MuggleCast 218 Transcript
[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]
Andrew: Because it’s a new year, this is MuggleCast Episode 218 for January 9th, 2011.
[Show music begins]
Andrew: This week’s episode of MuggleCast is brought to you by Audible.com, the internet’s leading provider of audiobooks with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including fiction, non-fiction and periodicals. For a free audiobook of your choice, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 218! It’s the first show of the new year. It’s a pleasure to continue podcasting with you all through the year 2011.
Andrew: And we have lots of news and little side notes to kick off the new year. Micah and I discussed a slightly different intro to the show, one that sort of gets us into the show faster. So, you’ll notice there is no longer the typical music and the drum stuff and all that, so come to think of it, I don’t even know how to intro everyone because in years past we’ve always done, “I’m Andrew Sims. I’m Eric Scull. I’m Micah Tannenbaum. I’m Richard Reid.” But now, there’s really no place to do that, so…
Eric: I can’t wait to hear this. Is there still David Heyman?
Andrew: No, got rid of him.
Andrew: Got rid of him.
Eric: His license expired, right?
Eric: We can no longer use his voice.
Richard: His time has come.
Andrew: He told us we can only use it for a year and then we’ve got to get rid of it.
Micah: Yeah, after 2010 it’s no good anymore.
Andrew: Well no, you know what I realized? For the longest time we had Jim Dale and David Heyman over top that beautiful guitar “Hedwig’s Theme,” and I listened to it yesterday for the first time in a while without a crappy phone voice talking over it…
Andrew: …and it sounds so beautiful! And I’m, like, “We’ve been wasting this beautiful intro!” [laughs]
Micah: Well, Andrew, I’m sorry we couldn’t get David Heyman to use QuickTime during the interview…
Micah: …so that it sounded a little bit better.
Andrew: That’s okay. It would have sounded better, but it’s okay, now everybody gets to hear that beautiful guitar intro completely uncovered. And it really is beautiful, I hope – listen to it again and really appreciate the depth in your ear.
Eric: So, MuggleCast is now in high def audio, right?
Andrew: Sort of, yeah.
Andrew: Yeah, that was another goal of the new intro, is to make sure it sounds pretty good. Yeah, so – well, let’s just start it this way. I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: [laughs] Wait a minute, you said we weren’t going to do this.
Andrew: No, we will, but then we’ll have…
Eric: All right.
Andrew: There just won’t be any music.
Eric: I’m skeptical Eric Scull.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Richard: And I’m Richard Reid!
Andrew: Micah Tannenbaum – see, that was easy. Micah Tannenbaum, what’s in the news? [laughs]
News: Wizarding World Sold Over One Million Butterbeers
Micah: We’re going to start off the new year with some Butterbeer.
Micah: It’s the right way to start off the new year. Maybe a little bit of something extra in there if you’re 21 years of age or older.
Eric: [laughs] Let me get my mug.
Micah: But Universal Orlando has announced that they have sold over one million Butterbeers in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. It’s a milestone, they took a picture. One thousand lucky guests were holding up their free Butterbeers. They were there on the day that this was announced, and it just goes to show you – we talked, obviously, last year about the number of people that have come through the theme park, but now we’re seeing on the merchandise side, the vendor side, that they’re still going pretty strong. One million is a lot of Butterbeers.
Andrew: I’ve got to say, the picture was really cute. Everybody holding up their Butterbeers and the person at the front was wearing a scarf, a Gryffindor scarf.
Andrew: And everybody looks so happy.
Micah: They probably gave that to him.
Eric: [laughs] Yeah, they’re, like, “Here, wear this, make this look vaguely Harry Potter.” Well, it just shows – at any given time there were a thousand people in the park for them to take a picture of – holding Butterbeer. It’s crazy.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, and there was a new article in the New York Times today mentioning that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is putting pressure on Disney World, which a lot of people knew already but it was nice to see a New York Times full-blown article on it. It was a two-page article in the Sunday paper, so give that a quick read. It’s not – there’s nothing new that was revealed, that’s why we haven’t posted it on MuggleNet yet, but pretty good to see.
News: Plagiarism Lawsuit Against Scholastic Dismissed
Micah: Yeah. And next piece of news: Scholastic released an official statement earlier this week, saying that the court dismissed the plagiarism lawsuit against them. If you remember back in July of last year, the estate of British author Adrian Jacobs was suing Scholastic, claiming that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was, “substantially similar to Jacobs’ 1987 book, The Adventures of Willy the Wizard.” And so the judge ruled in the court earlier this week and said that, basically, there is no comparison…
Andrew: It’s B.S.
Micah: …and – yeah, as you just said, it’s a bunch of B.S.
Andrew: That’s great to see…
Andrew: …that it didn’t have to go any further, that the judge knew this was nonsense.
Micah: And I was interested in Judge Sheindlin. I’m wondering if that’s – did Judge Judy rule in this case?
Andrew: I don’t get it. What do you mean? [laughs]
Micah: That’s her last name.
Andrew: Oh, really?
Eric: Oh, that’s her last – [laughs] Micah, I’m pleased that you know that.
Andrew: So, maybe you’re saying we’ll see this on a case on an episode of Judge Judy someday.
Eric: [laughs] Judge Judy.
Micah: We might see it, yeah!
Eric: [in deep announcer voice] “Today, on Judge Judy!” [normal voice] [laughs] Oh, I love it. I love it. And she’ll just be, like, “No. No, no, no. There’s no – there’s no – no. No.”
Eric: “It’s not going to – no, no, snap your mouth, snap your mouth! Don’t talk!”
Eric: “Don’t talk, you’ll be in contempt! You’ll be in contempt! No. No, no, no. Stop. There is nothing…”
Andrew: What else is going on, Micah?
Eric: “There is no excuse for that!”
Eric: “No excuse whatsoever!”
Micah: Eric is just going to keep going all show, I have a feeling…
News: Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Shortlisted for Visual Effects Academy Award
Micah: Let’s talk a little bit about Deathly Hallows. Part 1 was shortlisted in Visual Effects at the 2011 Academy Awards. This is the first, I think, that we’re hearing about any sort of award nomination for the Oscars for Deathly Hallows. We had a little bit of a discussion towards the end of last year about the movie as a whole possibly being nominated, as it’s the second-to-last film. Not a surprise in Visual Effects, I don’t think.
Andrew: No. And frankly, I find this whole shortlisting, long-listing thing very annoying because there’s about a million announcements just for this one category, so now we have to wait for another round of eliminations to happen on January 20th and if the movie is in that – if the movie makes that cut – then it will be in the Academy Awards. So…
Eric: To be nominated, yeah.
Andrew: It will be nominated, right.
Micah: Well, just for a second here, what scenes do you think stand out that would possibly help it win in Visual Effects?
Andrew: I would say the Seven Potters scene because the way they talked that one up – I remember Dan on the set talking very passionately about that. I can’t remember how many takes, I want to say it was close to a hundred takes for that scene because he had to shoot – he personally had to shoot that scene close to a hundred times, I think, because he was in the scene seven times.
Eric: As each person.
Andrew: Right. So, I would say that one’s a standout.
Eric: That’s good.
Andrew: Any others?
Eric: And Micah, you asked what scenes. I think the cut scenes where they Apparate – the Apparition effect was really cool to me, but maybe that’s too short to nominate.
Andrew: Yeah, but I don’t think they nominate – I don’t know if they do it for particular scenes. I think they just do it for the visual overall – if the visual effects mesh well with the real-life action taking place onscreen.
Andrew: If it feels like a very natural combination.
Micah: Now, are Dobby and Kreacher considered visual effects…
Andrew: Oh yeah!
Micah: …or do they fall into another category?
Andrew: Oh yeah. Micah, I have news for you: Dobby is not real. I’m sorry.
Andrew: So, he would be visual effects.
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News: Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Box Office Results
Micah: Well, keeping on the movie theme, Deathly Hallows: Part 1 eclipsed the $900 million mark. It passed Chamber of Secrets and Goblet of Fire. It currently has grossed $902 million worldwide, that number will probably go up after this show is released as the numbers get put out there over this weekend. And next on the list for it to surpass is Jurassic Park, which is at number fifteen with $914.7 million. So, a little bit of a ways to go between $902 million and $915 million.
Eric: Man, I don’t know, Jurassic Park is such a classic. I feel like somebody had to say that.
Micah: Well, once you get into the top fifteen I think most of them are classics, aren’t they?
Andrew: Side note, Jurassic Park composed by – the score composed by John Williams. I feel like if John Williams was the composer – he has a certain group of diehard followers that would go see the film just to hear his music.
Micah: Oh, is that how you think it works?
Andrew: So – well…
Andrew: I mean, that would help us get past Jurassic Park.
Eric: Yeah. What I like about this news story is that we posted a news story on MuggleNet a couple weeks ago when it was about $8 million behind Chamber of Secrets, I think? And I think it was Micah that posted it and you were just, like, “Only $8 million more to go and it will surpass Chamber of Secrets,” and now it did! So, that’s wonderful.
Andrew: [laughs] Yes, it did.
Eric: We’re keeping track of this. I love this.
Andrew: Micah is…
Micah: Take a look – oh sorry, go ahead.
