Transcript #264

MuggleCast 264 Transcript

Show Intro

[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]

Andrew: Because spring has sprung and we’re turning a new leaf, this is MuggleCast Episode 264 for April 28th, 2013.

[Show music begins]

Andrew: This week’s podcast is brought to you by, the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks with more than 100,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including fiction, non-fiction, and periodicals. For a free audiobook of your choice, go to

[Show music continues]

Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 264. We’re in our final countdown. Dun dun duh.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Sorry to start the show off on a note like that, but Micah, Eric, and I are here. We have a couple of news items to talk about. We’ve got Pottermore and we’ve got some voicemails.

Eric: Oh, yeah.

Andrew: I have some thoughts on Pottermore, and I’m going to try to stay positive about it this time.

Eric: Stay positive.

Micah: You try.

Andrew: A new leaf.

Micah: I want you to try. I cannot promise the same thing.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: We’re operating like a swear jar now, here on MuggleCast, but it’s for like the Pottermore negative jar, and we have to pay a quarter every time we’re negative about Pottermore. So we may still make some comments that don’t sit right with people who really love Pottermore, but we’re paying the jar.

Andrew: I just thought, it’s spring time, new leaves are on the trees. Everything is blooming. I thought I would bloom into something more beautiful, and that would be somebody who likes Pottermore.

Eric: And also something beautiful is the royal family of England.

Andrew: Yes. They visited the Harry Potter Studio Tour the other day, Micah. Did you know this?

Micah: I heard about this, yeah. And JK Rowling just happened to be there.

Andrew: Well, of course it was planned.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: A Bad Podcaster?

Andrew: So do you want to tell us about this? Are you still our news man? [laughs]

Micah: I don’t really think it’s right for me to be the news person anymore.

Andrew: All right, you’re fired.

Micah: I’m gone? That’s it?

Andrew: MuggleCast 264: It ends here. [laughs]

Micah: You know what?

Eric: Why can’t you be the news man anymore?

Micah: There might be something – or rather someone – who agrees with you, Andrew.

Andrew: What are you talking about?

Micah: As far as my knowledge of the Harry Potter world is concerned these days.

Eric: Oh, God.

Micah: I actually guest-hosted an episode of Alohomora!, which is a podcast over on MuggleNet, just like ours and MuggleNet Academia. And for people out there who may not have heard of them, I definitely suggest giving them a listen. They do some really great in-depth analysis of the series, going chapter by chapter. So I was on the show, and I thought I did a great job because let’s face it, how long have I been doing this now?

Eric: Eight years.

Micah: Seven years, eight years. Yeah.

Andrew: You’re a pro. You’re a seasoned pro.

Micah: Over 260 episodes. I’ve spoken to David Heyman, David Yates…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: …Warwick Davis…

Andrew: Wow, name-dropping.

Micah: Right? I mean, come on!

Eric: Well, you did lose that duel, Micah. You lost that duel.

Micah: Maybe. Yeah, I did. But look, you know what it was? I gave it to David Heyman.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: I mean, how are you going to have him on the show and not have him win the duel?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: This is true. It was rigged. It’s fake.

Micah: But anyway, this is the point. AmyH wrote a review on iTunes, which has four stars, and she says:

“Love the show, but screen your guests better. The best part about your show is that you know so much and can share so much insight about the HP world. You also usually have guests who present different viewpoints and remember different information, thereby improving the conversation as a whole. Your recent episode with Micah (sp?) did not live up to that. He didn’t know much at all and kept rehashing a weird horrible fan-fiction-esque joke so much that I almost turned off the episode partway through. Stick with people who can enhance the episode – I didn’t feel like this guy did so. Love learning about HP though and hope to hear many more!”

Eric: So that was a review of Alohomora!?

Micah: That was a review of the episode I was on, on Alohomora!

Andrew: You’ve lost your touch!

Eric: Tough break, Micah. Tough break.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: I must have lost my touch.

Andrew: You have.

Micah: I can’t enhance the episode?

Andrew: Well, try to win people back today. I’m sure you’ll have lots of interesting commentary prepared.

Micah: I’m going to try. I’m not going to say one bad thing about Pottermore. I’m not going to say one bad thing about JK Rowling.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Eric: And definitely, whatever you do, don’t mention fan fiction.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Yeah, what was with that?

Eric: I have no idea.

Micah: I thought people were all about that.

Andrew: So…

Eric: [laughs] Certain people?

News: The Royal Family and JK Rowling Visit Harry Potter Studio Tour

Andrew: So like Eric alluded to, the royal family visited the Harry Potter Studio Tour. It was kind of a nice little surprise, I don’t think we knew it was going to happen. Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Harry, the three of them were there for an inauguration – it was The Duke of Cambridge’s Inauguration. I don’t know exactly what that means, inaugurating a place, but they gave a little speech about what Harry Potter has done for the British film industry. And then they had a tour, and they went around the Harry Potter sets, and they hopped on the Batmobile – or the Batcycle, whatever that is – because that’s at the WB Studio Tour as well. And great pictures, JK Rowling was there, and in the background of one of them you can see Neil, her husband, David Heyman, David Yates, and Mike Newell. Mike Newell, of course, the Goblet of Fire director. David Yates, the Order of the Phoenix through Deathly Hallows director.

Eric: How must that be, to be them and just get a call saying, “Hey, you want to come over to Leavesden? We’re going to get Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Harry over here.”

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Eric: And Leavesden, where they lived for years and years and years, and now it’s just this tourist place…

Andrew: Well…

Eric: …and they’re going to go and meet the Queen… the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Andrew: I also wonder if this was JK Rowling’s first time at the Studio Tour because if you think about it…

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: …we’ve never seen photos of her at the… I’m serious! We’ve never seen photos of her at the Studio Tour. Not even the red carpet grand opening, I don’t think she was there.

Eric: She’s avoided it like the plague. I don’t know why.

Andrew: Well, it took…

Micah: She was probably writing The Casual Vacancy.

Andrew: Oh, maybe.

Eric: Yeah, that’s true.

Andrew: Yeah, but…

Micah: I’m making that up. I don’t really know if that’s the truth or not.

Andrew: [laughs] Of course not.

Eric: Well, the thing of it is – honestly though, we’ve heard nothing but great… Andrew, have you gotten a bad review of the Studio Tour? I mean, everybody seems to really love it.

Andrew: Yeah, the only complaint I’m aware of is that it’s not the theme park. [laughs] Because all the Brits seem to be like, “Why isn’t there a theme park here?”

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: “We made the books and films.” But yeah, everybody really likes the Studio Tour.

Eric: And I wanted to mention, I’m looking at the post on Hypable, and there’s a video of Kate Middleton and Prince William dueling.

Andrew: Yeah, it looks like they had fun with their… they were given some wands and there’s some photos of them pointing their wands up in the sky, and it’s cute.

Micah: She better be careful. Isn’t she pregnant?

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: It couldn’t be good for the baby.

Andrew: I have sources there who tell me in that photo of JK Rowling and Kate Middleton that Kate is actually trying to get her to come on MuggleCast…

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: …and JK Rowling is apparently still saying no.

Eric: Yes, I can caption this photo. “You’d like it!”

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Can I just say though, I’ve been very impressed by the response of our listeners who have tweeted at JK Rowling, asking her to come on to the show before we wrap up in August.

Andrew: Yes. Thank you.

Eric: Your challenge was met with, I’d say, a renowned, resounding response.

Andrew: Yeah, and it’s been really fun to retweet those on the MuggleCast Twitter…

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: …to continue riling up the troops. And one person said, “You know, I don’t think the Twitter thing is going to work,” and I said, I replied, “I know. Don’t worry, we’re trying other channels as well.”

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: This is just a fun, public way to try and gather…

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Micah: So in this picture here, do you think JK Rowling is saying to Kate, “Hey, let me tell you about what it’s like to be queen”?

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: Probably.

Andrew: Yeah, maybe she’s…

Eric: A passing of the torch. Symbolic, metaphoric.

Andrew: They were both wearing polka dots that day.

Eric: I see Jo in a coat. I don’t see her polka dots.

Andrew: Well, if you look at her lower half, she’s wearing a… if you scroll through the pictures, and there’s another one, and her skirt is also polka dots.

Micah: Oh, yeah.

Andrew: Oh, stop it, Micah!

Micah: You said her lower half!

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: What do you mean, yelling at me?

Andrew: Well, I…

Eric: This is why… you’re not enhancing the episode right now, Micah.

Micah: Yes, I am!

Andrew: [laughs] But I doubt they planned that. I’m sure that was a happy coincidence and they have…

Eric: Oh, my God. I do see it. Yes, Jo is in polka… slightly larger polka dots, though.

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: But she’s more seasoned. So…

Andrew: Representative of her financial wealth compared to Kate.

Eric: Yeah. [laughs] The width… the diameter of the polka dot.

