Transcript #121

MuggleCast 121 Transcript

Show Intro

Andrew: Hey, Mason, I really need a good gift for my generic loved one. Any ideas?

Mason: Oooh, yeah Andrew, I have the gift they need. If you sign up for for GoDaddy’s economy blog package you’ll receive 1 gig of disk space, 100 gigs of bandwidth, recording tools and much more!

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Mason: You’re wrong, Andrew. The blog/podcasting economy package is just $4.49 a month for 12 months!.

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Mason: Oh, yeah! That is a deal! Plus enter code MUGGLE when you check out. Save an additional 10% on any order. Get your piece of the internet at

[Into music starts]

Micah: Because Bellatrix doesn’t get any. This is MuggleCast Episode 121 for November 25th, 2007.

[Intro music continues to play]

Micah: So, Andy. How was your Thanksgiving?

Andy: Oh, it was great.

[Andrew laughs]

Andy: Celebrated it well.

Micah: Did you have turkey?

Andy: Lots of.

Micah: Mikey – Micah thinks this is the greatest joke ever because he keeps running with it. He’s not going to stop.

Andy: [laughs] I’ve got to think of a witty answer for it. That’s the problem. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah. It was pretty chicken. [laughs]

Eric: Hey, Micah. How was your Christmas? Sorry.

Micah: Well, Eric, considering…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: It’s a month away.

Andy: I had a turkey of a Thanksgiving.

Eric: We had a Black Friday because they don’t have Thanksgiving, they don’t really have Black Friday, but it was a busy day nonetheless. Really got me in the spirit for… I need stuffing, guys. I really need stuffing.

Andrew: Yes, I had stuffing, and it was very good. I also went Black Friday shopping. The Cherry Hill Mall. Ever been there, Eric? The Cherry Hill Mall?

Eric: Cherry Hill? yeah, the Cherry Hill Complex. There’s an iMax there, isn’t there?

Andrew: I don’t know that.

Eric: Ah, just wondering.

Andrew: It was the first time I’ve been there. Actually I did go there with Jamie. I actually took Jamie to that mall. He loved it.

Eric: Oh, nice.

Andrew: Yeah, they don’t really have malls in the UK.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: But yeah so, went Black Friday shopping and no Order of the Phoenix DVD because it’s not on sale here yet.

[Andy laughs]

Eric: Oh gee, we have it. I bought it. I’ve got all my Christmas shopping done on friday.

Andrew: Anyway, welcome everyone to the show. As you see, we have Micah, Eric, Andy’s back…

Andy: Hey.

Andrew: As well, and I’m here. I’m Andrew Sims.

Eric: I’m Eric Scull.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Andy: And I’m Andy McCray.


Andrew: Micah’s over in the MuggleCast News Center with the past weeks Harry Potter news stories.

Micah: All right, thanks Andrew. Universal’s Harry Potter theme park, set to open in late 2009 or early 2010, will focus heavily on holiday-themed events, particularly at Halloween and Christmas time, according to Jim Hill Media. It is hoped that this “Holidays at Hogwarts” idea will rival Disney World’s current dominance during the holiday season.

Promotion for the park is due to begin as early as next year, with television commercials featuring clips from all five of the Potter movies to date.

With the release of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix DVD in the US less than a month away, Warner Brothers has released a new behind the scenes video which features actors Dan Radcliffe and Evanna Lynch, and shows how special effects were used to create the flying thestrals sequence in the movie.

Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling has been named Entertainment Weekly‘s Entertainer of the Year. The announcement was made earlier this morning on The Today Show, which you can see video of here on Rowling, who appears on the cover, is the first author to ever receive this award.

Finally, Sir Ian McKellen was recently interviewed by The Guardian where amongst other things he discusses Dumbledore vs. Gandalf, the character who he played in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

McKellen says that while he and Michael Gambon are close friends, the topic of “how to play a wizard” has never come up. And as far as if he would have taken over the role of Dumbledore from the late Richard Harris, McKellen said:

“People say to me, don’t you wish you’d played Dumbledore? I say no! I played Gandalf! The original. There was a question as to whether I might take over from Richard Harris [Gambon’s predecessor in the Dumbledore role], but seeing as one of the last things he did publicly was say what a dreadful actor he thought I was, it would not have been appropriate for me to take over his part.” He smiles icily. “It would have been unfair.”

When asked who would win the battle between Dumbledore and Gandalf, McKellen never hesitated, “Gandalf. Of course.”

That’s all the news for this Novemer 25th, 2007 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.

Andrew: Okay, thank you Micah.

Micah: You’re welcome.

Andrew: You know, it was a slow week.

Micah: It was a slow week.

Andrew: The news makers are off this week to the rest of us.

Eric: The news makers?

News Discussion: HP Theme Park’s “Holidays at Hogwarts”

Andrew: Yes. Besides the big Thanksgiving – the annual Thanksgiving post, we had a little update on the Harry Potter theme park, finally. I mean, we haven’t heard about it in a while. And this comes from a theme park blog. It’s sort of an entertainment industry blog, but they focus on theme parks. They’ve got some connections in the theme parks. And they – let me read part of the recent blog post, here. It concerns “Holidays at Hogwarts,” this concept.

“You see, Universal is hoping to turn Islands Of Adventure’s Harry Potter-themed section into a way to challenge Disney World’s dominance when it comes to Christmas in Central Florida. Picture — if you will — a yearly “Holidays at Hogwarts” promotion at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. With carolers strolling through the streets of Hogsmeade and a traditional English Christmas feast being served nightly in the Great Hall at Hogwarts Castle.”

Andrew: Is that a great idea, or what?

Eric: Ummm, maybe.

Andrew: Holidays at Hogwarts.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Now, here’s the thing. This blog post also said that this might be opening by 2009. And this blogger said they will open the park when it’s half-finished. Just to, I guess start getting people in early. Now, is this a good idea? Or shouldn’t you wait a couple extra years for the whole theme park to be open?

Eric: Well, why would you do that if you can make all these sorts of sales on memorabilia and all the stuff you can have prepped and ready to go.

Andrew: I guess, but I would just want a huge grand opening, instead of it just opening in pieces. But this is a very good way to get those Disney fans out of Universal. Because, personally, who pays for two parks? I mean, you know? So I think it’s going to hurt Disney’s holiday popularity. Maybe not much, but I’m sure there are several listeners out there who go to Disney for the holidays every once in a while. And I think most of our listeners will definitely start turning to Universal Studios. Have any of you guys been to Universal Studios?

Eric: In Florida, yes.

Micah: Yep.

Eric: Yep.

Andrew: Ah, I’ve never been there.

Micah: It’s been a while.

Andrew: I’m a Disney fan.

Eric: Yeah, I didn’t go to Islands of Adventure at the time, so I cannot speak for it. They had a cool Spiderman ride my friend told me I had to ride before the movies came out. And I didn’t. But I was at Universal in Orlando, Florida and I just have to say that the Nickelodeon building does not have sweeping front lawn in it, like any kid was always lead to believe. With the big, giant, sort of globe that says Universal. They’re completely placed disproportionately and there’s no big, sweeping front lawn. And I was very disappointed. But other than that, I had a good time.

Andrew: Cool.

Micah: Yeah. I mean, I was at Universal back in 2000, I would say. When I was on a band trip down there with school. And I haven’t been back since, but I think this definitely adds an element for them that they were seriously lacking. As far as drawing people there for the holidays. I think now they have something that people are going to want to definitely go and experience.

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah.

Eric: I think so, too.

Andrew: The…

Eric: Though, they’ve taken the Back to the Future ride down since I’ve been there. Which is upsetting.

Andy: It’s very disturbing.

Andrew: See, I’m like – That whole Harry Potter area is definitely a selling point. But, like, I love Disney just because it’s magical. [laughs] I mean, it just is. And..

Eric: Yeah. Disney has the one-up on everyone, I think.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Just because of their name. And their whole – you’re not going to have breakfast with the Terminator, you know? You what I’m saying? I mean, that’s the thing, Disney has all these characters and they continue to invent them. Like Woody and Buzz, for instance. You know, Toy Story? Nemo. All these new films come out, you get all these new, dressed-up characters. And Universal doesn’t really have that thing. Because Universal’s for the movie-lover.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: And movie’s aren’t necessarily – like, it’s for an older sort of audience. Such as the Terminator 2 or T2: Battle Through Time or whatever it is that they have there.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. So, overall…

Micah: Eric brings up a good point.

Andrew: What?

