Transcript #101

MuggleCast 101 Transcript

Show Intro

[Intro music starts]

Mason: Hey there, MuggleCast listeners. I’m back to inform you of some excellent news. is having better deals than ever! For only $3.59 a month for twelve months, you can get’s economy package with 250 gigs of bandwidth, 5 gigs of storage, and up to 500 e-mail accounts. You can get your own website up and running with success. And, as usual, enter code “MUGGLE” – that’s M-U-G-G-l-E 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 at

Andrew: Today’s MuggleNet podcast is brought to you by Borders. In May, thousands of Harry Potter fans descended upon New Orleans for the Phoenix Rising conference. Borders was there to take in the sights and share a lively discussion of the series that has bewitched the world with some of Harry’s most dedicated fans. Listen and watch the action yourself, check out the Phoenix Rising Borders Bookclub Discussion at, or click on the Borders banner at the top of the MuggleNet page.

[Show music starts]

Andrew: Because the spoiler warnings begin [gasps] right now, this is MuggleCast Episode 101 for July 22, 2007.

[Show music continues to play]

Andrew: Hi, everybody!

Laura: Hey!

Eric: Hey!

Kevin: Hello.

Andrew: Welcome to what’s going to be our first of many, many, many episodes of MuggleCast where we are talking about the final Harry Potter book. We’ve all just finished. I was the last one to finish. I don’t know where to start. First, we want to tell everyone – let’s see, there’s 130 people in here right now, the number is growing rapidly, so if you want to add your thoughts to this discussion, you can e-mail Jamie at staff dot MuggleNet dot com. He’s got his e-mail open and he’s raring to go with your thoughts and theories.

First Reactions to Book 7

Jamie: Why don’t we start off with a sort of simple, what did you think of the book? Since you just finished, Andrew, why don’t you start us off?

Andrew: Okay. Well, I had to say… [laughs] …I’m trying to think of it as my favorite book because there are so many twists and turns in this. I loved Dumbledore’s explanation at the end about everything. The ending where Harry’s pretending to be dead in Hagrid’s arms was also very cool, and how he came back, and how he was addressing Voldemort as Tom Riddle. It was perfect.

Jamie: Yeah, especially because Dumbledore used to do that sort of [unintelligible], you know, growing up.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Eric: That was very cool.

Laura: Well, it was sort of like the – I guess, with the transfer of the wand, I guess Harry – well, I’m not close enough to the computer, guys!

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: See, the problem here is that everybody’s, like, keeping me away and I can’t talk loud enough. Jamie, move your leg.

Eric: Yeah, we’re keeping her away.

Andrew: There you go.

Laura: I can’t sit down with your foot there, Jamie.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: But I really – I sort of liked how the sort of the transfer of their – of Dumbledore’s personality into Harry in the sense of not fearing Voldemort at all. In the sense of actually calling him Tom Riddle sort of came with the wand.

Kevin: Well…

Laura: I thought it was fabulous.

Kevin: Well, you know what I loved? I loved when he was at King’s Cross and there was the writhing child under the bench.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Kevin: And every time Harry would stick to it, and Dumbledore would go, “Don’t worry about that, Harry, it’s hopeless.”

Jamie: That was a very weird scene.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Kevin: It was very strange, but when you…

Jamie: Going into the Lord of the Rings blinding light.

Kevin: When you realize that Harry gets – wakes up, and Voldemort is waking up at the same time, you know exactly who the writhing child…

Jamie: No, no, no, I completely agree, it’s a very interesting scene, but it is a bit weird. It is extremely like Lord of the Rings, going to a different place where, you know…

Kevin: Oh, yeah.

Jamie: Going to a blinding light place where you don’t know what’s going on. It’s very interesting.

Laura: But this whole book was like that. We saw so much stuff in this book that was completely unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

Jamie: Yeah, just like Grindelwald’s prison. What was it called?

[Everyone tries to pronounce “Nurmengard”]

Andrew: But as soon as I said it aloud Jamie was like “Ah, they ripped it out of Lord of the Phoenix, Jo did.”

Jamie: You mean Lord of the Rings.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Lord of the Rings.

Jamie: Lord of the Phoenix. It’s like a crossover thing they’ve planned, I can’t wait.

Andrew: Order of the Rings, something like that.

Laura: I don’t know, I don’t think it sounds like that. I mean, Grindelwald, I mean, we’re assuming he’s of eastern European descent.

Andrew: I still have never read Lord of the Rings so I didn’t get it.

Jamie: With a name like Gellert Grindelwald, probably, yeah.

Kevin: [laughs] Maybe.

Laura: Yeah, well, then that does sound like a very eastern European thing, so I’m not at all bugged by it.

Jamie: Oh no, no, I’m not bothered, I just think it does sound very Lord of the Rings-ish. It’s a good thing.

Eric: The locket! The locket actually acted on Harry much like the ring would have acted on Frodo, at least if I recall correctly, for Lord of the Rings references anyway.

Kevin: Yeah, but I think it was more a parallel between the diary and the locket, not so much Lord of the Rings.

Eric: Well…

Kevin: In the same sense the diary acted on Ginny as the ring acted on Harry.

Eric: Well, I mean, the locket acted on everyone. They had to take turns wearing it, it was getting heavier, he could feel it tightening around his neck, that was just all – that reminded me of Lord of the Rings.

Kevin: Oh yeah, with the heavy and the…

Eric: Just in the way it behaved and everything. Of course once it was open, you know, then it was completely different then it was Jo’s own thing, but yeah. So that was very interesting.

Jamie: We currently have 392 people in the room now, so thank you for those people you have just joined us recently.

Andrew: I was ready to be like, “Let’s take a call live now!” But none of that.

Eric: Yeah, people…

Andrew: See, your Google notifier is saying there’s quite a few e-mails coming in already.

Eric: Oh, wow.

Jamie: Let’s have a look, let’s have a look.

Andrew: Let’s get to our first question now! I guess we’ll talk about this later, but, like, Laura, you brought up none of the Department of Mysteries stuff was explained!

Eric: Yeah, and there’s a lot of stuff that just didn’t get in there.

Laura: Well, I mean, I was somewhat disappointed that we really didn’t find out much about the Department of Mysteries at all, because that was supposed to be…

Andrew: That’s like the Veil. We were counting on the Veil to really, like…

Laura: Yeah!

The U.S. Book Cover

Kevin: And the room! Everyone was wondering about that room.

Laura: And it turned out to be the Great Hall.

Eric: What room?

Andrew: Oh, on the U.S. cover!

Laura: Yeah!

Andrew: I couldn’t believe that was the… [laughs] …that’s not the Great Hall!

Kevin: That’s not, yeah.

Laura: Am I the only one, though, that – I feel like the U.S. cover is slightly misleading?

Kevin: Yeah.

Andrew: Yes!

Eric: Oh, incredibly.

Laura: It just made it like…

Andrew: Completely!

Eric: Well, we speculated for so long…

Laura: Yeah!

Eric: …that they were using wandless magic…

Andrew: Yes!

Eric: …and pulling things from the sky!

Andrew: Yes! It couldn’t have been more misleading. Where was that?

Laura: Well, it was the point where the wand flew up in the air and they were both reaching for it.

Andrew: I thought – I had thought it might have been the scene when Harry first ran into Dumbledore, and then Voldemort was going to show up and break up their little discussion, and somehow that was going to look like that area. Because it didn’t make sense otherwise.

Laura: Well, see, I figured that that whole scene was going to take place when Harry and Dumbledore were at the…

Andrew: Speak up. That’s all I’m saying.

Laura: Okay, well, I figured that that, like you said, I think, we’re kind of on the same wavelength here, that that whole scene on the front cover was actually going to take place whenever Harry and Dumbledore were speaking.

Andrew: Right, right, yeah, exactly.

Laura: So, it just, it – I think the U.S. cover is very misleading.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Kevin: It’s a nice cover though.

Andrew: We based so much speculation off of that cover.

Laura: I know.

Eric: We did.

Andrew: The U.K. one, we were spot on, though, round of applause for us.

Kevin: Yeah, exactly.

Eric: Yeah, round of applause, spot on.

Did the MuggleCasters Cry?

Jamie: Why don’t we take a quick question now from Kayla, who wonders if any of us cried while reading the book.

Andrew: Oh, great question.

Jamie: And she says that she bawled like a baby when Fred died! Anyone else?

Laura: I didn’t bawl, but a couple of tears did trickle down my face.

Andrew: It was funny because… [laughs] …there were several moments this evening where Laura just bursted out, “What the – is going on!?” And I just had to die laughing ’cause I’ve been getting delirious, we haven’t slept in so long. We’ve just been reading all day today. Seriously, that’s all we’ve been doing today: reading, sleeping, and eating.

Laura: See, basically, here’s my thing. I’ve been a long time supporter of the – again! Okay, I’ve been a long time supporter of the Harry-is-going-to-live thing, and whenever we thought Harry was going to die I got very upset, and I started crying, and I cried through the entire chapter. And Andrew sat there and laughed at me the whole time!

Andrew: Because it’s so funny seeing you overreact – not overreact – react like this. [laughs] It was just hilarious! Like your voice was like: [makes high pitched crying noise]

Laura: [laughs] It was horrible.

Kevin: Well, you know what was funny? Eric, you got a little spoiled, and Eric knew that Harry was going to live. And what was happening was I had already read the book, so he was telling me on the street, you know, oh this is what’s going to happen, and this was today, and I was trying to tell him that…

Eric: Because you already knew.

Kevin: Oh, I already knew, because I had read it last night, and the – what I was trying to tell him was, you know, it’s a matter of perspective. So when he came to the part when Harry died, you should have seen the look he gave me.

Eric: I was like “what the…!”

Kevin: Because he was thinking, “Oh my God, I know someone told he me lived, but he just died!”

