Transcript #131

MuggleCast 131 Transcript

Show Intro

[Music begins]

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[Show music starts]

Micah: Because Voicemails have finally returned, this is MuggleCast Episode 131 for February 10th, 2008.

[Show music continues to play]

Mikey: “Hey guys. As much as I generally love you both…” – meaning myself and Eric – “…since I’m not going to be on the show tomorrow, I just wanted to say, can you please stay focused with the topics at hand while recording. I ended up cutting most of the off-topic stuff out of the show last week because it was long and the listeners really don’t want to here about ‘Star Wars’ and other movies, etc. Feel free to draw parallels, but don’t dwell on them. I’m not trying to lecture or anything, but just please keep in mind tomorrow because it’s what’s best for the show. Thanks, love you both, Andrew.” Can you believe that, Eric? He doesn’t want us to talk about what we feel like.

Eric: It’s just – I don’t know, man. He’s been censoring these since Episode 3, so, I just…

Laura: I wouldn’t…

Eric: I’ve learned to live with it. You know? I mean, he makes good decisions, usually.

Mikey: Usually.

Eric: It just means that we can’t – I don’t know. I don’t know, Mikey. You’re the movie guy and you get really enthusiastic about it.

Mikey: He’s telling me not to do it and I know. I agree with you. Well, welcome to this week’s Andrew-less show we have. I don’t know, that was a really bad segue, but I’m trying to move this along.

Laura: [laughs] All right. Well, we’ve got a pretty good show for you guys this week. We’re going to be talking about Chapter 14 in Deathly Hallows. This is also featuring the return of Voicemails, once again. I know you’ve heard that umpteen times during the life of this show, and we also have part two of our interview with Freddie Highmore. So, with that, I’m Laura Thompson.

Eric: I’m Eric Scull.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Mikey: And I’m Mikey B.

[Show music continues to play louder]


Micah: Micah Tannenbaum is standing by in the MuggleCast News Center with the past week’s top Harry Potter news stories. Micah?

A few weeks ago we told you about two Deathly Hallows rumors: It could be split in two, and Steven Spielberg is being considered to direct. The latter item has picked up an extra piece of evidence after Richard Griffiths (who plays Vernon Dursley in the Potter films) reportedly told TeleText that Spielberg is a candidate. He said, “Being in a Spielberg film is a pretty good place to be. My agent had conversations with him, so anything is possible.” He is further quoted in saying, “I’m not in the sixth film so I want bigger roles. I asked J.K. Rowling if she could write Vernon a bigger part and she said ‘no,” so there you go.”

It is important to remember that nothing is confirmed. This should not be taken seriously until more solid sources come forward.

Spanish publication XLSemanal conducted a special interview with J.K. Rowling a few months ago, although it has only now emerged online. In a preview of the article, Jo discusses Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, likening him to English Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Jo was quoted to saying, “My model of the world after Voldemort’s return was, directly, the government of Neville Chamberlain in Great Britain during the Second World War, when he tried to minimize the menace of the Nazi regime for political convenience.”

In the interview the author also talks about her personal life and relationships, as well as politics. The full interview is now available online.

And Half-Blood Prince filming in Gloucester Cathedral is well underway. Cast, extras, and crew are now all present at the Cathedral. has plenty of new photos.

Finally, the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin will present J.K. Rowling with a James Joyce Award on Tuesday, February 12th.

That’s all the news for this February 10th, 2008 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.

News Discussion: Director of Deathly Hallows

Micah: Thanks, Micah. Oh, you’re welcome.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Thanks, Micah.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Okay, so we’ve had some pretty good news this week. It’s been better than some other weeks, right? What do you guys think?

Mikey: Oh, yeah. No, I’m excited about our first point that we’re going to talk about, Laura. What do you think?

Laura: Yeah, and I mean you’re the film guy here, Mikey, so why don’t you start us off on that?

Mikey: Well…

Eric: But don’t talk about film.

Mikey: [laughs] All right, Andrew.

Eric: Only because Andrew warned us.

Micah: Well, he can bring up the topic, but only Laura and I can discuss it.

Mikey: Okay. But I’ll read it off. Spielberg rumors again have emerged. What do you guys think about that?

Laura: You know, I’m not sure what I think about it. Because I feel like Spielberg has done some really great stuff, and then I feel that he’s done some really awful stuff. So, I don’t know. If he directed the film it could be really good or it could be really bad.

Mikey: Well, all right, my question is, what did you think that he did that was really bad? That’s one of the questions, you know, like, what was really bad?

Laura: Well, I mean, what immediately springs to mind is just that I feel like he’s kind of got that Chris Columbus quality of kind of making everything happy and light.

Eric: Because, clearly, Schindler’s List

Laura: No! But that’s not…

[Mikey laughs]

Eric: …was a very happy film.

Laura: That’s not what I was referencing, though. Like – Clearly, Schindler’s List was a very, very well done movie. I don’t know if Spielberg has any specific producers he works with regularly – maybe Mikey can tell us about that – but I just know that there are certain films that he’s been very much complimented on, whereas there are other films that people are just like, “what is this?” Like, I don’t know.

Eric: It’s true. There are critics of Spielberg films.

Mikey: My biggest thing is, Spielberg really hasn’t done a horrible movie in quite a while. Like, you know, just looking at his last movie. I’m on IMDB right now. His most recent movie that’s coming out is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which I’m super excited about. But his last films Munich – which did great – War of the Worlds, I was kind of iffy on, but it was still, you know – I think it had too much Tom Cruise, not necessarily his directing. I think he did a great job on it.

[Eric laughs]

Mikey: [laughs] We’re not even going to go to the Tom Cruise story. But Terminal, Catch Me If You Can was a great movie. I thought Minority Report as direction was great too. AI I thought was an amazing film, obviously didn’t do really good. You know? But a lot of his stuff I – as a director, I like Spielberg. There’s really not much of his stuff that I don’t like. He doesn’t direct as much anymore. He really doesn’t, he’s been producing a lot. So…

Eric: It’s true. And his movies, in my opinion, are always so – I want to say heartful. You know, very hearty movies. He kind of creates how stories should be told. You know, he’s obviously the big-name guy. He’s the big guy who does this sort of thing. He makes these movies that are classics, like E.T. And he really makes – He’s a movie-maker storyteller. He basically writes these – He does movies, he’s how movies should be made. You know, because he has such creative control in them. And I just – there’s something that connects with how he tells his stories with me. I love all of Spielberg’s films.

Mikey: I agree with you. What do you think, Micah?

Micah: I’m just wondering, though, would he be the right person for Deathly Hallows in the sense that – and I’m not saying the directors that have come before him aren’t big-name directors – but they seem to have kind of found their place a little bit with the Harry Potter series. And I’m not sure that bringing in such a big name to do the final film would make it any more impactful than if somebody else who had worked on the films previously would have come around and directed. You know, like an Alfonso Cuaron, like a – maybe even a David Yates again. I just – I’m afraid that this is a story that’s sort of being over-sensationalized, like it has been in the past, and I’m not really sure that you would need to bring in Spielberg. Would it be cool? Yes. But – and it even goes to some of what Eric was saying before. You know, he’s kind of this great storyteller, but kind of in his own way. I don’t know how well he would work off of other people’s work, you know, Mikey, if that makes sense.

Mikey: No, no, I agree. I can see where you’re coming from.

Eric: I get that.

Mikey: I don’t know if I would say that he couldn’t work on someone else’s work. Again, looking at War of the Worlds I think he did a phenomenal job with that, and even Jurassic Park, that was a Michael Creighton novel, and I think he did a great job with that film. Directing it.

Eric: It’s a great movie.

Mikey: It’s one of those things like, the score – obviously John Williams did the Harry Potter score, but you know, John Williams did Jurassic Park, too, and I could just hear those notes right away, and I know it’s Jurassic Park. I know it’s Harry Potter. I know it’s Star Wars. I had to put John Williams in there with that stuff. But…

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: Well, see, that’s the thing, yeah, because Spielberg and Williams work so well together.

Mikey: Yeah, and I would love to see Williams come back for the last Harry Potter movie.

Eric: That’s exactly the thing I was thinking, is if Spielberg comes back, does John Williams come back?

Mikey: Yeah, that would be a cool thing, especially like – here’s one thing. I’ll give you a little bit of film stuff – is people are more forgiving of bad video or film quality versus music, and the reason why is, film is at twenty-four frames per second, so half the time, in between each cell or frame, there’s a little black bar, and so that’s playing through as we’re watching our movies. So half the time we’re sitting in a theater, we’re sitting in pitch black. We don’t see it being black, because our eyes keep memory of the picture, but music and sound, we’re hearing everything. And I would love to hear – not saying that the other scores, like I love the Order of the Phoenix score, and I really like the music for Goblet of Fire. Obviously, these weren’t done by John Williams, but I would love if Spielberg brought back Williams to do the last one, have this amazing just big, Hollywood-style, just really big score for the last movie, just give it a big send-off that I think it really would deserve, because it’s the final chapter in this huge – you know, for Warner Brothers this is a huge franchise. And for us, this a huge, you know – it’s the final movie of the book series. I remember finishing reading the book, and I was sad, and I’m going to be sad watching the last movie in theaters. Now, I’m going to be the first one to buy it on DVD, but it’s the last thing. It needs a good send-off, and I think…

Laura: Well said, Mikey.

Micah: You can have John Williams back. I mean, you don’t need to have Spielberg to have John Williams there.

Mikey: No, I know, but…

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: Which is another thing…

Micah: And this kind of leads into the next point, but this is a semi-reliable source that at least we’re hearing these rumors from – in the form of Richard Griffiths talking about potentially being in a Spielberg film. We know he’s not going to be in Half-Blood Prince, but he is definitely going to be in the final film, so, I mean, what do you guys think? Do you give any more credit to the rumor that it’s coming from somebody like him, as opposed to just some tabloid?

Eric: I do. Just the idea that Richard Griffiths thinks it’s possible is – I think it gives a little extra credit to it. I would like to see Spielberg have his hands on the material, is kind of what it is. Most of my urge for Spielberg – I think it would be really cool if he directed the movie of Book 7 because, obviously, they’re really convinced that they’re going to do it quite big, possibly two films, as we talked about last week, and it’s just – I would really like to see Spielberg have his hand in the material. So, just the idea that Richard Griffiths is saying, “Well, you know, it might be really interesting to do a Spielberg film, and I think it’s possible,” then I think it does give credit to it, and I think it’s really one of those interesting rumors that’s going around about the seventh movie.

News Discussion: Privet Drive Scene Cut from Half-Blood Prince

Micah: Right. And I think we’ll hear more as time goes on, obviously. There will be more and more rumors as we get closer to something being announced. But speaking of Richard Griffiths, he also brought up the fact that he is not going to be in Half-Blood Prince, and I really can’t remember if this was made public, and if it was, I don’t think prior to this we ever discussed it. And to me this is kind of disappointing, because the whole scene that takes place on Privet Drive in Half-Blood Prince was really one of my favorite scenes in the book, and now we learn that it’s not going to be there. What are you guys’ thoughts about this?

Laura: Well, first of all, I wonder how they’re going to tie in Dumbledore. It would just seem weird if they had Harry leaving Privet Drive and joining Dumbledore without even seeing the Dursleys, you know? So I really wonder how they’re going to set that up.

Mikey: I could tell you. I see it now as a filmmaker.

