Transcript #296

Transcript for MuggleCast Episode #296, Gaunty

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 296. Happy Fourth of July weekend to all of our American listeners, and I guess the people over in the UK can celebrate Independence Day with us, too, right?

Selina Wilken: [laughs] Too soon. Nope.

Eric Scull: Ooh.

Andrew: Hashtag Brexit. You know, I tweeted J.K. Rowling asking her if Brexit was going to affect the value of the Galleon, and she hasn’t replied yet.

Eric: Oh, interesting.

Selina: That’s so weird. It’s like she’s snubbing you now. How strange.

Andrew: Well, I want to know. I want to know if I should go buy Galleons or if I should hold off. Maybe now’s a good time to visit Hogwarts; it’s probably cheap. Or Hogsmeade. [laughs]

Eric: I don’t know about that.

Selina: Well, the wizarding world has been independent for years, so I think they’re okay.

Andrew: Yes. Yes, this is true.

Selina: Do you think the wizarding world is in the EU? That’s a whole other discussion.

Andrew: Tweet J.K. Rowling. Let’s get to the bottom of this.

Selina: [laughs] I will. She loves me.

Micah Tannenbaum: One question you should ask is if the Wizarding World in both Orlando and Los Angeles will now become cheaper for us to attend.

Andrew: This is a good point, yes. The answer is probably no. Universal plans to raise ticket prices every year.

Eric: And not lower them.

Andrew: Right, yeah. But actually, legitimately it’s a bad time for people over there in the UK to come visit now because of the value of the pound.

Eric: Right.

Andrew: Anyway, Selina, Micah, Eric, and I are here this week. We’re going to be talking about…

Selina: [laughs] Talking about Brexit.

Eric: Hey, everybody.

Selina: Welcome to BrexitCast.

Andrew: Yeah. We’re going to be talking about Ilvermorny. So J.K. Rowling finally revealed a ton of details about the American wizarding school on Pottermore, and the Houses and the Sorting test, so that’s all coming up on today’s show. But first of all, I just want to offer a quick plug for our Patreon because we just announced a new milestone and we’re close to reaching it. We’re not too many patrons away from hitting it; it’s the Mega MuggleCast Milestone goal, and what this is… we’re planning… if we hit this goal, we will bring back every single MuggleCast host – well, most; a very large majority of MuggleCast hosts – for a super duper mega episode in early September, and we’re just going to get the whole band back together to celebrate a new term at Hogwarts. And of course, we’re approaching a big MuggleCast anniversary, so all that is what we’re working toward as a milestone on Patreon. And just one other quick thing: This is the final month to sign up if you want to receive a T-shirt, so you have to sign up by July 31 to receive a T-shirt through Patreon. Full details are on And of course, you get lots of other benefits, too, when you pledge, and thank you to everybody who’s supporting us and who will be supporting us. So that’s that.

Main Discussion: Ilvermorny Houses

Andrew: Let’s get into Ilvermorny.

Eric: Yes.

Selina: Yay!

Andrew: What Houses are we all in? I am Pukwudgie.

Selina: So am I.

Eric: Ah, and I’m Thunderbird.

Micah: And so am I.

Andrew: Okay, I like this split. This is a good little split.

Selina: Me too.

Eric: [laughs] 50/50. Thunderbirds forever!

Andrew: So it was interesting. Basically what happened was they announced Ilvermorny and all the details and the Sorting test at the same time, and I kind of… my only critique about all of this is that it felt weird to me because when we took the Sorting Hat test, the Hogwarts Sorting Hat test on Pottermore all those years ago, we all knew the Hogwarts Houses very well at that point, whereas this, we were just suddenly thrusted into it, like, “Hey guys, here’s the school, here’s the Houses, now get Sorted.” We had no time to decide which one we wanted ourselves, which one we identified with.

Eric: Right, and when we got an answer…

Selina: Well, do you think that kind of…? Oh, go on.

Eric: It was like, “What did we just get?” So that was all.

Selina: Well, do you think it reflects how you’re Sorted at the different schools? Because I’ve been thinking a lot about this and how in Hogwarts it is kind of how you think of yourself, and in Ilvermorny, it kind of is the House chooses you, so you have a lot less autonomy. So actually, maybe it works out that we’re just thrust into a House. But I will say, though, I did have one criticism. I don’t know about you guys; my test was really short. It was less than ten questions, and I sort of felt like, “Is that it?” Like, do I really trust the answer based on that little? And some of the questions were super weirdly phrased and stuff.

Andrew: Well… hmm. I mean, it took me a while to take it because they were asking some deep questions in this test.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: There was that one, it was like, “Okay, ideal scenario: What answer would you want to hear to the question about the beginning of the universe?”

Selina: I know; I was like, “It depends on the question!” [laughs]

Eric: It was like, “Uh… what??”

Selina: Some of my answers definitely were a little bit, “Well, it could be any one of these five, so I’m just going to go with this one,” which felt a little… I mean, it just feels like… it’s so weird to see people be like, “Oh, I guess I’m a blah-blah-blah now,” when it’s like, “Well, are you really, though? How much do we trust it?”

Eric: Maybe it’s meant to be jarring. I don’t know. Maybe it’s… because in all this hubbub that’s happened in the week after, I’m just thinking maybe that was the point. Maybe Jo is just like, “They’re not the same. You shouldn’t think they’re the same.” And so Ilvermorny can get away with giving only seven questions to assess your entire… because ultimately, it’s less about personality, which…

Selina: It just makes me feel less connected to it. Because I’m like, “Yeah, I’m a Pukwudgie, but if I answered three questions differently, maybe I would’ve been something else.”

Eric: That’s true. Exactly, that absolutely makes a lot of sense, even to me. And I want to draw comparisons, and we all want to draw comparisons between Houses in any way. But it’s like, well, because this is so short of a quiz, and because it’s just thrown in there with the most basic traits associated with Houses – unlike the Harry Potter series, where there are seven books – it does feel like it’s intentionally trying to push us away from the mold that we’re so familiar with.

Selina: Right, and maybe that is true. But I will just say I’ve taken the quiz three times; the first time I got Pukwudgie, so that’s what I’m going with. The second time I got Wampus, and the third time I got Thunderbird, and I’m like, “Mmm.” [laughs]

Andrew: And that’s a whole other debate.

Micah: Do it a fourth time, Selina, and then you could be one of those people that only once a decade gets Sorted into all four.

Eric: Yes, you’re the Seraphina Picquery of 2016.

Selina: Yes. [laughs] I just feel like it’s unreliable.

Andrew: Right, and I don’t want to get into that side of the debate because that actually really annoys me, and I’m just out of Harry Potter complaining juice for this month. I tried to start writing an article about it, but I was like, “I can’t do this. I’m done. I’ve said enough this month.”

[Eric and Selina laugh]

Micah: But I think you raise a good point, though, because there’s no way that you can possibly be connected to these Houses in such a short period of time. I mean, think about all the years that you had to connect with Hogwarts and its four Houses, and I feel like these points have all been raised already. But the fact of the matter is J.K. Rowling wanted to be able to provide a Sorting process for this new school, given its connection to the new movie that’s going to be released later on this year, and I just don’t see that there’s any way that we could all say with definitive purpose that we are this House or that House. It’s like a quiz on… unfortunately, I hate to compare it to a Buzzfeed quiz, but that’s kind of what it is.

Andrew and Selina: Yeah.

Andrew: It is, yeah. It’s a personality quiz.

Selina: And that’s kind of my whole reasoning, because I know me and Eric sort of disagree very publicly on this…

Eric: Oh no!

Selina: … but that’s one of my reasons why I’m so quick to – I’m bringing it up, oh my God – no, that I’m so quick to say, “Well, how do we compare these to Hogwarts?” Because I still feel like the Hogwarts House is the ultimate, and I always… I found myself Sorting the Ilvermorny Houses into Hogwarts Houses when I was doing that comparison, because I was like, “I may as well.” [laughs] And I do think… I mean, we can talk about that, but I do think there is…

Micah: But that’s fair, though, because that’s your basis for comparison, though.

Eric: That’s the entire basis.

Selina: Exactly, exactly.

Eric: And Selina and I do not disagree that there’s a correlation between the Houses…

Selina: Okay.

Eric: … but it’s always a question about how do they fit, and what does it all mean?

Selina: Right.

Eric: If you get Thunderbird, and they’re said to be adventurers, well, is that Gryffindor? Because Gryffindor are adventurers. Well, you also have Slytherins who are bull-headed. All the Ilvermorny traits, do they line up? And where do they line up? Is sort of I think where everyone who’s taken this test’s head is at, because frankly, the writing does not… and I did enjoy the story. It’s lengthy, but it did not answer to our satisfaction the same kind of… it didn’t fill the void or provide a sense of belonging so much as just gave you a quiz result that you’re supposed to now… I mean, it now decorates your homepage.

Andrew: It’s just…

Selina: Well, I do want to say one thing, and then you can speak, sorry. I just want to say Ariana from Hypable actually had what I think is the best explanation for how they are different; she said Hogwarts versus Ilvermorny Houses is like your sun versus moon astrology sign. Hogwarts is what you project out and Ilvermorny is what’s going on inside of you, and I was like, “Ah, that makes sense. I like that.”

Andrew: The other thing – and this kind of hit me last night – it’s just for fun. It’s just… people are excited about this new Ilvermorny American wizarding school. It’s cool for us Harry Potter fans to know that J.K. Rowling has this school in her head here in the United States, and it’s just for fun, and this hit me last night when I was at a party with a group of people who are Harry Potter friends, and we were all just being… it was fun to hear what Houses each of us got Sorted into. It was just fun to go around the circle and say it, even though we couldn’t really elaborate on it because we don’t know much about these Houses, but still, it’s just fun. [laughs] That’s all I could say.