Andrew: See, Micah is a number guy. He loves watching the movie go up the list, I can tell. He’s made, like, a million news posts about it.
Micah: Yeah. [laughs] Well, if you look at the news posts that I like to put out there are usually – like you said, they are numbers based. So, anything that is business or financially related, I always like to post those stories. But just kind of looking ahead in terms of what’s in front of it from Harry Potter, Half-Blood Prince is at number eleven, Order of the Phoenix is at ten, and Sorcerer’s Stone is at number eight. So, a chance to crack the top ten, maybe? I don’t know. It’s going to be hard for it to do it, I think.
Richard: Do you think Part 2 will be the most successful one of the lot?
Andrew: I really think – in terms of midnight sales, I think it will be.
Eric: Until Breaking Dawn: Part 1.
Andrew: Well, Warner Bros. really has to push the finale onto people who aren’t diehard fans. I think people are going to be really curious just to see the ending, whether you’re a fan or not. So, yes, I think it does have a good chance to be the top grossing Harry Potter film.
Richard: I don’t know because if you’ve read the books you were waiting to see if Harry was going to die or not. But that hasn’t really been played up so much in the films as it was in the books with the prophecy and everything, so I don’t think there’s as much suspense for that last end of the movie as there was for the books.
Andrew: Well, don’t you think they will play up that death thing? Because look at that Part 1/Part 2 trailer that was released last year when Harry’s walking towards Voldemort and…
Micah: Yeah, absolutely.
Andrew: …Voldemort says, “Harry Potter, come to die.”
Micah: Yeah, I think it would be a good idea for them to create a trailer which is kind of a, “Who will live? Who will die?” type of trailer for the people, as you said, who haven’t seen the movies yet.
Micah: You do those little flashes of the individual characters and basically you’re asking people to come to the film to see who is going to make it through to the end. And if they show enough, I think, action in those trailers, too, it’s going to draw a pretty good crowd. And I think it has a chance, really, to be the highest grossing film of all time. I mean, it’s got a summer release, you’re going to have more people out there, you’re not going to have the issue of it not being put into 3D. I think that hurt sales for Part 1 because just from a ticket-price standpoint, they didn’t have the revenue from that.
Andrew: That’s true, that’s very true.
Micah: So, I think it can, most likely, give Titanic and Avatar a run. I think it’s going to be up there.
Andrew: Quite a few films and studios these days rely on the 3D profitability…
Eric: Because the…
Andrew: …just to boost their ticket numbers. So, a Part 2 – 3D? Oh man, [laughs] I really can’t even imagine. Plus, ticket inflation. By summer, ticket prices…
Andrew: …are going to be up another five bucks anyway.
Micah: And the thing with Avatar, though – wasn’t Avatar re-released?
Micah: Or am I wrong about that?
Andrew: Yes, it was.
Micah: Yeah, so that probably helped a little bit.
Andrew: And by the way, I think there’s already rumors of Part 1 being re-released in 3D, right? So, by the time that happens…
Eric: I don’t know how I feel about that.
Andrew: …I think that will help push it up a couple of more spots in the top grossing films.
Richard: I definitely wouldn’t go to see it again just because it’s in 3D though.
Andrew: Me neither, I agree. But what about right before Part 2?
Richard: No, I still wouldn’t.
Eric: Wouldn’t? No. Okay.
Richard: I don’t think 3D adds anything to the film.
Andrew: I kind of want to see Part 1 again right before Part 2, but that is a long time to sit in a theater.
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News: Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Casting
Andrew: All right. Micah, what else is going on?
Micah: Well, a bit of casting news, Scorpius as well as young Severus Snape – obviously they weren’t cast recently, but they were – the roles were announced, who was going to be playing them. And I know on an episode not too long ago somebody had written in asking had they cast young Severus Snape, and they were looking forward to that, “The Prince’s Tale” scene. And we know that Benedict Clarke, fourteen-year-old Benedict Clarke will play the role of young Snape. Keeping along the lines of casting, in a new interview, Ciar·n Hinds – did I say that right, Richard?
Andrew: Yeah, he works for MuggleNet, what about him?
Micah: Because he came to life the other day actually. He…
Andrew: He did.
Micah: Anyway, he will, of course, be playing Aberforth in Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and he talked a little bit about what we can expect from his role. He said, “My scene was a four-page exposition about Albus Dumbledore’s childhood and how he’s not all he said he was. It’s that hole in the film that needs to be filled.” He also referred to his part as a “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it role.” And I know this caused a lot of reaction because they said, “Well, how can it be a ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it role’ if he’s got a four-page exposition?”
Andrew: [laughs] Right. Well…
Eric: Does he mean that there is…
Micah: Maybe it’s not all his dialogue.
Eric: …that much action, or what? Because it’s right before everybody goes to Hogwarts, and there’s so much emotion and action then? And it’s like – is that why? Because it seems contradictory.
Andrew: It is a bit worrying because we do see a good bit of him with the secret passageway, so hopefully this is not the only scene he’s in, this four-page exposition.
Eric: But that’s what he said.
Andrew: Well – but maybe he’s lying. Oh well.
Eric: [laughs] But just like before though – just like Deathly Hallows: Part 1 or any of these movies, that much dialogue if treated properly, which I rely on Yates to do that as he has done successfully with every other short scene, like for instance, even the Xenophilius Lovegood scene wasn’t that long and Rhys Ifans does a great job. I just think it will matter and it will be less of a “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it role.” These Brits are so cynical, I swear.
Andrew: Well, when he said that, it immediately reminded me of that scene – what was it, in Prisoner or Goblet when you see him walking past the goat or something?
Eric: [laughs] Order of the Phoenix.
Andrew: Order of the Phoenix. That’s a “blink and you’ll miss it.” [laughs]
Eric: Yeah, that’s a “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it role.” “Come here, Gildy.”
Andrew: So, hopefully it’s not as short as that.
Eric: And the goat walks off. That was great.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.
Micah: Well, what this does do, I think, is it lets you know, for a lot of people who are questioning why so much of Dumbledore’s backstory was left out of the first part, that at least you will get some explanation to it and that’s how they’re going to explain it in Part 2.
Eric: That was what satisfied me, that that plot thread officially hadn’t been dropped, where it’s not just an interesting question to raise in Movie 1, they’re actually going to be revisiting it.
News: Deathly Hallows No Longer Top Selling Product on Amazon.com
Micah: All right. Well, now from the movie to the book, Deathly Hallows lost its spot as the top selling product in Amazon history. This was back on December 27th. The Kindle…
Eric: Hang on, says – Micah, says Amazon. Says Amazon!
Micah: Of course it’s Amazon, they want their product to be the top-selling device of all time. Why…
Micah: You don’t see any problem with that? You don’t see any…
Andrew: Well, what do you think, they’re lying?
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Andrew: I mean, look, the book was released three years ago. It sold like crazy…
Micah: Of course.
Andrew: …for the first year, probably. And then the Kindle came out I guess probably a year after the book was released, and Amazon has been selling Kindles like crazy. This is no surprise that…
Micah: Do you have a Kindle, Andrew?
Andrew: …the Kindle – I did at one point.
Micah: So, you contributed to the downfall of Deathly Hallows.
Eric: [laughs] Wow. Wow, Micah. Tone it down.
Eric: Tone it down, Micah.
Richard: On the same topic, when will the damn Harry Potter books appear in an e-book format? Because I’m sick of waiting.
Andrew: Well, why don’t you go and knock on your neighbor’s door, and ask her? Because she’s the one holding it back.
Micah: Yeah, you’re not snowed in anymore. You don’t have an excuse.
Richard: Well, I would, but a court order says I mustn’t.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Micah: So, that means you’ve tried before.
Richard: [laugh] I’m not going to go into any detail.
Andrew: Well, that’s a good question. They’ve been – I remember there was an article, what about a year ago? What was it? What’s her publishing company again?
Andrew: Not Bloomsbury, no, no. Christopher Little Agency said that they are looking into these new technologies.
Richard: Yeah, apparently Jo was considering it.
Andrew: Yeah, right. So, hopefully soon.
Micah: A lot of people were upset, though. I mean, I saw a couple of e-mails that we got that they had gotten a Kindle over the holidays, and they were looking to download the Potter books and they weren’t able to do it.
Richard: Yeah, I would download all of them just to have them on. I have an iPad, but I mean, still.
Andrew: Yeah, and you know what gets me about that is people are resorting to illegally obtaining the books for their e-readers now…
Andrew: …because they still want it and they will still search for it.
Eric: Well, that’s…
Andrew: And most people know how to illegally obtain them.
Eric: Well, that’s no reason to do it – officially, not really. And how would they improve their accessibility? If they moved it to the Kindle, would more people read it? Because…
Richard: I think so. I wouldn’t be surprised if it reclaimed the top spot if it did.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, look how big the Harry Potter books are. I’m sure there’s a group of people who look at the size of the books and are, like, “I don’t want to carry that around.” People who do – Kindles are very popular with people who travel because they’re so small, you can load all your books on them, you can download new books whenever you want, wherever you are. That’s a perfect example of a giant-sized book that would do great on the Kindle because you don’t have to carry it around. I know that sounds kind of lazy but…
Eric: No, no, that actually…
Andrew: …people do think that way…
Andrew: …in the age of the digital e-reader.
