MuggleCast 129 Transcript (continued)



Muggle Mail: The Taboo


Matt: "As it refers to Voldemort's name becoming taboo and Grimmauld Place, I think the Fidelius Charm would hold up to it. Yes, the Death Eaters would be able to sense the name being used, but the Fidelius Charm is such a powerful spell (hiding information in a human soul), that they would not be able to see the place or go near on in it without being told of its existence."

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, I agree with that.

Andrew: Shana, I think you make good points.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: So, that cleared up a lot that...

Matt: Oh, wait. But that's all she has to say, and "thanks for hearing me out."

Andrew: Oh, okay.


Muggle Mail: Regulus Black


Micah: The next one comes from Rachel, 17, of Setauket, about Regulus Black. She says:

"Hey Guys! I was just listening to episode 128 and I started thinking about all the questions that I have about Regulus. I wonder if he knew about the prophecy and that Voldemort was planning the murder of the Potters because in the note he put in the locket he wrote, 'I am destroying this in the hopes that when you meet your match, you'll be mortal once more.' I also was wondering what Voldemort thought happened with Regulus; he clearly didn't know that he stole one of his Horcruxes but at the same time, Regulus did die at the lake, and according to Lupin, Regulus went on the run and was killed a few days after he deserted Voldemort by Death Eaters. So, I wonder if Voldemort ever cared to find out what really happened to Regulus or if maybe he knew that Regulus ran away and his Death Eaters just lied to him about killing him. Please tell me what you all think! I love the show keep up the great work, Rachel."

Use some periods. That would be helpful.

[Matt and Micah laugh]

Andrew: That's so mean! Sorry Rachel, I apologize on behalf of Micah.

Micah: Sorry. This is kind of interesting, I guess, because what we knew about Regulus was that he was on the run supposedly, and he was killed by Death Eaters, but that's not the case, and I wonder if Voldemort ever did wonder about that - what happened to him or he probably just didn't care very much.

Laura: Yeah, that's what I was thinking.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: I mean, at that point we know he a lot of followers and it probably wouldn't be that unusual to have one or two of them disappear like that, you know?

Andrew: Yeah. I agree.

Micah: Yep.

Andrew: All right. Well, that's it for Muggle Mail this week. Our interview...

Micah: Spider mail?

Andrew: [laughs] To spider mail, yeah.

[Matt and Laura laugh]


Interview with Freddie Highmore: Part I


Andrew: Now we're going to the Spiderwick portion of the show. Now - now it's time for our interview with Freddie Highmore. This is part one. Part two will be coming out in another two weeks. So, enjoy. Okay, hi, everyone, I'm here with Freddie Highmore who is starring in the new movie The Spiderwick Chronicles that comes out February 15th. Freddie is only 15 years old, and he's acted among actors such as Johnny Depp and Robin Williams in the acclaimed films, Finding Neverland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and August Rush. His next movie, The Spiderwick Chronicles, comes out February 15th, and Freddie has agreed to be a guest host on MuggleCast, and tell us why Harry Potter fans will like it. So, Freddie, how are you doing today?

Freddie: Very good, how are you doing?

Andrew: I'm doing great. You have this big movie coming up. It's being promoted like crazy in America, The Spiderwick Chronicles. Can you tell us a little bit about the movie?

Freddie: Yeah, I mean, it's supposed to be about three kids that go off to the country, and - with their mom, and they discover an unseen world, with fairies, trolls, goblins, and I mean, it's really fantastic. They are all CGI and it's very impressive.

Andrew: Awesome. Now, MuggleCast, the podcast we are doing this interview for, has a huge Harry Potter audience, as you can imagine. So, what do you think Harry Potter fans will like about Spiderwick Chronicles.

Freddie: I think it's amazing, you know, it lowers your defenses, almost like an Alfred Hitchcock movie. In a way, you know, there's gentle moments where you relax and you feel comfortable, and just when you're sort of lulled into the moment, a big creature goes crashing through the ceiling, or something like that and gives you a big fright. It's really great. And also the way they've done the CGI, and the goblins and trolls, they actually look - they actually look real. That makes the unbelievable stuff, really believable.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Cool. So, let's talk about Harry Potter just for a minute. Have you - I'm assuming you've read the series before?

Freddie: Yeah, no, I've read the book, and, you know, I love the films.

Andrew: Cool. What's your favorite book? Harry Potter book?

