Transcript #166

MuggleCast 166 Transcript

Show Intro

[Intro music begins]

Andrew: Hey, Mason. Did you know that on July 1st Yahoo! Domain renewal pricing increased to $34.95 per year?

Mason: $34.95 per year? No way! Ridiculous! That’s not a deal at all.

Andrew: You’re right. It’s not. And I do need a deal.

Mason: You need a deal? I got the deal you need, Andy! Check this out: transfer your domain to GoDaddy for as little as $6.99 and get a free one year extension plus guaranteed renewal pricing. makes transferring easy and offers loads of extras, including hosting, a five page site builder, and much more. Oh yeah! Plus, as a listener of MuggleCast, enter code Muggle – that’s M-U-G-G-L-E – when you check out and save an additional 10% on any order. Some restrictions do apply. I want you to see the site for the details. Get your piece of the Internet at

[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]

Jim Dale: [as Professor McGonagall] This is Professor McGonagall welcoming you all to MuggleCast hoping you 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 the holidays are here, and it takes us an hour to realize it, this is MuggleCast Episode 166 for December 19th, 2008.

[Show music continues]

Andrew: All right, we are here for another episode of MuggleCast and it’s been a while since we’ve had a traditional episode, so to speak. You know, where we go through all the normal segments and such. But we’re all happy to be back, and Mikey is back. Hey Mikey!

Mikey: How you guys doing?

Laura: Hey Mikey!

Andrew: Good, but I’m kind of sad you no longer live…

Mikey: Yeah.

Andrew: …just a few steps away from me.

Mikey: I know, I moved far away and it’s cold and snowy. But it’s fun.

Andrew: The land of Kentucky.

Mikey: A land of Kentucky. You know, I went out and bought some bourbon…

[Micah laughs]

Mikey: …because I guess it’s where bourbon’s from. Haven’t had it yet.

Andrew: What’s bourbon?

Mikey: It’s some type of alcohol. I don’t know.

Andrew: Oh.

Mikey: I’ve never had it before.

Andrew: And also Penny is joining us again. Hey Penny!

Penny: Hey, how are you?

Andrew: Penny – oh good, thanks, but – so weren’t you – did we have you introduce yourself before – the last episode? I can’t really remember.

Penny: I don’t know. I…

Andrew: Tell us a little bit – little bit about yourself.

Penny: I’m probably the oldest person ever to have ever been on MuggleCast.

Andrew: No, I’m kind of 57.

Penny: Because I’m like 65.

Andrew: Oh. Okay, never mind.

Penny: Yeah, I think so. [laughs] I’m not really.

Laura: I don’t think you’re quite that old but…

Penny: Yeah, but I’m still older than all of you. And I’m from Baltimore, Maryland and…

Laura: Yay!

Penny: …I do some other Harry Potter stuff but right…

Andrew: What’s the – what’s the other site?

Penny: I’ve been working on Harry Potter Prognostications, the podcast and the blog, for the past two years or so, and I do that with my husband, Greg. But I’m happy to be here with all you guys right now.

Andrew: We stole you for the show.

Penny: Yeah, I’m happy to be here.

Andrew: We’re happy to say that Penny is going to be more of a regular here on MuggleCast. We tested her out on the live show and I think she passed. So…

Penny: Aww.

Andrew: Goning have you on here more regularly. That’ll be fun.

Penny: Thank you.

Mikey: Woo! Yay! I get excited, Penny.

Laura: Finally, we have three female hosts.

[Penny laughs]

Mikey: Woo! Okay, anyway.

Andrew: Well, we do have a full show so let’s get right into it. I’m Andrew Sims.

Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Mikey: I’m Mikey B!

Penny: And I’m Penny Gershman.

[Show music continues]

News: Beedle the Bard the Movie?

Andrew: All right, Micah Tannenbaum, what’s in the news this week? Or the past few weeks?

Micah: Yeah, it’s been a little while since we’ve done a show. But the top news item…

Andrew: Besides Beedle the Bard coming out.

Micah: Well…

Andrew: We know about that.

Micah: …we talked about that on the last show. But Beedle the Bard, speaking about it, there is a couple of reports about it being possibly being turned in to a major motion picture.

Mikey: Yes!

Micah: And this all came out within the last week or so. Cinema Blend, which sounds like a really reliable source, reported…

[Andrew, Laura, and Micah laugh]

Micah: …that Beedle the Bard may be made into a movie by Warner Brothers, and I don’t really know about this.

Andrew: Me either.

Micah: I’m kind of skeptical, to be honest with you, and the report referred to Warner Brothers trying to ride the magical gravy train a little bit longer.

Andrew: [laughs] I can believe that, but…

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: I don’t know, this whole Beedle the Bard turning into a movie thing, it wouldn’t – it wouldn’t like – I could see this sort of maybe in the theme park they film these and play them in like the waiting lines or something, but it couldn’t be a full on movie, all these tales together.

Micah: Right.

Mikey: I can see…

Andrew: What do you guys think?

Mikey: I can see it being like a holiday special, like a TV special, where it’s like an hour long…

Andrew: Yeah, that’d be cool.

Mikey: …and it would be like each little story, and you could have Jo there sitting on her little rocker and introducing each story and just be like, “Welcome to the Holiday Special: Beedle the Bard.” And it would just be…

[Andrew laughs]

Mikey: I don’t know! I’m just thinking of the old holiday specials they used to do for all the old movies. And it just – it would be so cool.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: Sorry.

Micah: Right.

Penny: Do you guys see it as live action, or animation, or claymation, or what?

Andrew: I think – hmm, good question.

Micah: I’d say animation. That’s how I…

Mikey: I would do live.

Andrew: Really? I was going to say live action.

Mikey: I would love each – kind of – to have a different director tackle each story and do it different.

Andrew: Oh, that would be cool. Yeah.

Mikey: Maybe have “The Three Brothers” be done by like Tim Burton, and do it like claymation, like Corpse Bride or something like that.

Laura: Oh, that would be cool.

Mikey: And have someone else do another one. And I just think it would be really cool to have just different styles for all of them. Like think about the Christmas – the Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer claymation.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: Stop motion. I just think it’s cool.

Andrew: That’s a good idea. I mean, the only way I can see Jo agreeing to do this would be if the DVD sales went to charity.

Mikey: Yeah.

Andrew: Otherwise, though, it’s just a really cheap way of…

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: Marketing. Yeah.

Andrew: …making a quick buck, yeah.

Penny: And if it would turn into a movie would there be any of Dumbledore’s commentary in it as well?

Mikey: You mean Michael Gambon’s commentary? [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah.

Penny: Yeah, something like that. [laughs]

Andrew: It would kind of seem out of place, wouldn’t it?

Penny: No, but wouldn’t it be awesome if like Jim Dale narrated it or something?

Mikey: Yeah.

Andrew: Oh yeah, that’d be really cool. We should find out if he’s going to do an audiobook for Beedle the Bard.

Micah: Yes, we should, Andrew.

Penny: That would be awesome.

Laura: That would be fantastic.

Andrew: I was supposed to get on that and I forgot.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: So whatever, Micah. [laughs] But yeah, that would be cool. It’d be cool to listen to him read those tales. And it couldn’t take him more than a day to record all those.

Micah: There was one article that followed up on this report. It was in the Los Angeles Times, and they actually recommended expanding “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart” because they really felt that it had the most opportunity to be made into a movie. Now, I don’t know if that meant expand that story in particular and still film all the others, or just do that one specifically.

Andrew: Yeah. I don’t know.

Micah: And they recommended…

Penny: I love that story.

Micah: …Guillermo del Toro…

Penny: That’d be amazing.

Micah: …for directing it.

Andrew: Yeah. I liked their ideas. They had some good ideas. But expanding it would kind of be weird in a way because that’d be the first time anything related to Harry Potter would actually be expanded for time, you know? They’re always condensing it.

Micah: That’s true.

Laura: Yeah, I mean, they would have to add a lot to it, so I don’t know.

Andrew: You know what also was interesting? David Heyman said in an interview that he would not be interested in doing a Beedle related film, didn’t he?

Micah: He did. Yep.

Andrew: Yeah. I thought that was interesting because we don’t know the exact date of this interview, but it was definitely after the movie came out – or the book came out – or the rumors, sorry. [laughs]

Micah: All of the above.

Andrew: Yeah. So I don’t know what to think about that. I’m glad David Heyman would kind of be against it because it is an obvious sort of way of making a cheap buck.

Micah: Yeah, and I don’t know that…

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: …the interest would be that high, to be honest.

Andrew: Yeah, no. It wouldn’t be. I mean there wasn’t even like – the interest for this book can’t even compare to…

Mikey: Any other releases. Yeah.

Andrew: Right. Right.

New: Beedle the Bard Fastest Selling Book of 2008

Micah: Which pretty much leads to our next news item about…

Andrew: What’s that?

Micah: …the sales of Beedle the Bard in its first week. It ended up making 8.5 million dollars for the Children’s High Level Group and it sold roughly 2.6 million copies worldwide, and, Andrew, you have here it was the number one bestseller and the fastest selling book of 2008.

Andrew: No surprise.

Micah: Do you guys consider that to be impressive based on what we’ve seen from her previous works or is that somewhat underperforming?

Andrew: I don’t know. I mean, compared to the other Potter books, it’s obviously underperforming.

Mikey: I think it’s impressive for the type of book.

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: Just because – I don’t remember the exact stats for the Fantastical Beasts – but I remember it was – that one was way underperforming compared to this one.

Micah: Right.

Andrew: Oh yeah.

Mikey: And even now I don’t think Fantastical Beasts has sold even this many copies and it’s been around for that long.

Andrew: Plus, I mean, Harry Potter is more popular now than it was when Fantastic Beasts and Quidditch Through the Ages came out, I think.

Mikey: Yeah, but still, regardless, I think that’s kind of – I’m impressed with the performance of this type of book. I remember they didn’t have a release party where I’m at and I went and just picked it up the next morning at Walden Books on my way to work, and that night I went to the grocery store after I finished reading it and there was like a whole display in the grocery store in the Kroger with Beedle the Bard so – and it was picked clean so…

Micah: Yeah, I agree with you. I think 8.5 million dollars is a lot of money for a charity, especially in the span of only a week. And it’s going to keep selling; there’s no question about it.

Andrew: Ladies, what do you think?

Laura: I think the number’s impressive. I just don’t think that anything like this would sell like a Harry Potter book would. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that this seems to be something that more of the hardcore fans really knew about, because I know several people at school who love Harry Potter but they don’t spend their days on the fan sites and they don’t listen to podcasts, and they didn’t even know about this.

Andrew: Blasphemy!

Penny: Yeah, I told a few people “Oh, Beedle the Bard‘s coming out!” and they’re like “Oh, that’s that fairy-tale thing.” And even though they read all the Harry Potter books they had no interest in reading it.

Andrew: And in a way it’s understandable, because there’s huge fans and then there’s fans who are casual readers of the books and likes the series but don’t want to read the fairy-tales that don’t involve Harry. And I think the commentary from Dumbledore was an obvious ploy to get people more interested in this book, wouldn’t you guys agree?