Eric: Okay, I get that. I get that.
Richard: When I got mine, the very first book I searched for was Harry Potter, and it was so disappointing when they don’t appear.
Andrew: And let’s be honest, we all have, like, ten copies of each book anyway, so…
Eric: It’s true, it’s true.
Andrew: …we definitely – I believe Richard when he says he would buy them for Kindle and I would buy the one – I would buy Goblet of Fire since we’re doing Chapter-by-Chapter for it.
Micah: And J.K. Rowling – I mean, she’s just killing trees by not…
Micah: …moving over to e-books. She’s not being…
Andrew: Tree killer!
Eric: Maybe that’s why they withheld doing a Christmas tree at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park.
Eric: She was, like, “That’s the one tree I’ll save.”
Eric: You know how Obama saves turkeys?
Richard: [laughs] Yeah, she’s killed too many so far.
Eric: He pardons…
Andrew: He pardons, yeah.
Eric: …two turkeys. Yeah, she pardoned a tree from being used for Harry Potter this year – last year.
Andrew: That’s sweet. Anything else, Micah?
News: Desplat To Begin Composing For Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Micah: Well, there’s just one other piece of news related to Deathly Hallows that wasn’t in here, but Alexandre Desplat said that he is about to begin composing Part 2 in a recent interview with The Guardian. And I guess that’s exciting because it means that the movie is more or less wrapped up. No more…
Andrew: In terms of editing.
Micah: Yeah, no more need for epilogues to be reshot or anything else like that.
Andrew: Right, right. Cool, that’s good news.
Eric’s Invitation to Movie Screening
Eric: Oh guys, I’ve got to tell you, I got an e-mail the other day from MovieTickets.com. [laughs] It says…
Andrew: Uh oh. They’re not inviting you to another screening.
Eric: …”Please attend a screening,” and…
Andrew: Are you serious?
Eric: Yeah, yeah. Well, okay, so I was in my vehicle. It was parked. I wasn’t driving and I got an e-mail on my phone, and looked it up and I was, like, “Oh my God.” So, I got on a computer later on and I downloaded the PDF where you have to…
Andrew: Sign an agreement.
Eric: …sign in. Yeah, but it told me that it was actually The Dilemma, the new Ron Howard film with Vince Vaughn and Kevin James.
Eric: And it said right on the ticket, so I was, like – there was a moment there where I was, like, “Oh no, not again.”
Andrew: Well, you saw Part 1 in what, August or September?
Eric: It was about – yeah, I think three months, so it’s a little too early yet if they’re going to…
Eric: I forget what the – with Half-Blood Prince – what the timing was, but I feel like there still will be a screening in Chicago, and I’m probably going to miss it and that’s fine. But it’s gearing up.
Andrew: Why, because you couldn’t possibly see three films three months early?
Andrew: Or will you not be in town in March or April?
Eric: Oh, no, I’ll be in town. But I’m just…
Eric: Well, maybe not because I want to go see Dan on Broadway. It might be that week. [laughs]
Eric: You see, I’m paralyzed. But what I’m saying is it got me reminded that there’s a new film coming out and…
Eric: …it will be exciting.
Andrew: Well, we – I hope you get to see it early because it’s always an exciting time when a big audience gets to see the film so early and everyone seems to be so happy with it. [laughs] So…
Eric: Yeah, and we get the reports. But…
Eric: …also, it’s just something you wouldn’t get to see otherwise, is the special effects not being complete. I’m really waiting for a documentary on, for instance, twelve-year-old Dan Radcliffe acting with a tennis ball. I want to see that. And that hasn’t been in any of the extended editions, has it? On the…
Andrew: Actually, yeah – no, I think the – we’ve seen the tennis ball on a stick for the house-elf, I think they’ve showed that once or twice.
Eric: Oh, cool! Okay.
Andrew: Well, it wasn’t a tennis ball, it was something a little bit bigger.
Eric: Oh, I see. Okay.
Chapter-by-Chapter: “The Hungarian Horntail”
Andrew: I don’t know where exactly, but – yeah. Anyway, so that’s all for the news. Let’s now get into Chapter-by-Chapter, we haven’t done this for a while, probably close to two months. In case you forget, we’re about – oh, I don’t know. We’re about halfway through Goblet of Fire now. On the last episode, we did Chapters 16, 17, and 18. On this episode, we’re doing Chapters 19 and 20, and these chapters lead us into the beginning of the Triwizard Tournament.
First chapter, Chapter 19, “The Hungarian Horntail,” opens with Harry agreeing to meet Sirius via fireplace, and Harry is kind of down in the dumps at this time because Rita Skeeter’s article on Harry that was published in the Daily Prophet has no quotes actually said by Harry. And we’re quickly getting an idea of how horrible of a reporter this woman is. Just to write a good story she’ll make up anything just to enhance the story, sort of like a tabloid would do. And in the real world – I was thinking about this. In the real world, if someone were to be misquoted to this extreme, you could sue. You could sue them. Of course, we don’t know how that would work within the Ministry of Magic and such, but it’s definitely a big offense. And on top of this, Harry and Ron are still at odds, and Hermione tries to get them back together. Jo writes that Harry admits he liked Ron more than Hermione because they have a lot more fun together.
Andrew: And I thought this spoke volumes about the difference in relationships here. There’s a clear difference between the two friendships. Ron and Harry – and guys, correct me if you think I’m wrong or whatever. Ron and Harry’s relationship is platonic, whereas I think Harry and Hermione’s is a bit more casual. Would you agree with that, Eric?
Eric: I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s casual between Hermione and Harry because they really do rely on each other.
Andrew: But more casual than Ron and Harry. Would you say that Harry and Ron’s relationship is platonic?
Eric: I would say that all three members of the trio are into each other, but I can see where Harry would feel that he has more fun with Ron. Hermione – the relationship with Hermione is more to keep him, I want to say, sane.
Andrew: In check? [laughs]
Eric: Well, keep him sane and always rethinking. And the same with Hermione and Ron, she keeps him in line. So, I think they might not resent that but they will certainly value, I think, the fun that they have with each other, perhaps more than – Hermione is the third wheel of the trio at this point.
Richard: But I would say that Ron and Harry need Hermione much more than she needs them.
Eric: That’s probably very true. Although, she goes off and does S.P.E.W. without them, and they think she’s kind of crazy. Maybe that’s also why Harry feels this way because Hermione is kind of going off on one of her tangents at this point.
Micah: Yeah, I think part of it, too, is that for such a long time when Harry was growing up he didn’t have any friends, so Ron is the real first friend he has had. And so to be separated from that, he wants to be with the person he has the most fun with. I mean, think about how old they are, too. They’re relatively young and so I think again with Hermione, as it develops throughout the series it’s more sister-like. And she’s the one who’s there to pick them up and keep them on point, and make sure that he’s thinking the right way. So, and again, she’s the more bookish character and you see Harry has more fun – it’s like hanging out with the guys with Ron, if that makes sense.
Andrew: So, speaking of Hermione, she is vocal again. I think this is not the first time she’s vocal about her dislike for Krum. Is this the first time, or did she previously in the book? Can anyone remember?
Eric: Well, when Ron is gawking over him at the Quidditch World Cup.
Andrew: Oh okay. All right. So…
Eric: So yeah, she is skeptical from the beginning.
Andrew: Okay. Yeah. So again, she denounces Krum and Hermione urges Harry to go with her to Hogsmeade to clear their minds because of all of this stuff going down with Ron and the bad Rita Skeeter article. Harry agrees but is still insecure about the Rita article, so he wears his invisibility cloak because people are making fun of him anywhere he goes, saying, “Oh, do you like Hermione? Ha ha ha.” And so while they’re at Hogsmeade, Hagrid and Moody enter the scene, and it’s revealed that Moody can see through the Invisibility Cloak because of course, he points out Harry who is hiding under it. And Hagrid tells Harry to meet him at midnight at his hut.
So, Harry does show up with his invisibility cloak and without any explanation, Hagrid sort of walks him over to Maxime’s carriage. And from – at this point, Hagrid hasn’t really said anything to Harry other than “Shhh!” which – classic Hagrid where I don’t think it’s too well thought out, but hey, it worked out anyway because Harry did stay quiet. So, Hagrid leads Maxime and Harry to the four dragons, which the champions will be competing against. Harry’s jaw drops at the sight of all this and he sees one of the people taking care of the dragons is Charlie Weasley. Now my question here is presumably Hagrid knew where the dragons were because he heads taking care of magical creatures, but did Dumbledore know Hagrid would tell Harry about the first task? Because it – could it be argued that Dumbledore let this happen to let Hagrid do the dirty work? Because it looks less bad if it’s found out that Harry found out but oh, it was just Hagrid who led him to the dragons.
Eric: Well, wasn’t it Moody who told Hagrid to tell Harry about the dragons? At least in the movie, that’s what he says…
Richard: No, it was in the book as well.
Eric: …because – yeah, because he takes credit for – for instance, giving Neville the book about the Gillyweed that Neville passed to Harry. It’s actually Moody/Barty Crouch Jr. getting Harry – giving Harry the competitive edge.
Andrew: Oh right, because he does end up helping with every task.
