MuggleCast 229 Transcript
[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]
Micah: Because Universal needs to step up their game, this is MuggleCast Episode 229 for May 26th, 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.
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[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 229! Micah and Eric are here this week as well as me. Hey guys!
Andrew: Summer is upon us. This is exciting.
Eric: I don’t know about that, Andrew.
Andrew: I just got done classes.
Eric: Still like 55 here in Chicago. 55!
Eric: Yeah. Below tonight is like 47.
Andrew: It’s kind of cool in California as well. How is it in New York, Micah?
Micah: It’s in the 80s. It’s nice and sunny here.
Micah: Finally after weeks of rain and terrible weather.
Andrew: I’m sure you’ll get more rain.
Micah: Well, thanks. I appreciate it.
Andrew: I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: [laughs] There is no lead-in.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Andrew: Micah, what is in the news?
News: Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Character Posters
Micah: Well, you said we’re getting into summer and that means we’re getting closer to the release of Deathly Hallows – Part 2. And a number of character posters have been released and the first three I guess would make sense that they’re Harry, Ron, and Hermione. What did you guys think of these posters? Do you like them? Do they look like they’re photoshopped by a twelve-year-old?
Micah: What’s your take on it?
Eric: Are you just throwing that – is that your opinion asked in the form of a question?
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: Could these be the – [laughs] all right.
Andrew: I don’t think they looked photoshopped at – I mean, well obviously they’re photoshopped but I don’t think they’re poorly photoshopped. I think they’re actually pretty badass. My friend Mason who saw the Ron one this morning, he was like, “Oh wow, that’s pretty awesome, actually.”
Micah: I think what takes away from it is the text “It all ends.” It just doesn’t look right. It doesn’t fit the poster.
Eric: Usually they’re better with that. I mean, the text isn’t even embossed or doesn’t even have a nice little bevel or shadow effect. It just seems pretty – I don’t know, put together. But I like the poses. It’s always good to see these characters, that’s the real thing. I mean, this is the last bit of posterage we’ll get ever for a Harry Potter film. So if you don’t like it speak now, but otherwise forever hold your peace because this is the last round.
Andrew: But if you think about it, this is, what, the eighth set of character movie posters now? It’s like, “Okay, what are we going to do this time?”
Andrew: It’s like they have to try to come up with stuff that looks different from one other. And I remember last year – or with Half-Blood Prince and probably Part 1 too, the character posters – there were those little red sparks and they’re back on these posters as well.
Micah: Well, now we actually know what they mean.
Andrew: What do you mean?
Micah: We were thinking that it was blood, initially.
Micah: But it’s just all the embers that are coming off of Hogwarts burning down.
Andrew: [laughs] All perfectly positioned in front of each character.
Andrew: But not behind them, only in front of them.
Micah: Well, the other thing I noticed, too – and maybe they didn’t do this on previous posters and I’m just forgetting – is that there is no title of the movie.
Eric: Yeah, that’s really different as well.
Andrew: Well, that’s cool. And I mean, basically people know – it was like with Half-Blood Prince when they just wrote “HP6.”
Eric: That was weird.
Andrew: People – these are iconic characters now. You don’t need the title.
Eric: Huh. Interesting though.
Micah: I guess that makes sense.
Andrew: I wonder – I mean, when people listen to this show now after we record, other character posters will be out. They’ve been releasing a new one each day. I’m wondering who else they’re going to show. Probably Voldemort, maybe Draco. I don’t know who else though.
Eric: Hmm. Yeah, they usually do a good guy set and a bad guy set, at least going back to…
Eric: …Movie 5 when there really were two clear sides of good and evil.
Andrew: What else is going on, Micah?
News: Deathly Hallows – Part 2 US Premiere to be Held in NYC
Micah: Well, the US premiere location is set for Deathly Hallows – Part 2. No surprise, I think, that it is going to be in New York City. The date is to be determined but New York City seems to be the place for the US premiere and no surprise there, like I said.
Andrew: And it makes sense because Dan Radcliffe is there shooting – or not shooting, being a part of the musical How to Succeed. They got the – what is that thing? The exhibition there.
Micah: The exhibition.
Andrew: It’s convenient for the UK actors to get over there instead of flying all the way across the world to Los Angeles, a twelve-hour flight. Yeah. I miss the LA Order of the Phoenix premiere. Personally, I think that one was the best. But…
Micah: Well, it was just a short drive for you, right?
Micah: Or not at the time. You were still in Jersey, weren’t you?
Andrew: Right, right. I would love to just drive to a premiere.
Micah: Well, now it would just be a short drive for you so it would be nice.
Andrew: Exactly. It would be a walk.
Micah: It would be – and Warner Bros. too. I mean, they’re based out in LA. So…
Micah: Easy for them.
Andrew: Well, they like taking trips. They like making excuses for trips to New York.
Micah: That’s true.
Andrew: Probably because they get nice hotels. We have an e-mail later on, by the way, about premiere tips. People always want to know some tips for the premiere, camping out, getting there early, blah blah blah. So we’ll talk about those later in the show because I know people have questions.
Before we continue with today’s show, we’d like to remind everybody that this podcast 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 and featuring audio versions of many New York Times Bestsellers. For listeners of this podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their great service. One audiobook to consider is A Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1. It’s a very popular book on Audible, and a television adaptation recently debuted on HBO called Game of Thrones. The first episode was actually so successful that HBO has already renewed it for a second season. So for a free audiobook of your choice such as A Game of Thrones, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. That’s AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
News: LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Announced
Micah: So, continuing on with the news, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 was announced. It will be released later on this year, right around Christmas time, the holiday season, trying to take advantage of all the Harry Potter fans out there that’ll be buying up their Deathly Hallows – Part 2 DVDs and “1-8” sets. So, LEGO Harry Potter, what do you guys think of this? You guys both have the game? I know Matt says he has it.
Andrew: Yeah, he sold it, but…
Andrew: You must be excited though because you loved it, 1-4.
Micah: Yeah, I thought they did a really good job, as we’ve talked about probably numerous times on the show, with putting the gameplay together, because it’s not primarily focused on the movies like the EA games are. It really takes a lot from the books, and there’s a lot more that you can do in terms of free roaming and tasks and things like that. So I think they wouldn’t have gotten ahead and made 5-7 if Years 1-4 wasn’t such a huge success.
Andrew: No, you’re right. And I mean, we saw the sales that first month. I think the sales were extremely good.
Eric: Well, speaking of sales, I am thinking of selling my game. I can’t get very far in it, guys. I have to admit, I have not done very well in the Harry Potter LEGO game. I’m thinking…
Andrew: It’s a children’s game. Why?
Eric: I am thinking of giving up. It’s just not into it. I can’t figure out what to do next. I am stuck, there’s a hallway with some plants that I can’t get past and I’m lost, I don’t know what to do. So I’m probably going to sell the game, too.
Micah: What was interesting was I was talking to Andrew the other day, and I said I e-mailed the head of production over at TT Games to find out what the latest was, if there was going to be a LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 and he said, “Well, we’re focusing our attention on Pirates of the Caribbean right now.”
Eric: [laughs] That was like last week, right?
Micah: “But expect an announcement soon.” Well yeah, and he said, “Expect an announcement soon,” and then literally a couple of days later they announced Years 5-7. So…
Andrew: You sensed something.
Micah: I did, yeah. Yeah, exactly. I had one of those Ben-like predictions.
Eric: [laughs] Well, if it’s coming out the end of this year, clearly it’s something they’ve been working on for a little while.
Micah: Absolutely. I mean, these games take so long to create. We saw the production that went on with Years 1-4 and just how much detail goes into these games.
Andrew: What else is going on in the news?
News: JK Rowling Talks About Favorite Character
Micah: JK Rowling talked about her favorite characters to promote a new Bloomsbury campaign, and she gave an idea of who her favorite character is.
Eric: Wait, Micah, let me guess: Is it “pen and paper”?
Micah: No, no. Is “pen and paper” a character in the Potter series? Might as well be.
Andrew: It probably is right now.
Eric: “Pen and paper” Weasley, actually. It’s the – yeah, “pen and paper.” “Pen and paper” Clearwater, is that it? That’s a real character, right?
Micah: Well, let me read the quote here. It says:
“[My favorite character is] Harry…”
Micah: Yeah, exactly.
“…although I believe I am unusual in this, Ron is generally more popular (I love him too, though). Now that I have finished writing the books, the character I would most like to meet for dinner is Dumbledore. We would have a lot to discuss, and I would love his advice; I think that everyone would like a Dumbledore in their lives.”
And I think she said this before though.
Micah: In another interview.
Eric: She said – yeah, she would meet him for dinner.
Andrew: But I see Jo in Dumbledore, so Jo is just looking to have a conversation with herself if you ask me.
