MuggleCast 266 Transcript
[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]
Andrew: Because Micah just has to go there, this is MuggleCast Episode 266 for June 23rd, 2013.
[Show music begins]
Andrew: Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible.com. Audible is the 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 AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 266. Eric, Micah, and I are here this week, and look who’s joining us: Laura Thompson! Welcome back, Laura.
Laura: Who’s that?
Andrew: Oh, it’s you and your beautiful voice.
Laura: Aww, I missed you guys.
Andrew: Yeah, we missed you too. You set the standard for female podcasting, I feel.
Laura: Well, I don’t think I had very much competition on this show. [laughs]
Andrew: Well, I mean you blazed the trail.
Laura: I mean, at least when I was on the show, right? I know that there were some people who were on here after me who are awesome. But yeah, for a while it was just me and all of this testosterone. It was quite a challenge sometimes.
Andrew: Yes. Well, you’ve always been the voice of reason. That has never changed.
Laura: You poor misled souls. What are you thinking?
Andrew: [laughs] But speaking of nostalgia, you know it’s been ten years since Order of the Phoenix hit bookstore shelves?
Laura: Oh, my God.
Andrew: Yeah. On the summer solstice, which we just passed. So does everybody remember where they were for that book release? Micah, do you remember?
Micah: I was in college and [laughs] I had not read any of the books yet.
Andrew: Oh, that’s right! When did you start?
Micah: Just… well, I read them all in one summer but I started really getting into them probably just before Half-Blood Prince was released.
Andrew: Oh, wow. How about you, Eric?
Eric: Noob. Noob. [laughs]
Micah: Yup, I’m a noob.
Eric: No, I’m a noob too, because Order of the Phoenix was my first book release. I only got into them after the first two movies had already come out. So Order of the Phoenix was my first book release, so it’ll always be a little special. And it was the first event I went to on behalf of MuggleNet because there was an Oak Park, Illinois event where they turned all the local shops into Diagon Alley. And basically Dylan and I were there, and we did some Wizard’s Chess and some costume contests. It was a lot of fun. But I actually went out of state for it, and back home… my mom, I remember this, wrote the local paper and she was like, “My son is going to Illinois on behalf of his Harry Potter website! Why don’t you do a story on it?” [laughs] And so some guy came to my house, and I had a story in the local paper.
Andrew: Oh, that’s funny.
Laura: That’s awesome.
Andrew: The town nerd, heading to Chicago!
[Andrew, Eric, and Laura laugh]
Eric: It really was, and I looked terrible. My hair, man, I’m telling you. I looked so… I had the weirdest smirk on my face, it’s terrible.
Andrew: How about you, Laura? Do you remember?
Laura: I don’t remember how old I was… I feel like I was…
Eric: Oh, it was 2003. [laughs]
Laura: Yeah, so I was like five. And…
Andrew: What? No, no, no!
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Laura: No, no. I’m just… I’m a little embarrassed because I dressed up and I was like fifteen.
Laura: But yeah, I went to a book release party, so I went to a Barnes and Noble here in the Metro Atlanta area. And I went with a couple of my friends, and they also dressed up. And we were probably the oldest kids there who were wearing costumes. Everybody else was super cute, they were like, you know, three. Running around waving their wands.
Laura: So it’s just one of those embarrassing teenage moments. But it was super fun, it was actually my first midnight release party. I had been a big fan of the books before that point but I had just never gotten to go to one, so it was kind of like my first experience in the world of the fandom and interacting with other people who were as crazy about it as I was.
Andrew: [laughs] That was… of course, Goblet of Fire was the book that had come out previously, and it had been three years. So I think in between those two books, like Eric mentioned, the two movies had come out, so in that time the fandom must have grown so much.
Andrew: Because I remember, also, JK Rowling was like, “You know what? For this book, I’m going to take my time. You guys rushed me with Goblet of Fire, so let me take my time on Order of the Phoenix.” I was at a bookstore in my local town, and I remember some of the kids from my school were there. It was my second book release; I had gone to the Goblet of Fire one. So some of the kids from high school were there too, [laughs] and I was like… or not high school, middle school. And I was like, “Oh gosh, the cooler kids than me are here. That’s kind of a little…” Then one of them was really into Harry Potter. I was like, “Okay, cool. This is kind of neat. So Harry Potter isn’t as dorky as I think it is.”
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Micah: Yeah, it is.
Laura: Yeah, it is.
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Andrew: Oh, darn. So yeah, ten years. If that doesn’t make you feel old, I don’t know what does.
Andrew: Ten years since Order of the Phoenix. Wow!
Laura: Oh, my God. Better get out the walker.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
News: Pottermore Updates
Andrew: But here we are anyway and still talking about Harry Potter news if you can believe it, including the hot thing in Harry Potter right now, so to speak: Pottermore!
Andrew: Laura, have you used Pottermore? Have we ever spoken to you about Pottermore?
Laura: No, we haven’t spoken about Pottermore. I have used it.
Andrew: What house are you in?
Laura: What house do you think I’m in?
Laura: The same one as freaking everybody else. It pissed me off.
Laura: I did not want to be in Gryffindor. I was so… I’m sorry, I’m not supposed to say bad words on this show.
Andrew: It’s okay.
Micah: Yes, you can.
Laura: Oh. [laughs]
Micah: We changed the policy.
Laura: Oh, okay. Good. Was that after Smart Mouths?
Andrew: We just grew up, that’s all.
Laura: Oh, okay. All right.
Andrew: [laughs] We all grew up.
Laura: But yeah, I was really ticked off because my whole life I’ve considered myself a Ravenclaw, and then I took the stupid test and I got put in Gryffindor.
Laura: And I think that it’s a little bit convenient that all the houses have the same, or at least proportionate, numbers of people in them.
Andrew: Right, exactly.
Laura: I think it’s crap.
Andrew: Exactly. That’s my theory as well. It’s a little weighted. It’s not your true house. But anyway, they did announce that they’re going to be making some changes to the site. Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne spoke to the site called The Bookseller, and they seem to be doing some big changes. For example, you can now cast spells, take part in wizard duels, and get sorted into your Hogwarts house before even registering for the site. Another big change is that you will no longer be able to go through the chapter – or you don’t have to go through the chapters – in sequential order. You can now just browse around wherever you want.
Laura: Oh, cool. I would love that. That was one thing I really didn’t like. There were certain things I just wasn’t interested in doing, and I didn’t really care about going through.
Andrew: But isn’t this sort of like… the whole reason that this site existed was it was supposed to be a companion to the books, and now it’s… I don’t know, it seems to be a real 180.
Laura: I don’t know. If you’re using it as you read the books, you can still go through in order. But if you’re a really big fan who’s already read them twelve times like we have, and you want to go to your favorite part, I think that’s pretty cool.
Eric: Well, I wonder if this will allow me, who [laughs] really haven’t been on it all that much since I first logged in – I’m terrible, terrible fan – to go and get all the exclusive content from JK Rowling in one click.
Andrew: Yes, that would be nice.
Eric: So I’m all over that because that’s really what I wanted to use the site for as well. I had a crisis of house sorting because I got sorted into Hufflepuff, but I got over that and in general, all I’m on it for is the exclusive content.
Andrew: They also seem to be trying to appeal to people who don’t know Harry Potter at all. Charlie Redmayne seems to think that people who discover Harry Potter through like the LEGO video game or one of the computer games, they are going to come to Pottermore too. So they’re going to have pages, simple pages, like: “Who is Harry Potter?”
Laura: Oh, my God. Are you serious?
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. That’s a quote. Like that’s a thing. [laughs]
Laura: That is kind of… I was going to say something that’s not appropriate to say. It’s kind of stupid.
Andrew: [laughs] What do you think, Micah?
Micah: I agree with Laura. I think that… how does anybody who has been alive for the last twenty years, thirty years, not know who Harry Potter is? I feel like that’s a…
Andrew: But… well, I think you’re looking at new generations of kids playing the LEGO video games maybe. Let’s say you’re ten to twelve years old and you haven’t played – or you haven’t read – Harry Potter yet…
Eric: You know, those LEGO video games are hard. You really need to know who Harry Potter is in order to beat them. [laughs]
Eric: You need to know all about these little charms and stuff that you’ve got to do because it is… I cannot get through them.
