MuggleCast 241 Transcript
[Show music begins]
Andrew: Because we’re questioning why we even bought the DVDs, this is MuggleCast Episode 241 for October 16th, 2011.
[Show music continues]
Eric: This 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. That’s AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 241! Eric, Micah, and I are here this week to fill you in on the latest Harry Potter news. Hello gentlemen!
Micah: Hello. [laughs]
Andrew: What’s with the uncertainty?
Eric: No, I’m trying to think of what words I can say without using the left side of my face. I went to the dentist earlier today. I’m still a little numb.
Eric: So, if I sound funny, it’s that. [laughs]
Andrew: Oh. No, you sound all right so far. Are you missing teeth now?
Eric: No, no, no.
Andrew: Or did you get new teeth?
Eric: Yeah, I’m in good shape. The people down at Webster Dental in Chicago took good care of me today.
Andrew: [in a silly voice] Oh my God, shut up!
Eric: [laughs] I checked in there on Foursquare now, too.
Micah: And I was just waiting for Eric to go first…
Andrew: I see.
Micah: …and say hello. That’s why I…
Eric: He’s so polite, Micah. He gets in line just to say hello.
Andrew: [laughs] Well, from Hypable, I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: From MuggleNet, I’m Eric.
Micah: And I’m just Micah Tannenbaum.
Andrew: Okay. No, you’re not. You have a plug later in the show!
Eric: No MSNBC anymore?
Micah: Oh, yeah, yeah. No. Let’s do that again. [laughs]
Andrew: No, you blew it now.
Micah: Oh, yeah, we’ll talk about it later.
Eric: You’re no longer affiliated with them.
Andrew: [laughs] All right, what’s in the news this week, Micah?
News: New Comprehensive Potter Blu-ray/DVD Collection Set in 2012
Micah: Well, Andrew, this may come as a surprise, but Warner Bros. is not done releasing box sets of the Harry Potter films. There’s going to be more in 2012, and apparently Harry Potter is not going back into that vault.
Micah: That mysterious vault that we heard about, never to be touched from – [laughs] never to be touched from?
Andrew: Never to be opened…
Micah: Never to be touched or heard from again. But that’s not true. They always open up the vault every once in a while.
Micah: At least…
Micah: Go ahead.
Eric: Last week we were talking at length about these box sets – or on the last episode, we talked about these box sets they have planned for the November 11th release date, and we talked about them I think a good twenty minutes at least, right? I mean, we were talking about some of the features and the DVD and how this set – how there are always going to – I think Andrew correctly predicted there were going to be more.
Andrew: Yeah, and I mean, we know they do this. Warner Bros. does this all the time. But a little correction to what you said, Micah, I don’t think this really counts as “going in the vault.” I think what they were saying when the films were going to go in the vault is they were going to stop production of the individual copies, and presumably the big collections, too. Yeah, so they’ll cease production some specific date at the end of December. It’s after Christmas. And then they’re going to presumably not make any new copies of anything, I guess, until later in the year when they [in a dramatic voice] open the vault to release the super mega awesome edition.
Eric: Now, this awesome edition…
Andrew: Just in time for the holidays, 2012.
Micah: Well, here’s the exact wording from Warner Bros. They said:
“Hardcore ‘Potter’ fans will be pleased to know that 2011 is not the end of the ‘Harry Potter’ film franchise on DVD and Blu-ray. Warner Home Video plans to release a comprehensive ‘Harry Potter’ film collection, with even more extras and collectible premiums in 2012. More details about the collection will be available at a later date.”
Eric: Okay, hold the phone. Why would they announce that there was going to be this comprehensive set of Harry Potter films coming in 2012, before they release this upcoming collector’s set full of repackaged junk, as we deduced on the last MuggleCast? Why would they announce this new upcoming set, just even tentatively like they have, kind of, “Oh yeah, it’s coming”?
Eric: Why advertise that it’s going to have all these new special features, when you have another set to promote that’s coming out November 11th? Is there any remaining incentive for people out there who are listening to our show to buy these November 11th box sets of all eight films?
Andrew: Yeah, if somebody wants them for Christmas this year. I mean, that’s the one reason.
Andrew: And plus, I mean, people are impatient. They want the complete set now. They don’t want to wait until next year to get the complete set. So, I think Warner Bros. was a little strange for announcing this now, but I don’t think they are worried about it affecting sales. And by the way, this press release was really hard to come by. I e-mailed it to Warner Bros. and was like, “Is this true?” and they were like, “You know, I haven’t seen this before. Let me look into it.” And then I never heard back, so I don’t – it may have been mistakenly said. So, I don’t know what exactly went on. But anyway…
Micah: Well – interesting. I mean, I’m just going through the comments here on MuggleNet, and twixie09 says:
“I hate how they’re withholding content from the true fans, making us spend more money just to get another interview or a couple more deleted scenes. We, the hardcore fans, have supported ‘Harry Potter’ through thick and thin, and have supported it two hundred percent throughout the film franchise, and they’re treating us like this. If it weren’t for us, they wouldn’t have made as much money as they did across…”
Okay, it goes on.
Micah: Next comment, DudleyCool:
“I find this hilarious. Glad I never bought any of the Ultimate Editions. This collection had better have the extended versions of all the films including the three-hour Order of the Phoenix. At least give us all the unreleased deleted scenes and bloopers WB has been hoarding since 2001!”
Micah: So, you’re seeing a lot of comments here that are similar to what we were talking about on the last show when we had no knowledge about this. We were just talking about this eight-film collection. So, clearly the fans in the comments are starting to get a little bit ticked off.
Eric: Yeah. I mean, the way I’m looking at this, unless you’ve lost your previous collections – I mean, if you want to – unless you’ve lost your previous DVDs in a house fire or something, and need a new collection and you’re entertaining guests and you want to do a Harry Potter re-watch – like Andrew said, prior to Christmas or something, then I can see making this eight collection, because it’s just one cool package. But otherwise – and I know what I will be doing, is I will be waiting until this unknown release date in 2012 to get this new box set with the special features. It just seems like you have to be two steps ahead of these people. You have to wait, somehow deliberately…
Micah: But you will get the Part 2 DVD/Blu-ray so you can watch it before that, or no?
Eric: It’s – maybe. I want to see the Dan Radcliffe, Jo Rowling thing. I might wait to see if that’s online, and if not, I will get the Part 8 Blu-ray – or Movie 8 Blu-ray.
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Andrew: What else is going on?
News: Ultimate Editions to be Released in UK in 2012
Micah: Well, as long as we’re on the topic of DVDs and Blu-rays, the Harry Potter Ultimate Edition DVDs Years 1 to 6 that have already been released here in the US are finally going to make their way over to the UK on November 14th, and again, it’s just – we talked a little bit about this on the show last week with Part 2 coming out on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK on December 2nd, but why were the Ultimate Editions never made available in the UK before now?
Andrew: I don’t know, it’s always been a question amongst the UK fans. My guess is that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is based over here and so maybe they didn’t see as much demand for it over in the UK. That’s my best guess. Maybe they just wanted to wait to release all of them at the same time once they were in the UK. Maybe they consider the Ultimate Editions very much an experiment.
Micah: That’s a good point.
Eric: Yeah, it could be a situation where maybe, too, the UK – the board of film or whoever it is that oversees this kind of stuff wouldn’t let them just re-package old content until very recently. Maybe they had to pay them off and…
Micah: Now is there any difference in terms of – let’s say, somebody from the UK decided that they wanted to buy the Ultimate Edition and have it shipped over.
Micah: They’re not going to have any issue, are they, or they will?
Eric: They are. The difference – it’s PAL versus NTSC, which is what I – the issue that I went through trying to get Philosopher’s Stone on DVD was that I went to Amazon.co.uk, this was early, early on, maybe 2003-ish, and I got it and I paid twenty – the equivalent of twenty pounds or whatever it was. So, I actually – [laughs] long story short, I ended up buying a multi-region DVD player to play that DVD, just for that DVD.
Andrew: That’s hardcore.
Eric: I don’t have any other PAL DVDs.
Eric: Just because I wanted the title sequence.
Micah: That is hardcore.
Eric: Just because I wanted the title sequence, when he’s a little baby and the scar, then it leads into “Philosopher’s Stone,” but I wanted to see if it was any different and so…
Micah: So hard for the British, it’s just really not fair.
Andrew: Well, we are the superior country, so…
Andrew: …they have to work around us.
Micah: Please send your e-mails to…
Andrew: Just kidding.
Micah: …Andrew at Hypable dot com.
News: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter
Andrew: [laughs] All right, what else is going on in the news?
Micah: Lot of the news, really this week, has been around the studio tour, or as – wait, I have to cue this: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter.
Micah: Because we want to make sure that we stick by the corporate…
Micah: …official title of the studio and…
Andrew: Yeah, you don’t want to confuse people.