Mikey: I don’t know. I think it was also like a commentary that maybe Jo wanted to say about the stories.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: You know, especially, again, a lot of it was the Malfoys had commentary on two of the books – wanted to get them banned, or the stories – and I think it’s one of those things where if she didn’t have Dumbledore’s perspective on it, we wouldn’t have really seen that additional – that – I don’t know. When I was reading it, I kind of started thinking of Laura Mallory and wanting to ban the Harry Potter books. And I kind of felt that might have been a little commentary on that, and having Dumbledore talk about it, but that was just me.

Mikey and Penny Share Their Thoughts on Beedle the Bard

Andrew: Penny, what did you think of Beedle the Bard, and Mikey, for that matter?

Penny: I loved it. I thought it was great. I thought the morals were great, and I love – Dumbledore’s commentary was amazing, especially the commentary on “The Tale of the Three Brothers.”

Andrew: Yeah.

Penny: It just – it – really, that was the one that we were able to connect to Harry Potter, obviously, and it was just so good.

Andrew: Yeah, how about you, Mikey? Do you approve?

Mikey: Well, you know, I was telling you, I read it during my lunch break and I absolutely loved it. The only thing I would take away that I wasn’t super impressed with: seeing the American version versus the U.K. edition. I was totally bummed at the design of the book, of the U.S. version. I wish I had been able to go to London…

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: …and buy the really cool one, but, you know.

Andrew: You should have asked me to get you a copy. I have copies here for Penny and Micah.

Mikey: I didn’t even think about it.

Penny: Can’t wait.

Mikey: You know, all the move and everything, I was just like – I was trying to see if there was a release here, and of course there wasn’t, but I love those…

Andrew: You can always order it online.

Mikey: I’m going to say, the stories – it brought back a warming feeling that I haven’t had since the first read-through of Deathly Hallows.

Penny: Yes, yes.

Mikey: It made me almost shed a tear a little, just like, oh wow, is this going to be the last Harry Potter-related book that I’m going to read through that’s written by Jo? So…

Andrew: I hope not. She’s got to be doing more things like this.

Mikey: I would not mind her expanding and writing more stories like this, or even have – you know, I was discussing this the other day with someone that there’s so much fan fiction, and I can’t really bring myself to read a lot of the fan fiction, but I would love to read stories written by professional authors, or even her, not about Harry, but just about – in that universe that she created, just because it makes me feel so happy inside, just reading it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: But…

Andrew: And back real quick to the casual fans not really being as interested in this. When I was in London, and I guess this was two days after the book came out, I was in the bookstore getting extra copies of the U.K. Beedle, and people – I would see people go up to the display stand where all the books were, and they would look at it and be like, “Oh J.K. Rowling” and then open it up, page through it, and then go “eh, pfft,” and then put it down and then walk away. And it was kind of sad because I think it’s a great book for anyone who’s ever read Harry Potter, and it’s a shame that people are so – a lot of people are being turned off by it just because it’s not Harry Potter.

Penny: Although, on the other hand, I have several friends who haven’t read Harry Potter who said, “Do you have to read Harry Potter in order to appreciate this?” And I don’t think – I think Jo wrote it in a way that you really don’t have to read Harry Potter to appreciate it.

Andrew: Yeah, definitely not. I mean, although, there are a couple spoilers in here if you haven’t read…

Penny: You have to look closely at them to see them as spoilers, I think.

Andrew: That’s true, yeah. It’d be funny if – yeah. [laughs] Doesn’t it say in here – isn’t there – Jo…

Mikey: Yeah, at the end, Jo talks about: “written nine months before Dumbledore’s timely demise on the Astronomy Tower” or something like that.

Andrew: Yeah, but at this point, I think everybody knows that Dumbledore has died.

Mikey: Yeah.

Andrew: Thanks to that spoiler shirt that you have, Mikey.

Mikey: Yes I do. There’s a shirt…

Laura: Oh, do you have that shirt?

Mikey: There’s a wonderful shirt that’s called spoiler, and it’s got all the wonderful spoilers, and of course, right there in the center is that Snape kills Dumbledore.

[Everyone laughs]

Mikey: You know what’s funny? Andrew knows this. I was working – a show I was working on. There’s a bunch of people who haven’t read the Harry Potter books, and they’ve just been watching the movies, and they’re like – they honestly got really mad at me that I was wearing a shirt that said, “Snape killed Dumbledore” because they did not know that.

Andrew: Well, you’re betraying these poor – your poor friends who have not read it yet and are looking forward to reading it.

Laura: That serves them right.

Mikey: You’ve got to understand! Half-Blood Prince has been out for years! Really?

Andrew: Yeah, that’s true.

Micah: That’s why Alan Rickman doesn’t do interviews for Harry Potter. He’s actually stated that…

Andrew: Oh yeah.

Micah: …because he doesn’t want people who only see the movies to have him possibly reveal something about the books.

Andrew: In a way, though, I kind of feel like that’s a lame excuse to just avoid talking about Harry Potter. [laughs]

Micah: Yeah, that’s a cop out. It’s a cop out, there’s no question about that.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: Yeah.

Penny: I think there’s a statute of limitations when you can do spoilers. After a few years I don’t think it’s a problem anymore, like I don’t think it would be a bad thing to say that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father. Something like that.

Mikey: Exactly! You really can’t do that!

Andrew: What? No.

Penny: Sorry, sorry about that.

Mikey: And of course that’s also on my shirt.

Andrew: I have not seen Star Wars, but everyone knows that rumor.

Laura: But who doesn’t know that? It’s like, come on.

Andrew: [laughs] “Who doesn’t know that? Duh, it’s so obvious.”

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Laura: Well, it’s true! I mean, come on. I knew that before I even saw those movies.

Mikey: Yeah.

Andrew: What else is going on, Micah?

[Laura laughs]

News: Harry Potter Exhibition Going on World Tour

Micah: Harry Potter the Exhibition is going to be in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry starting on April 30th of next year. And I saw some of the artwork that was done, kind of previewing the displays that are going to be out there, and they look pretty cool. One of the Great Hall, one of the Common Room, which was given to us, and you posted it on the site, and this is going to be interesting. It’s supposed to move around the country or around the world?

Andrew: Well, originally they said the country, and now it’s world, so I mean I think it’s going to go – it’s going to go all over the U.S. first, then go to the U.K. and then wherever else.

Micah: So these are actual pieces of the sets, correct?

Mikey: Yes.

Andrew: Yeah, but I think mostly it’s props. I don’t know if they’re moving – like, I know what you’re talking about in the sketches they have like the Great Hall exhibit; it looks kind of like you’re in the Great Hall. I don’t think they’re moving literal sets. I think they’ll dress it up to make it look like it but I don’t think it’s an actual set. They will have actual props though, which is cool.

Mikey: I don’t know if this is going to be exact, but I know they did – the Smithsonian did a Star Wars exhibition a while ago, a couple of years ago, and what they did is they actually had set pieces and actual props there, and they dressed up the rooms to look like it so – for the…

Andrew: Yeah, I bet that’s what they’ll do.

Mikey: I would not be surprised if the room that has all the Great Hall memorabilia and the pieces and the tables and stuff like that, would look very similar to what the Great Hall would look like, minus obviously the magical roof because they can’t do that, but yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. Well, that’s what they have in these concept sketches. You see the backgrounds and it does look like the Great Hall, but…

Mikey: I wouldn’t be surprised if each room – they’re probably getting some wonderful auditorium for every time they do it – they set it up in a different city, and it would definitely probably – the people they use to set these things up just like big concerts, like U2, Andrew, they have huge stages and huge things that they set up and the same thing with this. I’m sure they would…

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: …go all out and, from what I’ve seen, it looks like it’s going to be pretty amazing.

Andrew: Yeah, I’m really excited. I think they have put together a really nice idea, and I think it’s going to pay off.

Mikey: Yeah.

Andrew: I think it’s going to be really cool. Now of course Eric lives in Chicago and I’m sure he has tickets already. Has anyone heard from him?

Micah: Nope.

Mikey: I haven’t talked to Eric in a while.

Laura: No. Does he still exist?

Andrew: I think so.

Laura: I haven’t heard from him in a long time.

Andrew: I don’t know. That’s a good question.

Micah: We should make WB give him tickets to go and try to report.

Andrew: Yeah, well, I imagine they’re going to have like a press day sort of thing, and…

Micah: Right.

Andrew: But yeah, it’s exciting, and I’d been thinking about this recently because the original announcement came April 25th of this year and they said the tour would begin Spring ’09 so it’s like when are they going to announce the first place?

Micah: Yep.

Andrew: And there it was, so…

Micah: Well, they also need to release a schedule sometime soon of where else this display is going.

Andrew: Yeah. So it’s going to be in Chicago from April – the very end of April until…

Mikey: September.

Andrew: …the end of September?

Mikey: September 7th.

Andrew: So yeah, I hope it comes over this way next. [laughs]

Mikey: I’m sure it will. I’m sure it will. I’m sure it’ll go all over the place.

Andrew: Yeah. It’ll be fun. What else, Micah? There’s a lot of news.

News: Half-Blood Prince Previews on ABC Family

Micah: There was. Kind of staying with the movies, Half-Blood Prince, there was a few previews that showed up on ABC Family during their Harry Potter weekend that they traditionally do every year around Christmastime, and there was five previews. Not a whole lot of new shots, but the one thing that stood out to me was in the preview called “Comedy.” You actually got a little bit of a look inside Weasley Wizard Wheezes.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: The joke shop.

Andrew: It looks fantastic!

Micah: You got to hear from some people you don’t normally hear from a lot in interviews. You saw Michael Gambon, who actually sounded and looked more like Dumbledore in an interview than he does during the films.

Andrew: Yeah. Let me stop you there. When he was talking about…

Laura: Hey now.

Andrew: …Dumbledore’s role in this movie he genuinely sounded interested and I thought that was really exciting. He looked like he cared because he looked like he was processing through his head the character of Dumbledore and we haven’t seen that before, so he’s thinking. Good for you, Michael.

Micah: [laughs] And the others – just briefly was “The Story of Tom Riddle,” “Meet Professor Slughorn,” where you heard from Jim Broadbent, “Love is in the Air” you got to hear from Lavender Brown, the actress who plays Lavender Brown. And “The Story,” which was kind of just a brief overview of what to expect in Half-Blood Prince.

Andrew: Yeah. They were cool and, honestly, I got pretty excited for the movie after watching all those. Does anyone else have any thoughts on those?

Mikey: I saw them but I was a little disappointed.

Micah: Yeah, I agree with you.

Andrew: Why were you disappointed?

Mikey: I was a little…

Andrew: Why?

Mikey: Well, I made sure I DVR-ed the whole thing because I wasn’t around all day, and I kind of just fast-forwarded through the movies to make sure I get to just watch these things.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: And they showed some good information but it’s kind of like – I think I’m still jaded because the push-back date and I just feel like I’ve been waiting for this for so long that I’m just kind of like – I just want to see it. And it has to be good otherwise I’m going to be beyond disappointed because it should have been out already a long time ago, and I’m just disappointed, and I’m like a bunch of fans, angry and upset and bitter, and please don’t be bitter about the movie. I am but that’s me. I just want to see it.

