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Andrew: Today's Mugglecast podcast is brought to you by Border's. In May, hundreds of Harry Potter fans descended upon New Orleans for the Phoenix Rising Conference. Border's was there to take in the sights and share a lively discussion of the series that has bewitched the world with some of Harry's most dedicated fans. Listen in and watch the action yourself. Check out the Phoenix Rising Border's Book Club discussion at BordersMedia.com/HarryPotter, or click on the Border's banner at the top of the Mugglenet page.
[Show music begins to play]
Andrew: Oh, hey. Wow! Geez! Hello everyone, welcome to MuggleCast live in - oh gosh, where are we now? Detroit.
[Audience yells "Novi"]
Novi. Novi. Sorry. It says, "Detroit," on the website. I checked the website first. How's everyone doing today?
Andrew: Thank you for coming out. We've got a good crowd here. How's the panel doing?
Jamie: Well, I'd just like to take a moment to apologize for our bad appearances, because we just left Emerson's about four hours ago after no showers. We just woke up and jumped into the car.
Emerson: That's what this line is here. You guys have to keep back a little bit so we don't all suffocate you.
Ben: I had a shower. I had a shower.
Emerson: I love how you guys are cheering for the fact that Ben had a shower.
Jamie: There's a first for everything.
Andrew: Anyway, so at all these live shows we've been doing a little - well, first of all, let me ask, everyone happy with the book? Deathly Hallows?
Mikey: Has... [Microphone cuts out] What? Okay.
Andrew: Has everyone read the book?
[Audience says, "Yes"]
Mikey: Okay, good. Because if you haven't, we're going to be talking about it, and we don't want to spoil it for you. So it would be very, very sad.
Andrew: So leave.
Andrew: Leave now, or forever hold your peace, or risk being spoiled.
Jamie: Leave quickly.
Andrew: Mikey, I think you need a new mic, buddy.
Mikey: Oh, I saw someone in the back leave.
Emerson: We wouldn't have a lot to talk about if we didn't talk about what happened in the book.
Emerson: We could make more predictions about what's going to happen, I guess.
Mikey: We could always talk about Emerson's personal life.
Ben: Spy on Spartz.
Mikey: Well, he's sitting right next to us, you know?
Andrew: So at every live show we've been doing a main discussion, a character discussion, because quite a few characters have developed in this book, and today we're going to talk about Hermione. Jamie?
Jamie: We are. So far we've talked about Snape, Dumbledore, and - have we talked about anyone else? Voldemort. It's been really, really interesting to get everyone's views and their thoughts about the characters' change with the release of the seventh book. All through the first six they could have had a really, really strong opinion of this character, and then in the seventh, everything's just been thrown upside down with the new information we've got. So with Hermione, we've been thinking, she has always been clever, always been very - she's always wanted to help her friends. There's always been a bit of controversy over why she was in Gryffindor and not Ravenclaw, and often people have wondered that. And then in the seventh book, she was a big help to Harry. In fact, Ben and I think that without Hermione, Harry would probably not be alive today. Because, and we keep saying this, Harry just keeps waking up, doesn't know where he is, and Hermione's there, looking all bushy-haired and covered in ash saying, "Oh that was a close one again, Harry."
So she always seems to save the day, Hermione.
Emerson: It does seem like the seventh book, it was just - every like, two pages they'd have another near-death experience, and then through luck or whatever, miraculously they'd pull through somehow.
Jamie: A camping trip.
Ben: Or Harry would just throw some Expelliarmus, because that's how he wins everything.
Andrew: Please hold for a microphone change.
Mikey: Does it work? It works. Yay.
Emerson: All right, cool.
Jamie: So what did you guys think of Hermione in the first six books?
Andrew: Well, I mean, in Book 7, it's basically exactly how Hermione's been throughout all six books. But now, Hermione - all this help she's been providing Harry from like Sorcerer's Stone to Half-Blood Prince, has all come together in Deathly Hallows, and just the whole book is just her helping Harry. Like, that's all she's doing.
