Transcript #230

MuggleCast 230 Transcript

Show Intro

[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]

Micah: Because it’s getting more common to split movies into two, this is MuggleCast Episode 230 for June 4th, 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

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[Show music continues]

Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 230! It’s a two-person show today, it’s just Micah and I. Hello, Micah.

Micah: Hello, Andrew.

Andrew: Cross-country podcasting, you in New York and me in Los Angeles.

Micah: It could be the start of something. I mean, maybe we could go on and do another show.

Andrew: Focusing on two people on the opposite ends of the country?

Micah: Yeah!

Andrew: And yet with so many common interests.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Well, we have a great show despite it only being two people. Eric is – well, I don’t know what Eric is doing, but – we tried to get other people on as well, but just kind of a busy weekend with summertime going on. Everybody likes to pretend that MuggleCast doesn’t exist, but that’s fine. It can be just Micah and I. That’s fine. But we do have lots of news to talk to everybody about, plus we have some updates on LeakyCon, Chapter-by-Chapter, we’re going to go through the next two chapters, we’re going to play Favorites, we’re going to read e-mails, Micah is going to do a song and dance. It’s a wonderful show today by all accounts.

Micah: That’s what happens when you’re missing hosts. You have to do song and dance.

Andrew: [laughs] Right, you have to come up with cheap gimmicks to attract listeners.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Micah: To fill the time.

Andrew: [laughs] Right. I’m Andrew Sims.

Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Andrew: So Micah, what’s in the news this June week?

News: More Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Character Posters

Micah: Well, we got more posters. I think the last time that we did the show, there were only three posters that had been released at the time that we recorded, and they were of the trio: Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Now we have a full set of posters, and I really thought what they did was they split it up where it was four of the good guys including Neville, and then really what they did was they created posters for four of what you would consider – at least coming into the film – to be four of the bad guys. Obviously that changes for two of them as the films progress, but you have Draco, Snape, Voldemort, and Bellatrix. All these posters were released. We talked about them on the last show in terms of how they looked. Nothing really changed in terms of how these looked. They were really just character shots.

Andrew: Yeah. And I liked how WB released these, doing one a day, because I thought that really added to the excitement of seeing the new posters. You guys may remember – at least with Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows – Part 1, they just released all the posters at once, and it was kind of like – it’s great to see them all but it’s one shot and you’re done, whereas with this it was over two weeks. [laughs] And they released one new poster at the same time every day, so it got to the point where everybody knew at what time to expect the poster. It was kind of just a – it was a fun thing to look forward to every day.

Micah: Right. Yeah, I think they did a good job of that. And it’s build-up. I mean, you get people interested and I think they maybe should have let the fans know that there were no more, [laughs] because they got people excited for sort of that eight-day period where it kept getting a poster day after day after day, and then all of a sudden it went quiet.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: Right. They never said, “Okay, it’s over now.” [laughs] But it could have been expected because in the past we’ve gotten – like with Deathly Hallows – Part 1 we got eight. So…

Micah: Yeah, and I think they did a good job. I know we talked on the last episode about just some little things here and there, but I think what they really wanted to do here for the last film was showcase what they consider to be the most important characters.

Andrew: Absolutely. Later in the show, we’re going to get your Twitter responses about your favorite bad guy posters. I think there’s a clear favorite in the group but I will save my opinion for the end.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: What else is going on in the show – in the news?

Micah: In the show? Well…

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: Let’s recap the show again!

Micah: Yeah. Two people here podcasting on Episode 230.

[Andrew laughs]

News: Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Clip to Air at MTV Movie Awards

Micah: But there’s a little bit of news for Deathly Hallows – Part 2 at the MTV Movie Awards. We know that Potter is nominated in six categories and the awards are going to take place on Sunday night, 9 o’clock on MTV, and it’ll be live. And the voting, I believe, ends today but the voting for Best Movie is going to continue all the way up through the actual show. So that should be kind of interesting to see how that plays out.

Andrew: Oh, that’s cool. Yeah.

Micah: Cool little technological feature that they got going on there.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: But the big news for Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is that Emma Watson is going to present an exclusive clip…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: …from the film. It’ll be, really I think, our first clip. This is not a trailer or any sort of teaser or behind-the-scenes look, this is an actual clip from the film itself.

Andrew: Good, good. And I think – you may remember that at the last MTV Movie Awards, they debuted something. It may have been a trailer for Harry Potter.

Micah: I think it was a trailer.

Andrew: Okay. Yeah, because I remember MuggleNet crashed horrifically.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Micah: Yeah…

Andrew: And probably will be.

Micah: …somehow I always work those nights where the trailers get released and I have…

Andrew: And I’m out drinking. [laughs]

Micah: Yeah, you’re out drinking or just having a good time, and the site breaks. So it’s really great for me. I end up drinking after the fact…

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Micah: …because things happen. So – no, I’m anticipating, though, tomorrow night things running smoothly. Hopefully. I mean…

Andrew: Yeah right.

Micah: …the interesting thing is…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: And can I say, you’re going to be at the MTV Movie Awards.

Andrew: Yeah, I’m going to be at the awards, so Micah…

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: …you are completely on your own about posting the clip. I’m not bringing my laptop. [laughs]

Micah: See, here we go again. [laughs] It’s the same situation all over again.

Andrew: Right, I’m going to be drinking and you’re going to be drinking your sorrows away.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Micah: So – interested though, what do you think the clip could be? I mean, I’m sure at this point, people don’t want to see too much more of the film.

Andrew: But we’re just getting started in terms of the clips and stuff that are going to be released. I mean, I think it’d be cool. Emma is going to be there so maybe she’ll debut a clip that has her in it. So maybe it could be – and it’s got to be action packed. They’ve got to get people excited. None of this slow stuff, even though Part 2 has a lot of action in it. I’m hoping for something from the battle. I think that would be a great thing to really get fans excited. We can see Emma in it as Hermione, we’ll get a lot of action, we can see the whole trio, we can probably see a couple of other characters too. So I’m hoping for a clip.

Micah: Yeah. And it’s interesting…

Andrew: Or from the battle.

Micah: …that she is actually going to be there, because a lot of times when you’re there, you have a really good chance of winning an award.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: So it would be interesting to see what Potter ends up winning. Like I said, they’re nominated in six categories and I know that MTV has been kind of pitching this as Potter versus Twilight in terms of…

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, which is very bad online.

Micah: Yeah. It creates a little bit of animosity online, but…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: …it would be interesting to see what happens.

Andrew: Yeah, I was going to bring that up, but I think Emma is also going to be there to promote Perks of Being a Wallflower which is a book-to-film adaptation that she’s in. She’s filming it in Pittsburg right now. She’s of course going to be in LA for the movie awards but she has been in the US filming that, and I think she may be promoting that as well, so we’ll see. But yeah, so it should be a good MTV Movie Awards and I’ll be there, I’ll live tweet anything interesting that happens related to Potter. And if Emma is at the after-party that I’m at, I will [pauses] not say hi.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Micah: Well, here’s the thing though, that always interests me with these awards – and I know Potter has won in the past, Tom Felton won last year. There are clearly more Potter fans out there than Twilight fans, but I think what happens is that the Twilight fans are just – they’re more active in their voting, and I think…

Andrew: Yes.

Micah: …that’s what’s ended up happening to Potter over the course of the last several years. And they’re up in a lot of these categories, I think that they can easily win. We’ll see. I mean, again though, Tom Felton for Best Villain? I think he was – he got a little bit of a generous nomination there considering he wasn’t in the movie all too long for Deathly Hallows – Part 1.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: What do you think about that?

Andrew: Well…

Micah: A lot of people said it should have been Ralph Fiennes.

