MuggleCast 196 Transcript
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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 – Dobby! Dobby, come here! Here! Dobby! [as Dobby] Yes, I’d just like to say how very pleased I am to introduce MuggleCast to all of you! Thank you! Thank you!
[Show music begins]
Andrew: Because there is a place for pets to go to when they’ve been very bad – this is MuggleCast Episode 196 for April 16th, 2010.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome everyone to MuggleCast Episode 196. Here with Micah and Eric again. It’s the wonderful MuggleCast trio. We have lots of news to discuss this week. We have – this is going to blow your minds! We have – this whole Chapter-by-Chapter series for Prisoner of Azkaban we’ve been doing three chapters an episode. This time we’re going to do four! No, I’m just kidding. We’re going to do two.
Andrew: Because we’re timing everything around the elusive, grand Episode 200. So, this episode will have two chapters from Prisoner of Azkaban, then the next one will have two, and then the final one will have three and then we’ll be done with Prisoner of Azkaban! All right!
Eric: And that will be like 199 right?
Andrew: Right, right. And then it will time perfectly with – no wait that will be 198 and then 199 we’ll just mess around.
Micah: Will be the new Deathly Hallows trailer and then 200 will be our grand episode.
Andrew: It will be like that extra day of school that you have…
Andrew: …but no lessons so you just mess around and waste time.
Micah: We need a better title for 200. It’s our bicentennial right?
Eric: Yeah. Yeah – not just grand – well, bicentennial means 200th anniversary so I like it. I prefer to use it, bicentennial, but it doesn’t really mean 200th show. It means 200th anniversary. So in 195 years…
Micah: Close enough.
Eric: Yeah, I think it’s the best way to describe it.
Andrew: Well, how about just during the Episode 200 we’ll just be like, every time we reference it we’ll just be like, “Episode 200!” Let’s get into the show. I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Micah Tannenbaum, what is in the Potter news atmosphere this week? Stratosphere! Wizarding World!
Micah: Wow, are you watching the news?
Andrew: [laughs] No. Everything must be grand as we lead up to our 200th episode.
Micah: Oh, I thought maybe you were watching the news with you talking about the atmosphere and the stratosphere.
Micah: With everything that was going on with the – was it a volcanic eruption in Iceland?
Andrew: Yes, that was big.
Micah: But, anyway, we can talk about that another time.
News: J.K. Rowling Reads at the White House
Micah: The first piece of news, and there is a lot of news this week – I know the last couple of weeks we’ve been struggling a bit…
Andrew: [laughs] So get cozy!
Micah: …but we have a lot of news this week. Back on April 5th, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was at the White House to read Sorcerer’s Stone to children as part of their Easter Egg Roll.
Andrew: Thank you for clarifying that she’s the author of the Harry Potter books.
Micah: Some people need that clarification.
Micah: You’d be surprised, Andrew. We would get e-mails. Somebody would say, “You didn’t mention that J.K. Rowling was the author of the Harry Potter series.”
Micah: She is an author of a very strongly opinionated political piece now, so I didn’t want people to get confused.
Micah: But, anyway, during both of these readings, Jo read from Sorcerer’s Stone, specifically when Harry gets his wand. And there was a question and answer session that followed both of these readings and we got bits and pieces of information – some of it old, some of it new – and one of the major pieces that J.K. Rowling said was it’s possible she could revisit the Potter storyline – or the Potter world – sometime in the next ten years.
Micah: So what does everybody think about that? Obviously, I think the Encyclopedia will be before that.
Andrew: Well, here’s the thing, back in 2000 – sorry – back in 1999, she said, “Hey, maybe 10 years down the road, I’ll write another Harry Potter book.” [laughs] So…
Andrew: I think she uses the whole ten years thing as sort of like a…
Andrew: …like a – obviously she didn’t mean exactly ten years from now, she just meant down the road. She already lied to us once.
Andrew: She said in ’99 – she literally said in the late 90’s, “Maybe ten years down the road.”
Eric: I want to see it cited – a source cited for that, Andrew.
Andrew: I’m telling you, I looked it up the other day. I’ll look it up again now.
Eric: Oh, okay. But that’s – I just think it’s nice to hear that she read at the White House.
Eric: And she read from Philosopher’s Stone or Sorcerer’s Stone – so regardless, it’s kind of like embracing who she is. I mean, she read a book that she wrote – because for so long we haven’t really heard much – radio silence, pen and paper – and then she comes up with the White House Easter Egg Hunt, wasn’t it? And reads Harry Potter – it’s wonderful. And her story still affects young kids. It was good to see her embrace that. I can’t necessarily imagine her saying “No”, but I wouldn’t have been shocked. I don’t know.
Micah: Well, and I don’t think the Encyclopedia is that far off. I think when she’s talking about writing Potter again she’s talking about possibly developing the storyline a little bit more or writing more books about characters that have been introduced to us in the series, where I think the Encyclopedia’s going to be something more of a reference point.
Micah: And giving us bits and pieces of information on things that may have been left out of the 7th Book. Now she also mentioned that she’s enjoying writing now, and there’s a lot of speculation what could that be. And she said it’s something that could be released in the not-too-distant future. And we got a very opinionated political piece that she wrote. I don’t think that’s what she was referring to…
Andrew: [laughs] No.
Micah: …considering that she was talking to children, so we should keep an eye out for something else in the next couple of weeks, months, probably.
Andrew: I think weeks is too soon but I bet we’ll see at least an announcement sometime this year. Getting back to what Eric said, he was looking for proof about Jo’s ten years quote. Back in ’99 at the National Press Club, it was at an author’s luncheon, she said, “The only reason you’ll ever see an eighth Harry Potter book is if I really, in ten years time, burn to do another one, but at the moment I think that’s unlikely.” Additionally, the following year, during an AOL chat in the year 2000, she said, “If there is an eighth, it will be because ten years down the line I had a burning desire to do just one more, but I don’t presently think that will happen. However, I think I might write a kind of Harry Potter encyclopedia and give the royalties to charity, so accept no substitutes.”
Andrew: That’s actually kind of ironic [laughs], “accept no substitutes,” because of what happened just a couple years ago. But thank you to Accio-Quote.org for those.
Eric: See? Our show is so much better when we cite our sources.
Micah: Well, usually that comes in the form of fan mail.
Andrew: Right, exactly. Hey, let’s listen – it was very nice to hear Jo reading at the White House. I pulled up some audio from it so let’s listen a little bit to Jo reading from Sorcerer’s Stone.
[Andrew plays clip from White House reading]
J.K. Rowling: “Peeling gold letters over the door read ‘Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C.’ A single wand lay on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window. A tinkling bell rang somewhere in the depths of the shop as they stepped inside. It was a tiny place, empty except for a single, spindly chair that Hagrid sat on to wait. Harry felt strangely as though he had entered a very strict library; he swallowed a lot of new questions that had just occurred to him and looked instead at the thousands of narrow boxes piled up neatly right up to the ceiling. For some reason, the back of his neck prickled.”
[Audio clip ends]
Andrew: Ah, isn’t that nice?
Micah: Thank you J.K. Rowling for finally being on our show.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: An exclusive reading here on MuggleCast, via YouTube.
Eric: I don’t know about you guys but I just got really envious of her kids.
Andrew: Her kids?
Eric: Yeah! Do you think she reads to them at night? Like reads Harry Potter?
Andrew: Well, probably not her own books. I think…
Andrew: I think that’d be kind of…
Andrew: I don’t know. I don’t know.
Eric: Now, if she did audio books and sold them for charity I would buy them.
Andrew: Yeah, she’s got a great voice. She’s a great reader.
Eric: And who else knows the story, you know?
Andrew: Right, of course, yeah.
Micah: Yep. And a couple of other things that came out of this interview – or this reading rather. Interesting backstory, I thought, with relation to Hermione and how she was going to develop Hermione’s character early on in the series that she was set to be a neighbor of Harry’s and that – I think it was her father saw Hagrid taking Harry from the house in Godric’s Hollow after the night that Voldemort fell and the house was destroyed.
Micah: So that would have completely changed the context of the two of their relationship. They would have grown up next to each other. They probably would have been friends in some capacity especially after having both gone off to Hogwarts so I thought that would have changed the dynamic of the series a little bit.
Andrew: Yeah, definitely. I think…
Andrew: I think that would have been a cool little change. It would have been interesting to see how Harry and Hermione would have first met then in that case…
Andrew: Like if they met like playing in the backyard or what not.
Eric: Or in the girls’ lavatory at the park.
Eric: Yeah, exactly.
Andrew: [laughs] What?
Micah: Well, I was actually going to say something a little similar to that. You know, maybe he would have developed a little bit of a crush on her, you know, girl-next-door type of situation? You never know.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Harry peered through the window and…
Andrew: …saw Hermione in her bedroom window.
Micah: [laughs] All right. I’m sure there are plenty of fanfics that could be written about that.