Eric: I would… yeah. Are you going to move on?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Okay. We’ll go back to Houses later.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, for sure. Well, so this next part, did we talk about this just now? I guess we kind of did, right? Yeah. But one thing I found interesting was the way that people were actually ending up being Sorted. It looks like – and this panel is a reflection of it – that most people were Sorted into Pukwudgie and Thunderbird.

Eric: This was interesting. This was very, very interesting.

Andrew: Yeah, unlike Pottermore’s Hogwarts test, which was evenly putting people in all the Houses – my theory was for House points reasons – everyone is… so according to the latest version of the poll, which we were running on Hypable, 38% are in Thunderbird. That’s the biggest. Second largest is Pukwudgie with 28%; 22% were in Horned Serpent; and then Wampus has had the smallest number this whole time with 12%.

Eric: And the question is just does this quiz measure different aspects of your person? Why is it that the majority of Harry Potter fans, regardless of what Hogwarts House they’re in, why are the majority of them in Thunderbird and Pukwudgie? How does that…?

Selina: Well, it might have something to do with the questions. I was thinking some of the answers just don’t make sense to me, and I’m thinking maybe other people have the same… they look for… maybe there are just some answers to these questions that are more common than others.

Eric: That’s interesting.

Andrew: Yeah, I agree with that, because… yes. And then there’s been breakdowns of where each Hogwarts House is ending up at Ilvermorny. [laughs] See, all this data has been fun to look through.

Selina: So cool. I like that.

Eric: Yeah, this is… you shared the poll on Hypable; there were the statistics from the Hogwarts… was it Running Club?

Andrew: Yeah, so they conducted their own survey and they gave us the data. So by the way, there is a running club for Harry Potter fans. It’s on Facebook. Like Eric said, Hogwarts Running Club, which is pretty cool.

Eric: Go check it out.

Andrew: Yeah. So the most interesting thing I found was that Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw…

Selina: Everyone’s in Thunderbird.

[Micah and Selina laugh]

Andrew: Right, well, besides that, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw all had kind of equal splits in terms of where their students were going at Ilvermorny, but Slytherin had the most equal distribution across all four Ilvermorny schools. And we have pie charts up on Hypable, if you want to check them out.

Micah: This is a real statistical breakdown.

Andrew: Yeah, right? Yeah, thanks to a survey that the Running Club people did. Even BuzzFeed picked this up.

Selina: And all that tells me is that no one is getting into Wampus. [laughs]

Eric: Which is like, why? I don’t know; that would seem to be a more common House, I think.

Selina: I know.

Andrew: I was hoping that J.K. Rowling would take to Twitter to answer some questions about these Houses, because…

Eric: I think she still might, honestly. I mean, I was running infographics all week; I was taking… I have a poll as well with 1,100 people.

Micah: But she was doing nothing.

Eric: She was doing nothing!

Micah: I mean, Eric, you’re working so hard, and she’s not doing a damn thing.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: She’s too busy with Brexit.

Eric: I didn’t say that, nor did I even think it, but I do think that it’s very…

Micah: You implied it.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: No, the few people… well, I don’t have to say few people; the dozens of people – complete opposite – dozens of people I’ve engaged with over the last week about this House thing, this House crisis…

Andrew: [laughs] “Crisis.”

Eric: … this House puzzle, this mystery, because you’re talking about us potentially identifying with a new House that we know nothing about, so there’s that. That’s just what we said before. But the dozens of people I’ve interacted with over the last week, and the 1,100 people who have taken my poll, the 1,100 people who took Hogwarts Running Club’s poll, we all are interested in getting to the bottom of this, and this is something that J.K. Rowling addressed in one tweet; she said that the Houses were not equivalent. What she didn’t say is that they they don’t correlate or have anything to do with one another, so that’s very suspect. She could have elaborated further; she didn’t, so far as I’m aware completely yet. But it’s something that she can always elaborate on in the future; she can do another story on the Houses. It would seem to be time, considering we all took the test now; it’s like, “Well, okay, but what does it mean?” We still want to know, and are we going to realistically have to wait four months till November to maybe get a throwaway line about a certain House in Ilvermorny because we’re going to be interacting with wizards who went there for the first time on screen? Or is there going to be more writing? Or is there going to be more tweets, once she sees 2,000-word essays on Hypable from Selina…

Selina: [laughs] Going to read those now.

Eric: … and all these polls and infographics on tumblr and everything else all around that people are doing, trying to get to the bottom of this. I think a 140-character tweet is not enough to sate our desires and our curiosity.

Selina: And where is that Patronus quiz? Is it ever coming? I don’t think so.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: Let’s just jump on Jo.

Micah: You will be Sorted, Selina, into the African School of Witchcraft and Wizardry before you get a Patronus quiz.

[Andrew laughs]

Selina: I’m sure that’s true.

Micah: But actually, that got me thinking, what you just said, knowing that Isolt… is that how you say her name?

Selina: Yeah, Isolt.

Micah: Isolt, that she never attended Hogwarts, so you could argue the fact that there really is no correlation between the two.

Selina: But the one thing that I made out in my article is that Isolt grew up with stories of Hogwarts, and actually, when she decided to build the school, her sons told her that they wanted Houses just like Hogwarts had Houses, and she always dreamed of being in Ravenclaw, and she made Horned Serpent, too, which supports that correlation. So I feel like what the Houses of Ilvermorny do reflect is her idea of what the Hogwarts Houses could be.

Micah: That’s fair.

Selina: Which actually, I really like that idea. I think that goes deeply into the text in a way that feels very J.K. Rowling to me.

Micah: Yeah, I will say that I know we spent a lot of time talking about the backstory that J.K. Rowling provided for the wizarding world here in America, but this particular piece that she released felt much more J.K. Rowling-like.

Andrew: Yes.

Selina: Yeah, so good.

Micah: I don’t know about if it was the same for the rest of you.

Selina: I really enjoyed it. I thought it was so… I’m still thinking like, “Oh, why is this not a…? Why does this have to be a summary?” It could so easily be a full story.

Eric: Oh, yeah.

Selina: But the story itself, everything she said, I was like, “This feels very magical to me.”

Andrew: Yeah. By the way, did you guys agree with your initial House selections, reading the description? For example, Pukwudgie, mine, it says, “Named by James Steward, after the fiercely independent magical creature the Pukwudgie; Pukwudgie House is sometimes considered to represent the heart of a witch or wizard. It is also said that Pukwudgie favors healers.” I agree with the fiercely independent part. I mean, I at least feel independent. I enjoy being independent. I don’t know if I’m fiercely independent, but… [laughs]

Selina: You are if you want to be.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, I suppose so.

Eric: For me, I thought it was cool being Sorted into Thunderbird for adventurers, because I had been feeling… I don’t want to say kept in a box with Hufflepuff Sorting on Pottermore, which after reading the Hogwarts letter I actually fully completely agreed with, but I had been dressing as a Gryffindor all those years, as you all know, and I felt kind of cut off from the Gryffindor aspect, which to me is the bold, the brash, the adventurous, the brave. So getting Sorted into Thunderbird was like, hey, this is cool, because now I can feel like I’m still… it speaks to my interest in having adventures and travel and all that kind of stuff that’s part of me, but I had forgotten or not associated with a Hogwarts house. I could then sort of put into in the Ilvermorny Sorting.

Selina: It allows you to find a new side of yourself, I guess. I mean, Thunderbird is the coolest house; can we just all agree on that? [laughs]

Andrew: I think so, yeah. Is that the new Gryffindor?

Selina: I think so. It’s the best. That’s why I like equating it to Slytherin, actually, like I said in the article, too. I really like the idea that this explores… this might be what Slytherin could have been if not for all the negative associations and stereotypes of Hogwarts, because it is for those who internalize… it’s like smart Gryffindor; I say this having identified as a Gryffindor, so please don’t be mad at me. But that think things through more and that are very ambitious and very set out to do things for themselves, for the cause they believe in, and I like the idea that that could be the new cool House.

Eric: There’s also Wampus, though. There’s also the warriors. There’s also the body.

Selina: Yeah, that is the Gryffindor. [laughs]

Eric: So I don’t know. I don’t know. But what about Micah? What did you think, Micah? Thunderbird for you?

Micah: Yeah, I mean, I would not connect as much with the adventurous side of it, but how it broke down the representation of the witch or the wizard. The fact that it’s the soul of that individual, I thought was a really cool connection to make, and so that part of it I like. I mean, going back to Hogwarts, I was Sorted into Ravenclaw and I always thought that that’s where I fit. So it’s interesting to me that if we’re comparing Thunderbird to be more from a popularity standpoint Gryffindor, but I’ve also seen it compared to Slytherin, so it’s interesting to me that this is where I would end up. Although, I did get – when I went through and did the Sorting on Pottermore the first time – a Hatstall between Ravenclaw and Slytherin, so maybe this is starting to show my true colors.

Eric: Micah, you’re good for the soul.

[Micah and Selina laugh]

Main Discussion: The founding of Ilvermorny

Andrew: Let’s get into the Ilvermorny story. This was the… it was very exciting to get Sorted, but of course, there was this giant story here. First of all, just a basic: Ilvermorny is in the United States. It’s atop Mount Greylock in Massachusetts. There was some debate when they first revealed this map because it looked like it was sitting on the Canadian border, so people were wondering if it really wasn’t in America.

Eric: [laughs] I forgot about that.

Andrew: Yeah, I got into a Twitter war with somebody over that, so I was very excited to hear that I was right. [laughs] Anyway, Eric or Micah, do you want to lead us through this discussion?

