Transcript #251

MuggleCast 251 Transcript

Show Intro

[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]

Andrew: Because there’s something in the water, this is MuggleCast Episode 251 for April 5th, 2012.

[Show music begins]

Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 251, and we have a special guest here this week: Keith Hawk. You may know him from MuggleNet, recently traveling abroad to cover the release – the opening – of the studio tour, the Harry Potter studio tour. And it’s Keith’s first time on MuggleCast, save for the live show at LeakyCon. So welcome, Keith, who sounds like Mikey.

Keith: Oh, thank you very much! Oh, thank you, yeah. I sound just like him, I’m sure.

Andrew: I was struck by your voice when you came on this call. I was like, “Mikey? I called the wrong person.”

Keith: It’s immediate success.

Micah: That’s a compliment of the highest order.

Andrew: Yes. Just don’t talk about…

Keith: I’m sure.

Andrew:Star Wars like he does, too much. Yeah, so actually, we are going to kick off the show like we always do with the news, but the focus of this episode is going to be the studio tour and we are also going to talk about where we are going to be this summer. And also Pottermore now that it’s about to open. By the time you’re listening to this episode, it may actually already be open.

Eric: Ooh!

Andrew: And we got some tweets and Chicken Soup and a whole lot more. I’m Andrew Sims.

Eric: I’m Eric Scull.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Keith: And I’m Keith Hawk.

News: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London Opens

Andrew: All right, Micah. So what is in the news this week, please? I guess we’ll start with the studio tour, but tell us about it. Was it a big opening?

Micah: Yeah, the studio tour officially opened. I believe the official name is The Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter.

Andrew: London.

Micah: Oh, London.

Andrew: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: This is like that event down in Orlando a couple of months ago.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Oh yes.

Micah: It’s just…

Andrew: Harry Potter Home Entertainment Celebration.

Micah: Let’s make it as corporate as we possibly can…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: …and take all the fun out of the name.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: But it opened this past Saturday. A big red carpet event out at Leavesden Studios, a lot of the cast and crew were in attendance, and it’s now officially open to the public. And as you mentioned, Keith got the opportunity to go and tour the tour a little bit early. So let’s start off, I guess. Keith, kind of give us your initial impressions of you getting out there, seeing the studio for the first time, and then walking in and – walk us through a little bit of the tour.

Main Discussion: Harry Potter Studio Tour – Overall Thoughts

Keith: Sure. First of all, it’s just something that every Harry Potter fan has got to go to. It’s just insane. I mean, you can read the books twenty million times, you can watch all the films, you can read the set reports, but until you actually step foot in that Great Hall for the first time you just don’t appreciate the details that they went through to make this thing. It’s just – I can’t say enough about how amazing it was. Now, I guess they built these studios exclusively for this tour. So, Andrew, when you used to go to all these sets and you’ve seen the sets before with all the actors and everything…

Andrew: Yeah.

Keith: …it was in a different area. The studios that they filmed in were in the hangars.

Andrew: Right. It was basically the same land. When you drive up to Leavesden Studios, you’re still going to Leavesden Studios, you’re still going to Leavesden Studios. They didn’t move it across the street per se, it’s still on the same property, they just built new places for all these sets to be permanently housed. And of course, it’s nicer than the hangars that all the sets used to be in, because back when they were filming you would approach this place and you would never guess that the top-grossing franchise of all time was shot in this hangar.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Which I guess is good – I was going to say, “To keep it secret,” but there was giant “Leavesden Studios” lettering across it. But yeah, so based on the – I haven’t been there yet for the studio tour, but based on the concept art it looks like they built a whole new exterior, which is – I’m glad they did that, because – I don’t know, it was a pretty trashy area.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: This is where the catering wagon was.

[Eric and Keith laugh]

Andrew: Right. Yes, exactly.

Eric: It’s this crooked lot.

Keith: This is probably where they played cricket all the time.

Main Discussion: Harry Potter Studio Tour – Arrival

Andrew: So, as a Harry Potter fan, when you’re approaching this area – because I remember approaching the sets, it was very exciting. I mean, you must have been getting more and more excited as you drove closer. I assume you were on a bus or something.

Keith: Yeah.

Andrew: You could probably see it from a distance.

Keith: Right, and that’s one thing I wanted to say to everybody, is how to get there first. Obviously it’s about a twenty-minute train ride from London out to Watford Junction, and then you go out…

Eric: King’s Cross?

Keith: No, no, actually London Euston.

Eric: Oh.

Keith: So you take this train ride out to Watford Junction and then you go out to the bus area, and here comes this big WB Studios tour bus. It’s a regular double-decker but it’s black, it has Diagon Alley on it, and it has all the wording on it. So the bus is just incredibly beautiful to look at. And you’re so excited all you do is start snapping pictures all over the place, so I have like ten pictures of the bus.

[Andrew and Keith laugh]

Keith: So I guess – well, they’re going to have three buses rotating for the public to go back and forth, and it’s a two-pound bus ride to go to the studios. It’s only about a ten-minute drive, it’s not far at all. So you’re on this bus with other Harry Potter fans and you’re all excited, and then you see the studios and your breath is just taken away. You see these massive yellow buildings, they call them Studio J and Studio K, is where the studio tour is in now.

Eric: Awww, I just got that.

Andrew: Is that for J.K…

Keith: You got it!

Andrew: …Rowling?

Keith: Yup!

Andrew: Seriously, they did it for her?

Keith: Yes!

Andrew: Oh wow.

Keith: Yes, they did it for her. That’s exactly right. I’m glad you picked up on that. [laughs] I would’ve been disappointed if you didn’t. It’s a massive parking lot, and the buses pull right up and then you see “Welcome to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour.” And it’s beautiful. I mean, the landscaping is done nice, the entire area is just absolutely beautifully done. And once you’re done snapping pictures outside, you walk inside into this massive entrance, and all you notice right away is all the portraits above the entrance. I counted them, I think there was 21 or 22, I forget now. But all the portraits – and it’s the young Harry, Dan Radcliffe, young Emma Watson, young Rupert Grint, and then the older they got. There’s Neville, Luna, Dumbledore – I mean, all the characters that you love are on this wall in massive detail, and it’s just beautiful to walk in to. So…

Eric: When you say portrait, did these photos have – did these portraits have a use in the film, or were they designed for the lobby area after the fact? Do you think that these were ever used…

Andrew: They were from Empire magazine, I think. I saw pictures – somebody took pictures of the insides and I remember those portraits. I think they’re from Empire.

Eric: Oh.

Keith: Well, they were hi-def shots, for sure.

Andrew: From the Part 2 film release.

Keith: Yeah, but they were high definition shots, and they were massive posters and yet so crystal clear, so it’s amazing that you’re seeing Dan Radcliffe from ten years ago and he’s in real crystal clear imagery up on that wall. So that was pretty cool, just to see how they grew as they got older and stuff. It’s kind of just a recapture for you of what the past ten years have been like for the visitor. After that…

Andrew: So…

Keith: Go ahead.

Andrew: Oh. Well – go ahead, sorry.

Keith: Well, just in this entrance hall, they have a coat check and bag check in case you need that for the winter time or whatever you’re carrying, so they do have that accommodation. They have an eating area right off the wing before you go in, and they also have – to the right is the gift shop. I guess you can go in there – I didn’t go in there to look right away, I saved that for the end, but outside of the gift shop they have two window displays: one of a little bit of Honeydukes, and the treat cart – the candy cart from the Hogwarts Express is in there, and then on the left side is some of the robes and stuff.

Andrew: At which point do you get the Butterbeer? Is that in the tour, or…

Keith: That’s during the tour.

Andrew: …is that outside…

Keith: It’s the midway point.

Andrew: During the tour?

Keith: Yup.

Andrew: Really?

Keith: Yup.

Andrew: And do you have to pay for it, or is it free?

Keith: I wish it was free. No, you pay for it.

[Andrew laughs]

Keith: They’re going to get you everywhere.

Eric: Oh, so…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: [laughs] Well, one of the things I wanted to ask – you said that you did the gift shop at the end, but did the bags for it that you get – do they say Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter, or do they say something a little bit more fancy?

Keith: No, they’re just nice plastic bags that say “WB Studio Tour.”

Eric: Oh okay.

Keith: I have several of them.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: So even – I was going to say, because even the bags aren’t abiding by the name then, which seems to be really long and we all have…

Andrew: Well, because eventually they want to expand the studio tour to other films. They don’t want it to just be Harry Potter forever.

Eric: Right. So “Warner Bros. Studio Tour…”

Keith: Do you think that’s going to happen?

Eric: “…Burbank, California: The Making of…”

Andrew: They have said that.

Eric: They already have a studio tour in their home lot in Burbank.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: But that’s actually more like the history of WB. The water tower’s there, and it’s all really cool. But yeah, I don’t know. I just guess – it’s just such a long, diplomatic title, so I wondered what was on the gift shop bags.

Keith: I mean, I don’t…

Main Discussion: Harry Potter Studio Tour – Tour Guides

Andrew: What would you say was your favorite – okay, well first of all, how long was the tour itself? And you were with a guide, right?

Keith: Well no, you’re only with a guide in the very beginning. When you first enter, you go into this small room and they have eight poster-sized screens on display, and while everybody’s gathering in there they’re showing you posters from the films from every different country. So you’re seeing the France poster, the German poster, the Iranian poster, things like that just flashing around. And then they do a short film on how David Heyman acquired the rights to it, so tonight’s introduction to how the beginning of this thing came from Dave’s assistant who read the book – and I can’t remember her name, sorry – and she brought it in and Dave goes, “Did anybody read anything good?” and she’s like, “Yeah, this is something you definitely want to read.” And this was a girl who was never excited about anything and all of a sudden she’s excited in this meeting, so David took the book home and there we go, we got the next twelve years covered.

