Episode #474: There’s Something About Harry (OOTP 37, The Lost Prophecy)

  • Our next Quizzitch Live is Tuesday, July 21 – The topic is Deathly Hallows!
  • Harry Potter at Home has wrapped up their chapter readings for Book One.
  • In Muggle Mail, the hosts are asked how Harry Potter led them to branch out into being a fan of other things.
  • We debut a brand new listener-inspired segment, Wizard Court! Bellatrix is on trial for killing Sirius.
  • Chapter-by-Chapter continues with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – Chapter 37: The Lost (?) Prophecy
  • 7-Word Summary: Dumbledore tells Harry some of the truth
  • A portrait tells Harry that Dumbledore thinks highly of him. What do we think?
  • Dumbledore says, “I know how you’re feeling, Harry.” But does he?
  • At multiple times, Dumbledore refers to his own age while seeking forgiveness from Harry. Is this fair?
  • Do we blame Kreacher, or do we blame wizards, including Sirius, for Kreacher’s betrayal?
  • Snape has shows his heroic side, but Dumbledore is keeping his secret from Harry still. Why?
  • The hosts discuss the blood magic that keeps Harry save on Privet Drive, and if Dumbledore had to withhold this information for so long.
  • We dig into the Prophecy, the part that was overheard, and Laura makes a Bible connection.
  • The significance of Dumbledore counting Harry’s escapes from Voldemort.
  • MVP of the Week and Rename The Chapter
  • Quizzitch: What is the last word of Book 5?
  • This week’s episode is brought to you by Quip. Get your first refill FREE by visiting GetQuip.com/mugglecast. Support MuggleCast by supporting our sponsors!
  • Join our community at Patreon.com/MuggleCast and receive magical benefits, including Bonus MuggleCast!

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Episode #470: Silky Smooth Snape (OOTP 32, Out of the Fire)

  • International football star David Beckham joins actor David Tennant to read the Quidditch chapter of Book One. And now viewing this requires a login?
  • The MuggleCast 15th Anniversary T-Shirt is here! Just one week left to become a Patron at the Dumbledore’s Army level or higher to get yours!
  • MuggleMail topics include exams in other countries, the secrecy surrounding the prophecy, and whether Hagrid had a battle assist from Dumbledore (sorry McGonagall!)
  • Chapter-by-Chapter continues with Order of the Phoenix – Chapter 32: Out of the Fire
  • 7-Word Summary: Umbridge catches heroes using losers for hire
  • Hermione’s point about Sirius and Voldemort is a good one – why doesn’t Harry listen?
  • Why doesn’t the trio think of Snape before they’re caught?
  • The pitfall of Hermione bringing up Harry’s “Saving People Thing”
  • Here *lies* Kreacher, Mwahahahahaha
  • Harry speaks in code as a last resort. Does Snape understand?
  • DEBATE: as Umbridge prepares use an Unforgivable on Harry, the hosts ask. Who is a worse villain? Voldemort or Umbridge?
  • How realistic is Hermione’s plan? What makes Umbridge buy it? And why does she decide to go alone?
  • (Spoilers!) Our Umbridge Suck Count passes 100! (Were you really surprised?)
  • Quizzitch: What spell does Neville use to escape his captors?
  • This week’s episode is sponsored by MeUndies (Underwear that’s so good, Dobby would never take it off his head! Get 15% off your first order and free shipping by going to MeUndies.com/MuggleCast), Truth Vs Hollywood podcast, and Quip dental care (Visit GetQuip.com/muggle to get your first refill free!)
  • Join our community at Patreon.com/MuggleCast and receive magical benefits, including Bonus MuggleCast!

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Episode #467: Stranger Danger (OOTP 30, Grawp)

  • There is a new children’s story from JKR, and she’s releasing fresh chapters every week day!
  • All eight Harry Potter movies have been made available for streaming on HBO MAX. In Bonus MuggleCast, available now on Patreon, the hosts and listeners share their go-to HP films, and Micah tears apart Deathly Hallows, Part 2.
  • The MuggleCast 15th Anniversary T-Shirt is here! Become a Patron by June 30 at the Dumbledore’s Army level or higher to get yours!
  • MuggleMail topics include Sirius’ relationship with Harry, bullying at Hogwarts, and Snape’s maturation process.
  • Chapter-by-Chapter continues with Order of the Phoenix – Chapter 30: Grawp
  • 7-Word Summary: Hagrid reveals another giant secret mistake, Grawp
  • Hogwarts professors and students are in open rebellion. Who put the Niffler in Umbridge’s office?
  • Harry comes clean about the Triwizard Winnings
  • Can Harry be expected to pick up Occlumency after what happened? The hosts share their meditation tips for Harry.
  • Is Hagrid’s strategy for grabbing Hermione and Harry a good one?
  • Laura reveals the Greek origin of centaurs and the hosts compare book events that line up
  • What was Hagrid THINKING bringing Grawp into an inhabited forest?
  • Ron’s Mirror of Erised moment happens!
  • Quizzitch: Who is the head of the Wizarding Examinations Authority?
  • This week’s episode is sponsored by MeUndies, underwear that’s so good, Dobby would never take it off his head! Get 15% off your first order and free shipping by going to MeUndies.com/MuggleCast
  • Join our community at Patreon.com/MuggleCast and receive magical benefits, including Bonus MuggleCast!

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Transcript 223

MuggleCast 223 Transcript

Show Intro

[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]

Andrew: Because we want everybody to be happy, this is MuggleCast Episode 223 for March 20th, 2011.

[Show music begins]

Andrew: This week’s episode of MuggleCast is brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks, with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including fiction, non-fiction, and periodicals. For a free audiobook of your choice, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.

[Show music continues]

Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 223! Micah, Richard, and I here this week. Hello guys!

Richard: Hello.

Micah: Hello.

Andrew: Richard, I understand you’re trying to brave the fans this episode. You’re turning a new leaf.

Richard: I am not going to insult Daniel Radcliffe’s acting once, not even once.

Andrew: [laughs] But what about anything else?

Richard: Oh. Well, then it’s fair game.

Andrew: [laughs] Oh, okay. I always thought that people were just upset that you just appeared on the show out of nowhere and then [laughs] you were just…

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: …trashing the movie. They didn’t get a chance to learn about you or anything.

[Richard laughs]

Andrew: [laughs] Just out of the blue, here’s this guy…

Richard: I’m just miserable. Yeah, I’m just an angry, angry man.

Andrew: Yeah, apparently. And that’s what happens when you live in Scotland.

Richard: And I live in – not anymore.

Andrew: And now Britain, you’re right. So, now you’re turning a new leaf.

Richard: Yeah, exactly. I’m going to be happy and everything.

Andrew: [laughs] Okay, wonderful. I’m Andrew Sims.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Richard: And I’m an upbeat Richard Reid.

Andrew: [laughs] Okay.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: What’s in the news, Micah?

News: Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Sneak Peek

Micah: ABC Family had a ‘Harry Potter Weekend’ and one of the things that we were all looking forward to is the sneak peek at Deathly Hallows – Part 2, and we got the sneak peek on Thursday night. There were a couple of other videos that aired that didn’t really pertain as much to Part 2 but this was what we were looking for. It was kind of a mini trailer in a way, with voiceovers by some of the actors and producer David Heyman, David Barron, as well as David Yates, the director. And we got some new scenes and – what did you guys think overall? I mean, too much? Too little? Wet your appetite for an actual trailer?

Andrew: I thought it was too little because I was expecting this was going to be some sort of all new look at Part 2 and it was really – there were some new shots but then there was a lot of stuff we had seen in the Part 1/Part 2 preview a year and a half ago when the Half-Blood Prince DVD came out. So, that annoyed me, to be honest with you. But the new stuff was exciting to see. I just – my expectations were not met.

Richard: I thought it was actually the perfect amount because it wasn’t an actual trailer. It was just – it was like a sneak preview, so we got some old stuff, we got some new stuff. So, it built – it created enough hype for the trailer, I thought, so it was just the right amount.

Andrew: For that trailer that we still do not know the release date of.

Micah: April 1st.

Andrew: [laughs] April 1st?

Micah: Well, let’s talk a little bit about some of the scenes that we did get a chance to see. Probably the one that most people were talking about was Ron and Molly Weasley over Fred’s dead body, and a couple of people didn’t like the fact that I put that out on MuggleNet’s Twitter feed…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: …because apparently the fact that Fred dies is a spoiler. Now the book has been out…

[Richard laughs]

Micah: …for four years and I know the movies do things differently but they generally don’t change the people who die in the film. So…

[Andrew and Richard laugh]

Micah: …sorry you were spoiled if for whatever reason you have not read the seventh book yet, but then why you are – [laughs] never mind. I was going to say…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: …why you are following MuggleNet, I don’t know. So…

Andrew: Well, believe it or not, there is an audience of people who just don’t read the books. They are just movie fans.

Micah: Oh no, I know, I know.

Andrew: So…

Micah: And so to those people I apologize because if you have just seen the films and not read the books, then sorry. But that was probably the biggest scene, I think. And another with Ginny running from Arthur screaming, “No!” probably the scene where Hagrid is carrying in Harry’s dead body. So, a lot of emotional scenes I think you saw in this and like you mentioned, there is some stuff from the previous trailer which was not new to us. We got a couple of other shots: Ron saying, “We can end this,” Hermione consoling Harry, wondering what happened just before that. We got some new looks inside Gringotts as well as the actual dragon escaping. And there was a shot of two Death Eaters also, I wasn’t sure who they were. Did you guys…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: …know who they are?

Andrew: I’m just watching it again and it just passed that as you said that. I think the one in the foreground is the one who we saw in Part 1 stopping the Hogwarts Express.

Micah: Right.

Andrew: I’m not – but I can’t remember who that was.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: But…

Micah: I’m sure…

Andrew: …at any rate – yeah. I mean, it was a good preview. What can you say?

Richard: The one thing that did stuck out in that trailer for me was – do you know that scene where Harry and Voldemort’s wand are sort of doing battle together, you see the light attacking each wand. I’m guessing that was never in the book, was it? Because they weren’t surrounded by anyone in that scene in the preview but when they fought in the book, almost all the characters in the story were around them in Hogwarts.

Andrew: Yeah. Well, not to mention it was in the Great Hall, too, whereas this appears to be in the courtyard.

Richard: Yeah, outside by themselves.

Andrew: Yeah. And then there is also that shot of Voldemort holding Harry around his neck and that’s not from the book either, so it’s going to be interesting to see what the hell is going on here. I mean, maybe there is still going to be a final scene in the Great Hall. Maybe this is like a – the one outside is duel one and then the one in the Great Hall is duel two.

Richard: See…

Andrew: I just don’t know how they couldn’t make that completely loyal to the book.

Richard: I think that is the scene where Voldemort dies. I think that is where the spell backfired on him. I reckon it just skips out of the Great Hall and then kept outside, just Harry and Voldemort.

Andrew: And then what? People finally catch up to where the action was and they see what has taken place?

Richard: Yeah, I can just imagine them all…

[Andrew laughs]

Richard: …slowly walking over to Voldemort’s corpse.

Micah: And giving him a good kick in the side?

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah!

[Richard laughs]

Andrew: Kicking him, spitting on him.

Richard: Spitting on him.

Andrew: Tossing their shoes at him.

Richard: [laughs] Yeah.

Micah: Well, a couple of other things we did get a chance to see, one of Snape where he looks like he is backing up against a window. That probably is right before he dies. That was the scene, I think, that was also in the previous trailer. And…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: …we did get another shot of him, though, outside of the Potters’ house in Godric’s Hollow. And that was another…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: …scene that a lot of people were talking about. It looks like obviously they are going to do those flashbacks and they look pretty good.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. So, it’s exciting and the ‘Harry Potter Weekends’ – I know a lot of people were watching because I was looking through the MuggleCast e-mail and we were getting a lot of e-mails about questions or things people noticed while watching the [laughs]Harry Potter Weekend’, while watching those older Harry Potter movies.

Micah: Yeah. And one other scene real quick that I saw looks like somebody is putting up a protective spell or breaking that orange orb, whatever you want to call it, that is around…

Andrew: Around Hogwarts.

Micah: …Hogwarts. It’s like this blue spell. So, that should be cool to see because that – there is that scene in the book where McGonagall makes all the things come to life, and…

Andrew: Right.

Micah: …makes Hogwarts come to life and defend itself. So, I think that’s probably what that was but it’s going to be interesting to see this. I mean, it’s slowly starting to happen now. We’re getting the previews and hopefully the trailer soon, and…

Andrew: Slowly but surely. People are thinking maybe the trailer will come with Sucker Punch which is a Warner Bros. film and we know Warner Bros. likes to release the Harry Potter trailers with Warner Bros. movies, so we’ll see.

Micah: Yep.

Andrew: What else is going on in the news?

News: Prisoner of Azkaban named ‘Film of the Decade’

Micah: My favorite movie – and yes, I’m being sarcastic – Prisoner of Azkaban was honored by First Light Awards with the ‘Film of the Decade’ and…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Look, I’ll just report the news, you guys can discuss it as you like.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: This award is voted for by the public in association with the BAFTA Kids Vote, and it’s chosen by kids aged five to fifteen. And this was an award that David Heyman received…

Andrew: Accepted.

Micah: Accepted, yeah, for the Potter franchise. He is actually presented with the award by Clemence Poesy, and – so, interesting connection there, but…

Andrew: I just – listen, it’s good that Harry Potter

Micah: Is being recognized now?

Andrew:…won this award. No, no, no, no, but first of all, these people who gave the award, it’s kind of random. It’s no Oscar. And then when you look at what films it was up against for ‘Film of the Decade’ – I mean, that’s a high honor. And the films it was against were Shrek, Whale Rider, Happy Feet, and Up. I mean, Up was a good film, too, but calling any of these ‘Film of the Decade’ I think is way off. [laughs] I don’t know.

Micah: Yeah, you could be right. I think Shrek probably was – to me anyway, would probably be the stiffest competition for Potter.

Richard: Was the very first Shrek even [laughs] in the last decade?

Micah: Probably.

Andrew: I – apparently. [laughs]

[Richard laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, I guess so, early on. But – all right. Well, cool, good for Prisoner of Azkaban.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Before we continue with today’s episode, we’d like to remind you that this week’s episode is brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks, with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature and featuring audio versions of many New York Times Bestsellers. For listeners of this podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their great service. It’s a hot series lately, you should definitely check it out. So, for a free audiobook of your choice, such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. That’s AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. We thank Audible for their support of MuggleCast.

News: Potter-themed hotel at Leavesden Studios

Micah: Well, USA Today released some information earlier this morning, we’re recording here on Sunday, and this was about The Making of Harry Potter that is going to open at Leavesden Studios in the spring of 2012. And apparently, part of this $160 million redevelopment is going to include a 120 room hotel that is Potter themed. So, you can go and check out Leavesden Studios and experience The Making of Harry Potter and you can also essentially for all intensive purposes stay at Hogwarts.

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: Which is cool.

Andrew: I have to say, though, I don’t think this is going to be a full scale Harry Potter hotel. I think they will theme some of the rooms to be Harry Potter because also remember, the studio tour down the road, they said they are going to open it up to – you will be able to see other films that have shot at Leavesden Studios as well. So, it’s not going to be just a Harry Potter tour. It will be at the beginning, but not down the road. So, I think they will have premium rooms that are Harry Potter themed for a price and those should be cool, definitely. It’s definitely an extra selling point, too.

Micah: Yeah, no question about that. So…

Andrew: What could they put in the rooms, though? I mean, dress them as the Gryffindor common rooms? Or…

Micah: Well, it depends how much they’re going to invest into it from a time standpoint, a money standpoint, and…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: I think that you could go all out. I mean, you could make it look like Hogwarts if you wanted to…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: …you could have the staff play the roles of different characters, and put in maybe a restaurant there or something that is in connection to the Potter series. So, a lot of different things that they could do and they’re probably not going to spare any expense. I mean, like you said, I think to put a hotel there is a great idea because now you don’t necessarily have to go from London out to Leavesden and back, even though you said it was a pretty short trip.

Andrew: Like forty-five minutes, but…

Micah: Yeah, but now you can stay there maybe an extra day and experience the hotel if maybe they are going to do some things and have some events for you to enjoy.

Andrew: Yeah, and they – I mean, if you think about it, they could almost make it how the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando has the Three Broomsticks, The Hog’s Head. I mean, you could have a restaurant and bar in there. But I still think it’s not going to be a complete Harry Potter hotel because it would only – people would only stay there if they’re going to the museum. It’s just not a good location for that kind of thing, I don’t think.

