MuggleCast 179 Transcript
[New intro music begins]
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[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]
Jim Dale: [as Professor McGonagall] This is Professor McGonagall welcoming you all to MuggleCast hoping you all enjoyed – Dobby! Dobby, come here! Here! Dobby! [as Dobby] Yes, I’d just like to say how very pleased I am to introduce MuggleCast to all of you! Thank you! Thank you!
[Show music begins]
Andrew: Because Grand Theft Dragon may someday become a reality, this is MuggleCast Episode 179, for September 9th, 2009.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast, Episode 179. We’re so close to 180. We’ll get there soon. I’m joined by a world-wide panel this week. I can say that because MuggleNet staff member, Nick, is on the show this week. Hello, Nick.
Nick: Hello, Andrew. How you doing?
Andrew: It’s been a while! But…
Nick: It has, I’ve missed you!
Andrew: Since – oh! I missed you too! But, since then, you’ve upgraded your mic, you sound wonderful.
Nick: Why, thank you.
Andrew: And also, we have Micah and Eric here, this week. Hey, boys.
Micah: What’s up, Dog? How you doing?
Andrew: Come on. Be excited.
Eric: Hey. What’s up? What’s up? What’s up?
Micah: Hey. How you doing?
Andrew: We’re on MuggleCast! Yeah! Okay, well, we have a good show for everyone, today. We’ve got some news to talk about, and announcements, and all kinds of crazy stuff! So, we’ll get right into it. I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Nick: And I’m Nick Myers.
[Show music continues]
News: Latest Half-Blood Prince Figures
Andrew: Micah, what is going on in the news this week?
Micah: There is a good amount of stuff going on, you know, since we don’t do the show all that often anymore, but as we started out last time, when we did the news we talked about Half Blood Prince and where it is in terms of climbing up the charts. Half Blood Prince has so far, worldwide made $917.2 million…
Micah: It’s currently at number eleven on the all-time list, and it trails Shrek II by just $2 million, so getting close to the Top 10.
Andrew: Do you think it will reach the Top 10? Because, I mean, it’s leaving more and more theaters every week.
Micah: I think it will. I think with just $2 million dollars to go. I mean, we can make a difference right here; we can tell people to go out and see the movie. Actually, I haven’t contributed any money towards this film. The only time I saw it was at a screening for press.
Andrew: What a jerk, and a show off.
Eric: Oh man, W.B. find this man and demand he give you $8.00, I swear.
Andrew: I just did some quick math, and if every single one of our listeners went to see the show and paid $9.00 for a ticket that would only make about $450,000. It’d make a dent, but…..
Eric: What do you mean, that there is a huge untapped market in Harry Potter fans that don’t know about us?
Andrew: Well, I am saying our listeners if we had 50,000 people go see the movie this week, it would only bump it by…
Micah: I think it has done very well overseas in comparison to past movies. I would have to check on that. I think overall it has been performing well overseas as compared to here in the United States. I remember after that first week, I think it was, it dropped to that hamster movie, G-Force, right, wasn’t that what it was called?
Micah: And it still stayed strong in other markets, and the question is going to be if it is going to open up anywhere else? Because that could certainly…
Andrew: I wonder W.B. gets annoyed if they don’t make a billion from one film. I wonder if Alan Horn sits there, “Aw, wah, I haven’t made a billion I only made $917 million.”
Micah: But nothing is going to top Titanic, which is by far…
Andrew: How much has that made?
Micah: I think it is $1.8 billion.
Eric: Yeah, yeah.
Eric: Unless, I think, do guys think if they made a Titanic 2 that it would possibly top Titanic?
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: That seems to be the only thing that could…
Andrew: I suppose.
Eric: But what are you going to do?
Micah: If I remember correctly that movie was re-released wasn’t it?
Eric: No, um, Cameron did a documentary a few years later on the Titanic again. It was like Ghosts of the Abyss I think it was called. That actually, starred, had Bill Paxton in it, who was in some other – I don’t know, I know they brought the Dark Knight back in theaters but I forget if Titanic actually – do you mean right afterwards, Micah, like a few months later? Because I think it stayed in theaters for a long time but I forget if it actually came back. Do you mean recently?
Micah: Well, not recently. I mean, probably within a couple of months or a year after it was initially released. Because I thought that that was what was able to kick its numbers a little bit higher.
Andrew: Well, plus, after DVD sales and it running on television, I’m sure, you know – especially Potter – it’s going to be over the billion mark in terms of revenue thanks to the DVDs and when it starts running on TV…
Micah: But do they get factored in?
Andrew: No, but I’m saying I’m sure it’s factored into W.B.’s bottom line.
Micah: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: Like, box-office mojo isn’t going to count it, but…
Micah: No, that’s a good point.
Andrew: Anyway, what else is going on?
News: Wizarding World
Micah: The next piece of news. Towards the end of August the Orlando Sentinel reported that Universal Orlando had files some new construction notices, one with a company that specializes in fog effects and another that works with robots. So this got a little speculation going as to what was going to be being worked on, I guess, down in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And Andrew, you’re going to be there in the not too distant future.
Andrew: That’s right, Micah…
Micah: Not to brag or anything; to show off…
Andrew: No. Well, you already did…
Micah: I did, I laid the groundwork for you.
Andrew: Oh, thanks. No, they’re doing some press event next, like a week from Tuesday – well, this upcoming Tuesday. And they invited MuggleNet, so, I don’t know what they’re revealing, but apparently a lot of info, so I imagine we’ll be able to do another MuggleCast relatively soon so we can talk about all the new theme park stuff. It’s cool, I mean, the fog effects and all that, it’s cool. And it just shows you how much detail they’re putting into this theme park. And it’ll be refreshing to finally get some solid details because Universal has been so hush-hush about the project that, you know, we just have to learn what’s going on based off of construction notices, so. And we know Tom Felton’s going to be at this event next week thanks to “a MuggleNet insider”. Somebody on a different website called it “a MuggleNet insider.”
Eric: [laughs] It’s John Noe, isn’t it?
Andrew: No, no. What was I saying? So maybe some stars will be there too besides Tom Felton, well have to see.
Micah: All right…
Andrew: [laughs] What else is going on?
News: Deathly Hallows Filming Update
Micah: We got some news related to Deathly Hallows filming. I’ll just run through all these pieces. I guess we can talk about them together. In late August, Jason Isaacs confirmed that he’s finished filming Malfoy Manor and that he’s headed back to the set in September, so this month, to film scenes with Ralph Fiennes. And – a little bit of speculation about what those scenes could be, but also some more confirmations: Warrick Davis confirmed that he would indeed be back for Deathly Hallows but he’s not going to be playing Flitwick, he’s going to be playing Griphook.
Andrew: Well, he’s playing both.
Micah: No, I don’t think he’s playing Flitwick.
Andrew: Are you saying he’s just not in the movie or is somebody else going to be both?
Micah: I think they just wrote the role out of the movie.
Micah: I’m pretty sure that’s true.
Eric: The article just said that he was playing Griphook, right. So…
Eric: …they weren’t like either way about Flitwick, but Flitwick I think was even only in the back – I mean, he’s the head of the house, isn’t he?
Eric: So when…
Nick: When he Twittered I think he said he’s playing both roles, but like you said I think it will be background stuff. If that makes…
Andrew: Yeah, but it’s not like people would be able to notice anyway; it’s the same actor. I mean, the amount of make-up you have to put on Griphook and Flitwick, it’ll look completely different even though it’s still Warrick.
Micah: Yeah. For some reason I remember reading an article saying that he wasn’t going to be playing his original role, but I’ll hold off on anything for right now. I’m…
Micah: And then Harry Melling will be back to play Dudley Dursley.
Micah: I know.
Andrew: Yes, yes!
Micah: [over Andrew’s cheering] People were really excited to hear that.
Micah: The person who…
Micah: …made the post, which was – was it you, Andrew or was it Andrea?
Andrew: It was Nick.
Micah: Oh, it was Nick.
Micah: Yeah, Nick – you noted that Richard Griffiths will be back but they have yet to confirm Fiona Shaw to play Petunia.
Andrew: Well, one plus two equals three, so…
Andrew: …that’s a given.
Eric: Well, yes, Andrew. [laughs] One plus two does equal three.
Andrew: What I’m trying to say is how…
Eric: You’ve been going to college, haven’t you?
Andrew: Yes I have. You know what I mean, it’s like obviously…
Andrew: … it’s not like they’re going to write Petunia out.
Eric: Well, I don’t know – I mean, because the Dursleys weren’t in Movie Six, so we didn’t see that scene where Dumbledore was even talking about Dudley being abused so it’s interesting that we will see Dudley because you wonder in what context that the scene will be between Harry and Dudley – where Dudley has to say goodbye or whatever, because, I don’t know, it’s less built-up to in the films so they’ll have to – I’m not worried, by any means, but it will be different I think than the scene in the book by quite a bit, especially if Fiona Shaw’s not involved.
Andrew: Well, I think they’ll include the Seven Potters maybe. And just leave it at that. You know, for the Dursleys.
Andrew: But it’ll be good to see him again, and you have to include him. I mean, they’re doing two parts so it’s not like there isn’t room for the Dursleys.
Eric: That’s true. That’s very true.
Micah: Yeah, I think it’s a scene that has to be in there, though, because it’s – even if it’s a flashback, possibly, to what happened in Half Blood Prince and I know you guys said it wasn’t included but it seems like it’s an important scene between Harry and Petunia.
Andrew: Right. I don’t know. We’ll just have to wait and see. But by the way nobody send me hate-mail for being sarcastic about Harry Melling announcing he’s going to be back. And…
Micah: A lot of people were excited. I mean, I thought you were genuinely excited about that, Andrew.
Andrew: Well, I – everyone’s excited because it means the Dursleys are coming back, which is good. I mean, you know, I don’t have posters of Harry Melling…
Micah: Oh yeah, you do. Come on, don’t lie.
Eric: Yeah, you do. [imitating Dudley in Order of the Phoenix movie] “This one deserved it.”
Eric: That was Harry Melling. Awesome.
Andrew: Yeah. What were you going to say, Micah?
Micah: No, I was going to move on to the next piece of news.
Andrew: Well, go ahead. What else is going on?
News: John Williams at the Hollywood Bowl
Micah: The last piece that I have here is about John Williams performing an hour of Potter at the Hollywood Bowl. And Andrew, you can talk more about this because you were there.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, I wanted to post this because it wasn’t “news” newsworthy in the traditional sense, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Matt and I both went to – John Williams every year at the Hollywood Bowl here in Los Angeles, he does this show called “John Williams: Music of the Movies”. And he performs – he’s the composer of Sorceror’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman. Like, he’s probably, arguably the best composer of all time, or one of them. And he does a show every year, so he does his most famous scores. It’s a beautiful environment. It was just an awesome night, but the Potter catch to it is that he dedicated the first hour to Harry Potter.
Andrew: And it was fantastic. Like, he knew – we just kept looking to our friends and saying to ourselves, “He must have known we were coming tonight.” I’ll give you a run-through of the songs in this order. And it was cool because he comes out on stage, he doesn’t say anything. Then suddenly, there’s these lightning effects – and it’s an outdoor theater, so it kind of actually sounded real. So there’s these flashes of lightning and lightning sound effects and John Williams, like looks around, and then you hear, “There’s no such thing as magic!” And then they go right into “Hegwig’s Theme”.
Nick: Oh, nice.
Andrew: And it was – yeah, it was so beautiful and you know, completely live. So they did “Hedwig’s Theme,” “Aunt Marge’s Waltz,” “Diagon Alley,” “Knight Bus,” the “Nimbus 2000” theme, “Fawkes the Phoenix,” “Window to the Past,” “Chamber of Secrets” and then “Harry’s Wondrous World”.
Andrew: So it was an incredible set list, too. It was so much fun. And, and – I like to fuel rumors. It made us wonder, you know, if he’s doing these – this was a two hour show. The first half of the show was Harry Potter, and this has not been done before by him. He’s never dedicated an hour to one of his shows.
Andrew: You know, to Potter. So it makes you wonder, is Potter on his mind a lot?
