MuggleCast 144 Transcript
[Intro music begins]
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[Harry Potter theme starts]
Jim Dale: [as Professor McGonagall] “This is Professor McGonagall welcoming you all to MuggleCast hoping you all enjoyed – Dobby! Dobby, come here! Here! Dobby!” [as Dobby] “Yes, I’d just like to say how very pleased I am to introduce MuggleCast to all of you! Thank you! Thank you!”
[Show music begins]
Micah: Because Eric’s number crunching makes us go, “HUH?!”, this is MuggleCast Episode 144 for May 4th, 2008.
[Show music continues to play]
Eric: Hey, guys!
Laura: Hey, Eric!
Matt: Hey, Eric!
Andrew: Hey, Eric!
Eric: I’m looking here at MuggleNet, and I see this release date of November 19th, 2010 for Movie 7 Part 1.
Andrew: Wow. That’s a really long time away.
[Micah and Laura laugh]
Eric: It is. It’s like two years, Andrew.
Andrew: I misspoke. I should have said, “far away.”
Eric: [laughs] So. What I wanted to say regarding this wonderful, long, far away, release date is that, well, it’s a really far time away. And I decided to…
Eric: …figure out how far away it actually was.
Andrew: How far away is it, Eric?
Eric: It is 728 days between Film 6 and Film 7, part 1. Which is exactly twice as long as we had to wait between Films 1 and 2.
Matt: I feel like I’m in class.
Andrew: Is that exactly down to the day?
Eric: It is.
Matt: Will this be on the test, professor?
Eric: In fact – in fact, it’s a 44% increase on wait time for the seventh film’s first part than it was for average wait times between Films 1 through 6.
Andrew: You lost me, okay, guys?
Laura: I just pretty much calculated that I’ll be almost twenty-two by the time this is released. So…
Andrew: Ah, you’ll be old! Ha!
Laura: You’re not that far behind me, my friend. [laughs]
Andrew: Well, speaking of that, there’s lots of fun news to talk about this week, and we have a ton of e-mails. And lots of other fun stuff to get to today. So let’s…
Andrew: …kick it off. I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Matt: And I’m Matthew Britton.
[Show music continues and ends]
News: Release Dates
Andrew: All right, well, as Eric kicked off the show with – Micah, there’s some fun news to talk about this week. First, the release date, right?
Micah: Yeah, as Eric has mentioned earlier, the first part of Deathly Hallows is going to be coming out on November 19th of 2010, and, as Andrew mentioned in the post on MuggleNet.com, David Heyman mentioned that part two will be released in May of 2011. So, Eric, with all of these calculations there, that’s a considerable amount of time to wait between Movie 6 and Movie 7 part 1, don’t you think?
Eric: I agree, Micah, and I – just for good measure, because I was really into the maths today, I decided to figure out, sort of, how it would relate if we received the second part of Movie 7 in May, and, in fact, I realized that May 13th is a Friday. So, I thought that would be a wonderful date for my hypothetical estimations to say that Book – sorry – Movie 7, part 2 would be released Friday the 13th, of May, 2011. Going by David Heyman’s words and the idea that Friday the 13th is cool. That said, very interestingly, there are 175 days, then, in that case, between Book – Movie 7 part 1, and Movie 7 part 2, which is, you guessed it, half the time between films 1 and 2 that we had to wait. So, we’re – as far as waiting times go, we are going to have to wait two years and then half a year.
Andrew: Yeah, I mean – Well, first of all, this news isn’t really a surprise to anyone. I mean, it was…
Andrew: …kind of random because Coming Soon reported it first, at, like, 3 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. Luckily, Matt was checking Coming Soon at midnight his time and we were the first to post about it, but it’s not that unexpected, really. It’s not that big of a news story, I mean, so we don’t have to do dwell on it. We knew it was coming out in November.
Matt: Well, it’s pretty much obvious because every single November release has been released around the same week.
Andrew: Yeah, you’re right.
Matt: Because wasn’t – Goblet of Fire was released on November 18, 2005.
Andrew: And I remember the first and second movies, I think, were released on the 21st, and the 20th or something?
Eric: No, the 16th and the 15th of November.
Andrew: Oh, okay.
Matt: Okay, it’s mid of every November.
Andrew: Yeah. So, with that said, I mean, the movies have come out mid-month, too. So, I mean Order of the Phoenix came out the 13th.
Eric: You mean the books?
Andrew: No, no. Order of the Phoenix the movie came out the 13th. July 13th.
Matt: What I’m really anxious to see is how Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the two part-er, does along the Hobbit, Part 1 and Part 2, because they’re both going to be released in the same months.
Andrew: I think they appeal to very different audiences, personally.
Matt: I mean, they’re both fantasy movies.
Andrew: Right, but The Hobbit doesn’t really appeal to kids, whereas Harry Potter does, I don’t think. Right?
Matt: Well. I – I don’t know. I can probably argue with you on that, but…
Eric: That’s really interesting, Matt, as far as The Hobbit goes. I didn’t know that they had been confirmed yet for release dates.
Matt: Well, they haven’t been confirmed for exact release dates, but they have been confirmed for which season they are going to be released, and it’s the same seasons as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Eric: Hm, that makes me nervous.
Micah: My other question on this, though, is why wouldn’t you expand it out a little bit, sort of go with the whole summer movie blockbuster scenario for the second part of Deathly Hallows? Why release it in May?
Matt: Well, May is usually the start of the summer.
Eric: May is the new June, Micah.
Andrew: It’s true.
Matt: It kind of is, almost. But yeah, a lot of the movies – either they start in May or they start in July. The big blockbuster movies.
Eric: Yeah, Matt’s right, and if you’re looking at it, I mean this May, for instance, tomorrow Iron Man comes out and the next week is…
Matt: Indiana Jones.
Eric: Indiana Jones, Prince Caspian.
Matt: Yes. It’s a huge month…
Eric: All the big movies sort of are – May’s the new June.
Andrew: And Warner Brothers may have plans for some other movies coming out later that summer, too.
Micah: That’s true.
Andrew: Plus, I don’t know if you want to make Potter fans wait any longer than six months for the final film. So…
Matt: Yeah, anything longer than six months people are going to start to lose interest.
Micah: But what about the time that’s in between Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows? I mean, just looking at that, you look at Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince, there’s not a huge gap in between those two films…
Andrew: It’s about a year and a half.
Micah: …whereas with the sixth and the seventh…
Eric: It’s 468 days.
Matt: Yeah, and it has been…
Micah: It’s a little bit longer.
Matt: …pretty – just the year itself, it’s been kind of slow for news anyway.
Andrew: It is pretty…
Laura: …what are we going to do for two years?
Andrew: …crazy. That is – I mean…
Matt: There’s always been a two year gap every other film, too. So it’s not really that big of a difference. It’s just a little bit longer than we’re used to…
Matt: …by just a few months.
Eric: Kind of, and you have to think they kind of are producing – they’re kind of producing twice as much content.
Andrew: They are. They’re going to shoot it at the same time. So…
Andrew: I think they’re going to have both films near completion by the time the first one comes out.
Eric: Depending on CGI and stuff. They’ll obviously…
Andrew: Well, yeah.
Eric: …have to complete all…
Eric: …the stuff for the first one.
Matt: …they’re just not going to have any time for rest. It’s not really that difficult to do. It’s basically just a longer film just by a couple months of principal photography.
Eric: Well, I mean Micah was right. The time between, what, Movie 5 and how long we’re waiting until Movie 6, is actually the second shortest time that we’ve had to wait. Now I remember listening to commentary on Chamber of Secrets and basically, the day after the premiere, everyone was back in the studio, including Chris Columbus and all the lead actors. You know, basically really heavily working on, you know, pounding on COS. So it was, you know – that was obviously the fastest turn around and all these movies now are obviously a lot more complex and certainly like that. So it’s been fast. It’ll be tough to wait the two years.
Andrew: So what else is going on in the news, Micah?
News: Movie 5 Premiering on HBO
Micah: Well, just kind of to wrap that part up, talking about the movies. Order of the Phoenix is going to premiere on HBO on June 22nd…
Micah: …at 9:00 PM.
Micah: Yeah and…
Micah: …just wanted to get it out there.
Laura: We’ll all be watching, I’m sure.
Andrew: Who cares though? I mean, we all have the DVDs. Who cares?
Eric: Well, I care because it reminded me of my favorite – one of my favorite “Micah Moments” during the news. It was one of the first twenty shows, I don’t know which one, but Micah said, “or if you have one of the 800 HBO stations, it will air several hundred times throughout the month.”
Micah: There you go.
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Micah: I do remember that.
Andrew: Well, I guess…
Eric: Good joke.
Andrew: …the one sort of exciting thing, I don’t know what kind of difference it’ll make, but it will be broadcast in HD, the show schedule says. So maybe it could be a cool thing to see if you don’t have Blu-ray or HD DVD, which I don’t think is that…
Matt: I don’t really…
Eric: I like watching HD TV.
Matt: …like watching the Harry Potter films on television, because they always broadcast them in full-screen mode.
Andrew: Yeah, but it did say high-definition, so…
Andrew: …I think HBO is changed now. If you watch HBO HD, you’ll see why.
Matt: Yeah, I kind of agree with that, too.
Eric: Yeah, doesn’t…
Matt: I wouldn’t mind…
Andrew: ABC does it.
Matt: ABC does it. They just – didn’t they just premiere Goblet of Fire?
Eric: Well don’t – I think they do the films once a year uncut, like with certain deleted scenes left in.
Andrew: Yeah on ABC Family they do that sort of…
Matt: …and they usually do that during the holiday season.
Andrew and Eric: Yeah.
Eric: That’s really cool.
Micah: And of course the “Making Of” as well, for the people who missed out on that.
Micah: I always find that more interesting than the movie to be honest, but…
Andrew: The Order of the Phoenix Making Of was very, very cool. Everyone…
Andrew: …was more excited about seeing that than the trailer because you watch this and it had a ton of cool, cool…
Andrew: …information and shots.
Matt: …they did go further behind-the-scenes than any of the other films before.
Matt: It would be kind of cool though to see what kind of promos they do on HBO for the film, because they always do those little teasers and stuff with it.
Eric: Yeah. Speaking of, do we have confirmation on the teaser – whether it’ll be in what Speed – well, Speed Racer is…
Eric: …is actually worse than that…
Eric: Do we know if it’s going to be with Prince Caspian? Or…
Andrew: No, and apparently some people at WB don’t even know, so I don’t know what’s going on with that. [laughs]
Micah: If you were a betting man, Andrew, you would say that some people at WB don’t know?
Andrew: If I was a betting man, I would say some people – I don’t know. I haven’t checked. If I was a betting man, I would say I haven’t checked in the past week, but it’s kind of – it’s like, get on with it, already. [laughs] They are really…
Matt: Well, so far, this is the film that has the longest wait for a teaser out of all the films.
Andrew: They’re just being a big tease, WB.
Matt: Yeah, it is. This is the biggest tease. It better be a freaking good trailer, too.
Eric: I can’t wait for the music.
Laura: Well, it’s going to be a teaser trailer, so those aren’t usually that fantastic.
Micah: I expect mediocrity.
Andrew: Well, there is apparently a leaked script of the trailer. It was floating around on IMDB, and if that’s the real trailer, woo-ee, look out.
Andrew: It’s going to be good, it’s going to be good.
Matt: It’s awesome. But they never prove to be true anyways, so…
Andrew: Well, no, that’s not true. I mean, there have been leaked copies of the Half-Blood Prince script leak online that were real.
Matt: Well, that’s true, but that’s not a trailer.
Eric: Did you…
Andrew: Well, you know, what do you think there’s a better chance of leaking online? The script or the teaser trailer?
Matt: I don’t know.
Andrew: The teaser trailer. I mean, it’s got to be viewed by some people by now. You never know. We’ll see, though. Micah, what else is going on?
