MuggleCast 268 Transcript
[“Hedwig’s Theme” plays]
Andrew: Because we never tire of Jamie’s British jokes, this is MuggleCast Episode 268 for July 28th, 2013.
[Show music begins]
Andrew: This week’s episode is brought to you by Audible.com. Audible is the leading provider of audiobooks with more than 100,000 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 268. We are nearing the end of MuggleCast, but hey, we got a bonus episode out earlier this month. And as we’ve been telling people, we’ve been hoping to bring back some co-hosts who were with us previously and look who is here this week: Jamie Lawrence. Hello, Jamie.
Jamie: Hello, everyone. Aww, it’s great to be back. It’s weird to be back. I came on and I said Andrew sounds precisely the same as he’s always sounded, so perhaps no time has passed at all.
Andrew: No, no. Harry Potter is with us forever.
Jamie: [laughs] Forever, exactly. Exactly.
Jamie: Yeah, it’s great to be back.
Andrew: Things have been good with you?
Jamie: Yeah, fantastic. I mean, a lot has happened in the past couple of years, but it’s hard to compact it all into a couple of sentences. Life has taken me down different directions…
Andrew: Oh, good.
Jamie: …and I’ve done different things and, as I’m sure, everyone has. That sounded really philosophical.
Jamie: I don’t know if I meant it to sound that philosophical.
Jamie: But yeah, stuff is good.
Jamie: Stuff is going well.
Andrew: Good. Well, that kind of reminds me of what people tell us a lot about MuggleCast, that they’ve grown up with the show. Which we all have, in a way. Especially when we’re around it for eight years.
Jamie: That’s true.
Andrew: Growing up.
Jamie: Wouldn’t it be interesting to get a psychologist in and make them study how it has changed us.
Jamie: How it’s made us develop.
Andrew: Yes. They would find in me that it has driven me crazy. I’ve become a madman.
[Eric and Jamie laugh]
Jamie: Perhaps they would lock you up. You know, section you.
Jamie: Something like that.
Andrew: Andrew can’t be on the final episode because he’s mental.
Jamie: In a straight jacket, yeah.
Eric: He took Jamie’s advice. It was a terrible decision.
[Andrew and Jamie laugh]
Public Speaking 101 With The MuggleCasters
Eric: No, I think they would find that a lot of us are, at least for me, more confident and it developed our public speaking and maybe theatrics a little bit for live events and stuff.
Jamie: Saying that…
Eric: So the majority has been quite positive.
Jamie: Saying that, though… yeah, I could have said it helped me develop my public speaking. Surely, it has done. But I did an event the other day for work where I had to go on stage and talk in front of two hundred and thirty people. And I talked about three things, and right at the beginning I outlined these three things and said what they were. And then I went through each one in turn. So I said the first one is this, and it’s important because of this. The second one is this, and it’s important because of this. Speech-making 101.
Jamie: And then I went onto the third one, and I was like, “And the third one is…” And it completely went from my head!
Andrew: Oh, no.
Jamie: I said, “The third one is…” And then I said, “And it’s obviously really important, like the other two, and it is…”
Jamie: And I still didn’t know what it was, and I just had to stand there looking stupid. And thankfully, because I’d gone through them earlier, someone from the audience called out what it was, and I said thanks and then moved on. But it was absolutely mortifying.
Micah: You didn’t have a powerpoint or anything you could refer to?
Jamie: Well, this is the thing. This is the thing. I didn’t bring any notes up because when I have notes, I just tend to stare at them. But I didn’t know that they were going to have LCD screens at the front of the stage that face the person speaking. If I had known that, I’d have just put the three points on there and I couldn’t have messed it up.
Jamie: But because I didn’t, everyone thought I was a rank amateur.
Andrew: Well, maybe if you had…
Eric: You should just point them to our website, Jamie. [laughs]
Andrew: Be like, “I promise I’m good. I used to do this podcast. I was really good on it.” But maybe this episode will help you refocus.
Jamie: Yeah, maybe. Maybe. I might send them an email, actually, pointing them to the download link, and just say, “Please have a listen to this and see if it’s okay.” [laughs]
Eric: [laughs] So they’ll invite you back.
Micah: It’s funny that you say that because I have this big presentation coming up on Friday and now I’m not sure.
Eric: Don’t choke, Micah!
Micah: But I do have a powerpoint.
Jamie: Oh, that’s good. Yeah, that helps. I should have just done that. But I actually did a course before I did this presentation course, and the two things that I got out of it… I don’t know if you do presentations a lot, but the two big lessons that the guy told me was… in terms of structure, he said, tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you’ve told them.
Jamie: And if you do that, people take it in because they… it’s like brain stem apparent. And he also said, the ability of the audience to understand what you’re saying is always slower than the speed at which you deliver it. So you need to really slow down, which I tried to do but I was nervous, so I don’t know…
Micah: Well, you slowed down pretty well once you got to the third point, actually.
Jamie: Yeah, yeah. Fair point.
Andrew: They were waiting with bated breath.
Jamie: I couldn’t be slower, to be honest.
Andrew: But I would agree that this show has definitely helped me develop public speaking skills, just in terms of doing good at what we do here on this podcast because now we do multiple podcasts. No, it’s been very beneficial, this show.
Jamie: Just to put you on the spot here, Andrew, you’ve done loads of podcasts since this one.
Jamie: This is still your baby? Still your favorite?
Andrew: Yeah, absolutely! We’ve gotten in a very good… I think Micah and Eric would agree, we’ve gotten in a very good vibe with this show where I don’t feel pressured doing MuggleCast because I know we have a good rapport, all of us, and then when we bring on extra people as well. It’s usually… the core of the show has been Micah, Eric, and I for some time, but the core… we’ve just been very comfortable with that, I think.
Eric: Yeah, being able to just get together, no drama, talk about whatever is happening in the Harry Potter world, is a really gratifying experience.
Andrew: Yeah. So long as there’s stuff to talk about, of course. [laughs]
Eric: Oh, yeah. No. And we’re not pressured to put out content more often than it is needed.
Eric: So that’s really nice.
Jamie: All right, guys. Let’s stop all the back-slapping. Let’s be critics.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Eric: Aren’t we awesome?
Jamie: What can we improve?
Eric: Oh, what can we improve?
News: Source of The Cuckoo’s Calling Pseudonym Leak Discovered
Andrew: Well, a big focus of this show, of this episode, is going to be The Cuckoo’s Calling because it continues to be very interesting, how it all played out. On the last episode, we recorded the day or the day after The Cuckoo’s Calling was revealed to be J.K. Rowling, and now we’re learning how it all came to be. There’s two parts to this story. As it turns out, the reason that J.K. Rowling decided to reveal that she was the author was because The Sunday Times in the UK did their own digging after one of their writers had tweeted, “Yes, I read The Cuckoo’s Calling and it was quite good.” Somebody replied to her and said, “That book was written by J.K. Rowling.” And The Sunday Times editor replied to this anonymous person and said, “How do you know for sure?” And the anonymous person just said, “I just know.” And then, from there, they decided to do some digging. They connected the dots between… first, the publisher of The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo’s Calling were both Little Brown. They sent The Casual Vacancy, The Cuckoo’s Calling, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to a linguistics expert, who found significant similarities between the three books. [laughs] And after those two pieces of evidence, The Sunday Times decided to email J.K. Rowling’s people and say, “Just give me a straight answer. I believe that The Cuckoo’s Calling is J.K. Rowling.” And then the next morning, J.K. Rowling’s people replied and said, “Yes, it is. And here’s a statement from Rowling.” And that was that. And then, in terms of the anonymous Twitter user, whoever that was, it turns out that it was a… so the only people who knew that J.K. Rowling wrote The Cuckoo’s Calling [were] J.K. Rowling; probably her husband; Neil Blair, her agent; and one or two other select people, including a couple people who were…
Jamie: I knew, too.
Andrew: Oh, you knew?
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Jamie: I just didn’t tell anyone, yeah.
Andrew: Who were lawyers. So, Eric, did you throw this link in? Do you want to tell us about this part?
Eric: Yeah, yeah. So, Jamie, you showed a lot more restraint than… not to name names here, but Chris Gossage from apparently Russells Solicitors. It’s one of J.K. Rowling’s law firms [that] she… I’m not clear on their relationship but they had something to do with The Cuckoo’s Calling as well as protecting J.K. Rowling’s assets because they knew about this book being really by Rowling. And evidently, one of the partners at Russells Solicitors named Chris Gossage… and this is all in a statement which we found actually from Newsround’s – or formally Newsround’s, I guess – [pronounces incorrectly] Lizo?
Jamie: No, no, Lizo Mzimba. Yeah, yeah, Lizo.
Eric: We love Lizo Mzimba. I found it on his Twitter, actually, these two statements. And basically, it appears that this guy, Chris Gossage, told his wife’s best friend, like at a party or something, in confidence. He was just like, “Hey…”
Micah: Alcohol was involved.
Eric: “Hey, this is in fact…”
Eric: I think so, too. But he was just like, “Hey, this is really by J.K. Rowling.” Well, his wife’s friend is the one who then tweeted at The Sunday Times. And this all kind of came out and was revealed. They did background searches. She’s a mother of two in Surrey. Living in Surrey.
Andrew: We are going to continue with today’s episode of MuggleCast in just a moment, but first it is time to remind you that today’s episode is brought to you by Audible.com. Audible is the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks with more than 100,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including audio versions of many New York Times Bestsellers. For listeners of MuggleCast, Audible is offering you a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their great service, and I think you know what I am going to recommend this week. It is probably the biggest no-brainer, the easiest prediction ever: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith or J.K. Rowling. It has been available on Audible since mid-May. It’s been secretly waiting for you to take a listen to. A new piece of work by J.K. Rowling. If you are going to be out and about this summer and maybe you can’t get a copy of the book, maybe it’s hard to get, maybe you just want to try a new way of digesting a book, Audible is the way to do it and The Cuckoo’s Calling, J.K. Rowling’s second post-Harry Potter novel, is probably the best book to try. Visit AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. If you are a new subscriber to Audible, you can get it for absolutely free. AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast and we thank Audible for their support of the show and giving you an opportunity to get J.K. Rowling’s new book for free.
