Transcript #71

MuggleCast 71 Transcript

Show Intro

Andrew: Get reliable secure web hosting without the long-term contract. GoDaddy’s hosting plans are bigger and better than ever with 99% up time, free 24/7 support and no annual commitment. Best of all, plans start at just $3.95 a month. Plus, as a listener of MuggleCast, enter code Muggle when you check out and save an additional 10% on any order. Some restrictions apply, see site for details. Get your piece of the Internet today at

[Intro music plays]

Andrew: Because, eh, it was a couple days late, we had some stuff to do over the weekend and I didn’t have much time to edit the show and all that, this is MuggleCast Episode 71 for January 9th, 2007.

[Music continues to play]

Ben: O-M-G. I can’t believe it, I just can’t believe it.

Andrew: What?

Ben: You know, first we get the title…

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: We get the title a few weeks ago. That’s big news, but there’s even bigger news today.

Andrew: What?

Ben: [pretending to cry] Fox cancelled The OC.

Jamie: What? Permanently?

Laura: Darn.

Ben: Permanently, it’s gone.

Jamie: Why?

Ben: Off TV.

Jamie: Why?

Ben: I don’t know. The – “California,” no more. [laughs]

[Andrew, Ben, and Jamie laugh]

Ben: I don’t know, they just…

Andrew: California, here we don’t come. [laughs]

Jamie: Yeah.

Ben: I know. I just read an editorial a little bit ago, it was like in the New York Post or something where they completely ripped- no, it was The Guardian actually. [British accent]

Jamie: Oh, awesome.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: They wrote an editorial saying that they just completely rehashed the same plot lines, and…

Andrew: Is it true?

Ben: Yes, I was devastated – yeah, actually, it was. Because I stopped watching after Season Two. [laughs] So…

Jamie: What? So, Ben, then they cancelled it because The Manchester Guardian ripped on them?

Andrew: Yeah.

Jamie: That’s nice.

Andrew: Our feelings are hurt!

Ben: Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

Jamie: The power of Hollywood.

Ben: No, actually they just cancelled it because people sort of stopped caring.

Andrew: Really?

Ben: Kind of like MuggleCast. Yeah.

Andrew: Well, my sister almost cried when she found out.

Ben: Does she know? That it got cancelled?

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. But, yeah.

Ben: [impression of Andrew’s sister] Oh my god, Andrew! [laughs] But like I said, I think we’re going to get cancelled next; we’re done after this e-mail.

Jamie: Yeah, no, no. The Manchester Guardian ran a story last week that MuggleCast just uses the same inside jokes, doesn’t do anything new, doesn’t talk about Harry Potter. So, yeah.

[Ben laughs]

Jamie: We’re destroyed next week.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: That’s an omen.

Jamie: It’s our last show ever.

Ben: Hard pressed to move on, I’m Ben Schoen. I’m back, people!

Andrew: I’m Andrew Sims.

Ben: I’m back!

Jamie: I’m Jamie Lawrence.

Eric: I’m Eric Scull.

Laura: And I’m Laura Thompson.

[Music continues to play]


Micah: The first three Harry Potter DVDs were removed from US shelves this past week, with the Goblet of Fire DVD coming off on January 22nd. Warner Home Video has announced that the DVDs will be re-released later this year in high-definition format. WHV HD DVDs, say that five times fast, offer resolution six times higher than regular DVDs, as well as vibrant color, contrast, and sound.

MTV has released a list of the top 10 must-see movies of 2007. Order of the Phoenix came in at the top, ahead of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Spider-Man 3.

Harry Potter has been revealed the fifth most searched term on MSN during 2006. With a movie, and possibly a book, out later this year, we can expect it to reach the number one spot, or close to it, in 2007. has released a new interview with Daniel Radcliffe conducted a number of months ago. In it the actor discusses what his Boggart would be, Evanna Lynch, his desire to visit Mexico, and more.

And just eight hours after the title of Book 7 was announced, the novel hit the number one spot on Amazon UK’s book chart. The staggering success of the book is further illustrated by the fact that it is now outselling all other books in the top 10 list combined. On top of that, the adult edition of Deathly Hallows is sitting at number two on the chart. No release date has been set.
Despite that fact, Christopher North, Amazon UK’s Head of Books, said:

“Thousands of people in homes and offices across the UK have been going online to reserve their copy. If the initial response is anything to go by, this could be the biggest selling Harry Potter book of all time.”

The biggest selling Harry Potter book of all time? You think?

That’s all the news for this January 9th, 2007 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.

Slow News Week: Dumbledore Figurine

Ben: Thanks for that, Micah. Guys, is it just me or is the news kind of been a bit slow the past week? I mean, there’s a Dumbledore figurine…

[Laura laughs]

Ben: [laughs] That’s about it.

Andrew: It’s been – it’s worked out for us though, because we haven’t been around to post much of it. So…

Jamie: [laughs] Yeah.

[Andrew, Ben, and Jamie laugh]

Ben: Yeah, that’s true.

Andrew: It’s been perfect.

Ben: So, Andrew, are you going to buy a Dumbledore figurine?

Andrew: Huh?

Ben: I bet Jamie would.

Jamie: Ten, actually.

Andrew: I already pre-ordered mine, actually. Yeah.

Ben: I bet they’re invincible.[laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Eric: Just like Michael Gambon.

MuggleCasters Talk New Year’s

Ben: Andrew, Jamie, and myself were all out in the Sin City, Las Vegas, for New Year, and that was fun. And Jamie is actually in Andrew’s MuggleCast recording studio this week. [laughs]

Andrew: Yep, he is.

Jamie: The amount of equipment here is oh, god.

Andrew: It’s so awkward here. You should see…

Jamie: What’s that?

Andrew: We should use Photobooth right now and take a picture and put it online.

Jamie: Yeah.

Andrew: And make it the album art.

[Ben laughs]

Jamie: Seriously. Ben…

Ben: They’re so close to each other, there’s like two inches of space.

Jamie: Ben…

Andrew: Thanks, Apple, for making the iPod cables so short.

Jamie: I didn’t realize that there was so much…

Andrew: Talk into the mic.

Jamie: Okay, Ben, I didn’t realize that there was so much equipment here. You should see his setup.

[Andrew laughs]

Jamie: He’s got microphones…

Ben: Three-watt amp.

Jamie: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[Andrew and Jamie laugh]

Jamie: Three-watt amp…

Eric: Right next to the Easy button.

Jamie: Microphones, you know. It’s just ridiculous. He must have spent thousands of dollars on this.

Ben: Eric, what did you do for New Year?

Eric: I was in Myrtle Beach actually, and it rained and got foggy so they cancelled the fireworks.

Andrew: Oh, boo.

Ben: Well, that sounds like a waste of time.

Laura: Yeah, really.

[Ben and Laura laugh]

Ben: Actually, as the clock struck midnight in the crowd of 300,000 people, Jamie Lawrence was on my shoulders.

Andrew: Weren’t you, Jamie?

Jamie: Hmmm?

Ben: It was awesome. We were down in the Strip and the fireworks went and set off, it was great.

Jamie: Oh, yeah. Oh, Ben. Should I tell the story about the countdown?

Ben: Yeah, [laughs] yeah. It was awesome.

Jamie: Okay, so we were all – we’d walked down from the hotel to the Strip. We couldn’t walk that far because it was packed, even though Emerson was like, “Oh, come on. Let’s walk further.” What Emerson didn’t seem to realize is that you can’t walk into a sort of crowd full of people that won’t move at all. So, anyway, we stopped and there are about 300,000 people there, and I was sitting on Ben’s shoulders watching the countdown like an excited child that I was. There was a huge countdown that started off at sort of 30 and then counted down, but we could only see half of it because there was a sort of part of a hotel blocking it. So, it said sort of nine, so we shouted out, “Nine!” and then “Eight”…

[Ben laughs]

Jamie: And we’re thinking sort of, “Oh yeah, ten seconds to New Year.” Seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And then on zero we all sort of jumped about screaming, and then we looked around and we realized that only sort of, you know…

Ben: [laughing] Our group of people. Yeah.

Jamie: Thirty-five other people were doing this as well. And then we realized that it had actually been 29, 28, 27. So, we looked across and found that there was another countdown still counting down. So, first embarrassing moment.

[Eric laughs]

Ben: So, it was kind of anti-climactic, to say the least.

Jamie: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]

Jamie: Yeah. So, yeah, the last embarrassing moment of the year actually happened on the countdown to the new year.

[Andrew and Ben laugh]

Ben: Before, before.

