MuggleCast 154 Transcript
[Intro music begins]
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[Harry Potter theme plays]
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 it has been one year since the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, this is MuggleCast Episode 154 for July 21st, 2008.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: All right, well we’re coming off of our big Portus show, live in Portus, and this week we have two gentlemen with us, who haven’t been on the show in a while. First, Eric.
Andrew: Eric, welcome back; it’s been a while.
Eric: Thank you, good to be back.
Andrew: Where are you these days? Are you, like, back in New Zealand, or…
Eric: Ah, no, these days I am in Chicago, and I – since I was last on the show. I got a job.
Andrew: What’s your job?
Ben: You work at Target?
Eric: Yeah, I’m trying to pick up a career there. I heard Laura was doing that, so – ah, no, I work for – I work for RedBox. You guys ever hear of that?
Andrew: Yes, that would be the DVD rental service.
Andrew: Just one dollar a day.
Eric: Yes, yes indeed it is.
Ben: Oh, those are the ones outside of McDonald’s?
Eric: McDonald’s, and super markets, and all that stuff, so…
Ben: So how do you work for them? Like, what do you do? Do you go pick up the DVDs? Do you come – what, go collect cash? Or what do you do?
Eric: [laughs] Each week you put in the new movies that go in the following week. And take out all the old ones that no one wants running anymore.
Ben: So you have to do a lot of running around, then, huh?
Eric: Yeah, yeah, pretty much. Every kiosk is, you know, couple, you know – they have them spread out all over Chicago; there’s hundreds, so…
Andrew: Do you cover everyone in Chicago, or…
Eric: No, no. There’s about, like, ten different people that do it.
Ben: So [unintelligible] you’re a humanitarian, providing movie services for all Americans.
Eric: For cheap! For cheap. Absolutely. It’s kind of a cross between my computer experience and my movie theater job, so I really love it. But yeah! Thanks for asking. So did the responsible thing and got a job.
Andrew: Also this week, Ben’s returning. Hey, Ben.
Ben: Hey, Andrew.
Andrew: Where have you been, Ben?
Ben: How are you? Huh?
Andrew: I’m good, thanks.
Ben: How – Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben?
Eric: How’ve you been, Ben?
Ben: I’ve been great. I’ve been – just got back from New York City. Went out there, had a good time. Saw a bunch of friends, saw people, saw big buildings…
Ben: Saw pink berry, tried pink berry. It was pretty good.
Eric: Did you see pigeons?
Ben: Other than that, I’ve just been living life, you know, getting ready to go back to Notre Dame here in about a month. And – yeah! I saw that we’re – you know, it’s been about a year since Deathly Hallows, and so…
Ben: I decided it’s time to come back to the show.
Andrew: Well, I’m glad you brought that up because that’s going to be the big focus of our show this week. Now that we’re finished Chapter-by-Chapter, we’re going to talk about how it’s been one year since the book was released. We’re recording on the 20th, so, I mean, this was the night we were all at our respective release parties, and – oh boy, do I miss it.
Eric: Actually, yeah, by now we were back at the hotel.
Laura: Actually a year ago. Yeah, we were all reading it this time a year ago.
Andrew: Yeah. Tom Rutland actually IMed me a little bit ago at quarter after midnight, England time. He was like, [in a British accent] “Mate, do you remember? We were – we were there a year ago tonight. Chip Chip!” But – yeah, so it was good. So we’ll talk about all that coming up on the show, and of course all the latest news stories. So, I’m Andrew Sims.
Ben: I’m Ben Schoen.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Matt: And I’m Matt Britton.
Andrew: All right, Micah Tannenbaum, what’s in the news?
News: Teaser Trailer
Micah: Well, we’re supposedly going to get a teaser trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince…
Andrew: No, we’re not. I don’t believe you.
Micah: …on August 1st, with the release of the new Mummy movie.
Micah: And who’s all going to go out and see that lovely movie to…
Micah: …heck out the teaser trailer.
Ben: Are you guys bashing The Mummy?
Andrew: No, I’m not – I’m not a Mummy fan. Is anyone else?
Eric: Dude, I’m not bashing The Mummy. I love The Mummy. If I…
Ben: I thought – I thought The Mummy was awesome. The other two were cool.
Eric: Dude, here’s how much I like The Mummy.
Laura: No, I really liked the first two.
Eric: Here’s how much I like The Mummy: I was going to go see the movie before – before I knew that the trailer – or whatever they’re going to call it – maybe it’ll be twenty-five seconds…
Micah: But you’re a movie junkie.
Eric: Yeah, but The Mummy – The Mummy in particular is a big thing for me.
Micah: Well, The Mummy was okay, and then what came after it? The Scorpion King? Or was that a spin-off?
Eric: No, The Mummy Returns.
Micah: Oh, The Mummy Returns, then The Scorpion King.
Ben: Then The Scorpion King.
Eric: Which was a spin-off. Yeah. Which I – I even went and saw that in theaters, so – that’s – yeah, big on that.
Andrew: …at this point it’s either going to be with The Mummy or Star Wars, and…
Ben: There’s another Star Wars?
Andrew: Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It’s the animated Star Wars.
Andrew: It’s – George Lucas is behind it, so I guess it should be pretty good.
Ben: Oh, he’s just trying to make more money.
Ben: But I love him.
Andrew: So, either one of those two. I’m going to put my money down on Mummy, just because that’s the rumors – we never got rumors about Star Wars.
Andrew: They were about The Mummy, so I’m going to stick with our…
Eric: Well, now you say WB confirmed it, or reportedly – like, who did they confirm it to?
Andrew: No. No, nobody. Well, it’s just – people who work at movie theaters have been talking to marketing reps at WB, and they have said The Mummy.
Eric: I see.
Eric: Because if they emailed you, you should just say – you should, like, send a nasty e-mail back. Like, if they’re like, “By the way, these things are slightly more true,” you should be like [spitefully] “Thanks.”
Eric: You know, because how long has it been? Seriously?
Andrew: Well, yeah. We’re long overdue for a trailer and…
Matt: Well, the movie comes out in three months.
Ben: What? Actually 123 days, 5 hours, 11 minutes, and 50 seconds…
Ben: …if you want to be exact.
Andrew: Oh, thank you. MuggleNet countdown. Yeah. So, it will be exciting when it comes out.
Micah: The shorter trailer – I don’t even know if you can call it a trailer, right? It’s like a teaser teaser trailer? – was released with The Dark Knight in IMAX this past weekend, and it has one line with Michael Gambon speaking and that’s about it.
Andrew: Here – here we got it. So, we’re going to play it and we’re all going to be enthralled, and we’re going to be like, “Wow, this was definitely worth the wait.”
Ben: [as Dumbledore] Once again I must ask you to do the impossible, Harry.
Andrew: All right, let’s play the real clip now.
Micah: That was the real…
Eric: That was the real clip.
Andrew: No, that wasn’t the real clip.
[Andrew and Matt laugh]
Dumbledore: Once again, I must ask too much of you, Harry.
[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]
Ben: I can’t hear what he said. It sounds – to me it sounds like, [as Dumbledore] “Once again, I must ask you once again, Harry.”
Andrew: “I must ask too much of you, Harry. It’s like – it’s almost too hard to understand, he’s like mumbling.
Matt: Well, it’s not even proper english is it? [mumbles] “Once again, I must ask too much of you.”
Andrew: It’s like, at WB, they were like, “Michael, Michael, come here, real quick. We need you to do something.”
Ben: You guys, you know this comes back to the fact that he hasn’t read the books, you know?
Ben: If he would have read the books, he probably would have said that line clearer.
Andrew: He’s not confident? So he’s just sort of like…
Eric: Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Laura: I don’t know.
Eric: So – so that was for all the people who paid $300 to go see The Dark Knight in IMAX?
Andrew: In IMAX, yeah.
Eric: People got that little…
Ben: People paid $300?
Eric: Thanks WB. Yeah, yeah, dude, at least in Chicago that’s how it is. IMAX is booked…
Eric: I was down there at noon today, and they were booked, every showing through Wednesday of The Dark Knight in IMAX.
Andrew: What – what – and people – what do you mean, like ticket scalpers were selling them for $300…?
Eric: There was a women who sold three tickets for $180, and there was something else that was.
Andrew: Oh, okay.
Eric: Yeah. These people will buy it just to go see the movie – go see it. Seriously? I would get tickets and sell them for that much money. And wait a week. But…
Andrew: Well, I don’t mean to brag, but MuggleNet was the first person – first site to report that IMAX was going to have that teaser teaser trailer. Even though it was kind of disappointing. But…
Laura: Well, that’s fantastic because that trailer was life altering.
Andrew: Thanks to our [unintelligible].
News: Dark Knight Highest Grossing Weekend Film
Andrew: What else is going on, Micah?
