MuggleCast 195 Transcript
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[Show music begins]
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[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]
Jim Dale: [as Professor McGonagall] This is Professor McGonagall welcoming you all to MuggleCast hoping you enjoy it – 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!
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Andrew: Because Eric has made a very special new friend through the show, this is MuggleCast Episode 195 for April 1st, 2010.
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Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 195! Micah and Eric are here as well as me. Hey guys.
Micah: What’s up?
Andrew: This is not what people think. We are not turning into a three person show! It just turned out that way to be quite frank. I mean for two weeks in a row having three people. So we are here again to grace you with our presence and introduce you to the wonderful world of Harry Potter as we do every other week.
Eric: We still don’t have a name for ourselves, for this particular three – trio configuration.
Andrew: But is it necessary?
Eric: No, no.
Eric: Because it’s a temporary thing. We’re not turning into a three man show as you say.
Andrew: Right. Right. We can be called “MAE.” M-A-E. Micah, Andrew, Eric. “MAE.” The Mae.
Eric: Or “EMA” or “AEM”.
Andrew: I like “EMA” better – Emma – “EMA.”
Eric: Yeah, “EMA.”
Micah: Laura should be back soon though. We’re getting into April. Isn’t she due back from Costa Rica?
Eric: Costa Rica!
Andrew: Yes! And then we can call ourselves “LAME!”
Andrew: Laura, Andrew, Micah, Eric.
Micah: We were called that long before now.
Andrew: We are “LAME” with Laura. Thank you Laura for coming back. We are now “LAME.” Well, at any rate, we are far from lame. We have much to discuss on this weeks show as we do every new episode. I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
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Andrew: Micah, what is in the news this week?
Micah: Oh you know, just a few things. Not a big news week at all.
Andrew: Lies! Lies!
News: Confirmed Opening Date for Theme Park
Micah: Yeah, they are lies. Well, we actually did a MiniCast late last week because we finally got an opening date for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. The park will open officially on June the 18th, 2010.
Micah: Which, really is not all that far from now. We are just about to turn the calendar over to April and just about a month and a half away the park will open to the public.
Eric: So, Micah, now a while ago…
Micah: Oh, sorry, two and a half months.
Andrew: I was going to say…
Eric: Yes, two and a half months.
Micah: I forgot about May.
Eric: There is May, of course. So, Micah, a few months ago, I guess, the Wizarding World gave a projected estimate and I guess it was showing up on their signs, they said “Spring 2010.” Now, June 18th is this release date and well, technically, I suppose it is still Spring ’10 by about three days…
Andrew: It’s three days!
Eric: …and many people…
Andrew: It’s so funny.
Eric: …are a little upset – I don’t know. Is it justified for people to be upset that it’s…
Andrew: Well, I – honestly, I’m a little thrown off because this park looks like it’s pretty much done. They’re starting to do more promotional stuff. We’re seeing TV crews inside the park now. Yeah, sure, I’m sure there are some things inside the stores and rides that they have to get right, but it looks pretty complete and yet we’re still about two and a half months away. Now, when they said a few weeks ago, “Oh, we’re about to announce the opening date,” I thought, ‘Oh, well then it must be opening May at the latest.’ I thought – and I told Micah – I thought it’d be coming in April – opening in April.
Micah: Yeah, I know a lot of people were upset, particularly because you book Spring break whether you’re a college student, whether you’re a somebody whose not yet in college and you go on a family trip sometimes during your March or your April breaks, and maybe you anticipated going to this park, thinking Spring of 2010. But at the same time the think you have to realize is that date was sort of a guesstimate and things don’t always work out the right way. You could have problems with rides, you could have problems with construction. I just think that people should just relax a little bit and just hope that it doesn’t get pushed back another six months or something like that as we have been witness to before with other W.B. products.
Andrew: [laughs] Yes. And actually we should say that there are many – what happens with these theme parks – I know I’m going to sound like a theme park expert right now – but from what I’ve read, is that these theme parks will open before the grand opening to do tests, which they call “soft openings.” So, the park will open to some very lucky people who happen to be in Universal on that day. They’re not going to advertise if the park is going to be open. They’re just going to open it and let people come in and have people in there to test everything and make sure everything is working fine.
Eric: I can’t wait to – when that happens and you happen to be at Universal, call us.
Andrew: I’m actually – I have plans, starting in about two weeks from now, I am bringing a tent and I am camping outside…
Andrew: …the Hogsmeade gates and I will be there to report on it for you guys because I want to give the best coverage possible.
Eric: [laughs] I can just see like…
Andrew: The first time it opens I’ll let you know.
Eric: …the torrential downpour like the Twister ride at Universal where you’re just outside in the – yeah…
Andrew: I’ll hide in the shops when the – if that happens.
News: “Forbidden Journey” Ride
Micah: And we mentioned earlier the MiniCast that we did about the Forbidden Journey ride which Eric got an opportunity to go and walk through, at least the queue part of it. So, if you don’t mind, Eric, can you do a little bit of an overview of that? We don’t want to spend too much time on it because they can go and listen to that podcast.
Eric: Yeah, definitely go and listen to the MiniCast for that, but I was actually able to go down to Florida, where they treated us very nicely and we actually got to walk through the castle which is part of the park. Basically, saw the queue line for the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. You start off in the dungeons because it is the lower level and Hogwarts is up on the hill above you. So, you start of in the dungeons and you see things like the Mirror of Erised, the one-eyed witch statue. You go up a few steps, you see the Entrance Hall, you go through the greenery – the green house, and all this time its decorative – it looks like you’re really there. In Hogwarts, there’s statues of like the architect…
Andrew: And now, there’s – another thing that you’re allowed to talk about now is that you also got to try all the drinks and the food that they’re going to have…
Eric: This was not in the MiniCast! Yes, I did get to try – they did bring us the food that would be served in the park. A lot of it. We got to try Butterbeer. We got to try Pumpkin juice. All of it is going to be really, really refreshing on a hot Summer day.
Andrew: Were you satisfied with all of it? Do you think Harry Potter fans are going to be satisfied with it all in general?
Eric: Yeah. Honestly, I think the food is a stand alone thing where you’re goint to be able to come into the park just to eat the food and then leave. I mean not because the rest of the park isn’t exciting but if you wanted to – that’s gonna be the place to eat when you’re in the Islands of Adventure theme park.
Andrew: Did they say anything about prices for the food? I mean, because theme parks…
Eric: They said the prices weren’t decided. It was a question that they asked and…
Andrew: Theme parks, in general, they do have expensive food so I imagined that it won’t be exactly cheap, but you’re on vacation there for possibly once in a lifetime so you might as well enjoy it.
Eric: Whatever it is, it will be worth it. If you’d tried the Butterbeer, you’d understand. It’s just – it’s amazing! But there’s also, at Universal, when I was there – in the Islands of Adventure there’s an all-day eating pass, which is – I think it’s $20 and it’s all you can eat pretty much from anywhere. I’m not sure if that’s going to be included, obviously that’s something to be worked out later, but it’s going to be worth it because you can get – I mean, just the dessert alone that we tried from the Hogwarts park is unbelievable.
Micah: So, Eric, one more thing just on the food front that I wanted to ask you about. I know the Butterbeer is not going to be alcoholic, but apparently there’s going to be an alcoholic beverage available at the Hog’s Head.
Eric: Yes. The Hog’s Head pub evidently, from what I understand of the maps and stuff, the Hog’s Head is actually going to be attached to the Three Broomsticks. It’s going to be in the back of it, and it’s going to be the adult section where they have, I guess a variety of regular ale, like real world Miller Lite and that sort of thing. But they have devised a “Hog’s Head brew,” which is basically a unique brew that’s going to be alcoholic, and that’s the adult beverage that they’ll be serving in the park.
Eric: [laughs] Yeah, it’s going to be – if it’s any bit – I think I wrote in the report too – if it’s any bit as detailed as the care that they put into Pumpkin juice and Butterbeer, it’s going to be really good.
Micah: Yeah, and one final thing, you said there were a couple people who were there from overseas that were really impressed with sort of the authenticity of the food.
Eric: It’s interesting because if it were their first time in America, I would want them to try the American burger and stuff. They ended up getting to go to this meeting and try all this British food, like fish and chips and Cornish pasties. All of this, there was – I forget what sites they’re from, and I wish I had their names – lovely people from Britain and Ireland, and they really loved the food, and they said it’s just like home. It’s interesting because all of the cuisine, it’s themed like Hogwarts to be European, to have that European twist, recipes to make it feel like you’re in Hogwarts. Even the shepherd’s pie is strictly a European recipe they devised – not American. In other words, un-American. [laughs]
Micah: All right, well for all that we have, whether it’s on the food or on the “Forbidden Journey” ride, you can check out both reports by Eric. They’re very well-written, they’re very in-depth, so definitely check those out on MuggleNet.com. And there is a third report coming. We don’t know necessarily what it’s about, but Eric did mention it’s a three part series, so expect that out at some point. I don’t know when, but…
Eric: I don’t know when.
Micah: Sometime in the future.
Eric: [laughs] I don’t know when. Universal has to tell me.
Micah: Well, I might know when, but they don’t know when.
Eric: Oh, yeah. They don’t know when.
Andrew: And before we continue, we’d like to remind everyone that this week’s podcast is brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature and featuring audio versions of many New York Times bestsellers. For listeners of this podcast, Audible is offering a free audio book to give you a chance to try out their great service. One book that I know Potter fans would like to consider is The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians – Book One. It is an excellent book and narrated by Jesse Bernstein for Audible.com. For a free audio book of your choice, go to audiblepodcast.com/mugglecast – that’s audiblepodcast.com/mugglecast.
News: Deathly Hallows Set Visit
Micah: Andrew, you visited the set of Deathy Hallows recently.
Andrew: Yes, that’s right! And, unlike Eric, I can’t say a thing about it! I don’t even know if I can say I went there.
Andrew: So – but I will anyway. No, I think I can say that, but as usual with these set visits that we do, we’ll be able to release information closer to the release of the film. And…
Micah: Can you at least say who you spoke with?
Andrew: [laughs] Probably not.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: And I don’t mean to be like, “Na na na na poo poo,” but I think they really don’t want us to. When a trailer is released though, we will be allowed to post a preview. So, you’ll find out then.
Micah: All right.
Andrew: But the sets are looking amazing. The scene that we saw – it fulfilled my expectation in terms of how I was hoping that they were going to be filming these films. So I’ll put it that way. I’m very satisfied at what I saw.
