Transcript #306

Transcript for MuggleCast Episode #306, Ariana the Obscurus?

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 306. Happy December, everybody. Micah, Eric, and I are here this week to talk Fantastic Beasts and J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World with you. How are you guys?

Eric Scull: Good. It’s always like coming home, taking off our jacket, and cuddling up into bed when we record.

Andrew: That’s what we did when we recorded in person in November last month.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: That’s true. I do miss you guys. Now that we’ve done that, I don’t think we can ever truly comfortably go back to separate sides of the continent type recording.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Let’s only do MuggleCast when we’re together now. [laughs]

Andrew: Recording those in person was a lot of fun; it’s too bad we can’t do that all the time. I was wired on coffee. We were just…

Micah: There was a lot of coffee.

Eric: I just kept giving you coffee. That was all it was.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: I was very tired from the night before. Today, we’re going to have a main discussion. Do you guys remember those? Main discussions?

Eric: Whoa, takes me back.

Andrew: Where we focus on a particular subject, because we have so much to talk about regarding Fantastic Beasts, and I think that’s what we’ll be doing in the weeks ahead. We’re going to be talking about the Obscurus.

Eric: Oooh.

Andrew: Arguably the biggest thing introduced to us by J.K. Rowling, the Obscurus. Very interestingly, J.K. Rowling has had that word around for a while, and we’re going to talk about that. This was sneaky like that.

Micah: Isn’t that part of…? What’s great about this, though, is the fact that we do have the opportunity now to look back on probably close to, what, 20 years of content and other things that are out there that we probably just glazed over. But it’s clear that J.K. Rowling had ideas that we clearly didn’t know about, but the clues are there.

Eric: Oh, yeah, she snuck ’em in. Yeah, right under our noses the whole time, which is true J.K. Rowling fashion.

Micah: I was just going to say, one of the other good things about being able to record this way is that our patrons are able to listen to us live. They’ve missed us. I’ve seen actual comments that say that they’re happy that we are now back doing it this way, as much fun as it was to record in person.

Andrew: Yeah. I also want to say thank you to everybody who listened to our last episode; that was our spoiler-filled episode, number 305. That was our biggest episode in years.

Eric: Oh, yeah.

Andrew: I hadn’t even thought about… it was very surprising, but in a good way. I think a lot of people may have been searching iTunes, for example, to find some Harry Potter podcasts to listen to after seeing the movie, because there was so much to talk about. So thank you to everybody who listens, and welcome to any new listeners; I’m sure we have a few people who are going to start listening regularly now after maybe discovering us through our November episode, so it’s really great to be here with everybody going through… [laughs] we’re going to be going through a lot in the months and years ahead.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: So before we do that, though, just a little announcement for our patrons; these are people who support us at with either $2 pledges or $5 pledges. We will be hosting a holiday party later this month; we’re going to be doing something live on Google Hangouts, I believe, or YouTube or something, so stay tuned to that. We want to hang out with everybody online, and we’ll get everybody involved in a chat of some sort. Maybe a video chat. We’ll see. But we just want to thank all of our supporters, because after all, it is thanks to those people on Patreon that we’re doing two episodes a month.

Eric: Yeah, and this was the year that we launched our Patreon, so… I mean, our podcast has been around since 2005, but this was the year that we finally said, “Well, let’s give this a try,” and it’s been hugely successful. We’ve met a lot of really cool people who are proud to support us, and we’re proud to have them, and it’s just our way of saying thanks for a great year.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Micah: Absolutely. And Andrew, you mentioned all the potential new listeners that are finding out about MuggleCast, and I know a lot of them like to go back and listen to older episodes, and I thought it was just important to briefly mention that there’s a little snafu with some of our older episodes, for people who are looking to go back and enjoy the very early days of the show, and we’re working to resolve it as quickly as possible. I know I saw a couple of people tweeting about that, so just hold tight, and we’ll let people know as soon as it’s resolved.

Eric: Yeah, if you’re on the MuggleCast website trying to click players on the first half of our episodes, they’re down; but we’re fixing them.

Andrew: Yeah. By the way, thanks to India for pointing out that iTunes currently right now on their podcast homepage, in their podcast store, they have a “For Harry Potter fans” section, and we’re one of the shows featured in there.

Eric: Ooh! Well, we’d better be. We’re Steve Jobs-approved. [laughs]

Andrew: I’m not sure why we’re last in the list, but…

Eric: I think chronology, because we were the first, right? It’s chronological. It’s got to be.

Andrew: Yeah, maybe. There you go.

Eric: [laughs] We’re Steve Jobs-approved, after all.

Andrew: Right, right.


Andrew: Anyway, so let’s talk a little news. We’re going to spread out some of the recent news over this episode and the next episode. Plus, there was some other news that we spoke about after Fantastic Beasts came out, and we recorded some bonus stuff on Patreon, so if you want to hear our thoughts on things like the confirmation of how Graves – or sorry, how Grindelwald – transformed into Graves for so long, we spoke about that. The producer revealed how that happened, so we spoke about that on Patreon. But this was really cute; are you guys Hamilton fans?

Eric: I very much respect Lin-Manuel Miranda and his great talent. The show itself is cool, but I just could never get tickets, so I haven’t seen it yet. But yes, I like Hamilton quite a lot.

Andrew: He’s fantastic on Twitter. He’s just very inspirational; I love following him. I’m not a Hamilton fan yet, but he’s great. He’s just very in touch with his followers and pop culture. So he was doing a list earlier this week, the “POP CULTURE EVENTS FROM WHICH I HAVE STILL NOT RECOVERED, MANY YEARS LATER.”

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: And one of them was this moment, this line from Half-Blood Prince: “‘I am not worried, Harry,’ said Dumbledore, his voice a little stronger despite the freezing water. ‘I am with you.'” And J.K. Rowling took notice of this – I think they follow each other on Twitter – and J.K. Rowling replied, “Cannot tell you what this means (from you), because this moment is one of my very favorites. Always feel Half-Blood Prince gets overshadowed by Deathly Hallows.” And then Lin-Manuel replied, Half-Blood Prince is my favorite precisely because of this reprise of Dumbledore’s ‘You are with me’ at the beginning. You’re deadly with a reprise, Maestro.”

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: Yeah, this back and forth is really genius, like everything Lin does. Like you were saying, Andrew, very inspirational, very good feeling, very intelligent… and he’s a Harry Potter fan, which is great.

Andrew: Right. And the reason I wanted to talk about it was I thought it was interesting to hear J.K. Rowling say that she thinks Half-Blood Prince gets overshadowed by Deathly Hallows. Do we agree with her?

[Eric splutters]

Micah: Eric is guilty of that because he doesn’t like Deathly Hallows. [laughs]

Eric: No. No, I don’t. But yeah, what do you guys think? Are you guys guilty of overshadowing Half-Blood Prince by raving about Deathly Hallows? I don’t think so.

Micah: No, I don’t think so, either. Maybe she just means in the sense that it’s the final book, but I do think that so much can be taken out of Half-Blood Prince. And actually, one of my favorite characters is really introduced in that book, and that’s Horace Slughorn, who I have a feeling may make an appearance in one of – if not more than one of – the Fantastic Beasts films…

Eric: Oh, I hope so.

Micah: … particularly because of his tie to Tom Riddle, so I don’t feel that way. I actually really like Half-Blood Prince, I would say more so than Deathly Hallows.

Andrew: Yeah. I do think it has gotten overshadowed because of Deathly Hallows being the final one, but as I wrote in the article on Hypable, Half-Blood Prince is very important because so much happens that… this moment that they spoke about on Twitter, I mean, that was Dumbledore passing the torch to Harry.

