Transcript #210

MuggleCast 210 Transcript

Show Intro

[Intro music begins]

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[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]

David Heyman: Hello this is David Heyman and I’m the producer of the Harry Potter films and this is MuggleCast.

[Show music begins]

Micah: Because the Floo Network just got X-rated, this is MuggleCast Episode 210 for October the 1st, 2010.

[show music continues]

Andrew: Welcome everyone to MuggleCast! It’s Episode 210, Micah and Laura are here, and – well, Eric’s supposed to be here, but as we all remember with Episode 208, he delayed us so long – if you listen to – I think I put in the bloopers, I’m not sure – he delayed us so long that poor Laura was on for only a half hour or 45 minutes, so this time we’re just starting without him!

Micah: We know how much everybody wants to hear Laura, so…

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: And less of Eric. [laughs]

[Laura laughs]

Micah: Yeah, we can’t only have her on for a half hour. That’s just not enough Laura.

Andrew: Right.

Laura: Well gosh, Micah…

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Laura: …I’m all flattered and stuff over here.

Micah: Well, it’s…

Andrew: Maybe I should leave.

Micah: It’s not me, it’s what the people who write in the e-mails have to say.

Andrew: Oh, sure.

Laura: Oooh.

Andrew: Sure, Micah.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: We’re on to you.

Micah: Oh, damn.

Andrew: Well, as always, there’s plenty of Deathly Hallows news to talk about, and we’re going to continue our Chapter-by-Chapter series, and also bring back an old favorite segment. And that would be Favorites.

Laura: Oh, man.

Andrew: The favorite Favorite segment.

Laura: I forgot about that one.

Andrew: So everyone get ready. I’m Andrew Sims.

Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.

Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

[Show music continues]

News: Deathly Hallows Posters

Andrew: Micah Tannenbaum, give us the news! What’s going on?

Micah: Well, actually today, Warner Bros. released hi-res versions of Deathly Hallows: Part I posters…

Andrew: Mmm!

Micah: …and I was wondering, did you guys have a chance to take a look at these yet?

Laura: Yeah!

Andrew: I – [laughs] – it’s funny, there’s this big emphasis on Part I with the, “they’re not at Hogwarts.” So we see these posters, and it’s Harry, Ron, and Hermione each behind – you see some London landmark in the background. [laughs] And Ron, he’s…

Laura laughs

Andrew: …in front of power plants, which is so funny to me!

Laura: [laughs] I know!

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: I just like the “nowhere is safe.” [laughs]

Andrew: [laughs] “Not even a power plant, because it’s toxic.”

Micah: Yeah, what’s up with that, though? To be honest with you, I really didn’t like the posters. They were a little weird, they didn’t really seem to fit with the whole Harry Potter theme even though, like you said, they’re not at Hogwarts anymore, but it just didn’t look right to me.

Laura: Well, it seems like they’re definitely trying to play up the action element of this, and I swear to God, every poster we get, they’re all cut up. [laughs] And I like how these, there’s blood splatters in them, I’m like “Really?” [laughs]

Andrew: I – yeah. [laughs]

Micah: Who’s doing the Photoshop?

Andrew: That is very odd, the red at the bottom of all of them. What’s going on there? What does that even mean? It looks like it’s out of V for Vendetta or Watchmen or something – another Warner Bros. film. But yeah, it’s definitely action-oriented, these posters. The camera is nice and low, and you’re sort of looking up at the actor, and it’s sort of god-like, and I like them actually. I don’t think they’re bad. My favorite one is actually Harry, maybe just because I have a crush on him, but the Ron and Hermione ones aren’t as cool as the Harry one I don’t think.

Laura: No, well, and…

Micah: It looks like armageddon, though…

Laura: [laughs] Yeah!

Micah: …in Harry’s poster.

Laura: And Andrew, you’re totally right, the Ron poster – he’s just not even in front of anything remotely significant. You look at…

Andrew: [laughs] It’s like it’s out of The Simpsons!

Laura: Yeah! You look at Harry and Hermione and they’re clearly in London, but Ron could be anywhere. It’s just – maybe – I don’t know, maybe that’s when he runs away. I don’t know, but it’s kind of silly.

Andrew: Well, there’s definitely – what happens with – we sort of get the idea from a couple of screen-caps we saw from the video game, the Snatchers find the trio around a power plant. Now…

Laura: Ah!

Andrew: …of course, this isn’t in the book, but obviously between the stills from the video games and now this poster, we know there’s definitely going to be some action-oriented scene – [laughs] – around a power plant.

Laura: Oh! Well great, so on top of the fact that they’re being sought out by the Snatchers, they’re going to get radiation poisoning. Awesome.

Andrew: And see Homer walk out of the office after a long day.

[Laura laughs]

News: J.K. Rowling on Oprah

Andrew: [laughs] What else is going on Micah, in the news?

Micah: Author J. K. Rowling will appear on the Oprah show…

Andrew: Hmm…

Micah: …tomorrow – we’re recording on Thursday night.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: So we don’t have much to say about it, other than the fact that she’s going to be on the show, and it’s going to be interesting to hear from Jo because he haven’t heard from her in quite some time. Hopefully she’ll shed a little bit of light on the encyclopedia and where she’s at with that.

Andrew: I know, it’s hard to say. We know Oprah’s going to ask the question, as it was teased already. Oprah’s going to ask the question: Will there ever be another Harry Potter?

Laura: Oh my God.

Andrew: So, we’ll get an answer like that. I imagine Jo’s going to give us the best hints yet. Because you know in the past when she has been asked about writing another Harry Potter book she sort of beats around the bush, and we know she’s working on an encyclopedia and we know she’s been busy writing, based on her tweets. So I hope she announces a – it would be very cool if she announced a book, but I’m not getting my hopes up. I feel like there would be more hype around this interview. They would want to promote that Jo was going to announce her next book with Oprah. You know what I mean?

Laura: Yeah, I just don’t see it happening, I just don’t…

Andrew: Me neither.

Laura: …see where else she could go with this without being very contrived. You know what I mean? Harry’s story is over, he’s grown and he has kids now. So I mean, what is she going to write about, like, Harry Potter and the Diaper Genie? Like, I just…

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Laura: I just don’t see it happening.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. Well I mean for Oprah’s audience, that’s the way you want to tease it: Will she ever write another Harry Potter? Of course hardcore fans just want to know when the Encyclopedia is coming out. [laughs]

Laura: Right.

Micah: I think you’re right though, Andrew. I think if that was going to be the case then they probably would have done a lot more PR around it.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah!

Micah: So…

Andrew: Oprah did mention this is one of her favorite interviews she has ever done, which is pretty exciting because I don’t watch Oprah that often, but I imagine that she doesn’t say that with every interview. [laughs] And they released a commercial the other day, it’s like a 30 second preview. And we see a couple of quick shots of Oprah firing the questions at Jo, and at one point Oprah says to Jo, “Is it true that you still ride the bus?” [laughs] And I’m like, “What?”

Laura: [laughs] What?

Andrew: Jo still rides the bus? Come on! If she says yes to that I will be very surprised because in the commercial, they edited it so Oprah asks the question and you see Jo cringe and look down and it looks all depressing. [laughs] But you know, is Oprah losing her touch? Surely J.K. Rowling does not ride public transit? [laughs]

Laura: Well, it’s possible when you think about where she lives.

Andrew: What? Possible – what? Like people wouldn’t recogniZe her?

Laura: Well no, I mean, it’s the sort of – I’ve never been to Edinburgh, but from what I’ve heard it’s sort of the – kind of a small town, like a small city-type community, almost.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: And the fact of the matter is, we’re one of the only countries in the world where people drive everywhere. I mean, everywhere else tends to have very good public transit.

Andrew: But come on, Laura! Jo? Jo can afford having her own private…

Laura: But she doesn’t…

Andrew: …car.

Laura: …drive. Didn’t you guys know that? She actually – don’t you remember hearing that? She never learned to drive, or she doesn’t have a driver’s license.

Andrew: Yeah, I’m not saying she drives. I’m saying someone drives her around.

Laura: You actually…? I don’t know. I don’t know that she would be pretentious enough to have a chauffeur.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Well we – didn’t we have this conversation, though, about flying, though, too, when she was writing Deathly Hallows? She was taking the manuscript back overseas with her or something along those lines and she was getting on a Virgin Atlantic or a British Airways flight, and we were thinking to ourselves, “Wouldn’t she have a private plane that would take her?”

Andrew: I do not remember that, but…

Laura: Yeah, I do remember this.

Andrew: And she took a public – a regular flight?

Micah: Yeah. Because they wouldn’t let her get on the plane with the manuscript, which was in this massive briefcase. And I guess she didn’t want to check it.

Andrew: Mm. Oh. Oh. Right.

Micah: So…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: I wouldn’t want to check it either. That’s a lot of money that’s in that suitcase.

Andrew: I mean, where would Jo even have gotten that question from, about the bus? Wouldn’t we have known that? So why would Oprah – is there a rumor going around that Jo rides the bus?

[Micah laughs]

Laura: We’re clearly just not good enough fans.

Micah: For fun, she just rides the bus all day.

Andrew: Rides it, “Whoo!”

Micah: She could buy the bus.

Andrew: [as J.K. Rowling] “Oh, I’m riding the bus!” And I mean, if she’s riding on the bus, she can certainly spend some more time Twittering.

Micah: Exactly.

Andrew: What are you going to do when you’re riding the bus?

Laura: I don’t know…

Andrew: Nobody reads.

Laura: Maybe…

Andrew: Everybody Tweets now.

Laura: Maybe she doesn’t have a smartphone, Andrew. You never know.

Andrew: [as J.K. Rowling] “I am riding the bus!”

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Andrew: [as J.K. Rowling] “I’m riding it around town! It’s a beautiful day!”

Micah: All right, it’s time to move on.

