MuggleCast 79 Transcript
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[Intro music plays]
Andrew: Because your two favorite co-hosts are not on the show this week – you can guess who – this is MuggleCast Episode 79 for March 4th, 2007.
[Music continues to play]
Laura: So, hey, did you guys hear that Michael Gambon is having a baby?
Ben: So he’s pregnant?
Laura: [laughs] Yeah, sure, Ben.
[Ben and Laura laugh]
Micah: Awww. Congratulations, Laura.
Laura: [laughs] Hey!
Ben: [laughs] Ohhh.
Laura: [laughs] Uhh…
Ben: Laura and Dumbledore, whoo!
Laura: I hate you.
Laura: No, I read on IMDB that he – his like 40 year old girlfriend is having a baby in May.
Ben: But what’s up with Michael Gambon, lately? He’s been saying some pretty, uh – some pretty crazy things. Did you hear what he said about Dan in Equus?
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Laura: Or more importantly about…
Eric: He’s said…
Laura: …something of Dan’s.
[Ben and Laura laugh]
Ben: Yeah. He said – here’s the exact quote. “He’s growing up. He’s a proper theater actor now. He’s naked in this thing, so all the girls will go out and see it. I’d be frightened running around the stage with nothing on at all. When you stop running, one thing keeps moving. I bet he didn’t think of that.”
[Ben, Eric, and Laura laugh]
Eric: I can’t – I don’t believe this guy!
Laura: No, I love Michael Gambon. I think he’s funny. I like him a lot.
Ben: [laughs] Yeah.
Laura: He’s very upfront and honest, and I think that’s cool.
Eric: He did so well to be such a kind, gentle father figure, especially in Goblet of Fire, that I think he should have a kid. Yes, that will be very lovely…
Ben: Yeah. [laughs]
Eric: Because he’s such a calm and kind old, old man. You just…
Eric: …he is not the kind of guy you imagine would just punch your face in, or something, but…
Laura: Now wait a second, Eric. Are you telling me that your parents didn’t throw you into the trophy case? Because mine always did.
Micah: Well, that actually explains a lot.
Ben: Okay, [laughs] welcome back to the show everybody. I’m Ben Schoen.
Eric: I am Eric Scull.
Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Ben: And joining us this week, he’s a wizard rock all-star. We’re very, very lucky to have him here: Alex Carpenter from The Remus Lupins. Say, “Hi,” Alex…
Alex: Hey, what’s up?
Ben: [laughs] Yeah. Now, Alex, this is probably the number one question you get asked, but I want you to explain once and for all on our podcast…
Alex: Why do you love Ben Schoen? I know. I get it a lot…
Ben: Well, no, besides that one – I think the answer is pretty obvious, good looks, the charm.
Ben: We don’t need to continue – we’ll stop – we’ll just stop there. [laughs]
Alex: What’s the question, Ben?
Laura: Yes, please.
Eric: Are we talking about the same Ben Schoen? What?
Ben: Oh, shut up. Shut up.
Ben: No, I’m just joking. So, Alex, why are you called The Remus Lupins? Why is it plural? The Remus Lupins. I mean, there is only one of you, right?
Alex: Because Remus Lupin is a bad name for a band, so I made it The Remus Lupins. No, I just like bands that are called “The Somethings,” so I decided to make fun of that by taking a singular character and making it plural. If I’d known…
Ben: So what are…
Alex: …I’d get this many questions about it, I wouldn’t have done it.
Ben: You wouldn’t have done it.
[Alex, Ben, and Eric laugh]
Ben: Well, that’s awesome. So, you’re on tour – you just got back from being on tour, right?
Alex: Yeah. I was just out on a week-long tour of the northeast, which was a lot of fun. I got back and immediately started planning my summer tour. So, I got tour on the brain, it’s exciting.
Ben: Hmmm. Yeah, I just kind of pulled Alex in here at the last second because you know Jamie, guys, he – he bailed on you. He didn’t have time for us this week, so…
Eric: Oh, that’s okay.
Ben: …Alex gracefully stepped in.
Alex: Well, since Jamie and I are basically the same person, anyway. So, I mean.
Ben: Yeah, I mean, practically…
Ben: You’re British and…
Ben: And – yeah. [laughs]
Alex: He’s better at badminton than I am, but…
Ben: [laughs] Yeah.
[Music continues to play]
Ben: Without further ado, let’s go to Micah Tannenbaum for a look at this past week’s news stories.
Micah: A new report by Variety discusses what is expected to be the biggest summer in film history. Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, Warner Bros’ international prexy of distribution, talked about Order of the Phoenix, just one of the major flicks coming out this summer. She said:
“The opening date is not an obvious choice on the domestic side, but it really does put our best foot forward internationally. With ‘Harry Potter,’ we’re going day and date everywhere except in the Middle East and a few minor markets, because most are going to be in holidays at that point.”
With so many tentpoles, the battle for screens will be intense. She went on to say, “We’ll have between 6,000 and 7,000 on ‘Ocean’s’ and over 10,000 on ‘Harry’ but that’s going to be a challenge because there are so many incredible films coming.”
In other Harry Potter film news, Dame Maggie Smith, who plays Professor McGonagall, mentioned her return to West End stage in an interview, and also how the first Potter film is her favorite.
Daniel Radcliffe has signed on for the last two Potter films. A publicist for the Harry Potter actor has confirmed that he will reprise his role in both Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows. He is set to begin shooting Movie 6 in September. There is currently no word on whether Rupert Grint or Emma Watson will return for the last two films, but Rupert has already expressed a desire to do so.
March 1st was World Book Day, and a poll has been conducted to find the ten books readers can’t live without. Harry Potter made the fourth spot on the list, with 12% of the vote. The top three include Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen,Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
Equus opened earlier this week in London, where it was greeted with enormous enthusiasm and praise. Daniel Radcliffe in particular received a standing ovation at the end of the performance, and many celebrity guests commented positively on his role.
Finally, the Scottish Medicines Consortium will deny patients of a drug which combats an aggressive form of Multiple Sclerosis, ahead of a debate on the drug. The reason being that it’s too costly – £15,000 sterling a year per patient. The decision also means doctors must apply to the health board in each individual case for funding of the drug. Well, what does this have to do with Harry Potter? Jo Rowling, who lost her mother to the disease and is the patron of the MS Society of Scotland, has condemned the SMC’s decision. She said, “I know from personal experience that MS can have a devastating effect on everyone who comes in contact with it. My mother suffered terribly with MS and it was so frustrating that there was little or nothing doctors could do to help her.
“If a drug can help tackle MS – particularly the very aggressive type of relapsing MS we are talking about – it should not be ruled out because of cost alone.”
“Once again, decisions about treatment are being made by accountants rather than clinicians. I hope MSPs will speak up on behalf of the thousands of families affected by MS across Scotland.”
That’s all the news for this March 4th, 2007 edition of MuggleCast, back to the show.
New OOTP Photos
Ben: Thanks for that, Micah. So, before we – [laughs] so, before we move onto our announcements, there are a few things, new things we saw this week that Micah mentioned in his news. Like some new pics of Wormtail, the Thestrals, Grawp, and Harry in Umbridge’s class. Now, what did you guys think of the Thestrals? Were they what you imagined in – originally, what you envisioned?
Laura: No. To be perfectly honest, they weren’t. I always imagined them to be a lot darker and more skeletal-like. I almost sort of imagined that their ribcage was clearly visible and that wasn’t really what I saw in that picture. It was a lot different.
Eric: Wait a minute, Laura. Are we – have we seen the same pictures? Because I saw something that looked pretty much like a dragon, with like a really large ribcage.
Laura: Well, yeah, it looked like it – I don’t know. It looked, I thought too…
Eric: It was like an ostrich, like, bird-like.
Laura: Yeah, I thought it looked too reptilian.
Ben: I don’t know – I don’t know if we got a good enough look at it, because, you know, it’s a pretty small picture, so…
Laura: Yeah, I know. But…
Eric: It’s all these pictures that – what exactly, do we know what’s going on with that, as far as HarryLatino and DanLatino? Has Warner Brothers not put an end to their constant release of these low quality images? I mean, if…
Ben: Well, I don’t know what’s going on. I think – I think maybe they stole a copy of HP Scene-It off the back of a truck in – in Latin America, [laughs] I guess.
Ben: In Mexico.
Eric: [laughs] In Mexico.
Ben: I mean, I don’t know how else they’re getting all these pictures, but…
Eric: And, and, and Warner Brothers usually like – sometimes, when smaller quality images are released, they’ll be like, “Okay, you know, we give. You caught us.” And then they’ll give us the high qualities, but we’ve only – we don’t have that many high qualities so far, but yet we keep seeing these, these scenes that are – of even – you know, even the new one of Tonks and it’s just, I’m waiting for a…
Eric: …for a high-res, you know? Because it’s just – and without ads.
Ben: Well, they’re not going to do that with everything.
Micah: Where do these Thestrals pictures come from, though? Because they look cartoonish, in a way.
Ben: Yeah, that – that’s – I don’t know. That’s interesting.
Micah: The same thing with Grawp; it was more cartoonish than things that we’ve seen in the past.
Laura: Almost like a concept picture?
Micah: Right, right.
Ben: Right, almost like a – yeah, a concept picture. Good name for it. [laughs] Now, did you guys see the Harry and the Weasley twins, and Umbridge? I mean, they can definitely tell that’s authentic.
