Transcript #290

Transcript for MuggleCast Episode #290, Expelled

Show Intro

[Show music plays]

Andrew Sims: This is MuggleCast, your Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts podcast covering everything about J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 290. Micah, Eric, and I are all here this week as usual, and I am pleased to report that Jeanna is back this week. Hey, Jeanna.

Jeanna: Hello again.

Andrew: I’m glad we didn’t scare you away.

Jeanna: I’m glad I didn’t screw up so bad that… [laughs]

Andrew: No, you’re awesome. And we told Micah that he has to be on this episode with you.

Micah Tannenbaum: I was going to say, a fine replacement.

Andrew: [laughs] Actually, better than you, Micah, to be honest, so you’d better watch yourself. Don’t screw up or you’re out.

Jeanna: I’m slowly moving my stuff into the MuggleCast newsroom.

Andrew: [laughs] Okay, well, enough banter about kicking Micah out; he probably believes it’s true.

Eric Scull: It’s okay, Micah, you can stay.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: I was already packing up.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: I bet you’re one of those guys that has just a knapsack, right? Everything is just…

Main discussion: Fantastic Beasts trailer

Andrew: [laughs] Big news week: The new Fantastic Beasts trailer came out a couple of days ago, and it is so good. So good. And we’re going to break it down, but first, why don’t we just start with some overall impressions of it because… I’ll start off and just say that I didn’t think there was much magic in the first trailer for Fantastic Beasts, and I didn’t realize that until I watched this one because this one just has the spells, it’s got the references to Harry Potter, which we will definitely be getting into, and… I don’t know; it just felt like a Harry Potter movie and it got me so excited. Did you guys get the same feeling?

Jeanna and Micah: Yes.

Eric: Yeah, I would agree with that 100%. Having more of the magic, having it look like the magic in Harry Potter, that was the big thing for me. Apparition is a big part, or Apparation, whatever you would call it. The art of Apparating.

Andrew: Yeah, even the WB logo Apparates.

Eric: The logo Apparates!

Jeanna: I was going to say that; I thought it was very interesting that it Apparated onto the screen.

Eric: That, I think, is going to be probably the most prominent – it is in the trailer, anyway – in terms of spells used, and I wonder why that is. But ultimately, if you’re adult and you can do it, why not do it?

Micah: I would just say I thought that Eddie Red-mane-ie did a great job…

Andrew: “Red-mane-ie”?

Micah: … introducing J.K. Rowling. [pronounces “Row” like “ow”]

Jeanna: Oh!

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Jeanna: I’m glad someone said that.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. So at the MTV Movie Awards, where he announced… where he played the trailer, as Micah said, he pronounced her name wrong. But I’m actually at CinemaCon this week – it’s where all the movie studios are sharing their upcoming slates with movie exhibitors – and Eddie Redmayne was here yesterday and he said J.K. Rowling’s name correctly, so I think somebody pulled him aside after the MTV Movie awards…

[Eric and Jeanna laugh]

Andrew: … and said, “Hey, you’re going to be kicked out of this fandom really quick unless you straighten out how you pronounce Rowling.” [laughs] “So get it right.”

Eric: Yeah, news next Monday would have been, “Eddie Redmayne removed as lead actor.”

Andrew: [laughs] “Barred from the Harry Potter fandom.”

Micah: I would assume, though, that if more people were watching the MTV Movie Awards that they would have called the… I didn’t actually see a huge response on social media; I was actually expecting a lot more people to call attention to that. But I will say, the entrance was pretty cool that he made; he came up through the suitcase, and of course, at the end of the trailer, we see him going into the suitcase, so a little tip of a cap there.

Andrew: Yeah. So I guess, why don’t we just start out with the thing that I think most people found most intriguing about this Fantastic Beasts trailer?

Micah: The Niffler?

Andrew: [laughs] The Niffler, yeah.

Eric: Definitely the Niffler.

Andrew: No, a couple of… I don’t know, about 30 seconds into the trailer we hear who I think is Graves, played by Colin Farrell…

Eric: I think that’s right.

Andrew: … say to Newt, “There’s much more to you than meets the eye. Kicked out of Hogwarts for endangering a human life with a beast, yet one of your teachers argued against your expulsion. I wonder what makes Dumbledore so fond of you, Mr. Scamander.”

Eric: Albus Dumbledore.

Andrew: So the shocking thing here was that… what shocked me at first was that we’re already hearing references that we understand from the Harry Potter books: Dumbledore, Hogwarts… and that Newt was kicked out of Hogwarts. And what’s particularly interesting about this – and something I’ve been raising a fuss about – is that in the Fantastic Beasts book that J.K. Rowling published in 2001, in Newt’s bio in the back, it said he graduated from Hogwarts, so what gives?

Micah: Maybe he came back.

Andrew: [scoffs] Don’t give me that.

Jeanna: Maybe this is his redemption story.

Andrew: I completely agree with you, 100%.

Jeanna: That was my first thought, is that this is his story all about how his life got flipped, turned upside down, and he got kicked out of Hogwarts. But now he has to do all this stuff – “has to” is a loose term – and he gets reinstated and is allowed to finish his degree.

Eric: But he’s also the reason that all the beasts get let loose in the first place, so…

Andrew: He kind of digs a deeper hole, doesn’t he?

Eric: Yeah, I don’t like the idea that he’s incompetent or not able to be… I want him to be just the smartest, most competent Hufflepuff there is. So I get a little worried that he got kicked out, but if it was for a beast, then you can assume that it was something that he either quickly got under control or resolved, or that this is essentially – as Jeanna said – his sort of coming to peace with himself. This could be room for character growth on that front.

Micah: Could be. I just find it interesting that he has much of the same storyline as Hagrid does, and I know a number of listeners pointed this out, at least from the relationship with Dumbledore, getting expelled, having an affinity for creatures that are potentially dangerous…

Eric: That’s interesting.

Micah: Yeah, it’s very, very similar to Hagrid’s storyline, and so come on, J.K. Rowling. Come up with some new material.

Andrew: Oh, stop it.

[Everyone laughs]

Jeanna: Wow.

Micah: I’m just kidding.

Andrew: Well, we also know that Dumbledore has a great interest in Newt, as Graves says, and J.K. Rowling followed up on that on Twitter. She wouldn’t elaborate further, but I found that interesting as well because Dumbledore is very interested in both Hagrid and Newt.

Eric: This was definitely the most surprising bit, was the name drop of Dumbledore, and then J.K. Rowling on Twitter afterwards going ways to explain it. That was just… I was shocked. And there were a lot of cool things in the trailer, but I wasn’t expecting the Dumbledore name drop.

Andrew: Yeah, I would have expected an offhand reference to Hogwarts, like, “Oh, yeah, I went to Hogwarts, back over in England,” but I didn’t expect it to potentially be a pivotal part of the story.

Eric: Enough to make it in the trailer, too. Like, “kicked out of Hogwarts,” well, that could be just WB’s way of showing that they’re in the same universe for this trailer, but then they have the Dumbledore reference too, so it’s like, which one is excessive, versus which one is actually a plot point? Like if Newt having been kicked out of Hogwarts is part of the greater story of the movie or not.

Andrew: I think that’s… I really hope it is, because I hope this is a redemption story and that Newt will be returning to Hogwarts to complete his degree because I think that would be a great arc over three movies. We’ve seen over the past couple of years… I’m thinking about when J.K. Rowling tweeted, “You all went to Hogwarts. We were all there together.”

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: People are still deeply connected to Hogwarts, so if they could watch this arc in which Newt feels so bad, presumably, about getting kicked out of Hogwarts, and he wants to go back so bad, we could all relate to that.

Eric: Well, do we see him in Hogwarts in this trailer when he’s squeezing the…? It looks like a giant raisin or something. Did you guys take that to be the greenhouse at Hogwarts?

Jeanna: I did not.

Andrew: No, that’s wishful thinking. [laughs]

Eric: Oh, I totally thought that was, because it’s… and it happens when they’re still talking about Hogwarts. Newt is looking up at the… I kind of want to say the camera.

Micah: Did we watch the same trailer?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah! I can give you a timestamp if you want.

Micah: Yeah, give me a timestamp on this.

Andrew: Eric went through it frame by frame.

Eric: I really thought this was…

Micah: You raised a good point, though, Eric, you did. And I think, going back to the earlier discussion about why Warner Bros. did this, I think it’s just the ability to captivate the audience that may not be as close to the news about Fantastic Beasts, putting out Hogwarts, putting out Dumbledore. Immediately you’re back into that world, and that’s within the first few seconds of this trailer, right?

Eric: I mean, what’s interesting… and we talked about them including the magical things. The other thing was the plates, obviously, right? The plates and/or napkins flying across… is it Jacob, is the Muggle?

Andrew: Yeah, and he was into it.

Eric: And he’s sort of in awe. Oh, yeah, I’d be into it too. So that struck me, but it also could be that this trailer is really meant to sell that they’re the same universe, almost on a deep level, where they’re showing basically the same effects because between Apparition and then what the napkins were doing, that’s exactly straight out of Deathly Hallows, I think. And so with that and Dumbledore and Hogwarts being mentioned, it’s really beating you over the head. Although this trailer feels completely fresh, and I don’t think any of it was reused or repurposed or annoyingly overused, but I have to say maybe that’s the whole point to this, is to showcase the magical aspects of the world that are the same from what we’re used to.

