Transcript #647


MuggleCast 647 Transcript


Transcript for MuggleCast Episode #647, Professor DUMB-ledore (GOF Chapter 17, The Four Champions)

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: And this week, your Harry Potter friends are putting on their detective caps and trying to figure out who put Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire. And while we’re at it, can somebody please call Ron a wambulance, please? Today’s intro written by Micah; his opinions are not the… [laughs] blah, blah, blah.

Eric: The exclusive opinions of the rest of us.

Andrew: Do not represent. [laughs]

Eric: No, no, actually, I think this might be a unified front. Don’t we all agree Ron needs the wambulance?

Micah: That’s a hell of a welcome back, Andrew. I thought you would be a little bit nicer upon my return.

[Andrew makes exasperated noises]

Eric: Micah, do you need the wambulance?

Andrew: [laughs] Okay.

Eric: Wahhh…

Andrew: I’m just telling people who wrote the intro. Well, listeners, you’re all excited that Micah is back, right? We love hearing your feedback, especially when one of the hosts returns. Clearly, we all need a pat on the back when we take a week off and come back.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: But I saw this comment on Spotify this week. Potterhobbit wrote on our latest episode, “By far one of the funniest, most laugh out loud episodes I’ve heard in a good while. I may have to listen again because I laughed through parts of the discussion. Also, James Durbin’s single is FIRE!” So thanks, Potterhobbit, for sharing that feedback.

Eric: This was the feedback for the episode that Micah was not on.

Andrew: Right. [laughs]

Eric: Excellent.

Micah: Well, look, only the best can sit in my shoes when I’m not here.

Andrew: There you go. Micah always brings the lols.

Micah: James was great.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: He was.

Micah: I really enjoyed him on the show.

Andrew: Spotify users, you can tap into an episode and you’ll see a box asking “What did you think of this episode?”, and then we’ll get that feedback. And we can actually publish it to the episode page, which is really cool, so I published that comment from Potterhobbit. So if you use Spotify, please do drop us some feedback that way. If you’re not on Spotify, or if you are and you want to reach out to us a different way, you can always record a voice memo on your phone and send that to Or you can write to the same email address, and then there’s also a feedback form on Or you can use our phone number, which is 1-920-3-MUGGLE. 1-920-368-4453. And speaking of feedback, it’s been quite a few minutes, but we will finally have a Muggle Mail episode on March 19. We will be recording it March 14, so if you have any feedback about anything, send it on in now and we might include it on that Muggle Mail episode.

Chapter by Chapter: Seven-Word Summary

Andrew: All right, without further ado, it’s time for Chapter by Chapter, and we’re discussing Chapter 17 of Goblet of Fire, “The Four Champions.” And we’ll start with our Seven-Word Summary.

[Seven-Word Summary music plays]

Eric: Cedric…

Micah: … fails…

Andrew: … to…

Micah: … be… oh, sorry, I cut off Laura.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: We can go with “be.” That’s fine.

Micah: … the…

Laura: … only…

Andrew: … champion!

Eric: Oh, Cedric fails? I was setting it up so high.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Andrew: Cedric fails to live by the end of the book.

Eric: Aww.

[Laura laughs]

Micah: Yeah, I wasn’t going in that direction. That’s a little dark.

Chapter by Chapter: Main Discussion

Micah: We wanted to start off with a little bit of fun here, the first discussion being, “Who put your name in the Goblet of Fire, Harry?” And we know that this is really one of the moments from the films that grinds fans’ gears to no end…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: … because Dumbledore rushes into the trophy room, throws Harry up against the trophy case, and screams like Dumbledore has never screamed before.

[Andrew yells an incomprehensible imitation of Michael Gambon’s “Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire?”]

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: And I don’t… are people actually mad? It’s just turned into a meme at this point, and it’s a very good meme.

Eric: Well, no, I’m still mad, Andrew. I would call this moment divisive, but I’ve actually never met anybody that actually thinks it’s a good decision that was… it was certainly a decision that was made for the film adaptation.

Andrew: True.

Eric: But who thinks that this is okay, honestly?

Andrew: No, it’s not. And I think one reason it’s not okay is because… I’ll quote the book now.

“Dumbledore was now looking down at Harry, who looked right back at him, trying to discern the expression of the eyes behind the half-moon spectacles.

‘Did you put your name into the Goblet of Fire, Harry?’ He asked calmly.”

And I think this can be read in a way that suggests that Dumbledore is reading his mind, and this is why he trusts Harry’s answer when Harry says no. But in the film, if Dumbledore is raging, can he really read Harry’s mind in that moment? It’s probably more difficult to when you’re having a panic attack.

Eric: No, the way that the movie Dumbledore gets results is by physically demanding and threatening and being a threatening presence. It’s the exact opposite of Dumbledore in this book.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: I will say that I always felt the reason behind it was to convey the severity of what had just happened.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: You don’t need to tell Harry that. Harry thinks he’s going to get creamed.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Yeah, but… look, first off, this may be the one and only time we don’t throw shade in the direction of David Yates, because he did not direct this film, so we can’t blame him for Dumbledore’s actions here.

Eric: Oh, Yates gets the reprieve.

Micah: But it’s a very intense moment. And Andrew, I think you wanted us all to do our best Michael Gambon impersonations. How did we interpret this moment?

Andrew: So we’re all going to take turns doing our best reading of this line as it should be in, let’s say, the TV show. Does anybody want to go first?

Laura: Oh, so we’re not doing wrong answers only? Because I was prepared for wrong answers only.

Andrew: Do a wrong answer. I’m preparing a goofy answer, of course, so…

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Laura: So I’m imagining chaos-loving Dumbledore. [said like a gossiping American teenage girl] “Did you put your name into the Goblet of Fire, Harry?”

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Gossip queen Dumbledore. [laughs]

Laura: And then he’s like, “XOXO.”

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: A big ol’ wink. I’m going to try and do it the way that I think Gambon should have delivered the line, okay? [said calmly but seriously] “Harry, did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire? Did you ask another student to do it for you?”

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: “No, sir.” “I see. Thank you, Harry. Go stand over there with the others.”

Andrew: Eric just turned on the acting. That was good. Damn.

Eric: I feel like that’s calmly!

Andrew: That’s calmly, yes.

Micah: Yeah, that was very good.

Eric: It’s not like he’s not present in the moment. He’s absolutely… you can be present in the moment without throwing a student against a damn bookcase.

Andrew: Yes, right. Exactly. I can go next. And I actually have Dumbledore’s half-moon spectacles here, so to assume the role fully, I’ll put them on.

Laura: Oh, man.

Eric: Oh, it’s perfect.

Andrew: Yeah, I bought these months ago and I’ve yet to actually use them.

Eric: You know when Andrew brings props to a MuggleCast recording, it’s about to get lit.

Andrew: [laughs] I have this and the Trelawney glasses on standby for any moment.

Eric: Oh, it’s perfect.

Andrew: Okay, so this is what I’m sort of thinking. [laughs] Like, [said in a grown-up friendly way] “So uh, look, Harry, I got a little Q for you. A little question. I’m kinda a bit goblet-curious right now. I was wondering, buddy boy, did you maybe put your name in the ol’ gob-gob over there when no one was looking? Huh? What do you think? Huh?”

Laura: That was very good.

Eric: The ol’ gob-gob?

Micah: The gob-gob.

Eric: Harry, buddy boy.

Andrew: The gob-gob. He’s trying to be friendly and cool.

Laura: Yeah, no, it definitely is giving, like, “Hello, fellow kids.”

