Transcript #115

MuggleCast 115 Transcript

Show Intro

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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 sites and share a lively discussion of the series that has bewitched the world with some of Harry’s most dedicated fans. Listen in and watch the action yourself. Check our The Phoenix Rising, Borders Book Club
discussion at, or click on the Borders banner at the top of the MuggleNet page.

[Different intro music starts]

Micah: Because Laura has a million questions that only Jo can answer, this is MuggleCast Episode 115 for October 1st, 2007.

[Intro music starts]

Laura: So, Micah.

Micah: So, Laura.

Laura: After Jamie and I, we railed on you a little bit last week for not seeing Order of the Phoenix.

Micah: Yeah, you did.

Laura: Yeah, we gave you a pretty hard time, but I have to say that after last weeks show, you did the responsible thing that any MuggleCaster would do and you went and saw the movie. So, just in a nutshell, what did you think of it?

Micah: Overall, I thought that it was done pretty well. I didn’t really like the pace of it too much. I thought it went a little too quickly, and not that these movies don’t have to go quickly because obviously they have to cover a lot, but I thought that it lacked a lot of explanation. There was a lack of dialogue between the scenes and it really didn’t help you explain what was going one scene to the next.

Laura: Okay. I’m just curious, how’d you manage to find it?

Micah: Find what?

Laura: The movie.

Micah: It’s still playing, actually, here in a place about 45 minutes from my house.

Laura: Oh really?

Micah: Yeah, so movie theaters do that, sometimes.

Laura: Awesome!

Micah: They hang on to movies for awhile.

Kevin: You drove 45 minutes to see it.

Micah: I did, yeah. Come on!

Eric: That’s how dedicated he was. Man, Micah’s just…

Micah: Well, I knew what the reaction was going to be if the following week I came back…

Eric: Yeah, of course…

[Laura laughs]

Micah: …and I hadn’t seen it.

Laura: Yeah, I had an intro all prepared just to be like, “So, Micah. How do you feel still not being the only one MuggleCaster who hasn’t seen ‘Order of the Phoenix’?”

[Kevin and Eric laugh]

Micah: Yeah, and probably the only MuggleCast listener who hasn’t seen Order of the Phoenix, either.

Laura: Probably the only Harry Potter fan in the world…

[Micah laughs]

Laura: Micah.

Micah: Yeah.

[Intro music plays louder]


Laura: So, why don’t you give us the scoop in the past week’s top Harry Potter news stories.

Micah: All right, thanks Laura. Two new audio interviews with Harry Potter movie producer David Heyman and set designer Stuart Craig have emerged online. In the first interview, with Heyman, the producer discusses, among many things, why David Yates was given the director’s helm for Movies 5 and 6. He says that Alfonso Cuaron was given the option to do Movie 4, after Prisoner of Azkaban, but was too tired and
Mike Newell the option for Movie 5, after directing Goblet of Fire, but he was exhausted as well. David Yates when approached for Half-Blood Prince, after directing Order of the Phoenix was not.

The second interview, with Craig, he discusses the challenges he encountered while working on Order of the Phoenix and briefly mentions the sixth film.

A trailer for the upcoming release of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix DVD has appeared online. You can watch it over at The DVD will be released on December 11th in the US and November 12th in the UK.

And the fifth Harry Potter film dominated the National Movie Awards, winning three of the six prizes. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix won the award for best family movie. Emma Watson picked up best female performance for her role as “Hermione,” while Daniel Radcliffe who plays the lead won for best male performance, beating Daniel Craig from the Bond movie, Johnny Depp, and co-star Rupert Grint. Rupert has this to say about losing to Dan: “Obviously I didn’t expect to win,
because I think Dan deserves it more than me.” The winners were picked solely on public votes.

Finally, we previously told you that JK Rowling had agreed donate and auction a signed set of her beloved series for Books Abroad, a charity that seeks to “help to educate children worldwide by sending free school books that are carefully chosen to match the need of each school.” Earlier today at midnight the auction on eBay had closed with the winning bid at 18,200, or $37,100 with the starting offer at 100. To prevent the books from being stolen, they were locked in a jail prior to the auction. Books Abroad said they currently “don’t have any specific use (for the money) in mind.”

That’s all the news for this October 1st, 2007 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.

Welcome Back

Laura: Okay, thanks Micah. Now, before we dive into some news discussion I’d like to welcome back Kevin. You were gone for a long time, weren’t you?

Kevin: Yes, I was. Quite a long time…

Laura: You were on two shows all summer. [laughs]

Kevin: Yeah, well…

Laura: And where were you? Just curious.

Kevin: I was actually in France.

Laura: Oh, but you’re not there anymore, right?

Kevin: Not anymore. Oh, no.

Eric: Geez, are you sure? Because I swear – When did you come back? There was no – that’s just because I haven’t heard from you, man.

Kevin: I came back two weeks before the start of the semester.

Eric: Wow!

Kevin: So…

Laura: Just a little bit of background information here. Before we started recording the show, Eric was talking to Kevin as though Kevin was still in France. And it just kind of went on for a few minutes and nobody said anything.

[Kevin and Eric laugh]

Laura: And then finally…

Kevin: I actually let it go on for a few minutes.

Laura: [laughs] And I was like, “Eric, do you think he’s still in France?”

Eric: And then I was like – because we were talking about riding boats with his G-Force 8, right? Don’t they do that, Kevin? Can we talk about this?

[Laura laughs]

Kevin: Oh, sure.

Eric: Yeah. The powering boats, sort of like they did in Stuart Little

Kevin: Although, was that with the fan on the video card? That example work?

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah. So, you were gone for awhile. Eric, you haven’t been on in a few episodes.

Eric: No, same here. I mean…

Laura: It’s been awhile, yeah.

Eric: Couple shows, maybe. Three or four since Book 7? So…

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, it’s good to be back, good to be on.

Laura: That time difference is ridiculous. It’s like 16 hours, isn’t it?

Micah: Yeah, so people can…

Eric: It’s 17 hours.

Micah: Understand a little bit why it was so hard to record in the summer. With people in…

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: …various countries and all different time zones around the world.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Kevin: Just a bit.

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: No, it is quite shocking. But New Zealand is funny too, because even if we did I couldn’t even get used to the time change. Because what happened was they just changed over today, which was Sunday. They changed over and I didn’t know about it. It’s obviously, you know it’s a few weeks ahead of changing over – I guess you guys will change over in about three weeks time? The end of October? Something like that.

Interviews with Dan and David Yates.

Laura: All right, so welcome back you guys. Really glad to have you back on the show. As we all know, recently the filming for Half-Blood Prince commenced. And it seems that both Dan and David Yates have talked about the film, did you guys see any of that?

Kevin: Yeah, the interview with David Yates was good. Because he was talking about the romantic aspect and how he intends to make it a very large part of the movie.

Laura: Oh, fabulous.

Eric: Yeah, he was talking about the movie in general, I think and I expected it to be – you know, so-so. I mean it’s six minutes long, just audio. I mean, there’s a sort of collage picture that you can watch while you’re listening, but it’s not bery exciting, doesn’t really move. But it’s a six minute audio interview that – Let’s see, it’s a six minute audio interview that the guy does with David Yates and, yeah, I recommend checking that out, believe it or not. Because it is exciting and it’s a piece of news and any news is good news in the Harry Potter world today. And yeah, it’s really comprehensive. It’s really good. Like, David Yates seems really into making the sixth film and he answers a lot of good questions.

Laura: Yeah, I’m pretty excited to see him direct the sixth film because I actually really liked Order of the Phoenix. And one of the things I’m excited about was Dan talked about how he’s going to have, like, four days of filming for the cave scene with Michael Gambon. And I’m so excited to…

Micah: Yeah, it takes Gambon a little bit of time to get things right. So you know, that’s probably why they’re doing it for four days.

Laura: Whatever, Micah.

Eric: Yeah. No, it’s true. It’s true.

Laura: I don’t care what you have to say.

[Micah laughs]

Laura: Actually, I do.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: I’m just kidding. Just kidding. Anyway. But it’s pretty exciting, I think. Because if you look at the way that the Department of Mysteries and the Ministry was set up in the fifth film, I’m pretty excited to see how they set up the cave.

Kevin: With the same set. It’s going to have, like, pillars on this time.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Like they did – well, I mean, I guess they did that on purpose.

Kevin: They did that for Chamber of Secrets and they reused the set for Order of the Phoenix.

Eric: Oh, did they?

Laura: Did they really?

Kevin: Yeah.

Laura: Which one?

Eric: Oh, you’re right. Son of a gun.

Kevin: That was the set. You didn’t recognize…

Laura: Really?

Eric: The Ministry.

Kevin: Yes they did.

Laura: Oh, wow.

Kevin: They revamped it. But if you noticed, the atrium is exactly like the hallway in the – or the actual Chamber of Secrets, I should say.

Laura: Interesting.

Eric: They must have just kept that set sitting there in Leavesden studios. I do not know why they didn’t do a studio tour then of the Chamber of Secrets. Because that would have been cool to have for the past three years until they used it.

Kevin: Probably because they were remodeling [laughs] for the…

Eric: Yeah, for three years.

Kevin: Three years.

Eric: They really work hard. You never know, though.

Laura: Cool, well, Warner Brothers recycles.

Eric: Yeah, but there was – yeah, the interviews were really good. There was a point where David was talking about Harry’s unrequited feelings for Bonnie, even though he means Ginny. And he corrects himself immediately afterwards.

Kevin: Yeah. That was pretty ironic.

Eric: I thought that was funny because – well, not ignorant, I thought it was funny just because I have unrequited feelings for Bonnie, as well. And I don’t know – I probably speak for a lot of other people.

Laura: I’m sure you do.

Kevin: Now that we’ve got a restraining order against Eric.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Oh wait, that’s right. Yeah, sorry.

Laura: All right, is there anything else anyone wanted to bring up before we move on?

Eric: Yeah. Sorry again. Just one final point. He does – David talks about, it’s just one quote here, he talks about balancing the intimate with the epic. Like, I thought that was very well worded, balancing the intimate with the…

Laura: Interesting.

Eric: What? Yeah. He says – you know, along the lines of you need to sort of, if as long as the characters can be related to by the audience, that’s what essential. He says you know, you can show them all sorts of spectacle. What really matters is if the characters – he says that in movie 5, the first screening, when they, you know showed it to the audience, he was just surprised how much the characters meant to the audience. And sort of how much – You know, how much dependency it sort of had on the enjoyment of the film and the meaning of the film and that sort of thing. So, he was really…

Kevin: He also mentioned that this film is largely character-driven.

Eric: Yes.

Kevin: So, he’s trying to build the characters as much as possible because, you know, people have grown up with them. So…

Half-Blood Prince Will Be Character-Driven

Eric: Which is interesting. Do you there’ll be – I mean, because in Movie 5, obviously, I mean it might be in this too, now that you’ve seen it. But in Movie 5 there’s sort of the fun scenes with Dumbledore’s Army where it’s – would you call those scenes character-driven? Because they’re obviously the characters we love and know sort of escaping the tyranny of the character of Umbridge. But, I’m just trying to distinguish whether or not the scenes will be sort of cheesy or if they’ll be, like really good character scenes or what sort of – I mean it’d be impossible to tell, but what do you think he means by character-driven that’s going to be so different from Movie 5?