Andrew: And it gets casual fans interested, as I think you were alluding to. When I consider a casual Harry Potter fan, I think of my sister or my brother. If they hear “Hogwarts” and “Dumbledore” specifically, or see Newt’s Hufflepuff scarf… which also, by the way, may be an indicator that Newt really wants to go back to Hogwarts.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Because he brought it with him and he’s like, “Oh, man, I miss my Hufflepuff days. I’m bringing my Hufflepuff pride with me to the US. I want to go back so bad. Oh my God.”

Eric: I know we know this is an issue for many reasons, him being expelled; that would cause a lot of weird plot issues. But how old do we think Newt is supposed to be? Eddie Redmayne is six years older than me; he’s like, 33. So is he really…? Can we really realistically expect that he’s playing a 17-year-old Newt Scamander, an 18-year-old Newt Scamander, or somebody who’s not too old to go back to Hogwarts? Is there an age limit at Hogwarts?

Andrew: No, I don’t think so.

Micah: He looks like he’s 12.

Jeanna: Well, I would say he looks like he’s fresh out of Hogwarts age.

Eric: I would say freshly 20/21. By the way, Micah, the scene which I thought was the greenhouse – it’s like, 19-20 seconds – it turns out on the overhead shot, Jacob is sitting in a chair watching him brew the thing, so it’s not Hogwarts greenhouses.

Jeanna: I have a theory on where that is; I think that’s in his suitcase.

Eric: Ohh.

Jeanna: Because at the end of the trailer, he ushers him down.

Eric: Come on!

Andrew: Yeah, good observation. See, this is why you’re replacing Micah; Micah would never come up with something like that.

Micah: That’s debatable.

[Everyone laughs]

Jeanna: My other thought about them name-dropping Hogwarts so quickly in this trailer, and our association with this film, is we know we know Hogwarts. We know everyone, whether you’re casual or not, knows Hogwarts. Is that because we’re going to meet all the other schools as well, and he’s going to get somewhat of an education from all those schools?

Eric: That’s interesting. Could he continue his education potentially somewhere else? And you know what, Andrew, I was reading a couple of your posts, and you did cite the listener… one of the users sent in the quote from Fantastic Beasts the book, which said that he graduated Hogwarts, then went to the Ministry for two years, then worked in this department, then this department, then this department. And I was thinking, sure, that could probably at this point, since it was written in 2001, it could probably be changed. It could probably be retconned, or just ignored completely, to my understanding. But then I also like the idea that he could continue his education somewhere else.

Andrew: Yeah, I hope he goes back to… well, I mean, I think it seems pretty certain that he’ll go back to Hogwarts, but yeah, maybe along his way he could be going to these other schools.

Eric: Gosh.

Andrew: I think one idea that we kicked around before is that in sequels to Fantastic Beasts, he will be going… it won’t be set in the United States. It’ll be set elsewhere, potentially where one of those other schools could be.

Jeanna: That’s what I’m thinking.

Eric: Right, and maybe even if he pops in at Hogwarts for a couple minutes. Gosh, it’d be weird if they had to close the Studio Tour for a day or two because they had to use some of the sets again.

[Andrew and Jeanna laugh]

Eric: Like, “Sorry, we’re filming on these sets again.” [laughs] “Newt is in Diagon Alley right now.”

Andrew: That’d be pretty crazy. But the age question is interesting. I think we’re going to have to set aside the fact that Eddie Redmayne doesn’t look like he should be going to Hogwarts right now because I think, Jeanna, you may have said it: At best, he looks like he’s graduating. He’s in his graduation year.

Eric: He definitely looks young.

Jeanna: Yeah, he’s believable, 17/18. More 18. But if they said 21, and if they said his actual age, which is 35, I’d go anywhere in that range.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, because I’m thinking Prisoner of Azkaban Harry, comparing that to third year Newt. I just could not see that at all, if, say, this movie was set in Newt’s third year at Hogwarts. It just doesn’t…

Eric: Right.

Micah: Yeah, you don’t know what year he was expelled.

Andrew: Right.

Jeanna: Yet.

Andrew: And it’s also important to remember that Dumbledore was a teacher at Hogwarts during this time.

Eric: Well, and that’s the coolest thing, is J.K. Rowling back in 1998 – or it was very early on in the Harry Potter series – was asked how old is Dumbledore? And she said 150. So it’s perfectly logical that she could wrap Dumbledore into this world. That said, how exciting is it that Albus Dumbledore is part of this film’s world? Even if it never amounts to anything more in this film than a name drop, I think it’s pretty darn special to think that while Newt and his friends are solving this problem, somewhere in the world Albus Dumbledore is off discovering the 12 uses of dragon’s blood or something. It’s a really cool idea that just makes me giddy for a whole different reason, on a whole different level.

Andrew: Now, you guys are convincing me that potentially he could be returning to Hogwarts. But alternate theory, and this is the one I set out with initially, and I still stand by it: I wouldn’t be surprised if J.K. Rowling actually changes canon. Because like we referenced a couple minutes ago, in the Fantastic Beasts book at the very back there’s a bio for Newt, and it says “upon graduation from Hogwarts.” What if he doesn’t return to Hogwarts? Or I don’t know, maybe he returns in some capacity and doesn’t graduate? I think that… see, there’s some interesting evidence to support this theory. A new Hogwarts classics boxset is coming out this June, and it only has Beedle the Bard and Quidditch Through the Ages. It doesn’t include Fantastic Beasts, whereas this boxset used to, which is really strange. And we also know – and we talked about this on the last episode – that they are republishing Fantastic Beasts next year, I think in February or March, so if they’re revising Fantastic Beasts, I think that’s going to be a chance for them… assuming it’s going to be the same book but expanded, I think this bio is going to go deeper and either explain further how he left Hogwarts and then eventually came back, or they’re just going to take out “upon graduation from Hogwarts,” because it just seems strange. I have to think J.K. Rowling came up with this expulsion thing more recently than when she wrote this book in 2001, because isn’t that something important you would include in the bio?

Eric: Oh, yeah, yeah. No, I don’t think there’s a question about that. And I agree with you; all your sleuthing has turned up some really compelling ideas. But my question then is why is he an expelled student? Why is that relevant to the story of this? Why is it such a plot point? What does that mean for Newt if he has been expelled? Is that just one reason for Colin Farrell’s character to try and discredit him? What exactly…? What gives, that he’s expelled? Does it make him more of a bad boy? Is he more endearing to audiences because he was expelled? A lot of questions.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Micah: Tweet at J.K. Rowling.

Jeanna: I don’t think they’re really going for the bad boy with him. I think it’s more the bumbling “Oops, this happened” type character. But I’m wondering, Andrew, if…

Micah: Sounds like Hagrid.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: Newt is Hagrid’s great-great-grandfather.

Jeanna: [laughs] That would be interesting. I’m wondering if it’s a culmination of our theories, Andrew, where they change it from “He graduated” to “He has an honorary degree because he went to all the different schools and he learned and all that from all of them.”

Eric: Honorary degree, I like that.

Jeanna: Well, now it seems far-fetched that he wouldn’t have graduated from Hogwarts but yet he’s Order of Merlin… I don’t know what class. But he has all these other accolades but yet was kicked out of Hogwarts? That doesn’t add up.

Andrew: Right, especially because you just look at this bio and he had a busy career after Hogwarts, so it’s like… is there going to be a three-year period, if there’s three movies, where he was out of Hogwarts or longer, and then he started this whole career? And by the way, I just want to say that I think it’s fine that she’s changing this canon, because she wrote this back in 2001. It does not relate to the Harry Potter books at all; it plays virtually no role, so it’s okay for her to adjust this in order to make a better story. And yet, the more I think about this redemption thing, that he will be going to Hogwarts – so that’s how J.K. Rowling can explain this bio, he will be going back to Hogwarts – I just love that idea so much and I really hope it’s true.

Eric: That’d be cool.

Micah: You’re assuming that she’s not going to find a way to just weave this all together.

Andrew: Well, the redemption would weave it together.

Micah: Yeah, well, just the fact that you mentioned before that you’re okay with the fact that she is changing the canon, but there’s nothing to state that she will do that. I mean, there’s very good chance, given how good she is at telling a story, that there’s nothing wrong with what she wrote back in 2001…

Eric: And he will be going back?

Micah: … and she just very craftily is able to figure this out.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: I don’t know.

Andrew: Well, I think we can… it’s safe to assume, I think, that when she wrote this back in 2000 or 2001, she was not thinking that there would be a film trilogy 15 years down the road. Right?

Eric: In 2001 there was barely a film of Harry Potter at all.

Andrew: Right, exactly. And that’s why I think it’s okay to change this.

Eric: Yeah, I don’t know.

Andrew: Anyway, how about another question? This has been bugging fans a lot. Why wasn’t his wand snapped?

Eric: I was thinking about this a lot because obviously it was in the doc for a couple days now, and I think I have an answer. So we know that Hagrid, when he got expelled, his wand was snapped, but my theory is Hagrid was underage. We know he was in his… was it his third year or fifth year when that happened? I’m forgetting, but he was underage at the time. My theory is Newt is of age, if he was expelled from Hogwarts when he was 17. One of the reasons of them snapping your wand is because you’re an untrained wizard and you can’t possibly be trusted out in the outer world, but if he’s of age, then he’s an adult wizard and should be afforded all the rights of being an adult wizard, including the right to carry a wand, but he won’t have graduated from Hogwarts because Hogwarts can’t have him there.

Andrew: Okay.

Jeanna: That’s the only good theory I’ve ever heard.

[Andrew laughs]

Jeanna: Because I sat here and got angry at the fact that Hagrid had his wand broken, and this guy gets to run around with his wand.

