Jamie: We have a slight rebuttal here who says that Ariana could be the person who learned magic later in life.
Eric: Yeah, but we didn't know her beforehand.
Jamie: Oh, that is true. Yeah. Yeah, that is very true.
Eric: We didn't know anything about - the whole Dumbledore family was a slightly interesting spin on it.
Eric: Especially when we talk about Albus, who was talking about how he was actually power hungry in his younger years and, you know, wanting to overtake the Muggles. That was a really interesting twist on Dumbledore's character.
Laura: That was what I loved about that, because Dumbledore basically told Harry the reason he turned down his position at the Ministry was - okay, I'm speaking louder - the reason he turned down a position at the Ministry as Minister was because he knew he'd get out of control.
Eric: With power.
Eric: Some people can't handle the power.
Kevin: How about the Mirror of Erised? I think that was brilliant.
Kevin: Throughout all the books you're thinking Dumbledore would only see...
Kevin: ...a pair of socks.
Kevin: ...but then you realize that...
Andrew: You don't really think that.
Kevin: No, no, but that's what you were told.
Eric: That was such a shocker!
Kevin: That's what you were told but...
Andrew: Yeah, but obviously he was joking.
Kevin: ...you never realized he saw exactly what Harry saw. He saw his family.
Eric: That was one of the coolest moments in the book, in my opinion.
Jamie: It was very cool.
Laura: That's true.
Jamie: Laura, here's an e-mail for you from Carla, with the subject "Laura, Laura, Laura." "I love her hair, she looks very pretty. Could you tell her that? Thanks."
Laura: Oh well, I'm glad you think so. I look like I sat for an hour crying, but...
Jamie: There are also a couple of e-mails, quite a few, asking what has happened with Jo's naming of characters in the epilogue, because some people aren't happy with...
Andrew: Well, I'm not happy either. I have to say that the epilogue was one of the things that got spoiled for me and the names were so obscure I couldn't believe it.
Eric: Yeah, well, no, Hugo was obscure, but everybody else was named after their parents.
Andrew: Which seemed a little - I don't know, was it just me or...
Eric: Albus Severus, Lily James, Albus Severus...
Jamie: Let's face it, though, when you spend that much time and you've met all these heroes and nice people, you'd be very, very...
Eric: Grateful, it's a tribute.
Andrew: It is a tribute.
Eric: Especially, you know, the Albus with the middle name Severus...
Andrew: [singing] Tribute.
Eric: And, you know, Harry explained that they're named after, like, the two great headmasters. One of them is the most, you know - what do you say? Courageous...
Eric: Yeah, the bravest man I know. You know, that was all interesting that they named each other after, you know, their parents, but it was still a little bit confusing, the names and the way she gradually introduced who was who's brother and stuff and who was - you know, for instance, I liked Draco, at the end. I liked seeing Draco.
Kevin: I was upset that Draco wasn't more involved...
Eric: I agree.
Kevin: ...with Ron, Hermione...
Jamie: We have an e-mail from Chris who asked, "What do you guys think of how adult this book was? I think both just in, you know, the writing style, 'cause Jo's come a long way in how she's written but also in the use of her curse words quite a few times, like when..."
Kevin: Oh, definitely, yeah.
Jamie: "...Mrs. Weasley calls Bellatrix a bitch."
Andrew: Mrs. Weasley killed Bellatrix! Oh my God!
Laura: Yeah, I was surprised! I expected that to be Neville's fight.
Andrew: Oh my God!
Laura: I know.
Andrew: Seriously. And I don't think she got - there was enough storytelling going on then, there should have been a moment where it was like, Mrs. Weasley actually killed someone. Mrs. Weasley killed Bellatrix.
Laura: No, but that line was the best line in the whole book. She was like...
Eric: "Get away! You will not hurt anymore of my family!"
Laura: She was like, "Not my daughter, you bitch!" That was the best line ever.
Eric: Yeah, it was crazy.
Jamie: Here's an e-mail from Sammy, who says, "How do the authors of the MuggleNet book feel about their hundred to one odds against Dobby's death?"