Eric: Oh, yeah. You have the very important death of a mentor as the book concludes, but you also have not only the setup with the Horcruxes, we find out what’s going on for the first time, the amazing memory sequences… it’s also the last book that has a chance to be fun and happy before they go camping, before they’re really, really up against it, up against the world alone. So yeah, Half-Blood Prince… I guess I can guess what J.K. Rowling was saying, but I think critically, a lot of people would probably enjoy or say that they enjoy reading Half-Blood more.

Andrew: Yeah. India, who’s listening live via Patreon right now, she points out Jo has also said before that she considers Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows to be two halves of the same book. I do remember J.K. Rowling saying that.

Micah: Interesting.

Eric: That’s even weirder when you factor in that they split the last book into two films. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah. I love the Half-Blood Prince movie, too. I need to reread that one, that book. It’s been a while.

Eric: It’s a good one.

Andrew: Anyway, so that was cool. Always love hearing J.K. Rowling reflect on her own books, the Harry Potter ones especially.

Eric: Yeah, I agree too. That was a good tweet.

Andrew: Here’s some exciting news for those of us in the United States: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is officially coming to Broadway in spring 2018.

Eric: Ooh!

Andrew: The producers are working with the Lyric Theatre, which is currently home to Cirque… Cirque Du… Cirque… Cirque Du Soleil.

Micah: Cirque Du Soleil.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: You got there eventually.

Andrew: Cirque Du Soleil Paramour show, not to be confused with Paramore the band.

Eric: Oh, it’s not like, a Cirque du Soleil and Paramore together combined…? Okay.

Andrew: No. That would be cool. I would probably go see that.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, so we don’t know when tickets are going to go on sale. I would assume if it’s spring 2018, then by the end of next year they’ll probably be on sale. Because the UK tickets, that show opened in June for previews, and tickets went on sale in October or November the previous year, so hopefully we’ll get that. Hopefully tickets will be on sale by this time next year. I know a lot of people will be anxious to make sure they get tickets, because it’s going to be hard.

Eric: The interesting thing about this story for me is that they’re actually renovating the theater that it’s going to be in, completely… what’s the word? I’m reading and quoting Hypable. The theater owner “plans a multi-million dollar renovation to completely transform, remodel, and reconfigure the 1,900 seat theater and turn it into a scaled down, more intimate playhouse, with approximately 1,500 seats.” They’re basically building the theater, renovating… multi-millions of dollars are going into this to customize it to the specifications of the director and the producer of the Cursed Child, which is crazy if you think about it.

Micah: That’s smart. Well, it may just not have the ability to contain magic, so it needs to be upgraded.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: Well, at first I thought… well, yeah, that’s exactly it. And I’m sure this thing happens more often in New York than is publicized; you just gut theaters, add more seats… or actually, in this case, taking away seats, though. They’re taking it from 1,900 down to 1,500. And at first I was like, “Oh, great, so even fewer Americans can see this play.” But then I looked up the current theater, which is the Palace Theatre in London, and that only seats 1,400. So even after the renovations at this theater in New York, the American theater, which holds 1,500 people, will be bigger than the one in London, so at least then it’s okay. But yeah, just all of these renovations they’re planning to make it a specifically, a particularly good home for the play will be exciting. And I wonder if they won’t in fact add new elements to the play. Maybe they’ll try and get the owl back, Andrew, or something…

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Micah: They’d better.

Eric: … to try and make the play, I don’t know, a little different or special. It just seems like they’re really in the whole customization route with this play.

Andrew: Well, I mean, this theater, I’m sure, is willing to do anything to get the Cursed Child, because once you get the Cursed Child, you’re set for like, a decade at least.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: Well, that was going to be one thing that I said, though, is that I’m sure whatever money that they’re putting into the renovations they will easily make back by hosting the Cursed Child, and I think, Andrew, that’s what you were alluding to there. But one other question that popped into my mind in seeing this story is does that mean that the Cursed Child will stop its performances over in the UK as of this time? And how does that work from a casting standpoint? Because are they planning to completely recast it here in the US?

Andrew: Yeah, I’ve seen people ask this a lot. First of all, I don’t think the UK cast is going to be coming over here, because by spring 2018, they’re going to be… they could be gone from the play. I mean, actors normally don’t last too long on plays, because they’re doing it night after night, and it’s just mentally… I mean, I’m not a theater expert, but I know it’s a lot of work to do this night after night. Plus, the Cursed Child is not leaving the Palace Theatre on London’s West End anytime soon; it’s staying there. So these two shows, I think, are going to be running simultaneously. I think it will be an all-new cast; that seems pretty… unless one of these actors really wants to move to New York [laughs] and is up for doing a bunch more shows.

Eric: Well, right, like Richard Griffiths and Dan Radcliffe did for Equus.

Andrew: Right, but a limited time thing. In the case of the Cursed Child, the plans are for it to obviously be there for a very long time. So I kind of hate to bring this up, but are they going to make Hermione white again? [laughs] And is that going to be a whole big thing?

Eric: Oh, God. I don’t know.

Andrew: And is Harry going to become Black? [laughs] It’ll be a big deal whoever they cast. I mean, I guess presumably, they’re going to use British actors.

Eric: I would hope so. Well, there are enough British actors working in New York and LA, though, these days.

Andrew: Maybe Dan Radcliffe will do it.

Eric: I hope so.

Andrew: [laughs] Can you imagine?

Eric: By 2018 he’ll be what, 31? 32-ish?

Andrew: I don’t know how old he is. I think he’s a little younger than me. He might be 27.

Eric: Maybe playing 36, though. Yeah, he could do it.

Andrew: Anyway, it’s great news because people here in the US really want to see it, but getting over to the UK is obviously a little difficult. And as we’ve spoken about before, as a script, the show just doesn’t come off that great, but it really is great to see. Eric and Micah, I’m surprised you two haven’t tried to go and see it.

Micah: In London?

Eric: Flights. Just going to blame flights. My broomstick broke.

Andrew: Flights are actually pretty cheap right now, thanks to Brexit.

Eric: [laughs] Well, I will say this, I will make effort to see it when it’s in New York. It’s a lot easier for me to get to New York from here.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: And I have, multiple times. I saw DanRad in How to Succeed, I saw it again when Darren Criss did it, and I saw Rupert Grint in a play with Matthew Broderick. So yeah, I mean, New York is definitely a lot easier to get to for me. And Micah, I can’t imagine you would say differently.

Micah: Yeah, it’s a challenge for me to get to New York, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to see it.

Eric: [laughs] From Long Island?

Micah: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew: I’ll definitely see it once it… I mean, I’ll try to get tickets just like… we’ll all try to get tickets. We’ll go together. We’ll record in person again.

Micah: We’ll get tickets. I’m not worried about it.

Eric: Are we going to be Wormtaily? Are we going to release spoilers the night before?

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: Wormtaily is back for revenge.

Eric: “Keep the secrets again.”

Andrew: [laughs] Spoiling it two years later. So we’ll keep everybody posted on that. I just wanted to also note – this is a minor thing – for those of you in the Los Angeles area, Wizarding World of Harry Potter; they’re now serving hot butterbeer. This is something I’ve been…

Eric: Did you get some?

Andrew: No, because parking is still $18, and I still don’t love it. [laughs]

Eric: Oh my God, Andrew, how long have we been talking to you about this? Hot butterbeer, it’s the best butterbeer there is. You still don’t have it?

Andrew: Practically smell it from my rooftop.

Micah: Maybe it’s just a little too warm still out in LA, right?

Eric: [laughs] That’s what it is.

Andrew: No, it’s been cooler. But yeah, so they added it recently. I am excited to try it. They also, about a week ago, got rid of the 3-D in Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

Eric: Wait, what?

Micah: How does that work? Isn’t that part of the ride?

Andrew: How does that work? Well…

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: So here’s what happened: So Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey in Orlando was not 3-D.

Eric: Right.

