MuggleCast | The #1 Most-Listened to Harry Potter Podcast

MuggleCast 117 Transcript

Show Intro

[Show music stars]

Mason: Hey there MuggleCast listeners! I am back to inform you of some excellent news. is having better deals than ever for only $3.59 a month for 12 months you can get's economy package with 250 Gigs of bandwidth, 5 gigs of storage, and up to 500 e-mail accounts. You can get your own website up and running with success, and as usual, enter code MUGGLE, That's M-U-G-G-L-E- when you check out save an additional 10% on any order. Some restrictions apply, see site for details. Get your piece of the internet at

Andrew: Today's MuggleNet podcast is brought to you by Borders. In May, thousands of Harry Potter fans descended upon New Orleans for the Phoenix Rising Conference. Borders was there to take in the sites 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 our The Phoenix Rising, Borders Book Club discussion at, or click on the Borders banner at the top of the MuggleNet page.

Ben: This weeks show is brought to you by The internets leading provider in spoken word entertainment. Get a free audio book download of your choice when you sign up today. Log on to today for details.

Micah: Because... [Ben impersonating Dumbledore] "it is our choices Harry" ...this is MuggleCast Episode 117 for October 2th8, 2007.

[Show music continues to play]

Ben: [imitating Dumbledore] It is our choices Harry, far more than our sexuality that determines who we truly are.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Oh boy, oh boy. Dumbledore is gggggg-great.

[Laura and Eric laugh]

Laura: Well, that too.

Andrew: [whispers] Should we say it? Should we say it?

Laura: I don't know. First the 'B' word, and now...

Andrew: Well, JKR said it, Andrew. JKR said it.

Ben: So, if Jo says it, it's all right.

Laura: Yes.

Ben: Dumbledore's gay. And I'm back, by the way.

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: In other news, Ben Schoen's back on the show.

Laura: Dumbledore being gay pails in comparison to Ben coming back. Just so you all know.

Eric: There's only one thing that presieve Ben coming back and thats Dumbledore being gay. So, we got that out of the way. Now Ben's back.

[Laura laughs]

Ben: That's what I was waiting on, actually. I was just waiting for some major thing, random shaking news. You know?

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Then I decided...

Andrew: That's what you're all about.

Ben: Yep, shaking up the fandom. It's what I do.

Andrew: Anyway, we're going to be talking a lot about Dumbledore being gay. It's a big revalation and we'll all explain our reactions and a lot of people are excited to hear what we have to say about it. We will be talking about that today. We're going to be talking about...

Ben: Well, one quick thing, though. I think the funniest thing that's come out of this Dumbledore gay thing, though, is on facebook today I saw a group called 'Dumbledore's Army: The New Gay/Straight Alliance'. I thought that was awesome.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Honestly, Ben.

Andrew: That's great.

Ben: What?

Eric: No, nevermind. Nevermind.

Andrew: That is very good and so I've created a new website where I am taking a stand against this issue...

Ben: [laughs]

Andrew: No, you ruined it! You ruined it! Also, my voice is slowly recovering . I'm Andrew Sims.

Ben: I'm Ben Schoen.

Eric: I'm Eric Scull.

Laura: I'm Laura Thompson.

Micah: And I'm Micah Tannenbaum.

[Show music continues to play]


Andrew: Micah Tannenbaum is in the MuggleCast news center with this past weeks top Harry Potter-Dumbledore-Is-Gay news stories.

Micah: All right, thanks Andrew. At her final tour stop in Ontario, Canada on Tuesday, JK Rowling received questions from the press concerning her revelation that Dumbledore was gay:

"The plot is what it is," said Rowling. "(Dumbledore) did have, as I say, this rather tragic infatuation, but that was a key part of the ending of the story so there it is. Why would I put the key part of my ending of my story in Book 1?"

David Thewlis, the actor who plays Professor Lupin in the Harry Potter series recently did an interview while promoting his new book, The Late Hector Kipling in Toronto for the International Festival of Authors. One of the questions he answered was in response to the recent news concerning Dumbledore's character, saying he initially believed Lupin to be gay due to initial conversations with Prisoner of Azkaban director Alfonso Cuaron.

The Harry Potter series picked up two prizes at the 2007 Scream Awards hosted by Spike TV. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix won in the catergory of "Best Sequel" while actor Ralph Fiennes was named "Most Vile Villian" for his role as Lord Voldemort.