Andrew: Yeah. Well, I think they picked Tom Felton in that category because they like to have the younger people being nominated. That would be my guess, especially for Harry Potter. And going against Twilight. I don’t think Ralph Fiennes could go against a Twilight character, just because people are really passionate about the Twilight characters. So they’ve got to put somebody who is sort of like an even level in terms of popularity, and Tom Felton is definitely there. So yeah, I think Tom Felton is a good choice to be Best Villain. Maybe Ralph Fiennes will be nominated next year for Voldemort in Part 2.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: I mean, that would make more sense.

Micah: And I think MTV tried to fit Potter in a couple of categories. I think there’s a couple of them that are a bit of a stretch, but…

Andrew: Like what?

Micah: Best Fight: Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint versus Death Eaters?

Andrew: Versus the Death – well, actually the best fight should have been Harry and Ron’s fight in the tent.

Micah: That’s a good point.

Andrew: Why wasn’t that – I mean, that was a good fight.

Micah: True.

Andrew: Anyway, what else is going on in the news this week?

News: David Heyman to Receive Producer of the Decade Award

Micah: Let me see. Oh, David Heyman is going to be honored with Producer of the Decade award, and people seem pretty receptive. I saw in the comments and people who replied to this on Twitter. They were pretty happy for him because he has worked for more than ten years now at this point on the Potter films. He is the one who really got it off the ground running, and he’s been there the entire way.

Andrew: Yeah. Good for him! I mean, this is definitely deserved, and he’s also going to be screening Part 1 – or Part 2 for everybody who is there at CineEurope. It’s not open to the public, I think it’s probably a closed thing, but it’s cool that they’re screening that. And yeah, good for him. Congratulations to David. I mean, he’s been on the show, we’ve talked about how important he is. He’s a true fan. I mean, you watch him talk about the books and films, and you just see how passionate he is and I don’t think you can get that from just any producer, so…

Micah: Yeah. He – you can tell that he invested a lot into the series and that…

Andrew: Right.

Micah: …he was – he – I think, in a way, he’s almost grateful that he ended up with this opportunity, because even when he was on the show, he said that had he not moved at the time that he moved and things happened the way that they did, he would have missed out on this opportunity and he can’t imagine his life any differently. It would be a complete ten-year difference, [laughs] if you think about it…

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: …taking up that amount of time in your life, and he seems to genuinely just be very happy that he had the opportunity to work on this.

Andrew: Before we continue with today’s episode of MuggleCast, we’d like to remind you that this episode is brought to you by, the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks, with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature and featuring audio versions of many New York Times Bestsellers. For listeners of this podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their great service. One audiobook to consider is The Hunger Games, the first in a trilogy of the same name. The series is hotter than ever right now because filming for the movie adaptation recently got underway. It’s one book and film series you are not going to want to miss. So for a free audiobook of your choice such as The Hunger Games, go to Again, that’s

News: Second Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Video Game Trailer Released

Andrew: What else is going on?

Micah: Normally I wouldn’t go back to talking about [laughs] the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 video game…

Andrew: [laughs] Mhm.

Micah: …because I like to give it as little time as possible…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: …but there was a new trailer that was released this past week from Electronic Arts, and the feature that they were really playing up was this multi-character play. And what you can do essentially is play as a number of different characters. It’s exactly what it sounds like. And they added Ginny, Neville, Molly, Seamus, and Professor McGonagall as characters in this game, and I guess you use them in different parts of the final battle, and that’s of course in addition to being able to play as the trio. And it looked cool. My only concern is that the sort of gameplay aspect of it that people have complained about and had issue with over the course of the entire series of games is going to be another issue again here.

Andrew: Yeah. It’s a shame because it’s the last one – but yeah. We’ve said in the past – we probably won’t talk much about it because we always [laughs] end up disappointed, so…

Micah: Yeah, yeah. But I will say it is a cool feature.

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: If you’re somebody who likes just playing games, then…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: …definitely go and check it out.

Andrew: Sure.

Micah: And IGN, which is a big video game website, did a review of it. You can read that on MuggleNet. They kind of break down the game, they tell you what’s new about it, what’s different, and kind of give you their ratings for different parts of the game.

Andrew: Cool.

Micah: More Deathly Hallows

Andrew: It’s a good summer – it’s probably a good summertime game, you know?

Micah: Yeah, yeah. The game, I think, is released…

Andrew: People have got extra time, so…

Micah: Yeah, it’s going to be released on July 12th, so really, right before the film comes out, and it should be fun. I mean, it’s always fun to play, but I think people who are more into video games are always looking for a little bit more.

Andrew: Mhm.

News: Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Score Recording Completed

Micah: So I’ll just leave it at that. Well, according to his Facebook account, Conrad Pope has just finished recording with film composer Alexandre Desplat and the London Symphony Orchestra the final notes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which of course means that that’s it. They’ve finished recording the Harry Potter series as a whole, and he noted – I guess he’s been on this project, Conrad Pope, since the very beginning, because…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: …the quote reads:

“It’s been over ten years since I worked with John Neufeld on John Williams’ trailer for the first film. Five films (for me at least) and hundreds of thousands of notes later, it’s finally over.”

So he’s been on five films, not all eight. But again you’re getting this feeling of everything coming to a close.

Andrew: Right. Yeah, it’s just another aspect of it. I look forward to hearing the soundtrack. I hope they tie it in to Sorcerer’s Stone‘s soundtrack. Little throwbacks here and there. Get some of John Williams’ stuff in it, obviously. Yeah. And I’m glad this Conrad Pope, he did tweet this stuff – I remember in the past he has – or not tweet but Facebook-ed, a couple of these things. I know he’s dropped some bones for fans in the past, so it’s good to hear from him.

Micah: Yeah, it’s not the first time, yeah, that we heard from him.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: I think he was actually the one who – it’s not really leaked, but posted the information that Desplat was going to be working on the second part of Deathly Hallows.

Andrew: Yeah, you’re right.

News: Empire Magazine Interviews Harry Potter Cast

Micah: So – and the last bit of news is concerning Empire Magazine. They, of course, did this huge thirty-six page magazine, sort of like a – I guess a separate magazine from what they normally put out there for…

Andrew: A special issue.

Micah: A special issue, there you go – for Harry Potter. And people remember that they were literally traveling the globe to get interviews with, really, the cast from not just the last film but all of the films in the series, and to kind of get their input and their reflections on what it’s been like to be a part of this series. And the ones that they did release parts from online were Jason Isaacs, Matt Lewis, James and Oliver Phelps, Tom Felton, Rupert Grint, and you can check all of them out on MuggleNet. The one I thought was kind of cool – and maybe we can try it here, too, Andrew – is…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: …they asked the cast to summarize Potter in one word.

Andrew: Yeah. People loved this, it was all over the Internet. I mean, people just really, really liked it. And of course in typical Rupert Grint fashion, he was the one who [laughs] really had a hard time coming up with an answer.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: I mean, it was nice the way they edited it, but I just thought it was very typical of Rupert. So, Micah, if you were to…

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: …describe the franchise in one word…

Micah: I like how you’re turning it back on me.

Andrew: [laughs] How would you describe it if you were to describe it in one word?

[Prolonged silence]

Micah: I’d say…

Andrew: Oh, you’re just like Rupert.

Micah: I’m just like Rupert, yeah. I’d say a journey.

Andrew: Mmm.

Micah: Did anybody use that in the video?

Andrew: I don’t know.

Micah: Because that’s really what it’s been.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: I think for all of us over the last – I mean, it goes back to – well, I was going to say before the movies were actually released with the first book, but I’ve only been involved with all of this for six years. I mean, I know there’s been people that have been with this from the very beginning. So – but yeah, a journey for me would probably be the right word.

Andrew: Yeah. Somebody said this in the video – I can’t remember who, it may have been Dan – magical.

Micah: That was Emma Watson.