Jamie: We'll get back to you on that one, Sammy.
Laura: I got a little sad, and I think I was actually sitting over here on the floor, and I sort of, like, I was like, "No!"
Eric: She was rocking back and forth, I think.
Andrew: I think that was one of the saddest deaths, 'cause...
Laura: Yeah, it was so sad.
Kevin: Especially the way it happened...
Kevin: ...because you were so close to - so close to getting out.
Andrew: And those little words: "Harry took his little body..."
Kevin: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: And like the little words.
Kevin: Oh, what did you think about him digging his grave?
Laura: Oh yeah. Oh my gosh.
Eric: Well, with a spade, with a little, little, not even like a proper shovel, with a little spade.
Andrew: And then Griphook called him out on that. I was like, "What?"
Eric: Yeah, Griphook's like, "You're a strange dude."
Kevin: An odd wizard, yeah.
Eric: You're an odd wizard.
Andrew: He wants to pay his respects. Andrew's on video!
Jamie: We have quite a few questions saying that stuff that Jo said she would explain, she hasn't actually explained. For example, the fact that Harry's parents' professions weren't ever talked about in the seventh book and, obviously, the Veil, which was a big disappointment for some people.
Laura: But, you know, there were a lot of veil references in this book. Like, at one point, Harry - I forget which character it was - was it Hermione, I think? He talked about feeling like he was separated from her by a veil...
Eric: Well, that was also explained in the Resurrection Stone, where they analyze kind of returning to life but not really being alive. It wasn't really the Veil, though.
Jamie: Now, Laura, you mentioned it was a complete bloodbath, I think at some point, and there have been a few e-mails asking if all of the deaths were completely necessary, like Lupin and Tonks.
Andrew and Eric: No, they weren't.
Kevin: No, I thought that was. I saw that coming a mile away...
Eric: He did, he's very happy.
Kevin: And the reason being, is when Lupin came in and said, "Harry, I want you to be his Godfather," I knew he was dead.
Kevin: I knew him and Tonks were dead, immediately.
Laura: I guess I should've seen that coming.
Jamie: Very interesting, it follows the parents.
Kevin: And I just screamed to myself, because it is such a parallel.
Eric: But they didn't make...
Laura: It really is, between Harry and the Potters.
Laura: Not the band.
Kevin: Harry and Sirius.
Eric: And it even said, Harry thought he was shaping up to be just a good a Godfather as Sirius.
Eric: But Harry doesn't - Harry doesn't raise Ted Tonks, does he? 'Cause he's just kind of in the background in the epilogue.
Eric: Ted Lupin - Ted Remus Lupin is raised by Tonks' mother, I guess.
Andrew and Kevin: Yeah.
Eric: And it's just at the other end of the platform. They're like, "Ah! He's our Godson."
Kevin: But also, they say that he is over their house so often he might as well just move in.
Andrew and Jamie: Yeah.
Jamie: Here's a very interesting question from New Zealand.
Andrew: Wait, wait, can I say one thing real quick?
Andrew: The one - the one piece of foreshadowing that really bugged me, and it bugged me because I had already read the epilogue, was when Harry's talking to Ron, I think very early on in the book. They're talking about Ginny, and Harry was like, "I'm not going to, like, marry her or anything." And I was like, "Oh my God!"
Laura: Yes, you are.
Jamie and Kevin: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: That's so obnoxiously placed in the book.
Kevin: It is.
Andrew: It's so obvious. It made me go like this with my hat, for everyone that's watching on UStream.
Jamie: It's a pretty serious response, that...
Laura: You know what, though? I'm very glad that I wasn't spoiled, because little lines like that didn't jump out at me the way that they would jump out at some people...
Andrew and Jamie: Yeah.
Laura: ...who had been spoiled.
Andrew: Like, if you had already known what was happening, it looked obnoxiously placed, which sort of is the reason why it annoyed me. [laughs]
Laura: I thought it was ironic, the way it was placed, more than anything. Because, of course, you knew they were going to grow up and get married.
Eric: Yeah, but they did. I'm glad Ginny didn't die. You know, with how many deaths I'm not too happy about, I'm glad with who survived. I really, really...