News: Harry Potter Exhibition
Micah: What else? Let’s see, all the way back on April 25, Warner Brothers Consumer Products and the Becker Group announced Harry Potter the Exhibition, which is going to be a state of the art exhibition highlighting artifacts from the Warner Brothers films based on J.K. Rowling’s beloved book series. This is going to be a ten thousand square foot exhibition, and it’s going to start touring in the spring of 2009.
Andrew: How cool is this? This is amazing. This is amazing. Because we’ve always been wondering, what are they going to do with all the sets and the props and stuff once they’re done filming? And here’s the answer. They’re going to be going on this tour.
Eric: Well, that reminds me, too. I mean, the coolest thing about this exhibition – it’s supposed to last I think for five years, the article said, and go to ten cities, ten major cities, around the world. Now the cool thing about it is that they’re actually going to be adding props to it…
Eric: …as they get done with Movies 6 and 7, so it will be kind of…
Andrew: It will be changing.
Eric: Yeah, it will be changing, you know, kind of evolving.
Matt: What are you guys looking forward to seeing on the exhibition?
Matt: If you get – when we get to go.
Andrew: I don’t know. Well…
Matt: What kind of prop would you like to see from the films?
Eric: Well, Matt you live – you know where Burbank is. How far are you from Burbank?
Matt: Not that far. Not that far at all.
Eric: Because the Warner Brothers – the studio lot there – they do a studio tour, and when we were in California the first time, for the Podcast Awards in 2006, I went with a few members of Leaky, I actually posed as Ben Schoen, and went and saw – they have an exhibition there of Harry Potter – well, first of all, they have the flying Ford Anglia, which was recovered after it was stolen, and then they have a bunch of props. They have things like this exhibition kind of seems like they would have very similar things, but obviously, it doesn’t all fit in Burbank. They had a whole sort of top floor of a building dedicated to it, and it had costumes and wands and certain artifacts of the like, but I just think this is going to be much more massive. But that studio tour does, in fact, exist, with Harry Potter props already.
Andrew: Yeah, but I mean, the thing about this is this is dedicated to Harry – ten thousand square feet. That’s gigantic.
Matt: That’s huge.
Andrew: And I’m looking at the teaser site right now, and they have a couple of pictures, which I guess would offer some hints. They have like a little slideshow playing, and they have a picture of the Goblet of Fire, the Marauder’s Map with Harry’s glasses and Harry’s wand, I guess that is, and they have pictures on it from Order of the Phoenix, and Goblet of Fire, and Prisoner of Azkaban. They have a picture of Buckbeak coming up. So I think you’re going to see all of that. I mean, the things that…
Matt: Yeah. I’m really excited to see if they have like – like the Mirror of Erised, that prop in there.
Andrew: Well, see, here’s the thing: you know they have all that still.
Matt: Well, yeah, that’s what I mean. Like, knowing from all the props they have in all the films, I mean ten thousand square feet! Is that how much…
Andrew: It could be amazing. It really could be amazing.
Matt: That’s like a mile.
Eric: I know, right? Here’s the…
Matt: I’m bad at math.
Eric: Here’s the comparison for me. My apartment is two hundred fifty square feet, so… [laughs]
Andrew: Well, let’s put it in perspective, something we all know the size of. Like – like – Micah what’s the size of, like, a football field, do you know?
Eric: A hundred yards long.
Micah: A hundred yards? That’s not going to help us in terms of square feet, though.
Eric: Well, that’s three hundred feet by…
Andrew: Maybe if you keep eating you’ll have the answer for us.
Micah: What’s that?
Andrew: I said maybe if you keep eating you’ll have the answer for us.
Laura: Well, I have to ask, you said that they showed Buckbeak on there. Didn’t they do some animatronic work with Buckbeak in the third film? It wasn’t all CGI, was it?
Andrew: Yeah, no, they actually have two Buckbeaks on set.
Laura: I was going to say, it would be cool if they set one or two of those up in the exhibit and like, actually had them moving and stuff.
Laura: That would be really cool.
Andrew: They have on set – they still have – they have Aragog, Buckbeak, and they have to create real ones because in order for them to turn into CGI they have to scan it first, and – but they still have to do every little detail of the character. So what you’re seeing in the movie was actually physically created first.
Andrew: But then it’s just transformed into CGI.
Eric: That’s so cool.
Andrew: So, there is so much they can do with this, and this is so exciting.
Eric: Really excited.
Andrew: I hope it starts in L.A. It has to start in L.A. right?
Andrew: Where else could it start? The only other hint was that this company that’s working with Warner Brothers is based in Baltimore, so I’m like, oh great, if they start in Baltimore…
Laura: Oh! Well then, cool.
Andrew: Like, I know Laura likes that idea.
Andrew: But yeah, that’s cool. What else is going on, Micah?
Harry Potter off New York Times Bestseller List
Micah: Probably the – the biggest piece of news this week was the last couple of days, today actually, while we’re recording that Harry Potter has left the New York Times Bestseller List for the first time in more than a decade.
Andrew: Well, not more than a decade. It’s just under a decade.
Micah: Oh, just under a decade.
Andrew: But the most interesting thing about the story is that – is people’s reactions. ‘Cause if you look at the comments on MuggleNet, people are describing it as the end of an era. What else are people saying?
Eric: People are flipping out.
Andrew: Well, that’s depressing!
Laura: I wish people would stop being so dramatic.
Eric: It is really the beginning of the end.
Andrew: Yeah, it’s the beginning of the end. And I knew people were going to say stuff like this. That’s why I put at the end, “Once J. K. Rowling’s Potter encyclopedia is released, we’re sure Potter will make a comeback.”
Eric: Oh yeah!
Andrew: But it’s like, come on everyone! Did you even know it was on the Bestseller List?
Andrew: I mean, if it fell off the list, nobody would have said anything. Nobody would have called it the end. It just would’ve…
Micah: Is that the longest running series on the Bestseller List?
Andrew: It must be.
Eric: It must be. And if you look at what the article is it says that – I mean it basically defined – You know, one list was created for children’s books, which it would push off too because they were hogging the adult books list, you know, according to whoever, and then it was hogging the children’s list, so they moved it to children’s series. They basically created these lists.
Eric: This article tracks the books sort of through time on the New York Times lists, and it’s really interesting. Good article.
Andrew: It’s a shame but it had to come, as the blog said. There had to be a time where it would come. And who’s buying the Potter books right now? I mean, once you get – just imagine the next few decades of kids who are going to be introduced to Potter. I mean, it’s still selling well…
Matt: Oh yeah.
Andrew: …just not like crazy. Like new books are right now. So, it’s not the end. Come on. Come on! How could this…
Eric: Well, even the article says…
Laura: Relax, people. That’s what we’re trying to say.
Eric: Yeah, even the article does say, I mean, they’re – they say – they predicted when the movie comes out, like when Movie 6 comes out, it might like, peak back or pop back in, that sort of thing.
Andrew: Yeah. I could see that.
Andrew: I could see that.
Andrew: I just wish people wouldn’t call it… the end, and it’s like – it’s like, should we even post it on MuggleNet because you’re going to have people who are like “Oh, it’s the end, forget this. I’m not trusting…”
Eric: “I give up.”
Andrew: “…I’m not posting – I’m not – yeah, I’m not visiting the fan sites anymore.”
Eric: “No reason to live. No reason to live.”
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: Well, let’s not go that far.
Laura: Hey, there were people who were saying that right before the seventh book came out too.
Eric: Oh, we were saying that too.
Micah: Well, why don’t you look at it as the fact that it was up there for a decade?
Andrew: Ten years. Yeah, come on.
Eric: Yeah, you know, I…
Micah: Don’t look at the down side of it.
Micah: Look at the up side of it.
Micah: The fact that it’s probably the longest running series ever on that New York Times Bestseller list.
Andrew: The glass is half full. Right, Micah?
Laura: Well, exactly.
Micah: Come on.
Eric: We have hope.
Micah: Stop whining.
Eric: We have all these new release dates. We have – I mean, if you look at it – both the books lasted ten years from 1997 to 2007, and the movies are going to last ten years too, from 2001 to 2011, so big strong periods of time.
Andrew: Mhm. And speaking about that, there’s some themepark news. Right, Micah?
News: Hogsmeade at Themepark Being Built
Micah: Yeah. There is some themepark news. Hogsmeade is starting to be built…
Micah: …at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I know it’s very exciting. All right, let’s move on.
Andrew: Well, yeah. There’s not much to say here, but it is the first physical…
Micah: There’s not much to see either.
Andrew: Well, there’s a… [laughs].
Andrew: But it’s the first physical piece of the themepark. It’s the first…
Matt: Yeah, distinct…
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah. I mean there’s going to be so many pictures flying around of construction over the next year or two.
Laura: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: It’s going to be – like we’re going to go there and be like pft, so what? We’ve seen it all a million times already. [laughs] They should shroud the whole thing in a giant tent. Now that would be cool. That would be exciting.
Eric: Pictures of the giant tent.
Andrew: But it’s interesting. We’ve been receiving a few rumors about the themepark. One that’s interesting is saying the entire Lost Continent area will close in early 2009 to make room for the Wizarding World, so it can be a little bigger.
Micah: Now, what’s in the Lost Continent? Is that Jurassic Park?
Andrew: Yeah, I was just going to ask Laura, because you’ve been to Universal, right?
Laura: Yeah, it’s just – the reason why I think they’re using it is, honestly, the pre-existing structures of the area will be very easy to transform into the whole Harry Potter thing, just because it’s all very – it actually reminds me a lot of Lord of the Rings, to be honest. It’s not specifically tailored that way because, obviously, they couldn’t, but just like the way it’s built and the very – just the whole fantasy atmosphere of it really screams Lord of the Rings, so that’s why I think they’re using it. But what’s there right now is the Dueling Dragons, which is a roller coaster.
Andrew: And that – let me just stop you for a second – that one seems like it’s definitely going to be converted to Potter. That’s what the rumors are saying, so…
Laura: Good, because that is an awesome roller coaster, I will say.
Andrew: [laughs] Cool.
Laura: So I’m really glad they’re using that still, and then there’s also – I believe this is part of that same part. It’s an Atlantis type thing, where you go inside of this huge castle, but it’s really lame because it’s just a show and you stand there and watch and it’s stupid.
Andrew: Is it the Voyage of Sinbad?
Laura: No, that’s actually a show.
Laura: I think.
Andrew: …and there was another rumor sent into us saying that that was going to be converted into a Potter show too.
Laura: I wouldn’t be surprised. I mean…
Laura: It’s just like a show arena. I mean, they wouldn’t have to do that much to it.
Andrew: We’ll see what happens. We’ll keep you updated, ladies and gents.
Micah: That’s all the news.
Andrew: That’s all the news. Thanks, Micah.
Andrew: Some other announcements: It is now May. Happy May, everyone.
Andrew’s Birthday Bash
Andrew: Don’t forget – before I get to the announcements – Andrew Sims’s nineteenth birthday bash is showing up – is soon, May 23rd. Please mail all of your money to the P.O. Box. We’ll get to that later.
Eric: You means Pickles.
Laura: Yeah, and I just…
Micah: You know people actually will.
Laura: I will accidentally forget to mail it to you. Just hold on to it.
Andrew: Laura, that’s – that’s illegal…
Andrew: …if the mail’s addressed to me and you open it.
Laura: Maybe. [laughs]
Andrew: That’s illegal.
Micah: [laughs] Maybe.
Announcement: Vote on Podcast Alley and Follow on Twitter
Andrew: So, because it is a new month, don’t forget to vote for us on Podcast Alley. It’s MuggleCast May! So you have to vote. Also, a new thing here: some of you may have heard of Twitter. It’s a growing online community where you just – it’s like Facebook statuses, only you update it frequently. You can only write in 140 characters per update, and MuggleCast has a Twitter now, so you can follow this Twitter and you’ll be updated on when there are new episodes of the show released, and also when we will be doing live shows – live on the Internet. So, if you want to be updated and hear about the latest MuggleCast news as soon as we know it, then follow the MuggleCast Twitter account. It’s Twitter.com/MuggleCast. You can get a free account at Twitter.com, and follow Matt and I, too. We like being followed on Twitter.