Andrew: And I – oh, it was Emma? Okay. You would remember Emma’s answer.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: She – I agree with that because obviously it’s the Harry Potter magic, blah blah blah, but also just because if you think about how unique the entire franchise has been compared to anything else. I mean, nothing has ever come close to this in terms of the size, the scope, the releases, the passion of the fans. It really is magical in that it’s so unique. It hasn’t been done before. It’s a one-of-a-kind thing. So that’s why I would use that word.

Micah: Yeah. No, I think that’s definitely the right word. [laughs] I mean, I think if you’re picking any word…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: …that’s probably the most appropriate.

Andrew: Right, right. Certainly not a wrong answer. [laughs]

Micah: No. But the last piece that I want to just touch on real fast that I think also a lot of people were responsive to on social media was Empire released a letter that Alan Rickman, of all people, wrote to JK Rowling.

Andrew: [laughs] “Of all people.”

Micah: Well, the reason why I say that is because he’s not somebody who talks about the Potter series a lot.

Andrew: That’s true.

Micah: And one of the reasons that he always gives in interviews is because he doesn’t want to spoil it for anybody who hasn’t read it up until this point. So he’s only willing to talk about things up to a certain point. And so I’m interested when we interview him, [laughs] either in London or in New York City, now he finally has to talk about the entire series.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: He can’t use that as a cop-out. But it was just interesting to see him saying, I finally finished doing voiceovers for Snape for the final time. And he was somebody who clearly knew Snape’s importance from the very beginning, and he probably even knew Snape’s fate from the very beginning. And it was very important, I remember, to him to know what was going to happen with his character so that he could play the role the right way throughout the course of the series.

Andrew: Yeah. Okay, I have a question about this. The first couple of sentences, he says:

“I have just returned from the dubbing studio where I spoke into a microphone as Severus Snape for absolutely the last time. On the screen were some flashback shots of Daniel, Emma, and Rupert from ten years ago. They were twelve.”

So I don’t – is he saying he was doing voiceovers that involve video on the screen of Dan, Emma, and Rupert from ten years ago?

Micah: Was he maybe recording something for a Blu-ray or a DVD?

Andrew: Right, that’s what I’m thinking. He must – but then why would he be in the voice of Snape? I don’t know what he’s saying here, unless they just had the trio up there just to – for old times’ sake? I don’t get – and everybody – I haven’t seen anybody talking about this, wondering why the trio would be up on the screen from ten years ago. [laughs] That doesn’t make sense to me.

Micah: Unless it’s some kind of tribute that they’re going to be doing.

Andrew: Yeah, but again, why would he be in the character of Snape?

Micah: Yeah, that’s weird.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Well I mean, he just sounds like Snape anyway. I mean, it’s his voice.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. I mean, I hope he’s doing some cool tribute thing as Snape. That would be really awesome, but I just can’t imagine what it would be. But yeah, again, a lot of fans love this letter because there’s a very passionate group of people for Alan Rickman. Everybody loves Alan Rickman. So it’s cool. I’m glad he wrote this letter for Empire.

Micah: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So that is all the news, at least related to Deathly Hallows – Part 2, but there is some more news to talk about with respect to where we’re going to be just over a month from now, Andrew.

Announcement: LeakyCon 2011

Andrew: Oh my gosh! It’s a month away, that’s crazy to think. LeakyCon 2011, July 13th to the 17th in Orlando, Florida. I would be telling you right now to register, but guess what? It’s all sold out! [laughs] So no more tickets are available, all 2,500 spots have been taken. I mean, there is a waiting list if you really want to try, but I think the waiting list is probably a lengthy wait at this point, for when people – if somebody has to refund their registration. I don’t even think I have to sell it at this point. [laughs] It’s sold out! But we do actually have a couple of updates. They announced that several Potter stars are going to be there: Evanna Lynch, Chris Rankin, Will Dunn who plays James Sirius, Arthur Bowen who plays Albus Severus, Ellie Darcey-Alden who plays young Lily, and Ryan Turner who plays Hugo. They are all going to be a part of a keynote. And there are two other keynotes, too: the Arthur Levine keynote. He is the – what’s his official – is he – he’s the editor at Scholastic. The editor.

Micah: Yes, for…

Andrew: The top guy.

Micah: And he was part of the team, I guess, that edited the entire Harry Potter series.

Andrew: Right. And he brought it to the US and Scholastic. And then also there will be an Electronic Arts keynote, they’re going to be doing a behind-the-scenes look at the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 video game. So that should be cool. I mean, if you’re into video games, you want to see how they are made, that’d be a great way to experience that.

And of course, we’re going to be doing live podcasts. We’re going to be having the Leaky Mug on Thursday of the conference and MuggleCast on Friday, and that MuggleCast is going to be our big movie review episode. Of course, people who do not come to LeakyCon will be able to listen to those shows at a later time, when we release them. We’ll of course be working to get the movie review episode out as quickly as possible because I know that episode [laughs] will be in high demand after everybody sees the film. It’s going to be great because we’re going to be getting feedback from the audience there, watching us record the podcast, so we’re going to have some great discussion, I think. It’s going to be a lot of fun. So to anyone who is coming, we can’t wait to see you there. has all the details and will continue to be up to date with all the information concerning the probably biggest Harry Potter conference ever.

Micah: It’s definitely getting there. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah. We’ll see you there.

Micah: If it’s got a waiting list, I’m sure it’s there at this point. [laughs]

Chapter-by-Chapter: “The Order of the Phoenix”

Andrew: Yeah. We’ll see you there in just about a month. So now it’s time to get into Chapter-by-Chapter. This week we’re looking at Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 5 and 6, of the Harry Potter series. And Micah, you got the short stick this week.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: You had a short chapter, didn’t you?

Micah: Yeah. I just chose it and [laughs] luck of the draw.

Andrew: Sure. You counted the pages, you picked whichever one was shorter.

Micah: [laughs] Maybe.

Andrew: [laughs] That’s what I do. You can admit it, it’s fine. [laughs]

Micah: Yeah. Well, normally we have Eric to take care of the longer chapters but he’s not here this week.

So Chapter-by-Chapter, Order of the Phoenix. This is Chapter 5, appropriately titled “The Order of the Phoenix.” And when we last left off with Chapter 4, it ended with Harry meeting Sirius and learning that the portrait that was screaming on the wall was that of Sirius’s mother. And Harry learns that the house that they are now in is Sirius’s old house, the house that he grew up in, and that he is the last living member and that is why he can provide it as a safe haven for the Order of the Phoenix. And he says, “It’s about the only useful thing I’ve been able to do,” and Harry immediately senses a bit of bitterness in Sirius, and he realizes that Sirius has been cooped up for pretty much the entire time that Harry has been up at the Dursleys, because he’s a fugitive, he’s still wanted by the Ministry, and he can’t go out and do much. And he also learns that Snape has been giving it to Sirius as well, in the sense that every chance that he has had to kind of give him a dig and report that he’s been doing all this dangerous work, and Sirius has been sitting at home. And there’s never been a good relationship between Sirius and Snape.

Andrew: This was an interesting look into some of the more mature characters’ relationships.

Micah: Yeah, yeah, I think you definitely get that. And Harry is led, finally, down into the kitchen area. And there’s a bunch of people who are still talking amongst themselves, and you can clearly tell that a meeting has just taken place. And Harry catches a glimpse of plans for a building, and that’s quickly taken away from his eyesight because Mrs. Weasley notices that he’s been looking, and she obviously [laughs] does not want him to know what has been going on. And we get a really strong glimpse into that later on the chapter, but just kind of a little nugget to store away, that they’ve been looking at plans for a building and what building that could possibly be.

Andrew: Right. And as Sirius mentions in the next chapter I think – I think it’s the next chapter – the House of Black really is the best place. No question about it. The layer of protection, the secrecy. It’s perfect.