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: That’s Dumbledore trying to be like the cool youth pastor talking to Harry right now. [laughs]

Andrew: “Just let me know. We’re buds, we’re buds. You can be honest.”

Eric: “You know who else had an important cup, Harry? The Lord.”

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: Lord Voldemort.

Andrew: Like, “Jesus?” Oh.

Eric: Jesus had an important cup. Anyway.

Andrew: Micah, what do you got for us?

Micah: I almost see it as Dumbledore coming down and staring at Harry, but then all of a sudden, in walks Hagrid…

[Andrew gasps]

Micah: … and brushes Dumbledore aside, and says, [in a southern accent] “Harry, did you go put your name in the Goblet of Fire? I was just drinking out of that earlier and I didn’t see no paper in there.”

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Oh, you brought it back out.

Andrew: Hagrid is doing all of Dumbledore’s dirty work.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Laura: So funny.

Eric: Who…? Does anybody else know… besides, obviously, those who’ve listened to southern Hagrid, but do we know that Micah has all these good accents in him?

Andrew: No. When they come out, it sure is a treat, though.

Micah: So which one do we think is most likely to happen on the TV show?

Andrew: Well, Eric’s for sure.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Well, thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ll accept my Emmy Award next coming season. No, I just think it’s the most likely. In fact, they’d better have a serious, calm version, because I need to see, before I die…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: … a live action Dumbledore who is not… this is on my bucket list. Number one item: see a Dumbledore who is collected, and everything is happening to him, but he’s taking it all in. And that’s the nature of Dumbledore in this chapter, is he’s collected. He may not be in control, but he’s just ruling out everything. “Harry, did you do this? No? Okay. Moving on.”

Andrew: Yeah. And trying to read his mind. Now I’m imagining visiting Eric on his deathbed in 50 years, and he’s like, “Andrew, it was so great doing MuggleCast with you for… for… for decades,” [laughs] “but we never got that calm Dumbledore, did we?”

Eric: “We never got it.”

Andrew: I’ll be like, “Eric, I brought my half-moon spectacles for this moment. I’ll do it for you in person one more time.”

Eric: Ohh!

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: And with his last breath, he hears me do my crappy Dumbledore impression. [laughs]

Eric: Oh, I love your Dumbledore. Your Dumbledore impression is probably my favorite thing, Andrew. It really is.

Micah: I thought you were going to say to him, Andrew, that he can debate it with Michael Gambon in just a couple of hours.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Wow. I will say, Andrew, for future half-moon glasses-wearing, I’ve learned that you actually don’t put them up on the top of your nose; you hang them off the bridge and look above them.

Andrew: Ohhh.

Laura: Right.

Andrew: Yeah, that changes everything.

Eric: Yeah, it’s kind of the surmise-y… yeah.

Andrew: Okay. Okay, I got you. Now I can actually wear these the whole episode and not be interrupted.

Eric: Are they blue light filtering?

Andrew: [laughs] Unfortunately not.

Eric: They should be.

Micah: Well, that was a lot of fun. We’re going to have some more fun right now, because the way I wanted to go about talking about this chapter was I thought we could analyze the suspects. Let’s take a look at how guilty we think some of these characters are that are in the room with Harry, and we could do this on a scale from one to ten after we go through each character. A scale of one to ten Fakeys? Is that the criteria we’re judging against here? [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, I put that in. One to ten Fakeys.

Micah: Okay. All right. Well, let’s start with suspect number one: Ludo Bagman. He is over the moon that Harry’s name has come out of the Goblet of Fire. He says it is “absolutely extraordinary,” it’s “amazing,” and there “can’t be any ducking out at this stage.” It’s “down to the rules,” and Harry is “obliged.” Now, there are a couple interesting moments with Bagman. He wipes his round, boyish face with his handkerchief; to me, this would imply that he was sweating during this whole exchange that’s going on. He defers to Barty Crouch, Sr. for the official decision, and the reason I think he does this is because he knows full well that his own word really doesn’t mean a damn thing, and that Crouch, his word, though, will be respected and accepted. Now, this other moment where things start to get a little bit suspicious is when Moody starts talking. Ludo starts looking very anxious; he’s bouncing nervously up and down on his feet. So he’s displaying a lot of actions and attributes of somebody who is hiding something, or somebody who is very nervous, very on edge, and his character changes throughout the course of this chapter, right? He’s super excited to start when it’s just him and Harry and he’s talking with Harry, but then when the adults come into the room, he gets a little bit on edge.

Eric: I think it’s clear that he’s probably the least likely to care if real danger comes to Harry. He does not see Harry as a person, or… he doesn’t think that it’s dangerous at all that this has occurred to a 14-year-old. He’s just seeing, I think, dollar signs, because he knows that Harry’s character is such that Harry will follow through on making it count. Being the champion, Harry is going to try. And I think Bagman knows that he can bet on Harry to be winning this thing, and then in that case, he gets to make some of the money back that… he’s very in the hole to the goblins.

Andrew: I was also thinking he’s thinking of it from a kind of circus perspective. By having a fourth champion, this is going to bring a lot more attention to the Triwizard Tournament, so that’s why he’s very excited about what’s going on. You described him having this excitement about him and him being impressed with what just happened, like he’s living through history right now.

Laura: I don’t know; maybe he views it as a positive distraction from the other issues that may come up in relation to how deep in the hole he is with the goblins. We know that he’s in a school right now with two students who he owes a lot of money to. He just came from standing in front of all of those students in the Great Hall and probably saw them. I think the Great Hall is described as being small enough that Dumbledore is able to directly make eye contact with certain students to impress a point upon them, so…

Eric: Actually, Laura, he just has his eye trained on the Weasley twins at all times.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: He knows where they’re seated.

Laura: At all times, that’s right. That’s right. And those half-moon spectacles just make it so much clearer.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: But anyway, I think it could be a combination of things. I think he probably is excited about it, but it could also serve as a nice distraction from the other drama that he has simmering beneath the surface.

Eric: Bagman is genuinely excited about this. He is a showman. He’s an ex-Quidditch player. He loves the attention and he loves just the showmanship of this, the razzmatazz, the razzle-dazzle that Harry is this cog in the works that nobody expected to be part of this tournament, and it’s just going to blow everybody’s mind, and that’s why he’s excited. So he’s really vamping, but he has the least amount of concern for Harry’s safety or what might be a cheating attempt. He’s just thrilled for Harry. So I would say his Fakey count of being a high suspect is pretty high.

Micah: Yeah. I think some of it may just have to do with the fact that in terms of his behavior, whether it’s the sweating or the bouncing up and down, is he really wants this to happen. And so with all these other adults around him talking about the possibility that maybe Harry doesn’t have to compete, he wants it to happen. And I feel like we’ve probably all been in those types of situations where it’s like, “Oh, I may not get what I want. I may not get what I want.” But he doesn’t want it because he wants Harry to die; he just wants Harry to compete, to your point, because it’s dollar signs. It’s media attention. This is the greatest thing that could have ever happened to the Triwizard Tournament, to your point, Andrew.

Andrew: Yeah. But on the scale of everybody we’re talking about today, the suspects, I’m going to put him around the five to six Fakeys, because others are going to score higher.

Laura and Micah: Yeah.

Micah: I’ve got to imagine for most people who would be reading this book for the first time, he would be pretty high on the suspect list because of his behavior.

Laura: Well, and also because he’s a new character, right? I think naturally, people’s attention tends to be drawn to newer characters. I think we see that with Karkaroff as well. But what I think is so interesting about this scene, no matter which way you slice it, is all the people who are in this room are people who have ties back to the first wizarding war, and it’s just extremely interesting to me to see all of these personalities in the same room, including Fakey, Professor Fakey, and the fact that he’s really the pinnacle of evil in this book, apart from Voldemort.