Ben: What do you think? I think Imelda Staunton is going to be great. I mean…
Laura: Oh, I think so, too.
Eric: I can’t wait to see it.
Ben: She just has the look. She has the look, I think.
Laura: I think she definitely…
Ben: Like, when I…
Laura: …has it down.
Ben: When I used to think of Umbridge, I kind of used to think of Professor Sprout, for some reason, like that look…
Ben: …of the person in the movie, that’s what I used to think of, except like a mean version.
Ben: And I think Imelda is going to do really well. Alex, have you seen the photos?
Alex: I haven’t. I was actually just trying to find them right now because I felt bad…
Ben: Awww. [laughs]
Alex: …but I’m sure they’re awesome.
Ben: [laughs] You’re sure they’re awesome.
Alex: The Thestrals look a little conceptual, but I like the Umbridge look. She’s really got it down.
Ben: Yeah, I agree.
Alex: Nothing? Okay.
Micah: Young, Wormtail looks good, too. I think that picture is really good.
Eric: Yeah, yeah. Micah, did you – uh, did your Umbridge have white hair? Did anybody’s Umbridge have white hair?
Ben: Mine didn’t. Mine had darker hair.
Laura: Because in the book it said she had brown hair. So…
Laura: …my Umbridge has brown hair.
Eric: Well, I’m a rebel of the books. [laughs]
Laura: Yeah. [laughs]
Eric: I read and I say, “That isn’t really how it is. She’s just fooling.”
Ben: But, as Micah said, the young Peter Pettigrew looks really good, too.
Eric: I don’t know, do you like that?
Ben: I mean – yeah. I think this is definitely a picture from HP Scene-It. The way [laughs] – the way that thing looks. But, yeah, I think it looks exactly – it looks, you know, the resemblance between young Peter and, you know, Timothy Spall is pretty much uncanny. It looks really, really good.
Laura: Yeah, I think it looks really good, but I’ve never been a fan of the way that they did Wormtail in the movies. I thought that while, yes, in the books it did say that he had some rat-like features, they practically made him…
Eric: They completely overemphasized.
Laura: …look like an overgrown rat. And that’s one thing…
Laura: …that I didn’t like about it.
Ben: Well, they kind of do that with everybody, though. You know what I mean?
Laura: Yeah, I know.
Ben: Like, with Voldemort. With Voldemort, they kind of took…
Laura: The snake thing.
Ben: …the snake imagery type thing to the max, so it seems like they did it with more than just Wormtail, but I think the Harry Potter movies have some of the best actors and actresses; there’s no denying that. Particularly the adults.
Ben: And the kids have really progressed, also.
Jo Sues eBay
Ben: Now in news besides the movie, J.K. Rowling – you know, her battle with eBay – continues, and she sued them. She sued them.
Laura: Good for her.
Eric: She did.
Ben: Good for – [laughs] Now is there anything to talk about here? About her suing eBay?
Eric: Well, what do you guys think about illegal copies on eBay? And how she’s standing up for it, and they don’t really – What does that mean for eBay? Does that mean you can never get a Harry Potter book on eBay? Or…
Micah: Well, what constitutes illegal copies of her books? That’s what I want to know.
Ben: Right. To me, it’s either an e-book, because those have never been officially released, or it’s that or I think it’s a fake signed copy. And I think that’s why a lot of celebrities aren’t apt to sign autographs anymore, because they’ll have someone who comes in and says – who gets an autographed copy, and then they sell it. They turn around and sell it, you know? And that’s why a lot of times they actually require personalization. Because if they don’t, then someone’s going to try to make a quick buck off of it. And that’s something Jo battles, too.
Alex: You just have them make it out to eBay. Just cut through the middleman.
Ben: Yeah, “Dear eBay.”
Alex: “Dear eBay…”
Jo Speaks Out on Multiple Sclerosis
Ben: Yeah [laughs]. Yeah, in other news, J.K. Rowling also spoke out about Multiple Sclerosis, because there was a drug that’s really costly. And it’s about $30,000 a year…
Ben: …per patient. That’s £15,000, so…
Ben: …$30,000 or so a year per patient, and I guess they said that it can’t be sold anymore. Is this right?
Laura: I don’t think it ever was sold, at least not widely.
Ben: Well, I mean, I guess it won’t be given to patients anymore.
Ben: Despite its effect on MS, or anything like that, it’s just – because it’s so expensive.
Ben: I bet they have universal health care over there. That’s what the problem is.
Laura: What they’re going to have to do is appeal to whoever – I’m not sure who you have to appeal to, but doctors will have to…
Micah: They have to appeal to a health board.
Laura: Yeah, for specific cases, so not everybody who is going to need it is going to get it.
Ben: Yeah. And JK – and Jo said that, “I know from personal experience that MS can have a devastating effect on everyone who comes into contact with it. My mother suffered terribly with MS and it was so frustrating that there was little or nothing doctors could do to help her.
“If a drug can help tackle MS – particularly the very aggressive type of relapsing MS we are talking about – it should not be ruled out because of cost alone. Once again, decisions about treatment are being made by accountants rather than clinicians, and I hope MSPs will speak up on behalf of the thousands of families affected by MS across Scotland.”
Well said. I mean, personally, I’ve seen the effects of this disease, and it’s someone that’s sort of close to me. My high school History teacher – he has MS, and it’s just weird to see how much he’s deteriorated over the past few years. You know…
Ben: …and I mean, Jo has a – she likes to speak out for worthy causes, so I agree with her here. And particularly something that’s really close to her, like her mother having it, you know?
Ben: Hopefully she can have some impact down in Scotland. Because, you know, that’s really not fair; it’s just money. Well, that wraps up our news discussion.
Ben: Now, we have some announcements this week. First of all, quickly, vote for us on Podcast Alley. We want to be number one. It’s always fun.
Micah: New month.
Ben: New month. Yeah, that’s right. It is a new month. It’s March now. So go ahead and vote for us on Podcast Alley. Now, also coming up in March – you know how we wrote that book? Mugglenet.Com’s What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7: Who Lives, Who Dies, and How the Adventure Will Finally End.
Who falls in love!
Ben: Sorry, sorry. That’s in there, too. “Who Falls in Love” is also in there, so don’t forget. We already did a few events. We did two in the Chicago area – actually, there have been three in the Chicago area, and we have more coming up. And so I have a few dates for you. For those of you near Woodmere, Ohio, Emerson and I will be there on Monday, March 12th. We don’t have a specific time yet, but if you call that store they will have a time very soon. For those of you near Exton, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, March 14th, we will be having an event there, so come out. We’ll – there’ll be MuggleNet stickers. That’s a promise. Everyone gets a MuggleNet sticker, and we’ll be giving away some free t-shirts, things like that. And, finally, on Saturday, March 17th, at Carle Place, New York. I believe that’s on Long Island. Micah, is that near you?
Micah: Yeah, it is.
Ben: How close is that to you?
Micah: Not too far, why? Who’s going to be there? Are you going to be there?
Ben: Yeah, we’re going to be there. Emerson and I…
Laura: Oh, well, then…
Ben: …are going to be there.
Laura: …Micah’s not going to go.
Ben: Micah, you’re welcome to come out, man.
Micah: Yeah, sure. No, I’ll be there.
Ben: That would be great. Yeah, then we can go mess around in the city, or something, afterwards. But, anyways – yeah, so there’s three events that are confirmed at this time. We have two more. There’s going to be one in the Chicago area, or probably in the Chicago area, or Detroit, or somewhere in Ohio. We haven’t decided the locations, it’s all being worked out, so check back next week. Or check the websites sometime this week, because we’re going to be officially announcing dates. And then sometime between Ohio – excuse me. Sometime between the Pennsylvania event on the 14th, and the event in New York City on the 17th, there will be another event, probably in the Boston area, so keep your eye out on MuggleNet.com for an announcement regarding events. So, yeah, it’s going to be fun…
Eric: You guys came in number four, didn’t you? Yeah, on the New York Times.
Ben: Yeah, number four in the New York Times best seller list. So, it’s all because of you. [Whispers] All of you.
Alex: Wait, what? Number four – really?
Ben: On the children’s best seller list.
Alex: Oh, okay. Children’s. Okay. Sorry. I’m surprised you…
Ben: Oh, now he’s disappointed.
Alex: I’m surprised that…
Eric: Oh! Oh!
Alex: …you haven’t bragged to me about that, yet.
Ben: Well – well, tell me, Alex. Where’s your album on the Billboard top 100?
Alex: On the Wizard Rock Billboard Charts?
Ben: Yeah, is it number one? That’s what I heard.
Alex: [laughs] Probably not.
Ben: Is it still called – is the one called Confessions from a Broken Wand?
Alex: It’s Spells From a Broken Wand, but close, yeah.
Ben: Oh, sorry.
[Eric, Alex, Ben and Micah laugh]
Alex: No, I’m not trying to up you, man. I’m not trying to outsell you.
Ben: Hey, yeah, speaking of which, go to Myspace.com/TheRemusLupins, is that right?
Alex: Yeah, it’s even easier. You can go to FightEvilReadBooks.com. It’ll direct you.
Eric: That’s such a good, you know, domain name to have.
