Transcript #551


MuggleCast 551 Transcript


Transcript for MuggleCast Episode #551, The Importance of Black Representation in Harry Potter (feat. Adriana Redding)

Show Intro

[Show music plays]

Andrew Sims: Welcome to MuggleCast, your weekly ride into the wizarding world fandom. I’m Andrew.

Eric Scull: I’m Eric.

Laura Tee: And I’m Laura.

Andrew: And on this week’s episode, we are discussing diversity in Harry Potter, specifically the lack of Black characters across the story in honor of Black History Month, and so we can recognize the importance of diversity in the stories that we consume, not just with Harry Potter, but elsewhere. And to help us with today’s discussion, we are joined by Adriana Redding. Hi, Adriana. Welcome to the show.

Adriana Redding: Hi, thanks for having me! I’m super excited.

Andrew: Awesome! Well, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Adriana: So my name is Adriana, but sometimes people on the Internet know me as @BibbidiBobbidi_Broke. I am a theme park blogger/influencer and I also may have been seen on Harry Potter: Tournament of Houses.

Andrew: We didn’t just see you; we saw you win!

Adriana: I won! [laughs]

Andrew: She was on team Hufflepuff. Such a fun show; we loved it. We were talking about it for a few weeks on the podcast. Let’s start with that. So what was that experience like? That must have been so cool.

Adriana: Oh my goodness. From the beginning, I was just super excited. There was a whole audition process and all those fun things to be on the show, and going through that took months. And when I made it… because we really didn’t know that we had made it onto the show until Helen Mirren called our name…

Andrew and Eric: Wow.

Adriana: … so that is a very real moment of seeing us react because, yeah, there was a potential 24 of us, and so we knew that 12 of us out of the 24 were going to make it and the other 12 weren’t. So we didn’t know until literally it happened live during the recording, and that excitement was a lot because we just saw the set and it was beautiful and it looked like a Hogwarts library. And the crowd was hyping; you were seeing everybody in your House colors and everybody just wanted to represent their Houses so well. And so to get called and to know that you’re about to represent your house in front of thousands if not millions of people on television, it’s a lofty thing to take on, but it was definitely fun.

Andrew: Yeah!

Eric: You did Hufflepuff House proud. Thank you so much.

Laura: Yes, you did.

Andrew: Eric is a Hufflepuff.

Adriana: I hope I did my House proud, so here is my little piece…

[Everyone gasps]

Adriana: … wow, ooh!

Andrew: She got a trophy! A real trophy.

Laura: That is so cool.

Adriana: So yeah, and it says on here… it has my name. It says Harry Potter: Tournament of Houses, Adriana Redding, Hufflepuff, Winter 2021. And this is exactly what the giant trophy that they show on TV, this is what it looks like. And then they did a spell on it and divided it into three equal pieces so me, Luke, and David can share…

[Everyone laughs]

Adriana: … and we all got our own little piece of the trophy.

Eric: I love it.

Andrew: That is amazing. Thank you for sharing all that. I thought of auditioning, but then I was thinking about what if I did… it was extremely unlikely, but let’s say I do get to compete on the show. If I failed answering some of the questions, I would be so embarrassed, so that alone stopped me from even thinking of auditioning. [laughs]

Adriana: So honestly, I’ve heard so many people say that, especially people who grew up with Harry, been a part of the fandom for 20 years; more than 20 years, because the books came out more than 20 years ago. But that’s what the show was celebrating, the 20-year anniversary of Philosopher’s Stone. And I think that for me personally, it was pressure because I was the newbie; I was the person who hadn’t grew up with Harry Potter

Laura: Ooh.

Adriana: … but I also didn’t feel that insane pressure like you felt, some of you. If I had a podcast that was solely about Harry Potter

Andrew: Exactly. [laughs]

Adriana: … I would say everybody would think that I know every single thing, and so I kind of felt like, “Oh, well, I don’t have that pressure. I have pressure because I have social media and people… I don’t want to go on this show and make a fool of myself.” But also, I was like, “I’m just going to go and have fun,” so I can totally understand you being like, “That would just be too much.”

[Adriana and Andrew laugh]

Andrew: No, your position makes a lot of sense being newer. So you mentioned that you are newer; how long ago did you get into Harry Potter?

Adriana: I watched Harry Potter when it first came out 20 years ago, yes, just like everybody. It was a big part of pop culture, but it never really stuck with me, and I never read the books. I had only seen really up to movie number three, so I wasn’t a huge Harry Potter fan. But I do really love Disney and I love sci-fi, and I love the concept of magic in itself, and so I really wanted to get into Harry Potter, and I had kept saying, “I’m going to read it, I’m going to read it, I’m going to read it,” but it’s a lofty thing to pick up.

Laura: Absolutely.

Adriana: It’s seven books, it’s eight movies, it’s a huge fandom, and a huge universe to navigate. And then 2019, my mom passed away, and I just was in this hole of like, I didn’t really believe in the magic anymore. I didn’t really have a lot of things that I was excited about. And I was like, “I just need to throw myself into something and let something consume me,” and so I started reading Harry Potter. And I finished all seven books in about three months, and then I started watching the movies again and really getting into it. And then when quarantine started, some of my friends were like, “Let’s start a Black Harry Potter book club,” and I was like, “Yeah, I’m down, I want to be in a book club.” So then that was my second time going through it and reading it, and it was just such a fun experience to do this with other people during a time where we didn’t know what was going on in the world, and to come and do that every week, it was really fun. And so then I got the call for the show, and they were like, “Hey, do you think you’d want to be a part?” because I was so much Hufflepuff once I got into it. I was Hufflepuff down to the socks.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: Nice.

Adriana: Yeah, absolutely. So on my social media, you can see I’m the Hufflepuff girl. People know. And so they were like, “You want to do this?” and I was like, “Trivia? I don’t think I know everything, but I could try.”

Andrew: Yeah. Oh, that’s an incredible story. Well, welcome to the show; it’s so great to have you on. And Adriana, your username on social media is @BibbidiBobbidi_Broke, and we’ll have links in the show notes for today’s episode. And of course, we’ll tag you on social media, too, so everybody can easily find you. Your social media is such a joy, by the way, your Instagram. I’m just living for it.

Laura: It really is.

Andrew: Especially that Dunkin’ Donuts post because I’m a big Dunkin’ Donuts fan. [laughs]

Adriana: I am a Dunkin’ Donuts girl.

Laura: You are in good company. We are Dunkin’ lovers here.

Main Discussion: Black representation in Harry Potter

Laura: Well, as we dive into today’s discussion, we wanted to ask about your relationship with the core Harry Potter books through the lens of representation. We’ve all spoken about the ways in which we see ourselves represented in these books, and we also know that there is room in this franchise to improve on representation of non-white characters. Could you speak to the impact of consuming a piece of popular media that contains characters who look like you?