Micah: Yeah, but it is clear that they’re looking to take advantage of this…

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Micah: …Leavesden Studios renovation, because so much talk has been going on about the fact that there’s not a Potter theme park in London or in England. So, I think they’re trying to compensate for that fact now by putting as much…

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: …probably into this area as they possibly can.

Andrew: All right. So, that’s exciting, Micah, but tell me more! I need more exciting news.

News: Harry Potter: The Exhibition Heading to New York City

Micah: More exciting news, Harry Potter: The Exhibition is not going overseas. It’s not done with its North American tour as was initially thought and reported.

Andrew: [whispers] Liars!

Micah: It’s going to be heading to New York City, and it’s going to open in the not-too-distant future on April 5th. It will be at the Discovery Times Square marquee. And this is huge news because we thought it was going to be going somewhere internationally next, and something changed, I think, that caused them to want to go to New York City. I’m not sure what that is.

Andrew: Well, the fact that it’s going to be in Times Square. I mean, the amount of traffic going through that exhibition is going to be insane.

Micah: Oh, it’s unbelievable because…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: …if you think about it, even on a slow day, it’s not going to be a slow day. If you have this…

Andrew: No.

Micah: Where was it just recently? In Seattle?

Andrew: Right, right.

Micah: Or even Boston, or Chicago. The thing is – or it was in Toronto as well, I think. Even if you have a slow day in one of those places, it’s not going to be as busy, right? But in New York, slow is another city’s regular busy. You know what I’m saying?

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: The tourism is never…

Andrew: It’s going to be very popular.

Micah: Yeah, no question. So…

Andrew: Micah, you should get a job there…

[Richard laughs]

Andrew: …being that you live in New York City.

Micah: [laughs] Being that I’m going to be unemployed in two weeks. How – this is perfect!

Andrew: Perfect timing! [laughs]

Micah: April 5th, it opens. I’m unemployed as of April 4th. It opens April 5th.

Andrew: I think this is a sign.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: We know the PR people. You can go to them and say, “Hey, I got -” because, don’t the exhibition people have fake British accents?

Micah: Probably.

Andrew: So, start practicing your fake British accent and – say right now, “Welcome to Harry Potter: The Exhibition,” in your best British accent for us.

Micah: Welcome to Harry Potter: The Exhibition.

Andrew: No, in a British accent.

Micah: That’s my best British accent.

Andrew: Oh.

Richard: That sucked.

Andrew: That did suck.

Micah: Oh, wait, wait. Okay, let’s try this. Richard, when Andrew says for me to say it in my best British accent, I want you to say it, okay?

[Andrew and Richard laugh]

Andrew: Well, I think you should sit down with Richard and practice.

Micah: Yeah…

Andrew: He’s Scottish, but that will work, too.

Micah: Yeah, same thing basically, right, Richard?

Richard: Yeah. I mean, we’ll just bring a tape recorder into the interview and I’ll speak for you, and…

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: Hey, another cool thing about this exhibition is it’s going to have props from Part 2, which I think…

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: …this is the first time it’s going to have Part 2 props. So, pretty cool. I hope to check that out.

Richard: This exhibition in New York, is this instead of the rest of the world, or is this first before the rest of the world?

Micah: I think it’s just an addition.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s before it goes overseas.

Micah: Yeah.

Richard: Oh, okay.

Micah: This will be the last stop.

Andrew: Well, until they announce L.A. or somewhere. [laughs]

Micah: [laughs] Yeah, right.

[Richard laughs]

Micah: Well, I was going to say, though, real quick, the reasoning behind doing this I think has a lot to do with Daniel Radcliffe being in How to Succeed in Business. You create a little bit of a Potter theme there. The theater is probably not too far away from where this is going to be and you’ve got the premiere coming up in July, assuming it’s going to be in New York, so you have a lot of things to do now in New York that are Potter related.

Andrew: That’s true. And now it’s almost as good as Orlando. [laughs]

Micah: Almost.

[Richard laughs]

Micah: Almost. But…

Andrew: I hope to check it out, because I still haven’t seen it. But Micah, you have. It’s worth going to, you think?

Micah: What’s that?

Andrew: The exhibition, you’ve been to it, right?

Micah: No, actually, I was supposed to go…

Andrew: Oh, you haven’t.

Micah: …to the one in Boston. I didn’t go, but…

Andrew: Oh.

Micah: …I would assume that I will cover the one here in New York. We’ll see what happens.

Andrew: Maybe, if you’re good.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: Thinking of sending Richard.

Micah: Well – no, what I can do is I can try out my [laughs] British accent while I’m there. I can interview before the thing even opens.

Andrew: Well – yeah, exactly. While you’re there, be like, “Hey, listen, I just lost my job yesterday, so…”

[Andrew and Richard laugh]

Andrew: “…maybe you could hire me?”

Micah: Feel sorry for me, give me a job.

Andrew: “I promise I’ll post about it on MuggleNet a lot!” They’re going to be like, “We don’t need the traffic! We’re in Time Square!” [laughs]

Richard: So, basically, if the accent doesn’t work, you’re going to try and guilt them into giving you it?

Micah: Yes.

Richard: [laughs] That sounds like a good plan.

News: Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Becomes Highest-Grossing Potter Film Internationally

Micah: Well, the last bit of news that we have for today is that Deathly Hallows – Part 1 recently became the highest grossing Potter film internationally. It surpassed Philosopher’s Stone and has now earned $657.24 million, and so…

Andrew: That’s really amazing.

Micah: It took ten years to get there. Yeah, it is when you think about it, though, just from increase in ticket prices and how that’s all happened over the last decade, and the fact that none of the other Potter films on an international level have been able to pass Sorcerer’s Stone.

Andrew: Well, some people are actually saying that this isn’t – people are saying that inflation made this happen, so technically in terms of the number of tickets sold, Philosopher’s Stone still may be number one internationally.

Micah: That’s a good point.

Andrew: But still a cool headline. [laughs] So…

Micah: That’s like splitting hairs, though.

Richard: Do you think Part 2 is going to beat it?

Andrew: I think it has to, right? How could people not…

Richard: I think Part 2 will be a lot more warmly received than Part 1 will be.

Andrew: Yeah, I think so, too, because everybody – a lot of people saw the first one and from there it was sort of like a downhill.

Richard: Yeah.

Andrew: So, I think everybody will be really interested to see how the series ends. So…

Richard: Yeah, I think so, too.

Micah: Yeah, what do you think? I mean, we’ve talked about this before, but the potential for it to cross the $1 billion mark I think is pretty good, right?

Richard: I think collectively it will, but I don’t think it will by itself.

Micah: You mean internationally?

Richard: Yeah – no, I mean, I think Part 1 and Part 2 will pass the $1 billion mark, but I don’t think Part 2 alone will.

Shout-Out to Apple Employees

Andrew: Oh. So, that’s all the news that we have for everyone this week. Before we move on, I wanted to do a quick shout-out. Everybody knows I’m a big Apple fanboy, and I went to get the new iPad at the Apple Store in Santa Monica. And while I’m waiting in line to pay for it, [laughs] I hear somebody say behind me, “Andrew!” And I look around, and he goes, “MuggleCast!” I’m like, “Oh! Right! Right on!”

[Richard laughs]

Andrew: So, then [laughs] we talked a little bit more afterwards. And his name was Antwon, and I just wanted to say a shout-out to Antwon. Glad that he likes the show. It was really nice meeting him, and I just thought that was cool. It’s always nice to meet people in person, so…

Richard: I think he was following you.

Andrew: No, he was working there.

Richard: [laughs] Oh.

Andrew: [laughs] He was working at the Apple Store.

Richard: [laughs] Oh, okay.

Andrew: Did I mention that? [laughs]

Richard: [laughs] No.

Micah: No, you left that out.

[Andrew laughs]

Richard: But that makes the whole thing a lot less creepy now. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, he was – yeah, he was working there.

[Richard laughs]

Announcement: LeakyCon 2011

Andrew: And on a related note, we actually got an e-mail a few days ago from someone named Ray, 22, of Ireland, who is also working for Apple in Ireland. I’m not sure if he works at the store or in an office over there, but shout-out to him as well. Okay, and we’ve got some fun segments today, as well as Chapter-by-Chapter. But we want to remind everybody that we’re going to be at LeakyCon 2011. You can visit LeakyCon.com for all the details. We’re going to be putting on at least one podcast. No, we still don’t have [laughs] more details about that but we will in the coming months. It’s still a few months away, so…

Richard: When is LeakyCon, again?

Andrew: It’s – oh, I’m glad you asked! It’s July 13th to the 17th in Orlando, Florida on the Universal Orlando Resort, which is home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park!

Richard: Woo!

Andrew: So, if you put it all together, it’s the biggest Harry Potter fans at the resort where the Harry Potter theme park is, all going to see Part 2 at the same time. It’s going to be nuts. There’s going to be a midnight showing at Universal’s really nice movie theaters, and there’s going to be a ball. There’s going to be the panels just going really in-depth into Harry Potter. Just a lot of interesting stuff. It’s really going to be so much fun. So, visit LeakyCon.com, and if you do register, enter code “Muggle”, that’s M-U-G-G-L-E, when you go through, and that way they’ll know – and we’ll know – that you’re coming to see MuggleCast, along with participating in all the fun.

Micah: And who’s going to be there? Who’s going to be part of the panel for MuggleCast?

What If

Andrew: You, Ben, Eric, and I will all be there, so it’s going to be fun. And I actually – I submitted a proposal for a panel a couple of weeks ago that I’m going to be doing with Ben, as well as John and Melissa from Leaky. And we’re going to be – well, I won’t spoil it, but let’s just say it’s going to be fun. So, LeakyCon.com. Okay, here’s a segment we haven’t done in a while: What If. Yes, it’s as simple as it sounds. We just – if you haven’t heard us do the segment before, we just ask what if some crucial part of the Harry Potter series didn’t happen?

Micah: Well, we did one, too – a while ago now at this point – where we said what if J.K. Rowling was a man as opposed to a woman?

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: How would that have altered the series and its perception? And we talked about how they made her change it, her name.

Andrew: Her – well, yeah, she…

Micah: Her initials. Her first two initials.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: So, yeah. I mean, we always have fun with this segment and this one actually was sent in anonymously via e-mail.

Andrew: Ooh!

Micah: So, sorry you’re not getting any credit [laughs] for sending this in. We appreciate it, though.

Andrew: So, what is it?

Micah: It’s, “What if Dumbledore had given Tom Riddle the job as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?”

Andrew: Well, we know Tom really wanted the job, but he never got it. Do you think there would have been – what do you think, Micah? Do you think Tom Riddle would have been a happier person?

Micah: It is possible. I think also it would allow Dumbledore to keep an eye on Tom Riddle. Maybe he doesn’t go and become Voldemort, or at least not the same level. I don’t know. I mean, it’s a good question and…

Andrew: I think, though, whether or not he got the job, he was still evil. Even while wanting that job, not knowing what Dumbledore was going to ultimately tell him, I think he still would have turned out bad. Maybe he just wouldn’t have been – well, I don’t know. I was going to say maybe he wouldn’t have been as bitter towards Dumbledore, but I don’t think that would have been the case, actually. Because evil is evil. You’re not going to have favorites who are on the opposite side. Tom and Dumbledore still had their disagreements.

Micah: And he cursed the position, remember? I know we try not to think about how it affects the plot later on, but if he doesn’t curse that position, then things probably play out a lot differently in the series. So, what do you think, Richard?

Richard: Well, I reckon that if Dumbledore had given him the job, I reckon that it would have meant Dumbledore would have died a lot sooner because either way, Tom Riddle was going to become Voldemort. I mean, he kind of was at that point already. He was already using that name. He was already doing a lot of really nasty stuff. And Dumbledore knew this and it was only going to get worse. I suspect if he was at the school, Dumbledore would have been forced to challenge him about it. And because we know the prophecy, Dumbledore wouldn’t have won. I reckon Tom Riddle may have killed him.

Micah: Yeah. He also probably wouldn’t have given him the position to protect the students, I think. Not to say that all the people in the regular world are fair game for Tom Riddle/Voldemort to go out and kill, but I think that the students would be in grave danger having somebody so obsessed with Dark Arts teaching them, and – possible to create this breeding ground for Death Eaters and other evil wizards if he’s within Hogwarts educating them on things.

Richard: On the bright side, if he was still there, the students would have learnt a lot of really cool [censored].

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: That is true.

Andrew: Well, if any of you listeners have any ideas about this question, feel free to send them in. Just go to MuggleCast.com and click on “Contact”, and then we’d be interested in hearing your theories behind what would have happened if Tom Riddle got the job as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.

Micah: I like what Richard said, though, about Dumbledore meeting his downfall a lot sooner.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Or his death a lot sooner.

Chapter-by-Chapter: “Flesh, Blood, and Bone”

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Let’s now move on to Chapter-by-Chapter. Micah is a brave soul, he’s doing two – we’re doing two chapters this week, and Micah’s guiding us, leading us through both of them because…

Micah: I’m going to try.

Andrew: …I was busy this week.

Richard: And I was lazy.

Andrew: And Richard was lazy.

Richard: I was focusing on being upbeat. That took all of my attention!

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: That’s a sad life, then. [laughs]

Richard: Yeah, I had balloons and everything going on.

[Andrew laughs]

Richard: Jumping up and down…

Andrew: [laughs] Balloons?

Richard: …cheering, smiling a lot, moving those muscles in my face.

Micah: Were you whistling as you walked down the street?

Richard: I was skipping, Micah. I was skipping down the street.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Richard: Skipping down to “Hedwig’s Theme.” [laughs]

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: All right. Well, Chapter-by-Chapter this week, we start with Chapter 32 of Goblet of Fire, “Flesh, Blood, and Bone.” And Harry and Cedric are transported to the graveyard, and that’s where the last chapter left off. And this raises a question for me about Portkeys because up until this point, how we’ve seen Portkeys be used is that they are very specific in terms of the times that you’re allowed to use them, and it seems like this Portkey is just to the touch, so whoever touched it first, or in this case, Harry and Cedric touching it at the same time, they are transported. So, what do you guys think about that? I mean, it didn’t really – there was a consistency issue there for me.

Andrew: Maybe it was just as simple as there didn’t – you can program it how you want. There was never a rule that specifically said you have to – it will transport you at specific times. I mean, at the beginning of Goblet of Fire when they are transported when the Portkey is activated at certain times, I thought that was to help manage the traffic coming into the Triwizard Tournament.

Micah: You mean the Quidditch World Cup?

Andrew: Or the Quidditch World Cup, yeah. So, by making it certain times, they were able to stagger the amount of people that were coming into the world cup. And of course, when the cup – or when the goblet was turned into the Portkey in this case, it was just set to “Instant Touch.”

[Richard laughs]

Andrew: “Instant Go.”

Micah: Right. And it may raise another question, though, and we’ll get to that probably not this episode, but when Harry transports himself back to Hogwarts, how that necessarily works – because remember, there was nothing that was officially set up for him to return. Nobody programmed the cup to take him back to Hogwarts. So, we can talk about that later, though. Anyway, what happens next is – it’s very quick. Wormtail kills Cedric, and you hear baby Voldemort – or disgusting Voldemort, or I don’t know what you want to call him in this really ugly form – say, “Kill the spare.” And it’s just really quick. When you guys first read this, what was your reaction to Cedric dying? Because it’s really – other than Frank Bryce, who has very little character development, it’s the first death we’ve experienced from the good side in the series.

Andrew: Yeah.

Richard: I was shocked that Wormtail could do it. He’s not portrayed as a very good wizard, and we know from fake Moody’s earlier Defense Against the Dark Arts classes when he talks about the Unforgivable Curses, he states how hard it is to do the Killing Curse in particular, and how you’ve really got to mean it. I didn’t think Wormtail was really capable of it. When I first read that, I almost assumed that it was Voldemort that did it, and “Kill the spare” was just – Harry heard that in his mind or something. But after re-reading it, I realized that wasn’t the case.

Andrew: When I first read it, I just found it to be very tragic, just because it was so sudden and quick and it is an instant death. But the reason why I’m not surprised Wormtail would do it is because he is so loyal to Voldemort. He knows he needs to…

Richard: I don’t think he is that loyal. I think he’s so afraid that he’s got no alternative that he sticks to Voldemort. I don’t think he’s loyal to anyone other than himself.

Andrew: Right, right, yeah. I mean, think of the situation he’s in right now. If he didn’t kill Cedric, he would have been killed himself. He had no escape, so that’s why I think he was forced into doing it.