Matt: Yeah. Are – are you guys on Twitter yet?
Andrew: Yeah, you guys got to get with it. Come on, it’s the latest Internet craze.
Eric: Somebody told me the “tweeted” Twitter. Tweeted MuggleCast Twitter, and I was like, “I miss Tweety Bird.”
Andrew: Yeah, it’s – “tweet” is the new like, “I’m going to Google that.” You can be like, “Oh, I’m going to tweet about that.”
Andrew: So it’s Twitter. Tweet. Yeah, I don’t like “tweet” very well.
Andrew: Mason thought of “twitch.” Like, “I’ll twitch you later.”
Eric: I can totally see Mason doing that.
Andrew: Yeah. All right, so that’s all for announcements. Let’s move on to Muggle Mail now. Who wants to take the first one?
MuggleCast 144 Transcript (continued)
Muggle Mail: Pickle Pack
Eric: The first Muggle Mail comes from Allissa, age 16, of… [pause] New York.
Micah: Schenectady, New York.
Eric: Really? Can you say that again?
Micah: Yes. Schenectady.
Eric: Dude. Sch…
Micah: Upstate New York, area code…
Andrew: [in a sing-song voice] Schenectady.
Micah: No, you’ll like the area code. Okay, this is a Jeopardy trivia useful knowledge piece of information…
Micah: …sort of thing. Schenectady: area code 12345.
Laura: Wow. That’s cool.
Eric: Wow. So Allissa, from Schenectady, New York, area code 12345 – thanks, Micah – says:
“Hey, MuggleCasters, your last poll about who would be interested in extending Pickle Pack seemed to have a lot of people who did show interest, but then on your last episode you said how Pickle Pack had ended. So does that mean there will definitely not be a Pickle Pack extension? I started listening to your show about six months ago, so I never got to participate and would really enjoy it being opened up to everyone for a short time more. So basically, I’m just wondering if Pickle Pack is dead or not. Thanks! Allissa.”
Andrew: Well, we’re not accepting new subscriptions; we’ve decided against that.
Eric: We did.
Andrew: But current Pickle Pack members do still…
Andrew: …have access to Pickle Pack, and occasionally we’ll be making little updates. But yeah, sorry, no, we’re not opening it up for another year – or six months – so…
Matt: Yeah, sorry.
Andrew: Matt, you want to take the next Muggle Mail? This is your – sort of your forte.
Matt: Yeah, okay. My forte.
Andrew: Should I say “screw-up-te??
Muggle Mail: Matt Screwed Up
Matt: [laughs sarcastically] Okay, our next Muggle Mail comes from Carrie Simpson, 31, of Saint Louis, Missouri. And Carrie writes, “Hi…”
Matt: …“During Episode” – oh, hi!
“During Episode number 143 you were talking about how once the trio exited the dragon and made it to shore, that Harry began placing protective charms around their camp for the first time, and that he was probably doing so because Hermione was a little emotional. I hate to say this, but you were wrong. He actually places the charms earlier in the book. In Chapter 16, “Godric’s Hollow,” the day following Ron’s departure is actually Harry’s first time placing the charms. The reason for him doing it, though, are the same: because Hermione is too emotional at the time. Keep up the good discussion.”
I’m sorry! Okay!? I did a booboo.
Andrew: It’s okay. We all make mistakes.
Matt: A mistake.
Eric: A booboo.
Eric: A booboo.
Andrew: Micah, you want to take the next one?
Muggle Mail: Court Transcripts
Micah: Sure. The next Muggle Mail comes from Catherine A. Thomas, 34, of Caseyville, Illinois.
Andrew: Get her credentials in there.
Eric: Yeah. Seriously, man.
Andrew: She’s an official.
Micah: Sorry. [laughs] Catherine A. Thomas, RPR, CSR-IL, CCR-MO, and she’s 34 from Caseyville, Illinois, and she’s writing in about court transcripts. She says:
“Hi MuggleCasters, long time listener, first time e-mailer. I thought I’d pipe up as it relates to how court transcripts are produced. I’m a court reporter, and it is we who produce trial transcripts. We are certified professionals who write every word of a trial or deposition proceeding as it occurs, and produce the legal transcript, which is the accurate, true, verbatim, and especially authoritative record of the proceedings. We have to have vocabularies that surpass the dictionary and reflexes that allow us to write 225-plus words a minute on our stenotype machines. This same technique is used for live closed captioning, so no, it was not some intern who made up the transcript. I know my profession is not as well known as others. However, to me it’s kind of like asking if a premed student performed someone’s bypass surgery.”
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
“I love my work, and I highly recommend court reporting to anyone who loves the English language and wants a job where no two days are the same, and you meet people from all walks of life, even famous authors of amazing books, and if I may fan-girl a bit, I love your show. I wish I could have seen you all when you can to St. Louis. Ditto to the previous e-mailer who said Micah had a gorgeous voice. Laura rocks, and I love hearing Andrew introduce the…”
“…e-mail of the day.”
Eric: Micah, that was a really good impression.
Micah: That was…
Andrew: Yeah, Micah. You should start doing it.
Micah: Yeah, maybe.
Andrew: Yeah. We have one this week, so you can do it. What a job though!
Micah: So that’s – yeah.
Andrew: What a job! I would love…
Eric: 125 words…
Laura: That would be such a cool job.
Andrew: Wouldn’t it be cool if they paid you per word or something? [laughs] You could just like make up extra stuff. That’s a – wow – what a – seriously. I’d love to see like a story on…
Micah: It’s really cool, because, I mean, when I was in court at the end of the year/beginning of January – when I was on jury duty, you just see these people sitting there. They’re typing away, typing away…
Micah: And then the judge or somebody else needs something read back to them, and it’s just amazing how they can sit there and read this really thin piece of paper and repeat everything that was just said.
Andrew: So thanks, Catherine. Props to you for your job.
Micah: Sorry. Didn’t mean to call you an intern. [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah. That was partially my fault, because I was like, “Duh! Who does it? Is it like some student?”
Andrew: I’m sorry.
Micah: I was just wondering, still, how Stanford got a hold of it. And I tried e-mailing her back to ask her that question, and for some reason the e-mail didn’t work, but how would Stanford, as opposed to another law school say, get a hold of the transcript?
Andrew: Maybe it’s someone who works for Stanford.
Eric: But not an intern.
Micah: It’s possible, yeah.
Andrew: Not an intern. Yeah.
Andrew: It’s a serious professional, so…
Andrew: Anyway, next e-mail. Laura, want to take it?
Muggle Mail: Room of Requirement
Laura: Our next Muggle Mail comes from Becky, age older than Nicholas Flammel – her words not mine. She’s from Australia. She says:
“Why didn’t it occur to Voldemort that other people besides him could work out how to get into the Room of Requirement? When Harry went in, there were so many lost belongings there, and surely most of it was already there when Voldemort was a student, so he was quite silly to assume that he would be the only one to ever gain access to the room. It just seems so ridiculous, because people and House-elves have even managed to find the room just by accident, whereas with the other hiding places, as well as the Chamber of Secrets, you need specific skills, knowledge, or abilities to get in. Voldemort also didn’t bother hiding the diadem. He placed it on top of the cupboard rather than in it. So what do you guys think about this?”
Eric: I agree. It’s a bit of an oversight on Voldemort’s part. Again, this one is particularly – I mean this one I think is one of the worst oversights of – of his thing. I mean – and this voice-mailer does – I’m sorry, this rebuttaler, Becky here – really does give a really good reason for him to have noticed that it wasn’t just him who found the place because of all the other people’s stuff that was there. And if you recall the exact term in Half-Blood Prince when Harry found that room was, “I need a place to stash my book” or “I need a place to store my book,” something like that. And so he basically, you know, found this room where pretty much anyone, I guess, if you needed a hiding place for something, for an item, that’s where you’d find it. So, Becky has a really good point here.
Laura: I think it’s simply arrogance on Voldemort’s part, to be perfectly honest.
Laura: I mean, he – just the fact that he was hiding in Hogwarts to begin with is a bit stupid, but…
Matt: I mean, ’cause they mentioned it.
Laura: Yeah, he probably just thought that there were so many other things in here that it would be impossible for anyone to even find this. And this was also at a time when he thought no one would even find out about his Horcruxes.
Micah: Right. So it would just be another item sitting there…
Micah: …that nobody would take any notice of. But, I mean, it’s also kind of – somebody mentioned arrogance, but it’s also, I would say, a means of triumph for him because he would be hiding something in a place where, you know, really nobody would suspect it. But I also think in a way that he would see himself overcoming Dumbledore…
Micah: …just by having it in that place.
Matt: Just self-satisfaction knowing that it’s under their nose the whole time when they’re looking for it.
Eric: That’s a good point with all the other objects, too. And, you know, actually, this may be a big problem for Voldemort to even hide it better, but I think probably the coolest connection between Harry and Voldemort is that they both ran, and ran, and ran, and ended up turning down the same aisle and going to the same cupboard to store whatever it was they were trying to hide. ‘Cause wasn’t it the same exact cupboard that Harry put the book in – that Voldemort – that was where the diadem was?
Micah: I don’t know.
Eric: It’s the next chapter, but I’m almost positive, ’cause that’s how Harry recognizes…
Micah: I’d have to go back and read…
Eric: …and he says…
Micah: …Half-Blood Prince.
Eric: …there was a tiara in there, so that’s – I think that’s really cool.
Micah: Well, does it mention it in Half-Blood Prince?
Eric: You know, I think it does. I think there’s just a – a something died in a cage and I think a tiara, but I’d have to – have to be sure. I’d have to go back, but it’s next chapter anyway.
Matt: Wouldn’t it be cool if Jo mentions in her encyclopedia what was the timeframe and order of how Voldemort made the Horcruxes…
Andrew: Yeah, like the story line.
Matt: …and who he killed for each one? Because – ’cause you got to wonder when he did all this. Like, the diary is obviously the first one.
Micah: She did reveal who he killed. She didn’t reveal the timeframe, though.
Matt: Who he killed for each one?
Micah: Yeah. She did.
Eric: Yeah, that was in one of the book readings.
Micah: Yeah, remember there was, like, an Albanian whore.
Matt: Oh! Yes.
Micah: That one just sticks out to me.
Eric: The Albanian whore? Gee, I wonder why.
Laura: Well, you do like goats, Micah, so…
Micah: Yeah, ’cause, you know, Albanian whores, goats, are just so…
Andrew: They fit perfectly.
Eric: Yeah, I think Matt’s right about that, you know, kind of overlapping time – how it would be great for Jo just to go back and kind of just make it clear exactly when he did the things and what order. ‘Cause, I mean, even back in Chamber of Secrets, I mean, she knows. ‘Cause even back in Chamber of Secrets, she was – you know, he gave a little bit of history – the Diary Riddle gave a little bit of history, like, “In my fifth year, I found this,” you know, and that was obviously continued on in Book 6 when, you know, we’re following Voldemort through his early teens, so it’ll be cool to see the definitive account once Jo writes that.
Micah: I have the list if you want it. Or we don’t have to go through it, I guess.
Andrew: Go ahead. Read it real fast for everyone.
Micah: So for the Gaunt’s ring, he killed Tom Riddle Sr. We know that. Tom Riddle’s Diary he killed Moaning Myrtle. We know that. Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup he killed Hepzibah Smith. We know that. Slytherin’s Locket he killed a Muggle tramp. Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem – diadem. He killed an Albanian peasant. And for Nagini he killed Bertha Jordon.
Muggle Mail: Jo’s Cameo
Andrew: Nagini. Yeah, okay, well, the next e-mail comes from Stacey B., 22, of [sings] Baltimore.
“Wouldn’t it be cool if J.K.R. made a cameo on the last movie? Like maybe she’s some random character – random Muggle on Tottenham Court Road, or some random witch at the wedding or at Gringotts. Like she won’t be shown enough to be an important character but enough to know that it’s her. That’d be so cool.”
Eric: I heard a rumor…
Andrew: That’s it.