Micah: And before we move on to Karkaroff, let’s also not forget that Bagman was kind of at the scene of the crime for the Quidditch World Cup.

Laura: That’s right.

Micah: So you can make some connection of threads there that, well, he was the main guy there and look at what happened, and now he’s the main guy here and look at what’s happening. Trouble just seems to follow him everywhere that he goes.

Andrew: True.

Eric: That’s a great point. And he keeps on wanting to help Harry through the tournament as well, Bagmen in particular, and that could be shady. If we already don’t trust him, that can be pretty shady.

Andrew: And we are always suspicious of somebody who uses “Ahoy.”

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: Main suspect number two: Igor Karkaroff. He really does make the biggest stink out of everybody, and it’s said that he has a “steely smile,” but his eyes were “colder than ever.” And he addresses Dumbledore by saying, “We were under the impression that your age line would keep out younger contestants.” Now, we’ll get back to the age line in a minute because I think there’s a major loophole here that needs addressing. But Karkaroff throws out this resubmission proposal, and I thought, “What better way to mask your own guilt than by appearing to be fair and balanced?” He throws out this idea of having two champions, right? Hogwarts now has Cedric and Harry; it’s important that Beauxbatons and Durmstrang also have two now. And I think he’s trying to cast some suspicion away from himself. We know he’s a former Death Eater from having read through the series. With that in mind, who better to put Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire than a former Death Eater?

Andrew: Is he almost calling Dumbledore’s bluff by saying, “Let’s go; let’s do this resubmission idea”? And he knows Dumbledore is going to say no, and then he’s deflecting by suggesting we do this to begin with.

Laura: I almost feel like Karkaroff is too obvious. If you watch a murder mystery movie, there’ll be that character that’s the red herring that they’re really trying to distract you with. I feel like that’s Karkaroff’s purpose here. So in terms of his purpose, I would definitely give him a high number of Fakeys, probably seven to eight. But in terms of being a critical reader, and a critical interpreter of any kind of media – I really like murder mystery as a genre – the character that seems the most likely to be guilty is never the one who did it, so I would remove him. But I will just add here, I had no idea who it was when I first read the book. I was 11, so I didn’t know.

Eric: I don’t recall really thinking through this this way, the way in which we’re doing it in this chapter. It’s very fun and very exciting. I just think I was like, “Wow, something’s happening.”

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: “Something sure is strange.”

Eric: “Something sure is amiss!” I was definitely not weighing the pros and cons and rating people on their Fakeys.

Andrew: If we only knew where we would be 24 years later. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, let’s go with that. Let’s go with that. I definitely also think that so much of what makes Karkaroff a likely culprit is not being discussed directly here. And we don’t know yet about his Dark Mark and his past history as a Death Eater. At this time, he is just the person who is the most butt-hurt that this occurred.

Andrew: Yeah, if we did know that at this point, we would probably be much more suspicious. The only other point I could bring up in terms of why we would suspect Karkaroff is because Moody and him had a bit of a riff the last chapter, which I think was trying to set us up being doubtful of Karkaroff. He’s blocking the door; Moody tells him to move. Moody clearly doesn’t like him, and if our boy Moody has a problem with him, then maybe we shouldn’t like him either.

Eric: That is exactly it. And Moody poisons the waters even further by coming in and talking to Karkaroff. He says that it’s convenient that this happened, don’t you think so, Karkaroff? I’m like, oh, so here we learn that it can’t just be that another student, as a prank, or that Harry himself, or somebody thought he could win it. Somebody could actually want him dead. And so the way that Moody phrases it and lobs that grenade at Karkaroff specifically and says, “Don’t you think it’s convenient that this happened?” is meant to convey that there is more to the story and that Karkaroff can have some evil intent, which we know, I mean, on paper, he certainly could want Harry dead.

Micah: It’s also very cool that we have this ex-Auror/ex-Death Eater exchange happening in this moment when these two things were relatively unknowns to us prior to this book.

Eric: Absolutely.

Micah: So that’s going on a little bit below the surface. But one thing Karkaroff does do, one thing he brings up is the age line, and this prompts Dumbledore to ask Harry if he had another student put his name in on his behalf. And I’m just wondering, is this actually possible?

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Because if it is, it is the single easiest way to break the rules. Fred and George could have just gone to a bunch of seventh years and said, “Hey, drop our names in the Goblet, please.”

Andrew: Paid them off.

Micah: Yeah, I mean, this can’t be possible, can it?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: It has to be possible, because that’s what Dumbledore is asking. I mean…

Andrew: Yeah, I mean, Dumbledore is basically confirming it’s possible.

Eric: Yeah, yeah. It’s the most easy way around it that Dumbledore, who drew up this age line using who knows what advanced magic, didn’t think about. It was too close. It was too obvious and too simple that Dumbledore didn’t think about it.

Andrew: Well, I guess maybe you would think, “Okay, if somebody does put in a name of another student who’s underage, we will find out who did it because we’ll ask that person whose name came out of the Goblet.” Also, what are the chances that somebody’s name is going to get pulled out of the Goblet? There’s a one in, what, hundred chance? I don’t know how many Hogwarts students enter. So there’s a thin chance that that person will even come out of the Goblet, but then once it does, you can interrogate that person and find out who put their name in. And then I guess maybe the students would hesitate from doing this because then they could potentially get in trouble at the school, so there’s unspoken reasons why you wouldn’t want to ask somebody to put your name in.

Micah: And you make a great point, Andrew, in terms of just how would it even be possible that Harry’s name would come out of the Goblet of Fire given all the other Hogwarts students names that likely would have been in there as well? But we’re going to talk about that with Mad-Eye Moody.

Andrew: Yes. And first, we are going to take a quick break, and then we’ll be right back.

[Ad break]

Micah: All right, so our third and final main suspect – we’re going to talk about a few honorable mentions – is Mad-Eye Moody, and Moody essentially lays out how he did it right in front of everybody, including Dumbledore. Emphasis on the “Dumb” in Dumbledore…

[Laura laughs]

Micah: … because he doesn’t even pick up on it.

Andrew: Wow. You know what? Go miss another week of the show.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: We’ve finally reached that point where Micah and Andrew fight to the death over Dumbledore’s honor. Which, by the way, Dumbledore does not care.

Micah: I’m honestly surprised nobody has said that in the almost 20 year history of this show.

Andrew: Yeah, that is a good line. I’ll give that to you.

Micah: Now, he goes on to say someone put Potter’s name in knowing he would have to compete. A “skilled witch or wizard” put Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire. It would take an “exceptionally strong Confundus Charm to bamboozle the Goblet into forgetting that only three schools compete in the tournament.” Potter’s name was submitted “under a fourth school, to make sure he was the only one in the category.” [laughs] He’s like, “Here. I’m going to tell you how I did it, but don’t look my way.”

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: He cannot help himself. He cannot help himself. This is so delicious to be in this room, rub it in everyone’s face while simultaneously pointing the blame at ex-Death Eaters that he has beef with, pretty much everyone in the room that has a legitimate grudge against Harry, like Snape. Deflecting the blame on himself while telling them exactly how he did it is top Barty Crouch, Jr. This is a top, top, top moment for me. It’s so cool.

Andrew: And just hiding in plain sight. Dumbledore trusts who he thinks is Moody; he sees no reason to suspect him. I think it’s kind of just as simple as that. He’s not necessarily “Dumb”-ledore.