Micah: Well, The Dark Knight, wasn’t it the highest grossing movie in a single weekend?
Andrew: All time. Yeah, the weekend. Yeah. It beat Spider-Man 3.
Ben: Who saw it? Who saw it?
Matt: I saw it, I think everyone saw it.
Ben: I saw it too.
Andrew: I saw it. Think everyone – Micah and Laura, did you guys see it?
Micah: No I did not.
Laura: No, I did not. I haven’t seen it yet.
Andrew: Aw. Come on, guys.
Ben: Get with the times!
Andrew: Go see it.
Ben: Get with the times.
Matt: I’ve seen it three times already.
Micah: I’ll have to go to IMAX so that I an see that really cool teaser trailer that we just talked about.
Laura: That’s what I’m doing. I’m going to pay $300 for it.
Ben: You can capture it with your iPhone.
Eric: Dude, dude, dude…
Is WB Making a Marketing Mistake?
Andrew: You know, some people have been saying that Warner Bros. is getting themselves into a marketing nightmare. Like, this is a huge marketing mistake. Just waiting so long. Would you agree with that? I mean, people are going to – it’s still going to make just as much money as…
Eric: Well, just as like – Andrew, just like you were saying, it’s like they just took Michael Gambon. It’s like – it’s like some WB representative just woke up one day and was like, “Oh, what date is it?” You know? Or he’s like sitting on his couch at home and he reaches in the little pouch in beneath the cushions and he sees his to-do list: get a trailer together. For them, and he’s like, “Oh, crap! Woah, woah, woah, wait. Michael Gambon.” So, he calls him up and just asks him to record this and that’s their teaser trailer. Like seriously…
Ben: Well, come on. This is at least – well, with the other movies, I think there’s almost been too much. You know what I mean? Because, like, with Prisoner of Azkaban, there was always that one line that seemed to show up in every trailer that was just around all the time, where its like, “It is not in the nature of the Dementor to be forgiving.”
Ben: And then like – but no, like, I’m dead serious, though.
Andrew: No, I hear you, yeah.
Ben: Like, with the previous films, I always felt like – I almost got worn – maybe it’s because I work on a Harry Potter website, but I got worn out by seeing so much, like, of trailer material, you know? And at least we don’t know what to expect going into the film at this point…
Ben: …and maybe if we don’t get that much footage beforehand, when we actually see the film, it’ll be more enjoyable because…
Ben: …it will be more of a surprise.
Matt: Well, I agree with that.
Eric: Yeah, I think you’re right.
Matt: They did the exact opposite with The Order of the Phoenix film.
Eric: Well – or wasn’t it in Goblet of Fire they actually showed entire clips?
Laura: Yeah, they did, with Goblet of Fire.
Matt: They showed a lot really early, too, in the advertising.
Andrew: I didn’t watch any of that crap, and I never watch any of that crap.
Matt: But whether you watch it or not…
Eric: It was made available.
Matt: …they had it. Yeah. It was available for anyone to watch.
Eric: And that wasn’t just crap. That was clips from the – from the actual film.
Matt: Hell, we saw half the movie by the time the movie was released.
Eric: Exactly. So I’m glad they aren’t doing that, but still. It’s, you know, two months away. You’d think they could do, you know…
Matt: Give us, you know…
Laura: I could go for a substantial trailer by now.
Eric: Yeah. Or maybe even…
Laura: I mean, that’s all we want.
Matt: I don’t even need a teaser, just a good trailer. I mean, we’re even almost past due with a normal theatrical trailer.
Eric: It’s just like – I mean – how many promo pics do we have? Maybe ten? I mean – the only reason – the only way to get promo pics is if someone smuggles low-res ones out, and WB says, “Oh wait, here’s the…”
Eric: “…high-res of that.”
Laura: Well, there’s not even any promo posters out yet, are there? It’s just that…
Laura: …one that’s black that says Half-Blood Prince.
Eric: I didn’t even see that one.
Ben: We need to get…
Andrew: It’s nothing.
Ben: We need a janitor – we need to get a janitor insider at Leavesden.
Ben: Then – and then have – then give him a digital camera.
Andrew: Leavesden’s closed now though. They have been done filming since March. It’s like, you know – whatever. What else is going on, Micah?
News: Another Picture
Micah: Speaking of pictures, we got another one. [laughs]
Micah: Of Harry and Professor Slughorn, so I guess that’s…
Andrew: I’m loving these pictures of…
Micah: That’s supposed to keep you satisfied, I guess, until this teaser trailer comes out.
Andrew: Yeah. I am loving these pictures of Slughorn. He’s so, like, quirky and…
Eric: And non-Slughorn-y?
Andrew: And – what?!
Eric: [laughs] He doesn’t have a mustache! Doesn’t he have a handlebar mustache? He looks nothing like him.
Matt: I never pictured him with a mustache though.
Laura: Yeah, me neither.
Eric: Well, you should have. [laughs]
Matt: I mean, does it really matter if he has a mustache or not?
Eric: No. No. No. Not particularly, but I – I just – I don’t know. I don’t know how he looks. It like – truly analyzing the pictures of him, I just – I don’t know.
Matt: The only thing that I don’t really care for is that he’s not short. Slughorn is short.
Ben: In this – in this photo isn’t Harry holding…
Andrew: The Half-Blood…
Ben: Yeah. The Half-Blood Prince book, and then he’s – then Slughorn’s holding the Felix Felicis, isn’t he?
Matt: It’s pretty clear, though.
Andrew: Why does it look like they’re in an igloo whenever…
Andrew: …they have pictures in the Potions room? It’s like a rounded room. I don’t know.
Eric: Well, see, that was…
Matt: This is where they did the Legilimency lessons, right?
Andrew and Eric: Yeah.
Eric: It’s Snape’s office, or…
Micah: Isn’t Slughorn supposed to be fatter, too?
Laura: Yeah, he is.
Andrew: Well, they actually did add padding on Jim Broadbent, but I guess it wasn’t enough.
Eric: Yeah, I mean, on 120 pound man, you can only add so much padding.
Andrew: Yeah. I think it looks good though.
Andrew: I’m happy with it.
Ben: That’s not true. That’s not true. You can add a lot more padding.
Eric: That’s true.
Ben: Look at Eddie Murphy, the Professor.
Andrew: Look at John Travolta in Hairspray.
Eric: Yeah, in Hairspray. Right.
Eric: But still – I’ll just reserve judgment until I see him act, because I – I really like the character of Slughorn, and I think they can do a lot with him in the movie.
Matt: Well, I think Jim Broadbent’s a really good actor, so I think he’ll portray it…
Eric: Yeah, I think so, too.
Andrew: Anything else, Micah?
News: Jim Dale at Portus
Micah: Well, we were at Portus last week in Dallas, Texas. Most of us were actually – we were coming home right about now, while we’re recording.
Andrew: This time last week, yeah.
Micah: Jim Dale was down there. We could talk about him a little bit. I thought he did a really good job.
Andrew: Jim Dale was amazing. That was the best event sort of thing that could ever happen at a Harry Potter symposium, hands down. It was so – Jim Dale got so into it. He was reading from the – for anyone who doesn’t know, maybe if you didn’t read the post on MuggleNet, Jim Dale was reading from the audiobook – well, he was reading from the books, and he was extremely animated and he sang the Sorting Hat song, and he was doing all these fun different scenes. It was just so good. He really definitely made it worth everyone’s while.
Andrew: So much fun. Right, Micah?
Andrew: Weren’t you impressed?
Micah: Yeah, I was impressed, and he had the crowd going. I mean, he was up there pretty early in the morning, too. It was about 9:00 in the morning, and there was a large number of people that were there, and he really kept the crowd entertained from the moment he took the stage until he finished up. Like you mentioned, he did a number of scenes from the first four books and he didn’t miss a beat; he just kept going. And he’s what? He’s in his early seventies, I think.
Micah: The guy had so much energy.
Andrew: He’s old.
Micah: He really, really did.
Ben: That’s awesome.
Andrew: Yeah. It was so cool.
Ben: I wish I could have been there.
Andrew: I know, Ben. I’m sorry you weren’t.
Reflections on Portus
Ben: How’d the podcast go?
Laura: He was really nice as well.
Andrew: Yeah, he’s a very nice gentleman. The podcast went great. Went off without a hitch. Just about midnight actually. It was actually on time. And everyone was there, excited to hear the show.
Ben: How many people was everyone? I’m just curious.
Andrew: I would say 300.
Ben: Really? Geez.
Ben: I saw a picture and I thought there was like ten people there.
Eric: That was the meet-up though, wasn’t it?
Andrew: Are you talking about the meet-up?
Ben: Oh, maybe I was talking about the…
Andrew: I think you were talking about the meet-up.
