Transcript #642


MuggleCast 642 Transcript


Transcript for MuggleCast Episode #642, Mad-Eye Fakey (GOF Chapter 12, The Triwizard Tournament)

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.

Micah Tannenbaum: I’m Micah.

Laura Tee: And I’m Laura.

Andrew: Grab your galoshes and some treacle tart…

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: … and treat yourself to the rainy Sorting ceremony of the 1994 school year at Hogwarts, because this week we’re discussing Chapter 12 of Goblet of Fire, “The Triwizard Tournament.” Will somebody sing the song today? This year’s Sorting Hat song? We’ll find out. Micah, I’m going to make you do it. Oh, look, Micah is back. Welcome back from Europe, Micah.

Micah: [laughs] Thank you, it’s great to be back. I thought Ning Xi did an amazing job; I listened to last week’s episode. She was fantastic, so I appreciate that you get quality guests to replace me while I’m not here.

Andrew: Micah privately messaged me earlier in the week and said, “The guest was great this week,” and I said, “Is this a joke about the sound effect that we played of you going ‘choo-choo’?”

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Guest Micah?

Andrew: “Or did you really mean Ning Xi?” And he meant Ning Xi. But yeah, I never know with Micah; he’s a little trickster. So that was actually… your trip last week was your first time to England, which surprised me. And you got up to some Harry Potter stuff, right?

Micah: Yeah, I did. So I travelled over to Europe, initially for work, so I was in Paris. And then I took the train from Paris to London after that was all over with, and yeah, it was my first time there. And I will say, I did listen to MuggleCast, and I timed it pretty well . It ended the episode – so it wasn’t last week’s episode, but the episode before – as I was pulling into St. Pancras, which is the station that the Eurostar goes into, which is also right across the street from King’s Cross.

Laura: Ahh.

Andrew: That’s pretty cool.

Micah: So it was a nice little, yeah, bit of nostalgia there. And I was able to go over to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. First off, huge thanks to the folks over there because I tried to get tickets back in November for January and everything was sold out, and I reached out to them and they were nice enough to provide tickets to go to the Studio Tour.

Eric: That’s cool.

Andrew: Awesome.

Micah: And then MinaLima, I was able to stop by their little pop-up shop there. Very cool.

Eric: Okay, now I’m jealous.

Micah: May or may have not picked up a few things for you guys.

[Andrew gasps]

Eric and Laura: Aww.

Micah: May or may not. And then also did the official King’s Cross photoshoot. They do have one at the Studio Tour that you can do, but I figured I needed to actually go to Platform Nine and Three Quarters. So it was a great weekend in London. One of my good friends who used to work at the NBA, his wife got a job in London, so I stayed with them while I was there. Did a lot of traditional touristy things. A lot of pubs, a lot of beers, fish and chips…

[Eric laughs]

Micah: But the Studio Tour was amazing. I know, Eric, you and Andrew have been, right?

Andrew and Eric: Yes.

Andrew: It’s wonderful. It’s amazing. And I think you’re going to do a bonus MuggleCast on our Patreon and Apple Podcasts about the Studio Tour, right? And anything else you got up to?

Micah: Yeah, so any questions you have, fire away on that bonus MuggleCast.

Eric: There was one other location that you visited in the UK, which is forever tied with Harry Potter, though, and you sent us a picture of it. It was the Waterstones Piccadilly Circus.

Andrew and Laura: Oh.

Eric: So now all four of us have been to that bookstore in London.

Andrew: I thought the picture you were referring to was the one of the guy in the bar, who Micah texted us and was like, “This guy looks like Dumbledore.”

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: And we were like, “Micah, you’re taking a picture of a stranger in a public place? That’s a little strange.” [laughs]

Micah: He was fine with it. I gave him a couple pounds and he went on his way.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

[Laura laughs]

Micah: I bought him a beer.

Laura: There you go. Same thing.

Andrew: I do have one other question for you for now, though. You went to the real King’s Cross; you did the official Platform Nine and Three Quarters thing. Did you throw yourself at the wall?

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Micah: So it’s very interesting, the way that they have it set up there, in that it’s a full production. They have people who are there who take you through the different poses that you should do, and they have somebody putting the scarf around you, flipping the scarf so that they get it at just the right moment.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: They tell you how to stand if you’re with somebody, that you can pick a couple different poses to do, so I mean, I’m assuming maybe I could have done that. But they definitely have it down to a science.

Eric: I can’t believe the production of this now, because for many years, it was not even roped off. It was in a public train station, and I guess as influence grow, as the popularity of the books grow, to find out they now employ people to toss your scarf for a photo is just completely…

Andrew: [laughs] What a job.

Eric: I mean, yeah, scarf tosser at the official… I know there’s an official store in the building now. There for many years was not.

Micah: That was temporarily closed. The store was closed.

Eric: Ooh.

Micah: There must be renovations going on. But the actual photo area, it’s a whole production; I literally probably waited in line for an hour.

Andrew: What?!

Micah: And I said to my friend, I’m like, “Are you sure you want to wait in this?”

Andrew: [laughs] I would have said no.

Micah: Yeah, I was almost… I’m like, “I’m ready to go.” They’re like, “No, no, no, you came all this way. You need to do this.”

Andrew: Oh, that’s nice of him.

Laura: That’s true, halfway around the world. I’m going to echo Eric here because Eric and I actually went to Platform Nine and Three Quarters in 2007 and took some pics, and I’m listening, Micah, to you describing this wonderful experience and thinking, “Was that like, a random Thursday? And these people were just off, I guess?” They weren’t doing the whole production. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, when Laura and I went in 2007, there was just a sign saying “Platform Nine and Three Quarters,” from what I remember.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Well, in the commercial age of 2024, I think Warner Bros. figured out that, “Hey, we can make some money off of this if we station a few people here.” And then you can take your own photos, certainly, if you want to, but they do professional photos there and I got a couple of those. And four photos for £20, not a bad deal.

Eric: Wow.

Andrew: I guess not.

Laura: Well, this also means that all four of us have pictures of ourselves at Platform Nine and Three Quarters at this point, so I’m wondering if we should dig those up for a social moment.

Andrew: I don’t know if I’ve been to the real one, actually. I went to the one at the Studio Tour.

Laura: Really?

Andrew: Yeah, really.

Laura: No way.

Andrew: Way.

Laura: Oh my gosh. You’re not a real fan!

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: I’m going to call up Micah’s friend and see if he wants to wait in line for an hour with me to take this photo. [laughs]

Micah: Well, no, what he’ll do is… you just call him when you’re 15 minutes out from actually getting up to the front, and then I’m sure he’ll come take the photo for you.

Andrew: Good call. So really quick question and then we can move on: your whole photo experience, once you got through the hour wait, how long were they taking pictures of you?

Micah: A couple minutes, maybe?

Andrew: Okay. Wow, that’s a pop-click.

Micah: Yeah, it’s very quick. I mean, it has to be, because there’s so many people there, and I don’t even know how late they stay open, to be honest with you. Because I was wondering… this was on a Sunday; it was probably around six o’clock in the evening at this time.

Andrew: Wow. Oh my gosh.

Micah: But it’s got to be a pretty decent moneymaker for them.