[Micah laughs]

Laura: This is what it is: Opening, you know, you see the Warner Brothers thing, the camera pans down onto the street as Dumbledore and Harry walk up to go find Slughorn. They’re going to have to cut things out.

Eric: We know that’s going to happen, because…

Mikey: And we know that’s kind of a bummer, but, obviously I don’t know anything about the movie, so it’s not like that’s what is going to happen in the movie, but it’s like, that’s – you know, basically, if the Dursleys aren’t going to be there, what’s the next logical step? And it’s going to go straight to Slughorn. And actually, it might even go to the interior of the house, because, you know, the last ones kind of started out kind of dark, so it might be the house with blood on it, and then it pulls out and there’s Harry and Dumbledore on the step going in going, “Oh my gosh, what happened?” And then they find Slughorn, you know what I mean?

Eric: Do you think he’ll be turned into a couch, and then Dumbledore will prod the couch, and then the couch being like, “Ouch!” [laughs]

Mikey: That’d be kind of cool, I hope so. I actually – I’m a little sad they’re not going to do the scene. Like Micah said, it’s one of my favorites just because…

Eric: I am too, it’s such a great – and I think what it is too is that it’s a big distinction between book Dumbledore and movie Dumbledore, obviously. You know, if you read the books and you get this really great sense of how J.K. Rowling writes Dumbledore in the books, and it’s a really great scene with him taunting, sort of trespassing on their hospitality, as Dumbledore himself says.

Mikey: Exactly, and the best part is he says, like, he offers them drinks, and what do they do with the drinks? The drinks just keep hitting their heads.

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: It’s like, I would love to see that!

Eric: And they won’t accept it, you know?

Mikey: That’d be ridiculous, just to see these – I can see how it doesn’t really add anything to the movie or the story, but like it shows you a little bit more of Dumbledore’s character. Like, “Yes I’m going to pour drinks for everyone,” and then the Dursleys are just so frightened and refuse to touch anything magical that’s just hitting their head, you know, juice or whatever spilling out and hitting them, and they’re just like, “Will you stop this!?” You know, Vernon getting upset with the big old vein and all that.

Eric: I’m disappointed with how little the Dursleys are in the films. It’s not a big concern of mine, but I really like seeing it done, I really like the actors doing it, and you can kind of tell that they kind of enjoy doing it. But obviously Richard Griffiths is getting – I don’t want to say, well, he’s very concerned. He – in this article that we have, he says he asked J.K. Rowling to write a bigger part for Vernon. That seems like – that seems quite interesting. You’d say, “could you write me a bigger part for the movie,” and she said no, and rightfully so. I think that the Dursleys have always served a particularly significant – a certain function. They serve a purpose in the books and then they’re gone, that’s it, you know? But there’s always been the sense of returning to Privet Drive and it seems so upsetting to me. It just upsets me a lot that the Dursleys aren’t even going to be in Half-Blood Prince.

Laura: Yeah, but I mean…

Eric: It’s another opportunity missed.

Laura: Honestly, thinking about it though, I mean, just thinking about the way Mikey described it, there were a couple of important things that happened in the Dursley scene, like Harry noticing Dumbledore’s hand, but that’s all stuff that they can do like as they’re walking down the road or whatever. Like, “Oh, Professor, what happened to your hand?” and, you know?

Mikey: And he’s like, “Not now, Harry,” you know, it’s like one of those brush off things.

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: You know, like again, the Dursley scene – everything important that happens there we can live without, because we can pick it up again.

Micah: Yeah, you’re right.

Mikey: The only – and I’m thinking about it again, I haven’t read the book in a while – the only important thing is the hand, and he says, “Not now, Harry.” And again, if it starts on the street or starts in the house, that could be picked up right away, you know, where even if Harry doesn’t notice, maybe Slughorn notices it in the house and, “Dumbledore, what happened to your hand?” and he’s like, “Had a little run in with Voldemort,” you know? There’s so many like, little things.

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: Like again, the screenwriter is re-writing a book that we’ve memorized, in a sense, so we know what’s supposed to happen and a screenwriter is taking their liberties and they’re not really necessarily – I’m sure all the screenwriters have read the book. You know, we know some actors haven’t – Michael Gambon – but it’s one of those things that they also have to look more at the movies, because this is a movie version so they have to make sure that everything in the movie is kind of – kind of continues the story from the movie standpoint, not necessarily the book standpoint.

Eric: If you guys remember, Goblet of Fire obviously begins with the murder of Frank Bryce, but then Harry wakes up and he’s at the Burrow and immediately they’re on, I think, it’s on Stoatshead Hill. They’re on the hill where they meet Cedric Diggory right in the very beginning of Movie 4 after Harry wakes up that morning. It’s just in a few quick scenes they’re already being transported to the Quidditch World Cup.

Micah: Yeah, I mean that…

Laura: No, no, no, that’s like eight chapters in, too.

Micah: The beginning of that movie went very quick.

Mikey: Yeah, that’s like a hundred pages. It’s a hundred pages worth of Quidditch.

Eric: That’s easily a hundred pages.

Mikey: And it’s done in like, five minutes. It’s like, done in five minutes.

Eric: And that was when the twins were – they blew up the fire place in the Dursleys. There was – the Dursleys have a pretty big scene in Book 4, which was completely gone from the movie. So, it’s possible to do it without. It’s just, you know…

Micah: One could argue that the other thing that’s missed in this whole thing is the relationship that exists between Dumbledore and Petunia, or Petunia and the wizarding world, and, you know, Dumbledore kind of takes a swipe at them when he makes that comment about Dudley, saying something along the lines of that they neglected in their raising of him, how he turned out. I forget the exact quote, but…

Laura: Yeah, he said they’d done more damage to Dudley in the way they that raised him.

Mikey: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, that’s quite interesting. You’re right. The relationship between Dumbledore and Petunia, or particularly any reference to Harry’s parents – any kind of thing like that seems to be absent from the movie. Except for Aunt Marge in Movie 3 – that was kept in, a little bit about bad parentage sort of thing. But it’s just something that – I think what it is, is that you’re in this film with all these British actors and they’re so good at what they do, and even things like watching David Bradley is fun to do, so you always want parts for it and it’s just the time of the film overall won’t permit all of this. It won’t permit you do to do everything you want to do with these great actors.

Micah: I agree with you, but at the same time, I mean there’s so much that’s probably able to be cut from this film in particular that leaving something like that in – I think – you could probably do. So, I’m just a little disappointed.

News Discussion: Cornelius Fudge Related to Neville Chamberlain

Laura: Right. Now, we probably need to move onto the next piece here. Actually, there was a new – and it’s not really a new interview – but it just came out with J.K. Rowling by the Spanish publication XLSemanal, and she actually talked about Cornelius Fudge, and she likened him to English Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain [pronounces it Chamber-layn]. She actually…

Eric: Chamberlain [pronounces it Chamber-lin].

Laura: Chamberlain [pronounces it Chamber-lin]. The quote is actually, “My model of the world after Voldemort’s return was, directly, the government of Neville Chamberlain in Great Britain after the Second World War, when he tried to minimize the menace of the Nazi regime for political convenience.” And this is pretty interesting considering some of the ties to our Nazi World War II parallels we brought up with Deathly Hallows. What do you guys think?

Eric: I think it’s interesting. I think not having grown up in that time, or not being familiar with that era of British history, I can still say that’s really cool. I can still say it’s cool that J.K. Rowling had someone in mind. And we knew that she kind of did when writing a satire, political satire, as she has done, taking some things satirically in government. It’s good to know specifically though, what she was thinking about and I’m interested now to read up a little bit of history and figure out what kind of guy he was.

Micah: Well, basically, he was a guy that just had a policy of appeasement towards Hitler.

Laura: Yep. [laughs] Pretty much.

Micah: I mean, he turned a blind eye to Hitler in order to advance his own political career, which, if you think about it, sounds a lot like Fudge, you know, turning a blind eye to Voldemort and…

Eric: Hoping he would go away?

Micah: …hoping that the things that were starting to occur around him wouldn’t fully materialize, and really acts out against Dumbledore, thinking that he’s just out on a quest for power, but, in fact, Fudge – and I know I’ve said this episodes ago. I really hated Fudge when I was rereading Order of the Pheonix because I thought ways he was just as worse, if not more horrible, than Umbridge.

Laura: Oh yeah. I mean, essentially acting as an enabler. Really. Whether he meant to or not, you know? Just completely useless.

Eric: She spoofed that guy. Ha-ha.

[Eric and Laura laugh]


Laura: All right, well, Micah do you want to move us onto some announcements for this week?

Micah: Yes. [chuckles] Just a reminder to vote for us on Podcast Alley. We are in the new month of February, and we are currently number six over at Podcast Alley, so just remember to go ahead and vote. And I think that’s the only announcement, right?

Mikey: Well, Andrew sent me and Eric the e-mail, but I think he left you a statement – “Andrew’s Statement to the Fans.” I think you need to read that, Micah.

Micah: Do I really have to is the question. [laughs]

Laura: Uh, yes…

Mikey: Yes.

Laura: You need to read it.

Eric: Let’s just pretend it doesn’t exist.

Laura: No, no, read it.

Micah: Okay.

Mikey: Guys, come on. Andrew took all this time to write up a nice statement to the fans…

Laura: I have to say, it’s like New York Times Bestseller worthy.

Micah: Oh, really?

Laura: This is the best writing I have ever seen.

Micah: I guess I have to read it.

Mikey: Have you read it all the way through? Have you read it all the way through?

Micah: I haven’t yet.

Mikey: It’s pretty…

Laura: It’s massive. Oh my goodness.

Mikey: I was like, “Wow.” Okay, Micah, you do the honors. Please?

Micah: “Dear Loyal Listeners, I regret to inform you my poor puppy dog is suffering from a severe case of kitty cooties. It happened whilst I walked my dog through the local PetSmart just about ten minutes from my home. I’m only at his bedside for the next few days and will be back on the show next week. Back and better than ever. Actually, you’ll hear me in a little bit when I conclude my interview with Freddie Highmore. Laura, Micah, Eric, and Mikey smell.” That’s nice. “Moreover, I just lied to you all. I have no dog. There’s no such thing as kitty cooties, and there isn’t a PetSmart ten minutes from my home. I still stand by the fact that Laura, Micah, Eric and Mickey all smell. Matt and I will see you next week, lovers.”

Mikey: Wow! Andrew Sims.

Laura: Wow! My life is so impacted.

Mikey: My life is now complete. No Spielberg doing seventh movie? I am happy now. I’m happy without a sixth movie now.

Laura: I have to go out of my way to say that Laura doesn’t smell.

Mikey: Neither do I.

Laura: Laura actually wears a very nice perfume, and actually, it’s pretty cool, because when you pick it up the bottle purrs. Listen.

[Perfume bottle purrs]

Micah: Do you shower, or do you just put on perfume?

Eric: Oh, wait. You have a purring bottle of perfume?

Laura: Yeah, listen. Here, listen.

[Perfume bottle purrs]

[Micah laughs]

Laura: Isn’t that awesome?

Eric: Do it again! Do it again!

[Laura laughs]

Laura: No, they have already heard it twice, but yeah, I do shower too – daily actually, Micah.

Micah: Well, that’s good. That’s good.

Laura: I know that must be a shock.

Micah: I was just wondering why…

Mikey: I do too. I shower daily too.