Andrew: [laughs] But then that’d be that whole, “Ah, we’ve been friends all – all along since we were, you know, just toddlers. We could never possibly be in a relationship. We’re just friends.”
Eric: Snogging in the cupboard under the stairs.
Andrew: If I’ve heard that once I’ve heard it a million times.
News: Wizarding World of Harry Potter Pieces
Micah: All right. Well, let’s move on here in the news. Let’s talk a little bit about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park and two shows on televsion have done pieces now on this theme park. The first was Ellen and that aired back on April the 2nd. She put together a six-minute video and in this video we see the Hogwarts Express, our first look at Butterbeer, the shops at Hogsmeade and one of the rides – Flight of the Hippogriff. And I wasn’t too big on this video, didn’t really do anything for me but, I guess, in the grand scheme of things it was okay and the kids seemed to enjoy themselves so that’s all that mattered.
Andrew: Well, briefly, what were your problems with it?
Micah: Well, Ellen really didn’t seem to know much about Harry Potter and, granted, that’s going to happen with shows and celebrities that are going to be going to the theme park and they’re going to be doing these types of press events, but I thought for somebody who seemed to be into it, leading up to it, I thought she did a pretty poor job…
Micah: …of her knowledge. It’s kind of something that showed up in the Celebrity Apprentice as well, which we’ll talk about in a little bit…
Andrew: I mean, if you’re…
Micah: …she could have read up a bit.
Andrew: If you’re a fan of Ellen, I think you’ll like it. Like I’m a fan of Ellen and watching that, it was kind of fun. It was Ellen’s style of humor. She was messing with the kids, she was messing around in the park. Micah, I think you were just bothered that she was there, not you.
Micah: [laughs] That must be it. No, I mean, there’s parts where she’s saying spells or she’s doing things and it …
Andrew: She’s mocking it.
Micah: Would it have been that hard – in a way, yes, she is, but…
Micah: …would it have been that hard for her to use spells from the books?
Andrew: [laughs] She doesn’t care, though. That’s…
Micah: Think about – no, I know she doesn’t care but think about if you’re producing it from – you’re Universal or you’re Warner Brothers you want that because it stays true to what you’re trying to create.
Andrew: That’s true.
Micah: …the kids, like I said, they were excited to be there. At times, I just don’t think that they kind of got what Ellen was trying to do, just like I didn’t get what Ellen was trying to do.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Micah: They looked a little bit scripted when they were talking about certain things, which I don’t think…
Eric: Yeah, it looked scripted.
Micah: …that Warner Brothers or Universal came to them and kind of gave them these different points to talk about. I think that kind of stuff happens all the time. And my big thing, and Andrew, I don’t know how you felt about this, because you’re always a stickler for this stuff, but you could constantly see the crew from Ellen’s show running around with different props and they never cut it the right way.
Andrew: See, I’m a stickler for that in movies or something but this was a very loose piece. It was just a loose, fun documentary-style sort of segment, so…
Andrew: Well, anyway, we don’t really need to analyze the… [laughs]
Micah: No, we don’t need to break it down. Let’s move on to the Celebrity Apprentice.
Andrew: Yes, please.
News: Wizarding World on Celebrity Apprentice
Micah: And that aired on April the 4th. And they were tasked with creating a three dimensional traveling marketing tool, essentially, for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. And these Universal executives came to them and they wanted them to be able to sell the park in this small little traveling set. So I guess they take it to different places with promotional materials and get kids and get parents and even adults interested in this theme park, and explain what it was all about. And I think that [laughs] it was just funny to watch to be honest with you. Because a lot of them had just no clue about the series and…
Micah:…what’s frustrating is some of them made light of it, but they only made light of it in the sense that they didn’t do enough to learn about the series and about the canon and things like that. But you would think that any product that you are trying to sell, you should learn a bit about it, in order to sound knowledgeable.
Andrew: Right, right. You know, the whole thing with this was NBC owns Universal, so it was just natural for this sort of thing to happen. Of course, Donald Trump, this is like his millionth season of The Apprentice…
Andrew: …so he was looking for something new and there’s something new down in Florida, Harry Potter. All right, lets do it!
Andrew: Gets some kids to watch, it’ll be great! Boom!
Micah: It wasn’t really entertaining to be honest with you. It was funny watching them go through their demonstrations but for anyone who watches the Celebrity Apprentice, it’s two hours every week. So it gets really drawn out and really boring. And I thought this might be an episode where it might be at least a little bit interesting. It wasn’t.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, that’s a shame.
News: Exhibition Moves to Toronto
Micah: Moving on. Harry Potter: The Exhibition has now officially opened in Toronto. And Eric, you went to it while it was in Chicago, we had a staff member go in Boston, and actually, one of our transcribers, Shana went to this event in Toronto. James and Oliver Phelps, who of course play the Weasley twins, they opened the exhibit at the Ontario Science Center last week. There’s a full report on the site. I don’t think there is much new to report on. One of the key things though that we did learn is that there’s going to be four North American locations. So this is the third one. So after…
Micah: …here in Toronto, the question is where it’s going to go. I’m guessing it going somewhere on the West Coast before it goes over seas.
Andrew: There’s only one more left in the U.S.?
Micah: Not the U.S., North America.
Eric: I’m not surprised.
Andrew: North America.
Andrew: That’s ridiculous!
Micah: Why is it ridiculous?
Andrew: Because it hasn’t barely crossed the East Coast yet!
Andrew: And it’s ready to leave?
Andrew: It’s been in Chicago, Boston, Toronto, and it’s got one more place in the United States? That’s insane!
Eric: For three months at a time! Four months! Five months!
Andrew: Well the world’s not ending!
Eric: No, the world is not ending, but the world is also not just consisting of North America, and maybe some fans overseas like in Asia want to see Harry Potter: the Exhibition.
Andrew: How about people in Nebraska? Shouldn’t they get a fair shot at seeing…
Eric: Yes, but they…
Andrew: …the Exhibition?
Eric: Either drove to Chicago to…
Eric: …see it when it was in Chicago or they’re going to be driving to Oregon or L.A. or somewhere on the West Coast to be later speculated.
Micah: Yeah, I think it’s going to the West Coast. That’s where it’s going to go next.
Andrew: It better!
Micah: We’ll see what happens from there.
Eric: I think that makes strategic sense.
Andrew: It better!
Eric: But remember, weren’t there only locations planned for five years? It was going to have a five-year run…
Micah: It’ll be extended.
Eric: Four locations a year? I mean, they’ve got quite a few places to visit, Andrew.
Andrew: I’ll tell you what…
Micah: They haven’t been anywhere in the South if you think about it.
Andrew: Right! They haven’t been anywhere.
Eric: That’s true too.
Andrew: They’ve been to Chicago, Boston – I’m telling you what, W.B., I hope you’re listening. If this does not come to Los Angeles there will be a riot…
Andrew: …at the next location, a protest. I’ll be there protesting [laughs] the next location. If it’s in Seattle, I will be there protesting that it is not in L.A.
Eric: They should really open up in really far out places like the middle of the desert or something and see how many people show up. Maybe that’s better.
Micah: I’m also surprised they didn’t end up in New York at all because you would think that…
Micah: …with the tourism that they get, I mean, they do an unbelievable amount of business.
Andrew: It has missed so many great places. There are so many cities in the United States where this would be huge.
Eric: But honestly if I had to comment on one thing about the exhibition that isn’t good, it’s the crowd control was always an issue. There is just too many freaking children in there, at one time that they let in – who run – crowd control in Chicago just didn’t work. And from the reports in Boston, same thing. They may need to work on that additionally. But if they open it up somewhere in New York – I mean, obviously they’re going to let people in because it’s money making but they were never able to get the timing down, at least when it was in Chicago. I’m speaking from personal experience. And opening it up in New York City, as opposed to Boston, I think would’ve just made the experience that much worse that it’s that much more of a populated city.
Micah: Well, and it has been extended, at I think the Chicago location, right? Early on, it was extended past…
Andrew: All of them have been, yeah. Chicago and Boston both did that.
Micah: So I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen in Toronto as well.
Andrew: I just want to say, actually, I went on the W.B. Studio Tour last week with my mom and brother. They have a really nice mini Harry Potter exhibit. They dedicated this entire floor of their museum to Harry Potter stuff. And they’ve got costumes there, they’ve got props…
Andrew: …they have a Sorting Hat. Really nice. So I mean that is sort of like the Harry Potter exhibit. Not as much stuff but one thing I did notice, they were missing one item. It was temporarily unavailable. It was the Deluminator.
Andrew: It was not there. So they must have brought it back for filming.
Micah: Oh, interesting.
Andrew: Yeah, or it’s on the exhibition tour. [laughs]
Eric: The Put-Outer.
Andrew: Yeah, the Put-Outer. I would assume it’s back in Leavesden.