Andrew: Yes. Before we move on, we’d like to remind everyone that this podcast is brought to you by, the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, and featuring audio versions of many New York Times Bestsellers. For listeners of MuggleCast, Audible is offering a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their service. One audiobook to consider is The Hunger Games, a thrilling young adult novel that’s actually part of a great trilogy. Nearly all the hosts of MuggleCast have read it, and we all really highly recommend it. So for a free audiobook of your choice, such as The Hunger Games, go to That’s

News: Deathly Hallows Casting

Micah: Well, we got some new casting news for Deathly Hallows: Part II, particularly for the epilogue scene. Ryan Turner will play Hugo Weasley. That seemed to be everybody’s favorite choice in the comment section. Will Dunn will play James Sirius Potter and Arthur Bowen will play Albus Severus.

Andrew: Yeah, I saw – somebody did a side-by-side comparison of this Hugo Weasley actor next to the young Ron, or young Rupert Grint back when he was first cast, and they actually do look very similar…

Laura: They do.

Andrew: …so that was a great casting.

Micah: …and also Ellie Darcey-Alden will play young Lily Evans, and the article that we got this from also mentioned that Rohan Gotobed – that’s an interesting last name…

Andrew: [speaking quickly to pronounce name differently] Gotobed.

Micah: …was cast as a young Sirius Black, so they will be doing those flashback scenes…

Andrew: Oh, good.

Micah: …from Part II, so I’m sure everybody is looking forward to that.

Laura: That’s going to be cool.

News: Deathly Hallows Music and Release Date for Soundtrack

Andrew: What other Deathly Hallows news is going on?

Micah: There’s news on the music front, Andrew.

Andrew: Oh!

Micah: Yeah. Conrad Pope, a composer who is apparently working with Alexandre Desplat for the score of Deathly Hallows: Part I, updated his Facebook profile – we get news from everywhere…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: …with the following information: “Just finished the first week with the LSO of recording Alexandre Desplat’s score for HP7. Harry Potter now occupies a new musical universe. For Lovegood, A.D. has written a charming, groovin’ theme. Dobby, too, is given a new voice. The emotional music reaches its climax in Ron’s speech in the wilderness where the poetry of A.D. conveys the emotion in a single chord’s voicing. Stay tuned.”

Andrew and



Andrew: Sounds very technical.

Micah: Yeah. Well, I think A.D. stands for…

Andrew: Assistant…

Micah: …Alexandre Desplat, or no…

Andrew: …oh, right, of course. Yeah.

Micah: …yeah, he’s trying to get creative there, but he was not fooling me.

Andrew: Yeah, so Dobby has a new voice, that’s interesting. Not literally a voice, but his new tune so-to-speak.

Micah: Does he sound like a mouse or something?

Andrew: No, no, he’s saying voice like the background music for him, right?

Micah: Oh, yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Interesting. Also, we got a release date for the score: November the 16th, the soundtrack will go on sale, so pre-order Andrew.

Andrew: I wonder what Dobby’s old voice was – what was his old score? I don’t remember that. I may have to watch Chamber of Secrets to refresh my mind.

News: Nick Moran Discusses The Darkness Of The Film

Micah: You just might. The last piece of Deathly Hallows news was Nick Moran, the actor who’s going to play Scabior, a snatcher which is a new character, not in the book. He revealed in an interview that some scenes were cut because they were too gory, and the quote was: “The scenes I did were really really dark – really really dark. Well, when I went to see them, they cut some of the worst bits out, and I was talking to producer David Heyman saying, ‘Oh no – why is that gone?’ He said, apparently, it was like watching Saw.”

Andrew: [laughs] Ah…

Laura: I don’t believe it was that bad.

Micah: Yeah, I don’t think so.

Laura: They say this every time, they’re always like, oh, this scene was really dark, so we had to cut it, because it was just too violent. And I’m like, yeah…

Andrew: It’s the darkest one yet!

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Laura: …yeah, exactly.

Micah: Well, it would have been interesting to ask Eric about that though, because he’s seen the movie, but apparently they cut those scenes out anyway, so it wouldn’t have made much of a difference.

Laura: Yeah, well, Eric’s not here, so that doesn’t make much of a difference either.

[Everyone laughs]

Muggle Mail: Is Deathly Hallows Comparison to WWII Appropriate?

Andrew: Well, in terms of darkness, we have an e-mail I was going to save for Muggle Mail, but I’d like to do it now since it’s sort of the same topic, and I really want to get Laura’s take. It comes from Sam, 19, of Toronto. He writes:

“Hi guys! After listening to Episode 209 and watching the trailer myself, I was a bit concerned with the fact that the movie will have scenes that are strongly reminiscent of the Holocaust. While I do agree that parts of the book reminded me of this, I am not sure how appropriate it is to have such blatant similarities, such as the red armbands those Ministry officials wear. Many people are likely to get offended by this. I was wondering what your guys’ opinion on the matter is.”

Now, Laura, did you see the Part I trailer? Yeah, and I don’t know if you caught it, but during the Ministry of Magic scenes, when you see shots of the Ministry, there are Ministry officials wearing red armbands, and it was very apparent what it was and what it was resembling. What’s your take on that? Do you think that’s appropriate?

Laura: I don’t know. I think you’re going to see this kind of reflection in any film that deals with the war scenario. In Order of the Phoenix, for instance, do you remember the big black and white poster they had of Fudge?

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: That was very reminiscent of Stalin…

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: …so I don’t know, I guess it goes both ways, and I think it’s one of those things where if you’re looking for something like that, you’re going to find it, but you can also look at these movies and these books and dig out a number of other [laughs] references to dictatorships and wars and messed-up societies, so, I don’t know.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: Obviously, I think World War II is more prevalent because it’s the one that people are most familiar with, especially due to the Holocaust, but I don’t know. These sorts of things happen with corrupt people. They come up with silly armbands, and they take symbols that were originally from Asian culture that meant peace, and turn them on their side, and then you have the swastika, so – [laughs] I don’t know.

Andrew: Yeah. I think it is okay for them to have it in the film. I think it really connects the Wizarding World to the real world, and it makes you realize what it was like.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: So I think it’s okay.

Micah: I think, definitely, it’s a way for David Yates to be able to make the connection a lot stronger, as you were saying, Andrew. I think – there’s nothing wrong with it – I think he wants to drive home the point that the Ministry is corrupt and it’s an absolute power and the best way to do that is to draw the parallel to Nazi Germany.

Andrew: All right, well, let’s continue with the news.

News: Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire Ultimate Edition Clips

Micah: Okay. We got some clips from the Ultimate Editions of Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire, and the first was “Creating the World of Harry Potter” documentary, and it focused on Part Three, which is Creatures, and in that particular scene, crew members discussed how they designed goblins. It also features some great never-before-seen concept art, and I took a look at the clip earlier – Andrew, you have both of the Ultimate Editions for Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets?

Andrew: That’s right, Micah.

Micah: You do, okay. No, because – this is the reason why you go out and buy them, right? I mean, more or less.

Andrew: Yeah. This is the best – for anyone who doesn’t know, the Ultimate Editions – they released the Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets Ultimate Editions last year. They are releasing the Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire Ultimate Editions this year, and the special thing about these Ultimate Editions is that they have one part of an eight part documentary looking at everything in the Harry Potter fandom – in the Harry Potter universe! The creation of the creatures, like Micah mentioned, finding the stars, composing the scores – there’s going to be one part on the Harry Potter fandom, I think on the Half-Blood Prince or Deathly Hallows: Part I documentary. So, it’s really cool…

Micah: Are you featured in that fandom piece?

Andrew: …yeah, I made that whole thing.

Micah: Oh, you did? Oh.

Andrew: I made that whole part, yeah.

Laura: Andrew made the fandom, didn’t you know that, Micah?

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: You know what, actually, I really hope that Warner Bros. approaches the fan sites about that because how could you not include the fan sites in a whole thing about the Harry Potter fandom?

Micah: It’s true. You raise a good point.

Andrew: It’d be ridiculous. What else are they going to talk about? They could talk about the fans turning up to the premieres, and the book releases, but anyway – the best part about these Ultimate Editions is the documentary because when it’s all said and done, we’re going to have this beautiful eight – nine – hour documentary looking at everything that the Harry Potter franchise has created. It’s really special, and the packaging – you get a little booklet with each one too that has some really nice concept art and stills, so it’s really cool and I can’t wait to have the entire set. It’s going to be great.

Micah: Yeah, so, go to the site check out the clips, as you mentioned, the one from Goblet of Fire is on the music and the composing side of things, and the one from Prisoner of Azkaban – as we talked about – has the goblins and also how they went about designing the Dementors, and both of them are on sale October 19th, so this month…

Andrew: Yes.

Micah: …and we may or may not be running a promotion to give away Ultimate Edition DVDs.

Andrew: Can I enter to win?

Micah: No, sorry.

Andrew: Mm.

Micah: You are a MuggleNet staffer; therefore you are prohibited from entering the contest.

Andrew: [chuckles] Oh!

Micah: But it will be a great contest. We did it before with the last two Ultimate Editions. We also gave away a Blu-ray player, and we will be doing that again.

Andrew: Sweet! Blu-ray is the way to go, by the way. Especially for the Harry Potter films. They look great.

News: Wizarding World Expansion

Micah: Yep. All right. Final bit of news, we touched on it briefly in the live show but we didn’t have too much time to talk about it. Apparently, the Wizarding World could expand within the next 12 months.

Andrew: Well, I – see – I don’t think they’re going to do it in the next 12 months…

Micah: Oh.

Andrew: …but they sent out a survey to people who have visited the park and they said, “What if instead of expanding it, we double the size of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? How likely will you be to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter again within the next 12 months to visit a Wizarding World of Harry Potter that was twice as big with twice as much of everything?” So, you select “Very likely,” “Likely,” “Somewhat likely,” “Not very likely,” and “Not at all likely,” and it’s very interesting! What this says is, yeah, they are – they don’t want to just expand it, they want to double it! They want to see if doubling it would get everyone back to the park, and I hope…

Laura: That’s awesome!