[Andrew laughs]

Kevin: And I’m like, “Yes!” I was victorious! [laughs]

Eric: Though I had noticed, though, that the chapter after that whole scene “The King’s Cross” was like “The Flaw in the Plan,” and lots of crap seemed to be going down. I mean, I wasn’t reading ahead by any means, but every time a character bit the dust in the movie I – or in the book actually – I was just – I didn’t know what to feel. I didn’t cry necessarily, but there were some tearjerkers, I thought.

Andrew: I didn’t feel much emotion either, not like…

Jamie: That, Andrew – that, Andrew, is because we are hard, hard, hard people.

Andrew: Well, like…

Laura: Really, Jamie?

Eric: We’re hard people to break.

Laura: Really?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Podcasting has strengthened us.

Kevin: Yeah, but I think there was so much death.

Andrew: Yeah it was like eh…

Kevin: And you sort of removed yourself from it.

Andrew: …another one bites the dust. [sings] And another one bites the dust.

Jamie: Although I have to say, last night at the release, emotion got the better of me, and I was bawling for quite a while.

Laura: Yeah.

Jamie: At the release I cried…

Laura: Yeah, Jamie and I both cried when we got the books in our hands.

Jamie: Yeah, I was like [makes fake crying voice.] “I can’t believe it!”

Andrew: Yeah, it was building up for Jamie. It started like a slow “I can’t believe this…”

Jamie: It did, it did.

Andrew: And then it went, “I can’t believe this! I can’t believe this!” and then [makes fake crying voice] “I can’t believe this!” [Andrew laughs]

Laura: It was the same for me because I got it in my hands, and I got a little teary, but I was doing okay. And then I walk out and I see Jamie bawling, and I completely lost it.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: I was just like, “okay, might as well let it all out.”

Jamie: Yeah, I just couldn’t take it, could not take it at all. 740 people in the room. Should we take another question?

Andrew: Yes! Blah!

Characters Discovering Magic Later in Life

Jamie: Shawn Quillman asked, “We were told in this book that someone would discover magic much later in life.” Now two people have asked me this already, who was it?

Kevin: Hmm.

Andrew: Now, I want to say – I don’t want to say, but…

Laura: Say it.

Andrew: …you have to think about Petunia because there’s still that mystery shrouded around her. “Remember my last,” and all that.

Eric: That’s true.

Andrew: Petunia, as it turns out, wrote a letter to Albus, I guess it was…

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: …asking, can she be a part of the school? But I don’t think she exhibited – that doesn’t mean she exhibited magic…

Kevin: Yeah.

Andrew: So…

Eric: But, like, apparently, like, did he tell her that she could or couldn’t?

Laura: You know what, though? You know what, maybe? And this is just me. I almost think it was Dudley…

Andrew: Dudley changed.

Laura: …because – but not in the literal sense – correct…

Andrew: Okay.

Laura: …and Dudley viewed Harry saving his life from the Dementors as good magic, I guess, so…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, that was really interesting, in the beginning of the book.

Dumbledore’s Trust in Snape

Jamie: And are we all agreed that the thing that caused Dumbledore to trust Snape was his Patronus, right? The silver doe Patronus. It showed that he – because your Patronus can’t lie, so it showed that he loved Lily, and, therefore, he was on the good side.

Laura: Yeah, that’s the perspective I took.

Eric: Oh, that’s interesting.

Kevin: Yeah, but he didn’t show his Patronus until – you mean trusted him absolutely?

Jamie: Yeah.

Kevin: Because I think he was already trusting him.

Jamie: Yeah, but don’t forget we’ve heard throughout all the books that there was one thing specifically, which meant that Dumbledore trusted Snape completely. And we haven’t – and she said it was going to come out in the seventh book.

Eric: But…

Laura: But what was it? I’m trying to remember, because we really burned through this book.

Andrew: Love! Wasn’t it love?

Laura: Yeah, it was love.

Jamie: No. No. No. No.

Kevin: I don’t think it was the Patronus.

Jamie: No, but you can’t just say it was love. There was something, one event, one thing that happened that caused them to do it.

Andrew: Because Snape gave Dumbledore his word…

Laura: Well…

Andrew: …that he would protect Harry.

Laura: Yeah, you remember…

Andrew: To protect his love for Lily.

Laura: Right.

Eric: And Dumbledore gave Snape his word that he wasn’t going to tell, no matter what, that he had made this arrangement with Snape. He said, “I’m hiding the best part of you. That you’re committed to protecting the boy.” And so that’s why Dumbledore never answered any questions directly…

Laura: Right.

Eric: …about why he, you know, trusted Snape.

Neville’s Competence

Jamie: Here’s an e-mail from Kelly who asked, “Talking about people who learn magically from life, what about Neville, who turned from someone who wasn’t very competent in magic to somebody who was pretty clever?”

Kevin: I think that was awesome; Neville was awesome. And…

Andrew: Yeah.

Kevin: What I liked about that, was Harry on a whim, on like a gut feeling, had told Neville to watch the snake…

Jamie: Yeah.

Kevin: …and Neville ended up being the one to pull the sword from the hat. He killed the snake, not Ron, or Hermione…

Jamie: It also shows how trustworthy he is that Harry told him what to do and to do it as soon as he could.

Kevin: And at great risk to his own life.

Jamie: Yeah. Absolutely great risks to his own life.

Kevin: Yeah, and…

Jamie: Go on.

Kevin: No, you.

Jamie: There are 914 people in the room now.

Andrew: Reminder, it’s jamie at staff dot mugglenet dot com if you want to write in with your rebuttals, your theories that you have about this book, assuming you’ve all read it now. If you haven’t read it now…

Jamie: Please turn off your iPods.

Andrew: Please proceed to hit Apple-W or Alt F4, whatever your nerdy [unintelligible] prompt requires.

Eric: Get out of the room.

Jamie: We’re getting quite a few e-mails saying our camera is pointing at the ceiling.

Andrew: I didn’t even know it was on.

Jamie: I don’t think it is on. So perhaps…

Laura: Yes, it is. Apparently.

Kevin: Oh, yes, it is.

Eric: Oh!

Andrew: You see “video: OFF” No, see this is a…

Jamie: “Show local video.” Oh, yeah, server…

Eric: Oh yeah, there shouldn’t be a video.

Kevin: Or maybe it’s just showing this as the last image.

Jamie: Guys…

Andrew: Yeah, maybe it’s just one print.

Jamie: …can you see a light? Can you just see a light…

Eric: Is there a hand?

Jamie: Or a hand or something like that?

Eric: Is there now a hand?

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: I will keep this here until we get an e-mail.

Andrew: We’re probably going to get 800 e-mails: “Yes.”

Jamie: Yes, apparently people can see a light-bulb. Why…

Eric: No.

Jamie: [unintelligible] say that…

Eric: What about a hand?

Jamie: Sorry?

Eric: If they can…

Jamie: No, no, no.

Eric: …just see a light-bulb, then it’s just the still image of…

Andrew: Just wait a second.

Jamie: Just wait a second!

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: But anyway…

Eric: Well, this is intriguing.

Andrew: Man. There’s just so much to discuss!

Jamie: Can we talk about – can I talk about one thing?

Andrew: Yeah.

Snape, Bravest Man

Jamie: I just want to talk about Snape, very briefly, because I, unfortunately, got spoiled, and I read the epilogue, a part of the epilogue, which said that Snape was the bravest person that Harry had ever known, and I was expecting a lot more backstory on why he was the bravest person he had ever known. So, the flashback was very interesting, and it went part of the way to explaining it, but I was expecting a bit more.

Kevin: I think it was explained enough. And I think I said to you, Jamie, how much that epilogue really spoiled, because now that you’ve read it…

Jamie: Completely.

Kevin: …you realize that Snape – you didn’t know about Snape until the very last chapter.

Jamie: We didn’t, no.

Laura: And I mean, I think everybody had a gut feeling that Snape was going to turn out to be good, but I had no idea all the backstory we were going to get on him.

Kevin: Oh, my God, yeah. And you know what was sickening? Realizing that he was looking in Harry’s eyes because they looked like Lily’s.

Laura: Lily’s. Yeah.

Kevin: It was just gut wrenching. You’re just sitting there…

Laura: It was awful. And it really spoke volumes to me whenever, you know, Snape was sort of talking about all the people he didn’t want to know about his betrayal.

Jamie: Can I interrupt very quickly and say, thank you very much for all the hand e-mails.

[Everyone laughs]

Jamie: I’ve just refreshed the e-mail and there are about fifteen saying “Yes, we can see a hand.” Please, please don’t e-mail anymore.

Andrew: We can’t fit everybody in the frame so it’s kind of useless to tilt it down. I mean, Laura, you don’t mind. Because Laura’s sitting right in the view.

Laura: It’s okay. We can rotate it, though.

Andrew: Tilt down. No, because then we’re throwing out the placement of the mic, it’s very awkward.

Jamie: Okay, there are now 1045 people in the room, and Michael…

Andrew: Good, now we’re going to get another e-mail from Ustream shortly saying we’re crashing their servers.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Aberforth and His Goat

Jamie: Michael in Greenberg wants to know what Aberforth did to that goat, because that wasn’t explained.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Jamie: Any ideas?

Andrew: What goat? I’m forgetting.

Laura: You know, I think it was left open for a reason. I think… [laughs] …open for interpretation.

Jamie: There are some things…

Eric: I think so, too.

Jamie: …that are left open for a reason.

Andrew: Oh hey, hold on.

Eric: Something the goat did in the Harry Potter books.

Laura: Yeah.

Lily’s Eyes

Jamie: What – Casey asked what was the significance in Lily’s eyes in the end?

Kevin: Well, I think the significance was to Snape.

Laura: Yeah.

Jamie: Really?

Laura: Yeah, Snape’s love for Lily.

Kevin: Because that’s what Snape yearned for.

Jamie: I was expecting that to be a bit more explicit, though. Absolutely right out, but I don’t know.

Eric: Yeah, I completely agree.

Laura: You know, I was – go ahead, Eric.

Harry’s Lineage

Eric: What do you think of Harry’s turned out family connections there? As we speculated back to…

Kevin: Oh yeah, that was interesting.