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: That Disney is magical overall as opposed to Universal adding just one area of their park that is going to have a magical feel to it.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Be magical.

Andrew: So…

Eric: Yeah, but I personally enjoy entering Universal, because they play the movie soundtracks as you – there’s these long, I don’t want to say escalators, but moving pavement or moving sidewalk, whatever you want to call them.

Andy: The skywalk?

Eric: Ummm, okay, if that’s the Australian term, we’ll go with that.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Yeah, skywalks. They’re like the moving pavement, that’s what they’re called.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: And as you’re going into the park, into Universal, they play the movie themes.

Andrew: Cool.

Eric: And that was just really awesome for me. So, yeah.

Micah: What do you guys think about them playing us while people wait in line?

Andrew: Oh, they should. Oh, that’s a great idea.

Eric: Us?

Andrew: Us, the pod – didn’t someone bring that up before?

Micah: I don’t know.

Andrew: I think someone said that. I don’t know. Either way. See, that’s like a great place for all the fan sites to go and just like hand out their business cards and stuff. Because I mean, if you’re going there, you must be interested in Harry Potter a little bit, so…

Eric: Yeah.

News Discussion: J.K. Rowling Named Entertainer of the Year

Andrew: Then we’ll be kicked out for loitering. Hey, but anyway, moving on to some other news now. JK Rowling named Entertainer of the Year by Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly had this to say about JK Rowling:

“She is our Entertainer of the Year because she did something very, very hard and she did it very, very well, thus pleasing hundreds of millions of children and adults very, very much. In an era of video game consoles, online multiplayer environments, and tinier-is-better mobisodes, minisodes, and webisodes, she got people to tote around her big, fat, old-fashioned, printed-on-paper books as if they were the hottest new entertainment devices on the planet.”

And that is so true. I love that little connection, because I remember when the book came out, everyone was carrying them around. Like in London, I would see people carrying them around. And when we got back to the States, people were walking around with them. They were a fashion statement. And it was cool. [laughs]

Micah: It was cool. People had them on the train.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Eric: Yeah, it was our time.

News Discussion: Rowling as Time‘s Person of the Year

Andrew: Yeah. Yep. And I have to say, I think this is a really good reason why she should be Time‘s Person of the Year. We were talking about this last week, or two weeks ago. She should be Time‘s Person of the Year for this exact reason. She is an entertainer, and not by the standards that we have today. I was looking back – Entertainment Weekly had a little archive of all the past Entertainers of the Year since like 1990, I think, they started this in, or ’96, or somewhere in the 90s. And all of them have been movie stars, cartoon characters. None of them have actually been a book or its author. So this is a first for Entertainment Weekly‘s Entertainer of the Year, and I think it says something about JK Rowling this past year.

Micah: It does.

Eric: Who was she up against?

Andrew: For Person of the Year?

Eric: Is it Person or Entertainer of the Year?

Micah: Well, no, it’s…

Andrew: Well, she wasn’t up against anyone. I mean, there was a list. They were all movie actors and stuff.

Micah: Right.

Andrew: But she won the top Entertainer of the Year.

Micah: Yeah. If you watch the video on The Today Show, they kind of go through a list of people that she was up against, and she came out pretty clear ahead of anybody else. But I agree with what you’re saying, Andrew, as far as Person of the Year. I think that it’s sort of the right time. If she’s ever going to get it, the time is going to be now, because it’s the culmination of her series.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: It’s all the work that she’s done throughout the world with various charities, and I think it would be just the right time. I mean, when else is she going to receive it? I don’t think there’s any other time that it would be more suiting than right now.

News Discussion: Ian McKellen on Dumbledore

Andrew: Okay. Moving on to final story of today. This was posted on Saturday. Ian McKellen finally comments on Dumbledore. Is this – I could be wrong – is this the first time he’s ever mentioned Dumbledore? Like, being cast as Dumbledore?

Eric: Well, first time I remember, yeah. Yeah, it’s interesting.

Andrew: Well, here, let’s set it up. Ian McKellen says, “People say to me, ‘Don’t you wish you’d played Dumbledore?’ I say, ‘No, I played Gandalf, the original.'” Think about that for a second.

Eric: Hold for a break, yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. “There was a question as to whether I might take over from Richard Harris, but seeing as one of the last things he did publicly was say what a dreadful actor he thought I was, it would not have been appropriate for me to take over his part. It would have been unfair.”

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Richard Harris actually said that?

Andy: Yeah.

Micah: I guess so.

Andy: It’s hard to imagine that he said he was a dreadful actor.

Andrew: Yeah. I guess unless, you know, you know you’re going to die soon anyway, so why not?

Eric: So just insult all the people that you can?

Andrew: Yeah. Speak the truth. That’s surprising. I mean -The other thing that I think would upset a lot of Harry Potter fans is [laughs] McKellen calls Gandalf the “original”? What does

he mean by that exactly? Is he trying to say that Dumbledore is a copy off of Gandalf?

Eric: No, well, surely there was Merlin before Gandalf.

Andrew: Yeah, but, yeah. So, he’s not even the original…

Eric: So, yeah, I don’t think you can call him the original. Well, then again, maybe he means…

Andrew: Hang on.

Eric: By the orginial…

Micah: The original gay wizard?

[Andrew and Andy laugh]

Andrew: Ah, so funny.

Eric: Nah. I don’t know. But I take it with a grain of – I think this is interesting because it’s good to hear his opinion on it, you know what I’m saying? Because his opinion is well, Richard Harris said he was a “crap actor,” sort of one of the things he did publicly before he died.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: So, I mean Ian’s had a steady line of work with with -I mean, the XMEN franchise and DaVinci Code, and he’s in a steady line of work and will never be out of work.

Andrew: You know, come to think of it, it would be weird if he played Gandalf and Dumbledore.

Eric: Yeah, it would.

Andrew: I mean, that’s like the same guy playing Superman also playing Batman.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Seriously.

Eric: That’s a good comparison

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: That’s a really good comparison.

Andrew: Thanks, but, you know.

Micah: It’s interesting that he said it would have been unfair. How is he saying that? I mean, is he saying that in the sense that he’s a better actor. So…

Eric: Because he out-lived Richard Harris.

Andrew: Whoa.

Micah: No, no.

Andrew: It would have been unfair to follow him after Richard Harris already said he’s a crappy actor. I guess.

Micah: But why?

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Because he would have proved just how much better he was by…?

Andrew: No.

Micah: Why?

Andrew: Just because I think that’s like…

Eric: That’s…

Andrew: …disrespecting his wishes. I mean, not directly. But it sort of is. [laughs] I don’t know.

Eric: Well – hmmm. Yeah, I don’t mind that much.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: It’s good to have an actor like, well, I was wondering other ways. Was there a good reason?

Micah: Well, just that whole icy smile part. It leads me to believe that he was sort of…

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: …conveying the message that he was a better actor so would have assumed the role, he would have ut Richard Harris
to shame. That’s what I took it.

Andrew: Well, yeah.

Eric: I’d like to see Ian McKellen try it, but him and Michael Gambon are friends, so, and apparently they never talk about it, which isn’t surprising.

Micah: Which, you know, may benifit Michael Gambon every once in awhile.

[Others laugh]

Micah: Talk to McKellen on how to play a wizard.

Andrew: Yeah, I don’t know.

Micah: Or how to act in general.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s kind of mean, Micah.

Micah: Hey, hey, no – well, yes it is. But…

Eric: I’m sorry I pulled back on that one.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: I was just waiting to see if anybody else agreed.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: I’m pulling my punches in light of this toll. It’s 120 episodes later I have decided to do that. So… [laughs]

Micah: I was going to ask Andy, though, because we’ve never heard his thoughts to what he thinks of Michael Gambon.

Andy: Well, I think he plays Dumbledore well, but my favorite has always been Richard Harris. So, I don’t think there is anyone that can replace him, but that’s just my view anyway.

Andrew: I think…

Eric: I think…

Andrew: That’s what a lot of people say.

Eric: If Richard Harris would have stayed on just for the third, I know he didn’t have much say in the matter, but…

[Andrew laughs and Andy gasps]

Eric: I reckon if… No.

[Everyone laugh]

Eric: Honestly….

Andy: I don’t think he had any say in the matter.

