Transcript #219

MuggleCast 219 Transcript

Show Intro

[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]

Micah: Because we’re moving from the shack to the boathouse, this is MuggleCast Episode 219 for January 23rd, 2011.

[Show music begins]

Andrew: This week’s episode of MuggleCast is brought to you by, 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

And by, the fast and easy way to publish a high-quality website or blog. For a free trial and 10% off your new account, go to and use the code “Muggle”.

[Show music continues]

Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 219! Andrew, Micah, Eric here this week to give you the lowdown on what’s going on in the Harry Potter world. Slow news, but big Chapter-by-Chapter segment to get through this week, and we’re going to do it as professionally and as…

Eric: Accurately?

Andrew: …entertaining – accurately…

Eric: And…

Andrew: …and inspirationally as possible, as you’ve come to expect it from us. I’m Andrew Sims.

Eric: I’m Eric Scull.

Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Andrew: Micah Tannenbaum, what is in the news? Come on, don’t hold out any longer.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: I’ve got to know.

News: First Still from Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Micah: You said it was a slow news period and you’re right, but the good thing is the news we have gotten is big news. We got our first still from Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Eric: Ooh.

Micah: …and you know how big I am on pictures.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: The first…

Micah: So…

Eric: Micah, you should have said the first of, like, 15,000 pictures, right?

Micah: Yeah, and given that this is the last film, there probably will be at least that many, Eric, I’m thinking.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Well, I actually got kind of sad when I posted it because I was, like, “Oh, this is one of the last firsts.”

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: We have a first picture, we have a first trailer, we have a first TV spot. These are all big, big stories. However it’s not technically the first picture because – I put “first picture” in the headline because it creates more buzz.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: But the big first picture will be the first official still released by Warner Bros. in high resolution.

Eric: Okay…

Micah: I was going to say…

Eric: …so this is not that, right?

Micah: Well, I was going to say, the first one that you don’t have to take down at the request of Warner Bros.

Andrew: Exactly.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: This one that you are talking about we had to take down at the request of – as was predicted, by the way. It was a black and white photo with a “Property of W.B.” watermark in three places on… [laughs]

Micah: I think they release those on purpose, though.

Andrew: Maybe. We still don’t know what the source was.

Eric: So, you didn’t stick up to Warner Bros. and say, “Well, if you want us to take this down, you’ve got to give us a high-res version of it”? You didn’t say that?

Andrew: No, I think they weren’t ready. But I did say to them, “I’ll take it down, but you do know it’s on every other movie website right now, right?”

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: And the W.B. rep was, like, “Welcome to my morning.”

Micah: No thanks to us.

Andrew: Yeah, no thanks to us, we were kind of first with it. But anyway, it’s a picture of Neville in the foreground and you see Bellatrix in the background, and it’s a cool photo. I mean, it’s low-res, but it’s an exciting photo, it’s from the battle, which apparently is going to take up about forty-five minutes to an hour of the film, so I would guess the majority of the photos [laughs] may be coming from the battle.

News: Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Box Office Results

Micah: We’re keeping with the Deathly Hallows theme here, but we’re going to go to Part 1 for just a minute. And we talked about it on the last show, it’s slowly climbing up the charts, and Andrew, I know you mentioned how much I like to post about…

Andrew: Numbers.

Micah: Numbers, yeah, exactly. And so finally, it has moved past both Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince. It’s currently number ten all time in worldwide box office gross, and it only has – if it is going to make it there – Sorcerer’s Stone to pass. I don’t think it’s going to happen, though.

Andrew: That’s really cool. I mean, and W.B. is kind of used to it now, but for any film to reach the top ten grossing films of all time? I mean, that’s an amazing figure.

Eric: What does that mean for fans?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Does it mean that…

Andrew: [laughs] It means nothing for us.

Eric: …people are still going to see it, though, in other countries and all across the world, people are saying, “Hey, you should go see this movie”? Or is it that Deathly Hallows: Part 1 have really late release dates in some countries and that’s why it continues to climb?

Andrew: That could be it, and I think winter break helps a lot. A lot of people are off over the winter break, so they may want to go see the movie again. And yeah, I think you’re right, those international release dates that were later than the November date that we saw in the U.S. and in the U.K. as well as a few other countries. So, you noted in the news post, Micah, it’s now $500,000 away but…

Micah: Well, what happened is this, and I’m actually looking at right now, which is where we get all these numbers from. It had moved passed Order of the Phoenix, it is now below Order of the Phoenix again. I’m not sure exactly why that is…

[Eric laughs]

Micah: …because the number posted earlier in the week was $938.3 million.

Andrew: And now it’s $937.3 million.

Micah: Right.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Suffice it to say by the time this show is released, if it’s going for a Sunday release, that it will pass Order of the Phoenix because it’s only about $0.9 million away [laughs] from passing Order of the Phoenix. The tall task is going to be catching Sorcerer’s Stone which is at $974.7 million.

Eric: Wow.

Micah: I think it’s too far away. I don’t even think it’ll get past Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.

Andrew: But keep in mind it’s not going to be in theaters for much longer, so…

Micah: Right.

Andrew: …I think…

Micah: Unless it is re-released in 3D, which is something to keep an eye on because…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: …if that happens, it has a chance to catch Sorcerer’s Stone.

Andrew: My prediction is Part 1 will be back in theaters in 3D right before Part 2 comes out or right with Part 2 because…

Eric: I thought they scrapped that project.

Andrew: No, no, they said they do want to eventually release it, whether it’s on DVD in 3D or back in theaters because at this point they have spent so much money on it, they want to get that money back. So, it’s got to be in some theaters right before Part 2 because some people will want to see Part 1 at, like, 9:30 PM and then Part 2 will start almost right away, right after Part 1 ends at midnight.

Eric: I wonder what the benefits of seeing Part 1 in 3D are going to be like, what scenes are going to stand out that much more in 3D.

Andrew: The snake will come out at you.

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Eric: I guess so.

Micah: But I think, though, regardless of how they’re lined up right now – I mean, having one quarter of the top twelve movies of all time is pretty good.

Andrew: Before we get to the big story of the week, first we’d like to remind you about our two sponsors for this week’s episode. First,, 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 awesome service. One audiobook to consider is Orson Scott Card’s classic, Ender’s Game. Check out the special 20th anniversary edition, which is digitally remastered with a full cast production. So, to purchase that, or any other audiobook of your choice for free, go to That’s

This episode is also brought to you by, the fast and easy way to create and manage a high-quality website or blog. Create a website that’s uniquely you to display your photos from Flickr, a blog you’ve been thinking about starting, or the tweets and RSS feeds you like the most, all in the design and colors of your choice. Whatever you want to communicate, you can say it easily and with style with Squarespace. I used Squarespace to create a new website for my podcast HYPE. If you check out, you’ll see just this really nice website that I created only in a few minutes. I have a lot of HTML and web design experience from working on MuggleNet over the years, but I needed none of it to create this website for my podcast HYPE. So again, check out You’ll just see how nicely designed it is, how easy it is to read and navigate, and it’s thanks to Squarespace. They’ll make you look like a fantastic web designer. The best part is you can try it out today for free. Visit and sign up for their free trial, then choose a design template to get started. No credit card is needed. Just give it a try to build your website. Then, after two weeks, if you decide to purchase, enter code “Muggle” to receive 10% off for six months. That’s and use offer code “Muggle”. We thank Squarespace for their support of MuggleCast.

News: New Scene for Snape’s Death

Micah: Well, let’s get to the big story of the week. Andrew, you were all set, I know you were pumped up to reveal this in your set report…

Andrew: I was!

Micah: …and somebody beat you to it.

Andrew: And it was so funny because I was talking with my friend Edward from The Leaky Cauldron the other day, and I said, “It’s really exciting. We’re going to get to reveal in our set reports this big scene change,” and he’s, like, “Yeah, yeah, it’s going to be really cool.” [laughs] And then two days later, this comes out. I’m, like, “Nooooo!” Ugh, so frustrating.

Eric: Was it…

Micah: So, what happened is Andrew Ackland-Snow, who is the art director for Harry Potter

Andrew: And now my worst enemy.

Micah: I’ve never even heard of him before…

[Eric laughs]

Micah: …to be honest with you and this is in no way supposed to be offensive towards Andrew, but I’ve never heard of this guy before. Usually we hear about Stuart Craig or Alan Gilmore, so I’m not quite sure who this guy is. But he did reveal that Severus Snape will have a different death scene in Deathly Hallows: Part 2 from the book, and this has created a little bit of a discussion [laughs] over the course of the last couple of days.

Andrew: Yeah. Well, let’s – I’ll read the quote from Andrew Ackland-Snow, and some people in the comments were confused by this, but I think I understand what he’s saying. Quote:

“We wanted to change a bit where Snape dies. In the book, he dies on the Shrieking Shack, and we wanted to get him out from, not a conventional interior, but from that kind of box, to do it in a more dramatic atmosphere. We asked J.K. Rowling if she agreed for that to happen in there, because we hadn’t really seen it before.”