Andrew: Yeah. But everybody loved those pictures. They were all around Facebook and Twitter that day. I think that was on Friday. So…

Micah: But this is going to become a trend though, isn’t it? When you have celebrities… and I guess in this case more dignitaries, but celebrities visit the Studio Tour. Just like with the theme park down in Orlando – and soon to be LA – you always get these alerts, these photos, that surface of celebrities going on rides and doing the tour and stuff like that.

Andrew: Mhm. Yeah, but this one, this is as big as it can get in England, I think.

Eric: Yeah. This is huge, and…

Andrew: British royalty.

Eric: I’m signed up for press from the Studio Tour and they sent an email and they were like, “We have really, really, really big news.” And it was this, so this is a big deal. And for David Heyman, David Yates to show up and be present as sort of the figureheads, the people who were behind what they were essentially about to see when they were walking in and then saw… it’s just really cool. It was almost like a royal wedding I wanted to say, except it wasn’t televised. It was just an official, stately event. It’s pretty cool.

Micah: Has President Obama gone over there? I know that his daughters had visited the set at one point, but I don’t know if they’ve been to the… or have they?

Eric: Yeah, I don’t know. That would be an interesting question.

Andrew: I feel like that’s not a priority for President Obama.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Maybe his daughters.

Eric: He’s got to, like, end world hunger.

Micah: Maybe in a couple of years, right?

Andrew and Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Three, four more years. Then he could go.

We’re going to continue with the news in just a moment, but first it is time to remind you that today’s episode is brought to you by Audible is the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks with more than 100,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including audio versions of many New York Times Bestsellers. For listeners of MuggleCast, Audible is offering you a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their service. I have a timely recommendation for you this week: The Great Gatsby. It is about to be released in theaters this May. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role. Now, the audiobook version is narrated by – you’ll never guess this – Jake Gyllenhaal, of all people. [laughs] He narrated this new version that has been released to time with the theatrical version of the story by F Scott Fitzgerald. You can get it for absolutely free by visiting Now that it’s summertime, we’re all going to be spending more time out and about, enjoying the warm weather. And maybe you’re walking around, maybe you don’t want to carry a book around. Maybe when you’re walking the dog or just going on a walk or run, or sitting out at the beach, closing your eyes, sitting by the lake, by the creek, by the river, all you got to do is pop in your earbuds and listen to a book rather than actually reading it. Very, very great service, especially now, for summertime, when people are spending more time outdoors just relaxing. Visit to get an audiobook – perhaps The Great Gatsby [laughs] narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal, I love that he narrated this one – for absolutely free. We thank Audible for their support of the show.

News: Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood and Orlando Updates

Andrew: Micah mentioned the theme park a moment ago. There are a couple of theme park updates. First of all, the Hollywood one, that’s officially going to happen now. It was announced in December 2011, and they said they were going to do it, but it only got green-lit a couple of days ago by NBC. [laughs]

Eric: Green-lit.

Andrew: So now construction is going to begin Summer 2013 – so this summer – and there’s no opening date yet but it’s probably going to be like 2015, I assume.

Eric: So this is California you’re talking about?

Andrew: Yeah, the Hollywood Wizarding World, which is probably going to be somewhat of a clone. It’s not going to have… I mean, I don’t know how… they don’t have much room, so they’re not going to be building that Dueling Dragons coaster. They’re definitely going to have Forbidden Journey, we know that, and I assume they’ll have the Hagrid ride as well.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Buckbeak. And the shops. So I think this is going to be a smaller one of Orlando.

Eric: Well you always said there was no room, but aren’t they actually tearing down an amphitheater or something?

Andrew: Yeah, they’re taking out the Gibson Amphitheater.

Eric: I mean, that’s a pretty big deal. That’s a lot of space.

Andrew: Yeah, but they had zero space to build this. So they have to knock out something.

Eric: Oh, okay. Yeah.

Andrew: It’s not like they have a lot of land to work with to begin with, and the Gibson theater. It’s just that they have no land. [laughs]

Eric: [laughs] Okay.

Andrew: So yeah, they’re knocking out that and the Curious George ride and the WaterWorld thing.

Eric: Yes, I saw an angry tweet. It was like, “F you, Curious George!”

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: “Move in, Harry Potter! Woo!” And I was like, that’s a little harsh for the monkey, okay?

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Curious George was big time back in the day, okay?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: You remember this, Micah? You’re telling us a story?

Micah: Yeah. Absolutely.

Andrew: And down in…

Micah: There’s no more to that story. That’s it. That’s all.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: It was big in its day. I believe you, man. The Man in the Yellow Hat? The big yellow hat? I remember that, kind of, from my childhood. A little before me.

Andrew: Down in Orlando, there’s the expansion happening there. The London slash Diagon Alley land at Universal Studios, and they’re making big progress. I mean, if you look at these photos, there are… it’s completely vertical now. You can see the London waterfront, how the buildings are going to line the London waterfront. You can see Platform 9 3/4 because of the archway. It’s just really coming together really quickly. It’s rumored to be opening next summer in June or July, and…

Micah: Is that why LeakyCon is going there next year?

Andrew: I don’t know. You would think, you would… yeah, that must be why. [laughs]

Micah: Does somebody have some inside information we don’t know about?

Andrew: No, that just must be why.

Micah: Oh.

Andrew: Well, it’s… they’re… I don’t know if they have reliable inside sources, but it’s a fair guess.

Eric: Mhm.

Andrew: And…

Eric: Yeah, I agree.

Andrew: …somebody told MuggleNet that there’s going to be an announcement in another four or five weeks, I think, at this point. So…

Eric: Yeah, they were down… some of the MuggleNet staff was down, and I don’t have the full story either. I haven’t talked to them yet. But they were down in Orlando for the Quidditch World Cup which was in Kissimmee, Florida, and they went to Orlando and started talking with some of the staff, and they got some confirmations, I guess, that there would, in fact, be a Gringotts cart coaster. And so we were saying for a while, what rides could they do in the Muggle world? The Muggle world is typically pretty boring, but having the Diagon Alley side of things instead of just the Hogsmeade, they could do a Gringotts ride. So we were looking forward to that.

Andrew: Yeah, and I still think it’ll be based on the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 scene.

Eric: I think so too, considering what… Bellatrix was there, or they were filming…

Andrew: Right.

Eric: …scenes for the train as well, right?

Andrew: Yeah, but the Bellatrix thing – that would make sense if it’s going to be… I forgot all about that, that the…

Eric: Getting into her vault and…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: …stuff like that because, yeah, something like that. I think you’re right. And then, if they do have her on the train, it would be like… I believe the news was that there were multiple sequences, so that maybe different things happen to you when you’re on the train at different times.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: So maybe one time you’ll get there safely, another time the Death Eaters will board the train or something.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: I don’t know.

Micah: Could be Dementors.

Andrew: Do you get a ticket refund if you don’t make it all the way to the other side?

Eric: [laughs] And then you don’t have to buy a park pass. They’re just like, “We’ll let you out here.” Or maybe the lady will come by with the trolley and make you buy park passes if you want to go in between.

Andrew: Well, I’m kind of imagining it’ll also be like the Star Tours ride at Disneyland where there’s… the new version of it, there’s multiple story-lines and outcomes. It’s completely random each time, so you get different stories each time. So I’m thinking maybe it could be something like that. I just… this train idea just sounds like a mess to me because it’s going to hold a limited…

Micah: Positive, Andrew. Positive.

Andrew: Well, it’s…

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Well, yeah, but it’s going to hold a limited number of people. Imagine how many people are going to be wanting to ride this train. The wait is going to be so long for this ten-minute ride. Of course it’ll be cool and everybody will want to do it, don’t get me wrong, it’s just… it seems like the ride capacity is not going to be very high. I have a headache just thinking about waiting in line already.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: It’s like taking the subway in New York.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: But…

Eric: Only with more space to move around.

Micah: Eric, you touched on this a little bit, but do you think maybe you could see different scenarios play out depending on the actual time of day? So morning versus in the evening, you’d have different scenarios playing out?

Eric: Maybe, but what kind of thing would they do, morning versus night?

Micah: Scarier stuff at night. I don’t know.

Eric: Oh, I wonder. That would be interesting if it was for time of day. But yeah, if you… if the line is long, like Andrew was saying, you’ll wait in the morning and get on at night. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah. They did such a great job with Forbidden Journey. And that’s a good point, Micah, because when you’re riding this train, you’re not going to be able to look out real windows. By the way, I don’t know if… in case people forget, the train is going to connect the existing Wizarding World with the new Diagon Alley land. They’re both in… they’re in separate parks, so you’re going to take this train and there’s this train track that runs behind Universal. You’re not going to be able to look out the real windows because you would just see buildings…

Micah: Oh, okay.

Andrew: …so that would be lame. So it’s going to be virtual. So yeah, Micah, when you’re riding that at night, you would think that the scenes are going to be all nighttime scenes versus…

Micah: Yeah, it would make sense.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, it does make sense.