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: And, so, 300,000 people, you said. Was Emerson trying to give out MuggleNet stickers, this time?

Andrew: Believe it or not,

Ben: Actually, he was.

Eric: Yeah, I – he’s…

Jamie: Yeah, he, he put them into one of the fireworks that…

[Ben laughs]

Jamie: …burst them all over the place, so everyone got one.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Now, Laura, Laura. Laura, what were you doing?

Laura: I worked, and then I came home and I stayed up…

Ben: So, was there a big celebration..

Laura: …until 12:30.

Ben: Was there a big celebration at Target?

Laura: No, there was not.

Ben: Oh. That’s too bad.

Laura: I was only there until six.

Ben: Awww.

Laura: And then I came home and I stayed up until 12:30, and I went to bed so I could get up and go to work again.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Did you…

Laura: Very exciting.

Andrew: Laura, you sound a little…

Eric: That sounds like my life. I’m glad I left that place.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: I would’ve been at the – I would’ve been at the theatre upstairs in the long, dark projection hallways, just…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: …sitting there, with my wristwatch and not even like, a working radio.

Andrew: But you would’ve loved it. Admit it.

Jamie: And only the small voices inside your head to keep you company, Eric.


Ben: We have a few – we have a few announcements this week. Podcast Alley. Are we still the top podcast?

Eric: We were, actually. just…

Andrew: Well, listen, I mean, even if we’re not on the Podcast Alley list, we’re always number one. But…

Ben: Yeah, in your hearts and minds and soul, all that stuff.

Jamie: Can I just say, we’ve been extremely arrogant this week, too arrogant. We need to cut it back a slightly.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: So go ahead and vote for us on Podcast Alley, show your support for MuggleCast. Also,’s What Will Happen in Harry Potter Seven. Thanks to those of you who came out and saw Emerson at the bookstore this Saturday. I’m sure you guys had a grand old time. You collected your MuggleNet stickers.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Remember, our book,’s [stumbles]…’s…

[Jamie laughs]

Ben:’s What Will Happen in Harry Potter Seven: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Falls in Love, and How the Adventure Finally Ends, by me, Jamie, Emerson, Andy, and Gretchen. You can go pick up, they’re in your book stores.

Listener Rebuttal:’s Book

Ben: And this is sort of our first listener rebuttal this week, because somebody was absolutely infuriated that we published a book. Ben, I have no idea how old he is, he sent me an e-mail, he said – this is not me, by the way, it’s a different Ben. He said – he’s basically an insult to the name.

The book that you’re putting out is disgusting. Being Harry Potter fans, how can you possible feel that – feel just in actually selling a bunch of speculation to kids. The reason that people like me listen to MuggleCast is to get ideas and see what other people think that might happen in the last installment, but why should I even listen to that anymore considering every time the members of cast arrive to – at a Book Seven issue, they’ll have to skip it with a, “Don’t want to ruin our book,” or, “If you want to know our thoughts, buy the book.” In all sincerity, there is no reason to even come back to this site since all the cool thoughts and perspectives are now going to be sold. You guys are just a bunch of nerdy suits. Very disrespectfully, Ben. P.S. In addition, why would you want to try and ruin the last book?

Hey, Jamie, didn’t you have a little response to this Ben character?

Jamie: Well, you see, Ben, I would love to tell Ben, like I told that girl from Glasgow a few weeks ago, to act like the sky at 6 a.m. and lighten up.

[Ben laughs]

Jamie: But I’ve just spent 14 hours sleeping, and so I haven’t seen morning, so I don’t know if it’s still does light up at 6 a.m. So, I think I’m going to be – I’m going to be nice to him. I think, I think there – I think, is he trying to say don’t come and listen to the show now, because all the stuff we talk about is in this book, yeah? But that’s completely…

Ben: Or, or that we’re going to stop talking because you should…

Jamie: Yeah, okay, well…

Ben: …read our book instead.

Jamie: A, it’s completely untrue, because…

Laura: The show is impromptu. We come up with new theories all the time.

Ben: Yeah, and the book – the book isn’t inclusive of every MuggleNet staff member’s opinion. So…

Jamie: No, and the book is basically…

Ben: You just have to remember that.

Jamie: The book is basically a summary of all of the ideas we had, and there are opinions in that book. Andy’s, Gretchen’s, Emerson’s, that haven’t ever been on the show. You know? Emerson’s been on once, stuff like that. And we don’t always say, “Oh, we don’t want to ruin the book,” or, “If you want to know our thoughts, buy the book.” We may say, “If you want to know more, buy our book,” or, “If you want to know more about our thoughts, buy it.” But, all of the core thoughts and perspectives are not going to be solved. You know?

Ben: We’re not holding back.

Jamie: Yeah, exactly.

Ben: We’re not holding back for the sake of the book.

Jamie: And we know already that there’s more that we could add to the book. You know? The books, I mean, it’s – we haven’t got, you know, the title stuff in there, because, you know, the title was released afterwards. So, we can’t talk about, you know, the title of Book Seven and say, “Well, read the book,” because we haven’t, and we still talk about that. We still talk about, you know, Snape being evil, we still talk about Dumbledore being dead on here, even though we’ve got it in the book.

Andrew: Yeah.

Jamie: It’s just, if you want a collection of, you know, points and stuff, then buy the book. And there’s other stuff in there, like, you know, chapters about how far we’ve come in the Harry Potter world, you know, chapters about what we’re going to do after Book Seven finishes, it’s, you know? It’s a work in itself, it’s not anything to do with…

Ben: It’s different.

Jamie: Yeah.

Ben: I mean, we talk about news on here. We talk about – like, this week’s discussion is going to be completely different, something we never put in the book, so it’s not necessarily, you know, it isn’t like we’re taking away from the book by having the show.

Jamie: No, and…

Ben: They’re not mutually exclusive; they can coexist.

Jamie: Exactly. And we are, in no way, trying to ruin the last book. If we wanted to do that, we’d go down to the local Borders and pin up posters saying what we think is going to happen. You know? If you want to buy the book and read about it, that’s fine, but…

Ben: Yeah, nobody’s forcing you to.

Jamie: …we aren’t forcing it on anyone.

Ben: Yeah, so remember, you can purchase this at Borders. If you’re going to order it on the Internet, please support MuggleNet, order it through Alivan’s, our online retailer. Yeah, they’re out partners, so order through there.

Ben’s Input on Book Seven

Ben: Yeah, like I said before, I was kind of gone the past five weeks, so, you know, we had the title happen, we had, you know, all kinds of crazy Harry Potter stuff going on. So, I just wanted to briefly, you know, interject what I think about what Deathly Hallows means, the title, the release date. Okay, first of all, Deathly Hallows. I’m not going to be all philosophical and try to define what the hallows are. I mean, if you want to know what the hallows are…

Jamie: Read our book!

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: [laughs] No, actually, I don’t know what Deathly Hallows means, I’m not – I mean, listen to the episode if you want some more speculation on that. I don’t – I think it’s just souls, something like that. However, on the release date. Something I need to brag about here, is if you – go back and listen to Episode 22. I said that we were going to get the title of Book Seven at the end of 2006, and correct me if I’m wrong here, [laughs] but I was right! So, I just thought – I felt the need…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: When was this?

Ben: Episode 22.

Andrew: Good work, Ben.

Ben: Actually, I didn’t remember saying that. Someone e-mailed in, so thank you, “LittleRoxyChick16,” for telling me that I was right.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Yeah, you know me, I never miss an opportunity to brag, so thank you for sending that in.

Andrew: No, no.

Ben: Oh, the release date. I was pretty adamant about it being 2008, but something tells me it could be this summer, but I don’t know. I’m not so sure anymore. It’s a coin toss. If I had to pick a date, it’s going to be the end of July, if anything. Remember this episode. When we get the release date you can come back. July 2007 or July 2008, one or the other.

Andrew: Oh, well, geez. Well, me and Jamie were talking about this. If – well, we’re going to be excited to have the release date if it is July 2007, but we’re also going to be upset.

Ben: It puts a date on the end. It’s like the expiration date of the Harry Potter series.

Andrew: It’s not just that.

Eric: We have a debate about it later on in the show. So…

Andrew: That is a good point, so we shouldn’t be talking about it now, yeah.

Jamie: I agree.

Ben: Yeah. [laughs]

Main Discussion: The Hanged Man

Ben: Speaking of titles, this week’s main discussion is sort of a new take – a new spin on what the title could mean, and Micah came up with this, but we’re discussing The Hanged Man. And if you look to Goblet of Fire it’s the name of the bar in the beginning where the townsfolk are discussing the Riddle murders.