Eric: Yeah, I will, no problem. Ilvermorny is situated, as it turns out, on the top of Mount Greylock, which is in part of present-day Adams, Massachusetts. Actually, the story is only slightly misleading here. It’s actually a three and a half-hour drive, hundreds of miles from where Plymouth is. In the story, Isolt Sayre – who we’ll get into in just a moment, who ends up founding Ilvermorny – sort of wanders from Plymouth settlement into… it just says into the woods, but she’s actually traveling across the entire state to Mount Greylock, which becomes the settlement for Ilvermorny, which is shrouded in mist and it’s a perfect location for a school that has to still be kept away from prying No-Maj eyes. God, did I just use that word? [laughs] It’s interesting, because this whole story, just as an overview when you’re going through it, there are I think deliberate connections to Hogwarts, both in that Isolt always wanted to go to Hogwarts and so did the kids that we learn about later in the story, but also that there’s some history that really ties in Isolt’s history. Isolt’s personal history ties into Hogwarts in a huge way. So getting into that, Isolt is a direct descendant of Salazar Slytherin, and I mean, surprise, surprise. Who clicked on “Magic in North America Part 5” and expected Salazar Slytherin to pop up?

Andrew: Yeah, definitely not…

Selina: I love that.

Andrew: Yeah, since the information we had heard about the school so far didn’t really connect to the Harry Potter characters we knew, so yeah, that was…

Selina: She’s really not letting the Gaunt family go, is she?

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: No, they are deeply intertwined in the whole wizarding world, it seems.

[Selina laughs]

Eric: Yeah, so she’s a direct descendant of Salazar Slytherin, also a famous witch called Morgan, who they’re both described as being pure-blood families. And Gaunt, which you mentioned; Isolt has an Aunt Gaunt. Gormlaith, [pronounces it “Gorm-lathe”] would you say? How would you say this?

Selina: Gormlaith? [pronounces it “Gorm-lith”]

Eric: Gormlaith? Let’s all just agree for the purposes of this episode to say Gormlaith. [pronounces it “Gorm-lith”]

Selina: Okay.

[Eric and Selina laugh]

Eric: Gormlaith is like the Aunt Petunia of the story. Well, in a way. But she’s also…

Micah: She’s far worse.

Eric: Far worse, yeah. The evil stepmother, let’s say, who essentially…

Selina: Yeah, this is basically Cinderella of the magical world.

Eric: Or is it Rapunzel?

Selina: I don’t know. Good question. [laughs]

Micah: We can get to that later. I know one of our listeners wrote in.

Eric: We got an email about… we got a message about… yeah, we’ll read that later, and it’s brilliant. But essentially Gormlaith Gaunt, pure-blood fanatic – surprise, surprise – doesn’t like the way that Isolt’s parents are interacting with their local No-Maj neighbors, healing them, offering potions, protecting them and their livestock, and decides to essentially kill them and kidnap Isolt and raise her as her own. So Isolt from the age of 5 is raised by Gormlaith and actually not allowed to attend Hogwarts, which is interesting. Gormlaith early on – this is 1605 or 1610 – has such scorn for what Hogwarts has become and that it did not become the school just for pure-bloods that Salazar Slytherin had wanted it to be, so that’s actually really cool.

Micah: So this is basically Harry Potter if Harry had decided to go off to another part of the world and start a wizarding school.

Eric: Maybe.

Selina: It’s really good, though. I like how closely it resembles, yet it’s totally different.

Eric: And so it’s not until Isolt is about 20, where she… it’s said that Gormlaith keeps her… she grew up in a area, actually a cottage, called Ilvermorny in County Kerry, Ireland. And Gormlaith moved her after her parents’ death to a local place – I think it’s called Hag’s Glen, is its colloquial name – but shrouded in Dark magic, and essentially Isolt is isolated from her local No-Maj neighbors. And it’s kind of sad, actually, in terms of… I actually would compare it to Harry, feeling alone and sort of orphaned from it all. She is sort of, in a way, Isolt is an orphan.

Andrew: Yeah. And just reading the story and learning about her, you just want a full story about her, because she seems like such a remarkable person. Such a badass, where she comes from.

Eric: [laughs] Yeah, and she’s a badass; she steals Gormlaith’s wand and escapes finally at the age of about 20 to America. She cuts her hair, she disguises herself as a man, and gets on the Mayflower, which travels to America. And she didn’t destroy her aunt; she just escaped, and so Isolt from this day forward lives in this fear from her aunt of retribution and that her aunt will find her. So first she moves to England, and then she moves to America.

Andrew: And then… enter the Pukwudgie.

Selina: Yay!

Eric: Enter the Pukwudgie. Oh, yeah. She wanders into the woods, 1,000 miles away.

Andrew: Sounds safe.

Eric: It’s several hundred miles; I’m actually typing it in right now, but I’ll keep talking. She wanders into the woods and encounters not one but two magical creatures that she did not know anything about. One is a Hidebehind, and the other is a, of course, Pukwudgie.

Andrew: Saying that out loud is… [laughs]

Eric: What, Hidebehind?

Andrew: Hidebehind, yeah.

Eric: Well, what does it do? What is its primary…?

Andrew: What does it do? It’s just… no, just it’s again something that… I mean, it is from American folklore; I did Google it. But it’s just something that when I first read it, I was like, “Is this another one of J.K. Rowling’s weird words that she’s inventing or…?” But yeah, no, I thought that was kind of entertaining.

Micah: Like Lethifold?

Andrew: Yeah, right. [laughs]

Eric: I like Lethifold; that’s one of my favorite beasts in the Fantastic Beasts. But yeah, she stumbles into the forest – which I looked, it’s 160 miles away from Plymouth – and actually winds up witnessing a Pukwudgie nearly destroyed, nearly eviscerated by this Hidebehind, and is able to somehow save the Pukwudgie. So this was cool; this is sort of an early indicator that Isolt has a lot of adaptive skill in the story. It comes into play, I guess, throughout the entire story, just that she has a kind nature. She wants to help and is actually quite capable despite her sheltered upbringing of… I guess doing what is what actually ends up working, of being successful at magic.

Andrew: As a Pukwudgie myself, I’m disappointed in William…

[Eric and Selina laugh]

Andrew: … that he needed help in fending off this Hidebehind, but all right, all right.

Eric: I think the point with that is these characters, these creatures are supposed to be that much more terrifying, right? So it’s just that it’s all fresh and new. Even the Pukwudgie, which the story says are very dangerous creatures, and normally you wouldn’t even want to approach a Pukwudgie…

Andrew: Damn right, don’t approach me.

Eric: [laughs] He’s fiercely loyal.

Andrew: Don’t approach Andrew the Pukwudgie.

Micah: Got your bow and arrow ready?

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: Normally you wouldn’t even want to approach a Pukwudgie, but she does to save it from a Hidebehind, which is a particularly nasty Hidebehind, even more terrifying, and was going to kill the Pukwudgie. So you get this new world aspect of it’s scary, it’s dangerous, it’s uncharted to Europeans, and they just don’t know what to expect. And so I guess this creates a blood debt for the Pukwudgie, who eventually is named William after Isolt’s father, because he will not tell her his individual name. And she nurses him back to health, and in turn, he introduces her to the local wildlife in terms of magic, and they begin sort of a… I guess he’s described as a curmudgeon; they have sort of a curmudgeonly friendship that naturally over the course of time evolves.

Micah: He reminds me of Kreacher.

Eric and Selina: Yeah.

Selina: That’s a good point.

Andrew: Yeah, even if you look at the Pukwudgie art on Pottermore, you get that. Is that what you mean? Or just based on his description?

Micah: Well, just from his behavior too.

Andrew: Okay.

Micah: I mean, just the idea of Pukwudgies – at least in terms of how they at the end of the story seem to serve Ilvermorny – remind me overall of house-elves. But William in particular, I was going to compare him to Dobby, but I think Dobby’s personality is a little too different. Kreacher falls in line with William, especially how he comes around at the end.

Eric: Yeah, I agree. And the story does say that Pukwudgies are distantly related to goblins, but I also see… I mean, for the purposes of the story, it seems that they’re closer to house-elves as well.

Andrew: So then how do we meet the next two?

Eric: So there’s some children in need, and actually sort of echoing the story of William and the Hidebehind, Isolt and William encounter… they hear a scream, I guess; they hear the sound of a mother and father being killed viciously, and these two boys, Webster and Chadwick Boot, are left alive after, unfortunately, their parents have died. And the very same Hidebehind that was going to kill William is finally destroyed. I guess it had escaped wounded; maybe they recognized it from a scar, but they knew it was the same one, and they finally killed it. But this actually becomes – and it’s very interesting – an issue of contention between Isolt and William, because William typically… and Isolt is an exception, but Pukwudgies don’t usually associate with humans; they don’t waste any of their effort or any of their time helping humans. This reminds me of a goblin connection. But it’s because of the blood debt that Isolt eventually grudges William into helping her carry the boys; all she wants is for him to carry the boys back to their sort of stone flap of a shelter, and he grudgingly agrees and then she dismisses him because they argued.

Selina: Yeah, it’s very sad.

Micah: So was the debt paid, though? Do you really feel like…? I mean, we know how the story ends, but…

Eric: Right, right.

Micah: Clearly, he was waiting for her. We can talk more about this later, but he was waiting for her to have that moment of need. And of course, he shows up, but it’s made to make you think that by him willingly carrying one of the boys back, that he is repaying his debt, which of course, we know. I guess my question is, did he know in that moment that he wasn’t repaying the debt and that it was still a possibility that he could be called on later to help her?

Selina: See, this is where we need more story, because this is where the emotion would come into it. We would love to see that scene play out between them.

Eric: Well, maybe we’re meant to form our own opinion on it. Do you think, Selina, that…?

Selina: But there isn’t enough for me to form my own opinion on it. That’s what I mean.

Eric: Oh, darn. Well, it’s going to be one or the other, though, right? Because in the story she specifically calls out and says, “As repayment of the debt that you owe me, help me take one of these children back,” and he’s like, “Ugh,” and he grudgingly agrees.