Jamie: It really is very interesting.
Eric: I really am.
Jamie: This question from New Zealand, which I think is a very, very potent question considering the end of the book: who do we respect more now, Snape or Dumbledore?
Andrew: Oh, still...
Eric: That's a really good question.
Andrew: Still Dumbledore because this was all Dumbledore's grand plan, so...
Kevin: Yeah, it was, yeah.
Eric: Yeah, but...
Andrew: He had been thinking about this all the time.
Kevin: But I think you said during the podcast at Waterstones that you considered Dumbledore and Snape...
Kevin: Well, Dumbledore and Voldemort as the most powerful wizards, and then Snape under. And you said by a decent margin. But now you have to wonder how big that margin was. Snape was extremely, extremely talented with that whole curse scene.
Jamie: He was. But saying that now, Voldemort killed him very, very, very, very easily.
Kevin: It's true.
Eric: What, with the giant snake.
Laura: But I almost felt like...
Jamie: Yeah, but a giant snake is just a snake.
Laura: Snape somewhat took it...
Jamie: He did take it.
Laura: ...n a way...
Jamie: He took it like a man.
Laura: ...because he knew he had to.
Jamie: He did, yeah, he really did.
Eric: One of the things that surprised me was the portrait of Dumbledore being able to continue to convey instructions and formulate plans to tell Snape how to react all year to Harry and to give him the sword, and stuff. You guys know that? I mean, the whole portrait thing - we speculated whether they were just personalities or reflections, or something...
Andrew: That was full information that was coming on. Yeah, yeah.
Eric: That was Dumbledore...
Kevin: But see, that's why - I think I said during the Waterstones thing that I think that the person may have a choice what they can put in their portrait; a choice of information.
Andrew: Yeah. That whole Dumbledore scene, though, where Harry is - or Dumbledore is explaining everything to Harry, really got me, because Jo really put emphasis on the fact that Dumbledore was dead at that charity reading back in August.
Andrew: Whereas with Sirius, it wasn't like, "Yes, Sirius is dead, that's it." She said that about Dumbledore, yet Dumbledore comes back and does this whole scene explaining every little thing...
Kevin: And not Sirius.
Andrew: ...so it was kind of backwards, if you ask me.
Laura: But here's the thing, though. Do you guys really think that was Dumbledore or do you think it was in Harry's head?
Eric: No, it had to be Dumbledore, I think...
Jamie: Yeah, it was Dumbledore.
Eric: ...because even though it was in Harry's head, there was stuff that Harry could not have known.
Andrew: Yeah, that's true.
Eric: Harry actually got answers that, you know, even in the back of his mind, you know, maybe his mind fabricated it. Which is, you know, you can take that and make of it what you want.
Laura: But see, I wonder - I guess I wonder if Harry had become versed enough to sort of gain the answers on his own.
Eric: To answer his own questions.
Andrew: I'll have to read it all again. That was very, very, very descriptive. And it got so it started making my mind go numb.
Jamie: It was awesome, though. I love the whole Dumbledore story line, because it just showed that he's human. The entire thing - you know, people aren't perfect. And anyone who thought he was perfect, throughout all the books, was living a fairy tale, because everyone has skeletons in their closets; Dumbledore's the same. And I - people do hate him now, I just - I don't understand it, because I think I like him even more.
Kevin: Yeah, I....
Laura: Dumbledore's story is so heartbreaking. I mean...
Kevin: I like the parallel between Dumbledore and Voldemort in the sense of the Hallows. And during that scene, it really - it stuck with me how he said that, "Harry, you are the better man."
Kevin: Because it's somewhat true. You know, looking back at the mistakes Dumbledore has made, it's pretty apparent that Harry has made better choices.
Jamie: One question we keep getting is, in the epilogue, we find out that Ted Lupin is kissing a girl called Victoire - I don't know how you pronounce it - which sounds, a lot of people have pointed out, very French. So could it be the girl through Bill and Fleur?
Laura: Oh, I think so!
Kevin: They made reference to that. Because they said, "Oh, if he gets married, then he'll truly be family."
