MuggleCast 181 Transcript
[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 enjoyed – Dobby! Dobby, come here! Here! Dobby! [as Dobby] Yes, I’d just like to say how very pleased I am to introduce MuggleCast to all of you! Thank you! Thank you!
[Show music begins]
Micah: Because after careful analysis, we have determined all you really need is disc four for new content in the Ultimate Editions, this is MuggleCast Episode 181 for September the 26th, 2009.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 181. We’re back with a fabulous panel this week. The lovely Laura Thompson is back on the show. Hello, Laura.
Laura: Hey, Andrew. How are you?
Andrew: I’m great. How are you?
Laura: I’m awesome.
Andrew: Laura, I have lots to talk to you about, because now I’ve been to Universal, too.
Laura: [gasps] Really?
Andrew: Now we can talk together about it.
Laura: Oh my God. That’s so exciting.
Andrew: Yes! Did you eat at this restaurant? So did I!
Andrew: And Eric and Micah are here, too. Hey, guys.
Eric: Hey, everybody.
Micah: Hey, how are you doing?
Andrew: And Nick’s going to be joining us shortly. Nick was on last week, and he’ll be on shortly. He’s just running a little late. So, we have a good show for everyone today, we’re going to talk about – there’s been a lot of DVD news and stuff, and we’re going to take more of your Twitter questions and all that. I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.
Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Micah, you know, I’ve been listening – I listened to an old episode of MuggleCast in preparation for, you know, the “This Week in MuggleCast” segment on today’s show, and I miss the days when you would be like – or I would throw it over to you in a cool way, and then you would throw it back to me in a cool way. You know what I’m saying?
Micah: Yeah, when I used to pre-record the news.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, I would go like this: “Micah Tannenbaum standing by in the MuggleCast News Center with the latest Harry Potter news stories. Micah!”
Andrew: And then you.
Micah: “Thanks, Andrew.”
Laura: I remember that.
Andrew: There you go, yeah.
Andrew: Make sure you wrap it up the same way, too, at the end of the news.
Eric: You know, I was just thinking that, you know, we used to start the show and just talk randomly about something, and then get into the whole “We got something cool for you.”
Eric: Like we used to say like, “Pick a topic,” and we’d like pick a topic.
Eric: That was cool.
Andrew: I used to like – every week, I’d be – nonstop throughout the week in between shows, I would be thinking about what topic we’d open with.
Eric: Just random, yeah.
Andrew: Because it is kind of hard. Like how do you start talking out of nowhere? You know what I mean? So…
Eric: And it worked, too, I mean, because you know, like us, you know, our listeners were – come from all walks of life, and always have something other than Harry Potter on their minds as well.
Micah: We’re giving away these show secrets here. We never plan the intros, the news is pre-recorded.
Micah: People are going to stop listening to the show now.
Laura: I know. Just wait until we tell them that our documents were never done until five minutes before we started recording.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Andrew: Well, you know.
Eric: And even then, sometimes during recording.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: I just moved a couple things around two seconds ago. It’s always changing. Anyway, Micah, what’s going on in the news?
News: Half-Blood Prince DVD
Micah: The DVD news. You just talked about that a little bit, but Half-Blood Prince is set to be released here in the U.S. on December the 8th. The UK gets it a day earlier on December the 7th, and then it’s going to come out in Australia on November the 18th. So they get it – a couple weeks earlier.
Micah: And there’s – at least here in the U.S. there’s going to be a one-disc DVD, a two-disc DVD, and a three-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo.
Andrew: Ooh! [laughs] And that…
Micah: I can’t keep track of all of this.
Andrew: [laughs] The third disc includes – the third disc of the Blu-ray set includes a regular DVD? Is that right? I honestly don’t know.
Eric: They sometimes do that.
Andrew: Yeah, they do.
Eric: Well, I mean, I know that a whole disc is devoted to the digital copy that they do.
Eric: I mean, a lot of times with the box sets they advertise, you know, a whole disc. I know with the Ultimate Edition one disc is like the digital copy of the film that you can put on your computer and never on any other computer, and you can’t edit it or touch it.
Eric: But it’s there on your computer and taking up your hard drive space. You’ve already bought the DVD, but you know, if you want it on your computer…
Eric: …if that kind of thing interests you, get the Ultimate Edition.
Andrew: Eric, do you have any insight on why the DVD would be released, like, three weeks earlier in Australia, since you used to live in New Zealand?
Eric: No, usually, Andrew, usually everything in Australia comes out either later, like, I mean movies months later, but all the hit movies come out more or less at the same time as the U.S. And in fact, that allows it to be a few hours early even. Like, for instance, I mean they got it at – Book 7 came out at, like, eleven in the morning, as opposed to midnight. But that was the same time. I mean, that was the same exact time we were getting our books in London.
Andrew: Right. But it just – I wonder if it’s like a holiday thing or, whatever. I guess…
Eric: Yeah, it’s – it’s probably because school’s out.
Eric: I think we’re actually – I’m trying to think…
Andrew: I think I saw somebody comment something like that. Like, “Oh my gosh, it’s going to be summertime! Perfect!”
Eric: That’s the summer release…
Andrew: Oh, okay.
Eric: …and I guess it happens sooner. So it’s probably just…
Andrew: God, Australia’s so weird. Summer in November? I mean, what are they doing down there?
Laura: God, why are you south of the equator?
Andrew: Oh, that’s why. Oh, I see. So what kind of features is it including?
Micah: Oh, features. Yeah, forgot about those.
Micah: Well, we have the J.K. Rowling documentary, “A Year in the Life”. That’s going to be on the DVD.
Andrew: That’s good. I’m glad to hear that’s going to be on there. Because now everybody can see it legally in the U.S. because, like it…
Micah: Well, it was on here a couple of months ago, during the summer.
Micah: On ABC, I think it was.
Andrew: Yeah, you’re right.
Micah: But all the other countries can see it legally? Is that what you’re saying?
Andrew: Yeah. Well, it will be nice for everyone to have a hard copy of it. I’ll watch it again. It should be cool.
Micah: And then, also eleven and a half minute segment, or something like that, for the Wizarding World Theme Park.
Andrew: Right. That will be cool.
Micah: And that’s going to be new stuff, right?
Andrew: Yeah. That’s what they’re saying. At the press event I was at last week they, [laughs] they were like, “We’re going to have this eleven minute look at the theme park on the DVD. Here, you guys get a sneak peak”. And then they played the clips that they played. It was literally like a five second montage. And they were like, “Wasn’t that cool?” And it was like, “No. It was five seconds.” [laughs]
Andrew: It looks like the theme park look is – based on the clips they showed at this press event, it’s going to have – they showed this very quick clip of the trio filming something for the theme park. We don’t know what it is yet, obviously, but I’m going to guess it’s for whatever was – whatever is going to be in Hogwarts Castle, the “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” ride that they revealed. And – we’ll talk about this later on – but what I learned by checking out a lot of rides at Universal, is that they really love to include people in – from the movies that the rides are based on. So I’m sure we can expect a lot of cast involvement in these rides as well.
Micah: Right. And then – I think you had a list of some of the deleted scenes from the movie that were going to appear on this DVD, and then there was also, possibly, a look into Deathly Hallows? Is that true, or am I making that up?
Andrew: No. I think that was rumored, I think that was rumored. But the deleted scenes came out. They were kind of leaked by the British Board of Film Classification people – dudes. And – did we talk about this?
Eric: The scenes, or just the titles?
Andrew: The titles, the titles.
Eric: Okay. Oh.
Andrew: Yeah, sorry, I screwed that up when I wrote the news post, too. I was like, “Check out the scenes.” But I didn’t mean that. I meant just the titles. But I’m trying to find them right now. If you’ll excuse me for one minute – here we go. The scenes – the deleted scenes on the Half Blood Prince disc. I think we haven’t – we forgot to talk about these. “Harry and Hermione walk through Hogwarts Hall,” “Harry and Hermione discuss the Marauders Map,” “Harry, Ron and Hermione discuss the Vanishing Cabinet,” “Harry and Dumbledore arrive at the cave entrance,” “Harry and Dumbledore leave the cave,” “Clouds gather over Hogwarts as Flitwick conducts choir,” “Harry joins Ron, Hermione, and Ginny in the Common Room,” and “Harry and Hermione discuss Ron at the Astronomy Tower.”
Eric: They’re waiting for the ultimate edition of Half Blood Prince to add the scenes like, “Harry and Dumbledore talk about the locket”, “Harry and Dumbledore talk about the cup”. [laughs]
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Eric: Harry and Dumbledore talk about Horcruxes and figure out what he’s supposed to next. [laughs]
Andrew: A lot of discussion going on in these deleted scenes, but – yeah.
Micah: Yeah, they don’t seem too interesting; I’m not going to lie.
Andrew: No. Yeah, I got to be honest…
Micah: And the dog agrees, too.