Andrew: What do you mean?

Eric: Well, people thought he was possibly the heir of Gryffindor or Dumbledore might end up being the heir of Gryffindor, or something else might happen. Well, Harry’s lineage, he was related to the Peverells.

Jamie: What it just goes to show is that it is our choices, as Dumbledore said, because, you know, coming from the same bloodline, and Harry and Voldemort, two different people, very interesting.

Kevin: That is also something that I noticed she was contrasting, because Snape had the choice to go into Gryffindor, just as Harry did, but he chose Slytherin, even though the woman he loved went into Gryffindor. And he said, I think Dumbledore said, you know, I really think we should sort later.

Laura: Yeah, I love that.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Eric: That was really interesting to speculate.

Kevin: Because if you think about it, if Snape hadn’t become friends with Malfoy…

Eric: Mulciber…

Jamie: Dolohov.

Kevin: Yeah, all of them. He probably would’ve been Harry’s father.

Destroyers of the Horcruxes

Jamie: Here’s a very, very, very interesting e-mail from Tilting Windward, who says, “One observation that may not be accurate is each of the Horcruxes is destroyed by a different person. Voldemort does Harry, Neville does Nagini, Hermione does the cup, Ron does the locket, Dumbledore does the ring, and deus ex machina does the diadem”, which you know, which is like that fire that came from nowhere, just happened to destroy it, which is a lucky plot.

Kevin: Yeah, that is true.

Jamie: And they asked if this is relevant to the magic of the thing, and that Harry can’t accomplish the task Dumbledore set him on his own and needs the help of people around him.

Eric: If that were true…

Kevin: Yes, I think so too.

Eric: I like that idea, especially because it is so cool that different people destroy everything, but the book for so long just focuses on the trio, and Kevin was telling me quite often that it was the trio’s mission to do this, trio’s mission – and then that alone, and so for most of the book I was just upset that there was, you know, this focus on Harry, Ron, and Hermione, which wasn’t bad, but I wanted to see the other characters, I wanted to see Hogwarts, and there are so many brilliant characters in this world, I was a little upset that we didn’t see most of, like – well, we did, because they all got killed. They all got killed. J.K. Rowling and her death stick just killed fifty-five to seventy people.

Kevin: Well, back to the Horcruxes, I think that it shows that Ron – or not Ron – Harry is the leader amongst everyone. No one would’ve destroyed the Horcruxes if it wasn’t for Harry, but he rallied them together to accomplish the overall goal.

Eric: That was so cool.

Andrew: I was very surprised, though, how they ended up executing it all, going in a tent, living in all these places, I did not see that happening at all.

Laura: I didn’t expect that at all, either.

Andrew: I was just expecting them to go into the deepest darkest places in the world and, like, uncover these Horcruxes, but it was like they were just chilling in a tent like tonight. Which was still – I mean, it was still a great read, but yeah.

Jamie: What I thought was absolutely awesome was the scene in “Godric’s Hollow” when Dumbledore said, you know, you see a different kind of magic. Magic isn’t only pointing your wand and allowing sparks to come out. So the Nagini acting as…

Andrew: Bathilda Bagshot.

Kevin: Oh. Yeah.

Jamie: …Bathilda Bagshot was just brilliant.

Kevin: It was.

Godric’s Sword

Jamie: We have had a couple of e-mails regarding the sword of Godric Gryffindor asking: how did Neville randomly have the sword if Griphook had taken it? How could he get it out of the hat?

Kevin: Because I think the hat had a magical link to the sword.

Laura: Yeah, and also remember…

Jamie: But then…

Laura: …the ones who truly need it get it, remember? Just like Harry and the Chamber.

Jamie: Yeah, but it can’t duplicate itself. So how did Griphook…

Kevin: Right. Right, but I think it would act like some link…

Eric: If the hat…

Kevin: …for Gryffindors in need. Then, yeah.

Laura: And remember, Gryffindor was the one who enchanted the hat in the first place, so…

Kevin: And had possession of the sword for a long time.

Eric: And it’s quite possible that the sword, as they said, was originally owned or, you know, was Godric Gryffindor’s, wasn’t stolen from the goblins.

Kevin: Oh, yeah.

Eric: They speculated that so like…

Laura: I think it probably was.

Eric: It could be rightfully Gryffindor’s.

The Sorting Hat

Andrew: Now the hat’s gone though, isn’t it? It’s burned.

Jamie: Yeah, there will be no more sorting at Hogwarts.

Andrew: Well, no.

Eric and Kevin: No.

Kevin: Well, I don’t think they really explained it, did they?

Andrew: They didn’t. No, I’m just wondering now.

Laura: Well, that was Voldemort’s thing, though. He said there would be no more sorting at Hogwarts. Everyone would be Slytherin…

Andrew: No, but I’m just saying, what are they going to do? Can they repair the hat? Can they get a new one?

Laura: But, you know, I think it was somewhat explained because Dumbledore, you know, we saw in that scene, he said, “I sometimes wonder if we should start sorting later.”

Andrew: Well, who’s going to tell that – is – you think Harry – okay, sorry.

Laura: Well, but remember in the epilogue, Harry told his son that it was his choice.

Kevin: Yeah.

Andrew: Oh!

Laura: So I think that the…

Eric: The Sorting Hat takes into account…

Andrew: But he said he had never told one of his kids that before.

Kevin: Right.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: So I mean, in his head it’s his own choice, but even if the Sorting Hat has decided.

Eric: Right, but…

Laura: Oh! Connection lost, guys.

Eric: Uh-oh!

Laura: Standby!

Eric: Standby while I attempt to reconnect. Just pause?

Jamie: We have a lot of questions to get through.

Eric: Okay.

Andrew: Okay. I think we’re…

Laura: Are we back?

Andrew: [announcer voice] And we’re back!

Laura: Sorry, everybody.

Jamie: Sorry.

Andrew: [announcer voice] Z-105!

“King’s Cross” Chapter a Cop-out

Jamie: We have a lot – loads of e-mails coming in. Daniel wants to know, he thinks the “King’s Cross/Harry’s Head” chapter was a cop-out to fill in undesirable gaps in the story. You think that or not?

Eric: I kind of felt that way.

Jamie: I did a bit, as well.

Eric: Just a kind of way.

Andrew: Wait. What?

Eric: That’s actually…

Jamie: Well, they didn’t explain the – she didn’t really explain the sort of theory behind it. Like, how could he talk to Dumbledore?

Eric: Oh.

Andrew: Yeah!

Jamie: Was he in a gap between the dead and the living? Or…

Kevin: Yeah. Well, I think they did because in my mind, it was exactly like what Voldemort experienced when he got separated from his own body, with the exception that Harry was good, had a false soul, and it wasn’t complete agony for him.

Andrew: But at the end…

Kevin: He went in willingly.

Andrew: It almost made me feel like Jo realized, “Oh crap! I shouldn’t have killed in Half-Blood Price, how am I going to get him back in to explain all this to Harry? How’s Harry going to find all this information?” It felt that way because it was so random. Like out of the blue, he’s talking to Dumbledore again. Then at the end of the chapter, Harry says, “Is this…”

Kevin: “Is this real?” Yeah.

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: “Or is it in my head?”

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: And it was so weird that Voldemort and Harry were both feeling – were both experiencing that, because Dumbledore replied, you know, it is in your head, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Or whatever. So…

Kevin: But that’s the thing that I was thinking to myself. If Voldemort was the thing, you know…

Eric: Writhing on the floor.

Kevin: …writhing on the floor. So, you have to wonder, is that where Voldemort went when he got separated from his body?

Eric: Into Harry’s head?

Kevin: Not necessarily in his head or – because you don’t know where he went. Perhaps Harry’s head, but all I think is that maybe that’s where Voldemort went and that’s why it was so painful for him.

MuggleCast 101 Transcript (continued)

Dumbledore’s Family

Jamie: We have a slight rebuttal here who says that Ariana could be the person who learned magic later in life.

Eric: Yeah, but we didn’t know her beforehand.

Jamie: Oh, that is true. Yeah. Yeah, that is very true.

Eric: We didn’t know anything about – the whole Dumbledore family was a slightly interesting spin on it.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: Especially when we talk about Albus, who was talking about how he was actually power hungry in his younger years and, you know, wanting to overtake the Muggles. That was a really interesting twist on Dumbledore’s character.

Laura: That was what I loved about that, because Dumbledore basically told Harry the reason he turned down his position at the Ministry was – okay, I’m speaking louder – the reason he turned down a position at the Ministry as Minister was because he knew he’d get out of control.

Eric: With power.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: Some people can’t handle the power.

The Mirror of Erised

Kevin: How about the Mirror of Erised? I think that was brilliant.

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: Throughout all the books you’re thinking Dumbledore would only see…

Eric: Socks!

Kevin: …a pair of socks.

[Eric laughs]

Kevin: …but then you realize that…

Andrew: You don’t really think that.

Jamie: Yeah.

Kevin: No, no, but that’s what you were told.

Eric: That was such a shocker!

Kevin: That’s what you were told but…

Andrew: Yeah, but obviously he was joking.

Kevin: …you never realized he saw exactly what Harry saw. He saw his family.

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: That was one of the coolest moments in the book, in my opinion.

Jamie: It was very cool.

Laura: That’s true.

Laura Has Pretty Hair

Jamie: Laura, here’s an e-mail for you from Carla, with the subject “Laura, Laura, Laura.” “I love her hair, she looks very pretty. Could you tell her that? Thanks.”

Laura: Oh well, I’m glad you think so. I look like I sat for an hour crying, but…

[Everyone laughs]

Names in the Epilogue

Jamie: There are also a couple of e-mails, quite a few, asking what has happened with Jo’s naming of characters in the epilogue, because some people aren’t happy with…

Andrew: Well, I’m not happy either. I have to say that the epilogue was one of the things that got spoiled for me and the names were so obscure I couldn’t believe it.

Eric: Yeah, well, no, Hugo was obscure, but everybody else was named after their parents.