Eric: No, I don’t know, man. I feel the same. Who is coming to Pottermore, the site…
Andrew: [laughs] For more…
Eric: …for their first time? I don’t…
Eric: I’m glad that they thought of that, I guess, but maybe it’s somebody else’s job to be like, “Who is Harry Potter?” You can always Google it and… Wikipedia will do the same thing better.
Micah: Read the book. That…
Eric: Or read the book.
Micah: If you want to know who he is, read the book. Even if it’s a younger generation, even if it’s kids that are five, six, seven years old… or have the parents read the book to the kids so that they learn who he is. I mean, I get the whole idea behind having these little biographies. I’m sure they’re not just going to do it for him. They’ll do it for other characters as well so that you get a better understanding of what the series is all about. But, to Eric’s point, this is Pottermore. You’re coming here for more information, not to be introduced into the series unless that’s also what they’re trying to do with the site.
Eric: Or maybe they’ll change the name. And maybe we’re being a little bit stodgy.
Eric: Let’s not forget that they are selling the books on the site. So, to be…
Andrew: They have to… right, good point.
Eric: Yeah. They could really do a whole new interface with that and have an end with a byline, you know?
Andrew: Mhm. They need… as I’ve said before, they need to do two things. I’m over my pet idea for Pottermore.
Eric: Oh no!
Andrew: No more taking care of a pet.
Eric: Never give up! Live strong!
Andrew: [laughs] But they need to – as I brought up on the show before – drop a bombshell that websites and media outlets are going to pick up, just like the “Dumbledore is gay” thing, and every damn article is going to be like, “JK Rowling revealed this on her Pottermore website.” So that’s free publicity right there. And b) She needs to… I think we’ve discussed on the show before, you need to be able to get your Patronus now. Because we’re in Prisoner of Azkaban right now. That’s… they’re like midway through Prisoner of Azkaban.
Laura: Oh, really? Oh.
Laura: Wow, I haven’t been paying attention. [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah. Well, exactly because nobody… and the new content fr…JK Rowling has gotten… I feel like it’s gotte… little less exciting. I’ve always said that’s the greatest part of the website, but it’s just missing… it’s not thrilling. It…sort of like rehashed material. It’s not new new anymore, it doesn’t feel like to me.
Eric: See, I would…
Laura: Just…y everybody is gay. Everybody is gay.
Andrew: [laughs] Right. Oh…
Micah: Or l…s goats.
Laura: There we go.
Andrew: Laura, what was that Christian… the Bible thumper’s na… Laura…
Laura: Laura Mallory. Oh, yeah.
Andrew: Yeah. Oh, her head would explode if she found out that everybody was gay in the Harry Potter books. [laughs] Poof!
Andrew: So those are the… so we’ll see. I mean, I’m glad that they’re making some big changes. A little UI change would be nice too. Maybe they should refresh the design of it now.
Micah: What was your big theory a couple of episodes ago, Andrew, about Aunt Marge?
Andrew: Aunt Marge! She should have said that Aunt Marge is a lesbian. That would have been a huge bombshell. Laura, you would have liked that one, right?
Laura: Oh, of course!
Andrew: Yeah. That would have been cool!
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: That would have been cool.
Eric: But I was under… I thought…
Laura: I would have been Facebooking and tweeting all of that stuff.
Laura: Oh, my God.
Eric: It would go viral, everybody would know. Oh, my God.
Andrew: Laura would have been like, “Guys, guys, guess what I just read on Pottermore?” [laughs]
Laura: [laughs] “I knew it!”
Andrew: What were you going to say, Eric? [laughs]
Eric: I was going to say, I thought that JK Rowling wrote almost all of her content before Pottermore even launched. That’s just what I remember reading, I guess. Because it was a long period of… gosh, was it… well, I guess it was three to five years where she was essentially writing content in the very, very background and before Pottermore was announced. And then when it came out, I just… the only thing she wrote couldn’t have just been the Prisoner of Azkaban stuff because that’s like three paragraphs… or the Sorcerer’s Stone stuff because that’s like three different things. There’s… I don’t know, I just thought she wrote it all. So, why should it be dipping in quality years later in Book 3?
Andrew: Yeah, I…
Eric: Book 3 is my favorite book, so to see that there’s nothing terribly new and exciting so far in it is really upsetting to me. You get Animagi, you get Patronuses, you get Lupin, you get Sirius Black…
Eric: …for crying out loud.
Eric: It’s seriously the strongest book for warm feels and…
Eric: …I want to know more.
Andrew: Well, yeah, take a look through it all when you get a chance. I know you said you were a little behind.
Andrew: And tell me… I don’t know, maybe I’m just jaded but I feel like the content has slipped a little bit in terms of the new stuff from JK Rowling.
Micah: Didn’t we say we’re only going to talk positively about Pottermore?
Andrew: Well, I can’t help it! They’re doing this to me. I don’t want to say these things. It’s their fault.
Micah: Well, you only have a couple of episodes left.
Micah: And you don’t have to say anything about Pottermore ever again.
Andrew: I’m still going to talk about it on Hype, so…
Andrew: …I’m just getting started.
Andrew: We’re going to continue with the news in just a moment, but first, today’s episode is brought to you by Audible.com. 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, as you know, Audible is offering you a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their service that is perfect for summer. Today we are going to recommend Dan Brown’s latest novel – we mentioned New York Times Bestseller – Inferno. In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces, Dante’s Inferno. You can get the book for free by going to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast and signing up for Audible, or for that matter you can get any great book on there. I’m recommending Inferno because Dan Brown books are great summer beach reads or wherever you’re going to be out and about this summer. Again, AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. We thank Audible for their support of the show.
News: Annotated First Edition of Philosopher’s Stone Sold at Sotheby’s Auction
Andrew: Let’s talk about some positive Harry Potter news. JK Rowling’s annotated… she released this… there was this charity auction by Sotheby’s called “First Editions, Second Thoughts” – cool name – and they asked authors to take first edition copies of their books and annotate them. And JK Rowling did this with a first edition Philosopher’s Stone – very rare. She signed it, she wrote over one hundred… oh, sorry. 1,100 notes, words, in this book and she made 22 illustrations within the book. And if you click through some of the links, guys, you can see some pictures as well. [laughs] And she revealed a couple of interesting things in the annotations – again, things that should be in Pottermore.
Eric: I was going to say, this is Pottermore! [laughs]
Andrew: Yes! Right.
Eric: For $227,000, this is Pottermore Book 1.
Andrew: Yeah, here’s an example of something she unveiled: that the Pottermore house animal was originally a bear before it was a honey badger.
Eric: Oh, Hufflepuff you mean.
Andrew: And she wrote… oh yeah, sorry. And she wrote, “Perhaps Hufflepuff house would have the respect it deserves from the fans if I’d stayed with my original idea of a bear to represent it?”
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: Like, come on. This is something that would do well in Pottermore.
Micah: What’s wrong with a badger?
Andrew: It’s a little…
Eric: [singing] “Badger, badger, badger, badger, badger…”
Micah: They’re fierce. Would you ever want to come across a badger, just in general life?
Andrew: Well, you know what? I’m glad you bring that up. I went to a zoo a couple of weeks ago and there was a honey badger… or a badger exhibit. And those things have some spunk. They were moving around a lot, they were playing with their toys. You know how a lot of animals at the zoo, they’re just kind of sitting around sleeping? This thing was alive. I mean, it was kicking. I was like, “Oh, okay. This is kind of a cool choice, Jo.”
Laura: Yeah, they don’t give a [censored].
Micah: If you had to rank the four in terms of which ones you’d least want to come in contact with, what would they be?
Eric: Snake would be the lowest.
Andrew: Yeah. Snake.
Micah: You’re least afraid of a snake?
Eric: No, no, no. Snake would be the least…
Andrew: No, most…
Eric: …person I’d want to come into contact, least animal that’s… but lions they’re cool. They’re just going to maul you if you upset them.
Eric: Ravens or… is it a raven or is it a different type of bird? It’s a…
Mic… It’s called Ravenclaw.
Eric: I realize that.
Laura: Yeah, I think it’s a raven.
Eric: I realize that, but you still had to think about it, didn’t you, for a second? Ravens are fine. Tap, tap, tapping at the chamber door.