News: Alan Rickman Wraps Up
Micah: So a bit of movie news to wrap up things this week. Deathly Hallows – Alan Rickman has finished filming his role as Professor Severus Snape.
Andrew: Oh, no!
Micah: He did an interview with the International Herald Tribute and he acknowledged that he is, in fact, done. And this is really the first big piece of filming news that we have gotten where a major character is done. And I know a lot of people commented on it. They were sad, they were disappointed. I mean, I don’t really get into that as much, but it is all coming to a close in a sense that now, over the next few weeks really, we’re going to be hearing about more and more of the major actors and actresses in the series who are going to wrap filming for good.
Andrew: [fake cries] I actually got a little sad when you said that.
Micah: Did you?
Andrew: Yeah, I did. That’s a shame. I mean, it is sad to hear like – we’ve been doing this podcast since 2005, back when they were filming Order of the Phoenix, and to think four films later, they’re finished the entire series, is just insane.
Micah: Yeah, that’s unbelievable.
Andrew: What about Jason Isaacs, wrapping up? Doesn’t he sort of count as a major character?
Micah: Yeah, he does. He was probably the first, but I think Alan Rickman kind of resonates a lot more with people because…
Micah: …Snape is…
Micah: …the character that he is.
Eric: Honestly, he didn’t have that big a role in the seventh book. At the end, it was a big deal, and obviously the ending is going to be portrayed – is going to take a while to film, to show in the movie. But most of the book, he’s not really there.
Andrew: But he has been on set since the beginning. You can’t say that about Jason Isaacs. And Alan Rickman’s just a great guy and really into the role. He obviously does a great job.
Micah: Maybe now he’ll finally answer questions.
Eric: Yeah, he doesn’t have that answer to hide behind. Like, “Oh, there are children who haven’t seen it.” once it’s up.
Andrew: Yeah, I don’t know. Well, that’s a shame. What other Deathly Hallows news is happening?
News: Warwick Davis Interview
Micah: Well, our good friend Warwick Davis, he had an interview recently, as well, and he talked about how he first got the role of Professor Flitwick in the Harry Potter series 10 years ago, and that he’s also going to be wrapping up in June. But what was the most interesting thing that he said was that he was happy with the fact that Deathly Hallows was being split into two films because they’re so rich, the stories themselves, and he believes that it’s going to do the final book justice. And I thought that was interesting to hear an actor say that because so oftentimes you don’t hear that. And he seems to be someone who’s really into the books, who’s read them, and even admitted that he was disappointed because of the length of some of the other films that have preceded Deathly Hallows and the fact that his parts have been cut out from them, and that’s why he’s been disappointed.
Micah: So, he wanted more screen time, essentially.
Andrew: Right. I can’t blame him. I mean, I’ve said it before, what’s so great about them splitting it into two is because this is their final chance, their final opportunity at taking these books and making them amazing films. So now they have two films for one book.
Andrew: And it’s just an amazing opportunity they have. I think it really gave them an extra bit of motivation to say, “Hey we have this huge opportunity now, we get two films, we have all this extra time. Let’s make it count!” What else is going on?
MuggleCast 196 Transcript (continued)
News: Rhys Ifans Interview
Micah: Rhys Ifans, who’s going to be playing Xenophilius Lovegood in Deathly Hallows, he did an interview as well. A lot of interviews going on the last couple of weeks. And he just talked about how excited he was to be involved in Harry Potter, that he made it in the final film, he said, “I got it, man!”
Micah: And he also spoke about Evanna Lynch and working with her, and how great of an experience that was.
Eric: That was interesting, because talking about Evanna, he says whenever the set decorators would do something wrong, Evanna would call them out on it and have them change…
Eric: I think it’s in particular – or was that when she’s talking about her bedroom, she said there’d be more books – was that an Emma Watson thing? That – I’m confusing news stories?
Micah: It says here that he said, “If there’s a question on set and they have a plethora of researchers and people who’ve read the books but if anyone needs to know any miniscule detail about anything that has happened in any Harry Potter novel from start to finish, they ask her.” Referring to, Evanna.
News: Deathly Hallows Script Found
Micah: Oh, and this is a bit of news that happened over the course of the last couple of weeks. And, look people, we’re very well aware of the fact that the script for Deathly Hallows was left in a pub somewhere in England. [laughs]
Eric: What do you mean you’re aware of it, Micah, did you pick it up?
Andrew: This story came out in a tabloid, and usually it’s our policy to not post tabloid stories like that, so that’s why we did not post it. We just – I don’t know, what do you want to say about it, Micah?
Micah: Well, you can stop sending it in to us…
Micah: Because we know that it happened. We probably have over 150 to 200 e-mails saying that this happened. We know it happened but as Andrew said, generally we don’t post that kind of news, because it’s a tabloid.
Andrew: Who was it that left it in the pub?
Micah: Who was it? I think it was part of the crew.
Micah: I think they generally go out and drink regularly at this bar…
Micah: …and probably one of them or more than one of them had the script on them and they just dropped it. And luckily it was returned to Warner Brothers. The only way it would have been news is if it leaked out. So that’s why we didn’t post it. [Laughs] If it had leaked part of the script, we probably would have run that until Warner Brothers told us to take it down.
Andrew: [laughs] Right. Hey guys, here’s the script! Take it while you can!
Eric: That’s typically how we do that, yeah.
Andrew: Free copies of the script! Get them while you can.
News: Ultimate Edition Covers
Micah: And speaking of movies, covers for Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire Ultimate Editions were released.
Micah: They don’t look that interesting to me.
Eric: Are you kidding? They added a whole color to Prisoner of Azkaban. They added yellow. It was previously just blue.
Andrew: And they added purple to Goblet of Fire. It’s fabulous.
Eric: Yeah. But…
Andrew: I mean, listen. When this whole set is going to be complete, it’s going to be like this rainbow. Movies 1 through 8…
Andrew: …like this rainbow of box sets. I think it’s – the covers are nice. I mean, what can you say about them? They’re covers.
Micah: Right. There’s no release date yet, so – and we already know what’s going to be contained.
Eric: Right. Do we know about the – we know about the documentaries, though. The special documentaries. In Prisoner or Azkaban it’s going to be “Magical Creatures” of the series. Remember, these are the all-encompassing documentaries that talk about production aspects of all seven films, and they’re just included one by one in all these films as they are released in the Ultimate Editions. And…
Eric: … part four is “Sound and Music.” And by the time part four is released, I really hope that it includes – obviously a documentary on the seventh and eighth scores for the final films.
Micah: Are they going to speak to each individual composer from the films in those?
Eric: I would be pissed if they didn’t.
Andrew: I would bet so. And one of the documentaries is going to be about – yeah, I guess year four, yeah that is going to be – hopefully that will focus on John Williams, Nicholas Hooper, the other ones. [laughs] But yeah. I mean…
Micah: Patrick Doyle who was on this show.
Andrew: Patrick Doyle. Right.
Micah: Don’t forget about him.
Andrew: I think we’re going to have some other stuff to look forward to, as well, in these Ultimate Editions. So I’m excited to see when they come out. I hope it’s this year. I think it would make sense to release those around, say November when Deathly Hallows: Part I comes out.
Andrew: Just a guess.
Micah: Christmas time.
Andrew: [in a British accent] If I were a betting man, I would say that they will come out mid-November.
News: Dan Radcliffe back on Broadway
Micah: All right. And final bit of news – somebody put this in here. I’m guessing it was Eric.
Andrew: I did.
Micah: …or Andrew.
Eric: No, it wasn’t.
Andrew: Believe it or not. [laughs]
Eric: I just – I loaded MuggleNet – I just saw it on MuggleNet right now and I am speechless.
Micah: The reason why I said Eric is because I know that you’re very into the theater side of things. So Dan Radcliffe is set to sing, dance on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business – isn’t there more? Without Really Trying?
Andrew: Without really trying.
Eric: Without really trying.
Micah: Yeah, so he will return to Broadway. Of course he was on Broadway – was it a couple of years ago now?
Micah: In Equus.
Andrew: Yeah this is good news. We found out about a few months ago that this was a rumor, apparently he was in talks. Then Eric went all fan-boy on us and was like, “Oh I’ve been in this play and…” You had the same role that he’s going to be?
Andrew: I guess he – yeah?
Andrew: Do you think he can handle it? Are you going to call him up?
Micah: You should compare notes.
Eric: I am really excited.
Eric: No, I’m really excited. I’m not a big fan of the theater as much as I am of the show. It’s a really good show. It’s a little soon to be reviving it. But I am not complaining because…
Micah: Well you could…
Andrew: You mean reviving it since you did it? [laughs]
Eric: No, no, no. Because they did it in ’95.
Andrew: Right, right.
Eric: They did it in 1964 and then 1995 and so to do it in 2011 – well I guess it’s 16 years.