Micah: No, we don’t want lawsuits or anything like that. But yeah, a lot of news surrounding – really the last couple of weeks with the studio tour. They got an official opening date of March 31st, 2012, and a lot of promotion had been going on with the studio tour. There was a live web chat for the on-sale date of tickets on October 13th – so just this past week – and it was a very interactive chat, specific for the fans and the fan sites to be able to ask questions via Twitter. A lot of the fan sites were represented and got their questions in there as well, and it was a cool chat to watch. It was Tom Felton, Mark Williams, Julie Walters, James and Oliver Phelps, Bonnie Wright, Warwick Davis, and Natalia Tena, and they seemed to be having a pretty good time. We’ve seen some video surface over the last 24 to 48 hours with different stars going through and taking a tour, and Mark Williams really seems to be having a good time.
Micah: I saw him sitting down in Dumbledore’s chair, he was paging through all these letters. But I think fans are really going to like it. The attention to detail that’s been put into all these sets is something that you’re only going to get to experience by walking through, and I know that both of our sites – Richard was over for Hypable and Nick was over for MuggleNet, they got a chance to tour and both of their reports are available on the respective sites. And you really get a deeper insight into how much time and care went into creating the studio tour.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, it’s going to be really cool. It’s going to be an amazing experience. I mean, who doesn’t want to go to the actual sets and explore these things? And you kind of got that with the exhibition, you kind of got that with the Wizarding World, but this is it. I mean, I think they’ve saved the best for last, in terms of – I mean, you really can’t compare it to the theme park, but I think this is the ultimate Harry Potter fan experience, if you ask me.
Micah: Yeah, I don’t think that there’s any question because you’re walking literally where the actors did when they were filming all of these scenes, and in the chat they were all joking around, “Yeah, you might see me hanging out at the back of the studio, or maybe I’ll dress up as a tour guide one day…”
Andrew: Yeah, if they pay them.
Micah: “…and lead you around.” [laughs] Yeah.
Andrew: It looks…
Micah: …it does seem…
Andrew: I think – I like everything that’s been out about it so far, all the reports and stuff, but it’s getting a little too much.
Eric: You think so? Like they’re revealing…
Andrew: All this promo.
Eric: …too much?
Andrew: Yeah, it’s time to keep quiet for a little bit. Let the tickets sell, sit back for a little bit, relax.
Eric: Yeah. I haven’t been watching, mostly because I don’t want to get spoiled on the off chance that I wake up one morning in London and I have a ticket to this thing.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: Because they sold out like crazy and I always plan for those sorts of random happenstance.
Eric: But anyway, the way I thought of it – because I watched the trailer, it was the one thing I did see. Maybe – I think it was the actual trailer, maybe it was just the teaser, but essentially, the impression that I got was that these are things that – set pieces, props, that were too big to move. That’s why they aren’t in the exhibition that’s traveling, opening in Australia in a couple of weeks, is because things like the Great Hall, the actual, actual Great Hall have been at Leavesden for these years, and that’s going to be part of the studio tour. And the one piece that I saw in this trailer that I really, really enjoy, was the door, the entrance, to the Chamber of Secrets with the snakes. You may remember this, it’s from the second movie. I don’t even think they show it. Maybe they show it for half a second in Part 2 of Deathly Hallows. But where the snakes – basically, they’re locked in the door, they retreat a little bit, and then one snake comes completely around the door, and so apparently this is like actual mechanics here…
Eric: …because they show it in this trailer, and they show the snake going around the door. I want to know how they did that.
Eric: I need to see this prop in person.
Micah: Well, they show the guy flicking the switch, don’t they?
Andrew: Yeah, it’s just a mechanical – but I see what Eric is saying, and I mean, that’s what’s going to be so fun about the studio tour, is you really are going to get not just a look at the sets and be able to walk on the sets, you’re going to see how all the stuff worked. So, that will be really exciting for people to see.
Eric: And because – isn’t it a journey through props department as well, and things like makeup and stuff?
Andrew: Yeah, I bet – I would hope so.
Micah: And you’re getting it the same way that the actors did. This is one of the things that they emphasized, is they didn’t remove sort of the scaffoldings, they didn’t remove the lighting, they didn’t remove really anything. You’re getting to see what it would be like if you were actually in that scene filming it, except you don’t have a bunch of other people standing around you, but you get the feel as if you’re actually on set. It’s not – so to make sense of that, it’s not like the exhibition where you walk through and everything is kind of dressed up so that it fits in with a theme. This is literally like walking through a set that’s being filmed on.
Eric: Right. Like fiberglass, plywood…
Micah: Exactly, yep.
Eric: …where the camera ends, and I know a lot of these sets are like this, just from reading Andrew’s past reports, too. Where the camera ends, so too does the set. There’s only – on certain sets there’s just planking and scaffolding and stuff where you wouldn’t expect it, and that’s going to be the appeal, I think, of seeing these sets as they actually were, because honestly, there’s a lot more acting being done in these films than I think we would normally notice, simply because Hogwarts [laughs] doesn’t really exist. It’s these sets with scaffolding.
Micah: Mhm. But tickets are on sale, so go pre-book.
Eric: I thought they sold out?
Micah: They sold out of the allotment that went on sale earlier.
Andrew: The fan sale.
Eric: Okay, because now I’m confused. When was…
Andrew: There was a fan pre-sale, but it was open to anyone who followed the studio tour on Twitter or Facebook, and they sold out of that allotment of tickets. It could’ve been ten tickets for all we know. We have no idea how big this allotment was. But anyway, they sold out and then they did a whole big, “We’re sold out! We’re sold out! We’re so in demand!” and then the other tickets – then the tickets opened for everyone recently. So, they’re open now. You can get them, probably, for almost any day that you want.
Micah: And what did they say, it’s about a three-hour tour and they’re looking to get about five thousand people through every day?
Andrew: I mean, that seems like a big number. I can’t imagine five thousand people going there every day, but they may have been exaggerating. Anyway, what else is going on?
News: Charlie Redmayne Named New Pottermore CEO
Micah: Okay. Well, let’s talk about our favorite website, Pottermore.
Eric: [laughs] It’s my homepage.
Micah: Well, a little bit of an update: Charlie Redmayne, who previously worked at HarperCollins, has been named the new CEO of Pottermore, and according to Neil Blair, who is the Pottermore Chairman, he described Charlie Redmayne as, “a formidable talent in both the digital and publishing spheres, and this combined with his entrepreneurial spirit made him the ideal appointment for this role.” Now, I don’t really know much about the staff at Pottermore other than, of course, Melissa, but is this a move being made because there are some serious problems going on at Pottermore?
Andrew: Well, Pottermore has always had, apparently – I didn’t really know this – an interim CEO.
Andrew: They never really appointed a long-term CEO, so I don’t think this has anything to do with the issues, but I mean, I think this could be – I’m glad it’s happening now because everybody knows that there needs to be some changes with Pottermore. We’ve talked about them all so we won’t do it again, and hopefully this guy will step in and – he has a lot of experience in the digital realm, by the way. He used to head HarperCollins, one of their digital imprints, I believe, and I hope he gets in there and starts kicking some butt, and being like, “Hey, this is what we need to do. Boom, boom, boom.” I mean, having some fresh blood in there could be really helpful.
Eric: Yeah. Yeah, the interesting thing about this news article for me was that I never thought of Pottermore as being just a company that would appoint a CEO.
Andrew: Right, right, right. [laughs]
Eric: Oh, Pottermore, Inc.?
Andrew: Yeah. Wait, Pottermore has a CEO? Did JKRowling.com have a CEO? I’m so confused.
Eric: [laughs] Now I’m just confused. But yeah, it’s – like you say, change is good, right?
Andrew: Yeah. And I started – I didn’t finish, but I’m writing an open letter to the Pottermore CEO, kind of as a joke, but kind of serious, that I’m going to post on Hypable, and it’s basically just running down the changes that need to be done. And I know he’s not going to actually read it, but I know people will talk about it because it is a good time to start thinking about, “Okay, so what does Pottermore need to do to change? Now they have this new guy in command, what should he do?”
Eric: Yeah, it’s kind of like, “Welcome, but also here’s what you need to do.” [laughs]
Micah: He’s being thrown into the fire, essentially.
Micah: I mean, with everything that’s been going on with Pottermore – and like you said, not to spend too much time on it – there’s a lot that needs to be fixed before the site does go live to the general public…
Micah: …and I hope, as was said here in this post, that he is the right person for the next phase of this project.
Eric: To shepherd the next phase, yeah.
News: Harry Potter Home Entertainment Celebration at Universal Orlando
Micah: So – all right. Well, speaking of corporate slogans – I don’t know if we were really talking about corporate slogans, but Rupert Grint is going to join the cast and crew down in Orlando for – Andrew, what is the official title of this event now? The Harry Potter Home Entertainment Celebration.