Laura: I was waiting for somebody to make that connection.
Eric: Yeah, thank you.
Laura: Anyway, go ahead.
Eric: And what’s the fourth one? What are we thinking? Oh yeah, badgers.
Micah: The badger.
Andrew: That’s the least scary, I would say.
Eric: Yeah, badgers are cool.
Andrew: JK Rowling also revealed something about how she invented Quidditch. She said she invented it after a fight with her boyfriend. She said, quote, “I had been pondering the things that hold a society together, cause it to congregate and signify its particular character and knew I needed a sport. [Quidditch] infuriates men, in my experience (why is the Snitch so valuable etc.), which is quite satisfying given my state of mind when I invented it.”
Eric: Umm, what?
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Andrew: Well, because… well, I have heard this complaint before about Quidditch, it’s that all you would need to do is get the Snitch and it’s over. Everything else, every other aspect of the game, is kind of pointless. So yeah, she was pissed off at her boyfriend who apparently loves sports and she decided that she’s going to write a sport game for her book that pisses off men. [laughs] Pretty funny. I mean, again, Pottermore.
Laura: I like it.
Eric: I’ve never been aggravated over Quidditch until now. [laughs] Now, I’m aggravated over Quidditch.
Eric: That it was some kind of hate sport or something that Jo did in a fit of rage against men.
Andrew: I think there was a couple of other sentences. She was saying how guys get so serious about sports or something like that. So anyway, that thing sold for $227,000 at a… at the first…
Laura: That’s amazing.
Andrew: Yeah. Charity, of course. So, good for Jo for supporting another charity.
News: New Study Finds Katniss Everdeen Has Replaced Harry Potter As Millennials’ Mascot
Andrew: We don’t have to make a big deal out of this story. I just found it interesting. A new study finds that Katniss Everdeen has replaced Harry Potter as the millennials’ mascot.
Eric: They can’t do that, can they?
Laura: Super lame.
Eric: Can they do that, Laura? Can they do that?
Laura: I don’t know. I’m about to voice a very unpopular opinion. I don’t think…
Andrew: You don’t like…
Laura: Okay… no, it’s not that I don’t like The Hunger Games. I think it’s fine, but it is a bit like dystopia for dummies.
Laura: It’s a book geared towards 12-year-olds, and I see all of these 40-year-old people taking it very seriously.
Laura: And it just… it’s not… seriously, go read 1984. Go read Brave New World. Whatever.
Andrew: Well, Laura, no, you bring up a great point, but The Hunger Games is a kids, young adult book. It’s not for… I mean, adults do like it. My mom is a fan.
Laura: No, and I enjoyed them. When I read them, I thought they were very well written. They’re good books, but I think that they have been overplayed a bit. I think that people take them far too seriously. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me.
Andrew: I think… no, no, no, you’re right. You’re right. A lot of people said this too on Twitter and Facebook. I mean, nobody says that Hunger Games is the new Harry Potter, but the reason this information was uncovered, in terms of Katniss being the new mascot of millennials, is actually not just because of the popularity of the franchise but because of things that Katniss reflects, specifically real world issues like economic turmoil, global political strife, and natural disasters. So she’s kind of relatable right now, whereas Harry Potter is not as much. Not to say that The Hunger Games has replaced Harry Potter, but this was a study conducted amongst 14 to 17 year olds. MTV did this study, and of course you could say, “Oh, MTV,” but this is like a serious arm of MTV and they do the study to see what is going to be popular in the 18 to 24-year-old demographics. So they monitor – however they conduct these studies – with 14 to 17-year-olds now to see what they’re about to get interested in.
Eric: Oh, that’s cool.
Laura: I still call shenanigans.
Andrew: Okay. No, you bring up a good point about The Hunger Games. I haven’t read 1984.
Eric: Yeah. Then again, the people who are… the kids who are the millennials, that’s the people who were born after the year 2000, right? So in the last thirteen years? Because even though Harry Potter is our thing, we were born at the end of the ’80s, or early ’90s for some of us, but… so there is a ten year gap there where these kids just didn’t exist while this stuff was happening.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, not to get into semantics but doesn’t millennials just mean the new generation?
Eric: Yeah, so when does that start?
Laura: Well, yeah.
Eric: A generation is every twenty years because certainly… it’s right at this category between 14 to 17 and 18 to 24, because 14 years ago was ’99. So it’s like even if they were born, their first book release could have been the last one when they were six. Yeah, I don’t know.
Laura: Actually, it says… I’m looking at Wikipedia, so whatever.
Micah: It’s got to be true.
Laura: But it says… [laughs] right? It actually says that commentators use beginning birth dates from the early 1980s to the early 2000s for millennials.
Eric: For millennials?
Laura: So we are all millennials, and I do not support this Katniss Everdeen BS.
Andrew: [laughs] Well, Laura, you’re smart. That’s the difference.
Micah: I don’t either.
Laura: Micah, you’re smart.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Micah: Thanks. That’s the first compliment I’ve ever gotten on this show. In eight years.
Laura: I’m sorry. [laughs]
Micah: Thanks, Laura. No, I agree. I just… I’m not a big fan of The Hunger Games either. I’ve read all of the books. Like Laura said, I thought they were well written, but I haven’t seen any of the movies. And I feel like with MTV doing this study, is it more that it’s relatable from the movie standpoint or the book standpoint? Because I feel like MTV is more Hollywood focused than it is literary focused.
Eric: I think they’re blurring the lines. I don’t think they want you to think of these things as only books or only movies or think of them separate. MTV and Hollywood in general is all about mass market, everything, the whole series it’s a franchise, it’s going to be on TV, it’s going to be in the bookstores, it’s going to be on the magazines, it’s going to be in the theaters. That’s what they’re looking for. So I think basically Hunger Games is coming in and Harry Potter is going out because short of theme park expansions, there’s nothing else happening. And so they want to see that there’s this new hero rising up because essentially that’s going to allow them to gear their marketing and basically focus everybody’s attention on the new thing.
News: Emma Watson to Star in Queen of the Tearling
Andrew: Well, if The Hunger Games isn’t your cup of tea then maybe a new series that’s going to star Emma Watson will be. So listen to this, I’m going to give you information and then I’m going to share a theory. And I think I’m spot on with this, so listen closely, okay?
Micah: I’m listening.
Andrew: Thank you, finally. So HarperCollins purchased a book trilogy called Queen of the Tearling by an author who’s never been published before. They purchased the rights to this book series for over a million dollars, which is unheard of for an unknown author. [laughs] It’s described as a female Game of Thrones, which has caused controversy in and of itself.
Micah: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: [laughs] You’re going to get hate for that. And so this book, the first book comes out next year, it’s a trilogy. Recently, Warner Bros. decided to purchase the movie rights to this series. Keep in mind, the first book hasn’t even been published yet. David Heyman is going to be producing and Emma Watson is going to be starring as the main character.
Laura: Aww, man.
Andrew: In a movie for a book that’s not even out yet.
Eric: So what’s your theory?
Andrew: Well, here’s my theory. Let me read a brief description of it first:
“The story is set three centuries after a small portion of the human race has populated a landmass that mysteriously emerged in the wake of an environmental catastrophe. The series follows nineteen-year-old princess Kelsea Glynn, who must reclaim her deceased mother’s throne and redeem her kingdom, the Tearling, from forces of corruption and dark magic of The Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of the neighboring country, Mortmesne.”
So presumably Emma Watson is going to play the nineteen-year-old princess, Kelsea Glynn. So here’s my theory: There’s three Harry Potter connections to this movie adaptation. HarperCollins spent over a million dollars for the rights to this. Warner Bros. probably spent an equal amount of money at least. My theory is that this is JK Rowling’s new series and she’s operating under a pen name.
Laura: Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.
Andrew: I mean, how can Warner Bros. feel so into this, David Heyman into this, and Emma Watson wanting to put her name on it already?
Eric: Yeah, it seems pretty huge considering the first book hasn’t even come out yet.
Eric: That does seem like a huge vote of confidence for absolutely no reason.
Eric: But I will say that if it were in fact the next JK Rowling project, I think she can do a little bit better than “The Red Queen” as a villain.
Eric: Really? Red Queen? Really?
