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MuggleCast 121 Transcript (continued)

Muggle Mail: HD Production Problems

Andrew: Lets move on now to some more e-mails. Next one comes from Kevin, 21 of Chicago, Illinois, not our Kevin.

Hey, I'm not too sure if any of you keep up with high definition movie releases as in Blu-ray and HD-DVD, but within the past month or so Warner Brothers has had to postpone several of their high def releases with no explanation. This makes me think that they may be having HD production problems, so, for the 'Harry Potter' series, they wanted to allow themselves enough time to be able to meet the HD demand in the US. After all, the Harry Potter movies will likely make it into their top selling HD releases, and releasing them day-and-date with the DVD will promote HD sales. This is just speculation of course, but hey that's what 'Harry Potte'r podcasts are all about, right?

Andrew: Right.

Eric: What is the question?

Andrew: No it is not a question. It is a statement. Last week we talked about why is the Harry Potter DVD being delayed? Or was it two weeks ago, I lose track.

Micah: It was last week.

Eric: Because it was out overseas, and why is it waiting till December 11th?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Okay. It's a Christmas thing.

Andrew: Well I did do a quick check on to see if they - actually to see if they had them in stick in the UK, the HD and Blu-ray discs and they do. So, that might suggest that might not be a problem with that? The High Definition movie releases? Although I guess you will need a crap load more us Americans, since, I'm sure a hot holiday item this season is going to be the High Definition Movie players. So...

Eric: I am pretty sure if they wanted to produce an extra 500 million copies of the HD DVD a month ago they could have done it though.

Andrew: Yea,h but there has been delays in supply has been low. I do not know, I still seriously think it had something to do with the Hairspray DVD release.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: I am just saying because I think it is competitive.

Eric: No, I think it is possible, they didn't want to compete with Hairspray. They knew that they would lose.

Andrew: well, I don't know if they would lose but if you are going out with your kid is - if their parent is going out to buy a DVD at Wal-Mart, per say. You know, typically they will get one DVD. You know, it is typical competition.

Eric: Oh my god, I miss Wal-Mart.

Andrew: Wal-Mart is all right. That's where I bought my Hairspray DVD.

Micah: well, what about extra things being included on this DVD as opposed to maybe something on the others. Is that possible? I mean, would they include more scenes, say, from Half-Blood Prince or something like that?

Andrew: Oh, I mean all the scenes are viewable online. Unless...

Eric: Are they?

Andrew: Yes. You put your DVD in the computer, and it takes you to the site, and you can watch them.

Eric: Oh right.

Micah: Oh, that's true.

Eric: Oh. I haven't explored my disc 2 yet. I'm bad.

Micah: But see the Christmas argument doesn't really hold up with me either. It is going to be Christmas in the UK also. So, why the difference?

Andrew: Yeah, right.

Eric: Well, no, but the American in consumerized. America just wants to delay it, because they know they are going to get the hype up. You know?

Andrew: Yeah. Could be. Well...

Eric: That's what I heard.

Andrew: Well, whatever. We may never know the true reason.

Andy: But waiting an entire month to delay it?

Andrew: Yeah. I know...

Eric: Yes. Absolutely, because maybe it's a stupid corporate idea, but it's an idea.

Andrew: I could see why it would be delayed for Australia or Germany...

Andy: Every DVD we ever get is delayed here.

Eric: Well, New Zealand runs out of iPods.

Micah: Really?

Andrew: Really?

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Hmmm. Hmmm.

Eric: You can actually go into a store now and they could say that it is capable that they ran out of them in the country.

Micah: Yeah. Well, there is some business strategy to this. We just don't know what it is. [laughs]

Andrew: Right. Right. [laughs]

Eric: We have contacts, don't we? Couldn't we e-mail them?

Chapter-by-Chapter Returns

Andrew: Yeah. We could. I keep forgetting. I don't think they'll give a comment. They'll just be like, "because.." I'll see, I'll look into it. All right. That is all we have for emails this week, because we have a segment that we are bringing back this week. I think the last segment, Chapter-by-Chapter segment was Episode 44 it looks like, back in mid-June of 2006.