Andrew: …yeah, and I hope many people selected “Very likely” because…

Laura: As long as we don’t have to watch another freaking promotional video that’s an hour long before we can get in.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: …yeah. Well that was before the little party in the park, Laura. Not everyone has to see those, you know.

Laura: Yeah! Yeah, okay. You know very well that if they do this we’re going to end up having another one of those night-in-the-park events.

Andrew: [laughs] Yes.

Laura: I – you know what? I’m already there, Universal. I don’t need you to sell it to me, thanks.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Well…

Andrew: Yeah. So, it’s exciting! I hope they do. I don’t think it’ll happen within a year. I think, maybe two years. Even that’s pushing it, I think.

News: Forbidden Journey Size Restrictions Update

Micah: …and just kind of a follow-up on the story – I think we did it on Episode 208 of the gentleman who couldn’t ride the Forbidden Journey because of a weight problem.

Andrew: Yeah, we talked about that on the last episode.

Micah: Yeah, but apparently they fixed some of the seats so that now…

Andrew: Oh, right!

Micah: …you can go, and you can ride, for people who might be – have a little bit more weight on them.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Laura: Have different body dimensions, Micah.

Micah: What was previous – they have a whole lighting system in place now.

Andrew: So it’ll tell you if you’re too big for the regular seats. You have to sit in one of the larger seats, so to speak, and…

Micah: It’s just so terrible though. You’d think that they would make this ride so that everybody could ride it. The fact that we’re even having this discussion is a little bit unsettling.

Andrew: Yeah, I mean it can get complicated though, I mean designing these rides. I’m sure – at least they added a seat that lets more people ride it.

Laura: Yeah. I don’t know. Well, I was also reading about that as well, and what Micah is describing is it’s like a green, a yellow and a red light. So like if you get a green light then you can sit in any seat, if you get a yellow light you have to sit in a modified seat, and if you get a red one you still can’t ride. Can you imagine being the person who still gets a red light? That would suck…

Andrew: Oh, gosh, yeah, that’s not good.

Laura: …so bad. I would be devastated.

Andrew: Yeah. That’s not good. But there you go. So that’s all the news, Micah?

Micah: That is all the news I have.

MuggleCast 210 Transcript (continued)

Chapter-by-Chapter: “Mayhem at the Ministry”

Andrew: All right. Well, don’t sit back – kick back just yet. It’s time now for Chapter-by-Chapter, and you are guiding us through the first chapter.

Micah: Oh, that’s right. I didn’t even notice. [laughs]

Andrew: Chapter Ten: “Mayhem at the Ministry.”

Micah: All right. Well, everybody, remember that when we last left off they were at the Quidditch World Cup, the Death Eaters had their little fun by hanging Muggles in the air, and now everybody is returning back to their homes and the Weasleys return to the Burrow. And the first people that Mrs. Weasley goes for are Fred and George. And remember on 208 we had this whole discussion about why doesn’t Mrs. Weasley just leave the two of them alone, give them their space to plan their joke shop, and stop being so hard on them, and it’s interesting that she says, “Oh, I can’t believe the last thing that I did was essentially yell at you guys and hear you go off to the Quidditch World Cup and you almost get killed.” So it seems that events like that always change people’s perspectives on silly situations.

Laura: Yep, she’ll be regretting that one in three years.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Micah: Ouch.

Andrew: Do you think Mrs. Weasley had a major change of heart after this, now that her worst fear had almost come to fruition? Like it sort of made her realize like…

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: “Oh, man, I should stop treating them this way. What if I do lose them? Because we are at war!”

Micah: Yeah, well, it’s interesting because later on in the chapter, Fred and George continue to play it up every time Mrs. Weasley might have the opportunity to reprimand them for something they say, “Oh, well, what if we go off to Hogwarts and the train crashes and we both die? Think about the last thing that you’ll have said to us.”

Andrew: [laughs] That was pretty funny.

Micah: Yeah. They’re definitely taking advantage of it. So – but we learn in this chapter about one of our favorite characters, Rita Skeeter.

Micah: We get our first introduction to her because she writes a terrible account of what happened at the Quidditch World Cup, and Percy in particular calls her a terrible woman. I don’t remember exactly, but I think his attitude towards her does change a bit as we move towards Order of the Phoenix and she starts writing all those things about Harry and Dumbledore. So it was interesting how when she was attacking the Ministry, Percy thinks she’s a terrible woman, but as the books progress and she is supportive of the Ministry and against Dumbledore, he begins to take her side.

Andrew: Yeah, and Rita’s intro was actually kind of quick. It wasn’t a typical character intro, like one we’re going to get a little later on with Mad-Eye Moody, and we’ll talk about that major intro when we get there. But Rita’s, it sort of just slipped by. There wasn’t too much of an introduction. We just heard that Rita Skeeter had written the article and that was it, but of course we learn a lot more about her later on.

Micah: Yeah, and J.K. Rowling has a tendency to do that sometimes, I think.

Andrew: Yeah, we talked about that recently actually.

Micah: Yeah, she did it with Cho Chang, she did it with Cedric Diggory, both during Quidditch and it was kind of just in passing. So she has this way of intro-ing characters that come into play later on in the series. Now Arthur Weasley has this little bit of an argument with Molly, and he decides it is important to put his job above his family, and he spends a lot of time at the Ministry over the course of the week that takes place in the chapter. Now my question was, is he really that valuable to the Ministry or do you think he just feels bad about the statement that he made that Rita used in the paper? Because he’s not that high-ranking of an official, he may be within his department, but as far as the hierarchy of the Ministry is concerned, he’s not that high up there. So I just wonder if he’s doing it more to atone for what he said.

Andrew: Well, I wonder at what point he doesn’t put his job above his family. Where is the threshold? Because you should see your kids off to school, though granted I do agree with you the second part of your question, I think he just felt bad about his statement more than anything, and he explained that in this chapter. He said, “I feel so bad, it’s all my fault, this wouldn’t have happened.”

Micah: Now during this conversation, they all eventually head off, and Harry reveals to Ron and Hermione that he kept his scar hurting from both of them and he had written to Sirius. Now I can’t remember, but is this the first time he’s kept something big from them and he’s chosen to go to Sirius instead? He has sort of that godfather figure now, kind of like a parent. Does he feel more comfortable going to Sirius? Or he just thinks Sirius will understand and not overreact?

Laura: Well, I do think it is the first time, Micah. I think you’re right about that, and I think also judging based on previous events, like the way we’ve seen both Ron and Hermione react. Ron is just typical flabbergasted and doesn’t really offer much input, and Hermione just flips. So, it’s sort of probably a combination of him wanting to retain some amount of normalcy with his friends while at the same time taking advantage of this new father figure he has.

Andrew: Eric is joining us now. Eric, where were you?

Eric: I know this isn’t your political podcast, Andrew, but I feel like I need to take this opportunity to lobby for better infrastructure in Chicago. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like highways, by definition, are supposed to be able to handle sort of high volumes of traffic. So, when it’s not even rush hour and cars are bumper to bumper, it’s kind of an issue.

Andrew: Well, I’m sorry you got stuck in a traffic jam, but – we had to start without you. We just had to record.

Eric: I understand.

Micah: So during this time, we are introduced also to the Weasley’s grandfather clock. As Arthur is spending a lot of time at the Ministry, Harry notices this grandfather clock on the wall, and I think it’s the first time that it’s described. I believe it was mentioned in Chamber of Secrets, but this is the first time we get a full analysis of it. It kind of tells you what the clock does. It points to all the different members of the Weasley family and what they’re doing. I was wondering, who would make something like this? [laughs] I don’t know…

[Eric laughs]

Micah: Dumbledore I think talks about it later on in the series, how much he likes the clock in the Weasley’s kitchen area. So, I don’t know… it seems like something cool and useful to have, to know where everybody is and what they’re doing.

Laura: I don’t know, it seems sort of Big Brother-ish to me. Kind of freaks me out.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, I used to think it was cool, but now I just think it’s creepy.

Eric: Like if you had a…

Andrew: Because…

Micah: Well, it’s limited in description.

Andrew: Yeah…

Eric: So do you think you could purchase a clock, for instance, if Laura went into the clock shop – I’m sure it’s just some independent clockmaker – and she was like, could you make me a Johnny Depp clock? I need to know exactly where he is at all times.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: Do you think they’d be able to do that?

Laura: I hope so.

Micah: Might be.

Andrew: I could use that for other people.

Laura: Oho! Like who?

Micah: Now, is this clock in the movie?

Eric and


Yeah! It’s in Chamber of Secrets.

Andrew: Yeah, you see their heads, and their heads sort of react to the hands on the clock moving around. They’re sort of looking up and stuff. It was clever. This was actually one of the things that I think Microsoft attempted to make in real life. I remember there was a news article about this a really long time ago.

Micah: In addition to the Invisibility Cloak?

Andrew: Right. I’m going to do a quick Google search just to check, but – yeah. It was back in August 2007. There’s an article on Boing Boing dot – sorry, back in 2005, at an internal tech-fest, and Microsoft – [laughs] they tried to make one. So, it’s cool!

Eric: [laughs] That’s a good memory Andrew.

Andrew: It’s one of the cooler items in the Harry Potter world, I think. Albeit, creepy.

Micah: Yeah, definitely.

Eric: It’s kind of like Twitter status update for wizards!

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Right.

Micah: Eric, you put the next point in here. One of the things that Arthur shares with the family is all the Howler trouble that the Ministry is having, and you pointed out that Howlers are one of those things they probably wish they hadn’t invented but not enough to do anything about it. Couldn’t they stop them somehow? The reason we bring this up though is the Ministry is being bombarded with Howlers after the Quidditch World Cup, and you also ask how many wizards are requesting Ministry compensation for possessions that were lost. I don’t know.