Eric: Well, I think…
Micah: She’s never coming on the show.
Eric: The real surprise for me is that obviously – we’re re-reading Order of the Phoenix and Order of the Phoenix more so than any other book is really – Dumbledore is not a good guy. His actions are called under question, I think, by Jo herself, because Harry is feeling very isolated especially where we are currently in Chapter-by-Chapter. So the idea that she says everybody wants a Dumbledore in their life, well, actually I don’t think we do. She – basically Dumbledore is revealed throughout the whole series to be this really manipulative guy and sure, he’s got his moments but I would not choose him to be my dinner guest. I would not. I would find myself strangling him.
Micah: Well, isn’t that cheery? Next piece of news…
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
News: Attendance at Universal Soars Thanks to Wizarding World
Micah: …is – we got a lot of diverse news this week. We’re moving from a lot of different topics here. Normally it’s just about one thing and that’s usually the movie, but attendance at The Wizarding World of – or sorry, at Universal, has soared thanks to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. No surprise there, but Andrew…
Micah: …you recently returned from Orlando.
Andrew: I did.
Micah: Did you happen to go to [laughs] The Wizarding World of Harry Potter?
Andrew: No, no, I went to Dr. Seuss Land. [laughs] I really wanted to go see Dr. Seuss. The Cat in the Hat. No, yeah I did. I went with my family, actually. It was their first time going to Universal, so it was exciting. And they were all really excited to see the Wizarding World and they loved it. It was a fun time, we had a great time. The crowds were good.
But, and I tweeted this, I ran into a couple of issues at Universal, and they just really bugged me, and I wanted to spend a minute going into them because it’s got to be fixed. The Wizarding World is so popular, Micah just brought up the story about the attendance at the park soaring because of Harry Potter, period. Not because of anything else. They need to up their game at Universal.
First of all, and anybody who’s been on the Forbidden Journey knows this, the locker situation has to be fixed. It is extremely crowded, it’s dark, it’s small in there. When fifty people are trying to cram into the space, to either get a locker or reopen their locker, it’s just a mess. And it doesn’t help that it’s dark in there. And small. It’s a wreck, it’s literally a wreck. I personally had a problem reopening my locker. It took me a few minutes to find the locker attendant. And I finally find him, it takes me a few minutes because it’s dark, it’s small, and it’s crowded. And I find him, and I say, “Hey, excuse me,” and he greets me with, “What’s up?”
Andrew: And that just annoyed me because, first of all, they’re kind of supposed to be in character because you’re in the wizarding world. Act a little British…
Andrew: …or cheery, or something. He just turns around, and you could tell he’s angry because he’s working this horrible job in the locker area where it’s so crowded he can’t even walk around and he deals with all those people who are getting annoyed at the locker situation. So he greets me kind of rudely with “What’s up?” and I get the locker situation worked out but he was just really bugging me in his attitude. He obviously did not enjoy working there. [laughs] And then the next day I went on Forbidden Journey again and I went into the lockers – I didn’t have anything to drop off this time but I went through the locker area – and one of the guests walks in the room, [laughs] in the locker room, and says, “I can’t see in here!” and she was kind of whining. [laughs] And the attendant kind of yells across the room, “Take off your sunglasses!” in a rude tone.
Andrew: It was just like – it’s so – I don’t know. It’s just these – some of these employees just don’t sit right with me. And in the Hog’s Head bar, I went in over there and one person was taking care of the bar in the middle of the day. And the line was out the door!
Andrew: And it’s just like, come on! Get some better service in here! And eventually the second person did show up but that should never have less than two people, that Hog’s Head bar. I love it but not – it needs two people. And finally, the Jurassic Park. The Jurassic Park land. Very cool land. I went with my family again. The River Adventure ride, the one day I was there it was closed and that annoyed me so much because there are so few rides at Islands of Adventure. These poor people who are actually going to the park, paying money to go experience the whole park probably in one day. One of the five rides at the park is closed! And it’s like, that’s a big portion of the park and you’re just going to – you’re screwing people over!
Andrew: So the next day I go back to Islands of Adventure and the ride’s open, and I’m like, “Okay, good, good. It’s open. Glad to see it.” We go on the ride and you know how – you’re on a river boat and the big doors open up and it says [in dramatic voice] “Welcome to Jurassic Park!” [in normal voice] It’s supposed to be some epic moment because these giant doors, they’re opening and you’re getting a look – you’re like entering the Jurassic Park?
Andrew: Well, the damn dinosaur right at the front is broken down! His head is hiding behind a rock, underwater.
Andrew: It’s like, are you kidding me? There was nothing to look at! It said “Welcome to Jurassic Park” and all you saw was a river and trees, and a broken dinosaur.
Andrew: Thanks, Universal.
Eric: And this…
Andrew: Real magic. I’m…
Eric: So this is the theme park, now, we’re talking about, who had suffered like a 40% loss of money two years ago, and like a 180% increase in revenue this past year since Harry Potter opened, right? Wasn’t that the news story?
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Eric: I mean, we’re talking millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars above expectation.
Andrew: Right. Let’s spend some money to make sure the rides work.
Eric: Okay. Well, that’s fair. I mean, to be fair there is a…
Andrew: [laughs] And the end of the bar has enough people.
Eric: In Disney there is a Yeti in the Expedition Everest ride in Animal Kingdom that’s been broken down for years and years and years, and they still haven’t fixed it. I did read about that.
Eric: There was an article about that. So there are broken rides. It’s something that happens. We don’t know how long that dinosaur has been broken.
Andrew: Well, a day is too long.
Andrew: When that dinosaur is the entrance to the ride, [in dramatic voice] “Welcome to Jurassic Park! Look at our broken dragon!”
Andrew: [continues in dramatic voice] And trees and water, but nothing else! [in normal voice] And there was another dragon – or dinosaur broken a little bit later into the ride. Other than that, Wizarding World…
Micah: Good time?
Andrew: Wizarding World is great.
Eric: Is the Butterbeer still – do you still not like the Butterbeer, Andrew? Because you said, “Ehhh, sugar.”
Andrew: No, no, no, the Butterbeer is good. Yeah. I don’t drink a lot of it but the Butterbeer is good. The park – I can sit in that park all day. I went into the park all three days and just sat in the middle and really just took in the ambience. Seeing – people are genuinely excited to walk into that park. And big Harry Potter fans – they’re so excited and it’s so fun watching them experience it for the first time. It really is wonderful and they really did do a great job with it. There’s just some things that they really need to work out.
Micah: Well, how many times did the Forbidden Journey break down when we were there?
Andrew: Right. I mean…
Micah: A lot.
Andrew: In fairness there, though, the ride was just opening so they’re kind of bound to have problems. And hopefully they’ve fixed that by now. If they haven’t, then yeah, that’s an issue.
Eric: Did you see any kind of expansion or signs of expansion or…
Andrew: [laughs] No.
Eric: …any idea?
Andrew: I was looking, though.
Eric: Well, when are they going to start building on here, because we’re on a deadline here. The world is going to in 2012.
Andrew: [laughs] I would say between the next one to two years we would probably start hearing something.
Andrew: But who knows?
Micah: And you said you actually ran into a couple of MuggleCast listeners.
Andrew: I did! I did run into a couple of MuggleCast listeners. The one was Katelyn, it was very nice meeting her, and the other girl – I don’t think I got her name. We ran into her when we were in the other park, Universal Studios Orlando, not Islands of Adventure. But I ran into her with her family, she was very nice. We had a nice conversation. So shout-out to both of them and I saw on Facebook a couple of people were like, “Oh, I thought I saw you there!” But we didn’t actually meet, so…
Eric: Yeah, were you wearing a black wife-beater on one of the days?
Andrew: [laughs] Yes. People have seen me then.
Eric: People have seen you then. You were spotted, Andrew. You were spotted.
Andrew: Yeah. Yes, yes, that was me. That was me. People made fun of me for it, but whatever. So overall if I had to give some new tips to people, definitely go – the morning is definitely when it’s the most crowded. Evenings are much better. I would say definitely go afternoon to evening, the crowds are a lot better to deal with. The one day I went, Forbidden Journey wait – on Friday it was seventy-five minutes. The following day it was twenty minutes.
Andrew: And around the same time, too. So a dramatic difference. I don’t even know why. But afternoons, evenings, are the best times to go to that park.
Micah: And one piece of news I noticed that we did skip over was Monday was your birthday, Andrew, so Happy Birthday.
Andrew: Yes, it was!
Eric: Happy Birthday!
Andrew: I celebrated it in the park. I was very happy to be doing that, it really is a great place. I was really happy to be there. But thanks!
Eric: And Lady Gaga gave you a birthday present, didn’t she, Andrew?
Andrew: Yeah. I was born this day.