Micah: I think it’s got to be Snape. I mean, there’s no other character that needs to be more developed, I think, in this movie than Snape. It goes back to, even Order of the Phoenix. I mean, he was in the Occlumency scene and really that was about it. And even that scene, I felt was rushed. I mean, obviously they didn’t do it the way that it happens in the book. You know, it’s Harry going up to Dumbledore’s office right after the attack. And then two seconds later Snape is there and Snape takes Harry down to his office to do the whole scene. But, I just feel like Snape has been underdeveloped as a character throughout the entire first five films. And I think he really needs to be developed in Half-Blood Prince because, you know, Deathly Hallows, obviously he’s going to be playing another major role.

Kevin: Yeah, he’s going to playing a key role, so if they don’t get it right it’s going to hinder the ability of the director to direct the last one.

Laura: Oh yeah, it’s definitely really interesting, now that we’ve read the seventh book, seeing all the things that they’ve left out of the movies, and we can just sort of sit back and go, “Hmmm, I’m wondering how you’re going to fit all of this into one film so that it makes sense in the last one?”

Eric: See, I don’t even know if they’ll have that problem as much. I mean, what else have they got to do besides here’s an – I mean, Jo essentially just kept introducing stuff, including the Elder wand.

Laura: Well, what about Lily, though?

Eric: What about Lily?

Laura: She wasn’t in the Snape’s Worst Memory scene at all. If in the seventh film, all of a sudden we see that Snape and Lily were friends, that comes out of nowhere.

Kevin: It does, yeah.

Eric: Okay, well, flash back to the scene in Movie 3, then, when Lupin’s on the surprise secret bridge and talks to Harry about Lily seeing the good in people, that they never did before.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Because JKR was really pleased with Cuaron for that, for doing that scene about Lily that was – now we see it was actually, as Jo put it, preemptive for the seventh book. Lupin talks to Harry about her.

Laura: Actually, it was.

Eric: So they can just flash…

Laura: Do you remember when everybody thought that was kind of Lupin’s way of saying that he loved Lily, or something like that.

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: I remember everybody thought that.

Eric: It was quite questionable, actually.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: But I don’t know. Lupin and Tonks and stuff – it’s just good, I think. One of the things I liked about Movie 5, and maybe you guys agree, was just the amount of actors they had in it, just the amount of quality actors.

Laura: Oh, yeah, definitely.

Eric: No matter how many scenes, obviously. I mean, Lupin didn’t even have much screen time at all. I mean, he’s there to kind of hold Harry back at the end, but beyond that, I think he has one line, and if I remember correctly, you don’t even see him speaking it when he says it, he’s at the table or something in the headquarters. It’s very low, minimal screen time. Same thing with Snape.

Micah’s Favorite Line

Micah: Speaking of lines, there’s one line, and it’s really my favorite line in the entire series.

Laura: Oh, boy.

Micah: And I…no, no. Wait.

Eric: Oh, boo hoo, and you didn’t see it in the movie, and it wasn’t in the movie, and boo hoo hoo.

Laura: Oh, okay, I thought you were about to rail on Michael Gambon again.

Micah: No, no, no. It’s in Order of the Phoenix, and I’m happy, I’m very very happy that they kept it in. And it’s actually said by Kingsley in the movie, but in the book I think it’s said by Phineas Nigellus after Dumbledore flees the office.

Eric: Yeah, it is. You’re right.

Micah: And he says, “You may not agree with everything Dumbledore does, Minister. But you’ve got to admit, the man’s got style.”

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, that was…

High Standards for Half-Blood Prince

Micah: And it’s one of my favorite lines in the entire series, and I’m really happy that that was kept in. But going back to what you guys were talking about before, one thing that I wanted to say was that there’s no excuses now to leave out crucial plot elements, because now all the books are out.

Kevin: And they know where it’s going, yeah.

Micah: They have all the information. So for Half-Blood Prince to lack anything would be a disappointment.

Eric: I quite agree. And I mean, Alan Rickman’s a great actor. I mean, come on, nobody denies that. And he’s keeping active. I’m looking at his IMDB page right now. He has four movies in advance. I mean, maybe I’m just not looking at the right websites, but where are the Alan Rickman interviews that are saying, “Okay, you play evil Severus Snape. What’s going on with that? Are you excited? What’s your game plan?” I don’t know much about Alan Rickman as an actor, if he likes to be approached by interviews, but I love to read that kind of stuff all the time, about how the adult actors portray their characters and are looking forward to the next installments and have been reading the books along with the trio. Do you know what I’m saying? I mean, the only actor we do hear about is Michael Gambon, who pretty much says he can’t be beeped [Laura laughs] to learn what it’s all about.

Laura: Oh my gosh.

Eric: So you know, I’d like to hear from Alan Rickman. I mean, he’s 60, he’s sexy, and he’s still acting, and he’s ready to go. I mean, come on, seriously. I’d just like to get an Alan Rickman interview, if that’s not too much to ask.

Micah: A lot of the interviews you get with Alan Rickman, though, are usually related to the other stuff he’s doing.

Eric: Yeah, that’s true.

Micah: And then occasionally, the interviewer will throw in a question about Harry Potter. You don’t get anything exclusively Harry Potter with him, which hopefully will change because of his role in Half-Blood Prince.

Eric: Yeah, I think they might even – I think it would be pretty cool as spin on the whole sort of marketing–I mean, what else are they going to do besides spin what they’ve already done? Then to center around Snape for the Movie 6 poster, do you reckon? I mean, not specifically Snape, of course, because that would give away the identity of the Half-Blood Prince, oooh. But Movie 5 was this whole kids, uprising, government. They show literally all the students that we know, the main characters, on the poster, which looked great, but what are they going to fit into “6”? More people? Or are they going to turn it into something different, and do like an Alan Rickman, Dumbledore, Voldemort’s past thing? Like what do you think?

Laura: I think that’s probably what they’re going to focus on, because if you look at the significance of Dumbledore’s Army, in the book it didn’t have a great amount of significance, except for the end when Neville and Luna came back. But it wasn’t like you really saw the same focus on that group of students as you saw in the fifth book, even. So, I think that there’s definitely going to be more of a focus put on the Harry-Dumbledore-Snape dynamic.

Eric: Oh, crap, that reminds me. Kevin, you don’t remember – because he didn’t really talk about Voldemort, did he, David Heyman, in the new interview?

Kevin: No, he didn’t.

Eric: Oh, that’s a shame, though, because he’s talking about Kloves – sorry, Steve Kloves – turning in a fun script, and sort of balancing romance with intrigue and spectacle, but I wonder where the whole Voldemort back story comes into that. Just thinking preemptively. I’m not saying just because we didn’t hear it in this interview it won’t exist. I don’t want to say that, but I’d like to hear about how they plan on doing that, because that’s quite a – it’s one thing to do a Hitler allegory in a book, in a contemporary book. But then to do it in mainstream cinema as well, you’ve sort of got to know what you’re doing.

Kevin: And don’t you mean David Yates?

Eric: Sorry, what did I say?

Kevin: Heyman.

[Kevin and Laura laugh]

Eric: David Yates, yes, of course. Well, there’s always these Davids, Davids, Davids.

Kevin: Yeah.

Laura: Okay, if that’s it, everybody? Everybody got their input out on the table?

Eric: That was incredible.

Laura: Yes? No? Maybe? Okay, let’s move on to some announcements now.

Eric: Yes.


Laura: Our fearless leader is gone once again this week. He and Jamie are essentially the biggest fan girls on earth and they just had to go spend a weekend in London to see the final performance of We Will Rock You. So guys, he’s abandoned you again. I think that listeners should start complaining.

Eric: No!

Micah: Don’t say that, we’ll get a lot of e-mails.

Eric: He’s still editing the show isn’t he Laura?

Laura: Okay, quit trying to make me feel guilty.

[Eric laughs]

Laura: Shut up, Eric.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Eric: That’s why you haven’t had me on.

Laura: All right. But hopefully he’ll be back – hopefully he will be back next week as well as Jamie and we hope that they had a good time. Also Pickle Pack registration is now closed. The cut off date was September 30th. So thank you to all of those who signed up, we greatly appreciate your support of the show and at this point we don’t know about any sort of re-opening date for Pickle Pack. So, don’t count on it, but don’t think that we’ll never do it again. We’re just not sure at this point.

Scholastic Ticket Distribution Discussion

Laura: Also, one final thing before we let Eric take the floor on a special announcement of his, as everybody knows Jo’s going to be doing a reading in New York City at Carnegie Hall in the next couple of weeks. As far as I know, Micah you’re going to be there right? Well you’re going to be in the city?

Micah: Right.

Laura: Correct?

Micah: That is right..

Laura: Right. I’m going to go. Kevin, you were a maybe?

Kevin: Yeah.

Laura: Last time I heard.

Kevin: Still a maybe.

Laura: Okay, yeah, Kevin might be there, but essentially we all decided way back in July that regardless of who got tickets and regardless of whether anybody got tickets at all we were all going to get together in the city and hang out. I am actually very excited because I did end up with a ticket.

[Eric laughs]

Laura: So I will be going to the reading. Why are you laughing Eric?

Eric: I’m just laughing.

Laura: Okay.

Eric: I’m singing, “I got a golden ticket, I’ve got a golden ticket.”

Laura: I did. [laughs] Actually a listener Laura, who I think her name is an awesome name, what do you guys think?

Kevin: I don’t know.

Micah: Just get to the story, would you?

Eric: I think that ticket was meant for a Laura, Laura, but it might not have been Laura. It might be Laura who is originally intended, so Laura gave Laura a ticket, everybody and so thanks to Laura for giving Laura a ticket.

Laura: Yeah. It was – I can’t express how much – like how thankful I am to her because that was such a generous thing for her to do, so thank you again Laura, I really really appreciate that and I am looking forward to going to the reading.

Micah: That is really cool, but…

Laura: So, yeah?

Micah: One thing that we also did talk about, I don’t remember which show it was but, this whole idea about having the tickets distributed in this type of a way, through these raffles, contests, whatever you want to call them, I don’t particularly like this. You go back to 2006 in the summer with Radio City, it was a little bit different type of atmosphere with her coming in and reading with the other two authors and it all was going towards charity. I don’t understand why something similar to that wasn’t done this time. Why it’s such a select group of people that are going to be able to go? Because even when you’re looking at the three cities that she’s doing, only one of those shows is for people who aren’t in school. And I understand her appeal to those types of people, but she appeals to so many more that are now restricted from going. And us in particular, you know we’re not going to go out and put our names, well except if you’re Laura, we’re not going to go out and submit…

[Laura scoffs]

Micah: …to these contests.

Laura: [laughs] Oh my gosh! No!

Eric: Okay guys, we’re pretty…

Laura: Let me make something clear. Okay, I sent in an entry but I did not win tickets, how dare you Micah!

Eric: Wait Laura, Laura did win tickets.

Laura: We’re not friends anymore.

Eric: And Laura has a ticket. MuggleCast Laura now has a ticket. I don’t know, I…

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: I see a parallel.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: I see a connection.

Micah: No but not poking fun at Laura. Putting this all aside, I wanted to get your guys’ opinions on this because as staff members of a Harry Potter website we’re not going to go and submit to these contests because then it would seem as if it was unfair if we came out on the other end with tickets and we’re essentially taking them away from somebody else.

Eric: Right. Because we would never do that.

Laura: Mmmm. Okay. Yeah. I mean you’re talking about basically the exclusivity of the event. Like, how it’s become – how it seems like it’s becoming somewhat difficult to get into these things?