Andrew: Because maybe he’s working on Deathly Hallows, which he has said he’s very interested in doing. And two years ago he said, he believed quote, “with confidence,” that he’d be back. So…
Andrew: It’s got to be working on it soon. You’ve got to imagine.
Eric: You think he’s – so basically you’re asking me does this mean that he’s getting his groove back on?
Andrew: Yeah, I mean…
Eric: By re-familiarizing himself with the music, I mean…
Andrew: …yeah. I mean, he would have played Potter songs no matter what, but the first hour’s a little bit…
Eric: Of a two-hour show.
Eric: I mean, he’s done everything, man.
Andrew: And the Star Wars fans were, you know – must have been a little upset. Trust me. Although, he did play some Star Wars after, but. Yeah, so it was a great night and it, you know, makes you wonder what’s going on there. I hope he comes back. Oh man.
Micah: Yeah. It’s going to be interesting, especially having gone away from him for what has it been now, three movies?
Andrew: Yeah. And we were hoping, we were like, “Oh my God! He’s going to announce it right here, isn’t he? Like he’s playing an hour of Potter. He’s going to turn around and just go ‘I am composing Movie 7!'”
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Eric: And you’d be right there with your Twitter, and…
Andrew: Yeah. I was actually thinking in my head, like, I was plotting. Because I didn’t have Internet, so I was plotting who I would call first, and you know, for Mikey it was too late, and I didn’t know who else to call. I guess I would have called you, Eric.
Andrew: Yeah. It would have been breaking news from the Hollywood Bowls.
Eric: Awesome. That sounds – What is the Hollywood Bowl, anyway? I mean, where is it?
Andrew: It’s in Hollywood. It’s an outdoor venue. It holds like thousands of people. It’s outdoor, like I said. You bring your own – you can bring your own drinks and food. We had our own little box. Like four seats in a box, and we had really good seats, and you just sit back, you sip wine, you eat cheese and crackers, and you watch John Williams perform Harry Potter. Like, it was one of the best nights ever! It was so cool!
Eric: [laughs] Wow.
Andrew: Yeah. It was beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Is that it, Micah?
Micah: That’s all the news that I have.
Micah: Thanks for sharing that. That was a great story.
Andrew: No problem. Well, yeah. I wanted to talk about it, because I thought, you know – and again, he does it every year, so if you want to see John Williams, and you’re in the SoCal area, go to that show next year.
Micah: It’s got to be a really cool experience…
Andrew: Oh yeah!
Micah: …I mean, just from the standpoint of all the things he’s done in his career.
Eric: And seeing him live.
Andrew: Right. I mean, we went mainly for Matt’s birthday because his birthday’s in a few days, so.
Eric: Whoa! Happy Birthday, Matt!
Andrew: [impersonating Matt] Well, thank you!
Eric: Where’s Matt?
Andrew: He’s at Panera. He’s working.
Eric: Oh, yeah.
Announcements: Infinitus 2010 Registration
Andrew: Okay, so moving on to announcements now, and this is sort of news, actually, too. Registration for Infinitus 2010 is now open, and these – Infinitus is a Harry Potter conference. It’s run by the same people who put on Lumos, Prophecy, Portus, and Azkatraz, which, you know, we’ve been talking about for the past several months because it just happened in July. It’s going to be taking place in Orlando. They’re working with Universal, so there’s going to be like an event at the theme park – maybe. Maybe, it’s not been announced yet, but maybe.
[Eric’s dog barks]
Andrew: It is going to be incredible, and dogs everywhere are going crazy at the news.
[Eric and Nick laugh]
Andrew: So visit Infinitus2010.org you can find more information there. Register, we hope to do a live podcast there. It is too early to announce anything yet, but it is from July 15-18 in Orlando, in Universal Studios at Universal Studios Theme Park there in Orlando.
Announcements: Podcast Alley
Andrew: In other announcements, don’t forget to vote for us in Podcast Alley. You know we have been asking you to do so since sometime in 2005 when we started our show. And Micah you found out a pretty interesting fact today.
Micah: Yeah, I was….
Andrew: I don’t know how you found this out.
Micah: Yeah, I was on Podcast Alley and they let you go back in time and look over what was the Top 50 or so from the last few years. You can go month by month; and I found out that MuggleCast has never been outside of the Top 10 podcasts at the end of each month on Podcast Alley, since we began the show back in August of 2005.
Andrew: That’s pretty impressive.
Micah: The only time we dropped out of the Top 5 was from April to June of this year. So, I don’t know what our fans were doing. Maybe they were on vacation or something like that.
Andrew: I don’t know, I see like in June we were #10. So that is still good, don’t get us wrong. But, cool, and that just shows you how great our listeners are. So thank you so much for voting for us on Podcast Alley. It is pretty easy to do, just go to PodcastAlley.com search for MuggleCast and give us a vote and you can leave a comment too.
Announcement: Fantasy Focus
Micah: The next announcement, we talked about this a little bit on our last show that there is a fantasy football podcast called “Fantasy Focus” that has been more or less calling us out. I think they referred to us, according to our listeners, as “bastards” on the last show that they did.
Andrew: Oh, come on!
Eric: Ohhh! [laughs]
Micah: Their September 4th edition. Some of our listeners have reached out to them and said that one of us would be more than willing to go on their show and speak with them. I reached out to their host today so we will see what happens.
Andrew: Well uh…
Eric: So are we going to have a Harry Potter trivia contest with them?
Micah: No, I don’t think that would be the plan.
Andrew: Hopefully, they weren’t joking. You know, maybe they were kidding about somebody being on the show.
Andrew: But Micah you would be a perfect candidate since you are into sports and…
Eric: We’re not.
Andrew: ….you like fantasy football for whatever reason.
Micah: Yeah, hey, look we both talk about stuff related to things that aren’t real.
Eric: Wow, way to find common ground Micah.
Andrew: And a couple of birthday announcements the first one goes out to Ben, who wanted to join us today, but he was travelling to New York today, and he just found out a few days ago so he couldn’t join us, Ben just celebrated a birthday so Happy Birthday to him. And also, happy birthday to Matt who is turning 24 on September 11th. So let’s move on now to Muggle Mail!
Muggle Mail: Deathly Hallows Split
Nick: The first letter we got today was from Emily, she’s fifteen and from Maryland. She writes,
“Dear MuggleCasters, first of all I want to say that you guys rock and I love your show. Also, I want to say that I think that the Deathly Hallows movie split you discussed in your last episode is perfect. The trio getting caught by the Snatchers happens almost directly after they go to the Lovegood’s house and find out what the Deathly Hallows are – which is obviously a very important part in the book. The ending to Part One will be great – we’ll find out about the Hallows being the climax and getting caught by the Snatchers being the awesome cliff-hanger. The split also allows Part One and Part Two to stand as totally different movies, but at the same time flow together. What I mean is that even though both parts will be exciting and adventurous, part one will be more introductory, while part two will be more final. I am just really thankful that Warner Bros. got this right.”
Andrew: Yeah, so there you go, there’s some feedback about the breaking news we reported last week.
Nick: I’m basically – do you actually know the exact moment of the split? Because if it’s after they’ve been told what the Deathly Hallows are and then it ends, that would be cool. If they get caught by the Snatchers and then it ends, I would be kind of miffed I think.
Andrew: Well, according to Jamie, who heard Joshua Herdman say – reveal this at MuggleCon – or Muggle Mayhem, which was a couple weeks ago, it’s supposed to happen right after the Snatchers, right after they’re caught by the Snatchers. So…
Nick: That’s going to be horrible – to wait another year to find…
Andrew: Yeah, exactly.
Nick: …to just be thrown back straight back into the action.
Andrew: Well, that’s – I guess…
Nick: I mean it’s an ideal place to split it, but…
Andrew: Right, right. I think it’s a clever cliff-hanger.
Nick: Yeah, yeah, definitely.
Andrew: I mean, you know, we’ll see. I think they’ll make the most of it. They’ll – anyone who has their doubts I think will be pleasantly surprised. Just because, you know, they won’t want fans to be disappointed…
Nick: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: …by, you know, any split.
Muggle Mail: Bastard-coated Bastard with Bastard Filling
Micah: The next e-mail comes from Sophie, 21, of New Haven, Connecticut. And it says,
“Hi all, just write to let you know that ‘Bastard-coated bastard with bastard filling’ comes from the TV show, Scrubs. It’s from a line of the character of Dr. Cox, ‘Lady, people aren’t chocolates. Do you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard-coated bastards with bastard filling. But I don’t find them half as annoying as I find naive, bubble-headed optimists who walk around vomiting sunshine.’ I’m sure that loads of other people have sent in similar emails, but I thought I’d send it in. Sophie.”
What the [bleep] does this have to do with?
Andrew: Well this…
Nick: The last show.
Andrew: Yeah, the last show somebody – what happened? Somebody quoted the “bastard-coated bastard” part, and we were like “What’s that from? Is that from the book?” And, it wasn’t!
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: And we got a lot of emails about this so thanks to everyone who clarified. Obviously, none of us are Scrubs viewers, at least not anybody we know.
Micah: I like Scrubs. It’s a really funny show, actually.
Andrew: So why didn’t you catch up on it on the show?
Micah: Because I don’t even remember this was said!
Andrew: Yeah, I remember where it was said. It was said in somebody’s email…
Andrew: …and we were like, “What’s that?” So, [laughs] they can could have – the next time you guys quote something and it’s not from Harry Potter, let us know where the quote’s coming from – because chances are we won’t know, it seems. Eric, you want to take the next email?
Eric: It comes from Carly, aged 12, from – Massachusetts? MA? Massachusetts.
Andrew: That’s right. Yes.
Muggle Mail: Good Girls Gone Bad
Eric: Yes. Ah – anyway – sorry. Next one comes from Carly, aged 12, from Massachusetts, subject: Good Girls Gone Bad. She says:
“Hey! I was just listening to your most recent Episode, 178, and the music connection for ‘Good Girls Gone Bad’ could be in the fifth.”
I assume she means…
Eric: …movie? Yes.
“When Harry, Ron, Hermione, Luna, Neville and Ginny are all walking back from the D.A. meeting, and Hermione says, “It’s kind of fun, isn’t it? Breaking the rules.” and Ron goes, “Who are you? What happened to Hermione Granger?” I thought that would be a perfect spot just for that song. Just wanted to tell you to keep up the great work.”
Andrew: I agree. That’d be fantastic. That was a wonderful idea, Carly.
Eric: You guys played that song?
Eric: What kind of connection did you make, in the end?
Andrew: Ah… [sighs] What happened Micah?
Micah: I honestly…
Micah: …can’t remember. Who got the song?
Micah: Oh, it was Ben?
Andrew: I think. I don’t know. I’m sorry, we have a bad memory, apparently. But I don’t know, it was a good connection, whatever it was. I can’t remember.
Andrew: Listen to last week’s show for the answer!
Muggle Mail: The Twitch
Andrew: Okay and the final email for today comes from Andrea, 19, of Madison, Wisconsin. She writes:
“Hey guys, I’ve just started listening to the show in the past few months and you guys are doing a fantastic job.”
Well, thank you.
“I wish I had started listening ages ago. I know you guys have talked a lot about the foreshadowing in the ‘Half Blood Prince’ movie, but I just wanted to comment on one particular scene. There were tons of great and not so great scenes in the film but when Dumbledore explains to Harry how Dark Magic can leave traces, I was so excited that they were hinting at one of the biggest twists in the entire series: Harry being the Seventh Horcrux. By associating that comment with the twitch Harry does, that we all recognize from the ‘Order of the Phoenix’ movie, it’s easy for those of us who know the whole story to see what Dumbledore is alluding to and intrigue the movie viewers who have not read the books. I’m not usually thrilled with Michael Gambon but in this scene he delivered a spectacular performance! While I felt that the film did not give Harry time to grieve the loss of Sirius, and over-romanticized some aspects of the story, it was definitely the best film yet.”
So wasn’t that cool? We never brought that up when Harry does that little twitch in the movie.
Eric: [laughs] Okay! What twitch? [laughs]
Andrew: There’s a twitch in the – Nick and Micah, do you guys know what she’s talking about? I do.