Ben: So, go out and purchase Alex’s album, if you haven’t already. We want to support the guy; he’s a good wizard rocker, so go out and purchase Alex’s album. Also, another announcement we have. We have a project coming up soon; I’m just going to tease you about this. It’s for the fans. It’s going to be awesome. There’s some exclusive content involved, maybe some merchandise-type thing, so keep your eye out for that. It’s coming in the next few weeks. You’re going to love it. Finally…
Andrew and Jamie Announce Next Live Podcast
Andrew: Jamie and I have interrupted the show for a special…
Jamie: News bulletin.
Jamie: No, a new bulletin. Because you have to say that, because, in America, they always say, “We interrupt this program for a special news bulletin.”
Andrew: No, you’re wrong. You’re wrong.
Jamie: No, no.
Andrew: They say either “Breaking news” or “Newsflash.”
Jamie: Well, I’m sorry, Andrew.
Andrew: We don’t use that silly word “bulletin.” That’s only on MySpace.
Jamie: Well, I’m sorry, Andrew, but I’ve seen Dexter’s Lab, and it says it all the time on their TV, so you’re wrong.
Andrew: Well, “Dexter’s Lab” is from the ’90s.
Andrew: And we’re in the twentieth – 21st Century, so. Come on.
Jamie: Okay, sorry.
Andrew: Anyway, Jamie, we have a big announcement about England.
Jamie: A huge announcement. Yes. [pauses] Shall I do it? [laughs]
Andrew: Tell us more! [laughs]
Jamie: Well, I thought that pretty much summed it up, but…
Andrew: Yeah, that’s it.
Jamie: … with a couple more details, maybe.
Jamie: Just a few. Okay.
Andrew: Well, a couple of weeks ago, we asked people to send in their RSVPs if they’d be interested in coming to some sort of meet-up in London on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, and we got a lot of requests.
Andrew: Got a lot of RSVPs, and we’ve been looking into some details. We’ve been working on something, and we have a fun thing.
Jamie: We do. Well, first of all, we were thinking of having just a casual, you know, park meet-up, get some food, blah, blah, blah. But then we thought, “Well, what’s the point in that when we can make it even bigger, even better and stuff like that?” So, what we decided to do was look up elsewhere for a conference room or a meeting room or something like that, where we could have a live podcast, and then follow it up with a sort of Meet and Greet and giveaways and stuff like that. So, what we’ve come up with is, we’re going to have an afternoon of Harry Potter-filled fun at the School of Oriental and African Studies, which has two campuses and it’s going to have it on one of these campuses. And basically, we’re going to start off in the afternoon with a one-and-a-half-hour podcast in a lecture theatre, and then we’re going to move from there into a function room and we’re all going to stand around and chat and talk about Harry Potter and we’re going to have giveaways and fun and prizes and all that kind of thing until 6 p.m.
Andrew: And clowns.
Jamie: And clowns. Nice clowns, not…
Andrew: [scoffs] Jamie’s the clown! [mockingly laughs]
Jamie: …evil clowns, yeah, and all these kind of things and it’s going to be absolutely fantastic, and it’s strictly limited to 150 people. So, if you’d like to come, please e-mail mcmeetup at gmail dot com with your name, telephone number, address, and how many people you would like to come, up to a maximum of four people, please. Please note, only e-mail this if you definitely would like to come, because we need to know exact numbers. The cost per person is two pounds. Complete details will be posted on the site, including a map of how to get there and all the times and stuff like that, and it’s going to be absolutely brilliant, so – and we look forward to seeing all of you there. So, please think on it and only e-mail if you’re definitely coming, okay? Thank you very much.
Andrew: If you do have a question, don’t e-mail mcmeetup, e-mail jamie at staff dot mugglenet dot com, and then he can address your concerns. If you have to – we’ve gotten a couple of RSVPs saying you have to bring a parent; that’s fine. You know, bring a couple friends, limit four people as Jamie said. Seriously it’s going to be a lot of fun and if you live in the UK, we highly, highly recommend that you come on down for an [in an enthusiastic voice] afternoon of fun.
Jamie: Yep. Afternoon of fun. Sorry, I just said [in American accent] “afternoon of fun” following you, but, yeah, in addition to what he said, it’s an extremely central location over a nice, old building in London, and we’ve got a great podcast planned and all that kind of stuff. So, you know, please do come along, but, as Andrew says, do not e-mail questions to mcmeetup, because they wll be ignored. Please send them to jamie at staff and only e-mail mcmeetup if you are definitely coming, and all names with be checked against a list, so please don’t be naughty and turn up without e-mailing first.
Andrew: Naughty, naughty.
Andrew: And again, get all the details on MuggleCast.com if you missed anything, and all you English chaps, we hope to see you there.
Andrew: Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
Jamie: Bye bye.
Andrew in Equus
Ben: Speaking of Andrew, it’s weird not hearing his voice. He’s not here this week. Actually, he didn’t want anybody to know this, but he’s in his school’s production of Equus, playing Alan. Yeah. Isn’t that right, you guys? He’s playing Alan.
Laura: Yeah, I believe so.
Alex: Hey, Ben, I heard he’s getting rave reviews also. So…
Ben: Yeah, I mean – I heard he got a standing ovation too. So…
Eric: So, what’s going to happens is he’s going to meet up with Dan and they’re going to have, like, a dance-off or, like, a standing-with-horse-off?
Eric: And it’s going to be amazing.
Ben: So yeah, so stop by Andrew’s high school – Shawnee High School, Friday, March 23rd, March 24th. You can see Andrew in the buff, and I mean in the buff, for those of you who already haven’t, of course.
Micah: I actually have a note from him here, Ben.
Ben: Oh, really?
Micah: Would you mind if I read it? Do you want to -?
Ben: Go ahead.
Micah: This is from Andrew to all of his loyal fans. He says, “I’m deeply sorry for not being on the show this week. I’m very busy pursuing my life-long dream of becoming an actor. Hopefully someday, you’ll all see my name in lights. Stay at a place called Vertigo. Andrew. P.S. Next week, I’ll have video up of the suitcase destruction.”
So, he really is…
Ben: Our fearless leader.
Micah: … pursuing the acting…
Laura: But much to the disappointment of the fangirls, there won’t be video up from his performance.
Ben: Well, I don’t know. I’m going to sneak some on YouTube. That’s for sure. [laughs]
Laura: [laughs] Are you going, Ben?
Ben: Yeah! Of course I’ll be there!
Laura: Front row, right? [laughs]
Ben: Front row. I mean, it’s nothing I haven’t already seen before, so [laughs] no big deal. I’m just kidding, people. Andrew is not really in Equus. We’ve got to end this now, before I get an e-mail saying, “I went to Andrew’s high school on the 23rd! There was nobody there!”
Eric: [laughs] And it was…
Ben: “Where was Andrew? I wanted to see him naked!” [laughs]
Eric: “It was Grease!” No. Okay.
Ben: [laughs] Yeah.
Listener Rebuttal: Voldemort’s Makeup
Ben: We – we have a few listener rebuttals this week. First of all, Roger Dering from Amsterdam writes:
“Hello, MuggleCasters. I love the show but I found something you forgot. In MuggleCast number 74, a fan sent an e-mail about the fact that the love in Harry’s blood will weaken Voldemort, and you started a small discussion about whether they have or didn’t have the same blood type. But I realized that this doesn’t matter because Voldemort’s body was forged from his father’s bone, Wormtail’s arm, and Harry’s blood instead of just Harry. I think that having flesh from the talentless Wormtail will contribute a lot to Voldemort’s potential weakening. Anyways, keep up the good work.”
Good point. I mean, yeah, the blood type wouldn’t matter because isn’t his blood – Voldemort’s blood, from Harry? Isn’t that…
Ben: That’s my understanding.
Laura: He has Harry’s blood.
Ben: Now, did you guys actually spend a while – a long time discussing that? I don’t know if I was even on that show.
Laura: I don’t remember ever talking about that, to be honest. I mean, I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that the…
Micah: Well, we definitely talked about the topic. I don’t know about blood type, though.
Laura: Well, I’m pretty sure that the blood type discussion happened on that other show.
Ben: Hmmm. I don’t know. But thanks – thanks for sending that rebuttal.
Listener Rebuttal: Fawkes’ Feather
Ben: We have another one here from Judy Freed from Israel. She writes:
“The significance of the Phoenix feather in the wands is the link to resurrection or immortality. Both Voldemort and Harry failed to be killed by the curse that backfired, despite being touched by it. It was deadly enough to deprive Voldemort of his body, which he later remade using a magical formula. Voldemort aspires to immortality; Harry appears to have achieved it. Wands don’t judge the character of a wizard. They merely reflect the wizard’s potential magical ability.”
Spells from a broken wand.
Ben: Just kidding. [laughs] End quote. Does anybody have any thoughts about that?
Micah: Yeah, I have something on that. I – she said both Harry and Voldemort failed to be killed by the curse that backfired, despite being touched by it. The only reason Voldemort didn’t die was because he had his Horcruxes, not because there was a phoenix feather in his wand.
Laura: Yeah, that’s true.
Ben: Yeah, that’s a good point. So, I mean, Harry – Harry always weasels his way out of everything, which is why I think he needs to die. I’m sorry, people. Get mad at me. Send me your hate mail.
Ben: Harry needs to die. You know, Voldemort has had him under his thumb how many times now? Four times? Five times? He’s – it’s been a lot, okay? Now, you can only get lucky so many times, I think.
