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

MuggleCast 135 Transcript

Show Intro

Andrew: This week's podcast is also brought to you by, the Internet's leading provider of spoken word entertainment. Get a free audiobook download of your choice when you sign up today. Log onto today for details.

[Intro music begins]

Andrew: Hey, Mason, I really need a good gift for my generic loved one. Any ideas?

Mason: Oh yeah, Andrew. I have the gift they need. If you sign up for GoDaddy's economy blogcast package you'll receive one gig of disk space, 100 gigs bandwidth, recording tools, and much more!

Andrew: Whoa! With all those features, I guess that kind of package will run me at least $20 a month and be plastered with ads.

Mason: You're wrong, Andrew. The blogcast economy package is just $4.49 a month for 12 months!

Andrew: That's a deal! And a perfect way to get your own website, blog, or podcast started.

Mason: Oh, yeah! That is a deal! Plus enter code MUGGLE when you check out. Save an additional 10% on any order. Get your piece of the Internet at

[Show music begins]

Andrew: Because audiobooks keep us sane - well, Mikey and Matt sane - this is MuggleCast Episode 135 for March 8th, 2008.

[Show music continues to play]

Andrew: All right, we are back for another week of MuggleCast. No bleeping this week. I think we're bleeped out for the next about thousand episodes.

Matt: We are?

Laura: Aww, darn.

Andrew: Yeah, sorry. I know, I know. It was a lot of [bleep]-ing fun, but...

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: ...we have to stop now.

Eric: Bleeps are so hard to do in the audio editor. I don't know about you, Andrew, but that always upsets me when I have to put bleeps in.

Andrew: It took a couple of minutes, but it was worth it because everyone loved that episode, that intro. People are thinking it was our best intro ever.

Laura: Yeah, except for one person.

Eric: I haven't heard it. I need to.

Laura: One person e-mailed and said that she was fed up with us. She would never listen again.

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Matt: Really?

Andrew: I love the people, yeah, that was funny. [laughs] Yeah, some people like to pretend like they're unsubscribing to make us feel bad, but really - Hey, if you aren't going to listen, whatever. Don't threaten us.

Mikey: Hey. I would feel bad if they, you know...

Andrew: I don't, because I know they're lying. They'll come back next week. They'll be back. I know they'll be back. It's - I don't know.

Matt: Is it like a tradition now for the show, we gripe about something?

Andrew: No.

Matt: Oh.

Andrew: No, and it's funny because originally we were - I came up with an idea for that intro early in the week, and then I scraped it last minute, but then I was like, "All right, maybe we should do it," because I was afraid too many people were going to take it like we were actually complaining, but we don't complain. I'm dead serious when I say that. We...

Eric: Andrew, when you look on iTunes, and discover that we have half the subscriptions we did last week... [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. No, but that's not the case. Everyone was loving last week's episode, and I'm confident we have another good episode for everyone today. We got lots to discuss this week. I'm Andrew Sims.

Eric: I'm Eric Scull.

Laura: I'm Laura Thompson.

Matt: Are we going by seniority?

Mikey: Oh no, I usually go last, but...

Andrew: Mikey likes...

Mikey: I can format, that's fine.

Matt: No, it's okay. If you want to go last, that's fine.

Mikey: No! Anyway, anyway! Matt, Matt, Matt!

[Laura laughs]

Mikey: Anyway, I'm Mikey B.

Matt: And I'm Matt Britton.

[Laura and Mikey laugh]

[Show music plays louder]


Andrew: MuggleCast news contest winner Edith is standing by in the MuggleCast News Center with the past week's top Harry Potter news stories. Hey, Edith!

Edith: My name is Edith Lerner and I am very excited to be reading this week's top Harry Potter news stories.

Jim Dale, narrator of the U.S. Potter books, will be presenting at HPEF's Portus 2008 this July. Portus representative Aziza Aba Butain talks about how excited they are to be hosting him:

"This will be Jim Dale's first 'Harry Potter' conference. We're all very excited and honored to have a guest so involved with the series be apart of Portus' programming. Mr. Dale is quite the dynamic, accomplished speaker, and we can't wait for Portus to arrive."

If you're interested in attending Portus, you must register. Visit for more information. Don't forget, MuggleCast will also be hosting a podcast at the conference as part of their Podcast Palooza. This is one conference that you'll definitely not want to miss.

On March 2 announced the 2008 Wizard Rock People's Choice Awards winners. Fans around the world voted for their favorite bands in several categories, such as Best Male/Female Vocals, Best EP, Band of the Year, Best Holiday Song, and Best Album Art. The Lifetime Achievement Award goes to The Whomping Willows. Congratulations to Matt and all of the winners.