Richard: If none of the contestants found out about the dragons, I just wonder, would they not all probably have died?
Eric: [laughs] It’s – maybe that’s one of the precautions they put in place.
Andrew: Well, that’s another thing. Moody mentions later on in the next chapter that there is a lot of cheating going on and that cheating has always been a thing that happens in the Triwizard Tournament. So, it’s…
Micah: Yeah, but on that I wondered if…
Richard: Maybe Dumbledore expected Harry and everyone to find out.
Micah: I always wondered if that was more Barty Crouch talking than Moody just to kind of make Harry feel a little bit more at ease about the cheating that was going on.
Andrew: Mmm. But I’m not surprised it’s happening because look at Madame Maxime and Karkaroff telling their students, presumably, that they were facing dragons.
Eric: Well, especially with this – and in the books it does seem pretty – they seem pretty guilty that they just go and tell their charges, Karkaroff and Maxime are just flat out telling their champions. But I think with the next challenge, at least, they have the clue of the egg. And they have to unlock the clue of the egg, and so they’re actually given the answer to what their next task is, whereas this time – and this is arguably the most dangerous because it’s dragons, you need time to prepare for that.
Eric: You need to figure out how you’re going to survive a dragon. And unlike the second challenge with the egg, there’s really no way to prepare for it if you don’t know what’s going to happen. And it’s not something you can just [laughs] weasel your way out of. I mean, even Harry had to really focus his mind on it.
Micah: Can I just go back to one thing that was brought up? Andrew, you brought it up just before with the Invisibility Cloak. I know Moody can see through them, but with this we now know to be a Deathly Hallow, how can Moody see through it?
Richard: Yeah, when Death couldn’t but Moody can. [laughs]
Eric: Well, Death didn’t have the crazy, goofy eye.
Richard: [laughs] Yeah.
Richard: If he did, then he’d have been a lot more efficient.
Micah: That must be it. [laughs]
Andrew: Well, that must be it, right? I mean, there is no other explanation.
Eric: Well, that’s the only logical…
Andrew: I mean, unless Moody was there anyway. Or Moody was aware that Harry was with Hermione anyway…
Micah: That’s possible.
Andrew: …and he just assumed, “Oh, he must be wearing the cloak.”
Richard: I think that’s a plot hole.
Andrew: Well, I think…
Eric: Well, we’ve had Dumbledore and cats, like Mrs. Norris, kind of look at slash towards Harry while he’s under the Invisibility Cloak. And I think with Dumbledore, it was probably sensing magic. He’s probably got a Magic-o-meter where he’s, like, “Oh, I can see that somebody else is in this room.” Or maybe…
Richard: Yeah, after all, magic leaves traces.
Micah: Dumbledore was also in possession of one of the other Hallows.
Eric: Oh. Well, that Hallow in specificity and the ring. But he did have the Invisibility Cloak. He studied the Invisibility Cloak.
Micah: Well no, I’m saying, does one Hallow allow you to sense another? If he had the Elder Wand, maybe – like the scene in Chamber of Secrets when he comes into Hagrid’s hut with Malfoy and Fudge, and he knows that Harry and Ron are hiding in the corner there, they’re under the Invisibility Cloak. How does he know that?
Richard: I get the impression that…
Richard: …throughout the series, Dumbledore has been watching Harry in sort of third person for quite a while. I can sort of imagine him…
Andrew: What do you mean, third person?
Richard: He’s got some sort of security camera always pointed at Harry.
[Eric and Richard laugh]
Richard: I mean, not in a creepy way.
Andrew: They don’t have cameras. I just did a quick search on the HP Lexicon about Moody and his magical eye, and they just make note that it can see invisible things and through solid objects, including the back of his head. So – I mean, clearly he has one unique eye that Death did not – anyway, moving along, on Harry’s way back to the castle he runs into Karkaroff, who Harry assumes is going to see the dragons for himself. He realizes this means the only person who won’t know about the dragons will be Cedric. And this is kind of – it made me think that this kind of hints that Cedric will be having a lot of bad luck in this tournament, even though Harry does end up telling Cedric – being the Gryffindor that he is, ends up telling Cedric about the dragons. But in this case, Cedric was almost the one who was left out, [laughs] sort of like in the final task. While talking to Sirius back up in the Gryffindor common room, it’s revealed that Karkaroff was a Death Eater and Sirius believes he put Harry’s name in the Goblet. And Sirius goes on to suggest that Dumbledore brought Moody in to keep an eye on Karkaroff, since Moody was the one keeping an eye on him in Azkaban, Moody being the Auror that he was. And now, that made me think, if that’s the case, this is a big hint that this Moody is not the real Moody because he’s not doing his job. He got away, Karkaroff got away with putting his name in the Goblet, allegedly. And then also Karkaroff being able to run off and – to see what the first task was all about.
Eric: Well, this gets back to what we were talking about previously on Chapter-by-Chapter when we said, “Well, how can Dumbledore allow Harry to compete?” There’s this talk about these rules being binding, it’s a magical contract, dut-duh-dut-duh-da. But my – what I’m saying is that if Moody – you can play this off as – well, Moody just, per Dumbledore’s request, laid off Karkaroff about this whole incident because Dumbledore didn’t know what was going on. But the question is, doesn’t Dumbledore want to know what’s going on? And wouldn’t Dumbledore be looking at Karkaroff even more intensely than Moody should be and is not? So, what’s going on there, with – who – is it an active investigation, or are they just waiting it out?
Andrew: I agree with you, especially during this time when people are sort of getting the idea that Voldemort is back. When a red flag goes up like this, oh, Harry’s name suddenly – not only is he in the Triwizard Tournament under the age but he’s also the fourth one, there should definitely be some huge foul play here and it’s – as a red flag. And it’s ridiculous that Dumbledore even let this happen.
Eric: Shouldn’t they cancel Hogwarts? So, I think…
Eric: …Moody not going – well…
Andrew: Cancel Hogwarts? You’re canceling the school?
Eric: They canceled Quidditch.
Eric: Well, I don’t know. You can’t cancel the tournament, “The rules are absolute.” But yeah, I think Moody – the reason can be maybe Dumbledore just said, “Lay off Karkaroff, we don’t think he did it that much,” or otherwise he’d be gone.
Richard: I don’t think it would really mean that much considering that everyone is obviously cheating. [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah, this whole game seems pretty corrupt, at least this tournament, [laughs] so…
Richard: Basically, Harry could just go, “Yeah, I don’t want that egg. Screw you, dragon. I’m just going to stay right here in my enclosure.” And that’s it, he just gets no points.
Eric: But then he would get no points. He would get no points. He would have no chance at that “eternal glory” cupcake.
Richard: But he’s going to be safe!
Eric: But no cupcakes!
Richard: Maybe he’s on a diet.
Eric: Maybe it’s a soy vegan cupcake.
Andrew: Sirius finally suggests that Voldemort may be in bed Karkaroff and this is all a plan to kill Harry. So, some very…
Eric: Who’s in bed with who?
Andrew: Voldemort’s in bed with Karkaroff.
Richard: Is this slash fan fiction?
Andrew: That’s just a metaphor, it’s not really – not literally. I don’t mean that literally.
Eric: But he uses it, right?
Eric: He says that? Okay.
Andrew: And so, after you hear all this information from Sirius, do you think – did anyone think – Micah, did you think, “Has Dumbledore considered any of this information yet? What is going through his head?” Like I just said, it’s despicable that Dumbledore has been letting this go on.
Micah: Yeah, I think it goes back to what you just said [laughs] and just not really taking into consideration the enormous red flags that have been raised since this tournament began. And Karkaroff is a former Death Eater, but it also goes back to Dumbledore seeing the best in people. And Karkaroff has denounced Voldemort, he’s gone on to head up Durmstrang, and supposedly has no more ties to the Death Eaters or anybody associated with Voldemort. So, I think it’s another one of those situations where you look at the relationships and Dumbledore just being a trustworthy person and not wanting to think the worst in people.
Richard: I don’t know. Actually, I think Dumbledore knew what was going on and let it happen deliberately. Dumbledore always said that he foresaw that Voldemort would come back, that he knew about the prophecy, he knew that it was going to come down to Harry and Voldemort. I suspect that he just realized that this was the natural play of events happening and he just hoped for the best. As you put down, Andrew, he’s always intended for Harry to be a pig for slaughter, so I think that’s exactly what he was doing and he knew that if Voldemort was to ever return with Harry’s blood, then that would give Harry a weapon.
Eric: Hmm. Well, I think – I’m thinking of two things: one, Harry is just first hearing that Karkaroff was a Death Eater. Of course Harry is going to react strongly to that. He’s going to be, like, “Oh my gosh, there’s this ex-Death Eater that’s right – living right next to me in the castle.” Of course he’s going to be freaked out about it because he’s just finding out this information from Sirius. Meanwhile, the adults all already knew this and it kind of fits with Dumbledore’s goal to a magical international cooperation where you kind of have to even work with your maybe former enemies and spirit of cooperation to actually get past this, and I think that that’s, in a way, how Dumbledore feels. It’s a good excuse to have Death Eaters running amuck in the castle – or ex-Death Eaters, I should say.
