Transcript #631


MuggleCast 631 Transcript


Transcript for MuggleCast Episode #631, Mmmm, Grapefruit and Floor Cake (GOF Chapters 2 & 3, The Scar and The Invitation)

Show Intro

[Show music plays]

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

Eric Scull: I’m Eric.

Micah Tannenbaum: I’m Micah.

Laura Tee: And I’m Laura.

Andrew: And this week, grab your painkillers and your postage stamps, because this week we’re talking about Goblet of Fire Chapters 2 and 3, “The Scar” and “The Invitation.” Yes, two chapters this week, because Chapter 2 is kind of just a recap chapter. We’ll have thoughts on that coming up. But first, a couple of announcements. One of them pretty big and very new. Laura, would you like to share some very cool news with our audience?

Laura: Yeah, really excited to chat about this. So we’re making history here at the show in the next week or so.

Andrew: “Herstory,” you could say.

Laura: [laughs] Right, “herstory.” So in the next couple of weeks, we’re going to be working on some show content, as well as some content for our Patreon, that is a girls’ takeover. So this is going to be a first for the show, an episode with a panel of all women. So it’ll be myself, ChloĆ©, who is our social media manager, and friends of the pod Pam from over at Millennial, and Meg, who has also been a contributor to MuggleCast, just both by being on the show but also by helping us with our transcripts, as Eric plugged last week. We’re super excited to do this because we’re going to be able to look at female relationships in Harry Potter as well as the different types of female representation that you see or maybe don’t see in Harry Potter. And I’m so excited for us to be able to talk about this through the lenses of having grown up being young girls starting out reading Harry Potter, and growing up with the series. So I think similar to how we on this panel have had new revelations as we’ve gotten older, I think that we’re going to be able to put a really unique lens on our interpretation. Patrons are going to be able to join the girls twice. So we will be recording the girls’ takeover episode on Thursday, October 19 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time. So if you’re a patron, you would be able to join us for that livestream. That episode will later be released on Tuesday, November 7. However, patrons get to join us a second time for a sleepover party on Patreon Saturday, October 21 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. This will replace the Slug Club hangout for the month, but this is a really fun one because the sleepover is open to all $5 patrons and up, so if you’re Dumbledore’s Army and up, you are invited. It’s definitely slumber party-themed, so wear your pajamas, bring those PJs, and bring your favorite beverage of choice. Look forward to that. I am stoked. Want to be sure to give a plug to ChloĆ© here; This was really her idea. And we’re so fortunate to be able to have Pam and Meg joining us because they are members of the MuggleCast family and it’s just great to get us together as a panel.

Eric: What I’m excited about is that unlike Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, this all-girls MuggleCast episode will likely pass the Bechdel Test.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: Yes! I think it will. Actually, maybe that’s a goal we can set, at least for a timed portion of the episode.

Eric: Well, it’s women talking about women. That sounds awesome. It sounds fantastic.

Laura: I know, I agree. I’m not going to sit here and say that a male character is not going to come up in the scope of the conversation, but the focus definitely passes the Bechdel Test. You’re right, Eric.

Micah: Where I thought, Eric, you were going, is [laughs] just for me, what I love about it is I don’t have to record that week.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: You get a week off! This is fantastic.

Micah:: No, but it’s going to be great.

Eric: Laura, can non-girls attend the sleepover party?

Laura: Yes! Everyone’s invited.

Eric: Okay, that’s all patrons. But the girls’ MuggleCast, we can’t show up.

Andrew: By design. I mean, you can listen live if you want.

Laura: Yeah, you can be in the audience if you want. You’re welcome to be in the audience and sound off in the Discord.

Eric: Nice. I’m excited for it. It’s going to be great.

Andrew: Yeah. So again, that’ll be out for everybody Tuesday, November 7. And we’ll have more posts about that coming on social media. Speaking of special episodes of the show, Micah, we’ve got another special event coming up, right?

Micah: Yeah, we just keep keep on hitting everybody with these fun things that we’re doing. So Quizzitch Live is going to be making its return on October 28, and given it’s so close to Halloween, we’re going to do a couple of segments that are focused on Halloween. So we’re going to do wizarding world candy, and we’re going to do some questions on James and Lily Potter, just given the significance of Halloween in their lives, but the main crux of Quizzitch this time around is going to be OWLs edition, so make sure specifically that you study up on your Charms, Potions, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and Transfiguration. And thank you in advance to Nicole H., who provided these questions for us; it cut down on a lot of the work that we have to do in advance. But we’re really looking forward to it. This is something I know we’ve talked about. We popularized it during the pandemic, but it’s something that we know the listeners have really gotten to love. And we’re excited to bring it back. And of course, there will be prizes.

Eric: We always get a great turnout to these things. And also worth mentioning, all the previous Quizzitch Lives are on YouTube. You can still enjoy all of the work that went into our previous live trivia events in preparation for this month.

Andrew: Including a Halloween one. There’s a Halloween one up there, so this is a second Halloween Quizzitch. And they’re a lot of fun for us to run as well, so we’re all looking forward to that. And that’ll be out for everybody on October 31. But like Micah said, the event itself will be October 28, and more details to come there as well. And lastly, a little show announcement. This is especially for patrons: MuggleCast live recordings are going to be moving to Thursdays beginning November 9 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. That will be our new time, Thursdays 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Episodes will still be out at the normal time the following week, but we’re moving off the weekends. We’re moving to prime time; we’re going to be competing against Friends on NBC and Seinfeld and whatever the…

Eric: The Bachelor.

Micah: Thursday night football, bro.

Andrew: Thursday night football! But yeah, just a little update there for patrons. And a reminder real quick: Laura mentioned it, Eric, but we now have transcripts rockin’ and rollin’ on the site, right?

Eric: Yeah, we announced them last week, but already, the most recent four episodes of MuggleCast all have transcripts that are published, if people are looking for it. Reason I mention this, too, is because we got some feedback on our Goblet of Fire commentary episode; happened to see a message come in going, “There’s so much silence between when you guys talk, how am I supposed to listen to this?” And of course, we had to listen. The commentary goes along with the movie; you can’t edit that to be shorter pauses or it won’t align with the movie. So I say to that person, read the transcript. It’s now online.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: If you’re interested. And everyone else who’s never, ever complained about that, awesome. We love you more.

Andrew: Yeah, the commentary tracks are very much intended to be paired with the movie. We definitely acknowledge that you can’t really listen to it without the movie. But that’s why we do these few and far between.

Eric: Yeah, well, that said, I thought that this particular commentary track was a loopy fun good time and is worth a read.