Micah: …Matt got thrown in there.

Mikey: That’s why I don’t smell.

Eric: Well, what exactly was Andrew – so, Andrew was walking Matt, right?

[Mikey laughs]

Mikey: I know he is his puppy dog.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: And they were at PetSmart? Or was Matt? Matt was walking – I’m confused here, ’cause Andrew was walking his puppy or…

Laura: Are you saying Matt is Andrew’s puppy? Is that what you are saying?

Eric: What? Is he not?

[Laura laughs]

Mikey: Oh, no, no.

Mikey: Lets move on.

Laura: Okay. Apologies, Andrew.

Mikey: Let’s go to Muggle Mail.

Micah: Muggle Mail!

Eric: Matt was walking Andrew and…

Mikey: Muggle Mail! Muggle Mail. Let’s go.

Laura: Yeah, take it off, Micah.

Mikey: You guys can stay back there. Micah and I are going to Muggle Mail.

Muggle Mail: Commission versus Committee, Mad-Eye’s Eye, Picture of Dumbledore and Grindewald, the Imperius Curse, the Locket Enhancing Umbridge’s Evilness, and Last Week’s Make the Connection

Micah: Yeah. Okay. I’ll take the first one. This is about the chapter title I guess you guys were discussing last week, and this person stresses that it’s not the Muggleborn Registration Commission, it’s the Muggleborn Registration Committee. Come on, guys! What were you thinking!

Laura: Sorry!

Micah: God forbid you say the wrong word every once in a while. I mean there’s not people out there listening to every word that we say. All right. But anyway…

Mikey: I apologize for everything I ever said.

Micah: You better apologize.

Mikey: Mm-kay.

Micah: I really don’t care if you apologize.

Mikey: [whispers] I do.

Micah: “Do you think that Mad-Eye’s eye could see through walls etc., when it was in the door? I would assume so, because it worked with Imposter Moody, but if the door is an inanimate object…” I think these are all points that this person is trying to make.

Laura: Yeah, I think that was the reason it was there. I was almost under the impression that it was being used like it was a peep hole.

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: In fact, there was a telescope type thing attached to it on the other side of the door…

Micah: Right.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: …which Harry specifically had to pull off and get the eye out of. So…

Micah: Right. Yeah, and in this chapter that we’re about to discuss in a few minutes, he even references it. He says that’s how they knew that there were intruders was from the eye.

Eric: Well, the eye was missing.

Micah: Right.

Mikey: Yeah. But again, that still brings up question. Where did Mad-Eye get this magical eye that no one else can recreate? You know what I mean? I mean if it can see through walls, then why didn’t everyone just replace their eye with like a magical eye, you know what I mean?

Eric: Yeah, it seems like everybody wants one. You know, it would be like the Tickle-Me-Elmo of the wizarding world.

Laura: Oh, geez.

Micah: He was powerful. Maybe be created it himself. You never know.

Laura: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.

Mikey: Yeah, maybe.

Micah: All right. Next point: “Mikey I love your theory about rain cloud frizbees.”

Mikey: That would be kind of cool, right? I don’t know. L-O-L.

Micah: And this all, by the way, is all coming from Esther, 15, in Jerusalem. So thank you, Esther, for sending in all these points. The next thing she says: “The picture is Grindelwald and Dumbledore. When Harry sees the thief through Voldemort’s mind, he realizes later that it was in the picture in the book about Dumbledore.”

Laura: Did we not…

Eric: We were confused. We thought it was like Dumbledore’s brother or something.

Mikey: The picture on the cover of the book. We didn’t know who it was at the time.

Eric: Yeah. It was just a teenage boy. And it wasn’t introduced, but later on it’s revealed to be Grindelwald.

Micah: Next point: “Pius Thicknesse was under the Imperius Curse by Yaxley. The Imperius curse doesn’t allow people to read minds, and even if it did, Voldemort wasn’t the one who had cast the curse on Thicknesse.”

Eric: That was the conclusion we reached.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: So, that’s all good.

Micah: Okay. And then: “Like Eric said, the locket probably did have an effect on Umbridge. She was just so much in her element being evil that the locket enhanced her evilness.” And she thinks that Jo said something about that as well.

Mikey: Yep. That’s what Eric said.

Eric: So the last point…

Micah: Why don’t you handle that, because I wasn’t here for that Make The Connection.

Eric: Okay, so the last point here is the Make he Connection for Andrew, re: furry hat. She says, “What about Crabbe or Goyle’s furry hat in Movie 3 in the Shrieking Shack scene, the one where Harry cries.” Or tries to – the one where Harry throws snow – oh, yeah, the one where Harry cries. Okay, he does cry. “What about Crabbe and Goyle’s furry hat in Movie 3, the Shrieking Shack scene?” I completely forgot about that, but that’s probably true. Didn’t he have like a sort of hunting, moleskin, sort of beaver hat?

Laura: Yeah, he did. Yeah.

Mikey: Yeah, but I think they all had kind of like a furry type of hat still. Like, I know Malfoy’s wasn’t – no, Malfoy didn’t have a hat. Someone had a hat that had earflaps and it wasn’t necessarily a furry animal on the outside, but it was all furry on the inside like sheep’s – like wool or something. They were all furry at some point. Plus, you know, also the Book of Monsters is also furry. You know, lots of different things are furry in the movies and the books.

Eric: But you don’t wear that on your head.

Mikey: Neville kind of wore it on him at one point.

Eric: Neville kind of… [laughs]

Mikey: Neville wore the book at one point because it was eating him, but, you know, beyond that.

Eric: That was awesome.

Laura: All right, is that it?

Mikey: That’s the end of the end of the e-mail from Esther.

Eric: Oh and Esther, and she signs, “Gold, quacks and pickles.”

MuggleCast 131 Transcript (continued)

Muggle Mail: Privet Drive Scene Cut from Movie 6

Eric: Okay, so the second Muggle Mail here is from Nora, age 18 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Subject is the Dursleys in Half-Blood Prince.

“Dear MuggleCasters, I’m writing about a question I have concerning the upcoming “Half-Blood Prince” movie. Since the Dursleys are not appearing in this film, I was wondering how you guys think the movie is going to start out. Okay, so, as we know in the book, Dumbledore pays the Dursleys a visit and picks Harry to escort him to the Burrow. Do you think the Dursleys’ absence would mean that this scene is going to be cut? It just seems a little weird to me if Dumbledore picks Harry up from Privet Drive and the Dursleys aren’t there. I would be absolutely devastated if that entire scene with Dumbledore is cut because it’s one of my favorite parts in the series, and my favorite scenes tend to be left out of the movies. Just wanted to hear your opinions on that, and love the show, thanks.” So, Mikey, we did talk about this and you think that it’s possible they’re going to start with Harry and Dumbledore walking down the lane to Slughorn’s house?

Mikey: Or straight into Slughorn’s house with all the blood and everything on the wall, you know, and then you see Dumbledore and them come running in going, “What’s going on?” You know, just – it’s like one of those things where it’s like, the Harry Potter movies, none of them have really had a real slow start. You know? They’ve all kind of – except for the first one, and even then it wasn’t slow because it was kind of slow, and then you saw the magic happen and stuff like that. You know what I mean?

Eric: Well, you see the magic happen, yeah. You see McGonagall turn from cat into woman and, you know, Richard Harris was like, [impersonates] “I should have known that you would be here, Professor McGonagall.”

Mikey: You know, and then also you see a flying motorcycle. So right away stuff happens kind of big, and I can see them just walking up the street towards the house, or running in the house, and then Harry and Dumbledore going, “Ha-ha! I’m here to help you!” And not obviously that comical, but…

Eric: And to make it perfectly clear, they did film that scene where they’re walking up the lane. If you recall.

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: There used to be a lot of news stories about Slughorn and the actor who plays Slughorn and them filming those scenes, so there is a lot of – and they chose a little town square, a small town square to do that in. So, it seems like there will be outside scenes and it won’t just be inside Slughorn’s house and then somewhere else kind of random. So, I think you’re probably right, Mikey, that might be where they swoop in for the opening credits.

Mikey: And you know what? It’s going to fit with the rest with how the other movies have started. You know, all of them have started at night. Not all of them, but…

Eric: No, no, not all of them. The second one hasn’t.

Mikey: Well, most of them have. And they fly through the clouds, and you get the title, and you get the Warner Brothers thing, and, you know, right now I’m thinking right away for this fourth movie where it’s like the music [imitates music] and then you push through the Warner Brothers thing and then you go up the little thing, and it’s all night. And again, that’s a night scene, outdoors. They’re going to fit the color scheme they’ve working with. The nice, metal Warner Brothers logo. So they definitely can do it, and the camera just drops down, see them walking up, and then Harry and Dumbledore can have that little event.

Micah: Doesn’t he have the Dark Mark above his house, also?

Mikey: No, he didn’t. That’s why Dumbledore knew he was in no real danger, because there was no Dark Mark. Because Slughorn set up his entire house that way, really quick, you know, with all the stuff there.

Eric: Wait, are you sure there was no Dark Mark?

Mikey: There was no Dark Mark, and then Dumbledore specifically says to him, “The only thing you were missing was the Dark Mark.” He was like, “Yeah, sadly, I’ve never learned that.” So he couldn’t pull it off that something had happened to him, because he never learned the Dark Mark, because he’s not a Death Eater. Guys, you should know this! That’s an easy one. Yeah, we knew it, Morsmordre. You know we know it.

Eric: We know what the incantation is: Morsmordre.

Laura: All right, well, Mikey, do you want to read the next one?

Muggle Mail: Last Week’s Chapter-by-Chapter

Mikey: From Antoine, age 18, from Los Angeles, California. California, here we go. So his message is:

“Hello, Mugglecasters. Just started listening to your podcast very recently, even though my friends told me to listen to you guys ages ago. I have some comments to make about last week’s Chapter-by-Chapter. First, regarding Ron’s spell work. Like someone said – sorry, I can’t tell your voices apart…” and so on. Actually, I should read that whole thing, huh? I shouldn’t just paraphrase, huh? Let me go back for a minute. “First regarding Ron’s spell work. Like someone said – sorry, I can’t tell your voices apart from the others except Jamie and Laura – Ron was under pressure and had no idea what spell to use. Plus, when had Ron ever been known to solve a problem like getting rid of a raining cloud? He’s pretty incompetent when it comes to spell work. Second, I liked the name Undesirable Number One. It’s very wizard-like, and Ministry-like. They have funny names like that, and like Arthur’s enormously large department name title, which I believe is called Head of the Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects. Trying to say that five times fast. Third, regarding the voices of the actors in the film during the Polyjuice scene, it annoyed me a bit, as well, that Harry and Ron’s voices were dubbed over Crabbe and Goyle’s, but looking at it from the viewer’s point of view, and to introduce Polyjuice Potion, they had to have their voices that way to establish that, within the facade of Crabbe and Goyle, were Harry and Ron. In “Deathly Hallows,” though, the voices will probably be kept to the original actors, like with Moody’s, and the only changes will be when they become their respective Ministry workers, and when they begin to change back into themselves. For seven Potters, it can go either way.” Ron’s spell work? What do you guys think?

Laura: I mean, I honestly agree. He was probably under pressure. I mean, I don’t know. I think – and I mean, I think a lot of people get this impression from me, that I hate Ron or something, because I’ve mentioned…

Eric: You do, don’t you?