Eric: …that Jo was the woman who harasses Harry in Nocturn Alley in Chamber of Secrets. It kind of looks like that could be her but I think…
Andrew: I think we would have known that by now. [laughs]
Matt: Yeah, we would have known if…
Eric: It was a serious rumor at one point that someone around me had dispelled at the time. I mean I think we used to get e-mails about that.
Matt: I never heard of that rumor before.
Andrew: I – I – [coughs] I always thought she looked like Harry’s mother in the Sorcerer’s Stone flashback. Like that the woman who plays her kind of looks like Jo.
Laura: Yeah, she does kind of.
Andrew: Obviously it’s not.
Eric: It’s the same actor that we’ve seen since then. That’s what I like about them.
Matt: Yeah, it is!
Eric: That they had kept all the actors and actresses. I’m saying it was the same actresses.
Matt: Oh yeah.
Andrew: Next e-mail?
Who Drank the Unicorn Blood?
Matt: Our next e-mail comes from Ida, 22, of Norway. And she writes:
“Hi! I was just wondering about the unicorn blood. Was it actually Voldemort who drank the blood or was it Quirrell? Thank you for a great podcast. I love you. You make my day.”
Eric: That’s actually my mistake, or kind of mistake. ‘Cause we were talking about – somehow we got onto the topic of Voldemort, and, you know, the drinking of the unicorn’s blood, to see if that was ever going to play out in the books, and I said it didn’t, but I think she’s right here that it was, you know, it was basically Quirrell who drank the blood and – and, you know, it doesn’t have to be – therefore, it’s not really a book mistake at all. It’s just, you know, it’s less likely that Voldemort would have to carry that burden around.
Matt: And it’s a movie mistake on my part. I was going based off of the movie and – ’cause it seemed like in the movie it was a spirit that attacked Harry, because it was just floating.
Matt: And we know that Quirrell’s a body and also the – the cloaked figure in the movie flew away, and we know that only Voldemort knows how to fly by himself. So that’s why I thought it was Voldemort.
Micah: And then – yeah, there was one thing I screwed up last week, too, that a bunch of people wrote in about, and it was in reference to the Horcruxes and the number that Harry should have realized, but actually when he had the conversation with Dumbledore in Half-Blood Prince – as a bunch of people pointed out, Dumbledore only mentioned there being six and that the seventh piece resided in Voldemort, and that Voldemort himself was unaware that he had made Harry a Horcrux as well at that point. So that was my mistake.
Chapter-by-Chapter: Chapter 28, “The Missing Mirror”
Andrew: Woopsies. So it’s time to move on to Chapter-by-Chapter. This week we’re going to talk about Chapter 28, “The Missing Mirror.” It’s another…
Matt: Gosh, 28 already?
Andrew: Yeah. It’s another relatively short chapter, but it’s really exciting, and this is a really – another really big movie chapter I think.
This whole book is just fantastically written for the movie. So do we want to start with a short little summary? I thought as a fun game what we could start doing is doing like a five second summary. So who’s ever doing the short summary this week you have to do it in five seconds.
Micah: Five seconds. All right, that’s…
Matt: Kind of intense.
Micah: …almost impossible.
Laura: I think you could do it.
Andrew: I think it’s possible.
Eric: Yeah, okay, I’ll take that bait, Andrew.
Laura: I think you could do it.
Andrew: All right, Eric, all right. On three, ready? 1, 2, 3. Go.
Eric: Alarm, alarm! Potter! He’s here! He’s here! I was puttin’ the cat out, you numbskulls!
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Micah: [laughs] That was pretty good.
Andrew: That was exactly what I was thinking.
Matt: That was so reminiscent the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney Land.
Andrew: That was exactly five seconds, too. All right, Eric. Good job!
Eric: Sheista. That’s like – remember that – what was that segment where I had to improvise something?
Andrew: And you did that same thing?
Eric: Yeah, that was – no, no, that was…
Andrew: That was a short summary, too.
Eric: Huh. I’m just kind of freaking out. That was really intense. Okay. I’m better.
Andrew: Yeah. Are you okay? You…
Eric: Yeah, I’m good. I’m just, you know…
Andrew: …off your high?
Eric: Heart racing and stuff.
Andrew: Take a drink of water.
Laura: I’ve got an inhaler, Eric, if you need it.
Matt: Do you need to sit down?
Eric: Yeah, I’m going to get a drink, actually, but, no, I’m not going to over milk it. Actually, could you cut out all of this that’s just milking it and milking it?
Eric: Thank you for your appreciation. I’m going to get a drink. I’ll be right back.
Andrew: [laughs] Okay. He actually hurt himself, I think.
[Andrew, Laura, and Micah laugh]
Andrew: All right. So they go into Hogsmeade and immediately there’s a deafening scream of alarm sounds and it’s just chaos right from the start of the chapter, right, Matt?
Matt: Oh, yeah! It’s – everything’s going horribly wrong already, so, you know, they’re like, “Oh crap.”
You Can’t “Accio” the Cloak
Andrew: And they think they got them. One of the Death Eaters goes, “Accio Cloak” hoping it comes off, but why doesn’t it come off? Is it – is there – does anyone know why?
Matt: It’s a magical object…
Matt: It’s an actual invisibility cloak that no magic can…
Micah: The Invisibility Cloak.
Laura: Yeah, it’s not like…
Andrew: So is that why can’t it be taken, Laura?
Laura: I think so, because they were talking about how this one was particularly unique, because they mention something about there being other invisibility cloaks made, but over time they would fade…
Andrew: Oh, right.
Laura: And they wouldn’t maintain the same power that this one had. But I think this one was made from such properties that it couldn’t be affected.
Matt: And this is old magic, too.
Matt: I mean, this is ancient, you know, beginning of the wizarding world, I guess.
Eric: It’s not even necessarily old magic. I mean, it’s Death’s – I’m sorry – the fairy tale describes it as Death’s invisibility cloak. It’s how death hid from people, you know, until it was time to kill them. So, it might not even be magic at all. I mean, obviously it is, but it could be something with life and death, far more mystical.
Matt: It’s like a neutral thing. Like, it’s a tool.
Eric: Yeah. If it’s Death’s invisibility cloak, it’s not something human enchanted or demiguise or anything like that. It’s much more powerful.
Matt: I guess we could just call it like a shield against magic, too.
Andrew: “Now Accio free! Whoa!”
Matt: Well, you wonder if it doesn’t work on Accio, maybe if like a spell hits them it bounces off or doesn’t affect them?
Eric: I don’t know! Actually, I think J.K.R should write about that because I always wondered, well – as they get older and taller, and, you know, their feet slip out from underneath and stuff, couldn’t they cast Engorgio on the invisibility cloak or, you know, do some kind of modification to make it bigger? You know, that’s a good question, I guess, because this spell repelled off them.
Matt: Well, it didn’t even repel. I think it just – it’s almost like they don’t even exist. So it’s probably not even – I don’t really know how to get anymore into it than what was already said.
Eric: Remember when Dumbledore and Harry were in the lake – sorry, the underground lake thing – sorry, the cave – when Dumbledore and Harry are in the cave and Harry says, “Accio Horcrux,” and something happens. Nothing really happens, but, you know, something jumps out of the lake, that sort of thing. In this case nothing happened at all. The cloak is basically unsummonable.
Matt: It’s untraceable, too. But didn’t the Mad-Eye Moody impostor know? And didn’t Dumbledore know…
Eric: Oh, that’s right!
Matt: …that Harry and Ron were hiding under the cloak?
Eric: The Marauder’s Map can detect people no matter if they’re under that cloak or not. Interesting.
Micah: I was always under the impression that the reason the impostor Moody knew he was there was because he got stuck in the step. And so…do you remember that?
Matt: Yeah, yeah, I do.
Laura: Yeah, he got stuck in the step and he dropped the egg.
Micah: I think Dumbledore is just powerful. I mean, that’s what it comes down to and he just – maybe because he was so into the Hallows he was aware when it was being used around him. I mean, I don’t know.
Matt: Yeah, I mean he’s had it the entire time too.
Eric: He’s had time to examine it, and several times throughout the books Harry believed that Dumbledore could see through the cloak, even which we don’t know if that’s true, but…
Micah: Possible, but also remember he knew that Harry had the cloak to begin with.
Eric: He gave it to him.
Micah: Yeah. So – and he knew the type of person that Harry was in the sense of always sneaking out, so when he’s in Hagrid’s hut, the minister shows up with Lucius Malfoy. I mean, I just have a feeling that Dumbledore knew a whole lot more than he let on.
Andrew: Oh, yeah.
Matt: Oh, definitely.
Getting Rescued by Aberforth
Andrew: So anyway, chaos is erupting in Hogsmeade, and it’s a really action packed scene. They’re trying to reveal Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and then it’s just, you know, one of those things. I guess maybe it was a panic reaction, but Aberforth – without knowing it’s Aberforth – they’re called into – they go into this dark corner and Aberforth says, “Come in here, Potter, quick.” And they don’t even know it’s Aberforth. So my question is, why would they trust someone when they hear that? Is it just like the immediate reaction?
Andrew: You’re just looking for…
Matt: Well, yeah. I think it’s definitely just like an impulse.
Eric: Look at the alternatives.
Andrew: But wouldn’t the Death Eaters be smart enough – couldn’t they have been smart enough to set a trap up like that where there’s people waiting in the depths of…
Eric: If they were, Andrew…
Laura: Maybe they did and they just got lucky.
Andrew: I know they just got lucky, but just for argument’s sake, I just think it’s…
Eric: Well, for argument’s sake, Andrew, I mean, if you want to look at it, if a Death Eater was smart enough – I mean, there’s 50 Death Eaters coming at you from directions saying, “The alarm, it was over here, I saw him, he’s here!”, and then somebody opens the door and says “Quick, get in,” you know – if that was a Death Eater they deserve to get caught, because, I mean, the whole deal is, you know, it’s not just even instinct. It’s just, you know – it’s so starkly contrasting to anything anyone else is doing. If someone says, “Get in” I would trust it no matter what. Implicitly and wholly, and, you know, if it turned out to be a Death Eater, that would be unfortunate.
Matt: So after Harry and the other two go into – they find out it’s the Hog’s Head that they’re inside and that they hear the voice say, “Keep your cloak on, boy,” and I thought that was pretty reminiscent of Dumbledore in Half-Blood Prince when he kept telling Harry to keep his cloak on.
Andrew: Yeah. It could be a cute little throwback.
Eric: And after all, he is Dumbledore’s brother.
Andrew: Well, yeah, exactly.
Eric: It’s revealed almost as soon as they get in here, even the namesake of the chapter “The Missing Mirror” – Harry discovers that Aberforth has the mirror, which was Sirius’. The other half – or I’m sorry, the copy – the other partner of the mirror that Harry had and, you know, consequently broke. The mirror which he has been seeing a blue eye that he thought was Albus Dumbledore’s, and, in fact, it’s Aberforth, his brother’s, Dumbledore’s. So I thought that was an awesome connection, that, in fact, he’s had this overlying confusion about Dumbledore and whether or not he’s even dead, and really he’s just been seeing Aberforth, and that’s really cool.
Andrew: So, really, Harry was right.
Matt: He did see Dumbledore, it just wasn’t Albus.
Aberforth versus Death Eaters
Matt: Right. So, we see Aberforth going out of the Hog’s Head to argue with the Death Eaters for…
Andrew: God, I loved this.
Matt: This was really fun. It’s almost like one of those old geezers across the street or something who, like, yell at the kids to get off their lawn.
Andrew: This is the part I’m talking about, just for the movies, because his comebacks are so quick. It’s almost like he thought about this, even though it was very unexpected – Aberforth wasn’t expecting them at all. I mean, he had to think really fast on his feet to come up with these. And he lucked out that it turns out his Patronus is a goat, and he was convincing the Death Eaters that the Patronus that was actually sent to fight off the Death Eaters was actually a goat, even though it was Harry’s.
Matt: Yeah. Well – and Aberforth, he was threatening the Death Eaters, too.
Andrew: Yeah, he was.