Andrew: Which seemed a little – I don’t know, was it just me or…

Eric: Albus Severus, Lily James, Albus Severus…

Jamie: Let’s face it, though, when you spend that much time and you’ve met all these heroes and nice people, you’d be very, very…

Eric: Grateful, it’s a tribute.

Jamie: Grateful!

Andrew: It is a tribute.

Eric: Especially, you know, the Albus with the middle name Severus…

Andrew: [singing] Tribute.

Eric: And, you know, Harry explained that they’re named after, like, the two great headmasters. One of them is the most, you know – what do you say? Courageous…

Kevin: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, the bravest man I know. You know, that was all interesting that they named each other after, you know, their parents, but it was still a little bit confusing, the names and the way she gradually introduced who was who’s brother and stuff and who was – you know, for instance, I liked Draco, at the end. I liked seeing Draco.

Kevin: I was upset that Draco wasn’t more involved…

Eric: I agree.

Kevin: …with Ron, Hermione…

Adult Themes and Language

Jamie: We have an e-mail from Chris who asked, “What do you guys think of how adult this book was? I think both just in, you know, the writing style, ’cause Jo’s come a long way in how she’s written but also in the use of her curse words quite a few times, like when…”

[Laura laughs]

Kevin: Oh, definitely, yeah.

Jamie: “…Mrs. Weasley calls Bellatrix a bitch.”

Andrew: Mrs. Weasley killed Bellatrix! Oh my God!

Laura: Yeah, I was surprised! I expected that to be Neville’s fight.

Andrew: Oh my God!

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: I know.

Andrew: Seriously. And I don’t think she got – there was enough storytelling going on then, there should have been a moment where it was like, Mrs. Weasley actually killed someone. Mrs. Weasley killed Bellatrix.

Laura: No, but that line was the best line in the whole book. She was like…

Eric: “Get away! You will not hurt anymore of my family!”

Laura: She was like, “Not my daughter, you bitch!” That was the best line ever.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, it was crazy.

Dobby’s Death

Jamie: Here’s an e-mail from Sammy, who says, “How do the authors of the MuggleNet book feel about their hundred to one odds against Dobby’s death?”

[Kevin laughs]

Jamie: We’ll get back to you on that one, Sammy.

[Eric laughs]

Laura: I got a little sad, and I think I was actually sitting over here on the floor, and I sort of, like, I was like, “No!”

Eric: She was rocking back and forth, I think.

Andrew: I think that was one of the saddest deaths, ’cause…

Laura: Yeah, it was so sad.

Kevin: Especially the way it happened…

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Kevin: …because you were so close to – so close to getting out.

Andrew: And those little words: “Harry took his little body…”

Kevin: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew: And like the little words.

Kevin: Oh, what did you think about him digging his grave?

Laura: Oh yeah. Oh my gosh.

Eric: Well, with a spade, with a little, little, not even like a proper shovel, with a little spade.

Andrew: And then Griphook called him out on that. I was like, “What?”

Eric: Yeah, Griphook’s like, “You’re a strange dude.”

Kevin: An odd wizard, yeah.

Eric: You’re an odd wizard.

Andrew: He wants to pay his respects. Andrew’s on video!

Harry’s Parents’ Professions and the Veil

Jamie: We have quite a few questions saying that stuff that Jo said she would explain, she hasn’t actually explained. For example, the fact that Harry’s parents’ professions weren’t ever talked about in the seventh book and, obviously, the Veil, which was a big disappointment for some people.

Laura: But, you know, there were a lot of veil references in this book. Like, at one point, Harry – I forget which character it was – was it Hermione, I think? He talked about feeling like he was separated from her by a veil…

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: Well, that was also explained in the Resurrection Stone, where they analyze kind of returning to life but not really being alive. It wasn’t really the Veil, though.

Deaths Necessary?

Jamie: Now, Laura, you mentioned it was a complete bloodbath, I think at some point, and there have been a few e-mails asking if all of the deaths were completely necessary, like Lupin and Tonks.

Andrew and Eric: No, they weren’t.

Kevin: No, I thought that was. I saw that coming a mile away…

Eric: He did, he’s very happy.

Kevin: And the reason being, is when Lupin came in and said, “Harry, I want you to be his Godfather,” I knew he was dead.

Laura: Yeah…

Kevin: I knew him and Tonks were dead, immediately.

Laura: I guess I should’ve seen that coming.

Jamie: Very interesting, it follows the parents.

Eric: Well…

Kevin: And I just screamed to myself, because it is such a parallel.

Eric: But they didn’t make…

Laura: It really is, between Harry and the Potters.

Kevin: Yep.

Laura: Not the band.

Kevin: Harry and Sirius.

Eric: And it even said, Harry thought he was shaping up to be just a good a Godfather as Sirius.

Kevin: Right.

Eric: But Harry doesn’t – Harry doesn’t raise Ted Tonks, does he? ‘Cause he’s just kind of in the background in the epilogue.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Ted Lupin – Ted Remus Lupin is raised by Tonks’ mother, I guess.

Andrew and Kevin: Yeah.

Eric: And it’s just at the other end of the platform. They’re like, “Ah! He’s our Godson.”

Kevin: But also, they say that he is over their house so often he might as well just move in.

Andrew and Jamie: Yeah.

Jamie: Here’s a very interesting question from New Zealand.

Andrew: Wait, wait, can I say one thing real quick?

Jamie: Yeah.

Marriage Foreshadowing

Andrew: The one – the one piece of foreshadowing that really bugged me, and it bugged me because I had already read the epilogue, was when Harry’s talking to Ron, I think very early on in the book. They’re talking about Ginny, and Harry was like, “I’m not going to, like, marry her or anything.” And I was like, “Oh my God!”

Laura: Yes, you are.

Jamie and Kevin: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew: That’s so obnoxiously placed in the book.

Kevin: It is.

Andrew: It’s so obvious. It made me go like this with my hat, for everyone that’s watching on UStream.

Jamie: It’s a pretty serious response, that…

Laura: You know what, though? I’m very glad that I wasn’t spoiled, because little lines like that didn’t jump out at me the way that they would jump out at some people…

Andrew and Jamie: Yeah.

Laura: …who had been spoiled.

Andrew: Like, if you had already known what was happening, it looked obnoxiously placed, which sort of is the reason why it annoyed me. [laughs]

Laura: I thought it was ironic, the way it was placed, more than anything. Because, of course, you knew they were going to grow up and get married.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, but they did. I’m glad Ginny didn’t die. You know, with how many deaths I’m not too happy about, I’m glad with who survived. I really, really…

Jamie: It really is very interesting.

Eric: I really am.

Jamie: This question from New Zealand, which I think is a very, very potent question considering the end of the book: who do we respect more now, Snape or Dumbledore?

Snape versus Dumbledore

Andrew: Oh, still…

Eric: That’s a really good question.

Andrew: Still Dumbledore because this was all Dumbledore’s grand plan, so…

Kevin: Yeah, it was, yeah.

Eric: Yeah, but…

Andrew: He had been thinking about this all the time.

Kevin: But I think you said during the podcast at Waterstones that you considered Dumbledore and Snape…

Jamie: Ironically.

Kevin: Well, Dumbledore and Voldemort as the most powerful wizards, and then Snape under. And you said by a decent margin. But now you have to wonder how big that margin was. Snape was extremely, extremely talented with that whole curse scene.

Jamie: He was. But saying that now, Voldemort killed him very, very, very, very easily.

Kevin: It’s true.

Eric: What, with the giant snake.

Laura: But I almost felt like…

Jamie: Yeah, but a giant snake is just a snake.

Laura: Snape somewhat took it…

Jamie: He did take it.

Laura: …n a way…

Jamie: He took it like a man.

Laura: …because he knew he had to.

Jamie: He did, yeah, he really did.

Dumbledore’s Portrait

Eric: One of the things that surprised me was the portrait of Dumbledore being able to continue to convey instructions and formulate plans to tell Snape how to react all year to Harry and to give him the sword, and stuff. You guys know that? I mean, the whole portrait thing – we speculated whether they were just personalities or reflections, or something…

Andrew: That was full information that was coming on. Yeah, yeah.

Eric: That was Dumbledore…

Kevin: But see, that’s why – I think I said during the Waterstones thing that I think that the person may have a choice what they can put in their portrait; a choice of information.

Andrew: Yeah. That whole Dumbledore scene, though, where Harry is – or Dumbledore is explaining everything to Harry, really got me, because Jo really put emphasis on the fact that Dumbledore was dead at that charity reading back in August.

Kevin: Yeah.

Andrew: Whereas with Sirius, it wasn’t like, “Yes, Sirius is dead, that’s it.” She said that about Dumbledore, yet Dumbledore comes back and does this whole scene explaining every little thing…

Kevin: And not Sirius.

Andrew: …so it was kind of backwards, if you ask me.

Was He Dumbledore or Was He in Harry’s Head?

Laura: But here’s the thing, though. Do you guys really think that was Dumbledore or do you think it was in Harry’s head?

Eric: No, it had to be Dumbledore, I think…

Jamie: Yeah, it was Dumbledore.

Eric: …because even though it was in Harry’s head, there was stuff that Harry could not have known.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s true.

Eric: Harry actually got answers that, you know, even in the back of his mind, you know, maybe his mind fabricated it. Which is, you know, you can take that and make of it what you want.

Laura: But see, I wonder – I guess I wonder if Harry had become versed enough to sort of gain the answers on his own.

Eric: To answer his own questions.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: I’ll have to read it all again. That was very, very, very descriptive. And it got so it started making my mind go numb.

Dumbledore is Not Perfect

Jamie: It was awesome, though. I love the whole Dumbledore story line, because it just showed that he’s human. The entire thing – you know, people aren’t perfect. And anyone who thought he was perfect, throughout all the books, was living a fairy tale, because everyone has skeletons in their closets; Dumbledore’s the same. And I – people do hate him now, I just – I don’t understand it, because I think I like him even more.

Kevin: Yeah, I….