Andrew: Yeah, sounds like it. Geez. All right, so Micah will discuss that more in bonus MuggleCast in the next couple of weeks. Bonus MuggleCast is part of MuggleCast Gold on Apple Podcasts, and it’s also available through You get two bonus MuggleCast installments every month, and in our latest bonus episode, we discussed new Harry Potter video games that could be in the pipeline and our wishes for Hogwarts Legacy. Speaking of ways to support us, you can also visit our Etsy store where you can buy many cool MuggleCast items, like the Comfy Cozy Combo Pack, which are our beanie and socks at one reduced price. We also have the wooden cars you can build, we have T-shirts, and more. is where you can find those. Tuition at Hogwarts might be free, but running this show is not, so we appreciate your support very much. Thank you in advance, no matter how you support us.

Chapter by Chapter: Seven-Word Summary

Andrew: And without further ado, let’s get into Chapter by Chapter, and we’re discussing Goblet of Fire Chapter 12, “The Triwizard Tournament.” And we’ll start as always with our Seven-Word Summary. Micah is fresh off his break, so he gets to go first.

[Seven-Word Summary music plays]

Micah: Thunderstorms…

Laura: … announce…

Andrew: … the…

Eric: … arrival…

Andrew: … of…

Laura: … Mad-Eye… does that count as a word? I think in American English, it does.

Andrew: Yeah, there’s a hyphen.

Laura: Yep. [laughs]

Micah: … Fakey.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Oh, I love that. I love it.

Eric: Well, that’s wonderful. “Mad-Eye Fakey” is what we now have to call him.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: “Fake Moody” is the more popular term, but “Mad-Eye Fakey” now is definitely going to grow on me.

Chapter by Chapter: Main Discussion

Eric: So it is the beginning of the 1994 school year, Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts. And going back to this book, now that we are all adults, I’m sure that this chapter stands out among many as being just one large security nightmare, and in this case, not just school security; we’re talking about people’s personal security, personal safety. And this whole chapter – we’ve mentioned the rain – but it’s one big hazard, and there was no way we were going to get through this chapter in this day and age and not talk about all the crazy security concerns just right out the gate. First of all, Harry boarded the carriages at the end of the last chapter with the trio, and all the students of years two through seven are on a nice covered carriage ride into the school. However, as we know, first-year students take a slightly different approach to the castle, and they go by boat. Why were the boat rides to the castle not canceled this year? The weather is so bad, it’s compared to a gale, and everyone is soaked, everyone is wet, everyone is miserable. I think it might be… I mean, Ron says the lake might overflow.

Andrew: Welcome to Hogwarts. It’s time to grow a tough skin.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Andrew: They’re trying to toughen these kids up right out of the gate.

Eric: Oh my – can they swim?

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: I agree, Andrew. Suck it up, buttercup.

Eric: Harry’s first welcome letter didn’t say “All first-year students must know how to swim.”

Micah: That’s rite of passage. That’s what it comes down to, is this is how first years arrive to Hogwarts every year. Weather does not matter. This is part of the pomp and circumstance, the arrival of the students to Hogwarts. If it’s raining, too bad.

Andrew: And then you look back several years later, maybe when you’re leaving Hogwarts, “Oh, remember that time, Micah, our first year on the boats and it was raining so hard? Ahaha, good times. That was a core memory for us at Hogwarts, that and Voldemort’s return and all kinds of things. So many core memories.”

Eric: I feel like it’s one thing to say yes, it’s obviously something they’re going to make a new memory that the students will remember, be memorable forever, and then there’s the… can’t they just come back the next day and do that? Because I’m pretty sure…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Honestly, you know who’s watching them and safely ferry them across the lake? Hagrid. Hagrid is not only not a proper wizard, but I don’t know…

Laura: Ooh.

Eric: No, he can’t do magic to save them if something were to go wrong. And I don’t even know if he’s trained in CPR. When does that come up in the books?

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: I don’t even know if he knows how to swim. That’s probably the bigger issue.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: I wouldn’t want him giving CPR to me. He’s a half-giant, I’m a measly weak human, he’ll break me in half if he tries to push on my chest.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Yeah, we all love the boat ride to Hogwarts on a clear night. I feel like they just, this time, should have either given more carriages to the students, or at least had some kind of drying charm put on them in the Entrance Hall. We’ll get to Peeves in a minute. But McGonagall is always responsible for ferrying the kids, or shepherding the kids into the school, into the Sorting ceremony. All of these kids come into the Great Hall soaked. Why wasn’t there something set up whereby there would be a drying charm applied to everybody? These kids are already scared; now they’re going to be…

Micah: Eric, this is preparation for life, okay?

Eric: For life.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine.

Eric: It’s hazing! It’s Hogwarts’s hazing ritual.

Laura: Listen…

Andrew: It’s also baby Voldemorts and Horcruxes and dead kids and Triwizard Tournaments.

Laura: I was going to say, this just seems like great preparation for what’s going to come this year and also great preparation for what’s going to come in three years’ time.

Eric: I mean, a small consolation, I guess? It’s just, if the students’ comfort and safety was anyone’s concern, McGonagall or Flitwick would be there with Pepperup Potion, a warm coat, or something dry, or would be able to dry them…

Laura: And to your point, Eric, this is a question I had, exactly what you brought up. Why wasn’t a drying charm used here? Because these kids are shivering in the Great Hall, Dennis Creevey is having to wear Hagrid’s giant moleskin overcoat, Harry literally pours water out of his shoe when he sits down… it’s a little bit ridiculous. Like, okay, I get it; y’all are trying to make an impression on these first years, but come on.

Andrew: Justin, who’s listening live on our Patreon right now, does bring up the astute point that they have a lot of fireplaces at Hogwarts. So you cozy up to a fireplace and you dry off that way; that’s a nice dry heat for you to dry off real quick. But there is one hero in all of this.

Eric: Okay.

Andrew: Well, the giant squid.

Eric: Yeah! Well, and it’s a good thing, too, because if the kids can’t swim, and if Hagrid can’t swim, your only protection is this mythical cryptid creature that once a year rears its head above and makes an appearance in the book; apparently knows the situation. The giant squid has a read on how dangerous this all is, and probably makes himself available every September the first to give a gentle nudge to any kid who falls in.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: I mean, that’s why the squid is there; Dumbledore employs him as a last ditch effort so the kids don’t drown.

Laura: Where was the squid during the Battle of Hogwarts in Book 7? That’s what I want to know now. He comes in so handy here. Comes in clutch, like, one time.

Eric: Maybe he was hibernating, or he was saving somebody else in a different hemisphere.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: It does make you wonder, though, does the squid serve any other purpose? Or does Dumbledore like having the squid there solely for the purpose of potentially kicking a kid out of the water when they accidentally fall in? Because I never really thought of why the squid is there to begin with, ever, but this sort of answers that question.

Laura: I mean, maybe it was there first.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: And the squid was like, “Look, I don’t like you’re building a castle here, but I will act as lifeguard should any of these kids fall in.”

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Well, it’s funny because last week, we were talking about Amos Diggory getting some toast, and I think Fred and George feed the squid some toast, which is why…

Laura: That’s true.

Eric: Or it might be Lee Jordan. But at some point, feeding the squid toast is something in Hogwarts Legacy that you do if you’re… is it in Ravenclaw?

