MuggleCast 182 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 Jo will use her Twitter to reveal she’s actually writing to me, this is MuggleCast Episode 182 for October 6th, 2009.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 182. Matt’s back this week, it’s been a while since Matt’s been on. Hey, Matt.
Matt: Hey, guys! What’s up?
Andrew: And Micah and Eric are both here, too. This has been the slowest news week in the world, but we’ll get to that in a second. More excitingly, we are kicking off Chapter-by-Chapter once again with Chamber of Secrets chapters one through – one through three. I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Matt: And I’m Matt Britton.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Micah, we have one story planned to talk about because – I don’t even know. This… [sighs] The news…
Micah: You all right there?
Andrew: The news is so slow. Well, it’s frustrating.
Andrew: The news is so slow. My mornings used to be made from, you know, getting up, having coffee, making breakfast, and posting news, and now it’s like, “What do I post?”
Micah: Well you didn’t mention MuggleNet is kind of old this month.
Micah: That’s news-worthy…
Andrew: Well I…
Micah: …I think.
Andrew: That is news-worthy. MuggleNet is turning – well this month, October, marks ten years since MuggleNet started in the fall of ’99. So happy birthday!
[Birthday music from Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” plays. Andrew interjects with “to MuggleNet” rather than “to you”]
Andrew: All right…
Andrew: So we’ll talk about – well we’ll focus on that…
Andrew: …in a later episode. We’re going to have Emerson on and we’ll talk with him about, you know – when he created the site, why he – you know. We’ll have a nice little interview on here with Emerson because he’s actually never been on a pre-recorded episode of MuggleCast.
Matt: Oh yeah, it’s always been the live shows.
Andrew: Right. So anyway, besides that news item, Micah, what else is going on?
News: J.K. Rowling on Twitter
Micah: Well it seems like J.K. Rowling finally caught up with the twenty-first century and…
Micah: Well if you noticed…
Andrew: That’s kind of mean.
Micah: Well she hasn’t updated her site in quite a bit of time…
Micah: Hey, look, we’re all entitled to a vacation and she certainly has earned it over the course of these last few years, but I don’t even know, to be honest with you, why she got a Twitter account.
Micah: I think it was more to kind of prove that this is in fact really her as opposed to other people going out there and posing as her on Twitter, and for right now she hasn’t made too many updates. She made one on September…
Micah: …seventeenth and she said, “I’m told that people have been Twittering on my behalf so I thought a brief visit was in order just to prevent any more confusion. However, I should flag up now that although I could Twitter endlessly, I’m afraid you won’t be hearing from me very often as pen and paper is my priority at the moment.”
Eric: There, Micah, it took you twenty seconds to read all of the Tweets that J.K. Rowling has currently composed.
Micah: Well, that’s what I don’t understand.
Micah: If you’re not going to use it as a resource to interact…
Eric: She told you! Have you – did you read what you just read?
Andrew: Micah, you sound bitter. Yeah, she’s…
Andrew: …busy writing and – the encyclopedia.
Eric: People are posing as her. She cleared that up.
Micah: Or so you think it’s the encyclopedia. She could be writing anything for all we know. She…
Micah: …could be writing a letter to me.
Andrew: …the general consensus…
Eric: What’s it…
Andrew: …is that…
Eric: …matter if she’s writing…
Eric: …the encyclopedia?
Matt: She’s writing! Isn’t that just good enough for you?
Eric: I don’t know how to tell you guys this. But the books, they’re kind of done, dude.
Eric: You guys are, like, J.K. Rowling hasn’t updated her site in ever. Sorry, but I just…
Andrew: Well, there’s a vast amount of information she could be divulging, however…
Andrew: …she could be saving it for the…
Matt: That’s the thing. Every – the only things that she could be adding on the site are just probably the stuff she’s going to put in her book.
Eric: What is she…
Eric: …going to do, really, another unlocked door on her site? Wouldn’t that be…
Andrew: I think that would be wonderful.
Eric: I agree.
Andrew: You know…
Eric: I agree.
Andrew: I don’t know. There’s stuff. There used to be the FAQ poll. But whatever – I mean, listen. You know, maybe she’s moved on from wanting to do her site. But I think the Twitter’s a cool thing. It’s a good idea. Let’s see, that Twitter’s been up for – since September 25th. So…
Micah: The seventeenth.
Andrew: Or is that, like…
Micah: So it’s…
Micah: …a couple of weeks.
Andrew: Oh, it’s 17th, right.
Andrew: So she’s gotten about 58,000 followers in just about two weeks time, which is…
Andrew: …pretty good.
Eric: And here’s the comparison between J.K. Rowling and a normal person. J.K. Rowling has had a Twitter since September 17th and she has 58,230 followers. I, because I like statistics, also joined Twitter on the 17th. And I have 242 followers on Twitter now. So, I joined the same day as Jo, because Jo did, and that is how popular Jo is.
Micah: Well, you’re going to gain a lot more followers by the fact that you just said you created a Twitter…
Micah: …account on…
Eric: I don’t think so.
Eric: I think they all pretty much already know, man.
Andrew: Well, I wonder what the Twitter accounts – the fake J.K. Rowling Twitter accounts were…
Eric: …the thing! Because she wouldn’t be able to get ‘jkrowling’ if somebody else were posing as J.K. Rowling, could she?
Andrew: Well, somebody…
Andrew: …else had it actually. And there’s this good site called Twitterholic.com.
Andrew: Twitterholic.com. And I notice when you type in J.K. Rowling – her handle, it hasn’t been updated in a while. And it shows tweets that must have been from a fake person. So I think if any celebrity went to the Twitter people and were like, “Hey, this is my name. They’re obviously impersonating me. Please take this down.”
Andrew: I think they will.
Eric: Well, what’s shocking to me is you can change your username on Twitter, can’t you?
Andrew: Right, right.
Eric: And that’s – can that just be done any amount of times – as ever? Like…
Andrew: I think so, yeah. Which is a nice feature.
Eric: It’s neat, yeah.
Andrew: But – I wonder what the tweets were. [impersonating J.K. Rowling] “Making crumpets for Neil!”
Andrew: [impersonating J.K. Rowling] “Be back later!”
Eric: Surely though. There’s more news than that.
Matt: She needs to Twitpic more often.
Andrew: Well, I hope that this will – this could be a nice resource for her. I mean, the beauty of Twitter is that it’s quick and easy to update. So there are really no excuses for not updating your Twitter. Of course, she wants to keep things under wraps. I’m not saying she should divulge everything she’s writing on Twitter. But I think – I mean, what do you guys think she’s working on? Is it the encyclopedia?
Eric: Well, honestly, if she went to Twitter and just clicked her little – you know, if she logged in and clicked her little ‘@jk_rowling’ page…
Eric: …I’m sure that it would take her at least two months just to read everything everyone has posted her on…
Eric: …the last day or two. [laughs]
Eric: I mean, how many – you know, now that she has that…
Andrew: But that doesn’t answer the question. What do you think she’s writing?
Eric: Well, I – oh. Well…
Eric: …I can just imagine that she’s bogged down with reading the posts. I don’t think she’s…
Andrew: [laughs] Oh!
Eric: …actually writing anything.
Eric: That’s what I’m trying to say. [laughs] I don’t think she’s writing anything. If she did read it, that would be horrible.
Andrew: Matt, do you think it’s the encyclopedia?
Matt: It would make more sense if it was. I mean, this is – she doesn’t have much more time for Harry Potter to be relevant in the news and media as it is right now.
Andrew: Oh, that’s not true.
Andrew: If she wrote a book ten years from now, it’d still be gigantic.
Matt: I know! But I mean, the theme park’s still being built. I mean, it’s just…
Andrew: Well, my question is – and Micah, I think – you think the – she’s working on the encyclopedia, right?
Micah: Well, I mean, I said before. She could be working on a letter to somebody. I mean, who the hell knows. But…
[Andrew and Matt laugh]
Andrew: No, come on. You know Jo. If she’s saying she’s – pen and paper is her priority at the moment, you know…
Micah: She could be…
Andrew: …that she…
Micah: …writing something that’s of relevance, yeah. I mean, is it the encyclopedia, who knows? It could be some other book or series that she’s planning on starting up. But I just found it all kind of weird that she chose now to create this Twitter account, and post…
Andrew: Yeah, it is a bit…
Micah: …that message in particular, basically saying, “This is what I’m doing, and this is my account, and [laughs] that’s about all I’m going to say to you guys for, you know…
Micah: You know, for a couple of months.
Andrew: [impersonating J.K. Rowling] “Ta-ta for now!””
Matt: I want to know what the supposed other site that was posing as her. I wonder what posts they wrote that…
Andrew: I told you.
Matt: What was it?
Andrew: [imitating J.K. Rowling] “Making crumpets for Neil!”
Matt: Was that what it was?
Eric: Yeah. That was like five minutes ago.
Andrew: No. I was kidding.
Eric: It’s funny, though. Your J.K. Rowling voice is very, very funny.
Andrew: [imitating J.K. Rowling] “Thank you, @spielerman!”
Micah: That’s really going to make her want to come on the show at some point.
