Transcript #184

MuggleCast 184 Transcript

Show Intro

[Intro music begins]

Andrew: Looking to start your own website? The first thing you need is a domain name, and the best place to get one is at With your domain registration you’ll get hosting, a free blog, complete email, and much more. Plus, as a MuggleCast listener enter code Ron, that’s R-O-N, when you check out and get your dot com domain name for just $7.49 a year. Get your piece of the internet at

[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]

Jim Dale: [as Professor McGonagall] This is Professor McGonagall welcoming you all to MuggleCast hoping you all enjoyed – Dobby! Dobby, come here! Here! Dobby! [as Dobby] Yes, I’d just like to say how very pleased I am to introduce MuggleCast to all of you! Thank you! Thank you!

[Show music begins]

Micah: Because Ben is still holding out for Emma – I feel you buddy – this is MuggleCast Episode 184 for November the 9th, 2009.

[Show music continues]

Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast. It’s our 184th episode and Ben is here in studio with me again.

Ben: Oh my. Here I am.

Andrew: And we got two boys on the line. We got Micah and Mikey.

Mikey: Yeah!

Ben: Oh this is going to get confusing.

Andrew: Two names that I very frequently confuse while speaking to both of them.

Micah: It’s difficult.

Mikey: Why is that?

Andrew: Well because Mike-uh and Mike-e.

Ben: Mike-e.

Andrew: Yeah it gets confusing. There’s been a couple of times when I’ve called Micah Mikey and vice versa, you know.

Mikey: That’s true, you have.

Ben: Well we’ll try to keep it straight…

Andrew: Yes.

Ben: …for this episode.

Andrew: Yes. Then when Matt’s on it’s a whole Mikey, Micah, Matt. It’s like [makes a huffing noise].

[Ben makes huffing noises]

Andrew: So we have lots of news to discuss this week. Ben is bringing back his top ten list with – a top ten list that you said is going to what?

Ben: Wow the world. Shake the foundations of the Harry Potter community.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: [laughs] Oh man. I’ll be holding on.

Mikey: Wow.

Ben: A game changer you might say.

Mikey: Really?

Andrew: And I understand you’ve also prepared a letter to Emma. Is that true?

Ben: Oh I don’t know. You’ll have to stick around for later on in the show and see if – see if I did.

Micah: He’s ruining all the surprises.

Andrew: [laughs] Just teasing our audience. So let’s get started. I’m Andrew Sims.

Ben: I’m Ben Schoen.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Mikey: And I’m Mikey B.

Ben: Mikey who?

Mikey: Mikey B!

Ben: Oh in the house!

Mikey: Exactly!

[Show music continues]

News: Birthplace of Potter Re-opened

Andrew: Micah, what is going on in the news this week?

Micah: Well, first the place where J.K. Rowling had first written Harry Potter has finally re-opened. Not surprisingly it was turned into a Chinese buffet, but somebody repurchased it and restored it into a cafe.

Andrew: Right. Do you guys remember when that happened? When we found out it got turned into a Chinese buffet? [laughs]

Ben: I know, the outrage.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. It was like come on, it’s such an epic place for Harry Potter history and now it’s a Chinese buffet? But – so now it’s back to a cafe.

Micah: So did somebody – is there like a shrine to J.K. Rowling in the cafe or something?

Andrew: The owner said “I think we might put a plaque on the door because it seems popular with tourists, we were warned when we took over that people do come from the world – from all over the world to see it.” So, I think maybe – I think they should put a plaque on it, it’d be really cool.

Mikey: So were people visiting the Chinese buffet?

Andrew: Yeah! [laughs] “I wonder where J.K. Rowling sat, in this Chinese buffet.”

Mikey: Wow. [unintelligible]

Andrew: But I was thinking, I have this idea. They should create this special drink menu. Like, they got to find out what J.K. Rowling was drinking there, you know, while she was writing. You know, probably some coffees and stuff, but like, exactly what kind of coffees, you know? And they could have this menu…

Ben: Give me the Jo.

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs] Give me the Jo. Morning Jo.

Ben: Morning Jo. Oh! Isn’t that – that’s what they call coffee, cup of joe.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Mikey: Cup of joe, wow.

Andrew: But, they could have that list and people could order drinks that Jo had while she was writing there. I thought that’d be cool.

Micah: That’s good marketing right there.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly. They should just rename the cafe and call it, “Jo’s Place.”

[Everyone scoffs]

Mikey: “Jo’s Place”?

Potter Park Auditioning

Andrew: All right Micah, what else is going on?

Micah: Well, for anybody who’s interested, here in the U.S., auditioning for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is going to take place next week.

Andrew: Mm!

Ben: Oh, I’m booking a flight.

Micah: I knew Ben – you could play Hagrid.

Ben: [as Hagrid] Rubeus Hagrid!

Andrew: If you were in front of – pretend I’m a Universal exec and you – you came on stage and you had to…

Ben: To wow you.

Andrew: To wow me. What would you say to convince me you should work – be working in my park?

Ben: Working in your park?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Oh man.

Andrew: What would your audition line be?

Ben: My audition line would be [as Dumbledore] “It is our choices…”

[Andrew and Ben laugh]

Ben: No, combined with like, a [as Hagrid] “Rubeus.” No, I would just throw out every bit of Harry Potter information I knew.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: I’d bring the MuggleNet book with me. And I would dress up, and I would grow a beard…

Andrew: Right.

Ben: …for it all. And I’d wear stilts.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: So that’s – it’s really cool. I’m a – I’m, you know. I wish everyone who’s going to audition good luck. Because, could you imagine having that job?

Micah: There’d have to be some video or – they probably won’t let you keep video right?

Andrew: No.

Mikey: No.

Ben: You could make a documentary about it.

Andrew: ‘My Life as an Actor in the Wizarding World.’

Micah: You’d have to have someone with a really good British accent to go down here.

Andrew: I was thinking Ben could.

Micah: Yeah, I think he could.

Ben: I might be able to pull it off.

Micah: MuggleNet will pay for it.

Andrew: Nine hour shifts in an English accent, five days a week? I could do that.

Ben: Oh, that’d be so rewarding.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: I like how it says “youthful in appearance.”

Ben: I’m youthful. I need to shave, but, I’m youthful.

Andrew: It says, “Please prepare a one minute dialogue” – or “monologue for audition, using a British dialect,” so. I bet you could’ve done it.

Ben: I could practice it.

Micah: Use it to get closer to Emma, Ben.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Oh after this – after, later in the show like, she’s going to be all mine.

[Andrew laughs]

Mikey: Wow.

News: Theme Park Photo Update

Micah: All right. Well speaking of the Wizarding World, the Orlando Sentinel published a nice construction photo update from the theme park. And, things are going up pretty fast. Andrew you noted that you visited the construction site just under two months ago, and you can’t believe it’s the same area.

Andrew: That’s right Micah! No but seriously, I mean, you look at these photos, and none of this existed two months ago, and some people were speculating you know, “oh is this going to be done in time?” But if you look at it now, this place is going up really quick. All this exterior construction of you know, Hogwarts, and Hogsmeade, and the train is there now too, the Hogwarts Express, so yeah, it’s really exciting to see all that stuff finally go up.

Mikey: Yeah, but you know what though? All the exterior stuff goes up really quick, it’s the plumbing and all that stuff that takes forever.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Mikey: Which, they’re working on all that, getting it all laid out, and planned, and then, instantly, it just pops up out of nowhere.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s cool to see. And this reminds me, do you guys remember, Micah I think you were the only one on this episode at the time, but Mikey I know you’ll appreciate this, on Episode 177, I had proposed a ride at the theme park called “Dumbledore’s Tower of Terror”.

Mikey: I was on that episode.

Andrew: Oh you were, okay. Ben, I had this – and for anyone who doesn’t remember, you know that “Tower of Terror” ride at Disney?

Ben: Yeah.

Andrew: Okay, well I proposed a “Dumbledore’s Tower of Terror” and what would happen is, you go on this ride, and when it dropped, you would hear Avada Kedavra! And you would see the screen flash and you would drop and Dumbledore would be right in front of you and falling with you, to his death.

Ben: Okay. [laughs]

Andrew: Isn’t that a good idea?

Ben: It’s a good idea and yeah, are they doing it?

Andrew: Well here’s the thing, and I forgot to tell you guys this, when I went to Universal we had this sort of meet and greet dinner with the Universal people and we were talking about rides. I was like “Oh man, This is the perfect opportunity. I could bring up this idea that I conceived on MuggleCast.” I proposed it to them, they loved it. Absolutely loved it. So we’re working on several drafts, and I think at the next expansion of the park they’re going to include it.

Ben: Really?

Andrew: No, but I did tell them!

[Everyone laughs]

Mikey: I was waiting for that.

Andrew: But, I did tell them about the ride and they laughed their asses off. It was so funny. And then I felt so good…

Micah: Like they laughed?

Andrew: Like it’s a funny idea.

Micah: Or like you’re a dumb little kid kind of way.

Andrew: No, no, no. [laughs] I mean, they thought it was a funny idea for a ride. And then I was on cloud nine thinking yeah I gave the idea for this ride.

Micah: I impressed the Universal execs.

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs] Exactly. Okay, so I just wanted to mention that. I meant to tell that on the show a few weeks ago.

Micah: I think its funny how it says, “You can see Hogwarts from Interstate 4 now, especially in the eastbound lanes.”

Andrew: [laughs] Well, yeah I mean it’s all flatlands out there in Florida and it’s a nearby interstate right by the theme park so. Actually it was funny. When we were leaving Universal, when were headed back to the airport, there was a lot of offsite construction, too, and like in this one field there was straight up a building from Hogsmeade just sitting in this field. And you could see it clear as day. There was a gate around it, but it was right there like, it was like, wow.

Mikey: I wonder what goes on in there?

Andrew: Hmm, yeah. I mean they are going to…

Mikey: Shrieking Shack.

News: Part 1 Not the Biggest Film of 2010

Andrew: [laughs] Okay, what else is going on Micah?

Micah: Well, according to Times Online, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 will be the biggest film of 2010.

Andrew: Won’t be.

Micah: Yes, what did I say? Will be?

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Won’t be. They believe Iron Man II will be the biggest. And here’s the reasoning why Deathly Hallows won’t take the top spot. The article goes on to say “part of the final Harry Potter movie, Part 2 will follow in 2011. Devoted fans have known what happens in the story since 2007, for newcomers, Harry and his pals Ron and Hermione search for some magical artefacts called Horcruxes. The plot takes the trainee wizards out of Hogwarts for much of the movie, resulting in a marked change in atmosphere compared to its predecessors.” I don’t believe that.

Andrew: Yeah, and when I saw this I was like a lot of fans are going to freak out about this. Because how could, you know Times Online, it’s a reputable source, and I thought it was worth posting because they are a pretty big media outlet, but I was just wondering how they could possibly think that a sequel to Iron Man could out sell the top earning franchise of all time? It’s just…

Micah: Well, its a November release, isn’t it, Deathly Hallows?

Andrew: Yeah, but that shouldn’t affect it.