Freddie: My favorite Harry Potter book - well they are called different things over here, but I really like the first one, The Sorcerer's Stone.

Andrew: Okay.

Freddie: And I guess you have to first at the...

Andrew: Original.

Freddie: The first one, yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, and if you were to be in one of the Harry Potter films, which character do you think you would have wanted to play?

Freddie: [laughs] I remember I actually - I guess I was a bit too young when they started to get, you know, to get together.

Andrew: Yeah.

Freddie: But I know the guy that plays Harry Potter quite well - Dan Radcliffe.

Andrew: Daniel Radcliffe.

Freddie: Yeah. I mean, we're good friends and we've known each other, in fact, before Harry Potter started filming, so it's kind of funny.

Andrew: Awesome. Yeah, I would have thought you would have made a great Harry Potter if it wasn't for that darn Dan Radcliffe.

[Andrew and Freddie laugh]

Andrew: So, for Spiderwick, what was the audition process like?

Freddie: Well, I just basically went to Los Angeles, and had a screen test there, and they wanted to basically see if playing two people would work out - playing twins. So, I was auditioning for Mallory, as well. I remember thinking that they probably wouldn't - they probably wouldn't cast me, since she was so good.

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]

Freddie: I didn't think they'd cast two non-Americans, but there you go, they did, so I'm lucky.

Andrew: Yeah, well speaking of that, is it difficult to do an American accent for this film?

Freddie: It wasn't too bad, actually. It was tougher the first time I did it. I did it for a film called August Rush.

Andrew: Okay.

Freddie: And I guess I had already...

Andrew: You had plenty of practice.

Freddie: ...knew how to do it, and had some experience with it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Freddie: We had a voice coach that was always there on the set. Make sure any slip ups we had that could try and be corrected.

Andrew: Okay, good. So, if you were to do it now, do you think you could completely pull it off? Could you completely become American?

Freddie: [laughs] I hope so. How I tried to do it when I was filming, I'd just tried totalk in the accent as much as possible.

Andrew: Okay.

Freddie: Even when I go home, or go back to the apartment we had there in Montreal, you know, just an evening with my dad and stuff, just try and just keep it going and...

Andrew: [laughs] Just try and...

Freddie: So,I wouldn't have to think about it when I was acting. It became second-nature.

Andrew: Right, yeah. Because once you stepped out of that American accent, it's hard to get back in, I guess.

[Freddie laughs]

Andrew: So, what's the best part about acting in a fantasy film for you?

Freddie: I mean this one was particularly great because I got to play twins, and that's only the sort of opportunity you get if you're lucky. Most people never get that opportunity.

Andrew: Yeah. I imagine that would have been hard to do. Was that a new challenge for you, playing twins? Because you are essentially filming the same scenes twice. Right?

Freddie: Yeah, I mean, that's pretty much how they did it. They do one pass with me as Simon, or as Jared, and then I'd switch over to the other character and do it again. I mean, it was kind of nice to have two because you can work out things between them both and I mean - like, for example, there's a scene towards the start of the movie in the bedroom and we come in.

Andrew: Mhm.

Freddie: And it's just action and we're moving around and it took quite a while to rehearse and all, set it up.

Andrew: Yeah.

Freddie: But when you look back at it in the end, it's kind of cool to see yourself talking to yourself.

Andrew: Right. [laughs] Yeah. I look forward to seeing that. Now, how - how does that work? Are you filming the same scenes on the same set or is there any green screen involved or what?

Freddie: Sometimes we use green screen, but I mean, I guess it complicted it further that sometimes there were ping pong balls for the goblins and trolls.

Andrew: Yeah.

Freddie: And then there's also another one for another character of mine. But normally, I guess how they did it was they just do the scene once and film it how it was meant to be with something called motion control.

Andrew: Mhm.

Freddie: And then the camera can repeat its movement exactly the same each time, so...

Andrew: Oh! I see.

Freddie: I'd just - I'd just be one character and pretend to look where the other one should be...

Andrew: Right.

Freddie: And then they match the two images together and it seems like we're there together at the same time.

Andrew: Oh, okay. That's very cool.

Freddie: I mean, it's pretty complicated.

Andrew: Oh, I'm sure. [laughs]

Freddie: But that's just the basics, I guess.