Micah: Yeah. So now Harry and Sirius start to talk and he says to him, “I’d have welcomed a Dementor attack, a deadly struggle for my soul would have broken the monotony nicely. You think you’ve had it bad? At least you’ve been able to get out and about, stretch your legs, get into a few fights. I’ve been stuck inside for a month.”

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Yeah, this is more insight now, I think, into Sirius’s maturity. I mean, that’s something that’s always comed up. [laughs] Comed up.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Let’s try that again. That’s always something that’s come up throughout the course of the entire series I think, as long as he’s been alive. Everybody kind of talks about how he’s not this mature character. He’s kind of like – and I don’t know if it’s because he’s been in prison for so long, but he hasn’t really aged beyond probably when he was imprisoned at eighteen years old, or whatever it was. Nineteen years old.

Andrew: Well, what do you mean – how do you think this shows how mature he is? I was just going to say it shows how hurt he is, how sad he is to be stuck in the house.

Micah: Yeah. Well, I mean, just talking about – and it’s probably somewhat in jest, like he’s saying, “I’d have welcomed a Dementor attack. At least you’re able to go outside.” But I think he also has to realize that he’s on the run from the Ministry. He can’t be walking around outside and doing the things that a normal person would do, because people know about him, they know about his Animagus form. He talks about that, saying that Pettigrew will have told Voldemort by now that Sirius is able to transform himself. So it’s not as if he can go out and do the things he wants to do. He’s locked down. And I think instead of accepting that, he’s kind of being a bit immature about it. But that’s just my own take on it.

So they keep talking and Molly is trying to prepare dinner for everybody. And now that both Fred and George are of age, they can use magic whenever they want. And so instead of carrying food and Butterbeer over to the table, they try to use magic to make it float over there, and it ends up being a huge mess. But what’s interesting is that the knife that is used to cut the bread – and the quote reads, “Slipped off the board and landed, point down and quivering ominously, exactly where Sirius’s right hand had been seconds before.”

Andrew: Mmm.

Micah: So I was going to say that’s death omen number one for Sirius. There’s a number of them in this book, but…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: …that should have been a clue, I guess, to some people.

Andrew: That was a big – these death omens were quite popular back when the book came out, weren’t they?

Micah: Mhm.

Andrew: I’m sure – I think there is an editorial or two on MuggleNet about how – [laughs] I guess how we should have seen these all coming. Or seen Sirius’s death coming because of all of these omens.

Micah: Yeah, I think the first time that you read through the book, though, you’re just trying to get to the – not really the end, but you’re trying to find out as much information as you possibly can, and there are so many loose ends that had yet to be tied up, even in this book.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: So you glimpse over stuff like that. People who are far more intelligent, though, will pick that up though, the first time, so I don’t know what that says about us.

Andrew: Yeah. All right.

Micah: So we learn also, right around this time, that Molly doesn’t really like Mundungus Fletcher because he’s a criminal, and he deals in sort of black market trading and he’s not the guy you want around for dinner. And Sirius sort of explains that the only reason that he is in the Order of the Phoenix is that Dumbledore got him out of a tight situation one time, and that Mundungus is indebted to Dumbledore and likes Dumbledore. So I’m trying to remember was it ever explained what Dumbledore did to help him out.

Andrew: I certainly don’t remember.

Micah: I don’t think it ever was, I think it’s just one of those things that was mentioned in passing.

Andrew: Mmm.

Micah: So now we get – once dinner is over – and dessert, of course. Dessert is always important – we get to Sirius basically saying out loud, in front of everybody, to Harry, “I’m surprised at you. I thought you’d want to know what’s going on.” So this leads to a huge debate about what Harry should know with respect to the Order of the Phoenix, and Molly points out that it should be on a need-to-know basis. And she really gets into Sirius at this point. She really criticizes him, saying that it’s not up to him to decide what’s good for Harry. But isn’t it? That’s my question.

Andrew: I think so. I guess maybe the question – maybe the thing Molly wonders is, whose decision is it to decide what’s good and not good for Harry? I think it’s just as much Sirius’s decision as it is Molly’s decision. Probably more so Sirius’s, just because he’s the godfather. I mean, what is Mrs. Weasley, really? Good friends, yes, but what else? I mean, at least there is some sort of family connection to Sirius. Not with the family tree, at least, but Sirius is Harry’s godfather. And I think Mrs. Weasley is wrong here, but the problem is she feels like she is Harry’s closest thing to a mother, so Mrs. Weasley tries to make the decisions. And she looks at Sirius, who is a bit – he’s down in the dumps, he’s had a troubled past. She probably does not trust Sirius to make these kind of decisions. But I have to say I think Molly is wrong here. But she can’t help it, she’s the motherly figure, that’s what moms do.

Micah: Right, right. And in Prisoner of Azkaban it’s pointed out that, really, it’s Sirius who is Harry’s guardian because both of his parents are dead and obviously the Dursleys are worthless, so – aside from the protection that’s on their home, you would think that Harry would be just as safe in Grimmauld Place, possibly. But I pointed out, they’re in Sirius’s house, so he can really say whatever he wants. He’s not being – he shouldn’t feel that he can’t speak his mind, Sirius. And that’s where I asked, is Molly becoming a bit too much of a protector, and I think you made a good point saying she’s just being the motherly figure. There’s this whole back and forth between the two of them, and Molly criticizes him for thinking that Harry is really James, and Sirius criticizes her, saying that she’s not Harry’s mother, and she says she’s as good as. So it’s really just kind of this nasty back-and-forth that’s taking place between the two of them.

Andrew: Yeah. It’s an interesting debate to watch, because of the reasons I just mentioned. They’re both kind of power-hungry in terms of who gets to make the decisions for Harry, and they both have their good and bad reasons for the other not being in control.

Micah: Right.

Andrew: Or being the decision maker.

Micah: Right. And [laughs] she even says, “It’s been rather difficult for you to look after him while you’ve been locked up in Azkaban, hasn’t it?”

Andrew: Zing.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Zing. Yeah. I mean, that’s one of the reasons Molly does not trust Sirius, like I was mentioning. He’s had a troubled past, even if he wasn’t guilty.

Micah: Right. Yeah, exactly. So [laughs] yeah, like you said, a lot of the things going back and forth.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: But in terms of what Harry should be able to hear, Arthur thinks that Harry should be able to have some information, so that he doesn’t learn about it from other people and get sort of a different perspective, or an idea of what it is that’s going on. And Lupin kind of backs him up and says the same thing, and Lupin points out to Molly, “Look, we all care about Harry here but ultimately, he is the one who saw Voldemort return, so he should be entitled to some information.” And so this creates a whole debate about who should be able to hear what they’re about to discuss, and Fred and George say that they’re of age. Molly tells them to go up to their rooms, but Arthur says, “No, they’re of age, they’re allowed to make their own decisions,” so they stay. And Ron begins to argue, and Ron says that, “Harry is just going to end up telling us everything that you tell him anyway.” And at this point Harry actually thinks about not telling them because of what went on during the summer. But you have to think at some point, even if he did that initially, he was still going to tell them what happened.

Andrew: Yeah. Oh, definitely.

Micah: So poor old Ginny ends up being the only one that has to go up to her room.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Micah: And this is really where you get a little bit of insight into what’s been going on. We learn that there have been no mysterious disappearances as of yet. That’s why Harry hasn’t been able to see any, whether it be on the regular news or in the Daily Prophet. And Lupin talks about how Harry was so important in this whole process because Voldemort didn’t want anybody to know that he was back yet. He wanted to be able to do all of his recruiting, and he wanted to be able to kind of sneak around and then kind of spring this all on everyone, and the last person he wanted to know that he was back was Dumbledore. And Dumbledore was able to alert the Order of the Phoenix, they said, an hour after he returned.