Nick: I have no idea about a twitch.
Eric: Are you sure that’s not just Dan acting? [laughs] Because we can’t put it in the show if it’s…
Andrew: No, no, no, listen…
Eric: …if it’s involuntary.
Andrew: No. I know. I know for a fact. I remember this, too.
Andrew: I just forgot to bring it up. But yeah, Dumbledore says how dark magic can leave traces, and Harry does the twitch that’s similar to Voldemort’s neck twist in Order of the Phoenix. In the film, you know how he swings his neck around? He does that same thing.
Eric: Oh, you’re right. I remember it now.
Andrew: And related to that, somebody else pointed this out to me: when he says that same line, and I think this was in the cave – I’m pretty sure this took place in the cave – when he says, “Dark magic can leave traces,” he looks at Harry’s scar, as well.
Andrew: So there are two references there to Harry being a Horcrux with the dark magic so…
Eric: Well, look at that.
Andrew: The little subtle things, yeah.
Eric: They’ve essentially eliminated all other references to Horcruxes, like…
Eric: …that were in the book, but…
Eric: …but Dumbledore looks at Harry’s scar. How about that?
Eric: No, the twitch.
Andrew: Good job, Warner Brothers.
Eric: Had to bring it up.
Listener Tweets: Saving Voldemort
Andrew: All right, so that does it for e-mails this week. And now we have kind of a different main discussion. We asked on Twitter – we have a Twitter, as everyone knows, at Twitter.com/MuggleCast – and we asked you guys to send in your burning questions that, you know – we’ve done a hundred and seventy nine shows now – this is our one hundred and seventy ninth – and we always get a lot of emails from people sort of asking the same questions, but we’ve never really gotten to them. So here are some of them – people’s burning questions that we’ll now try to answer. And this first one comes from DayseD. She says,
“Could Dumbledore have stopped Voldemort becoming what he did? Because he didn’t feel sorry for Riddle and judged Harry for doing so.”
So what do you guys think? Could Dumbledore have stopped him way back in the orphanage? Or even at school? Could he have somehow changed Voldemort?
Nick: I don’t think so. He was already damaged, pretty much, then, without the upbringing and family and stuff. I think Dumbledore bringing him to Hogwarts was his way of trying to help him, wasn’t it?
Nick: I’ve got a quote here, which you might find useful, actually, from Jo.
Nick: She says – she was asked by a fan in a web chat, “How much does the fact that Voldemort was conceived under a love potion have to do with his inability to understand love?” And she replied, “It was a symbolic way of showing that he came from a loveless union. But of course, everything would have changed if Merope would have survived and raised him herself and loved him.” So I guess what she was saying was that as soon as Merope died, there was little hope for Tom Riddle and so Dumbledore couldn’t really have…
Nick: …made a difference, I guess.
Eric: He reeled that one in.
Andrew: Yeah, but I guess even for argument’s sake she did still sort of leave it open. At least from the question that we’re asking. I mean, couldn’t there have been a way? Anyway somehow Dumbledore could have put him through counselling? Or at least given him a hug, give him some love.
Eric: [laughs] He probably could’ve given him a hug, I think at one point. But no, I mean the whole thing was that Dumbledore apparently or supposedly didn’t know that Voldemort was – I don’t know. I mean Dumbledore, to a fault, believes the best in people, and his excuse when Harry asked him that question was more or less – or maybe this is a movie-ism, but you know – “Did you know sir, then?”
Eric: And he said no. I think during the tutelage, during the years Dumbledore possibly should’ve seen the signs, but Dumbledore wasn’t headmaster then, either. Could he have stopped him is the question. Well, physically, powerfully, yeah. Dumbledore could’ve stopped Voldemort, but…
Micah: I think, by her giving that answer though, it takes away the whole idea that people can be inherently evil. And I think that a lot of the characters we do see in this series, and Voldemort could be the exception, that if he was raised a different way, he wouldn’t have turned out the way that he did, but I always had this perception of Voldemort as being an inherently evil person…
Micah: …from the beginning, and you just see that from the way he’s brought up in the orphanage. I mean, part of the reason why J.K. Rowling made that stark contrast between Harry growing up as more or less an orphan with the Dursleys and then Tom Riddle growing up in the orphanage was to show that it is about the choices that you make. So I think Riddle still chose, on some level, to do what he did, you know?
Micah: I don’t know, it seems like quite a bit of a jumbled mess to me, because is he inherently evil, or is he a product strictly of being brought up that way or is it kind of a mix of both?
Andrew: I think it’s a mix of both. But also, you just have to – I always wonder could he have been sort of quarantined, in a sense? If Dumbledore saw him growing into this evil-ish character as he developed in Hogwarts, I wonder if Dumbledore could have done something then to have stopped him, whether it was to – I don’t know if quarantine is the right word, but like put him in counselling or just lock him up in a chamber somewhere and keep him there if you know he’s not going anywhere good.
Micah: Yeah. If you go back to that scene – and it sticks out more in the movie than in the book to me – but when Dumbledore comes face to face with Tom Riddle and he basically asks him if there’s anything he wants to tell him.
Micah: And he can tell that Tom Riddle is lying to him. Dumbledore…
Micah: …is an impressively powerful individual who I’m assuming has the ability to read people’s minds like other wizards, I thought that was a huge misstep on the part of Dumbledore’s character to not say right then and there, “You’re not telling me the truth. Something else is up.”
Micah: And if he could stop him at that moment of the Chamber of Secrets, could that have prevented what he became after that?
Eric: Do you guys know – I mean, what sort of confinement have we seen of wizards in the books relating to if they’re bad? I mean, Micah asked if Dumbledore couldn’t have put him in a room or somehow contained his emotion. But really, the only – if you’re a bad wizard, you either die in fighting or go to Azkaban where you live a completely empty, almost soulless but not quite soulless, life existence during your time there. There’s really no wizarding time-out and furthermore, Durmstrang, the school, is devoted entirely, or even more heavily to the Dark Arts and teaching the Dark Arts. So if Riddle had gone to Durmstrang, that would have been perhaps even worse than going to Hogwarts. But there just doesn’t seem to be a place for – and perhaps Jo hasn’t really created a containment sort of system for those wizards who are just corrupt. I mean, they get sorted into Slytherin, I guess and absorbed by their community there.
Micah: Right. But at the same time, I think from the writing standpoint, the whole idea was to show Dumbledore was flawed in his decision making, show Slughorn was flawed in his decision making. Everyone who had encountered Tom Riddle at an early stage and chose not to act, they are all somewhat complicit in what happened. We could talk about this for hours because it all goes back to the same conversation of looking at how Tom Riddle was brought up versus how Harry was brought up and the different choices and the paths that they took in their lives.
Andrew: All right. Yeah, I mean, we encourage our listeners to send in their feedback because I like to see what everyone else thinks about it. I’m an optimist. I think he could have been changed. Of course, for story’s sake, we don’t want him to change, but in realistic terms – and I think Dumbledore sort of would have been smart enough to notice. And I also think back to as we see highlighted very well in Half-Blood Prince the film, when Slughorn – when Voldemort – when Tom Riddle is asking Slughorn about Horcruxes. I mean, gosh! No, of course not! He wouldn’t – of course he wouldn’t be asking that hypothetically or for academic purposes as was described in the book. Ah, so sad.
MuggleCast 179 Transcript (continued)
Listener Tweet: Harry’s Father Figures
Andrew: Okay so let’s move on to the next question, then? It’s from Paris2616,
“Why did J.K. Rowling get rid of all the father figures in Harry’s life? James, Sirius, Dumbledore, Lupin; she killed them all!”
Andrew: And of course the simple answer to this would be, you know, this helped Harry become an adult – put him into adulthood – and to make him stronger. At least that’s my opinion. But do you guys think there’s more to it?
Nick: Well she didn’t kill all of the father figures. I mean she kept Arthur Weasley alive. She gave him the reprieve.
Nick: And did Lupin and Tonks in the same…
Eric: But she almost did. She almost killed Arthur Weasley.
Andrew: That’s true.
Nick: True, true. She did…
Andrew: But also, I mean, James, Sirius, Dumbledore, and Lupin – I think they are the largest father figures to Harry.
Nick: Well she said in a quote somewhere that she killed Lupin and Tonks to mirror, or echo, the death of Harry’s parents.
Andrew: Right, right. So it went full circle.
Nick: But in regards to Dumbledore, I think he had to die for Harry to be truly alone and on the quest, and not have someone he could fall back on, I guess.
Andrew: Yeah. I guess if you think about it you can really pull each of these apart, I mean, and offer reasonable explanations. James died, of course, from Voldemort’s whole attack in the first place. Actually, I don’t know as much about Sirius. Why would Jo choose to kill Sirius?
Eric: I think it’s to repress Harry, really. I mean, think about the end of Prisoner of Azkaban, which isn’t when Sirius died, you know, but he came so close to having what was close to being a normal life, and unfortunately that destiny was not Harry’s until he grew up…
Eric: You know, until he had a family of his own. But he came so close to – I just have flashbacks to the end scene in Prisoner of Azkaban the book and, you know – he just came so close to his godfather that it felt like it was meant to be, but it wasn’t. So I guess she killed Sirius so that we realized, you know, in Book 5 when things got down to it that there was no right answer and that the end wasn’t going to be easy or happy. I think that was Jo’s way of preparing us at first, I mean, because Sirius was the only one who understood Harry in that book and…
Eric: Readers included, you know. So…
Micah: I think a good question for her, based off of what both Nick and Eric said, would be if Arthur had died would Sirius have lived through that book? And…
Nick: That’s interesting.
Micah: It’s an interesting situation because, you know, I think Sirius had to be killed off because of a lot of the storyline that develops later on in Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows. Whether it be with Kreacher, or the locket, or Regulus Black. You know, and then reusing Grimmauld Place to their advantage. I just don’t think that it would have worked out. And, you know, Sirius at times, as much as we don’t want to think like this, but he got in the way. And…
Andrew: How so?
Micah: Well, I think that it would have made Harry’s task a lot more difficult in the last two books if Sirius was there. And, you know, we saw Sirius jeopardize – or the whole concept of Sirius being in danger jeopardize Harry to begin with. And that’s the whole reason he ends up dying in the end anyway. But I think she killed him off probably because he would be one more figure that could be used against Harry and in favour of Voldemort, as sadistical, I guess… [laughs] …as that sounds.
Andrew: I think – and the other thing we could wonder about is if Arthur were to die instead of Sirius, which death would have been bigger from a reader’s standpoint and from Harry’s standpoint. And also from, I just guess, everyone in Harry’s world. I mean, I think everyone in Harry’s world – the death of Arthur would be much larger just because of the Weasley family. I mean, they’re all losing their father and Harry’s losing someone who is like a father. Whereas with Sirius, yes, it still affects everyone. But Sirius was really only Harry’s father so to speak.
Micah: Yeah. And at heart, it…
Andrew: So which one do you think would have been bigger?
Micah: I think Sirius’…
Micah: …is still bigger for him personally.
Eric: It’s Harry’s…
Eric: …story. But then again – I mean, so much – I mean, if we didn’t have Arthur Weasley – I mean, that’s the connection to the Ministry, you know, gone. And…
Eric: And plus – I mean, Ron would have just been – all of the Weasleys would have been essentially inactive characters for some time if she were to do them in the right way.
Andrew: That’s why I wonder…
Eric: So – I mean, the plot I think – or the story would suffer, you know, perhaps more. I – you know, I just thought of that. You know the reason that she gave Arthur Weasley the reprive, could it have been, you know, because all of her – I mean, that’s a lot of grief to write. You know…
Andrew: Yeah, it is.
Eric: I mean, eight characters’ grief around the same, you know, single person. Whereas, you know, in Book 7 she can spread it out a bit.
Micah: Well, I think…
Eric: Yeah, I think…
Micah: …you still needed a father figure in the end. And I think Arthur Weasley is a father figure to him regardless. I mean, they do have a very close relationship. They do share a lot of information throughout the stories with each other. And I remember though, in particular, a lot of people were upset by Sirius’ death. A lot of people felt that it was unjustified, you know, in Order of the Phoenix, specifically because Harry had just been reunited and they had really grown in terms of their relationship and then all of a sudden it was ripped apart.