Ralph Fiennes, the actor who plays Lord Voldemort in the Potter films, has revealed in an interview with "Ain't It Cool News" that he won't be appearing in the sixth film. When asked whether he is signed for Deathly Hallows he says, "not yet."

On ITV's "This Morning," Damian Lewis, Helen McCrory's husband, said that Helen is filming her scenes as Narcissa Malfoy this week. Damian said she's "extremely excited" and is following blogs that are also exciting.

A newspaper in Norway reports on some scenic filming being done in a small village called Bjorli. The crew is filming shots that will be used outside of the Hogwarts Express.

The Telegraphhas a short piece about Jo Rowling continuing to write in cafes:

"I will continue writing for children because that's what I enjoy," reveals Jo, who greatly misses the child wizard.

"It's left me with the biggest emptiness in my life." <>She will, however, leave behind the magical world of Hogwarts.

"I believe that it's good for me and good for my readers that I bring myself to work on something different," she says.

In a search for inspiration, Jo discloses that she has returned to the Edinburgh cafes where she completed her first novel while unemployed and living on benefits.

"I am very good at finding a suitable cafe. I blend into the crowd and, of course, I don't sit in the middle of the bar staring all around me. In 90% of cases, it's the cafe staff who allow me to work without being bothered."

That's all the news for this March 8, 2008. Back to the show.

News Discussion: Ralph Fiennes

Andrew: All right, thank you very much, Edith, and great job. Next week we will have the runner up to our MuggleCast news contest, so look forward to that. So we have a couple items of news to discuss this week. Not much going on. One thing, not really worth discussing, but we thought we would mention that Ralph Fiennes in an interview revealed that he will not be in Half-Blood Prince.

Eric: What? [gasps]

Andrew: I have a feeling he'll be back in flashbacks, if we're to take what David Yates did in Order of the Phoenix.

Eric: Oh, okay, you mean like stock footage, that sort of thing.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Like what they did with Cedric Diggory...

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: ...without having Robert Pattinson in Order of the Phoenix.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Eric: Cool beans.

Andrew: Not that big of a deal, right?

Mikey: It's not that big of a deal.

Laura: No. It's not like he did anything.

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: He wasn't there, so...

Mikey: I forgot Voldemort existed in Half-Blood Prince. It was Draco.

Andrew: Yeah. That's true.

Matt: Well, in all honesty, he's not really in the whole series that much, physically. He's mostly just mentioned. So that's why we think it's a huge deal, or some of the fans think, when he's not going to be in the movie.

Eric: Well, still, no, I mean, I thought that if they were going to show the different ages of Voldemort throughout the years and, you know, if we do the Pensieve lessons with Dumbledore, that sort of thing, I thought it would be cool to have actually Ralph Fiennes play a Voldemort from a few years before he underwent the magical transfortation. You know, like when he - you know, recently. Like a younger Voldemort...

Matt: Yeah.

Eric: ...before he lost his nose. And that would be cool.

Matt: He would definitely act it out really well. I mean he's a terrific actor, so that whole dynamic scene with him and Dumbledore in his office.

Eric: But then again, Voldemort left school to change his face, so it was pretty early.

Matt: Yeah.

Eric: Ralph Fiennes isn't that young.

Matt: He got all that plastic surgery.

Eric: Well, he's pretty young. He's younger than Alan Rickman, isn't he?

Mikey: Yeah.

Eric: Ralph Fiennes?

Mikey: Alan Rickman's up there in age.

Eric: Sixty-something.

Laura: Yeah, but it would still be a stretch to have him play someone in his early twenties.

Eric: Yeah. No, easily, easily.

Andrew: Well, that's why they have cast child Tom Riddle, and then also middle aged - or younger Tom Riddle. I mean around the...

Eric: They're going to have to stretch those, though.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: I think they're going to have to stretch those actors to play like a between 6-11 and 12-18, you know, that sort of thing.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: It'd be like Dan Radcliffe all over again.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Joking.

Andrew: So I mean that's about it for that. And then also, we got a voicemail that sums up our next news item.

News Discussion: Jim Dale

[Audio]: Hi. My name is Claire and I'm from Illinois, and I was just reading the MuggleNet news, and I thought that it was so exciting that Jim Dale is going to be at Portus. I was just really like, oh my gosh! So just wanted to say how excited I was about that. Anyways, you guys have an awesome show, keep it up. Pickles.

Andrew: Jim Dale at Portus!

Laura: I'm really excited about that, too. It should be pretty cool.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: How cool is that?