Micah: Slytherin.

Eric: Slytherin challenge, okay. Anyway, that’s all very funny. Honestly, the presence of the giant squid, I always thought, was just a joke to the wizarding world, the fact that until 2004 or 2006 the squid was legitimately not proven to exist, the giant squid. They eventually did find… I think one washed up on the shore. But it was a rumored mythical beast, and so like every other rumored mythical beast, J.K. Rowling is writing the book series and she’s like, “I’m going to put that at Hogwarts.” It’s a very fun joke.

Micah: I like it. I mean, we’re going to also talk about someone, something, that comes with the castle, right, in Peeves. Why not…? As Laura said, the giant squid also comes with the territory.

Eric: I’m glad you mentioned that, Micah; it’s a perfect transition into adding insult to injury, which seems to be Peeves’s whole role. [laughs] Harry, Ron, and Hermione, who took the dry way… they took the dry route in…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: … still nevertheless wind up rained on. And they come in, and just as Ron is enjoying looking up and all of that, who should throw a water balloon at them but Peeves the poltergeist, who is as unfunny as ever, and yeah, just throwing water bombs. And when confronted by McGonagall, he says, “Not doing nothing; they’re already wet, aren’t they?” And I’m like, “Come on, man.” This is utterly crazy.

Andrew: What’s so interesting, though, is that apparently, they have really little control over him at Hogwarts.

Eric: What surprises me – and something that I forgot about reading this chapter the first time – is that his motives are actually completely explained in this chapter. Little later on when they’re at the feast, Nearly Headless Nick actually offers some keen insight into why Peeves is acting out, and it’s actually because he had wanted to attend the feast, and we’ll get into that a little bit more later. But even given that bit of information, can we still forgive Peeves? And at this point, I mean, everyone’s recourse is always “I’ll tell Dumbledore, I’ll tell the Bloody Baron,” who both keep him in check, but is that really enough? At this point, shouldn’t we be taking a harder line with Peeves?

Laura: Yeah, as in not letting him remain in the castle?

Eric: Pretty much.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: Yeah, for sure.

Eric: Let him be somebody else’s problem.

Andrew: But can they get rid of them? They can’t.

Laura: Yeah, I don’t think they can. And I was doing some thinking about this, and I think Micah actually has a canon-based answer to this, so I’ll throw it to him in a moment. But I think part of the reason – this is my headcanon – part of the reason they can’t get rid of him is poltergeists are long thought to be entities that feed off of emotional or stressful energy. And there actually have been psychological studies done into the phenomena of poltergeists, and there is a correlation – in some cases I think it’s maybe somewhat flimsy; I guess it depends on if you believe in poltergeists as a phenomenon – but a correlation is drawn between these assumed poltergeist disturbances and the presence of pubescent children. The thought is that teenagers and preteens are going through so much mental, social, physiological change in such a short period of time, that they manifest a particular type of almost chaotic energy that draws a poltergeist to them. So if we go along this line of thinking, Hogwarts being full of a bunch of teenagers is like a feeding ground for something like Peeves.

Andrew: He’s living.

Laura: Yeah!

Eric: So what does he have to be sad about?

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Micah: I don’t think he is sad. He’s living his best life.

Laura: No, I don’t think he’s sad.

Eric: I think he is sad, though, because he wanted to be part of the feast, and they just flat out didn’t even give him a chance.

Micah: Well, that also just begs the question for me, how are they able to keep him out?

Andrew: Right.

Micah: So you have this council, but presumably… we know from J.K. Rowling that Peeves is this indestructible spirit of chaos, going off of what Laura just described, and she said that he came with the building, so he was part of the deal when the founders or whomever decided to build Hogwarts. And over the years, there were many attempts to remove him, but nothing ever worked, and she even went on to say that Dumbledore himself could not remove Peeves if he wanted to. So if you’re Peeves… I know he’s intimidated by the Bloody Baron; that’s mentioned a couple of times in the series. But if he did want to go into the Great Hall, what’s stopping him? Because it’s not like there’s any retribution that he’s going to suffer as a result of doing that. And I would even argue that he might be on better behavior in the Great Hall, because he seems to have a little bit of respect for Dumbledore and maybe some for McGonagall; we see a little bit of that in this chapter. So I think the wrong decision was made. Peeves should have been allowed to be in the Great Hall.

Eric: It’s so interesting, too, because I’m pretty sure this is the only mention of the Ghosts Council. But the idea that they knew this was coming and met, and there was basically a character trial held on behalf of Peeves, who wanted to attend this feast… I’m kind of sad for Peeves, but that doesn’t excuse what he’s doing to these kids. If pneumonia were a thing in the wizarding world, they would absolutely all catch it.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: Every single one of these students, drenched, and not dried off by any one of the qualified wizards that are in this building.

Micah: So are we to assume it was a three-to-one vote? Because we’re told that the Fat Friar was okay with it. So the other three voted against, presumably?

Eric: Yeah, the Fat Friar, it is said, decided that he deserved a chance, which is a very Hufflepuff thing to do.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Because he has to prove that he can behave. And Helena Ravenclaw was probably just going off of past offenses, because Peeves has never proved himself to be well behaved at anything, so she’s taking the logic approach. And the Bloody Baron was like, “No, we’re not going to give it a chance at all.” So I don’t know. If I were Peeves, I’d feel really dejected. Almost prejudged.

Andrew: Might you feel peeved about it?

Eric: I would feel a little peeved, yeah. How about you guys?

Andrew: Hmm. Yeah, I’d feel peeved too.

Laura: I just don’t know how any of it’s enforceable. I just don’t think it is. And I think probably Helena Ravenclaw, who has been there the longest of most of the ghosts… she’s been there basically since Hogwarts was founded, so if anyone has any perspective on Peeves, it’s her and the Bloody Baron because they were both there.

Eric: That’s such a good point.

Laura: So I could see them being like, “This is a waste of time to even debate this. There’s nothing to be done about it.”

Eric: Yeah. Well, it still just boggles the mind that they are allowing all of these students to remain wet.

Laura: Agreed.

Andrew: [laughs] That’s Eric’s main frustration in this chapter.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: You ever step in a puddle, Andrew? You’re already getting rained on…

Andrew: Yeah. Right.

Eric: … and you’re stepping off a curb and all of a sudden your foot sinks all the way in and you’re like, “Great, I didn’t pack an extra pair of socks today”? It’s that. Peeves is that. And coupled with all the other security overlooks, oversights, that have happened so far in this book from all of the adults in the wizarding world, I certainly have zero confidence – of course, knowing what happens – but zero confidence this year that there’s going to be any safety for anyone. Nobody is safe.

Andrew: I’m also wondering what else this Hogwarts Ghost Council decides? Because I would like to hear more from them. Like, what ghost puns to make around the kids each year?

Eric: Ohh.

Andrew: Do they just make plans for each other’s deathday parties? What exactly is going on with this Ghost Council? It’s a pretty cool organization. The Hogwarts Ghost Council; that on its face sounds pretty badass.

Micah: Oh, you need a T-shirt, Andrew.

Andrew: [laughs] Hogwarts Ghosts Council. And people are like, “I don’t get it. What is that?” “Oh, remember in Goblet of Fire Chapter 12 when it came up that one time? Yeah, that’s what this is a reference to.”