Eric: Well, with Hagrid… I think, too, with the whole Hagrid thing is it happens in Chamber of Secrets. Harry is 12, and you have to… for dramatic weight, JKR has something in there about his wand getting snapped. It’s like, “Oh, they snapped my wand, Harry,” and Harry fears and has nightmares about his own wand being reduced to shreds, and you’re just like, “Oh, this is clearly a child’s nightmare.” Sure, they snap your wand, but I’m saying more along… I can see that being retconned; maybe that never happens. Hagrid we know keeps his wand anyway, or in some form has it in the way of the umbrella. But that’s something that’s interesting to me, the whole snapping of the wand. It’s also possible that his wand was snapped, and the thing is that the wand that we’ve seen him have in promos and in the movie could be another wand, either one that he got from somewhere else where they didn’t have to check to see if he was allowed to carry one, or one from… maybe the woods. I’m trying to think… isn’t there…? There was something about his wand being all natural; did you guys remember this? Or am I making this up? Because it could be that I’m making this up.

Andrew: Newt’s wand?

Eric: Yeah, somebody called it a vegan wand.

[Andrew laughs]

Jeanna: What?

Eric: I believe this might just be…

Micah: Is this in the trailer also?

[Andrew and Jeanna laugh]

Eric: This might be the other podcast I do, Alohomora. A fan theory. But I don’t think it is, but the idea was that he had a vegan wand, meaning that it doesn’t contain animal parts, to symbolize essentially his connection with the magical world. I kind of like that idea. But it has no place in this discussion, because you know what, I think it probably was a fan theory.

Andrew: Well, the other…

Micah: It’s also possible, though – and I don’t know, Andrew, if this was where you were going – but maybe the law/rule wasn’t in place at the time that your wand got snapped if you were expelled.

Andrew: Maybe. I was looking it up a little bit and I didn’t see a starting point. But yeah, that could be possible. I mean, it could have been a Dumbledore era thing or something like that. But I was going to say, he could have just stolen the wand, but then there’s the question of how well would it work?

Eric: Right.

Micah: And we don’t know what he got expelled for either. I mean, what Hagrid got expelled for ultimately resulted in somebody’s death. We don’t know if it’s equivalent.

Eric: Well, it’s essentially the same… oh, yeah, it might not be the same thing. I was going to say it’s similar, though. It’s very similar because of the large beast, right? Wasn’t Aragog rumored to be…? Tom Riddle made it out to be that Aragog was Slytherin’s monster?

Andrew: Yeah. See, but to be expelled from Hogwarts, you have to have done something pretty bad, because there’s other punishment at Hogwarts, like a suspension or…

Micah: You supposedly have to do something really bad. Again, comparing it to Hagrid’s situation, he didn’t do anything, yet he was expelled. Could this be another one of those situations where Newt got set up?

Eric: The other thing is… I mean, I believe Newt is totally guilty of whatever they say he did with the beast, [laughs] just knowing that he ignores or sort of is ignorant of the repercussions of his suitcase. Again, going back to this trailer – which we haven’t really talked a lot about – the clasp, it pops open automatically on its own, or the Niffler somehow causes it to pop open. But he’s consciously aware of this when he’s going through customs in the trailer, and is like, “Oh, got to get that fixed,” but he doesn’t seem to take a whole lot of stock in the dangers of having a flawed briefcase, essentially. A more careful person would get that fixed the next minute.

Andrew: So one other thing – getting back to this Dumbledore line in the trailer – to me, I think this confirms that Dumbledore will be making an appearance at some point. Because J.K. Rowling saying that Dumbledore was very fond of Newt, with the fact that thankfully, thank the Lord, Michael Gambon is still alive and well… we know Dumbledore is a very old character, he’s a beloved character, he’s J.K. Rowling’s favorite character, or top two. I think that there’s a lot of evidence here suggesting that we will see Dumbledore either… perhaps Newt will save the day at the end of the first Fantastic Beasts movie, and maybe not in this movie, but maybe by the next movie or the third movie, Dumbledore is going to want to say something to him. “Hey, Newt, thanks for saving the day over there in the US. Why don’t you come back to Hogwarts? I’m the Headmaster now. I can do that. I can let you back in.”

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Do you guys think we’re going to be seeing him at some point?

Micah: Yeah.

Jeanna: Definitely.

Andrew: I’m so excited.

Eric: I would love for that to be a thing.

Micah: Why mention the name otherwise? I mean, other than to draw in the fans.

Eric: Right.

Micah: But I think… we haven’t gotten a full casting list for this movie yet, right? So there’s a chance.

Andrew: No, but I think they would make it a surprise. I don’t think they would want anyone to know until you saw it.

Micah: Yeah, I think there’s a good chance. I really, really do. And I think that it kind of plays into the next question that you ask about him being expelled being the catalyst for him going overseas. And then what you just mentioned, if he’s able to save the day, or does he talk with Dumbledore? Does he look to him for advice, knowing that he’s clearly fond of young Newt? So who knows? I mean, there’s a ton of possibilities.

Jeanna: Perhaps Dumbledore was the one who sent him to America.

Eric: “Explore the new world.”

Andrew: To do what? Study the beasts?

Jeanna: Study the beasts, study the small uprising that’s happening.

Eric: I guess it is a way of pursuing his interests without the… what’s the word? Stigma of having been an expelled student.

Jeanna: And I looked it up and I don’t know if we know when in time the next movies are starting, but Dumbledore becomes Headmaster in 1955.

Eric: What’s interesting is – and based on what J.K. Rowling said on Twitter about Dumbledore just being a young teacher at the time and not having as much sway as he obviously does when he’s a headmaster – certain mathematics suggest that Dumbledore would be about 40 in the ’20s. What I would love – and this is my fan wish and hope and dream – is that if there is a younger Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts trilogy, that he’s played by Jared Harris, the son of Richard Harris.

Jeanna: Ohh, I would love that.

Andrew: That’s cool. Is he an actor?

Jeanna: Yes, he is.

Andrew: Oh, wow.

Jeanna: He always plays a bad guy. He really does.

Eric: [laughs] Was he Moriarty in the new Sherlock…? The second Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey, Jr.? I think he was.

Jeanna: I think so, yes. He is in it; I can’t remember if he’s Moriarty or not, but he is in it.

Eric: He’s the bad guy.

Andrew: Interesting. What’s his first name again? I want to look at a picture of him.

Eric: Jared Harris. He actually… so many people say he looks just like Richard Harris did.

Jeanna: He looks like young Richard Harris, and if you close your eyes and listen to him, he has the same cadence as Richard. It’s bizarre.

Eric: So I don’t want to say, “Oh, Michael Gambon shouldn’t be Dumbledore,” but if you’re looking for a 40- or 50-year-old Dumbledore, a much younger… I don’t know. I would like to get to be able to see a more early era Richard Harris.

Andrew: Younger, yeah.

Jeanna: I would like a younger.

Andrew: I see that point, but honestly, I think they would ask Michael Gambon first. Me personally, I’d prefer to see Michael Gambon, and they could put the right amount of makeup on him and do some CGI to make him look younger.

Eric: Well, look at the Tom Riddle orphanage scenes in, what is it, Half-Blood? Do you feel that he looks young there?

Andrew: Oh, right. Yeah. The shorter hair.

Eric: But that’s still… well, that’s the 1930s, isn’t it? It’s supposed to be… or early ’40s.

Jeanna: I didn’t think he looked young enough there, but now you’re saying that’s only ten years difference, they might use him.

Eric: I didn’t think that makeup was very good. But yeah, it was late ’30s, right? Because if ’42 was the Chamber of Secrets, and Riddle was fifth or sixth year, then it was 1938 or ’37 when Dumbledore came calling, so that was their version of 1937 Dumbledore. Not to get too hung up on one point. But I still am just going forward with my fan wish; I would love it to be Jared Harris, who is currently 55.

Micah: The short answer to the question is yes, we all anticipate that he’ll show up at some point, right?

Andrew and Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Jeanna also mentioned that it was in the 1950s that he was promoted to Headmaster, so maybe Dumbledore could help… I’m sure Dumbledore will help him get back into Hogwarts in some way. Maybe there will be a shift in power at Hogwarts during the years that Newt is trying to redeem himself, and then by the end of it, Dumbledore is like, “Oh, I’ve got the hookups with so-and-so, and he or she said they can get you back, so you’re good.”

Eric: [laughs] That was the one thing about this trailer, is even if Dumbledore isn’t a headmaster, his name has some gravitas to whoever’s speaking. Whoever is speaking is interested in why Albus Dumbledore likes Newt.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s a good point. I mean, why would Graves, an Auror, know of Dumbledore, a teacher at Hogwarts overseas?

Eric: And care what he thinks? I mean, even in Deathly Hallows, it is stated that Dumbledore was making worldly connections when he was very young, still at school, actually, still in Hogwarts, so Dumbledore could have been 15 and 16 and be writing state senators or the equivalent just about magical things.

Andrew: True.

Eric: But that’s the cool thing about Dumbledore, is he’s such a worldwide persona at an early age back then that you can use him in this way. It’s really brilliant of Jo to have done this.

Micah: That’s what makes me think that Newt’s mission is not all entirely related to these fantastic beasts. There’s potential for some sort of political motivation, maybe a little bit of spying on the part of Newt. Maybe it’s pushing it a little bit too far, but I feel like clearly he’s going to be involved with the government here in New York, and there’s more to it than just these beasts.