Matt: Yeah, that’s…
Andrew: We should…
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Andrew: Everyone e-mail in your list of funniest things Jo would tweet if she was a hard-core Twitter user and we’ll make like a top 10 list.
Eric: What would she be trending? That would be the funniest thing. She’d be trending like, fan fic Harmony shippers. You know, like…
Encyclopedia Release Date?
Andrew: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, so this raises another question, though. If she’s working on the encyclopedia now, which I firmly believe, when do you think she will release the encyclopedia?
Eric: Andrew, you always ask us the hard questions and I have to be…
Andrew: This is a good question. Hmm.
Eric: …as a representative I have to ask you, or tell you, that’s a hard question.
Andrew: [imitating J.K. Rowling] Man up, spielerman. [normal voice] I believe, my opinion is that it’ll be Summer 2010 because it’s an empty Summer in terms of Harry Potter. There’s nothing going on. There’s no movie. The theme park will – [laughs] Well, the theme park will be open.
Eric: And that thing called Infinitus which we’re supposed to be promoting on here.
Andrew: Yeah, but that’s not, you know what I mean, that’s not J.K. Rowling level. I really think this may be – I think Summer 2010 makes sense if the encyclopedia is keeping her busy right now. Because you know, after Book 7 came out, she probably took a year off, and then she started working on the encyclopedia, sort of. You know, just taking her time, doing it when she wants. But if she has some sort of date set…
Matt: Don’t you think if it was for a Summer release date for next year, they’d be announcing it really soon?
Andrew: Maybe. Like think back to Beedle the Bard. That was – Does anyone remember when that was announced? That came out December of last year.
Eric: Oh, I forgot about that.
Andrew: I think…
Matt: [laughs] You forgot about the book?
Eric: Well, no. I just…
Micah: You still haven’t read it, have you?
Andrew: Oh, Eric.
Micah: That means yes.
Andrew: Eric, Eric, Eric.
Eric: Hang on guys.
Andrew: How could you not read it?
Eric: QuickTime Pro just muted me. If I answer that question it’s going to mute me again. Sorry.
Micah: You could read it as we’re doing this show. That’s about how long it would probably take you.
Eric: No, I’m reading Chamber of Secrets, man.
Eric: That’s kind of important to the discussion.
Micah: That is true.
Andrew: Okay, round the table right now. I want everyone to predict when the book will come out, so that we can play it. I am predicting Summer 2010. Eric, what do you think?
Eric: I am saying Christmas 2010.
Matt: I agree with Eric, Christmas 2010.
Micah: I’ll go for October 2010.
Andrew: October 2010? All right.
Eric: So is this like “The Price is Right”? Where we get like the closest one to the actual…
Matt: That’s right. [makes buzzer sound] Overbid!
Andrew: Actual release date is Summer…
Micah: Why don’t you give us a month, though, Andrew, because you said Summer, Summer is a couple of months.
Andrew: All right, all right. July. July is a – because these Potter books, they’re big summer releases, you know what I mean?
Micah: That’s true.
Matt: They’re also winter releases, too.
Eric: So, Matt, are you going to change your – we both said December 25th. Are you going to change it to December 24th or December 26th?
Matt: Oh. Is it a leap year?
Eric: If you change it to December 26th, it makes all of 2011 open to you, because no one has guessed that.
Matt: Oh, I don’t know because 2011 is when the last movie comes out, too.
Andrew: Well, let’s move on. I just think it’s very interesting that, you know, she’s busy. It’s certainly exciting, too.
Eric: Yeah, that was very cool of her to say. You know, not only did she say, “This is me. I’m really here.” But she said “I’m kind of working on something.”
Andrew: Right, and it’s exciting. So follow her on Twitter. It’s Twitter.com/JK_Rowling. And while you’re there, follow Twitter.com/MuggleCast.
Andrew: And then you can follow the rest of us, because we’re all linked there.
Micah: That’s what I meant before. It was very interesting the time she chose to do this. She doesn’t do anything without a reason.
Matt: Well, yeah, because she also indicated that she is interested in Twitter. That she could spend all day Twittering stuff, but she just can’t right now.
Eric: That’s really cool.
Matt: She’s going to own Twitter trend.
News: Half-Blood Prince Reaches $300 million
Andrew: All right, so I guess one other story, Micah, that we didn’t put on the Google Doc was the Half-Blood Prince hitting $300 million.
Micah: Yeah, but we’ve talked about that movie a lot on this show. I don’t know if our listeners are really…
Micah: …excited to hear any more about the movie, but it passed $300 million in the United States and its moved on to number eight all-time on world-wide grossing lists. So it’s just behind Order of the Phoenix. I don’t know that it’s going to pass Order of the Phoenix. I think it’s probably going to stay at #8. What do you guys think?
Micah: I don’t have the…
Andrew: Well, I’m looking at the…
Andrew: …at the difference. It was only a difference of $10 million. Half-Blood Prince currently has $927.4 million and Order of the Phoenix $938.2 million.
Eric: I think if the IMAX hadn’t been delayed two weeks, we may be at that spot now.
Matt: Yeah. I think the IMAX may have – could have helped it a lot more.
Andrew: Yeah. You guys are probably right.
Micah: There’s only one other Potter film on that list, right? I think it’s Sorcerer’s Stone, is in the top five?
Matt: What about Goblet of Fire?
Andrew: …yes. Sorcerer’s Stone has generated $974 million worldwide. So…
Andrew: So, that’s number five. So we have number five: Sorcerer’s Stone, number seven: Order of the Phoenix, number eight: Half-Blood Prince, and then Goblet of Fire is number thirteen and Chamber of Secrets is number fifteen, so.
Andrew: I think they learned one big lesson with that, which is “do not release in November!”
Micah: Prisoner of Azkaban is low, too isn’t it? Still…
Andrew: Oh yeah, it is.
Micah: …in the top 25 though, isn’t it?
Andrew: Its number 24.
Andrew: That’s crap!
[Andrew and Matt laugh]
Micah: Well, I mean, if you think about it, that’s pretty good.
Andrew: No, it’s great.
Micah: Six movies, all in the top 25 of all time.
Andrew: Yeah. It’s very good.
Eric: They’ve done pretty well.
Andrew: Yeah. Okay, so that’s it for news. We’re going to shake up the show this week. We’re not going to do Muggle Mail and announcements in the beginning. We’re going to save them for the end. I wanted to try to shake up the show a little bit to see how, you know – see how this works if we mixed it up a little bit, so we’re rattling it up.
Matt: [laughs] I’m excited.
Andrew: [laughs] So instead, we’re going to jump straight into Chapter-by-Chapter. Of course, like we said we are kicking off this series once again. It’s been what? Like, oh geez, two years since we last did it?
Eric: Two years.
Andrew: Wow. So these three chapters – hopefully, all of our listeners have read the first three chapters, because we want you guys to read along and sort of participate with us. The first three chapters that we’re covering are “The Worst Birthday”, “Dobby’s Warning”, and “The Burrow”. And these three chapters, well, you know, brief – a brief opening summary of these three. Basically, Harry has another miserable birthday. He runs into Dobby and he escapes Privet Drive and goes to the Burrow. How’s that for a summary?
Micah: Wow, that was pretty good.
Eric: That – two sentences.
Andrew: Thanks, guys.
Eric: It’s Harry’s first summer back since going to Hogwarts.
Chapter-by-Chapter: “The Worst Birthday”
Andrew: That’s right. So let’s get into – we’ll start with the first chapter, “The Worst Birthday.” Micah, what immediately struck you about this chapter?
Micah: You mean immediately struck me? I mean, Chamber of Secrets – and I’m sure we’ll get into this more – is a book that’s just packed with racism and bias and it just struck me early on, how you just said, with the point, how uptight are the Dursleys that Harry can’t even ask Dudley what the magic word is when they’re sitting around the table? I forget exactly what Dudley asked Harry for, but Harry turned to him and said, “Well, what’s the magic word?” And it didn’t even occur to Harry, he wasn’t even thinking in his mind that he used that word ‘magic,’ but you just see the reaction and it’s just – it’s weird.
Andrew: [laughs] It is weird, but then – and I guess maybe we forgot, but you – I was taken aback by how they reacted and how brutal they were towards Harry. Like, it’s not as bad in the films, it doesn’t look as bad.
Andrew: You read it in the books and they’re freaking out, screaming like mad!
Matt: Yeah, in the movies they kind of brush it aside.
Micah: I just don’t know if people really get it, until they re-read the books again. Like you were just saying, in the movies, it’s not that bad, but you constantly read throughout these first couple chapters that we’re going to cover about how much bias exists on the part of the Dursleys, and how uncomfortable they are with the fact that Harry is this wizard and what that potentially means for their appearance to other people. They’re very concerned with their own self image.
Micah: The next point I wanted to bring up was did anybody else feel like either vomiting or laughing uncontrollably when Vernon went through his plans for the evening and the roles that Dudley and Petunia were going to play?
Matt: Yeah, I agree. Especially with Petunia and Dudley. Like…
Eric: [laughs] It’s so cheesy.
Matt: [high pitched] …every time he said something she goes, “Oh my goodness! Oh Dudley! Duddykins, you’re perfect!”
