Transcript #187

MuggleCast 187 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 e-mail, 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 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 poof goes the owl, this is MuggleCast Episode 187 for December the 21st, 2009.

[Show music continues]

Andrew: All right everyone, welcome to MuggleCast Episode 187. Happy holidays to you all! You know, I said it last week, but I want to extend the greeting again this week. And we’re joined this week by Mikey, Micah and Laura and Eric! Hello everyone, happy holidays friends!

Laura: Hey! Happy holidays!

Mikey: Hey.

Andrew: Happy holidays.

Mikey: Happy holidays!

Andrew: So good to be speaking to you all. And we were just speaking about this before the start of the show. Laura has turned 21. Happy birthday Laura.

Laura: Awww, thank you.

Andrew: Yay!

Andrew: Now you can divulge all those secrets we’ve been wanting to hear for years and years.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Laura: Oh, I don’t know that this is the appropriate forum for that, but…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Yeah, you guys have three other podcasts you can do that on.

Laura: Exactly!

Andrew: Fair enough, fair enough. Well, Laura, how was your birthday?

Laura: It was fabulous.

Andrew: Good.

Laura: I went a lot of places, we’ll just leave it at that.

Andrew: All right. It’s probably best to leave it there.

Mikey: Wow.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Mikey: I want to know more!

Andrew: Well, you know what? Even if Laura was going to tell us stories, I would say, “Laura, I’m sorry, there is no time because we have so much to talk about this week.”

Mikey: We do!

Andrew: We’ve got tons of news to catch up on, tons of e-mails, and we’re going to get back to Chapter-by-Chapter and oh, so much more. I’m Andrew Sims.

Eric: I’m Eric Scull.

Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Mikey: And I’m Mikey B.

[Show music continues]

Andrew: Micah Tannenbaum, we’re approaching the end of the year here, news is slowing down, but we’ve still got plenty of things to talk about. Isn’t that right?

Mikey: Micah.

[Laura laughs]

Micah: Yes, that’s right.

Andrew: What’s in the news Micah?

Eric: Slowly falling apart.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

News: Potter Twitter Achievement

Micah: Well, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Harry Potter was the top movie trend on Twitter for 2009. On Tuesday, Twitter released their top trends, and one of the categories was movies, and Harry Potter made it to the top of the list. Not really a surprise.

Andrew: Nice.

Eric: I’m surprised that it wasn’t Twilight.

Andrew: Well yeah, I kind of – [laughs] I’ve got to be honest…

Eric: I’d like to know how close they were. Because they were close, right? Twilight was right behind it.

Andrew: It was number two, yeah.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Well New Moon technically was the term. Yeah, that’s pretty impressive, I guess – I don’t know, I guess we’re in the Harry Potter time, like I wasn’t as focused on Twitter, because I don’t remember seeing it much, but yeah, that – that’s great, that’s great news. It was very cool that Twitter made up all those different lists, you know.

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: Well they’ve got nothing better to do.

[Mikey laughs]

Eric: Well they’re trying to look legitimate. Google does that sort of thing sometimes, so.

Andrew: Right, right.

Mikey: Well, well I was going to say – Harry Potter, I don’t think necessarily was a movie trend, because Harry Potter would cover all big Harry Potter news as it broke…

Eric: That’s a good point.

Mikey: …because New Moon would be only around the movie itself, and when you look at Twitter trends, it’s just, you know, how many people are saying “Harry Potter.” You know, every big piece of news that happened this year would’ve had the “Harry Potter,” “Harry Potter,” “Harry Potter,” and there was a lot of big news this year, I think.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, you’re probably right, I think.

Micah: It’d be interesting to see, did MuggleCast contribute to that? You know, we trended on Twitter last week.

Andrew: We did. Surprisingly.

Mikey: Yes.

Andrew: Well, if they had a “Top Podcast” trend list, I bet we would’ve been…

Micah: We would’ve.

[Mikey laughs]

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

News: Half-Blood Prince Community Screening

Micah: Well last weekend Dan Radcliffe and David Barron – and I think it was supposed to be David Yates, though…

Andrew: Right, but him and Mikey caught the same thing.

Micah: Yeah, apparently.

Andrew: David Yates was sick.

Mikey: Well me and Yates were hanging out, and it just – I…

[Micah laughs]

Micah: In Kentucky?

Mikey: You know, I think I actually got sick from him, what can I say? [laughs] Yes, he had come down to Kentucky and we were hanging out, what can I say?

Micah: [laughs] But they hosted this Blu-ray Half-Blood Prince screening, and Andrew – this was last weekend, I think…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: …you actually participated in this? You wrote up a review?

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Well I mean, I – yeah, I actually ended up not writing a review, I just linked everyone to my notes.

Micah: You said you were going to write a review.

Andrew: I did. But I didn’t. [laughs] I linked everyone to my notes instead, but this was a really cool – we’ve been talking about it for a while, we’ve talked about it, you know, coming up, previously – on previous episodes. Basically what happened was, anyone who had a Blu-ray copy was able to watch the movie at the same exact time that David Yates – or sorry, Dan Radcliffe and David Barron were watching it, and they were talk – they would talk about the movie, so it was like a live movie commentary. It was really cool – it was a lot of fun. They were answering – people could also submit questions and so they were answering questions the whole time. Yeah, I mean, it was just a fun time. We learned some cool things, I put some notes down. Dan said that his favorite film is still Order of the Phoenix, and he says it’s because of the relationship between Harry and Sirius. Dan is like – I’m starting to think he’s in love with Gary Oldman.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Because he always…

Laura: Well that’s something we have in common.

[Everyone laughs]

Mikey: Who doesn’t love Gary Oldman?

Andrew: Yeah. Well no, he’s a great actor and it’s funny to see Dan talk about how much he loves Gary Oldman. But, we also learned that – somebody asked why Dumbledore’s funeral was taken out of Half-Blood Prince and David Barron, who is the producer, said that it just felt like we were suffering from multiple endings. And when people saw that they were like, “Uh, I think that’s kind of a B.S. answer.”

Micah: Wrong answer.

Andrew: Yeah, I don’t know. It just all comes down to time.

Micah: Well, can I say – I actually watched Half-Blood Prince over the weekend. It’s the second time that I’ve seen it, and when I saw the ending to the movie, particularly Dumbledore’s death – because I had seen this in the Google doc that you put here and I have to agree with probably what some of the fans said and that is, I did feel that the end of Half-Blood Prince was lacking something.

Andrew: Really?

Micah: After watching it again.

Andrew: I was…

Micah: Yeah, I think they could have done a little more with it.

Mikey: I agree with you 100 percent. It was definitely lacking something. I’ve probably watched it about five or six times since I got it, because it’s on my iPhone and everything now, but…

Eric: Oh wow.

Mikey: Yeah, it’s all over the place with me now because I got the nice, big edition.

Andrew: Do you have it in your bathroom? I have it in my bathroom.

Mikey: It’s not playing. I don’t have a digital photo frame playing it nonstop.

Andrew: Oh. That’s actually exactly what I did. I rigged my thing so it just plays videos.

Eric: I thought – it’s interesting too that – I read your recap Andrew, or your notes, thanks for the bullet points there. But, yeah it was fun, I felt like I was on a call.

Andrew: Yeah, so I hope they do it again because this was the first time we really got a commentary from Dan Radcliffe. My only issue was, they didn’t talk about the actual film as much as I’d hoped to because people were asking questions that weren’t exactly about Half-Blood Prince. Dan and David would occasionally interrupt a question to be like, “Oh, this scene right here,” you know – they would say something cool about the scene. It wasn’t a true commentary but they were still talking throughout it. It was fun, it was really cool technology, and I’m glad they did it.

Eric: You’d think it’d be nice to get the trio though, commenting on the movies.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. And this is the closest we’ve gotten to that so far. What else Micah? Onward!

News: Deathly Hallows Battle Scene

Micah: Well, we have a little bit of news here on Deathly Hallows. Exactly – Tom Felton was making the rounds for the Half-Blood Prince DVD and so he was talking a lot about the final film. One of the interviews he did was with the Wall Street Journal, and another one he did was with MTV and Dan Radcliffe also did an interview with MTV. And we got a little bit of insight into the final battle scene. Tom was quoted as saying it was western style between good and evil, and…

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: I thought that was funny. [as a cowboy] This town ain’t big enough for the both of us!

Micah: Yeah exactly!

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: [as a cowboy]Get out of here!

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: [as a cowboy] Draw!

[Laura and Mikey laugh]

Andrew: Western style…

[Someone whistles]

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah exactly!

[Laura and Mikey laugh]

Andrew: It’s going to be like that, western style. Stick ’em up! Anyway…

Micah: And he also talked about Dan being on set kind of bruised up and battered and beaten down and how, I guess, it’s going to be weird seeing these films two years from now.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Because what they are filming now won’t be seen until 2011 and how kind of weird that’s going to be for them.

Andrew: Yeah, that is…

Micah: So…

Andrew: That is weird. They are going to – they may look completely different. Tom’s going to stop bleaching his hair!

Eric: Tom won’t have any hair.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Well, you know they’ve mentioned that. They’re very concerned about – and they take good care of Tom’s hair, and everyone else’s hair who they have to bleach, but I keep hearing lately about these interviews. In these interviews, Tom talks about how much he hates bleaching his hair, because [laughs] its killing it!

Eric: [laughs] Yeah.

Andrew: So, he may be bald.

Eric: Yeah, but that’s what I liked reading most about, in these articles is, him talking about Dan, and how, basically he’s like the whole set – you know, everybody on set – looks at Dan and it’s like – he says something about that that embodies the mood that they’re in because of how intense Dan is getting.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. It’s really cool.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: It must be a very odd feeling to know you only have a couple months left, acting – becoming Harry Potter. If I was Dan, or the rest of them, I’d be sad I wasn’t going to be those people anymore. It would be the last time. You know?

Micah: Yeah. And Tom…

Eric: Two more rides coming, in the theme park.

[Mikey and Andrew laugh]

Eric: Right.

Micah: Yeah. But Tom was talking about the filming with the adult actors as opposed to – I guess you can’t really call them child actors anymore, but with the trio and all the other people…

Andrew: Right.

Micah: …at Hogwarts. Now he’s going to be spending some time filming with Helena Bonham Carter, and Ralph Fiennes, and probably Jason Isaacs. So he gets a little bit of a different taste for, you know, more seasoned actors, I guess you could call it. So, he said he was really looking forward to that.

Andrew: Cool!

Eric: That is interesting.

Andrew: Well good for them. It’s looking exciting. I’m re-reading book seven again right now, and it’s a nice refresher because now we’re getting all this movie material, and…

Mikey: It’s nice to revisit it.

Andrew: You got to refresh your mind.

Mikey: It’s nice to revisit it.

Andrew: Exactly!

Mikey: Yeah.

Andrew: Just like it’s nice to revisit you, Mikey.

Mikey: Oh I know. Wait, what happened, what? Anyway…

Micah: Anyway…

Andrew: Go on Micah.