Selina: But he clearly… as we see from the story later, he still continued to keep… he still wanted to help her and he still wanted to stick around.

Eric: So is that his personal choice? Or is it that the blood debt was not…? I mean, I think we’re meant to – and it should be fairly easy – to just decide which is which.

Selina: Well, okay, as a Pukwudgie myself… [laughs]

Eric: Okay.

Selina: Maybe it’s just the heart thing; we’re going to take that literally and say that he actually does lead with his heart, right? And I would say that explains it.

Eric: Yeah, I would actually tend to agree, because I think it has a sort of beauty either way, but we’ll get to that, I guess, in a moment. So Webster and Chadwick Boot, surprise, surprise, turned out to be magical. Isn’t this beautiful? Isolt has stumbled upon these children, which she raises essentially as her own. But actually, at first, she needs to go back and bury their parents. She never got a chance to; things were so rushed, the children were injured. And she actually stumbles upon, returning to the site of the attack, this Muggle, this No-Maj dude. His name is James, and he’s just chillin’.

Andrew: Who’s the No-Maj in Fantastic Beasts? I’m trying to remember.

Eric: It’s not Jacob, is it?

Selina: Jacob.

Andrew: Jacob, that’s right.

Eric: Oh, it is Jacob.

Andrew: He’s the Jacob of this story.

Micah: Well, and it’s also coincident that his name is James, and there’s a moment later on in the story where he’s basically trying to die in protection of his children. And I just thought, “Really, Jo? You couldn’t come up with another name for a father who would die for love and protection of their child?”

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Whoa! Okay, I take offense to that. My middle name is James. I love the name James.

Andrew: My middle name is James, too.

Eric: Your middle name is James, Emerson’s middle name is James… everybody cool has the middle name James.

Andrew: Micah, you’re just jealous.

Selina: Hey, I don’t! [laughs]

Eric: Oh, okay, well, Selina, what’s your middle name?

Selina: Isabella.

Eric: Isabella? I predict there’ll be a cool Harry Potter character named Isabella soon.

Selina: Well, not now.

[Eric and Selina laugh]

Eric: How ’bout right now, Jo? But yeah, that is interesting, you’re right, Micah, and the parallels just keep coming. But essentially, they start a family, and this is how this works. It’s a bit Princess Bride-esque as you’re reading it, because Isolt initially fully intends to wipe James’s memory. What ends up happening is she goes to bury the body, she meets him, and he had befriended the boys, actually, on his ship over, and just happened to go in search of the family when they disappeared. And she fully intends to Obliviate him because she’s unable… she’s magically remedying these children in front of him and he’s not supposed to be able to see that kind of stuff. But eventually, they just fall in love despite all odds.

Selina: I know. It’s so nice.

Eric: She never Obliviates him. This is what I want in the story.

Selina: Okay, can I ask…? Because this is actually something… I know we’re trying to move on; it’s like breaking down an entire Harry Potter book in one episode.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: I know; it feels like that.

Selina: So I have this thing – and I’m sure that Jo has a plan for it and it’s all fine – but I’m just wondering. You know in the American wizarding world at the time of Fantastic Beasts, there’s so much rules; we know that witches and wizards can’t marry No-Majes because of all the tensions, but I’m just thinking if you literally have the founders of Ilvermorny be a No-Maj and a witch, doesn’t that seem a little bit strange to you guys?

Eric: Yeah, it does.

Selina: I know there’s been a lot of tension since then, but it just seems like if literally the American magical community was founded by the union of a No-Maj and a witch… [laughs]

Eric: Yeah. No, it’s true, and I think somewhere in the story it says that Ilvermorny is one of the least elitist schools because it was founded… but then you look at what Jo has previously written on magic in North America and you find a world in which No-Maj and wizards are even further separated and have been persecuted and there’s been a lot of bloodshed between the two, much more so than in Europe, and you’re just like, “What?” So I think there is some…

Selina: Well, it’s all just a little hypocritical when they have a No-Maj to basically thank for everything that’s happened in the wizarding world.

Eric: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, it is after all James who first develops the schematics for a cottage, even.

Selina: Exactly, yeah.

Eric: It’s not even… it’s not a castle at that point.

Selina: And his statue is in the castle, still, so we know that they are aware of him still.

Andrew and Eric: Yeah.

Eric: But this family is very happy. They begin to have… well, they have two daughters, so actually James and Isolt… well, they fall in love, they marry, and they have two twin sisters. Two twin daughters, I should say. And it’s about this time where everybody’s favorite aunt – Aunt Sad Face, Aunt Frowny Face – Aunt Gormlaith, do we call her? Hears that there has begun a school across the pond and it’s called Ilvermorny.

Andrew: Aunt Gant, [pronounces both words like “ant”] is I think the word you’re looking for.

Eric: Aunt Gant? Thank you.

Andrew: Sounds better than Aunt Gaunt. [pronounces both words like “ont”]

[Selina laughs]

Eric: Aunt Gant, who in the years since her defeat apparently has not repurchased a wand to replace her missing one, gets a wand from Ollivander’s, also disguises herself as a man, travels under the name of Isolt’s father, William Sayre, comes across on a ship, and on one fateful evening confronts… or actually appears in the woods outside of Ilvermorny. And this is where the story just explodes in my mind; this is just where all the coolest stuff that you could think about happens in terms of its correspondent to the Harry Potter universe.

Andrew: Because of the power of love! As you note here.

Eric: Because of… the power of love is huge. Also, we learn that Slytherin’s wand, which Isolt has, which was Gormlaith’s wand previously, can be disabled.

Andrew: Oh, man. I need a flowchart for all this. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, this is great, right? The wand can be put to sleep. So Slytherin’s wand, which, by the way, has a core of Basilisk horn, which I mean, that just throws Chamber of Secrets right into relevance for me. Slytherin’s monster is a Basilisk; hell, it could be the same one. Maybe he told the Basilisk to sleep, and it was the same Basilisk that Harry encountered thousands of years later, or a thousand years later that was the one that…

Selina: It lost its horn since then, but okay.

Eric: [laughs] I think it had little spiky horn things, right?

Selina: Ah, maybe. Maybe it did.

Eric: Maybe. I don’t know. Let’s consult the prop department.

Selina: Its horn was… anyway.

[Andrew and Selina laugh]

Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But so Slytherin’s wand is made of Basilisk. He taught the wand to sleep, so there’s some word, and Jo is very clever to not say what it is, but it’s in Parseltongue, and she utters it, and it disables the wand.

Andrew: Why do you say she’s very clever to not say what it is?

Eric: Well, it’s just like Horcruxes, right? You’re not supposed to know what the process is.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Eric: I just think… there’s a scene in Narnia, in The Magician’s Nephew, where the White Witch freezes her entire planet and race in time and space, essentially killing them – it all but kills them – by uttering a single, what’s called “the deplorable word.” It’s the idea that a word has power. And similarly, this magic, Gormlaith says a curse that has their names in it, Isolt and James’s names, and it puts them into an enchanted sleep, like Sleeping Beauty? This is interesting new magic here.

Micah: But at the same time, what she doesn’t realize she’s doing is she’s enhancing the power of the wand cores for both Chadwick and Webster, which is made from the Horned Serpent.

Eric: And this was a part of the story we skipped over by accident, but Isolt can understand Parseltongue and has befriended a river Horned Serpent.

Selina: I think it says she can’t, but we’d have to check that. I just don’t want people to think…

Eric: Yeah, it says she can’t speak it, but she understands… she befriends it and is able to understand or comprehend what it’s saying to her.

Selina: Right.

Eric: So that’s weird. But anyway, her children’s wands are made from the horn of the Horned Serpent, and this Parseltongue that Gormlaith utters, which disables Isolt’s wands, actually notifies Chadwick and Webster. They get a little text message on their wand…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: … that says, “Hey, get up because it’s time to fight.”

Andrew: That’s pretty cool.

Eric: Yeah, it’s pretty, pretty cool.

Micah: And the whole backstory connection – we talked about Slytherin – but the fact that this dream that Isolt had, where the Horned Serpent told her, “Until I’m part of your family, your family is doomed,” of course, the way that this serpent becomes part of the family is by giving his horn and becoming part of Chadwick and Webster’s wand. And of course, if that didn’t happen, I guess we’re meant to believe that Ilvermorny would have been destroyed, so a bit of a prophecy included that comes true. I thought it was a cool little piece that got included there.

Eric: Absolutely.

Selina: I do think it’s sort of a recurring theme. I can’t decide if I like the symmetry or if I think it’s too heavy-handed, that the Gaunts are just continually confused by love. They just do not understand. [laughs] Gormlaith is… she has the same fall as Voldemort because she ultimately doesn’t… she underestimates the power of love, right?

Andrew: Yeah. I like that element of how they can’t…

Micah: Well, actually, she underestimates it first. Voldemort should have not made the same mistake as her.

Eric: Well, she didn’t… oh, yeah. I mean, I don’t know how much…

Micah: If he knew history. Clearly he did not study in Binns’s class.

[Andrew laughs]

Selina: No, he did not pay attention.

Eric: He clearly did not, yeah. I also will say that she didn’t hear anything that… the girls were infants. It’s the scream of the infants that wakes the mother and father, the terrified scream due to the destruction that’s at that point… it was in the yard; now it’s in the castle. But she had never heard the story of the young… nobody tells tales about the daughters yet because they’re just infants, so Gormlaith didn’t actually know that there was anyone else in the castle at the time, so there is that. I’m not trying to give her credit.

Micah: Well, she knew the daughters were there. She didn’t know that Chadwick and Webster were there.

Eric: No, she heard about Chadwick and Webster. I thought it was the children she didn’t know about, or else she would have put them to sleep.

Micah and Selina: No.

Micah: It’s the reverse.

Eric: Okay. All right. Well, I’ll go with you.

Micah: That’s why she was surprised when they came outside.