Andrew: Yeah, it’s been used. But I’m excited for this. Maybe this could be the next… because there’s always got to be something next, right? We’ve had Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent seems to be potentially the next big new thing.
Micah: And don’t forget, HarperCollins also put together that page-to-screen book.
Andrew: Oh, okay. So there’s another little Harry Potter connection. I mean, I’m kind of kidding with my theory but JK Rowling has also been quiet lately. Like, what the heck has she been up to? You’re telling me she’s only working on that children’s book right now? Give me a break.
Laura: Yeah, and I mean, wasn’t there something about a political fairytale in there? This kind of sounds like it fits that bill.
Andrew: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s true.
Eric: So wait, who described it as a female Game of Thrones? I see that in the news post.
Andrew: The publisher.
Andrew: And apparently, this author got the idea when watching Barack Obama make a speech about the environment or something like that. So some people are calling foul about this whole series already. They’re like, “Oh, HarperCollins is so desperate. They’re connecting it to Obama and female Game of Thrones already? Are you kidding me?”
Eric: So Micah and I, we should take a moment here – forgive us – to shed some light on this. Micah, we do a Game of Thrones podcast called Game of Owns. Micah, what do you think the female Game of Thrones… just calling it that, female Game of Thrones, what does that mean for books?
Micah: Well, I don’t think that I can say what I’m thinking on this podcast.
Eric: I mean, are you thinking…
Laura: Let it out!
Eric: …male frontal nudity, male sex slaves, and girl dragons?
Micah: No, it was actually quite the opposite of that. But…
Eric: Well, no, that’s what… the opposite of that is what Game of Thrones is, [laughs] so what are you thinking here?
Andrew: Well, aren’t there male rulers in Game of Thrones, I guess, and now this appears to be female rulers?
Eric: Yeah, no…
Andrew: Excuse my ignorance towards the Game of Thrones series.
Eric: You’re forgiven. No, that’s true. Okay, I get it.
Andrew: Micah can’t see past the dirty side of a female Game of Thrones.
Andrew: Anyway, I’m excited for this series. I mean, gosh…
Eric: Did you say they’re all being published this year? Or…
Andrew: No, the first book is being published next year or so.
Andrew: Well, I mean if Emma Watson is already attached, they must have an idea of when they’re going to film. So maybe they could start shooting as soon as next year.
Eric: Yeah, this is unbelievable.
Eric: This is just like…
Eric: …one of those stories that just all of a sudden, there’s so much going on with something that you’ve never heard of before.
Andrew: Yeah. I want to get my hands on one of those advance readers copies since… there’s got to be some out there.
Micah: It’s just weird that they do refer to it as a female version of Game of Thrones because there are very strong female characters in that series and they are power players and they have been up to the five books now that have been released. So…
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]
Micah: …to get a little bit more insight as to what they mean by that.
Andrew: I think it may have been like a cheap publicity grab to get people’s attention, maybe.
Micah: Because Game of Thrones is so mainstream right now.
Andrew: Right. Well, and that’s again why I feel like there’s a… this is like being penned by JK Rowling because they feel so desperate to make sure that it actually gets noticed that they use “female Game of Thrones.” I don’t know.
Eric: You know what, though? They wouldn’t need to use these things, like Barack Obama, female Game of Thrones, if it were JK Rowling doing it. They could just say, “JK Rowling, new trilogy. See ya!” You know?
Andrew: No, but that’s the thing. What if she wants to operate… write a new series under a name that isn’t… you know what I mean? She wants to…
Eric: Yeah, it’s a good theory.
Andrew: …be out of the public spotlight.
Eric: Yeah, but would she really stay in fantasy and not do Harry Potter? That would upset me, is if she kept doing fantasy books that weren’t Harry Potter. [laughs] It’s like just send them in the world of Harry Potter.
Eric: Make a new kingdom. Make a castle. Do whatever. Make a continent appear in the middle of the ocean. I don’t care what you have to do. Just keep it Harry Potter.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Eric: Within the realm of fantasy. Sorry if that’s a rant there.
Andrew: No, no. Laura, the political fairytale thing, I had forgotten about that. That was a good point as well.
MuggleCast 266 Transcript (continued)
News: 15th Anniversary Chamber of Secrets US Paperback Cover Released
Andrew: So anyway, moving on in the news here. We know that there are new Harry Potter paperbacks coming out with brand-new covers. The second one, Chamber of Secrets, we got to see the cover. It was unveiled at Book Expo America. It features Harry and Ron flying in the Ford Anglia – Angela, Anglia, whatever – and arriving at the Burrow. It’s a nice cover. I think I prefer Sorcerer’s Stone’s cover better.
Laura: Yeah, this one’s a bit cartoonish-looking, isn’t it?
Laura: I mean, I think it’s really nice, but I’ve personally never understood why we have to redesign the covers.
Eric: Really, though…
Andrew: Their reasoning is to apply to a new generation of readers.
Eric: Yeah, because this is…
Eric: …more in tune with, I guess, what readers are typically seeing when you go into the bookstore with new books. They… I just picked up… just the other day, on the twentieth, I was in a bookstore, and it was the same bookstore that I got Order of the Phoenix from, actually, but I picked up Amulet, which is the series that this guy, Kazu Kibuishi, writes and illustrates. And again… well, just like any manga, but certain elements of the cover – it’s cartoonish and this, that, the other thing. So I think it is just kind of trying to break free into the new era with these books. The cover itself, the design, is okay. I actually really like the cover except for the fact that twice now in a row, he’s picked this scene of Harry going into the wider world. The first one is in Diagon Alley, the next one is at the Burrow and it’s like Harry is among family. But I don’t really see that as the exact depiction of Chamber of Secrets for all of the stuff that happens in Chamber of Secrets. So that’s my problem with it. But I think, in general, once they reveal… because all seven of these are coming out at once, this August, right? So two months? So they really need to speed up the process of removing these… or revealing these. But I think, in general, it’s really not that bad. If you look at the classic Harry Potter books – I’m going to probably get in trouble for saying this – but I think they are dated, old, a little obscure for me. Not the later ones. Goblet is my favorite, I think, cover-wise, but the first three where it’s like a big phoenix, he’s on the tail, and it’s like, “Ah, it’s Quidditch! Ah!”
Eric: I think it could use a revamp. I’m about ready for a revamp.
Andrew: It’s interesting, you bring up why he chose this moment. Hypable spoke to the illustrator at Book Expo America and he revealed some interesting stuff. He said that Chamber of Secrets was actually the most challenging cover because for each one of these covers, he would think of, “Okay, what is the moment in the book that reflects the entire story?” And he had a… he could pick out a particular moment for each of the books except for Chamber of Secrets. He said:
“‘Chamber of Secrets’ was hard – it does so much. It’s like a Swiss army knife book because it sets up the mythology and it continues to entertain. And after the second book, I don’t think you can expect what comes next. It was an extension of the first book. That’s how I felt.”
Micah: I don’t know…
Andrew: So he said Prisoner of Azkaban’s cover was the easiest to design. That one was instant for him. And by the way, Chamber of Secrets, that’s the first one he actually illustrated and it kind of paved the way for the rest of the covers. Go ahead, Micah.
Micah: No, I would almost say that doesn’t the story in Book 2 tie more to Book 6 and parts of 7 than anything else? So I don’t really know why he was saying that it was an extension of 1.
Andrew: Yeah, I don’t know. He’s got his own thoughts.
Micah: Not to pick apart his own analysis of his own illustrations.
Eric: Well, what else are we going to do to cover sixty minutes on this show?
Micah: What else should we do here?
Andrew: Right. [laughs]
Micah: Yeah, exactly. So…
Andrew: He also said that JK…
Micah: And these are… sorry.
Andrew: Oh, go ahead.
Micah: No, you said the rest of these are going to be released over the summer?
Andrew: Well, all the books – like Eric pointed out – come out August 28th or something, and they’re rolling out each cover one by one. And as Eric pointed out, we’re only two months away and they have like six more covers [laughs] or five more covers to reveal. So hopefully it’ll come out quick.
Micah: And there’s no new content, right?
Micah: This is just completely new covers.