Laura: No, I don’t. I…

Mikey: You don’t like him because he’s got red hair. Come on, we all know this, Laura.

Laura: No, red heads are very attractive.

[Mikey laughs]

Laura: But the thing – my thing with Ron is mostly, sometimes, he’s just very daft, and I get annoyed with that, but I really do love Ron as a character. He’s actually my favorite of the trio. So I think a lot of the time people sit around and say, “Oh, Ron’s dumb. Ron would be nothing without the other two.” And I don’t think that’s true. I think he’s just a different person. And he operates in different ways. So, he…

Micah: What exactly was his relation too, though? I mean, I know you were talking, obviously, about him in the chapter, but is it just that he doesn’t seem smart enough to be able to try and get rid of something like that on his own? Or…

Laura: I think – I think there was a debate going on. I don’t remember specifically about whether Ron was under pressure, or he just didn’t know. If he was just dumb, or whatever.

Mikey: Yeah, I’m the one that said like, “”Come on, Ron was the one…” I kind of stood up for Ron, saying that he was under pressure. You know, if you were under that much pressure – Ron doesn’t do well under pressure. We’ve kind of seen that historically through the books and the movies. And that’s where we kind of stepped up, and I kind of stepped up for him. But the last part of the comment from…

Eric: Antoine.

Mikey: …Antoine is that he’s pretty incompetent when it comes to spell work. And I don’t think Ron’s incompetent. I just think he’s not, you know – Hermione is the bright one.

Eric: His wits get in the way.

Mikey: Yeah, he thinks too much for a lot of things, and Hermione – it doesn’t look like he does, but he does on a lot of things. He’s a powerful wizard, and we see that by the end of the book. I mean, come on, he was able to come back and destroy the first Horcrux that they destroy together, you know what I mean?

Eric: Yeah, and he was able to open the Chamber of Secrets, which is…

Mikey: Which is pretty awesome.

[Eric and Mikey laugh]

Mikey: But it’s one of those things where, yes, he was under pressure, and I don’t think he’s incompetent. I think it’s – you know, we’ve constantly seen him compared to the brightest wizard of their age, which is Hermione, and, come on, Harry Potter is Harry Potter. The book’s titled after him. Harry’s got to be cool. You know what I mean? So…

Laura: Right.

Mikey: So yeah, other than you just not liking red heads, Laura, I agree, you know?

Laura: Mikey…

Mikey: Sorry.

Laura: I dyed my hair red three months ago.

Eric: Okay, okay, okay.

Mikey: Oh yeah, I forgot, okay. Moving on.

Laura: I love red heads!

Eric: Oh, I forgot about that. I love that too. That was really nice.

Muggle Mail: Umbridge and the Locket

Eric: Okay, fourth Muggle Mail from Rachael Walsh, age 32, from San Antonio, Texas. She says: “I don’t think the locket bothers Umbridge, because it knows that she reveres the locket. It knows she’s not trying to destroy it. She thinks that the locket is very similar to the one ring, and how it affects the wearer when it knows it’s in danger.” That’s a good comparison between the one ring and the Horcrux.

Laura: Right, and we actually have that as one of our discussion points for Chapter-by-Chapter, which we’re going to be getting to, but first we have the second and final part of our interview with Freddie Highmore, so, Andrew, why don’t you take it away?

Second and Final Part of Interview with Freddie Highmore

Andrew: Now how about those magical creatures? That must have been another challenge. Was it hard acting with these – what were they? You said ping pong balls. And I think I looked in a picture book in the bookstore the other day, and they were – they were just props. Is it hard acting with those?

Freddie: I guess it’s a bit harder than just having an actor there, but they did quite a lot to make it easier, and they had the actors pre-record some of the voiceovers for the animated characters, and they were played over a loud speaker, so we had something to – to react to.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Freddie: And also, we were shown pictures and various animations and they had big cardboard cutouts of the – of the creatures, so we knew what we were looking at. It wans’t just, like, going at it blind.

Andrew: Right, right. Now, what was your favorite scene to film?

Freddie: Favorite scene to film. I think it was kind of fun doing the scene on the gryffin. There’s a gryffin ride towards the middle of the film.

Andrew: Okay.

Freddie: And it was kind of fun. We did it all on – all on blue screen and, basically, it was like a – almost like a bucking bronco kind of thing that you sit on, and it moves around. They have big wind machines in your face and Mark Waters, the director, was always trying to call out, and we couldn’t really hear him, but it was – it was a great scene to film.

Andrew: Cool. I know a lot of fans are going to be coming to this movie already having read the book. My brother actually just started reading Spiderwick a few weeks ago and he loves the books, and he loved you in Willy Wonka. Are these book readers going to – those who have read Spiderwick, do you think they’re going to really love the movie?

Freddie: Yeah, I think so. I think it’s – it hasn’t changed things too much, which, I think, you know, sometimes films can do with a book. And it’s kept with all the – all the magical creatures that are already written in there and, I mean, I know there are other things that you can get with the books before, like field guides…

Andrew: Yeah.

Freddie: …and stuff, and that all matches in with the film quite well.

Andrew: Okay, great. Great. Now, moving on to your career.

[Freddie laughs]

Andrew: [laughs] Have you always wanted to be an actor?

Freddie: It’s always been something I found – like it would be fun to do, you know, and have a go at. And when I was younger, I was just got lucky, really, as I say to everyone, I’m just a pretty lucky guy.

Andrew: Uh huh.

Freddie: And I started by doing some smaller parts and they got bigger and bigger and that’s how it really was. There was never one moment when I said “Oh, I’d really – I’m just going to go for being – being an actor now and that’s what I want to be for the rest of my life.”

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Freddie: Because – I don’t know. I guess I can still change my mind, you know, and wake up and say, “Oh, I’d love to try something else.” So…

Andrew: Right.

Freddie: Just keep my options open, but, as I said, at the moment, it’s – it’s just a great thing to do.

Andrew: Great. And do you want to continue it as you get older?

Freddie: Yeah, definitely, at the moment. But keep going at school at the same time, so…

Andrew: Right.

Freddie: You can change your mind…

Andrew: Well…

Freddie: …if there’s an issue or something terrible.

Andrew: Yeah. While you’re filming, are you being tutored or do you just take breaks from school?

Freddie: No, we have a tutor that always comes out with us.

Andrew: Okay.

Freddie: I mean, that’s kind of the law. You have to keep going with school, I’m afraid.

Andrew: Oh okay.

Freddie: And so, we normally do – it’s three hours a day you have to do.

Andrew: Okay.

Freddie: I mean, it works quite well. The school can e-mail out the work and we – you know, I do it with my tutor and go through it and we e-mail it back and they mark it, you know, within 24 hours or so, so…

Andrew: Okay.

Freddie: …with the time difference, it’s almost like I’m still at school.

Andrew: Yeah. Now, do you want to continue on taking films such as Willy Wonka and Spiderwick, which are sort of fantasy, or do you prefer roles like August Rush?

Freddie: I think it’s nice to do different things every time.

Andrew: Yeah.

Freddie: And, you know, not just do – I mean, like, I think I’ve managed to do that. I’ve done one with twins.

Andrew: Mhm.

Freddie: And then there was Charlie and August Rush, where I played the guitar and was like, you know, a musical person.

Andrew: Yeah.

Freddie: And I think it’s kind of interesting not to have to play the same character every time and be able to create a new one and work with them in every way so it’s new every time. You’re not playing the same person and the same old emotions.

Andrew: Right, right. And do you have any other movies lined up in the future?

Freddie: No, not at the moment.

Andrew: Okay. Are you going to take a break?

Freddie: I’ve got GCSC’s, which…

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Freddie: …are big exams here that we’ve got to do.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Freddie: So, I’m working towards them. I just did my mock exams last week. So that’s practice for it and they went quite well, actually. Hopefully, in June, the real ones will be a success, but…

Andrew: Oh, great.

Freddie: …I don’t know, I’m just preparing for them.

Andrew: Yeah.

Freddie: But maybe in the summer or something, if anything came up.

Andrew: Okay, cool. So what we’re going to do now is Freddie is going to ask you guys a question related to Spiderwick, and if you don’t know the answer you can always check SpiderwickChronicles.comfor the answer. Freddie’s going to ask you a question and then the first 15 people to sent their contact information and the correct answer to kaitlin at staff dot mugglenet dot com will receive a pair of tickets to see the movie in IMAX. So, Freddie, what is the question this week?

Freddie: The second question is: What are the two distinct varieties of trolls?

Andrew: All right, so once again, send your correct answer and contact information to kaitlin at staff dot mugglenet dot com. That’s K-A-I-T-L-I-N at staff dot mugglenet dot com. And the first 15 people to send in their correct answers will receive a pair of tickets to see the movie in IMAX.

Freddie: Thank you !

Andrew: Thank you very much, Freddie, for joining us.

Freddie: Yeah, it was great to talk to you.

Andrew: It was great talking to you, too, and we’re definitely looking forward to seeing Spiderwick when it comes out on February 15th. Thanks very much!

Freddie: Perfect, yeah. I think you’ll have great fun.

Andrew: Yes. We will. Bye!

Freddie: See you!

Chapter-by-Chapter: Chapter 14 – The Thief

Laura: All right, well, thank you, Andrew. That was a really, really good interview. Very interesting. It’s always good to hear from Freddie Highmore. He’s a good kid. So we’re moving on to Chapter-by-Chapter now for Chapter 14: The Thief. Just for a brief summary of this chapter: It’s right after Harry, Ron and Hermione infiltrate the Ministry and they’ve Apparated. They tried to go back to Grimmauld Place but Yaxley, I believe…

Mikey: Yep, Yaxley.

Laura: …was it? That like grabbed Hermione’s sleeve? So they’ve had to abandon Grimmauld Place. They can’t go back. So now they’re in the forest where the Quidditch World Cup takes place, and Harry actually sees into Voldemort’s mind when he’s using Occlumency against Gregorovitch to find out who took the Elder Wand.

Secrets Under the Fidelius Charm

Laura: So just looking at some of the points here, what I found interesting, towards the beginning of the chapter, Hermione talks about how you can actually give away the secret under the Fidelius Charm without meaning to, because she said, “I gave away the secret, didn’t I?” Because he was holding onto her. So, theoretically, let’s say if somebody followed someone else under an Invisibility Cloak into a place that was protected…

Eric: Mmmm. No, no, no, no. No, that won’t actually work.

Mikey: No, no, no, no. I caught it right away, too, Eric.

Eric: Yeah. I think that was a very – unfortunately for Hermione and everyone else, it was a very specific way of telling the secret to Yaxley. The fact that they Apparated into the place – if – the way magic works in Side-Along Apparition, I assume it would be as if Hermione were taking Yaxley there to invite him in for a cup of tea. To, you know, to take him and show him, so – because they Apparated into, or onto the front doorstep, you know – they Apparated to a part that was underneath the Fidelius Charm. That was Hermione basically telling Yaxley the secret by taking him there. Even though she didn’t want to take him there, she did, and that was what she meant.

Laura: So this was – you’re basically saying this was a cause of almost a flaw with Apparition, because you can actually potentially take somebody somewhere with you even if you don’t want to if they touch you. Right.

Mikey: Yeah.

Eric: If they were to grab hold, yeah.

Laura: Mhm.

Mikey: Yeah, same thing. And a big thing is the wording for it, I believe – because I read it last week and I haven’t reread it again – but it was like, “I took him within the Fidelius Charm’s…”

Eric: Bubble.