Eric: Well, nd it’s limited. Such a limited audience. I mean yeah school children are sort of – yeah but Micah’s just saying she appeals to so many more people and if she’s going to do these sort of secluded events, how are we going to see her? Is that what you’re saying Micah? Like how – wnot just how are we, but how are the majority of fans – but I think it’s a matter of there’s no venue big enough, you know? I mean there’s no – and this is certainly just the first sort of wave of readings she’ll be doing. She might do an international tour or J.K. Rowling on the Orient Express, you know something like that maybe sometime in the future.

Micah: I disagree with that though because you go back to Radio City last summer and those shows weren’t sold out. You know there were still seats available the day of. So, to think that she is going to fill up all these places…

[Eric mutters something]

Micah: …which she very well might if she opened it up to more people being able to come and see her other than – and I’m not saying it’s her.

Laura: No, it’s not her.

Micah: It may be Scholastic who’s setting these guidelines saying that this is what needs to happen. So… But I just think, you know, we feel, I feel left out like I have no power to go ahead and to ensure that I would be going by going and purchasing a ticket.

Eric: Oh hey, Micah, you used to do a segment on this show right? And didn’t it used to produce results? From JKR? Do you think you could try your hand in that old magic hat again?

Micah: [laughs] Uhhh, yeah.

Eric: Maybe get something to change and she’ll be mentioning that all of you yanks in America will be going to – and yeah maybe she’ll pay your plane fare too, Kevin, from France because I guess it’s quite expensive.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Geez, you’re not in France…

Kevin: Well I think that the thing is that she can’t please everyone and they have to set a cap on the number of people and I think JK Rowling enjoys more intimate events where there’s fewer people and she can interact with the fans directly…

Eric: That’s the other thing too…

Kevin: …and she doesn’t have enough time to be greeting 10 – 20,000 fans, it’s just impossible.

Laura: Yeah, not to mention everybody at this event is getting a signed book. So…

Eric: Oh, wow.

Kevin: Exactly, so her hand has to be braced and iced.

Eric: [laughs] We were talking about that. Yeah she might not need to ever write again so it wouldn’t matter she’d still need to sign.

Micah: Well I mean, intimate setting, I unerstand what you’re saying Kevin, but the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles is not a small place. Carnegie Hall is not a small place.

Kevin: Right, but the setting comes from the number of people as well.

Micah: Well I agree, I’m not saying you open it up to more people, I’m just saying allow an event where you’re not restricting, you know, everybody is able to purchase tickets, when you limit it to a contest you, you know, you’re not giving everybody the opportunity to go ahead, and it’s not – I don’t know, I just feel like in a way, you’re restricting people with these types of readings.

Eric: Well, I think I have an idea.

Kevin: Well, she’s making it luck and not financial resources.

Eric: Yeah, yeah. I mean that’s the other thing too. When you get…

Micah: Well, age as well.

Eric: Well, when you fet tickets, Micah, that’s the thing. If something is hot, if it’s like, a hot ticket, like We Will Rock you, for instance, it’s final show. I don’t know how Andrew and Jamie got tickets. But the fact is, when you get tickets for, you know, hot tickets, what happens? Same thing with the iPhone and PlayStation 3, right? People buy them up and sell them for five times more on ebay the next day.

Kevin: That’s true.

Eric: And it’s all the gamers that are – not the gamers but, you know, 30, 40-year old guys…

[Laura laughs]

Eric: …Who ae grabbing thse tickets from these oherwise school children who have to beg their moms and dads to you know, dip into their college fund to pay for JKR. You know? I mean it’s not, obviously, that dramatic, but doing it with the school I’m thinking okay, so if JKR wants to sort of get rid of the whole money, competition, because money is evil, lets face it. It’s one of the big evils, you know? If she wants to get rid of that, she can just do this thing with schools. And it’s true, it’s not necessarily, it’s not open by any means, but it is luck and it is a raffle, and she can choose sort of schools in the area and say okay, this one’s going, you know? Yes, it would – it is – people would – you know, people are getting left out, but I’m thinking, what would be the alternative? People running away with a truck full of Half-Blood Prince and holding someone at gunpoint? I mean, you know, these things have happend in the past.

Laura: [laughs What!

Eric: I think JKR – that happend, that was a real story! Wasn’t it? There was a gun involved in the Half-Blood Prince.

Laura: Yeah, but it was a fake gun.

Kevin: You do also have to realize that the thought was put into the contest.

[Eric laughs]

Kevin: If you notice, she didn’t have any internet sign up, she made you send it in. I mean, just that as, at least from a computer science standpoint, I know exactly what she was doing, and what she was doing, or Scholastic was doing, was making it so you couldn’t submit you name multiple times under different addresses, and it makes it so that there’s like a bottleneck where you actually have to sit down and write out the, you know, the submission. Because if you put it i online, people will create scripts that will submit their name 10,000 times in a different way.

Eric: Could you write a script for that, theoretically for that Kevin?

Kevin: You could. Absolutley. And the same thing happens with tickets online. If – I can guarnetee you that I will get the first ticket, or nearly the first ticket, for any event if I spend enough time coding the script to do it.

Eric: And that’s it before Kevin gets taken away.

Micah: And before we all get arrested.

Eric: So now we are going on to…

[Everyone laughs]

Kevin: No, it’s not – it’s by no means illegal.

Eric: It’s not a threat.

Kevin: It’s not illegal.

Eric: Oh, it’s not illegal?

Kevin: It’s totally legal. No, not at all. I’m allowed to use it.

Eric: To write a script?

Kevin: To sign myself up for tickets online, absolutely not. It’s totally legal. But what it enables, what computers enable people to do is manipulate the system where all of a sudden this fair competition isn’t so fair anymore.

Eric: So we’re thinking the fact that so many children are getting to see it, who are otherwise just school kids, might be the whole point in and of itself. It’s not that we’re all getting out, but we’re in the non-safe world where people cheat, and so maybe I mean, just for this event. And she did open one up to the public, is the Canada one going to be public as well?

Micah: No, I think it’s school-based as well.

Laura: I don’t know.

Micah: Because they were – I forget the exact wording of it, but I believe that it’s all being done through the school system. And look, I’m not saying – don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that, I think it’s a great idea how she’s doing that with all the different schools. My point is, can you have one event where it’s not a contest-related event. You’re able to go if you can, you know, pay your way to go.

Eric: Well, you can have one event, that’s the New York event, isn’t it?

Micah: No, that’s – wasn’t that all contest-based?

Laura: No, you had to win tickets.

Micah: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, it was all contest based.

Eric: Oh, so.

Micah: And me, myself, and I know a lot of MuggleNet staff, aren’t going to go and enter those contests for the exact same reason that I mentioned before.

Eric: We don’t want to disadvantage the fans.

Micah: And you don’t want it to be seen as some sort of favoritism, so you know, then it falls on – it’s just like working for any company. You know, if you work for Major League Baseball, you’re not going to enter into a contest to win tickets to the World Series. You’re not allowed to do that. You know, it’s against your contract or whatever. You legally can’t do that. So, I mean it’s the same thing in our place, you know. We’re not going to go an enter a contest because we work for a Harry Potter fansite.

Eric: Yeah. Except for some of that is…

Laura: Unless you’re me. In which case, you do. [laughs]

Eric: No unless you get a girl with your exact name. What’s this other Laura’s last name, huh? Are you sure?

Laura: I’m not going to tell everyone her last name.

Eric: No, I didn’t actually want you to, I didn’t actually want you to.

Laura: [laughs] Okay. I was going to be like, no.

Eric: I was actually talking without thinking, which is very dangerous when I do it.

MuggleCast Down Under

Laura: You had a special announcement, right Eric?

Eric: Yes, I did. Now as few of you may have heard this on, at the end, the tail end of last week’s amazing episode. I haven’t heard it all yet, but I know that Jamie was really funny and I really want to listen to Episode 114 but, MuggleCast is going down under. That’s right, yes. MuggleCast is coming to Australia and we are doing two events, one in Melbourne and one in Sydney. Actually that’s strike that, cross that, reverse it. Sydney first, Sydney event, Sidney, Australia, and then the Melbourne event. It is official, we are doing these events. We’ve already got a Facebook group called MuggleCast-Down Under!. And that’s actually just the signs, not spelled out. And we have a logo which you guys might see if you’re all on Facebook. You can join the group if you’re not coming, I think, it’s just, we’ll have an event coming out as well once we know more details. Now, it is official, though. I am stressing that because before I was talking about it being preliminary, you know, sort of not completely official, but it is official. It is official. We are definitely doing a MuggleCast meet-up, however, because it is going to be the same weekend that you guys – the rest of the MuggleCasters – are in New York City. So, it’s going to be the weekend of the 19th, the 20th, and the 21st. It could be that Friday and Saturday or Friday and Sunday. We’re still working on details, but I do want to stress, it is actually official. And so we’re taking sign-ups, we’re taking – sorry – we’re just taking RSVPs, just to hear back from how many people could make it because we’re trying to finalize details with the venue and things like that. It’s all a bit complicated, I’ll mention it on, but the only announcement I guess left on the shirt?

Kevin: The shirt?

Eric: Sorry, thinking ahead of myself. The only announcement left to make just on here quickly is t-shirts, which is – I’m just happy to announce it because we haven’t talked about t-shirts on the show, and I just love talking about t-shirts on MuggleCast. Okay, what’s happening is the logo that you see on Facebook group will be used to create some really amazing t-shirts, which are actually essential to these shows. They’ll be available specifically by pre-order; that’ll be the only way to guarantee that you get one, and they’ll actually be pre-ordered through a website that will be available, but they have the really cool kangaroo holding an iPod with the MuggleCast Down Under sort of logo thing. So, we’ll be giving more details, everything, just check, and Sydney helpers are wanted. We’re still trying to – Melbourne we’ve got the most response in, I’ll tell you that. That’s surprising people, that’s surprising. But, just generally, we need – if anybody’s interested in helping us out with Sydney, possibly, like event staff type people, please just let me know. Details, thank you very much.

Laura: Cool. That sounds really exciting, Eric. I’m really looking forward to hearing how that goes.

Eric: It’s really taking off.

MuggleCast 115 Transcript (continued)

Podcast Alley

Laura: Yeah, it sounds like it. It sounds like you have a lot of people who are hyped up for it. So, good luck with that. One final announcement, it is a new month, so please be sure to vote for us on Podcast Alley. We’ve got to beat Keith and the Girl and all those other people.

Eric: Are we going to beat them up?

Laura: We haven’t actually, you know, we haven’t actually jabbed at them for a while on the show, so I thought it was appropriate. So let’s move on to some of our newly named “Muggle Mail.” As you know, these used to be called rebuttals, but apparently, Andrew decided they needed to be renamed.

Eric: Oh god. Why doesn’t he just call them, like, Pickle Poppers or – I don’t know.

Muggle Mail: Clearing Up a Name

Laura: Yeah, I don’t know. The first one comes from Jessie, 21, of Virginia. She says:

Jaime read a feedback e-mail regarding the live episodes, and said that the e-mailer hadn’t left their name, but thought they were from New Jersey because they went all fan-gasmic about Andrew. Nope! ‘Twas me, Jessie, from Virginia! Virginians love Andrew, too. I promise. It must be known that the now-dubbed Mrs. Sims hails from Virginia, only because Virginians aren’t recognized often enough on MuggleCast (our fault, I believe). That’s why I figured I should e-mail this response-to-my-response, not at all because I would rather not be associated with New Jersey. No, not at all. Love from, Jessie.

