they’re killing anyone who they think remotely looks Muggle-born, or is half-blood, or is just someone they don’t even recognize as being part of a pureblooded family.

Andrew: All right, so that concludes this week’s Give Me a Butterbeer. Thank you Ben. Ben will be back next week with another exciting edition, and if you have any ideas for something he should get a Butterbeer about, e-mail them to ben at staff dot mugglenet dot com. Thank you.

The Dueling Club – Umbridge vs. Mrs. Weasley

Andrew: Now let’s do a quick Dueling Club, and then we will hit up the voicemails. This week’s dueling club comes from Anthony from West Virginia. From Kaiser, West Virginia, to be exact. He asks: “Who would win in a duel of Mrs. Weasley versus Umbridge?” Now you’ve got two women here, and Mrs. Weasley, from what we’ve seen, she knows her housekeeping spells, – but Umbridge, we haven’t seen much magic out of her. Did we use her in a dueling club once before?

Micah: Yup. Against McGonagall.

Andrew: I can’t remember, Micah. What did we say…

Eric: Who won?

Andrew: …about Umbridge? She had – we haven’t seen enough – a lot of magic out of her.

Laura: Surely based on the fact that we haven’t seen much magic out of Umbridge, we can assume that she’s incompetent, which I think is a characteristic that she clearly exhibited in Order of the Phoenix, and based on that, I would have to say that Mrs. Weasley would totally own her.

Andrew: And Mrs. Weasley is pretty tough.

Eric: But the thing is, too…

Kevin: Yeah. [laughs]

Laura: Yeah, she is.

Eric: Mrs. Weasley is tough, and especially defensive of her kids and her young, but could Umbridge just sanction this government SWAT team to take out Mrs. Weasley? Is that probable? She has the power of the government.

Laura: Well, politically, yes, but I think we’re just talking about just a duel.

Andrew: This isn’t a political debate, this is…

Eric: But could she not sanction…

Andrew: Spells. Mrs. Weasley, everyone?

Kevin: Definitely Mrs. Weasley, especially if her kids were involved.

Laura: Oh yeah.

[Andrew laughs]

Andrew: Well, Umbridge has a little following too, now.

Laura: [laughs] Yeah, that’s true.

Kevin: Don’t get in between a mother and her kids. You’re asking for trouble.

Andrew: Oh, wait a second. Umbridge has a following, too. If you’re allowed to bring your kids in, Umbridge has a following with Draco and a few other Slytherins.

Kevin: No, I mean if the fight was over the kids.

Andrew: Oh! Oh yes.

Kevin: If the kids were involved somehow in the fight.

Voicemails – Fudge’s Denial

Andrew: Let’s move on to the general voicemail questions this week. Our first voicemail comes from a caller who questions Fudge’s opinions on Voldemort coming back.

[Audio]: Hi MuggleCast! My name is Laura, and I’m calling from Chicago. I have a question about Cornelius Fudge’s reaction to Voldemort’s return in Goblet of Fire. Back in Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10, in the Three Broomsticks, Fudge says, “I must say You-Know-Who alone and friendless is one thing… but give him back his most devoted servant, and I shudder to think how quickly he’ll rise again.” What struck me was that Fudge actually said, “how quickly he’ll rise again.” Fudge knows that Voldemort has a great chance of coming back, so why is he so surprised and quick to deny it when it happens? I found it surprising that nearly a year and a half before Voldemort actually rises again, he can admit to it. I just wanted to know what you thought. Thanks!

Eric: Hey Laura, it’s you from Chicago!

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: Yeah, I love your name, which is really cool, because I used to live in Chicago – but awesome.

Eric: Really?

Laura: Yeah!

Eric: Your parents were like, “Let’s be hicks.”

[Andrew laughs]

Kevin: Ohhh.

Laura: [laughs] No, how about my dad’s job was like, “Hey, you get to go live in Texas!”

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: Wait, you live in Texas?

Laura: I did. [laughs] And then I moved here.