Andrew: That’s right.
Andrew: That’s right.
Micah: [laughs] Where there will be PowerPoint presentations inside the Three Broomsticks and…
Andrew: [laughs] Quarterly earnings reports.
Andrew: Wonderful. Well, it’s funny how I came across it. I was going on there to look up something and I went on the home page of what used to be called “A Celebration of the Harry Potter Films,” and I just noticed that the title had been changed to this very bland “Harry Potter Home Entertainment Celebration.” I’m like, “What? What is this?” So, I click on “Frequently Asked Questions” and the top question is:
“Is ‘Harry Potter Home Entertainment Celebration’ the same event as ‘A Celebration of the Harry Potter Films’?”
Andrew: And Universal’s official answer is:
“Yes, the two events are the same. The title of the event has become ‘Harry Potter Home Entertainment Celebration’ to commemorate the Blu-ray/DVD release of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2’.”
So, it’s just – our issue with it is just the name. “Home Entertainment Celebration” is just so corporate and bland, and I don’t see why “A Celebration of the Harry Potter Films” was a bad name.
Eric: Do you think it was because it’s so exclusive that not everybody can get in. I mean, this is something that – still, it just seems like it would be hard to attend this sort of thing, so maybe they’re making it more corporate to look good on press videos and stuff.
Andrew: Yeah, maybe. I mean, this just seems to me they really want to push that Harry Potter is now all about home entertainment. It’s no longer about the movie theater, it’s you being entertained in your home. I guess that’s what they’re thinking.
Micah: And this is a huge event. I mean, let’s talk about this for a little bit.
Andrew: It’s a Harry Potter conference, practically.
Micah: Yeah, they’re doing this down in Orlando at the theme park and they have a ton of cast that are expected to be there. We just mentioned Rupert Grint but also James and Oliver Phelps, Warwick Davis, Evanna Lynch, Mark Williams, David Bradley who plays Argus Filch, and Jessie Cave who plays Lavender Brown, and there’s more to come. And it’s just amazing that – this is like when they had the Part 1 DVD being released and they kind of combined it with the exhibition opening here in New York City. They made this huge deal.
Eric: You’re right!
Micah: And they had tons of cast and crew that were here. I mean, it seems like they’re doing the same thing, and I guess it’s just because, okay, this is the last movie, this is the last, essentially, Blu-ray and DVD. Let’s blow this thing out.
Eric: You’re right. Remember those panels of, like, 23 actors going and sitting in New York City. That’s crazy.
Andrew: I think it’s also maybe a test to see how well – if this thing goes well, I can almost see them doing this every year, or at least Universal doing something every year. This event coming up is very much a team effort between Universal and Warner Bros. but I can see them doing this every year as like a – kind of like these Harry Potter conferences: LeakyCon, Infinitus, all these ones over the years. They may have looked at those and been like, “Well, wait a second, why don’t we just do this?” [laughs]
Eric: In our own park, yeah.
Eric: On our own – yeah.
Andrew: And they can actually get the stars there and…
Micah: Well, I mean, who doesn’t want to leave cold and rainy England to go to sunny Florida in the middle of November?
Andrew: Are you talking about the stars, or…
Andrew: That’s true.
Eric: Well, I wondered, too…
Andrew: So, it’s easy to get them over there.
Micah: They probably get paid to do it, so…
Eric: I wonder if it was in their contract, though, as part of their obligation to promote the film, because I wonder now if the studio is looking at home video as being this market that needs more money thrown at it, and needs more attention to actually selling and promoting these films on home video as opposed to seeing them in theaters. I wonder if that’s sort of also potentially why they’re doing this, is to promote – because I mean, they renamed the event, “Harry Potter comes out on Blu-ray.” That’s the new title it plays, so you really kind of wonder what their goal is in terms of – I mean, they just want people to know that, that it’s out on home video for some reason.
Micah: Mhm. And it’s going to be a huge event. Those actors that we mentioned are just a handful of those who are expected to be there. So again, this is just a – to me, it seems like a little bit overkill.
Andrew: What’s overkill?
Micah: This kind of an event…
Micah: …for releasing a DVD or Blu-ray.
Andrew: Well, yeah. I mean, like you said, they want to have a blowout. It’s the last one, so it all ends here. All right.
Andrew: So, is that…
Andrew: …all the news?
Micah: That’s it.
MuggleCast 241 Transcript (continued)
Chapter-by-Chapter: “The Woes of Mrs. Weasley”
Andrew: And Rupert Grint is attending, I don’t know if you mentioned that, but that was a late addition. Okay, so now let’s move on to Chapter-by-Chapter. This week, we’re looking at Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 9 and 10, two very interesting chapters. As I was reading them earlier, I was like, “Ooh, I want to talk about that. I want to talk about that.” So…
Micah: So, go ahead, Andrew.
Andrew: Let’s start talking about… [laughs]
Andrew: No, you go ahead please, Micah.
Micah: Oh, okay.
Andrew: You lead the first chapter. I will…
Micah: I think I ended up with the longer chapter.
Eric: I don’t know.
Andrew: That’s your fault.
Eric: Mine’s pretty long.
Micah: That’s my fault for just selecting the chapter without knowing. All right. Well, Chapter 9, “The Woes of Mrs. Weasley” – and when we last left Harry, he was leaving the courtroom and had been cleared of all charges against him for the Patronus Charm that he had cast earlier in the summer. And we talked a little bit about this on the last episode about Harry being tried before a full court, but Mr. Weasley, as he’s watching everybody pile out of the courtroom, is shocked that Harry was tried before a full court.
Micah: So, I don’t know what more we can say about it, but you just get more of a feeling of how Harry probably should have just been reprimanded but instead, he’s put essentially on a full criminal trial.
Eric: The thing that I always saw as suspect here is that if you are in a wizarding family – basically what JK wrote about the Trace was that if you’re in a wizarding family, you don’t even have the Trace. It’s expected that you’re raised correctly and I guess the Trace is how they found out that Harry was using – it’s underage magic. Not only is it in front of a Muggle, but in general it’s underage magic. Just the idea that they don’t trace wizard-born kids at all so they can’t ever really hold a trial for them versus this treatment that Harry has gotten makes it even worse, I think, because they’re only watching Muggle-borns, essentially, or only watching people like Harry who – it’s just a disadvantage.
Micah: And one of the people that comes out of the courtroom is Percy, so we get a little bit more insight into the relationship, or lack thereof, between Percy and his father, and they both basically ignore each other. Now as Harry and Arthur make their way out of the courtroom area, they run into Lucius and the Minister, and the two of them are talking very intently with each other, whispering. And Lucius asks Mr. Weasley what he’s doing there, to which he replied, he works here, which I thought was a pretty good response.
Andrew: Yeah, it makes sense.
Micah: And then…
Eric: It’s the truth.
Micah: Yeah, it’s the truth. Lucius, though, then says to Mr. Weasley, “Not here, surely,” and he kind of motions towards a door and that door has large implications later on in the series, but clearly you can tell that something is going on behind the scenes that we don’t really know about. And the question that I have is, just what was Lucius doing down there as opposed to meeting the Minister outside of his office? It’s the same question that Harry poses to Mr. Weasley.
Eric: Yeah, it just seems so dodgy, right? We know how hard it was for Harry to get down to this courtroom. The elevators don’t even go down this far for crying out loud, so it seems very likely that Lucius is either scouting out the location – we know by this point, it’s been mentioned that some of the Order is standing guard over something, essentially this door, it’s revealed later. And either Lucius is looking around maybe scouting out weaknesses, or he and Fudge are down here because they’re conducting less-than-legal business.
Andrew: Yeah, and maybe…
Micah: Yeah, they’re…
Andrew: Maybe he just kind of takes pleasure in seeing Harry in this situation with Mr. Weasley.
Micah: Yeah. And to your point, Eric, there’s that mention of – Harry almost hears something along the lines of a clinking sound, thinking that Lucius is playing with gold that he has in his pockets, so you get that feeling that perhaps he’s paying the Minister off for some things that he may be doing that are less than legal, let’s say.
Eric: Yeah. Definitely. Creepy guy, Mr. Malfoy. I’d hate to think what he would be like to have as a dad, for crying out loud.
Eric: Just like walking around paying people and coming home and…
Eric: …expecting dinner on the table. Anyway, I got sidetracked.
Micah: Now, Harry raises another question and he says, why is it that – or could it be possible that Fudge, in dealing with somebody like Mr. Malfoy, could be under the Imperius Curse? And Mr. Weasley responds by saying, “Don’t think that we haven’t thought about that, but right now Dumbledore believes Fudge is acting of his own accord, which is not comforting.” And this just goes to a larger plot or character analysis, I guess, of Fudge saying that he’s willing to talk to known or prior Death Eaters.