Andrew: May 23rd, the same day “Born This Way” the album came out. And we’ll be playing a Lady Gaga Make The Connection later on in the show.
Andrew: But I have to say, the birthday wishes were really nice. They really remind me, and I’m sure you guys too when you get them, why we do the show and the website and everything else. It’s for the fans, and they genuinely enjoy it and it makes me really happy to see all these people wishing me a happy birthday. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. [giggles]
Eric: Now, next year will be your golden birthday, right? 23 on the 23rd?
Andrew: Oh yes.
Eric: Oh, we’ll have to plan for that.
Announcement: LeakyCon 2011
Andrew: I can’t wait. [laughs] All right, so – well, speaking of all this park stuff, we should remind everybody about LeakyCon. LeakyCon.com, it’s going to be held July 13th to the 17th in Orlando, Florida. We are under fifty days away now. There’s going to be that party in the park. We now know when we are doing the two podcasts. We’re going to be doing a Leaky Mug on Thursday, and a MuggleCast on Friday. The MuggleCast on Friday is going to be our live review show – and by live, I mean in front of a real audience – and we’re going to have a lot of fun with it, I think. I have a very good feeling about it.
We’ve told you guys all about LeakyCon over the past few months. There’s going to be the dance, there’s going to be the fantastic programming, there’s going to be the opening feast, the leaving feast, the midnight premiere of the movie. It’s just going to be – there’s going to be so much fun to be had down there in Orlando, Florida with some of the biggest Harry Potter fans, and LeakyCon is going to be a lot of fun. So visit LeakyCon.com, click on “Register,” and in the referral box, do put in “Muggle” so they know we sent you. A couple of updates, actually, there’s only – there’s probably less than one hundred registrations available now.
Andrew: Tickets left, in other words. So now is the time to register. You have to do it soon. It’s going to be sold out soon and we’ll no longer be able to tell you to register, [laughs] because you won’t be able to. So check it out: LeakyCon.com, enter referral code “Muggle,” and we will see you there, July 13th to the 17th. What are you guys looking forward to most if you had to pick one thing?
Eric: I’m looking for the movie to come out, honestly.
Eric: That’s going to be really, really awesome just seeing it with everybody.
Andrew: It’s kind of funny, I keep forgetting that the movie is coming out during it, [laughs] because there’s so much else going on. It’s like…
Andrew: It’s crazy.
Micah: Yeah, let’s just hope they don’t move the release to Wednesday.
Andrew: Well, if that happens, they will make changes. Everybody will still see it. Hopefully. At midnight if they come in on the 12th.
Eric: Yeah, they did that…
Andrew: Micah, how about you?
Eric: I feel like that happened in Movie 6. They released it a couple of days early and people…
Andrew: Yeah, and “7”.
Eric: So people were…
Andrew: Or maybe not “7”.
Eric: So the event was planned for the Friday and people did see it on Wednesday but everybody together then came back and saw it Friday. I don’t know, I always thought if there’s a big event planned, just wait for that. Wait two days. There’s no reason not to. See it in a group.
Andrew: Micah, how about you?
Micah: I think just the podcast. I always have a lot of fun doing those live shows and meeting with everybody.
Micah: Hearing their reactions live. Every time we do a show like this, we get people’s reactions through social media, e-mails, things like that, but it’s really cool to be in person and having that kind of interaction. Just getting away, being able to relax for a couple of days in Orlando even though it’s going to be hot as all hell down there like it was last year. But…
Eric: I’ll tell you, Micah, I could use the heat. It’s very, very cold in Chicago.
Micah: Well, Chicago. I mean, it’ll probably still be twenty degrees when we leave in July.
Micah: And snowing, but – yeah. No, I mean, I just look forward to going down there and hanging out. It’s really a time that a lot of us get to see each other because we don’t see each other all that often during the year.
Andrew: That’s true. I usually forget what you look like. You have to come up to me and say, “Hey, Andrew, remember me?”
Andrew: “I’m Micah. I do that podcast with you.” I’m like, “Micah? Oh! Oh, Micah. Okay.”
Eric: “Which podcast? Let’s see here.”
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: And he pulls out his large rolodex.
Chapter-by-Chapter: “The Advance Guard”
Andrew: “Let me go through my podcast rolodex.” [laughs] All right. Well, Micah, this is why I always remember you, because of your great Chapter-by-Chapter segments. And you’re going to kick us off now with Chapter 3: “The Advance Guard” from Order of the Phoenix!
Micah: Right! I hope I remember it seeing as I put this together two weeks ago.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Eric: On the last show.
Micah: So, if I’m a little rusty on it, I do apologize. So, Chapter 3: “The Advance Guard.” The chapter opens and Harry is literally freaking out at this point.
Eric: [laughs] All of the chapter.
Micah: [laughs] A number of things are going on. He’s been attacked by Dementors, he’s being tailed by both Arabella Figg and Mundungus Fletcher, Petunia has gotten a mysterious Howler, he’s worried about being expelled and/or going to Azkaban, and nobody, really, is communicating with him in the way that he would like. So, did you guys think that this was a little bit of a misstep on Dumbledore’s part, not to let him know just what the hell was going on?
Eric: Yeah, I do.
Micah: There’s a lot of stuff happening.
Eric: I do, and I think – really it builds up even in the next chapter. Harry kind of takes his anger out on his friends instead. But the real thing here is that Dumbledore is at fault, and Dumbledore is really being tough on Harry. He’s creating a situation that doesn’t necessarily need to exist and it’s one of Dumbledore’s arbitrary choices that just Harry and everybody else has to kind of deal with in this book. It’s really tough because up until this point in the Harry Potter books, Dumbledore has been kind of in the background, and even now – here he’s in the background, but we’re at least getting word of what he’s doing. And it’s clear that it’s because Voldemort has come back. It’s obviously a game-changer when the villain all of a sudden has a body again at the end of Book 4. That’s a big deal. But I did expect to see sort of – at the beginning of Book 6 when Dumbledore shows up on Privet Drive and escorts Harry. That is what I expected to happen in this book, that he would get a Dumbledore escort. But as it turns out, we rarely see Dumbledore in this book, and for a good reason which is explained later.
Andrew: And this is kind of the readers’ opportunity to start losing trust in Dumbledore, thinking like, “Well, he’s not as perfect as we’ve kind of made him out to be.” He’s always been wise, he’s always had plans in good order for the most part, except for that whole Barty Crouch Sr. thing under his nose the whole time in Hogwarts but that’s besides the point. I mean, in this book we really start to lose trust in him when he’s not a good communicator with Harry. This is just one instance in this book.
Eric: Yeah. I mean, he can talk Mermish, for crying out loud, but he’s not talking English to Harry!
Andrew: Barty Crouch Jr., by the way. I knew that.
Micah: Now, Harry is really eager to communicate with somebody. He wants to send letters off to Ron, Hermione, and Sirius. But the big problem is that Hedwig is nowhere to be found, and he does end up getting really pissed at his only friend at Privet Drive when she does come back, and it’s kind of like as soon as she returns with food – because she’s been out hunting – she is immediately sent back out by Harry. And to sort of add to the level of aggravation that he’s going through, several days pass with no response. So this only increases his level of agitation.
Micah: So, more time continues to pass, and there’s this one night where Vernon comes up to his room and tells Harry that they are going out for the evening. And there’s this list of things [laughs] that Harry is not allowed to do, including, and I quote, “not steal food from the fridge.” Now, he lives there. How is it stealing food? And I know that’s just the way that Vernon likes to treat Harry, but this whole list of things, can and can’ts – it’s a little bit…
Eric: Oh, and abusive.
Andrew: Well, isn’t this something we were talking about last week? I wanted to have more of a discussion on it, just how poorly the family – I mean, somebody could call child – what is that?
Andrew: Child services? On the family? Yeah, and get this looked into [laughs] because you’re right, they’re basically starving Harry. They consider him taking food out of the fridge to be stealing. I mean, no family does that unless they really despise the person living there.
Micah: I mean, I can understand, “Okay, you’re not allowed to watch TV.” I mean, all of our parents have said that to us at one time or another, sort of as a punishment. But really, Harry has not done anything wrong in this case, and he’s not allowed to take food from the fridge? I mean, we used to hear in the older books how Petunia used to put food through the flap…
Micah: …in his door. It’s so – like Eric was saying – juvenile, but it’s also abusive on some levels, the way that he gets treated.
Eric: I think it’s interesting that Vernon does this to Harry, because we expect it. Harry expects it, that’s why Harry is not shocked. He’s like, “Oh, whatever.” He clearly expects to be this mistreated by the Dursleys, nothing new. The real shame, the real sad part, is that he expects to be treated better by his friends, and he feels that he’s not being treated well by the people he thinks would normally treat him well. So it’s really, really – he’s really not in a good place because not only are the Dursleys – no change there, they’re still as abusive as ever, limiting him and all that stuff. But now his friends aren’t writing to him either, and his friends are – they’re not saying anything, Dumbledore has had him followed all summer. It’s a bad situation.