Andrew: But for whatever reason for the Hollywood park, they decided to make that one 3-D. I guess they just thought it’d be cooler or something. Well, a lot of people, myself included, do not like it in 3-D. I find the ride nauseating without the 3-D in Orlando. So you try it here in Hollywood, and you have to wear these glasses which darken the images that you’re supposed to be looking at, so the videos look like crap. The 3-D is not good. You’re being thrown all around while you’re in these 3-D environments, and that’s nauseating. The past couple of times I’ve been on it, I just go through it with my eyes closed. It’s not fun. So I think they got a lot of feedback about it, and yeah, they got rid of the 3-D, which is weird. And I guess they’re kind of transitioning it right now trying to make it look better in 2-D.

Eric: That is very interesting. I mean, because the Forbidden Journey… I thought they made it in 3-D in California, because it was sort of a compromise because they didn’t have Escape from Gringotts, which is 3-D in Florida. But I mean, the other thing about Forbidden Journey is there’s real life 3-D things, right? A Dementor, a spider that actually come out at you, right? Do they still have that in California?

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, all that’s there, the physical stuff.

Eric: So it’s weird to have both digital 3-D and real 3-D elements that are coming out at you. It would have been kind of weird to see it under your glasses, like you’re saying.

Micah: And doesn’t the…? Is it the Dementor or the spider that spit water on you?

Eric: The spiders, right?

Andrew: Is it still there? Yeah, I think so. I don’t go on it. I don’t like the ride. [laughs]

Eric: Well, yeah, it’s just a shame because that is the only… is that the only ride? Or do they have the hippogriff as well in California?

Andrew: They have the hippogriff ride, but that one is like, 20 seconds long.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: This is why I don’t go!

Micah: See, I don’t like that ride. That ride makes me nauseous.

Andrew: Oh, really?

Eric: Are you sure you don’t mean Dueling Dragons? Because that one…

Micah: No, no, I’ve never gone on the Dueling Dragons.

Eric: Well, that’s even worse.

Andrew: Anne – and I should explain this – Anne is saying in the livestream, “Andrew’s logic: ‘Go on a ride that makes me sick just to close my eyes during the whole ride.'”

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Here’s the thing: I’m peer pressured into going onto it. I have no choice. I’m there with people, so I’ve got to go on it. But there have been a couple of times where I just say, “I’ll sit this one out. You guys have fun.” [laughs]

Eric: “I’ll go through this single rider line.” Yeah, that’s the whole thing. The line experience, it’s still a good environment, right? When you go and get butterbeer – which Andrew doesn’t because of parking – it’s a great social thing.

Andrew: Yeah. Oh, it’s cool to hang out there. I’m going to try to go before I leave.

Eric: You’ve got to do it before they sell out. They’re going to sell out of hot butterbeer because it’s going to be the hit, because it’s so good.

Andrew: No, no.

Micah: Well, because you just mentioned it on the show. That’s clearly…

Andrew: Maybe I’ll go today.

Eric: You’ve got to race our listeners. [laughs]

Andrew: The other problem is the park closes at like, 6:00 p.m. most nights. They don’t even keep it open late, so it’s hard to get over there. Ugh. Anyway, let’s move on.

Micah: Look, you’ve got to make some changes over there, Andrew; they’re clearly not running a tight ship.

Andrew: They’re really not. [laughs]

Micah: They’re failing the wizarding world. But maybe this is something we can discuss at a later time on another episode, but just the general talk about the theme parks: I’m wondering when we can anticipate some sort of announcement about changes coming in. And I assume that they would be related to Orlando, not to LA, but I feel like it’s been a while since we’ve gotten really any news related to the theme park, and we know how big of a cash cow it is for Universal. I can’t imagine that they’re not going to look to continue to enhance, expand, and do some things that would continue to make people want to come down there and hold conventions there and do all sorts of things, so I’m anticipating a 2017 announcement of some kind.

Andrew: Okay, yeah. Well, we can talk about that on our next episode, because we are going to talk about what’s ahead for Harry Potter fans in 2017 in Episode 307, appropriately.

Eric: Our year in review.

Andrew: Yeah. Anyway, Eric, you have a story.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: You insisted we talk about this. Micah and I said no. But Eric wants to, so we’re going to make fun of him for it when he talks about it. Go ahead.

Eric: There is a… so if you follow J.K. Rowling on Twitter, which everybody but Micah used to do… and now Micah does, too, right? You follow her, right, Micah? Now?

Micah: I do, yeah.

Andrew: Finally.

Eric: It was a big thing. Okay. There was this tweet she replied to; basically, there’s this new species of spider which was discovered, and people who discovered it realized that it looks a lot like the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter. So the people who discovered it also have the… I mean, this is how it works in science and biology. You discover a new species, you get to name it. And my Latin nomenclature is a little rusty, so forgive me if I pronounce this wrong, but the new species of spider is called Eriovixia Gryffindori, Gryffindori being, of course, the nod to Harry Potter, because it was Godric Gryffindor’s Sorting Hat that this spider looks like in this photo. And so J.K. Rowling tweeted back to Curio Critters, @curiocritters on Twitter, saying that she was truly honored, and she congratulated them on discovering what she called “another fantastic beast.” And in emojis she pointed to a spider and did little magic stars next to it, and so she has decided that this spider, which is a real world thing, Eriovixia Gryffindori, is a fantastic beast.

Andrew: Okay, well, A., that’s not canon.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: I don’t care if she says it on Twitter. That doesn’t make it canon.

Eric: Of course it does!

Andrew: No, no. She was joking. And B., yeah, I guess the thing looks like a Sorting Hat, but if… I mean, good. They discovered a new creature. That’s great.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Eric, we’re not desperate for Harry Potter stories anymore. We’ve got Fantastic Beasts to talk about; we don’t need to talk about spiders that look like hats.

Eric: But you admit it looks like a hat. It looks like the Sorting Hat.

Andrew: From this angle, yes, it looks like a hat. From any other angle, it probably doesn’t.

Eric: I think they got a very good picture of it. And actually, so here’s a little bit of detail on the spider. This isn’t just an empty, filling time on the podcast news story, I swear it, okay? It says the reason this spider takes the shape of a magical hat is to camouflage itself to resemble a dried leaf during the daytime to protect itself from predators. So again, it’s more of this survival aspect thing, but it’s totally real, and the person who named it was a very fond Harry Potter fan growing up and said that he was very affected.

Andrew: [laughs] All right, well, and he caught the attention of J.K. Rowling, so that’s good.

Eric: Yeah, his name is Javed Ahmed, so good going, guy.

Micah: So if you want to see this spider in person, you can travel to India, and…

Eric: Yeah, Mumbai. It said somewhere in that area.

Micah: The Kans forest of Karnataka.

Eric: There you go.

Micah: That’s my only contribution to that story.

Andrew: Let’s move on.

Eric: Thank you, guys. I’m so… thank you for indulging me.

Andrew: Before recording, Micah was like, “I refuse to talk about this.”

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: And I held out for pretty much all but five seconds of that conversation.

Eric: You did great. Thank you so much.

Andrew: Give us something you want to talk about, Micah.

Main Discussion: Post-Fantastic Beasts theorizing

Micah: All right, well, speaking of Fantastic Beasts, we framed this week’s discussion similar to how we really used to theorize about different things. It really does kind of, as Eric said earlier, take us back to when we were talking about Half-Blood Prince, right? And that’s when the show really started, was following the release, I should say, of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Eric: Yeah, the first 100 episodes.

Micah: And a lot of discussion and theorizing went on as to the events that took place in that book, and then of course, what we could all expect in Deathly Hallows. So we know that this has been a big discussion point; we’ve seen a lot of articles and tweets and posts and all sorts of things come through about Ariana Dumbledore and whether or not she is an Obscurus, which was introduced to us in the first Fantastic Beasts film. And the quote was – I believe it’s from Newt – “an Obscurus creates an unstable, uncontrollable, dark force inside the child. Like a parasite, it would drain the child’s power, and ultimately, their life force.” And I think a lot of people naturally went to the conclusion upon hearing this, and upon learning about Credence in this film, that Ariana was in fact an Obscurus. And her story, at least what we know about it from Aberforth and from what we have in terms of passages from Deathly Hallows, seems to align. But we’ll jump into that, I’m sure, as well as what it means for the future – or technically, the past – in terms of the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald and what Ariana being an Obscurus could have meant to the falling out between the two of them, and ultimately, her death. So any initial thoughts there?