Laura: No, but it is a very funny contrast, because I think we see Dumbledore quite a bit throughout the series being proud of his own cleverness, and we’re seeing Barty Crouch, Jr. do the exact same thing here. It’s just what he’s doing is malevolent. Dumbledore is a little bit more on the chess game of the greater good vibe, as we know.

Eric: Yeah, I mean, I guess if you were clever over in the woods over there but you don’t tell anybody about it, were you really clever? He’s got to tell everyone, right?

Laura: He’s leaving breadcrumbs all year, basically.

Eric: I mean, and a Confundus Charm; he actually names the bit of magic that he uses to do it. It’s just unbelievable. For his troubles – and I know we’ve been praising Barty Crouch, Jr. a lot this book so far – we finally have a sound effect that I think we should play when we give Barty a plus one, thumbs up, “Nice job, man.”

[Barty Crouch, Jr. appreciation sound effect plays: “You know what this means, don’t you? I’ll be welcomed back like a hero.”]

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Eric: Good ol’ Fakey.

Micah: Yeah. It was also brought up about why Harry would do this; there’s a chance that he could die. And Moody responds by saying, “Well, maybe somebody is hoping Harry will die in this tournament.” So it’s just such a amazing bit of writing, but just also the character of Barty Crouch, Jr. here. We talked about it; his feelings towards Karkaroff are masked in a way, but they’re also real, right? It’s this split personality, almost. Do we label him a psychopath? Do we think that’s a fair way to look at Barty Crouch, Jr.?

Andrew: I think so, based on everything we’ve discussed so far.

Eric: Yeah, he has those tendencies. We don’t know his specific trauma. We do know he’s been in Azkaban, so that’ll make anybody a little crazy, a little unhinged.

Micah: The last thing with Moody I just wanted to talk about was, Karkaroff tells him that he seems to have given how all this happened a great deal of thought, and this is delivered in a way in the movie when you couple it with him swigging the flask every five seconds that you know something is up with with Mad-Eye, but here, I don’t know. I don’t find it as suspicious as it came across in the films. I was curious what you guys thought.

Laura: Yeah, I mean, they definitely tried to deflect using Karkaroff in the films. I mean, you even have that scene where you see him go into the Great Hall and close the doors at night, right?

Andrew: Right.

Laura: So I think they’re really trying to lean into stereotypical portrayals of what villains look like and sound like in movies oftentimes. So yeah, I think they were playing with that, absolutely. He’s also low-hanging fruit, too. When you think, who’s the most obvious person? It’s Karkaroff, which is why it’s not him. It’s never the most obvious person.

Eric: Well, sometimes if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I like to believe that the duck did it…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: … but not on the media that you read, Laura.

Laura: No, not in any kind of mystery setting.

Eric: Yeah, that’s just in other circles. Well, my thing is, it’s such a weak retort for Karkaroff. He’s like, “Oh, sounds like you’ve given this a lot of thought.” He’s an Auror! That’s what he’s supposed to do. There’s a mystery, he’s a detective, he detects. It’s just such a weak retort that it… actually, I think Karkaroff saying that makes Karkaroff look guiltier than if he had not said it.

Andrew: I will just also add, on the Moody point, in terms of him being a suspect, Snape has also not been happy with Moody’s presence at Hogwarts, and Harry notes that, so I think that’s just further evidence that maybe we should not be trusting Moody. And Snape doesn’t suspect, I don’t think. I hope not because then he would report it to Dumbledore. But yeah, Snape is not happy with him either. So I put him higher than Ludo. I just see Ludo as such an innocent happy fellow; I can’t point the finger at him.

Micah: He’s a goofball.

Andrew: I’d put Moody at seven to eight Fakeys. Somewhere around there.

Micah: So right now it’s Karkaroff, Moody, and Bagman, in that order.

Andrew: For me, I’d say so.

Micah: Well, we do have some honorable mentions, Laura, that you pulled together.

Laura: Yeah, just because I, again, really love the genre of mystery and true crime, so I really hyper read into things. First want to start with Barty Crouch, Sr. This man is standing in the shadows all creepy-like; Harry talks about how gaunt and skull-like his face looks. But he’s also strictly adhering to the rules of this tournament. Even though he definitely knows that something sketchy is up, there is not a single attempt on his part to try and figure out a way around this to spare this underage child from participating in a death tournament. That could be reason for detecting some sketch; I don’t think it’s as sketchy as some of the other characters we talked about. But someone else would be Snape; Snape is also in the room.

Andrew: Well, hold on.

Laura: What?

Andrew: Let me add something to Barty Crouch, Sr.: He didn’t want to stay at Hogwarts, right? Towards the end of this chapter, he was ready to get out of there, which also adds to his guilt, I think.

Laura: Right. Oh yeah, that’s a great call-out. Thank you for mentioning that.

Eric: He’s trying to run from the scene of his crime.

Laura: Right.

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: No, that’s great.

Laura: Of course, we know why he’s actually anxious.

Eric: He’s got a lot else going on.

Laura: Yeah. [laughs]

Micah: He’s a little stressed.

Eric: Yeah. Well, and…

Andrew: And old Weatherby is driving him nuts!

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Micah: I mean, we can also think of this as not just being one person. There could be multiple parties involved here.

Laura: Right.

Andrew: Oh, that’s true.

Micah: Especially for something the likes of getting Harry into this tournament.

Eric: Now I’m picturing a basketball move where there’s a layup with his name on a piece of paper.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Eric: Somebody goes over the age line, somebody else dips it in…

Micah: Yeah, certainly possible.

Laura: Well, and as an additional point that maybe adds to the suspicion for Crouch Sr. and Bagman, where does the Goblet of Fire reside when it’s not in use? It has to be at the Ministry. I’m imagining Bagman’s office maintains that, so it’s possible you could say that perhaps either Bagman, Crouch Sr., or both tampered with the cup before it even arrived at Hogwarts. We’ve got to throw Snape in here because Harry is always ready to accuse Snape of something.

Andrew: [laughs] And vice versa.

Laura: Yeah, and vice versa, which we see in this scene. He’s always looking for a way to get Harry in trouble. He’s like, “This kid is always doing something to get attention. I guarantee he did it.” Is this a case where…? As readers, do we remember if at the time we suspected Snape at all? Or had Snape been suspected too many times in the series by this point for us to think it could’ve been him?

Eric: Yeah, I think it’s probably the latter. But for me, I suspect him more now, knowing just how vicious it got between Harry and Snape at the end of Book 3. We knew that it was a huge one-up on Snape when Sirius Black gets away and the students with the Time-Turner and that they just… Snape really lost out on his Order of Merlin and a bunch of other stuff there, so I think that if there were ever a book for Snape to actually break bad and put Harry in active danger, it would be in retribution for the events of the most recent book. So I actually do like Snape for this at least as a contender for the whodunnit, because he’s right out the gate again blaming Harry, and it is suspicious.

Micah: Yeah, though I will ask the question now: What is Snape doing in the room to begin with? He has no business there. And the reason why I say this is because if you look at who’s in the room, there’s somebody there for each of the champions, right? McGonagall is there for Harry. You have Maxime there for Fleur. You have Karkaroff there for Krum. By that logic, Sprout should be there for Cedric, not Snape.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Snape is subbing for Sprout. She’s not feeling well.

Micah: And then you have the other officials who are running the tournament, right? Again, by that logic you could also ask why is Mad-Eye there, right? Those two just don’t belong in the room at this moment.

Eric: Here’s the thing about that: I think Snape is just a guy that you want around when some bad shit is going down. Snape is actually a really accomplished wizard in so many ways. He can do nonverbal magic, he has the fierceness and the fire, he’s a skilled Legilimens… I would want him by my side if my school was about to crumble to the ground despite the personal differences, and you can kind of see it in Dumbledore’s voice and actions in this chapter. Same with how he deals with Moody; he’s like, “Okay, Alastor.” He’s like, “Okay, Severus, sit back down. You’re here because of what you can do to help, not what you can do to hinder or raise tensions.”