Micah: So, this is the first true death that Harry experiences in the series, and one of the things that comes out of this – and we see it at the beginning of Order of the Phoenix – is that Harry is now able to see Thestrals. And this is a question we get a lot and it is a question that J.K. Rowling answered, so I just wanted to touch on it really quickly. The question goes something like this: “Why could Harry see the Thestrals in Order of the Phoenix? Shouldn’t he have been able to see them much earlier because he has now seen Cedric die?” But also people would ask, “Well, didn’t he see his parents die? Didn’t he see Quirrell die?” And J.K. Rowling responded by saying:

“I’ve been asked this a lot. Harry didn’t see his parents die. He was in his cot at the time (he was just over a year old) and, as I say in ‘Philosopher’s Stone’, all he saw was a flash of green light. He didn’t see Quirrell’s death, either. Harry had passed out before Quirrell died and was only told about it by Dumbledore in the last chapter. He did, however, witness the murder of Cedric, and it is this that makes him able to see the Thestrals at last. Why couldn’t he see the Thestrals on his trip back to the train station?”

She’s talking about at the end of Goblet of Fire.

“Well, I didn’t want to start a new mystery, which would not be resolved for a long time, at the very end of the fourth book. I decided, therefore, that until Harry is over the first shock, and really feels what death means (i.e. when he fully appreciates that Cedric is gone forever and that he can never come back, which takes time, whatever age you are) he would not be able to see the Thestrals. After two months away from school during which he has dwelled endlessly on his memories of the murder and had nightmares about it, the Thestrals have taken shape and form and he can see them quite clearly.”

So, we do get this question a lot. I guarantee we can search our inbox and…

Andrew: So does Jo.

Micah: Yeah.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: [laughs] Well, that’s why she answered it. So, hopefully…

Andrew: Well, it is a really good answer, and you see again how Jo has been very organized from the start of the series.

Micah: Yeah, I think there are things in her answer that she was able to cover, but I think, generally speaking, she had the answer in place.

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: Like you said, she was very organized in how she had planned things out. And it’s a great question, and I think she gives a really great answer, especially in terms of Harry having to understand what death is and having experienced it firsthand. So, Harry does, of course, see what has happened to Cedric, and Wormtail goes about tying him up to the grave of Tom Riddle, Sr. And Harry doesn’t put up much of a fight. Now, remember his leg is injured, his head is searing with pain, but it surprised me because going back to what Richard said about Wormtail casting the Killing Curse, Wormtail is not a very strong character. Even in a weakened state, I would think that Harry would be able to fight back a little bit more.

Andrew: It could have been maybe, too, that Harry is still kind of in shock about this situation. I mean, it completely came out of nowhere. One minute, he was fighting in the Triwizard Tournament and suddenly he’s face to face with Voldemort and Wormtail, and maybe that could have affected his fighting abilities a bit.

Richard: I think he’s probably just fatigued. I mean, he’s just gone through an entire tournament.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s true.

Richard: An entire maze. He’s been stabbed in the leg, thanks to that spider. And he’s only fourteen. I guess he’s had a pretty hard day. You can forgive him for wanting to sit down for a little while.

Andrew: That is very true.

Micah: [laughs] Okay. So, Wormtail resurrects Voldemort, and it’s kind of this séance of sorts. Bone of the father, unknowingly given. Flesh of the servant, willingly given. Blood of the enemy, forcibly taken. And did you guys think there’s any religious connection here? Is it almost like the resurrection of Christ except on the evil side of things? Was there any sort of religious connection here for you?

Richard: It was more the resurrection of the Antichrist, I think, than…

Micah: Yeah, well – yeah, that’s probably better put.

Richard: Yeah, maybe.

Andrew: Yeah, I never thought about that, but that’s a good point, especially the way that it’s worded. [in mysterious-sounding voice] “Bone of the father, unknowingly given. Flesh of the servant, willingly given.”

Micah: So, now Voldemort takes on the human form for the first time, really, in the series. We dealt with Quirrell in Sorcerer’s Stone, we dealt with the diary version of Tom Riddle, Jr. in Chamber of Secrets, and he was pretty much absent from Prisoner of Azkaban. So, now Voldemort…

Richard: He was absent altogether, wasn’t he?

Micah: Yeah. So, now he’s back in full form. How do you think this affects Harry? Seeing his enemy now, face to face. He’s real, he’s alive now.

Richard: I suspect the one thing that went through his head at that moment was, “Ahhh, crap.”

Andrew: [laughs] Well, it must have been extremely frightening for him. I mean, had Harry ever even really seen a photo of Voldemort? Other than hearing the accounts of other people talking about how scary and evil he is, this is really Harry’s first look and it must be extremely frightening.

Richard: I’m guessing there weren’t any photographs, given that no one referred to his name, let alone what he looked like.

Andrew: Yeah, and nobody stopped to take a picture when he was [laughs] killing everyone.

[Richard laughs]

Micah: Hey, Dark Lord, come over here. Can I get your signature?

Andrew: Pose for a photo! Say “Cheese!”

Richard: Snap.

[Andrew laughs]

Andrew: I’ll tag you on Facebook later!

[Richard laughs]

Micah: Well, he is on Twitter, right?

Andrew: He is. Lord_Voldemort7.

Richard: We interviewed him.

MuggleCast 223 Transcript (continued)

Chapter-by-Chapter: “The Death Eaters”

Micah: Yeah. He does a good job. He’s a pretty funny guy, actually. So, next chapter, Chapter 33, “The Death Eaters,” and it’s a little bit of a comical scene here between Voldemort and Wormtail, because Voldemort asks for Wormtail’s arm and Wormtail holds out the arm that he’s sliced his hand off of, thinking he’s going to get his hand back. And Voldemort just kind of laughs at him and says, “No, the other one,” and he does that thing where he pushes his finger against the Dark Mark tattoo, and all of a sudden, the Death Eaters are called to him and it’s kind of an eerie scene. What if you’re a Death Eater, just going about your day-to-day life, and all of a sudden you feel the mark burn? I mean, it’s obviously gotten more strengthened throughout the course of this book because we hear Karkaroff and Snape talking about it at one point. But would you be a little bit frightened? Would you run right back to the Dark Lord?

Andrew: Oh yeah, because they haven’t felt it in how many years, so I mean, it’s got to be like, “Whoa, I almost forgot what that was like!”

Richard: Yeah, fourteen years, yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Richard: I reckon all the Death Eaters were terrified, apart from the ones in jail – apart from Bellatrix and her husband.

Micah: Yeah. So, Voldemort actually recounts – he has this conversation with Harry as he’s waiting for what he refers to as his true family, and we can talk about that in a minute, too. He talks about how he killed his father and how his mother had died in childbirth, and it’s interesting because they say that Voldemort never knew love, but it does seem like everything that he has done, he has done because of what happened to his mother.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: He’s got mommy issues.

Andrew: [laughs] No, I think – I mean, that’s part of it, but some people, and I’m sure we’ve talked about his before, are just born evil. They have this thinking in their head, they have this attitude that just doesn’t go away, and I think it’s part that, too.

Richard: Do you think it was because…

Micah: But I think…

Richard: …he was Slytherin’s heir?

Micah: It could be, but I think…

Richard: Or does that make all Slytherins evil by default?

Andrew: Well, I mean, it could have been a perfect storm of things. I mean, I’m sure we could come up with a pretty decent list of things that have [laughs] pissed Tom Riddle off over the years.

Richard: But when he was a child in the orphanage, he was still a grumpy little sod then, even before he knew much about his mother or father.

Andrew: Right, right. And as is emphasized in Half-Blood Prince a lot, too. I mean, those scenes in the movie were some of my favorite, those Tom Riddle flashbacks, because you really get a good sense of…

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: …this kid is [laughs] not on the right track.

Micah: But I think the hatred for non-magical people really came about because of his father and the way that his father abandoned his mother. The fact that his father was a Muggle and his mom was a witch, and I think that played a huge role into it. But you’re right, I think inherently, he is evil and he grows up to be that way. So, just looking in the – what he said about his real family, though – some of the way that he treats these Death Eaters, is that really how you treat your family? I mean, he has such a jaded view of what family is. He performs the Cruciatus Curse on Avery when Avery shows up, and he treats people like they’re insignificant, so can you really consider that your family?

Andrew: Well, he’s been kind of spoiled, where he doesn’t have to treat them nicely, so he can get away with – these so-called family members, treating them like crap and yet they’ll still stick with him.

Micah: I mean, they’re kissing his robes at one point. [laughs]

Andrew: [laughs] I’m sorry it disgusts you.

Richard: It’s better than dying, I guess.

Micah: I guess.

[Richard laughs]

Micah: Now, one of the things he says as the Death Eaters start to show up in the graveyard is – this is a quote, directly from the book – “They who knew the steps I took, long ago, to guard myself against mortal death? They, who had seen proofs of the immensity of my power in the times when I was mightier than any wizard living?” That’s obviously a tie to the Horcuxes, and it’s as early as Goblet of Fire.

Andrew: Yeah, definitely. Good point.

Micah: And I mean, as we’ve gone through the books, I mean, we’ve obviously seen examples of that and how the groundwork is being laid so early on in the series. But as I mentioned, he does perform the Cruciatus Curse on Avery. He kind of goes from one Death Eater to the next, he restores Wormtail’s hand, and then says the all-important line, “May your loyalty never waver again, Wormtail.” So, again, another piece of groundwork being laid because we know Wormtail’s loyalty is to Harry.

Richard: Maybe Voldemort’s not such a bad guy. He gave Wormtail a pretty big hint saying, “Hey, warning, if your…”

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah!

Richard: “…loyalty is going to waver again, bad stuff is going to happen. Stay away from that,” and he went and did it anyway.

Andrew: So, should…

Richard: So, I think Voldemort is just getting a bit of a bad press in this. He gave Wormtail plenty of warning.

Andrew: So, should Wormtail have said right then and there, “Hey, about that loyalty thing…”

Richard: [laughs] He should have asked for further clarification.

Andrew: [laughs] “What if I’m already in a little tizzy…”

Richard: [laughs] Yeah!

Andrew: “…a little situation.”

Richard: “I’ve got a small little life debt here.”

[Andrew and Richard laugh]

Richard: “Would that be all right, or is that a no-no?”

Andrew: “Surely you understand, my Lord.”

[Richard laughs]

Andrew: Okay. Micah, what else happens here?

Micah: He continues going down the line of the Death Eaters and he questions Lucius Malfoy’s allegiance. So, it’s just one of those things we just mentioned about family, and it doesn’t seem like he has any respect for these people at all. The ones that he does are the missing Lestranges that he knows are in Azkaban. He talks about getting the Dementors back on his side, the giants that have been banished, and “an army of creatures who all fear.” Now, I thought this was talking about the Inferi, and again, as early as Goblet of Fire, they talk about these creatures. So, not something that – I don’t think I would have even picked it up on reading it a second time.

Andrew: No.

Richard: Voldemort knows about the prophecy at this point, obviously. Why in the hell is he speaking to his so-called family when he should be killing Harry? He’s doing the typical James Bond villain thing and he’s monologuing…

[Micah laughs]

Richard: …and he should have been focusing on killing Harry, and no wonder the guy escapes. I have no sympathy.

Micah: You’re absolutely right. You’re right. He’s just grandstanding. He’s taking too much time.

Andrew: He loves having that moment now. I mean, he’s a being again.

Richard: He even gave him his wand back, for God’s sake!

[Andrew laughs]

Richard: He can’t be…

Micah: Yeah.

Richard: …pissed at all that he’d give him his wand back.

Micah: So, others that he ends up speaking to are Macnair – what’s happening now is you’re getting a bigger picture of who the Death Eaters are.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Maybe you had suspicions in the past, but now you’re starting to get a behind-the-scenes look, and Macnair played a role in Prisoner of Azkaban as the executioner for Buckbeak. Crabbe and Goyle and Nott. He also references six missing Death Eaters, three who have died in his service, and then – this was a cause for a lot of speculation, a lot of theorizing before it was actually – the books were done. He says, “One, too cowardly to return…he will pay. One, who I believe has left me forever…he will be killed, of course…and one, who remains my most faithful servant, and who has already reentered my service,” and what did you guys think about that?

Richard: I wasn’t sure who those people were at the time. I remember trying to think who it was, and I was never sure. I wasn’t sure if it was Snape who was the one too cowardly, or the one who’d left him forever. I almost figured that Karkaroff was the one too cowardly.

Andrew: This is the type of riddles that I think really got the fandom buzzing, like with MuggleNet’s CoSForums.com. I mean, there are just endless threads about these types of things that are…

Micah: Right.

Andrew: …in the book and having to wait for the future. So, it was – these were some of the smartest quotes, dialogue that Jo wrote, I think.

Micah: Yeah, so maybe I actually have it wrong here. You’re saying, Richard, that you think the one who he believed had left him forever was actually Snape, not Karkaroff?

Richard: Yeah, that’s what I always took it as. I don’t think Snape had ever – sorry, I don’t think Voldemort had ever considered Snape to be cowardly.

Micah: Oh, that makes sense. Yeah, no, you’re right, that makes sense.

Richard: Whereas, Karkaroff was obviously – given that he testified against Voldemort in the court.

Andrew: Well, and then Voldemort kept to his word, in terms of…

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: …Snape being killed.

Richard: Yeah.

Micah: Well, he killed Karkaroff, too.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: So, not a very nice guy.

Andrew: No.

Micah: Sorry Richard.

Richard: Hey, it don’t bother me. I’m happy and upbeat!

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: [tries to imitate Richard] “I’m happy!”

Richard: And yeah! Come on!

Micah: All right. Well, Voldemort then – he talks a lot in this chapter. He has a lot of storytelling going on, and he recounts what happened the night the spell rebounded on him, and he says “I, who have gone further than anybody along the path that leads to immortality. You know my goal – to conquer death. And now, I was tested, and it appeared that one or more of my experiments had worked, for I had not been killed.” So, again, more Horcrux talk, I guess.

Andrew: And grandstanding.

Micah: Yeah. He’s like, “Oh, you guys know – I mean, I was immortal and nobody came looking for me. So…”

Andrew: “You jerks!”

Micah: And again, that’s when he gets into talking about – this time, about where he had been the last few years. And he mentions Quirrell and how Harry thwarted his attempt to get to the Sorcerer’s Stone, because that would have obviously given him immortality, and then he realizes that Dumbledore would have had that destroyed, so that option was out. And then he talks about Wormtail returning and his run-in with Bertha Jorkins, how it just magically happened, no pun intended. And he kind of really takes a dig at Wormtail, saying that he didn’t think that Wormtail would even have been smart enough to do what he did to Bertha Jorkins, and kind of get her to take a stroll and essentially take control of her, and then bring her to Voldemort where he was able to get out the information that he needed.

Richard: I’m surprised that – I guess, [laughs] for a storytelling purpose, yeah, okay. But why didn’t Voldemort just try and get his body back the first time rather than going back to the Philosopher’s Stone or the Sorcerer’s Stone? Because he could have used Quirrell for his plan just like he used Wormtail. He was always going to be in Hogwarts so he could have got Harry that way. I don’t know. It seems like he wasted three years for nothing.

Andrew: We needed seven books.

Richard: [laughs] Yeah, I guess so!

Micah: That is true. That is true.

Richard: On an unrelated note, in the movie, do you know what was awesome in this scene?

Andrew: What?

Richard: Daniel Radcliffe’s acting. Yeah.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Richard: Oh yeah, awesome!

Micah: You’re trying to make up, Richard.

[Richard laughs]

Micah: You’re trying to make up.

Richard: I’m making friends!

Micah: You’ll get lots of nice e-mails.

[Andrew and Richard laugh]

Micah: So, he does talk about Bertha Jorkins giving up information about the Triwizard Tournament and that there’s a willing Death Eater that would be able to help him, and so now you’re just trying to think – because Moody is an Auror, we know that so I don’t think even I was making the connection at this point that – “Who’s at Hogwarts that could possibly be assisting Voldemort at this point?” Did you guys say, “Oh, something’s not what it is appears to be,” or “It’s Karkaroff,” “It’s Snape”? What did you guys think?

Richard: I remember at the time thinking it was too obvious for it to be Snape and Karkaroff, but I didn’t suspect it was Moody.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. I guess I thought it was probably one of those, either Snape or Karkaroff. But yeah, the whole Moody thing I think threw off everyone, despite the hints that you sort of get. I mean, a few chapters ago we were talking about how Moody just happened to show up when Karkaroff was going crazy outside near Hagrid’s hut.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: It was just sort of subtle hints like that, but none of them were too clear.

Richard: Karkaroff or Crouch?

Andrew: Crouch, sorry, not Karkaroff. But Karkaroff shows up and then Moody shows up, and it’s like, “Oh, Moody just happened to be around?” It was strange.