Andrew: It was interesting, because – in that comedy bit too, I think it was in the comedy one – they had a quick clip of, I guess it was Ron, he was filming, and then he runs directly into a giant blue screen. So he hits a wall and he sort of does like pancakes right up against it, and it was pretty funny. I was like “Oh, that’s funny. That must be their comedy they’re talking about.”

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Penny: So once again Ron Weasley is the comic relief.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Penny: They’re back to that.

Laura: Exactly.

Andrew: Yeah. I hope it’s like really funny because they’re really hyping up this whole “You’re going to LOL a lot in this movie.”

Micah: Right.

Mikey: Yeah. Let’s hope.

Andrew: What else in the movie world?

News: David Heyman Talks About Movie 7 Split

Micah: You talked about David Heyman a little bit earlier. He did an interview with where he talked about the Deathly Hallows spit – spit – split!

Andrew: Spit? Oh, okay.

Micah: And he actually said that he didn’t want to do it initially. He thought it was crazy. And then the decision, according to him, ultimately rested with the filmmakers. And the studio said, you do whatever you think is right and initially, again, he thought it was crazy, and then he started going through the book and realized, hey, maybe this is not such a crazy idea, maybe we should split the movie into two. And…

Andrew: It does makes sense. And I think we’re all going to be happy about it.

Mikey: I’m happy about the split. I was really disappointed at first, but I think it makes a lot of sense. Just because of the way that book goes, it’s too much for one movie.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: Even a long Lord of the Rings style epic, it’s too much. You need to break it up. For pacing-wise at least.

Andrew: I mean, and it is a lot of work that it suddenly hits them that they are all set on doing seven films and suddenly they have to invest in other – a lot more time into doing another one, and that’s a whole other premiere and a whole other round of interviews. So it must have been a lot to swallow initially.

Micah: Yeah, and not only that, you made a post earlier today, another interview with David Heyman at his…

Andrew: Yes.

Micah: …premiere of Yes Man out in L.A. He said they are going to be filming for 54 weeks.

Andrew: [laughs] That’s insane!

Micah: That’s a long time.

Mikey: [laughs] I did not see that! Wow! Sorry.

Andrew: And he said they’re going to be starting in February so that’s going to bring them up to April 2010.

Laura: That’s crazy.

Penny: That is insane.

Mikey: For anyone who knows, big blockbuster movies usually only shoot for about 12 or 13 weeks.

Andrew: Well, we got to remember this is two films too.

Mikey: Yeah but – Lord of the Rings, the entire trilogy was shot in about that time. All three…

Andrew: What, 54 weeks?

Mikey: 54 weeks, yeah. The entire three films were shot in about that same amount of time. I don’t want to – I’ll get the exact time in a second. Wikipedia, here I come. But, it’s – that’s a lot.

Andrew: Yeah, and I looked – I compared it to Half-Blood Prince and that was about 32 weeks, and you got to remember they’ve got to stop for a couple of weeks to promote Half-Blood Prince. So I wonder if the 54 weeks includes their time off when they have to go promote Half-Blood Prince, and then you have the holidays, so…

Mikey: Well, I think it’s also because there’s still kids in the film. Children can only work X amount of hours.

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Mikey: That’s one of the reasons why I think this is a little bit longer.

Micah: Now you understand why David Heyman was so ticked off that the movie got pushed back.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Penny: I just think it’s really good that the main characters aren’t 11 and 12 again because a year is a long time in puberty… [laughs] …thinking about that, they’ve all pretty much matured to what they are going to be, so..

Andrew: Right. Yeah, they would have changed a lot, that’s a good point.

Penny: Yeah.

Andrew: [laughs] David Heyman may come out of this with some gray hair but…

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: David Yates too, but he already has gray hair and he’s kind of bald, so he’ll be more bald. Anything else, Micah?

Micah: That’s all I got.

Announcement: MuggleCast at Azkatraz

Andrew: All right. Announcements this week: Hey, we’re going to be at Azkatraz 2009. That’s We’re going to be doing a podcast there after the midnight release of Half-Blood Prince. So you are going to see Half-Blood Prince at midnight and then you are going to finish seeing it around, I guess, 2:30 A.M., and then you are going to come back to the hotel and then we’re going to be podcasting all about it. We will talk about how amazing the film was, what our favorite parts were, the whole audience included. It’s going to be a ton of fun. So that’s, so check that out, sign up, register, it’s going to be a ton of fun. They just announced something that’s really fresh and new and exciting; it’s called Wizard Wrock Around the Rock, and it’s going to be a four hour cruise around the San Francisco Bay, and there is going to be Wizard Rock on board, and then there’s going to be different levels of the ship that are just for hanging out and chilling. So that’s going to be cool too, going on this cruise while listening to some great Wizard Rock bands, and also just hanging out, relaxing, having a few drinks, having a few bites to eat. And it’s all to benefit charity.

Laura: Oh, wow!

Andrew: They are working with the Harry Potter Alliance so…

Laura: That is so cool.

Andrew: …it’s going to be a great event. If you register be sure to put MuggleCast or MuggleNet in the referral area so they know where you are coming from, and that’s going to be a lot of fun. That’s – when is it? July 17th through 20th or something like that. Or July 18th to the 20th or 21st or 22nd because it starts the day after the movie comes out but they’re sort of extending the convention to fit in with the movie, so. Boy is that going to be a lot of fun.

Penny: It’s going to be amazing.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: I can’t wait for the jet lag.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Getting out to San Francisco and then staying up, seeing the movie, and then podcasting afterwards.

Andrew: [laughs] Well, we’ll have to – you’ll have to get here a day early or two. You’ll be fine. You’ll be fine.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: The three hour time difference really isn’t that bad.

Mikey: No it’s not. Hey Andrew, so I just found out how long Lord of the Rings filmed for.

Andrew: How much? How long?

Mikey: 46 weeks.

Andrew: For all three?

Mikey: All three films were shot in 46 weeks.

Laura: You’ll survive.

Andrew: That’s smart; you were probably saving money too for only shooting it for that long.

Mikey: Yeah. So all three Lord of the Rings films were shot in 46 weeks, Deathly Hallows is going to be shot in 54. Wow.

Andrew: That’s pretty crazy. Yeah, I bet it has to do with those child labor laws. That would make sense. Because they’ve got a lot of kids to handle.

Announcement: Podcast Alley

Andrew: Also, don’t forget to vote for us on Podcast Alley. It is MuggleCast Mecember and it’s – we got to get the vote in and stay at the top of that list. It’s a great thing, that Podcast Alley.

Announcement: Laura’s Birthday

Andrew: And lastly, Happy Birthday to Laura Thompson.

Laura: Aww! Thank you.

Mikey: Woo!

Andrew: Celebrating – how old are you, 20?

Laura: Yeah, 20. [laughs]

Andrew: Now, you’ve been complaining that you’re not – you’re getting old or something. What’s this about?

Laura: [laughs] No, that’s – it’s just difficult accepting that as of right now I have four hours left of being a teenager and then… [laughs] …never again.

Penny: Responsibility hits all of a sudden.

Andrew: Your birthday is Friday.

Micah: Laura…

Laura: Yeah, it’s like all of a sudden “Oh my God, I’m 20.” [laughs]

Micah: Focus on 21, okay? After 21 it’s all downhill.

Laura: Oh yeah, that part I’m really excited about, but…

Mikey: Laura, you don’t have to grow up. I still haven’t and I’m 24 now.

Laura: That’s true.

Mikey: You don’t have to. I was Mario for Halloween. I had a full on costume. It was fun.

Laura: Okay. That makes me feel a little better.

Andrew: Halloween is all about being a little kid.

Mikey: Yeah, it’s all about being a kid! Come on, I play video games. It’s fun.

Andrew: Well, what are you doing for your birthday tomorrow, Laura?

Laura: I’m not really – I kind of just want to relax, because, I mean, I’ve had – you know this, Andrew…

Andrew: You must be getting old.

Laura: Shut up! No.

Mikey: Laura, that’s hurting me! You need to go out and have fun! Go play mini-golf.

Laura: Well, I mean I’ll probably go out and do something, but I haven’t decided yet. But I’ve had a long semester, and I’m just kind of….

Andrew: I understand. You just want to relax.

Micah: I heard you got a really nice gift, though, earlier today.

Mikey: I heard that too.

Laura: Oh. [laughs] Yeah.

Andrew: Laura, where are you going? Whenever that day is.

Mikey: Whatever the day is? [laughs]

Laura: On January 20th, you mean?

Andrew: That’s it, yeah.

Laura: Yeah. I’m going to the Presidential Inauguration. Going to be at the swearing in ceremony.

Mikey: Hey! That’s a good birthday gift, right?

Laura: Yeah!

Andrew: Look at that! Who got you tickets to that?

Laura: Kevin Steck. Our very own Kevin Steck won tickets, so…

Andrew: He must really love you. He’s inviting you. I knew it. I knew you two had something.

Laura: Really? We’re going to go there?

Mikey: Well, that’s why Kevin stopped coming on the show, because they had a little love spat and him and Laura just couldn’t get along.

Andrew: He just couldn’t take it anymore.

[Micah laughs]

Laura: We are not even going there. Anyway.

Andrew: Well, that’s fun. Good for you.

Micah: Muggle Mail.

[Andrew and Mikey laugh]

Andrew: So Happy Birthday, Laura.

Laura: Thank you.

Mikey: Happy Birthday, Laura.

Laura: I love you guys.

Andrew: Here’s to turning 21 next year.

Laura: Yeah, see, that’s what I’m excited about.

Andrew: 21’s a fun age.

Laura: Yeah! No, I can’t wait to be 21. Do you know how awesome Infinitus is going to be?

Andrew: What?

Laura: We’re all going to be 21 at Infinitus.

Andrew: Yes we are.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Laura: It’s going to be fabulous.

Mikey: Woo!

[Laura laughs]

Muggle Mail: Finding Hidden Clues in Beedle the Bard

Andrew: All right, let’s move on to Muggle Mail this week. Who wants to read the first e-mail from Andrew? Laura, it’s your birthday, how about you do it?

Laura: I guess – yeah, I’ll do it, okay.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: Our first e-mail comes from Andrew, 18 of New Hampshire. He writes:

“Hey guys. Great job with the discussion of the ‘Tales of Beedle the Bard’ in the previous episode. I noticed a couple of other things while reading the final tale. I think it’s interesting that, in revealing less than he knows or suspects, Dumbledore seems to take a skeptical perspective in the commentary. Also, at the end of the tale there is a drawing of what seems to be Ignotus Peverell’s gravestone. There is what looks like an epitaph at the bottom, but it’s really hard to read. Probably a good question for J.K.R.”

Andrew: Ah. Well, isn’t that interesting? Now, a lot of people are trying to speculate – look for the little things hidden in the sketches of what Jo drew. And I think it’s cool that people are doing that, but I don’t think really there’s anything to them. Personally.

Micah: I don’t know. Wasn’t there something on each of the Potter’s gravestones that was in Deathly Hallows?

Andrew: Yes!