Eric: What? So there’s a rivalry between Virginia and New Jersey now, and not only did she clarify that it was Jessie from Virginia, but now she has said that we dubbed her “Mrs. Sims.” That’s a very tricky way to dub yourself Mrs. Sims.

Micah: I dubbed her – I dubbed him – well, is it a her or a him?

Eric: Jessie?

Micah: Do we know?

Eric: With an “i.”

Laura: I’m assuming that’s…

Eric: J-E-S-S-I-E. Is that really going to be a guy?

Micah: I don’t know, I don’t want to offend anybody.

Laura: Okay, let’s just put this out there: we are assuming because you said “Mrs.” So…

Micah: No, I called them “Mrs. Sims.”

Eric: So, it could…

Laura: Okay, well, I think they would’ve corrected you if you were wrong.

Eric: Yeah, I think so, too.

Micah: All right, anyway, do you want me to read the next one here?

Eric: Unless they like being called” Mrs. Sims.”

[Laura laughs]

Laura: Hey, some people… Some people are really…

Micah: All right.

Eric: Shout out to Virginians, shout out to Virginians everybody. We do know – hey all, holla. Holla, Virginia fans. Love you all, goodnight.

Micah: Okay…

Kevin: Oh boy.

Laura: All right, Micah, you want to read the next one?

Muggle Mai: Bill Nighy as Rufus Scrimgeour

Micah: All right, sure. The next one comes from Richard, 16, in Denver, Colorado about actors in movies six and seven, he says:

Hi, I’m a big fan of the show, I started listening to it this summer while I was on vacation, and I was counting the seconds for each podcast to come out during the weeks of the ‘Deathly Hallows’ hype. Anyway, I’ve heard a lot of stuff on the show about suggestions for actors for the future films, and I always thought that Bill Nighy…

Micah: Is that how you say that?

Laura: Yeah, that’s right.

Micah: …who plays Davy Jones from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ playing Rufus Scrimgeour. I read somewhere about him considering a role in ‘Harry Potter,’ joking that he was the only British actor to not be in a ‘Harry Potter’ film. Well, I hope you find this interesting. Good luck with future shows, and nice job with the 12-hour podcast.

So, what do you guys think?

Laura: I would actually really like that. Whenever she said that, I don’t know if you guys have seen the second – or not the second one, the third Pirates of the Caribbean. There’s one point where you actually see Davy Jones as he appeared before he grew tentacles, and I was thinking about that somewhat in context of what Aberforth might look like, and I really like Bill Nighy looked with, like, the white beard – or, the grey beard and everything. So, I think he’d be good, like, looks wise, at least. He’s a great actor, so…

Micah: He’s a straggly-looking guy.

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: Who likes goats.

Eric: I mean, when they did that Pirates, I didn’t know what they were doing it. I mean, it was cool to look at, but, at any rate, it’s him and, what is it, Bob Hoskins, we mentioned at the live podcast in London and there was a fan who said that she heard that JKR, through an interview somewhere, said that she had a role reserved for Bob Hoskins in the seventh film, which we can now speculate might be Luna’s Dad, Xenopheleous Lovegood. That’s just my own personal opinion, I’m not starting a rumor – but, so it’s Bill Nighy and Bob Hoskins are the two actors I think I’d like to see in Harry Potter 7.

Laura: Awesome. That sounds really cool. I really like that.

Micah: And where would we know him from?

Eric: Bob Hoskins? He played Smee in Hook with Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman and Julia Roberts.

Micah: Okay.

Eric: Yep. That’s my favorite movie with him in it that I’ve seen, but I think that’s probably the only one that I’ve seen. So…

Laura: Okay. Eric, do you want to read the next one?

Eric: Yep, sure, let me just see in Firefox, by the way, shout out to Firefox.

Laura: It’s Alex.

Muggle Mail: Could Harry Have Survived Another Killing Curse? Priori Incantatem vs. Resurrection Stone Beings

Eric: Okay, so this is from Alex, age 14, Charlotte, North Carolina, and this is a couple of questions for discussion. Message is:

Awesome show guys, just some questions I’ve had after finishing ‘DH’ for the 50th time.

Somehow, I’m doubting this guy’s credibility.

During the final battle scene, could Harry have survived another ‘Avada Kedavra’ from Voldemort, since Lord Voldemort had, as Dumbledore put it, ‘tethered [Harry] to life while he lives’? If so, would a Killing Curse from someone else be unable to kill him, or would it have to be from Lord Voldemort? What was the difference between the ‘beings’ that appeared from Harry using the Resurrection Stone, and the ‘beings’ that appeared during the ‘Priori Incantatem’ sequence in ‘Goblet of Fire’? Thanks, and keep up the good work!

Should we take the second question first?

Laura: Sure, yeah. I have more thoughts on that one, but you go for it Eric.

Eric: I am just guessing that the Priori Incantatem – that is a good question though. Just imagine, actually I have a long reply so why don’t you guys go first?

Laura: Okay.

Micah: Okay.

Laura: I was going to say that I am not sure that there is a different in the actual beings. I think of the difference as more of the way of invoking them. We know that the reason Harry saw all of those – and they were not even ghosts, Dumbledore referred them as “shadows” was because of Priori Incantatem, Harry forced all of the previous spells on in backwards order to erupt from Voldemort’s wand. So, of course, we saw the last people he had killed. The Resurrection Stone, obviously shows you people that you love or people that are related to you who are dead. But, I don’t think that they are actually spirits, if that is part of your prediction.

Micah: Yeah, I was just going to agree completely…

Kevin: I think so too, yeah.

Micah: …what you said Laura. Yeah.

Eric: Do you think that they are not spirits?

Laura: I do not think…

Eric: From the Resurrection Stone. I mean from, do you really think that they are not though? Like from, because they seem to…

Laura: Because…

Eric: …have current knowledge of Lupin and Tonks – or Lupin said, “I wish I would like to see my son grow up but oh well J.K.R. killed me off lets move on.”

Laura: Yeah, but I almost wondered if a lot of that came from Harry’s subconscious whenever he was at the “King’s Cross” area with Dumbledore and Dumbledore said to Harry “This is all in your mind.”

Eric: Yeah, but the Resurrection Stone is not something imaginary its not like it is something that will bring something back imaginarily to you. It was something that…

Laura: I guess, I do not know. But, I think it has something to do with the idea that Dumbledore said that the ones who love us never truly leave us, or was that Sirius, I do not remember who said that. [laughs]

Eric: You’re right though. You’re right though.

Laura: But, I do not think that necessarily Lilly and James trailed along behind Harry invisibly all of his years of life.

Eric: Well, no. I mean, whether or not the sprits were – I guess it is kind of irrelevant to think that but because – not what you think but that spirits wouldn’t be – because it does not matter really if they are spirits or if they have been in Harry all along in a way, just because they are there to offer him guidance in ways that he would not, you know, otherwise predict. It does not matter that they exist because there is an afterlife or it does not matter simply because his psyche is willing them into being I guess because if they are in the Resurrection Stone then the fact is they sort of offer their character or whatever. I was just thinking though, I did think that there are spirits, like out of Priori Incantatem it seemed like not that Lily and James were trapped in Voldemort’s wand or anything forever but, you know this sort of wand thing will hold him off, sort of his intelligence seemed to be sort of a spiritual entity to me. I just remember reading an R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” book The Haunted School which reminded me of something to do with students trapped in school for a real long time for a really good reasons, probably my favorite “Goosebumps” book. It just seemed to me that they were sprits. That they possess some sort of sentient knowledge that was always beyond Harry, but does not necessarily mean that they were not spirits.

Laura: But, can’t that be some what related to the portraits. I mean we know that the portraits are really – I mean they are not living people. But, they possess the knowledge of…

Kevin: I was thinking that – see, it seems to me that the portraits are, well, different because the portraits were at one time painted or created with magic to hold the personality of the person who would eventually go into them. But with the Resurrection Stone I am somewhat inclined that they were somewhat like spirits, but called by the Resurrection Stone itself.

Laura: That would make sense.

Kevin: Where it is not necessarily – with the wand I think it may have been different because it was re-living – it was sort of recounting the experiences of the wand and just like the portraits it picks up the personality and certain, maybe vivid memories of the person that had been killed with the wand, but it wasn’t like Dumbledore said, “shadows,” you know, the shadows of the person cast at the time of their death.

Eric: And wasn’t the original story of The Beatle and the Bard about the Resurrection Stone? Wasn’t that – didn’t it say something about the love ones wanting to bring loves ones back? The brother who was trying to bring his – because I am trying to think that when Harry turned the Resurrection Stone specific people appeared to him, which is the same with Priori Incantatem, you know, the previous spells or whatever, but Lupin appeared to him and Sirius and all the people who could make his final decision whether or not he wanted to sort of go in guns ablazin’ or try and give faith into the Hallows. Like, it just seemed like specific set of loved one were there and those were the ones that he originally seen all along and after this journey. It seemed to possess more of a knowledge and more of a presence than something that was specifically there because it had to be or for Priori Incantatem or a portrait or something.

Laura: Yeah. I like it. Very good.

Eric: The first part was just about Avada Kedavra‘s death-cursing Harry. Could Harry have jumped off a cliff and survive just for the mere fact that once Voldemort was in human form his blood was tying Harry to the world.

Kevin: I don’t think so.

Eric: I don’t think so either.

Kevin: Because you have to realize the prophecy and all that was surrounding it was giving certain circumstances: would Harry ever jump off a cliff? No. And because of that he would, you know, he would die if he jumped off the cliff but he would never jump off a cliff? You know what I mean?

Laura: Yeah. It is self-fulfilling.

Kevin: Yeah, exactly.

Eric: As Harry Potter that would suck. It would be like The Sopranos ending, it would just cut to black, you know?

Muggle Mail: Motorcylce Connection

Laura: Oh gosh. All right. The next one comes from Kim, 19 from Texas. She writes:

Hey Y’all. I just wanted to add something to your last discussion about parallels between the 1st and 7th books. I loved how in the 1st book, Hagrid and Harry rode the flying motorcycle to the Dursley’s (for Harry’s first time) and then in the 7th, Hagrid and Harry left the Dursley’s (for Harry’s last time) on the motorcycle as well. It was a nice touch of Jo, I think. Love the show!

Yeah. I didn’t think about that at all, and then I saw about it in the Writely, and I thought it was really brilliant.

Micah: Kim’s on top of things.

Laura: Yeah. I liked that a lot.

Eric: I want to cry now.

Muggle Mail: Voldemort in Books 1 and 7

Laura: Awww. Okay. The next ones comes from Bill “Gabrielle,” 53, from Brisbane, I think that is how you say it.

Eric: Yeah. It’s Brisbane, and I think it is Bill “Gabriel.” Give the man some masculinity here.

Laura: “Gabriel?” Okay, Gabrielle, my bad. I’m sorry. I’m a girl. I read things differently.

Eric: Yeah, I know.

Laura: He’s from Brisbane, Australia, and he writes:

There are seven books. The most obvious symmetry is that Voldemort attains physical form in ‘Goblet of Fire.’ Up until then he was a shadow and afterward a corporeal being.

Did I say that right?

Eric: Yeah, corporeal being. Yeah, something like that. Nobody knows how to pronounce that word for real. Don’t send in e-mails.

Voicemail: Peter Pettigrew

Laura: Yeah. All right. Thank you everybody for sending in those rebuttals, or Muggle Mail as we now call it. This week we will be moving into an all voicemail show which we haven’t done in a while, so we are pretty excited about that. Kevin, are you ready to roll the first one?