Adriana: Yeah, absolutely. So I think one of the amazing things about being a part of a fandom, or being a part of a fandom that is fantasy, you can see yourself in a lot of different characters. And when it’s fantasy, you can kind of suspend belief, and I can almost see a little bit of myself in each character. It’s not so much about them, about their individual color, but at the same time it is. So it’s like, when you first consume it, you can kind of let those things go, and you’re like, “Yeah, I just really want to get into the story,” but then once you really become a fan, you do really want to see yourself represented within these characters. And that was one of the things that I was very weary about when I first started reading Harry Potter, because I had only really seen two and a half movies. And so originally, the first book we get Lee Jordan as the first person of color we see. In one of the very first couple of chapters we were introduced to Lee Jordan; it’s very obvious that he’s Black. They talk about his dreadlocks and they talk about how he’s friends with Fred and George. And so I’m like, “Okay, there’s a character,” but then we don’t really get him a lot. And we get Dean Thomas, and we get pieces here and there. So every character of color, or every Black character specifically, you don’t get a lot of of them. And I think that’s where the missed opportunity is, because if we’re going to be honest about it, every character in Harry Potter is so very well-rounded. It is a full thought-up character with the backstory, and it gives us little inklings of that backstory, and it’s like, “Why?” We just want more, and they could have been featured in such an impactful way. More specifically, I think about Kingsley Shacklebolt a lot as a character that just could have been so much more than he actually was. He’s obviously someone of a standing in the wizarding world. They talk about him being part of the Sacred 28, he has such a well-known wizarding world name, he’s pure-blood, and they just give us little quips. The Black person comes in and they’re funny, or they’re witty, and it’s like, “We want more. We want to be a part of the story as well.”

Andrew: Yeah. And to this point, I thought we could run through the non-white somewhat prominent characters in the original Harry Potter books, because exactly what you’re saying: There aren’t many Black characters or people of color, and where there are, they have very small roles, or they have those witty lines. So Dean Thomas, Cho Chang, Padma and Parvati Patil, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Lee Jordan, Angelina Johnson, Blaise Zabini. Five of those characters are Black. And all the lead characters are white in the Harry Potter books, and all people in leadership type roles – save for Kingsley – are white as well. It’s just a very noticeable issue with these books. And some people say, “Well, during the ’90s, there weren’t as many Black people over in the UK.” And I actually did look at some census data. In 1991, 7% of the population in England and Wales was non-white; this figure did grow to 14% in 2011. So some people try to make that argument that because England and the UK weren’t Black, the books weren’t going to be either. On the other hand, [laughs] it’s a fantasy series. Everything is possible.

Adriana: I think everything is possible, but also, I cannot believe that in your daily… everybody sees people of color in their daily life. Everybody sees Black people in their daily life every single day. So for you to be like, “Oh, well, you know, that’s just indicative of the type of people that were around at that time” is a complete and total lie, and it’s an excuse that people use in order to get away with or just dismiss not having a diverse set of characters, or having the diversity but they’re smaller roles. They’re not intricate to the storyline. It’s definitely an excuse, and it’s naivety.

Andrew and Laura: Yeah.

Laura: I always find this argument funny when people want to go the route of saying “It was just a different time,” as though Black people didn’t exist in the ’90s.

Andrew: [laughs] 20 years ago.

Adriana: We just popped up, yeah, and then people were like, “Oh, you do exist?” No, and I consume so much pop culture, and I consume so many different fandoms, and I remember when The Harder They Fall came out, and people were like, “Why are we making cowboys Black? Cowboys weren’t Black.” And I’m like, “Did you think that in the world of all the cowboys, there wasn’t a couple Black cowboys? Or maybe more than you thought of? And you know what, history was written predominantly by white people, so they might have left out a lot.” So I just don’t buy that argument at all, and I do think it’s an excuse, and it’s just weird to even hear people say it out loud. You’re like, “Ooh, is that what you really think?” [laughs]

Laura: I think that it’s possible to accept multiple truths here and say we love Harry Potter. Harry Potter had an immense impact on all of us in one way or another. But it can also be true that the author is a white woman, and likely grew up around and socialized mostly with white people, and due to that, she wrote what she knew or maybe was most comfortable with.

Adriana: Yes, absolutely.

Laura: But just because of that does not mean that we can’t critique the series and say this is a fandom that has not died out, it’s a fandom that is living on, and if we’re looking at expanding the fandom – whether it’s through plays, whether it’s through the Fantastic Beasts franchise, whether it’s through perhaps rebooting the Harry Potter series as a TV show, which I know we would all love – there is enormous room in there to tell that story through a lens of better representation of the world as it really looks.

Adriana: Absolutely. And I don’t want to get too too far off topic of just the books, but I do think there is something to be said about, “Okay, well, how do we fix that now?” We can always sit around and critique what isn’t there, but now that we’re aware of it, now it’s like, “What’s being done?” And so the show Harry Potter: Tournament of Houses was a great opportunity, and the blogs and the Twitter and people’s reactions were going crazy. And I do think a lot of people saw the diversity in the show. Some people might have not liked it; I’ve seen quite a few comments about the diversity in the show and people not accepting it.

Andrew: What?!

Adriana: [laughs] Yeah. We’re gonna call a spade a spade. There’s definitely…

Andrew: Well, I’m glad you’re calling it out. I’m just shocked that people actually said that.

Adriana: Oh, yeah, there’s definitely pushback. I understand that the Internet is an ugly place and people feel real brave behind a keyboard, but I’ve seen comments that was like, “Oh, it’s obvious that these aren’t real fans, that they’re…”

Laura: Oh… my God.

Eric: Wow.

Adriana: Yeah, that the show is playing the diversity card. Yeah, “It’s all good for more diversity, but give us real Harry Potter fans.” I do want to say, the producer of the show was amazing. I’m not just saying that because I was a winner.

[Everyone laughs]

Adriana: I’m saying that there was an effort, right?

Eric: I believe you. This is genuine.

Andrew: “I might have a trophy, but…” [laughs] Yeah.

Adriana: There was definitely effort made to make sure that everyone felt represented, and that their teams represented more than just white people. And like I said, it got pushback, but the show is very, very diverse, so that’s one of the opportunities that people took in order to show the true diversity of the fandom, even though the stories lacked that sometimes.

Andrew: Yeah. Well, and I think in a way that this was Wizarding World Inc.’s chance to start diversifying Harry Potter. We’ll touch on diversity in Fantastic Beasts in a little bit. But I think we actually noted this on MuggleCast when we first started talking about the trivia show that it was refreshingly diverse! I mean, as a gay person myself, finally seeing somebody gay involved with Harry Potter in official capacity was like, “Oh, about time.” [laughs]

Adriana: There was two there. Luke and Annie – I love them both very much – were two contestants on Harry Potter: Tournament of Houses that were openly gay and talked about it, and talked about being gay and what Harry Potter meant to them. And I just felt like it was such a refreshing moment to see that and to feel that everyone felt represented. And even age groups; there wasn’t just 30-somethings who love Harry Potter. David is 77. Sophia is 15. It was so broad. It just showed that any and everyone can be a Harry Potter fan and needs to be shown, because if we don’t see ourselves, we don’t know what it is that we can really do. People can’t ascend to their highest self if they don’t see themselves represented in social media, in media, in movies, in books, and in everything.