Eric: Oh, you did. Yeah, I was going to say, and then they said, “Let’s be hicks,” and moved east. I just think it’s easier to believe something isn’t true.

Laura: Yeah, I think it was just a lot easier for Fudge to deny something than have to take the precautions that would be required if he thought Voldemort was making a return.

Kevin: I think it was very easy for him to make speculation when it wasn’t true, but all of the sudden when it was becoming reality, he was just very hesitant to come out with it.

Eric: To quote Brad Pitt, “How well do you know yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?” That was from Fight Club. But anyway, the question is, how well do you know yourself? You can say, “Oh yeah, I’m afraid of Voldemort, but we’re going to have to take precautions.” And then when it actually happens, you don’t do that. You don’t believe it because it’s much easier. It’s a lot – you know, you’re not exactly a bad person for doing it, but you’re not right.

Andrew: It just shows how much of a corrupt leader he is, and how – I just can’t believe they haven’t been able to put someone new in by now. I mean, he must have done some of this in the past. He can’t be…

Kevin: Completely incapable.

Andrew: …just starting to stink now. Yeah.

Eric: At the same time, it’s what’s right and what’s easy. It was easier for Fudge to disbelieve Dumbledore – even though it was stupid for him to disbelieve Dumbledore, because Dumbledore’s the man.

Micah: What was the part about the most trusted servant? I missed that.

Kevin: When he said something about – it’s “I shudder to think what would happen if Voldemort got his most trusted servant back.” It could mean his…

Laura: I think they were referring to Sirius though, weren’t they?

Kevin: I believe so, yeah.

Eric: Yeah, they were, but that’s the problem. Because, because – [sings] because of the wonderful things he does! No, because that Dumbledore was now saying instead – that’s another thing. Fudge was saying, oh, it would be horrible if Sirius Black, his most faithful servant, turned back to Voldemort. Now, Dumbledore – according to Dumbledore, Voldemort’s faithful servant is Wormtail. And even when Wormtail was alive – even when Pettigrew was alive in Fudge’s mind, he was this weak pathetic thing, so if he turned out to be Voldemort’s faithful servant, even if Fudge could let it slip, and even if…

Kevin: Yeah, but doesn’t he use the words “most faithful servant”?

Eric: Yes, but, what basically…

Kevin: So, Wormtail is not the most faithful servant.

Eric: No, but what basically happened is Fudge expected Sirius Black to be reunited with Voldemort. What ended up happening is Dumbledore tells Fudge that somebody who is already dead in Fudge’s mind is not only with Voldemort, but when Pettigrew was alive he wasn’t much of anything, either. So, even if Fudge could believe that Wormtail was alive, he wouldn’t really believe him to be powerful enough to cause a real threat.

Kevin: Yeah, but I think that for one, he was talking about Sirius in this case.

Eric: Which is the point…

Kevin: And he was just…

Eric: …because it’s not Sirius.

Kevin: I know, but in this case, who was it? Who was it that Voldemort greeted as…

Micah: Who was the one who said the line? Was it Dumbledore?

Kevin: But just think, who was the one that Voldemort greeted as one of his most faithful servants?

Eric: Oh, I don’t want to – see, that’s not what the voicemail question is asking, though.

Kevin: Yeah, but what my point is is that Fudge was speculating, assuming that Sirius was the most faithful servant.

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: Meaning, he was judging it based on Sirius’ power.

Eric: Uh-huh. Yeah. Yeah.

Kevin: As someone…

Eric: Yes.

Kevin: Right.

Eric: So since it was Pettigrew that went back to Voldemort, it’s a completely different situation. I think Fudge…

Kevin: But…

Eric: But, I think Fudge…

Kevin: But, who also went back to…

Eric: I don’t know.

Kevin: Remember back to Goblet of Fire – who got Harry into the graveyard?