Andrew: But isn’t that sort of like saying in our world, in the Muggle world, why don’t politicians just figure out a way to stop political smear campaigns? Like this is just one of those things you have to deal with in the world. There are these magical items called Howlers, and the Ministry can’t keep them out. I mean, maybe they were designed to get anywhere to serve this exact purpose because you want to make sure this person is getting your message. And if the Ministry can’t block them…

Eric: So Howlers as pioneers of free speech?

Andrew: Right, yeah! Yeah, it’s free speech, and it’s getting your message where it belongs.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: I never thought of it like that.

Andrew: So it’s like a protest, sort of. You don’t have to go out and protest. You just send Howlers.

Micah: The compensation for possessions thing is interesting though. I wonder what would have happened here if everybody affected by Katrina went to our president and asked to be compensated for their lost possessions.

Eric: Weren’t they?

Andrew: They did get some money.

Micah: Yeah, but there were nowhere near compensated.

Eric: Percy is going on about this and how people are trying to defraud the Ministry into replacing their items supposedly lost at the Quidditch World Cup fiasco. And that’s what this whole chapter is about, is this whole fiasco and how the Ministry deals with it. But I thought it was interesting, and obviously it’s slightly humorous, but Percy is ranting here about people who are submitting false reports.

Micah: Yeah, especially Mundungus Fletcher, which you pointed out.

Eric: [laughs] The twelve-bedroom tent with ensuite jacuzzi. But Percy knows for a fact he was sleeping under a cloak propped on sticks. This is J.K. Rowling when – I mean, it’s just so enjoyable, reading this.

Andrew: And that happens all the time in the real world too, I’m sure. People try to get more then they’ve actually lost.

Eric: Insurance.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Micah: And what happens during this conversation that they’re having at dinner is we get our first look at Percy starting to side with the Ministry over his family. And he says: “Well father feels he’s got to make up for his mistake at the match, doesn’t he? If truth be told, he was a tad unwise to make a public statement without clearing it with his head of department first.” And Mrs. Weasley yells at him for making that statement, “Don’t talk about your father that way.” But we see the development already of Percy, and…

Andrew: This has sort of been building up, too, hasn’t it?

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: I mean, we’ve seen Percy speak so highly of the Ministry and so he really stands for it – and then now that he sees his family being mad at the Ministry causing – essentially the Ministry causing his family to lose their dad for the day – it’s frustrating that they feel frustrated at the Ministry.

Micah: Right.

Andrew: So there’s my convoluted sentence. But my point is…

Micah: No, I know what you’re saying.

Andrew: …my point is he’s trying to defend the Ministry, because he loves them so much. He’s been saying it this whole book so far.

Micah: Yeah, and this is all happening at dinner before Arthur arrives, and I thought it was ironic that Molly says that: “Arthur hadn’t spent this much time at the Ministry since the days of You-Know-Who.” And my comment was, “Well, guess what, Molly?”

Eric: [laughs] He’s back. He’s back.

Micah: [laughs] Yeah, exactly. Well, I mean, it’s a little bit ironic I thought that she would say that. But when Arthur does finally arrive home we learn that Rita Skeeter has found out about Bertha Jorkins – that she has gone missing. And I don’t know how some big piece of information like that gets leaked, but I guess it’s just one of those examples of the press getting hold of information that they shouldn’t have. Arthur also mentions Winky during the conversation, and this sets off a huge argument, and you see the beginnings of S.P.E.W. in some of the statements that Hermione makes, because she stands up a lot for Winky throughout the course of the conversation. Did you guys notice that?

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. And it’s really – and this is one of the first times we see Hermione being a true leader. I mean, there’s other examples in the other books, but this is really one of her most ambitious projects yet – or at least, it will be, later in this book.

Micah: Yeah. And just going back to Percy for a second though, I mean – it’s interesting that he’ll defend the Ministry even though the Minister – or, sorry, Barty Crouch Sr. – can’t even remember his name. It just goes to show you how dense of a character he is.

Andrew: Well – and how much he loves the Ministry. He’s just delusional about it.

Micah: Someone had sent in an interesting question, though, about this. Do you think Barty Crouch Sr. couldn’t remember Percy’s name because he was already under the Imperius Curse?

Andrew: Oh, yeah, maybe…

Laura: That’s possibly – possible.

Andrew: …that’s what it is.

Micah: So after all this – arguments take place, they go upstairs to pack for school, and Ron finds that he has some second-hand clothing from – I don’t know, the Salvation Army of Wizards [laughs] and that he’s going to have to be wearing formal attire at some point this year. And you really see how bothered by all this Ron is, because Harry, of course, has these brand new, better-looking, formal clothes to take to school. And you know it’s a money issue. And don’t you think Mrs. Weasley could be a little bit more – you know what I’m saying? She knows that by doing these types of things or buying something along those lines, it sets Ron up for…

Andrew: Bullying?

Micah: …being made fun of.

Andrew: Yeah. But this is the family. The family just can’t afford it. If she listened to you and decided to buy him new robes, then the family couldn’t eat for a week, so.

Eric: Plus…

Micah: Why couldn’t she fix…

Eric: What?

Listener Tweet: Dress Robes

Micah: What? I was going to go to the tweet that somebody sent in, “Tstarkeyy” wrote:

“Why can’t Mrs. Weasley just fix Ron’s dress robes? She’s like the queen of all things domestic.”

[Eric laughs]

Micah: [laughs] “I’m sure she could make the needle and thread sew themselves.”

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Well, because then Draco couldn’t make fun of Ron later on in the book.

Eric: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew: Everything happens for a reason.

Eric: “Queen of all things domestic.” I’m going to use that in something. It’s a very, very nice way of saying that she’s a stay-at-home mom.

Andrew: And Harry mentions here he wishes he could give the Weasleys half his fortune, but they just wouldn’t accept it. I mean, maybe give Ron some money under the table and buy some stuff on his own in Diagon Alley.

Eric: It worked for the Weasley twins.

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: Plus, Ron is Harry Potter’s friend. What does he possibly have to be sad about? [laughs] He’s friends with Harry Potter.

Listener Tweet: Harry’s Vault

Micah: Yeah. And the other thing that we can bring up was “LoGiants55” wrote in and asked: “How can the Weasleys get gold out of Harry’s vault? It’s always bothered me.”

Laura: That’s like any other bank account. You can put another account holder on there who can access the money.

Micah: Yeah.

Laura: Maybe.

Micah: I guess that’s probably what Harry did. All right, and that wraps up Chapter 10. Andrew.

Chapter-by-Chapter: “Aboard the Hogwarts Express”

Andrew: Okay, now it’s time for Chapter 11, “Aboard the Hogwarts Express.” This is always one of the chapters I look forward to the most, because heading back to school for another year – at least in the first six books. So, Harry, for the first time sees what it’s like to communicate with someone via fireplace, this was right at the beginning – they’re talking to Amos Diggory and we see here that Mrs. Weasley is even able to feed Amos a piece of toast through the fire, and I had forgotten this happened, because in the movie you just see Harry talking to Sirius through the fireplace so [laughs] I just thought – imagine all the possibilities you can do – you can transfer items through a fireplace…

Laura: Diseases.

Andrew: …without Floo Powder, and Eric suggested you could even do something else very inappropriate that I won’t mention on this show, but I think you’re right…

Eric: Through a fireplace.

Andrew: Yeah, there’s all these things you can do through the fireplace…

Laura: Well…

Andrew: …including feeding someone.

Laura: …man, that just eliminates the problem of the long distance relationship.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Micah: Yeah, but…

Eric: It’s also – Laura, it’s also pretty hot, wouldn’t you say?

Laura: Ugh. Eric.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Hey Laura, I’ll meet you at our respective fireplaces tonight.

Micah: You don’t want the Ministry watching, though, because don’t they monitor the network?

Andrew: Oh, right. Darn it.

Eric: Oh, don’t tell me you don’t want somebody watching. Come on, it adds to the fun, Micah.

Andrew: So, I just – I just thought that was kind of funny that you could feed toast and probably so much more through the fireplace.

Eric: [laughs] Sorry.

Andrew: But I wonder, why couldn’t humans just transfer their bodies through it? Does it – is it just because somehow the face makes that open connection and then…

Eric: In the movie – I mean, you can transfer bodies through that’s how the Floo Network works, but…

Andrew: But is this the Floo – are they talking through the Floo Network?

Eric: Doesn’t – in one of the movies doesn’t somebody use Floo Powder just like normal Floo Powder, but only put their head in? Or, actually, that’s even in the books – I think Order of the Phoenix, maybe where it’s – it works the same way as the Floo Network, but instead of putting your whole body through you just put your head through. I feel like that’s Order of the Phoenix the book somewhere where they just do that so…

Micah: Yeah, well…

Eric: …as a result…

Micah: …Harry does that…

Eric: …you’re in both places…

Micah: …in Umbridge’s office when he’s going to try and find Sirius and he runs into Kreacher.

Eric: So that’s how it works.

Micah: Yeah, I mean, that’s just one example…

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: …he does it in this movie – this book, too when he talks to Sirius.

Eric: Well Sirius talks to him, he doesn’t. Does he go through the fireplace to talk to Sirius?

Micah: Oh yeah, I see what you’re saying.

Eric: Yeah, Sirius – but that’s what I’m saying, so this is just a thing where Amos Diggory – before he leaves, Molly gives him a piece of toast and he says, “Thanks,” and he’s obviously chewing it. So, it’s just like the regular Floo Network, only you’re not actually leaving, you’re still kneeling at home. It’s just your head is transferring through the fireplace – it’s magic.