Eric: Yeah. And I think it’s – in the first chapter of this book is very much in Harry’s perspective, you know? Like, it’s very in Harry’s head about, how he feels about the magic word and, you know, Harry just completely – he can’t stop from laughing, you know, at these ridiculous relatives of his. And it’s slightly exaggerated, but I think it is pretty funny.
Andrew: This was a scene – and we’ll talk about this more later – that was played out really well in the movie too.
Eric: And it was changed slightly.
Andrew: Yeah, it was. It was shortened a bit, I think.
Eric: And if you remember, I think in the movie he says, when they ask Harry what Harry’ll be doing, he says, “I’ll be making no noise and pretending I don’t exist.”…
Eric: …which I thought was even one better than what he says in the book which is that, “I’ll be in my room making no noise and pretending I’m not there.”
Eric: I thought that was even one step further, that was pretty good in the movie.
Andrew: Moving along. Another thing that’s interesting on page nine of the U.S. edition, we see Harry and Dudley in the backyard in the garden and Dudley brings up Harry’s birthday and reminds him that today’s your birthday. And Dudley sort of teases him; he says, “How come you haven’t gotten any cards? Haven’t you got any friends at that freak place?” It’s interesting because could someone argue that – could someone like Micah – argue that Dudley kind of cares for Harry a little bit or was this is sort of an attempt to – just another way to tease him? Because why would he remember its Harry’s birthday?
Micah: You said that because I put the point in there that maybe I would…
Micah: …argue that.
Micah: [laughs] But, I think it could be either, or. I think with Dudley the fact is that he may remember Harry’s birthday just for the sake of being able to poke fun at him and tease him and say, “Hey, you don’t have any friends, you don’t get any presents. Doesn’t anybody write to you?” All that kind of thing. I think knowing Dudley’s character – at least at this stage in Chamber of Secrets it’s probably more just to mock Harry than anything else.
Eric: Hm. I think it’s clear even in Book 2 that Dudley doesn’t know a whole lot. In fact, even in that very sentence or in that paragraph, Harry remarks, “Oh, you finally learned the days of the week.” But Dudley knows that its Harry’s birthday and he knows when Harry’s birthday is. And they don’t have birthdays that are similar. I think Harry has an admirer. Personally, I think…
Andrew: You think so?
Eric: I think Dudley may have those posters of Harry in his bedroom.
[Andrew and Matt laugh]
Eric: I think.
Matt: Also, on his birthday the year before, so much had happened too. They were in that island in the lighthouse and Hagrid came to visit. It was – I mean, a year isn’t that long.
Andrew: Yeah, I guess it’s hard to forget the day you were turned into a pig.
Matt: Yeah, yeah.
Micah: Well that was when he was born.
Matt: And he could also…
Matt: …Dudley isn’t that bright…
Andrew: That’s terrible, Micah.
Matt: …he probably could have overheard his parents talking about it too, but…
Eric: If they did talk about it…
Eric: …they didn’t acknowledge it to Harry.
Micah: Yeah, just the last point. And this was after the whole, “What’s the magic word?” Harry was outside and this was when he was talking with Dudley about his birthday and he made as if he was about to set a bush on fire. He mumbled a bunch of supposedly magical words, and he ends up paying dearly by having to do all this house and garden work and this’ll get into something a little bit that we’re going to talk about in the next chapter, but it’s amazing the way that the Dursleys treat Harry like he’s just some servant. I want to know what you guys thought about this or if that came to mind at all in this first chapter.
Andrew: Yeah, well they know they absolutely have the upper hand in the situation and they feel like Harry must act servant-like to repay them for letting him stay at their house. So I sort of think that’s the attitude. Also, they’re wizard-phobic. They treat him poorly to try to – because they don’t want to get close to him. They’re afraid of this magic he can do.
Matt: Yeah, but that’s the thing, they’re also afraid. The way that they treat him now isn’t nearly as bad as how they do treat him when they found out he can’t do magic. They still think that he can.
Andrew: Well he can, just not legally.
Matt: Well no, they don’t know that yet.
Eric: Not yet. The next chapter they will. But that one line in particular stands out on page five of the U.S. edition says, “Back to being treated like a dog that had rolled in something smelly.” When you’re reading about Harry washing the car, pruning the garden, doing everything he does, which is like seven or eight things, and he comes in and just gets some cheese and crackers from Petunia before he has to go up to his bedroom. Meanwhile, there’s a pot roast in the oven and cake and jello and – that line about, “treated like a dog that rolled in something smelly”, is actually really, really sad.
Eric: It’s seriously kind of an issue.
Micah: Right, and…
Matt: They have to even line the newspapers for him, for him to walk on.
Micah: Yeah, and this is all because of Dudley, I mean, it’s all because of everything that he said is believed by his parents, even if it’s not true. I think we all knew a kid at some point in our lives that’s kind of like Dudley that always gets what he wants and is kind of like this fat little squealing thing that always seems to get away with whatever it is that he does.
Andrew: Yeah. And I mean his size is just symbolic of his treatment. You know, he gets to eat whenever he wants, he gets – he doesn’t – his parents don’t get him into sports because he doesn’t want to do sports. He obviously gets all the toys he wants, so yeah.
Matt: It’s just something I really wish they kept in the books – the movies – the films. The relationship between Harry and Dudley.
Matt: Because you don’t – they have sort of like a little feud, and you don’t really see Harry in the films as the way you see Harry in the books with Dudley, because Harry actually fights back. And I don’t know, it’s just something that I kind of wish we saw.
Chapter-by-Chapter: “Dobby’s Warning”
Andrew: So, Chapter Two opens immediately with Harry seeing Dobby in Harry’s bedroom, and we learn how certain house elves are treated by their masters and how they have to punish themselves at times. And we just see Dobby constantly revealing this information to Harry but at the same time, abusing himself.
Micah: I thought one of the interesting questions that came out of this chapter was, do we ever figure out why Dobby risked himself to save Harry? That doesn’t seem like it ever comes up in this book or later on in the series, and you have to ask, does he hate the Malfoys that much? I mean, he’s supposed to be subservient to this family, and yet here he is betraying them and going out there and trying to stop Harry from going back to school, so…
Eric: Yeah, it was definitely a conscious decision on Dudley’s part – sorry, Dobby’s part, because I mean, throughout the whole summer he’s stopping his mail, and so Dobby says to Harry at one point, that for months, he’s known of this plot to make terrible things happen at Hogwarts this year. So, you’d think that the plot was set in motion, kind of even before the end of last year. And we know from later on that Lucius Malfoy is the one who’s the one planning this, and I wonder how Dobby would know that if it weren’t for Lucius talking about it openly to someone who wasn’t Dobby? And that’s the other thing, is like he’s got to kind of have a co-conspirator, for the story to really work that Dobby knows what’s going on. And he didn’t tell Draco, because Draco says later on to Crabbe and Goyle slash Harry and Ron that his father won’t tell him anything.
Eric: So you kind of wonder how Dobby actually learned of this plot.
Matt: Do you think that he may have made Dobby do errands for him?
Eric: Well he doesn’t trust him really – he’s like a servant, he’s not even human.
Matt: But he thinks that he has the biggest upper hand on Dobby, that he can have him do whatever he wants.
Eric: That’s possible.
Micah: Yeah, and then we see a little bit later on in the chapter, when they’re talking, that Dobby tries to hint at the Malfoys being behind the trouble at Hogwarts. Harry’s going through a guessing game with Dobby about who he thinks could possibly want terrible things to happen to him, and he guesses Voldemort, I think, at one point, and Dobby’s eyes kind of widen up, in a way. I don’t know who he was trying to suggest – the only people I can think would probably be the Malfoys. But there’s an interesting quote there on page seventeen, when Dobby says, “There are powers Dumbledore doesn’t – powers no decent wizard…” And then he cuts himself off, and I’m wondering is could he possibly know about the Horcruxes, at this point?
Eric: I think so, and when I saw that in the Google Doc, I was so happy about that, because I like looked at it and was like, “Oh, you know what, that sounds like a Horcrux reference.” I think…
Eric: I mean, throughout the – the one thing we know for sure about house elves is that they have this powerful magic that is separate from wizard’s magic, that they are these magical creatures with their own powerful abilities, and that’s an ongoing thread throughout the series, and I really think that Dobby has being a house elf, has a sense for what that diary is – really is – even more than his master does, because we know Lucius didn’t know that it was a Horcrux, per se. But it sounds like from this quote, it sounds like Dobby does.
Matt: Mhm. Yeah, Dobby knows it’s…
Matt: This is what also I think why Dobby knows so much and why he wanted to help Harry was because that he was like maybe in the same room when Lucius was discussing the book, or the Horcrux – the diary – with maybe another Death Eater or something.
Eric: Maybe his wife.
Matt: Yeah, you know what it could have – actually his wife, that’s a good…
Eric: I mean, maybe. It’s just we don’t know enough about it.
Eric: I just don’t think Lucius would openly confide in Dobby. And he shouldn’t especially if Dobby’s going off [laughs] and talking to Harry Potter about it.
Matt: Lucius is a very proud character too. I mean he does pride himself in being one of his top followers. So…
Eric: Yeah just…
Matt: And that’s also one of his weaknesses too.