Eric: That’s true. That’s very true. I mean, money goes a long way, I guess, even in the wizarding world, because Lucius was very determined to not let his status in society crumble.
Micah: Right. And Dumbledore saying that – or Mr. Weasley relaying Dumbledore’s concerns that Fudge, he’s acting of his own accord right now and that’s scarier than if he was under a curse.
Andrew: Yeah, we’re getting a look at what’s going to become the downfall of Fudge.
Micah: Yeah. So, Harry ends up going back to Grimmauld Place, and everybody seems relieved, and they all knew that Harry was going to get off, but – I’m sorry, Harry says that everybody seems relieved, even though they all knew that he would get off in the end. Everybody was saying, “Oh, we knew that they didn’t have a case against you,” and, “Of course you would get off, blah, blah, blah,” so Harry makes a little bit of a joke there. During dinner, Harry thinks it – they’re talking about the trial and what happened, and Harry thought that it would have been dumb to say that he wished that when Dumbledore was standing right next to him that he would have spoken to him, or even looked at him. Do you guys think he should have brought this up? I mean, this is something that he kept to himself, he kind of thinks about during dinner. And might anybody else – Sirius, somebody else who was in the know as to why Dumbledore was not corresponding with Harry – might they have told him the truth? Might they have felt sorry for him?
Andrew: I’m sure they felt sorry for him, but I think – I don’t think they like to intervene with what Dumbledore is doing, so in this case, they were just letting it fly even though they knew it pained Harry. And, I mean, I’m on Harry’s side in this. He should know why Dumbledore is ignoring him. I mean, they’re best friends, and for this sudden change to be going on and Harry has no idea why, it’s just heartbreaking for Harry.
Eric: Yeah. And given what Sirius does in the next chapter, I wouldn’t put anything past him. But everybody else, like Andrew said, too, is they’re respecting Dumbledore’s wishes on this. And maybe they don’t know that this is paining Harry, because at this point Harry isn’t telling anybody…
Eric: …how he feels.
Micah: Well, do they know, also, as to why Dumbledore is not interacting with Harry? That would be the real question.
Eric: That’s – yeah, that’s interesting.
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs] Yeah.
Eric: Because surely somebody else must have noticed that he’s not spending any time with him. So, that’s interesting. I just compare it to Harry not telling Sirius when his scar hurts, a couple of years ago. There are these things that Harry keeps to himself and kind of chomps on throughout – for several months that he prefers to kind of deal with alone, I guess.
Micah: Yeah. Well, speaking of Sirius, he starts to become more detached as the start of term grows closer, and Hermione actually says that she thinks part of Sirius hoped Harry got expelled from Hogwarts so he could come live with him. Now, do you believe that?
Andrew: Well, I think she’s on to something.
Andrew: We know Sirius is very lonely. We know he loves having Harry, as a godfather. And for him to now leave and go back to school where he’s not going to see him, I can see why Hermione would be thinking that and Sirius would be feeling that.
Eric: Yeah, I think Sirius definitely viewed the trial as a potential new beginning for Harry.
Eric: I mean, if Harry had – if the verdict had been negative, I really don’t think Sirius – I mean, he would have been sorry that Harry’s life was in shambles, but he would have been the first person to say there’s light after this and we’re going to have a lot of fun now.
Eric: We’ll be outlaws together, Harry! Godfather and godson.
Micah: Yeah. But I think part of it is that the term is drawing closer and that means there’s going to be less people in the house for Sirius to interact with. Yes, the Order of the Phoenix does come and go, but most of them work full-time and so when they are there, it’s just sort of in passing or to have quick conversations. So really, Sirius goes back to being that loner again.
Eric: Hmm. Well, he’s got Remus.
Micah: Well, Remus is off trying to…
Eric: Oh, that’s right.
Micah: …rally other werewolves to his cause.
Eric: Yeah. Well, you know what? You give up your house to be the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, and people come and go, and it’s hard. It’s hard to be Sirius.
Micah: So we move on, and letters finally come from Hogwarts with all the supplies that they’re going to need for the upcoming term and we find out that, in addition to Hermione, Ron is made a prefect.
Micah: And everybody is shocked by this. Fred and George, Hermione, Harry – and this was kind of a rough scene for Ron because…
Andrew: Because nobody can believe he actually accomplished something?
Micah: I don’t even think he believed that he was made prefect.
Eric: But he defends himself, doesn’t he?
Micah: Yeah, he does, and there’s also a lot of humor from the twins that comes about in this scene, especially when Mrs. Weasley comes in and says, “Oh, that’ll be everybody in the family that was made prefect,” and Fred and George say, “And what are we, next-door neighbors?” But was he deserving? That’s the question. And I know we find out later why this happened, but this could be seen as another reason, just kind of adding to the pile, to make Harry upset with Dumbledore.
Eric: Yeah, it’s very true.
Micah: Do you think he was deserving, though? Both of you guys?
Eric: Like separately?
Micah: Yeah, let’s throw aside the real reason we find out at the end of the book. Do you think he deserved to be made prefect?
Micah: Anybody else he could have chosen?
Andrew: No and I mean, he knows – well, slash thinks himself – he didn’t deserve to be made prefect. I mean, I just – yeah, I don’t know. No. My short answer is no, I don’t think he deserved to be a prefect.
Micah: Well, who else would you have picked? Let’s say Harry is out of the equation. You have Neville, Dean, Seamus.
Eric: Lee as well, and Fred and George, right? I mean, they’re still – because you can be a prefect – are prefects only fifth-years? I mean, I’m sure not, right?
Eric: But there’s a Head Boy and a Head Girl. I’m trying to think how this works, to wrap my brain around this.
Andrew: Well, I guess the question is, who else deserves it?
Andrew: Who else would deserve it?
Eric: It’s tough because you’ve got to get somebody who is close to Harry that isn’t Harry.
Eric: It’s got to be Ron. I want to say, as an example of Quidditch in Half-Blood Prince, Ron is capable of good things, but he needs to be pushed, kind of. It’s like, give him a prefect-ship and see if he rises to this occasion. And I think Ron, at least for pride’s sake, is really rising to this occasion. But we see – I guess throughout the book, certainly in the next chapter – how Ron begins to deal with this extra authority, whether or not he is going to use it the right way or use it just to benefit his friends. So, maybe Dumbledore – and again, we find out later why. I don’t really particularly remember, but I’m thinking that in giving Ron this opportunity, it is sort of a “Hey, go out, be your own person,” sort of stick for him.
Micah: Well, I’m assuming everybody listening has read the books, so – [laughs] it’s really because Dumbledore didn’t want to give Harry any more responsibility, it’s that he felt as if Harry had enough to deal with as it was. To make him prefect would only increase that.
Eric: Well, I remember that, but that doesn’t explain why Ron is the prefect, right? Because now…
Micah: I do think it was to build him up, because he felt that if Ron could take on this responsibility, then he could do a lot more moving forward.
Eric: Yeah, but I mean, that goes back to what you’re saying. Isn’t that like throwing fuel to the fire for Harry, in not coming forward and explaining this to Harry? And you don’t even need to say, “Oh, I thought you had too much on your plate,” but just to explain why you would not even talk to Harry about making his best friend, who frankly doesn’t really deserve it, a prefect, both of his best friends. Harry is essentially alone, and not only alone in the way that he can’t talk to Dumbledore, but even in the next chapter, Ron and Hermione have to go off and do prefect things. Harry is alone and that’s counter-intuitive.
Micah: Okay. The other question I wanted to ask really quickly about this was, why was this storyline particularly dropped from the movie? Because it would have actually, I thought, built a little bit more towards Ron’s character.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, this would have been great. It’s kind of like in Half-Blood Prince where you see him join the Quidditch team. I thought that was a great example of showing Ron’s personality and getting some nice Ron moments in there. But he just – I can also see why they cut it.
Eric: Yeah, maybe they didn’t want to repeat themselves, too, because Harry is angry with Ron in Movie 4. It’s kind of like they had to take a movie break before Movie 6 when Hermione is angry with Ron. They kind of – the movies are very narrow, I guess, and so maybe they didn’t want to confuse people in the movie.
Eric: Or repeat some of the same emotions that they had shown in the previous film.
Micah: Yeah, so now we get to the point where Harry is alone in his room. Hermione asks to borrow Hedwig to send a note off to her parents, and he has sort of this debate in his mind as to whether or not he was more deserving than Hermione, if he was more deserving than Ron. And he really comes to the conclusion that with the exception of the things that he was able to do in all the prior books that had to deal with Voldemort, he’s really not a better student than Ron, and I don’t really think he makes much justification for deserving it more than Hermione, because obviously Hermione is very intelligent, the perfect student, and so on and so forth. But he kind of comes to the conclusion himself that, “You know what? At the end of the day, I can’t really make the case for me deserving it more than Ron.” But later, at dinner, Harry learns that Lupin was prefect during his father’s time at Hogwarts and his father wasn’t a prefect, so that made him feel a lot better about the whole situation.