Matt: I mean…
Andrew: I’m surprised at that, because why didn’t they just kill him?
Matt: Because he knew he was – he knew he was useful to them. I mean, they needed Aberforth. They needed the Hog’s Head. They – because, you know, that’s how they get fed.
Andrew: Oh, yeah that’s true.
Eric: And it’s the passageway to Hogwarts. Well, no. But they didn’t know they were going to get fed when they entered the room either. But, I mean, there’s a question, and rightly here, it says that, you know, were the Death Eaters – actually, I should stop calling it the rightly, because Google bought it about three years ago, but it asks if the Death Eaters were a little too thick to believe Aberforth, but, you know, they seem to dismiss the whole situation pretty quickly, but I think as Aberforth, you know, he knew what to threaten and, you know, he basically said, “Why don’t you call your Dark Lord here and, you know, answer to him when it turns out not to be Potter.” You know, he’s really sly, really quick, really, you know, kind of pressing and really working with their emotions. He’s – he’s kind of a manipulator. At least a little bit, and he’s not that unlike his brother, I guess, in that way. I mean, you know, varying degrees, but I liked that scene a lot.
Matt: Yeah. And Aberforth is really giving them excuses that were really, you know, very simple and, you know, unimportant that if, you know, they did call Voldemort and it turned out to be true, you know, the Death Eaters would get a real lashing for it. Like he was walking his cat. Like, they called Voldemort because they heard – because they thought Potter was here but it was really someone walking their cat.
Andrew: But if they actually did call Voldemort, wouldn’t Voldemort be able to tell that Harry was in the area?
Eric: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Andrew: Yeah, so, like, what would happen if the Death Eaters actually did call him? What would Aberforth think?
Micah: It’s such a huge risk, though.
Laura: He would have been screwed.
Micah: I think…
Eric: Yeah. Their orders are…
Matt: They would not call Voldemort unless they had concrete evidence.
Micah: If you think about what happened at Gringott’s…
Matt: Everybody died except Bellatrix and…
Actor to Play Aberforth
Micah: You need to be a little bit smarter, I think. You know, I could actually see Brendon Gleason doing a really good job as Aberforth in this part.
Eric: Brendon Gleason?
Eric: He played Mad-Eye Moody.
Andrew: Yes. It’d be cool, though.
Micah: Really? [laughs] I had no idea.
Eric: I thought you said they cast him as Aberforth or whatever, but…
Micah: No, no I’m saying…
Eric: …you could see him as Mad-Eye Moody.
Micah: I could see him playing this role.
Micah: Forgetting he would have played Mad-Eye Moody already, I could see him, sort of, as the old man, you know, like Matt was saying before, kind of “Get off my lawn,” you know.
Eric: I think – I think I was trying to – I mean, I think I made that connection without even thinking about it. You really brought it out. He does remind me of him.
Andrew: You know who else could be good? Maybe this is pushing it a little too, and he’s dead, so that would be even worse, but Peter Doyle. He’s sort of cranky. And he’s not big enough, that’s for sure.
Matt: Do you think they’re going to keep the same actor?
Eric: They should.
Andrew: No. No way.
Eric: Why not?
Andrew: Why wouldn’t they keep him?
Eric: David Yates is keeping himself as director, and the same musical composer, and all the actors are still…
Andrew: When they cast this guy to play Aberforth, they just needed a…
Andrew: A figure.
Andrew: They needed an illustration, so to speak. They didn’t need a…
Matt: For this big a character, they’re going to have to get a well-known actor.
Eric: I don’t know about that. How many more well-known actors are there?
Andrew: I don’t think he’s that big of a character.
Matt: Well, I don’t know, because he has a fore – I mean, he has a – they had Julie Christie playing Madame Rosemerta, and she was only in one scene, and Julie Christie is a huge actress.
Laura: Yeah. They tend to cast very major actors and actresses in these adult roles, no matter how small they are.
Matt: Yeah. I would not be surprised if they cast a very distinguished actor to play Aberforth Dumbledore.
Eric: Who’s to say they haven’t already? Who played him in Order of the Phoenix, do you know?
Matt: No, I don’t. That’s the point.
Andrew: I’m looking it up right now. I really don’t think it was a well-known guy. He’s not even listed.
Matt: Because he barely had one line, and it was in the background.
Andrew: He’s credited – Jim McManus is who plays Aberforth, and he’s credited as the Barman. He’s not even credited as Aberforth.
Micah: Yeah, I was going to say that. I didn’t think he was credited because I did a search on IMDB for Aberforth Dumbledore, which you can usually do by character. Nothing came up, so that should be a little bit of a hint right there that – unless it was more of a they didn’t want anybody to know yet, because they’re kind of following the books in the sense that nobody really knows that that’s Aberforth.
Andrew: Yeah, well, that’s true, too.
Eric: Yeah, he isn’t really Aberforth yet, you’re right, but, you know, all the diehard fans would see this goat and Aberforth walking after it. It was hilarious and it was, you know, one of those really funny things that I liked about Movie 5. Jim McManus has lots of extensive credits here, running back down to…
Andrew: But they’re all – I’m looking at them too, and they’re all T.V. shows.
Eric: That doesn’t mean he can’t act.
Andrew: I think Order of the Phoenix is his first movie.
Eric: Hm, that’s true.
Andrew: I see one movie here; he played a chef. And another…
Eric: And Mr. Critchley in Dangerous Lady.
Andrew: And he played something in Machine.
Matt: Yeah. Yeah, it has to be a more distinguished actor to play the – I mean, they have yet to – he’s going to be telling the story of what happened to his family – the Dumbledore family.
Andrew: Back to Chapter-by-Chapter. [laughs] Another question Matt raises is, can Michael Gambon be a better Aberforth than Dumbledore?
Andrew: I think that, you know…
Eric: Too late, Matt.
Andrew: That’s not a bad – yeah, it is too late, but that’s not a bad idea because he is so cranky.
Matt: Well, yeah, he is a feisty Dumbledore, and we see Aberforth as more of the cranky, more, I guess you could say, emotional of the two brothers.
Laura: I guess. I mean, you know I’m going to disagree with this because I love Michael Gambon, but I don’t particularly see him as playing a cranky Dumbledore. And I know Micah’s going to come out and like, try to take a lash at me for this: there were definitely some lines where he came across as cranky, but that’s not Gambon’s fault. He didn’t write the script, and I think, overall, he’s played a very quirky, very interesting Dumbledore character. I really see the twinkle in his eye.
Laura: That’s what they talk about in the books! And that’s what I see!
Matt: That’s just bad lighting, Laura.
Micah: It’s probably his glazed over look from not knowing how to act.
Eric: Laura, I would agree with you in Movie 5. I was impressed with Gambon in Movie 5.
Matt: The only thing I did not like of his acting was when he said, “Don’t you all have studying to do?”
Eric: Yeah, that was just the wrong line.
Laura: But again, that’s not his fault! He didn’t write the script.
Micah: I’ll say this – and it’s been brought up every single time I think we’ve had this conversation – is that when the role is initiated by another actor, it’s very hard to replace, regardless, and it’s just like you look at any of your favorite T.V. shows, if so-and-so plays the role for “X” number of years and then all of a sudden they bring in somebody else…
Micah: …you know, you have a much higher level of opinion of the person that they bring in because they have to meet certain expectations.
Andrew: So back on the Chapter-by-Chapter…
Andrew: …we learn a couple of things from Aberforth: one that Hagrid and Grawp are hiding in a cave, and we also learn that Dobby – we learn that Aberforth was the one who sent Dobby.
Andrew: And Aberforth was saddened to hear that Dobby died, because he said that he liked him.
Eric: He liked that elf.
Hagrid in Hiding
Andrew: Which was a sort of sad little moment there, but, I mean, do we want to talk about Hagrid? Has – has he been in seclusion the whole time? I mean, Aberforth himself said that he went to hide as soon as…
Eric: Well, he threw a party. A “Support Harry” party.
Andrew: They were searching for him.
Matt: At least we know where Hagrid is, though. I mean, ’cause – I don’t know about you guys, but I never even thought about Hagrid very much until he was mentioned at this part of the book.
Andrew: I did, because I was hoping to see him.
Andrew: I love Hagrid.
Matt: Well, I love Hagrid, too, but I mean – I was – I was in the heat of the moment when I was reading the book.
Eric: Well, you know what’s interesting…
Matt: I never stopped to go, “Where’s Hagrid?”
Eric: You know what’s interesting, though, I think the cave there…
Andrew: I did.
Eric: …was the same cave Sirius was in. Do you remember that one, when – in Book 4.
Andrew: How do you know it’s the same cave?
Eric: Well, I mean, there’s a cave on a hill outside of Hogsmeade, you know, I just assumed that it was the same one that Sirius had hid in – you know, the trio even went to that cave in Book 4. Do you guys remember that?
Matt: When they were visiting Hogsmeade.
Laura: I think you’re right. I feel like at some point – [sighs] – didn’t Hagrid hide there at some other point, too? Or didn’t he hide something there?
Matt: Yeah, after Book 5, wasn’t it? When he ran away?
Laura: Yeah, and I feel like he said it was the same cave Sirius hid in, so…
Matt: It’s possible, I mean…
Laura: It could be the same one again.
Matt: Heck, why not? You know?
Eric: [laughs] Why not? I mean, it just seems like one of those things Jo would do. “Oh, he’s hiding in a cave over the hill.” You know, that sort of thing.
Matt: [laughs] Let’s just throw him in a cave.
MuggleCast 144 Transcript (continued)
Ariana’s Story: Kids are Cruel
Eric: Eh, well. I don’t know that Grawp would fit in a cave, but anyway. [laughs] I guess that’s – anyway, so Aberforth tells the story of – he basically clears up a lot of the mysteries surrounding what exactly happened to Ariana, because Harry points out there’s a painting above the mantlepiece of the fireplace, which is of his sister, Ariana Dumbledore.
Matt: That’s right.
Laura: Yeah, this was a really sad story.
Matt: It’s a very tragic – it’s always…
Matt: It’s always sad to hear like – the fall of like one of your prestigious families, you know? All the skeletons in their closet.
Eric: [sighs] You know, we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, and it’s a popular addage: kids are cruel. And I think that sums up Ariana’s story.
Micah: Yeah, when I read this, though, for the first time – and, you know, somebody can stop me here, but – there was some other sort of message. I don’t know if it was really a message, but there was sort of like – there was like an underlying story to what actually happened here. And, you know, “It got carried away.”
Matt: Yeah, that quote…
Matt: It just seems so, you know – [sighs] I – I don’t – there was a whole other meaning to it. You could tell.
Micah: Because what would drive, you know, Albus and Aberforth’s father to go and kill these Muggles?
Eric: Yeah, or seriously injure them.
Micah: So – so yeah. So, it makes me think that some funny business was going on.
Matt: Yeah, and she was such a young girl, too. She wasn’t even old enough to go to Hogwarts.
Eric: And these kids caught her doing magic, demanded that she did it again, and punished her when she couldn’t reproduce whatever results. I mean that’s – that’s really dangerous and very tragic. So…
Andrew: Laura, how do you think this relates to your sexual abuse – you know?
Laura: I brought that up a few episodes ago…
Laura: …and I feel like someone kind of refuted it and kind of, I don’t know, made me feel like maybe I’d been – I was looking at this…
Matt: Oh, that was Andrew.
Andrew: No, I liked it.
Andrew: Keep going, Laura.
Laura: I don’t know, just looking at this, it makes me think that it’s at least a possibility. I mean, just – I see a really strong, you know, connection between her loss of ability to control her magic, or at the very least, like, just her seclusion, you know, because, you often hear that of – well, I mean, and I don’t want to stereotype anyone here, but there are often symptoms of withdrawal when you deal with that kind of abuse.
Laura: So, it’s definitely a connection. At the very least she was – she had, you know, the crap beaten out of her, I’m assuming.
Laura: But, I mean…
Andrew: When I read that they got carried away, I just – you know, they just kept antagonizing her and teasing her, and it just developed into something worse.