Andrew: Yeah. That dog…
Andrew: …he’s always chiming in. Anyway, go ahead, Micah.
News: Ultimate Edition DVDs
Micah: Well, to kind of go along with Half-Blood Prince, there’s going to be two ultimate editions that are going to be released on the exact same day. So if…
Micah: …you’re in the U.S. it’s December eighth, the U.K. December seventh, or if you’re in Australia, it’s November eighteenth. For Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets – and Eric, you started talking a little bit about the features. I guess we can begin with Sorcerer’s Stone and then move on to Chamber of Secrets, but is this a little bit too early, though?
Micah: Do you guys think they should have waited for the movies to all be completed and then gone with this Ultimate Edition idea?
Eric: No, what I don’t like is them putting – them having a box set of the Harry Potter films. I hate that, I freaking absolutely hate that more than anything in the world.
Eric: Because you know there’s going to be seven or eight movies and so buying – they have that collection of movies one through five, and it’s just absolutely ridiculous because that’s not even – I mean, that’s like half the – half as many movies as there will be, so you get like this – the first five movies on DVD so you have the – I just don’t like the way it’s packaged, you know? You just have the – instead of having the DVDs together, you have this box, and the box doesn’t fit where regular DVDs are supposed to fit on the shelf…
Eric: …because it’s a box.
Andrew: That’s true.
Eric: And it’s not the whole – I mean, it is! It’s absolutely – I mean, it’s like, it’s just doesn’t – it’s not for me. It’s just not for me. But the – as for Micah’s question, the Ultimate Editions, in my opinion, are great, and I don’t think it’s too soon because, what I like most about it is the feature that they have that’s going to be the progressive, eight part documentary. And I think it’s about time. I mean, what they’ve done by releasing the first two – I mean, they’ve released the first two at the same time. And I guess the next six will be, you know, over – what they’ve done is they’ve given themselves time to – every season, every holiday season, to – to release the next set of Ultimate Edition movies, you know, with all these new feature that we’ve never seen before. And they’re not a box set, so that way it doesn’t matter how many there will be because they’re each five discs of their own and they just focus on one movie and it’s all pretty.
Micah: Well let me just go through them. Is that okay?
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Go through the features.
Micah: Just to mention them real quickly. I know Andrew, you kind of hand-selected these ones. There’s a lot more than just these, but…
Andrew: But these are the big things.
Micah: Right. There’s an introduction by Dan Radcliffe to the many special features for the Harry Potter films.
Micah: “Creating the World of Harry Potter Part One: The Magic Begins.” Discover the story of how one vision for the Harry Potter films came together out of limitless possibilities to create the visual world we have come to know and love.” An “in-movie experience with director Chris Columbus,” and “W.B. maximum mode movie picture in picture programming”…
Micah: …”cast walk-ons, focus points, graphics, and more.”
Andrew: Maximum mode! What does that mean, “maximum mode?”
Micah: I have no idea.
Andrew: [laughs] Maximum mode.
Eric: It means Sean Biggerstaff just shows up.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Eric: That’s massive mode. It’s like you’re watching the movie and he’s like, “Hello.”
Andrew: So that’s on Sorcerer’s Stone? Or…
Micah: That is on Sorcerer’s Stone.
Andrew: And what’s on Chamber of Secrets? But that’s maximum for me. I can’t take it anymore.
Micah: Chamber of Secrets – “Creating the World of Harry Potter Part Two: Characters; Explore how the cast and creative team of directors and designers take the characters’ descriptions on the page to the actors’ performances on film.”
Micah: And you also get screen tests of Dan Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, which I’m sure a lot of people are looking forward to. And then the “First Look” special from HBO that was aired back in 2002.
Andrew: Now, I think the first…
Micah: Who cares about that?
Andrew: Well, I think that’s cool. I mean, I don’t even remember that “First Look” special back in 2002. The screen tests are going to be very cool, I think. And there was a trailer for these Ultimate Editions that was released like last week, a few days ago. That we posted on MuggleNet, as well. And you see a quick clip of the screen tests, and it looks pretty cute, the way, you know – Dan, Emma, and Rupert, very young, before they even started filming Sorcerer’s Stone, and they’re like – I can’t remember what scene they were screen testing, but obviously magic was happening, because they were really impressed with all the kids.
Eric: The question I have for you guys, and Laura, is, why do you think the screen tests are on the Chamber of Secrets Ultimate Edition, as opposed to the Sorcerer’s Stone? I mean, things like this HBO special, which will be cool, it seems like they were kind of pulling pretty hard to get these five discs worth of special features on the Chamber…
Eric: And what they five discs, one of them is the digital copy disc, but it seems like – it just makes sense to me that the screen tests would be on the Sorcerer’s Stone Ultimate Edition.
Laura: Yeah, I agree. I don’t really understand why it’s on Chamber of Secrets.
Andrew: Well, I think they’re trying to – they have seven – well, I guess they may have to put out eight ultimate editions. So they have a lot of space to fill on all these discs. And really, I think it’s a cool idea to archive all these documentaries and everything. I mean, I think it’s nice to have this first look…
Eric: I agree.
Andrew: This is an easy way to archive all this great Potter stuff.
Eric: But why have it on the Chamber of Secrets DVD and not the Sorcerer’s Stone DVD?
Andrew: Well maybe they filled up the Sorcerer’s Stone one, and they’re like, “Okay, we’ll stick this on Chamber.” Nonetheless, they’re coming out at the same time, so…
Eric: Yeah, I know.
Andrew: I do understand what you’re saying though. It is kind of…
Andrew: …odd. And by the way, Nick is joining us now. Hello, Nick!
Nick: Hey, guys! How’re you doing?
Andrew: Pretty good, how about you?
Nick: Not too bad. Sorry I’m late.
News: Ultimate Edition Prices
Andrew: No problem, no problem. Just one last thing to say about the Ultimate Edition; I think these – at first I was like – we talked about these on a previous episode when the covers were revealed and I wasn’t too thrilled about them, but now I think that they are pretty cool. And the prices are okay. And my other question…
Micah: How much are they?
Andrew: Well, they’re $39.92 on DVD…
Andrew: And $49.99 on Blu-ray. I guess it is a lot. [laughs]
Eric: I mean I need a new Sorcerer’s Stone…
Andrew: You need new discs.
Eric: …and Chamber of Secrets anyway.
Andrew: There you go.
Laura: I don’t want one that bad.
Nick: It is expensive when you factor in the fact that you already bought the DVDs once.
Laura: [laughs] Yeah, exactly.
Andrew: They should do a…
Eric: Well do you still have your receipt of your original…
Andrew: [laughs] Return it.
Eric: DVD? Because they could offer discounts, but who still has that, really?
Andrew: Right, yeah, that’s one issue.
Laura: There’s probably one crazy person out there who hoards every receipt they ever get.
Eric: We’ll get e-mails…
Andrew: My mother…
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Future Ultimate Editions
Andrew: All of our mothers. When do you guys think Prisoner of Azkaban will come out? Because we’ve got these two, and they confirmed that they are going to release other ones.
Laura: I don’t know. I mean…
Andrew: Maybe around the time D.H. Part One is out?
Laura: Yeah, possibly.
Nick: It makes sense too.
Eric: I’ll tell you – when is D.H. Part Two in theaters? Is that…
Eric: July eleven?
Eric: So you think that maybe if they are doing these Ultimate Editions that they’ll be completed by Christmas ’11? Or…
Eric: Maybe later actually, because if you think about the final movie coming to regular DVD before it hits Ultimate Edition. But regardless, I mean, that gives us about – what? – only two years for six sets of DVDs to come out.
Andrew: Yeah. And let’s remember, Warner Bros., ‘ultimate’ means ultimate.
Andrew: And the definition according to Google is…
Andrew: …”the finest or most superior quality of its kind.”
Andrew: Meaning, in ten years, don’t release an ultimate-mega-super-star edition! Ultimate is as far as you can go.
Laura: Yes, ultimate also – the definition says, “being or happening at the end of a process; final.”
Nick: This is why I doubt we’ll get the ultimate edition at the same time Part Two – Deathly Hallows Part Two – comes out because they’re going to lose money if they release the Ultimate Edition straight away rather than release…
Nick: …the single editions, double editions, or whatever other editions they’ve got.
Andrew: Absolutely. That’s very true, yeah.
Eric: You guys are forgetting the ten year anniversary, the twenty-five year anniversary…
Andrew: That’s what I’m saying! Ultimate means…
Andrew: …you can’t do any better, so…
Eric: Director’s cut!
Andrew: Oh, stop, stop, I’m puking.
Ultimate, Theatrical and Extended Editions
Eric: But that’s one thing you didn’t mention, Micah, is that they’re actually releasing theatrical and extended versions. I mean, what it is, is those – all the deleted scenes of Chamber of Secrets…
Eric: …and Sorcerer’s Stone that you see on ABC Family when they do the “uncut,” is actually put back into the film where it belongs, and that’s actually another whole disc of each of these. They have five discs. The first disc – I’m looking at the extended press release here – the first disc is the theatrical version, the second disc is the extended version.