Ben: I saw, like, people…
Ben: …sitting in a circle in a room, kind of.
Laura: Yeah, that was the meet-up.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. That wasn’t ten people. It was like 30 or 40.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Sorry.
Andrew: It was very nice of people to…
Ben: I figured…
Andrew: It was…
Ben: …since I wasn’t there, no one came out.
Andrew: No. Oh, yeah, of course.
Ben: Just kidding. [laughs]
Andrew: No, no. That’s a good transition into the meet-up. We also did a meet up on Saturday and that was a lot of fun, too. And I was so annoyed at the end of it because it went so well. If we had the proper mic equipment there it could’ve been a whole other podcast because we just talked about anything and everything Harry Potter. And everyone really enjoyed it. We talked about MuggleCast…
Ben: Were you guys wearing your suits?
Andrew: We weren’t dressed up.
Ben: How did the ball go?
Andrew: The ball was…
Laura: The ball was really fun.
Ben: Was there spontaneous bawling by anybody?
Andrew: Bawling? What do you mean bawling? [laughs]
Ben: Like crying.
Andrew: Oh, no, no, no. None of that this year.
Matt Fractured His Foot
Matt: I broke my foot.
Laura: Yeah, Matt. [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah, Matt broke his foot, but… [laughs]
Ben: That’s what I heard. Like, so – does that mean the MuggleNet has to have some, like, workman’s comp for him or something?
Andrew: [laughs] No, he fractured it. It’s okay.
Micah: So, does he have a cast now?
Eric: How’d that happen?
Andrew: He had a brace.
Matt: I have a boot.
Andrew: He has a brace. He hasn’t been using it much, though. But…
Ben: You got to get healthy, Matt.
Ben: The podcast needs your foot.
Andrew: You want to tell the story, Matt? Go ahead. Tell the story for the audience, how you fractured your foot at the ball.
Matt: I was dancing.
Ben: What kind of dance?
Matt: And… [laughs]
Ben: What kind of dance was it? Was it freaking?
Eric: That’s some hardcore dancing.
Matt: It was…
Ben: Was it juking? Was it grinding? Was it the two-step?
Matt: Well, it was – what is juking? No, I was just jumping up and down, and I landed on my foot sideways, and I heard it pop like three times.
Andrew: So the dance was a lot of fun. They had a really cool Portus ice sculpture that was all lit up. It looked really, really cool. And they had Wizard Rock there, so that was a whole lot of fun.
MuggleCast 154 Transcript (continued)
Another Convention in the Hotel
Micah: Speaking of – I thought we’d just mention this. There was another interesting convention that was going on at the same time…
Laura: Oh, yeah! [laughs]
Micah: …in the hotel.
Andrew: Go ahead. Laura, you tell them.
Andrew: Go ahead. You talk about it real quick.
Laura: Oh, man. So, at the same time that this Harry Potter convention was going on, we noticed that a large, miniature church had been erected in the center atrium of one of the lobbies. There were – there was a Christian missionaries convention going on. And it was really interesting because a few of them went around trying to evangelize the Potter fans. They even…
Laura: …bought day passes into a couple of the events in order to come in to…
Andrew: Spread the Word.
Laura: …preach. Yeah. So it was special. They told us that God loved us, and it was nice.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Laura: And we said, “Well, Harry loves you.” So…
Micah: Yeah. [laughs] Even that guy who was dressed up as Voldemort, I think, paid a trip over there, so…
Laura: Did he really?
Micah: …that was an interesting time.
A Few Thank Yous
Andrew: So there are a few people we want to thank: Aziza, HPEF, Jim Dale, and the rest of the Portus staff. They did a great job. Micah, what’s coming up? HPEF has more stuff coming up. It’s pretty exciting, right?
Micah: Yeah, they do. They have two events that are taking place over the next two years. Next year is going to be in San Francisco, July 18th through the 21st. It’s called Azkatraz, and it’s kind of a combination, a spin off, of Alcatraz and Azkaban. So, it’s going to be interesting to see what the programming is going to be for that one.
Micah: And then we actually got some time to speak with the people from Universal Studios when we were at Portus, and they’re going to be – HPEF is going to be in Orlando in 2010, July 15th through the 18th, in conjunction with Universal Studios, so hopefully something associated with the theme park.
Andrew: It’s going to be insane. No question…
Andrew: …about it.
Ben: Ooo. I’m coming to these. San Francisco especially. I went to San Francisco last summer for the book tour thing, Emerson and I did…
Ben: …and I went to Alcatraz and stuff, and San Francisco is just one of the most unique, coolest cities ever to go to. So…
Andrew: Yeah. I can’t wait. That’ll be so much fun.
Ben: It’ll be so much fun.
Andrew: The Orlando thing too, though. I mean, working with Universal to make this happen…
Laura: Yeah, it’s going to be…
Andrew: Like, oh man. It’s going to be insane.
Laura: …it’s going to be crazy.
Andrew: Ben’s going to…
Micah: It’s called Infinitus, right? That’s how you say it? We kept screwing it up.
Matt: Yes. Because the possibilities of the fandom is infinite.
Micah: Oh. Good job. That’s their slogan. Or did you just come up with that?
Matt: Yeah. I think it is. [laughs]
Andrew: So that’s the news this week, right, Micah?
Micah: That’s it.
Announcement: Podcast Alley
Andrew: All right, let’s move on to some announcements. Don’t forget to vote for us at Podcast Alley.
Ben: You’re still on that?
Andrew: Yeah. Always will be, Ben.
Andrew: Always will be.
Andrew: Just a little side note, on iTunes store, under podcasts this week, if you go to the podcasts main page – well, actually for the past two weeks, we’re under the Fun For Kids section, right there on the main page. We’re actually the number one Fun for Kids podcast. Next to us is Sesame Street, so that just shows you what, you know, iTunes thinks of us.
Micah: We’re two on Podcast Alley.
Andrew: We’re more kid friendly then Sesame Street. We’re more fun – yeah. That’s what I was about to say.
Andrew: Eric, you have a note here. What’s this about?
Announcement: MuggleCast Down Under Now Online
Eric: What’s this about? Well, it’s – you guys may not remember, but about nine months ago – it was nine months ago – last October, we did a little – well, not a little – we did a big MuggleCast event down in Australia.
Ben: Oh, MuggleCast Down Under!
Eric: MuggleCast Down Under! Heck yes! And I just – I got to say how happy I am that both Ben and Micah are on this episode. I mean Ben especially, because that’s rare, but you guys both really contributed to that podcast, and what’s happening with it is that I have the video footage edited, and now online. I put it up on – well, actually, it’s Google Video, it says “processing” for the last six hours, so I’m trying to get it up. But it’s basically…
Ben: So could you please explain to me how I contributed? I don’t recall being there.
Eric: Well, you…
Andrew: This was Eric’s clever solution.
Ben: Oh, did I record a video? I did, didn’t I?
Andrew: Yes, exactly.
Eric: Yes, yes, you did. You did a debate segment. You did a live debate segment.
Ben: Oh, crap. I didn’t even realize that.
Andrew: I haven’t even seen that yet.
Eric: And Micah did the first ever news at a live podcast as well, and I just got to say, Micah especially, if you take a look at this video, I think it’s around the fifteen minute mark, you’ll see just how much everybody really loved it. And you guys pretty much – your video input really kept the show afloat, so that it wasn’t sort of just me there, and they really appreciated it. So the Australian fans, big thanks to HP Events Australia, but yeah, everything down there. The Sydney footage is now online.
Muggle Mail: Dumbledore Didn’t Know Everything, He Guessed
Andrew: First one comes from Jenny, 26, of Sweden. She writes:
“Hey MuggleCasters, about Dumbledore’s lying and saying he was going to tell Harry everything about eleven times. I found a part concerning that in ‘Half-Blood Prince.’ This is on page 187 in the UK edition. Harry says, ‘”You said at the end of last term you were going to tell me everything.” It was hard to keep a note of accusation in his voice. “Sir,” he added. “And so I did,” said Dumbledore, placidly. “I told you everything I know. From this point forth, we shall show leaving the firm foundation of fact and journeying together through the murky marshes of memory into thickets of wildest guess work.”‘” Jenny continues, “I think Dumbledore’s excuse to himself, or loophole, is that he didn’t know everything, he merely guessed. I love your show, thanks for it.”
So I thought that was a valid point because we – Dumbledore does emphasize that a lot, that he’s just making guesses, and he says that in Book 7 as well.
Eric: Hmmm. I liked how Dumbledore kept an open mind throughout Book 6 as far as what was going on, but he didn’t really, because, when shown with all the memories, like – I mean he did, but when shown with all the memories, I mean, Harry formed that same conclusion which was kind of the cool thing about it, was that Dumbledore was letting Harry form his own sort of conclusions, too, and Dumbledore had kind of guess. But, I mean, ever since Dumbledore had the diary of Tom Riddle, he more or less knew that that was where it was going, so, that was really cool.