Richard: I doubt Dumbledore really suspected Karkaroff of much, given how cowardly he was at his trial.
Eric: Well, then there’s the issue of Moody and how Dumbledore didn’t look any closer at Moody. I mean, did Barty Crouch Jr. really pull off that good of an impersonation for a hundred and eighty days?
Richard: I suspect Dumbledore…
Richard: …began to suspect more and more as term went on, and by – at the very end…
Eric: Right, and it just kind of…
Richard: …he was – obviously he was convinced.
Andrew: So, Sirius is about to tell Harry a way to defeat the dragon and he says, “Oh, it’s very simple.” And – [laughs] but of course, perfect timing, Ron enters, and so Sirius and Harry panic, and Sirius disappears. Ron and Harry get in a tiff, and the chapter ends. Do you think Sirius was about to tell him to Accio something from outside of the stadium? Because…
Richard: No, he tells you what it was. It was the…
Andrew: What was it?
Richard: …Conjunctivitis Curse – hex. The one…
Eric: Oh, when is it told?
Richard: It was told later in the book. Wasn’t that what Sirius later said? “Oh, that’s what I was going to suggest.”
Richard: The one…
Eric: Yeah, yeah it was.
Richard: …when they were in the cave and they meet up later on.
Richard: It was the one that Fleur did.
Andrew: No, Krum.
Richard: Sorry, Krum did. Yeah.
Andrew: Krum did it.
Richard: That’s what Sirius was going to suggest.
Andrew: All right. Well, there is our answer, even though – I’m trying to remember. Well, we’ll find out in the next chapter. I think – who got the – oh, Harry and – well, I won’t spoil it. Go ahead, Micah.
Micah: Don’t spoil it. [laughs]
Andrew: “The First Task.” Give it to us. Chapter 20.
MuggleCast 218 Transcript (continued)
Chapter-by-Chapter: “The First Task”
Micah: All right, so we move on to Chapter 20 and the first task of the Triwizard Tournament is finally here. The chapter opens with Hermione helping Harry prep for this task against the dragon and how one of the books that they research is called Men Who Love Dragons Too Much, and I was wondering, [laughs] was this written by Charlie Weasley, or perhaps something that he found quite interesting during his time at Hogwarts or afterward?
Andrew: I’m sure he found it quite interesting sure.
Micah: Well, J.K. Rowling said that in an interview, that that was his passion in life…
Eric: Was Charlie Weasley…
Micah: …was dragons.
Eric: I’m sorry. I can’t even…
Micah: Never married.
Eric: Yeah, it was dragons.
Micah: It was just dragons. That’s all he cared about.
Eric: Never married. Yeah, I think – I keep thinking of this Wizard Rock song which is called “1991: Charlie Weasley” by the artist Tonks and the Aurors, and it’s all about this. It’s about unrequited love. Some girl is really into Charlie Weasley, but for her birthday he gets her a dragon skull, and for their anniversary, he just forgot the anniversary because he’s too into dragons. That’s what it’s about. It’s a great song. But yeah, I think that this definitely fits with the lifestyle that Charlie Weasley has chosen for himself.
Micah: Now, one question, though, is if Ron was there, do you think they’d be taking a little bit more of a practical approach on how to defeat the dragon as opposed to looking in books? Because this doesn’t really seem like something you’re going to find an answer to in a book.
Eric: Why not?
Richard: I thought it’d be a quite easy thing to find an answer to. I’m surprised they didn’t find it.
Andrew: Yeah, like “Self-defense if you ever encounter a dragon,” sure.
Eric: “What to do when you know a dragon is coming.”
Micah: I guess, I guess. So, going back to Andrew’s point in the last chapter, Krum shows up with his fan club and, of course, this really ticks Hermione off, and so we continue to see that she’s not really happy. Now, I guess we can assume that she’s not very happy because she, in fact, likes Krum and doesn’t like seeing the attention that he’s getting from all these other girls. Is that pretty accurate?
Richard: I think it’s more the noise of those girls distracting Hermione when she’s trying to think.
Micah: Yeah, that could be it, too.
Richard: The noise.
Micah: And, of course she makes the comment, “His fan club will be here in a moment, twittering away,” and I thought, “Twitter?”
Micah: J.K. Rowling could have had…
Andrew: That’s what I thought, too.
Micah: …a gold mine. Another gold mine.
Andrew: I know.
Micah: When was this book released?
Andrew: Like, 2000.
Micah: 2001, maybe?
Andrew: No, 2000.
Micah: 2000. Oh, okay. Yeah, so – I mean, when did Twitter come out? Seven years later? J.K. Rowling could have…
Eric: [laughs] J.K. Rowling invented…
Micah: …been swimming in billions of more dollars than she currently has.
Andrew: And she kind of used the word correctly, too, in the way that you would expect with Twitter.com, like twittering, “Oh my God, Krum!” tweet.
Eric: Where with at reply Viktor Krum.
Micah: So again, another point that [laughs] Andrew mentioned in the last chapter, Harry ends up letting Cedric know about the dragons. And what does this say about his character? Because with the way he’s been treated, not necessarily by Cedric but by the other houses and even some people in Gryffindor, he’s kind of been treated pretty badly. So, this could have given him an easy leg up over Cedric, but again, he decided the right thing to do was to go and tell him.
Richard: But I don’t think Harry is in this for the competition. He’s been stuck in it.
Andrew: No, he’s in it to live.
Andrew: [laughs] That’s it.
Richard: I don’t think he cares about winning.
Eric: Harry is an equal opportunity provider kind of guy. He makes sure…
Andrew: Well, and then, that was the Gryffindor in him.
Eric: Well, that and Cedric is unlike the other students, Cedric is part of Hogwarts, too. And it would look bad in the grand scheme of things if Hogwarts – two of four champions are from Hogwarts and if Hogwarts didn’t win.
Richard: I don’t know. I think Harry is just innately good and doesn’t really consider it like that.
Micah: So, after he tells Cedric about the dragons, Moody kind of comes around the corner and reveals that he was eavesdropping on the conversation, and he brings Harry along to his office saying what a great thing it was that Harry had just done. But we get our first look at his Dark Detectors, a number of different objects that he has around his office, and I thought he offered a bunch of lies about the Secrecy Sensor and the Sneakoscope because clearly they would both be detecting him and – so he kind of feeds Harry a little bit of B.S. about why they’re not working properly, and what do you guys think?
Richard: Yeah, because he said he deactivated them all from students cheating exams or something like that.
Eric: [laughs] This is funny.
Micah: …which seems like a pretty lame excuse, to say, “Oh, well with all the lying that’s going on around this school with students at every corner, of course these things don’t work.”
Eric: No, [laughs] I like that a lot, actually.
Micah: Did you really? [laughs]
Eric: I did, though, because it just seems like that would be this – you’re in a secondary school or…
Micah: That’s true.
Eric: …middle school on up. That’s definitely what they would…
Micah: Well, that gets rid of the Secrecy Sensor, but what about the Sneakoscope?
Eric: Well, the Sneakoscope – well, doesn’t Harry have one of those and it never works, or he keeps it in his sock? I mean…
Richard: Yeah, they’re not reliable.
Eric: …they’re not very reliable to begin with. And then there’s the issue of allegiance where, whose Sneakoscope is it? If it were the real Professor Moody’s Sneakoscope, it would go off when Barty Crouch Jr. is nearby. But if it were Barty Crouch Jr.’s Sneakoscope, then it wouldn’t, right?
Richard: In theory, yeah.
Eric: Because it’s only – it’s letting Barty Crouch Jr. know when somebody is sneaking, so it just depends on whose it is and – I don’t really understand. It’s just telling us something with these Dark Detectors and obviously the Foe Glass becomes important later, but it’s really all subjective because you just don’t know what to make out of it. It’s one of those things where it’s a really cool thing to read and have, but you can’t get the full picture just by looking at that.
Micah: Right, and we do also get…
Eric: It’s just…
Micah: …a look at the Foe Glass, and we can talk about this a little bit, but what it does is it reveals true allegiances and kind of weeds out those who are fake or have ill intent. And it later reveals what Snape’s true allegiance is and people went back to this as kind of a sticking point when Deathly Hallows had yet to come out, to kind of debate one way or the other, is Snape good or is he evil? And a lot of people, a lot of the things that we saw, used this particular scene – or not this scene, but the scene at the end of Goblet of Fire where McGonagall and Dumbledore and Snape bust into Moody’s office, and you see all three of them very clearly in the Foe Glass.
Richard: Maybe in that case, Voldemort should have gotten one of those Foe Glasses. [laughs]
Richard: Then he would have known whether or not…
Micah: Would have solved his problems.
Richard: …Snape would have stabbed him in the back.
Eric: [laughs] Oh man. But wouldn’t everybody show up in Voldemort’s Foe Glass? Because he’s really – he has no friends, he’s all for himself.
Richard: That’s also very true.
Eric: Maybe they don’t work on him.
Micah: Now, during this meeting, Moody tells Harry cheating is common in the Triwizard Tournament, we spoke a little bit about this before. But should this be the case? I mean, this is not your typical Quidditch match or something along those lines. This seems like this is a very drawn out, lengthy event between a number of different schools, so you would expect there to be a little bit of foul play going on. Nothing that’s going to really alter the tournament that drastically, but a little small move here and there.