So the Order is in the process of trying to prevent him from recruiting more followers, whether they be former Death Eaters or other Dark creatures. And we learn that the Ministry is still ignorant to his return, because Fudge believes that Dumbledore is after his job. And that plays out in this book with all the Ministry involvement in the school, but – we’ve talked about Fudge a lot on this show throughout the years, I guess, but it’s just amazing how he’s that self-absorbed that he thinks that Dumbledore is after his job.

Andrew: Yeah, and what’s even more silly is that it’s really Voldemort who is after Fudge’s job. And there’s this evidence, and you see the Order all working – it just doesn’t make sense. It really doesn’t make any logical sense. I wish I could sit here and explain Fudge’s thinking, Fudge’s reasoning, but I wouldn’t know what to say.

[Prolonged silence]

Andrew: I’m at a loss for words, Micah.

Micah: Yeah. Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, we see that his approach to things is just completely the wrong approach, and he does this throughout really the end of Goblet of Fire and all of Order of the Phoenix. And I’m sure there are other examples in different books that we can point to where he’s just more focused on his own safety, in terms of his job, than he is on doing the right thing. Even in Chamber of Secrets when he comes to get Hagrid. It’s, again, like he’s feeling pressure from the Lucius Malfoys of the world, instead of doing what’s right.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: So the last bit of information we learn in this chapter is that Voldemort is after a weapon he didn’t have before. And this is interesting, and Lupin is the one who kind of cuts Sirius off and doesn’t let him go any further at this point. And I read something, I can’t remember how long ago it was, but it was talking about all of these people around the table, how they would compare in terms of being family members. Like, Sirius is more of Harry’s older brother who’s willing to kind of kick back and tell him anything he wants to hear. Arthur is kind of like the indecisive uncle who’s just like, “Ehhh, well, he can hear what he needs to hear, because he’s going to be ultimately the one who is going to have to face Voldemort.” But Lupin is really the father figure. He’s the one who kind of is the…

Andrew: He’s wise.

Micah: Yeah. And he’s willing to kind of take a stand. He’s willing to let Harry know what he needs to know, but nothing more than that. So he’s the one who’s really the father figure for Harry in this sense, when you’re saying that Molly is more of the motherly figure. But as far as this weapon is concerned, when you read this the first time – and I don’t even remember when the first time was I read this book, but – were you thinking like, “Okay, what is this weapon?”

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: “What is this gun or tank or – I don’t know, some magical equivalent that he has, that is going to be able to take down Harry?”

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Or the entire wizarding world, for that matter.

Andrew: Yeah. And – yeah. I mean, it was certainly – just the fact that it’s so ominous and everybody’s – all the kids are so unsure of what it could it be. It did add to the powerful level – it’s potential power. So, I can’t remember exactly what I was thinking but it was definitely worrying.

Micah: Yeah, you…

Andrew: Because we’re getting in deeper into the story here, things are getting a lot darker, so it’s like you kind of expect that we’re going to see some very dark, powerful magic being – going down in this book. So…

Micah: Yeah. And it ends up – obviously we know what it ends up being, but you’re thinking it’s this – I don’t know. [laughs] I’m thinking – you think “weapon,” you think like…

Andrew: A deathstick.

Micah: Yeah. I don’t know.

Andrew: Like a sword or…

Micah: Yeah, something like that. Something that in his – if he physically had it, could do serious damage to other people. But it’s just a prophecy.

Andrew: Right, right. It is a bit misleading. [laughs]

Micah: But I guess, in a way, it is a weapon, so…

Andrew: I mean, yeah, it’s a weapon if you throw it at somebody…

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: …and the shattered pieces of it land in their eyeballs.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: But no, yeah, it is a weapon. Sure.

Micah: Yeah, so that’s really – that’s Chapter 5. And the other thing I was thinking about – and I haven’t looked at the other books – but is this the first time that we get a glimpse as to what the title of the book is, this early in the book?

Andrew: Hmm. Yeah. I mean – yeah, it’s only a few chapters in. I mean, Goblet of Fire, how early did we learn about the Goblet? It may have been a few chapters later, I guess, because there’s the Quidditch World Cup that came up and then they sort of get into the Goblet of Fire, but…

Micah: I know that – and I’m not talking about the actual – not, like, mentioning it, because I know in Sorcerer’s Stone they mention the Sorcerer’s Stone in one of the first few chapters because it’s written on that card. Remember the…

Andrew: Oh right.

Micah: What are they called? The Chocolate Frog card.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: About Dumbledore, that he worked on the Sorcerer’s Stone with Nicholas Flamel. But I’m talking about the actual title chapter, because – I could be wrong, but it seems like there is a title chapter in every book. Like there is one…

Andrew: Yeah, there is. Yeah.

Micah: So I think this is the earliest we get it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: But I’ll double-check on it.

Andrew: No, I think you’re right. And in a way, it’s good because you like to know what the scope of the book is going to be like. The Half-Blood Prince, the title, especially – the book, you get more of the Half-Blood Prince, but the movie – somebody just brought this up to me the other day actually, it’s called Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the movie, and you hardly see the Half-Blood Prince! [laughs] Except at the end, when Snape goes [imitating Snape] “I am the Half-Blood Prince.” [laughs] And that’s it!

Micah: Yeah, they’re…

Andrew: I mean, you know about the mysterious book written by the Half-Blood Prince, but there’s – yeah, that wasn’t the best title.

Micah: Well, the problem was there was so much of the backstory that was cut out of – remember they said Half-Blood Prince is the “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll” of the Harry Potter series, and that’s what their focus was. And because they did do that, they left out a lot of the backstory with Snape and Harry’s mother, and sort of the whole [laughs] Half-Blood Prince storyline, really.

MuggleCast 230 Transcript (continued)

Chapter-by-Chapter: “The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black”

Andrew: Yeah. All right, now it’s time for Chapter 6: “The Most Noble and Ancient House of Black.” Probably also one of the longer chapter titles, since we were just talking about the chapter titles. [laughs] It starts off with Mrs. Weasley whisking the kids off to bed, and she tells them no chatting because they have an early day tomorrow. But, of course, they’re going to ignore this request. But Mrs. Weasley is doing this so they don’t discuss the information they just learned, right?

Micah: Yeah. I mean, it’s inevitable that they talk about it. But I think in later chapters, or maybe even in this chapter, she tries to separate them as much as possible. But it just – or she tries to keep them busy to the point of not having time to talk about it. But it’s inevitable, I think.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: They’re going to talk about it at some point. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, and in this chapter we also see Mrs. Weasley really keeping them busy with house chores, and that’s again another thing. And the kids pick up on it, this is a way for them to be distracted from discussing what’s going on.

Micah: Yeah. I mean, she employs the same thing in Deathly Hallows when she wants to keep them apart as much as possible, so she puts them to work for the wedding. And she doesn’t want them making any plans to kind of go away and begin whatever it is that they’re looking to do.

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: She’s crafty, that one.

Andrew: Crafty? Yeah, I guess that’s one way to describe it. [laughs] And Mrs. Weasley, she comes upstairs later in the night to check on them to make sure they’re not talking. So she’s really paranoid about it. But it’s like, come on, Mrs. Weasley, be fair to the kids. Of course they’re going to talk about this stuff. How could they not? They do it with their best friends. I think they should have just talked about it anyway. So what if Mrs. Weasley doesn’t like it? I mean, they did talk about it anyway, but don’t worry that Mrs. Weasley is trying to listen in.