Micah: I hope she got her cut.

[Eric laughs]

Keith: I hope she did too. I never heard of her name, so I hope she got recognized.

Eric: That was part of the agreement, I guess.

Keith: Yeah. So once you’re done with that little film – and you’re standing in this room, they take you from that room into a cinema area where you sit down for another film. And this cinema is half moon-shaped, basically, the seats. It’s almost like you’re in a regular theater. Real nice comfortable seats, and they basically – they show you another ten/fifteen minute film, but it’s the trio talking about the ten years and some of their moments and what you’re going to see on the tour. So that was really nice. Now, this is where it got exciting though, is – all right, you’re anxious to go in and see these things, right? And here the film ends, and you think they’re going to escort you off to the right. Well, no. The freaking screen goes up and there’s the Great Hall doors right in front of you. You’re like, “Whoa!”

Andrew: Oh, very cool.

Eric: Whoa.

Keith: “Oh wow!”

[Andrew laughs]

Keith: And the statues that came to life in Deathly Hallows, they’re right there. So from the cinema, the screen goes up and bam, you’re right into it. So they guide you through the Great Hall doors and they do a very basic tour of the Great Hall, and I mean very basic. They’ll point out a couple of things to you. From that moment on through the rest of the tour, you’re on your own.

Andrew: And you can spend as long as you want there.

Keith: As long as you want, but they want you out of the Great Hall before the next tour starts.

Andrew: I see.

Keith: Now, you can come back in after they’re in. So if you didn’t get pictures of something that you really want to get pictures of in the Great Hall, you just have to step out for a little bit and then you can come back in. They generally don’t want you going backwards, obviously, through this thing.

Andrew: Right.

Keith: But the way it flows, it actually works out really well.

Eric: Now, is there – I was going to say, is there a theme? And one of the questions I want to ask – you got to see the exhibit, right? When it was in – was it when it was in New York, you saw it? And so there’s the eight posters, and it plays a little movie and then you go through sort of – and there’s different themes, different areas. Was it at all like that? Or how was this laid out in comparison or in contrast?

Keith: That was – the exhibit to me was a little bit of a mishmash of everything.

Eric: Okay.

Keith: Where – and it was more prop…

Micah: And it was [unintelligible] that was a huge thing.

Keith: Yeah, and it was more prop-oriented so you saw the costumes and stuff like that. But here, you’re seeing the sets and the actual pieces that they used. Now, I’m not saying they didn’t use them in the exhibit.

Eric: Right, right.

Keith: I think they actually do use them, but they’re like the second sets and third sets of things.

Eric: Yeah, yeah.

Keith: So this set that you’re seeing in here of all the costumes and all the props are the real ones that were in the movies.

Eric: Right.

Andrew: And there’s also that special feeling of, “Well, this is where they were actually shot. These are the real sets.” I mean, they can’t replicate the Great Hall in the Harry Potter Exhibition. These are the types of things that will only ever be seen at the studio tour in Leavesden.

Eric: Yeah. I mean, they’re too big to move, at the very least.

Andrew: Yeah. And I mean, there’s so much history, especially with the Great Hall set. I mean, that one and a couple of others have been there forever. And just think about how many hours were spent there by the cast.

Eric: Oh my God, I can’t. That just blows my mind. But how do they – if there’s no tour guide, how do they really convey that? How do they tell you stories? Are there plaques on each set that tell you a little bit of history? Or how do you get that information? Because I imagine, with ten years of filming on those sets, there’s tons of stories to talk about, about each set. So is there any kind of guide or a way to…

Keith: Yeah…

Eric: How does that work?

Keith: Well, there is plaque cards with every set that tells you a basic story of it. It’s nothing major, it’s nothing that you don’t already know. It’s an introduction to – they have a producer screen, and they’ll show you all the producers. They’ll have a plaque card of all the directors, the screenwriters, and things like that. And each set has its own piece, you know? This is The Burrow, this is the Gryffindor Common Room, etc. So they do have a plaque there, but you know what? The key to this tour are the staff members that actually work there. They have just as much knowledge as us, in the Harry Potter films. In fact, four of the staff members that I met actually were extras in the films.

Andrew: Oh, that’s cool.

Eric: Oh!

Keith: So – in fact, the one girl I met, she – I want to say her name right. It was Katie Rosedale. She was doing the Dumbledore’s Office set for us and I got to talking to her for a while. And she was in four of the films from Order of the Phoenix on as a Slytherin. Actually, from Goblet of Fire, I’m sorry. From Goblet of Fire on, she was a Slytherin student. So when Beauxbatons and the Durmstrang guys came in and doing all their thing, she’s sitting right behind Ron and Harry. So she said she saw herself on the big screen, it was kind of cool. But they’ve been so entwined into this and they’ve been filming in the Great Hall, so they have that extra knowledge of how this stuff is put together.

Eric: Well, what was she doing there if she wasn’t a guide?

Keith: They’re just – there are staff members stationed at each area that are fully in tune with every little detail about that particular set.

Eric: Oh okay. So it’s like in a museum.

Keith: So if you have a question…

Eric: Right.

Keith: Yes.

Eric: Okay.

Keith: If you have a question on something, go to them. And I really encourage any visitor to talk to these staff members. They’ll give you information that you just didn’t know.

Andrew: And there’s also the digital guide narrated by Tom Felton. That’s an extra five quid.

Keith: It is. I didn’t listen to it, I didn’t get that, so I don’t know what that’s like.

Andrew: I hear Tom Felton just…

Keith: I would imagine that’d be really…

Andrew: …plugs his Twitter account on it.

[Eric and Keith laugh]

Main Discussion: Harry Potter Studio Tour – Favorite Sets

Andrew: Okay, so what would you say is your top three to five sets? The ones that I guess most wowed you or you just…

Eric: I was going to say, how many sets were there overall? Do we know?

Micah: Three to five.

Keith: You name it, it was there. It was…

Andrew: Eighty-five?

Micah: No, three to five.

Andrew: Oh.

Micah: I was…

Andrew: [laughs] Three to five?

Keith: Boy, narrowing it down to two – I mean, let’s just take Great Hall out of it because I think that’s going to be…

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Keith: …everyone’s favorite, okay? I think that’s just the natural favorite. The Potions Classroom was amazing. And then…

Eric: Is it – which Potions classroom is it? Is it the…

Keith: It’s actually a double-jointed one. It’s the entire Potions classroom, and on one end you have Snape and on the other end you have Slughorn. But they have – the entire room is filled with potion jars. And these potion jars – there’s hundreds of them, okay? I mean, literally hundreds of them. Each one of them has something different inside and hand-labeled with a different name, so there’s no duplicates. And in fact, the person that was standing in front of the Potions classroom was telling us – it was my friend Josee and I – and they were telling us that they would go out to a toy store, for instance, and just get some junk toys, right? Or whatever they could find. And so they got like a toy frog. Well, they would take the frog legs off and then they would do stuff with it, and put it in a jar and label it. So I mean…

Micah: [laughs] That sounds sadistic, almost.

[Eric laughs]

Keith: Yeah. Anything you could think of is in those jars.

[Eric laughs]

Keith: I mean, if you need something it’s probably in there.

Andrew: So top – so what other set? Another one or two?

Keith: Okay, so the Great Hall, the Potion’s Classroom, and then of course, the Hogwarts model is just…

Andrew: Oh yeah.

Keith: Words do not describe what that is like, until you see it.

Eric: Okay, I’ve got to ask: How close can you get to it?

Keith: You’re not going to touch it at all.

Eric: Okay.

Keith: You’re probably going to be ten feet away from any piece of it.

[Eric makes a disappointed sound]

Andrew: It seems so big though, that that doesn’t really matter.

Keith: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, it seems like a large enough scale, but I still worry that I’m going to want to really pour over it.

Andrew: Well, what are you? Four years old? This is a museum! You can’t touch. “Stay away!” says Stuart Craig.

Keith: Well, it’s amazing.

Eric: But I read somewhere else that it was very hands-on.

Keith: Well, the whole tour is hands-on as far as – you can push a couple of little buttons and see some animatronics running. [laughs] That was another cool thing in the creature effects department. You push a little button and you see the Horcrux Voldemort in the King’s Cross area. You see him breathing.

Eric: Oh no!

Andrew: Oh, that’s really cool.

[Keith laughs]

Eric: No! That’s the last thing I wanted to see on that tour. It still haunts my nightmares.

Keith: That is so cool. [laughs]

Eric: Every time I close my eyes I see that thing. I really don’t need to pay to go to London and see it.

Andrew: Is it bloody?

Keith: [laughs] No, it’s not bloody. It’s just white.

Eric: It’s just naked.

Keith: But it’s really cool to push the thing, yeah. [laughs]

Micah: Were there any other interactive elements of the tour?

Keith: There’s a lot of them. There’s a lot of them. In The Burrow, for instance, they have these wands set up so you can move the wand and point it at something. Like, say the iron, and it’ll iron. Or the knitting needles, and it’ll do the knitting needles.

Eric: Oh.

Keith: Or – whatever. There’s a couple of those features in there. The creature effects had a lot of interactive devices in them, but there’s also a movie that plays through the creature effects, and it’s Warwick Davis and Nick Dudman do a film for you. And it’s probably about a four-section film, so you walk into the creature effects area and he starts off with what’s in front of you and how it was originated and created and stuff like that. And then they do a little skit and then he says, “Follow me over here!” so you follow him over there and there’s another piece of it. And it was very funny. I mean, Warwick Davis is hilarious.

Andrew: Yeah.

Keith: And it was just a trip. But going back to the castle for a minute, when you walk into that room, you’re walking on an elevated portion. So you see the top of the castle and obviously there’s a big area there for people to take pictures on. And then gradually, and I mean very slowly, you walk around and down a ramp all the way around it and go back under where you started.