Micah: Speaking of revisiting…

Andrew: Hm.

Micah: …the older movies anyway.

Andrew: Nice transition.

Mikey: I know.

News: Ultimate Editions Released

Micah: One thing that got looked over really with our live show last week on Half-Blood Prince was that Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets came out with Ultimate Editions, and I don’t know who here owns them. I don’t. I know Andrew probably is the only one. You want to do a little bit of a mini review on these DVDS?

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Just kind of give people a taste of what they can expect.

Andrew: Yeah, I mean, it’s not so much that we overlooked it last week, it’s that there was so much other stuff to talk about that it was just like, let’s just hold off. But, is anyone else planning on getting them? Maybe asking for them for Christmas?

Laura: Mm, no.

Mikey: It’s on my Christmas list.

Eric: I mean they’re only $29.99 which shocks the heck out of me.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s pretty cheap.

Eric: I mean, my DVDs themselves are actually falling apart, of those two movies. I should probably…

Andrew: Well now is a good time to – yeah. Yeah, but I mean, basically, the reason you buy these are for each part of the documentary. The Creating the World of Harry Potter documentary. It’s an eight part documentary, there’s one part on each Ultimate Edition, so with Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets we got the first two parts. Really, really in depth look at…

Eric: How long are they?

Andrew: They were both over an hour.

Eric: Wow.

Andrew: The Chamber of Secrets one was longer than an hour. So when it’s all said and done, we’re going to have about a ten hour documentary about the making of Harry Potter! Which is incredible, I think!

Laura: That is very cool.

Andrew: Yeah, and what’s really also nice is how they’re all packaged. They’re hard bound boxes, each comes with a full color book, lots of nice pictures, these over-sized solid trading cards. It’s just a nice collector’s edition, and as I said in my review on MuggleNet, I’m really looking forward to having all eight and sitting right next to the books. It’s just a great thing to look at and have on display. It’s a beautiful collection, so overall I would definitely recommend these as good holiday presents.

Mikey: Andrew, what’s the difference between the Blu-ray versions and the DVD versions of the Ultimate Editions?

Andrew: Nothing.

Mikey: They’re identical?

Andrew: Other than these being on – yeah, and the documentary is on the Blu-ray too, I think. But not all footage is HD, especially when they pull interviews from the Sorcerer’s Stone/Chamber of Secrets days.

Eric: So wait, is there an Ultimate Edition Blu-ray?

Mikey: Yes, there is. That’s the one I…

Eric: It’s not four discs though, is it?

Andrew: No, it is. It’s the same exact thing, but it’s just Blu-ray. Yeah, overall, very good collector’s items. If you need the DVDs again, definitely go for these Ultimate Editions and once you have all eight oh, ah! It’s just beautiful. It will be beautiful.

[Laura laughs]

Mikey: Right there on your bookshelf, Andrew?

Andrew: Right there on my bookshelf.

Eric: Wait, you did talk about – on the last show, on the live show – you said about the DVD games and stuff. Are they still on there? Is it an exact copy, do you know?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Oh.

Andrew: It comes with all the original DVD special features, I believe. I think. So, yeah. The price isn’t too bad.’s Ultimate Edition Sweepstakes

Micah: Speaking of those Ultimate DVDs, I just wanted to plug something real fast. MuggleNet is doing an Ultimate Edition Sweepstakes.

Andrew: That’s right.

Micah: For those of you who don’t know, you can go onto There’s a little ad in the top right hand corner that you can click on. The cool thing about it is the grand prize for whoever wins this is a brand new Blu-ray player and then both Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets on Ultimate Edition Blu-ray.

Andrew: So enter. Enter the contest.

Micah: Yeah, and then there’s also three first place prizes after that.

Andrew: Cool.

Micah: I mean, it’s worth entering, I think, man. If I could enter it I would.

Listener Tweet: Rupert’s Audition?

Andrew: Oh definitely. A couple of quick feedback items we got through Twitter; alliesmom25 said:

“Thought that we were getting Rupert’s original audition tape on ‘Sorcerer’s Stone’ Ultimate. Didn’t see it. Documentaries were great though.”

It may have been not on there, I’m not sure, I haven’t really done a completely thorough look.

Eric: That’s a good story that I know we don’t have time for, but just Rupert submitting to Newsround’s Lizo’s for the audition…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: …for the casting call.

Laura: Yeah, that’s a good story.

Eric: He’s told it on several interviews but it’s really good.

Listener Tweet: Xeno Lovegood

Andrew: Yeah he says it on the documentary too. One other tweet; edwardsa says:

“Ultimate Editions were awesome! There’s totally a shot of Xenophilius Lovegood in the ‘Chamber of Secrets’ fourth disc, the documentary. It’s awesome.”

So yeah, we got one new piece of Movie 7 footage and it was a behind-the-scenes shot of Xenophilius Lovegood. So cool stuff all around. Definitely recommend the documentary. I mean I just, I just get all giddy thinking of a 10 hour Harry Potter documentary by the time it’s all done. [laughs] Woo! That’s big!

Mikey: Yeah it is.

Andrew: That’s big stuff.

Mikey: That’s an all day event.

Andrew: Yep. One other item of news, Micah what is it?!

News: Epic Win

Micah: Well, we won.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: We won?

Laura: What did we win Micah?

Andrew: Can we go home?

Micah: We won a new Blu-ray – no…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: We won at the 2009 Podcast Awards in the Best Entertainment Category, so thank you to everybody who went out there and voted for us. I know Eric was there live on Skype and he accepted the award for us.

Mikey: In costume, don’t forget that. He was in costume.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: No, that’s his regular clothes.

[Everyone laughs]

Mikey: Oh yeah I forgot.

Eric: Yeah I don’t know what you’re talking about, I just – no – it was good fun, and thank you. Yeah, I didn’t get to thank – he had sent out this promo material and I don’t think I got to thank everybody who listened and everything because it was question time at that point, but thanks to everyone who voted for us, for sure, and all our listeners and stuff…

Andrew: Absolutely.

Eric: …just officially.

Andrew: We really appreciate it.

Andrew Called Out

Eric: And we actually just got noticed – we got mentioned, on The Lost Podcast with Jay and Jack this week. They were our…

Andrew: Yeah, are they serious?

Eric: Yeah, they actually invited you on their show to defend your honor, to defend MuggleCast’s honor…

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: What do you mean, defend it?

Eric: …to prove…

Andrew: What do I have to do?

Eric: That’s what they said – they’re making accusations that we’re conspiring against the U.S. government. They’re trying to shut us down because they think that we stuffed the ballot box, they think that we cheat.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Micah: No, that would be another one of our shows, where we would be considered U.S. conspirators.

Andrew: Well, was he serious?

Eric: No, he was serious about the invite…

Andrew: Oh…

Eric: He actually was serious about the invite…

Andrew: …that’s really nice.

Eric: So you should probably go check it out…

Andrew: Okay, well, maybe I’ll e-mail them. I’ve heard of Jay and Jack. It’s a really good Lost podcast, if you’re a fan of Lost

Eric: It is, I used to listen all the time.

Andrew: Yeah, I did too. I stopped watching Lost because I got really far behind in the episodes. But yeah, they do a good show.

Eric: They were our fellow nominees for the Best Entertainment category so…

Andrew: Okay.

Eric: …they were a little miffed.

Andrew: Sure, I would love to hear them talk about that. I’ll definitely listen to the episode and maybe I’ll go on there and explain that we are innocent! Until proven guilty of course…

[Mikey laughs]

Andrew: Okay, so last week on episode 186 – that’s all the news, thank you, Micah.

Micah: You’re welcome.

Andrew: You do a fabulous job as always. Happy Holidays to you.

Micah: Thank you.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: That’s beautiful, Andrew.

Micah: Happy Hanukkah.

Andrew: Episode one-eight – oh yeah, Happy Hanukkah to you Micah, sorry.

Micah: Merry Christmas to you.

Andrew: Thank you, thank you. Happy Kwanzaa, Laura.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Wow.

Eric: What is Laura? Some Eastern religion? What?

Micah: Don’t you celebrate Ramadan or something?

Laura: Yes.

Andrew: We’re not making fun of any holidays, just for the record…

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: We say happy holidays to everyone. So anyway, Episode 186, it was all about the Deathly Hallows trailer. But Laura and Mikey were not on last week’s show so we wanted to get their thoughts about it.

[Mikey sighs]

Mikey and Laura’s View on the Trailer

Andrew: Mikey, what do you think about the trailer? I’m hearing a sigh.

Mikey: You know, I was actually – it’s one of those things where the first trailer comes out and you’re always so excited. I don’t know. I’m excited and scared, because it is coming to an end…

Andrew: Right, but did you like the preview?

Mikey: Yeah, I did, I did. But I always like the previews and I think I always work myself up…

[Andrew laughs]

Mikey: …and then I’m let down at some point…

Andrew: Right.

Mikey: But I really like the preview and I think this one – I think it’s because it’s a bigger story ark almost…

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: I think it’s going to be…

Andrew: The best one yet?

Mikey: The best one yet.

[Andrew laughs]

Mikey: I really do. I hope it is.

Andrew: Me too.

Mikey: I hoping. It’s a two-parter, you’re going to be – I just hope it’s not like Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3 where it’s like, it really is part one and part two. And you’re just like, “I just wasted two and a half hours of my life just to get to the second half.”

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Please don’t mention those movies ever again.

Mikey: But I’m just saying I really hope it doesn’t like come up anywhere near that.

Andrew: Well hopefully it’s the best two-part Harry Potter.

[Mikey and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Dah!

Mikey: I agree with you. I hope it’s the best two-part Harry Potter And you know what, I’ll almost make the bet that it is going to be the best two-part Harry Potter we’ve ever had.

Andrew: I think I’ll put money down on that too. Laura, what did you think about it?

Laura: I really liked it. I mean, I think it’s clear that it’s a very preliminary-type preview. But I thought it was very mysterious and I think particularly for people who haven’t read the books, it’s going to kind of come out of left field and they’re not really going to know what’s going on. But I don’t…

Andrew: Yeah…

Laura: …think that’s a bad thing. I really loved how, at the end of the trailer, you just hear, “You don’t stand a chance”. I just thought that was great.

Andrew: Yeah. I thought that was a really bad-ass cliff-hanger.

Laura: Yeah, it got me really excited to see more stuff from the movie.

Muggle Mail: Nude Scenes in Deathly Hallows

Andrew: We have some e-mails in response to last week’s live show. Just some comments about our discussion last week. The first one comes from Lisa, 29, of North Carolina, and she talks about the naked Dan Radcliffe at King’s Cross, which of course, was a very hot topic last week.

“Hello. First off, fabulous show everyone. Okay, so I was listening to the last episode while you were discussing the nude scenes coming up in ‘Deathly Hallows.’ You were wondering about how Dumbledore would react to a naked Harry Potter. Well, in the book, he was naked, but he realized this and wished he had some robes and on a seat appeared a set of robes which he put on prior to seeing Dumbledore. So most likely they’ll be doing that in the movie. Also in the other scene, Harry took off all of his clothes to jump into the frozen pond to retrieve the sword. So maybe that is what they were referring to.