Eric: In Little Hangleton.

Jamie: Yeah.

Ben: Little Hangleton – yeah [laughs] Hangleton.

Eric: Hangleton. Hangle…

Hallows and Gallows

Ben: Yeah. And so it actually comes in that hallow, the word hallow, deathly hallows – is an archaic word for the word gallows; a frame, typically wooden, used for execution by hanging. And one of the definition for hallows is actually a site where a person is hanged. So, we’re thinking there may be some type of connection between gallows and hallow, and since “the hanged man” is in the book, there could be some correlation there.

Jamie: Doesn’t that kind of just reinforce the death link?

Eric: Yeah.

Jamie: That, you know, it’s about, all of the discussion we’ve had has come back to the fact that whatever interpretation of the title we give, it always comes back to that it’s about death. But if you want to know more, read our book.

[Andrew and Ben laugh]

Andrew: Can’t say any more.

Laura: Now looking at that literally, do you think that Harry is actually going to see any form of gallows in the seventh book?

Eric: I don’t think he needs to see gallows. The emphasis is on The Hanged Man is a village pub in the town where Voldemort is, where his ancestry is from. Both the Gaunts and the Riddle family lived, presumably, either in or on the outskirts of Little Hangleton. So, the fact that they have a pub called The Hanged Man just emphasizes that there’s something big with death having to do – and, you know, Voldemort has that connection. All these titles and things we’re getting, I think it’s just about Voldemort’s quest for immortality and coming to an end.

Ben: And you know, this Hanged Man stuff is really the ultimate over-analyzation, but you know, folks, it’s what we do. It’s who we are.

Andrew: I don’t think so. I think Micah presented an interesting case.

Jamie: It’s interesting, yeah.

Ben: It’s interesting. I mean, but I don’t know realistically what correlation there’s going to be. A lot of people have e-mailed in about the hanged man being a tarot card, which is what Miss Cleo and all those people used to do. [laughs] You see all the hotlines on TV. [imitating Miss Cleo] I’m Miss Cleo, and we can do the Tarot card! Let me tell your future!

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Ben: Anyway. [laughs] It’s symbolism

Eric: It’s pointless.

Ben: …which points to divinities. In all the stories, the destruction of self brings life to humanity.

The Tarot Card

Ben: This is from Wikipedia, just basically what the card is.

On the card these are symbolized respectively, by the hanged man from the living tree from which he swings. It’s relationship to other cards usually involves personal loss for a greater gain.

So, the relation to hallows and the hanged man represents, as I said, a personal loss for a greater gain, which in a way sort of represents…

Jamie: Oh, my god.

[Laura Laughs]

Ben: What Harry may or may not be doing.

Jamie: Represents a – well, I was going to say I don’t personally think that Harry is a Horcrux, but that’s what that could represent. You know?

Andrew: Yeah.

Jamie: He loses his life for the greater good of getting rid of Voldemort.

Andrew: Or someone else’s.

Jamie: But, that’s a horrible thought.

Ben: He doesn’t necessarily have to be a Horcrux, he could die in the process somehow.

Jamie: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

Eric: Or also, destruction of self could also mean destruction of those close to ones self, in a way.

Ben: Right.

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: I mean, if you suffer some losses, you are, you know, some people feel like half a person, etcetera. Something like that.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: It’s about sacrifice, trials, and suffering. I don’t think he’ll be happy about it this time.

Andrew: Yeah.

Jamie: I agree.

Andrew: Going back to the literal meaning, though, Deathly Hallows, if this theory brought up by Micah, if it’s anything to be believed, literally doesn’t it mean deathly hangings? Wouldn’t that be essentially what it means?

Eric: Well, it’s not a word you can say, “Deathly Hangings,” because it has so many different meanings, and was chosen for exactly that.

Ben: What exactly does archaic word mean?

Jamie: It’s fallen out of usage.

Laura: Archaic is like ancient.

Jamie: No, it’s not, it’s just one that’s fallen out of popular usage.

Andrew: We’re going to have to look it up.

Ben: Yeah, so it’s basically – can they be used interchangeably?

Eric: Well…

Ben: Or it just means at one time hallow mean gallows? They were the same thing?

Laura: Mhm.

Eric: Using them in the word form that JKR has, by saying Deathly Hallows, she created the word, basically. I mean, Hallow is obviously a word that has many, many meanings, but using it in the form that she does with the title is completely – you can’t substitute Deathly Gallows, Deathly Horcruxes, Deathly Saints.

Jamie: No, exactly. You can’t substitute it, yeah. It’s etymology that’s important.

Eric: Yeah, you can’t substitute it because it has an old use, has many different meanings, and is open to interpretation, but also you can’t substitute it because it’s not an actual word the way she’s using it.

Ben: I see.

Laura: By the way, “archaic” means “very old or old fashioned.”

Jamie: No, no the…

Andrew: There’s multiple meanings. We’re looking it up, too, right now.

Laura: Yeah.

Jamie: Linguistically it means “commonly used in an earlier time, but rarely used in present day, except to suggest an older time such as in religious rituals and historic rubbles. Examples include thou, methinks, forsooth.” And so on.

Andrew: Either way, does it really matter?

[Everyone laughs]

Jamie: No. I can’t believe we spoke about this. This couldn’t be less relevant if we tried. [laughs]

Laura: Well, does that mean there was some kind of hanging that went on, I don’t know, maybe in the past that Harry’s going to learn about?

Eric: No, and especially it doesn’t mean that some kind of hanging took place. It could have, but the hanging is death. People are being put to death. It’s life, death, sacrifice, the whole nine yards. It doesn’t mean there was a hanging that took place that’s going to be significant in the book.

Ben: Yeah, but with the hanged man, you know, the Tarot card and all that, there’s also an association with life and the runes. This is from Wikipedia. It says:

The Hanged Man is often associated with Odin, the primary god of the Norse Pantheon. Odin hung upside down from the world-tree, Yggdrasil.”

I can’t say it.

“For nine days in order to gain knowledge of the runes, which the Norse cosmology regarded as a source of all mystery and all knowledge. The moment he glimpsed the runes, he died, but the knowledge of them was so powerful that he immediately returned to life. This interpretation highlights the necessity of taking personal sacrifice in order to achieve one’s higher spiritual good.”

Andrew: This is so deep.

Hermione and Ancient Runes

Ben: But, I know, I know. Micah did a great job with this. Saying, so Hermione is in Ancient Runes, so, this is all a big stretch, but do you think there’s anyway that Hermione’s knowledge of runes could come into play with saving a life, particularly Harry’s. I mean could Harry become a Horcrux – I mean, say in the event that Harry is a Horcrux, okay, he dies but somehow Hermione saves him. I mean…am I way out there?

Laura: Well…

Ben: Am I stupid or what?

Laura: No, no, you’re not. I think that…

Ben: Don’t answer that, Jamie.

Eric: Yes.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: I think what’s important to remember is whenever we looked up the definition of “archaic” a minute ago, it talked about using a word only in reference to a previous time and if they’re going searching for a Horcrux, and they’re obviously going to be going to places, as the title might suggest, that are older, Hermione’s ability to be able to, you know, her ability to read runes could come in useful, maybe not to save a life, but to help steer Harry in the right direction.

Andrew: The Fray, How to Save a Life comes into my mind.

Ben: That’s what I was going to say…

[Ben and Andrew sing How to Save a Life]

Snape: The Fool

Ben: Okay, most complicated…it’s important to see. because there also could be, besides just the Harry saving, sacrificing himself here:

“The most common interpretation of the card is of an outcast of society that appears to be a fool but is actually in complete alignment.”

Now, this, to me, points directly to Snape. So, could Snape be sacrificing himself for the greater gain because he is actually on the side of the Order of the Phoenix?

Eric: Well, read the second half of this.

“The upside down-ness of the hanged man gives him an advantage that outsiders are unable to see or understand.”

This reminds me of James Potter and, you know, his inability to let the prejudice die, that Snape is only bad and only bad, but, you know, whereas many people including Harry have fallen under that suspicion.

Ben: Doesn’t he hang Snape upside down…

Laura: Yes. Yeah that’s what I was just thinking.

Eric: Oh my god!