Micah: Yeah. So, this deformed child that we see in King’s Cross in Deathly Hallows is sort of the same thing that Harry saw in the previous chapter being dumped into this cauldron, and Voldemort talks about what kind of state he was in, his rudimentary weak body that was composed of a spell or two of his own, plus unicorn blood and snake venom. I mean, that’s kind of a nasty combination of things and that’s how he lived, really, for the last, I guess, thirteen years, in this disgusting form of…

Richard: I thought he was only in that form when Wormtail came and found him.

Micah: When Wormtail got there?

Richard: So, I think he was just – wasn’t he just like a wisp, like a spirit almost, that he was referring to before that, living in the Albanian jungle?

Micah: Yeah, I think you’re right.

Richard: So, he wasn’t even as much as a solid body at that point. I think when Wormtail found him he was able to use him to create a potion.

Micah: Right, right. But it’s still kind of a nasty thing. You think about combining blood and venom and then whatever spells Voldemort knows, these Dark Arts.

Andrew: Well, yeah, it’s Voldemort! Of course it’s going to be nasty.

[Micah laughs]

Richard: He’s a crazy guy.

Andrew: Come on!

Micah: So…

Andrew: All right.

Micah: But my question is, why not go for a Horcrux? Why…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: No, seriously. I mean…

Andrew: No, no, I know.

Micah: …Richard was talking before about him wasting time right now. If he knows the prophecy, just kill Harry. But when he was in that state, why not go for a Horcrux? Am I missing something that he would have needed to have done in order to bring himself back fully?

Richard: I don’t think he would have been any better off. I think his – I don’t know if you call it a soul or whatever, still existed physically, even though his body was destroyed, so he was still mentally conscious. I think that’s all the Horcruxes give him. I don’t think creating another one would have helped him anymore.

Micah: Well, I’m not saying create any more of them, I’m saying using them to restore himself.

Richard: Can you do that?

Micah: That’s my point, yeah. I don’t think you can. I think they just…

Andrew: Oh.

Richard: There was never any mention of that. They just keep you alive. I don’t think you can use them…

Micah: Right, right.

Richard: …to get your body back.

Micah: Okay. So, the chapter kind of wraps up with Voldemort talking about Harry and how his escape was really lucky, and how his downfall was more due to this unforeseen magic, this ancient magic he should have known about and should have foreseen. And the chapter comes to a close with Voldemort performing this Cruciatus Curse on Harry, and he experiences it for the first time. He’s in pain, and you hear him say to Wormtail, “Untie him and give him his wand,” and that’s how it all comes to a close. It’s time to duel.

Andrew: It’s time to duel!

Micah: But as Richard pointed out earlier, why? I know you’ve got to advance the plot, but let’s go to the moment here. He’s defeated you once, he’s gotten away from you two other times. Don’t you think giving him his wand…

Richard: He’s a slippery little devil.

Micah: Yeah. I mean…

Andrew: I think wizards take great pride in the concept of dueling and maybe Voldemort wants to do it properly. He wants the story to go down in the books that Harry and Voldemort dueled, went face to face, and Voldemort won. He doesn’t – this is just an idea. Maybe he doesn’t want it to look like it was an easy death, easy kill.

Richard: Would the same thing have happened as it did near the end of Book 7?

Micah: Yeah.

Richard: Where Harry didn’t actually die.

Micah: Yeah, it would have had to have happened that way.

Richard: Would that have happened again, or is the reason he did not die is because he made some sort of sacrifice for everyone else?

Andrew: Yeah, I’m not sure. But I mean, Harry would still kind of be making a sacrifice in this situation. So…

Richard: Would he? Because last time, he didn’t defend himself, he just said, okay, take me, kill me. And if he’s fighting back, is he doing that? I don’t know. Otherwise it seems like it would be very easy to avoid death in the wizarding world.

Micah: That’s a good point. So, that’s it for Chapter-by-Chapter this week.

Listener Tweets: Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Sneak Peek

Andrew: Okay. If anybody has any questions, comments – Micah raised a lot of great questions, so feel free to e-mail us. Again, you can just go to MuggleCast.com and click on “Contact”. Today’s Twitter question: What are your thoughts on the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 sneak peek? Sofia Jansen wrote:

“I thought the new stuff was amazing, but there was heaps of stuff we had already seen! Either way, Bonnie’s ‘No!’ made it for me.”

[laughs] I can’t say I remember that, when Ginny said no.

Micah: Yeah, she screams, “No!” She runs away from Arthur. It looks like Harry…

Andrew: Oh.

Micah: …might be dead.

Andrew: Samantha G. wrote:

“Loved the preview, but disappointed that they showed Fred’s body, the only part I really didn’t want spoiled. But still great!”

You didn’t really see it, though. I mean, you just saw his head, you just saw his hair. You didn’t really get a good look at him, but yeah. Evan Nave wrote:

“I am really excited to see Snape in front of the Potter house. Makes me think that they’ll go into his love for Lily in depth!”

Maybe sort of a flashback or something?

Micah: Yeah. Probably part of “The Prince’s Tale.”

Andrew: Yeah. Aj wrote:

“The ABC special showed enough new stuff while getting me excited to see the movie but I think they shouldn’t put so much out yet.”

[laughs] Okay. So, we’re already getting those complaints. That’s good.

[Richard laughs]

Andrew: Ashley Hyde wrote:

“The sneak peek was amazing. I almost cried watching it. I can tell that this movie is going to be very intense and emotional.”

And lastly, Dana Barringer wrote:

“I liked the trailer but I wish they would’ve shown more scenes from the movie. A lot of the things were from the teaser trailer.”

Well, the things from the teaser trailer were also from the movie.

Micah: Well, here’s the thing, though, for people who say they don’t want to see so much put out yet, don’t watch it. I mean…

Andrew: Don’t watch it?

Micah: …that’s – no, seriously!

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: That’s the…

Andrew: Yeah. No, you’re right.

Micah: …solution. I mean, I guess you still have a right to think whatever you want to think about them putting it out and you don’t like it, but then don’t watch it. I mean, then you don’t get spoiled, you don’t know how things play out. It’s a simple solution.

Muggle Mail: Memory Charms

Andrew: Micah, can you read the first e-mail from Bethanie now as we get into Muggle Mail?

Micah: I just…

Andrew: What?

Micah: …did two chapters, and you’re like…

Andrew: Okay.

Micah: …”Can you read the first…”

Andrew: All right.

Micah: No, I got it.

Andrew: You take a break.

Micah: No, no. Bethanie, I’m going to read your e-mail.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: 24, from Bradenton, Florida, and she talks about Memory Charms, and she says:

“Hey all! Just watching Chamber of Secrets on ABC Family when I started to think quite a bit about Lockhart and his Memory Charms. Don’t you think that, with all of the spells available in the magical world, ‘obliviate’ would have some sort of magical anecdote? I would think reversing a Memory Charm would be on the same level as mending and growing bones, and unpetrifying people, etc. From reading the books it seems as if ‘Obliviate’ is one of very few incurable spells, think Lockhart in Book 5! Thoughts? Love the show. I look forward to every new episode! Can’t wait to hear your comments on the ‘DH: Part 2’ sneak peek!”

Richard: I think that they can reverse it to a certain extent, but I think the damage to Lockhart’s brain was so severe, that the Healers in St. Mungo’s just couldn’t do it for him.

Micah: Yeah. Well, what did – it’s interesting because what does Hermione then do? Because she’s wiped her parents’ memories clean.

Richard: Yeah, she said she could – she said – well, she implied – that she could go back there and fix it when the time would come.

Micah: Yeah.

Richard: So, I assume that there is obviously a counter-spell for it.

Micah: Yeah, there’s got to be something that can be done. I mean – but I wonder if it’s got to deal with intent. Lockhart was doing it with some sort of malicious intent. Just…

Andrew: Oh yeah, maybe there’s certain, different levels Of Obliviating you can do.

Richard: And the spell isn’t foolproof either, because if you remember at the start of Goblet of Fire, “The Quidditch World Cup,” one of the guys, the Obliviators had to keep wiping someone’s memory, one of the Muggle’s memories.

Micah: Right, right.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Yeah. And I think it’s usually – when they do it, it’s event specific, isn’t it? For the most part? I mean, you have to remember what happened with Lockhart…

Richard: Yeah, I think so.

Micah: …was kind of an odd situation.

Richard: It was his entire life, wasn’t it?

Micah: Yeah, but also remember, it was because Ron’s wand didn’t work, right? So, who knows…

Richard: Yeah, exactly.

Micah: …how that affected the spell.

Richard: Yeah, I think normally it would never be that powerful.

Micah: Yeah, I agree.

Andrew: Do you think they could have went back to the – found the authors that Lockhart stole the stories from and [laughs] bring them back to life?

[Richard laughs]

Micah: It’s possible.

Andrew: I would. Somebody should. All those poor people.

Micah: You’re right.

Muggle Mail: Weird Places People Listen to MuggleCast

Andrew: Okay. Richard, could you read the next e-mail? Please? Pretty please?

Richard: Yeah. This is…

Andrew: Will you, Richard?

Richard: I will.

Andrew: Okay.

Richard: This is from Kim, who is in Colorado, and she says:

“Hey guys, I have been in the boonies and away from internet access for a while, but got the most recent episode before I left. I’ve been gone mapping out some old caves in…”

Is that Colorado, I’m guessing?

Micah: Yeah.

Richard: C.O.?

Andrew: Yes.

Richard: [continues]

“…and sometimes like to listen to your podcasts while I’m working. I just happened to be listening to Episode 219 where you mentioned caves as a weird place to listen to MuggleCast. Why yes, I do listen to MuggleCast in caves. Just thought I would share this bit of irony with you. Love the show and thanks! You guys rock. Kim.”

Andrew: I thought that was funny. You know, we’ve been getting a lot of these “Weird Places” e-mails, and I think what we should do is make a list on MuggleCast.com, of all the places.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: Micah, can you get on that, please?

Micah: Yeah, I’ll take care of that. [laughs]

Andrew: Thanks.

Micah: I just – I don’t actually – I think it’s gotten to the point now where I don’t want to know if [laughs] there are more people listening to us in caves, because – I don’t know.

Andrew: Why, are you afraid Osama’s going to write in?

Micah: Well, he might.

[Andrew and Richard laugh]

Micah: I mean, he might enjoy our show.

Richard: I’m going caving in a couple of weeks.

Andrew: Are you?

Richard: Yeah. I shall bring my iPod and I will listen to MuggleCast there.

Andrew: Yay! And then e-mail us. [laughs]

Micah: I actually think it’s really cool…

Richard: Then I will e-mail you and then I will read out my own e-mail.

Micah: I think it’s cool…

Andrew: What?

Micah: …that people have all these different types of jobs and they listen to us when they work, and…

Andrew: Absolutely!

Micah: …they commute and go to school and – you know, you should pay attention in class, kids. Don’t listen to us, unless it’s really boring or something like that. But…

[Richard laughs]

Micah: No, I think it’s great. And they come from all over the world, too, we hear all this stuff.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: So…

Andrew: Yep.

Micah: …it’s really cool.

Muggle Mail: Dumbledore’s Dislike for Dementors

Andrew: It’s very fun to read those e-mails. Next e-mail comes from Casey, 16, of Middleton, Wisconsin.

“Hello! In response to Episode 222’s Chapter-by-Chapter, although I agree with many of the reasons you brought up on why Dumbledore doesn’t like Dementors, I think there was one you missed. Dumbledore’s father Percival went to Azkaban with the Dementors for attacking the Muggles who attacked Ariana. He later died there, too. I think that Dumbledore would see the Dementors as just another reminder of his father, Ariana, and the rest of his dead family. I don’t think that Dumbledore necessarily wanted to forget about his family, I just think that the Dementors were an added reminder of his tragic past. Thanks for reading. Stay awesome.”

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: That’s a really good point.

Micah: Good e-mail.

Andrew: Mhm. And Micah, let’s – go ahead. Next e-mail.

Muggle Mail: Ben’s Accurate Prediction in Episode 1

Micah: Next e-mail is anonymous and it’s about Ben, so it says:

“Hi MuggleCast, I was recently listening to your first episode for the first time in many years, and almost fell over. Did you know that Ben cracked the entire series in Episode 1? At 19:56 to 20:42, Kevin asks, ‘Now, have you heard the theory that Harry, or Harry’s scar, is a Horcrux?’ Ben replies that, since Harry must destroy all the Horcruxes before he can kill Voldemort, that would mean that, ‘Harry would have to first kill himself, then kill Voldemort, which really doesn’t seem very likely.’ I just had to point out that Ben cracked the whole plot of the seventh book twenty minutes into your very first episode! Awesome. You should play that flashback on the show!”

Andrew: I don’t have it but I think that’s very interesting.

Micah: Yeah.

Richard: That was a very popular theory, though, in fairness.

Andrew: It was. It was. [laughs]

Richard: I had the same theory as well way, way back…

Andrew: Awww.

Richard: …that Harry was also a Horcrux.

Andrew: Well, too bad you weren’t on Episode 1. [laughs]

Micah: And you should have written a book.

[Richard laughs]

Micah: You could have written a book and made money off of it, Richard.

Andrew: Yeah.

Richard: I have to be honest with you that I did not care that much.

Andrew: Oh. [laughs] But now you do.

[Micah laughs]

Richard: Now I’m furious with myself.

Muggle Mail: Episode 222’s Dueling Club

Andrew: Richard, I’m just going to briefly talk about this next e-mail. We got this really long e-mail from Katie, 18, of New York. She was very upset about our Dueling Club in Episode 222. I’m not going to read this whole e-mail because it is very long, but she wrote:

“Are you kidding me?! Sirius would not lose to Karkaroff. First of all, I am so sick of you guys calling Sirius immature and reckless, and in this episode you made him seem like an incompetent wizard whose only attribute was that he was an Animagus. Let us start there, then. It is extremely difficult to become one, and you have to be a very talented wizard to accomplish it, and he did it when he was a teenager at school. Not to mention he was at the top of his class at Hogwarts with James. He escaped his evil family at the age of sixteen, something that couldn’t have been easy to accomplish. He was powerful enough that Dumbledore allowed him to be the Potter’s Secret Keeper, and what did he do again? Oh yeah, he escaped Azkaban and then avoided the Ministry of Magic for months! The only reason he got caught was because he exposed himself.” [laughs]

Micah: He exposed himself? [laughs] Really?

Andrew: [laughs] He went streaking.

Richard: [laughs] He had a wild side.

Andrew: Katie, you bring up very good points. You’re right, he could definitely put up a good fight. I won’t take back our determination from last episode’s Dueling Club, but you do bring up good points.

Micah: Yeah. No, I think she brings up great points, but I think one of the things – because we got a lot of e-mails actually, like the one Katie sent in, and here’s the thing with the Dueling Club: it’s not necessarily about who would win, it’s about who presents the better argument, and I think that in this case, who presented the argument for Karkaroff made a stronger argument than the person who made the case for Sirius. And that’s what the judgment takes place on. It doesn’t take place on, “We all love Sirius, so Sirius would win,” you know?

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: So, that’s just one thing to keep in mind, and that’s really what I wanted to say. So…

Muggle Mail: Birthday Shout-Out

Andrew: All right. Well, that was well said. Richard, how about you read our final e-mail today before Chicken Soup?

Richard: All right. This is from Gabrielle, 13, from Colorado Springs, and she says:

“I just started to listen to MuggleCast and really enjoy listening. I really wanted to tell you that my ten-year-old sister just got in to the whole ‘Harry Potter’ books. She loves them a lot, and her birthday is coming up and wanted to say happy birthday to her in a special way. I then thought of MuggleCast and how much I love it, too. I think that she would love it to hear a special happy birthday from MuggleCast. Thank you so much. Gabrielle.”

Well, Happy Birthday!

Andrew: [singing] “Happy Birthday -” [back to normal voice] Unless I’m mistaken here, it doesn’t look like she says the name of her sister.

Richard: She doesn’t, which is a bit unfortunate.

Andrew: Yeah, that is unfortunate. [laughs] But Happy Birthday!

Richard: [laughs] Happy Birthday, Gabrielle’s sister!

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Micah: Happy Birthday!

Richard: Whoever you are.

Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul

Andrew: And finally today, Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul. This one comes from Lauren Utter, 15, of Salt Spring Island, Canada. What a name for a town, Salt Spring Island. That sounds very refreshing. [laughs]

“Hi guys, I’m a fairly recent fan of your podcast and I just wanted to thank you for keeping me up to date on all the ‘Harry Potter’ news and for providing an excellent ‘Harry Potter’ podcast. I am currently on a three month student exchange in France and am very home sick. I listen to your podcast on the way in to school and it prepares me for a day where I don’t understand half of what is going on around me. Thank you oh so much for bringing a little bit of home to me and for the daily laugh that listening to your conversations bring. All the best. Lauren.”