Eric: Yeah. And just to clarify – Andrew, you said that when Dobby was trying to figure out about You-Know-Who it’s actually – remember at this point Harry doesn’t know and Dobby doesn’t tell him that Lucius Malfoy is Dobby’s owner. We don’t know that Dobby belongs to the Malfoy family until the end of the book.
Micah: Well that’s a good point.
Andrew: Sorry. How did I say that? I didn’t say that.
Micah: Maybe it was me who said that.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: Fred and George guess, kind of. Fred and George are like – when he’s telling them the story in the car, the next chapter over, they’re like, “Well, does anybody hold a grudge on you? Who would make a joke?”
Eric: Who would send this house elf over?
Eric: And he said Draco. And that’s…
Eric: Obviously it ends up being true, but…
Micah: Yeah, you’re right…
Eric: …we don’t know at this point…
Micah: At that point there was no clue to suggest that Dobby came from the Malfoys. But one thing that I also thought was interesting was when they were talking about Dobby saying that his masters wouldn’t even notice that he’d have to punish himself. I thought that was kind of a clever way of getting around the fact that if your house elf shows up ten minutes after he’s talking with Harry and his hands are burnt beyond recognition – it just shows some of the ignorance, I think, on the part of the Malfoys, and not really paying much attention to Dobby and what it is that he’s doing. The fact that…
Micah: …he would have done this to himself and they wouldn’t notice because they beat him so badly to begin with.
Matt: And it’s so often over just the tiniest things that it just becomes a regular thing.
Eric: It was brilliant.
Andrew: So as we mentioned earlier the Dursleys do learn at the end of the chapter that Harry isn’t allowed to use magic outside of school, so this is when they begin to lock down Harry’s room because they were very upset that Dobby ruined the whole meeting with Vernon’s clients…
Eric: The Masons.
Andrew: Yeah, the Masons, and it’s pretty humorous to see Dobby do all these things and as you’re reading it you’re like, “No Dobby. Please no, no, no!” Because you really feel for Harry and you know that the Dursleys are going to flip out. So my question is – we see the Dursleys being so abusive towards Harry. Should Dumbledore have thought this out a little bit more because – or sent someone to keep an eye on Harry to make sure he wasn’t being abused? Because as Micah’s pointed out, they were very abusive and I’m not saying that Dumbledore needed to do a background check on the Dursleys beforehand…
Andrew: …but maybe send somebody over to keep an eye on her – him. Of course, we always have Miss Figg keeping an eye on him but I’m talking about like making sure he’s not being abused because Figg can’t see that.
Eric: Yeah, if it were – I mean especially if it’s the Figg from the movie. The Figg from the movie is kind of creepy.
Eric: The Figg from the book is kind of more protective.
Eric: At least she’s sane.
Eric: In the beginning of book five where she’s like, “I’ll kill Mundungus Fletcher for abandoning this very important task of protecting you.”
Eric: The Dursleys with bars on his windows and everything – I just don’t think there was – Dumbledore didn’t have any other choice, did he? Because in Book 7, we learn about…
Eric: …more about that charm where he had to be with blood relatives in order to really be protected…
Eric: …from Voldemort.
Micah: Yeah, but that doesn’t – I think Andrew’s question is still able to be answered regardless of where he is.
Micah: They could still be checking up on him and making sure that he’s okay.
Micah: I mean, we know how scared the Dursleys are of wizards and witches and anything magical. So I think if…
Micah: …anybody walked through their door and threatened them in that capacity – I mean go back to Sorcerer’s Stone and you think about what Hagrid saw that – wouldn’t Hagrid report back to Dumbledore? And even McGonagall says in the beginning of Sorcerer’s Stone, “You’re going to leave him with these people? I’ve been watching them all day.”
Matt: I mean regardless of the situation he’s still safe.
Andrew: Right, so he can be – Dumbledore knew, I’m sure. Even if he was starving to death, at least he’d be protected from Voldemort. But still, there’s that whole abuse thing.
Matt: But if school started, I’m sure Dumbledore was fully prepared to get him. He wasn’t going to have him miss school at Hogwarts.
Eric: You mean if he wasn’t, yeah, if he wasn’t rescued by the Weasleys.
Andrew: Right. Yeah, no, that I agree with.
Eric: Then he would’ve paid a house call.
Micah: You just think about the dream he’s having at the end of this chapter, that he’s in a cage starving to death and Dobby is on the outside saying, “You’ll be safe! You’ll be safe!” You know? I mean…
Andrew: Yeah, I know.
Micah: Think about how abusive that is, just in concept. And that’s really how he’s being treated too.
Andrew: Yeah. And I guess it didn’t really affect him as he grew up. There weren’t really any signs of the abuse tarnishing his development. I don’t think.
Eric: That’s true.
Andrew: So, I don’t know. Of course, that was in Jo’s power to do that…
Eric: Well when you have a whole wizarding world to escape to, it really helps you put all that abuse aside and say, “Look, okay, they’re Muggles. They aren’t who I associate with.”
Eric: So that…
Andrew: All right.
Eric: That helps.
Chapter-by-Chapter: “The Burrow”
Andrew: And then the final chapter we’re talking about today is “The Burrow”! So Harry is rescued by the Weasleys early, very early in the morning before the sun rises. And the Ford Anglia is sitting out there and it’s sort of like the godsend. And they pull out the bars and Harry escapes and its like, “Woohoo!” And they go to the Burrow, and this is Harry’s first time at the Burrow. And I got to say, it was really cool re-reading the whole first-time things again. Like seeing the Burrow for the first time and seeing Harry’s reaction to it. It’s pretty cool to re-read that. So in the car ride to the Burrow, we learn about Mr. Weasley and Lucius Malfoy – Lucius Malfoy. Now you’ve got me saying it. Lucius Malfoy.
Micah: Oh, it doesn’t matter.
Matt: There’s two ways to say it, I’m telling you.
Andrew: It does matter. It’s like, saying Hermione. Or, Her-me-own. Sorry.
Matt: Her-me-own? No!
Andrew: I used to say Her-me-own.
Matt: You say it twice. I mean, you could say it two different ways.
Micah: Or See-mus instead of Seamus?
Andrew: Oh, well that.
Matt: Well that’s kind of suggestive.
[Eric, Matt and Micah laugh]
Andrew: And we see some cool things at the Burrow. We see the kitchen, which is very active, it’s cleaning dishes on its own, the brush is cleaning the dishes. The de-gnoming of the garden, which was pretty funny, the goal in that. Where else do we want to go with this?
Micah: Well, we could talk a little bit about – I mean, we’re really first introduced to Mr. Weasley in this chapter before he’s actually – we meet him in person, we kind of meet him through Fred and George. We learn more about Lucius – now I can’t say it – Lucius Malfoy. And you kind of get the struggle that goes on between these two families. You learn a little bit about it, just by the fact that – I forget if it’s Fred or George who suggests that the Malfoys could be behind Dobby showing up at Privet Drive. You get a sense that these two don’t like each other, especially Mr. Weasley and Lucius Malfoy.
Andrew: And one thing I thought was very interesting – and everyone knows I love foreshadowing…
Andrew: Well of course when Mrs. Weasley is flipping out on Fred, and yelling at them for using Arthur’s car she says, and I quote – she pokes Fred and says, “You could’ve died! You could’ve been seen! You could’ve lost your fathers job!” And I just thought that was interesting – people obviously say, quite often, “Oh, you could’ve died” or, “Oh I wish you were dead.” But you know, jokingly. And Mrs. Weasley is very serious about losing him, and there we see what could’ve been a little bit of foreshadowing. Even if Jo didn’t intend it, it was there.
Micah: She always intends it.
Eric: Poor Fred.
Andrew: Yeah, so there you go. There’s a little foreshadowing.
Matt: I love how they describe Mrs. Weasley – or how Jo described her, as even though she was very loving and a warm person, she resembled very much like a razor sharp sabre-toothed tiger.
Andrew: Yeah. We see Ginny here, and this comes across pretty well in the movie too, but Ginny’s all nervous around Harry. She’s sort of hiding behind him, she drops her fork, and then goes under the table, and then comes back up smiling.
Andrew: That was kind of creepy.
Eric: A little suggestive.
Andrew: So yeah, Ginny. So I guess there’s some more foreshadowing.
Andrew: Ginny is clearly in love with Harry.
Matt: She’s infatuated with him.
Eric: Enamoured. Well you guys I also want to talk about this confrontation between Molly and Arthur here. First of all, I love every instance of Arthur talking about his job where you find the biting tea kettle and shrinking keys and all of that is just wonderful, wonderful J.K. Rowling stuff that you can imagine a biting kettle would really hurt some Muggle somewhere who was not expecting it. Then of course he and Mrs. Weasley get into the argument about the car and the flying car and I just thought that was a brilliant piece of fiction there.
Andrew: Yeah it was.
Micah: It was typical couple bickering and I guess it was kind of interesting to hear them bickering over a flying car as opposed to like the kids staying out too late or, well I guess the kids did stay out too late but you know what I mean. In a regular family home, you know they’re always arguing over something. I thought it was cool and they portrayed this really well in the film when Arthur kind of gets really excited with you know, “How did it go? Did it work well?” I almost expected like a fist bump or something like that or a high five.