Andrew: Yeah, okay, I just looked it up quick and according to the Harry Potter Lexicon, which – and they got this information from Goblet of Fire – you can use the Floo Network just to speak with another Floo connection rather than traveling there. So, yes, this is on the Floo Network, very good. All right, so that answers my question. You can transfer your body [laughs].

So, the gang heads to King’s Cross and Bill drops a few hints about the Triwizard Tournament, but still doesn’t reveal exactly what’s going on. And this time it’s really bugging – I think it was Ron who said, “What? What? Tell us. Tell us, already!” And while on the Hogwarts Express, Harry – while overhearing a conversation that Draco’s having, learns that Durmstrang – learns about Durmstrang for the first time. And of course, we’ll be learning much more about them throughout this book thanks to the TriWizard Tournament. As the trio continue talking about Durmstrang on their own, Hermione reveals that Hogwarts cannot be seen by outsiders. It just looks like an old ruin with an old sign that says, “Danger. Do Not Enter. Unsafe.” I’m wondering what if someone does try to get in? What happens? Does it push you away?

Eric: [sighs] Yeah, I wonder what kind of ruin it is. Is it a ruin that is exactly shaped? Same walls, same…

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Eric: …everything as Hogwarts? Because that’s a pretty impressive ruin.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Or if it’s just a sign like – then again if there is such a thing as being unplottable, it’s very possible that you walk up to the cliff and you’re actually nowhere near Hogwarts, so.

Andrew: Yeah. I mean, that’s sort of what I’m thinking – if Hogwarts is unplottable like Hermione says. So, I wonder if you see the old ruin and if you approach it maybe you can walk into it but it’s not Hogwarts. It’s just the old ruin.

Laura: I don’t know.

Andrew: We don’t know for sure.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: What was the one with the appointment? That was the Quidditch World Cup?

Eric: That was – yeah, that was specifically the Quidditch World Cup. So Hermione, having read “Hogwarts, A History” did not make that same connection about Hogwarts, but she said maybe it’s like the Quidditch World Cup where you do remember that you’ve forgotten something important.

Andrew: Yeah, that could be. I’m sure Dumbledore has the right protections in place. I mean, that’s for sure. So, moving along – where was I? Draco comes in and asks Harry and Ron if they’ll compete. But they don’t know what he’s talking about. This was the same thing Bill was hinting at. So Draco makes fun of Arthur and Percy’s inability to get secret big information because Draco just assumed that Arthur and Percy didn’t even know, when in fact [laughs] pretty much the entire Weasley family knew about it except for the trio. Well, all the Hogwarts students didn’t know about it in the Weasley family, of course. So this makes Ron push Draco out, and Eric do you want to just go ahead and take this point?

Eric: Yeah. When they walk in on Draco earlier in the train, he’s talking about his dad knowing Karkaroff and he’s bragging about the event. And then when he comes in and taunts Harry and Ron and Hermione about it, he talks about his father knowing about it weeks and weeks and months ago. He says particularly that Cornelius Fudge himself told Lucius Malfoy about the Triwizard Tournament. Obviously he doesn’t mention what it is to them, but he says that Fudge himself told Lucius. So this is – I felt like this was setting Lucius Malfoy up because he’s – we find out about Durmstrang in this chapter and Durmstrang is this school where they practice Dark Arts, and the headmaster at this Dark Arts heavy school is good friends with Lucius Malfoy. And it’s just setting up – obviously we know that Karkaroff was formally a Death Eater, has the Dark Mark. And so Lucius and Karkaroff are probably BFFs.

Listener Tweet: Foreshadowing

Andrew: And we have a tweet here related to this topic. “BDailey2” writes:

“Doesn’t it seem like a little foreshadowing to Voldy’s return when Malfoy talks so openly about wanting to practice Dark Arts on the train?”

Micah: Well, I don’t know if it’s foreshadowing, though. Because now they don’t even know that Voldemort is back – even Lucius doesn’t know that. He was just as shocked to see the Dark Mark at the Quidditch World Cup as anybody else – we learn that later on. I mean, all the Death Eaters were scared because none of them had conjured it up. So, I don’t think it was necessarily foreshadowing because even then, Draco has no idea that Voldemort is back.

Eric: Yeah. It’s more like setup and payoff. In Year 4 Malfoy’s on the train complaining about how he can’t do more Dark Arts, and then in Movie 6 Malfoy is inducted as a Death Eater into Voldemort’s inner circle and he’s thinking the exact opposite. It’s ironic.

Micah: Yeah. He’s ready to wet his pants.

Eric: [laughs] While he’s on the train. So…

Micah: Yeah. He’s so scared.

Eric: It could just be the journey. It’s a long journey. On the train.

Andrew: To wrap up this chapter, right before they arrive at a rainy Hogwarts, Eric in all his inappropriateness put down this quote: “‘Ron’s bad mood continued for the rest of the train journey. He didn’t even speak much while they were changing into their robes.’ Isn’t this because he can see Hermione’s underthings?” writes Eric. Oh, Eric. You wished you were Ron.

Eric: She says they changed into their robes, you know. Whatever. It was funny.

Andrew: And Chapter 12, Eric. It’s all you. You made it just in time.

[Music plays out the show]

MuggleCast 210 Transcript (continued)

Chapter-by-Chapter: “The Triwizard Tournament”

Eric: Chapter 12: “The Triwizard Tournament”. All right, so the trio encounter their worst trip to Hogwarts. It’s rainy, rainy, rainy, rainy. Ron says the lake might overflow. But regardless, first year students are still crossing the lake to get to the school. Harry remarks about this. He asks Hagrid about it. Hagrid’s all “Oh, it’s going to be a big one!” All that stuff. So, isn’t this a safety hazard? I mean, these first years – you see them later – they show up in the Great Hall and Dennis Creevey is under Hagrid’s coat. He fell in the lake. Couldn’t they have – surely there is room, or there could be room in the carriages that take the rest of the students up? I feel like the storm is a little dangerous. Do they not care about…?

Micah: But it’s a rite of passage.

Andrew: Exactly! It’s a tradition. They wouldn’t want to go through their years of Hogwarts knowing that their first year they didn’t do what everyone else did, take the boats up. It’s very beautiful and kind of eerie.

Eric: Not in a storm!

Andrew: Like we saw in the first movie.

Eric: Well, right, but my point is…

Andrew: It makes it all the more special.

Eric: It depends on the storm, I would argue. If it’s cloudy and – what about on a foggy first day at Hogwarts? Foggy September 1st?

Andrew: Well, that would be nice, too.

Eric: Maybe I don’t know the climate. Maybe it’s never foggy on September 1st.

Andrew: They should have had umbrellas or something.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: That what it comes down to.

Eric: It just seemed pretty dangerous. That’s all I had to say about that. They end up…

Andrew: Well, I’m glad no one died.

Eric: Actually, I was going to send you a song to play anyway. Just in case, in the rare event that there was a first year who was unaccounted for and…

Andrew: Speaking of – well Eric, speaking of songs, on Episode 208 we played a song because you thought Muggles died. But we got a lot of e-mails from people saying Muggles actually didn’t die. You dropped the ball there, buddy.

Eric: I just like music. If anybody has a problem with that, they can send an e-mail to eric at staff dot mugglenet dot com, or…

Andrew: Yeah, but a lot of people got emotional, myself included, thinking that innocent Muggles had died during the…

Eric: Well, actually if you go back…

Andrew: …World Cup.

Eric: If you listen to the episode – and this is not me weaseling out, but if you go back to the episode, it was actually more of a tribute song to all Muggles who had been tortured and killed by Death Eaters, by Voldemort’s followers.

Andrew: Oh, like ever?

Eric: Yeah, yeah, like ever.

Andrew: [laughs] I see.

Eric: And I’m pretty sure that the wordage that is in the – because I was aware of that and I want to say that the wordage that is in the show should support that. But as we were going over in that Chapter-by-Chapter, it was pretty horrific what had been done to that Muggle family. So, I feel like it still warranted a “Ballroom Blitz” song by Sweet. Anyway…

Andrew: Well, nice try.

Eric: Thanks.

Andrew: But before we continue, Laura has to leave now. Laura, we’ll try to plan it better in the future so we can have you on for an entire episode.

Laura: Yeah, let’s try not to make this into a pattern.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: All right. Well, thanks for joining us, Laura. Good luck on your school stuff.

Laura: Thank you. See you guys later.

Andrew: All right. Bye.

Laura: Bye.

Eric: So they traipse through the rain, they get up into the Great Hall, dodging water balloons by Peeves. And they’re in the Great Hall and they’re at the feast, and Nearly Headless Nick is sitting among the Gryffindors. And he is described as being “dressed tonight in his usual doublet, but with a particularly large ruff, which served the dual purpose of looking extra-festive, and ensuring that his head did not wobble too much on his partially severed neck.” So, J.K.R. is saying he was dressed usually, except for this particularly large ruff. Can ghosts change clothes?

Andrew: Well, this seems to prove it, doesn’t it?

Eric: It would seem like she’s saying that he’s changed his clothes. That he’s wearing his usual except for this large ruff.

Andrew: So even the clothes are ghostly, you’re saying.

Eric: Well, I’m saying he’s got a ghostly wardrobe somewhere. Maybe ghostly designer clothing stores…

Micah: Wow. Well, didn’t he wear something different on his Deathday Party, too?

Eric: That’s a good question, but it was a while ago. I don’t remember.

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: [sighs] I mean, the Headless Hunt…

Andrew: I guess that is a little factoid, though.