And she says that this e-mail is also a submission for Weird Places to Listen to MuggleCast, being a school bus in France. So, cool stuff. Thank you, Lauren. And a couple of announcements before we wrap up today. Micah, tell us about this fan art book. What’s this about?

Announcement: Fan Art Book

Micah: Yeah, one of our staffers, really, has taken the lead – Keith Hawk is doing a great job putting together this fan art book, and all the proceeds are going to be going to charity. And we just got the green light to move ahead with the book from the people we needed to speak with. So, what we’re doing right now is if there are artists out there that have spoken with Keith already, and are looking to get the necessary forms and pieces of art to him, you have until April 17th to be able to do that. And if there are people listening to the show right now who want to be involved in this project – it’s going to be a really great book. It’s going to be a book of Harry Potter fan art that kind of chronicles the series from Sorcerer’s Stone through Deathly Hallows, and it’s really going to be something that I think a lot of people are going to enjoy, and it’s done by the fans for a great cause. So, if you’re interested in submitting art to Keith, you can send him an e-mail, keith at staff dot mugglenet dot com, and he’ll send you the appropriate forms to fill out and let you know what you need to do. So, we have, I think, right now over two hundred pieces of art already.

Andrew: Wow.

Micah: We’re looking to get probably over three hundred.

Andrew: Wow.

Micah: And the thing is here – kind of a little disclaimer, that there is no guarantee that your art will be used in the book, but obviously the more we get, the better in terms of being able to put this thing together. So, if you’re interested, go ahead and send him an e-mail, and April 17th, as of right now, is the deadline.

Andrew: And I imagine when you guys go to select the art that will actually be in the book, you’re not looking for the best art, but rather you’re looking for the best mix.

Micah: Oh yeah, absolutely.

Andrew: Different styles, different looks, themes, etc.

Micah: Right. I think the point is to make the book as unique as possible and, like you said, have a lot of different – coming from different angles and…

Andrew: Different methods.

Micah: …different forms of art, I guess, or…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: …however you – if you draw, if you paint, if you made it on your computer, let’s say, through some program – I think we’re looking at all different types of things. And Keith is really the one who is behind this, who is spearheading this, and he’s done a great job with it and hopefully we’re able to get it out. Looking, I think, to get it to a publisher in time for the last movie to kind of coincide with that. Hopefully that does happen, but it’s going to be for a great cause, we’re working on the charity right now.

Show Close

Andrew: All right. Very good. And also two more announcements. First, LeakyCon. We talked about it earlier this episode. Just visit LeakyCon.com for lots of information about the amazing conference that’s going to be happening in July in Orlando. And finally, as I’ve been telling you about for the past few episodes, be sure to check out a new podcast I’m doing along with my friend Ben: HYPE. Just visit HYPEPodcast.com. We’re recording a new episode right after recording MuggleCast. So, there will be a new episode out along with a new MuggleCast episode. Thanks everyone for listening! I’m Andrew Sims.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Richard: And I’m Richard Reid.

Micah: Andrew, I will see you on Wednesday.

Andrew: Oh, right! We’re going to see How to Succeed together! I’m so excited!

Micah: I’ll stay positive. I’m so excited…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: …to see this! No, I’m sure it’s…

Richard: I was positive, but now that I’ve not been invited to this, I’m not feeling too great now.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: It’s in New York, Richard. [laughs] If it was in London I would have invited you.

Richard: That does not matter.

[Andrew and Richard laugh]

Richard: It is the thought that counts.

Micah: Yeah. Well, Richard you’re invited if you want to go.

Richard: Sweet.

Andrew: Yeah, because Micah doesn’t really want to go. I do, though.

Micah: No, I think it will be a good show. Eric talks – he says it’s such a great show and…

Andrew: Well, Eric hasn’t seen it yet, so…

Micah: Well, Eric was in it, right? I mean, he’s…

Andrew: Right, in his local performance, yeah.

Micah: And his interview, actually, with Dan Radcliffe – he sat down and spoke to him as he mentioned on the last episode – should be available now.

Andrew: Posted this week.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: Some time this week, yeah, on MuggleNet.com, so keep an eye out for that. All right, we’ll see everybody next time for Episode 224!

Micah: Peace!

Andrew: Bye!

Transcript 172

MuggleCast 172 Transcript

Show Intro

[Intro music plays]

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[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]

Jim Dale: [as Professor McGonagall] This is Professor McGonagall welcoming you all to MuggleCast hoping you enjoyed – Dobby! Dobby, come here! Here! Dobby! [as Dobby] Yes, I’d just like to say how very pleased I am to introduce MuggleCast to all of you! Thank you! Thank you!

[Show music plays]

Andrew: Because Mary GrandPre is joining us this week, this is MuggleCast Episode 172 for March 6th, 2009

[Show music continues]

Andrew: Oh, this is a show for the mantle, ladies and gentlemen. This week we have, as promised and previewed, an interview with the illustrator of the American Harry Potter covers. Mary GrandPre is on the show this week. We conducted a great interview with her and we’ll be having that later on in the show, and it’s actually been awhile since our last MuggleCast, so we’re going to be catching up on a lot of news this week. So, let’s get right into the show. I am Andrew Sims.

Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Matt: And I’m Matt Britton.

[Show music continues]

News: Today Australia Airs Half-Blood Prince Clips

Andrew: Okay, Micah, we’re all looking forward to the Mary GrandPre interview, but first, what’s in the news?

Micah: Well we got a lot of news, because, as you said, it’s been a while since we did our last show, and…

Andrew: Yes it has!

Micah: We’ll get right into it. Today Australia debuted a new look at Half-Blood Prince back on February 23. And there were a few new scenes that were revealed in this – could you call it a trailer? Or is it just a sneak peek?

Andrew: It’s just as good as a trailer.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt and Micah: Yeah.

Micah: It’s better than the Japanese one, that’s for sure.

[Andrew and Matt laugh]

Andrew: I mean, first we saw the – this was in theaters, then, like Micah said, it was on Today Australia, and then W.B. officially released it in beautiful high definition quality. And, oh, just everything in this trailer – the scenes with Bellatrix jumping up and down in front of the Burrow – or, sorry, in front of Hagrid’s hut, it’s just – oh, my God…

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: These scenes were great.

Laura: Yeah, they really were great. I have to say, I really enjoyed the one opening scene where she flew down in front of the Burrow.

Matt: Yeah.

Laura: I mean, which you just mentioned, but it looked so cool.

Andrew: Yeah. She did a little twist.

Laura: Mhm.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: So awesome. I also love when she’s running on the tables in the Great Hall.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: It was so insane. I love crazy Bellatrix. I’m so excited to see that.

Laura: [laughs] Well you get to see Hermione sicking the…

Matt: Oh, yeah.

Laura: Birds on Ron.

Andrew: That was pretty cool.

Laura: It looked really cool, but at the same time, that clip also shows – you know the original trailer where it shows Hermione crying and she looks really emotional?

Matt: Mhm.

Laura: I thought…

Andrew: Yeah, that’s that shot.

Laura: Yeah, I thought maybe it was because of Dumbledore dying.

Andrew: Right.

Laura: I just think it’s a little bit too much. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me.

Andrew: A little too upset?

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: [laughs] Well, she’s heartbroken, I guess. I mean, I don’t know.

Matt: Well, you know, you – maybe Ron in the film said something after that and it made her more upset.

Laura: Yeah, that’s true. That’s true.

Matt: Because she didn’t seem very emotionally upset when she did the spell to cast those birds onto Ron. She just looked kind of just a little bit upset. But then you – we saw in the trailer she looks like she’s on the verge of a mental breakdown.

Laura: [laughs] Maybe she is.

Andrew: Laura, you’re a big Rupert fan. Do you like his hair in this movie?

Laura: Yeah, I like it…

Andrew: Do you?

Laura: I don’t know. I like it shorter in general. I mean, I hate to sound like one of these people who sits around and scrutinizes how they all look…

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: I really didn’t like it in Goblet of Fire. I didn’t like Dan’s hair in Goblet of Fire, either.

Matt: No. None of the hair was happening in Goblet of Fire.

Laura: Yeah. No, it was bad. [laughs]

Andrew: At the end of this was that – the “I am the chosen one!” clip again. And at this point, like, it’s funny, but it’s like, okay, it’s going to provide zero excitement in theaters, because we’ve all…

Matt: Well…

Andrew: …seen it now. So…

Matt: There’s always that scene in every film…

Andrew: I guess.

Matt: That they keep playing over and over…

Laura: Mhm.

Matt: In TV spots and trailers and behind the scenes, everything. And then they – when you see it actually in the film, you’re like, “Ah. Eh, we’ve already seen this a million times.” So that’s just going to be the scene that everybody’s going to be already tired with.

Andrew: So, yeah. Really cool, I mean this just – the clips are top notch. I mean, in the cave – the cave looks incredible.

Laura: And the Inferi.

Andrew: And we’ve talked about – yeah, yeah, just crawling up there. What an epic scene that’s going to be.

Matt: The fire looks really good, too.

Laura: Mhm.

Matt: The ring of fire that he casts.

Andrew: Yeah. And I just love how the camera starts out above him and it swoops down.

Matt: It’s pretty epic.

Andrew: Yeah, it really is. What else is going on, Micah?

News: New Half-Blood Prince Website

Micah: There’s a new Half-Blood Prince site, and we get to hear a little bit of music from Half-Blood Prince.

Andrew: Yes, well, let’s play it, because its stuff from the score, we can only assume, right, Matt?

Matt: We can only assume, because it’s not from any other film that we’ve heard from, yes.

[Music plays]

Andrew: So you have the “Hedwig’s Theme.”

Matt: That sounds just like John Williams, too. That’s what I’m really…

Andrew: Yeah, well, they always use the same.

Matt: No, I mean, they always use variations of it.

Andrew: This part’s new. Shh.

[Music continues]

[Matt hums along to music]

[Music stops]

Andrew: So, it’s very exciting.

Laura: Mhm.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Guess the scene. What could that possibly be from?

Matt: Oh, that’s definitely that one – that part in that one scene, remember?

Laura: That one scene?

Andrew: In Half-Blood Prince?

Matt: Yeah, in the film. In Movie 6.

Andrew: Maybe it’s like in Fred and George’s Wizarding Wheezes.

Matt: Nah, I would assume that would be more like silliness and crazy score.

Andrew: Well, that’s kind of – it’s a little upbeat, a little…

Micah: Actually, I hate to break it to you guys, but we had Patrick Doyle record that last week.

[Andrew laughs]

Matt: Ha, ha. You guys fell for it.

Andrew: I see. So it’s all fake. Well, you guys did a good job hacking Warner Brothers’ site and putting that on there. What else is going on, Micah? Let’s shift out of Half-Blood Prince. We’re all tired about that. There’s a new movie coming!

News: Deathly Hallows Filming Underway

Micah: Yeah, I’m sick and tired of this. We’re going to be able to piece the movie together by, you know, these next couple of months, with all these videos and photos. It’s getting tiring. So let’s go to Deathly Hallows. Filming’s officially under way, and Emma Watson…

Andrew and Laura: Woo!

News: Hermione’s Mother Cast

Micah: …updated her site that she began filming on February the nineteenth. And speaking of Emma Watson, her mother, or the woman who’s going to play her mother, Michelle Fairly, was cast today. And this brings up an interesting question, because we know that her parents don’t appear, at least in terms of any dialogue, in Deathly Hallows, so what are they going to do for the movie that’s going to have a scene for these two characters? I’m assuming they’re going to cast her father, as well.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: This is really kind of weird, because we only see it in like – it’s only Hermione who actually talks about her parents in the movie…

Laura: Or in the book.

Matt: But we never see interaction.

Andrew: Well now they’ve got two parts to fill, so I think they – this is a perfect little extra thing to add in there that the fans will appreciate. I think it will just be a little, like, while Hermione’s explaining it to Ron and Harry maybe there’s a flashback to Hermione getting them off to Australia or something.

Micah: Right.

Matt: Well they may have even been casted…

Andrew: I think it would be funny…

Matt: To take like a photo shoot so she has a picture of them with her.

Andrew: Oh, yeah, maybe.

Laura: That’s true.

Micah: Now, is this the same woman who played her in Chamber of Secrets?

Andrew: No.

Matt: No.

Andrew: And people in the MuggleNet comments were saying, “Hey, well why not hire that woman? The one who had played her in Chamber of Secrets, because she looks more like her,” or something like that. But, I mean, the photo we posted on MuggleNet, it’s not, you know, that’s not how she’s going to look in the movie.

Matt: Mhm.

Laura: No, they’ll – I’m sure they’ll give her the same hair, at least.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: Not bushy.

Andrew: Give her the same hair color.

Matt: Non-bushy hair?

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: But I think it’s a good sign for these two parts, because you would never see them do this in a one-parter thing. I mean, that would probably be cut from the movie…

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: Altogether, that whole…

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: You know, Hermione explaining to Harry and Ron what went on with their parents. I mean, I think that would be cut.

Matt: Mhm.

Laura: But I mean, at the same time I feel like they could just do it in the movie the same way it was done in the book. Hermione just told them what she did, and I feel like that would be a really quick way of getting that issue out on the table. I feel like casting somebody was kind of – not a really smart move, just because they’ve cut characters before who were more important. So why would you cast characters who you never actually see in that book?

Andrew: Well, I see it as, like, it’s going to be B-roll footage, where while Hermione is explaining it – over-top of her explanation, you see Hermione sending them off to Australia.

Laura: [mumbles grudgingly] Eh, I guess, I don’t know.

Matt: Yeah. I honestly…

Andrew: I think that would be a funny moment.

Matt: I honestly think it’s going to be just for like a picture or something she has. Because…

Andrew: Maybe. I don’t know, but the casting site said she was cast for it, so…

Matt: Mm, I kind of agree with Laura on this.

Andrew: I mean, have we ever seen, like, casting announcements for people in just pictures?

Matt: Well, we heard about Timothy Spall being in Order of the Phoenix, but only being for that photo, of the Order of the Phoenix.

Laura: That’s true. Yeah.

Andrew: Well, yeah. I guess, I guess. I suppose.

Matt: And I’m actually looking through Michelle Fairley right now on Google, and all these images, and she does look a lot like Emma Watson.

Andrew: And then it’s also interesting, because the article…

Micah: Ben’s going to be happy.

Andrew: Yeah. The article also says, “However, producers for the blockbuster have insisted that they wanted Michelle to play the part of Mrs. Granger.” So why would they insist? Unless, you know, there’s – I think they’re adding something. A scene. I think it’s more than just a picture.

Matt: They may be at the wedding. You never know.

Andrew: Oh, yeah. Maybe. What else is going on with Deathly Hallows?

News: Brent Klovstad Update

Micah: Well, it was reported back on February 27 by the Telegraph, that 21-year-old Brent Klovstad was camping outside Leavesden Studios in an attempt to get a part in Deathly Hallows. Now, Andrew, I know you spoke to him…

Andrew: He’s crazy!

Micah: …and it’s actually discovered that he was just looking for any job on the set, not necessarily a role in the film. He even told you that he’s clearly not British and he’s not an actor. He just wants to be involved in some capacity.

Andrew: Yeah. And the Sun initially reported it, and then the Telegraph I guess just took their story, or something, because they both said he was there just to be an actor – you know, to act in the film. When we reported this, I thought it was a rather intriguing story. The story ended up getting 177 comments from people, the large majority being like, “he’s crazy, why should he get a role, he’s American, he says he can’t act, blah blah blah.” So what I did is, I went on good old Facebook. And I Facebook-ed his name, and sure enough I saw a picture of him, sent him a message, said “Hey, do you want to talk about this for MuggleNet?” And I tried to record it, but the recording turned out bad because he’s over there right now, and he had a poor internet connection. So I just wrote up the summary of the interview instead. And he revealed, like what Micah said, that he was just trying to get any sort of job. And he was also just trying to brighten up the days of people who were there on set. He held signs that read things like “You Are Magical,” “Have a Harry Happy Day,” “We Can All Be Heroes Like Harry,” and “Smile.” Like, it was just a really nice story, I thought. I mean, he was just trying to brighten up people’s days, and, you know, if he’d gotten a – little intern job where he was sweeping floors one day, he would have been happy with that. But, you know, he was still happy with the outcome, and he talked to a couple actors as well. So that’s that. And it just shows you – and now everyone’s upset at the press for screwing up the story and making him look like something he’s – like someone he’s not.

