MuggleCast 197 Transcript
[Intro music begins]
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[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]
Jim Dale: [as Professor McGonagall] This is Professor McGonagall welcoming you all to MuggleCast hoping you 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 Micah is still having nightmares, this is MuggleCast Episode 197 for April 28th, 2010.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome back to the show everyone. It’s a special episode today. We have an interview with Warwick Davis coming up later in the program, as we have teased on our Twitter and Facebook pages and I believe our website as well. Micah and Eric are here, and Matt’s here – he hasn’t been on for a long time. Hey Matt.
Andrew: And – oh my gosh, so much to talk about – but, Eric, I just want to say, you just celebrated a birthday. Happy birthday buddy.
Eric: Aw, thank you.
Andrew: Did you have a good birthday?
Eric: It was. Actually, the day leading up to my birthday was actually far more adventurous – like it was – a lot of stuff happened the day before, and then the day of was relaxing and enjoyable, so it was really cool.
Andrew: That’s how my birthday was last year. I just sat there recovering from the night before.
Eric: Yeah, totally, but – good fun.
Andrew: Well, like I said, we’ve got a lot to talk about and a lot of Deathly Hallows news to get into. It’s all in celebration of Eric’s birthday.
Andrew: I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Matt: And I’m Matt Britton.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Micah, what is in the news this week?
News: Potter Most Challenged
Micah: Many, many things related to Deathly Hallows, but first, this past week the American Libraries Association released their list of the entire decade’s most banned or challenged books, and topping the list, can you guys guess?
Eric: Huckleberry Finn.
Micah: No, try again.
Andrew: Willy Wonka.
Eric: James and the Giant Peach. That is a [bleep] up book.
Matt: Oh my god.
Micah: You can’t say that, but anyway…
Eric: That is a [bleep] up book.
Micah: Is Eric allowed to say that because it was his birthday?
Andrew: I guess so, he’s a big boy now. What was the banned top book?
Matt: Peter Pan!
Andrew: What was it Micah?
Eric: As close as you can be.
Micah: Matt has gotten the closest so far.
Micah: Harry Potter.
Andrew: Oh, of course! Why didn’t I think of that? We’re on a Harry Potter podcast, of course.
Matt: Now, would you say Harry Potter is the most challenged book or the most banned book? Because they say it’s banned/challenged.
Andrew: Well, it was probably both and what happens is I mean – obviously the series has been so popular over the past decade, it’s not really a surprise that Harry Potter tops the list because when you look at these other books they’re all sort of older books I think and it is a shame to see that it’s been banned and it’s been challenged and people have attempted to get it banned, but it’s just a shame that people would try to prevent children from reading these books.
Micah: Well, maybe not even just children it could be anybody, maybe with respect to religion they look to not allow anybody to get a hold of those books, aside from children.
Eric: It’s fascinating. It makes me want to read these other ones here like The Alice Series by Phillis Reynolds Nailer, I don’t recall ever really hearing about this and the fact that it is challenged or banned very much interests me. The only other one I do recognize other than the Potter series is number five which is Of Mice and Men and I didn’t find that book to be that offensive.
Micah: The books don’t necessarily have to be published in this decade, I guess it’s just any book…
Andrew: That received challenges within the past ten years. This list from the American Library Association was for the years 2000 to 2009 overall.
Eric: Wow, and all of these books were from the early to mid 20th Century.
Matt: Well, there’s “His Dark Miracles” too, it’s on number eight.
Matt: Oh sorry, His Dark Materials.
Eric: What number is it?
Matt: Number eight.
Eric: Oh yeah, okay.
Micah: What’d you say? “Minerals”?
Matt: I said – I said “miracles.”
Micah: Oh, miracles. [laughs]
His Dark Miracles.
Matt: [sings] “I believe in miracles!”
Andrew: It’s a miracle! But it’s dark.
Eric: You know it’s interesting. The other thing I wanted to mention here is the Library Association like – we’ve always heard about the Harry Potter books – people complaining that they contain witchcraft and there have been popular trials and all that but it’s just never been real to me that’s it’s so widespread. That people really feel that there’s something of conflict in the Harry series. For it to be like the most challenged book series there have got to be – obviously because they did their homework, there’ve got to be like documented instances of people challenging these Harry Potter books more than any other book. I mean that’s – that kind of made it real to me, when I was reading it, because I heard the occasional “Oh my parents think it’s against religion” or whatever. But I didn’t think it was actually real widespread actuality that these books were getting banned but I guess they are.
Andrew: All right, well I am banning the discussion of this story any further.
Andrew: How do you like that? How do you like that, ALA? Well, actually ALA is not even the one to blame. It’s – they just gather the list of requests.
Eric: Don’t shoot the messenger, Andrew.
Andrew: Yeah, exactly, exactly.
Micah: But this isn’t a surprise to anybody, I don’t think.
Andrew: So let’s move on.
Micah: All right.
Matt: Okay, Laura Mallory.
News: Deathly Hallows Interviews
Micah: Well, I said there was a lot of Deathly Hallows news and there is. Two interviews were conducted – I guess probably about two weeks ago now. One with Tom Felton, the other with Matthew Lewis and it both related to the end of Deathly Hallows and the final battle scene. Tom Felton referred to it as “non-stop carnage” and Matt Lewis was quoted as saying, “it was bloody, gory and harrowing. It includes more adult themes of death and violence but it does stay true to the books by J.K. Rowling.” So I was wondering what you guys think now that we’ve heard this. What’s the – maybe not Part I but what’s Part II going to be rated? Do you think it’s going to stick to PG-13?
Andrew: Yeah they have to.
Andrew: You can’t go up to R with a children’s film. That would kill ticket sales.
Micah: Well, who says it’s a children’s film?
Andrew: Well, it would…
Eric: Nobody does, but that’s the thing. Like if you – even – there would be – significantly less people will see the movie simply because it’s rated R.
Eric: I mean that is – somehow that works.
Andrew: And because kids can’t get in on their own.
Eric: Yeah, that’s true. So does – I mean, to have a parent to sign for it – that stops people.
Andrew: Yeah. Oh, oh it will. It would definitely put a dent in it.
Andrew: And I think they would make sure. Say they submitted this film and it got an R rating, they would do something to get it down to PG-13.
Eric: Yeah. They usually include a list of suggestions to get it down.
Eric: And they’ll edit it.
Matt: And you can – oh and lately they’ve been pushing the whole PG-13 – the whole border between PG-13 and R lately in films too so I…
Eric: Yeah they have.
Matt: …think it can get pretty bloody and gory and still maintain a PG-13 rating.
Micah: Yeah, well, I doubt we’re going to see it be PG like Half-Blood Prince.
Andrew: Yeah, I think you’re right about that.
Eric: I still don’t get why PG – why Half-Blood Prince was PG. Do you guys? Like…
Matt: It was – well I mean it was a lot of – there was more drama I would probably say than the other films. It was a lot of dialogue between the characters and not much of action so to speak with special effects and stuff with bodily fluids going anywhere or something, unlike Goblet of Fire when Peter Pettigrew cut off his hand.
Andrew: It was also a comedy. [laughs]
Micah: That’s true.
Matt: Yeah and comedies can’t be rated R.
Andrew: Maybe that was W.B.’s way of ensuring it didn’t get too bad of a rating. They just started saying, “Oh, it’s a comedy. It’s a comedy!”
Andrew: …in all the interviews. And then the parents who do the MPAA ratings, they were like, “Oh, it’s a comedy. It can’t be that bad!”
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Eric: I would start calling it a dramedy.
Andrew: Dramedy! [laughs]
Matt: Oh, snaps! Getting pretty technical!
News: Part I Score
Micah: All right, and then on April 18th, Magic Box Music, a trailer scoring company who has worked on Potter trailers before, revealed that they’re working on the score for Part I of Deathly Hallows.
Eric: That shocked me! That shocked me that the trailer people – and it makes sense, but, that these people will edit the trailer together, and they’ll, I guess, compose a score for it that isn’t part of the movie score.
Matt: Mhm. They must be excited for this.
Andrew: That’s what they always do.
Eric: Yeah, well I remember seeing Pirates of the Caribbean 2, the trailer for it, and it was using the same music as was used in an X-Men trailer years before. And I remember that they recycle that. But I didn’t know if it was the same studio or not. But I mean, I guess it makes sense. This was just shocking to me that they’re composing new music for this trailer when they could actually just use some of those epic ‘ahhhh’ scene moments.
Matt: Well, I’m sure it’s going to be epic, Eric. It’s just going to be original.
Matt: So this is probably going to be the theme that all the other trailers after this in the future are going to be copying.
Andrew: Well, since they are working on it, hopefully that means that they are close to finalizing some sort of trailer. But then again, they could hold it back for a couple more months. As we will discuss momentarily, with another news story.
Micah: Yeah, why don’t we just jump right to that.
Andrew: Let’s do that! Go ahead.
Micah: Talk about it a little bit.
Matt: Ahh, such fun!
Andrew: Be crazy, Micah!
News: Deathly Hallows Trailer Coming?
Micah: [laughs] Well, we got a little bit of a tip last night, since we’re recording here on Sunday, that the Deathly Hallows PR machine is going to start spinning rapidly this June.
Andrew: Can you use my comparison? I compared it to a choo-choo train.
Micah: Why don’t you use that comparison? Since it’s yours.
Andrew: Chugga chugga choo choo! We’re rollin’, baby, let’s go! Promo train!
Eric: So what do they mean? Did they call it a train, or a machine, or…?
Andrew: Well, sorry Micah, go ahead. Finish the story.
Micah: Well, we got word from somebody who spoke with the vice President of Exhibitor Services for Warner Bros., Domestic Theatrical Distribution. So basically what that means is she’s in charge of the W.B. trailers and advertising materials for theaters in the United States and Canada. And she mentioned that there was going to be an aggressive marketing campaign possibly with Twilight in June.
Andrew: Well, she didn’t say possibly. I think its pretty set that it’ll be in June. So here’s what happened. Some crazy – well I wont call them crazy – but some fan really wanted to know when the first trailer was going to come out, e-mailed a bunch of people at Warner Bros. and this Kelly O’Conner responded, now, poor Kelly O’Conner. She didn’t realize it was a fan. She thought it was somebody who works at a movie theater e-mailing her and asking about the trailer.
Andrew: So she replied back, and I saw the whole email conversation, so this is how I gather that she got the wrong impression about this person emailing. So she thought [laughs] it’s a movie theater worker, so she said, “We’re not working on Potter yet.” Exact quote is “We’re gonna launch an aggressive marketing campaign that launches with Twilight.” And she’s referring to Eclipse, the third movie and that comes out June 30th. So I think around the end of June, that’s when thing’s are really going to start rolling out. And a lot of people in MuggleNet’s comments thought it was interesting they described it as an aggressive marketing campaign.
Andrew: And what could that mean? Well, banner ads like crazy all over the internet. TV commercials like crazy all over the internet.
Eric: Standees in places where you wouldn’t ordinarily expect to find standees.
Eric: Like, the middle of the produce aisle. Yeah, the middle of your produce aisle at your supermarket, there’s just going to be like, a Voldemort thing.