Eric: It’s kind of a factoid that – yeah, I thought it was interesting because I didn’t really remember that being in the books, being mentioned. But yeah, probably during the Deathday Party because you want to assume that the members of the Headless Hunt don’t always wear their horses. Okay, so next point is I – it’s actually a really sentimental story that I wanted to share because a lot of people don’t know this actual fact of the books. There’s a quote from Nearly Headless Nick again. He says, “I do hope this year’s batch of Gryffindors are up to scratch.” And he is applauding as “McDonald, Natalie” joined the Gryffindor table. And in real life, I want to share this article in the show notes. In real life, the student Natalie McDonald was actually a nine-year-old Harry Potter fan who passed away from leukemia. And her mother had written to J.K. Rowling just about Natalie, about how big of a Harry Potter fan she was. And J.K. Rowling got the letter, but wasn’t able to respond to it before Natalie passed away. And the result was – I think it was like a day after she passed away – that J.K. Rowling had really, really tried to get a response to her letter in time but didn’t, and Natalie’s mother and J.K. Rowling continued a friendship which lasted years after. And actually, it’s just a wonderful article. I can’t do it justice here. It was written in Maclean’s, which I believe is a magazine in Canada. But anyway, Accio Quote, which is a wonderful archive of J.K. Rowling interviews, newspaper articles and all that – I included a link in the show notes and I think that…

Andrew: So in honor of Natalie…

Eric: Yeah, basically…

Andrew: Jo decided to include her as a Hogwarts student.

Eric: As a Gryffindor…

Andrew: Which is really cool.

Eric: You know, for bravery. Because she braved the illness.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s great. And heartbreaking that Natalie couldn’t finish reading the entire series.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: I actually heard that J.K. Rowling was looking to send her a copy of Goblet of Fire, so that she could read what happened before anybody else.

Eric: According to this article, she actually in her letter – in her response letter which arrived the day after Natalie passed away was the secrets of what would happen in Book 4.

Andrew: Oh, wow. That’s very nice of her.

Eric: So, yeah, it was quite special and then Natalie’s mom kept that letter and kept it out of the press until far after the story had been written.

Andrew: Ah. Cool.

Eric: So basically this student who is a fly-away line – Nearly Headless Nick says, “I hope this year’s Gryffindors are up to scratch,” but actually that Natalie McDonald was a real life person and according to this article again, is the only real life person that is named in the books as being a fictional one. So, that’s J.K. Rowling’s tribute to a fan.

Andrew: Very cool.

Eric: It’s a really nice gesture and because Jo’s going to be on Oprah tomorrow, I feel like it’s important to reflect on Jo’s good deeds. At any rate, I mentioned they dodged water balloons coming in that Peeves was throwing and we didn’t really know what was up with him. He was just adding insult to injury, I guess. With the wetness Ron was really upset. Nearly Headless Nick reveals that Peeves had wanted to attend the feast in the Great Hall, but by way of a vote from the ghost’s council he was vetoed. Now, I don’t know – this struck me as interesting because I’m wondering what this ghost’s council was. You know, Nearly Headless Nick says that the Fat Friar was all for letting Peeves into the Great Hall during the feast but the Bloody Baron put his foot down. [laughs] He put his bloody stump down! So I guess Dumbledore just lets the ghosts decide ghost matters on their own. This is the first mention of this ghost’s council – that was really interesting to me. What do you guys think?

Andrew: I think they sort of live in their own world in Hogwarts and Dumbledore can trust them. They’re obviously mature adults so I think – yeah, I like this idea of the group of ghosts that get together – sort of the council – that make decisions based on a vote. I think that’s a clever idea for them to manage their issues – ghostly issues.

Eric: I just think of it like a ghost game show with the Grey Lady and the Bloody Baron on like a dating show because of their history together. But maybe that’s just me.

Andrew: The Newlywed Game!

[Eric laughs]

Eric: [In a girly voice] “Contestant number three, would you kill my sister to get at my heart?” No, what happened? I’m sorry. Detracting, detracting! Back to the chapter!

Andrew: Next item.

Eric: Next item! [laughs] There’s this funny exchange, okay, because Nick is talking about something else – oh, and Peeves as a result of being denied goes and terrorizes the House Elves in the kitchen and Hermione just drops her plate – drops her pumpkin juice actually and stains the white [laughs] table cloth orange. And she says, “There are house-elves here at Hogwarts?” And Nick is, like, “Mhm, over a hundred.” And she is, like, “Wait, I’ve never seen one.” And he says, “That’s the mark of a good house-elf, isn’t it? That you don’t know it’s there?” [laughs] And Hermione stared at him.

Andrew: This is where I think Hermione starts to push it because at least they are in a good environment that isn’t like, say, the Malfoys. You know Dumbledore isn’t treating the house-elves poorly.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: They are in a nice work environment, I’m sure. At least nice by house-elf standards.

Eric: Well, Hermione is…

Andrew: And…

Eric: Hermione doesn’t think it’s a nice environment because she asks Nick, “Do they get sick leaves and pensions?” And…

Andrew: No, but that’s what – but I’m saying Hermione should at least be happy that it’s a good environment, that it’s Hogwarts.

Eric: Well – yeah, right. But according to…

Micah: That’s… [laughs]

Eric: I feel like Hermione thinks that it’s – she says slave labor, she protests, she doesn’t eat any more food that night despite Ron wafting smells of spotted dick at her. But regardless…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: That’s what it is. It’s in the book. Don’t think I’m being incorrect.

Andrew: No, I know. I’m not denying what you are saying. I just disagree with…

Eric: Well, she thinks…

Andrew: …Hermione.

Eric: …that because they don’t get sick leaves and pensions that it’s still slave labor even though…

Micah: And that’s a complete Muggle thing to say by the way, too. Sick leaves and pensions.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: I mean, do they even exist in the wizarding world?

Eric: Sick leave?

Micah: Sick leave? Maybe. Pensions? I don’t know. Does Arthur have a pension from working at the Ministry?

Eric: Why wouldn’t he?

Micah: I don’t know. But anyway, go ahead.

Eric: Nick chortled so much that his ruff slipped off his head and fell off. So, he put on this extra ruff that’s not normally part of his ghostly costume and his head fell off anyway. But he says, “Yeah, they don’t want sick leaves and pensions,” but his words are lost on Hermione who puts down her plate. So yeah, I agree with you, Andrew. I mean, it’s a positive environment and as we meet them later in the book, they are really happy to be at the kitchens. Only Dobby – in fact, they think Dobby is really weird for going about his business like he is. So anyway – so they finish their feast and actually Dumbledore has some announcements. And the sky lights up, there is lightning, and they meet or are introduced to who they think is Mad-Eye Moody. And this is an interesting descriptor here. I’m going to quote this from the book:

“The lightning had thrown the manís face into sharp relief, and it was a face unlike any Harry had ever seen. It looked as though it had been carved out of weathered wood by someone who had only the vaguest idea of what human faces are supposed to look like, and was none too skilled with a chisel. Every inch of skin seemed to be scarred. The mouth looked like a diagonal gash, and a large chunk of the nose was missing. But it was the manís eyes that made him frightening.”

And my question to you guys is, where can you get writers like J.K.R.? Because this is – this to me just signified how darn awesome she is.

Andrew: Well, what really stood out to me about this introduction is that it’s a solid six paragraphs, and these are big paragraphs. I cannot remember – there may be other times, but this is a big intro for one specific character. And that just really surprised me because it’s six paragraphs of you not knowing who this is until Dumbledore says, “May I introduce to you our new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor.” I just thought that was interesting. I’m not – I don’t think there is really anything to it, but six paragraphs! Whoa!

Eric: It’s kind of ironic too because this is the – it’s not – there wouldn’t be six paragraphs of description if Barty Crouch Jr. didn’t pull a good Moody. You know what I’m saying? So this is the character that might have the longest introduction and most descriptions but he is not who we think he is, so a lot of it is actually just false because it is not Mad-Eye Moody at all. You know what I’m saying?

Andrew: No, that’s a good point.

Eric: So maybe she put…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: …extra effort into it even though it is not him. So that – yeah, that is very, very interesting. He is definitely an important character and – but this intro, yeah. It was absolutely very, very descriptive. So…

Andrew: Huge!

Eric: Huge! Yeah, six paragraphs. So Dumbledore announces the Triwizard Tournament. Finally, they know what was going on. He says it’s between – [laughs] he says traditionally it’s between the three largest wizard schools in Europe, which is Beauxbatons, Durmstrang and Hogwarts. But he calls them the largest wizard schools in Europe. But he doesn’t say that they are the only wizard schools in Europe, so I feel like there are definitely more. I’m sure J.K. Rowling has touched on that, so I won’t go further. But…

Andrew: Well – and what is mentioned maybe in this chapter is that there are – these are the three largest schools in Europe I think it said. So maybe there are smaller wizarding schools, which I would be very interested in seeing…

Eric: Like an Italian…

Andrew: …because there has…

Eric: …wizard school?

Andrew: Yeah, because there has got to be a lot of different dynamics in the smaller wizard schools. I mean, how many houses do they have? Do they have houses? How does it work?

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: It would be interesting to see.

Eric: And plus, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang are really – they seem to be extreme exaggerations. One is – has a pirate ship that [laughs] carries its students everywhere and they wear fur capes. It’s just very – and it’s – is it Germany? It’s not Germany, it’s Bulgaria, isn’t it? So – because Viktor Krum goes there.

Micah: Well, yeah.

Eric: So…

Micah: I mean, Krum plays for the Bulgarian Quidditch team. So – I mean, it’s not a definite that that is where Durmstrang is, but it’s in the general vicinity. I think that’s probably a safe bet.