Matt: Yeah. And that’s all due to you, Andrew. Good job. Yeah.

Andrew: I saved him. He’s welcome. No, but [laughs] he’s a really cool guy, and I wish him well. He lives in Southern California actually, too.

Matt: Oh.

Andrew: He’s going to be heading back here soon.

News: Deathly Hallows Part II Release Date

Micah: Continuing on with Deathly Hallows, we got a release date for the second part of the final film: July 15, 2011. It was originally scheduled for May 2011. [sarcastically] I can’t imagine why they would move the film back to July.

[Andrew laughs]

Matt: Yeah! Why is everybody all pissed off? Like everyone is still angry at Warner Brothers, “Oh my God, they’re doing it twice to us, I can’t believe Warner Brothers, oh my God!”

Laura: I don’t get why these people are complaining. It just means the movie’s going to come out in the summer, when you don’t have school.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: And do you really want…

Laura: Stop complaining.

Matt: [laughs] Yeah, I don’t get it. I think it’s ridiculous.

Andrew: I think, and you know, this is the final release date, so they can’t do this in the future, but I think that they should stop announcing release dates so early. They’ve been doing this since Order of the Phoenix, where they release the release date two years early. And it’s just – and they end up changing them. [laughs] So, you know…

Matt: Yeah, also fans – especially of the films that are coming out – they shouldn’t really consider all the release dates that studios provide set in stone.

Micah: Right.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: Because movies don’t have a certain schedule. Things happen.

End of the Fandom: July 15, 2011

Andrew: The bigger side to this is that we finally, in a way, have an end date for the fandom. [laughs] Because for the first time after July 15, 2011 there will be no new books and no new movies…

Laura: Oh man.

Andrew: …based on the original seven books.

Matt: Yeah. Thanks for making that a reality, Drew. That was really nice.

Andrew: It’s kind of sad, it is kind of sad. There’s that final date now. It seems so far off, but it will be here…

Laura: Two years.

Matt: It does seem really weird, yeah. Two years.

Andrew: What do you guys think about this? Is it kind of weird?

Laura: It’s weird that I am going to be twenty-two when the last movie comes out. I’ve been reading these books since I was eleven years old.

Andrew: We should – I’ll be twenty-one too. I’ll be older. Or twenty-two or something like that.

Micah: I’ll be twenty-eight. Does that make you feel any better, Laura?

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Well no, I’m not talking about age, I’m not using that as a factor. It has just been a long – road, I guess, if you think about it.

Andrew: Right.

Laura: A lot of changes have happened in everyone’s lives since we started reading these books. And it’s just weird – who knew when you were a kid or a teenager or whatever and you picked up the first Harry Potter book, how different it would be ten years down the road.

Andrew: I know. It’s going to be twelve years since MuggleNet opened, which is insane. And this year is MuggleNet’s 10th Anniversary. October…

Laura: That blows my mind. It is so weird.

Andrew: I know.

Matt: That is really odd.

Andrew: By the way, we are going to be doing a few things to celebrate that. To all the listeners…

[Matt gasps]

Micah: It would be six years of MuggleCast.

Laura: Oh my God.

[Laura and Matt laugh]

Andrew: Crazy! I hate time. Why does time exist?

Matt: It just makes you feel older, doesn’t it?

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. So there you go, July 15, 2011. And we definitely will be doing some sort of party…

Matt: A big one.

Andrew: End of fandom extravaganza somewhere, but…

Matt: The fandom will never die, Andrew. So stop it.

Andrew: No it won’t, it won’t and I’m wondering if J.K. Rowling is considering releasing the encyclopedia after this final movie comes out.

Matt: Maybe.

Andrew: Because I don’t know, I just feel like once the movie is over…

Matt: Well it’s definitely not coming out anytime soon. She hasn’t even really talked about it.

Micah: Speaking of big events, the year before there is going to be an opening, right?

Andrew: Yes.

Micah: The theme park?

Andrew: Yes!

News: Theme Park Update

Micah: We got a little bit of new concept art from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And this one is for Dervish and Banges. It’s going to be in Hogsmeade and it looks pretty cool.

Laura: Yeah, it does.

Andrew: I like it.

Micah: Not your average convenience store, that’s for sure.

Andrew: [laughs] You won’t see this in a 7-Eleven.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: It is pretty cool. And it kind of reminds me of Fred and George’s store because there’s that banister up on the second level, and if you see some video from the Half-Blood Prince preview there’s a banister on the second story.

Laura: Oh yeah.

Matt: There’s a lot of banisters in the films too, even Flourish and Blotts.

Andrew: Okay, so banisters are in the films. But it looks really cool.

Matt: I’m really excited to see the merchandise they have in that store. Because, it’s always very hard to find Harry Potter stuff to look at and buy, you know?

Andrew: I wonder if it is going to be – if they are going to be having exclusive merchandise that you’ll only be able to get in the theme park.

Laura: Oh, I’m sure.

Matt: Oh, definitely.

Andrew: That would be sweet.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: Because it is going to have official Harry Potter theme park stamps.

Andrew: Well no, I’m hoping stuff that doesn’t have that. Like obviously, you’ll be able to get Wizarding World shirts and stuff like that; which will be awesome, by the way. I wonder if – like, look at the stuff in the picture. The – Jack-in-the-Box right in the front. Of course they have the scarves.

Matt: Mhm. I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of stuff that we’ve never seen before.

Laura: Did you notice – I don’t know, one of the first things I noticed, maybe because I am a girl – but they had Hermione’s Yule Ball dress on display.

Andrew and Matt: Yeah

Laura: That’s cool if you’re interested in buying that kind of thing.

Matt: What’s right next to it? Is that the Goblet of Fire Tri-wizard Tournament…

Andrew: It looks like…

Matt: Thing that Harry wore?

Andrew: Yeah, looks like something of Harry’s. Because in Order of the Phoenix, he wears that grey sweatshirt and red shirt underneath…

Matt: And the red underneath shirt. Yeah.

Andrew: In a couple scenes.

Matt: It looks pretty big too, if you look there’s a hallway that goes pretty far back.

Andrew: Yeah. So yeah, it’s pretty sweet. I can’t imagine – I’m really excited to see the different stores they have in Hogsmeade. I mean, you’re going to be able – Harry Potter fans will be able to spend the whole day just in Hogsmeade.

Matt: Jeez.

Andrew: It is so exciting.

Matt: It is.

Andrew: We still haven’t seen any actual – there’s been a couple of buildings going up but there’s been no clear construction photos where you see a picture and you’re like, “Oh, that’s Hogwarts.”

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: They’re working on it, but…

Matt: I’m excited about that, though. I really want to be surprised on a lot of the stuff in the theme park.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: I don’t want to see every little piece of construction that’s been going up and it’s just going to look…

Andrew: Yeah…

Matt: You want to absorb the magic as they want you to see it.

News: J.K.R. Defacing Property – Again

Micah: All right and one final piece of news. Back on February 21st The Scotsman reported that J.K. Rowling visited a local hospital and graffitied the walls of the Young People’s Unit at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Morningside. And the hospital cares for teenagers with complex psychiatric conditions. And the people who work over there said that not only did she do a good job with the graffiti, but she really identified with the teens that were there.

Andrew: That’s really cool.

Matt: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: I’d love to see her with a can of graffiti and just like…

Laura: A can of graffiti?

Andrew: Yeah, or how does graffiti work? I don’t even know.

Laura: It’s spray paint or paint and you…

Andrew: Yeah, a can of spray paint. Whatever.

Laura: Yeah, but graffiti doesn’t come canned. [laughs]

Andrew: Oh.

Laura: That’s what I was saying.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Well, regardless. It’d be funny to see her doing that.

Matt: You know you’re famous when your graffiti becomes priceless.

Laura: When you don’t get arrested for it.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Exactly.

Matt: You actually just make it more valuable.

Andrew: Speaking of that, in response to this story Chelsea, 14 of New York wrote to us. She said:

“Hey MuggleCasters! I just want to express my love for you guys and all your podcasts. I was writing in about the news of Jo’s graffiti at the hospital. In Episode 75, I believe you were all discussing about the release date for ‘Deathly Hallows’ and how Jo wrote on the marble bust when she finished D.H. in the hotel room in Edinburgh. I think it was Ben or maybe Eric who was saying how maybe Jo would make this her new career, and now she’s done it again! Coincidence? Maybe you all were just a little too good in Divination. Anyways, love the show and hope to hear from you all soon.”

Andrew: So I thought that was pretty funny. Maybe Jo likes doing stuff like that. That’s her thing.

Matt: Maybe she had a history of graffiti.

Andrew: Maybe at her house.

Micah: She’s letting loose, now that all of the books are over.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: She just went crazy.

Andrew: Woo!

Matt: She’s a loose cannon.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Her house is like a New York City alley. It’s like graffiti everywhere.

[Matt laughs]

Laura: Don’t mess with her.

News: Robert Knox’s Killer Convicted

Andrew: And one final story, shifting gears for a moment. We’re recording on Wednesday, and we heard today that Robert Knox’s killer was convicted of murder today. As everyone remembers, last May – May 2008, Rob Knox, who plays Marcus Belby in Half-Blood Prince, was tragically, so sadly, killed out in front of a night club in London. He was stabbed to death actually. Terrible story, and his murderer was finally convicted today and he will be sentenced tomorrow. So…

Matt: That’s sad.

Andrew: Good to hear that he got justice, but very sad story.

Matt: Very sad circumstances.

Laura: Mhm.

Announcement: New MuggleCast Website Design

Andrew: Yes. So anyway, moving along to some announcements before we get to Muggle Mail and then the interview with Mary GrandPre. We have a new design on MuggleCast.com. Has everyone seen this?

Matt: Yes!

Laura: Yeah, that’s awesome.

Matt: Yay!

Andrew: People are loving it much more than I thought they would…

[Andrew and Matt laugh]

Andrew: …which is great. So thanks everyone. We’re glad to hear you like the new layout. It’s really nice. It’s slick, it’s easy to look at. It’s got more information on there. It’s just nice.

Matt: I like it. It’s very clean looking too.

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s better organized and it’s got some fun buttons for Twitter. And finally our pictures are up there. Because some of our listeners still haven’t – they don’t know what we look like yet, because they don’t go on Facebook or MySpace or MuggleSpace, for whatever reason.

Micah: And now they wish they didn’t.

Laura: Oh my God.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Now they’ll see…

Laura: Now they know that we’re all social hermits.

[Andrew and Matt laugh]

Andrew: Wow, these guys are nerds. Look at them.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: So our pictures are up there. So if you want to see the true us just go to MuggleCast.com and you click “About.” That’s been a long requested feature.

Matt: We need to pick a new picture for Micah, because his is…

Laura: You know Andrew, if you picked a crappy picture for me I’m going to kill you.

Andrew: I didn’t. I picked Facebook profile pictures for everyone because I figured if you used them once – it’s a very nice picture of you.

Laura: Okay, I’ll take your word for it.

Announcement: Podcast Alley and Azkatraz

Andrew: Anyway, we’re in March now, so don’t forget to vote for us on Podcast Alley. We’re in the Top 10 as of right now, so thank you to everyone who has been voting for us. We really do appreciate your vote. And finally in the announcements we have a couple things about Azkatraz to talk about. As everyone knows, we’ll be doing a podcast after the midnight premiere of Half-Blood Prince with our friends at Leaky. It’s going be a lot of fun. And we’re doing a couple of other things too, on our own. And actually we heard just the other day – and I want to thank everyone who has signed up – we heard that we’ve referred over a hundred people to Azkatraz.

Laura: Wow.

Andrew: Like a hundred of our listeners signed up. So that’s great news…

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: And that’s going to help us out a lot. So thank you to everyone who’s been registering. And we can’t wait to see everybody there.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Also today I found out that our panel on “How to Podcast” has been approved. So we’ll be doing a discussion on how to make your own podcast and how to come up with ideas and such. I can’t remember if I ever told you guys about this…

Laura: You did, you did.

Andrew: Okay good.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: For once.

Matt: But you are finding out now and you are doing it.

Laura: Okay, Mason.

Matt: [imitating Mason] Oh yeah!

Andrew: It will be a lot of fun. I did this once before with Ben and Jamie at Enlightening 2007, the convention in Philadelphia. And it was a lot of fun and the fans enjoyed it too. So we’ll be doing that.

Matt: I’m really excited for Azkatraz.

Laura: Yeah, me too.

Andrew: Yeah, we’re also going to do a MuggleCast meet-up like we did last year at Portus. That was a lot of fun. This year, maybe if we got some extra money, we’ll order a ton of pizzas, whereas last year…

Laura: Instead of just pizza for Andrew.

Matt: Yeah, except one for yourself.

Andrew: We just ordered pizzas for ourselves! [laughs]

Laura: It wasn’t even for us, it was for you.

Matt: It was just for you.

[Andrew laughs]

Andrew: I ate like three pizzas. [laughs]

Matt: Yeah…

Andrew: I gave…

Matt: We were sitting there for a half hour waiting on you to show up with your pizza.

Andrew: I awarded slices to the people who asked questions and such. But anyway…

Matt: The leftover slices…

Andrew: We’ll have like fifteen or twenty pizzas.

Matt: You didn’t want to eat.

Andrew: Yeah, sorry. So we’ll have a big pizza, Pepsi, soda party. Water, orange juice, whatever you want, it’ll be there. So that’ll be a lot of fun, and like I said, that will be the MuggleCast meet-up and we’ll be doing “How to Podcast.” And lastly, one more thing that we are doing. And Micah’s going to talk about that.

MuggleCast 172 Transcript (continued)

Announcement: The Next Biggest Podcast Idol Survivor

Micah: Oh yes, I am.

[Matt laughs]

Micah: HPEF and MuggleCast are teaming up to create “The Next Biggest Podcast Idol Survivor.” I think we included just about every reality TV show in there.

Andrew: Put Bachelor at the end.

Micah: A contest to make the next great Harry Potter podcast. Yeah, they’re missing that. And we mentioned this last episode, but the competition is great because it culminates on July 20th when the winners are going to get the chance to podcast live from Azkatraz in San Francisco as part of the Podcast Palooza. The reason why we’re talking about it so much is that you only have a small amount of time to get your audition tapes in. They need to be submitted by March 15th to YouTube, with “HPEF The Next Biggest Podcast Idol Contest” and then your name in the subject field. Now full details, including all the info on the remaining stages of the competition, are available on MuggleCast.com. But that’s the first step: you need to get your audition tape in so you have a chance at being a part of this at Azkatraz.

Matt: Wait, Andrew, I got a question for you. On this thing, are – us the hosts – are we going to be the judges?

Andrew: Yes.

Matt: So like American Idol judges?

Andrew: Yeah, you’re going to be the Paula.

Matt: I don’t want to be Paula. I’m not crazy.

Andrew: I’m going to be Randy. “Yo, dawg. Yo, man, that was really kickin’.”

Laura: Who gets to be Simon?

[Micah laughs]

Laura: Who gets to be the mean host?

Andrew: Micah can be Simon. Laura you can be the new host.

Matt: I think, Andrew, you seem more like Simon than anybody else.

Andrew: “Dreadful, absolutely dreadful.” [laughs] That’s my best Simon.

Announcement: Smart Mouths Podcast Reminder

Andrew: One last quick announcement before we move into Muggle Mail. Just want to remind everyone we have a new podcast, everyone on the show this week is doing, and it’s called Smart Mouths. You can visit smartmouthspodcast.com for more information. We’re talking about anything and everything in the world and it’s a lot of fun. So check it out: SmartMouthsPodcast.com.

Muggle Mail: Who Would You Date from the Potter Series?

Andrew: And so with that, let’s move into Muggle Mail this week, to catch up on some e-mails. People really enjoyed our favorites discussion last week on who we would date in the Harry Potter series as part of our Valentine’s Day discussion.

Laura: First one comes from Molly Gwin, age 20 of Madison, Wisconsin. She writes:

“In your Valentine’s Day episode, you asked people who in the ‘Harry Potter’ series would they date. I thought it was interesting that no one said that they would date Harry. I wondered why that is because I know I would.”

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, why didn’t anyone say Harry?

Laura: I wasn’t there.

Matt: I think we just – yeah, Laura, who do you think you would date?

Laura: I would date Harry. I like Harry. He seems like…

Andrew: Anyone else? Pretend like you didn’t see this e-mail. Who would you have said?

Matt: Yeah.

Laura: Who would I have said? I mean, I like Ron, too. I don’t know.

Matt: I think why a lot of us didn’t really think about Harry was because we just know too much of Harry.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Well, there were also five guys on the show.