Micah: And then, how about people to play out roles on the train itself?

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: Ooh!

Micah: Similar to characters that we see at the Wizarding World right now, and nobody really comes to mind other than the wizard in Ollivander’s shop and the Durmstrang and Beauxbatons…

Eric: And the train conductor.

Micah: …performers.

Eric: Everybody loves the train conductor.

Micah: Oh, yeah. Can’t forget about the train conductor.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: But they do have strong actors…

Micah: He’s going to have a job now. He can’t just stand outside the Hogwarts Express.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: See, I wonder if they’re…

Eric: They put him out of a job.

Andrew: I wonder if they’re going to keep that train there.

Micah: Probably not.

Andrew: Yeah, I’m split on that.

Micah: Maybe they’ll change it into something else.

Andrew: Because that’s such a great photo opportunity, and you won’t be able to stand in front of the real train, obviously, once the real one is there. So I feel like they may actually keep it.

Eric: I think… yeah, I agree. I agree with that.

Andrew: It’ll be interesting. I’m excited to see all the changes.

Micah: So are we anticipating another grand reopening in this case?

Eric: I certainly am. I call dibs on getting the MuggleNet pass to go there.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: I’m really interested. Yeah, it’ll be a lot of fun.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Considering the last time… well, there were two. There were several, I feel like, grand openings throughout the years. But the most recent one was the Home Entertainment Celebration when the eighth film came out on DVD, and they just rolled a red carpet out from the center of Hogsmeade all the way out to… past the Sinbad thing and… yeah, it was just a lot of fun and they kind of… the environment fit. But for Universal, why wouldn’t they? Right? They have City Walk, they have their whole hotel experience. I guarantee you there will be another big event for that.

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Micah: I have a very serious question: Will they move Ollivander’s?

Andrew: I think…

Eric: That’s the thing, yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, I think there’s speculation about that. They should just have it in both lands.

Eric: I think that’s the practical – or rather the capitalist – thing to do, is be like, “This was Ollivander’s Hogsmeade outpost and always was,” but they’ll probably build another one and also have it in Diagon Alley at the same time. Because wands are among kind of the… I don’t want to say the coolest merchandise, but a lot of people really dig them.

Andrew: And the line for that was so long always, and you have to stand outside to wait to get in. So…

Eric: It’s true.

Andrew: …having two will maybe alleviate that…

Micah: That’s a good point.

Andrew: …a little bit. Even though it’s two separate parks. So it may not alleviate it at all. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah. I’m trying to remember the last time I was in the park at Universal in Florida. It was probably August, last August during Ascendio. But even then, the Harry Potter merchandise had completely overtaken the regular Universal Studios gift shops which I was blown away, but there just really wasn’t enough shelf room in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to cover all the merchandise that you could possibly get. And so it was duplicated and repeated, even over in the regular park where you cannot access the Wizarding World without having an Islands of Adventure pass and going in Islands of Adventure. Back in Universal Studios, those gift shops, too, were overrun with Quidditch gear and house scarves and all that other stuff. So clearly Harry Potter has just completely overtaken… it’s like Harry fever all over again, but the regular park. And that was long before, like you’re saying… the regular Muggle world side of it isn’t even open yet and already I’ve just seen all this Harry Potter stuff everywhere, so I’m sure it’ll be huge whenever it happens.

MuggleCast 264 Transcript (continued)

News: Chris Columbus Writes New Book, House of Secrets

Andrew: Okay, so let’s move on. One other news item today: Chris Columbus, he released his first children’s book titled House of Secrets, which I keep wanting to call House of Cards because of the Netflix show.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: But, Eric, you went to a book signing, I think, of his, right?

Eric: I was at a book signing. He came to a place called Winnetka, Illinois, which is on the north shore, north of Chicago, and it’s actually not too far from Wilmette and some of the filming locations for Home Alone. So he was really happy to be back, and as it turns out, he’s got a bunch of in-laws and stuff up here, so a lot of his family was at this book signing. But it was really cool. He did a short talk about how the book came to be. He’s co-writing what’s going to be a trilogy with another young adult author named Ned Vizzini. And he just kind of… it was a short event. He talked for maybe twenty minutes and then read an excerpt of his book, which is really good, guys. And I just want to give this my recommendation. I don’t know if an audiobook has been released yet, but I do have audio of him reading his book. [laughs] But yeah, he read a chapter from it.

Micah: Does he know that you have that audio?

Eric: No. No, he doesn’t. But surprise! No. Actually, JK Rowling wrote on the front cover. Her quote appears on the front cover, obviously. It says, “A breakneck roller-coaster of an adventure.” And so JK Rowling really liked this book. I really like this book. I’m only about a hundred pages in, but it’s about two… well, it’s about three siblings, and it’s two girls and a boy, and they both… actually, let me… no. Yes. I think so. Give me a moment.

Andrew: Yeah. No, that’s right.

Eric: Yeah. It’s about two girls and a boy. So it is a trio, and I actually brought that up to him in a Q&A. He was kind of offended. He was like, “Everybody says it’s always a trio!” Percy Jackson is a trio. Harry Potter is a trio. But no, he just said that the dynamic works really well for a trio, and I get that being a writer and all that. But it’s a really good book. It’s fantasy. It’s about these young siblings who essentially… their father was a surgeon and something happened and he lost his job, and now they’re having to relocate but they relocate to actually this surprisingly affordable mysterious old mansion. And it’s got… it’s in San Francisco with a view of the Golden Gate bridge, and before they know it, they’re lost in this house which used to belong to an old fantasy author himself. So they find themselves in the old world of this fantasy author, and it’s really, really quite cool. Just really another good children’s book. This is kind of the book I expected JK Rowling’s next book to be because it’s really enjoyable for kids. It’s an action adventure, and something like that. So Chris Columbus, the director of the first two Harry Potter films, is now a children’s author.

Micah: Did you invite him on MuggleCast when you met him?

Eric: No, but I have his publicist’s contact info so we can possibly get him on to talk about it.

Andrew: Yeah, we should try that.

Eric: Yeah. We should probably cut that out. [laughs]

Andrew: [laughs] No, it’s fine. So we have a video on Hypable. One of our readers attended his New York City event at Union Square, actually, where we’ve podcasted a couple of times.

Eric: Oh, no way!

Andrew: And he spoke about how he got help from JK Rowling. He said, “I sent Jo Rowling the…” by the way, he says [pronounces “Raouling”] Rowling in the video, which is like, oh, come on, man.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: So he said, “I sent Jo Rowling the manuscript of this when we finished it for some advice. She gave me some advice that we were moving too fast, and there was some character work that needed to be put in because the story was at too much of a roller-coaster pace. So we made some of those changes, and then a few weeks later, I got an email from her, and it was the quote that’s on the back of the book. And I thought, ‘That’s an incredibly generous thing to do. She did not have to do that.’ And it really makes all the difference in the world because she rarely does something like that.” And after reading this, I realized, have we ever seen a quote on a book before from JK Rowling? One of these little reviews?

Eric: Melissa Anelli’s book has had… well, she didn’t…

Andrew: It had the foreword, yeah.

Eric: She wrote the foreword. Now, that’s even more… I’d say that’s even more intense.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: To write a foreword for the book. But yeah, I haven’t seen… I’m trying to think where else it would be, like maybe a review or something like that. But no, you’re used to seeing other people’s reviews of her books in her books, you know? It’s very odd that she’s now reviewing other people’s books. But I think it says most about the relationship between them. And…

Andrew: Yeah…

Eric: Yeah, go ahead.

Andrew: I also thought it was like this, kind of, beautiful circle moment, where back with the first films, Chris Columbus brought her characters to life, and now she’s returning the favor, helping him. I thought that was nice.

Eric: That quote, by the way – I have the book right here – the quote that she provided, the full quote, is: “A breakneck, jam-packed, roller-coaster of an adventure about the secret power of books, House of Secrets comes complete with three resourceful sibling heroes, a seriously creepy villainess, and barrel-loads of fantasy and fear.” And that quote “barrel-loads” is actually a reference to the book. I know that already. [laughs]

Andrew: And the reviews on Amazon are pretty positive, so check it out.

Eric: Yeah, like I said, I’ve enjoyed reading it thus far, and it’s a quick read too. It is 450 pages, but I’m reading it really fast.

Micah: Cool.

Pottermore Discussion: Chapters 8 to 15

Andrew: So that’s it for news, other than one of the bigger news items – quote, unquote – of the past month, which is that Prisoner of Azkaban released their latest batch of chapters. We got Chapters 8 through 15. And, as usual, what I like to do on Hypable is just go through them and do a breakdown of what’s new in each chapter. And Chapter 8… we’ll go through it in more detail in a second, but Chapter 8, we’ve got new content from JK Rowling about the Hogwarts portraits. Chapter 9, there was nothing. Chapter 10, there was new content from JK Rowling about the Marauder’s Map. Chapter 11, new content about Gobstones. Chapter 12 had this little blurb about Dementors and chocolate. It says, “New writing from JK Rowling,” but it’s nothing really new, factually speaking.