Andrew: Well the thing I’m still not totally cool with is just the way Sirius died. Like the whole veil thing because we haven’t gotten an explanation for it.
Eric: No, I would have liked to see the other side of the veil or something.
Eric: I mean if it was death by curtain, I mean that was just like a giant WTF moment. I mean but then I mean of course if you – the thing is too like that scene reads so quickly and if you do read it, it says like there’s a green light or a flash before he hits the curtain so technically he’s either like – and in the movie I think they cleared it up that he was actually hit with the Death curse before or actually in the movie he was kind of absorbed into the curtain so it was kind of – kind of weird. But the way the book was, it was just really confusing and I – I think, you know, speaking from my own opinion – you know I really wanted to know more about the death scene but there was no – and the Death room in the Ministry but there was just no closure for that sort of thing and the – it wasn’t the route that was taken. Wasn’t Sirius in the woods with them, at the end?
Eric: With Remus and that right before the final battle? Okay so I mean at least it’s closure in that knowing that Sirius isn’t in some kind of limbo, that, you know, falling through the curtain just took away his body and that he’s still ended up where he’s supposed to.
Micah: Anything else on these other characters? I mean I think we’ve spent a lot of time talking about Sirius.
Andrew: Yeah well I think Sirius was the most debatable. I mean we know why Dumbledore had to die. And I really don’t think Lupin – I mean he was a father figure but – like, like Nick brought up, Jo explained that Lupin had – oh, died to bring another family – you know, to bring it full circle where – what’s the kid? Oh, Teddy, you know lost his parents to war, so that I get. I think that was a nice touch. So any other thoughts about that question? Okay, then we’ll move on to the next question from foreverafan.
Listener Tweet: Ghosts
Andrew: She says:
“Do you think that the people who died in the Battle of Hogwarts became ghosts? So many people died there!”
And we’ve talked about ghosts before on you know, past Halloween shows but we don’t think we’ve done anything since Book 7 came out so let’s talk about that. As Nick – Nearly-Headless Nick described – not MuggleCast co-host Nick – “wizards can leave an imprint of themselves upon the Earth to walk palely where their living souls once trod. I was afraid of death. I chose to remain behind. I sometimes wonder whether I oughtn’t have – should not have. Well that is neither here nor there. In fact, I am neither here nor there.” That’s a quote from Nearly Headless Nick in Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 38. And thanks to the Lexicon for that quote by the way. And according to Jo, she herself said, “There are some people that would not come back as ghosts because they are unafraid or less afraid of death.” So in other words, you got to be afraid of death to want to be a ghost. So with that – so with all that information, guys, we know that Snape, Fred, Remus, Tonks, Colin Creevey, Bellatrix, Crabbe, numerous Death Eaters, they all died. Any of them, do you think would come back as ghosts? And why?
Micah: Wow. That’s a powerful question.
Andrew: Is it really?
Micah: No, I’m just kidding. There’s a lot to it though.
Andrew: Well, I wanted to present everyone with background information first.
Micah: Well you’d almost have to analyze each individual character to figure out whether or not they’d want to become a ghost.
Nick: I guess you could want to rule out the Order. Surely they knew in joining the Order, they’d face death. Surely they knew that, and therefore they wouldn’t be a ghost.
Andrew: That can’t be a fact.
Eric: Yeah. That’s a good point, too. That it was the battle of all battles, so those who went to battle with some…
Andrew: They knew they were going up against Voldemort.
Eric: Well with some mental preparation, would have – would be less likely to not – would be less likely to feel as though they have unfinished business on earth. I think what it is, is that the kids that were fighting, the students who were old enough, who were basically allowed to take their wands and do what they could in the end during that final battle at Hogwarts. I mean, I think those characters we couldn’t name nor know of, the unnamed fighters would probably be the ghosts opposed to the characters we know and love, who like Nick said, knew what they were doing and unfortunately bit it, but were prepared to.
Micah: I don’t think anybody on that list that we have right there would probably become a ghost.
Andrew: What about Fred? I mean, his death was so sudden and I almost think he would prefer to. So did he even have time to think of whether or not he was afraid of death? I guess he…
Nick: He’s the sort of person that would stick around to annoy people.
Micah: Like a poltergeist.
Nick: Joining Nearly Headless Nick.
Eric: He’s not Peeves. I think the Fred thing – If you’re a Weasley, at this point in the wizarding world, if you’re a Weasley, you’ve faced so much prejudice and battle and hardship through your family, that you’re ready for death. And more to the point, J.K. Rowling killed him with a smile on his face. And that is the best way to go. Actually, no, it’s the worst way to go. But it was fitting enough that I don’t think Fred’s character has anything unresolved because he died, Fred the jokester died with a smile on his face. That was his closure.
Micah: If anybody, Voldemort would be at the top of my list to become a ghost.
Nick: Jo – Jo ruled him out I think.
Micah: Yeah, I think she did.
Micah: Yeah. Yeah. But he would…
Nick: But yeah, sure. If he…
Micah: If he was human in some capacity.
Eric: Yeah, if he had enough of a soul…
Eric: …to become a ghost.
Micah: Yeah. That would be my choice, but nobody else? I mean not even Snape. I mean Snape…
Nick: Would – would Bellatrix for Voldemort?
Andrew: Hmm. I don’t think she – I really don’t think she’s afraid to die. Because – just because of how crazy she is. I almost think she doesn’t think about it at all. Just because of…
Nick: Yeah, she’s a bit warped.
Andrew: Yeah, I mean her – her mind is just not there and again, you’re working with the Death Eaters. You’re working with Voldemort. I think death certainly crosses your mind if you’re in as much as Bellatrix is. I think – I think she would not be afraid to die. But I wonder like even – I wonder why this is the rule for becoming a ghost? Do you think this is the rule? Like you have to be afraid or not? I mean could it just be that can’t you be afraid to die? Rr can you – can you not be afraid of death, but still want to come back as a ghost?
Micah: I thought it had something to do with unfinished business as well. I remember reading that somewhere.
Nick: Well, yeah.
Andrew: Well, you can’t really do business as a ghost can you?
Micah: Well, you can get living people to try and finish the business.
Andrew: Yeah, I guess. I guess it’s also worth noting that Jo did say that ghosts are more – more lifelike than a – a portrait.
Micah: Why is that the only reason though? I mean I kind of agree with you.
Andrew: I don’t know. I don’t know. Maybe it’s something to discuss further in our Halloween episode. I mean Jo said this in a chat where the question was sort of posed to her out of the blue so maybe that was just – she didn’t want to go into more detail. But I think it’s definitely an interesting question.
Eric: These are good questions.
Listener Tweet: Crimes of Harry Potter
Andrew: All right. In that case we’ll move on to the next question which is from Kelsey0403 and she says:fays
“The many crimes of Harry Potter…”
Andrew: “…Killing Tom Riddle.”
Well, okay. I mean basically she wanted us to discuss the crimes of Harry Potter and I – I assume…
Andrew: Micah, do you know exactly what she was asking? The gist I got from it was how does he get away with it? But is that what she was asking?
Micah: Or just the – the nature of them. I mean I don’t know. I think it’s more of the fact that he gets away with them. [laughs]
Eric: Guys, you have to share this. She wrote, in the actual Twitter post is… [laughs]
Andrew: “Grand theft dragon.”
Eric: “Grand theft dragon.”
Andrew: So – I mean we came up with a little list of stuff that Harry has done. We all know he’s a trouble maker, but I guess you have to wonder, and we’ll try discussing it, why he’s gotten away with so much. A smaller thing, he’s traded information with fellow Triwizard Tournament competitors and I guess – I don’t know if that’s against the rules, but it’s still sort of like cheating. He stole the dragon of course, the grand theft dragon. And he’s been caught breaking and entering into Gringotts. Countless times he broke the rules at Hogwarts with Ron and Hermione, and of course he killed Tom Riddle. So I think killing Tom Riddle you can argue that one, and also we’ve seen laws from the Ministry of Magic such as you know you can use – you can use magic in the presence of a Muggle as long as it’s in self defence. But none the less why do you guys think he still gets away with all this stuff?
Micah: Well because if he didn’t [laughs] there wouldn’t be a series. But…
Andrew: Yeah but I’m looking for a different explanation.
Nick: Because he’s the chosen one.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Micah: I mean breaking those down real fast – throwing aside the trading the information. I mean that – that’s not something I don’t think would be cause for arrest you know? Whereas some of these others…
Andrew: No, no but I’m not even saying arrest. It’s just like giving another example of how…
Eric: That – that was slanted though too because – I mean Mad Eye Moody was in it trying to kill him. I mean Harry didn’t even want to be part of it.
Eric: I – I think so much what Jo does in the series when Harry breaks rules is to actually show how flawed the rules are or to either justify Harry, or to show how his means to justify the end. And – and not only that but all the other characters make those same excuses for Harry – that you know in the end after all was said and done Harry becomes an Auror and is reprieved of any and all – law – things he’s done because let’s face it, he put down the darkest wizard of all time. So, you really going to arrest Harry Potter after that sort of thing? So, I mean – I think a lot of what he did do that was legitimate rule breaking was excused. Especially by Dumbledore…
Micah: Yeah and…
Micah: …yeah I was going to bring that up.
Nick: The serious stuff was during war. I mean they just throw that out the window.
Micah: Yeah in war you can steal dragons and break into banks and ministries, and…
[Eric and Nick laugh]
Micah: …other places like that. It’s not – everything goes out the window as you said Nick.
Eric: Well he – I’m sure that they would have gladly walked in to the Ministry and gotten what the needed to and walked out but the times didn’t call for that.
Micah: Right that’s…
Andrew: Well, I guess it’s like – how in like James Bond he has a license to kill? Well, does he have a license to do whatever the hell he wants because he’s defeating Voldemort?
[Micah and Eric laugh]
Andrew: Like is that the thinking in the wizarding world? Maybe not…
Micah: Well, according to Dumbledore…
Andrew: …I mean he’s not going to go around killing everybody.
Micah: I think it is. Go back to – I think it’s at the end of Chamber of Secrets or is it Sorcerer’s Stone where Dumbledore tells him he has a certain disregard for breaking the rules.
Eric: Chamber of Secrets movieism.
Eric: No actually it’s in the book too. But Chamber of Secrets…
Micah: And you know he compares him both to his father and to Tom Riddle.
Micah: So, I think in two different books. But he does – both of them don’t like to follow the rules. So – and again in Deathly Hallows he’s made into this rouge type of, you mentioned James Bond, but it’s almost like he’s on the run from everybody. So, when you’re put in that position you’re going to have to break some of the rules, you’re going to have to do some things if you want to be successful and get out of the situation that you’re in.
Eric: I can’t – can’t stop thinking about that scene in The Simpson’s Movie with Santa’s Little Helper where he says, “I did things no dog should do, they will haunt me forever.”
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Eric: But honestly though, self defence is the number one protective – next to – next to free speech and press now a days. The – the – the self defence is as high as it gets to you know, within the law, for you to do what it takes if you’re life is in danger. And that just reminded me of – I mean your question. Well, in Prisoner of Azkaban when Fudge says you know, this is a movieism but, “We don’t cart people off to Azkaban just for blowing up their aunts.” What if they had? What if Book 3 entailed Harry going to Azkaban? What if they locked Harry up for blowing up his aunt? I mean, if Dumbledore wasn’t able to convince them that Harry needed to go to school, so that he could complete school and be a decent wizard, so he could go up against You-Know-Who or whatever, if they just put him off in Azkaban I mean that would’ve been the end of this wizarding world. If they made Harry do the legal thing and – and held him accountable for his actions.
Micah: No. What about this killing Tom Riddle? Is this from Chamber of Secrets or is this from when he actually kills Voldemort at the end of Deathly Hallows?
Andrew: I’m not sure. I’m just going off of what this listener said. But – I – I mean killing – killing Voldemort, I think – who’s going to fine him for that? But even with Tom Riddle he didn’t really kill Tom Riddle in Chamber of Secrets.
Eric: Well, Tom Riddle was killing Ginny. He was absorbing her life.