Eric: Well, in this case, the cheating allows them to actually prepare for the tasks. When tasks are set three or four months apart at a time, there’s also more time for the secrets to get out and it’s a lot harder to keep something – well, especially a dragon – under wraps, so to speak, and literally.
Andrew: It’s huge. [laughs]
Eric: Yeah. Yeah, it’s big.
Micah: So, Moody does give Harry some advice during this meeting that they have and he eventually puts everything together, and he begins to practice the Summoning Charm. And, of course, he’s going to use this later on to get his Firebolt, and be able to get around the dragon and capture the egg. But I wanted to point out some movie differences that take place with respect to the first task. Barty Crouch Sr. replaces Ludo Bagman for the selecting of the dragons and I was wondering why he was never cast. I mean, he plays a relatively large role in the book, but we never see him at all in the movie.
Richard: I think I remember…
Eric: Barty Crouch Sr.?
Micah: No, Ludo Bagman.
Richard: For Goblet of Fire, I think I remember the director saying that any scene that didn’t really involve Harry was just cut automatically, and if a character didn’t really involve Harry – because Ludo Bagman was more to do with the twins chasing him – then they just cut it.
Andrew: I think – yeah, and I think they stick with that for most of the films, too. If it doesn’t involve Harry, let’s put it on the chopping block.
Eric: I’m glad this change was made, though, because when Barty Crouch Sr. is in it – like Fleur pulls out the Chinese dragon and Barty Crouch Sr. is, like, “Ooh!” [laughs]
Micah: Well, he was completely…
Eric: Remember, he says it?
Micah: …demented in that movie.
Eric: “Ooh!” [laughs]
Micah: And Harry, also – in that scene, he never utters aloud what dragon he has because, if you remember, Barty Crouch Sr. turns to him and says – what does he say? “Excuse me?” or, “What?” because Harry knew the Hungarian Horntail was the last dragon that was in there…
Eric: Oh, yeah.
Micah: …but Harry, in the book, keeps it to himself. Rita Skeeter never shows up in the tent before the challenge, she actually shows up when Harry and Ron are on their way back into the Great Hall. The dragon…
Eric: Well, hang on, in the movie or in the book?
Micah: What’s that? She doesn’t show up in the tent before the challenge in the book. She does in the movie.
Eric: Yeah, okay. Yeah, right.
Micah: In the book she shows up when they’re on their way back to the castle. The dragon chase scene never happened in the book, obviously that was made for the movie screen, and I think it worked, right?
Eric: I think it worked well because there’s the logistics of having a dragon in a small, enclosed area, to actually be able to show – they would have had to place cameras in the crowd essentially for the whole thing to see a dragon – this huge dragon that’s pretty much the size of the ring, from what I gather, is just floating above the ring, it doesn’t seem realistic that the dragon would hover, like that that’s all the dragon would do. He needs to have room to swipe and sweep. I like what they did, I like the dragon chase scene.
Micah: All right. And then the scene between Hermione, Ron and Harry, that takes place in the common room, not the tent. Of course, it takes place in the common room in the movie. It takes place in the tent right afterwards in the book. So, a little…
Andrew: Well, there’s an easy explanation for that one. They wanted to get people ready for a lot of tent action in the seventh film…
Andrew: …so they wrote all this Goblet of Fire tent action. Yeah, so that’s easy.
Micah: But those are just some of the differences. But going back to when Harry first gets down to the tent, Bagman seems very, very interested in helping Harry and so I was wondering, does he have a little bit of money on the match? He kind of gives…
Micah: …these underhanded reasons for, “Oh, well, you must be nervous,” or, “You got thrown into this.” And he seems like he’s willing to do anything to help out Harry and I can’t remember later if it’s revealed that he has money on it but I wouldn’t doubt it.
Richard: Yeah, he did. He was trying to pay off all his debts by betting on Harry to win.
Micah: [laughs] Well, maybe Ludo put in his name in the Goblet of Fire!
Andrew: There’s a lot of gambling…
Andrew: …going on in these books so that would not surprise me.
Micah: A lot of just bad things are happening in this book.
Andrew: [laughs] And you know what?
Micah: Go ahead.
Andrew: Well, I was just going to say to sum up these two chapters – I know you’re not done yet – but there’s a lot of new information going on in this – being shared in these two chapters which was nice to see.
Micah: Yeah. And so we get to the actual task itself and it’s actually a bit uneventful compared to the movie where you have the chase scene. And Harry ends up getting the egg and you get a little bit of a picture about how much McGonagall actually cares for Harry. She has a shaky sort of voice before the task when she leads him down to the tent, and then her hand shook as he pointed – as she pointed rather – at his shoulder after he’s a bit injured from the dragon in that task. And again, I don’t know if that goes back to Sorcerer’s Stone, when she is there the night that they delivered him to the Dursleys, or really – what do you guys think?
Eric: I think she’s aware, very clearly, that he has been marked for death, that this boy can just not catch a break. It’s true! And little does she know, because of the prophecy, the specifics, because Dumbledore won’t tell her that. But I feel like she really does feel bad for Harry and she really is looking after him. She’s the purest – he can rely on that, you know?
Eric: She really feels bad for him. She knows that he’s been marked for these great, terrible things.
Micah: But it also seems that she cares for him more than just a teacher would care for their student.
Eric: That’s true, and I think in Book 3 when she refuses to sign his Hogsmeade permission slip, it’s the same deal where she doesn’t want to put him in any more danger than he normally would be. She wants to keep him safe in the castle as opposed to roaming the grounds, and it’s just this mother – this trend – of her to be really caring for him because there is nobody else, especially at Hogwarts, to really look after Harry, who is capable. I mean, there is Hermione, but she’s not an adult.
Micah: Right. But you also see it in Deathly Hallows as well, when Harry comes to her defense. It’s kind of reciprocated in that way.
Eric: Which is nice.
Micah: And so, as mentioned, just to wrap it up, Harry does get the egg and he’s greeted afterwards by Hermione and Ron, and they end up patching things up. So, Harry now has Ron…
Micah: …back at his side heading into Chapter 21, and Rita Skeeter tries to get a quote or a little bit of story from Harry on the way back up to the castle but he basically tells her to G.F.H.
Listener Tweets: Most Upsetting Plot Cuts From Harry Potter Films
Andrew: And that’s Chapter-by-Chapter this week and if you have any feedback about what we discussed today, feel free to mosey on over to MuggleCast.com, and there you can click on “Contact” at the top and share – fill out the feedback form and share your feedback, whether you agree or disagree with anything we said, if you have other ideas, etc. Today’s Twitter question, we asked you, the loyal listener, out of all the books, which big plot cut from the films upset you the most? Because we kind of briefly touched on it in Chapter-by-Chapter this week with some book-to-film differences and I thought, “Well, have we ever asked this question? I don’t think we have.” RayLoveNexis wrote:
“There is no Quidditch in ‘Order of the Phoenix’.”
“Movie 3: who the original Marauders were and that Harry’s Dad was one, that he knew Sirius and Lupin.”
Those are all pretty big story items.
Eric: And she fit them all into one tweet, too, [laughs] which is…
Eric: …pretty amazing.
Richard: [laughs] Skills.
Micah: What would have been the point of including Quidditch in Order of the Phoenix? I mean, Umbridge bans it anyway, though.
Eric: Well, there’s that.
Andrew: People just like to watch Quidditch, I think.
Eric: Well, there’s so much going in – even in, what was it, Movie 4? Or no, Movie 3. They’re just in the rain that one scene, it goes by so fast, there is just so much else going on in the movie. Even if they had put Quidditch in, what would it mean? What would it amount to? With the exception of the – what is it, “Weasley is Our King”? Or is that Book 6, too? I mean – is that Book 5 in the books?
Richard: That’s Book 5.
Andrew: Vanillarface wrote:
“SPEW! It showed Hermione’s Gryffindorness, and her passion and strong sense of right and wrong. It made her a character in her own right.”
Eric: David Heyman…
Andrew: Very well said!
Eric: …had a response for this. [laughs] It’s from…
Andrew: What was his response? I forget.
Eric: …our Episode 200. It was, like, [imitating David Heyman] “But if you include those things, the film would be, like, eight hours long, and…”
Andrew: Psh, yeah, we know.
Eric: But he was sincere. He was sincere about it. He was, like, it really would be – I don’t know. A lot of house-elves, it would just – think of the trailer where they go down to the kitchens and there’s, “Hi, Harry Potter!” and all the house-elves say, “Hi Harry Potter!” [laughs] It would be weird. It would be done – it would have been cheesy in the film because that’s where I think – that’s what Newell would have done it as, what would be kind of – because remember, even the students in Movie 4 are like hooligans, like soccer hooligans. They’re so big and tall, and I think that the house-elves just would have been kind of crazy. There was no room for them in that film.
Andrew: SparklyPatronus wrote:
“I think in ‘Order of the Phoenix’, I hated when they cut Lily from Snape’s memory.”
That was another big one that people were looking forward to. Sort of in Half-Blood Prince, too. We were looking for that backstory, but we didn’t get as much as we had hoped.
Eric: Hmm, yeah.