Eric: Now, was that the set that burned down later that night or…?
Andrew: No comment!
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Micah: Yeah, he can’t say.
Andrew: I can’t say.
Eric: Because the set – okay, but part of a set at the same studio you were at burned down.
Micah: If he was a betting man, he would, possibly, say that that could be accurate.
Andrew: If I were a betting man, I would bet on what Micah was betting on. But only if I was a betting man.
Eric: You guys gamble too much.
Micah: All right…
Andrew: What else is going on?
News: Emma Thompson is Back
Micah: Speaking of Deathy Hallows though, Emma Thompson, who was supposedly not going to be in this final film…
Micah: …is in it.
Micah: I don’t know how else to say that. Clemence Poesy blew the lid off of this one…
Micah: …saying she was on set recently for filming, and I guess that means that we will indeed see her playing the role of Professor Trelawney and – here’s the thing though. I know a lot of us had a bit of a problem with it – I guess it was a couple of months ago now – when we found out she wasn’t going to be doing it because she had other commitments, but it’s such a small scene. I mean, she’s basically going around throwing prophecy orbs at people – or crystal balls at people.
Micah: So, it’s not that much. I mean, she’s just in that final battle scene, so…
Andrew: And she said she only did two days of filming, so they probably said to her “Emma, look, I know you don’t want to come back. You have your priorities are elsewhere, but it’s just two days of filming. Could you do it for us? And she was probably like, “Ohhh!”
Micah: And probably a couple million dollars, too.
Andrew: [laughs] Probably!
Andrew: God, I hope not.
Eric: I mean it will help her find her mov – like I haven’t seen Nanny McPhee but Emma Thompson is really putting a lot of effort into – well first of all, that movie, I think she co-wrote it and now the sequel that’s coming out that was also talked about in that same article.
Andrew: Yeah. And it’s big in the U.K. That’s a very big franchise, I guess you could call it. Nanny McPhee.
Eric: Oh really? Okay cool. So we’ll be seeing like a “Wizarding World of Nanny McPhee” soon.
Andrew: Maybe not quite, but you know Emma Thompson obviously is a great actress and it’s good news to see that she’s coming back because it’s the last film. It’ll be very nice to see everyone return.
Eric. Kind of like the last season of Lost.
News: Deathly Hallows Pre-Screening
Micah: So final bit of news from Deathly Hallows is that there was a little bit of a pre-screening that took place and WB screened some raw and unfinished footage from the final film at Showest. And Alan Horn, who’s the president of Warner Brothers, introduced this little four to seven minute long clip and basically I’m just gonna read here for a second. “The footage started with Voldemort walking in the forest with all his followers around him. He was just looking for Harry. While I assume the footage was going to be just from the first Harry Potter movie coming this November, I think the opening was from Part II, and it was from the big climactic battle between Harry and Voldemort.” And that was from Collider. So, interesting that they would be showing this, especially if it’s from Part II, knowing that it’s more than a year away.
Andrew: Right. And a separate report from Cinema Blend said that they also showed some stuff from Bill and Fleur’s wedding, to the escape from Gringotts and the pale dragon, and even Hogwarts on fire. So…
Andrew: It looks like they showed a lot of cool action scenes. And…
Andrew: Listen I mean…
Eric: Do you think that’s because…
Andrew: They’ve been filming both these films back-to-back and I’m not surprised – and filming is supposed to wrap up in a couple months. So I am not surprised that they’re showing some of this stuff.
Eric: Yeah. It’s definitely interesting to see that there’s a lot of – I mean there’s a lot of stuff like too, like the escape of Gringotts will presumably be in Part II, like Hogwarts on fire should be in Part II.
Eric: …Voldemort and Harry in Part II. It is a year away, but do you think that movie one is – do you think that their focus on showing movie two makes movie one more of like a unique pet project? Kind of like a questionable, whether or not people are going to like it. They’re not marketing it as much because there’s not enough of that big – that’ll be kind of like a character driven different kind of movie. Do you think that part one of Deathly Hallows, that this means that they’re going to – that it’s gonna be unsuitable to over-promote.
Andrew: No, no.
Eric: As they’ve done, and that’s why they’re already promoting the second movie.
Andrew: The thing about ShoWest, my understanding is that it’s mainly for people in the motion picture industry. So they’re showing this to the big-wigs in the film industry. And they’ve got to show the cool stuff to those guys.
Eric: These days if you’re not blowing stuff up…
Andrew: Yeah, exactly.
Eric: …what you’re doing with the ten million dollars.
Micah: It’s a road opera, right? Isn’t that the term that was used?
Andrew: Road movie, yeah, road movie and an opera.
Micah: So it’s a road opera.
Andrew: Yeah, I think that’s what it is, especially when these other studios are coming in and knocking on the doors, “Oh, look at us with Iron Man 2 and all this action!” W.B. has to show some serious action.
Eric: That’s true.
Andrew: But four to seven minutes of Deathly Hallows footage!
Micah: That’s a lot.
Andrew: And what annoys me is that they’re showing it to these people who don’t care.
Micah: And that nobody recorded it.
Andrew: Right. But these are professionals, none of them want their studio footage leaking out. But my point is that all these people saw it, but not the fans. Give the fans a bone! We’ve had two – we complain about this prior to the release of every movie, that they’re not giving us enough stuff. At this point, we’ve gotten one teaser trailer and two official images.
Micah: Well, I think we’re due for another trailer in the not-too-distant future. I can’t make predictions like Ben can, but certainly he was on the mark with Half-Blood Prince, so we might have to get him to channel his inner Trelawney again on an upcoming episode.
Eric: Well Half-Blood Prince is another movie that was over-promoted at the time.
Micah: Oh, it was way over-promoted.
Eric: Sure we had nothing at first, but then we had…
Micah: Photos upon photos upon photos.
Eric: …photos, photos, photos, photos.
News: New Covers from Bloomsbury
Micah: Okay, also Bloomsbury has announced that they have plans to republish the Harry Potter paperbacks with brand-new covers. And of course, you can take a look at all the different covers in high-res on MuggleNet.com. What’s your guys’ thoughts about this? Is it a little bit too early to be republishing the series, at least from a cover art standpoint?
Eric: It’s so interesting – Bloomsbury also already has the adult editions too, of Harry Potter. The U.K., honestly they have an oversaturated amount of book covers to choose from. That said, I like these. I really like these. You can see…
Micah: Well, these do look more adult.
Eric: …the high-res images. Yeah, and not as morose or not as dark, like the adult covers to the Harry Potter books are almost too adult or too vague. I really, really like these and the images are on MuggleNet. And these new books that are coming out, I guess – when are they being published, do you know?
Andrew: In November.
Eric: November? They look really cool, and I guess they have a new artist that they brought on to do these, and really it’s very creative. I don’t know necessarily if there’s anything that warrants it, except to say that I think it’s really cool. And also, at least they’re not doing books, at least they’re not printing the Harry Potter books with the film stars on it. And saying, “Now a major motion picture!”
Andrew: Yeah, that’s true.
Eric: Like Twilight, that’s bull. But these covers are very interesting.
Andrew: But here’s the thing …
Micah: They’re C.S. Lewis-like.
Andrew: The covers are nice, but they’re doing this solely to attract new readers. I don’t think new covers are going to intrigue new people. And I know that it’s ñ I’m sure its going to be very hard for the next few decades for Scholastic and Bloomsbury primarily to reach out to new people who are growing – new generations of kids, but I don’t think this is the way to do it. I think maybe reminding people what the time was like when these books came out, that’s the way to do it. Not with new covers.
Micah: Yeah, I think they made them a little bit old school too, I just said they’re C.S. Lewis-like.
Andrew: Yeah they did.
Eric: They are very C.S. Lewis-like.
Micah: You look at the Chronicles of Narnia that’s seems to be what they modeled them after, where it’s sort of that just one iconic piece from the books, and just the way that it’s drawn, they do that with the Chronicles of Narnia. Obviously there are many different covers to that series now, but that’s exactly what it reminded me of when I saw that. So yeah, I think its just a little bit too soon, for me.
Andrew: I agree.
Micah: There’s no reason ñ the last paperback came out not even three years ago. No, didn’t it come out in ’08?
Eric: Well, how do you…
Micah: The paperback for Deathly Hallows?
Eric: Yeah because the Deathly Hallows, but I think…
Micah: Or was it ’09?
Andrew: No, it was ’09, it was ’09. They waited for the movie release.
Micah: One year!
Andrew: At least for Scholastic.
Micah: Yeah, I mean that’s ridiculous though, that you’re already remaking ñ that’s just to make a profit, in my opinion, there’s no other reason.
Eric: What about those covers that the print with stars or something? Wasn’t Bloomsbury also doing “Extra Stars” or “Super Special Stars” on the…
Andrew: There was on the special edition or something. But here’s that thing, and Micah you’re right. Yes, they are looking for more money. There have been numerous articles about Scholastic and Bloomsbury postñPotter, saying their profits have fallen. And of course that’s expected, you’re coming off of Harry Potter, one of the biggest book series of all time. So yeah, does this kind of look a little desperate? In my opinion, yes. Because it is so soon, if you waited ten years after 2007, that would make sense, absolutely.
News: Lego Harry Potter
Micah: Well the final piece of news, just want to bring it up really quick because we mentioned it before, was the Lego Harry Potter release date getting pushed back another month or so. And just kind of get your guys’ really quick thoughts on what we’ve seen up to this point, because more and more is getting released about the video game, a lot of videos have been put out there. And this game really looks like it just does a great job of following the books and a lot of people, I think, are going to be really happy it.
Andrew: Yeah, I’m excited for it. It is disappointing that its delayed till June now, but I think that’s a pretty common occurrence in the video game industry. And hey, if they need that extra time to make a better game, then sure, fine have the extra time.
Micah: Yeah, absolutely.
Andrew: So I’m looking forward to it. The pictures look great, the animation looks great, the game play looks great…
Eric: So Andrew, when you posted this news item, it was like a day after you posted like two or three separate international videos…
Eric: That previewed this game, and you basically, in your news article talking about the delay, said this is common, video games do this all the time, in fact you stopped short of just saying, “I knew this was going to happen.”
Micah: Well I’m going to throw this out there and it may be a conspiracy theory – but the park is opening on June 18th. Maybe they want a little bit of more business by releasing the game around the same time.
Andrew: Ohh, okay.
Eric: In the park.