Eric: He were available in the third one, I think we would have seen whether, or not he could actually do it. I know a lot of people make the comment, “Oh, Richard Harris, look at him in ‘Chamber of Secrets’ it looks like he can blow him away.” Just with a bit of air, and wind, and he’d get blown away. That’s a lot of the – and he does look it. But he also had a force behind his movement. If he were in the third one, I think we would have been able to see for sure, sort of what I think are his capabilities, because that’s where Dumbledore gets kind really good at – yeah, just a little bit of hint. But we lost him when he did.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: And I’m not minding Michael Gambon in Movie 5.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: But you guys haven’t seen it since theaters so.

Andy: But the thing to say about Michael Gambon is he sort of plays Dumbledore in that whole “angry” style, like in the fourth movie. “Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire?!” And I preferred Richard Harris…

Andrew: Right, that’s what upset a lot of people.

Eric: Somebody listened to our show.

[Eric and Andy laugh]

Andrew: And also in The Order of the Phoenix, when he says, “Don’t you all have school work to do?” After he sees Trelawney.

Eric: Yeah, what was the point in that?

Announcements: Transcribing

Andrew: It’s just, we’ve talked about that a lot, though. We’ll move on. We do have a couple announcements now. Micah, you’ve got the first one.

Micah: Yeah, I’ve been getting a lot e-mails for people who are interested in transcribing for the show. I know you have mentioned that the end of one of the shows a couple of weeks back, but I think I am pretty set as far as that’s concerned for now. If anybody else does get hired, we will let you know, but please stop sending emails for now, and thanks to everybody who sent something in.

Andrew: Thanks. Let’s move on to some e-mails now.

Muggle Mail: Harry Potter and Schooling

Micah: Sure. The first e-mail comes from Stephanie, 15 of Lansing, IL, not Michigan. She said:

On last week’s episode you mentioned the school in England that improved from ‘Harry Potter.’ The Catholic elementary school I went do did just that, but for only the 4th grade. They started when I entered 5th grade and what they did was divide the grade into houses and you could earn or loose points for your house. My little sister is a proud Slytheirn, and I think the whole concept is a good idea.

Andrew: That could also help encourage students to have better behavior.

Eric: I agree.

Andrew: You know. Beause if you screw up and you bully some kid on the playground you’re going lose points for – I’m assuming it’s for stuff outside the classroom as well.

Eric: Yeah, it’s good. I like that idea a lot, especially ’cause kids know Harry Potter, you know what I’m saying?

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Like for instance, I taught CCD. I taught first grade religion classes with my mom. It’s for all the kids in the Catholic church who go to a public school.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: They get some classes, and it ends sort of eighth grade when they get confirmed in the Catholic church. Doesn’t have to end there, but it can. It usually does for most people. So we taught and I used Spiderman actually to teach religion, and it was quite a novel concept. I didn’t – because the kids knew Spiderman obviously because the first movie had come out and you know, they’d seen the cartoon series, etc. So, what I would do is I would draw Spiderman on the dry erase board and every time that they were loud or noisy, I would erase part of Spiderman. And so, the thing being that their hero – well, they would have to be good otherwise there would be no Spiderman. And it worked.

Andrew: That’s a good idea. That’s a good idea.

Eric: And I did it with Harry Potter towards the end of the year as well.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: So, that was quite good.

Muggle Mail: Does Harry Potter Lead to Other Reading?

Micah: The next one comes from Dan, 37 from New Mexico. He said:

I read a good article on the state of reading in America, and it mentions the ‘Harry’ Potter books. I have included the link to the article and the paragraphs that mention, and are important to the mention of, the ‘Harry Potter’ books. I have always believed that kids that are already reading all over the world are buying the ‘Harry Potter’ books on a huge scale. I don’t believe that the books have turned many non-reading children into readers. and if this has happened, what else are they reading now that they are true readers? Or are they just reading the ‘Harry Potter’ books?

And he goes on to list the articles from the Chicago Tribune and a bunch of quotes. But I think what he’s generally getting at is, are the Harry Potter books really getting kids to read more? Or, are they just reading Harry Potter and then not moving on to anything else?

Eric: Well, that’s an interesting question. I think it’s an interesting Muggle Mail as well. I’m happy to read it and contemplate. I think that even if they’re only reading the Harry Potter books, that’s sort of 30 or 40,000 more words than they would be reading. Or, you know, at least seven more big books. Even if they’re… So, the question is, I guess, are they making kids read more in general or are they just reading more Harry Potter books. But I’ve found that the Harry Potter books have been – that’s why I like them so much because I can read them and can enjoy them. They’re written in such a way so as to like – but like, it’s true, I haven’t read too terribly much beyond Harry Potter since Harry Potter with the exception of a few Stephen King novels. So, I would perhaps be in that column.

Micah: Right. And one interesting quote that came from the article that he put in his e-mail said: “It’s great that millions of kids are reading these long, intricate novels, but reading one such book every 18 months doesn’t make up for daily reading.”

Andrew: Yeah, I think this is a good point. I mean, when I first read this I was like, “Wow, that’s actually pretty true.” Because the Harry Potter books are credited with getting children to read, but the question is, does it keep them reading? Like, you know, okay they’ll just read Harry Potter, you know? Is it long term?

Eric: Though fair enough, I think there are plenty of fans, and we might hear from them in Muggle Mails next week, that have actually, you know, were introduced to reading. I think there are. I think there are some. Maybe not as large a scale as people think, in that case Dan is right to point this out. It feels like debunking, or just it feels like a blow, but it’s not. But I’m sure there are people that have gotten into reading and have read sort of the other fantasy novels out there. Like, for instance, Lord of the Rings, I would – I can see how people would read Harry Potter first and then get into Lord of the Rings as opposed to the other way around, because Lord of the Rings are quite intense to read and so if you like the – well it depends on what you like about Harry Potter. If it’s Jo’s writing style, and that’s the thing you like the most, you might only read the Harry Potter books. If you like the fantasy genre as a genre, you will be highly interested in reading any or all other science fiction and other fantasy books.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: You know what I’m saying. Phillip Pullman, for instance. With all these movies coming out and treatments and Northern Lights or Golden Compass or whatever, coming out as well I think. With Harry Potter fans with the completion of the series are looking for books to read.

Andrew: Yeah. It definitely inspires them to read beyond Harry Potter, but the question is do they stick with it.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: Right.

Eric: And that is unpredictable. I don’t think…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: And I just found it interesting that they were quoting people from the Penguin Group and Simon and Schuster, all these other companies, instead of maybe asking somebody from Scholastic.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: So.

Eric: There is a good…

Andrew: They could be reached for comment.

Micah: RIght.

Eric: There is a good quote here. “There are so many nuances”, Whiteman says, “reading scores don’t necessarily have today’s sells.” [laughs] I find that funny.

Micah: Well, yeah, I mean I think what they were getting at was, “Do the ‘Harry Potter’ books, when there are a release. Are they skewing the sales”

Eric: Stats.

Micah: “…the teenage range so much that you think that there is this large group of people out there that are buying these books, but really it is just because of one major release.”

Eric: Well, in that case I would be “pro” the idea that no there is not enough reading out there and we should pay more attention to books than we should to iPhones, sorry Andrew. [laughs]

[Andrew sighs deeply]

Micah: But…

Eric: Or iPod touch.

[Andrew sighs deeply]

Eric: Or – look, I love iTunes okay? I just got, you guys saw my blickle I have “Phase,” itis a great video game for iPod. I love it. It takes all these songs and it Guitar Hero-izes them.

Andrew: Yeah I say that. It looks pretty cool. But, hey…

Micah: So lets get back to Jo.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: She has always said that the biggest thing that she has gotten out of all of this is that kids not only read her books but go on to read other stuff, so hopefully that is the case.

Eric: Yeah, and I think she would probably because they would send her the letters. You know what I am saying.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: And, I think it is also impossible to not just – the other thing is these statistics, because the Chicago Tribune did them, are American. You know, so think about all the countries worldwide that are – that is the whole reason why the Harry Potter fandom is so massive is because of all the other countries who are reading these books and everybody knows Harry.

Micah: I am going to go out on a limb and I am going to get a lot of e-mails, but I am going to say that other countries, putting the U.S. aside, probably generally read more than Americans do.

Eric: Oh, well that is a good point. And you are right.

Andrew: I agree.

MuggleCast 121 Transcript (continued)

Muggle Mail: HD Production Problems

Andrew: Lets move on now to some more e-mails. Next one comes from Kevin, 21 of Chicago, Illinois, not our Kevin.