The awards were handed out on October 19th at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

The Wiltshire Times had a report earlier this week from the first day of on-location filming for Half-Blood Prince, which is set to be released on November 21st, 2008. The scene involving Harry and Dumbledore going to visit Slughorn is the scene the crews are working on, and Dan Radcliffe is scheduled to be on set. Filming has continued throughout the week with various photos and reports emerging online. For the latest information be sure to check out

Director Guillermo Del Toro recently had a chat with MTV about the Potter movies. In this new interview, he mentions that he had previously turned down Prisoner of Azkaban because the films were too "bright and happy and full of light." But, after seeing the previous two adaptations, he has begun to reconsider the offer. "They seem to be getting eerie and darker... If they come back to me, I'll think about it." Del Toro is known for his work on Pan's Labyrinth and the Hellboy series.

The French and German translations of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were both released on Saturday. Hundreds of fans queued for hours to get their hands on the book, with large release parties being organized in several towns and cities.

Finally, according to, the DVD for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has been released in various Latin American countries including Chile. You can see video of the opening menu as well as individual screenshots by logging on to Remember the DVD of the fifth film will be released in the UK on November 12 and in the US on December 11.

That's all the news on this October 28th, 2007 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.

Andrew: All right, thank you Micah.

Micah: You are welcome.

Initial Dumbledore Reaction

Andrew: You know, Micah, as our news anchor - as the man sitting in the MuggleCast News Studio. [strange noise] My mic just shook. Is that all of the news coming into the studio right now? I mean, that's all everyone wants to know about. That's all the media's been covering, Dumbledore is gay.

Micah: Yeah. That's what it's all about. I mean, even from all the actors. David Thewlis and Tom Felton. That's all anybody is talking about. Forget about Half-Blood Prince filming. Forget about awards and all that other crap. It's all about Dumbledore.

Andrew: It's hot gossip, I have to say.

Micah: I know, and it...

Ben: Well see, here's what happened. The night that - Andrew was there. Andrew, you and Laura both were there when she said it.

Andrew: And Micah.

Laura: And Micah.

Ben: And Micah. Yeah, you three were there. And I'm sitting at home - Or actually, I'm in the car and I look down at my phone and I have a new text message and it's from Andrew. And it says, "Dumbledore is gay. Jo said so." [laughs] And I was just like, "What?"

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: I was like, "Are you serious?" And then a little bit later I was with Emerson. And he got a phone call from one of his friends at school. They're like, "Is it true? Is it true?" And it was just like the night was crazy.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah [laughs] It's amazing. Laura, Micah, and I - when we were sitting there and she said it. Well, let's - I mean, we weren't going to talk about this until later on, but I guess we have to now.

Laura: Yeah. [laughs]

Andrew: We're just all a little excited. When we first heard it, [laughs] my mouth actually just dropped. And I just started applauding. I thought it was the funniest thing she could have said.

Laura: Yeah. It was fabulous.

Andrew: Ever. [laughs] Micah and Laura, what were your reactions?

Laura: I cheered. I thought it was great. Like, I remember everybody around me kind of gasped a little bit.

Andrew: Mhm.

Laura: And then it seemed like there was this simultaneous just roar of applause and cheering. It was really, really fantastic.

Micah: Yeah.

Laura: Everyone received it very well.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: I was shocked. I really didn't know how to react to that. Then, like both of you said, there was just this simultaneous applause after...

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: ...a huge pause in the audience. But, I was shocked.

Laura: And there were a couple of guys who stood up in the audience, who were clearly very supportive of this. So...

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: I guess it's quite liberating, too. Such as...

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: There's this sort of, you know, iconic figure and character being homosexual. And it's really good like that. That was really - I mean a lot of people are quite happy with it. As well. And I am, too. Just the openness that she approached it with. She wasn't afraid to say it. She said it, she outted him.

Andrew: Jo actually said in an interview later on - actually at a press release in, press thing in Canada. Excuse me. That it actually inspired someone to come out right there at Carnegie Hall. So that was nice. Micah, was that you?

Micah: Yeah, yeah.

[Ben and Laura laugh]

Micah: I just stood up and went crazy. No.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: No, no. That wasn't me.

Ben: We'll talk more about this later.

MuggleCast Down Under

Andrew: Yeah. We'll spend another hour on it, I'm sure. But Eric, there were two big MuggleCast events going on in - somewhere that none of have been to before.

Eric: Right.

Andrew: Except you.

Eric: Yeah. And you guys should definitely come down. I was in both Sydney and...