Eric: Jim Dale at Portus; that's pretty cool.

Matt: He's the man.

Andrew: Yeah. And what was cool for us was that MuggleNet - Portus gave us the news to break, and of course we posted it on MuggleNet Wednesday night, and I have to say, this is huge for Harry Potter conferences 'cause this is the first time a Harry Potter conference has had someone so important in the Harry Potter...

Matt: Series.

Andrew: Series, yeah.

Mikey: Yeah, no, I agree, I agree.

Laura: Yeah, yeah.

Matt: Yeah, totally.

Mikey: I actually have all six of the audio books. Or seven. [laughs]

Eric: Very nice.

Mikey: That's what it is!

Eric: Very nice, Mikey.

Mikey: You know, I forgot. Actually, no, I have one Stephen Fry, so I have six of his and one Stephen Fry one, so...

Andrew: We are - we've always raved about Jim Dale in the past. I want to play a little sample for you guys now to get a taste in case you've never heard Jim Dale.

Jim Dale Audio: A braver man than Vernon Dursley would have quailed under the furious look Hagrid now gave him; when Hagrid spoke, his every syllable trembled with rage. "You never told him? Never told him what was in the letter Dumbledore left for him? I was there, I saw Dumbledore leave it, Dursley! An' you've kept it from him all these years?" "Kept what from me?" said Harry eagerly. "Stop! I forbid you!" yelled Uncle Vernon in panic. Aunt Petunia gave a gasp of horror. "Ah, go boil your heads, both of yeh," said Hagrid. "Harry - yer a wizard."

Andrew: His voice is just so soothing and oh...

Matt: Very British. Magical.

Mikey: Personally, I think Jim Dale does the best part doing all the voices for everyone.

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: Like my favorite - I think my favorite has to be the Hagrid voice he does. It's just so like - There's a point where I listened to all seven, well it was before the seventh book was out, I listened to six audio books, and then I decided to watch the movies, and hearing Hagrid in the movie just wasn't right because I was so used to the Hagrid in the audio books.

[Eric and Mikey laugh]

Mikey: I was like, that's not Hagrid! It seriously...

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: He does some amazing voices.

Eric: Robbie Coltrain, you faker, you wannabe.

Mikey: [laughs] Robbie Coltrane, you're great as Hagrid, but no. Honestly, like he does amazing voices for all the characters.

Matt: Yeah, he does.

Andrew: Yeah. I remember he said in an interview he does over 120 voices or something?

Mikey: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: I have the whole thing, it's great.

Eric: He's really talented.

Andrew: Yeah, so Jim Dale will be at Portus 2008, the same conference that we are doing a live MuggleCast at.

Mikey: Whoo!

Andrew: And I have to say, most of us are going to be there, it's looking like. So we're going to have a nice big panel, we're going to be doing a nice show, so visit for more information. If you sign up for the full registration you get to see Jim. He's going to be doing multiple things at Portus; this isn't just like one, you know, quick little thing. He's doing a lot on Saturday, and we're going to be doing the podcast on Friday.

Eric: Cool.

Andrew: So visit, register, and get involved. If you haven't been to a Harry Potter conference before they are so much fun.

Mikey: They're fun. They're fun. I've been to three.

Andrew: You're in a Harry Potter fandom world when you go into this hotel. It's crazy.

Matt: Yeah, 'cause pretty much everybody's at the lobby.

Andrew: If I was a betting man I would say that this will definitely be the biggest Potter conference ever in terms of awesomeness.

Announcement: Jim Dale Interview

Matt: And speaking of that news, MuggleCast and Portus 2008 are proud to announce that we will be interviewing Jim Dale, the narrator for the U.S. audiobooks for an upcoming episode of MuggleCast and Portus Previews.

Andrew: But we need your help! Please send in your questions or queries for Mr. Dale via the MuggleCast hotline. We will select the top five questions and pose them to Mr. Dale himself. As a reminder, if you're in the United States dial 1-218-20-MAGIC, if you're in the United Kingdom you can dial 020-8144-0677, and if you're in Australia you can dial 02-8003-5668. You can also Skype the username MuggleCast.

Matt: Please have your questions sent in by March 13 at 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. We are all very excited to hear what you have to ask Mr. Dale and are looking forward to bringing you this wicked piece of news.

Jim Dale Audio: As if a normal boy cares what's on the news.

Announcement: Relay for Life

Andrew: We have a few announcements for everyone this week, and we're going to start with a message from Mason, who we talked about last week. He's playing an active role in raising money for the American Cancer Society, so this is a little message from him.