Andrew: Oof, yeah, that gin got to me pretty quick, I will say.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: It was the perfect intro to get into the Goblet of Fire chats that we are now having.

Chapter by Chapter: Seven-Word Summary

Andrew: Oh, and what a beautiful transition. So this week we’re discussing Chapters 2 and 3 of Goblet of Fire, “The Scar” and “The Invitation.” And we are going to do two seven-word summaries this week, and we’re going to go back to one of Micah’s ideas from a few months ago. It’ll just be Eric and I doing this seven-word summary, and then Micah and Laura will take the next chapter. So you ready for this teamwork, Eric?

Eric: Yes.

[Seven-Word Summary music plays]

Andrew: Dumbledore…

Eric: … sometimes…

Andrew: … is…

Eric: … on…

Andrew: [laughs] … the…

Eric: … beach…

Andrew: [laughs] … relaxing.

[Seven-Word Summary music ends]

Andrew: Wow. Okay, so… good. I have no further comment. Good. [laughs]

Eric: All right. We did it. We summarized this chapter.

Micah: Great job, guys.

Chapter by Chapter: Main Discussion

Andrew: Yes, I guess you’re right, Eric. Not much happens in this chapter. This is a recap chapter. It is a chapter, Eric, that if you had made it to – last week you were talking about how you read Chapter 1 of Goblet of Fire

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: … and you hadn’t read any other Harry Potter books and you were like, “What is this? I’m out.” If you had gotten to this chapter, maybe you would have continued reading the book. Do you think that’s fair to say?

Eric: It’s really hard to say because this chapter then… where we were like, “Oh, thank God, there’s no recap in this book” – this is just recap. And the writing is still a little hokey; Harry is picturing his friends in his head, what they would say to his thing, and downplaying his own misery and suffering. And I don’t know, it’s really hard to say because this is also not your standard “Action happens” chapter. Maybe when I was in seventh grade, I wanted an “Action happens” chapter. So this was still not that. And it’s possible that I should just say, “You know what, it wasn’t for me in the year 2000. It wouldn’t be until 2001 that I would like Harry Potter.”

Andrew: Micah, I know you feel like this chapter is in line with something we’ve heard over the years.

Micah: A bit. We’ve heard over the years that the author felt very rushed, in terms of writing Goblet of Fire. And in a chapter like this, I thought that that came through maybe the first time or the second, or before even learning this, right? Before we ever even heard that she felt rushed writing Goblet of Fire. Maybe you just page through it; it’s a quick recap chapter. But with that in the back of our minds, as we move through this book it’ll be interesting to note moments where maybe the plot feels a little bit rushed, or there’s chapters that just… 2 and 3 could really have been combined together into one chapter. There was no reason to have these as being two separate chapters. I know I called it a nothing burger of a chapter.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: But it really is. If you’re a Harry Potter fan that has read the first three books, it’s nice to get a little bit of a refresher, but it doesn’t move the needle for you really at all.

Eric: It’s not an “Action happens” chapter.

Laura: It also feels very out-of-step with the pacing of the chapter that came before it. I had forgotten about this, but reading this chapter immediately after “The Riddle House” feels so jarring. Like, we have this really great mystery being set up, it’s macabre, and there’s little breadcrumbs being dropped throughout, and you’re trying to figure out what everything means. And then it’s like, “Previously on Harry Potter…”

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: And yet, it is the obligatory… if the book itself didn’t have these little things about “Voldemort killed Harry’s parents” and “Sirius Black was his godfather,” you would be lost, by the wayside, right? As a non-recurring… saying people made it past the first chapter, which I did not. You do need these little breadcrumbs, right, to understand the overall story?

Micah: You do. I do like what Laura is saying, though, because right in the first chapter of Goblet of Fire, you get the payoff from the ending of Prisoner of Azkaban, which is Pettigrew and Voldemort together, master and servant reunited, and then it just completely drops off and the action isn’t there. But one of the things I did, I went to an interview that the author did shortly after Goblet of Fire was released, and there are some interesting quotes here I thought we could talk about. She says, “The first three books, my plan never failed me. But I should have put that plot under a microscope. I wrote what I thought was half the book, and ‘Ack!’ Huge gaping hole in the middle of the plot.” She’s referring to Goblet of Fire. “I missed my deadline by two months. And the whole profile of the books got so much higher since the third book; there was an edge of external pressure.” Now, there’s also the movies to consider here that are in development, and how fast that she is writing in comparison to the movies being filmed and ultimately released. She had to keep up with that.

Andrew: Well, and I think, also, her publishers were probably pushing her as well. And I seem to recall that after this book, she started to work on her own timeline. She was like, “I need to work on my own schedule; when it’s done, it’s done.” And that’s why we ended up seeing a three-year wait between 4 and 5.

Eric: Yeah, and I mean, if you think about it, even just the fact that the first three Harry Potter books came out a year from each other, and the fourth book did the same… the fourth book is twice as long page count-wise. That shows you. That’s everything you ever need to know about how stressful this must have been. And yet, the book still turns out really, really, really good. She was still, I think, at her peak capacity for world building, plot building, character threading… it’s all just really good stuff.

Andrew: Also, in doing research for starting Chapter by Chapter of this book, I read that she also decided on the title very late. Do y’all remember that? Very late.

Laura: I do remember.

Micah: Wasn’t it The Doomspell Tournament?

Andrew: And then she changed it to Goblet of Fire. That speaks to the point that we’re making here that there was only a year in between these, in between 3 and 4, and how quick the turnaround was. Do you want to read this other quote too?

Micah: Yeah, one other quote that came from this interview. This is a more indirect reference to the plot hole that was mentioned in the previous quote. She says that, “I had to pull a character. There you go: ‘the Phantom character of Harry Potter.’ She was a Weasley cousin (related to Ron Weasley, Harry’s best friend). She served the same function that Rita Skeeter (a sleazy investigative journalist) now serves. Rita was always going to be in the book, but I built her up because I needed a kind of conduit for information outside of the school. Originally, this girl fulfilled this purpose.”

Andrew: That would have been fun. A Weasley cousin like funneling information in and out of Hogwarts, it sounds like.

Laura: And am I remembering this correctly that this Weasley cousin was supposed to have been a Slytherin?

Eric: I don’t remember this.

Micah: It seems familiar.

Laura: Yeah, I feel like I remember this being the case, which would have fit in really well with how Slytherins are being characterized at this point in time of writing these books.

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Laura: But it would have also been an interesting take to see a Slytherin Weasley.