Andrew: [as Voldemort] Buy these peanuts and see me in theaters this November!
Eric: [laughs] Exactly. That aggressive.
Micah: Do they really need to be aggressive though?
Eric: I hope they do.
Matt: No, but I think – it’s their final shot at doing all this. After Deathly Hallows, its over so they’re just going to go all out.
Eric: I want it to feel like it did when Book 7 and Movie 5 were coming out.
Matt: Yeah, I want to get sick to death of Harry Potter.
Matt: All that stuff. I mean, thats…
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Andrew: Well, here’s the other thing – if they are waiting till June to get things started, then that’s why I think part of the reason it needs to be aggressive. Because it’s not sort of like a slow build up. It’s just boom, all at once. Three months beforehand isn’t that long of a wait. You know what I’m saying? So they really got to push it.
Andrew: And they have other films that they have to worry about right now.
Micah: Well, yeah, and how interested are people going to be in that first film as opposed to the second one? I mean they probably have to sell the first one a lot harder.
Andrew: That’s true, yeah. That’s absolutely right.
News: LEGO Harry Potter
Micah: Final bit related to the film itself is that LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 is going to have a Collectors Edition. The game hasn’t even been released yet. Is this common for video games?
Eric: No. In fact, I saw it and I was like, “What!? They’re doing – they’re putting what with the game? Exactly? In the book?”
Micah: So there’s going to be this exclusive behind the scenes look of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as part of this video game Collectors Edition. I’m not really sure what that’s going to entail. Is it going to be completely new, or is going to be something that we may see a few weeks, maybe a few days before the game is actually released?
Eric: Oh, okay.
Andrew: I think it will be with the game, and this game is supposed to come out June 29th.
Eric: Oh! Part of their impressive marketing campaign!
Andrew: And that’s when their marketing campaign…
Matt: Impressive LEGO game!
Micah: Right, that’s what I’m saying. Is it going to be a trailer that’s going to be released a few days before, or do you think it’s really going to be exclusive to the video game?
Matt: Yeah, I kind of agree with the first part of what you said, Micah.
Andrew: That it’ll be exclusive to the video game?
Matt: No, no, no – that there’s going to be at least a teaser or some kind of preview before this.
Andrew: No, no, no, no, no. Look, this game comes out June 29th.
Andrew: With the game is going to be an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look. Not a trailer. Then the trailer will come out with Eclipse.
Eric: Well they do do that with games, though. They do put movie trailers in games. I had an X-Men game a while back that had all this exclusive X2 footage in it. It’s just something that you can do, and especially with the next-gen systems with live internet connection and Blu-ray and all that stuff. They’re going to probably – I mean, that’s kind of the future of gaming, is going to be – if there’s a movie game, they’re going to do some promos for it. So yeah, it’s not uncommon, but what I was talking about initially was the magnets that are getting shipped with the game.
Matt: The magnets, oh yeah.
Micah: That’s kind of weird.
Matt: But I mean, the behind-the-scenes stuff, in other games, too, they kind of distribute it in between each level, too. I remember when I was playing The Lord of the Rings games for Xbox, after every level of the game they would have a quick little excerpt of going behind-the-scenes in the film and even behind-the-scenes of the video game. So they could disperse that throughout the game as well, and they may even begin it with a teaser or trailer if they intend on releasing it before this game.
Micah: Yeah, I mean, they look like they’re going to put in some behind-the-scenes look at the video game as well. I guess, Eric, that goes to your point that it’s next-generational and that’s what they’re doing with video games. But I don’t know, it just doesn’t sit right with me that they’re already making a collector’s edition. It’s seventy bucks.
Andrew: Yeah, I mean, this is just a quick way to boost profits. And personally, I don’t see anything on here worth the extra twenty bucks, with the exception of the exclusive behind-the-scenes look, but…
Matt: The magnet.
Andrew: …in the age of the internet, that’s just going to come online anyway, on YouTube, so – nice birthday gift, I guess. I am excited about this game. We’ve talked about it on the show a lot. I cannot wait to get it for PS3, it should look beautiful.
Matt: Aw, I thought you were going to get it on Wii.
Eric: I’m going to get it on Wii, I’ll tell you how it is.
Micah: And I might be checking that game out in about a week or so.
Andrew: That’s right, Micah’s going to a little…
Andrew: LEGO Harry Potter party in New York City to play the game for the first time! So that’s cool.
Eric: [sighs] That’s so awesome.
Andrew: Let us know how it is.
Micah: I will.
Micah: I will. It’ll be right around the time the next show is released.
Andrew: Good, you’ll have a report.
Andrew: When you’re there ask them, is this a part of the aggressive marketing campaign…
[Eric and Matt laugh]
Andrew: That Warner Bros. has lined up?
News: Leavesden Studios
Micah: So the final bit of news is that the Watford Observer reported this week that plans have now been approved and finalized to turn Leavesden Studios into a permanent studio.
Micah: What do you guys think of that?
Matt: Oh, nice!
Andrew: Well the bigger part of the story for Harry Potter fans is that there will be a permanent Harry Potter…
Andrew: …attraction. I didn’t know what else to call it so I just wrote “attraction.” I’m not sure if that’s the best word for it.
Andrew: It’s opening in 2012 in the studio. So they’re going to preserve some of the Harry Potter sets and you’ll be able to pay something, and then you’ll be able to go in and get a little tour of the Harry Potter sets, which is awesome, I think!
Matt: Yeah. Maybe it was just too big for them to move anywhere else so they just decided to keep it in there.
Andrew: Yeah, plus it’ll be cool for people to actually go to the studio…
Andrew: …where all eight Harry Potter films were shot.
Eric: Yeah, that’s the thing. It’s the real sets, really where they were. So that’s cool, but I thought it was weird at first because – as you say, Andrew, you said last week too, that even though the Warner Bros. studio lot in Burbank has costumes and props on a second floor museum, we’ve got it on their lot. We’ve got the Harry Potter exhibit which is touring the world, and I really think that there will be something in the line of props in the Wizarding World theme park in Florida so there are all these permanent attractions now that are going to have parts of these sets and parts of these movies pretty much all over. So it’s very interesting.
Micah: What’s interesting is they said that this redevelopment’s going to cost a hundred million pounds, but what they’re looking forward to – I guess on a positive side – is that it’s going to create a lot of jobs for the local economy there.
Andrew: Yeah, so it’s great news, and I think it’ll be exciting even if you’re visiting London. I mean, it’s about a forty-five minute trip from London, and I think they’re going to keep Dumbledore’s office because that’s been there forever, The Great Hall, I hope – I mean, that’s a big set but they’ve got to keep that one. That one’s iconic…
Micah: Unless it’s destroyed.
Andrew: Yeah, well that’s the thing. I’m trying to think of sets that have been there all this time and the main two are Dumbledore’s office and the Great Hall. What they usually do is they build sets and they tear them down as soon as they’re done with them because they’ve got to keep making room so it’ll be interesting to see what else they keep. I wouldn’t be surprised if they rebuild a couple things because most stuff is gone [laughs] so maybe stuff from the creatures department, I bet, or stuff from the special effects department. They have a ton of stuff they save from there. So, if you’re in London when that opens up, or anywhere in England, you got to go to that.
Andrew: And it’s amazing how their studio is in the middle of nowhere. I mean, it’s right nearby neighborhood communities. It’s just – oh! Another one is Privet Drive. That’s been there, and that’s an outdoor set. I bet they’ll keep that as well. So, really exciting. Really glad to hear they’ll be doing this.
Andrew: So, is that it, Micah?
Micah: That is it.
Andrew: All right. Well, before we get to our interview with Warwick Davis, we have a reminder about the MuggleCast Remix that we were talking about last episode, on 196. As part of our Episode 200 celebration, Eric is putting together a second MuggleCast Remix, and he’s looking for your favorite moments from Episodes 26 to 100. Eric, correct me if I’m wrong in any of this. If they can send you favorite moments by emailing eric at staff dot mugglenet dot com, and putting “MuggleCast Remix” in the subject line, and when you write to him include the – we’re looking for the timestamp of your favorite moment. So, send Eric the episode number and the time that the moment starts at in the episodes. So, for example, “One hour, five minutes, fifty-eight seconds in.”
Eric: Yeah. Exactly, and you can send more than one entry, it’s more than welcome. I had a few people send in quite a lot of entries, which is great, because it allows me to pick from the clips, but so far I’ve only gotten ten entries. Ten different people have sent an email in the past week, and I said initially because it’s going to get – take a while to put all these together. I said I was only going to accept entries for another week or so, but please do send emails. So far, the mix is – because I’ve only gotten ten entries – the mix is going to be five minutes long, and…
Eric: …surprisingly include only Micah quotes, so.
Andrew: Oh, I got to send some in then.
Micah: How did that work out?
Eric: I don’t know, Micah. I don’t know.
Andrew: I bet it was Micah who sent in all the timestamps.
Micah: I had all the transcribers pull the…
Andrew: That’s right.
Micah: …timestamps and send them in on my behalf.
Andrew: So, visit MuggleCast.com, and the top news post on the site has the information. Thanks so much for your help. It’s going to be really cool. You can also listen to the first remix that Eric made a long time ago. It was back when – I don’t know.
Eric: It was – actually, it was when Episode 25 was the most recent aired episode.
Andrew: Wow. All right. So, now it is our time for our interview with Warwick Davis. We recorded it a few days ago, and we’ll turn it over to that now.
MuggleCast 197 Transcript (continued)
Interview With Warwick Davis
Andrew: We are now joined by Warwick Davis, the actor who plays Flitwick and Griphook in the Harry Potter films. He joins us now, and Warwick has a new autobiography out called Size Matters Not: The Extraordinary Life and Career of Warwick Davis. It’s in England bookstores now. Hey, Warwick! Thanks for joining us.
Warwick Davis: Thank you very much for having me. It’s a pleasure.
Andrew: No problem. We’re going to start with some Potter questions, since that’s the focus of our show…
Warwick Davis: Okay.
Andrew: …and obviously, our listeners know all about you through Harry Potter.
Micah: All right. You are about to wrap up filming for Deathly Hallows. You recently said in an interview that you will be finished in June. What’s the feeling like on set and what are you going to miss the most about the franchise?
Warwick Davis: I’ve had such a wonderful experience on all of the films and yeah, it will be sad to say goodbye to the people that we’ve been working with for almost ten years now. We’ve become very close and it’s almost like a family kind of situation. I often actually liken it to going back to school for a new term, and that was each film we would do would be the new term at school. And everybody’s grown up, and now we’re all about to graduate and go our separate ways. It’s going to be sad, but we’ll always have the work that we’ve created to look back on as our legacy and for many, many years to come. I mean, the Harry Potter films are not things that we’ve forgotten about very quickly, so yeah. We’ll always be proud of what we’ve achieved in the ten years.
Andrew: Yeah. And you’ve now been a part of two of the most popular movie franchises in history: Star Wars and Harry Potter. Did you ever think, like ten years ago, that Potter would have become this sort of phenomenon, sort of how Star Wars did. And how does it differ from Star Wars?