Mason: Hey, everyone. This is Mason, the guy who does the GoDaddy ad at the beginning of the show. I got on the show today because I personally wanted to tell you that I appreciate all the donations my Relay for Life Team has received so far, and really, I can't explain how much this means to us. At the moment we've almost raised a thousand dollars towards cancer research. Cancer is a disease that can affect anyone, and with your help we can get one step closer to finding a cure. If you'd like to donate please visit the link in the Show Notes on The minimum donation is just five dollars, and I assure you, your contribution will not go unnoticed. Not only will you help out a great cause, I promise to personally thank each and every listener who has donated on a future episode of MuggleCast. Thank you for taking time to listen to me, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the show.

Eric: Dude, anytime, Mason. We will listen to you anytime.

Mikey: His voice is so soothing.

Andrew: Including at the beginning of every episode.

Mikey: His voice is really soothing.

Eric: He is.

Laura: Yeah, I know.

Mikey: When he's not going...

Laura: When he's not doing the GoDaddy ads.

Mikey: When he's not going, "Listen Up!"

Matt: [imitating Mason's GoDaddy voice] Oh Yeah.

Mikey: "Yo! Listeners!" It's really soothing, and it kind of makes me want to go, "Oh, Mason, I'll give you fifty dollars right now." And so...

Andrew: I'm sure he would accept that.

Mikey: I know.

Matt: He should do an audiobook.

Mikey: He will, and I'm going to go ahead and donate to that because, you know, it's a good cause.

Laura: Yeah, it really is. I know I appreciate it, and I'm sure a lot of other people appreciate what he's doing, too. So, listeners, you should definately donate if you haven't already.

Mikey: Yes.

Andrew: Visit Donate five dollars. There's a minimum donation of five dollars. You can donate more. I donated twenty. I think, Matt, you donated twenty.

Mikey: I have.

Matt: Mhm. Yep.

Mikey: I didn't donate fifty. I donated twenty.

Announcement: Podcast Alley

Andrew: Lastly, this week, MuggleCast has been doing great on Podcast Alley this month, for the month of March. So visit PodcastAlley, and place your vote for us. We're number two right now behind Keith and the Girl, and we're sandwiched in between Keith and the Girl, at number one, and Keith and the Girl TV, at number three. So, keep voting for us. Get us up there in the number one spot. This is MuggleCast March, meaning we have to be number one. Or uh...something bad happens. So, visit PodcastAlley and place your votes. Vote for us, it's really easy. Just put in your e-mail address, confirm your e-mail, and boom! You're done.

Matt: Just like that.

MuggleCasters Recommend Twilight

Andrew: Before we get to Muggle Mail this week, we have one e-mail from a listener that concerns a little promotion we're doing this week. Matt, you want to read it?

Matt: Sure. This e-mail comes from Melissa, 16 of Pennsylvania. And she writes:

"Hey, MuggleCast! I heard you guys were reading "Twilight", and I myself have become a recent fan. I was just wondering what you thought of it so far. What do you guys think of Bella? Edward? Personally, Bella kind of annoys me. Would you recommend it to other Harry Potter readers? I have. Thanks, guys, for your show is lovely. Melissa."

Andrew: So, a few of us have been reading Twilight. Laura.

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: Matt.

Matt: Yes.

Andrew: And I.

Matt: I am ahead of everybody.

Andrew: Matt just finished.

Matt: I'm done!

Andrew: You finished the third one?

Matt: I'm done. I finished today.

Andrew: Until the fourth one comes out.

Matt: Well, yeah, but that's like three months.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: So it's a relatively new series though?

Matt: Um, it's a couple years old. Isn't it?

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: It came out in 2005?

Laura: Yeah, that's right.

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: Oh, so that's much newer than Harry Potter.

Andrew: But it's growing quickly in our fandom.

Matt: At a rapid rate, too, I mean...

Laura: It's actually often times being called the series that's, you know, quote unquote - and it's kind of a pun here - "eclipsing Harry Potter" and all that other stuff.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Ha-ha-ha...

Laura: And there's a lot of articles written about it just because so many Harry Potter fans are kind of moving onto new series like Twilight.

Matt: Mhm.

Laura: To kind of bridge the gap.

Andrew: Right.

Matt: And this just seems to be the series that a good portion of the fandom is flocking to at the moment.

Andrew: Yeah. I wouldn't say "moving on," because then people are going to be like, "Oh, you guys are giving up on Harry Potter." People are looking for a new series to read, and I have to say Twilight is very refreshing.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: It's very nice to read outside of Harry Potter, because, honestly, I don't really read anymore except for Harry Potter, and I started reading this and I was like, this is great.