Andrew: Well, I do love that this is one of the elements that J.K. Rowling is sliding in slowly. I think that everybody is right; it just all lines up too perfectly. This could play into future Fantastic Beasts movies. We can… first of all, I think the phrase “Fantastic Beast” could very well relate to the Obscurus. An Obscurus is, in a way, a fantastic beast, so for people wondering, “Well, how could they keep calling it Fantastic Beasts?” That’s one way they could get away with it. But yeah, I think everybody’s right here, and I loved… one of my favorite elements of the movie was J.K. Rowling introducing this new form of magic that we in many ways have not heard about before, but we have; it’s just we didn’t know what the name of it was.

Micah: Right. And I like what you’re saying there in terms of the Obscurus being the fantastic beast, and really the first movie was about where to find it, and I wonder if that’s going to be the common thread that we see throughout the next several movies, if in fact the title holds true.

Eric: Yeah, I mean, there are multiple shades of… I mean, the title is not going to be just about one beast. But I like that the film – and I believe we said this when we were contemplating this for a little bit, when we were all together – was the film is about the beast within us. And in the Obscurus, you have this beast that grows and feeds like a parasite, and the fact that, or the possibility that, we already knew what the symptoms were in Ariana, without knowing the cause – now the cause has been revealed – is very exciting, and I think it will take the forefront. I think it’s very clear because of Grindelwald’s appearance in this film, and how big it was and how important it was that he was terrorizing Europe, as well as what the producers and directors have all said in interviews, that Dumbledore will become a major player. And it seems like it was always meant to happen this way, where Dumbledore has some personal stakes, and I think it’s very clear that J.K. Rowling is intending it to be Ariana.

Micah: Right. And so I think that if you look towards the quotes from Aberforth that we mentioned earlier, it gives a little bit of history in terms of what initially happened to Ariana, and then we can go from there.

Eric: Sure.

Micah: So the quote is, “When my sister was six years old, she was attacked by three Muggle boys. They’d seen her doing magic, spying through the back garden hedge. She was a kid, she couldn’t control it, no witch or wizard can at that age. What they saw scared them, I expect. They forced their way through the hedge, and when she couldn’t show them the trick, they got a bit carried away trying to stop the little freak doing it… It destroyed her, what they did: She was never right again. She wouldn’t use magic, but she couldn’t get rid of it; it turned inward and drove her mad, it exploded out of her when she couldn’t control it, and at times she was strange and dangerous. But mostly she was sweet and scared and harmless.”

Eric: Yeah, that’s very clear. [laughs] “Exploded out of her,” it “turned inward,” “she couldn’t use it, couldn’t get rid of it.” This sounds exactly like an Obscurus.

Andrew: It’s pretty close. It’s not right on the nose.

Micah: And we see in Credence there’s a real hesitancy on his part to use magic just given who his adoptive family is and what their feelings are towards the wizarding community, whereas with Ariana, I feel like she probably would have grown up to be a perfectly capable and able witch had this situation not occurred, and her interaction with these three Muggles just completely caused something to happen to her that she decided that she can no longer use magic. And I feel like this would be something very disturbing to see on screen if we actually go back and in time to see what was in fact done to her, because I know we’ve had conversations in prior episodes even about this particular situation and what we could compare it to in “the real world.” It has elements of rape; I think we’ve discussed that. And what’s happened to her is she’s internalizing everything that’s going on to the point where she can’t control her reactions to different things, and we know that one of these outbursts seemingly resulted in the death of her mother.

Eric: Yeah, and her father went crazy and basically attacked these Muggle boys. Mr. Dumbledore, Albus’s father, Albus and Aberforth and Ariana’s father, was put into Azkaban for basically revenge attacking these young boys for what they did to his daughter, and it’s very intense. I mean, this one incident that not only permanently disfigures Ariana and later causes her death, but leads to a firm dismembering of the Dumbledore family… it’s a huge event, and it seems to my mind now completely absurd that J.K. Rowling wouldn’t go into greater detail. The way that it’s presented in Book 7 is it’s a subplot, right? That Harry may not be able to trust Dumbledore, so this whole Dumbledore backstory is all about how Dumbledore was flawed and only human after all, and it’s color but there’s so much else in there you don’t get a lot of time to focus on it. With the Fantastic Beasts coming out, and it’s going to be about Grindelwald and Dumbledore and whatever Newt’s relationship is to the two of them, you have a lot of opportunity now to explore this story in greater detail, so I just think it’s really quite brilliant that she’s given us something that is very clearly… without directly stating, it is very clearly relating to those events, and it’s an absolute in for her to explain this and explore what happened between Dumbledore, Grindelwald, Ariana, the boys, their dad, everything, all in the course of the next couple films.

Micah: Right.

Andrew: When I… this line from Aberforth is interesting: “It destroyed her, what they did: She was never right again.” How can we put this in the context of Credence? Is this when…? At what point would this be in Credence’s timeline?

Micah: I think it’s his entire upbringing for him.

Eric: Yeah, the reason it’s not a specific moment in the film is because Credence is an exception in the film. His whole role is he’s an Obscurus, right? But he’s also an adult, and there are no adult Obscurials. There just aren’t. Newt says the other one that he met in Sudan was 10, and it was killing her. And it did kill her when he removed it, but she was dying. There are no children that survive this. And so it would have been Credence when he was much younger, whatever his… however soon or quickly he was able to be adopted into this non-wizard family, but I think it’s because of whatever happened to his mom, right? The lady – I’m forgetting her name – the crazy lady in Fantastic Beasts who was his adoptive mother talked about how his mother was a witch.

Andrew: Mary Lou.

Eric: Yeah, Mary Lou, thank you. And I think that it was a traumatic childhood event that caused him to basically deny who he was, but he somehow… just like Queenie is a superb Legilimens, Credence was so superb that this Obscurus didn’t kill him, and he was able to gain control over, which is something that no other Obscurus had ever done before. So I think it was young – to answer your question – a young Credence would have been very much the way Ariana was, having outbursts that can’t be contained.

Micah: I think it also depends, too, at what point – and they may say this in the movie and I’m just not remembering – that Credence was adopted, because to me what…

Andrew: Adopted by… well, Mary Lou, yeah, that’s not her actual son.

Micah: Right, that’s what I’m saying; when Mary Lou adopted Credence, and then Credence had to fall in line with the belief system, so that is when he really began to internalize a lot of what he was feeling and what he knew to be true about himself. I feel like in Ariana’s case, she was so young that it’s almost like it was forced upon her to internalize, and maybe it’s the memories she has of what took place at the hands of these three Muggle boys that keeps her magic in check, or maybe her magic was never even allowed to evolve properly the way it’s supposed to because of what was done to her. I think there’s probably varying degrees of Obscurials in terms of how they manifest themselves. I would think it depended upon the situations that they’re in, and I think that… and suppression of magic, I mean, I think there’s definite parallels to our world, let’s say, in terms of suppression of different things. So the fact that she sort of…

Eric: Especially during… going into World War II, right?

Micah: Absolutely.