Eric: Hmmm.

Andrew: Chapter 13, new writing about the Firebolt. And then Chapters 14 and 15, there weren’t anything. So let’s start with Chapter 8. There was… JK Rowling wrote about the Hogwarts portraits, and this chapter is “Flight of the Fat Lady.”

“The degree to which [the portraits] can interact with the people looking at them depends not on the skill of the painter, but on the power of the witch or wizard painted.

When a magical portrait is taken, the witch or wizard artist will naturally use enchantments to ensure that the painting will be able to move in the usual way. The portrait will be able to use some of the subject’s favorite phrases and imitate their general demeanor. Thus, Sir Cadogan’s portrait is forever challenging people to a fight, falling off its horse, and behaving in a fairly unbalanced way, which is how the subject appeared to the poor wizard who had to paint him, while the portrait of the Fat Lady continues to indulge her love of good food, drink, and tip-top security long after her living model passed away.”

Micah: So this suggests that portraits are done while people are still living as opposed to somebody who might paint a picture of a professor or somebody in the wizarding world after they passed.

Andrew: That’s a good point. Yeah.

Eric: Hmmm. Yeah, it seems that they have to be sitting for their portrait.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. And it kind of makes me think back to Dumbledore. You wonder when his portrait was taken, or when he sat for his portrait. And I also wonder if it’s kind of like… [laughs] what kind of discussion is that like? “All right, it’s time to take your portrait. We’ve got to do it before you die.” [laughs]

Eric: [laughs] Yeah. Well, I mean as a headmaster too, because all the headmasters of Hogwarts have a portrait of them. I assume it’s fairly standard, right?

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, probably.

Eric: So that’s true. But…

Andrew: It was some interesting insight into the personalities because there’s always been some questions about how that works.

Eric: Yeah, and we’ve always been unsure just how much of the person is in their portrait as well.

Andrew: Sort of like with ghosts, right? I think we’ve discussed that to some extent.

Eric: Yeah, with ghosts, whether they’re just sort of imprints – [laughs] imprint – of their former selves or if they have the memories and all that.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: And the books are kind of vague on that, so it’s always been interesting to read about portraits and ghosts.

Andrew: Chapter 10, “The Marauder’s Map,” had new content about the Marauder’s Map.

“The magic used in the map’s creation is advanced and impressive; it includes the Homonculous Charm, enabling the possessor of the map to track the movements of every person in the castle, and it was also enchanted to forever repel (as insultingly as possible) the curiosity of their nemesis, Severus Snape.”

So that we already knew, but it dived into a little bit more information.

“Although the precise circumstances surrounding the makers’ loss of their map are not given in the ‘Harry Potter’ novels, it is easy to conclude that they eventually over-reached themselves and were cornered by Argus Filch, probably on a tip-off from Snape, whose obsession it had become to expose his arch-rival, James Potter, in wrongdoing. The masterpiece of a map was confiscated in Sirius, James, Remus, and Peter’s final year and none of them were able to steal it back from a well-prepared and suspicious Filch.”

Eric: It sounds like Filch really had a heyday. He was on the top of his… he somehow acquired the map. Obviously he couldn’t operate it, but they were outsmarted and the Marauders couldn’t get it back. So it seems like Filch must have been on the top of his game.

Andrew: Yeah. Even though when we come to meet him in the Harry Potter books, he’s kind of past his prime. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: He’s just the crazy old man still running around the school.

[Eric laughs]

Micha: Yeah.

Andrew: That’s an interesting…

Micah: That’d be interesting to see him in his heyday. You see some of what he really enjoys, I think, in Order of the Phoenix when Umbridge is able to take over. But it’s hard to imagine him though, knowing his character now, as being sort of this disciplinarian that was able to do as he saw fit and that he could actually outsmart anybody.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, no, and the other thing about the Marauder’s Map is that it seems like the map insulted, or would have only insulted, Severus Snape. Like that’s why it insults him. But maybe, I think, it was only programmed to insult him. Like if anybody else tried to get to the map it would just lay blank and wouldn’t lay comments like “greasy git,” “hooked-nose,” all that other stuff. I think that was programmed in there just for Snape because the Marauders didn’t like Snape.

Andrew: I wonder how old he lived to.

Eric: Who?

Andrew: Filch. Sorry.

Eric: Oh. Yeah, I wonder.

Andrew: Because I’m just reading in a little history here on one of the Wikipedia profiles that he came to the school around 1973. So by the time we’re introduced to him, he’d been there for like twenty, twenty-five, thirty years already.

Eric: No kidding.

Micah: It’s going to take him a long time to clean up after the battle, so…

Andrew: [laughs] Oh, right. Yeah.

Micah: …at least he’s going to be employed for a while. But these chapters are interesting because they all give you deeper insight into items as opposed to characters. And so I wonder if people are more interested on Pottermore in learning about these different objects, as opposed to learning about the characters in the series. I would feel like more people would want to know backstory on characters.

Eric: That’s fair. But then again, I think the object… the relationship between these objects and the people is pretty strong. It’s about the Marauder’s map, sure, but who made it? The Marauders. So any more information we get about the map also reflects back on the Marauders. Like there’s story about bewitching it to get rid of Snape, and then also the fact that they eventually have to surrender it to Filch. That’s more about them.

Micah: Yeah. No, it’s a fair point. I mean, I haven’t really spent any time on Pottermore in a while, and I just feel like unfortunately what I’ll do is go and read these articles on Hypable or MuggleNet when they get released and learn about the new content that way. And part of me doesn’t want to say that because I was initially so pumped for something like Pottermore, and for this online community to live and breathe, and have this level of interaction that I don’t think we’ve ever seen before. But it just… I feel like in a way… without being too negative, I feel like a lot of its lustre has been lost.

Eric: Hmmm. Possibly.

Micah: You feel like that’s fair to say, or…

Eric: Well, yeah. I mean…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: …what you need is the PlayStation Home version of Pottermore…

[Micah laughs]

Eric: …which is really gorgeous.

Andrew: But we’ve talked about this before. I don’t think this is anything new. It’s just the whole losing its lustre sort of thing. I mean, I was thinking back the other day. Remember when everybody was so excited, what’s this new Harry Potter announcement from JK Rowling? There was this chance for this to really rock the Harry Potter fandom. And it did, and then… I mean, I’ll give you one example with these new chapters to present a new part of this argument here. Chapter 12 is “The Patronus.” Why don’t we get our Patronus? We get our wands, we got sorted, so everybody assumed that we would be getting our Patronus as well.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: And that’s disappointed people. I think they’re… oh, here, one person in the Hypable comments said maybe the Patronus test will come with Order of the Phoenix.

Eric: Right, when the DA learns to do Patronuses.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Possibly.

Andrew: But I feel like…

Eric: I mean, they have a second chance. They’re lucky to have a second chance. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah. But shouldn’t they be doing that sooner rather than later, the Patronus thing? Because as a student, you learn it early on…

Eric: When Harry learns it?

Andrew: Yeah. Right.

Eric: Hmmm. Yeah.

Andrew: Well, anyway…

Eric: Possibly.

Micah: Yeah, I mean, I didn’t… I’m not trying to get down on it because I still think it’s a great place to go and I think you get to do a lot of cool things, you learn a lot of cool information. The other thing for me is, does Pottermore have any plans moving forward to release a guide, a calendar, as to when they’re going to be putting out more chapters?

Andrew: No.

Micah: Because the whole “surprise, there’s new chapters,” it just doesn’t hit people the same way. Whereas I think if they had something tangible, they can know, okay, I’m going to go back in the first month… or sorry, the first day of May and I’m going to have new chapters available. I’m going to go back on the 1st of September, there’s going to be new chapters. I just… what do you think?

Andrew: No, I don’t think they’ll do that.

Eric: I think it’s a fair point, though. They really should… I mean, something that we can rely on. A timetable.

Andrew: But why? Are people honestly going to be counting down the days until they get to read…

Eric: Well, they can’t now. So how would you know, right? It’s not an opportunity for people…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Or put a countdown up for the next chapters on the Pottermore website. Maybe you have to do something to unlock it, I don’t know, and it gives you the number of days until the next set of chapters that are going to be revealed.

Andrew: I’m not like… I don’t know. I’m not sitting here being like, “Oh, I can’t wait until I click around like a crazy madman, discovering little secrets on these Moments again. I can’t wait for that. Ooh.” Like there’s nothing to be excited about to look forward to with Pottermore that’s countdown worthy. That’s what I mean.

Micah: But out of the three of us right now who are hosting the show, how many of us logged in and unlocked this information?