Laura: So will you eat 50 jumbo sausages if Harry lives?
Ben: Well, I think I said I was going to eat 72 inches of Subway if the book comes out this summer. I think that was a promise I made. Alex, you told me that. [laughs]
Alex: [laughs] Yeah, someone told me. I’m not sure, but…
Laura: So are we actually going to have a panel of this? Like, Ben eating his Subway and Jamie eating his 50 sausages all at once? That would be cool.
Ben: I think we should…
Alex: You’re going to have to.
Alex: And video-tape it. And put it on YouTube.
Ben: I think we should. That would be awesome. And then I guarantee you – let’s put some money on it here. I bet you 50 bucks that Andrew – that Jamie couldn’t make it past 20 sausages. No, not even that many. He couldn’t make it past fifteen. He’s a wimp.
Eric: I bet 30. I bet – no, I think Jamie could go all the way.
Ben: He – small stomach capacity. Well, actually, it depends on the size of the sausages.
Eric: Oh, wait, you’re right. You’re right.
Ben: I mean, I don’t know if Jamie likes bigger sausages or smaller sausages.
Alex: [laughs] This is dangerous territory.
Ben: Yeah, I know. So…
Alex: Dangerous territory.
Ben: I’m not entirely sure. So…
Alex: How about this: let’s cut it out. I will bet you, Ben Schoen, $150 that Harry Potter does not die. How about that?
Ben: American. Okay. It’s a deal.
Ben: Wait a second, wait a second. No, you’re probably right…
Ben: So I’m just, I’m, like, pissing away 150 bucks. It’s a bad idea. I back out. [laughs]
Alex: Okay. Well, luckily, there were no witnesses.
Eric: With your – with your book at number four on New York Times bestseller, you certainly couldn’t afford to lose a bet like this.
Ben: Yeah. [laughs] Thanks for that e-mail, Judy.
Listener Rebuttal: Who Will Lead The Order?
Ben: Hollene, 17, from California writes:
“Hey, MuggleCasters! I was listening to episode number 78 and I was surprised when you were talking about Harry and inheriting the management of the Order of the Phoenix. Most of you felt that Mr. Weasley would take over the order. I, however, think that a good candidate would be Remus Lupin.”
Ben: You hear him. He’s right here.
Alex: I win.
Ben: “Until now, he has been silent but one of the most skilled members of the order and I think he has great potential to become the new leader. I think it is his time to shine. Mr. Weasley is also very busy with work at the Ministry, not to mention several kids at home. I love the show. It’s my favorite thing to do when I’m procrastinating on doing my homework.” [laughs]
Yeah, we’re just awesome.
“And I have to say, I have a bit of a crush on Eric. I know. Cheesy.”
Eric: You know, I have to say that…
Ben: “Keep up the great work. Hollene.”
Ben: End quote. Now, [laughs] I was agreeing with her until the whole crush on Eric part, dude. [laughs]
Eric: No, no. And rightfully so.
Eric: But I just think that’s probably the first rebuttal that’s actually said that. Everybody else is like, “Oh, by the way, Ben, you’re so cute,” or “Oh, by the way, Andrew is awesome,” or “Oh, by the way, Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” And this has to be one of…
Eric: One of the first – and pickles! Exactly, Laura. Laura, you sort through this. You know this. So, I’m just feeling very…
Eric: …loved right now. This is like…
Ben: You should.
Eric: This is the – one of the only public displays of Eric affection that I’ve gotten so far, so I appreciate that. [laughs]
[Ben and Eric laugh]
Laura: So you get plenty of displays of private Eric affection?
Micah: Do you also go by the name Hollene, 17, of California?
[Alex and Ben laugh]
Eric: No, I used to go by Pauline, 18, of San Jose, but that’s another story.
Micah: Oh, okay.
Ben: [laughs] But anyways, back to what she was saying. She was saying that Remus Lupin could be able to take over the Order a lot better than Mr. Weasley. Not necessarily better, but it is his time to shine. Now, I think that’s an interesting point because, you know, since there is all this anti-werewolf discrimination, you know, then he can’t really go out and just get any job. So, it would make sense for him to take over something like managing the Order. But I guess, you know, during his time of the month he wouldn’t be able to help out very much.
Laura: Well, but it’s only for a few days.
Ben: That’s true.
Laura: I mean, I think that he…
Micah: But I thought…
Laura: …would be better than Mr. Weasley. I don’t know what you guys were talking about last week.
Micah: Well, I didn’t know if he would be the best candidate. I thought that he was still doing things for, well, at the time Dumbledore. He was sort of infiltrating the werewolf underground, as he put it. And I think that might serve his purpose a little bit more, and the Order’s purpose, if he’s out there, you know, trying to rally some of the werewolves to his cause. Somebody who I think would be a good Order leader would be Mad-Eye Moody.
Ben: I don’t know if he has – if he’s practical enough to do that.
Laura: I think he’s too paranoid.
Ben: Yeah, he turned someone into a rat – a ferret, dude, so I don’t know.
Alex: Well, that wasn’t him. This is actually something…
Laura: Yeah. laughs
Ben: Oh crap! That wasn’t, was it?
Eric: Yeah, yeah, that wasn’t him.
Ben: I’m so terrible. I’m quitting MuggleCast right now.
Eric: Okay, bye.
Alex: I totally agree with Micah, actually. This is something that has come up a lot. People have asked me, “What do you think is going to happen to Remus in the last book?” And I want Remus to kind of take a, you know, take the reins because I think he’d be a really cool character to do that. But I think Mad-Eye Moody is going to be the character. He’s a veteran of the last war, he knows how to lead people, he knows how to defeat dark wizards.
Ben: Good point. And, I wasn’t there on 78, but I don’t think that Harry would really be qualified, I guess you could say, because… I mean, it’s kind of like people say, “Harry should become Headmaster of Hogwarts, Harry should become the Minister of Magic.” That just doesn’t work because it doesn’t fit into the storyline. He’s going to be too busy finding the Horcri to – Horcruxes to do any of that stuff, so…
Laura: Well, Jo said that seventeen is far too young of an age to enter the world of politics and I think the same applies to essentially leading…
Ben: A leadership position.
Laura: …a front in a war. So…
Ben: Well, in a way he’s going to be sort of a – what does “de facto” mean?
Eric: I used to know.
Alex: It means being something without actually being something.
Ben: Yeah, that’s what I meant. He’s going to be sort of a de facto leader in the war. Because he’s not going to be the official leader, but he’s going to be the – he’s going to be the one doing everything, you know? He doesn’t need to be involved in the organizing as much, but he needs to be, you know, he doesn’t need to be the go-to, the number one guy. If that makes any sense.
Laura: Yeah. Well, the point is, he can’t be in that kind of position of compromise because you have to – Harry has to be kept protected, in a way, and putting him at the front of an organization like the Order of the Phoenix would be a risk. So, I don’t think that would be a good idea.
Ben: Well, and I think he’s going to be to busy anyway, so. Okay, so thank you, Hollene, that’s a very good point you brought up and – yeah, so, Mad-Eye Moody. Go Moody! Lupin’s cool, too, right, Alex?
[Ben and Laura laugh]
Alex: That’s what I’m saying.
Main Discussion: Book Parallels
Ben: [laughs] Yeah. Now it is time to move on to this week’s main discussion. This week we are going to talk about book parallels, you know literary devices and all that jazz. Now this is a good week to have Alex on because Alex got a degree in English at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), so this is pretty much his forte. Wouldn’t you say so, Alex, in a way?
Alex: Yeah, hopefully I’ll know what I’m talking about.
Ben: So, awesome. Now, Laura, you got this together. Do you care to lead us in a little bit?
Laura: Yeah, sure. Kind of to provide some background information so that people don’t think I was pulling this out of my behind. If you look at the series and kind of view Book 4 as the centerpiece of the series, you can see that Books 2 and 6 and 3 and 5 draw parallels off of one another. For instance in Chamber of Secrets and Half-Blood Prince there was obvious Horcrux connection, the heavy references to a Harry/Ginny pairing. Harry also in both of those books puts his faith in a book, Tom Riddle’s diary and the Half-Blood Prince’s potion book, that shields the identity of its owner. Dumbledore leaves the school directly as a result of the action of a Death Eater: Lucius gets him sacked in Chamber of Secrets and Snape kills him in Half-Blood Prince. Harry suspects Draco as being behind the attacks in Chamber of Secrets and Draco does turn out to be behind attacks in Half-Blood Prince, such as Katie and Ron’s.
Now, in Prisoner of Azkaban and Order of the Phoenix there was a very strong presence of Sirius as a character. That didn’t appear in any of the other books in the series. Sirius also gets close to but never really gains his freedom because in Prisoner of Azkaban Peter escaped and in Order of the Phoenix he died less than an hour before Fudge admitted Voldemort was back. And places that are associated with death were prominent, like Azkaban and the death chamber. Not to mention Harry and his friends use flying magical creatures to save Sirius in both books, Buckbeak in Prisoner of Azkaban and the Thestrals in Order of the Phoenix. So, that just kind of gives you some clue as to, really, the strong parallels between books on opposite ends of the series, and I think that…
Ben: So, it’s sort of like everything is going to come full circle.