Andrew: Oh cool.

Keith: But take a camera with you that has a good zoom lens on it, and you can create your own shots that you saw in the movie. I did it with where the end of the bridge is and Neville’s standing there going at Scabior, “You and what army?” you know? So I took my camera, I put it right in that position, and I could just picture Neville standing right there.

Eric: That’s cool.

Keith: So really, really cool.

Eric: So there’s grass and stuff on it? And…

Keith: Oh yeah, trees, grass – you would think it’s real.

Eric: Yeah.

Keith: I mean, they – each shingle was laid individually.

Eric: Wow.

Keith: So I mean…

Eric: By, like, sky crane. By, like, Mission Impossible hanging from the ceiling kind of stuff.

Keith: Yeah, exactly. [laughs]

Main Discussion: Harry Potter Studio Tour – Studio J Breakdown

Micah: Now, maybe you mentioned this before, but you said that there’s a Studio J and a Studio K.

Keith: Yeah.

Micah: What’s in between?

Keith: Okay, Studio J is the main set. It has every set that is in the films, with the exception of Diagon Alley. So you have…

Micah: That’s in Orlando in a couple of years.

[Eric laughs]

Keith: Yeah, it is. It’s actually – yeah, you get transported there. It’s a Portkey and you take it right there. But you have the Great Hall, The Burrow, the Potions Room, Dumbledore’s Office, the Ministry of Magic, Umbridge’s Office, just a whole bunch – the Quidditch flying area where you actually get on a broom and fly.

Eric: Was there any…

Keith: And that’s cool.

Eric: That’s cool?

Keith: Oh yeah.

Eric: How do they do that?

Keith: You’re sitting on a broom…

Eric: How is it elevated?

Keith: You put on a robe – they only have one Ravenclaw and the rest are Gryffindors, so sorry for anybody else. But you get on a broom, they – it’s green-screened, and then they tell you, “Go ahead and lean and do whatever you want to,” and you can see yourself on the camera flying through different scenes in the movie. So when they did the escape from Privet Drive to go to Grimmauld Place and they fly across the water there, across the Thames, you’re actually doing that and you see yourself flying.

Eric: Oh cool.

Keith: And then they tell you, “Okay, look at this camera real quick,” and then you look up and look at the camera above, and they take a couple of pictures. And then when you’re done, you get escorted around and they show you your pictures, and of course you want to buy every single one of them. So you go through there. And that wasn’t too bad. It was 12 pounds for one picture, 15 pounds for two, 18 for three, 20 for four.

Eric: Yeah, might as well.

Keith: Just to let people know what you’re spending.

Andrew: How much – how often can you actually touch anything other than the interactive elements? How often – I know in the Great Hall it seems like they have it roped off towards the end where the professors table is, if you will. How often are you able to really get within a set?

Keith: You’re not.

Andrew: No?

Eric: Oh.

Keith: No. You’re not able to really touch anything. I mean, you can reach over and touch some of the costumes. In Studio J, they have a bunch of the costumes. They have a Fleur Delacour outfit, which is really cool, with all of the measurements and everything on how they made it. They have a lot of Evanna Lynch’s costumes in there: the Christmas tree dress that she has, her sundress from the wedding at Deathly Hallows, a whole bunch of those things. And you could probably reach over and touch them, but they’ll probably smack your hand off or do something of that idea.

Andrew: That’s what those people are there for, Eric.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: You were wondering their purpose? That’s what. And they’re worth every penny.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: Well, the – so you can’t go up to the teachers table and – or even the podium that Dumbledore has…

Keith: No.

Eric: …and say, [imitating Dumbledore] “Silence!”?

Keith: No, it’s all roped off in the front of the stairs.

Andrew: That was kind of something that…

Keith: Oh, I would do that. Now, you know I would do that.

Eric: I feel like that’s misrepresenting…

Keith: Andrew’s seen me do that.

[Andrew and Keith laugh]

Andrew: That was something that kind of bothered me about the theme park, the queue for the Great Hall. You can go in and you can see Dumbledore’s office and it’s cool, but I feel like the ropes really take you out of the scene. They go on and on about how immersive everything is, but then they have these ropes up everywhere so you can’t walk up. And I get why they have those, but it’s just…

Eric: Well, with the theme park, too, you can’t get too close because then you’ll realize that Dumbledore’s a hologram and he’s not really there.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: That’s true.

Andrew: True.

Eric: But I think with the…

Micah: He’s like Santa.

Eric: At least he’s… [laughs]

Andrew: Like if you want to take a picture of the…

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: …Mirror of Erised at the Wizarding World for example…

Eric: That’s true. That’s…

Andrew: …there’s a gate right in front of it! You can’t take a good picture.

Eric: There’s two lines, in fact, in that. The thing with the ride is that it’s just a queue for a ride. So areas – like the entire inside of Hogwarts, if there’s anything you wanted to see, you pretty much have to just walk right by it while you’re in line, when that line is full. So that’s why that is not a sufficient Hogwarts experience like the studio tours, maybe.

Main Discussion: Harry Potter Studio Tour – Outdoor Sets

Micah: Yeah, just going back though, Keith, what’s in between the two studios?

Keith: You go from Studio J and then you go outside and you grab your Butterbeer, that’s where they serve that. And outside are some of the outside sets. The Knight Bus is out there, the Ford Anglia is out there, Privet Drive, the gravestone for Tom Riddle from Goblet of Fire is out there…

Andrew: Oh cool.

Keith: …the Potters’ cottage is out there. And also the bridge. The bridge is out there, that Neville runs across.

Eric: Awww, no way!

Keith: Yeah. So you can’t walk on it, but you can take a picture of it, and you can see down how it curves and all that stuff, so that was pretty neat.

Eric: Wait, wasn’t that blown up?

Keith: It was. They magically reconstructed it, it was a Reparo.

Eric: Oh!

Andrew: I think they reconstructed a lot of things for this.

Eric: Reparo Maxima!

Main Discussion: Harry Potter Studio Tour – Butterbeer

Andrew: If you want more Butterbeer, can you go back and buy it?

Keith: Yeah. Yeah, you can.

Andrew: Okay. And how much is it?

Keith: I want to say it was 2.50, but don’t take my word on it…

Andrew: Oh, that’s not bad.

Keith: …because I don’t really remember.

Andrew: And it’s the same mugs as in…

Keith: Oh, no.

Andrew: …the Wizarding World park, right?

Keith: No. Oh, no.

Andrew: Oh, no? [laughs]

Keith: It’s a little plastic cup you’re getting.

Andrew: “Oh, no.”

Eric: A little plastic cup?

Keith: Yeah.

Andrew: Does it say “Studio Tour” on it, I guess?

Keith: No, no. I mean, seriously, it’s a clear plastic cup that you get at Kmart.

Andrew: Right. Oh.

Eric: I wonder if they’ll change that.

Andrew: That’s a bit disappointing.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Though I know in the Wizarding World you can get it in plastic cups, and it just says “Wizarding World” on it.

Keith: You know, I didn’t ask. I didn’t ask. So maybe you can. I really don’t know.

Eric: Well, did they have – it obviously – they kept the foam, right?

Keith: Yeah, they kept the foam. They said they brought the same recipe on. Now, Josee said that it wasn’t the same. Now, I know, I’m a bad Harry Potter fan, I’ve never been to the Wizarding World, sorry. Forgive me.

Eric: Wait a minute, you were totally down at the hotel outside the Wizarding World.

Keith: I was down there for that one day, remember? I flew back to Atlanta.

Eric: Oh right.

Andrew: Oh, that’s right.

Eric: I forgot about that.

Keith: Yeah, so I was only down there for the one day. But anyway…

Eric: So no Butterbeer.

Keith: Yeah, so…

Andrew: Well…

Keith: …Josee said it was the same recipe but not the same taste, so I don’t know.

Andrew: It’s the water. I’m telling you, it’s the water.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: Yeah, I was just going to say. [laughs] It’s the British water.

Andrew: Because they had it at Wizarding World: Los Angeles, the grand opening, too, and they had the Butterbeer, and I was really excited to have it. And then I tasted it. I’m like, “This is different.”

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: “This is made with smoggy LA water. No wonder.”

Keith: Well, was it more carbonated, do you think?

Andrew: No, it wasn’t. I can’t even tell. It was just a taste thing. It was a taste thing.

Keith: Because this one seemed really carbonated. It seemed like it was pure cream soda, you know what I mean?

Andrew: Yeah, I mean – well, at the Wizarding World it does taste like cream soda. I really – it’s great that the studio tour has this, because a lot of these people in England, I imagine, probably have no plans to go to a Harry Potter theme park. So to get it there in England, where the films and books were created, I think that’s special.

Eric: I think what’s funny about it, or what must be funny about the studio tour, is that all the employees are speaking in British accents, but the people who go to see the studio tour, who live around there, will be least surprised [laughs] or appreciative of that fact.

Keith: I don’t know if I believe that. I think there’s going to be a lot of visitors coming in from the UK, overall. I mean, I think there are going to be a handy amount of people in there from the UK. It’s their biggest attraction they’re going to have.

MuggleCast 251 Transcript (continued)

Main Discussion: Harry Potter Studio Tour – Was The Trip Worth It?

Andrew: I wanted…

Eric: Well, I mean, what – yeah, go ahead, Andrew.

Andrew: I wanted to ask: Is this worth it for somebody coming over from the US? Or elsewhere?

Keith: It’s an expensive trip. I mean, the secret to me – in my opinion, the secret to going over to the UK for a Harry Potter experience is not only the studio tour, but then do like Josee and I did, and we spent a day in London finding things in the books. We found Charing Cross Road, we ate in a shabby cafe off of Tottenham Court Road like they did in Deathly Hallows

[Andrew laughs]

Keith: …we looked for the Leaky Cauldron entrance, we went to Paddington Station and had a hamburger like Hagrid and Harry did in Sorcerer’s Stone.