Eric: Now I know for a fact, guys – and this is not just devil’s advocate – maybe it is. I know for a fact that – I mean, I have the Terminator 2 Ultimate Edition DVD that they came with, and it’s like – actually, it’s like twenty minutes extra footage, but…
Eric: …you have a choice. I mean, it’s just one disc – one side of one disc – and you have the option of viewing the theatrical or extended and it just puts the scenes in where they initially belonged. There’s no need to do two separate DVDs here. This is kind of cheap in my mind because they have a separate disc for the extended version of the film. And it says right here on the press release for Sorcerer’s Stone that it’s only seven minutes of extra footage.
Andrew: Right. Well, it’s what we saw on ABC when they re-released the…
Eric: Right, and it’s not new. It’s not…
Eric: …new footage. So it’s…
Andrew: No, but in the trailer, they do say the first time on disc. So, they’re not totally fooling anyone. [laughs]
Eric: Yeah. Well – I mean, they could do – like I said, they could do that in one disc and just have that extra seven minutes.
Eric: And they have that – DVDs have that technology. They’ve had it for five years.
Andrew: But it’s ultimate. They – it’s ultimate. You know what I mean?
Andrew: You have to give everyone any version they prefer because it’s ultimate.
Eric: Well, in the end, I mean, if you look at the disc breakdown. Disc One: Theatrical Version. Disc Two: Extended Version. Disc Three is the same as – or looks to be the same as the original Disc Twos of the Harry Potter DVDs with, you know, all the little interactive DVD games. And then Disc Five is the digital copy. Disc Four is the only disc with new stuff on it if you exclude the second disc, which is the Extended Version. That’s the one with the introductions – with the special documentary. So, actually, I mean, I’m thinking if you just Netflix the Disc Four of this Ultimate Edition when it comes out, and keep it…
Andrew: You’ll have everything else.
Eric: You’ll have…
Andrew: I get what you’re saying.
Eric: You’ll have everything else.
Eric: And, you know…
Andrew: …they’re trying to sell people by also including the book. And you get pictures and stuff like that, but you know.
Eric: I know. It’s just I’m trying to think of how they could have better arranged this.
Andrew: I think it’s good. It’s ultimate. You can’t – they’re including everything. They’re putting in these nice extra features. I think it’s good. That’s my opinion though.
Eric: I think they could have done it three discs personally.
Andrew: I think in order for it to be ultimate, it has to be at least four.
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Andrew: And they went five, so we should not complain. Go ahead, Micah. What else is going on? For the love of god.
News: Millennium Bridge Balloon Launch
Micah: To wrap up the DVD discussion, there was a little bit of a launch party that went on today.
Micah: Evanna Lynch and…
Andrew: This was funny.
Micah: …Matt Lewis. They released a thousand balloons off of Millennium Bridge in London, as I said, to celebrate the upcoming Half-Blood Prince DVD release, and they also kicked off a new contest.
Micah: And just briefly to let our listeners know about that, the contest that’s open to anyone eighteen or older in the U.K. is pretty straightforward. Find one of these black balloons, hopefully not tied around a bird’s neck…
Micah: …that they launched today, and follow the instructions on the attached card.
Andrew: Oh God! I wonder if…
Micah: You’ll then be entered into a contest where the winner will receive a trip to the… [laughs] Deathly Hallows set, where they will be turned into a painting.
Andrew: Yeah, you’re going to be in the film in picture form. That’s pretty cool.
Laura: So wait, they released these off what? The Millennium Bridge?
Laura: Isn’t that over water?
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Laura: So I’m wondering how many of these balloons got high enough in the atmosphere that they popped and then fell into the water.
Andrew: And then…
Micah: So if you’re a fisherman…
Micah: Then you have a…
Micah: …good chance of…
Laura: [laughs] I hope these were eco-friendly balloons.
Laura: That’s all I have to say.
Andrew: That’s what I’m wondering. Didn’t the environmentalists go – Nick, did you turn on the BBC today and see any stories about this? [laughs] Like protesters?
Nick: I didn’t, unfortunately.
Andrew: I just wonder – I’m sure W.B. tried to keep them eco-friendly. But it’s a cute idea. And I wonder if any of our listeners or MuggleNet visitors found one of the balloons. It’s pretty exciting.
Laura: You know, I’d like to – I think it’d be funny to go release some black balloons with these crazy instructions on them.
Laura: And see if people do it.
[Andrew and Nick laugh]
Andrew: Yeah. Nick, run up to London, throw – get a couple of balloons in the air. And write, “Visit MuggleNet to win your name on the site.” I don’t know.
Nick: Sounds like a plan.
Eric: This is – I just think – what if they released – like what if you get a black balloon, but the card is ripped off? Is there anywhere you go? Like…
Andrew: I’m sure they made sure…
Eric: …the card is weathered.
Andrew: …the cards were on there tight.
Eric: I mean, they have to be waterproof too.
Nick: You go to the toilet to…
Andrew: I wish I was in London like this. I would have studied the wind projections for the day.
Eric: And found out exactly where…
Andrew: I’d be ten miles down – I’d be on the top of the Big Ben with a giant net just ready to catch one of these babies.
Nick: Shooting them down.
Andrew: Yeah. Just shoot – yeah. Shooting ’em down. [laughs]
Micah: Just wait…
Eric: Yeah. Take a black balloon and shoot the others.
Andrew: The moment Matt Lewis and Evanna let go of that whole thing of balloons, I would just take an AK 47 and burst all of them.
Andrew: And I’d go run and pick up twenty. That’s just me.
Eric: Or just…
Micah: Do all of them have this on it?
Andrew: Yeah. They all got a card. And people would go to the website, fill out their info. I guess put the number in – or whatever the card had that was unique on it. And…
Micah: They probably needed a thousand just to have the probability that a person would be able to get…
Micah: …one of these.
Eric: …catch it.
Andrew: Yeah, I wonder how many are going to actually be turned in. But – well, yeah they probably won’t release that or anything.
Eric: You should have just tackled them. As soon as they let go of the balloons, just tackle them and jump over them and grab them all…
Eric: See if you can like…
Andrew: Give me those balloons! But also of interest is a newspaper over there called, This Is London. They did a little video interview with Matt and Evanna and they talked about Movie 7 filming and they said it’s going very well and they’re keeping it very loyal to the book. And normally I’d kind of rub this – or push this off, like “Who cares?” But the fact that Evanna’s saying it – she’s very happy with how it’s going, we know she’s a very true fan. She loves the books to death and she tries to protect them on set. I mean, she said that herself. She’s tried to put her input in as they film. And she says it’s going great, it’s very loyal to Book 7. And they said they’re putting a big focus on the Battle of Hogwarts, which was an interesting little tidbit.
Micah: Well, speaking of…
Micah: …Deathly Hallows filming…
News: Deathly Hallows Filming Updates – Brendan Gleeson
Micah: Just a couple more updates. Brendan Gleeson mentioned that he is done filming Mad-Eye Moody’s role, so good old Mad-Eye has been killed off.
Andrew: Aw. And he won – an Emmy the other night!
Micah: He did. Not for Mad-Eye Moody, though.
Andrew: No. That’s where he revealed that, so congratulations to him.
Laura: It kind of sucks for the character. I’m sure he’s got like five minutes of screen time or less…
Laura: [laughs] And then he dies.
Andrew: [laughs] Just went on really quick, died and then left.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: Well, hopefully they gave him a good lunch.
News: Deathly Hallows Filming Updates – David Thewlis
Micah: And David Thewlis, who plays Professor Lupin, he’ll be there through March of 2010, which is kind of around the time filming is supposed to wrap up, right? They’re…
Micah: …expecting Spring 2010 to be the end of filming for this movie.
Andrew: Yeah, somewhere in spring. I mean, there may be some push-backs because filming problems or whatever. But it looks like it’s all going to be over in just six more months or so, which is sad.
Laura: It’s crazy.
Andrew: I feel bad. I wonder if – I mean, what kind of party do you have to wrap up filming…?
Eric: For Harry Potter?
Andrew: For one of the greatest movie franchises of all time? I hope they do it in the Great Hall.
Eric: Well, they’re all of age now, so… [laughs] Hey, that could be quite a party.
Andrew: But they’re classy. I mean, come on. The Brits are classy. They’ll do something that’s fine, that’s of the utmostÖ
Laura: I think it’s crazy when you think about the fact that Sorcerer’s Stone came out in 2001, and we’re going to have Deathly Hallows wrapping up exactly 10 years later. Like…
Laura: That’s just insane. I was twelve when this movie came out!
Eric: Eight movies, ten years.
Laura: I’m going to be a college graduate by the time they’re done!
News: MuggleNet’s Tenth Anniversary
Andrew: Well, speaking of that…
Laura: It’s insane.