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Melbourne, Australia. Come down under, you guys. I'm serious. It was actually two great shows...

Ben: It's only like a 60-year flight to get there.

Eric: Yeah, it is a 60-year flight. Now it's just about, I reckon, about 19 hours or so. So it's not that bad. And you guys have been to London. Well, actually to London from the east coast is six hours. Anyway, look guys, the MuggleCast Down Under was a success. Both the events were freaking amazing. It was really great to see our Australian fans. And guys, I know you don't realize this, but our Australian fans were quite competent. They were quite keen to talk about Harry Potter. They all had really interesting theories. It was all just really good stuff. So that's my status report. The shows were quite successful. Thank you guys for contributing, especially Micah. Everbody on this show, right now, did contribute. But half of them were a little bit late on that front. So, we didn't actually get to show you guys, Laura and Andrew. And actually, Micah, we showed your - because Micah did a segment, he did a news segment which was fantastic. We showed that at both events. But, then you three guys did a "Dumbledore is gay. Oh my god!" video afterwards, which didn't make it into the show. But that's okay, because that's what we're talking about now. Anyway, thank you guys for contributing footage. I really appreciated that. And also, right now the status is there will be video of both events. Especially the Sydney one. I wanted to talk to you, Andrew, about this. Because the Sydney video, there's actually Journalism and Media students who are working on editing it. And they had this whole camera crew there, doing the thing. And they're going to be editing. So I expect the video to be quite exciting. And I said this at Sydney, I think maybe we should do this as a video podcast, do you reckon? That could be possibly released on the feed?

Andrew: What non-linear video application are they using to edit this video?

Eric: Oh, I don't know. What non-linear video application should they be using, Andrew?

Andrew: Final Cut Pro.

Eric: Really? Okay. I'll put in a request for Final Cut Pro.

Andrew: But, anyway.

Eric: Anyway, so the only other thing is that the overall turnout of the people is actually - it was quite shocking. We had great shows. About 80 people showed up at either show. But, it was only half the people who we received RSVPs from.

Andrew: Tsk, tsk, Aussies.

Eric: Tsk, tsk, Aussies. Now everyone who did come out - and it's possible, I mean, in Sydney there was - It was during exams and stuff. So, we don't know exactly why, but people RSVPed and then didn't show up. And it's just created a teensy problem because we booked these big, big venues expecting more people than RSVP'd and we got half. So what happened, is just as a general rule of thumb, we didn't sell enough t-shirts to cover the costs of the show. Basically. So, what we're doing is, actually guys, the Sydney and the MuggleCast Down Under t-shirts are officially memorabilia. What we're doing is we're shipping them, we're posting them. We have them on sale, all our remaining stock of MuggleCast t-shirts. If you didn't get to make it to MuggleCast Down Under, but really wanted to and you're still in Australia. And for whatever reason you RSVPed and couldn't make it, we would really appreciate it if you still support the show and you can still get a cool MuggleCast Down Under t-shirt. And we post that to you. So, details will be on about that. It's just a little, teensy problem. But if you still want to support the show, lots of people - I mean, now you'll see pictures on the Facebooks and everything. There's all sorts of albums. It was a really good event. And the fan response just shows, guys, that you guys should come down to Aussieville because that's where it's all going on. There were a lot of good stuff.

Andrew: Well, I guess we have to roll a few more GoDaddy ads before we do that. That's pretty expensive.

Eric: Hmmm. Well, and understandable, but it was great fun, and I want to just thank everybody at HP Events Australia for that. That was really good. That was good fun.

Andrew: All right, we're going to jump straight into news discussion now. That's basically all this show is going to be about because JK Rowling revealed quite the good amount of information at her final US reading in New York City at Carnegie Hall on—oh, what was the date?

Laura: October 19th.

Andrew: It was October 20th? 19th? Was it Friday night?

Laura: Yup.

Order of the Phoenix DVD

Andrew: Oh. Okay. But first I want to get to two news items I thought were worth discussing. The first one, and this happened a couple weeks ago, Order of the Phoenix to offer digital download right on the DVD. So basically, you'll be able to take the movie file on the DVD - I assume it will be separate from the actual file that you're watching in your DVD player. You're going to be able to take that and specifically format it for your Zune - like anyone has one of those - and iPod. And iPhone and iPod Touch. So you'll be able to watch these on your portable media player for no extra cost, which is really cool, all you have to do is buy the DVD and then you can watch it on the go. Anyone else think that's cool, or am I just really nerdy?