Andrew: So, what we're going to do now is Freddie is going to ask you guys a question related to Spiderwick and if you don't know the answer you can always check SpiderwickChronicles.com for the answer. Freddie's going to ask you the question and then the first 15 people to send their contact information and the correct answer to kaitlin at staff dot mugglenet dot com will receive a pair of tickets to see the movie in IMAX. So, Freddie, what is the question this week?

Freddie: The first question is, What will hobgoblin saliva give you when it applied to the eyes?

Andrew: All right, so once again, send in the correct answer and contact information to kaitlin at staff dot mugglenet dot com. That's k-a-i-t-l-i-n at staff dot mugglenet dot com and the first 15 people to send in their correct answers will receive a pair of tickets to see the movie in IMAX. Part two of our interview with Freddie Highmore will come next week.

Micah: Who's the person who did that interview? That - that person did a really great job.

Andrew: Oh, thank you. I'll pass the compliments along to him. He's a good friend of mine. He's sort of a somebody in the Harry Potter fandom.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: It's hard to get in touch with him. He's very big in the...

Micah: Emerson?

Andrew: No. No. Bigger, actually.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Much bigger.

Micah: Wow!

Andrew: Yes. In more ways than one. But it's time to move on to Chapter-by-Chapter...

Laura: Ooo!


Chapter-by-Chapter: Chapters 11 and 12


Andrew: Now. This week we're going to discuss Chapters 11 and 12. No Eric this week, so that means Chapter-by-Chapter is going to be about 5 minutes long.

[Laura laughs]

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, so...

Micah: Ouch.

[Everyone laughs]

Matt: No, you can't put that in there!

Andrew: I'm kidding.

Micah: No, you're not.

[Laura laughs]

Laura: I know.

Andrew: No, I'm not.

Laura: That's the best part.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: We love each other on the show.

Andrew: No, we do. I'm just kidding.

Micah: We really do.

Matt: Of course.

Micah: Because people send in emails, "Why do you hate Eric?"

Andrew: Yeah. No, no, no, no, no.

Micah: We don't.

Andrew: I didn't mean that like I hate him. He adds a lot to the Chapter-by-Chapter. That's all I mean by it.

Matt: A whole lot.


Chapter 11: The Bribe


Andrew: Yeah. So Chapter 11: "The Bribe." I'm going to enjoy talking about this chapter because this whole situation...

Matt: I think we're going to all enjoy this chapter. What do you guys think?

Andrew: Wow. That was - really loud.

Laura: Yeah. That was very happy, Matt.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Very positive.

Matt: I just drank a whole can of Mountain Dew in two seconds.

Andrew: Oh. I see.

Laura: Oh, wow.

Andrew: We should all drink a lot of sugar before the show. That would actually help a lot, I think. [laughs] All right, so, yeah, Chapter 11: "The Bribe." It's an interesting chapter. Basically, what happens in this chapter - basic summary is Remus Lupin tries to get with the trio to go along with them. He wants to join in on the action and Harry believes that his intentions aren't for the right reasons. So, we'll start off with the one thing that, Matt, you wanted to bring up, along with Laura.

Matt: Sure.

Andrew: Go for it.

Matt: Should I bring it up now?

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: Oh, okay cool. All right.

Andrew: It's number one. Number one usually means the first thing.


World War II Parallels


Matt: Well, okay, thanks. Well, what Remus or Lupin or however we want to call him - he shows Harry and the trio that the Ministry has conducted a registration that is mandatory for all Muggle-born wizards to register themselves and have been written an account of being a Muggle. What is so great about this parallel is that it's relevant to the same registering of the Jewish people during World War II during the Holocaust.

Laura: Yeah, definitely. Well, I think it's really interesting because even though Jo has said she didn't really base this on Hitler and Nazi Germany, because she has been asked that before, there really are a lot of parallels to the subject, like I was thinking about the kind of anti-semitic behavior that was really socially acceptable at that time. Jews would have their – had their homes and shops vandalized, they'd be terrorized during all hours of the night. I mean, not to mention the burning of their synagogues that happened before the actual concentration camps opened up. So, it's really interesting when you look at the way Muggle-borns are treated in the Potter series even before this registration starts up.

Matt: Yeah. Well, this just proves that the wizarding world also has genocide just like the Muggle world.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Yeah, I mean...

Andrew: It's a - this was really one of those wow moments – just to give you an idea of how badly Voldemort and the Death Eaters were taking over the wizarding world, because this is a huge punch. Especially...

Matt: Oh, this is a huge – this is a very dark, low moment for the – just for the whole government.