So, do we… whose side are we on? J.K. Rowling’s side or this leaker’s side?
Jamie: I mean, it’s so hard to know until you know the full side of the story. I mean, one of the things, Eric, just to pick up on that, isn’t it weird how in these news stories they always focus on the person? Like, you know, what Judith has done in her life.
Jamie: They just go back and trawl through all the haze…
Jamie: …of her past to see if there is something in there that could have predisposed it a little or something.
Jamie: It’s just odd. But…
Eric: Well, that’s exactly right. I mean, this article that we… I linked to from here is from the London Evening Standard or something, and it’s all about this lady, this woman, Judith Callegari. They refer to her as “the Deep Throat at the centre of the [Robert Galbraith] publishing plot.”
Jamie: Oh right, yeah.
Eric: It’s just like they’re blowing it up way out of proportion. And they actually, I believe, probably took a photo from her Facebook profile, like found this woman…
Jamie: Absolutely, yeah.
Eric: …and unmasked her. So that bit of it is actually uncomfortable, the way that names are getting named, as you’re saying. But I think because of how much money is associated with this and the fact that it’s J.K. Rowling’s confidence that was broken in this law firm, Russells had to issue this statement, isolating that Chris Gossage gentleman. And then J.K. Rowling had to issue a statement I guess… or she did issue a statement pretty much the same time her lawyers did and I’m going to read that right now, it’s very quick. It says:
“I have today discovered how the leak about Robert’s true identity occurred. A tiny number of people knew my pseudonym and it has not been pleasant to wonder for days how a woman whom I had never heard of prior to Sunday night could have found out something that many of my oldest friends did not know. To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. I had assumed that I could expect total confidentiality from Russells, a reputable professional firm, and I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced.”
Andrew: Yeah, so…
Jamie: Yeah, I mean… oh sorry, go on.
Andrew: It’s close speculation that the publisher decided to leak this on purpose, some were wondering if they did it to boost sales, which would have been understandable but I think they had a good relationship with J.K. Rowling after The Casual Vacancy and now this. And Rowling wanted to keep it a secret and then unveil it on her own accord.
Andrew: We remember her original statement a couple… or earlier this month when she said, “I was hoping to keep it a secret a little while longer.” So…
Andrew: I have to be honest though. If I was at a party and I had this little secret, I don’t think I could keep it in. I’d have to tell somebody that I knew.
Jamie: No, I wouldn’t.
Eric: There’s a part…
Jamie: I’d take pleasure in the fact that I knew something.
Jamie: I’d feel like the big cheese.
Jamie: It’d be like who killed JFK, you know?
Andrew: Right, right. Do you know?
Jamie: I do, but if I tell you, I believe I’m going to get people in suits with machine guns busting down my door anytime soon.
Jamie: So I really couldn’t, you know?
Eric: But there is that part in all of us, and part of this story coming out, I felt like, “Oh, it’s a very human mistake to make.” It just felt like something that possibly, if I weren’t careful, I would do because there’s certain news that you just get so excited, and on Twitter… you think everything is anonymous on the Internet. You think everything is anonymous, even though her Twitter name was pretty much her real name. Jude Callegari I think it was, on Twitter. But you just think that it’s anonymous and that you can get away with that, and it’s just kind of like teasing somebody with your knowledge and all that, but as it turns out that Sunday Times person was determined to follow up and they did.
Jamie: No, I’m sorry, I don’t agree with that, that you think it’s anonymous. I mean, surely if this Snowden stuff has taught us anything is that you really can’t assume you’ve got any privacy online whatsoever. This woman is clearly… well, I say clearly. Allegedly.
[Eric and Jamie laugh]
Jamie: Allegedly perhaps just thought she wanted to feel a bit of power for a minute. I mean, no good could come of it, I don’t think. It was never going to end well when you make that first step to go on Twitter and say, “I just know.” I mean, if you’re saying that, you have to question her motives surely. If she’s saying, “I just know,” it isn’t because she doesn’t believe in the anonymity when it comes to authors is a good thing. And why is she doing it? It seems a bit selfish.
Andrew: Do you? I don’t know. I kind of imagine this to be like a drunken conversation and she accidentally did it and then realized her mistake afterwards.
Eric: Well, what happened? Why…
Jamie: Well, keep your mouth shut then, you know? [laughs]
Eric: Yeah, that’s possibly true but the Twitter was deleted. The account was deleted shortly following that “I just know” tweet, which really does make me question the motives then because it’s like, well, did she realize that she had done something wrong, or what happened? Because the account is removed and it was… when the Sunday Times author wanted to follow up, it was removed, it was gone, it was missing. So it felt like a mystery.
Andrew: It could have also been ignorance, like she didn’t know the enormity of the secret.
Micah: Hold on a second. Why are we blaming poor Judith here? I feel like if anything, she is not to blame. It’s the person who told her in the first place.
Jamie: I think that’s a fair point because look, she’s got no responsibility. Technically, she hasn’t been instructed by Rowling to keep her secret a secret.
Jamie: The partner who works for Russells is… he’s paid to act in the interests of the company, and giving away this secret is not really acting in the interests of the company when they’re going to lose a key client and get their name plastered all over the news. So yeah, I think that’s a fair point. It’s his fault.
Eric: Yeah, and I mean, J.K. Rowling I guess…
Eric: Yeah, yeah. If we’re talking about the statement from Rowling, she just… I don’t want to say it’s portraying her as a victim, but she does… she uses words like, “I feel very angry.”
Eric: “It has not been pleasant.” And you just wonder, “Oh okay, she’s through hell.” But to Andrew’s question, whose side are we on? Obviously that’s quite polarizing.
Eric: But my question is… [laughs] my question is about how long would have Rowling waited. And this is the problem, is that it’s also coming out… and I don’t know if we’re going to also talk about this, but essentially she said it was either in a later statement or something that… I think it was on the website, the second book in this Robert Galbraith has been written, in this Robert Galbraith series. And my problem is if that book is complete and was set to release next year, I think it’s quite likely that she wasn’t going to tell anybody until maybe even after the second book was out.
Jamie: Maybe two or three books, yeah.
Eric: Two or three books? But I have a really big problem with that because I think… well, wouldn’t I be angry if I found out that J.K. Rowling not just published one book but two or three? And meanwhile, there’s nothing happening on her Twitter, she’s completely dead to the world, silent. This author whom I love and whom I love reading is essentially not letting me read her work, is not sharing with me.
Jamie: I think that’s an interesting point. I mean, it’s a very interesting point, definitely. I think it all depends on how much you feel she has a sort of psychological contractual obligation to her fans from the Potter series. I don’t know if you guys like Chris Rock, but he always used to say that he shouldn’t have to act as a role model for young people. His job is an entertainer. It’s not… just because he’s in the public eye, he doesn’t owe something to anyone. I mean, I don’t know. It depends, yeah, what you think she owes us, really. I don’t know. I agree it’s a bit to have that revelation come at a later day. It does feel a bit, I don’t know, like a secret is being uncovered but then I guess she can’t cater for everyone. Sorry, I mean she has to cater for the general public rather than her fans, if that makes sense.
Andrew: Well, we know why she did this though. She did this because she wanted to write without the pressures of having all these people on top of her. She got to do it privately, enjoy publishing a book – her first time, really – as somebody who is an unknown. I mean, it must have been so rewarding for her to do it this way. And I don’t think she owed us anything in terms of… I would have been fine with her releasing, unveiling it let’s say… I bet she would have done it before the holiday [laughs] so they could get some good holiday sales out of this.
Andrew: But no, I think… if she waited even until the end of this year, I think that would have been completely fine. So, Jamie, when did you first hear about… how did you hear that The Cuckoo’s Calling was J.K. Rowling?
Jamie: Oh, I think it was a news website, BBC News.
Jamie: And I mean, I was just stunned. To be honest, the first thing that jumped out at me was what happened after it came out rather than the story. I mean, it’s a leaking story. It happens. It just has more relevance for us because we’re fans of Harry Potter. But this type of stuff, I guess, happens all the time. What hit me was she sold 1,500 copies between when it came out and when it got leaked, which I’ve heard is great for a first time hardback author.
Jamie: Yeah. It’s a good result.
Jamie: It’s not incredible, but I think any person should be pleased with that. And then after it came out, I think her Amazon sales rank went up like 507,000 percent.
Eric: [laughs] Yes.
Jamie: And I just think that scale is something to sit up and take note, that someone can generate that. It’s just incredible.
Andrew: Yeah. She went to number one. She went straight to number one.
Eric: And that was based on name alone, again because it’s like…
Eric: …”Oh, it’s the J.K. Rowling book.”
Andrew: So did you get a copy, Jamie? Did you try?
Jamie: I haven’t really yet, no. I’m…
Andrew: Are you planning on it?
Jamie: I will, I will. I don’t think I’m going to get a copy yet. I want to wait for the buzz to sort of die down and I can sort of read it in my own time and just sort of…
Jamie: …reflect on it. Have you guys read it?
Micah: Well, hold on a second. No, wait, you said that you knew. So you have actually already read the book, right?
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Jamie: Yeah. I mean, you caught me there. I just didn’t want to… I’ve just had a phone call from my agent, saying I’m in trouble.
Jamie: So I’m just trying to tone it down a bit.
Andrew: Boys, have you read it yet?
Eric: Micah, how far are you?
Micah: I got the book on Friday. I ordered it through BarnesandNoble.com. It got here pretty quickly, actually. I have not read it at all yet. It’s still sitting…
Andrew: And I assume your copy says “J.K. Rowling” inside.
Micah: It does. It does say “J.K. Rowling.”
Eric: Oh, wow!
Andrew: That’s the thing.
Andrew: This is the thing. So they did this second print run with 300,000 copies. They all now say, “Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling,” inside of the book. So these copies that people may have that don’t say that are going to be really valuable.
Jamie: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: And as we talked about on the last episode when we first discovered that this happened, I personally ran out to my local bookstore. I couldn’t find any. They said they had them in stock, but then one of my friends nearby was able to go to a bookstore and he found four copies. [laughs] He purchased all four copies…
Andrew: …gave one to me. He’s holding on to an extra one, probably for eBay purposes.