Referring to the boathouse.

“We made a crystal house…”

And now, people are confused by this crystal house comment. He’s saying that the boathouse is kind of made of crystal, [laughs] I guess. But I think what he’s saying is it’s transparent. So anyway, he says:

“…and you can see what happens in the boat house from there – but also the school is in flames and she…”

Being Jo.

“…loved it. Besides, it’s a very romantic place to die. Snape dies in a extremely good way, I gotta say.”

And in the same news post, I reminded everybody about the comments from set designer Stuart Craig, who said last February, quote:

“The last time I cried was a few days ago when we filmed the death of Alan Rickman’s character, Snape. It’s quite difficult to cry in rushes – where we watch the previous day’s work – but he is an extraordinary actor and he dies an extremely good death.”

Eric: Wow.

Andrew: So…

Micah: So, now we can finally talk about this.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: It’s not embargoed.

Andrew: Yeah. Well, I mean, I think I’m still technically embargoed from what…

Micah: Revealing further details.

Eric: Until when?

Andrew: Yeah, there are a couple of more details that Stuart Craig said to us on set, and we’ll be able to release those in a couple months. But are you guys disappointed in this change for Snape?

Micah: I think if you’re taking this purely from a movie standpoint, it is going to be great. And the way that they set this up, with Hogwarts burning down in the background and Snape lying there dying in this boathouse, is going to be great for film. But I also understand the argument that other people are making where there are just certain things that you don’t change. It’s not about saying that J.K. Rowling approved it so we’re okay with it, it’s about taking what was in the book and putting it on the screen, and not changing that, being true to the book in that sense. Not to say that what they do isn’t going to be great or isn’t going to be better, it’s just a matter of following what’s in the text. And I think those people have just as much of a legitimate argument as the people who say, “Well, if J.K. Rowling likes it, how can we disagree?”

Eric: So, you’re saying some people in the comments are saying, “Is nothing sacred?” right?

Micah: Yeah, exactly.

Eric: I mean, as far as keeping…

Micah: And I don’t think – they’re not saying that, for the purposes of watching a movie, that this isn’t going to be this great, epic scene, they’re just saying, “Hey! Can’t we just stick to what’s in the book?”

Eric: I see that.

Andrew: And your thoughts, Eric?

Eric: There was a scene that was supposed to take place in the Shrieking Shack that was cut in the Shrieking Shack in Movie 3 and that mattered far more to me than this, [laughs] Snape’s death scene. It happens. At least we know it happens. They’re not going to not kill Snape, it happens somewhere else. I’m excited. I think when we heard from Stuart Craig – I was talking about the Marauders scene, by the way. But when we heard from Stuart Craig in February, that he cried when Snape died, or when Alan Rickman’s Snape died, when they were filming it, it just made me feel so good about it. And seeing Part 1 and how there were scenes of Deathly Hallows: Part 1 where it wasn’t true to the book, for instance, Hedwig’s death. And I think that the choices they made were choices, in the end, I really agreed with and I can definitely see where fans are coming from. Why couldn’t it have happened in the shack? But I just feel, personally, that during the final battle, Harry is kind of everywhere. And the Shrieking Shack is pretty far away for him to walk while people are engaged in battle and dying and stuff. It just seems – so I figured they’d do something different for the film and I was kind of expecting this, almost. But I will say the crystal house comment did not make sense to me. But it’s a boathouse, so that makes sense. I was, like, “Is there a house on the school grounds? What’s up with that?” Like, Dumbledore’s tomb…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: …isn’t even on the school grounds. But if it’s a boathouse that makes sense, right?

Micah: I think my biggest problem with it – Andrew, when you first told me about it – was that for the story, it’s about, in a way, coming full circle because, if you remember, Snape almost died going into the Shrieking Shack and he was saved by Harry’s father. And that is inevitably where he ends up dying in the series, and I think that was written for a specific purpose. And to take that and to completely change it for the film just because it may be more dramatic, that’s where I had the problem with it because I thought that J.K. Rowling wrote this a specific way. He almost died, and then in the end, he does end up dying there. So…

Andrew: Yeah, I think that everybody in the end will feel good about it. I mean, considering again the Stuart Craig crying comment, I think that’s a very – that spoke volumes because it was so moving and even incomplete. It wasn’t digitally – it wasn’t finished, it wasn’t part of the editing. It was just the sort of shot that they got and he was so moved by it. So, I think it’s going to be really something special, and what a lot of people brought up in the comments – which I do agree with – is Jo did sign off on it, and if she’s cool with it…

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: …I think we should all bow down and be cool with it, too.

Micah: But somebody else also brought up the point that she’s approved a lot of the other changes that have taken – She approves every change…

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Micah: …that takes place in the films, and there are plenty of people who don’t like it. So, you’ve got to remember that as well. The other thing that somebody brought up in the comments was with the Shrieking Shack scene, Harry, Ron, and Hermione – or Harry – is hidden. How do you hide around the corner of a transparent house?

[Eric laughs]

Micah: Because remember, Voldemort is there. He kills Snape with – or Nagini kills Snape…

Andrew: Maybe they’re under the cloak? [laughs]

Micah: Maybe. I mean…

Andrew: I’m sure they have a way. And not to mention the other minor issue, which is that we’ve never been introduced to the boathouse before.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: So…

Micah: [laughs] It’s in the video game.

Andrew: Oh, really?

Eric: [laughs] Well, I hope it won’t feel like it did in Lost, when everyone on the show – they would add new Dharma hatches that only lasted, like, one episode, it just felt cheap. But I think it’ll be done artfully. I think it’ll be done fine.

Andrew: All right. Well, that’s all for news this week. Like we said, a little bit shorter but of course, that big story – everybody was talking about it. It’s the most commented story on MuggleNet this month, about Snape, the death scene changing…

Micah: And you got some tweets, right? Later on?

Chapter-by-Chapter: “The House-Elf Liberation Front”

Andrew: Yeah, and later on we’re going to get through some tweets. People reacted very passionately about the news at hand, so we’ll get to those after Chapter-by-Chapter. For now, this week we’re looking at Goblet of Fire, Chapters 21 through 23. I have the first chapter, Micah has the second, and Eric has the third.

Chapter 21, “The House-Elf Liberation Front.” It starts off with Harry telling Ron about what Sirius had to say about Karkaroff, and Ron thinks Karkaroff must feel pretty dumb now about his plan not working. But I disagree because there are still two more challenges left, and surely Karkaroff knows that they’re going to get more challenging. But would you guys say it’s fair to say that Karkaroff was surprised by how well Harry did? Do you think Karkaroff would have expected him to be dead by the end of the first task?

Eric: I think it’s fair to say. I mean, he is a fourteen year old in a seventeen year old’s game, and he’s facing a dragon. I think everybody was surprised by the fact that Harry was kind of still around.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: But the other thing is that Harry feels that Karkaroff was – Karkaroff is the suspect here, where he kind of sees it as having to prove something almost in the way, where Karkaroff is kind of just gritty and edgy, and I think – obviously he would prefer if there were less competition for Durmstrang in this contest, but…

Micah: Right.

Eric: …Karkaroff is – seeing as how Karkaroff isn’t the main bad guy here, it’s not his disappointment to suffer, really.

Micah: And of course – I mean, clearly he is not happy with Harry’s performance because he gives him such a low mark. What does he give him, a four?

[Eric laughs]

Micah: For his performance against the dragon?

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Micah: And…

Eric: He does what he can.

Andrew: Clearly, very biased.

Micah: Yeah, and I think it’s a bit ironic though, too, because the whole book, you’re really thinking that somebody put his name in the Goblet of Fire in order to kill him in the tournament, when in fact the whole reason he’s been entered into the tournament is to make it through…

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: …to the very end.

Andrew: So, to celebrate Harry’s victorious win, there’s a celebration party that’s held for Harry in the Gryffindor common room, and during the party, Harry’s encouraged to open the golden egg that he had grabbed during the first task. He opens it and it screeches very loudly, and everybody begins to take guesses at what this very loud, annoying sound could mean, where is the clue in that? Neville assumed that it’s the sound of someone being tortured, so they’re going to have to face a Cruciatus Curse, but George notes that they wouldn’t make them do that because it’s illegal, but Harry entering the tournament was kind of – I don’t know if it was illegal, but nothing is ordinary in this tournament, so…

Micah: Interesting that Neville mentions the Cruciatus Curse.

Eric: The Cruciatus Curse, yeah. I mean, what he’s actually hearing is what mermaids sound like above water, right? Because the clue is in Mermish.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: So, the fact that Neville hears the screeching and associates it to his childhood, the torture of his parents, that’s just pretty spooky.

Andrew: And do you think that that’s what the mermaids sound like above water? Because – do they automatically scream like that, do you think, once they are brought above water? Because presumably they can’t go above water, or else…

Eric: Oh no, they can because in the book, Dumbledore is seen conversing with the merpeople.