Micah: I know we talked about it a little bit because I have the tenth anniversary edition of Sorcerer’s Stone which has some new illustrations from Mary GrandPrÈ and also… I forget if there’s any new content in there. I think there might be just a small piece that’s written by JK Rowling. But I guess they did away with that idea as well, right? They just stopped at Sorcerer’s Stone…
Micah: …as far as ten-year anniversary…
Eric: Yeah, yeah, because they need to release them…
Andrew: There’s going to be…
Eric: They need to stagger them as opposed to doing them all at once.
Andrew: There’s also going to be new art on the box set, so there’s seven more… or six more pieces of art we get to look forward to.
Eric: You know, this is the most interesting paragraph of this news story though, about Prisoner of Azkaban’s cover. Can I just read it from Hypable? It says:
“Though ‘Chamber of Secrets’ was the most difficult cover, ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’ was the easiest. ‘That one was instant. I knew exactly what I had to do. And I showed it to [Scholastic], and I did a sketch. I knew exactly what I had to draw for that one and I did it in five minutes. When I did all the other ones, it took me some time, hours, just to come up with a good composition.’
The ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’ one stood out so much that it ended up leading the overall design for the remaining six covers. ‘I had just done the ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’ one – it was nothing like the rest. And then I got the notes back from Scholastic, and they said, ‘We love THAT one. That’s the one. Can you make the rest like that?’ And I was like, ‘Yes I can.’ So everything that you see now is derived from what happened on the third cover. Scholastic loved 3 and 4.'”
Eric: So maybe he’s just warming up with these book covers, I’m telling you. “3” and “4”…
Eric: …seem pretty exciting because they’re Scholastic’s favorite.
Andrew: Yeah. Sorry, earlier I said that Chamber of Secrets drove all the other covers, but…
Eric: Yeah. No, but… okay, so he just had an issue with the book, like… he was stumped on Chamber. That’s fine. I guess there’s always a weak link, so maybe this is… I still like it.
Eric: I still like it. I just think for the whole book, maybe a different scene… whatever.
Andrew: JK Rowling approves of the new covers by the way, from what he heard. He hasn’t spoken to her, but from what he heard, she was really appreciative that there’s new cover art. And he said…
Micah: We know what that’s like.
Andrew: …[laughs] he was nervous when JK Rowling was taking a look at all the art. Understandably so. He also said that Deathly Hallows’s cover, his Deathly Hallows cover, pays tribute to Mary GrandPrÈ’s.
Andrew: So… and I think he alluded that it’s the color scheme, so I think that one is going to have the same colors. That may be it. It was an interesting cover selection. I remember talking about that on the days of MuggleCast…
Andrew: …when we discussed the book covers.
Eric: We thought that it was like in a coliseum by the veil…
Laura: [laughs] Yeah.
Eric: …and that the roof of the Ministry had been blown off. You guys remember this? [laughs]
Laura: [laughs] Yeah.
Eric: Because there were columns. And what does it end up being? It’s Hogwarts, isn’t it?
Laura: No seriously, he looked like he was in freakin’ Rome or something.
Laura: I was like, “What the hell is this?”
Andrew: Harry and Voldemort are going to Rome!
Eric: Well, there are columns in all of her work. Like, there are columns in the first Harry Potter book. That’s why it’s just, for me, it’s time for a kick out for…
Micah: Well, actually [laughs] if you guys remember too, I think it was the British deluxe version that had the dragon on it.
Micah: And three of us on this show – Andrew, you weren’t there; I think it was Eric, Laura, and I – [laughs] did an entire episode, probably for about ninety minutes…
Micah: …on the Antipodean Opaleye.
Eric: Opaleye, yes!
Laura: Oh, my God! [laughs]
Eric: I was so pleased because…
Laura: How did we do that?
Eric: …it’s an Australian dragon and I was living down there.
Micah: It was such deep analysis, too. It was completely and utterly off-base…
Eric: It was fine!
Micah: …but man, that was one of the best episodes…
Eric: We were looking at the dragon, it looked blind… or no, it looked like it had an opal eye, and it turned out that it was just blind from sitting in the dark underneath Gringotts the whole time.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Eric: Oops. Yeah, sorry. Geez.
Andrew: I think that was the deluxe US edition, by the way. But yeah, that was a cool cover.
Eric: Yeah. We looked in Fantastic Beasts…
Andrew: I just want to be accurate.
Eric: …we read the bio from Fantastic Beasts… I’m still bitter over this. But it was some smart work sleuthing on our part, I think.
Andrew: Let’s move on…
Eric: I still call it the Opaleye. [laughs]
Andrew: …to some other stuff now. This news cracks me up.
Eric: Okay, go on.
News: Daniel Radcliffe Did Not Shoot Scenes for Wizarding World Expansion
Andrew: So we all know that there’s going to be an expansion in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It’s going to be this Diagon Alley land, it’s going to be at Universal Studios Hollywood, and the Hogwarts Express is connecting the two lands. So apparently there’s going to be a ride, a Gringotts thrill ride, and…
Micah: Is that where goblins jump on your roller coaster and…
Andrew: Yeah, sure.
Micah: …try and tear off your face?
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Andrew: Warwick Davis is working full time there.
Eric: [laughs] What, Micah? What?
Andrew: We’ve heard that Rupert Grint…
Micah: These are just the rumors I’ve heard.
Andrew: We’ve heard that Rupert Grint and Helena Bonham Carter have filmed scenes for this ride, but not Dan Radcliffe. Don’t expect him to be involved. So he was interviewed recently [laughs] about avoiding the Harry Potter stereotype – or the stigma, whatever you want to call it, typecast – about how he’s done so much work to establish himself outside of the series. Of course, that’s true. He did Equus, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, he’s done some movies since then. [laughs] So he says:
“The theme parks are expanding and there was an enquiry whether I’d do more filming from them and I was like: No, I can’t get away with that anymore, I’d just look foolish. I’d never totally close the door [to returning to Potter] for the reason that Jo’s a great writer. But no more school boy stuff.”
“I’m 23, which is too old to be running round in a school boy’s cape.”
Laura: Well, I guess he has never been to a Harry Potter convention.
Eric: You know…
Andrew: Freakin’ burn, Dan.
Eric: …today is the day I pack for LeakyCon and because Dan Radcliffe has said this, I’m not going to be able to take my robes. Damn.
[Andrew, Laura, and Micah laugh]
Eric: I have to admit there comes a time where you have to admit to yourself, “Okay, I’m over 23. What would Dan Rad do? Dan Rad would not wear a cape.”
Andrew: So you’re serious? You’re not bringing your cloak?
Eric: Pfft, I’m going to take the cloak.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: Even though I’m a Pottermore Hufflepuff, my robes are Gryffindor. I’m still taking those robes.
Laura: But didn’t he actually just record content for the new Trivial Pursuit game like eight months ago? I think he did.
Andrew: Are you being serious?
Laura: Yeah, I’m being serious right now.
Micah: Well, that’s more sophisticated though, Laura. That’s more sophisticated than getting dressed up as a…
Andrew: School boy.
Eric: Yeah, yeah. That’s Trivial Pursuit, Laura. That’s… next stop is host of Jeopardy after that.
Laura: [laughs] I mean, okay…
Micah: He’s going to replace Alex Trebek.
Laura: I understand where he’s coming from though.
Eric: So was it video for Trivial Pursuit, Laura? Do you know?
Laura: It was voiceover material.
Eric: Still a big deal.
Laura: Yeah. I mean, I don’t know. I kind of understand where he’s coming from. There does need to be a line drawn somewhere because otherwise he’s going to be, like, forty and they’re going to be like, “Hey, come film this material. We’ll do Harry Potter and the Nursing Home.”
Laura: But I’m not sure that it needed to be drawn where it was drawn. I mean, I feel like he’s still young enough that he could get away with filming ten minutes of material for the theme park. But he’s probably thinking, if I don’t draw the line somewhere I’ll be doing this for the next twenty years. So I kind of get where he’s coming from.
Andrew: And also my perspective is… Laura, you may see these commercials, being so close to Florida. I mean, I see them here in LA. There are these commercials for Universal that run with Dan Radcliffe as Harry Potter, and I feel like he’s seeing those, or his people tells them that these are still running. And there’s that typecast still happening on TV on a daily basis…
Eric: Right. So it’s persisting his image as being Harry.