Andrew: Amen.

Laura: Yeah, I mean, as a fandom – and I love this fandom – but we can talk about how Hogwarts welcomes everyone home, but in order for that to be true, we have to be welcoming to everyone. So that’s why I’m really glad that you called out some of the social media responses you saw with regard to some less than desirable opinions about the casting in Tournament of Houses, because there’s just not room, in my opinion, for that kind of attitude in this fandom. On this show I know, all the major fan sites, the major podcasts, the last couple of years in particular, there has been a lot of conversation about the importance of making this fandom inclusive for everyone, and it’s a great reminder that everyone means every one.

Adriana: Every single person. Absolutely.

Eric: I’m proud to love something that reaches so many people from so many different backgrounds. The more people that like something that I like, the more affirmed I am in that.

Andrew: Yeah, that it’s a really good high-quality story, too, that it can reach so many different people, appeal to so many different people.

Eric: In spite of itself.

Andrew: Yeah. So I know, Adriana, one thing that I was excited to talk to you about was the recasting of Lavender Brown, because we were talking about this the other day, and you said this really bothers you. And this was a real issue with the movies. So the role of Lavender Brown was originally played by a Black actress in Chamber of Secrets. Her name was Kathleen Cauley. And then in Prisoner of Azkaban, she was played by another Black actress, Jennifer Smith. But then the role went to Jessie Cave, a white actress, in Half-Blood Prince. What the heck happened there? [laughs] I think we can assume that she went from being played by two Black actresses to a white actress when they needed to make Lavender Ron’s love interest and they said, “Oh, God forbid we have Ron interested in a Black girl. People wouldn’t be able to handle it.” They whitewashed the character.

Adriana: They absolutely whitewashed the character. And like I said, I’m not the… I cannot pull out every tidbit about Harry Potter ever. But I do really want to know whether it was, “Okay, this character is named Lavender Brown. We could take this and make it more diverse. Lavender, Brown, sounds like a Black name. We’re just gonna call it what it is,” and they cast a Black actress twice. And I know Harry Potter is very specific about keeping the actors the same, and so whatever happened with the first actor, they still recasted another Black actress. And then, I don’t know whether it was when they got the text, they were like, “Oh, okay, the way they described this character, whoops, we made a mistake, and this character is Black. Let’s change it to white.” Or was it really, “Well, we don’t know how people are going to react to Ron having a Black love interest, so let’s just make her white.” I want to know, really, what the difference was. And also, even if it was the first thing where it was like, “Okay, ooh, we didn’t get to this book yet, and we realized that this character is white and we made her Black,” why couldn’t you just run with it?

Laura: Great question.

Adriana: What was wrong with just keeping…? Because that’s the thing in Harry Potter: They keep all the actors the same…

Eric: Yes, yes.

Adriana: … unless there is an issue, like they just can’t do it anymore.

Eric: Or like, are in jail. [laughs]

Adriana: Yeah, right, right, or are in jail. And also, is it that the actress that is playing Lavender Brown at that time, is she not what is conventionally pretty? Because it is a dark-skinned Black girl that plays Lavender Brown. Is it too much? Is she not, you know, Eurocentric enough? I really want to know what it is. But it really makes me upset, because I feel like that was such an opportunity that they could have took to take a character who was not Black, or that they thought wasn’t Black, and to keep her Black and add that diversity, because I would have loved Won-Won.

[Everyone laughs]

Adriana: I would’ve loved hearing that come… that even sounds like something a Black girl would say.

Eric: I didn’t know about this until we started preparing for this episode. It really seems damning. Also, consider this is not 1997, 1998, when the first books are coming out. This is 2002, 2003, 2005, and we’re talking about diversity being an ever forward-moving momentum thing. For them to have made that decision when the sixth film was coming out, that is a heck of a lot of… even a just different conversation in general in origin than you’re talking about with the books.

Andrew: And the Half-Blood Prince movie came out in 2009, so there’s even less of an excuse.

Adriana: Black people existed in 2009.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Adriana has confirmed it, thank you. We’re reporting this to CNN now and all the other news outlets. Associated Press, are you listening?

[Adriana laughs]

Andrew: What’s ironic, of course, is that they did eventually make Hermione Black for the Cursed Child, which was amazing, but that’s Ron being with a Hermione who’s Black, [laughs] so he does end up being with a Black girl anyway.

Eric: That’s an interesting point.

Adriana: It is interesting. Also, George ends up with a Black girl as well, Angelina Johnson.

Eric: So what were they afraid of?

Adriana: So many opportunities that are just missed in Harry Potter in the books and in the films. And I think going forward in the films, like we said, Fantastic Beasts really has an opportunity to knock it out of the park, and I think the fans deserve to get what they want.

Laura: I agree. When I think about this case with the recasting, and giving this role to Jessie Cave… no hate towards her.

Andrew: No.

Laura: She was great in the role. Great actress. But it also makes me wonder about what level of unconscious bias was at play here, that someone somewhere was like, “Oh yeah, Jessie is perfect for this,” and nobody thought to point out, “But… she used to be Black.”

Andrew: [laughs] Twice!

Laura: “Why are we changing this?”

Andrew: Oh, you know they thought it, though. I’m not going to pretend that they, like, “Oops, we forgot she was Black in Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban.” They knew, and they didn’t want to put Ron with a Black girl on screen because they were afraid of some sort of backlash or something. It’s extremely unfortunate, but I’m willing to bet that’s what happened.

Adriana: We’ve talked about this at length in our book club, and so this is just one of the hot topics where I’m just like, “I don’t understand the reasoning.” And it would have played so well onscreen because she’s such a funny character too. And she’s not a character that is going to even be around. Well, she’s around, but she’s not a main character. She comes in for a moment, and she has her moment and you love her, and then she kind of fades into the background with the other kids for the rest of the time.

Andrew: Right. Okay, so continuing on, Eric, I know you wanted to bring up a point about Dean.

Eric: I want to talk about Dean Thomas specifically, because we talked about his backstory, and J.K. Rowling has this comprehensive backstory for all of her characters. And I was reminded, actually, that J.K. Rowling talked about Dean having this extensive backstory that she had written down. I think it was the classic napkins type story where she’s writing out furiously his whole backstory. She did eventually address this on her own website, and I found a quote here. Now, as a lead into this, I’m wondering if it was better or worse that we did never get this Dean Thomas backstory. So what she said is, “I had a lot of background on Dean, though I had never found the right place to use it. His story was included in an early draft of Chamber of Secrets but then cut by me, because it felt like an unnecessary digression. Now I don’t think his history will ever make it into the books. Dean is from what he always thought was a pure Muggle background. He has been raised by his mother and his stepfather; his father walked out on the family when Dean was very young. Naturally, when the letter came from Hogwarts, Dean’s mother wondered whether his father might have been a wizard, but nobody has ever discovered the truth: that Dean’s father, who never told his wife what he was because he wanted to protect her, got himself killed by Death Eaters when he refused to join them.” And that was J.K. Rowling’s own words on it. So you have a hero dad, who dies doing the right thing, right? “Death Eaters? No way, I’m not joining you.” But in this backstory, if it made it into the books, you have a Black character, one of the series’ only Black characters, having an absent father. And I’m like, that perpetuates its own kind of stereotype.