Andrew: Oh, yeah. Yeah, until this trailer, I thought the biggest aspect was actually going to be equality for wizards and witches, and that still seems like it’s going to be a big part of Fantastic Beasts because when these beasts get out of Newt’s suitcase, the Muggles are going to be noticing. And it looks like, actually – getting back to the trailer – there’s a shot of somebody named Shaw at what looks like some sort of political fundraiser, potentially, and American flags are in the background and there’s a big sign of Shaw and it says, “Shaw: America’s future…”

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: … suggesting he’s running for elected office. My guess is he’s a Muggle and he probably does not like that the beasts have escaped, and that he now knows that wizards and witches are amongst them. So yeah, I think that’s…

Micah: If you look really closely at the bottom, it says, “Make America Great Again.”

Andrew: [laughs] “Make America wizard-free again.”

Eric: So here’s an idea. I just love the idea that the beasts won’t be… no, actually, I don’t like the idea, but I like the possibility that there could be a lot of government motivations behind the plot of this film, because we know he interacts with these high-ranking officials and we know that there are these political activists, right, that we’ve seen in other trailers. It’s just never been stated overtly that there’s something to do with the government, but what if, like what you’re saying, Micah, what if it is? What if the beasts aren’t the biggest part of this film? What if he just… the beasts happen, but it’s really about something else?

Micah: Or the beasts are a means to an end.

Jeanna: That’s what I’m thinking, that they’re the means to the end.

Andrew: There’s a shot of a newspaper being read and there was an interesting little headline; the big headline on the front page was, “Magical disturbances something risk wizarding exposure.”

Eric: What’s the name of the paper? Can you see that?

Andrew: You know what, I tried to make it out, but…

Eric: It’s “The New York” something with a G…

Jeanna: I think it’s “The New York Gazette.”

Andrew: Oh. I thought it was something weird, like “Gilly” or something.

Jeanna: Do you have a timestamp of when it is?

Micah: I thought it said “Ghost.”

Eric: “Ghost”?

Andrew: I don’t have the trailer open; I’m just looking at the…

Micah: You know, like “The New York Post.” “New York Ghost.”

[Eric laughs]

Micah: Because if you look above where it says “International wizard hunt intensifies,” I think the name of the paper is up there too.

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Micah: And it looks like it’s a really short word.

Andrew: “Glean”? “Galleon”?

Jeanna: Oh, you’re right.

Eric: “Quest” something?

Andrew: Okay, we’ve got to figure that out. That’s going to bug me.

[Jeanna laughs]

Micah: Who is Alberto Macellarius?

Jeanna: I don’t know, but I’m wondering if he’ll come into play.

Andrew: [in a nerdy voice] Maybe in the sequel. [back to normal voice] But anyway, there’s a sub-headline that says, “President Seraphina Picquery to address fearful American wizarding community,” and that, to me, suggests that the entire wizarding body across the United States is deeply concerned about what’s going on in New York. So there’s deep ramifications for Newt and his mistake, so if he is trying to get back to Hogwarts as well, he’s definitely seriously endangered his chances. [laughs] How about that suitcase?

Eric: How about that suitcase? [laughs]

Andrew: So towards the beginning of the trailer, we get a little glimpse of some clever magic; I assume this was a J.K. Rowling idea. So we’ve spoken a lot about the suitcase and all of his beasts are hiding in there, and in the trailer at the beginning, one is trying to get out. And when he puts the suitcase in front of US customs – because he just took a ship over from England – he secretly flips a little switch where the keyhole is, and when he flips it, a little tab pops up that says “Muggle-worthy.” In other words, Muggles can see the inside of the suitcase, and it’ll be… there won’t be a world of beasts.

Eric: On the up-and-up. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah. And then of course, his Hufflepuff scarf was in there, his New York City map was in there, a clock, binoculars, some other clothes…

Eric: A magnifying glass.

Jeanna: So were they really in there? Or is that just what he wants customs to see?

Andrew: I think they’re what’s really in there because of the Hufflepuff scarf, right?

Eric: Right. He left his Hufflepuff scarf at home. [laughs] It’s just an illusion.

Andrew: Isn’t there a promotional image of him wearing that scarf?

Eric: I think there is.

Jeanna: There might be.

Micah: Yeah, we’ve definitely discussed that scarf before. But going back to Jeanna’s point from earlier in the episode, though, I mean, this is very reminiscent of the fact that we’ve seen this type of magic before. If in fact that one scene that we talked about is from them being in the trunk, it reminded me of Mad-Eye Moody, it reminded me of the camp tent from the Quidditch World Cup, how you just go inside… and of course, the tent that’s used throughout Deathly Hallows. That these small confined spaces can actually be used for any number of purposes and it would make sense that you can disguise to Muggles the fact that there’s more than meets the eye.

Eric: And just like the Room of Requirement can be any room you need it to be, the suitcase has any number of settings where it is something different. You flip a switch; it’s Muggle-friendly, “Oh, it is just a regular-looking briefcase with regular stuff in it.” I feel like it’s both; I feel like those things in it are real.

Andrew: Oh, yeah, I agree. So one more thing to talk about here – we also got some listener feedback – is “Hedwig’s Theme.” It’s back again. We saw it in the teaser trailer; we discussed it. It appeared again in the second trailer, a different version of it, I guess, similar to the teaser trailer one but also a little newer. A lot of people have been asking me what I thought. I like it. At this point I’m just kind of like, “Okay, cool.” I don’t know if it gets me excited, because I prefer the original version. I don’t necessarily love this regenerated version of “Hedwig’s Theme.”

Jeanna: I had a very adverse reaction when it was used in the first trailer, so…

Andrew: Oh, yeah? And you still don’t like it?

Jeanna: No, you had that reaction.

Andrew: Oh.

Jeanna: I remember you did not care for it. But I am so excited whenever it’s used, and that theme really gets me pulled back in. I know the use of Dumbledore and Hogwarts and the magic flying around, that helps, but especially that theme really pulls me in, and I think this is a very big indicator that they will continue with that theme throughout this series.

Eric: They’ll just stop calling it “Hedwig’s Theme”; it’ll become “Newt’s Niffler’s Theme.”

Andrew: They better not.

[Eric laughs]

Jeanna: Maybe they’ll just call it the magic theme or something.

Eric: The Fantastic Beasts Overture. Yeah, Magic Overture.

Jeanna: “I Love Magic” or…

Eric: Well, and I didn’t like it at all. I didn’t think it had a place in… I mean, I love it, but I didn’t like it in this movie associated with this trilogy. I was like, “Can’t they get something new?” But ultimately…

Micah: Something Newt?

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: A, they probably won’t. And B, actually, the use of it in this trailer finally turned my mind around. I love it in this trailer; I think it is exciting. It’s obviously in a different key and with more, I don’t know, mechanical sounds to it. I don’t know. Whatever they did to it where it’s different, I think it perfectly accentuates this trailer. The fact that it’s familiar is probably just another one of the selling points.

Micah: Of course. I think it would be a miss on the part of Warner Bros. to not use it, because it pulls you in. Similar to, as Jeanna mentioned, Hogwarts and Dumbledore. Right when you hear that music for most people, whether you’re the casual fan or you’re the avid fan, you know what you’re about to see, or you know the world that you’re about to be immersed in.

Eric: What else just got me crazy as I was reviewing it just now, and at 1:08 there’s a brick wall that turns into something else. It’s a speakeasy or something like an old… it reminds me of getting into Diagon Alley through the brick wall.

Jeanna: Oh yeah, I liked that too.

Eric: Come on.

Andrew: Yep, that was another moment where I was like, “The magic is back!”

Eric: Yeah, the magic is back! That is just the coolest.

Andrew: But on the point of iconic themes, I would like to hope – and we learned this the other day – James Newton Howard will be scoring the first Fantastic Beasts movie.

Eric: What has he done?

Andrew: He did only the entire Hunger Games series.

Eric: Oh, man!

Jeanna: Which I don’t remember any of the music from.

Andrew: I know, me neither.

[Everyone laughs]

Jeanna: That’s why when people said that, I was like, “Oh, okay. Yay?”

Andrew: Good, I think?

Eric: [whistles Mockingjay call from The Hunger Games] That’s what I remember from the Hunger Games soundtrack.

Jeanna: What I’m wondering is… I was going to ask, did he compose this trailer?

Andrew: I don’t know.

Jeanna: Because the music in this trailer did get me excited. And his name just thrown out there didn’t really excite me, but I think we learned he was composing one day and then the next day the trailer came out, and I thought, “Oh, all right, I’ll go with this.”

Andrew: Usually, trailers have their own music. There’s some of what you’ll see in the movie, but it’ll sometimes be generic trailer music.

Eric: Yeah, it can be music from other things. You could see a new action movie with Pirates of the Caribbean riffs in the trailer.

Andrew: [sings Pirates of the Caribbean theme] James Newton Howard has also scored The Bourne Legacy, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Huntsman: Winter’s War – which comes out in a couple of weeks – Maleficent, the very bad The Last Airbender, and 2003’s Peter Pan. So he’s got a good track record. It’ll be interesting to see if he sticks around for all of them or… was anybody…? I was feeling a little disappointed; I was kind of holding out for John Williams to come back, since he came back for Star Wars.

Jeanna: He’s too busy making the Star Wars money, man.

Andrew: Yeah, I guess so. I guess so.

Micah: If they had gone to Chris Columbus, then yes, John Williams would have come back, but since it’s David Yates…

Eric: Yeah, Chris has some sway.

Andrew: Well, George Lucas didn’t come back to Star Wars and John Williams still did.

Jeanna: Yeah, George Lucas is… he’s mentally…

Andrew: No one wanted George Lucas to come back.

[Andrew and Jeanna laugh]

Andrew: John Williams is still immersed in Harry Potter, though; we’ll talk about that in a little bit.