Laura: Yeah, it’s kind of like a full circle concept. And I think that because of that, it’s safe to assume that there’s going to be a lot of parallels between the first book and the seventh book.
Snape: Good or Bad?
Laura: So that said, I think we should start off with one of the most popular theories right now which is Snape: good or bad? And I know weÔve discussed this to death. But in Sorcerer’s Stone Harry believed that Snape was a bad guy but he turned out to be good. So, does that bode well for Snape’s character in the seventh book?
Ben: Well, okay. Do you guys think that there’s a double red herring going on here? Do you know what I mean? Like, there is the first one where, “Oh, we think he’s bad but he’s really good,” you know, and there is, “Oh, but if you think he is bad, but he’s still really good,” you know? I mean, to me, in my mind – I just did an interview with a person from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Laura: Did you really?
Ben: Do you get that, Laura?
Laura: The AJC? No way. That’s like the biggest newspaper in the southeast. [laughs]
Ben: Yeah, and they are talking about the book and, anyways, the guy who was doing the interview had read the books and we talked for about ten minutes just about Snape. And we both were pretty convinced that he’s on the good side, I mean – Alex, do you think that he’s bad at all?
Alex: Yeah, my line is that he’s a good guy but he’s a jerk.
Ben: He’s a good guy but he’s a jerk. Yeah, I think that makes sense, too. And I think that it would definitely draw back to the parallel to the first book. This makes perfect sense because in the first book it looked like he was trying to, it looked he was trying to…
Laura: Kill Harry.
Ben: Yeah, it looked like he was trying to kill Harry, but in reality he was trying to save Harry’s life and he kept heading off Quirrell. For example, when the troll broke into the castle, you know, he went to head Quirrell off at the three-headed dog. You know, and when he disappeared it looked like a bad thing, but in reality it turned out to be a good thing.
Ben: So, it’s the looks can be deceiving type thing. And I think he’s going to turn out to be good.
Laura: Well, that also kind of goes back to that whole scene after Dumbledore was killed, where Snape could have easily killed Harry, captured Harry, done anything he wanted with Harry and he wouldn’t do it.
Laura: And I think that’s another strong parallel.
Micah: And he’s even teaching Harry…
Micah: …even in the last few seconds there before he leaves. Doesn’t he tell him to close his mind?
Laura: Yeah. He does.
Micah: I mean, he’s doing everything in his power to still find a way to teach him.
Eric: Right. Even when… Yeah.
Micah: Also – Sorry, Eric. But what Ben was saying before, you know, he used the troll as an example, but we also saw in the Quidditch match where he was actually chanting the counter curse and if it wasn’t for, sort of, Snape’s cape getting ignited on fire, Quirrell would have never been distracted. So, that’s just another example of Snape trying to help out Harry. The counter curse, yeah, that was what’s important.
Ben: Well, that is sort of incidental, but the fact that he was muttering the counter jinx – yeah, it really goes a long way to show his loyalty, because that could of killed Harry right there, you know? I mean, why wouldn’t he? And you know how at the beginning of Half-Blood Prince we hear Snape pretty much say, tell Bellatrix, “Oh yeah, I have been questioned by Voldemort. He’s fine with me, why shouldn’t you be?” I think Voldemort i sbeing fooled here.
Laura: I think that was a load of crap.
Ben: Yeah, right. Exactly. Don’t believe that. Do you honestly think that when he’s… [laughs] Just think about it. He’s out there, he’s had him under his watch for six years, why couldn’t he kill him? You know? He could, he just didn’t do it.
Laura: Well, I think that Snape is a good guy, but I think we still have something left to find out about him, something even more horrible than what he did by ultimately causing the Potters’ death by being a spy that night at the Hog’s Head.
Laura: I think that there is going to be something else that we find out about him and it’s going to be – Well, it already is a big conflict of interest for Harry, because if Snape really is on his side, he doesn’t want to kill him, but on the same hand he is the reason that Harry’s parents are dead.
Ben: Right, so…
Micah: Well, Pettigrew is the reason his parents are dead, in my opinion.
Laura: Well, he betrayed – well, he was part of it, but at the same time Voldemort wouldn’t have known about the prophecy if Snape hadn’t been a spy.
Ben: Right, so it’s sort of, one thing led to another type thing. And he sort of got the ball rolling, but, I mean, he didn’t pull the trigger, so to speak.
Laura: No he didn’t, but it still…
Micah: But I have a question for you guys.
Laura: Go ahead.
Does Snape Know the Whole Prophecy?
Micah: And I’ve always sort of wondered this. You know they say that Snape only relayed half the prophecy to Voldemort because that’s all he heard. But what I’m not understanding is, I don’t think Trelawney stopped in the middle of her prophecy.
Laura: He got thrown out of the pub.
Ben: Now, is that really true?
Micah: Yeah, see that’s what I wonder. Because if he barged in, it’s not like Dumbledore held up his hand and made Trelawney stop speaking. It almost seems to me that Snape knew the whole prophecy and only told Voldemort half of it.
Ben: Just only told half of it, right. Now, that would be interesting. That would sort of fit into what you’re saying that if he only chose to tell Voldemort half of it then he was obviously able to block Voldemort out of his mind in order to keep the rest of it from him. To prove that he wasn’t lying.
Laura: Well, it also kind of supports the theory that Snape’s actually a double agent, and he’s in this for himself, and he’s just playing both sides to his benefit.
Ben: Now, I don’t really buy that theory.
Micah: What does he obtain, though?
Laura: No, I don’t either. But he obtained – If he is someone who’s seeking power he’s playing the two sides of this war, and he’s getting all the benefits of it.
Micah: He doesn’t strike me as a power hungry person.
Ben: Yeah, he’s not – well, I don’t know.
Laura: He doesn’t strike me that way, either. But I’m saying that the theory that he would feed half of the prophecy to Voldemort, to get the ball rolling, kind of supports that.
Ben: Not really. I think it supports the good side that he gave them enough info, but he didn’t give him all of it. You know what I mean? He gave…
Laura: But if he was completely good, if his intentions were completely pure, why would he give him any of it at all?
Alex: And that – I think you’re describing a lot of foresight into Snape, also.
Eric: Yeah, right.
Alex: I mean, think how many years of planning which side he was going to trick that takes. I mean, it’s not like he could…
Alex: …play the good side and then play the bad side if he’s really on the good side the whole time. He’d have to have the whole thing planned out. Which would be…
Ben: That’s true.
Alex: …hard. [laughs] That’d be like Dumbledore level. I don’t think he’s quite there.
Ben: Now, I’m sorry to move on, but I think people might be a little tired of us discussing Snape because we’ve devoted…
Laura: Yeah. [laughs]
Ben: …this is show 78. I bet if you went and added up all the audio there’s probably enough for an entire show.
Laura: More than one entire show.
Micah: This is 79.
Ben: Oh, 79. Excuse me, yeah.
Eric: Probably a week of shows.
Ben: There’s probably four hours of Snape discussions.
Eric: Easily eight or twelve.
Ben: Yeah, so.
The Chess Match
Ben: Okay. Ron dies in the chess match in Book 1 – he didn’t really die but his…
Laura: His character.
Ben: Whatever – his rook, his pawn. I don’t play chess. I’m an idiot.
Laura: His knight.
Ben: His knight gets killed. So, is he going to die in Book 7? Because a lot of people talk about the chess match foreshadowing what happens in Book 7. If so, is he killed by the queen – or in this case Bellatrix?
Ben: Alex, I want to hear what you have to say.
Alex: Well, I’m going to pour cold water all over what you guys are saying. I think that – I agree with the fact that there are definitely parallels here, but they’re all parallels that you wouldn’t know until you read the next book. I know that sounds weird, but I don’t think these are parallels you can use to predict. You know, there are things that become evident after you’ve read the book – that Sirius was an important character in these two books. You couldn’t predict that Sirius was going to be an important character. I think that looking at that chess match and projecting it directly in terms of characters living or dying in a specific manner, is not going to really get us anywhere.
Laura: Well, wouldn’t you say that based on the pattern that we’ve seen of books on opposite ends of the series having some connections, that it’s logical to assume that Book 1 and Book 7 will have some strong parallels?
Alex: I totally agree with that, but I’m just saying it’s sort of like predicting the weather. It’ll be easier to see in hindsight.
Ben: Like what you choose to be a parallel.
Ben: But I don’t think it’s unlikely though, because everyone is like, “Yeah the trio has to make it through! The trio has to make it through!”
Ben: Kill them all! I’m just kidding. Don’t hate me. [laughs]
Alex: [laughs] You’re out for blood today, man.
Ben: Yeah. I don’t know. I mean, I think it makes sense. Because we had a discussion X amount of episodes back about the chess match itself. How what goes on there can parallel something or foreshadow something in Book 7. Now, in terms of him being killed by Bellatrix, that would be interesting too. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.
Alex: Maybe I just don’t want to have that happen, so I’m blocking it out.
Laura: Well, the thing is, I feel it’s one of the only things that I don’t have a set opinion on is whether the trio will live or die. It’s like some days, I feel like, “Oh! I want them all to live! I want them all to live!” and other days I’m like, “That would be so unrealistic if at least one of them didn’t die.”
Laura: So, part of me wants one to die, and part of me wants them all to live. And I can’t really decide. It’s horrible, I know.