Micah: Yeah, after the tournament.

Eric: But…

Micah: After the second task.

Eric: But I don’t think that – yeah, I think the fact that it’s screeching – obviously they’re singing, so there’s music or whatever. Yeah, I just think it’s not – again, the not-human-ears thing, where…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric:[laughs] it doesn’t have to sound good to humans.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: But it’s – yeah, it was really, really weird, and at this point, you’re, like, “Okay, a screeching egg, this gets weirder and weirder,” but it kind of pulls you in, in a way. All…

Andrew: Yeah, it’s a very odd clue, and I’m sure readers, the first time – I can’t remember that far back, personally, but the first time I was probably very taken aback by that, too, and I think the Cruciatus Curse was certainly a valid – yes. [laughs]

Eric: It seems reasonable, especially because we just learned about the killing curses this year.

Andrew: Yeah, right.

Eric: They’re going to continue to play a big role in this book particularly and we know that, so the question is, where and when?

Andrew: So, Hermione learns all this party food had been from the Hogwarts kitchen, and meaning the house-elves. She asks how Fred got in there because he was the one who got all the food, and they become suspicious at the question – Fred and George – why Hermione would be asking such a thing, and George suggests that Hermione probably wants to go lead them out on a strike, half-jokingly, half-serious, because they know that Hermione has been up to this S.P.E.W. business lately. So, later on, Hermione does go down to the kitchen, taking Fred’s tip, and she comes running back into the common room, after having been there, to find Harry and leads him down to the elf kitchen below the Great Hall. And it’s very interesting, I really liked how Jo described it. Basically, there are four tables right underneath the four tables in the Great Hall, so somehow the house-elves presumably set all the tables and whatnot, and then the food magically transfers from the kitchen hall to the Great Hall, which is cool.

Micah: Yeah, I always liked that.

Andrew: I liked how that was described.

Micah: When I first read that, I thought that was really cool, the way that she laid that out.

Eric: Yeah. So, where do they cook the food? Is there a third layer? Is there a basement to the basement that is like…

Andrew: Maybe the kitchen is just off to the side. It may have been briefly mentioned, I’m not sure. I mean, because we do hear in a little bit that Dobby has pots – he starts hitting himself with pots and pans…

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: …so it couldn’t – it has to be in that same room.

Eric: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew: Harry brings Hermione down into the elf kitchen below the Great Hall, and Hermione had found Dobby and wanted to bring Harry to him straight away. So, Harry immediately notices Dobby wearing a ton of clothing, and Dobby introduces him to Winky who immediately begins crying. It’s noted multiple times, though, that all of the elves are very enthusiastic and smiling. They’re just happy to be working, except for Winky who still feels guilty about leaving Crouch. Dobby explains he wanted pay to Harry, now being the free elf that he is, and while Dobby is explaining this the other house-elves kind of step away from Dobby because they – as Jo notes – they thought that he were – it was as if he were carrying something contagious because he’s speaking of this unspeakable kind of attitude, of wanting pay, which of course sickens Hermione. Dobby reveals Dumbledore agreed to pay him a Galleon a week and give him one day off a month. Hermione is horrified at this deal, but Dobby is ecstatic. And Dobby notices Hermione reacting this way and he says, “Oh no! Dumbledore actually originally offered ten Galleons a week and weekends off, but Dobby thought that was too much.” [laughs] So, Hermione – this doesn’t make Hermione feel any better. She’s very concerned, I guess, that Dobby is still programmed – and this should maybe make something click with her – that Dobby, he’s okay with this, he was okay with the lower pay. Do you guys think that should have struck Hermione, like to, hey, maybe back off? [laughs] Considering he was offered higher pay and he wanted lower pay?

Eric: She doesn’t want to be proven wrong, is the thing, and so when Ron or somebody will just say, “Well, the house-elves like it like that,” she’s not so quick to agree. I think eventually she sees that, but the fact that Dobby talked Dumbledore down… [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: “I’ll give you ten Galleons.” “No, no, no, no, sir. No, [laughs] Dobby only requires one Galleon.” It’s just – it’s amusing, but I think Hermione is definitely fighting. Dobby is the odd one out. I think she has more hope – Hermione has more hope for the other house-elves, maybe Winky, but in general the whole lot of them – because they’re not even as free as Dobby is. I think she tries to focus – and Dobby is kind of the odd one out, I think, in both groups, to both groups of people.

Andrew: Do you think that Dumbledore was paying Dobby out of his personal pocket?

Eric: [laughs] Is there a fund?

Micah: Yeah, probably.

Andrew: Well, I’m just wondering because it was so minimal, and Dobby probably goes to Dumbledore directly for the pay, so…

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: I don’t think he gets like a check or what the equivalent of that would be…

Andrew: Right.

Micah: …like the other professors.

Andrew: Because I wonder if it would even be allowed.

Eric: To pay an elf. Yeah…

Andrew: A house-elf.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: So, maybe Dumbledore kind of does it under the table?

[Eric laughs]

Micah: This way Dobby doesn’t have to pay taxes on that.

Eric: [laughs] Taxes.

Micah: [laughs] On that one Galleon.

Andrew: So, Hermione asks Winky how much she’s getting paid, but she says she refuses to stoop that low, still, of course, crying. She’s okay with – I think she was wearing an article or two of clothing but she still refused to get paid, and Dobby – by the way, Dumbledore’s – or Dobby’s – character really shines in this chapter. The way he speaks, you really get a sense of him personally. I kind of fell in love with the Dobby character all over again re-reading this chapter, but Dobby says Winky still feels very loyal to Crouch. And Dobby doesn’t feel that way as much towards Lucius, and dares himself to say something bad about Lucius. He does, but he can’t quite resist the urge to punish himself for speaking badly, saying that Lucius is a very bad Death Eater, I think the wordage was. So, that sort of wraps up the conversation, and Hermione thinks Dobby’s presence in the kitchen is good for the rest of the elves as they can see how happy Dobby is as a free elf even though the elves were backing away a little earlier, still very weary of what the heck Dobby is up to. And to wrap up this chapter, I just have an overall question: What’s in Dobby’s character that allows him to be so comfortable and happy with being free while there’s not one other elf who feels this way? Why is Dobby like this? Is it because maybe he connected with one human, being Harry? Was the fact that Harry freed Dobby suddenly, like, a light switched in Dobby’s head?

Eric: That’s a good question. Micah, what were you going to say?

Micah: I think you could almost make the argument, if you really wanted to, when you look at Dobby and where he came from, freedom would be really the best alternative in the world, whereas you have these elves that work at Hogwarts, right? And I’m assuming that their lives are a million times better than what Dobby was experiencing when he was living at Malfoy Manor, so maybe – and I know it’s a stretch because every case is different, but I’m assuming Dumbledore treats his house-elves or the house-elves of Hogwarts far better than the Malfoys treated Dobby. So, maybe Dobby [laughs] in the end deep down inside really just wanted to get away from being beaten all the time.

[Prolonged silence]

Micah: No?

Eric: It’s interesting, though, for a house-elf to want that because it almost seems like house-elves…

Micah: Are programmed?

Eric: …are so bound, programmed, brainwashed, whatever you want to use, that even if they have an owner who misuses them or isn’t that great to them – I believe Hepzibah Smith’s house-elf was shown as very loyal, but she also very care-taking. My point is that Dobby – we have to remember that he actually strayed from the Malfoys and made his way to Privet Drive not just once to visit Harry in Year 2, but somehow he was collecting and stopping the owls that were going to Harry. Dobby spent a lot of time thinking about Harry Potter that year based on his own motivation because there were talks about terrible things happening at Hogwarts, and I think that act that Dobby did back in Harry’s Year 2 shows that he was always kind of the odd one out. He was always somehow able to realize that what was – he was somehow able to dissent.

Micah: The role of house-elf.

Eric: Even if house-elves know right and wrong the way humans do, the fact that he was able to act on it makes him really strange.

Andrew: So, that wraps up Chapter 21, and Micah, I hand the keys over to you now to drive us through Chapter 22.

Chapter-by-Chapter: “The Unexpected Task “

Micah: [laughs] Well, Chapter 22 opens at “The Unexpected Task” with Harry and Ron in the back of their Transfiguration class with Professor McGonagall, and of course, they’re not paying attention. And it’s one of those scenes where McGonagall yells at them, and…

Andrew: An unexpected task, by the way, that everybody has in…

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: …high school or middle school.

Micah: Yep.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Yeah, I love the name of this chapter.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: It’s a task. It’s right up there with battling dragons and screeching eggs.

Micah: It may be worse than battling dragons.

Eric: [laughs] I feel like Harry…

Micah: In some cases.

Eric: …would have chosen to face the dragon again.

Micah: Yep.

Eric: Yeah…

Micah: So…

Eric: …than find a date.