Eric: I want to see Chris Columbus direct one of these movies, because he always said, “Oh, man, what if I had done one more? What would that have been like?” He was like, “I have to support my decision to go and be with my family, but darn, what would’ve happened? How would it’ve been different?”

Andrew: That would be kind of cool for one Harry Potter director to direct each of the Fantastic Beasts movies. So you got David Yates for this one, you get Chris Columbus for another, and… not Mike Newell; let’s get Alfonso Cuarón back for the finale. Fantastic Beasts 3, set in Australia.

Jeanna: No, let’s not do that.

[Andrew and Jeanna laugh]

Eric: I’m ambivalent. It could go right.

Andrew: You don’t want to see Newt go back to Hogwarts and not wear his cloak?

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Jeanna: Yeah, exactly. None of the kids are in uniform.

Eric: We need to Guillermo del Toro Fantastic Beasts, okay? That’s what we need. All the fantastic beasts have 18 eyes and sharper claws.

Andrew: So in bonus MuggleCast today on Patreon we’ll be talking about the beasts in the trailer because we haven’t even talked about those guys yet, why Hogwarts snaps the wands of the students; we’ll be talking about that a little bit more, and what kinds of things the wizarding world parks could do to celebrate the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts. Somebody asked us this question and I’ve been thinking about it; I think there’s a lot of potential there. And you know what else I was thinking about while we were just discussing this? If Fantastic Beasts does have a Hogwarts presence, so to speak, Universal will be so happy [laughs] that the Hogwarts castles that they’ve built around the world are now relevant again in a new film series. I think that would just excite them to no end.

Eric: Also, doesn’t Universal Studios Florida also have a New York section built in already?

Andrew: No?

Jeanna: They do. Oh, they do.

Andrew: Wait, the outside? What are you talking about?

Eric: They have the… it’s a small corner. I think it’s where Terminator ride is.

Jeanna: It’s kind of… oh, it is where Terminator is.

Andrew: No, isn’t that the waterfront?

Jeanna: They also have the Marvel section, but they have…

Andrew: Oh, you’re saying New York in other areas of the park.

Eric: Yeah. You know how there’s London in Florida? There’s a London section. I guess that was…

Jeanna: It’s across the way from there. I was just there in October.

Eric: Yeah, it’s New York. They have little… it’s some scaffolding, but the buildings are meant to look like New York City.

Andrew: Oh, I see.

Jeanna: It’s like The Daily Bugle, but it’s just a…

Eric: I think we’re thinking of two different areas.

Jeanna: No, no, no.

Eric: Regardless, there’s a New York; it’s a corner of the park and it’s just a couple of sets that are supposed to look like New York City, and it’s from way back when New York City was more prominent in movies.

Jeanna: It’s where Jaws used to be.

Eric: Yeah, it would be really fun for them to utilize that section as Fantastic Beasts. [laughs] Maybe just to have a merch store or something in Universal, because it’s built in. It’s like, it’s already there; why not?

Andrew: Well, I remember when they announced Diagon Alley that there was also a report that they had plans to do something for Fantastic Beasts. Or no, when they announced Fantastic Beasts, they announced that some elements of Fantastic Beasts would be coming to the theme park, I believe.

Eric: Interesting, interesting.

Andrew: So I guess we’ll see what’s going to happen. I don’t think anything’s going to happen soon, but maybe they’ll add a little daytime show, like the ones that they already have.

Eric: That’d be cool. More on that on Patreon!

Jeanna: I’m assuming Universal put in its contract somehow that any offshoots and new movies will be able to be incorporated into their parks.

Andrew: [laughs] “You must include Hogwarts or Diagon Alley in every single Wizarding World movie to come.” But they could also do expansions; definitely in Orlando, they’ve got the room for that. So let’s move on to some listener feedback. Micah, do you want to read a couple of these?

Micah: Yeah, sure. So we put out the question on Twitter about what excited people the most about the new trailer, and we got some good responses, the first from @QueenAimeedala, who says, “Newt reminds me of Hagrid. Expelled, Dumbledore’s friendship, love of beasts.”

[Eric laughs]

Micah: Yeah, we got that response quite a bit, so a lot of people drawing that comparison. Jemima Skelley said, “Seeing a Niffler!”

Eric: Aww.

Micah: And Kiran agreed, “Everything, but specifically the adorable Niffler and the music. I had goosebumps while watching it.”

Andrew: You’ll see those on shelves in the Wizarding World theme park.

Eric: What, goosebumps?

Andrew: No, Nifflers!

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Next to the Pygmy Puffs.

Micah: Yeah, there’re going to be stuffed Nifflers that you can take them home and…

Andrew: I didn’t think they were that cute. [laughs]

Jeanna: They weren’t what I expected.

Eric: Doesn’t it look like a platypus to anybody else?

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, definitely. I’m waiting for a disgustingly cute beast.

Micah: I thought maybe it was a badger at first because he’s a Hufflepuff.

Eric: Let’s be honest, guys; the Fantastic Beasts series really needs a BB-8 equivalent to compete with Star Wars.

Andrew: Exactly!

Jeanna: Aww.

Eric: [laughs] It’s gong to be the Niffler; I’m predicting it right now. That Niffler will start beep-boop-beeping, and all of a sudden…

Micah: It better survive all three films.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, Newt should totally have a beast sidekick.

Jeanna: I think it is the Niffler. I think the Niffler is his pet.

Eric: I’m sorry, but come Fantastic Beasts 3 the final battle, we’re not going to… the Niffler is going to get it. The Niffler is going to snuff it.

Jeanna: [gasps] Eric!

Andrew: [laughs] Just like Hedwig died?

Eric: In like, Act One.

Micah: Well, as you can see, it was clearly stealing somebody’s wallet there.

Eric: Huh. Street rat.

Jeanna: He’s a mischievous little fella.

Micah: Steal at your own risk. @AnnaBanana1309 said, “Albus Dumbledore…”

Andrew: That’s me. I’m Anna Banana.

[Jeanna laughs]

Micah: “… the magical, epic music, and the way it just feels like the wizarding world.”

Eric: Agreed.

Micah: @BisexualGinny says…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: “The set and costume design. With Harry Potter, we never got to see the fashion decor of the era it was set in,” meaning the ’90s.

Eric: And not much to see there.

Micah: Justin Victoria: “The ethereal Harry Potter charm is back! Grandiose cinematography, beautiful costume design (fedora-wearing Aurors), and badass Farrell.”

[Eric laughs]

Jeanna: American Farrell, which I think is interesting.

Eric: I’m glad for that. He played an American in Phone Booth, but nobody saw that movie.

Andrew: [laughs] This is his chance.

Micah: Chris Davis said, “The Apparition effects. It looks just as cool as it did in Deathly Hallows – Part 1.”

Eric: Agreed.

Micah: I can’t tell if that’s sarcasm or not.

[Jeanna laughs]

Andrew: I think it looked fine in Part 1.

Eric: The Apparition effect perfectly encapsulates what the books say Apparition is like.

Micah: Erika says, “When Newt flipped the switch to ‘Muggle-worthy’ in the trailer. Honestly, my favorite part.”

Eric: That was cute.

Andrew: I wonder if they could somehow make a toy version of that, but not toy, life-size.

Jeanna: I want it for reasons.

Eric: You should sell Newt’s briefcase. The boxset of the DVD/Blu-ray combo should come in a Newtcase.

Andrew: Oh, totally. You know they’re already thinking of that.

Micah: A Newtcase?

Eric: Yeah, that’s what we called it on a former episode of MuggleCast. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, I think that was an episode title once.

Micah: You should do marketing for them. But yeah, there you go; the Wizarding World is going to start selling those. Newtcases.

Eric: Newtcases, get your Newtcases! Well, and then the suitcase is going to be its own character, much like Hogwarts is its own character. The suitcase is going to maybe… I don’t know.

Jeanna: It’s a traveling Hogwarts.

Eric: Refuse to open or something like that. Yeah, you never know. A lot of potential there.

Micah: And Navya makes an interesting point, saying, “Security check when he apparently arrives from a ship. Interesting he doesn’t seem to arrive via magical means.”

Eric: I’m wondering if that wasn’t already addressed by Jo on Pottermore very recently, or just in general. For longer travel, isn’t it harder to use…? A broomstick runs… I don’t want to say runs out, because it doesn’t run on anything. But you wouldn’t take a broomstick over an ocean, because it’s cold, right? I wonder if he just had to because of the distance, is all I’m thinking.

Jeanna: Harry took it over that body of water in Movie 5.

Eric: Yeah, well, that was a movie.

Jeanna: Well…

Andrew: So is this. [laughs]

Eric: And also a river, not the Atlantic Ocean. Nothing Harry traveled was the length of the Atlantic… or they got a dragon to go over the body of water in Book 7.

Andrew: I can’t see the movie diving into the details like this, but maybe one reason could be paperwork-wise. If he was going through customs and whatnot and he’s going to be visiting the United States, he needs to have all that paperwork in order, and part of that would require having a story of how you got over here. “Yeah, I came off the boat that was right there. I’m not a wizard.”

Eric: That’s true.

Micah: Yeah, that’s a good point, especially given all of the issues that seem to be taking place in America right now.

Andrew: Right, they have to be super cautious to not…

Jeanna: And maybe their other channels were cut off because of the things that are happening.

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Micah: It’s a good point. All right, two more tweets here, one from T-Zach, who says, “The familiar name drops, the theme, the characters, the Magical Congress, the newspaper, the beasts, everything.”

Andrew: Actually, I just had another thought: Maybe it’s against the law to Apparate across borders.