Andrew: …in October – this month, MuggleNet will be celebrating ten years online!
Andrew: And we have a few things planned for that…
Eric: What month was that?
Andrew: Emerson doesn’t have an exact date, but he knows its October. It was October 1999. So, throughout the whole month we’re going to do some things to commemorate the ten years, so look forward to that on the site. I want to have Emerson on MuggleCast to do a little interview with him…
Laura: For the first time ever! [laughs]
Andrew: Because he’s never been on the show! Yeah, for his first time ever! [laughs]
Andrew: Maybe he’ll be, like, “Hey, wait a second – I actually like this!” [laughs] “Where was I five years ago?”
Eric: He’s done live shows, hasn’t he, with us?
Andrew: Yeah, but you know, they’re not the same as a recorded show.
Micah: And you’ve spied on him from time to time.
Andrew and Eric: Yes.
Micah: But that doesn’t count.
Andrew: We’ll have to bring that back.
Eric: Where is Emerson, Andrew? Are we going to do “Spy on Spartz”?
Andrew: I’m far away from him. I don’t know. I can’t tell you.
Andrew: Go on, Micah.
MuggleCast 181 Transcript (continued)
Wrapping up the News – Eventually
Micah: That’s all the news I have…
Micah: Do you have anything else?
Andrew: No, that’s all.
Micah: All right. So let me close it out appropriately, since you…
Micah: …threw the news to me earlier on.
Andrew: Yeah, please. Please.
Micah: All right, that’s all the news for this September 24th, 2009 edition of MuggleCast, back to the show.
Andrew: Ah, see? You know what?
Laura: Aw, man.
Nick: So professional!
Andrew: This is what – no, no, no! This is what time does to you! Micah, you have to – you used to have more umph in it! You used to be like, [anchorman voice] “That’s all from our news center in New York! Back to you!”
Micah: I don’t think it’s quite like that.
Eric: You’re confusing him with Mason.
[Laura and Micah laugh]
Eric: The guy who does the GoDaddy ad.
Andrew: No, there’s…
Micah: All right, you want me to give it another shot?
Andrew: Yes. More energy. Throw some more energy in it.
Micah: Well, I could – I couldn’t remember if I said the episode number or the date, so I was kind of like treading on…
Laura: You said the date!
Andrew: It definitely was the date.
Laura: Yeah, I remember that.
Micah: All right.
Eric: I think initially it was the episode number.
Micah: All right, I’ll give it another shot. Here we go…
Andrew: All right.
Micah: That’s all the news for this September 24th, 2009 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.
Andrew: That’s better.
Laura: Ah! That’s better.
Nick: Was anyone else tempted to interrupt that, so he had to do it again?
Eric: Nick, don’t ask me.
Andrew: That was good. Good job. All right.
Micah: You know what it is? I’m getting confused with when I intro the show.
Andrew: Oh, right.
Micah: Because it goes through a really similar way of saying it.
Andrew: Yeah. See, it is tricky. People – we were saying earlier, people may think this is easy, it’s not. There’s inflections that you have to put in your voice.
Eric: As opposed to the “How to Podcast” panel that we did at Azkatraz [laughs]
Andrew: What? Did we say it was easy?
Eric: Which was like, “Yeah, this is easy.” Well no actually – actually I never told you how well thought out that was, and thank you so much for including me on that.
Andrew: Oh, no problem. It was fun.
Laura: It was really fun.
Andrew: Oh yeah, it was. It’s always good to – because people – I can’t tell you how many e-mails I get from people saying, “How do you guys record?” And I love to email them, but it can’t just be sent in an email. It’s…
Andrew: So that’s why it’s fun to do that. Maybe sometime – we’re not allowed to record and release the ones that, the HP cons, but maybe one day we’ll do it under the table.
Eric: You ever blickle how to podcast?
Laura: Oh my god. [laughs] Blickles.
Andrew: You know, I thought about doing a YouTube video, but, it’s going to take some preparation.
Andrew: All right, well let’s get into some announcements. You guys have noticed that, on Episode 179 and as well as on this Episode 181, we’ve been doing these Twitter discussions, or not Twitter – but we’ve been asking people to send in questions via Twitter, because it’s a nice easy way to get questions from you guys, the listeners. And hopefully nobody’s thinking, “Oh, you guys are just, you know, making all your listeners do the work.” But we do want to say that, while we’re you know – sort of taking the easy route for these episodes, we’re trying to put together a revamped Chapter-by-Chapter, in the background.
Eric: We’re calling it Book-by-Book.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: Book-by-Book, yeah. I don’t know, but we’re going to do something, but we’re going to try to bring it back, but not how it was before. We’re going to tweak it around, and it’s too early to say what our plans would be yet, because we don’t have any plans finalized. So look for that, starting maybe on the next episode, on Episode 182, but just wanted to throw that out there, that it is coming back, and we’re going to plan to start doing some more book discussions like that. We know people have missed Chapter-by-Chapter, some people didn’t like it, but I can’t remember many, I mean, some people didn’t. But we’re going to bring it back in a whole new way this time.
Eric: I think what you’re trying to say is that Twitter is a great way to get a thousand responses in the first five minutes of posting.
Andrew: It’s wonderful, I love it.
Announcements: Podcast Alley
Andrew: Also, a little reminder, don’t forget to vote for us on Podcast Alley, we always appreciate your vote over there, because it makes people know in the podcasting community that we’re still around and kicking and we can still kick your butt, ESPN.
Micah: We’re number six.
Andrew: That’s great, Micah. I see the glass as half-full.
Micah: We need to be number one.
Andrew: Aw, come on. All right, well vote for us on Podcast Alley…
Laura: That was so 2006.
Andrew: Oh it was not.
Andrew: Yeah, you’re probably right.
[Laura and Micah laugh]
Micah: Well, did I tell you about this? I got a message from somebody, and I can’t remember the person’s name, but they took very seriously what I said, and remember I came up with some statistics two episodes ago about Podcast Alley and how we had never been out, really of the top five except for a couple of months…
Micah: In this year…
Micah: And when I had said that, you know, it was probably because our listeners were on vacation, or something along those lines, they thought I was being serious. And they didn’t know that I was joking around. So if any of our listeners took offense to the fact that I said that you guys didn’t vote for us, it was a joke…
Andrew: Oh yeah.
Micah: I wasn’t being serious.
Announcements: Infinitus 2010
Andrew: Also, you guys know that we love going to the Harry Potter conferences that are held each year in different cities across America, and the next one coming up is Infinitus 2010 in Orlando presented by HPEF. Of course, it’s too early to say, you know, if we’re going to be doing a podcast there or whatnot, but it is going to be centered around the new Harry Potter theme park that’ll be opening just months before the con happens. So we encourage you to be there, because we will be there, and it’s always fun meeting the listeners, you know, we’ve met so many of them at the conferences in the past, you all know who you are, I’m picturing you in my mind right now, and…
Laura: Oh and they are all squealing now.
[Andrew and Nick laugh]
Andrew: But in all seriousness, it’s a ton of fun, you know, meeting these people and doing the “How to Podcast” thing, like we were talking about earlier, and do live podcasts as well. So go to Infinitus2010.org, that’s I-N-F-I-N-I-T-U-S 2010 dot org and you can register now, and make sure to get your hotel too, at Universal, and oh my God is this going to be a lot of fun! All these die hard Potter fans going to the theme parks — or going to the Harry Potter theme park to experience the rides together, it’s going to be crazy.
Micah: And put us in the referral line too.
Andrew: Yeah when you register there’s a little box that says, “How’d you hear – hear of us” or “How you” – whatever – put in MuggleCast please so they know where you came from. And finally just one last little plug here. A couple of days ago I posted this cool thing on MuggleNet that we created. If you use Twitter and you want to follow all the Harry Potter actors on Twitter as well as the MuggleNet Twitter or the official Harry Potter Twitter you can just go to this link, put in your log-in information which is kept secure, and you will automatically be following all the Harry Potter stars. So for that link just check out the show notes on MuggleCast.com for this episode. [yawns] Excuse me – and there will be a link there and you can follow all your Potter stars. I just want to throw that out there because it’s pretty cool and easy. So you can follow and stalk Tom Felton when he’s doing crazy stuff. He’s always a fun person to follow on Twitter.
Micah: Or Andrew.
Muggle Mail: Harry Potter Should Have Died
Andrew: Or me. We have a separate list for people involved in MuggleCast and MuggleNet. Anyway enough of me talking, let’s get into Muggle Mail now. Nick could you take the first one there from Lizzy.
Nick: We have a message here from Lizzy Becker fourteen from Florida. She writes:
“Hey I’ve only become a listener of MuggleCast very recently, but I am already addicted. I just wanted to say I have to agree with Ben when he said, ‘Harry Potter should have died about ten times.’ I mean really how many times can you be uncannily lucky? Although that does not mean I would ever want J.K. Rowling to change the books in the slightest, I absolutely love them the way they are, but I thought about what Ben said and realized as usual his genius is spot on. Lol, well love y’all. If you read this on MuggleCast I will be ecstatic!”