Warwick Davis: I mean, it is amazing and I don’t think that I ever took it for granted that there would be a sequel each time. I took each movie as it came along and always remained hopeful that my character would appear in the screenplay because of course, in the translation from novel to screenplay, many characters are often not included for time sake and for the way the screenplay is being constructed. I was always grateful that the characters that I was involved with have made it in the adaptations each time. I suppose when we got to number four and number five, it became quite clear that yeah, this is probably going to go all the way now. The thing is, for the first two or three, we were pretty unsure each time and look at the success of the film and just keep your fingers crossed that indeed you would all be asked back to continue with this. I suppose that the similarity between Potter and Star Wars The story is a very, very big story and it’s obviously broken up into different parts, but you can look at it as a whole thing. It would be lovely to be able to sit down, and as you can with Star Wars, watch all six parts and with Potter you’ll be able to sit down and watch eight films, and I think you’ll see them very differently then. You’re used to seeing all the different episodes, different movies as you’ve gone through, but now we can sit back and look at the whole thing as one piece.
Warwick Davis: And that’ll be quite an experience, I’m sure there will be many Potter fans throughout the world doing these marathon viewings in the future…
Warwick Davis: …which will be fantastic.
Micah: Absolutely. And you recently said about Deathly Hallows – the split into two films – that you thought it was a good idea because it’s going to do justice to the final book of the series. Now based upon what you’ve filmed so far and I guess, what you can say, do you believe these two movies are going to stay true to the book, possibly more so than any that have come before them?
Warwick Davis: I’ve got to be careful how I answer any of this…
Warwick Davis: I mean, I often look at the films and the novels – because this is kind of a question that comes up, and it’s kind of a debate, I suppose, amongst people who read the novels and fans of the films, et cetera, as to do with the similarities. But I like to view them as kind of separate pieces of art in their own right, so that – obviously the films are based on the book, but I think they should stand beside each other, but also you could see them very differently. I don’t see that we have to be worried about particularly following the book, and if the producers want to embellish on certain things more than the novel was able to, then I think that’s all fine as well. There has to be a certain amount of artistic license allowed, as it always becomes sort of restrictive to make a film based on a book. But yeah, I can’t really comment on anything regarding Deathly Hallows in that respect, I’m afraid.
Andrew: Right. Did you ever have any discussions with J.K. Rowling about the characters of Flitwick and Griphook to help you prepare for the roles?
Warwick Davis: Well, I mean, all of the preparation I did for any of the characters was based on the books and the descriptions and that sort of thing, from those novels. So I never had any direct discussion with her to say, “How should this be done?” et cetera. I’ve gleaned all of that from reading the book and interpreting that. And hopefully interpreting in the way that all of the readers out there best imagined it, because the human imagination is a wonderful thing…
Warwick Davis: And as filmmakers and actors, we can never hope to get close to how wondrous the images that you can create in your mind are. But we can do our best guess at that, and try to find a middle ground, and that’s certainly what I did with the characters I played, is try and find a best guess at the interpretation to try and suit most people. And I think on the whole, I’ve managed to do that, and J.K. Rowling – I did ask her after the first film, “How is Flitwick?” And she said, “He’s very good, thank you.”
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Warwick Davis: So that’s about as much as I’ve got in terms of direction, et cetera, for the character.
Andrew: Right. It must be great to hear the author tell you that you did a great job putting him on.
Warwick Davis: Oh, absolutely. Yeah.
Warwick Davis: Because it’s always in the back of my mind.
Andrew: Right. [laughs]
Warwick Davis: You kind of wonder are you doing justice to the literary work…
Warwick Davis: …and is it all as it should be. And yeah, she’s never made any complaints. So I guess she’s all right with it.
Andrew: Good, good.
Micah: Well, how big of a fan of the books were you prior to the films? Were you just as eager as everyone else to get your hands on a copy of the next book?
Warwick Davis: Well it’s funny. It was several years before the films were even talked about that I first heard about the books. It was while I was working on another project, and one of the actresses had this book entitled Harry Potter. And we were actually traveling to the location on a mini bus, and I said, “What’s this book you’re reading?” And she said, “Oh, it’s a fantasy book. It’s really great.” And she said, “If they ever made it into a film there’d be characters for you to play.”
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Warwick Davis: And I said, “Oh, that sounds cool.” Anyway, that was kind of the last I heard of it for a couple of years until my agent called up and said, “We’ve got this script coming in, and there’s a part we’d like you to audition for. It’s Harry Potter.” And by then the books were becoming quite a sensation and so I was very impressed and very excited to get an audition for it. And it was a very nerve-wracking experience – I described this in my book, actually, going up to the studios in Leavesden in North London and meeting with Chris Columbus and the producers, and actually having to do the audition, which went very well. And it – yeah, it left me with a really good feeling, and a very positive feeling. But then not hearing anything for three weeks after that…
Warwick Davis: …no phone calls, nothing. You then start to really doubt yourself. And actors by their nature are insecure characters, and I just became very insecure about that whole thing. I thought, “I must have really messed that up, because I have not heard anything.”
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Warwick Davis: And when you don’t hear anything that means you didn’t get it. They don’t phone you to say, “Sorry, thanks for coming in but we don’t need you.”
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Warwick Davis: They just phone you when they want you, but I’d been waiting a long time now, three weeks. But the fact that I’m talking to you now testifies I did indeed get a call just after three weeks from my agent. And it was wonderful because he said, “They would love to offer you the part of Flitwick.” And I said, “That’s fantastic.” Because Flitwick was a dream role for me. He’s a character that I played in some old home movies that I made…
Warwick Davis: … in my bedroom. I used to play this kind of mad professor sort of character, and I’d be sort of in this little laboratory mixing up potions and things. And he was the genesis in that sort of scene for Professor Flitwick, so he’s a character I always wanted to play. But not only did my agent say, “You’ve got that role,” but he said, “Wait a minute. Are you sitting down? Because they would like you to play another character, the goblin bank teller.” So I’ve sort of hit the jackpot twice.
Warwick Davis: And it’s just a wonderful honor and – to be a part of it. But as I said earlier, little did I know it was going to lead on to be ten years worth of acting work.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And – and off of that I mean you – you’ve been on these films since the very beginning. Are you someone who believes the films could have benefited in a certain way from one director or do you think that all these situations – you’ve had four different directors now, do you think they bring a sort of different dynamic to the series that – that adds to it?
Warwick Davis: I think it has been really nice to have a sort of – a different director for many of the films now. It’s been four different directors. Because they’ve all brought they’re own – they’re own little piece of magic to it. They’re own touches to it.
Warwick Davis: Chris Columbus was perfect for the first two movies because he’s a brilliant director in bringing out great performances from youngsters. And Daniel, Rupert, and Emma were very, very young. And I don’t remember exactly how old they were. They were round about ten or slightly younger than that.
Warwick Davis: You’ve got to have a director who knows what he’s doing to get the performances out of the – out of the actors at that age. And I do remember one thing that Chris did. He lots of little techniques – lots of little tricks he’d try to get the reactions that he wanted. And he really wanted this reaction from Dan in the first scene with the goblin bank teller. And he wasn’t really reacting in the way that Chris wanted and so he said to me very quietly, “When we start rolling on this close up of Dan I just want you to do something extreme all of a sudden to get a reaction.” So I said “okay leave it with me…”
Warwick Davis: So they start rolling and Chris shouts, “Action,” and we start the dialogue and all of a sudden I just yell and scream right in his face as loud as I could and all he did was look at me blankly and he just bursts out laughing.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Warwick Davis: It didn’t have the desired affect at all. But…
Warwick Davis: So Chris was really great for that sort of thing. I thought that he also brought a kind of innocence and magic to those first films. Because again Harry was coming into this as we were, the audience, to kind of be introduced to Hogwarts and I thought that was just – through that beautiful innocence in that film. And also that they managed in the next one. And Alfonso Cuaron – again it started turning a little bit darker. The books and novels were becoming darker and the characters are growing up. So again that was really sort of an interesting style that he had and I think it did lend itself very well. And then Michael Newell, he directed number four. I mean, he reminded me actually, I went to public school here in the U.K. and he’s very much like a public school headmaster in his own personality. And Hogwarts reminded me of my school as well.
Warwick Davis: So he kind of came into this and really had a great sense of how that kind of school environment should be, and the adolescence and all of that sort of thing. How that kind of – how all of that tension is starting to build in the stories as well. And finally David Yates who is a most marvelous director as well. A complete contrast to Michael Newell and the others, but again brings his own sort of fine detail and precision to the whole thing and I particularly enjoyed working with David on these. What an achievement though to work on and direct four of these films in very quick succession. I mean …
Warwick Davis: …it’s something a director gives a sort of soul to something and to do that four times in a row…
Warwick Davis: …is just a tremendous achievement, and I certainly enjoyed working with him. And he’s given me certainly lovely of opportunities as far as characters and scenes and things. We discussed – I’ve often dropped hints of other things I could possibly do in the films and he takes them all on board as well. It’s just…
Andrew: Yeah, that’s great. And since you are so experienced in the film industry, we wanted to ask you about the recognition that the Harry Potter films gets in the industry. The series already is and will no doubt hold the record, if not for a very long time perhaps forever as the highest grossing film franchise of all time. Do you believe that the Potter films don’t get the respect they deserve from the Oscars, and do you think movies seven and eight could possibly break through with an Oscar nomination? What’s your take on all that?
Warwick Davis: I’ve often wondered this and considered Oscars and how the voting things work. The voting’s done by the sort of industry professionals and the peers of the films that are actually up for nomination etc. And I think that possibly some times these huge blockbusters don’t often benefit where they should because of the fact that they – I don’t know perhaps there might be some enemies in the voting part of the…
Warwick Davis: …industry? But these are very successful, and it takes away a little bit from the art of the whole thing.
Warwick Davis: Because you look at these films – you look at the Harry Potter movies and there’s just so much wonderful work and skill. I mean knowing this from working on the films I know how many people just going to put me on set basically how much preparation it is to put my make-up on. It’s many, many man hours and a big team of people just to deal with one character.
Warwick Davis: When you watch the films there is the wonderful music and the special effects and I think we’re starting to actually take it for granted because it is all so good all the time.
Warwick Davis: You often – you actually are starting not to notice when stuff is effects, you actually take it for granted now, but each time we just do the best job we can and we actually raise the bar each time because the next film we do we’ve got to be better than we were before.
Warwick Davis: So we’re honing all of the skills all the time and it’d be lovely to get some recognition for the films, and for all the brilliant people that worked on them. They all deserve recognition and awards for their brilliant work.
Micah: Absolutely, yeah. Now what’s your personal favorite film of the series, putting aside Deathly Hallows up to this point.
Warwick Davis: Yeah, I think it’s probably Prisoner of Azkaban, actually. Because I very much liked that book and I just think the film works very well in a way that – I love the time turning sequence, and when I read that I was very looking forward to seeing it – how it was going to be put on screen and again, I mean it’s just done so, so well. So yeah, that for me is a favorite, but I’ve got loads of favorite moments in the others. It’s hard to pick a favorite scene but I did enjoy that one.
Micah: So you enjoyed the crowd-surfing in Goblet of Fire?