Eric: Yeah, maybe. I mean, I just imagine the adverse effects of transporting yourself across the globe could be disastrous. It must be safer, must be safer…

Micah: And he also got expelled; let’s not forget that, so he may not be wanting to use magic right away.

Eric: Oh, right, because they can track it.

Micah: And Matty J.: “The trailer music with Colin’s voice overdub gave me chills. Also, they made Jacob seem good and Colin bad, in a way.” Do you guys agree with that?

Eric: That’s an interesting point. Yeah, Jacob seems like not annoying comic relief, but just kind of the everyman. It seems like he’s our catalyst; he’s our in to the magical world, is this Muggle, and not Newt.

Jeanna: He’s kind of us.

Andrew and Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: I’m not totally sure yet of what purpose he serves in the movie, so hopefully it’ll be something good.

Eric: Right, he seems to be an observer.

Andrew: Yeah. Like, if Newt is going to have a sidekick, I want it to be a Pygmy Puff or a cute little sea otter.

Eric: No, Jacob is cute.

[Andrew laughs]

Jeanna: Jacob is cute. I did make this note as I was watching the trailer; one of my notes was, “Why is Jacob allowed to see all this if he’s a No-Maj?”

Eric: Yeah, what makes Newt want to crawl into a suitcase in front of him and go, “Here, come on” with his hand?

Jeanna: What makes him so special that he gets to go to these underground wizard speakeasies and live with Newt and go into his suitcase with him?

Andrew: Maybe they’re in love.

Eric: They’re friends from the first day on the boat to New York.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: I think Jacob is American.

Jeanna: I think he is too. I think he knows the girls.

Andrew: Maybe… hmm. Okay. Well, if that’s the case, then this cancels out my idea. Maybe he sees one of Newt’s beasts poke its head out or escape, and Dan… [laughs] not Dan Fogler. Jacob is the only one who saw it, so Newt is like, “Oh, oh, crap. Here, come with me. I gotta tell you about something.”

Eric: “We’ll wipe your memory later.”

[Andrew and Jeanna laugh]

Eric: “Let me tell you all about… Obliviate.”

Andrew: But we do know he has a big role in the movie; he’s one of the four leads.

Eric: Wasn’t he announced to be a baker in Entertainment Weekly‘s whole thing?

Andrew: Yes. Yeah, he’s the Peeta.

[Eric and Jeanna laugh]

Eric: Something about his shop. I wonder if there will be a love triangle between Newt, Tina, and Jacob.

Andrew: Oh, wow. My heart couldn’t take that.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: So that’s all we have for right now about the Fantastic Beasts trailer, one hour later. We’re going to discuss it more in bonus MuggleCast on Patreon, and I’m sure we will discuss it more on future episodes to come. But for now, wow. I am pumped.

Eric: For sure.

Andrew: Hmm?

Eric: I said for sure.

Andrew: Oh, for sure, yes. For sure, to your for sure.

Fun segment: Top Ten

Andrew: So Eric, you’re bringing back the Top Ten list today.

Eric: Yes, yes. People, listeners everywhere – MuggleCast veteran listeners – may remember we had a fun segment. We’re trying to do more of these on MuggleCast since MuggleCast is back and we’re going to be more regular soon and all that other stuff. We’re bringing back old fun segments, and the one we’re going to do this week – and I think this one’s a keeper based on our initial results – is Top Ten! But I guess we already just said that.

Andrew: Da-da-da-da-da!

Eric: [laughs] We need a theme song or something. We had “M-m-m-m-make the music connection.” We need some fun way of intro-ing it.

Andrew: T-t-t-t-ten list!

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: T-t-t-t-top ten!

Eric: Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

[Andrew and Jeanna laugh]

Andrew: Just use that same thing for every segment. N-n-n-n-news!

Eric: [laughs] So what we did for the Top Ten is we prompted our patrons over on Patreon to give us their answers for what they think in response to the prompt, and then what we did is we picked our favorites and ordered them into a Top Ten list just like we used to do, and also akin of late night television programs where they would also do this. So we’re going to take turns reading it, guys; it’s in the Skype document. But today’s Top Ten prompt was – and this is relevant to the season that it just became recently – “Spring cleaning is so much easier for wizards because…” and here’s our Top Ten for that. So number ten: Spring Cleaning is so much easier for wizards because no winter wardrobes to pack away; cloaks are a year-round thing. That was sent in by Shannon Brown.

Andrew: [laughs] Those poor people sweating. Eric knows what that’s like.

Eric: Oh, yeah. [laughs] I just wore it the other day.

Andrew: Oh my gosh, to what? Where did you wear your Hogwarts cloak to?

Eric: It was the Loyola University readathon to support the HP Alliance’s Accio Books Campaign.

Andrew: Oh, cool. Were you sweating in it? Was it a hot day?

Eric: Yes. Yeah, it was.

[Andrew laughs]

Jeanna: No, it was not. It has not been over 50 degrees here.

Eric: I sweated in the car…

Andrew: Yeah, but that cloak keeps the heat in.

Eric: But anyway.

Micah: Did you drive in them?

Eric: I did, yeah.

[Andrew laughs]

Jeanna: He’s driven in them many a time.

Andrew: Have you filled up your gas tank with your cloak on? [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, I actually went to a 7-11 to visit the ATM and I had to walk pretty much across campus to get there.

[Andrew and Jeanna laugh]

Eric: It was a lot of fun. Also, you know what? The stares have gone down, and I think that is attributable to the greater presence of nerd culture in the world today, because I remember doing it in 2005 in November in New York to the Disney Store, and the looks I got then to the looks I got on Loyola campus Chicago in 2016, night and day, let me tell you.

Andrew: I want to do a Top Ten list where we count down the weirdest places Eric has worn his cloak.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Jeanna: I will start working on that.

Eric: For the next time. But so spring cleaning is so much easier for wizards because… somebody give us number nine.

Andrew: Number nine, from Sarah: because they have Gilderoy Lockhart’s Guide to Household Pests.

Eric: [laughs] I like that one a lot. So Gilderoy Lockhart’s books available in the wizarding world make spring cleaning easier. I buy it.

Andrew: I would buy that.

Micah: And that was from Sarah Pieper. Number eight: A Summoning Spell helps identify where your stuff is so that you can put it where it belongs.

Eric:Accio locket!”

Micah: Stuff.

Andrew: I seriously all the time say “Accio” in my head when I’m on the couch and I’m just like, “Augh.”

Micah: You want the remote?

Eric: Nerd.

Andrew: Yeah. Why can’t my phone just fly to me right now?

Jeanna: It’s usually when I’ve lost something and I’m scrambling to find it at 5 a.m.

Andrew: That’s the one spell I would legit love to have in the real world.

Micah: So thanks to Brandy for that one.

Eric: Jeanna, you should read number seven.

Jeanna: Spring cleaning is so much easier for wizards because all your junk can be shoved into a trunk with an Undetectable Extension Charm, and you never have to look at it again! Great for packrats, from Shannon Spicer. Shannon, I totally agree.

Andrew: That’s a good one, but that’s dangerous. Do you really want to save all that stuff and have a way to do it?

Jeanna: I just need an Extension Charm on my closet, so that would help.

Eric: You wouldn’t need to pay so much for an apartment with extra storage with a lot of this stuff. Yeah, agreed. Okay, so down to number six, and this is: Spring cleaning is so much easier for wizards because levitating heavy furniture beats asking for help or tiring yourself out. That’s from Shannon Kay. I agree. Actually, if I needed to get stuff that was under the couch and not need to lift the couch manually, that would save me some time.

Andrew: Number four…

Eric: Five.

Andrew: Number five: Spring cleaning is so much easier for wizards because they can use a Time-Turner to never let spring start. That’s from Gigi Droesch.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: That’s a good one.

Eric: That was really sinister. I guess it’s just for them so that they can always avoid spring. It’s the ultimate procrastination.

Andrew: I would just stay in summer all the time, I think.

Eric: Good point. Except by the end of it, there’ll be like 15 of you enjoying the sun.

Micah: Number four: Cups of your favorite accompanying refreshment never empty.

Andrew: Ooh.

Jeanna: Never-ending butterbeer.

Micah: So what are you saying, Maureen?

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: That people like to drink while they spring clean.

[Jeanna and Micah laugh]

Eric: I like the idea of refilling cups of water for a hard day’s work, or lemonade.

Andrew: No, of beer.

Eric: Yeah, of beer. Let’s be honest.

[Andrew laughs]

Jeanna: All right, number three: Because Scourgify. Done.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Jeanna: That is from Irvin.

Andrew: Yeah, that would be great.

Eric: Yeah, there’s a spell for that. Okay, now we’re getting down to the top two of Top Ten: Spring cleaning is so much easier for wizards because one word: Fiendfyre. [laughs]

Jeanna: That sounds so dangerous.

Eric: By definition, it’s uncontrollable fire. You’re just going to set your shh aflame to get rid of it.

Andrew: Sometimes you’ve got to do that, especially these packrats who are trying to put it all in one giant suitcase.

Eric: I’ve often felt like it would be easier to clean if all of the stuff I owned was just taken from me in a blaze.

Jeanna: Oh my gosh, don’t say that!

Eric: [laughs] Knocking on all of the wood right now.

Micah: To the person who lives with you.

Jeanna: I have stuff here too!

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: That comes from Katy. Also, I would never start Fiendfyre in any place.

Micah: Katy and Irvin are two opposite ends of the spectrum with how they would go about it.

Andrew: And then number one, the number one reason spring cleaning is so much easier for wizards is because Voldemort’s already hidden your antique junk and turned it into Horcruxes. Hey-o!

Eric: Hey-o!