Andrew: [laughs] In the park. Fair theory.
Andrew: What if nobody showed up for the release of the park because everyone was like, “Yeah, lets play Lego Harry Potter! Forget the park!”
Micah: No, I don’t think that will happen.
Andrew: “I can buy this for fifty dollars!”
Eric: Well actually the game is going to be more widely available than the…
Micah: Exactly. But see sometimes that happens. I mean you could see a Lego Harry Potter station or two being set up around the park even, to test out the game. I could see that happening.
Andrew: So is that all the news this week, Micah?
Micah: That is it. You know, not too much.
Andrew: All right. Yeah well thank you for updating us as always.
Micah: I try.
Andrew: We’re going to try something new this week. We’re not going to go into Muggle Mail. I thought we should try just going straight into Chapter-by-Chapter. We’ll give it a try and see how it goes. To intro Chapter-by-Chapter this week we have another segment intro. This one may be one of my favorites. It’s really clever. It is from Emma and Tom, let’s take a listen.
[Andrew plays the music]
Andrew: It’s time for Chapter-by-Chapter. Duh dun duh dun duh Chapter-by-Chapter, Chapter-by-Chapter. We’re going Chapter-by-Chapter. I love that. I love symmetry, parallels and perpendiculars – the wand chooses the wizard – everything. It’s so cool – it’s not really clear why…
Ben: [as Dumbledore] “It is our choices, Harry, far more than our sexuality that determines who we truly are.”
Andrew: See, that was my point – exactly!
Matt: Good point.
Andrew: Da de da de da da da! So there you go. So thank you Emma and Tom for that intro. Clever little mash-up. I like mash-ups. There was a lot of me, Andrew mash-up.
Micah: Yeah, that must have been why I wasn’t paying attention. No, I’m just kidding.
Eric: We can see why you liked it.
Micah: Did you say something about mashed potatoes?
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
MuggleCast 195 Transcript (continued)
Chapter-by-Chapter: “Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw”
Andrew: It was very well produced. Thank you Emma and Tom. So now we’re ready to get into Chapter-by-Chapter. And this week we’re looking at Chapters 13 through 15 of Prisoner of Azkaban. Chapter 13: “Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw.” The chapter opens with Ron who’s visibly and audibly angry at Hermione for Crookshanks’s alleged killing of Scabbers and everyone except Hermione is convinced that Scabbers was eaten by Crookshanks. It’s sort of an awkward atmosphere. So Harry decides to cheer Ron up, he’ll take him down to watch Harry practice Quidditch for the next day’s game, the big Ravenclaw versus Gryffindor match. And he tells Ron, “Look, to cheer you up, you can ride my Firebolt.” And that sort of cheers up Ron. So just before starting the Quidditch practice Harry gets his first introduction to Cho Chang. And who we all know of course is his love interest in Goblet of Fire. And it’s kind of ironic because when Oliver tells Harry about Cho Chang, Oliver says, “I really hoped she wouldn’t be fit.” Which is kind of ironic because Harry hopes Cho Chang fits his relationship bill in the next book. [laughs]
Eric: Which is kind of crazy and Oliver Wood says, “Oh, she’s had a lot of injuries this year. I hoped she wouldn’t be able to play…” But she’s physically sound, just not maybe mentally so. I don’t know I feel like Cho Chang gets a bad wrap in the books. For your first point, Andrew, I just wanted to comment, does Hermione really have a reason to believe that Crookshanks didn’t eat Scabbers. I mean, to be honest, at the end of the previous chapter, there’s a lot of evidence against Crookshanks with the blood and the hair on the bed sheets. I just can’t see, other than Hermione being – I don’t want to say stubborn but…
Eric: …but you know she’s very emotional about this. Does she have any reason to suspect that Crookshanks didn’t actually eat Scabbers?
Micah: Yeah, I think that’s a great point. I was going to bring up the same thing. I think she is being a bit stubborn here. There’s no question about it. She’s really adamant about the fact that she’s right, and I think even though she is in the long term, it’s just something about her character. I don’t think she can accept the fact of being wrong or that she brought in this animal that killed her best friend’s pet. I don’t think she can bring herself to the reality that that could have happened.
Eric: And so it’s very isolating. I mean, Harry and Ron kind of go off on their own and Hermione – I think the first chapter – I mean the chapter opens up with, “It looked like the end of their friendship.”
Micah: Yeah, it goes along with her know-it-all personality I think, to have that kind of a stance, that, “There’s no way that my pet cat could ever have…”
Micah: “…done something like that.”
Eric: Yeah. I mean in reality, Scabbers deserves to have been attacked by Crookshanks.
Micah: Yeah, but…
Eric: I mean, if that’s what happened and cats will be cats and you’ve got to expect that kind of thing to happen.
Andrew: So moving along, Harry uses his Firebolt for the first time. It’s described as being able to, “Turn with the lightest touch. It seemed to obey thoughts rather than his grips. Go across the field at such speed that the stadium turned into a green and gray blur.” And I thought that was kind of interesting how Jo described it because it’s very dreamlike.
Andrew: “Turned with the lightest touch.” It’s like a segway. “It seemed to obey his thoughts rather than his grips.” It just sounds beautiful.
Eric: It’s cool.
Andrew: Like you want to ride it when you read this description.
Micah: Yeah he’s got a top of the line broom. And I also think it has a little bit to do with how good Harry is.
Micah: I think that plays into it a little bit as well as to how he’s able to compliment this particular piece of sporting equipment. He is the best Quidditch player at least from Gryffindor, and it shows in this particular scene. And I don’t know, the scene – that’s the interesting question – would anybody else be able to take command of a Firebolt and be able to use it the same way Harry does. They say it’s this great broom…
Micah: But I think because of the player Harry is, it just comes naturally to him.
Andrew: Yeah, I think that’s interesting actually and – when you were talking about that I was thinking, “I wonder if Draco were to try this, what would happen then?” I don’t think it would be described this way – probably more in a negative tone. But yeah, Harry and the Firebolt are like a Ying and a Yang – they’re together. They’re as one. “Be one with the Firebolt!” Trelawney would probably say. So the team has a perfect practice and for the first time Oliver has no complaints. Which is awesome! It’s sort of like when Eric has absolutely nothing to say. It’s very rare.
Micah: [laughs] Yes, it is very rare.
Andrew: I’m saying that right now because Eric had to walk away to take care of his dog. So the next morning Harry, in what I believe is sort of a move of arrogance, brings his Firebolt into the Great Hall during breakfast. All right, so he sort of had to bring it in because he was going right up to the Quidditch field right after. All right, but he could have hid it or something, I don’t know. Everyone ‘Oohs’ and ‘Aahs’ at it and Draco asks Harry if he’s sure he can still protect himself against the Dementors. And Harry fights back with an insult about Draco’s Seeker abilities which ends up being a pretty funny moment.
Eric: Yeah, he tells Malfoy that he hopes that [laughs] he can attach some extra arms to it so it can catch the Snitch for him. It’s one of the few candid Harry moments where Harry’s not talking to just Ron or Hermione about how he feels, and Harry actually has to go up against somebody and use his mind. It’s very interesting.
Andrew: So moving along, prior to the game starting Harry sees the Ravenclaw Seeker Cho Chang for the first time. And there’s heavy foreshadowing here. Jo says that Harry noticed, quote: “She was extremely pretty and he felt a slight lurch in the region of his stomach that he didn’t think had anything to do with nerves.” And reading this now you say, “Yeah, Harry’s got a crush on her. That’s kind of cute. Sort of taking his attention away from the game”. But now – if you read this now, having read Goblet of Fire, all you can think of is [sings] “Love, love, love!” [laughs] So it’s kind of nice.
Eric: I don’t suffer from that problem. Do you have that problem Micah?
Micah: What’s that?
Eric: Do you think of, [sings] “Love, love, love”.
Micah: No, no…
Andrew: Why wouldn’t you?
Micah: …that didn’t cross my mind at all when I was reading.
Micah: Well no – definitely there’s a bit of foreshadowing. But the whole – that song didn’t play in my head that you’re talking about.
Andrew: Well I’m sorry! Geez.
Eric: Is it like the Beatles’ “Love”? Or are you talking about…
Andrew: Well, regardless, I saw love and I’m sure our listeners did too. So the game begins and Lee Jordan provides commentary, but keeps veering off point and McGonagall repeatedly yells at him on mic which – it was kind of unprofessional of McGongall to do, but it was very funny to read because McGongall in all caps writing, “AHHH! STOP IT!”
Eric: Yeah. Everybody’s stoked about the Firebolt. Lee Jordan can’t stop talking about it.
Micah: Well Lee Jordan is usually biased though in his commentating abilities, that’s for sure.
Micah: Especially during the later chapter that we’re going to go through with Gryffindor and Slytherin. She’s got her head in the right place though getting after Lee because she wants him to be as impartial as possible.
Eric: It’s a very good thing to have a Gryffindor do the announcing too. Imagine if it were a Slytherin.
Micah: I don’t think it would be entertaining.
Andrew: No it wouldn’t, yeah. But it would be cool to see a teacher commentate like McGonagall or like Dumbledore. I don’t know, it could be kind of funny.
Eric: Or like Trelawney? [Laughs] I have consulted the inner eye!
Micah: Doesn’t Luna take over in the later books?
Andrew: Yeah. She’s not funny.
Micah: She must put people to sleep though. I mean the way her voice is.
Eric: Well she’s got the hat, I think the lion hat keeps everyone awake because it threatens to eat them if they fall asleep.
Andrew: During the match, Harry spots three black hooded figures he believes are Dementors and sends an Expecto Patronum at them and he’s able to conjure a very large one and he doesn’t even think of it, he just sends his spell and goes on his way. Now he does this with a lot of courage and I think partially because as it’s described in the book because he’s got his adrenaline going, but also because quite simply, they’re not Dementors so he’s not really losing any energy because they’re really not Dementors.
Eric: It’s not said what his Patronus is but he hears the sound of hooves. He flies away as he casts this Patronus and something very large erupts, there’s hooves coming out. Harry can’t see what it is and in fact I don’t think he does see what it is until very much later but I’m pretty sure that anyone else can see actually what his Patronus – what form it takes at this point and nobody mentions it to him afterwards except Lupin who says, “That’s quite a Patronus.” So it’s very interesting because you’d think there’d be the whole school walking up to him like, “Why is your Patronus a horse? What’s the deal?”
Eric: You’d think so. Just like when he speaks Parseltongue and everybody is scared of him.