Richard: That was my biggest…
Eric: The fact that Snape’s memory was – yeah?
Richard: Yeah, when they cut most of the – it was actually when they cut all the Pensieve scenes.
Richard: They cut most of them, at least.
Andrew: Yeah, they did.
Richard: That was like a slaughter.
Micah: Well, how…
Andrew: But I think the ones that they had were really well done.
Richard: Didn’t they only have, like, one?
Andrew: Slughorn and – well, right, Slughorn and Tom Riddle, that was so good.
Eric: Yeah, as much as I would like to see the Gaunts…
Micah: And the orphanage one was well done, too, I thought.
Richard: Yeah, that’s true. There were two.
Micah: But Hepzibah Smith – I mean, that’s a big cut because I don’t know how they’re going to explain it in Part 2.
Andrew: hfsargeant wrote:
“It’s got to be the Marauders. That was my favorite part of ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’ and it was just pretty much absent.”
Eric: Yeah. Micah, has Deathly Hallows: Part 1 beat out Prisoner of Azkaban as highest grossing yet?
Micah: Oh yeah. I mean, Prisoner of Azkaban, I don’t even know that it’s in the top 25 anymore. I don’t think it is.
Andrew: You know a lot – I’m looking through all the Twitter responses. A lot of people said the Marauders. They were really looking forward…
Andrew: …to the Marauders.
Micah: And I don’t think we – did we talk to David Heyman about that at all? I can’t remember…
Eric: Oh, I should have.
Micah: …but that for me is the biggest cut, and it was a senseless cut by Alfonso to do that because I thought it was such an easy thing to include. You’re talking about maybe five to ten minutes more.
Eric: Explaining that Harry has family and that he’s no different from his family, it’s this really comforting moment. And Alfonso, I feel, was – even the filmmakers – all of the filmmakers, at that time, for that film – were going for a more whimsy, “Look at the kind of stuff Harry gets thrown into, it’s funny…”
Micah: “Watch the tree kill the bird!” I mean… [laughs]
Andrew: A lot of people also mentioned Winky being cut out of Goblet of Fire, and I have to agree. Me, personally, S.P.E.W. – I was in love with that chapter or that whole plot in Goblet of Fire – and we’ll talk about it more next episode because the next chapter is about S.P.E.W. And yeah, so that was upsetting for me, personally. So, those were some Twitter responses. If you’d like to get in on this Twitter action when we ask a question on Twitter, then we read your responses, just follow us on Twitter. Our handle is Twitter.com/MuggleCast.
Muggle Mail: Emma Watson Impressions
Andrew: Let’s get to some Muggle Mail now! This first one comes from Cassandra, 14, of California. She writes:
“Next year, I will be entering high school. I’m currently freaked out about finals, tests, friends, and just the overall process of transitioning into high school. Throughout these times, though, it’s you amazing people who keep me smiling. When I’m struggling with friendships, I know that I can always count on you guys to make me laugh and brighten up my day. I’m the kind of person who will randomly burst out into uncontrollable fits of laughter in the middle of class because I’m remembering something hilarious from last month’s MuggleCast episode. You all are like my own little circle of ‘Harry Potter’ BFFs, even though I’ve never met half of you! Each host has their own unique personality which really shows how amazing you are as a whole. I’m so fortunate that ‘Harry Potter’ and MuggleCast have been a part of my childhood. Even though the movies will soon come to a close, I know the fandom will never end because it will live on in the hearts of ‘Harry Potter’ fans, and that it will all grow stronger as generations of children after us stumble upon the ‘Harry Potter’ books for years to come. Keep up the amazing work! Love, Cassandra.”
And she says:
“P.S. Andrew, do you think you could do another one of your Emma Watson impressions like you did in Episode 204? That would really make my day. Thanks, you’re the best!”
So, this was kind of a – this was a Chicken Soup, but for some reason it was in Muggle Mail.
Andrew: That was my fault.
Micah: And the person clearly adores you, Andrew.
Andrew: She mentioned me at the end.
Richard: I’ve never heard this impression.
Andrew: I’m trying to think what it was. I think it was her Twitter. Here, let me look at her most recent tweets and I’ll read one of them.
Eric: [laughs] You’re stalking one of our followers.
Andrew: [poorly imitating Emma Watson] “Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all had a good one. X”
Micah: Great job, great job.
Eric: [laughs] ‘X’? The ‘X’…
Andrew: [poorly imitating Emma Watson] “Hi guys, are you all ready for Christmas? Not long to go now. Exams all done and I’m back in the U.K. in six inches…” [normal voice] Six inches of snow, I’m sure she meant.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Andrew: “I’m back in the UK in six inches.” Hmm.
Eric: Oh, you’re reading Emma Watson’s tweets?
Andrew: That was an unfortunate cut off on Twitter. Yeah.
Eric: Yeah. [laughs]
Andrew: [poorly imitating Emma Watson] “The snow is pretty but am I going to be able to get out tonight?!” [normal voice] That’s a horrible impression, I hope that’s the one I did…
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: …on Episode 204 because then you’ll like it. Otherwise…
Richard: It’s like listening to a human laxative.
Andrew: Sorry, Richard.
Eric: What? Urgh.
Andrew: Eric, could you read the next e-mail, please?
Muggle Mail: Team StarKid
Eric: [laughs] This one comes from Ellie, age 16, of Pennsylvania. Hey! Wow, okay.
“Dear MuggleCast guys, two quick things. First, on your last episode, 217, I was happy to hear that one of the e-mails you’d received used the phrase “supermegafoxyawesomehot,” but I was extremely disappointed that you guys didn’t know where it came from, or if you did, you didn’t acknowledge it. The phrase is from ‘A Very Potter Musical’ and it’s Harry’s – played by Darren Criss – description of Cho Chang.”
“And this leads me to my second point. You guys really should talk about Team StarKid, the guys who brought us ‘A Very Potter Musical’ and ‘A Very Potter Sequel’, both of which have a huge following in the ‘Potter’ fandom. As far as I know, you’ve only mentioned ‘A Very Potter Musical’ once on a show and ‘A Very Potter Sequel’ not at all. This just can’t be. StarKid has become a huge part of the ‘Potter’ fandom for a lot of people and it needs to be acknowledged! This summer I was as excited if not more so for the release of the second musical on YouTube than I was for the release of the seventh ‘Harry Potter’ film. I’m sure I speak for many MuggleCast/StarKid fans when I say I’d love it if you guys mentioned Team Starkid on the show every once in a while since even though they aren’t technically a real part of the fandom, they are still definitely a part. Thanks guys! Love the show!”
Andrew: Yeah, so she’s absolutely right. “A Harry Potter Musical” has – A Very Potter Musical, excuse me – has become very popular, it’s been huge on YouTube. I’m looking at the play now. Each act of the play has pretty much at least a million views, and it has a huge following because there are some really great songs. It’s just funny and I think the timing seemed right. The concept of a Harry Potter musical is one that our fandom could really embrace. So, if you haven’t already checked out A Very Potter Musical, you should…
Eric: And its sequel.
Andrew: And its sequel, A Very Potter Sequel.
Eric: But we will warn they are both three hours long. It’s insane but it’s good. They’re both very good.
Andrew: At least check out the opening scene of the first one. I think that will give you a good impression of what’s to come. It’s well written, like I said, the songs are pretty good and the cast – it’s just a good part of the fandom. If you want to check it out, you can go to YouTube.com/StarKidPotter.
Andrew: YouTube.com/StarKidPotter, then you can click A Very Potter Musical on the right. And by the way, we have mentioned them on MuggleNet before, they have been in our Year in Reviews, both the 2009 and 2010 Year in Reviews under “The Videos of the Year.”
Eric: It’s true.
Andrew: So, it’s not like we’ve ignored them or anything. And Darren Criss, the lead, was at the Deathly Hallows premiere in November in New York City, and we made a news post about that, our little interview with him. And he was very excited to see the fan sites there on the red carpet, as we were excited to see him. So, that’s the Very Potter Musical craze.
Eric: Andrew, did you get my text? You got to keep that in. It’s a musical reference.
Andrew: Oh, okay. [laughs] I was like, “What?” I checked my phone.
Andrew: And no, I did not get a text. Okay, Micah, could you read the next e-mail?
Muggle Mail: Symbolism of Dobby’s Death
Micah: Next e-mail comes from Robyn, 19, of England, and she says:
“Hey, I’m unsure if you have mentioned/discussed this in previous MuggleCasts and I apologize if so. But anyways, I saw the ‘Deathly Hallows: Part 1’ recently and I left the cinema feeling that Dobby was meant to symbolize or be an analogy for the children who are killed in war. I thought that the film had a very political feel to it, for example, the emphasis on propaganda and the sculpture of oppression in the Ministry. I found that the way in which Harry cradled him emphasized the analogy and also thought the way that Hermione passed his body, wrapped in the sheet, to Harry was very moving in how she took so much care in doing so, his body was so small. I was just curious to know whether you guys felt this or anything similar. Thanks for providing hours of enjoyable listening.”
Andrew: I think that’s a cool idea. I agree with that.
Eric: I think…
Andrew: It’s like a child.