Micah: Or other gravestones that were in the cemetery that Jo put in there? So maybe there is something to it. They were Biblical references, right?

Andrew: But I mean – yeah. Yeah, I think that’s right. Didn’t we have a discussion on that?

Laura: I know the Biblical references were on the Potter’s and on Kendra Dumbledore’s gravestones. But I don’t know about Peverell’s.

Andrew: Hmm. Well, yeah, I think it’s interesting. I sort of meant that people were speculating like she’s hinting at something to come or something. Like somebody sent in an e-mail that said, “Oh I was looking at the fountain and I noticed she drew a number eight. Does that mean there’s going to be an eighth book?” I’m like ehh….

Laura: Yes, that’s absolutely what it means.

Micah: Jeopardy, here we come.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: She found me out.

Laura: She actually called me and told me about that last week. So yeah.

Andrew: Oh really?

Micah: Oh cool. So can you call her up and ask her about this epitaph that’s on the bottom of the tombstone?

Laura: Yeah, Andrew, why don’t we Skype out Jo?

Andrew: Oh okay. Sure. What’s her number? But next e-mail. Micah, you want to get that one?

The Elder Wand and Females

Micah: Next e-mail comes from Ali, 16 of Virginia about the Elder Wand. She says:

“Hey MuggleCasters, I love your show. I just finished reading ‘Tales of Beedle the Bard’ and I was wondering, in the commentary that Dumbledore made to the ‘Tale of the Three Brothers’ he says, ‘Every man that has owned it has insisted that it is unbeatable.’ I think it’s very interesting how only wizards have claimed the Elder Wand. Not that I’m writing from a feminist point of view, but what do you think about that? Do you think that if a witch had used it, it would have a different history? Thanks, and keep up the good work, Ali.”

Andrew: I think Dumbledore was sort of just referring to the fact that it’s only been used by men. Yes, no?

Mikey: My opinion would be that maybe this wand would appeal more to the barbaric nature of males versus the more nurturing nature of females. And that would be why men have always claimed it versus witches. I don’t know. And that’s just something to think of, that no women have ever claimed to have the Elder Wand, or the Deathstick, or the Wand of Destiny, whatever you wanted to call it. But at the same time, we don’t have any – we don’t have any proof that there weren’t any super bad, you know, angry, evil witches that were as bad as Voldemort or Grindelwald or anything like that. We only have so much of the history, you know. Without seeing the whole history, you can’t really…

Micah: Exactly.

Mikey: You know, I would hate to say it’s only men that can be bad, that can go bad, but that’s not true. You know, Slytherin, and Death Eaters, Bellatrix Lestrange was just as bad as Lucius Malfoy, if not worse. But she never got to own the Elder Wand. I don’t want to – I don’t know. I’m going to stop.

Laura: No, I mean, I understand what you’re saying. Well, and also I think it’s important to remember that English is a very male-centric language, so a lot of the times, when someone is referring to a group of people, they refer to them as men. Or mankind.

Mikey: Yeah.

Laura: So it could be – I mean – also, we don’t know tons about its history. I mean we know it’s passed from owner to owner, but, I mean, there’s really no set record, is there, saying who had it?

Mikey: No.

Andrew: No.

Mikey: Not at all.

Andrew: We know of a couple people.

Laura: So this could just be Dumbledore making an assumption.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Yeah, those were the two things I was going to say. “Wizards” can be a very generic term, and then also, that we don’t know the complete history. It’s just Dumbledore trying to recount who it went to through its history, so I’m not sure that a witch could not have ever owned it. It’s possible.

Penny: The way I looked at it is that – and Jo wrote something about this – is that the Elder Wand was only sought out by men. And she said – made some kind of little footnote, saying take that however you want. But the way I looked at it is that the Elder Wand is called the Unbeatable Wand, but in essence it really isn’t the Unbeatable Wand, because if it was, it wouldn’t have been passed from person to person, because the only way you can pass it is by actually beating it or beating the person who used it. So I always look at it as a woman wouldn’t be foolish enough to think that she could – that it actually is the Unbeatable Wand. And they wouldn’t suffer that, I guess, the false impression that you can actually beat it.

Andrew: Ahhh.

Penny: So I don’t know if it’s that the women were wiser, or…

Laura: Yes!

Andrew: [laughs] Good point.

Laura: I like that point.

Muggle Mail: Parallel Between Beedle the Bard and Harry Potter

Andrew: That’s very interesting, yeah. Penny, you want to read the next one?

Penny: Sure. This comes from Cassidy, 16, from Canada. And she writes:

“Hey MuggleCast. I apologize if you’ve already discussed this, because I haven’t finished listening to your latest episode. ‘The Fountain of Fair Fortune’ story really reminded me of the part in the fifth book where Harry pretended to put Felix Felicis in Ron’s drink before the Quidditch match. Ron really didn’t need the Felix Felicis and Sir Luckless didn’t need the Fountain of Fair Fortune. Just wanted to share my thoughts with you.”

Andrew: There’s another nice little parallel between Beedle and Harry Potter.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: I like that Jo threw these in, even if she didn’t mean to.

Mikey: Oh, she meant to. You know that.

Andrew: Yeah, I guess so. Maybe.

Penny: Or else, I mean, she believes in this. She’s a firm believer in that people change their own destiny, I guess. And it just comes out more than once.

Muggle Mail: Hermione’s Translation of “The Three Brothers”

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, that’s true. And the final e-mail from the day comes from Kelly, 22, of Phoenix, Arizona. She writes:

“I was surprised in the show how you all kept commenting, or even complaining, that the version of ‘The Three Brothers’ in ‘Beedle the Bard’ was the same as the version in ‘Deathly Hallows.’ Really now? Seriously? ‘Beedle’ was translated by Hermione Granger, and I think it’s pretty safe to assume she translated it from the book Dumbledore left her, which was the book she was reading from when the trio was at the Lovegoods’ in ‘Deathly Hallows.’ The story had to be the same; it just wouldn’t have made sense otherwise.”

Well, Kelly, I think what we were saying was maybe that it would be longer. I mean, it didn’t have to be different. Obviously it was going to be the same exact story…

Laura: But this was like word by word, Hermione’s telling it in Deathly Hallows. So.

Andrew: Well, no, she wasn’t telling it, though. I mean, she was just – she was reading it.

Laura: Well, she – no, she wasn’t reading it, was she?

Andrew: I thought she was. Because I remember looking in the book, and – hold on. I’ll look. “‘Well, Mr. Potter, the whole thing starts with The Tale of the Three Brothers. I have a copy somewhere.’ He glances…” Oh, I see. So this – so, yeah, they weren’t reading Hermione’s translation.

Laura: Yeah, exactly. Like, it was – miraculously comes out the same. Yeah.

Andrew: Well…

Laura: I mean, I understand why.

Main Discussion: Final Battle Between Voldemort and Harry

Andrew: Yeah. Well, let’s get into our book discussion now. We have an interesting one this week. And we’re going to talk more about Deathly Hallows. We’re gonna talk specifically about the final battle between Lord Voldemort and Harry. But the question pertaining to this discussion is, was it a disappointment? And you may say, oh, why would somebody say that? Well, there had been some discussions afterward that the battle wasn’t maybe what it was leading up to. I think everyone, before the book came out, everyone was expecting this huge, epic duel that would be just incredible and a hundred pages long. And it wasn’t. And, in a way, it wasn’t even a full-on duel. It was sort of, as we’re going to discuss a little later on, a verbal duel. So it’s interesting, and we’re going to talk about it, we’re going to talk about what exactly went on and what else could have happened, and such and such.

Harry Would Not Have Won a Normal Duel

Andrew: So does anyone here agree that – well, let’s put it this way: Harry could not have won in a regular duel versus Voldemort. Does anyone disagree with that?

Mikey: No.

Micah: You’re talking one-on-one…

Andrew: Right, right. Like, if Harry and Voldemort were…

Penny: Like straight spells.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Mikey: Yeah. Like think of like a – like let’s just think of like a game of Horse but with spells. Like Voldemort would do one and Harry would have to match it.

Andrew: Right.

Mikey: Like Harry would lose. Voldemort just used so much more magic than Harry.

Andrew: Exactly.

Mikey: Like it’s – it’s kind of like looking – if you think that Voldemort was able to defeat Dumbledore – he knew more, he didn’t actually defeat him but he was that on par with Dumbledore. Is Harry on par with Dumbledore? No, Voldemort was though. But – yeah, sorry, I digress.

MuggleCast 166 Transcript (continued)

General Opinions on the Battle

Andrew: So in a way though – I mean, so in a way why – I mean a lot of people were expecting a major duel, correct? I mean, so why didn’t we think this through a little beforehand and think – unless we thought in Book 7 Harry was going to just develop some insane skills that would be right up to par with Voldemort.

Mikey: That’s what I was thinking. I was thinking Harry was just going to become like uber awesome.

Andrew: Really!?

Mikey: Yeah. I was hoping he would get – yes, that during the whole reading, and I started learning about the Hallows and everything, the whole line of Horcrux or Hallows, what to go after, I was so excited. I was like, “Oh my gosh, Harry’s going to be awesome. He’s going to be the Master of Death.” I was so – you don’t even know. I’m like – well, you know. I was reading – I was talking to you about it going, “Oh my gosh!” But when it came down to it I was actually really happy the way the battle came out. Because it wasn’t – it was one of those where it’s just like you knew walking into it that Harry had already defeated Voldemort. You knew it.

Andrew: Laura, what were you expecting?

Laura: Well, and this is kind of going off a point that we are going to touch on later, but I know that based on the book cover and based on the previous mentions of wandless magic, I thought that was the answer. I thought Harry and Voldemort were going to have to fight each other without their wands. And I thought that Harry was going to become super awesome at wandless magic. But I mean, I wasn’t…

Andrew: Yeah, but you were totally set on that happening?

Laura: Well, that was the most reasonable theory I had. What I appreciate about what we ended up getting was that it wasn’t this big like showdown battle with like every student at Hogwarts like out on the grounds firing at Voldemort’s army. It was just like Harry and Voldemort with everyone around them. And sort of the more fan fiction-y stories I saw had both groups of people advancing on each other like they were in some sort of, I don’t know, colonial fight. But…

Micah: Right. But I know people who would argue just the opposite, that they were disappointed that – and obviously there are other events going on that the reader needs to be focused on from Harry’s point of view – but things that we learn about after the fact. A lot of people had a problem with not seeing Remus and Tonks die and a lot of the other characters that we learn about later on. There wasn’t enough focus on the battle as a whole. It was too much of what was going on with Harry. Obviously we needed to know that but there was stuff that people felt was left out. There wasn’t enough battle time.

Laura: I think it’s kind of creepy that some people say they wanted to watch someone die.

Andrew: Well, but…

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: …you know why though.

Laura: No, I’m just kidding.

Andrew: Sort of in their honor.

Laura: I’m just kidding.

Mikey: From a – I would definitely like to see Remus’ last hoorah. I hate to find out this character…

Andrew: [laughs] There wasn’t so much of a Hoorah though, was it?