Eric: So at any rate, I did want to mention this Triwizard Tournament because I thought it was a clever way for J.K. Rowling, in terms of the books, to kind of not have the same recurring theme, not get bored with things. Because all of the last book, all of Prisoner of Azkaban, we were worried about Sirius Black and Hogwarts had all this security, the Dementors. It was a morbid type of state to have school in. But this year, in order to sort of make people forget, I feel like the Ministry and Dumbledore both probably agreed to try and revive this old contest, this old sports event. And I feel like it was largely in a part to have people forget about the terror of last year. And everybody is excited about sports. I know I am. So, I thought it was a great sort of way to detract – there is still security, but it is kind of exciting. You know what I’m saying? So, it is not…

Micah: It is interesting that even now how Dumbledore is laying the ground work for unity. And I think that is a lot of what this book is about, is building those relationships that come into play later on in the series. Whether it is Fleur and her obvious relationship with Bill, and how that all plays out. Or Hermione and Krum. And I was surprised that we didn’t really see any more of those two schools in the final battle. But that is Dumbledore’s hope, I think, by hosting this tournament. Even though like you said, there is that Ministry element of it. Dumbledore knows the value of having…

Andrew: Unity?

Micah: …all these people together. Yeah, exactly.

Eric: Well, it begs the question though. He wants unity which is good, but what role do they have in the final book? Fleur is relevant as a character because she marries Bill, and bothers the heck out of them in the beginning of Movie 7 and eventually provides shelter for Harry when he is on the run. But Fleur is important because she marries into the Weasleys, and Krum isn’t necessarily important. I feel like Madame Maxime is probably the second most important character of all of either Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, and that is because she journeys with Hagrid to go to the giants. So in the end, Beauxbatons – and maybe I’m completely wrong here, but Beauxbatons and Durmstrang don’t really have that large a role that we see. I am sure they do in the war against Voldemort. And it’s kind of one of those things where I want to say the story is set in England, so of course we hear about England. We can…

Micah: Right. But…

Eric: We can assume that if Voldemort took over England and killed Harry Potter, that America and South America and Africa would all have fallen as well. But I think as far as Harry’s story is concerned, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons don’t really, as far as I can see, play a larger role in the later books.

Micah: Yeah. I mean, the only thing that I can remember is Krum and him telling Harry that symbol that Xenophilius Lovegood was wearing was the mark of Grindelwald.

Eric: Oh, because Grindelwald went to Durmstrang.

Micah: Durmstrang. So that – but even that – I mean, obviously it is a big plot point. But again, there is no fighting. You would have expect to have – with all the characters that were in the final battle, have figured Krum would be somewhere in there.

Eric: I mean, they got a pirate ship. Come on! [laughs] And…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: …he is a Quidditch captain. I mean, really? There is action!

Andrew: [in a pirate voice] Yarr! We be fighting Voldemort! Yarr!

Eric: Yarr! [laughs]

[Andrew starts coughing]

Eric: Oh, you all right?

Andrew: Yeah. Sacrifices I make for the show.

Eric: Get some water.

Micah: Air? [laughs]

Andrew: No, my voice.

Micah: [laughs] You are sacrificing air…

Eric: [laughs] You are sacrificing…

Micah: …for the show?

Eric: …air?

Andrew: [in a pirate voice] I will scratch my voice to turn it into a pirate!

Eric: [in a pirate voice] I put up air!

Andrew: Arr!

Eric: It’s not ‘air’, it’s ‘arr’. Anyway…

Andrew: So Eric, what else happens in this chapter?

Eric: [laughs] All right. So Dumbledore – anyway, he announces the Triwizard Tournament. He talks about the age restriction. He says that he is going to be personally overseeing the security for the age restriction. This really upsets Fred and George. But anyway, I think this is one of those things where it sets it up so that – to make the readers kind of confused. But it was really easy it turns out – it seems like it was really easy just for Mad-Eye Moody to put Harry’s name in the Goblet because that is who it was. I mean, it was Barty Crouch Jr. disguised as Moody, went – simply walked through the age restriction because he was old enough and was able to put Harry’s name in it. And the Goblet didn’t have such an age restriction so obviously it shows Harry because he is the Chosen One. But it was easy, wasn’t it? I mean, to fool…

Andrew: I think you are thinking too much into this. Dumbledore just – what was meant by it was that Dumbledore was going to set up the age line and no one else was. And yeah, apparently he thought that age line was secure enough but apparently not.

Micah: Yeah, it’d be secure enough so that Fred and George couldn’t hoodwink it.

Eric: Right.

Micah: But not for somebody like Mad-Eye Moody. He’s an Auror and Barty Crouch Jr. is a very experienced person in Dark Arts so I think he would be able to figure out how to do that between his knowledge and adapting Moody’s qualities, he would certainly be able to do something like that. I agree, it’s kind of one of those things when you hear it in the movie, Moody says when they’re all in that trophy room, “Only somebody who could have conjured an extremely powerful Confundus Charm could have done something like this.” So, you feel like it’s a little bit of a cheap escape that they went that route, but – I don’t know.

Eric: Yeah, in the movies it’s played up more than it is in the book. In the book, it’s just to keep people like Fred and George out, but in the movie it’s meant to drive even more suspense to Harry being chosen.

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: As if there wasn’t enough suspense with Michael Gambon throwing Harry around the room.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: Anyway, we were going to talk about that eventually on the show – again. So you talk about Barty Crouch Jr. Now, I feel like he was just a punk kid when he was with the Death Eaters. Now Dumbledore – it also goes to say that Dumbledore trusts his teachers to not put Harry’s name or endanger a student and when Moody first enters the Great Hall, he sits down – Dumbledore motions for him to sit down at Dumbledore’s right hand. It’s the seat to his right, that was mentioned. I thought that was important. He really does trust Moody. They’re old friends and he trusts his teachers too. Final thought, they all go up to bed and Harry, unlike before where he’s had dreams of things that become relevant – this time, he’s awake and as he’s going to bed, he’s thinking fondly of hoodwinking the age line and winning the Triwizard Tournament. J.K. Rowling writes that he sees Cho’s face in the crowd when he has done this.

Andrew: Awww.

Eric: And he is particularly glad that Ron cannot see – Ron, who is next to him in the other bed cannot see what he is seeing as he drifts off to sleep.

Andrew: Young love. Nothing like it.

Micah: Yeah. One thing I want to bring up – did we discuss at all how Moody was attacked? Was that brought up at all in these chapters? I thought it was.

Eric: It was. It was – but, it’s – yeah.

Micah: I thought it was weird that somebody as powerful as him would set up a trap like trash cans. That’s a little novice.

Eric: Well, it wasn’t him who set up – right? Oh yeah, he…

Micah: No, that was his trap to let him know if somebody was approaching his property. And, obviously, he was scouted by Barty Crouch Jr. and Peter Pettigrew so they knew what to do, but it was just – I mean, really? That was your defense? Trash cans?

Eric: Well, Pettigrew is completely absent from or not this book but – you know, I wonder if – the trash cans is what the Ministry found when they got there. There could’ve been more permanent curses or something, but then again, maybe the real Moody was really buying into the idea that he might actually be more paranoid than he should be. Or – we don’t know the mental state of Mad-Eye Moody at this point, so I wonder if he wasn’t in fact just actually, actually really crazy. And it turns out for a good reason.

Micah: Or is that the trap is so stupid that it just might work?

Eric: I think that’s it. [laughs]

Micah: Who would ever suspect trash cans? I don’t know. I just thought I’d bring it up.

Andrew: Well, that wraps up Chapter-by-Chapter this week. We’re done another three chapters boys. Good work. Yes. Now, let’s move on to Muggle Mail!

Muggle Mail: Fred and George at the Quidditch World Cup

Andrew: First e-mail comes from Rebecca Jackson, 15, of Vancouver. She writes:

“Hey, MuggleCasters. Just wanted to give my thoughts on how Fred and George predicted the Quidditch World Cup. Is it possible they just predicted off what they already knew about the two teams? Harry, after seeing the match, remarks on how the Irish Chasers were too good, and Bulgaria was never going to catch up, so Krum ended it on his terms. Maybe Fred and George already knew of the Irish Chasers’ skill and Krum’s nature as were big Quidditch fans. Just my thoughts. Keep on being awesome. Love, Rebecca.”

And we got a lot of e-mails similar to this one in response to our Chapter-by-Chapter discussion for Episode 208. Micah and Eric, a lot of people think that they just made an educated guess.

Micah: Yeah. I think that’s probably the answer.

Andrew: That’s the best answer?

Micah: Yeah. I think that they’re right. They’re pretty knowledgable about Quidditch. So, seems like a good evaluation.

Andrew: Micah, how about you take that second e-mail?

Muggle Mail: Trailer Analysis Feedback

Micah: Sure. The next e-mail comes from Tonya?

Andrew: Yes! You’re right!

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: All right, next e-mail, Eric!

Eric: Okay.

Micah: [laughs] Okay, from Tonya, 33, of Paoli, Indiana and she says:

“In Episode 208, Wannabe Wizards, you guys were wondering about the Voldemort voiceover in the TV spot where he mentions Harry’s heart. I believe this is the scene where Ron destroys the locket Horcrux. The quote is, “I have seen your heart and it is mine,” this is taken directly from the book and is directed at Ron on page 375 in the US hardcover. I think they simply took it out of context for use in the TV spot. Thought you guys may find this helpful. The show is fantastic, keep up the good work, Tonya.”

And, yeah, she’s definitely right. We talked about this – if people haven’t listened to – on Episode 209, the live trailer analysis. We mentioned it towards the end of the episode because it’s in that trailer as well.

Andrew: And we have gotten a lot of e-mails about this as well.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: So wanted to bring it up again.

Eric: Yeah. I’ll take the next one.

Andrew: Eric…

Eric: Yep.

Andrew: The final e-mail, please.

Muggle Mail: Mrs. Weasley’s Marriage

Eric: The final e-mail from Katrina, from Minneapolis. Subject is “Mrs Weasley’s marriage.” She says:

“Hello, everybody. I’m listening to Episode 208 right now and you guys are talking about the Weasley’s marriage and whether it is a healthy one.”

Did we talk about that?