Eric: I love this. Rupert’s hand is going to come down, grab Dan out of the pool…

[Laura laughs]

Eric: …and he’s going to be like, “Dude, you’re naked, ew.” And he’s going to pull his hand away.

[Laura and Andrew laugh]

Andrew: Well…

Eric: Like what was he thinking? Jumping in that freezing cold lake alone? Man.

Andrew: I don’t know. But in regards to the first point that Lisa brought up, I think she’s right. We didn’t totally clear that up on the last episode. In regards to her second point – Harry taking off his clothes to jump in the pond – the only reason that I can think that that won’t be the case is David Yates specifically said it’s going to be this vision that Rupert – Ron has when he grabs – or tries to destroy the Horcrux.

Eric: Well, he didn’t specifically say that that was the only other time. Because didn’t he say right before that there were several times? Like several scenes?

Andrew: Maybe.

Eric: Because I think…

Andrew: Maybe.

Eric: …in the book, Harry actually does get naked to jump in the lake. And then ends up nearly dying…

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: Right, he does.

Eric: …of hypothermia.

Andrew: Right, so…

Eric: It’d be silly if they film…

Andrew: So maybe that’ll happen too, you were saying.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Additionally. Yeah. So, yeah.

Micah: I thought we were just joking about the whole Dumbledore thing.

Andrew: I think we were.

Eric: With the naked…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: It’s straight out of Potter Puppet Pals, really.

Andrew: We were absolutely referring to Dumbledore getting excited about Harry being naked. That part was a joke!

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: Well it was weird! It’s just – sitting in King’s Cross, walking around King’s Cross nude is kind of – doesn’t translate to film that well.

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

Muggle Mail: Griphook

Laura: Sure. The next one comes from Shoshanna, age 20, from New Mexico. She writes:

“Hey, MuggleCasters. In Episode 168 you were debating whether Verne Troyer or Warwick Davis played Griphook. I just watched the ‘Sorcerer’s Stone’ Ultimate Edition special features and this is what I found out. In movie one, Warwick Davis plays the scary goblin bank-teller that says, ‘And does Mr. Harry Potter have his key?’, and Verne Troyer plays the goblin that takes Harry and Hagrid to the vault, and says, ‘Lamp please, key please.’ In movies 7 and 8, Warwick Davis will play…”

Let me say that again.

“In Movies 7 and 8, Warwick Davis will play Griphook. You’ll probably receive a ton of these e-mails, but I hope this helps. Eric is the best. Cheers, Shoshanna.”

Andrew: I think that’s the definitive answer.

Mikey: Yep.

Andrew: And if someone else wants to e-mail, then whatever…

Eric: Didn’t you reference that exact interview to say that they credit Warwick Davis as playing Griphook?

Andrew: In the documentary, they do. Yeah, in the documentary they do. On the Ultimate Editions. So – and one last e-mail about the trailer today. Mikey, could you read that one?

MuggleCast 187 Transcript (continued)

Muggle Mail: Harry/Hermione Moment in Deathly Hallows

Mikey: Sure. This comes from Elizabeth, age 17, from Austin, Texas.

“Hello. In the ‘Deathly Hallows’ trailer that just came out on the ‘Half-Blood Prince’ DVD, there was a dancing scene with Hermione and Harry, one that David Yates mentioned was his favorite. If you remember in the interview with J.K. from a while back, she said, ‘While Ron was gone, Harry and Hermione experienced some charged moments.’ I think this is his way of trying to incorporate that into the movie.”

Andrew: So, I looked into this, because I was intrigued by those charged moments comments, and as it turns out, J.K. Rowling had said this to our friend Melissa from Leaky for her book Harry, A History. That’s where the ‘charged moments’ quote came from – between Harry and Hermione.

And this is the quote from Melissa’s book – actually, I think this – she released this on her book’s website, Steve Kloves had said to Jo after reading the book, after reading Deathly Hallows: “You know, I thought something was going to happen between Harry and Hermione, and I didn’t know whether I wanted it or not.” In response to that, Jo says to Melissa: “Kloves felt a certain pull between them at that point. And I think he’s right. There are moments when Harry and Hermione touch, which are charged moments. One, when she touches his hair as he sits on the hilltop reading about Dumbledore and Grindelwald…”

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: “…and another moment is when they walk out of the graveyard with their arms around each other. Now the fact is that Hermione shares moments with Harry that Ron will never be able to participate in. He walked out. She shared something very intense with Harry. So I think it could have gone that way.”

So I thought this was a really good catch by Elizabeth who wrote in to us. I think this would explain it. Maybe Kloves wanted to add this extra scene to exemplify that chemistry, those charged moments. Would you guys agree?

Mikey: Yeah, I can see that.

Laura: Yeah, that makes sense.

Andrew: Yeah. So that’s nice. I can’t wait to see that. Of course, last week, Laura, we joked that they were going to be dancing to Lady Gaga and sharing secrets.

Laura: Well, of course. Why wouldn’t they?

Andrew: Well, that’s what I’m saying. She’s in right now. So…

Laura: [laughs] That’s what…

Eric: [laughs] In what?

Laura: …we all do when we’re together…

Andrew: In style. Exactly. We share secrets over Lady Gaga. [laughs] All right. Well, enough about Gaga. We have a few e-mails about Episode 185’s Chapter-by-Chapter and then we’ll get into this week’s Chapter-by-Chapter. Eric, you want to read the first e-mail?

Chapter-by-Chapter Feedback: Sorting Hat

Eric: Yep. The first e-mail comes from Jade, age 13, from Ohio. Her subject is ‘The Sorting Hat’.

“Hey MuggleCasters. First of all, I want to say I love your podcast. It provides a safe escape for my inner ‘Harry Potter’ geekiness. My comment is on the Chapter-by-Chapter in Episode 185. When listening to the podcast, I noticed that some of you were almost enraged when Harry didn’t ask the Sorting Hat why he wasn’t in Slytherin. That was a main question that puzzled me about his house placement and I think that truly Harry was a Gryffindor but his connection with Voldemort through his scar and the Horcruxes caused the Sorting Hat to see major characteristics of Slytherin in Harry. What do you think about it? Love the show and keep up the amazing work.”

Mikey: Hey, you know I wasn’t on that episode but I always wondered why he didn’t ask. But if I think about it, he was young then, there was really no reason for him to go that far. You know what I mean?

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: Like in hindsight, he should have asked, it would have solved a lot of problems. But…

Eric: Maybe it wouldn’t have got him anywhere. Maybe the Sorting Hat has a no-spoiler policy.

[Andrew and Mikey laugh]

Mikey: Maybe.

Andrew: Well, plus everyone was staring at him, it’s not like they all can sit up there all day and have a little chit-chat with the Sorting Hat.

Micah: But isn’t there that scene when Dumbledore where he’s talking to Harry and Dumbledore tells him…

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: …that he didn’t go into Slytherin because he asked the hat not to put him there?

Eric: It’s at the end of the book, in Dumbledore’s office.

Andrew: Mmm.

Eric: He also tells him that Voldemort transferred some of his power on the night that he killed – he doesn’t say he transferred his soul, but he says he transferred – that was the same conversation that happens at the end of this book. The end of Chamber of Secrets.

Mikey: We’re not there. That’s a spoiler.

Chapter-by-Chapter Feedback: Lucky Escapes

Micah: The next e-mail comes from Matthew, age 12 of Michigan and he says,

“Hey guys, I was wondering if you thought it was little too lucky that all the petrified people somehow managed to survive and none of them died. This is my first e-mail. Love the show and keep going strong.”

Andrew: We couldn’t have people dying in Harry’s second year.

Eric: It’s a G-rated picture.

Andrew: Yeah.

[Laura laughs]

Mikey: Also, how long did it take until Myrtle died, the first time?

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: It took a while.

Eric: The question is valid because you have a basilisk on the loose…

Andrew: Right.

Eric: …but I thought that was kind of part of the mystery that was cool, because if you don’t know that viewing the Basilisk indirectly is going to get you petrified it actually helps to root out the Basilisk as the culprit.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: It makes it that much harder to figure out what’s doing this.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: And I thought it was kind of clever in the end that it was like – oh, Justin must have seen the Basilisk through Nearly Headless Nick, etcetera, etcetera.

Mikey: And Nick couldn’t die and – yeah.

Eric: It all – yeah, exactly, ‘Nick got the full blast but he couldn’t…” And it makes all this sense. So I really liked, actually, how it was – that people got petrified as opposed to killed, and not just because it was too soon for that, I just think that that was kind of an additional…

Andrew: Well, it also brought some tension, it was sort of like “Oh, is someone going to die? Is someone going to die?”…

Eric: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew: …as you read the book.

Mikey: Yeah.

Eric: Lucky that the mandrakes were…

Mikey: And I also like that as we get to in this chapter that they find out someone did die and who it was was someone who we learn about this year in…

Andrew: Right.

Mikey: Which I thought it all tied together really well. Going through this book I kind of remember how much I love how everything is nice and neat and everything ties back and forth.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Eric: All the back stories.

Mikey: I forget how much each book before, as you read further books, you learn and go, “Oh my gosh, that meant this in book whatever, and this…” And even this book itself. You read something in one chapter and you go, “Oh but that means this!” I forgot how much this series does that. I really enjoy it.

Chapter-by-Chapter Feedback: Squib’s Children

Andrew: Next e-mail is from Gwen, 14, of Laguna Niguel. How do you pronounce that, Mikey? You’re – Laguna Niguel?

Mikey: Laguna Niguel. Dude, you’re down the street from there. Come on.

Andrew: I know! Well, I got Laguna right.

Mikey: Laguna Niguel, yeah.

Eric: Andrew sometimes sleep walks into Laguna Niguel. And he doesn’t know how to pronounce it.


“Hey everybody, love the show it’s hysterical. I have a question that no one’s been able to answer for me, and I was wondering if you guys would know the answer. If two Squibs have a wizard child, is the wizard considered a Muggle born? Thanks for your help.”

Mikey: No.

Laura: I wouldn’t think so.

Andrew: Yeah, I don’t think so either.

Mikey: I wouldn’t – because a Squib is not a Muggle. There’s…

Eric: A Squib isn’t a Muggle. Right.

Mikey: A Squib is just a non-magical wizard.

Laura: Yeah. So they still have the – they still have the wizard blood.

Mikey: Yeah.

Eric: They can still see Hogwarts, for instance.

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: Yeah, Squibs can see Hogwarts. Yeah.

Eric: So no, they’d be a Squib-born.

Andrew: [laughs] Right. Squibble-born.

Mikey: [laughs] Squibble-born?

[Andrew, Eric and Mikey laugh]

Andrew: All right. Laura, next e-mail?