Andrew: Absolutely. Yeah.

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: Micah?

Micah: I was just agreeing with Laura and Matt because that's really what came to mind, at least when I was re-reading it. You know, maybe it didn't catch on to me the first time I read Deathly Hallows, but I mean, there's a lot of, sort of, World War II, Naziism undertones in this book. And I think it started – we talked back at the chapter with the wedding in it, with the mark of Grindelwald is sort of a – you know, with it being displayed on the walls as it is like that Durmstrang and, you know, it kind of resembles a swastika. And...

Laura: Right.

Micah: ...throughout the series more and more, and even Gregorovitch, where he's locked, and I forget the name of the – it sort of resembles the name of a concentration camp, and, you know, I just thought that Jo kind of did that intentionally to show the strong prejudices that exist in the wizarding world. And, you know, this is another example and another chapter. As we move on we kind of see it more and more and I didn't pay attention to it, really, on my first read through.

Matt: Are you referring to the concentration Auschwitz – is that's how it's pronounced?

Andrew: I think that was it, yeah.

Laura: Well, there were multiple concentration camps.

Micah: Yeah.

Matt: Yeah.

Laura: But - there was – this one sounded, and I'm thinking, I don't know why I'm thinking of Buchenwald, which was one. But the name...

Micah: Yeah. That's...

Laura: ...in the book sounded very similar to that.

Micah: And I think I said Gregorovitch and I meant Grindelwald.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: Oh, oh, sorry.

Micah: Who was locked there. I think I said Gregorovitch was locked there, but that was a lie.

Andrew: Well I think, even if Jo knew she was drawing these parallels, I don't think she would admit it. Like, I don't think she does it on purpose – like, obviously there's some inspiration from there, but I don't think she really does it on purpose. I just think she's well-educated on Nazi Germany and used it to create...

Laura: Well, also it's not...

Andrew: ...this Harry Potter world? I don't know.

Laura: It's not just Nazi Germany, though, I mean...

Matt: Yeah. It's pretty much what happened.

Laura: ...countries all over the world, including our own, have done terrible things to minority groups. I mean, during the mass immigration here through Ellis Island we actually sterilized people.

Andrew: Mhm.

Laura: Who we though were unfit to breed.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: So, you know?

Micah: Right.

Laura: It just goes to show that it's not just places like Germany that did these things, like...

Micah: Oh, of course.

Laura: It's as near and dear as to our own home. So, it's kind of scary when you think about it, but I think there are a lot of definite, very strong parallels and I think that when people think of these kinds of injustices they automatically think of the Holocaust.

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: Oh, of course.

Laura: I think it stands out, so we're automatically going to think of it in comparison to this.

Matt: Well, it's also because it just has a lot of direct parallels to what happened back then.

Laura: Mhm.

Matt: But it's just pretty much what happens when a totalitarian gets absolute power over an entire government.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Yeah, and, you know, it just – I think part of it is, too, what Jo had answered when a lot of people had brought up the year of 1945, the year that Grindelwald was defeated.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: And the parallels that were starting to be made and Jo basically said that you could make those comparisons, and I definitely think that in Deathly Hallows we get a better understanding of why that was, and, you know, Grindelwald himself....

Andrew: Yeah

Micah: ...was imprisoned – I think the name here is Nurmengard, which was an actual prison that he built to house his opponents. So again, there's that imagery of a concentration camp, almost. And Nurmengard sounds awfully similar to Nόremberg.

Laura: Yeah, that's what I was thinking.

Matt: Oh, yeah.

Micah: Which obviously plays a very big role, at least for the trials of a lot the Nazis post-World War II.

Laura: Yeah, and you know what else I'm thinking of? I kind of compare it to this - after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, tons of American Japanese were rounded up and put into camps in America – in the Midwest.

Andrew: Mhm.

Laura: And while it wasn't anything on the scale of the Holocaust, it was still the idea of rounding up one group of people and finding a way to get rid of them or put them away where they couldn't hurt your society because you believed that just because a few of them might of done something wrong, all would. So...

Matt: Yeah.

Laura: It just sort of sprung to mind, too.