Andrew: Well, I only did it because I have to cover it.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Micah: Eric, did you?

Andrew: I mean, it’s fun to read…

Eric: I’m relying on Andrew’s coverage right now.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Okay, so we’re oh for three…

Eric: I’m still on Book 1, okay? It’s terrible. I realize that.

Micah: We host a Harry Potter show, we have for more than seven years, and yet we’re oh for three in terms of utilizing this platform on a regular basis.

Andrew: Because they’re not utilizing it!

Eric: Or one for three on reading JK Rowling’s next book after Harry Potter. Your point? Come on! [laughs]

Andrew: But they’re not utilizing it. That’s part of the problem.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Why should we be utilizing it if they’re not? There’s nothing here, really. There’s stuff here…

Eric: We’re not that hard to please, is what I think you’re all trying to say. We’re not hard to please, but they haven’t pleased us yet.

Andrew: This just makes everybody want the encyclopedia more. Anyway…

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: …let’s continue on.

Eric: Did we forget… what did they say about Dementors and chocolate? Do you have that?

Andrew: Where is it here? It was so brief. I mean, I’ll try to pull it up, but…

Eric: Okay.

Andrew: …it was just a real… it was like one paragraph and it was just like a summary sort of thing. While I’m looking that up, in “The Firebolt” chapter there was new content about Gobstones. Now, this… I mean, this is like a minority sport. Can somebody read that while I’m looking this up?

Eric: Sure. I’ll read this. It’s on Gobstones. Now, I remember Gobstones from the books. There was really only a few games that people play: Quidditch, Gobstones, Wizard’s Chess.

“Professional Gobstone players compete in national leagues and international tournaments, but it remains a minority sport within the wizarding world, and does not enjoy a very ‘cool’ reputation, something its devotees tend to resent. Gobstones is most popular among very young wizards and witches, but they generally ‘grow out’ of the game, becoming more interested in Quidditch as they grow older.”

Andrew: So…

Eric: So that’s like, what, T-ball and baseball, right? [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, and it was kind of a cool little… I mean, did you guys remember reading about Gobstones? I certainly didn’t.

Eric: It was always present, right? In the background, somebody is always playing Gobstones in the courtyard or…

Micah: Yeah, they’re in the video games also.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Micah: They have you play Gobstones, I think, in order to unlock certain achievements or…

Eric: Wizard cards or something.

Micah: Yeah, something along those lines. But I wonder why it didn’t enjoy a very cool reputation. To me it almost seems like people who play… and I’m not disrespecting anybody here, I’m just saying. I don’t know that playing chess sort of professionally carries necessarily a cool reputation with it.

Andrew: Right. Yeah, I was going to compare it to checkers.

Eric: [laughs] Versus chess. Well, also, what, marbles is a game. I mean, I would love to learn how to play marbles. But that’s a game, too, that people play. And dominos is a thing, it has something to do with math. So…

Micah: Everything is a sport these days, okay?

Andrew: Here’s the…

Eric: Well, it’s just a cool game to play. I mean, it’s cool that this subject is even touched on, I think, by JK Rowling. Again, it kind of makes sense, trying to flesh it out.

Andrew: Here’s the thing on Dementors and chocolate:

“The mood-enhancing properties of chocolate are well known in both the Muggle and wizard worlds. Chocolate is the perfect antidote for anyone who has been overcome in the presence of Dementors, which suck hope and happiness out of their surroundings.

Chocolate can only be a short-term remedy, however. Finding ways to fight off Dementors – or depression – are essential if one is to become permanently happier. Excessive chocolate consumption cannot benefit either Muggle or wizard.”

So it was just a goofy little thing.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: But that has the header “New from JK Rowling”…

Eric: Mhm.

Andrew: …and we’re like, ehh. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah. No, I see your point there.

Andrew: Mhm. Okay, it’s a Firebolt thing. New content from JK Rowling in Chapter 13, “Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw.”

“Little did the Nimbus designers realize that a racing broom was in development that would knock them from their number one spot within twelve months of its release. This was the Firebolt, a top-secret project developed by Randolph Spudmore (son of Able Spudmore of Ellerby and Spudmore, who produced the Tinderblast in 1940…)”

[laughs] So it’s just these little behind-the-scenes pieces of information that obviously had no place in the book, really. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah. No, I love this and I love JK Rowling’s… we do a summary of this on Episode… well, the latest episode of Alohomora!, which I was able to join, as their first weekly episode just aired. And there’s about three or four paragraphs about the Firebolt. You’re right, Andrew. It’s just stuff about history. These people – Able Spudmore, Randolph Spudmore – never would ever appear in the book. But her names for brooms always amused me like no other. I mean, Tinderblast, Swiftstick…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: For a broom, it’s funny. It’s funny, but in terms of other content to really back up this kind of backstory being given, it is a little… it’s a desolate wasteland of nothing else besides these facts, Pottermore. So yeah.

Andrew: I made a Firebolt once for elementary school. I can’t remember…

Eric: Really?

Andrew: …what the assignment… yeah, but I had a broom…

Micah: You ate one or you made one?

Andrew: I made one!

Micah: Oh.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: And I painted it gold, and I made a whole box for it, and it was so much fun.

Eric: Oh, elementary school.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Eric: Well, it must have been… well, yeah, it could have been as early as, what, ’99? So…

Andrew: Yeah. I’ll have to try to find it.

Eric: I was eleven or something.

Andrew: The Firebolt always… as a kid, that was so exciting to read Harry getting the Firebolt because it’s like, wow, this new toy. Even though it wasn’t a toy. It’s, “Wow, this new… he’s so powerful now that he has the Firebolt.” It’s like us getting a new bicycle.

Eric: Yeah. No, that’s true. And even in the Pottermore review of the Firebolt it says, “Price available upon request,” so she’s not giving away or divulging how much the Firebolt actually costs.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: Which worries me [laughs] because it seems like a really expensive broom.

Micah: I just really like this because it shows her attention to detail and how much she’s actually fleshed out the detail, the story. Even something as simple as broomsticks. It has a history to it that she knows, and it’s somewhere in her head or it’s somewhere written down or in a box somewhere in her house, and this level of detail has been thought through. To me, that’s impressive.

Andrew: I wonder if she’s making some of this stuff up on the fly. Like Pottermore people say, “Hey, we need something for this chapter,” and then she’ll read the summary about the chapter and be like, “Okay, hmmm, what can I give them?” And then sometimes, as we know, she’ll look in her boxes of notes, or maybe other times she’s like, “Well, let me write something entirely new.”

Eric: Mhm.

Andrew: I’d be interested to hear how her process with Pottermore works. So then, Chapters 14 and 15 there wasn’t really anything new, so that’s about it for the latest Pottermore chapters, and it seems like we’re getting a new batch, to answer your question earlier, Micah, about the countdown. Every season, it seems like, four releases a year. So maybe you can look forward to the next chapters in late summer.

Micah: Yeah, I guess.

Eric: In our concluding thought here about Pottermore, we owe our swear jar $5.75.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: For what?

Andrew: Micah has to pay because he brought up the discussion.

Eric: This is low, which is… it’s a low amount, it’s lower than I thought it would be.

Micah: I’ll pay it.

Andrew: Micah has to pay, yeah. He brought up the questions. The negative questions.

Eric: I charged myself two dollars for calling it a desolate wasteland. I thought that was pretty harsh.

Micah: I’m surprised, though, nothing in 14, “Snape’s Grudge.”

Andrew: About Snape?

Micah: There was no backstory or information available there.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s just… it’s really disappointing when you go on a Moment, and all you have to do is click around to try to find a Galleon. And that’s it.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: It’s like, why? [laughs]

Micah: Well, you’d think, also, that they would plan a little bit better from a chapter standpoint. For example, with “The Quidditch Final.” If they’re leaving you, they probably want to leave you on a high note, you would think. So they’d want to give you information in that last chapter because it’s going to be a long time, presumably, until that next set of chapters is released. So why not give you more information in that final chapter… you have it written here, there’s nothing noteworthy. That, to me, doesn’t make sense.

Eric: Hmmm. They’re leaving on a low note because they haven’t presented content for two chapters.

Andrew: Right. Leave us with something new!

Eric: So they should have stopped at Chapter 13, and then waited to develop more about 14 and 15.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Hmmm, interesting.

Andrew: Anyway…

Eric: And it’s now $7.25.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Micah, you’d better pay the man.

Micah: Who’s collecting?

Eric: The CEO. Charlie Redmayne.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: I almost said Eddie Redmayne, and that was like, he’ll sing to you but he’ll collect your money. Anyway…

Voicemails: Thank You, MuggleCast

Andrew: Let’s move on to voicemails now, we have several of them here. So hopefully we can move through these swiftly and intelligently.

Micah: I’ll try.

Eric: These voicemails are great, by the way. I did want to thank everybody for submitting them. The last month was our highest month of voicemails since we reopened the hotline.