Chapter-by-Chapter Feedback: Hermione’s Motivation

Laura: Sure. Next one is from Shannon, 19, of New Jersey. She writes:

“Hey everyone. In Episode 185 when you were discussing in Chapter-by-Chapter, you were talking about this new Hermione, breaking rules to make the Polyjuice Potion. You discussed one reason being that she wanted to see who the heir was. While I agree with that, I think there is also another reason that you didn’t mention, and I think that also played a role. One of her motives may have been that she wanted to feel academically accomplished. The potion is a difficult one, and the fact that she is attempting it and is successful – well at least for Ron and Harry – at such a young age, really is just a testament to how smart she is. I believe she is doing it just as much for the experience as for finding out who the heir is. Love the show and keep up the good work. Heart, Shannon.”

Andrew: Yeah, well I definitely agree she was doing it for – because she was primarily motivated by the fact that she just wanted to figure out the – to solve the mystery. And we see this in all the books.

Eric: Well, I mean Harry is the one who wants to – Harry and Ron are both like, “Oh it’s Malfoy, it’s Malfoy.” And she’s like, “Wait. You know, we have to actually figure this out.”

Andrew: Yeah. I mean, Hermione is certainly not one to be like, “Oh. There’s a rule getting in the way of us solving a mystery. We will not do this.”

Eric: But again, the Polyjuice Potion needed to be brewed over like three moons or something, so it’s like this ridiculous amount of time. I think that definitely appealed to her, which is what Shannon was saying.

Chapter-by-Chapter Feedback: Hogwarts Fitness

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. All right, Eric, next e-mail.

Eric: Next one comes from Elizabeth, 12 from Philadelphia.

“Okay, so we all know that they have Quidditch at Hogwarts, yet you have to try out for the team. Most schools want all kids to be on sports teams, yet Hogwarts only allows a few. Also to top it off, they have huge unhealthy food at every meal and do not have health class. Not that I am a health freak and love health class, but you would think that the teachers care about kids staying healthy and being on sports teams. Anyway, love the show, Elizabeth.”

Andrew: I completely agree. It’s time to get some fitness – some physical education going on at Hogwarts.

Eric: I think you underestimate how physically challenging Exploding Snap is.

Laura: Well, also consider…

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: …the fact they have to climb around this ancient castle all the time.

Andrew: That’s true.

Eric: That’s true, seven floors of staircases.

Mikey: Well also, also don’t they – aren’t wizards just healthier in general? Like didn’t Neville Longbottom fall out of a two story window and just be okay because he’s a wizard?

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Laura: Yeah, that’s true.

Mikey: So it’s like they’re just magical, so I can see them eating doughnuts and pizza all day and be totally fine because their magical blood just says, “Oh, it’s no calories, it’s like eating broccoli.”

[Laura and Mikey laughs]

Laura: They burn calories at double the rate that Muggles do.

[Mikey laughs]

Eric: Yeah, I think that’s the secret.

Andrew: That could be true.

Mikey: It’s one of those things where everything leads – just look at what Harry goes through. How he falls of his broom at a ridiculous height – take it Dumbledore slowed him down – but all he did was like break his arm.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: Like that’s kind of like – they’re like superheroes.

Eric: Actually I think we’ve stumbled on something here because look at Harry. He’s as skinny as a something that’s skinny…

[Laura laughs]

Eric: …and he lives with the Dursleys and the Dursleys are the number one Muggles – like the first people we see that are not magical and we spend the most time with them…

Mikey: Yeah.

Eric: And they’re huge.

Andrew: Well surely you…

Mikey: Well look at Ron too.

Andrew: …being magical will burn more calories. I think Laura was absolutely right.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: I know you were joking, Laura, but…

Laura: I wasn’t joking. I was totally serious.

Eric: I think it makes sense.

Mikey: Yeah, because what if magic is like another muscle and it’s just invisible?

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Right.

Mikey: So like every time you use magic, you’re working out.

Eric: Ugh, got to stretch my magic.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Chapter-by-Chapter Feedback: Draco’s Abilities

Andrew: Okay, well enough with the fitness at Hogwarts. Micah, how about you read the next e-mail?

Micah: Next e-mail comes from Graham and he says,

“Hey guys I’m loving the show especially Chapter-by-Chapter. Just wondering how does Draco use the Serpensortia spell in the ‘Dueling Club’ chapter. Conjuring charms are past O.W.L. level and would be hard with a living thing. Even though Snape told him the right spell, I can hardly believe a second year student could perform it. Please give me your feedback. Thanks and once again, I love the show.”

Eric: That’s a good point.

Laura: I would just…

Micah: Maybe his dad.

Laura: Continuity error maybe.

Eric: Just because that particular spell was later determined to be part of…

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: …a complex.

Micah: Yeah, but even still though I mean there’s always examples of students doing things earlier on in school than what they should be capable of doing.

Eric: Like Harry and the Patronus, but he did receive special, special training about that.

Laura: Although, I mean, you guys all have to refresh my memory because this was last week and I wasn’t on, but in the book wasn’t the snake not actually a snake? Like it was a smoky kind of apparition?

Eric: Had to be a snake because he was talking to it.

Andrew: Yeah, no it was a snake.

Laura: Okay. Because I just seemed to remember that it wasn’t the same as how they presented it in the movie.

Micah: That must have been last night, Laura.

[Everyone laughs]

Mikey: Happy birthday, again.

Micah: All those smoky apparitions.

Andrew: Twenty-first birthday, mind you all. It’s sort of like – it sort of reminds me of Ron speaking Parseltongue and not learning it. You can say spells or things can come in your mouth, and it will still happen.

Laura: What? [laughs]

Andrew: I know this doesn’t directly relate. I know that’s kind of a dirty joke, Laura.

Laura: Okay.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: I’m serious.

Micah: But who’s to say his dad couldn’t have taught him the spell?

Andrew: Right, or maybe Snape did…

Eric: How to conjure snakes? Yeah.

Andrew: Maybe Snape did. We don’t know.

Eric: It still makes Malfoy a little git for cheating.

Andrew: Right.

Mikey: Yeah, well…

Andrew: It was very unfair.

Mikey: …he’s Malfoy.

Chapter-by-Chapter Feedback: Coincidence?

Andrew: “I said disarm only!” Final e-mail today comes from Clare, 17, of North Dakota:

“I’m just in the midst of listening to your Chapter-by-Chapter discussion in Episode 185. Your comment that it seems a bit over the top that Harry was the first to the scene of the crime at almost every Basilisk attack made me think.”

Can you imagine, guys? We made somebody think. That’s pretty cool.

Mikey: Wow.

Eric: 186 episodes in. [laughs]

Andrew: Finally, we made someone think!

“I wondered if it was possible that it’s not merely coincidence. Is it possible that Tom Riddle is deliberately fooling with Harry, sending the Basilisk to attack people in close proximity to him? Could Tom actually be framing Harry? Not knowing Harry, Riddle might assume the best way to provoke Harry into searching for the Chamber is to put his reputation on the line. It’s not until far later on that he changes tactics, attacking people close to him, like Hermione, and finally taking Ginny to the Chamber.”

I think that’s a good theory.

Eric: I think its okay. The problem is it was kind of random when Riddle could actually gain enough power and seduce Ginny because she would randomly wake up in chicken patches by Hagrid’s hut.

Andrew: [laughs] Right.

Eric: Like she said later that she would just wake up there and stuff…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: …and I think it’s – I think with Riddle – the question being is he deliberately sending the Basilisk to attack people in close proximity? I don’t think so, because the snake is using the pipes to travel, and they don’t really – how would it – that would take too much coordination. It’s really just a little possessed Ginny who’s going around and setting the snake on people. I think the fact that people who die are close to – or people who get petrified are close to where Harry is, or Harry’s always first in the scene, is more to do with Harry is the one who is always roaming the halls and not really doing what he’s supposed to and he’s the one involved in this mystery.

Mikey: And the fact that he can hear the snake, too.

Eric: Yeah, which draws him out while everyone else is in class.

Mikey: And also, when Hermione gets attacked, didn’t Percy’s girlfriend, what’s her name, Clearwater?

Eric: Penelope, Penelope Clearwater.

Mikey: Yeah, didn’t Penelope Clearwater get attacked at the same time? Couldn’t it be more along the lines that it wasn’t even going after Hermione but going after Penelope Clearwater because didn’t Ginny know that – what’s his name? – Percy, was kind of with her…

Andrew: Yeah, maybe.

Mikey: …and that was on her mind because he was being a jerk to her.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Well, I don’t think any of this was malicious, I think it was just who the snake stumbled upon. That’s really how it came across to me. I mean even Moaning Myrtle happened to be in the bathroom at that time, happened to peek her head out and see the basilisk as it was coming out of the sink.

Andrew: Yeah, I think this theory’s good because I still have a hard time believing – the Hogwarts castle is huge, so Harry running into all these cases – being the first into all these cases each time does seem a little odd.

Micah: Yeah, but Myrtle says he doesn’t even take an interest really in Harry until Harry finds the diary.

Andrew: All right, yeah.

Mikey: And you also got to remember this is from Harry’s perspective, the snake could have been roaming around again because remember the spiders run from it. We just don’t know about it because it’s again from Harry’s perspective. The snake could have been roaming the halls when Harry wasn’t around.

Andrew: All right.

Mikey: Just didn’t find anybody. Went on a stroll and no one was out.

Chapter-by-Chapter: The Very Secret Diary

Andrew: Yeah. Well, that’s does it for e-mails this week. And now it’s time to talk about this week’s set of chapters. This week we’re looking at Chapters 13 through 15 of Chamber of Secrets. We’re about three quarters of the way through the book. And these chapters really focus on the series getting – the books getting darker, we’re getting deeper into the plot as Harry discovers the diary and its secrets. So Eric, Micah and I prepared discussion points for each chapter. Eric did the first chapter, Micah did the next one, and I did the last one. So, we’re going to let Eric control this one which is Chapter 13. Eric, I was reading through your notes, lots of interesting points you bring up.

Eric: My first note here is the chapter title, Chapter 13 of Book 2 is called “The Very Secret Diary,” and I thought it was cool because the diary is the key to opening the Chamber of Secrets…

Andrew: Yes…

Eric: …and it’s a very secret diary. [laughs sarcastically]

Andrew: Oh I get it like secret, like Chamber of Secrets, got it.

Eric: Also, I remember that Chapter 13 as I was reading this, I was compiling it, and I realized, ‘Oh we find the diary in this chapter’ – that’s when Harry finds Riddle’s diary and I remembered that Chapter 13 has a special significance in at least the first few Harry Potter books. I don’t know about the rest, but Chapter 13 in Goblet of Fire for instance is called “Mad-Eye Moody,” and at the end of Chapter 13 in Half-Blood – sorry, in Prisoner of Azkaban, Sirius Black breaks into the Gryffindor dormitory. So, Chapter 13 in the Harry Potter books is when the villain is first revealed – or Chapter 13 is about the villain of whatever current book it’s on. At least, that works for the first few books, I think.