“I think it is a very healthy marriage and that they very much love each other. Molly is simply a mother hen. Let me tell you, as a mom of three kids under four they drive you nutters. I’d bet when they first met Molly was a lot like Ginny: exciting, energetic, brave, and those traits still show through. But now she has such a huge responsibility of a family, you have to keep a tight leash. I mean, come on, if you had Fred and George as children, would you give them an inch? No way. You would discipline them like crazy and just hope they turn out all right without killing one of their siblings on accident.”

That’s a good point. It reminds me of that time the one of them tried to force Ron into an unforgivable vow. Anyway – that was me. That was me, not reading that.

“Mr. Weasley hiding things from his wife isn’t sneaky or malicious. It is simply keeping things from her that would rile her up. She has a temper and probably Molly knows all about the things he does because she’s a sharp cookie. He is probably leaving spark plugs all over the house as he has got such a scatterbrain. Super-laid-back, unorganized men like Arthur usually marry strong-willed women, that is what my marriage is. Molly’s job is to keep her family healthy and safe. And though her family has pushed her sanity to its limits – needing the clock that says where everyone is, for instance – she is still warm, loving, and down-to-earth, just like any good mother. I think Arthur and Molly are a perfect match.”

Andrew: Well, it was nice to get an opinion from a mother on this topic.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: And even though I still don’t completely agree with her because she thinks it’s a very healthy marriage, I mean, though granted – oh, heck! What do I know? I’m not married. I’m just bitter.

[Eric laughs]


Andrew: So now, moving on. As promised at the top of the show, we are going to play an old favorite segment: Favorites! And this Episode we are talking about new actors or actresses to see in Part I. Micah and Eric, while you guys are thinking about your favorite actor or actress – new favorite actor or actress in Part I – I’m going to read some of the listeners’ thoughts on their favorites, and these were sent in to us via Twitter. “doctorgracie” writes:

I’m really looking forward to seeing Rhys Ifans. He’s a really wonderful actor and very underrated.

Of course, he is going to play Xenophilius Lovegood.

Micah: I think it’s Rhys.

Andrew: Rhys?

Micah: So you don’t get e-mails.

Andrew: Rhys Ifans? Is that right?

Micah: Rhys, yeah, Rhys Ifans.

Andrew: Kate…

Micah: I could be wrong, but…

Andrew: “katesiv” writes:

“I can’t wait to see Bill Nighy! He’s amazing!”

Bill Nighy. Or Bill Nigh-ey?

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: I think it’s Bill Nighy.

Eric: These Brits…

Andrew: Isn’t it Bill Nighy? We’ve talked about this before, I think it’s Bill Nighy.

“I can’t wait to see Bill Nighy! He’s amazing! Also Rhys Ifans…”

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Andrew: Did I get it right that time?

Eric: Actually…

Andrew: “…will make an awesome Lovegood.”

Eric: …you’ve got to put it into – I’m going to put it into Microsoft Narrator and see…

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Andrew: Okay, thank you.

Eric: We’ll blame Bill Gates. We’ll send him all our hate mail.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: “marie_aren” writes:

“I’m definitely most looking forward to Jamie Bower Campbell.”

Of course, he’s going to play Grindelwald. Young Grindelwald.

Eric: [laughs] She at replied Jamie Bower.

Andrew: Yeah. “HeatherRD” writes:

“I’m most looking forward to seeing Bill Nighy. I’ve been waiting for him to get cast in ‘HP’ for years.”

“peculiarways” writes:

“Domhnall Gleeson as Bill Weasley. I’ve never seen him act before, just know that his dad is Brendan Gleeson.”

Who of course plays Mad-Eye. “JazminesWings” writes:

“Charlie, because they took him out of the previous ones.”

[laughs] And finally, “Spazzo” writes:

“Yaxley, in the chase after Ron.”

Andrew: So, Micah, who are you most looking forward to seeing?

Micah: That’s – I mean – I think I would have to go with Bill Nighy as Scrimgeour, I think. Sort of that interesting dynamic that he has to play between the press, and of course, the trio. I’m interested. Of course Eric has seen the movie. So he knows what that’s like.

Eric: Oh, don’t keep bringing that up.

Micah: No, I’m saying that you know how Bill has done in this role, and I’d be interested to hear, do you think he fit the part well?

Eric: Yeah, absolutely. It was weird, kind of, because, depending on how they’re casting – it was just like he had been in all of the previous films. It’s – he kind of had this friendly look about him, that it’s like you had grown up watching him on-screen but you hadn’t. But yeah, he fits the part.

Micah: Yeah, so he would probably be my top choice, and then everybody seems to also want to see Rhys Ifans as Xenophilius Lovegood.

Andrew: Okay, Eric, how about you?

Eric: Actually, my favorite person who is a new character in Deathly Hallows: Part I is Andy Linden, who plays Mundungus Fletcher.

Micah: I was going to say, is that from seeing the movie, or would you have said that prior to seeing the movie?

Eric: Yeah, I would not have said that prior to seeing the movie. I’m sorry.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: So, he does a good job, is what you’re saying?

Eric: Yeah, as Mundungus Fletcher and the reason I bring it up and choose him is because reading about him billing the Ministry – [laughs] – for his twelve-bedroom tent with en-suite Jacuzzi and in this chapter that we just read for Chapter-by-Chapter, it seems like the kind of thing this actor would very much do. He’s just sleazy and unreliable in Deathly Hallows: Part I, the movie.

Andrew: To break the – all the answers that we’re seeing here, I’m going to say my favorite – and this technically doesn’t count but my two favorites are Miranda Richardson and Imelda Staunton. And I say that because they haven’t – we haven’t seen them in a while. Of course Miranda Richardson, who plays Rita Skeeter, we haven’t seen her since Goblet of Fire. And Imelda Staunton, who plays Umbridge, we haven’t seen her since Order of the Phoenix. And I miss them.

Micah: Who – which one of them was it that said that they didn’t think they would be back?

Andrew: Miranda Richardson.

Eric: Miranda Richardson, yeah.

Andrew: She said that at the Goblet of Fire premiere. I was very upset.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: She was like, “Ah, I’d rather give somebody else a chance to do it.” But she’s back.

Eric: I think she said she’d rather saw one of her kids, actually. That never showed.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: That’s how much she hated it. [laughs] But it’s going to be a small appearance. I think she’s just going to be in a picture or something.

Eric: I think – yeah.

Andrew: But she is there.

Micah: Hazel Douglas, who plays Bathilda Bagshot? No? Anyone?

Eric: Oh, she’s just – ah. Just the creepy, creepy – that’s like Mrs. Figg except Mrs. Figg is worse because Mrs. Figg wasn’t supposed to be creepy and she was really, really, really creepy.

Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul

Andrew: To wrap up the show today, we have a Chicken Soup e-mail. This comes from Hayley, 14, of Fort Calhoon, Nebraska. She writes:

“Hi MuggleCasters, I’m your biggest fan. No joke. I listen to your show 24/7, literally. I have severe insomnia and your show helps me to fall asleep at night. Because I spend so much time with my earbuds in, I get lots of annoyed looks from my parents and siblings. My brother will take one look at me and say, ‘MuggleCast’ and ignore me for the rest of the day. Not that that is a bad thing sometimes. My mum has to tell me at least three times a day to ‘take out your earbuds and listen to me’! Well, one rainy afternoon I turned on my computer to find a new Episode waiting for me. After doing my ritual dance of joy, I popped my earbuds in to hear the wonderful sounds of your voices once more. Okay the thing with me is I cannot just sit and listen to music, I have to do something. So, I set about cleaning our living room and ended up cleaning the entire house! My mom was shocked and pleased to find this and asked me what my motive was. ‘MuggleCast!’ I replied. My family has a new respect for your show now. They get almost as excited as me when there’s a new Episode. ‘It’s Hailey cleaning the house time!'”

She’s quoting her mother there.

“So here’s a thank you from my whole family for your great podcast and we all will be angry beyond imagination if you stop podcasting.”

Andrew: Well, for your mother’s sake, I know she wants a clean house, so we will continue podcasting.

Micah: Nice!

Andrew: I don’t listen to my own podcast while cleaning, but I do listen to other podcasts while cleaning. It’s – doing the dishes and stuff. I mean, I’m not going around dusting and turning on a podcast.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: Long term – the tasks that take a little bit of time. And like Hailey, I too do a ritual dance of joy whenever a new Episode is released of MuggleCast, so all good.

Eric: That is my favorite Noodle Soup.

Show Close

Andrew: Yeah that was really nice, thank you Hailey. So, before we let everyone go we want to remind you about our website which is There you’ll find lots of information pertaining to this wonderful Harry Potter program that we produce every other week for your listening pleasure. You can find a link to our iTunes page where you can subscribe and review us. You can also follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, vote for us in Podcast Alley, we haven’t plugged that in a while. And so much more.

Micah: Yeah, we haven’t been on there in a while. [laughs]

Andrew: You can even find the – our new P.O. Box address which is Andrew Sims, MuggleCast, P.O. Box 3634, Fullerton, California, 92834-3634. That was a mouthful.

[Show music starts]

Andrew: So, just visit, click on contact at the top and you’ll see the P.O. Box. While you’re there you can also fill out a little feedback form to e-mail us if you have a question about what we talked about on the show today or maybe you disagree with something we said, or maybe you want to yell at Eric more for playing a song on Episode 208 for no good reason. You can use the feedback form for any…

Eric: We’re going to play a song on this Episode. You can just edit it in later.

Andrew: Nobody died.

Eric: Well, yeah, I feel like there was a first year who fell in the lake and wasn’t accounted for and nobody remembered him because he was unpopular.

Andrew: I don’t know.

Eric: Yes.

Andrew: We’ll need listener permission before we do that again. They were very upset Eric.

Eric: I’m sorry.

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

Eric: I’m Eric Scull.

Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Andrew: We’ll see you next time for Episode 211. Bye-bye. Yar!

[Eric laughs]

Micah: Bye!