Micah: Iron Man II is probably in the Summer.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: Iron Man II‘s in the Summer. But, you know what though, here’s my thing. I loved the original Iron Man, and I think most of you probably did too…

Andrew: Yeah, it was good!

Mikey: It was a smash hit that no one really expected to come from anywhere…

Andrew: Right.

Mikey: You know, it’s Marvel’s first movie. I think that Iron Man II‘s going to do really well, but the fact that they, you know – one of the things that I love about the Harry Potter movies is that they actually had all the actors, with the exception of Michael Gambon, you know, go through all the films. They’ve already lost, in Iron Man II, Terrence Howard. You know, they’ve already lost one of their actors who’s supposed to be a big part of the second movie. And I think, going into that, because the movie was so recent, people still aren’t going to feel it as much, and I really don’t think it’ll be better than Harry Potter. It’ll still make a bunch of money, but I don’t think it’ll be received as well as they’re hoping it will be.

Micah: Right.

Mikey: So I think Harry Potter will still trump Iron Man. But that’s just me.

Micah: I think they’re underestimating the value of the cliff-hanger, too, at the end of this movie. A lot of people are going to go see it just to see where it gets cut.

Andrew: Right. Well I hope people aren’t thinking, like “Oh, since it’s only the first half,” – I mean, I guess that’s the Times Online‘s reasoning, right? It’s just the first half of the movie, so yeah.

Micah: That’s what it sounds like. But you have to look at the fact that, in terms of all-time grossing movies, every one of the Harry Potter films is in the Top 25.

Mikey: Yeah.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: I don’t think it’s going to make a difference if it’s split in two or not, people are still going to go.

Andrew: It does seem weird. Anyway.

Ben: How can you see Part 2 and not Part 1?

Andrew: That’s true.

News: Tweeting from the Set

Micah: Exactly. Well, more on Deathly Hallows, a lot of the stars have been tweeting from the Deathly Hallows set, I know one in particular was from Chris Rankin, who plays Percy Weasley. And he mentioned something about forty-three principal casting members being on set a few weeks ago.

Andrew: Wow.

Micah: I think it was just before Halloween that this happened.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Forty-three is a lot.

Andrew: Yeah. No, that’s a lot. And so the big theory is that they’re filming the Battle of Hogwarts scenes right now. Because that’s everyone, that’s the trio, that’s probably all the teachers, that’s Chris Rankin [laughs].

Mikey: Yeah, it’s the only time he comes back.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: Seems like a lot of them are getting into it now. We hear from a few more of them that are just kind of plugging what’s going on on set, who they’re filming with, so it gives fans a little bit better of an idea of what they’re filming.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Is Sean Biggerstaff back for this film?

Andrew: I don’t know. Do we have confirmation for that, Micah?

Micah: I don’t know.

Andrew: He’s supposed to.

Ben: [laughs] Oliver Wood?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Oliver Wood’s supposed to be back?

Andrew: Why wouldn’t he?

Ben: Oh, I don’t know. He was like in the first film, and then way back in the day on MuggleNet there was this “Petition to Bring Back Oliver Wood.” I was just making a joke…

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, I don’t think – you know, he’s not on Twitter or anything, so. But I don’t think it’d be unreasonable for him to come back.

Mikey: Come back.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: He’s in the battle, isn’t he, in the book?

Mikey: Yeah, he shows up.

Andrew: He shows up for a split second, so who knows if they’ll decide if that’s worth it or not. Probably not. I don’t know. He can’t be that busy…

Mikey: Well, they split it into two movies, so maybe they will take it that literal, you know?

News: John Hurt Interview

Micah: More Deathly Hallows news. The actor who plays Mr. Ollivander in the series recently sat down with Rotten Tomatoes, and in the interview he revealed that he’ll be heading back to the Deathly Hallows set sometime this month. And I have all of what he said here – he basically went on a tirade, [laughs] about his concern over Warner Brothers large budgets for films in the Potter franchise. And he even went as far to call Harry Potter not a British franchise, which I thought was kind of interesting.

Andrew: Yeah, I don’t know – was he like, grumpy that day, or something, was he just in a bad mood?

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Like, I don’t get it. He’s so – I don’t know!

Mikey: He’s being – he’s kind of hurt, you know?

Andrew: [sarcastically] Ahhh yeah, haha.

Micah: John Hurt.

Andrew: You know…

Ben: [laughs] Butt hurt…

Andrew: …we get it now that the studio franchise is a big – it’s a machine, it works like a machine. People come in and out, blah blah blah. But he’s complaining, he cites, “I look around and there are three costumes there, none of which are likely to be worn and they’re all replicas of each other. It’s a huge waste of money and it drives me insane.” He said that! I don’t know. Has he never been in a film where there’s multiple costumes for the same character? You know, the same exact costume? I mean, don’t they need backup ones for fight scenes and stuff? I just don’t get it, I think he’s…

Micah: Or if you have an accident.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: And how much do you think they can sell those things for if they wanted to?

Andrew: Right, yeah! Put them in the Exhibition, you know…

Mikey: Well, guys, I think he’s trying to talk about the health of the industry in general. Like, how much money is going into making films and that’s what he’s complaining about with the Harry Potter films.

Ben: So Harry Potter is just a microcosm of a bigger problem?

Mikey: Well, yeah, no! It’s because you think that – right now, the industry is struggling. There’s not as many television shows being made, there’s not as many movies being made. But there’s still Harry Potter getting a huge, huge budget. Why? Because we all know it’s going to do really well. But because you see movies like Iron Man 2, Harry Potter all coming out – these blockbusters – you think the industry’s doing fine, but the industry’s still struggling. But these are what they call tent pole movies, they expect these movies to do really well and it’s going to hold up the studio for the rest of the year. That’s why they call them the tent pole, because it’s the main one that’s going to hold up the studio for all the other movies that are coming out. And there’s not as many smaller budget or mid-budget movies coming out as there used to be. Which some people say is good because they weren’t that good anyway.

[Andrew and Mikey laugh]

Mikey: Other people say they’re bad because that’s where you got your cult classics that everyone loves to watch over and over again. So it’s one of those things – the industry, the U.S. economy itself is struggling, but so is the industry in Europe, everywhere. The movie industry itself is struggling.

Ben: The same way that Harry Potter was a tent pole for the public industry because…

Mikey: Yeah, exactly! Because then all the sudden there’s no more Harry Potter. What happens?

Ben: Everyone starts panicking. Twilight.

[Andrew and Mikey laugh]

Andrew: Oh no! Well, you know what’s interesting – Warner Brothers had their annual quarterly results conference call the other day. And they noted how this upcoming Summer they don’t have a Summer tent pole film and I was thinking, “Oh, geez.” with that delay of Half-Blood Prince, I could almost see them moving Part 1 up to the Summer so they have a tent pole film!

Mikey: It’s something that I wouldn’t be surprised if they did.

Andrew: If they get desperate, yeah, there’s no reason not to.

Mikey: It’s one of those things where they need a big budget film to hold them up for all the other stuff they do.

Andrew: Right.

Mikey: And you’ve got to remember that Warner Brothers also has their little subsidiary, that’s their independent films, those are the ones that they try to get the Oscars through. So does Fox, so does every other studio that has all these little ones that they know they’re not going to make as much money from or they’ll hope they’ll have that one Juno hit that’s huge and makes all this money back or they’ll have the Napolean Dynamite hit…

Andrew: Or Paranormal Activity.

Mikey: Exactly! Well, I didn’t want to bring that up yet. But you get the idea that it’s one of those things where it just brings in so much money and then that can hold up that specific studio. That smaller…

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: The independent franchise.

Andrew: Mhm.

Mikey: But they have to support it and they don’t have a major tent pole. And you notice, they even said it during their fiscal report, so…

Andrew: Yeah. Yep, yep.

Ben: So if they don’t move the movie up and it comes out in November as planned right now, that’s going to be a wild eight months there, isn’t it?

Andrew: In between the two films?

Ben: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, definitely.

Ben: It’s going to be like, “Oh my gosh! It’s all coming to an end!”

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: “What do we do?!”

Andrew: Well, I was thinking about this earlier today. It’s insane to think now, that at one point there was a time that Deathly Hallows was going to be one film. You know, before they announced it and before the rumors started. It’s just crazy to think that. Okay, Micah, what else is going on in the news?

News: Party Time

Micah: All right, final piece of news for the week. A single mother from the United Kingdom was planning to have a Harry Potter-themed party for her Halloween celebration, but instead Mrs. Marmite Lover, which I don’t really think is her real name…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: …had to change things up a bit. Back on October 23rd, she received a “cease and desist” letter from Warner Brothers suggesting that her proposed use of the Harry Potter properties without our consent would amount to an infringement of Warner’s rights. Now, Ms. Lover was looking to charge a small entry fee as she has for other themed parties, but says that no harm was intended. Her big problem though, was that she set up a small website to purchase tickets to her party online. And I really think that that’s where she got – screwed.

Andrew: Yeah, this got a lot of press.

Ben: How many people were going to attend this party? I mean, where was this party being hosted? At like her house?

Micah: Her house.

Ben: Oh, wow! I mean, unless her house was like enormous…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Well, she said she probably couldn’t fit more than thirty people in her living room, and that the cost of the party would probably equal out to what people were paying to show up. So, she wasn’t making a profit off of it.

Ben: I mean, that just seems kind of silly that W.B. would waste their time sending a cease and desist letter to something that seems so trivial. But I guess they’re worried like…

Micah: It would start a trend.

Ben: …that if in the event that somebody is like, “Oh, I’m going to rent out Carnegie Hall. I’m going to have a Harry Potter-themed party and sell tickets online. Look at this website.”

Andrew: Right. That would be a problem. Yeah.

Ben: “Look at this. They had a Harry Potter-themed party.”

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: “Oh, but that was 20 people in their living room.” [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah. I think you’re right, Micah. It’s the fact that she brought this online. That’s where the problem started. And as this lady so kindly noted in her response back to W.B., she said, you know, “I know at one point, J.K. Rowling was a struggling mother, and she certainly isn’t against charities. Blah blah blah.” I get where W.B. is coming from. They have to protect the franchise, the name and all that. But I think this may have been pushing it just a little bit. It reminds me of the whole fan site thing – what happened with the fan sites, taking down the fan sites in a way.

Micah: Yeah, it’s just one of those things where if she didn’t go online with it, she probably would have gotten away with it, wouldn’t have had a problem, but…

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Ben: Oh, absolutely. I mean, how, unless like…

Micah: They wouldn’t have known.

Ben: Yeah.

Mikey: Well, it’s the same thing like when MuggleCast got pulled from the iTunes store.

Andrew: Right.

Mikey: At the beginning when we first started out.

Andrew: Yeah. Yep. We showed them!

Ben: Why did they pull us again?

Andrew: It had to do – I think they weren’t sure if we were allowed to use the album art or something like that.

Ben: Oh yeah! It was the album art.

Andrew: I mean, that’s the impression we got. Nobody ever confirmed like what actually happened.

Ben: Even Apple can’t stop us.

[Andrew and Mikey laughs]

Ben: That’s what it comes down to.

