MuggleCast 139 Transcript (continued)

Muggle Mail: Gender Inequality in the Fandom

Jamie: All right. All right. Okay. This is from Graham Henson, 18, from Perth, Australia. Subject: Harry Potter male fans. Which I think should be "male Harry Potter fans."

[Everyone laughs]

Jamie: But Graham says:

"There is quite clearly a gender inequality in the "Harry Potter" fandom. This really doesn't extend to fantasy in general. "Lord of the Rings" for one. And I certainly think that masculine stereotypes play a role. For one, it isn't considered manly to read at all for some stupid reason. However, if a man is to read, it should be a manly action book or at least one which is geared toward adults. As the "Harry Potter" series not only is a series of books, it is primarily a series which is marketed towards children, making it twice as bad for males to like. For females on the other hand, it seems that it is socially acceptable for them to like childish things, such as Hello Kitty..." which I haven't heard of. It sounds crap.

[Laura laughs]

Jamie: "...and the like, which only weirdo nerd losers are allowed to like for some reason. Why? Why? Why can't we all love Hello Kitty and "Harry Potter" equally? Oh, and the high amount of male podcasters is just due to the image of technology in society. It isn't okay for girls to be into technology, but they do get "Harry Potter," it seems. I absolutely love the show, easily the best Potter podcast around. From Graham." Thank you, Graham.

Micah: Okay.

Laura: So, Matt and Micah, do you guys kind of want to give us a recap because Jamie and I weren't on last week and I think you guys talked about gender.

Matt: Well, I wasn't on. Micah, you were the only person who was on last week to discuss this.

Laura: Oh, okay.

Matt: What is this - what is Graham talking about?

Micah: Well, last week on the show I think that one of the voicemail questions, actually, was focusing on the fandom as a whole and why there seem to be more girls who are fans of Harry Potter and fans of the podcast as a whole. And also, with that being said, why are there also more male podcasters as opposed to female podcasters? And I think when you look at it, it kind of flows together and part of what Andrew was saying was look, with the podcast, it's really a technological thing, and for some reason guys seem to be more into technology and working with all those types of things than girls do." I'm not saying that that's the case every single time, but that's why, you know - we were talking about...

Laura: Clearly not.

Micah: ...a lot of us got into it because of that reason. Yeah, we all read Harry Potter, but one of the cool aspects of it was being able to do a podcast, and I brought up the fact that I really joined because it was an online radio show, and I thought it would be, you know, just a great thing to get involved with. And, you know, Andrew kind of said something along the same lines, Mikey as well, and so even though we all love the books, this is kind of the reason why we got into it, because podcasting was just kind of this new cool technological thing, at the time, and still is today. And, you know, kind of the female following, we thought, was because we're all guys, so...

Laura: Uh...

Matt: Yeah, maybe.

Laura: I don't think it's because you're guys - and no offense, it's not that I'm saying...

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: ...that it's - I'm not saying that the following is undeserved. I would never say that.

Micah: No, no, but, to be honest with you, Laura, Andrew's answer, I think, bordered on a little bit more arrogance than the way I put it.

Jamie: [laughs] What did Andrew say?

Micah: I don't remember his exact words.

Laura: What? He basically said that girls only listen because we're a bunch of, like, squealy fangirly types and - what? Like, is that basically what he said? Or...

Micah: I don't know if he put it like that, but - I don't know. Maybe we should roll his audio from last week.

Matt: I was listening to - I was actually just listening to that part of the episode, and I think it must have been Mikey who said that the reason why, like, more guys like Star Wars and Star Trek and stuff than Harry Potter - honestly, I don't think you can really compare that with Harry Potter because Harry Potter started as a book, whereas Star Wars and Star Trek started off as a TV show. And, generally, I think as gender goes, the males kind of watch a little more TV than read as in women - females tend to watch - to read a little more.

Micah: And you almost have to do polling on this and see, because...

Matt: Yeah.

Micah:'s like with Star Wars and Star Trek, though, it's science fiction, and I guess guys are more into science fiction than they are into fantasy, which is kind of what Harry Potter is. So are more girls generally into fantasy books than guys? And, you know, it's just weird. I mean I don't know how, you know, Laura's the only female host.

Jamie: There are so many factors that could explain it.