Micah: Well, McGonagall, at the end of class, informs all the students that the Yule Ball will be taking place and she lets them know that it’s going to be open to fourth years and above, but you’re more than welcome to ask somebody who is younger than you are. Now, is that really fair? I mean, why is it fair that you can go ahead and ask somebody younger than you, and they can go, but that person’s best friend can’t go? Is that really a good practice to be setting? And is it only open to fourth years and older because of Harry?

Eric: Oh, that’s – you mean otherwise it would be seventh years and older? Not that there are older. Huh.

Andrew: That’s an interesting question. I can see why they wouldn’t want the ten year olds in…

Eric: Yeah. Well, eleven.

Andrew: Or eleven. Yeah, it just – I don’t know if that makes sense when some of the students are also seventeen, eighteen.

Eric: Well, it’s like junior and senior prom. I mean, sophomore and freshmen and not allowed in unless they’re dating or going with a junior or senior.

Micah: Right. I guess that’s kind of where it came from.

Eric: They all have their time – it’s a formal thing, it’s just kind of exclusive so that it makes it that much more special when you are a junior or senior to attend.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s true.

Eric: I do think that, yeah, the fourteen-year-old is probably because of Harry, but then again it would be an extremely not – well, not an entirely well-populated dance if only one year of students were there. It would kind of…

Andrew: I think we forget how young they are, too. I mean, eleven year olds at a dance just doesn’t make sense.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Well, you can’t mix with seventeen, eighteen year olds. I mean, that’s a completely different end of the spectrum, really.

Micah: Yep. So, during all of this, Harry also learns that he is going to have to be part of the ball’s opening dance, so deal or no deal, fair or unfair, [laughs] what do you guys think? I mean, it’s almost like it’s one of those things that you find out about and then all of a sudden, your mind starts racing in a million different ways to try and figure out how you can get out of it, because that seems like what was going on with Harry right then and there, so…

Andrew: Yeah, it’s a formality, though, so…

Micah: It is a formality, but also – I mean, he’s just finding out about this weeks before the Yule Ball. Is that really okay to do to somebody?

Andrew: But, well – I mean…

Micah: He always seems to get information right before, [laughs] he never gets it in advance.

Andrew: It’s just a typical thing that happens in high school or middle school. You have these last minute – you have to make last minute plans for the ball.

Eric: Yeah. I mean, I think that’s part of the – it is a tradition, the Yule Ball, and it was obviously pre-planned but it was supposed to be a surprise. But that does happen to Harry often, that I agree with, where he just has things come up…

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: …during the year.

Micah: Well, I guess it’s almost like a prom king and queen, they have to – they stand out above the rest of the group, so they have to take this first dance, so to speak.

Eric: And it’s not exactly a school dance. It’s also Durmstrang and Beauxbatons, and it’s only an event that would only happen if the Triwizard Tournament were going on, which hasn’t happened in quite some time. So, that’s what I liked about the Yule Ball, was the fact that it’s associated with the Triwizard Tournament and so the fact that the champions have their special dance – and it’s a great honor to be one of the champions, but also a date of one of the champions – is exclusive and special.

Micah: Right.

Eric: I don’t know what the Weird Sisters have to do with anything…

[Micah laughs]

Eric: …but we’ll get into that later. [laugh]

Micah: Harry starts to notice all of these female students that currently attend Hogwarts, as if they didn’t exist previously. And I thought it was more of a coming-of-age type of maturity – whatever you want to call it, that he’s sort of experiencing this, especially since now he needs a date for the ball. And there’s a lot of little scenes here where he’s walking around and he’s got some female students that come up and ask him, and I think one he was really quick to respond and say no to her, out of nowhere. He was kind of surprised at how quickly he reacted. But with all these people that keep coming up to him, he starts to wonder to himself, would anybody want to go to the ball with him if he wasn’t a champion? But – say we’re at this point in the book and it’s a different title, and Harry doesn’t end up in this Triwizard Tournament. But I think – wouldn’t you guys agree that he’s pretty famous, regardless? Somebody would want to go to the ball with this guy because, let’s face it, the series is named after him, right? He’s still famous regardless…

[Eric laughs]

Micah: …of whether or not he’s in this freaking tournament.

Eric: Yeah, he’s still probably – he’s still the most popular Gryffindor. But I think you have to want it and here’s a situation where Harry finds himself stuck where he needs a date, and I think if he weren’t a champion here, he wouldn’t need to worry about this. But also, he wouldn’t ñ I think girls can be interested in you, but unless you’re interested in being with a girl, there’s really not a whole lot they can do, except to try and persuade you. I think – so Harry’s at that point where otherwise, I don’t think he would be enough of himself that it would be fun for – to go to a dance or fun for anybody to take him to a dance. I think ó the fact of the matter is is that he’s rising to the occasion. He has to do this, this is something…

Micah: Right.

Eric: …and it’s in his character to…

Micah: So, you think it would be more of, say, he didn’t find out about ó no pun intended, but if he could have, he would have went stag, that’s what you’re saying.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: Yeah. I think so, I really think so. Or…

Micah: At this point in his life, he’s just not there.

Andrew: Sometimes it’s just easier.

Eric: Hung out with Ron, or if Hermione hadn’t gone off with Krum, I think things would have turned out a little bit differently. But obviously, this is Hermione’s time to shine. But yeah, I think…

Andrew: In the words of Jason Derulo, “I’m riding solo, I’m riding solo.” That would be a good Make the Music Connection.

Micah: All right. [laughs] So…

Andrew: The song, “Ridin’ Solo”?

Micah: Yes.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: He’s riding solo. Okay, just wanted to make sure you get that.

Micah: I got it. So, Harry and Ron find it difficult to find dates to the Yule Ball, we’ve pretty much established that. And it seems…

Andrew: They should have went together! Who says you have to go with a girl?

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Eric: Okay, okay, so…

Andrew: Dumbledore should not have a problem with that!

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: That’s true. This is a progressive, progressive castle.

Andrew: Yes.

Micah: But the point to make here, though – it seems like everyone else is ahead of the game, doesn’t it? I mean, you hear about all these people as they start to ask, and it seems like Harry and Ron just really didn’t plan much ahead. Not that they ever do, but you find out Hermione is going with somebody, Ginny is going with somebody, Neville is going with somebody, Seamus is going with somebody, Fred asks Angelina Johnson right in front of them. So, a little behind the eight ball, these guys are.

Andrew: It happens, though, and there’s always one or two people that still don’t have a date. I mean, it’s almost like Jo is writing from experience. I mean, she got it down perfectly. Almost anyone can relate to that type of situation. Most guys can – I mean, unless you were in the popular, popular groups. But Lord knows none of us were, back in the day.

Micah: It’s true.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: [laughs] So, we get to the point where Harry finally gets up enough courage to go and ask Cho Chang, and he – it’s interesting reading sort of the emotions that he’s going through right then and there as he’s approaching to ask her, and how quickly the emotions change from kind of having those butterflies – or I think he talks about having snakes in his stomach, and then all of a sudden it turns to ice cold when she tells him that she’s already going with somebody else. And kind of comparing who Harry goes after versus who Ron goes after, do you guys think it shows how mature they are at this point in the series?

Eric: Well, Harry likes Cho for the same reason Ron likes Fleur, I think. Or – well, no, I guess Harry does like – well, Harry finds Cho very pretty but I think he also does like her because she’s also into Quidditch, right? I mean, why does Harry ask Cho? Why is Cho the one that Harry asks?

Micah: Because he likes her.

Andrew: I think that’s it, yeah. I mean, every once in a while when you’re in middle school, high school, heck, elementary school, you get these little crushes and then you’re, like, “Oh, I want to…”

Eric: Well, Ron has that for Fleur, but I guess also…

Micah: I think it’s on a different level, though.

Eric: Okay.

Micah: I think more like Fleur is – she’s hot. I don’t know how to…

Eric: But it’s the obvious…

Micah: I think there’s more emotional involvement with Harry and Cho than there is with Ron and Fleur.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: If that makes sense.

Eric: I think, in fact, Ron is avoiding his feelings by asking Fleur because it can be guessed that he has those kinds of feelings, if he were to sit down and think about it, for Hermione. Okay. So yeah, I do think it’s a difference in maturity. And obviously both guys don’t actually get anywhere from asking their crushes, unfortunately.

Micah: We’re going to get an e-mail that we should have had a girl on this show, [laughs] I’m telling you right now.

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Eric: It is the romance side of the…

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: …of the story.

Micah: We’re trying, we’re trying.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Who would really think, though, it would have been too hard for Harry to find someone, really? I mean, I think it just came down to the fact that he waited too long. And that happens a lot in real life, so…

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: So, towards the end of the chapter, when they are all in the common room, and Harry and Ron still do not have dates, we start to get a little bit of insight into how Hermione feels towards Ron and how Ginny feels towards Harry based on what happens and what takes place. And I added, [laughs] “Man, Neville is a pimp…”

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: …because it’s just so interesting to hear about Neville, Neville asked Hermione. Well, then Neville asked Ginny. And it’s just – you don’t think that he would be the one.