Eric: Yeah. [laughs] That would have been funny. Also, what’s kind of contrasting to the Dursleys, who are presumably of the same mindset all the time and they just, I mean we don’t really see the Dursleys not getting along. We see Petunia eventually at the end going a little bit soft but at the same time the Weasleys are here at odds with each other. They’re the mother and father that Harry never had, but they’re at odds with each other as opposed to the Dursleys who are all solid, of the same mind, and almost the same person just wanting to squash the magic out of Harry. It’s a great and kind of brilliant contrast.
Andrew: Yeah. And we also see one other little thing. We also see the Weasleys struggling, worrying about how they are going to pay for all of Lockhart’s books and that was kind of a sad moment. Let’s get into your questions now – the listener questions.
MuggleCast 182 Transcript (continued)
Listener Tweet: Embarrassed for Harry
Andrew: We asked everyone who follows us on twitter at Twitter.com/MuggleCast to send in your questions for us about these chapters. The first one’s from joshboulton. He says:
“I kept feeling really embarrassed for Harry when Dobby was doing the stuff with the cake. Did you feel at all like this?”
I touched on this a little earlier. Weren’t you guys really feeling for Harry?
Eric: I think it’s more of a movie question considering it happens in the book in like a second so it’s a little bit more drawn out like its a few seconds of “Oh my God, what’s Dobby going to do? Dobby has that line: “It’s for Harry Potter’s own good!”
Andrew: But I don’t get what that’s doing, you know what I’m saying? Like if Dobby said if you don’t agree, then – whatever he said, but he does it anyway. What message does it send?
Matt: What do you mean?
Andrew: Why is Dobby, or what is – how is it – you know what I’m saying, Eric, right? [laughs]
Eric: Yeah, I do. I get it and I was thinking the same thing. He’s just trying to say, like Harry was supposed to say that he wouldn’t go back to Hogwarts, Dobby wanted Harry’s word.
Eric: So even if Harry had said he wouldn’t go back, that would be breaking his word and it’s kind of in Harry’s character to not do that and so he took the more difficult path and didn’t even – chose not to give his word to Dobby.
Andrew: Yeah and by dropping the cake, what does it do to Harry? Does it make him think “Oh wow, a house-elf is serious.” I don’t know. It just shows…
Matt: It’s basically the icing on the cake so to speak to end the situation.
Micah: That was good.
Matt: Well he’s already in big trouble with Uncle Vernon anyway for Dobby just making all that noise.
Andrew: Yeah. Micah?
Eric: It’s almost malicious on Dobby’s part.
Micah: It is, it is.
Matt: Well he’s very upset and he was very sombre when he did it. I mean he didn’t want to drop the cake or the pudding pie or whatever it’s called.
Eric: But at the same time, he’s up in Harry’s room going on about how he’s never been treated like an equal before when Harry asked him to sit down. None of that matters to Dobby because he’s so impulsive and just wants the Chamber not to open or not to kill Harry. That’s the interesting thing that struck me in the second chapter. The conversation between Harry and Dobby where Dobby says “Harry Potter is too valuable to risk.” It’s an interesting thing knowing that Dobby knows that You-Know-Who has something to do with it that he’s saying that Harry is too valuable to fight when the only value that Harry has is to one day stop You-Know-Who to prevent the two from meeting is kind of counter intuitive.
Micah: Right. I agree with what you’re saying though. That was going to kind of be my point – that it’s a little bit weird that somebody who has suffered or something that has suffered so much and probably hasn’t really been told the truth very often would act like he did with Harry and then do a complete one-eighty and then decide to put Harry in a really difficult situation because of it. It’s almost like Harry’s doing all these things for Dobby that have never been asked of him before. “Oh, would you like to sit down? Let me treat you like an equal. But then I’m going to turn around and completely screw you by dropping a cake on the floor and getting you in trouble.” And that was a huge difference with the movie too.
Micah: Because in the movie it gets dropped on her head, I think. Right?
Matt: Yeah. And going back to what joshboulton said – you can’t help but feel really sad for Harry because it says also in that chapter that he’s just left there shaking from what just happened.
Eric: Do we know joshboulton? That sounds like a familiar name.
Andrew: Yeah. I met him in London.
Eric: Oh, cool.
Listener Tweet: Harry the Rebel
Andrew: Yeah, he’s around the web. Next question’s from KD_Laheen:
“If Fred and George could open Harry’s door with a pin, why couldn’t Harry?”
Micah: He’s not a degenerate.
Micah: He doesn’t sit around all day trying to figure out ways to get in trouble like Fred and George do.
Eric: I think he’s wallowing in his own self-pity. At that point, Harry just takes the chunky soup from Petunia and pours Hedwig half of it and is like, “This is the best we’ve got. Don’t turn your beak up.” Harry’s kind of – I mean, it was only like three days in his room so Harry’s in the meantime – Harry’s just found out that his friends did write to him but he still didn’t get the letters. So even though Dobby disappeared and got him into all sorts of trouble Harry hasn’t even got the letters that his friends sent him so he doesn’t know anything. He feels even further disconnected and he’s locked in his room with bars on the windows…
Eric: …and I think he really just hadn’t gotten to the point where he said, “Okay. I can actually, probably, if I tried take a pin or something and pick the lock.” I don’t think he saw what good it would have done. And that’s also, as opposed to Movie 3, where after he blows up Aunt Marge he like, “Okay I’m done. I’m leaving.”
Matt: Well, that’s out of adrenaline too. That whole situation in Prisoner of Azkaban.
Listener Tweet: Imagination
Andrew: Next question is from PewterWolf13:
“When you first read ‘Chamber of Secrets,’ what did you guys imagine The Burrow to look like? I imagined it blue for some reason.”
I can’t honestly answer this question because I can’t remember. [laughs] It’s been ten years since I first read it.
Micah: Blue? What are you smoking?
Eric: Does the book say it was blue?
Matt: No! It’s described as an oversized pigpen so I would just imagine it looking like earth colors. Like green and brown.
Andrew: Or like a pigpen.
Matt: Yeah. Exactly, messy.
Eric: Well, I’ve got to say I didn’t read the book before I saw the movie so – wait! I did. I did and it was too long ago. I’ll take Andrew’s answer.
Andrew: Micah, do you remember?
Micah: No. I mean, like I said, maybe if you were smoking something or taking something it would appear blue. Blue from what sense though?
Eric: That’s not really appropriate.
Andrew: Blue – oh, blue as in mellow, you’re saying.
Andrew: But, no I – oh. [laughs]
Micah: Blue what? Blue outside? Blue inside? What are we talking about? I saw the movie first…
Andrew: Baby blue.
Matt: Robin’s egg blue.
Listener Tweet: Harry’s Second Home
Andrew: Well, I think when you first read Chamber of Secrets – I don’t know. I assume they mean outside. Anyway, next question, RaccoonGirl:
“The Burrow was Harry’s second home. What would the Weasleys and The Burrow be for Harry if his parents hadn’t died?”
Micah: Still his second home.
Eric: This is a great question. Do you think so Micah? If Harry still had his parents, what relation would the Weasleys actually be to Harry. If you think about it, Arthur and Molly Weasley were not particularly close to Lily and James the way Remus was, Sirius was, any of that. They were in the Order together the first time, but unless Harry had met Ron on the train and had those circumstances the Weasleys and the Potters – the families – would not really have been all that close and not really close enough for that to be a second home.
Micah: That’s a good point. We would still assume that Sirius would not be in Azkaban and maybe they would have spent a lot more time over there.
Andrew: Yeah and think about – assuming Harry’s parent’s house would be pretty magicked up so to speak, or magical in other words, you would assume that that kind of magic that Jo was trying to capture would be seen instead in Harry’s parent’s house and I think Ron still would have been good friends with Harry and Hermione because they have the same types of personalities, I think. They vary, but they’re also similar, I guess – I don’t know, I’d probably have to think about that more…
Matt: Well going off of that, Andrew, do you think that Harry would probably be – if Harry’s parents didn’t die, that he would be friends with Hermione or with Ron?
Andrew: It’s hard to say. I’d have to think about that more.
Matt: Oh, okay.
Andrew: I have to re-read the books more, because I don’t – more? I don’t know…
Matt: Because I would just feel like…
Andrew: Well, Harry and Ron are also largely good friends because they’re both guys. You know, it’s just…
Andrew: When you’re growing up in school, you typically become good friends with someone of the same gender because you can relate on more aspects.
Eric: So yeah, so the question is what would the Weasleys and the Burrow be for Harry if his parents hadn’t died.
Matt: I mean, it wouldn’t be nearly as – you know, as close to his heart as it is…
Andrew: I think that’s the short answer.
Micah: Right, I mean it’s the first really magical home – I don’t know, Andrew, I think you said this before, that he goes to and that he gets a feeling for.
Micah: You know, obviously that wouldn’t be the same, and I mean, I don’t see it being something where – and I think Harry would have been much more against becoming friends or even talking with somebody like Draco Malfoy. I think the – actually I think Harry’s line of – you know, eventually we figure out what side Harry is on and who he befriends and all that, but I think that would have been much more clearly defined when he was younger if his parents were around.
Andrew: I agree.
Eric: He would have inherited his dad’s biases.