Andrew: Oh, interesting. Well, I definitely understand – that would be a cool little easter egg, since 13, of course, is the notoriously unlucky number.

Eric: Yeah. Absolutely. So, my first real point, though – okay, so they’ve just come off the “Polyjuice Potion” chapter and Hermione is a cat and is just recovering in the hospital wing and Harry and Ron go to visit her and they find, under her pillow, a ‘Get Well Soon’ card from Gilderoy Lockhart, and – it’s interesting – I just want to read it, quickly, because it seemed, reading this, I don’t know if it’s just me being older and obviously having less innocence…

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: …but this seems kind of weird, okay? I’m going to read this to you.

Andrew: Okay.

Eric: This is the ‘Get Well Soon’ card:

“To Miss Granger, wishing you a speedy recovery from your concerned teacher, Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, Order of Merlin, Third Class, Honorary Member of the Dark Force Defense League, and five-time winner of Witch Weekly‘s Most-Charming-Smile Award.”

I wonder if he actually handwrote all that. But regardless, so I was thinking okay, this is Lockhart, but why did he send Hermione this ‘Get Well Soon’ card? It seems kind of interesting to me that he would take that much interest in – I mean, even if she is his favorite student, it seems kind of weird to me that he’d write to his fan, like if we’re viewing Lockhart as a real person…

Andrew: I think it’s sort of in his character to be this, ‘Oh, look at me, I care so much for everyone at Hogwarts.’ Blah blah blah.

Mikey: I think he just wanted to write his name and all his credits.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Mikey: Really, “and winner of Witch Weekly‘s five-times best smile.” I think that’s just his personality I think.

Eric: Oh, yeah. Okay. It just struck me as weird, but I’ll move on.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Anyway, moving on. Harry and Ron leave the hospital wing where Hermione is still healing – she no longer has facial hair, which is nice – and they find Filch complaining about Moaning Myrtle who has just wet the floor again in the corridor. And they go into Myrtle’s bathroom, and I realize that even though we’ve seen Harry and Ron going into Myrtle’s bathroom several times, it is a girl’s bathroom, and I remembered that scene in Order of the Phoenix when they try to go up and visit Hermione in the girl’s common – or girl’s dormitory, and they can’t because it’s protected. It’s no boys allowed. And I just wanted to mention that I thought it was kind of interesting that the girl’s bathroom is not boy-proof, so if you want to get your snog on, do it in the bathroom and not in the dormitory.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: Mm. That’s romantic.

Mikey: Didn’t they also go in the girl’s dormitory when the troll attacked, too?

Eric: The girl’s bathroom.

Mikey: Yeah.

Eric: Yes. You’re right.

Andrew: Well, I think…

Mikey: Harry just liked going into the girl’s bathroom obviously.

Andrew: You know what…

Eric: He spent a lot of time there.

Andrew: I think Jo actually says in the book, she notes this specifically, that they don’t – there’s no need for any sort of security to keep people out because nobody wants to go in because Moaning Myrtle’s in there.

Eric: Yeah

Andrew: So it doesn’t – no one is bothered by it. Or, so they don’t have to worry about it.

Eric: Oh, because Moaning Myrtle for the last – yeah.

Andrew: They don’t want to be – especially nobody wants to go make out in there and have Moaning Myrtle…

Mikey: Well, that’s Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. That’s not like every girl’s bathroom. I think Eric was bringing up the girl’s dormitory; the steps turn into a slide, whereas in the girl’s bathroom, Ron and Harry just kind of go in there whenever they feel like it like when the troll attacks or to see Moaning Myrtle.

Andrew: But that’s – oh, I see what you’re saying.

Eric: But it was so over the top. They were just trying to go upstairs and tell Hermione something…

Andrew: Right, right.

Eric: …in Order of the Phoenix and there’s a whistle that blows…

Andrew: [laughs] Right.

Eric: …and it’s slightly ridiculous.

Mikey: No boys in the dormitory!

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Yeah, they don’t like cooties. Anti-cootie charm.

[Mikey laughs]

Eric: But they do go into Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom, find this book on the floor, they talk to Myrtle. Myrtle is like ‘They tried to hit me with the book.’ And Ron warns Harry when he’s about to pick up the diary and find out what it is and Ron warns him that there are these books that his dad always tells him about – Ron’s dad has all the connections – and tells him about all these weird books, ones that you can never stop reading, one that burns your eyes out, and one that makes you speak in limericks which are like incantation, really dark, weird language.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: So, I just thought that was interesting. It’s the world of J.K.R. being fleshed out. To be able to think about, ‘well, people have magic, what would they do with it?’ To see that there are these books that are enchanted and books you could never stop reading. I wonder if there aren’t already a few of those in our Muggle world anyway. So, I thought that was worth noting. Powering through, Harry has a Horcrux moment here. Over the next few weeks he’s trying to get stuff out of the diary and Hermione tries a few of her spells and all that stuff, but here’s a quote from the books. It says:

“Harry couldn’t explain even to himself why he didn’t just throw Riddle’s diary away. The fact was that even though he knew the diary was blank, he kept absent-mindingly picking it up and turning the pages as though it were a story he wanted to finish.”

[laughs] Maybe it’s called Harry Potter.

“And while Harry was sure he had never heard the name T.M. Riddle before, it seemed to mean something to him.”

This, to me, seems like either foreshadowing or something that Harry is a Horcrux or that he is affected so much by this diary, which we later find out is a Horcrux, or has part of Voldemort’s soul in it.

Mikey: You didn’t finish it Eric, but further on there it actually goes on to say that T.M. Riddle almost feels like someone he may have known when he was a young kid, like a friend, but then he says that’s ridiculous because he didn’t have any friends until he got to Hogwarts.

Andrew: Or like someone who killed his parents.

Mikey: Yeah someone he recognized when he was a baby. Like, where is it at? I don’t have the book…

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: …open right now.

Eric: Yeah, that’s the end of that quote. I cut it off there because it didn’t seem to support my ‘Harry is also a Horcrux’ theory.

Mikey: I think that it supports it even more because it’s like he met T.M. Riddle when he was a baby.

Eric: Well, he didn’t meet T.M. Riddle. He met Voldemort.

Mikey: Who is T.M. Riddle. It’s the same thing though.

Eric: Right, but it wouldn’t that Lily – Lily wouldn’t say, “Oh Tom Riddle’s here to kill us.”

Mikey: No, no, no. What I’m talking about is his soul is in him and he met Voldemort when he was young. I think that it supports it even more.

Eric: I guess, yeah, in the most intimate way you can meet someone…

Mikey: Yeah.

Eric: …is to have their soul attached to you.

Mikey: Yeah, exactly. So I think – I think it goes to that theory a little bit more even.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: When I was reading this for our segment I didn’t even think about that – that whole Horcrux connection, but yeah that’s – I really agree that is totally a Horcrux sort of moment. And certainly is probably the best explanation we as readers could make out of that reading back – reading the series back.

Eric: It is kind of cool, yeah.

Mikey: Yeah it was totally like an ah-ha moment for me. I was like, “Ah!”

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: Yeah that’s – sorry. I get excited when I…

Eric: Cool.

Mikey: …read.

Eric: The mandrakes – this is my next note here. Madam Pomfrey informs the school – it’s another few weeks and she tells everyone that, “The people who were petrified should be healed soon because the mandrakes are growing up and becoming moody and secretive.”

Andrew: What are they get all emo and gossipy?

[Laura laughs]

Eric: They get all emo and start listening to countless…

Mikey: I – you know, honestly, I couldn’t remember how much you know Madam Pomfrey talked about the mandrakes in this – in these last couple of chapters, but honestly she’s like, “Oh yeah, they’re trying to move into each other’s pot and have a party.” And I’m like, “Really the mandrakes are trying to have a party?” It was just like a joke running in the background almost.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: And it just made me laugh every time I get to it.

Laura: Didn’t she also say they were developing acne?

Mikey: Yeah!

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: As soon as the acne cleared up they’d be all ready to go.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: That’s funny. So these are like – these are being personified and they’re mandrakes.

Eric: I need to see these mandrakes. Yeah I think that somebody should write a story set, you know, the main characters are the mandrakes that are growing up in Year Two and they’re about to be chopped up and used to…

Mikey: And not know about it. Trying to escape.

Eric: But they get to have a party and you know listen to Gaga.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Totally.

Eric: Gaga all the way. So, Lockhart comes up with this brilliant idea of what to do to make everybody’s mood cheer up. On Valentine’s Day he paints the school pink.

Andrew: So adorable.

Eric: Pink ribbons everywhere – I know. I know. It’s a shame they didn’t carry that tradition over you know the following years. There’s a quote here, “‘What’s going on?’ Harry asked them sitting down and wiping confetti off his bacon.”

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Which is hilarious, and of course there’s these travelling dwarfs…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: …dressed as cupids and Lockhart is wearing robes of pink.

Andrew: I thought that was a clever little idea. I find it fabulous. Everybody else in the school didn’t like it, but I thought it was fab.

Eric: It’s a good way to disguise as well too. Because it’s when the – when Harry finally gets his singing valentine and he sees Ginny run off, she also, of course just discovered…

Andrew: Right.

Eric: …that he has the diary that she was trying to flush. So, he confuses it then, you know, mistakes it as being – her being embarrassed, because you know, Malfoy says, “Oh, I think your boyfriend hated the valen-” Whatever, but actually Ginny’s really upset because she just saw that Harry dropped the diary and she sees that he has it, which is the last person she wants, “Oh my god, he’s reading my diary!”

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Eric: But yeah, so that’s kind of cool. I thought it was definitely good events that happened. And there’s another foreshadowing moment I wanted to point out where Snape – this is still in the Great Hall – and Lockhart says something to the effect of you know, “ask Snape to brew you a love potion anybody who’s interested.” And it says that “Snape was looking as though the first person to ask him for a love potion would be force-fed poison.”

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: And you know, having just seen the – and that’s a good way of putting it even without it being foreshadowing, I think that’s just a nice phrase. But, just having recently seen the sixth movie, I remembered about Ron eating those love potion cookies from Romilda Vane and then of course, Harry taking him to Slughorn and Ron is force-fed poison thinking it would help him take the edge off. So that just seems like a sequence of events. Books 2 and 6 are linked, you know, I know we’ve talked about that…

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: Mhm.

Eric: …ad nauseum so…

Andrew: Yeah, yup.

Eric: …figured that would be one more thing. Harry finally unlocks the key to the diary and gets – because he realizes the diary sucks – I’m not going to say that – [unintelligible]. Anyway, he unlocks the key to the diary and also gets treated to a memory. This is interesting because we of course have a tool to view people’s memories and it’s not at all a diary. But this is our first glimpse into someone else’s memory. It’s Riddle talking to Professor Dippet about staying at Hogwarts over the Summer. And basically we get this really cool ending to the chapter, which is that Harry suspects, is basically shown by Riddle that Hagrid, Keeper of the Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts, is the person who opened the Chamber of Secrets fifty years ago.