Eric: And – and really. I mean Harry thought he was dying by the poison. So, I – I – I don’t know. That’s a – that’s a tougher one I think than killing Voldemort.
Andrew: I think that in a way it’s sort of – I think one – someone could argue that Harry setting a bad example for kids in the wizarding world who read about Harry’s history, the history of Harry Potter, and they realize that, “Wow, look at all – look at all he got away with just because he was doing something right. Or what was right for the greater good.” And I wonder if people could argue – and again, look guys, I mean, we’ve got to argue this stuff as if it were real. So, with that said…
Andrew: …I wonder if people could in – in – in the wizarding world think, kids growing up think, “Wow look at all the stuff he did for the greater good. I’m going to start breaking laws and crap because I think it’s for the greater good.”
Eric: That brings up an interesting – like I’m just going to be quick about this, but think about all the bad things, bad characters do. Like is – is Harry being a bad example? No, Draco Malfoy is supposed to be the bad example for kids to not do because – but things that Harry’s villains and enemies do are within the law is the thing. Draco – Lucius Malfoy does many things that – bribery is not within the law, but all of the sort of villains in Harry Potter, especially Dolores Umbridge, do things that are within the law but which are morally corrupt and – and are reprehensible otherwise. And so breaking the rules is in fact the good thing because abiding by them is what the people in charge do and the people in charge are corrupt. So it’s – it’s very kind of backwards, topsy-turvy, upside-down in the Harry Potter books, and I think people have to realize that – that Draco Malfoy is the bad guy even though Draco sometimes does things in – that are – that are by the rules.
Andrew: I – I agree with that.
Micah: But the other side of it is if you want to take it and put it in a real world context, these are the types of arguments that – that people are going to use against the Harry Potter books…
Micah: …specifically related to Harry.
Andrew: I was going to say that too. Yeah.
Micah: Look at somebody like Laura Mallory. I mean take the magic aside and not even mention that. Oh well, he’s killing people and you know he is stealing things and he’s breaking into places, and he’s impersonating other people.
Micah: These are the types of things that they use.
Andrew: Right, Grand Theft Dragon! We would never do that in real life.
Andrew: They’re setting bad examples! [laughs]
Eric: Grand theft dragon was a means to an escape.
Micah: Congratulations Kelsey! You just named this show.
Eric: Grand Theft Dragon? Yeah.
Listener Tweet: Harry Potter in the Future
Andrew: All right. Okay, let’s move on. We have one last question for today. It’s from BrittJK. He says or she says:
“Discuss what you think will happen in 20-30 years when new kids are reading ‘Harry Potter.’ If they’ll be as obsessed as their parents and/or us.”
So I – I think one of the first questions is how will – how do you guys think – and I think this is interesting to talk about – how do you guys think children will discover Harry Potter? Will people – will they get recommendations from their parents and teachers? Because you know now we have the movies. People see the movies and they say, “Oh I’m going to read the books.” Or they see their friends reading the books. But not as many people 20 to 30 years from now are going to be reading the books. So how are they going to be recommended? How – how is – how are the Harry Potter books still going to stay alive and extremely popular. We know they can, but how are people going to realize it. You know what I’m saying?
Eric: People will get the books beamed to them on their Kindle 3000. [laughs]
Andrew: That’s true. That’s true.
Eric: Yeah. Or while they sleep – played you know constantly.
Andrew: But really, what – how do you think people will find out about Harry Potter? Your kids – say – say we all get married and have kids, and then 20-30 years from now they’re just entering the age of reading and they’re old enough to read Harry Potter. How would you convince them to read it?
Nick: Read it or I’ll disown you.
Micah: No video games.
Andrew: Without being arrested, how – how could you?
Nick: I guess it would be more prominent in schools in reading lists and things, wouldn’t it?
Andrew: Yeah. Well, hopefully. I mean the problem right now is a lot of schools don’t have it in their curriculum because kids see it – or teachers and I guess administrators see it as too – too mainstream.
Andrew: And people just don’t get why it’s popular.
Micah: Well, I mean…
Andrew: People don’t realize it’s popular because it’s a good story.
Micah: …you could certainly give it to your kids, and let them read the first book and make the decision if they want to continue on and see what happens. I mean you – you at least control that situation. As far as the schools, it – it may take some time. I mean, it may take 20 or 30 years just for it to enter the curriculum and – and get over the hump, so to speak, of some of the things it’s encountered. But, I mean any classical piece of literature always faces some kind of obstacle, it seems like, when it’s – when it’s put into the curriculum the first time around.
Eric: That’s – that’s rather true. And, I mean let’s not forget Harry Potter surged in a time when it wasn’t part of the school curriculum. I mean, it being a part of the school curriculum wasn’t – it wasn’t dependent on that for its popularity. And so, even if it’s not in school curriculums, I’m inclined to say, “Yes, it will still be viewed as classic literature that – that – that certainly – I mean, you know how popular the books are that they’re published in all those different languages.” I – I will show them the books, my copies of the books to my kids, and if even half of the people who’ve read the Harry Potter books and are fans of the Harry Potter books do the same to their kids, we’re not going to have to worry about there not being a fan base for it or – or it not being part of – if not mainstream at least casual conversation, pop culture. It – I think just the impact of Harry Potter is just too great for it to be forgotten in – in – in any span of a few decades.
Andrew: But, we say that now…
Eric: It’s true. It’s true.
Andrew: …but look at books that – look at what we would consider classic literature right now. I mean, sure, I guess Harry Potter could be considered because it’s complete, but look at classic literature from maybe 20, 30 years ago. Can – can a parent tell a kid to read it because they really enjoyed when they were a kid? I mean, generations change over and over again. I mean, for all we know in 20 or 30 years from now everybody could be all about space and – and nobody wants to read or see any movies about anything unless it’s about space.
Micah: Yeah. Well, I mean, that’s the thing.
Micah: You give them a book and you let them read the first one and if they like it…
Micah: …then they continue on. If they don’t – I mean, you’re not going to be able to convince every kid.
Micah: I mean, we have to remember that this happened in our time…
Micah: …and nothing is going to replicate that ever again I don’t think.
Andrew: It’s very true.
Micah: And you can’t do anything to sort of replace that, and that’s why I don’t think they’re going to feel the same way about the series, I mean there’s no way to possibly – to do that, you know. And it sounds kind of corny, but, you know, when you open up that book for the first time and there’s a smell that’s associated with it [laughs], and I don’t know if you know what I’m talking about…
Andrew: What? No, I’m kidding.
Micah: You know what I’m talking about…
Micah: …it’s kind of the specific Harry Potter smell.
Eric: Yeah. Micah smells books. [laughs]
Micah: I do. No, it’s true! And specifically those types of books – and you know, you’re always wondering, “Is what I thought going to be coming true in this book? And, you know, what’s going to happen?” And, you know, you’re racing to get through it to discuss it with other people. And that’s something that’s unique – you know, as crazy as it sounds – it’s very hard to replicate.
Andrew: No, absolutely!
Eric: I agree. Actually, you know I think – I think it will have most to do with how relevant the Harry Potter books – Micah, what you just said had me think about that – you know, how popular do you think the Harry Potter books will be in twenty or thirty years? Well, what makes them popular now – and, I mean, I find Harry Potter to be very relevant to the current world, at least that it’s set in this sort of generation, so I guess how popular it will be will kind of have to do with how strong the messages, and how people can relate to it in a distant future, you know, when there is no war and peace after Obama’s second term.
Eric: You know, all of that. So I’m, you know…
Andrew: But Micah brought up another point too – that the hype of it all – the racing to finish the book against other people who are, you know – millions of people are reading it as you are – you have to – that will never be replicated again for the Harry Potter series. And it’s kind of a shame, but it’s true – and so with that missing, what’s going to happen? I mean – and now let’s also remember that before Book 7 came out, everyone was wondering, “what’s going to happen in the movies right after the books come out? Will the movies die down?” And the question was no. I mean, the movies are still extremely popular and around movie release
time, that classic, you know, Harry Potter fan anticipation is still there. And it’s great, so…
Micah: Yeah, I mean…
Andrew: It’s hard to say, that’s the short answer.
Micah: Yeah, it is hard to say. And you know, Eric you brought up its relevant to the time, and, you know – I just wanted to mention this really quickly because I forgot to put it in the document – but a lot of people were asking us to talk about, you know, some of the contemporary things that are in the series. And you know, I was talking to Andrew about it before the show, and we actually did a whole show that focused on, you know, some of the underlying themes that were in the series and particularly related to politics and things like that. And it was Episode 162 and we talked about racism and ethnic cleansing, Nazism, corruption, biased media, educational reform – we really got into it. It was a long episode – it’s on our wall of fame. So, if anybody wants to check that out Episode 162 was back on November 5th of last year, 2008.
Andrew: Honestly, I feel like it would almost be a disservice to mankind if every single Harry Potter fan did not recommend the series to their kids and their grandkids and tell them how amazing it was. There needs to be some sort of way you can illustrate that to them. What do you do? Do you show them a website and you are like, “Look at these pictures from the midnight releases!” Does it go in the history books? What happens?
Micah: You guys are a bunch of dorks. What were you doing? [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah, that’s what the kids will say, yeah, because they are always…
Micah: “Daddy you are such a loser. What are you doing?”
Eric: Then we just show them the complete box collection of – the tenth anniversary box collection of – MuggleCast…
Eric: …on Blu-ray, on one Blu-ray disk.
Andrew: Well, we got the five-year anniversary box set coming next year.
Eric: Uh, yeah.
Favorites – From Twitter
Andrew: Yeah. Okay, well I think that answers that question. Any other final thoughts about this? No? Okay. We have one more Twitter response, but we’re going to put it into our favorites segment which we’re going to do now. This is an interesting question. As most people know by now, we use this favorites segment to talk about our favorite “blank” in the Harry Potter series. And this question comes from Vdork. He or she says, “Who is the best – story wise – character? Not your favorite.” So, it comes down to personal opinion still and…
Micah: Yeah, but I think it requires you to think a little bit more as opposed to who your…
Andrew: It does.
Micah: …my favorite character is not necessarily the character I think who’s the best story wise. I think that is a cool question that she asked or he asked.
Andrew: Let’s go around the table. Nick, not to put you on the spot first, but how about you go first.
Nick: I suck at picking favorites, but…
Nick: …best story wise I’d say probably Voldemort or Snape.
Andrew: Pick one. You have to pick one.
Nick: Well, I guess from our discussion earlier it has to be Voldemort.
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]
Nick: The back story alone is – and in the books wouldn’t be the books without him.
Andrew: Right. Like Nick, I was going to say Snape because his back story – with the just the way he was treated at Hogwarts when he was a student with James and everyone else, it’s just a really beautifully sad story, I guess you could say, and it all ending with Harry saying “Look at me” to Harry and looking at Lily’s eyes one more time. It’s just a really, a just beautiful story, a beautifully tragic life he had. So that’s why, character wise, Snape is – and also just how J.K. Rowling set him up as a “whether or not he’s going to be bad or good, the good guy or the bad guy,” which is what everyone was wondering at the end of Half-Blood Prince.
Micah: Yeah, you know, I was going to go with Snape too, but just too mixed things up a little bit…
Micah: I don’t know. I feel like there are characters that are very well written…
Micah: Someone like Umbridge can make you angry reading the book, physically angry.
Andrew: Are we talking about the story as a whole or just one book? Because I agree that Umbridge is an amazing character.
Micah: Yeah. See it’s hard though [laughs] trying to think about it – and I like Dobby too throughout the course of the series, but probably a better one would almost be Kreacher, to see his turn around.
Micah: At the end of Deathly Hallows, or the middle part of the book.
Andrew: I think, I think Dobby is a good choice.
Micah: Or Kreacher for that, I mean…
Andrew: Sorry, Kreacher, I meant.
Micah: I think it’s hard if you’re not focusing on the trio, you’re probably going to go for somebody who’s more of a bigger character. I don’t know, I’ll say Kreacher, I’ll vote for Kreacher.
Andrew: And it’s a very rewarding experience, for the reader, and of course the trio. You had a really rewarding feeling seeing Kreacher have this turn around. I was like, “Yes! Yes!” You know?