Eric: Hmm. Surprising they made Lupin a prefect with his condition.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, that’s true.
Eric: Wouldn’t he have too much on his plate?
Micah: Now, there’s this side conversation going on during dinner between Fred and George, and Mundungus. And Harry eventually is called over, but he begins to worry afterwards what Mr. and Mrs. Weasley would think of him if they knew that he was the one responsible for backing Fred and George, and their joke shop. Would they still think of him as being one of their own children?
Eric: So interesting. But it’s kind of one of those things, right? Wait. Wait a year. Because you know their reactions after they first go in Half-Blood Prince, and see Fred and George’s joke shop. I think Ginny says it in the book. “But this is really incredible magic,” is what she says and I think Mrs. Weasley is beaming, and seeing the twins have their business – it’s really one of the best things that happens to any of the characters in the books, and so I think in a year’s time, if they knew that Harry had given them the money, they would have thought, “Well, it’s still too generous, it’s just like Harry,” but they would have appreciated him a little bit more. Now where Mrs. Weasley is really cross about it, who knows, right? I don’t think they’ll disown Harry because they’re not like Dumbledore to leave Harry alone in this sort of time of darkness. But I think it would have caused maybe a little bit more of an issue, but she would have demanded that the twins give Harry’s money back, I’m sure, rather than letting them use it for mischief.
Micah: Once Harry leaves that conversation, he is called over by Mad-Eye Moody, and Moody shows Harry this picture of the old Order of the Phoenix. And I believe it’s Sirius who does it in the movie at the train station, so they changed that up a little bit. And Harry eventually is shown his parents, but he looks at Moody a little bit oddly, and I think Moody was trying to do something nice here, but it just didn’t come across the right way. I don’t think Moody has a good understanding, probably, of emotion and things like that.
Eric: Well, why don’t you think it works?
Micah: Because Harry doesn’t have, I think, the reaction that Moody was intending.
Andrew: Yeah, he didn’t want to make him upset.
Eric: Well, no.
Micah: I think – yeah, exactly. The result was Harry kind of got a little bit upset, whereas I think the intended result was to make him see his parents and be happy, “Oh, there are my parents.”
Eric: [laughs] Yeah. I get what you’re saying. Still, it’s good to know – I mean, this artifact – that part of the movie for instance, when it is a little retooled with Sirius giving it, Harry does have that different reaction where it’s like, “Oh, okay. It’s my parents. They were part of a group,” and that photo later becomes inspiration for the DA or whatever. But…
Micah: Yeah, exactly and I think that’s why in the movie it worked better with Sirius giving it to him, but again, here it becomes a little bit of an awkward situation and Harry wants to get away as quickly as he possibly can. And so Sirius asks what they’re looking at and he uses that to kind of slip away, and then he comes across Mrs. Weasley who is crying in the drawing room floor – or on the drawing room floor. And we see – one of the things I left out earlier was when just before dinner takes place, Mrs. Weasley asks Mad-Eye Moody to take a look at something that’s in one of the cabinets in the drawing room, and he uses his eye and he sees that it’s a Boggart. And that’s what Mrs. Weasley went up there to take care of and now Harry has come across her sobbing on the floor, and the Boggart is taking the form of all of her family members, as well as Harry, dead. And I guess this is kind of the first insight you get into how serious things are, and how somebody who is normally such a strong character has these weaknesses, I would say, and how she’s concerned just like any other mother would be that this war is essentially going to take away people that she cares very deeply about.
Eric: Just like the last one took away her brothers.
Micah: Right. And they are mentioned actually, in that photo, although they don’t explicitly say that they are her brothers.
Eric: Yeah. There’s two interesting things there. One is that nobody – well, allegedly, nobody knows what a Boggart looks like when it’s in a cupboard, because it doesn’t take form until it comes out, and when it does, it takes the form of your greatest fear. So it’s interesting that Mad-Eye can whirl his eye around, I’m pretty sure Jo is playing with this, and he says it’s a Boggart, so he clearly knows what a Boggart looks like before it takes a form which would be great to know. But the other interesting thing is that Mrs. Weasley’s Boggart is all of her children dead, equally almost, which is why the Boggart is taking these multiple forms, isn’t it? Because she fears the death of a loved one and so it’s just cycling through all of her loved ones.
Eric: Yeah, which is – Molly Weasley is almost the perfect mother character because she doesn’t fear one loved one’s death over another. She doesn’t play favorites. She doesn’t – she fears…
Andrew: But would any mother?
Eric: Well, arguably. But at the same time…
Andrew: Yeah, I guess.
Eric: …even Harry is among them. Molly just doesn’t want to lose people to the spoils of war, which is what Micah said. It’s really about how serious things are and have gotten. But I just never saw a Boggart do that before, where it takes more than one form without being Riddikulus‘d.
Eric: So, Molly is just a pure character. You’re supposed to be very, very moved by this.
Micah: Yeah, and that’s why the question arises from her, who will take care of all of her children if Arthur and herself were killed? I mean, you’re starting to get a very real taste of what’s going on here. And Lupin makes the point that he feels that they’re better prepared this time around than the last time that Voldemort rose to power. But really, are they? And – because Harry has this moment where he wonders if the people that he just saw in the photograph, that he just learned all these horrible things happen to, did they think the same thing, that they were prepared the first time around?
Eric: Yeah. Tough questions. Some questions just don’t have answers.
Micah: Mhm. So this whole thing kind of put things into perspective, and the chapter ends with Harry saying that it was amazing that barely an hour ago he had been concerned about a joke shop and who had earned a prefect’s badge.
Andrew: And now there’s a whole new set of drama for him to enjoy. All right, now onto Chapter 10 with Eric and Luna. Awww, touching!
Chapter-by-Chapter: “Luna Lovegood”
Eric: Luna Lovegood! Chapter 10 of Order of the Phoenix. This is really a character – this chapter differs very much from the previous chapter in that it’s really all about setting up the characters that are going to play a large role in this book. The book is still beginning, practically. They’re not even at Hogwarts yet. Obviously so much has happened, but so much more is yet to. So, Harry wakes up, it’s back-to-school day for the students. Harry wakes up, Ron is already fully dressed and talking to him, telling him to get moving. Apparently Ginny was knocked down two flights of stairs this morning by Fred and George’s trunks which they had bewitched to fly so that they didn’t have to carry them. Basically just a bunch of other stuff happens. Mrs. Weasley is rushing everybody around. Mad-Eye is waiting for Sturgis Podmore before they can go to King’s Cross. And when they finally do get out the door – Harry is leaving Grimmauld Place, and Sirius bounds out as a dog and tries to come with them. I guess Molly – Sirius is almost taking advantage of Molly here because she’s had a heck of a morning, not to mention the night before, but she’s just so stressed that she says, “Fine, you can come with us.” She objects at first, but what she says is, “Fine, you can come along, but on your own head be it!” So she kind of threatens Sirius. She’s like, “You are – you need to be responsible for your own actions here. You can come along.” Because she’s exhausted, she doesn’t want to fight this issue. But – so what results is Sirius basically getting to tag along with Harry. Clearly this is…
Eric: I mean, if Sirius is – go on.
Andrew: It’s kind of funny just the recent news story about the dog.
Andrew: In the news and now we’re talking about it. It’s just kind of funny. Anyway, go ahead.
Eric: Yeah. So, I mean, I guess this is – Sirius has been distancing himself from Harry previously, dreading this day, but of course on the day of he really appears to be in really high spirits. He basically starts chasing pigeons and cats to entertain Harry which is funny. And so Harry is with Mrs. Weasley and Tonks. Today, Tonks looks like an old lady, and they walk about twenty minutes, I think it says, to King’s Cross station. It’s always good to see the Hogwarts Express again. Harry kind of reflects on the trial and the fact that he’s able to actually be going back to Hogwarts. But when he’s getting on the train, again this time Sirius, still as a dog, bounds up – or jumps up on his hind legs and places his front paws on Harry’s shoulder. And Mrs. Weasley quickly shoos him down again, but she says, “Sirius, be more like a dog!” And Harry is kind of taken aback and when the train is leaving the platform, Sirius is like running along the platform chasing the train, actually drawing attention to himself, drawing heavy attention from everybody else. He’s this funny dog, but really the intention – and it’s important because later on Harry realizes – but immediately Hermione realizes that bringing Sirius or letting Sirius come along was probably a really bad idea.