Andrew: Right. Well, people listen now and they want to get in on the action.

Eric: People are doing it.

Andrew: Okay, so here’s the first one.

[Audio]: Hi MuggleCast, this is Alicia from Montana. I just wanted to call and say thank you for all your years of podcasting. It really turned me on to podcasting, and that’s how I spend my time at work now, is listening to your podcast. So thank you so much for all the years of great commentary. Thanks! Bye.

Andrew: So that was just a thank you. Are these all thank yous? We’re going to get through these really quick. [laughs] Just kidding.

Eric: No, there are actually some… there are some good questions in here, too. But that one was just gratitude.

Andrew: Okay.

Micah: I appreciate that she thanked us all for our great commentary over the years. Clearly over the years…

Andrew: You used to be better?

Micah: On an episode or two, I’m sure I’ve had some sort of intelligent analysis or comment.

Eric: Micah, don’t you think on that person’s comment one bit, man.

Andrew: All right, here’s the next voicemail.

Eric: Oh, okay.

[Audio]: Hi MuggleCast, greetings from Nashville, Tennessee. This is Matt. While learning the podcast is ending yesterday, I felt [unintelligible] to call in and express my gratitude. And…

Andrew: There you go, there’s another gratitude. So thank you.

Eric: Yes, thank you Matt. We unfortunately lost… the rest of his voicemail did not come through.

Andrew: Oh.

Eric: He had more to say, I guarantee it. But it kind of faded out and then I couldn’t… I don’t know if he’s in a no signal zone in Nashville or something, but that was gratitude from Matt. So thank you.

Andrew: Okay.

Micah: Well thanks, Matt. And definitely call back and leave us a message. Let us know what you had to say.

Voicemail: Dumbledore’s Right To Take Harry Away From Sirius

Andrew: Okay, next one.

[Audio]: Hi MuggleCast, I have a question that’s been burning for quite some time. Didn’t Dumbledore technically have no right to take Harry from Sirius? Isn’t it illegal… [unintelligible] has no connection to the Potters, and technically Sirius was his godfather. So wasn’t he technically kidnapping Harry by taking him from Sirius? I realize that’s the plot of the story, blah, blah, blah, love shield, all that. But at the same time, Dumbledore didn’t have any right to take Harry. And do you think if he had gotten Harry, do you think he would have risked going after Wormtail after he found out he was a traitor? And how do you think that would have affected the books? Would he have gone to Azkaban or still be accused as the traitor? What do you guys think? I love the show, and I’m going to be sad when it ends. I’m Alyssa by the way, from Colorado. I don’t think I said that. All right.

Andrew: Thank you, Alyssa. So…

Eric: So… yeah, go ahead.

Andrew: What point in time is she talking about?

Eric: I believe it’s when Dumbledore sends Hagrid to get Harry from the broken rubble of his parents’ house so that Harry can live with his aunt. I guess the question is, wasn’t Sirius his legal guardian at that point?

Andrew: Well, my first thought on that one would be, was Sirius in any sort of… was he capable of taking care of a child at that point? I would argue no.

Eric: Well, I’m trying to remember… yeah, I’m trying to remember what Hagrid says. And this is in Prisoner of Azkaban, about running across Sirius when he went to get Harry. Because this is… from what I recall, there was a confrontation where Hagrid arrived to get Harry, and Sirius was there. And they kind of had words with each other. But I think, basically, if I remember correctly, Hagrid talked to Sirius about taking Harry to live with his family. And I think Sirius, at that point, was probably plotting his revenge on Peter right then and there. So I think Sirius must have made the decision that he was in no fit state to take care of Harry.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: And that he would have given up… I think that’s what happened in the book. This could be in Prisoner of Azkaban, this could be just in my brain. But I think that’s what happened.

Micah: Yeah. I believe the line is, when Dumbledore asks him, “Where’d you get that motorbike?” and he says, “Borrowed it, Professor Dumbledore, sir. Young Sirius Black lent it to me.”

Eric: Yeah, that was in Book 1. That’s the beginning of Book 1. So it seems like there was definitely a dialogue. Sirius was like, “Here, take this. I won’t need it. You’ve got to get Harry off to his aunt.” So it seemed like Sirius was in full support of Hagrid taking Harry.

Micah: Yeah, the one thing that I would question, though, is at this point, Sirius is believed to be the Potters’ Secret Keeper. Isn’t he?

Eric: Yeah. In fact, Dumbledore himself gave evidence that Sirius was guilty. So actually, wouldn’t Dumbledore have cautioned Hagrid about interacting with Sirius Black?

Micah: Yeah…

Eric: Because… yeah, right?

Micah: I know in the voicemail she said that she realizes that Harry, going or not going, in this case, to his aunt and uncle’s would have altered the entire course of the story, and obviously things would not have played out the way that they did. The protection wouldn’t have been there. But I just wonder with Sirius, she mentioned also, would he have gone after Peter Pettigrew and then would more information, I guess, have come to light as a result? Again, it depends what people believed. I think most people believed him to be the Secret Keeper, and that’s why he also went after Wormtail and tried to kill him, he was trying to eliminate all the Marauders. It’s hard to say. I don’t think Dumbledore at that time would have trusted Sirius with Harry, legal or not. Legal guardian or not.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: He needed a home, Harry needed a home to grow up in. A steady home. Maybe Dumbledore thought two parents would do him well, even though he knew that the Dursleys probably are obviously not the best family. [laughs]

Eric: Mhm. Yeah, he had to have known.

Andrew: He just needed a steady childhood and the Dursleys’ home offered that.

Eric: And a couple of days later Sirius was in jail, so…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: …there you go.

Andrew: Maybe Dumbledore had a feeling. [laughs]

Eric: [laughs] [singing] “I’ve got a feeling!”

MuggleCast 264 Transcript (continued)

Voicemail: Future Stories From JK Rowling About Wizarding World

Andrew: Here’s the next voicemail.

[Audio]: Hello. Robert Campbell, I’m calling from Poznan in Poland across the Atlantic in Europe, and I’m an American from Boston who has become a publisher in a language very much not my own, Polish, and publish Harry Potter. Each volume has sold more than half a million and I’ve enjoyed your discussions. Recently, there was a discussion, would JK Rowling write something again about the wizarding world and Hogwarts? And was there any inside information? My answer is, I don’t think so. I think that without the stress of an evil villain like Voldemort who might win, I don’t think any of the stories would have the same kind of tension, so I don’t think she’s going to go back to Hogwarts aside from filling in with the encyclopedia. Thanks for listening.

Andrew: There you go. So he does not think any other books besides the encyclopedia. I agree with that.

Eric: Yeah, I think he makes a good case. This is so fascinating to hear, you know, obviously different people from different walks of life.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: This gentleman from Boston is in Poland working at the publisher…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: …that published the Polish Harry Potter books. Come on! That’s awesome.

Andrew: Maybe he has insider info!

Eric: He said that. He said insider info is that he doesn’t think it’ll happen, so I don’t know.

Andrew: [laughs] Well, I don’t think anybody truly knows. I don’t even think if JK Rowling knows.

Eric: No.

Andrew: Because she continues to rule… she always says, “Never say never. Never say never.”

Eric: She does always say that.

Andrew: It just seems way too surreal for that to happen again, other than the encyclopedia.

Eric: But this does directly relate, I guess, to our conversation on the last MuggleCast, wasn’t it?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: As to whether or not she will bring a villain back.

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: I think that’s the big key. You can tell stories about the future. What would have happened with Harry’s kids, Ron’s kids, once they went to Hogwarts? But you’d have to have something compelling there that… and I don’t… necessarily has to be a villain or an evil presence, that’s just what we’re accustomed to. But I would feel like if anything is written, it would have to be prior to. I just don’t think that… again though, I think in the last episode I argued the opposite so I think I’m just going to leave it up to JK Rowling…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: …if she decides to write something in the future, then she decides to do it. But she’s the only one who knows and, Eric, you made a good point. Maybe she doesn’t even know at this point.

Eric: Yeah, Andrew said that too.

Andrew: I don’t think… yeah.

Eric: Who knows, right?

Andrew: I don’t think she… no, she has to feel it, and if she’s not feeling it right now, then she probably is leaning towards no. But maybe in a few years, she’ll get it… look, all it’s going to take is for her to have a burst of inspiration that really gets her writing.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: That’s all it’s going to take.

Eric: Man, if I were her neighbor, I’d be that really annoying neighbor that’s like, “Are you feeling it yet? New Harry Potter book today?”

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: “New Harry Potter book?”

Micah: You’d be Ned Flanders?

Andrew: That’ll be our first question.

Eric: I would be Ned. Okilly-dokilly-doo!

Andrew: That’ll be our first question to her during our interview that never happens.