Andrew: Well, turning back to the chapter now, it opens with Harry trying to recall what he had seen in his dream and his scar hurting. And as we said last episode, this was the first time he actually has a direct line of communication with Voldemort. It’s definitely concerning. And we’ll get into that in a second, in terms of how Harry handles it from here, but Laura, I think you wanted to talk about the point of view. Where was that connection exactly? What was it offering him?

Laura: Yeah, so I thought that the point of view here is interesting because Harry is not seeing it from Voldemort’s point of view. He’s seeing it as an observer, which we know doesn’t quite fit with how their mind connection works. We see later on in the series that Harry will see something from Nagini’s point of view. There was at least once where he saw things from Voldemort’s point of view, and he even distinctly remembered the feeling of uttering that cold, conniving laugh. But here, he’s like a fly on the wall. So I was wondering if this was just a case of this particular plot point not being fully fleshed out yet.

Micah: Like the author was rushed?

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: Yeah, like the author was rushed. Or also just that the Horcrux mind connection between the two of them just wasn’t fully fleshed out yet. That had not been fully conceived of yet. But you had an interesting headcanon, Micah.

Micah: Well, you mentioned Nagini and how Harry sees things through her perspective, right? Probably the best example is in Order of the Phoenix when he tells Dumbledore, “No, I was the snake attacking Arthur Weasley.” And I was curious if perhaps, as you mentioned the last episode, Laura, Nagini is a narc in this particular moment.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Micah: She could just be hanging out on the landing behind Frank Bryce, waiting for her moment to slither into the room. Could Harry be seeing this through her perspective, very early on, and he just doesn’t know it? And I think it’s a mix of what we’ve all been talking about. I don’t think the Horcrux connection has been fully fleshed out; we see it obviously in Order of the Phoenix. But yeah, I thought that could have been a cool theory to throw out there.

Eric: I love it.

Laura: Yeah, I love that. Honestly, it’s ambiguous where his point of view is coming from, enough that I think we can declare canon, honestly. I love this.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: On what, all of it?

Laura: Yeah, on Harry seeing this from Nagini’s point of view, even though it’s…

Andrew: “It’s true, all of it.”

Eric: Well, it talks about… what, the Dark Side? The Force? It’s all true.

[“I declare canon!” sound effect plays with thunder]

Eric: Ooh, sounds like Chicago out there.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: The example given in the book is that Harry has seen what Voldemort currently looks like, and that’s not possible if the dream is coming through Voldemort’s eyes the way that Harry later experiences Death Eater meetings between Voldemort and the group.

Laura: Right.

Eric: So Nagini being able to see Wormtail and Voldemort and the Muggle… the Nagini perspective is my favorite headcanon now.

Laura: Yeah, same.

Eric: Even though he is not conscious of being in a body of a snake like he is later, where he feels moving around. So the Horcrux connection is either just getting started, and is weak enough that Harry doesn’t feel snaky… I think that that’s all very reasonable. And then the other aspect is the last chapter has a lot of backstory, too, of the war and Little Hangleton and Great Hangleton, and it’s not like Harry is getting that history lesson in his dream. Harry’s dream probably picked up closer to the time when Frank arrives inside the Riddle House.

Andrew: Another line we wanted to call out here. And again, this is a recap chapter. This line… I think we all read this and thought the same thing. The line goes, “Harry was used to bizarre accidents and injuries; they were unavoidable if you attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,” basically admitting, midway through the series, the whole school is a what?

[“It’s starting to sound like a security nightmare!” sound effect plays with sirens]

Laura: This story is being told by a third-person omniscient narrator, right? Who has access to all of Harry’s thoughts and feelings. But it’s very clear that there are points where the author’s perspective comes through, and I think we see that in the next chapter, especially around some of the comments made about Dudley, where it’s like, “Okay, so not only does Harry know this, but the author is acknowledging it too.” Security nightmare.

Andrew: So then Harry starts wondering how Dumbledore, Ron, and Hermione would react to being informed that his scar was hurting. And he does think that Hermione and Ron would be concerned. And while he does suspect that Dumbledore is on a beach over the summer holidays, he doesn’t think about how Albus would actually respond to the news that his scar was hurting. So I’m wondering… and we’re dropping all the sound effects this morning.

[“What if?” sound effect plays]

Andrew: What if Harry did tell Dumbledore that his scar was hurting? How would Albus have responded? And I hope that he would have come home from the beach and maybe started teaching him Occlumency… or maybe not because I also think that Dumbledore – I think we’ve discussed on the show – Dumbledore likes that open connection to an extent, so he can see what the Dark side is up to.

Eric: I definitely think that if Harry had told Dumbledore anything about his dream or the fact that his scar hurt, it would have put Dumbledore on slightly better footing to anticipate the year ahead. Dumbledore is often on pretty good footing, it’s true, in regards to what Voldemort is up to and what Voldemort is doing, but I think it would have resulted in at least a follow-up conversation between Dumbledore and Harry. Maybe at start of term – maybe he wouldn’t have shown up on Privet Drive that night to ask him follow-up questions – but I think that Dumbledore really would have wanted to know what Voldemort was talking about in Harry’s dream. And I think you’re right, Andrew, to bring up Occlumency. I think even though he’s trying to foster that connection and wants to leave it open a little bit, there might be certain little things that he would help Harry with in case it happened again, or he would try and prompt them to happen again. He would maybe try and increase that connection, so that he could essentially do what he does at the end of the book, bring back the Order of the Phoenix, prepare for softening Fudge’s position on Voldemort coming back. If Harry even lets the word slip, like “Bertha Jorkins,” then Dumbledore immediately knows more than Fudge about what happened to her and can begin to really unravel the plot. So I think Harry should have told Dumbledore.

Andrew: And Dumbledore does say later in the series that he knew there was a connection between Harry and Voldemort as early as Harry’s first year at Hogwarts, and he did suspect a connection by the end of Chamber of Secrets. He should already be concerned. And I guess he would be further concerned if he heard about what was happening here. At least give Harry some lessons in pain management or something like that so he doesn’t have to deal with the headaches.

[Micah laughs]

Laura: Similar to what Eric said about Dumbledore being on better footing for handling the events of the year, I just think that if Dumbledore knew about this and knew about Harry’s dream, he might have foreseen what would come out of the Goblet of Fire. He might have put two and two together there.