Eric: I mean, especially suppression of Jewish, of homosexual, of all of that stuff that goes into the World War II Nazi regime. It’s a complete and utter parallel, I think, very intentional and timely in the way… even though it is the darker part of the movie, it’s extremely relevant and important and very interesting that Jo has found a way to make something completely her own, or that is a parallel that exists so firmly in the wizarding world that goes on along. And the interesting thing with me, though, or for me, is the Obscurial or Obscurus, as soon as Newt says it, right? He’s like, “I recognize the marks; it’s totally an Obscurus.” Everybody in that room, the entire International Confederation of Wizards that’s there, including Seraphina Picquery, is like, “That’s impossible. There hasn’t been an Obscurus in centuries.” And Newt does his job and says, “Oh, I saw one last week” or whatever, but they’re so shocked and surprised and in denial that… because we know that America in the 1920s is such a horrible place for wizards; they deny who they are, they hide in secret… I’m actually surprised Obscuruses aren’t more common. I think that that’s the question I would ask J.K. Rowling right now, is why aren’t they just completely more common? If you’re living in this horrible place that makes you deny who you are, why doesn’t it happen more often? That’s kind of my whole thing, but they…

Micah: I don’t think there’s a mass denial, though, of the wizarding community believing in who they are. I think that there are examples of situations in the case of Credence, where you have a young man who has been adopted by a woman who is crazier than a shithouse rat, to borrow a term from you, Eric, that you’ve used many times…

[Eric laughs]

Micah: … and so he’s forced into this situation where he has to truly hide who he is, and we know the result and how it plays itself out. And to tie it back to Ariana’s situation, I don’t think that we’re going to find that the relationship to Grindelwald for both Credence and Ariana are all that different. Who knows if the friendship that developed between Dumbledore and Grindelwald was ever really based in any sort of true friendship? Maybe it was just his desire for power and seeing what an Obscurus could do for him, or multiple Obscurials could do for him, in his quest for power. He found that in Ariana; now, how he comes to know about her existence, maybe it’s just by chance. Maybe it’s more than that. Maybe there’s other people out there who know about Ariana and her situation, but I tend to think that there’s definitely underlying motives here for Grindelwald, and it’s certainly a precursor, I believe, to why he goes in search of Credence in America.

Andrew and Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Michael, who’s listening live via Patreon right now, he agrees with you guys. He says, “It’s the biggest thing that doesn’t make sense, in my opinion,” regarding why aren’t there more Obscurials? “Why don’t we know about more of them? What about Muggle-borns who just are never found by the magical community? Wouldn’t they become Obscurials?” That’s a good point too.

Eric: Maybe.

Andrew: I mean, to play devil’s advocate, maybe J.K. Rowling [laughs] does have all this in mind, and she is going to tell us about the Obscurial community, I guess you could say. And maybe they got it more in control in the decades that followed the events of Fantastic Beasts.

Eric: Sure, especially after people die. The other thing is that J.K. Rowling has taken care to make sure that in the case of those Muggle-borns, right, it was proposed that maybe there’s just a bunch of Muggle-borns who were never found, but we know from Harry’s own experience getting his Hogwarts letter, the Hogwarts letter finds you. The wizarding world take great care to make sure that you are informed about who you are. Now, back in the ’40s, we know that Dumbledore has to go to Tom Riddle himself. Maybe it used to not be so easy with the owl post to go and inform wizards that they were wizards, but you still get the sense that they’re specifically trying to prevent a Muggle-born or somebody who’s not expected to have magic or who has no parents to tell them who and what they are. You kind of have to, otherwise something like this develops. So maybe that’s why you have the Hogwarts letter happening on your 11th birthday, because by then, surely you would have noticed some things were off. But it’s right when you’re ready to be taken in and then shown the way, so I don’t know. I don’t know if the timeline works out because if Obscuruses usually kill their hosts before age 10, then it’s usually a much bigger issue and the Hogwarts letter wouldn’t prevent that, so the math didn’t work out for me just then.

Andrew: Let’s read some feedback here from people. This is from… we asked people on Patreon. This was a question for patrons to contribute to this week’s episode. We said, “How could Ariana’s death/Dumbledore play into future Fantastic Beasts films as it pertains to Grindelwald?” Cody said, “For sure. With everything we know about Obscuruses now, plus the Grindelwald connection, I think it’s a very safe bet. Also, the reaction the International Confederation had when Newt told them that what killed Shaw was an Obscurus and how MACUSA handled Credence at the end of the movie shows why the Dumbledores would have wanted to keep Ariana’s condition a secret.”

Eric: That’s a good point, Cody. They reacted in fear and tried to kill it.

Andrew: So do we think in future Fantastic Beasts movies we’re going to jump back in time?

Eric: That’s the question, isn’t it? Because the question is whether or not Graves first learned about Obscuruses because of Ariana and maybe through his correspondence with Dumbledore, or whether that’s yet to happen. It’s so unclear to me what age Dumbledore was, what age Grindelwald was, when the events with Ariana occurred, or at least the initial inciting event. And then years later, of course, is a big confrontation where there’s… is it a duel? Dumbledore’s nose gets broken and Ariana dies? Or one of those happens at a funeral. Maybe at her funeral Dumbledore’s nose gets broken. I get the events all confused; I need to reread Deathly Hallows again. But it’s unclear to me whether or not J.K. Rowling is intending to still show maybe even the initial attack on Ariana, or whether… because I like to assume they were all children at the time, that it was an event in the past. But it’s sort of muddy what the timeline is, whether or not that’s what drove Graves to America, or whether it was something else. But I like to believe that it was Dumbledore…

Micah: Well, not Graves. Grindelwald.

Eric: Yeah, Grindelwald, sorry. Same thing. So Grindelwald discovered Ariana; obviously, she was too weak to be utilized, so he goes in search of another example and is like, “Oh, America is a really terrible place; I’m sure I’ll find somebody suppressing magic there because it’s so horrible.”

Micah: I don’t know if it’s a situation where she was too weak. I think that he tried to utilize her and that’s what resulted in the duel between Dumbledore and Grindelwald and Aberforth, and then there was that spell that hit her and killed her. I think that that’s where the falling out between these two ultimately begins. And so I think there is a chance that you go back in time and we get this moment shown to us; I don’t think you get the same effect in terms of a conversation that’s being had, let’s say between Dumbledore and Newt, where Newt learns about what’s happened to Dumbledore sister. Or perhaps Newt is already aware of this. I think another question to ask is how does Newt factor into this whole storyline? Because he clearly knows about Obscurials and what they are, and maybe Ariana is the first time that he really learns about what this “fantastic beast” really is. I mean, I wouldn’t classify… she’s a person, not a beast, so I think that’s a little weird to refer to her that way, but…

Andrew: Well, we’re going to talk about this in bonus MuggleCast today, actually, for patrons, because we found out this week that Newt’s brother was searching for Grindelwald, so that could explain how Newt is going to have a further role in this series.

Eric: But also, the beasts… you’re right, though, Micah, too, that there’s this inherent knowledge… Newt, it was recently said somewhere else, he’s the foremost authority on everything beasts; he’s the only one who cares enough about these beasts to be the first person… it’s even shown in this movie when Tina is like, “Oh, you’re writing a book? Is it to exterminate them? To kill them?” And he’s like, “No, it’s to protect them.” Newt is the first one who cares, so I think it’s his own passion that really ingratiates Dumbledore to him, or the other way around. Dumbledore, who knows a lot about being very unique and the unique aspects of the wizarding world – he’s discovered dragon’s blood, all this other stuff – is taken to Newt, and I think he includes Newt in some of his research. Much like he does Harry with the Horcruxes, I think he does Newt with either the situation with his sister or something like that. I think it’d be very interesting.

Micah: That’s a fair point. I think from a timing standpoint, though, we’re clearly past these events already having taken place, right?

Eric: It’s true.

Micah: Dumbledore is already working at Hogwarts. Grindelwald is already on the run as a major… I don’t know, convict.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: But also, to your point, maybe you’re right, though; maybe Dumbledore is the one who sends Newt to Africa to find this Obscurus. Maybe he’s developed sort of this passion to protect those that are like his sister was.