Eric: Yeah. So are one of my friends. They have it sealed up.
Eric: It’s unbelievable just the hype that’s surrounded it. It just… but you had to act quick and not everybody was… even quite innocently, not many people were in a position to really do that, and that time between when all the copies on store shelves were missing or sold and the time that the book’s second print run was fulfilled, that was a harrowing week, week and a half to two weeks, where people couldn’t get the book unless they wanted to do the ebook.
Eric: Which I’m sure is quite easy to do, but if you wanted the hardcopy book you couldn’t do it.
Andrew: Right. So now it’s everywhere [laughs] and now it says “J.K. Rowling” inside. I’ve been… every time I step into a bookstore now, if I see it there, I go and look through the stack of books, in hopes that there’s a lone copy without J.K. Rowling’s name inside it. And if I do find one of those, you can bet I’ll be buying it.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Jamie: Oh, yeah. well, here’s the thing. I was in a charity shop two days ago and I found a first edition paperback of Prisoner of Azkaban.
Jamie: And my smartphone broke a while ago, so I couldn’t look online and see if it’s worth anything. So I bought it, it was only a pound, and then I went online and apparently it isn’t worth anything.
Jamie: So it’s a bit of a shame.
Andrew: Is it paperback, though?
Jamie: Yeah, paperback Prisoner of Azkaban.
Jamie: But first edition, I mean…
Andrew: Yeah. I think hardback’s where it’s at, right?
Eric: But that still came out…
Jamie: Yeah, I think so. Yeah.
Eric: Yeah, maybe.
Micah: I think the Internet is lying to you, Jamie. I think it’s worth something.
Jamie: Yeah. [laughs] Yeah, maybe. Yeah.
Eric: I would hold on to it. Or maybe you could take it to a J.K. Rowling signing and it will be a little bit… worth a little bit more.
Jamie: Yeah, but I might ask her to sign it “Robert Galbraith” now.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Eric: That’s the thing, is if you’ve seen… if you have a signed… I have a copy of Casual Vacancy signed by J.K. Rowling from when she came to New York. But her J.K. Rowling signature is really beautiful.
Eric: I would like to see her Robert Galbraith signature. Just throwing that out there.
Andrew: Well, she did it. She signed, actually, a couple of copies of The Cuckoo’s Calling in the UK.
Eric: Oh, really?
Jamie: Well, surely people went up to her and they were like, “Oh my God, I love your work!”
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Jamie: “You don’t look like a Robert!”
Andrew: No, no. [laughs] Apparently, no, it wasn’t a public book signing. It was like something… here, here, I’ll… look… I mean, this one…
Eric: Yeah, I’ll take a look.
Andrew: It has one bid. But I think she did this… instant message, boom. That’s the signature. I bet she did it with her opposite hand because it doesn’t look like Robert… J.K. Rowling’s signature at all.
Andrew: But this is the one I keep seeing.
Eric: Oh, wow.
Andrew: I can’t remember why she signed it.
Eric: I think… yeah, it must have been…
Jamie: So it’s at eight-hundred pounds at the moment.
Eric: …through the mail or something.
Jamie: It’s quite a nice autograph, isn’t it? I like it.
Andrew: Yeah, it’s all right. It looks like a man’s autograph.
Andrew: I think she did it as a thank you to the publisher or something like that.
Jamie: That’s extremely sexist, Andrew.
Jamie: Why is it like a man’s autograph?
Andrew: Because it’s dirty and chicken-scratched.
Jamie: I can’t believe I’m hearing this. That’s…
Andrew: [laughs] Just like my signature.
Eric: There’s a quote from Jo saying she channeled her inner bloke. Seeing this autograph, I would agree with that. I can barely make out the R.
[Andrew and Jamie laugh]
Eric: It’s like “Robot Galbraith” is who wrote this.
Jamie: Yeah, Robot. Yeah.
Eric: It’s like “Robot.” Yeah, look at that. No, but I’m about a hundred pages in, to answer your question.
Eric: Actually, a hundred and sixteen. Love the book. I am planning on reading…
Micah: The whole thing?
Eric: …a substantial amount. Yeah, the whole thing, as opposed to Casual Vacancy.
Micah: So, Jamie, have you read The Casual Vacancy by the way?
Jamie: No, I haven’t yet. No. I need to. I was following it on Amazon when it first came out for a few weeks and the reviews were just so all over the place. Again, I wanted to let it die down before I read it, but I haven’t got round to it. It came out just before I went traveling and I was going to get it for that, but it was so bulky that…
Jamie: …I didn’t. But no, I’m going to get it. I’m actually going on holiday in about a month, so I might take it then.
Eric: Is it out in paperback yet? Do you know?
Jamie: Yes, they just came out with it.
Micah: It just came out.
Eric: Okay. Well, then that will be hopefully lighter, for travel reading.
Eric: I did want to mention, though, Jamie, you mentioned that 1,500 copies is fairly successful. There is a quote somewhere – I wish I could find it – J.K. Rowling said, relating to those sales, that it was comparable to the same period of time for author J.K. Rowling. Meaning, I think, when Harry Potter first started out, that that is similar…
Jamie: Yeah, yeah.
Eric: …to the first three months of sales for, probably, only the first Harry Potter film… or book. First Harry Potter book. Philosopher’s Stone in the UK. So that is actually really exciting. And the little stories we’re hearing about life before people knew are that certain people did find the book, and it was offered at their local book club or something. It was a recommended read. Kind of word of mouth, guerilla information spreading, and that this book was getting some traction. But two months is just not a lot for any of that to really happen, so it’s nice to hear that it was sort of starting out. But I do feel like the reveal came a little sooner for everybody. Maybe if they had planned the release of the information, there would have been more stock in stores and another print run at the very least, do you think?
Jamie: Yeah, yeah.
Jamie: Well, I don’t know. I think so. I mean, people at work were saying, oh it’s a cover-up, this was all planned from the beginning by the people who walk in the corridors of power, that type of thing.
Eric: People are so cynical.
Jamie: But yeah, I know. And also, a law firm has got smeared. I don’t think any law firm is going to allow themselves to get smeared, even if they get a kickback from it. And also, like you said, there’s no stock. [laughs] So if it was a PR stunt, it was crap.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, I believe that this was a legitimate accident… well, purposeful by the person who leaked it, but I believe that there was no intention of a sudden boost of sales. At least not right now.
Micah: Well, if I could compare this to something just for a minute… I mean, I’m surprised that this person hasn’t lost his job.
Andrew: How do you know he hasn’t?
Micah: Well, I don’t but I’d be surprised if he didn’t, because say it’s the equivalent of me working at a sports league and I find out that this player is about to be traded to another team. And say he’s a high profile player, and I’m out at the bar later on that night, and they’re still working through the specifics of the contract, and I let it slip to somebody who happens to be there that this guy is getting traded to another team, and that news leaks on Twitter, and all of a sudden it blows up. And maybe things don’t get finalized or the trade doesn’t go through, and all of a sudden all this information is out there. I think that if that got traced back to me, I’d probably be fired.
Jamie: Yeah, yeah. I think so. I mean, can’t you… wouldn’t you get prosecuted as well?
Andrew: You could be.
Micah: Possibly. Possibly.
Jamie: Do you sign an NDA?
Micah: Sign a what?
Andrew: You have to keep it a secret, basically. Yeah.
Micah: Well, it’s just that anything that is discussed in that sense within a company, to your point, can’t be disseminated to the public unless you’re cleared to do so. So I think it’s a similar situation with this person…
Eric: Well, especially the law firm.
Micah: …at the law firm. Yeah.
Eric: Especially the law firm. This information… even the information about a trader… or a player being traded, that information alone is worth millions sometimes, depending on who it is. And that’s a very real financial amount to be tied to information like this when you’re a law firm that is handling items with such value as the next J.K. Rowling novel. And like Jamie was saying, no law firm is going to let themselves get smudged. This is severe. I mean, Rowling herself is saying, “I expected this from Russells. I expected full confidentiality. Shame I didn’t get it.” And it’s just complete trash talk because… but Russells looks terrible. I would be very surprised if that guy stayed on. Very surprised.
Andrew: And not to mention, J.K. Rowling is probably just not going to work with them anymore.
Andrew: That’s what I would…
Micah: I wouldn’t.
Andrew: Right, exactly.
Eric: But how many other businesses are also pulling out because this guy had this moment of weakness, you know?
Andrew: Right. Oh yeah, this is awful for the company. This is not fun to be that guy. Anyway…
Jamie: Although… sorry, one last point.
Andrew: Go ahead.
Jamie: Who was the guy who said, “All publicity is good publicity”? So maybe they’ll get…
Eric: Probably Oscar Wilde.
Jamie: No, I think it was… was it Peter Drucker, the ad guy? Anyway, I don’t know.
Eric: Oh. Well, I know Oscar Wilde said, “The only thing worse than people talking about you is people not talking about you.”
Jamie: Oh, that… oh, yeah. Yeah, it’s similar.
Eric: [laughs] So there is that quote.
Andrew: Well, this certainly… it’s safe to say that this didn’t negatively affect the book. Of course we know that [laughs] the sales have been through the roof and I’m sure the publisher is happy that it’s selling so well.
Jamie: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: Despite the lukewarm response to The Casual Vacancy. J.K. Rowling, as I think we’ve discussed previously, I think she has only so many chances for people to get so excited about each and every book. If she wrote three not great books in a row, people would be losing interest, unless she wrote more in the same theme as Harry Potter or went back to young adult. She still hasn’t returned to young adult writing.
Andrew: But it looks like the reviews for Cuckoo’s Calling have been very good. I’m excited to read it.
MuggleCast 268 Transcript (continued)
News: The Cuckoo’s Calling Receives Multiple Offers For Film Adaptation
Andrew: So now there are the movie rights in question, and they are reportedly in a “hot bidding war.” Deadline says that multiple studios are trying to get the movie rights to The Cuckoo’s Calling. And WB, who created the Harry Potter films, may have the edge because of the relationship J.K. Rowling already has with them. So it’s very…
Eric: It’s just so interesting because nothing that’s a book can stay a book in today’s world.