Emerson: What I love about Hermione is the fact that Harry has this task, obviously, and the odds of successfully tracking down all the Horcruxes and destroying them, and then defeating Voldemort, his odds aren't good, and yet he spends all his time just kind of going with the flow, whatever happens to him, happens. But Hermione is taking all this time that she has to learn as much as she can about magic, and to improve herself as much as she possibly can. So in the seventh book, you see every time they're in a tight situation, you see Hermione always knows the right spell to use, because her knowledge of magic is so superior to Harry's, even though he may be a powerful wizard, just because it's just in him. But Hermione makes the most of what she has, and that's what I really am most impressed with, because she's very bookish, and I really like that about her.
Andrew: Yeah. Mikey?
Ben: That's his biggest turn-on, by the way.
Mikey: If you can read books. No, I totally agree with both of you guys. Hermione has definitely stepped up, and I think she showed a lot more courage in this book than previous books. Normally, she's kind of the one that doesn't want to break the rules, doesn't want to go underneath the Invisibility Cloak, and stuff like that.
Mikey: But now, she's like, "We need to do this." She realizes that it's either them or losing to Voldemort, so they have to - she uses all her books, you know? I remember reading the scene where she's packing up books, like which books to take and which ones not to take, and I just started laughing, going - I could totally picture, you know, Emma Watson or my Hermione in my head, doing this. Just going, "I really want to take this book, but it's about nargles," or something, something absolutely, completely irrelevant.
And she's like, "We never know, we might run into it," and puts it in the pack. I could just see the stacks being totally lopsided, where it's just like, a hundred books I need to take, and one book about, you know, Mugglenet.com's What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7, not needing to be taken.
Emerson: You can't leave the house without that one, Mikey.
Jamie: Because - no, you can't.
Mikey: I don't know, she's living it, so she might not need to take it, but it's like, everything she's taking, her knowledge is just beyond Harry's.
Ben: She should have taken it with her, because we were pretty darn right.
Mikey: Who knows. But yeah, I can just imagine, Hermione - without Hermione, Harry would have been lost.
Jamie: He was, yeah.
Mikey: You know, especially every time he wakes up and is like, "Thank you, Hermione, you saved me again."
Emerson: He seems like he's usually mad at her, like when she broke his wand. I mean yes, he has the right to be mad at her, but she also did save his life.
Emerson: That;s a little more important than his wand.
Emerson: And I couldn't help but think, Harry, come on, dude, priorities here. Priorities.
Mikey: Yeah, it's like, face Voldemort without a wand, or have Hermione save you again.
Jamie: There were so many instances where she just did stuff that she didn't even think of, like she cast protective spells around their campsite, which, you know, they were camping a great deal, so she did all that, and then she told him stuff he didn't know, like at Grimmauld Place, after they got back from the Ministry, Yaxley got his arm round her just as they Disapparated.
[Audience laughs at his pronunciation]
And so like—Disapparated, sorry...
Mikey: Disappeared, disapparated, same thing.
Jamie: It's been a long drive.
Mikey: Long drive.
Jamie: Long drive, yeah. So, yeah, she just did stuff that he had no idea how to do.
Mikey: One thing I also - I kind of got upset with Hermione about, was she's too logical at certain times. Like when Harry had figured everything out, he's like, "This is what we've got to do," and she's like, "No, it's just a story, it's just a fairy tale." It's like, "No, it's the Deathly Hallows, it's the three things we need to get." "No, no, it's a fairy tale, Lovegood is just totally out of his mind." "No, it's true." Harry was like positive, and she was completely wrong, and I liked that Harry kind of proved her wrong a little bit.
Mikey: I like Harry.
Emerson: See, as somebody who normally prides rational decision-making, and that's why Hermione is one of my favorite characters, I actually thought that what happened when they had that divergence where Harry had to go with his gut and Hermione was wrong, I think her logic actually failed her at that point, because logically we could all see from Harry's perspective that the Deathly Hallows were obviously the reason that the Invisibility Cloak existed, and all these other - the pieces were fitting together. Harry was actually being more logical than Hermione, and it was a gut feeling. It was a combination. So Hermione...
Ben: I think Hermione just had a hard time believing in like a three - a story about three kids, or whatever.
Mikey: Well, I think the biggest thing for us, as readers, was that's the title of the book.
Mikey: So maybe it's important. I don't know.
Andrew: Yeah. It's interesting. One of the other titles, I don't know if you guys have heard, but one of the other titles that Jo was considering was Harry Potter and the Elder Wand, which I think would have been more fitting, especially with the U.S. cover, because apparently the cover is depicting them reaching for the Elder Wand, Harry and Voldemort.