Andrew: Yep. Yep. Okay, what else, Micah? Is that it?

Micah: That is it.

Andrew: Okay.

Ben: This is it!

Mikey: That’s all the news!

Return of the Top 10 List

Andrew: Ben, it’s time for your Top 10 list before we get into Chapter-by-Chapter today. I’m very excited to hear this. You’ve been…

Ben: I’ve been hyping it up.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: All week, I’ve been coming over to Andrew’s house. “Dude. Get ready for the Top 10 list.” On Friday, on Sunday, on Monday, on Tuesday. Okay, the Top 10 Lessons One Can Learn from Harry Potter. Number Ten: Your family is more important than you realize.

Andrew: Aw.

Ben: Think about Harry and the Dursleys.

Andrew: It’s true.

Ben: If he didn’t have that protection, he would have been a goner a long time ago. Number Nine: We all start as outsiders. When Harry’s going to Hogwarts, he’s very unsure about himself. So, I’d like to invite everybody that when you get those feelings, remember that everybody starts off that way, and you should embrace it and just go with it. Go with the flow.

Andrew: All right.

Ben: Number eight: The greatest gift in the world is a truly loyal friend. So don’t be like Wormtail, don’t sell your friends for yourself. Stay loyal. Number seven: Don’t be afraid to break the rules. I say the rules are merely guidelines and you should keep in mind all the potential consequences. Number six: Arrogance will be your downfall. Look at Gilderoy Lockhart, look at Cornelius Fudge and of course, Lord Voldemort for examples.

Andrew: Mhm.

Ben: Number five: don’t mess with giants.

[Andrew and Mikey laugh]

Ben: They may be dumb, but their fist’s still fifty times your size.

[Everyone laugh]

Ben: Number four: “To the well organized mind” – oh sorry [as Dumbledore] “To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” So basically, don’t fear the unknown. Dumbledore tells us time and time again that the only thing about death – the reason we fear death so much is because we don’t know what happens. So don’t fear the unknown, get it all together, move forward. Number three: [as Dumbledore] “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” So yeah, often times you have to make a choice between what is popular and what is right.

Andrew: That’s right. Peer pressure.

Ben: Peer pressure, avoid it. Number two: In book one, Hagrid makes a comment about Muggles, how they don’t really notice much. How they wouldn’t – if something stared them right in the eye, they wouldn’t be able to tell it was there. So basically, the magic is real if you want it to be. And there are moments in our lives that can be very magical if we chose to look for that magic. So even though we are MuggleCast, don’t be a Muggle.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: And number one of course: Love conquers all.

Andrew: Awww.

Ben: Love is – I learned this in my evolution and genetics class – that love is one of the qualities that is truly, uniquely human. And so basically love is the weapon we have. And those are the top ten lessons one can learn from Harry Potter.

Andrew: That’s really nice! I was expecting sort of like a joking thing. But it came from the heart.

Mikey: Yeah, it was impressive. I agree with Andrew, I thought you were going to make fun of this whole thing. But I like it, Ben.

Ben: No, I was being serious.

Mikey: I’m going to take this to heart, I’m going to take this to heart. And I’ll probably end up using some of that in just regular life.

Ben: [sings] “All you need is love, love.”

Mikey: I learned this from Harry Potter. And people will be like, “Whoa!”

Ben: People are going to be printing out this Top Ten list and putting it on their walls.

MuggleCast 184 Transcript (continued)

Chapter-by-Chapter: “Mudbloods and Murmurs”

Andrew: Yeah, there you go. I was going to say, I’m going to post it on my computer. What lesson will I learn from Harry today? Okay, well let’s get into Chapter-by-Chapter. This is our third installment in the Chamber of Secrets series. Today we’re talking about Chapter seven through nine of Chamber of Secrets. And in these three chapters we’re looking at things getting darker in this book as they find that mysterious message written on the wall, and Mrs. Norris hanging petrified, and also there’s the fun Deathday party in this block of chapters too. So let’s start with Chapter seven: “Mudbloods and Murmurs.” It starts off with J.K. Rowling kind of setting the tone, and there’s this quote: “Hedwig was still angry with Harry about the disastrous car journey.” Now my question is: do animals in the wizarding world have some sort of additional set of emotions? Because in the real world a pet will love its owner no matter what and certainly won’t hold a grudge.

Mikey: That’s not true.

Ben: My dog has held a grudge against me before.

Andrew: Really?

Ben: Yeah, he’s been – if I don’t let him up on my lap he’ll…

Andrew: He’ll remember it?

Ben: …go tear up my shoe or something crazy.

Mikey: That’s true.

Andrew: I thought pets loved you no matter what!

Mikey: All right, it wasn’t until – you know I just moved right now. My cat that I have did not like the new house at all.

Andrew: Uh-huh.

Mikey: It wasn’t until about today, maybe yesterday, that she started to get on my lap again and be kind of mellow. The last few days her tail was big and bushy, and she was angry, she didn’t know where she was. She was scared. She didn’t like the move.

Andrew: Okay, but she was…

Ben: Was she angry towards you or was it just the new environment that garbled her?

Andrew: Yeah, I think it’s just the new environment.

Mikey: But at the same time, she was angry, she wasn’t coming to me, she wasn’t hanging out with me because I moved her. You know what I mean?

Andrew: Ahhh.

Mikey: She was angry because of the new environment, just like I’m sure Hedwig was angry because of the disastrous car journey. But she was – Hedwig and my cat were not coming to me, just like Hedwig wasn’t going to go to Harry and be all happy because she didn’t know what was going on, she was still shell-shocked.

Andrew: I just find it silly for an owl to hold a grudge. [laughs] I don’t know. Because…

Mikey: I think Hedwig had every right to hold that grudge!

[Ben laughs]

Andrew: It’s not like Hedwig got in any sort of trouble or suffered much. I mean, yeah, she was thrown around a little bit but…

Mikey: It ruffled her feathers the wrong way, my friend.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: I guess so. We learn stuff everyday from owls.

Micah: Think about Crookshanks though too, in Prisoner of Azkaban, and how he works with Sirius. So maybe there is an added something.

Mikey: Well Crookshanks isn’t a cat though, it’s a – what? – Kneazle? Something like that.

Ben: Yeah, that’s right.

Mikey: So it’s supposed to be smarter than a cat so Crookshanks is kind of unique in that sense because it is a – it’s not a normal animal. It’s a magical animal.

Ben: What kind of cat do you have, Mikey?

Mikey: I have an American short-hair.

[Ben laughs]

Mikey: It’s a little tabby cat. She’s awesome. Honestly, I was not a cat person, you know me, I was a dog person. But this cat’s rad.

Andrew: So moving along…

Mikey: Sorry.

Andrew: The weekend arrives for Harry – no it’s fine – after the aforementioned point, and Ron’s wand issues really made this week a difficult one, as Harry is feeling, and Oliver wakes him up early for an unscheduled Quidditch practice and Creevey bugs Harry – or Colin Creevey bugs Harry – on his way out. We see Colin Creevey a lot in this chapter, by the way, just constantly bugging Harry. I forgot how pesky he was, you know?

Ben: That’s kind of how you are to me, Andrew.

[Mikey laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, I’m bugging you. “Hey, Ben! Hey, Ben!”

Ben: Ever since I moved out here he’s just always knocking on my door. Like, “Want to go to Subway? Want to go…”

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: “Want to go out to eat, dude?”

Andrew: “Can you sign this picture for me?” So Oliver is extra careful about training the team this year. After last year, they lost with, quote, “their worst defeat in three hundred years.” The blame is on Harry because they were a player short. They didn’t have Harry to be the Seeker. So I’m wondering why is it – why didn’t they have a substitute teacher for – or…

Ben: Harry’s just…

Andrew: …a player…

Mikey: A substitute Seeker?

Andrew: Yeah a substitute Seeker. Because in real-world sports, they have a pinch-hitter or, you know…

Ben: They have bench players…

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: …who come in.

Mikey: But you know what though? With a substitute Seeker – the Seeker ends the game so the game wouldn’t end without someone catching it, and again, the Snitch is 150 points. So without Harry, they knew whoever they put in there was just not going to catch it anyways. So I think – I think they may have had someone…

Andrew: Well…

Mikey: …even though it doesn’t really say he does.

Andrew: No, no, they said in the book they were a player short.

Mikey: No, I remember they said they were a player short, but I don’t know if that implies that they actually went out without a Seeker because…

Andrew: Mmmm.

Mikey: …then they couldn’t win at all because they couldn’t end the game.

Andrew: Unless the other team caught it.

Ben: Basically you’re saying, oh, without Harry, no matter who’s going to be there, it’s still effectively a player short…

Mikey: They were still a player short because they didn’t have a trained Seeker.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Their full force.

Mikey: Yeah.

Andrew: No, that is one way to look at it, but who knows if that’s actually right? I mean it wouldn’t surprise me that – the way I read it – and Micah, well, Micah, what do you think about this? Do you think – which way do you think Jo meant it?

Micah: Well, I like your point about a substitute player. They always say that the most important player on a football team is the backup quarterback, so you’re right. It is kind of weird that they don’t have somebody who can step in and make a difference or at least try to keep them in the game.

Andrew: Yeah. Maybe be half as good as Harry.

Ben: Yeah, you would think that – you would think that the back-up Seeker position would be almost as coveted as the Seeker position…

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: …on one of these teams.

Andrew: Yeah. Was this final game in Harry’s last year – was that even in the book?

Mikey: No.

Ben: Well – he wakes up in the hospital wing and…

Andrew: Oh.

Ben: …finds out they got crushed by Slytherin.

Andrew: Yeah, okay. Hmmm, well yeah, I think they should have some sort of rules going in there and Micah brings up a good point. You got to have to substitute a player waiting in the wings! But maybe it’s not part of the rules.

Mikey: Wait – hold on! Didn’t they have substitute players, though, during the fifth year, when a bunch of people started getting banned and different people started stepping in? Like, when Harry got banned, didn’t different people take over and didn’t Ginny come in and start playing?

Andrew: Yeah. Well, maybe in those cases there was more time to train someone, but they don’t have – maybe they just don’t always have someone waiting in the wings no matter what, you know what I mean? Because like…

Mikey: Well, see – when you said they don’t – because I read it too that they didn’t have a player. They were a player short, so that’s how I read it. But I’m thinking, like – again, that’s such a minute point. I feel like we’re talking way too much about it sometimes.

Andrew: Well, you know us. We overanalyze everything.

Mikey: I know. But it’s – I don’t know.

Andrew: Well yeah, okay.

Mikey: I would think there was something there.

Andrew: Okay. So moving along, as they’re about to begin their Quidditch practice, the Slytherin team comes in and presents a note from Snape, explaining that they can use the field to train their new Seeker. The new Seeker is revealed to be Malfoy, who is let onto the team on account of his father buying an entire team Nimbus 2001s. Those lucky kids.

Ben: Ooooh!

Mikey: Ooh!

Andrew: So here’s another question about Quidditch: Should there be a rule to regulate fair Quidditch game play where all teams must be using the same brooms? I mean, I never understood that. Why can one team have a certain set of brooms and another team have another set? It’s not fair game play, really.