Laura: Well, there really are.

Micah: What's that?

Jamie: There are so many factors that explain that, like, you know, a sort of - perhaps - you know how society's organized nowadays, perhaps males - their time is better suited to, like, watching a specific program that's set - because, you see, I have this theory that psychologists run the entire world. Like, you know, stuff is put on TV and, I mean, this is kind of conspiracy theorist, but it's not.

Matt: Yeah. [laughs]

Jamie: No, no, no, Matt, seriously, like stuff is put on TV at certain times, specific times to suit, like, the audience. Like, they put it on - or, like - or, like commercials, you know, like, it's all designed to go into your unconscious and activate, you know, desires and stuff like that. So I'm sure everything's done for a reason, kind of.

Laura: Yeah.

Jamie: But, no, yeah. I think it just works out like that.

Laura: Well, and I think there is something to be said for gender interest. And just like you look at - I can't say this for certain, but a lot of people I know who are fans of Lord of the Rings are male.

Matt: Right.

Laura: And a lot of people I know who are into Harry Potter are female, and one of the common factors I can link there is that the author of the Lord of the Rings was male and the author of Harry Potter is female. And think that there is a distinctive style that men and women have when they write. I think you can definitely tell when you read Harry Potter that the author is a woman.

Matt: Oh, definitely.

Laura: And there's nothing wrong with that. It's not to say that that's a fault. Like, I would be a huge hypocrite to think so. But I just think that there is that distinct difference and, also, I read something a while back talking about how, I guess, Scholastic and Bloomsbury actually had Jo put her name as J.K. Rowling because...

Jamie: Yeah, it's true.

Laura: sounded more like a male name so it would appeal to boys. So there's a lot to be said for...

Micah: Yeah, I do remember that. They did do that.

Laura: ...what different genders are interested in. And, I mean, it's true with technology, too. I mean there are more men in the technology field than women. I went to join my school's radio club, and I was the only girl there, and when I went to them and told them I knew how to podcast...

Micah: Must have felt a little bit familiar.

Laura: Yeah! Except they never really gave me any opportunities because I'm - I don't want to, you know, be judgmental here and make any assumptions - but the only thing I can think of is it's because I'm a girl, and when I went to them and said, "Hey, I know how to do this stuff. I can help you with the podcast," they never contacted me, and never contacted me, and I was just like, "fine."

Jamie: Sue them!

Laura: Screw you people!

Micah: Exactly! There you go. That's not right.

Jamie: You could make good money, Laura.

Micah: Jamie will be your lawyer.

Jamie: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah. Awesome, awesome...

Micah: He'll want a cut.

Jamie: [laughs] Yeah. 85 percent.

Matt: [laughs] Nice.

Micah: 85 percent. Then he'll go up north and defend J.K. Rowling, so...

Jamie: Yeah!

Laura: Yeah! Okay. Cool, cool.

Jamie: I want a serious cut from that.

Micah: You have a budding career in front of you, Jamie. Just come to the U.S. and be a lawyer.

Jamie: Thanks. Okay.

Micah: No degree required.

Matt: Yeah.

Laura: [laughs] All right...

Matt: Well, with also the gender issue, I kind of believe that women tend to take the books they read along with them more than the male gender does. You know what I mean? Like, I know my mom and my aunt are part of a book club, and most of all the book clubs I've seen are predominantly females. So I think that females - the female gender definitely talks more about the books they read more than the males do.

Micah: Yeah.

Jamie: That's very true.

Laura: I mean, which again makes you guys, kind of, you know - which shows that you guys break that rule as well. You know, it shows that you break that stereotype, so it's not just, you know, me being on the show that says not all women are not into technology.

Micah: Well, no, yeah, it's...

Laura: You guys are doing the same thing.

Micah: What I said before, it's certainly not the rule, you know. It just seems that, overall, it's true that guys are probably a little bit more tech savvy than girls are.

Laura: Well, I wouldn't say that girls don't have the ability.

Micah: No, no.

Matt: [laughs] Girls have other interests.

Laura: I would say they don't have the interest.

Micah: Right.

Laura: Sorry, I'm a bit of a feminist.

Micah: No, it's fine, it's fine.

Laura: You might have figured this out by now.