Eric: That was more than two-thirds of the show ago, so by the first third of what the show is now, Chapter-by-Chapter was gone, out of the scene, zip, out, patouie. Why was that Andrew?

Andrew: Well, ummm, we had mixed feedback about Chapter-by-Chapter originally, and well throughout the thing's run some people really lpved it, some people didn't like it so much, so we took a break from it for a while, and then Book 7 came around and we sort of just scrapped it all together. The original plan, I think I remember sitting on the phone with you about this Eric was we were going to start at a certain day, and we were going to doing it so that we could complete every chapter between Books 1 and 6 right before, leading up to the Book 7 release. Was that - wasn't that the original plan?

Eric: I'm kind of glad we didn't.

Andrew: Now, I'm glad we didn't either, because...

Eric: Yeah, it was difficult, especially with the movie being released in conjunction. It was just - we had so many...

Andrew: Other things to talk about.

Eric: I think we did quite well on content.

Andrew: Yeah, we did do well.

Eric: I think we did quite well in content and there were mixed reviews on Chapter-by-Chapter, and it was for very good reason, so what we have decided to do - this was what, Andrew's idea? Because, well explain about Book 7.

Andrew: Well, it wasn't even my idea. I mean we have been talking about this for a while, but and then [laughs] it is going to sound like I am trying to blame it on someone, but Micah was suggesting...

Micah: You're going to say. Yeah, I knew it.

[Andrew laughs]

Andrew: Micah suggested last week or a couple weeks ago that - okay, we have been thinking about bringing it back. Okay? So shoot me. [laughs] Fine. Call it my idea. Whatever. I don't care. We are going to bring it back this week. Well, we are going to start where we are going to go through Deathly Hallows. We are going to start with Chapter 1 this week, but we are going to tweak the segment a little bit. We are going to treat it differently, and we are going to take our first shot at it with today's show, and we think it is going to go pretty well. I do. Micah does. Andy does.

Micah: Yeah, and...

Andy: Sure do.

Eric: I do too.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Eric: So, for this new revamp, and now for new listeners or for those of you who are not terribly familiar with this, we will just do a recap.

Andrew: We do have a lot of new listeners since then, so go for it.

Eric: Yeah. Yeah. We go by - I think what one of the original ideas was between Jamie and myself, we were talking about it once, and we said well wouldn't it be great - no, no, this wasn't Jamie's idea. Wouldn't it be great if we had a read with all of our listeners where we read a chapter and they read a chapter and each week we talked about it on the show? This would give us sort of endless content, one for each chapter would last forever. It's the podcaster's ideal thing. If not for main discussion, it could provide - and it was an interesting idea. In concept it was a bit interesting, and basically what remained was that the MuggleCasters did read a chapter of the first book until we did end up completing the first book.

Andrew: We did.

Eric: What we do, yup, is we read each chapter of the Harry Potter series, and we bring up some key points, discussion topics, and we talk about what happens in the books. Now with Book 7 this will be interesting and different, because it will be a very nice way of - we have done overviews of Book 7. Over the past 20 episodes we have talked about what happened in Book 7, but never at this detail, and never with a complete, well what was it actually? What actually happened? You guys agree?

Micah: Yeah. And I think a lot of new people have asked for this. They want us to go through Book 7 chapter-by-chapter, and so that's really why it's coming back, because people want it.

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: And it is our segment.

Andrew: And admittedly, we have sort of taken - we've sort of gone away from in-depth discussion that we used to do. We haven't been doing it as much lately. I mean, we've been talking about gay characters, and Hairspray...

Eric: That's certainly true.

Andrew: And what Harry Potter conferences are bugging us. So, we're kind of...

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: So...

Eric: We have to show them we still got it and we're not just arrogant, pompous, teenage boys.

Andrew: Gay boys.

Eric: [sarcastically] Gay, teenage boys who like Hairspray and are really happy that - anyway...

Andrew: Let's go on to the actual segment. Let's do this.

Eric: Okay. So, before we begin, I wanted to do this Chapter-by-Chapter shortly. Now, I know you guys are thinking, great, great. No, no. Some listeners may or may not know, I mean, I haven't been on too many episodes - not so many as I used to be, recently, but some listeners may very well know that I didn't have the fondest, warmest reception to Book 7 initially. I have a vow that I will re-read this book with a keen eye and I will be absolutely - I won't go easy on it, but I'm going to completely re-envision what I think because we're going chapter-by-chapter. All the Mugglecasters are doing this every - I don't know about every show, but we'll be doing this throughout all of Book 7, and I won't be biased. We're going to do it.