Hey, I’m not too sure if any of you keep up with high definition movie releases as in Blu-ray and HD-DVD, but within the past month or so Warner Brothers has had to postpone several of their high def releases with no explanation. This makes me think that they may be having HD production problems, so, for the ‘Harry Potter’ series, they wanted to allow themselves enough time to be able to meet the HD demand in the US. After all, the Harry Potter movies will likely make it into their top selling HD releases, and releasing them day-and-date with the DVD will promote HD sales. This is just speculation of course, but hey that’s what ‘Harry Potte’r podcasts are all about, right?

Andrew: Right.

Eric: What is the question?

Andrew: No it is not a question. It is a statement. Last week we talked about why is the Harry Potter DVD being delayed? Or was it two weeks ago, I lose track.

Micah: It was last week.

Eric: Because it was out overseas, and why is it waiting till December 11th?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Okay. It’s a Christmas thing.

Andrew: Well I did do a quick check on to see if they – actually to see if they had them in stick in the UK, the HD and Blu-ray discs and they do. So, that might suggest that might not be a problem with that? The High Definition movie releases? Although I guess you will need a crap load more us Americans, since, I’m sure a hot holiday item this season is going to be the High Definition Movie players. So…

Eric: I am pretty sure if they wanted to produce an extra 500 million copies of the HD DVD a month ago they could have done it though.

Andrew: Yea,h but there has been delays in supply has been low. I do not know, I still seriously think it had something to do with the Hairspray DVD release.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: I am just saying because I think it is competitive.

Eric: No, I think it is possible, they didn’t want to compete with Hairspray. They knew that they would lose.

Andrew: well, I don’t know if they would lose but if you are going out with your kid is – if their parent is going out to buy a DVD at Wal-Mart, per say. You know, typically they will get one DVD. You know, it is typical competition.

Eric: Oh my god, I miss Wal-Mart.

Andrew: Wal-Mart is all right. That’s where I bought my Hairspray DVD.

Micah: well, what about extra things being included on this DVD as opposed to maybe something on the others. Is that possible? I mean, would they include more scenes, say, from Half-Blood Prince or something like that?

Andrew: Oh, I mean all the scenes are viewable online. Unless…

Eric: Are they?

Andrew: Yes. You put your DVD in the computer, and it takes you to the site, and you can watch them.

Eric: Oh right.

Micah: Oh, that’s true.

Eric: Oh. I haven’t explored my disc 2 yet. I’m bad.

Micah: But see the Christmas argument doesn’t really hold up with me either. It is going to be Christmas in the UK also. So, why the difference?

Andrew: Yeah, right.

Eric: Well, no, but the American in consumerized. America just wants to delay it, because they know they are going to get the hype up. You know?

Andrew: Yeah. Could be. Well…

Eric: That’s what I heard.

Andrew: Well, whatever. We may never know the true reason.

Andy: But waiting an entire month to delay it?

Andrew: Yeah. I know…

Eric: Yes. Absolutely, because maybe it’s a stupid corporate idea, but it’s an idea.

Andrew: I could see why it would be delayed for Australia or Germany…

Andy: Every DVD we ever get is delayed here.

Eric: Well, New Zealand runs out of iPods.

Micah: Really?

Andrew: Really?

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Hmmm. Hmmm.

Eric: You can actually go into a store now and they could say that it is capable that they ran out of them in the country.

Micah: Yeah. Well, there is some business strategy to this. We just don’t know what it is. [laughs]

Andrew: Right. Right. [laughs]

Eric: We have contacts, don’t we? Couldn’t we e-mail them?

Chapter-by-Chapter Returns

Andrew: Yeah. We could. I keep forgetting. I don’t think they’ll give a comment. They’ll just be like, “because..” I’ll see, I’ll look into it. All right. That is all we have for emails this week, because we have a segment that we are bringing back this week. I think the last segment, Chapter-by-Chapter segment was Episode 44 it looks like, back in mid-June of 2006.

Eric: That was more than two-thirds of the show ago, so by the first third of what the show is now, Chapter-by-Chapter was gone, out of the scene, zip, out, patouie. Why was that Andrew?

Andrew: Well, ummm, we had mixed feedback about Chapter-by-Chapter originally, and well throughout the thing’s run some people really lpved it, some people didn’t like it so much, so we took a break from it for a while, and then Book 7 came around and we sort of just scrapped it all together. The original plan, I think I remember sitting on the phone with you about this Eric was we were going to start at a certain day, and we were going to doing it so that we could complete every chapter between Books 1 and 6 right before, leading up to the Book 7 release. Was that – wasn’t that the original plan?

Eric: I’m kind of glad we didn’t.

Andrew: Now, I’m glad we didn’t either, because…

Eric: Yeah, it was difficult, especially with the movie being released in conjunction. It was just – we had so many…

Andrew: Other things to talk about.

Eric: I think we did quite well on content.

Andrew: Yeah, we did do well.

Eric: I think we did quite well in content and there were mixed reviews on Chapter-by-Chapter, and it was for very good reason, so what we have decided to do – this was what, Andrew’s idea? Because, well explain about Book 7.

Andrew: Well, it wasn’t even my idea. I mean we have been talking about this for a while, but and then [laughs] it is going to sound like I am trying to blame it on someone, but Micah was suggesting…

Micah: You’re going to say. Yeah, I knew it.

[Andrew laughs]

Andrew: Micah suggested last week or a couple weeks ago that – okay, we have been thinking about bringing it back. Okay? So shoot me. [laughs] Fine. Call it my idea. Whatever. I don’t care. We are going to bring it back this week. Well, we are going to start where we are going to go through Deathly Hallows. We are going to start with Chapter 1 this week, but we are going to tweak the segment a little bit. We are going to treat it differently, and we are going to take our first shot at it with today’s show, and we think it is going to go pretty well. I do. Micah does. Andy does.

Micah: Yeah, and…

Andy: Sure do.

Eric: I do too.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Eric: So, for this new revamp, and now for new listeners or for those of you who are not terribly familiar with this, we will just do a recap.

Andrew: We do have a lot of new listeners since then, so go for it.

Eric: Yeah. Yeah. We go by – I think what one of the original ideas was between Jamie and myself, we were talking about it once, and we said well wouldn’t it be great – no, no, this wasn’t Jamie’s idea. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a read with all of our listeners where we read a chapter and they read a chapter and each week we talked about it on the show? This would give us sort of endless content, one for each chapter would last forever. It’s the podcaster’s ideal thing. If not for main discussion, it could provide – and it was an interesting idea. In concept it was a bit interesting, and basically what remained was that the MuggleCasters did read a chapter of the first book until we did end up completing the first book.

Andrew: We did.

Eric: What we do, yup, is we read each chapter of the Harry Potter series, and we bring up some key points, discussion topics, and we talk about what happens in the books. Now with Book 7 this will be interesting and different, because it will be a very nice way of – we have done overviews of Book 7. Over the past 20 episodes we have talked about what happened in Book 7, but never at this detail, and never with a complete, well what was it actually? What actually happened? You guys agree?

Micah: Yeah. And I think a lot of new people have asked for this. They want us to go through Book 7 chapter-by-chapter, and so that’s really why it’s coming back, because people want it.

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: And it is our segment.

Andrew: And admittedly, we have sort of taken – we’ve sort of gone away from in-depth discussion that we used to do. We haven’t been doing it as much lately. I mean, we’ve been talking about gay characters, and Hairspray

Eric: That’s certainly true.

Andrew: And what Harry Potter conferences are bugging us. So, we’re kind of…

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: So…

Eric: We have to show them we still got it and we’re not just arrogant, pompous, teenage boys.

Andrew: Gay boys.

Eric: [sarcastically] Gay, teenage boys who like Hairspray and are really happy that – anyway…

Andrew: Let’s go on to the actual segment. Let’s do this.

Eric: Okay. So, before we begin, I wanted to do this Chapter-by-Chapter shortly. Now, I know you guys are thinking, great, great. No, no. Some listeners may or may not know, I mean, I haven’t been on too many episodes – not so many as I used to be, recently, but some listeners may very well know that I didn’t have the fondest, warmest reception to Book 7 initially. I have a vow that I will re-read this book with a keen eye and I will be absolutely – I won’t go easy on it, but I’m going to completely re-envision what I think because we’re going chapter-by-chapter. All the Mugglecasters are doing this every – I don’t know about every show, but we’ll be doing this throughout all of Book 7, and I won’t be biased. We’re going to do it.

Andrew: Okay, sweet.

Eric: I’m really enthused.

Chapter 1: The Dark Lord Ascending

Andrew: So, let’s get right into it. We’re going to start with “The Dark Lord Ascending,” Chapter One.