Muggle Mail: Lord of the Rings Connection
Laura: Our next e-mail is also from Jenny, 26, of Sweden. She writes:
“Hey, MuggleCast. When Narcissa aids Harry in the last chapter I thought of ‘Lord of the Rings’ and how pity from the heroes saved them in the end. In ‘Fellowship of the Ring,’ the movie, Frodo says something along the lines of, ‘It’s a pity Bilbo didn’t kill Gollum when he had the chance,’ and Gandalf answers, ‘It was pity that stopped Bilbo’s hand; do not be too quick dealing out death and judgment. My heart tells me Gollum has some part to play yet.’ And sure enough, Gollum is the one who inadvertently destroys the rings, saving the world. Harry saves Draco, who has been his enemy, from the fire, and also in the battle, and because of it Narcissa enables him to save the world.”
It’s an interesting little connection.
Matt: Eh, I don’t really see there’s really much relevance, though. In Lord of the Rings, when they were referring to pity the that Bilbo had on Gollum, it was just pity on Gollum himself because of what kind of a person that Gollum was. But Narcissa didn’t really give pity on Harry. She was…
Matt: She asked him if her son was okay because she was thinking just about her son.
Laura: Well, I think she’s…
Matt: And of the fact that…
Laura: …talking about the pity Harry had for Draco, because he saved Draco.
Eric: Yeah, I really like that scene in Book 7.
Matt: But what does Narcissa have anything to do with it?
Eric: Well, she pretends that Harry’s dead and she saves him. She has a moment of decency.
Matt: Right, but what relevancy does this comparison have to Narcissa?
Laura: Well, she’s just making the comparison that, because of – because Bilbo originally had pity for Gollum, that enabled Gollum to inadvertently save the world, and then because Narcissa – she didn’t really – I see what you’re saying, she didn’t have pity for Harry necessarily; she was in it for her own ends, but I think she’s drawing the comparison from Harry’s pity for Draco, having that effect.
Eric: Hm. In both instances…
Laura: That would sort of – yeah.
Eric: In both instances sensitivity has saved the day.
Matt: Harry’s pity for Gollum – I mean Harry’s… [laughs] …pity for Draco enabled Harry to…
Laura: Save the world.
Matt: …save the world. Okay.
Muggle Mail: Snape’s Death Scene
Eric: Okay. Next Muggle Mail comes from Sierra D. of South Carolina. She says:
“Hello. I’d like to start off, like the rest of the Muggle Mailers, though it may seem like a cliche, by adding – or by saying that your show rocks. I was listening to the Portus episode and I thought I might be able to help you reword this sentence. How about, and I quote, ‘All was well. Nineteen years had passed since pain had come from his scar.’ End quote. Or something along those lines. I also had a question, though maybe a bit late. Do you think that Severus Snape died in a way that showed the type of person he was? Snape was clever and sneaky, just like the snake that killed him. Hmmm.” …. “Interesting. Anyway, thanks.”
Ben: Kind of karma.
Eric: Yeah. Kind of. And she says, “Matt, Andrew, Ben, Micah, Jamie, Laura, Eric, Mikey and Elysa are my favorites. Love, Sierra D.”
Andrew: Aw, how fair of her.
Eric: Yeah, well, if I were Aris Janetakos I’d be pissed off.
Micah: He hasn’t been on the show in what, like, 152 episodes.
Eric: [laughs] Yeah, well, I mean she listed like all of them, so, but yeah.
Andrew, Laura, and Matt: Oooh.
Andrew: [laughs] Aris Janetakos. Oh man.
Micah: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know about the Snape death scene. I was kind of disappointed with that, to be honest with you.
Andrew: Oh, I loved it.
Laura: I thought it was great.
Micah: It wasn’t enough fight from him. I mean, I guess he…
Matt: Because he accepted his fate.
Micah: …was kind of taken by surprise.
Matt: He knew he was going to die.
Laura: Yeah. I don’t know, and as for the rewording of the sentence, I personally really liked the way the last sentence was worded.
Andrew: But this was just for the fun, because at the live podcast…
Laura: Yeah, I know…
Andrew: …everyone was like, “It should have ended with ‘scar’ like she promised.”
Laura: Because Andrew can’t reword the last sentence of the book.
Laura: He just said something along the lines of, “All was well. Pain…”
Andrew and Laura: “…scar.”
Andrew: No, and then I came up with a sentence and I forget what I said now, but it was really good, I thought.
Laura: Yeah, no.
Matt: But the last word was “scar” and it was the last sentence that you used it as.
Main Discussion: One Year after Deathly Hallows
Andrew: Oh, whatever. Anyway, speaking of that, it’s time to get into our main discussion now. We’re going to talk about one year since Deathly Hallows. It’s been one year since the book came out. July 21, 2007, and we’re still here. Look at that. Imagine that. We still – Laura and I…
Ben: I remember when we started talking about ending the show then.
Andrew: I was talking to Laura today about being nostalgic over, you know, it being…
Andrew: …one year and being in England.
Laura: Oh my gosh.
Andrew: Laura, it’s sad, isn’t it?
Laura: It is. Well, because you pulled up the video from our live UStream after…
Laura: …we all finished the book, and it’s just like I could go back to that so easily.
Andrew: Oh, I’d love too.
Laura: Oh, so much fun.
Eric and Kevin Fought Over a Blanket
Ben: Was Eric and Kevin’s fight on the UStream?
Andrew: Oh, no I forgot about that, though.
Andrew: What did they fight about? I forget. What was the fight?
Ben: The duvet cover.
Andrew: The debate cover?
Andrew: The what? Duvet?
Ben: The blanket.
Laura: Yeah. [laughs]
Andrew: Oh, the blanket. They fought over the blanket. Eric, any comment? One year later?
Andrew: No comment from Eric.
Matt: You guys fought over a blanket?
Micah: Where’s Eric?
Andrew: No comment. Yeah, I’m sure he doesn’t want to comment.
Ben: Eric, are you mad?
Matt: Eric’s on mute.
Andrew: We’ll get Kevin Steck’s opinion at one point. Anyway though, Ben, you had a fun event going on too, right, in Chicago?
Ben: Yeah, I was in Oak Park, Illinois. We had a…
Ben: …lot of people there. We had – it was me and Emerson, Emerson and I, up on the stage, and it was one of the best nights of my life. I’m not going to lie, just the energy I felt standing up there.
Ben: The way, you know, when we were signing autographs or whatever there was literally a line all the way down the block, and that’s when it hit me that I made it. [laughs] Just kidding.
Ben: No, I’m just saying, I just felt so fortunate and so lucky to have been a part of all this…
Ben: …and still be a part of it.
The State of the Fandom
Andrew: So, we’re going to talk a lot about the fandom today, because it has been a year, and for the longest time people were wondering what was going to happen after the book came out. And I mean still it’s just as popular as ever, right? The fandom?
Laura: Yeah, I think so.
Eric: I think it’s changed.
Ben: It’s evolved.
Andrew: It has changed, but how, Eric? How has it changed?
Eric: Has it changed? Well, I don’t know. It’s interesting, Andrew, because I distinctly think – I mean – okay, there’s different people in the fandom, and of course when I’m speaking it’s my opinion, and it’s not necessarily how things really are, but I’ve noticed that there are certain fans, for instance, that have really begun following Wizard Rock, and they’re attending more Wizard Rock concerts than they did, you know, I mean – with no new books coming out, there’s of course still hype for the movies, but it’s kind of branched off. I think the fandom, some people have gone the way that three of our MuggleCasters have gone: Twilight. They’ve gone into the Twilight fandom.
Ben: Ooh! By the way, TwilightSource.com, check it out!
Andrew: Mhm, fantastic site.
Laura: Yes, thank you. It’s a great site.
Eric: Anyway, so people have found sort of other books, and you know that’s good because obviously we want to promote reading and all that other stuff.
Ben: It’s all about literacy.
Eric: Yeah, yeah. So some people have gone off and kind of got interested in Twilight and hooked on that. Other people have stayed and they still listen to our shows, and still talk about our shows on the fan forums and pretty much do that. But it’s just interesting, because without a book coming, it’s not like the whole fandom as a whole is just sort of waiting to be enlightened, which is how I kind of felt it was, especially between Book 6 and Book 7. There was so much hype of – there was a presence. You know, Book 6 itself was almost a presence – or the books. The book series, Harry Potter the series was a presence until it was closed off, and I think we lost that, but at the same time, you know, there are still plenty of things to talk about and do.