Ben: That is awesome.

Laura: That's pretty sweet. No, no, that's really cool, if you actually can afford an iPhone or an iPod Touch.

Andrew: Santa's coming, Laura. Santa's coming.

[Ben laughs]

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: I don't know, guys, what do you think? Because this is - portable DVD - they're experimenting, which is good. I like the idea that they're experimenting with portable media and video and format and stuff, so I really don't know, I don't know what to think.

Andrew: Well, I think it's good. There's the piracy thing, of course, there's a question of piracy, but I don't know how digitally protected it could be. But we'll see when it comes out. It was just an interesting story.

Eric: Well, didn't they hack the iPhone like three hours after its arrival?

Andrew: Yeah, but that has nothing to do with movie files.

Eric: Well, it can't be much more...

Andrew: That was just so you could put applications and stuff on it, like my iPhone.

Eric: Ahhh. [laughs]

Half-Blood Prince Filming

Andrew: And then another story, on location Half-Blood Prince filming has commenced, so basically filming is now underway. Filming occurred in Lacock, somewhere in England.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Oh, grow up. Grow up.

Micah: Oh you knew that was coming.

Andrew: No, Lacock.

Ben: Was Dumbledore present in Lacock?

Andrew: Dumbledore was present, and Michael Gambon was actually present in Lacock. He was there to film the scene where he is arriving with Harry to go meet with Slughorn.

Ben: [condescending tone] Oh, no, I can't even stand his relationship - I can't even look at his relationship with Harry in the same way anymore.

Andrew: I know. We'll get to that too. Moving on.

Eric: Yeah, we will, actually.

Andrew: They've been filming there for a couple days. They plan on filming from - it's a heavy, heavy filming schedule. It's like from 5 PM to 5 AM every day until Saturday night. So they're going to be busy there. Of course all the neighbors there are very excited because they're filming Harry Potter in their area, so that's all very exciting, and more filming reports will be coming out frequently now that filming is seriously underway. At least on location filming. We usually don't get many set reports. Hopefully, we're going to be invited to the set again. I can't wait to go. [pause] Nobody was listening. The joke was that I can't wait to go again. Forget you guys.

Laura: Oh, well, no, no, I figured that's what would happen, so it just...

Micah: Yeah.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: I didn't even think about it.

Carnegie Hall Reading

Andrew: Oh, well if I have your blessing now, then I'm there. Thank you. Makes things a lot easier. Okay, now let's move on to the events that occurred at Carnegie Hall. We're going to get to the "Dumbledore is gay" later. We'll save that for last because there's so much to talk about. But Laura and Micah, while we were there, I have to say Jo was in a very peppy mood. She was in a very good mood, it seems.

Laura: Yeah, she really was. She's very enthusiastic.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: Like, when you compare this reading to the reading at Radio City Music Hall, this just easily trumped it, I thought.

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah.

Laura: She was just very enthusiastic and very into the reading. For those of you who don't know, she read from the part right after Ron came back and where Hermione essentially flipped out on him, and it was great. Her imitation of Hermione ticked off was just spot on. It was really, really good.

Andrew: Right, yeah. And I think the thing with Radio City was that she was still writing the book. With this reading there was a lot less pressure.

Laura: Yeah, I think so too.

Andrew: Although I don't understand how you can be so happy at your reading when you know you have 2,000 books to sign in a matter of minutes.

Micah: I don't know, I thought she felt a lot more comfortable with the adult audience. She seemed really happy to be talking to an audience that was comprised more of adults than children. I could really - that kind of sense that she gave off early on when you said that she was feeling just into the whole thing a little bit more than we had seen her in any other place.

Andrew: Right.

Laura: Yeah, well...

Eric: Do you reckon that's from talking to so many schools before hand, she was ready to talk to adults?

Micah: She was sick of all the kids?

Andrew: [laughs] No.

Eric: No, no, I'm asking.

Andrew: There were quite a few kids there, I mean don't get us wrong. The majority was kids.

Laura: But didn't - yeah.

Ben: But I think there's so many factors that would play into her mood during the reading. I mean, what if for example when she was going to Radio City she stubbed her toe before she went on stage. You know what I mean?

Laura: Oh, and I'm not saying that that was bad.

Ben: You really can't say that Radio City - I mean, sure, she may have been happier and the one at Carnegie Hall may have been more pepped up, but it could have a lot to do with, you know, she's finished the books now, a lot of the pressure's off her like Andrew said.