Andrew: Okay, sweet.

Eric: I'm really enthused.

Chapter 1: The Dark Lord Ascending

Andrew: So, let's get right into it. We're going to start with "The Dark Lord Ascending," Chapter One.

Eric: Everybody, books open. I believe this a...

Andrew: Yeah, everybody open up your books to page one.

Eric: What page is it in the U.S.?

Andrew: Page one. It's page one.

Eric: It opens on page ten - or nine, actually, in the U.K. edition.

Andy: Yeah, nine.

Andrew: Fantastic.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: We're going to start with a basic summary. In short, it's Voldemort and all of his Death Eaters around one table planning - or, well, listening to Voldemort's plan to kill Harry Potter. He's telling his friends, our foes, that he is going to kill Harry Potter himself because he's made too many mistakes. So, that's basically how it opens up and our initial thoughts on this chapter, first chapter.

Eric: We'll go around the table. We'll go around the table.

Movie-Like Opening

Andrew: Yeah. Let me just start by saying this is a perfect way to open a book. It's very movie-like.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: It's a very movie-like opening because it's very short and find out exactly what the villain in this - I'm just going to call it a film right now - film is going to be trying to do throughout the entire film, and it's short and sweet...

Eric: You can say text.

Andrew: And it ends with a death. It's just - it's so fitting. It's going to be a perfect movie opening. Next.

Eric: I agree. Micah, what do you think?

Micah: I agree completely, actually. Andrew and I were talking about this before we started the show and saying how awesome of a way this is to open up Deathly Hallows. You know? The Avada Kedavra, the flash of green light and then Voldemort saying, you know, the whole line of "Dinner, Nagini" and you can see it just transferring over to Hedwig's Theme and that's how the seventh movie opens up.

Andrew: Hopefully they keep it in. [laughs]

Micah: [laughs] Yeah, if they're listening now, yeah, you better keep that in.

Andrew: David, David, my buddy.

Eric: I don't think, though, that they'll have a problem with this book because this is quite - this is short. This is a short book. In the U.K. edition, isn't it the third longest book?

Micah: Right.

Eric: I think it's behind...

Micah: Something like that.

Eric: Yeah. I think it's behind Book 5 for sure...

Micah: Right, but you can see the movie opening like that, similar, really, to how Goblet of Fire opened up with Frank Bryce being killed.

Eric: Yeah. It's very, very similar, and also a bit - you get a lot of star power with all of the actors. You'll see Alan Rickman and Jason Isaacs...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: And all of them - and Ralph Fiennes - right in the very beginning, and it's a great - you're right - it's very movie-esque and very good for the narrative of the text.

Andrew: Have we seen Alan Rickman and Ralph Fiennes on the same scene together yet?

Eric: Have they been together?

Andrew: I don't think so, have we?

Eric: No, no, not together because they would be...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, no we haven't.

Andrew: Yeah, that'll be very cool.

Eric: And Snape wasn't at the end of Movie 5, as far as I recall.

Andrew: Nope.

Eric: Yep. I can't wait.

Micah: Andy?

Andrew: Yeah, Andy?

Andy: All right, well, I have to re-preface this by saying Book 7 was my favorite book, so that's good.

Andrew: Oooh.

The Malfoy Manor

Andy: But I think this was a very good chapter and the thing I really enjoyed about it was something I've been wanting to see for a long time, which is the Malfoy Manor. And then we get taken right into it, so, I thought that was fantastic.

Eric: Yep. Yep. We're at the Malfoy Manor.

Andrew: Yeah, it's about time.

Eric: Isn't that awesome? After six books- that's actually our first point here. After six books of knowing the Malfoys, disliking the Malfoys - well, I don't know, some people thought Draco was kind of cute, but... [laughs] We're at the Malfoy Manor. Arthur Weasley has been here. Other characters have been there. This is where Dobby was from, we're talking, and we mean it. And, guys, what do we see? What do we see? What do we see? What do we have...