Andrew: Right. And it’s interesting because we as readers, the first time we’re reading this, we’re like “Oh my god! We’ve seen Hagrid and he’s so innocent and lovable and happy” and now there’s…

Eric: Exactly.

Andrew: …a sudden moment where we have doubts about him, possibly. And this also reminds me, I was – I’ve just started re-reading Deathly Hallows the other day, and this sort of reminds me of the first time we’re reading that book and we see – Harry, it’s a very short moment, but we see that Harry is, you know, after the Seven Potters flight, Hagrid is laying there on the ground and Harry tries to wake him up and it takes him a little bit to wake him up. And we knew that Deathly Hallows was going to be a blood bath, and we’re like, “Oh my god, is he actually – did J.K. Rowling actually kill Hagrid?” But…

Eric: Well, after Hedwig, it was really…

[Laura laughs]

Eric: …anybody.

Mikey: It’s like all bets are off.

Eric: She pulled out all the stops.

[Everyone laughs]

Mikey: Come on, she just killed his owl off, come on.

Eric: They killed the owl!

Andrew: I still remember the – the shock on Laura’s face when she read that part.

Laura: I was so upset!

Andrew: Yeah. It was totally sad.

Eric: It was funny because Laura just gasps and then Jamie – wasn’t it Jamie or was it somebody else one minute later was like, “Awwww”?

[Laura and Andrew laugh]

Andrew: Yeah, we all made different noises upon reading the death. But what was your story behind it, Laura?

Laura: Well, okay. You guys all know Elysa Montfort, right?

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: Well, of course you all do.

Eric: Who?

Laura: She’s been on the show a couple of times, and she, myself, and a few other friends of ours got together for the release of Half-Blood Prince in 2005. And Elysa was kind of far behind everybody else. So she didn’t know what was going on, and another friend of ours had already finished the book, and at one point I was like, “Oh, we haven’t seen Hedwig for a while…”

Andrew: Oh geez.

Laura: And this one friend of ours had this terrible, evil smile on her face trying to convince us that Hedwig died. And Elysa was practically in tears because she’d been up for 24 hours at this point reading, and she was like, “No! Hedwig can’t die!”

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: And then I get to Book 7 and Hedwig dies.

Andrew: [laughs] Right. It was a terrible twist of fate.

Laura: It was.

Micah: Poof goes the owl.

Eric: Poof goes the owl? Poof goes my plush replica of Hedwig that I got for pre-ordering the seventh book.

Andrew: Yeah. They’re suddenly worthless. So that’s it for Chapter 13, and now Micah will cover Chapter 14. Yay, Micah!

MuggleCast 187 Transcript (continued)

Chapter-by-Chapter: Cornelius Fudge

Micah: “Cornelius Fudge.”

Andrew: “Cornelius Fudge.” Go ahead, Micah.

Micah: I’m not so sure why they named the chapter that though to be honest.

Andrew: You know me neither. I didn’t even notice the chapter title until you said it, and then I was like, “What! Say what?!”

Micah: As Eric just mentioned we find out that supposedly Hagrid was responsible for opening the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry goes and has this conversation with Ron and Hermione, and there seems to be a huge debate that’s taking place among the trio about who opened the Chamber of Secrets. Now with all the research and all the library visits and everything else that goes on in the series I wanted to know why couldn’t they just go and try and figure out if this is really what Hagrid was expelled for all those years ago? Why couldn’t they ask a professor? Why couldn’t they go to Dumbledore? Remember that whole, “Harry, is there anything you wish to tell me?”…

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Micah: …moment?

Andrew: Yeah. I think its – well – I think the trio are just afraid to be asking the staff about this. I think they want to keep their little investigation under cover and they don’t want to be asking other people because then their cover sort of blown and then people are knowing that they are being all – that they are snooping around.

Mikey: At the same time though didn’t Tom Riddle tell Harry that it was a cover up, that no one knows the truth. Why – so right there…

Eric: Oh that’s a good point.

Mikey: … Harry knows at the end of Chapter 13 that no one else knows. Because Tom Riddle, who he has no reason not to believe or to believe, tells him that it was a cover up…

Eric: It’s a cover up.

Mikey: …and that’s why he got this special award and no one knows why.

Andrew: Good point.

Eric: I was initially – yeah, that’s a good point – I was initially going to say that well if they asked that about the Chamber of Secrets none of the teachers think that it even exists for real.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: So anything about the myth etc. they would’ve gotten nowhere. But then I was reminded – or then I got the feeling that well of course expulsion records things like – if they were to look at how many students from Hogwarts that ever got expelled, there had to be a list and maybe a reasons just like how there are awards for special services to school. Maybe even a Daily Prophet notice, something like that, it seems like that could’ve been the road for them to take if they were to research it. So, I think it’s a valid point but what Mikey just said Harry trusts…

Mikey: Yeah, and also at the same time I almost actually believe even though we know who Tom Riddle is and that he probably is lying, but I actually kind of believe that it really was a cover up. Because one there was really no permanent proof because Aragog was never found. It was basically Riddle’s word versus Hagrid’s and Hagrid probably admitted yes there was an Acromantula in the castle. But it was like his word against his and I think it was a cover up to protect Hagrid and that’s why he never…

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: …went to – so I’m sure it was completely covered up and truthfully Cornelius Fudge is the topic title because why would the Minister of Magic come to it because it probably was hush – hushed up and he had to go to and find out what happened fifty years ago and he was previewed with that information and that’s why it was the Minister of Magic taking care of this. The Ministry has to do something in all this.

Micah: A couple weeks pass and they get into a discussion about what they’re going to be taking in third year in terms of courses and Ron was saying something along the lines of he would be giving up Defense Against the Dark Arts if he could because look at the way Lockhart has taught him this past year. And I thought it was interesting that Hermione responded by saying, very fiercely that it’s important and with the role that Defense Against the Dark Arts plays in the series – I don’t know I just kind of find it funny that Ron was willing to give it up all the way back in Year 2 and it was Hermione who turned around and said, no you need to take this.

Andrew: Yeah. Well there’s the mother in Hermione. I think – I think – I don’t know. I guess Ron doesn’t always have the best common sense. But I would think that’s sort of a class that – even – it’s a class you would want to take. Don’t you want to be prepared? I mean, I don’t know.

Eric: Maybe not in Year 5, but definitely in Year 3.

Andrew: No, we’re talking about Year 2, I mean…

Eric: Yeah, I know – I don’t think it’s optional. I mean…

Andrew: Yeah, it shouldn’t be.

Eric: …I don’t understand how Defense Against the Dark Arts is kind of optional.

Micah: Well, it’s not. But he’s just saying it because Lockhart’s a git, and…

Eric: Oh.

Andrew: Oh, ok.

Micah: …he doesn’t want another teacher like him.

Eric: This was kind of a bad choice for Dumbledore to make, for a teacher. It really was though.

Mikey: No, I think it – I think it…

Andrew: Well, we talked about this. We said that no other teachers were coming forward – it was very hard to find someone to fill the position. And – so Dumbledore was just taking anyone who would go into it because it’s always been cursed. So…

Eric: And it teaches Harry and Ron not to believe in authority.

Andrew: Yeah. Which was a good lesson. [laughs]

Micah: So the diary now gets stolen, and we learn that only a Gryffindor could have taken it because only a Gryffindor could have gotten up into Harry’s room.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: And my question is, shouldn’t this have been a bigger deal? I mean, they trashed his room. Doesn’t something like this get reported?

Andrew: Yeah, it’s pretty scary.

Mikey: Well, he had the option to report it or not. Remember Hermione kept telling him that he should have, and he didn’t?

Eric: Well, didn’t one of his bunkmates know? Wasn’t Dean standing outside the room like, “Dude they…”

Laura: Yeah, Neville was the one who told him.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: ‘Like, someone went through your stuff, Harry.’

Mikey: Cool – and actually, Eric, you brought something up. Remember when in Book 5 the boys went up to the girl’s room and they turn into a slide?

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: How come when the girls go up it doesn’t do that too?

Eric: Well, that’s how – well that’s explained in the book.

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: Is it?

Eric: It’s just implied that – that girls are more trustworthy and that they won’t be abusing the privilege. But it’d be – it’d be better if the boys dormitory did have that, because then Ginny wouldn’t have been able to go up and take the diary. She would have had to get – she would have had to start seducing boys, and getting them to do it for her, years before.

[Mikey laughs]

Eric: Years before.

Mikey: At the age of two, right?

Eric: At the – no, well, not two. Second year. Yeah, you’re right?

Mikey: It was her first year. Yeah, so she’s eleven.

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: Wow.

Micah: So before the big Quidditch match Harry goes and has breakfast, and as they’re leaving to go down to the Quidditch pitch Harry hears the Basilisk. And now all of a sudden Hermione has an epiphany because we’re in Chapter 14, and…

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Only seventeen chapters in the book?

Micah: She says, now I’ve figured it out what it is! Or she thinks she’s figured it out so she heads off to the library. And again one question that comes out of this is, if she thinks she knows what’s going on, why not go to a professor, why go to the library? I’m not saying she knew that she would’ve been attacked, of course, but it’s one of those things, it’s one of those loops. Or not loops but holes in the plot.

Laura: Well…

Micah: …when you would say why not go to Professor McGonagall?

Laura: I think too they had been cautioned against looking into this kind of thing, particularly given what happened at the end of their first year.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: I don’t think they wanted anybody to get in the way of their investigation. And also, Ron had warned Harry earlier in the book that hearing voices, even in the wizarding world, wasn’t a good thing. So it might have been something that Hermione was considering as being more confidential.

Andrew: Yeah. And Harry certainly – after – after earlier events in this book where the students see Harry talking to the – talking to the snake during the Dueling Club chapter – or speaking Parseltongue, I don’t think Harry wants to go too public with this. And even though it’s just telling a teacher, I think Harry and Hermione in particular sort of get this thrill off of – off of keeping it…

Mikey: Figuring it out.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Mikey: Well, and – but – but you also got to understand though, Hermione’s the type of person who wouldn’t tell her ideas to a teacher. She would only tell McGonagall or Dumbledore once she was positive. So the fact she had to go to the library to verify that she thought she knew what it was, and then that’s when she got petrified. We could’ve – for all we know, she could’ve been going to tell – before she went to go tell her, she could’ve been going to tell McGonagall when she got petrified. We don’t know.

Andrew: I think that’s a good idea.

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: Harry’s perspective again, remember that.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, exactly. Guess work and all that doesn’t work with – when you present it to authorities. So I think that’s – that’s what I was going to say too, that Hermione…

Mikey: And she’s very factual. That’s just her personality.

Eric: Well I’m just glad she wrote “pipes” on that little piece of paper, just in case.

Andrew: [laughs] Right.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: So they could figure it out.

Andrew: Thank god for that one word. Well it’s a cool little plot twist, Harry and Ron lose Hermione. So now they have to do this on their own.

Eric: It is cool, yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. Onward Micah!