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Ben: But I don't think it necessarily - I mean, there's so many factors that anything we say is just speculation, but that's what we do. [laughs]

Andrew: Well, yeah. Don't get us wrong. We're not trying to analyze it, we're just saying she was in a good mood.

Laura: Yeah, definitely.

Eric: Which is good, which is good.

Laura: I think a lot of it had to do with her being able to address more adult issues, too.

Micah: Right.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: I mean, kind of leading into some of the stuff that she talked about, we got an answer about Aberforth and those goats.

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: Which she filtered for kids.

Andrew: She did filter it for kids, because it was what? An eight year old asking the question?

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: [laughs] Which we can talk about that in a little bit, too, because I don't know how that girl came up with that question.

Andrew: Yeah. We have all the questions here.

[Eric laughs]

Question: Did Neville Find Love?

Andrew: We'll go through them in the order that they were asked, except for the Dumbledore one, we'll save for last. So, the first one was about Neville and if he had found love. And Jo said that he actually ended up marrying the landlady from the Leaky Cauldron, which happened to be Hannah Abbott, which sounds like a good match, and living above the Leaky Cauldron would have impressed his students at Hogwarts, so that's why he was living there. And then married Hannah Abbott, so good for him.

Laura: That's happy.

Eric: Hmmm... Yeah the... Harry sort of blows up his aunt and that gets him a room above the Leaky Cauldron and Neville has to marry the landlady to get a room above the Leaky Cauldron.

Micah: Yeah.

Question: Why Molly Killed Bellatrix?

Andrew: The next question, which I thought was a very good question, it's one of those questions we were like dying, well I personally was dying to hear the answer to. Interestingly though, still no answer about the veil. But anyway, someone asked her why she chose Molly to kill Bellatrix and she wanted to, this I think was basically our thinking anyway, she wanted to show that Molly was a really talented witch even though she spent most of her time in the kitchen, so she sort of comes out of nowhere and attacks. And then she also wanted to compare the obsession Bellatrix had with Voldemort to Molly's maternal love for her children. So that was very fitting.

Laura: Yeah, I liked it a lot.

Andrew: It was very nice.

Laura: I thought that was good because I know even I felt, like before the book came out that I wanted Neville to finish Bellatrix off, but just thinking about her answer and thinking about the way she did it in the book, I thought it was perfect.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: And she did address the whole Neville side of it too, she said...

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: ...she knew that a lot of people figured that it was going to be Neville because of the torturing of his parents but she decided to go with Molly instead.

Question: What if Arthur Had Died in Order of the Phoenix?

Andrew: Right. So the next question she was asked referred to what would have happened if Arthur had died in Order of the Phoenix, which was also a very good question because she revealed at one of her, I think it was the online chat session a while ago, after Deathly Hallows came out, she revealed that Arthur was one of the characters that got the reprieve, only it was actually in Book 5. So Jo said that it would've changed Books 5, 6, and 7 and that Ron's character would have lost his sense of humor and it would've taken away Harry's refuge at the Weasley home. And she also mentioned that Ron's humor stemmed from insecurities and immaturity and that he was the last to become an adult by facing his fears in the last book. So, that was also a very good question.

Eric: Hmmm. Yeah that is interesting. Though, she doesn't say though does she if - I know you said she didn't answer the veil thing – but if Arthur Weasley died in Book 5 would Sirius still have at the end?

Laura: No, she didn't say anything about that.

Eric: Oh okay, cool, cool, cool. Just checking.

Micah: Well, didn't she say something about, and I could be wrong, killing off two of his father figures in one book wouldn't have been a good idea?

Laura: I don't remember...

Micah: You guys remember that at all?

Laura: specifically.

Andrew: I don't remember that either.

Micah: Okay. I'm making it up. Anyway...

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: I thought I heard something about that, but maybe not.

Question: What is with Aberforth's Goat?

Andrew: All right well, Micah, the next question really got you excited.

Laura: [laughs] What?

Andrew: An eight-year-old girl named Mia came up to and asked about Aberforth's goat, and Jo asked her age and said that just for her – she said at the very end this answer was just for you, [laughs] which was very funny. So she asked about Aberforth's goat and Jo said that the goats were easy to keep clean and that they had curly horns.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: And the audience basically just exploded at that because it was funny on multiple levels. I guess we won't go into it but I think most mature listeners to our program will get what she's trying to say. [whispering] Aberforth had a very special fascination with goats. We'll just leave it at that.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Wait. Aberforth liked goats?