Eric: But that was a year in advance. What I’m saying is Fudge was basing his opinion on if it was Sirius going back to Voldemort. Since it were a guy who was already dead, and who wasn’t much of something in life, him going back to Voldemort, it’s not even believable. It’s not even like – so anything Fudge based on his fear and how fearful he would be if Voldemort were to return to power and stuff, all that stuff was just non-applicable. Because it wasn’t Sirius who went back to Voldemort.

Laura: But he didn’t know that.

Kevin: And he wasn’t the only one to go back to Voldemort.

Micah: Right, but it’s all based on past events. It has nothing to do with what happened after this.

Kevin: Exactly.

Voicemails – Voldemort’s Supporters at Hogwarts

Andrew: So, the next voicemail for today questions a statement from Voldemort that might help prove that Snape is actually good. Hmm.

[Audio]: Hey guys, this is Jimmy from Cleveland. I just wanted to know what you guys thought. If you look in the fourth book at the end of the chapter, you’ll see that Voldemort, when he comes back to life, he talks about two of his supporters: one who is at Hogwarts who is helping him, who has all this time been helping him; and then one who he knows has forever left him and will have to be destroyed. Well we know the one in Hogwarts is Barty Crouch, because Barty Crouch Jr. was helping. So do you think that the second one might have been Snape, and that Voldemort thinks or knows that Snape is with Dumbledore? Okay, guys, thanks, and by the way, last Episode 40 where that guy bashed Dumbledore – that stabbed me in the heart. Bye.

Andrew: Uh, Jimmy, that wasn’t a guy, that was a girl.

[Everyone laughs]

Kevin: Oops.

Laura: Aww.

Andrew: No, I think he just meant “guy” as in person.

Kevin: Yeah.

Andrew: So thank you, Jimmy. I hope your heart’s doing okay.

Laura: Mine isn’t.

Andrew: So does this really – [laughs] neither is mine. So does this e-mail – I mean, does this quote prove that Snape is actually the good one that they’re talking about?

Laura: I don’t think so.

Andrew: Because, who else could it be? Who else could it be, then?

Micah: I don’t think so, either. I think it proves the exact opposite, because Barty Crouch never went – he never went back. He was sent to Azkaban.

Andrew: Yeah, but technically he’s on the bad side. I mean, look at Goblet of Fire.

Micah: But, he said one to return. And also, think about…

Laura: Yeah, he was.

Micah: …what’s-his-name, Karkaroff was there too, and he was killed.

Kevin: It’s true, yeah. I don’t think it proves the exact opposite, but…

Eric: Yeah, I don’t know. It’s one of those things. There were more than two people at Hogwarts.

Micah: Supporters.

Eric: Yeah, who – so the whole thing is under question. Which one is the faithful one, which one isn’t the faithful one? Was Voldemort even including Snape, is Snape even one of those two?

Laura: Mhm. Well, I don’t think we really know. And, personally, just on the whole Snape front, I have days where I go back and forth and I’ll think, “You know, it’s really possible that he’s good.” And then I’ll think – turn around…

Micah: Because you don’t go to school.

Laura: Yeah, that’s right.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: I don’t do school, I just sit around all day on my computer, working on MuggleNet. But I mean, it’s – I just think there’s…

Micah: Don’t we all?

Laura: …enough evidence to go either way right now, and I don’t think that – yeah. I don’t think that one quote from Voldemort is going to prove one way or the other.

Kevin: Yeah, we don’t have enough details to speculate that. Although, it would be funny….

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Kevin: …if Jo came out and went, “You idiots, it was standing right in front of you.”

Andrew: Yeah.

Kevin: “Sitting right there. You had the quote.”

Andrew: All right, so – yeah.

Voicemails – Dumbledore and Hagrid

Andrew: This next voicemail caller spots one advantage of Dumbledore entrusting Hagrid.

[Audio]: Hi MuggleCast, this is Troy from Toronto, Ontario calling. I love your show, and I was just thinking back to Episode 40, where you guys brought up how Dumbledore said that he would entrust his life with Harry. I know this kind of goes back to the whole is-Dumbledore-alive thing, but I was just thinking that if Dumbledore was alive, Hagrid would know about it, and know how this was possible. Tell me what you think. Thanks, love your show, bye.