Eric: Right, and she is trying to discern who their parents were, or…

Micah: Yeah, because her whole purpose is to kidnap her nieces.

Eric: You’re right. You’re right.

Micah: Well, I guess… her grandnieces? Is that what they would be?

Eric: Yeah, she wants to start over with the two girls. You’re right; I was completely off. It’s essentially the story… history’s going to repeat itself. She wants to take the girls back to Hag’s Glen and raise them in her own image, the same way she did Isolt. So that’s actually kind of cool, but terrifying and sad if she were to have been successful.

Selina: All right, so what happens next?

Eric: Well, Chadwick and Webster give her a run for her money, but her Dark magic ends up pretty closely matching them, a little bit more. But there’s a moment where she’s about to kill James in what I imagine to be the bedroom, and Isolt, just not really knowing what she’s saying, shouts out, “William!” and William the Pukwudgie… Andrew and Selina on the windowsill appear and shoot arrows, or one arrow…

Selina: Yes, we do!

[Andrew and Selina laugh]

Eric: … one arrow into Gormlaith’s cold, dead heart.

Andrew: He has Katniss helping us too.

Selina: Of course. We’ve all been practicing.

Eric: [laughs] Katniss is in Pukwudgie. And Gormlaith dies.

Andrew: Peace out.

Selina: Yay! The witch is dead.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: She died much like Bellatrix. I don’t know if you caught that.

Eric: She did in the movie.

Selina: Yeah, she exploded into smoke.

Andrew: [laughs] Now that’s finally justified.

[Eric and Selina laugh]

Andrew: Oh, that is canon. Okay.

Eric: Well, that’s what makes it interesting because what is… the story goes into an unusual sense of detail here by saying that the venom in William’s arrow reacts negatively with curses, particular curses that were used to prolong Gormlaith’s invulnerability or her life. Essentially, Gormlaith was a precursor to Voldemort in many ways, who had used Dark magic to extend her life or protect herself from death, and she just… nobody suspected or prepared for the foreign venom of the Pukwudgie arrow.

Selina: America!

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: [toughly] ‘Merica!

Andrew: [sings] America, F yeah!

[Selina laughs]

Eric: Yeah, so Gormlaith dies. Her Ollivander store-bought wand just bursts open and the day is saved. And it actually, I think, brings about an interesting change in the family. From that moment on, the girls who grow up… talking about the girls for a moment, Martha and… what would we say, Rionach? [pronounces the “ch” like “sh”]

Selina: Rionach, I think? [doesn’t pronounce the “ch” at all]

Andrew: Rionach. [pronounces the “ch” like “ck”]

Eric: Let’s say Rionach. [doesn’t pronounce the “ch” at all] Martha and Rionach. The story of Gormlaith Gaunt ends up just impacting everyone, I think, and they grow up kind of in fear of repeating that kind of malice. Martha, who it turns out is a Squib, marries a friend of hers from the Pocumtuc tribe, and Rionach, who teaches Defense Against the Dark Arts eventually at Ilvermorny, decides to never marry; presumably it’s a conscious decision to not further the line.

Selina: Yeah, and see, I was expecting a totally different reason she didn’t marry, and I was like, “Really, Jo?” [laughs]

[Andrew sighs]

Eric: Which were you expecting?

Selina: Well, I thought she was going to be a lesbian or something, and I was like, “Aw, that’s so cool.” And then it turned out she just literally didn’t want to marry.

Andrew: [laughs] She didn’t marry because she was a lesbian.

Eric: So the rumor is she could speak Parseltongue, and I guess given all the drama that had happened in her family, she saw it essentially as bad blood and decided not to marry or further the line. And actually, I think the story implies they would have or could have snubbed out the Gaunt line, had there not been more back in England. They would have essentially stopped Slytherin’s lineage from existing in the world entirely. And in fact, along those lines, Slytherin’s wand has a resting place, which absolutely 100% must come into play at some point in a story that she writes…

Selina: I hope not.

Eric: … within the next three or four hundred years of wizarding history. Slytherin’s wand is buried on the grounds of Ilvermorny, turns into a snakewood bush of indescribable species, whatever, comes up from the ground, grows, eventually produces, I guess, leaves with magical healing properties. But Slytherin’s wand remains inactive and is buried underneath this tree, or becomes this tree of sorts.

Selina: Oh, well, there you go, guys. This is how it all ties together because the next Harry Potter play is all about the characters going to America to find Slytherin’s wand.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Wow.

Eric: Is it Harry Potter and the Cursed Bush?

[Everyone laughs]

Selina: Exactly that title.

Andrew: I do think that’s really cool, though, how this wand is essentially a seed for a tree.

Selina: It’s like the Merlin story, isn’t it?

Andrew: Yeah, I don’t know much about that, but I trust you do.

Selina: Okay.

Andrew: [laughs] It kind of just shows you how the wand is very much a part of the earth. It’s based on what it’s made from. We always hear the ingredients that are in a wand, so yeah, I don’t know. I think it’s beautiful that it’s like a seed.

Micah: And I like how she said the best part of Slytherin seemed to have migrated to America, given the fact that, as Eric mentioned, this tree seems to have certain medicinal properties and be able to heal.

Eric: It’s also in its docile state that it does this, which is very interesting. So you have a wand that I would typically equate to an Elder Wand, right? It’s this badass wand; you can teach it to sleep so that your enemies can’t get a hold of it, all this cool stuff. But it ends up being rendered sort of moot in a really cool way. It still has the magic, the good benefits, as you said, but it’s not being sought after. I think it’s probably a well-kept secret what is at the heart of, the root of, that bush.

Andrew: Yeah. So let’s talk about the kiddies then, the children, what they went on to be.

Eric: Yeah, so as we mentioned, Martha was a Squib, which that’s actually really sad for me. I was thinking oh man, because Isolt is the product of two pure-blood families, James being a Muggle, they have two daughters to their own of their blood, and one of them is a Squib. And really, the saddest part is not that she can’t do magic, but that she’s raised in a wizarding school.

Selina: I know. That would suck.

Eric: It’s the Argus Filch. I feel bad for Filch while reading about Martha. There’s just this disconnect; she doesn’t feel like she’s fully part of the wizarding world, despite all her family. And she marries a No-Maj, and doesn’t necessarily move away the way Webster does, but is just forever one step away, at arm’s length, I guess. And that’s just sad when you hear about growing up in Ilvermorny not being able to learn magic.

Andrew: Yeah, that would totally suck. It’s like being at the party and just being the person who’s left out of all the fun.

Eric: Yeah. I mean, but then again, Rionach doesn’t have a happy life, either, necessarily. I mean, well, actually, let’s not equate whether a person’s life was happier or not based on whether they married. I guess that’s flawed.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: But she does have that determination to not further the line, which is no small thing. So she decides to die alone, I guess. Maybe we’ll find out more later. Webster, riffing off of his success at defeating or helping to defeat Gaunty – can we call her? – becomes an Auror for hire, and he actually returns to London and has a happy, prosperous life and family. He’s actually said to be repatriating a particularly Dark wizard of unknown name back to London and meets his wife and marries and eventually has children who have children who have children who have children who, 20 generations later, have Terry Boot, presumably.

Andrew: Okay. Little connection there. Good.

Selina: Yay, a tie-in.

Eric: A little connection. And Chadwick, then, the other child, is the author of Chadwick’s Charms, Volumes 1-7, which are standard texts at Ilvermorny. He marries a Mexican healer, Josefina Calderon, and the Calderon-Boot family remains one of wizarding America’s most prominent today.

Main Discussion: Ilvermorny today

Andrew: All right, so now we get to Ilvermorny today. This was the final section in Pottermore’s and J.K. Rowling’s big breakdown of it. The Sorting process… so there’s no Sorting Hat like there is at Hogwarts. To quote J.K. Rowling’s writing here, here’s how it happens at Ilvermorny: “While the rest of the school watches from the circular balcony overhead, new students file into the round entrance hall. They stand around the walls and, one by one, are called to stand on the symbol of the Gordian Knot set into the middle of the stone floor. In silence the school then waits for the enchanted carvings to react. If the Horned Serpent wants the student, the crystal set into its forehead will light up. If the Wampus wants the student, it roars. The Thunderbird signifies its approval by beating its wings, and the Pukwudgie will raise its arrow into the air.” Selina and I both experienced that; it was very exciting.

Selina: We did.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: I like this Sorting a lot. I think it has a very epic feel to it.

Micah: It’s a lot cooler.

Andrew and Eric: Yeah.

Selina: It’s better than having a voice in your head trying to argue with you about where you should go.

Eric: [laughs] I argue with myself all the time, yeah. I don’t need a hat I’m wearing to argue back.

Micah: I mean, there’s something that will always be unique about Hogwarts…

Andrew: Of course.

Micah: … but I just think that this process, at least to me, seems a lot cooler than having a dusty old hat put on your head.

Andrew and Selina: Yeah.

Andrew: And I could really visualize this in my head when I was reading this part of it. It just seems like something that, who knows, could maybe show up in Fantastic Beasts at some point, the movies.

Eric: Oh, yeah, that would be definitely interesting. The other thing that seems to happen, and maybe this is just Jo covering her bases because she introduced outside of the books the idea of Hatstalls; Pottermore exclusively talked about Hatstalls first, and then she went back and said, “McGonagall was a Hatstall,” and, “Hermione was almost a Hatstall,” and all this other stuff. Hatstalls! But so in this backstory, she actually talks about more than one House claiming a student, or we’re saying that… it might be covering your bases, or it might be that this just happens more often at Ilvermorny. I think the text’s a little ambiguous there.

Andrew: Well, based on the fact that people are taking this quiz – like Selina – and getting different Houses each time. [laughs] Maybe that all adds up now.

[Selina laughs]

Eric: Yeah, so it’s possible that it’s more common for people to be picked for more than one House. It’s their choice if that happens.