Micah: Definitely. And the thing with Harry when he wakes up is that he goes through what most of us go through in that he doesn’t remember everything, right? And Eric, I don’t know if this is what you were getting at. Is there some kind of magic that can be utilized to show the full scope of the dream? Especially if he’s reaching out to somebody like Dumbledore, whose magical ability is… he can do pretty much anything. And this is also the first time Harry has gone through something like this, right? So he’s probably pretty scared. I don’t know. I felt for him. I feel like we’ve all been in that situation where we experience something and then we’re not really sure if we should tell anybody, and then if we should, who do we tell, right? Is it our friends? Is it our parents? Is it somebody else who can help us out?

Andrew: Like a family member, maybe!

Eric: “Oh, wait! I have a new Godfather!”

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: But yeah, I’ll say that Harry’s self doubt… you’re exactly right, Micah, we’ve all gone through it. But ultimately, it’s a new way of seeing how the scar works. Because Harry is like, “The last time my scar hurt, Voldemort was right in front of me. He couldn’t be right in front of me now, could he?” And it’s like, “No, listener, no, reader, he couldn’t be, but he was pretty much right in front of you Horcrux-wise.” The connection is now so intimate that from thousands of miles away, he can be in your head. It’s really fascinating. The scar is working, as it always has, to warn Harry or keep him safe in a way. And it goes back to what Dumbledore said in Chapter 1 of Book 1: “Scars can be useful.” We’re getting a new version, a new understanding, about what Harry’s scar is for and what it does.

Andrew: And also, because Harry is struggling to remember the details, telling Dumbledore is is a bit risky. Why waste Vacation Dumbledore’s time with a dream you barely even remember?

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Micah: He’s having a good time. Dumbledore was nice enough to send us a photo for when he traveled back in Harry’s fourth year, and he is just living his best life. He looks like he’s out at a beach club. He’s indulging in a little bit of… I don’t know if we can say that on the show. But he’s cleansing his mind.

Eric: Huh.

Andrew: Micah recently found the AI image tools and he’s been having a lot of fun recently. So I alluded to this a couple minutes ago: Harry wishes he had a family member to tell about the dream and realizes he should reach out to his new BFF godfather Sirius about his scar hurting, and he sends out the letter in hopes of it finding Sirius in whatever seemingly tropical location he might be in because the birds that were delivering letters from Sirius were tropical of nature. We won’t end up getting a reply from Sirius until a couple of chapters later, but when we do eventually hear back from him, we learn that Sirius is concerned about the scar hurting, because it aligns with other strange things going on, and he’s heading north immediately to deal with the sitch. And this is without him knowing about the dream Harry had; remember in this chapter, Harry hesitates from telling him the details, just that his scar was hurting. So if Sirius heard all the details, that could have changed a lot of things, too, in terms of how the next few chapters played out.

Eric: This really speaks to Sirius’s need to be useful. He sees an opportunity here to… yes, he’s running from the law, yes, it’s a big deal that he doesn’t get caught, and self preservation and all that nonsense, but as soon as there’s an opportunity for Harry to be saved by him or given more info or just… he puts himself a little bit at risk by going back up north where there’s more wizards looking for him, and he does it to save or potentially help Harry with his situation. I just think that’s good godfather material.

Micah: And can we talk about the tropical birds for a second?

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Micah: Just because I wonder…

Eric: Why, do you have more AI art?

Micah: Well, that’s another one we could work on after the show. But I was thinking, part of this is fun, right? Sirius is a fun character. He would do something like this just to make Harry smile. But part of me also wonders if it’s to annoy the Dursleys should they ever find out about it, right? Like, what in the world would a tropical bird be doing in Little Whinging? [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, that’s true.

Micah: I don’t know. I found that to be a very fun moment.

Andrew: And very large, too, at least in the illustrated edition here. I’m holding it up now for the camera; you can see a very large tropical bird. And the Dursleys would not like that either.

Eric: The book says it can barely fit through the window. And I’m like, “What kind of tropical bird is this?”

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Micah: Like a toucan?

Laura: Yeah, the description was so vague. I distinctly remember reading this as a kid, and even to this day, the imagery I see is like, Toucan Sam [laughs] flying into Harry’s bedroom.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s basically what it’s looking like in the illustrated edition.

Eric: Or a pelican. [makes a pelican noise]

Andrew: And then last thing here, this is minor, but in his letter to Sirius Harry says Dudley could no longer play Mega-Mutilation Part 3 on PlayStation. Now, that’s a real console, of course, but that’s not a real game. J.K. Rowling has a tendency to be really lazy sometimes with naming. Mega-Mutilation? Sometimes she really rushes. And I did, of course, Google Mega-Mutilation, and…

Eric: [laughs] I wonder what your results were. Was safe search turned on?

Andrew: It was just Reddit threads saying, “Hey, is that a real game?” [laughs] Actually, the first one was a Reddit thread that says, “Mega-Mutilation Part 3? Really?”

Laura: I feel like it’s probably referencing fighting games, thinking about all the fighting games that were popular when we were kids. Like Street Fighter, I think. Oh, yeah, Kyle on the Discord is calling it out; Mortal Kombat would be maybe a closer connection. I think this is probably riffing off of that and also meant as a commentary about Dudley because of course he would want to play a game where he got to kill lots and lots of innocent bystanders. [laughs]

Micah: That’s where I was going. Exactly.

Andrew: I was also thinking that Harry was just making up a title, like he didn’t even know what game he was playing.

[Micah laughs]

Laura: Right.

Andrew: Because he doesn’t… he just knows it’s a PlayStation, and Dudley wants to beat people up, like you two are saying. So, Mega-Mutilation Part 3. Kyle in our Discord is also bringing up: This is also one of the famous time errors in the series because the PlayStation wasn’t out in Europe yet in the time that this book was set, only in Japan. So he says, “You have to assume Vernon imported it for him,” which does sound like something Vernon would do for his dear boy, his dear only child. All right, well, that is the chapter and we’ll get to Chapter 3 in a moment.

Micah: [laughs] What a riveting chapter that was.

Andrew: We still had a good discussion about it.

Micah: We did.

Andrew: And you know what? I’m in the mood to feel cozy after a nice cozy chapter like that. Oh, and wouldn’t you know it?

[MeUndies ad break]

Micah: You know who could use some MeUndies?

Andrew: Who?

Micah: Vernon Dursley.

Andrew: [laughs] With a fun avocado toast print on them. I can see it now.

Micah: Grapefruit.

Andrew: Grapefruit? Sure.

Laura: Yeah, that’s his breakfast of… well, not choice, but the breakfast that he is given now.

Chapter by Chapter: Seven-Word Summary

Andrew: Okay, so Micah, Laura, you ready for your seven-word summary duo edition?

Laura: Yes.


Andrew: One-on-one edition, let’s call it. Here we go.