So, like I mentioned, they spend the following day cleaning, and Fred and George update Harry on their new joke shop business, although it’s not a joke shop at this point, they’re currently only doing mail-in orders. But they remind Harry that it is all thanks to him. Everybody remembers the end of Goblet of Fire when Harry gave his tournament winnings to them. And that was a really nice moment as we talked about during the Goblet of Fire Chapter-by-Chapter. So things are going – things are happening in the House of Black, and Mundungus attempts to bring some stolen goods into the Black home, and this of course sets off Mrs. Black in her portrait but also Mrs. Weasley. She gets really annoyed at this because she doesn’t want this home to be a place where a) there’s children amongst stolen goods and so she makes sure that that is not happening. And this whole ordeal disturbs Kreacher, and this is actually our first time – the first time that Harry gets to meet him.

And a fun movie fact here: it’s on – well, it’s well-known at this point that Kreacher was actually cut from the Order of the Phoenix film script originally. But when Jo saw the script and saw that Kreacher wasn’t there, she said, “Uhhh, you probably want to add him back in.” And the reason they did this was because he plays a bigger role in Deathly Hallows – Part 1 as we saw, and obviously Part 2 as well. So that was one of those things where it’s good that the author stays involved, because otherwise I don’t know what would have happened if she hadn’t have read the script and they didn’t include him, and then he just kind of pops up in Part 2 or they – or sorry Parts 1 and 2 – and they don’t really worry about any backstory? I just wonder what they would have done otherwise.

Micah: Well, it’s really difficult, I think, for them to try to write him in [laughs] if – or find a way around it because, like you were saying, he is so integral to Deathly Hallows. I mean, he plays a part really, too, in Half Blood Prince but obviously all the house-elves were cut out of there, too. So…

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. So as we move along in this chapter, Harry is getting his first impression of Kreacher, and he comes off as just a very mean person. He’s completely the opposite of Dobby, who’s very friendly and loving. He repeatedly calls Hermione a Mudblood and shows very little interest in meeting Harry. He just says, “Kreacher wonders how Harry defeated the Dark Lord.” Kreacher makes it clear he’s on the side of the Dark Lord. [laughs] He’s just very evil, and you would not expect him to play a helpful role in Deathly Hallows as you read this book, but that’s one of the things that makes Kreacher such an interesting character, is his turnaround in Book 7.

Micah: But you wonder why he is loyal to him because really it is Voldemort who ends up killing – or so we think – Regulus. So – and clearly that’s what ends up turning Kreacher in Deathly Hallows, where Harry gives him the fake locket that he found, and Kreacher’s attitude completely turns after that.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Because he has something that belonged – or so he thinks – to Master Regulus. So it’s interesting, though. But I think a lot of it is, too, Kreacher’s been alone for so long he’s probably a bit deranged, and he takes on the attitude of the house that he lives in, which is interesting because Dobby is the complete opposite. He doesn’t take on the attitude of the house [laughs] that he’s a part of. So, it’s interesting.

Andrew: Yeah, I guess the real takeaway here is that we are seeing two completely different personalities in these house-elves, and you have to wonder what other house-elves are like, too. I mean, do most of them act like Kreacher, or do most of them act like Dobby, or does everyone just have a very different personality?

Micah: Right. Probably a different personality. Dobby was just unique, I think.

Andrew: Yeah, I think Dobby’s a rare one. You probably don’t see many Dobbys. Harry – no, Sirius – comes into the room during this Kreacher meltdown [laughs] and we see that Kreacher has no respect for him, either. But he is respectful to Mrs. Black, who he loves dearly. And while talking to Kreacher, Sirius says that while he is cleaning, he is taking things and bringing them into his room, and Kreacher denies these claims but it is true. Harry and Sirius then have a moment. Harry is introduced to the [attempts to pronounce “tapestry”] tapestry. Tapestry? Tapestry.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: And this is another fun movie fact: Jo drew it up for the filmmakers so they could get a very detailed version on camera. And it’s probably, I have to say, one of the most detailed items in the films because of the scope of the tree. I mean, it’s just very immense. And I remember checking this out on the Order of the Phoenix set visit and – even just the material the tapestry was made of. It was just beautiful. [laughs] When we saw it, Steve Vander Ark from the Harry Potter Lexicon, he started his recorder and he started reading the entire family tree. [laughs] It was really funny. I mean, it was new information. I’m sure bits and pieces were new information.

And Harry notices that Sirius is missing from it, and he explains that his mother blasted him off when he ran away from home when he was sixteen. And Harry says, “You ran away?” And Harry says he went to stay at Harry’s dad’s place because he hated the Black home very much, and this immediately made me think of the situation that Harry is in, where Harry hates living with his family, the Dursleys. So he stays with his good friend, the Weasleys. And Sirius even goes on to say, “My brother – my parents always said that my brother Regulus was better than me,” and that’s another comparison where the Dursleys are always saying how much better Dudley is than Harry. So they both connect on this level in terms of their family background, what they had and have to deal with. Even Sirius – like you mentioned in the last chapter – being stuck in the house. Harry was stuck in his house, too. So this is why they connect, and this is why you really see the relationship grow. And it comes back again at the end of the film, where – or at the end of the book, where Sirius does die. Harry finally met someone who he really connects with. He’s his godfather, they get along great, they have similar backgrounds so they can relate in that way, and he loses him. So there’s a lot of strengthening of their relationship going on in this chapter.

Another interesting revelation from the tapestry is that Sirius is related to the Malfoys. Narcissa Black married Lucius Malfoy. And Sirius says here, “The pureblood families are all interrelated. If you’re only going to let your sons and daughters marry purebloods, our choice is very limited.” And I thought this was interesting because there’s religions in the real world where you must marry someone in the same religion as you. And it got me thinking about having limited options, must make the situation difficult for purebloods. I mean, are they actually finding true love here if they’re forced to marry someone who’s also a pureblood?

Micah: Yeah, I don’t know. It’s interesting because you don’t learn as much about the dynamic between Lucius and Narcissa. But the only thing I can think of is look at Bellatrix, who – she’s married, but she’s clearly got something – I don’t know what you want to call it, [laughs] but – for Voldemort, and Voldemort’s a half-blood. So would that have been a weird situation for Bellatrix who’s somebody who’s so – it’s ironic to begin with that somebody who is so power-hungry and so for wizards maintaining pureblood is himself not pureblood, but it’s – Narcissa? Who knows, maybe if she met Tom Riddle…

Andrew: [laughs] Right.

Micah: That would have been an interesting thing because, like I said, he’s only half-blood. So…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: You’re right, it probably does [laughs] limit the situation a lot.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: And – yeah.

Andrew: It can’t be – yeah, all right, maybe they can still find true love, but it’s got to be a little disheartening that they have fewer options to choose from. So we’re getting closer to the end of the chapter here, just a final few things to go through. Sirius says he hates being stuck in the house all day, everyday, and would like to take Harry to his hearing as Snuffles. And Sirius – you feel bad for him because you hear all these stories and then you hear Sirius say, “Hey, I’d really like to take you.” And how can Harry say no to that? But Harry’s trial approaches and he gets increasingly nervous, considering his expulsion from school is a real possibility. And come the day of the trial, Mrs. Weasley and Sirius say that Dumbledore thinks it’s a bad idea for Sirius to go with him to the hearing. And Harry’s like, “Wait, wait, wait, when did Dumbledore say this?” and it turns out Dumbledore was in the house the night before, and Harry didn’t even get to say hi to him and Dumbledore didn’t even want to talk to him.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: So it’s very – again, Harry’s boiling up again because now another example of Dumbledore kind of ignoring him.

Micah: Yeah, I think it’s just creating this really tense situation that I’m not sure needs to be created. And it’s all because Dumbledore is sensing that there is this connection between Harry and Voldemort and that he doesn’t want Voldemort gaining any insight into what it is that Dumbledore is doing. But yet, here’s the problem that I have: Harry is still within the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. If Dumbledore is so worried about what Voldemort could potentially see, why is he letting him hang out with members of the Order of the Phoenix to begin with? Why – it’s all about the connection but yet Voldemort can utilize that connection right now when he’s sitting in Grimmauld Place and having a conversation with Sirius, Lupin, and everybody else about what they’ve been able to learn about him.