Eric: Awww.

Keith: So we made our own little adventure, and then it becomes worth it when you can have some fun like that.

Andrew: Yeah.

Keith: So if you’re going to go, I really encourage you to take a friend with you that has a little bit of a love for Harry Potter and just go nuts.

Andrew: Yeah. I mean, I can see this being the perfect addition to anybody’s tour of England if they’re going over there for other things as well. It doesn’t seem like it’s worth it – and I don’t think anybody was expecting this anyway, but I don’t think it’s worth it just for the studio tour.

Keith: No, you have to do other things.

Andrew: I think you have to do other things…

Keith: Yeah.

Andrew: …like in London, specifically. Yeah.

Keith: Well, there’s that Harry Potter London Taxi Tour that you could take.

Andrew: Yeah.

Keith: I didn’t take it, but I heard that’s pretty good. And it’s a little expensive, but I heard it wasn’t bad.

Andrew: That used to be really good when they were actually filming, because they would take you to the sets, I think. Or try to get you into the sets.

Eric: I haven’t even heard about this. What’s this?

Andrew: Oh yeah, we were posting set pictures from these all the time…

Eric: Oh man.

Andrew: …because they would go into these tours, and while they’re taking these people on tours, they would take pictures and then post them on their website, and then we’d repost them.

Eric: [laughs] Wow.

Andrew: Yeah. It was ñ I think it was the London Bus Company or something like that.

Keith: London ñ yeah, it’s called London Taxi Tour.

Andrew: Oh, that’s it. Okay. Yeah, you’re right.

Keith: Yup.

Eric: London Taxi Tour. The ñ what else was I going to say? Yeah, I pretty much lost it, so…

[Andrew laughs]

Keith: Okay.

[Micah laughs]

Keith: So…

Andrew: Well, I guess we can probably start wrapping up the studio tour talk, right?

Keith: Well, that was Studio J and outside. Now you have to get into Studio K, if you don’t mind.

Andrew: Oh okay.

Eric: So what’s going on?

Main Discussion: Harry Potter Studio Tour – Studio K Breakdown

Keith: Well, Studio K has Diagon Alley in it, so that’s the only set that’s in there that you didn’t see before. But then there’s also all the creature effects and how they made the films: the miniatures, the architectural plans that are all laid out on walls. You see all the details from creative art to the architect to the miniature model to the finished production. So you see all the stages that they did. And just to put a little emphasis on it, these guys are masters of art, and that’s why this film has been so successful. I mean, these guys love everything that they do, and they go way above and beyond of what you’ll see in a movie. So the details were just extraordinary. So then you get done with that, you go through the Hogwarts model area, and then you finish up your tour in this wand room. And in this wand room – it’s almost like walking into an Ollivander’s, a modern Ollivander’s ñ and there’s over 4,000 wand boxes with each name of every person that’s ever worked on the film. So we’re talking from drivers to caterers to J.K. Rowling. I mean, everybody in between.

Andrew: I’m in there, too. I swept the floor once, so I got… [unintelligible]

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Keith: Yeah. I think I saw your box.

Andrew: Yeah.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Micah: Whoa.

[Andrew and Keith laugh]

Keith: Oh God. So anyway, the guy who’s in there is telling you about some of the stories of these people that helped produce. And the funny thing for me was I was telling him a few stories, too, and he was like, “Okay, I’m going to add that to my repertoire here.”

Andrew: Oh cool.

Keith: So it was kind of fun. And then you go out through the gift shop, and if you think your tour is done, it’s not. Look around, because the walls of the gift shop are from the Gringotts set.

Eric: Oh.

Andrew: Wait, say that again. The walls are what?

Keith: The walls in the gift shop…

Andrew: Yeah?

Keith: …were from the set of the Gringotts. So when you walk into the gift shop…

Eric: How do you know? Is there something distinctive?

Keith: …you’re looking at part of Gringotts. Yes, you can tell it’s from Gringotts.

Andrew: Like how? What is it, stone? Marble?

Keith: Yeah, just the way it’s designed up and everything. It’s actually pieces of the wall from Gringotts are behind the cash registers and stuff. I mean, it’s just – everywhere you go there’s something to see and touch, so keep your eyes open and just look for these little nuances, and you’ll really have a major experience.

Main Discussion: Harry Potter Studio Tour – Excluded Sets

Eric: Do you think – if they were to build a third tower, the R Tower, what would they have in it, do you think? Would they have the actors? What would you like to see if they built a third tower to that tour?

Andrew: What sets would you like to see added?

Eric: Yeah.

Keith: That’s a really good question.

Eric: Was there anything left out that you think – because this is supposed to be the definitive – to hell with the exhibition, to hell with any tours, to hell with anything else. This is Leavesden. This is HP, Harry Potter. Warner Bros. is going to do it right. What would you want to see that there was more of? Would you want more films and interviews and that kind of thing?

Keith: Yeah. I mean, I guess I would love to see The Burrow…

Eric: Or were there any props…

Keith: I would love to see The Burrow in full scale. I would love to see maybe the wedding tent. Maybe a facade of the Quidditch World Cup Stadium.

Eric: Ooh. Yeah, because I wonder how much of that was – obviously not – the wide shots of it were probably all CGI, but even the little bits of set that there were. What about the tent? Was that a set that you saw?

Keith: I didn’t see the tent at all.

Eric: Okay, so the tent – well…

Keith: I didn’t notice that.

Eric: I don’t mean the wedding tent. I mean the one that they stay in when they’re camping.

Keith: No, I know what you mean. The one that you’re saying when they’re camping…

Eric: Yeah.

Keith: …on the road trip. No, I didn’t see the tent at all. It could have escaped me. There’s so much to see, your mind kind of gets overblown with everything, and you’re trying to…

Eric: So is it not one narrow walkway between sets, or – can you branch off? Is it ever labyrinthine or confusing at all in a really cool way?

Keith: No, it’s very, very precise, very thorough.

Micah: Straightforward.

Keith: And straightforward. You just keep on going around in the pattern that they have set up. And you can backtrace a little bit, but overall you’re going in a perfect diagram as to how they want you to flow. I mean, keep in…

Eric: Can you ever see scaffolding? Can you ever see…

Keith: Yes.

Eric: …the sets with…

Keith: Yeah.

Eric: Okay.

Keith: And the plaster. That was another neat little thing that they had told me. The Great Hall, the outside is built with the scaffolding, and you see all the plaster that was used to hold everything together on the outside. And apparently, they used more plaster on that set of the Great Hall than in any film in history. So I guess that’s one thing that Harry Potter has, is the most plaster. [laughs] But again, it’s little things like that that if you don’t talk to a person, you won’t know. Now, they have some fun things for little kids, too. Like you get a passport booklet.

Eric: [laughs] They needed it to hold together for twelve years.

Keith: And it is called the Harry Potter Passport and it looks like a passport, and they have, I think, twelve or thirteen Golden Snitches hanging around in different areas of the thing and so you have to mark off where all the Snitches are. Each set has a different stamp so you can get your stamp taken on this passport. So the little kids can have a little fun, too, making sure that they see everything.

Main Discussion: Harry Potter Studio Tour – Tickets

Eric: What’s the ticket situation? Because I feel like all the tickets sold out, or were they just for the pre-order tickets? Or what’s the…

Keith: Yeah, it’s pre-order only and they’re booked until next year.

Andrew: What?! You mean I can’t go until next year?

Keith: You can’t go. Well, maybe you can.

Eric: I was going to say. So you’re saying it’s now – we said it’s now open to the public. I was going to say, shouldn’t it be – wouldn’t it be smart to only ever pre-order half the available tickets so that locals and people who are just on vacation have at least some hope of…

Keith: You know what? Maybe they have that, I don’t know. But from what I understand the show’s sold out.

Andrew: There are dates open. Oh, there’s tons of dates open, I’m looking right now. I think maybe what you heard or mean is that you can book through next year.

Keith: Maybe.

Andrew: Because I’m looking right now and you can click almost all the days. There are some days that are sold out but not all of them.

Eric: Yeah, because I heard – I mean, we had posted – I think some of the news sites had posted…

Andrew: Yeah, they sold out of the…

Eric: …tickets that were pre-order were sold out.

Andrew: Right.

Keith: That might have been the difference. The pre-orders were sold out, maybe that’s what it was.

Andrew: Right, there’s a certain amount that they opened up at the beginning and they didn’t say the number, and then they closed and they were like, “Oh my God, we’re so popular! Look at us, we sold out!” It could have been five tickets for all we know.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Keith: Well, they’re looking for five to six thousand people per day to go through this thing.

Andrew: That’s crazy.

Eric: Wow, 6,000 people a day?

Keith: They’re saying up to 6,000. I think their goal number is 5,000, but they can accomodate up to 6,000 per day to go through this thing.

Micah: Wow, that’s a lot of Butterbeer.

Eric: That’s a lot.

Keith: If you think about it, it’s like 28 pounds for each ticket, so – let’s just round it to 30 pounds.

[Andrew laughs]

Keith: That’s a lot of bread.

Micah: And they really need the money.

Andrew: Yeah, they really.

Keith: Well, they do. They spent 100 million pounds just to build this thing. So…

Micah: That’s peanuts compared to what Deathly Hallows – Part 2 made.

Andrew: Alone, yeah.

Micah: Alone.

Keith: Yeah. [laughs]

Micah: Yeah, exactly. Never mind throwing the other seven movies on top of it. And the exhibition and the theme park.

Eric: Yeah.

Main Discussion: Harry Potter Studio Tour – Future Additions

Keith: Andrew, you were saying earlier about – yeah, what were you saying earlier?

[Andrew laughs]

Keith: About the studio? If they’re going to add other studio movies into it or something like that?

Andrew: Yeah.