Andrew: Well they must feel passionately about it I guess.
Eric: Well I think they could do a really good job. I mean I – if Dan Radcliffe is – the lead character is American so they must know – must have some idea of where they’re going to go with it.
Andrew: Yeah. That’s cool.
Micah: Well Eric, we’ll send you to – I don’t know what the term is for it. There is a special term for when they screen these shows. But we’ll send you to one of these and you guys can compare notes and you let us know.
Eric: Is that a promise? I mean I’m serious…
Micah: Yeah. Absolutely.
Eric: …because I’m very passionate about…
Micah: You make your way to New York – when is it supposed to start on Broadway?
Eric: 2011. Spring ’11.
Micah: Awww, that’s more than a year.
Andrew: I bet tomorrow Eric is going to sit down at his desk, handwrite a letter to Dan. “Dear Dan…”
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Andrew: “…This is Eric Scull from MuggleNet. I was once in this play just like you are and I would like to offer some tips. In Scene 4, Act B, Paragraph C…”
Andrew: “…Letter 9, you must jump.” I don’t know. [laughs]
Micah: Okay, it’s time to move on in the show.
Andrew: Yes please, go ahead. [laughs]
Micah: This is going nowhere. [laughs]
Andrew: Eric, good luck with coaching Dan, I think you could, and you should! All right, so that does it for news this week, thank you Micah, you’ve always got your pulse on the Harry Potter news wire.
Micah: Yeah, there was a lot of news this week, like I said.
Announcement: MuggleCast Remix
Andrew: There you go. Micah Tannenbaum, keeping an eye on the Potter news for us. Moving along, before we get to Chapter-by-Chapter, we want to make a little announcement. As we said at the top of the show, we’re approaching Episode 200, and Eric is putting together a second MuggleCast Remix. Now, the first MuggleCast Remix took Episodes 1 through 25 and took the best clips and put them together to this techno beat. You can dance to it, and they play it at clubs from time to time still, it’s pretty cool.
Andrew: So, Eric is doing is a second one, but this one is going to be Episodes 25 to 100.
Andrew: 100, okay.
Andrew: Episodes 25 to 100. What we’re looking for is your favorite moments.
Eric: We decided to involve the fans in this gathering of clips because what you like from these episodes of MuggleCast is going to be different from what we like. What we want is time-stamps, not actual audio clips of MuggleCast. The Episode number…
Micah: Or transcripts.
Eric: …yeah, not transcripts either. Actually the best way to do this is to listen and what we’re looking for specifically are moments in the show that you think highlight either our dynamic, like our personalities, funny moments, just moments that you enjoy listening to that you think would sound good with a little beat to them. And actually the best thing…
[Andrew makes techno beat sound]
Eric: …exactly. I said to Andrew and Micah, I think the best way to gear the listeners up to possibly contributing to this mix is to actually make available – make re-available, the original mix, just to give you guys an idea, but I’d like to do something quite similar, but basically a showcase of twenty five – Episodes 26 to 100. Remember, a lot of stuff happened between Episodes 26 and 100. We were still speculating about Book 7 guys. We had just – Book 6 had just come out that previous Summer, and we had no clue. So there’s tons of stuff. We premiered Chapter-by-Chapter; we still had Kevin Steck…
Eric: …as a host on the show.
Eric: A lot of things that just don’t happen very much anymore.
Andrew: And Episode 100 was our Deathly Hallows midnight release episode. We recorded that hours before Book 7 was released in London. It was an amazing show.
Eric: It was amazing. So, basically, this is for our 200th Episode celebration, which is premiering in – what – June is it? Late May, early June, possibly?
Andrew: Early June.
Eric: Early June. So that means this is actually – has a time frame attached to it. So if you could, take an episode any old episode of MuggleCast from the Episodes page MuggleCast.com. Look at the subject, if it seems interesting to you – if it seems like it will be fun, and just listen to the episode; it’ll take an hour. And if you see anything funny, please send it in to me. You can send it to me at eric at staff dot mugglenet dot com. Just subject your e-mail “MuggleCast Mix”. And, please, I look really forward to the variety of your submissions.
Andrew: And we’ll make a news post on the front page of MuggleCast.com with…
Andrew: …all those details again.
Eric: Yes, it will be less confusing…
Andrew: So visit MuggleCast.com for details.
Micah: Yeah. The one thing I will add too, this is a great opportunity. A lot of people talk about being able to go back and – and listen to some of our shows because we do have a lot of new listeners that have come on in the last five episodes or so – even the last ten episodes or so, so this is really a great opportunity to go back and see how things started out.
Andrew: Don’t laugh too hard when you turn on Episode 32, and you hear me [In a nasally voice], Hi, everyone…
Andrew: …welcome to Episode 32 of MuggleCast. This is Andrew Sims, podcasting from my parents’ house.
Chapter-by-Chapter: “Professor Trelawney’s Prediction”
Andrew: All right on to Chapter-by-Chapter. This week we are looking at Chapters 16 and 17 of Prisoner of Azkaban. We’ll start with Chapter 16, “Professor Trelawney’s Prediction.” The opening of this chapter reflects the mood that many students are feeling right now, in the real world. Hints of Summer that are in the air and all anyone wants to do is get school over with, myself included. Summertime, baby! Let’s go. But right at the beginning of the chapter the whole Summer spirit sort of fades quickly when the Trio realize that Buckbeak’s appeal is coming up, and an executioner is coming along as well. And they conclude that the Ministry has already made up their minds. They’re not going to give Buckbeak a second chance, it’s just “boom!” Come on along, executioner, it’s time to get chopping, you know what I’m saying? And another example of how the Ministry is so corrupt and can be so easily influenced. In this example, with Lucius Malfoy.
Micah: Yeah, I agree. And this is just one of those things, though that’s kind of hard to believe. I mean, there’s a creature which has a protocol, essentially, for how you’re supposed to approach it. And it’s almost like Malfoy, from misbehaving in class, is rewarded in the sense that this execution is going to take place. It’s just, in concept, so ridiculous.
Eric: And not only has the Ministry made up their minds and they’re going to execute Buckbeak, but the executioner is a fellow Death Eater of Lucius Malfoy’s. They’re old Death Eater buddies! They sat at the pub and talked about killing Mudbloods together. And honestly, I want to know who gave that guy the hatchet? Because he’s this creepy Death Eater guy. And it was no shock when we saw Macnair was one of the Death Eaters in front of Voldemort. And especially in the movie he’s this very creepy, dark figure, almost like a Dementor, and I just think it is really suspect…
Eric: …because it’s darkness before there is – I just wonder why – how Macnair escaped suspicion in the Ministry this long to still hold the position of being their executioner.
Micah: Yeah, I mean, he goes from Death Eater to executioner. It’s kind of like you’re not really changing your job description much.
Eric: I’d like to know his story. In fact, maybe that’ll be the eighth Harry Potter book that J.K. Rowling writes in ten years.
Micah: And why executioner? I mean, isn’t there a spell you can just cast on the bird – on the hippogriff?
Eric: Yeah, exactly! I mean if Unforgivable Spells are unforgivable and – why sanction an executioner at all? What else does he execute? On behalf of the Ministry?
Andrew: Yeah. Or lock them away in Petzkaban!
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Andrew: What’s so funny?
Eric: That has to be the title of this episode.
Andrew: You’ve never heard of Petzkaban? Jo references it in Goblet of Fire. Check it out.
Micah: I will.
Eric: Who guards Petzkaban?
Andrew: The Depentors. [laughs]
Eric: That fell apart very fast.
Andrew: Why? Depentors! De-“pet”-ors. Is that – no, that’s not good? I think it’s brilliant. Anyway… [laughs]
Andrew: So it’s exam time, like I sort of said, and the students are getting through their exams. After the Defense Against the Dark Arts exam the trio runs into Cornelius Fudge with two representatives from the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures. This bothers Ron that they’re already here with a freshly tuned axe to the point where Ron wants to say something to them, but of course Hermione steps in and stops Ron from making a wise crack by nudging Ron hard in the ribs. What do you think Ron was going to say to them? And why do you think he didn’t take into consideration the fact that his dad works for the Ministry? He could have gotten his dad in trouble, too. His dad could have been executed!
Andrew: I mean, geesh, with all these rules, wouldn’t surprise me.
Eric: I think at this point on that particular subject Arthur would have backed his son up. You know in the beginning of Chamber of Secrets when they steal the car and Ron gets a Howler for getting his dad into trouble at work, that’s different because Arthur was doing something illegal. In this case it’s really a matter of – the creature’s innocent, this whole execution is preposterous. If Ron would have said something, I honestly think Arthur would have backed him up.