Lupin's Request


Andrew: Another big point in Chapter 11 we wanted to talk about was Lupin coming to Harry and asking to be a part of his adventure. So although the trio doesn't want to tell Lupin anything about the mission given to them by Dumbledore, Lupin still gives them reasons why he should come along. And it seems at first that Harry, Ron, and Hermione are sort of into it, until Lupin reveals that Tonks is pregnant. Then Harry has a very sudden change of heart and, you know, this big argument occurs. So, do you guys think Lupin is truly a coward concerning his family? And Tonks and his family? Because that's what Harry calls him. Or does he really believe in helping the trio? Because, you know, Harry was – Harry overreacted mainly because he can relate to it, his situation. He wouldn't have wanted – his parents always stuck with him, so he doesn't believe Lupin should just be leaving his kid and his wife even though the kid's not born yet.

Laura: I wouldn't really call Lupin a coward per se. I think it was more of a situation of cold feet for him. Because we saw at the end of Half-Blood Prince he already had reservation of marrying Tonks because of his age and because of him being a werewolf.

Matt: Mhm.

Laura: I do think it would be very wrong to get someone pregnant and then say, "Oh, look at what I've done to you. Because it's clearly better for me to leave you by yourself and raise a kid on your own."

Micah: Yeah, well...

Laura: I think that's a load of crap. But at the same time I think he sincerely wanted to help too.

Andrew: Yeah, that's the other thing, he said himself, "I believe your dad would've wanted me to come along," and Harry says, "Well, I don't think he would've ditched his kid." You know?

Matt: But this doesn't sound like Lupin though - this is like a different side of him we haven't seen before.

Micah: Right. And I think part of him...

Andrew: I think he was having a breakdown, really.

Micah: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: He was looking forward to getting out of this Tonks situation.

Matt: How long – he probably hasn't known much about the news that his wife is pregnant, this might be just a reaction to what he's been just told.

Laura: Yeah, that's what I was thinking.

Andrew: Oh, maybe! Oh, yeah!

Matt: A lot of parents, when they find out, their whole life flashes before their eyes and they see all the accomplishments they haven't made and the things they thought - the kind of person they were. Lupin probably thought that he would never be the type of person who would have a wife and have a kid. He'd always seen himself as the person helping out and giving his life for his friends or something.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Matt: So this is probably a gut instinct of his, to come to the aid of his friends.

Laura: Well also...

Andrew: Although, you do have to keep in mind - real quick, he did say it took him three days longer because he had to knock off the Death Eater on his tail. So even if – say he heard about Tonks being pregnant and then he immediately ran away, I would've thought he would cool down after three days and maybe really think it through. Because he's not selfish.

Laura: Mhm.

Matt: Well, his adrenaline is probably racing too because he has to constantly...

Andrew: Chased.

Matt: ...think about dodging all these Death Eaters.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Yep.

Laura: And I guess it's also the terrifying idea of bringing a child into the world in the middle of a war.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: I don't know – he definitely was moving away from his responsibilities as a parent, but at the same I don't know if he delivers the message to Harry the way that he wanted to or the way that we would have normally expected Lupin to. I think it came over to Harry in the wrong way and that's why Harry reacted the way that he did. I'm not saying that Harry wasn't exploitive in this particular scene because I think he cracked down on Lupin a little too hard, but I would also understand where Harry's coming from - being orphaned himself he wouldn't want to, you know, see the same thing happen to Lupin's child.

Andrew: That's exactly what I'm thinking.

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: Because, like I said, Harry can really relate to this. He knows exactly what's going on here which is why he picked up on it so quick. You know?

Laura: And also he would feel at fault for it because so many people have already died for him.

Andrew: Right.

Laura: And the thought of making another kid fatherless on his account.

Micah: Right, but - ironically, in the end...

Andrew: Ironically. [laughs]

Micah: ...he ends up feeling bad about it anyway because that's exactly what does happen and he ends up losing both of his parents.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: Right. Another thing I wanted to bring up - if Tonks gave her permission directly to Harry – say, if Tonks was like, "It's okay, I want Lupin to come help out you guys," because maybe Tonks thinks they need a little help, do you think maybe Harry would have let Lupin come along then? Or do you think this is a personal issue with Harry that wouldn't have been able to be changed?

Matt: Hmmm. No, no, no. Harry's set in stone that Dumbledore just wanted Harry and Ron and Hermione to go along with him and Harry trusts Dumbledore's word more than anyone's.

Andrew: That's not the point though, because Harry was considering taking Lupin but one of his primary reasons for Lupin not coming was because of his kid.

Matt: Well did he say he was thinking about it or did he just say it was a tempting offer?