Ben: Now, Bellatrix I think she’s going to be killed by Neville. That’s what I’m talking about in the book –
Laura: Oh, I think so, too. That’s a given.
Bellatrix and Revenge
Ben: But do you – I don’t know about this whole revenge idea. Do you know what I mean?
Alex: It seems like it goes against every other thing that J.K. Rowling is saying in these books about love and forgiveness and all that.
Ben: Right. Right. So like…
Alex: This whole book is just going to be filled with killing people who are wronged.
Ben: Yeah, and I don’t think that’s right.
Alex: Just great.
Ben: Like you know – do two wrongs make a right? You’ve heard the saying “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” That type of thing.
Ben: And so, I don’t know if we’re going to see as many deaths as we think. It’s not going to be a complete blood bath. That’s for sure. But…
Laura: No, but I think we should also remember – and I don’t specifically remember where Jo said this, so don’t ask me for a source, but I seem to remember Jo saying that she wasn’t out to implant morals to people when she was writing these books. And so…
Ben: I think she means that in a religious sense.
Laura: But she wasn’t – they weren’t really talking about religion.
Ben: Oh really?
Laur: There was someone asking her, “Are you trying to instate the morals of friendship, loyalty…?” and she said, “I’m not trying to teach people morals by writing these books.” And I think that kind of applies to killing out of revenge because her characters are human. They’re not these perfect high-moral people all the time. So, they’re going to do things that aren’t necessarily right.
Laura: Even if it might seem right. You know what I’m saying?
Alex: No, I agree. I think it would be more realistic for this last book to be a blood bath, but I’m just saying, going off of what she’s shown in the first six books, it seems unlikely. As much as I’d love to see Bellatrix just get owned really hardcore…
Ben: Everyone being killed, yeah. [laughs] Yeah. [laughs]
Alex: By Neville.
Ben: But let’s be realistic here. Bellatrix is a trained dark wizard, okay. She knows she’s good, she knows all these things. Neville defeating her – isn’t that sort of like David versus Goliath type thing?
Eric: Yeah, well – Ben, who won that one?
Alex: Who won that?
Ben: [laughs] I know, I know.
Ben: I just mean like the likely thing.
Eric: It’s exactly that.
Laura: I think something to remember was if you look at the opening chapters of Half-Blood Prince it was very clear that Bellatrix was starting to become unwound. You could see that she was starting to lose it. She didn’t really have the same coolness that she had when we saw her before, because Voldemort didn’t want as much to do with her anymore. She wasn’t as trusted. So, I think that she’s starting to lose her personality which made her so dangerous.
Ben: Right. I agree.
Alex: Also, in defense of Neville, we know that those specific curses (the ones he’d have to use to kill her), are based on how much you mean them and I can’t imagine a character meaning…
Ben: More than Neville.
Alex: …a curse more than Neville wanting revenge.
Ben: Because that’s how his parents were robbed away from them, too. So,efinitely.
Micah: Well, one thing I was going to say though is, is look at Order of the Phoenix and look at Half Blood Prince and you still had Neville, Luna, Ginny, and yes, I know there was the whole luck potion going on in Half Blood Prince but they still fought against the Death Eaters and still held their own.
Micah: In both books.
Ben: So, I think there comes a time when you reach a point where you’re a good solid wizard, and even though, I mean you’re not going to get completely stomped. You know what I mean? Like if a first-year went up against a grown wizard, they’re going to get killed because they don’t have the knowledge and all that stuff. And that’s why I thought the Dueling Club was really important, which I was kind of ticked off that they discontinued that.
Eric: Yeah, really.
Ben: Because that’s where a lot of them learned a lot of their spells and it’s where they were taught practical Defense Against the Dark Arts, you know, rather than the bunk they were being taught by Umbridge.
Eric: I agree.
Ben: So, yeah. So, I think that even though the Death Eaters may – I mean, the adult wizards may have more experience, I think the youths still have the skills necessary to – I mean, if it was a formal duel perhaps they wouldn’t win, but anything goes.
Laura: Yeah, exactly.
Ben: They can pull it off.
Laura: I don’t see the Death Eaters as doing formal duels.
Ben: Yeah, definitely.
Laura: It’s not going to happen.
Analyzing the Chambers From Book 1
Ben: Okay, another parallel. After Harry defeats the king in the chess match, he moves on to two more chambers: the potion and the stone one. Will there be more struggles after Harry kills Voldemort? Could this involve Snape or Bellatrix or even a betrayal? Now, I think the struggling thing with the multiple chambers could be, you know – because he got to Voldemort. He’s going to have all those struggles before getting to Voldemort, not after getting to Voldemort. Does that make sense?
Laura: Mhm. That’s true, but if you’re looking just solely at the chess match, what I was thinking was after whenever Harry check mates the king and the king drops his sword and Harry leaves he still has a couple more tasks that he has to do and coincidentally the one following the chess match was Snape’s room with the potion bottles. And so, I was wondering if possibly his confrontation with Snape will be after Voldemort’s fall.
Ben: Well, I think Snape is going to end up helping Harry in the end.
Laura: Yeah, possibly.
Micah: Well one thing that was mentioned, though, and I think it’s an editorial, I could be wrong, but they say that the seven tasks that Harry had to go through to finally get to the room, including the last room with the mirror and the stone and QuirrellMort or whatever you want to call him…
Micah: …actually represents the seven books. So, that room right before the one with the mirror represents Half-Blood Prince, which would make sense when you think about it because of all the potions that were involved.
Laura: That’s interesting
Laura: But how would Fluffy represent the first book? Like falling through a trap door?
Eric: Well, it’s the entrance into hell just like the first book was the entrance into the magical world.
Ben: What was the second room?
Eric: Not that the magical world is hell.
Laura: The Devil’s Snare.
Ben: Devil’s Snare. How could that be related to Book 2?
Laura: It was down in a chamber.
Eric: It was a dark, damp place.
Ben: Yeah, that’s true.
Laura: Oh my gosh, that’s cool.
Ben: Now, what was the third chamber? I’m not familiar, I forget.
Eric: The brooms, flight. The brooms, and the keys, and flight, and the key to the past, and yep.
Ben: The Quidditch, Buckbeak? Buckbeak, Yeah. Now, what about the fourth room? What was it?
Eric: The troll. The fourth one was the troll. So, large obstacles, large animals to defeat but they were already defeated which is kind of what happened in the…
Laura: Which is like what Crouch Jr. did.
Eric: …with the maze.
Micah: Yeah, that’s true. He laid the way.
Eric: What I think happened, especially at the beginning of this episode, this is really cool but I think what happened at the beginning when we intro’d this discussion, Laura, I think you went a little bit too fast with all of the reasoning’s and stuff, like how this happened, and this happened, and this happened. I think it all went fast. I think we should have like, stopped and said, “Okay, wait.” That built up what we’re talking about now obviously that there are connections between books, but there are also connections between all seven books, you know.
Laura: Well yeah, of course.
Eric: It’s obviously sequels, but then there are some that kind of stick out more than others and stuff like that. But I like what we’re talking about, but I just think it went a little bit too fast, maybe. So, if we have topics about the third book or something we should just bring them up too.
Eric: Because we just seem to jump to the conclusion that one is going to match up with seven. And it’s true there’s the two…
Laura: Well, no. That’s not what I am saying.
Ben: We’re just looking at the comparisons between each of them.
Laura: Yeah. Essentially, I’m taking this point of view because it’s a narrower perspective and I think that trying to draw parallels…
Ben: Between each book, yeah.
Laura: …between every book and the other six books would be far too broad.
Ben: Right. So…
Laura: It would take forever.
Eric: It’s true. It’s true. And just the fact that it’s the first book in the series and the last book in the series I think they’ll have a lot in common as far as at least storytelling goes. They’re almost opposites, but they’re also sequels. Book 7 is just so much. It’s really cool.
Alex: Back to what we were talking about before with the different rooms, and the two rooms after the chess match. I think just in terms of a storytelling literary device, that works really well also. The last page of Book 7 isn’t going to be Voldemort’s last words. There has to be the challenges that come after that.
Alex: And, sort of, the hero cycle, the going home aspect after you’ve defeated the bad guy.
Ben: It’s kind of like the winding down. I mean you beat the bad guy, what do you do then? You know retire, that type of thing? I don’t know. [laughs]
Alex: I can see, back to what we were talking about before about finding something…
Laura: No, Ben. He was completely energized.
Alex: …finding out something that we didn’t know about Snape that would hook up to the potions room there, that we found out something that Snape had done maybe in the last two books we didn’t know about, or something he just did to help Harry win.
Dumbledore and Dan’s Slip
Ben: Actually I bet Harry, when he gets done, he’s going to write a book. Harry Potter’s What Happened in my Life: Who Lived, Who Died, Who Fell in Love and How My Adventure Finally Ended.
Alex: There and Back Again.
Ben: There you have it. But he’s still…
Laura: “With my death.”
Ben: …not going to still outsell our book.
Alex: Of course not.
Eric: [laughs] “Who died.”
Ben: That’s for sure. [laughs] Okay, moving on here. Dumbledore is tricked into leaving the school, and it appears that he was tricked into his death. He does come back in Book 1. Does this mean we will here something about him in Book 7? Jo recently told Dan that Dumbledore is dead, but alluded that there will be something. What could it be? Her exact words were something along the lines of, “Dumbledore is giving me trouble.”