Andrew: Yeah, you never would have guessed that.

Eric: He’s got [pronounces incorrectly] chutzpah.

Micah: [pronounces correctly] Chutzpah.

Andrew: It’s a fun little twist to his character.

Eric: What?

Micah: Chutzpah.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: It’s a fun twist to his character because you never would have guessed that he would be the one, and then he ends up being the P-I-M-P.

Eric: Yeah, and he scores Ginny. Look at that. I mean, I think obviously, she felt bad for him because Hermione said no, right? I mean, I think that’s said.

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: But…

Micah: Well, she had already committed to somebody else.

Eric: Right.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: That’s why she said no.

Eric: Right, right. I just…

Micah: Otherwise she probably would have said yes.

Eric: But the courage – that’s just the thing, that’s what Ron lacks, Neville has. And I guess being a Gryffindor is all about courage.

Micah: Yeah, but you do get that insight, sort of, with the interaction between Hermione and Ron, specifically when Ron tries to keep having a go at her about not really having a date and just pretending for the sake of making herself look better. And then Ginny, who kind of turns red when Ron suggests that Harry should just go with her, but she already has a date. You get to see a little bit of the jealousy that’s taking place there.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: I’m going to need counseling after this.

Micah: I know! It’s…

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: This chapter…

Micah: This chapter hurt my head…

Andrew: …brought back a lot of bad memories.

Micah: …when I was reading it.

Eric: I wanted to – yeah.

Micah: But it does end with, at least Harry, a hundred percent certain that he does have a date with Parvati.

Eric: And he asks…

Andrew: All right, good.

Eric: He asks Lavender to go with Ron, actually.

Micah: Yeah, which is kind of funny. [laughs]

Eric: I thought that was funny. She’s – Lavender Brown, of course, is going with Seamus at the time. But they – I think Harry goes up to Parvati and Lavender as they walk into the common room, and they burst into a fit of giggles, or Harry says…

Micah: There’s a lot of giggling going on in this chapter.

Eric: Yeah, it’s very odd…

Micah: Brought me back to high school.

Eric: …because Harry says, [laughs] “Will you go to the ball with me?” and “Parvati went into a fit of giggles. Harry waited for them to subside, his fingers crossed in the pocket of his robes.” So, he’s – it’s laughter, I can take laughter. But it’s not a no. [laughs] So, will she say yes? That’s what he’s hoping.

Andrew: Okay, good. Well, let’s move on now to Chapter 23.

MuggleCast 219 Transcript (continued)

Chapter-by-Chapter: “The Yule Ball”

Eric: Okay. So, it’s Christmas break at Hogwarts and [laughs] there are some interesting food items sweeping the common room. Fred and George’s Canary Creams are a huge success. Apparently, when you eat them you burst into feathers. And students everywhere are – no longer trust food offered to them by their friends. And that’s a big deal, Harry is kind of watching the twins and their aspirations all throughout this chapter. And it is just said that Fred and George plan to make more sweets that do funny things. So, obviously we see here the beginning of their business enterprise, how they want to start. I think it’s said right now that they want to start selling their products, which is an interesting move for them. How do you think – do you think that this was a given, because Fred and George were always the jokers, that they would one day open up a joke shop? Or what else could they have been? What other career aspirations could they have undertaken and been successful at, do you think?

Micah: I don’t know if it would be a Ministry office, necessarily, or a Ministry department, but I think a lot of what they bring to the table could be used to capture people that maybe the Ministry was looking for, or almost like spy/espionage type of stuff because they are very creative in terms of the things that they use. And just looking at something as silly as eating a Canary Cream and it turns you into this human bird, essentially – I think, kind of, as their skills develop over the next couple of years, in some of the things that they come up with – I’m sure there are a million examples, I just can’t think of them right now. But I think that they would have a career in that because they have more talent than just being able to create these cool things that are for sale in the joke shop. They’re like Inspector Gadget, in a way.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: You know what? Okay, now I see it.

[Andrew and Eric sing Inspector Gadget theme song]

Micah: Because he was always a bit of an ass clown, if you think about it. He always caught people by accident, but…

Eric: It’s true!

Micah: But with the twins, though, I think they’re smart.

Eric: No, they are.

Micah: Or they could teach! I mean, they could teach how to make some of this stuff to – a special class, an elective at Hogwarts.

Eric: Yeah. I mean, I…

Micah: I’m sure Dumbledore, if he was alive, would go for that.

Eric: [laughs] No, I think you’re right, and I guess it’s the way that the world turns where they – the world frankly needs a joke shop in a year or two.

Micah: Yeah, absolutely.

Eric: That’s why it’s convenient for them to choose this route, but I think those are all good alternative jobs for them. But basically, we see they’re starting the beginnings of what will be Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes. So, they just got out of breakfast or lunch – I think it was turkey dinner – and they’re leaving the Great Hall and they encounter Malfoy, and Malfoy is just Malfoy like he usually is. But Ron notices that Hermione has altered her teeth. Malfoy makes a comment, “your abnormally long molars” or “long-molared Mudblood,” he calls her something like this, and Ron looks at her teeth and says, “Hey Hermione, your teeth are straight and normal more than they have been.” And Hermione reveals that after the last run in with Malfoy, Hermione went to the hospital wing and Madam Pomfrey shrunk her teeth. The fact that Hermione has basically undergone plastic surgery – she says she tried to get her parents to allow her to do it herself but they wanted to put braces on her, being dentists. But I’m just wondering what it says that Hermione is so affected by her personal body image because we like to think of female characters as being maybe above that.

Andrew: Contempt.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. Well, it makes me wonder what else you can…

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: …enlarge and shrink in the…

Eric: Well, surely breasts.

Andrew: Not that I would…

Eric: I mean, that’s a given.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: Think about how many celebrities wouldn’t have to pay for these breast enhancements if they could just go to…

Andrew: It’d be quick, easy and reliable, and not fake.

Eric: Are you kidding? Do you know how scary it would be to point a wand at your chest and go, “Engorgio“?

[Micah laughs]

Eric: I mean, couldn’t that go so wrong?

Andrew: It could, yes.

Eric: But Hermione – really though, Hermione is basically giving in to everything – to what Malfoy said. Okay, so next the trio finds Pigwidgeon. He returns with a letter from Sirius. I thought this was a really good note from Sirius, I just – the more I read it, the more I liked it. Basically, it warns Harry that there are still two tasks left of the Triwizard Tournament, so it’s plenty of time for whatever enemy there is to still hurt him. He says, “Great job, I was really excited to hear how you beat them, but there’s still two tasks left.” Christmas is basically a snowball fight, Harry and the Weasleys, Hermione watches, she’s still not telling Ron who she’s going to the Yule Ball with. But the Yule Ball is that night, so Hermione leaves early…

Andrew: I think Hermione really enjoys leaving Ron at bay here with the answer because she knows it bothers him so much and I think it’s clear that he’s really wishing he asked Hermione sooner at this point.

Eric: She likes the attention. I don’t think he ever has that kind of maturity, though, to say, “Oh, I wish I had asked her sooner.” Do you?

Andrew: Well, right, maybe not say it out loud, but I’m sure now he thinks it because why does he care so much who she’s going with if…

Eric: It’s true.

Andrew: …he didn’t sort of regret…

Micah: About asking her.

Andrew: Yeah, he must regret it a little bit.

Eric: Because he’s going to end up comparing himself to whoever she has asked and is going with. And when it turns out to be Krum – well, he just can’t compare and so he gets really jealous. But Hermione actually says, “I’m not going to tell you because you’ll just make fun of me,” which is weird because she’s playing the victim card, frankly, where she’s, like, “Oh, you’ll make fun of me if I tell you.” But anyway, she leaves to get ready a bit earlier than the guys do. When the guys do get ready, Ron magics off all the lace of his dress robes so they’re slightly manlier, not really though, still kind of not looking that great. But they go down to the ball, and Dean asks Harry and Ron how they have managed to get the best-looking girls in their year. [laughs] And Ron has a funny response, he replies, “Animal magnetism.” So…

Andrew: What does that even mean?

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Seriously.

Eric: It’s carnal. It’s carnal. It means instinct, like infatuation.

Andrew: Oh.

Eric: Pheromones. Like that.

Andrew: I see.

Eric: Animal magnetism. That’s what I took it to mean, anyway, although I could be wrong. Anyway, so the Yule Ball starts. [laughs] Harry realizes that Viktor Krum’s partner is actually Hermione because they’re all gathering in the Great Hall. But Harry says she didn’t look like Hermione at all, and Harry notices Hermione’s teeth again and also realizes that she’s just carrying herself way different. Jo writes something about, “Maybe it’s because she just wasn’t carrying 28 books like she usually is,” that she just has this different stature. And all the underclassmen, a bunch of Slytherins – everybody is glaring at Hermione, and she just seems to really shine at the Yule Ball. My question is, what aspect of her character is shining right now? Because she’s glowing – but why? What about this – is it the recognition she never got from Harry or Ron, or what exactly about this allows Hermione to just live in the moment?