Eric: Maybe that’s why Newt gets kicked out of Hogwarts, is because he has to go on a secret mission to stop Grindelwald, and it’s just a convenient way to get him out of the public’s eye.

Micah: Maybe. It’s still clear that there was a creature involved and somebody died, right?

Eric: I bet it was Aragog. [laughs] Oh, wait, that hasn’t happened yet.

Micah: Aragog’s great-great-great-great-great grandfather.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: Well, no, it’s only like, 12 years difference, because 1940… wait, no. Wait, the events of the Chamber of Secrets will happen during the timespan of these Fantastic Beasts films. From what J.K. Rowling said, it will end with the confrontation between Dumbledore and Grindelwald in 1945, and the Chamber of Secrets was opened in 1942, so you’ll have Tom Riddle, young, blaming Hagrid for the opening of the Chamber of Secrets, and Aragog. And Aragog, by the way, came to Hagrid in the pocket of a traveler, which is totally going to be Newt, based on the quote from Chamber of Secrets. It’s totally going to be Newt, by the way.

Andrew: Yeah, I guess that adds up.

Eric: But yeah, it’s just so weird how tied in to the central…

Micah: A “traveler,” though; I mean, that’s a very generic way to, I guess, try and get away with it later on.

Andrew: It is.

Eric: Well, Newt is a traveler; he goes to safaris and he’s across the world. If Newt is anything, it’s a traveler.

Micah: I guess you’re right, then. I guess it’s not Aragog’s great-great-great-great-great… it could be his father, for all we know. I don’t know.

Eric: Yeah, yeah, totally. So I think that the Newt/Dumbledore stuff is… it’s going to be clear to us at all, I think, as a guess because of this Obscurus thing, the way that she really main-staged this thing which I believe very firmly is going on with Dumbledore’s sister. It’ll become clear that Newt was really centerstage the entire Harry Potter story; he had his hands in pies. He was the guy who gave Hagrid Aragog, he was the guy who helped Dumbledore with his sister and help defeat Grindelwald… Newt is sort of the hidden gem of the Harry Potter series, it’s going to turn out to be. [laughs]

Micah: Right. Well, and especially because… and I apologize, because I can’t remember who I saw tweet this, and I think it’s a really great thought and probably other people have come up with it as well, but that Fawkes could have been given to Dumbledore by Newt as well.

Eric: And we know Dumbledore has a very special connection with Fawkes. It’s almost telepathic.

Andrew: That would be very cool. That would be very cool if Newt gave him Fawkes. So we have some other feedback here, but I feel like we’ve said most of what people wanted to say, right? Was there anything in here in particular, Micah, that we should mention? Amber, Katy, Sophia, Lindsay, and Cullen all submitted some stuff…

Micah: Along with a bunch of other people.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, of course, but these were the people we were going to read. But I think everybody seems to be in agreement here that she is probably an Obscurus, and I see this playing into future Fantastic Beasts movies explaining why Dumbledore wants to fight Grindelwald. And then Newt will tie in there somehow as well in a way that is still to be seen.

Micah: Right.

Andrew: He could be, like, the ultimate controller of the Obscurus.

Eric: [laughs] The Obscurus whisperer.

Andrew: Yeah, or just being able to help contain them. I mean, we know he can contain one in a case.

Micah: And what did…? Somebody I saw J.K. Rowling respond to that an Obscurus is like a baby Dementor?

Eric: Oh, she loved that theory. It was crazy. Somebody just tweeted at her and was like, “Hey, friend of mine is thinking that a baby Dementor is an Obscurus,” and she was like, “I love this idea. Winky winky.”

Micah: [laughs] Winky winky?

Eric: I don’t think it was ever… yeah, she did two little winky face emojis.

Micah: Oh, okay.

Eric: I think. I’m looking for the tweet right now, but I can’t find it. But it was totally just like that.

Andrew: I would also like to see a flashback to the night of Ariana’s death because I think that’d be a great treat for Harry Potter fans.

Eric: Me too, but they’d have to get Jamie Campbell Bower to play young Grindelwald. You can’t have Johnny Depp play young Grindelwald. You’ve got to have Jamie.

Andrew: No, that’s true. Well, maybe they don’t get Jamie, but yes, I see your point. Maybe we shouldn’t have Johnny Depp do it. Two other interesting things worth talking about: So the original Fantastic Beasts book, it is “published,” quote unquote, it’s fictionally published by a book company publisher called Obscurus Books.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: So this “Obscurus” term has actually been around right in front of us since 2001, when J.K. Rowling originally published Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages.

Eric: I mean, boom, right? This is the epic boom of J.K. Rowling hiding something in plain sight, her brilliance at foreshadowing, at casting a fishing line so far into the past, and hooking us without knowing. It’s unbelievable.

Andrew: So you could be a Negative Nancy and be like, “Oh, she just… okay, she didn’t have the concept for an Obscurial/Obscurus set a decade ago, but she did come up with this word a decade ago, and she just found it and was like, ‘Oh, let me call it Obscurus.'” [laughs]

Eric: No, there’s very much a reason why Newt chooses that to be the name of his publishing company.

Andrew: Is it Newt’s publishing company? So that’s another question.

Eric: It’s got to be. Well, because otherwise… the thing is, it is kind of a dark name, right? It’s like naming your publishing company Horcrux Books. So when Hermione says, “Accio Horcrux books,” the publishing company gets ripped from its foundation in Diagon Alley, flies through Hermione’s dorm room, and into her magical purse. But yeah, it’s a dark word. It’s a dark term.

Micah: No, see, I would argue the opposite. I would say it would be a nod to Ariana, to Credence, to others that he’s come across, because these are kids. These are not kids with evil intent. I would almost see it as a way of honoring them.

Andrew: Yeah. That’s a great idea.

Eric: I like that a lot. But it is a dark creature, isn’t it? I mean, there’s a bad connotation.

Micah: Yeah, absolutely, but I’m trying to keep it positive.

Eric: Yeah. No, I absolutely love your idea.

Andrew: So and this Obscurus Books term/Obscurus has appeared in other areas as well. Friend of the show/always have to mention him, apparently, Cullen said that Obscurus Books is actually in Diagon Alley the theme park, too.

Eric: What?

Andrew: Yeah, there’s a sign that says it. I don’t have a picture, but he says it’s there. And from googling… I’m pretty sure it’s in one of those PlayStation games, like Book of Spells or something as well, so it’s a well known… and by the way, Obscurus Books is in Diagon Alley. It’s a shop in Diagon Alley, both the theme park and in canon. Obviously, if it’s in the theme park. But so if you google image search “Obscurus Books,” you’ll see shots of Diagon Alley from the PlayStation game. And yeah, the cover of Fantastic Beasts, the original cover where it says “Obscurus Books.” And by the way, the Obscurus Books logo – not that this may mean anything – but the “O” is replaced by a moon.

Eric: A half-moon.

Andrew: A half-moon. What does it mean?

Eric: Half-moon spectacles. It’s Dumbledore again.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Eric: Maybe this is what Leta Lestrange does after Hogwarts. She sells Newt’s books. She’s the main proprietor.

Micah: I think that this is… we’re going to have a lot of these types of discussions, I feel like, in the coming months, years even, as we learn more about this story, because I feel like a lot of this stuff is going to be tied back in that… and both of you touched on this earlier; it’s all been there underneath our nose, so to speak, for years, for decades. And J.K. Rowling has always been masterful at weaving it all together in a way that we’re still shocked, we’re still stunned, and that’s what makes us all so much fun, I think, too.

Andrew: Yeah, I mean, there’s so many elements like this – Obscurus, Leta, Grindelwald – so many things open-ended that she introduced in this movie, and yet it didn’t feel like it was just a setup movie. It felt very complete, I thought.