Adriana: 110%.

Eric: So what do we think about this in general?

Adriana: If Dean Thomas was a bigger character and he had this backstory, I feel like we could look over it being so haphazard. But because he’s such a small character, if we would have got this weird backstory of like, his father really was a hero, but this father walked out on the kid. And it’s just like, everybody has two parents in Hogwarts, every single person, and a mother and a father. So why is the Black kid the only one without a mother and a father?

Eric: Well, he does have a stepfather, she says, but still, it’s kind of the same thing.

Adriana: Right, exactly.

Eric: It’s like, “Oh, broken family” kind of thing. It’s like, “Why is that kid the one with it?”

Adriana: And then, okay, so if we’re really going to go there to think, “Oh, it’s never going to make it in,” or it felt like it was a weird digression, Seamus Finnigan tells us his whole family story over breakfast.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: I know, that’s what I was thinking. We get so much exposition on ancillary characters’ background stories. Why did it feel like Dean’s was not relevant?

Andrew: Interesting.

Eric: Reportedly, it was Neville’s backstory that pushed out Dean’s, and you can understand with the Harry prophecy thing why that became the more central winning plot backstory. But at the same time, because of the extensive work J.K. Rowling does – again, I don’t think we’re calling her racist – I think that there’s a lot of missed opportunity in terms of representation and equality with what we were given in Harry Potter to be even more… looking at it now, we can look back and say, “This could have been better,” or “This was omitted and possibly should not have been.”

Adriana and Laura: Yeah.

Adriana: And I would like to go on record: For me personally, She-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named is a lot of things…

[Andrew laughs]

Adriana: … but I do not think racist is one of the things I would consider her. I just think, like Laura said earlier, it is a bias. It’s an unconscious bias. And now that we’re aware of it, it just needs to be addressed and fixed.

Laura: Agreed.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Love it.

Laura: The acknowledgement of it, the recognition of it, and then doing the work to make progress is what this is about. I don’t think anyone here is coming on this panel to say, “I think J.K. Rowling is a racist.” It’s more about a lot of people have unconscious bias and a lot of people have blind spots that they are not aware of, and I think this is one of them, especially at the time these books were written. Maybe things are different now, and we’ll see this when we get into some of the more diverse casting for Fantastic Beasts. Maybe there has been work done to improve on this, but it’s still totally valid to point out that this is a valid critique of these books.

Adriana: 110%. And I hope… am I saying it…? Kuma? I’m probably saying his name wrong. I’m pretty sure I’m saying it wrong. In Fantastic Beasts

Andrew: Oh, Yusuf Kama?

Adriana: Yeah, Kama.

Laura: There we go.

Adriana: I was like, what’s that?

[Andrew laughs]

Adriana: Yusuf Kama. I hope that they’re going to give us more of his backstory, because even in the preview they’re like, “Someone from a very old wizarding family…” I’m like, “Okay, I know that’s him,” so I hope that they give us what we want.

Andrew: Yeah, or even Leta, played by ZoĆ« Kravitz. Excellent role; I would love to see more there. We also…

Adriana: They did Leta dirty.

Eric: Yes.

Laura: Yeah, they did.

Andrew: Well, they did, I know. And it doesn’t seem like she’ll be in the third, but I feel like the door may have been left open. I think she may have said she might come back. I don’t know. We can see her in Batman next month at least. [laughs]

Laura: I was going to say, she was too busy filming Batman, so that’s why she’s not in the third.

Andrew: [laughs] WB was like, “Come to Batman; this franchise is going a lot better than Fantastic Beasts.” But while we’re on the subject of Fantastic Beasts, just to bring up a look at how maybe they’re trying to diversify, Claudia Kim was cast as Nagini. This is a South Korean actress. Unfortunately, there was a lot of backlash around this, too, because you’re having one of very few people of color playing a character who is cursed and becomes a slave to Voldemort. It’s not a good luck.

Adriana: It’s not a good look, and also, it’s another instance of a person of color not being a human, which is a constant theme in pop culture. It’s like, turning us into frogs or blobs or snakes. [laughs]

Eric: I can name the recent movies that came out where that same thing just happened that you just mentioned.

Adriana: And it’s like, what are we doing here? Why does this keep happening? And nobody’s pointing out that it’s weird, and it continues to happen over and over and over. Even when Soul came out, we were like, “But he’s a blob!”

Andrew: Transforming again. Come on, Pixar. You can do better than that. [laughs] You’re Pixar. Bam.

Laura: Well, it just makes you wonder who’s in the room when these concepts are being conceived.

Andrew: Right.

Adriana: Exactly. And we’re not in the room where it happens.

Andrew: Yeah, I mean, if you look at senior leadership of Pixar and Disney alone, it’s a very white picture. But one character I think, objectively, we can say “Great casting,” all that – Seraphina Picquery, whose Funko I think you actually have behind you.

Adriana: Yes!

Laura: Love her.

Eric: Yay.

Andrew: So she’s the Minister of Magic at MACUSA, so that was exciting to see. And then of course, Hermione in the Cursed Child, now played by Black actresses; she’s the Minister for Magic at England’s Ministry of Magic. So that’s all great, but I think we’re all in agreement that they haven’t gone far enough with Fantastic Beasts.

Eric and Laura: Yeah.

Adriana: So when Fantastic Beasts first came out, there was a big backlash about it being even more white than Harry Potter in general. Because even in Harry Potter, you get a lot of background characters and side characters, so side and background characters who are of color. If you watch Harry Potter, you can count at least two or three Black people or people of color on the screen at all times, unless it’s just the trio. And in Fantastic Beasts, you cannot. Everybody white. [laughs] At least, the first Fantastic Beasts. So I think once the first Fantastic Beasts came out, people were like, “Okay, let’s try to fix that and add some more to it.” And I think with Crimes of Grindelwald, I have a lot of thoughts and feelings and opinions, and I hope that we get the diversity that we deserve. But I’m excited to see more than just Serafina and Yusuf.

Andrew and Laura: Yeah.

Laura: I’m excited for Jessica Williams. I love her.

Andrew: Oh, yeah. Eulalie Hicks, an Ilvermorny professor. Yeah, that’ll be great. I think we… did we get a couple of glimpses of her in the trailer? I think.

Laura: We did.

Eric: She’s one of the group that’s going to be traveling around and paired with the heroes.

Andrew: Right. Yeah, okay.

Adriana: Yeah, we did. We got glimpses of her in the trailer. And she’s an amazing actress and I love her; when I saw her, I’m like, “Oh my gosh, this is going to be so cool.”