Eric: Nothing that’s successful and a book can just stay a book. The Casual Vacancy, even, which may or may not be successful in our eyes, is going to be a TV series for the BBC. Or a mini-series, I should say.
Jamie: Yeah, but everything that she writes can’t stay as a book…
Jamie: …or anything that… yeah, it’s like you say, develops a huge fan following. They just try and squeeze it, and squeeze it, and turn it into a film…
Eric: There has to be like a tie-in graphic novel.
Jamie: Two films. Yeah.
Eric: And there’s like a… yeah.
Jamie: Or a stage show even.
Andrew: But to play devil’s advocate, Rowling is to blame here, too. She doesn’t have to sell the rights. She could tell them to screw off.
Jamie: Yeah, but…
Andrew: I mean, why is she doing this? She has all the money in the world.
Jamie: …why wouldn’t she, though? Yeah, but it isn’t about… for her, I don’t think it’s about money. When people get rich, people surround them and tell them how they can make more money. I think that’s what people have done to her and what people continue to do to her. If you write a book, and you pour your creativity and time into it over two months, you… I guess you’d want to see that go as far as it can, regardless of money.
Andrew: Yeah. So I guess you’re saying she’s doing it more for Christopher Little… or sorry, for Neil Blair.
Jamie: Well, not her. I mean, they take their cut. She can’t turn it into a film. The whole process relies on middle men and…
Jamie: …companies and… but I think she’s doing it because she wants her work to go as far as possible, and she puts it with the most trusted people who can make that happen in a way that she wants it to happen.
Micah: Yeah, I agree. I think the fact that she has so much control over it is what’s key in all of it, is that… because not many authors would have that level of control.
Jamie: Yeah. I…
Andrew: And we have to remember that this going to be a series, so this could potentially be a big movie franchise too. [laughs]
Eric: Oh, gosh.
Jamie: That’s true.
Eric: For me… and I really do, and am, enjoying this book so far, but it’s a standard detective novel. It really is your hard-boiled detective going out and solving crimes. And that genre is excellent, but it is almost overpopulated, you know? We don’t necessarily need a film. I don’t feel a need for a film.
Eric: Even though it’s a great book, even though it may change the way I think about things, it doesn’t need to be a movie.
Jamie: But I think it’s quite interesting that she chose to, a) be anonymous and b) write in that genre, which is sort of defined by tropes. Because I guess for her, she can write in any genre and she doesn’t have to stick to the rules of the genre. She can do whatever she wants. But it might be quite nice, as a well-known author, to take that power away through anonymity and allow yourself to have to fit with the tropes of a genre and see how people judge you based on your ability to fit within a mold but yet still do things a bit differently, you know?
Eric: Yeah, that’s really what it’s all about. Genre-writing, it takes away a lot of the burden of completely… it must be relaxing to conform to certain things while still offering, like you said, your own part of it. J.K. Rowling’s writing is so good and the way she describes a scene and there’s lots of detail, you can get an exact picture in your head without feeling like you’ve been reading for pages and pages because she’s concise about it. She knows just what words to use, that’s what makes the book readable.
News: The Cuckoo’s Calling Hits #1 Spot On New York Times and USA Today‘s Bestseller List
Andrew: And as if anybody needed a surprise, Cuckoo’s Calling is number one New York Times Bestseller List and USA Today. So…
Jamie: But I read that it didn’t beat the Grisham one in one list. Which one was it? Yeah, there was one list that he still topped, or perhaps she topped it initially but then quickly dropped below him, which I was quite surprised about.
Eric: I read that, too. Yeah. I think it was mystery thriller novel… I’m trying to think what it would have been on for book sales…
Micah: You said John Grisham?
Jamie: John Grisham, yeah. He’s still around.
Micah: No, I know he is. [laughs] He’s writing a sequel to A Time to Kill, which was obviously a very big bestseller as well as movie, so maybe that was it.
Jamie: It’s The Racketeer. Is that the sequel?
Micah: No, it’s not. I’ve read The Racketeer, actually. I’m surprised that that has topped, or for a time, topped J.K. Rowling.
Jamie: I think it’s that one.
Andrew: Well, maybe the first week, Grisham was still number one and then…
Micah: Well, The Racketeer has been out for a while.
Jamie: Maybe it wasn’t that, then.
Eric: All right, I found it.
Jamie: It might have been another one.
Eric: I found it. It’s BBC News. Let’s see.
Eric: Okay, John Grisham… I’m just scrolling through to get the actual…
Andrew: You’re bringing the show to a halt, Eric.
Eric: Oh, right. I forgot this was live to tape.
Jamie: Twiddling thumbs, yeah.
Eric: So, “The Rowling revelation coincided with the paperback release of The Casual Vacancy, which sold 19,548 copies in the same week.” So actually, once the news leaked, both Cuckoo’s Calling and The Casual Vacancy saw a bump in sales, by the way.
Jamie: Okay, yeah.
Eric: I don’t know if we mentioned that. So they’re like, “Oh, J.K. Rowling has a new book. I still haven’t read the old book. [censored], got to get it.” So they must have gotten it. But it says here, on BBC Entertainment News, “Neither title managed to topple John Grisham’s The Racketeer from the top of the chart, which shifted 24,222 copies – a 19% drop on the previous week.”
Andrew: But what date was this?
Eric: This was… this article is dated 24th of July, so it’s a couple of days ago.
Andrew: Okay. The New York Times Bestsellers List, for example, this one is the August 4th list…
Andrew: …which must have just been published, so…
Eric: Oh, wow. Yeah, no, so it is The Racketeer, in fact.
Micah: That’s interesting.
Jamie: Yeah. I guess that was doing really, really well, but isn’t it strange that it sold so many? I mean, I don’t know… Amazon is selling The Racketeer for three pounds, so I…
Jamie: It’s hard to compare them, really.
Micah: Did it just come out in paperback? Is that what it is, possibly?
Jamie: I don’t know. Yeah, it might have been. It might have been. Perhaps we can add to the conspiracy, that…
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Jamie: …they were in on it as well. To boost the sales.
Micah: A bit of racketeering going on.
Jamie: Yeah, yeah.
Eric: Yeah, it’s the official UK top 50, apparently, for literature.
Jamie: 4th of July, it came out, The Racketeer in paperback. So…
Micah: Hmmm, okay. Maybe. Is he popular over there?
Jamie: I think he used to be more popular than he is now. I actually read… I think The Firm, one of his early books, and I just couldn’t get into it.
Jamie: I thought it was really stilted.
Eric: I think it [was] turned into a movie.
Andrew: Well, I am going to be starting The Cuckoo’s Calling potentially tonight because I just finished another book. So I’m ready to go, finally, after two weeks.
Micah: I like how we’ve created, with just one episode left to go after this, a new segment on MuggleCast called, “Bash John Grisham.”
Jamie: Maybe we can move onto him.
Jamie: New fan site.
News: 15th Anniversary Half-Blood Prince US Paperback Cover Released
Andrew: So let’s talk some Harry Potter news now. Believe it or not, this is still a Harry Potter show, despite the first forty minutes being about J.K. Rowling’s Cuckoo’s Calling. So a new cover was revealed for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It is… as we know, Scholastic is revealing new covers one by one for the Harry Potter books in the United States, and this one is actually my favorite. It depicts Harry and Dumbledore on the rock… on the cliff of rocks, right before entering the cave where Dumbledore, of course, drinks that potion. I think this is my favorite. Do you guys like this one?
Jamie: I think it’s nice. I mean, it… there’s a big divide between the American covers and the British covers. This wouldn’t ever get put on a British cover, I don’t think. It’s cool. Yeah, it’s cool. I think that’s the ideal word for it because it’s cool, but I don’t know if it’s appropriate, if you know what I mean.
Andrew: The purpose of this is for kids. They’re going to republish these…
Andrew: …they’re going to put these new covers on paperbacks to appeal to the kids.
Jamie: It stinks of being for children, yeah.
Eric: Yeah, this is more of a graphic novel approach and more anime or manga-like approach to the Harry Potter series. It’s where the author has come from, it’s his drawing style, it’s artistry, but none of these book covers are really doing it for me following the Prisoner of Azkaban reveal.
Andrew: Oh. Sorry.
Eric: I think that’s my favorite cover of these ones that are getting redesigned. But no, this isn’t doing it for me. I mean, I think Harry and Dumbledore’s journey is probably the most important part of Half-Blood Prince, but I think it’s almost too obvious to do them on the rock because the US edition is them in the cave. So it feels like he didn’t stray far enough from the other cover, if you’re talking about…
Jamie: And I’ve only just noticed this, but Harry looks kind of odd, doesn’t he, in it?
Eric: Well, just cartoony. I mean, I wouldn’t say odd.
Jamie: Okay, sorry. Cartoony. [laughs]
Andrew: Well, he’s also wearing a cape, which I guess is what he’s wearing in the book. Because there’s a movie poster version of this same scene, actually, if you guys remember, and it looks very similar, where Harry and Dumbledore are standing on top of a rock with their… it’s windy, and they’re…
Eric: You’re right.
Andrew: Yeah, so it’s very similar to that. Even the colors, I think, are very similar. Nonetheless, I was actually at the party at Comic Con where they unveiled this, and I got a lithograph…
Jamie: Nice, nice.
Andrew: …which I’m really excited about because it’s…
Jamie: Nice one there, Andrew. Just drop in what you’ve been doing recently.
Andrew: Hey, you could have come. You could have come. But yeah, I’m a big fan of this one. And the final cover, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will be unveiled this Wednesday on Harry Potter’s birthday in New York City.
Andrew: Yeah, which…
Micah: Where is this?
Andrew: Sorry to say it again, Jamie, but I will be there too.
Micah: Will you be there?
Micah: Where is it, at Scholastic’s headquarters?
Andrew: At Scholastic, yeah. They’re going to do a party. It’s going to be like a kids’ party. It’s not going to be real fun.
Eric: [laughs] There’s going to be birthday cake and balloons.
Micah: There’s no alcohol, is what you’re saying.
Andrew: Right. The Half-Blood Prince one had an open bar. It was so much fun.