Ben: So, hm. Do you guys think Dan got in trouble for bringing – for saying that in public?
Alex: No way.
Laura: I don’t know, I don’t think so. He’s…
Alex: It smacks of an intentional leak all over the place. Because it got so much press.
Laura: He’s Dan. He’s allowed to run around naked, so he can do whatever he wants.
Alex: Also true.
Micah: He’s getting paid to run around naked, by the way.
Ben: Yeah, good point, good point. Very good point.
Alex: That’s like my life’s dream.
[Laura and Micah laugh]
Dumbledore’s Possible Return
Ben: Now, do you think that – what do you think that was talking about?
Eric: Hey, that’s theatre, Laura. [laughs]
Ben: Was it Dumbledore’s portrait? What was giving Jo trouble with that? We’ve discussed this before, but just to review briefly.
Laura: I don’t know, do you think maybe Dumbledore might have left something for Harry?
Ben: I think he’s – perhaps his pensieve, or something like that.
Laura: Yeah, I think so too. But I don’t know, I’m just trying to think of – I mean, Dumbledore’s one of the only characters who I could think of who could actually cause someone trouble after their death, because he’s Dumbledore.
Ben: Yeah. [laughs] He’s so complex.
Laura: And it’s like – this is the guy who caused trouble at a school that he wasn’t even at. So, I really don’t know what he could possibly do.
Ben: Yeah, Dumbledore’s definitely coming in Book 7 in some shape or form.
Ben: But I don’t know in terms of a parallel to Book 1, if that’s really – if she was intending for that to be there.
Laura: No, but…
Ben: But it’s just interesting to point out that Dumbledore never goes away for good. [laughs]
Laura: That even though it seems like he was not going to be there whenever Harry was being attacked by Voldemort, he came back right at the right time. And I think…
Micah: One thing we brought up…
Laura: …In some way. Go ahead.
Micah: …on last week’s show was the whole idea of him being tied so closely to Fawkes and being tied to a bird that was very closely associated with immortality, and it’s always said that the phoenix rises from its ashes. We know Dumbledore is dead, she said it, but I just can’t help feeling that there’s something more to it that we don’t know about, and we’ll find out.
Laura: Maybe, but I don’t think Dumbledore is going to come back from the dead, I don’t think we’re going to see a ghost, nothing like that.
Micah: No, but even if you look at what happened at his funeral, when the pyre shoots up into flames and Harry swears that he sees a phoenix take off. What did you guys make of that? Was that his Patronus delivering a message to the Order? What was it?
Laura: I kind of took it as him moving on.
Laura: His spirit, going wherever spirits go.
Ben: Interesting. Because you know, as he said, “It’s the next greatest adventure.”
Eric: His soul, his spirit going up. Yeah.
The Mirror of Erised in Book 7
Ben: Okay. The Mirror of Erised. Talked about it briefly. It played an important role in Book 1, now is there going to be a return of the two-way mirror? Jo has been very shady when asked questions about it, what’s going on with it, so what do you guys think? Is there going to be a return?
Laura: I think so. There has to be, because…
Laura: …it was never explained, and Jo even said we would see it again. What I thought was interesting was the other night, whenever I was working on this, I was thinking about what could be some possible connections between these two books. And you think about the fact that in the first book Voldemort was trying to achieve immortality by using the Sorcerer’s Stone. And in the seventh book, he’s going to be – he’s been trying to achieve it, but Horcruxes will play a huge part in his attempt to be immortal in the seventh book. And Harry was – you were supposed to use the Mirror of Erised to find the stone, so what if the two-way mirrors have something to do with finding Horcruxes?
Eric: Well, one of them is broken.
Eric: One of them is behind the veil.
Laura: We don’t know that for sure, though.
Eric: Oh, okay, we don’t, we don’t, we don’t. You’re right, but based on what we’ve said before on the show about two-way mirrors used as communication, I think they don’t have the same qualities. I would like to see the Mirror of Erised again and I think we will, but I don’t know about two-way mirrors being used to help him find the Horcruxes. Except…
Laura: You know what, though?
Eric: …except to say, we do know that the locket – if the locket is the Horcrux, that it’s at Grimmauld Place which is where Sirius’ two-way mirror could be, but I think it is a stretch. As far as two-way mirrors.
Laura: Actually, I doubt that the locket is at Grimmauld Place anymore.
Laura: I think that Mundungus Fletcher took it. And it’s gone.
Eric: Yeah, and he has to track down Dung.
Eric: He sold it to Lucius Malfoy.
Laura: The thing that I found…
Micah: Not discounting…
Laura: Go ahead.
Micah: …the importance of the two-way mirrors, but I liked the idea, sort of, of what you said with the Mirror of Erised in Book 1. Well, why don’t we take it to Book 7? If it shows you what you truly desire, can it show Harry where the Horcruxes are?
Laura: I – we’ve talked about this before…
Eric: Or test the limits, yeah.
Laura: …and we got into this whole debate as to how – as to what the limits of the Mirror of Erised are. And I believe it was Jamie, that thought that yes, you could find Horcruxes because the mirror of infinite and it knows all. But I thought that the mirror is limited based on what the person looking in it knows.
Ben: No… Yeah, it’s not only that, but it shows your desire. It’s going to show him with the Horcruxes or whatever.
Laura: Holding the Horcruxes.
Ben: Yeah, it’s not the same thing. Can you – could Harry walk by the Room of Requirement and be like, “Oh my gosh, I want 50 Horcruxes to be in there, so I can destroy them all, or all the rest of the Horcruxes.” It doesn’t work that way. It just can’t.
Eric: Yeah, but also, I think I had that same opinion when we talked about it before, but I think now, would you guys remember how Harry got the Stone to begin with? According to Dumbledore was because he wanted to get the Stone; to find it, but not to use it?
Laura: Yeah, but that was because Dumbledore…
Eric: To destroy it. To prevent Voldemort from using it?
Laura: Dumbledore specifically put a spell on the Mirror to make it work that way.
Eric: Why is it that the Mirror’s magic?
Laura: It doesn’t work that way with everything.
Eric: I thought it did.
Laura: Well, it’s just not.
Eric: I thought that’s why – No, I thought it did work that way with everyone because he said, “that’s one of my more brilliant…”
Laura: No, but it’s only that…
Eric: You know?
Laura: It’s only that way with the Stone, though. That’s what I’m saying. The Stone is the only thing you could actually get from the Mirror.
Laura: Because if it were the case where you could get whatever you wanted, Harry’s family would have been standing behind him in that room.
Eric: Well, one would not to use, wanted to destroy. If he wanted to individually…
Laura: Destroy his family when they popped up behind him? I don’t think so.
Eric: Destroy his family, they might, you know they might – I don’t know. It’s not what you say you wanted to do, but what you actually want to do, your hearts deepest desire, but…
Laura: I think that the Mirror was specifically…
Laura: Enchanted so that you could only get the Stone, not anything you wanted because that could be very dangerous [laughs] if you gave people anything they wanted.
Eric: Well, presumably only Harry and Dumbledore know how to use the Mirror.
Micah: I have something interesting, though…
Laura: Harry didn’t know how to use the Mirror when he first got the Stone, he didn’t figure it out until afterwards. So obviously anyone could do that if they didn’t want to use the Stone.
Eric: Yeah, it’s possible.
Ben: I don’t really know anymore.
Magical Device Parallels
Micah: Going along these lines with the whole, “Okay, it showed up in Book 1, it’ll show up in Book 7.” There is some strong evidence for that because if you look in Book 2, we first see the cabinet, and then the cabinet shows up again in Half-Blood Prince.
Micah: It has an enormous significance. I’m sure we can find other things that made an appearance in Book 3 that showed up in Book 5, and play along those lines, but I definitely think that there’s an opportunity for that in the last book.
Eric: And again, I mean there’s one opportunities for Book 1 to have similarities with 4, but these are actually main similarities. Like you said, the Vanishing Cabinet. You know, Gilderoy Lockhart, as well, but Gilderoy Lockhart is 2 to Book 5 thing. So, there are some that are, and some that aren’t, but it’s just – we are due, I mean according to JK said, as Laura said, I think we are due to see it, so it would be interesting, I think, to learn the past of it, the past history, because if you remember Dumbledore said, “Men have wasted away before it in the past.” So, I really wonder how long that Mirror has been around and if we’ll find out about the past, or maybe see it in a memory, or someone else’s memory, but now I’m thinking about Lost.
Laura: Oh geez.
Eric: And how they are going to show Libby, and so I have to actually get going. I have Theater class. I have University. I got to go.
Ben: Okay. Well, say goodbye, Eric.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull. See you later, everyone.
Ben: Bye, Eric.
Laura: Bye, Eric.
Eric: Okay, bye.
Laura: I kind of like this – sorry. I kind of like this whole parallel of books on opposite ends of the series. So, this is what I think. You guys tell me if you disagree. I think that, listeners, if you discover anything that is major you should send it into mugglecast at staff dot mugglenet dot com. We could maybe make a segment out of it. If someone sends in a really good one we could feature it, but I would honestly say, nothing lame. Like, “Oh my gosh, Harry was drinking pumpkin juice on pg. 300 and he was doing the same thing on pg. 300 of Book 6.” So…
Alex: How about this? Ron…
Laura: Just send in good stuff.