[Audio]: Hi, this is Louise, and I’m from Tennesee, and I was calling because I have a question about Peter Pettigrew. I’ve just, I’ve always had a hard time understanding why he was sorted into Gryffindor. I thought he would redeem himself in the seventh book, but he never really did anything in my opinion that made it make sense that he was in Gryffindor, so I was wondering if you guys could talk about that. Thanks! Love the show!

Eric: Micah, what do you think?

Micah: Oh, thanks for throwing it right to me.

[Laura laughs]

Micah: Uhhh, I think…

Eric: I thought I’d catch you off guard.

Micah: No. You didn’t catch me off guard. I actually have a response, so…

Eric: Oh. Well darn!

Micah: You tried your best. You tried your best.

Eric: Laura, what do you think?

Micah: No, no, no! Um, I think…

Eric: All right. I pass.

Micah: I think that there are different forms of bravery, and I think that with Pettigrew, he was brave in a different way. I takes a tremendous amount of courage, I think, to betray your friends, and to go and do what he did.

[Kevin sighs]

Laura: Oooo!

Eric: Wait a minute.

Laura: That’s dark, Micah!

Eric: Wait a minute. It takes fear. It takes fear, Micah.

Micah: No, no. It takes courage, because you may not be seeing – I think part of with Pettigrew was sorted into Gryffindor is also Jo’s way of saying not every bad wizard is in Slytherin.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: And I think she meant to demonstrate that point, but I think if you look at Pettigrew in that aspect, you see what he does. He is a Gryffindor, I think that there is an element courage in what he does, and it may not be courage in the good sense, because people like to think about courage in the good sense all the time, but it doesn’t necessarily exist that way.

Eric: Or something to be – yeah. Yep.

Kevin: Well, I thought of it in a different way. The way I thought of it was, at the end of Book 7, Harry leaned down to Albus was it? Hello?

Laura: Yeah.

Kevin: Albus…

Eric: Albus Severus. Give the kid his middle name back. Hyarr gve it to him. Never take it away.

Kevin: And said that you don’t necessarily have to be sorted into a particular house, you can ask.

Eric: Well, it’s that the choices aren’t – It’s not FINAL based on…

Kevin: Exactly.

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Kevin: If Peter had found friends who were in Gryffindor, what do you think he would have said to the Sorting Hat given that his friends all got sorted into Gryffindor?

Eric: Or not even that. Let’s keep with his personality. Maybe he thought all the mean kids in Slytherin would beat him up. [laughs] So he’s like, please don’t put me in there. I know that I’m a rat pip-squeak, but those kids are going to beat me up. Please put me in Gryffindor, which happened to be their rival. Maybe he didn’t know, and so the Sorting Hat did.

Kevin: Exactly, so I think it’s not necessarily him being brave either. It’s just possibly that he had asked.

Eric: I think that I would probably plea not enough info.

Kevin: Well, of course, yeah.

Eric: The whole thing is just speculation.

Micah: No, I don’t think he would have asked. I don’t think that his will is as strong as Harry’s. I don’t think that. I think that Harry was a specific case asking to be in Gryffindor. He sort of willed it to happen. It was his choice. I don’t think Pettigrew would have had that sort of power.

Eric: Oh, you’re probably true. Though, again, do we know or do we not know what house Dumbledore was in? I’m sorry if I asked that stupid question.

Laura: I believe he was a Gryffindor, right?

Eric: Yeah, because Dumbledore’s quite questionable, isn’t he now? In light of Book 7, it’s questionable whether it was moral to go – and I’m not going to go into a rant except to say that some of it is actually – and Harry questioned Godric Gryffindor’s, I don’t want to say, integrity. Godric Gryffindor himself- it was rumored by Griphook that he stole the sword from the Goblins and all that sort of thing, so there could be a nepharious quality or character trait in Gryffindors and I think it shows that writing a book with four houses, you have to make cuts and say, look this house is this. This house is this, without actually meaning it, and luckily Jo has provided us with some different characters that are ambiguous to their house.

Kevin: Well, either way I think Micah was right. His character was used to say that, you know, Slytherin isn’t the only house that produces bad wizards.

Laura: Yeah. I agree with that.

Eric: Yeah, and Snape, obviously Snape was, you know?

Voicemail: Moaning Myrtle and Horcruxes

Laura: Mhm. All right. Next voicemail:

[Audio]: Hi. This is Katy Barrett. I’m from Idaho. I was just listening to Episode 97. It’s kind of a long time ago, I know, but I was noticing how you guys were talking about the Horcruxes and how you thought Tom Riddle could have made a Horcrux from Moaning Myrtle’s death, because he used the basilisk, and whether it was the malicious intent or whether it was the actual killing. I don’t think that Tom Riddle sent the basilisk to kill Moaning Myrtle. It was by sheer happenstance that she was in the bathroom at the same time that the basilisk was sent out to probably harm or stun or petrify someone else. I was just wondering about your comments on that, because I don’t think he really sent that to her, but I do think that it is the actual killing that has to do with the Horcrux. Anyways, I love the show. I just started listening. It’s a favorite of mine now, okay. Thanks! Bye!

Eric: That’s awesome.

Laura: Yeah. I think that was a very good point.

Eric: That’s the best. A new listener. So, I think it would follow then that he didn’t make a Horcrux with the killing, because it would have just been an accident that he killed Moaning Myrtle in the first place, and I think that is probably right given Myrtle’s account in Book 2.

Kevin: See, but see the thing is is that I don’t think – I think he could have made a Horcrux with it, because he sent the basilisk out, which was with malicious intent. Whether it killed her by accident or not, it doesn’t matter. It still killed her with his order to go out into the school.

Eric: That’s like saying – no that’s not like saying. I’m not sure I agree with that.

Kevin: It’s sort of like saying, I’m going to set up a gun, so that if anyone pulls this door handle, the gun is going to go off and fire at them…

Eric: Right.

Kevin: And then when your good friend opens the door handle, and pulls it and gets killed from the gun…

Eric: Dude…

Kevin: It’s still…

Eric: Have you been watching Saw?

[Laura laughs]

Kevin: No, but what I’m saying is…

Eric: Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, Saw IV, October 26th. Don’t go see it, okay?

Kevin: No, but what I’m saying is that perhaps your intention was a thief kept breaking into your house and, you know, doing something, but the intent – you set up the gun, knowing that it could hurt someone.

Eric: Well, look, these days…

Kevin: Just like he sent out the basilisk knowing it could easily kill someone.

Laura: I can tell you’re in a philosophy class right now.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Eric: Kevin, remember, these days if a thief breaks into your thing and gets hurt, he can actually sue you.

Kevin: Yeah, this has actually happened.

Eric: [laughs] So…

Kevin: This has actually happened.

Eric: Oh god, so you know the story?

Kevin: Where someone actually set up a gun, because a thief kept breaking into his summer house, and it ended up…

Eric: And his friend?

Kevin: No, it ended up seriously hurting the thief, and he sued and got arrested, the guy who set up the gun. But…

Laura: Wow!

Kevin: Yeah.

Eric: Now that’s a little bit messed up.

Micah: Back to the basilisk.

Eric: I was just going to say how hard it must be to go after the family, that’s just questionable.

Kevin: But, what I was trying to say was, the intent of doing- sending out the basilisk, was knowing all the consequences surrounding it.

Micah: Oh yeah, no, I agree with that.

Eric: That’s true.

Kevin: Okay.

Micah: But I don’t necessarily think that he initially was going to release the basilisk to create a Horcrux. I think he was doing it to just kill all the people who weren’t pureblood, and so, you know, I agree with what the person who sent in the voicemail said. I think that it was just an unintentional death. I don’t think that he created a Horcrux out of Moaning Myrtle. I think she just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Kevin: Well, hasn’t…

Eric: Well, I think…

Kevin: Hasn’t J.K. Rowling said which Horcruxes were created from which people?

Eric: I wish. No.

Kevin: I could…

Eric: I mean, I would assume – I mean, I just don’t remember, but I assume that Tom Riddle, at the point, was interested in finding out all the secrets as much as he could, as to quote, about Salazar Slytherin. Somehow he found the Chamber- -god, I’d like to know actually.

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: Laura, that’s…

Eric: But…

Micah: That’s your…

Laura: What?

Eric: Or not as much about Horcruxes.

Micah: Laura, that’s you question. Don’t you get to ask a question? Or is it selected people get to ask questions?

Laura: Yes, everybody does get to submit a question, and then they select a certain amount of them, just like they did…

Micah: That’s a good question. Ask J.K. Rowling who died…

Laura: [laughs] Okay.

Micah: …ro create all these Horcruxes.

Laura: Which Horcruxes, okay.

Kevin: I’m fairly sure she said Moaning Myrtle was a person in an interview.

Eric: But that’s messed up. Even if it did, I’m sorry, I would say that would be messed up. Not…

Laura: [laughs] Well, if she said that, it’s not.

Eric: Not out of spite, but I think that that’s just condensing everything. That’s like saying, “Okay, I wrote it in the book because that’s when it was.” That’s like saying, “Nothing that didn’t happen in the book didn’t happen.” Which is unrealistic in a way. It’s sort of unrealistic to say she chronicled all of the important events in Voldemort’s life already in the past. I don’t k now that that would make her an expert author, as much as it would, sort of – it seems like things were- were sort of being pushed in and saying, “This was this, and also that, and by the way.” You know? All that sort of stuff gets a little bit confusing, cramped, I think. To say that Moaning Myrtle not only was the girl who died 50 years ago to serve Book 2’s plot, but the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets, that she died by this and was…

Micah: Well, Wikipedia, here…

Eric: I’m not saying- it’s a possibility.

Micah: No, Wikipedia here is saying that she was used to create the diary Horcrux. Now, whether that- there’s no evidence saying that J.K. Rowling said that. There’s no link to an article.

Kevin: I have – I’m looking at that, too. One sec.

Laura: Yeah, let’s look at that really quick and then correct ourselves if we were wrong.

Micah: But that’s what Wikipedia says.

Eric: Don’t- no, don’t believe Wikipedia. I mean, that’s the first time I’ve ever said that in my life, because I’m writing an essay, right now, and they tell you Wikipedia is not a credible source, so…

Kevin: Yes, I was – I was right, during her little web chat with Bloomsbury, Lady Bella asked, “Whose murders did Voldemort use to create each of the Horcruxes?” J.K. Rowling’s response, “The Diary, Moaning Myrtle. The Cup, Hepzibah Smith, the previous owner. The locket, a Muggle tramp. Nagini, Bertha Jerkins. The [stumbles over word] Diadem…

Laura: Diadem.

Kevin: …an Albanian peasant. The ring, Tom Riddle, Senior.”

Laura: Okay.

Micah: Oh, wait a second…

Eric: And Harry.

Micah: So much for killing meaningful people. The tramp and the peasant.

[Laura laughs]

Micah: I mean come on.

Eric: Well, it wasn’t about killing meaningful people. It was about meaningful, significant deaths. Oh yeah, that’s the same thing. [ laughs] Oh gosh.

Micah: Well, I guess the item has to be significant, not the person that he killed.

Eric: I don’t know, man. You got Jo, man.

Micah: A tramp and a peasant.

Eric: You got her.

Micah: She was grasping for straws. She wasn’t ready for that question.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Yeah, actually I agree. Maybe we can ask her that – Laura, ask her that same question. See if you get a different answer.

Laura: No, I’m not going to ask her the same question. I’m pretty sure she knows what she was doing. So let’s move on to the next voicemail?