Warwick Davis: Oh, absolutely, yeah. That was – that’s another thing I talk about in my book as well, just the fact that what started as a kind of a jokey suggestion – not even a suggestion, actually, just kind of a joke to say to Michael Newell, ended up being something we shot in the movie.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Warwick Davis: And that was the thing about him, I could often suggest ideas, and Michael would take them on board and we’d do them and there was so much wonderful material from that film that never made it into the movie. I mean you got to see Flitwick playing air guitar and stuff.
Andrew: Oh, no way.
Warwick Davis: We’ve got loads of stuff, yeah.
Warwick Davis: I mean whether – it’d be lovely to see some sort of easter egg on the DVD but…
Warwick Davis: There is so much, so much that doesn’t make into the film and as an actor you always see that when you watch your movies. You always see – the first time you watch it you always see what isn’t there. That’s the first thing you notice, oh that’s been cut, oh that’s missing, oh they didn’t use that.
Warwick Davis: But the second time you watch it you enjoy it for what it is, but yeah, you always end up seeing what is not there. And more often than not the majority of what you do in the film is kind of lost to the cutting room floor, I’m afraid.
Micah: Yeah, you also had that great little fist pump when the Weasley twins fly away at the…
Warwick Davis: Yeah. [Laughs]
Andrew and Micah: … in Order of the Phoenix.
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]
Warwick Davis: Yeah, actually that was good. We shot that actually fairly early on and then David thought it was really nice if we kind of gave that a bit more justification and we went and shot the scene where she comes and measures Flitwick.
Warwick Davis: And that kind of gave a little bit more of the motivation.
Warwick Davis: I mean, how kind of cheeky is that…
Warwick Davis: …not measuring up to stand as a male in Hogwarts. I’m actually too short…
Warwick Davis: …which is brilliant. I thought that was actually inspired, that was a great moment.
Andrew: Yeah. It was.
Micah: Oh, go ahead – No I was just going to say, who’s your favorite character aside from Flitwick of Griphook in the series?
Warwick Davis: I think it’s got to be Professor Snape. He is the one I would have loved to have played, but he’s just so – brilliant character. Alan is a brilliant actor, and he just portrays the character so well. And I just love watching him. He’s just mesmerizing, isn’t he? He’s just almost sort of hypnotic in a way.
Warwick Davis: And the way he also sticks his dialogue up and uses the phrasing is the most unusual phrasing, and the pauses are all in the literary sense – all in the wrong places, but it just works…
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Warwick Davis: …perfectly with that character. It’s fascinating to watch Alan in his portrayal of the character…
Warwick Davis: …on set. You never know what you’re going to get. It’s just brilliant.
Andrew: Yeah. The Harry Potter theme park is going to be opening up soon, and you have children, are you – are you excited to take them there? Any plans to visit?
Warwick Davis: Oh absolutely. Yeah, I shall be there – and yeah, the kids are going to love that, too. I mean – my children, who are seven and thirteen, Annabel and Harrison are very fortunate because they’ve been to what I would call the real Hogwarts for quite a long time.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Warwick Davis: But for them now it’s not very exciting. It’s just Dad’s work.
Andrew: Yeah. [Laughs]
Warwick Davis: It’s my office they go to…
Warwick Davis: …and yeah. But it’s going to be magical place. I can’t wait to go. I hear you get to choose – you get to go and get a wand and all of this stuff, and it’s going to be just fantastic. So I’m looking forward to it immensely.
Andrew: Yeah, it’s really exciting. So let’s talk more about your book now. What kind of Harry Potter related stories can we expect to find in Size Matters Not?
Warwick Davis: Well, we’ve sort of brushed upon a few there. We’ve already talked about the – snd I talk about Michael Gambon and his beard troubles. There’s quite a few little nice stories in there as well, and I ran this past the production, so it’s all okayed to talk about what I’m talking about, and David Heyman the producer read it, and he was very generous enough reading it, quote…
Warwick Davis: …and he was enthralled by it, and he enjoyed it very much, which was really nice because obviously very conscience that the franchise has been very good to me, and I’ve enjoyed it so much, but I also owe it as much respect as I can. And I just wanted to make sure I was – that everything I wrote was what was good to write about. So yeah, that’s a really – that’s a fun story. Mostly it’s fun stuff. Talked a bit about my make-up, my make-up artists and the kind of – the torture of sitting in a make-up chair for many hours every day.
Warwick Davis: So it’s all good stuff, yeah.
Micah: So how did you get the idea to write this book? When did you decide “okay, I’m going to do my autobiography”?
Warwick Davis: Well, for the past sort of five years I’ve had a few approaches from publishers who’ve said, “Would you like to write a book?” and I’ve just brushed them aside and thought well, I don’t really know what I’m going to write about. I thought you had to write an autobiography when you were about sixty or seventy and I was just like, “oh, I don’t really know.”
Warwick Davis: And then it suddenly occurred to me, about two years ago, really, I should do this. And I happened to have a meeting with a publisher and it sort of all fell into place. And I sat down though, to write the book – and it’s quite a lonely thing to do, to sit there and look at a blank piece of paper…
Warwick Davis: …and I thought, “well, where do I start?” I guess at the beginning.
Warwick Davis: But then I thought, “I don’t remember the beginning.”
Warwick Davis: So I thought “well, I’ll talk to mum and dad.” But then you start talking to people who were influential in your life and you start piecing – it’s like a jigsaw – you find all the bullet points. So it was like: being born, going to school then all the first work on Return of the Jedi, big break into the movie business and then you find Ewok, Labyrinth, then you’ve got Willow and then you maybe go, I don’t know, Leprechaun then and then you’ve got Star Wars again and then Harry Potter. So you kind of do all that and then you look back, and you then start filling in the details that happened all in-between that you see. And then some sort of family and then meeting my wife and having children and all that. So it was a really wonderful experience. It made me actually stand back a bit and say, “wow, I’ve actually done quite a lot.” Because when you’re living the life and the career – I hadn’t really – I’d sort of taken it for granted a bit – what I was doing.
Warwick Davis: So when I stood back and wrote the book I was like, “Gosh, this is quite – I’ve achieved quite a lot in forty years so far.” And it was really – made me appreciate it, I suppose, a little bit more.
Micah: Yeah. Now the forward to your book was written by George Lucas, do you still keep in touch with him on a regular basis?
Warwick Davis: Absolutely. Very much so. I mean, when you work for Lucasfilm you become part of the Lucasfilm family. I have many great friends who work for Lucasfilm still. And it didn’t take any persuading for George to write this and I thought he was just the right person to do it because he has been so influential in my career. He gave me my big break and has continued to give me great opportunities all the way through my career and so he was a really great person. But little did I know he’d write such nice things about me. I didn’t know he held me in that regard quite, so it was really quite an honor. It was very flattering, what he’s written.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah that’s…
Andrew: That’s great, and a little more about Star Wars, do you attend any of the cast reunions, and what were your thoughts on the making of the prequels?
Warwick Davis: Well, I do keep in touch with many of the cast because I attend Star Wars events – Star Wars celebrations in America and Stars Wars celebrations in Europe here. So I see many of the cast quite often…
Warwick Davis: And so – and it’s really nice. The fan community’s still as enthusiastic as ever even though we haven’t had a movie for quite a few years now. But we have the live action TV series, which I hope to get in somewhere. I’d like to be a villain, though, this time. I want to play sort of a villainous character in the TV series…
Andrew: Oh, cool. Cool.
Warwick Davis: Yeah, it’ll be good though. Villains are great characters to play anyway – any actor will tell you that. The villains are always sort of the best ones.
Warwick Davis: So – and the prequels, I mean yeah. It wasn’t like Harry Potter because we have this huge gap in between, and everyone was anticipating. And in that big gap that was in between, I was dropping lots of hints to George to say, “When you get around to making these films, I’d love to be part of them.” [laughs] And eventually in ’97 he got around to doing Episode 1, which was great. And a lot of people, oh they prefer one trilogy or the other, and I think it’s really what you grow up with. I grew up with the classic trilogy. I was seven when I saw Star Wars…
Andrew: Right, right..
Warwick Davis: They feel like my – I kind of feel ownership of those films. But I think it just depends on how old you are. My kids are actually – they’re kind of more drawn towards the prequels because they were growing up when…
Andrew: Right. Right.
Warwick Davis: …those films came out. I think it’s all kind of relative in a way.
Micah: Well, speaking – you just mentioned villains, and you mentioned The Leprechaun before, and I can tell you that that movie still gives me nightmares every time I see it.
[Warwick does his Leprechaun impression]
Micah: Do you ever look back and think…?
Warwick Davis: Oh, I just traumatized you there…
Micah: Yeah, exactly. I’m going to have to jump off the headset right now.
Micah: Do you ever look back at that film in particular and think, “Man, I was pretty creepy in that film”?
Warwick Davis: I thought you were going to say, “Do you ever look back and regret it?”!
Micah: No, no, no!
Warwick Davis: I mean [sighs] – I don’t suppose I look back like that at all. The Leprechaun came about – again, this is something I talk about in the book – I have some wonderful stories about Leprechaun in there and becoming involved in the project. But up until that point, in 1991, I had only ever played good characters. You know, Ewoks and goblins, and then Willow. And so I was being perceived as the actor who could play nice, short characters. And then when the script arrived it was like, “Hey this guy’s a baddy. He gets to do pretty bad things. This is something I want to do.” Because it’s going to show that I have got some diversity in my performance and everything, and I can do not just nice guys. So I jumped at the oppurtunity. Again, little did I know at that point we were going to do six of these things through the years. But he’s a very fun character to play. I’m quite fond of him and he’s just so extreme. I can just let loose and there are no boundries on him. You can just be as crazy as you like and it’s probably better that you are. And there’s a following out there for these films. If I had the money, I would make Leprechaun 7 myself. Because I know it would sell…
Warwick Davis: You know what I mean, it’s each one of those things. I think it’s great if number seven would be a Leprechaun kind of crossed with a pirates movie. Do you know what I mean? In other words, either the pirates had just stolen the Leprechaun’s gold, or what have you. It would work perfectly. They all like drinking…
Warwick Davis: And I think it would be fantastic. I’m actually going to call Johnny Depp to see if he wants to do it.
Andrew: Are you really? That would be awesome.
Warwick Davis: Yes, it would be. It would be fantastic, wouldn’t it?
Warwick Davis: But anyway, I do appreciate all of the demented Leprechaun fans out there…
Warwick Davis: Thank you for your support.
Micah: Well, just going back to Potter for one second. One of the questions that seems to come up the most often is, if you could take one prop from the set, of all these films, what would it be? What would you love to have on the mantlepiece at home?
Warwick Davis: You know what would be lovely, and I’m sitting here as I talk to you looking at a prop that I have from Willow. I have a Willow wand in a frame on the wall here.
Warwick Davis: And I would love a Harry Potter wand in a frame just next to that…
Warwick Davis: That would be marvelous and that would be the one thing. I mean, I think all of the professors would tell you that same thing. All of the faculty at Hogwarts would love to have their wand at the end of all this. But who knows? Yeah. That would be the one, that would be the one.