Selina: I just think it’s a bad quiz. I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Jo. Please forgive us. [laughs]

Andrew: Well, I will give you that you should get the same answer every time you take it, every time you personally take it.

Selina: Yeah, and I mean, but you’re never going to get that with an online quiz. And I think that’s why something like Hogwarts feels so more real to us, because we literally have online quizzes, we have every single character in Hogwarts making up the canvas of what that House stands for – well, not really so much for Hufflepuff and Slytherin; we’re really stereotyped. But for Gryffindor and Ravenclaw both, you have like, oh my God, this huge selection of people that tell you, “Okay, it’s about something deeper inside of you.” Here it’s literally just like, “Oh, what House are you going to be today?” If I answer “I am the strongest when I’m awake,” I get this House. [laughs] I don’t know. Yeah, I need a book. I need a book. That’s my answer.

Eric: I wonder if… and the only way this is going to probably really work is once the Fantastic Beasts movies come out, plural, and we start meeting American wizards and maybe in passing finding out what Houses we are in, they will begin to embody our understanding of each of those Houses.

Selina: Yeah, yeah, I think so.

Eric: I mean, to a certain extent, the story does attempt to say that the Houses take on the qualities of their founders; Webster, Chadwick, James, and Isolt. Each have their own House and their personalities leak into them. But I think the story is too short to really be able to gain much out of it in terms of what that means.

Andrew: So as we mentioned earlier, once a decade a student is placed in all four Houses, and here comes a Fantastic Beasts movie connection…

[Selina gasps]

Andrew: Seraphina Picquery, president of MACUSA from 1920 to 1928; she is one of those people who was Sorted into all four Houses. Now she, as I just said, is the President of MACUSA during the movie, and we’ve seen her in the trailer already, so that’ll be interesting. I guess she’s a very unique type of person if she’s Sorted into all four Houses. [laughs] Is she like a Hermione? She’s just very skilled? Can do anything?

Micah: Could be.

Eric: I have a feeling that we will be getting a lot of story on Seraphina, if not in the films, then a backstory on Pottermore.

Selina: Well, that’s actually interesting, because she’s the Minister – or the President, the President of Magic – until 1928, and the first Fantastic Beasts movie takes place in 1926, so something happens.

Andrew: Is it 1926? Or is it a couple of years earlier? I thought it was…

Selina: I just read it to be 1926, but I just went to Wikipedia.

Eric: You know what, though? That’s eight years. Maybe they have four-year terms, like in the US.

Selina: Maybe, yeah, but then maybe we’ll see a new Minister or President of Magic.

Eric: I wonder.

Andrew: Yeah, well, based on what’s happening in Fantastic Beasts, she is going to be getting involved because of this leak because of Muggles finding out about magic, so she could potentially step down on her own or she could get thrown out.

Eric: Be deposed, or yeah, thrown out. I think this is the second or third time that Pottermore has mentioned Seraphina, though; she was mentioned in the last piece on magic in North America, in terms of… I think it’s Magic in 1920s North America is the segment, but her origin is explained a little bit. She’s from Savannah; I assume that’s Savannah, Georgia. She becomes president, and we’ve seen her in all the trailers and stuff. So I think she has a big role to play, because she’s popping up in all these different areas. I mean, she just sort of gets called out in this story, which is not about anybody that’s not the founder of Ilvermorny as being one of four Houses.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. And then couple other facts here about Ilvermorny: The students don’t receive the wands until after they are Sorted, which is interesting. That differs from Hogwarts. The robes are blue and cranberry. Now, someone reminded me when I was at CinemaCon a couple months ago, they showed this Fantastic Beasts preview, and there’s this very quick glimpse of a group of what looked, to me, students, and they were wearing red. Now, I didn’t see any blue, so I’m still not sure if those were Ilvermorny students in that shot. But you know what? Come to think of it, now I’m thinking about it, I feel like they did have an emblem that looks like that Ilvermorny one that they released on Pottermore. Hmm. I think we’re going to see a group of Ilvermorny students.

Micah: Time for some more detective work.

[Andrew and Selina laugh]

Eric: We’ve got to go look at this, yeah. Bye, everybody.

Andrew: I think we’re going to see a group of Ilvermorny students in the film. I will make that prediction now. [laughs]

Eric: Oh, man.

Andrew: So my guess is if those were, the robes are cranberry and then underneath they’re blue, because they were wearing…

Eric: A blue inseam?

Micah: Because James likes cranberries or something like that, right?

Eric: Cranberry pie.

Selina: Yeah, pie.

Andrew: That’s so funny. That is so funny.

Micah: Yeah, you don’t need a better reason sometimes. It’s just… that’s enough.

Andrew: [laughs] That’s enough. “What should we color our robes? Well, I just had some cranberry hot pie; it tasted pretty good. Let’s do red.”

[Selina laughs]

Eric: “You’ve got cranberry pie on your nose; did you know? Just there.”

Selina: Or they made them blue and then he spilled cranberry pie all over himself, and they were like, “Oh, that looks nice.”

[Andrew and Selina laugh]

Eric: “That goes well together, yeah.” Not having had a formal art education among the four of them, they just thought it looked nice.

Andrew: That makes sense, sure. Why not? And then finally, Eric…

Eric: Yes, history time again. Pukwudgies continue to work at the school…

Andrew: We do.

Eric: … including one particular very old Pukwudgie, whose name is William.

Andrew: Oh.

Eric: Oh, and Andrew, I guess.

Andrew: Ignore me. I’m just being goofy; ignore me.

Eric: [laughs] There’s a Pukwudgie who on the anniversary of Isolt’s death polishes her statue and lays mayflowers at the bottom of it. I teared up while reading it the second time on Pottermore. And he laughs off the idea that he’s the original William, but is oddly defensive all things considered of Isolt’s statue. And to tie into the beauty that Jo can sometimes evoke in her writing, to me bookending the story with death – the death of Isolt’s parents and eventually the death of Isolt and James – William, who has been blessed with presumably an unnaturally long life, has witnessed his loved ones passing. Isolt and James, these amazing people, lived and died, right? Their school lives on, their majesty and accomplishments live on, but ultimately, William is shown grieving or paying tribute to the fallen. And so for all the Gormlaith Gaunts, for all the Gaunties out there who want to live forever, these great witches and wizards whose story we got did end up dying, and they’re gone now, and all we have is a statute to them. So I thought it was particularly evocative of Jo’s general message as in Harry Potter.

Micah: Well, and also bookending it with two Williams, right? So you had, as you mentioned, the death of William at the beginning, but also knowing that there’s still a William on the grounds of Ilvermorny in a way protecting his daughter, and I think that that was very well done. And who knows, I mean, it could be a descendant of a descendent of a descendant of William, and as time passes, it’s passed on from one to the other that they need to be protective and respectful of Isolt. But I like the idea that it is the original; it’s stated that we don’t know how long Pukwudgies live, so he could live hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years. But yeah, that’s what the writing of J.K. Rowling… when I was talking about earlier how this felt very much like one of her stories, it’s things like that that she’s able to weave in there that just harken back to when she was writing the Potter series.

Andrew: Yeah. And that is Ilvermorny, ladies and gentlemen.

Selina: Yay.

Andrew: Eric, thank you for leading us through storytime.

Eric: Oh, yeah. You’re welcome. Please return the pillows to the back of the class before walking out the door.

[Andrew and Selina laugh]

Andrew: No, I peed myself. I peed on the pillow during the scarier moments. Sorry.

Eric: Oh, damn, Andrew. Not again.

Micah: Convenient.

Listener feedback

Andrew: [laughs] Convenient. So on Patreon we asked our supporters a question, getting back to the Houses and the Sorting. I wanted to know in what ways people’s Ilvermorny Houses and Hogwarts Houses collectively reflect them, and do you see why J.K. Rowling assigned you these two Houses in particular?

Eric: That’s a good question.

Andrew: Because a lot of people… the biggest question, as Eric hinted at earlier, is that a lot of people were desperately looking for the Hogwarts/Ilvermorny connections, so I’m just going to read… we got a ton of responses, and thank you to everybody who submitted; it was fun to read all these. And patrons can continue to read all them, but I’m just going to read the first few here. Helen said, “I’m a Ravenclaw, and I’ve always been quite geeky and bookish, but I am also a pharmacist, so the healer side of Pukwudgie fits too.” I think that’s beautiful. I mean, that is a great connection for you. [laughs]

Eric: Pretty good.

Andrew: I’m certainly not a healer in any way, so I’m confused by my Pukwudgie-ness.

[Selina laughs]

Andrew: Jennifer says,

“I am Slytherin and Thunderbird. I know I am ambitious and can be manipulative and slow to trust, so I identify with Slytherin a lot. I didn’t think of myself as adventurous, but someone online said Thunderbirds make decisions based on experience and that makes sense. I’m a physicist, and if I need to go on an adventure to get the data I need to make an informed decision, then that is what I will do. I’m mostly waiting until the movie comes out to see what new info on the Houses we will have by then.”

Elizabeth says,

“I am a Hufflepuff and Thunderbird. I can see why I am Hufflepuff; I am laid-back, a hard worker, and loyal. However, I’m still a bit confused about Thunderbird. I never really considered myself to be adventurous. Maybe just in my daydreams, haha.”

Selina: That’s cute.

Andrew: Yeah. And one more here, or two more. This is from Chase: “I landed Gryffindor on my Hogwarts Sorting and Pukwudgie on my Ilvermorny. Initially, I was a little upset. Let’s be honest; Wampus just sounded so cool.” Okay, Chase.

Eric: [laughs] It’s described as being an unkillable beast; it’s pretty cool.

Andrew: [laughs] Oh, well, that is cool, yeah.