Eric: Everybody, books open. I believe this a…

Andrew: Yeah, everybody open up your books to page one.

Eric: What page is it in the U.S.?

Andrew: Page one. It’s page one.

Eric: It opens on page ten – or nine, actually, in the U.K. edition.

Andy: Yeah, nine.

Andrew: Fantastic.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: We’re going to start with a basic summary. In short, it’s Voldemort and all of his Death Eaters around one table planning – or, well, listening to Voldemort’s plan to kill Harry Potter. He’s telling his friends, our foes, that he is going to kill Harry Potter himself because he’s made too many mistakes. So, that’s basically how it opens up and our initial thoughts on this chapter, first chapter.

Eric: We’ll go around the table. We’ll go around the table.

Movie-Like Opening

Andrew: Yeah. Let me just start by saying this is a perfect way to open a book. It’s very movie-like.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: It’s a very movie-like opening because it’s very short and find out exactly what the villain in this – I’m just going to call it a film right now – film is going to be trying to do throughout the entire film, and it’s short and sweet…

Eric: You can say text.

Andrew: And it ends with a death. It’s just – it’s so fitting. It’s going to be a perfect movie opening. Next.

Eric: I agree. Micah, what do you think?

Micah: I agree completely, actually. Andrew and I were talking about this before we started the show and saying how awesome of a way this is to open up Deathly Hallows. You know? The Avada Kedavra, the flash of green light and then Voldemort saying, you know, the whole line of “Dinner, Nagini” and you can see it just transferring over to Hedwig’s Theme and that’s how the seventh movie opens up.

Andrew: Hopefully they keep it in. [laughs]

Micah: [laughs] Yeah, if they’re listening now, yeah, you better keep that in.

Andrew: David, David, my buddy.

Eric: I don’t think, though, that they’ll have a problem with this book because this is quite – this is short. This is a short book. In the U.K. edition, isn’t it the third longest book?

Micah: Right.

Eric: I think it’s behind…

Micah: Something like that.

Eric: Yeah. I think it’s behind Book 5 for sure…

Micah: Right, but you can see the movie opening like that, similar, really, to how Goblet of Fire opened up with Frank Bryce being killed.

Eric: Yeah. It’s very, very similar, and also a bit – you get a lot of star power with all of the actors. You’ll see Alan Rickman and Jason Isaacs…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: And all of them – and Ralph Fiennes – right in the very beginning, and it’s a great – you’re right – it’s very movie-esque and very good for the narrative of the text.

Andrew: Have we seen Alan Rickman and Ralph Fiennes on the same scene together yet?

Eric: Have they been together?

Andrew: I don’t think so, have we?

Eric: No, no, not together because they would be…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, no we haven’t.

Andrew: Yeah, that’ll be very cool.

Eric: And Snape wasn’t at the end of Movie 5, as far as I recall.

Andrew: Nope.

Eric: Yep. I can’t wait.

Micah: Andy?

Andrew: Yeah, Andy?

Andy: All right, well, I have to re-preface this by saying Book 7 was my favorite book, so that’s good.

Andrew: Oooh.

The Malfoy Manor

Andy: But I think this was a very good chapter and the thing I really enjoyed about it was something I’ve been wanting to see for a long time, which is the Malfoy Manor. And then we get taken right into it, so, I thought that was fantastic.

Eric: Yep. Yep. We’re at the Malfoy Manor.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s about time.

Eric: Isn’t that awesome? After six books- that’s actually our first point here. After six books of knowing the Malfoys, disliking the Malfoys – well, I don’t know, some people thought Draco was kind of cute, but… [laughs] We’re at the Malfoy Manor. Arthur Weasley has been here. Other characters have been there. This is where Dobby was from, we’re talking, and we mean it. And, guys, what do we see? What do we see? What do we see? What do we have…

Andrew: Voldemort is there!

Eric: Voldemort’s there and, guys, we have – they’re white. They’re sleek. They’re shiny. They’re peacocks.

Micah: [laughs] What?

Eric: The Malfoy Manor has peacocks! Did you guys not find – I find this – I put this as number one on our key points here. Isn’t that awesome? What else about the Manor do you guys find interesting that we’re introduced to in this book or in this chapter?

Andrew: Well, I like how Jo describes it as a handsome manor.

Eric: Yeah, it’s very handsome.

Andrew: “Out of the darkness at the end of the straight drive was glinting…” Yeah, of course we’ve talked about it a million times before, but Jo’s just very descriptive with all of her scenes.

The Prisoner: Ollivander

Eric: No, it’s really written well. I think that’s very demonstrative, and you guys remember in the middle of their talks they – you hear a whine, a moan, a distinct sort of noise, and Voldemort turns to Wormtail and says, “I thought you were keeping our prisoner in line?”

Andrew: Yeah, no, wait a second. What – what was that?

Eric: That was Ollivander.

Andy: That was Ollivander, yeah.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Eric: From underneath, but we don’t know that yet.

Andrew: That makes sense now.

Eric: So, we just spoiled it for all the people who haven’t read Book 7 yet, and were waiting for us to do Chapter-by-Chapter. [aughs]

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Nevermind.

Andrew: Because I was confused because the Hogwarts teacher is the prisoner. I was like, “Why is he running off if the Hogwarts teacher is right there?”

Snape and Yaxley

Eric: Right. Yeah, it was a bit confusing. So, when they go into the room – now this is when you meet Snape and Yaxley, right?

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: Snape and the Death Eater Yaxley, who are – they have their wands out at each other. They draw their – and this line worried me, because I think this was released just prior to, like, the week of the seventh book, wasn’t it? This first apparent opening had been leaked?

Andrew: Yeah, it did. Yeah, it did.

Eric: And, just the way Snape says, when asked, “You have news?” Snape says, ” The best.” You know? “Replied Snape.”

Andrew: “The best.”

Eric: That worried me very, very much because this is just after – you have to take yourself back. This is the night of, or the night after, or well, actually quite a bit after, but it’s – it’s just after Snape has killed Dumbledore, and I took it to mean, “Oh no, maybe we were all fooled for thinking Snape was good, because he says… Well, it’s the best, and he’s grinning and he’s like I have the best news of all. I thought he was delivering the news that he had killed Dumbledore, but he wasn’t, so that’s good.


Andrew: Yeah. So, then we get into the house and there’s that floating human figure, and then Jo intros Draco, but doesn’t directly say that it’s Draco. What page is this on?

Eric: She says, “A boy with sleek hair…”

Andrew: Yeah, that’s it

Eric: “…was the only one paying attention to Charity Burbage.”

Andrew: Ah ha! I don’t know about you guys, but I knew right away that was Draco. Who else could it be?

Eric: I read it twice, and then I figured it was him.

Andrew: Really?

Eric: Yeah, because it was like…

Micah: Well, they are in his house.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: But it’s interesting that he should be in the Death Eater meeting, not – I mean, I realize that at the end of Book 6 we find out that he’s been inducted as a Death Eater.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: But I think it’s – I think it’s quite interesting to have the whole family there, which we’ll get into in a moment.

Andrew: Yes, the whole family thing, and how Voldemort responds. So, Draco, you can tell at this point that Draco is still exactly as he has been. He’s weak, he’s not – he shouldn’t be a Death Eater. He’s scared at the sight of Charity Burbage. Is that how you pronounce his name?

Eric: Yep. Her name.

Andrew: Her name.

Micah: Her name.

Andrew: He’s scared of her floating right there, right in front of him.

Eric: Kind of creepy.

Andrew: Draco’s a wuss. He’s not – he’s not…

Eric: I think he’s realizing…

Andrew: He’s not as great as he thinks he is.

Eric: Yeah. I think he’s realizing, at this point more than ever, he’s in over his head, or at least Charity’s over his head. But…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: He’s in over his head now, and – and he can’t get out. There’s no way out. So, he just has to sit there and look glum, you know? And hope he doesn’t get noticed by Voldemort, as he does.

Andrew: Right. So then they start talking about the Ministry of Magic.

Eric: Yes, they their plan is to…

Micah: I wanted to bring up…

Eric: …overthrow it.

Andrew: Go ahead.

Eric: What’s up?