Andrew: But this one’s going to be for kids. Ugh.
Jamie: That’s really in the spirit of children’s books, isn’t it? Open bar.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: Well, nobody is a kid anymore. We’re all legally able to drink. No, but yeah, Micah, you should come because I’ll be there too, and we’ll… apparently there’s going to be this thing where you can pose inside of the picture, like you can stick your head through a hole and it’s like you’re Harry.
Micah: And you’re on the cover.
Andrew: Yeah. Right, exactly.
Jamie: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: This is your chance.
Jamie: Oh, they’ve been doing that for years, haven’t they?
Jamie: Will they ever get old? I don’t think they will. People see them and they just can’t resist putting their heads through it, can they?
Andrew: It’s so great. So yeah, that… by the way, for anybody in the New York City area, it’s a public… it’s open to the public, it’s at noon at Scholastic’s headquarters in New York City, so this Wednesday, July 31st, Harry Potter’s birthday. So come on out. And by the way, we’ve been talking about all this art and how great it is that they’re revealing each cover one at a time. They could have revealed all seven covers at once, but it would have been exciting for a day and that’s it. This is a much more exciting way to do it. They still have yet to reveal…
Jamie: So they’re milking it?
Andrew: They are milking it. But I think it’s good, especially because Harry Potter fans are looking for something to look forward to…
Andrew: …and we’ve been able to look forward to these.
Jamie: Very true.
Andrew: They are still… they still have the back covers to reveal, and the spines, which when all put together, will reveal one image.
Jamie: No, no, no. I’m going to put my foot down here. [laughs] That’s milking it. That’s milking it.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Jamie: You can’t have a spine release party.
Andrew: Well, I don’t know if they’re going to have a spine release party.
Eric: They can and they will, Jamie.
Jamie: Yeah, they probably will. They can do anything, right?
Eric: Do we know [if] there are images on the back covers? Is that…
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. When I was at this party, the guy in one of these pictures…
Jamie: Oh, you were there, were you, Andrew?
Andrew: Yeah, did you hear? I was at this party…
Andrew: …and there was free alcohol. No…
Jamie: Oh, okay. I wasn’t sure.
Andrew: I was speaking to the Scholastic guy and he told me this, that there’s going to be art on the back and on the spine and – and – as we’ve already spoken about, the box set, the box that holds all of them, will have art as well. So, Jamie, I’ll give you the RSVP info for the box set reveal party.
Jamie: Nice. Are you going to cover my costs?
Andrew: [laughs] I don’t know.
Andrew: I don’t even know if there’s a party. I was just joking.
Jamie: [laughs] Oh, right. Okay.
Andrew: [laughs] And an inside flap reveal party. It’s going to be awesome.
Jamie: Oh, yeah.
Jamie: Nice. That is true milking of it, isn’t it?
Andrew: Anyway, but people in the New York City area, come on out. Maybe it’ll be like a mini-MuggleCast meetup, especially if Micah comes.
News: Pottermore Announces New Features
Andrew: Pottermore, we spoke about Pottermore. Jamie, do you know about Pottermore?
Jamie: What? Have they changed it or something?
Andrew: Are you registered on Pottermore? Did you get sorted?
Jamie: I am. I am, yeah. I did it quite a long time ago, though I had a look around. I haven’t been on it for a while, though.
Andrew: Yeah. They’re kind of… it’s going well. People have been a bit bored because there’s not much new. They’re still releasing new content from the books, but they’re trying to make some changes to appeal to a wider audience, and one of them is going to be basic information pages, a book page, [laughs] so you can click on a book and learn a very basic summary about the book. And they are expanding the commenting features. Now, there’s not much to talk about here, but it’s just a little update as additions are being added when they release the final Prisoner of Azkaban chapters coming out very soon.
Jamie: So when you say “release the chapter,” is it a new chapter?
Andrew: Right. Well, we’re in the middle… all of the books are still not available on Pottermore, in terms of going through them. Right now, we’re in the middle of Prisoner of Azkaban, so they’re going to release the final chapters of Prisoner of Azkaban in the coming weeks. And hopefully, there’s going to be some new writing from J.K. Rowling. I think…
Jamie: Oh, okay. Well, that’s cool, but just releasing the chapters sounds a bit pointless, to be honest.
Andrew: Well, right. Sorry, it’s like moments, and in these moments you get… you know how Pottermore works, right? You go chapter by chapter.
Jamie: Yeah, but I didn’t… oh, okay. So, wait, what we do?
Andrew: Yeah, sort of. There’s not like analysis and stuff.
Jamie: So they stole it from us?
Eric: It’s not as interactive.
Andrew: It’s not called “Chapter by Chapter,” but…
Jamie: It’s not as good, you mean, right?
Andrew: Right, of course. It’s not analysis. Like, you’ll go into a chapter and you’ll click on a moment, which is like an illustration and you can click around and discover things and there may be new writing from J.K. Rowling about something related to that chapter. I think…
Jamie: Oh, that’s cool. That’s cool.
Andrew: Yeah, but…
Jamie: We can’t offer that, can we?
Micah: No, because she never decided to come on the show. If she had, at any point in time, decided she wanted to join the MuggleCast panel, perhaps we could have created this website ourselves and made some money off of it.
Eric: But, Micah, wait a minute because you promised that J.K. Rowling would be on our final MuggleCast episode.
Micah: In some capacity, yes.
Eric: Yes, in some capacity. Let’s not let everybody’s hopes down here.
Eric: That may still… that will still happen.
Micah: It will still happen, absolutely. [laughs] I’m just discouraged by the fact that their CEO left.
Eric: [laughs] Right. That was the guy, man. That was the guy who was like, “Back of planes! We’re going to be able to do Pottermore on the back of plane seats…”
Eric: “…across the transatlantic flights.” And I was just like, “Man, this guy is great!” And then he went back to what he did before he was doing Pottermore.
Andrew: Right, he went back to his old job.
Jamie: Wait, what did he say about all these promises? What did you say he said?
Eric: He essentially…
Andrew: He wants Pottermore everywhere. So he wants to get it, for example, in flight, like in flight entertainment.
Jamie: Oh, right. Okay.
Andrew: Yeah. He just wants Pottermore everywhere.
News: Rupert Grint to Make Stage Debut in West End Revival of Mojo
Andrew: So there’s a little exciting news for Rupert Grint fans. He is going to be making his stage debut in the West End revival of Mojo. [laughs]
Jamie: I don’t…
Andrew: It originally premiered in 1996 and… yeah, you haven’t heard of this one, Jamie?
Jamie: Not Mojo, no. I don’t know that.
Andrew: He’s going to be playing a… let’s see here. It’s about rival gangs in 1950s Soho and its rock and roll scene. Grint is going to be playing an amphetamine… I don’t know how you pronounce that.
Jamie: Oh, go on. Please try it.
Jamie: That’s going to really amuse me if you try it.
Andrew: Amphetamine. Amphetamine infected gang member. I knew it. I knew I knew it! It’s just a matter of getting it out of my mouth.
Jamie: It reminds me of that time, Andrew, when you were hungry and you suggested we go and eat some “thigh” food. Do you remember that?
Andrew: Yeah, “thigh” food.
Andrew: Like you actually clamp your mouth around somebody’s thigh.
Jamie: [laughs] That was funny. That was very funny.
Andrew: That was bad. That was bad.
Eric: Well, in Soho… no.
Eric: I can’t make that joke.
Andrew: Can I get “thigh” and Soho, and then go see Rupert?
Micah: Yeah, and have some amphe… well, however you want to say it.
Jamie: Whatever you said, I can’t even attempt to recreate it for you.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Andrew: And this is kind of taking a step in Dan Radcliffe’s direction, who has done numerous plays now. He’s currently in the play in the West End, The Cripple of an Innishmen, in London. And Emma Watson, too, recently, she mentioned that she wants to do some theater. She said it could be her next move after Brown. So everybody wants to do theater.
Jamie: So wait, why? Why? I mean, I don’t know, is this standard now that people do films and they do a bit of theater and then they go back to films?
Jamie: Or is it just unique to the Harry Potter trio?
Andrew: Well, maybe they’re looking at Dan Radcliffe and they’re like, “Oh, he’s had a lot of success and he’s probably enjoying it.” I’m sure Dan Radcliffe has said good things about it. Rupert, though, hasn’t really done much since Harry Potter.
Eric: Yeah, we don’t really have a statement from him saying that he even wanted to continue acting. Although we do know that he has tried starring in different things. There was a pilot called Super Clyde that didn’t get picked up for American TV audiences.
Andrew: CBS, yeah.
Eric: But I think… don’t all the best British actors, don’t they all do a lot of theater in addition to…
Jamie: I think they start. I think they start a lot in theater. Ian McKellan did, Patrick Stewart did.
Jamie: I guess so. I mean, I think it does help, doesn’t it? I mean, what’s his name? Wolverine, Hugh Jackman, started off in theater as well.
Eric: Yeah. So I mean…
Jamie: I think it helps. It gives you a more well rounded view of acting, maybe? Something like that?
Eric: Yeah, maybe. I think that’s probably it. The different formats, the different forms, allow you to really craft your skills. That’s just what I think of theater, so I think it makes sense that Rupert is trying. If he does want to continue, then that’s great. What I don’t know is what’s with all this drug addicted stuff [laughs] that everybody is doing? For instance, we just spoke with Harry Melling, who played Dudley in the series, and he just did a show about a bunch of… a family of drug addicts – drug traffickers, actually – and I was just thinking, “Well, that’s just the latest gritty topic for him to be talking about.”
Jamie: Oh, people like gritty, don’t they?
Eric: The point I’m trying to make is I prefer comedies, [laughs] so I don’t know. A good old Shakespearean romp, give me that over any of that drama.
Jamie: Here’s a question about him: Harry Melling, he’s gotten really skinny, hasn’t he?
Eric: Yeah, he has.
Jamie: Did he have to use a… fat suit they’re called, aren’t they?
Eric: I think he said that.
Andrew: No, I think he had that weight.
Eric: Yeah, we spoke with him recently, actually, about that show, which was called something Family Robinson. Crack Family Robinson? Smack Family Robinson.