Andrew: And she has also said she is a huge, huge Harry Potter fan, and you don’t see that too often with the actors coming out and being like, “I’m a diehard Harry Potter fan.” Like, Evanna Lynch, Luna Lovegood: diehard Harry Potter, unapologetic. I get the same impression from Jessica Williams, so I can’t wait to see her in a wizarding world role.

Laura: Plus, I think all of us have followed her career to some extent, but I remember back when she was on The Daily Show, she was one of my favorite correspondents. And I remember hearing that she was a huge Harry Potter fan and I was like, “Oh my gosh, that’s amazing,” because I already love her, so it made me love her more. And then hearing that she was going to be in this franchise was just like, “Oh, that’s just spot on.” It’s perfect. I can’t wait to see her.

Adriana: Yeah, I’m very excited.

Laura: Jumping back to Cursed Child, around the time that Noma Dumezweni’s casting was announced for the role of Hermione in Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling implied that the casting of Hermione, or around that time, that Hermione was not written as explicitly white. I think her tweet said something along the lines as, “Hermione is described as having brown eyes and bushy hair,” and she included a winky face as though to say like, “I never said she was white.” And unfortunately, people had feelings and reactions to that; we all remember. But I do know from being on this podcast over the years, from speaking to others in the fandom, that that has been a headcanon for people for quite some time, long before Cursed Child came out, that Hermione could be read as a Black character. And I’m wondering if we think there are any other characters that are like Hermione in this respect, that can be read through a different lens and not seen as white.

Adriana: So I don’t think that she wrote her as a Black character, or could be a Black character. I 100% think that Hermione is her; it’s JK. And I mean, she could be, so we can take that and say, “Sure, she could be,” but she wrote her so vaguely because she’s her. You always insert yourself into a story, and it’s very obvious that Hermione is her. But I do like that she could be recasted as a Black character, and a lot of people, yeah, headcanon… a lot of people saw Hermione, even reading for the first time and being familiar with Emma Watson being Hermione, I still could see where Hermione could be Black. They talk about her being tan a lot, they talk about her curly hair, they talk about her brown eyes. But also, in literature people do this really weird thing that I wish that they would stop doing, which is when a character is Black, they won’t just say that the character is Black. They’ll use other words to describe Black. And I’m like, “That’s weird; just say Black,” because Black isn’t a bad word. But I do enjoy, and I’m going to see, Cursed Child – thank you winnings from the show…

[Eric laughs]

Adriana: I am going to go see Cursed Child in New York, so I will be very excited to see this Hermione.

Andrew: Oh, I’m so excited for you.

Laura: That’s awesome. I know on a previous show – this has probably been a year and a half ago or so – we did talk about our headcanon recasting of characters if a TV show were to happen, and someone who always stuck out to me as somebody who I would love to see playing the role of McGonagall is Viola Davis. I just feel like she could embody that character so well. And when I think about McGonagall’s character in the books, to me, I think that is a perception, that’s a reading, that I could have of the book. I could see McGonagall not being explicitly white. There’s so much room for several of the characters to look different than I think the default setting that we’re given through the early books provides us.

Adriana: I 100% can see Viola Davis as McGonagall. I guess my headcanon characters that could possibly be Black or be recasted as Black: Go ahead and do the whole Weasley family.

Andrew: Oh! [laughs]

Adriana: Black people can have red hair all day long.

Laura: Yes, they can.

Adriana: So for whatever reason, Black people really do feel kin to the Weasleys. Everything about the Weasleys is so fun. And my boyfriend always jokes all the time that he’s like, “That’s my family. I’m a Weasley.”

Eric: Aww.

[Andrew laughs]

Adriana: And so I feel like we could just redo the entire Weasley family as a Black family. I would love that. [laughs]

Laura: That’s amazing. I love that idea. So thinking about what the core books represent, and the opportunity that exists to diversify this franchise, I’m curious if you think that a lack of representation in the stories could have an impact on a diverse audience’s connection to the story.

Adriana: 110%. I think if you don’t see yourself, you don’t think something is for you. I don’t think that Black people, specifically people of color – not so much in Asian culture – but I feel like Black people have never really seen themselves be magical. I feel like all our lives, we’ve been told… as children, “You’re girl; you like princesses. Black girls can’t be princesses.” That’s the number one of kids being like, “Well, you can’t be a princess because you’re Black.” And you’re just like, “Who told you that?” So I think that if there was more representation in Harry Potter, 110% you would see more diversity in the fandom. And I think it’s become… not a new thing, but it’s more prominent now, Black people coming up and being like, “I’ve always been a Harry Potter fan. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan.” And I think this weird misconception that Black people aren’t nerdy and don’t like fandoms is a misconception because there’s so many… I grew up and my cousins loved comic books, and had crates and crates and crates of comic books, and were into video games and anime, and it was just a part of life. And so when you’re like, “Oh, yeah…” I did something recently and somebody was like… I gave them my phone to take a picture, and they didn’t realize whose phone it was, and it was like, “Oh, is somebody a Harry Potter fan?” And I’m like, “Oh, yeah, it’s me.” They’re like, “Oh, cool, I’m a Slytherin,” and I’m like, “Yeah, I’m a Hufflepuff.”

[Andrew laughs]

Adriana: The surprise in their eyes. And I’m like, “You think I can’t like Harry Potter?”

Eric: Did they give the phone back, a decidedly un-Slytherin trait?

[Andrew laughs]

Adriana: They gave the phone back. And sometimes when people find out that I’m a Harry Potter fan, I try not to slight flex, [laughs] but I’m like, “Yeah,” they’re like, “Oh, cool,” and they’ll start talking about their level of fandoms and whatnot, or their level of Harry Potter, and I want to resist the urge to be like, “Yeah, and I was on a Harry Potter TV show and I won it.”

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: You should!

Andrew: “I’m the real deal.”

Adriana: “You want me to blow your mind? I can really blow your mind.”

[Adriana and Andrew laugh]

Eric: I love that so much.

Laura: Wear that loud and proud.

Adriana: I do kind of get shy about it sometimes because I don’t ever want to feel braggy, especially in the Wizarding World. But when I’m there with my boyfriend, he’s very much like, “Oh, did you see the show?” And they’re like, “What?” [laughs]

Eric: You’ve got to have a wingman like that. You’ve got to get a shirt that says “Watch me now on HBO Max.”

Andrew: Yeah, I was just going to say that, so you don’t have to tell people; they can just read your shirt and be like, “Oh, okay, cool.”

Adriana: He’s totally my hype man. But no, to bring it back to if people see themselves represented, they’ll be more into it; so I have a really fun story. When Celebration happened at Universal about two or three weeks ago, and a lot of people from the show… it was the last week of January. A lot of people from the show got together and we all went to the Wizarding World, and because it was such a big event, it was one of our first times all being out together. And I do get recognized sometimes because my hair is the same. But this time, we got recognized more because there was just people who are more aware there, and also, we all had on our sweaters, so we looked like we looked on TV. [laughs] But anyway, long story short, people were coming up to us. A lot of kids coming up to us. “Oh my gosh, I watched you on the show; it was fun.” But it caused… not a huge commotion, but a little bit of commotion. I was walking out of Wizarding World and a whole Black family walked up to me and they were like, “Hey, what TV show were you on?” And I was like, “Oh, yeah, it’s called Harry Potter: Tournament of Houses.” And they were like, “Yeah, we want to watch it, because we didn’t know we was on it!” I’m like, “Yeah!”