Mikey: It is – it’s like…

Andrew: It’s like baseball players having extra special bats that make them hit the ball further.

Ben: Yeah, and it really turns – you know, like the Yankees just won the World Series…

Andrew: Right.

Ben: …and a lot of the big complaint is that they’re this big market team, they have all this money to spend on these better players.

Andrew: Right.

Ben: Now, in Quidditch, it basically puts a financial aspect on how good a team can be because if you the best brooms, you know? The Weasleys there’s a couple – several Weasleys on the Hogwarts – on the Gryffindor team…

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: …and their parents are poor – they can’t afford the good brooms! That automatically puts them at a disadvantage, but that seems to be how society is.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Unfortunately.

Andrew: Yeah, I guess so. Just seems weird.

Mikey: Well, I don’t think there should be a rule there – I compare the broom – it’s almost like cleats or shoes. Like, you know – not every runner has the same type of shoes. Not every football player has the same type of cleats.

Ben: Right. But think about – you can still run fast. They aren’t like, “Oh, well, he has $600 cleats so his cleats are going to be better,” you know? Like, if there’s a broom that’s a Nimbus 2001, that’s clearly going to beat a Cleansweep 7.

Andrew: Right.

Ben: It just doesn’t handle as much…

Mikey: Wait – well hold on! What if, like, Hermione was riding the Nimbus 2001. And you know, Harry was…

Andrew: Well, yes, it does come down to skill too…

Mikey: …it comes down to skill! It’s like us trying to drive a race car. I don’t think any of us would drive any better than someone driving a Mustang who really is a professional driver. You know, if we were driving a professional car, we probably wouldn’t be a better on a racetrack than someone in the Mustang.

Ben: Okay, that’s a good point, Mikey. Say the Mustang has a max speed of 110 and the race car has a max speed of 180, then who’s going to win?

Mikey: But here’s the point is – it comes down to turns. Can you take that Mustang – can you take that race car at that speed around a turn? But a race – a professional driver could probably do it better than you could.

Ben: Right, okay. Now say we’re…

Mikey: So, it does come down to skill level…

Ben: Say we’re at equal…

Mikey: No, no, I still agree with you…

Ben: Now say that we’re at equal skill level…

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: You have a Mustang, and I have a race car…

Mikey: Okay, then it’s completely unfair, I totally agree.

Ben: So shouldn’t we level out the playing field, have a standard broom, maybe?

Andrew: Yeah! There should be. There really should be.

Mikey: No, I think if it’s – I think skill makes up for it, because honestly, Malfoy may have a better broom, but Harry still catches the Snitch.

Andrew: What are your thoughts on steroids in Quidditch?

[Mikey laughs]

Andrew: Because those Beaters could really, you know, if they had steroids. Micah, do you have a – you have a good perspective on sports. What do you think?

Micah: Well, I – you bring up a good point, I mean, we see it all the time, though, is that it’s always like they’re trying to one up each other every time Quidditch comes up in the book. It’s like, Harry gets the Nimbus 2000, then Draco gets the Nimbus 2001, then Harry gets the Firebolt.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: And it’s just – it’s one of those things where I agree, there should be a – some sort of a school standard…

Andrew: I demand standard! Standards!

Micah: …of the broom that you use in Quidditch.

Andrew: Yeah. Ahh, wise guy.

Micah: It’s kind of like, it’s all acceptable, but I mean, think about what the Weasleys use. I think Ben mentioned that before.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: They’re on these [censored] slow brooms…

[Mikey laughs]

Micah: I can’t say that, can I?

Andrew: What are they called, the Chasers…?

Mikey: The Cleansweep.

Ben: But Mikey – Mikey’s pretty much saying it’s the Weasleys fault they’re poor. That’s what Mikey’s saying.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Mikey: No, I’m not saying that it’s their fault they’re poor. I’m not saying that.

Ben: It was implied.

[Andrew laughs]

Mikey: No, I’m – I love the Weasleys. I’m just saying that I understand where it – I don’t think it has to be regulated because then what’s the point of Harry getting this awesome Firebolt later on? Hmm?

Ben: Well, there would be no point to it because everyone would have equal brooms. There would be a level playing field.

Andrew: I demand broom equality!

[Andrew and Mikey laugh]

Ben: I have a dream, that one day, all brooms will be created equal.

[Andrew and Mikey laugh]

Mikey: Wow, really?

Andrew: Okay, so…

Mikey: So a fight breaks out!

Andrew: So, then, a fight breaks out between Ben and Mikey over – no.

[Mikey laughs]

Andrew: A fight breaks out after Draco calls Hermione a Mudblood and Ron’s spell accidentally backfires and makes him spit out slugs.

Ben: [as Ron] Eat slugs!

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Sorry, that’s what he said in the movie.

Andrew: That’s right, yeah.

Mikey: You know, I want to say something about this. Like, when I read the – when I re-read the book, because I knew what Mudblood was and I knew how, you know – and I read the reactions to everyone and I was totally taken aback, because I had forgotten, the way the book is written, you have no clue what ‘Mudblood’ means at that point in time. Like we know now because we’ve read all the other books and…

Andrew: Well no, here’s the thing, yeah, that’s – that’s explained in…

Mikey: Yeah, it’s – is it explained before that?

Ben: No, it’s explained when they go to Hagrid’s Hut afterwards.

Mikey: Yeah, when they go to Hagrid’s Hut. But you see, Harry’s like, I know Draco said something really bad – that’s what it says in the book and it’s like, you see all the reactions of everyone, but Harry is completely clueless.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Mikey: And like, I thought that was kind of cool because…

Andrew: And so was Hermione.

Mikey: Yeah, Hermione’s not upset. But whereas in the movie, she’s hurt and upset…

Andrew: Right.

Mikey: …and everyone kind of knows. And, for some reason, I just kind of – that whole scene I always thought of just as in the movie, but reading it again I was kind of like, oh wow, Harry’s kind of oblivious to this and everyone’s reacting and he’s just like, he must have said something really bad.

Andrew: Yeah. Well here’s – yeah. Yeah, we’ll get to that more in a minute – and Ron’s curse – what I wanted to talk about right before that is Ron’s curse definitely would have gotten him in trouble and, as Hagrid later says, Lucius would have put pressure on Dumbledore to do something about it. And Ron’s immaturity and lack of thinking before doing shines through here. And…

Mikey: Yeah.

Andrew: I don’t know why – I wonder what would have happened to him if he – I mean, he did fire a curse. I know he was pretty upset because he knew what Mudblood meant, but…

Mikey: Well think about it. When – when Buckbeak hurt Draco, what did Lucius do there? Wanted Buckbeak dead.

Andrew: Right, exactly.

Mikey: So like, imagine, you know…

Andrew: He would have expected…

Mikey: A Weasley, a Weasley…

Andrew: Yeah. You would have thought that Ron would have calmed himself down though, I mean, especially after getting that Howler from his mother.

[Mikey laughs]

Ben: He never learns, that Ron Weasley.

Andrew: He never learns, nope.

Ben: Well, I mean, at this point…

Micah: He’s got a thing for Hermione…

Ben: …he’s already started to develop a few feelings for Hermione, and he doesn’t want to admit it.

Andrew: That’s true.

Ben: And no one calls his Hermione a Mudblood.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: What were you saying, Micah?

Micah: No, I was about to say the same thing Ben did.

Andrew: Oh, okay. Okay, so, last week we discussed why Dumbledore chose Lockhart for the job and, as Ben correctly explained last week, as does Hagrid this chapter, that he was quote, and I wrote this out not in Hagrid’s impression because it’s too hard to type out. “The only man for the job, and I mean the only one. Getting very difficult to find anyone for the Dark Arts job. People aren’t too keen to take it on. They’re starting to think it’s jinxed.” That’s what Hagrid says. So, right on Ben.

Ben: Right on.

Andrew: And then, this is the big movie difference right here. This is what Mikey brought up; Ron explains, and knew, what the word ‘Mudblood’ meant. And Hermione did not know what it meant when Draco said it. But in the movie, of course, Hermione knows what it means and sobs upon explaining it in Hagrid’s Hut. And it’s a very sad scene. Now, I’m wondering why W.B. would change this? Because – and we’re going to get to another example in another one of these chapters coming up later in the show, but what’s the deal with letting Ron being a little smart every once and a while? Why does have to be the dumb third wheel?

Mikey: Well, you know what? Ron did know it in the movie. He did, because that’s…

Andrew: Well…

Mikey: …why he cursed…

Andrew: Yes.

Mikey: …tried to curse Draco. You know what? I think in the movie if – reading the book it seemed like Hermione wasn’t really upset. And in the movie it plays better emotions wise.

Andrew: Yeah. I just think it could have worked if Ron explained it in the movie, I mean, Hermione still could have sobbed…

Mikey: I agree.

Andrew: And been like, [fake sobbing] “Right Ron! You’re so smart!”

Mikey: [laughs] I agree.

Ben: What was that other line that Hermione stole from Ron?

Andrew: Oh, later in the…

Ben: Maybe it was in the first movie?

Andrew: Well, there’s an explanation about Squibs coming up in chapter nine…

Mikey: Yeah.

Andrew: That Ron says, but it’s not in the movie.

Ben: Poor Rupert.

Andrew: I know. I think that’s what I’m thinking about. Oh well, we’ll get to it later though. Okay, to wrap up this chapter, after returning to the castle from Hagrid’s, McGonagall greets them upon their entrance and issues the detentions for the car incident. Ron was to clean the trophies with Filch and Harry is to help Lockhart respond to fan mail. And of course Harry’s dreading that. And Lockhart’s all excited and is like ‘Oh, it’s so much better than cleaning the trophies.’ And then, while signing the fan mail, Harry hears the basilisk for the first time! And he doesn’t know what it is, of course, and notices Lockhart doesn’t hear it and at this point Lockhart realizes what time it is and sends him home. And then, once back in the Common Room, he explains it to Ron, and Ron is just as baffled. He doesn’t know what it means either.

Chapter-by-Chapter: “The Deathday Party”

And of course this leads us to “The Deathday Party,” chapter eight. Halloween is approaching and Harry runs into Nearly Headless Nick who appeared to be upset, and Harry learns that Nick was rejected from The Headless Hunt. The group rejected him because his head was not completely separated from his body. And the letter reminds Nick that he would not be able to partake in activities like Horseback Head Juggling and Head Polo. Nick does not accept these as good excuses though. And I’m kind of confused as to why. If his head is still on his body, you can’t be playing Head Polo because you’re just hitting around your heads, right?

Mikey: Yeah.

Micah: Nick just doesn’t get it.

Andrew: Yeah, what’s the deal with that Micah?

Micah: I don’t know. Maybe…

Andrew: Why does he want to be…

Micah: …we should ask him.

Andrew: …in the Headless Hunt so much?

Micah: He’s looking for a place to belong to, I think. He’s lonely, you know?

Ben: And he’s so close!

Micah: Going about the castle all the time.

Ben: An eighth of an inch, you know?