Mikey: “…power”.

Laura: Yeah, that’s right.

Mikey: Yeah, within it. You know what I mean? And it was because it was within it that she kind of brought him in, and since Dumbledore died, everyone that knew was now Secret-Keepers. And I’m sure Voldemort probably asked Snape, “Well where was the Order of the Phoenix?” They probably all left and I wouldn’t be surprised if, you know, Snape had said, “They’re all gone. They’re not that stupid, so it doesn’t matter.” But if Yaxley was like, “That’s where Harry Potter is,” I’m sure they’ll – you know, Yaxley is not a Secret-Keeper because he wasn’t told, but Snape was, so Snape could actually go ahead and say, “Hey, this is where it is,” and get all the Death Eaters in, so, you know?

Abandoning Kreacher

Eric: Well, they wrote in the book as well. She wrote then that at that very moment Yaxley could be Apparating people into Grimmauld Place now that he knew where it was, now that he was able to see it and the charm – he was basically told, either the charm itself broke, or Yaxley knows where Grimmauld Place is. When I was reading that the first time, it was very emotional for me because I was getting very attached to Kreacher, and just the idea that they paint Harry as thinking about Kreacher, who was making steak and kidney pie for them, you know, well, what would happen to Kreacher? Should we call him or not? And they decide that they shouldn’t actually call him just in case Yaxley can trace where Kreacher is going. So they had to abandon Kreacher in this scene and I thought that was particularly emotional.

Laura: Right.

Micah: It was, but the thing that I didn’t understand about that, you know, you could argue either way on their decision. But I don’t know that Kreacher wouldn’t have been able to come without any sort of problem because he’s under the control of Harry. It’s not like he would just allow Yaxley to do anything to him.

Eric: Or to grab hold, or he would be smart enough, I think. See, the other thing I think about Hermione – she panicked, you know? It all happened so fast. Yaxley grabbed hold of her while they were Apparating, you know, and it all happened so fast. I think if they did – if they did want to call Kreacher, he would’ve been able to – or, you know, you could say, “Kreacher, come here when you’re safe,” you know, sort of thing and Kreacher would hear that and then wait to Apparate. That sort of thing I think could happen. But then again, we’ve seen even Mundungus Fletcher – we’ve seen him sort of dodge Kreacher when Kreacher was searching for him. So there may have been a risk involved in either tracing Kreacher, and I think they were right because they don’t – the thing about the trio is that they don’t actually really know what’s going on. They don’t know – it’s not even revealed to them yet that there is a taboo, as they call it, on the word “Voldemort.” They don’t know how the Death Eaters found them last time. They really don’t want to take any chances.

The Trio Not Thinking Ahead

Micah: Right, and I think a lot of it goes back to…

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: …this idea of just being rushed and being completely moronic in some ways in how they go about it. I mean, going into the Ministry of Magic, and I didn’t get to weigh in on this last week, but going in there dressed up as three officials and just kind of thinking that there would be no consequences whatsoever, that they wouldn’t get caught in any way, shape, or form – it was just unreal. And you think about Harry feeling the need to go down to the trial that was taking place because – and I can’t remember who brought this up – but he has a thing for saving people. And it’s just – it gets in the way sometimes. And I know that they had to go down there to try and…

Eric: Get Umbridge’s necklace.

Micah: …get the locket.

Mikey: Well, he had to get Hermione out. No, I agree with you, Micah, and even it’s brought up in the book. Harry is in Umbridge’s office by himself and he’s like, “I can’t believe…” – I don’t remember the exact wording, because, again, it was last week but it was along the lines of he can’t believe that they spent all that time planning how to get in but they didn’t have a single plan what to do once they’re in if they got separated.

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: They didn’t think about that at all. And that’s one of those things. It’s like, “Okay, we’re three random people.”

Micah: Exactly.

Mikey: What are the chances if some Death Eater, Rancorn – Ranhorn, or whatever Harry was – Sorry, I don’t know it off the top of my head.

Eric: Rancorn.

Mikey: Rancorn, yeah. Rancorn and the guy that Ron was, he’s from Magical Maintenance, and these people probably don’t hang out.

[Micah laughs]

Mikey: They’re not arriving at the same time. So there’s not a really good chance that they hang out together. How would these three people walk around together inside the Ministry of Magic? And Hermione’s smart; she should’ve realized this. But they didn’t think about it, and so they definitely get in over their head with that.

Laura: And not to mention, Harry actually tells them that the reason that they knew there were intruders was because he took Mad Eye’s eye off her office door. And it’s like, you know, I understand that it’s infuriating to see that they’ve taken this. But the thing is, Mad Eye’s dead now, you know? And it’s just – I understand that there’s a certain amount of closure they would gain from that, but it was really a stupid move.

Micah: It really was.

Eric: What just shocks me is that if they had planned it for months, which they had, Hermione makes a duplicate locket, which is something that I was particularly proud of her for doing. Last week, I mentioned, “Wow, that’s so cool. Hermione made a duplicate,” so I think if they would’ve talked a little bit or if Hermione would’ve spoken the plan, she would’ve told Harry how to make a duplicate. And if he wanted to take Mad-Eye’s eye, he could of at least put something back in its place instead of being that obvious by just taking the eye. It just seems like a not very well coordinated plan, which is just – we’re not bashing the trio, necessarily. I mean I particularly enjoy how the mystery unfolds as to whose identities they did take, but it’s still a bit of a leap and it’s a bit of a just sort of – they fall into the Ministry and don’t expect to get caught. It’s no wonder they’re in over their heads. They’re just kind of still blundering.

Micah: It’s almost like it’s one of those scenes where you see Mad-Eye banging his head against the desk if he was still…

Laura: Yeah.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Micah: …alive, because he would just be so infuriated that Harry would do something like that.

Eric: Well, same thing happens in Gringotts, doesn’t it? Don’t you remember? They just sort of blunder in, you know, with no real plan.

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: You know what, though? It’s who these three characters are. It kind of shows you that they’re still kids, you know what I mean? They’re kind of bumbling through this, trying to defeat the darkest wizard ever, and they really don’t have that good of a plan. I remember reading the book, my first time reading through, when Lupin shows up at Grimmauld Place, I was excited going, “Yes, now they can finally do what they need to do because they have someone helping them.” And come on, Lupin. He even says, “I was your teacher,” and then Harry goes off on him. And I’m like okay, I understand why Harry did this, but it’s one of those things where it’s like, now they’re still on their own, though. And they got in there. And what was Hermione doing? Polyjuice Potion only lasts for so long. She’s going to be sitting there taking notes and turn back into Hermione Granger. You know what I mean? And Ron is drenched. Harry’s running around – it’s ridiculous. But they’re still kids, you know?

Micah: And not only…

Mikey: They’re not even adults. Well, they’re seventeen now. So…

Micah: Yeah. Not only did they not consider who they were, they didn’t consider what their jobs entailed. You know, what you just said – that she was going to be sitting there taking notes. It was just very rushed but let’s, I guess, get back to – Eric, you brought up earlier the whole taboo. Did you want to go into that a little bit more?

The Taboo That is Voldemort’s Name

Eric: Yeah. It’s interesting because in this chapter, they pitch the tent, obviously, which is the same tent as they had in Book 4, when they were at the same place they are now basically, in the same woods. They pitch the tent and they’re beginning to discuss what has just happened to them, and Harry is about to say Voldemort’s name when Ron stops him and says, “Don’t say the name!” Of course Ron then says, “Show Voldemort a little respect.” [laughs] But basically speaking, Ron has sensed, sort of precognitively in a way, that they shouldn’t be saying “Voldemort.” I mean, and he makes a great point and he says, “Look at where that got Dumbledore.” He just says, “If it really doesn’t matter that much to you, just please don’t say the name.” And, so he stops Harry from saying “Voldemort,” and I think it’s two or three times it happens where Ron quickly tells them not to say the name “Voldemort.” So Ron, in a way, even without knowing it, saves them, and I thought it was interesting, kind of cool, how Ron is piecing things together and preventing his friends from doing that.

Mikey: It’s also Ron who – because he leaves and storms out, he’s also the one that comes back and let’s them know about what’s going on when you say Voldemort’s name and that’s how they track you.

Eric: Ah.

Mikey: So, it’s him that lets them know that, and it’s kind of nice that it’s Ron throughout the entire time who says, “Don’t say it,” and we automatically assume it’s because Ron just hasn’t got enough courage to actually speak this guy’s name.

Eric: Yeah, right. We assume it’s a lack of courage thing.

Mikey: Yeah, and it’s because Hermione and Harry have, but Ron hasn’t. But then when we find out, it’s like Ron – it feels like a jinx to him. It’s one of those things where it just didn’t feel right to say, and the minute – as soon as he said it that’s when…

Eric: Now it is a jinx.

Micah: Well, he does say it in Grimmauld Place.

Eric: He does.

Micah: He says it I think it was two chapters ago or three chapters ago – but he doesn’t say it after that and you have to wonder – I know you said “precognitively,” but, you know, it’s almost like maybe he knows something or thinks he’s onto something and just what he learns while he’s away kind of confirms that. But…

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: Well…

Eric: Another thing as far as the courage flaw, is that – he was raised in a wizarding family (unlike Hermione and Harry), so he’s been raised to fear the name. He has been. None of his family would say the name either, so…

Laura: Yeah, and in relation to that, I was kind of going to say, you know – Eric, you just brought this up. Ron, out of the three of them, has had the most exposure to the wizarding world throughout his entire life. And I think this could really say something about how intuitive he might be. How he might have that over the other two, just knowing how things work and just having grown up there. Maybe he might not be able to explain why something is, but he knows somewhere deep down that they shouldn’t be saying it. And I just think it’s really great, I think it lends a great amount of credibility to Ron’s character, because people are so ready to bash him any chance they get.

Eric: Because he has red hair.

Mikey: It’s because he has read hair!

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: So…

Mikey: I think that’s the title of this episode.

Eric: No – hairist or something. Instead of racist. You’re racist if you…

Laura: Haircist.

Eric: If you’re prejudice against someone’s hair, what does that make you? A hair-racist?

Laura: Well, hair is not a race.

Eric: Well, what would you say?

Laura: I would say you’re prejudice against people with certain hair colors.

Eric: We need to come up with a word. J.K. Rowling would be able to do this.

Laura: Hairajudiced?

Eric: Hairacide?

Laura: Anyway.

Mikey: Whatever. Anyway, continue on.

Harry versus Frodo

Laura: Anyway, now that we’re done kind of discussing this whole taboo thing, I want to go back to a point that was actually brought up during our Muggle Mail. And it’s the idea of Harry wearing the locket around his neck so that it falls over his chest and that connection to Frodo wearing the one ring over his chest, and the very similar effects it has on both of them. I personally have not read Lord of the Rings in a very long time. I’ve only read it once. Mikey, I think you’re a pretty big fan, aren’t you?

Mikey: Yeah. Matt’s really the one who should really be here. I’ve only read the books, the Lord of the Rings trilogy plus The Hobbit. I haven’t really gone any further because I know there’s a lot of other books out there, like fandom type stuff.

Laura: Right. Yeah, same.