Andrew: Could it be that – well, Dumbledore must know that Harry has a lot of questions for him. If Dumbledore – maybe Dumbledore is afraid of having to give the truth to Harry that he gives later on in the book. That’s really the only thing I can think of. He’s fearing facing breaking down everything for Harry.

Micah: Right. Well, I mean, it’s not until much later on in this book where Harry just gets to the point where he’s fed up with Dumbledore and he basically yells at him. [laughs] And he says, “I need to know what the hell is going on with me,” because he starts having all these visions, he starts seeing what happens inside of Voldemort’s mind, and inside of Nagini at one point. So he’s basically having a mental breakdown, and Dumbledore is just chill about it.

Favorites: Harry Potter Character Name

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, it’s a shame. But again from a reader’s standpoint it’s interesting because you’re like, “Well, wait a second, why does Dumbledore – why is he ignoring him?” So it’s cool, you’re wondering with Harry. And that was enjoyable. And that’s pretty much the chapter! So now we’re going to move onto Favorites. This is an interesting one: favorite HP character name!

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: And this is submitted by Lola Rose. Micah, did you think about this?

Micah: I did a little bit. I mean, it’s interesting because she doesn’t want to know the favorite character, she wants to know the favorite character name.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: So it’s a little bit different.

Andrew: Yeah, I get – yeah. Actually, I know my favorite character name and it’s Bellatrix. [laughs] I just really like that name. Maybe because it ends in an X? But it’s just a pretty badass name that seems to reflect her very well, Bellatrix. And even her last name, Bellatrix Lestrange. It’s just a cool name. I’ve always been a fan of Bellatrix, partially for her name. How about you?

Micah: I feel like Scorpius is a cool name, but I don’t know if it’d be my favorite, because number one, I mean, he’s only in one scene [laughs] in the entire series. I’ll say Aberforth is a pretty cool name.

Andrew: Oh, of course.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: You just love him in general.

Micah: Because of the goats?

Andrew: Yeah, exactly. [laughs]

Micah: I mean, there’s a lot of cool names. I mean, you check out the Name Origins on our site. There’s…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: It’s not just that she said, “Oh, let me name this person that.” There’s a lot of thought that went behind…

Andrew: Right.

Micah: …creating these characters and putting their names together.

Andrew: No, that’s a good one.

Micah: I don’t know that I’d want to be named Aberforth, though.

Muggle Mail: Harry’s Patronus

Andrew: [laughs] Well, to all the listeners out there, feel free to send in your favorite character name. That’s an interesting Favorites. It’s going deep, but it’s interesting. Let’s move on now to Muggle Mail. This first one comes from Roger Dering, 20, of Amsterdam. He says:

“Hey guys, love the show and all that jazz but when listening to 229 it occurred to me that Harry’s Patronus should be relatively public knowledge. At the end of ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’, Lupin talks about how he thinks James lives on in Harry, and says he knows this in particular because of the shape Harry’s Patronus took on when he used the spell on Malfoy and the others when they were impersonating Dementors at the Quidditch match. Harry himself didn’t realize it would be a stag until the end of the book but I imagine anyone in the audience at the time already familiar with the spell may be able to answer Lupin’s question. So there’s that.”

Micah: Yeah, I mean, we were talking about how Lupin asked it as a security question when they came to Privet Drive and how it would be possible that anybody would know what form Harry’s Patronus would take. It’s not something that wouldn’t be common knowledge.

Andrew: But I think this is maybe what I brought up on the last show, it’s just kind of like – in the spur of the moment, Lupin is just thinking whatever question he can come up with and that may have been the first thing that came to his mind.

Micah: Right. No, I agree.

Muggle Mail: Vernon’s Behavior Towards Harry

Andrew: Next e-mail?

Micah: Is from Anna, 22, of Finland, and she says:

“Hey, long time listener, first time commenter.”

Andrew: Ooh!

Micah: [continues]

“Okay, about Vernon’s behavior towards Harry, yeah, it is abusive. I believe that the only reason why Harry is with the Dursleys is that he wouldn’t be safe anywhere else, so Dumbledore has wizards ensuring the child services don’t take him away. Why Vernon is still like that, however? Well, remember that he has to pay for Harry’s tuition.”

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: [continues]

“Boarding schools in Britain have fees, and considering the growing number of Muggle-borns, it’s safe to say Hogwarts accepts Muggle money too. Another reason why Vernon might act so towards Harry is, well, because he can. Vernon might just be the type of person who is just mean spirited, and Harry offers him the perfect target. The kid doesn’t have any parents and has no real way to defend himself, so he locks him up and treats him how he wants to. Notice that it was Petunia who fed Harry food, not Vernon. It is a sad situation, but not unheard of. Anyway, love your show, keep up the good work.”

Andrew: Yeah, Anna brings up good points and I agree, it is sad. I mean, okay, I guess that could be true, but it’s sad that Vernon – he takes pleasure in being evil. I mean, that’s not a good life to live.

Micah: Right.

Andrew: It may be in his mind right now, but surely – I wonder what happened to him in the future. Did he calm down? I mean, if Harry saw him nineteen years later, would he still be as evil? I don’t think so, he must have changed a bit. And yeah, maybe he was angry because Harry had to live with him.

Micah: It’s just a burden for him.

Andrew: I’m also wondering if Hogwarts actually did have fees.

Micah: Well, Harry has money. It’s not like Vernon would have to pay for that.

Muggle Mail: Harry’s Safety at Privet Drive

Andrew: Yeah, but I just still wonder if Hogwarts has fees. I mean, did – I don’t know. It could be kind of a public school situation where wizards have to pay taxes to the Ministry of Magic, and the Ministry of Magic funds Hogwarts, something like that. Because if you’re a wizard I imagine they want you at the school, and what happens if you can’t afford it? I mean, I guess there could be some special payment plans or loans, but maybe at this point it’s getting all too technical. Next e-mail is from Juliana Brown, 20, of Connecticut:

“Hey guys! I love MuggleCast! It makes my drive to work entertaining!”

Glad to hear that.

“I just listened to the latest episode and the Chapter-by-Chapter segment where you guys discussed the protection Harry has while in Privet Drive. You brought up a good point when you said that it’s interesting that the members of the Order could enter the house but not Death Eaters. Since Dumbledore put the protection in place I thought that maybe the spell around the Dursleys’ house is similar to the spell on the Mirror of Erised. Someone who wants to enter the house to visit Harry but not harm him may do so. Just an idea, although the Dursleys themselves seem to do more harm than good!”

Very good point. [laughs]

“Keep up the great work! I hope the podcasts continue long after the final movie comes out. I know I’ll need something ‘Harry Potter’ related to hang on to!”

Thank you, Juliana. I think this was what I was saying last week, wasn’t it? That really I think the protection on the Dursleys’ home just has to do with the interests of the people who are trying to enter it.

Micah: Mhm. Yeah, no, that’s a good point.

Andrew: I mean, the protection is built on love and love wouldn’t accept hate, so hate can’t get through love’s door.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Micah: That’s interesting.

Andrew: Yeah.

Muggle Mail: Splitting Books into Separate Films

Micah: No, good point. Next e-mail, from Kaitlyne, 19, of New Jersey. She says…

Andrew: Represent!

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Sorry.

Micah: [continues]

“Rumors and reports are going around…”

Oh, this is completely unrelated to Chapter-by-Chapter, but I thought it would be good to discuss because it is recent news.

Andrew: It’s a great thing to discuss.

Micah: [continues]

“Rumors and reports are going around that the ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy is going to be made into four films.”

Instead of three.