Eric: That’s what it was called. Yeah, and I spoke with him, actually – he’s a nice guy – just during an interview. And he mentioned the weight loss and stuff, so that’s all… I’ll send you the transcript of that somewhere.
Jamie: Okay, cool. Yeah.
Andrew: I want to learn about his regimen. How did he do it?
Eric: [laughs] But yeah, no, seeing that Rupert… is this a musical? I’m trying to think…
Andrew: No, no.
Eric: Oh, okay. I just pictured West Side Story there for a moment.
Eric: But drug-addicted gang member… it’s a step into theater. We’ll see that.
Jamie: Like you said, Eric, people like this gritty stuff. They don’t want happy stuff. I don’t know why.
Andrew: Right. Well, because they can relate to it. Because life is gritty, Jamie.
Jamie: Yeah, life is gritty, right?
Jamie: In West Hollywood, yeah? Life is gritty there?
Andrew: Yes, yes. Well, it’s pretty and it’s also pretty gritty.
Andrew: But that’s why The Hunger Games is so popular right now. Because it’s very relatable.
Eric: Dystopian. Yeah, dystopian. Post-apocalyptic.
Jamie: The Hunger Games, I read the first one abroad. And I picked it up just because it was there. I went to one of those book-swap things.
Jamie: And I always thought it was a bit childish, if I’m honest. But I read it and I was like, “Wow, this is incredible.”
Jamie: And then we picked up the second one and read that. And then I just actually bought Mockingjay for my Kindle, so I’m going to read that soon as well. Oh, it’s fantastic, the first one.
Andrew: Good. Yeah, it is, isn’t it? Laura describes it as “dystopian for dummies.”
Eric and Jamie: “Dystopian for dummies”?
Andrew: It goes along the line of what you were saying, a bit childish. But…
Eric: That’s true. I think the second one is my favorite, though.
Jamie: Well, the only thing that annoyed me slightly, I think, was the way she called her characters, like President Snow. I don’t know why I just didn’t like that name. It was a bit like Twilight naming characters, conventions, like Jacob Black – they’re very simple names. I just thought it was a bit lazy. I don’t know.
Eric: I think we’ve been spoiled on seven J.K. Rowling books, though, to be fair.
Jamie: Well, yeah. Yeah.
Eric: With surnames like Scrimgeour, you know? It’s like, wow.
Jamie: Yeah, perhaps we’re used to what’s not normal, you know?
Micah: No, we’re just used to authors having thought in creating their characters.
Andrew: Ouch. Ouch.
Eric: Wow, Micah.
Jamie: Maybe. Although, Micah, I don’t know because I would say that Haymitch is one of the best characters. I think he’s one of my favorite characters in fiction, so…
Andrew: What now, Micah?
Andrew: And by the way, Haymitch, Katniss, Peeta – these aren’t popular… these aren’t common names. I mean, Snow and Coin are pretty basic, but…
Eric: Well, first names, it looks like she just dropped a box of alphabet soup…
Eric: …and came out with Katniss, Peeta… but no, last names… I don’t know. I think it takes something to create any character, not just a name. But I think we’re right. Naming conventions do tend to be… White, Snow… even some of the other characters in Catching Fire – I was just looking at the posters on Hypable, actually, for the next Catching Fire, and there’s Gloss and… what’s the other one? Not just Gloss…
Andrew: Finnick, Mags…
Eric: No, no, no, who’s the… Shiny? Or Smooth?
Jamie: Yeah, who’s the guy… the Nordic, Norse guy who throws a spear?
Andrew: Brutus? Is that Brutus?
Jamie: No, no, no, the guy who eats sugar cubes.
Jamie: I can’t…
Eric: Yeah, that’s Finnick.
Jamie: Oh, Finnick. Sorry. Finnick, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, he was quite a cool character but a bit 2D I thought, the way she painted him.
Andrew: He’s like the heartthrob of this next film.
Jamie: Well, you have to have one in the films if it’s going to…
Andrew: Don’t you? Don’t you? Well…
Jamie: You need the love triangle as well between… you have to have the… it’s like Bella and…
Jamie: …Edward and Jacob.
Eric: It was Cashmere. There’s a girl named Cashmere.
Andrew: Okay. See?
Jamie: Yeah, okay. That’s what it was.
Eric: Apparently it’s like… yup. I bet she’s got smooth skin.
MuggleCast 268 Transcript (continued)
Jamie’s British Joke/Anti-Joke of the Week
Andrew: So let’s move on here. It’s time now for a classic “Jamie’s British Joke of the Week.”
Jamie: Now, you’ve kind of sprung this on me, haven’t you?
Andrew: I didn’t write this.
Eric: Well, it wasn’t… yeah, I wrote this, but I think it… I feel it’s necessary. If we have to take a pause for you to get one…
Jamie: Well, luckily enough…
Eric: This was such a staple, and… yes?
Jamie: Oh sorry, I thought my connection died there. Luckily enough, someone told me one at work. But I don’t know if this thing that it refers to is a British thing only, so I’ll try and see how it goes down, okay? What type of owl is the most common owl?
Andrew: I don’t know. What?
Jamie: A [pronounces as “tea towel”] teat owl.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: That must be British.
Jamie: What do you guys use, then?
Andrew: What do you mean? To do what?
Eric: We don’t have tea.
Jamie: To… no, you don’t use it for tea!
Eric: What’s a tea towel?
Jamie: What do you use to dry, like if you wash stuff up and then dry it? What do you use?
Andrew: Just a towel.
Eric: A dish towel. Wash towel.
Jamie: Oh, okay. Okay. A wash towel.
Eric: I think calling it a tea towel is a British thing.
Jamie: Okay. Well, I take that back then and say, what type of owl is the most common? A wash towel. It doesn’t really work.
Andrew: No, but that was very British, and it is a British Joke of the Week.
Jamie: True, true, true.
Andrew: So thank you, Jamie. It was enlightening.
Jamie: You’re very welcome.
[Andrew and Jamie laugh]
Eric: Do you have anymore, Jamie? You have no idea…
Jamie: No, no. I’m out.
Eric: …how much people look forward… our listeners have been looking forward to it. So if you have another, I’d say we should definitely share.
Jamie: No, I’m completely out. I’ve not actually heard any good jokes recently.
Jamie: I don’t know why that is. I don’t know if there’s just a lack of jokes going around.
Andrew: Going around. [laughs]
Jamie: But I have actually noticed… yeah. No, no, I’ve noticed that anti-jokes are quite popular now. Have you guys heard those?
Jamie: Yeah, it’s like jokes which just don’t make any sense at all, and they’re just designed to bomb, and the fact that they bomb is funny. And now that I’ve said that, I can’t think of a single example of it.
Andrew: Like sarcasm, sort of?
Jamie: Yeah, I think so. Yeah, yeah. But no, not really. I don’t know the sort of term behind it, but they’re very strange. They’re very strange. If anyone has any anti-jokes, write in because I like them a lot.
Andrew: Sure, okay. [laughs]
Micah: I’ve got one, hold on. [pauses then laughs]
Andrew: Ha ha, that’s funny.
Micah: [laughs] No, no, I…
Andrew: Well, let me talk about Potted Potter for a second.
Micah: I Googled “anti-joke” and there’s actually a website, Anti-Joke.com.
Eric: [laughs] I did this, too.
Micah: So maybe this is what you were going for, Jamie. So there’s this kid…
Jamie: Okay, go on.
Micah: …who says, “Dear Santa, send me a brother.” And then Santa replies by saying, “Send me your mother.”
Jamie: No, no, I don’t think I do mean that. I don’t really get that. [laughs] I mean, here’s…
Micah: [laughs] Well, isn’t that the point?
Jamie: No. Well… no. I mean, it has to make some type of sense. You can’t just stick anything in.
Micah: Okay. Well, how about this? Why did the girl smear peanut butter on the road?
Jamie: Yeah? I don’t know.
Micah: To go with the traffic jam.
Jamie: Yeah, that’s quite good. But that’s just a normal joke. [laughs]
Eric: No, I found one. This might be an anti-joke: Why did the boy drop his ice cream?
Jamie: I don’t know. Why?
Eric: Because he was hit by a bus.
Jamie: Yeah, kind of. Yeah, I think that would work better like, why did the boy drop the ice cream? Because he wasn’t concentrating on what he was doing.
[Eric and Jamie laugh]
Andrew: Right, right. Something super obvious.
Jamie: Yeah, yeah.
Eric: Okay, okay.
Andrew: It’s like… okay, so it would be like, why did the chicken cross the road? Because he was just walking across the street, you idiot!
Jamie: Yeah, yeah, basically. Yeah.
Eric: That might be the original anti-joke: To get to the other side.
Jamie: You say that, but I actually heard something about this the other day that I didn’t realize was this explanation. Apparently that joke is amusing because to get to the other side, i.e. to cross the street and go to the other side of the street, but also because if you die you’re said to go to the other side. So apparently it works on both levels, and that’s why it’s funny.
Eric: Oh! If his journey to cross the road is successful or not, it works.
Jamie: Yeah. Either way he goes to the other side.
Eric: That’s perfect for Schrodinger’s equation, then. [laughs]
Review: Potted Potter
Andrew: Well, that was very enlightening. Have you guys… Micah or Eric, have either of you seen Potted Potter?
Eric: I have.
Andrew: Okay, you have. So I actually saw it for the first time a couple of days ago. It was really good. What did you think of it? Did we ever talk about it on MuggleCast?
Eric: Did we? We may have. I didn’t like it at all.
Andrew: Oh, really?
Eric: Unfortunately, I just felt… the problem I had with it – I can be very succinct with this – is it was too shallow.
Eric: It was surface-knowledge of Harry Potter only. The way it’s advertised is having been like, “condensed, seven books into an hour spectacle!”
Andrew: Seventy minutes. That’s what they say, yeah.
Eric: How many minutes?
Andrew: Seventy. Seven-zero.