Eric: Yeah, it is like a child. I feel like we will see more of that in Part 2, with obviously some of the younger students that do not make it at the end of the war. But I don’t think the film did have an emphasis on propaganda as this e-mail writes because I feel like the book was even more so about the propaganda than in the movie. I want to say it’s still glossed over in the movie. There is that scene where it’s really intense, but I think the book much more so was about where the world is in terms of Nazism and evoking those historical ideas. I think the book was even more intense.
Andrew: Richard, could you read the next e-mail, please? From Caroline?
Muggle Mail: Weird Places People Listen to MuggleCast
Richard: From Caroline, age 13, from Illinois:
“This year, the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes went to Springfield, Illinois. It’s a four-hour bus ride from our extremely small – so small the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders plus the chaperones and teachers fit on one bus – on our school trip to Springfield. The bus we took to Springfield was probably the weirdest place I’ve ever listened to MuggleCast. Whenever I would laugh because one of the hosts said something funny, I would get strange looks from everyone on the bus because they had no idea what I was laughing at. Thanks for putting a smile on my face whenever I listen to the show. Caroline.”
Muggle Mail: Ron in Malfoy Manor Torture Scene
Andrew: A nice little story. And finally today from Zoe, age 15 – well, let me try that again. And finally today, before a Chicken Soup, this next one is from Zoe, 15, of Texas:
“Hey guys, I’ve just started listening, but I’m already addicted to your show. Anyway, I wanted your opinions on something in ‘Deathly Hallows: Part 1’. As I’m a die hard Ron and Hermione shipper, in the book during the Malfoy Manor torture scene, I distinctively remember how Ron was sobbing and kept yelling Hermione’s name. I was really looking forward to seeing that on the big screen as I thought it was a very touching moment, but when I saw the movie all I got from Ron in the scene was more angst. Do you think they cut it out because they felt it was unnecessary to the plot, or because Rupert is even worse than Dan at crying on cue? I’d love to know what your thoughts were on this. Again, love the show and take care.”
Richard: I doubt he’s worse than Dan at acting.
Eric: Oh, geez.
Andrew: Oh wow, that’s horrible.
Richard: Just had to get that in there. [laughs]
Eric: Well, you did it. You did it. It’s done now, Richard. There is no going back.
Andrew: I thought Rupert was a great actor in this film.
Eric: He was.
Andrew: I’ve made that clear before.
Richard: Yeah, I agree.
Eric: Absolutely. Micah, what do you think?
Micah: I think she’s not the only one that wrote in about this. A lot of people said that it was a point that was left out and I don’t see why they couldn’t have included it. I mean, they showed enough shots of them down there with the other characters and so…
Andrew: Maybe they don’t want to show Ron as a weak character.
Eric: Well no, it’s…
Andrew: I mean, you don’t…
Eric: I don’t feel like that’s the case. I feel like – remember guys – I mean, we posted news about this – everybody – the filmmakers, all of them, including the actors on set – were really creeped out by Emma and Helena Bonham Carter’s torture scene.
Eric: They didn’t know how much of it to include. David Heyman likened it to a Saw film in its original, unedited form. Emma and Helena, when Bellatrix is torturing Hermione, it was just this thing that they went with and it scared all of them that I think this whole scene, if something is cut out, like Ron crying, I think it’s because they just didn’t want to make it any more intense than they felt it really was. And I think the final product in the film is okay. I feel like they could have pushed the envelope a little bit further, but all the reports are saying that that scene was just so intense that it just seems that everybody was irked about it, that they just didn’t know how much was enough and how much was too much. I think they settled for the safe side. So, I think that’s why you won’t find Rupert – I’m sure he could cry, and I’m sure that he would be good doing it. But I think that’s why you won’t see more of a reaction to that because they were just kind of trying to skip it, trying to get through it as fast as they could.
Micah: Go ahead.
Andrew: And to also revise what I just said right before Eric, I think that Ron had this big turn-around moment after destroying the Horcrux and for him to go back and sort of get all sobby wouldn’t have fit in with this new, strong Ron who – king of the world, can conquer anything.
Eric: I get that.
Andrew: That was a big moment for him, so to go into a crying mood would have kind of contradicted this big Horcrux moment he just had.
Micah: Yeah, the other part, though, that a lot of people wrote in about that kind of relates to this in terms of things that were cut was when Harry doesn’t have that conversation with Ron, right after the Horcrux is destroyed, about how he loves Hermione but as a sister. And people thought that was a huge plot point that got left out, and it kind of relates into this because maybe you would have seen more emotion out of Ron in this scene if they had included that because there is no discrepancy anymore, there is no question about who is into who, it’s clearly defined. And people thought that that was a big moment in the books, and it kind of just got left out by the director.
Eric: I think it separates because the audience then would be expecting Ron to care more than Harry. So, it would essentially give Harry an excuse not to cry when Hermione is being tortured because he only likes her as a sister, whereas Ron likes her as more than that. It just – I don’t see that that distinction needed to exist. On the other hand, David Yates has been accused of being a Harry/Hermione shipper. It’s in all of his films that he’s done where they have these tender moments and I don’t think that’s wrong, but I think that’s probably also why that scene was cut.
Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul
Andrew: And finally one more Chicken Soup today. This comes from Annie, 16, of Wisconsin:
“I have started listening recently, maybe last three months or so, and I have really enjoyed going back to old episodes and listening. I live in a small town and not many people are quite as into ‘Harry Potter’ as I am, and I am proud to say that I am known as the ‘Harry Potter’ girl at school. I will randomly shout out ‘Harry Potter’ references pretty much on a daily basis. However this isn’t the point. My English class has been reading ‘Les Miserables’ and we have lots of socratic discussions. I have noticed that I have really improved in these discussions ever since I have listened to your guys’ discussions on MuggleCast! So, thanks a bunch for the good grade in English this semester! Oh, and the wonderful show you guys make!”
So thanks, Annie, for that. I’ve got to say, these episodes of MuggleCast have not helped me do better in my English classes in school.
Micah: [laughs] Have you listened to them after?
Andrew: What do you mean? My school discussions?
Micah: Have you listened to…
Andrew: Maybe I should – it’d be better if I hosted them, I think.
Micah: Yeah, there you go.
Eric: [laughs] Yeah.
Micah: Well, it’s good to see that we have this effect and that people are doing well in English because of…
Micah: They listen to the discussions that we have on the show.
Andrew: And we’ve gotten e-mails, I think some of the biggest – what am I trying to say? Some of the nicest messages we’ve heard about the impact of MuggleCast have been when teachers have e-mailed in and said they’ve played our discussions as examples of good literary discussions. That’s a very nice compliment, so…
Eric: Good old Mr. Nelson back from the old…
Micah: [laughs] Oh yeah, wow.
Eric: He was one of the first teachers who wrote in.
Andrew: I remember that, yeah.
Eric: One of the first teachers who wrote in saying that. Although teachers should be the ones to host the discussion. I think, Andrew, if you hosted the discussion you’d be instant messaging the teachers secretly and saying, “Hey, hey, you’re popping. You’re popping.”
Eric: “You’ve got to move your mic,” [laughs] because you’re a perfectionist, but that’s why the show sounds so good.
Andrew: Yeah, true to that.
Eric: I tried to make a joke, but, really, I love you.
Micah: That was Episode 5, September 3rd, 2005.
Eric: So, very early on.
Andrew: He should e-mail in again if he still listens.
Eric: He really should because that would be wonderful to hear.
Andrew: Before we wrap up the show today, I want to plug a new podcast that…
Micah: Smart Mouths!
Andrew: …Ben Schoen…
Micah: Oh no, sorry.
Eric: Is that over now for good?
Andrew: Yes. I want to plug a new podcast that Ben Schoen and I are now doing. It’s called HYPE! HYPE! HypePodcast.com, you can download the first episode and actually the second episode will be out by the time – well, likely, by the time you hear this. HYPE is about pretty much anything and everything causing hype at the moment, and we sort of determine if it deserves that hype. And the difference with this podcast that Ben and I are doing is that we’re recording it together in person, and I think that makes a big difference in the sound of the show, the rapport, the chemistry, etc. So, visit HypePodcast.com and I hope you enjoy this new entertainment-tech podcast that Ben and I are doing.
Micah: Well, thank you, Andrew.
Andrew: Again, it’s…
Micah: Thank you for hyping up HYPE.
Andrew: Oh, you’re welcome. HypePodcast.com
Eric: Is it an acronym, Andrew?
Andrew: No, it’s not.
Micah: You should make it one.
Andrew: It’s just – well, because Ben said it should have the word “hype” in it and I said, “Well, let’s just call it HYPE.” And we were, like, “Okay.” While you’re visiting HypePodcast.com, why don’t you also hop over to MuggleCast.com to get all the information you need about this show. As we mentioned earlier, there’s a contact link at the top where you can fill out a feedback form to get in touch with us. And on the right side of the site you can find links to subscribe and review us on iTunes, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook. And by doing all those things, you will stay up to date with the latest episodes, topic questions, various things.
[Show music begins]
Andrew: So, visit MuggleCast.com for everything you need. Thanks everyone for listening! I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Richard: And I’m Richard Reid.
Andrew: And we’ll see you next time for Episode 219. Buh-bye!
[Show music continues]