Andrew: Well, I think it’s that and also what Harry just noticed – [laughs] again, the smaller teeth – and maybe she’s got this new self-image…

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: …that she’s really proud of.

Eric: I guess.

Andrew: She feels good about herself. I mean, that could have been something that really bothered her that we didn’t – I mean, we kind of knew it bothered her because she was made fun of for it, but now she doesn’t have it, it was fixed. And I bet that made her feel really good about herself.

Eric: Yeah. Karkaroff – just to keep that in mind, he is the villain, I guess, at the moment for the readers. He is seen looking disapproving of Hermione and Krum, and it’s actually said Ron glares at Hermione as she walks by, but Karkaroff, Harry notices, is also glaring. And I ask, is this due to Karkaroff’s Death Eater or anti-Mudblood beliefs? Because he doesn’t want to see his star player, Krum, go out with this Muggle-born. Is that why he’s glaring? Or why would Karkaroff have an opinion of Hermione otherwise?

Andrew: Maybe just because – hmm, maybe just because she’s a Hogwarts student. [laughs] Or maybe because she is friends with Harry. Or maybe because of the Mudblood thing.

Micah: I think it could be any of those.

Andrew: I think…

Micah: Yeah, I like what Andrew said, though.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: I think he’s not really a big Hogwarts supporter, [laughs] I don’t think, so…

Andrew: Yeah, seeing Krum may – seeing Krum possibly have feelings for Hermione may make Karkaroff worry that he may play to the advantage of Hogwarts at the tournament or something like that.

Eric: Ooh.

Andrew: Who knows? He could be having this whole big theory behind it.

Eric: Okay. Well, that’s a good point, especially because Ron uses a similar argument against Hermione later. But – okay. Well, the food at this Yule Ball is different – I didn’t remember this at all when I read this from earlier. But there are menus in their seats and Dumbledore sets the example by picking up his menu. And there are choices and he announces his choice vocally to the menu, and then his food appears, which I thought was really, really cool.

Andrew: Oh. Well, that’s how it works at Sonic drive-throughs here in America.

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Andrew: You speak towards the menu and it comes to you. That’s nothing new, Eric.

Eric: Okay, my bad, geez. All right. [laughs] Harry takes the moment to think of Hermione because these menus mean that house-elves have basically provided maybe three times as much food or something. He says that he’s worried about the house-elves for Hermione. He looks over, though. He says Hermione must really be thinking about S.P.E.W. and it turns out Hermione hardly noticed – or it said she hardly notices, or appears to notice, what it is she is eating. So, she’s really in the moment, she is with Krum, obviously. But she’s lost, she’s not even thinking about house-elf rights at this moment, which just shows that there are a lot of good things happening to Hermione at this moment.

So, similarly Krum tells Hermione – he starts to tell her what Durmstrang is like, but Karkaroff cuts her off, saying that – and Dumbledore interjects. He’s, like, “Oh, but it’s all about cooperation!” And Karkaroff says, “Well, every school has their secrets,” and he says that those secrets are – Karkaroff likes those secrets to be kept among the schools. And Dumbledore says that he doesn’t feel he’ll ever understand all of the secrets of Hogwarts and that just that morning, Dumbledore, while walking to the bathroom, encountered a room full of chamber pots that when he tried finding later, he could not. So, this is interesting because I believe – and it’s been confirmed – that this room is actually the Room of Requirement. And Dumbledore winks at Harry, by the way. He knows Harry is listening, and he winks at him after mentioning this mysterious room.

Micah: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, this is just another one of those things where, when you go back into the books and you read them again, you realize that things were introduced a lot earlier than you previously thought.

Eric: Ron and Hermione have a fight, guys. This is bad. This lasts for two pages in the book and this is a thirty-page chapter, but this fight lasts a while. And I’m going to summarize it here, Ron tells Hermione that Krum was probably sent by Karkaroff to get close to her to spy on Harry and accuses Hermione of helping Krum solve the mystery of the egg. And I wrote, not only does this belittle all effort on Hermione’s part to gain Krum’s affection, because they’ve been hanging out at the library a lot, but it also extremely belittles her loyalty to Harry and Ron, and Gryffindor and Hogwarts. I just wrote, I really think Ron has gone too far.

Andrew: Well, I think he’s just trying to make her jealous, sort of. Like, oh, you should have went with me, you shouldn’t have picked Krum because dot, dot, dot, because Krum is fraternizing with the enemy.

Eric: Even though he says that, though, I just feel like everything about how Ron approaches this – not only is it not the right way to go about it, but what he says is just extremely the wrong thing to say. There is no good – there is no way that Hermione is going to say, “Oh yes, you’re right.” Because he’s attacking her character on so many levels that he’s just being stupid because he knows that that’s not true.

Micah: Well, it’s also a complete role reversal from where you were at the beginning of the book, where Ron was the one that so enamored by Krum. I mean…

Eric: Well, Hermione says as much, “I’m not the one with the model of him in my dormitory.”

Micah: Yeah, ready to have a friggin’ bromance over there.

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Eric: Yeah. So, anyway, another interesting bit here: Hermione, right before she stomps off, she says against Ron that the whole point of this Triwizard Tournament is international magical cooperation. And Ron shouts back, “No, it’s not, the point is winning.” And Hermione leaves and Krum comes by, he was just getting drinks like Hermione said. And Percy is at the Yule Ball, actually, on behalf of Mr. Crouch – comes over to Ron and says, “Oh, you’re talking to Krum, making friends with Victor Krum. Excellent that you’ve made friends with Victor Krum. The whole point of this tournament is international magical cooperation.” So, I thought that was funny. It’s validation for Hermione.

Andrew: But it’s – I mean, it’s all bound to happen too, by the way, these little fights, whether or not I think Hermione was going to go to the Yule Ball with Krum because I think there’s just a lot of tension between all these players. They’re all young, this is their first major kind of life-threatening sort of experience, and so I don’t blame them when they’re – when all this tension is mounting. [laughs]

Micah: See, but I don’t buy the international magical cooperation thing because it didn’t have any payoff later in the books.

Eric: Well…

Andrew: Oh yeah, not at all.

Micah: If you think about it, it’s not like – again, and I think we’ve talked about this in another episode, but it’s not like you had the final battle, and in came Durmstrang and in came Beauxbatons, you didn’t have that.

Eric: Right.

Micah: And so, that’s why when I’m reading this and it’s, like, “Yeah, it’s all about international magical cooperation,” you would believe it more if – aside from Bill and Fleur, and Victor Krum showing up at the wedding – there was no tie into that later on.

Eric: On the way back up to the dormitory, Cedric Diggory stops Harry on the steps and suggests that Harry take a bath with his egg. Harry questions Cedric’s motives to himself as he enters the Gryffindor dormitory, and when he does enter the Gryffindor dormitory, Harry finds that Hermione and Ron are in a “blazing row.” Hermione suggests Ron pluck up the courage and ask her to the next dance before somebody else does, instead of waiting until the last minute. And it’s said that Harry – Harry even stuck up for Hermione once before, but at this point he does not enter the engagement, and it says that, “Harry valued being on speaking terms with Ron far too much to speak his mind right now.” That’s kind of an upsetting end.

Andrew: Next dance won’t be until Bill and Fleur’s wedding, though, so it’s kind of – Hermione didn’t really even have a dance in mind, I assume.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: [laughs] There wouldn’t be a dance next year or anything, not a yearly dance like at high school or whatnot, so…

Micah: I think it was just a figure of speech.

Andrew: Yeah, I guess.

Eric: “Ask me the next time”? Yeah, she’s calling him a coward, and he is. I mean, we know that about Ron, though.

Micah: Do you think that he questions Cedric’s motives, though, because of how he feels about Cho Chang? Because really…

Eric: Yes.

Micah: …if you remember, Harry gave a clue to Cedric, so it’s only fair that Cedric would give a clue to Harry.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Eric: Well, that’s why Cedric comes up to him. He says, “You helped me with the dragons, so I should help with the egg.”

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: But on the way up to the dormitory, Harry is, like, “Well, I wonder if he’s just trying to make me look like a fool, so that I look like a fool in front of Cho.” It really is about girls, though, because Harry has been watching Cedric and Cho dance, I guess, at the Yule Ball, and it said that he wants to kick something. So, he’s really starting to question, I guess, himself and girls. He’s thinking about girls far more often now, as the first time. But of course, Cedric Diggory’s intentions are pure.