“But after reading all the available lore Jo has provided thus far, I’m more in love with my Ilvermorny Sorting than my original Hogwarts. Everyone knows the story of Gryffindor by now, so I’ll spare the details and characters’ traits, but I see a lot of the same characteristics in Pukwudgie: courageous, caring, kind, to name a few. But the hidden ‘Don’t mess with us’ traits Pukwudgies carry is what really sold me on the House. I’ve always felt I was a little too cold-blooded, so to speak, to be a true Gryffindor, but with Pukwudgie and my apparent school-legal poisonous darts, it totally fits.”

Andrew: [laughs] “School-legal.”

Selina: And that’s where I feel like the connection between the stuff you show and your inner life, like why you act the way you do, sort of comes in and makes the two schools’ Sortings go so well together, is because what you… say you’re a Gryffindor, right? Hermione is a Gryffindor, Harry is a Gryffindor, Neville is a Gryffindor; these are all people, if we were fantasy Sorting them, we would probably Sort them into Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff and maybe Slytherin for Harry. But because they were all Sorted into Gryffindor, they come to be defined by their bravery, and this is like, “But why are you brave?”

Eric: Right.

Selina: Are you brave for your…? Are you the person who is guided by your body, or are you guided by your soul or your need for intellect or your kindness? And you can still be a Gryffindor.

Eric: Yeah, yeah. Well, you have those anomalies, too, like Peter Pettigrew, who’s Gryffindor, and it’s like, “Well, how does that work? Is there more to it?” So there’s a post on Tumblr I want to read here real quick by TheConsultingDramaQueen. This was being shared around on Tumblr a lot, and I happened to come across it, even though I’m rarely on Tumblr. But it says – this is also just sort of a theory – but it’s,

“Hogwarts Houses are chosen based on traits you consider important and value beyond yourself (so Hermione thinks bravery is more important than ‘books and cleverness.’) That’s because the founders wanted to see those values in others. On the other hand, the characters of the Ilvermorny founders ‘leaked into the Houses,’ so it seems to divide along the lines of how you define yourself and what tools you prefer to use in your own approach to life.”

So under that theory, Horned Serpent means “I am defined by what I think,” which is scholars and mind; Wampus is “I’m defined by what I do,” warriors and body; Thunderbird, “I’m defined by my experiences,” adventurer, soul; and Pukwudgie, “I’m defined by what I feel (or maybe love),” healers, heart. I thought that was very interesting.

Selina: That works very well, yeah. That works for me.

Micah: Well…

Selina: I do want to shout-out, though… oh, go on.

Micah: Well, I mean, I just don’t want to crap all over people’s thoughts and theories…

Andrew: But here I go.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: But here I go. No, and I mean it in a good way. But if we just look at it from a story standpoint, if you go back to Hogwarts, it seems like it was founded by four of the most intelligent and powerful witches and wizards of their day, right? There’s almost an elitist touch to it. Versus going to Ilvermorny, you have somebody who’s of pure blood in Isolt, but then you have a No-Maj in James, and then you have two kids in Webster and Chadwick.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: So how they come about the Houses – Chadwick goes with Thunderbird, Webster with Wampus, Isolt with the Horned Serpent, and James with the Pukwudgie – I’m not sure there’s as much in-depth thought that’s been provided to these Houses than, say, back at Hogwarts with the four that were created by the founders.

Eric: I think that’s fair. I mean, Chadwick just thinks that the Wampus is cool, right? So there’s that.

Selina: But that’s why I think they… I mean, when she says, “It is said that they correlate,” it’s not like that is actual fact that they are the body and the mind and the soul, etc. But I do like that thing that Eric just read out; I feel like that’s what we all want to believe, and it kind of goes along with we all kind of also, I think, assign more importance to Hogwarts Sorting than we know there really is, because again, you mentioned Pettigrew, and we know that some people are literally able to choose their own House. And we know that people change when they get older, and they might… was it Dumbledore who said he might have been Sorted differently? So I feel like… I mean, we all sort of say, “I am a Gryffindor!” but really, it’s maybe because we wish we were a Gryffindor. And I think that speaks a lot to Sorting in general; it’s more like what you feel like you are as opposed to what you actually are. But what I was going to say earlier is just that I feel like I should shout out… we have on Hypable – it comes up every once in a while, but maybe we can link it in this – I think it was Katie, did a quiz called “Your hybrid Hogwarts House,” which I always loved because it’s like, rather than saying, “I have to fit myself into this very square little box,” you go, “Well, what is my…?” You always overlap. You always say, “Well, I’m a Gryffindor, but I also see myself being in Hufflepuff or Slytherin or Ravenclaw,” etc. And it’s a very good quiz, a very detailed quiz, and you find the two Houses that reflect you and I think that’s a lot more balanced. And it kind of reminds me of what’s going on here, when you have a Hogwarts House and an Ilvermorny House, and together they define what you are.

Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. Now we have to create a quiz that combines hybrid Hogwarts and hybrid Ilvermorny.

Selina: [laughs] I’m a Thunderpuff.

Eric: Well, you know what? I will shout-out my infographic, then, because I thought that the Hogwarts Houses and Ilvermorny Houses might overlap if they were turned at a 45 degree… turned sideways a little bit, so if an Ilvermorny House could equal two Hogwarts Houses. And this was just a theory, so I sketched something down real quick, wrote it on paper, and it turns out a longtime friend of the show, Jen Levine – who we’ve known for a decade now – actually made an infographic in PowerPoint, which I really like and shared over on MuggleCast, so check that out. It’s not official. Actually, it’s quite flawed based on everybody getting Thunderbird or Pukwudgie.

[Selina laughs]

Eric: But it was a lot of fun to think about, and that was really just looking back over the last weeks; between this story airing and us recording the MuggleCast about it, what I will remember most fondly is just how excited everyone was, and how this sparked great discussion and had a lot of fun things. I’m still collecting data on my poll; maybe I’ll share that on Google. It’s a Google form. It asks what House do you most identify with at Hogwarts, what House do you second most identify with in Hogwarts, and what House were you Sorted into in Ilvermorny?

Selina: Oh, nice.

Eric: And it’s just, again, it’s guessing if there’s… what traits are matching up? And that’s so… we’re just trying to… I have an MIT graduate doing the data crunching, the number crunching…

[Andrew and Selina laugh]

Eric: … so results to be concluded, let’s just say that. But I’ll link it in the show notes. But let’s just… it’s this cool idea that somehow affects how we define what we are, think about defining what we are, based on this not complete information on this fictional wizard school, but it’s sort of what we do.

Selina: Yeah. I just wish there was a better quiz. With everyone doing all this work instead of being like, “I am a Thunderbird, therefore…” and I’m like, “Yeah, but are you really?”

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: No, yeah, I don’t know.

Andrew: Remember, it’s just for fun. This is just fun…

Selina: What? No! What, are you kidding me? [laughs]

Andrew: … and I think we shouldn’t take it too seriously.

Selina: 296 episodes in and you say we shouldn’t take this too seriously?

[Andrew and Selina laugh]

Eric: Remember “No theory is safe”? [laughs]

Andrew: Well, and to get back to Selina’s point earlier, I think, Selina, you said that no quiz could get this right, no matter who did it. I think you could create a quiz that actually got this right every time you took it; same answer.

Selina: I agree, I agree. I just wanted a longer more in-depth quiz, basically. I would probably trust it more than seven questions.

Micah: The only way to get it right is to go to Ilvermorny and get Sorted.

Andrew: Let’s find it. I’m sure Massachusetts’s tourism board is already figuring out how to make some money off of this. Couple of comments from patrons who are listening live: Ryan says he loved your infographic, Eric; he thought it was the best comparison between the two schools he’s seen so far, so there you go.

Eric: Thanks, dude.

Andrew: And Nicole points out – [laughs] getting back to the annoying part of this quiz – she says, “I’ve been watching YouTube videos of people taking the Sorting quiz, and it seems that there are different versions of the quiz. Some of them had questions I didn’t have when taking it.”

Selina: There was actually… I think it’s… I don’t know where it is, but you can Google it. There is a quiz somewhere that has all the questions, and I don’t know how they determine the answers, but I guess they cracked the code or whatever. So you can actually take the complete quiz, which maybe gives you a more accurate result. I got Wampus on that one.

Andrew: Oh.

Eric: Yeah, HP Wikia has all the questions published – I know that much – and screenshot images of the questions. Also, somebody was claiming that they got the same questions, answered the same way, and got different Houses, and that just destroys all of my hope.

Selina: Ohh.

Eric: That destroys everything that I ever think was sacred about Pottermore.

Selina: Right.

Eric: It was always a question, right, Andrew, when you pointed out that it could be a conspiracy that everyone was getting even amounts on Pottermore with the first Hogwarts Sorting quiz.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: I began… I think that it would be very scandalous if this Ilvermorny thing we’re doing… not the same thing, but again, what does it all mean if they’re not applicable? Why would you introduce the Sorting quiz with the story, giving all the traits, and if they are applicable, then why aren’t we getting more even quantities or…? It’s just very confusing. We live in a time of confusion.

[Andrew and Selina laugh]

Selina: So uncertain!

Andrew: We have an email here before we wrap up the show. This is from Meron; she says,

“I’ve been a long time listener to MuggleCast! You all are absolutely amazing, and listening to your podcast almost seems as if I’m listening to three or more of my closest friends talking about the topic I love the most! I just wanted to share a few thoughts I had while reading Jo’s new story on Pottermore about the history of Ilvermorny. First of all, sorry for being the one who relates everything to the Disney universe, but I was definitely feeling some serious Rapunzel vibes throughout Isolt’s story. The two stories obviously don’t match up completely, but Isolt was kidnapped and raised by her terrifying aunt who valued her only for her pure-blood ancestry, just as Rapunzel was kidnapped by a woman who valued her only because of her beautiful hair. Also, a way for Isolt to distance herself from her aunt was to cut off her hair, which gives a portrayal of how Rapunzel and her kidnapper’s connection would have been broken. I also admire the fact that Isolt’s story is the quintessential story of reaching the American Dream. Isolt starts off as a poor, young child who constantly lives in the shadow of her traumatic past and is chained to a woman that uses and manipulates her; however, it is her own hunger for freedom that pushes her to take the risk of immigrating to a country that she has no clue about at such a young age in search of a better life and to bravely fight through a large number of obstacles to achieve her own sense of comfort and belonging and success. Isolt’s story is a story which many Americans have shared and will continue to share for many years to come.”