[Andrew laughs]

Adriana: My friend Alex – Alex was one of the 24 contestants – she didn’t make it on the show. She’s a wonderful, wonderful person. She was itching to tell them… she’s like, “You haven’t seen it? Oh, you’ve got to watch.” She wanted to tell them so bad, “And she won!”

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: I know. Oh my gosh.

Adriana: I was like, “Let them be surprised!”

Laura: Imagine their reaction when they’re at home in their living room and you win.

Adriana: Right?

Eric: Amazing.

Andrew: “Why didn’t we get a picture with her? Darn it!”

Adriana: Right, that’s so… I have a social media following; even my followers who aren’t Hufflepuffs, they’re like, “I’ve never rooted for a Hufflepuff so hard.”

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Adriana: They were like, “We were just so excited to see you on the show, but to see that you actually won…” And I had to hold that secret for months. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, I was going to say, that must’ve been tough.

Adriana: It was very hard.

Andrew: Speaking of representation and normalizing, this show is very helpful for normalizing Hufflepuffs, because Hufflepuffs always get a bad rap. And look at you guys now; you’re the winners. [laughs]

Adriana: No, that made it feel even sweeter because no one expected the Hufflepuffs to win. And there’s a point in my vlog where it’s right after the first episode, and we’re getting ready to do promo shots. It’s like, five o’clock in the morning, we’re trying to hype ourselves up, and I turn the camera to Luke and he goes, “We’re doing it for the Puffs.” And I’m like, “Yes, we are! We’re doing it for the Puffs!”

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: That’s so great.

Laura: Oh my gosh, I love that. I love the energy.

Andrew: Well, speaking of – and just getting back to something from a few minutes ago – Adriana, you said that others thought that Harry Potter wasn’t for Black people or pop culture wasn’t for Black people because they’re not represented. And maybe these white people would actually realize that Black people are into it, too, if they actually saw Black people in these stories. So that’s another reason why I think it’s important to actually have lots of diversity in these stories.

Adriana: I think that’s one of the big things, is that when people are surprised that Black people like Harry Potter or Star Wars or different fandoms, you hit the nail on the head. It’s because we aren’t represented in these things. And if you never see yourself, you never know that you could do it. And it’s such an opposite feeling, because how do I tell you, “Well, you don’t think that I like this because you’ve never seen someone like me like this, and what is it like to have not ever not seen yourself?” Everybody is white. If you watch a sci-fi, the hero is… any movie, the hero is always white. Sometimes it’s a white woman. Sometimes it’s a white man. But the majority of the heroes are always white, and the side characters are always white. So if we had more representation, people wouldn’t be so surprised, and they’d be like, “Oh, yeah, that makes sense. Duh.”

Laura: It is funny to push back on people who… perhaps they’re well-intentioned, and they just don’t understand the importance of representation. But I can just speak for myself here and say I started reading Harry Potter when I was 11, and as a little white girl, I saw myself represented in those books quite a bit. And if you encourage people to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and think about how would you have felt as an 11-year-old, as a child, if you were reading this series that you loved, but you didn’t see anyone or you only saw very few glimpses of people who looked like you?

Adriana: Yes.

Laura: It’s a different experience.

Adriana: There’s something to be said about it. To this day, I get teary-eyed when I see kids dressed up in the Wizarding World and they look like me. I wish that when I was 9 or 10 or 11, that I had this connection to this book, that I could cosplay and dress up and do all of those things. But I also didn’t think those things were for me, because I didn’t see myself represented as well. So it’s just like, I feel like it’s a missed opportunity for… not so much a missed opportunity for other people, but also, for the person who’s consuming it, I would have really liked those things too. I would have liked to have those experiences. But now I’m an adult and I can afford to do it on my own, ha ha.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Laura: Exactly. You’ve got that disposable income.

[Adriana and Andrew laugh]

Adriana: Right, nobody can tell me. I can have seven butterbeers if I want. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, no one’s going to tell me it’s too much sugar. [laughs]

Adriana: Exactly. Until I pass out.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: So Adriana, turning our attention back to our discussion with you today, I assume one big aspect of being in the Harry Potter fandom for you has been the community you’ve found here, right? And meeting fellow Black Harry Potter fans?

Adriana: Yeah, absolutely. Like I said, I got into Harry Potter when my mom passed away. A lot of the story does resonate with me, dealing with grief. I didn’t realize that the story was about… he literally has to relive the death of his parents every book and learn how to deal with that. And so reading it, and grieving and learning how to get over my grief through Harry Potter, and then finding a group of people who liked what I liked as well, and it wasn’t… there’s a Black Disney community as well, and so I was already a part of the Black Disney community. And so then when I got into Harry Potter, and I found… I’m like, “Okay, y’all like Disney; y’all like Harry Potter too?” And so we all got together and it was a great experience. And we all have our own little backstory; everybody has their own original character, but we all have our own little backstories and where we fit in the story. What was we doing when Harry caught the Snitch? Is there a Black Student Union? Are the girls doing a little cheer on the sidelines?

Andrew: I love that.

Laura: Can we just make that a thing in the TV show whenever the time comes?

Eric: Yes.

Andrew: [laughs] We’re going to have a big list of requests.

Adriana: Absolutely. There 100% needs to be a Black Student Union. There is one at every college, so it might as well happen at Hogwarts.

Laura: Right.

Andrew: Yeah, really. And by the way, in the next week or so, we’re going to have a post on our social media channels highlighting some Black Harry Potter content creators, including Adriana, of course, but also Bradley Bakes; we actually had him on the show last March. We had a great interview with him on his YouTube channel, what he’s doing. We’re also going to be featuring Nikki of @ItsDarlingNikki; Trey, who is @IAmBlackHarry, who was on the trivia show as well; Brittany Noelle, @B_NoelleFitness; Chanel Williams, at @ChanWills; Niky, who is @MagicParatus; and Briona, who is @StitchesAndSpells; and then Gerard Oliver, who is @DapperMinisterOfMagic; so stay tuned for that post coming to our social media channels. But yeah, so to start wrapping this up, we also got a little bit of feedback from our listeners. We reached out asking them, our Black listeners, if they had any feedback here. Danielle said, “Growing up I saw myself in Hermione and Angelina Johnson. As a kid the way they were described physically in the books I was for sure they were both black. I was very disappointed to find out Hermione was not black because I really identified with her.” And then in terms of how she’d like to see herself represented in Harry Potter, Danielle said, “I would have loved to go further into what it is like to be a black Wizarding family and what that community would be like. It seems like there were very few in England so I would want to know that experience.” Well, stay tuned, Danielle, because if Adriana and the rest of us get our way, we’re going to have a whole Black Weasley family, and then we’re going to be finding out. [laughs]

Adriana: 110%.