Listener Tweets: Snape’s Death Scene Change

Andrew: So, that’s Chapter 23 and that is Chapter-by-Chapter for this week. Now onto today’s Twitter question. Earlier in the show we were talking about the decision to change the location of Snape’s death scene. I think that’s important for people to keep in mind. Snape is still dying, he’s still dying the same way, it’s just the locale, it’s the backdrop. And if we’re getting a better backdrop, hey, it’s not so bad. Anyway, here’s what some other people thought. We asked the people who follow us on Twitter. If you’d like to follow us, just go to, and sign up or login and press “Follow.” So, here’s a couple of the comments we received.

alexmort said:

“As long as they don’t destroy the story, I think it will be fine. Would have liked to see it just like the book, though. Oh well.”

AWeasleyGirl wrote:

“The change wasn’t needed. The Shack tied in the last generation and Snape’s near death thirty years earlier by Lupin to this one.”

Eric: Funny…

Andrew: That’s a good point.

Eric: …I never made that connection before! [laughs]

Andrew: Hmm.

Micah: Wait, what was that?

Andrew: Maybe Jo forgot that, too.

Eric: It’s true. Well, Snape nearly died, remember? When he nearly saw the werewolf or whatever, Remus Lupin as a kid, and now he actually does die in the Shack. It’s almost like the Shack has it out for Severus Snape and that’s important…

Micah: Well, that’s what I said back when we were discussing it earlier! [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, I heard you say it then, too, but I’m saying prior to this episode I hadn’t made that connection.

Micah: Oh, oh, okay.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: I actually didn’t hear that earlier this episode.

Micah: Yeah. Well, you don’t pay attention, so…

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: RobynM7 says:

“As long as Alan Rickman does a good and truthful death for Snape, I don’t really mind the changes. It’s the acting that matters.”

standandrea says:

“People need to stop judging the change so harshly. Yes, it was a huge scene, but look how nicely they changed Hedwig’s death.”

That’s a good point! People were a little – I mean, to be fair though, some people still were bothered by it, but hey! It was kind of cute. Hedwig was trying to save Harry. She died saving Harry in the movie. AmbersWooly says:

“I’m not too happy with the change. The death was plenty dramatic in the book. I had been excited to see how it looked on screen.”

PassionateforPen said:

“I don’t like the idea. The Shrieking Shack is a pretty important location in the series and I don’t see how it will work out.”

And finally, ConroyHind says:

“I think it will be good. If J.K.R. likes it, that is good enough for me. I think it will be like how Hedwig’s death was, also better.”

Micah: Well, it seems to be pretty evenly split, right?

Andrew: Pretty mixed.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, I would say it’s very mixed. So, if you want to get in on these Twitter question-and-answer sessions, just follow us on Twitter,

Micah: Andrew, one comment somebody made – and I don’t know if this is what you were referring to before when you said that there was more to it when this was posted. Somebody commented that it would be cool, almost, if the memories from Snape kind of leaked out into the lake and that’s where you got the…

Eric: Oh man!

Micah: …the story of everything that has been going on with Snape for the entire series.

Andrew: That would be cool!

Eric: It would be funny because the Three Brothers scene starts with the feather landing in a pond. [laughs]

Andrew: Oh yeah! They could kind of play off that. Yeah, that’s a cool idea.

Eric: It would be better than – again, what happened in the book, Harry had to go all the way up to Dumbledore’s office, right? In the middle of everything…

[Micah laughs]

Eric: …he went up to Dumbledore’s office. Voldemort’s, like, “Harry Potter, you have an hour or you will die.” And he just takes the time. He goes up to Dumbledore’s office, puts all the memories in the Pensieve, relives a whole life, Snape’s whole life, all of the important moments, relives all of that while there is a battle going on.

Micah: Yeah, I think that is a good possibility, though, because I doubt that they are, in the movie, going to make him go back up to Dumbledore’s office to look at these memories.

Eric: So, it’s one of those things where I guess it works in the books, but in the movie I can see where they would want to change it. I feel like I’m too in favor of change in this seventh book into movie, but I really like – and I think you guys even really like Part 1, so I think you guys are just as optimistic as I am about this.

Muggle Mail: Death and the Invisibility Cloak

Andrew: Let’s move on to Muggle Mail now. Micah, can you read the first e-mail from Steven?

Micah: First e-mail comes from Steven, 21, of New York.

Andrew: I just said that.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: No, you just said “Steven.”

[Eric laughs]

Micah: Anyway, he says:

“Hey MuggleCasters, in the Chapter-by-Chapter segment of Episode 218, you discuss why Mad-Eye Moody could see through the Invisibility Cloak while Death from ‘The Tale of the Three Brothers’ could not. You say that the only logical explanation is that Death didn’t have Moody’s magical eye. Being a big fan of the ‘Deathly Hallows’ subplot, I thought I’d just point out that the story of the three brothers actually meeting Death isn’t necessarily true. In Chapter 35 of ‘Deathly Hallows’, page 714 of the U.S. edition, Dumbledore explains to Harry that the story of the Peverell brothers meeting Death was probably just a myth. He says, ‘Whether they met Death on a lonely road, I think it more likely that the Peverell brothers were simply gifted, dangerous wizards who succeeded in creating those powerful objects. The story of them being Death’s own Hallows seems to me the sort of legend that might have sprung up around such creations.’

So, while I agree it’s perfectly logical that Moody’s magical eye could see through the Invisibility Cloak, I just thought it should be noted that the cloak never really belonged to ‘Death.’ Keep up the great work! I love the podcast and have enjoyed growing up with you guys for the past five years!”

Andrew: Awww! Growing up. That’s kind of nice because I’m also 21. We’ve grown up together, our voices have deepened together! Well, I don’t know about his voice, but I know mine has.

Micah: Yes, very much so.

Muggle Mail: Aberforth’s “Blink-And-You’ll-Miss-It” Role

Andrew: Well, that’s a good point and I’m glad he brought that up because I reinforced the point when I checked the Lexicon last episode, about his magical eye being able to see through the Invisibility Cloak, but Steven brings up a good point as well. Next e-mail comes from Lauren Z., 19, of Allentown, Pennsylvania:

“Hey guys, I just have a comment about Episode 218 of MuggleCast. You talked about Aberforth’s role in the movie being a “blink and you’ll miss it role,” as described by the actor, and you all expressed concern about how much of Aberforth we would get to see. When I read that comment, I read it differently and thought he meant it’s the type of role that comes once, and if you “blink” you’ll miss the opportunity to play such a role…”

Eric: Oh.

Andrew: [continues]

“…rather than talking about the actual screen time of the role. I could be entirely off, but it was what I had thought when I read it and thought I would share this alternate interpretation. Thanks, love the show. And by the way, where’s Laura? We haven’t seen or heard from her in a while. Thanks!”

I completely disagree with Lauren. [laughs] I do not think…

Eric: Hang on! This actually makes a lot of sense. I read this and I was, like, “Oh my God, that’s what he meant!”

Andrew: No!

Eric: Isn’t it?

Andrew: I disagree.

Eric: Well, why not?

Micah: I don’t know.

Eric: Because he goes on to explain, and talks about how it’s pages and pages of dialogue, exposition. So, “blink and you’ll miss it,” that makes perfect sense that if he were to blink, he’d miss the opportunity to play this role. That – I didn’t even think of it that way.

Andrew: It’s valid, but I still think it’s very quick. Knowing how the filmmakers shorten down everything and make changes, I think it’s short.

Eric: But – you mean you don’t think that it is four pages of dialogue in the movie?

Andrew: Four pages compressed into two sentences.

Eric: But no…

[Micah laughs]

Eric: …because it can’t just be two sentences, because it’s complicated. It’s all about Dumbledore and tying that subplot from the first film back into Part 2.

Andrew: Eric, some people are quite talented at taking long statements and shortening it down.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: I know you’re not, but some people are. [laughs]

Eric: I’ll take the next one.

Andrew: Well, in response to the second part of her e-mail about Laura, we should mention Laura is taking an extended break from the show because she is now about to live in Costa Rica for a long time. I don’t know exactly how long, but she got a job down there. We’re very proud of her, she’s going to be teaching children in Costa Rica, teaching Spanish, I believe – or [laughs] teaching English, they know Spanish. She’ll be teaching English, so we’re very excited for her but unfortunately this means she is not going to be on the show any longer, I’m sorry to say. But maybe we’ll try to find another girl. It’s hard to find another girl to match Laura or any of the other great hosts we’ve had. So, we’re working on it. Anyway, Eric, can you take the next e-mail from Sarah?

Muggle Mail: Hermione’s D.A. Coins

Eric: Yeah. The next e-mail comes from Sarah Schwartz of Georgia. She says:

“Hey everyone! Just started listening to your show, literally – Episode 218 was the first one I heard.”

Which was last week’s.

Andrew: Welcome!

Eric: Yeah, welcome!

“And I heard you guys talking about things that we were upset about because they had to be cut from the movies. Because that was my first time listening, I was unable to talk to you guys in time for the show but was wondering if I could still share this with you.”

Of course you can.