Kevin: Okay, wait. Before we respond, he first says Harry, then he says Hagrid, but I believe he meant Hagrid.

Laura: Okay.

Eric: Yeah, because in the first movie, yeah it makes sense because he said, “Ah professor, I would trust Hagrid with my life.”

Kevin: Yeah, it was just a – in nervousness, he… it’s okay. So, you disagree?

Eric: I think it would be cool if something happened where it turned out that Dumbledore did trust Hagrid with his life, but Dumbledore doesn’t fake himself. Dumbledore doesn’t pretend not to know things that are true, and what’s true about Hagrid is that he does blurt things out when he’s drunk.

Kevin: That’s exactly what I was going to say.

[Kevin and Laura laugh]

Eric: Yeah, so…

Kevin: That’s the worst person to tell, because you get him drunk and he’ll be spilling the beans on that one very quick.

Eric: But people would argue that is was something particularly sensitive that not even Hagrid would say when drunk. But, at the same time, I don’t think – if Dumbledore were truly alive, and – he would have to fake it from everybody. He wouldn’t tell Hagrid just for the sake of having someone know, unless there was something specifically that Hagrid could do for Dumbledore while he was under the guise of being dead. I don’t think – I don’t know, my opinion is that Dumbledore wouldn’t tell anybody. Like just to tell Hagrid just because he trusts Hagrid…

Laura: Yeah, I don’t think so, either.

Eric: Like, that kind of thing. Just because he trusts Hagrid doesn’t mean he would tell him if he were dead.

Andrew: Yeah.

Kevin: Yup.

Eric: Because that’s such a big thing. It’s like – otherwise he should come out to Harry. If he’s going to come out to Hagrid, he’s got to come out to Harry, in my mind.

Laura: Yeah, that was the big thing for me. Why would he tell Hagrid and not Harry?

Kevin: Yeah.

Eric: Because everything, you know. Dumbledore has a lot to do with – Dumbledore’s absence really screws Harry in a lot of ways. So…

Kevin: I don’t agree with that.

Laura: Mmm, yeah.

Kevin: Like I said, I think that Dumbledore needed to die, because it enables Harry to go out on his own and start…

Laura: [laughs] Sad as it is, it’s true.

Eric: I hate the lone hero’s journey where everybody has to die and he goes out alone. It might be true, it might be how the series is going, but I absolutely hate why everybody believes that to be true in every fantasy fiction story – that isn’t obscenely cute and pointless and childish – has to have everybody die. It just…

Laura: Well, not everybody dies.

Eric: Well, a lot of the mentors.

Kevin: No, not everyone dies. All I’m saying is that I think that Dumbledore could have just stopped – could have told Harry to stop going to school, and put him out on his own. He didn’t have to die, but all I’m saying is that Dumbledore was holding Harry back in the sense that Harry was always under Dumbledore’s protection. Nothing could happen so long as Dumbledore was in Hogwarts.

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: So Harry was always safe while in Hogwarts.

Eric: But also – well maybe that’s the guise, though. Maybe that’s why Dumbledore has to – if he is still alive, maybe that’s why he doesn’t tell Harry, because Harry does need to go on on his own.

Laura: I don’t think he would pull anything like that. [laughs]

Kevin: I think that would be pretty sick, also.

Eric: Wait, sick? Why? Because it would – but it would actually be…

Kevin: Well…

Eric: …worthwhile in a way, because Harry would be out on his own.

Kevin: Yeah, but…

Eric: And if Dumbledore were alive, he’s…

Kevin: We have to remember that Dumbledore is a mentor. If your mentor tells you…

Andrew: Right.

Kevin: “Hey, you know, you’ve got to go out on your own and do this. I’m not helping you anymore.” It sends a pretty sharp message that…

[Andrew laughs]

Kevin: “Hey, I think…” You know, it’s better. I don’t know, it’s just my opinion.