Andrew: Yeah, but – yeah. But he’s got Helga. He’s got people he can chill with at Hogwarts. So soon after that, Filch tracks Harry down and berates him for bringing mud into the school and Filch brings Harry to the office when they’re a couple minutes into Filch’s sentencing when he hears Peeves causing havoc on the floor above and Filch runs out, and while he’s gone Harry notices that he’s been learning a Kwikspell course. He sees it on his desk and when Filch returns he notices the envelope had moved and he claims it was for a friend but flips out on Harry. Filch lets him go detention free and Nick greets him upstairs and explains that it was actually him, Nick, who got Peeves to cause the havoc. And then Harry was like, “Oh! That’s so nice of you, Nick!” And he wants to return the favor, so that’s when Harry accepts Nick’s invitation to the Deathday party and Nick is thrilled and also asks Harry to let Sir Patrick know that Nick is quite scary. I’m talking too much though.

Mikey: No, no. I wanted to get to this point.

Andrew: Okay, go ahead.

Mikey: When I read this again, it kind of reminded me of Slughorn… of Harry. Why would Nick invite Harry among everyone else? It’s because he’s Harry Potter.

Andrew: Right.

Mikey: And I think that’s almost selfish of Nearly Headless Nick that he wanted to have the famous Harry Potter come to his party and speak.

Andrew: Yeah it’s really not in his character, is it?

Mikey: Yeah! And it’s seems like – I never really thought of Nearly Headless Nick as kind of selfish in that way.

Andrew: Yeah, like a Slughorn – “Oh, I need to have you at my party.”

Mikey: Yeah, like he’d need to collect Harry and have Harry talk good about me and talk me up. It was just odd because it seemed almost out of place, but I guess, obviously it wasn’t.

Micah: It was almost 500 years though, in all fairness. It’s a pretty big party.

Mikey: That’s true. It was his big party. So, it makes sense.

Micah: But what I thought interesting from this was that if it wasn’t for Nearly Headless Nick, then in – what was it? In Half-Blood Prince, there wouldn’t have been a way for the Death Eaters to get into Hogwarts because I’m assuming that this cabinet that he breaks is the same cabinet that ends up in the Room of Requirement – that Peeves breaks.

Andrew: Oh, yeah! Filch actually calls it the Vanishing Cabinet.

Micah: So…

Mikey: Mhm.

Micah: Peeves broke it and because of Nearly Headless Nick, Dumbledore died.

Ben: Oh my…

[Everyone gasps]

Andrew: No!

Ben: Look at that!

Mikey: It’s a connection!

Andrew: Well, there’s another good example of how the books run – what is it called? We were talking about it last week. How one is like seven, two is like six. There’s the Chamber of Secrets/Half-Blood Prince connection. Very cool.

Micah: It’s true.

Andrew: Good catch, Micah.

Micah: Thanks.

Andrew: So moving along, through this fine chapter. They go to – the day of the Death Party. Hold on, let me try this again. So, the day of Nick’s Deathday party arrives, and the trio’s kind of regretting accepting the invitation in lieu of the Hogwarts Halloween feast because they’re kind of nervous about it. They don’t know what to expect. Rightly so, because who’s ever been to a party celebrating someone’s death after 500 years? And upon entry, they’re blown away by all the ghosts they see! J.K Rowling described it as being “surreal”, or “remarkable”, or something like that. They encounter Moaning Myrtle for the first time and Hermione is quick to point out that she’s very annoying. And a little side note: in this chapter we learn that ghosts can almost taste things. When a ghost in this chapter moves his mouth through a sal-mon, and reveals this…

Ben: Salmon?

Andrew: Salmon, sorry. [laughs]

Mikey: “Sal-mons.”

Andrew: And Hermione suspects that they let the food rot, so the taste is stronger. And that’s pretty insane, because I wonder what the line is for like, being able to actually taste something because you’re still a ghost, you still don’t have taste buds.

Ben: Maybe it’s like a – I don’t know.

Andrew: Because I mean, if you have very, very, very poor taste buds, assuming that’s what they have…

Ben: Well…

Andrew: … would they also have very, very, very poor sense of touch or sense of smell?

Ben: Well they go right through everything so how could they…

Mikey: Yeah, they can’t – they can’t pick things up, right?

Andrew: No, but I’m saying if they can go through something and kind of taste it, how can they go through – why couldn’t they go through something and touch it?

Ben: Oooh. Like, because taste is clearly a physical sensation.

Andrew: Right. Just like touching is.

Ben: Right. So – maybe they – I don’t know. Maybe it’s all in their head.

Mikey: See now can…

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, maybe.

Mikey: See now can Peeves taste it because Peeves can touch things and move things because he’s a poltergeist.

Ben: He’d be able – yeah.

Andrew: Well, actually the thing is J.K. Rowling had wrote that when Hermione suggested this she did so with a sense of knowledge, or she knowledgeably said this or something like that. So she implied that this was fact because Hermione knew what she was talking about.

Mikey: Yeah, but – but that’s a ghost, what about poltergeists? What about Peeves? Can he taste stuff? Andrew, I’m looking to you for the answer!

Andrew: No, well, I think what Ben said. Yes, because he’s a poltergeist. Because he’s not a traditional ghost, so he can knock stuff over. So – I mean, unless he’s doing it with wind somehow.

Mikey: [laughs] I don’t know.

Andrew: I don’t know. I don’t know! Peeves runs into the Trio and causes trouble when he tells Myrtle what they’ve been saying about her and Myrtle gets very upset. And then as Nick is about to give his speech, Sir Patrick the Head of the Ghost Hunt – is that what it’s called?

Mikey: The Headless Hunt.

Andrew: The Headless Hunt comes in. He comes in with a big entourage and Harry tells Sir Patrick how frightening he thinks Nick is per Nick’s request of course. But Sir Patrick realizes straight away that [laughs] Nick asked him to say that. So what’s the deal with this Sir Patrick guy? I mean does he – could you connect him to any other character who seem similar? I mean, he’s just this really arrogant ghost who – maybe part of the reason he’s not accepting Nick is just because he likes to see him suffer through this. And like he says to the Trio, he’s like, “Oh yeah, he’s been trying forever to get in but we keep rejecting him.”

Ben: It’s – he’s maybe like a Lucius Malfoy, right?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: You know. Or this is just another example of what I was talking about with – intolerance and arrogance and how people – Nearly Headless Nick – that one eighth of an inch of skin attaching his head is enough to keep him out of this elite club…

Andrew: Right.

Ben: …where it’s similar to the way that if you don’t have full blood then Voldemort isn’t going to accept you, you know?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: So it’s like a minor – like people are just discriminating over the most minor details.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. It’s very strange. Any other thoughts guys?

Mikey: Well, do you really think that they’re discriminating against him? Because that makes a difference. Like, again, he can’t play headless polo because his head is still attached.

Andrew: Right. Well, yeah – I mean sure. Sir Patrick has some good arguments here but it’s like, poor guy. He’s been dead for 500 years. Just let him in. He just wants the title I guess.

Ben: Well, by definition – I mean, it’s a club. And by definition discrimination is like rules against – to discriminate is to choose.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: And they of course are the Headless Hunt. So they’re not going to want to have someone who has any part of their head still attached so – I mean, it’s not necessarily unjust discrimination, but it still is a form of discrimination over something pretty minor I would say.

Andrew: I think you’re right. All right, and moving still – I can’t believe we’re at an hour already. Time has flown by.

Ben: [sings] I try to make myself believe.

Andrew: [laughs] I think we’re going to skip that today.

Ben: What?

Andrew: I already took it out of the show.

Ben: Making the Connection?

Andrew: Yeah, because…

Ben: No, that’s fine.

Andrew: Yeah, because it’s so long. I keep losing my place, I’m sorry. So Nick tries to give a speech but, like I said, Sir Patrick steals the spotlight and the Trio leave. They’re like, “we’re out of here. This thing sucks.” And that’s when they go – Harry hears the noises coming from the wall again and they discover on the wall, written in blood is, “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened, enemies of the heir, beware,” written in blood and Ron suggests getting out of there before anyone sees them. But it’s too late, because students are leaving the Great Hall after the feast and ran right into the Trio and they see the message and everybody gets silent and Draco tells the crowd that Mudbloods are next. J.K. Rowling ends the chapter with “He grinned at the sight of the hanging, immobile cat.” So Draco, he’s really starting to turn evil in this book.

Chapter-by-Chapter: “The Writing on the Wall”

Andrew: And this leads us to Chapter 9, “The Writing on the Wall.” And this opens with Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, Lockhart, Filch and the Trio all heading into Lockhart’s office to discuss what has happened. And there’s an interesting quote towards the beginning here. J.K. Rowling writes, “Snape loomed behind them, half in shadow, wearing a most peculiar expression: it was as though he was trying hard not to smile.” Is J.K. Rowling trying to – trying to throw us off or was he actually happy – was Snape actually happy with what was going on? Because…

Ben: I think Snape was happy that – he thought he had busted Harry doing something messed up.

Andrew: But – but – well, this is my next question. Surely he knew better than to assume it was their fault, that they did this.

Micah: No. I mean that’s Snape’s character. I mean, he – he – the whole series, he’s out to get the Trio. He’s out to get Harry. It may not seem fair but that’s just the way that he is.

Andrew: Yeah, but…

Micah: He’s got some issues to resolve.

Mikey: I agree with Micah on this and I think, in hindsight, knowing how Snape turns out, I think he might be more along the lines of enjoying seeing Harry squirm. He knows Harry probably didn’t do this and, in fact, he even comes up and says – he even kind of stands up for Harry.

Andrew: So why do you think he’s excited?

Mikey: I think he’s…

Andrew: Or happy?

Mikey: I think he’s enjoying watching Harry squirm…

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Mikey: …because he knows Harry didn’t do it. He’s kind of like, Harry, Ron, Hermione, these Trio, these golden kids of Dumbledore are scared “s” less right now…

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: …and he knows it and he sees it and he’s just enjoying them being scared because he doesn’t like Harry.

Andrew: I think that’s a good point. Yeah.

Mikey: It doesn’t mean that he’s not going to stand up for Harry, which he does in a minute, but it’s one of those things where he enjoys watching Harry squirm.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Fair point, yeah. So basically, Harry is just upset that – or Snape is just happy to see Harry suffering, right, Mikey?

Mikey: Yeah. Yeah, I agree with you on that one.

Andrew: Okay. And so Lockhart pretends to know what happened to Mrs. Norris until Dumbledore declares that she was actually not dead, or – yeah, she was just petrified. And the teachers wonder why the Trio were walking down that corridor and Harry fears explaining what he had heard coming from the walls. Now Snape suggests Harry is removed from the Gryffindor Quidditch team for not being truthful and McGonagall quickly says that is uncalled for. Does Snape ever keep some level of professionalism? I mean, he’s like Draco. This is like Draco sitting in there and being like, “I think he shouldn’t be on the Quidditch team.”

Mikey: Well…

Andrew: For this.

Mikey: I have to agree with you. I think – you know…

Andrew: And as McGonagall intelligently points out, there was no evidence suggesting that they had actually done this, other than Harry vamping with – trying to make up some excuse for why they were up there.