Mikey: But I’ve only read those four books about maybe two or three times, which is a lot for some books but they were really good stories. But no, I agree with you totally. There’s a huge parallel. Same thing with, you know, when Frodo first puts – wears the ring, not necessarily wearing it around his neck. He feels, you know – I think even the movies show this. It’s a totally bizarre and kind of a cold experience to him. Same thing with Harry, you know, it’s not warming up from his body heat. It stays cold. It’s this object that’s just kind of almost like pure evil, and the ring is not – the One Ring in Lord of the Rings is not considered pure evil; it’s one ring to control them all. But it’s like, you know, it’s one of those things where – I’m trying to stay away from a Star Wars parallel here, but it’s one of those things where it’s just so, like – it could be abused. Same thing with, you know, splitting your soul. That’s an abusive thing to yourself. It’s just really bad and that’s why it stays cold and…

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: And again, you see it in Ron really how it makes him just feel bad. You see it in Gollum, too, where it’s like he’s obsessed with it and it’s like it totally warps him. Same thing with Ron, it totally makes him not the same character. So, there’s definitely a parallel there.

Micah: Isn’t this where he starts to think about things happening to Kreacher…

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: …at the hands of Yaxley? So, I mean, we start to see it begin to take effect on him in very small ways and, you know, we start to get that idea that maybe there’s more to this Horcrux (or Horcruxes in general) that we end up learning about later on in the book, that they can sort of have this negative effect on you.

The Locket’s Effect

Laura: Yeah. What about this idea of the Horcrux having that kind of effect because it knows it’s in danger? Like the one Muggle Mailer brought up.

Eric: Well, I could swear I’ve seen it before or something, but just the idea that the Horcrux itself – that the locket has a little beating heart in it – like, if you were to open that locket and it would just be this little beating heart inside detached from everything – I could swear that that was so familiar to me when I read that. That just the idea of a little beating heart – and I don’t know what that’s from, it could be from another series, maybe something else I read, but it…

Laura: Pirates of the Caribbean?

Eric: Maybe.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Davey Jones?

Eric: Maybe.

Mikey: Davey Jones’ heart. “He who holds his heart controls Davey Jones.”

Eric: But no, it just seemed so familiar that it would be a little beating heart in this evil – just this thing. It was such a good – just the idea, the imagery that there would be a little beating heart inside this little locket is just really kind of creepy, and eerie, and it’s really good stuff.

Laura: Yeah. I really liked the way she described the heartbeat, too. Because, generally, when you think of something human or something good, it’s described just as a heartbeat, you know? But she actually called it a ticking.

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: Which I found interesting. Almost like – I mean, I was thinking something almost along the lines of a ticking time bomb.

Eric: Exactly.

Laura: Essentially, so…

Eric: Well, she says – she says, “Is it ticking down to how many days I have left?”

Laura: Mhm.

Eric: She…

Laura: It’s very interesting.

Mikey: That whole thing reminds me of the R.L. Stine Goosebumps – that whole, like, imagery you get.

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: It’s something you’d read back in first or second grade about the R.L. Stine Goosebumps.

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: It was a ticking heart inside this locket and it was just eerie.

Eric: Yeah. Totally. And she uses, sort of, descriptors like irregular. Like it was an irregular ticking, or it wasn’t on time with his heartbeat. You know, you sort of think of something – if it’s sapping him it would sort of join his heart, become warmer, but it stayed cold and it stayed, you know, sort of an offbeat of Harry’s heart. It’s just this separate thing – this separate entity that’s just there and it’s sort of – it’s damning, and it’s an evil, evil thing.

Micah: What I thought was kind of cool was during this whole scene with the Horcrux, J.K. Rowling, a couple of times, uses the word “mastering,” and that Harry tries to master himself, his fear, his exhaustion, and I just thought, you know, kind of going back to the whole idea of him being the Master of Death in the end of the book, that she was dropping these subtle clues very early on.

Eric: Okay, so, there are some things we didn’t mention.

Laura: Well, do you want to bring those up, Eric?

MuggleCast 131 Transcript (continued)

Ron Got Splinched

Eric: Yeah, just a few things we didn’t mention. Ron got splinched.

Micah: Yeah.

Laura: Right.

Eric: Do you guys want to talk about that at all? How interesting that was to see Ron splinched?

Mikey: That was actually really kind of a funny thing to do, because Ron got splinched and, you know, he was the one who was so worried about being splinched and, again, it kind of goes back from he knows what it is. You know what I mean?

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: Whereas the other two didn’t grow up with the horror stories of getting splinched. Plus, they also didn’t have two older brothers kind of harassing them. But he’s the one that got splinched, and it’s not his fault. It’s Hermione’s fault that he got splinched.

Eric: Yeah, because she couldn’t really concentrate.

Mikey: Because he didn’t do the Side-Along Apparation with her.

Eric: Yeah. It’s just – it’s one of those things, too. I mean, it’s written Harry always thought it was a comical thing, but seeing it on Ron, it’s obviously horrific, you know? And…

Mikey: The amount of blood and everything.

Eric: Oh, yeah. Just a piece of his arm is gone! So…

Micah: It said she was shaking. Ummm, so…

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: Well, yeah, I mean how would you feel if there was some person who you were highly attracted to and, because of you, a huge chunk of their shoulder is cut off?

Eric: He might never forgive you. [laughs]

Laura: Exactly! I think if that happened to me…

Mikey: Well, at least it was a part of his shoulder, not something else.

Laura: Oh my gosh Mikey! [laughs] Getting racy on the show, geez!

Mikey: I was thinking about something like his head, what are you talking about? Can you imagine, like, part of him is missing – or his brain is like, missing? Come on, that would’ve been ridiculous!

Laura: Yeah. That would suck. I think if that would’ve happened to me I would go bury my head somewhere and just – I would never come out.

Mikey: I couldn’t resist, come on.

Micah: Laura wouldn’t care if he had red hair, so…

[Everyone laughs]

Mikey: No, Laura would make sure that she splinched his hair off, so he grew something else back.

Laura: I like redheads! I think red hair is pretty. Leave me alone. God!

Mikey: Uh-uh, all right, Laura. Pretty. Sure, whatever you say!

Harry’s Vision

Eric: Okay, let’s talk about this Grindelwald thing, or this Gregorovich thing, this vision Harry sees. The – this is obviously – Voldemort wants something from Gregorovich…

Mikey: This is huge, this is huge.

Eric: And obviously, he doesn’t get it, but he performs Occlumency on Gregorovich to figure out what’s going on. Now, we don’t know at this point that it’s the Elder Wand. And we’re made to wonder what it could be. But this man here, the man who stole the Elder Wand from Gregorovich, who Voldemort sees when he uses Occlumency, is described as being a bird, like bird-like, a very bird-like, golden, you know, described as being perched on the window sill. That sort of thing. Now, Voldemort is the only one who can fly. But this bird-like appearance, it really threw me off when I was reading about it.

Laura: To me, when I was reading it, I just thought of him being beautiful, really.

Eric: Ah.

Laura: It wasn’t like she was describing him as being handsome. It was that he was very elegant-looking.

Eric: Yeah, kind of like a…

Laura: I don’t know. I thought of this one, and I don’t want to take it too far off-topic. I don’t know if any of you ever read Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. But there is actually one point in the book where – and I forget his name – Carew, I believe, who’s a member of Parliament, is out walking and he’s described as being a very beautiful man. He’s not – all of the words associated with him are not masculine at all. There is actually one part where he encounters Hyde and Hyde kills him. But before that, he’s propositioning him to do something, and it’s debated that it was related to homosexuality. And I just find that whole thing very interesting because, clearly, Dumbledore loved Grindelwald, and just this whole idea of him being described as beautiful…

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: …when there’s that sort of relationship going on just kind of interested me.

Eric: Yeah, I think there is a very majestic quality about being described as bird-like even if, you know, just being perched. As if you can have that sort of balance to be perched somewhere, you know? Yeah, you’re right, it does command a sort of elegance, an elegant quality, to Grindelwald. But we don’t know who he is and we don’t know what Voldemort’s doing with him. So it’s a very interesting scene, I think.

Laura: Right.

Eric: Another one of those interesting visions that Harry is having.

Mikey: Well, Harry also remarked that Grindelwald had a – again, he didn’t know it was Grindelwald at the time – had a very Fred-and-George-like quality to him, kind of a mischievous thing.

Eric: Mmmm.

Mikey: I would assume. And…

Eric: Well…

Laura: Mhm.

The Elder Wand

Eric: Well, my question – what would stealing the Elder Wand do? Beause wouldn’t the Elder Wand not – we’ve realized this later – the Elder Wand is kind of stubborn. It will not transfer ownership to a person just if you steal the Wand, is that correct? Because you have to sort of…

Laura: Right, but you can still physically steal it. It’s just not yours. You know what I’m saying?

Eric: Right, but that’s the whole thing. Even if Grindelwald just steals it, he would’ve had to duel Gregorovich for it to actually change ownership or something.

Laura: Yeah, but did he know that?

Eric: Well, I’m not sure. It just seems like stealing the Wand is the thing to do, but then you won’t be the one or whatever was emphasized later.

Mikey: But, you know what though? I think it goes back to kind the story – this where it is – this is how Dumbledore was able to beat Grindelwald, that the Elder Wand was not Grindelwald’s.

Laura: Right.

Mikey: But because the Elder Wand saw Dumbledore defeat the person who had it in possession, the Elder Wand passed to Dumbledore. And Dumbledore was its real owner.

Laura: That’s what I think it is too.

Mikey: And that’s how I see it happening. So, I don’t think Grindelwald was ever the owner of the Elder Wand. I think he just had it in possession, and then the Elder Wand skipped over Grindelwald and went to Dumbledore. Even though it’s the same thing. Again, we see Harry defeated Malfoy. Malfoy didn’t actually have the wand, but it followed it that way, you know what I mean?

Eric: Mhm.

Mikey: Because it was Malfoy that defeated – because it actually – you know, it was in the essence of actually following the owner, who defeated who, you know. Dumbledore was disarmed by Malfoy; Harry disarmed Malfoy. Whereas even though, you know, Voldemort killed – or just pulled up the wand – he’s like Grindelwald; he had it in possession, he never owned it. You know what I mean? And then he killed – he killed Snape, but Snape was never the owner, you know what I mean?

Laura: Right, exactly.

Mikey: Snape didn’t have anything, so it’s one of those things where maybe Dumbledore said to Gregoravitch, “I have the Elder Wand and I’m going to keep it safe. Let me disarm you and I win,” or something. It could have been something so simple like that. But it skipped over Grindelwald and that’s how Dumbledore got it.

Laura: Yeah. I agree with your theory about just the wand recognizing that it was just in his possession, it wasn’t necessarily – I don’t know. The way I view it is…

Mikey: That’s what I always thought…

Laura: …more like…

Mikey: …it was one of those things where like…

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: …the wand – again, it’s like again, going back to the first book, it’s the wand that chooses the…

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: …wizard. And I think the Elder Wand recognized that Dumbledore – and again, the wand was not made for someone to be powerful and cool. It’s not like the one ring, you know? It’s a great thing, but it was made for someone to use it wisely. And I think Dumbledore used – you know, the wand knew that Dumbledore was a great wizard. He defeated the owner who had it, he received the wand, and I think the wand picked Dumbledore to use it and…

Laura: Right.

Mikey: …vice versa, the same thing, you know, even though Dumbledore was defeated by Malfoy, it also picked Harry to use it. And Harry decided not to use it, but to repair…

Eric: Just a quick question.