[Micah laughs]

Eric: Yeah. I mean, presumably they manage ghosts affairs at Hogwarts. I always thought there were more ghosts at Hogwarts than just the House heads. Definitely in the movies, there are unnamed ghosts.

Andrew: Yeah. I can see that being canon in the books too. With how big the school is, with how old the school is.

Eric and Laura: Yeah.

Eric: And Moaning Myrtle is there too. So presumably, they rule…

Micah: Oh, did she vote?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Did she vote? Yeah, for or against Peeves?

Andrew: I’m going to guess against.

Laura: I mean, I doubt they invited her, to be honest.

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Eric: That’s sad.

Laura: Maybe I’m being too negative this episode, but I cannot see anyone in any position of power at Hogwarts taking the Ghost Council seriously.

Andrew: Aww.

Laura: It honestly feels like something that Nearly Headless Nick came up with to kind of give himself the feeling of importance, because he already feels so disregarded in so many other ways that we’ve already talked about. I just think there’s a reason that we only hear about it once, and it’s because they don’t exactly move the needle.

Eric: This is profoundly sad.

Laura: I’m sorry.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: They don’t move the needle. Is that because they could try and move the needle, but their hand would pass through it?

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: Aww.

Andrew: I guess when they’re that old, that’s irrelevant. They just need something to do. It’s kind of like activities at an old person’s home, like a nursing home. They have cute bingo activities and stuff just to keep them busy.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: The Ghost Council is just to keep them a little busy, keep their brains working; that’s healthy for them.

Eric: This has gone far enough.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: I’m going to go ahead and say I think that Dumbledore empowered the ghosts to have this Ghost Council, because we know that it’s wrong for humans to manage the affairs with any authority or presumed authority of nonhumans, right? So the house-elves should rule their own, right? And the ghosts should be able to rule their own, and the goblins should be able to manage their own, and I think that that’s in line with the expectation here. So Dumbledore could probably trap Peeves magically in some kind of something; he’s that strong a wizard. And it’s been done before; Remus Lupin cast a spell on Peeves that hit him and annoyed him a little bit and got him to go away. But ultimately, they’re going to leave it up to the Ghost Council because that’s what’s right.

Micah: But doesn’t Peeves add a certain level of character to Hogwarts?

Andrew: And that’s why Dumbledore likes him there.

Laura: Exactly.

Micah: I think Dumbledore does like Peeves. I wouldn’t be surprised if they hang out from time to time in Dumbledore’s office and just…

Andrew: [laughs] Play catch?

Micah: No, just catch up. Make fun of people. Because you know Dumbledore loves the drama; we say this all the time.

Eric: Yeah. No, I agree. I just think on this particular rainy, soggy September the first, it goes too far. And definitely once…

Micah: But that’s the whole point, though. It’s the opening ceremony. Why not show all of what Hogwarts has to offer to these first-year students inside of the Great Hall?

[Eric laughs]

Micah: Let Peeves make an appearance.

Andrew: This is what you got into, y’all. Take it or leave it. You can leave right away if you want, but now you know this is what to expect daily at Hogwarts.

Eric: All right, so I believe that should cover the whole safety and health aspect of this chapter at least, but there’s plenty more to come. And it is noted that this is actually the first Sorting ceremony that Harry is able to attend since his own, which is very exciting. And in the book it says a series of unfortunate circumstances led to that being the case. We know in their second year, there was the flying car incident; they arrived late. And in the third year, Harry passes out from the Dementor and has to go straight to the hospital wing and misses the Sorting. So anyway, we get a full view of the Sorting from Harry’s perspective. He’s, of course, already Sorted, so he’s seated at the Gryffindor table. And one thing that I really liked is that Harry seems to really take a vested interest in the students being Sorted, and this, to me, speaks to Harry’s character in a really special way. He seems to care about these kids, not just because they’re shaking and trembling and remind him of himself and might catch frostbite or pneumonia at any moment, but because he cares about Hogwarts. It’s school pride to see other students join your House.

Andrew: Yeah, I think that’s exactly right. And I got the same impression as you, Eric; it was really sweet to see Harry have this type of reaction because he clearly loves Hogwarts, and I think it’s very exciting to enjoy a new live performance from the Sorting Hat. I guess the impression we can take away from the entire series is that the Sorting Hat really does come up with a new song every year, and with how old Hogwarts and the Sorting Hat is, that’s really impressive.

Eric: Wow.

Andrew: So to get a one and done performance from the Sorting Hat, that’s really special. I would love to be there just for that alone.

Eric: Andrew, you’ve convinced me that there’s now a monetary value to those Sorting songs. This is a one and done performance; you’ve got to attend.

Andrew: Yeah. But no tickets are sold, evidently. They should. Hogwarts should sell tickets every year. A limited batch, like, 40. You get to sit along the fireplaces drying off.

Eric: I like that. I like it a lot.

[Laura laughs]

Micah: Do you think someone somewhere is transcribing what the Sorting Hat says each year and there’s a book?

Andrew: Yeah, a writer for the Harry Potter Wiki probably does that.

Eric: Well, that would be an idea there, because we know that the Sorting Hat has some pretty important politics. The later songs, especially next year’s, really start talking about cooperation and inclusion. I’m actually surprised that that was devoid of the whole thing this year, that there weren’t really many anything about inclusion, given the international nature of this year’s festivities.

Andrew: Ohh.

Eric: But one thing I asked was, okay, Harry is excited, but would you guys be as excited for this to happen? And Micah seems to have indicated… Micah, would you get bored by this point in the series?

Micah: Well, if I went to Hogwarts, I don’t think I would get bored hearing the Sorting Hat every year, especially if he has a new song to sing. But as readers, I think if we had to go through the Sorting every single year, that would get a little bit boring.

Andrew: The Sorting part or the song part? I don’t think we should mix the two, because I think the song is exciting.

Micah: The Sorting part.

Andrew: Yeah, the Sorting part is a bore. [laughs]

Micah: Nobody cares where Bob Smith is going this year.

Andrew: Right. Sorry, Bob Smith. I hope there’s a listener out there named Bob Smith. [laughs] Write in if you’re out there.

Micah: Nobody cares where Justin Sharkey is getting Sorted this year.

Eric: Wow.

Andrew and Laura: Ouch.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: One of our longtime listeners. Mean.

Eric: Justin, don’t send us your hate on the Discord. We’re sorry.

Micah: Just send it to me. He was just the first name that I saw.

Laura: [laughs] It’s okay. I’m sure he loved it. Anyway, I do wonder if with the show coming up on Max eventually, if we’ll actually see the Sorting Hat sing…

Andrew: Ooh.

Laura: … because I feel like every interpretation of the Sorting Hat doing its song that we’ve ever seen, it’s more like spoken word. It doesn’t sing. [laughs]

Andrew: That would be awesome if they had the song performed every season, or at least a couple of times, and you see Dumbledore in the background grooving along to it. Should it be acapella or should there be some actual instruments involved?

Eric: Definitely the school band should be there.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: That’d be fun.

Laura: Who’s going to voice the Sorting Hat when it’s singing? Taylor Swift? Fresh off the Eras Tour?