Nick: So there you go Lizzy be ecstatic.
Andrew: Well thank [laughs] thank you Lizzy, and I – agree with Ben in some ways I mean he should have died in so many different places, but he – he always lucked out, but then of course there’d be no story so. [laughs] What are you going to do?
Eric: They say a lot of things in that book Andrew.
Andrew: They do. Laura can you read the next one.
Nick: It’s unfair to say it was just luck isn’t it?
Andrew: What’s that?
Nick: It was unfair to say he was just lucky to live. There was a bit of skill involved too.
Andrew: Well yes – yeah you could argue it both ways I think just for fun.
Micah: And hopefully Lizzy knows that Ben wrote a book about this.
Andrew: [laughs] Right. “MuggleNet.com’s Harry Potter Should Have Died.”
Micah: He believes it that much that he wrote a whole book about it.
Andrew: Laura could you read the next email please?
Muggle Mail: Will Potter be a Classic?
Laura: Sure the next one comes from Julia Kosonen aged fifteen of South Australia. She writes,
“Hi guys, I’m a new listener but a die-hard Harry Potter fan since I was 8. Just wanted to tell you guys that your podcast is awesome. I thought about getting my kids to read ‘Harry Potter’ and I think I would probably do what my mom used to do with my sisters and I with the ‘Narnia’ books. Before bed each night she would read us one chapter of the book, but I loved them so much I snuck the book out of her room and read it all. I think that because the ‘Harry Potter’ magic will never die that this will still happen in 20 years time. I remember being caught at 3 A.M. in the morning with a torch under the covers trying to read the next book before the morning and I will be truly devastated if this love of the series is lost. I think that guys like you will be able to keep the magic alive. Keep up the good work. Thanks.”
Andrew: That was a nice e-mail about…
Andrew: …keeping the books alive.
Micah: With a torch – what is she doing with a torch?
Laura: It’s a flashlight.
Eric: Under her sheets.
Laura: Like they call them torches I think. It’s not an actual torch.
Andrew: That’s a rather barbaric way to – [laughs]
Eric: To experience – I wonder what she did like the next like 30 nights – like with her mom – if she had to go through the book again having already read it. I mean she said she liked it but without telling her mom that she’d snuck it all and read it all she has to…
Eric: … sit through this same book again –
Laura: I don’t think I would have been able to resist myself.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Laura: I would have been like, “I already know what happens!”
Andrew: Laura we talked about this last week or two weeks ago. I’d be interested to get your opinion. How do you think Harry Potter will be discovered – you know ten,twenty years now – from now? Like – you know what I’m saying?
Laura: Oh I definitely think that Harry Potter will be considered a classic. I mean there’s just not any question in my mind about that. I think particularly our generation has been so passionate about it that I would be very surprised if we didn’t pass that on to our children. And I look at – I mean particularly on my campus we have classes that are devoted to Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and all these other classic fantasy novels and I just – I really definitely see the same thing happening in 20, 30 years.
Laura and Nick’s Thoughts on the Theme Park
Andrew: Yeah – yeah I think you’re right – I think you’re right. All right before we get into our main discussion looking at your questions that were sent in via Twitter I wanted to talk with Laura and Nick to get their thoughts on the theme park as well. Now Laura I just want to start because you – like we said at the start of the show – you and I have now both been to the Universal Studios.
Laura: Oh man.
Andrew: What was your take on all the announcements that came out last week with the rides and the designs and stuff and all that?
Laura: I think it all looks really awesome. I mean, I’m not sure there’s much else I could say aside from that. But, definitely I’ve been going – I mean, I was born in Orlando so I’ve been going to Universal Studios since, before I could even remember and the last couple times I’ve been there, just walking around that area they were converting, I could totally tell what they were going to do with and it. And it just – all looked perfect. Everything from, I guess what’s now going to be the “Dragon Challenge,” and then, I sort of saw the beginning constructions on what I believed was going to be Honeydukes and just, it all looks really, really amazing and I can’t wait to see it in person.
Laura: It’s going to be so much fun.
Andrew: What I never realized was, to get to, what is it called? Oh, “Dueling Dragons.”
Andrew: To get to that ride, you have to walk on this bridge that goes right thought the Wizarding World construction. And of course the “Dueling Dragons” is going to be part of the Harry Potter Theme Park but like, it goes right through and, you know, if you try to look over these walls, you can see the construction. But you know, there’s a lot of vertical construction too now, so you can see a lot of what’s going on, and it was cool. And there were these little holes down at the bottom of the fence. [laughs] I wish someone would’ve taken a picture of me doing this. Like, I was on the ground looking through these holes trying see something. What I can say is I’m pretty sure Hagrid’s Hut is finished because, if you walk – if you’re walking towards “Dueling Dragons” and you turn left on the bridge, you can walk up and get a good view of the construction and right there in front of you over the fence are these little pillar things that look like the top of Hagrid’s Hut! So…
Laura: Oh that’s so cool.
Andrew: Yeah. And then when they released that sketch, or the concept art, they have a shot of the Flying – “Flight of the Hippogriff” ride, and you can see, in the concept art, is Hagrid’s Hut, so I was like, “Oh!” One plus one is two, there you go, look at that.
Laura: Hey, I have a question for you. Is that like – is it a wooden roller coaster?
Andrew: Yeah they’re redoing it.
Laura: Okay yeah, that used to be – I remember that used to be a little kiddy ride.
Laura: I’m guessing that’s what it’s going to be as well?
Andrew: Yeah. Have you rode that?
Laura: [laughs] No.
Andrew: Why do you laugh it off?!
Laura: No because I was…
Andrew: I’m too old for that.
Laura: By the time they built “Islands of Adventures” I was like, eleven years old. I was too old for a children’s roller coaster.
Andrew: Oh, okay. But yeah, I mean…
Laura: But I’ll ride it with you, Andrew.
Andrew: Yay. I did not – when we went there. We got this tour, we got to skip all the lines. I did not ride the “Dueling Dragons” because I’m just too much of a girl.
Laura: Oh my God! No, it’s so much fun!
Laura: You’re going to ride it with me. I’m going to make you ride it.
Andrew: Maybe, maybe. But – and that’s another thing worth talking about Laura, that ride, it’s built the – the line – there’s already a castle built there, for the theming for that ride. So I…
Laura: Yeah, it’s really cool.
Andrew: Yeah, I was wondering if that theming is going to be what the rest of the Wizarding Worlds going to look like. Like with the stone, the stone walls and stuff like that.
Laura: Yeah, I mean, did you go inside it, at all?
Andrew: Yeah, just to stand in where the air conditioning was.
Laura: Yeah exactly. I mean, the theme inside of there is kind of more medieval, Merlin-esque stuff.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Laura: I think it would be pretty easily converted.
Andrew: So it’s exciting stuff to see what will happen with that.
Andrew: Nick, what, what were your thoughts on it when you looked at all the art and stuff?
Nick: My first thoughts on the press release was how detailed the buildings were going to be and how visually stunning it’s going to be – going there.
Nick: I just thought that when you saw around Filch’s, what they calling it, his store?
Andrew: His Emporium.
Nick: His Emporium, that the stuff on the shelves, it just looks incredible and I mean, I think it’s going to be amazing. I mean, it’s going to really be like stepping into, into a film and I think that’s going to be a fantastic experience for the fans. I mean, my only problem with it is that, I’m bit of a wimp when it comes to rides, as well.
Andrew: [laughs] Me too.
Nick: I’m going to be, enjoying the experience, but not participating in the rides mostly.
Eric: Come on! They are only three rides in the entire park!
Andrew: That’s true. I probably will ride it because its Harry Potter.
Eric: You guys are going to not ride one of them?!
Andrew: No, no. The only thing that’s a thrill ride is that “Dueling Dragons” ride, so I don’t know. But the one thing I learned about Universal, being there the one day – going around the park, is the attention to detail. And to be fair, Disney does do this, too. But the attention to detail in – especially in the “Islands of Adventure” – what is it called? [laughs] What is it called, Laura?
Laura: “Islands of Adventure.”
Andrew: Yeah, okay. Our tour guide told us that the Jurassic Park area has 65,000 unique plant species alone. 65,000 different plant species in the Jurassic Park area.
Eric: That’s unbelievable.
Andrew: That is unbelievable.
Eric: Yeah, I don’t even think Hawaii has that many plant species.
[Andrew and Nick laughs]
Eric: And that’s where they filmed the – the movie!
Andrew: Well, hopefully they weren’t lying to us. But – yeah, it’s just really – really impressive the amount of detail they put into the “Islands of Adventure.” And I’m sure they’ve been hyping up how much detail is going into the Harry Potter park. And they keep calling it a park inside a park. Just so much detail they’re going to be putting into this thing. So…
Nick: Am I right in thinking one of the movie set designers is involved in the styling…
Nick: …of the park?