Andrew: Voldemort is there!

Eric: Voldemort's there and, guys, we have - they're white. They're sleek. They're shiny. They're peacocks.

Micah: [laughs] What?

Eric: The Malfoy Manor has peacocks! Did you guys not find - I find this - I put this as number one on our key points here. Isn't that awesome? What else about the Manor do you guys find interesting that we're introduced to in this book or in this chapter?

Andrew: Well, I like how Jo describes it as a handsome manor.

Eric: Yeah, it's very handsome.

Andrew: "Out of the darkness at the end of the straight drive was glinting..." Yeah, of course we've talked about it a million times before, but Jo's just very descriptive with all of her scenes.

The Prisoner: Ollivander

Eric: No, it's really written well. I think that's very demonstrative, and you guys remember in the middle of their talks they - you hear a whine, a moan, a distinct sort of noise, and Voldemort turns to Wormtail and says, "I thought you were keeping our prisoner in line?"

Andrew: Yeah, no, wait a second. What - what was that?

Eric: That was Ollivander.

Andy: That was Ollivander, yeah.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Eric: From underneath, but we don't know that yet.

Andrew: That makes sense now.

Eric: So, we just spoiled it for all the people who haven't read Book 7 yet, and were waiting for us to do Chapter-by-Chapter. [aughs]

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Nevermind.

Andrew: Because I was confused because the Hogwarts teacher is the prisoner. I was like, "Why is he running off if the Hogwarts teacher is right there?"

Snape and Yaxley

Eric: Right. Yeah, it was a bit confusing. So, when they go into the room - now this is when you meet Snape and Yaxley, right?

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: Snape and the Death Eater Yaxley, who are - they have their wands out at each other. They draw their - and this line worried me, because I think this was released just prior to, like, the week of the seventh book, wasn't it? This first apparent opening had been leaked?

Andrew: Yeah, it did. Yeah, it did.

Eric: And, just the way Snape says, when asked, "You have news?" Snape says, " The best." You know? "Replied Snape."

Andrew: "The best."

Eric: That worried me very, very much because this is just after - you have to take yourself back. This is the night of, or the night after, or well, actually quite a bit after, but it's - it's just after Snape has killed Dumbledore, and I took it to mean, "Oh no, maybe we were all fooled for thinking Snape was good, because he says... Well, it's the best, and he's grinning and he's like I have the best news of all. I thought he was delivering the news that he had killed Dumbledore, but he wasn't, so that's good.


Andrew: Yeah. So, then we get into the house and there's that floating human figure, and then Jo intros Draco, but doesn't directly say that it's Draco. What page is this on?

Eric: She says, "A boy with sleek hair..."

Andrew: Yeah, that's it

Eric: "...was the only one paying attention to Charity Burbage."

Andrew: Ah ha! I don't know about you guys, but I knew right away that was Draco. Who else could it be?

Eric: I read it twice, and then I figured it was him.

Andrew: Really?

Eric: Yeah, because it was like...

Micah: Well, they are in his house.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: But it's interesting that he should be in the Death Eater meeting, not - I mean, I realize that at the end of Book 6 we find out that he's been inducted as a Death Eater.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: But I think it's - I think it's quite interesting to have the whole family there, which we'll get into in a moment.

Andrew: Yes, the whole family thing, and how Voldemort responds. So, Draco, you can tell at this point that Draco is still exactly as he has been. He's weak, he's not - he shouldn't be a Death Eater. He's scared at the sight of Charity Burbage. Is that how you pronounce his name?

Eric: Yep. Her name.

Andrew: Her name.

Micah: Her name.

Andrew: He's scared of her floating right there, right in front of him.

Eric: Kind of creepy.

Andrew: Draco's a wuss. He's not - he's not...

Eric: I think he's realizing...

Andrew: He's not as great as he thinks he is.

Eric: Yeah. I think he's realizing, at this point more than ever, he's in over his head, or at least Charity's over his head. But...

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: He's in over his head now, and - and he can't get out. There's no way out. So, he just has to sit there and look glum, you know? And hope he doesn't get noticed by Voldemort, as he does.

Andrew: Right. So then they start talking about the Ministry of Magic.