Andrew: Well at first he was thinking about it because at first he's like - they're a little taken aback, I think. And then Harry or one of them is like, "What's this all about?" and then Lupin says, "Oh, Tonks is having a kid." So, I think Harry's main argument wasn't that it's Dumbledore's mission for the trio - that was part of the argument - but the real reason they were throwing spells at each other was just because Lupin was doing something Harry would never want to see a father do.

Matt: Well, I don't think they probably would have broke out in a fight like they did. I know, but I'm saying if the situation wasn't the fact that he was running away because his wife was pregnant. I don't think it would have been a fight - I don't think they would have had an argument like that. But I still don't think Harry would let him in on it.

Laura: Yeah, I agree.


Muggle Mail: Lupin vs. Harry Argument


Andrew: So, relating to this, Georgia, 16, from Walnut Creek, CA writes:

"I've been looking forward to the Chapter-By-Chapter for Chapter 11 almost as much as I've been dreading it - probably because my Lupin fangirling knows no bounds. Since July, I have re-read and over-analyzed this chapter more times than I'd like to admit, and have come to several conclusions. The preeminent one being that Harry has a nasty habit of jumping go conclusions, and aught to learn to think before speaking. People leave their families to fight in wars all the time, and I can't see how Remus is any different. He was frightened, yes, but I don't see how he was in any way cowardly. He's had to struggle with the prejudices against werewolves all his adult life, being shunned, subjected to poverty, and I don't even want to imagine what sort of things he saw when he was spying on Greyback. The thought that he could have forced that sort of life onto an innocent child was just too much for him to handle. Nobody wants that for their child, especially not when the future looks so bleak already. And with all that aside, it's obvious that he really cares about Harry, and I cannot believe that he was at all comfortable with the idea of him, Ron and Hermione running off into untold dangers all by themselves."

That was my point.

"They might have been adults, but they were still missing an entire year of their education, and had just about no experience with taking care of themselves on their own. The notion that they were planning to do just that probably unsettled him almost as much as it did Mrs. Weasley. What Harry said to him was just awful, and I can't help feeling that if Remus had not been trying so hard to hide his feelings, and had worded his request differently, things might have ended up much better. If nothing else, he could have at least helped prevent situations in which they're all living off of toadstools."

[laughs]

So, I agree with that. I agree with all the points she made. I mean, Remus wants to protect him. He wants to protect him. He wants to protect – by him I mean Harry – he wants to protect Harry for James. I mean – you know, why let three kids run off and do this huge battle that Dumbledore left them to. I mean, okay, Dumbledore left them to it but...

Matt: They're seventeen.

Andrew: I mean, obviously they proved Lupin wrong but, I don't know.

Laura: I guess it's kind of like – and you consider an extreme circumstance in which your child and another child are both in danger – you know, who are you going to save first? Your kid, I mean, there's no doubt about it. I mean, you try to help everyone you can but your kid should always be your priority.

Micah: Right, and I think, maybe him going to do this was his way of coping with the situation and I think that's kind of what we were trying to bring up throughout this whole thing is that, this is kind of his coping mechanism. I think, for finding out – I think that's what Matt had mentioned earlier and I guess you could argue either way. I mean, him leaving the situation doesn't resolve the problem. I mean, the fact that his kid could grow up to be a werewolf, which I'm sure is something that he's concerned about – you know, it's not going to magically disappear if he goes off and gets himself killed and I think that's probably what Harry is argument was mostly about. But I don't think that Harry necessarily – as much as Lupin didn't probably make his argument strong enough, I don't think that Harry reacted the way he probably should have either.

Matt: Yeah, I just think it was just poorly delivered on both parts.

Micah: And the worst thing that I thought about was, if Lupin now goes off and got killed, that would have been the worst possible terms for Harry and Lupin to have ended on.

Andrew: [laughs] Right. Yeah.

Matt: Well don't they mention that too? I mean, doesn't...

Micah: Later on.

Matt: Doesn't Harry mention that a couple of times later in the book. Yeah.

Micah: Yeah.

Matt: He just can't – he just doesn't want to think of how he left things with Remus.


Scrimgeour Stays Loyal


Micah: But – yeah and through all of this, I mean, one thing that kind of got overshadowed that we didn't talk about from Lupin's visit was, you know, the fact that he mentions that Scrimgeour didn't give Harry away. Which...

Andrew: Is big.

Micah: Is big.