Mikey: …his old wand.

Eric: So here’s a questions. If Dumbledore had the Elder Wand, which we know he did, did he have that at the end of Book 5? Did Dumbledore have the Elder Wand when he was battling Voldemort? Because it always seemed…

Mikey: Yeah.

Eric: It would seem like that took things away a little bit with how powerful Dumbledore was in comparison with Voldemort, because…

Micah: He had it until Draco took it away from him…

Eric: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: …on the top of the tower.

Laura: He’d had it for quite some time.

Eric: So he had had it the whole time. So he was actually – so Voldemort was defeated by the Elder Wand. You know, in a way…

Mikey: Yeah.

Eric: …which is kind of cool, when Dumbledore and Voldemort were dueling at the end of Book 5. That’s kind of cool. And…

Mikey: Yeah, and you got to remember, though, Dumbledore is like 150 years old…

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: …and he’s getting on in age, and he’s still dueling like he was against the most powerful dark wizard around…

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: …when he – and on top of that, Dumbledore knew he had no way of being able to beat Voldemort. Something’s going to happen where he wouldn’t be able to.

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: Because he knew it, because it was Harry’s destiny.

Eric: It’s true.

Mikey: Him – and on top of that, Voldemort had gone to all these processes that Dumbledore already knew that…

Eric: That Dumbledore wouldn’t use.

Mikey: …you know, he had Horcruxes.

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: Yeah, so he knew there was no way he would be able to defeat Voldemort at the time. And he was just protecting Harry and everybody else.

Eric: Oh that’s a really good point, Mikey. That’s a really good point.

Mikey: So I don’t want to say that, you know – I think the only Elder Wand – I think personally – I think if Dumbledore knew there were no Horcruxes, there was none of that, I think he would have tried to finish off Voldemort. But he knew it had to be Harry, and he had to destroy all the Horcruxes.

Eric: Right.

Mikey: That’s why he went out and he hurt his hand. He was trying to destroy the Horcruxes so Harry can do it. And he knew somewhere along the line, he would end up losing it. And actually, we find out that he had planned it, that he was going to give the Elder Wand to Snape. He was going to lose the Elder Wand so that way no one else could use it and be, you know, bad with it.

Eric: That’s really cool.

Mikey: You know what I mean?

Laura: Right.

Mikey: So, you know, Dumbledore, in all his infinite – you know, mass amounts of knowledge – he knew what was going to happen. Not, maybe, exactly how it was going to happen, but, you know, in the end, he knew Harry – you know, he knew Harry had the Cloak from the Deathly Hallows. He knew he was going to get the ring, because he – that was a Horcrux. And you know what? He knew eventually he would get, you know, the Wand, if not through Snape, he still got it, though, through Malfoy.

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: So it’s one of those things – he knew Harry was going to get all those things and he knew he was going to defeat Voldemort somehow, and he had already decided not to go with all those things to defeat Voldemort, because it was too much of a temptation. That’s why he hurt his hand. He saw the ring and he wanted to bring back his sister, his mother, everyone.

Laura: Right.

Mikey: And that’s why he put it on without destroying it first. And that’s how we found out that he hurt his hand. So I think the Wand, you know, seeing it being stolen by Grindelwald (and we don’t know it’s Grindelwald at this time) – I think it’s one of those things where we find out what happens to it, and it’s just a huge, huge turning point. Like the Elder Wand, it was a contender for a title for the book. This is like a huge thing, and it’s so kind of nonchalantly – like this is what Voldemort’s after, and then let’s move on. And I think it was really nicely downplayed in the book, that this was kind of like – this is what happened, Hermione kind of scolds Harry for, “I’m going to take over,” you know? She’s says, “You’re too tired if you’re falling asleep,” and he’s like, “I can’t control a dream.” I think it’s really well downplayed so it kind of gives us enough information that way if we were really looking for it we would’ve figured out what was going on already, but since it’s really downplayed by Hermione’s scolding Harry like we always see, we don’t think about it until – like now we can talk about it and go on and on about the Elder Wand.

Eric: As we have.

Laura: Right, yeah. We certainly could, but I really…

Mikey: That’s why – see, I was trying to wrap it up, guys, okay? Okay, it’s going on…

Eric: Yeah, let’s move on to voicemails.

Laura: Yeah, we do need to move on. So, okay.

Micah: Well, before we do that, we mentioned, right, I mean, Gregoravitch was killed by Voldemort.

Laura: Oh, that’s right, yes.

Eric: Oh, now we got to – okay, I came up with a song. Micah, you asked me…

Micah: Did you?

Eric: Yeah. You asked me to come up with a song.

[“Take My Breath Away” plays]

Voicemail: Old Actors in Half-Blood Prince

Laura: All right, now moving on to voicemails. We just got a few of them here, but Andrew actually picked these out, and he wanted to show all of the listeners at home what some good questions are, even if they’re not necessarily questions that are going to facilitate, you know, a twenty-minute long discussion, because we do get a lot of calls and it’s like ten seconds of people yelling, “Pickles!” or, “I love you [insert various male host’s name here].” So…

Micah: Jamie.

Eric: Laura’s jealous.

Mikey: My favorite is the Mickey Bs. I love the different people saying, “Mickey B…”

Laura: No, I don’t want girls to say they love me. Ummm, so basically what we’re saying is…

Mikey: “I love Laura Thompson.”

Laura: …please, please call with actual questions. Please! This is all we ask for. All right, so rolling the first one.

[Audio]: Hey, MuggleCasters. In the upcoming film, Half-Blood Prince, there’s a scene where Dumbledore has to swim across the lake with Harry to get to the cave. Also, two chapters later maybe, Snape is running from Harry, sort of, at the end, trying to get out of the Hogwarts grounds so he can Apparate. I just wanted to know what you guys thought about Michael Gambon having to swim [laughs] – he seems like a pretty old man, I don’t think he’s too in shape. And also, Alan Rickman having to really run. Because, I don’t know, those two are rather old. No offense, I mean I think they’re both great actors, but I just wanted to know what you guys thought. Love the show. Keep up the good work.

Eric: Well, I’m pretty sure Snape can run. You know?

Laura: Well, no, no, no. She’s talking about Alan Rickman, is what she’s saying, because he’s in his sixties. He’s playing a character half his age.

Eric: It may be one of those things they work around with the way they film it, sort of thing. I don’t think it will be too terribly, physically demanding. For instance, they won’t have Dumbledore, sort of, with this raging current, sort of tidal wave avoiding, sort of Dumbledore – they would have him sort of wading through the waters, you know, and I think it’s all in how they film it, you know, but I don’t think that things will be too physically demanding for the actors. I think it’s a fair enough question to ask, but I don’t think they’ll be doing anything terribly physically demanding.

Laura: No.

Micah: Well, can I ask a movie related question to Mikey here? I mean, you’re talking about Gambon swimming, but couldn’t they essentially give something to Dan Radcliffe that he would be swimming with, and they could sort of digitally enhance it, or is that not possible?

Mikey: You know, truthfully, right away my first way to do this is – the swimming part – he’s not swimming through the lake, just to clarify. I know the voicemail says swimming through the lake. It’s – he’s actually – she’s actually – I don’t know who the voicemail was from, but they’re actually referring to when Harry and Dumbledore swim to before they go into the cave where the lake is.

Eric: Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking.

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: Like the ocean before. Just to make sure, because they say “lake,” but it’s in the ocean before. What it could be is – this is how I would do it is one, we can’t have Gambon do it, he’s too old. He’s probably physically fit enough to do a lot of things, but we don’t want it to be this big old ocean, you know, where it’s gusts in the water. Well, what we’ll do is, we’ll have a body double who’s a lot younger. Put on some clothes, and swim through it, and it’s a big high camera shot, we never see the face. And then we have Gambon and Radcliffe get out of the water together and it’s like, “Oh, it was him the whole time.”

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: The magic of movie making is – you can fake a lot of things. Same thing with Rickman running. If they do a long running scene – like I can imagine Rickman running twenty feet every ten, fifteen minutes, while they set up a shot. I would be surprised if he couldn’t run twenty feet.

[Eric laughs]

Mikey: But if they had a long, you know – I would be surprised if he couldn’t! You know, I’ve seen some of his other work.

Eric: It’s not this decrepit sort of, falling apart…

Mikey: People, yeah. You know what I mean? I could be surprised if Gambon couldn’t, you know, go, you know, waist deep in water, you know, where his entire clothes is looking wet, and he gets out from waist deep and it’s like, okay. But same thing with Rickman, you know, if they shoot it from behind, they put somebody else who’s the same height as him, younger, with a Snape wig, same black cloak and black pants and boots, and you’re not going to know it’s not him.

Micah: That’s true.

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: That’s the magic of editing.

Micah: Yeah, no, you’re right.

Mikey: You know, it’s the same thing as if you’re not seeing their face, how do you know it’s them? And again, these things where they’re physically kind of, you know – if they were going to do like a big, “Swim Dumbledore, it’s hard!” Yes, maybe you need to do some of it.

Micah: Well, he does have to get in that line on the way out, about him feeling safe with Harry.

Eric: “I’m with you,” yeah.

Laura: Yeah, well, and I mean also, it wouldn’t be five minutes of them swimming across the ocean. It’s going to be a few split seconds.

Mikey: Right. The camera panning overhead, you see the cliff drop, you see them in the water, and then it goes to them getting out.

Eric: Okay, you’re getting pounded by a wave, action, pshhhh, okay, cut. That sort of thing.

Laura: Yeah, there you go, it’s done.

Mikey: Yeah, it’s going to be so…

Eric: Yeah, they can make it look like – but I like this voicemail because it was very – sort of it was a very good question, you know, you sort of think about that kind of stuff.

Laura: Right.

Mikey: Yeah, and it’s kind of harsh for me when people ask about movie stuff, because I do this for a living.

Eric: Yeah, you shot them down. You were totally like, “That’s crap.” [laughs]

Mikey: Yeah, no, it’s not crap, it’s a good question. It’s just, for me, the magic of movie making…

Eric: You know how fake it is.

Mikey: My girlfriend makes fun of me all the time because, like, I could do that. Like, I could do a lot of the stuff we see in movies. I don’t do a lot of the 3D stuff, but I can do a lot of the things, and the magic of movie making – it’s kind of gone for me.

[Eric laughs]

Mikey: I love movies, though, so when people ask questions like this, it’s one of those things where it’s like, I know how they did that, you want to know? I can tell you and I can spend hours talking about film, but we’re not going to do that.

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: That’s what is so cool about it. Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, we know.

Micah: I think in a way, you’re taking away the realistic aspect of it, being that they’re not just going to keep filming if Rickman runs out of breath or something like that, you know?

Laura: Okay, let’s move on to the next voicemail, you guys.

Voicemail: Regulus Black’s Murderer

[Audio]: Hey, MuggleCasters. I’m calling in reference to Episode 129. You guys keep saying over and over that Death Eaters killed Regulus Black, but in the fifth Harry Potter book, doesn’t Sirius tell Harry that Voldemort killed him himself? Love the show, keep it up. Bye.

Eric: No, in Order of the Phoenix, in Order of Phoenix

Micah: Okay.

Laura: Yeah, that is what Sirius says.

Micah: No.

Eric: No, it’s not.

Micah: It’s not.

Laura: But I think… I thought…

Micah: I have the quote, I have the quote.