Ben: Oh my gosh, he does! [laughs]

Eric: He does! He hangs him upside down. Oh my gosh, you know what, people? This is the clue, this is it. This is – he hangs Snape upside down. So, Snape is the hanged man. Does that mean Snape is the…

Jamie: And also you have to take into consideration that Book Six was all about Snape, and Snape could be the key to the series, so Book Seven could be as well.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Well, it’s true. Though not to get too ahead of ourselves, there is – wasn’t Harry or Seamus or also held upside down? Ron was?

Andrew: Yeah.

Jamie: Levicorpus.

Eric: Because, you know, that’s the spell, but Snape created the spell Levicorpus, so it kind of does emphasize him more than anybody else.

Ben: Right, but what really comes to mind, though, when I think of – you just mentioned James Potter, or, you know, he hung Snape upside down, sort of tormented him. We saw that in Book Five actually. And so, yeah, that’s very interesting because, you know, if – some people think Snape will sacrifice himself and I think it makes sense. I mean if he is on the good side, and, you know, a greater gain – like people for the Order, a lot of them, well, I guess those who don’t know, think he’s a fool, everyone hates Snape now. You know? The Harry Potter community hates Snape, but what if in reality he is in “complete alignment” and he is working towards a greater cause?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Because I mean – are we all in consensus that Snape is good?

Laura: Yeah

Ben: Here?

Jamie: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: I sort of think this comes back to one may live while the other survives when talking about the Norse.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Sorry, that couldn’t have been weaker.

[Ben laughs]

References to Norse Mythology

Eric: No. Here, I’ll try and help you out. Just the existence of the Norse things, and the fact that Hermione, a few books ago, was studying Ancient Runes, I think it was a few books ago it might’ve been Book Six, but things like this are thrown in. You know, just the fact that Hermione is studying Ancient Runes. Even if it never comes into play, which I think it actually might; Laura, you convinced me. That’s pretty good, I think it will play a role in at least reading things and understanding them, not necessarily saving lives, but just the fact that Norse things are in here, you know, Odin and the things. I know there were other references in Book Five and Six, especially Book Five about the Norse gods, and there’s all these similar comparisons to Norse mythology.

Jamie: Like Fenris.

Eric: Well, you know, I’d have to look up and find them.

Jamie: Fenrir Greyback. He’s from Norse.

Eric: Yeah. Greyback.

Jamie: Fenrir Greyback is from their mythology as well because of the wolf Fenris. He got too strong for his bounds and uh…

Eric: That’s great, how do remember that?

Jamie: …devoured. Wikipedia, and he devoured…

[Andrew laughs]

Jamie: …who was it? Odin? I think it was Odin at the feast, sorry, at Ragnarök, the end of the world. So yeah…

Eric: Ragnarök is like Ragnak or Ragnok, which is a goblin name in Harry Potter.

Jamie: He is, he is.

Eric: So…

Jamie: And they talk about him in Book Five when they’re talking about whether the goblins will all go across to Voldemort’s side.

Eric: Excellent. Yes, so all these things emphasize Norse… [mispronounces “mythology”] Mysology – Norse mythology.

Ben: Am I the only one that has a problem, with, like, making all these connections? Because, you know, we start taking about mythology and then, like, trying to…

Jamie: Yeah.

Ben: …fit it all into one big picture.

Jamie: The rest of us are just awesome, Ben, it’s just you.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah that’s probably – I really wouldn’t be surprised [laughs].

The Final Symbolism: The Hero

Ben: And the final symbolism for the hanged man is:

“The hanged man is every hero committed enough to the adventure to die for it.”

So, those who think Harry is going to die, you know, to save the world or whatever, the ultimate sacrifice, it makes sense.

Eric: Every hero committed enough to the adventure to die for it. I love that, it makes Dumbledore a hanged man.

Andrew: Do you think – do you think in Book Seven, Harry could be willing to sacrifice himself, but in the end something miraculous happens where he doesn’t have to?

Jamie: He is willing now, though, isn’t he? Already?

Ben: Well, Eric you said Dumbledore is a hanged man. That actually is true, because everyone thought he was a fool.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Ben: You know what I am talking about.

Eric: Yeah, yeah, exactly. People try and play him off as a fool. I mean, I’m reminded of the Beatles song Fool on a Hill, you know?

[sings] “Well on the way, head in a cloud…” [speaks lyrics] “Man with a thousand voices, talking perfectly loud.” Dumbledore’s been saying all along, you know, this stuff’s happening; they play him off as a fool. They play Snape off as being evil. They play Harry off as a fool.

Jamie: That’s very true.

Eric: It’s interesting to see the correlation between people who are committed enough to die and they’re being discredited by the people who claim to be, you know, committed to the adventure.

Ben: That’s deep stuff.

Eric: It is deep! I love this! I love this job! [grunts enthusiastically]

Ben: Yeah. [laughs]

Jamie: It is. It is a very good discussion.

[Andrew and Ben laugh]

Eric: I’m sorry.

Ben: Micah, Micah Tannenbaum’s a – he’s a pimp. He is a pimp.

Eric: Yo, he is a pimp.

Andrew: He’s a man. He’s a man with deep discussions. And a deep voice, for that matter.

Jamie: [laughs] Yeah.

Andrew: Hey oh! [laughs]

[Ben laughs]

Eric: I thought we were going to – I thought we were in over our heads. I saw this, like, in over our heads…

Ben: Another Fray song! [laughs]

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: What? No. I was going to make the – like Aunt Marge “over our heads,” but, you know?

Ben: Mmm. I guess it’s kind of a leap because you have to go from “hallows,” meaning “gallows,” to the hanged man, which is in Harry Potter, to be fair, so there is some association there and Jo likes to go back to mythology, likes to…

Jamie: She does.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: …look to these types of things, so even if it’s – I mean, I think it somehow symbolically represents what we’ve seen thus far.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: If not, in the future, because Dumbledore’s…

Eric: And nobody’s…

Ben: …sacrifice.

JKR’s Vast Knowledge and Other Analysis

Eric: Yeah, yeah. And make no mistake, too. Nobody’s specifically saying, okay, JKR had to have absolutely put the village pub Hanged Man in there for this thing. I believe that she is, but nobody’s actually saying that. What we’re also working with is a literary scholar. I mean, you forget, well, you don’t forget JKR is absolutely fantastic with literacy, with everything. Oh my god, her word choice and everything. Plus, you’re also working with one language, the English language, which is the language that is such a copper melting pot for other – for other terms. So, you use things like “hallows,” you use Norse mythology [stutters] – Norse mythology. You use everything else like that and you can’t help but find things that actually come together and have the same meaning and are all inter-related. I mean, JKR – one of the things I think we’re grateful for – one of the things I’m grateful for is the fact that she knows her stuff, and it’s just incorporated greatly.

Ben: It is pretty amazing how…

Eric: It’s insane!

Ben: …she takes from everything. Like, I read an analogy once that she’s sort of taken from every little story out there, used Latin words, everything. All these different interpretations, all these different…

Eric: [sighs] She’s well-read and…

Ben: …facets. [laughs] And put them together.

Eric: Yeah, exactly. Well, even the word “grim.” Even if it’s a subconscious thing, she gets it in there. The word “grim” appeared like, 500 times in Book Five. I mean, easily, easily, easily 500. I don’t even want to count it.

Andrew: I think…

Jamie: Well, you probably have.

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]

[Ben laughs]

Andrew: I really think, I don’t know. This might sound stupid, but I really think that the reason the title…

Ben: Yeah, it does. No, I’m just joking. [laughs]

Andrew: …she words, she uses the word “hallows” in the book, it’s because it could, it can go really deep, like Micah made this reference to. So, in that sense, I think it’s completely possible that this hanged man theory could play some sort of role.

Ben: Maybe we should do some – like, this may sound dumb. Yeah, that’s dumb. I mean…

Andrew: What?

Ben: I was going to say, like, look to The Half-Blood Prince and see, try to find any other…

Laura: References to hanging?

Ben: Like if we were to analyze, no, I mean just – not hanging. I’m just saying – like, prior to Half-Blood Prince, we didn’t have MuggleCast then. I was wondering how we would have analyzed Half-Blood Prince prior to it being released.

Laura: Oh, okay.

Andrew: I don’t know. What would we have to say about Half-Blood Prince? You can’t really – it’s sort of, it doesn’t go as deep as a word like “hallows.” Like…

Ben: “Hallows.” I don’t know. Prior to it, we probably could have, we probably would have analyzed it quite a bit, but I don’t think we ever, in a million years, would have came up with Half-Blood Prince being someone’s last name.