Micah: So, McGonagall comes to inform them that Hermione has been petrified, and then she goes up to address all of Gryffindor. And she asks anybody with information to come forward. And again instead of giving any information about what’s going on Harry and Ron decide that it’s better off to go see Hagrid and discuss what Harry had seen in Riddle’s diary.

Mikey: But the same…

Micah: I know, we could debate the same thing over and over again that we have, but just to kind of move it along, we get to Hagrid’s hut and the whole scene that follows is Dumbledore shows up, Cornelius Fudge shows up, and Lucius Malfoy shows up. And we learn that Hagrid is being blamed again for the attacks at the school, and he’s going to be taken away to Azkaban. And this is also our first introduction to Cornelius Fudge the Minister. And another thing we learn is that Dumbledore because of what’s going on at the school is being given an order of suspension. And I made a note here, I’m not really sure how the governmental structure works, but couldn’t Fudge have stepped in here and said, “Well, I don’t really think this is the best time for us to be losing our headmaster”?

Andrew: Well, I think he did say something similar to that, but Lucius also points out that he – they – the governors have authority over – over Fudge. I mean, he does explicitly state that. So I guess not! I guess technically no.

Eric: I think it’s interesting because we’re at this period of time where it’s been twelve years since – since Voldemort’s first downfall and they aren’t yet – they aren’t yet ready to believe that he’s on his way back and stuff. But these murders at Hogwarts and everything are making Fudge very uneasy and he kind of has to do what the governors want, I think.

Andrew: Well, that…

Eric: It’s an interesting point.

Andrew: Yeah, that was another thing. Wasn’t it Fudge who brought that up? He said that – he has to – oh, well he says that – he says to Hagrid that the reason he’s throwing him into Azkaban is that he does have to do something. He does have to act to show that he’s trying.

Eric: Yeah, it’s – it’s – Fudge is more reactionary than actionary.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: If that’s the appropriate term. I think that means something else.

Mikey: No, I definitely think – that’s definitely it, because you see him being reactionary to every single thing in all the books.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: He doesn’t take action. He waits – he waits for something to happen. Sure enough he has to see Voldemort with his own eyes before he does anything about it. He’s – he’s not a proactive Governor or Minister.

Micah: So after all of the theatrics that take place here Dumbledore gives that famous line of, “You’ll find that I will only have truly left this school when none here are loyal to me.” And that plays a huge role later on in this book and you could argue later on in the series as well. But just kind of the final point that I wanted to bring up about this chapter is we always talked I think in previous shows about how Dumbledore could see through Invisibility Cloaks and I wondered – but does knowing what we know now, but does this have more to do with Dumbledore sensing the presence of one of the Deathly Hallows?

Andrew: I think that’s a cool theory.

Micah: Knowing the Invisibility Cloak is in the room.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: That’s a very good point!

Eric: That’s interesting. Huh!

Andrew: Good job, Micah!

Laura: Oh, man!

Eric: Wow! So you’re saying that – that the cloak not being just an ordinary cloak…

Andrew: Right.

Eric: …being, in fact, a Hallow…

Andrew: Right!

Eric: …which Dumbledore has studied emanates a particularly high degree of magic…

Andrew: Right.

Mikey: Yeah.

Eric: …and attuned ears.

Mikey: And he would only know when Harry – because Harry is the only one that has that.

Andrew: All right, what else did we learn in this chapter, Micah?

Laura: Ooh!

Mikey: Micah, good one! Good one!

Micah: Eh, follow the spiders.

[Everyone laughs]

Mikey: Follow the spiders!

Micah: But we all know where that leads. That leads to the next – does it lead to the next chapter?

Andrew: Yes.

Micah: Or is it the one after?

Mikey: It’s the next chapter.

Chapter-by-Chapter: Aragog

Andrew: No, no it’s the next chapter. Chapter 15 – what’s it called? I don’t have it in front of me.

Micah: “Aragog.”

Andrew: “Aragog,” yes. So Chapter 15 – the final chapter we’re discussing today. In Potions class in this chapter, Malfoy asks Snape why he doesn’t apply to become the new Headmaster and I thought that was a little bit of foreshadowing of course because in Deathly Hallows Snape does become the Headmaster for a little period of time.

Eric: [laughs] He should have just replied, “Because I have to kill the Headmaster before I do that”.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Just to completely silence the class.

Andrew: He does kind of shrug it off, doesn’t he?

Mikey: Yeah, he does.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Some time yet, wait four books.

Andrew: And then we see Snape escort the students to Herbology. And I’m wondering even with these escorts they – they instated these a chapter or two ago having the teachers escort the students to the classes for safety, what would any of these professors be able to do to fight against the Basilisk? Because would they be able to do anything? They don’t even know what’s going on.

Mikey: Well, Lockhart would at least smile at the Basilisk.

[Laura laughs]

Mikey: He’s got a charming smile. He’s like, “Hi.”

Andrew: That certainly would not save them. I know this is sort of a precautionary measure, but…

Eric: Yeah. They make sure that students don’t wander off which is actually probably the best way to get killed by a Basilisk because if you’re not…

Andrew: Yeah. Okay, okay.

Eric: …if you’re alone.

Andrew: That’s probably a good point.

Mikey: And also in our hindsight we also know that by the teachers escorting them, Ginny had no way of leaving which – then the Basilisk wouldn’t come out then.

Andrew: Right.

Mikey: So…

Eric: It’s just good to be supervised. Good to know where your kids are.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: It’s 2:30 P.M. Do you know where your children are?

Andrew: [laughs] With Snape.

Eric: With Snape.

Andrew: Ernie MacMillan apologizes to Harry for accusing him of releasing the creature as Ernie knows that Harry would never allow an attack on Hermione.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: It’s kind of an immature thing to say in my opinion, “I believe you now just because your friend” – it was sort of like a sympathy kind of thing. I don’t know. I wasn’t too convinced. I didn’t think it was very…

Micah: Ernie’s a tool.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Exactly.

Eric: He is one of the only Hufflepuffs in this series who is given dialogue. And you just called him a tool.

Laura: He is a tool.

Andrew: Respect, Micah. Equality for all.

Eric: He is a tool.

Micah: Laura just called him one too so that legitimizes it.

Mikey: Wow.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: He is a tool, yeah. He is a tool.

Andrew: Harry and Ron decide to head out to follow the spiders and they do bring along Fang. And Harry, Ron and Fang get picked up by – I’m sort of skipping along here to get through this chapter – Harry, Ron and Fang get picked up by huge spiders and bring them into the heart of the forest. They go very deep into the forest. And they meet Aragog for the first time who reveals he was not the creature released in the Chamber of Secrets. And so now we all had a sort of sigh of relief, “Phew, Maybe it wasn’t Hagrid”. And we also learned from Aragog that Hagrid had raised Aragog – Aragog within a cupboard in Hogwarts, and once the school learned what Hagrid was up to, Aragog had to be moved to the forest and we also learn that the girl who was killed by the Basilisk died in a bathroom. So Aragog – they learn these things from Aragog and then Aragog still doesn’t care that they are friends of Hagrid’s. So he allows the spiders to attack Harry, Ron and Fang.

Eric: What’s the deal?

Andrew: And just in the nick of time, the Ford Anglia appears and pushes away some of the spiders and pulls right up to the trio. My question is: what is the deal with this sort of magic going on in the Ford Anglia? I mean, up until – we see the Ford Anglia kick out Harry and Ron at the beginning of the book, but what kind of magic did Arthur Weasley put into this thing where it has some sort of personality?

Eric: [laughs] It’s actually…

Andrew: I don’t know how to describe it exactly.

Eric: It means the autobots are coming.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: They’re right around the corner.

Eric: This is actually a precursor. [laughs]

Andrew: Any theories, guys, what’s going on here? Is this just some crazy – I know in today’s technology we have these Smart Cars that you can talk to, but this is way beyond the Ford SYNC or everything else.

Micah: Dumbledore.

Andrew: Dumbledore.

Eric: I don’t know. You imagine there’s this guy hanging out in the woods just taking care of the car, souping it up, you know, pimping it out. And then he knows, because he’s read the Harry Potter books, when to send the car out after…

Andrew: I guess that is one theory, yeah. J.K. Rowling describes the Ford Anglia as becoming – what was it?

Mikey: Wild, wild.

Laura: Wild.

Andrew: “Wild,” yeah, yeah, yeah.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: So… [laughs]

Eric: It’s like an animal, is what it really, you know…

Andrew: Last point of the chapter, Harry and Ron discuss Hagrid’s bad decision to tell the two to go meet Aragog. He had assumed that Aragog wouldn’t hurt them, and Ron notes that Hagrid puts too much trust in creatures. Do we all agree? I think that was a great, intelligent point that Ron brings up. And at least they did learn two things out of this, which ultimately advanced the plot and arguably make Hagrid’s recommended trip worthwhile. For one, Hagrid did not open the Chamber of Secrets – that’s the one thing we learned. And two, Moaning Myrtle was the one who was killed by the Basilisk the first time.

Eric: I love this slow reveal of all the stuff that has been written to have happened fifty years ago…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: …but it’s all connected.

Andrew: So do you guys think Hagrid’s a little too – he trusts creatures a little too much? He’s too friendly with them?

Mikey: I don’t think he trusts them too much. I think when he’s there, its okay. Because like, you see it with Buckbeak in Book Three, his brother in Order of the Phoenix – his brother’s a creature and Buckbeak’s a creature, and both these things hurt people, you know. But when he’s around…

Eric: But ordinary people.

Mikey: But when he’s around, he has faith that he can tame them.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: And look at Fluffy. He was able to tame Fluffy.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: It’s like not knowing your own strength, too. Because he’s a half-giant.

Mikey: Yeah!

Eric: So things that touch him – I mean, look at – he survived the seven-book epic that is Harry Potter. He’s a tough, tough guy, but he fails to have that translate to…

Mikey: Everyone else.

Eric: …children.

Mikey: Yeah.

Eric: And especially Aragog is like, “My children don’t harm Hagrid because we respect him, but you guys are fair game.”

Andrew: I guess those are Hagrid’s best friends, too, really.

Mikey: Yeah, and I think…

Andrew: Because he’s a lonely guy.

Mikey: Well, and I think it’s because they also relate to him because technically, he’s half-monster, too – at least at what Ron would consider giants and monsters, so…

Andrew: Oh, right. Yeah.

Eric: Hagrid is a fantastic beast.

Mikey: Yeah. He’s half-giant, so I think it’s one of those things where – and at the same time, I also think that if Hagrid had taken Ron and Harry into Aragog’s keep, they would not have attacked him because Hagrid would have said, “Aragog, no!” and it would have been fine.

[Everyone laughs]

Quote Quiz

Andrew: So that does it for Chapter-by-Chapter this week. We’ll wrap it up with Quote Quiz… [echoes]

Mikey: Quiz?

Andrew: “I certainly remember you saying you were sorry you hadn’t had a crack at the monster before Hagrid was arrested.”