Laura: Yeah. It has to be.
Kevin: It has to be.
Andrew: Has to be!
Kevin: Has to be.
Eric: Well, let's deal with Bill and Fleur. They weren't even - Fleur wasn't - were they in the Great Hall? Because, like, so many people came through the Room of Requirement to come in. Even Percy, which was awesome, by the way!
Laura: I know! Percy.
Andrew: Real quick: " '"Our Teddy, Teddy Lupin, snogging our Victoire. Our cousin! And I asked Teddy, what was he doing?" "You interrupted them?" said Ginny. "You are so like Ron." "Oh, it'd be lovely if they got married," whispered Lily.' So, yeah. It's sort of - anyway.
Jamie: Again on this sort of pointless death thing, people are asking why Colin Creevey died.
Eric: That was so depressing!
Laura: Sad! It was sad!
Eric: I specifically said to Kevin, you know, because Colin Creevey had been petrified in year two, spent most of year two out, why would he...
Eric: No, that's not even foreshadowing. Why would they bring him back...
Laura: And wasn't he underage, too? I mean, I'm...
Laura: Yeah, he was.
Kevin: Yeah. Because he ran into - they said...
Andrew: Didn't McGonagall catch him and she was like, "Creevey, no! Get back there!" Or something like that.
Kevin: And she said - when she saw his body - she said an underage wizard who must have snuck in, just like Malfoy.
Eric: Yeah, and it was heart wrenching! Maybe Jo used that to represent the underage, you know, wizards who had been fighting...
Kevin: I also think she was using that as a way to show how disconnected Harry was from the others.
Jamie: There were a couple of plot holes, though, even in Book 7, that people are pointing out already. Like, how could Dumbledore fight Grindelwald and get the unbeatable wand off him? Sorry, yeah, because an unbeatable wand is an unbeatable wand, see, so surely if you're dueling by it...
Kevin: Yeah, but there was a condition to the unbeatable wand. What - didn't they say that you had to be in desperate need of it or there was a specific condition?
Laura: You guys, we burned through this thing so fast we definitely need to re-read it.
Jamie and Kevin: Yeah.
Andrew: I think we captured most of it very well. I'm watching Jamie's Google notifier, and all these e-mails are coming in by the second. One caught my eye. It's [laughs] in all caps, "DO YOU GUYS HATE RITA SKEETER?" I mean, I don't know if we can because she wasn't that far off the mark. So... [laughs]
Laura: You know what, though? I think that, I mean - oh, she was awful, and I think that what she said was completely awful. I mean, especially when you found out the reason Dumbledore's father went after those Muggles was because they had damaged his daughter.
Eric: Oh, yeah. That was just something that Bathilda wouldn't tell Rita, and Elphias Doge, the character, I liked because he had that kind of sort of undying faith for Dumbledore. But he was wrong in some respects. There was a darker side that he would really not want to even think about or admit to, and it's kind of, you know, he's trying to see the best in Dumbledore just as Dumbledore saw the best in everyone else.
Jamie: Laura, do you want to follow up on your question about who was the person at Godric's Hollow the night the Potters died?
Laura: Yeah. Why didn't we find out anything about that?
Andrew: I don't think it matters. I was thinking about that while I read the book. I don't think it matters.
Laura: But, but...
Eric: That whole thing was brushed aside, kind of.
Laura: It really - it seems like it was, because if you remember, Jo had specific involvement in the way that scene was shot in the first film.
Eric: When we got that recount where Harry was in Voldemort's head going to Godric's Hollow, there was nothing extra really explained. It seemed like that scene was...
Laura: It seemed like she was being deliberately vague on the site whenever asked, was it Snape under the Invisibility Cloak? instead of saying, nobody was there the night the Potter's died, she just said Severus Snape was not there. Or, was it Snape? I don't remember.
Andrew: Yeah. But if she said nobody was there it would've just closed up a big question.
Laura: Yeah. I guess so.
Andrew: So, I don't know - speaking of Godric's Hollow, I liked how they had erected the statue of Harry and his parents.