Jamie: I think that the difference is linguistic because you can analyze – you can analyze both titles in as much depth, but, so the only linguistic analysis you can have on The Half-Blood Prince is whether it’s a prince that’s half-blood or the prince of the half-bloods. Other than that, it’s pretty clear what it’s talking about, whereas Deathly Hallows could literally mean anything.

Ben: There’s so much more interpretation.

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah. She totally – I mean, she was kind of, it’s kind of an easy thing, but I think that fit with what she was trying to do with Book Six. You know, she said it’s a lead-in to Book Seven. It’s like part one of Book Seven and part six of this whole thing. The only one before the end, before the final roller coaster ride.

Ben: Yeah.

Eric: It’s…

Ben: It’s crazy. Well, I just have a hard time believing that it’s 2007 now and Book Six is like – six months from now it’s going to be two years. It’s going to be nearly four years since Book Five. It’s crazy.

Debate: Release Date of Book Seven

Ben: And, which leads us to this week’s debate. We haven’t – I don’t think we’ve had a debate for a while. I’ve been gone for five weeks, but I still don’t think it’s been around for a while. Has it, guys?

[Some people mutter in the background]

Andrew: The last one we did was on the Halloween show. We did Jamie’s…

Ben: Yeah, because you can’t do one without me…

Andrew: …idea of a debate.

Ben: …because, you know, I’m the master debater.

Jamie: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]

Ben: Yeah.

Eric: Dot, dot, dot.

Ben: Well, this week we’re actually – this week we’re actually going to be discussing whether or not Jo should be releasing the book July 2007 or she should wait longer. So, the exact wording of this week’s topic is: Jo should release the book in the month of July. Jamie and Andrew, since they’re kind of in the same studio right now, they’re going to be debating – negating this, saying that it should not be released in July 2007. And Eric and Laura…

Andrew: Actually, to be honest with you, [laughs] it probably would have been more fun if we were on opposite sides because it would be easier to go back and forth.

Ben: [laughs] Yeah.

Jamie: No, it’s okay. It’s all right.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: And now Eric and Laura will be affirming the resolution, saying that we should release the book this July, which is only six months away. So… [laughs] You have two minutes, Laura – Eric and Laura.

Laura: Well, I think it’s pretty obvious that the book should come out in July of 2007, just because it’s when the fans are expecting it and I know a lot of people really feel like we should draw the fandom out and we should make it last as long as we can, but I’ve always been a firm believer that you want to go out with people cheering for you and even if it’s a little sad, at least you went out while it was still good and while people were still excited about it and it could be kind of really, really drawn out. You wait three years between these two books that Jo has said are two halves of the same novel. It’s kind of like, come on, let’s get it out already. Second, it’s – July is one month during 2007 where it’s actually going to work. Because, if you look at the calendar, it’s the one month that most schools are not in session, because some schools will be in session through June. Some start back in August. July is the one month that everyone has in common for summer vacation. It’s also not as busy as other times of the year. I know some people have been thinking about October, maybe even Christmas, and you think about it, wintertime, it’s not a good time for that because it’s so busy and the spring isn’t a good time either, because retail and sales at that point are absolutely dead.

Eric: Yeah, Laura definitely touched on – the fans want it now. As long as, as long as the hype is going to – I mean, it’s debatable whether the hype will be here the next five years or only a short amount of time. And if it is a short amount of time that the hype’s here, then JKR herself is a firm believer in “do it while it’s out.” She said that’s her whole reason of doing seven books, is she said, “I think you’ve got to do it once you’ve done it; go out with a bang.” She said that live on an interview that I heard. So, if the craze is ending, it makes sense to get it out sooner before later.

Ben: That’s time right there. Now, Jamie and Andrew. Plead your case!

Jamie: Okay. What Laura was saying about the excitement only lasting, the fans will only take so much. The excitement will last until the book comes out. That’s the whole point about Harry Potter and how it’s different from other books. The excitement, the fans will wait ten years, if they have to wait ten years, especially because it’s the final book in the series. You know? It’s the one, it’s the Harry Potter book that closes everything, sums up everything, tells you how the adventure will finally end.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Actually…

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: …if you’re looking for a book to help you out now. I mean…

Jamie: Yeah, yeah! The other books have come out in July, June – it doesn’t mean that this one will. In fact, since it’s the last one, it would be extremely nice if it came out at a different time to emphasize the fact that it’s the ultimate, final Harry Potter book. And school could be worked around. People don’t go to school on Saturday. They could have a huge Saturday night release, and then give them Sunday to recover and read. It always could be worked around. And also, October 31st, or around that time, especially October 31st, that’s when the adventure started, when Voldemort killed Harry’s parents, so it would be nice to end it around then. Considering the mood of the book, it’s going to be dark. A winter release would be very, very, very, good. And it just makes no sense releasing it in July because you’re just going to have movie versus book, and let’s not forget that these things are – it’s a franchise, the Harry Potter franchise. Not for Jo, maybe, but for the big bosses. It’s to make money. So, pitting them against each other isn’t worth while. We should have the movie, and we can all enjoy the movie, and then after that, we’ll still have time to look forward to the book. If it comes out two months after the movie comes out, or a month after the movie, that’ll be it. We’ll have movie, book, end of Harry Potter.

[Andrew laughs]

Jamie: For years, until the sixth comes out.

Ben: [laughs] Fifteen seconds.

Jamie: That’s it.

Andrew: Fans like to, fans like to be able to speculate, and they want to be able to wake up everyday and be like, “Oh, I get another day of awesome going on CoS Forums and whatnot to speculating, analyzing, all that stuff.” If, [laughs] if it’s going…

Eric: Time!

Andrew: No, shut up. I still have time. [laughs]

[Ben laughs]

Andrew: If Eric had the – oh, sorry. The fans, the fans, the fans like to wait. They like the anticipation. They like the big build-up. If there’s a movie, and then two, three weeks later, you get a book, it’s not as exciting, because then, by the summer’s end, you’re going to be like, “Shoot! I’m back to school, and there’s nothing Harry Potter to look forward to! Except for a new movie in November 2008.”

Ben: So, okay, guys. Discuss. Openly discuss.

Laura: Okay, I really don’t think it’s fair to say that the book and the movie coming out really close to each other will kill the hype. I think, if anything, it will increase the hype. Because think about, for instance, last summer whenever we thought, “Oh, we’re just going to Vegas for a week.” And then they tacked on the JK Rowling reading right afterward. That just made it ten times better. And just thinking about having these two huge events within weeks of each other, the entire summer would be a huge Harry Potter fest. It would be absolutely fun. And, yeah, it would be sad when you ended it, but, at the same time, you have all these great memories to look back on, and think about how you had an entire Harry Potter summer.

Andrew: But think as a Harry Potter fan, once your summer’s over, and then all of a sudden, you go back to school, and you’re like, “Oh my god, there’s…”

Jamie:Harry Potter is over!”

Andrew: “For once, I don’t have Harry Potter.”

Laura: But that’s not true! We’re perfect examples of that. We sit here and analyze the show weekly, and we haven’t had a book in over a year.

Jamie: Only because we know there’s still going to be book. What are we going to do? We’re going to be, “What’s going to happen in the next Harry – oh, wait! It’s all over!”

Andrew: Yeah! We’ll be in cram time. We’ll be able to argue – we’ll be able to discuss Book Seven, but there’s certainly going to be a – you’re going to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There’s going to be – you’re going to know, and we’re going to start running out of stuff to do.

Laura: Yeah, but that time has got to come eventually, and you can’t just sit here and keep putting it off just because you don’t want it to.

Jamie: Of course not, of course not. No, but that isn’t the case, if you should do it, not what you want. Yeah.

Andrew: Plus, imagine if Jo had an extra year to write this book.

Jamie: Think how amazing it would be.

Andrew: Yeah. If she had a whole, entire year, then why…

Laura: So, are you saying it wouldn’t be amazing now?

Jamie: No, I’m saying there’s a chance that in one year, she will think, “Oh, I wish I had just had a bit longer, or I had just put an extra thing in about Snape, or I would have explained whether Voldemort, you know, just one thing about his character..”

Laura: She’s always going to have those, though.

Jamie: Ideas get developed – no, no! Ideas get obviously developed, and if we just give her a year longer and show that we aren’t concerned about it being rushed out…

Andrew: Right.

Jamie: …then perhaps she will put something in we otherwise wouldn’t know…

Laura: Yeah, but…

Jamie: …instead of getting it out quickly so we can have a Harry Potter summer.