Andrew: [laughs] She includes the hashtag here “#Don’tVoteForTrump.”

“It’s great to see that Jo was able to include that sense of the American Dream into her story of Ilvermorny School.”

This is a beautiful email. So on point. I hadn’t thought of this angle before reading this, so thank you, Meron. And do you guys see the Rapunzel part better now? Because weren’t we talking about that earlier? Somebody said Rapunzel.

Eric: Yeah, I’ve got to look at the… yeah, it’s her aunt who kidnaps her and takes her way to exclusion. I’ve got to read the original. I know exactly who I’m going to ask about this as soon as we get off the call about the original fairy tale and how it may or may not have been distilled into Disney’s Tangled. [laughs] Or was it DreamWorks’s Tangled?

Andrew: No, it was Disney.

Eric: Because that I’ve seen more recently, but that aunt in that movie is how I sort of picture Gormlaith.

Andrew: Isolt wanted to #MakeHerLifeGreatAgain, by going to America.

[Andrew and Selina laugh]

Eric: God. No, definitely. I think it’s a good email, and want to thank Meron, and all our listeners for continually being…

Andrew: Smart.

Eric: … and on Patreon, too, continually being… yeah, finding connections and posting about them and sharing them with each other.

Andrew: Yeah. So that’s what we got for today’s episode, a whole Ilvermorny episode. We will be back later this month to talk about some other news that’s been going on, and I’m sure we will have more to say about Ilvermorny. And our plan right now is early August we’ll probably do Cursed Child. Obviously, there’s going to be a lot to talk about with the Cursed Child once everybody gets their hands on it; it comes out later this month.

Selina: Eh, I’m done talking about it.

[Andrew and Selina laugh]

Andrew: We’ve been talking about it a lot, haven’t we? No, there’s going to be so much more to talk about. Eric and I, by the way, will be at GeekyCon in Orlando for their Cursed Child midnight release party, and we’ll be doing probably a couple panels there as well. You can go to for more details. It’s July 29-31.

Eric: Oh, next week I will be at Leviosa; it’s a Harry Potter con. It’s actually this week, now that it’s Sunday. The end of this week; I think it’s Thursday through Sunday. Check that out if you’re in the Las Vegas area, or it’s just a three hour drive from Los Angeles. Andrew, come to Leviosa.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: It’s a Harry Potter con, and for me it’s personal because it’s the 10th anniversary of Lumos, which was I guess MuggleCast’s first live podcast at a con.

Micah: Yeah, I was going to say, we did one before that.

Eric: We did one before, yeah, it’s fairly notable; you may have remembered that. But no, the first convention that MuggleCast went to, and the first convention I went to. So it’s 10 years and it’s in Vegas, so that’s pretty cool.

Andrew: Yeah, same for me. That was my first time flying. And in honor of the 10th anniversary, I’ll admit this for the first time: first time having a drink of alcohol.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Very exciting.

Micah: You can say that now, Andrew,

Andrew: [laughs] I’m comfortable coming out with that.

Eric: I think MuggleCast had its own resident bartender, if I’m remembering correctly.

Andrew: Maybe, maybe.

Eric: Yeah, but it was a good time, though. It was really wonderful, and excited to be back in Vegas this week, so come to Leviosa, and if not, come to GeekyCon.

Andrew: Right. Very excited for everybody to read Cursed Child, by the way. I can’t wait to get everybody’s thoughts. We’ve been getting some feedback from people who are seeing the play; some people did agree with us, so there was that. And we will… one thing we got on the last episode; people were saying, “Well, why didn’t you have more people who actually saw the play on the last episode?”

Selina: Yeah, Andrew. [laughs]

Andrew: Well, it was a recording… it was a scheduling issue. We wanted to get it out as soon as possible. Maybe we should have waited.

Selina: Yeah, yeah…

Eric: But check the Hype episode, right?

Selina: Thanks, Eric. I was just going to say, actually, I was thinking about it… I was like, “Well, why didn’t you have us on?” but then I was listening to your episode and actually I really enjoyed hearing Eric and Micah react to the story because I think that’s how a lot of people will get to experience it. I know that it’s hard to judge the story in isolation, but unfortunately, that is how the majority of the Harry Potter fandom will judge the story, so I thought it was fair. And also, that way, you’re the MuggleCast spoiler episode, and Hype’s spoiler episode sort of stand apart because Hype, the’s podcast Hype, had only people who had seen the play on it. Myself, Donya, what’s her face… what’s her name…

Andrew: [laughs] What’s her face.

Selina: Katie! [laughs] Katie and Kyle were all on it…

Andrew: And all saw it.

Selina: … and had a discussion that complemented… we all saw it, yeah, so that sort of complemented yours, and they sort of…

Eric: Selina, did I tell you that Donya brought me a button? She brought me a “Keep the Secrets” button?

Selina: Did she?

Andrew: Aww.

Selina: Well, too late for that. [laughs]

Eric: I know, I know. But she probably…

Selina: You feel unworthy of the button?

Eric: Kind of. I saw her at IndyPop the weekend after, and she got me the button and I wanted to cry, and then I was like, “I don’t deserve this.” And I just kept going back to Andrew’s tweet, which was amazing, where he said the button blew up in his face because of the curse or the magic.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Selina: I have like, three in my drawer, and I’m ashamed when I look at them.

Eric: I know, I know. But it’s… [laughs]

Andrew: We want to… what was I going to say? Oh, a few of us, including Eric and I think Selina, too – and Maroma; she wrote a piece on Hypable this past week about it – it’s becoming more and more apparent, in several of our opinions, that “Keep the Secrets,” that campaign is more about not letting the spoilers get out because it will turn people off from the story. It’s not so much like, “Oh, the fans need to… they can’t hear what’s going to happen.” They don’t want people to know what’s going to happen because it’ll probably… it could affect book sales.

Selina: Well, they need enough people to see the play live so that when the story comes out, if people don’t like it, enough people can say, “No, no, but the play is amazing.”

Andrew: Right.

Selina: Because it literally is amazing, so they’ll have that army of people ready to support the production, and that’s why this play is in preview for seven weeks. I mean, that’s a long time.

Eric: And this is – I’m starting to countdown now from time of recording – four weeks exactly until the book comes out.

Selina: Dun-dun-dun.

Andrew: I’m excited.

Selina: Me too.

Eric: I do want to read it, yeah.

Andrew: No spoilers, but I started working on something for Hypable that I’ve never done before. It’s something that I’ve never written before.

Selina: Uh-oh, I’m excited.

Andrew: Oh, I’ll just say it: I’m writing a fanfiction. [laughs]

Selina: Oh, yeah! [laughs] This is so cool.

Eric: This is going to be like Andrew’s wizard rock single. Can you debut it on MuggleCast?

Andrew: Yeah, maybe I’ll do a live reading here on…

Selina: You should do a live reading.

Micah: I thought you were going to say you’re writing an article.

[Andrew and Selina laugh]

Andrew: No, no, I’m writing a work of fanfiction. I don’t know how it’s… it’s going to be really bad; I just know that from the start.

Selina: It’s going to be so good, you guys.

Andrew: It’s going to be a little sexy.

Micah: Well, if it’s bad, that definitely means it’ll be good, because that’s generally how that stuff works.

Andrew: [laughs] Micah, you just insulted the whole fanfiction community.

Eric: Yeah, let’s quit while we’re ahead on this, guys.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: But the reason I’m writing it is because something doesn’t happen in the play that I wish did, so I’m making that happen now.

Eric: Oh, you may or may not have mentioned that on our spoiler episode, so there’s that.

Andrew: Yes, you probably know what I’m talking about if you listened to our spoiler episode.

Eric: I support it. I think that’s good. I think that’ll be great.

Andrew: Okay. [laughs] So it’s going to be an interesting time on the Internet once this book comes out, I think that’s for sure.

Eric: It’s an interesting time on the Internet now. It’s such an interesting time to be a Harry Potter fan….

Andrew: It is interesting.

Eric: … and to start seeing content like this coming out, and other Sorting quizzes. No Patronus quizzes, but another Sorting quiz. Some answers about what North America has been doing in the wizarding world. And this is something that… it’s an avalanche leading into November.

Andrew: Exactly. That puts a nice bow on it. Before we wrap up, just want to do another quick plug for our Patreon; like I said, this is the final month to sign up before we close off… the opportunity is going to close at the end of this month, so pledge within the next few weeks if you would like to receive a brand new MuggleCast shirt. We released the designs a few weeks ago, and we’re really proud of them and we can’t wait to wear them ourselves. And you’ll also get lots of other benefits, including vlogs and bonus material and access to show notes, and you can listen live like several people are doing this morning to our recording, and a whole lot more, including chapter readings and whatnot. So thanks, everybody, for their support there. Selina, thanks for coming on. Really appreciate it. We love you. You know that.

Selina: Thanks for having me. Aw, I love you guys too.

Andrew: And don’t forget, Selina is over… she does Hype Podcast, and you can listen to all their Cursed Child thoughts if you want to do that.

Selina: Yes, we have a spoiler one and the spoiler-free one, just like MuggleCast.

Andrew: Perfect, perfect. And I think that’s it, so thank you, everybody, for listening, and we’ll see you next time. Bye!

Eric, Micah, and Selina: Bye.