Eric: I gotta tell you, not Jim Dale, unfortunately, because I just listened to the audiobook, and it’s a little grating to hear the Sorting Hat.

Andrew: Aww.

Eric: Yeah, he captures perfectly the zest and wistfulness that the Sorting Hat must feel in delivering the song, but there’s… I think it must be difficult to do right.

Andrew: Well, yeah. And you can take it as… how is it being performed? Is it as a rap? Is it a pop song? It kind of comes off as a rap. [raps] “A thousand years or more ago when I was newly sewn, there lived four wizards of renown, whose names are still well known.” Uh!

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Okay?

Micah: That was good.

Laura: Oh, man. They’re going to get Lin-Manuel Miranda in there to do one of his Disneyfied child-appropriate raps.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Oh, that would be cool.

Andrew: [raps] “Bold Gryffindor from wild moor, fair Ravenclaw from glen.” We need to get a AI Lin-Manuel Miranda performing these Hogwarts school songs. I think that would work really well.

Laura: Honestly, do you think we could reach out to him and ask? Maybe that sounds crazy.

Andrew: Is he on Cameo? [laughs]

Laura: I don’t think he is, but he does fun stuff like this all the time. I think we should start a campaign.

Andrew: [laughs] Sure.

Laura: We really should. I’m not kidding. [laughs]

Andrew: He gets lots of requests, and he’s going to listen to ours for some reason. [laughs]

Laura: Hey, you never know. I think he has young kids. He’s probably into Harry Potter.

Andrew: I think he is. I think he’s been an outspoken Harry Potter fan from time to time.

Eric: So as we mentioned, Harry is surprised to learn that there’s a new Sorting song, and Ron, presumably not due to his own experience but maybe from his brothers, says, “Oh, actually, there’s a new one every year.” And then Ron posits that it must be pretty boring being the hat, because you’re obviously only needed to do the Sorting and do the song, so Ron speculates that he probably – he being the hat in this case – spends the whole year coming up with what the next year’s song is going to be, and I think that makes sense. But because this is what we do on MuggleCast, I also have to ask, what else could the Sorting Hat get up to throughout the school year when he’s not doing this appearance?

Andrew: Well, the hat does have that side hustle at Forbidden Journey in the Wizarding World parks, where it gives you a pre-ride warning and stuff like that. “Make sure you’re buckled, yada, yada.” But I think it’s a fun question because the hat can’t just be writing the song; it has to be doing other things as well.

Eric: I mean, Harry is able to go up to the hat in Dumbledore’s office just on a random day and have a conversation with him, so I wonder if he talks with Dumbledore from time… or it talks to Dumbledore throughout the year, maybe.

Andrew: I could see the hat being a therapist.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Got started talking to Dumbledore and was like, “Oh, you know what, I’m actually kind of good at this,” and then plays therapist or counselor at Hogwarts as well.

Eric: Yeah, the hat would be the worst therapist because it tells you when you’re deflecting, and it can see, so it’s like, “You don’t want to face this truth, but I can see it in your head.”

Andrew: Oh, man. Oh, yeah. In therapy sessions, you just wear the hat on your head. That’d be weird.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Yeah, hard truths. Because Harry doesn’t get comfort from him; he’s like, “Oh, I stand by what I said; you’d have done well in Slytherin,” and Harry is like, “Thanks.”

Andrew: The hat makes you look into the Mirror of Erised every session to check in on your deepest desires. [laughs]

Eric: Oh my God. There is actually a fun thing to be had in all the elements and tchotchkes around Hogwarts grouping together. So you have the Mirror of Erised, the Sorting Hat, in the Chamber of Secrets… and all sorts of other stuff. But maybe the hat participates in karaoke parties. We know he can sing; we know he likes, presumably, song. So what if Dumbledore had monthly staff parties in his office and every once in a while they let the hat do a number?

Micah: I like it.

Andrew: I love that idea. I think we should Max that.

[“Max that” sound effect plays]

Andrew: Because I think about Disney+ spinoff series where… they have a Toy Story spinoff called “Forky Asks a Question” or something like that, and they’re little five-minute shorts. We could have five-minute shorts in which the Sorting Hat is just performing songs.

Eric: I love it.

Micah: We could call it “Patchy’s Side Hustles.”

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Andrew: “Patchy’s Side Hustles.” Forky, Patchy.

Eric: “Mad-Eye Fakey,” “Patchy…” Micah, you’re on a naming kick.

Micah: Yeah. And I like your idea of parties. But I was thinking more so he could make appearances at wizarding world birthday parties, particularly for kids, maybe before they go off to Hogwarts. It’d be cool to have the Sorting Hat there.

Eric and Laura: Aww.

Eric: Love that idea.

Laura: That’s cool.

Micah: He needs money.

Eric: [laughs] Why does a hat need money?

Micah: Although, I guess, does he really need money?

Eric: No. He doesn’t.

Micah: No, he doesn’t.

Andrew: He doesn’t pay rent. He’s living in Dumbledore’s office playing therapist.

Eric: And Laura, you’ve taken all our ideas to the next level, though. I’m very excited about your suggestion.

Laura: Yeah, I think that during his downtime nine months out of the year, he just chronically auditions for talent shows like The X Factor.

[Eric laughs]

Laura: Did X Factor exist canonically when this was written? No, but don’t let details get in the way of a good story, I always say.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: Moving on, once the song is finished, no one is happier than Ron, who’s very hungry, and they get their feast, they get their food, which unfortunately comes to a halt for one of the trio when it is said by Nearly Headless Nick that the feast almost didn’t happen because Peeves was running amok in the kitchens and he disturbed the house-elves and prevented them from being able to cook. And you hear a clatter of a spoon and fork, and Hermione is like, “Wait, what?”

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: And Nearly Headless Nick is like, “Oh yes, Miss Granger, Hogwarts is possibly the biggest dwelling of the most amount of house-elves in the world!” or I think he says Britain. And she is shook, because Hermione lately has been really interested in the rights and freedoms of the house-elf, and to learn that they are employed – or not, literally, not is the issue – at Hogwarts. She asks, “Do they get sick leave? Pensions?” and Nick laughs at her and says, “No, of course not. They don’t want that stuff.” Hermione immediately sets down her spoon and fork – well, she dropped it anyway. She doesn’t pick it up, and she refuses to eat another bite.

Micah: Well, the part that wasn’t in the chapter but actually happened was Nearly Headless Nick reached over to Hermione and took her sunglasses off, so she could actually see what was going on around her.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Wow.

Andrew: I agree with your point.

Eric: The shade, Micah! The shade!

Micah: It’s like, who did you think was making your food for the last three years?

Laura: Right.

Eric: Especially… yeah.

Andrew: And how…? It even feels unlikely to me that you wouldn’t see a house-elf at some point, and I think it is sad that maybe they stay out of the way. But the person who just a couple chapters ago was saying she had read Hogwarts: A History didn’t know this? She knows everything.

Micah: That’s a really good point.

Andrew: And there’s a lot of house-elves here. And like you said, Micah, she never thought about who makes the food? Where it comes from? You know how food comes into existence in the magical world; you must.

Eric: Well, Hermione knows it can’t be just gotten out of thin air. Hermione of anybody would know that rule of Gamp’s Law, so she must therefore assume that somebody is cooking it. But you’re right, Andrew, that points out that probably house-elves are not mentioned in Hogwarts: A History. Like, it’s not that she overlooked that chapter.