Andrew: Plus, like I’ve said before, this is Harry Potter forever, so once this book is written and published, there’s no going back. So, if she had an extra year to sit there, even if it was [fumbling noises in background] done within the next couple of months – sorry, Jamie has a hard time not playing with everything on the desk. If she had an extra year to just sit there and say that this book – will you stop touching that?!

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Wait a second, what’s going on here?

Andrew: It doesn’t matter. If she had extra time, an extra year to sit there and just go through the book, even if it was done in February or March, whatever, if she had an extra year to sit there and go through the book, and say, “I want to change this little tidbit, I want to change this little bit,” it would be perfect! It would be the perfect book. And I think that that would make it worth it. If it was the perfect Harry Potter book in her mind.

Jamie: I concur.

Andrew: Which would make it the perfect Harry Potter book in ours. Thank you. I’ll be here all week.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: No, you’re not. You’re going to New York tomorrow.

[Ben and Eric laugh]

Laura: Yeah, but what you’ve got to remember, though, is she’s been planning these books for 13, 14 years now, and I really have this sneaking suspicion that she really knows what’s going to happen in Book Seven.

Andrew: I should hope so!

Jamie: Well, I should hope so, she’s writing it!

[Andrew, Ben, and Jamie laugh]

Ben: [laughs] You asked for that one!

Laura: [laughs] Yeah, but what I’m saying…

Ben: Laura, Laura, you asked for that.

Laura: [laughs] Yeah, yeah. I know I did. But, anyway, what I’m saying is that she’s been planning this for so long that I’m not really sure another year would make a difference. She’s been perfectly up-front with us before, like when Order of the Phoenix was coming out, she said, “I want a bit more of a tweak with it.” She hasn’t been saying anything like that about the seventh book, which leads me to believe that she is planning to release it in July of 2007.

Jamie: But, the title has just come out. She’s only just decided what she’s going to call it. How can she know for sure and have enough of a grasp…

Laura: How do you know she’s just decided? She’s just released it.

Jamie: Because, because, because no, no, because in Order of the Phoenix, we had the whole at the solstice will come a new thing, and the solstice is December 21st. Christopher Little trademarked that title two days before she came up with it.

Andrew: That morning. No, it what was that morning.

Jamie: So, sorry. Yeah, it was that morning, and she was juggling three titles in her head. If she decided [laughs] the morning before she was supposed to release it, that on that, I don’t think she could release the book in six or seven months. Also, what you were talking about it – Harry Potter going out with a bang, with the Harry Potter Summer – with the movie. The fifth movie and the seventh book are incomparable. Completely incomparable. You cannot call it a Harry Potter Summer.” It would be a slight…

Laura: Sure you can. It’s still a craze. It doesn’t matter. It’s still a hype. You can’t…

Jamie: Yeah, of course it’s a craze. You’re right, it is a craze. But the people will be going to the movie thinking, “Yeah, this is going to be awesome, but I wish it was three weeks away so I get the book.” And also, it would go out with such a bang if we had three years off. Sixth book, two years, movie, and then the third year. And then had a huge celebration for the end of Harry Potter. It makes so much more sense than combining one film and the amazing book into one summer, and then thinking, “Oh, well, it’s downhill from here, because there’s nothing left to go.”

Ben: [laughs] Well, I hate to cut you guys off, but I was really enjoying listening to this because it’s good to hear you guys’ input on it, and have a nice little structured debate.

Jamie: One more point, if they want, because I ended it.

Eric: I think Laura and I pretty much PWN-ed you all. So, we’re going to see. This poll is going to come up this week. We’re going to see who wins, but I don’t think it’s even debatable that Laura, and especially me, made accurate points about… So, yeah, if JKR – JKR is going to be completely off her rocker, I mean, if it doesn’t come out this July. If she doesn’t rush it, and rush the heck out of it, and make it a mess.

[Ben and Laura laugh]

Laura: Eric!

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: It will absolutely come out this July! I guarantee – I will, I don’t know what I’ll do, but it’s coming out. And Laura and I just won that, so we should move on because I don’t want Andrew and Jamie to feel bad.

[Ben laughs]

Andrew: You’re a little too high on yourself today.

Ben: Yeah.

Eric: They’re already in Jersey, it’s bad enough for them. So…

Laura: Okay, well, Ben, I’d just like you to know that I’ll be voting for Andrew and Jamie in that poll, thank you. [laughs]

Ben: Okay. [laughs] Okay.

[Laura laughs]

Ben: Okay, so a few things here. To me, my own little opinion here quickly. Personally, I see there’s a – it could be a good thing, could be a bad thing if it’s released this summer. I think the fact – the big Harry Potter extravaganza that was mentioned before would be pretty cool. But Jamie raised an interesting point when he said that there will be some people saying, “I wish it was two weeks away.” But at the same time, I don’t know necessarily if that’s a bad thing, because they are still going to see the movie. From a corporate standpoint it’s likely they’re going to spread them out a bit because, you know, of course it will be a big summer regardless. I think if you have them spread out you can let the hype build a little bit longer. However, the way it was debated, I’m going to have to go with Jamie and Andrew on this one just because…

Eric: Well, Ben, you’re wrong! Ben, you’re wrong! You’re wrong, Ben!

Andrew: Wooo!

Ben: Eric, you just didn’t really seem like you believed in what you were saying.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: That cannot be farther from the truth, Ben. That is so wrong.

[Everyone still laughing]

Eric: I’m just tired of how wrong you are all the time. Geez.

Ben: So, I just – they said the most points. They just really proved that we shouldn’t have it this summer because she needs more time to, she needs to take her time with it, she doesn’t need to rush it, it’s the last book, it needs to be perfect. So…

Andrew: High five!

Jamie: High five!

[Sound of high five in the background]

Ben: Vote for who you think has won this debate on as soon as you finish listening to this show. Or, go ahead and do it right now, It will give you something to do while you’re listening. So…

Listener Rebuttal: Polyjuice Potion

Ben: Okay, a few listener questions this week. From Graham, 34 from Seattle, Washington:

“Hey, MuggleCast. If a person uses older hairs of him or herself in a Polyjuice Potion, would they become a younger version of themselves? Or, could Voldemort for instance, possibly use part of himself as a kid to breach Hogwarts by going in as a student? What do you think? Thanks!”

Andrew: I don’t see why not, but, I don’t see why not, but why would you want to do that, other than confusing people?

Ben: Well, do you guys think it’s possible, though?

Eric: It’s a question of, like, is it DNA or what? Because I’m almost inclined to say no. I mean, if you use older hairs of yourself, it’s still yourself.

Laura: It’s still your…

Ben: It’s the same DNA.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: It’s a question, too, because if something bad happens to you, like you lose a leg or something, and then you use the Polyjuice Potion and the hairs were taken at the time when you didn’t have the leg, like, is there some magical, all-knowing thing that says, “Okay, this person lost a leg, so when I create you into this person, you’re not going to have a leg.” I mean, what exactly determines that? I think it’s cool.

Jamie: Well, yeah, but the second part of the question, I think there’s got to be some type of protection that Dumbledore has put on the castle to stop that happening because, like, the Polyjuice Potion is a well-known, well-documented disguise. I don’t think he’d ever, ever slip up and allow Polyjuice Potion through Hogwarts security.

Eric: I agree with you, Jamie, 100,000 percent, except “Mad-Eye” Moody.

Laura: It happened once before.

Eric: And the other thing…

Jamie: Oh, yeah. I just thought of that.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: No, no, no, no, Jamie. No, I want to say that, too, but unfortunately, too, Dumbledore just should have put anti-Voldemort things on the castle. I’m sure he could. I’m sure he could!

[Laura laughs]

Eric: No, but listen, I mean, he got in on the back of Quirrell’s head. I mean, I was thinking the other day, okay, we want to believe that Dumbledore is smart, and intelligent, and can tell when Voldemort is near, but…

Laura: [laughs] Voldemort repellent?

Eric: But, Quirrell, he was on the back of Quirrell’s head…

Ben: Yeah. [laughs]

Eric: …and Dumbledore was sitting right with him.

Ben: Oh! Oh! Oh! Slam, Jamie! You’ve got to take him down.

Jamie: Well, he didn’t have any anti-keep-your-dictator-on-the-back-of-your-head protection. He might have had something else.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Yeah, but Harry’s scar didn’t even go off, well, it did when he was kind of close to him. But, Dumbledore, of all people…

[Ben laughs]

Eric: If you can detect the smallest, “Oh you have to cut yourself to put it on a rock here,” he should have known Voldemort was in the castle. I mean, I don’t want to be casting down on Dumbledore, but this is true.