Matt: Mhm. It's very easy to read as in there is not so much you really have to think of as in contrast with Harry Potter, where, you know, the series goes very deep and interconnects to other things and parallels.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: And New Moon, it's kind of a relaxing read, and for a lot of the fans, female fans especially, it's a romantic novel that has a fantasy in itself in it.

Andrew: What if I told you guys that you could read any of the Twilight series or thirty-five thousand other books for free? One of them, though?

Eric: I would say, "Dude..."

Matt: Wow... that's... I would say, "HUH!?"

Laura: I would say, "That's too good to be true, Andrew!" [laughs]


Andrew: Oh, no it's not, because today's podcast is brought to you by, the leading provider in spoken word entertainment. Audible has over thirty-five thousand titles to choose from to be downloaded and played back anywhere, just like MuggleCast, just as easily, including the Twilight series. Log onto to receive your free audio book. You can choose from any of the thirty-five thousand titles, and they have the Twilight series. So if you're looking for a new book to read, check out Twilight and check out a new way to read it with auidiobooks. And I have to tell you, audiobooks are really handy to read. Matt and Mikey have both used audiobooks too. Mikey, you were just listening to Harry Potter right before the show.

Mikey: Yeah, I actually started listening to the two chapters that we had to read for today's segment.

Eric: Did you finish those, by any chance?

Mikey: Yeah. I finished them. It's one of those things where I called Andrew on my way back from work, and I was like, "Hey, Andrew. What books and I supposed to read - what chapters am I supposed to read?" I luckily had Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on my iPhone as an audio book, and I started listening to the chapters while I was driving home, and bingo, I got through it. It's a great way to just kind of catch up and kind of review stuff.

Eric: Yeah.

Mikey: Obviously I have already read the book. Plus they are great for long drives.

Matt: Yeah.

Mikey: Cross country drives, having the books on tape. I have quite a few different books on tape and the Harry Potter ones are really good.

Matt: Yeah, just along with what Mikey said, I usually - my favorite audio book is actually Jim Dale's Sorcerer's Stone. I usually listen to it when I am kind of an insomniac. When I don't sleep really sleep at night, what I do is I just lay in bed and turn off the lights and listen to it. And it's just listening to your book on tape makes you feel relaxed and calm, and you just kind of move into your own world.

Andrew: So visit and get your free audio book. We would recommend Twilight this week if you want a new series to check out Harry Potter. I tell you what, I am not a big reader, and Twilight just like the Harry Potter series got me hooked on reading a book constantly. I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a good read.

Mikey: Really? I will have to check that out.

Andrew: Yeah. Get it for free, Mikey.

Mikey: All right.

Andrew: Legally. Legally. Get it for free legally.

Mikey: What is this "legally" thing?

[Laura laughs]

Matt: It means don't steal it, Mikey.

[Andrew, Laura and Matt laugh]

Mikey: What are you talking about!?

Muggle Mail: Dumbledore's Views

Andrew: Anyway. Muggle Mail this week...

Mikey: [laughs] I don't like that! I don't like what you guys are implying here.

[Andrew laughs]

Mikey: At all.

Andrew: Let's read that first one from Anya.

Laura: Okay. Our first Muggle Mail comes from Anya, 24 of New Mexico. She writes:

"Just wanted to say I really enjoy listening to you guys. You keep me from going insane in my work cubicle during my night shifts. On to the main event. I just wanted to say that on Episode 134 there was a debate about the fact that Dumbledore's views being in agreement with Grindelwald's and how it wasn't originally good. There was also a statement to the effect that he was succumbing to peer pressure due to his infatuation with Grindelwald. What no one is taking into account, even though it's mentioned later on, is that Dumbledore's little sister was attacked by Muggles for being a witch, and his father was subsequently thrown in Azkaban for taking his revenge on said Muggles. This coupled with the fact that the wizarding community is forced to hide themselves from the rest of the world would cause anyone to question their beliefs concerning Muggle rights and other such topics. Especially considering these things, I completely understand Dumbledore's point of view on the subject and believe that, had Ariana not died that day, Dumbledore may not have ever questioned that Grindelwald's ideas needed to be put into motion."


Mikey: No, I agree.

Laura: I mean - yeah - I mean I definitely understand the point you're making, but at the same time it kind of goes along with that idea of stereotyping an entire group of people based on what a small number of them did.

Eric: And I think that - I think that you have to also know that Dumbledore still didn't hate Muggles for, you know, no matter what they did to his sister, or whatever. No matter the fact that his father was in jail for that.

Laura: Mhm.