Laura: Dumbledore’s story is so heartbreaking. I mean…

Kevin: I like the parallel between Dumbledore and Voldemort in the sense of the Hallows. And during that scene, it really – it stuck with me how he said that, “Harry, you are the better man.”

Jamie: Yeah.

Kevin: Because it’s somewhat true. You know, looking back at the mistakes Dumbledore has made, it’s pretty apparent that Harry has made better choices.

Ted and Victoire

Jamie: One question we keep getting is, in the epilogue, we find out that Ted Lupin is kissing a girl called Victoire – I don’t know how you pronounce it – which sounds, a lot of people have pointed out, very French. So could it be the girl through Bill and Fleur?

Laura: Oh, I think so!

Kevin: They made reference to that. Because they said, “Oh, if he gets married, then he’ll truly be family.”

Laura: Yeah. It has to be.

Kevin: It has to be.

Jamie: Okay.

Andrew: Has to be!

Kevin: Has to be.

Eric: Well, let’s deal with Bill and Fleur. They weren’t even – Fleur wasn’t – were they in the Great Hall? Because, like, so many people came through the Room of Requirement to come in. Even Percy, which was awesome, by the way!

Laura: I know! Percy.

Andrew: Real quick: ” ‘”Our Teddy, Teddy Lupin, snogging our Victoire. Our cousin! And I asked Teddy, what was he doing?” “You interrupted them?” said Ginny. “You are so like Ron.” “Oh, it’d be lovely if they got married,” whispered Lily.’ So, yeah. It’s sort of – anyway.

Colin Creevey Dies

Jamie: Again on this sort of pointless death thing, people are asking why Colin Creevey died.

Eric: That was so depressing!

Laura: Sad! It was sad!

Eric: I specifically said to Kevin, you know, because Colin Creevey had been petrified in year two, spent most of year two out, why would he…

Kevin: Foreshadow.

Eric: No, that’s not even foreshadowing. Why would they bring him back…

Laura: And wasn’t he underage, too? I mean, I’m…

Kevin: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, he was.

Kevin: Yeah. Because he ran into – they said…

Andrew: Didn’t McGonagall catch him and she was like, “Creevey, no! Get back there!” Or something like that.

Kevin: And she said – when she saw his body – she said an underage wizard who must have snuck in, just like Malfoy.

Eric: Yeah, and it was heart wrenching! Maybe Jo used that to represent the underage, you know, wizards who had been fighting…

Kevin: I also think she was using that as a way to show how disconnected Harry was from the others.

Dumbledore Stealing the Unbeatable Wand

Jamie: There were a couple of plot holes, though, even in Book 7, that people are pointing out already. Like, how could Dumbledore fight Grindelwald and get the unbeatable wand off him? Sorry, yeah, because an unbeatable wand is an unbeatable wand, see, so surely if you’re dueling by it…

Kevin: Yeah, but there was a condition to the unbeatable wand. What – didn’t they say that you had to be in desperate need of it or there was a specific condition?

Laura: You guys, we burned through this thing so fast we definitely need to re-read it.

Jamie and Kevin: Yeah.

Rita Skeeter

Andrew: I think we captured most of it very well. I’m watching Jamie’s Google notifier, and all these e-mails are coming in by the second. One caught my eye. It’s [laughs] in all caps, “DO YOU GUYS HATE RITA SKEETER?” I mean, I don’t know if we can because she wasn’t that far off the mark. So… [laughs]

Laura: You know what, though? I think that, I mean – oh, she was awful, and I think that what she said was completely awful. I mean, especially when you found out the reason Dumbledore’s father went after those Muggles was because they had damaged his daughter.

Eric: Oh, yeah. That was just something that Bathilda wouldn’t tell Rita, and Elphias Doge, the character, I liked because he had that kind of sort of undying faith for Dumbledore. But he was wrong in some respects. There was a darker side that he would really not want to even think about or admit to, and it’s kind of, you know, he’s trying to see the best in Dumbledore just as Dumbledore saw the best in everyone else.

The Other Person at Godric’s Hollow

Jamie: Laura, do you want to follow up on your question about who was the person at Godric’s Hollow the night the Potters died?

Laura: Yeah. Why didn’t we find out anything about that?

Andrew: I don’t think it matters. I was thinking about that while I read the book. I don’t think it matters.

Laura: But, but…

Eric: That whole thing was brushed aside, kind of.

Laura: It really – it seems like it was, because if you remember, Jo had specific involvement in the way that scene was shot in the first film.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: When we got that recount where Harry was in Voldemort’s head going to Godric’s Hollow, there was nothing extra really explained. It seemed like that scene was…

Laura: It seemed like she was being deliberately vague on the site whenever asked, was it Snape under the Invisibility Cloak? instead of saying, nobody was there the night the Potter’s died, she just said Severus Snape was not there. Or, was it Snape? I don’t remember.

Andrew: Yeah. But if she said nobody was there it would’ve just closed up a big question.

Laura: Yeah. I guess so.

Statue at Godric’s Hollow

Andrew: So, I don’t know – speaking of Godric’s Hollow, I liked how they had erected the statue of Harry and his parents.

Laura: Oh, yeah, that was very sweet.

Andrew: And they kept the house there and a little thing came out of the ground and said, “Keeping this here in memory of these guys who lost their family.” People signed it too.

The Hallows

Eric: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. That was really nice, but I don’t even know how I feel about the Deathly Hallows, like because whenever J.K.R. was asked why did Dumbledore have the Invisibility Cloak? Or she said, completely significant, you know, but it turns out to be about this other thing we hadn’t previously heard about in all the Hallows, and there seems to be, you know, that focus between Hallows, and Horcruxes, and Harry’s choosing to go after one or the other. But even the Hallows in the end, Harry never had the Resurrection Stone, the Elder Wand, and the Resurrection Stone – sorry, and the Invisibility Cloak, yeah. We never found out what happens if some person were to hold all three, and I understand that Harry didn’t want to become the Master of Death, and he’s like, “Yeah, I dropped that thing in the forest. I’m just going to leave it there.” And Dumbledore, the portrait’s like, “Whatever, dude.” But you never find out what exactly happens with the three, and maybe that’s, you know, supposed to happen to show Harry’s contentment, but I thought that was a little strange. The whole Hallows thing, I wanted them to be Horcruxes, like we had speculated.

Laura: You know, I think we – in a way we did kind of find out what happens, because look at what happens when somebody like Voldemort, who’s so power-hungry, gets a hold of a device like a Horcrux and clearly Dumbledore had that same kind of thirst for power. So what…

Eric: He wouldn’t kill for it. You know, Horcruxes you have to kill for it.

Laura: Right, I understand, but as a young person he was clearly open to ruling over another group of people.

Jamie: But it’s a different kind of power. The whole Horcruxes versus Hallows thing echoes the good versus evil thing, because when you create Horcruxes you don’t control death because it means you’re afraid of it. If you seek immortality then you’re scared of the cycle of life, whereas with the Hallows, you just want to – you know, you have mastery over death, so you can choose your own destiny, whereas with Horcruxes you’re more – you’re more sort of – it’s less about your choices and more about, you know, what’s going to happen.

Laura: I suppose, but I think that the way that Dumbledore and Grindelwald were planning to use them was definitely not good.

Jamie: No, definitely not.

Kevin: Well, what I liked was when Harry had the choice between going after the Horcruxes and going after the Hallows.

Eric: Yeah, he had that choice twice: once in who to talk to…

Kevin: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: …you know, Griphook or Ollivander first.

Kevin: And then once when he woke up.

Eric: Woke up from what?

Kevin: Well, from his dream…

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: Oh, yeah.

Kevin: …with Dumbledore. Because he had the Cloak, he could have gotten the Wand, and he had the Stone somewhere on the ground, so…

Andrew: I’m looking at the e-mails. There’s a lot of good questions coming in right now to jamie at staff dot mugglenet dot com, probably the hottest inbox online right now.

Jamie: Right at the moment, yeah.

Andrew: Jamie, you got a couple others?

Becoming the Master of Death

Jamie: Lacy asks, “Isn’t it possible that being the true Master of Death is to accept it like Harry did?” So, completely different from my previous point is that when – is – are the Hallows sort of a fake way of mastering death and the only real way to master it to know you’re going to die?

Laura: But didn’t Dumbledore kind of tell Harry that he had mastered death? I guess…

Eric: I think he did.

Laura: I think the point of the Hallows is that to become the Master of Death you have to sort of…

Kevin: Accept it.

Laura: …accept it. And Harry didn’t want to be the Master of Death. He could have done, but he didn’t want the responsibility, as Dumbledore pointed out.

Kevin: Right, but he knew the power in being…

Jamie: Yeah, he did.

Laura: Mhm.

Kevin: And why – honestly, why someone in Harry’s position, who had just defeated the wizard who killed his family, who had just realized that he was going to most likely spend the rest of his life with Ginny, why would he ever want to live forever?

Laura: Mhm.

Hedwig’s Death

Eric: I’m seeing a lot of other e-mails coming in about unnecessary deaths…

Jamie: Well, I…

Eric: …and one just said, why do you say that these deaths are unnecessary, was the question that I just read, and I think that things like Hedwig should answer that. You know, the death of Hedwig was so sudden and so – and not only was Hedwig killed with the death curse, but then her body was trapped in the cage and plummeted
in the side car of the motorbike all the way down and exploded, and was obliterated. That was a little excessive.

Kevin: Well, no, he destroyed it. Harry destroyed it.

Eric: Oh, Harry destroyed it?

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: I was – I think Hedwig’s death proved that this book was going to have many unexpected…

Kevin: Yeah, I think so.

Andrew: …very surprising…

Jamie: Completely, yeah.

Andrew: …and innocent deaths.

More on the Deaths

Jamie: Diana here asks, “Do” – and I agree with this completely – “Do you guys think that all the deaths were a lot less sad than in the other books?”

Andrew: Yes! Yes.

Jamie: That I agree with.

Kevin: I think so, too, yep.