Eric: And nobody was asking about, “Oh, Obscurus Books, Newt’s publishing company.” Nobody was asking about that when… like, “That’s the one question I most want answered out of Harry Potter‘s seven books: What was Obscurus?” Nobody knew this. It was hidden in plain sight. We didn’t understand that these were the questions to ask. It’s crazy.

Andrew: Yeah. And then this is kind of unofficial confirmation about Ariana and the Obscurus…

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: … on December 1, Pottermore wrote a new piece about Ariana Dumbledore. Basically, it’s a recap of her history. It’s called “The Mysterious Life and Death of Ariana Dumbledore.” So this was published like, two weeks after Fantastic Beasts came out. It just… the timing to release this right after Fantastic Beasts comes out, after all the speculation online about Ariana being an Obscurus, it just seems to be Pottermore’s little wink at the community. They don’t mention an Obscurus in here, but they quote Aberforth, the quotes we read from Aberforth earlier in this episode. Yeah, it’s just basically a recap of Ariana, so that’s basically…

Micah: Unofficial confirmation.

Andrew: They’re watching. Yeah, they know what’s going on. [laughs]

Micah: And what’s really interesting is that throughout all the different comments that people have left, and tweets, I haven’t seen one person say the opposite or that they they don’t believe that this is true, or it’s just a red herring or anything like that. I’m sure there’s probably some people out there that think that way, but I’ve never seen such a strong consensus amongst Potter fans that this is definitely what we’re going to get, or what we’re going to learn, if not in the next film, definitely in future films.

Andrew: It matches up, and as of right now, there’s no reason not to think this is the case.

Eric: It’s just so funny because of the hints that were dropped. It’s finally reached a tipping point on this particular mystery. What other mysteries lay completely hidden in plain sight in Harry Potter, right, that she’s just going to pull…? She’s going to drop the shoe and we’re going to see, “Oh my God,” pull the curtain back and we’ll see. Just like my theory on Aragog and all this other stuff, I think that it’s in the text, it’s hidden. And just to get into conspiracy theory territory, we’re talking about Obscurus Books having a physical storefront or a sign pointing to it in the theme park, that J.K. Rowling… we know that she convinced Heyman and Yates to put Ariana Dumbledore and Aberforth even in Deathly Hallows – Part 2, that they could have easily been cut, because frankly, there’s a lot of stuff that gets cut when you adapt those books. But that they were still important enough to show… and I kind of feel like Ariana, who’s only in Deathly Hallows – Part 2 as a portrait for like, five seconds, is in that movie because that’s a story that was going to eventually get told one day, and that it mattered enough to be in that film so that it could be in future films. And J.K. Rowling has got to send notes to Stuart Craig and is like, “This is what you have to put in Diagon Alley, because it’s relevant to the greater wizarding world, these stories; not the stories we have told, but the stories that will be told,” that it’s all prepped for some massive future Harry Potter huge story that’s coming our way.

Andrew: [emotionally] It’s all so beautiful. Let’s start looking through Quidditch Through the Ages now. Figure out what we’re missing there.

Eric: [laughs] That’s the one where it’s just like, “Oh, what’s going to be relevant?”

Andrew: Katy says, “The only reason for me not to think it is that it would contradict Grindelwald’s belief that all Obscurials are 10 or younger,” in terms of Ariana being an Obscurial.

Eric: Well, she was that age.

Micah: Yeah, there was one person who made the comment, I think, that Ariana was slightly older. I think she was 14 when she died, if the math was correct.

Eric: She is a Dumbledore, though.

Micah: She is a Dumbledore. And we also know that Credence was above the age of 10 as well, and it’s possible. Let’s remember that in the case of somebody like Newt, he may not want to talk about Ariana. Maybe it’s information that he has, and he’s not going to say, “Oh, I knew another Obscurus that was older than she should have been.”

Eric: That’s true too.

Micah: But yeah, I mean, I think there’s probably some more to look into from a detail standpoint in terms of how old she would have been, but I think the other evidence is just so overwhelming that it’s possible that she was another exception to that rule of not really living past the age of 10.

Eric: I think it’s just like you’re saying, Micah, exactly what you’re saying about how, if it was told to Newt in confidence, and Newt would be the kind of person – because he’s a Hufflepuff and Hufflepuffs are loyal – to respect Dumbledore’s confidence and privacy even when talking about Obscurials because it’s relevant to what’s threatening all of America and the wizarding world. He still would protect that secrecy and not openly talk about that 14-year-old girl he just met.

Micah: Right, and I’m not entirely sure what her age was when she was killed. But I will say, to the point that… did you say it was Katy who made it? Yeah, the reaction by Graves/Grindelwald when he finds out that it’s Credence I think is one of complete shock. So that would go against the entire argument of him having experienced Ariana as an Obscurus at an older age, because if he’s in awe of seeing somebody like Credence, given how old he is, it’s almost like it’s something that he’s never seen before. So I don’t know if that completely undermines the entire discussion we just had for the last 30 or 40 minutes, but… [laughs]

Andrew: No, no.

Eric: Well, no, but I’ll also add, too, that it makes me think a lot of Aberforth too, because Aberforth really watched over Ariana a lot more than Albus ever did. And if her condition was as an Obscurial, Aberforth would also have crucial information regarding what that looks like, what that is like, how do you protect someone who is that way. Aberforth would have reason to like Newt as well and rely on Newt for information. So maybe there’s a bit of misdirection here on the part of Jo; maybe Aberforth has more of a role to play in the Newt Scamander storyline than Albus.

Andrew: Yeah. All right, well, let’s wrap it up here. I think we went very in-depth there. If anybody has any feedback to add, please email, or you can hit us up on Twitter with some thoughts. We’re always checking, we’re always participating in conversations with people on Twitter. It’s a lot of fun.

Eric: This was just like old times, guys. This was just like old times.

Andrew: Just like old times. Little fun thing here before we start to wrap up the show: We did a quiz on Hypable, “Which Fantastic Beasts creature are you?” It’s a fun quiz. We wanted to all take it for this week’s episode. It’ll ask you a couple serious questions, but it also asks you a couple of fun questions, like what is your ideal date?

Eric: And what’s the best wizarding school? [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, are you an extrovert or an introvert? All to try to figure out what Fantastic Beasts creature are you. Obviously, there are a lot of great ones in the movie, so we thought it’d be fun to identify with one. I got Swooping Evil.

Eric: Really?

Micah: Wow.

Eric: Is that rigged? Did you just want the coolest beast?

Andrew: [laughs] The description says, “You have quite a formidable reputation, but your beak is worse than your bite most of the time. You enjoy picking people’s brains, and though you have a poisonous side, you can also be quite soothing, and you can always be trusted in sticky situations.” I think that’s pretty accurate of me. I’m poisonous.

Eric: I like the way that’s written, actually, because it sees both sides of the beast. It’s really cool in that way.

Andrew: Yeah, Michal is a great writer. What did you guys get?

Eric: Micah?

Micah: Clearly, Eric wants to do some sort of big reveal here for himself.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Eric: Well, yeah, it is a big reveal. It’s a monumental gargantuan reveal.

Micah: I got the Demiguise, and what’s interesting is because I actually thought of that beast before I even took the quiz.

Andrew: Oh, that’s funny.

Micah: And it said, “You’re sensitive and empathetic, and you always trust your feelings, though you prefer not to be the center of attention. Some might even say you’re invisible. You’re sweet, thoughtful, and caring, and occasionally mischievous.”

Eric: That’s you to a tee, Micah. I don’t know if you feel that, but I feel that.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Thanks.

Eric: I think that’s great.

Andrew: And Eric, what is yours? Do we need a drumroll? I don’t have one.

Eric: No, we don’t need a drumroll. How about trumpeting? How about horns, large horns? Because I got the Erumpent.

Andrew: Aww.