Laura: I just don’t see faking a death as something Dumbledore would do to anyone. [laughs]

Micah: If you want to try and lend any credibility to this argument, and it’s part of – I think –, Hagrid’s actually the one who’s carrying his body up to the pyre at the funeral, and I think they argue that since he’s wrapped up in this cloak, you don’t necessarily know if he’s underneath. So I guess if you wanted to argue that Hagrid knew that he was dead, why would – you know, he’s the one carrying the body.

Kevin: So they’re saying that it’s possibly the most likely person to be…

Micah: Yeah. I mean…

Kevin: Yeah, that would…

Micah: In my mind, that would be the only thing that would lend credibility to that argument.

Andrew: That’s interesting.

Micah: I don’t think there’s really anything else that you can kind of draw off of it.

Laura: I don’t know. I think the main basis for the debate on this voicemail…

Eric: Well…

Laura: …is whether or not you believe Dumbledore is dead, and I think he is, so… [laughs]

Kevin: Sure. It – absolutely.

Andrew: All right.

Voicemails – Technology in the Wizarding World

Andrew: Our final voicemail comes from a listener who wants to know more about technology in the Muggle word – world. Or maybe just the movie world.

[Audio]: Hi, this is Andrew from Chicago, and you are absolutely my favorite podcast. I subscribed to you. I was just wondering, when you see the technology, like the acoustic LP player that they had during the dancing lessons and that, and it’s described in the books. And something about the movies seems like it’s stuck about 150 years ago, in the old Victorian era. Do you think that because of magic, that they don’t need the technology, basically, or that they just don’t have enough contact with the Muggle world to absorb it? And don’t you think the Muggleborn people who were raised in mixed families would have access to the technology, and why would they not use it? And again, thanks so much!

Eric: Hey Andrew, it’s you in Chicago!

Laura: Yeah, our twins! Our twins live in Chicago. How cool is that?

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: Our twins all live in Chicago.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: I know.

Eric: Yes!

Andrew: Eric in Chicago, call us. Micah in Chicago, Kevin in Chicago. Was the LP player in the book? Did he say it was in the book? I couldn’t hear what he was saying.

Eric: Dancing lessons in general, I think – I don’t know. I think Dumbledore just has a Victorian fetish.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: Whoa. The Fat Lady – watch out!

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: What did he say?

Eric: Fat Lady – watch out.

Andrew: Well…

Eric: That’s the title of this episode. That is so the title of this episode!

Andrew: Fat Lady – watch out. [laughs] All right.

Eric: Make it happen! Fat Lady – watch out.

Andrew: All right. Ohh. So…

Eric: [loud burst of laughter] I’m done.

Andrew: I just think they see no purpose in it because there’s no… like, ten years ago, who would have – well, not ten, maybe like fifteen years ago, who would have said, “Oh, what’s the purpose of getting on the computer to write letters to each other?” There was just – no one saw it. And I don’t think they see it in the school, and it probably just doesn’t even cross their minds, because…

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: …in my pidgin – not a pidgin. In my opinion, I think that magic is a cooler technology than our Muggle technology.

Eric: It is. And it’s like – I don’t think it’s – it’s not that the wizards don’t have access to Muggle technology. I don’t think that’s – but apparently, the…

Andrew: Although they do make Harry Potter iPods now…

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: …so they are getting somewhere.

Eric: No! But like the overhead projector in the third movie; I mean that kind of thing. Wizards can get a hold of Muggle equipment if they want to, I think, and according to Jo, they have something that’s a lot better than the internet – and I don’t know what that was, again, but it could have been something else, it could have not been…

Andrew: Owls. [laughs]

Eric: But couldn’t have these things, other ways of doing things, and it’s like – I don’t think they’re necessarily are blocked access from new Muggle technology. I just think it’s just goes – the Victorian stuff we see, like the LP player and that kind of thing, I just think it enhances the theme, and the – I guess the pallet of the movies, which is just the whole – you know, it fits the…

Micah: The castle.