Keith: I don’t see that happening. Because it is filled up, it’s in a way that they don’t want to move it. I can’t see them ever taking anything down on this. I mean, this thing here is in for the long haul. The studios where they film at are going to be available to rent out to other things like Sherlock Holmes filmed at Leavesden. So, other films can be produced.

Andrew: Right. I don’t think they’ll ever downscale the Harry Potter part, but I do think they will add other buildings. The R building, like Eric said.

Keith: Yeah, the R building might come down eventually.

Andrew: Yeah.

Keith: Who knows.

Andrew: It makes sense. I mean, they want to make this appeal to people who aren’t big Harry Potter fans, too. And I’m sure this tour will be very much – very often visited by film aficionados just because they look…

Keith: That’s what I was…

Andrew: Because of the detail in the sets and all that.

Keith: Yeah, exactly. That’s what I was going to say. If you have any art inspiration at all to do any kind of art in your life, whether it be the painting or the creature effects or the animatronics or filmmaking…

Andrew: Set design.

Keith: …or whatever, anything like that at all, you want to go to see this tour and just look at how it’s done. Even costume design. The costume details that they put into this thing – I mean, you just wouldn’t believe the things that you just don’t see on the film. For instance, Umbridge’s dress – one of the pink dresses has two little bows down by her waist, and there’s these two gold buttons and you think they’re just buttons. And then you look at it a little bit closer and you go, “Okay, maybe they’re cats or something like that.” But then you zoom in with a camera and take a shot of it and then you blow it up on your computer, and it’s a tiny skull with diamonds in it. I mean…

Eric: So the surprise aspect of it is very large.

Keith: Oh, it’s huge! The hourglasses – or the house point cups that are in the Great Hall, where the counter is for how much beads are in each cylinder, there’s runes along the side of it. Now, you never even see the house points at all in the movies. You barely notice them, let alone something that has runes on it like that. So the details are just extraordinary.

Andrew: Well, very cool. Keith, thanks for sharing all this info with us. I mean, you’re certainly welcome to stay on for the rest of the show if you want. Or you can leave now. It’s up to you.

Keith: Sure.

Andrew: Okay, cool.

Keith: I’m good.

Andrew: [laughs] So that was the first half of the show. What else is going on in the news, Micah? Besides the studio tour?

News: Pottermore Shop Opens

Micah: You touched on it about forty minutes ago [laughs] and that is that Pottermore should be opening up to everybody in the next couple of days. They announced a few weeks ago that they would be officially opening as of April. Nothing too bad, I guess, when you consider that they’re six months late.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: They projected opening initially in October of 2011, and it’s now April of 2012. So a little bit of a setback for them. I know that they clearly had some things that they were looking to improve. I think the biggest thing though is not even the fact that Pottermore is going to be officially open to everybody. The bigger news coming before that is that Potter is now available on e-book.

Andrew: Yes. This has been a long time coming, and I mean, J.K. Rowling has always held out when it comes to e-books. She and her publishers…

Micah: She likes the smell of paper.

Andrew: Yes, she loves the smell of paper and killing trees.

Micah: [laughs] I’m making that up.

Andrew: And – yeah, so it debuted. The books run, I think, from $7.99 to $11.99? To $12.99?

Eric: I think it was $9.99.

Andrew: Oh okay.

Eric: The first three are $7.99. I thought it – yeah, the first three were $7.99…

Andrew: Yeah, you’re right. You’re right.

Eric: …and then the last four were $9.99. That’s what I read.

Andrew: And then there’s the complete collection for $57.54.

Eric: Okay.

Andrew: And then the audiobook version is $242.94, which I have to say, if you’re – what’s the difference, really? I mean, digital book, digital audio. Why so much more? Why is it four, five times more?

Eric: Well, are you taking the time to read it, or are you having someone read it to you?

Andrew: Oh, so you pay a premium to be read to?

Eric: Yeah. Jim Dale’s voice is not cheap.

Andrew: [laughs] Okay, so…

Eric: He’s got to feed his family, is what I’m saying.

Andrew: Yeah, I guess. So, there is the Pottermore shop. Now, here’s the thing that bugs me – and this is another “Oh, that Pottermore!” kind of move – you have to make a new account to buy these books! You cannot use your existing Pottermore account.

Eric: What?

Andrew: You have to make – yeah, you have to make an entirely new account, I tested this myself. You can’t combine the accounts, which I was just like, “Oh my goodness, another oversight.”

Eric: Hang on, because they weren’t allowing us to do duplicate accounts. That was like illegal. They were like, “If we find you, we’ll cut you,” about doing new accounts.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Like multiple accounts. Especially on one e-mail address, right?

Micah: Yeah, but – I mean, you’re probably signing up as “Andrew Sims,” right? Not as…

Andrew: CatSeeker?

Micah: …ShadowSpell25 or whatever it is.

Andrew: Right, but you still put in your real name when you register for Pottermore, don’t you? So all that information is there.

Micah: I can’t remember, it was too long ago.

Andrew: I’m pretty sure you do.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: So you’re saying you have a Pottermore – you have a shop username that’s not obscured by the vocabulary?

Andrew: Right, right. It’s probably your e-mail address, I’m forgetting now.

Eric: Oh.

Andrew: But – yeah, so they call it a Pottermore Shop account. It’s not your Pottermore account. Anyway, so these have debuted.

Micah: Yeah, you’ve got to have a universal login.

Andrew: They’re available for Kindle, they’re available for Sony E-Readers, of course. Nook? Yeah, I think so. You can get it on your Nook and your iPad one way or another. I know you can’t get the Pottermore books through the Apple iBookstore. You have to get it through a Kindle purchase and then use the Kindle app on your iPad to get the books.

Eric: Oh! Interesting.

Micah: Is this because of Sony? That’s probably why.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: I have no idea.

Micah: I would imagine that they might have something to do with that.

Andrew: I read Apple didn’t come to an agreement because – it’s actually rather groundbreaking. Amazon for the first time is sending people to the Pottermore Shop to purchase the books. This is the first time ever that you can’t purchase a Kindle book on Amazon. You have to go to Pottermore to get the Harry Potter books.

Eric: Wow.

Andrew: So that was a little deal that they worked out. I’m sure Amazon wasn’t thrilled, but you can’t really argue with J.K. Rowling. You’ve just sort of got to go with it.

Micah: Well…

Andrew: And that seems to be why Apple hasn’t accepted yet.

Micah: But going back to the whole…

Keith: Answer this for me, Andrew. I still haven’t done it. I went onto Pottermore and I couldn’t find the link to purchase the books. Where do you go for this?

Andrew: Well, it should be…

Micah: It’s in the bottom right…

Andrew: Yeah. If you’re not logged in it says, “Looking for e-books? Available now only at the Pottermore Shop.” I don’t know if they’re actually in the site yet, once you log in.

Keith: Okay, so it’s only on the main home page…

Micah: Right.

Andrew: Right.

Keith: …before you really sign in.

Micah: Well, it would make sense…

Keith: Okay.

Micah: …based on what Andrew is saying, for it to be available once you log in because – and I think the reason why they’re doing this is because they don’t want information tied to your username. This goes back to the whole issue of having kids and protecting – or having kids sign up and protecting their information, and that’s why there are these generic names. They don’t want a name, an address, a phone number, a credit card tied to any of the accounts.

Andrew: Okay.

Eric: I think also…

Micah: That’s probably why you have to have two separate ones.

Eric: I think also, if you have to log in and – like if you had to log in to read the books, that would be crap. I would not agree with that at all. It’s like having a digital copy of a movie that you can’t edit because it’s just like – the user books – in order to – if you’re buying them, if you pay for them, you should be able to carry them around on whatever device you want, you know?

Andrew: That’s true.

Keith: Well, when this thing first came out that’s what I thought the whole Pottermore was for, was to read the books online and experience the writings of J.K. Rowling.

Eric: Right.

Keith: Her little extras as you read the books. That’s what I thought the whole thing was about.

Eric: Yeah, that’s what I thought too, yeah. I agree with you.

Andrew: So, that’s Pottermore e-books. Anything…

Eric: I hear the audiobooks are also coming to vinyl.

[Andrew laughs]

News: New Features Added on Pottermore

Andrew: [laughs] Another Pottermore addition was they added sounds to the website.

Eric: Ooh. I haven’t experienced these yet. Are they everywhere or what?

Andrew: They’re in places. There are background noises for when you are in different rooms, so if you’re in the Potions room you’ll hear a dungeon-esque sound.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Things like that.

Eric: What was that sound? Oh, it was dungeon-esque.

Andrew: Yeah. If – towards the end of the book – I was playing around with it a little bit ago. Towards the end of the book you can hover over flames and get a little crackling sound. Stuff like that. It’s nothing groundbreaking.

Keith: So if you blow up your cauldron, does it blow up? [laughs]

Andrew: I don’t know, I haven’t done a full run-through yet. But the way they talked about it on the Pottermore Insider, it sounded like they – it was a work in progress, they were going to add more. And they also redid the points. Now I see there’s a thirteen million number on Pottermore.

Eric: [laughs] Yeah! I see that, too, for my house.

Andrew: I have no clue what that means.

Eric: Ugh. I don’t know.

Andrew: I mean, what does it mean if we have thirteen million points? I just…

Eric: As a collective house?

Andrew: And – yeah. It’ll be interesting to see when this actually opens, because then we’ll find out if they actually changed the sorting system so you’re actually sorted into your real house.

Eric: Wait, do we ever get definitive that we weren’t? That it wasn’t?

Andrew: Didn’t they say that? Didn’t they say they were changing that or something?

Eric: Ooh, I didn’t see that. Well, just so that – because we wondered if it was a population control thing, where it was just X amount of – based on a certain – what’s the word? Algorithm, there we go.