Andrew: I mean that's....

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. If that's the real story, I mean, we'll never know though. [laughs] I mean, there could have been more to it, but from the reader's perspective, yeah it looks like he died for Harry.


Kreacher Returns With Mundungus


Andrew: All right, so let's move on now. The part in this chapter I hope really makes the movie.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: And you know, Jo insisted that Kreacher stay in...

Micah: Some comedy finally, you know?

Andrew: Yes, exactly.

Matt: I know.

Micah: In a very dark book.

Andrew: Kreacher returns with Mundungus like he promised, at this point Kreacher is loving Harry. You know, he's making dinners and everything for the trio, he's so far up there that...

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: You know, everything is going well. So, Harry starts interrogating Mundungus but not too soon – not too long after that Kreacher just comes up and starts hitting Mundungus on the head with a frying pan and it's so funny and I just really hope that makes the film.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: What did you guys think of that part?

Laura: I thought it was really funny, especially when he said like – what was it? I forget. He was like, he called him Master Harry and he was like, "One more, please, Master Harry," or whatever.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: [laughs] It was really cute.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: Oh yeah. He says, "Perhaps just one more, Master Harry, for luck?"

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah and then Harry says, "No, we've got to keep him conscious." So, the best part comes on pg. 222 when Mundungus starts explaining who he – who has the locket now and the realization is hilarious. Let me just read it real quick. "'Who was this woman?' asked Harry. 'I don't know some Ministry hack.' Mundungus considered for a moment, brow wrinkled. 'Little woman, bow on top of her head.' He frowned and added, 'Looked like a toad.'"

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: "Harry dropped his wand, it hit Mundungus on the nose." And of course that's when they realized, it's Umbridge.

Matt: I have to say though, the endings of all the chapters in book seven are probably the best out of the series.

Andrew: Yeah. They're so clever, they're so movie-like.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: They make you want to turn the page. Like, you know, I don't know about you, but whenever I read the Harry Potter books I read so many more chapters than I intend.

Andrew: Oh, right. Absolutely.

Matt: Because each chapter...

Laura: Oh, definitely.

Matt: I just want to go, "Okay, just one more chapter," because...

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Exactly.

Matt: ...I want to know what happens now.

Andrew: Yeah, I used to do the same thing when I was reading them all for the first time. You just – and that's one of the biggest compliments that the Harry Potter books receive. You just can't put them down. That's what everyone says the first time they read them, "I just couldn't stop." Okay, so, Chapter 12, there wasn't as much going on in this chapter. Not really any big developments so we're going to move through it pretty quick.

Laura: Well, hey guys, I've got to get going.

Andrew: All right Laura. No worries. See you.

Laura: Bye everyone!


Ron Finally Says "Voldemort"


Micah: The only other thing I wanted to note about this chapter was that it's the first time, at least that I remember, Ron ever saying the word "Voldemort."

Andrew: Is it the only time?

Micah: The first time.

Andrew: Is it the first time?

Micah: I thought so.

Andrew: Is it truly the first time?

Micah: Maybe I'm making this up. Somebody check me on it. It was on pg. 208, the U.S. edition. It's the first time I've ever seen Ron say the word. Say the name "Voldemort."

Andrew: I could see why this would be his first time, because this is really the start of the journey. So, maybe he is running on a nice little high.

Micah: Feeling brave.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Saying, "Hey, I guess if Hermione can say it then I can!"

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. [laughs] I don't know. But okay, let's move on to Chapter 12 now. Ummm, who wrote the first points? Someone else start. Go ahead.

Matt: I did.

Micah: I didn't write any of the points, so...

Andrew: Was that you, Matt?

Matt: I actually wrote the first point.

Andrew: Okay, go ahead.

Matt: I don't want to say it.

Andrew: Why not?

Matt: Well, I don't know how to introduce it.

Micah: Just do a summary first. That's probably the best thing.


Chapter 12: Magic is Might


Andrew: All right. So, the meaning of Chapter 12 - they're getting into the Ministry at this point. They've all taken the Polyjuice potion, and they transformed into new Ministry people. Now, they're going into the Ministry. First thing I wanted to bring up was the new statue. They replaced the Fountain of Magical Brethren.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: I'm good.

Matt: That's true.