Andrew: So you could pick it up from time to time and reenact that classic scene from Sorcerer’s Stone, the “swish and flick”. [laughs]
Warwick Davis: Oh, I do enjoy the “swish and flick”, absolutely. And I do a lot of talks at schools about acting, and how youngsters might get into acting. And at one point somebody asked me about that and I always end up doing a little Charms class with everybody. And it’s quite magical to see all of the kids practicing their [as Flitwick] “swish and flick”.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Warwick Davis: [as Flitwick] “Wingardium Leviosa!”
Andrew: [laughs] That’s it, it brings us all back. [laughs]
Warwick Davis: Absolutely, yeah.
Andrew: Before we wrap this up, any other projects you have lined up in the near future?
Warwick Davis: Well, I’m actually currently developing a new comedy series called Life’s Too Short with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who created The Office and Extras…
Warwick Davis: …and who I knew from working on the Extras series, too, in the episode Dan Radcliffe was in. So yeah, we’re developing a comedy for the BBC at the moment and we’ll shoot the pilot in June with a view of it going to a series, so it’s all very exciting.
Andrew: Cool, cool. All right, so Warwick, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you, and again, your new book, The Extraordinary Life and Career of Warwick Davis is in England book stores now, and it will be hitting the United States probably in a couple months, hopefully?
Warwick Davis: Absolutely. We’re just working out the final arrangements on all that, and so yeah. Hopefully it will be stateside very soon.
Andrew: Great. And we can all follow you on Twitter which is your username – well, people can access it by going to Twitter.com/WarwickADavis, and we’ll…
Warwick Davis: Absolutely.
Andrew: …include a link to that…
Warwick Davis: Follow me.
Andrew: Follow your extraordinary life and career. [laughs]
Warwick Davis: Oh yes, there’s all sorts of nonsense I talk about on there that’s rather…
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Andrew: Cool. All right, great. Warwick, thank you so much for joining us.
Warwick Davis: Thank you very much, everyone. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you.
Andrew: All right, thanks.
All right, there you have it. We hope you all enjoyed that interview. Warwick is such a funny guy. It was fun recording with him, wasn’t it, Micah?
Micah: Yeah, absolutely. He really got into character there, towards the end.
Andrew: Yes he did, that was funny. [laughs] So now it’s time for Chapter-by-Chapter. We’re edging closer to the end of Prisoner of Azkaban, and this week we are looking at Chapters 18 and 19 of the book. But first, it’s time for another Chapter-by-Chapter intro. This one is from Vincent, and being a Lady Gaga fan myself, I really enjoyed this one. So you guys take a listen.
[Chapter-by-Chapter intro plays]
Andrew: [laughs] Gaga! Ga! Ga! Fawkes!
Matt: That was trippy!
Andrew: That was sent in by Vincent. That was crazy! That was like – it just punches you, it’s like, boom! Chapter-by-Chapter!
Matt: [singing] “Do-do-do!”
Chapter-by-Chapter: “Mooney, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs”
Andrew: Well, thank you Vincent, and we’ll get to – we’ll play more entries as we continue this segment through MuggleCast life. If – by the way, if you have your own Chapter-by-Chapter intro, if you would like to create one yourself, feel free to do so, then send it in to andrew at staff dot mugglenet dot com. And in the subject line, just put “Chapter-by-Chapter Intro.” So anyways, Micah is going to lead us through the first chapter, Chapter 18, which is “Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs”.
Micah: It’s actually a pretty short chapter.
Andrew: Yeah, I was going to say, it’s like two pages long.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Micah: Well, I don’t know about that.
Matt: Yeah, it’s at least three.
Micah: Yeah, come on now, but a lot of information in those three pages.
Micah: And it starts off with Sirius going after Scabbers and he tries to kill him right then and there. He doesn’t want to wait any longer. But Lupin steps in and prevents him and he says that Sirius owes it to Harry to tell him the truth. And so, during this whole conversation Ron and Harry think Sirius and Lupin are completely out of their minds. They basically try to explain – because the last chapter ended with the big reveal that Scabbers is in fact Peter Pettigrew, and they just don’t want to believe it. They think that these two guys are just bonkers. And my question is though, after just seeing Sirius transform from a dog and learning that he’s an Animagus, why would they find it so hard to believe that Scabbers could be an Animagus as well?
Matt: Well, because they – because they’ve spent so much time with Scabbers, though. Right?
Micah: That’s true.
Matt: He was Ron’s pet for so long – for twelve years.
Eric: Percy’s pet before that.
Matt: Mhm. It’s just – it’s one of those things where even like, for instance, when you find out one of your family members is a convicted killer or rapist or something. It’s like you just don’t – it doesn’t fathom you at first because you have a relationship with this person.
Eric: I think without knowing Peter Pettigrew’s personality – that he was a coward, was always the runt of the pack as McGonagall said earlier – without knowing that, it just doesn’t seem reasonable that he would stay a rat and kind of hide out, being a rat, for twelve years. It doesn’t seem like a glamorous life and someone that hears that Ron’s rat is actually a person, I think they really – they just need to know more information. I don’t really – especially in this chapter – I don’t think Hermione’s that opposed to the idea because she’s got this conflict where she trusts teachers, but of course, he’s a werewolf – she’s been holding out on him, talking about Lupin – and soon into this story she interjects and says “but they would know because there is a register of Animagi” and they have an answer for that. So only when – I think Hermione is – and all of them, even – are on their way to being convinced. It’s just initially it seems really odd because Ron’s rat has always been Ron’s rat, for such a long time.
Eric: And they just don’t know why he would hide out as a rat if he were actually alive and a person, et cetera.
Eric: So I think there is – they need the story told to them and Lupin is quick to hold Sirius back from acting so that they can get the story out.
Micah: Yeah, it’s sort of a lot to take in, in this particular chapter. You’re learning all of these things that seem completely outlandish in the Wizarding World, never mind as a reader.
Micah: So the conversation continues and they hear a creak outside, but Lupin goes out and looks and determines that nobody is there, or so he thinks. And Ron comments that the place is haunted. Now Lupin tells Ron that this is, in fact, not true. And he goes through his whole story of how he became a werewolf and how Dumbledore took precautions in order to let him be a student at Hogwarts, and he recounts the Whomping Willow, the creation of the underground passage, and the Shrieking Shack. And we start to get a whole lot of backstory about the tree…
Micah: …which has been there, and played a huge role in the second book, and the shack, which played a larger role earlier on in the book. But things start tying together, and – I thought it was interesting backstory, a lot of which was left out of the movie. This chapter is basically omitted from the book, with the exception of a few things, and I think – not omitted from the book, omitted from the movie – and I think that was one of the major problems people had with Prisoner of Azkaban as a whole, aside from the director, and all that other fun stuff. But I think this was the biggest issue – like looking at this chapter in particular, this – and this backstory that we’re talking about. What do you guys think?
Andrew: Well, especially since the films, we saw the Whomping Willow featured especially in Chamber of Secrets when Harry and Ron run into it, so it would have been nice for people who are just watching the movie to see that – to understand the backstory of the Whomping Willow, which is pretty interesting. And I was going to say how fitting that we’re talking about the Whomping Willow today, since we just passed Earth Day, the other day.
Andrew: Yeah, that…
Eric: Be kind to your Whomping Willow.
Micah: Oh, that…
Eric: Yeah, anyway, to that point, I just think the movie focused on – well, the movie didn’t focus on the world of Harry Potter, it focused on…
Eric: …making a movie…
Andrew: The plot. [laughs]
Eric: …and the characters. But it didn’t focus on fleshing out the world which is what I think the first two movies steadily in progression did, which is just a different choice of director, but that is why this chapter was almost always omitted. Except for the sentences “Your rat is Peter Pettigrew” and possibly a “NO!” here or there, this chapter was completely…
Eric: …absent from the movie.
Micah: Yeah. And so we learn that Sirius, James, and Peter all became Animagi in order to keep Remus company when he turned into a werewolf and Remus mentions that they were roaming the school grounds and the village by night. So I’m going to ask the obvious question, being how did Dumbledore never once spot them at all throughout all the years that they were at Hogwarts? I think they said that Peter could finally transform in their fifth year so let’s say, three years they were all – even maybe some before that for Sirius and James – they’re just walking around Hogwarts and Hogsmeade and nobody notices them. There were a couple of close encounters that they had, nobody ever reported this.
Micah: It just seems weird to me that they just all did this under Dumbledore’s nose, knowing how smart and powerful he is that they never got caught once.
Matt: Do you think Dumbledore really didn’t know that?
Eric: He had to not of known because he would have known then that Sirius was an Animagus.
Matt: Oh yeah, that’s true.
Eric: Which is – yeah, I was asking the same question as Matt like a minute ago and I was like, hey wait a minute, but Dumbledore didn’t know, otherwise he would have had different safeguards. Sirius wouldn’t have been able to get into the castle.
Matt: Right, right.
Eric: But that said, I just don’t – I think around the time that Harry’s parents were in school was also maybe a few years before the heyday of Lord Voldemort, so maybe Dumbledore was really that preoccupied.
Micah: It’s possible, but Hermione also mentions the point that it was dangerous for Lupin to do this – always the one to bring up the obvious and sound like the mother. It was dangerous, there’s no question, but also that Lupin really feels bad at this point in the chapter because he feels as if he’s betrayed Dumbledore’s trust and…
Andrew: Why now, though? Why is he just realising this now? Now that’s he’s exposed he’s feeling bad.
Eric: Hermione’s words have an impact on him. Even Ron, I mean he cares for these kids.
Andrew: Yes, I guess that is a testament to the relationship he has with them.
Micah: Yeah, he says, “All this year I have been battling with myself, wondering whether I should tell Dumbledore that Sirius was an Animagus. But I didn’t do it. Why? Because I was too cowardly. It would have meant admitting that I’d betrayed his trust while I was at school, admitting that I’d led others along with me … and Dumbledore’s trust has meant everything to me.”
Micah: But he just decided to dishonor him, basically. [laughs]
Matt: Yeah, if there’s ever a question, should you tell Dumbledore something or shouldn’t you, well then you probably should.
Micah: Yeah, you probably should.
Matt: He probably already knows.
Micah: But Andrew, you asked this question, would Dumbledore ever approve of James, Pettigrew and Sirius transforming into Animagi in order to help Lupin deal with his unwanted ability? If it was for the sake of helping students maybe, or helping a student, maybe Dumbledore wouldn’t have minded.
Andrew: Yeah, I think that Dumbledore would have understood the situation. I mean, he already went out of his way to set up this place for Lupin to go to transform into a werewolf. Obviously, Dumbledore knows that as a student growing up in Hogwarts you need to have some friends. You need to be surrounded by people who care about you, especially when you have to deal with something like this – being able to transform into a werewolf. So I think he would have understood, and I think he would have admired that James, Sirius, and Peter were all trying to help their friend out.
Eric: Agree, actually, and especially their aptitude of becoming an Animagus. It takes years to – I guess learn how to do it, and…
Matt: Right. I mean, there’s only seven who are registered.