Micah: Yeah. Standing up for what you believe in, I think that’s what Ron was doing and I agree with Eric. I think he would have been backed up by his dad. But I also think there’s other times in the series that Ron acts without thinking about his father’s position at the Ministry because you always – and even Harry does the same thing, too if you think about it because there’s always sort of these moments where Harry will think to himself after an event occurs, “Oh, I shouldn’t have done that because I compromised Mr. Weasley’s job at the Ministry.” Whether it’s the Ford Anglia or something else.
Andrew: Yeah. I wonder if Cornelius would have actually taken action if Ron did say something to them. I think he wouldn’t – yeah, he probably would have just brushed it off. He’s got bigger problems to worry about. So moving along, Harry and Ron’s final exam is Divination and during Harry’s exam Trelawney asks him to look into – Trelawney asks Harry to look into the orb and describe what he sees. Harry doesn’t see anything, of course, but pretends that he sees a hippogriff, and Trelawney gets all excited because she believes he is actually having a vision. Trelawney then asks if the hippogriff has his head – because of what was going to happen that day – and keeping positive, Harry insists it does have its head. He then mentions he sees it flying away. Which I sort of thought was a bit of foreshadowing because that’s obviously what happens in this book after Buckbeak is freed. Do you guys think that’s sort of a skewed foreshadowing?
Eric: It’s definitely a showing of Harry’s character because he’s determined that Buckbeak is not going to get killed, and he doesn’t yet have the tools to prevent Buckbeak from being killed. He doesn’t have all the facts, he doesn’t know how he’s going to do it, but he’s determined that – he insists, and Trelawney looks at him and says, “Well, obviously you aren’t seeing the future then.” She scoffs, I think, when he insists that the hippogriff has its head. She says, “Oh, I must be mistaken” because she is sure the hippogriff is going to be executed. But Harry is determined. He is very insistent that it does have its head, that he can’t think about it any other way. And yeah, so it is foreshadowing because Harry has that drive to save the hippogriff.
Andrew: Oh, that’s true.
Micah: Yeah. Well, I think a lot of things that happen in her class end up coming true. I think that’s just sort of the comical nature of how she’s written…
Micah: …and her class is written.
Andrew: So Harry starts walking away – because he’s done – when all of a sudden Trelawney snaps to prediction mode. And when Trelawney wakes from her prediction mode, she can’t remember a thing despite Harry insisting that she had done it. The prophecy goes, [as Trelawney] “The Dark Lord lies alone and friendless, abandoned by his followers. His servant has been chained these twelve years. Tonight, before midnight, the servant will break free and set out to rejoin his master. The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant’s aid, greater and more terrible than he ever was.” [laughs]
[Eric starts humming “The Phantom of the Opera” theme]
Andrew: “Tonight, before midnight, the servant” [gasps] “will set out” [gasps] “to rejoin” [gasps] “his master.” [gasps] End. Fin.
Andrew: So when Trelawney wakes from her prediction, she can’t remember a thing, despite Harry insisting she had just done it. And we the reader see it actually did happen. Was Trelawney doing all that for show or was it a legitimate prediction, Micah? Was she making this up that she couldn’t remember?
Micah: No. I mean, we don’t learn about her ability, really, and the extent of it until Order of the Phoenix, but I think that this is a legitimate prediction. This is a legitimate prophecy, if you will. I don’t know how much of a prophecy it really is – it’s more of a prediction and it ends up coming true. I mean, she gets into full seer-mode here and you can tell that Harry really believed what it was that she had to say, particularly because sort of the change in her behavior.
Andrew: It’s kind of ironic that she doesn’t even know that she is making a prediction when, you know, she’s all about making predictions and wants so bad everyone to see that she’s making these predictions, you know?
Eric: Yeah, but her actual – the actual – I think it speaks for a lot of things, but isn’t there a moment in Book 5 where – or maybe it’s Book 6 – where Dumbledore talks about the record of the prophecy – of her first prophecy being stored at the Ministry? Did somebody need to hear that and then report it in order for it to be recorded at the Ministry or is she actually evoking some quill and paper somewhere who are writing down what her prophecy is saying? Because if we’re to take this as a legitimate prophecy – like Dumbledore says, you know, she’s only done it once before. Is there something at the Ministry of Magic that’s keeping track of this? Because we’ve seen the Hall of Prophecy and it’s loaded with prophecies and you think that every time someone goes into a trance and says it that it’s recorded and abbreviated like this?
Micah: That’s a good question. I mean, I don’t know the answer to it. There’s got to be a way of recording prophecies. I think it’s probably up to the person who’s on the receiving end to go about putting it into the Hall of Prophecy. I don’t know if you [laughs] sign up for an orb and…
Micah: …take out your memory and put it into it or something like that.
Eric: And that’s the other thing about her having no memory that she said, it’s almost for her own protection. You know, she’s the one who predicted that Lord Voldemort would fall. If she knew anything about it, if she had any conscious knowledge of having said that, Voldemort would have found her and beaten it out of her. Instead he had to rely on somebody like Snape. But it – the other thing about this prophecy is that her ancestor was this famous Seer and it’s almost like her ancestors – especially in the movie with the inhaling and all that stuff – it’s like an ancestor is speaking through her. Very creepy, very creepy. But it just made me think that she was kind of being possessed.
Micah: Yeah. Well, the ancestor side of things though – Cassandra was a prophetess, I guess, who would always foretell the future but nobody would ever believe what she said, and it’s kind of interesting because that’s a little bit like what Trelawney seems to be. In terms of her character she – well, I guess not, though. Nobody – no that’s true – nobody believes what she has to say.
Eric: That’s not inaccurate to me.
Micah: Yeah, except when it comes to the serious stuff, then people take her seriously.
Andrew: So the trio learn that the execution is on and will be happening at sunset. Their only issue with going is Harry can’t head out without the Invisibility Cloak. So Hermione, wasting no time, goes to retrieve it. When she returns with the cloak Ron says, [as Ron] “Hermione, I don’t know what’s gotten into you lately! First you hit Malfoy, then you walk out on Professor Trelawney…”
Andrew: So what has gotten into Hermione? We’ve sort of talked about this in earlier Chapter-by-Chapter installments for Prisoner of Azkaban. Is this all the school work stressing her out to the point where she just refuses to take any B.S.? That’s how I see it.
Micah: Well, I think that a lot of it has to do with the fact that she’s really passionate about this trial and saving Buckbeak because didn’t she work so hard initially to ensure that Hagrid had a good trial?
Andrew: Right, right.
Micah: So maybe she takes it a little bit personally, even though the odds are immensely stacked against her from the Ministry standpoint. Maybe she takes it personally that the work that she did just wasn’t good enough…
Eric: Yeah, yeah.
Micah: …on both the initial end and then on the appeals end.
Eric: Yeah, and I honestly – I really think that’s a good, good point. Solid point.
Andrew: Yeah, I agree. And the school a little bit – come on, give me some validation.
Micah: Yeah, yeah. No, I agree. I think she’s burnt out.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Micah: She needs some butterbeer.
Andrew: So after dinner, the trio go to see – yes she does need some Butterbeer. A lot of it. So after dinner the trio head to see Hagrid. He is a complete mess, understandably, and they’re all talking when, in a surprise twist, Hermione finds Scabbers in an empty milk jug. But there’s not much time for celebration because Hagrid then sees Dumbledore, Cornelius, and the executioner approaching. Harry takes a look at Buckbeak who, as Harry notes, looks like he’s aware of something going on. This is sort of when they’re escaping Hagrid’s hut right before Dumbledore and company come in. So do you guys think Buckbeak had possibly noticed the time traveling trio at this point? Is that what he sees going on? I thought Jo should have made some references here to the time traveling trio. So maybe this is it? I’m still very confused. I know we did an episode on time traveling. It was very good, but I’m still very confused by how it all works…
Micah: Wasn’t it the time traveling duo? Doesn’t…
Andrew: Is it?
Micah: …doesn’t Ron stay in the hospital?
Andrew: Oh. I’m thinking about the movie.
Eric and Micah: …he stays at the hospital during the movie.
Andrew: He does?
Eric: Yeah because Michael Gambon keeps touching his leg.
Andrew: Oh. Oh yeah. You’re right. You’re right…
Micah: But anyway that wouldn’t make a difference. But to your point, maybe. These magical creatures have these senses that humans don’t. But…
Eric: Do you mean that he already…
Micah: …I think he was probably scared though…
Micah: He probably was sensing more the fact that his execution was approaching than anything else. No?
Eric: Do you mean did he already see them or…
Andrew: Yeah maybe did he see Harry and Hermione in the woods or he noticed that something was going on behind him, not just what’s going on in front of him. Let’s say he’s facing toward Hagrid’s hut. Maybe he hears something going on behind him and its Harry and Hermione from the future.