Andrew: Yeah, and you’re seeing Sirius really – he’s out there for the first time in a long time where he’s able to enjoy himself and not really worry about being seen. So it’s like you’re seeing the old boyish Sirius in dog form, but you’re also seeing just a typical dog as well. Really interesting to watch his character in dog form enjoy this time out.
Micah: And bad move on the part of Molly to let him out, because of course Wormtail knows that Sirius can transform into a dog.
Eric: And as a result, the Death Eaters know that. And just like I said here, his behavior – like you’re talking about, Andrew, couldn’t he – he really did take advantage of Molly, because she was rushing and stressing about them all getting to school on time. I mean, what happens when you miss the 9 AM sharp – or 11 AM sharp train to Hogwarts? What happens? But Sirius basically abused that and took that to his advantage. Look, I’m saying, couldn’t Sirius really have spent a little bit more time with Harry, especially because he was feeling so alone from Dumbledore and Sirius was feeling so alone? Instead of behaving like a child these past few months and kind of staying away from – past few weeks, sorry – staying away from Harry. Shouldn’t they have just had a little more talk? Shouldn’t it have been Sirius to give Harry the photograph of his parents and say, I don’t know, maybe more encouraging words? This is really – he’s in Sirius’s house, for crying out loud. And if Sirius is not getting enough time with Harry, that’s nobody else’s fault.
Micah: Yeah. I mean, it goes back to what we were talking about before, with him just distancing himself from everybody else as the start of the term drew near, because – and this ties into what Andrew was saying earlier, with him just acting as if he is as young as Harry or even younger when he gets out to the train station and – he’s just immature. He hasn’t grown up at all in certain respects as we see later on in the book when he calls Harry “James.” It’s just – for him, he can’t get past the fact that he’s never been able to enjoy his young adulthood.
Eric: Twilight years, yeah.
Eric: Yeah, definitely. So anyway, on the train, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are together and Harry says, “Okay, let’s go find a compartment.” Ron and Hermione actually have to go and spend some time with the prefects in the prefects cabin. Ron says, “It’s not something I want to do, I’m not Percy,” and Harry kind of grins there, but still, Harry is alone because Ron and Hermione, his best friends, have to go and be prefects. So there’s obviously that little bit of regret, I guess, in Harry, and he’s walking along the corridor, he sees all these people gaze and gawk at him, and – let’s face it, he’s Harry Potter. He’s used to that by now, but what it makes him wonder is if people have really believed the Daily Prophet, because ever since Cedric Diggory’s death, as we found out in previous chapters of this book, the Daily Prophet is really saying mean things against Harry and his character, and against Dumbledore. So he’s starting to wonder how many of these students are going to be on his side, in a way, which plays in obviously soon enough. But he ends up – Harry goes to the last compartment, he sees Neville waiting outside the last compartment, and he says, “Neville, let’s go in here,” and Neville just kind of murmurs something. And then Ginny comes up behind them and she says, “Oh, it’s okay. We can have this compartment, it’s just Loony Lovegood.” So, they go in and we meet Luna Lovegood. She’s described as having “straggly, waist-length dirty blonde hair, very pale eyebrows, and protuberant eyes that gave her a permanently surprised look.” Luna “had stuck her wand behind her ear for safekeeping, had chosen to wear a necklace of Butterbeer caps,” and was “reading a magazine upside down.” [laughs] Also, she “did not seem to blink as much as normal humans.” These are all the descriptors that come to introduce one of, I think, our collective favorite characters, Luna Lovegood. Now, Luna is first introduced by Ginny, when Ginny said, “Oh, it’s just Loony Lovegood in here.” But then when Ginny opens the compartment door, she’s like, “Oh, hi Luna! Can we have these seats?” And also, “How was your summer?” So apparently Luna – Loony – has this nickname that Ginny has – but she’s being polite. So Ginny is not somebody who bullies Luna, but very clearly, Luna’s reputation precedes her. So, what do you guys think of this scene and what happens with Luna in this chapter?
Andrew: Well, is she reading the book upside down in the book? Is she reading The Quibbler upside down in the book?
Andrew: That introduction just like in the movie and in the book was just so wonderful. It was like a perfect way to introduce the character. [laughs] I mean, immediately you get that she’s out there. Not just with the dialogue, but the visuals. Yeah, so – I mean, Luna – this was a great introduction.
Eric: Yeah. So, two things happen in this cabin. First is like a gradual – I guess through the rest of this chapter, Harry begins to notice how Luna is maybe not as crazy as she seems, because he ends up getting a look at The Quibbler and he sees in fact that what Luna was looking at were the rune charts. There is a notation somewhere that if you hold them upside down, it reveals a special incantation. Something big that happens is that Neville [laughs] reveals that he has a birthday present, actually, recently which is kind of a hint – I said it’s foreshadowing to the end of the book when we learn that Neville and Harry share more or less the same birthday. But Neville reveals that for his birthday he received a Mimbulus mimbletonia. Harry is kind of like, “Okay, Neville, I know Herbology is your forte, but does this thing actually do anything?” And Neville says, “Oh yeah, it does loads of stuff! Hold Trevor for me.” So Neville takes out something to prod the Mimbulus mimbletonia with, pokes it, and this dark green puss erupts from all of the boils. It’s described as smelling like manure, and it sprays everybody in the compartment. Just right then, Cho Chang knocks on the compartment door and wants to say hello to Harry. Obviously Harry is covered in this green crap, goo. So there’s just this moment here where Harry is not very happy. He obviously – I mean, Cho takes it nice enough. She turns red and says, “Is this not a bad time?” and Harry says no, and so she leaves. But there’s this moment where Harry is really resentful in the book. The book says, “He would have liked Cho to discover him sitting with a very cool group of people laughing their heads off at a joke he had just told. He would not have chosen to be sitting with Neville and Loony Lovegood, clutching a toad, and dripping in Stinksap.” So Harry is kind of – again, it’s a little bit of a preface for what’s going to happen later with him and Cho, in terms of – he wants to really grow, he wants to nurture that relationship, and he’s finding that certain events or certain things are holding it back.
Micah: Well, I think it’s a combination of things, though. It’s the tie between him and Voldemort becoming stronger, but it’s also just him maturing and going through this adolescent period where he’s showing these emotions.
Eric: So you’re saying he’s more aware in general of how he appears to other people?
Micah: No, I just think the way that he’s just acting is the way any teenager would be acting.
Micah: You know, if you like a girl, you don’t – he has the reaction that a guy would normally have, and that’s – I want to be sitting with the cool crowd, you know? [laughs] What is Cho going to think of me if she walks in and she sees me sitting with the people the way that you just described? She’s not going to think very highly of me. And I think that’s a normal thought to have for somebody who is fifteen years old.
Andrew: Oh yeah. Again, we always forget this. They’re so young. [laughs]
Eric: That’s a good…
Micah: It’s not like that he’s matured and he’s in his twenties now. I doubt he would have the same sort of thought process.
Eric: Yeah. No, that’s a really good point. So, as I mentioned before, Ron and Hermione do come back from their prefect cabin. They mention that Draco Malfoy is a prefect. We talked about Ron deserving a prefect position. Do you think Draco deserves a prefect position?
Micah: Well see, this would get into who really makes the decision. Is it the head of the house, or is it Dumbledore?
Andrew: And would Malfoy want it? Would Draco want it? He doesn’t strike me as somebody who would really…
Micah: Well, he wants to pick on people.
Micah: Give them detention… [laughs]
Micah: …for no reason.
Andrew: …he likes to be bossy, but I just picture him as someone who would kind of maybe enjoy it for a few days and then kind of get over it.
Andrew: He just wants to boss Crabbe and Goyle around. That’s all.
Eric: Yeah, that’s true. And I mean, this isn’t the Movie or Book 6 Malfoy where he’s kind of burdened with the world. But at the same time, I think – doesn’t it say that Malfoy is actually a pretty good student if he is made a prefect? The other Slytherin prefect is Pansy Parkinson. But doesn’t it say that he is at least academically competent? And now that I think about that, didn’t Lucius make fun of Malfoy, make of Draco in Year 2, and say that, “Your grades should be better than that Mudblood Hermione Granger’s?” So, do you think that Malfoy has been trying to keep up with Hermione academically? Do you think he’s actually trying hard at school at this point?
Micah: It could be. I mean, you never really get an insight into how good of a student Draco is, other than that comment. I mean, you assume that he’s good at Potions, but who knows what else he is good at.