Andrew: Right. It’s still happening. He’s still being typecast in his role because of these commercials. So maybe he’s thinking, if I were to do new stuff for Universal then a whole new advertising campaign with my face on it is going to be appearing. Now, I wonder if they are going to use his face… because surely there’s going to be an advertising campaign for this new expansion, I wonder if he’s going to appear on it like a new image or they’re going to use the old image that they’ve used.
Eric: Yeah, it’s probably going to be that same clip of him flying up on a broomstick and saying, “Come on!”
Eric: Because that’s…
Andrew: But that doesn’t make sense because… I don’t know, it’s going to be interesting.
Micah: They’re going to use Warwick Davis, as you pointed out earlier. He’s going to be the new face for the Wizarding World.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Laura: No, it’s just going to be Helena Bonham Carter and Rupert Grint. Those are the only people who are going to be on that ride.
Micah: And what they do in that commercial is up to your imagination.
Eric: [laughs] No, I think that Dan… the good thing about Dan is – and maybe it’s just he’s really smart about quotes – he doesn’t seem bitter at all in this quote. Every actor kind of has a bitter phase, I feel, regarding a role that is so beloved and they want to go off and do different things. That’s not really what Dan is saying. Dan is saying, he feels like he’s too old as an afterthought but in general he’s just tried to do so much more. So I do think that he is moving on and this Harry Potter thing is… he did say, he’d never say no again. So really, it’s just no, but no to this. So I don’t think he’s bitter, is what I’m trying to say. I think he’s just really kind of being smart about it. You guys are right with the marketing that’s probably going to happen around this expansion once it comes out.
Micah: I don’t even see why he needs to say anything. Just…
Eric: Who’s asked the question?
Micah: …don’t do it. Just don’t do it. Like, what’s the big deal?
Laura: Just shut up, Dan. Stop talking.
Micah: [laughs] I mean, talk about typecasting. He’s eight films too late for typecasting. So…
Micah: That’s just how I see it. But yeah, he has… do whatever you want. I would just think though, that the theme park would be something that you would want to continue to be a part of because it does… at some point you are going to get to that age where you’re not going to be able to do these types of things anymore and I get the idea of wanting to move on and say enough is enough, but it would just be weird for them to do anything promotional around this theme park without him being a part of it.
Andrew: And this totally burns Rupert Grint, by the way.
Laura: Oh, I know!
Andrew: I mean, that guy…
Micah: Grow up, Rupert!
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: Yeah! You dork!
Micah: Let it go.
Laura: God, what a tool!
Eric: I’m looking forward to it being some scenes with Ron for once, giving him a more active role, seeing as how Dan will not be doing something. I…
Andrew: Well, I bet Dan will still show up in it. They’re going to use scenes from the movie in the ride. I bet that’s how they’ll work around it.
Eric: You think so?
Andrew: Yeah, because they could easily do that. I don’t think that would be a problem.
Eric: I don’t know, considering…
Micah: Grow up, Helena.
Eric: Yeah, grow up Helena. [laughs]
Andrew: We still don’t know if Emma Watson is involved, so…
Micah: Grow up, Emma.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Micah: Well, apparently she is. She’s doing a female version of Game of Thrones.
Eric: Yeah, she’s all grown up.
Micah: I’m not even going to… let’s move on.
Andrew: And little side note, it looks like the expansion is probably going to open next summer, which is no surprise.
Micah: Oh, let’s go.
Andrew: So that’s all the news.
Micah: Vacation? You guys want to go?
Andrew: Yeah, of course I want to go. I don’t want to go right when it’s opening, unless I’m going as press because the lines are going to be awful.
Eric: Yeah, they need to…
Laura: No, we’ll just go hang out and get bombed in the Three Broomsticks. It’s fine.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, that land will be empty.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: Because everybody will be over at the expansion.
Eric: I’m just…
Eric: …waiting for them to tear down the wall for one park pass. Come on, guys.
Micah: Yeah, we’ll go drink, as Laura said, in the Three Broomsticks with Rupert and Helena…
Micah: …who have sold their souls apparently to Universal.
Eric: Yeah, they’re actually appearing daily in the park now.
Micah: Along with Warwick Davis.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Make the Music Connection
Andrew: It’s now time to play Make the Music Connection.
Andrew: While we wrap up the show, I thought we could make a throwback to some old segments. I think that was the plan anyway, when we decided we’re going to end this show.
[Andrew, Eric, and Laura laugh]
Laura: I’m going to be so bad at this. I haven’t played this in forever.
Andrew: Well, you can make your answers…
Micah: Neither have we.
Andrew: …as basic as possible. It’s okay.
Laura: All right.
Andrew: So I figure we could pick some top forty tunes because we want to be down with the kids, even though we may… we’re barely… we’re scrapping the edge of the millennial…
Micah: We’re too old to wear wizard robes anymore.
Andrew: [laughs] Man, what would Dan think of this podcast? Ugh, I shudder at the thought. [laughs] So, who wants to go first?
Laura: I’ll go first.
Eric: Yeah, Laura.
Andrew: Okay, that’s the spirit.
Laura: Yeah, woo!
Andrew: Also, because you have to leave soon.
Laura: Yeah. [laughs]
Andrew: [laughs] So have you heard the song “I Love It” by Icona Pop?
Laura: Uhhh, I don’t know.
Andrew: It’s been… do you listen to top forty radio?
Andrew: Oh. Well, then you’re going to… [laughs]
Laura: [laughs] I’m going to…
Andrew: What do you listen to these days, Laura?
Laura: You… I listen to a lot of Spanish music and…
Andrew: Oh, geez.
Laura: No, but I like a lot of folk punk music, like Frank Turner who is amazing. If you guys don’t know who he is…
Laura: …you should go look him up.
Micah: That doesn’t sound Spanish.
Laura: I know, but… I switched. I said I listen to a lot of Spanish music and a lot of folk punk music. Right?
Micah: Oh, okay.
Laura: So… and then a lot of my musical tastes stayed the same from…
Laura: …the last time we talked, which was on MuggleCast 230.
Andrew: So basically…
MuggleCast 266 Transcript (continued)
Make the Music Connection (continued)
Eric: Green Day, right?
Laura: Their new stuff is really bad.
Eric: Oh, really?
Laura: [laughs] It’s really, really bad.
Eric: I’m sorry.
Micah: They’ve been around a long time.
Laura: Yeah, they need to stop.
Laura: But yeah, whatever you want to pick, throw it at me.
Laura: Just throw it at me, Andrew.
Andrew: Here’s a… well, this is appropriate for you. Here’s Selena Gomez’s most recent single.
Laura: Oh, great!
Micah: There’s that… oh, that’s good.
Eric: Careful, Andrew, I wouldn’t play music…
Micah: Well done.
Eric: …by any millennial who is now supporting Katniss Everdeen. I’d be careful about it.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: Here is “Come and Get It.” Give this one a shot.
[“Come and Get It” by Selena Gomez plays]
Laura: What the hell is this?
Laura: What the hell? This is like Enya on crack.
[Song continues and ends]
Andrew: What did you say? I didn’t hear you.
Laura: I said this is like Enya on crack. What is this?
Andrew: Oh. [laughs] I thought that was going to be your answer.
Laura: Yeah, no.
Andrew: “So when you’re ready, come and get it.”
Laura: Yeah, I mean…
Andrew: “You ain’t got to worry, it’s an open invitation.”
Laura: Yeah, yeah. So obviously what I think of is that final moment between Harry and Voldemort, where they’re circling around the Great Hall and Harry is just like, “Hey, just feel a little bit of remorse, man. Just accept that you’ve been wrong,” and Voldemort is like, “No,” and then Harry kills him. Boom.
Andrew: Okay. Interesting.
Micah: Well done. Very well done.
[Someone applauds in the background]
Andrew: [laughs] Good job. You said you’re rusty at this.
Laura: Oh, I am. You have no idea.
Laura: I can’t even… basically, how old is she? She’s like 12? Anybody under 20, I actually can’t understand them. So when they talk to me, it’s like all I hear is that, basically.
Eric: Laura, I have the same exact problem.
Eric: Don’t worry. It’s not you.
Laura: It’s them. It’s the Millennials.
Andrew: Our next choice is for Eric, and this is in honor of our mutual friend, Adam Bromberg.