Eric: Yeah. Story-wise Snape, just because there was an entire mini book dedicated to it, he’s the character everyone either loves, hates, loves to hate, but regardless it was until the very end people were trying to guess his loyalty and he was the most interesting, I mean I think he’s the most sympathetic character too – sympathetic as we are sympathetic towards him, he’s the most flawed, even more flawed than Dumbledore or Harry and yet, I don’t know, is he the most human would you say?
Andrew: I think so.
Eric: Snape as his…
Andrew: I was going to say it’s just a beautifully tragic story.
Andrew: And it made it very human.
Micah: Yeah, we threw out a couple of other ones just because Snape is – probably – all four of us mentioned him, so I know we said Umbridge and Kreacher. And I don’t know, Petunia’s another one, too, who has an interesting story…
Micah: …that you find out about later on. But I…
Micah: …don’t think anyone’s topping Snape. I think Snape wins, hands down.
Andrew: Yeah, I agree. Thanks everyone for those questions. If you don’t follow us on Twitter already you should, because, quite frequently, we’re sending out tweets to our listeners, you know, asking them for questions and stuff, so there’s your opportunity to get on the show.
Micah: And everyone here is on Twitter. Minus Eric.
Eric: [laughs] Yeah, I don’t…
Andrew: That’s right.
Eric: …I don’t have Twitter yet. Well, I don’t have a smart phone – before you ask. I don’t have a smart phone, and I want to get a smart phone before I get on Twitter. It just makes sense. I know you don’t need one, but I want to be able to mobile-Facebook.
Micah: And that was a shameless plug for everyone who has a Twitter on the show.
Micah: So, before you yell at me, that’s exactly what it was.
Nick: Thank you for that. Nice. Thank you.
Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul: Back to School Edition
Andrew: You arrogant, stupid, shameless-plugging news anchor, you. It’s time for Chicken Scoop – Chicken Soup – Back to School Edition! And it’s from Jordan, nineteen, of Michigan. And she writes:
“Dear MuggleCasters, I have been a listener for quite some time now. I have never really had a reason to write in to you guys, but I guess I do now. This is my first year at a major university. My life is in the middle of this weird transition between childhood and adulthood. Basically, everything I know is changing right before my eyes. Plus, on top of that, I am very homesick. But there is one thing in my life that hasn’t changed: you guys! I can still come back to my dorm at night, plug in the iPod, and hear your voices, just like old times. So, I just wanted to thank you for creating MuggleCast and Smart Mouths. It is truly a slice of heaven for me. Sincerely, Jordan.”
So thank you, Jordan, for that. And I always love Chicken Soup: Back to School Edition, because…
Andrew: …you know, it comes every September and we always get some nice emails. So best of luck with college to everyone, and for everyone else who’s back in school. It’s time to wrap up the show, but before we let everyone go, we want to remind you about our contact information. MuggleCast.com, of course, is the place where you can get all the information you need about the host, about – you can read transcripts…
[Show music begins]
Andrew: …you can contact us. But we want to remind you to follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/MuggleCast. And also fan us on Facebook with our shiny new URL, which is Facebook.com/MuggleCast. So it’s nice and easy to get on there and become a fan of us. And we send out updates through our Twitter, and also through MuggleCast, so make sure you do that. You can always email us using our first name at staff dot MuggleNet dot com, or just visit MuggleCast.com, and there’s a contact link and you can write to us that way, as well. And lastly – I’m doing this all out of order. I used to have this down pat. But like, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m, like, forgetting how to do this anymore – you can send us parcel mail to our P.O. box, which is P.O. Box 1752, Cumming, Georgia, 30028. And just address it to “MuggleCast”. Phew. So that’s it. I need a drink of water, and I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: Um – I need some pizza, and I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Nick: I need a Coke, and I’m Nick Myers.
Andrew: What do you need – Micah, what do you need?
Micah: Oh, I…
Andrew: Coke, pizza, water…
Micah: I need some soda.
Andrew: Okay, so you need a Coke too.
Micah: Not that kind.
Andrew: Or – oh, I see. [laughs] Okay, well, something sugary then.
Micah: Nick probably needs some sleep. It’s – what time is it there, Nick?
Andrew: Nice job, man. Jamie would never do that for us. [laughs] I’m just kidding. But yeah, seriously, thanks for staying up so late.
Nick: You’re very welcome. I enjoy it.
Andrew: Four-thirty in the morning, if anyone didn’t get that. So, all right. Again, thanks everyone, we’ll see you next time for Episode 180!
Eric: Woot, woot!
Andrew: Buh bye!
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Hopefully there won’t be any hurricanes, because that’s right around hurricane season, isn’t it? Actually, I’ll cut that out, I shouldn’t say that. [laughs]
Micah: Way to promote the convention, Andrew! You should leave it in here, actually…
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: Yeah, come here and you’ll die! No! [laughs]
Micah: No, hurricane season actually is not…
Andrew: Starts in August, right?
Micah: …until August, September.
Andrew: Yeah. So…
Micah: So you’ll be fine.
Eric: Oh, oh. [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah. We can all hide in Hogwarts if there’s any bad weather or anything.
Eric: That’s right. No safer place to be!
Eric: Except one. There’s Hogwarts…
Andrew: Gringotts, of course. Yeah.
Andrew: So also…
MuggleCast 180 Transcript
Andrew: All right this is a mini – a MuggleMiniCast, meaning: one, its unplanned; two, it lacks the wonderful audio quality you’ve come to know and love, but that’s okay because it’s a MuggleMiniCast. Hey Micah.
Micah: What’s going on?
Andrew: Oh well…
Micah: How’s Florida?
Theme Park News: Concept Art and Opening Date
Andrew: …I’ll tell you what’s going on there. We got this theme park – we’ve got these big them park announcements today, and Eric’s going to join us in a minute. I wanted to have Laura on today, too, because she’s been to Universal, but she has class and stuff, and we have to do this now before my flight and blah, blah, blah, blah. But we wanted to talk about this, because Universal revealed some really cool stuff today. I’m in Orlando for this press event they did this morning. Basically they revealed a lot of concept art right?
Micah: Yeah that’s what it seems like. They confirmed that the theme park is going to open as well in the Spring of 2010 which I don’t really think is anything new.
Micah: We kind of had that information before hand. I think a lot of people were looking for a specific date.
Andrew: Yeah they were and we didn’t get it, but I understand why we didn’t get it because I mean the weather down here, it’s raining and thunder storming every other day and it’s like you can’t – you can’t set a date so far ahead because there could be so many reasons that things could get delayed in construction when the weather’s so unpredictable here.
Micah: Yeah plus hurricane season.
Theme Park News: Rides and Buildings
Andrew: Right. So I don’t blame them for that. Although it is a shame we didn’t get an exact date. But we saw some – we got the map finally – a map of the park, and it was a pretty cool map. And it was designed by the same people who did the Marauder’s Map in the movie, so it looks like it – it kind of looks like it was part of the Marauder’s Map.
Micah: Yeah, it does.
Andrew: And there’s a couple of interesting things on it, for one, we see – we have all of the rides now, we have “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” which is going to be in Hogwarts. That’s like the big ride, they keep hyping it up, they say, “It’s something that’s never been done before.” And then we got “Flight of the Hippogriff,” which is actually based on a ride – I don’t have my notes with me right now, but it’s based on a ride that was already at Universal, called “Flight of the Unicorn.” So they’re basically just redo-ing it.
Micah: Sounds like much more of a family ride.
Andrew: It is. And if you look at the concept art from that, you see Hagrid’s Hut behind the ride, and it’s the same exact – it’s already built. I saw that, and its part of the video I took the other day on Twitter.com/MuggleNet, I wrote on there – I wrote, “Is this Hagrid’s Hut?” And now that we have the concept art, that is definitely it.
Micah: That might be the most rebuilt building in all of movie history.
Andrew: Oh it is, yeah. But like, I can only see the roof from my perspective – I’m adding Eric in here now. Hello Eric.
Eric: Hey guys.
Andrew: We’re just doing this live to tape, and hopefully there’s not too much feedback, but it won’t come through on the recording, so.
Andrew: We were just talking – I don’t know, did you have a chance to see all this stuff yet? Have you seen it?
Eric: Yes, I’ve seen the concept pictures, and I read your posts.
Andrew: Yeah. So we were just talking about – what’s it called?
Micah: The rides.
Andrew: “Flight of the Hippogriff,” yeah, and Hagrid’s Hut.
Andrew: It’s – it looks – yeah – Micah, like you said, it looks like a family ride and it’s based on “Flight of the Unicorn.” Eric, have you ever been to Universal?
Eric: Yeah, I was in Universal, Orlando.
Eric: In about 2003, I think it was.
Andrew: Oh okay. Were you ever on “Flight of the Unicorn”?
Eric: No – no.
Andrew: If so, you’ve pretty much already rode “Flight of the Hippogriff.” Because I think they’re using the track that’s already there, but, you know, they’re re-theming it.
Eric: Well that’s what struck me about all these concept photos, is you know how family-oriented they are, and I’m not going to say I was disappointed at all.
Eric: But, I don’t know. It’s just like – it’s like, I mean, that’s their main ride, too, and it’s – I guess it’s – I mean, it’s a roller coaster. But I think the cars, the trains, I guess they’re called, look awesome. And…
Andrew: That’s not the main ride. I mean, it’s one of the three, but…
Andrew: And the main thing is going to be “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.”
Eric: Okay, and there’s no concept art for that, is there?
Eric: There’s one for “Dragon Challenge,” so – the one for the “Dragon Challenge,” if I can ask, it has a bunch of flags in the concept art, and it’s actually, it looks like a really cool looking post. But do you know anything about that ride and what kind of a ride it’s going to be?
Andrew: Well that is going to be based on an existing ride too…
Andrew: And that structure, the castle structure, already exists, and I was there, and I mean – it’s going to be – the ride right now – it’s called the “Dueling Dragons,” and the cars don’t look like dragons, but I didn’t ride the coaster because honestly, I’m kind of a wuss, when it comes to coasters like that. But, like they’re two completely separate tracks, but, you know – its two cars, and they go at the same time…
Eric: Oh right.
Andrew: And apparently there’s a few times where you run within like twelve inches of the other car, and…
Andrew: So like, you feel like you’re going to crash into them. Have you done that ride?
Eric: I’ve done one similar, at Hershey Park…
Andrew: Oh okay.
Eric: It’s a wooden coaster, but basically the same idea where the two trains interweave and nearly collide, it’s a very cool and very popular idea, I think for – as far as coasters go.
Andrew: Yeah, that’ll be based on the Triwizard Tournament, it’s going to be the Hungarian Horntail versus the Chinese Fireball dragon.
Micah: It’s interesting looking at some of the comments though, because, at least from what I’ve seen, people feel a little bit jipped from the Dragon Challenge and the Flight of the Hippogriff because Universal went ahead and just made existing rides into something very similar.
Micah: You talked before about “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” and that seems to be the big mystery as to what it’s going to be all about.
Theme Park News: Level of Detail
Micah: It’s seem though, that they spent a tremendous time working on
a lot of the other places in Hogsmeade.
Andrew: Yeah, I mean the level of detail – they just kept going on and on about how the level of detail is going to be incredible. You know, in fairness to them, they do have to leave some things to surprise, so
I think they’re going to wait for Hogwarts, but yeah that’s going to be the ride in that park in terms of – they say something like this has never been done before, that they’re using all this crazy new technology, and I’ve got to say, I was at Universal yesterday in the parks, and Universal’s a really nice park. I mean, all the rides are very unique. My favorite ride was “Spiderman”, that was really cool. Have you guys done that one?
Eric: Are you talking about the one at Islands of Adventure?
Eric: Yeah. That’s not Universal, that’s Islands of Adventure. [laughs]
Andrew: No, but – that’s Universal.
Eric: I know, but I didn’t go to Islands of Adventure, I only got to
Universal. I keep hearing how great the Spiderman ride is.
Andrew: Oh – oh, okay.
Eric: Nevermind, everyone tells me…
Andrew: Yeah. Islands of Adventure is their newer park.