Muggle Mail: WWII Parallel

Matt: A bit?! Our next e-mail comes from Kylie, 15, of Daton, Ohio, entitled "Potter Watch Comment." She writes:

"Hey, MuggleCasters! I wanted to share my initial thoughts about Potter Watch in Chapter 22 of "Deathly Hallows." When I first read it my very first thought was that it was kind of like the radio news shows from World War II. The trio are pretty much the equivalent of the soldiers that were sent to fight off in Europe and Potter Watch was their glimpse back home to the rest of the wizarding world. I know that World War II connections are obvious and numerous, but those were my thoughts. MuggleCast is the only podcast I listen to and it's so good. I don't need any others. I love all those topics and discussions, not to mention the hilarious fun segments (Make the Music Connection is my favorite). Please keep doing such a wonderful job. Best wishes, Kylie."

Jamie: I love your intonation, Matt. It;s superb. Especially all of the bits that...

Matt: I have to do it or I'm just going to stumble.

Laura: Okay, okay. First of all, can I please just ask - please tell me that nobody sat there and thought that she did it because of the podcasts. [laughs] Please tell me no one said that.

Jamie: She did what?

Laura: Well...

Matt: Well, there's always a certain resistance to, you know, during a war or something, whether it's on the radio or if it's even like an underground newspaper.

Laura: Yeah. That's what I think it is. I mean it would be - it's definitely cool to hear it, you know, regardless, because it's like, "Oh!" We've kind of been doing the same thing. So it's definitely cool, but I'm not 100 percent sure it would be her, you know, acknowledging the show through the book or anything.

Jamie: Yeah, I don't think it is. It's a very nice thought, though.

Chapter-by-Chapter: Chapter 23, "Malfoy Manor"

Matt: All right, we're going to move things off to Chapter-by-Chapter of Deathly Hallows. We're going to move on to this week to just one chapter. It's Chapter 23, entitled "Malfoy Manor" And where we leave our characters off from the previous chapter, apparently Ron told the trio that the name was taboo - Voldemort. And Harry accidentally let the word slip, and now they are being cornered by at least half a dozen wands at their tent. So now they're caught.

Laura: Wow.

Voldemort's Name is Taboo

Jamie: It seems quite a sort of blanket charm to be able to make a word taboo. Like, if that isn't too difficult a spell then you can make - you know, you can do anything. That implies almost limitless magical ability. Like, other people could do it as well. It's weird.

Micah: Well, one thing...

Jamie: They must be abusing the system completely.

Micah: One thing I always wondered was if his name was taboo before, because they always refer to him as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and all that other stuff. So I just wondered, when he was in power the first time was his name also taboo? Like you couldn't say it?

Matt: I don't think so...

Laura: I don't think so.

Matt: ...because I don't think he had power over the Ministry at that time. Honestly, I think the whole taboo thing wouldn't have happened unless he had that much control over the wizarding world.

Laura: Yeah, I think that's what the crucial difference is, is that he had control over the Ministry in the seventh book, and I think He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is just something that sort of came about from fear. Just like - it's probably not the best example, but like for instance when you have curse words that people have come up with substitute words for, just because it's something that people don't like to say and people don't like to hear.

Matt: Mhm, exactly.

Matt: Okay, so we start of with the chapter with Harry, Ron, and Hermione kind of - well, they're in the dark in the tent because Ron used the Deluminator, and Harry sees Hermione pointing her wand at his face and using a swollen charm to blow up his face to unnatural size and unrecognisability. Is that a word?

Jamie: Yeah.

Laura: It is now. Okay, I don't know. [laughs]

Matt: [laughs] So they're captured by Fenrir Greyback, who apparently is allowed to wear Death Eater's robes, but he's not allowed to have a Death Eater mark because he's not that great yet.


Laura: Yeah. Does anyone find - and I noticed this while I was reading, the numerous times when Fenrir kind of made really disgusting comments about stuff he wanted to do to Hermione.

Jamie: Yeah, he's a sociopath.

Laura: Yeah.

Jamie: He's a brilliant character though, he's an amazing character.

Matt: Yeah.

Laura: He really is. And it's interesting because I was actually just talking about this with a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago, and this friend in particular doesn't read Harry Potter, and for a long time she'd been under the assumption that it was a children's book, and I think that this is just another reminder that these books aren't just meant for kids.