Jamie: But it’s the whole war thing, you know, you have time to mourn later, but when you’re reading this book you just…

Andrew: But we’re not – none of us are going to be mourning later, though. I mean, we…

Jamie: No, no, no, it’s going to – for me personally, I think it’s going to sink in. You know, the – like with Sirius, it was just – it just happened. It was horrible.

Andrew: Right, ’cause it was at that – just like Dumbledore, too, and Cedric – it was one death, and at the very end of the book. So – during the climax scene. So I guess you could say that this book was very different in a sense that we just saw all these random deaths. It wasn’t as surprising, I guess. Like, I was surprised when Mad-Eye
died. That was…

Laura: Yeah

Andrew: …that was a shame.

Jamie: That was a shame.

Eric: I kept thinking he was going to come back. Because they were at Grimmauld Place and they heard his voice or whatever.

Laura: Oh, yeah, I thought about that.

Andrew: At first I thought that meant he was going to come back, because they didn’t recover the body.

Eric: Yeah, that was kind of crazy. But then, like, the Ministry had his eye, like Umbridge had his eye.

Laura: That was gross.

Kevin: I – I loved – I loved how Harry grabbed the eye.

Laura: Yeah.

Kevin: I think that…

Eric: I don’t know, that seemed like a – kind of like a fool-proof falling into, like – that’s one of the things, one of my major complaints about the book, is that Harry, Hermione, and Ron, you know, just had this whole store of Polyjuice Potion, they did make a plan, but they just kind of went in there, and just like Gringotts it was very flawed, very kind of, you know, end-of-the-minute. Harry is just under the Invisibility Cloak and he Stupefies everyone and then runs. You know, I mean it made – it kind of made sense, but there was no resolution with Umbridge at the end then, and
Umbridge never really had a scene beyond that, she just slouched forward. And that was the last that the world ever heard of Dumble – Dolores Umbridge.

Back to the Hallows

Jamie: Going on from what we were talking about Hallows, what you were talking about, Eric, about them controlling death and all three of them being together, Arnie says that the Hallows don’t control death…

Andrew: Wait, the Arnie?

Jamie: No, a different one.

Andrew: You sure?

Jamie: Yes.

Andrew: Okay.

Jamie: The Hallows don’t control death; they just avoid it, so the more of them you have the harder you are to get at by death, which is a pretty interesting point.

Eric: Well, one of them is so that death can’t…

Kevin: Well…

Eric: …pursue you…

Kevin: Right.

Eric: …and the other one is, well, it’s in the story of “The Three Brothers.”


Jamie: Moe asks, what happened to Fawkes?

Andrew: Can we just – quick disclaimer: we’re in London right now, in case nobody knew, and it’s 5:30 in the morning, so in case we – the sun is coming up, so…

Eric: But as long as the viewers keep climbing, I’ll be in here.

[Andrew laughs]

Jamie: If we go very quickly it’s because we’ve had a nice complaint, so…

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, it wouldn’t surprise me.

Jamie: What about Fawkes, though, because he…

Andrew: What about him?

Jamie: …he had a big part at the end of Book 6 when flying around. Why didn’t we see him again?

Andrew: We didn’t see him at all!

Kevin: Because I…

Laura: Because…

Kevin: …I sort of trusted that when she…

Laura: …Dumbledore had left Hogwarts.

Kevin: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah. And she wrote in that book that he would never hear that song again or that Fawkes had left, you know, for good.

Jamie: Yeah.

Kevin: Sure, yeah.

Eric: I would like to see Fawkes, but…

Jamie: Alida thinks that the deaths, all the deaths, just underline the fact that it’s a dark book and that there’s a war going on.

MuggleCast 101 Transcript (continued)

Movie 7 Discussion

Andrew: Okay, the whole time I’ve been reading this book I’ve been thinking about the movie.

Laura: Yes!

Andrew: What are they going to cut? What are they going to keep in? Could it be rated R?

Eric: It would have to be!

Andrew: No, well…

[Lots of talking at once]

Eric: It would have to be PG-13.

Andrew: It would have to be, if they followed the book exactly.

Eric: But it could be PG, right? I mean…

Jamie: Don’t movies…

Laura: Oh, no way.

Andrew: No, it can’t be PG. LOL, Eric.

Jamie: Don’t movie ratings go more to showing rather than content? Like, you could have a million deaths.

Andrew: What’s that?

Jamie: Well, like, a movie, if somebody said, “A million people died”…

Andrew: Oh.

Jamie: …that would be…

Andrew: It depends on the language.

Laura: It depends on how the deaths are, too. I mean…

Jamie: Okay.

Andrew: Romance scenes didn’t get too dirty, so that’s going to help.

Laura: You look at how graphic the scene was where the snake erupted out of Bathilda.

Jamie: Very, yeah.

Eric: That was really weird.

Laura: And I’m wondering how they’re going to do that in the film.

Kevin: Yeah, but I think they could do that without having it…

Laura: Yeah, but see, I want them to do it right…

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: …because it’s just so horrific that I feel like we kind of have to do it justice, you know?

Eric: Yes. Jo really presented them with something really, like, strange and difficult to do, and, like, I’m just imagining the giants walking across the school grounds towards the castle, you know, while Ron, and Harry, and Hermione, and all the students are on the grounds, and Voldemort’s there and, like, I’m imagining that, but with so much else that happened in the book – I think what’s going to happen is they’re going to sum up the weeks that they were
camping. Because Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the beginning of the book were just, you know, they were going aimlessly, not even to Godric’s Hollow, just kind of camping out and chilling, trying to avoid detection until Christmas at least. And then until – it was like March before they really did anything, and then they only made it to Hogwarts in May, or May or June, like at the very end of the book. I thought that was a little strange.

Kevin: Yeah.

Laura: Stale popcorn. Mmm.

Andrew: Good point.

Jamie: What else do we want to talk about?

Andrew: Well, there’s a ton of e-mails coming in, dude, come on.

Laura: Let’s go.

If Hedwig Had Lived

Jamie: Shawnee says that if no one had [unintelligible] when Hedwig died, what would they have done if she was alive when they were camping? Everyone would reckon then that she couldn’t fly around.

Laura: Oh yeah!

Eric: She was a hazard.

Andrew: I don’t know if you would – oh, come on, he could have found something to do with Hedwig.

Kevin: Or they could have disguised her. Well, if they were hungry, I mean…

Andrew: Oh!

Eric: Yeah, Ron was complaining he was hungry.

Laura: You know what I’m remembering now? I think it was one of the FAQs on Jo’s site, or she had said it in an interview. Someone asked, you know, if Hedwig would always be Harry’s only pet
and she said, “Well, he might get a new one eventually.”

Eric: Yeah!

Jamie: Yeah, that’s very interesting.

Laura: Well, he got Buckbeak…

Eric: [laughs] Yeah, he might get a new one!

Laura: …but he gave him to Hagrid.

Eric: “He might need a new pet…”

Laura: It’s such a sinister thing to say!

Eric: “…after I’m done with him.”

Was the Book Rushed?

Jamie: Here’s a very controversial point. There seems to be hundreds of little holes in the story and ideas introduced in other books that weren’t really summed up, and there were a bunch of unnecessary deaths. Anyone think Jo Rowling rushed the book either on her own accord or under pressure from the publishers?

Andrew: Well, first of all, I don’t think she was under pressure from publishers. I do think, though, there were a lot of false promises, like we were discussing earlier on the show, with some things that we were promised to see. I’m blanking on examples right now, but we were just talking about that…

Laura: There are.

Eric: I think it’s safe to say there were, and it’s really a wonder if Jo decided to have more time. I mean, she told us that she was happy with the time she had to do the book, but I think I still would have preferred it out – I mean, if it answered anything or just made the book kind of smoother. I felt the book was unbalanced at points, and that was my opinion that wasn’t really shared…

Kevin: I honestly liked it.

Laura: I loved the book!

Andrew: I loved it, too.

Laura: It was so enjoyable.

Kevin: And I trust that she put as much work as she thought she needed.

Umbridge’s Character

Andrew: Dumbledore – or [laughs] not Dumbledore – Umbridge didn’t seem as rotten as I sort of expected her to be, especially in comparison to Order of the Phoenix.

Laura: Well…

Jamie: No, I thought she was Nazi-like.

Laura: Yeah! What was it, Undesirables? They started – oh my God, how awful!

Jamie: Someone sent an e-mail that has a comparison between Voldemort and the Ministry in this, and Hitler and the Holocaust, and it does go along with the same thing. Jo hid a lot of moral and ethical messages in this book.

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Jamie: Persecution of minorities.

Andrew: I’m just – maybe I’m thinking too much of the movie now. I just didn’t feel like Umbridge was the sweet and sour Umbridge that…

Jamie: She was more mean, though. She was…

Laura: Yeah, but I think…

Andrew: She was more mean, but…

Jamie: She was toned down.

Laura: Remember, we hadn’t really seen much of her after her encounter in the forest with the centaurs.

Eric: But we heard some really good things. Like, they still mentioned Umbridge, and Rufus mentioned Umbridge too, as well, that she was doing all this nasty stuff. And it was kind of – I thought it was anticlimactic just in the Ministry. She just slouched forward and that was the end of her; she didn’t do anything at the end and stuff. There was just no room for her, essentially, in the rest of the book. I mean…

Laura: I thought she was completely evil too. I mean, obviously, she has ties to Death Eaters. And she had his eye on her door.

Eric: Moody’s eye, yeah.

Laura: Yeah, just – that was wrong.

Andrew: Yeah, that was pretty awkward. Yeah.

General Thoughts on the Epilogue

Jamie: That was weird. What did you guys think about the epilogue in general? Because she could have written another chapter and talked about, like, Katie thinks, about what people did for jobs…

Andrew: Exactly!

Jamie: …because people like these details.

Eric: Yeah!

Jamie: So, why did Jo not do that?