Eric: Yeah, yeah. And for seventy minutes, I can’t remember a single intelligent thing that we did. They threw a Quidditch thing, we played Quidditch with a bouncy ball and the audience. That was it! It was a big inflated beach ball and that was the show, and it just felt…
Andrew: I actually… I liked it but I said this to who I saw it with – I said this is not for hardcore fans. It’s just for… it’s just entertainment. It’s just Harry Potter-related entertainment. And the audience really seemed to enjoy the show and I enjoyed it. But you can’t take it seriously. You can’t go in expecting that this is going to be [laughs] a thorough review of the Harry Potter books.
Andrew: It’s just comedy.
Eric: Yeah. You cannot expect them to have the same level of references – and I would say even respect – for the source material that even StarKid has in their shows.
Andrew: And as I brought up to the person I saw it with, you can’t… but that’s good because you don’t want it to appeal to a smaller audience; you want it to appeal to as broad an audience as possible.
Eric: It’s almost to the point where it didn’t appeal to me at all. I felt too old; I felt too old to be there. It’s just given how successful Potted Potter is… I saw it when it was touring to Chicago. They did a huge tour and now they’re in New York, and it’s on taxi cabs and it’s on banners and billboards. To see that these guys, Dan and Jake or whatever their names are – Dan and Dave, Dan and Mike, something like that – are on Broadway and StarKid is not, that’s just the biggest kick in the face that you could…
Andrew: I don’t think StarKid wants to be, though. Do they?
Eric: Well, they will eventually. But I mean, not with Harry Potter.
Eric: It’s just… if there’s a Harry Potter show as wide as to be on Broadway, I expect it to be of a much higher caliber than just a surface shallow… even if it’s fun, even if it’s entertaining, I expect it to have a little bit more to do with the books. Perhaps I’m just expecting too much or being too harsh about it and… what’s the word? Strict or something like that. I had fun, but if I had paid to go see it, more than the thirty-five… the tickets are even pretty expensive, but I think my friend chipped in or maybe somebody couldn’t go and I went either for free or for reduced cost. If I had paid full price I would have been very upset.
Jamie: So, Eric, I can’t really tell, did you like it or…
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: I don’t think he did.
Jamie: Sorry, bad joke. [laughs]
Eric: But it’s okay, I will respect anybody…
Eric: …who went there and had a fun time.
Jamie: Anti-joke, yeah.
Eric: It’s amusing for kids. It really would have been a family show which is what, I guess, people expect in Harry Potter.
Andrew: Yeah, there were a bunch of families there.
Eric: It just does the same thing for Harry Potter as putting it on a children’s book list.
Eric: It just isolates it, makes it for only kids to see and enjoy. It’s… I don’t know.
Micah: Yeah. Well, I see it all the time around in the city. I see it, actually, mainly on garbage cans. Like, they…
Micah: …decorate these garbage cans. They have these little owls sticking out of the tops, so…
Andrew: Yeah. It must be expensive because they’re right…
Micah: Not too sure about that.
Andrew: Well, they must be right… they’re right in Times Square. I was actually pretty surprised by…
Andrew: That must be expensive. Anyway, so Potted Potter, I would recommend it – I enjoyed it. But you can’t go in there expecting an actual review of the seven Harry Potter books. It’s very, very broad. Very broad.
Eric: Mhm. Yeah.
Muggle Mail: Similarities Between the Royal Baby and Harry Potter
Andrew: Let’s get to some emails. We have a couple of emails now. This first one is from Katharine, 16, of London, writing about the “Half-Blood Prince of [pronounces incorrectly Cambridge.”
Eric: This is perfect for you, Jamie. We’ve got the new royal baby…
Eric: …and we’ve got a British gentleman to represent.
Jamie: I just have to point out…
Jamie: Andrew, what did you say the title was again?
Andrew: Okay, you think it’s [pronounces correctly] Cambridge, right?
Jamie: Well, I don’t think it’s Cambridge. I know.
Andrew: All right, Cambridge.
“Hey everyone, I love the show. I only got into ‘Potter’ in the last year so it was great to discover that there was still an active community, so it sucks that the show is ending. I was thinking that with all the news of the royal baby how perfect the series would be for him to read when he gets older. From an extremely young age, both the Prince and Harry become famous and revered around the world. They are both expected to serve the people, even though they didn’t really get to choose that they would be special. They both will live out virtually their entire lives in the public eye and will be obligated to do good for communities. They are both frequently under scrutiny from the tabloids. There is also the fact that they are both ‘half-bloods.’ James was from an old noble wizarding family and Lily was from an ordinary Muggle one. William is from a noble, royal family and Kate is from a normal, middle-class one. Anyway, I just thought that there were lots of similarities between them. Also, I have a feeling that if Jo found out that the future king wanted a Marauders’ era book, she would write one! Thanks for opening the door for me into the entire fandom.”
Jamie: I think that’s a really nice email.
Jamie: I think that is true. All of it is true. You can’t really argue with it. That would be great if he did grow up and read all of the books and got really into them and was this kind of out-there prince who liked Harry Potter and… but hey, we could revamp the show in twenty years and have him on as a guest, right?
Andrew: Yeah. When the reboot films start happening.
Micah: That’s right.
Jamie: Yeah, that’s true. Yeah.
Micah: And they were both born as the seventh month dies. I don’t know if that was…
Eric: Oh, God! [laughs]
Micah: …thrown in here.
Jamie: Nice. Nice.
Andrew: Good point. Good point.
Micah: I stole that from Lord Voldemort on Twitter, though. I saw that a couple of days ago.
Jamie: That’s very honest.
Micah: I’m just being honest. Look, I’m sourcing my material so I don’t get a lawsuit or anything like that.
Jamie: [laughs] Yeah.
Andrew: I stopped following him because he does sponsored tweets which are so annoying.
Jamie: Well, here’s a question: Who is it and how have they got two and a half million followers?
Andrew: He doesn’t reveal his identity. He does it just by being funny and he gets lots of retweets. These fake accounts where you pretend to be somebody else in their voice…
Andrew: …are very popular.
Jamie: Yeah, but I just… two and a half million. He must make a load per sponsored tweet.
Jamie: Although… yeah. Weird.
Andrew: He doesn’t reveal himself. I tried to interview him for MuggleNet and he wouldn’t do it.
Andrew: He did one as Lord Voldemort though, but not himself.
Micah: It’s really J.K. Rowling.
Jamie: Yeah, yeah.
Micah: That’s what she spends time on. There you go.
Andrew: By the way, she said, this emailer, Katharine says:
“I have a feeling that if Jo found out that the future king wanted a Marauders’ era book, she would write one!”
I don’t think so. [laughs] I don’t think even…
Eric: Just for him?
Andrew: I don’t even think this new kid could do it. George Louis Bumblebee, whatever.
Eric: [laughs] Prince George Alexander Louis. Excuse me.
Andrew: Oh. There you go.
Eric: That was just for Jamie’s sake. Actually, Comedy Central had a funny tweet I think I should share because the name, George Alexander Louis… and this may be… it’s very clearly either a royal custom or just customary to honor previous royalty or previous kings, previous rulers, that sort of thing. They named the child George Alexander Louis as a name, and I think it’s Comedy Central on Twitter – or Indecision, whatever that account is – said his actual full name is Prince George Alexander Louis Harry Potter Doctor Who The Beatles of Cambridge.
Jamie: [laughs] Nice. That’s very… sends it on a…
Eric: Just… yeah.
Andrew: Okay, final email today. This is a bit of a long one. [clears throat]
I’ve been listening to your show since around Episode 50, but this is the first time I’m writing to you.”
[Audio glitches and interrupts]
Andrew: Oh, sorry. I think everything froze up for a second. Are we good now?
Eric: Oh, wait. Can we… what was your response?
Jamie: The voices are going a bit weird.
Andrew: Hold on. Can you still hear me? Hello? Hello?
Eric: Yeah, yeah. You went away. I don’t think it…
Andrew: Oh, okay.
Eric: It probably wasn’t recorded.
Micah: Yeah, we…
Andrew: I think it crapped out for a second. I was just moving on to the next email.
Eric: Oh, yeah. But what was your response, Jamie? Just say it again about that full name, The Beatles?
Jamie: Oh, right. Yeah, that’s, I think, humor for Americans. You’re just picking the three British exports. But there are only a certain amount of names that British royal births can take. They’re expected to go along a certain sort of… like a certain type of name, traditional name. And also, I did read a piece on their names came from grandfathers and great grandmothers. Sorry, grandfathers, rather. That would have… yeah. So yeah, I think… yeah. It was to be expected and I think the bookmakers had George as the favorite. So…
Eric: Huh, okay.
Jamie: Interesting though, yeah.
Muggle Mail: Alternate Endings
Andrew: Final email of the day. This comes from Sophie. Sophie?
I’ve been listening to your show since around Episode 50, but this is the first time I’m writing to you. I’ve really enjoyed MuggleCast over the years and wanted to say thank you and congrats on your amazing eight-year run. Here’s hoping you all achieve such levels of success in your future endeavors, too.
I also have a suggestion for a Favorites segment, if you still have time left in the show for it: Favorite alternate ‘Harry Potter’ ending. (I thought this might be fitting, since MuggleCast is formally ending its run, too!) Just for kicks, here is the ending that I always kind of wanted to happen:
In Book 7, Ron is killed in Malfoy Manor while attempting to save Hermione from Bellatrix.”
Jamie: Start off heavy, yeah.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
“Harry and Hermione are forced to continue the journey alone. They do defeat Voldemort during the Battle of Hogwarts, but afterwards, Ginny cannot help but partially blame Harry for Ron’s death (since it was Harry’s fault they ended up in Malfoy Manor in the first place), and they are unable to make up. Harry becomes the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts, which he finally realized was his true calling after reflecting upon how much he enjoyed heading the DA meetings. Having broken the curse that Voldemort placed upon the position, he enjoys many years as one of the most popular DADA teachers in the history of Hogwarts. Meanwhile, Hermione moves up the ranks in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement (as in the canon), and the epilogue depicts her visiting Harry’s office late one afternoon, many years after their time as Hogwarts students; they reminisce about old times and how much has changed since Voldemort’s final downfall.”
So this is saying Ron and Hermione, obviously, wouldn’t be together. Harry and Ginny wouldn’t be together.