Micah: Could be…
Andrew: I don’t know. It just would have been cool if Jo had some sort of hint at what was about to happen in these next couple of chapters. I don’t know. Just thought it was – but yeah I think Micah, you just said it. You bring up a good point. It could have been Buckbeak just sensing, “Oh geez there’s a guy with an axe coming up to me. Maybe I should shuffle around a little bit.” [laughs]. So anyway, the trio leave Hagrid’s hut and Scabbers can’t stop bothering Ron in his pocket. Hermione insists they keep moving, when all of the sudden they hear the swishing of an axe.
Micah: Dun dun dun…
Eric: Okay, that…
Andrew: He’s dead! He’s dead! Or is he?
Eric: That was pretty cool, in the movie.
Andrew: Yeah it was.
Eric: Just the swishing of the axe, you know – that…
Eric: That particular part. It’s a long axe! That was a really long handle. I mean, I guess you need that to decapitate a beast that is going to – if it could reach you it would kind of put up a fight.
Micah: And this is actually…
Micah: The point in the movie where she punches Malfoy. Isn’t it?
Andrew: Just about, yeah. Yeah, just about.
Micah: It’s after the execution, because he’s joking.
Eric: After the execution, yeah.
MuggleCast 196 Transcript (continued)
Chapter-by-Chapter: “Cat, Rat and Dog”
Micah: So, a little bit different plot, but – so we move on to Chapter 17: “Cat, Rat, and Dog.” And, as Andrew mentioned they leave the hut, they hear the swishing of an axe, and all of the sudden who rounds the corner but Crookshanks. And, as Andrew also mentioned, Scabbers was going crazy in Ron’s pocket, and all of the sudden we get to the final round between Crookshanks and Scabbers. And, just an absolute melee of sorts, ensues. And, Crookshanks attacks, and Ron goes running off after Scabbers, who is able to get out of his grasp, and, this whole scene though, this – and they’re obviously under the Invisibility Cloak, but this could have caused some big problems, now, if Fudge or Dumbledore had caught them. Because they are not that far away.
Eric: Honestly, if it were a confrontation – do you mean with the dog present? Or just Crookshanks and Scabbers?
Micah: Well, I mean, I didn’t get to the dog yet, but, either, I guess.
Eric: Because, I really – I am really curious because Dumbledore, as you see in the beginning of the first book could kind of – well he recognized McGonagall, I was going to say he could tell an Animagus when he sees one. But if it were a matter of Dumbledore, say he was walking the grounds, or he confronted the trio with Crookshanks – I don’t know if, at that point, Sirius would have come forth. I just – I don’t know, but I think Sirius could have – if he had wanted to – confided in Dumbledore. I really think he could have. That Dumbledore would have been at least competent enough to – or confident – in his own capabilities that he wouldn’t have sent the Dementors. The first thing Fudge does in Book 4 is get the Dementors to get Barty Crouch’s soul sucked out so he doesn’t cause any more trouble. But, I honestly think if at any point in this book Sirius had showed up in Dumbledore’s office and wanted to talk to him about it, they certainly could have examined Scabbers and found that the truth was there. So, if Dumbledore would have come up to them on the grass, I really debate whether or not Sirius would have showed himself. But, if he weren’t in the picture, as per your actual question, I just think he probably would have suggested he stay…
Micah: Well, just keep in mind what’s going on at the same time, though. Because, while all this is happening, Harry and Hermione are freeing Buckbeak and if Fudge turns around and sees Buckbeak is not there, and then at the same time on the other side of the hut you have this melee going on even before Sirius shows up with Ron chasing after his rat and Harry is there, what kind of situation is going to develop potentially? Because, they’re not supposed to be out of their dormitory in the first place.
Eric: Oh, yeah. That’s true. They’re kind of throwing caution to the wind, here. I mean, they do that a lot.
Micah: And I don’t remember exactly, but how does Crookshanks know that they’re there? Because, they’re under the Invisibility Cloak.
Eric: I would probably play that up to the Kneazle thing. But, you can smell a rat. Dirty rat…
Micah: [laughs] That’s true. All right…
Eric: You can smell it. You can always smell a dirty rat.
Micah: Well, as you mentioned Andrew…
Micah: …not Andrew, but Eric. The Grim appears and now it’s kind of final round, take two, as Sirius knocks Harry over, but he really shows no interest, whatsoever, in hurting him. And there’s a quote about Harry saying “Dazed, feeling as though his ribs were broke, Harry tried to stand up. He could hear it growling as it skidded around for a new attack,” and he’s talking about the dog. So, I thought it was interesting that the dogs ribs felt as though they were broken. I know it’s about to be revealed who this dog actually is but, I thought this was a bit of a hint that this dog is sort of…
Andrew: …has been through a lot.
Micah: Yeah. Exactly. This broken down animal that’s kind of…
Eric: I thought it was Harry that feels as though Harry’s ribs…
Micah: No, it’s written very weirdly but Harry feels the dog’s ribs as it’s…
Micah: …brushing past him.
Micah: And it knocks him over and then he says it feels as those ribs are broken.
Andrew: And it’s kind of nice in the movies, his ribs – Sirius’s ribs – are visually emphasized.
Andrew: You can really see them clearly from a lack of nutrition.
Eric: If they had put half of that much effort into the werewolf…
Micah: Yeah. No zipper.
Andrew: You couldn’t really tell on the werewolf. He just looked like a black werewolf…
Micah: But it’s really interesting here because you start to get the sense that something is up because the Grim does not go after Harry.
Micah: Now what ends up happening is that the dog drags Ron by his arm and Harry and Hermione of course follow suit. And they don’t watch where they are running and they end up running smack dab into the Whomping Willow.
Micah: This ends up being a very, very weird scene in the movies because the Willow ends up throwing them underneath its roots as opposed to Crookshanks…
Eric: I don’t know. They go on a Ferris wheel ride?
Micah: …sitting on a little – yeah what’s it called a little knot? That Crookshanks goes and sits on to let them in. I thought it would reveal so much more if they had done that in the movies because it would have shown that Crookshanks is sort of in league and had been knowledgeable about what was going on the whole time. I don’t understand why they had to be thrown around by the tree and magically, no pun intended, they end up – or by coincidence – they end up thrown right underneath the roots.
Andrew: Well for one there was no reference to anything special about Crookshanks in the movies. Nothing, and certainly nothing in Prisoner of Azkaban so I guess that’s part of the reason. I think that would have been really cool to have something like that. That would have added a whole new level of whimsical stuff to the movies, in that you see that creatures like Crookshanks which can’t talk, is suddenly able to – she’s a master of the forest so to speak.
Eric: Yeah, it’s – let not forget, guys, I mean it’s a Whomping Willow not a Whirling – I just think they get thrown around and it’s…
Andrew: It’s for movie entertainment purposes, it’s action.
Eric: Honestly at this point if Dumbledore would have showed up just as the dog was dragging Ron across the yard, I think all three of them cat, rat and dog would have been going to Petzkaban.
Micah: Yes, yes.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, baby! Petzkaban, let’s go!
Micah: We learnt that the pathway under the Whomping Willow is in fact on the Marauders’ Map, as Harry mentioned, but not even Fred or George have gotten through and this was kind of odd to me, because it’s hard to believe that Fred and Gorge would never even try and didn’t see this as any sort of challenge to get underneath this tree, am I right?
Eric: It’s pretty cool because earlier in that chapter we learn that there was a passage way under the Whomping Willow but Fred and George said that, ‘oh but that one’s conveniently blocked by the Whomping Willow.’ They were like – I don’t know how widely known it is that Whomping Willows have a weak spot or even how they’d approach that. Honestly, Fred and Gorge trying, I can kind of see them maybe trying but, it’s a big tree, and it packs a punch!
Micah: Yeah but they also get into trouble too…
Eric: So many…
Micah: People would see them, ‘oh hey guys, what are you doing?’ ‘Oh just trying to get into the passage…’
Eric: In the middle of the yard.
Micah: ‘…under the tree.’
Eric: How do they know the secret passage? Oh, the map. There are so many other ways out of the castle into Hogsmeade, that I really don’t think that it ever would have been – it’s a challenge, but on the other hand it’s a big tree and it’s very dangerous.
Andrew: It’s going to attack you. Yeah…
Eric: I really think that they just thought it was just coincidence or chance, when in fact the real reason behind the Willow to be planted on top of the secret passageway is brilliant.
Andrew: Plus, it was cool to see Harry discovering one of the paths on the Marauders’ map – him being the first.
Eric: Well, Ron was the first, but, yeah.
Micah: So, Harry, Ron and Hermione arrive on the Shrieking Shack and they learn that the black dog is in fact Sirius Black, and there is this confrontation that ensues. And Black compares Harry’s loyalty to Ron, to James’ loyalty to himself, and I thought that was an interesting comparison. And then when he hears Sirius say James’ name, for the first time in his life he wanted his wand back in his hand, not to defend himself but to attack, to kill. And I was wondering, is that a little bit of the Horcrux acting up in him? Or is that just his pure emotion?
Eric: No, far too early for the Horcrux to be doing stuff.