Andrew: That’s from Laura Jamieson. Thank you, Laura. Thank you, everybody who sent those in. Got about 20, right?

Eric: Yeah, a couple notes… well, my shortlist was 20; we actually got 35, I think, submissions total, and some of them were duplicates, so I picked one from each person and then narrowed from there. But we even got an entry from 6-year-old, whose mom is a patron.

Andrew: Aww, that’s cute.

Micah: I was going to say, we have a 6-year-old patron?

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Andrew: They have a credit card?

Eric: Yeah, his credit card keeps getting approved, and I really should just…

Micah: Let’s get him a Niffler.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: The 6-year-old whose name I did not write down, his entry was “The stuff cleans itself,” which is true.


Andrew: All right, so a couple of news stories here: First of all, the Wizarding World Hollywood finally opened up.

Eric: Yesss.

Andrew: It’s been under construction for years. I was lucky enough to attend the grand opening; it was really awesome. John Williams was there, as I alluded to earlier.

Jeanna: [gasps] So jealous.

Andrew: Yeah, he performed several of his scores from the Harry Potter movies. And they did something really cool this time for this one; they had a firework and projection show all around Hogwarts Castle. I took video of it; you can actually see it on the Hypable Facebook page. Just really amazing. And it was so good that my first thought after it was, “Why aren’t they doing this every night?” Not, of course, with John Williams; he can’t be there every night.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: But do the fireworks. Do the light show. The light show, it was only about… I don’t know, five-ish minutes? But it goes through each of the Hogwarts Houses and then it combines them all into one. It was just so cool. And actually, they had a press day the day after the grand opening. I wasn’t there, but a Universal fan site or something asked one of the creative directors of the park if they have any plans to do a nighttime show, and they said, “Maybe.” So maybe down the road, they will start doing it. I think at night that’d be a great way to get people to come out. I would see that more than once, because it was really awesome, and that’s something that they should do to compete with Disney.

Eric: If they projected against the castle, you might be able to see it from your apartment.

Andrew: I know. Well, I still gotta cut that tree down, but after that.

[Eric laughs]

Jeanna: Cut it down, man.

Micah: Replant, Andrew. Replant that tree.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Yes, you’re right. I’m sorry. And then one other news story today: We’ve raved about the Sorcerer’s Stone Illustrated Edition; it came out late last year. We all have it at this point, right?

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: Don’t you dare say no or you’re banned from the show.

Eric: We definitely have it.

Jeanna: I got it for Christmas, so…

Andrew: Aww. Well, open your pocketbooks up again because they have announced the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated Edition.

Eric: [laughs] What kind of an endorsement is that?

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: A truthful one.

Andrew: It’s coming out later this year, again illustrated by Jim Kay. It looks beautiful. It’s got Harry, Ron, and the Weasley twins in the Ford Anglia approaching the Burrow on its cover. They released a couple of pages from inside of it, a great portrait of Hagrid, a new portrait of Hogwarts, a look at the mandrakes, a look at phoenixes. So we all love the first one, obviously; I think it’s safe to say that this one and the rest of them are going to be just as good because these illustrations are just beautiful. And yeah, that’ll come out later this year.

Eric: I can’t wait.

Micah: I think October 4, right, is the date Amazon lists?

Andrew: Oh, okay. 115 illustrations. Yo.

Eric: Is that more than the previous book?

Andrew: That’s more. They said around 100 for the first one. I think there’s just going to be more and more as the books get longer.

Eric: I finally got a chance to read several chapters from it at the readathon. We were just reading along using the illustrated edition, and it just really sucks you in, so it’s really cool. You know a curiosity from this cover, though, of the Chamber of Secrets: The Ford Anglia has a license plate, and it’s letters and numbers.

Jeanna: It does in the movie.

Eric: Oh, I wonder if it’s a movie-ism. I wonder if it’s the same as the one in the movie. Now I’m going to look that up later.

Andrew: [laughs] Eric always points out the finer things.

Eric: It’s just weird; it’s weird that it has a license plate. It’s just… that’s weird.

Jeanna: It’s a refurbished car. It was a functioning car at one point.

Eric: I get it, but what’s the significance of HDW782D? What is that?

Andrew: [laughs] There’s no significance.

Jeanna: Yeah, there’s no significance.

Micah: Or is there?

Eric: No, I’m looking up…

Micah: Eric, it’s the key to the first Fantastic Beasts movie.

[Andrew and Jeanna laugh]

Eric: This is JKR’s door all over again, Micah. I’m telling you guys.

Andrew: [laughs] Type that code in.

Eric: I’m going to reserve right now.

Andrew: Oh my God. Get out of here. Go to, punch those numbers into the keyboard, see if anything happens. [laughs]

Eric: I’m telling you guys. It’s special.

Listener feedback

Andrew: Okay, so time for a little feedback now. Micah, do you want to read this first one?

Micah: Sure. The first listener feedback comes from Johanne in Norway, who’s been listening for about four or five months now, really enjoys the show, and is halfway through listening to all of our episodes. Thank you, first of all, for… I mean, that’s pretty impressive, right?

Eric: That’s amazing.

Micah: Yeah, I was going to say.

“I find it very interesting to hear all you guys have to say about the series and you have given me completely new perspectives on different aspects of the story. Thank you.”

So Johanne goes on to say basically he’s in a little bit of a pickle, right? That’s what I’m taking away from this.

Andrew: Pickle Pack.

Eric: Pickle Pack?

[Jeanna laughs]

Andrew: So his…

Micah: Go ahead.

Andrew: So he is going to see the Harry Potter play in London in the Easter holiday next year in 2017, but they already bought the book version of the play, and as everyone else, will receive it this summer. So he or she is concerned about…

Micah: I think it’s a she, by the way.

Andrew: Okay. So she is concerned about should she still go see the play next year? And by the way, [laughs] I kind of hope we turn into this support podcast, this advice podcast, where everybody sends their unique situations about the Cursed Child.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: And we decide if they should go see it or not after all. [laughs]

Eric: Here’s my thought on this. And they say, “On one hand, I really want to read it, but it might feel like it might ruin the experience when I see the play.” My whole thing is… here’s my opinion, Johanne, if this helps, is that nothing will ever match seeing the official play with the official cast on the official stage in an official production. Nothing.

Andrew: Agree.

Eric: Not reading the book, not acting out the play with your friends after reading the book, which you can totally do, and I’m starting a podcast where that gets done. But I think that there will be something totally unique for all people who are able to catch the live performance, and so I would argue that you probably can, and it will be safe to read the play for curiosity’s sake. I know I would hate myself having to hold out seven months or eight months to not read a book that I owned and had pre-ordered, too, so I would say go for it.

Andrew: I agree.

Micah: I do too. And I feel like we even raised this question before it was raised here, right? On a previous episode.

Andrew: Yeah, we did.

Micah: Because we knew that something like this was going to happen. I agree with everything that’s been said; I think that going and seeing this play is going to be a unique experience, something that you’re going to enjoy doing. The book comes out – and it will – before you go and see it, then it’s really your decision, right? I just think that better you read it and not just get randomly spoiled, because I think it’s going to be near impossible for you to not encounter some sort of spoiler, whether it’s on television or on the Internet or social media. I would just say do whatever feels right for you, because I just think it’s going to be impossible to go almost an entire year without somehow finding out what happens in the story.

Andrew: Yeah. And I think you can always change your mind later if you read it. You can think about it for a month and be like, “Eh, do I really want to see it?” And then based on how you like the story, you can decide from there too.

Eric: If you hate the story, you can always sell your ticket. [laughs]

Andrew: Exactly.

Micah: Yeah, there you go.

Eric: For a million dollars.

Andrew: Yeah. They might be able to go for a good amount of money, actually.

Micah: So thanks, Johanne.

Andrew: Yeah, and good luck with that.

Micah: Sorry I called you if Johan or something like that.

Andrew: Yeah, you did. I thought that was weird. I was going to ask, but I thought maybe you knew something I didn’t.

Micah: Yeah, no.

Andrew: And if anybody else is in similar pickles, feel free to email us. If there’s any other unique situations, we can certainly try to help you. But make sure it’s a unique situation; we don’t want to read the same stories over again. [laughs]

Eric: This is Chicken Soup for the Cursed Child attendees.

Jeanna: And make sure it’s related back to Potter.

Andrew: Right. So on last month’s episode, we spoke about J.K. Rowling’s “Native Americans in the Wizarding World” piece on Pottermore, and to be honest, we didn’t do the best job that we could have speaking about it. We could have prepared for it more, I think; we could have better represented the views of the Native American community, and we didn’t do that, so for that, we apologize. We did get some feedback; some people are unhappy. Like I said, for example, Tara said, “‘It’s just fiction’ is same as ‘just a mascot.’ It propagates an outdated and distorted view of who we are as Natives.” And then Laura said, “I love you, but listening to three white guys try to talk about why Indigenous people are upset with JKR was just cringeworthy. Indigenous people have been writing about this online since J.K. Rowling first revealed there would be a North American magic school. There is no reason you couldn’t have gotten informed about the conversation before gracing us with your clueless opinions.” And listen, I am completely aware of those three white guys talking about the Native American community, so like I said, we’re sorry about that.

Micah: I think the key is not the fact that three white guys can’t have an intelligent conversation; I think we’ve proven our ability to do that hundreds of times over the course of the life of this podcast.

Eric: Thank you.

Micah: But to your point earlier, I think we could have been informed a little bit more, done a little bit more research, based on what Laura said. I also don’t think that approaching the argument from their standpoint the way that they did, labeling us specifically the way that they did, is any way furthers their argument; if anything, in my mind, it lessens it. So I agree with what you said, Andrew. I think we could have approached it better. We could have been more informed.