Mikey: Yeah, I agree. But I think it was kind of throw away. I think Snape knew he wasn’t going to get tossed off but…

Andrew: He needs to grow up.

Mikey: No, I think it’s one of those things where he wanted to see Harry squirm and sweat going, “Oh my gosh! I’m going to get kicked off this Quidditch team!” And he knew there was no way Dumbledore, with McGonagall there actually kicking him off this, because like you said before, there was no point – there was no proof that he did actually did anything wrong. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. And I think Snape said that again, going back to before, he just liked to watch Harry squirm a little bit.

Andrew: Mhm, mhm. I think you’re right. And then there is an interesting quote here. The quote is: “Dumbledore was giving Harry a searching look. His twinkling light blue gaze made Harry feel as though he were being x-rayed.” What was going on there? Do you think Dumbledore was kind of reading into his mind or something?

Micah: Yeah.

Mikey: I think there is a little Legilimens there.

Micah: It’s just like when we heard with Snape, I think it was last time we did the show, and we mentioned the Sorcerer’s Stone how he seems to be able to know when Harry is lying or that he is able to read his mind, or Harry gets that feeling.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: I think – I wouldn’t be surprised if Dumbledore did it too. But I think Dumbledore probably – be a little bit more cautious about it than Snape.

Andrew: So the Trio run into a dark classroom and discuss what just went on and Ron, for the second time in these few chapters, gets to be smart, this is what I was referring to, and offers an explanation about a Squib while Hermione remains silent! And – so then later on we learn that Ginny is very upset over the attack on Mrs. Norris and Ron tries to comfort her but no avail. And it is a given, it – is it a given that Ginny thought that she would be killed soon? Why was she so upset?

Ben: She was upset because I think she explains later in the book, she was upset because she blacked out during that time period and all of the sudden she found herself standing over Mrs. Norris or whatever.

Andrew: Oh, right.

Ben: And she was like, “Oh my gosh! What am I doing? Like, what’s going on here.”

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. No, you’re absolutely right.

Ben: Then she goes and destroys the diary – or tries to at least, in the Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: Yeah. You also have to remember Ron’s trying to console her. And he’s like, “Don’t worry. They are going to catch the person that did this.”

[Andrew laughs]

Mikey: It’s like, “Come on. Don’t worry. They are going to kick you out.”

[Micah laughs]

Mikey: So it’s more of those things where Ron was really not going to be able to help her out very much there.

Andrew: No, no. Not knowing what situation she actually was in, definitely not. And like many at the school, Hermione was desperate to learn more about the Chamber of Secrets, she declares – she decides to ask Professor Binns in front of the class, what – what is the Chamber of Secrets? At first – at first he pushes it off, “I only talk about fact here.” But then Hermione pushes him to answer again and he gives in. And this is another major movie difference. As we all know in the – in the film it’s McGonagall’s class that Hermione decides to actually answer in. Does anyone wonder why they changed it? I mean is – did they just not want Binns in – in the film so much? They wanted to use a pre-existing character everybody knew about already? I mean, because it was kind of random for Hermione to bring it up in a Transfiguration class.

Micah: Well…

Ben: Well, I mean not necessarily when you consider there’s kind of a big issue going on at the school at the time…

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: And McGonagall is one of the more trusted teachers, I would say and not only that, but do we even really see Binns in the films at all?

Andrew: No, we don’t.

Mikey: I don’t think so.

Andrew: That’s why I’m saying maybe they just didn’t want to introduce another character.

Mikey: Yeah.

Ben: Too much work because they have to cast somebody and of course the cost of doing the ghost and all that too?

Andrew: Yeah, they have got to set it up and set up that character. What were you going to say, Micah?

Micah: No, I was going to say basically the same thing. I mean you already have Dobby in that film, you have ghosts in the film.

Andrew: Yeah. Mikey?

Mikey: Oh, I was just going to say the same thing and then you have to set up the back story with Binns also.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Mikey: Of the story – he’s been teaching there forever. He just woke up one day and left his body behind. And that is just – more costs to it.

Andrew: McGonagall is more of an attractive person to look at too from a visual perspective. That’s a joke, but not really.

[Mikey laughs]

Andrew: Thanks for the laugh.

Mikey: [laughs] Keep going. Keep going.

Andrew: So, all the students begin questioning Binns about the Monster and the Chamber. And they are all sort of like attacking him. It’s like one question after another. Boom, boom, boom, boom. And who – like McGonagall believes in the movie, does not exist. And very stubborn opinion here. They’re just like, “No way. No way.” It’s sort of like with Umbridge – they’re like, “Voldemort is not back.” Blah, blah, blah. So Harry recalls never telling Ron and Hermione that the Sorting Hat considered putting him in Slytherin. Do you guys think – was Harry right not bring it up at this opportunity, because I kind of see this as a missed opportunity for him. Hermione or smart Ron would’ve likely made the connection between Sorting Hat’s consideration and Harry hearing the voices.

Mikey: Again he’s scared; it’s one of those things where – all the Dark Wizards came from Slytherin. And that’s where – he found that out in the first book on the train ride from Ron that all – there wasn’t a Dark Wizard who wasn’t from Slytherin.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Mikey: So why – with all this bad stuff happening and everyone already thinks it’s Harry. Why would he want his friends to have another reason to distrust him. I don’t they would distrust him but – he’s self conscious.

Andrew: Yeah. Okay and then to wrap up the chapter, the Trios hear that rumors are starting to spread that Harry is the heir of Slytherin. Hermione believes that they need to turn into Slytherins and ask Draco about the situation because Draco’s obviously suspecting Harry as is Justin Finch-Fletchley. He’s referenced numerous times in this chapter. And – but Ron says to obtain the book on – to create the Polyjuice Potion they need to get written permission from a teacher to have access to it. And Ron says, “No teacher is going to fall for that. They’d have to be really thick.” And of course they don’t say what chapter they’re going to go to but of course they are going to go to Lockhart.

[Mikey laughs]

Andrew: And some other little things in this chapter that hints what’s to come. The Trio sees the spiders heading out the window for the first time and there is also an encounter – encounter with Moaning Myrtle in her bathroom which gets Ron in trouble with Percy. And Myrtle doesn’t ruin any – reveal any important info at that point in time.

Ben: Andrew, have you ever been caught in a girls bathroom?

Andrew: Well, doing what – using the bathroom? Or like…

Ben: Like…

Mikey: Why were you in a girl’s bathroom?

Ben: Yeah, Andrew? What’s up with that dude?

Andrew: It’s none of you guys business. I mean have you, Ben?

Ben: No, no.

Andrew: Have you, Mikey?

Mikey: I’ve never been caught.

[Everyone laughs]

Mikey: That’s the answer.

Andrew: Micah? Micah, I bet the same thing as Mikey. You’ve – you’ve just never been caught.

Micah: Yeah, yeah.

MuggleCast 184 Transcript (continued)

Quote Quiz

Andrew: Got it. Okay, there’s our in depth look at the chapter. It’s time for: Quote quote quiz quiz quiz quiz! “Tomorrow’s the first match of the season, I believe. Gryffindor against Slytherin, is it not? I hear you’re a useful player. I was a seeker, too.”

Ben: Charlie Weasley.

Andrew: No.

Ben: “I was a seeker, too…”

Andrew: [sings] “I was a seeker too.” It was Lockhart.

Ben: Oh, that rotten Lockhart.

Andrew: I know, and he goes on to make more outrageous claims. So next week we’ll be talking about Chapters 10 through…

Ben: Oh, is it just one quote?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Oh, that’s not a quiz.

Andrew: Yes it is.

Ben: It’s a question.

Andrew: It’s a pop quiz.

Ben: It’s a pop question.

[Andrew and Mikey laugh]

Ben: A quiz is multiple questions.

Andrew: Quote quote question question!

Mikey: I was prepared to do number two.

Andrew: Oh, do you want to do one?

Mikey: No, no, its fine, I thought it was pop question now.

Muggle Mail: Poor Wizard Families

Andrew: Oh, sorry. Next week we will be discussion Chapters 10 through 12. Send in your questions and feedback about these upcoming chapters, as well as the chapters we have just discussed. So, thank you for that. We have some e-mails now before we get into the Sorting Hat, and of course Dear Emma. Ben, would you like to take that first e-mail?

Ben: Yes. Miranda, 18, from New Zealand writes:

“Dear MuggleCasters, on the topic of families who are too poor to send their kids to Hogwarts, in ‘Half-Blood Prince’ when Dumbledore goes to the orphanage to tell Tom Riddle he’s a wizard, he says that there is a fund for those who can’t afford to buy robes and books. Lots of love, Miranda.”

Micah: I think we spoke about…

Ben: Oh, we were talking about financial aid for Hogwarts students.

Micah: Yeah, financial aid for people who can’t afford to go.

Ben: So could the Weasleys get part of their robes subsidized or something? Or is that…

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: I don’t know.

Micah: I would look into that.

Andrew: Yeah, I don’t know, good question.

Mikey: I think the Weasleys would be too proud to take a handout from Dumbledore.

Ben: Yeah, I could see that.

Andrew: Micah, could you read the next e-mail?

Muggle Mail: Malfoy’s Malice

Micah: Yup. Next e-mail comes from Summer from San Antonio, Texas, and she says:

“Hey MuggleCast folks, I know you hear this a lot so I will keep this short. Y’all rock.” but then she goes onto say, “Last podcast when y’all were discussing that there were really no hints that Mr. Malfoy had placed Tom’s diary in Ginny’s book, I went back and read that section and though it might be a stretch, I thought it was interesting that Jo said Mr. Malfoy’s eyes were ‘glittering with malice’ on page 63 of the U.S. edition. I looked up the word and according to the Oxford Dictionary, and it means ‘the desire to do harm to someone, ill will.’ It doesn’t seem like ‘malice’ would be the right word if he was just angry and fired up at the mini-throw down between him and Mr. Weasley. A word like, well, ‘anger’ would seem more fitting, malice sounds a lot more sinister. He’s also looking straight at Ginny when he’s got the malice in his eyes, and glittering implies that he’s going to enjoy whatever is about to happen. He also makes a point to give it straight to Ginny, which is a very odd gesture in itself. One would expect him to throw it on the floor in disgust, or not pick it up at all. It would be suspicious, if not for the insult he throws in, ‘Here girl, it’s the best your father can give you’ to cover his tracks. Like I said, it may seem like a bit of a stretch, and by now I have read it so many times that I’d like to find something here. But just thought I’d share. It is also a lot more fun to analyze Harry Potter than macroeconomics. Thanks for reading, and keep up the awesome job.”

Andrew: Well that’s a good point. And I’m – what?

Ben: I was going to say I agree. There’s a reason why we don’t do MacroeconomicsCast.

[Everyone laughs]

Mikey: Yeah.

Andrew: Well, yes. I was also referring to the “glittering with malice,” I think that’s a nice little research that Summer did there. Because I’m happy now, I am satisfied. There was a hint, we just had to look up the definition of word to get it. All right Mikey, you want to read the next e-mail from Sami, from your old hometown of California? Home state?