Andrew: Yeah, and it’s noted in the book. I think it took them two or three years to master it. So…
Micah: Yeah. So…
Micah: But, them being out on the town in Animagus form…
Eric: Nearly killing people…
Micah: …led to the Marauders’ Map, and Lupin reveals who the other three on the map are. He had revealed that he had helped make the map earlier on in the book. But this must be kind of weird for Harry, though, learning all this about his father, in particular, that these were all his best friends and they had kind of just been hanging around him for this entire year and he had absolutely no clue.
Eric: Yeah. Harry is at a very interesting point this year. Every time his dad is mentioned, especially in these chapters, he’s – a different emotion comes out of him. At first, Sirius mentions his name and Harry’s like, “Don’t say his name, you killed him!” And Sirus is like, “Oh, I as good as killed him,” and goes into the story. But every time James is mentioned, Harry is just being tugged because it’s kind of like what he’s been going through with the Dementors, where he hears his mother’s voice. It’s knowledge about his parents that you just – he just didn’t expect to find, and here they’re telling these stories. He feels like he’s among friends, eventually.
Micah: Right, but what’s interesting is that never once is it mentioned what Animagus form James took. He says that James was called Prongs, but they never specify what his Animagus form was – in this chapter, anyway – Which is what makes so much confusion later on.
Eric: I think, the subject, too, is on Peter Pettigrew at the moment. So, they do limit it. But…
Micah: Yeah. So, Lupin continues his story telling and he tells about how Dumbledore pointed him to Defense Against the Dark Arts, and he also makes Sirius aware of the fact that Snape is at Hogwarts as well, teaching Potions, and Sirius doesn’t seem to like that too much. One thing that I thought about while reading this is that Dumbledore really believes in taking risks and/or giving second chances: Snape, a former Death Eater, he’s teaching Potions. Lupin is a werewolf. He’s teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. Hagrid is a half-giant and he’s teaching – and he’s been expelled from Hogwarts at one point. He’s teaching Care of Magical Creatures. Trelawney, who’s kind of a kook, a drunk, and a fraud is teaching Divination.
Micah: So, it’s kind of like – I don’t even know – like a hodgepodge of…
Eric: Castle for misfits.
Micah: …social outcasts.
Micah: Yeah, exactly.
Matt: But this is the finest school of witchcraft and wizardry.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Micah: Yeah, it definitely is.
Eric: It’s the only one in Britain!
Micah: Yeah. But next we learn the story of how Sirius played a trick on Snape that almost killed him. And this goes back to Sorcerer’s Stone when Harry learned that his father had saved Snape’s life and that James had done this at great personal risk to himself. And this was the whole night that Snape learned about Lupin’s condition. Lupin saw – or sorry, Snape saw Madam Pomfrey taking Lupin out to the Whomping Willow and he figured he would follow, and in the process almost got killed. So, interesting how James saved Snape, but how Snape just can’t seem to get over the fact that – I don’t know. Maybe James just treated him that bad the rest of their time at Hogwarts. What do you guys think? I mean…
Eric: Hanging him upside-down…
Micah: You would think that their relationship…
Eric: …from his underpants.
Micah: …would be a bit better.
Eric: It’s kind of…
Andrew: Well there’s…
Eric: Once you get hung upside-down, using his own spell against him, stealing his girl.
Andrew: There’s more on this in the next chapter so I’ll talk about it there.
Micah: Yeah. The other just kind of final bit of information from this chapter we learned is that Snape has been brewing the Wolfsbane Potion for Lupin. I kind of wonder, is that something he’s doing against his own will? He obviously wasn’t really happy with Lupin being appointed to this position, but the other thing is that this Wolfsbane Potion is mentioned in Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s also mentioned with the Bezoar and the Draught of Living Death.
Micah: And it’s just interesting how all three of those end up playing a role later on in the series. It’s kind of like one of those mentioned in passing bits that…
Eric: That become…
Micah: …end up playing a much larger role.
Eric: How does the Draught of Living Death?
Micah: Well don’t they have to brew it? Or is that peace? I don’t remember. I thought they had to brew it in – for Slughorn in Half-Blood Prince.
Eric: He mentions it in the movie. Oh yeah yeah yeah, they do. Yeah, yeah. But I don’t think Snape can do – I don’t think Dumbledore can make Snape do anything, like make Snape do anything. I think what it is is – and it is a testament to Snape because Lupin says, “It’s a difficult potion to brew and I owe Snape,” and I don’t know if he says, “my life.” But he says “I really owe Snape for that.” I think later in Book 5 or 6 when Harry is talking bad on Snape, Lupin specifically reminds him that he brewed – he can’t really have anything against Snape because he kept him away from transforming. And I think Snape knows the danger of students or anybody coming into contact with a full werewolf from his almost near-death experience. So I just think Snape – it is a testament to his character that he’s brewing this potion for Lupin, and I think he is doing it against his best wishes. But he understands why he is doing it. I think that is one of the clues that Snape is actually at least reasonable – a reasonable human being from time to time.
Micah: Yeah, so once Lupin is done telling the story to Harry about how his father saves Snape, Snape arrives in the room from under the Invisibility Cloak. So that whole creak that they heard earlier on in the chapter was in fact Snape hiding out. He seems to have a knack for that, doesn’t he?
Andrew: Hiding out? [laughs]
Micah: He likes listening outside doors.
Micah: He did it in – in the – what was it?
Eric: Even sooner than that.
Micah: The Three Broomsticks.
Eric: Even sooner than that. He did it when his parents were fighting when Harry finds his memory or whatever, when his Occlumency backfires or whatever. He…
Andrew: He’s just a sneaky little fellow.
Eric: He’s like a kid. Yeah.
MuggleCast 197 Transcript (continued)
Chapter-by-Chapter: “The Servant of Lord Voldemort”
Andrew: So the chapter – Chapter 19: “The Servant of Lord Voldemort” opens up with everyone in awe that Snape has arrived, and Snape reveals he made his way in thanks to the Invisibility Cloak that Harry had conveniently left right outside.
Andrew: And I was wondering that he can – I was thinking that he can actually fit under that cloak. Because in the books it’s always described as Harry – the trio’s feet are sort of sticking out from under it. So I guess Snape must have had to crutch down – crouch down low to fit under it which cannot be good for his back.
Eric: I think that’s in the movies, though, where their feet are sticking out or whatever. I think in the books they actually remark at how it still fits them after so many years.
Andrew: [sighs] Darn. Well…
Eric: I think that’s the movie where they show. Because to show them completely covered by the cloak would be like not having them in the scene. So they always show Harry with his arm out, you know, holding the lantern and crap. When really they…
Andrew: I just…
Eric: Yeah. I think that’s in the movie.
Andrew: I just like to imagine Snape struggling with the cloak.
Eric: With his back, yeah.
Andrew: With – and his back, “Oh my back.”
Matt: You just want to see him suffer.
Andrew: So Snape begins telling Lupin off thinking he’s been – thinking that Lupin has been helping Sirius get into the castle to kill Harry. I mean, Snape is enraged at this point. And at this moment Harry, I think, must be in love with Snape for once. Because here’s the one time a person he trusts dearly, Lupin, has betrayed him. Or at least he thinks so. And then enters Snape to save the day. Did you guys all get the same impression?
Andrew: Why not?
Matt: Because I don’t like Snape.
Eric: What do you mean “in love with Snape”? Do you mean…
Eric: …glad he’s there?
Andrew: Yeah, glad he’s there to – Snape agrees with Harry, or vice versa.
Matt: No no, well Snape agreed with the fact that he doesn’t like Lupin because he doesn’t trust him. Because he answered Harry’s question right after the chapter, or right before this chapter, at the end of Chapter 18.
Andrew: But still, Harry has his reservations about the whole situation going on. In…
Matt: Well, no, because – so, he’s already conflicted between Lupin and Sirius because Sirius Black is this guy that he has been thinking is coming to murder him, and he doesn’t trust him at all. And then there’s Lupin, who’s trying to explain why Sirius is good, so he’s really conflicted about someone he doesn’t trust and someone he does. And then here comes Snape, a guy that he detests, so I don’t think that makes him feel any better. I think it makes him even more confused.
Eric: But there are so many reasons that these chapters are my favorite chapters of any Harry Potter book, and that this is my favorite Harry Potter book. And I think one of the other reasons is this Snape moment. He’s come in, under the Invisibility Cloak that was James’ Invisibility Cloak. This chapter is really Snape’s chance at being a Marauder. He always wanted to fit in, or was always jealous or envious of James’ talent. Crouching under his Invisibility Cloak, saving the day is all reminiscent of everything Snape’s ever wanted for himself. The difference is that Snape lets his personal feelings get the better of him. I know we’ll be getting in shortly – the choices that he makes do not appeal to Harry, and the choices that he makes actually work to set everybody against him. I don’t think it’s because he’s Snape, I just think it’s because he’s going about it all wrong by, you know…
Micah: Yeah, well, you’d have to think that he’s heard the entire story at this point, and he knows the truth, and he’s just not willing to…
Micah: …accept what he’s just heard. If…
Eric: Yeah, you’re right.
Micah: There’s no reason for him not to believe it…
Micah: …as Hermione tries to get him to do a little bit later on. Just, “Okay, well, why can’t we test these
Micah: …guys’ theories out? And if it turns out not to be true…
Eric: Yeah, he quickly becomes a villain in the end.
Micah: …then so be it.”
Andrew: …at any rate, Harry has a quick change of heart, though, when Snape says he’s taking Lupin and Sirius to the Dementors. Harry realizes Lupin has had a million chances to kill him, but he hasn’t. So Snape insists to move out of the way, but the trio – and basically all at the same time – send spells at Snape. He goes flying backward, and he’s knocked out, which was kind of insane to see a teacher hit by a student. I mean, that’s unheard of.
Andrew: And they believe this all because of Snape’s childhood grudge. This reason that Snape is so angry and so wants to see Lupin and Sirius in Azkaban is because of the pranks that they played on Snape when they were all students at Hogwarts. Is it really, though? Do you guys really believe this is truly Snape’s childhood grudge he’s still holding? He just can’t let go?
Micah: He can’t let go. I mean, what gives him the right to say, “Oh, why don’t we – I’m going to take you straight to the Dementors. I’m not even going to take you up to the castle.”
Eric: Yeah, no trial.
Micah: He’s not the police.
Eric: No nothing.
Micah: He’s not anybody of authority, other than a professor.
Andrew: But at this…
Micah: And that…
Andrew: But at this time, he does think that Lupin has been helping Sirius into the castle.
Matt: He does – he doesn’t care!
Micah: I don’t think so.
Eric: Again, he’s heard the story. He knows…
Micah: Yeah, exactly. He’s heard the whole story. He’s been sitting listening the whole time. He knows the truth.
Eric: And Snape…
Micah: But he’s letting his…
Micah: …like you said – the childhood issues blind his…
Eric: It’s a life-long issue.
Eric: It grew out of his childhood. He was like it in his adolescence, and it’s a life long grudge.
Matt: Yeah, he even mentions about revenge. So that’s what he’s doing right now. He’s just trying to get revenge from all – from what the Marauders did to him.