Andrew: So he captures the snitch shortly after this and after the game learns that they weren’t Dementors, they were actually Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle, and Marcus. Now a few points about all this. We talked about Harry’s adrenaline, but I think this also sort of taught him a good lesson that if he’s really pumped up and means it, he can do it, he can cast the Patronus. And I was reading the notes about this chapter at the Harry Potter Lexicon and everyone at the stadium – this is a good point. Everyone at the stadium probably sees what shape Harry’s Patronus takes – the stag. So why did Lupin use this as Harry’s security question in Order of the Phoenix? Do you think that was a little…
Andrew: …mistake that Jo made?
Eric: Actually I think that’s probably true – that’s probably a mistake.
Andrew: Yeah. She must have forgotten about it I guess.
Eric: So is it in Order of the Phoenix that he asks him? Because what’s the situation in Order of the Phoenix where he asks him?
Micah: It’s when the Advance Guard arrives at Privet Drive. Lupin asks Harry, what form does his Patronus take?
Andrew: Ah yeah. So yeah I think that was just a little oversight by Jo but that’s okay. Minor thing, minor thing.
Andrew: And finally, my final point about this was what was Malfoy thinking? If he shows up as a Dementor, with his friends obviously some action against those alleged Dementors is going to be taken…
Eric: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: …probably in the form of a spell because everybody just wants to take them down. And shoot Expecto Patronum at them. So what – I mean…
Eric: He – yeah he is lucky he didn’t get like Diffindo-ed or what’s – what’s the really bad one that Ginny uses and it just disintegrates like walls of prophecies?
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. It’s just ridiculous and I almost feel bad for him….
Andrew: …considering how damn stupid it is. So moving along, the Gryffindor students hold a party in their dormitory and though the only one not celebrating is Hermione of course. She tells Harry she has a lot of studying to do and Ron doesn’t want her to join. So when Harry asks Ron about it Ron says he’s not bothered that she’s not sorry. And this upsets Hermione who runs up to her room and I sort of think this is evidence that Ron doesn’t feel very much affection at all for Hermione at this point in their lives because if he did there would be some level of remorse but here there’s just nothing. I mean he loves Scabbers more than he loves Hermione. Yes, you can have affection for your pet but pet versus Hermione, and holding a grudge for this long – I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel right.
Micah: Well I think some of it has to do with the fact that she’s not showing any remorse either. She doesn’t seem to be upset at the fact that Scabbers is gone and that her cat possibly killed him. I mean all the evidence is against Crookshanks in this case which you mentioned earlier so I think part of the problem is that Ron would like to see Hermione possibly admit that for once she may be wrong.
Eric: Yeah. So it’s driven the emotion out of him that she is so steady against the idea. So you’re saying if he does feel anything for – he has to, “be strong” to kind of head her off because she is a know-it-all and she is not admitting at this moment where she killed the thing he loved – his pet.
Micah: Yeah and he aggravates her a number of times throughout the series in this kind of emotional way. We saw what happened in Sorcerer’s Stone when she runs off to the bathroom and gets attacked by the troll. Happens in this book, not as big a consequence. Happens in Goblet of Fire, the night of the Yule Ball. It happens in Half-Blood Prince with everything that goes on with Lavender. So…
Micah: …he does it a lot and I don’t think he realizes probably until well into Half-Blood Prince that he really does like her.
Eric: Well, it’s interesting. It’s a good thing that you brought this up, Andrew, too, because I think what you were saying about Ron not being at that level where he really has deeper feelings that he could put his love for his pet aside and either give her the benefit of the doubt or at least feel bad for her that her pet killed her. Any of those adult feelings is not Ron at this point and I think that you’re very right about that. That’s – it’s kind of slow going for Ron’s emotional maturity.
Andrew: All right. So, as we move along through this chapter, they head to bed and Harry drifts into a dream and this dream is some more foreshadowing. Boy, do I love foreshadowing! Here is the description of the dream from Jo’s writing:
“He was walking through a forest with his Firebolt over his shoulder, following something silvery-white. It was winding its way through the trees ahead, and he could only catch glimpses of it between the leaves. Anxious to catch up with it, he sped up, but as he moved faster, so did his quarry. Harry broke into a run, and he heard hooves gathering speed. Now he was running flat, and ahead he could hear galloping. Then he turned a corner into a clearing and…”
Dream cut. So as Mariana, 23, of Mexico City points out, she wrote in to us about this:
“What happens there is pretty much the Silver Doe scene, isn’t it, and I wonder if Harry is having visions of the future in his dreams.”
And of course she’s right. It’s definitely some foreshadowing towards the end of the book, right, seeing his stag?
Eric: Wait, the – oh, yeah. Is she saying that it’s foreshadowing for the book or foreshadowing a scene out of Book 6 – yeah, Book 7, sorry. Is she saying it relates to the end of this book or that Silver Doe scene in Book 7?
Micah: Well, I guess you could…
Micah: You could…
Andrew: I think both.
Micah: Both, yeah. I mean nobody brought up the ending scene in – or one of the ending scenes, as you just pointed out, that’s obviously a tie-in there, too, but I think she’s going for the scene in Deathly Hallows.
Eric: Yeah, because I took this to read he’s trying to find his father, basically. Even – I was thinking earlier in the chapter he casts this Patronus, everybody but him saw it, nobody’s bringing it up to him. He doesn’t know what form his Patronus takes. He doesn’t know the significance behind it yet, either. So I think this whole thing was kind of in search of his own identity, in a way, that he’s twisting through the woods and trying to – looking for his dad as he ends up flat-out doing.
Eric: He’s sure that he saw his dad at the other side of the lake by the end of the book.
Micah: Yeah. This is not the first time, though, that we’ve seen this. We saw it in Sorcerer’s Stone. There is a dream Harry has that kind of foreshadows what happens on the Astronomy tower. So…
Eric: It was…
Eric: Wasn’t he chasing Quirrell’s turban?
Micah: Yeah there was a flash of green light and a high cackling laugh and Draco turned into Snape or something like that.
Micah: Yeah. There…
Eric: His dreams were a lot more tripier back when he was doing acid.
Micah: Yeah, but if you…
Micah: …look at what happens [laughs] to Dumbledore on the Astronomy tower, Draco leads the way to Snape, there is a flash of green light and Dumbledore gets killed. So…
Micah: Yeah, I think there are a lot in his dreams through out the series.
Micah: It’s a great connection.
Andrew: The reason the dream was suddenly cut off, who knows what else we would have learned in that dream come to think of it, he’s awoken by Ron! Who claims to have seen Sirius over his bed with a knife! And Ron’s panic ends up waking the others in the room. And nobody believes him at first so Ron shows the slashed curtains as evidence of Sirius’s appearance and they head down to the common room and McGonagall shows up, confirms with Sir Cadogan that he indeed let Sirius in! And Sirius had gotten a hold of Neville’s list of Portrait passwords! Now what’s the deal here? Couldn’t Sirius just researched this a little better. He’s walking around, all the kids are asleep. He had plenty of time to see which bed was Harry’s. Don’t they have suitcases right by their beds with their initials on them?
Eric: [laughs] Well, he wasn’t looking for Harry.
Andrew: Wasn’t he…
Eric: Remember he was actually – he got the right bed. Because he was looking for Scabbers. Peter Pettigrew.
Andrew: Oh, right.
Eric: He was expecting Scabbers to be under Ron’s arm or something. So he had the right bed, it’s just Scabbers was presumed dead at that point.
Andrew: Still though. Very unprofessional for Sirius. You wouldn’t just go in…
Eric: Oh yeah, you wouldn’t…
Andrew: …and wake Ron up.
Eric: Oh, absolutely.
Andrew: That was a bit silly. He’s not the smartest guy.
Eric: He should have gotten Crookshanks to get the rat, drag him out somewhere where he could kill it. Like somewhere where he can have some privacy at least. I mean what do you think he was going to do? Stab the rat and walk away?
Andrew: Yeah. That would be way too easy.
Eric: The other thing I want to mention is, Sirius is very emotionally driven. He’s still unstable at this point. Because he doesn’t know if Harry would ever really know the truth about his innocence. At this point he is really unstable, all he wants is revenge, to commit the crime he was imprisoned for, da da da da da da. So all he is trying to do is to kill Pettigrew at this point. He’s very emotional. He’s not thinking things through.
Chapter-by-Chapter: “Snape’s Grudge”
Andrew: All right, lets move on to Chapter 14: “Snape’s Grudge.”
Eric: Sirius Black’s attack on Hogwarts brings higher security! Professor Flitwick is teaching the front doors of Hogwarts to recognize a picture of Sirius. [laughs] I wonder what else the front doors of Hogwarts can learn how to do. Like, I don’t know, play Black Jack…
Andrew: Tap dance.
Eric: Tap dance.
Eric: Cook. Yes, the front doors.
Andrew: That is pretty funny how they can – he can teach the front doors to recognize a picture of Sirius.
Eric: I bet they tell awesome jokes!
Eric: Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And also security trolls are hired to protect the Fat Lady. First of all, Sir Cadogan is fired, because even though there was a whole list of passwords, da da da da da, Cadogan is just not fitting the bill. They expertly restore the Fat Lady and she is now being guarded by trolls. Also, nobody is allowed to give Neville the password. That’s an interesting point I wanted to bring up because it’s kind of – it’s really harsh. Like Neville, you know – Sir Cadogan was making these really ridiculous passwords to begin with. Nobody with a decent memory could remember them easily. And Neville – Professor McGonagall strictly forbids anybody from telling Neville the password. He has to wait until another Gryffindor comes by and lets him in to the common room every time he wants to go in.
Micah: Right. It’s definitely – you feel bad for Neville. There’s no question about it. I mean, he’s been picked on pretty much all throughout the series to this point. The even harsher side of it is that Neville would never have wanted for anything to come of him writing down the passwords in the sense of harming Harry or anybody else. So it’s kind of a double whammy for him.
Andrew: Yeah. And to think that he was putting his friends in danger.
Andrew: I mean, that must be horrible. And it’s just in his character to be forgetful like that and to be clumsy like that, so he really can’t change. [laughs] It’s sad. I mean, he does strengthen throughout the books, and of course, Book Seven when he ends up taking on a leadership role.
Eric: Yeah, would you argue it’s as a result of this kind of stuff? Where he’s like, “I need to do the right thing for everybody”?
Andrew: Yeah. I’m sure it helped him a bit. I think…
Eric: Build inner character.