Micah: Yeah, I agree. Well, when Vernon is taking his family out, the Advance Guard arrives to take Harry away from Privet Drive and we later learn that the Dursleys were sent away because of some competition.
Micah: Or they won some contest that doesn’t really exist.
Micah: So that was the opportunity for the Advance Guard to come in and to take Harry away. And we get to meet the real Moody now for the first time other than him just being a rambled mess at the bottom of some trunk in Barty Crouch Jr.’s office. Lupin we already know, but we’re introduced to several new characters: Tonks, Kingsley, Elphias Doge, Dedalus Diggle who we later learn [laughs] Harry has actually met before, Emmeline Vance, and Sturgis Podmore. Oh, and Hestia Jones. So these are the people…
Andrew: Don’t forget her!
Micah: Yeah, I know.
Eric: You forgot…
Micah: [laughs] Sorry, such a huge character in the series!
Eric: I knew you were going to forget Hestia Jones, Micah, and that’s why I bolded it right here in the notes.
Micah: Oh. Well, thank you very much. I thought it was somewhat comical that Moody thinks Harry could be an impostor upon arriving, and he said, “We don’t know, we could be capturing a Death Eater and taking him back to our secure location.” So, the question, of course, that Lupin asks Harry is, what form does his Patronus take? And I was just wondering, couldn’t a Death Eater know that? I mean, isn’t it possible that they would have this information, or has Harry not done that in front of enough people yet?
Eric: Hmm. Yeah, I think Harry hasn’t done it in front of enough people.
Eric: I mean, when he did it he was at school in Prisoner of Azkaban. The Dementors would know, but they’re not talking. Plus – well, Dementors can’t see, actually. So I guess anybody he’s ever really done a Patronus in front of wouldn’t be able to talk. Plus, it’s a very personal question because a Patronus is very personal to you, to yourself. So yeah, I guess I feel like it’s – at this point it’s not quite a question everyone would know the answer to.
Andrew: It’s also kind of a spur of the moment thing. I mean, I don’t know if Lupin had that question planned…
Andrew: …to ask Harry, so maybe that was just the first thing that came to his mind. I don’t know.
Micah: Yeah, it’s possible, but I did think it was comical on Moody’s part that he could question Harry being an impostor Death Eater, but I guess he’s talking from experience.
Eric: He should have just dueled Harry, and if Harry used Expelliarmus they would have known it was the right Harry.
Micah: Exactly. And just kind of running through some of these other members of the Advance Guard – because they do get mentioned briefly, but some of them have a role later on in the series. Doge is introduced more fully in the first few chapters of Deathly Hallows. He writes Dumbledore’s obituary in the Daily Prophet, and of course he speaks with Harry at the wedding. As I mentioned, Diggle says that they’ve met before. This is the wizard that Harry meets all the way back in Sorcerer’s Stone in the Leaky Cauldron, and he also helps escort the Dursleys to safety in Deathly Hallows. Emmeline Vance is killed in the beginning of Half-Blood Prince. Sturgis Podmore gets caught later on in this book guarding the Department of Mysteries and is sent off to Azkaban. I don’t know if we ever hear anything more about him later on in the series. And Hestia Jones – didn’t forget about her – helps Diggle escort the Dursleys to safety in Deathly Hallows.
Eric: So Dedalus and Hestia. They maybe have a thing going on. They get the same jobs together.
Eric: The same missions.
Micah: Yeah, maybe.
Eric: Romance. Cue Swan Lake.
Micah: So after they all arrive and Harry gets introduced to them, Tonks volunteers to go help Harry get his things for school, and it’s revealed that she is a Metamorphmagus. And…
Eric: Sorry. That’s hot.
Micah: He also learns that both Tonks and Kingsley are Aurors, and I think he’s a little surprised that Tonks is an Auror because she’s already broken a few things in the house…
Micah: …and doesn’t exactly behave like you would expect an Auror to.
Eric: Yeah. She’s the cool Auror.
Andrew: Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Eric: She upsets the balance. She upsets the – she offsets those stingy, book-y Aurors who can actually throw the book at people.
Micah: Now, we brought this up on the last show and we said we’d talk about it in this chapter, but why is it that these people are allowed to access Privet Drive, but it seems like the Death Eaters aren’t?
Andrew: Isn’t it just sort of a matter of good or evil?
Micah: Yeah, I was wondering that.
Eric: Yeah. Well, then – yeah, the question is then, what determines if you’re good or evil? And wouldn’t they be able to use that? Like, “Oh, if you can show up on Privet Drive without being zapped, blown to smithereens, then we know your true loyalties.” But the problem is loyalties change. Now, what I thought was interesting is that the Dursleys are gone for this. So, what if the protection over Privet Drive isn’t active because the Dursleys have left, and that’s why all of these wizards can show up?
Andrew: Oh. But I mean, Dumbledore never really made it clear about – we never heard previously, like, “You guys have to stay here, actually be physically present here.”
Eric: No, it’s true.
Andrew: I think it’s well established that they are still here so the protection is still there, simply because all their stuff is there too. So even if they leave just to go food shopping or whatever…
Andrew: …it’s still clear that they are present in the home.
Eric: I can just see Voldemort stalking the Dursleys, waiting for them to go food shopping before he attacks Harry. But I mean – well, the reason we brought it up last episode was because we have these people watching Harry, and he actually strays pretty far from number four Privet Drive. He’s walking on the side streets and all the way to the playground which is quite a ways away. In this book he really kind of tests those boundaries, and it seems like an important question to ask. Not only what determines – what allows all these wizards to pick Harry up, but also how far is that protection? Because he goes quite a way from home and he’s still apparently protected unless that’s why the Dementors could find him. So yeah, I don’t know.
Micah: Yeah. And that kind of begs the question, why was there no attempt planned to capture Harry by Voldemort in this book? Moody says right before they are ready to take off, “If one of us is killed,” and it’s interesting that he says that because he’s the one that ends up getting killed under very similar circumstances in Deathly Hallows.
Micah: So – but why no plan? I mean, they could have put something together similar to what they did in Deathly Hallows. Or was it just that Voldemort didn’t have everybody assembled yet?
Eric: Well, I think several things haven’t happened yet which were crucial to the attack that happened in Deathly Hallows. First, that Dumbledore has left Harry on his own, and as a result Voldemort doesn’t know a whole lot about what’s going on with the Order because Harry is not with them. And Voldemort also doesn’t really know about the connection through the scar, and so he can’t use that to sort of track Harry. He doesn’t know that they’re going to pick Harry up. He doesn’t know that Harry is not already with Dumbledore, to be perfectly honest. And the other thing that is different from Book 7 is that Voldemort has his sights on something else. He wants to get the prophecy. He’s kind of – Harry in this book is an afterthought to Voldemort almost, because now that he’s got his body back – Harry already escaped. I think he really wants – he needs reinforcements. He needs to start sort of the – I don’t want to say bureaucratic. He needs to start doing the paperwork to become the new evil Dark Lord again because he is going after a weapon instead of going after Harry. He’s changed – in other words, he’s completely changed focus, but I think that was a smart move.
Micah: Mhm. That’s a good point. The only other thing I was going to bring up in this chapter was that Tonks has an interesting relationship with Moody. She seems to be the only person who can reason with him, but she’s also the only person that can talk back to him. And I’m wondering if he was a mentor of sorts, is that the kind of dynamic that exists between the two of them?
Andrew: I was thinking it’s more women power than anything else.
Eric: So, you’re saying that Moody likes the fire in her?
Andrew: [laughs] Yes.
Andrew: Yeah, the – no.
Micah: Well, now.
Andrew: Well yeah, I mean, we’d have to look at their friendship over time, too. There could be different aspects of their relationship from the past that has given Tonks this right to be the one who really stands up to him, reasoning with him and speaking back to him, laying the smackdown. If they’ve had a very good relationship in the past, Tonks may feel comfortable with being like, [in a funny accent] “Okay, Moody, you listen here!”
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Eric: Is that your valley girl accent?
Andrew: I don’t know what it was.
Micah: Get Mason.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: Oh, we do need Mason for this.
Micah: I’m sure he could do a good one.
Micah: Last part of the chapter, they all arrive safely at “Grimmauld Place, headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix,” is what it says on the paper that Harry gets.
Eric: Yeah, paper.
Eric: Hmm, interesting.
Andrew: Pen and paper, hmm.
Andrew: All right. And Eric?
Andrew: …you will take us through Chapter 4!