Micah: Sure.

Voicemail: The Potion Basin

[Audio]: Hey, Mugglenet, this is Julian from Andover. I’m calling to say I love the show and I have a question about Deathly Hallows, about how the potion basin refills itself. Because in Chapter 10, Kreacher says that when he goes to the lake with Voldemort, Voldemort makes him drink the potion and then he has to refill the basin, but who refills it when he goes with Regulas? Regulas, obviously, isn’t in a state to do that. Anyways, just wondering what your thoughts were on that. I love listening to the show. Thanks for your time. Bye!

Eric: It’s like a screensaver.

Laura: Oooh, good question.

Eric: You know, after five minutes of inactivity, it goes back.

Laura: [laughs] That is very interesting. Because I was actually just reading that and it did specifically say that Voldemort had to refill it the first time.

Eric: Oh crap.

Micah: Hmmm.

Laura: Hmmm.

Kevin: My- my inclination would be that there were instructions. I would say that J.K. Rowling initially intended to write it so that either Kreacher or Regulas refilled it, because he did not want to leave it so that Voldemort would have an inclination that something was wrong. But I would guess that she, either through editing or, you know, by mistake, left out that.

Micah: Now, who refilled it, though, after Dumbledore drank it? ‘Cause, does – in the scene where Voldemort goes to the cave, doesn’t he have to…

Eric: Oh, isn’t it there again?

Kevin: Oh, you’re right. I don’t know.

Eric: I think…

Laura: Maybe she intended for it to actually refill itself.

Micah: Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Laura: And there was just…

Eric: Like, I mean – like, I mean, you can drink it and it doesn’t refill itself immediately. Like, the only thing that can affect it is if you drink it, but we’re talking, like, you know, an hour, two hours.

Kevin: Yeah, but…

Eric: Like, after you don’t drink it, it refills itself.

Kevin: It just seems strange that Voldemort would refill it though.

Eric: Yeah, like…

Kevin: There’s -t here…

Eric: I’m going to come back here a refill it. He would have never expected.

Kevin: I would say – I would say it’s one of those small inconsistencies that were left open.

Laura: Yeah.

Kevin: You should ask that, Laura.

Laura: Yeah, but I’m not going to ask her about an inconsistency. That’s…

Kevin: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like a technicality type thing…

Laura: Ridiculous.

Eric: Where she can just go…

Kevin: So, you can nitpick everything she does. Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, so she can glare at me and be, like…

Kevin: You’ve only written over five, six-thousand pages, you know. Why’d you make this one mistake in…?

Eric: Laura – yeah, yeah, honestly. There, Kevin’s got it. She wouldn’t glare, though. She’d smile. Very big JKR smile.

Laura: Okay.

Eric: Yeah. You know, because she respects people. The – the thing I like is that all this scene in the green phosphorescent goo is all going to be a set as opposed to CGI. I mean, I don’t know about the goo, but that’s the other thing. They didn’t say it in the interview, but the cave is going to be a set, as a opposed to, you know, just sort of a CGI – blue screen type thing.

Kevin: I wonder if they’re putting it…

Eric: It’s going to be cool.

Kevin: In a real cave. I think that would be cool.

Eric: Or real actors to play the corpses.

Laura: That would be awesome.

Eric: That would be awesome. So that we get like a bunch of guys in scuba gear in, like, the set pics. And that would be awesome.

Laura: [laughs] All right, well that – pretty sharp eye there. Good job. Next one.

Voicemail: Slytherin’s Outcome

[Audio]: Hey there, MuggleCast. This is Delve, 26 in the UK. I tried to call in to the MuggleCast Live, but unfortunately, it seems I’ve been unsuccessful. Well, my question for you guys is how do you feel about how Slytherin comes out at the end of the book? Personally, I was hoping that they would come to maybe have a little bit of good in them, but I guess other than one or two things we see in the fight, she gave the idea that Slytherin equals evil. So, what do you guys think about that? Okay, bye!

Laura: I don’t think that she left it with the idea that the house itself was evil. I think she was talking about the people who had sort of given it that reputation.

Kevin: I think so, too. Yeah.

Laura: And I – yeah, I think that by the time Harry’s children go to Hogwarts, those people aren’t necessarily there anymore because, if you think about it, anybody who would ardently support Voldemort at that point would not be going to Hogwarts.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: They would be going somewhere where they could learn dark magic. So…

Eric: You couldn’t support Lord Voldemort anymore. [laughs]

Laura: Well, yeah. Anybody – anybody who still wanted to operate under the very flawed theories that he had could not go to Hogwarts at that point.

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: And you also – you also have to remember that the Gryffindors had somewhat of an advantage over the Slytherins when choosing to stay because of their involvement with Dumbledore’s Army and stuff like that. Like, all the other houses, I should say, had an advantage over Slytherins. And I think that she – it would be difficult to write in that kind of sub-story given that she would also have to convince people that the person was very willing to stay. You know what I mean?

Laura: Yeah, that’s a good point.

Kevin: Because if you think of that situation, if you’re not involved with anything regarding Voldemort and Dumbledore’s Army and stuff like that, why would you stay?

Laura: Yeah, that’s true.

Kevin: Your – your parents are telling you you have to get out of there.

Eric: Look, dude, you could just have just a regular liking for Hogwarts. I mean, I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m just saying that there are probably other people…

Kevin: Yeah, but our expectations of a kid at that age are pretty high…

Eric: Oh, yeah. True.

Kevin: Because we’re basing them on Dumbledore’s Army and Harry Potter.

Eric: Well..

Kevin: But if you’re a normal kid, given the life or death situation that’s, you know, presenting, if your parents tell you to get out of there, you’re going to get out of there.

Eric: Well, maybe though, I mean there were – I mean, again Gryffindors, of course, because that’s the only people we’ve heard from, there were people sort of contesting their parents’ wishes and saying that, well, you know, isn’t – doesn’t the whole world really believe that Hogwarts is a safe place? But then again, even saying that, Hogwarts wasn’t really a safe place the entire seven years. Sirius Black got in and everything else happened, and yeah. So, I wouldn’t really – sorry. I refrain from comment.

Micah: I have a question, though, about the end scene talking about Slytherin. It’s something that always confused me and maybe it was the wording surrounding Slughorn. Because – and I’m sure somebody’s sent something in about this, but it almost seemed like – the way that the – whoever he was in the scene with – it seemed like he was fighting against, whether it was Bill or Charlie, I can’t remember, but the way that the scene was worded. And I didn’t know if that was supposed to mean that he was secretly a Death Eater or what the deal was. Do you guys know what I’m talking about or am I going to have to get the book?

Laura: I can’t say I do.

Kevin: I can’t say I do either.

Eric: I just think it’s so depressing really, not just how little of Hogwarts we saw, but Slughorn was kind of a good character in Book 6 and – I mean, not a good character – well, I – a thorough character and I mean, its very much established to be discarded in a certain way and that’s life. You’ve got to get on with it. But I – I just wish Slughorn was – I’m sorry, it was just too quick a departure, you know what I’m saying? Like, I didn’t – I didn’t misread that scene. I wasn’t quite sure what was going on with Slughorn, but I think – do you guys remember – was it – was it Slughorn who helped chase Snape out? Because wasn’t Snape – there was a scene with Snape and he ran into McGonagall and a few others and he sort of ran out and then they chase after him, firing off spells or something sort of like that. Do you guys remember that? Like, wasn’t…

Laura: Hang on. Let me check it really quick.

Eric: There’s a scene – yeah, there’s definitely a scene where he sort of met them, like, either the Heads of Houses or something and he met with them and then ran off.

Micah: Well, it always – something else that kind of was in the back of my mind was in the first chapter there’s a man that’s described similar to Slughorn at the table, but Jo never says exactly what his name is. Hold on, I’m looking to see here. But, I mean, it says later in this chapter that Voldemort was dueling with McGonagall, Slughorn, and Kingsley, but I don’t know. It was just really weird the way it was phrased.

Eric: I – I’d like to see, like, a play-by-play. I mean, just – just like, generally, like. I wonder if she sat there with like chess pieces or figurines – the action figures, of course! They’d be the action figures. She’d grab the action figures and play them out in the battle.

Micah: Oh, I see.

Eric: I was just thinking, you know, how does JKR plan this stuff?

Laura: Yeah, I don’t see Slughorn mentioned here.

Micah: Now I know why it was confusing. Because it says “Charlie was, overtaking Horace Slughorn…” but it was referring to the people running up the steps, not battling each other.

Eric: Oh!

Micah: So that was – because I had seen a couple rebuttals about that, but very poor wording.

Eric: So, overtaking. Yeah. Poor wording? Oooh.

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: That’s harsh. No, I agree with you. I agree with you. That’s – that’s – if I were to have misread that, I would have had something else to complain about.

Laura: [laughs] All right, are we ready for the next one?

Eric: Like I need that. Yep.

MuggleCast 115 Transcript (continued)

Voicemail: Pouch on Harry’s Neck

[Audio]: Hey, MuggleCast. I was just saying you keep referring to the thing that is around Harry’s neck on the cover of the U.S. edition of Deathly Hallows as the locket, but I think it’s actually the moleskin pouch that Hagrid gives him, because he doesn’t have the locket at that point. Thanks, bye!

Laura: Yeah, I think that that’s completely right. I’m positive, in fact, that it was the pouch. I don’t see why it would be anything else.

Voicemail: Clearing Snape’s Name

[Audio]: Hi, guys. This is Summer and I had a theory on how I think they’re going to find out that Snape is good or bad. Why can’t they look at Dumbledore’s Pensieve? If he figured that people would think he was evil after killing him then maybe he’d have left some kind of will or something like that, which just said, you know, “go look at the Pensieve.” And he could have, you know, he could left a memory of when he was discussing it with Snape. And wouldn’t that just be brilliant, like, I don’t know. And can you look at a dead person’s Pensieve? I don’t – I kind of want to hear you guys’ thoughts about that. So, anyway. Great show, I love listening whenever I’m driving to and from the home to work. So, anyways, ummm, pickles!

Eric: No, no. no. There’s no need to do an external thing about the will. Because Dumbledore, at the time of his death, wouldn’t know how things would turn out. Maybe Snape would actually li – well, I don’t want to say, “live,” but just in the end, I mean, Harry was obviously grateful enough to Snape to name his kid after him, in a way, that I’m pretty sure that Harry would have cleared Snape’s name…

Kevin: And I think…

Eric: …among the list of things to do when you’ve…

Kevin: I think she said that in an interview, as well.

Micah: Yeah. In that chat.

Kevin: Yeah.

Micah: She said something.

Kevin: Beyond, everyone knows what he did. So…

Micah: She felt that Harry would have let people know exactly what Snape did, or something along those lines. I don’t remember word for word what she said, but suffice it to say that everyone knows.

Laura: Yeah, I think it would turn out exactly like it did with Sirius, where Fudge admitted at the beginning of the sixth book that his name was cleared and it was out in the open now. So…

The Muggle World in Book 7

Eric: Turns out he was innocent, too, and yeah, turns out this and that. What was…? Oh yeah, the beginning of the sixth book had the Muggle…

Laura: The Prime Minister.

Eric: …you know, that great sort of Muggle thing. What did the Muggle world have to do with Book 7 as far as it affected it? Because she did a quite good portrayal, I mean a quite massive portrayal of the whole wizarding world being affected, but it just seemed like it never quite made it to the whole Muggle world.

Laura: Oh, I think it did.