Andrew: I mean, all these kids are still young at this point in Prisoner of Azkaban, so it’s not surprising that a kid would be forgetful but at the same time, Neville takes it to a new extreme.
Eric: [laughs] That’s true…
Micah: Well, he is bested by a cat.
Eric: Neville, yeah, is bested by – I wonder if Trevor had anything to do with the list of missing passwords.
Micah: No, I don’t think so.
Eric: Maybe Sirius the dog is – no? No. Okay. Well, those are the two main security things that is mentioned – the three main security things. Nobody is talking to Neville. They have somebody guard the Fat Lady and the front doors can now recognize a picture of Sirius. I don’t know, [laughs] do you think any of these measures would work, though? Because we know first of all that…
Eric: …Sirius isn’t using the front doors.
Eric: And the interesting – especially after later on in this chapter, which is actually about Snape, and it’s called “Snape’s Grudge”, this chapter. We actually learn that Lupin – we find the Marauder’s Map, Lupin finds it. He knows about all these passageways in and out of Hogwarts, and he hasn’t come forward to Dumbledore. He still hasn’t come forward to Dumbledore – I know we got a Muggle Mail, too, about Sirius Black being an Animagus…
Micah: Yeah. Let’s just clear that up right now so we don’t have to go through the e-mail later. I made a mistake on last week’s show saying that Dumbledore should have been aware of Sirius in dog form because he knew about all of these guys being Animagi during their time at Hogwarts when in fact we find out later on in the book that that’s not true. So Lupin was actually keeping this information from Dumbledore.
Eric: So Lupin is kind of – I mean, this really brings the question up to Lupin because at this point a student like – Lupin doesn’t know Sirius is innocent and he continues to not know until a few chapters from now. And the fact that Sirius was seen with a knife over Ron, presumably with a knife over Harry, Lupin doesn’t want Harry to come to any harm. Why at this point – a knife over a student in the Gryffindor common room – would he not come forward with this? That Sirius is actually a dog at times and knows all these extra passageways that even Filch doesn’t know about?
Micah: Yeah. I think this is a huge mistake on Lupin’s part. And I know clearly he has a very good idea of how Sirius could be getting into Hogwarts. So it really makes you wonder why knowing Lupin’s character and Lupin himself even thinking that Sirius was responsible for what happened to the Potters, that he wouldn’t come forward and say something, that he wouldn’t reveal information about the castle that’s absolutely vital to protecting the students.
Eric: It seems, too, if Lupin did come forward, not only would there be no book, et cetera – it’s a common thing to say – but that actually seems like that would probably effectively stop any more attempts on Sirius gaining entry to the castle. That said, Sirius doesn’t really break back into the castle after this time. I mean, everything else happens more or less on the grounds and/or out of Hogwarts. So regardless, the next morning, Ron is more popular than Harry for the first time ever, it is said. Ron is retelling the story of how he woke up and there was Sirius Black, the mass-murderer, crazy, dirty-haired and Ron’s really more popular now, so he loves telling the story, et cetera. But privately, to Harry, they really wonder why Sirius Black didn’t just kill Ron. Once he found out that he had the wrong bed or whatever, why didn’t he just get rid of Ron and move on to, clearly, his intended target of Harry. So they’re starting to piece together that something is just not quite right with this whole thing because Harry mentions that he has no problem killing innocent people. He killed those thirteen Muggles on that crowded street a while ago, you know. I mean, what’s the deal? So Harry and Ron are kind of starting to piece things together at this point. There’s definitely something odd about what happened – it’s just crazy.
Andrew: Yeah, it should start becoming more clear now. I mean, you’re not killing Ron. It’s like, hello!
Eric: Ron and Harry do go to Hagrid’s, and they see his ugly purple suit, and he reminds them that Buckbeak’s trial is coming up. It’s interesting, he mentions that they’re going to go to London to hear the case, but he doesn’t mention the Ministry of Magic. But I wanted to say, obviously they’re going to the Ministry of Magic to hear the case, right? The same way Harry went to trial…
Andrew: Probably, yeah.
Eric: …in Book Five. I mean, he says, “We’re going to London to hear it,” and he’s wearing a suit. It just seems like it would be the same place. So it’s interesting that the Ministry of Magic is not specifically mentioned by Hagrid, whereas in Book Two he’s like, “Oh, not Azkaban Prison!” We know where he’s going. So I don’t know, it’s just that he’s emotional. It doesn’t really matter. Hagrid actually says that Hermione has helped prepare the case for him. Ron and Harry kind of feel bad about not helping Hagrid and he actually makes them feel really bad about Hermione and about treating Hermione badly because he tells Ron that she really cares about Scabbers and everything.
Andrew: It’s really cool, though, actually, seeing that Hermione helped him out. It was really nice and totally a perfect match.
Andrew: You know, Hagrid obviously isn’t capable of getting that stuff together, so Hermione is sort of the lawyer for him.
Eric: It’s a shame [laughs] – it’s a shame they’re so biased against Hagrid…
Eric: …because apparently she dug through cases and found good bits in which people like Malfoy were stupid gits, and…
Andrew: Yeah, I’m sure she did a great job!
Eric: …deserved what they got, and – yeah, I’m sure it was really cool. So actually, there’s a Hogsmeade weekend coming up. They finish up with Hagrid and they find out there’s a Hogsmeade weekend. This is getting into the heart of the chapter here, “Snape’s Grudge”. Neville – Harry says goodbye to Ron, pretends like they’re not about to see each other in fifteen minutes, and Harry goes to the statue of the One-Eyed Witch, grabs his Invisibility Cloak, because he does want a little extra protection – things are kind of getting scary at Hogwarts. And lo and behold, Neville finds him and says, “Hey, Harry!” and Harry has a difficult time shaking Neville. But before he can even shake Neville, Snape finds both of them and sends them to Gryffindor Tower. So here’s Harry, he wants to go to Hogsmeade to hang around, check out Zonko’s for the first time, and Snape finds them right outside the One-Eyed Witch statue and he kind of lingers after Harry and Neville go up to Gryffindor Tower. He lingers around the One-Eyed Witch statue, prodding it, trying to get it to do stuff, seeing if there’s any significance to where they were “meeting”. He seemed to think they were “meeting”. So I just thought that was interesting. Snape obviously with his bias, doesn’t put anything past Harry and guesses correctly so that Harry is up to no good.
Micah: Well, he does have the ability to read minds. I mean, I think it probably extends beyond the Legilimency that we see him use against Harry in Order of the Phoenix. I think obviously, Harry would have felt the mind penetration if it was as effective as it was in Order of the Phoenix, but I still think Snape has that ability to casually read minds and to know what Harry’s up to. So I think that plays a little bit of a role in it.
Eric: Yeah. Especially later when there’s – I’ll get into that in a minute. Harry and Ron do go to Hogsmeade, they visit the Post Office where smaller owls are labeled “Local Deliveries Only” and I just remembered, throughout the series, having smaller owls only able to travel so far, et cetera. It’s beautiful that she’s done this.
Andrew: That’s so cute, “Local Deliveries Only.” [in British accent] “This little owl can only go local!”
Eric: [laughs] Poor little owl!
Andrew: “State the zip code, please. Postal code.”
Eric: Yeah, exactly. Little owls for little deliveries and big owls for transcontinental…
Andrew: I’d want a local delivery owl.
Eric: I think it’s – yeah, a little one.
Andrew: Yeah. [giggles]
Eric: With tiny little…
Andrew: All right.
Eric: Yeah. They go to the Shrieking Shack, actually. Harry and Ron go to the Shrieking Shack, and we’re reminded that it’s the most haunted dwelling in Britain. What is J.K. Rowling – here’s my note here – what is she saying about this? Because it’s been hyped up that the most haunted dwelling in Britain is actually in Hogsmeade – it’s the Shrieking Shack – but we know from later in the book there’s actually nothing haunted about the Shrieking Shack. It’s actually all a ruse that Dumbledore concocts so that Remus Lupin would have had a safe place to stay when he transformed into a werewolf. He’s got the Hogwarts ghosts all talking about it, saying there’s a rough crowd that lives there, which they’re not lying about the Marauders, but at the same time they’re really hyping this up, the Shrieking Shack. Do you guys think – what do you guys think about this? Because it’s the most haunted building in Britain but it’s not haunted at all.
Andrew: Well, I mean – what do you mean, what do I think of it?
Eric: I don’t know, I think…
Micah: Well, it isn’t the most haunted building in London. Isn’t the Tower of London – or am I wrong there?
Eric: Yeah, I would say so. The dungeons of the Tower of London, I would say.
Micah: Something like that, yeah. So I don’t know. It’s weird to me, though, that it got passed of as the most haunted place in Britain because Lupin was only there for four years. So unless he used that as a place of refuge post-Hogwarts – I don’t remember if that was the case or not, but…
Eric: That’s a good point.
Micah: If it’s only “haunted” for four years, that’s a little difficult for me to buy into. But again, if it’s one of those things where it gets passed on from generation to generation, from student to student, about how haunted it is, I’m sure Dumbledore can conjure a few spells to make it sound haunted.
Eric: To make it sound haunted?
Andrew: Yeah, that’s a good point.
Eric: Well, even – I figured with Aberforth being in the Hog’s Head also being on the Hogsmeade side of things to further perpetuate rumors. But like you said, they only really needed it for four years – or sorry, seven years – whenever Remus came. I think it was in his third year, so four years, yeah. Whenever he came to Hogwarts, they only needed it for four years, so perhaps they could have said about it being haunted around the time and then it could have died off. Or maybe, you know, they planted the Whomping Willow there, too, just for that particular reason. So it’s very interesting to say if they ever needed it again and they have that ruse, of course. So I thought that was interesting. Now we get into the heart of the chapter which has so many subplots, I’m just going to skip right through. Malfoy shows up, he starts taunting Ron. Harry, who’s still under the Invisibility Cloak, hits Malfoy with mud – it’s actually described as sludge. It’s green, I don’t know. Hits Malfoy and Crabbe and Goyle. It’s actually better in the book than it is in the movie, I think. I think in the movie, doesn’t he pull their pants down or something?
Andrew: Yeah, well, it was snow, first of all. I mean, that’s one of the biggest differences.
Andrew: I did like the snow idea, it made it – I guess it was more visually pleasing…
Andrew: Compared to the mud, it would have just been nasty.
Andrew: So the snow was a little nice touch, I thought.