Matt: Yeah.

Micah: That might have had something to do with it, too.

[Andrew laughs]

Muggle Mail: Who Would You Date from the Potter Series? #2

Micah: Next e-mail comes from Mary Margaret of Germantown, Tennessee. She says:

“I loved hearing your answers to the ‘Which HP Character Would You Date’ question. However, I was surprised that none of you guys said Molly Weasley. She obviously likes to get it on since she has seven kids and her nickname from Arthur is ‘Mollywobbles.’ She’s a great cook and she’ll even knit you a sweater. This is a woman who knows how to take care of her family and her man.’
[laughs] “I have to say…”

Matt: No, you had to say it with a little soul, too: [in soulful voice] “This is a woman who knows how to take care of her man.”

Micah: [laughs] You do it for me.

“I have to say I would date Harry since I always seem to end up with the guys who have emotional baggage and lots of drama.”

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: So that’s from Mary Margaret.

Andrew: I would date Molly.

Micah: She’s married, though.

Andrew: No, before. I mean, if she was…

Micah: Oh, before.

Andrew: You know, in her teens or her young adult years. I mean, she’s – Mary’s absolutely right. She’s a very nice lady. She’s very caring.

Muggle Mail: No MuggleCast Episode for Australian Footage

Matt: She’s the only character who actually swore in the series. Our last e-mail comes from Zach, 21, of Ohio, and Zach writes:

“You gave a live MuggleCast to that piece of trash from Japan, but we didn’t get this actual new footage from Australia? Plus, the little bit from Spoilers and the Oscars and there isn’t even a recorded MuggleCast? I’m afraid I just don’t understand. And I’m not mad, I’m just curious as to what you thought of all this new footage. Love the show and Ben needs to be on more.”

Geez, a little demanding of this kid.

Laura: Yeah, really.

Andrew: Well, I included this because a lot of people were asking why we didn’t do a show after the featurette was released that we discussed a little bit earlier. I mean, it was just because it wasn’t a trailer and we had some other stuff going on at that time. I mean, the stuff – the footage was really awesome.

Matt: Australia was definitely…

Andrew: One of our best looks yet.

Matt: The Oscars and Spoilers things, I don’t think, holds any water at all because the Oscars suck.

Andrew: Yeah, they both kind of sucked. The Oscars…

Matt: Let’s be honest. Spoilers and the Oscars, there’s no reason for us to do anything for that. It wasn’t even worth it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: It was what? All of not even five seconds, I think.

Matt: It was five seconds of stuff we just – already saw six months ago.

Andrew: There was like one new clip, and it was a second long.

Matt: Yeah, but you had to pause it.

Micah: And I wouldn’t call the thing from Japan a “piece of trash”. I mean, that’s a little harsh.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: He was just upset.

Mary GrandPre Interview

Andrew: And there was a lot of new stuff in there. But yeah, next time there’s a new trailer, we’ll do a live show. Hopefully, there will be a lot of new stuff to discuss in it. But yeah, that featurette was awesome! Okay. Well, that’s Muggle Mail this week taking in all of your feedback from previous episodes of MuggleCast. Now it is time for our interview with the illustrator of the United States Harry Potter books, Miss Mary GrandPre.

Matt: Yay!

Laura: Yay!

Andrew: We’re now joined by the illustrator of the U.S. Harry Potter books, Mary GrandPre. Mary, it’s an honor to be talking with you. How are you doing?

Mary: I am doing just great today, thank you. How are you?

Andrew: Good, we’re doing good.

Laura: We’re great. We – we heard you’re in Florida right now. So we have to wonder if you’ve been to Universal Studios by chance and caught any glimpses of the Harry Potter Theme Park they’re building?

Mary: I have not. I’m waiting to do that. We have a little girl that we will take with us, and when she’s old enough, we’ll explore it.

Andrew: Aww.

Laura: Aww. [laughs]

Andrew: Well, let’s – let’s get into some questions about the books, because we do have a lot of them and, of course, all the fans know you for your amazing work with them. But let’s start with the basics. Could you – could you explain to us the process of designing one of the Harry Potter covers? We know that you read the books first, and then what?

Mary: Yeah, I’ll get the manuscript and then I’ll just go through and highlight descriptions of characters, descriptions of places, or creatures, or whatever is something that I might end up drawing. And I kind of have a code system that I, you know, highlight things that might be good for a chapter heading or a different color for things that might be good ideas for covers. And then make all my notes and try and get a really good understanding of the story and emotionally and visually as well. And then I just start out with writing notes and making some little sketches, and then at that point, after I feel like I’ve got some ideas, I’ll call David Sailor at Scholastic and we’ll discuss what some of my cover ideas are, and he’ll discuss with me what they’ve been talking about at Scholastic for cover ideas, and we’ll kind of come to a decision about a couple of different approaches. And then I’ll go back to the drawing board and sketch those. It’s usually a scene – sketch those scenes out. And, you know, working with the type, all the covers have – are
handmade, or hand drawn – title in them, so I kind of have to design the cover with that in mind. After the cover is decided we’ll go through and discuss what each chapter heading might be, and sometimes David will give me a list of his ideas, and sometimes I’ll have a different idea so I’ll shoot that to him, but I’ll just then continue on with those sketches. I mean, everything’s done in pencil first, pencil on tracing paper, and then it goes to pastel on paper after the pencils are approved.

Andrew: How long of a process do you think this is from, like, month-wise? It sounds like it must take a while.

Mary: It does, but there’s not enough time. There’s never enough time…

Andrew: Right.

Mary: …because the, you know, the print deadline is really always looming, and since, like, the artist is the last one to get the… [laughs] …to get the thing handed down…

Andrew: The book. [laughs]

[Laura laughs]

Mary: So, you know.

Andrew: Not fair.

Mary: But I would say from the time I get the manuscript to the time the final piece of art is due is probably about two and a half months or so. Two to three months, maybe…

Laura: Wow.

Mary: …to get a cover done and then all the spots, yeah. And they’ve also been including frontist pieces, which is that colored piece at the beginning of the book, too, so…

Andrew: Right.

Laura: Mhm. How…

Mary: And then there’s also a separate cover for the special edition too.

Laura: Wow.

Andrew: And is that done in that two and a half month period as well?

Mary: Yeah, I’d say maybe three months for that.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Mary: Yeah.

Laura: How many ideas do you come up with per book? Is it ever hard for you to decide which scene you want to depict on the cover?

Mary: It is before I talk to David, but after I get some kind of validation and really knock some ideas around on the phone with him, we’re pretty focused on a direction. I mean, it’s hard to decide before that point because there’s so many,
you know, exciting scenes to show, and J.K. Rowling really gives us a lot to work with visually. She’s such a – her writing is very rich in that regard, so it is hard to pick, you know, what wonderful scene to show, but once I talk with David, there’s a pretty good direction, and then my challenge is just to work within those
boundaries and make that scene shine the best way I can. Initially, I’ll come up with maybe four different ideas for what a cover might be when I speak with David.

Micah: Was there any book in the series you had a particularly hard time designing? And, if so, what was that challenge?

Mary: I would say Book 5 was hardest for me because it was a very dark book. It was kind of a hard book for me to read. I mean, I think it was really good, but it seemed like that’s when Harry was kind of coming into puberty and becoming this
young man, and it was emotionally really – it seemed really heavy and dark, and so – and there were a lot of dream scenes, and Harry running through hallways, opening doors, and as dramatic and interesting and rich as that is, it was hard to find a scene that was not depressing to show on the cover, and…

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Mary: …so that’s why we went with the round spinning room with the candles, the blue lights. But, you know, I like to work with dark things too. I mean, it had that fun part about it, you know, dark is fun too, but it also can be kind of
overwhelming if you get caught up in it emotionally, so…

Andrew: Right. Now that was also the first cover that was – had a single, I guess – I don’t know what the technical term is – but a color tone, it was all blue.

Mary: Yeah.

Andrew: What was the reason for doing that?

Mary: Well, I think when I looked back at the first – the first three books were kind
of jewel-toned, you know?

Andrew: Yeah.

Mary: Reds, and blues, and purples, and golds, and then the fourth book became pretty green, and I started to kind of think in terms of, you know, let’s do something different with the fourth book. And then by the time the fifth book rolled around,
and color seemed actually to be mentioned a lot in the fifth book, there was a lot of dark blues in the writing. And it just so happened that the next book, Book 6, The Half-Blood Prince, there’s a lot of green. And so, I mean, it really made sense to kind of start making the books more poignant in their color…

Andrew: Yeah.

Mary: …themes.

Andrew: Now what about a character? Did you ever have a hard time coming up with the idea for a character? Because there are so many you have to illustrate when you’re including the character in your pictures too. Were there any challenges with that?

Mary: Not so much, I think, because she really describes well…

Andrew: Yeah.

Mary: …how people look. I mean, it’s not like I had to make them up, I really just had to pay attention to what she was saying and kind of envision the character in my head, and I really stayed away from watching the movies because – well, for one thing, they come out after the books, you know, and I didn’t want to get caught up in the special effects and the “wow” factor of the, you know, laser beams or whatever you see on the T.V.

[Micah laughs]

Mary: But, I mean it’s just – you know, I really wanted to make the books pure and simple and true to the writing, and – so I really just paid attention to the writing when it came to deciding how characters look, or places look. And so I don’t think there was so much challenge. My biggest challenge was always the ticking clock to get everything done on time.

Andrew: Ah, right.

[Laura laughs]

Mary: Yeah.

Laura: Kind of going off of that, have you ever received complaints from fans who may not have liked the characters as you depicted them in the cover art?

Mary: No. I mean, I think – I know that I can go online and look at websites where they kind of pull apart the art and criticize the art, and I choose not to do that because, really, what’s the point? I get more positive feedback and that’s really what moves me forward.

Andrew: Yeah. I think in general, the fans just – they really do love your work and they seem to – we know they tend to get critical about the actors playing the, you know, the roles, so we were wondering if maybe they had any problems with the characters, too, but I guess not.

Mary: Well, I’m guessing they do, I just don’t know about them. [laughs]

[Laura laughs]

Mary: I don’t want to know about them because, you know – I mean, I’ll do some public appearances as far as going to schools and talking to them about the process and the experience and about making pictures for books, and not just Potter books, but all books that I do, and, you know, I’ll always have a Q&A at the end and kids talk about – asking questions, why I do something this way or that way, or have comments, and it’s that kind of feedback, you know, in a public forum that I enjoy. Getting complaints in the mail or something like that doesn’t interest me… [laughs] …too much.

[Laura laughs]

Mary: And I don’t. I don’t really get them. I get some great letters, and there’s some wonderful fans, and it’s – and I – the encouragement is the biggest gift. So, you know, it’s a funny thing because you can’t really draw something in somebody else’s mind. I mean, you can only draw from what – how you see it, that’s how – the nature of art in any form, so that’s that I guess.

Andrew: Okay. And you talked a little bit before about designing the covers, but we’re wondering if you’ve had any involvement with the author, of course, J.K. Rowling? Do you talk with her at all when designing them? Or does she give you any feedback?

Mary: The way that it’s set up, and it’s this way with picture books as well, is it’s usually the publisher is the go between. They kind of keep the author and illustrator separate so that they can each do their job, and of course they would send sketches to J.K. to get her approval, but I never dealt with her directly. I mean, I’ve met her and spoken with her, but I never – when we were working I never dealt with her directly. It’s just not the way the agreement is set up. The relationship is set up. But if she wanted something changed, you know, or if she was concerned about something, she would relay that to the art director and the editor, and they would then speak to me about it. So far there’s never been a complaint, really, I don’t think, on her part about the covers.

Andrew: Cool.

Mary: She’s quite agreeable.

Laura: [laughs] Do you work with the international illustrators at all?

Mary: No. I don’t. I know there’s a lot of different publishers around the world and some of my artwork shows up in different countries, like a lot of the Asian countries. But no, I don’t speak with the others.

Laura: So there was never any concern about, maybe, like, the U.S. artwork and the U.K. artwork looking too similar? Or is that sort of a non-issue?

Mary: I think it’s a non-issue, and I don’t think they look similar at all, really, but…

Laura: Oh no, no, no, they definitely don’t, but just in terms of scenes being used on the different editions.

Mary: Oh. No, I don’t think there’s ever really been a concern about it.

Micah: When you’re designing the covers, do you have any other influences aside from the stories themselves that you may use?

Mary: That’s a good question. You know, it’s hard to say. I think so many of our influences are indirect and we don’t really know what we’re pulling from sometimes in creating something, but I guess I would really have to say my biggest and most tangible influence is the writing itself, the story, and the mood that it sets and, you know,
how this book cover differs from the last one, how it progresses, you know, how Harry’s aged, and just to think in progressive terms as a series. That’s – that’s really where my focus goes in deciding, you know, how the books change from one to another.

Andrew: Now, some more specific cover questions about your work. What, in your mind, was the significance of the heavily worn curtains on the Book 7 cover compared to the Sorcerer’s Stone cover. And I know you spoke – you did a small interview, I think, when – when that cover was revealed you said that every little detail on the cover mattered. So could you talk about the significance of that curtain, because that was particularly interesting.

Mary: Yeah, well, the last book we wanted to harken back to the first book and the curtains was one element of that, and, you know, the book really changed from – from one through seven, the look of it. I think it just got more mature and developed, as did Harry. And, you know, Harry’s more of a grown young man on the last cover, and so the curtains are more worn and older too, and, you know, a lot has happened. So we just had fun
making this dramatic scene, and making the covers tie back to the first one. And also the outstretched arm, you know, it’s a different – it’s almost a different Harry even though it’s the same Harry. He feels older, and more mature, and different, and he’s in a totally different environment. So part of it was – the curtains was just this kind of staged, dramatic effect and – but most of it was to tie back to book number one, just visually and also, in a way to say, you know, this is the closing scene, almost like a stage.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Laura: Mhm. Speaking of tying back to Book 1, how did you decide what to do for the Sorcerer’s Stone 10th Anniversary Edition cover?

Mary: When David and I talked about that, we just both agreed on the idea that we would show Harry in a more emotional, up-close way, because we’d been showing scenes. And Books 1, 2, and 3 were really scenes of these little figures, you know? And I really don’t like doing little figures very much. I like to get up close and do more of a portrait, more of an emotional connection with the characters, and so when it was time to do the anniversary cover, book – let’s see – we wanted to just show him in a vulnerable place on a real human level, a side that we hadn’t yet shown him on a cover that way, really, where he’s just really in this reflective state, looking at his parents in the mirror. So – and the fact that we never really got to see his parents on a cover and parents were a big part of his
spirit, you know, his – his strength. So that just seemed like a really good scene for those reasons.

Micah: Speaking of the 10th anniversary, both Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban celebrate their 10-year anniversary this year. Have you thought about cover ideas for them? Have you even been approached about those books?

Mary: We’ve thought about them. I’m not sure what’s happening right now with it. I really – I don’t really think I can comment on that. I’m not sure…

[Laura and Micah laughs]

Mary: …where we’re at with it. I know it’s – it’s approaching and then – I’m not really quite sure about it.

Micah: Yeah, no comment, right? [laughs]

Mary: Yeah. No comment on that one. [laughs]

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, and one other future cover that’s possible is J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Encyclopedia. She says she
wants to do this down the road. She’s basically giving the impression that she really wants to do it. Obviously,
everyone would be looking to you to do a cover for the encyclopedia for the American edition. Have you heard about
the encyclopedia? Have you given any thought to it? What you could possibly put on – on an all-encompassing cover, you know?

Mary: Yeah, I know, that would be a tough one. That’s a tough – a tough cover to figure out because there’s so much and that’s going to be a really big encyclopedia.

[Andrew laughs]

Mary: And, you know, the cover should represent what’s going on inside. So that’s just – that would take a lot of thought. I don’t know if I’m going to be doing it or not, I – but should I be approached about it I would have fun trying to figure that one out.

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah.

[Laura laughs]

Mary: Yeah.

Andrew: I think it would be cool if you drew, like, every character and every item ever, and just fit it all on…

Mary: Yeah.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Mary: Okay, and the next ten years I’ll be doing Potter. Yeah, there’s so much. There’s so much.

[Laura laughs]

Mary: But I think, you know, a collection of portraits would be very cool.

Andrew: Oh yeah.

Laura: Mhm.

Mary: Colored portraits, yeah. Because so many times we only see a lot of the main characters in just a black and white form in a tiny little spot, you know, at the chapter headings.

Andrew: Right.

Mary: But I think really getting to see them – their portraits – would be very cool.