Andrew: All of us had really been looking forward to seeing what everyone was going to be doing later in life, nineteen years later, thirty years later. Instead, I mean, there’s so many questions left unresolved, and we had sort of expected that this book was going to close up a lot of fan fiction. There wouldn’t be as much speculation, but now we’re wondering, well what’s the current state of Hogwarts? Who’s the Headmaster/Headmistress of Hogwarts?

Eric: Exactly. We find out…

Andrew: I would put my money on McGonagall, I guess.

Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Deputy Headmistress.

Andrew: If she’s still alive.

Laura: If she’s still alive.

Andrew: If she’s not – Yes!

Eric: Well, that’s another thing. It did close up some fan fiction because so many people died.

Laura: Well, nineteen years later.

Andrew: Nineteen years later.

Kevin: Oh, yes.

Laura: She was almost eighty.

Eric: Well, there’s so many people that just died, that, I mean, that closed up fan fiction, that put up a big gaping hole. You can’t have anymore Weasley twins. Come on, seriously!

Laura: No more twincest, yes!

Eric: Oh, no more twincest. That’s better.

Voldemort as an Infant

Jamie: Here’s an interesting question from Lauren. She first of all wants to know about the infant symbolism, why was Voldemort portrayed as a baby? I thought that was just because he was a baby beforehand.

Eric: Well, he was made. Because he was like a…

Harry Calls Voldemort “Tom Riddle”

Jamie: Second part of the question: what was the significance of Harry referring to Voldemort as Tom Riddle? Was he marking him as his equal finally?

Andrew: We talked about this a little earlier in the show…

Kevin: Yeah.

Andrew: …but I think it was – yeah. Basically that, he was marking him as his equal and Dumbledore used to call him Tom.

Laura: I wouldn’t say that Harry was marking Voldemort as his equal. I think that Harry was being condescending.

Andrew: He was stronger.

Kevin: Yeah, absolutely.

Eric: Just to infuriate Voldemort.

Laura: Oh, of course. I think he – absolutely.

Kevin: Because Harry knew that – what? He knew Voldemort did it. He was Voldemort’s better…

Jamie: I agree. I agree.

Kevin: …and he used that to his advantage.

Back to Umbridge

Jamie: Heather thinks you’re very cold-hearted and says, “How can you say that Umbridge wasn’t bad enough? She was wrecking families that had been together forever and killing wives and husbands…”

Laura: Yeah!

Andrew: Okay…

Jamie: “…just for not having proof. Think about your family! What if she sent off your father and mother! How would you feel?”

Andrew: We don’t need to bring my personal fam – that’s uncalled for, ma’am! But I just – maybe I’m just looking too much into the movie now and wanting to see those little “hem hems” and all those things.

Laura: He just has a crush on Imelda Staunton and he wants to see more of her.

Andrew: No, I really do, I love her.

Eric: No, but I was saying…

Andrew: But see, that’s one of those things, though, that will be cut from the book. It’s not relevant enough to the final plot of – sorry, cut from the movie, because it’s not relevant enough.

Laura: They may cut Umbridge, but I don’t think that they’re going to cut the whole story line of Muggle-borns and those families being torn apart. I think they have to leave that in.

Eric: They still need to get their Horcrux…

Laura: If they’re smart.

Eric: …which is the locket, so I think they will include Umbridge.

Laura: That’s right, they have to get their Horcrux from her.

Andrew: They’ll chop that up, I think.


Eric: I’m pretty sure they will. That’s like the other thing. Like, the whole Gringotts thing, and they just emerge with the cup and the locket. Some of that stuff is just strange, I thought, how it was done. I mean, there was a lot of stuff we just could not have predicted with this book.

Laura: You know what, though? Speaking of predictions, and I just sort of want to – all of us, we should give ourselves a collective pat on the back, because we were spot-on on the Gringotts thing. We really, really were, including the dragon. Now, we didn’t find out what kind of dragon it was, and it was actually blind, which is why its eyes were white…

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: …but the fact that there was actually a dragon in Gringotts, and they escaped that way – I was very proud of us for that.

Andrew: I had forgot that we had even realized that one.

Eric: But it is much easier to come across an Antipodean Opal Eye than it is a blind dragon that is living underground, so Stevie still did model for that cover, by the way.

Cover of Book 7

Andrew: One of the things – when I was looking at that cover, I couldn’t find that exact moment – I couldn’t see the exact moment…

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: …where that cover matched the wording in the story.

Eric: Like, it looked beautiful, but I don’t know that that should be the cover…

Laura: Um…

Eric: …of Deathly Hallows.

Kevin: I see it.

Laura: I see it too. It was when the gold was multiplying and they fell out.

Andrew: Yeah, but…

Eric: Oh, but they were locked in.

Andrew: You can see the dragon, but – I don’t know, you’re – I don’t know.

Jamie: We’ve a couple…

Andrew: We’re missing a couple – I mean, we were sort of speculating “Oh, maybe it’s the same thing that we see in the U.S. cover,” because what’s through the arc is you can also see…

Eric: It’s the same sky color…

Andrew: Sky color, right.

Jamie: We’ve got a couple of other questions…

Andrew: Wait, don’t tilt it up.

Laura: Yeah, because then you can’t see.

Snape Flies Like a Bat

Jamie: Okay. We’ve got a couple of questions: “When Snape flew away from the castle, was he actually an Animagus, and was he a bat, or does he just look like a bat because he learned, like Voldemort, to fly?”

Andrew: I missed the question!

Jamie: Like hell you did!

Laura: He was too busy making out with the book.

Eric: I think he turned into a bat.

Jamie: Yeah, but, you see, Voldemort could fly…

Eric: Yeah.

Jamie: …and he’s referred to as an overgrown bat, so was he just flying like Voldemort can, or was he a bat? Did he transform?

Eric: I think he was kind of flying. But, I mean…

Laura: I think we would have found out if he was one.

Eric: It kind of made it seem like he might have transformed, but then McGonagall was like, he must have learned some stuff from his master, or one of them said that. I think it’s just likely that he just really, really resembled a bat when he learned to fly.

“Remember my last!”

Jamie: Okay, one other thing that someone e-mailed that I forgot, but now I’m actually quite annoyed we didn’t find it out: when Dumbledore sends the Howler to Petunia and says, “Remember my last!”

Eric: What the hell!

Andrew: Maybe the last was Dumbledore rejecting Petunia from Hogwarts.

Eric: No, he didn’t reject her, though.

Laura: I think he was talking about his last letter.

Eric: He said she could, but she got bitter and was all like, “Oh, I don’t want to go to your freak school,” and laughed, even though she really, really, like, sent that letter. Because she was so dejected that Lily and Snape were reading her letter that she was like, “Okay. I don’t want any part of that, you freak.” And then walked off.

Andrew: No.

Eric: But I was under the impression that Dumbledore told Petunia she could go to Hogwarts. I mean, I have to read that again, but, I mean, I could obviously be very mistaken.

The Snitch

Jamie: Quite a few people have e-mailed to ask about, what does it mean on the Snitch when it says “I open at the close”? Close of his life?

Andrew: His life.

Jamie: …or the close of…?

Eric: The close of his life.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: It must be, ’cause that’s when it dawned on him and he said, “I’m about to die,” or something.

Eric: “I’m about to die,” and it opened up.

Laura: Well, yeah, and it was also the ring that gave him the ability to see all the, you know, his parents, and Remus and…

Andrew: But here’s the thing: how does the Snitch actually know he’s about to die?

Eric: Well, it’s just enchanted.

Andrew: Can he sense the truth?

Eric: It was – oh, that’s true.

Laura: Well, because it – Scrimgeour said at the beginning that it had, what was it, like flesh sense or something? And Harry was the…

Eric: Flesh sense.

Laura: Yeah. Harry was the…

Eric: That was cool.

Laura: …first person to catch that Snitch and he actually caught it in his mouth in the first book.

Andrew: Right.

Laura: And he…

Andrew: But how does that relate to…?

Eric: Well, that was kind of clever.

Laura: Because I – I think that it had to do with him knowing, like, you know, throughout the whole book you see him sort of messing with it and trying to make it work, trying to make it open. And I think when he really knew deep down in his gut that he had to die…

Kevin: And it was – he was confident that it was actually going to open.

Laura: Yeah.

Kevin: And it did.

Eric: Might have been a weak plot device though.

Harry Both Died and Lived

Jamie: Emma comes with a very interesting question about, did Harry live or did he die?” Because, you know, people have placed bets on this.

Kevin: Oh…

Andrew: Harry lived!

Kevin: …in the sense…

Laura: He lived!

Kevin: He lived, yeah.

Jamie: He also died though.

Eric: Yeah, oh that’s true. Will Harry die?

Jamie: So what happens with that?

Eric: Well, how did Voldemort – I mean, Voldemort, when he cast the Killing Curse on Harry, ended up killing the Horcrux – the bit of Voldemort’s soul…

Kevin: Well, that was explained.

Eric: …inside Harry. No, it wasn’t really because Harry still has his scar.

Kevin: No, but it was explained because he – he killed only his part of the soul, because Voldemort had the protection that Harry was given to…

Eric: Oh.

Kevin: …by his mother. Voldemort could not physically kill that piece of soul – Harry’s actual soul until his soul was gone.

Eric: Yeah. I did like that scene, though, where they both woke up and that whole climax was really good. I was wondering why Neville didn’t die though, because I was under the impression just reading – and I was reading really fast – that Voldemort was standing right in front of Neville when he cut the snake off. Like I wasn’t – like wasn’t Nagini over…

Laura: Well…

Kevin: Yeah…

Eric: …Voldemort’s shoulders?

Laura: …Voldemort tried to kill Neville.

Kevin: But also that they said that a lot of things were going on at the same time.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: So what happened was…

Laura: She said suddenly…

Kevin: …at the same time…

Laura: Yeah.

Kevin: …that Neville cut off the head of the snake and everyone looked towards it…

Jamie: Yeah.

Kevin: …everything went nuts.

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: You know, all of a sudden they had things charging out of the forest at them, they had…

Eric: Voldemort…

Kevin: …students crashing forward…

Eric: …was going to the Great Hall.