Matt: So basically, Eric, you’re saying that after the last book had ended, that the fandom separated into separate niches. And so they’re in their own groups.
Eric: Yeah, I think they still identify, and you guys, having just been to the Harry Potter conference, can kind of identify – you know, say what you think, but I think Harry Potter fans still identify themselves as Harry Potter fans, and we’ll all converge for the movies and stuff, but there’s no encyclopedia in sight, and I think at the moment, it’s this really interesting, not just down time, like there was between the books, but a completely different sort of, you know, branching off, because there are no books left.
Matt: I think it’s a time in the fandom when everyone gets to be more creative, because now they have all the information they want and now they can do what that they want to do in the fandom.
Eric: That’s good.
Laura: Yeah, I agree with that.
Micah: I think – wasn’t it you, Andrew? This question came up when you were doing your little panel with the rest of the podcasters at Portus, and I just think that, you know, when you have these events that are still going on and still taking place, obviously the gathering, I don’t think, was probably as large as some of the previous conferences that have been held, but it still seemed like the people that were there were extremely dedicated and into it.
Micah: I have never seen people dressed up like that before in my life, and some of it was scary, and some of it was fun at the same time. But, you know, I still think you have – I mean Matt, you brought up a good point, that everyone has kind of gone their own way into different areas of the fandom. But it still seems like there are a good amount of people out there that are still going to be into it no matter what. You look at the fact that HPEF is still planning these events in the future.
Andrew: Through 2010. I mean…
Andrew: These conferences really do remind you what the fandom is all about, because, you know, even if there’s one twenty years from now people are still going to show up there dressed up in their costumes and talk Harry Potter. People make friends.
Micah: Absolutely. And it was just interesting to see, particularly with Portus, that it wasn’t just the younger fanbase; there was a lot of, you know, older people, not to classify age range or anything like that, but… [laughs] …you know, there’s – all age ranges love the series.
Eric: Yeah, I was just going to ask you that. Portus, were there more adult Harry Potter fans?
Andrew: I think there was an even balance, actually.
Micah: Yeah, I would agree with that.
Andrew: We brought the kids and Portus brought the adults.
Micah: And everyone had a great time, so…
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Matt: Yeah, everyone had a great time. We’ve been noticing, too, lately, is that for the podcasts, like our podcast even, we’re still getting a lot of new listeners. It’s not just the same amount – or people just, like, stop listening to it ’cause the fandom is starting to slow down or something. We’re getting – we’re getting a lot of new listeners listening in to the show, too.
Andrew: Yeah, and I brought that up at the Portus panel, too. We still see lots of e-mails from people saying “Hey, I’m new to the show,” and, you know, “it’s great, thanks for doing it.” And then I realize that I think we are getting new listeners because there’s die-hard Harry Potter fans who, you know, no longer have the books to read. They’re looking for other outlets in the fandom. And Wizard Rock and podcasting are definitely two of the biggest ways to fill your Potter craving, I think. Wizard Rock is more fun, just to have fun with Harry Potter. And podcasting is having fun and also learning a thing or two.
Micah: I mean, just think if we had started podcasting, like, you know, before Order of the Phoenix came out, how much…
Laura: How big it would have been.
Micah: Yeah. [laughs]
Eric: Yeah. Dude, half of us would have been thirteen.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Laura: That’s true. I was like fourteen when that book came out.
Eric: [laughs] Yeah.
Laura: Oh well. Doesn’t matter.
Andrew: There have been a few things that have really fueled the fandom, over the past – well, actually over the past year. Some of those would be the anticipation for the theme park, Dumbledore being gay in October, that was huge…
Ben: He’s always been gay.
Andrew: That got as much press as when the book came out.
Eric: He wasn’t just gay in October, Andrew. [laughs]
Andrew: He’s always been – well, when it was revealed that Dumbledore was gay.
Eric: Yeah, absolutely. That was a shocker.
Andrew: Yeah. The Harry Potter prequel was also fueled some interest in the fandom, and then the J.K.R./R.D.R. lawsuit, which, while isn’t the most positive thing, it’s certainly created discussion in fan forums and on podcasts, and maybe even a Wizard Rock song or two. Nobody’s done that yet, but I think they should.
Big Harry Potter Stories
Laura: I have to say that out of all of these, I really think the Dumbledore being gay story was the biggest one.
Andrew: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: No, yeah. I agree. The theme park was pretty big too. And, actually, I may be wrong about this, I think it was announced before Book 7 came out, right?
Eric: Yeah, it was, but it was never…
Andrew: It was in March…
Eric: I don’t think we got any solid, like, concrete stuff. And then one day, Universal said “Okay, we’re actually tearing this stuff down and building a Wizarding World.”
Eric: Like, they announced that J.K.R. had been with them since the beginning and was totally planning this. And I think that happened after Book 7.
Micah: Well, I think two of our best episodes came from two of these topics, the first being about Dumbledore, and the second being about the lawsuit. So…
Micah: …I think, you know, we need something else like that to stir things up here, before they – well, if they still plan on releasing a movie, ’cause who knows at this point…
Micah: …what’s going to happen.
Laura: Jo needs to out another character.
Andrew: Yeah, seriously.
Eric: [laughs] Out someone else, Jo. Just, you know…
Back to the Fandom
Andrew: How long do you guys think the Potter fandom will be around for?
Ben: Forever, Andrew!
Andrew: In this sense, with multiple fansites…
Andrew: No, but I mean – but I mean…
Ben: The Potter fandom lives on within you!
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Andrew: Multiple popular fansites, multiple popular Wizard Rock bands, multiple popular pod – actually, wait, no, we’re the only good one.
Eric: Well, okay, we answered that question.
Laura: Honestly, I…
Eric: Well – go ahead, Laura.
Andrew: What, Laura?
Laura: I think the lifespan of that lies with those of us who are running them.
Eric: Yeah. Right.
Laura: Essentially, as we all grow up, and as we get jobs, and start making families, I have a feeling it’s going to start dying down.
Ben: Oh, Laura, Laura, we’re never going to get old.
Laura: It’s just – that’s the natural progression. I’m sorry – not that it’s a bad thing! Not that the sites won’t still exist, but I’m saying when we all have three kids running around our feet, we’re not going to have time to go post news on MuggleNet.
Andrew: But the big thing…
Micah: No… [laughs] …I’m not going to say anything, that’s way too easy to…
Laura: [laughs] Shut up!
Micah: …to say something else. [laughs] No, no…
Andrew: I think – but the fans choose whether the fandom stays big or not. I don’t think it’s really up to us. Because a lot of people just gave up on the fandom after the book came out. They were just like, “Harry Potter is over.” And we still – it’s so weird. We get comments on MuggleNet from people who are like, “Who cares anymore? The fandom’s dead, Harry Potter is over.”
Micah: Well, they’re taking the time to write that…
Andrew: Right, exactly…
Micah: …so clearly they care.
Andrew: Why are you visiting the site if you think the fandom’s over? It just doesn’t make any sense. So – but I
think there are some people who really do feel like that Harry Potter is over and all that…
Andrew: …and, hey, whatever, it’s their decision but I think ultimately it depends on how many dedicated Harry Potter
fans there are. I think Harry Potter will certainly last longer fandom-wise than, say, Twilight, because it doesn’t
have as big of an audience. They are dedicated but it’s not as big.
Laura: Well, I think it’s comparable to any other fantasy series that has a following but it’s finished. You know, you look at Lord of the Rings. There is still Lord of the Rings sites online, they just don’t make big news.
Eric: Yeah, well, it’s forty or fifty years before they did the movies.
Laura: Yeah, but what I’m saying – what I’m saying is that this is what it’s going to progress to. I’m not saying it’s going to be like that in five or even ten years, but eventually it will.
Eric: Oh no, no. I agree. I agree with you.
Matt: When they re-make the movies it will be huge again.
Micah: I still think you’ll have the conventions that people will go to, regardless, and…
Laura: Oh, definitely.
Matt: Yeah, like the Star Trek conventions and the Star Wars conventions they do.
Eric: Yeah. Well, that’s still going on, kind of. I mean Star Wars is still going on because all the fans are taking that – well, actually, Andrew, have we seen anything? Because, like, you asked, like, how long is it going to last? Have we seen anybody drop? Have we seen any major websites that don’t get updated anymore? I mean, I think that’s the kind of way to gauge it.
Andrew: Not really. Well, I mean – I of course wouldn’t say that on air, I wouldn’t point fingers at people, but I think – yeah, I think there definitely have been changes in the fandom. Not podcasts, not big podcasts, not big Wizard Rockers, but there are some bigger websites that have sort of dropped the ball after the book came out. That’s maybe just my personal opinion.
Andrew: I think with time, things change, people come, people go, so – but how many, like – how the fandom is today. How many years do you guys think it’ll last? Do you think it’ll last through the last film coming out in 2010?