Andrew: It’s the new Taylor Swift single, “22.”
[“22” by Taylor Swift plays]
Andrew: I actually… I’ve got to admit, I really like this song.
Eric: Yeah, I do too.
Micah: I don’t.
[Song continues and ends]
Andrew: So make the connection.
Eric: It’s tough because you leave Hogwarts when you’re 17, so the 22 part of it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense, but I think of it as a girls’ night. Things… like Hermione and Ginny are always seen as hanging out in the books and they’re close, but we never see it. There’s never a scene where Hermione and Ginny are hanging out unless it’s time to save the world and they have to go their separate ways…
Micah: What kind of scene are you looking for?
Eric: I’m looking for a pajama padded feet, common room fire, talk about their exes kind of thing. So yeah, I’m all over it. If we…
Micah: Not what I was looking for.
Eric: …could change [laughs] 22 to 16 and have them just hanging around the common room, or the girls’ dormitory, or something. Just a girls’ night in Hogsmeade, maybe a girls’ weekend in Hogsmeade, something like that. Maybe they do that when they’re 22, after leaving Hogwarts.
Micah: A visit to the Shrieking Shack?
Eric: Something like that.
Laura: Micah, you are so dirty.
Andrew: He really is. He was hoping for a female Game of Thrones scene in Eric’s description.
Andrew: All right, and finally, Micah, and then we’ll say goodbye to Laura. Here is “Started from the Bottom” by Drake.
[“Started from the Bottom” by Drake plays]
Andrew: This is the edited version. Don’t worry, there’s no inappropriate words.
Micah: It sounds very inappropriate to me.
[Song continues and ends]
Andrew: All right, so you know Drake, popular artist, Amanda Bynes is really into him.
Andrew: “Started from the Bottom.”
Laura: He started from the bottom for his team, right? Hmm.
Andrew: [laughs] Whose team? What?
Micah: [laughs] What?
Laura: Didn’t he…
Eric: It’s the lyrics.
Laura: I can’t understand what he was saying. I thought that’s what he said.
Andrew: Oh. Maybe.
Micah: His Quidditch team, of course, Laura, is what he is referring to.
Micah: I can see that as entrance music for the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
Laura: Oh, my God. That’s like…
Laura: It’s like hazing music for their Quidditch team.
Laura: Start at the bottom.
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs] Oh, God.
Laura: [laughs] Sorry.
Andrew: Well, Laura, it’s been a pleasure having you on. Maybe we’ll get you on the final episode as well. We know you have to go.
Laura: Yeah, this is the part where Andrew’s like, “Okay, get off the show. You’re being too inappropriate.”
Laura: But yeah, thanks for having me…
Andrew: No, you have to leave. You have to leave, right?
Laura: Yeah, yeah, I have to go. But thank you for having me. It was so fun talking to you guys.
Andrew: Yeah, it was. It was great. You added some great insight as usual; you were the voice of reason. So thank you for coming on.
Laura: All right. Bye, guys. Love you!
Andrew: All right, bye.
Andrew: Oh, please upload your audio file before you go.
Andrew: Can you do that?
Andrew: Okay, great. Thank you.
Laura: All right. Buh-bye.
Andrew: All right. Bye. All right. Boy, she’s really lost her touch, hasn’t she?
Eric: [laughs] It’s sad. I was in tears.
Andrew: I’m kidding. I’m kidding. [laughs] No, that was good. It was nice to have her on.
Eric: Oh wait, you didn’t do a Music Connection.
Andrew: Okay, what song do you want me to do? Name one and I’ll play it.
Eric: “Blurred Lines.”
Andrew: “Blurred Lines”?
Eric: Yeah. I have it on my phone if you need it.
Andrew: No, it’s okay. I’ve got it. Okay, “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke.
[“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke (feat. TI and Pharrell Williams) plays]
Micah: MuggleCast rocking out here.
Andrew: Okay, so…
[Song continues and ends]
Andrew: This song, everybody is talking about this song right now. I don’t know why. It’s catchy, I guess. Okay, so this is…
Micah: It’s all the rage.
Andrew: This is Rita Skeeter’s love song to Harry. If you can’t hear what I’m trying to say, if you can’t read from the same page, maybe I’m going deaf, maybe I’m going blind, maybe I’m out of my mind. She wants Rita… or Rita wants Harry to pay attention to the lies that she’s spreading.
Eric: Yeah, you know you want it.
Andrew: In fact, she wants all… [laughs] yeah. She wants all of the wizarding world to pay attention to what that Quick-Quotes Quill is writing down on that parchment.
Eric: I think that’s brilliant.
Eric: Yeah, nice work.
Micah: I can’t even find something dirty to say about that, so…
Andrew: Oh, thank God.
Micah: …you did a good job.
Andrew: Thank goodness. Nothing about Rita Skeeter, huh?
Favorites: Best Character in Order of the Phoenix
Andrew: Let’s move on now to our Favorites segment. In honor of the Order of the Phoenix ten-year anniversary, I thought we should do something Order of the Phoenix-themed. So, how about best character in Order of the Phoenix? Your favorite character while you were reading it. Who was your favorite? I can give you an answer right now for me. My favorite was Professor Umbridge.
Andrew: In fact, she was one of my favorite characters in the Harry Potter series.
Eric: Controversial. [laughs]
Andrew: But she was just so wickedly evil. It was beautiful. I just loved her. It’s kind of like a love-to-hate sort of thing. It was just so fun to hate on her and to see her finally get screwed over by the end of the book. It was great.
Eric: Yeah, I want to say Sirius Black because I miss the poor fellow, but I’m actually going to stray from that and just say that Firenze was a cool character to see again in that book. Remember, he taught… was it Divination? In lieu of Professor Trelawney’s leaving, for a couple of months. So yeah, Firenze gets my own.
Micah: Your own?
Micah: So I would have to go with Hagrid. I think that you get a lot of insight into his character in this book when he comes back with… from going on his little adventure with Madame Maxime and sort of parlaying with the giants. He brings Grawp back, and it was interesting getting more backstory on him, his family, and learning about his travels and what he encountered on the way. And it was a big moment also for Harry, Ron, and Hermione when he returned because he had been such a pillar, really, of their lives the first couple of years that they were at Hogwarts, and him not being there for a while, I think, added to the negative feeling that was there for most of the first half, three-quarters of Order of the Phoenix. And once he returns I felt like things started to take shape again.
Eric: Yeah. Good point.
Listener Tweets/Facebook Comments: Daniel Radcliffe’s Decision to Not Shoot Scenes for Wizarding World Expansion
Andrew: And our final segment for today, as usual, we like to ask you what you thought about something in particular via Twitter and Facebook and get your responses. We have some of them now. We asked about Dan Radcliffe’s decision to not appear in the Wizarding World expansion.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: Zemmer wrote:
“It’s a bit selfish but makes sense in WWoHP. Harry is supposed to be in Hogwarts and he can’t be in two places at the same time.”
Andrew: Interesting. That’s sort of like the whole Mickey Mouse thing at Disney World. You never see Mickey twice, even though there are like six of them all over the park. [laughs]
Eric: That’s genius. [laughs]
Andrew: DHfan said:
“He’s probably embarrassed of being Harry, now that he is establishing himself as an artsy far sty type. ‘Too old’ is a lame excuse!”
“How [are] a couple of scenes going to hurt him? I think he’s being a bit of a diva. Typecasting will be happening for him either way.”
“I think that it’s a bit selfish. It’s one tiny film for the WWoHP, not another entire movie!”
“Dan is overreacting. In case he hasn’t noticed, his face is all over the theme park. Shooting a few more scenes won’t change that. Other actors embrace the franchises that made them big name actors. He should be doing the same then moving on to do some other things.”
Eric: Can I just say stop, people? [laughs] Stop saying that he’s selfish, that he’s bitter.
Eric: Yeah, really though. He’s not selfish, okay? It’s… there’s this prevailing mode of thought that because we like something, that it’s our franchise, Harry Potter, that he somehow owes us to continue appearing as Harry in these new endeavors and adventures. I just don’t think that’s the case. But I also don’t think… as I said before, I don’t think he’s bitter about it. I don’t think he’s trying to [censored] all over Harry Potter; I just think he is moving on. I thought it was a valid question: What will little scenes do? He’s already plastered all over the theme park. But maybe that’s why he’s doing it.