Eric: …thing, like Hogwarts. Like if you were – it fits a castle. There’s not going to be a stereo sound system, except for the Weird Sisters. I just think it fits the whole castle thing.

Laura: Well also, we know that magic drives electrical devices haywire.

Kevin: Yeah, that.

Laura: So it might be kind of hard to have something like that…

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: …if you’re a wizard.

Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul

Andrew: So, let’s wrap up this week’s show with Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul. We didn’t do one last week, [laughs] so we’re going to do two this week. The first one comes from Kari, 16, of Rockvegas, Florida. She writes, “I have a great, great, great fear of flying, and just last week, I had to fly from Orlando, Florida to North Carolina. It’s only an hour and a half flight, but it really helped to listen to MuggleCast. I even found myself laughing a couple times, which ended up in getting odd looks from those around me. Anyway, thanks. Kari.”

Laura: Aww!

Kevin: Oh, I do want to respond to this a bit.

Andrew: Why?

Kevin: Because you’ve never been on a plane, Andrew.

Andrew: [in a meek voice] Yes!

Kevin: And honestly, I think you’re going to be crying like a baby.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: [cries like a baby] Am I going to have to listen to MuggleCast? [laughs]

Eric: Tanney, Tanney, are you afraid of flying, Micah?

Micah: I’m not a big fan of flying. Actually, I haven’t flown…

Kevin: I love heights.

Micah: …since 2000.

Kevin: Oh yeah, Micah, you were trying to get me to fly with you, because you’re like…

Micah: No, but I’m going to Vegas in about a week or so.

Kevin: Oh.

Micah: And I haven’t been on a plane in a while, so I think I’m bringing MuggleCast along.

Andrew: Our second one comes from Rachel, 13, of Austin, Texas. She writes: “A few days ago we got exam grades back; and I don’t know what happened, but I didn’t pass the math part, and I was put into an extra math class. I was upset and very angry at the test grader people.” [laughs]

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Test grader people! “In tears, I went up to my room and started to cry.” Aww! “I didn’t notice that I had hit the play button on my iPod. I noticed that MuggleCast was playing, so I walked over and put my headphones on and started to listen. An hour later I found myself laughing to Jamie’s joke of the day and other fun stuff. When it seemed like the world had to end, I was back to myself in about five minutes after the show had ended.” Aww!

Laura: Aww!

Andrew: See, there you go.

Laura: Yay!

Andrew: Whether you’re afraid of flying or you’re getting a bad grade on a test and have to take an extra math class.

Eric: No. I think that any distraction, though. This is media, this is entertainment. Movies, video games, music, podcasts…

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: I know, but see, the difference between this and movies and music and video games – this is free. [Laughs]

Eric: Good point!

Micah: For now.

Eric: And actually – well, I get to see movies free with the movie theater.

Andrew: This is free quality entertainment.

Kevin: For now… oh god, don’t say that.

Eric: Anyway…

Andrew: For now? [laughs] What are you suggesting?

Kevin: You’re cursing our future, really.

Eric: Yeah, you’re…

Andrew: Everyone’s going to freak out.

Eric: No, but any distraction is good, and I think if we help people feel better about their test grades, that’s cool.

Andrew: Yup! Very true.

Laura: Now all we have left to help them do is help them pass their tests!

Andrew: Yeah!

[Andrew, Eric, and Laura laugh]

Eric: Remedial Math, with Kevin Steck.

Kevin: Yes. Oh yeah, sure, I’d…

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Math will…

Kevin: That would be a podcast hour to remember.

Eric: I can see… [laughs]

[Kevin laughs]

Eric: You can teach it as a seminar at Lumos.

Kevin: Oh god.

Andrew: There you go!

[Laura laughs]

Eric: “If I have two cauldrons that are antique, and…”

Kevin: I can just imagine the whole audience sleeping.