Laura: And then I have one wildcard I want to throw out here: Madame Maxime. Hear me out.

Eric: Who would suspect?

Laura: She really flies under the radar in this scene, but there’s another area earlier on in this book where she also flies under the radar, and that’s at the Quidditch World Cup. So you’ll remember that the trio was in the forest in the midst of all the panic and confusion. They run into a group of girls who are speaking French, and one of them says, “Where’s Madame Maxime?” So they apparently could not find their headmistress while there was a Death Eater Klansmen march happening. So if the author had really wanted to pull a fast one here and really pull the wool over everyone’s eyes, this would have been the move. So understated, too.

Eric: It’s always the French.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: “It’s always the French.”

Micah: Always the French, nice.

Eric: I love, Laura, that you’ve taken it – again, you said this – but from a very murder mystery aspect of who was… we don’t know that the person who cast the Dark Mark at the Quidditch World Cup and the person who put Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire are actually the same person. That doesn’t have to have been the case, but it absolutely is the case. But knowing that, we reverse backwards, and just figuring out who’s at the Quidditch World Cup and who’s right here in this room right now, I love that you’re pooling your suspects from that criteria.

Micah: So while we’re at it, why not add Dumbledore to the list?

Andrew: No.

Eric: Dumbledore wasn’t at the Quidditch World Cup.

Micah: No, no, no, I don’t care if he was at the Quidditch World Cup. Putting Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire. He loves the drama.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: “He loves the drama.” He’s getting excited for reasons similar to Ludo. He’s like, “Oh boy, this is history.”

Laura: Dumble-drama.

Andrew: Living history. No, I don’t accept that.

Eric: No. I think given as an honest option, no, because Dumbledore in this chapter is forced to be very diplomatic, and he’s… I think Dumbledore takes seriously that he’s being accused of cheating right here. The way he handles the other – I want to say foreign dignitaries…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: … the way he handles the other headmasters and is really working on seeing if there is an alternative.

Micah: [laughs] He’s just trying to get them to have a nightcap. He’s really trying hard at the end of the chapter.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: He does, kind of, yeah.

Andrew: “Who wants a drink? Somebody wants to drink, right? Come on.”

Micah: Yep. All right, well, that was a lot of fun, talking about the usual suspects. But let’s move on and talk about this magical contract that comes up and is referenced multiple times in this chapter. And I know we’ve talked a little bit about it in prior episodes, but now that the moment is actually here, do we think that it’s fair Harry has to compete?

Andrew and Eric: No.

Laura: No, of course not.

Andrew: This is so unfair. They keep talking about these rules, like, “Oh, that’s the rules. That’s the rules. No going back now.” He didn’t put his name in the Goblet. As we later learn, of course, somebody did it for nefarious reasons. There should only be one champion per school. He was the last name to come out. He’s underage. There’s so many reasons why he should not be forced, really, to compete in this tournament.

Laura: Yeah, but the rules say no takesie-backsies.

Andrew: Yeah, I know, this mystery rulebook that we never really learn the details of. But this old darn goblet coughs up his name and suddenly, “Sorry, Harry, you have to sacrifice yourself. Yeah, sure, you’re number four. Yeah, sure, maybe the Goblet just had the hiccups that day, and maybe they didn’t even intend for you to come out of this cup, but that’s it. You’re done for.” It’s so unfair. It’s so unfair. [laughs]

Eric: It’s ridiculous.

Andrew: This is when I really feel for Harry not having parents. But even then, like, where’s Molly? If I were Molly or Arthur or Sirius, I’d be like, “Guys. Dumbledore. Come on. We’re pals, right? What are you thinking with this?” “Oh, that’s the rules, that’s the rules.”

Eric: “We’re un-enrolling Harry from Hogwarts.”

Andrew: Yeah, pull him out of school.

Eric: For me, this is definitely something I thought about while doing this reread – I never would have thought of this 22 years ago – but the level to which the adults in the room are all out of their depth when it comes to this is shocking to me. If Dumbledore and Barty Crouch, Sr. and Ludo Bagman can’t change the rules or can’t get out of Harry’s name being drawn, and the reason they can’t get more champions involved as they say the Goblet has gone cold… they don’t control the Goblet at all. They have dug… where did they find this thing? It was in its casket probably in a tomb somewhere, Bill Weasley found it, was like, “This is fun; let’s do it…” They’re like, “Yeah, what a great idea.”

Andrew: [laughs] “It coughs up paper. What an incredible magical object.”

Eric: They have no control over it at all whatsoever. And it’s got to be humbling to them, because these adult wizards… we know Dumbledore… think about what Dumbledore does in Book 6, right, to get into Voldemort’s cave. He’s feeling the wall and he’s doing this advanced level of magic to figure out what it is you’re supposed to do. And he can’t figure out a way to get the Goblet of Fire’s magical rules to be unbinding on somebody who didn’t even put his own name in? Wow, that just shows that you’re never too old to completely be in over your head when it comes to just old magic artifacts.

Micah: Right.

Andrew: It’s a good lesson for us Muggles, too. It never gets easier, y’all. [laughs]

Micah: I would put more of the blame less on Dumbledore – I know Andrew is going to be shocked here…

[Andrew gasps]

Eric: I’m very shocked.

Micah: … more on the Ministry, in that… and I know Barty Crouch, Sr. is very much preoccupied here with a lot of things that are going on in his life, and he just wants to get home, but this is his responsibility. And presumably, he could reach out to some of the best there are to figure out how to rectify the situation, and he just hightails it. He doesn’t even seem to care. He’s like, “Oh, what’s another kid in the tournament?”

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: I’m serious.

Andrew: No, I know. I know. I’m laughing in agreement with you.

Laura: I feel like someone… I’m trying to find it. Someone in the Discord pointed out that Crouch Sr. may actually be under the Imperius Curse at this point in the book.

Eric: He is. Yeah, he’s under his son’s Imperius Curse, which, Barty Crouch, Jr. is doing a lot this chapter. But yeah, I…

Micah: Well, Ludo isn’t… okay, so let’s… I can shift some of it onto Ludo, then, the responsibility.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: No, no, you’re right. Ludo is just happy to be there and happy to have controversy, and it’s going to sell a lot of papers or make him rich in the gambling room. But yeah, I mean, Crouch… it’s just again… and the movie even one-upped it by being like, “The rules are absolute.”

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: It’s just like, who thought of this crap? This is so dangerous. This is just absolutely insane.

Micah: Well, it’s fine if the rules are absolute, but from a person who actually had the intention of putting their name in, not from somebody who had their name put in…

Andrew and Micah: … unwillingly.

Eric: Even by another student. Yeah, unwillingly. That’s exactly why the Unbreakable Vow is so much better than this garbage.

Micah: Are there not fingerprints in the wizarding world?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Fingerprints. Actually, Meg and I were talking about this; she had the idea that what if the Goblet of Fire actually judged or graded the person that put in a name, not the person whose name is on the slip of paper?

Andrew: Oh, yeah. By reading the fingerprints.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: But what if Barty Crouch, Jr. was wearing gloves? Yeah, why not cameras? Why not…? I mean, there’s so many answers here.

Eric: Because what if what if somebody has…? If I put my name in, and I really wanted to win, I have such [censored] handwriting.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: There’s no guarantee that the Goblet of Fire could actually read my name. And then am I disqualified?