Mikey: After they shot spells at each other, and Harry's the Master of Death, and the wand goes, "Whee!" up in the air.
Andrew: Right, right. What other character are you really proud of, Mikey?
Mikey: Oh, give it up for Molly Weasley, everybody. Come on.
How awesome was that? Really, like, can you imagine, at that final battle, like Molly Weasley just like, "Stay away from my daughter, you... witch!" And just like, she goes after Bellatrix, you know, imagine the movie, she's going to be running, her cloak flies off her, she's like, "Come on, no." Now, you guys have to remember, she doesn't necessarily kill Bellatrix. It's just a curse. So Molly Weasley probably uses like a Stupefy, because she's not a mean person, but she still takes out Bellatrix. Well, no, no, because it says Harry knew exactly what was going to happen before it even happened, just like what happened to Sirius. Sirius was hit by a stunning spell and fell through the Veil.
Andrew: Straight in the chest.
Mikey: Straight in the chest, right below the heart. So who knows what it was? I really can't picture Molly Weasley using Avada Kedavra. Probably she could if she really wanted to, but I can't see it. Come on, she's always making food and come on, you know, really? It would be a stunning spell, I think, or it could be Expelliarmus, because that's the spell of the book.
Ben: The solution to everything.
Emerson: And that's Harry's.
Mikey: Open a door. Expelliarmus.
Ben: I thought it was cool that Harry used Unforgivable Curses. That was awesome. He was just like telling people what to do. Yeah.
Mikey: Yeah. Imperio.
Jamie: Does anyone have any thoughts on Hermione? So like, how she's changed with the seventh book, how she's developed?
Andrew: Get in the audience here.
Mikey: If you have a thought, why don't you come on up and we'll give you a microphone and you can tell us, and we can respond. Is anybody brave enough to get up?
Mikey: I know the floor's pretty comfortable.
Jamie: It's pretty exciting, hearing the responses so far.
Emerson: One thing I've really been itching for a debate about is, having read the book, a lot of people told me that in the book, Mugglenet.com's What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7, we predicted that Harry would live, and I've been getting a lot of my friends calling and saying, "Ah! Harry died, you were wrong. Well, you were half right, but you were wrong because he died." But I don't think he died.
Emerson: Because I think it's pretty clear that Harry wasn't dead. Dumbledore actually says, when Harry asks him, "Am I dead?" and Dumbledore says, "On the whole, I think not." Clearly you can't be--you're either dead or you're not. Like, there's--and Harry's clearly in like a transitional, kind of between life and death, but there's - J.K. Rowling has been very clear in the past that you can't come back from the dead.
Emerson: So he wasn't dead. So if anybody wants to debate that, I'm spoiling for a fight right now.
Mikey: He's very angry.
Andrew: This guy back here wants to say something.
Emerson: All right, no challengers.
Mikey: Why don't you come on up here and use the microphone, because it is an audio podcast. We want to hear your voice on the podcast. So you can go download it yourself, and be like, "That's me everybody, listen."
That's what I do. Every time I'm on the show, I'm like, oh, it's me. What's your name? Where are you from?
Steve: My name's Steve, I'm from Jackson, Michigan. Prison city.
Steve: Anyway, I was just kind of curious. I don't think he was really dead or alive. He was the Master of Death, I think that's why he was given the choice kind of in that purgatory of the train station, and Dumbledore said, "Well, you can either go," because as you know, his scar was gone, he no longer needed his glasses, so in a way I think he was kind of dead.
Emerson: Well, no, I agree with you. I think that train station was probably - someone mentioned at an event in Valparaiso, Indiana, that maybe the reason he was in a train station for the purgatory was because it's very symbolic of having to choose. Which train do you get on?
Andrew: [sings] Should I stay or should I go?
Emerson: Well played.
Steve: Thanks, guys.
Emerson: But either way, we're in agreement, he wasn't dead. He didn't decide to get on that train.
Jamie: No, it was all in his head.
Mikey: It was all in his head, that's what Dumbledore says.
Ben: And as Dumbledore explained that he still had the anchor to life because of the whole blood thing with Voldemort's blood.