Jamie: Does Ginny hate Harry?
Andrew: Does this also mean that Harry and Hermione could potentially get together?
Micah: Well, she is visiting his office late one afternoon.
Jamie: And then the film closes and… yeah.
Eric: I think I can see where this is going…
Jamie: It’s left to the imagination.
Eric: …yeah, fairly early on once you remove Ginny and Ron from the equation.
Jamie: I think Sophie is a secret Harry-Hermione fan.
Eric: It’s true. It’s true. There’s one word for those people. [laughs]
Andrew: I like this idea of…
Jamie: [laughs] Yeah.
Andrew: …alternate Harry Potter ending. I mean, I would have seen… I would have preferred to see Harry not get with Ginny, and I think the movies did that for me. I can’t even remember book Ginny anymore. I just know…
Eric: She’s great.
Andrew: …that Ginny in the films, I think, is one of the worst casting choices ever. She’s just so boring.
Eric: They didn’t use her well.
Andrew: I don’t like Bonnie Wright. So I… for Harry to get with Ginny after all this. Oh, gosh. Come on! I would have liked to see Harry and Hermione get together.
Jamie: Delusional. Oh no, sorry, you aren’t supposed to say that.
Eric: Yeah, that was the word! That was the word. Oh, you got it. Jamie, it’s good to have you back.
Jamie: I didn’t want to say it. I didn’t want to. But then I thought I just would, I’d go for it.
Eric: You might want to get that looked at, that syndrome that makes you shout things out. [laughs]
Jamie: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: That’s a good question. Do you guys have any… if you could change one thing about the way the Harry Potter books ended, maybe something within the epilogue, would you have changed that?
Jamie: I don’t know. I mean, it’s tough to go back now and say… the epilogue doesn’t really change the story. I wonder if… I don’t know. I mean, the thing is… the epilogue centers around the start…
Micah: It’s okay, it’s okay. You’re old, you don’t remember…
Jamie: [laughs] Yeah. The epilogue starts as the whole series started, with starting the journey to Hogwarts. I wonder if that sort of planted in people’s ideas that that sort of thing could restart the story or something like that. I wonder if they could… she could have gone for a traditional… yeah, they reminisce about old times type of thing and focus on the people who have been in the books, which… although she did in revealing who they got together with and the children and stuff, I wonder if having a focus on everything they had gone through, maybe, might have been… maybe, I don’t know. What do you guys think?
Eric: If I could change, like as alternate endings, I would either make Voldemort win [laughs] just for kicks…
Jamie: That’s the ultimate alternate ending.
Eric: That is the ultimate alternate ending, isn’t it? But actually I would just have preferred… and this goes to sort of a deep-seeded dislike for some of the events of Book 7, but in general I just think Voldemort was hyped up quite a bit more than he should have been, considering in Book 7 he just continually makes mistake after mistake after mistake. He very rushedly goes into battle with Harry, and then loses and dies.
Jamie: Well, hey, hey. What do you mean events that you didn’t like in Book 7? Because I feel the need to pick you up on that.
Eric: Oh, okay. I’ll definitely converse with you on it. I think though… it just comes to Voldemort. It really comes down to Voldemort. And the backstory, particularly in Half-Blood Prince, of him carefully and cautiously lining up these Horcruxes and creation. And when he finds out that Harry… when he eventually finds out that Harry has been destroying them, he – if I recall – drops what he’s doing, flies to Hogwarts, and proceeds to make – and it’s been a while, so I can’t do terribly specifics – a lot of mistakes in terms of giving the rest of his Horcruxes up to die. For instance, the scene with Neville and the snake. He basically looks the other way and is distracted by Harry while Neville is able to escape.
Jamie: Fair point, but I think her point – Rowling’s point – is that he was suffering from hubris. He thought he had won, he wasn’t really looking at… thinking that the possibility that he could lose, maybe.
Eric: I kind of see that, but it just… it’s so sad to see your villain, this compelling villain, arch enemy, be defeated so easily because he is proud. It tells the story, but it tells a story that’s been told a hundred times before. I prefer the Moriarty type of villain – the villain who can’t be beat, who can’t be… who’s actually an equal match, whereas even Harry as the hero is only casting Expelliarmus, or even at the very end it’s… the battle… I expect it to be because Harry was so outnumbered or so. He had the odds against him so deeply. I expected more of a… I guess…
Jamie: That’s certainly an interesting point, but I wonder… I don’t think a Moriarty figure would fit with the way the books focus on triumph good over evil. Since the beginning, you knew Harry was going to win. I mean, that was absolutely clear. It was… it couldn’t end with Voldemort winning. So I don’t know if that Moriarty… I mean, I agree with you. He’s a great villain, Moriarty, and he works so well for Sherlock Holmes, but I don’t know if the same thing would work for Potter.
Jamie: Interesting, though.
Andrew: No, I agree. Micah, did you have any?
Micah: It’s tough because I think that to take this and completely change the ending… maybe something along the lines of, “And Harry woke up.”
Andrew: [laughs] That would be awesome.
Jamie: Oh yeah, that would be nice, wouldn’t it?
Andrew: No, it would not be nice.
Eric: Would you have ended it in “scar”? I feel like one of us should be saying…
Micah: No, no, but maybe he wakes up after having gotten bitten from the snake that escaped from the zoo, and…
Micah: …this has all been nothing but a dream.
Jamie: Yeah, yeah.
Micah: He looks into the face of his doctor and it’s really Albus Dumbledore or something.
Eric: [laughs] You were there, and you were there, and you were there.
Micah: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
Jamie: That would be horrible.
Micah: What was the TV show that did that? Dallas? I want to say… a couple of TV shows have modeled endings off of that.
Eric: Life on Mars. The US version of Life on Mars ended similarly.
Jamie: Yeah, but you can’t do that now, can you? I didn’t think that was… people hate that type of thing.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Jamie: I mean, Family Guy took the mickey out of that, didn’t they? They said… there was that episode where it was all Stewie’s creation and Brian said, “Don’t you think the viewers are going to be annoyed that you… that the entire thing is just completely made up and everything that they’ve been watching for the last hour didn’t actually happen?”
Jamie: Which is true, I think.
Eric: It gets annoying because it’s a lot of information to take in and at the end, people just feel like it’s a waste. I had that question leading up to Book 7. If Harry does die, won’t people feel like it’s a waste reading seven books of his struggle and his journey?
Jamie: I think that’s true, yeah.
Eric: What will it matter? All that other stuff. But I will say that the waking up thing that Micah was talking about… actually, I heard a recent panel at the cons… I’ve just been hearing a growing voice in the community saying because of Harry’s abuse from the Dursleys, being shunted in the cupboard under the stairs, that it could have caused him to create an alternate reality. Say he went crazy from the abuse that the… the Dursleys, and that caused him to hallucinate or imagine these events in which he is a hero. How deep is that?
Jamie: That is Matrix level deep.
Eric: Yeah. Or is it Inception? Is it quite Inception or not?
Jamie: Oh, it’s Inception. Yeah, yeah.
Jamie: Wouldn’t that be cool, Harry Potter–Inception combination mash-up type thing? I’d love to see that.
Eric: Deeper… yeah, that, I think, would be less cheesy than necessarily the Wizard of Oz – if you want to call it that – reveal where it’s a dream. But it’s still, I think, is one of those scarily… you think it’s plausible for a kid to go crazy like that. So it’s a dark subject, but definitely an interesting thought.
Jamie: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: This has been a very all over the place episode of MuggleCast, I have to say.
[Eric and Jamie laugh]
Jamie: Yeah, it is. Yeah.
Andrew: But I would expect no less when Jamie is on.
[Andrew and Jamie laugh]
Andrew: No, it was good. Jamie, thank you for coming on. We appreciate you a lot.
Jamie: Thanks for inviting me again, yeah!
Andrew: Of course. Everybody wanted to…
Jamie: It’s nice to be back.
Andrew: Yeah, everybody wanted to have you on, so I’m sure everybody will enjoy this episode very much. We’ll be back with one more regular episode of MuggleCast…
Jamie: So, guys, tell me.
Jamie: One more? No, I was just going to ask how many more.
Andrew: Oh, okay. Yeah, we’re planning on ending it next month, which would be… which would mark exactly eight years. Because we started…
Jamie: Eight years. Wow.
Andrew: …in August 2005, so it will be eight years. And we’ve said to people, even though it’ll be the end, if something monumental happens, of course we’ll release another episode. We’re just… this is just going to be the end of regular releases. For example, if J.K. Rowling’s The Cuckoo’s Calling…
Jamie: End of era, right?
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs] If J.K. Rowling’s The Cuckoo’s Calling…
Andrew: …came out [and] was unveiled this October, we would do an episode about it.
Andrew: Same thing when the theme park opens up next year, the new expansion opens up next year. We’ll probably do an episode, et cetera, et cetera. So that’s what’s happening. Thank you, everybody, for listening. Once again… what are we doing now, guys? mugglecast at gmail dot com? Is that…
Eric: Yeah, that’s it. I think I may have to make one or two more adjustments to the feedback form, but it is mugglecast at gmail dot com to just immediately contact us…
Eric: …via email.
Andrew: And do that. Send in all the emails. We’ll try to spend a lot of time on emails next episode. And…
Jamie: And also, I want some anti-jokes, so send in some anti-jokes.
Andrew: [laughs] Okay.
Eric: [laughs] Yes.
Andrew: All right. And MuggleCast.com, all the links you need over there. Follow us on Twitter, Twitter.com/MuggleCast. We got the Facebook, Facebook.com/MuggleCast, the fan Tumblr, which is MuggleCast.Tumblr.com, and some other links there as well. Thank you, everybody, for listening. I’m Andrew Sims.
Jamie: I’m Jamie Lawrence.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: And I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
[Show music begins]
Andrew: Jamie gone for two years and steps into the number two position.
Jamie: Yeah, I just thought I was going to go for it. I wasn’t sure how it would go down.
Eric: It’s all yours, mate.
Andrew: Thanks again, Jamie, for coming on. We’ll see everybody next time…
Jamie: See you, guys!
Andrew: …for Episode 269. Goodbye.
[Show music continues]