Andrew: But let me ask you all this: If Harry wasn’t in the tournament, would we have had this book?

Laura and Micah: No.

Andrew: Well, exactly. So why are we all complaining?

Eric: Wait, we would have had this book, though. It’s not like she would have jumped to year five. For me, again, it’s just what do the adults learn from this? We love pointing out that Hogwarts is a security nightmare, but there is a hope that they make changes and fix it.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: They don’t.

Andrew: We have a hope. We have a dream.

Eric: It’s consistently getting worse. Like, whose idea was it to unearth an ancient artifact that sends four students to their deaths, pretty much?

Laura: Well, only one, this time.

Andrew: Ouch. Ouch.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: I have an idea… go ahead, Laura.

Laura: I was just going to say, Eric, kind of related to the point you mentioned about Meg’s interpretation of the Goblet, I’m also wondering… the Goblet is, I guess, somehow in possession of some kind of power that allows it to determine, based off of a scrap of paper with a person’s name on it, whether or not they’re worthy to compete in the tournament. But it can’t tell that that person didn’t actually write their own name?

Andrew and Eric: Yeah.

Eric: Or in the… well, this is where the Confundus Charm comes in that it was a fourth school. Harry was listed as a fourth school.

Laura: Right.

Eric: So he was the only one on the list of the pool of…

Laura: Yeah, no, I guess. But also, it couldn’t tell that Harry didn’t write his own name.

Micah: Well, and by that logic, Fred or George could have just written their name under a fourth school and been selected.

Laura: Right. We criticize because we love.

Micah: Yeah. Laura, I think you’re getting at something I wanted to ask, which was, do we assume some level of sentience for the Goblet similar to the Sorting Hat, right? And is the Goblet actively tracking each of the tasks somehow? This comes up a little bit later in – I don’t want to take your point, Laura – but what if Harry just says, “I’m sitting on the bench”? [laughs] Does the Goblet shoot sparks at him?

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: What happens?

Laura: Right, well, and we definitely see at least one example of a champion not being able to complete a task, and the cup doesn’t smite her.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: So I don’t know. The rules are very confusing here.

Andrew: We want more answers. We have a lot of questions about the Goblet.

Laura: [laughs] I love how SnailSong in our Discord was like, “The Goblet pulls out a gun.”

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: I wanted to also put a new twist on our “Max that” segment around the discussion that we’re having here.

[“Max that” sound effect plays]

Andrew: I’m calling this “Enhanced Max that,” or “Max enhance.”

Micah: Ooh.

Andrew: So I think the TV adaptation should just call what’s happening with the Goblet an Unbreakable Vow. We’ve spoken about this a few times now. I think, Eric, you’ve raised the point: Maybe what’s actually happening here is an Unbreakable Vow before Rowling came up with the idea of an Unbreakable Vow.

Eric: That was my thought, yeah.

Andrew: So the TV show should maybe just lean into calling this an Unbreakable Vow. You have to explain it somehow, I think. That’d be a nice update to the core story, one that we would accept, I think.

Laura: Yeah, I agree.

Micah: But doesn’t there have to be some level of willingness, though, on the part of the two participants? Harry is not willingly doing anything here. He’s kind of getting screwed over.

Eric: Yeah, I mean, that’s what makes the Unbreakable Vow so powerful. The reason that you die if you don’t do it is because you volunteered. You committed – you consented – to do it.

Micah: So I think that raises the question, what is the penalty? Let’s put the Unbreakable Vow piece of it aside for a second. If Harry said, “No, I’m not competing,” what happens to Harry? Is the series over?

[Andrew imitates Voldemort’s “Avada Kadavra” yell]

Micah: Bang!

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Voldemort comes out of the Goblet. It would be funny if Dumbledore said to Harry, like, “Harry, you have two choices. You can compete, or we have to put you back with your aunt and uncle, because only then will you be safe.”

Andrew: Oh my God.

Eric: Only then will he be safe from the Goblet of Fire’s evil retribution. He has to hide under the cloak for a year.

Andrew: And then Harry should be like, “I want a paternity test.” [laughs] “Please check who wrote my name on that piece of paper.”

Eric: That’s true. They have the paper; they could get…

Andrew: “I am not the father of that piece of paper.” [laughs]

Eric: They could forensic science the piece of paper.

Micah: Can we get Maury Povich reading his name coming out of the Goblet of Fire?

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: What’s going on today?

Micah: All right, we need a break.

Laura: This is going off the rails.

Andrew: All right, we will move on to the backlash, but first, a quick break so we can catch our breath.

[Ad break]

Micah: All right, so let’s talk a little bit about the backlash from Harry’s name coming out of the Goblet of Fire. Karkaroff, Maxime are pissed, to say the least. But should they really fear Harry’s inclusion in the tournament? He has three years less experience than Krum, Fleur, and Cedric. He should be an easy out.

Andrew: That’s a question I wanted to raise to you guys when you were talking about Ludo getting excited to bet. He would bet on Harry winning, right? Why are you all so confident that he’s going to win?

Eric: For me, I think it’s less that Harry would win and more that there’s an increased chance that Hogwarts wins.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Eric: Because with two champions for Hogwarts and one champion for Durmstrang and Beauxbatons, there is now a 50% chance that it’s a Hogwarts victory. And the whole reason these schools agreed to this is because it’s a great chance at eternal glory, so I think they feel shortchanged, and I think that they have a right to just from a statistic standpoint.

Micah: Yeah, I think that’s a really great point, because you want a level playing field in something like this, right? And I think also taking into account what this tournament is supposed to represent, right, in terms of the relationships being formed with international wizarding schools, you’re already putting them at a disadvantage by having two champions coming from Hogwarts.

Eric: It is so funny to think of this as a tournament where these champions compete, and yet we’re trying to garner international cooperation, but now this distrust from the get-go has really sown the seeds even further for people to not get along.

Micah: Oh, great point. So when Harry first enters the trophy room, he feels really small, both literally and figuratively, in comparison to the other three champions, and it’s even noted they seem taller than him. Fleur at one point refers to him as a “little boy.” So I think for Harry, he’s feeling the gravity of the situation. He’s feeling the intensity of the moment as soon as he walks into this room, before Dumbledore throws him against the trophy case. [laughs]

Andrew: And I will also say, Mary GrandPr√© did an amazing job conveying this in the chapter artwork. You’re looking at Harry from above, so he looks smaller. He’s staring at his long shadow to kind of suggest that he’s just by himself. He’s got his hands in his pockets. This might be one of my favorite pieces of chapter art across the series, because you just feel for Harry in this little illustration that she came up with.

Eric: That’s a good call-out. Yeah, I’m just looking at it again, and you’re exactly right. There’s a few times she’s spot on.

Andrew: But yeah, you really feel for Harry here. I mean, you know he didn’t do it. At least Dumbledore is going to trust him. But it must be really hard to have all these headmasters and the teachers at Hogwarts doubting what actually happened, and you’re to blame, even though you’re not really. It’s just all this attention is on you and you didn’t cause it.

Eric: So much of this has given me flashbacks to being a freshman. You finally make it to high school and you’ve come so far; you’re in high school now. But then you see a senior, and he’s so much taller, and it’s like, “Oh, I’m still small. I’m still a literal child compared to a senior. And then you meet a college kid and they’re even older… so I love that Harry is feeling basically vulnerable here.

Micah: Yeah, he’s out of his league. I mean, that’s what…

Eric: He’s not in control of his future.

Micah: No, but I think if you look back at the other three books and the things that he’s faced, you could argue that he is well prepared for something like this. But I look at the Triwizard Tournament as something on a completely different level, right? He’s in big boy territory now, and he’s finally starting to grasp the reality of the situation. This isn’t the same.