Laura: Oh, yeah, that was very sweet.
Andrew: And they kept the house there and a little thing came out of the ground and said, "Keeping this here in memory of these guys who lost their family." People signed it too.
Eric: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. That was really nice, but I don't even know how I feel about the Deathly Hallows, like because whenever J.K.R. was asked why did Dumbledore have the Invisibility Cloak? Or she said, completely significant, you know, but it turns out to be about this other thing we hadn't previously heard about in all the Hallows, and there seems to be, you know, that focus between Hallows, and Horcruxes, and Harry's choosing to go after one or the other. But even the Hallows in the end, Harry never had the Resurrection Stone, the Elder Wand, and the Resurrection Stone - sorry, and the Invisibility Cloak, yeah. We never found out what happens if some person were to hold all three, and I understand that Harry didn't want to become the Master of Death, and he's like, "Yeah, I dropped that thing in the forest. I'm just going to leave it there." And Dumbledore, the portrait's like, "Whatever, dude." But you never find out what exactly happens with the three, and maybe that's, you know, supposed to happen to show Harry's contentment, but I thought that was a little strange. The whole Hallows thing, I wanted them to be Horcruxes, like we had speculated.
Laura: You know, I think we - in a way we did kind of find out what happens, because look at what happens when somebody like Voldemort, who's so power-hungry, gets a hold of a device like a Horcrux and clearly Dumbledore had that same kind of thirst for power. So what...
Eric: He wouldn't kill for it. You know, Horcruxes you have to kill for it.
Laura: Right, I understand, but as a young person he was clearly open to ruling over another group of people.
Jamie: But it's a different kind of power. The whole Horcruxes versus Hallows thing echoes the good versus evil thing, because when you create Horcruxes you don't control death because it means you're afraid of it. If you seek immortality then you're scared of the cycle of life, whereas with the Hallows, you just want to - you know, you have mastery over death, so you can choose your own destiny, whereas with Horcruxes you're more - you're more sort of - it's less about your choices and more about, you know, what's going to happen.
Laura: I suppose, but I think that the way that Dumbledore and Grindelwald were planning to use them was definitely not good.
Jamie: No, definitely not.
Kevin: Well, what I liked was when Harry had the choice between going after the Horcruxes and going after the Hallows.
Eric: Yeah, he had that choice twice: once in who to talk to...
Eric: ...you know, Griphook or Ollivander first.
Kevin: And then once when he woke up.
Eric: Woke up from what?
Kevin: Well, from his dream...
Eric: Oh, yeah.
Kevin: ...with Dumbledore. Because he had the Cloak, he could have gotten the Wand, and he had the Stone somewhere on the ground, so...
Andrew: I'm looking at the e-mails. There's a lot of good questions coming in right now to jamie at staff dot mugglenet dot com, probably the hottest inbox online right now.
Jamie: Right at the moment, yeah.
Andrew: Jamie, you got a couple others?
Jamie: Lacy asks, "Isn't it possible that being the true Master of Death is to accept it like Harry did?" So, completely different from my previous point is that when - is - are the Hallows sort of a fake way of mastering death and the only real way to master it to know you're going to die?
Laura: But didn't Dumbledore kind of tell Harry that he had mastered death? I guess...
Eric: I think he did.
Laura: I think the point of the Hallows is that to become the Master of Death you have to sort of...
Kevin: Accept it.
Laura: ...accept it. And Harry didn't want to be the Master of Death. He could have done, but he didn't want the responsibility, as Dumbledore pointed out.
Kevin: Right, but he knew the power in being...
Jamie: Yeah, he did.
Kevin: And why - honestly, why someone in Harry's position, who had just defeated the wizard who killed his family, who had just realized that he was going to most likely spend the rest of his life with Ginny, why would he ever want to live forever?
Eric: I'm seeing a lot of other e-mails coming in about unnecessary deaths...
Jamie: Well, I...
Eric: ...and one just said, why do you say that these deaths are unnecessary, was the question that I just read, and I think that things like Hedwig should answer that. You know, the death of Hedwig was so sudden and so - and not only was Hedwig killed with the death curse, but then her body was trapped in the cage and plummeted in the side car of the motorbike all the way down and exploded, and was obliterated. That was a little excessive.