Micah: Probably, yeah. And he’s half-blood, too, so I mean, it’s probable that he would have become friends, like you guys said, with Ron and probably Hermione anyway.
Eric: That’s a good point.
Listener Tweet: Bad Beginning
Andrew: All right, next question comes from kayleighchance:
“I hate the beginning of the second. I think it is the worst of all of the beginnings. Dobby…”
Curse word. What she says is “angers me” here.
“…Love you all.”
What do you guys think? Well actually, they say it in the book.
Andrew: Kayleigh says:
“Dobby pisses me off. Love you all.”
Matt: I said faecal matter on an episode.
Eric: They do not say “pisses me off” in the book.
Micah: Andrew has dropped the F bomb a couple of times, so…
Andrew: Yeah, so… [laughs]
Eric: They do not say “pisses me off” in the Harry Potter books. Where do they say “pisses me off” in the Harry Potter books?
Andrew: I’m sure somewhere…
Matt: Prisoner of Azkaban.
Eric: They do not say it.
Andrew: Eh, I don’t know.
Micah: It doesn’t really matter, there’s a curse word in Deathly Hallows.
Andrew: What do you guys think, is it…
Micah: We talked about this a little bit, I think…
Micah: That – it’s kind of – it’s a little bit related to what Josh asked though, in the first question, about – you know, feeling bad for Harry, it’s just a – it’s not quite the Umbridge moment, where you’re pounding something while you’re reading about this character, you know what I mean? We get so angry…
Eric: Right. He’s too pathetic.
Micah: We get angry at Umbridge, but – it is angry – you get angry listening – or reading it, because you feel bad, you feel like you want to be able to help, but there’s nothing that you can do, and Harry’s kind of helpless as well.
Eric: Dobby is kind of his own – his own being, you know – well it’s good that – thanks for the heads up, but no thanks, Dobby, almost because Dobby’s really unable to control himself, I think.
Matt: Well at least in this book; Harry knows what kind of a person he is. I mean, he knows who he is. In the previous book, the first one, he just thought he was a nobody and that his future was bleak and he wasn’t going to go anywhere.
Matt: And – in this case he’s just being treated worse because his uncle and aunt know what kind of a person he is and he knows what he’s capable of.
Matt: And it does create a little bit of power but it just makes it even worse on himself because they’re trying just as hard, if not more, to take him down a notch.
Eric: Yeah. It gives him the confidence he needs to kind of come into his own and defend himself, really.
Eric: About how he feels, like he should behave. Yeah, Dobby’s kind of an annoying little piss-ant, but…
Micah: That’s a good way to describe him.
Eric: But that’s okay because – because it – really honestly, it’s still – it suits the book, and this is the first magical creature, the only other sentient magical creature that – besides centaurs, that we’ll find – actually, centaurs were first. Never mind, scratch all that. But it’s essential, I think, it’s kind of like, Harry’s feeling disconnected, and then he’s staring at the bush, and there’s something else from the same magical world that he’s starting to think was all a dream right there with him and it’s just Jo’s style of doing that. Yeah, Dobby’s kind of annoying but I’m sure that when I read it first I wasn’t thinking that Dobby was annoying at all. Looking back, you know, we can fault Dobby for being…
Micah: But it was all in an attempt to try to protect him, more than anything else.
Eric: Oh yeah. I mean, first time readers are like hey, what’s this, you know, doing here? And that’s – wow that’s interesting, I want to read more.
Listener Tweet: Dobby
Andrew: And the last two questions are semi-related so I will read them together. The first one is from ramistweeting:
“How does Dobby get all of Harry’s letters? Why doesn’t Harry just lie to Dobby and say he wouldn’t go back to Hogwarts?”
And the second question is from MichaelaReagh:
“How did Dobby find where Harry was, or do you think he thought of Harry and got there to Number 4 Privet Drive?”
Andrew: I have thought about that too. I mean, how did Dobby get all of his letters? Was it one of those things you know how you can set up temporary…
Eric: Temporary forwarding? [laughs]
Andrew: Forwarding, yeah. [laughs] But where is the security in the owl post?
Eric: That’s one thing that we never found about the wizarding series that I would really like to know is a little more specific about how owl post works. It’s mostly in Book 3 that Sirius is getting letters and he’s on the run? That the bird actually knows – if you write someone’s name on the letter the owl knows where to take it. We don’t know too much about house elf magic but Dobby could follow the owl or Dobby could do something else. However, the house elves have the power apparently, evidently to stop Harry’s letters, whatever that means. Whether that means to set up a Harry avatar so that the owls drop off all of the letters off at your fake Harry or not, it’s very interesting.
Matt: Eric, you know I think I found a flaw in that.
Matt: Actually a flaw in your entire plan about how Dobby found out. Errol.
Eric: What about Errol?
Matt: Well, he is the Weasleys owl right?
Matt: And he’s not the most reliable owl in the world. He keeps, you know, sometimes he falls flat out on his butt. Do you think that – Dobby probably found out that Ron Weasley was Harry’s best friend through Draco. So maybe he was waiting for Ron to send out an owl…
Matt: …and just waiting for Errol to drop a letter or something.
Eric: There were also a letter from Hermione and Hagrid.
Matt: Right, but maybe it is a little easier for Dobby to follow the Weasleys since they are a wizarding family.
Eric: Yeah, you are right. I think this is something that would be a little more clear if one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes was were like his stamp collection or something. You know, we would have intricate knowledge of how house elves stop – because then Dobby and Winky could all have helped the trio with the mail system or something. I think it is really cool and a really good question.
Micah: Yeah, and as far as the lying, we talked about that a little bit earlier. I think was it Eric you said that he was someone that kept his word.
Eric: Yeah, it was important to Harry not to just say he wouldn’t go. He wasn’t even considering it he was just like, “I can’t say I’m not going back to Hogwarts, because it’s Hogwarts and this place is a dump. Look how they treat me.”
Micah: Finding Harry though – I think it was pretty – it was common knowledge where he was. I just think from a Death Eater or Voldemort’s standpoint they just couldn’t do anything about it.
Eric: Well, that’s an interesting question because Dobby could have harmed Harry. So he broke Dumbledore’s bubble and Dobby wasn’t associated with Hogwarts at that point. Somehow Dobby just apparated on to 4 Privet Drive and could have done anything. In fact, if Lucius Malfoy had ordered Dobby to harm Harry Potter, Dobby could probably have gotten in and harmed Harry Potter and snuffed him out in Book 2.
Andrew: Which is very – I think your right.
Matt: That’s a scary thought.
Andrew: Where is the security?
Andrew: Granted, we need all these points to the story for it to be a story.
Eric: Right and nobody is complaining.
Andrew: Who’s complaining? Yeah.
Eric: I really want to know more about how Dobby stopped – you know, I think Jo was asked…
Micah: Tweet her.
Andrew: Tweet her. [laughs]
Eric: Tweet her? I did tweet her. I asked her if she would help out with the caption contest and I didn’t hear back.
Micah: Oh, she’s busy. She’s writing something.
Andrew: She is writing for the caption contest.
Eric: Exactly, so hopefully she is writing more about the owl system and house elf magic. But she did say that the house elves have this powerful separate magic.
Chapter-by-Chapter: Movie Comparison
Andrew: All right, very good, so those are all the questions today. Let’s talk about the movie translation of this, very quickly. Overall the film did stay very loyal, one of the biggest things missing was the backyard conversation between Dudley and Harry and Harry seeing eyes poking through the bushes which we later learned to be Dobby. One other thing I forgot to write in here was the part, and I had completely forgotten about this because my mind had been so diluted by the movie, the part where Fred and George run into the Dursley’s home, run downstairs to get some of Harry’s things, and then run back out. I’d…
Andrew: …totally forgotten about that. So…
Andrew: Anything else to say about these scenes, guys? I loved them.
Andrew: I really did. This movie is great.
Eric: The other thing I noticed too was that Dobby is jumping on Harry’s bed in the movie.
Eric: But in the book he’s sitting. And I think in the movie it works better because he asks him to sit down…
Eric: …that Dobby hadn’t just been sitting down. [laughs]
Andrew: And he’s making more noise that way, too.
Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah, he’s just jumping – jumping on Harry’s bed.
Matt: This is such a lighter intro, too. Just jumping, “Wahahah! Wahohoh!”
Eric: “Woo!” [laughs]
Andrew: “Woohoo!” Making the Mario noises. “Yah! Woo! Woo!” Anyway, next week…
Andrew: …we’ll be talking about Chapters Four through Six which are at “Flourish and Blotts,” “The Whomping Willow,” and then we also have “Gilderoy Lockhart.” So those should be three very entertaining chapters.
Andrew: It’s time for – and boy, I haven’t done this in a while. I did practice once in the car the other day. It’s time now for Quote Quiz quiz quiz – no, that wasn’t right. Quote quote quiz, quiz, quiz, quiz. Today’s quote comes from Chapters either Four, Five, or Six. “Brilliant! Inspired! What an entrance! Flying a car right into the Whomping Willow. People will be talking about that one for years!” There’s Quote Quiz for you. That concludes Chapter-by-Chapter. That went well!
Eric: That was fun!