Andrew: Yeah, they’ve been – I mean, Jo’s been involved from the start. Stuart Craig has been involved from the start. And one guy who was there at this press event, Alex Day, I think his name was – I can’t remember. He – he’s been working on it, too. He was one of the designers on the films, and he’s been working on it, too. So nothing short of amazing, that project, that’s going on down there. So…
Harry Potter Exhibition to Universal?
Eric: Just a thought, I wonder in five years when the Harry Potter Exhibition is done touring, because they said that they were going to at least initially do it for five years across the globe, I wonder if it will come to rest in Universal?
Andrew: Yeah, maybe.
Nick: That would be nice.
Andrew: Another thing is they have room to expand this – this area. I mean, they’re not packed in a city. So they could easily grow this down the road if they wanted to and add a permanent exhibition, or whatever.
The Whomping Willow in the Park
Andrew: So – and also, The Whomping Willow – I forgot to mention this – The Whomping Willow, I’m pretty sure that’s going to be in the park because you can see it on the map right next to the bridge. But I’m just remembering now I think our tour guide or somebody told us that The Whomping Willow is already there.
Laura: I wonder how they’re going to do that.
Andrew: Oh, it would be so cool if it moved, wouldn’t it? Geez.
Andrew: That’d be way cool.
Nick: It’d be even cooler if half the cast came out or something.
Laura: It’d be even cooler if it hit you.
Eric: Even cooler if it ate cars for breakfast.
Andrew: Took you away and spit you out in the Jurassic Park area. The rides in Universal are fantastic. Those…
Laura: Yes they are.
Andrew: So it should be fun for everyone.
Listener Tweets: Hallows over Horcruxes
Andrew: All right, so let’s move on now to our main discussion. Let’s get into your Twitter questions. We asked everyone who follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/MuggleCast to send in more of your burning questions that we have yet to answer. And here’s the first one from sn1357. He or she writes:
“What do you think would have happened if Harry would have chosen the Hallows over the Horcruxes? Would the book ended – would the book have ended the same?”
Laura: Hmm. That’s a very good…
Andrew: Laura, what do you think?
Laura: Wow, I like how you throw this one at me. [laughs]
Andrew: Well, because you were the first to ponder audibly.
Laura: No, it’s a very interesting question because that was a very integral role, particularly in the “King’s Cross” chapter.
Laura: Where Dumbledore was sort of talking about Harry having the choice between Hallows and Horcruxes. I mean, I think definitely given Harry’s personality, I don’t think he would have been as vulnerable to sort of – the power complex Dumbledore had with the Hallows. But either way he became the master of Death at the end of the book, anyway. So…
Laura: … I’m not really sure if – if the ending would have been different. The journey would have been different.
Eric: And also, Harry was a Horcrux in the end, which kind of skews that – I mean, he doesn’t really have a decision because either way – I mean, being a Horcrux and not a Hallow, he kind of had to – I mean, I think the way that it resulted was – I mean, even if he chose the Hallows – I’m trying to remember, but wasn’t that the ring – it didn’t really bring people back from the dead, did it?
Laura: No, it didn’t.
Eric: I mean, it just – it was basically people from your memory kind of had like a physical existence, but they weren’t really even supposed to be there. So…
Laura: Right. They were manifestations of yourself, basically.
Eric: Right, right. And that’s – I mean, that’s a good tool to have. But I think in the end, it’s good that Harry went with Horcruxes because – because it accomplished more. I mean, it’s kind of like looking in the Mirror of Erised where you just – it doesn’t really do you that well – though he’s always had the Invisibility Cloak to guide him through his journeys to find the Horcruxes. So, I don’t know.
[All talk at once]
Andrew: Go ahead, Micah.
Micah: In a way though he did use the Hallows to his advantage. I mean, he kind of inadvertently chose them especially when he kills Voldemort. What – not knowing that he had one in his possession, since he first arrived at Hogwarts I thought was kind of interesting too that he had this Invisibility Cloak and he never actually knew what it was until Book 7.
Eric: Yeah. That was cool. That was – that was a great thing for J.K. Rowling to do, to just hit us with that. And it’s – in Book 1 there it is, and same with Dumbledore’s wand really. But I mean that just – that was not even mentioned for the most part until later.
Andrew: I think the – the Hallows were not in – if you chose the Hallows I think it would’ve – it wouldn’t have been his character to intentionally become the master of Death. Just because I feel like the – the Horcruxes was the more heroic thing to do and Harry is a hero. And…
Laura: Right, because they were forced upon him.
Eric: And it’s interesting we’re contrasting these two where if you have all the Hallows you are the master of Death but Voldemort is the one trying to be the master of Death and he – he does that by making all these Horcruxes. So – I mean, it’s a – it’s an interesting situation that Harry was put in to choose which one of these were more important to him. But they – Voldemort kind of sought both Hallows and Horcruxes, and as a result Harry couldn’t really choose either one for himself. I mean, he had the – he had to kind of go after – track down both because Voldemort had the Horcruxes and was now looking for the Hollows – Hallows.
Listener Tweet: What Would You Change?
Andrew: Okay, next question. Another interesting question from vdork:
“If you could change one thing about the series what would it be and why?”
Andrew: This takes some thinking. It’s a very critical, if you had to change one thing.
Laura: You know what honestly, I still to this day…
Laura: …and I know people are going to jump on me for this; I’m not crazy about the epilogue.
Laura: And not that I don’t think an epilogue should – I know some people have ventured to say that maybe she shouldn’t have done an epilogue but really when you read Book 7 and if you just imagine the final chapter where he says, “I’ve got into enough trouble for a life time.” or something like that. That’s actually a very good ending.
Laura: I think I would have been happy if it had ended there or if the epilogue had been on par with the rest of the book because I just feel like it was so evident that the epilogue had been written a very long time ago.
Micah: I guess the best way I can describe it is writing matures over time and certainly her writing did that. And I – it feels like it was something that was written when Sorcerer’s Stone was written in that same kind of mindset. And it – I agree with Laura. It just didn’t go with the way Deathly Hallows was written.
Andrew: And I think I mentioned this on an episode previously. But – the – I think everyone just got their hopes up too much because we had been hearing about an epilogue for so long. Everyone just started theorizing. Everyone sort of got this one impression in their mind of what it would be and then it wasn’t that, if that makes sense. [laughs]
Andrew: I don’t know how else to put it but…
Laura: Well, everyone thought it would be a tell-all…
Laura: …sort of thing where we would find out what happened in great detail about all of the characters. But really what we were given was just a snapshot in their life 19 years later.
Andrew: Right. Yeah. I mean, getting a tell-all thing would’ve been very exciting [laughs].
Andrew: Or would’ve got everyone very excited and…
Eric: Sure. I mean, there are other ways to close canon and – and definitely fleshing out what has transpired in the last – however amount of time – you know its 19 years.
Eric: Would’ve – would have been perhaps more satisfying to some fans.
Andrew: Nick – well we still have to go around but Nick, any scene you would change?
Nick: I would change – I don’t know how you would feel about this. When I was first reading the – the very first time I read the Harry Potter books I actually stopped reading after the first chapter because I found…
Andrew: Of the first book?
Nick: Of the first book.
Nick: I found it quite slow and uneventful and I couldn’t get into it. I’m now going to get hate mail. So…
Andrew: Well – I mean…
Nick: But – but I would – I would change that. For me that very nearly stopped me – stopped me reading the rest of the series and I – because she had another one – the chapter she was going to put in its place I would’ve preferred.
Andrew: I’m no writer but I have to think that opening a book must be very hard. Because personally for me I’m – never immediately intrigued by the beginning of a book and maybe I just haven’t read enough books. But I – unless you throw in something really shocking from the very, very beginning which is hard because people don’t know your story or characters. I don’t know how they can make it immediately interesting.
Nick: I understand that now that it is necessary to – to introduce – to introduce the characters. I mean, as a youngster I was naive and I didn’t read a lot and for me at the time it was hard to get into and knowing that she had the chapter which she later used in Half-Blood Prince as the opener, I would’ve preferred that at the time. I mean, now they are wonderful and I’m happy with that.
Andrew: I don’t even think I remember the first time I heard – because my teacher read Sorcerer’s Stone to us when – when I first started – that was my first read of the book when my fourth grade teacher read it to us. But I probably wasn’t even paying attention because I was probably staring at cute girls in my class or something.
Andrew: But anyone else? I’m still trying to think of one. I agree with the epilogue.
Nick: It’s hard.
Andrew: Yeah it is.
Eric: It’s funny that you say that Nick, too because the first chapter of Book 4 was the first thing I read and it kind of confused me because they mention Wormtail.