Andrew: And why is that? Maybe that’s more insulting to the house-elves; they’re not even credited for being involved with the goings-on at the school.

Eric: Well, of course it is. Yeah, that’s literally why they say history is written by the victors, right? And if you have an oppressed people, the way to get away with that oppression is to not talk about them, not acknowledge them, not let others know what’s really going on at Hogwarts School.

Andrew: Dang, that’s deep.

Eric: I will say… yeah, well, up to this point, the wizarding world at large has gotten away with largely concealing from even an avid reader the presence of the Hogwarts house-elves to the wider world. I wonder how many people go through all seven years of school and never know who cleaned their clothes for them?

Laura: Yeah. And it’s probably one of these things that because it’s out of sight and out of mind… they don’t see the food being prepared; it just comes to them ready to go. They don’t see who does their linens and their laundry; they just know that it’s always there. And I think particularly for a Muggle-born student, it’s not too unreasonable for them to think, “Oh, it must just be magic.” I wish Hermione were a little more curious before her fourth year at Hogwarts about this. But I actually don’t think it’s unreasonable for someone who didn’t have this context about the way manual labor is done in the wizarding world, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for that person not to know that there’s a living being filling that gap.

Eric: This is where the concept of emotional labor comes from, too, right? You can be totally unaware that it’s going on. But yeah, I just love that… because house-elves are so prominent in this book, I love that they were introduced two books ago. We got that whole book of Dobby, and now we’re being introduced to this new concept that was simultaneously the oldest concept – they’ve been here possibly since the beginning of the school in some capacity – and now it’s becoming an issue. So I will say, Hermione seems to get a really big reality check, though, because even Sir Nicholas Mimsy-Porpington’s opinion of house-elves is that they want to work, that they don’t want sick leave or pensions, and this really illustrates to me that Hermione has an uphill struggle.

Andrew: Here’s another question: In Hogwarts Legacy, we can actually go into the kitchens and see the house-elves working there. Do we take that to be canon in our own…? Do we consider that our headcanon, let’s say, that a Hogwarts student could go and enter the kitchens and actually see what’s going on there?

Eric: Yes, because I think the Weasley twins do it, and also, James Potter did it, too, always nicking food from the kitchens.

Andrew: Ah, okay.

Micah: Well, in Hogwarts Legacy, you can not just go and see them there; they’re around the castle too.

Andrew, Eric, and Laura: Yeah.

Micah: Every once in a while you’ll see them pop up, and if you get too close, they Disapparate, but…

Eric: Well, and that’s in line with what I imagine life at Hogwarts really is like, that you would see them, and they don’t love being noticed so they do go away, but you’d be aware of them.

Micah: I do find it interesting, though… you were just talking about two books ago. Hermione really doesn’t say a whole lot of anything as it pertains to Dobby; it’s Harry who is the one who’s adamant about how Dobby is treated and talks about how he must not work for a very good family if he in fact is treated this way. And so obviously, we’re slowly building up. We started with Winky earlier in this book, and now we’re at Hogwarts and we’re seeing Hermione, really as a result of what she experienced at the Quidditch World Cup, start to form opinions. But in this particular situation, how do we feel about the house-elves and how they’re treated at Hogwarts? Because I would have to imagine that Dumbledore takes pretty good care of them. So it’s almost like, yes, her position is a good one, right, in that she’s seeing things through a completely different lens, but is she taking her anger out in the wrong place? And I guess we can talk more about that when we get to SPEW, but presumably the house-elves of Hogwarts are treated well, right? They have a place to live, they have food to eat, they have jobs.

Eric: To your point about Hermione just noticing this now, I will say Dobby only appeared to Harry during the second book, and in fact, it’s said when they’re in the top box…

Micah: But he didn’t share any of this information with Ron or Hermione?

Eric: Well, he could have, but I can understand why Hermione wouldn’t have an opinion before this year, because it’s not until they see Winky… it’s not until Harry says, “Dobby?” in the top box at the Quidditch World Cup that both Hermione and Ron wheel around because they really want to see this type of creature, and so I understand why Hermione is just getting into it now. To your question about are they treated right, I mean, I’m just going to say this once, but even a friendly slave owner is still a slave owner, so Dumbledore has… yeah, okay, Hogwarts is probably a cool place to live, but I don’t think that detracts from any of Hermione’s Points.

Micah: Yeah, I mean, I guess that my question would then be, is that the comparison we’re looking to draw?

Eric: Essentially, I think it might be.

Laura: Yeah, I think absolutely. I mean, unfortunately, you see people try to make these points about real-life historical instances – sometimes prolonged instances – of slavery in this country, and you’ll hear the point be made sometimes about “Certain slave owners actually treated their slaves very well by comparison to everyone else,” but at the end of the day, you’re still a slave. So I guess Hogwarts and Dumbledore and the powers that be may be looking at themselves that way as saying, “Hey, for their circumstances, this is pretty good,” which is really… painful [laughs] to realize about a character and a place that I think we all know and love and holds enormous nostalgia for each of us, that just like everything else, it is flawed, deeply so.

Andrew: Speaking of flawed…

Eric: [laughs] Speaking of flawed, the most flawed tournament of all time is finally announced. We have had hint after hint from many people, most recently by that piss-ant Draco Malfoy, who indicated something was happening – that’s what he is – something was happening this year at Hogwarts. We finally understand it to be the Triwizard Tournament.

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: “Tri” meaning three. It comes from Latin, meaning three. So there will definitely be three champions this year. What were you saying, Andrew?

Andrew: Well, we find out, but not before… there’s almost some foreshadowing that occurs when imposter Moody enters the Great Hall the moment Dumbledore is about to announce the Triwizard Tournament. The quote is, “I have great pleasure in announcing that this year at Hogwarts…” and then, “Troll in the dungeon!” No, Moody enters, and it’s almost like, “I have great pleasure in announcing that this year at Hogwarts, an imposter is going to be seriously screwing with things.”

Eric: Mad-Eye Fakey is going to be.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Mad-Eye Fakey, right. Yeah, we have a little bit of foreshadowing happening there, I think. It’s just… the timing’s too perfect.

Laura: Yeah, I have to check myself real quick because I remember when we were doing our Goblet of Fire commentary – I know I definitely said it; I don’t remember if anyone else said it – but I was poking fun at the movie when they did this, being like, [sarcastically] “Oh, I wonder who the bad guy is.”

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: And I was like, “Come on, guys. Don’t make it so obvious.” And here the book is doing the exact thing. [laughs]

Eric: The book is 100%… yeah, it turns out it’s one of the most faithfully adapted moments in the fourth movie, is this moment.

Andrew: It’s one of those things… I almost wish I remember my first reaction reading this in the year 2000. Was I immediately suspicious? I don’t know.

Laura: I wasn’t.