Alex: Ron is in Book 2, and also in Book 6.
Ben: Oh my gosh. Alex, you’re good. You’re good.
[Laura and Micah laugh]
Alex: And Here’s the crazy part, he has red hair in both books. That’s all I’m saying.
Ben: Oh my gosh. [laughs]
Alex: Check it out yourself. Go ahead.
Ben: So, that wraps up our main discussion. As Laura just said, send in your parallels between the books. And if you have any other main discussion ideas, something you’d like for us to discuss, we’re open to ideas. Email mugglecast at staff dot mugglenet dot com. So go ahead and send that in.
Alex: So, since I’m on the show, I just have one request. Is it possible that we can do a “What If?” segment right now? I’ve always wanted to do one of those.
Ben: Geez, Alex! Funny you bring that up.
Laura: It’s funny you should mention that.
Ben: Now, What if – Here we go. What if Harry had shown Snape the Half-Blood Prince Potions book instead of Ron’s? Hm. What would have happened?
Laura: I don’t know. This is why I told you guys to come up with another one.
Alex: He would have gotten in a lot of trouble?
Micah: No, no. It’s fine.
Ben: Yeah, he would have gotten into a bunch of trouble. What do you think, Micah?
Micah: I think Snape would have fall… I think Snape would have fell over in shock because he knew what was up. He knew what was going on. He knew what book Harry had, in my opinion, and he did exactly what Snape expected him to do. He showed him Ron’s book instead of the book Snape really knew that he had somewhere. I mean, with how well Harry was doing, it’s just – Snape’s not a stupid guy, and not to mention Snape can read Harry’s mind.
Micah: Who knows if he was delving in there to get information.
Laura: Now, this is kind of…
Micah: He may have known the truth all along. Sorry.
Laura: Sorry, Micah. I didn’t mean to cut you off, but I can’t specifically remember the timeline events in their order. Did Harry – at that point, had Harry already gotten the memory from Slughorn about Horcruxes?
Laura: Because if he hadn’t and Snape had gone to Slughorn talking about how Harry wasn’t really good at Potions because he was just using some old book, Slughorn might not have trusted Harry and not given him the memory.
Ben: It’s true. So, maybe this is more important than we think. Who here has seen It’s A Wonderful Life?
Ben: Yeah, you know it’s sort of like everything – one thing leads to another, you know? Like, if you think about it, if Harry’s parents…
Alex: Well, if you think about – yeah, the whole end of that book wouldn’t have happened if Snape had busted him about the Potions book.
Ben: Right, and if Harry’s parents would have waited one more day, okay? Just one more day to conceive Harry, it wouldn’t have even…
Ben: He wouldn’t even be in question. You know what I mean?
Laura: It wouldn’t…
Alex: It’s James’ fault.
Laura: It wouldn’t be Harry.
Ben: It’s all James’ fault.
Alex: Just calm down.
Chicken Soup For The MuggleCast Soul
Ben: Now, to wrap up the show this week. My favorite segment. A Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul. I think I’m going to change the title of this. I’m formally changing the title. Since Andrew’s not here to argue with me, I’m doing whatever I want. This is now Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Listener’s Soul. So, there you have it.
Laura: What? That’s too long.
Ben: Too bad, the name is officially changed. I want to see…
Laura: No, it’s not.
Ben: I want to see this on the Wikipedia entry, please. Okay.
Laura: No, don’t do it.
Ben: From Kerry Hennebury, 30, from Portland, Maine. She writes,
I wanted to write and thank you guys for putting in so much effort. As funny and quirky as you all can be, the fact remains that the MuggleCast staff makes thousands of Harry Potter fans think deeper and laugh harder at ourselves on a weekly basis. I turned 30 on February 2nd and was in a reflective mood, which was magnified when finding out the book release was due out in July. I found myself contemplating where the time had gone. I got married and had three babies right along side of the ‘Harry Potter’ book releases. So the question remained, where has all the time gone? As I stared at the bust that announced Jo had finished writing ‘Deathly Hallows’, panic mingling with my pre-existing fear of turning 30 had caused me, as Mrs. Weasley said, to have a “fit of the sullens.” My husband asked me what was wrong. I explained about the series coming to an abrupt halt and asked him, “Where did the time go?” I felt like I was broadsided by a bus. Not only had I stepped over that invisible age line, but my beloved series was coming to an end. With an understanding smile he simply pointed at my three sons who were playing in their bedroom. It hit me suddenly why the two issues were so closely linked. ‘Harry Potter’ has been my refuge for over six years. My oldest son, Liam, was diagnosed with autism six years ago. Then four years ago my other son, Nicky, was diagnosed as well. My sons struggle daily to succeed in what comes as second nature to you and I. My family has their ups and downs, tears and laughter. But throughout this emotional rollercoaster I call my 20’s…
Laura: That’s it, Ben. You’re done, you’re done.
Ben: Whoops. No, no I’m not done!
Ben: It’s really long!
I just had the wrong inflection there.
But throughout this emotional rollercoaster I call my 20’s, I realized I had one constant thought brought me more laughter, sheer happiness, and blissful brain-cramped sleuthing that helped me turn off the stress. ‘Harry Potter’ and MuggleCast. So, when my family goes to bed at night and the lights go off, I slip on my iPod and try my darndest not to laugh out loud at your antics. I woke my son up laughing at, “Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.”
Thank you very much, Ben. So, when the day is done and I’m ready to drop from exhaustion, you guys are always there to ebb away the stress and, for that, I can never thank you enough. Kerri Hennebury.
Ben: That is very sweet. Seriously, that’s awesome.
Micah: That’s nice. Very nice.
Ben: This whole – I can’t believe it’s coming to an end either, you know, that’s sort of the same sentiment that I reflected. Because I just realized, I can’t remember – like, last year? I don’t remember what happened. Like, in terms of my junior year of high school. Or my sophomore year of high school, or my freshman year of high school. I don’t remember it. I mean, I can remember some specific events. But, I don’t know. It’s just it’s all gone by in a blur. Last thing I knew I was meeting Alex at Lumos and now it’s almost seven months later. Getting all sentimental about it.
Alex: I’m going to cry.
[Ben pretends to cry]
Ben: You’re going to cry.
Alex: That really a sweet letter, though.
Laura: I probably will cry.
Alex: That’s amazing.
Laura: I admit that.
Alex’s Upcoming Song for MuggleCast
Ben: [sings] Here’s to Book 7, 2007. Right, Alex?
Alex: It’s the new song, right there.
Ben: Uh-huh. So Alex, are you going to write us an intro for a song for MuggleCast?
Alex: No, I’m not. But I am going to…
Ben: Will you, please?
Alex: I’m going to play a song that makes fun of Andrew because he’s not here. But I’ll do that in the future at some point.
Ben: Oooh. But, can you please do a MuggleCast song?
Alex: I’ll see what I can work up.
Ben: Like, an intro? Like, with lyrics?
Alex: I’ll call it “Muggle Antics.”
Ben:[sings] Will not soon be forgotten.
Ben: Okay, everybody. We have a PO Box for you:
PO Box 223
Send us anything, everything. Whatever. I mean, we’re open. You know, cookies…
Micah: [whispers] Don’t forget the zip code.
Ben: Don’t forget – oh yeah, 67107. Did I say that?
Micah: No. [laughs]
Ben: Sorry about that.
Now, I have some phone numbers here, too. In case you want to give us a buzz, if you know what I’m saying. Please keep your voicemails underneath 60 – 30 seconds, excuse me, 30 seconds. If you live in the United States, you can dial 1-218-20-MAGIC. Or if you live in the United Kingdom, you can dial 020-8144-0677. Or if you live in Australia, you can dial 02-8003-5668.
[Show music begins playing]
Ben: You can Skype the username MuggleCast. You can email us at staff dot mugglenet dot com. You can also email us on MuggleCast dot com. For more information, check out our website. Yeah. So, that’s pretty much it. That does it here for us this week. I’ve enjoyed this time. Yeah, Alex, thanks for coming out and having a good time with us.
Alex: Thanks. I’ve got to say one more thing. Because I haven’t had a chance to. I promised Paul from Harry and the Potters I would mention the fact that there is a Wizard Rock EP of the Month Club whose proceeds are all going to literacy promotion. So MuggleCast listeners should check out WizardRockClub.com and check it out.
Ben: Awesome. Now, quickly. Go ahead, Micah.
Ben: Yeah, don’t forget all those. Good job, Micah. And one final thing. Oh yeah, check out MySpace.com/TheRemusLupins. Or FightEvilReadBooks.com for more. Thank you, Alex, for joining us. I’m Ben Schoen.
Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Alex: And I’m Remus Lupin.
[Ben and Micah laugh]
Laura: Wow. I actually went second that time.
Micah: Can you believe this? Next week, you know what we are, Ben?
Ben: We’re 80, folks. We’re…
Micah: We’re old.
Ben: [mispronounces] Octogenarian…
Laura: We’re going to have dentures.
Ben: [mispronounces] Octogenarians. We’re [mispronounces] octogenarians. That’s how you say it. Good night.
[Show music ends]
Written by: Micah, Adrienne, Allison, Amanda, Briana, Cindy, Eloise, Jessica, Laura, Leah, Mandie, Margaret, Matt, Megan, Roni, Samantha, Sarah, Shannon, Shelly, and Tina