[Ben still laughing]

Jamie: Well, he’s dead.

Eric: But he’s dead. So…

Laura: He was also human.

[Ben laughs]

Jamie: Away from the tiny, tiny flaw in my theory that it formed part of the fourth book, a major part of the fourth book, he was expecting Moody. It wasn’t as though Moody walking in came as a surprise and he exhibited all the characteristics of the Moody that – I’m just trying to dig myself out of a hole that I thought the Potter books went 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 at the moment. But, yeah, I think that he knew it was him, he expected him to drink out of his hip flask, but there was something, there was something – it didn’t come out of the ordinary. But, if a younger Voldemort walked into the castle now, they’ll think, “Well, aren’t you supposed to be a bit older? And look like a snake?” [laughs]

Ben: Not necessarily. Because the students wouldn’t. The students wouldn’t recognize him.

Laura: Yeah, but some of the teachers would.

Jamie: Oh, the students wouldn’t, but when he turns up at Potions and puts his hand into the air to ask a question.

Eric: But, just an off-handed…

Andrew: Yeah, “What’s this new…” No, they’ll notice, “What’s this new student going around Hogwarts,” and Harry would notice him.

Eric: Yeah. Well, no, even vaguer. I mean, they would just probably see just green robes and then assume. I mean, if he walks in as he is now, obviously he can’t even pass for human. Okay, so the Polyjuice Potion. I mean, in reconnaissance, in the end, do you the Polyjuice Potion can de-age a person? I mean obviously there is better ways to gain youth. I mean, I’m sure there’s spells and potions to get wrinkles away.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: But Polyjuice Potion in general; do you think it could make people younger? If they use old hairs?

Ben: Well it doesn’t really make you younger. It just can transform into a younger body, a younger version of yourself.

Eric: To transform…

Ben: I would guess so.

Laura: Transform to a younger person.

Ben: Because, like you said…

Andrew: Yeah. Unless there is like some rule that says if the Polyjuice Potion – when you drink it, when it realizes that it matches your DNA…

Ben: Well, maybe you have to…

Andrew: …it just doesn’t work.

Ben: Maybe you have to brew the potion at that time.

Eric: Like what do you mean? Oh, what? Would it still be good?

Ben: Brew the potion at that time, as opposed to saving the hair to brew.

Andrew: Oh, so…

Eric: Oh, that’s interesting.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Eric: Well how long does it keep? Can you refrigerate it?

Andrew: So… [laughs]

Ben: I don’t know.

Andrew: So like Jell-O?

Laura: But you can’t, because it takes like a month to brew.

Ben: Ten points to anybody who can name the book that the Polyjuice Potion came from.

Eric: Chamber of Secrets?

Laura and


Most Potente Potions.

Eric: Oh, Most “Potentey” – “Potente” with an “e” Potions.

Jamie: Yes. It’s still…

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Good job.

Listener Rebuttal: No Exercise at Hogwarts?

Eric: All right, and the other e-mail question.

Ben: Yeah, our next question comes from – our final question comes from Erik Griffin of Los Angeles.

“I tried and tried to send voicemails and e-mails to y’all, and unfortunately they haven’t gone through, or something. But I have a really good question I want you to take a crack at. Okay, so how is it that every ten pages in the Harry Potter books that they are in the Great Hall eating sponge cake and treacle [mispronounces as “treh-ke”] tart.”

Treacle? [mispronounces as “treh-ke”]

Eric: [corrects, pronouncing “tree-cull”] Treacle tart.

Ben: Treacle? [mispronounces as “treh-sell”]

Jamie: [pronounces “tree-cull”] Treacle. Treacle.

Ben: “…treacle tarts. But Hogwarts doesn’t have a physical education program.” [laughs] “Where is their gym? Why are they all not fat? And Quidditch isn’t an exercise, even for the seven people who get to play it.”

Jamie: Do you know, I have been wondering this since the first time I opened Book One.

[Laura laughs]

Jamie: And it said, “And all of the steak disappeared and was replaced by a thousand puddings with whipped cream on top.”

[Eric laughs]

Ben: Then, Jamie, the simple answer is that they are not American. They don’t overeat, right?

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Jamie: Yeah, yeah. No, but seriously, I’ve been wondering this the entire time. And in – I think is was Book Three when it’s like, “‘Thanks,’ said Harry, watching Seamus pile ketchup on his sausages,” and stuff like that.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Well, you know ketchup, very fattening.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Jamie: Okay, Ben…

Eric: No, but really…

Jamie: You’re right, but…

Eric: I mean, I guess …

Jamie: …when you put it on ten sausages.

Eric: Yeah.

Jamie: It’s, you know…

Ben: That’s true. That’s true.

Jamie: But I have no answer for it apart from the fact…

Laura: Well…

Jamie: …that it’s magical and that it’s fat-free sausages, and stuff.

Laura: Consider that Hogwarts is huge, and they have to walk all over it.

Eric: Huh?

Ben: That’s true.

Eric: Well…

Andrew: No, but that still doesn’t…

Eric: Walking?

Andrew: I mean, people, larger people walk around all the time.

[Ben and Laura laugh]

Eric: All the time. Well…

Andrew: But my point is that it’s like asking, “Why don’t you ever see them brush their teeth in the…?”

Jamie: Exactly. Yeah.

Andrew: In the…

Eric: No, well, I think it’s…

Laura: Or go to the bathroom?

Andrew: Or go to the bathroom, right.

Laura: Or take a shower.

Eric: …slightly different than that, though.

Andrew: Exactly.

Jamie: Harry hasn’t had a shower for six books.

Ben: Well, he had a bath. So…

Eric: Okay, okay, but we talked about that. Yes, yes, we did. But at the same time, I think this is slightly more – it’s not even like Astronomy, where it was mentioned in the back half of all the books, you know, and they took their O.W.L. there, or whatever. It’s not even what do they do for exercise? You can’t – I wanted to say when I first read this that, well, Harry runs from Voldemort all the time and he’s always dashing around chambers and stuff.

[Ben laughs]

Eric: So, that’s how he keeps skinny. But, you know, it’s in the genes. No, it’s a merited question. It’s not facetious, it’s not done in spite. Just to say, “Oh, he hasn’t taken a bath, or anything like that,” this is an actual question and bridging off what Erik Griffin said, you know, in Book One when they all have flying lessons? Why do they teach them flying lessons? Why does Madam Hooch teach everybody flying lessons? Because…

Jamie: So they can ride broomsticks.

Eric: Yeah, but at the same time not all of them will be playing Quidditch, and if you think about it, they won’t actually be flying on broomsticks unless they, unless they don’t live…

Andrew: Not everybody is going to be doing Defense Against the Dark Arts…

Eric: Well, I think everyone will have to, eventually.

Andrew: … but they teach it, anyway. It’s part of the curriculum.

Eric: You can stop a jinx from your friends.

Ben: I don’t need to know pre-Calculus, but I still take it.

Andrew: Exactly, yeah. I was just going to say, I’m learning about the – last year I learned about the Periodic Table of Elements. I already forget that copper is “Cu.”

Eric: Okay, okay, but what I – point taken. But, what I’m saying is, that even if, I mean if you don’t live in a densely Muggle-populated area like the Weasley twins, then it’s okay. But, everybody else who does live in a Muggle-populated area, you know, the only time you might actually be on a broomstick at all is after your seventh year, after you’ve graduated. I mean, once you need to start traveling, and stuff like that. Why would flying lessons even be there for everybody, and be there in the first year? Because as we have seen in the later books – it was okay on Book One, and it was a plot device to get Harry on the Quidditch team. But, at the same time, how often do people actually – that’s not even a method of travel for Wizards. It doesn’t seem to be a method of travel for Wizards. Unless you want to be very inconspicuous and seriously almost harm the barrier in between Muggles and Wizards. So, where do they get exercise?

Ben: Or maybe because flying is fun.

Laura: Well, maybe…

Ben: I don’t know.

Laura: Maybe they do have a gym class, and we just don’t know about it.

Eric: And it wasn’t even almost…

Laura: And maybe Hagrid is their Phys-Ed teacher.

[Eric laughs]

Ben: Or maybe the food is magically enchanted to burn up, I don’t know. Lactose, or something.

Eric: Well, Jamie just gave the answer that they just know how much their metabolisms can handle.

Ben: So, yeah, thank you for sending in your e-mails. Remember you can contact us at mugglecast at staff dot mugglenet dot com. If you have any questions, use the forums on the site, Go ahead and send that in.