Eric: Yeah, but it’s all there. It’s all there. Even the hip flask is shown here, and it’s a very untrusting person who drinks only from their own water supply, so they can guard it, make sure there’s no toxins in it. But everything about the execution here… this is all leading to me wanting to give Barty Crouch, Jr. some more points, but I just think that the whole element of how he shows up and he’s able to fool Dumbledore and they shake hands, right before Dumbledore returns to his announcement, is all perfectly executed. So if we’re okay to move on to the actual Triwizard Tournament announcement, it has not happened for 100 years. There are reasons. [laughs] But it was actually a really big popular thing. About 700 years ago, it was invented; it features the three schools in Europe: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang. And I’ve got to say, it does seem pretty exciting. It seems like something that’s going to take their mind off of – I think I mentioned before – the previous two years at Hogwarts School. It’s going to get all of the people excited, their school pride flowing; we talked a little bit about school pride earlier. This is kind of cool in concept.

Laura: So this is the second event that we’re seeing in this book that is so hyped up, and allegedly so well-prepared-for by the Ministry, that is going to go toes up. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, and we’ll have more to say, I’m sure, later about the Triwizard Tournament and the rules and the security measures, let’s call them, but it’s…

Eric: Yeah, plenty of time to talk about that later.

Andrew: I’ll just say for now – because it’s bugging me – it’s just ridiculous that they can’t just say no to Harry’s name when it comes out of the goblet. Just say, “No. We have Cedric already. Sorry.” That’s it.

Eric: Yeah, the magically binding contract. Well, actually, so about that, that was the only other thing I was going to mention from the Triwizard thing. Dumbledore stuns everybody in saying that there’s an age limit this year, and Fred and George – I think he looks directly at them – make a ruckus because they want to participate. They need the 1,000 Galleon prize and the glory, which may or may not be varying levels of eternal in the books. So they actually, leaving the Great Hall, have spotted what they say is this huge weak spot in the tournament, which is that Dumbledore has not talked about the Goblet of Fire specifically, but he has said that an impartial judge will be determining their value, and even though Albus Dumbledore knows Fred and George’s age, and he knows they aren’t 17, the actual impartial judge, they think, does not. And so it’s interesting because this is something… they’re all walking to their dorms at the end of the chapter, and we’re just listening to Fred and George lament because they’ve been kicked out of the competition, basically. But it’s interesting that this is actually a legitimate weak spot, and it is the same weak spot that is exploited by Barty Crouch, Jr. The fact that the age line and the Goblet of Fire are separate means that whereas most students will be submitting their own name, it’s actually possible to hoodwink it by being somebody who’s of age and putting in a name other than your own. And so it’s interesting because I never remembered this before, but the actual answer to how the whole plot of this year at school is able to unfurl is actually buried in a Fred and George reference when they talk about trying to get themselves in.

Micah: The other thing I would say for this in particular is that we’ve mentioned for numerous chapters now how the world continues to expand, and by inviting Beuaxbatons and Durmstrang into Hogwarts, it’s also another example of world-building, of the wizarding world expanding to be more than it was in Prisoner of Azkaban.

Eric: Absolutely.

Odds & Ends

Eric: So let’s move on to some Odds & Ends, then, real quick. There’s a story that I remember from early days working on MuggleNet, and it has to do with one of the students that is Sorted, and it’s actually a student named Natalie McDonald, who is put into Gryffindor House. And the real-life story behind Natalie is that she was a big fan of Harry Potter, and she had written a letter to J.K. Rowling explaining that she had leukemia, and she talked about with Jo how much she loved the books, and she had asked, I think, how they were going to end because she knew that she would probably not be able to be around when the last Harry Potter books came out. Very, very sad, sad tale. J.K. Rowling read this letter late; she didn’t get to it in time, and by the time she had responded, ended up just reaching Natalie’s mother. And as a tribute to Natalie, J.K. Rowling put her in the books as a character who is brave, who is Sorted into Gryffindor House, and it’s just one of the most touching stories, I think, and fitting tributes to a fan.

Andrew and Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: That’s sweet. And to be solidified in one of the biggest books of all time, that’s really sweet.

Eric: Yeah, so there’s more information on that on the Wikipedia. There’s also some foreshadowing here for the romance between Harry and Cho. When a student is Sorted to the Ravenclaw table, Harry notices that Cho is cheering on the students, and has a fleeting moment where he himself wants to go and sit down at the Ravenclaw… I don’t know what he would say. Like, “Hi, I’ve just been Sorted too,” or something. [laughs]

Andrew: “I’m just visiting. Just checking things out over here.”

Eric: Yeah, yeah. But it’s the first instance of him getting a random thought out of nowhere, and he wants to go and sit by Cho.

Andrew: And then by the end of the chapter, too, Harry is once again thinking about Cho, so she’s on his mind.

Eric: Mmhmm. And Micah, you have some odds and ends as well.

Micah: Yeah, I will say, I found Dumbledore particularly charming in this chapter. He has a few good moments, the exchange with Fred about the Triwizard Tournament, the joke that he gets cut off by McGonagall. He wants to tell a little bit of a…

Andrew: That was funny.

Micah: Yeah, I would love to know the rest of that joke, by the way.

Andrew: [laughs] You should make it up. Think about it for next week.

Eric: That’s it.

Micah: Do you really want me to think about it? Of all the people on this panel, do you want me to come up with the answer?

Eric: No.

Andrew: Maybe for bonus MuggleCast.

Micah: What was it? A leprechaun, a troll, and a wizard go into a bar? Was that right?

Andrew: It may have been a witch.

Micah: All right, well, we’ll look it up.

Andrew: Yeah. But no, you’re right. And also, I was tickled, actually, by when Fred or George make a comment about the Triwizard Tournament as Dumbledore is giving his speech, and Dumbledore actually hears them, which was funny to me because of how big the Great Hall is.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: Yeah, exactly. Dumbledore has got Extendable Ears.

Eric: I think he has a BS detector, or a BS-ometer.

Micah: Along those lines, I was thinking about Dumbledore’s abilities, because we know that he can see through Invisibility Cloaks, correct? But he can’t tell when somebody has taken Polyjuice? That just seems like he should be a little bit better at his job.

Eric: Well, that was explained, though. Dumbledore can’t actually see through Invisibility Cloaks; he has another way of making himself invisible and doesn’t need a cloak for himself, but how he detects Harry under the Invisibility Cloak is by wordlessly casting the Homenum Revelio charm, which illuminates that something is there.

Micah: Oh, okay.

Eric: That was actually answered by the author a while ago.

Andrew: The joke Dumbledore made starts with, “I did hear an excellent one over the summer about a troll, a hag, and a leprechaun who all go into a bar,” and then McGonagall clears her throat loudly. Micah, I am so touched that you have some nice things to say about Albus. I think now we can wrap up this week’s discussion without further ado.

Micah: [laughs] All right.

Eric: Turning over a new leaf here. We like Dumbledore again.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Exactly. 2024…

Andrew: That trip to England really refreshed him.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: Finding Dumbledore in the pub really made Micah a fan.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Micah: You know what, though? It’s going to be short-lived, because I think after all this time, the lie count is back.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Oh no. The Dumbledore lie count?

Andrew: Explain yourself.

Micah: So there are two things that Dumbledore says in this chapter. The first: “We have worked hard over the summer to ensure that this time, no champion will find himself or herself in mortal danger.” That is a lie.

Laura: Yep.

Eric: [laughs] We need a Maury sound effect. “That was a lie.”

[Dumbledore lie count sound effect plays]

Eric: I forgot we had that good sound effect.