Andrew: Yeah. When I was reading this, it definitely felt to me like emotion.
Andrew: Of course, he’s so angry, finally he’s facing the person who he thinks killed his parents and he is like, you know. You can’t even put it into
words! Just kill.
Micah: Absolutely. So a battle ensues, and Ron shows tremendous loyalty to Harry by saying Black would have to kill all three of them if he wanted to kill Harry.
Eric: Hermione is like, “Speak for yourself, I’m going to Honeydukes!”
Eric: She walks out. [laughs]
Andrew: “I’m out of here! Peace!”
Micah: It’s just comical.
Andrew: Do you think Ron actually would have stood in the way of Harry?
Micah: No, he’s got a broken leg. He wouldn’t be standing at all.
Andrew: That’s true.
Eric: He would’ve limped over to Harry, and then…
Andrew: Yeah. He’s all talk, poor guy.
Micah: Yeah. But that goes to my point. Is it practical to think that three teenagers – one with a broken leg and all of them wandless at this point because Sirius used Expelliarmus to disarm Harry and Hermione when they entered the room – could they physically fight Black? Even in a weakened state that he’s in, Harry lunges at him and kind of the whole scramble ensues, but I mean, seriously? [laughs] No pun intended. What do you guys think?
Eric: No, I think they could have. I mean honestly, how many other – could they – could Sirius have really defended himself before one of them, like, gouged his eyes out? Honestly, if three of them jumped at him without a wand – did Sirius have a wand? Sirius has a wand – so what are you going to do? Think fast. I really think they could have, and it’s the effort, “A” for effort that really counts.
Micah: Right, so this scramble ensues, and Harry is trying to get his wand back, which Crookshanks is trying to prevent him from doing. But Harry does end up getting his wand and then turns on Sirius. But before he can do that, Crookshanks then jumps onto Sirius’ chest to protect his heart from any curses, and I thought that was kind of interesting.
Andrew: That was very cool.
Eric: It – yeah, that affected me. Reading that still affects me. Because it’s Crookshanks’ saying, “There’s more to the story.”
Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Micah: Right, and he seriously contemplates killing Black. In the book it says, “Harry gripped his wand convulsively. ‘Do it now,’ said a voice in his head.” Again, is that his emotion, or is that the Horcrux when it says, “Do it now”?
Eric: Okay, that sounds more like a Horcrux. But because Voldemort isn’t consciously aware of his connection to Harry until Book 5, when he starts trying to use it and then trying to protect himself afterwards. Do you mean is it like the evil urges that the Horcrux would innately have?
Micah: Yes, I’m not saying, “Is it Voldemort?” I’m saying, is it sort of what we see in Book 7, where it’s turning their attitudes towards each other.
Andrew: Yeah, I mean I don’t think it was the Horcrux. I think when – now, listen, I’ve never been in this sort of position, so I guess I don’t really know. But I just feel like if you were in that position, you would have some voice in your head, because you’re going to be contemplating it. So there would be that little devil on the right side of your shoulder saying, “Do it now!”
Micah: Right. And just in the nick of time, Lupin enters the Shrieking Shack, and he comes up to this room where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are facing off with Sirius. And once he gets up to the room, he asks where “he” is. And the realization dawns on him that Pettigrew was the Secret-Keeper, not Black, because Lupin realizes the fact that Pettigrew hasn’t revealed himself up to this point, but he has been showing up on the Marauder’s Map, and why wouldn’t he reveal himself if he was in fact alive?
Andrew: Dun, dun, dun, dun.
Micah: The reason, of course, being because he in fact was the Secret-Keeper, not Sirius Black.
Eric: And in the movie, Remus and Sirius kind of make out at this point.
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs] I loved this scene in the movie…
Andrew: …absolutely loved it.
Micah: …embrace each other. They hug each other, yes.
Andrew: Right, yeah. Not so far as making out, but I guess…
Eric: Well, that’s only because David Thewlis is like three feet taller than Gary Oldman.
Eric: Kind of weird.
Andrew: This scene was great though in the movie. I loved it.
Micah: There’s a lot of pushback though from the trio, and they don’t believe…
Micah: …what Lupin is saying. They don’t believe that Lupin is even a good person at this point, especially Harry who’s really upset with the fact that he trusted Lupin, and Lupin at this point is coming off as sort of a traitor, in a sense.
Micah: And Hermione reveals that Lupin is a werewolf, and Ron even shows a bit of pureblood bias when he tells Lupin to “get away from me, werewolf,” because Lupin goes to him when Ron tries to get up and he looks like he’s in a lot of pain, and Lupin goes to try and help. And I think that – for a second, there – I forget exactly what it says in the book, but it really struck a chord with Lupin to be talked to that way.
Micah: But Lupin finally gets to explain himself, and tells that he saw them tonight on the Marauder’s Map and that another was with them at Hagrid’s hut, and I was wondering, though – this kind of goes to something that was brought up earlier, but when Lupin – when you were talking about Buckbeak seeing the other Harry and Hermione, would Lupin have seen doubles of Harry and Hermione on the Marauder’s Map?
Eric: That’s a very, very good question.
Andrew: Wow, yeah, I don’t know. They must – I mean…
Eric: He must…
Andrew: …logically, you would think yes.
Eric: Because here we’ve got canon that Lupin has – was looking on the map when they were all in Hagrid’s hut, and later they go back and are in back of Hagrid’s hut when they’re in Hagrid’s hut.
Eric: So, it makes sense. Unless the forest line – the tree line outside Hagrid’s Hut is the end of ground and then would therefore be just off the map.
Micah: [laughs] You sound like you’re – you would be J.K. Rowling trying to explain this little situation.
Micah: But we do learn a lot in this little conversation that takes place here, and we learned that he also saw Sirius and the altercation that ensued and that Black dragged two people into the underground passage, and that Lupin knows how to work the map and reveals he is one of its creators, Moony. And at this point we also realize that he knows James Potter a lot better than he initially led on, and that becomes evident in the next chapter. And the final thing that happens is what we already talked about, that the other person that he’s been referring to in the course of this conversation is Peter Pettigrew…
Eric: “Peter Pettigrew!”
Micah: …who is in fact Ron’s rat, Scabbers.
Andrew: And that is the big reveal. And I was like, “Oh my God!”
Micah: And that was “Cat, Rat, and Dog.” And I think the next chapter is “Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs.” If I’m correct.
Eric: This is such a good series of chapters that’s coming up.
Micah: So that’s a huge – and that’s part of the reason why we decided to break up these chapters into sets of two. Because these chapters…
Micah: …are really big in terms of a lot of the storyline that gets revealed. Backstory of the Marauders.
Andrew: So that’s it for our chapter analysis this week. Now it’s time for Quote Quiz Quiz Quiz Quiz. “That was still really dangerous, running around in the dark with a werewolf. What if you’d given the others the slip and bitten somebody?”
Micah: That just sounds like something she would say.
Eric: Yeah, it was like…
Andrew: Especially with the “that’s really dangerous” part. If I took that part out maybe it would have been…
Eric: “That was a risk.”
Muggle Mail: Parallels
Andrew: [imitating Hermione] “That’s really dangerous.” That’s a Hermione giveaway. Anyway, let’s move on now to Muggle Mail. I’ll take the first e-mail. It’s from Jamie Zubernis, 13, of LaGrange, Georgia. She’s talking about Book 1 and 7 parallels.
“Dear MuggleCast, I just recently started listening to your show and I took your suggestion of listening to Episode 114, the parallel one. I found it very interesting, and I have another similarity. The Resurrection Stone and the Philosopher’s Stone seem very similar to me. They both defy death, and only seem powerful to those who fear death. I just wanted to point that out and if you guys could analyze it more for me that would be great. Thanks and keep up the great work.”
That’s another great one.
Micah: Yeah, that was a good one.
Andrew: A crucial stone in Books 1 and 7. They are parallel. Books 1 and 7, Books 2 and 6, Books 3 and 5, and Book 4 is sort of just there.
Eric: You know what’s interesting…
Micah: Laura would be proud.
Andrew: She would.
Andrew: We’ll pass that along to her.
Eric: And Jamie has asked us to analyze further. So do you guys have anything about that?
Andrew: Not really. I think Jamie is just being a little lazy to be honest. Make us…
Eric: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: …do all the thinking.
Eric: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: Well, there is not…
Eric: Well, I was thinking…
Andrew: …much else to say. I mean, it’s just – that is another good example of a parallel.
Eric: I mean, if you have a Philosopher’s Stone and you make the Elixir of Life, you’ll never actually see the loved ones of yours who have passed away because you are cheating death, so you won’t be with them. And in the Resurrection Stone, you turn it and it shows you these people, but they are not real and they are not natural, and…
Micah: Yeah, I think – yeah, to your point, there is something similar there. The Resurrection Stone, wasn’t it it can only really be used by the true Master of Death, or was that the Elder Wand?