Eric: I think he cared a lot - you know, when he does - when we do find out what happened to Dumbledore's father, you know, you show that - it's kind of understood that his dad did a wrong thing, and I think Dumbledore felt that. So even though you can see the pattern about how Dumbledore would begin to qestion Muggles and stuff, he was still pure of heart enough to tell Grindelwald that, you know, it had to be "for the greater good," that sort of thing, and to keep Grindelwald in check as best he could.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: He didn't hate Muggles, despite their attacks.

Matt: Well, also the position that Dumbledore was in - having everyone know what his father did. I mean he - a lot of people in that kind of situation would do almost anything to make the family name right again.

Laura: Well - and actually Dodge, in like the second chapter - or which chapter was it, where it had the letter from Dodge to The Daily Prophet? Like with...

Andrew: Mhm.

Laura: Basically the - it was called "In Mem..." I forget. Well anyway...

Mikey: Memoriam?

Laura: He actually said that a lot of people had heard about what happened and assumed that because his father attacked them, that he must feel the same way about Muggles. And like, from the very beginning of his first year he tried to make that very clear that he didn't think that was acceptable. However, I seem to recall, and I can't remember what chapter this happens in - if it's before this point in the book or if it's after - where we find Dumbledore actually saying someting along the lines of, "It's our duty to actually be above the Muggles so that we can protect them."

Andrew: Yeah, I remember that, too.

Laura: Which I find interesting. It was almost like a superiority complex in terms of thinking that you could actually save them from themselves. But...

Matt: It kind of - it kind of reminds me of The Golden Compass. Of what The Magisterium tried to portray...

Laura: Right. Yeah.

Matt: ...for the kids, stealing their daemons.

Eric: Yeah, except they just wanted power, and that's clearly more like Grindelwald.

Laura: Mhm.

Eric: Dumbledore may have actually wanted to do - I keep reminding, or remembering the thing Hagrid said to Harry, that Muggles would want magical solutions for everything if they knew that wizards existed, so, [imitating Hagrid] "I reckon they're better off not knowing." But, like Dumbledore - like I see a society where Dumbledore would've, sort of, possibly offered to help Muggles. You know, maybe he felt sorry for them for not having magical ability.

Matt: Mhm. Yeah.

Eric: Or something.

Matt: Mhm. He probably - oh, nevermind. I lost it.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Well said anyway.

Eric: All the same. It's - it's - we're reading a lot into it.

Matt: Yeah. I think we made our point on that subject.

Muggle Mail: Ariana

Eric: Next e-mail comes from Sheyna, age 23, of Norfolk, Virginia, and she's talking about Ariana.

"Hey guys, I love your show and the different discussions you have about the characters, plots, and subplots during Chapter-By-Chapter." Yay! "As soon as I heard Laura say that the attack on Ariana may have been a sexual one I had to e-mail you all. I'm a recent graduate with my degree in psychology and I'm now working with children. The thing with children, and especially girls, is that they're so eager to please everyone because they're learning a lot of new things themselves and want to share it with everyone. When Ariana learned she could do magic she did not understand that she was supposed to not use it outside of the house, or in front of Muggles. When she showed it to them, they probably teased her or said she was a freak or a monster and possibly beat her up. They could have also been scared. With children this young, and especially girls, this would cause her to try and get rid of the offending trait, but as magic is something you're born with she could not get rid of it, and at moments when she was most excited or angry it would burst out of her uncontrollably. It's like a child who gets told, "You're never supposed to get angry," but not told why. When they feel angry they suppress it and keep moving, but when they're extremely stressed or feel in danger - they do not actually have to be in danger - they go into a complete, seemingly unprovoked rage. This is just my opinion. Keep up the great work."

I think it's good that you guys, last week, and this person, Sheyna - sorry, I pronounced it Shana, it's Sheyna - goes into the psychology behind Ariana. I like that about you guys last week, and I think it's really interesting stuff to talk about because Jo wasn't clear in the books exactly what had happened.

Laura: Yeah, I think that's also a very logical, like, set of reasoning you came up with there. I really like that. The only reason I kind of brought up the whole idea of a sexual assault was because she was so vague about it, I wasn't sure if she thought it was something that she didn't really need to tackle in the book, because that's not really what the book is about. But at the same time the book isn't about the psychology of children either, so it's very possible that this could be what happened.

Chapter-by-Chapter: Chapter 20, "Xenophilius Lovegood"

Andrew: All right, well, we are going to take it to Chapter-by-Chapter. And this week we're discussing chapters 20 and 21. Starting off with Chapter 20, "Xenophilius Lovegood." It is Xenophilius, right?