Eric: Right. But when Malfoy shows up at the cabin, he’s bullying. He basically – Ron has this moment where he talks about Malfoy being a prefect with Harry, and Ron is of the assumption that Malfoy is going to abuse that power so Ron says that he’s going to – first opportunity he gets, he’s going to punish Crabbe and Goyle, and try and get them first. I think the term is, “Get his mate before he gets mine.” So Ron is looking out for Harry here. When they get to Hogsmeade station, Harry is immediately looking around for Hagrid. Harry just needs some love, I think. He’s looking around for Hagrid, fresh, familiar face. What’s synonymous with Hogwarts start of term other than Hagrid? Well, Hagrid’s not there. Apparently this severely hair-cutted Professor Grubbly-Plank is in his position, and Harry doesn’t know why that is. So, it’s a little disconcerting. Harry does not get the – yet again, he doesn’t get the kind of attention or love he’s looking for. And finally, when they get to the school carriages, which up until very recently have pulled themselves, Harry notices that there’s a large horse creature, and he pulls Ron aside and he says, “What’s the deal with these things? Why would they need these horse things to pull the carriages that were perfectly capable of pulling themselves?” Well, Ron doesn’t see these horse things and Harry basically physically moves Ron, puts him face to face with a horse thing – which we know they’re called Thestrals – and Ron doesn’t see it. In fact, he asks if Harry is feeling all right. He gets on the carriage and Harry is flipping out, actually, because he has this genuine moment when he realizes that Ron actually doesn’t see this thing that he sees, and it sets the tone. Harry beings to really worry if he’s losing his mind. But of course, just as he steps on the school carriage to go to Hogwarts, Luna assures him that she can see them, too, and that Harry is “just as sane as I am.”
Andrew: Uh oh.
Eric: Oh no. New, crazy things….
Andrew: New thing to stress about…
Andrew: …for Harry.
Eric: And that concludes Chapter 10.
MuggleCast 241 Transcript (continued)
Muggle Mail: Accurate Predictions on Episode 1
Andrew: And that’s Chapter-by-Chapter for this week. If you have any comments about anything that we discussed today, you can just visit the MuggleCast site, click on “Contact” at the top, and give us your feedback. And what will we do it? Well, we’ll read it just like we’re about to right now. We have some e-mails here from – in regards to last week’s – Episode 240, this first one comes from Rajitha, 12, from India.
“Dear MuggleCast, I have started listening to your show a couple of months ago and I love your show. I have also been listening to your old shows and, like two others, have noticed another prediction you made. In your first ever show you all said that Regulus Black could have taken the locket. Ben also said that Mundungus could have stolen the locket from Number 12, Grimmauld Place and sold it. We now know both of these predictions are true. This is my favorite podcast and I hope you never end it!”
Well, thank you, and there again.
Micah: Yeah, those were very popular theories, I think, back then.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s true. Absolutely.
Micah: And Ben went on to write a book about them. [laughs]
Eric: Well, I think the first one, right? Regulus Black, that was – I don’t want to say it was one of the most obvious mysteries, but I do feel like it was more obvious simply because there weren’t that many characters that we had known. Most of the appeal of R.A.B. lies in us actually knowing that character previously, right? I mean, it’s very easy for JK Rowling to introduce a brand new character with the initials R.A.B., but wouldn’t it be more special if they had already been mentioned before in the books? And so I think right after Book 6 came out, and this R.A.B. mystery came out, people were looking back in the books for an R.A.B. and really one of the only contenders that we didn’t know his middle name until that Dutch translation or whatever came out months and months – maybe a month or two before Book 7 – I forget what time it was, but basically Regulus Black was one of the only contenders for this, so if JK Rowling was using an already-existing character, R.A.B., Regulus Black was one of them. So, I do think that that mystery was – I’m not saying it’s more predictable, but – I am saying it’s more predictable. However, the Mundungus locket thing, that’s all Ben. That’s brilliant, and that totally came true. I don’t feel like we had any other reason to believe that that was possible.
Muggle Mail: Dumbledore’s Support of Snape
Andrew: Next e-mail is from Kaitlyn Kelley, 18, of Paducah, Kentucky.
“Hey guys! First things first, I love you guys and this show. Been with you guys for a while now. I live on a blackberry farm, no joke…”
“…and I have listened to your amazing podcast while picking. In Episode 240 “Join the Weasleys,” when talking about the Death Eater trials, you forgot about Snape. Snape was clearly represented by Dumbledore. It was an unusual circumstance, I know. What do you guys think would have happened if Dumbledore hadn’t had supported Snape? Love to hear your thoughts! Keep up the awesome work!”
Micah: So there are cases where criminals get defense.
Eric: Right, because Snape was very clearly – Snape would have been convicted – I mean, if he wasn’t at least convicted, he would have been sentenced to a term in Azkaban if it weren’t for Dumbledore. Very, very, very interesting. But I think, too, honestly do you feel like Dumbledore, knowing the particular things that Dumbledore knew regarding his love for Lily Potter, but also more importantly that he was the one who heard the prophecy, don’t you think that Dumbledore would have done anything to keep Snape by his side? Because didn’t we have the situation where people who witnessed the prophecy – that memory – this whole book is about that memory of the prophecy, about obtaining it. And if somebody, be a prisoner somewhere else, was able to get to Snape they really could have forced that memory out of him, about the prophecy and learn something that was extremely – would be extremely devastating to either the good side or the bad side. Don’t you think that Dumbledore – the reason he gave evidence for Snape was also because – and let Snape teach at the school was just so that he could keep that much of an eye and keep that much control over that kind of information?
Micah: Yeah, probably. But it’s also good to know that Dumbledore moonlights as a defense attorney…
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Micah: …because he is the only one we’ve seen…
Andrew: He has so many talents.
Micah: Yeah, but he is the only person we’ve ever seen speak in defense of somebody else.
Eric: Dumbledore, public wizard defender.
Muggle Mail: Apparition
Andrew: Next e-mail comes from who I believe it’s their Pottermore name, AurorStrike131.
“In Episode 240, during Chapter-by-Chapter, you said that Arthur Weasley wouldn’t Apparate to the Ministry because Harry can’t. Yes, you’re right, only one person needs to know how to Apparate. The best example is when Harry Apparates himself, Hermione, Ron, Dobby, and Griphook to Shell Cottage. The reason Arthur didn’t Apparate is because Harry is underage! Yes, you need to be seventeen to Apparate. Well, as far as I know, when you’re seventeen you can take your Apparition test but even if you don’t take the test, you can Apparate as long as you’re seventeen or older. This is implied in ‘Goblet of Fire’. I’m not sure which chapter, but it’s the one where Harry asks why Bill, Charlie, etc. are Apparating to the World Cup but they’re not. Sorry I can’t provide more details.”
Okay. Well, that makes sense, then.
Eric: Yeah. So, I guess there’s another example of people not Side-Along Apparating as early as Book 4. Then it could be because they’re – all participants in the Apparition have to be seventeen, possibly.
Muggle Mail: Pottermore App
Andrew: Next e-mail from Rilee Kennedy, 15, of Fayette, Alabama:
“Hey guys! I was listening to your latest show and you were talking about the Pottermore setbacks, and a sudden question hit me. Do you think they will make a Pottermore app? I, having an iPhone, think it would be great! I sadly have not yet joined Pottermore. Thanks for keeping ‘Potter’ alive after the series has ended and keep up the good work!”
Yeah, it’s just – well, here’s the main problem, if I may get techy for a second. The iPhone does not support Flash and Pottermore is all Flash, so if you were to open up Pottermore on an iPhone or an iPad right now, it doesn’t work, as some of you may have already tried. So, they would have to create a completely separate app, and will they do that? Who knows? They haven’t said a thing about it, so…
Muggle Mail: Harry Potter DVD Box Sets
Andrew: Next e-mail is from Katryana, 22, of Palmdale:
“I was just listening to the recent episode. I was surprised that Andrew said that the box sets for the DVDs would not make as much money, and would most likely be a gift for younger generations. Personally, I don’t know if this makes me less of a fan, I stopped buying the DVDs after the second film. This is because I assumed that they would come out with a box set, so I’ve been waiting for this edition for almost ten years. I would assume that there are other fans who are my age and grew up with the series that have also made the same choice back then at different points. I think the box set will profit well, just as much as ‘HP DH Part 2’ will. Love you guys!”
Eric: Well, now I’m just going to say…
Andrew: I think she’s right.
Eric: Yeah, I’m just going to say the same thing I said at the beginning of the show: please wait, there’s another box set coming, and it’s coming next year sometime, allegedly, so I would really, really wait. If you want to get the definitive collection, it’s not this one that’s coming out in November.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, I guess now I’m wondering, why do I buy the DVDs?
Andrew: I really only watch them once when they come out. But I guess it’s just because I’m a fan, and I want to buy it when it’s out.
Eric: Are you talking about you yourself, personally?
Andrew: And most people.
Andrew: I mean, how many times do you guys…
Micah: How much replay value is there?
Andrew: Right, how many times do you guys pop in the DVDs?
Eric: Well, I…
Andrew: You probably haven’t since it came out, right?