Andrew: I missed – I missed – I missed it. I missed Chapter-by-Chapter. I’m enjoying reading them again, you know.
Andrew: And hopefully you guys, our listeners, can all take a few minutes or maybe a half hour a week – or not a week. We’re not going back to weekly.
[Andrew and Matt laugh]
Andrew: Can go – can read along with us! And to keep an eye…
Andrew: …on when we’ll be releasing new episodes, just follow us at Twitter.com/MuggleCast and we’ll keep you updated there.
Eric: We read all your questions.
Make the Music Connection
Andrew: That’s right. And we’ll include some of them. All right, it’s time for Make the M-M-M-Music Connection! That’s my new spin on it.
Eric: That was really cool.
Andrew: Okay, Eric, would you like the first one?
Andrew: All right. Here we go. It’s a popular song right now.
[“We Are Golden” by Mika begins playing]
Andrew: So this is “We are Golden” by Mika. Have you heard this song?
Eric: Wow. Is that from his new album?
Andrew: Yes it is.
Eric: ‘The Boy Who Knew Too Much’?
Eric: Oooh. Cool!
Andrew: Well, make the music connection.
Eric: What a good plug. I think that would be what Hogwarts or weekend in Hogsmeade would be like if puffs ruled the school.
[Andrew and Matt laughs]
Eric: I think that’s just really happy and who cares about your family and da da da.
Andrew: It’s sort of an ending theme, too.
Eric: That’s sort of if – that’s sort of if Slytherin’s weren’t around…
Eric: …to spoil everybody’s fun. [unintelligible]
Andrew: It’s a great song.
Eric: I need to listen to that album. But, that’s my connection.
Andrew: All right. Micah, would you like to go?
Andrew: All right. This is a song – well, I’ll play it. [laughs]
Andrew: All right, here we go.
[“I Look So Good Without You” by Jesse James begins playing]
Andrew: This is “I Look So Good Without You” by Jesse James!
[Song continues playing]
Andrew: “I Look So Good Without You” by Jesse James.
Micah: [laughs] Wow.
Andrew: Micah, “I…
Eric: Sorry, Micah.
Andrew: …look so good without you. Got me a new hairdo.” Make the connection.
Micah: Maybe when Argus Filch finally gets rid of Mrs. Norris.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: I like that. That’s good.
Eric: And he comes out to the world.
Andrew: Yeah. Here are some more lyrics. “Hey I never thought you would have left me. I’d feel sexy and so good in my skin again.”
Andrew: “And I would have never had known that I’d be dreaming so much better without you in my head.” I think that’s…
Andrew: …a great connection.
Eric: Who did Mrs. Norris leave Filch for?
Andrew: [laughs] I don’t know.
Micah: A real cat.
Andrew: Matt, here is your song.
[“Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus begins]
Andrew: [Singing along] “Crazy! Famous!”
[Song continues to play]
[Eric’s dog barks]
Andrew: “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus.
Eric: [laughs] I don’t think you could get anything that was any less like Harry Potter.
Andrew: No, I could – I could see some connections.
Matt: I got this horrible image in my head of Miley Cyrus performing at the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire.
Andrew: That’d be pretty sweet.
Matt: And then there’s this singing and there’s this pole and she’s pole dancing.
Andrew: All right, Matt. Make the connection.
Matt: Ugh! This is like the first time I don’t have an answer.
Andrew: Okay, well how about this. How about when Harry first gets to Hogwarts?
Matt: I thought of that too, but I think that’s too clichÈ because everything can be that.
Andrew: Well, Miley could easily redo this for a Harry Potter film.
Eric: She says everybody’s famous.
Matt: [Singing] “Everybody looks so magic.”
Matt: I love magic.
Andrew: Well, the song starts off with “I hopped off the plane at LAX with my dream in my cardigan.”
Matt: “My Ford Anglia.”
Andrew: [laughs] “I hopped off the boat at the Great Lake.”
Andrew: “With my dream, my wand, my owl.”
Matt: I guess it could be him and Hagrid down Diagon Alley. Party in…
Eric: There’s an idea.
Andrew: “Party in Diagon Alley.” All right, well that’s how we play Make the Music Connection.
Muggle Mail: Theme Park
Andrew: Now, we’re going to in this new scramble – show scramble – get to Muggle Mail. This first e-mail comes from Leah, 19, of Australia, and she writes about the theme park. She says:
“Hi guys, I’d just like to thank you for your continual dedication to something most normal people would call pointless obsession. Somehow the ritual of listening in week after week provides a somewhat constant, stabilizing comfort, a sentiment I have heard echoed by others who have e-mailed in.”
Leah is a very good writer.
“This is a bit backdated, but on the subject of the park, yes, the concept art is amazing, and it’s great that it’s family oriented, but I’m with Eric in that I don’t know what I was expecting. But somehow I feel a bit underwhelmed. I’ve never been a huge theme park person, but from how the place has been described, it just sounds like a whole lot – a whole lot of cliched cheesiness. I mean, I grew up on the ‘Harry Potter’ series. I lined up for hours for book releases. I read them aloud to my little brother until he was old enough to read them himself. I’m almost twenty, and he’s sixteen now. The whole concept of a theme park just seems like a trivialization of our lives. If I’m ever in America, I wouldn’t dare go to “Harry Potter Land” as the use of something that so defined my childhood as a means for Universal to generate more profits sickens me! It’s just another clever, economic ploy to cash in on mommy and daddy, and defile children and the memory of childhood.”
Strong words coming from Leah. I don’t think Eric had this strong of an opinion.
Eric: [laughs] No! Definitely not. I wouldn’t say that I’m not going to visit it. I think you definitely should visit it if you’ve ever loved the series because I think I have the confidence from J.K. Rowling’s involvement, just that she’s signing off on it, that it’ll be worthwhile.
Eric: Worth a visit, and I didn’t feel that strongly against it. I just thought – I thought the three rides were kind of, you know, upsetting they only have three rides. But that’s how “Islands of Adventure” works.
Muggle Mail: Harry Potter Documentaries
Andrew: Mhm. All right, Micah, could you read the next e-mail?
Micah: Next e-mail comes from Sarah, 25, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and she says:
“If you remember the documentaries in the bonus editions of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy, documentaries tell the story of the creation of the film, from the buying of the script and the screenwriting, all the way through post-production. In ‘The Lord of the Rings’ docs, I don’t believe you got to the casting part of the documentary until the second or third disc. I assume these HP docs are formatted in the same way so that when all the movies are finished these docs could be viewed on their own as one eight hour long documentary. That would explain why ‘Sorcerer’s Stone’s’ hour-long portion will cover the preproduction of the HP franchise, and ‘Chamber of Secrets’ will then cover casting. I assume ‘Prisoner of Azkaban”s might cover creating the world and set design and so on.”
Micah: So there you go Eric there’s a little explanation for you.
Eric: That – that’s good.
Andrew: So stop complaining!
Eric: Well seriously though I -I just – I do want to see – whatever the special effects of the series, I do want to see Dobby as the tennis ball. I want to see Dan acting with the tennis ball.
Andrew: I agree.
Eric: Because that was famous – that was famous news story.
Matt: They are definitely saving it all. I mean they have all the footage. It’s just waiting to be released. I think they are going to do it when it is all released. I think this email’s right.
Andrew: It had better be out on the Ultimate Edition. And by the way, I would like to add something to what I said last week. We talked about the pricing of the Ultimate Editions. And I was like, “It’s not that bad,” and Laura was like, “Oh, that’s bad,” and I was like, “Oh, I guess that is bad.” But I thought about it more and the Blu-ray edition is only forty dollars I believe.
Matt: That’s not much.
Andrew: Yeah, it’s not much when you consider that Blu-ray, one disc, movies right now cost about thirty dollars. So if you’re paying another ten dollars for three or four more discs and a book and stuff…
Eric: I think it’s 49.99.
Andrew: Okay, so it’s 50 dollars. Still a really good deal compared to other Blu-rays. So I just wanted to take back what I said. Eric would you like to read the next e-mail?
Eric: Yeah this one comes from…
Andrew: Let me just say the next few e-mails are all about what would change about the series, because we got a lot of feedback. We asked for your feedback. So thanks for sending those in.
Muggle Mail: Save Fred
Eric: Okay, here’s what people would change about the Harry Potter series Part One…
Eric: From Sophia, age 16 from Pennsylvania:
“Hey MuggleCasters, If i could change something about the Harry Potter series, I think I would let Fred live. I know J.K. Rowling wanted someone in the Weasley family to die in order to show the grief of losing a family member. But I wish it hadn’t been Fred. I think it would’ve been really heroic if Percy had rejoined his family and then fought and died for them in the Battle of Hogwarts instead of Fred. I think it would have achieved the same message. The twins were always a favorite of mine, so it was just so sad that one of them had to die.”
Andrew: Yeah I think – I think they’re right.
Eric: I don’t think it would have achieved the same thing if Percy had died.
Andrew: Well, I think it would be interesting to see him turn against his family and then die for his family. That would have been an interesting sort of thing.
Matt: Right. It wouldn’t have been as tragic though. Because – I mean we didn’t have much time for the audience to regain Percy as a favorite or as anything.