Jamie: It's true, yeah.

Laura: Kids can read them, but it's a book that's meant for everybody. And you look at an issue like this complete objectification of women and then this guy clearly wanting to hurt Hermione.

Micah: Yeah.

Laura: I think it's just another reminder that this is a very adult book.

Matt: It's definitely a big reminder to also the children who read this that in a lot of situations when you're in trouble people won't give you lenience just because you're a child.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: They will kill you if they can.

Micah: I was just going to say, it's not just Hermione; he talks about washing Harry down with some Butterbeer.

Laura: Oh, yeah.

Micah: You know, he's just a disgusting...

Jamie: Well, he doesn't want to get indigestion, Micah, be fair.

[Laura laughs]

Micah: Yeah, that's true. You don't think - it's not carbonated? That beer is not carbonated?

Matt: I don't think [unintelligible] Maalox or something.

Jamie: [laughs] To be honest, I think I'd rather meet Voldemort down a dark alley then Greyback.

Laura: Me too.

Jamie: Because Voldemort, for all his sins, is a principled sociopath, which sounds anti...

Matt: At least you won't feel anything after he kills you.

Jamie: Yeah, exactly.

Matt: Fenrir you'll - well, let's not go into that. I don't want to talk about that. [laughs]

Jamie: He's just going to kill you, Voldemort, because he doesn't care about, you know - his powers, his goal, whereas Greyback, no one knows what his goal is, and ambiguity's scary.

Matt: Fenrir also wants to scare his victims to the point of trembling.

Jamie: Yeah, exactly, yeah.

Matt: And breaks down. What I really love what J.K. Rowling does with every single - with the previous book, in Half-Blood Prince and in this book, she always mentions that Greyback smells like dirt, sweat and blood.

Jamie: And the tears of small children.

Matt: Oh yes, of course. It's kind of like telling us what kind of a person he is, or what he does. That's all in his mind that he's always running, he's always in the dirt, dirty and sweaty.

Laura: And killing people.

Matt: Yeah.

Micah: I'd say he's a disgusting human being, but I don't even know that he's a human being, to be honest. [laughs]

Matt: You know, I never thought - it never entered my mind that Fenrir Greyback was a wizard. I always saw him as just a werewolf.

Jamie: Yeah.

Matt: Until this scene when they mentioned he had a wand in his hand. I don't know why.

Laura: Yeah, he's definitely, I think, one of the scarier characters in the books.

Micah: It's going to be interesting to see him in this movie.

Jamie: Would you bring him home to your parents?

Matt: Not without a bath.

[Everyone laughs]

Jamie: Awww, that's so nice, Matt. Give people a chance, I like that. I like that. I mean he's only a killer.

Matt: Yeah, I'll put a muzzle on him first.

Jamie: Exactly, yeah. You can't prejudge people just because they smell of dirt, sweat, and blood.

Laura: Just because they might kill your family?

Jamie: Yeah! Yeah, Laura. Open - broaden your horizons for God's sake.

Draco's Hesitation

Matt: Harry, Ron, and Hermione are taken up to Malfoy Manor to be shown to Voldemort initially. They're going to Malfoy Manor to be inspected by the Malfoy family, and they are met by Narcissa Malfoy, and Lucius, and Draco. Now what I loved about this scene, especially, when they try to figure out if it's really Harry or not, is that Draco is so hesitant with saying yes or no of confirming the identity of the trio. Why do you guys think that Draco was so hesitant when saying yes or no? I mean you always - you see him in Hogwarts always trying to get Harry, Ron, and Hermione in trouble, and this is like his biggest, huge moment to really just rat them out, but he doesn't do it. Necessarily.

Jamie: There's a difference between, you know, causing trouble for people and having all their blood on your hands. And he would have their blood on his hands completely.

Matt: Definitely.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: His - he knows that his decision basically is their mortality.

Jamie: Yeah, exactly.

Laura: Yeah. I think it's just another example of - like when he couldn't kill Dumbledore. Like, yeah, Draco may not necessarily be the world's best guy, but he's certainly not a killer. And even if you don't like somebody - just imagine this - you've grown up with somebody through all of your teenage years, like you met them when you were eleven or whatever...