Eric: Yes, they their plan is to...

Micah: I wanted to bring up...

Eric: ...overthrow it.

Andrew: Go ahead.

Eric: What's up?

Snape Blocking Voldemort

Micah: No, I just wanted to bring up one thing that I thought - and it does relate to all this, but when they first started getting into talking about the plan and the news that Snape brought. How Snape sort of conveys that information to Voldemort and how Snape is so very sure about when Harry is being moved. And I'm just going to quote it right here because, you know, this goes back to the whole idea of Voldemort being able to read into Snape's mind and Snape being so good at locking him out. It says, "His red eyes fastened upon Snape's black ones with such intensity that some of the watchers looked away, apparently fearful that they themselves would be scorched by the ferocity of the gaze. Snape, however, looked calmly back into Voldemort's face and after a moment or two, Voldemort's lipless mouth curved into something like a smile." So, it's clear that Snape has to be extremely powerful to do what he's doing and it shows even in the first chapter of Book 7.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Again, yeah, the Snape thing - no, you're right. You're completely right. And Snape - where is Snape? Snape is seated at the "right hand" of Voldemort, literally the chair right beside him. "Severus, I was saving this for you." As soon as he walks in, he sits at the "right hand" of Voldemort, which is because significant...

Micah: You think he said it like that?

Eric: He said it exactly like that in his...

Andrew: "Oh Severus, come here."

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: in his eyes. What you didn't know about...

Andrew: "I saved you a seat."

Eric: No, look, if he's the next one to come out, I'm leaving, literally. I'm literally - I'm just leaving.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: I'm leaving. You'll hear a door close.

Andrew: No, he was in love with Lily.

Eric: And, yeah. No.

Andrew: We know that.

Eric: Yeah. No, I'm talking Voldemort.

Andrew: Oh, oh, oh.

Andy: He wasn't in love with anybody.

Eric: [Eric laughs] Okay, anyway. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. He's not capable of love, so I'll continue to believe that.

Andrew: Straight love.

Eric: No, the right hand of Voldemort, that's symbolic. So, Snape is so trusted and so powerful, he sits at the right hand of Voldemort. And Voldemort's got that snake all around him so that's pretty creepy because the snake - the snake would be - it's described as being as big as a man's thigh.

Andrew: Yeah, and the snake will just straight up will kill you.

Eric: And it does in the end.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Oh, spoiler again. But I mean, snake, Snape and Voldie, right there. That - that's just ugh. That's like a bad board meeting gone wrong.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: So they're talking hostile take-overs.

Capturing Harry

Andrew: Yeah. So, Voldemort saying that he needs to kill off Harry Potter himself and thanks to Snape's information, he decides - well, he realizes that Harry's not going to go through Portkey or Floo Powder, so he's going to catch him right out in person! He's going to catch him out in broad darkness or daylight. He's going to catch him. And it's not going to be through magic because the Ministry of Magic could be watching - or, well, they know that the Ministry could be watching or the Death Eaters. [sighs] So...

Eric: Exactly.

Andrew: So...

Eric: There's a quote here.

Andrew: Okay.

Eric: Quote here is "I shall attend to the boy in person. There have been too many mistakes where Harry Potter is concerned. Some of them have been my own. That Potter lives is due more to my errors than to his triumphs." Lord Voldemort says this in - on page 13 in the UK edition. He says that there have been errors and they've been more Voldemort's fault than they have been due to Harry's, you know, dumb luck, basically. Voldemort's...

Micah: That's...

Eric: .Goes on to say more about this.

Micah: Page six in our U.S. edition.

Eric: Page six? That's really interesting. Yeah. But yeah, he says that. And then he goes on to it. So, this is sort of setting up that Voldemort is aware of his past failings and is really keen on not making any more mistakes when it comes to Harry Potter.

Micah: I thought that statement was so ironic, though, if you think about.

Eric: Oh, it's very. It's very ironic. That's why...

Micah: Because there he is talking about his mistakes and yet he's unaware of the fact...

Eric: He's going to make a boatload.

Micah: Oblivious to the fact of how many more mistakes he's made and how far along in the process Harry already is.

Eric: Yeah, by the end of this book, he's going to make a boatload more mistakes.

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