[Laura laughs]

Micah: He says, “Only students who are of age – that is to say, 17 years or older – will be allowed to put forth their names for consideration.” That is a lie.

[Dumbledore lie count sound effect plays]

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: I love that we’re bringing that sound effect out again.

Eric: I’ve missed this so much. Micah, what part of it is a lie? The second one that you said there.

Micah: What part of it is a lie?

Eric: Yeah, that students 17 or older will be allowed to put forth their names.

Micah: Because Harry ends up in the Triwizard Tournament.

Eric: But he didn’t put forth his name. Although, Barty Crouch did, and Barty Crouch is not a student.

Laura: Right.

Andrew: Okay.

Eric: Yeah, that was just… okay.

Andrew: And I mean, Dumbledore didn’t realize that was going to happen. I’ll go with you. I think the lie counts fine.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: All right!

Andrew: I think you can pick some holes in this one.

Micah: It’s been two full books, right?

Eric: It has. Yeah, we stopped in Chamber of Secrets and never went back, until today.

Laura: Yeah. And you also have to ask yourself, okay, how would a reasonable person interpret this statement? “Only students of age can put their own name in the Goblet of Fire.” Any reasonable person can infer that, so I would also call this a lie.

Andrew: All right.

Laura: Yep. Had it coming.

Micah: So we’re up to 12.

Eric: 12 or 13? Because it was at 10.

Andrew and Laura: So 12.

Andrew: All right, a magical number in the Harry Potter series.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Thrilled to see this going up.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: Well, with that, it is time for… lie count hit 12, and this is Chapter 12! That’s kind of funny.

Eric: Oh!

MVP of the Week

Andrew: So with that, let’s get to MVP of the week.

[MVP of the Week music plays]

Eric: I’m going to give my MVP to the giant squid, my main cephalopod, for saving Dennis Creevey’s life. Somebody had to do it.

Andrew: And I’m actually going to second this one, because starting and ending the year with a student death would have been a terrible look for the school.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: So thank goodness for squid.

Eric: Not for a lack of trying.

Laura: Yeah, it’s only okay if the kids all have a two-month break afterwards to recover, right?

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Laura: I’m going to give mine to Hermione for her strong convictions. Now, she’s a little young and naive at this point in the series about the best way to address this problem, but she’s sticking to her convictions, and I’ve got to give her props for that.

Micah: She’s going to be hungry, though.

Laura: Yeah, very. It’s not going to last long.

Micah: And I’m going to give my MVP to the Great Hall ceiling for knowing what’s up.

Andrew: It. It is up. The ceiling.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: Yeah, but it started to say, “Hey, Mad-Eye. Bad guy.”

Laura: Hey, that rhymed.

Eric: Mad-Eye, bad guy.

Laura: “Hey, Mad-Eye. Bad guy.”

Eric: Oh, man.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

[MVP of the Week music ends]

Andrew: Liza is also agreeing with you, Micah, about that lie count. She said, “Fred and George put forth their names; they just don’t succeed.” That’s a good point.

Micah: Yeah, why wasn’t there anybody sitting in there just watching the thing the whole time?

Andrew: Right, monitoring, yeah. How about a house-elf? I mean, they could use them for anything.

[Eric laughs]

Laura: Or the Sorting Hat.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: They could pay it.

Andrew: Or the Hogwarts Ghost Council! There’s a lot of people available within the school.

Micah: Going to get so much bad email after this.

Andrew: [laughs] If you have any feedback about today’s discussion – if you have any criticisms for Micah – you can contact us by emailing or sending a voice memo recorded on your phone to, or by using our phone number, which is 1-920-3-MUGGLE. That’s 1-920-368-4453. Justin also points out, “How about a portrait watching over the goblet?” Again, lots of magic is available. Next week we will discuss Chapter 13, “Mad-Eye Moody.” And now it’s time for our weekly trivia game, Quizzitch.


[Quizzitch music plays]

Eric: Last week’s question was: Name two of the three items that Dumbledore says Filch has banned this year; he’s added it to his list of banned items. So the three possible answers that we were looking for was Screaming Yo-yos, Fanged Frisbees, and Ever-Bashing Boomerangs, which I would not want to be hit with; that sounds a bit extreme. And if you will recall, at the end of last episode, we did put a rule in place for this month…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: … that people would need to submit their regular names, and not, in fact, fun, funny usernames that we’ve come to rely a little too heavily on. And so it is with pride that I say that this week’s Quizzitch winners were: My Regular Name…

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: That’s the only one that got away with it. John, Taylor Hill, Samantha Jo, Stephanie, Brennan, Elizabeth K., Michelle D., Daniel O., CJ, Julia, Peace and Love, Harrison.

Andrew: Wow. Our listeners pay attention, follow rules, and are engaged. That’s very sweet.

Eric: I’m very touched.

Micah: The ones that Eric selected followed the rules. I’m sure there are plenty of others that did not.

Eric: Yes, I did not read yours, Micah.

[Laura laughs]

Micah: I did not submit this week.

Laura: Keep fighting, y’all.

[Eric laughs]

Laura: I prefer the fun nicknames. Keep ’em coming.

Micah: I mean, I listened to the episode, but was this all because the two 12-year-olds were fighting?

Eric: Well…

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: I mean, there was kind of a monopoly on names being recognized… yeah, it was a number of reasons. But namely, if we want to farm this out and have the rest of you read the names, I felt bad that the segment was taking minutes and minutes and minutes to read all the long…

Andrew: I do agree. This segment’s getting too long.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: This is turning into an hour-long thing every episode.

Eric: Yeah, I know.

Laura: Okay, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration.

Micah: I will say, part of the charm of Quizzitch is people taking the time to come up with the names because…

Eric: See, I thought the most fun part of Quizzitch – not to interrupt you – was the fact that we’re having a celebration of knowledge and trivia from the book series that we love.

Andrew: I think there’s a beautiful middle ground where we can have fun with the names and quickly move through Quizzitch.

Laura: I think so too.

Eric: I don’t know what that might be. The short-term solution was just to ban the names.

Andrew: By not having this three-minute detour that we just had. That’s one way. [laughs]

Micah: That’s part of the fun.

Eric: Well, then let me introduce next week’s Quizzitch question: What is the trio’s first class of their fourth year at Hogwarts?

Andrew: That’s a fun question.

Eric: Yeah, it’s a fun… the answer might be revealed in the chapter title of next week, but it might not be. I don’t know.

Andrew: [laughs] Well, that gives it away.

Eric: So submit your answer along with your regular or government name – we’re checking –

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: … to us via the Quizzitch form on the MuggleCast website,, or click on “Quizzitch” from the main nav bar at the top of the website.

Andrew: Visit for transcripts, social media links, our full episode archive, our favorite episodes on that “Must-Listens” page – which was recently updated – and like we said, to contact us. If you enjoy the show and think other Muggles like you would, too, tell a friend about the show. We’d also appreciate if you left us a review in your favorite podcast app. That does it for this week’s episode of MuggleCast. Thanks, everybody, for listening. I’m Andrew.

Eric: I’m Eric.

Micah: I’m Micah.

Laura: And I’m Laura.

Andrew: Goodbye, everybody.

Micah: Bye.

Laura: Bye, y’all.