Eric: Which is good.

Laura: I think that was the point of the first chapter of Half-Blood Prince. There were all these tragedies going on during that week that the Prime Minister was talking about.

Eric: Yeah, but people never knew. The whole wizarding world wasn’t exposed; otherwise there would be something about that in Book 7.

Laura: Well, no, they weren’t exposed, but it still did affect the Muggles.

Eric: I’m saying it’s… Oh, it affected them. I’m saying, though, how did Book 7 – how did any of the events in Book 7 when the whole wizarding world is being corrupt and they’re going after purebloods and Muggle-borns, they’re – it sort of wasn’t touched on the Muggle aspect of how many, you know – what are Muggles seeing? That there’s just obviously anything Muggles saw, would not have been, you know, covered up anymore as a result of the fallen Ministry. Or you know, everybody else was Death Eaters inhabited and running for their lives, and stuff like that. I just don’t remember reading anything about the Muggles themselves. Muggles, if that was at all important. You know? Those non-wizard folk.

Laura: Yeah. I don’t know. I mean, I think that they were definitely affected, but I think there was also a lot to cover in Book 7.

Voicemail: Was Quirrell a Horcrux?

[Audio]: Hey, MuggleCasters. This is Henry from New York. I was just calling to see what you guys think about my theory, that, I think Quirrell might be a –
Quirrell might have been a Horcrux, because Voldemort had latched onto the back of his head. So, he sort of – so, I guess he sort of incased his soul inside of Quirrell. So, Quirrell might have been maybe, like a temporary Horcrux. And, so I was just wondering what you guys
think about that theory. All right. Thanks. Bye.

Kevin: Uh, no.

Micah: No.

Eric: No, no, no.

Kevin: Because you have to remember that that piece of Voldemort’s soul was Voldemort, it was not a piece, as it were. It was what was remaining after he cut pieces off, so it was Voldemort and therefore…

Eric: [laughs] Right.

Kevin: …could not have been considered a Horcrux.

Laura: Right. Although, I do see where you’re coming from on that.

Kevin: Yeah, it makes sense.

Laura: Because it does have somewhat of a…

Eric: Like if a horcrux is a piece of soul.

Kevin: Yeah.

Laura: Voldemort seems to like to…

Eric: And then a piece…

Laura: …latch himself on to and into things. He’s a…

Eric: Very parasitic, very, you know, sort of – which is interesting, because isn’t the whole thing that Voldemort needs no one, and yet he exists in the book so much as parasites, yet he needs no friends, sort of operates alone. Yet, clearly, he doesn’t.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: That’s brilliant.

Laura: Awesome.

Eric: That’s brilliant.

Voicemail: Crookshanks

[Audio]: Hey, guys, this is Kelsey from California. I was just wondering what you thought about the theory that the cat mentioned in Lily’s letter to Sirius is actually Crookshanks. It would time out relatively well, because the shop owner where Hermione bought Crookshanks said that he’d been there for a while. I just wanted to know what you guys thought. Thanks!

Laura: Ummm…

Eric: I like this but I don’t.

Laura: Yeah. It would be a really cool connection, but at the same time, I don’t know. I just feel like if that were the case Jo would have said something in the book.

Micah: Ask Jo.

Kevin: I don’t know if she would have.

Laura: And…

Micah: Laura.

Laura: Hmmm?

Micah: That’s your question for Jo. I mean…

[Laura laughs]

Micah: I think…

Kevin: We keep suggesting all these questions.

Micah: I’ll give support to it.

Eric: [laughs] Micah, Micah, Micah. Get your own ticket.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: Get a guy named Micah to give you a ticket…

Micah: No, no, no.

Eric: …Micah.

Micah: No, no, no.

Eric: Because there’s a guy somewhere named Micah who has a ticket.

Micah: Hold on, hold on. I’ll give evidence to support it. You look at how well in Prisoner of Azkaban Crookshanks gets along with Sirius. Could that be a relationship that was developed previously?

Laura: Oh yeah, that’s a good point.

Kevin: That’s true, too, yeah.

Micah: So.

Eric: Oh, wow.

Micah: There you go, give you a little…

Laura: But why wouldn’t Sirius have said anything? Like, “Oh, by the way, Harry, that’s your cat.”

Eric: Becaue, because he Oh, I know why. Because if he did, that would be, not necessarily a father figure for Harry, but it would have to go.

Laura: What? [laughs]

Eric: Because, see, Hedwig had to go. Under some kind of stupid logic, okay? I don’t want to call it stupid logic. Hedwig went. [laughs] Hedwig went with a big bang, and I’m entertaining myself here. But, yeah, if she introduced Crookshanks as a member of the…

Micah: Well…

Eric: …family.

Micah: If you want me to add more to it…

Eric: It would be on a death list.

Micah: …it would also explain why the cat always chased after Scabbers.

Laura: Awww yeah! Awww….

Eric: Well, I mean, that could have also been – I mean, that was already explained, though. That was already explained, though, about the, you know, that Kneazles – if Crookshanks is a Kneazle, well, as opposed to a regular household cat (and that was confirmed), that they just are very suspicious of animagus and not trustworthy of…

Micah: Hey, I’m just trying to support…

Eric: You know, Crookshanks could sense that Scabbers wasn’t…

Micah: …the voice mail here.

Laura: Yeah, but…

Micah: Give it a little bit of credibility.

Laura: Micah, he does have a good point.

Eric: And it does have credibility.

Laura: Because Sirius said that he got Crookshanks to trust him when he was in dog form. So I doubt – I mean, I’m sure he encouraged Crookshanks to try and kill Scabbers.

Eric: Yeah. Crookshanks doesn’t really like Ron, does he? Because doesn’t, at one point he just jumps on him?

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: Or something? Hurts his – oh yeah, well he jumps on his face to begin with. I don’t know what the Weasleys ever did to upset the Potters, but I’d like to read about that. Laura, that’s your question.

Laura: [laughs] Oh my gosh.

Kevin: You’re only going to have 15 questions, Laura.

Eric: Why does Crookshanks have it in for Ron?

Laura: Oh yeah, really. Okay. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah. Yeah. Choose wisely. Do a poll. We’ll do a poll.

Laura: Okay, sure.

Voicemail: Lack of Non-Verbal Spells

[Audio]: Hi, MuggleCast! I got a question for ya. I was just listening to the August 12th podcast live show and you guys started complaining about the absence of Inferi in ‘Deathly Hallows,’ and I have say, I agree with you, because I was expecting to see zombies all over the place, but the only Inferi we saw was the fake Dumbledore Inferi at Grimmauld Place. But more frustrating than that, to me, was the complete absence of non-verbal spells! You know? That’s a main plot point of Book 6, you know? And especially like the big Snape/Harry fight at the end of the book where he just keeps shutting him down. You know, “blocked again and again, Potter, until you learn to shut your mouth!” You know? Stuff like that. And there was nothing about non-verbal spells in ‘Deathly Hallows.’ Can you answer me why that is? Thanks.

Eric: [sighs] There’s just so much in her world. She just couldn’t keep up with it in the end. You roll a snowball, and it gets so big and so big and so big, but she’s doing – you do what you can. But yeah, you’re right. I would’ve liked to have seen non-verbal spells, but that’s the thing. Harry couldn’t really – Harry didn’t return for his seventh year at Hogwarts, so he couldn’t really learn them. You know what I’m saying? Like, we can assume that in – by the epilogue he knew them, or, you know, at least if he’d, you know, revolutionized the Ministry, he was pretty well off with spells. But, in the current context of the story, non-verbal spells didn’t really – like, I mean, let’s face it. The only thing youhad to do to destroy a Horcrux was, well, stick a – I don’t want to say stick a sword in it. But you think of how Hermione got the information on the Horcrux books. Come on, accio Horcrux books? [laughs] And they flew out of Dumbledore’s window? Come on! That’s not even a non-verbal spell! It’s just – I think that Jo gave up.

Laura: No, I don’t think so.

Eric: That – that’s the only answer. Accio Horcrux books? Come on.

Laura: No, I don’t think that’s it. I think that – I think part of this and, not to state the obvious here, but I think we and people who enjoy listening to shows and spending time on message boards look a lot further into these things than the average reader, and then what Jo would expect. Like – but do you remember…

Eric: I think they would be going, “Where’s the non-verbal spells?” Beause she’s set that up.

Laura: But do you remember whenever we all finished the book and we were ranting about how the U.S. book cover was extremely misleading because Harry and Voldemort both had their hands up in the air and we were like, “Yes! They’re doing wandless magic!”

Eric: [sighs] Wandless magic, yeah.

Laura: Yeah, that. It didn’t end up happening at all.

Eric: Yeah, you’re right. So, I guess the question is then – does verbal spells have anything – are non-verbal spells that important, or were they just another thing to teach during the lesson, such as Grindylows and D.A.D.A. and that sort of thing?

Laura: You also have to consider it might have been something Jo was throwing in to kind of lead us off the scent, because she didn’t necessarily want us to be able to guess right off the bat how Harry was going to kill Voldemort. So, by throwing the non-verbal spells on the table…

Eric: That’s true.

Laura: …that kind of gave us a theory to play with while she actually had this whole story of the Elder Wand to kind of throw at us and be like, “Ha! Guess what? You were wrong!”

Micah: Yeah! “Hey, Expelliarmus!” Book’s over.

Eric: Yeah, you’re probably right, it just – yeah.

[Laura and Eric laugh]

Eric: Cut to black. Just like Sopranos.

Ending of Book 7

Micah: That’s what I didn’t really get to talk to you guys much about this, but did you feel that that was a sufficient ending? I mean…

Laura: What? The Elder Wand?

Micah: No, no. The whole…

Eric: Well, he defeated Voldemort with Expelliarmus.

Kevin: I liked that.

Laura: I thought it was awesome.

Kevin: Because that was…

Eric: Wait. Let me guess, let me guess. You guys think – you guys think that it shows Harry’s innocence and purity?

Kevin: No…

Eric: …because he didn’t have to use the Death Curse, or…

Kevin: No, it was because he got to use his spell. Like that’s what – that – exactly.

Eric: His signature move.

Kevin: And he finished Voldemort with a spell that you’d think would be harmless, and yet…

Eric: So, it’s further insulting to Voldemort. I think Voldemort’s character took enough hits in this book being so stupid. Making these stupid…

Laura: [laughs] What?

Eric: …stupid mistakes.

Laura: The book was not stupid, Eric. It was brilliant.

Eric: No, no, no, no. Voldemort was.

Laura: Oh, okay.

Eric: I’m saying Voldemort…

Laura: I was going to be like, “Ummm, no.”

Eric: No, no, no. I said Voldemort. Andrew, please make sure that makes sense. I meant Voldemort is the one who makes all the stupid – Voldemort’s character took enough hits in this book by making so many stupid mistakes. Things just not following through with the whole – I mean, if you’re going to have a plan do it right, and Voldemort just didn’t. It was flawed in many, many, many, many, many, many, many ways. And it just occurred to me that I really like the term MuggleMail as opposed to Listener Rebuttals.

Laura: I’m glad, Eric.

Eric: That just hit me right now.

Laura: Yeah, I think a lot of it goes back to Voldemort being so powerful that he doesn’t consider anything simplistic. Like, Hermione was saying that Voldemort would never consider the power of a House Elf. Therefore, Dobby – or not Dobby – Kreacher was able to disapparate from the cave.