Eric: And I think nothing but that could have made the whole trio stand up in unison and start sending spells at Snape, because he wasn’t helping the situation. He really wasn’t. And they wanted answers, and he was just going to take them all to get their souls sucked out before they can explain anything.
Matt: Right, and calling Hermione a stupid girl probably didn’t help the situation.
Eric: Yeah, probably not.
Micah: Well, that and the fact that he’s supposedly Lord Voldemort’s most trusted Death Eater, he would probably know that Sirius wasn’t the one who betrayed the Potters.
Eric: That’s very true.
Andrew: So then Sirius begins to explain everything. This is where a ton of information starts to come out. He learned of Pettigrew’s life as Scabbers after seeing the rat in the Daily Prophet without a toe. He’s been working with Crookshanks to bring Scabbers to him – Sirius we’re talking about. Scabbers hadn’t been looking healthy ever since when Ron returned from Egypt – when Sirius escaped from Azkaban – and lastly, Sirius explains to Harry that the Secret Keeper power was transfered to Pettigrew at the last minute, meaning that while it was Sirius’s fault, it wasn’t really his fault. It was actually Pettigrew who betrayed his parents. So that was the big twist. And so, with all this information now out on the table, Sirius and Lupin decide to attempt to transform Scabbers, and of course it works, and Pettigrew appears. And Pettigrew, then in an act of being desperate, tries to convince Lupin that Sirius is actually the crazy one, but it’s no use, and Hermione decides to speak up and asks why Pettigrew never decided to do anything to Harry the whole time he’s been sleeping in the same dormitory, and Pettigrew is like, “Yeah, yeah yeah! Of course, I’ve been innocent.”
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Andrew: “…I stare at him sleeping every night!” But Sirius is too smart for this. He responds that Pettigrew would never do anything unless he could see what was in it for himself. Hermione then asks how Sirius had possibly have escaped from Azkaban, and it’s a pretty simple way, it seems. He explains that the Dementors can’t see, so he was able to transform into a dog and sneak through the bars since he was so thin. That was essentially – I mean, the story was a little more drawn out – but he did this when they were delivering food, and he then swam out into the ocean and came to Hogwarts, living in the forest the entire time.
Eric: The other thing is that because they suck out happy memories the memory of Sirius being innocent wasn’t a happy memory so it stayed with him, he still knew who he was and that he didn’t do what he did.
Eric: So when he saw – when he read the newspaper and saw Pettigrew in Egypt he knew that – it gave him the flair, the spark to get out and do something about his innocence.
Micah: I like how Hermione refers to him as “Mr. Black.”
Andrew: Yeah she goes: “Mr. Black, er, Sirius?”
Micah: Like he’s a professor or something.
Eric: Yeah well he’s growing in everyone’s eyes, you know he’s not just “Sirius Black, escaped convicted madman, villain.”
Andrew: Yeah I guess so. This is sort of Jo’s way of telling us that Hermione is starting to have respect for him.
Andrew: So then Pettigrew continues going around attempting to be saved by everyone in the room, he sort of sucks up to everyone individually and nobody has it to Sirius and Lupin prepare tp kill him! But at this moment Harry steps in, in front of Pettigrew to stop Lupin and Sirius from killing him. Harry says he is only doing this because he thinks his father wouldn’t want Sirius and Lupin to become killers by way of killing Pettigrew. To this Sirius says: “You’re the only person who has the right to decide, Harry,” and I’ve always had a problem with this, does he? Should it be Harry who is making this decision? Sirius and Lupin clearly have good reason for wanting to kill Pettigrew so…
Andrew: Micah do you agree with this? I mean what’s going on here, why didn’t Lupin and Sirius just kill him anyway, who cares what Harry has to say?
Micah: Well it’s kind of like saying that Snape has the right to take Sirius and Lupin to the Dementors, you know it’s kind of that same argument, he doesn’t. And I don’t think it Harry’s choice either, I mean obviously it has huge implications as well later in the series that he did that, but I just don’t think it’s right. They should have just taken him in, why even kill him? If you kill him the story dies with him, that is the worst part of it.
Micah: You take him, knock him out, bring him up to the castle and force the truth out of him.
Eric: Reading about all of the stuff that Sirius goes through in Books 4 and 5, he’s in hiding and he’s secluded and he’s lonely, all of that is because the public or anyone in power has not seen Peter Pettigrew alive and thats devastating because if they had just seen him alive, seen him in human form once again they would know that the whole thing was fake and as it happens Dumbledore does believe Harry and Lupin and all of that so Sirius is able to help out the Order. But – I mean, that’s what is just so heart wrenching in reading these chapters again is that all anybody had to do was see Pettigrew. And so, yes, killing him would be the wrong answer at this point and I think it’s interesting that Harry – this wasn’t really that intense a scene where it’s like – I mean, they are going to kill him and Harry is, like, “No, my dad wouldn’t really want that.” And he is, like, “Well, if you’re sure,” and he is, like, “Yeah, I’m sure. Let’s take him to the castle.” That constituted – that created a life debt. And it’s interesting because that is kind of vague for a life debt to particularly owe somebody. That is a magical contract that is being formed right when Harry suggested, “Hey, my parents wouldn’t really want this.”
Micah: But it would have been such a miscalculation on their part though, to kill him because then they are just letting their raw emotion take over, because who is to say that they wouldn’t have just said, “Oh, well, he broke out of Azkaban to kill Pettigrew because that is what he initially intended to do and never succeeded.”
Micah: And so now here he is dead, who is to say that they wouldn’t hold Lupin as his accomplice because they are not going to believe the word of three…
Matt: …wizards, yeah.
Andrew: I don’t know. I still disagree, I would have had him killed. So, the chapter ends with everyone leaving the Shrieking Shack, and taking Snape and Pettigrew back up to the castle to get them tended to. Snape is hanging in mid-air because of the strings that Lupin put around him and it kind of reminded me of what Voldemort does in Deathly Hallows with that woman who is spinning in mid-air.
Andrew: Charity Burbage. So, I thought that was kind of like – not foreshadowing, it was just a nice little connection I thought. [sniggers] And…
Micah: Especially since she asks him for help in that chapter too.
Andrew: And to wrap…
Matt: [laughs] Oh!
Andrew: To wrap up the chapter, Micah has a point about this.
Micah: Oh, when they are leaving the Shack – because we all know what happens afterwards, but – I mean, wouldn’t it have been smart for Lupin to send a Patronus to Dumbledore?
Micah: I mean, one would think that they could make it all the way up to the castle without something happening.
Andrew: There is…
Andrew: …a small chance.
Micah: Yeah, knowing the sort of coincidence factor…
Micah: …that plays into all these books. But I just thought that would have been a perfect opportunity for him to go to somebody that he obviously puts a lot of trust in and would be able to help them out in this particular situation.
Eric: That’s actually a really great point. He should have at this point recruited Dumbledore, and – I mean, the only thing I can think of is that they used to use their Patronuses to communicate with each other back in the old days, the first Voldemort war. It’s been thirteen years, so I guess that kind of either fell out of practice or isn’t on the top of their minds that that is – from what I understand, it’s a very interesting way to use your Patronus to send messages. So, I think it would have been important to alert Dumbledore and they should have done it. It’s a great point, but it probably…
Eric: …wasn’t on the…
Micah: Well – I mean, when is the first time we see that? Is it Goblet of Fire?
Eric: I thought it was…
Micah: When Barty Crouch Sr. is found?
Eric: Oh, I wonder.
Micah: I think it is.
Andrew: It might be.
Matt: I think so…
Andrew: But it’s…
Micah: When he wants Hagrid, I think.
Matt: But also – I mean, the Marauders always used to do stuff on their own too, and maybe that’s why they didn’t call for Dumbledore’s help…
Eric: Well, at this point…
Matt: …at the time.
Eric: …Pettigrew is standing there in human form with all of the trio being able to back up both Sirius and Lupin. I think at this point, before they leave the Shack, it is an okay moment to call Dumbledore. And I think recruiting Dumbledore would have prevented a lot, everything.
Listener Tweet: Pettigrew
Andrew: Well, related to that question now, we have some feedback sent in via Twitter. Before recording every episode, we send a tweet out through our MuggleCast Twitter, which is Twitter.com/MuggleCast, to ask people to contribute their questions about these chapters. 7Lia7 asks:
“Why wouldn’t they stun Pettigrew rather than tie him up and risk him transforming?”
I think personally just in this moment, they weren’t – nobody was really thinking straight. It was sort of like a whirlwind, everything that just went on. So [laughs] I think – I’m not surprised that these kind of mistakes happened. Stunning Pettigrew certainly would have helped prevent situations that were later to follow. [laughs]
Eric: Did they – well, they have a lot of things to accomplish too. And one little trip to the Shrieking Shack – going in, Harry thinks that Sirius Black is a murderer, he regrets that he is his godfather, those crazy things. And by the time he comes out, both Lupin and Sirius are cleared of charges, Peter Pettigrew isn’t dead for the past thirteen years, he is alive and well – I mean, as Ron’s – so much has happened. They are not counting on the moon, and that…
Eric: …sucks! Hardcore.
Micah: Well, that – I have a question about that though, too because doesn’t he say that you’re supposed to take the Wolfsbane Potion a week before the full moon? And when Snape comes in, he says, “You left your potion on the desk.” So, it really shouldn’t be a full moon because Snape brews it for him a week beforehand…
Eric: That’s true.
Micah: …so that he has enough time to take it, so…
Micah: …I don’t know if that is a screw up in the timeline of things, but it shouldn’t be a full moon that night.
Matt: Right. And I always thought that with werewolves – I mean, this is probably not right or anything. But on the night of a full moon, couldn’t he feel there is a new moon – or there is a full moon coming?
Eric: Yeah, Matt, you mean…
Eric: …not even…
Eric: …if he is in front of it?
Matt: Yeah, because – I mean, even if the moon isn’t shining on him at that moment – I mean, doesn’t a werewolf sort of have that connection to the full moon when it is out? I don’t know.
Listener Tweet: Lycanthropy
Andrew: Next question comes from LuisaLucca:
“How come there’s no cure for…”
I don’t even know…
Andrew: …how to pronounce that.
“…lycanthropy? Nobody ever asked Lockhart about the werewolf he claimed he cured.
“After he was exposed as a fraud, shouldn’t they have found and treated his victims, and study their discoveries?”
Eric: That’s interesting. That’s actually really interesting because if anybody cured a werewolf, you would think you would want to know about that because there is no cure.
Andrew: [laughs] Right.
Eric: It’s a good point.
Andrew: Right, you would know – well, but Lockhart wasn’t being serious, so…
Eric: Yeah, but if it’s in a book that he cured a werewolf – I mean, I would think that that would…
Andrew: So, somebody else…
Andrew: …must have…
Eric: …else must have cured – or something. So yeah, that’s a good question. That may be my favorite tweet ever.
Listener Tweet: Bad Luck for Snape
Andrew: [laughs] Favorite tweet ever. Beangirl1389 says:
“Snape has no luck when he’s near the Shrieking Shack.”
[laughs] That is absolutely true.
Eric: Like I said, he started out okay. He’s got the Invisibility Cloak and ready to set about some rebels. But yeah, he doesn’t.