MuggleCast 229 Transcript (continued)
Chapter-by-Chapter: “Number Twelve Grimmauld Place”
Eric: Chapter 4: “Number Twelve Grimmauld Place.” I just have to say, it’s really funny reading this because I live at a number fourteen and the house next to me is number ten. So, there is actually…
Eric: …five feet – there is no number twelve on the street I live on. [laughs]
Andrew: You know, when I stayed there, I thought I heard ghosts. So maybe that was the three houses in between – the one house in between, number twelve.
Eric: I have tried to find number twelve on my street and it hasn’t worked. Anyway, number twelve…
Andrew: Well, according to the films, it grows out of nowhere.
Eric: It grows out of nowhere.
Eric: Well, I think what it is – now, in the book, it grows out of nowhere in front of Harry. That’s how it’s described. And in the movie, it grows out of nowhere. But I feel like it’s already there, like the only reason they can’t see it is because it’s hidden magically. It doesn’t give number twelve the magical property of being a hideaway building that slides. I think the sliding effect is what results from the hidden – the Fidelio Charm being performed on the building. Maybe I could be wrong. What do you guys think?
Andrew: It’s just in – when I saw it in the movie I was just really – it just was not how I pictured it. Because in the movie, it’s basically – the two row homes separate, and that’s not how I pictured it. I just thought in the book it was just this blank – this empty plot of land.
Eric: Yeah, I think I remember that, too. I remember not also feeling like they would be connected houses to begin with.
Eric: But then when they were – I guess it made sense, but I think it was – I think, too, again, that the magic makes it pop out of nowhere but that ordinarily there was enough space between the houses. I don’t know.
Eric: But – so the letter, we find out later, was written by Dumbledore that Harry reads. Moody at the beginning of this chapter burns the letter right away and they enter the headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix. Now, Moody tells Harry to go in, not go too far. All the other wizards go in, and he’s met immediately by Mrs. Weasley who hugs Harry. And she says, “He’s just arrived. The meeting has started.” The wizards behind Harry make excited noises and they head towards the kitchen, and Mrs. Weasley says that he’ll have to wait for dinner because they’re holding a meeting. So this is very – again, nobody is telling Harry anything, even just yet. They’re clearly keeping him out of the loop, even still.
Eric: So, Mrs. Weasley tells him that she’ll show him to his room. She leads him up the stairs and it says she leads him “on tiptoe past a pair of long, moth-eaten curtains, behind which Harry supposed there must be another door,” because there are a lot of doors down this hallway. Now, we know that – by the end of this chapter, we find out that Mrs. Black’s portrait is behind these curtains and we know from later in the book that the portrait can’t be removed. But I thought it was interesting that Harry says – just his intuition, his instinct, says that there’s a door behind this portrait. So I had the question – well, we know that there are doors behind other portraits, like to Gryffindor common room. Do you think or did you guys ever think there could be a door behind Mrs. Black’s portrait in Grimmauld Place?
Andrew: No, because she just serves as the protector, so I don’t think there would ever be a purpose other than that. I mean, usually yes, the portraits are placed to hide a door but I guess I could see maybe a safe being hidden behind there because people would obviously not be able to get into it except for Sirius. But yeah – no, I’ve always seen it just as simply a security measure.
Eric: Well, what kind of security…
Micah: Yeah, I agree. I never thought that it could be a door.
Eric: Never? Okay. Because I feel like…
Andrew: Never ever.
Eric: [laughs] Maybe it’s just me. I feel like in architecture…
Micah: It would have been cool.
Eric: Yeah, it would have been cool and I mean, I feel like in architecture – you’re at a building and you feel like there should be a door somewhere. There’s like an archway where a door would normally go, and there’s not a door there? It just seems like a change has been made. But what is Mrs. Black’s purpose? I guess…
Eric: Why though? She just browbeats people, she doesn’t really prevent anything.
Andrew: Well, that’s…
Eric: And they just close the curtains and she goes away.
Andrew: To me, that was another fun, whimsical addition that Jo added. It’s just another area of magic that was fun to read about.
Eric: Yeah, that’s true.
Andrew: It was a nice sub-character, so to speak.
Eric: Yeah. It does…
Andrew: And she was annoying but…
Eric: It leaves for good suspense. So Harry keeps going down the hallway, there’s all these heads – [laughs] severed heads, actually – as Harry goes down the hall. He realizes that they’re house-elf heads and he asks, “What on earth were they doing in a house that looked as though it belonged to the darkest of wizards?” This mystery is wrapped up by the end of the chapter. So, Mrs. Weasley leads Harry to his room, heads back downstairs to the meeting, and really it’s at this point – basically Ron and Hermione are waiting in the room. Harry has a couple of seconds to register that the room has a twin bed in it. All of a sudden he is surrounded by bushy hair, Hermione pulls him into a huge hug. But the first thing she asks, and rightly so, is: “Have you been furious with us?” She says, “I bet you have. I know our letters were useless, but we couldn’t tell you anything – Dumbledore made us swear we wouldn’t. Oh, we’ve got so much to tell you.” So I think they guessed – and correctly – that Harry would be very, very upset. And I think the interesting thing about this chapter – it’s a little difficult to read because Harry does go all caps very, very shortly.
Eric: Very shortly, he goes all caps. And he does feel ashamed later, but he spills out all of his insecurities from being left alone on Privet Drive, all of his resentment to not being with his friends while they’ve been with each other. He says all these things, and it’s really – the other thing is it’s satisfying to read, because you really feel that getting all this anger out is the first step to living with it, to dealing with it, but…
Andrew: Yeah. And when you think about it, they had this great friendship with him for the past four years, and then suddenly they have to kind of cut it back a little bit on Dumbledore’s orders. So that’s why she knew so well that Harry would be PO’d, because suddenly they had to keep this a secret.
Eric: Yeah. But I think Harry is just mad that they listened to Dumbledore, too, and I mean rightfully so.
Andrew: But they have to. Dumbledore would spank them with his giant hands.
Andrew: It’s true.
Eric: His giant – oh yeah, that’s right. Dumbledore is Michael Gambon now, he’s no longer Richard Harris. He’ll really give them a red mark. But anyway, [laughs] Ron says, “We wanted to give the answers to you. Hermione kept saying you’d do something stupid if you were stuck on your own without news, but Dumbledore made us swear not to tell you.” Now, Harry – again he’s feeling this right before he bursts out. There is some great descriptors:
“The warm glow that had flared inside him at the sight of his two best friends was extinguished as something icy flooded the pit of his stomach. All of a sudden – after yearning to see them for a solid month – he felt he would rather Ron and Hermione left him alone.”
So that’s really tough. Now, the other thing Harry finds out is that Ron and Hermione knew about the Order people tailing Harry, so he feels even more just isolated. Everybody knew that there were wizards within feet of Harry this whole time. So…
Micah: Well, one of the things I wanted to just bring up though was that, doesn’t Dumbledore at all think that by doing this he is actually helping whatever he believes to be inside of Harry that could be a danger to him? He’s only aggravating Harry more, which only causes this connection to develop faster – to me, anyway.
Eric: I thought the same thing and earlier when Mrs. Weasley says, “He’s here!” to the other Aurors, I thought she meant Dumbledore and I was like, “Well, how could Dumbledore possibly know that he’s not supposed to be in front of Harry at this point? How does Dumbledore know about this scar connection?” But I think – it’s weird because Dumbledore does have this policy of avoiding Harry over the summer, that’s way before Harry really realizes that this connection exists between Harry and Voldemort. And I just wonder how Dumbledore could have predicted that, because this whole book Harry is isolated. And the reason he’s given to Ron and Hermione is that owls could be intercepted. But Harry says, and again he’s correct, Dumbledore has to have ways to get information across without using owls. It really is that Dumbledore doesn’t want to talk to Harry, and that’s really tough for Harry to deal with.
Micah: Right. And that’s the point. I mean, he’s sort of fueling the fire by ignoring him and every time Harry speaks to another person, he’s hearing that Dumbledore told them not to speak to him or not to correspond with him. And that’s only increasing the level of anger he has towards Dumbledore which Voldemort can easily play off of.
Eric: Yeah. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to the dark side.
Micah: Yes, Yoda.
[Andrew laughs, Eric does Yoda impression]
Eric: So the other thing now – this is the moment of saddest truth – I feel like we should have one of these for every chapter in Book 5. Moment of saddest truth is that Harry says he’s glad that Mundungus Fletcher left his post because “if he hadn’t, I wouldn’t have done magic and Dumbledore would have probably left me at Privet Drive all summer.” And Harry says that right before he flips out, which we’re just going to skip over. But I thought that was the sad truth because we just don’t know what Dumbledore’s intentions were prior to Harry having to defend himself. And lucky that Harry could defend himself, because these Dementors nearly sucked out Dudley’s soul. So…
Andrew: And again, this was Harry’s chance to really get out what was bottling up inside of him, and his friends are a good place to vent towards. So the situation could have been very expected from everybody reading it for the first time, and Hermione saw it coming and probably the other Order members understand the frustration as well. And maybe even Dumbledore.