“What I was a little upset about from ‘Order of the Phoenix’ was that there wasn’t any mention of Hermione’s coins that were given out to all the members of Dumbledore’s Army that told them when to attend meetings. Now I’m not sure how everyone will meet back in the Room of Requirement for ‘Deathly Hallows: Part 2’. Keep up the great work, guys, and I can’t wait to hear your future podcasts. I will most definitely be going back to listen to your older ones. You just got a new fan! Thanks for listening and sorry it was late. Sarah.”

Micah: I’m sure they’ll find a way around that. I mean, I’m sure there’s another way that they can go about making sure that everybody congregates in the Room of Requirement without using those coins, even though it was cool that they did that in the books.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: Right.

Eric: Yeah. Quite a bit more people show up, too. That’s what I liked about it was that these old students – Oliver Wood and all of them – just show up and…

Micah: Did they cast him for Deathly Hallows: Part 2?

Eric: Oh, Biggerstaff!

Andrew: I don’t think so. Getting in the nitty gritty here, I don’t think so.

Eric: That’s like not using – I don’t know.

Andrew: Micah, next e-mail.

Muggle Mail: Triwizard Task’s Entertainment Value

Micah: Next e-mail is from Alissa, 15, of New York. I get all the New York e-mails!

“Hey guys, I am listening to your latest podcast and you talked a lot about the Triwizard Tournament. I never really understood a part of the tournament so I thought that I should ask you.”

Not a good idea.

“For each task, the teachers drag all the students from their classes to go watch the tournament. I never really understood how this could be any entertainment at all, except for getting to miss class, as you could only see what was happening during only one of the tasks. For the lake and maze tournaments, the students would have to talk among themselves for a couple of hours until the champions emerged. Unless you could see what was going on in the old Triwizard Tournaments, I don’t even understand how the tournament could have gotten started in the first place. Any thoughts? Thanks for everything! Alissa.”

Andrew: Well, I guess they’re kind of on the edge of their seats because I mean, there’s a chance they could die in the water or in the maze…

Eric: [in dramatic announcer voice] “Eternal glory!”

Andrew: So, I think just the fact that they are sort of hanging on – and don’t forget the band is sort of playing, so maybe that’s some entertainment.

Eric: I wondered that, too.

Andrew: Maybe Filch – Hmm?

Micah: I agree with what she says, though. I mean, I’m assuming – the tasks, obviously, are not the same every time.

Andrew: Hmm, true.

Eric: But as a spectator sport or…

Micah: It’s boring!

Eric: Yeah!

Micah: Yeah, it’s got to be boring unless you’re at the dragon challenge.

Andrew: See – no, but again, I disagree because you want to be there when the first person emerges.

Eric: Well…

Micah: Yeah, but you can’t see what’s going on, though, for an hour.

Eric: Because your school is in it, you have some kind of – you’re compelled to go out and show your support for your school, much like a Quidditch game. But at least in a Quidditch game you can see every move. The lake at Hogwarts is described as the Black Lake. You can’t see but five feet in front of you, so even if they were able to somehow show or project an image of what’s going on, it would…

Micah: Like they have HD TVs on either side of the… [laughs]

Eric: HD TVs! Same with the maze. But even the maze, obviously, unexpectedly, it was a Portkey, so I feel like if – when Harry and Cedric disappeared, why wasn’t there more chaos, almost? I know in the movie, there’s not chaos until they get back, there’s that celebration. But the fact that the Portkey wasn’t supposed – or the cup wasn’t supposed to be a Portkey, shouldn’t people have had plenty of time to start freaking out about that? And – I just uncovered a plot hole, I think. But basically, I really agree with this e-mail.

Muggle Mail: Weird Places You Listen to MuggleCast

Andrew: And the final e-mail today from Kaia Angele, 15, of Montville, Australia:

“Hi guys, love the show, all of you guys are great. I have been away for awhile and had to catch up on the episodes, and I missed the weird places thing but I really wanted to tell you guys the weird place that I listen to you guys. I work at a shop that sells Himalayan salt and big rock crystals and some beeswax ear candles. I listen to MuggleCast when the other worker is out to lunch and I want something to entertain me while I cut big strips of cloth for ear candles, and clean and pack salt lamps, and pack salt. I don’t want to sound repetitive, but you guys are great and I really enjoy this podcast to stop me feeling so alone when I work. xoxoxo Kaia.”

There’s another interesting way. And yes, podcasts are absolutely a great thing to listen to while you’re working because you don’t really need your ears if you’re – not for all working tasks anyway, if you’re just doing computer work or number work. So, all great reasons.

Eric: Himalayan salt and big rock crystals and beeswax ear candles, that’s got to be a cool job. [laughs]

Micah: That may be the weirdest place that we have so far.

Eric: I feel like it wins an award of some sort.

Andrew: I need somebody who listens in a cave.

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Andrew: If you listen in a cave, e-mail in. That’s a weird…

Micah: Osama!

Andrew: [laugh] Osama.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: Get on it!, we know you’re on the Twitter!

Eric: “You guys are the greatest.”

Show Close

Andrew: Hey, before we wrap up the show, I want to remind everybody about this new podcast that Ben Schoen and I are doing called HYPE!, you can go learn about the show or you can download the two episodes we’ve released so far, with the third one – actually the third one should be out by now, by the time you listen to this. And do take a listen, give it a try. We’ve been getting a lot of great feedback about it and we’re going to continue to improve the show. And it was also just featured by iTunes as a “New and Notable Podcast,” which we were very happy to see. So, we thank everyone who has listened and be sure to check it out. or just search for “HYPE Podcast” on the iTunes Store. So, after you visit, hop on over to, this podcast that you’re listening to. We have a great website for it. You can click on “Contact” at the top and fill out our feedback form if you have some feedback about anything we discussed on today’s show. And on the right side of the page you’re going to find a few links that are very important. We have the iTunes page where you can subscribe and also review us. A quick reminder, when you click the iTunes link, you have to click “View in iTunes” and then hit “Subscribe.” By doing that, you will get the latest episodes whenever you go into the “Podcasts” section of your iTunes and press “Refresh.” Sometimes when we release a new episode, people say, “Oh, it’s not in iTunes yet, it’s not in iTunes yet.” It is, but you have to press “Subscribe Free” and then it will show you the “Podcast” section of your iTunes, and then it will download the most recent episodes every time we have a new show out. All you have to do is press “Refresh” after you subscribe.

Eric: How many episodes are currently on the feed still?

Andrew: We keep about ten at a time on the feed.

Eric: Okay, so Sarah, our new listener, who just listened to us last week for the first time, can get the last ten episodes on iTunes. But also on the MuggleCast website which we’re talking about, there’s a Wall of Fame which are sort of our top listener-rated and ones that we feel are sort of the greatest episodes. But all episodes are available for download and for read – transcripts of each episode on

Micah: And as Eric mentioned with the transcripts, I think right now we have up until Episode 209 and we’re obviously releasing 219, so we’re a little bit behind. I plan on actually getting up until Episode 215 some time this weekend, so we will be caught up. What we try and do is get a transcript out usually a week to ten days after a show is released. So, feel free to head on over to the site. Again, I know we do this from time to time but I think it’s necessary that we do thank everybody who does work on the transcripts because it is not a very easy job to do. It’s kind of a thankless job and these people work extremely hard to put these transcripts together.

[Show music begins]

Micah: So, thank you to Cam who leads up the team over there and all the – I don’t even know how many people he has working for him right now, but there’s a lot.

Andrew: Thank you everyone again for listening! I’m Andrew Sims.

Eric: I’m Eric Scull.

Micah: I’m Ben Schoen.

[Prolonged silence]

Andrew and



Micah: [laughs] And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Andrew: We’ll see you next time for Episode 220! Buh-bye!

Micah: Bye!

Eric: Where’s Ben?

[Show music continues]

Blooper: New and Notable

Eric: “New and Notable.” How does a podcast get that way? I mean…

Andrew: Well, you see, I am a podcasting legend…

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: …so when I release a new podcast, iTunes takes notice.

Eric: You’re a person of interest?

Micah: Yes.

Eric: Is that it?

Micah: It’s based on ego, Eric.

Andrew: No, I’m a legend! I’m a podcasting…

Micah: Purely on ego!

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Eric: But really…

Micah: No, on downloads, I would think, right?

Eric: But it means that somebody from iTunes somewhere listened to your show and…

Andrew: Right.

Eric: …forwarded it up.

Andrew: No, it’s a very nice honor. We thank them a lot.

Micah: Well, won’t they track downloads, too?

Andrew: You know what? The downloads, quite frankly, have not been extraordinary, so I think we may have a fan at iTunes or something. I don’t know. I don’t know what the process is.

Micah: Mikey B. Doesn’t he work for Apple?

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, right.

Eric: I listen to you at Apple [laughs] where they construct iPhones around me. Yes, that’d be a cool job.

[Micah laughs]