Andrew: Yes.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: He did.

Micah: They have quite the family.

Eric: What?

Micah: You know that?

Andrew: Dumbledore...

Eric: That's not cannon.

Andrew: ...or Micah was standing...

Eric: That's not cannon at all.

Andrew: ...standing up and applauding for that.

Micah: I was. That question - I was standing up. It was a little awkward, but you know?

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: I think this whole Aberforth and the goat thing is controversial. Why isn't that getting just as much attention as the Dumbledore thing?

Andrew: Because nobody cares about Aberforth. He's a secondary character and the goat...

Ben: Because we'll get to that later why I - why personally why I think that Dumbledore is getting a lot more attention.

Andrew: Is it going to be a "give me a butterbeer?"

Micah: Should be.

Ben: Maybe an impromptu one. [laughs]

Andrew: Impromptu one.

Ben: Yeah, I think Andy's article...

Eric: As opposed to planned...

Ben: ..was a "give me a butterbeer."

Eric: Do you actually plan these butterbeer things?

Question: How did Ron know Parseltongue?

Andrew: It was. You should just read that and make it your own. So the next question was the Dumbledore question, we'll get to that later like I said. And then she was asked about Parseltongue. And I think the question – questioner said to her, you know, how could Ron learn it so quickly and Jo answered that Ron had mastered one sound but it wouldn't be a language someone could learn. Which is another thing...

Ben: I think that sounds so bogus though.

Andrew: It really does. It really does.

Ben: How can Ron master a sound? You know what I mean? I thought that...

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: How can he master the sound that means open? You know what I mean? How would he get up there...

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: How would he get up there and know what open was?

Laura: He heard Harry say it in the second book though didn't he?

Eric: Oh and he was paying so much damn attention to the sounds he was making.

Ben: [laughs] Yeah.

Eric: The sound it makes – the sound of that...

Ben: And the way...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Because he's thinking at that moment when he's trying to rescue his sister and is about to encounter the...

Laura: Yeah, but...

Eric: ...giant snake skin. Oh I should remember this...

Laura: Haven't we seen that...

Eric: case I ever need to come back down here.

Ben: [laughs] Yeah.

Laura: Haven't we seen that he has like a really good...

Eric: A photographic memory?

Laura: No. Like, haven't we seen that he like has kind of a talent with voices? Like at one point he mimics... Who is it?

Ben: I know, but what I'm saying...

Laura: Gosh I can't remember. I feel like he mimics a character at one point.

Ben: I know but okay...

Laura: And I'm not saying it's valid justification, I'm just saying that she did kind of lead up to it.

Ben: Okay. Not really because here's what the argument I'm making is that going up there – and the word open - think about how many words there are in the English dictionary. Okay? There's thousands and millions of words. If in Parseltongue there has to be something equivalent to each word, in some way whether it's, like the phrasing may be different or whatever, but how would he get up there an just know to randomly hiss? Like, you know what I mean like, how would he know to do open because there's so many things, there's so many words. Like if I didn't know a language, if I didn't know Spanish, and I got up and I needed to say "open" in Spanish, I wouldn't know what to do. I would have no idea what to do. You know what I mean?

Eric: Oh wait, Ben. Are you...

Ben: Is this making sense?

Eric: Are you debating that Ron – sorry, are you arguing that Ron shouldn't have known what or shouldn't have listened to what Harry said and been able to reproduce it accurately? Or are you saying that Harry shouldn't have been able to open the chamber in Book 2 by just saying, "open"? Do you think he should have said instead like, "give me cheesy puffs or something"? And you know...

Ben: No, I'm saying Ron, Ron shouldn't have been able to open the chamber.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Oh well, yeah.

Ben: Because he didn't – that one sound – I don't care if he heard Harry say it because like you said he was in the moment he wasn't actually going to remember what that sounded like.

Eric: Oh, no, right. No, I get exactly what you're saying, yeah. You're right and I mean how much diversity – I mean you've probably got to use dialect. It's just that, I feel like that was a weak point, and JKR just wanted to move on with it.

Ben: Yeah.

Eric: But I think that's an obvious flaw in Book 7.

Ben: Let's move on, too.

Question: What was in Dumbledore's Letter in Book 1?

Andrew: Yeah. Next question was, and these are really a great set of questions, what was in Dumbledore's letter to the Dursley's in Book 1. Jo responded by saying that Petinua had wanted to go to Hogwarts, and by taking in Harry, she was taking in a part of the world that she never participated in. Because, like I just said, that we'd found out that Petunia wanted to go to Hogwarts. Which I guess is a pretty nice explanation. Better than some.