Andrew: @Singa4hire actually had a critical piece of feedback. “Black people in Harry Potter? That’s crazy because people almost boycotted Hermione being Black in the Broadway show. But you can’t ask a transphobic billionaire in the hills of Scotland to write about something she knows nothing about.”

Laura: You’re not wrong.

Adriana: That part. [laughs] I do think, 110%, we cannot continue to ask anything more of a person who isn’t aware of the world as a whole. But what we can do is move forward, like we’ve been saying this entire podcast, and demand for more representation. Not only for Black characters; we need trans characters, we need gay characters, we need more Asian characters… everybody needs to see themselves and be a wizard. We’re all magical, so why can’t we see that on the screen?

Andrew: Aww.

Laura: That is perfect.

Eric: That’s a great thought.

Andrew: Anything else, Adriana, you want to discuss today? Want to make sure we…?

Adriana: No, I mean, I don’t have anything to add other than, one, thank you for having me on.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Adriana: This has been an amazing conversation. I think conversations like this need to be had more often. And I encourage everybody who’s listening to be more aware of that everyone needs to be represented. If you’re part of a community that is always represented, a way you can be a good ally is to demand for representation of other people. And let’s just all work together and be in this together, because at the end of the day, it’s entertainment, and if that’s what the masses want, they’re going to give it to us, so we just need to be strong in speaking up and asking for these things. As the old adage goes, closed mouths don’t get fed, so we need to ask them to give us what we want.

Eric: Wow. That’s really good.

Laura: So great.

Andrew: And you know what, I think we as a fandom are teed up to ask for more diversity. WB is listening. They’re a little desperate right now in a couple of ways. [laughs]

Eric: That’s true.

Andrew: I mean, Fantastic Beasts hasn’t gone too well, so I really think that now, the next few years, is a great time to be speaking up and making sure WB notices, because you really can get the fans rallied right now.

Adriana: What I love very much about the Harry Potter fandom is that we are so strong that we literally excommunicated the creator.

[Andrew laughs]

Adriana: When you’re just like, “No, thank you; we took this from you,” that’s such a strong community. And if we can do that, what else can we do?

Andrew: Exactly, exactly. And this is my point; we can see it working. We can see what happens when we get together and speak out, so that’s why now is the time to be calling for more diversity in these stories. Adriana, where can people find you online?

Adriana: So you can find me on Instagram at @BibbidiBobbidi_Broke, and I’m also on TikTok. Same exact way it’s spelled. @BibbidiBobbidi_Broke.

Andrew: Awesome.

Eric: Adriana, something we ask all of our guests: What is your favorite book and movie, by the way?

Adriana: Ooh, okay. This is a good question because they’re different. My favorite movie is Half-Blood Prince

Eric: Okay.

Adriana: … because it’s so emotionally charged, and it’s really the movie where shit gets real.

Laura: [laughs] Good summary.

Adriana: And people are really going to have to deal with the choices that they’ve made, and it gets a little violent at that point. And you can tell that it’s getting to a climactic end; it’s the rise. And I’ll say my favorite book is probably going to be Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s just the classic. It’s the beginning of the… it’s where the magic starts. And it’s never going to be the best story, but it is where it all begins, and so I never want to let go of the beginning. It’s the movie that I watch the most. It’s the book that I go back to the most. It’s where we fall in love with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. It’s where we fall in love with this world. So that’s why it’s my favorite.

Laura: Great answer.

Andrew: That’s why Sorcerer’s Stone movie is my favorite movie; between that and Deathly Hallows – Part 2 I’m always tied up. Because it is the beginning, and it’s extra whimsical.

Adriana: So the first movie is extra, extra whimsical. It’s where we get the infamous scene where we’re seeing Hogwarts for the first time. I get chills every time I think about it.

Eric: John Williams’s clanging and banging score.

Adriana: Yes! Oh yes, the score, the music. It’s where we all connect to it. But Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is so heavy and it’s so good, and you’re just emotionally… it’s probably the one I’ve watched the least amount of times, and it’s not for lack of loving it; it’s because I literally sob from beginning to end, and I’m like, “Today I just can’t be an emotional wreck.”

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Brutal.

Andrew: I still vividly remember being in the theater for that movie, midnight release, and just hearing people all around me crying in surround sound. Everybody’s sobbing during…

Eric: We still suspect they were paid to do that, right? Professional criers at every…

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: No, I didn’t get paid. Where’s my check for that? [laughs]

Eric: It seemed that way in my group.

Adriana: So it’s in my vlog. If you ever want to see any of the behind the scenes for Harry Potter: Tournament of Houses, I have three vlogs on my Instagram. If you go to videos, you’ll see them; they say part one, part two, part three. But in part three, me and Luke, the day of the finale, we decide, “What movie haven’t we watched enough? Which movie haven’t we internalized enough?” So we order coffee and we watch seven part 2, and I kid you not, from beginning to end, we sit on that bed and just cry, because it was just such a cool experience, but also, this movie is so good. And then we started laughing because we’re like, “Look at us, two Harry Potter nerds just sobbing profusely. This is like, the seventh time we’ve seen this movie, and we’re still like, [cries] ‘Harry is brave!'”

Eric: Amazing.

Laura: Oh, yeah. No, we’ve all been there.

Adriana: So I don’t want to go over time too much, but I do want to know… everybody has different opinions on what they want. Each one of you, what do you want to see going forward? Do you want to see a TV show? Do you want new movies? A cartoon? What do you see for the future of Harry Potter?

Andrew: I’ll tell you exactly what I want in one breath: Reboot the Harry Potter books as a TV series. That way we would get everything in the books, and there’s tons to work with, obviously. They could add so much that we never saw in the movies, so that’s all I want.

Eric: I want an inexpensive – that’s a joke now these days – Hogwarts Hotel.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Go take classes. Be part of the experience for a weekend, whatever. At least a quarter of the cost of Universal tickets. Let everybody in. Let them go to Hogwarts.

Adriana: Oh my God, that would be… talk about tears. Oh my God, I would cry the entire time.

Eric: Andrew, when you said you were going to do it all in one breath, I thought you were going to say, “Dumbledore’s Astronomy Tower of Terror!”

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: The whole ride idea.

Andrew: I do have a theme park ride. So Adriana, you’re a big Disney fan. You know Tower of Terror? I think they should do a Dumbledore’s Tower of Death. What do I call it? Astronomy Tower of Death or something.

Eric: It was a whole thing, yeah.

Andrew: Anyway, you fall like Dumbledore, but then you go back up and you fall again. [laughs] I’m sick, I know.

Adriana: You want us to relive Dumbledore’s death every time we ride this?

Andrew: I’m sick.

Adriana: Sir, seek help.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: He does have help. He has us. We boost him.

Andrew: [laughs] They encourage this.

Eric: We’re like, “Yeah, great idea, buddy.”