Andrew: Yes. But we’ll see once it opens – I’m actually surprised they didn’t start hiding the number of members in the houses yet, because it looks embarrassing, to me, if you see that all the houses have the same number of people.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Clearly, there’s some trickery going on here. And – so we don’t know, again, when Pottermore is going to actually open up, but we’ll find out, hopefully – I imagine in the next week or two. They said early April.

Eric: Well, they said April, right? So…

Andrew: And the shop’s open, so it has to be close.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: We have to be close. What else is going on in the news, Mike-R?

News: David Yates Discusses Removing Dumbledore’s Funeral Scene

Micah: Mike-R. Well, [laughs] the next piece of news actually relates to the studio tour. There was a press event that took place prior to its official opening, and Selina, who’s actually going to be on our live show at LeakyCon – which we’re going to talk about in a little bit – she got the chance to go for Hypable and speak with director David Yates. And one of the things that he spoke to her about was Dumbledore’s funeral. I guess they had some concept art laid out from the films and one of the pictures was of Dumbledore’s funeral, and so that’s what prompted the question. And his response was, “That scene was in and out, and in and out again. It was a rhythmic thing. It felt weirdly book-ended. So you would read the script and you’d get to Dumbledore’s death, and it felt climactic and moving. And then we went to the Great Hall, and this austerity – it sort of felt weirdly complete. And then you got to this grand funeral, and it felt less about the man and more about the pomp of the ceremony, and it felt oddly less connected. So just rhythmically…”

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: “…it felt wrong.” When he’s speaking, he’s speaking like, [imitating David Yates in a soft voice] “So just rhythmically, it felt wrong.”

Andrew: [imitating David Yates in a soft voice] Just rhythmically… [mumbles]

Micah: [still imitating David Yates] “But I love that scene.” [laughs]

Eric: He’s totally passionate about it. He’s explaining it.

Micah: “But I love that scene. It’s a beautiful scene in the book, but it felt wrong in the movie.”

Eric: So…

Andrew: Translation: It’s a pacing thing. Pacing, pacing, pacing, pacing, pacing.

Eric: [laughs] He’s always said that, though. And it’s true. I guess he just felt like there were too many – I think even when he talked about that before he said that it just felt like there were too many endings of that book. Or in that movie or something.

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: So – I mean, the pomp of the ceremony? What does that mean? Because I think really if you were to get all those great actors onto the set to do that it would be fine. There really can’t be any real reason not to include that in the film, right? Other than…

Micah: Yeah. I mean, the only pomp that I can think about is – didn’t you have the merpeople coming out of the lake and the centaurs coming out of the forest? And…

Eric: But that’s about the man.

Micah: I agree.

Eric: That’s more about Dumbledore than in any other part of those books.

Micah: And his tomb bursts into flames. So there is sort of that element to it, but that’s also in a way related to who he is and his personality. And I think that – I was always disappointed that this was left out of the films because – I don’t know. Obviously, David Yates at the end of the day [laughs] knows more about making films than I do, so if he says it felt wrong for the movie, I believe him. But…

Andrew: I don’t.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: I just think having him fall from a tower and then having all the students point their wands into the sky to get rid of the Dark Mark just didn’t cut it. This is one of the biggest deaths in the entire series.

Eric: Well, you also have to look at – I mean, I think a lot of the problem is they weren’t able to flush out what kind of an impact Dumbledore had on the larger wizarding world. The world outside of Hogwarts doesn’t exist in many of the movies, at least until – hell, Movie 6 when he dies is when it becomes important because you’re going to another side of London where Tom Riddle was born. But Dumbledore doesn’t have the same impact. Even the lines like, “Great man, Dumbledore,” are drastically cut short in the films and you never get a sense of him being a greater figure for the rest of the wizarding world to look up to. In the films he can serve only as a two-dimensional mentor to Harry in a way. So having other people show up, even people we’ve never met, but people that were in the books just show up and pay tribute to this man – yeah, it would be emotional because look at all these people. But ultimately it’s like, “Who are these people and why are they here?”

Micah: Even Umbridge was there.

Eric: Umbridge was there but Harry was angry about that, and that plot thread had already been resolved at that point in the movie. I just feel like I understand what David Yates is saying and I’m okay with it not being in the movie.

Keith: Yeah, but keep in mind that the book Dumbledore was loved and the film Dumbledore, Michael Gambon, was not loved.

Andrew: At the beginning at least. I liked him more and more as the films…

Keith: He was loved in “6” and “7” but not in “4” and “5”.

Andrew: Yeah.

Keith: Especially “4”.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Maybe just the whole Dumbledore thing in general is awkward for the films, because they had to replace the actor and the different directors chose to portray Dumbledore in different lights. Even Michael Gambon – as you said, Andrew, even by “6” and “7” he became really lovable. But throughout, the transition was always a little more rocky with that character.

Andrew Rides Dragon Challenge

Andrew: Hey, by the way, while we’re in between news stories, I went to the Wizarding World last week and I finally went on Dueling Dragons. Man, that’s intense! Quick, thank God, but intense.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: For me. I’m not a big ‘coaster guy. That’s some ride.

Micah: Did you go on all the others?

Eric: Have you gone on Flight of the Hippogriff?

Andrew: Yeah, I went on – no, no, no, [laughs] I didn’t go on – I think I’m done with Flight of the Hippogriff. [laughs]

Eric: Are you kidding? I can ride that a hundred times.

Andrew: Well, it’s fun but it’s like two seconds – it’s for kids. It is cool. But yeah, I went on Dueling – or Dragon Challenge. It was neat.

Eric: What dragon were you?

Andrew: The red one. We had heard that the red one was the better one, I think.

Eric: There’s a slightly better view, I think, of the castle from one of them.

Andrew: My eyes were closed the entire time so it didn’t matter.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: It did not matter. [laughs] Anyway, what else is going on in the news?

MuggleCast 251 Transcript (continued)

News: Harry Potter: Wizard’s Collection Gets Trailer, Release Date & Features List

Micah: Well, apparently – I don’t know if this is an April Fools’ joke or not – Harry Potter: The Wizard’s Collection got a trailer, release date, and feature list.

Andrew: Why is this a joke? What’s so funny about this? Well, the price is a joke.

Keith: We had this in our…

Andrew: Oh.

Keith: Yeah, 350 bucks.

Andrew: Yeah, $350 from Amazon. We talked about that on the last episode.

Micah: That’s what the joke is.

Andrew: Yeah.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: But since then there’s been some features announced. And actually the most interesting part about this is that they’re going to be premiering some of these features on

Eric: Of course they are.

Andrew: And you’re going to be able to watch some of these, so you’re going to be able to get some of these without buying the $350 set. And we’re also finally getting the final two parts of the Harry Potter documentary, which apparently were only to be available in the Ultimate Editions, but now it’s almost starting to look like they are not releasing the seventh and eighth ones in the Ultimate Editions.

Eric: What a fail.

Keith: That’s frustrating because I have the other six.

Andrew: Yeah, me too.

Keith: So I want to have the complete set of the Ultimate Editions.

Andrew: Right.

Keith: And now I’m not going to be able to get that without buying this thing.

Andrew: Well, let’s hope that they…

Keith: I think that’s going to frustrate fans.

Andrew: …do actually release those, the Ultimate Editions. Maybe they’re just going to wait until after the Wizard’s Collection is out?

Eric: They just need to stop releasing stuff. They just need to stop. They need to say it’s all out there…

Andrew: Well, it’s not right now. They took it all away. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, I guess.

Andrew: So Part 7 is going to be with Deathly Hallows – Part 1. It’s the “Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 7: The Story.” And then Part 8, called “Growing Up,” will be with Part 2.

Eric: Like a retrospective.

Andrew: And actually, very interestingly, the – there’s a list of some of the features: over four hours of features, including an extended “Conversation with J.K. Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe,” with fifteen minutes of new footage!

Eric: Hmm.

Andrew: So let’s hope there’s some good stuff in there. I mean, a lot of good stuff came out of that initial one.

Eric: So good that they cut it from the actual movie released.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Well, they were probably saving it for the Ultimate Editions, right?

Micah: Are they that desperate that they’re having special features of the special features? Or extended editions of the special features?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: And where there any outtakes listed?

Keith: I just want one disc that has bloopers. That’s what I want.

Eric: Yeah.

Keith: I want the outtakes and I want the bloopers on one disc.

Eric: Was there a bloopers thing list in the features list?

Andrew: No, no, but they said, “Additional features will be revealed on”

Eric: Oh, come on.

Andrew: You’re also going to get exclusive memorabilia, including a map of Hogwarts, concept art prints, catalogues of props and posters, all designed by the graphic designers from the films.

Eric: Ooh.

Andrew: And these too will be revealed on

Micah: Well, I do remember from our conversation with David Yates that he did say that bloopers would be available in the future.

Eric: Well, he said that they exist, so I’m wondering why we haven’t seen them.

Micah: Well…

Andrew: It actually…

Micah: I don’t know what to tell you.

Andrew: It actually says, “One new feature will be revealed each week between now and September.” But nothing…

Eric: I was going to say, September 9th is when it’s coming out. The fact that it’s available for pre-order now is fun. I wonder how many people…

Micah: [laughs] It’s so you can save up and start making down payments.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Right. If you save – how many – okay…

Eric: Let’s see, how many – okay, September…

Andrew: How many weeks? It’s like…

Eric: Nine – five months.

Andrew: May, June, July…

Eric: Twenty weeks. Yeah.

Andrew: It’s five months times five. So if you – so $350…

Micah: 15 bucks.

Andrew: …divided by – 15 bucks?

Micah: Well, what is it? It’s $350?

Andrew: $350 divided by twenty-five-ish weeks. So yeah, put $15 in your…

Eric: That’s – yeah, $15.

Andrew: …Hogwarts piggy bank every week…

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: …between now and September, and you will have enough to get the Amazon discounted version of this.