Kevin: …to attack, Voldemort was running forward to the Great Hall.

Jamie: Yeah.

Kevin: Like everything happened at once.

Back to “Remember my last!”

Jamie: Corrin – going back to the thing about, “Remember my last,” Corrin says that in the sixth book they explained that Dumbledore’s last is a letter explaining the protection of the Dursleys’ home over Harry until he comes of age, and that Dumbledore – and that letter is the one that Dumbledore tucks into Harry’s blankets when they delivered him.

Laura: That’s what I thought.

Kevin: That’s what I thought too.

Andrew: It makes sense.

Jamie: Okay, I don’t think I [unintelligible]

Andrew: Umm – the – umm – what was it? Now I forget what I was going to say!

Laura: Well, you know, I have something to say.

Andrew: Oh.

Where the Battle Took Place

Laura: And I actually did – I got an e-mail about this, and it actually came a few hours ago, but basically telling me that I needed to step up to the plate and admit that I was completely
100% wrong about the final battle. It did take place at Hogwarts. I said it wouldn’t.

Eric: I was wrong.

Laura: I said it would be stupid if it would, actually, and I have to…

Andrew: Aww.

Laura: …take it all back. I have to take it all back completely because Jo did it brilliantly. I mean, there was…

Jamie: Really, really good. Yeah.

Eric: Teachers…

Laura: …no…

Eric: …defending the students in the Great Hall…

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: …evacuating through the…

Laura: I guess…

Eric: …Room of Requirement.

Laura: I guess my problem was I – and I used to work on the fan fiction site, so I’d read so many of these fan fictions where all the students – they gather up on the front lawn and they run to each other in this Lord of the Rings-esque battle, and – this was just so perfect the way she did it.

Andrew: It’s a shame because I know we’re going to be losing so much of it in the movie. That battle’s…

Laura: Yeah.

Eric and Kevin: Yeah.

Andrew: …going to be cut down so much. Just going to focus solely on Harry, you won’t see…

Laura: It will be like fifteen minutes long.

Andrew: I do want to see that final battle between Harry and Voldemort, and I got so excited about the final battle in Order of the Phoenix with Voldemort versus Dumbledore. My hopes were sort of misled on that one. But this Harry and Voldemort battle is very important, and I want to see everyone around there. I want to see Molly Weasley calling…

Kevin: Bitch!

Andrew: Calling, you know, Bellatrix a bitch.

Kevin: Yeah.

Jamie: Yeah.

Andrew: I guess we can say it now, since Jo said it.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: Why can’t we say it?

Eric: Yeah. [laughs]

Obscenities in the Book

Laura: And then Ron said – I mean he didn’t actually say the word to the full, but he was like, eff-ing this, eff-ing that.

Eric: Eff-ing that, Eff-ing this. You know, there were a lot of “made an obscene hand gesture,” or Hermione told him exactly where he could pull flowers from or stick his wand.

Laura: Wasn’t there “who’s Merlin’s saggy left” or something?

Eric: Merlin’s – well, that was – that was comical.

Laura: That was hilarious.

Eric: And when they were passing Malfoy, and they punched Malfoy from under the Invisibility Cloak, he said, “That’s twice we saved your life, you two-faced bastard.”

Ron Speaks Parseltongue

Jamie: Yeah. It was – it was. It was very, very strong. A couple of people have been asking – they didn’t like it when Ron spoke Parseltongue because you can’t learn…

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, that was weird. I didn’t like that at all.

Laura: Yeah, that was weird. Yeah.

Eric: Slightly messed up. I liked that they were going to the Chamber again, because I thought that was going to happen. I was like, okay, dude, the Chamber always exists in the book. It’s always there, what’s happening in the Chamber, and that’s been, like, a really big source of speculation. Like, will we go back? Will we see it? And Hermione and Ron went back. I don’t know that I have a problem with him hissing or whatever, especially if he could make it really accurate necessarily.

Kevin: Yeah, I think what he did was okay, just because you can imitate a language.

Eric: You can.

Kevin: It’s very, very difficult.

Laura: You can. I guess it just seems somewhat awkward to me because it seemed like Parseltongue was such a rare thing. You know, not that many could do it, and Harry could only do it because he had the power transferred into him. So it just seemed odd that Ron could just mimic it. But then she did sort of lead up to it because through the book Ron mimicked everything. He mimicked Wormtail’s voice at one point, didn’t he?

Andrew: Yeah.

Jamie: Yeah.

Laura: And it seems like she was kind of leading up to that.


Eric: Wormtail. Wormtail, guys, what do you think about Wormtail? That was really well done.

Andrew: Oh, I did see an e-mail about that.

Eric: I liked that.

Andrew: Why did you think it was well done? Because some people are calling it out saying they were disappointed in the way…

Eric: Okay, well…

Andrew: …Wormtail repaid them. I guess it was still crucial, but…

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: Well, if you’re in such a situation where you’re stuck in some kind of weirdo prison underneath the Malfoy manor, and it’s unpenetrable, and it seemed like a crawl space, like a really weird scene, I just thought. Like, if you’re going to have to escape from that, what a better way to get Wormtail to repay his debt.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Because Wormtail’s kind of – you know, he’s not really a very authoritative Death Eater like Bellatrix or Lucius. So I thought the death was an opportunity, and it was well as Dumbledore had predicted.

Back to the Elder Wand

Kevin: Not to break from the point, but I just found something in the book about the Wand, and how you’re wondering why someone could be defeated with the Wand.

Eric: The Death Stick.

Kevin: And Mr. Ollivander actually cleared this up, and Harry says – well, Mr. Ollivander says, “The Dark Lord no longer seeks the Elder Wand only for your destruction, Mr. Potter. He is determined to possess it because he believes it will make him truly invulnerable.” “And will it?” asked Harry. “The owner of the Elder Wand must always fear attack.” But the idea…

Jamie: But the whole fear – sorry.

Kevin: No, go ahead.

Jamie: I was just going to say, it’s the whole fear thing. Like, if you are ultimately powerful and responsible for your own destiny, and you fear other people, it’s like someone said, that there’s a lot of political idealism…

Laura: There was.

Jamie: …in this book. And just that thing, it’s very Hobbesian, you know, you’re scared for your own survival, you’re fearful of everyone else when you’re – you know. But one question I always…

The Room of Requirement

Kevin: Wait. Well, one thing I was going to bring up is, what do you think about the passage in the Room of Requirement?

Eric: Oh, you mean the fact that the Room of Requirement could create a tunnel out of Hogwarts…

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: …let alone directly to the Hog’s Head.

Kevin: That bothered me. It bothered me, because, what was Draco doing all…

Eric and Kevin: …of Book 6?

Eric: Because he was trying to mend that Vanishing Cabinet, which to get the Death Eaters into Hogwarts through Borgin and Burkes.

Laura: Ah, but you know what? They – I think she cleared that up, though, because she stated that you had to be very specific, and they talked about how Neville was really one of the only people…

Kevin: Who could actually create that.

Laura: …who had been specific enough to make it work.

Eric: Okay, well, that still sucks to be Draco then, that he wasn’t specific enough.

Laura: He was probably saying something along the lines of “I need a way to transport people into Hogwarts,” or something along those lines.

Kevin: Either that or “I need a place to fit – to…”

Laura: To fit the Vanishing Cabinet…

Kevin: Yeah.

Laura: …or something like that.

Eric: I need a place for a working Vanishing Cabinet that has a pair at the Borgin and Burkes.

Wrap Up

Andrew: You know, I hate to say wrap it up, but we do have to wrap it up because we’ve been going for an hour now.

Eric: Just another twenty minutes.

Andrew: Now this easily is an episode of MuggleCast. There are a few big questions that we’re going to save for our road tour and of course some more recorded episodes of MuggleCast. What were the other two titles Jo was considering for the book?

Eric: I want to find that out.

Andrew: Who got the reprieve?

Laura: I think it was Ron.

Eric: Which two died?

Andrew: Which two died who weren’t originally planned to die.

Jamie: And what happened to the Dursleys?

Laura: Probably Remus and Tonks.

Andrew: What happened to the Dursleys? But, I mean, those of course are some of the bigger questions. I think the shock of the book: Harry was a Horcrux.

Laura: You know…

Andrew: Because a friend of ours was very insistent upon the fact that he was not, and I can’t wait to release that live LeakyMug…

Jamie: Me too.

Andrew: …featuring our friends at Leaky insisting that Harry was not a Horcrux.

Eric: Well, wait a minute, what was…

Andrew: And Emerson, poor, poor Emerson getting mocked and laughed at…

Eric: Yeah, yeah, I heard all of that.

Andrew: …because everyone thought he wasn’t. But anyway…

Jamie: Thank you for tuning in.

Andrew: [laughs] Thank for tuning in.

Kevin: Thank you very much.

Andrew: Jamie clearly wants to get out of here. [laughs]

Jamie: No, no, no it’s just that I haven’t had a shower for quite a while and I need to have one right away.

Laura: You smell awful.

Jamie: Apparently – apparently, I smell terrible.

Andrew: Don’t get so close to the mic, you [unintelligible]. Yeah, everyone…

Jamie: Oops, I’m sorry.

Andrew: So, much more discussion to come soon. By the way, if you haven’t been listening to MuggleCast, this is what you can get when you listen weekly to MuggleCast, our free Harry Potter podcast. Just go to for more information.

Eric: Will we even be doing MuggleCast now with all the road tours? Will it be hard to get everything out on Sundays, because you guys are going to go crazy!

Andrew: Oh no, the shows will still come out on Sundays. Everyone who’s not on the road tour, you guys can still get together and record things…

Eric: Well, since there’s no e-mail, there’s no editor if you’re not around.

Andrew: No, we have an editor.

Eric: Oh yeah?

Andrew: The guy in Australia.

Eric: Oh yeah! Of course.

Andrew: So, thanks to everyone for listening, and we’ll see you soon! [laughs] Bye, everyone!

Laura: Bye!

Everyone: Bye!

Andrew: Bye byes!