Andrew: Here are some comments that take your stance on it. Andrew wrote:
“I don’t think he is overreacting. He gave a lot of his life to the role of Harry Potter, but if he ever wants to get any other big roles he needs to be seen as flexible, and shooting scenes as Harry again could ruin that for him. It’s true ‘Harry Potter’ started his career, but that’s a start and he does need to be able to move on.”
“No, he’s not overreacting. They are older than the characters now and he is working on new things. If you’d been doing the same thing for 90% of your life you’d want a change, too.”
So there you go. Not everybody is on Team Hate Dan.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: But I sure am!
Micah: Well, maybe he was just… his thoughts were when the theme park originally opened that this was going to be a one time thing, that it wasn’t going to be something where the park was going to expand, then a couple of years later they’re going to be asking him to do this again.
Micah: It was definitely important for his face to be on the theme park when it originally opened. It would have been weird if that wasn’t the case. He was even there for that grand opening. So I think an even better question to ask is when this thing expands, or when it opens in LA or when it opens in Japan, will he be there? Or will he just decide that in addition to not filming things it’s just enough in the sense that “what’s done is done” and “I’m moving forward” and… because if he doesn’t want to do something that is as simple as shoot a couple-of-seconds video, why would he…
Andrew: Show up.
Micah: Why would he show up?
Eric: It may just be a legit scheduling conflict, too. I mean, to be perfectly honest, people who are doing other projects, et cetera… like, if he doesn’t come to the premiere it’s probably because he’s shooting a movie.
Andrew: Yeah, that could be. Remember, Emma Watson wasn’t there, I think, because she was shooting something.
Eric: I’m trying to think, both Dan and Emma were not at the Home Entertainment Celebration at the park. Oh, but Rupert was! [gasps] Oh, but Rupert was! They must really have him…
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Eric: …in contracts or something. He got renewed and didn’t know it or something.
Andrew: Oh, that poor guy. He almost had a comedy on CBS and CBS decided not to pick it up.
Eric: [sighs] I know. But did you see that pilot?
Andrew: It’s not out yet.
Eric: Oh. Well, neither did I.
Andrew: They haven’t released it. Did you?
Andrew: [laughs] I don’t think it’s ever going to see the light of day because it wasn’t picked up…
Eric: Super Clyde!
Andrew: …for a series. If it was picked up…
Micah: He tried to trick you right there.
Andrew: If it was picked up, we would have had a trailer by now and some photos. But nope, nope, nope.
Andrew: Anyway, that concludes MuggleCast Episode 266. It’s been a fun episode. We tried to get another host on this week, another classic host, but it didn’t pan out. So the next two episodes we will be doing the same thing. Like I mentioned to Laura, hopefully we’ll have her on the final episode. And it’s been fun. So quick plug for Hype, the podcast we do over on Hypable.com talking about Harry Potter, of course, but other things as well – Games of Thrones, whatever has been hot in fandom over the most recent two-week period we are talking about, including… we had an interesting discussion this week about $48 movie tickets. Have you guys heard about these things now?
Andrew: Paramount introduced a $48 movie ticket for World War Z, and my short answer was that it won’t work for World War Z but it would work for super fans like in Harry Potter or Hunger Games or that kind of franchise. Anyway, those are the type of things we talk about. It’s a really fun show, so you can try it out at Hypable.com.
Micah: What does a $48 ticket give you?
Andrew: It gives you a small popcorn, it gives you…
Eric: A small popcorn? Stop right there! [laughs]
Andrew: You get to see the movie two days early, you get glasses that you get to keep – 3D glasses that you get to keep – you get a poster, and you get a free digital copy of the movie when it’s released later this year. And I think one other thing.
Micah: What if you hate the movie?
Eric: It’s kind of like putting both your feet in.
Andrew: That’s why it doesn’t work for World War Z because it’s not really… it’s based on a book, but it’s not really that established of a franchise. But if they did that for Harry Potter, it would do well.
Eric: Well, did you see World War Z? Just off-topic but…
Andrew: No. I’ve heard it’s good though.
Eric: I’ve heard good things but never specific good things. We should plug Game of Owns. It’s our Game of Thrones podcast that Micah and I are a part of, and currently we are reading the second Game of Thrones book which is called A Clash of Kings. And we’re doing that, three episodes weekly, going through those book chapters and diving into the material with the view of someone who has seen the TV series.
Andrew: And as always, you can visit the MuggleCast website and find links to our Twitter, our Facebook, and the fan Tumblr, and listen to all the other older episodes. It’s all there.
Micah: There’s plenty of stuff there.
Andrew: This week after you listen to this episode of MuggleCast, you should listen to the episode where Eric, Micah, and Laura discuss that dragon.
Eric: I’m going to find out which one that is. That’s really upsetting.
Andrew: You should add it to the Wall of Fame. It should be your latest Wall of Fame entry.
Micah: I believe it is on the Wall of Fame.
Andrew: Is it?
Micah: I think it is.
Andrew: Let’s see. When would it have been? Like…
Micah: It would’ve been like Episode 98.
Eric: Yeah, yeah. Right when the cover was released before the book. You’re right.
Andrew: It was probably 95 then, because 99 was our live Philadelphia podcast.
Andrew: So 95 is the other one listed there. Oh yeah, this one includes the discussion on the Deathly Hallows deluxe edition cover…
Andrew: …which turns out to be some great analysis.
Eric: Look, Jo cheated.
Eric: Can I just say Jo cheated? Years before, she wrote about a dragon that had a white blanked-out eye. Just saying. It was in Fantastic Beasts. But…
Micah: That episode is more than six years old if you can believe that.
Andrew: Hopefully the MP3 file still works.
Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah. [laughs] You have to dust it off.
Micah: What’s an MP3?
Eric: What’s an MP3? Well, because we spoke about the ten-year anniversary of Order of the Phoenix, I wanted to say I did put together a video commemorating it on MuggleNet. It’s on YouTube, actually. Just search MuggleNet’s commemorative… ten-year looking back, something like that, and you’ll find it. In Oak Park, and it has… the really cool thing about it is how many people showed up and we’re all dressed up – you know, like complete strangers. And a lot of them were older than the five or six-year-olds we’re talking about, that Laura mentioned. It was really cool because all the local businesses turned into the shops in Diagon Alley. I’ve never seen even since such a well-orchestrated collaborative effort between shop owners in a small district. So check out the video!
Andrew: Cool. We will! Thank you, every… did you have something to say? I’m about to say bye, so…
Micah: No. Bye! No…
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Micah: See you! Yeah, no, I was just going to say I can’t believe that we only have two episodes left.
Andrew: I know. Crazy, crazy.
Micah: It’s unreal.
Andrew: Ah, maybe we’ll do an extra one.
Eric: I was going to say, or do we?
Micah: Or do we? How many more episodes can we bash Pottermore?
Micah: Probably as many as…
Eric: Hey, that material, Micah, writes itself. [laughs] As Andrew said, as you said…
Eric: …it just writes…
Andrew: I’m not trying. It just happens.
Eric: It really does.
Micah: But I would say hang around for that. Not just the final episode, and also the one in between.
Andrew: Yeah, of course.
Micah: But hopefully we can get everybody back on at some point. I know everybody has busy schedules.
Andrew: Well, I think the only people left we have really to knock out are Jamie, Kevin…
Eric: Mikey B!
Andrew: Oh, Mikey, I guess he should be on. Yeah, so there’s only like three. If we get two on the next episode, then we can have as many as we want on the final episode.
Micah: And I want to make a promise, right here and now.
Andrew: Oh, okay.
Micah: Are you ready for this?
Micah: That in some way, shape, or form, we will have JK Rowling on our last show.
[Show music begins]
Andrew: [laughs] Okay.
Micah: That is very cryptic.
Micah: We’ll leave it at that.
Andrew: Interesting. All right, what a tease. We’ll see everybody next month in July for Episode 267. Goodbye!
Eric: Please, don’t let it be July!
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: We’ll play that song.
Micah: Don’t start singing, Andrew.
Andrew: “Don’t let it be July!”
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: Hey, people love that song.
Eric: They do!
Andrew: It’s a classic.
[Show music continues]