Andrew: We do enjoy reading all of your e-mails. We do get a lot…

Ben: Yeah, sorry, Erik…

Andrew: We get a lot of them.

Ben: …we didn’t get to your e-mails sooner but, yeah, there you go.

Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul

Ben: Now, finally this week, throughout the show we have a Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul.

Andrew: Woo!

Ben: Yeah, my favorite segment. This comes from Zoë, from New Jersey. Whoa. Wow, New Jersey. Coincidence there.

Andrew: Well, I didn’t put it in.

Ben: [laughs] I know.

“Dear MuggleCasters, I just wanted to say ‘congratulations’ on 70 episodes. It’s unbelievable to see such a talented, expressive group of people putting their time towards something useful. MuggleCast is the most personality-filled podcast I’ve listened to. I’ve been a listener since Episode 10, and I fell in love with it instantly. My daughter was recently diagnosed with cancer and she loves Harry Potter. Two weeks ago she had to spend three days in the hospital, so I let her take my iPod. And all the episodes made her three days a whole lot better. You are all so professional, and it is good to know that not all America’s (and the UK’s) teenagers are going to waste. When I actually realized your ages, I was amazed. Good life, good pickles, and to hell with Laura Mallory!”

Eric: Whoa!

Ben: [laughs] “Zoë.”

There you are. Awww. Isn’t that so sweet? I’m going to get a little bit sentimental here. This to me, is when you feel like you’ve had the most impact is when you hear the stories, you know. Last August, don’t you guys remember last August, when we were at New York City? There was a lady who came up to the podium to get something signed and ask Jamie, it was touching. She was a member of the visually impaired, and MuggleCast was what, it just made her life easier. People who have lost weight, the people who have – everyone it’s impacted. It’s great.

Andrew: I agree. I found this e-mail last night, and I said to Jamie, “You know what? I love doing MuggleCast. This is the reason why, because of the e-mails like this.”

Jamie: It is true.

Andrew: Yeah. And then we went to bed. [laughs]

Jamie: Yeah.

Ben: That’s very touching. Remember, if MuggleCast has changed your life in some way, e-mail us it.

Andrew: Because we do like reading them.

Quick Updates

Ben: Jamie, do you have a British joke this week?

Jamie: Okay, well, I was planning on doing one, but then I realized I’m at Andrew’s house in America, so I couldn’t possibly do one this week.

Ben: Yeah, it’d be a disgrace, wouldn’t it?

Jamie: Yep. Next week I’ll have two.

[Ben and Andrew laugh]

Ben: Yeah, that’s what you always say.

Andrew: How many times have you said that? Yeah. You’re up to like five, now.

Ben: Someone go through episodes to find out how many jokes Jamie owes us. I’m sure it’s…

Andrew: And how many Dumbledore/Norris facts…

Ben: …Norris facts.

Andrew: …he owes.

Ben: And, by the way, don’t check how many PO Box updates I owe you, because it’s none. Zero. [laughs]

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Yeah, it wouldn’t by chance be like 70?

Ben: Yeah, probably.

Show Close

Ben: Well, folks, that wraps up this week’s show. Yeah, Happy 2007. Keep on listening. Remember, your MuggleCast t-shirts are now collector’s items.

Jamie: Yep.

Andrew: That’s true.

Jamie: They’re archaic.

Ben: I wonder how long until they’re on eBay?

[Closing music begins in background]

Andrew: How long until they’re on eBay?

Ben: Yeah.

Andrew: Alright. I’d love to go on eBay right now and see, if…

Ben: Oh, actually … [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, I wanted to get it for five.

Ben: Let’s start selling them through eBay. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, that’s a good idea.

[Eric laughs]

Ben: Papa Sims.

Andrew: Used MuggleCast t-shirts, secretly …

Jamie: Oh, there aren’t any.

Ben: So, that wraps up this week’s show. From…

Andrew: Contact info.

Ben: From my…

Andrew: Contact info. Contact info.

Ben: Oh, yeah! Contact information! Our PO Box:

PO Box 223
Moundridge, KS

Eric: [same time as Ben] 223, Moundridge, Kansas…

Ben: Send us everything – confetti. You name it, we want it. Andrew, phone numbers? In the US, 1-218-20-MAGIC.

Andrew: If you’re in the United Kingdom, you could always dial 020-8144-0677. If you’re in Australia, you can dial 02-8003-5668. You can also Skype the username “MuggleCast” and leave us a voicemail message that way. We’ll get to some voicemails next week. We have a lot of questions concerning The Deathly Hallows, of course. So, you can Skype the username “MuggleCast”, just try to keep your message under 30 seconds and eliminate as much background noise as possible. You can also go to for all the contact information and a handy feedback forum.

Ben: Yeah!

Andrew: And don’t forget – you can always directly contact any of us with our-first-name at staff dot mugglenet dot com. Over to you Ben!

Ben: Yeah, goodnight, everybody. Have fun. Oh, yeah, by the way, bye the way, I’m Ben Schoen.

Andrew: I’m Andrew Sims.

Jamie: I’m Jamie Lawrence.

Eric: I’m Eric Scull.

Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.

Ben: Good night.

Eric: Good night.

[Show music ends]


Eric: Yeah, and they’d all be celebrating with me while you guys – now what is the true story of Britney Spears? I know you guys had something with her collapsing in that hotel, that casino.

Jamie: Britney Spears?

Eric: Yeah.

Jamie: What are you talking about?

Eric: She just dropped. I mean I saw it on the news. I saw it – like every single casino shot out fireworks and stuff, but what happened with Britney?

Andrew: What are you talking about?

Eric: Britney Spears collapsed in a casino in Vegas minutes after she hosted the…

Jamie: Eric, Vegas is quite a big place, you know? We can’t be in every single hotel at the same time.

Eric: Okay. Yeah, but that was your chance to assume the responsibility here in front of all the people.

Jamie: Well, you’re right. My Popstar Collapsing Radar went off. So, I… So…

[Ben laughs]

Andrew: I forgot to check my regular Britney Spears fansite this morning, sorry.

Jamie: We just couldn’t find you in time.

[Short pause]

Ben: You’re lame. Besides Britney Spears [laughs] collapsing…

Jamie: Ben?

Eric: What the hell? That was big national phenomena! I heard it in Pennsylvania!

[Ben still laughs]

Eric: Seriously.

Andrew: I’m looking on Google News. I don’t see a thing about it.

Ben: Yeah, me neither. [laughs]

Andrew: Ben, where are you going with this? Were you going into the name entries?

Jamie: Can I just say one last thing?

Ben: Oh…

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Ben: I forgot about that!

Ben: Yeah, the break then News

Ben: So, new names in the news lately?

Jamie: Eric? One last comeback. I was going to say – Eric, you heard that in Pennsylvania? She must have fell pretty damn loudly, then.

[Eric and Ben laugh]

Eric: I meant I heard of it, Jamie.

Ben: So, by the way, I’ve had a five-week layoff. I know you all missed me.

Andrew: Yeah, where have you been, Ben?

Ben: Well, you know, I’ve been in Chicago, New York City, Hong Kong, London…

Andrew: Oh, that’s right, you’re a published author now. I forgot.

Ben: Yeah. I’m a hot shot. I’m a hot shot.

Jamie: Rock star life, eh?

Ben: Yeah, it’s a rough life. Like I said, it’s rough being Ben Schoen.

Eric: Elton John said that, what?

Ben: As Elton John would say, “The Ben is back.”

Eric: Oh. Oh.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Yeah.

[Andrew and Ben laugh]

Ben: Well, he said another “B” word, but we can’t go into that.

[Andrew still laughing]

Ben: Even though the news has been slow this past week, let’s go to Micah Tannenbaum for a look at this past week’s Harry Potter news stories.

Andrew: [laughs] I think you forget how to do this, dude. We just do the names…

Eric: I thought it was good.

Andrew: …and then it cuts into the news.

Eric: Yeah, you should, you should…

Ben: Oh, you don’t do that anymore?

Andrew: No.

Eric: Yeah, you…

Ben: I’m so out of it! I’ve been gone so long!

Andrew: I’ll just cut that out. We’ll use that – never mind. I’ll just cut out.

Ben: I thought it was going to transition, though.

Eric: Okay, but…

Andrew: All right. Fine.


Written by: Micah, Adrienne, Amanda, Briana, Eloise, Jessica, Margaret, Martina, Matt, Megan, Roni, Samantha, Shannon and Shelly