Muggle Mail: Ginny’s Diary

Mikey: Home state, not hometown, but sure, why not? Sami, no age, from California:

“Hi, MuggleCasters. I was listening to the latest episode when you talked about how Ginny insists on going back for her diary on the way to King’s Cross. Remembering the scene made me wonder if at this point, only a few days after she had first gotten the diary, Ginny was already possessed. Diaries are usually kept secret, so it doesn’t seem like she would tell her entire family and Harry that she had one unless it was extremely important to her. She could have quietly asked one of her parents to mail it to her. If she was already possessed, it would give some insight into how powerful Horcruxes are, and again show how amazing Harry is for never being possessed at all in his work with the Horcruxes. Just wanted to hear your thoughts, you guys are amazing, and I adore the show. Thanks!”

Ben: Well, when she’s – when they’re on the way to King’s Cross she can’t exactly be like, “I need to go back!” Then they would say, “What do you need?” She has to tell them that her – she’s going back to get her diary. But is he saying the Horcrux creates this attachment to the diary, where she just needs the diary at all costs?

Andrew: I think that’s what Sami’s saying, yeah.

Mikey: Yeah, I think Sami’s saying that – could Ginny have already been affected by the diary in the short period of time that she’s had it, before she goes to Hogwarts.

Ben: I think so, because I imagine when she first started writing in the diary, she’s emotionally vulnerable, she has a crush on Harry, she has all these things, and there’s probably one point where she sat down for hours and just poured her entire heart out to this thing. To something that would finally listen to her, something that would finally give her some feedback.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Ben: So she probably – she definitely had that emotional connection established.

Mikey: I agree.

Muggle Mail: Harry’s Easiest Year

Andrew: Next e-mail comes from Luke McClay, 14, of [Irish accent] Northern Ireland:

Hi MuggleCast, first of all I love the show, I am loving the Chapter-by-Chapter segments the most. My question is…”

And this is a really interesting question!

“What do you guys believe to be Harry’s easiest year in Hogwarts? Or what year do you think the least happened to Harry or the trio. Once again love the show guys, keep up the great work, thanks.”

Harry’s easiest year, that’s a good question I thought because he faces trouble every year.

Micah: Prisoner of Azkaban.

Andrew: Yeah, that was my gut.

Mikey: I was going to say Prisoner of Azkaban because he doesn’t face anything bad, he’s just in constant fear of Sirius Black until he finds out he’s a good guy.

Andrew: Yeah, well I mean he’s also really – I think you could argue he’s in pretty constant fear in every book too. There’s always something going on. What do you think Ben?

Ben: I think Prisoner of Azkaban would probably be the best, because in that book he actually gets the chance or he actually that he gets to live with Sirius and all these great things.

Andrew: Yeah there’s a lot to hope for.

Ben: There’s a lot to hope for, even though it all gets crushed. He’s used to it at that point.

Mikey: [laughs] It’s just another day in the…

Ben: It’s just another day in the life of Harry Potter.

Andrew: What would you say is his hardest then?

Ben: Year 7.

Andrew: Year 7?

Ben: I mean, that’s when it’s all kind of culminating, he’s out on the run and there is a lot of unknowns. He can’t even say “Voldemort” anymore because the Trace is on, and it’s just all really, really intense and then there’s a lot of deaths going on, destruction. It’s abound.

Mikey: I agree with Ben completely and it’s one of those things, he doesn’t have guidance that year, it’s all up to him. He has that fight with Ron because Ron’s like “Well we thought you had some idea of what we were actually doing,” he was totally at a loss of what to do. He had an idea of where he wanted to go, but he didn’t know what the Horcruxes were or where they were.

Andrew: I was going say Order of the Phoenix because yeah, okay, he has to fight Voldemort in Book 7, but Order of the Phoenix

[Mikey laughs]

Andrew: …he has this incredible amount of emotional – he’s facing this incredible emotional struggle throughout the book.

Ben: “Who’s Cedric, your boyfriend?”

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: No, but I mean, you just think about how infuriated he was at Umbridge, how infuriated he was about these thoughts going on inside of his head and these dreams. Jo has said it herself that that was a very challenging book for Harry. Harry’s very angry.

Ben: Well that was his most annoying year for sure.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Because he was a punk in that book. Him and Sirius both.

Andrew: Micah what do you think?

Micah: Yeah it’s probably a toss-up between Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows.

Ben: What about losing Dumbledore in Book 6? I mean come on, that’s a big blow.

Andrew: That’s the thing, that’s why it’s…

Mikey: What about Year 1? When he finds out he’s a wizard? And then he has to face off with Lord Voldemort for the very first time?

Ben: That’s a lot to handle, that’s a lot to handle.

Andrew: Yeah, well that’s why it’s an interesting question, guys! There’s crazy…

Ben: What about Year 2…

[Andrew laughs]

Mikey: He fights a giant snake!

Ben: …when he has to go fight a giant snake! I mean, come on!

Mikey: I mean seriously, wow! He had a hard life!

Ben: Wow, he had a hard life.

Andrew: I remember – I still remember this so vividly. Some things you remember, like, insanely vividly over like ten years. I was sitting in the kitchen with my Mom and I was talking to her about Chamber of Secrets, how it’s coming into the theater soon. And I was, like, [in a childish voice] “Mom, this one’s really dark because Harry gets to actually put a sword through a dragon! And it’s probably going to be rated PG-13 or something.” And she was, like, “Oh wow. It sounds dark.” But it’s just so funny to me.

Ben: You told her he put a sword through a dragon?

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Or snake, sorry. That’s what I meant. Not a dragon.

Ben: Wow.

Mikey: Uh-huh. Yeah.

Andrew: No, I’m serious. [laughs] I just screwed up right now. Sorry. But anyway…

[Ben laughs]

Andrew: I mean, it’s just…

Mikey: Yeah, sure.

Andrew: …so funny to think, like – as a twelve year old, I was like, “Oh my God, it’s getting so dark so quick.” But that was nothing.

Ben: That was nothing. You had no idea what you were in store for.

Andrew: Micah, what’s that second to last – or Ben. We’ll continue the order. Ben, can you read the…

Muggle Mail: Jo’s Latest Work

Ben: Yes.

Andrew: …next email?

Ben: Joel Kvas-Hinder from Western Australia writes:

“Hi guys! I’m an episode or two behind, but I was listening to 182 and you guys were talking about what J.K. Rowling could possibly be working on now due to her recent tweet. I noticed you didn’t mention what had been mentioned on ‘J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life,’ which was that she had enough of Potter for the moment. I therefore don’t believe she is working on the H.P. Encyclopedia. The documentary does mention that she had once again begun writing and when asked about it she says: “It’s a political fairy tale.” That was all she would reveal. Unless I have missed a story about her cancelling out this idea or something, I do believe that this is why pen and paper is her priority at the moment. Thanks for all the awesome shows. I really enjoy listening, and Andrew, Ben, and Micah are my favorites.”

Andrew: Aw, I’m sorry Mikey.

Ben: Aw, poor Mikey.

Mikey: It’s all right. I’m always forgotten. It’s okay.

Andrew: I had remembered she did say she was doing this political fairy tale, but – I’m sorry, maybe I’m just really stubborn. But I just can’t picture J.K. Rowling doing something before Harry Potter is all over. I just, like, see that she…

Ben: What?

Andrew: I think she has to be completely done with Harry Potter. I can’t see her going to this political fairy tale, and then going back to an encyclopedia.

Ben: Why not?

Mikey: I…

Ben: I mean…

Andrew: Because…

Ben: …you go over to Twilight Source…

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: …and then come back to work on MuggleNet. [laughs] Why can’t she go…

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: …work on the political…

Andrew: Because she’s…

Ben: …fairy tale?

Andrew: …the author of the book! [laughs]

Ben: Jo, don’t do this to us! Stick with Harry!

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: I don’t know. I mean, I certainly wouldn’t complain. Of course, we’d all love to see this new work by J.K. Rowling. But…

Ben: Isn’t Harry Potter kind of a political fairy tale?

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: It kind of is.

Ben: Like, if you think about it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: All Harry Potter is – like, the more and more I think about it, it’s just, like, she put up a mirror of the world.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: And she’s like, “Hey, here’s what’s going on, guys.”

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: And then everybody sees…

Andrew: I…

Ben: …different bits and pieces of themselves in it.

Andrew: Yeah. There are lots of parallels. But what if she made this into a big series? I mean, you know she could easily do this again.

Ben: Oh, well – I mean, it depends on…

Andrew: I say “easily” lately. But…

Ben: Like, I – if she writes a new series and – but I was told – I remember hearing a while ago that she probably wasn’t going to release it under the same name, which to me would be a – what I think would be a big mistake…

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Ben: …because if – you have all these people who are huge Harry Potter fans. But then at the same time, she really doesn’t need the money. She’s already a billionaire. So maybe she’s thinking, “All right, well I’ll just…

Andrew: But she has to. She couldn’t hide it from all her die-hard fans. I don’t think…

Mikey: Well…

Andrew: I mean – you know, what Ben is saying – just a little disclaimer. That’s not officially confirmed or anything.

Ben: Well, Stephen King has many different pen names.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: And – a lot of – like, I remember one time I found out this book was actually Stephen King. And – I mean, maybe the die-hard fans would figure it out. Or…

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: …we’ll be able to tell by the writing style or something.

Andrew: But the other think about Stephen King is that he writes a lot of books. This is only J.K. Rowling’s second book. So – or second series. Whatever this political fairy tale is going to be. So…

Mikey: But at the same time though – you’ve got to remember, if she releases it as J.K. Rowling, people are going to expect a certain type of book, and she may just want to release under a different name where there’s not that…

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: …pressure.

Andrew: Yeah, but that would be a tragedy. Can you imagine? She writes – she releases this book and nobody knows she did it? Oh, it would be terrible. And I mean, she would have to reveal it eventually. I don’t know.

Mikey: Yeah.

Muggle Mail: Lord Voldemore?

Andrew: Let’s move on. Micah, can you get that last e-mail?

Micah: Last e-mail comes from Rachel of “Nowhere,” age: “nothing.”

“First of all, I love your show. Second of all, when I was on the pronunciation guide on Scholastic, I noticed that when you click on Voldemort, it pronounces it ‘Vol-de-more.’ It leaves off the ‘t’ completely. What do you think? Thanks, Rachel.”

Ben: That’s probably the correct pronunciation.

Micah: Yeah. I think it is.

Andrew: [imitating pronunciation guide voice] “Voldemore.”

Ben: [imitating pronunciation guide voice] “Voldemore.”

Micah: It’s French, right?

Ben: No.

Andrew: Maybe.

Ben: Kah-noots.

Andrew: Kah-noots.

Micah: It means “flight from death.”

Andrew: Ahhh.

Ben: Ooh.

Micah: Or “stealing death.”

Ben’s Letter to Emma

Andrew: That’s sexy. Ben, to wrap up the show, like I teased at the beginning, I understand you have a letter to Emma that you would like to…

Ben: Yeah. It’s short and sweet, but…

Andrew: Yeah. Have you written this to her and mailed it to her or what are you doing?