Mikey: Well, it’s his last stand. You know what I mean? Like…

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: But you’ve got to remember. This is the story of Harry and his perspective and what he sees. He didn’t know. I’m sure if Harry realized that Remus was fighting and lost and died, he probably would have had a very similar reaction to what happened when Sirius died. And…

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: …it would have thrown off the whole thing and he probably wouldn’t have defeated Voldemort even though he had all this knowledge of what really was going on.

Penny: The thing is also, is that the way I look at is, even though I agree with Laura, I also thought that Harry was going to use wandless magic later, but I think part of the beauty of it is that he didn’t. He’s not Harry awesome guy. He’s just Harry Potter that we’ve come to love from the beginning of the book. But he’s just – he really is just a regular guy. Anybody could be Harry Potter. But he was able to take the tools that Dumbledore and everybody had given him and defeat Voldemort even without all the major spell work, wand work, everything like that. So I actually ended up really liking it, that it was just Harry being Harry.

Andrew: Well, where else – where should we go with this next? I mean, would it have been better to see a longer duel with, say, more complex spells, attacks, or people just in general, sort of like maybe a three on one? Like okay, if we can admit that Harry couldn’t beat Voldemort by himself, wouldn’t it have been cool to maybe see the trio attack Voldemort by himself?

Mikey: That…

Andrew: Because how do we – maybe Voldemort doesn’t have spells to go against – what if three Avada Kedavras are coming at him at once? What does he do?

Laura: I don’t know. I was always – I was always a firm proponent of the idea that Ron and Hermione could always help Harry during his journey but the final battle between just he and Voldemort, I thought that needed to be between them.

Mikey: That’s his – this is Harry’s story. It had to be his journey. He had to take it alone, you know. He had his mentors to help him. He had his Yoda character, you know. He has his friends helping him out. But in that last moment it has to be him alone. That’s the…

Andrew: Yeah.

Penny: And he says that. As soon he pulls off the Invisibility Cloak he says, “Everybody, move away. I have to do this.” And…

Mikey: Yeah. So it’s his story. It’s his journey and I am glad that they didn’t have the trio in there. I’m actually – I’m really happy with the way the book ended with that battle. I would’ve been really upset, if like Penny said, he became super Harry. Like Laura said earlier, it would’ve been cool for him to become super Harry with the wandless magic and everything, that’s what I was imagining before. And when I started hearing about Horcruxes or Hallows, I was like, “Oh my God. He’s going to get that wandless magic power and just be awesome.” And it turned out to be just not that he knew Voldemort was going to kill himself in a sense.

Micah: I was just going to comment on what you said earlier, Andrew. Voldemort – there is a scene where he is dueling McGonagall, Slughorn, and Flitwick, I think it is. So he could easily take on three people without any question; much more so, probably, the trio…

Andrew: That’s true.

Micah: …than dealing with the advanced magic that those three professors know.

Penny: I was just going to say the exact same thing as Micah. Basically, for those people that wanted to see that full, everybody waving their wands and throwing curses at each other, we saw that! We saw Voldemort battling three. That’s when Molly was fighting Bellatrix, and you couldn’t have had Harry be in the mix of that, because at that point, I don’t think that if they had known Harry was okay and alive, all those people, I don’t know if they would have had that same amount of energy at that point, as well, because Harry had to do it himself.

Andrew: Laura?

Laura: I was going to say, in regards to Harry just being a regular guy, what I thought was so great about this whole scene was he used his signature spell to kill Voldemort. And…

Andrew: Yes.

Laura: …I just thought that was great.

Would It Had Been Better With More Battling Against Voldemort?

Andrew: Did you? Well, that would be interesting. But first let me ask you a question, Laura, I wanted to ask you earlier.

Laura: Uh-oh.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: If the battle – if this battle wasn’t just between Harry and Voldemort, would you have been severely disappointed? I mean, that could be a question to anyone, but I want your opinion first.

Laura: I think I would have been a little bit confused, because throughout the whole novel it was sort of this idea of – and I was never one of those people who was like, “No, Harry can never take Ron and Hermione with him in Book 7!” Like, I never thought of that but it just seemed like the overlying message was Harry’s the only one who can defeat Voldemort. So it would seem kind of cheap at the very end of this wonderful series, to have Ron and Hermione there shooting curses at Voldemort with him. So that’s just me.

Andrew: So you would be disappointed if…

Laura: I would be disappointed. Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. I think I agree with that. So I guess someone could argue that Jo avoided having them duel longer, because we as readers knew that Voldemort couldn’t win. I mean, is that fair to say?

Laura: Yeah, I mean, he’d already lost.

Andrew: Right.

Laura: That was the whole thing.

Andrew: But do you think that’s why Jo kept it short and sweet and to the point? Extremely.

Laura: Hmm. I mean, it was pretty short.

Andrew: Mhm. See, now you’re admitting it.

Laura: No, I mean…

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: …the final showdown between them was very short.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: I don’t care, but…

Andrew: I’m just kidding.

Laura: I don’t know. Because I felt like so much of the battle was already done by that point.

Penny: Exactly. The three chapters that led up to it, it was all part of the battle.

Harry Using Expelliarmus

Andrew: Yeah. Okay, well, let’s talk about what Laura just mentioned, Harry using his signature spell. And this is another interesting debate. I was kind of surprised to just hear that Laura was excited to see him use that. Let’s sum it up. It is the, of course, “Expelliarmus!” spell. We talked about it a lot at our summer tour last summer, and I know we’ve referenced it a lot before, but it sort of goes back to when Lupin warned him, earlier in the book, that it’s not a good spell to use in defense. And this is from Chapter 5, Harry explaining to Lupin how he got caught. Harry says, “‘We were hundreds of feet up, Stan’s not himself, and if I’d Stunned him and he’d fallen, he’d have died the same as if I’d used Avada Kedavra. Expelliarmus saved me from Voldemort two years ago,’ Harry added defiantly.” And in a way, that was sort of foreshadowing, wasn’t it? I mean, what was to come?

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: And then in the same chapter, Lupin is explaining why not to use Expelliarmus and we can talk about whether Lupin was right or wrong here. Lupin says, “‘The Death Eaters, frankly, most people would have expected you to attack back. Expelliarmus is a useful spell, Harry, but the Death Eaters seem to think it is your signature move. And I urge you not to let it become so.’ Lupin was making Harry feel idiotic, yet there was still a grain of defiance in him. ‘I won’t blast people out of my way just because they’re there!’ said Harry. ‘That’s Voldemort’s job.'” So, Laura, do you think Lupin was right to recommend this to Harry? I mean, he certainly has a good point. People can expect that he’s going to use Expelliarmus.

Laura: I guess so, but I just – my thing is, it clearly works. Not only did Harry make the point to Lupin in Book 7 that he had escaped Voldemort before using this, but he also made the same point in Book 5, I believe, when they were getting together Dumbledore’s Army and everyone was sort of sceptical of learning Expelliarmus. And he said, “Well, hey, this is how I escaped Voldemort last summer.” So I don’t know.

Andrew: What does everyone else think about this? Was Lupin right to tell him to not use the spell?

Micah: Yes. In my opinion. I think it’s a weak spell.

Mikey: No, I agree with Micah completely. Logically thinking, Expelliarmus is probably the weakest spell you should use against a Death Eater who’s trying to kill you. You know, a Stunning Spell is just that much more logical to use. You know, that way you have more time to get away before versus them just not having their wand. Now, at the same time, though, Harry kind of has his own set of morals and that’s where he’s, “I won’t blast people out of my way just because they’re there.” And I’m glad that Harry sticks to them, but from Remus’ standpoint, Harry’s being an idiot. Using Expelliarmus.

Andrew: Mhm.

Mikey: And I think that Lupin was in every right to express his feelings and tell Harry not to let that become his signature move.

Andrew: Yeah. And we obviously saw some anger between those two in the book. Do you think Harry wanted to continue using it just to prove Lupin wrong?

Micah: Not at that point in the series, no. I mean, you’re talking about – Lupin has already been killed. I don’t think Harry is proving a point when he kills Voldemort with Expelliarmus for the sake of the conversation that he had had with Lupin months before that. If that’s what you’re asking.

Andrew: Well, I was just saying – forgetting about the final battle, I mean, do you think he just wanted to – he didn’t really take Lupin’s advice and continued using it throughout the book, not just the final battle, just because he wanted to prove something with it?

Mikey: No! I think it – again, it kind of goes back to what Harry said there. He won’t blast people out the way just because they’re there. He’s completely different than what Voldemort is, and the exact opposite of Voldemort just killing people and blasting them out of the way would be just to disarm them and kind of almost talk to them. And Harry would obviously not talk to them, he would run away, but it’s one of those things where if he did anything more forceful, it would have been kind of closer to what Voldemort himself would have almost done. And I think Harry walked his own line and stayed with it.

Micah: Yeah. I think it was a matter of comfort for Harry. It was probably the first thing that came to his mind. But I also believe that if he had used any spell it would have killed Voldemort. Just because he was using the Elder Wand.

Penny: But also, before Deathly Hallows came out, a lot of people were very nervous about Harry killing Voldemort because they said – because we know that Dumbledore told Harry that part of his soul would be split. Part of anybody’s soul was split if they willingly kill somebody. And a lot of people were concerned that Harry’s soul just wasn’t going to be the same if he would kill Voldemort. So this wasn’t – he didn’t use Avada Kedavra on him. Like Micah said, anything that he would have used would kill him, but just by virtue of the fact that he didn’t use one of those stronger spells, I think, shows just who Harry is.

Micah: Well, I just want to bring something up, and I know we’ve talked about this on another show. We saw, in this book, Harry use the other two Unforgivable Curses.

Penny: Yeah, that’s true.

Micah: And I thought that was leading up to him using Avada Kedavra against Voldemort, but it never happened.

Andrew: Mmm. Yeah. And it would have been exciting to see him use it, don’t you think? Okay, yeah, it’s a death spell, but don’t you think it would have been exciting? I think Micah brings up a good point, you know. It seems like it was sort of leading to that.

Micah: Right. I forget who they – well, he used the Imperius Curse. What is it, the Ministry? No.

Penny: At Gringotts.

Micah: At Gringotts, sorry. And then they use – Harry uses Crucio on one of the – was it Alecto or one of the Carrows.

Penny: Yeah. Amycus.

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: Amycus Carrow. See, that’s why Penny’s here, to correct all my mistakes.

[Micah and Penny laugh]

Penny: Sorry.

Micah: No, no, no. I make plenty of them.

Laura: But weren’t those for specific reasons?

Micah: Yeah, but it’s almost like Jo was saying “Okay, Imperius Curse, now Cruciatus Curse, we’re building to something bigger at the end of the story.” But that’s just what I thought.

Laura: Mmm. Harry is like Batman. He won’t kill anybody.

Andrew: [laughs] In a way, though, that sort of is – I don’t want to say a weakness, because Harry is obviously a very strong person – but he has that sort of heart.

Laura: That “saving people thing”?

Andrew: Yeah. I mean, although he did kill Voldemort, so it’s not like he can’t kill.

Harry Giving Voldemort the Option to Repent

Laura: Yeah, but you know what? He even gave Voldemort a chance to repent.