Matt: Yeah, I was going to ask you.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, I think so.

Laura: Mhm.

Eric: I think - I always called him Xenophilius. I think that's cool.

Matt: I just called him Mr. Lovegood.

Andrew: It's a crazy name. It's like...

Matt: Yeah. Well, it's not exactly the most normal family either.

Andrew: Yeah. It must have sucked when he was lining up in elementary school, always being in the back of the line.

Eric: Well, then again, I mean, anything from Lucius, Sirius, Remus, you know, all that stuff. It's - they're not common names that J.K.R. uses...

Andrew: Yeah, that's true.

Eric: But they're cool. We accept them because we get so familiar with them.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: I think that someone should write a paper on that. There's probably an editorial. MuggleNet's world class editorials about the names in the Harry Potter series. Not the significance, but that they're really cool and kind of obscure. Like, we don't have a Bob.

Matt: Yeah...

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: We should invent, like, a Harry Potter baby book or something.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Well, we do have a Bob Ogden. Sorry.

Andrew: Harry Potter baby book? [laughs]

Matt: Yeah, a baby book. That'd be awesome.

Eric: Actually, I am fully behind that. Matt, you and I have to co-author it.

Matt: Okay. Half the whole book is going to be with "-us" at the very end of the word - of the name, too. Xenophilius, Remus, Sirius.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: How many can you name? Keep going, keep going, Matt. Come on, you're at four.

Matt: Regus, Philius...

Andrew: Regus. [laughs]

Matt: Nigellus.

Eric: [laughs] Nigellus. That's a last name.

Matt: I know, but it had the "-us" in the end. I had to go with something.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: I wouldn't name my baby Nigellus.

Andrew: Tonks. No.

Eric: Tonks isn't a... [laughs]

Matt: Tonksus.

Andrew: This chapter focuses on Xenophilius and their - the trio's meeting with him. It's sort of a classic - the classic situation where a good guy that you trust turns - turns bad...

Eric: Hm. Kind of.

Andrew: When he calls men on the trio.

Eric: You know, I mean, there's so many gray areas. You find out why.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: So, Eric, you want to start of with a little quote?

The Trio's Situation

Eric: Yeah, yeah, sure. Okay, so very early on in the chapter, Ron's saying, "Someone's on our side, mate." He's really happy because they've just got back from the forest where they've seen the doe, recovered the sword, that sort of thing, and Ron is really, really feeling good about that. Hermione's still kind of agitated at Ron, but what I wanted to talk about - what struck me first is that there's a bit of celebration, whoop whooping, on Ron's part. But then again, the help that they got from the doe and finding the sword helped them destroy the only Horcrux they knew about. So are they actually - as of the beginning of this chapter, do you guys think they're actually in a good situation? Because to be perfectly honest, they destroyed - I mean, yeah, it's good they're one Horcrux down, but that's the only one they have any clue about. So I don't really think that they're, you know, in that great a situation.

Andrew: I think - I think they had reason to celebrate 'cause progress is progress...

Laura: Mhm.

Andrew: ...and at this point...

Matt: They were desperate for some.

Andrew: ...they weren't making that much progress, so I think it was well deserved.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: And they have to get their motives up somehow, you know? So...

Eric: You're right.

Matt: They're used to stuff happening by accident.

Andrew: I do see what you're saying, though, Eric. It's kind of...

Matt: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah. Oh, talking about what Matt just said - stuff happening by accident - that is another note later, but...

Andrew: Yeah.

"Voldemort" is a Taboo

Eric: That I have. So the second note here is that "Voldemort" is actually a taboo. What did you guys think when this was explained? Do you not think it's really one of those brilliant moments in the books where J.K.R. has done something clever?

Andrew: I think it is.

Laura: Yeah. Oh, I agree.

Matt: I think it is. I think - I'm kind of upset that we don't really find out how they did that.

Andrew: Exactly. That's what I was going to say.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: Is it a spell or is it just - like, how does that work, too? Is it like - is it because everyone's a wizard they're all connected magically somehow? So when a wizard says a name it like - it takes like a shock or a current through the magical world and they all sense it or something?

Eric: It could be.

Andrew: I like that idea. The current idea.

Eric: It's got to have a range too. You know, you think, if it's - like world wide range, that sort of thing, I mean. Then again, the Ministry is backing it, so you could put a taboo.

Matt: Yeah, the Ministry does everything.

Eric: Yeah.

Matt: Well, they probably have like a...

Eric: Like a floo network.

Matt: Yeah, like a little center like with computers or magical things everywhere that just like ring a bell and this little scroll comes out and says, "Ron Weasley just said Voldemort," or something.