Eric: And I was like, what’s Wormtail – had we not known Wormtail was Peter Pettigrew etc etc. It was like – oh the Dark Lord and Wormtail – what are these books really about and I actually – I didn’t – I didn’t read any more until after the first movie came out. But it is funny you should mention that kind of intros – and Andrew that is very insightful about how to intro a book or a series.
Andrew: Yeah must be – it’s got to be hard.
Andrew: I think the one thing that has bothered me is – this may sound very immature but when a book doesn’t start out with – when it starts out with something that’s not Harry Potter and of course Order of the Phoenix and Goblet of Fire both did that and I didn’t like that.
Laura: So did Half-Blood Prince.
Andrew: And right. Neither did Half-Blood Prince and I didn’t – oh wait. Order of the Phoenix did – sorry.
Andrew: I mean Goblet of Fire and Half-Blood Prince. It bothered me. [laughs] I don’t know why. It just – it’s like a lame way to start the book in my opinion.
Laura: Really? I really liked those.
Andrew: Just like because I want to see Harry. I just want to open the book and it’s, “Harry!”
Eric: But the rest of her world is so fleshed out that it would be an absolute insult to her writing and the world that she created…
Eric: If she always focused on Harry.
Eric: I thought…
Andrew: At the beginning…
Eric: Yeah some of my favorite chapters of the Harry Potter series take place either without Harry or you know.
Eric: I mean, things like “The Other Minister,” just because of her writing style.
Laura: I loved that chapter.
Eric: And I love – and I actually love the first chapter of the first book. I think it is her humor that – that drives you in. In fact you’re really reading the story that she is narrating more so than you’re reading Harry’s story.
Andrew: Right so – but don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I don’t like scenes that don’t have Harry in general. I’m just saying when a book opens and Harry is not there – maybe it’s just the child in me because – I’m sorry but I have to make a Disney connection. There is a show at Disney Land and Disney World called Fantasmic and – and the very first thing – the lights go down and there is this “tah dah!” And Mickey just pops up from underground and there is a spotlight and it’s just like, “Mickey!” When I open a Harry Potter book I just want to go “Harry!”
Eric: [laughs] Yeah.
Andrew: Not like, “Oh, ‘The Other Minister’…” I’m just a child. I don’t know.
Eric: No. That’s…
Eric: Can I go?
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]
Eric: I would change – I kind of have like this two – two things. I would change one of two things. I would not make Harry a Horcrux. I think that really just made the entire series a whole lot more uselessly complicated. The fact that Harry was like some kind of eighth Horcrux and I – I thought it was – basically I thought it was explained enough that there was something accidentally happened you know the night that Voldemort lost his power and I can take that – I can be satisfied with him transferring some power. But from what I understand making a Horcrux is like an involved ceremony or ritual and that you can’t really – I mean, it seemed more complex than it could be – just done accidentally. Making Harry a Horcrux I thought was not – wasn’t necessary. I thought making him a Horcrux was done to kind of give the end to how Voldemort and him could finally beat each other which leads me to the other thing I would change if I could change one of these two things I would make – I guess I would make the prophecy make more – more sense or at least be more clear as to what – I mean the whole thing was like, “Oh does the prophecy matter?” “Well no Harry not if you take it to mean it matters and P.S. Voldemort is taking it to mean that it matters.” It is there was really never another – the prophecy was a physical thing once and there was never any sort of repercussion or something Harry couldn’t do or it would screw up the prophecy or space time continuum. You know, I thought those were the two things that I didn’t like probably most about the events in Book 7, and I would change.
Andrew: Fair enough.
Andrew: Micah, lastly you – what…
[laughs] I’ve had a lot of time to think.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, so no excuses.
Micah: Well, I agree with what Laura says. I would like a different epilogue or none at all, for that matter. But, aside from that, I mean – maybe a little bit more into certain characters that ended up playing such a prominent role, like Snape or even maybe some of the Marauders to get more of a story on them then we did – and also not to kill Dobby.
Andrew: Well come on, death is death.
Laura: Oh man, I just thought of something else too.
Laura: And you guys probably should have expected this from me. Department of Mysteries. What the hell?
Andrew: Oh, yeah.
Eric: Yeah and that includes the veil.
Andrew: I’m still holding – if there is still no info on that in the encyclopedia then you know what is going to hit the roof.
Eric: Oh yeah.
Andrew: Or the fan, you decide.
Eric: Yeah, it’s going to be Buggin’ Micah for like a year.
Andrew: It’s overdue and yeah and you’re totally right, Laura.
Listener Tweet: Influential Teachers
Andrew: And while we are on that thought I would be very interested in what the listeners would change, so feel free to e-mail us with your thoughts on what you would change and maybe we will read some of them on our next week’s show and that could easily be a main discussion itself. Next e-mail is from RaccoonGirl:
“What professor in Hogwarts, excluding Dumbledore, was most influential for each character in the trio?”
Andrew: So let’s start with Harry. Putting Dumbledore aside, what professor…
Andrew: For Harry? Yeah I guess.
Eric: But influential? I mean…
Nick: Or Lupin.
Andrew: Yeah. I…
Laura: He named his child after him.
Andrew: That doesn’t mean he was influential.
Eric: Well, well actually you’re right. Like taking into account in Book 7 and that Snape turned out to be good, that was influential enough to make his, name his son that. You’re right, but during the course of the actually book series before your hated epilogue, it would probably be Lupin, I guess.
Micah: I could argue for McGonagall too. I think she had a big influence remember she was the one who gave him Quidditch early on in the series…
Micah: She also – she played an important role. She kind of gets over looked a lot of the times.
Micah: And there’s that time in Deathly Hallows too…
Micah: He, He, I forgot which Carrow but he puts the Cruciatus Curse on one of them for attacking McGonagall. So…
Andrew: So McGonagall, Lupin – I think Hagrid was, well maybe not influential. But I think the top would be as we discussed, McGonagall, Snape, Lupin. How about Hermione?
Andrew: Yeah, she didn’t really connect with…
Eric: Why didn’t you just Binns? [laughs]
Andrew: Well, let’s just think. Did she connect with any teachers really?
Eric: Not Trelawney.
Andrew: But McGonagall helped her out with the Time Turner.
Laura: Yeah – I think…
Andrew: Oh, but that’s not really influential.
Eric: This is a good question though. I mean, this is good. This is Twitter. Twitter surprises me.
Andrew: Well, if we think that’s hard, how about Ron?
Eric: Well, Dumbledore but you said excluding Dumbledore.
Andrew: Excluding Dumbledore, yeah.
Eric: But that’s the thing I think Dumbledore had a pretty profound impact, even though he and Ron never speak, you know [sighs] what about Ron?
Laura: Yeah, that makes me sad, poor Ron, like Ron just gets included in all this just by virtue of the fact that he is friends with Harry and Hermione.
Eric: And what did Dumbledore give him for – in his will? Something to save his own ass…
Laura: That – ooh!
Eric: After he abandoned everybody. Like…
Laura: It was the Put-outer.
Eric: Hey you, I know you are going to abandon the trio so, here you go, this also has magical teleportation properties…
Eric: I don’t [laughs] I seriously – like what?
Eric: But what?
Micah: I don’t know, it’s not like they had favorite professors, really, the other two.
Micah: It’s kind of weird. Even with McGonagall you can go further and didn’t she say she would do anything to make Harry an Auror.
Eric: Yeah, and she was the one who initially said, “Oh Harry, why are you not taking potions?” and she reminded him that he could now take potions because Snape wasn’t teaching it and Slughorn was. In that movie and book, she made sure he was on the right path to be an Auror.
Micah: For the other two I really don’t know.
Eric: That’s a good question.
Listener Tweet: Hermione Speculation
Andrew: Me neither. I would say McGonagall for Hermione just for the Time Turner thing and just it was really important for Hermione to take all those different classes. And of course it played a big role in the end of Prisoner of Azkaban. This next Tweet is from rolodude5:
“How do you think Hermione’s character would have changed if J.K. had not made her an only child?”
Nick: She would be even more intelligent. Should would compete with the other child.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah it may be a blessing.
Eric: [laughs] Maybe Hermione had a younger sister and brother or older sister and brother and she just killed them. [laughs]
Laura: Oh no, she would have had more social skills than she had initially.
Andrew: Yeah, she was pretty awkward. But academically, I would agree with you Nick, but I think you could also argue that she wouldn’t be so lonely and she wouldn’t have spent so much time being so studious prior to Hogwarts.
Andrew: And at the same time like Laura said, being more socially capable.
Eric: I think if she had a sibling odds are it would be a Muggle sibling. Remember both her parents are Muggles.
Andrew: Right, right.
Eric: So that’s interesting. It would have tied her down, I think, to the Muggle world even further. I think it just would have been more baggage.
Andrew: Yeah exactly.
Eric: But also very interesting in the parallel to Lily, who had a Muggle sister, but the Muggle sister resented her.
Andrew: Maybe that’s what I want Jo to change. She should have had Hermione have a little dog – have a sister, a little sister. That would have been so cute if she had a little sister.