[Seven-Word Summary music plays]

Laura: Molly…

Micah: … tries…

Laura: … to…

Micah: … save…

Laura: … Harry’s…

Micah: … summer…

Laura: … funnily.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: Because I’m thinking about the stamps.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

[Seven-Word Summary music ends]

Chapter by Chapter: Main Discussion

Andrew: Chapter 3, “The Invitation.” So Harry receives an invitation to go to the Quidditch World Cup with the Weasleys and spend a couple weeks with them at the Burrow in advance of the big event. What a nice invite. But as is always the case, Vernon, now in his MeUndies, is allergic to anything to do with the wizarding world. And when Harry pitches the invitation to Vernon, he replies, “How many times do I have to tell you not to mention that unnaturalness under my roof?” And reading this line, the way the Dursleys and Vernon in particular treats being a wizard just reeked to me of how a homophobic person reacts to an LGBTQ person or family member. It’s just like, “I don’t want to hear it, I don’t want to think it, I don’t want it to even be implied or seen in any manner in this house.” And it’s a nice reminder to me that sometimes you need to find your own chosen family, like Harry does when he’s viewed as an outcast. And obviously, at this point Harry really does have his own chosen family, including the one he just received an invitation from.

Eric: Yeah, by Book 4 it shows us that this relationship is not going to get better between Harry and his relatives. It’s a pretty safe bet because right now we see Harry leverage the connection with his ex-con godfather to just get some basic necessities like food, or rather, their permission to be able to do his school-booking at night. So I just think that it’s clear, especially by now, that you’re right, Andrew, these are the wrong people for Harry, they are not his… they’re his family but not his found family. He needs to find better people who do better and surround himself with them.

Micah: Definitely, and Harry… this moment that you’re calling out, Andrew, was towards the tail end of the conversation, but Harry was very strategic in how he was speaking to Vernon throughout most of that conversation; he was tiptoeing around saying certain words or certain phrases. And not only does Vernon react this way… like, he looks to the window to make sure that there’s nobody that could potentially hear what Harry has said, so he’s completely paranoid.

Laura: Yeah. I also was thinking about the comparison you made, Andrew, about the Dursleys really reacting the same way that a homophobic person would react to an LGBTQ+ person, and it made me remember the fact that the Dursleys literally forced Harry to live in a closet for the first 11 years of his life, so that’s just another added layer of interpretation that we can put on this. But I also could see us taking it broader and saying it’s reflective of how prejudiced people in general react to anything that doesn’t meet their standards of normality.

Eric: Yeah, I mean, Vernon is asking followup questions about this letter that arrives, including, “Who is this woman that sent it?” But then when Harry tells her, he insults Molly, and then he asks, “What is Quizzitch?” Or… [laughs] What is Quidditch? Sorry, I’ve never not going to be able to…

Micah: I do it all the time now too.

Andrew: [laughs] “Quizzitch is the trivia game from MuggleCast.”

Micah: It’s your fault, really.

Eric: It’s just so good. Thank you, Kyle, for giving us the gift of Quizzitch. He says, “What is Quidditch?” And Harry tells him, and he says [makes spluttering noises], “What is this rubbish?” It’s like, you’re asking questions, but not coming from a place of caring or really listening. Vernon is just trying to make sure that it doesn’t affect him, that he doesn’t have to get anywhere near it.

Micah: Yeah, and there’s also… you were mentioning Molly, that he references her as a dumpy sort of a woman…

Andrew: Ugh.

Micah: … and Harry notes how that is comical coming from somebody like Vernon, but it just shows you the lack of self-awareness that the Dursleys have. And we’re going to talk more about that when we get to Dudley and everything that he’s going through, but they’re just so caught up in themselves that they can’t really see their own true reflection in the mirror.

Laura: Yeah, it’s also reflective of a double standard that often gets applied to women. So again, Micah, you calling out that it’s comical that someone like Vernon would call someone like Molly a “dumpy sort of woman,” but the reality is society reinforces that perspective, that it’s more acceptable for a man to have that sort of physical appearance than for a woman to have it.

Eric: Yeah, he’s just stout, he’s portly, he’s…

Micah: He eats well.

Laura: Right. He’s big-boned.

Andrew: Yeah. The double standard point is such a good one, too, and I mean, we see that all the time. And look, I’m guilty of it too; everybody talks crap on other people when they’ve got their own problems as well. It’s just like, deflection, deflection, deflection.

Micah: But it’s not like we would expect Vernon to say anything nice about Molly in the first place, so this is not surprising.

Andrew: Right, right.

Micah: The one thing I did want to call out about the letter that the Dursleys receive: It has a million stamps on it. It’s meant to be funny for us as readers. It’s very similar to when Ron calls Harry in the previous book, right? I think it’s an oversight on the part of the Weasleys. Ron says that they have no clue how normal mail works, but given Arthur’s job, shouldn’t they?

Laura: Yeah, and I remember us asking about this when Ron didn’t know how to use the telephone either. [laughs] It just feels so out of place that Arthur wouldn’t be able to offer some knowledge. Also, Ron’s best friend is Muggle-born. It’s pretty easy to figure this out, buddy.

Eric: Do your research. Ask Hermione. I think where Molly errs is saying, “Send a reply to this in the normal way.” That is a value judgment. That is a loaded sentence that is guaranteed to piss Uncle Vernon off.

Andrew: Yeah. And I just think logically speaking, who would say, “Okay, it is time to mail this. So how do I mail this? I know, I’ll put as many stamps as possible on the front of the envelope.” It just doesn’t make sense. Why would they do that? I know they’re like, “Oh, Muggles are nuts, so they probably would do something like this,” but no, just no. I’m insulted.

Laura: Yeah, I mean, I can understand the confusion because depending on what you’re mailing, where you’re mailing it to, sometimes you do need multiple stamps. You don’t need quite this many, not as many as Molly uses, but it makes me wonder if Arthur maybe only has a passing knowledge of how the Postal Service works and was like, “Yeah, I don’t know how many stamps you’re going to need, but sometimes you need more than one, so just put a bunch on there to be safe.”

Micah: But where’d they get them from? They had to go to the post office. [laughs]

Laura: I know.

Eric: Well, there’s that. Yeah, I don’t know. Again, I said that Molly kind of shoots herself in the foot by the wording that she uses in the letter, but the idea of an invitation being sent to the Dursleys more formally is actually kind of a good idea in its outset. The execution we can all agree is awful. But think about it; she’s entreating them. She’s like, “Hey, we love your nephew. We would love to invite him for this very special once-in-a-lifetime event.” It’s a perfectly, in some levels, polite and appropriate thing to have done.