Snape Blocking Voldemort

Micah: No, I just wanted to bring up one thing that I thought – and it does relate to all this, but when they first started getting into talking about the plan and the news that Snape brought. How Snape sort of conveys that information to Voldemort and how Snape is so very sure about when Harry is being moved. And I’m just going to quote it right here because, you know, this goes back to the whole idea of Voldemort being able to read into Snape’s mind and Snape being so good at locking him out. It says, “His red eyes fastened upon Snape’s black ones with such intensity that some of the watchers looked away, apparently fearful that they themselves would be scorched by the ferocity of the gaze. Snape, however, looked calmly back into Voldemort’s face and after a moment or two, Voldemort’s lipless mouth curved into something like a smile.” So, it’s clear that Snape has to be extremely powerful to do what he’s doing and it shows even in the first chapter of Book 7.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Again, yeah, the Snape thing – no, you’re right. You’re completely right. And Snape – where is Snape? Snape is seated at the “right hand” of Voldemort, literally the chair right beside him. “Severus, I was saving this for you.” As soon as he walks in, he sits at the “right hand” of Voldemort, which is because significant…

Micah: You think he said it like that?

Eric: He said it exactly like that in his…

Andrew: “Oh Severus, come here.”

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: in his eyes. What you didn’t know about…

Andrew: “I saved you a seat.”

Eric: No, look, if he’s the next one to come out, I’m leaving, literally. I’m literally – I’m just leaving.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: I’m leaving. You’ll hear a door close.

Andrew: No, he was in love with Lily.

Eric: And, yeah. No.

Andrew: We know that.

Eric: Yeah. No, I’m talking Voldemort.

Andrew: Oh, oh, oh.

Andy: He wasn’t in love with anybody.

Eric: [Eric laughs] Okay, anyway. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. He’s not capable of love, so I’ll continue to believe that.

Andrew: Straight love.

Eric: No, the right hand of Voldemort, that’s symbolic. So, Snape is so trusted and so powerful, he sits at the right hand of Voldemort. And Voldemort’s got that snake all around him so that’s pretty creepy because the snake – the snake would be – it’s described as being as big as a man’s thigh.

Andrew: Yeah, and the snake will just straight up will kill you.

Eric: And it does in the end.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Oh, spoiler again. But I mean, snake, Snape and Voldie, right there. That – that’s just ugh. That’s like a bad board meeting gone wrong.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: So they’re talking hostile take-overs.

Capturing Harry

Andrew: Yeah. So, Voldemort saying that he needs to kill off Harry Potter himself and thanks to Snape’s information, he decides – well, he realizes that Harry’s not going to go through Portkey or Floo Powder, so he’s going to catch him right out in person! He’s going to catch him out in broad darkness or daylight. He’s going to catch him. And it’s not going to be through magic because the Ministry of Magic could be watching – or, well, they know that the Ministry could be watching or the Death Eaters. [sighs] So…

Eric: Exactly.

Andrew: So…

Eric: There’s a quote here.

Andrew: Okay.

Eric: Quote here is “I shall attend to the boy in person. There have been too many mistakes where Harry Potter is concerned. Some of them have been my own. That Potter lives is due more to my errors than to his triumphs.” Lord Voldemort says this in – on page 13 in the UK edition. He says that there have been errors and they’ve been more Voldemort’s fault than they have been due to Harry’s, you know, dumb luck, basically. Voldemort’s…

Micah: That’s…

Eric: .Goes on to say more about this.

Micah: Page six in our U.S. edition.

Eric: Page six? That’s really interesting. Yeah. But yeah, he says that. And then he goes on to it. So, this is sort of setting up that Voldemort is aware of his past failings and is really keen on not making any more mistakes when it comes to Harry Potter.

Micah: I thought that statement was so ironic, though, if you think about.

Eric: Oh, it’s very. It’s very ironic. That’s why…

Micah: Because there he is talking about his mistakes and yet he’s unaware of the fact…

Eric: He’s going to make a boatload.

Micah: Oblivious to the fact of how many more mistakes he’s made and how far along in the process Harry already is.

Eric: Yeah, by the end of this book, he’s going to make a boatload more mistakes.

MuggleCast 121 Transcript (continued)

Infiltrating the Ministry

Andrew: So then, I mean, the next point: the Ministry of Magic. There’s obviously some problems here.

Eric: They’ve confunded – yeah, no, that’s Dawlish who is susceptible to Confundus Charms. They’ve infiltrated in Ministry people. Death Eaters have placed their people and a single missed move will cost Voldemort several weeks if they act too soon on Scrimgeour. But they’ve infiltrated the Ministry. This sets up the rest of the book, some of the – one of the premises.

Voldemort’s Needs a Wand

Andrew: Then comes a little scene with the Malfoys. And Voldemort’s looking for a wand. He needs a wand and he decides that Lucius’ wand would do – would be the one that he needs. So, Lucius is a little reluctant at first. He can’t believe it. And when Voldemort takes the wand Lucius is expecting to receive Voldemort’s. That gets a laugh out of Voldemort. Voldemort LOLs.

[Eric and Andy laugh]

Andrew: And, he’s like, “Yeah, you’re not getting my wand, sorry.” And then Voldemort is like, “Well, you best be appreciative of me being here. Aren’t you not? Are you not?” It takes Bellatrix to reassure Voldemort that they love having him there. “It’s the highest honor,” says Bellatrix.

Eric: “There can be no greater pleasure.”

Andrew: And Voldemort gets all sappy. He’s like, “Oh, that means so much for me.”

[Eric laughs]

Eric: No, that’s not sappy.

Micah: He rips her apart.

Eric: He’s saying, “Oh, that means so much coming from you.”

Micah: Whose niece is banging a werewolf.

Andrew: Well, yeah but…

Eric: Yeah. [laughs] Banging a werewolf?

[Andy laughs]

Andrew: I thought that sort of meant he was serious, but I thought the whole Lupin thing was a separate story.

Eric: No, he killed Sirius. Death by curtain.

Back to the Ministry

Andy: One point that I was going to bring up, and sorry to back pedal here, but it’s about the whole Ministry infiltration thing. This is actually the first time in the six intermit books that I, that the thought ever really before crossed my mind where the good guys might not win, you know? Which I thought was interesting.

Andrew: I mean, because once the government is infiltrated, you know, you’re kind of in trouble.

Eric: Yeah, there’s no – it’s just absolutely, and knowing that Voldemort’s a half-blood and listening to him talk about this purity thing, you get the hypocrisy of it all. I think Jo does convey that quite a bit, because this is very personal, well, not very personal, but this is very dangerous, a meeting of the villain of the series at the very beginning of the book talking about purging the world.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Right.

Eric: And that is why they kill Charity Burbage, the Muggle Studies professor, for polluting the minds of Pureblood, namely, wizards. To say that, well, Muggles and wizards should get along. So… What do you think?

Micah: I’d say on the Ministry side of it, though, back to what Andy was saying also is that it’s interesting how Snape sort of plants the seed in Voldemort’s mind that the Order has no trust in the Ministry. And, I just found that also kind of ironic because the Order has never really had much trust in the Ministry even from Book 5 on.

Eric: Right.

Andy: True, yeah.

Micah: I just found that interesting that Snape would sort of throw that out there. And Voldemort’s response was pretty much, “Oh, all the better. He’s going to have to move in the open anyway now, since they don’t trust the Ministry.

Eric: Totally.

Micah: And I just thought that was kind of interesting to play that card.

Andy: Yeah. The Ministry has proved a number of times that they can be pretty incompetent, so, I mean, it’s understandable that the Order doesn’t trust them.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Oh yea, no. But they would have to, it’s also said that they want to protect the house with the best spells that both the Ministry and the Order can think up. So, they do accept the help sort of when they can trust them, or when they can, you know, use the sort of brute force of, or, the numbers, the sheer numbers and governmental support from the Ministry. You know? But they don’t trust them.

Charity Burbage

Andrew: So, then Charity has to take one for the team.

Eric: Hmmm.

Andrew: And has to be killed while Snape just looks on and acts like: sorry, nothing I can do about it. Going to blow my cover. And then that concludes Chapter One. It’s a short chapter and, like we said, it’s going to be a great movie opening. Here’s hoping that they actually keep everything in. That whole Chapter-by-Chapter segment went by pretty quick. Is there anything else you guys want to add about it?

Micah: I had a few things. Sorry.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Micah: I don’t mean to extend it out.

Andrew: God forbid we plan it beforehand, put it in our show planner.

Micah: [laughs] Yeah. Sorry.

Andrew: What do you have to add?

Micah: No, I was just going to bring up the killing scene. Something very interesting. If you go back and you notice what Charity says. Take a look.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: It’s a very common line that has been used throughout the course of the series.

Andrew: “Severus, please, please.”

Micah: Yep.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: It’s the same thing that Narcissa says to Snape in “Spinner’s End.” It’s also the same thing Dumbledore says to Severus before he dies.