Eric: That’s a stretch. That alone is a stretch, I think. To say that Voldemort, oh you know, wouldn’t consider anything, you know, but maybe he doesn’t even learn from his mistakes. Some people just don’t. But overall, the majority of mistakes and just not – I mean, it’s one thing not to know anything, but I thought that Voldemort made a lot of just stupid character misjudgments that I wouldn’t have particularly expected from him given the set up in Book 6. You know, I was always – he was a well studied student. You know, he’s either intelligent or not. He found the Chamber of Secrets, which no one had done, even teachers, you know, searching and searching and searching. And, you know, obviously he was a Parseltongue, so that assisted him. He could walk around the walls saying, “Open, open, open,” in Parseltongue until something happened. Yeah, that could be a benefit, but Tom Riddle was either one of the most brilliant minds of his age, or he wasn’t. You know, Jo can’t seem to…

Kevin: Yeah, but…

Laura: Right but…

Eric: …Jo can’t seem to decide.

Kevin: Yeah, but just…

Eric: But then again tainted with a half soul.

Kevin: Just because you’re intelligent does not mean you’re ignorant. And…

Eric: You’re allowed to make mistakes. And Voldemort can be ignorant. But he was too ignorant, in my opinion.

Kevin: I don’t think so. He was blinded by his power.

Laura: Yeah.

Kevin: He was fully ignorant.

Laura: It’s like you think about people who…

Eric: That’s too easy to say though.

Laura: …are so intelligent they lack common sense, because they – it’s true. There are people like that. And if you remember in the first book, whenever Harry and Hermione were in Snape’s potion chamber before they got to the stone, Hermione said some of the greatest wizards out there haven’t got an ounce of logic and they would be stuck in here forever.

Eric: And that’s a good quote. Okay, so, let me ask the question then without arguing with any fundamental principles – which is against the law of philosophy – I have a philosophy course too, by the way. I love it. But do you guys think that you would’ve preferred if Voldemort were ignorant as he was in Book 7? I call him stupid or ignorant and both, which he was, or would you have preferred if Voldemort were sort of the ultimate villain in that he had thought of everything. Would you have preferred a really truly, sort of intellectual match against, you know, match of minds – duel of intelligent powers as opposed to what I would call cop outs, only much more fairly – this sort of luck or sort of weaning out of situations that Harry
did throughout the whole book series. You know, and, “Oh! I’m going to count on Voldemort’s forgetting this because I only know Expelliarmus!”

Laura: But Harry didn’t count on Voldemort forgetting.

Eric: Wouldn’t you…

Laura: He was terrified throughout the whole book.

Eric: Maybe he was terrified! Good for him. But Voldemort still did forget a lot of stuff, or was very ignorant and that allowed to his downfall. I think it would’ve been much…

Kevin: But that’s the whole point of the story.

Eric: The point of the story is that, well, I – that Voldemort’s not a compelling villain?

Kevin: That…that…

Eric: I mean he killed so many people.

Kevin: No, that he was compelling because he was so powerful and he could’ve easily won and yet he decided he was so ignorant about his power that he lost.

Comparison with Hitler

Eric: I suppose I’m trying to figure out, again, why the whole Hitler allegory was… I mean, you know, she sort of said – there was a line by Dumbledore in Book 6 about Dumbledore, you know, sort of, you know – “dictators everywhere create their own enemies” sort of thing and they always fear for their lives. And it was just – I’m just trying to think where she was reaching, because I think – I mean, Hitler wasn’t necessarily a – intelligent, in a way. I mean, I don’t want to say that because I haven’t studied the period enough, but I’m saying I just think it would’ve been – I would probably go onto a book where I want to read sort of a really compelling villain, like arch nemesis, you know, sort of, really – and not have the hero – you know, have the hero really have to duel it out. I know it took it out of Harry, I just – I’m trying to think why I’m not so sympathetic about it.

Micah: I thought – and yeah, there’s definitely comparisons with Voldemort. I thought Grindelwald was more of a comparison to Hitler, in my opinion, because you look at his symbol…

Eric: The Master Race.

Micah: …you look at his, you know, similar mentality to Voldemort in the treating of certain types of witches and wizards, and then also where he is at the end of the story. You know, he’s in that prison, which has a very similar name. I forget the name of it, but it has a very similar name to a concentration camp that – from World War II.

Eric: Yeah, that’s something to do with Dakau

Micah: So I always drew more of a comparison between Grindelwald and Hitler, as opposed to Voldemort, but there – I think you could go with either of them.

Laura: Yeah, I remember Jo – someone did ask her that in an interview a few years ago, and I don’t remember specifically what she said, but she did say that she wasn’t basing Voldemort on anyone in particular, like Hitler. I’m sure that there was definitely some influence there, but I don’t think that she was trying to base any of these bad guys in particular on the story of Hitler or Mussolini or any of these other terrible, terrible men.

Micah: And Grindelwald was a little more timely to the World War II time of events.

Laura: Well yeah, 1945.

Eric: Well, that was the whole thing. People really thought, you know, in the first book, when she said that in the wizard card, people were like, “You know what? That’s just the World War II, Jo’s tie-in, you know, to the whole World War II thing.” And, turned out – I mean, I guess we didn’t – we found out what we needed to about Grindelwald. And Krum, I mean, obviously was compelling because Krum was so mad at Xenophilius Lovegood, because he’s like, you know, “Grindelwald graffitied that at my school and it’s a horrible symbol, and I’m going to go beat Xeno, that ‘X’ guy, up,” you know, sort of thing. So, I mean, Grindelwald was obviously pretty tough and pretty scary, and Dumbledore almost followed him, and that was, you know – I mean, that’s Dumbledore’s moment. So…

Micah: Yeah, he’s in the prison here called Nurmengard. I mean, thatreminds me of Nuremberg…

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: …you know? So I think that’s where she was kind of going with that, but I’ll leave it alone because – I don’t know. [sighs]

Eric: Yeah. I mean, that’s just too many questions to ask J.K.R. You’re right, we do need that question.

Laura: I’ll ask her about that, too. Okay, you guys want me to do that?

Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, don’t. Laura, I found the solution: Take all the questions. Once the transcript is out – do we still do transcripts,

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Once the transcript’s out, just do it in one really long sentence. [laughs] And just have her sit there and just do it in one really long sentence. That’d be awesome.

Laura: Wow.

Eric: They won’t “chose” it. They won’t choose it because it’ll be pre-screened, but you don’t actually have to ask what’s pre-screened. Oh, I don’t want to give the ideas, but, yeah.

Laura: Wow, somehow…

Eric: Just one run-on question.

Laura: Somehow we got from nonverbal spells to correlations between World II Two and Grindelwald. We need to make a flow chart…

[Micah laughs]

Laura: …so we can understand how we end up arriving at these conclusions. [laughs]

Eric: How do we get from that to that? I think it would have largely…

Kevin: So true.

Eric: …something to do with me, unfortunately. But I don’t know.

Laura: Probably, but it’s not a bad thing. It’s awesome.

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: All right, unless anybody has anything else to say…

Eric: Oh, no, it’s cool.

Laura: Yes? No?

Eric: For this time, for this time and this place?

Laura: Okay, I’m going to take that as a no.

Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul

Laura: We are moving on to Chicken Soup. This one comes from Chelsea, and she lives in Snellville, Georgia, which is actually not far from where I used to live. She says:

Hi, MuggleCast! I just wanted to share a Chicken Soup with you guys. November of 2005, my uncle and godfather were diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a cancer that attacks the blood marrow. My uncle and his wife and daughter live 45 minutes away in Alpharetta. In the past 20 months as he got sicker and sicker we would make the long drive down the interstate to go visit with him. He went through three rounds of chemo and a stem cell transplant, both unsuccessful. On July 10th, he passed away. It was somewhat of a relief to our whole family that he was no longer in pain. But I just thought that I’d let you guys know that through the dozens of car rides to Alpharetta, I found solace in listening to MuggleCast. Hearing you guys joke around and debate theories kept my mind off of my uncle and I thank you for that.

Wow! Well, I – you know, I just can’t get it across enough that I really love that the show is able to make people laugh, and make them happy during hard times in their lives.

Micah: Yeah.

Laura: It really makes me happy to hear that.

Eric: We help people. We help people.

Micah: Yeah. Like, the pause that we had after you read that, it wasn’t because, you know – we just don’t know what to say when we hear those types of stories, that’s what it is, I think.

Laura: Yeah, it’s – yeah.

Eric: But they’re good. I mean, they really are. They’re compelling and empowering stories.

Laura: Yeah, and on that note – I kind of wish that we had a British Joke.

Eric: Yeah. Can we recycle one?

Laura: Awww.

Eric: Andrew? Because I bet you’re missing Jamie already, so can you please just cut in sort of…

Laura: Did you just call me Andrew?

Eric: No, I’m talking to Andrew. I…

Laura: Okay, I was like…

Eric: No, no, no, I’m actually talking to Andrew.

Kevin: No, he’s talking to Andrew.

Laura: Why would you do that to me? [laughs]

Eric: Andrew, can you cut in a previous joke? Note to editor…

[Show close music]

Eric: Beep beep beep.

Micah: That’s pretty impressive. You’re talking to Andrew, considering…

[Laura laughs]

Micah: …he’s flying across the Atlantic right now.

Laura: I do believe that wraps up this week’s show. As always, you have several options when it comes to contacting us.

Kevin: Oh my god.

Laura: If you live in the U.S…

Eric: Dial 1-218-20…

Laura: [laughs] …you can give us a call…

Eric: …MAGIC. [laughs]

Laura: Hey!

Eric: Okay…

Laura: Stop.

Eric: …didn’t want to encroach on approaching territory there, okay. Sorry.

Laura: [laughs] If you’re living in the U.K., phone in at
020-8144-0677, or if you’re from Down Under you can call us at 02-8003-5668. You can also Skype the username MuggleCast and leave us a voicemail. Please try to keep your message under a minute and eliminate as much background noise as humanly possible. Andrew can’t stress that enough. If you’d like to e-mail any of us individually, you can use our handy feedback form at or just e-mail each of us at our
first name at staff dot mugglenet dot com. Don’t forget about the community outlets. Help me out, guys. It’s MySpace, Facebook

Eric: Frappr

Laura: YouTube, Frappr, Last.FM, is that it?

Eric: Facebook, yeah.

Laura: Yeah. Oh, and…

Kevin: I think so.

Laura: Digg the show at

Eric: Yes, Digg us up. rate us at Yahoo! Podcasts, and I think that’s it, but if for any reason contacting us electronically isn’t your thing, you can also send parcel mail the to the MuggleCast PO Box. That’s:

PO Box 3151

Cumming, Georgia

I’m Laura Thompson.

Eric: I’m Eric Scull.

Kevin: I’m Kevin Steck.

Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Laura: We will see you guys next week. Bye bye.

Micah: Bye.


Eric: Yup, so, anyway. I was in the middle of telling a story.

Laura: I’m sor – you were talking about the time change, Eric!

Kevin: Yeah.

Eric: It was a funny story!

[Laura laughs]

Eric: It was a funny story! I had a good story to tell about how I missed worked because – and I was at the kabob place yesterday and the guy was like, “Oh, you know, the sunset’s going to start late and there’s going to be a time change,” but I have no radio in my car and no cable TV, so I couldn’t possibly know, and I was 40 minutes late to work.

Kevin: Relevance to Harry Potter? Zero.

Eric: Oh, relevance to Harry Potter? Well, I went to work,then, and I ended up reading about reviews that I had written on the first Harry Potter books because we’re doing product knowledge now at Borders.