Eric: Yeah. Well, there's always something about the spoken word too, that has its own sort of magic. That's why you have to do incantations in a series, you know. I mean, it's - there's something about it, and having Voldemort's name be a taboo where they could be able to trace it makes a person traceable, as Bill told Ron. Brilliant, brilliant stuff. I was very, very happy with this. I mean there's all these little brilliant moments in Book 7 that I really do like no matter what my opinions may be on the whole, I like it.

Matt: Well, just to add one more thing to this; it probably goes along the line of underage wizardry and how they can track it, probably.

Andrew: I was going to say that too, yeah. I mean I think the Ministry can track anything and even if it comes down to, you know - well, yeah, look at the Floo Network. They were tracking that. The Order of the Phoenix, they had to go through Umbridge's fireplace. So I think it's just that.

Eric: They had a lot of tracing stuff. They really want to trace people.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: I think it's necessary, though, because with magic - with, you know - I talked a few weeks ago about how out of control our world would be with magic in the real world, but when you think about it, that's probably why all the tracing is in place, because you need to have a way to track everyone. Otherwise, can you imagine criminals in today's society being - you know, we have a hard enough time tracking down with clues. With the Ministry being able to track down anyone, I think it really enforces the law to a point.

Eric: I completely agree with you.

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: And truthfully, you know, you can tell that the Ministry is the ones that put the tracker on Voldemort's name, most likely under the guise of only Death Eaters would say his name outright.

Matt: Right.

Mikey: You know what I mean?

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: Well, it definitely would be - it only makes sense, too because...

Mikey: Again, it would be the Ministry being able to control it with the same type of magic that they use for underage wizardry. And, in fact, I'm actually looking at the book right now; the whole thing about the taboo that Ron says, it's one, two, three - three paragraphs long. It's very short and it's kind of a brush over, but, you know, there's definitely a lot there that you can think about with...

Eric: And it does have real life implications, like Andrew was just saying. But if you guys think about - if somebody Google searches how to build a bomb, they get flagged, or, you know, presumably there's a way, you know, I mean libraries - have you guys seen the movie Seven? It's very similar where they mention that people check out flagged books, things like that. It's just a way of patrolling and making the world a safer place, kind of. But obviously in this case, it's used incorrectly, you know, to root out Harry Potter.

Andrew: Laura, isn't there something in D.C. or - I'm thinking about something they have microphones everywhere to track...?

Laura: Not that I am immediately thinking of.

Mikey: I know what you're talking about. In the actual Washington D.C. area, in the city itself, Washington D.C., there's microphones throughout the entire place and if there's any mention of killing the president it's picked up and flagged instantly because you're in such a close proximity from it.

Laura: Nice.

Mikey: The only reason I know this - I have never attempted and do not want to...

Eric: [laughs] Because they found you, Mikey.

Mikey: My friend's band, they have a song called "Kill the President," and it's completely made up, because they were playing in Washington D.C. and sure enough the cops came because of that song.

Laura: Wow.

Eric: It's a bit distasteful, don't you think?

Mikey: But they made - they said it out loud, "So this song's called 'Kill the President.'" It has absolutely nothing to do with killing the president, but they had heard the story about it, and sure enough they said it out loud with the microphone and everything, and sure enough people came to see what was going on with this.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: Wow. That is amazing.

Mikey: Just so you know.

Laura: So and Eric and Matt, you guys remember when we were there how there were little video cameras on a lot of like the street poles and stuff? Remember we passed a couple...

Andrew: Oh yeah.

Laura: It was just bizarre.

Matt: Well, not only that, when were in Washington D.C. around like - where were we first? Oh, went to the capitol and there was nobody there. It was like quiet, and I was like freaking out like, "Am I saying any taboo words? Are the bushes going to come out and all these..."

Laura: No, but then remember we looked up and there was one little man sitting along the top and we were like "Oh gosh..."

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Oh, guys, for a moment I thought Chikezie was going home, but they're just doing the Idol brush up, so we haven't found out yet. And anyway, guys, it's just national security, what we were talking about, just other national security things.

Laura: I know.

Matt: It's definitely the Ministry that's doing it, because it's never been done before until after - I mean Voldemort's name never was taboo until after they took over the Ministry.

Laura: Oh yeah, I think we're all in agreement on that.

Eric: It's still believed to be jinxed, and that's what I thought too, you know? Ron never wanted them to say the name anyway, and you know bad luck for whatever, and now it's actually - to turn it into a substantial thing, taboo. It's pretty cool stuff.

Click here to go to page two

Back to MuggleCast home or MuggleNet.