“Do you think the ‘Harry Potter’ films have started a trend of splitting one book in a series into two films?”

Andrew: Yes.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Now, Micah, you’ve read The Hunger Games, haven’t you?

Micah: Yeah, I have read The Hunger Games.

Andrew: Well, this is no longer rumor, this is fact. And my new entertainment site, speaking of it,, we of course reported this the moment that it happened. It’s huge news. Lionsgate told investors that they are planning on making the trilogy into a four-film series. And yes, I absolutely think that Harry Potter is setting a trend here, because they’re showing it’s possible it can work. Now granted, it’s Harry Potter. I mean, they could do anything and make it work because Harry Potter fans are going to eat it up. But the way that the Hunger Games fandom is growing right now – I mean, it’s very similar to the early days of Harry Potter and Twilight. This is – it’s doable. And with Suzanne Collins, the author of The Hunger Games, her hand is very involved in this. I think that it could work. Now, is it a money move and purely a money move? Yes.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: But what are you going to do?

Micah: I mean, I think though – with Deathly Hallows, I can understand splitting it into two films, because I think that there is so much to wrap up and quite honestly, there was so much that wasn’t included in previous films that maybe could have allowed Deathly Hallows to be one but I still don’t think it could have been just one film. I think that there’s just too much that was there. I mean, you’re talking about a 700 plus page book. However, with The Hunger Games and that – now, are they saying that the final film of the Hunger Games trilogy is going to be split into two, or it could be any film?

Andrew: That’s the thinking. Yeah, they haven’t said it but I presume it’s going to be number four.

Micah: Because – yeah, I mean, that’s going to be interesting to see how they do that because I don’t know that you have enough material to do that.

Andrew: Well yeah, I think – there’s rumors going around that even the first film, they’re going to be adding a good amount of backstory to help fill these books out. And yeah, I completely agree with you. When you look at the last books in the Potter and Twilight series, they’re big. There’s a lot of material there, whereas The Hunger Games, the third book, is basically the same size as the first two. [laughs] It’s not like – if you compare Sorcerer’s Stone to Deathly Hallows, just the physical size of the book, you see a very clear difference, whereas that’s not the case with Hunger Games versus Mockingjay, the third book in the Hunger Games series. So there’s something interesting going on in the book-to-film movie industry and that is, thanks to WB, we’re seeing a new trend in turning one book into two films. And really, is it a bad thing? I don’t think so because it benefits the fans. It does, they still – and it extends the life of the fandom and that hurts nobody.

Micah: Right. I mean, there’s definitely a financial element to all of this and that’s really – to me, by in large…

Andrew: That’s really what’s going on.

Micah: …what the WBs and the Lionsgates of the world care about. I mean, at the end of the day they can say all they want, that they care about the fans. No, they care about what they’re making, what their bottom line is.

Andrew: Right, right.

Micah: And they could have easily split – we’ve talked about this on the show before. They could have easily split [laughs] a lot of the other books up to this point. I think the first three movies were probably good how they were done, but once you get to Goblet of Fire – and there was talk about it. You could have split all those movies into two parts. It just would have made it that much more – [laughs] probably a hassle for the actors and the actresses, but you legitimately could have split from Goblet of Fire on, every single book into two movies.

Andrew: By the way, on – H-Y-P-A-B-L-E dot com – we actually just started a new Hunger Games podcast. It’s not on iTunes yet but we do have it available for download on the site. If you just scroll down the page on Hypable, you will see a “Podcasts” section on the right, and you can click on Episode 1 and download it. And we actually talk about this news more at length as well as some of the other casting stuff. Hunger Games, Micah, very, very big right now.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: And it’s exciting!

Micah: Yeah, what was your – can I just ask – what do you think these films are going to be rated? Because the books are very…

Andrew: PG-13.

Micah: Yeah. I mean, the books are pretty graphic.

Andrew: Yeah. They can’t do R, so PG-13 definitely.

Micah: Yeah. They’re going to have to find a way to do that though, because there’s a lot of… [pauses]

Andrew: Yeah. Blood.

Micah: Yeah. [laughs]

Andrew: And violence.

Micah: [laughs] Exactly. I didn’t know how to put it.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: But yeah, blood about sums it up.

Muggle Mail: Tonks and Mad-Eye Moody’s Relationship

Andrew: The first film, by the way, will be coming out March 23rd, 2012, so it’s something to look forward to. And if you haven’t read those books, by the way, definitely check them out. They’re great reads. Okay, final e-mail today, Maddy, 13, of Alberta, Canada:

“Hi guys, I was listening to MuggleCast Episode 229 and when you guys were talking about how Tonks could talk back to Mad-Eye Moody, I remembered that they said something about their relationship when Mad-Eye died in Book 7. On page 70 of the English edition of ‘Deathly Hallows’, quote, ‘Tonks was crying silently into a handkerchief: She had been close to Mad-Eye, Harry knew, his favorite and his protégé at the Ministry of Magic.'”

So there you go. There’s a direct answer.

Micah: Thanks, Maddy. Thanks for clearing that up.

Listener Tweets: Favorite Bad Guy Poster

Andrew: Yeah thanks, Maddy. Good eye. And finally today, we have some Twitter responses. For those who follow MuggleCast on Twitter,, we asked everybody: What’s your favorite bad guy poster? And the choices are Snape, Draco, Bellatrix, or Voldemort. Lots of varying answers. Some people cannot pick. ElenaAlien said:

“Bella, for sure.”

4M4M4M4M said:


Palto96 said:

“Draco Malfoy.”

Brat94 said:

“Bellatrix is my favorite bad guy poster.”

RockMusicLove93 said:

“Snape’s poster looked awesome, but I was kind of confused about what was behind him. Any ideas?”

I was wondering that, too. Some people think in the Snape poster, the boathouse may be behind him. MegaWatts says:

“Bellatrix. There’s a real honest look of malice on her face.”

FanGirlBeth said:

“Even though I’m a Draco fan girl, I have to say Bellatrix. Helena is simply amazing.”

ThisIsSeriana said:

“Def Bellatrix. Fav poster out of all of them.”

Actually, I have to say votes seem to mostly be going to Bellatrix and Snape. I have to agree with most of the people, my vote is with Bellatrix. It’s not only my favorite Harry Potter character name but also my favorite poster. She just looks hot. She’s sexy. It’s a great poster. How about you?

Micah: Yeah. No, I agree. I’d go with Bellatrix. She’s deranged. I mean, [laughs] she fits the role very well.

Show Close

Andrew: Yeah. All right. Well, that does it for MuggleCast Episode 230, but wait, don’t go yet! We have to remind you about our website, From there you can find links to our Twitter which is, our Facebook which is, and our fan Tumblr which is Also on the MuggleCast website, you will find links to LeakyCon to get more details about that, a link to, my brand new entertainment site for fans, by fans. And of course, you can also find an iTunes link where you can subscribe and review us! We like reviews. Be honest. Tell us if you don’t like Micah, I agree with you.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Just kidding. It’s all there on And last but not least, a contact link, [laughs] probably the most active portion of the site. If you click on “Contact” at the top, you’ll find a feedback form where you can write to us. Send in your feedback about anything we talked about on today’s show, and it may just be read on the next episode.

[Show music begins]

Andrew: I’m Andrew Sims.

Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Andrew: Thanks for listening!

Micah: We made it!

Andrew: Hope you enjoyed this two-person…

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, we made it through a two-person show…

Micah: And what do you think?

Andrew: …and it’s just as long as a three or four person…

Micah: I mean, it’s not much of a landmark…

Andrew: It was fine.

Micah: …but 230 episodes. I mean, that’s pretty good.

Andrew: Oh yeah, that’s good. Yeah, it’s good. We’ll see everybody next time for Episode 231! Buh-bye!

Micah: Bye!

[Show music continues]