Jamie: Yeah.

Laura: ...and then suddenly you're seventeen years old and they die. Even if you didn't like them, that is such a huge shock...

Jamie: It is, yeah.

Laura: ...because you still grew up with them, and to - I don't know, I couldn't - I couldn't turn somebody in like that. And I don't think Draco could either.

Matt: Regardless of how - I mean you always have those people in, like, middle school and high school who you always pick a fight with and, you know, kind of like your enemies in school but never to an extent where you would want them dead.

Laura: No.

Jamie: Yeah, exactly.

Matt: That's just a really bad position that Draco was in.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: I kind of actually have a little bit of sympathy for him in that.

Laura: Yeah, me too, because I feel like the thing about Draco is he just parrots a lot of what the people around him say, and because he's honestly just such a spoiled rich brat, he's never actually had to get his hands dirty, and then he discovers what all of that really entails and realizes that's really not the kind of person he is.

The Malfoys

Matt: Mmhm. Well, and he's also not really under his father's protection anymore, either. I mean he always looked up to his dad. He's not - I don't really see him as Lucius Malfoy's son, technically, because he's not really the kind of person that Lucius is. Lucius just kisses up to whoever he can just to get power.

Laura: Mmhm.

Jamie: Yeah, but also about - sorry, go on.

Matt: No, sorry.

Jamie: Okay, well I was going to say you can also - I mean Lucius and Narcissa display sort of something that I think completely separates them from everyone else in that they're still parents and they still - however much they kiss up to Voldemort, and everything, they still put Draco above everything else; whereas if you look in - is it the beginning of Half-Blood Prince when - when they go to Snape's and Bellatrix says how if she had children, she'd, you know, give them up to the Dark Lord?

Matt: Be proud or something...

Jamie: Yeah.

Matt: Definitely.

Jamie: Immediately.

Matt: Well, no. Well, at the very end of Deathly Hallows, too, they portrayed their much love for Draco by pretty much betraying Voldemort. Or Narcissa did that, basically.

Jamie: Yeah.

Harry's Vision

Laura: Mmhm. Yeah, also something that - I mean we should probably just mention that happened a little bit before this - was Harry on the way to Malfoy Manor kept getting visions of Voldemort going to Grindelwald, and basically he was trying to get the Elder Wand out of him. So I mean at this point Harry's not quite sure what that's about, but...

Matt: Yeah.

Laura: Just thought we should mention it, because people - people get kind of bent out of shape when we don't mention things, even if there's not much discussion to be had about them.

Matt: Oh, yeah. Well, we can't just talk every single sentence on the chapter, though, that would just be...

Laura: Oh, oh yeah we can. Didn't you know that our new segment's going to be Word-by-Word?

[Micah laughs]

Grindelwald vs. Voldemort: Who is More Evil?

Matt: Oh. I did - I did not know that. Okay. Oh, then that's all better then. Well, since you were talking about that, I really like that quote that Grindelwald told Voldemort. It was like, "I knew you'd come, but your journey was pointless. I never had it." Like Grindelwald was waiting for Voldemort to come.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: Because he knew what he was after. From the get-go.

Laura: That's very interesting.

Matt: Mmhm.

Jamie: And Grindelwald just doesn't seem evil then, he seems like he's recovered, and I think that solves...

Matt: No. He doesn't.

Jamie: Huh?

Matt: No, I'm saying - I'm agreeing.

Jamie: Oh, right. Okay. I was just going to say that - it sort of- I think that solves the "who's the more evil wizard?", and Voldemort I think is leagues more evil than Grindelwald, because, obviously, he's capable of redemption, and Jo has pointed out on many occasions that Voldemort is beyond help. Anyone's help.

Matt: Mmhm. Oh, yeah. Definitely. I never really saw - after reading a little bit of this you can tell that Grindelwald was never really evil. That his whole vision of being evil was mostly due to most of the publicity that the whole - that his whole thing got.

Jamie: Yeah. Yeah.

Laura: I think - I think the thing about Grindelwald is, regardless of whether or not he was evil, he never really got the chance to act on it. So it's almost like irrelevant, really.