Andrew: I don’t know if it could be read as sexual abuse, although I do agree. I think…
Matt: It’s possible. I mean…
Andrew: That could be a possibility.
Matt: He never says how old the boys were and…
Eric: And he doesn’t need to. I mean, it’s one of those things where, you know, Jo uses the words “carried away” and we’re immediately stricken with bad images and very upsetting, very tragic, thoughts.
Matt: Well, because it’s so watered down that you’d think it’s much, much worse than, you know, the way he said it was.
Eric: I think he – I think his emotions…
Eric: …and how he’s portrayed telling the story, just makes up for any kind of watered downness. I didn’t think it was cheesy in any way or, you know…
Matt: No, I didn’t say it was cheesy…
Laura: I don’t think that’s what Matt what saying.
Matt: He’s just, like, censoring.
Micah: Well, I think this is another one of those situations where – and we’ve seen it throughout the books – sort of, all of the different undertones, whether they be political or social, that exist throughout the entire series, and if you’re a younger person, you’re reading on one level. If you’re a little bit older, you’re reading it on a completely different level, and…
Laura: Yeah, exactly and, I mean, this kind of abuse is, sadly, so prevalent in our society that I think a lot of older readers could get that reading…
Eric: Just like when the…
Laura: …between the lines.
Eric: …trio is walking on Tottenham Court Road, you know, about to go into the diner and there’s some boys across the street whistling at Hermione. You know, “Hey baby. Come over here.” You know, that sort of thing.
Dumbledore’s Father in Azkaban
Andrew: So, we learn that Dumbledore’s father was arrested for going after the boys who were responsible, and he sacrificed his life and freedom to protect his daughter’s illness, which was very sweet. But, I mean, that’s naturally what you do as a father. You’re trying to look after your kids, whatever it takes.
Eric: Yeah, I actually had seen a movie – I don’t know which it was (maybe people could write in) – but it had Hayden Christensen in it and he was an abused child and his father was very angry, going after the man who did it. I bring it up because, I mean, you’re right, and if you listen to – sorry, in the chapter it said that, you know, Dumbledore’s father never gave away exactly why he had attacked those Muggle, you know, boys. So, it’s kind of – you know, it’s tainting the family because you look at it and you say, “Oh, you’re dad’s in Azkaban for, you know, harming Muggles.” That’s not a really good, sort of, you know, relationship or tie for Dumbledore to have, who is supposed to really like Muggles and stuff. But, on the other hand, it was, you know, really good care for his family and they didn’t want Ariana to, you know, be studied, you know, at St. Mungo’s and spend her whole life in the hospital, so they were forced to make some really harsh decisions.
Andrew: Aberforth goes on to explain that he thinks of himself as the favorite because he stayed at home and took care of Ariana. But he wasn’t there when she had another mood burst and she killed her mother by accident. So, just all of these little things leading up to the big kahuna, which is when Aberforth really starts getting emotional at explaining the time that Aberforth stood up to Albus and Grindelwald over – what was it again?
Laura: Well, they were getting ready to go out and start their…
Eric: Yeah, it was right…
Laura: …greater good campaign.
Andrew: That’s it.
Matt: And they got…
Matt: Aberforth did not want them to take Ariana because of her condition, and since Dumbledore was the head of the house, the family, at the time, he told Dumbledore that she can’t go, and then Grindelwald got upset and he used the Cruciatus Curse on him, and then that’s when Dumbledore tried to stop him.
Andrew: And they had a three way duel. I guess you could call it a truel.
[Everyone laughs sarcastically]
Where in the World is Carmen San Diego versus Clue
Andrew: They don’t know who did it, but someone hit Ariana and she was killed. Ariana just walked right into the middle of the fight. I’ve said to Matt earlier, wouldn’t it be cool if like Jo set up the whole story and we had to figure out who killed who? Sort of like a Where in the World is Carmen San Diego sort of thing, like you just have to look at the clues and…
Micah: I say it would be more like Clue than Where in the World is Carmen San Diego.
Andrew: Well, okay, I used…
Laura: Uh, Albus in the living room.
Andrew: To be honest, I can’t remember…
Eric: Albus in the living room with the butter knife.
Andrew: …how you play Carmen San Diego. I just loved it. But, like, if you gave clues and you had to decide – ‘Cause I think Jo’s a clever enough writer where she could have set up a detailed situation where it could have gone in anyway – it could have been anyone’s blame, but…
Matt: No, well, she made it – she made it – it’s been said that none of them know who killed her, so if…
Andrew: But I’m saying, what if Jo wrote the story with descriptions and little clues to suggest?
Matt: I don’t – I don’t think it’s – I don’t think she wanted you to figure it out though.
Laura: No, I think that’s…
Andrew: Well, I don’t think so either.
Laura: …part of the horror behind the scenes.
Andrew: I just think it would have been fun.
Matt: Well, it would have been fun to find out how she died, I mean, but she’s still dead and nonetheless…
Eric: Actually, I don’t think it would be fun. I think it’s a tragic incident…
Matt: I know.
Eric: …that we just have to move on from. We accept that she died, it caused a big riff between Dumbledore, they never saw [unintelligible], they still don’t know, except there’s a great moment here where Harry tells Aberforth – Well, he makes the connection back the when Dumbledore had drunk the potion last year in the cave and began screaming, “Don’t hurt them.”
Harry Keeps His Trust in Dumbledore
Matt: Well, he was just telling him that just to know that he never forgave himself for that to happen, ’cause Aberforth…
Eric: Yeah, but he proves Aberforth wrong.
Matt: Proves Aberforth wrong for what?
Eric: Just wrong in judgment as far as Dumbledore, you know – Aberforth is willing – really trying to test Harry and say, you know, “Are you sure he’s not just using you like he used everyone else?” and “I’m not willing to believe that he isn’t using you” and then Harry said, “well, you’re wrong here and here’s why, and I just have to kind of trust that Dumbledore is, you know, as noble to me, or as truthful to me as he said he is.” So he kind of – I mean he kind of proves him wrong. It’s more like he just shows him that at least some things of what Aberforth thinks aren’t, you know – I mean time is – has worked against him because he has just been able to sit and bode about all this stuff that happened in the past.
Matt: And also, Aberforth keeps telling Harry about his brothers always constant about the greater good but never thought about other people’s safety and things and then…
Matt: And Harry retorts with this great line from the chapter. He says, “Sometimes the greater good is more important than your own safety.”
Andrew: Which is absolutely true.
Eric: Yeah, it is.
The Potion Dumbledore Drank
Andrew: So it’s interesting. Now, what do you think this means about the potion? Why would Dumbledore say this? Does it explain what drinking the potion does to you? Does it – is it your worst memory?
Micah: That’s what I thought.
Laura: I would assume it would be something like that. I don’t remember – we were talking about, before Book 7 came out, the possibility of it either being your worst memory or your worst fear.
Andrew: Yeah, you know…
Laura: And I know…
Andrew: …as soon as I said this out loud I realized that you’re right, Laura, that makes sense.
Laura: Yeah, and we had kind of speculated that possibly it was his worst fear of like the school getting attacked and students being tortured.
Laura: But if it’s his worse memory this – I think this would certainly…
Matt: Well, I think it’s just anything that breaks you down, you know, emotionally and just destroys you.
Eric: It’s probably your moment of greatest pain, really, and you relive all that pain too. ‘Cause he was writhing on the floor, Dumbledore was, and it was – it was really scary that scene in Half Blood Prince. I – I really am interested in seeing Gambon act that – Michael Gambon act that.
Matt: It’s got to be different than what you see when a Dementor attacks you. It’s just got to be like all the more worse. It doesn’t really just do whatever it wants to make you sad. It actually brings out the worst in you and makes you relive all the moments that, you know, destroy you.
Eric: Well, I liked how they showed Voldemort possessing Harry in Movie 5 – you remember? It was like this black abyss with like this light shining on Voldemort in like this cloudy, you know, the abyss. Do you guys remember that? It was like going back and forth, and when Harry was like talking to Voldemort who was possessing him, it was really well filmed, I thought. Sort of going back and forth, so they will definitely set things, you know, they’ll set things separate and do whatever happens to Dumbledore differently. You know, they don’t necessarily have to show what he’s seeing. But I’m sure it will look different.
Andrew: And to wrap the discussion up today, Aberforth shows them a way to the castle when Harry is like, “Well, how do we get to the castle if we can’t – if you’re telling us we have to flee?” And Aberforth, conveniently enough, has a little exit – a little tunnel to Hogwarts right in his own bar, and it was so – it was a different kind of portrait we’ve never seen before. Ariana, who is in the portrait, turns and goes down a tunnel, and then brings Neville with him.
Laura: That was so cool.
Andrew: How does that work though? I mean did Neville – was Neville with Ariana?
Matt: No, I think it’s – I think it’s just like how – how Dumbledore called the other portraits to their other ones. I think it’s probably just like, as Ariana appears in the other tunnel, it just opens it and then Neville runs in.
Eric: Well, it’s – it’s got a special connection too. I mean Harry – I mean when Harry is seeing this it makes that distinction between portraits, which can go to their other portraits, and this one just went back in and of itself, and it’s explained in the next chapter, which is, I think, when I am going to bring up the error that happens when this occurs, but when I first read it I thought…
Matt: [laughs] The error. [laughs]
Eric: …well, wait a minute. Wait a minute – why would the Room of Requirement have a tunnel outside Hogwarts? Why would – that that seems like such a security risk, and it also seemed like a book mistake at the time. If the Room of Requirement could have an extended passageway that would be great for Sirius Black to use or one of those things. You know, it just seems really interesting how it was done. But it’s very convenient because they need a way to get into Hogwarts, which is being completely guarded. And Neville’s entrance has to be one of the best entrances in the books. Not that J.K.R is really big on entrances necessarily, but I think that was a great entrance.
Andrew: It was. I don’t know. It’s one of those convenient situations once again in this – in this book. All right, well everyone knows what the end of Chapter-by-Chapter means.
[Quote Quiz intro plays]
Andrew: “I’d been in here about a day and a half, and getting really hungry, and wishing I could get something to eat, and that’s when the passage to the Hog’s Head opened up.” It’s kind of an easy one.
Laura: Yeah. Okay.
The Sorting Hat
Andrew: Okay. [laughs] So a segment we haven’t done in a while, The Sorting Hat. We thought it would be very fitting to sort Aberforth this week since that’s basically – this was sort of a character discussion about Aberforth too…
Andrew: …which we used to do way back in the – in the old days.
Laura: Oh character discussions.
Andrew: Yeah, they were fun.
Laura: Those were so fun.
Andrew: I don’t know. What do you guys think about Aberforth? I am just going to – I’m just going to say Gryffindor.
Laura: Yeah, that is what I would say too, just because they’re related.
Andrew: Right. Exactly.
Eric: Yeah, that’s easy.
Matt: I guess. He does have Slytherin qualities though.
Laura: Well, so does everyone, though. Everyone has qualities of all the Houses. It just depends on which ones are strongest.
Matt: But I mean – when he said, “save yourself,” I thought Slytherin, because that’s one of the Slytherin’s biggest qualities, is they always think for themselves.
Eric: Well, no, you got to think…
Andrew: Yeah. But he was also standing up to the Death Eaters.
Micah: He was also a member of the Order of the Phoenix, so I don’t know how many members of Slytherin were…
Eric: In the Order of the Phoenix.
Matt: Oh, I’m not saying that he is a Slytherin. I’m just saying he had other qualities besides just Gryffindor. Just because his brother is…
Eric: I think the…
Andrew: I think everyone does though.
Eric: Yeah. Well, I mean the thing about Aberforth too, is that he’s fueled mostly by his love for his sister, who is departed. I mean mostly – I mean how he feels about his brother, Albus, is all about sort of what happened in relation to his sister. And he didn’t feel Albus properly handled that, and so he’s fueled by love, more or less.
Micah: Well, was he really in school, or did he spend all his time taking care of his sister?
Matt: Wasn’t he in school when his sister had her final blow – when she killed her mother?