Laura: Yeah. One of my favorite things about reading the books has always been the chapter art, because you always seem to be so good at not giving away too much with the drawings. Do you find the process of selecting a piece of work for each chapter challenging?

Mary: I found it more fun than challenging. Yeah. Challenging in a fun way. Yeah. Because that’s exactly what you have to do. You just have to entice – the writing, of course, entices you enough, but the chapter headings just really had to give you a little glimpse of what’s about to come without telling you too much. And, like I said, those chapter headings are also opportunities for us to meet some of the characters and then when we read on we find out who they are and what place they have in the story. So, you know, those are, I’d say, as much fun for me to do as the actual covers, because they really kind of mark places in the story that are important without giving it away, and that is fun to do.

Micah: Now, you’re one of the first people to read these books when they come out. I want to know, how difficult was it with knowing the end of Deathly Hallows and not being able to share it with anybody? And then, also, how did you feel once Harry’s story was done, because obviously you played such a big role in series as well.

Mary: Mhm. As far as the difficulty level of not sharing it, it’s kind of hard, but I’ve gotten used to just, you know, signing the confidentiality contracts and just being true to that. And my focus is always so much on, you know, the artwork and doing a good job and getting it in on time and just really being true to the writing that, you know, the other element of the social aspect of not sharing my work is just kind of not that important. My family doesn’t really – they know enough to not even talk to me about it at that time, and…

[Everyone laughs]

Mary: … my friends know. And they just know when I’m not coming out and socializing I must be working on a Potter piece.

Andrew: Right.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Mary: So, you know, they know the program and it just has become a way of working when that rolls around.

Andrew: A couple people…

Mary: And the other – yeah, I’m sorry…

Andrew: Sorry.

Mary: …the other part of your question was…?

Andrew: How’d you feel once Harry’s story was done?

Mary: Oh! Sad. Sad, but also kind of happy. It’s kind of like – I think I’ve said it before – like your eighteen year old is leaving for college…

Andrew: Right.

Laura: Aw.

Mary: …and they’re going out on their own, and now you move on to other things too. But sad too, because he really has been a part – and of course I look back at the work and I wish I could redo parts of it and do it better, you know, but that’s what artists do. And that’s what anybody does when they look at their work. Yeah.

Andrew: Well, a couple of basic questions: what’s your favorite character in the Harry Potter series? And what do you think your favorite book is too?

Mary: Well, Harry is my favorite character. But aside from Harry, I would say Hagrid.

Andrew: Oh, Hagrid.

Laura: Aw.

Andrew: Why Hagrid? Did you have fun drawing him too? He looks like a lot of fun to draw.

Mary: Mostly I love Hagrid because I’m drawn to… [laughs] …lovable, big, scruffy…

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Mary: …guys – people, characters, I guess. And he reminded me a lot of my best dog Chopper who was a big St. Bernard mix and he was there and loyal and protective, and that’s what Hagrid was. And that, to me, is just really sweet. But I, you know, I also love Dumbledore and, you know, that, but I guess emotionally there’s a little tug at the heart for Hagrid. But certainly Harry.

Laura: Out of all the cover art you’ve done for the Potter books, which one is your favorite?

Mary: I would say the last one is my favorite.

Laura: Mhm.

Mary: I think it’s the best portrait of Harry, and I think, you know, I like the dramatic quality of it and the simplicity of the composition. I kind of like the curtain. I liked how it tied it up and it kind of related back to the first book.

Andrew: Right.

Mary: So, yeah.

Andrew: And also, what is your favorite book?

Mary: My favorite book of the Potter series?

Andrew: Yeah, like the stories in general.

Mary: It’s a draw between the first book and the third book.

Andrew: Now, why’s that? Why – was there anything…

Mary: You know, I think the third book because of Harry – the first book certainly because we’re just meeting this kid, and it’s just an amazing story and the fact that he lives in this little cellar under the stairs and, you know, and the funny parts. It seemed to be a little more lighthearted, and there was some good humor, and I guess when you meet a character and you’re finding out about their quirks, or their personality, it’s kind of – it’s kind of exciting in that way.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mary: And just being drawn to Harry as this orphaned boy, and discovering in that first book that he has this power, is pretty exciting. And then Book 3, I think it was about him finding out who Sirius Black was, and that he had this connection with him, and that he wasn’t alone, and there seemed be a real camaraderie between him and Ron and Hermione in that book, too. I mean, they are in all those books, but they really seem to come together physically and dramatically in Book 3.

Micah: Well, wrapping up, can you tell us a little bit about your exhibit that was recently held at Cedar Rapids?

Mary: Yeah, the exhibit was – it’s a great museum, and, you know, I’m from the midwest. I’m from Minnesota, and so Cedar Rapids is just a couple hours south of where I’m originally from, and so I felt a kinship to go back to the midwest and have this pretty extensive show in a museum. And the curator Sean Ulmer is a great guy to work with. But I showed a variety of my illustration work from throughout the years from other children’s books, and book covers, and posters, and opera, pieces I’ve done for the Cincinnati Opera, and also some sketches from the Potter series that I’ve got. I don’t own any of the originals, but I do have a few of the sketches. So it was interesting because people were drawn to this show, I think initially, because the illustrator of Harry Potter was showing some of the sketches, but once they got there they saw that my work expands into other areas, and they ended up, I think, leaving with a bigger picture of, you know, what an illustrator does, or what certainly – what I did outside of the Potter books, and it was nice to be appreciated for the other work too, since I’ve been working in illustration for twenty-five years, and…

Andrew: Sure.

Mary: …Harry’s been around for ten, so…

Micah: [laughs] Yeah, definitely.

Mary: …yeah, it was just a nice opportunity to show both sides of my work and to be appreciated on that level.

Andrew: Yeah, and we’ve received some reports from your exhibit from fans, and they sent in some pictures showing, you know, the galleries, how it was laid out, and really it was great, and we heard you went around and – I guess you probably didn’t do this for every day, but I guess maybe the first couple of days, you were there and took everybody through with the exhibit.

Mary: They just had – I did a few things. I visited some schools, and had – there was a family day, and I helped kids with art, and so there was a lot of community involvement. But then on one day I did a gallery walk and walked through and just talked about different pieces in the show, and took questions from the audience. It was a good turnout, and then I think the curator – I think the curator might be on YouTube, you probably saw, Sean Ulmer. He goes through and talks about some of the pieces too.

Andrew: Oh, cool.

Mary: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, it sounded like a lot of fun too, just seeing you explain your work and all that.

Mary: Yeah, it was. It was a really nice opportunity, and it’s really nice to see people interested in art, and in, you know, the art that goes with literature, and other kinds of illustration. Most people don’t know what illustrators do and so when you get the opportunity to kind of support the craft and talk about it with them, it’s fun. Just it feels almost educational.

Andrew: Before we let you go, just a quick question. Are you working on any other projects right now outside of Harry Potter? What’s going on?

Mary: I’m working on some other picture books, and I’m working on a bunch of personal work for me. It’s just, you know, painting and other kinds of medium. So, I’m experimenting with some of that, just trying to grow as an artist.

Andrew: And maybe you’ll get a call from Scholastic about those two books.

[Laura laughs]

Mary: Maybe I will. We don’t know.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

[Mary laughs]

Andrew: All right, well, Mary, it was so great having you on with us. Thanks so much for…

Mary: Thanks.

Andrew: …talking with us. We learned a lot today.

Mary: Well, thanks. Good questions, guys, and keep up the good work.

Andrew: Okay, well there you have it. Big thanks to Scholastic for helping us set up that interview, and to Micah as well. You were a crucial part of getting that interview with Miss GrandPre.

Laura: And of course, thanks to her for talking to us as well.

Andrew: Oh, absolutely.

Laura: It was great.

Matt: Yeah, she’s really cool. I like her.

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: It was a lot of fun, and we hope you guys the interview too.

Make the Music Connection

Andrew: Now let’s move on to a fun game called Make the Music Connection!

Laura: Where’s the…

Andrew: Now I didn’t play the sound effect.

Matt: Yeah, where’s the – that wasn’t the clip. Where’s the clip?

Andrew: People request that I do it live now, instead of the clip, because, you know, live is live.

Matt: Now who are these people? You keep mentioning people.

Andrew: It’s a focus group. It’s a MuggleCast focus group.

Matt: I think it’s just you.

Andrew: No, no it really wasn’t me. People have requested that, so – let’s see, let’s have – Matt, you go first. Here is your selection for Make the Music Connection. If you don’t know how this game is played, basically I’ll play a hot song right now in the world, and the contestant has to make a connection between that song and Harry Potter. So here we go.

Matt: All right.

Andrew: Here’s…

Matt: I’m nervous, let’s do it.

Andrew: Here’s your choice.

[“My Life Would Suck Without You” by Kelly Clarkson plays]

Andrew: This is of course, “My Life Would Suck without You” by Kelly Clarkson.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: She’s a popular artist.

Matt: Yeah. That’s a good song. I really like it, too.

Andrew: Let me read back some of the lyrics to you to help you out.

Matt: I know the song.

Andrew: “Because we belong together now, yeah. Forever united here somehow, yeah. You got a piece of me, and honestly, my life – my life – would suck – would suck – without you.”

Matt: Well, if you go by the lyrics, I would think it would be like, the showdown in the forest when Harry sings to Voldemort.

[Laura and Micah laugh]

Matt: Don’t you…

Micah: I missed that part of the book…

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: …where he sang to him.

Laura: Yeah I must have gotten one of those editions where the pages were missing.

Matt: Well it was more like a ballad slash lullaby when he was singing it to him: “You’ve got a piece of me inside me.”

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Here maybe this will help your case…

Matt: Honestly, honestly though, I think this would be more relevant to Hermione when she’s beating the crap out of Ron in the tent in Deathly Hallows.

Andrew: Good one.

Matt: When she finds out that she really loves him.

Andrew: Well here’s another part of the verse that I think is good for your Voldemort thing. “Being with you is so dysfunctional. I really shouldn’t miss you, but I can’t let you go, oh yeah.”

Matt: “Oh yeah.” [laughs]

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: I think that seems to fit too.

Matt: Can you imagine him actually just speaking the lyrics to Voldemort instead of just singing?

[Laura and Matt laugh]

Matt: I really shouldn’t…

Andrew: [in an English accent] “Being with you is so dysfunctional. I really shouldn’t miss you, but I can’t let you go, oh yeah.” [laughs]

[Laura and Matt laugh]

Matt: And you just see Lucius in the side, “I’m like so uncomfortable right now.”

Andrew: Anyway, okay, next song, this is for Micah. Now this isn’t a current song. It’s actually from 1965, however when Watchmen is released on this weekend, it’s going to be – be coming back.

Matt: Is it Bob Dylan, from “The Times are Changing”?

[“The Times They Are A-Changin'” by Bob Dylan plays]

Andrew: This is of course, Bobby Dylan, “These Times are Changing,” and Matt and I caught a screening of Watchmen a couple of weeks ago, and this was in there.

Matt: This is a really good song.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: It almost seems like a song that you would play during a somber moment, so I’d probably go with Dumbledore’s funeral.

Andrew: Oh no!

Micah: Or after Dumbledore’s funeral.

Andrew: That’s so sad.

Matt: That is really sad. Thank you, Micah.

Andrew: I’m tearing up. That’s really – crap.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Now I’m just depressed.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Damn it!

Matt: You know, I’ve been noticing a lot though when this song is played throughout movies, it’s always played during montages too.

Andrew: Yeah. All right, well that’s good Micah. They should really start incorporating some real songs into Harry Potter.

Matt: Yeah. Well, we’ll talk about it in eighty years when they remake the series.

Andrew: Okay.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Laura: Exactly.

Andrew: And Laura, I know this is one of your favorite songs.

Laura: Oh, really?

Andrew: So this final one is for you.

[“Right Round” by Flo Rida plays]

Matt: Oh yeah.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: This is of course, “Right Round” by Flo Rida.

[Laura laughs]

Matt: Do you honestly love this song Laura, really?

Andrew: No I completely made that up. [laughs]

Laura: No but it reminds me of…

Andrew: Here I’ll give you some lyrics to it.

Laura: No I already have my answer.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Laura: It makes me think of the way the Pensieve works.

[Andrew and Matt laugh]

Andrew: That’s great. That’s excellent.

[Matt laughs]

Andrew: Here’s some lyrics from that song. “Hopped out of that house with my swagger. Hop in that with girl.” That makes no sense. “I got places to go, people to see. Time is precious. I look at my crowd and they out of control. Just like my mind where I’m going. No women, no shorties, no nothing but clothes.”

Matt: God that’s Shakespeare right there isn’t it?

Andrew: Yeah it’s excellent. So there you go. That’s how we play Make the Music Connection! Im just going crazy with it now.

[Matt makes siren noise]

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Chicken Soup for the MuggleCast Soul

Andrew: And we’ll wrap this excellent episode of MuggleCast up today with two Chicken Soups. The first one is rather sad. It’s from Matthew Dredge, 14 of Victoria, Australia. He writes:

“Hey guys. As you may have heard, the people here in Australia are suffering the worst bush fire disaster in decades. Fortunately as the fire swept through my state, my family survived but I cannot say the same for my house. We’d evacuated three hours before and escaped with a box of my possessions. For the past week my family and I have been living in a community center and the atmosphere here has been quite depressing. I can’t express how lucky I am that there’s wireless internet here, otherwise I would not have been able to download episodes of MuggleCast to my iPod Touch. Your hilarious jokes, insightful comments, thoughts and voices makes this difficult time just that bit more easier. Thank you so much. Love what you’re doing. G’Day from Australia.”

That’s from Matthew.

Laura: Oh.

Andrew: And we hope him and all the others who are victims of the Australia wild fires make it through and hopefully you know, get back to normal lives.

Laura: Our next one comes from Dana, 20, of Tucson, Arizona. She writes:

“I’m a long listener of the show and I love you guys. My Chicken Soup is in three parts. Firstly, I want to thank you for getting my boyfriend to read these books. I would always be listening to the show and he would want to. I would never let him because I didn’t want to spoil the movies. He ended up loving the series so much. We started downloading all the episodes so he can listen and now he loves you as much as I do. Secondly, I feel you Laura and Andrew. On being poor college students, you give us hours of entertainment because we don’t have cable. Finally, last September my sister technically died. She did some stuff that isn’t really good to talk about on the show. I know you like to keep it PG for the most part. She was in a coma for three days and in treatment for another four months. Thank you for supplying me with happiness on the way” – I can’t read today – “thank you for supplying me with happiness on the forty five minute drive to the hospital, which I made about four times a day. She is doing very well now. I really love you all and can’t wait until the next episode. Thanks so much. Dana.”

Matt: Awww, we love you too.

Andrew: We’re glad to hear Dana and Matthew and everyone who listens, and is sending in Chicken Soup’s are using MuggleCast to brighten up their days a bit.

[Show music plays]

Contact Information

Andrew: Anyway, that wraps up this 171st episode of MuggleCast. We’ll be back to talk to you guys more very soon but before we go we want to remind everyone about our contact information. I’m sure lots of you have feedback about this episode.

To contact us, don’t forget you can always call in your voicemail question or comment to us. If you’re in the United States you can dial 1218 20 M-A-G-I-C. If you’re in the United Kingdom you can dial 020 8144 0677. Don’t forget you can also Skype the username “MuggleCast.” Just remember no matter how you call us, keep your question under sixty seconds and eliminate as much background noise as possible.

And of course, on the brand new MuggleCast.com you can find a handy feedback form to contact any one of us or just use our first names at staff dot mugglenet dot com, and don’t forget we have the community outlets. Follow us on Twitter, fan us on Facebook, vote for us once a month at Podcast Alley and we have a variety of other community outlets: MySpace, YouTube, Frappr, Last.FM and the Fanlisting and Forums over at MuggleCastFan.net. But just remember, MuggleCast.com has all the links you need.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: So, there you go. We’ll be talking to you guys again soon.

Show Close

Micah: Real quick I just want to say thanks again to obviously Mary GrandPre but also Kris Moran over at Scholastic for helping us with that.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: Yes.

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: Thank you very much.

Matt: Scholastic, you rule.

Andrew: So with that, it is time to go. Once again, I’m Andrew Sims.

Laura: I’m Laura Thompson.

Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.

Matt: And I’m Matthew Britton.

[Everyone laughs]

Matt: Well I don’t know. Everyone was talking so fast.

Andrew: I thought Micah’s was a glitch – whatever. We’ll see everyone next time for Episode 172. Buh bye!

Laura: Bye.

Micah: Bye.

Matt: Bye.

[Show music continues]


Andrew: Because Mary GrandPre is joining us this week, this is MuggleCast, Episode 172 for, I don’t know the date! 2009.