Eric: Yeah. And I think the other thing is Harry’s argument is so loud – his shouting – that it’s referenced several times the remainder of the chapter. Now, that’s really the first half of the chapter so far. The second half is really interesting because we learn a lot, actually. Now, Fred and George Apparate into the bedroom. [laughs] They say “there may have been some people fifty miles away who didn’t hear you.” [laughs] Ginny comes in and says, “Hello, Harry. I thought I heard your voice.” Now, the Order members are right downstairs in the kitchen holding a meeting. I really feel like the Order members had to have heard Harry flip out. But curiously…
Andrew: But again…
Eric: …none of them…
Andrew: Well – I mean, like I just – yeah. Well, because I think they just knew. They knew – they would have expected he’d be pissed off – he’d be annoyed.
Eric: But it just seems like none of them really – with the exception of Sirius. They just – their loyalty to Dumbledore is so strong and that’s what kind of I think even irks Harry, is because nobody is coming up and comforting. Nobody is defying Dumbledore to make him feel better. I think it’s troubling for Harry to see really the greater good. But it’s something that everybody is being asked to do, which is really for the first time. So Harry Potter books are changing. But anyway…
Andrew: What else do we learn?
Eric: We learn that Bill Weasley is home from Egypt, he’s taken a desk job at Gringotts in London. And we also find out that old Fleur Delacour is working at Gringotts and getting private English lessons from Bill.
Andrew: Private English lessons.
Andrew: Locked in a room all by themselves.
Eric: English lessons, yes. Funny how…
Andrew: I can see where true love is going to spark now.
Eric: Me too. I bet Bill is a very…
Micah: Yeah, she was probably having some fun with those Knuts.
Andrew: [laughs] This is very inappropriate.
Eric: I was going to make a joke about Bill being a very cunning linguist.
Andrew: [laughs] Okay.
Eric: Which he probably is. So anyway, Snape is in the Order of the Phoenix. Percy had a big blowout with Mr. Weasley. This is interesting because Harry finds out that the Daily Prophet, which he’s only been reading the cover of, has turned Harry’s name into a running joke. And this is something that Hermione tells him. Basically he’s the butt of every joke. He’s this crazy, deprived child who isn’t trusted. And Hermione suspects that Fudge is behind the fact that nobody reported the Dementors and also that eventually if Harry were to follow in Dumbledore’s footsteps and start saying, “Voldemort’s back, Voldemort’s back, Voldemort’s back,” people won’t believe him because the Daily Prophet all summer has apparently been following in Rita Skeeter’s footsteps. So that’s really tough.
Micah: He’s in the slander in a way, though.
Eric: Oh, it very much is.
Eric: But we don’t know – why wouldn’t that be legal? Or why wouldn’t that be – I mean, newspapers slander people.
Micah: Of a fourteen or fifteen-year-old kid? I mean, that seems to me to be a little bit over the top.
Eric: Well, I think there are certainly people who must be reading the Daily Prophet who are enlightened, like Xenophilius Lovegood. I mean, he’s also crazy, but people like that who are able to see through that and see that there is corruption going on. Or some kind of lean. I feel like some people do know that, but it’s not enough. You’re right, it’s slander. But the other thing of it is, is that going back to what was said in Book 1, right when Voldemort fell, his followers thought that Harry might be a darker wizard, that that’s the reason Voldemort lost, was because Harry was so evil at birth that he could trump them all. A lot of people don’t know. A lot of people still – Harry Potter is a mystery behind it and people want to follow Harry if he’s good. But because people don’t generally know Harry Potter – all they know is that he stopped the deaths thirteen years ago, so they’re just as likely – I feel like they just want to be comforted, to know that he is no longer a threat. And if he is somebody that can be laughed off, they’re going to do that. They’re going to do that because it makes them not have to think about what happened thirteen years ago. I think everybody, the wizarding world, is in a state of denial and it’s supported by the Daily Prophet who is willing to do what Fudge wants instead of what is right.
Andrew: That was quite a statement you just made.
Eric: Do you agree with it or disagree?
Andrew: Oh no, it was good. Yeah.
Eric: Okay, cool. And one final point here: The best entrance line of any character in any book, I’m going to go that far out, is Sirius Black. [laughs] The portrait of Mrs. Black is disturbed, Tonks trips over the umbrella stand for the umpteenth time this week, and Lupin and Sirius basically – they grab the curtains, they shove them shut, and Sirius yell, “Shut up, you old horrible hag, shut up!”
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Eric: That’s his first line, and he says, “Hello, Harry. I see you’ve met my mother.” And that’s the end of the chapter.
Andrew: That kind of reminds me of – well, that quote has really stuck with me. As soon as you read that, I kind of flashed back to reading that the first time, because she was so annoying just like Umbridge.
Eric: Later on, she wails too. I mean, when they’re cleaning.
Eric: Yeah. She just doesn’t stop.
Andrew: Oh yeah. Mhm. Okay. Well, that does it for Chapter-by-Chapter. Next week we will look at Chapters 5 and 6 of Order of the Phoenix. And by next week, I mean next episode. [laughs] What am I talking about?
Make the Music Connection: Lady Gaga Edition
Andrew: So as we talked about at the beginning of the show, we’re going to do Make the Music Connection and in honor of the new Lady Gaga album that everybody loves, we will select songs from the album which is Born This Way. Now, Eric, you really enjoyed the album you said?
Eric: I did. I liked it. Now, I feel like forty to sixty percent of it sounds the same.
Eric: To be perfectly honest. Sorry. But there are some stand-out tracks.
Andrew: Well, here is your selection. This is “The Edge Of Glory.” You need to make the connection between this song and one aspect of the Harry Potter films.
[“The Edge Of Glory” by Lady Gaga plays]
Andrew: Micah is loving this right now, I’m sure.
Andrew: Go ahead, Eric. Make the connection.
Eric: Huh. I have two connections I want to make. I have to choose one of them, of course, but…
Andrew: Pick the better one.
Eric: Pick the better one? I feel like Dumbledore was on the edge of glory once with Grindelwald, and…
Eric: …this is something that Dumbledore has obviously wrestled at great deal with since then. But they really were on the cutting edge of their field as youths, as youth wizards, and they had the world at their feet. And of course it lead to trouble when Grindelwald started abusing the power, but I really think that this would be – I can hear this song playing during a coming-of-age sort of seizing-the-day moment of Dumbledore’s adolescence.
Andrew: All right, very good. Micah, I have a song for you. I know you’re not a big Lady Gaga fan, so I’m giving you kind of like a softball here.
Micah: Oh okay.
Andrew: This song is called…
Micah: No, she’s a good artist. She’s a good artist. She’s just – you’re right, I don’t listen to her very much.
Eric: You should give him…
Andrew: So you’re not a Little Monster?
Eric: [laughs] You’re not going to put your paws up?
Micah: I’m not what?
Andrew: You’re not a Little Monster?
Andrew: Never mind. I don’t even think Micah knows what that means.
Eric: You should give him “You and I.”
Andrew: It’s an inside joke for…
Micah: Oh. Haha!
Micah: [laughs] Sorry.
Andrew: …here is “Bad Kids.”
[“Bad Kids” by Lady Gaga plays]
Eric: Awww yeah.
Andrew: Go ahead, Micah. Make the connection. “Bad Kids.”
Micah: “Bad Kids.”
Andrew: “I’m a loser, baby. Maybe I should quit. I’m a jerk. Wish I had the money but I can’t find work. I’m a brat, I’m a selfish punk, I really should be smacked. My parents tried…”
Micah: Draco! [laughs]
Andrew: Yes. What about Draco though? Tell us.
Micah: Well, what you were saying – the lyrics that you quoted I thought described him pretty well, at least earlier on in the series. He changes a little bit in Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows but – especially that group of kids that decide to align with Umbridge in Order of the Phoenix.
Eric: Hmm. Punks.
Micah: Her little – what was the name of that group again?
Andrew: Lady Gaga?
Andrew: Oh, the Little Monsters.
Eric: The Inquisitorial Squad.
Micah: I’m not that out of touch!
Andrew: I’m just kidding.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: Are we talking about Little Monsters or the Inquisitorial Squad?
Micah: The Inquisitorial Squad.
Micah: There you go.
Andrew: There you go. Yeah.
Eric: Those bad kids.
Andrew: Cool, I like it. All right, and that’s how we play Make the Connection.