[Micah and Eric laugh]

Eric: Hey, we’re working on that, Andrew. Don’t give up hope.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Voicemail: Dumbledore Calls MuggleCast

Andrew: Here’s the next voicemail. Maybe it’s from Jo.

[Audio]: [as Dumbledore] Good afternoon. This is Albus Dumbledore…

[Eric laughs]

[Audio]: …calling you from Northampton, Pennsylvania.

Andrew: Oh, my gosh.

[Audio]: My real name is Manny Aguero.

Micah: Albus sounds like a woman.

[Audio]: I’m an originally [unintelligible] Harry Potter fan. I’ve listened to the audiobooks more times than I can count, and I do a fairly good impression of Albus Dumbledore. I thought I’d like to share it with you and hope you enjoy it.

Micah: Well, thank… oh.

[Audio]: Good afternoon again.

[Andrew laughs]

[Audio]: And remember, if you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good and kind and brave. [back to normal voice] Hope you like that, guys. I do pretty good voice impressions.

Andrew: Whoa.

[Audio]: If you’ve got any Yankee fans among you, I can do a little John Sterling for you. [as John Sterling] Ballgame over! Yankees win! Theeeeeeeeee Yankees win! [back to normal voice] Hope you like that, guys. Thanks. You guys do a great job, by the way. Keep up the good work.

[Andrew laughs]

[Audio]: [unintelligible]

Andrew: What was that? [laughs]

Micah: That was awesome. Thank you.

Andrew: I like how we first thought it was a girl, or Micah did. Well, I did too.

Eric: You did. You’re the one who said that.

Andrew: No! Micah said that.

Micah: I said it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: You said it?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Oh.

Andrew: And then [laughs] it turned out to be a guy. What was the second voice he was doing?

Micah: He was doing John Sterling, who is known for his broadcasts of Yankees games, and he does that “Yankees win” at the end of every game that the Yankees win.

Andrew: Oh. Wow. Well, thank you.

Eric: Is that many games, Micah?

Micah: Over the course of the last fifteen years, I would say so.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: I’m not a fan of his. I think he’s a horrible radio announcer.

Eric: Ooh.

Micah: But that’s besides the point.

Andrew: Yeah, very much besides the point.

Micah: As a Mets fan, that has nothing to do with it, by the way. I just think…

Andrew: Okay, yeah.

Micah: Yeah. Anyway, moving on.

Eric: But anyway, the Dumbledore impression…

Micah: Who sent that in? Noah?

Eric: No. No, just some guy from… well, Albus Dumbledore from Northampton, PA.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Micah: I didn’t know that’s where he relocated after the movies were over.

Eric: After the Witness Protection kicked in, and he just survived.

Voicemail: Anniversary Versions of Harry Potter Films

Andrew: Here’s our next voicemail.

[Audio]: Hey, MuggleCast! It’s Allison, from Wisconsin. I was just listening to Episode 262, and you guys were discussing the deluxe anniversary editions or whatever of the new book covers. And I had recently just seen Jurassic Park 3D, which was amazing by the way, and it got me to thinking, along with your discussion, do you think they’ll do anniversary versions of the movies? And do you think they’ll try to do, like the trend is, of putting these in 3D and everything? If they were to do that, would you guys go see it? I think… I don’t know, just thinking of it, I think they could do midnight releases and everything, and I think it would be kind of cool to go back to them and dress up and everything, even though I’m in my mid-20s. I don’t know, I’m curious if you guys would attend and what you think about that.

Andrew: So anniversary editions of movies. Could they happen, Micah?

Eric: But in 3D, was the real question.

Micah: Wow, that sounded like Eric.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Micah: Anything that Warner Bros. can do to make money, yes. I wouldn’t be surprised.

Eric: Oh, such a cynic.

Micah: What?

Eric: I agree. I said the same thing! But no, the question was, “Will there be in 3D also?”

Micah: Well, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was available in 3D.

Eric: Well, that already was, but do you think they would up-convert the way they have up-converted Jurassic Park into 3D. Did you see that, by the way? Andrew, did you go see that in 3D?

Andrew: I want to. I haven’t yet though, no.

Eric: It’s awesome.

Andrew: I heard it’s really good.

Eric: It’s really cool.

Micah: Yeah, I think there’s a lot of cool scenes that take place throughout the course of the series, but you’re talking about taking an entire series and converting it into 3D, though I don’t… maybe some of them were shot in 3D but never released. I don’t know the answer to that.

Eric: I think on home video, the first… the last two films are available in 3D. But only the last… maybe Half-Blood Prince is as well. I’m not sure on that, so “6”, “7”, and “8”. No, but they’re doing that with Star Wars. All of Star Wars is going to be converted into 3D. At least Episode 1 was released last year, and they’re planning on doing it with the rest. And then Jurassic Park… these were movies that weren’t even ever conceived to be in 3D, and then they’re up… they’re converting them later for, obviously, bigger box office draw.

Andrew: I think they decided… yeah, they decided to… not that it matters, but they scrapped the plans to re-release Episodes 2 and 3 in 3D.

Eric: Really?

Andrew: Yeah, because of the whole… because of the new movies coming out.

Eric: Hmmm.

Andrew: So yeah, those plans have been scrapped for now. But I could see anniversary editions happening. I don’t think it’s going to be soon, though. I could see maybe 25th anniversary, after Sorcerer’s Stone came out. Something like that. Because we’re already past the ten year anniversary, so what would you do? The fifteenth? That’s kind of an awkward number.

Eric: Yeah, that’s in 2016, right? Would be fifteen? So…

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, I don’t think it’ll be soon. It’s a good question, though.

Micah: I would say there’s always a possibility that that can happen.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: And why not? I’m sure people are going to go see it if that’s the case, but what’s the cost, too, associated with it?

Andrew: Well, that’s why they do it, it’s because it doesn’t cost anything really.

Micah: Oh, okay.

Andrew: I mean you’re re-releasing an entire film without making a new movie. You know what I mean? Yeah, it would cost a little bit to convert it to 3D, but they would make more money. They would easily make that money back at the box office.

Eric: Huh.

Andrew: Think of all the new merchandise, too. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 25th anniversary limited edition t-shirt.

Eric: With lentograph or… what do they call those? Lentograph? I don’t know.

Andrew: [laughs] Me neither.

Voicemail: Destroying the Horcrux Inside Harry

Andrew: Let’s go to the next voicemail.

[Audio]: Hi, MuggleCast. I love you guys. This is the best podcast ever.

Andrew: Aww.

[Audio]: I’m really sad you guys are ending the show. I cried when I heard the news.

Andrew: Aww.

[Audio]: All right, to my question. I know you guys have covered this on the show before, but in Chamber of Secrets Harry gets stabbed with a basilisk fang, so why didn’t the Horcrux in Harry die? You guys said maybe Fawkes saved him in time, but in the movies, when a Horcrux is stabbed with a fang it gets destroyed immediately. Maybe when Jo had written that part, she hadn’t fully figured out what Horcruxes would be. I just wanted to know what you guys thought. By the way, Ben, your impressions of the characters are really good, and I don’t think you have a shaky voice. Thanks, you guys. Bye.

Andrew: There’s a listener who was very upset to hear we were ending the show, but questioning…

Micah: Blame Laura. It’s her fault.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: But wondering about the Horcruxes. So she said in the book he doesn’t, what, Eric? Did you…

Eric: He doesn’t… what is it? It’s with the… it’s the difference between the movie…

Andrew: Right.

Eric: …and the book having to do… and JK Rowling has recently re-opened this issue where people are constantly coming up to her and saying, “Hey, look. Why didn’t the Horcrux that was inside Harry – spoiler alert, sorry – die when he was stabbed by the basilisk fang way back in Book 2? Because the Basilisk bit him when it died.”ù And her response, JK Rowling’s response, quite recently was, well Fawkes got there in time and so basically because it didn’t completely kill Harry it also didn’t completely kill the Horcrux. Maybe it’s a little special thing about, again, sharing your soul with a living being. So that’s how she got out of it, but in the question that the voicemail girl sent in was that in the films the Horcrux is destroyed immediately the second it comes even into contact with a basilisk fang. It doesn’t have anything to do with poison leaking into and maybe kill it. As soon as it’s stabbed…

Micah: Harry is a living thing, though. That’s the difference. The diary is an inanimate object. Maybe if the basilisk fang went through his scar it would have been different, but it goes into his arm, and that takes a while to trickle throughout his system and the poison to actually take effect. That would be my argument.

Eric: Okay.

Micah: Whereas the book itself – or sorry, the diary – it’s just… it’s not living. It’s not breathing. You could probably argue against that because of the whole Horcrux thing, but you know what I’m saying. It’s an immediate impact. And even in the movie you see the blood start to trickle out of it, and then it finally is destroyed. So there is still some time in between when it’s stabbed and when the book and Tom Riddle… disappear? I don’t know what the right word is there.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: But yeah, that would be my argument.