Andrew: Yeah. How fitting.

Eric: Oh, “Severus please.” At the will of Severus. At the mercy, rather. At the mercy. At the mercy of.

Andrew: But, you know.

Eric: Yeah. She’s highlighted Snape again.

Andrew: Here’s my thing, though. I guess she’s desperate, she has got to plead with him, but does – even if Snape was willing to be the good guy in that situation, Voldemort would have just killed him. So like, Charity was screwed, she should have known that. But then again…

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: …I guess you just have to, you know, do whatever you can.

Eric: Well, I think it makes…

Andy: But when you’re about to die…

Andrew: Yeah. Exactly.

Eric: Yeah. I think it makes Snape look better anyway. That she’s like pleading to him. She trusts him as a friend, which just shows how good of, you know, a good guy he played, you know, the part of, that people are turning to him for help and he offers none. And then she dies. Voldemort likes that. Voldemort likes killing her when she’s tortured and her one, you know, supposed ally is just completely impassive and doesn’t do a thing. You know, doesn’t even look at her. That’s what he wants; for his victims to be alone and friendless at the time of their death, just like he will be.

Bellatrix Killing Tonks

Micah: Yeah. I meannother thing I picked up on, which is unrelated to this, was when Voldemort was talking to Bellatrix – and to her about pruning her tree, as far as the Black family tree was concerned and she’s the one who ends up killing…

Eric: Yeah, he’s not talking about horticulture. Voldemort is not a horticulturist, as far as we know.

Micah: Yeah, well there’s…

Eric: And by pruning…

Micah: Yeah, well, there’s plenty of other ways you could go with that too, but I’m not going to get into that.

Andrew: [laughs] Hey, let’s not.

Micah: [laughs] Yeah, my point was, she’s talking about killing Tonks very early on and we all know that’s what ends up happening.

Eric: And that’s interesting that we mentioned Remus Lupin, because isn’t Lupin… Now, when I read this, I was concerned, because Voldemort – it’s of Voldemort’s attention that Remus Lupin (the half-breed werewolf) has married Nymphadora Tonks. Now, I don’t know how secret the Order thought they should have kept it, but they clearly, I mean, if Voldemort knows that Remus Lupin is not a good werewolf, why – I was worried for Remus basically in this book, because if he’s still doing undercover things with the werewolves, trying to fit in, Voldemort could stop that with a single word. He could just tell them that Remus is not, no matter what, a good werewolf on the bad side to be swayed, and he should be killed, and they would kill him the next time they saw him. You know what I’m saying?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: But he was spending time with Tonks at home, so I don’t think he was anymore within the werewolves than like he was in Book 6, so I don’t think his assignment continued, I guess. So, any other points or favorite lines from the series?

Favorite Quotes

Andrew: Yeah, there was another part of Chapter-by-Chapter we’re going to start doing now. But, I mean, we did go through the one, “I shall attend to the boy in person.” I think we also mentioned “Dinner and Nagini” is also a great one. Great movie closer for Hedwig’s Theme; the fade in, as Nagini’s slithering down…

Eric: Hmmm, twisted. Wouldn’t that be really twisted? Hedwig’s Theme like… [sings Hedwig’s Theme in a distorted manner]

Andrew: [laughs] It’s like the remix. I hope that they include the line, “Draco fell out of his chair onto the floor.”. I have a hard time actually picturing Draco just straight up fall out of his chair onto the floor just by seeing a dead body…

Eric: Well, you’ve got to realize it’s a human body. It weighs at least 150, 130, something like that.

Andrew: But the body didn’t push him over.

Eric: Well, no, but it’s a resounding crack on a – I assume it’s a mahogany table, so maybe it didn’t make that large of a crack, but that’s pretty creepy.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: A whole body just falling right in front of you like literally – that’s – that’s not…

Andrew: Yeah, I guess.

Mysterious Character

Micah: There was one other thing that I was wondering about in this chapter.

Eric: Whats up?

Micah: And it’s actually a character who is never given any sort of identification. In the beginning, I thought it was Slughorn, but I guess in the end it turned out not to be. It’s on page four in this chapter in the American edition, and they talk about “a squat man sitting a short distance from Yaxley,” and they say that he gave “a wheezy giggle.” That just kind of reminded me of Slughorn.

Eric: Ho, ho.

Micah: It was just that he was never identified as a specific character. I mean, I’m sure he could be some random Death Eater, but…

Eric: Hey, what’s the quote? Find some quotes right around it if you can.

Micah: I said – it says, “The Order’s got one thing right then, eh?”, referring to the fact that they had infiltrated the Ministry.

Andrew: You don’t think it was Pettigrew?

Micah: No.

Eric: Nah, he wouldn’t speak like that.

Micah: I guess it could’ve been.

Eric: Like, I thought it was too.

Andrew: It could be. It may be. “He gave a wheezy giggle that was echoed here and there along the table.”

Andy: I thought it was one of the Carrows. Amycus or Alecto.

Andrew: Yeah. It is kind of strange, though, that Jo wouldn’t even go on to mention him, whoever this “him” was. But I mean, ’cause then she does bring out Wormtail.

Eric: Ladies and gentlemen, this is page 12 in the U.K. edition – top of page 12.

Andrew: [laughs] See, the other thing about this segment is that we sort of think out loud. And we go through, you know.

Back to Favorite Quotes: Bellatrix

Eric: Yeah. My quote was just this really brilliant line about Bellatrix when he first – after Bellatrix assures Voldemort that there is no greater pleasure than his presence in their family’s home. After she says it, there’s actually a line Jo Rowling writes: “Where Narcissa sat, rigid and impassive, Bellatrix leaned towards Voldemort, for mere words could not demonstrate her longing for closeness.” That is a brilliant character line for Bellatrix.

Micah: Does she not get any from her husband or something? [laughs] I mean…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Bellatrix does – oh, well, I don’t know.

Micah: Yeah, she’s married.

Eric: [sighs] Is that an actual question? Does Bellatrix get any?

Micah: [laughs] Well, I mean, look at the quote.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Well, yeah, no, no. Yeah, it’s true.

Micah: Get Rodolphus…

Eric: “For mere words could not demonstrate…”

Micah: …some Viagra or something.

Eric: “…her longing for closeness.” [laughs] Maybe there’s no magical solution yet. What would the Latin be? Think about it. Erectus? What, you know…

Micah: [laughs] I guess.

Eric: [laughs] Magna – no, erectus maxima, yeah.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: I don’t know. I don’t know, man.

Micah: Engorgio, maybe.

Eric: [laughs] Engorgio. No, no, Micah, that serves a different purpose. Jesus.

Micah: [laughs] What purpose is that?

Eric: To make it bigger.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: Not harder, but bigger.

[Andy laughs]


Andrew: Okay, well this concludes Chapter-by-Chapter for this week. Hopefully everyone enjoyed it. And we want to encourage everyone to send in their feedback about Chapter 1, the things that we discussed, and we’ll get to them next weekend in the listener rebuttals and…

Eric: As well as style. Style, too. If you have any ideas about what we should kind of do to tweak it…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: …and to change it, see if we do – because we did

Andrew: We’re still…

Eric: We did summary, key points, and favorite lines.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: We’ll follow an outline better…

Andrew: Yeah, we’ll follow an outline.

Micah: …for next week.

Andrew: And Micah will actually include his stuff, and…

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Well, the idea was to pick like the top five plot points and then just discuss those instead of just going all over the place, because that way we can just focus on the big stuff. And maybe we can include a little part, something called, like, “A Little Thing” or “The Little Things,” but I don’t know. It’s just hard…

Eric: Yeah, right. Yeah, no, I think it was accurate. And it was easy to pull five things from this chapter and talk about them.

Andrew: Okay, well…

Eric: It’s such a short chapter, so…

Andrew: Next week, we will be discussing Chapter 2, “In Memoriam.” This is a good chapter because it comes with Rita Skeeter’s article about Albus Dumbledore, and that was a good read.

Eric: Nice intro, yeah.

Andrew: So, let’s get to that next week. Read it beforehand, everyone, and then you can all follow along as we discuss it. It’s sort of fun and interactive.

Eric: Absolutely.

Andrew: Next week, Chapter 2. Isn’t it great holding, like – I get real pleasure out of just holding this book. It’s in pristine condition, like, just the shape and the – it’s just a beautiful work of art. [laughs]

Eric: I have the one that you guys all signed…

Andrew: Awww.