Andrew: Yeah, and that was really interesting. Like, what would have happened if – I don’t know. I didn’t get what was going on there, really.

Micah: He wouldn’t have.

Andrew: But what would have happened?

Laura: If Voldemort had just been like “Oh, yeah. Sorry, dude”?

Andrew: Yeah, exactly!

[Laura laughs]

Mikey: Yeah, but you know what? But you see, Harry had to offer that chance to him. He really did. He had to offer Voldemort that chance to kind of turn around, because that’s what Dumbledore would have wanted, to give Tom Riddle one last chance to redeem himself. Because Harry knew what his future held because he had seen the torn-up soul already at King’s Cross. And we know he wasn’t going to take it. We knew Voldemort was not human anymore. He wasn’t going to repent for his crimes. But he had to give him that chance because that’s what Dumbledore would have wanted.

Penny: But what’s interesting is if you look at what was said there at that exact moment, it says – Harry is talking to Voldemort and it says, “‘Before you try to kill me, I advise you to think about what you have done. Think and try for some remorse, Riddle.'” And then he says, “‘What’s this?’ Of all the things that Harry had said to him, beyond any revelation or taunt, nothing had shocked Voldemort like this.”

Andrew: Yeah. That was really interesting.

Penny: And I was just always wondering, why? Why did this bother Voldemort so much?

Andrew: Because he’s giving him a chance. Right? He’s giving him a chance for survival in a way. Or he doesn’t want to kill him, it almost seems like. Right?

Penny: It would seem like that, but does he have a chance?

Laura: Or maybe Voldemort thought if Harry was actually offering him this chance, maybe that was when he realized, “Oh, crap! I’m going to die!” [laughs] You know?

Snape Taught Harry His Signature Spell

Andrew: Yeah. Well, it’s a very interesting debate. Let’s move along to another thing to talk about. Penny, did you add this in? Snape is the one to…

Penny: About – yeah.

Andrew: Go ahead talk about that.

Penny: Well, everybody wanted to know from the beginning what the deal was with Snape. And what’s interesting is that in Chamber of Secrets when they did the duel, Snape is the one who taught Harry the spell.

Laura: Oh!

Penny: So, ultimately, Snape is the one who – not only did he protect Harry throughout the series…

Laura: Oh.

Penny: …but he’s the one that taught him his signature spell and the one that ultimately killed Voldemort. So that’s just pretty cool.

Laura: Oh my gosh, that’s amazing. I never noticed that before.

Andrew: Yeah.

Penny: Isn’t that awesome?

Andrew: Yeah, it is really cool.

Laura: I feel like I should pull a Jamie and request a moment of silence for this amazing discovery.

Andrew: [imitating Jamie] Let’s have a moment of silence just to appreciate that moment.

Laura: I feel like he does that every other episode. [laughs]

Andrew: It’s funny. It’s his thing.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: He just wants to have a break for a second. That’s his way of…

Laura: It’s his signature line.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Like I could announce Podcast Alley and he’ll just be like, “Can we just take a moment to appreciate here.”

[Everyone laughs]

Mikey: Oh Jamie.

Micah: But that’s really cool. The only thing that I wish that we could have seen was Snape possibly in that final battle where he was fighting on the side we all knew he was on, but it obviously couldn’t have happened that way.

Penny: But at least Harry was able to announce it everybody, where Snape’s allegiance lied.

Holy You-Know-What Moments

Andrew: Yeah, moving along. What was this last point? Was this you too, Penny?

Penny: Yeah. I just thought there were so many parts during this battle that were just like, oh my gosh, holy you-know-what moments, and not just for the readers. Because there were some things. Like we knew that Harry was under the Cloak, let’s say, during the battle. So Harry pulls off the Cloak and all of a sudden everybody sees that he’s alive.

Andrew: Bum-bum-bum. Yeah.

Penny: So that’s for the people that are in the Great Hall. But then the point when Harry says “Snape was Dumbledore’s, he was never yours,” that’s a time that Voldemort is just like, oh my gosh. And then when we’re reading it and all of a sudden he’s talking and says something like, “Draco Malfoy was the master of the Elder Wand.” I don’t know about you guys when you read it, but when I read it, it’s like it was in the back of my head but I just didn’t make the connections.

Andrew: Yeah.

Penny: And I was just like, “oh my gosh, you’re right!” I just thought that there were so many of those during this battle that it made it so good.

Andrew: Yeah. And reading the battle again today, in preparation for this discussion, I really felt like to pay tribute to J.K. Rowling and her books, they should really strive to keep this scene verbatim in the movie.

Penny: Yes.

Andrew: I think that would be so cool.

Laura: Mhm. And they could easily do it too. I mean…

Andrew: It’s like a movie.

Laura: Yeah, it would all translate very well.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly, yeah.

Penny: As long as they can pull it off. I hope that they’d be able to, because it really is amazing.

Andrew: Yeah, it really is, it really is. Well, there you go. There’s our discussion on the final battle. Does anyone have any other things to add about this? No moments of silence to appreciate.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: None here.

Micah: No, I thought it was a good discussion.

Holiday Discussion

Andrew: Yes, and I think we laid it all to rest one last time. You know, speaking of this, we’ve been talking about all of this and yet we’ve failed to mention thus far that this is our holiday episode. And here we are talking about death and how Harry was a wuss for not killing someone straight up. So we’re going to transition now into sort of a little holiday discussion. Last episode we asked people to send in their questions related to Beedle via Twitter, which is sort of like a Facebook. The whole site is dedicated to Facebook statuses, so to speak. So Twitter is – you have an account and you just write what you’re doing throughout the day. So “Andrew is dot dot dot recording MuggleCast.”

Micah: It came in very handy for our Ministry of Magic elections.

Andrew: Yes it did. That too. So I want to start using it more with MuggleCast. This week – and I posted an announcement on the site just saying, yay, we’re going to start using Twitter more. So this week we asked people for their questions about the holidays. Sort of to talk a little about the holidays since it is the holiday season.

[Holiday music plays]

Andrew: And this first one came from Pokea.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: I didn’t read this username.

Mikey: I like that Twitter name. I really do.

Andrew: It’s – I guess I have to read it. It’s “Pokeahotass.” And so…

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

The Hosts Say What They Would Give to the Trio

Andrew: I never read it. It said, “If you could get the trio anything for Christmas what would it be? And the motives behind the gift.” I thought that was interesting. I guess we could talk about the Wizarding World. Mikey, if you had to give one of the trio anything, what would you give them?

Mikey: Ooh, I don’t know. I would give Ron a Blu-Ray player.

Andrew: I knew you were going to say Blu-Ray. So you can watch it on Blu-Ray.

Mikey: I think out of the trio, I think Ron would really enjoy movies.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: I think he’s the type of person – I don’t know. I think I identify a lot with Ron. I don’t know. Maybe that’s why I – I like movies.

Andrew: For Christmas I would just give Harry a six-pack of beer. Just let the kid relax.

Laura: He deserves it. He’s earned it.

Mikey: Just relax and hang out.

Andrew: Yeah. Penny or Laura, do you guys have any ideas?

Penny: I was going to give Ron some tact for Christmas.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: What’s that? Tact?

Penny: Tact. T-A-C-T.

Andrew: What is that?

Penny: Tact? Like be more tactful?

Andrew: Oh, I see. I’m sure he would appreciate that. It’d be one of those “Oh, ha-ha” jokes.

Mikey: Oh, you know what? I would also give Hermione Ben Schoen.

Laura: Oh.

Andrew: Ah, yes.

Micah: Wow.

Andrew: She couldn’t ask for anything more.

Mikey: She couldn’t ask for any more.

Laura: That’s unfortunate.

[Andrew laughs]

Mikey: That would be Emma Watson though.

Laura: I’m just kidding. Kind of.

Mikey: Anyway.

Andrew: This next one comes from HeidiHeartsHugs. That’s a nice name. Compared to the first one.

Micah: Compared to the last one.

Andrew: Yeah.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Santa in the Wizarding World

Andrew: The question is, “They have Christmas, but does the Wizarding World have a Santa? And if so, what magical differences would he have?” This is a good question. Like what – like okay, obviously they celebrate Christmas, but in terms of religion – and this other question comes from JPrince610, “Are all the children of Hogwarts Christian? Because if they weren’t it might get a little awkward for little Jewish witch or wizard.” That’s kind of a good question.

Penny: That Anthony Goldstein.

Andrew: What’s that?

Penny: You’ve got Anthony Goldstein. He’s a little Jewish kid at Hogwarts.

Andrew: Well …

Mikey: Now that is stereotyping. That is stereotyping.

Penny: I’m sorry. [laughs]

Micah: Yeah, well …

Mikey: Goldstein?

Micah: Chances are he’s Jewish.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: I mean let’s be realistic here.

[Laura laughs]

Mikey: My senior English teacher…

Penny: Micah and I can both say it without stereotyping.

Micah: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s okay. That’s why we have you two on the show. No, but what do you think? I mean we’ve always seen just the Christmas holiday in Hogwarts, but is anything else celebrated?

Mikey: Well, you know, you’ve got to remember that Santa is a wizard. Come on, he’s got his little red wizard hat and he flies magical reindeer.

Andrew: But children in the Wizarding World must not even be fascinated by Santa because he can do what they can do.

Mikey: But he still gives them toys.

Andrew: That’s true, they can’t produce toys like Santa can.

Mikey: Exactly. He’s got his – he’s got elves, a bunch of elves, the slave driver making toys year round.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: Come on, he’s a wizard! You know, Santa’s a wizard. He’s real. I still believe in Santa Claus.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: Me too.

Penny: Are they House-elves?

Mikey: Yeah, House-elves, yeah.

Andrew: Oh, you mean …

Mikey: No, they’re workshop elves. There’s a difference. They make toys instead of do housework.

Laura: Hmm.

Andrew: It would kind of be cool to see like a special holiday in the Wizarding World.

Mikey: Yeah, like Santa Claus, he’s been around from 1200 A.D. to current. The oldest – only second in age to Nicholas Flammel, and…

Andrew: Yeah, I know, but…

Mikey: No, that would be rad though, I agree.

Andrew: Like a full on holiday. You know, Jo creates all this crazy stuff in the films – or in the books, so just imagine her coming up with a holiday with a theme and songs and a figurehead like Santa.

Mikey: Like “We Wish you a Wizard Christmas” and stuff like that?

Andrew: Yeah. Do you think Dumbledore would play Santa at the meet and greats?

Mikey: [laughs] It’s like, “Now what would you like for…” Never mind. Just imagine…

[Laura laughs]

Mikey: …Santa sitting up in the Great Hall in a big old red costume, and it’s not really Dumbledore, it’s Santa Claus.

Religion in the Wizarding World

Andrew: And one last question from LindseyTinsey. That’s a cute little rhyme there. “Why does the Wizarding World celebrate Christmas and Easter? Do they believe in Jesus?” I know we could probably get deep into a religious discussion, but…

Laura: That’s not necessary.

Micah: Yeah.

Laura: I mean, I think – okay, here’s what I’ll say. I’m not religious myself, but I still celebrate Christmas and Easter and all of these other holidays because they’re – while they are Christian holidays they’re also huge in our society. So…

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: I mean, since I’m not religious it’s like I pick up these major holidays and celebrate them anyhow.