Eric: Wait, aren’t you going to give yourself one, Andrew?
Eric: Do “You and I.”
Andrew: …if you really want me to.
Eric: Yeah, do “You and I.”
Andrew: “You and I”?
Andrew: Okay, here’s “You and I.”
[“You and I” by Lady Gaga plays]
Andrew: MuggleCast Live coming at you! It’s 4:14 PM on the West Coast. I screwed that up.
Andrew: Well, Lady Gaga is referencing, of course, the Hog’s Head and – now, I believe there was an encounter between Harry and Ginny in the Hog’s Head at one point.
Eric: Ooh, was there?
Andrew: I’m trying to – in the Half-Blood Prince movie, was there something like that?
Eric: Yeah, they were at the Burrow.
Eric: But yeah, I think – it definitely strikes me as Harry and Ginny-esque.
Andrew: Yeah, absolutely.
Eric: Because she’s very – even in this chapter, she was throwing Dungbombs at the door to try and get it to break. She’s very forceful and the fact that she would say, “Hey, I want you in that bar with your high heels on. You’re mine tonight, I’m not leaving without you.”
Eric: She would say that.
Andrew: Right. All right. Well, that’s how we play Make the Music Connection. We have a surprise guest joining us now. You may know him from such podcasts as HYPE.
Ben: Is that Eric Scull I hear?
Andrew: [laughs] That is Eric Scull.
Eric: Ben Schoen.
Ben: How’s it going, dude?
Eric: It’s going all right. How are you doing?
Ben: I’m doing great, man.
Muggle Mail: If Harry Was a Girl
Andrew: All right, let’s get to Muggle Mail now. The first one comes from Julia, 20, of Philadelphia. She writes about our Harietta Potter episode. We’re still getting e-mails about that.
“I realize I’m kind of late with this, but I’m behind on listening to the podcasts. Did anyone bring up the fact about your discussion on if Harry had been a girl that it would have had an impact on Snape’s treatment of Harry? Isn’t the fact that he looks so much like James a big reason that he acts so meanly towards him? If Harry had been a girl, or say looked more like Lily, Snape’s treatment of Harry could be completely different.”
Eric: Yes. He would have tried to get with her.
Andrew: Yeah. No, that’s a great point that I completely agree with.
Andrew: And – well, no. [laughs]
Eric: Not my point.
Micah: Not Eric’s point.
Eric: Yeah, Julia’s point is really good. You’re right, it is the fact that Harry looks so much like James. That really brings out a lot of the bitterness.
Andrew: Micah, can you get the next e-mail, from Kevin?
Muggle Mail: Petunia And Dementors
Micah: Next e-mail is from Kevin Johnson, 21, of Chicago, and he says:
“Hey there, MuggleCast. Love your show and I’m a huge fan. While watching ‘Sorcerer’s Stone’ during the marathon on TV I was thinking about what you guys said in your latest episode, number 228. The idea that when Petunia says, ‘I heard that awful boy telling her years ago,’ that she is referring to Snape. I never thought about connecting this to the scene in ‘The Prince’s Tale’ but I am completely convinced that you are correct. What I have been thinking about is when Petunia says ‘that awful boy’ she is speaking towards Vernon and for him to understand this he must know about Snape. The question I have for you guys is, how much do you think Petunia and Vernon discuss the magical world? Because clearly they are trying to show that it is not real but I believe they talk about it if Vernon knows who this ‘awful boy’ is. Like to hear your feedback. Love your show, keep up the good work.”
Eric: I’ve always imagined Vernon in this case to be like a hear-no-evil doll where he’s held his hands over his ears so he doesn’t hear it. I don’t think that Vernon needs to know who that “awful boy” is for Petunia to mention him. I think Petunia can – Petunia trails off. She has this past, and she doesn’t need to be specific and Vernon will never press her for more information. She can say, “Oh, my sister heard about this awful boy,” and Vernon knows not to question that. Remember, way back in the first chapter of the first book Vernon wants to ask Petunia what Harry’s name is, what the name of her nephew is, but is worried that it will upset her. And he goes nearly the whole chapter without asking and then finds out. Finally he asks her and she gets really upset with him. So I think Petunia in this case is just saying, “Oh, that awful boy,” and Vernon – it doesn’t mean that Vernon needs to know, because he just accepts that there was an “awful boy” at some point. He trusts her enough. He’s not going to pass judgment, “Oh, that boy wasn’t so awful. What was he like? He wasn’t so awful. I bet you’re just making stuff up.” He just completely doesn’t care.
Ben: Hold on a second. So you’re saying that Vernon didn’t know Harry’s name?
Eric: At the beginning of the first book he didn’t.
Ben: You’re saying that they had never known prior – it was just “that awful boy.” Until he showed up on the doorstep, he had no idea?
Eric: Oh no, “that awful boy” is something different. In Book 5, Petunia references her sister Lily hanging around with “that awful boy” who told her about Dementors, and we said on the last episode that that was Snape, because Petunia…
Eric: Or Lily and Snape, hung out as kids. But I’m saying Vernon often doesn’t ask questions about Petunia’s life or the wizarding world, so he would be perfectly content to remain blissfully ignorant about who “that awful boy” was. He’ll let Petunia mention it, but he won’t ever ask questions about it. He’s a perfect husband.
Andrew: At least from what we see though. I mean, there could be bedroom discussions [laughs] where this guy…
Eric: About – [laughs] what? Well, the other thing is Petunia doesn’t really know a whole lot about the wizarding world, to be honest. I mean, she’s a – not a Squib but…
Eric: …she’s a Muggle.
Andrew: Well, and speaking of that, take the next e-mail. It’s actually somewhat related to Petunia and all this.
Muggle Mail: Petunia’s Recognition of Dumbledore’s Voice
Eric: All right. This one comes from Allison from Alberta, Canada:
“Hey guys! In your Chapter-by-Chapter discussion, you guys were wondering how Petunia recognized Dumbledore’s voice…”
From the Howler.
“…and Harry didn’t. My guess is that the only wizard Petunia had any communication with was Dumbledore and since a Howler is obviously magical and not Muggle related, she would have assumed it was from Dumbledore. She may not have even known what his voice sounded like, but would have known it was from him. Allison.”
Andrew: That makes perfect sense.
Andrew: We got a couple of e-mails related to this too, and they’re right.
Eric: Yeah. It makes sense.
Andrew: Who else would it be coming from? It’s not coming from Snape.
Andrew: You know?
Eric: Well, from Petunia’s perspective – yeah, that’s…
Eric: …really brilliant. I am totally in awe of that.
Muggle Mail: Deathly Hallows – Part 2 World Premiere
Andrew: [laughs] And the final e-mail is from Sighle Illston, 21, of New Zealand:
“Hi there. My friend and I are heading over to London from New Zealand for the ‘Deathly Hallows – Part 2’ world premiere and are very excited, but have a lot of questions. As you have been to and witnessed many of these events, I was hoping you could possibly do a section on your podcast of how to survive a premiere or how they work for the fans. Just an idea, keep up the great work, I love your podcasts. Thanks.”
This is what I was talking about earlier. We do get a lot of e-mails people asking what the best way to do the premieres are.
Ben: You’ve got to camp.
Andrew: You do have to camp.
Ben: If you want to enter early there, you’ve got to be there like the day before at 6:00 AM, and you’ve got to sit out there all day.
Andrew: In the rain.
Ben: In the rain, snow.
Andrew: Were you there, Ben, Order of the Phoenix premiere in London? We walked around and saw the people camping out the night before, and it was raining, pouring.
Ben: I wasn’t there, but I was there in LA. The same thing was going down, it was for Order of the Phoenix. On Hollywood Boulevard…
Ben: …there were just tons of people.
Eric: Now, you guys – you had press passes, right?
Ben: Yeah, we weren’t camping.
Eric: So you did not have to camp. So start a Harry Potter website and convince WB that you’re legit, and you might not have to camp. That’s my advice to these people.
Andrew: Well, here’s the thing too: I feel bad for these people. They camp out overnight and then – they must be exhausted by the time the actual premiere rolls around.
Eric: Oh, the excitement though.
Andrew: So unless JK Rowling is – yeah, I guess so. But you just have to have a lot of patience. If you do want to be on the very front lines, you probably will have to camp out overnight. And since this premiere is being held at a different place in London than it has in the past, it’s hard to give you exact details. But get there early, be patient, have lots of stuff to cover you so you don’t get too wet.
Eric: Well, isn’t it at a different place? Because they’re going from…
Eric: …Piccadilly to the ODEON though, right, in Leicester Square? So they’re going…
Eric: Oh, but they start somewhere different. I see what you’re saying.