Eric: …so I’m really happy about that.

Andrew: That’s cute.

Micah: I didn’t sign it.

Eric: Well, Micah, you should’ve come to London.

Andrew: Everyone who was there.

Micah: You said, “You all.” I don’t think Andy signed it, did you, Andy?

[Andrew and Andy laugh]

Andy: Eric actually signed my Half-Blood Prince book, anyway.

Eric: Okay, Andrew, I have the copy that you signed. Yeah, man, that’s awesome.

HUH!? Facebook Message of the Week

Andrew: Hey, let’s move on to – I didn’t have a HUH?! E-mail of the Week, but I actually just got this Facebook message and I feel like I have to read it. It’s time for my HUH?! Facebook Message of the Week. I’m going to leave this person nameless because that would just be embarrassing. The message says:

First, I just wanted to say your podcast is still great. I had my doubts when the final book came out that you could keep it going with good material, and I’m happy to see that you guys are still number one in my book. When I’m bored in class, hung over, et cetera…


…I pop in my headphones and listen to you guys discuss everything about Harry. It’s the best way to get through my day. But to get to my question, I’m going to be in New Jersey next weekend, and I’ll be carrying killer bud. And judging by your profile picture, you might have at least tried the wacky tobacky. I would just be honored…

[Eric laughs]

…to give a nice free sample, as much as you want, to my favorite talk-show host and actually meet you. I just want to apologize now if you don’t smoke, my bad, but if you do, hey, free bud. Get back to me. Oh, and hope you had a great, Happy Thanksgiving. Peace!

The name of the person. Ummm….

Andy: Wow. [laughs]

Andrew: Please give me a call, and we’ll discuss where to meet.

Eric: Where to drop the shipment of wacky tobacky.

Andrew: No, it was supposed to be a joke. You’re all supposed to laugh [laughs] because I don’t smoke that – no, seriously, I just thought it was funny because I don’t smoke.

Eric: Well, good on you.

Andrew: So, I’m making in known.

Eric: In the mean time, you can forward them to…

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: That’s a nice offer, though. I like when listeners offer free stuff, even if it’s something I’m not interested in. [laughs]

Eric: I think it’s a bizarre insight into the kind of illegal things that rock stars like us can get into pretty easy.

Andrew: But choose not to, kids. Wink.

Eric: Yes, that’s right. [laughs]

Andrew: Okay, well, yeah. Thanks to him.

Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul

Andrew: We’ll wrap things up today with a Chicken Soup for the
MuggleCasters’ Soul.

Andy: Today’s Chicken Soup comes from Amy, age 21, of Portland, Oregon.

I’m pretty sure you do not hear often enough that without you, someone couldn’t have gotten through all the brain-slicing they had to do. I put on old episodes on one of the computers in our lab while I made endless numbers of slices of rat brain for the last month (for cell counts for my research – if we come up with ways to preserve brain function after injury, everyone gets to thank ‘Harry Potter’).

So, obviously she wasn’t doing it for fun, but…

[Eric laughs]

You guys are great, thanks for helping me get through my thesis! Amy. Interesting.

Andrew: That’s so gross.

Eric: Sliced up rat brain. Now, you’re trying to maintain brain function, if I can get this correctly, after injury. But I don’t know that it should be after injury. It should be after you cut the brain up into fifteen pieces and put it on slides, right? Because that’s a bit strange.

Show Close

Andrew: I think that wraps up today’s show. It was a good show.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: I like this show.

Micah: It was a good show.

Andrew: Quick thing about the Wall of Fame. I actually haven’t checked the e-mail submissions yet for that. But we’ll work on that soon, get a complete Wall of Fame. Probably have some results next week. Let’s give you all of our contact information. If you’d like to send us some parcel mail, you can mail that to:

MuggleCast P.O. Box 3151
Cumming, Georgia

You can also call the MuggleCast hotline with your questions or comments. Just remember to keep your question under 60 seconds and to eliminate as much background noise as possible. The numbers are (in the United States) 1 218 20 MAGIC. If you’re in the United Kingdom, you can dial 0 208 144 0677, and if you’re in Australia, you can dial 028 0035 668. You can also Skype the username MuggleCast. And you can also use the handy feedback form on to contact any one of us. And you can contact Andy at webmaster at harrypotterfanzone dot com.

Andy: Yep, if you’re so inclined to do so.

Andrew: Yes!

Eric: Because Andy’s awesome.

Andrew: You can also visit for community outlets, such as our
MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Frappr,, the Fanlisting. You can also dig the show at, please vote for us once a month at Podcast Alley, and you can also rate and review us on Yahoo! Podcasts and, of course, iTunes. Please leave your iTunes reviews, because we’ve gotten a couple of bad ones lately and need to cover them up with the good ones.

Micah: Ouch!

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Also, we have the subscribe link now for those of you who own a Zune. And of course, you can subscribe through iTunes. One quick thing about iTunes: People, please. Please, please, please, please, please. People always say when I put the show up, “it’s not showing up in iTunes yet.” Yes it is, it’s just not showing up in the directory yet. If you hit “Subscribe” and then click on “Podcasts” (on your iTunes you click on Podcasts on the left) and then you hit “Refresh,” it’ll look at your podcasts and it will see that there’s a new episode of MuggleCast out and it will download it automatically. You don’t have to wait for it – the new episode – to show up in the store. Just click on the “Podcasts” tab on the left side of iTunes, hit “Refresh,” and it’ll get MuggleCast. That’s if you’re subscribed.

Eric: If you have an iPhone, do you just have to push the screen a few times to get new podcasts?

Andrew: No, you can’t download. There is the WiFi iTunes store, but you can’t download podcasts yet, which is kind of strange.

Eric: No kidding?

Andrew: Yeah, there is some illegal software for the iPhone that lets you download podcasts and listen to them right on your phone without using the computer, but it’s not as good as iTunes, so…

Eric: It’s not yet legal yet.

Andrew: Yeah. It will be soon.

Eric: Well, guys. That was good.

Andrew: That was the show. That was a show.

Micah: Yeah. I was going to say now, also, just a reminder for people to send in stuff for Chapter 2 so we can respond to it right away on the show.

Eric: Oh yeah! Yeah, no, totally. That’s a great idea. Go and read Chapter 2 and see what you think. Should we say specific topic or subject of the e-mail when they send them in?

Micah: No, I mean, just – yeah, that’s probably a good idea.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: Just, “Chapter-by-Chapter,” maybe.

Andrew: Well, put, “Chapter-by-Chapter – Chapter 2.” Or, “Chapter-by-Chapter – Chapter 1.”

Eric: Yeah, “/Page 5,” and enter page, paragraph number, quote number…

Andrew: Well, I don’t know [laughs] if you have to do all that. I’m just talking about…

Eric: And be sure to check it twice because if it’s incorrect, we will be reading it aloud and you’ll look stupid. No, I’m joking.

[Show music begins]

Eric: And – that was good. And guys, what was I going to say? Ummm. Um, um, um, um. I don’t know, forget it. Oh yeah, send in your Christmas cards, too!

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Eric: It’s about that time of the year where we get Christmas cards to the P.O. Box, and they will, I think, all be forwarded. Laura’s mother will be rushing around to get us all our Christmas cards on time. So, send some more in. Thanks to Laura’s mom for doing that.

Andrew: I’m looking forward to the Christmas episodes. They’re always fun ones. And the New Year’s one. They’re always good.

Eric: Totally, totally.

Andrew: Yeah, so.

Eric: Didn’t we – yeah, we synced it up last year.

Andrew: Yes, yes.

Eric: Very nice.

Andrew: Real quick before we wrap up the show today, I want to say that I talked to Jamie a little bit ago, and he said he may be able to come on next week for next week’s show. So, maybe he’ll be back a little earlier than we thought. So, that’s all good news for all you Jamie fanboys. I mean girls. Or boys.

Eric: Yeah.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Goats.

Andrew: Or goats.

Eric: Well, I may not be here because of my trip to the South Island. I may or may not be able to.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Eric: But I’ll definitely see how Chapter-by-Chapter turns out without me.

Andrew: Cool. Okay, well, thank you, everyone for listening. Once again, I’m Andrew Sims.

Eric: I am Eric Scull.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Andy: And I’m Andy McCray.

Andrew: Once again, Andy’s from Thanks for joining us, Andy.

Andy: It’s all right, no problem.

Andrew: And we’ll see everyone next week for Episode 122. Bye bye!

Micah: Bye!

Eric: See ya!

Andy: Bye!