"Magic is Might"


Andrew: I'm proud of myself for that. Now, this new statue that reads "Magic is Might." I don't have the exact description up, I don't know if you do, Matt. But it's described as a large black statue that has a man and a woman, a wizard and a witch, sitting on a bunch of bodies.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: All wrangled up and just - are they dead? Can you tell they're dead?

Matt: Uh, no, they're holding them up. That's the way it is.

Andrew: Right, they're sitting on top of them.

Matt: Right, but it's the whole fact that - you know, like 300 when all the slaves were holding up the big Persian master? That's pretty much what the statue entailing.

Micah: Yeah, I have the quote right here.

Andrew: Go ahead and read it.

Micah: It says, "Now a gigantic statue of black stone dominated the scene. It was rather frightening, this vast sculpture of a witch and a wizard sitting on ornately carved thrones, looking down at the Ministry workers toppling out of fireplaces below them. Engraved in foot-high letters at the base of the statue were the words 'MAGIC IS MIGHT.'" And I'm looking for the other part here.

Andrew: Yeah, then they make the realization that they're not sitting on chairs, they're actually bodies. And what's the quote for that?

Micah: Hermione, who says to Harry, "'Have you seen what they're sitting on?' Harry looked more closely and realized that what he had thought were decoratively carved thrones were actually mounds of cared humans: hundreds and hundreds of naked bodies, men, women, and children, all with rather stupid, ugly faces, twisted and pressed together to support the weight of the handsomely robed wizards."

Andrew: Yeah, so, it's a very nasty sight. I mean that's terrible.

Matt: It's very graphic.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: And it's supposedly Muggles, yeah? I'm guessing.

Andrew: Yeah. That's what they realize as well. So, it's just another sign of how the Ministry has changed, I mean, that is just a gigantic symbol of how the Ministry of Magic functions now. It's - it's just absolutely terrible. I mean, I don't even see how Ministry employees could approve of that.

Micah: They probably don't have a choice.

Andrew: Well, right but - yeah, it's just...

Micah: It goes back to the whole Nazi Germany comparison...

Andrew: Right, exactly.

Matt: Yeah.

Micah: ...that was brought up last chapter.

Andrew: Oh, here I am coming to work. Oh, what's the first thing I see? A giant black statue that has a witch and a wizard sitting on a ton of dead Muggles and Mudbloods.

Matt: That's sad.

Andrew: Yep.


Snape is Headmaster


Micah: One of the other big things in the chapter that we learned, which actually takes place before they go to the Ministry, is from The Daily Prophet that Harry brings home saying that Snape is now a headmaster of Hogwarts. And, you know, we mentioned earlier in the Chapter-by-Chapter a couple of episodes back that when we heard that the Ministry had fallen was kind of the "Holy *bleep*!" moment of the series.

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: Did anybody kind of get the same feeling when they found out that Snape was running Hogwarts?

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: I mean, we don't know yet, obviously, that he is good...

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: But this was another moment in the series where you really start to think - and this is, of course, in addition to everything that we're learning, that's going on in the Ministry with all the round-ups that are taking place. But this is really one of those moments where you realize things are getting pretty bad.

Andrew: Right.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Because all of the sudden it's like - you can't believe - it's like Hogwarts all of the sudden turns into a prison cell. That's how I pictured it.

Micah: Right.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: It turned into a huge dungeon. It's like Snape's giant dungeon.

Micah: Yeah. It's the big pieces that are slowly falling. You know. First it was the Ministry, now the only place, I think, that Harry has ever known to be safe, Hogwarts, is clearly not.

Andrew: Right.

Matt: Mhm. I had really mixed feelings when I read about Snape. This whole chapter - I mean this whole book even - but hearing that Snape had become headmaster, I...

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: You know, because there's so much speculation if Snape was good or bad...

Andrew: Right.

Matt: ...that you think, okay well if he's good, then this is actually a good thing for all the students in Hogwarts - that they actually have Snape, who is really going against Voldemort, who is trying to help all the students or something.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: But...

Andrew: I guess that's true.

Matt: But then you think if he's bad, it's just they're screwed.

Andrew: But even if he is bad - I don't know. I mean, in hindsight we all now know - I mean, Snape was doing it - Snape's intentions were to protect the school. I mean...

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Maybe it was never stated, but obviously he didn't want to see Hogwarts go.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: Who knows? For all we know Snape may have offered.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Maybe Snape said to Voldemort, "Let me take over. Don't put some..."

Matt: Well I'm sure he did.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: Because he's a familiar face for the school.

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