Andrew: I think he is just yet to actually process what actually is going to be happening during this tournament. I mean, they haven’t shared any details yet. They don’t truly know what they’re getting into. Harry kind of sees just this blank slate before him. But he also does recall in this chapter that somebody does want him dead, so this isn’t good news for him. Cornflakes, who’s listening live on our Patreon, said, “I don’t think he actually appreciates how out of his depth he will be in the tasks. He thinks about it a little, but then just turns up to each task.” So he’s built some confidence up, I think, because of his battles so far in the series, but I don’t think he’s too concerned, because he just does not know what he’s getting into, because nobody does.

Eric: I think a lot of that, too, is if you think about it long enough, you’ll just break down and cry. And Harry is very much a good, go to “Got to do what I can.” I don’t think it’s confidence. But I do think that you just can’t hold up a mirror to some of these things that are happening to Harry. Micah, to your point, where you just said it’s totally different this year, what I compare that to is every year prior, Voldemort wanted to kill Harry. This year, the universe itself is going to kill Harry if he doesn’t compete, and Voldemort wants to kill Harry, so that’s how it’s different.

Micah: Well, and he’s also on display for the entire school, which I don’t think… I mean, you could argue he’s been on display for the entire school his entire time at Hogwarts thus far because of who he is, but in the battles that he’s fought, he hasn’t been on display in this way, right? Year one, year two, year three, it’s all kind of been going on behind the scenes. It’s just him, Ron, and Hermione. It’s not him in front of, not just Hogwarts, but the other two schools that are there. It’s a lot different.

Laura: And for the first time, the impression that everyone has of Harry is that he chose this.

Micah: Right. So some of the other backlash that we see is from Snape. We talked a little bit about Snape already, but he just… any chance he has to take a shot, he does it.

[Andrew laughs]

[Eric imitates Snape’s laugh]

Micah: And McGonagall… was it Dumbledore who shuts him down? I know McGonagall throws him a look.

Eric and Laura: Yeah.

Eric: It’s Dumbledore again.

Micah: Come on, Severus. Just… again, I don’t even know why you’re in the room.

Andrew: Severus, please.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: That’s the whole thing, too, about the possibility that another student would have put Harry’s name in. The only student who would have tried that in order to get Harry in danger would be Malfoy, and he’s also not 17. So I feel like that’s a lack of potential candidates, unless it’s Snape himself who put Harry’s name in, which we already talked about.

Andrew: I’m also wondering why Snape is not trying to read his mind, because that would solve that question for him.

Eric: Yeah, I mean, Snape has Veritaserum handy too. Pulls it out later.

Andrew: Well, yeah. I mean, shoving that down his throat in front of all these people might not be the best approach.

Eric: Well, if you want the truth…

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: You want answers? We’re getting answers! “Severus, please.”

Micah: So just to wrap up the chapter, when Harry finally gets out of the trophy room and is making his way back to Gryffindor tower… well, I guess one thing to note is… I think we all do this from time to time. It’s pre-set in us, right? We drive somewhere; sometimes we don’t remember how we got from point A to point B. We just… it’s a sign of… what’s the word, innate to us? Or like we learn it over time. Harry, he does the same thing, but his mind is just going so many miles an hour that he doesn’t even realize he’s made his way back to Gryffindor tower; that’s how overwhelmed he is with everything that’s going on. But he does make it back and he’s received by his fellow Gryffindors with a lot of cheers and celebrations and everyone wants a piece of Harry, and it couldn’t be more of a contrast to when he gets up to his dormitory and Ron is waiting for him. And it ain’t good, bro. It ain’t good.

Andrew: It bums me out that Ron is feeling this way. I guess Ron is shocked, but if Ron can’t believe him, I think that really calls into question their friendship. Why should Ron doubt what Harry is telling him? He thinks Harry pulled a fast one on him.

Eric: Yeah, yeah. I mean, he starts the sentence with “Congratulations,” like he’s just assuming that Harry…

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Sarcastically.

Eric: Yeah, Harry figured it out, and he didn’t share it with him.

Andrew: I could see why that would hurt, but it’s not true. And Ron should believe him.

Laura: Yeah, but it’s also not… not to say Harry did anything wrong here, but it wouldn’t be the first time that Harry withheld information from Ron.

Eric: That’s true.

Laura: Again, not to say that any of the prior incidents were super high stakes. But Ron is a character who really stews on things, areas where he feels like he’s been wronged, and then eventually when the straw breaks the camel’s back, he kind of explodes; he goes nuclear, and that’s what’s happening here. And while I don’t agree with Ron’s reaction, I can kind of understand his initial annoyance. If my best friend did something, or if I thought they did something they swore up and down they would never do, that would annoy me as one of the people that I am closest to in the world. If for whatever reason I felt like they lied to me, I would be annoyed. I might be wrong to be annoyed, so I think Ron’s error here is staying mad as long as he does; I don’t think it’s so much the in-moment reaction.

Eric: Yeah. I mean, he says to Harry, he’s like, “Well, did you use your cloak?” He’s like, “What?” He’s like, “Because then it would have fit both of us, wouldn’t it have? But, guess not.” And it’s just like, oh, he wanted to be included, or he wanted a fair shot, or yeah, he’s just convinced that Harry found the secret and left him out.

Laura: Yeah. And right, Ron is so triggered by feeling left out. That, I think, is the crux of all of this.

Eric: I mean, think back to his Mirror of Erised. What he sees is him on top.

Laura and Micah: Yeah.

Micah: Laura, I agree with you. I don’t begrudge him how he’s feeling in this moment, but I think, to your point, the amount of time he feels it and he just won’t let it go, that’s the issue. And it’s really tough to watch in the movies. I almost forget how it plays out in the books because it’s been such a long time since I’ve read this, but that whole exchange of who told who to tell who what… but yeah, so Harry has had a rough night to say the least, between the Goblet of Fire and his best friend now being on the outs with him.

Eric: It’s particularly devastating that… I think the line is like, “Harry knew most people wouldn’t believe him, but he at least thought Ron would,” and then Ron is not there.

Andrew and Micah: Yeah.

Micah: I mean, Ron isn’t even interested in hearing anything other than what I think he wants to hear in this moment.

Andrew: Yeah, his mind is made up.

Odds & Ends

Micah: All right, a couple of Odds & Ends to get to. I believe, Andrew, you mentioned this briefly, but Crouch is still calling Percy by the wrong name.

Andrew: Yep.

Eric: Justice for Weathersby.

Micah: Do we think that’s the Imperius Curse, versus…? Because Crouch Sr. seems like a sharp guy to me.

Andrew: Yeah, well, I think the last time we spoke about this, we were just talking about the respect that Percy actually gets from Crouch, and sometimes a name just sticks with you and that’s that. [laughs] I don’t know. He clearly hasn’t gained more respect.

Eric: Maybe Percy gave him… he’s like, “You can call me Weatherby, Sir. You can call me anything you like, Mr. Crouch.”

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, has he corrected him yet? I mean, I think that’s a valid question. [laughs]

Micah: Probably not. Knowing Percy, he probably hasn’t.

Eric: Maybe he legitimately thinks that he’s Weatherby. [laughs]

Andrew: He’s probably trying to get his name legally changed to Weatherby. Write a fanfiction about that, somebody, and Molly is resisting.

Laura: And he’s been doing that, I mean, as long as we’ve known that Percy worked for him, right? So I don’t know if it means that he’s been under the Imperius Curse since Chapter 1 of this book or if he’s just not paying Percy very much mind.

Eric: He’s clearly just distracted. He’s got so much else to worry about.