Matt: I think it's just that - I think Grindelwald's just mainly just like a link to Dumbledore's past.

Laura: Definitely.

Bellatrix Freaks Out About the Gryffindor Sword

Matt: Okay, so, we get a little bit into the sword when Bellatrix enters the house. Apparently, just before Bellatrix was about to announce to the Dark Lord to come over to Malfoy Manner, she sees the sword of Gryffindor and she starts to panic to, you know, to a grand scale, because apparently she had - she has, in her mind - the sword is in her vault at Gringotts that apparently Snape had given her to put in her vault. So - although she doesn't know that that sword is actually the real one and the one in her vault is the fake. But the reason why she's freaking out so much is because there's something else in her vault that's really, really, you know, valuable to Voldemort.

Laura: Well, I think...

Jamie: No, no, no, she's freaking out because she thinks it's a Horcrux.

Laura: She thinks that they stole it, yeah.

Jamie: Yeah, she thinks that - yeah.

Laura: She thinks that they took it out of her vault.

Matt: Well, yeah, she thinks that they took the Horcrux out of her vault.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: Yeah, well, that's what I meant. Sorry, I didn't put it right.

Laura: No, that's okay.

Jamie: You become more articulate, Matt.

Matt: Don't even start with me, Brit.

[Jamie and Laura laugh]

Ron and Hermione's Moment

Matt: Basically, Bellatrix gets really pissed off about the sword being stolen and she sends everyone but Hermione down to the cellar with the rest of the prisoners. And what I really loved about this little thing right here was when Ron was screaming out to Bellatrix to take him instead of Hermione, to put him in her place.

Laura: I know! Awww!

Matt: That's like one of the very first times you ever see him proclaim his love for Hermione. He's, you know, sacrificing himself for her safety.

Laura: Yeah, I just have to say when I read that, and I'm sure every other girl around the planet was like, "Awww," because it was...

Matt: I think every single guy was like, "Here we go..."

[Laura laughs]

Jamie: Woah-ahh. Give...

Laura: [laughs] That's so mean.

[Jamie and Matt laugh]

Jamie: We're more emotional than that, the male species.

Laura: But it was - the whole scene where Bellatrix tortured Hermione was awful. Not awfully written, but just awful to read.

Matt: Awful to take in.

Laura: Yeah.

In the Cellar

Matt: Yeah. Well, while Ron - okay, Hermione's getting tortured in the background, but let's go with Harry and Ron right now. They're being sent in the cellar where they meet Dean, Luna, and Ollivander and Griphook.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: So, yeah. So, okay, they finally find Luna; they know where her whereabouts are. And they are hearing the screams intermittently that are Hermione's screams, and Ron is just screaming out Hermione's name over and over again and - oh, Dobby came! Oh, no, no, no, no, I'm sorry, I'm skipping ahead. Sorry. After they're hearing Hermione's screams Harry quickly goes into the pouch that Hagrid gave him and looks into that mirror, and he sees Dumbledore's eye, and he starts screaming.

Laura: Or what he thinks is Dumbledore's eye.

Matt: Yeah. Quotes - "Dumbledore's eye." And he screams out, "Help us! We're in the cellar at Malfoy Manor!" And then the eye blinks and runs off, and then a few seconds later Dobby comes.

Jamie: Lucky.

Laura: Yeah. And this ending, of course, we all know what happens at the end of the chapter, which is very sad, but from that point we know that Dobby takes Dean, Luna, and Ollivander?

Matt: Yes.

Laura: That's right.

Matt: And then he takes them and as - but right before they go, Dean and Luna proclaim their allegiance to Harry, saying they want to help. They don't want to leave Harry.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: Which I thought was really sweet.

Laura: Yeah, they are cool. And I thought that the way that - even though when the trio was separated, the fact that they are still able to work together as a team - I think that's really cool, because Harry was listening very intently while Ron was going crazy, and he heard Hermione say that the sword was a fake. And so of course he goes to Griphook and says, you have to tell them that this is a fake sword or else we're doomed. So, you know, that's what Griphook does and - yeah.

Matt: So after Draco takes Griphook and - to, you know, inspect the sword, they hear Dobby come back again, right? Don't they? Something keeps...

Laura: No. No, it's...