Ben: That is a good explanation, I think.

Eric: I liked it, yeah.

Ben: I mean, that makes sense to what she would say.

Andrew: Right.

Ben: To what Harry would say. I mean, excuse me, what Dumbledore would have said to Petunia. Sorry. [laughs].

Eric: Yeah, so I'm confused guys, just because - I think this is a great answer, but are you sure that Dumbledore said that Petunia couldn't go to Hogwarts? Because I think I remember him saying she could if she wanted to, even though she's a muggle? Because I honestly thought somewhere in the book when it was talking about that, that he had said she could, that he would make some kind of strange allowance. Because I know normally muggles can't see Hogwarts. I think somewhere in the book, didn't it say he could make an allowance for her, even though muggles can't normally see Hogwarts and all that stuff?

Laura: I don't think that he said that, I think that Lily was trying to give Petunia hope.

Andrew: Ahhh. Yeah.

Laura: Like she said something along the lines of maybe he would consider it, or something along those lines.

Eric: Oh.

Micah: Yeah.

Laura: You know, maybe if you appealed to him he might, but I don't think Dumbledore said that.

Eric: Okay, because I thought that he did, but then Petunia for some reason turned it down a little bit.

Laura: No.

Eric: Because I was...

Laura: No. Because he wrote her and told her "no," like she wrote him and then...

Ben: I think if there's a any wizard that would let a muggle into Hogwarts, it would be Dumbledore though.

Laura: Oh yeah, definitely.

Eric: But he did write a letter to Petunia, didn't he?

Ben: You know what I mean? Just because of like, how tolerant he is.

Eric: Yeah. No, I agree.

Ben: Yeah.

Eric: Hmmm.

Question: Why did the Basilisk Fang not kill the Horcrux in Harry?

Andrew: Another question, was a question that a lot of fans had ended up figuring out anyway. It was in reference to the Basilisk, and why did it not kill Voldemort's soul in Harry. Rowling stated that "Harry was not destroyed beyond repair because Fawkes was there to heal him, but later conveniently absent when other horcruxes were destroyed." So that was another easy question to address.

Question: Why didn't Harry consult Dumbledore's Portrait?

Eric: Okay so, Jo replied, when asked about Dumbledore and why Harry didn't consult Dumbledore's portrait, assuming he was at Hogwarts enough to, she listed three options which I think cover it. "One, the portrait was not available as it was at Hogwarts, two, Dumbledore didn't want to tempt Harry with the Hallows, but wanted him to learn of them slowly due to Harry's flaws, and that three, it was too easy and there wouldn't have been much of a plot if Harry just spoke to Dumbledore's portrait." So.

Andrew: Exactly.

Eric: What was this reaction in the guys? Because I wasn't there, obviously.

Andrew: Well, answer three was met with a lot of applause, wasn't it?

Laura: Yeah, it made people laugh.

Andrew: People were like, yeah Jo, duh!

Eric: [laughs] Yeah. And this was a good point though.

Andrew: Good point Jo!

Eric: There were so many questions after the Dumbledore one, that it just seems to awkward that anything would have continued, you know, because sort of the rest of the world stopped ticking for a little bit.

Andrew: Right, right. Well, let's...

Eric: You know, there wasn't even a mysterious ticking noise. It was just sort of, the world stopped ticking.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Yeah. Well lets move on, let's move on as we inch closer to the big reveal.

[Ben laughs]

Eric: Oooh!

Question: Were the Death Eaters based on the Nazis?

Andrew: So someone asked a very intelligent question, another thing we've talked about on the show before. Someone wanted to try to confirm with Jo that the Death Eaters were based on the Nazis. And Jo answered by saying that "it was a conscious decision and people will die, and that you shouldn't believe what your government or newspapers tell you" which was also met with applause.

Laura: Oh yeah.

Andrew: So, you know, she said, well what do you think "conscious decision" meant? Like, just that she felt...

Ben: It just means that she meant to draw that parallel.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Laura: And she said that she wasn't only trying to draw a parallel specifically to the Nazis, that she, like you said, was trying to draw a parallel between governments and corruption in general.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: Right.

Laura: It just so happens that, you know, there's a strong correlation there with the Nazis.

Micah: When she said that you shouldn't believe what your government or newspapers tell you, she said something else, I can't remember exactly what it was, but she took a little shot at possibly someone who is in power right now.