Andrew: Yeah, but I think the point about, what Jo has said multiple times - once you're dead, you cannot come back even in the magical world.
Andrew: Jo was very clear about that.
Mikey: Except as Inferi. As zombies.
Jamie: Well, you can come back. You just can't come back as yourself.
Jamie: You can come back as your...
Andrew: Right, but Harry is himself.
Jamie: Huh? Yeah, he is. Yeah.
Mikey: Actually, hold on, I have a question about the dead. Did anyone think that Inferi were going to play a role because they had been talked about. I was expecting Harry Potter and the Zombies.
But there was no Inferi. It was a big part in Book 6 as the ring - or the locket, and that was it.
Jamie: That was awesome if it was a kind of Sixth Sense thing where we think Harry came back from the dead, but he didn't really. He's actually dead.
Jamie: And nobody talks to him now. He wonders why for so long. And the he realizes - and then Ginny just takes off her ring and throws it down and everything fades to black.
Mikey: Awww, I like Ginny.
Jamie: What a fitting end.
Emerson: I think the thing that surprised me the most is that we never saw the Veil again.
[Audience says, "Yeah"]
Emerson: I thought the Veil...
Ben: Or the Department of Mysteries, in general.
Emerson: Yeah, the mysterious locked door. I thought that was going to be almost central.
Emerson: I thought that might even be where the end of the book is or that would just be crucial to the final - the final plot.
Jamie: Well, I read a spoiler online that I though was a spoiler originally where Voldermort and Harry go to the Ministry of Magic and they are in that circular room where the Love Door is, and they were fighting and I can't remember how they were fighting, but Harry opens this door to the Love Room and this huge burst of light comes out and it completely destroys Voldemort. But it heals him because he is pure at heart. And I believed it. And I have been told off for believing this because it doesn't sound realistic, but if you'd have read it, you would have believed it too.
Mikey: But you know what? Jamie, I think I read the same thing, but this time Harry sent him a Valentine's Day card and killed him that way.
Jamie: I believed that one too.
Emerson: Well, while we're making random observations, I thought one of the coolest scenes in the whole movie, was when Kreacher rallied the House-Elves to come fight in the battle.
Andrew: Kreacher really made a full 180 in this book.
Emerson: He really did. We did not see the Kreacher storyline. We saw the first part with Regulus Black and the Horcrux, but we didn't think a little bit of kindness towards Kreacher would turn him into this cool, little House-Elf. But I thought one thing that surprised me a little bit is these House-Elves are supposed to be capable of some really, really powerful magic, so why do they come out...
Jamie: With knives, yeah.
Emerson: Why are they banging on their knees with spatulas and eag beaters and stuff.
Jamie: That is very true, yeah.
Emerson: I thought they would be really laying the smackdown with some seriously powerful magic, but...frying pans.
Jamie: It reminded me of - have you seen The Mummy, the film? Anyone see The Mummy?
[Audience says, "Yeah"]
Jamie: It reminded me of those beetles that come over and devour you in one second. I can just imagine all these House-Elves crawling on top of Voldemort and him just going down and seeing a hand disappear.
Or at the end like that.
Emerson: That is a really weird mental image.
Jamie: As I said, it was a late night.
Mikey: For the House-Elves, I kind of saw them as Ewoks, you know? They just come up and they're taking - they're swinging from the rafters.
Emerson: Oh yeah, Ewoks!
Mikey: With cleavers and be like "Ahhh!" It would be cool.
Emerson: Oh yeah, straight out of the third Star Wars movie.
Mikey: Exactly. Sixth, technically. But anyway.
Andrew: Am I the only one who has never seen Star Wars.
[Audience member responds]
Andrew: Thank you, thank you.
Mikey: Pretty much.
Ben: I've seen it.
Mikey: It's all right, Andrew. We still care about you.
Andrew: I just don't get of these references you make. Or Lord of the Rings, never saw it.
Jamie: Oh, no.
Andrew: I've seen Pokemon.
Jamie: That is the biggest crime, I tell you.
Mikey: The Pokemon one.
Emerson: Jamie likes to draw parallels to Pokemon all the time.
Jamie: I do, I do.
Andrew: I do. There are a lot of them.
Jamie: There are, the are several.
Jamie: I like them.
Andrew: Can't come up with them right now.