Ben: I think so.
Laura: Yeah, I think so.
Matt: I think it really depends on what comes up.
Ben: Well, I think it’s going to go in the same – it’s going to follow the same pattern that it did, that it went through with the movies before, you know. There’s always – there’s going to be – like the baseline of the fans, you know, like when – in between movies, you know what I mean? Like when we’re in between books, like – that, like – the fandom at that level has dropped, has died down significantly, I would say. But as we get closer to a movie release, you know, the one that’s coming out in 123 days, 55 minutes and 22 seconds, then we see it’s like a roller coaster effect, you know? At those points we’re going to have the peaks in our traffic, and there are going to be more fans online, there are going to be more people interested in it, MuggleCast is going to get more downloads, and then after those periods…
Ben: …it’s going to fall back off to the baseline. Now the only difference is that baseline, the base of the fandom, is
continually getting smaller as time goes on, I think.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Laura: Yeah. I think that’s the perfect way to describe it.
Andrew: Another thing that I just remembered is Harry Potter the Exhibition, which is going to be that…
Matt: Oh, right.
Andrew: The roving Harry Potter set.
Matt: That’s going to be pretty cool.
Andrew: And that’ll be really cool.
Ben: What is it?
Eric: We’ll definitely – we’ll definitely get reports.
Andrew: Some company’s working with Warner Bros. to bring an exhibition across the United States. Like, to different cities. And it’s just going to be tons of, like, props and stuff from the Harry Potter films.
Andrew: And it’s going to be ten thousand square feet, and hosts “elaborate displays of authentic costumes, props and artifacts from popular environments featured in the films.” And that’s starting in Spring 2009, so…
Eric: Yeah, that’ll be really cool.
Micah: Yeah, I think it depends a lot on this encyclopedia too. I mean it’s not going to – it’s not certainly going to attract the same amount of attention as the books because I don’t think that you can do that and, you know, there’s never going to be the build-up that we all experienced before the release of each of those books. It’s just not – you can’t replicate that.
Micah: And it’s never going to happen again.
Ben: That’s what I’m saying. Imagine, like, how could you miss something like that? You know what I mean? Like if I was – like imagine if you just started reading Harry Potter now and, you know, you already heard from your friends that Harry lives, you already heard all of these things, and imagine how you’d feel after you read the sixth book. You know, it was – it’s a completely different scenario, like what we were looking at last summer, you know? Because we were – it was one of the only times ever that we didn’t know what was going to happen, and it was like such a beautiful feeling, you know, in hindsight, because now that everything’s said and done…
Ben: …you can look back and, you know, it’s kind of like after Lord of the Rings, after that last book came out, you know? It’s – we truly – we lived in such a unique time, and it just sucks that so many people – I have so many friends who didn’t read the books, who just, you know, thought it was stupid thing or whatever when they’re missing out on the greatest cultural phenomenon ever.
Eric: Dude, that’s very sensitive. I…
Eric: Yeah. Very sensitive.
Andrew: Well, yeah, and it’s also a shame to think about how many kids in future generations are going to read these books but they’re missing out on one of the coolest parts of reading these books. It’s just being part of the fandom. Like, you know, twenty years from now when kids are turning fourteen or fifteen, and somebody finally introduces them to Harry Potter, they’re going to be like, “Wow, these books are great. I need to fill my craving,” and there’s not going to be anything! [laughs]
Ben: Well, see, what’s interesting, though – like, what I would like to know, a statistic I’d like to find out, is what percentage of people who have actually – who have read the Harry Potter books, have participated in what we refer to as “the fandom” in some way, shape or form. You know what I mean? Like what percentage of them have gone to the Internet and actually looked for additional Harry Potter news? Like, it’s like a casual reader versus somebody whose more into it, you know?
Eric: Exactly, because there’s probably – I mean, oh geez, there’s – I’d like to know the percentages of those who haven’t, you know. I mean all the people we’d never hear from. Even listening to the show there’s hundreds of people that listen to this show and we don’t ever, ever ever, hear from them. They hear us, so hi, people!
Matt: Well, yeah – well, just the other day – actually today, right before we were recording, I went to Chipotle to get some food, and I was passing these two girls in the restaurant and they were talking to each other about Harry Potter.
Eric: Dude, really?
Matt: Just talking about the fandom.
Matt: Yeah, or not the fandom itself, but they were just talking about, you know, Harry Potter and talking about, like, how can somebody not like Harry Potter or not read Harry Potter.
Ben: What’s weird – what’s weird is I’ll still, like, on occasion, on rare occasion, when I’m in Chicago or something – you know, like someone will recognize me or I’ll be with Emerson or somebody will recognize Emerson, and it’s just so funny because, like, what will happen is they’ll make eye contact with you, they’ll look away, and, like, they’ll think about it for a second, and then their eyes will immediately dart back to you. And then like…
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. [laughs]
Ben: …that’s like the dead giveaway. That’s when you instantly know you’re like, “Are they going to talk to me or are they not going to talk to me?” [laughs]
Eric: Ben, some people have all the luck. I’ve been living in Chicago for five months and that’s not happened to me yet.
Ben: Maybe you’re just not as recognizable.
Micah: You know, I…
Matt: [mocking Ben] I just have one of those faces.
Micah: You know, it’s funny, because I always bring up work and, you know, I always talk about people there who read the series but kind of don’t say anything, but when I was at Portus, you know, I guess somebody did a Google search on me at work and they found out one of the articles that I guess we had done, and they started sending it around to a couple of people in the office and – you know, because they always like to give me a hard time about this, and…
Eric: Is this a story about how Micah gets picked on at work?
Micah: Yeah. Well, no, it’s actually – this is to show that – how many people actually read it but aren’t as active as we think.
Micah: And so this article starts getting passed around to a bunch of different people and I wasn’t on it so I don’t know what was said, but I was told it eventually got to one of the guys that I used to work for and one of the guys who now works for him – and the guy who worked for him, he’s like, “What is this Muggle crap? I don’t understand. Who the hell would be interested in this kind of stuff?” And his boss replies to him, and he says very strictly – he’s like, “I’m interested in it.”
Micah: I guess you better be careful.
Andrew: You know, my initial prediction was that ten percent of people who have read the books are a part of the fandom. But I’m reading an article now that just came out in June. Says, “Potter tops 400 million sales worldwide.” And so now I’m thinking, okay, so 400…
Ben: It’s more like one percent.
Andrew: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So, if you divide – 400 million divided by seven, that’s – that would be -technically be 57 million readers, and so, I mean…
Ben: During our peak time we got maybe…
Andrew: Ten million.
Ben: …300,000 visitors per day.
Andrew: Mhm. Wait, you think when the book came out? It was more than that.
Ben: I guess it was probably…
Andrew: I guess average. I guess average, that would be right.
Ben: I guess it was pretty close to, like, half a million.
Andrew: So it is extremely small, and you wonder, like, why those people…
Ben: Less than one percent actually. I guess it just depends. A lot of people who are involved in the Harry Potter fandom are Internet junkies. That’s safe to say.
Laura: That’s true.
Andrew: Right. Yeah.
Ben: I have nothing against those people. Like they just – they’re into a lot – they’re into instant messaging, social networking, Facebook, MySpace, those kinds of things. And so, you know, that’s the reason I got into the Harry Potter fandom, is because from the time I was ten years old, I was just constantly on the computer, and so when I started reading the books, the first thought that went through my mind was, I need to see what’s on the Internet about this.
Eric: Same. Absolutely same.
Laura: Yeah, me too.
Ben: And some people just aren’t as lucky as us to have stumbled upon something so great.
MuggleCast 154 Transcript (continued)
Eric’s Solution for Future Generations
Eric: Actually, you know, I have the solution to that, Ben. The thing you were saying earlier about our, you know, future generations not being able to wait. I think we as parents should just take away their seventh book. You know…
Ben: Don’t allow them to read it.
Ben: Kind of like Santa Clause. You know, when people… [laughs]
Laura: Give it to them at midnight. [laughs]
Andrew: That’s what Scholastic and Bloomsbury should do. Ten years from now, take all the books off store shelves and release each one, one per year…
Andrew: And you make people wait. You do all these releases all over again.
Eric: You think that…
Andrew: Talk about a money maker.
Jo Revising the Books
Ben: They should release, like – don’t you remember when Jo said a while ago that she, at one point, would go back and revise the books?
Andrew: Did she?
Laura: Oh yeah! She did.
Ben: She said that. She said that she’d go back and go through the books and make them better, you know what I mean? Do something like that.
Ben: I mean, that could just be a kind of a pipe dream on her part. Because if I was her, I’d be tired of all the Harry Potter crap. It’s not crap, but you know what I mean.