Laura: Are we good help, though?

Andrew: I think so.

Eric: We’re not better help. He’s got to seek better help.

Laura: That’s a nice reference to one of our sponsors.

Eric: Real quick, guys, I had an idea. We don’t have to use it. I thought, what if we did Quizzitch, but I ask Adriana last week’s question as one other trivia question, given that she was on Tournament of Houses?

Laura: Ooh. You okay being put on the spot like that?

Eric: I just thought of it.

Adriana: I’m okay with it. I like answering trivia questions.

Andrew: But hold on – Laura didn’t get in her idea.

Eric: Yeah, when Quizzitch comes we’ll do the whole thing, but I just thought of that.

Laura: I’m going to sound like a broken record to all of our listeners, and to Andrew and Eric, but I really want the TV show, obviously, but I think that the survival of this franchise depends on the decision to let other creators into the sandbox and play with the story. I want to see something similar to what Disney has done with Star Wars in terms of letting other creators in. I want to see something similar to what the MCU has done in terms of letting multiple people come in and help tell the story and shape future narratives. That is my dream scenario. I don’t know if we’re going to get it, but it’s really what I want, and I talk about it all the time.

[Andrew laughs]

Adriana: I 110% agree with Laura. I want it to kind of be an MCU situation. I want you to give us some more movies, and I also want a TV series, and I need them all to coexist and work within each other but all be different voices. But more specifically, I would like a show that’s about what the other kids were doing during the Harry Potter series, and I just think it’d be a comedy almost, like literally, “Oh, you know those three weird kids that always get in trouble? Yeah, I don’t know about them.”

Eric: Like Puffs. Like an adaptation of… have you seen Puffs, the play?

Adriana: Yes! I would love that. And it could have cameos of the three main characters, but I don’t want the show to be about them. I want the show to fully follow another storyline of some other magical things that was happening, and other maybe little… you know how when you play a game, you got the big boss, but you’ve got the side missions?

Andrew: Yeah, the side quests.

Adriana: I want to see others. Yeah, I want side quests of other things, like, “They’re over there fighting Voldemort; meanwhile, we’re trying to do X, Y, and Z.”

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Meanwhile, things are heating up at the Gobstones Club.

[Andrew laughs]

Adriana: Exactly.

Laura: Or like, final exams got cancelled because of the Chamber of Secrets being open; what were the seventh years supposed to do? They’re trying to graduate and they’re like “Oh my God…”

Eric: There’s the one study bug that’s really upset about it besides Hermione.

[Laura laughs]

Adriana: And I also think it could be like an anthology, where it doesn’t follow one story, just a bunch of different stories. I would like that as well.

Andrew: Absolutely. Great idea, great idea. Well, hopefully… HBO Max, they need ideas, so I think this would be a great one. Listeners, we’ll put Adriana’s Instagram and TikTok handles and links in our social media channels and in the show notes; please do follow her. This has been a great discussion. Thank you so much, Adriana. This has been really, really special.

Laura: You’ve been fantastic.

Andrew: And if you have any feedback about today’s discussion, you can contact us by writing or sending a voice message to For voice messages, just record the message using the Voice Memo app on your phone. You can also use the contact form on, or you can leave a voicemail on our phone; the number is 1-920-3-MUGGLE.


Andrew: Okay, now it’s time for Quizzitch.

[Quizzitch music plays]

Eric: Welcome to this special edition of Quizzitch, where first we are going to be asking last week’s question to Adriana, who led her team Hufflepuff to victory on Hogwarts Tournament of Houses. Adriana, are you ready for last week’s Quizzitch question?

Adriana: I am ready.

Eric: It’s a question from Deathly Hallows. In Deathly Hallows, Hermione suggests two spells for Ron to use when it’s raining inside Yaxley’s office. What are the two spells?

Adriana: Finite Incantatem

Eric: That is one of them.

Adriana: Ooh… I don’t know.

Andrew: You can pass, it’s okay.

Adriana: I know one of them!

Andrew: I’m impressed you got one! What’s the other one?

Laura: Yeah, I wouldn’t have known either one of them…

Andrew: Me neither. [laughs]

Laura: … so you did way better than I would’ve.

Adriana: I feel like the moment you said, I’m going to be like, “Ahh, I know it!” So a bunch of the contestants on the show also feel like they put a charm inside of each question that removed more knowledge from your brain, because we legitimately… afterwards, if you asked us anything, we’d be like, “What?” [laughs]

Andrew: That’s a high-stress environment, too; you’ve got the lights, the cameras, Helen Mirren… I would totally blank on everything. [laughs]

Eric: So here’s the paragraph from page 244 of Harry Potter the Deathly Hallows. “‘Try Finite Incantatem,’ said Hermione at once. ‘That should stop the rain if it’s a hex or a curse; if it doesn’t, something’s gone wrong with an Atmospheric Charm, which will be more difficult to fix, so as an interim measure, try Impervius to protect his belongings.'” The answer is Finite Incantatem and Impervius.

Adriana: Okay, so I got half points.

Andrew: You did.

Eric: Right away. You were like, “Okay, that’s one of them.” Nice work. People who did submit the correct answer to last week’s Quizzitch include Landon; Bort Voldemort; Miss Mel; Pottaaahh; The Cactus Returns; Must be a Weasley 92; A lost packet of Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum; Me 2010; The Evil Weevil; Ron; Remus John Lupin; and Buff Daddy.

Andrew: [laughs] Love Buff Daddy.

Eric: Congratulations to all of those winners, and here is a question for next week. In honor of Black History Month, here’s a question about one of Hogwarts’s Black characters: How many Quidditch matches does Lee Jordan commentate while Harry is at Hogwarts that Harry himself plays in? How many Quidditch matches does Harry play in that Lee Jordan commentates?

Laura: Ooh. Those are some pretty specific parameters.

Andrew: Adriana, let me ask you something: Whose quiz music is better? The TV show’s who you were on, or our quiz music?

Adriana: I think you guys’ quiz music.

Andrew: Yes! Take that, Helen Mirren!

[Laura laughs]

Adriana: It’s very much better. I like your quiz music better.

Eric: Andrew is picking a fight he can’t win.

Andrew: Wow. That is the nicest thing I think anybody’s ever said about the show. Thank you, Adriana. We appreciate that.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: Yeah, we weren’t fishing for that compliment at all.

Adriana: I also have, like, PTSD attached to the show’s quiz music, so… [laughs]

Andrew: Well, anyway, couple of closing reminders before we say goodbye. Make sure you’re following MuggleCast for free in your favorite podcast app, so you never miss an episode, and leave us a review if they allow you to. Also, don’t forget to follow us on social media; our username is @MuggleCast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. And keep an eye on those social media channels this week because once again, we will include links and buttons to Adriana’s Instagram and TikTok. Thank you, everybody, for listening. This has been so fun. So insightful. I’m Andrew.

Eric: I’m Eric.

Laura: I’m Laura.

Adriana: And I’m Adriana!

Andrew: Bye, everyone!

Laura: Bye, y’all.