Mikey: Okay, anyway.
Jamie: Anyone have any more thoughts on Hermione?
Mikey: Come on up here. Yep, yep. Come up here. You got to come up here. You got to be on the microphone.
Andrew: Kreacher? Kreacher? Fine. Fine. Come on up.
Mikey: Kreacher, Hermione - they are kind of like the same character.
Jamie: Hermione, Kreacher.
Mikey: Not really, but...
Andrew: Here, use this mic.
Andrew: What? Whoa! Where you going?
Mikey: She wants Jamie's microphone.
Andrew: Fine, you don't want to talk to me? It's cool.
Arianna: I still love you guys.
Andrew: No, we're over it really.
Arianna: All right. My name?
Andrew: Yeah, your name.
Mikey: Name, where you're from.
Andrew: MySpace url.
Arianna: My name is Arianna Beemer. I am from [cough] New Baltimore, Michigan.
Arianna: That's my friends.
Arianna: About Kreacher, what I thought was - about how he changed after Harry showed kindess to him, is another example of how love plays such an important role in the books. Like, all Kreacher really wanted was for somebody to love him and that's why he felt connected to Mrs. Black and Narcissa and Bellatrix because they showed care - they cared for him or they pretended to at least. So, when Harry started to care for him, he really started to come around and be more good t han he was.
Emerson: I thought it was a really almost like a sweet story.
Emerson: Like, you think about how -I might turn into a puddle of tears in a minute, but...
Emerson: All it took was a little bit of kindness and I wonder, you know, if there is someone in each of your lives, or in my life that I maybe haven't treated kindly and some people you just really, really dislike and you...
Emerson: And maybe if I showed him a little bit of kindness, you know, at some point...
[Audience says, "Awww"]
Emerson: Maybe he would - maybe Mikey would, maybe love me back.
Mikey: Awww, I do Emerson. I do.
Andrew: Speaking about love and kindness, how about Dudley showing some love right for Harry.
[Cheers from audience]
Ben: That was lame.
Andrew: I mean...
Mikey: [Dudley impersonation] "I'm Big D."
Ben: I didn't know he was capable of being so romantic.
Jamie: Me too.
Mikey: [Dudley impersonation]: "Put it down, Harry Potter! I'm Big D."
Emerson: "I don't think you're a waste of space."
Andrew: That was just one of those things you were its just, no...
Jamie: No, that's just me.
Andrew: It's so out of place. It doesn't make sense. Maybe if we had some more explanation, but there was none.
Jamie: Can I just check? Is your name the same as Dumbledore's...?
Arianna: Yes, it is.
Jamie: I hope you're life is better than her's.
Arianna: I got texted from people saying, "Oh my god. You're in a book!"
Andrew: What's your name?
Mikey: But you're alive.
Jamie: Yeah, you're a live, that's the difference.
Mikey: That's the difference there.
Emerson: And not crazy.
Mikey: She wasn't always crazy.
Jamie: And not kept...
[Something said from audience]
Jamie: Oh, all right.
Emerson: You're out in public, though. Clearly you're safe.
Mikey: Are you a witch?
[Something said from audience]
Mikey: Anyway, moving on.
Jamie: Any other points?
Andrew: And then we'll open up the floor. We'll just have an open discussion about the book. Anything that's been bugging you. Or anything that hasn't been bugging you.
Mikey: Has anyone seen the fifth movie yet?
Andrew: First, this girl.
Jamie: Yet? Yet?
Mikey: You guys saw Kreecher in that, right?
[Most in audience say, "Yeah"]
Mikey: Now, now, now, remember after Harry's nice to him, he got all nice and clean with puss of white. It's going to be amazing to see. He's just going to be a really goofy looking House-Elf.
Mikey: So, I'm exciting for that, too.
Andrew: This whole time I was reading the book, I couldn't help, but think about what they're going to do for the movie because we just came out of the movie so, I couldn't help, but have it on my mind and they're going to have to cut so much. It's going to be disgusting, some of the things that they're going to do.
Mikey: It's going to be an eight-hour movie.
Andrew: Yeah, there you go.
Mikey: That's what I've been saying. Peter Jackson doing an eight-hour movie.
[Murmuring from audience]
Mikey: Peter Jackson: The Harry Potter Story.
[Murmuring from audience]
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