Eric: I think what she said was, that if she did go back it would be to Book 4, which she felt was rushed.
Matt: Yeah, it would be Goblet of Fire, she said it was her favorite.
Micah: Well, look what she already did with – didn’t she put in some extra writing to the tenth anniversary of Sorcerer’s Stone?
Andrew: Yeah, she did something. She added like a foreword or something to it.
Eric: You’d think she’s itching though, because she just out of nowhere came up with that Harry Potter prequel, for charity. She just out of absolutely nowhere there’s a page and a half, probably took her a minute, and that stuff’s still living on inside her. So, I’m just – that’s like a treasure trove. I mean, her mind, you know.
Jo’s Future Works
Ben: Do you think – I think we’ve discussed this before, but it’s probably been awhile since we brought it up – do you think that when Jo releases her next book, that she’s going to release it under an alias?
Andrew: I hope not.
Ben: Because here’s – here’s the two sides of the story. Of course she wouldn’t – one party is going to say, “Of course she’s going to release it as J.K. Rowling. Why would she want to do anything else? If she releases it as J.K. Rowling, it’s going to sell so much more.” Right?
Ben: But, at the same time, you have to keep in mind that she’s a billionaire. So money isn’t exactly an issue with her. So maybe she would want to release it under a different alias just to see if she could become successful again through different means without having J.K. Rowling, her title, be what makes her successful.
Andrew: No, I think that’s right.
Laura: Didn’t she mention something at one point about publishing under a pseudonym?
Andrew: Maybe jokingly. I think she said it jokingly.
Laura: Oh, ’cause I remember something about she was writing a children’s fairy tale.
Andrew: Oh yeah.
Laura: And I thought that she’d mentioned she wasn’t thinking of publishing it under her name.
Andrew: No, you’re right about that.
Micah: And a political thriller, right? Or a political mystery or something along those lines?
Eric: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: Something like that.
Micah: But she could give money to charity, too. I mean, that would be another benefit of writing under her name.
Eric: Wouldn’t we find out that it was her?
Andrew: You know, someone…
Andrew: …called her the other day – not the other day – I’ve read somewhere, somebody called her a one-hit wonder and I was like, “You know what?!”
Laura: Are you kidding me?
Ben: More like a seven hit wonder.
Andrew: No, but wait a second, wait a second, wait a second. They’re kind of right because we’ve only seen Jo write one series.
Eric: That’s all we need!
Matt: Seven books of it though.
Andrew: Seven books, but it’s still the one series, so I’m thinking what happens if, you know, I wonder if she feels pressured to, you know, like what happens if she writes another book, a different series, and it’s a flop?
Eric: I do not think it’s possible. I do not think it’s possible.
Matt: It will not flop.
Andrew: You don’t know that.
Matt: Even if it’s a horrible story, it’s not going to flop.
Andrew: Story-wise, though. Putting – putting – putting aside the fact that she’s J.K. Rowling, say she did it under an alias and we all read it, would we think it’s just as good?
Ben: Well, absolutely not.
Andrew: Or are we clouded by the fact that it’s Harry Potter?
Eric: No, I’m almost positive…
Ben: No, no, here’s the thing – here’s the thing, though. Here’s the thing about it is, imagine when a band releases, you know, an album that people are just so amazed by, okay? People are just, like, “Man, this is the best album ever.” More time – more often than not, the next album that they release, most people are like, “Man, this is,” even if it’s a really good album, they’re still comparing it to the last album. And since the last album is the album they heard first, they’ve already built such a positive association with it that nothing else really stands up to it, you know what I’m saying?
Eric: I understand.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Ben: So, when Jo writes another series, it really – it would really have to knock our socks off in order for us to not think it was worse than Harry Potter.
Eric: But I think that – I think that writing is a little bit different from – from song-making for one reason, which is that I – I – I don’t necessarily think that whatever she writes is going to garner the huge, you know, fan thing that Harry Potter had, but as an author, she’s the one who actually wrote the words that have touched so many people. She – just the way that she writes, the way that she has progressed in writing, the way that she illustrates her characters, it would be impossible for – I think it would be impossible for her next writing venture to not be as well written, in a way, or as – as – as – as appliable to – to people. I think just as many people will identify with whatever she writes because she’s got that voice. She’s got that writing talent to be able to bring people in, even if she’s not writing a Harry Potter book.
Ben: Yeah, there’s no doubt that she’s talented…
Ben: …but I don’t think that necessarily means that her next work is going to be just as good or on the same level as Harry Potter, because…
Eric: I wouldn’t compare it to Harry Potter.
Ben: But you’re one of the few who wouldn’t.
Laura: I was going to say, nothing’s ever going to compare to Harry Potter, and Jo herself even acknowledged that. And frankly, she was glad at the prospect of the reporters packing up and going away, so she could actually write something else and not get as much attention. I don’t know that it’s really – I mean, even fair to compare anything she would write next to Harry Potter. People will do it, but Harry Potter‘s such a classic thing, and a lot of the series is the hype that surrounded it and the suspense that we all had going into the next book. That’s something that we’re not going to have again, and I think it’s unique and we need to accept that as what it is and not expect her to put out another huge world phenomenon like that. But it doesn’t mean it’s not going to be good.
Ben: Right. It doesn’t mean that she – what if she does do it again, you know? Like, it would be – it’s improbable, but I’m saying, why not, you know – like I said, don’t set yourself up for – don’t have expectations that are too high and be thinking, “Oh my gosh. It’s J.K. Rowling. She’s not going to disappoint.” But at the same time approach it with an open mind, you know?
Andrew: Oh sure.
Ben: Like don’t – don’t compare it to Harry.
Eric: Do you think they’ll be a midnight release for the Harry Potter encyclopedia?
Andrew: Yes. Yes, no question.
Ben: Absolutely, absolutely.
Laura: We should all go.
Ben: We will.
Andrew: Oh of course.
Eric: Yeah, we should…
Andrew: I think that there will be just as much hype because it is like a new Harry Potter. You’re learning just as much information.
Eric: Yeah, maybe, but…
Andrew: Why wouldn’t you?
Eric: Because it’s …
Andrew: It’s just as exciting.
Eric: It’s not the narrative. It’s not at all …
Ben: Just as long as Steve Vander Ark doesn’t publish it first.
Eric: So we should move on.
Andrew: See, I would go to a midnight release for that too. There would be just as much hype.
Eric: We should move on.
Jo Should Update her Site
Micah: You know the one thing that I will say is that, she should update her site. I mean that – she hasn’t updated it in months, I think.
Ben: Ladies and gentlemen, what’s bugging Micah.
Micah: But seriously, I mean, she’s done a couple of little things here and there, but nothing, you know, kind of an overhaul.
Eric: Yeah we – we still care about her.
Micah: No new material for us.
Andrew: Maybe she’s saving it all for the encyclopedia. Maybe she’s working on it heavily.
Micah: Maybe she’s on vacation.
Andrew: Maybe she’s on vac – maybe she’s sick of Harry Potter.
Eric: Maybe she’s raising her kids. She’s got three of them.
Andrew: Yeah, maybe she has a life.
Andrew: Maybe she thinks we’re all suckers for continuing on with the sites…
No More Harry Potter Books
Andrew: …and the podcasts, and the Wizard Rock, while she’s moved on now, she’s already got her next book all ready to go. Back to the one-hit wonder thing, I know that that – that stirred all you guys up, but I mean it is good that Jo did say that she can’t – she’ll never do another Harry Potter, or she doesn’t think she would be able to. I mean that’s a lot to live up to because one of the things people love J.K. Rowling for with Harry Potter so much is that the story is so deep and complex and, you know, with – you know, we’ve proved you can talk about it for endless hours.
Eric: That’s what I’m saying. How could any book she writes…
Number of Hours MuggleCast Has Talked About Harry Potter
Micah: How many hours, Andrew? We need …
Andrew: I don’t know.
Micah: We need to find out how many hours.
Andrew: That would be pretty easy to do.
Ben: Hey, some – some MuggleCast fan, here’s a contest. Total – total the amount of time in all the MuggleCast episodes ever.
Andrew: I’ll give someone a trick. Put them all into one playlist on iTunes and then on the bottom of the iTunes it will say how long that playlist is.
Andrew: I don’t have all the MuggleCast episodes, and I don’t want to download them all, but somebody probably does have all of those, so…
Laura: I think I actually have all of them.
Andrew: Do you?
Ben: Laura’s a big Muggle Cast fan.
Eric: Actually, actually…
Laura: Actually, I do. I listen every week.
Andrew: Do you want my autograph, Laura?
Ben: She likes hearing her own voice.
More on Jo’s Future
Andrew: [laughs] So speaking of Jo, what do you guys think will happen with her? I mean, there won’t be an eighth book, right?