Micah: And can you fault Vernon in this case? If I were the mailman, I would think it was strange that it had all these stamps on it. We’ve got a kooky old grandma that doesn’t know how to mail you a letter the right way. [laughs]

Eric: Right, right. And the mailman is not coming from a place of malice, it’s just interest, but Vernon does not want to stand out. The books are very clear on Vernon and Petunia’s – which, by the way, where is she? – stance on this whole kind of thing.

Micah: It’s just Vernon not wanting anybody to think anything unnatural of him or his family. That’s what it comes down to. He’s afraid the mailman is going to report him to the post office or something.

Andrew: The post office? [laughs]

Micah: Ruh-roh.

Laura: I were that mailman, I would assume that it was some kind of prank or inside joke. Nobody’s going to go back to their superior and be like, “I delivered a really weird letter today.” Who cares?

Andrew: Right. I’m sure they’ve seen it before from Muggles sending to Muggles just for fun; like, a kid would do that. That seems like something a kid would do. Micah said, we did jump ahead a little bit here. As we read the chapter, Harry is laying out Vernon’s conundrum about letting Harry go to the Cup/the Weasleys or not, and Harry sees it as… he looks at both sides of the situation for Vernon. The pro side Harry is no longer in the house. The downside for Vernon is that Harry will get what he wants, and he doesn’t want that. And his evil godfather will know that Vernon is telling him no, he can’t go, and then Sirius is going to come and kill him or something like that. [laughs] But one thing that Harry doesn’t keep in mind here that I thought was interesting: I would think Vernon is also considering the fact that Harry always gets his way. Year one, the letters inviting him to Hogwarts arrive come hell or high water. No matter where they run, those letters come. Year two, his friends bail him out with a flying car. Year three, his magic pushed him to extremes because he was being treated poorly. So if were Vernon, I’d be like, “I have to say yes,” because something bad is going to happen again. Maybe it’s something with Sirius, maybe not, but that would be my top consideration.

Eric: Right. Joke’s on him because something bad happens anyway. He does say yes, and they still end up with their living room destroyed. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, so maybe he needs to learn “Say yes and get him out quick before some wizards come over.” So let’s move on to what’s going on in terms of the diet at the Dursleys’ house. Dudley is on this diet and Vernon and Petunia are in on the program as well to support their dear boy. Harry, meanwhile… well, and Harry is in on it too. However, Harry is hiding a bunch of wizarding treats up in his room, and I was wondering… Dudley is surely desperate for the good stuff. The real candy, the sugary sweets, all the unhealthy stuff. Would Dudley have wanted to become a wizard if Harry secretly gave him some of those delicious wizarding desserts? I have to think Dudley is absolutely hating this healthy diet; he would do anything to get back to cake and all that. This could have been a bonding moment.

Micah: It could have. I don’t know if he necessarily would have gone the wizard route, although I’m sure there’s part of Dudley that thinks it’s cool that Harry is a wizard, even if he doesn’t admit it out loud. But I do think this could have been a perfect opportunity for Harry to form some sort of relationship with Dudley, right? He has all of this good food for Dudley to eat; Dudley would be over the moon if he could get his hands on some cookies or some cake. But I think it’s also how Dudley has treated Harry over the years and he doesn’t want any of it.

Eric: I think that there’s a great, non-zero possibility that Dudley would have seen Harry having sweets and turned him in for good favor to the other Dursleys, because remember, one of the few – I know, what a narc thing to do; he’s worse than Nagini…

[Laura laughs]

Eric: But one of the only things that keeps Dudley sane during this time is that Petunia is starving Harry even more by giving him a smaller grapefruit wedge for breakfast or lunch or whatever it is. So I think that Dudley has been raised to think of himself as better than, and so he would take whatever Harry could offer but then immediately turn him in or still find some way to not be 100% doing of the right thing, if Harry were to confide in Dudley that he has this secret birthday cake.

Andrew: I think the Dursleys would have rewarded him with a sweet for reporting the sweets, an eye for an eye.

Micah: Ooh.

Laura: I think Dudley would have stolen all of Harry’s treats, and told Harry, “Yeah, go and tell my parents whatever you want. Who do you think they’re going to believe, you or me?” Because if Harry went to the Dursleys and was like, “Yo, I had all this great birthday cake; he took all of it,” and he’s hiding it and stuffing it down his throat, he would just have to be like, “No, I didn’t do that, Mummy. Why would I do that?” And Petunia would be like, “Oh, my little diddy Dudley kins, you would never do that.” So they would probably punish Harry in some way by locking him in his bedroom or throwing him back in the cupboard under the stairs. I just don’t see this not backfiring on Harry.

Micah: It would have been an interesting test run for Harry to just leave Hagrid’s rock cakes outside of Dudley’s room and see what happened.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: But I love that Harry does this. He sends out an APB for cake and food…

[Eric laughs]

Micah: … to be sent to him from all of his friends all over the world.

Andrew: “Help me!”

Micah: But I’m curious, what is it? We talk about how poorly Harry is treated. You mentioned the smaller grapefruit wedge, but I’m just envisioning this kid going back to his room, closing the door, opening the floorboard, taking cake and whatever else he has there out to eat at 14 years old just so he can nourish himself properly. It’s a very sad set of circumstances.

Eric: Floor cake. Delicious. Who doesn’t want a piece of floor cake right now?

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: Well, I have a question about this floor cake. How are all of these perishable food items lasting so long? It’s noted that Harry literally receives four birthday cakes in response to his plea for help, and he’s storing them… first of all, how big is this floorboard that he’s storing four birthday cakes and a host of other treats under there? But also, how long is this food lasting? And it made me wonder, is there some kind of charm to preserve food for extended periods of time so that wizards don’t have to worry about their food going bad?

Andrew: You would think so.

Eric: There probably is. But Harry can’t perform that charm; it would have… because that’ll flag the Ministry.

Andrew: No, but other people were making them, so…

Eric: Well, right, so he would have had to say, “Send me stuff and make sure that it can last a while,” that kind of thing… because I can go through four birthday cakes pretty quickly.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Eric: Before it expires, I’ve had to do that before.

Laura: But do you keep them under your floorboard, is the question.

Eric: No, and that’s the other thing. Look, there’s spiders and all sorts of friends that could come and eat that cake as well. How do you keep it…? There were spiders in Harry’s cupboard.

Laura: I know.

Andrew: Muggles have unfortunately perfected the art of preservatives, and I’m sure wizards could do something similar as well.