Matt: No, they hear a snap. They do hear a snap because that's what - that's why they call over Pettigrew to come down and see what the noise was.

Laura: Yeah, maybe they heard the crack of Dobby disapparating.

Matt: Yeah, I think that was it. Well, anyway...

Laura: And they send Wormtail.

Peter Pettrigrew's Hand

Matt: Pettigrew, Peter Pettigrew, comes down, and Harry and Ron decide to ambush him and tackle him. But there is one incident.

Jamie: This scene was weird as hell. I did not understand this.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: It's hard to talk about it because I don't really - I got lost.

Laura: It was one of those scenes that I really had a hard time comprehending what exactly was happening, and I had to read it a couple times tonight. And, essentially, what I got from it was that the hand that Wormtail has - and maybe I should go over what the scene is, just for a refresher - but, essentially, when they ambush him, Wormtail puts his hand around Harry's throat and Harry says, "Are you really going to do that? You owe me, I saved your life once before." And what I got out of it is that the hand depended on a certain amount of strength from Wormtail, or at least a certain amount of self-preservation, and the second that Wormtail faltered, because he did, and he knew that Harry was right, the hand turned on him and took him instead.

Matt: Do you think that was Voldemort's intention? Like that's - because he knew what kind of person that Peter Pettigrew was, that he would just - since he betrayed the Potters so quickly he was afraid that Pettigrew would do the same thing. So at the moment where he falters his allegiance the hand would kill him?

Laura: Yeah, I would not be surprised at all. That completely sounds like something Voldemort would do.

Jamie: Oh, you think so? That's very interesting, yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Jamie: That's very interesting.

Micah: Yeah, I agree with that, Matt. I think that as soon as there was that moment of hesitation in Pettigrew's mind...

Jamie: It would kill him.

Micah: ...that the hand automatically would kill him. Because, who knows, you know, in that situation what's going on? I mean, obviously, in this case it was - it was dealing with Harry, but, you know, it's possible that had he done anything else that would be in betrayal of Voldemort, that the hand would just take care of him. And I like Laura's point, though...

Jamie: It's very good.

Micah: What you were saying about how he's just - or was it Matt? That he's not a reliable person. You know, we've seen him sort of go back and forth between sides all along.

Matt: Yeah. No, I mean it's - it's definitely - I mean, Voldemort's not stupid. He - he knew - he used Peter Pettigrew to his advantage because he knew what kind of a person he was. But he also knows how dangerous it is to keep a person like that at your side when they're so easily persuaded. So I - I also think that's a good job on Voldemort's part to keep...

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: ...Peter Pettigrew on his side.

Laura: Yeah, see the thing is...

Matt: Because it's a really strong hand. So as long as he has it he's a good ally, but once he starts to betray, that hand will turn on him and kill him.

Jamie: It's like a...

Matt: It's obviously not intentional. It was - sorry.

Jamie: Sorry. No, go on. No, no, that's okay. That's okay.

Matt: No, it's okay. I'm - I'm done.

Jamie: Okay, well no, no - I was going to make a stupid reference. Have you guys seen The Neverending Story?

Laura: No.

Jamie: Oh, well, there's a...

Jamie: Oh, well, this is going to be lost then. But there was a big rock guy built out of rocks who ate rocks, and he had extremely strong hands as well. I don't know why I thought of that. That's a weird process.

Laura: [laughs] Okay.

Voldemort the Manipulator

Jamie: No, no, but going back to Harry Potter, I was going to say that when Bellatrix brings Griphook up, and then after he tells her it's a fake, she slashes another injury in his face. It just goes to show that she's completely soulless apart from when it comes to Voldemort. So she was terrified when her allegiance to Voldemort was doubted, and then as soon as it was shown that she hadn't screwed up and she hadn't lost her - lost the Horcrux, then she was fine and back to normal and hurting people.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: Yeah. Oh no, I definitely agree with that.

Laura: I think in both cases it goes to show that, you know - and I mean we already know this, but Voldemort is an extremely good manipulator.

Jamie: Yeah.

Laura: You know? Because he knows exactly the right things to say to Bellatrix to keep her, you know, sort of cooing at his side, and then he knows what exactly to give Wormtail to sort of keep his allegiance, but at the same time he draws that fine line by saying, you know, "The second Wormtail turns his back on me, he's going to die, and I don't even have to be there for it to happen."