Andrew: And, yeah “Spiderman”‘s really good, and that’s where Harry
Potter’s going to be, it’s going to be one of the islands.
Eric: Oh, right. Yeah, I should’ve know that. So is Hogwarts really
going to be that big do you think, as it appears in the…
Andrew: No, it’s a perspective…
Eric: Because it looks huge.
Andrew: It’s going to look huge. They’re going to use perspective
tricks to – the only example is like, the Disneyland castles. They look big, but when you get close to them you realise they’re not.
Andrew: You know what I mean? So, it’s not – no, it’s not going to be that big. And if you look at construction photos and stuff – like, the Great Hall, like the real life Great Hall…
Andrew: Maybe like half the size of what Hogwarts is going to be, physically.
Eric: Uh huh.
Andrew: If that makes sense. So, I think more than anything it’s just to look at it and be like, “Wow, look, there’s Hogwarts.” And no, it won’t be to proper scale in any way, shape or form.
Eric: But you’re saying that’s where the ride will be, the “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” will be inside the castle?
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Like, I don’t know, I don’t think – it won’t be in the actual castle. There’s a giant grey building behind it and that’s where the ride will actually be.
Andrew: But they use that trick all the time. For example – I know, I keep going back to Disney, because I’m a big Disney fan – at Disney they have the “Haunted Mansion.” The ride’s not actually in the Haunted Mansion. There’s a tunnel you go through in the Haunted Mansion to get to the actual ride. The ride’s in a boring grey building.
Eric: Mhm. Yeah.
Andrew: But you think you’re in there. So that’s probably the idea they’ll use.
Theme Park News: Re-modelled Rides
Andrew: I mean, as for people complaining about rides just being re-themed, I understand that, but I guess they’re probably saving a lot of money, for one. And it won’t be a cheap remodelling, it’ll be – it should be well done.
Eric: I mean, if they have half the detail that appears in these concepts, I mean – I understand that certain things, like the hills in the background won’t exactly be possible to include…
Andrew: Right. [laughs]
Eric: But at the same time, I think it’s more for the experience. I mean, looking at the map now, I just see that – I mean, those are – are those going to be, more or less the only rides in the park? Or are there…
Andrew: Yeah. No, that’s it. Which I don’t know what to think about that. Do you think – do you guys think, like, oh, only three rides?
Andrew: I mean, it’s a land. We’ve got to remember that.
Eric: It’s a land. What are the other Islands of Adventure like? I mean – how many…
Andrew: They’re about the same size.
Eric: Rides do they have?
Eric: Yeah. The Harry Potter Theme Park is going to be twenty-two acres. To put it in perspective for people who’ve been there, Jurassic Park is twenty, so it’s a decent size, and I think what’s really going to make this park cool is the detail.
Listener Tweet: Ride Intensity
Andrew: We asked people to send in Twitter feedback, or ask questions via our Twitter, at the last minute. Here’s one from Emily Hofer – Emily Hoferer:
“How scary/thrilling/awesome/intense are the rides? The Hogwarts one sounds tame. Hippogriff sounds fun.”
I think the – obviously, none of the rides are completed yet, but it looks like the “Dueling Dragons” one is going to be the thrill one, because that’s like a real coaster, and I guess Hogwarts is going to be pretty tame.
Eric: Well, let’s not forget, we’re a minority…
Eric: …as far as readership goes…
Eric: Yeah. As family destination goes, that would be – I mean, what was I expecting? Death Alley?
Andrew: Right, exactly.
Eric: It has to be – it’s not exactly…
Andrew: Yeah, it’s got to be family friendly.
Eric: I think it’s going to look awesome!
Andrew: They said the Hogwarts ride isn’t going to be a coaster, so we know that.
Eric: But what an experience, with all that special effects and stuff!
Theme Park News: Cast Videos
Andrew: Yeah, and the cast filmed special stuff for at least that ride.
Eric: That was my question. Did they film it for the ride, or – because you said they did an intro video, for the press conference.
Andrew: Yeah, well the intro video was a couple clips of them being like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe how amazing this is going to be.” [laughs] That was basically it. They had this ten-second – okay, on the Half-Blood Prince DVD whenever it comes out, in a couple months – there’s going to be an eleven and a half minute behind-the-scenes look at the building of the theme park. They showed a quick, quick, quick clip of that at the press event. There was one shot of Dan, Rupert and Emma filming something, and they looked they were standing on something, because they were looking down at the camera. So we’ll see what that’s for. And Tom Felton – he was there – he said that they weren’t scenes that they filmed but they were just quick clip things so…
Eric: Do you know if they were in character or not? I mean, obviously…
Andrew: Yeah, they were in character.
Eric: …for the ride they would have to be.
Andrew: Right yeah, they were definitely in character. I feel like it’s going to be like – I don’t know, if they’re not scenes – I envision this Hogwarts ride as like, you sit in something, some car, and you’re taken from each part of Hogwarts to each part of Hogwarts and maybe clips will play in some clever form, maybe they’ll be 3D or something, who knows?
Micah: Seems it’ll be like Back to the Future or ET if you’ve ever gone on those rides…
Eric: Or like the Men in Black ride, is the Men in Black ride still there?
Andrew: Yes, the Men in Black ride is still there.
Eric: Where you shoot aliens. Maybe you’ll have to like, I don’t know…
Andrew: Honestly, I hated that ride.
Eric: Really? I got my lanyard saying that I was a Men in Black and I was all happy.
Andrew: Aw, that’s good. What I didn’t like about it was that the detail it wasn’t there. In terms of detail it kind of stunk.
Eric: What stunk? What are you saying?
Andrew: Like the detail – the set, the design.
Eric: Oh you mean so far?
Andrew: No, no of “Men in Black.”
Eric: Oh! Oh sorry, of “Men in Black.” I just remember that they had the videos like in between…
Andrew: Yes, yeah exactly that’s what I imagine the trio are going to do.
Eric: So like you’re in a – like even the “Haunted Mansion” you know, not unlike it, where you’re in sort of like a travelling cart. It’s not a coaster by any means but you know you’ll maybe show up in the Chamber of Secrets and see Salazar Slytherin’s big ugly monkey face…
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Theme Park News: Odd Placements
Eric: And all that stuff. I’m excited. It looks – I mean 22 acres is huge, so this map doesn’t even necessarily do this space justice. I mean is that lake really going to be there? Is it there already?
Andrew: I was wondering about that too and – no.
Eric: The lake’s not there?
Andrew: Yeah I don’t think so.
Eric: Okay do you know where the lake, I mean do you know what, where the lake is going to be if they do that?
Andrew: Actually I’m trying to think. There was some water nearby but it wasn’t a lake that big.
Micah: They can always make one.
Eric: They can always dig and fill sure.
Micah: It doesn’t take that long.
Eric: No I mean they may need the – I don’t know.
Andrew: Well space concerns, there’s Jurassic Park on one side and then…
Eric: I’m so glad that’s still open, I hope it is next year when we go to this because I’ve always wanted to go to Jurassic Park.
Andrew: By the way, and I see that there’s another entrance to this park it looks like, but the main entrance where Hogsmeade is, it’s sort of out of the way. It’s in the back of the park like you’re looking at – this map that they released; you’re looking at the park from like looking from the back. So north, let’s say north is straight up – you’d be looking towards the front of the park. What I’m trying to say is the entrance to Hogsmeade which looks like it’s going to be the main entrance; it’s in the back of the park. You have to go all the way to this weird spot. It was the – some sort of “Legends” thing – “Legends” area or something.
Eric: Ah huh.
Andrew: I don’t – I just thought it was odd. I get they have to – they have to build around an existing theme park, but it just seemed weird that the entrance wasn’t more towards the front of the park.
Eric: Right, but you’re saying – I mean according to this map, too, it looks like there could be a path that’s going up sort of towards where you’re saying the front of the park is.
Andrew: Yeah, maybe that’s a separate entrance.
Eric: That’s interesting, though. But I mean…
Andrew: It seems like Hogsmeade is the main entrance…
Andrew: …because they have the Hogwarts Express there.
Eric: And all the shops.
Micah: Are they going to make that active?
Andrew: No, I think it’s just a photo op.
Eric: Yeah. I mean I guess it’s kind of fitting that the last place that you would expect a Wizarding World to be is in the back of some park. But if you can see Hogwarts, you know, from the front of the park and you wonder how to get there, and you have to go – you know, I guess…
Andrew: You know what, though? You won’t even be able to see it from the front of the park.
Eric: Really? It’s not that tall?
Andrew: Universal’s very flat. Like there’s nothing that really stands out.
Andrew: And I think Hogwarts is going to be the same. They have a giant lighthouse at the front as their sort of monument or whatever, but…
Eric: But you’re telling – you’re saying you can’t see Hogwarts. Why not if the ground’s all flat and if Hogwarts is tall enough?
Andrew: Well yeah – well that’s the thing. I don’t think it’s going to be tall enough.
Eric: Yeah, okay.
Andrew: There’s a ton of trees around – there are a ton of trees around too, and I’m pretty sure they’re not taking those out because they were all part of Jurassic Park. Because Jurassic Park has a crap load of trees because it looks like it’s in a jungle.
Andrew: But actually back to “Dragon Challenge” real quick – quick. So that ride already has like a Castle entrance and everything. Just because that was how it was originally built and that kind of gives you a hint I think at what the rest of the park is going to look like. Because I doubt they would change it, since it already looks like a castle.
Eric: Well, yeah. They might throw in the occasional coat of arms or something.
Listener Tweet: Uniqueness
Andrew: Right, yeah. So what else is there? Let me look at the other questions here.
“What looked really out of this world/unique?”
Says Josh Boulton. I think Hogwarts – I mean – [laughs] – they’re still holding back so many details. But what do you guys think is going to be the stand-out thing, Hogwarts? I mean…
Eric: Just from the detail dude, in the shops – I think the shops will be…
Andrew: That too, yeah.
Eric: …amazing. I mean, maybe even more amazing than the prices.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: But I think dude – I – honestly I’m not sceptical. I think it’s going to be freaking awesome, actually. And…
Andrew: I’m not sceptical either, yeah.
Eric: Yeah, even – even the “Dragon Challenge” which, you know, they may keep the whole thing. But if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. You know, I’m sure the – what it was before was still a cool ride. So…
Eric: I think what’s actually going to shock me most is the lines for these sort of things. That’s…
Andrew: Oh God.
Theme Park News: The Lake
Eric: I mean, for three rides in the park – of course they need all that – all that sloping, winding path because that’s going to be the line. But – but I’m excited. And I wonder if they’ll do anything. I mean, if they do build the lake I wonder what they’ll do on the lake. They’ve got to do something on the lake, don’t they? I mean…
Andrew: Yeah, I don’t – I don’t know. I really – I really don’t know. I don’t think they’re making a lake that big because there’s – there’s already stuff around the park. There’s already stuff around the Harry Potter area, like…
Andrew: …pre-existing rides and stuff.
Micah: Well, they have a ship out there. Are they going to build that too?
Andrew: Maybe. Yeah. I don’t know. [laughs]
Eric: I think the ship is to just show that it is a lake.
Eric: And not more grass.
Eric: Is it – do they still have the Nickelodeon building there, Andrew? Did you see?
Andrew: Yeah, in Universal studios.
Eric: I was so upset with that. Because it doesn’t have the sweeping lawn in front of it that you see at the end of all the game shows.
Andrew: Oh yeah.
Andrew: That’s not – they don’t film Nickelodeon stuff there anymore, though.
Eric: No. No, they haven’t for a long time.
Eric: So my question for you, Andrew, too, is – well, first of all, how much of this area of the park did you actually get to see and did you walk through Hogsmeade? Or…
Andrew: No, no. They didn’t let us in any construction.
Andrew: The best we could do was stick our cameras over the construction walls and hope for the best. But there were some exterior stuff, and if you look at my videos you can see a couple parts of Hogwarts that are already up. Exterior facades, I guess you would call them…
Andrew: …the brick work or whatever. And…
Theme Park News: Opening Date Again
Andrew: So that was done or at least a very small part of it was. And “Dueling Dragons” is still open. I guess they’re going to wait a few more months before they close that. And Hogsmeade, the grand entrance looks like it’s getting closer to completion. The structure’s there. They still say Spring 2010, so – and Micah and I were talking about this earlier – they couldn’t announce an exact release date. But I don’t think you can really expect them to this early on still, because there’s – there’s numerous things that could delay construction. Primarily, I would think, weather. So I think it’s a good idea they didn’t announce the date.