Micah: It’s kind of ironic. He died in the place he always wanted to go to.
Andrew: Poor guy.
Matt: It all comes full circle.
Micah: [laughs] Like the moon.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Eric: It all comes full oval.
Andrew: Well, we only have one more Chapter-by-Chapter segment left for this book because on Episode 198, we will cover the final three chapters. So from those three, we will now do Quote, quote quiz, quiz, quiz. “Well done. I think – yes, I think you’ve gone, too. Get inside – I’ll lock you in…”
Andrew: That is absolutely correct, Micah. You are a Quote Quiz…
Eric: Oh, oh, Micah, I got one for you. Okay, quote, “Well, well… we shall see, Snape, we shall see… the boy has undoubtedly been foolish…”
Eric: [laughs] Yeah!
Muggle Mail: Alternate Timeline
Andrew: Well, now we have two Muggle Mail emails this week. A bit of a shorter Muggle Mail this week because of our interview with Warwick Davis. Eric, could you read the first one?
Eric: Yep, first one is from Lauren, from Doncaster, U.K. She says:
“I want to say that the background with Hermione living near Harry…”
She is referring to an alternate timeline that J.K.R. considered.
“You mentioned it was when the Potters lived at Godric’s Hollow and Mr. Granger saw Hagrid as he took Harry from Godric’s Hollow just after Voldemort killed Lily and James. Well, you wanted to talk about how Hermione and Harry would have known each other before, and their relationship would be impacted and may have changed in the series. However, my point is this would not be the case as both characters would have been around the age of one when Harry was taken to Privet Drive, therefore away from the Grangers, meaning that they would not actually be growing up together and would have no recollection of each other whatsoever. And I doubt that Mr. Granger would tell Hermione that he saw a huge man take the child…”
“…away from the house down the road. That would probably instill nightmares in her young mind. So, when they went to Hogwarts, neither would still be aware of the other. Love the show and just wanted to point this out.”
Okay, what do you guys think?
Andrew: Yeah, for some reason I was thinking they were referring to Privet Drive. But as Lauren puts at the very end of her email, it could mean leaving from Privet Drive later in Harry’s life as Hagrid picks Harry up from that secret gateway when Dudley gets turned into a pig. So…
Andrew: Awww bummer.
Eric: So wait, what was the point then of Rowling considering Hermione growing up with Harry?
Andrew: I don’t know. I mean, I guess as a writer, you have different thoughts about how each character should start out and it just popped into her head, maybe?
Eric: Yeah, but they – I mean, when Rowling was talking about it, she was talking about Harry and Hermione knowing each other before Harry goes off to Hogwarts, wasn’t he? Or was she just talking about them living in Godric’s Hollow same time as the Potters?
Andrew: Well, maybe there would have been some back story concerning the Potters and Granger parents perhaps?
Andrew: Not so much Harry and Hermione.
Matt: Maybe he was just going to stab him with his wand.
Andrew: But they still would have had some certain bond. Even though they would have been too young to know each other in that short period of time, maybe they still would have had some extra special connection knowing that they each used to live next to each other and their parents were friends possibly.
Muggle Mail: Killing Sirius
Andrew: Next email is from Nicole, 25, of Rancho Cucamonga, California.
Andrew: Thank you. Eric is just all full of pronunciations today.
“Hi MuggleCast! I was just writing in a question I thought of while listening to your Episode 196 discussion of ‘Cat, Rat and Dog’ for ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’. What spell do you think Harry would have used to kill Sirius since they don’t learn about Unforgivable Curses until the following year? And I don’t think they know too many spells that would do fatal damage at that point. Although Harry might disagree, I doubt even though his powerful Expelliarmus would do him in. Just wanted to see what you guys thought. Thanks, I love the show and I have been a listener for many years. Keep up the good work.”
Matt: Oh crap, that’s what I was referring to, is this email. Sorry, my scroll keeps going down half a page…
Matt: …on my mouse.
Andrew: …to when?
Eric: When you…
Matt: When – oh, never mind. When I was talking about the wand.
Eric: Oh. That’s odd.
Matt: Yeah, I’m sorry.
Eric: So, you said he’d stab him with his wand, right?
Eric: Right in the eye!
Eric: Or up the nose!
Matt: Yeah, pretty much.
Eric: That might work.
Andrew: …maybe Hermione…
Matt: …Sirius bogies.
Andrew: …would have known. I don’t know.
Micah: Yeah, but – I mean, just because they don’t learn about them, it doesn’t mean they don’t know about them. There is plenty of stuff – think about it, when you were in school the teacher may teach you something but you already know about it, right? I mean…
Micah: …there are things…
Eric: Well, like…
Micah: …you learn about in school that you already know about from your own personal life.
Micah: Think Harry would probably know the spell that killed his parents.
Matt: Well, Hermione knows about the Unforgivable Curses because she answers them in the next book.
Eric: Yeah, Hermione knows about – I really don’t think Harry knows about them until they are introduced in class.
Eric: Harry specifically.
Eric: I think Ron…
Matt: …do you think…
Eric: …knows about them, having heard from being a wizarding family, all that. So…
Matt: But Eric, do you think that Harry ñ I mean, knowing the Avada Kedavra curse, could kill Sirius…
Eric: Well, no…
Matt: …at that moment?
Eric: …I don’t think he’d try and I don’t think he was asked to. I think Remus and Sirius said it was Harry’s choice whether or not Pettigrew gets killed. But I don’t think that they mean that Harry should do it. I think they are going to do it. They are willing to do it, and so it wouldn’t be an issue because Lupin and Sirius would kill Pettigrew for Harry. He wouldn’t need to know the spell.
Matt: Right, but Nicole’s asking…
Eric: Oh, about Sirius?
Matt: …about if he would kill Sirius. Yeah, because at that moment, he is filled with rage.
Eric: Yeah, with Sirius. I don’t think that Harry knew the Unforgiveable Curses. And I really think the best that Harry could do is probably a Bat-Bogey Hex, so Sirius is on the ground…
Micah: Well, think about Molly, though.
Micah: Molly doesn’t use the Killing Curse. She just does something that ends up killing Bellatrix. I mean, I’m sure if there is enough pent up rage inside of you ñ I mean, maybe he could just choke the guy to death. I mean, who knows? Who says he has got to use magic? Or like Matt said, stab him with a wand. [laughs]
Micah: I don’t know.
Eric: Sparks always…
Andrew: Or kick him somewhere!
Eric: …fly out of Harry’s…
Micah: Yeah, exactly.
Eric: …wand when he uses it, so…
Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul
Andrew: Right, right, right, right. To wrap up the show today, it’s time for Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul. Everyone cozy up and listen in.
Andrew: This one is from Evelyn Lewis, 17, of Maryland:
“Hey guys! Love the show. I’ve been listening to your show for a year now and I just want to thank you for such a fun podcast. I never used to have a good relationship with my mom. I got along with my dad more. But she heard me listening to you guys and started listening with me. Your show gave us something to bond over and now we are very close and I am proud to say I actually enjoyed prom dress shopping with her. Again, amazingly fantastic show, and thank you so much! P.S. My mom says hi to Micah.”
Eric: [laughs] This…
Matt: …oh, oh…
Eric: …this is my favorite Chicken Soup ever.
Matt: My mom…
Micah: Hello to Evelyn’s mom.
Matt: Exchange numbers later, Micah.
Eric: Oh, this is awesome though. It is a girl who says she wasn’t that close with her mom, but they both listen to MuggleCast and they bond over – this is awesome!
Andrew: Yeah, it’s great. Glad to hear it. Thank you very much and…
Eric: And prom…
Eric: …dress shopping is such an important part of a young girl’s life, so I’m glad that she could spend that with her mom.
Andrew: And with us!
Eric: And with us! Yeah, we were probably there in the dressing room they were talking about, like what Micah said.
Andrew: Of course he goes to the dressing room with you.
Andrew: How about just in the shopping area? Why the dressing room?
Eric: Yeah, now I’m embarrassed.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: Now I’m thoroughly…
Announcement: Infinitus 2010
Andrew: Okay, well, before we let everyone go today, we want to remind you about a couple of things. First of all, Infinitus 2010 is coming up this July. July 15th to the 18th in Orlando, Florida. We’re going to be there and we can’t wait to see you. We’re going to be doing a live MuggleCast and there is some exciting news to announce about that. Very exciting stuff. We can’t yet…
Micah: Like what?
Andrew: I can’t reveal at this time. I’m sorry, Micah, but we…
Matt: But it’s exciting.
Andrew: We are doing a podcast and you – and if you want to do something fun Potter related this Summer, go to the Harry Potter theme park and be there while we’re there during Infinitus 2010, which is a big Harry Potter conference that we’re all looking forward to.
Matt: It is the Harry Potter conference.
Andrew: Infinitus2010.org is the site to get all the information about it. You can learn what is going to be going on there. You can register and we hope to see you there. When you do register, be sure to put “MuggleCast” in the referral box. Also, don’t forget we are putting together the MuggleCast remix. Visit MuggleCast.com for full details, including a link to the first MuggleCast remix so you can enjoy that. But to put it nice and short, just find your favorite moment from Episodes 26 to 100…
[Show music begins]
Andrew: And – moments, right. You can send in multiple moments. And email them to eric at staff dot mugglenet dot com. He needs the episode number and the time that the moments begin. It could be multiple episodes, you know what we are saying. MuggleCast.com is the website where you can get all the information you need pertaining to this wonderful program that we do each and every other week. You can follow us on Twitter, fan us on Facebook. Don’t forget to vote for us once a month at Podcast Alley. Get all the information about us. You can see our pretty pictures, you can read questions about the show – questions and answers. You can download any episode of MuggleCast you could ever want. Now…
Micah: You can read transcripts.
Andrew: You can read transcripts. You can…
Eric: You can read about the transcribers.
Andrew: Right. You can visit our Wall of Fame with lots of information. The Wall of Fame – it’s on the right side of MuggleCast.com underneath all the community links. It’s some of our favorite episodes of MuggleCast and we explain why each one was so good. So, that’s a lot of fun to read through as well. Thanks again everyone for listening! Episode 198 will be released around May 12th.
Eric: What is going to come…
Eric: …sooner, Episode 200 or MuggleNet 2.0?
Andrew: MuggleNet 2.0.
Andrew: We’ll talk about that next episode and I actually can show you guys how it’s looking now. It’s actually in a semi-working order… [laughs]
Andrew: …at this point, so we’ll do that after we finish recording the show here. I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Matt: And I’m Matt Britton.
Andrew: Thanks everyone for listening and we’ll see you May 12th for Episode 198. Buh-bye!
[Show music continues]
[Andrew clears throat repeatedly]
[Matt clears throat]
Andrew: Welcome everyone back to the show! It’s a special episode today – oh, I don’t know. Hold on, I wasn’t feeling that intro. Welcome back everyone to the show! It’s a special – blah, blah, blah.
Blooper: Too Early for Andrew
Andrew: Okay, well, that wraps up Chapter-by-Chapter this week – or [laughs] duh, we’re already ahead of that. Blah bop, bop, bop, bop, bop, bop! Now – [sighs] it is too early, that’s my problem today.