Eric: Yeah. So okay, I just have it here that basically Malfoy – I think it’s Crabbe or Goyle trip over Harry and for a split second Harry’s head is visible, kind of like in Book Six…
Eric: …on the train. But Malfoy knows that Harry’s there and immediately storms off to the castle, and the problem is that Harry has actually got to put the Cloak back on and try and get to Hogwarts before Malfoy does. The problem is that Harry is going through some underground passageway, he’s very pressed for time. He has to run back, he goes through the passageway, ends up in the same hallway where Snape found him earlier. Outside the One-Eyed Witch statue, Snape finds him again at the same spot and basically it’s a very tense moment because Harry knows that Malfoy has actually beaten him back to the castle and told Snape – went directly to the head of his House, Snape, who has a grudge against Harry and told him about Harry being in Hogsmeade when he shouldn’t be. So this is the heart of the chapter. It’s a very tense few pages in which everything relies on exactly what people say and when they say it. So Snape supposes that Harry was in Hogsmeade and he doesn’t believe that Ron got his Zonko’s stuff a while ago. He talks about James Potter, and this is Snape, textbook Snape – guilt, anger about James Potter and his arrogance. He actually – he does have a point here, though. Because he brings up that all these people care about Harry’s safety, and he just completely ignores that. I mean, Harry’s being kind of careless. Lupin lays it on a little bit heavier, but it’s the same deal. It means a lot when Lupin tells it, but it doesn’t mean anything when Snape’s telling it to Harry because Snape is going about it the wrong way. He’s saying that his father was so arrogant, et cetera, et cetera. And Harry actually brings up the story that we heard in Book 1 about how one time James Potter saved Snape’s life. Unfortunately, Snape is able to turn that against Harry even further and make him feel worse, because he says that James Potter was only saving his own skin. So he’s no hero, he’s still the arrogant loser that everybody thought was so special but he wasn’t, et cetera.
Andrew: And this is…
Eric: Harry and Snape get into it really deeply right here.
Andrew: Yeah, I Was going to say this is the first time they get into this deep sort of thing, where we’re learning about Snape’s interaction or relationship with James. And it was interesting, and it was also kind of sad because Harry’s seeing that James wasn’t this perfect person. I mean, I don’t know if Harry ever saw him as a perfect person, but he did regard him highly. And here’s Snape talking trash on him, and his dad can’t defend himself, and he’ll never hear the truth really. He may hear other stories from other people, but here’s Snape who’s putting a negative light on his dad, and it must suck.
Micah: It’s kind of interesting to me though, too, that Snape has a problem with Harry because he sees so much of James from a negative standpoint. Sirius has that problem from a positive standpoint.
Andrew: Yeah. Good point.
Eric: That’s a really good point. Sorry, I smiled.
Micah: You don’t have to be sorry.
Andrew: Let’s all bask in the glory of Micah’s good point. [laughs]
Eric: Yeah! You’re totally right. And I remember reading this for the first time, and this was the chapter – this is the chapter that’s dedicated to Snape. I’m sure – was there one or two chapters already dedicated just to Snape? I mean, like “The Potions Master” in Book 1…
Eric: But this is “Snape’s Grudge”. This is…
Andrew: Yeah, this is deep Snape. This is…
Eric: Reading this, and I felt that Snape was a horrible – like a villain. Not as much as I felt about Umbridge, but I could tell that Snape – this is when I knew that, as I’m sure everybody else did, that Snape was going to be a really pivotal role, I think. Just because he and Harry directly go at it. They’re like equals, even though…
Eric: …Snape is the older.
Micah: But Snape behaves like a child. That’s the thing.
Eric: That’s true, too, but not – I think Snape has – Snape just has a way about him. Snape asks Harry to turn out his pockets, and Harry – and he finds the map, and he can’t get it to read anything until he shouts at it and says, “I demand you tell me your secrets! I, Severus Snape, da da da.” Okay, so the map – [laughs] – this was hilarious in the book. You guys all remember first reading this. This is unbelievable. Do you think that Snape recognizes the names, though? Because – after he can’t get the map to do much, he calls Lupin. And Lupin’s like, “Well, I don’t know what the map is. Clearly a Zonko’s product. You found it with his other stuff.” And I guess – Snape reacts weirdly. Because he asks Lupin, “Do you think he got it directly from the manufacturers?” He’s talking about Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs, and it’s interesting because just how Snape behaves, it sounds like he recognizes that Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs were the nicknames of the Marauders. It just seems like he should know, but he kind of holds off on elaborating on whether or not they were actually – Remus was the one who actually called himself Moony. It’s just so interesting because old school friends, and you’ve got this Marauder’s Map that is in the middle of them. It’s a very emotionally charged chapter to begin with, and then you have these old school memories.
Andrew: Yes. Yeah. It’s very funny reading the responses too, on the map.
Andrew: [laughs] Very well written.
Eric: Yeah. So actually, Lupin – they do – Lupin’s able to get Harry and Ron, with the help of Ron, out of Snape’s hair for this time, but he does tell him that he’s confiscating the map. He says, “I know it’s a map. I know who made it. I know these people.” He says they met at some point. And he says that Lupin – he says that the map was confiscated by Filch a long time ago.
Micah: But you know what? Lupin here is so full of you-know-what, because…
Micah: …he knows, number one, that Sirius knows the map anyway. So it wouldn’t be any sort of an aid in the hands of Sirius Black.
Eric: That’s – actually, that’s very true. The point from the beginning of this chapter – why hasn’t Lupin told Dumbledore about all these secret passageways him and Sirius both know about – it comes to a head here, because know he’s trying to make Harry feel like crap. Yet, like you say, Micah, he already knows the passageways.
Micah: So the password list is, in fact, more dangerous than the map is.
Andrew: [laughs] How ironic. [laughs]
Eric: The only thing is Harry and Ron feel horrible. Ron even tries to cheer Harry up walking up the steps, and nothing’s really working. And to top it all off, they get to the top of the stairway and Hermione says that Hagrid and Buckbeak lost their trial.
Andrew: Noooooo! All right, next chapter.
Micah: Yeah. Pretty much that.
Eric: [imitating Harry] “He was their Hippogriff!”
MuggleCast 195 Transcript (continued)
Chapter-by-Chapter: “The Quidditch Final”
Micah: So yeah, we get moving to the next chapter, “The Quidditch Final,” and we really move away from the story that we have been talking about, sort of the Marauder backstory. And as Eric mentioned, we learn that they’ve lost their trial and that Buckbeak has been sentenced to be executed. According to Hagrid, the committee is in Lucius Malfoy’s pocket. And this is not really the first time that we see his influence of power. In Chamber of Secrets he’s responsible for getting Hagrid sent to Azkaban and Dumbledore removed from power. In Order of the Phoenix, he develops this deep relationship with the Minister of Magic, and you can tell that he’s really influencing him. So – interesting to see that Malfoy has this power, and it’s sort of laying the groundwork for what he’s going to do later on in the series.
Andrew: Definitely. It wasn’t fun to read, either, just knowing that he has this much influence. It’s just sad.
Eric: [sighs] Yeah.
Andrew: And definitely a sign of how things at the Ministry are, too, not just a sign of things to come with Lucius, but the Ministry just being swayed by him.
Eric: Yeah, by Fudge as an incompetent…
Andrew: By a Death Eater.
Micah: Yeah, and I think this was a sort of nod, in a way, to maybe how J.K. Rowling feels about the political system…
Andrew: Oh, definitely.
Micah: …and how politicians can get paid off. So that’s just kind of another interesting thing there. But one thing that we didn’t mention – and this goes back to what we were talking about in the first chapter with Ron and Hermione – Ron actually goes ahead and agrees to help with the appeals process for Buckbeak. And this, of course, makes Hermione very happy. So you have sort of that reunion there. Sort of a powerful moment, I guess.
Micah: So they end up leaving Hagrid’s after learning about the execution, and they go up to the castle. And Hermione and the rest of them encounter Draco, and Draco’s making light of Hagrid’s situation. And, of course, this is the scene in the films that a lot of people like, where Hermione punches Draco…
Micah: …but in the book, she slaps him.
Micah: A little bit different. But the point is made nonetheless.
Andrew: Pleasing, either way you read it. Slap, punch, kick.
Micah: Did you guys worry here at all, that there would be a little bit of retribution on Draco’s point? Maybe he would cast a spell against her, do something to her? Maybe not then, but later on.
Eric: In the movie I think he should have, because she punched him straight in the face. [laughs]
Andrew: But in the movie, he comes off as the scaredy-cat, so…
Micah: Yeah, I think he was shocked.
Micah: I think he was legitimately surprised that that happened. And I guess it’s probably not so good to have to talk about getting punched in the face by a girl.
Eric: Well that’s the interesting – even in the movie, when she has her wand out at him, that’s when she can do the most damage.
Andrew: Oh, yeah.
Eric: And he’s scared, and he should be.
Eric: But then she punches him, and it’s like, “Well, okay.”
Eric: But when she slaps him in the book, it was, like you say, it was a very intense moment. Hermione obviously, you know – slapping Draco for being such a douche.
Andrew: But girls can slap guys, guys can never slap a girl. And as messed up as Draco is, I think he still keeps that moral, at least.
Micah: Yeah, that’s a good point. So they end up going off to class. Hermione steps aside for a minute, and then she never shows up to Charms. I think what is probably the only time when Hermione is at Hogwarts she ends up missing a class, which Harry and Ron find out about a little bit later on, and it describes her as having “bags under her eyes, like Lupin.” And I thought that was another little bit of another hint towards Lupin’s condition, I guess you could say. That’s revealed later on in the book, so another little subtle hint.
Eric: Hermione’s turning into a werewolf.
Micah: Yeah, a little bit of a subtle hint there. And then all three of them go off to Divination, and this is kind of the showdown between Hermione and Professor Trelawney. And I wanted to know, is this a result of her being tired and agitated, or just not believing a thing Trelawney has to say, or both? Because…
Micah: I guess I should say, they get into it because Trelawney sees the Grim again, and Hermione’s fed up with it.
Micah: So, you think it’s both?
Andrew: Yeah, because these past few chapters, Hermione’s been having a horrible time! [laughs]
Micah: That’s true.
Andrew: So it’s sort of been a build-up, and…
Andrew: ..also, obviously, we’ve heard Hermione say how crazy she thinks Trelawney is, so yeah. I think definitely both.