Micah: Yeah, and you’re probably going to see a couple days’ worth of grand openings down there, with a number of different events going on. So they probably have a time frame in mind…
Micah: … that they’re looking at certain dates.
Micah: But I would also think that there are other people that are going to be involved in this. So their availability may be dependent upon when they decide to open the park.
Andrew: Plus, they don’t want to set a firm date yet and have people start booking trips and then say we have to delay it a week, you know?
Eric: Well that’s – I mean, spring they say Spring 2010. Spring is six months and six days ahead of us…
Eric: So I mean anywhere from there until further three months would still be spring.
Andrew: Yeah. I’m going to bet June because it’s late. It just seems like – right now it’s September – I can’t see this park going up in March. It just seems way too soon.
Andrew: That’s just my guess. I don’t know.
Micah: Well – I mean, I do think it’s dependent upon availability also of…
Micah: … celebrities and J.K. Rowling and other people as well.
Theme Park News: More Updates
Andrew: Yeah. Well, they’re probably, I imagine, sending out save the dates now so people can leave time open. Because, of course they have a schedule and they’re trying to stick to it and they’ve got to have an opening date. One thing in particular that is good news out of all this is that this is the start – this press event is the start of more regular updates. That’s what they told me. So hopefully we’re going to start seeing cooler stuff now.
Eric: Yeah. I mean, I haven’t been upset with them for not sharing information. I just figured that there wasn’t much to tell, and when I heard that you guys were all going to Florida for a press release, I was like, “Wow!” You know, that’s…
Andrew: Yeah. Well, I mean, they’ve had this concept art sitting around forever. [laughs]
Eric: I saw the one – I saw the one concept art that they had of – of just Hogwarts from really far away and that looked cool.
Eric: But I didn’t see any of this new stuff.
Micah: Can you…
Andrew: I noticed the – the “Dragon Challenge,” that concept art, that’s not – that’s just the – the – the – the queue. That’s just the waiting line.
Andrew: The “Dragon Challenge” ride is outdoors. It’s a giant track. So they could release that soon, hopefully.
Eric: Well, you don’t want to give everything away, too. You don’t want to do what the movies do and give the whole damn park away before you’ve even…
Eric: …set foot in it.
Andrew: You know, they were kind of – hesitant to give us information because they’re trying to keep everything hush-hush still. But I still sort of picked up on a couple things, like, I asked at one point, when we were getting a tour of the park yesterday, about alcohol because the parks both sell alcohol, and I notice people walking around with beers, and I said, you know, “Both parks – they sell alcohol.” And the tour guide says, “Yes, yes we do. You saw our poll on the Potter website, right?” And she’s referring to the poll that asked what kind of drink you would have…
Andrew: …at the park, and I think the options were Butterbeer, something else, and Firewhiskey. So I’m thinking they’re going to have alcoholic drinks in the Harry Potter…
Eric: Dude! People are going to be getting stoned…
Andrew: [laughs] I know!
Eric: …hanging out outside of Hogwarts, like, you know, just in the corridors, [in a drunken voice] “Hey, man!”
Eric: Crazy. You know, get drunk and fall over in “Dragon Challenge” or…
Andrew: [laughs] “Dragon Challenge.” Yeah.
Eric: I just – wow. I can’t…
Andrew: So, yeah. I think that’ll be a nice money-maker for them.
Theme Park News: Hogsmeade
Micah: Can you tell us at all about the stuff in Hogsmeade? I mean, is it going to be interactive, is there going to be stuff going on in these places, I guess at different points during the day? Or did they…
Micah: …not reveal that either?
Theme Park News: Merchandise
Andrew: More than anything, it’s a bunch of shops where you can actually buy stuff. Oh, here was something interesting: I can’t remember which store – it may be all the stores – they said there’s going to be exclusive merchandise you can buy that will only be available at the parks. I’m hoping this is not just t-shirts and, you know, coffee mugs. I’m hoping it’s legit Harry Potter items out of the books and films.
Andrew: They said they will be exclusive to the park; they won’t be sold anywhere else. So that’s cool. I’m still confused about the Owlery and the Owl Post. The Owlery is a place where you can go and relax. That’s sort of how they described it. They were like, “To get away from all the craziness!”
Andrew: So – and if you look at the concept art, it’s just…
Andrew: …like, benches. So it’s a…
Andrew: …place to cool down.
Eric: [laughs] The thing about that, there’s, like, clowns. Do you see those clowns in the…
Eric: …shop window?
Andrew: I think that’s Zonko’s.
Eric: Yeah, that’s the craziness that you have to escape from.
Andrew: [laughs] Right.
Eric: The owls. Do you think there will be real owls? A sign that says “Don’t feed the owls?” Or…
Andrew: I bet. Yeah. I mean…
Eric: And they…
Andrew: …it seems like detail is going to be a big thing here.
Eric: So, that’s going to be interesting.
Andrew: The only…
Andrew: …other thing I’m wondering about is the Owl Post. Like, can you actually send letters from there? Like, that will be cool.
Eric: That will be cool.
Andrew: What were you going to say, Micah?
Micah: I was going to say, it looks like the place where you just go to the water fountain or use the restroom, basically. [laughs]
Andrew: [laughs] Right.
Andrew: Yeah, you’re probably right.
Eric: Please don’t crap on the floor.
Andrew: But it seems like all of Ollivanders is going to be – I assume you’ll be able to buy wands there. They said that’s going to be a very close replica of what you see in the films. Although, judging by the…
Eric: Although that’s…
Andrew: That’s concept art. It’s a little different.
Eric: Yeah. It’s completely different.
Micah: Yeah. I think they said…
Eric: That’s like an archive. [laughs]
Micah: …that you go through the process that any other witch or wizard goes through in terms of the wand choosing…
Micah: …the wizard.
Andrew: Which is cool, and a good way to sell wands.
Micah: What if you don’t like the one that you get, though?
Eric: Well, then you’re just a snotty little…
Eric: Yeah, rat. Exactly.
Micah: Brat, not rat.
Andrew: You’ve got to remember, the wand chooses the wizard too. So…
Micah: This is true.
Eric: The wand does choose the wizard. And what do you guys think – I mean, what about wands? Because wands are so already done in a way, I mean, you’ve got two major wand companies. And every time we go to Harry Potter cons, there’s always these guys who specialize in wands…
Eric: …who are there and selling stuff. So what do you think – I mean, the Universal brand of Harry Potter Wizarding World wands are going to be like? I mean, if I remember correctly, the wands that they have that are official merchandise besides the Noble Collection. They do have the Noble Collection ones, but the other wands are just thick. The other ones that light up are like an inch thick and these bulky light-up wands.
Eric: So what do you think they’re going to do to have this special brand of wand and make Ollivanders a formidable shop?
Andrew: They actually are going to work with the Noble Collection.
Eric: Okay. But that worries me, though, because price wise. I mean…
Andrew: Yeah. Well, I guess that’s true, but at theme parks you pay a lot of money for stuff, so…
Eric: A $500 wand has chosen you. [laughs]
Eric: Seriously, you have to buy it.
Andrew: I almost paid 25 dollars for a Spongebob shirt yesterday. I didn’t, but it’s – you know. It’s a lot of over-priced stuff and the drinks will be that way, and the food, you know. But…
Micah: What does – sorry.
Andrew: Just real quick I want to say that – We got to wrap this up soon, but just attention to details, what really makes – is what will make this park shine. You know it won’t be gigantic. It’s going to be a park inside a park, as they said in the press conference today. But the detail is what’s going to be incredible.
Micah: Yeah, I was just going to ask about Filch’s Emporium, and what exactly that is?
Andrew: Yeah, it’s a store.
Micah: It looks like it’s raised, though, a little bit up off the ground, because I don’t know if that’s truly looking out the window there. It looks like you can see Hogwarts.
Andrew: Oh yeah.
Eric: That is really weird.
Micah: Was that in the tour either? Was that a last minute thing that they added?
Andrew: In the tour?
Micah: No, in the video tour. Sorry. I remember seeing Filch’s Emporium in there.
Andrew: I don’t know. Well, basically what is – there’s a longer name, actually. It’s like his – the stuff he’s confiscated from students.
Andrew: And if you look up towards the ceiling, you can see random stuff that you probably can’t buy. But yeah, that – maybe it is on a second level of Hogsmeade or something, I don’t know.
Eric: That’s really awesome looking out the window there. That was a good eye, Micah.
Eric: Filch has confiscated the top half of a girl’s head.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: Look, the far top-left. The very top-left of the image on a shelf.
Andrew: Oh you’re right.
Eric: “Girl Lies!” What? [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah, that’s funny.
Eric: I’ve got to feel bad for this girl in front here she looks really upset about something like, maybe they don’t make Ravenclaw scarf or maybe they’re all sold out or something.
Andrew: Well you have to remember it is just concept art. [laughs]
Eric: Yeah, yeah. For concept art there aren’t too many happy people here.
Theme Park News: Ride Comparisons
Andrew: No, that’s true. But, yeah we’ll talk about this stuff much more on a later episode – excuse me – I want to get Laura’s opinion too especially because she goes to Universal every year and sort of wanted to talk about the park in general – you know, Universal really does have some really unique rides. And Spider Man in Islands of Adventure, that was the first thing I went on. And it’s really immersive, really cool. I mean, I sort of envision – and we were talking about this earlier – I wanted to bring it up. A lot of the rides in both Universal parks have involvement with the actors, and all of you who have been to Universal parks know what I’m talking about. I think that’s what the cast stuff is going to be like.
Andrew: You know, like Men in Black with Will Smith appearing.
Eric: Or – did you see Terminator – the Terminator ride? Did you go?
Andrew: Which one is that?
Eric: It’s in Universal, the regular park, because I went on it. And it’s basically like Battle 3-D – it’s three-dimensional. It’s like, basically, you go through the office of Cyberdyne Systems and there’s like a break-in. According to – I mean, the same guy who did that, Eddie Newquist, did the Harry Potter Exhibition.
Andrew: Oh, cool.
Eric: So, he worked for Universal for like ten years and did that ride among others, so there’s kind of a small world.
Eric: But all of those – yeah, like you said, the experience of going to Universal – I wasn’t at Islands of Adventure, but even riding the walking sidewalk, going into the park and hearing the movie themes, that’s just going to be so much more awesome with the Harry Potter theme.
Andrew: Yeah. Here’s another fun fact that reminds me. The music – at least in Islands of Adventure – when you walk around the park, a lot of it was composed just for the park by John Williams. So I thought that was a cool little Potter connection there.
Eric: That is cool.
Andrew: Yeah. So…
Micah: I have one more question.
Andrew: We have to keep this short because I got a plane to catch back to California.
Micah: So one last question here.
Micah: Did they talk at all about putting characters in the park? I know that’s something we talked about originally when we first did a show on the park.
Andrew: I think they are.
Micah: Yeah, it would seem like they would do something like that.
Andrew: They haven’t announced it officially, but just going around Universal, they have a lot of characters going around the parks greeting people. And they stay in character, they were really good. We saw Spiderman and X-men. So, yeah, I think we can definitely count on some characters walking around. But it’ll be tricky because we’re all so used to seeing Dan Radcliffe as Harry, so…
Eric: Well, I’d like to see more obscure characters like, I don’t know, like Hedwig. Please don’t set her on fire.
Andrew: Well, maybe you’ll see her in the Owlery, perhaps.
Eric: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: Maybe there will be a little grave and her…
Eric: Like even a life-sized – aw, that’s sad, Andrew.
Andrew: All right. Well again, we’ll try to do another – we’ll do a more full, a fuller episode as soon as possible but we wanted to get this out now while everyone’s excited. We’ll get more of your feedback and stuff next show. All right, so bye everyone.
Andrew: Eric and Micah, say “bye”.