Andrew: Yeah, and I think Jo wanted to write a holiday that she celebrates. I think…

Micah: Right.

Laura: It’s something familiar, you know?

Andrew: Yeah. And plus, when she was writing Sorcerer’s Stone, which has Christmas in it, she didn’t think it would be as big as the book became and I doubt she was writing it to – I’m not trying to say that she was like, “Oh I need to write…” Never mind, I don’t know what I’m saying.

Mikey: It also has Halloween.

Micah: No, I agree with you.

Mikey: They also have Halloween. They also have Halloween.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: No, I agree, Andrew. I think it’s whatever she knows from her own experience. That’s what she’s putting in the book.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: It doesn’t necessarily mean that they all believe in Jesus. I think one thing to remember, and this is not in any way trying to offend people, but Christmas has become a very commercialized holiday where…

Andrew: Right.

Micah: Just like what Laura was saying, people may not subscribe to the religion but they still celebrate it because it’s just a festive holiday and that time of year just lends itself to, I guess, a Christmas type feeling.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: And I’m going to get e-mails for that.

Andrew: Well, there you go.

Micah: So yeah.

Andrew: No you won’t. I don’t think so. Well, there you go. There’s our holiday discussion for this year. Merry Christmas, everyone.

Laura: Even though three quarters of it was about death.

Micah: Happy Holidays!

Andrew: Happy Holidays, I’m sorry. All right, now it’s time to get into voicemails. We haven’t had them in a while. So I don’t know about you guys but I’m very excited.

Mikey: Woo! Excited!

Andrew: Let’s take the first one. This is a book question.

Voicemail: Lily Should Have Been Crookshanks

[Audio]: Hey MuggleCast, this is Colton, age 15 of Kansas City, Missouri, the biggest Harry Potter fan of all time. I was just reading the series for my ninth time and I got to the part in Prisoner of Azkaban where they found out that Peter Pettigrew was and Animagus, and I thought – or I thought before Deathly Hallows was released – that maybe a good plot twist would be if Lily Potter was secretly Crookshanks in Animagus form. Obviously this isn’t possible because Deathly Hallows has already been released. Just thought I’d see if I could get you guys’ feedback. Thanks. Keep up the good work. Love the show. Pickles.

Andrew: There’s a crazy listener who believes Crookshanks could have been Lily. I thought that was kind of interesting.

Laura: You know, I’ve heard that theory before.

Andrew: Really?

Laura: Yeah, there were a lot of people who thought that.

Andrew: Like before Book 7?

Laura: Yes. Yeah.

Andrew: That would be so cool, but at the same time it would be crazy. Like how would Harry react? Wouldn’t he be…

Mikey: He would be resentful.

Andrew: …like, “What the hell?”

Mikey: Like, seriously.

Andrew: Yeah. I mean, “You’ve been hiding from me as a cat this whole time?”

Mikey: [laughs] That heavy …

Andrew: At least show yourself once.

Mikey: I know. Come on. Like how many birthdays and Christmases did he have with no family.

Andrew: Right.

Mikey: And all that time at the Dursleys’. That would be like – oh wow, I’d be like so…

Andrew: It would be funny if there were a couple scenes where Crookshanks…

Mikey: It’s like the Jerry Springer edition of Harry Potter.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Well, no, I was going to say, before Harry found out there’d been like instances where Harry would be like – behind Hermione’s back Harry would toss the cat of to the side…

[Laura and Mikey laugh]

Andrew: …when he was sitting in a chair or something. She was sitting in a chair. Yeah.

Micah: Yeah, well, one of the things that could still be true, and really does need to be posed to Jo is, there was a cat that was talked about in the letter that was found in Sirius’ room…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: …from the Potters’ old home, and I know we got a lot of e-mail about that possibly being Crookshanks.

Andrew: But see, the problem with that theory, I mean other than Mrs. Norris, they’re the only two cats so I could sort of see how everyone would be like “Oh my God, maybe it’s a connection,” because there’s not that many cats.

Laura: Or maybe they just had a pet cat.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: I don’t know.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: I don’t think that’s unreasonable. [laughs]

Andrew: That’s an interesting theory though. I mean, Jo could’ve went anywhere with that. That would’ve been pretty cool though. That kid – did you hear what that kid said though? He was reading the series for the ninth time.

Micah: Wow.

Laura: That’s impressive.

Voicemail: Differences Between U.S. and U.K. Editions

Andrew: All right, next voicemail. This is also about the books.

[Audio]: Hi MuggleCasters, this is Courtney Martin, I’m 17 from [unintelligible] United States. I love your show, but I have a question. What’s the difference between the U.S. edition and the U.K. edition of any of the Harry Potter books? I’ve been reading the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows U.K. version because I’ve already read the U.S. version. I love your show, especially Andrew and Laura. Thanks! Bye.

Andrew and Laura: Aww.

Laura: That’s so sweet.

Andrew: Well, that’s a kind of a good question. Not everyone really knows that, especially maybe our younger listeners. But the difference between the U.S. and U.K. editions are – I mean, it’s different publishers, that’s mainly the thing. And then also, when Jo writes these books, she writes them for – she writes them in English, U.K. English, so some words like “favorite” will have a “u” in them, and then they change those words in the U.S. edition so it matches with our – with our proper language.

Laura: And even some of the slang gets changed too.

Andrew: Yeah. Not to mention the title.

Laura: Yeah. [laughs] Of the first book. And the covers are different too.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: But…

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: And…

Andrew: Any other differences?

Mikey: In Philosopher’s Stone there’s an extra chapter. In the U.S. edition.

Andrew: Nuh-uh.

Mikey: Uh-huh.

Andrew: Really?

Mikey: Yeah, because it’s in the Sorcerer’s Stone versus Philosopher’s Stone. In the U.K. edition there’s no explanation of what a sorcerer’s stone is, or a philosophers stone is, because it’s kind of like common knowledge, whereas in the U.S. edition there’s that explanation because – of the sorcerer’s stone or philosopher’s stone – is not common knowledge.

Andrew: Oh, I thought you said extra chapter.

Mikey: No, well, it’s not really an extra chapter, but there’s a whole extra section that is in the U.S. edition…

Andrew: Oh.

Laura: Oh, okay.

Mikey: …that’s not in the U.K. edition. But that’s like the only one that I know off the top of my head that still stands out.

Andrew: Well, also, and Penny called this one, in Beedle the Bard there’s an extra footnote for the U.S. people saying, “if you’re not from the U.K. such and such means this.” And when she saw that she IM-ed me and was like, “hey, is this in the U.K. version?” And I was like “why, no, it’s not.” Good find, Penny.

Penny: Yeah, because once again, we’re stupid.

Andrew: Yeah.

Penny: That’s why.

Laura: [laughs] Exactly.

Mikey: I know I am.

Andrew: Stupid?

Mikey: Maybe, sometimes. Most of the time. Maybe. I don’t know. Anyway.

Voicemail: Dumbledore Resembles Gandalf

Andrew: All right, next voicemail.

[Audio]: Hi, my name’s Aubrey and I was watching the international teaser trailer, and I was listening to MuggleCast about the fire and how somebody was really obsessed and pyromaniac-ish, and I was wondering if anyone else thought that the scene where Dumbledore was waving around and the fire was going on, that that was a little bit of Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. Like, I was seriously reminded of Gandalf. But anyway, I’m going to keep this short, so yeah. Okay, bye!

Andrew: Gandalf. I have not seen Lord of the Rings so I have no idea what’s she’s talking about.

Mikey: Yes.

Andrew: Actually, I know Gandalf.

Mikey: I agree.

Penny: That was my first thought, definitely.

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: It’s definitely a little Gandalf-in-Lord of the Rings-ish.

Micah: I agree too.

Laura: Yeah.

Penny: I thought it was a cross between Gandalf and Moses…

[Laura laughs]

Penny: …like in the The Ten Commandments a little bit.

Mikey Explains How Trailers Work

Mikey: You know what? Actually – actually, about the trailer, I never actually got to talk about it because I was moving during that time, but someone IM – or messaged me on Facebook or something – and asked about the visual effects work because, I don’t know, I guess people ask me that sort of stuff. But if you look at like the trailer – I actually pulled it up right now, just to make sure I’m not going crazy thinking about it. But if you look at the bridge scene, there’s a bunch of people on it when they’re going around it and then it snaps, and then when its flipping up and down, there’s nobody on it. And just to answer that person’s question, because I don’t remember what it was, trailers are cut completely crazy, so if you think there’s no visual effects done or something like that where there’s nobody on it, because when you go to the scene at exactly at 1:37, there’s nobody on the bridge, and the bridge is just like flying up and down. What happen is the people have either fallen off or have gotten off there and that could be at the very end of it when all the cars and everything on it are just gone, off the bridge.

Andrew: Oh, that’s a good point.

Mikey: But yeah, it’s not like the trailer’s not done and the footage isn’t done, it’s – if you look at it, it’s completely intercut with different timing. That can literally be like three minutes later in the scene where it’s that distorted, and it’s not that visual effects aren’t done. And it’s just that – it’s – you can see that it’s completely cut different time. Same thing with a lot of the Tom Riddle and the – the young Riddle and the older Riddle, like the cuts back and forth to it.

Andrew: I – go ahead.

Mikey: Yeah, I was just going to say, a lot of that is just trailer editing. A lot of times you will see stuff in trailers that don’t actually make it into the movie, but they’re actually there. They’re just used a little bit differently in the trailer.

Micah: I actually have a question for you, Mikey, though, off of that. Do trailers oftentimes not always go in sequence?

Andrew: Definitely not.

Micah: I’ll be a little more – No, no, no – here’s what I’m saying though. For example, Harry and Dumbledore at one point in this trailer are in front of Slughorn’s house and they immediately Apparate and there’s this really quick scene in there where they show up on the Astronomy Tower and it switches to something else.

Mikey: So the way trailers kind of work is it’s kind of up to an editor to kind of create a short story out of it. Now what happens is, what people tend to see, tend to be the really cool parts that are done, and so the Apparition scene – I’m actually going through it step by step. Chances are, that’s not the final scene or final Apparition – Apparation. Blah. Whatever. It’s not the final visual effects for it. It’s probably – I’m looking at it. It looks like an additional kind of thing that the editor may have done and it cuts directly to the Tower. Nothing to do. And what happens is, a lot of times trailers are cut before the whole thing is done and editors just start getting stuff. And one editor who might actually be working on the film will be assigned, hey, you need to cut the trailer. So so they know, this scene has been done, this scene’s been done. They start picking and choosing key shots from it that look exciting that will fit to a trailer, and they’ll cut something to a temp music track. And then it will go from that – the temp music track will go to someone who does music and will actually put music to it that’s the Harry Potter music. They will keep dialogue in.

Voicemail: Movie 6’s New Scene

Andrew: Okay, let’s listen to the next voicemail.