Eric: Yeah, Hermione’s missing it. You know, she forgot to go back in time and retake that class. I think it’s definitely both. And she finally got her friends back. And here’s Trelawney making Harry – for no other reason than her own prestige – making Harry feel like he’s going to die again. Hermione’s had enough, so she storms out.
Micah: Well, I also think it has something to do with what Trelawney called Hermione. She said that she was somebody whose mind is “so hopelessly mundane.” And in this day and age, I don’t think a teacher would get away with saying something like that to a student.
Eric: That’s mudslinging, though. That’s like – yeah. You’re right, but at the same time it’s one – never mind. Just edit out what I said.
Micah: So, the question that follows that is kind of similar to the one that I coming into it: Does Hermione leave the class more so because Trelawney insults her personally, as opposed to her just not really putting any faith into Divination?
Andrew: Both, again.
Micah: You think it’s both?
Andrew: Yeah, I mean… [sighs]
Eric: It’s a subject, it had to be breaking her heart. Or – most people, in order to make a Horcrux need to kill somebody, because that splits your soul? I think Hermione – I think that split Hermione’s soul, leaving a class. I think that’s what happened.
Micah: Yeah. Well, I think a lot of her not believing in Divination is legitimate and also has a lot to do with McGonagall, but that might be something to discuss at a later time.
Eric: Yeah, mhm.
Micah: So we learn a little bit more about Trelawney’s predictions as it’s pointed out that around Easter “one of our number will leave us forever,” and that did end up coming true with Hermione leaving the class.
Andrew: And which student points that out in the book? I forget who it was. But she goes like…
Micah: I think it’s Lavender.
Andrew: She goes “Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!” [laughs]
Eric: No, you may have made that mistake before. You said it was Lavender when it was Parvati, so I’m just going to guess it was Parvati.
Micah: It wasn’t me who said that.
Micah: I think it was you.
Eric: Oh. Was it – was it me?
Micah: I don’t know. Anyway…
Eric: No, actually, you’re right, you’re right.
Micah: The point I wanted to bring up about the Grim though, Andrew just mentioned it before, but despite her sort of sub-par reputation, Trelawney’s not off base. She’s seeing Sirius Black.
Eric: Yeah. The…
Micah: So she’s not really that bad of a Seer, despite the reputation that she has.
Eric: Right. Exactly. She misinterprets – she sees the signs, but she misinterprets them. It’s like – it’s an interesting character flaw to have, where everybody thinks it’s the Grim, they’re actually just seeing a black dog. The Grim is a black dog, but a black dog is not necessarily the Grim. And she’s seeing Sirius Black, and Sirius Black is gaining entry to the castle and I mean, if Trelawney could crack the case, she would learn that Sirius was an Animagus far before Lupin ever came around and started telling Dumbledore.
Eric: You know, you should could have been the right hand…
Andrew: And for the record, it was Lavender who said that. I just looked it up. Who said “Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!”
Eric: Oh, okay.
Micah: All right, I win.
Micah: So anyway, the tensions around Hogwarts start to rise as the final Quidditch match of the year draws closer, Gryffindor versus Slytherin. And I wanted to ask you guys, did you have similar experiences in high school and college with these sporting events? You know, maybe you’re playing a rival coming up and the school just kind of really gets into it and all you talk about is beating your cross-town rival or your conference rival, whatever it may be.
Andrew: Yeah, but I mean the way they sort of take it to – I don’t know, maybe I just was in the wrong school, but they take it to new levels in Hogwarts, it’s just very intense.
Eric: [laughs] When there’s only four…
Micah: Well it’s a bit like soccer over there, right, or football as they call it over in England, so they’re very passionate about the sporting sides of things. Harry wakes up early in the morning of the Quidditch match, and he sees Crookshanks out the window, talking to a gigantic shaggy black dog. And he asks the logical question, if Crookshanks could see the dog too, or talk to the dog, how could it be an omen of his death? And why didn’t he tell anyone?
Eric: Why didn’t Harry tell anybody that he has now seen…
Eric: Is that what your question is?
Eric: Yeah. It’s very – people have had this disambiguation where it’s like – I don’t know if that’s the right term, but where they mistake the Grim for the dog, and now he sees Crookshanks can see it too. I think he is still trying to figure it out. Why didn’t he tell anybody? That’s a good question.
Andrew: He likes to…
Eric: I don’t know.
Andrew: …keep these things to himself. We always wonder why he didn’t say this to anyone, or why he didn’t say that. He just likes to keep stuff to himself.
Eric: And when it deals with his own well-being, he kind of tries to figure it out on his own.
Micah: So, we get to the morning of the Quidditch match now, and they are down at breakfast. And Harry ends up blushing when he sees Cho Chang, and she wishes him good luck before the match. And this goes back to what Andrew was talking about in his chapter with a little bit of the foreshadowing of the relationship that is to develop between the two of them. And then we get into the actual match, and this is really one of the only books where we get Quidditch as intense as it ever…
Micah: …is. Yeah.
Micah: …the course of the series – I mean, because I think – we have Gryffindor play all three other houses, and it’s described in detail: first with Cedric Diggory, then with Cho Chang, now with them playing against Slytherin. So, this is just a dirty match across the board, and it’s just one of those games – like, if you watch a football game on T.V. that is just – I know the weather wasn’t terrible in this match, but if it’s raining hardcore and the field is a mess, and they are hitting each other after they are done tackling. And it’s really one of those rivalry, grind-out games. That’s exactly what this match up was like.
Eric: Hmmm. So…
Andrew: Yeah, it was…
Eric: …who wins…
Andrew: …fun to read.
Micah: Who wins? Gryffindor…
Eric: Yeah, who wins?
Micah: …wins, of course.
Andrew: Yaaay! And that wraps up Chapter-by-Chapter for this week. I think we have about three more episodes worth of Chapter-by-Chapter segments for Prisoner of Azkaban. And then we’ll be just about around our 200th episode, and it will be a fun time.
Eric: That’s awesome!
The MuggleCasters’ Patronuses
Andrew: Yeah. So, last week we were talking about – or last episode, we were talking about Patronuses. We asked people to send in their responses, what Patronuses they think we would all be. Jake, 13, sent in a few. He says I would be – I would have an ugly caterpillar, which I have no idea where that comes from.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Andrew: But I guess these ideas [laughs] get a little weirder. Micah, he thinks you would have a bull.
Micah: All right.
Andrew: You are pretty bullish, I agree with that.
Eric: Bull Patronus? That’s kind of cool.
Andrew: Eric, you would have a sphinx.
Andrew: A ‘phinx.’ How do you pronounce that? Sphinx?
Andrew: Sphinx. Jamie would have a beaver. [laughs]
Andrew: Which I guess makes sense. Ben, an RPG. What’s an RPG?
Micah: I don’t…
Eric: Isn’t it…
Micah: …know. Role-playing…
Andrew: I think…
Andrew: …role-playing game.
Andrew: Yeah, I… [laughs]
Eric: I think it’s also – isn’t it like a machine gun, or something?
Andrew: Oh, maybe.
Eric: Wait, google…
Andrew: Someone look it up.
Eric: …to find RPG.
Eric: Keep going.
Andrew: Nick would have a fox. Laura would have a bunny. Ahhh! Matt [laughs] would have a tiger. I like this one. Mikey would have a leprechaun. [laughs] And listeners would have an iPod. Awww, that’s kind of a clever idea because we are the Patronus! Ya!
Eric: [laughs] Oh, okay. A rocket-propelled grenade.
Andrew: Oh! Well…
Eric: Or Radar Product Generator. It’s the computer in the NEXRAD system that receives polar-coordinate base radar data from the RDA and processes these data into end-user products.
Micah: Either one.
Andrew: Yeah, I think we’ll go into the grenade. Some more submissions from Valerie, 20, of College Park, Maryland:
“Micah, an owl because of his knowledge.”
I think that is accurate.
Eric: That is really cool. Mr. Owl!
Andrew: Eric, you would have a squirrel, if Valerie were to decide for you, because you are clever.
“I was considering a fox, but they are too harsh. Andrew, would have a cat. Persistent.”
Didn’t I say ‘cat’ last week?
Andrew: Or little…
Andrew: …kitty cat? Yeah. “Meow!”
“Jamie would have a dog for loyalty. Laura would have a cheetah or a lioness because she is fierce yet sweet.”
Micah: That’s so…
Andrew: And Ben…
Micah: …true. [laughs]
Andrew: I don’t know what Valerie is implying here, but she says that Ben…
Andrew: …would have an elephant!
“Smart, strong, and [laughs] dot, dot, dot.”
Eric: [laughs] Dot, dot, dot.
Andrew: She leaves it…
Andrew: …at that.
Eric: Who never forgets? I don’t know.
Andrew: Likes peanuts? Does tricks in the circus shows? Ben does tricks in the circus. All right, so thanks, Val, for those. And finally, Rachel, 14 of Stuttgart, Germany:
“I think that Andrew would be a gerbil, Micah would definitely be a lion, and Eric would be a screech owl.”
So, some similar animals, but not all for the same people. Everyone has their different opinions.
Eric: So, who do you think would win, Andrew? Mine or your Patronus if Rachel had her way? The screech owl versus the gerbil.
Andrew: The screech owl. Absolutely.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: You would win that one. Time now for Quote, quote quiz, quiz, quiz. This is a very broad one. “Where’s the dog?!”
Andrew: Hermione. The answer is Hermione.
Andrew: Page 338, in the paperback American edition.
Micah: That’s great.
Muggle Mail: Sneakoscope
Andrew: Okay, so now it is time for e-mails this week, to wrap up the show. I’ll read the first one from Charlotta, 17 of Scotland:
“Hey guys! First of all, just wanted to say that I’m a huge fan of the show. I’ve been listening for a while and Jamie is my favorite co-host because he is British. Come on the Brits! I’d just like to point something out to you about Scabbers and the Sneakoscope. In Episode 194, you mentioned that the Sneakoscope had gone off twice in Scabbers’ presence, when in fact it had gone off four times! First in Romania when Ron bought it. It kept spinning at the dinner where Fred and George put beetles in Charlie’s soup. Ron keeps Scabbers in his pocket, so it is highly likely that he would be there. Secondly, Ron was trying to send the package to Harry and it kept going off, but he assumed that it was because he wasn’t supposed to use that owl. Scabbers would almost certainly have been there then. You mentioned the last two in Chapter-by-Chapter: on the train, and when Ron kicks Harry’s trunk in an attempt to brutally injure Crookshanks.”