Laura: I’m sure. But I don’t know, I was reading about him keeping cake and stuff underneath the floorboards and I was like, “Do you want ants? Because that’s how you get ants, man.”

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Or can you give us some tips so that we can do that too? I’d love to keep some cake in my room.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Yeah, Kyle pointed this out in the Discord as well, but what would the…? So Ron probably didn’t make the birthday cake himself, because the book says that he gets cake from Ron, Hermione, Hagrid, and Sirius. All send him cake. Ron did not bake that cake. I mean, maybe he did; maybe people are saying this is Ron assassination. But what would the request have looked like to Molly? For Ron to be like, “Harry is asking us to send food”? That would have… I think she would have dropped all pretense of propriety and not sent this lovely invitation to the Dursleys. It would have been another rescue mission, a Ford Anglia-involved-if-they-still-had-it kind of escape attempt. How did Ron either sneakily or otherwise convey to his family that Harry is asking for food? Because that’s a huge red flag.

Laura: Well, he does note in the letter that he sends Harry, “Ask the Muggles, and if they say yes, we’ll come get you tomorrow. If they say no, we’ll still come get you tomorrow.” So it’s clear that they’re still intending to come get him out. But I think after the events of two summers ago, Molly has taken the lead on planning this because she does not want her children to be breaking any laws to do this like they did a couple years ago.

Eric: Yeah. And Molly did send meat pies as well, so that’s… yeah.

Laura: Yeah, she did. While we’re telling you about food, though, I just want to call out as well that Dudley’s diet is very reflective of the toxic diet culture of the 1990s. A quarter of a grapefruit is not sufficient nutrition for anyone. [laughs]

Andrew: If I’m trying to defend the writing choice at the time, it’s to take a comical perspective on it. It’s exaggerated for comedic purposes, but yes. And I think there has been criticism, especially as time has gone on, that the author was being fatphobic at times in the series with how she describes the Dursleys.

Laura: Yeah, and I agree with that, but I actually don’t think this is fatphobic. I feel like this is a commentary on diet culture of the time, as I said, because there are legitimately – you can look it up – there are diets that have in the past, and in some cases still do, suggest these types of extreme measures that are not sustainable in the long term. And it just reminded me of a lot of the commercial advertisement that we saw around “Lose weight quick” diets, flash diets, and the kinds of extreme measures that people were encouraged to go to to drop weight quickly. And that’s what’s being put on Dudley here, right? Because the Dursleys aren’t educated about the right way to do this and the healthy way to do this, so they’re just trying to do it quick.

Andrew: I think all of us can still visualize the magazine covers at the food store checkout aisles, the promises they were making.

Laura: Yeah, “Lose 10 pounds in 30 days!” type stuff.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Micah: I will say there is no reference, at least in this chapter, about Dudley engaging in any physical activity, which would help, certainly, with a lot of what he’s dealing with.

Eric: Well, right. I will say, although Laura said that that particular thing was not fat shaming or fatphobic, there is a lot in this chapter that is fat shaming and fatphobic. It may actually be the worst offender of every chapter in the Harry Potter books to be fat shaming. The level of comparisons that the narrator is drawing are really offensive to reread, and it’s just pretty egregious, looking back on it, like, “Wow, she actually just compared Dudley’s weight to that of a baby killer whale.” Like, really? How does Harry know what a baby killer whale weighs? It’s just for effect.

Micah: Well, and the fact that the school doesn’t have a uniform big enough for him, right? That’s also brought up in this chapter.

Andrew: And that’s why the school nurse makes the recommendation to Petunia.

Eric: It’s just something to be going on with the Dursleys, something that they are engaged with, so as to not give Harry their full attention. But it’s unfortunate, reading it back going, “Ooh.”

Laura: Yeah. And there’s that whole weird comment about “Dudley had finally achieved what he had been threatening to do since he was three years old, becoming wider than he was tall” or “as wide as he was tall.” And it’s like, what three-year-old is threatening to do that? [laughs] It was definitely an interesting choice.

Micah: Yeah, and I think we can apply what we’ve talked about as it relates to a lot of other characters to Dudley, that he’s a condition of Petunia and Vernon. He’s a reflection of how he’s being raised. And I think we see multiple times in this series how Petunia is just in complete denial about her son. And I wonder if she’s looking across the table and making comparisons to Harry, maybe much like her parents made comparisons between her and Lily. I think there’s definitely something that is going on psychologically with her, where she is just giving anything and everything to her son that he wants when he wants it, regardless of whether or not it’s healthy for him. And that’s both physical and mental health.

Eric: I do want to ask why Petunia was not present for the discussion about the letter because they they clearly dine together as a family, but Petunia, who would normally have a vested interest in keeping out of sight of the neighbors, is not present at all. Vernon handles the confrontation with Harry entirely on his own. And my theory about this – I want to know you guys’ thoughts – is that it might actually speak to a fracture in their relationship, that perhaps this diet that Petunia and Vernon are on is making it so that they’re not spending so much time together, that they’re actually going to different rooms in the house, which we’ve never seen before. The idea that Petunia is leading this charge and they have different ideas about how to raise Dudley, which I think is hinted at. What do we think? Do we think there’s some weight – “some weight” – to that theory?

Andrew: Yeah, I think so. I’ve always just kind of seen Petunia as taking a backseat here, too, when it comes to the decisions around Harry. But I do like that theory. I’m sure this diet program isn’t the best for a relationship in this house.

Eric: I do like your point about Petunia kind of checking out, almost for her own mental health. Like, “I can’t deal with the boy, Vernon.”

Andrew: Well, yeah, and because we know eventually that Petunia was jealous of Lily, so she also takes a backseat for that reason because she would probably be more lenient towards Harry, I think.

Micah: Do we make anything of the grapefruit? Do we think it’s symbolic in any way?

Andrew: Whoa.

Micah: What? [laughs]

Laura: Micah with the deep questions.

Andrew: In what way? [laughs] Have you researched grapefruit or something?

Eric: [laughs] It’s cleansing.

Micah: I don’t know. It’s generally more of a tart, sour type of food.

Eric: It’s not a fan favorite food.

Andrew: Like the Dursleys.

Laura: Well, I love grapefruit.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: No, you don’t. You’ve been conditioned by society to think that you like grapefruits, Laura. You don’t actually like them.

Andrew: That’s an episode title. “Laura loves grapefruit.”

Laura: I do. I’m looking at the benefits. It’s low in calories, high in nutrients, it may benefit your immune system, has weight loss benefits. That’s why they’re giving it to Dudley.

Micah: All right, maybe it’s the perception of it.

Eric: I will say, there’s a Weird Al song, “Grapefruit Diet.”