Micah: But there is something about that.
Micah: That the Resurrection…
Micah: …Stone is – can only be commanded, or to be used, by the Master of Death. And kind of – what is – the expression that Dumbledore says about the Sorcerer’s Stone is that the only person who can attain it is the one who just wants to have it or to get it, as opposed to want to use it.
Eric: I don’t think it was clear to me about the Resurrection Stone, about what it did. “The Story of the Three Brothers” says it will bring their images back, it’s not natural, they are not really of this world to begin with, so it’s not the same. Maybe they smell, maybe they make weird noises at night. I don’t know what these images, visages do. But don’t – when they appear to Harry in Book 7, don’t they just – they walk with him for a while, they help him make that decision, and then they just disappear?
Micah: Yeah, they are just shadows, I think, of their former selves.
Eric: So, it’s just very interesting. But – as for what the Resurrection Stone actually does do. But the Philosopher’s Stone seems to have better results because it kept Nick Flamel alive for six hundred odd years.
Muggle Mail: The Forbidden Forest
Andrew: So, there is some analysis for you. Next e-mail from Jann, 19, of California:
“So, I was listening to the Chapter-by-Chapter segment of Episode 195 for ‘Prisoner of Azkaban,’ and it got to the part where you were discussing Harry’s dream where he goes into the forest. Someone made a comment, I’m not sure who, but they mentioned that perhaps Harry entered the forest to search for his identity. I thought this was particularly interesting because it reminded me of something my English teacher told us about romance. Not love, but of the literary genre. She said that in a romance, which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as, ‘a medieval tale dealing with a hero of chivalry,’ a knight must go on a quest, which is usually through the forest, in order to find his identity. She further explained that the forest is like a metaphor for the mind, which is interesting since Harry is dreaming, and the forest does continue to play a vital role throughout the series. Just thought I would add that to the discussion.”
Eric: The forest plays a vital role throughout the series and also, so does Harry’s mind, if you think about it.
Andrew: Yeah, and Jo has talked about the forest in the Harry Potter series a lot before, as recently as the J.K. Rowling documentary called J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life. It’s on the Half-Blood Prince DVD. She…
Eric: Oh, please.
Andrew: …talks about…
Eric: It’s, like, three years old. [laughs]
Andrew: Well – but that’s the most recent…
Eric: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: …thing I can think…
Andrew: Jo talks about the forest, how much she loves a forest because it is so dynamic. You can do a lot in a forest, and – so that connects to what Jann is talking about, and – I mean, I am sure Jo has taken that definition that you brought up to us about romance the same way.
Andrew: I think there is a lot you could analyze there.
Muggle Mail: The Marauder’s Map
Eric: Yeah, that is very cool. Next one is from Amber T., age 20, from Alameda, California:
“Just a quick comment, you said that Lupin didn’t really need to confiscate the Marauder’s Map from Harry because Sirius already knew the secret passage ways. However, the map also shows where people are on the Hogwarts grounds at all times. Assuming that Lupin believed Sirius was indeed out to kill Harry, Sirius could have used the map to wait until Harry was alone in a corridor, or out on the grounds, or for a time when the teachers were furthest away from Harry, to attack him. Also, if Harry had the map, he would probably have been more tempted to sneak around and perhaps go after Sirius if he were to spot him on the map. So, I believe Lupin did confiscate it for Harry’s protection and perhaps to have a way to know if Sirius was on the grounds before anybody else. Perhaps he wanted to try and talk some sense into his lunatic friend. I adore your show. Thank you for your time.”
We neglected that the – knowing someone’s exact position could help be elusive. There wasn’t – the Marauders Map, the value of Sirius Black having it wasn’t just for the passage ways, which he already knew. But – so that he could have real time updates and – where everybody was in the castle. Good point.
Andrew: Thank you!
Eric: And that…
Andrew: And that…
Eric: …Muggle Mail.
Andrew: Muggle Mail.
Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul
Andrew: Now, to wrap up the show today, Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul. This one comes from Taylor G., 19, of Richmond:
“Dear MuggleCasters, I have been a devoted listener to your show for two years and all of you are my favorites. This Chicken Soup might be a little different than most, but for me you guys keep me sane and entertained. I am currently pregnant with a little girl who I will be naming, ‘Ariana Christina.’ My boyfriend laughs at my ‘Harry Potter’ obsession, and I am in my eighth month. Every night when I cannot sleep I listen to past shows, and paying attention to you all keeps my thoughts about my life at bay long enough for me to relax and fall asleep. During the day I do the same thing when I am stuck inside bored, knowing my friends are out doing things I can’t. You make the time fly by so much faster. This is not the only time you have helped me in my life. Two years ago my father, who was the only person in my home raising me, passed away from cancer and your show was a blessing to me then too. I don’t know what I would do without you guys to take my mind off things, and I hope you know how much I, and many others, appreciate you. I love you all, especially Micah. Taylor G.”
Andrew: So, that was very nice.
Micah: Yeah, very nice.
Eric: …she should name her daughter’s – she should give her daughter the middle name, “Micah.”
Andrew: I was going to…
Eric: Should be…
Andrew: …suggest “Andrew.” A.A.C. “Andrea.”
Eric: No, but she…
Eric: She said…
Andrew: …because it is a girl.
Eric: She says she loves us all, especially Micah.
Andrew: Yeah, but you don’t want to give…
Andrew: …the baby – it is a girl, Eric. You don’t…
Andrew and Eric: Micah…
Andrew: …ridiculous. Maybe “Mica” or “Michaela” in honor of Micah, but not “Micah.”
Andrew: What are you, crazy?
Announcement: Infinitus 2010
Andrew: Well, thanks, Taylor. And we wish you and your baby girl well. Before we wrap up the show today, we want to remind you guys about a few announcements. Infinitus 2010 is coming up this July 15th to the 18th in Orlando, Florida. It’s going to be held on the Universal Orlando Resort. It’s a big Harry Potter conference. We’ve been talking about it a lot. It’s going to be the best one that HPEF has ever put on. This conference will include a live MuggleCast. They are going to have a special party inside the theme park exclusively for Infinitus attendees. There is going to be a dance, there is going to be many Potter…
Andrew: Potter podcasts, but…
Eric: Wizard rock.
Andrew: Wizard rock. No, Potter panels, like discussions about Harry Potter.
Andrew: It’s just a great way to meet, and socialize and interact with other Harry Potter fans. So, visit Infinitus2010.org to learn more details and to register. If you do register, for one, we can’t wait to see you there. But also put “MuggleCast” in the referral box when you go to register so they know who sent you!
Micah: We did.
Andrew: We did.
Eric: We did.
Andrew: Don’t forget the MuggleCast remix. All the details are on the MuggleCast website, MuggleCast.com. Eric needs your help! We’re looking for your favorite moments, right, Eric?
Andrew: And you can look for Episode 197 of MuggleCast in about two weeks. So, right around let’s say – oh, I don’t know, April 29th, April 30th, maybe May 1st. So, check it out. Look forward to…
Micah: MuggleCast May.
Andrew: …the next – MuggleCast May! It’s coming up baby! Oh, and we should also mention…
[Show music begins]
Andrew: We received our Podcast Award for the 2009 Podcast Awards.
Micah: We did!
Announcement: Community Outlets
Andrew: We won – MuggleCast won in the Best Entertainment category. Micah received the award, it was delivered to his house just the other day. Thanks everyone who did vote for us. We really, really appreciate that. And don’t forget to vote for us every month on Podcast Alley. We appreciate your vote over there because it helps remind people that Harry Potter is still big in the podcasting community. Don’t forget to visit the MuggleCast website, MuggleCast.com. It’s got all the information you need pertaining to this show. You will find our community outlets right there on the right side of the page. You can follow us – from there, you can follow us on Twitter, which is Twitter.com/MuggleCast. You can fan us on Facebook, which is Facebook.com/MuggleCast. And you can also vote for us once a month at Podcast Alley. You can read MuggleCast transcripts, you can download episodes, get full show notes. Everything you need right there on MuggleCast.com.
Eric: You can also fan us in Florida.
Eric: We will need people to…
Eric: …fan us.
Andrew: [laughs] It’s going to be very hot.
Eric: If you want to spend a day with the MuggleCasters, just fan us there.
Micah: But Andrew, a really great point that you brought up because we do get e-mails about this from time to time from new listeners. Not all of our episodes show up in the iTunes feed. So, if you’re looking to listen to older episodes of the show, go to our website and download the podcast from the individual Episodes page. All you have to do is right click and download, and then you should be able to put that into your iTunes player, right?
Andrew: Right. It won’t go in the Podcasts folder, but it will go into iTunes so you could still have it on your iPod or whatever you have. Thanks everyone for listening! Thank you so much for your support. We really do appreciate it. We’ll see you at the end of April for Episode 197. Buh-bye!
[Show music continues]