Andrew: I think their point is, though, that we could have a different voice on the show, say a Native American voice on the show. I think that’s where Laura was going with that.

Micah: Definitely a possibility. And certainly, it’s not our place to tell anybody how they should feel about a specific issue, especially if it’s coming from their perspective, and it’s them that’s being specifically referenced. So 100% on that point, I agree with what Laura is saying. I agree with what Tara is saying and what others wrote in saying, so…

Andrew: Sorry, I want to wrap up with one more email. This is from Simón; I thought he put it very well. He said,

“Long-time listener, first time emailer. The last episode’s discussion of North American magic touched on a number of complex or sticky aspects of American history. I wanted to comment on some of these as a person of color, focusing on the narrative around the Rappaport law. ‘Segregation’ between magical and non-magical folks could go very wrong very quickly. I’m imagining these films will involve ‘desegregation’ and a more open life for wizards. Given the very specific American history of segregation in the 20th century, and J.K. Rowling’s very British self, I worry that this plot line will play out without any acknowledgement of the black American experience. Making matters worse is the very white cast of Fantastic Beasts. If you watch old black and white films, you’ll notice that you either never see black people or see them as laborers, servants, or entertainers. I worry that this film will do the same or exclude them entirely, while depicting a triumphant desegregation where everyone can come together in understanding and unity, while the Jim Crow South exists a few hundred miles away from the action. One of you mentioned excitement over the New Orleans wandmaker and it got me thinking that New Orleans’ rich history of racial and cultural diversity could allow for some interesting people of color to add to the story and world. Who knows, maybe we’ll meet a freedman or woman in the North. But as much as I love Jo and her writing, she is coming from the perspective of a white British woman, and that means she can very easily pass over these points or handle them poorly. I hope she is doing her due diligence, or has people on her team who are. I am not Native American, but I certainly saw a real lack of consideration or understanding in her use of their history and culture. I worry the same may happen for other marginalized groups, especially since none of them are represented in the cast that we have seen so far.”

So I agree with what Simón said. I will add, though, that the President of MACUSA is a person of color.

Eric: You said it right. Have you been working on that for a month?

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Andrew: I’ve been thinking about it since our last episode. I keep thinking about Koozie. So thanks for all that feedback, and if this topic comes up again, because of Fantastic Beasts or for whatever reason, we will do better research and try to have a more accurate discussion.

Eric: This was a great email. It’s a very valid concern. I think it’s worth furthering the issue here, because it’s something that we’d like to see Jo change, essentially.

Micah: I think, though, that what surprises me in a lot of these responses, though, is knowing J.K. Rowling and the way that she has written past series, she’s somebody who doesn’t lack for research and doesn’t lack for knowledge. So again, like in this email, specifically labeling her as being a British white female…

Eric: It doesn’t do credit to previous instances in the past where she has shown her ability to research. That said, the recent blunder, I would call it, with the Native American culture being adapted poorly into the wizarding world shows that there are blind spots, and I think people are just being very apprehensive about what that could mean for the future. And I think J.K. Rowling, being the intelligent woman she is, should be working immediately to correct so that there’s not, for instance, a bad habit forming here.

Andrew: Yeah, and we’ll see. We’ll see. I mean, they are somewhat aware of the issue; when they first posted that Native American article on Pottermore it depicted that Native American – or Native Americans – and that image has since been removed, so they are aware of the backlash. We’ll see what happens from here, though, because everybody’s right; they have to tread carefully here. One last thing here on the show today: This is from Emily, who recently made a very generous donation to our Patreon. She sent in this email after doing so, and I thought to thank her, we should read it. It’s kind of like a little game. She says,

“I’m a licensed nurse and a great fan of the books since forever. Not so much the movies. But I cried tears of joy when I walked into Hogsmeade in Florida on my 30th birthday. I’ve always identified as a Gryffindor. I was Sorted as such on the original Pottermore. Here’s my very brief story: I’m now 33. My man friend is 64. He’s a professional musician. We’ve been together 10 years. As the British say, ‘Mind the Gap.’ Clearly, I haven’t! I figured, well, we’re sharing a home, we have been for quite a while now. My house is his, right? So what would happen if my long term ‘manfriend,’ my partner in love and life – who, I should point out, has no knowledge of the Harry Potter books or movies and absolutely no interest in any of it – what if he took the quiz in my stead? What if HE took the new Sorting Hat quiz on Pottermore, representing me and my ‘House’? Because our homes ARE the same, right? I figured, this is my House. I’ve been with him for ten years. Let’s see what House I’ve been living in!”

So she also did this because she also has only one email address and she couldn’t retake take the quiz. [laughs] So she wants us to guess which House her 64-year-old man friend got. Do you think he got Gryffindor as well, representing her?

Jeanna: I don’t know. I feel like I need more information on him.

Andrew: Being together ten years, if he’s taking the quiz as her so he’s putting in answers that he thinks she would put in, I would think that he would also get Gryffindor. But then again, it’s kind of a new quiz.

Micah: It’s a Hatstall.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Hatstall. Does that happen on the new Pottermore, since the website is all jank now?

Andrew: I don’t know.

Jeanna: I don’t think it does.

Andrew: Who wants a Hatstall, really?

Eric: [sings] “The magic’s gone…”

Micah: Can we just say that after reviewing this very carefully, after going through all the details, that we have a big announcement to make: You’re actually both being sent to Ilvermorny, right?

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: So forget about Hogwarts. It’s irrelevant now. It’s not even the focus of the next movie.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: Well, it did appear in the trailer.

Jeanna: You don’t know that, Micah.

Andrew: So why don’t you guys take a guess? Well, Micah guessed they’re going to Ilvermorny. How about Eric and Jeanna?

Eric: I’m going to say I think her man’s a Hufflepuff. I don’t know why. Something about his loyal…

Jeanna: Stop trying to put everyone in your House.

Andrew: Yeah, but remember, he’s playing as her.

Eric: I know.

Andrew: Okay.

Eric: But you know why he’s playing as her? Because he’s loyal, right? Right?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: And loyalty… ultimately, I think Pottermore/J.K. Rowling can always tell; she’s like Santa. That loyalty is going to stick out in any attempted quiz, so I’m going to guess Hufflepuff.

Andrew: She’s like Santa.

Eric: And yeah, I can put people in my House. I don’t care.

Jeanna: [laughs] I will say that he is a Gryffindor because you are where you want to be. I told all of my friends before they took the test, what you are before the test is where you’re supposed to be. So I think he is a Gryffindor.

Andrew: Okay. Well, Emily, please let us know. She didn’t even give me the answer! I’ve been on pins and needles.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: So email me again and let me know which House you were Sorted on Pottermore by your man friend, and we’ll reveal it next episode.

Eric: We’re dying to know, Emily.

Andrew: Yeah. Before we wrap up the show, just a quick update about our Patreon: We’re getting really close to starting to do two episodes a month again.

Eric: So close.

Andrew: It is so beautiful. It is so beautiful. We would love your support. Now’s a great time to sign up; our first round of signed album arts are about to go out soon. Erica… Eric. [laughs] Erica Sculla. No, Eric has been very carefully plotting out the first round of signed album art cards; they’ll be going out soon, right, Eric?

Eric: I am holding in my hand 400 stamps.

Andrew: Oh, I thought you were going to hold all 400 cards; that’d be a lot to hold in one hand.

Eric: [laughs] Yes, tomorrow the first round of album art is being shipped; I’m so thrilled. That is happening to our eligible patrons, so close to 300 pieces of art are going out, and people will start to see them in their mailboxes by who knows? As early as the beginning of next week.

Andrew: Yeah, probably. And we’d love to see some pictures of those hanging up; maybe you’ll hang them up on the fridge or something.

Eric: Yeah, tweet at us. Showcase it. We’ll retweet anything that we see. And Andrew, you were saying about how close we are to hitting our first milestone, and we have over 400 patrons and that happened. And keep in mind that the tiers that we have set up for album art and T-shirt is included in that same tier; it’s capped, it’s limited at 687 signups, so we have a little over 200 to go before you won’t be able to get album art or a T-shirt.

Andrew: Right. And when you do sign up on Patreon, if you’re impatient and don’t want to wait for the card or the T-shirt, good news, there’s lots of extra bonus material on the MuggleCast Patreon right now, including bonus MuggleCast segments, chapter readings, and a whole lot more.

Eric: Definitely.

Andrew: And we are about to record two more bonus MuggleCast segments. So we’d appreciate your support; it’s helping the show grow. We have a busy year, busy years ahead, and we need your support to keep this show ticking. And like I said, we’re getting close to two episodes a month again, which we haven’t done in years.

Eric: Right, and that’ll be for everybody, which is great.

Andrew: Exactly.

Eric: That’ll come out on the MuggleCast podcast feed just as this episode did, to celebrate our success and your patronage.

Andrew: Yeah. And I mean, obviously there’s so much to talk about; we’re at 90 minutes right now with this episode.

Eric: Oh, yeah.

Andrew: So when we’re doing two episodes a month, that will be be around an hour each, probably more in some cases. So thank you, everybody who’s signed up so far, thank you to future supporters, and thank you to everybody for listening. I’m Andrew.

Eric: I’m Eric.

Micah: I’m Micah.

Jeanna: And I’m Jeanna.

Andrew: Thanks again, Jeanna, for coming on, and for dealing with all the Patreon stuff around your apartment.

[Andrew and Jeanna laugh]

Andrew: We’ll see everybody next time for Episode 291. Goodbye!

Eric and Micah: Bye.