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: You gotta listen to it.

Andrew: So a couple of smaller notes here. Pig makes his debut, Ron’s new owl, a scrawny little fella. I love him. I think he’s so cute.

Micah: Didn’t he show up at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban? Am I making this up?

Laura: Yeah, he did.

Andrew: He did. Was he named at the time?

Laura: No.

Micah: He wasn’t named, but why does Harry act like he’s never met him before?

Andrew: Maybe he’s in worse shape. [laughs]

Eric: That’s a great question, actually. Because that’s right, that might be a little…

Micah: No, no, Harry is acting like he’s seeing this thing for the first time. But the whole… remember, Ron takes him and lets Crookshanks sniff him. It definitely was at the end of the last book.

Andrew: Look, sometimes you forget somebody – or some creature. It happens.

Laura: There are certain things in these last two chapters where it’s like Harry all of a sudden just forgets everything that he knew about the wizarding world. He literally is like, “Oh, God, I wish I had someone like a parent.” And then it’s like, “Ah, eureka! I have a godfather!”

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Laura: So there is a lot of that going on, and it’s all in the service of giving that recap so that someone who didn’t read the first three books isn’t completely lost. I’m sure that was a requirement by the editor.

Andrew: So also, Percy now works for the Ministry; we’re learning about that for the first time. More to come there. And I think that’s it for the chapter. Okay.

Eric: Two quick ones. Two shorties.

Andrew: Two shorties.

MVP of the Week

Andrew: And now let’s turn to MVP of the week.

[MVP of the Week music plays]

Andrew: And I’m going to give it to the Weasleys’ super kind invite. I just love it. Not only is it an invite to the Quidditch World Cup, but also an invite to their house. Aww, so nice.

Eric: I am giving mine to Sirius Black, hello, because he stopped what he was doing, lounging on some beach somewhere in a tropical climate, and gathered the ingredients to make Harry a killer birthday cake.

Laura: I’m going to give mine to Ron. He’s a real one, man. He was vowing to come break Harry out of Privet Drive again if the Dursleys said no.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: And I just gotta give it up for the mailman.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: Just a thankless position that he is in. He delivers this letter. He delivers the super kind invite, Andrew, that you made your MVP. So there you have it.

[MVP of the Week music ends]

Andrew: Next week we’re going back to the Burrow with Goblet of Fire Chapter 4, “Back to the Burrow,” and now it’s time for Quizzitch.


[Quizzitch music plays]

Eric: Last week’s question: In opposition of his new diet, what did Dudley throw out the window? The correct answer is his PlayStation. So correct answers were submitted – here we go – by Andy; Bored on the bus; Chocolate chip Dumbledough; Dudley’s tortoise; Draco’s heart is the color of Bellatrix’s knife handle, black – I don’t know what that means – Glory dolphin; High fructose corn syrup; If the wand chooses the wizard, does the knife choose the house-elf? So many knife ones, geez. Joyodi; Luke the 12-year-old; Norwegian blue beautiful plumage; Pumpkin spiced butterbeer; Super mega foxy awesome hot; The Hogsmeade mead maker; The turtle was probably thinking “Thank God he’s gone”; and Time-traveling Dudley who has at least learned not to throw tortoises.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Anyway, thank you all to those who submitted this week’s Quizzitch answer, and here is next week’s Quizzitch question: What does Arthur Weasley ask Dudley Dursley?

Micah: Ooh.

Eric: The two are meeting next chapter.

Andrew: A meeting of the minds.

Micah: Such a fun chapter.

Eric: Yeah, it’s a good chapter coming up next week. So we’re taking submissions over on the Quizzitch form on the MuggleCast website. Visit or click on “Quizzitch” from the main nav.

Micah: One thing I just wanted to say about this particular moment: It goes back to a lot of what we were talking about during the episode, the fact that Dudley can take something of value like his PlayStation and just throw it out the window like it’s nothing. It speaks to the character of the Dursley family overall. This is a high-priced item that I’m sure any child would love to have, and Dudley has just thrown it out the window like it’s nothing.

Andrew: Definitely. You know how hard it was to get the new PlayStation 5 a couple years ago? I would never throw that out the window.

Eric: Or get the regular PlayStation a couple years early.

Andrew: Right. Imported.

Laura: I just think about how my parents would have reacted if I threw an expensive electronic out the window. It would not have been pretty.

Andrew: I’d say you’d be eating grapefruit for a week, but you like grapefruit, so you’d be eating something you don’t like.

Laura: I do like grapefruit.

Eric: That wouldn’t be a punishment at all!

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: Yeah, they wouldn’t let me have grapefruit. They’d be like, “No grapefruit for you!”

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: I wonder if Mrs. Figg took it and she was just playing that game that he’s not allowed to play anymore.

Andrew: Oh, that’d be fun. Mega-Mutilation 3.

Micah: Do you think she’s a gamer? She seems like a gamer.

Andrew: Probably not.

Micah: No?

Andrew: I bet she is an Apple Podcast user…

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: … and for just $2.99 a month, she can receive ad-free and early access to MuggleCast right within the Apple Podcasts app.

Micah: That’s a great deal.

Andrew: Patreon does offer more benefits, but if you’d prefer to support us right within the Apple Podcasts app, there is an offer for you. Just tap it in the show and you’ll see the subscribe button, plus a free trial is available, as is an annual subscription. We also have free trials and annual subscriptions on the Patreon. You can sign up today and get access to bonus MuggleCast installments, our livestreams, our planning docs, monthly Slug Club hangouts, or this month, we’ve got the super fun girls’ sleepover party. So lots of benefit for you to enjoy on our Patreon. We couldn’t do this without you, so thank you. If you’re enjoying MuggleCast and think other Muggles would too, tell a friend about the show, and we’d also appreciate if you left us a review in your favorite podcast app. And we love reading those reviews too; they warm our hearts. Thank you in advance for leaving a review. And last but not least, don’t forget to follow us on social media; you definitely want to do that if you’re not already, because you’ve got to keep on top of these exciting announcements that we have, like the girls’ episode and Quizzitch Live. We’ll have more details there as they approach. We are @MuggleCast everywhere: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Threads. That’s everywhere for us.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Sorry, we’re not on Snapchat.

Eric: And LinkedIn.

Micah: We’re on YouTube.

Andrew: Thanks, everybody, for listening. I’m Andrew.

Eric: I’m Eric.

Micah: I’m Micah.

Laura: And I’m Laura.

Andrew: Thanks for listening. Bye, everybody.

Eric, Laura, and Micah: Bye.