Ben: What am I doing? Well, I’m just hoping that maybe she will…

Andrew: She’ll hear it.

Ben: She’ll hear it somehow.

Andrew: Okay.

Ben: Yeah.

Andrew: Maybe someone at Brown will play it for her.

Ben: Maybe.

“Dear Emma, we’ve had an on-going fling for a while now, and my heart still aches for your presence. I’ve watched you develop before my eyes, and your passion just sings to me. I know you’re very busy with all of your acting work and you go to school on the other side of the country, but I still think that together, baby, we could make magic.”

[Andrew laughs]


“Get at me, girl. Love, Benjamin.”

Andrew: [laughs] Oh, that’s very nice. That’s very nice.

Ben: Yeah, I tend to fall for those actor types.

Andrew: Yeah, I understand.

Ben: Yeah.

Andrew: Especially the ones you try to pick up at after-parties. [laughs]

Ben: [laughs] I know. Yeah. I just like the way they’re emotionally in control. You know?

Andrew: Right, right.

Ben: It’s very, very attractive.

[Mikey laughs]

Andrew: Maybe next week Emma can write a letter to you.

Ben: Yeah, post it on her site.

Andrew: [imitating Emma Watson] “Dear Ben, Thank you for your note. I must say I have mutual feelings for you.”

Ben: [imitating Emma] “I must say I am flattered.”

Andrew: “You are the one millionth boy to write me this kind of letter.” [laughs]

Ben: It’s all right because you know, everybody knows about my near encounter with her…

Andrew: Right.

Mikey: Yes.

Ben: At the Order of the Phoenix

Andrew: Yes.

Ben: Wow. Yeah.

Mikey: It was very near, right?

Ben: Very near. I was inches away from her on the couch…

[Mikey laughs]

Ben: …about to slip my arm around her, and then it all came crashing down when the security guard came in.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: What were they thinking? They could trust you. I mean, when I look at you, I see trust.

Ben: Yeah. I’m very, very innocent looking.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: She does know about you, though.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: This is true because Emerson asked her on the red carpet, “Do you know about Ben Schoen?” She was like, [imitating Emma] “Are you him?”

[Everybody laughs]

Andrew: I forgot all about that. Wow.

Ben: It’s all right. Emma, if you’re out there, I’m not going to say, “I’m coming for you,” because that would sound like…

[Andrew and Mikey laugh]

Ben: That would sound a little bit weird, but look me up at

Andrew: Okay, well…

Ben: I got to plug that once a show, I’m sorry.

Andrew: That’s fine.

[Mikey laughs]

Announcement: Podcast Alley

Andrew: We have a couple announcements before we wrap up the show today. Don’t forget to vote for us on Podcast Alley. It’s a new month so vote for us. It is MuggleCast Movember.

Ben: How many votes have we gotten all-time?

Andrew: A lot!

Ben: Are we still number one or does that go…?

Andrew: Well, it resets every month.

Ben: I know, but are we consistently number one like we used to be?

Andrew: Um, yeah. We’re number seven this month. I mean, that’s not bad.

Ben: In the ratings.

Announcement: 2009 Podcast Awards

Andrew: In the ratings. And this is the first episode of the month, so please vote for us on Podcast Alley. We do appreciate that, everyone. Also, Podcast Awards update…

Ben: Ooh.

Andrew: 2009 Podcast Awards. I’m very happy to announce that thanks to all your support – the listeners – we have been nominated in the Best Produced and Best Entertainment categories. So thank you.

Ben: We’re going for some more of them.

Andrew: We’re going for the gold.

Ben: Going for them. So where are these – where are the Podcast Awards at?

Andrew: Tilt it up.

Ben: Where are the Podcast Awards?

Andrew: Up more.

Ben: Where are the Podcast Awards? Oh no! Now I sound great again.

Andrew: I know! [laughs]

Ben: Where are the Podcast Awards at this year, Andrew?

Andrew: They’re going to be online like they were last year.

Ben: Oooh!

Andrew: He does this webcast, yeah.

Ben: So do you get on a webcam?

Andrew: Micah did last year.

Ben: Really? And he was like, [as Micah] “Thank you.”

Andrew: Yeah, he did a…

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: He did an acceptance.

Micah: That was exactly how it went, yeah.

Ben: [as Micah] “Thanks. That’s all from our news studio in New York. Goodbye.” Sorry, Micah. I can’t believe I’m mocking you right in front of you.

Micah: No, it’s fine.

Andrew: So here’s how it’s going to work. Hold on, let me get the page up so I can get the…

Micah: We’re up against a podcast in Best Produced called NFL Rants and Raves.

Andrew: Mmm. And also This American Life which is a very popular NPR podcast, I believe. Or PBS.

Micah: Yeah, they’re going down.

Ben: Ooh! So we’re…

Andrew: Yeah, so there’s some tough competition this year. So the voting begins on November 13th, and how that works is you can vote once a day. So we ask you to please vote for us once a day starting November 13th through November 30th at We’ll remind you all on the Twitter and the Facebook and MuggleNet to make sure we get your votes. We really appreciate it. And you know, it speaks to the podcasting community that we still have these great Harry Potter podcasts out there. So we’re nominated in Best Produced and also Best Entertainment. Last year we won Best Entertainment and in 2006 we won People’s Choice. And so this year we’re going for big time gold again. So if we can win two awards, this will be our first year winning two awards!

Mikey: That would be rad.

Andrew: Yes, it would.

Ben: That would be more than rad.

Andrew and Mikey: That would be radical.

Ben: Rada- rada- radatastic!

[Andrew laughs]

Mikey: [laughs] Radatastic!

Andrew: So again, November 13th. And we will remind you, that’s when daily voting starts.

Announcement: New Ultimate DVD Section on MuggleNet

Andrew: Micah, we have a new Ultimate DVD section on MuggleNet, don’t we?

Micah: We do, we do. I created it.

Andrew: Tell us about it.

Micah: Oh. [laughs] It’s your one-stop source for everything Ultimate DVD.

Ben: So is it the Ultimate DVD section or is it…

[Micah laughs]

Ben: …the “Ultimate DVD Section”?

Andrew: It’s the Ultimate DVD Section for the Ultimate DVDs.

Ben: Oh.

Micah: It’s the Ultimate Ultimate DVD Selection – section.

Ben: On the Ultimate Harry Potter Site.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: There you go.

Ben and Mikey: Wow.

Andrew: On the ultimate data network – the Internet.

Micah: But you can go over there, check out all the features for Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets. You can watch the trailer that W.B. put together for these two editions that are coming out.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Check the latest prices – we got everything going on over there.

Andrew: Yeah, and you’ll be – and that page will be updated with the future Ultimate Editions, too.

Micah: Yes.

Announcement: Roller Coaster Tycoon Competition

Andrew: You guys know what we’re talking about; we discussed those on MuggleCast a few weeks ago. Also, Eric’s not on this week, but he did want us to remind you that the MuggleCast – or the Wizarding World Theme Park/Roller Coaster Tycoon contest has concluded. To see the winners from the Roller Coaster Tycoon contest, just check out the show notes for this episode on and there’s a link. Eric made a news post on MuggleNet a few weeks ago that you can also check out if you haven’t already. So great job and thanks to everyone who contributed to that.

Micah: We’ll add them, too to the Wizarding World section.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: It’ll probably be easier for people to get to.

Announcement: Infinitus 2010

Andrew: Yeah. And last but not least, Infinitus 2010 is coming up; we just wanted to remind you about it. As everybody knows, our friends at HPEF put on amazing Harry Potter conferences every year and Infinitus 2010 is the next conference. It’s going to be July 15th through the 18th in Orlando…

Ben: Are we going to be there, Andrew?

Andrew: Ben, again, I – we can’t reveal at this time.

Ben: At this time, okay.

Andrew: Honestly, I don’t even know.

Ben: I don’t even…

Andrew: It should be a running thing…

Ben: There is no travel booked at this point, people! I can confirm…

Andrew: [laughs] That’s right!

Ben: There is no travel booked via any airline.

Andrew: There should be a running…

Micah: [unintelligible]

Andrew: There should be a running thing every week where you just ask me anyway, “Are we going to be there? Are we going to be there?”

[Andrew and Ben laugh]

Ben: I asked you last week.

Andrew: You did! [laughs] Until I said again, Ben, no.

Ben: Yeah, yeah. Oh damn.

Mikey: You’re going to be there, Ben, and you’re going to be like “Are we going to get there?”

[Andrew and Mikey laugh]

Ben: Me and Andrew are going to drive across the country.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: We’re actually going by…

Mikey: You should pick me up!

Andrew: Spike there.

Ben: Swing through Kentucky. Hey Mikey! What’s up?

Andrew: Hop on the back of my bike!

Mikey: Let’s go!

[Andrew and Mikey laugh]

Andrew: They recently redid their website – it’s a beautiful looking website, Register for the conference, it’s going to be the first Harry Potter conference…

[Show music begins]

Andrew: …at the Harry Potter theme park, it’s going to be incredible. I can’t imagine how great it’s going to be. And…

Mikey: I’m excited.

Andrew: And you can register, just put MuggleNet and/or MuggleCast in the referral box when you do register – we greatly appreciate that – so they know where you came from. So that’s it. Don’t forget…

Ben: That’s it? This is it?

Andrew: This is it.

Mikey: That’s it?

Ben: Oh no!

Contact Information

Andrew: Don’t forget to visit for all the contact information about the show. There’s a contact link towards the top where you can fill out the feedback form to contact us, or just use our – any of our first names at staff dot MuggleNet dot com. Don’t forget about our Twitter at, there you can also follow Ben Schoen – there’s a button for Ben.

[Ben makes a noise]

Andrew: You can also visit our Facebook page at and become a fan of us over there. We have 8,000 fans on Facebook, that’s cool!

Ben: Ooh!

Show Close

Andrew: So again, everyone, thank you so much for your support. We’re obviously doing great, you know, with – in terms of fan support. Thank you again for nominating us in the Podcast Awards and hopefully we can win this year.

Ben: Thank you so much for everything. Mikey, I love you.

Mikey: I love you too, Ben. I wish I was on more often, I want to hang out with you again.

Ben: I know. This has just been great, grand and wonderful at the same time.

Andrew: Micah, I love you.

Ben: Oh wow, look at this.

Andrew: I just want…

Mikey: I love you too, Micah.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Thanks, guys.

Ben: Micah, I love you the most.

[Mikey laughs]

Andrew: Thanks everyone for listening!

Mikey: I love you too, Andrew.

Ben: [singing] “Love is all you need. Love will conquer all. Love is the weapon we have.”

[Everyone laughs]

Mikey: That’s what I learnt from Harry Potter.

Andrew: I am Andrew Sims.

Ben: I am Benjamin Schoen.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Mikey: And I’m Mikey B!

[Andrew laughs]

Mikey: Woo! [laughs] I’m Mikey B!

Andrew: We’ll see everyone next time for Episode 185, bye-bye!

Ben: Peace!

Mikey: Bye-bye!

Micah: Bye!

[Show music continues]