[Audio]: Hey guys! This is Micah from South Carolina and I just wanted to let you guys know I am completely confused. I just finished reading for the second time the Half-Blood Prince book, and this is going to sound really retarded, but I cannot find anywhere where the Burrow is on fire and I am confused. If I could get some help on that. I don’t know if maybe it’s at the end of the book and I am just reading too fast. Maybe I just missed that. But you guys do a great job. I love the show. The trailer was awesome, the new trailer, and I love listening to you guys. Thanks very much for your time. Bye.

Andrew: The reason I included this is because we actually – people still do send in e-mails about this, which is kind of surprising. It’s been widely reported, but they added that scene, specifically that scene, to the film as a pacing scene to hint at danger early on. So that whole scene at the Burrow, that is an entirely new scene approved by Jo, but entirely new, and it’s not in the book, so there you go.

Mikey: And wouldn’t that also be kind of the understanding of getting them back to school and back to also the Order headquarters too?

Andrew: Oh, yeah!

Mikey: Because now it’s no longer safe at the Burrow. It’s again – like the trailers, movies can’t be completely true to the books because people who don’t read the books have to be able to follow along. Well, why aren’t they at the Burrow? Harry’s safe there. Their family has been safe there for years and Voldemort has been around. Why do they have to go to the Order of the Phoenix headquarters? Especially since it’s so dark and gloomy and whatever.

Voicemail: The Trailer Themes

Andrew: And the final voicemail for today:

[Audio]: Hey MuggleCasters, Nicole here from Micah’s alma mater Syracuse University. And once again, I must ask too much of you all. It is needless to say the new trailer has sparked a lot of discussion. In the past two previews we see that they each adhere to a theme. Like the first one focused on young Tom Riddle and Dumbledore, whereas the second one, although a bit more fiery as you all put it, definitely put the emphasis on Harry and Dumbledore. I am surprised there has not been much dialogue seen amongst the Malfoy and Lestrange families, especially since Narcissa is a relatively new character in the realm of the HP films. I know we’ve got a few more months until the movie does comes, out but do you guys think in the next trailer they will promote them more? Thanks MuggleCast! And Andrew, I love you, wildcat!

Andrew: Hey now!

Micah: Wow.

Laura: Oh my gosh.

Andrew: She is of course referring to the fabulous High School Musical 3. They refer to each other as “wildcats” in the school because that’s their mascot thing. Anyway, what can we hope for in the next trailer in terms of a theme? I mean, she was saying, hopefully, some more Narcissa Malfoy, but I don’t know. Maybe hopefully they will focus more on the humor that they are loving to hype up right now. Especially on ABC Family. I don’t know. Does anyone have any hopes for what the next trailer can bring in terms of a theme or what to see?

Micah: Snape?

Andrew: Snape?

Penny: Yeah, I was going to say that, or the Potions book, Half-Blood Prince, something.

Andrew: Yeah, there still has been no explanation of that.

Micah: Maybe a little more Slughorn.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: A little more of everything that we want from the movie?

[Micah and Mikey laugh]

Penny: But not too much!

Micah: I’m wondering what Nicole wants to see out of the Lestranges and the Malfoys, because I would think that Narcissa’s role in particular would be pretty minor in this movie.

Mikey: It’s all Draco’s role.

Micah: There’s somebody, too, to see some more of, Draco.

Andrew: Yeah. I mean, there’s been a lot of pictures of Draco, too, coming out. I mean a lot of the promotional pictures have had Draco and yet we’ve seen pretty much nothing of him in the trailers.

Mikey: We’ll see Draco. I’m sure of it just because, you know, Harry doesn’t fight Voldemort in this book, it’s all Draco.

Andrew: All right, so there you go. That’s voicemails this week. We’ll give you the call-in information at the end of the show if you want to send in your own voicemail and we’ll get to that, too. These – of course those last three were all about the trailer because these were gathered when the trailer came out so everyone was very excited to talk about it.

Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul

Andrew: But let’s wrap up today with Chicken Soup: Finals Edition. Penny, you want to do this one? It’s like your inaugural Chicken Soup.

Penny: Oh wow. I might just shed a tear.

[Andrew laughs]

Penny: It’s from Carly, 15, from Vermont, and she writes:

“Hey everyone, lately I’ve been going through a lot of stuff at school. Keeping straight A’s isn’t very easy, especially with finals coming up. I hate having the pressure applied to me because I know if I don’t do well in high school and college it’s going to be difficult, and since I’m only a freshman I really shouldn’t start worrying yet. But since I have four siblings I need straight A’s to continue in school. MuggleCast has gotten me through those hard nights of constant nonstop studying when I don’t go to bed until 3 A.M. because I need to finish a paper. All your jokes and stories make my day that much better and I really enjoy hearing your voices. Myth: ‘Harry Potter’ is over. Total lie. MuggleCast is continuing the fandom and keeping it strong. Thanks Andrew, Matt, Elysa, Laura, Micah, Eric, Ben, Mikey B., Kevin, and Jamie.”

Micah: And Penny.

Penny: “I hope I didn’t forget anyone. If I did, just imagine their name.”

I’m imagining it.

Andrew: Penny!

Penny: “Everything you do is amazing. I hope to someday meet you all. I love you, and thanks again for keeping me sane through these times.” Smiley face, heart.

Andrew: Aww, well you’re very welcome, Carly. And there you go. Doesn’t that warm your heart? It’s like a chicken soup.

Micah: That’s a lot of work for a 15 year-old to be up until 3 A.M.

Andrew: Well, these kids these days, it’s just work, work, work.

Micah: Wow.

Andrew: I don’t get it.

Micah: I’m not sending my kids to school in Vermont, that’s for sure.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: That’s a good point though. You know, that is a lot. Maybe she was saving it all until the very end or something.

Micah: Probably. Procrastination.

Mikey: That’s what I do. You’re not supposed to do that, but I do that.

Andrew: Anyway, so that does wrap up the latest episode of MuggleCast. I know you’re all sad, but we will be back next week for a fantastic year-in-review episode. We’re going to be talking about all the big stories over this year. And I was thinking about it, there was a lot of big stories that happened this year. Even though, for the first time in a while, we did not see a new book or a new movie this year, besides Beedle, but it doesn’t really count.

Micah: We got the Tenth Anniversary Edition of Sorcerer’s Stone. [laughs]

Penny: That was exciting.

Contact Information

Andrew: How could I forget? I guess that was one of the bigger stories we could discuss because they’re planning on doing tenth anniversary editions for the rest of the books, too. So, to contact us, if you’d like to send parcel mail, you can always send it in to the MuggleCast P.O. Box. That is MuggleCast P.O. Box 3151, Cumming, Georgia, 30028. If you would like to call in a voicemail and have it played on the show just like the ones that were aired a little earlier, we have a couple numbers for you. If you’re in the United States you can dial 1-218-20-MAGIC. And if you’re in the United Kingdom you can dial 02081440677. Now, you guys can help me to decide this, but right here I would normally say the Australian number, but here’s the thing: it expired a few days ago. And literally, we get very, very, very few calls from it, so I’m thinking we should just let it go. What do you guys think? [laughs]

Penny: Yeah, just ignore it and hopefully no one will notice.

Andrew: [laughs] Now that I’m discussing it here on air I think people may, but it just didn’t get used so I figure, why even bother? I’m sure Eric would be annoyed if he were here because he used to live there.

Micah: You’re going to get a lot of e-mails now from Australia.

Andrew: Well…

Micah: All of a sudden this line will be the hottest…

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Micah: …phone line for the next two weeks if you renew it.

Andrew: Yeah, we just didn’t get many calls from it.

Micah: How long would you have to renew it for?

Andrew: You can do three months or you can do a year.

Micah: Oh.

Andrew: So it doesn’t get used and you can always use the other option; you can Skype the username MuggleCast to leave us a question too, so maybe they can just do that.

Mikey: Yeah.

Andrew: [laughs] Okay…

Mikey: I like Skype. I like Skype.

Andrew: So we’re decided. All of us Americans have decided for the Australians. We love our Australia listeners, though. We do have a lot of them. It’s just the number didn’t get used much, so Skype the username MuggleCast if you can’t get either of those two numbers. And don’t forget, on, we have a feedback form to contact any one of us, or just use our first name at staff dot mugglenet dot com. I actually have to revise the script in my head because we fixed the feedback form on the site but you can’t individually contact us anymore because something went weird and it hasn’t been working. So, if you want to send an individual message to one of us, just use our first name at staff dot mugglenet dot com. Penny, for now, we’ll get you an at staff name eventually, but for now, if somebody wants to write to you with a thought or a disagreement, or whatever, how could they e-mail you?

Penny: HarryPotterProgs at yahoo dot com.

Andrew: Okay, there we go. So – and also don’t forget our community outlets. We have the MySpace, we have the Facebook

[Show music begins]

Andrew:YouTube, Frappr, Last.FM, we have the fanlisting and the forums. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter. And now with every new episode we’ll be asking you a question to answer there on Twitter, and we’ll read your questions or comments on the show. And don’t forget to vote for us once a month at Podcast Alley. And, for more details about Azkatraz 2009, go to, and we hope to see you there.

Show Close

Micah: Yup. One quick thing?

Andrew: What?

Micah: I just wanted to say thanks again for the Podcast Awards. We accepted the award last week…

Andrew: Oh yeah.

Micah: …at the Virtual 2008 Podcast Awards. It was all done online, so thanks again to everybody for voting for us for Best Entertainment.

Andrew: And if you want to see Micah virtually accept the award, you can go to and go to videos there. You have to fast forward a bit. I don’t even think you can fast forward, but Micah does talk pretty – what? Like first maybe fifteen minutes in or so?

Micah: Yeah, we were pretty early on.

Andrew: Yeah, so just watch it. Micah, you did a great job.

Micah: Yeah, I might have referred to our fans as cultish, but that came from the host himself first.

Andrew: [laughs] That came from him, yeah. He was like, “You guys have a big following, don’t you?” So – but it was good, you did a great job, and pictures from our live events played and all that, so it was very cool. So thank you, everyone, for voting for us, we really do appreciate that.

Micah: Cool.

Andrew: All right, let’s wrap it up. I’m Andrew Sims. [laughs] I forgot my name.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.

Penny: I’m Penny Gershman.

Mikey: And I’m Mikey B.

Andrew: We’ll see everyone next week for Episode 167, our year-in-review. Buh-bye!

Mikey: Bye!

Laura: Buh-bye.

Micah: Bye.

Mikey: Bye! Bye! Bye! What a world, what a world!

[Show music ends]

Blooper 1

Mikey: I’m Mikey B! [laughs]

Andrew: Laura…

Laura: Oh wait, wait, I thought someone else…

Micah: Stop, you know, freaking out over your inauguration tickets…

Laura: …was here. I thought someone had more seniority.

Micah: …and pay attention to the show.

Mikey: I know, Laura, seriously!

Laura: Okay, leave me alone, leave me alone, leave me alone. Okay, okay.

Blooper 2

[Andrew hums circus music]

Laura: Got a copy on here.

Andrew:Tale of the Three Brothers.” Typing it into my PDF search.

Laura: Now Andrew, I hope you typed that up yourself.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: [imitating Jamie] I hope you typed that up yourself, Laura!

Laura: [laughs] Oh Jamie.