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Kevin: You know, like…

Andrew’s Birthday Card

Andrew: I just wanted to thank those people who made a little birthday card for me for my birthday. They are Becky, Jessica, Kelly, Laura – Laura? It was you?

Eric: From Chicago.

Andrew: Dana…

Laura: Oh no!

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: It was the one from Chicago.

Andrew: Dana, Becky, Keisha – sorry if I’m pronouncing any names wrong here – Natalie, Terren, Mezlo, Claire, Keila, Rashmi, Lauren, Lisa, Clarissa, and Catherine. Catherine actually goes to my school. She put the card together on the MuggleCast Fan Forums over at

Kevin: Does everyone know that you’re actually driving now?

Andrew: Oh yeah! By the way everyone, I’m driving now. [laughs]

Kevin: So stay off the roads.

Andrew: I’m still…

Kevin: Exactly, yeah.

Eric: Oh no! Stay off the roads! Dude, 100,000 people said that to me when I got my license.

Kevin: Yeah, but see, this is the difference. Where are you from, Eric?

Eric: Pennsylvania.

Andrew: [laughs] Don’t even start!

Kevin: And where’s Andrew from?

Eric: New Jersey.

Andrew: Don’t even start!

Kevin: There you go. That’s a major difference.

Andrew: No, Rhode Island – Rhode Island has actually the most uneducated drivers, I was just reading the other day.

Eric: Really?

Kevin: Yeah, but…

Andrew: But anyway, I’m still working on getting a MuggleCast-mobile.

[Eric and Kevin laugh]

Andrew: Hey! I just had this great idea. What if we used some of the MuggleCast money to let me buy a MuggleCast license plate?

Eric: It should only cost 25 dollars.

Andrew: It would say M-U-G-L-C-S-T.

Eric: You can raise that money baby-sitting.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: It only costs 25 dollars for a vanity plate.

Laura: If there’s MuggleCast money, we’re not using it to buy you a license plate.

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: Yeah.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Or, like, a car.

Kevin: If there’s MuggleCast money.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: If there’s MuggleCast money, yeah.

Andrew: I mean, it’s not like we need any of it for Lumos to pay for food or anything, so I thought maybe we could use it for that.

Laura: Yeah, because I was just planning on sleeping out on the sidewalk. That’s all.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Yeah.

Show Close

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: All right. So on that note…

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: …on that ugly note where I just upset everyone, I think that does wrap up MuggleCast Episode 41. We’ll see everyone next week for Episode 42. Once again, I’m Andrew Sims.

Kevin: I’m Kevin Steck.

Eric: I’m Eric Scull.

Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.

Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Andrew: Good night, boys and girls!

Kevin: Good night.

Andrew: And Micah.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Eric: The separate entity.


[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Waiting for the motorcycle to go by…

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: What was I going to say now?

Kevin: Are you riding a motorcycle?

Andrew: Yes!

Kevin: Wow.

Andrew: Yes, I am.

Kevin: Recording from a motorcycle! It’s the first time this has been done.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: [in a teary voice] What happened to Andrew?

Kevin: I mean, it’s not… [long pause] Did Andrew get kicked out?

Laura: [laughs] Yeah, I was…

Micah: We’re going to use that as a blooper, aren’t we?

Laura: …sitting here like, “I think we lost somebody!” [laughs]

Eric: [in a frightened voice] What happened to Andrew?!?!?!?

Micah: We’ve lost our leader.

Kevin: It’s not my connection this time. Our leader is gone!

Laura: Pick up, Andrew!

Eric: [singing] We’re following the leader, the leader, the leader…

Laura: [gasps] No!

Kevin: Everyone keep recording. I’m going to call Andrew.

Micah: The guy on the motorcycle must have tripped the line.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Kevin:: Oh, you know what we should do is we should give out a digit of his phone number each time he gets disconnected.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: He gets disconnected.

Kevin: Okay, here, on sec. Let me call.

[Eric and Laura laugh]


Written by: Micah, Ally, Martina, Roni, Amanda, Jessica, Rhiannon, and Sarah