Eric: Who never shows up because the book is never set outside of Hogwarts or any other…
Andrew: But what if she was a witch and she was the complete opposite of Hermione? She was one of those emo girls who doesn’t study.
Laura: She shows up in Hogwarts in “Hot Topic” garb.
Eric: Yeah, Harry Potter “Hot Topic” garb.
Eric: Oh God.
Andrew: All right so there’s some Twitter questions for you. Next week, like we said our main discussion will get back to either be Chapter-by-Chapter, that may be a possibility, and also it is high time we do some movie commentaries. I think that would be fun.
Andrew: But that would obviously be an entire episode that wouldn’t be just a main discussion.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Laura: That would be fun. We were kind of at Portus – because they were running the movies all weekend, so…
Laura: Yeah – Azkatraz, I’m sorry. Portus, sorry.
Andrew: So many cons!
Laura: Yeah, exactly.
Laura: We would just have them continually playing in the background and we just sort of have our own running commentary.
Andrew: We basically had our commentary. Yeah, most of it was, “Oh I hate this.” [laughs]
Laura: Some of it was a little inappropriate for the show too.
Eric’s Listener Challenge
Andrew: Right. [laughs] Eric has a good listener challenge idea, I like, mainly because I am a fan of the game that you are involving. Can you explain that quickly Eric as the show is very long.
Eric: Yeah, yeah. All this talk about the Harry Potter theme park, and I know it is going to have like three rides. I used to play “Roller Coaster Tycoon…”
Andrew: Me too, best game ever!
Eric: …the PC game, best game ever and I am talking about the original one. The second one, there was like, the original had two expansion packs, “Loopy Landscapes” was the second one and “Corkscrew Follies” was the first. I have a competition, I have a listener challenge, I know I tried to make a few Harry Potter theme parks and I want to see if any of you guys did too; using “Roller Coaster Tycoon” with the two expansion packs. If you did, and you still have the saved game file if you could send that to mugglecast at gmail dot com and what I am going to do is I am going play all your theme parks that you guys created using that and kind of have some sort of competition, like “Fred’s Fries” and you name your roller coasters any number of things. We are going for creativity here, and I was never able to come up with a really satisfactory thing.
Andrew: Also can try to recreate the Harry Potter theme park that they are building. We have a map.
Eric: Yeah, we do have a map but I would prefer that it would have more than three rides.
Andrew: Well, yeah, okay, start with the three. I would be interested to see if someone could recreate Hogwarts, and Hogsmeade.
Eric: Oh I am sure, just like there is a master at “Facebook Graffiti” there’s got to be a master to “Roller Coaster Tycoon”. You guys will have a month to do this. I will let you guys know the results at the end of October so you have time if you want to go back and play your old game and try and come up with it. I’m accepting that, and it’s just “Roller Coaster Tycoon” 1, it’s not 2 or 3 or however many they have now that are 3D and all sorts of crap. Just the original, and with “Corkscrew Follies” or “Loopy Landscapes,” actually, expansion packs. And that’ll be a challenge that I’m running, and we’ll have some sort of top 5 competition, MuggleCast at gmail dot com.
Andrew: Mhm, ok. And then, well you can take screen caps of the parks, too, so we can put those online for everybody…
Eric: Oh, absolutely, yeah. Yeah, maybe even offer the saved game file for download, like, if they – because they’re just, like, small files.
This Week in MuggleCast History
Andrew: Right. Okay, well it’s time for This Week in MuggleCast History. And this was a good week to bring this segment back, we haven’t done it in a few weeks. Back on September 18th, 2006 was Episode 57, and this was what some could argue was a cursed episode because we had recorded it about a month prior, but it took us a month to release it because of some technical difficulties. And when we recorded the next episode and called it Episode 58, people were really mad that we skipped naming the newest episode Episode 57. But we didn’t call it 57 cause we still had a 57 recorded, and people accused us of skipping an episode number just to keep up with the amount of episodes PotterCast had. And that wasn’t the reason…
Andrew: We just wanted to hold a spot for this episode for whenever we got it out, because it includes some references to 57. So like I said, it caused some controversy, and it’s funny, because I got really angry when people challenged me. They were like, “you’re just trying to not skip an episode number, you’re never going to release it, you’re lame.” So, once I started seeing that, I put Episode 57 out the day after 58, because I was like, you know what, I’m going to prove you guys wrong. So anyway, here’s a funny moment from that show, and I encourage you to listen to that episode, it’s a very funny one. And this was – Ben and Jamie, we all remember the Subway challenges.
Laura: Oh, God.
[Laura and Jamie laugh]
Eric: We all remember Ben and Jamie…
[Andrew plays the clip of Episode 57]
Ben: We do have a major announcement.
Jamie: Okay, it kind of… I think it started one day when I was hungry in the morning and I went to Subway and I got a 12-inch Subway melt and a 12-inch tuna for later on, so I could eat it later. So, I came home, I had the melt, then about four hours later or something like that, I had the tuna thing. And I got online and said to Ben, “Ben, I’ve just had 24 inches in one day, don’t you think that’s impressive?” Ben then made a comment back to me, “It’s okay, but I’ve had 36.” Now, we always want to go one better than, you know, what we’ve done. So…
Ben: Yeah, of course. Everything’s a competition with us. So… [laughs]
Jamie: Exactly, yes. We thought, let’s go to 48, but of course, why go to 48, if you can go to 60? So, that’s our challenge for California. We’re going to do the 60-inch Subway Challenge.
Ben: Each of us.
Jamie: Hopefully, this is going to increase – Yeah, yeah, each of us. Hopefully, this is going to increase by 12 inches every time we go on…
Ben: One of these trips.
Jamie: …one of these trips. So, if we’re still doing live Podcasts in 2020, we will be doing the 1,024-inch Challenge…
Ben: [laughs] Yeah.
Jamie: …which could get a little bit difficult by then, but we could be more experienced. So…
[Andrew ends the clip]
Andrew: [making time-warp noise] Doodle oodle doo doodle oodle oo! So that’s a little moment from Episode 57…
Andrew: The cursed episode! I even titled it “This Episode is Outdated.”
[Show music begins]
Andrew: You people challenged me and I proved you wrong!
Eric: I forgot all about that episode.
Laura: Oh, man, it’s crazy.
Andrew: Yeah, it’s funny stuff when you listen to the old times.
Andrew: Well it’s been a great show; those Twitter questions in particular were excellent. We’ll have to keep doing that more.
Laura: Yeah, those were really good.
Andrew: [laughs] I don’t care if it looks like a cop-out.
Andrew: Anyway, MuggleCast.com is the site you can go to to find all the information you need pertaining to the show. Most importantly to contact us with your feedback. We love getting e-mails about the show, and you know, of course, this week we challenged you to submit your theme parks, and also submit what you would change about the Harry Potter books. If you had to pick one thing, what would it be? And feel free to send us feedback about the other questions as well, because they all could provide interesting answers. To do that just go to MuggleCast.com and click on “Contact,” there’s a feedback form, or you could e-mail any one of us at our first name @ staff dot mugglenet dot com. We also have a P.O. Box if you’d like to send us anything there, it’s P.O. Box 1752, Cumming, Georgia, 30028. And also on MuggleCast.com, you can find links to follow us on Twitter, fan us on Facebook, vote for us once a month at Podcast Alley. You can also join our MySpace, YouTube, Frappr, Last.FM, and the Fanlisting and the Forums, which are over at MuggleCastFan.net. So again, it’s been a great episode.
Laura: Yes it has.
Andrew: Thanks everyone for listening. And once again, I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.
Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Andrew: We’ll see you next –
Nick: I’m Nick Meyers.
Micah: Oh, sorry.
Andrew: Oh – God, Nick, I almost forgot about you!
Nick: Nah, that’s fine.
Laura: You guys are terrible!
Micah: Do you want to try that again?
Andrew: No, no, it was…
Laura: Poor Nick.
Andrew: No, I’m so used to Micah, and then bouncing off of Micah. We’ll see you next time for Episode 182. Bye bye!
[Show music continues]
Andrew: And Micah, that’s where I got that idea for your intro. Now listen to your intro back then, and tell me…
Micah: Intro to what? The show?
Andrew: The news. Hold on, let me find it real quick.
Micah: [on tape] That’s all the news – wink wink, for the September 18th…
Andrew: Hold on, let me rewind it. This is a bad example. Because you can…
[Sounds of Micah’s voice rewinding]
Eric: Micah in reverse?
Andrew: Yeah, never mind – because you did that – that was that – never mind. [bleep] it.
Andrew: That was just a special case – but – what am I saying? I’m high. Somebody save me.
Laura: You can’t say [bleep] on the show, Andrew!
Micah: This is not the other show.
Andrew: I’m rushing, because I have class in 40 minutes.
Micah: Oh, okay. Let’s wrap it up.