Eric: Well, luckily it’s in the summer. I mean, I stood in line for Lady Gaga in February when she came to Chicago, for like five hours and I nearly died. I really believed that. But it was excitement and that’s what you do. Fortunately these movie events are in the summer now. And London is never too hot, I don’t think. All the times I’ve been there.
Micah: It seems like London generally works out better for the fans though, too. I mean, when you look at what happened in New York for the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 premiere…
Eric: Ahhh, the infamous Deathly Hallows – Part 1 premiere.
Micah: …it was very poorly set up where the fans couldn’t really interact with anybody.
Andrew: Right. So there’s that tip, get there early – I mean, that’s really the only tips we can give you. Have patience, don’t expect to meet the celebrities, that’s another thing, because I think so many people get left down and I feel really bad for them because they were really expecting, “Oh, we stood out here all this time. We’re sure to meet somebody,” and then they don’t. So just don’t get your hopes up.
Ben: But I mean, you’ve got to have a little bit of hope, sitting out there.
Andrew: I guess.
Ben: I mean, why else would you camp out? Just for the chance, you know?
Ben: It’s kind of like buying a lottery ticket. It’s probably not going to happen but the people who do win the lottery, they’re damn glad they bought those tickets.
Andrew: Yes. But buying tickets takes two seconds whereas, you know – I feel bad because they camp out all night and then some of them don’t meet people at all, and it’s just like…
Ben: Well, I think for a lot of them it’s worth it to be within a hundred yards…
Ben: …from a lot of these people.
Andrew: But I’ve seen people crying at premieres because they didn’t get to meet anyone. They just kept crying.
Ben: Well, because they were like… [fake sobbing]
Eric: Well, invite some friends. Invite your friends and have it be a shared experience where…
Eric: …if you do meet somebody then you can say, “We both met them,” and if you don’t meet somebody, “We both hung out and we had a really fun time getting almost close enough to Daniel Radcliffe.” The other thing I would suggest, make a sign. Make something creative that’s going to spark the interest of or something that you can flash at the actors. [laughs] I’m not suggesting you flash the actors…
Eric: …but I’m saying…
Ben: Andrew, but was this person actually crying?
Andrew: Yeah. Sobbing.
Ben: I mean, were they actually crying because they didn’t get to meet anybody, or was it just because they were so overpowered by the moment?
Andrew: [laughs] No, it was at the end when everything was being wrapped up, and they were looking around anxiously for another star to show up, and – I had a very strong feeling it was because they didn’t get to meet anybody.
Eric: Well, bring a sign.
Andrew: But people get their hopes up!
Ben: You didn’t go up and sign a few things for them?
Andrew: They would have cried more.
Listener Tweets: Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Posters
Andrew: In sadness and for nothing else. Okay, before we wrap up the show today, a couple of Twitter responses. We asked everybody who follows us on Twitter, Twitter.com/MuggleCast: What are your thoughts on the new Deathly Hallows – Part 2 promotional posters? And we got a lot of responses. Steven R. said:
“I like that the ‘DH 2’ posters are keeping with the same style as the ones for ‘DH 1’. Also, love the backgrounds of Ron and Hermione’s.”
We didn’t talk about that, but there were some hidden gems in the background of those posters.
Andrew: As they try to do. thecurlyfry gets really detailed, she says:
“I love the font that they used for ‘It all ends.'”
Micah: We didn’t, but that’s okay.
Andrew: Abby Jerry said:
“The new posters are amazing. Best posters for an ‘HP’ movie yet!”
Actually my favorite posters are Chamber of Secrets, personally, but – and you know why that is, guys? Because they were used for the MuggleNet theme.
Andrew: MuggleNet 1.0, technically.
Eric: That was awesome.
Andrew: Those are classic.
Eric: Those are the coolest ones.
Andrew: They were. Yeah.
Micah: They made the posters just for MuggleNet?
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: No, but we made them very much for us. [laughs]
Eric: I still have the Ron-Herbology one as my – no, I don’t.
Andrew: And Marina2 says:
“The fire effects are cool and all, but do they really have to give Harry those crossed eyes?”
He does look a bit strange. I don’t know if…
Andrew: …he just looks really old or – yeah.
Eric: He dies in this movie. He’s near death.
Andrew: Well, and as we see in the trailer, he looks very constipated too, during that one shot.
Eric: Oh, I’ve never given anybody that attribute really before. I don’t like it.
Andrew: Weren’t you on the trailer show? Weren’t we talking about that?
Eric: Oh maybe. Yeah, that was – oh, when he’s – no, that was the – yeah, when he’s holding his stomach.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah. Oh yeah.
Eric: [laughs] He’s like doubled over in pain. Yeah.
Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul
Andrew: He was having digestion cramps, right. And finally today, Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul. Please, Micah, read this for us.
Micah: This is from Spencer, 19, of Tuscaloosa, and he says:
“Hey MuggleCast! As you have probably heard, there was quite a tornado outbreak in the Southeast recently. I attend the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and we were greatly affected by the incident. Since then, I have gone back to my hometown of Huntsville, Alabama which has also been affected, and we are completely out of power for at least another three days. Luckily, I have an iPod charger in my car and I’ve been able to listen to MuggleCast’s latest episodes. I just wanted to thank you guys for cheering me up in this sad time and keeping me entertained. I’ve been listening to you guys for quite awhile now and you have always done such a great job! Keep it up! Spencer.”
Yeah, so obviously there’s been a lot of terrible weather that’s taken place, not just in Alabama but Missouri, Oklahoma, and I was also reading, in Kansas over the last few days as well. So we just want to send our thoughts and prayers out to everybody, and we’re happy that we’re able to do something as simple as give you guys something to listen to in what’s obviously a very difficult time.
Andrew: It’s very serious what’s going on down there. So we – yeah, our thoughts and prayers are with everybody there, of course.
Eric: I’m glad this guy was able to e-mail us without power for another three days.
Andrew: Yeah. Mhm.
Eric: Thank God for potato batteries.
Andrew: [laughs] Well, before we wrap up the show today we want to remind everybody about MuggleCast.com. If you click on “Contact” at the top, you’ll be able to fill out a feedback form to contact us. Send in your Chicken Soups, you can send in your Make the Music Connection ideas, you can send in general questions, any feedback you had about today’s episode. Another quick reminder, MuggleCast will be live at LeakyCon 2011. Ben, let’s hear what you have to say about LeakyCon 2011.
Ben: It’s going to be great!
Ben: Come everybody!
Andrew: Why will you be there, Ben? What are you looking forward to? We were talking about this earlier. What’s the thing you’re most looking forward to about LeakyCon?
Ben: I’m most looking forward to – just the camaraderie.
Andrew: There is a lot of camaraderie.
Ben: Being there with all these people who have been in it so long…
Andrew: Right, right.
Ben: …kind of thing.
Andrew: Yeah. No, it’ll be a lot of fun and Universal Resort is a great place to do it.
Ben: Yeah, definitely.
Andrew: You can also follow us on Twitter, Twitter.com/MuggleCast, and like us on Facebook which is Facebook.com/MuggleCast. And also follow the fan Tumblr which is MuggleCast.Tumblr.com. Thanks everyone for listening! I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Andrew: And we’ll see you next time…
Ben: I’m Ben Schoen!
Ben: I’m still here! I know I came in mid-episode, but I am still here.
Micah: You should have gone second.
Andrew: No, he doesn’t deserve that.
Andrew: He came in halfway through.
Ben: I came in halfway through.
Andrew: He doesn’t even deserve to say his name at the end.
Ben: Whatever. I would have sidestepped Eric.
Ben: I would have bumped Eric over had I been here since the beginning.
Eric: Yeah. I would have gladly stood aside for you. You know you’re welcome on the show anytime. I know you got your new HYPE podcast or whatever, but…
Ben: Yeah, honestly, I have been – I hate people who are like, “Oh, I’m so busy,” but I’ve been so busy.
Eric: I’ve heard you’ve been.
[Andrew and Ben laugh]
Ben: And – yeah, I run an online advertising business and I’ve been just talking – you know, phone blowing up all the time and – Andrew and I said we were going to do that HYPE podcast about weekly, and we haven’t even been able to link up that much. So – but I definitely want to be on MuggleCast again.
Eric: It’s good to hear from you.
Ben: Especially since this is the one – the big hurrah coming up.
[Show music begins]
Andrew: Yeah. We’ll see you on Episode 328.
Ben: What episode is this?
Ben: A hundred episodes later!
Andrew: No, you’ll of course be on the live podcast at LeakyCon.
Ben: Oh yes.
Ben: Oh yes. Shirtless.
Ben: Yeah. I’m just kidding.
Andrew: Oh, I missed that memo.
Ben: [laughs] That would be terrible.
Andrew: [laughs] We’ll see everybody next time for Episode 230. Goodbye!
Eric and Micah: Bye.
[Show music continues]