Eric: Which you most likely already own most of, 95% of, and then you’ll be able to see the rest on

Andrew: Right.

Micah: Can we hope for review copies?

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: I was just going to ask that!

Andrew: Start begging now.

Eric: Start a Harry Potter website and ask for a review copy from Warner Bros.

Andrew: has been updated. The entire site has been replaced by a promotion for the Wizard’s Collection. So – and you can use wand gestures to open the box on the site. Don’t even ask me.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: It’s just as annoying – the gestures are – as Pottermore.

Micah: Do you have to speak it? Or do you have to click on a…

Andrew: No, you have to make wand movements. And I’m trying to do one right…

Keith: It’s just like the Harry Potter: Spells thing.

Micah: Oh.

Keith: You have to do lightning bolt to do something…

Micah: Oh.

Keith: …and all that sort of thing.

Andrew: And once again, I’m trying to do a very simple wand gesture right now and it won’t do it. What…

Micah: Start jabbing at it, the…

Andrew: I – honestly, this is the worst…

Eric: How can you jab on a mouse?

Keith: You’re not a wizard, Andrew.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Wand gestures should never have existed in video games, on the websites, anything. It’s bad. It does not work. What else is going on in the – well, that’s it for news. But there’s other news to talk about.

Micah: Yeah. So…

Andrew: Mike-R.

Micah: [laughs] Is that my new nickname?

Andrew: Yes.

News: MuggleNet’s April Fool’s Prank Picked Up by Entertainment Weekly

Micah: Okay. As many people know, April Fool’s Day was on Sunday this past week, and MuggleNet, for a long time, has been notorious for pulling April Fool’s pranks. And I think, personally, the best one, a couple of years ago, was Emerson coming up with the idea that MuggleNet was being shut down by Warner Bros. To me, that still stands out as the best one, and I don’t know that anybody could ever really top it. But we did come up with an idea for J.K. Rowling’s new book and to release the title on Sunday morning. And – now, not everybody bought into it, which was to be expected, but…

Andrew: I received a text at, like…

[Keith laughs]

Andrew: …fifteen minutes prior to me waking up normally, saying, “J.K. Rowling has announced the title of the book, but I’m not…”

Micah: [laughs] Okay, so we got somebody. We got one person.

Andrew: Well, hold on. And they said, “But I’m not around to post it,” because they wanted me to post it on Hypable.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: And I jumped out of bed and loaded up the computer and started looking. And I didn’t even see the prank at this time, I just did a quick look on Twitter, didn’t see anything. I was like, “Wow, this is -” and then I thought the person who texted me was pranking me.

[Keith laughs]

Andrew: Like that was their prank to me. [laughs] So I sent them a very rude text back and then went back to sleep.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Anyway…

[Keith laughs]

Micah: So what we did was we came up with this title that was an anagram for “April Fool’s Day,” it was called Lairs of Lady Po. It was something along the lines of possibly what a mystery novel could sound like, because that’s been the speculation of what she has been working on. So Eric created this great image, which I didn’t know until I spoke to him yesterday. It’s a real typewriter. That typewriter actually exists in his house. He took actual parchment, put it in the typewriter – with the title, Lairs of Lady Po by J.K. Rowling – and sprayed it with fake blood, and took a picture of it. And that’s the actual picture that was used. And the whole point of this, the point I’m getting to, which was really cool, is that it was picked up by Entertainment Weekly. Yesterday, they released a blog post about it, saying that the “merry pranksters at MuggleNet” were at it again. So – and look, we do this every year, I know people who go to our site on a regular basis know it. I just don’t like the people out there who can’t have a good laugh, who think the joke is stupid, or – take a chill pill!

Andrew: They just want to act all smart, being like, “Oh, I knew this was fake. Nice try, guys.”

Eric: Right. Well, the most interesting thing about Entertainment Weekly picking it up is that they said that they contacted Little, Brown about [laughs] the title reveal. They said they went to them for – to confirm it, to confirm that this was the title, and that Little, Brown didn’t deny it but that they said they had no further information to reveal regarding – that hadn’t already been said about J.K. Rowling’s project. So…

Andrew: The publicist was probably thrown through a loop. I mean…

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: On a Sunday, no less.

Andrew: …it was a Sunday. Yeah.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: On a Sunday. But the funniest – it was funny to us, that – obviously we had a lot of people who didn’t like it, who were very vocal about it, “Oh, this is dumb.” But then other people were like, “This is really cool.” And then some people were really taken by it, sorry. But that we could get a response out of Little, Brown through all of this web talk and noise was just really funny. I think that was when Micah knew that his work was worth it, because I remember the day before April Fool’s Day – so it was the last day – we’re still trying to find a title that works. Because we had one, Micah really liked the word “lair.” He was like, “It needs to say ‘lair’ no matter what.” So we’re looking on this huge list of anagrams of “April Fool,” “April Fool’s Day,” “April Fools,” all this stuff, looking at these different anagrams to use for the title of this book. And it was just kind of a fun time, and executed, and that was our April Fool’s joke. So I was really happy that at the very least, it got as far as Entertainment Weekly and it even got as far as – to Little, Brown. But it was relevant because we don’t know the title of JKR’s book yet.

Micah: Yeah. Well, I think – and what…

Keith: Well, the funny thing is – I’m sorry, Micah – I even knew that we were doing this, but at the same time, Micah sends me over a text saying, “Okay, well Eric’s doing the cover for Lairs of Lady Po,” and I’m like, “What’s that? Is that some kind of kung-fu movie that’s coming out or something?” So even though I knew this thing was going on [laughs] I had no idea that we had come up with a title. And it was so perfect.

Eric: Yeah. It was enigmatic. But I do want to say the credit for the image goes to my roommate Skyler who has a working old typewriter. And Micah for coming – he basically told me what to do, and I did it. So he was like, “You know that old typewriter look?” and I was like, “Yeah, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’m going to do it,” so we did it. So that was cool. Just kind of cool to get as far as Little, Brown. That was kind of cool. It was a fan moment.

Andrew: Very good. Well, nice job, guys. I can’t wait to see what’s in store next year. The sequel title.

Eric: Next year LeakyCon is going to the moon, from what I hear.

Announcements: LeakyCon 2012 & Ascendio 2012

Andrew: [laughs] Well yeah, speaking of LeakyCon – actually, we haven’t mentioned this yet, even though we’ve mentioned it on Twitter and Facebook and all those places. This summer, MuggleCast is going to be at LeakyCon 2012 and Ascendio 2012. Ascendio is run by HPEF, they’ve put on Prophecy, Infinitus, all those. Ascendio is from July 12th to the 15th at Loews Portofino Bay. That is a Universal Orlando property, so there’s going to be a party at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. And then there is going to be LeakyCon just a few weeks later, August 9th to the 12th at the Hilton Chicago. So two different places in the country Harry Potter conferences will be happening. I think us four will all be at LeakyCon. Ascendio – Keith, are you going to Ascendio?

Keith: Yeah. Well, I’m in the fashion show…

[Andrew laughs]

Keith: …so I hope to be there.

Eric: [laughs] The fashion show?

Andrew: Keith, Micah, and Eric will be at Ascendio. I will be at Comic-Con then.

Eric: Ooh.

Andrew: Not Ascendio.

Eric: Same weekend.

Andrew: But all of us will be at LeakyCon. So keep a heads-up on those. I think there’s going to be a MuggleCast at both of them. Definitely at LeakyCon. We haven’t nailed down the Ascendio plans just yet.

Eric: Yeah, if we do Ascendio we’ll have to have you on through the web. We’ll have to find you at Comic-Con when you’re not doing something.

Andrew: You may Skype me in.

Eric: Yes, we will Skype you.

Andrew: Via Skype video, yes.

Eric: Because you need to be a part of it, because you’ve been at all the other HPEF cons, and it’s a shame you’re missing this one.

Andrew: Yeah, I know, I know, but I can’t resist Comic-Con. I can’t do two Harry Potter cons this summer, it’s too much.

Eric: [laughs] Too much Butterbeer.

Andrew: I can’t handle so much fun.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: And too much – yeah, all that Butterbeer. I just can’t do it. So, any programming events we can promote? I guess that answers that question.

Eric: Oh…

Andrew: [laughs] Okay.

Eric: Yeah, well that also – and I’m in – there’s a musical going to happen at Ascendio called Mischief Managed and I’m playing James Potter.

Andrew: Oh, very cool.

Eric: It’s a story of the Marauders.

Andrew: Very cool.

Eric: So it’s going to be cool.

Andrew: So we just wanted to tell you what our presence is going to be in the summer at the Harry Potter cons. Every year we are participating in at least one con, so that’s what’s coming up this summer for MuggleCast.

Pottermore Discussion: Wands

Andrew: To wrap up the show, we are going to talk a little bit about Pottermore, the new content from J.K. Rowling, because it is opening, so we are going to start talking about it. If you don’t want to hear any of the spoilers concerning the new content that’s on Pottermore, don’t proceed any further. But we’re not going to get into too many spoilers, these are pretty general things. But they are new, written by J.K. Rowling specifically for Pottermore. I don’t think we should go through all of these just because we’re already at an hour, ten.

Eric: Yeah, timing issues. What should we – should we pick one? Let’s do wands, then, because it’s the biggest – the three-segment…

Andrew: Wands?

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Okay, okay. So yeah, one of the biggest additions in Pottermore – one of the biggest new pieces of information in Pottermore – are the wands, and you get to read all about every single wand type in Chapter 5. This is the chapter where Bruce goes to – did I just say Bruce?

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: I was reading a Bruce Springsteen tweet.

Eric: Mr. Springsteen. [laughs]

Andrew: Where Harry goes to Ollivander and learns about the wands, and he gets his wand. So J.K. Rowling has a good thirty wands listed here. Did any of these stand out to you guys? Did you guys read all this information?