[Eric laughs]

Andrew and



Andrew: Ahhh! I said it…

Mikey: It was either McGonagall or Snape to Lockhart.

Eric: He can’t solve it.

Andrew: So next week – did Eric say there’s seventeen chapters in this book?

Eric: No, I thought there were – there’s like nineteen, isn’t there?

Andrew: Oh, nine – eighteen.

Eric: Eighteen.

Andrew: So next week we will discuss Chapters 16 through 18 of Chamber of Secrets and there’s eighteen chapters in this book meaning we’re going to wrap it up – well, actually not next episode because we have a special episode coming next week. We’ll explain that at the end of the show, which is in about five minutes. [laughs] Be right back with that statement. We do have one tweet related to this – to these chapters that we talked about today. Guys, we want to encourage you to send in your questions before we talk about each set of chapters. I know we get a lot of feedback after we talk about them, but feel free to send them in before, too, and we’ll include them in the show if they’re good.

Listener Tweet: Voldemort’s Identity

This tweet comes from clarelikesFTSK, whatever FTSK is. She says:

“Since Voldemort is so infamous in the Wizarding World, how come Ron and Hermione didn’t know his previous name, Tom Riddle?”

Laura: I think it’s purely because of how famous he is. I mean, think about famous people in real life who have different names. Like Madonna.

Eric: Or the Edge.

Laura: Like, who knows what Madonna’s real name is? Or like Lady Gaga. I know you know, Andrew, so don’t ruin it, but…

Andrew: I don’t.

Laura: Oh, really? You don’t?

Andrew: Well, I sort of do. I know the first half is Stefani, right?

Laura: Okay. But yeah, it’s just how that person becomes known. It’s almost like a completely separate persona, in a way.

Andrew: I think that’s a good point. But you could also argue that it is the darkest wizard of all time, so how could you not?

Eric: But – well Tom Riddle – people just don’t know that. Tom Riddle was like eighteen when he went off after Hogwarts and became Voldemort. So unless you knew Voldemort as a kid – even Dumbledore doesn’t really tell people. He wants to get the word out that Voldemort was once called Tom Riddle, etc. – that plays a part in the later books – but I don’t think it’s commonly known. People have known to fear Voldemort, so I think that fear keeps them away from knowing too much.

Mikey: And also when Tom Riddle kind of became Voldemort – I guess you would say when he left that name behind – didn’t he also kind of just leave everything that was Tom Riddle behind and almost kind of destroy any connection to it, too? He had no family left and he had also – the teachers said he had so much potential and he was wasting his potential. He just kind of went off to be Voldemort and people just kind of assumed that Tom Riddle kind of burned up, you know – washed out.

Eric: He – yeah, he even abandoned his nose.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Micah: Didn’t he fake his own death?

Mikey: I don’t know if he faked it.

Andrew: No.

Mikey: I don’t think so. But I think it was just one of those things where he was just working in Borgin and Burkes and people were saying that was a waste of talent. You know what I mean? It was just one of those things where…

Eric: Plus Dumbledore says to him “you’ve changed” after Voldemort comes back seeking a teaching position. This is after he’s already…

Mikey: Become Voldemort.

Eric: …explored the – yeah, explored the depths of dark magic. And Dumbledore doesn’t even like any of that.

Mikey: Yeah.

Eric: Because he’s already – there’s some comment in that confrontation about Voldemort exploring the dark ends…

Andrew: Right.

Mikey: Yeah and…

Eric: …of magical stuff.

Andrew: All right, well, interesting analysis, everyone. That wraps up the penultimate Chapter-by-Chapter segment for Chamber of Secrets.

Mikey: Woohoo!

Eric: In the penultimate episode of the year.

Laura: Yeah, wow!

Announcement: The Final Episode of 2009

Andrew: Wow. Such – you know, speaking of that, I guess what’s on everyone’s minds is what will our final episode of 2009 be? You know, we have to go out with a bang. I think we have a pretty good idea. I am really excited about this. I only wanted to do a Year in Review show if we had a really good idea, and I think we’ve got a really good idea and we’ll announce it here. December 29th, 8:00 PM Eastern, we will be doing another live episode of MuggleCast, meaning live on Ustream. Each and every one of you could listen to the show live as we record it. You’ll also be able to participate. We’re going to be awarding Potter news stories and celebrities several awards in various categories to look back at 2009. And the winners will be chosen by you live during the show. So we’re going to have different categories. I’ll give you an example – here’s a little teaser. We’re going to have a category: “Most Interesting Potter Celebrity on Twitter This Year.” It’ll be worded a little better than that. [laughs]

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: And what we’re going to do – we’re going to put up a poll on the Ustream while people are watching. We’re going to give people ten to 15 seconds to vote, everyone will vote in that little time frame, then right there we will announce the winner and we’ll discuss why – we’ll be like, “Oh, well, so-and-so won but I disagree with that! I think this person won – should have won and here’s why!” So it’ll be a very fun, very interactive way to remember the stories of the past year. And I was just working on – last night, I just wrapped up – MuggleNet’s 2009 Year in Review. You know that page that we create that has all the biggest stories of the past year? You know, there was a lot of – there was a lot of crazy stories this year. We’re going to have a category for most shocking story, stuff like that. So it’ll be a lot of fun.

Mikey: Which is why Harry Potter was the most followed trend on Twitter for movies.

Andrew: Right. There was…

Mikey: See?

Micah: There you go.

Mikey: There is that much news about Harry Potter.

Andrew: [laughs] Exactly, exactly, so…

Micah: [laughs] Are we going to do – last year we did Top Seven Stories of 2008. Should we do that for 2009 as well?

Andrew: Yeah, maybe we can do that too. I mean, those may be part of the winners that we decide. So, yeah, I mean, we’ll work on it over the next week. We still have some stuff to work out. But again, December 29th, 8:00 PM Eastern. We hope to see you all on Ustream. There will be a link on, on, on our Twitter, and on our Facebook. So, no excuses. December 29th, 8:00 PM. We’ll remember the year 2009 Harry Potter with you all. So it’ll be fun.

Mikey: Is that like a “Be there or be square” type thing?

Andrew: Be there or just be a loser. That’s…

Mikey: Oh, wow. Okay.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Oh, wow. Hmmm.

Andrew: The cool kids are…

Eric: You know what? I think these live shows are just an excuse for you to play Gaga, Andrew.

[Andrew and Mikey laugh]

Mikey: In the background.

Andrew: They are not.

Eric: That’s why we’re doing two in three weeks.

Announcement: Podcast Alley

Andrew: I’m just trying to entertain. What can I say? A couple other announcements before we wrap up the show. Don’t forget to vote for us on Podcast Alley because it is MuggleCast Mecember and you must vote for us.

[Laura laughs]

Announcement: Infinitus 2010

Andrew: We appreciate your vote during every month that starts with the letter “M”, so thank you for that. And lastly, Infinitus 2010 is approaching. It’s this July – let me load up the site. It’s July 15th to the 18th in Orlando, Florida. It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be surrounding the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. We’re going to be some of the first people to go into the theme park. We’re going to be partying in the park. It’s going to be crazy. Laura is 21 now.

Laura: Woo!

Andrew: Who knows what she’s going to be doing. [laughs]

Laura: Andrew will be 21 by then.

Andrew: I will, I will.

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: Whooa!

Andrew: And so we’ll be crazy together, Laura and – [laughs]

[Laura laughs]

Mikey: Drinking Butterbeer?

Andrew: Well, you know what?

Laura: Exactly.

Andrew: The Butterbeer is actually going to be non-alcoholic in the park.

Mikey: I know.

Laura: Oh, we’re going to have to remedy that.

Eric: Not after I’m done with it, Andrew.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: We’ll make it alcoholic, sure.

Laura: We’ll bring Mad-Eye Moody’s flask in.

[Show music starts]

Andrew: [laughs] Exactly. So…

Mikey: I’ll just drink Firewhisky. My friend’s Firewhisky.

Andrew: We hope to see you all there, all you listeners because we hope to be doing a podcast there and a couple of panels as well.

Micah: Oh, yeah, Andrew, are we going to be podcasting live from the theme park?

Andrew: [laughs] No, Ben. I mean, Micah.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Ben’s been asking every week, Laura. I know you haven’t been on in a while.

Laura: Okay.

Andrew: It’s sort of an inside joke.

Eric: Can you really say definitively no?

Andrew: I said I don’t know.

Eric: Oh.

Andrew: Did I say no? I meant…

Mikey: You said…

Andrew: …I don’t know.

Eric: You said no.

Andrew: Oh.

Mikey: There is that Ustream app for your iPhone.

Andrew: We don’t know yet.

Mikey: [laughs] Come on.

Eric: Yeah, I’ve heard about people doing that. Wasn’t – didn’t Ben do that the other day or something?

Andrew: Yeah. What’s that have to do with anything?

Mikey: You can Ustream from the park. Why podcast?

Andrew: Oh.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: No.

Eric: Like nothing, you’re there and everybody…

Mikey: Yeah, right, you see?

Andrew: Well – so listen. We hope to see you all there. For more details go to You can register now – registration is open and when you register, please put MuggleNet or MuggleCast in the referral box so they know who sent you. So that’s it, thanks again to everyone who voted for us at the Podcast Awards. We really appreciate your support and, you know, the fact that we won Best Entertainment just shows that we still have your support and we really, really, really appreciate it. So I think that’s it. It’s been another fun episode.

Show Close

Laura: Yes it has.

Andrew: Thanks everyone for listening. I’m Andrew Sims.

Eric: I’m Eric Scull.

Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Mikey: And I’m Aragog – I mean, Mikey B.

Andrew: [laughs] We’ll see everyone next week for Episode 188, December 29th, live at 8:00 PM Eastern. You’ll be able to download it afterwards, but join us live during the show and you can help us pick the winners of the best stories of 2009. Bye-bye everyone! [in high voice] Bye!

Laura: Bye.

Micah: Bye.

Eric: Bye.

Mikey: Bye.

[Show music continues]


Andrew: Absolutely. And I think everyone as a whole – or mostly everyone – no, let me just [beep] that.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Edit, undo. [clears throat] We have some e-mails – [laughs] in response to last week’s…

Another Blooper

Andrew: Keep in mind that we are at forty-eight minutes so try to move through them as efficiently as possible.

Eric: Let me grab my book.

Andrew: Okay. [laughs] He just goes away.

[Everyone laughs]

Mikey: “We’re going to move quick. I’m going to be right back guys. I promise I’ll be back quick.”

Andrew: “Give me a ten minute smoke break.”

Mikey: Eric doesn’t smoke.

[Andrew sighs]

Mikey: Sorry.

Andrew: Just for this, we’re taking out half his points. Someone delete them before he comes back.

[Laura and Mikey laugh]

Eric: I’m back.

Andrew: Oh, oh.

Mikey: Right, we’re doing Chapter 14 and 15 now.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Oh. [laughs]

Andrew: All right, that’s it for Chapter 13.

[Everyone laughs]