So, thank you for that clarification. It was actually four times, guys.
Andrew: Micah, can you take the next e-mail from Alex?
Muggle Mail: The Hogwarts Hourglasses
Micah: Next e-mail from Alex, 14 of Boston and he is talking – or maybe she is talking, about the hourglasses. And they say:
“I was listening to recent episodes of your show and you were discussing whether the hourglasses in the Great Hall were in the movies, books, or both. In a recent interview posted on MuggleNet’s news feed, Stuart Craig describes them as, ‘The device for recording house points at Hogwarts isn’t in the books. It’s a background detail that my team came up with. Each house has different colored beads and a marker with their house emblem pointing to their level. It’s always been there in the corner of the Great Hall, but no one ever notices it. It’s our little concete. Apparently when it was first put together, we created a national shortage of beads.’ So, this is Stuart Craig’s insight and I just wanted to clear that up.”
And I think Eric you pointed out – and I was actually just going to say this, that they are in the books. They are in Order of the Phoenix at the end.
Eric: Point is, they are in the books.
Eric: The hourglasses that hold house beads…
Micah: Yes because Harry says he sees them rise in Gryffindor and fall from…
Micah: …Slytherin or something…
Micah: …like that.
Andrew: …next e-mail?
Muggle Mail: Sirius’ Intentions
Eric: This e-mail comes from Stephanie from Chicago. She says, “Sirius’ intentions.”
“Hello MuggleCasters. I just have a quick query/question/comment about ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’ Chapter-by-Chapter. On the last episode, you brought up why or how the teachers knew that Sirius was after Harry. Don’t you think that Snape would have known that Sirius was definitely not a Death Eater considering their past and hatred they shared for one another and the fact that he was best friends with James, Snape’s nemesis? Wouldn’t Snape have something to add to the discussion of Sirius Black? I apologize because I didn’t go back and check the book or anything, but I don’t remember this being addressed at all. I really enjoy the show. Keep up the good work.”
This is an interesting point. What do you guys think?
Micah: I think his hatred would have blinded anything.
Eric: Do you think so?
Eric: Because I mean, the reason they picked on Snape at Hogwarts was because Snape was into the Dark Arts. So, you wouldn’t really imagine anybody – any of the Marauders being into the Dark Arts. But…
Eric: …then again – I mean…
Micah: …I’m saying I think though that Snape’s feelings towards Sirius would have blinded any desire to tell the truth.
Andrew: Exactly. Yeah, I completely agree with that. That’s just in Snape’s character.
Muggle Mail: Meaning of ‘Lupin’
Andrew: Lina from Germany writes:
“Dear Eric, I hate to sound nitpicking, but I would like to write to you with a small correction. On Episode 194, you said that ‘Lupin’ meant ‘of the moon.’ In fact, it means ‘like a wolf,’ ‘lupis’ being the Latin word for ‘wolf.’ In addition, Remus was a boy in Roman mythology who was abandoned as a baby and raised by a wolf. But of course, you are right that in any case, Lupin’s name could have given us a clue very early in the book. And believe me, I’m not telling you this in order to make you look stupid. I’m just a bit obsessed with name origins, which are one more proof of J.K.R.’s brilliance. And I’m really happy every time you bring them up. Love, Lina.”
Andrew: Eric, you don’t…
Eric: I wrote a response.
Andrew: …have to be offended, you know. She did say…
Eric: Oh no, no, no, I’m not offended at all. But I did write a letter in response…
Andrew: What did you say?
Eric: …and I’m actually just going to read that. And I said:
“Dear Lina, thank you for your Muggle Mail. You are right, of course. ‘Lupin,’ ‘wolf-like,’ and Remus being one of the two founders of Rome raised by a wolf. Although, as you point out, my point was the same. I was mistaken, and I do very much appreciate the correction. It is ‘Luna’ whose name means ‘of the moon’ or ‘moonlight’ or is close to the Latin origin, which is ‘luni.’ Correct me again if I’m wrong. And my train of thought stemmed from when Peeves called Lupin, ‘loony Lupin,’ as in, ‘lunar Lupin,’ so that’s why I thought ‘Lupin’ meant ‘of the moon.’ Does the name ‘Lina’ have anything to do with…”
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
“…being ‘of the moon’ or ‘of a wolf?’ I like that name.”
“I used to work on the Name Origins page at MuggleNet about eight years ago when I first started, but so has everybody else on the staff at one point or another, I am fairly certain.”
Micah: Yeah, it’s true.
“Anyway, thanks again for writing. Cheers, Eric, a self-confessed too old for proper letter writing.”
Andrew: So, are you falling for Lina? You seem to be trying to strike up conversation with her in the interest of your personal life.
Eric: I think we need somebody to run Name Origins at MuggleNet, don’t we?
Andrew: [laughs] So…
Andrew: …you would like to hire Lina, and you’re also trying to get to know her by asking…
Eric: She’s got…
Andrew: …her about…
Eric: …the passion.
Andrew: …the name origins. [laughs]
Eric: All I’m saying is she’s got the passion.
Micah: Yeah, well – I mean, we need an age though. Verification before he can pursue that any further.
Eric: How old does it say she – oh, she’s from Germany. I mean, things are legal younger there.
Andrew: Well, Eric, I hope you two have a great relationship. It would be lovely to see two people meet through MuggleCast and get married.
Clarification on the Last Supper
Micah: One more thing I wanted to bring up because we got a lot of e-mails about this. We mentioned on last week’s show – we were comparing the last supper to J.K. Rowling’s when thirteen dine, the first to rise is the first to die.
Eric: I remember that.
Micah: …Jesus wasn’t the first to rise. It was actually Judas who betrayed him, and Judas ended up dying first anyway because he committed suicide for betraying Jesus. So, I just wanted to bring that up. A lot of people wrote in about that, as well as the Christmas crackers that we talked…
Eric: …what did they say…
Micah: …on last week’s…
Eric: …about those?
Micah: …show. We – look through your e-mail. There’s about 50 e-mails…
Micah: …pictures of Christmas crackers.
Micah: They couldn’t believe that we’d never heard of these things before…
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Micah: …or at least some of us. So, come on, guys. Give us a break. But yeah – I mean, we have great listeners. They send in all types of feedback and they correct us when we’re not on top of the game. But yeah, way too many Christmas cracker [laughs] e-mails.
Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul
Andrew: Well, thanks. We really do appreciate all of your feedback and it’s fun to read the e-mails. Finally, one last e-mail today. It’s Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul. We haven’t done one of these in a while. Mad, 16 from the U.K., who probably knows about Christmas crackers:
“Hey guys, it’s actually been a long time since I listened to MuggleCast, so I don’t know if you still do this. But that’s kind of the topic of my chicken soup. Recently, long after drifting somewhat out of the ‘Potter’ fandom, I’ve had trouble in my life that has kept me up at night, unable to shut off my mind no matter how tired I am. Turning to the internet late at night, I suddenly remembered MuggleCast. I downloaded a few old favorites and then went off to bed. Hearing the opening music was like seeing an old friend.”
Let me try that again.
“Hearing the opening music was like seeing an old friend. And your hilarious, clever and wonderfully familiar banter was just the thing I needed to clear my mind and finally get some sleep, as well as entertaining me endlessly when I can’t.”
So, that’s a nice e-mail from Mad. Thank you very much Mad! And actually I should mention, speaking of this, a MuggleCast listener recently sent directly to me a gift. Well, maybe not a gift, but I think she had sitting around her house for a while that she had meant to send to us and finally did. It’s this pickle gun thing and it’s a pickle shooter. And it comes with four tiny pickles – like, plastic pickles. And you load them up and you [laughs] fire them!
Andrew: So, she sent it to me – but she sent it to me also with this very nice letter. Her name is Madeline Collins. Thank you very much, Madeline. Very sweet letter similar to this one. We really love hearing how MuggleCast makes an impact in all of your lives. And we love getting gifts like pickle guns, so…
Andrew: …thank you.
Micah: …should use real pickles and you should shoot it at passing traffic.
Announcement: Infinitus 2010
Andrew: Well, Micah, I’m going to be seeing you this Summer at Infinitus 2010 to be held July 15th to the 18th in Orlando, Florida at Universal Studios, Orlando. And I plan on bringing the pickle gun…
Micah: You keep…
Micah: …your pickle gun…
Andrew: …shooting it.
Micah: …to yourself.
Andrew: …I’m going to sneak up on you and pickle-attack you!
Eric: I think pickle guns are probably not allowed on planes, Andrew. You’re going to…
Andrew: But it is…
Eric: …have to smuggle it.
Andrew: …a toy. I could probably check it. I don’t know. I think that’s a good idea. I’m going to bring it and start doing stuff. Micah, you’re going to be my first target. I’m going to sneak up on you and shoot you in the back of the head.
Eric: Look, where…
Eric: …there is one pickle gun, there has got to be another. [laughs]
[Show music begins]
Eric: So, Micah, you should prepare for this. You should find out where she got that gun and…
Andrew: Yeah, we’ll have a pickle duel. So, like I was saying, we will be at Infinitus. Infinitus2010.org. We are doing a live MuggleCast. HPEF also announced that there will be an exclusive party in the park, exclusive to Infinitus attendees. So, in other words, the biggest Harry Potter fans are all going to be gaining – will all gain access to the Harry Potter park all together. No pretend fans. It’s only going to be the best fans, because it is everyone from Infinitus. So, live MuggleCast at Infinitus 2010. Infinitus2010.org is the website. Register. We can’t wait to see you there. We’re also going to be doing a MuggleCast meetup, and Ben and I are actually going to be doing a panel on the impact of Harry Potter in all of our lives. It’s going to be very emotional, I must be honest. It’s going to be very emotional, but it’s going to be very fun.
Eric: Bring your Kleenex…
Andrew: Bring your…
Eric: …to this panel.
Andrew: …Kleenex. I will have mine, as well as some diapers because I may pee myself. MuggleCast.com…
Micah: No, don’t you have the other problem?
Andrew: MuggleCast.com is the website where you can find all the information pertaining to this wonderful podcast that we do. We’re trying to get into a regular schedule now, so you can now expect these episodes to come out every other week. So, you are getting this episode on Thursday, April 1st. Expect the next episode to be released around April 15th. And we want to do that so that you guys can rely on us. You know when the next episode is coming out. Thanks everyone for listening! I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Andrew: We’ll see you next time for Episode 196. Buh-bye!
[Show music continues]