Kevin: Well, no, he destroyed it. Harry destroyed it.
Eric: Oh, Harry destroyed it?
Andrew: I was - I think Hedwig's death proved that this book was going to have many unexpected...
Kevin: Yeah, I think so.
Andrew: ...very surprising...
Jamie: Completely, yeah.
Andrew: ...and innocent deaths.
Jamie: Diana here asks, "Do" - and I agree with this completely - "Do you guys think that all the deaths were a lot less sad than in the other books?"
Andrew: Yes! Yes.
Jamie: That I agree with.
Kevin: I think so, too, yep.
Jamie: But it's the whole war thing, you know, you have time to mourn later, but when you're reading this book you just...
Andrew: But we're not - none of us are going to be mourning later, though. I mean, we...
Jamie: No, no, no, it's going to - for me personally, I think it's going to sink in. You know, the - like with Sirius, it was just - it just happened. It was horrible.
Andrew: Right, 'cause it was at that - just like Dumbledore, too, and Cedric - it was one death, and at the very end of the book. So - during the climax scene. So I guess you could say that this book was very different in a sense that we just saw all these random deaths. It wasn't as surprising, I guess. Like, I was surprised when Mad-Eye died. That was...
Andrew: ...that was a shame.
Jamie: That was a shame.
Eric: I kept thinking he was going to come back. Because they were at Grimmauld Place and they heard his voice or whatever.
Laura: Oh, yeah, I thought about that.
Andrew: At first I thought that meant he was going to come back, because they didn't recover the body.
Eric: Yeah, that was kind of crazy. But then, like, the Ministry had his eye, like Umbridge had his eye.
Laura: That was gross.
Kevin: I - I loved - I loved how Harry grabbed the eye.
Kevin: I think that...
Eric: I don't know, that seemed like a - kind of like a fool-proof falling into, like - that's one of the things, one of my major complaints about the book, is that Harry, Hermione, and Ron, you know, just had this whole store of Polyjuice Potion, they did make a plan, but they just kind of went in there, and just like Gringotts it was very flawed, very kind of, you know, end-of-the-minute. Harry is just under the Invisibility Cloak and he Stupefies everyone and then runs. You know, I mean it made - it kind of made sense, but there was no resolution with Umbridge at the end then, and Umbridge never really had a scene beyond that, she just slouched forward. And that was the last that the world ever heard of Dumble - Dolores Umbridge.
Jamie: Going on from what we were talking about Hallows, what you were talking about, Eric, about them controlling death and all three of them being together, Arnie says that the Hallows don't control death...
Andrew: Wait, the Arnie?
Jamie: No, a different one.
Andrew: You sure?
Jamie: The Hallows don't control death; they just avoid it, so the more of them you have the harder you are to get at by death, which is a pretty interesting point.
Eric: Well, one of them is so that death can't...
Eric: ...pursue you...
Eric: ...and the other one is, well, it's in the story of "The Three Brothers."
Jamie: Moe asks, what happened to Fawkes?
Andrew: Can we just - quick disclaimer: we're in London right now, in case nobody knew, and it's 5:30 in the morning, so in case we - the sun is coming up, so...
Eric: But as long as the viewers keep climbing, I'll be in here.
Jamie: If we go very quickly it's because we've had a nice complaint, so...
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, it wouldn't surprise me.
Jamie: What about Fawkes, though, because he...
Andrew: What about him?
Jamie: ...he had a big part at the end of Book 6 when flying around. Why didn't we see him again?
Andrew: We didn't see him at all!
Kevin: Because I...
Kevin: ...I sort of trusted that when she...
Laura: ...Dumbledore had left Hogwarts.
Eric: Yeah. And she wrote in that book that he would never hear that song again or that Fawkes had left, you know, for good.
Kevin: Sure, yeah.
Eric: I would like to see Fawkes, but...
Jamie: Alida thinks that the deaths, all the deaths, just underline the fact that it's a dark book and that there's a war going on.
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