Laura: Yeah, I remember specifically what she said too. She was, "like certain political regimes we all know and love." But she said it extremely sarcastic.

[Andrew and Micah laughs]

And at that point, I just cheered. I thought that was great

Micah: Yeah, I stood up for that too.

Laura: Send me hate mail if you want, I don't care.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: Goats and politics.

Andrew: Micah actually had pom poms, and whenever something came out that was really exciting to him, he would just swing them around. It was pretty funny.

[Ben laughs]

Eric: Oh god. I can see that on YouTube now.

Micah: Goats and politics. That's what I cheered for.

Question: How did it feel to finish Book 1 compared to Book 7?

Andrew: Someone asked Jo, "how does it compare, finishing the first book compared to finishing the writing of the seventh book?" and she said that it actually felt the same, it felt very similar, and her husband, who was in attendance, heated her for a few weeks after Book 7 was finished because she was "unbearable to live with" I guess just being very emo. If you will. Because, you know, the book is over.

Ben: Imagine how weird that would be though, after how much time you've put into it...

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: All the things you've done, all the money you've made. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: You know, just to sit back and thing wow, it's done.

Extra Questions

Andrew: It's done. Yeah. And let's see, then oh guys, this was the big surprise of the night. It was actually the disappointment of the night. Jo had answered 12 questions at that point, and then a voice came over the speaker system in the place, and it was a loud booming voice, and he pretended to be God, and Jo played around with him like, oh am I in trouble? Or something like that.

[Eric laughs]

Laura, Micah, do you remember what she said?

Laura: She said, "and they say I don't believe in you."

Andrew: [laughs] Oh yeah.

Eric: [laughs] I didn't hear about that. I'm sorry!

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: And everyone was like oh, what's the big surprise? They were like, the guy was like "we have a surprise!" and this guy comes out, nobody knows who he is, he's just some schmuck from Scholastic who was trying to entertain the crowd while the book signing was occurring. But anyway, he comes out and is like "big surprise, Jo is going to answer more questions for everyone!" Which was good. We got what, three more questions? Or four more questions.

Laura: Yeah.

Question: Does Draco owe Harry a life debt?

Andrew: So the first question was if Malfoy owed Harry a life debt, and Jo stated that "there was no magical tie between the two, but Malfoy had to be forever grateful to Harry for saving his life after all." It's sort of like the thing that always happens with the bad guy where the good guy saves the bad guy's life and then the bad guy doesn't really owe him anything, but the bad guy just always has to admit, yeah you did save my life, that's true.

Eric: And sort of backs off - the whole prejudice thing.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah.

Bad M.C. and Panting Lady

Andrew: Right. And then the next question was from the very top of Carnegie Hall, this girl had to book it all the way down to the bottom.

Laura: Oh, yeah. That was hilarious.

Andrew: And, you know, this guy who was hosting was a good M.C. - no wait he was terrible...

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: ...Worst host in the world. Way to go Scholastic.

Eric: You guys should have me her.

Andrew: Yeah we should have, quick pre-show.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: It did take her like two hours to come down so...

[Ben laughs]

Andrew: would have been good filler. But...

Ben: "The Pre-show".

Andrew: "The Pre-show"

Ben: Still looking for that tape by the way.

Andrew: Yeah. So, this guy M.C.-ing is waiting for this chick to come down and the whole time I am thinking "Why not call someone else up?"

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: The next person was right in the front row anyway. She could have taken two steps to the microphone. But, like I said we had to wait for this, anyway whatever, its all said and done now, but...

[Eric laughs]

Ben: Yeah. I mean I am sure that is what you are thinking about, gosh.

Laura: That was what I was thinking.

Ben: "I have to wait a whole two minutes for her to come down.

Laura: Well, no...

Andrew: That is what I was, no seriously...

Laura: That had to have been embarrassing for her too.

Andrew: I was sitting there thinking, "Call someone else up".

Laura: Because when she got there she was panting and heaving for breath and like, trying to ask her a question I would have been...

Eric: And then she falls over and dies. [laughs]

Laura: and she was up on a big screen too so you can see her like, gasping for air.

Ben: Well, maybe the M.C. is just a jerk. You know what I mean?

Andrew: Maybe, yeah he was. He was just a bad M.C.

Ben: Okay, almost like, a quick question. Laura, how did you Andrew, and Micah get into this thing? That is what I am wondering.

Andrew: Well, we will get to that at the end.

Ben: All right.

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