Eric: I took it twice, so I know it’s not rigged. And here’s the description, though; this made me feel great. First of all, the Erumpent is wonderful; it’s a wonderful beast to get. The description, though, made me feel even better: “Passionate and friendly, you are a lover at heart. You are always seeking to make connections, though your eagerness to bond can sometimes push others away.” I’m thinking of Jacob running away with the helmet on. “But your big personality can be intimidating. Your generosity and inner glow means that you’re never lonely for very long.”

Andrew: Aw, that’s beautiful.

Eric: Right? Big personality. “Love me; I love you.” So I identify with the Erumpent.

Andrew: Okay.

Micah: Nice.

Eric: Which is impressive.

Andrew: So we’ll have a link in the show notes if anybody wants to take that quiz. It’s fun because we’re going to probably be seeing more of these beasts in the future movies, and maybe you need to figure out which one you should buy for yourself merchandise-wise.

Eric: Ooh, I’m going to get the Erumpent Funko.

Andrew: [laughs] They still only have the Niffler for now. I’m really surprised. I think we spoke about this; like, if this was Disney, they’d have a stuffed animal for every single creature already.

Eric: [laughs] Pastries as well at the Wizarding World.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: You need a Kowalski bakery.

Micah: That would sell big time.

Andrew: Oh yeah, I’d buy one of those, one of Jacob’s items. Loaves of bread in the form of a creature.

Eric: Delectable delights. Pastries, yeah.

Andrew: Okay, so one more thing here. We got an email; this is from Allie. She said she was so excited for the show and it did not disappoint. “I wanted to write in with my thoughts about Fantastic Beasts. I really wasn’t looking forward to it – the story seemed so unnecessary and the casting of Johnny Depp really irked me. However, I thought the movie was pretty adorable, for the most part. The cast in particular really sold it for me. I did have a major issue and that was the death of Credence. I was really stunned that this victim of abuse (who asks for help and never actually gets any) was murdered by the government. It was really horrifying, but I think the main problem was the lack of reaction. No one seems to feel bad about it, and Credence’s senseless death is never brought up after the fact. (I have read that he may have lived as shown by the bit of ash floating away, but still.) J.K. Rowling tells stories about abuse with a lot of sensitivity and thoughtfulness and I was really surprised by this one note element. This really took me out of the movie, and I wish more would have been made of Credence being killed.” What do you guys make of that?

Micah: It’s hard to say without knowing what the story is for the future. I think that all the points that Allie raised are definitely valid, especially the part that you have somebody who has been such a strong victim of abuse throughout the course of the movie, and even the story that probably precedes this, just given his upbringing and the fact that he has a mother who is completely anti-everything that defines him. I don’t really have an answer. I mean, I feel like that’s more a question that J.K. Rowling would have to answer. But I know we’ve talked about on prior episodes that sometimes things, they don’t work out the way that you’re anticipating that they should. I mean, I think that despite the film having this happy ending for Newt and Jacob and some of the others, it didn’t for Credence, and I think that it’s just a hard lesson for all of us to… not necessarily to learn, but this is also the midst of a wizarding war, and there are casualties, regardless of… or I should say, this is the precursor to a wizarding war, and there are going to be casualties. And it’s just unfortunate that everything that this person went through, he couldn’t necessarily get the help that he so needed before everything played itself out.

Eric: Yeah, and I think this ties in really well to J.K. Rowling’s philanthropic efforts with the charity Lumos as well.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Eric: There are children out there that need help, and so I think that’s actually why it is so dark and so devastating, is because it’s meant for us to reflect on, “Well, yeah, that Credence guy had a really tough break.” And they kill him, the government; no less than the government itself kills this kid and prevents him from breathing, because he was sick. He essentially had an illness that maybe could have been cured. There was hope for it from Newt. But on the bright side, I will stress that it is… can I say…? It is confirmed that Credence lived. There’s a deleted scene where he gets on a boat with Newt.

Andrew: We spoke about this on bonus MuggleCast. Right, they did shoot a scene of him going on a boat. I think one reason that they didn’t deal with it more is because he is going to be involved in the future. Now, yeah, you could argue that maybe J.K. Rowling should have given us more, because we’re supposed to believe that he was dead. But I guess on the other hand, maybe they just figured, “Well, let’s not focus too much on his death, because he really isn’t dead,” so they don’t want to do a fake-out. But I still see your point, Allie, that it was very sad, and there wasn’t… they just stepped away from it.

Eric: In the course of the film, the character is never memorialized at the end of it. They could have done a scene with Tina and Newt standing in front of the destroyed church with a little plaque, or a commemoration like “This was the scene where so-and-so lost their lives,” and “Credence, farewell, always in our hearts,” that kind of thing. But Ezra Miller is confirmed for the sequel, which should settle any and all disputes that the character comes back.

Micah: Yeah, but I think the point that Allie is trying to make runs a lot deeper than just whether or not the character is going to be the next film.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: But he wasn’t memorialized.

Micah: Right, and I think a lot of that, just from a film standpoint, has to deal with the fact that you get a massive reveal of Graves being Grindelwald literally seconds after Credence is killed. And I actually felt like, with respect to the movie, I didn’t know when it was going to end. There kept being these moments that just continued and continued and continued, and if I were to criticize the movie at all, that would be the one thing that I would say. I felt like it didn’t do a good job tying up the loose ends, and I think that this is definitely one of them. But Eric, to go back to your point earlier, I think when you were talking about the government, particularly as it relates to World War II and Nazi Germany, the fact that it did kill people, very much along the lines of what we see happen to Credence… and I think that there’s definite parallels here, and I think that you have a situation where somebody is the unfortunate victim of being stereotyped and it results in their death in this case. And that’s very much a major theme that runs through the history of the Second World War, and that’s the timeline that we’re going to be approaching, and I think this is the groundwork for that. So those are just… I mean, those are my thoughts, but I think Allie raises a lot of really good points.

Andrew: But what about the next movie, Micah?

Micah: What about it?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Speaking of the direct sequel to this movie, the second film… again, going over on J.K. Rowling’s Twitter, somebody begged her… it was the end of November; somebody was like, “I can’t go on without knowing more about Leta Lestrange.” She quoted the tweet and said, “Next film, I promise.”

Andrew: And we should maybe do a main discussion speculating about what’s going to be up with her, because that’s probably one of the things I’m most interested in, what’s going to happen with her.

Eric: Yeah, that’s a good idea.

Andrew: Did Newt love her? Give me more!

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Thank you, everybody, for listening. We are going to be doing a bonus MuggleCast right after we record this. We’re going to be talking about Newt’s brother; he might have a role in future Fantastic Beasts movies, because a new prop letter was discovered at a Fantastic Beasts exhibit, and there’s a letter from Theesus. T-H-E-S-E-U-S.

Eric: Theseus?

Andrew: To Newt, which reveals that he was searching for Grindelwald, and still might be, so we’re going to talk about the implications, what that means for… and why this letter exists in the first place. J.K. Rowling must have written it for the movie, so why does this exist? Was it going to be in the movie? We’re going to talk about it. It’s going to be super interesting, because I mean, this is… just when you thought you were done, you thought you speculated about everything, here’s something else.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: It’s just like old times!

Andrew: Yeah. So people who pledge $5 a month on Patreon will have access to that. By the way, our next goal will have us doing weekly episodes of MuggleCast – four episodes a month – so we would love your support to get us there. You will also receive signed album art for pledging, and other benefits, like access to the show notes, you’ll be able to stream the recordings as we’re live recording them… thank you to the patrons who tuned in today.

Eric: And chapter readings.

Andrew: And participating in discussion topics and listening to our book readings. We do a lot on And thank you; welcome again to new listeners. We really appreciate you tuning in, no matter how long you’ve been listening, and we’ll see everybody next time for Episode 307, in which we will recap the year and look at what’s ahead in 2017.

Eric: So much.

Andrew: I’m Andrew.

Eric: I’m Eric.

Micah: And I’m Micah.

Andrew: Bye, everyone.

Micah: Bye.

Eric: So long.