Matt: I mean he was still – we went throughout the series as not liking Percy at all, and then all of the sudden he’s redeemed and then one chapter afterwards he dies. It’s just…
Eric: Yeah. I mean what are you a writer on Lost?
Eric: Once he’s redeemed he dies? Seriously the – but – but yeah Percy – you are right. And Matt I was thinking the same thing. That Percy – it just wouldn’t mean much. It would’ve been a completely meaningless death, if this guy who we didn’t even care about because we cut him out, “We cut him out!” in Book Five. If he just comes back and all of the sudden he’s a good guy again, and then he dies, I just don’t think it would have worked.
Muggle Mail: Don’t Settle for Ron
Andrew: Matt, can you read the next e-mail?
Matt: Sure. Our next e-mail comes from Kiara Osolinsky, 15 from Baldwinsville, New York. She writes:
“What I would change, part two. Hey MuggleCasters I just wanted to let you know that I think you are all totally awesome. In your last podcast you asked us what we, the listeners, would change in the series. What I never got, and what I would change is Hermione falling for Won – Ron.
What’s wrong with me?
“I was to be expecting with all the hints throughout the series, but why would Hermione as, ‘The brightest witch of her age,’ settle for someone like Ron. Not saying Ron isn’t great but, someone so intelligent as Hermione and someone as dumb as Ron getting together? I don’t really know who I’d put her with. But I saw her ending up with…”
Andrew: “I never saw her…”
“…but I never saw her ending up with Ron. I just wanted to know what you thought on the subject, but can’t wait for another podcast.”
Andrew: I think – thought that was pretty funny, because I thought a lot of people would probably disagree with her. It does seem like the personalities clash but hey, opposites attract.
Matt: Very true.
Eric: That’s what Paula Abdul said.
Andrew: And many others before her. [laughs]
Eric: Yes, but I – I thought it was interesting in this comment that she didn’t say that – she didn’t say Harry and Hermione. She doesn’t know who Hermione would get together with, but that it seemed interesting that she got together with Ron. And that’s kind of a thing that wasn’t explored, I mean it was with Krum, that Ron and Harry would both have to watch Hermione go off and be romantically involved with someone that wasn’t one of them. Maybe once Hermione saw that Harry was going after Ginny she had to marry Ron to stay close to Harry. Maybe that’s – maybe she secretly…
Andrew: Maybe Hermione regretted it later on down the road…
Andrew: [impersonating Hermione] “Why am I not with someone intelligent?” [normal voice] No, I’m sure he’s a great father.
Eric: She fell for him. She was just torn apart in book seven when Ron ditches them.
Matt: She has enough brains for both of them, just like how Fleur was with Bill.
Matt: Was it Bill? Yeah.
Eric: [imitating Fleur] “I have enough beauty for the both of us.” [laughs] Bill was like, “You said Booty.”
Eric: “No. I’m French. I said, ‘Beauty’ and it just sounded like I said, ‘Booty’.” And then I come in and say, “Well you’re Clemence Posey. You have a nice booty.” I then I get thrown off the set.
Andrew: Kind of weird.
Matt: Wow that was really drawn out there.
Muggle Mail: Death Eaters
Andrew: The last e-mail for today comes from Clare, 16 of North Dakota.
“I just finished listening to your Episode 181 and loved hearing your thoughts on what you would change in the books if you could. Well there are many answers I could probably think of that would be much more deep. There is detail that has been bothering me a lot in the last few weeks. I literally grew up on ‘Harry Potter.’ My family started reading it out aloud one chapter a night when I was five or six. Because of that I never really questioned the name Death Eaters. The more I think about though, the more lame a name it is. Death Eaters? Is she making some illusion towards cannibalism? I’m convinced that if someone told me to read a book today and mentioned that included an evil organization called the Death Eaters I would refuse to read it on principle.”
That’s one of those things I agree, you grow up on it. So you don’t realize it but then if you stop and look – if you take a step back and look at it, it does seem like a silly name.
Eric: Death Eaters.
Matt: Well, I think it also symbolizes the fact that they are above Death. That they can – that death – you know how predator feeds on its prey.
Eric: Like what else do you do? The Death Squashers. The Death Stoppers.
Andrew: The Death Squad. The Death Army.
Andrew: Dr. Death. I don’t know.
Micah: Well, I mean the whole point of them was really to follow Voldemort. To purge the world of non-pure bloods. The fact that they in a way eat Death is – is…
Eric: For breakfast.
Micah: Yeah for breakfast with some milk.
Matt: I don’t know what they had for lunch or dinner but it was a big breakfast.
Micah: I don’t – I don’t think it is an illusion to cannibalism. I know she said that kind of sarcastically but…
Eric: It is interesting. It is one of those things.
Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul
Andrew: And all right, that is Muggle Mail for this week. We’ve one last e-mail today and it’s in our Chicken Soup segment. Micah, could you read that for us?
Micah: Sure. This comes from Katy, 17 of Normal, Illinois. Didn’t know there was a town called Normal.
[Andrew and Matt laugh]
Micah: She says:
“Dear MuggleCast over the past many weeks I have been so busy with school that I have not had any time to relax. Consequently this means I have not had time for MuggleCast.”
“This past weekend I was diagnosed with H1N1. I’ve been bed ridden for the whole week. While I have been incapable of doing much to pass the time my un-listened-to MuggleCasts have been waiting for me. I have finally been able to listen to all that I need to catch up on and they have been a big help in making me feel better. So thank you MuggleCast for helping me recover. Love Katy.”
Micah: So Katy has a bit of the swine flu it seems like.
Andrew: We hope you get well Katy. We are glad that MuggleCast is there for you.
Announcements: Podcast Alley, Infinitus and Roller Coaster Tycoon
Andrew: And finally couple of announcements today before we let everyone go. Remind you about our contact information. Don’t forget to vote for us on Podcast Alley and also as we have been mentioning over the past few weeks, Infinitus 2010 is coming up very quickly. It’s going to be in July in Orlando, Florida. It’s going to be at this beautiful hotel, right on the Universal property. And all these Harry Potter fans are going to be gathering including us to check out the Harry Potter theme park for the first time all together. So it’s going to be really exciting. It’s July 15th through the 18th again in Orlando. So for more information visit Infinitus2010.org and if you register which you should do quickly because the prices will be going up in a couple of months. Put MuggleNet or MuggleCast in the little referral area so they know we sent you. And we’ll see you there in the Summer. And lastly Eric, you have a reminder about your Roller Coaster Tycoon Contest we brought up a couple of weeks ago.
Eric: So far we’ve only gotten one entry from Jennifer Baxter…
Eric: …who sent us her Harry Potter inspired theme park from Roller Coaster Tycoon 1. We are asking for the saved game files which can be found on your computer if you Roller Coaster Tycoon Number One with either of the expansion parks. We are doing a Harry Potter themed park in this contest. I’m going to announce the winners in the last week of October. But I can tell you so far the winner is Jennifer Baxter who
sent us her Harry Potter theme park.
[Show music begins playing]
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: [laughs] So if you want to change that we are going to have a few more weeks for you guys to play around with the game. Maybe it has been a while since you played. Send us your Harry Potter theme parks.
Andrew: And also send us your feedback on Chapters One through Three for Chapter-by-Chapter if you think we missed anything. And you may be asking, “How do I do that? How do I send you my feedback about the chapters?” Well just visit MuggleCast.com and you will see a contact link towards the top of the site and there you can fill out our handy feedback form or you can contact any one of us using our first name at staff dot mugglenet dot com. Okay, so you can also visit MuggleCast.com to follow us on Twitter. We have a new Twitter box right on the top – right at the top of our site. And you can also fan us on Facebook. Don’t forget to vote for us once a month at Podcast Alley. And you can find some other links on our site including an iTunes link. If you subscribe to us through iTunes we recommend – we’d appreciate it actually if you were to rate and review us on iTunes. So, just click on the iTunes button and you can post your review about the show. We’d really appreciate your feedback so potential new listeners can read your reviews and say, “Oh well, maybe I’ll enjoy the show too.” Once again I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Matt: And I’m Matt Britton.
Andrew: Thanks everyone for listening. See you next time with Episode 183. Bye bye!
[Show music continues]
Bloopers: Let’s All Shout at Andrew!
Andrew: Okay, skip Make the Music Connection because…
[Everyone starts yelling at each other]
Eric: You skip it every week!
Andrew: Yes. [laughs]
Eric: Every week, And we even got an e-mail.
Andrew: [laughs] Oh god!
Eric: Okay I went to MuggleCast G-mail and someone specifically sent an e-mail that says, “You guys haven’t done Make the Music Connection in ages.”
Andrew: We did it like two weeks ago.
Eric: But you skip it every week! You are like – we have it in the schedule every week and you get to it, “Number Four: Make the Music Connection. Let’s forget the Make the Music Connection.”
Matt: Andrew, just do it. It is only three or four songs.
Andrew: All right then.
Matt: It’s not like a ten person show.
Eric: There is four of us.
Andrew: Yeah that is true. All right, all right, all right.
Bloopers: What Day is it, Micah?
Micah: Because Jo will use her Twitter to reveal she is actually writing to me. This is MuggleCast Episode 182 for [laughs] – I don’t know the date. Oh don’t you just hate it when that happens.