Laura: Yeah, and he also said that when they were getting ready to go on their little extravaganza – Dumbledore and Grindelwald – that he was getting ready to go back to Hogwarts.
Eric: And he didn’t want to. He tried convincing Albus to let him stay home. He said, “school’s stupid,” you know, “I’ll take care of Ariana full time.” And Albus said, “No, you need your studies,” and sent him to school, where Albus then just proceeded to go off with Grindelwald and kind of neglect Ariana a little bit, which is what Aberforth said he’d never do. So, you know, I think given that Aberforth is fueled by love, and when it comes down to it, he’s not afraid to face the Death Eaters, he handles it so well, you know, very crassly, very, you know, cleverly, I think I’d put him into Gryffindor.
Andrew: Me too. I think we all agree on Gryffindor.
Eric: He’s got a good heart.
This Week in MuggleCast History
Andrew: So here’s another segment we haven’t done in a while: This Week in MuggleCast History. Now, as you may remember, a couple weeks ago we did this segment. We were planning to do it weekly, but then we sort of forgot about it, so we’re going to do it again this week. So we’ll just start doing the little doo-doo-doo-doo things and we’ll go back in time. All right. So everyone has to do it or else it isn’t going to work.
Micah: Is this Wayne’s World style?
[Laura and Micah laugh]
Andrew: So on three. One, two, three.
[Everyone does Wayne’s World doo-doos]
Andrew: Don’t forget, buy a MuggleCast T-shirt.
Eric: Why must they buy a MuggleCast T-shirt? Well, because poverty is a Horcrux. That’s right, poverty, as we know it, is a Horcrux and therefore must be stopped. Buy an MCT and defeat Voldemort. Also, as a result of a hasty agreement between us and J.K.R., a portion of our MuggleCast T-shirt revenue goes to supplying J.K.R. with lined paper for her home in Edinburgh. You all heard what happened when she ran out. Book 7 was almost delayed a year just for that. Buy a MuggleCast T-shirt and supply J.K.R. with lined paper. Thank you.
Andrew: I re-read that little entry on her site the other day, and I was thinking, “We should’ve started a little drive for J.K.R.” [laughs] “Submit your paper.” And we would just sent her this box load of paper… [laughs]
Ben: You know, it’s not like she doesn’t have the money.
Eric: Oh my god, Ben.
Eric: I know, but the fact is it’s donated from us.
Andrew: All right, so…
[Everyone does Wayne’s World doo-doos]
Laura: Oh my gosh.
Matt: You guys sounded so young.
Laura: Andrew, you sound so different.
Andrew: I sounded so nasally! Ugh! It was gross!
Andrew: That was from Episode 38. That was from Episode 38 from May 7, 2006. Yeah. 2006. So two years ago. Yeah, I sounded nasally, and Eric, you definitely had that scripted.
Eric: Uh, yeah. Yeah.
Andrew: That was definitely planned. No offense. It was good.
Eric: No, no, I completely agree.
Andrew: [laughs] It just sounded scripted.
Eric: Yeah, it was. I was surprised to hear – and sorry I blurted it out, but I was surprised to see Ben. You know – on the – on the show…
Andrew: Oh yeah.
Eric: God. Two years ago was when he was on the show?
Andrew: Yeah. Well, I mean – he was last year. I think it was – it’s not like he completely…
Eric: That wasn’t his last episode.
Andrew: …dropped of the face of the Earth. The other interesting thing about that episode is that – that was when we first announced the MuggleCast – International Wear Your MuggleCast T-Shirt Day. And that’s actually coming up. It’s – gee, I should have looked it up, but I think it – it’s early June, so everyone, put your Mugglecast T-Shirts in the wash and get ready for International MuggleCast T-Shirt Day. Let’s see.
Laura: Oh, it’s June 2.
Andrew: June 2?
Andrew: All right, thank you, Laura. Yeah. You’re right. You’re right.
Eric: I’ll do about a little post about that on M.C. tomorrow.
Create Your Own MuggleCast Segment Second Place Winner
Andrew: And moving along. Our segment contest winner. We premiered third place last week, so Matt’s ready with place number two.
Matt: Yeah. I am. Okay. So we are up to second place on the Create Your Own MuggleCast Segment. And we got all the votes in and everything, so we have come to second place. And…
Matt: Andrew, are you going to give me a drum roll?
[Andrew makes drum roll noise]
Matt: It is Lyndsey Ellis and her sister, Reni, and they talk about food in the Potter series.
Andrew: Ooh. That’s fun.
Andrew: So let’s play it now.
Food in the Harry Potter Series
Reni: Hi. I’m Reni Ellis.
Lyndsey: And I’m Lyndsey Ellis.
Reni: And we’re sisters from Newton, Massachusetts. Today we’d like to talk about the impact of food in the Harry Potter Series. The food that the characters partake of can add symbolism to a scene, can act as a catalyst for events, and can even give clues to the reader about the characters eating it.
Lyndsey: In the Harry Potter Series, J.K. Rowling uses food as a motif to a great effect. Rowling fills her magical world with the victuals her characters consume, and utilizes them to subtly guide the readers’ perception of the characters eating them.
Reni: By continually speaking of the food that the characters eat and make, Rowling adds a certain realism to her otherwise fantastical plot lines. The food described in the Harry Potter series completes the world. The first instance of anything being eaten in the Harry Potter series occurs at the very beginning of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, when Dumbledore begins to eat lemon drops while he and Professor McGonagall wait on Privet Drive for Hagrid to arrive with Harry.
Lyndsey: Then McGonagall declines Dumbledore’s offer for this sweet very coldly – like she didn’t think this was the moment for lemon drops. The fact that Dumbledore enjoys what is a simple Muggle candy signifies much about his character.
Reni: At this point in the story, the reader knows very little about Dumbledore and the part his is to play in the saga; however, Dumbledore’s love of lemon drops later marks him a somebody with unusual taste for a wizard, as well as welcoming of things non-magical. When compared to the mugglebaiting in quest to root out Muggle-borns in the later books, it is a comfort to the reader to know that Dumbledore was excepting towards what others might deem products by – made by a lesser race at the very start of the books.
Lyndsey: One of the first main contrasts between the wizarding world and the Muggle world occurs with the food in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. At the start of the book, it falls to – into an eleven-year-old Harry to cook his cousin, Dudley’s, birthday breakfast. Rowling makes it clear that the Dursleys don’t feed Harry properly. They didn’t exactly starve Harry, but he’d never been allowed to eat as much as he liked. When trying to escape Harry’s Hogwarts letters, Vernon Dursley purchases only a bag of chips and four bananas for dinner, despite the fact that the entire family is very hungry. Comparatively, when Hagrid en – arrives to introduce Harry to the more magical side of things, he brings Harry both a large sticky chocolate cake and six fat, juicy, slightly burnt, sausages. Harry – Hagrid’s purpose is to give Harry his Hogwarts letter, but Rowling also uses this occasion to inform the reader of the better nourishment Harry is to receive at Hogwarts. By the second book, Harry and the reader are much more familiar with the ins and outs of all things wizard; however, at this point in time, both Harry and the reader have yet to experience what a typical wizarding family, such as the Weasleys, is like outside of Hogwarts. At the start of his stay with Ron’s family, Harry is welcomed into the Weasley family with open arms. Despite her initial anger at finding that Harry had arrived at the Burrow via illegal flying car, Mrs. Weasley focuses her energy on filling him up with delicious food, such as sausages, and bread, and butter. These are very caring things to do for a boy Mrs. Weasley has only met twice. Again, Rowling uses the food to foreshadow the relationship between the two characters. Mrs. Weasley becomes the closest thing to a mother Harry has in the series, and though their connection begins around food, it quickly begins to grow to much more.
Reni: In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Rowling utilizes food as medicine for the first time. As you all know, Dementors have come to guard Hogwarts against Sirius Black, and Harry, who has had perhaps the most traumatic life of anybody at Hogwarts, save Neville Longbottom, becomes overwhelmed by his worst memories when near them. To help those affected by the Dementors, Rowling pens the best remedy as chocolate. On the Hogwarts Express, after passing out for the first time, that’s the food that Remus Lupin gives him, and after Harry eats it, he feels this great warmth spread to the tips of his fingers and toes. The readers will recognize chocolate as a common comfort food and can sympathize with Harry’s improved disposition through his consumption of the candy.
Lyndsey: Clearly, the reader will never experience a Dementor, but Rowling has made the cure for Dementor-induced sickness something that everyone can appreciate.
Reni: Due to laws against underage magic outside Hogwarts, Harry is unable to magically rebel against the Dursleys while at Privet Drive during the summer; however, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, he finds a much more satisfying way to get back. In this book, Dudley has become really fat [laughs] and has, therefore, been put on a strict diet. Breakfast everyday for everyone is only a quarter of a grapefruit; however, Harry’s friends take pity on him and send him sugar-free snacks, homemade rock cakes, enormous fruitcakes, pastries, and four superb birthday cakes. Yum. As he gets older, Harry no longer does everything that the Dursleys tell him to do, and by making Harry disobey their dietary orders, Rowling calls attention to his growing independence from them. The relationship between Neville and his mother is emphasized by the food related gift she gives him in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Alice Long – Alice Longbottom – oh my goodness, I can’t even talk – who, along with her husband, has been tortured into insanity, resides in the long-term ward at St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. When Harry and his friends stumble upon this ward, they’re just in time to see Neville and his grandmother leaving. Neville’s mother, who looks thin and warn – I think – and she’s also described with over-large eyes, gives him an empty Drooble’s Blowing Gum wrapper as he is leaving. The other Mrs. Longbottom counsels him to sort of just throw it out. Harry is sure that he sees Neville put the wrapper in his pocket to save it.
Lyndsey: After the harm inflicted upon Mrs. Longbottom by Bellatrix Lestrange, Alice Longbottom shows her love for Neville in the only way that she still can. Her present is representative of the only pleasure she has left in life, chewing gum, and she wants to share it with her son.
Reni: The first feast of the year is always a large one for the students at Hogwarts. Unfortunately, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, due to a Full-Body Bind curse put on him by Malfoy, Harry misses the first half of the meal. As he gets there, he goes across Ron to get a couple of chicken legs and a handful of chips, but before he can take them, they vanish. Instead, Harry has to eat dessert for dinner. Watching this food vanish is sort of symbolic of what happens in the book. Harry loses a lot of things. This is the same book where Dumbledore dies, and – you know – Harry’s always trying to get things, and he just doesn’t get there. Again with the locket – you know – he gets the locket, but it’s the wrong locket.
Lyndsey: Yeah. In the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, it’s the book that quite literally lacks the most in food.
Reni: While Harry, Ron, and Hermione are attempting to find the Horcruxes to destroy them, they quickly realize that when they’re full, it’s better to traveling than when they’re not full, while they fight a lot.
Lyndsey: As they have no leads to the Horcruxes and begin to fight against themselves. Food is something that was never an issue through Harry’s years at Hogwarts and this new found lack of it parallels the destruction of the old wizarding world as Voldemort takes power.
Reni: As Muggle-borns are rounded up people are murdered, dark forces take power, and wizards begin to ignore what is good and what is right. Basic needs of the protagonist are similarly ignored. So finally, in creating the wizarding world of Harry Potter, Rowling is – had to imagine every little aspect of the series.
Lyndsey: Food is a constant thought throughout the series and thus Rowling’s consistent use of it to both feed the characters and explain about their wizarding world is quite appropriate. We hope you enjoyed out podcast.
Andrew: All right, great job, girls, and you will be going home with second prize, which is the $25 gift-cer-card…
Andrew: Which is the $25 gift card for Alivan’s. Alivans.com. You can get wands, House sweaters, ties, robes. Whatever you want related to the wonderful world -wonderful world of Harry Potter. And a $25 gift card. So congrats to them. And next week we’ll be back with first place. Right, Matt?
Matt: Yeah, first place. You know? Third, second, first.
Andrew: Going to be a big one.
Andrew: All right, so, we’re going do the HUH?!? segment – e-mail of the week, but, Micah, you want to…you want to impress everyone with your impersonation of me?