Mikey: No, it’s not, it’s not.

Micah: I did research on this question, okay?

Mikey: Yes! Micah, you’re the man.

Micah: So, we have an actual answer. Order of the Phoenix, okay? Page 112, Sirius says “No, he was murdered by Voldemort, or on Voldemort’s orders more likely. I doubt Regulus was ever important enough to be killed by Voldemort in person.” So, that’s the answer to the question.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: And that’s him underestimating his brother. Now, Regulus obviously really died by getting pulled into the lake after he replaced the locket with the, you know, after – from drinking the potion and needing water. But nobody knows that.

Laura: Right.

Eric: But Sirius tells Harry that Voldemort – that he doesn’t think Regulus was important enough to be killed by Voldemort directly. But, you know, it’s possible that – either way, Regulus tried to back out; you can’t back out of the Death Eaters, and boom.

Laura: Okay, all right, next voicemail.

Voicemail: Being Sorted Into Slytherin

[Audio]: Hey, guys, my name’s Amanda and I’ve been a listener for like a couple of weeks now so, but I have a question about the Sorting. If Slytherin actually stressed to the extremes the whole thing of Pureblood, Pureblood, Pureblood, why were Harry, Voldemort, and Snape considered to be put into Slytherin, if neither of them are pureblood? And then there must be – why would that even come up? Okay, thanks, guys, bye.

Eric: Good question.

Laura: I really hate to draw this parallel again – well, it’s not that I hate it, but I feel like sometimes it’s kind of overdone, but if you look at certain – oh gosh, I don’t want to say the Nazis again…

[Eric laughs]

Laura: …but basically, [laughs] if you look at the Nazis during World War II, which is all we’ve talked about for the past two episodes, they also had people in their ranks who didn’t fit the Aryan description, and their explanation for that was, that while over the many centuries past, their lines had become “impure,” they still were honorary because they held those “values.” And I think the reason the Sorting Hat would want to put Harry into Slytherin was because of the reason we’ve been given all along – because there was a little bit of Voldemort in him and it sensed it, and of course Voldemort and Snape also held those values of Purebloods being superior, so..

Eric: I think it’s one of those things where that’s why the Sorting Hat chooses Houses – that’s why the Founders aren’t still alive or not why, but because – I mean, Slytherin was very adamant that only Pureblood wizards should be trained, so he took those kinds of wizards into his house. He got upset with the other founders and left Hogwarts. And in his absence the other founders were able to make it a little bit more, I think, well rounded. I think they were able to make the four Houses a little bit more well rounded and just sort of allow Slytherin to include non-Purebloods, but who sort of practiced the other skills – the secondary characteristics of a Slytherin, of being whatever those may be.

Micah: I think even if you go back to Goblet of Fire where that was the Sorting Hat’s song – talked about the four Houses, specifically with Slytherin it talked about great ambition, and all three of those characters, regardless of bloodline, were highly ambitious individuals and it’s possible the Sorting Hat saw that in them.

Eric: But it does seem that – and it is true that Slytherin was very important – you know, he did think only Purebloods should be educated, but I think because he left, you know, Hogwarts, then everyone else was able to make Slytherin a more fair House.

Voicemail: Was Umbridge Possessed by the Locket?

Laura: Yeah, I think that’s a really good point, Eric, actually. So, are we done with that one? Yes? No? Okay. Next One:

“In ‘Deathly Hallows,’ Hermione is explaining how to destroy Horcruxes. She said that reason Ginny was possessed by Tom Riddle’s diary was because she grew attached to it. Do you think Umbridge was also attached to the locket and thereby possessed as well?”

Eric: I don’t like excusing Umbridge’s actions because she was possessed, I think – we talked last week about how I think the locket enhanced Umbridge’s sort of – it allowed her to be more comfortable to do things – well, not even that, but just sort of gave her the – gave her an edge, you know, that she wouldn’t – but I don’t think she realized that the edge existed, I think she just felt particularly full of malice and I don’t think the locket ever made itself aware to – or made itself obvious to Umbridge, for what it was. I think she was just really proud to have the locket. I don’t think it possessed her, necessarily, but I do think there was some kind of power relationship going on

Laura: Yeah, I agree with that.

Micah: Well, I don’t know if I agree with that. I mean, I think Umbridge is internally just a nasty, nasty person, and I – this kind of goes to what – I don’t know who said it earlier – but I feel like the locket would only act when it felt threatened upon, so you have the locket sort of knowing that Harry, Ron, and Hermione meant to do it harm, whereas Umbridge wasn’t going to be doing anything like that to it. She actually liked it and kind of wore it as a prize.

Eric: So, it didn’t need to be special or anything. It didn’t even need to…

Micah: It didn’t need to change her.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: I think she already possessed a lot of the qualities that the locket itself would have, you know, displayed or, you know, something along those lines. And I think in Book 7 we’ve just gotten to the point where Umbridge has elevated herself so high within the Ministry, which probably was always in ambition of hers that she feels in a way – I mean, just look at why she’s acting the way she’s acting. She comes up with this false heritage to sort of secure her Pureblood nature to all these Death Eaters that are around her, and that in a way makes her feel more comfortable. And if she acts upon those insecurities and makes it seem as if she’s this all-powerful, you know, Ministry official, then she can sort of do as she pleases without anybody asking any questions. And I just think that that’s her character, that’s who she is. She’s a horrible, horrible person, and it just goes to show you that not all – it’s not just the Death Eaters you know, there are people out there that aren’t Death Eaters that are just as mean and vindictive.

Eric: Right.

Mikey: I agree with you, and also one thing we need to kind of look at that right away struck me. When Ginny was possessed by the diary – 1) she blacked out. And on top of that, Voldemort wasn’t back yet, he wasn’t corporeal. He wasn’t there. He was just kind of vapor, and he actually tried to come back – he tried to come back through the diary. Whereas when Umbridge actually had the locket – yes, it was part of his soul and his Horcrux, but it wasn’t trying to become a second Voldemort, you know what I mean? So, I think we really need to learn more how Horcruxes work to really kind of define any of that because…

Micah: Yeah.

Mikey: …again, they’re completely two different situations where Ginny told her most secret – you know, her deepest secrets into the diary and the diary absorbed them and got a little bit more of her each time she did that, whereas the locket kind of sat on the side, there was no way for it – you know, Umbridge to kind of feed it other than feeling good and kind of, you know, thriving on it a little. Plus…

Eric: And that’s the thing that was so special about the diary was that it was – that’s what Dumbledore was so shocked about, was that it was disposable, but that the diary had a special function. The diary was supposed to possess whoever wrote in it, or whatever, to open the Chamber of Secrets. That was a purpose. So, it was different than the locket Horcrux because it just – in it’s whole design it was actually made to be sort of a symbiotic sort of a thing, as opposed to the locket which is just sort of, you know, more of your standard Horcrux, which is just supposed to preserve your soul.

Mikey: And on top of that, it was also – I believe the diary was probably one of the first Horcruxes Tom Riddle, Voldemort, made because it – I feel it was stronger than any of the other ones. And we know he had already started making Horcruxes with the ring after he killed, you know, his parents when he was a sixth year. So, I think there’s a lot of things to kind of look at with that one and, two, we can kind of see more into, you know, with whatever book Jo might release regarding Harry Potter, you know. We need to find out more about Horcruxes because they’re – you know, we could have a whole other show on Horcruxes and just talk about…

Eric: Yeah we could.

Mikey: …each one in detail and it’s one of those things where there’s a lot to discuss about that. And again, Voldemort is back already and she has a Horcrux that’s just kind of sitting there and not in use until he dies again and needs to be brought back with one of them or something.

Laura: All right. Really long and difficult subject, but…

Eric: Okay.

Laura: …I do believe that’s going to wrap up….

Eric: That’s the end of the show. Bye. [laughs] Then we just leave.

Laura: …this week’s show. [laughs]

Mikey: Yay! No, Andrew.

Laura: It’s time to leave. We’re not even going to do the closing announcements.

[Eric laughs]

Contact Information

Laura: No really, we are. So, don’t forget you can always send letters, postcards, and gold to…

[Show music plays]

[Eric, Micah and Mikey laugh]

Laura: …P.O. Box 3151
Cumming, Georgia
30028 Please don’t send pickles. I’m so sick and tired of pickles. You can also call and leave us a voicemail. If you’re living in the U.S., that number is 1-218-20-MAGIC. Or if you’re in the United Kingdom, please call 020-8144-0677. And last but certainly not least, all of our mates down in Australia can reach us by calling 02-8003-5668. [laughs] My roommate is cracking up laughing right now and I don’t know why. You can also Skype the… [laughs] Shut up, Julia! You can also Skype the username MuggleCast; however, please keep all messages under a minute and do eliminate as much background noise as possible. If you’d like to e-mail us just us the Feedback Form at or write to the hosts individually by contacting us at any of our first names at staff dot mugglenet dot com.

You can also visit one of our several community outlets: The MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Frappr, Last.FM, and the Fanlisting and Forums

And finally, don’t forget to vote for us on Podcast Alley, Digg the show at, and rate and review us on Yahoo! Podcasts.

Show Close

Laura: And with that, I’m Laura Thompson.

Eric: I’m Eric Scull.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Mikey: And I’m Mikey B.

Laura: We’ll see everybody next week. Buh bye.

Mikey: Bye!

[Show music ends]


Laura: Micah Tannenbaum is standing by in the MuggleCast News Center with the past week’s top Harry’s Potter‘s news [stumbles over her words] Okay, let me try that again.

Micah: Wah-wah. [laughs]

Laura: [bleep] you. Okay.

[Micah laughs]

Mikey: Wah-wah-wah-wah.

[Micah and Mikey laugh]

Eric: That was really intense.

Mikey: That needs to stay in.

Eric: Is Micah really standing by or is he sitting by? Is he kneeling by?

Laura: It sounds much better to say standing by. It’s like we’re CNN almost.

Mikey: You should – okay, can we go?

Laura: Yeah, okay, hang on.

Eric: It should be – say leaning by.

Laura: What?

Eric: Say, “Micah is leaning by.”

[Eric and Mikey laugh]

Mikey: Floating in the abyss that we call the MuggleCast News Center.

Eric: Levitating by.

[Laura laughs]

Laura: Okay. Micah Tannenbaum is standing by in the MuggleCast News Center with the top – oh god, I can’t do this.

Eric: With this week’s…

Micah: Micah Tannenbaum is standing by in the…

[Laura laughs]

Micah: See, I can’t even do it.

[Everyone laughs]

Mikey: Micah, you do it! Micah, you should do it.

Laura: Okay, one, two, three.

Eric: “I am standing by…”

Mikey: You say, “Micah, I’m standing by in the MuggleCast News Center.”

[Everyone laughs]

Mikey: Do it.

Laura: I’m going to get it this time!

Mikey: Micah, you do it. Please.

Micah: Let me – I’ve just got to get it right. Micah Tannenbaum…

Mikey: “I’m standing by…”

Micah: No, no, no, this will be funnier.

Micah: No, no, no. Micah Tannenbaum is standing by in the MuggleCast News Center with the past week’s top Harry Potter news stories. Micah…

[Laura and Mikey laugh]

Eric: Thanks, Micah.

Micah: Thanks, Micah. Oh, you’re welcome.

[Laura and Mikey laugh]

Eric: Ah, so funny, Micah.

Mikey: This is going to be great. Anyway.