Eric: Okay. That goes in line with what JK Rowling was saying, that Fawkes arrived in time to prevent both Harry from dying but also the Horcrux inside him.

Micah: Right.

Voicemail: “Long Live” by Taylor Swift

Andrew: Next voicemail.

[Audio]: Hey MuggleCast, this is Mercedes Alvidas. I’m from El Paso and I’m just wondering if you guys have ever heard the song called “Long Live” by Taylor Swift. I just think it’s the perfect song to describe the Harry Potter phenomenon for all the fans. I don’t know if you guys are a fan of her, but I still think it’s a good song to just take a listen to. I love the show and I hope you guys do well in the future. Bye!

Andrew: All right. “Long Live” by Taylor Swift, saying it relates to the Harry Potter books. “I said remember this moment in the back of our mind.”

Eric: “The time we stood with our shaking hands.”

Andrew: “The crowds in stands went wild. We were the Kings and the Queens, and they read our names.” Yeah, I could see it.

Eric: “The night you danced like you knew our lives would never be the same. You held your head like a hero on a history book page.”

Andrew: Beautiful, just beautiful. Well, I’m sure Taylor Swift is a Harry Potter fan. I mean, she’s our age. She’s practically a kid. She grew up with the Harry Potter books, so maybe she was inspired. Maybe it’ll be our new theme song.

Micah: Could be.

Eric: That should be our ending music.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: No.

Andrew: [laughs] No?

Eric: “Long Live.”

Andrew: You don’t want to end eight years of podcasting with a Taylor Swift song?

Micah: Oh, you mean the August episode. I thought you were talking about this episode.

Andrew: Oh.

Eric: Yeah. No, no, no, the August one. “It was the end of a decade but the start of an age.”

Micah: No, we probably have a more appropriate song we could play.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Like “The Final Countdown.”

Andrew: Oh God, no.

[Eric laughs]

Voicemail: Wizarding World Theme Park Attractions

Andrew: Here’s the final voicemail today.

[Audio]: Hello MuggleCast, my name is Lyndon. I’ve been listening to you guys for about almost three years now, and I had a question. If you could make any attraction at the Wizarding World, what kind of attraction would you make and why? Thanks, guys. I really like the show.

Andrew: Thank you. That’s a rough… that’s a hard question. If you could have any attraction be built at the Wizarding World theme parks, what would it be?

Micah: I’d have them add a goat to the Hog’s Head.

[Andrew laughs sarcastically]

[Eric laughs]

Micah: No, that is a great question. I mean, are we talking just attraction or just a ride?

Andrew: How about anything? Let’s just say anything.

Eric: Yeah, it could be anything.

Andrew: Ride, shop, restaurant – they are all attractions. You know, I would… this is hard. I love the Wizarding World in Orlando. I love to just sit in the center of it with a Butterbeer or a Strongbow and just take in the view and… I would like… I mean, this is kind of a cop-out. I would like the Hogwarts Express because that’s a ride, it’s a train ride.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: So the fact that you’re actually going to be able to ride it is pretty cool.

Eric: Yeah. And for me, I was relieved when the news story came out that there would in fact be a Gringotts mine cart roller coaster type experience because to me that’s the… it may be the most obvious choice you can make if you have a Gringotts bank. But in the books that’s just such a sense of fun and excitement going down beneath Gringotts, having to take this breakneck ride just to get your money out. But there’s also dragons and stalactites and stalagmites. So I’m all over the Gringotts thing. And I have to say even though that again, it may be a cop out because they’re making it, but… I’m easy to please, like that is what I was looking forward to the first time, and I’m glad that they may be building that now.

Micah: For me it would be cool for them to make Hogwarts more accessible. You go in there now for the Forbidden Journey ride, but I feel like they could do more from an interactive standpoint. If you were able to walk around to different classrooms or have people in there actually role-playing and acting as different characters – just so you get more of the experience – I think [it would] take you out of that theme park world. It’s kind of what Andrew was saying before. You sit around and you take it all in, but I don’t know if you always feel like you’re immersed in the world because there’s so many people around and it is commercialized to some extent. But, you know, open up Hogwarts. Add a Whomping Willow, have you be able to walk underground and into a Shrieking Shack. I don’t know, just different things to make the world come alive a little bit more.

Andrew: Something where you ride on brooms would be cool as well. Because that’s another thing that’s so beloved in the Harry Potter books. I know in the Forbidden Journey ride, there’s kind of a scene where you’re over the Quidditch pitch and I guess you’re supposed to be flying on a broom. But if there’s an actual ride where you mount on a broom and you somehow fly… I can’t imagine how that would work, but…

Micah: Yeah, because Forbidden Journey – you’re technically on a broom, right? I mean, theoretically.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: You’re on an enchanted bench.

Micah: No, I know that.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: I’m saying, though, that you’re supposed to be on a broom following Hermione, initially…

Eric: No, you’re literally on an enchanted bench. Like, that’s what they say.

Andrew: Huh.

Micah: Okay. That makes no sense.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Micah: But anyway…

Eric: You haven’t read the portraits, though? In the beginning they mention that there’s enchantments, like the benches and the… it’s like a… yeah, I don’t know the logic behind it. But it is introduced in the little videos leading up to the ride.

Andrew: So there we have MuggleCast Episode 264. Thanks to everybody…

Eric: Whoa, hang on. Way too soon, way too soon.

Andrew: What?

Eric: That’s the end of our voicemails. Let us remind people what number they call to…

Andrew: Oh. Well, okay…

Eric: …provide voicemails.

Andrew: …I was getting to that.

Eric: Huh?

Andrew: What’s the number?

Eric: The number is 323-984-8547.

Show Close

Andrew: Okay. And also, you can visit the MuggleCast website, We’ve got the Twitter, we’ve got the Facebook, we’ve got the Tumblr. And I also want to give a plug for my new podcast on Hypable called Hype. It is our general entertainment podcast. We talk Harry Potter, we talk The Hunger Games, we talk Divergent, we talk basically anything that’s discussion-worthy. And we do it in a way that’s fun. It will make sense to everybody, so I know maybe you’re not a fan of let’s say, I don’t know, maybe you… like on the most recent episode, we spoke about The Vampire Diaries. They’re doing a spin-off called The Originals. We only spend a couple of minutes on it, so it’s not like we have these in-depth discussions on everything. We have in-depth discussions on what interests most people, like the Catching Fire trailer. We spoke about that on the most recent episode. But we do this in a way that will appeal to everybody because we inform you about everything so you’re not going to be left in the dark about anything in particular.

Eric: Would you describe… have you read Divergent?

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: Would you describe it as like a girl’s book or…

Andrew: No, no, no, it’s a dystopian novel. Lionsgate, the studio that’s turning the book into a movie, wants it to be the next Hunger Games.

Eric: Okay.

Andrew: In terms of popularity. And it seems to be… it is really popular. So we’ll see. Could be the next Hunger Games. Give the book a try, it’s not bad. I wouldn’t say it’s as good as The Hunger Games, but it’s not bad. So visit and you can… right at the top it says “Hype” and you can click “Get Episode 6 of our new podcast.” You can also subscribe through iTunes, just how you do this show.

Eric: I wanted to promote the MuggleNet family of Harry Potter podcasts which includes this show as well as MuggleNet Academia, which is held with Keith Hawk and the Hogwarts Professor John Granger, as well as… we mentioned this a little earlier in the show. Micah was just on Alohomora!, which is MuggleNet’s chapter-by-chapter global re-read of the Harry Potter series, currently on Book 3, and I have actually joined that panel. I hope I get better feedback than Micah did on that panel. But over at, you can sign up and give it a listen. It tends to be pretty in-depth stuff about each chapter of the Harry Potter series, so that’s worth a listen.

Micah: Yeah, and both of those shows, I believe, will be live at MISTI-Con which is coming up in just a few weeks, right? Not too far from now.

Eric: I believe so, yeah. And then Game of Owns is a podcast if you’re into the Game of Thrones series with HBO. And Micah and I are both on that panel as well.

Micah: Yeah. For anybody who’s interested, we talk [about] the TV show as well as the book series, and we’re in full swing into Season 3 of Game of Thrones. So we release on a thrice-weekly basis, which may sound like a lot but it’s a lot of goodness for your ears. That’s how I like to describe it.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: “Goodness for your ears.”

Micah: We just actually had Cat Taylor, who was the assistant to the two HBO producers, David Benioff and DB Weiss, on the show on Friday. And it was a great opportunity to speak with her and learn more about what goes on behind the scenes.

[Show music begins]

Micah: So a lot of fun going on over there. As we always like to throw out there, it is a little bit more adult content in nature than MuggleCast and some of the other shows we do. So just want to make people aware. But if you’re interested in Game of Thrones, give it a listen.

Andrew: Thanks everybody for listening. We’ll see you next time for Episode 265. Goodbye.

Micah: With JK Rowling.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

[Show music continues]