Eric: Right. I only really – now that I think about it, I bought the DVDs so that I could screen-cap them for the Caption Contest, but both that and…
Eric: …my screen-capping has gone the way of the dictaphone, here. I haven’t really had any use for the DVDs. Gosh, why do I own those movies?
Micah: I mean, I’ll watch the movies if I come across them on TV every now and then, but…
Andrew: Yeah, exactly! I…
Micah: I won’t sit down and pop them into the computer, or…
Andrew: Right. You know, Part 1 just started playing on HBO, and it – I watched bits and pieces of it because it’s easy. You just turn it on and you just switch to the channel, and it’s there. It’s easier than putting in a DVD.
Eric: They just have to…
Andrew: Which makes me sound really lazy, but…
Micah: It was funny, I – my dad was watching it one night, and I walked downstairs where he was and he said to me, “Which one is this?”
Andrew: You should have said, “Number one.”
Micah: [laughs] Number one?
Eric: “It’s that dark?”
Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul
Andrew: All right, final e-mail today is a Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul. It’s from Brandon Hudson, 24, of Salisbury, Maryland:
“I have been a fan of yours for over three years now. The joy that you guys bring to my iPod and daily life are definitely helpful. I am a full-time working husband and father of two. On top of that, I also go to college full time and am managing to maintain a GPA of 4.0. After being asked by people numerous times how I am able to balance all of these things, I usually come clean and let them know about you guys. I tend to live everyday without stress because I listen to at least one of your podcasts while at work everyday, so I want to sincerely thank you for all that you have contributed to ‘Harry Potter’ and your fellow fans like myself. Listening to you guys on a daily basis really gives me the time I need to reflect and remember that there is nothing to worry about day to day, and I am always able to smile and laugh along with you guys. As a ‘HP’ fan from the very beginning, I can safely say that there is no other fandom like ours. I just wish that those who are not fans of ‘HP’ could experience the overwhelming community and friendship we share with one another. Looking back, it’s amazing that one boy wizard and a world of magic can bring so many people together. As a ‘Potter’ fan, I feel very fortunate for everything I am given that is in relation to the world of witchcraft and wizardry. We have amazing movies, amazing books, a theme park, Pottermore, and all types of merchandise. JK Rowling has made me feel special in my own way for being a fan of her work, and for that reason I am especially thankful to her even though I will probably never meet her. However, I am able to at least e-mail you guys and know that you will read it so I can express my gratitude. Once again, I would like to thank you all at MuggleNet and MuggleCast for all of the great times, and I can’t wait until the next podcast. ‘Potter’ Pride! Brandon.”
Eric: Wow. Brandon, thank you for writing this letter to us. I would say, judging by what you’ve got going on, that you say in the letter, that you are a tremendous example of a working guy, a father, and it’s really wonderful to get this e-mail from you. You’re definitely – you’re setting an example, I think, for others out there.
Andrew: Yeah. And good luck with school and keeping up with all the work. We all know it’s a lot to balance. And yeah, thanks for the support. I like to listen to podcasts, too, to help relieve stress, especially when I go to bed. I know we’ve talked about it before, it does help to fall asleep hearing people talk, and not in like, “Oh, they’re so boring,” way.
Micah: And when you’re taking care of your kids, too, right?
Announcement: Upcoming Episodes
Andrew: Right. Exactly. Well, I don’t do that. But anyway, we want to remind you guys that over the next few weeks there’s quite a few special MuggleCast episodes coming up. Our next one, Episode 242, will be our Deathly Hallows – Part 2 DVD review. We will break down everything in the DVD. We will watch it once and then never use it again. [laughs] Also, next month we’ll do our first ever DVD commentary for Deathly Hallows – Part 2. That’ll be a special episode…
Micah: So, we will use it again.
Andrew: Oh, right. Yeah, we’ll use it twice.
Eric: [laughs] Oh.
Micah: [laughs] And then it becomes a coaster.
Eric: Maybe eBay, guys, right? A few signed copies out there?
Andrew: Yeah. And then tentatively, we’re going to have coverage from the Quidditch World Cup. Either that, or somewhere else. That one is still up in the air, but there will be an episode possibly from the Quidditch World Cup and if not there, then somewhere else. And then of course, our year-in-review episode where we’ll break down everything that has happened this year. It’s been another busy year of Harry Potter. And we’ll look forward to what’s to come in 2012.
Announcement: MuggleNet’s Pumpkin Carving Contest
Eric: So, this is the last episode…
Andrew: And then also…
Eric: …before Halloween, you said? So…
Andrew: Yes! Segue!
Eric: Yeah. Happy Halloween, everybody!
Andrew: Oh, I thought you were going to bring up the…
Eric: Oh yeah, that thing.
Eric: Happy Halloween, everybody!
Andrew: No, no! What’s in the notes here. [laughs]
Micah: All right. Well, since Eric is not paying attention to the doc, [laughs] kind of in conjunction with Halloween – I’m not sure how we’re going to do it just yet, but we plan on giving away a copy of Harry Potter: Page to Screen and I think the part that Andrew was referring to is that MuggleNet is conducting a Harry Potter pumpkin carving contest, and the top prize will also receive a copy of Harry Potter: Page to Screen. So guys, we have to come up with something here on the podcast, a means of giving away an additional copy of Harry Potter: Page to Screen.
Eric: I vote we just give it to that Hilary girl who came up with that MuggleCast pumpkin. You guys seen this? It’s on YouTube and I’m pretty sure she’s going to enter the contest, but she carved our faces and the lightning bolt and the words “MuggleCast” onto one pumpkin.
Andrew: Yeah, it’s awesome! Thank you, Hilary, for doing that.
Eric: [laughs] I don’t know how she did it, honestly. I want that kind of skill. But yeah, essentially – so MuggleNet is having this pumpkin carving contest. There’s this super cool MuggleCast pumpkin and yeah, I’m sure that if we put out head together, guys, we can figure out how to give another one of these HarperCollins books away. But obviously for an upcoming episode, so stay tuned for that!
Announcement: Game of Owns
Andrew: And finally, a plug for a new site Micah and Eric are working on. Micah, tell us about it!
Micah: Yeah, for those listeners out there who are fans of the Game of Thrones series, whether you read the books or got into the HBO television series, there’s a new website out there called GameOfOwns.com and it’s kind of a play on “Game of Thrones,” so all the information you could possibly want is there, on the books, on the television series, on the actors, and a lot of buzz going on right now with Season 2, which is going to be on TV in April 2012, but a lot of casting news and things like that going on. We’re working on some cool features as well for the site, but also gallery and forums. You can get together with feather…
Micah: Feather? [laughs] Fellow Game of Thrones fans and talk about whatever it is that you’re interested in with respect to the series.
Eric: So, Micah, you like – how would compare those books to Harry Potter? Because I haven’t read them yet, but do they compare?
Micah: [laughs] There are some different themes that run through the books. There’s some – a lot more adult content in this series than in Harry Potter, but I think for the more adult listeners on the show, then it’s something of interest, and give it a read or at least give it a watch, and watch the first episode of Game of Thrones on HBO because that’s how I got into it. It’s very similar to how I got into Potter. I saw the films and then read the books. I saw the TV series and now started reading – it’s called A Song of Ice and Fire series, but there’s currently five books that are out and there appears – there will be at least seven, so there is that tie to Harry Potter, I guess, but follow us on Twitter at GameOfOwns or just go onto the website, GameOfOwns.com. You can also like us on Facebook, so…
Eric: That’s O-W-N-S, for “Owns.”
Micah: Yes. So, Andrew, I know you’ve checked it out. You’re a fan…
Andrew: Yeah, I like it. Well, I haven’t read the books or seen the…
Micah: But you like the website.
Andrew: [laughs] But I like the website.
Micah: But, yeah. No, it’s a project that I’ve been working on, as you said, with Eric, also Zack who’s a friend of ours, and Amy who’s another friend. So – or she’s Blaire now, I’m not sure. She changed her name. But…
Andrew: Well, don’t – also remember that we – also remember another website. MuggleCast.com has all the information you need about this show…
Micah: [laughs] Does it? Really?
Andrew: Yeah. Well, I’m moving along here. Don’t forget, you can click “Contact” at the top and submit anything via feedback form. Also there, we have links to our Twitter which is Twitter.com/MuggleCast, Facebook which is Facebook.com/MuggleCast, and our fan Tumblr which is MuggleCast.Tumblr.com.
[Show music begins]
Andrew: Thanks everyone for listening! From Hypable, I’m Andrew Sims.
Eric: From MuggleNet, I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: From Game of Owns, I’m Micah Tannenbaum. [laughs] That’s what…
Micah: …Andrew was looking for at the top of the show.
Andrew: That was. We’ll see everyone next time for Episode 242. Goodbye!
Eric: Happy Halloween! [imitates a spooky ghost laughing]
[Show music continues]