Andrew’s HUH!? E-mail of the Week
Micah: No – Oh, yeah, yeah. Absolutely. It’s time for Andrew’s…
Micah: …E-mail of the Week.
[Laura and Micah laugh]
Andrew: Damn, Micah. That was good.
Micah: That was good, right?
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Geez. I never thought you could escape that – that voice of yours…
Andrew: …but apparently – Oh, you’ve always…
Micah: Chipmunk, chipmunk.
Andrew: You’ve done the chipmunk.
Micah: I’m able to do a chipmunk. Chipmunk, yeah.
Andrew: So, you want to read it?
Micah: No, I think you should.
Andrew: All right. It’s from Maria, 19, of…
Micah: It is your e-mail.
Andrew: Yeah, you – that’s true. It’s from Maria, 19, of Ohio. She writes:
“Hey, it’s Maria. Many of the listeners out there are dying to know the following: Religion?” Slanted face. “Single or taken?” Big smiley face. “Harry Potter or a different series?” Smiley face with tongue out of mouth. “Elysa or Laura?” Eyes pointing into nose. “Just letting you know what the fans want to know. And you’re not allowed to say, ‘I don’t know’ or something like, ‘I like them the same.’ You must pick one.” X-ed eyes, big smiley face.
Andrew: “Okay, thanks. Love the show. Maria.”
Andrew: So for religion, I don’t know.
Matt: Are we really…
Matt: …answering these questions?
Laura: Wait. Can I just – can I just – why is it that – and it’s not just with the show, but in general women are more focused on and criticized than men, because why are we comparing just Elysa and Laura? Because last time I checked there are about six other guys involved with this show.
Laura: And that never – it’s never, you know, Andrew or Matt? Like you never see that. Now that – now that Elysa is on the show people are like, “Elysa or Laura, who do you like better?” A – I – what?
Eric: Laura, you can’t expect them to choose between us, guys, right, men?
Andrew: Yeah, right…
Andrew: Right. Darn right.
Andrew: Yeah. I’m a man.
Andrew: I shave. Ha-ha. But…
Eric: “Harry Potter or a different series?” Okay, we’re on 144, aren’t we? Episode 144. Ah, I think we prefer a different series.
Andrew: Yeah. So…
Andrew: I don’t know. I don’t know what to tell ya.
Matt: It’s kind of demanding too, these questions. “You have to answer because it’s what all the fans…” It’s almost like it’s an official e-mail.
Micah: And you can’t say that you don’t know. You can’t say you don’t know.
Laura: And I can’t say I get too many e-mails from people asking about my religion or whether I’m single or taken. Or like…
Laura: So… [laughs]
Eric: Sorry, but not even some of my work place employers are allowed to ask me some of these questions. And by the way, taken.
Matt: Ooh. That was a shocker there!
Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul
[Chicken Soup Intro Plays]
Andrew: Finals edition! Comes from Anita, 19, of Arkansas:
“Hello, MuggleCasters! I decided to send in a Chicken Soup during finals. Thanks for keeping me sane, by the way. But this isn’t about finals.” I guess I shouldn’t have called it finals edition. “I just wanted to say thank you for helping me become a better listener and even a better speaker. You see, I’ve had moderate hearing loss in both ears
since birth. This causes a problem when I’m in class listening to a lecture, or at least trying to. I don’t pick up on words sometimes,
even with hearing aids. It’s frustrating because I may have missed an important part of the lecture or instructions for an assignment.
It also affects how I speak. However, since listening from day one…” Two years ago… “I’ve been able to pick up on words easier than before
and the pronunciation of certain words have become clearer and easier, as well. So thank you guys.”
That’s wonderful! It’s a unique way. A unique purpose for the show. I have to admit, I’ve become a better speaker after being on the show.
Laura: I think we all have.
Andrew: Like, I would always trip over my words and now it’s just during the contact information when I’m speeding through.
Laura: I feel like we’ve all become far more polished.
Andrew: What’s that?
Laura: I feel like we’ve all become far more polished…
Andrew: Yeah, definitely.
Laura: …throughout the duration of the show.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, Micah, you had radio experience before coming into this. This is just like, you know, another day at the grind for you.
Micah: Not really. It was just fun radio, it wasn’t serious or anything like that.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, neither is this.
Micah: That’s true, but our audience is a little bit more larger for this. What’s that?
Andrew: You didn’t do like the “Morning Zoo” radio, like, “Whoa! Micah Tannenbaum at your morning zoo 8:58! Let’s go to traffic!”
Micah: No, I can’t say that I did. [laughs]
Matt: Why would you go to traffic for a zoo announcement?
Andrew: The “Morning Zoo” – that’s what the the radio show’s called.
Andrew: Yeah. like they play all the cheesy sound effects and stuff.
Micah: They call people and…
Andrew: Play pranks and stuff.
Micah: …play pranks on them.
Eric: Dude, that’s not cool.
Addressing the Concerns
Andrew: Anyway – well, We’re going to wrap up the show – it is usually like this. But we are going to wrap up the show today, and – but before we do that, we wanted to take a moment to address a lot of regular concerns, or questions, that we get when we release new episodes, ’cause we’ve been getting them a lot lately, and people just – they’re simple answers, but we can’t keep up with all the e-mails and questions on the forums and the comments and all that. So first of all, you guys want to talk about one of these first? Just one of you?
Eric: Yeah, okay, I guess we get a few e-mails saying that people – new listeners to the show, who have just recently subscribed to us
through iTunes are not seeing and cannot find the older MuggleCast episodes. You know, when they click on iTunes, they try and get previous episodes, but they’re only able to get the last nine or ten. Well, this is actually because – I think – isn’t it the default on the podcasting feed, we’re only keeping the most recent 10 episodes on our actual iTunes MuggleCast feed. It’s a bandwidth issue, and we can only really keep the past ten. So – but what you may not know, and this is why we’re getting these e-mails, is that all the shows are actually available on MuggleCast.com. If you go to MuggleCast.com and click up at the top where it says “episodes,” you’ll be able to see all the episodes, basically, 1-144, in reverse order, and you’ll be able to download them there. Now, it does take a few more steps than as if they were on the feed, but it’s perfectly fine. All the mp3s already have tags on them,
and they’re already, you know, sort of appropriate for all that stuff. So…
Andrew: The one thing with that, however, is that it will not go in your podcast section of your iPod or within iTunes. And, as of right now, there’s not a way to do that. However, lately, I’ve been thinking that maybe once we stop doing weekly episodes, we’ll make a master feed, and maybe we can set it somehow so iTunes doesn’t regularly check it
and it would just have every single episode, ’cause I know Damon has copies of every file server. Backups, dating back the past two or three years, so I think if I asked him for it, I could patch together all the items in the feed and just make one master feed, which would actually be pretty cool, even though it would be a gigantic file. So…
Micah: Well, can’t you download the show and put it into iTunes and transfer it to your iPod? You can’t do that?
Andrew: Yeah, you can do that, it just won’t go into the “Podcast” area of your iPod.
Eric: Right. In fact…
Micah: I mean, there’s other means, too. You can actually listen to it, which is something that I do sometimes when I’m working, you know, on the weekends, is just play – hit the “Listen Live” button on the site and it just pops open Podtrack, which is, you know, a cool feature as well.
Andrew: Yeah, it is.
Eric: Now, do they show more recent, or sorry, older episodes than the past ten?
Andrew: That only shows ten.
Andrew: And one other thing that we get complaints about every week – people in the comments at MuggleNet.com will go, “It’s not showing up in the feed yet. I don’t see it.” Now, unless I have this wrong, I’m pretty sure it will show up on the feed for everyone. What you have to do is you have to click “Subscribe.” There’s a link on every news post, I say, it says, “subscribe through iTunes.” When you click that link that’s on MuggleNet.com, it will lead you to our directory listing on iTunes. You have to press the “Subscribe” button to get the latest episode as soon as it’s released. If you’re just looking at the list in the iTunes store, then you will not see the new episodes. For some reason it doesn’t show up. It usually takes, like, a day to show up in the iTunes store. But, if you press “Subscribe” it will automatically recheck the feed, your feed, and it will download the latest episode that we’ve just released. So please do that, make sure you’re doing that first before complaining that it’s not showing up on the feed. Maybe I’m completely wrong and for some reason people – on some people’s feeds it’s not showing up. It may be a server thing, I don’t know.
Eric: Hmmm. There is…
Andrew: …hopefully that solves it.
Eric: Andrew, there is also a time delay between the time when you make the news post on the site and when it shows up on iTunes sometimes just generally, you know, because you’re still working…
[Show close music begins]
Andrew: In the iTunes store?
Eric: Yeah, well, you know, I’m saying isn’t there, like, you know, I mean, I always kind of go to MuggleCast.com first, you know, as opposed to waiting for a post on MuggleNet. What – what sort of order do you do? So, if we want MuggleCast when it first comes out, oh my God! First person ever.
Andrew: I – I update – I update all the files on MuggleCast.com first. The very last thing I always do is make the news post on MuggleNet.
Eric: Okay. So you should – we should be going to…
Andrew: That’s always last.
Eric: …MuggleCAST if we want it first first.
Andrew: Yeah, but I mean, really, it’s a difference of like, five minutes. They’re not, you know…
Eric: Oh yeah, yeah. Of course, of course.
Andrew: I understand how some people are going nuts. And if you check the Twitter I’ll also do that very last. So I think that does – does it for the show today. We just want to remind everyone about the contact information. Laura, what’s the P.O. Box?
Laura: It’s P.O. Box 3151, Cumming, Georgia, 30028.
Andrew: You can also call the MuggleCast hotline – we’ll get back to voice-mails next week. If you’re in the United States, you can dial 1-218-20-MAGIC. If you’re in the United Kingdom you can dial 02081440677, and if you’re in Australia, you can dial 02800035668. You can also Skype the username MuggleCast, just remember no matter how you call us, remember to keep your message under sixty seconds and eliminate as much background noise as possible. And send us some good questions because we’ll be getting to voice-mails next week. Also, you can use MuggleCast.com to get a handy feedback form to contact any one of us, or just use our first name at staff dot mugglenet dot com. Also visit MuggleCast.com for a variety of contact links including – community outlets, I mean, including the MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Frappr, Last.FM, fanlisting, forums. Follow us on Twitter, Digg the show at Digg.com and vote for us once a month at Podcast Alley.
Andrew: And that does it for us this week. Once again, I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Matt: And I’m Matthew Britton.
Andrew: Thank you, everyone, for listening, we’ll see you next week for Episode 145. Buh-bye!
Micah: Because, how – are you still recording, Andrew?
Andrew: Yeah, why? You want to do the “HUH!?”
Micah: [laughs] Yeah.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, I was just thinking about that too!
Eric: Well, that works!
Micah: [clears throat] Because, I can do a perfect – what – what do you want me to say? Because I can do a…
Micah: …perfect impersonation of Andrew’s, and then you’ll say, “HUH?!” E-mail of the Week.
Andrew: What if you worked “HUH?!” into, like – because – hmmm, well, I guess that would work.
Micah: It’s up to you.
Eric: Oh wait, well, what about the…
Micah: I can’t think of anything else.
Andrew: How about like, “Because Eric’s number-crunching makes us go, ‘HUH?!” this is…”
Micah: Yeah. Yeah, that’s fine.
[Micah and Andrew laugh]
Eric: The other suggestion was about the big tent, I guess. You know, because the big tent’s going over Disneyland. Ooo.
Micah: Big tent?
Eric: Or whatever it is.
Andrew: Yeah, that wasn’t – I mean that was just my… [unintelligible]
Eric: I think that’s a good merger, that “HUH!?” segment and the…
Andrew: Yeah, yeah, let’s do that.
Micah: All right, you ready?
Andrew: Yep. Probably not, but go.
Micah: [laughs] You have to be.
Andrew: Go ahead.
Micah: All right. All right. Because Eric’s number-crunching makes us go…
Micah: …this is MuggleCast Episode 144 for May 4th, 2008.