Laura: He has more important things to do than know his direct report’s name.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Yeah, but presumably he would know Arthur, and this is Arthur’s son and he would know Arthur’s last name, so that’s where I don’t give him a pass. We also learn that the first task will test your daring, so that’s kind of ominous, and that if Harry wins the whole thing, he’s going to get a thousand Galleon prize. And just for competing, no tests at the end of the year. He is exempt.

Andrew: Woo!

Eric: Now, of course I remember about the Galleons, but I forgot about this test thing. I would put my name in if it meant I didn’t have to do tests all year.

Andrew: You just have to fight a dragon instead.

Eric: Oh, yeah, maybe not.

Micah: Here’s a question, though: Ron mentions this at the end of the chapter. How does Ron know? Is it because Violet is a hot goss and relayed all this information back to the Fat Lady who then told all the students?

Eric: Yeah, within this chapter it just looks like everything, every single thing that was said in the room with the trophies, was repeated by Violet who was apparently talking announcement-style with the Fat Lady to just a horde of Gryffindors that were just trying to get to their common room. [laughs]

Micah: All right, well, that was my last point. Violet is a hot goss.

Andrew: Excellent.

MVP of the Week

Andrew: And now it’s time for our MVP of the Week awards.

[MVP of the Week music plays]

Andrew: I’m going to give it to two people, actually, this week…

Micah: Oooh.

Andrew: … Karkaroff and Madame Maxime for calling out how unfair it is that Hogwarts gets…

Micah: How very Goblet of Fire of you, Andrew.

Andrew: [laughs] Two bites of the apple. Hogwarts is getting two bites of the apple by having two champions.

Eric: You know who doesn’t give Harry any grief at all whatsoever about how unfair it is that there’s two Hogwarts champions? The other Hogwarts champion, Cedric Diggory! Pour one out for my man the Hufflepuff, who’s just a good boy, and he might not believe that Harry got there on merit or whatever, that he didn’t really put his name in, but he’s not whining about it like everyone else.

Laura: I’m going to give it to Dumbledore for being calm.

Eric: What?

Andrew: Aww.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: Yeah, we know now that there are multiple options of how to react if you’re Dumbledore, and Dumbledore chose calmness.

Andrew: [imitating Dumbledore] “Thank you very, very much, dear Laura.”

Micah: And I am going to give it to Barty Crouch, Jr. for bamboozling everyone, not just the Goblet of Fire, and putting the “Dumb” in Dumbledore.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Putting the “Dumb” in Dumbledore.

Laura: Can we make that a shirt?

[Barty Crouch, Jr. appreciation sound effect plays: “You know what this means, don’t you? I’ll be welcomed back like a hero.”]

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: Yeah, you will. You keep racking up MVPs, Mr. Barty, sir.

Micah: We should look at the most MVPs over time.

Andrew: That’d be fun.

Micah: I just think Barty Crouch, Jr. is going to be pretty high on the list. [laughs]

Eric: I’m picturing baseball cards for our favorite characters.

Andrew: There you go.

Eric: We’ll have Umbridge suck count, Dumbledore lie count, Barty Crouch, Jr.’s awesome count… all that.

Laura: And honestly, I have to think that Harry will have the least number of MVPs.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Well, because that’s a rule, though, isn’t it?

Laura: I don’t think that… I think the rule is we can’t say “Harry” in the Seven-Word Summary.

Andrew: Yeah, at the start, I think.

Eric: Well, the rule is that it’s uncool if you say “Harry” in the Seven-Word Summary. It’s too easy because the chapter already says what he does.

Andrew: Next week, we’ll discuss Chapter 18, “The Weighing of the Wands.” And like I said, we have a Muggle Mail episode coming up in a few weeks, so if you have any feedback about today’s discussion, you can email or send a voice memo to, or you can use our phone number, which is 1-920-3-MUGGLE. That’s 1-920-368-4453. And then of course, you can go to, where there is a contact form.


Andrew: And now it’s time for Quizzitch!

[Quizzitch music plays]

Eric: Last week’s question: What was the birthday present that Mad-Eye Moody received and smashed, thinking it was a Basilisk egg? This is a line from Karkaroff in this past chapter. The correct answer is a carriage clock, which if you don’t know what that is, you’d be forgiven. I think it’s like Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast; it’s the clock with the little house and little dresser drawers in it. Correct answers were submitted by Artemis Fido Jr.; Somewhat conflicted about the possible extinction of the Basilisk; Higgory Diggory Dock, Fakey destroyed his clock (and Cedric); Madame Maxime cheated on Hagrid with Grawp…

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Eric: … The candle chandelier that Madame Maxime’s head hit; Last Name Homora, First Name Al; LunieandNeviearethebestcoupleyoucantsayno; The dark shadows under Crouch’s eyes screaming “HELP ME”; The Kid Who Worked So Hard To Decorate The Gryffindor Common Room; The ripple of anger somewhere underneath Harry’s numb disbelief; Jiggly Jane; Buff Daddy; Daisy Skye; Elizabeth K.; FleurDeLol; Fumbledore (CJ); Hannah.D; Victoria; Katie from Hufflepuff; JennPenn; Robbie; Sienna; Lydia/the snargaluff pod that loves Ginny; My boggart is MuggleCast ending…

Andrew: Aww.

Eric: Yeah. And Rita’s coming, so you better Skeeter.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: Believe it or not, that wasn’t everybody, but these are getting really long, so thank you to all who submit.

Laura: I love Fumbledore.

Eric: That’s a good one. Putting the “Fum” in Fumbledore. Thank you to all who submitted. Here is next week’s Quizzitch question: Rita Skeeter’s Quick Quotes Quill first describes her by using which adjective? Those with command of the English language are encouraged to respond to next week’s Quizzitch via the form over on the MuggleCast website. Go to, or go to the MuggleCast website – which you should set as your homepage – and click on “Quizzitch” from the main nav.

Andrew: You can also visit for transcripts, social media links, our full episode archive, our favorite episodes, and, like I said, to contact us. If you enjoy the show and think other Muggle friends of yours might too, we would love if you told your friends about the show. We have a lot of fun here. Spread the fun around; we would really appreciate that. We’d also appreciate if you left us a review on your favorite podcast app. Also, we have this Etsy store,; this is where you can buy some of our patron gifts from years past while supplies last. We have the Cozy Comfy Combo Pack, which is the MuggleCast beanie and MuggleCast socks at one reduced price. You can also buy those two items separately. We also have our signed album art, we have our build your own wooden car sets, we have T-shirts, and more. is where you can buy all these things and support the show by doing so. And the show is brought to you by Muggles like you; we don’t have any fancy corporate or network funding, and we’re very proud of being an independent podcast. So to support us, you can tap into the show on Apple Podcasts and subscribe to MuggleCast Gold, which gets you ad-free and early access to MuggleCast, plus two bonus MuggleCast installments every month. And you can also go to, and that’s where you’ll get the benefits that I just mentioned, plus livestreams, planning docs, the chance to co-host the show one day, a new physical gift every year, plus the MuggleCast Collector’s Club, and a video message from one of the four of us, a personalized video message from one of the four of us thanking you for your support. So we have a lot of benefits; we hope you enjoy them. Your support goes to running this show. All right, well, that does it for this week’s episode. Thanks, everybody, for listening. I’m Andrew, I said calmly.

Eric: I’m Eric, I said calmly.

Micah: I’m Micah, I always say calmly.

Laura: Man, that’s so true.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: I’m Laura. I think I’m just calm in general.

Andrew: [aggressively] Goodbye!

Micah: Get out of here.

[Laura laughs]