Eric: I did. And the thing is – the good thing about Pottermore is you can always go back to it, which is really cool. Because there’s – she has said in interviews that she came up with and did a lot of research about different trees and different types of wood, and based on the characteristics of the tree – if it’s like, “Grows only at night,” she inferred those characteristics and put them into what maybe the wand would do that had that type of wood. So – whereas the wand cores are all magical things, so she can make it up completely. The woods, actually, are different types of woods, and so using her research – which until now had been kept from us – she would assign those types of wands to characters. So you can go back, and basically when you’re reading the books now, you can see – it’ll say somebody has a certain type of wand. Well, you can go look at that wood and look it up on Pottermore, and there’s at least one paragraph saying a ton about where the wood comes from and what its characteristics are. So I just thought this was really cool, really handy, and a lot closer to the encyclopedia side of things than the interactive Flash animation side of things for Pottermore. So that’s why I really liked it. Plus, you’re given…

Micah: His first name is Garrick?

Eric: …a wand. Yeah, Garrick Ollivander. The…

Andrew: And that was new. That was new information.

Eric: Yeah, that was new. The whole wand section, everything from Jo, is said to be taken from the notes of Garrick Ollivander. So that’s cool. She’s writing it as if he’s in the first person, so that’s really cool.

Micah: So are we going to go around the table, then, and say for Pottermore what type of wand we got?

Andrew: Yes. Can…

Micah: Or chose us, for that matter?

Andrew: Yes, [imitating Ollivander] “The wand chooses you, Mr. Potter.” [normal voice] I just looked at all this wand information and I was just thinking, “How does Jo come up with this stuff?” It’s really incredible. I mean, there’s so much here.

Eric: It just goes to show that she did so much research.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: It’s unbelievable.

Andrew: So mine is a twelve-and-a-half inch dragon-core fir wand that is reasonably supple.

Eric: Fur?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: How is that…

Andrew: That’s the wood.

Eric: Is that – oh, that’s – the wood is dragon fur?

Andrew: Fir. Just F-I-R, fir.

Eric: Oh, fir, okay. That wood – I’m going to read the description here. Actually, the survivor’s wand. It’s…

Andrew: It “produces wands that demand staying power and strength of purpose in their true owners, and that they are poor tools in the hands of the changeable and indecisive.” Yes, this is perfect for me, I agree.

Eric: Fir wands are good at Transfiguration, and favor owners of focused, strong-minded and intimidating demeanor.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Look at that. I’m going to double-check what mine is. Mine is…

Andrew: To see yours, you click your user profile name at the top.

Eric: Right, got it. Mine is made of hornbeam. It’s ten-and-three-quarter inches with phoenix feather core. Hornbeam – I recall really liking the description of this wood here. Oh, Ollivander’s own wand is made of hornbeam. It is with “all due modesty that I state that hornbeam selects for its life mate the talented witch or wizard with a single, pure passion, which some might call obsession (though I prefer the term ‘vision’).” So that was funny. Hornbeam wands are adaptable and they absorb their owner’s code of honor, whatever that might be, and they will refuse to perform acts that don’t align with that, so that’s weird. But I thought it was cool because it’s like he’s talking about wand woods or even wands being sentient, which is Ollivander’s whole shtick, but that’s given some more weight in these wand descriptions. Micah, what’s yours?

Micah: Mine is vine, ten-and-three-quarter inch, core is unicorn, and flexibility hard.

Eric: Hmm.

[Andrew and Keith laugh]

Eric: Is that not flexible, then? Is that…

Micah: I guess not. [laughs] It’s not reasonably supple.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Are you flexible, Micah? IRL, in real life? Like, can you do…

Micah: Well, look, this is the wrong podcast…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: …for that conversation.

Eric: Oh.

[Keith and Micah laugh]

Eric: So vine wands…

Andrew: I just want to know, like, if you can do somersaults.

Eric: This is…

Micah: Oh. Absolutely.

Andrew: Oh okay.

Eric: This is…

Keith: Can you touch your toes without bending your knees?

Eric: Ooh.

Micah: No. [laughs]

Eric: Not even sure I can do that.

Andrew: Can you lick your elbow?

Micah: Probably not.

Andrew: Oh. Nobody can do that, that’s okay.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: Vine wands, from the page, “are among the less common types, and I have been intrigued to notice that their owners are nearly always those witches or wizards who seek a greater purpose, who have a vision beyond the ordinary, and who frequently astound those who think they know them best.” Micah, I’m going to take this opportunity to tell you how much you astound me often.

Micah: Well, thank you.

Andrew: And finally, Keith, what is yours?

Keith: Well, I have an extremely long one. I’m like the longest one besides Hagrid, I think.

Eric: Oh, come on. We’re talking about your Pottermore wand.

Keith: I am too! Fourteen-and-a-half inches long. Fourteen-and-a-half inches long with fir…

Andrew: Wow. Wow.

Keith: …with a unicorn…

Eric: Jesus, that’s a freaking – that’s not even a ruler.

Micah: [laughs] You really are Mikey.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: That’s a yardstick, man. [laughs]

Keith: Yeah, no kidding.

Andrew: Oh my goodness. Oh no.

Keith: It matches.

Eric: What’s it made out of?

Andrew: Go ahead. So tell us – yeah, what type so Eric can look it up.

Keith: It’s fir wood with a unicorn core, and it’s quite bendy.

Eric: Huh. Fourteen inches and bendy. Well, fir is the same as Andrew’s, so again, very resilient people who can be intimidating.

Andrew: Interesting. Interesting.

Eric: Well, I think the fact that it’s fourteen-and-three-quarter inches is pretty intimidating. So that’s pretty crazy. But – yeah, the other thing is J.K. Rowling wrote about the cores and the length versus flexibility, and what that says about a wizard as well. So there’s three different items of wands. Of course, you get your own wand in Pottermore, and I think overall it’s one of the really standout parts of the first book.

Andrew: I agree.

Eric: In Pottermore’s…

Andrew: I agree. And this kind of information, this level of detail, this is something that I’m hoping to get out of the other books in the future, when we learn about other aspects of the Harry Potter books. It’s going to be interesting to see what else is to come. And hopefully everybody who gets into Pottermore when it does open to the public gets a wand that they are happy with. A long one. Reasonably supple.

Eric: [laughs] Yeah, I was just going to say…

Keith: I can’t wait to learn about Dawlish.

Eric: Dawlish?

Andrew: Yeah.

[Keith laughs]

Andrew: And I want more on the house-elves. I mean, there’s so much information Jo could write about.

Micah: Yeah, are they flexible?

Eric: Book 1 is just the – yeah, Book 1 is really just the beginning, you know? Not to say that, but – of course it’s obvious, but still, there’s a lot that happens in the later books that she could definitely write much more in-depth about. But I think the fact that we’re getting all the wandlore and stuff here is relevant and important and appropriate.

Listener Tweets: Favorite New Content From J.K. Rowling on Pottermore

Andrew: Definitely. Well, we asked people who follow us on Twitter – – to tell us what their favorite part of Pottermore is. And you know what? We actually didn’t get many responses which is odd, which I guess tells us that nobody is really in Pottermore yet. That makes it easy, though. So let’s see, we’ll go through a couple here. This is so weird. Only a couple of people submitted. That’s very odd. fotogurl44 says:

“I love all the new info on McGonagall, her story is so amazing! I can’t wait to get more info on adult characters!”

I agree. And we’ll talk about all the new McGonagall info on a future episode. kristenburford said:

“The writer doesn’t seem to understand the difference between…”

Never mind, that’s something else. ZerminaK says:

“My favorite JKR new content has to be about how the Dursleys got together. Both humorous and cool to hear how James insulted Vernon.”

And that, too, we’ll talk about on a future episode. And finally, Skintish says:

“Umm, I think the little notes on ‘Fantastic Beasts’ by the trio are really cool. Also keep thinking what’s her new book.”

Wow, great English here.

“Didn’t she say, ‘I’m writing a political fairytale’?”

And one more. SeverusSnapeist says:

“The backstory on McGonagall and what the different wands mean. I’d like backstory on Pettigrew though.”

So let’s talk about McGonagall on the next episode. By then, hopefully everybody will actually be in Pottermore. Then we could talk about it together and all that.

Show Close

Andrew: Before we say goodbye, we’d like to remind everybody about our website. has all the information you need about this podcast that we do each and every month. On the right side, you can find links to our iTunes which lets you subscribe and review us. You can follow us on Twitter, You can like us on Facebook,, and our fan Tumblr, which is And also on the MuggleCast website you can find transcripts, about all the hosts, and oh so much more.

Micah: Transcripts about all the hosts? You mean bios?

Andrew: Umm…

Micah: Or transcripts of each episode?

Andrew: Transcripts about each episode. And I thought I also said, “And the ‘About Us’ page.”

Eric: Can you find out more about Bruce?

Micah: No.

Andrew: No.

Micah: I don’t think so. [laughs]

Andrew: No new info about Bruce is available there. That’s coming soon, though. Don’t you worry, Eric.

Eric: [laughs] Okay.

Andrew: Thanks everyone for listening! From, I’m Andrew Sims.

Eric: From, I’m Eric Scull.

[Show music begins]

Micah: From, I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Keith: And from, I’m Keith Hawk. Or Michael. Depends on which one you’re looking to.

Micah: Mikey.

Andrew: Mikey.

Keith: Mikey.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: [laughs] Never Michael.

Andrew: Yeah, don’t call him that.

Eric: Is his real name Michael?

Andrew: He wouldn’t like that.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: I don’t think he would like that.

Micah: Not at all.

Andrew: All right, we’ll see everybody next time. Goodbye!

Eric: Goodbye!

Keith: Bye!

Micah: Bye!

[Show music continues]