Ben: No, I don’t think so. I mean, maybe like a decade from now. That – that would be awesome if she did write something, or if she was able to take the same world and…
Eric: Do another story.
Ben: …you know – you know, there’s a new – there’s a new villain but make it, like, completely different, you know?
Andrew: Yeah, that would be cool. But then it would sort of – you know, the one thing about Harry Potter is now the evil was defeated and, you know, happily ever after.
Ben: “And all was well.”
Andrew: “All was well.”
Andrew: Even nineteen years later. What do you think – what do you think – okay, we know she’s doing a children’s book and she’s also said a mystery novel too, right?
Eric: Political mystery novel.
Andrew: Political mystery. Oh, but the children’s book is politically charged, isn’t it?
Eric: Many are.
Laura: Yeah, that’s what she said.
Andrew: Yeah. What else do you think she could do?
Micah: I don’t think the mystery – wasn’t that more of adults, she said?
Laura: Well, she said she was writing …
Micah: Yeah, adult crime novels.
Laura: She said she was writing a political fairy tale for children.
Andrew: I would read the mystery. I love mystery novels.
Laura: Yeah. Well, and there’s so much of a mystery element in Harry Potter anyway. We already know she’s good at it, so…
Andrew: Yeah, but sort of like the classic crime story sort of feel. Maybe it will be something like that?
Ben: Yeah, maybe. Who knows?
The Future of MuggleCast
Eric: Okay, okay. So let’s talk about MuggleCast now. You guys – the past few weeks you finished up every chapter in book seven. Chapter-by-Chapter of book seven.
Eric: And MuggleCast was started, of course, right after we got the sixth book, and so we had – you know, we just – we just talked, and now we’ve finished, obviously – we’ve finished talking about book seven. So what’s – what exactly is next? You know, what’s next for the show? And are – you know, is there an official date to when we’re going bi-weekly or non-weekly, or whatever it is? Or…
Andrew: I don’t know.
Micah: I just figured I’d throw that out there.
Andrew: Everyone’s expecting a big announcement right now.
Matt: Have we gotten an answer…
Andrew: I’ve been trying to think about what we would do with the show, and I really still don’t know. Micah’s suggested we keep going weekly through our three year anniversary, which is what, like August 5th or something? I think that’s a good idea. We’ll probably be doing a live show in, like, two or three weeks at the latest.
Andrew: Live online, I mean.
Ben: Oooh. Oh you mean like “live.”
Andrew: So I think the plan right now, after the three year anniversary, is we will do episodes whenever we feel the time is right. So that’ll be when there’s a lot of news to discuss, or there’s, you know, a hot topic that we feel should be a main discussion. You know, we’ll do the fun segment…
Eric: I’m sure we’ll get some e-mails, too, like, “Hey, this happened, I really think this would make a good main discussion on MuggleCast.” Like for fans who really want another show. And we’ll consider that, sure.
Matt: And for, like, really big news, or not even really big news, but like news that needs to be addressed immediately, we can probably do like maybe a…
Andrew: We’ll do live shows.
Laura: And we can even do mini-casts, yeah, for…
Andrew: Yeah. Those could even be regular shows. I mean, who says we have to do an hour?
Eric: Yeah. Who says?
Eric: Huh? Who says?
Andrew: Who says?
Eric: Who says?
Andrew: Well, I guess…
Ben: [in God-like voice] The Harry Potter podcast god.
Eric: Anyway, guys, also talking about MuggleCast, you guys did finish talking about Book 7, so – now, I noticed, as I was reading through one of the show notes, and was it Andrew who was saying that Voldemort is too cool to issue ultimatums? [laughs] Like “meet me here by midnight.”
Eric: I totally agree with that, but basically, what do you guys think? Having read Book 7 again, and thoroughly gone through it on the show, do you have any differing opinions than from when you first read it a year ago? ‘Cause it’s…
Andrew: I really enjoyed picking apart the book, thinking back in hindsight. I mean, sometimes it wasn’t the funnest thing to prep, but it was a lot of fun, I thought. No, I still see the book the same way I did. I see it deeper now, since we did go more [unintelligible], and I think that’s why people liked Chapter-by-Chapter so much.
Laura: Yeah. It just makes me nostalgic, really, to read it, because I remember reading it with all of you guys, and I remember all the parts where I cried, and all the parts where I got made fun of. And being in London, it was so fun. So, really, reading it was kind of a way to go back to those really, you know, fun days we had before the series was over.
Eric: It was just a year ago. Laura…
Laura: I know!
Eric: We were all in that same hotel room…
Laura: I know, we were like five of us crammed into that little hotel room.
Eric: [laughs] In front of the camera.
Laura: That thing was like a closet.
Ben: Were you guys at the Holiday Inn in Mayfair?
Andrew: Yes, we were. Fantastic hotel.
Andrew: I think that wraps up our discussion on the fandom.
Announcement: Ben and Eric Will be at Terminus
Eric: Yeah, except Terminus. Just wanted to set the record straight, I’m going to be at Terminus. And it’s not going to be like a MuggleCast thing there or anything, but I’m going to be there, and so is Ben. So…
Ben: Let’s organize a secret meeting. We’re actually holding a – Eric and I are holding a convention across town called…
[Ben mumbles something unintelligible]
Ben: Called MuggleCon? Come meet us, since all the fans are going to be in town anyways. Come meet us.
Ben: I’m just kidding. At Dylan’s apartment.
Eric: We’ll make a poster or something. But, yeah. I guess – we can do a meet-up, right, Ben? Yeah. You and me together?
Ben: Of course.
Ben: Hell, we can get Emerson involved too.
Andrew: I can’t wait. No, but…
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: All right, so that about does it for the show today. We wanted to keep it simple and just do a discussion on the fandom. I thought that was very enlightening.
Andrew: Let’s remind everyone about our contact information real quick. Laura, what’s the P.O. Box?
Laura: It’s P.O. Box 3151, Cumming, Georgia, 30028.
Andrew: At Portus, Laura brought lots of the mail that’s been showing up. A lot of people sent me birthday cards, thank you very much, everybody, for that. I really appreciate that. It’s really meaningful when you see letters from people – actually took the time to send them in. So thank you to everyone who did. I’ve read every one of them, didn’t I, guys? You saw me read them.
Laura: Yeah, you did. Yes, you did.
Micah: Yes, you did.
[Show music begins playing]
Andrew: So, continuing on with the contact information, maybe we’ll get back to voicemails next week because we’re going to need some stuff to talk about. You can always call into the MuggleCast hotline. 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 0280035668. You can also Skype the username MuggleCast. No matter how you call us, just remember to keep your message under 60 seconds and eliminate as much background noise as possible.
Ben: Hey, Andrew, Andrew.
Andrew: What’s so funny, Ben?
Ben: Remember when I gave out your number…
Ben: …on that one podcast?
Andrew: Yeah. I still get calls.
Ben: And, like six months later you were getting calls.
Andrew: Yeah, try like two years later, still getting calls. [laughs]
Ben: Sorry about that, by the way. [laughs]
Andrew: No, no, I’m over it now. You can also visit MuggleCast.com for a handy feedback form to contact any one of us or just use our first name at staff dot mugglenet dot com. Don’t forget, as always, on MuggleCast.com we have the community outlets: the MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Frappr, Last.FM, the fanlistings and the forums. Follow us on Twitter, Digg the show at Digg.com, and vote for us once a month at Podcast Alley.
Everybody call in with your thoughts about the fandom and where it’s going and how it’s changed and stuff, and we can talk about that more next week. It’s a never-ending discussion.
Micah: But thanks, again, to everyone at Portus. Seriously. They…
Matt: It was a lot of fun.
Laura: Yeah, they were great.
Micah: …treated us very well while we were there.
Matt: It was so much fun. Everybody was – the people there made the whole symposium.
Andrew: So thank you to everyone for that. Panel, Ben, Eric, thanks for coming back.
Eric: Yeah, thanks.
Ben: Oh, no problem, Andrew, it was my pleasure.
Ben: My pleasure.
Andrew: All right, once again, I’m Andrew Sims.
Ben: I am Ben Schoen.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Matt: And I am Matthew Britton.
Andrew: We’ll see everyone next week for Episode 155. Buh-bye!
[Show music ends]
Eric: Hey, hey, I got a knock-knock joke! Knock, knock, Andrew.
Andrew: …who’s there? Dobby who?
Eric: Dobby sad. There’s plenty of stuff coming – left in the Harry Potter forums. [laughs] The Harry Potter fandom!
Ben: What the hell kind of joke was that?
Andrew: Okay, worst joke ever.
Andrew: I can hear the fangirls calling. [mimics fangirl] “If that was Jamie, it would’ve been a good joke!” Anyway.