Micah: Yeah.

Jamie: Yeah.

Micah: I feel it's that way with a lot of people, though.

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: I mean he doesn't care who dies at his expense, so to speak. You know? It - it doesn't have to be Wormtail. I mean just in this case it is, but he doesn't care about anybody just as long as it's him who ends of prevailing in the end.

Laura: Right.

Matt: Well, I'm sure he has a slight favoritism to Bellatrix, ‘cause we - we noticed that in the very last chapter...

Micah: Yeah. Yeah, you're right.

Matt: the Hogwarts scene, he shows a little concern, but...yeah, I definitely agree with that.

Harry and Ron Try to Save Pettrigrew

Laura: You know what I found really interesting, though, kind of switching to another perspective, is that when the hand starts strangling Wormtail Harry and Ron try to save him.

Micah: It's their nature.

Laura: And I found - I know, and it's just interesting because you consider, like, they are such innately good people [laughs] that even though they're all in danger, their friend is upstairs being tortured, if there is someone in front of them dying, even if that person is a bad person, they still try to save him. And it's interesting...

Matt: Well, yeah. I think a lot of people could relate to that, too, I mean it's - someone is killing themselves right in front of their face. Their - your initial reaction would be to try to stop that from happening.

Micah: Yeah, I mean think about all the movies you'll see, like, in the end the kidnapper or the murderer will try to put the gun up to their head and, you know, essentially kill themselves, and you always have the cops or the people who are there that they've tortured for so long, try and jump and save them from doing it. I just think it's a natural thing that people just try and do. Plus, two life debts are better than one, so...

Laura: [laughs] Yeah, that's true. That's true. Good point.

Escaping from the Cellar and the Fight That Follows

Matt: Okay, so after Pettigrew's death, Harry and Ron run up to the foyer, or whatever place this is taking place at, and there becomes a huge fight between Ron, Hermione, and Harry, and, you know, the Death Eaters, and - which really kind of just splits them apart is the huge chandelier that falls down onto Bellatrix and Hermione. And we find out that's due to Dobby, who comes in to help them save themselves.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: So you guys want to elaborate a little bit on what happens after that?

Laura: Well, essentially, like you said, there's a bit of a showdown, you know, and of course - at first Harry and Ron kind of have the upper hand, but then Bellatrix sort of puts a knife to Hermione's throat and says, you know, "drop 'em or she dies."

Matt: Right, and that's when the glass chandelier falls.

Laura: You know what I found interesting about that - and I guess this might be me reading too much into it - but it seems like it would have been in Bellatrix's character, at least I could see her doing this, that the second Harry and Ron drop their wands that she would have slit Hermione's throat anyway.

Matt: Yeah.

Laura: It just seems like something she would have done. I don't know, but, you know, of course would have kind of ruined the plot.

Micah: She's crazy. She's just nuts, man. She's like out there with Fenrir Greybeck.

Jamie: [mimicking Micah] She's nuts, man.

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: [laughs] What's that?

Jamie: [still mimicking Micah] She's nuts.

Micah: She is, Jamie! I'm serious. She's nuts, man.

Jamie: Dude.

Micah: She's out there with Fenrir Greyback, dawg.

Jamie: Dawg, man, dude. I think we should rewrite Harry Potter and...

[Micah laughs]

Jamie: ...completely Americanize it.

Matt: Well, if it was us who were writing the Harry Potter series, the trio wouldn't live past the first book. If it was...

Jamie: Why, because we're sadistic?

Matt: No, because I just want them dead.

Jamie: Ah, so you're sadistic?

Matt: [laughs] I'm just kidding.

[Jamie and Matt laugh]

Matt: Yeah, but I do see that that is in Bellatrix's character to, you know, just to fool them - to trust them - to trust her that she wouldn't kill.

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: Yep.

Dobby's Death

Matt: So, okay, Dobby comes in to save them and Dobby grabs on to Harry - Dobby grabs on to Harry, who grabs on to Hermione and Ron, and at the very last second Dobby just disapparates with them, and while they're floating out there's kind of like a little jolt with Dobby's hand, right? There's something that signifies to us...

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: ...that Dobby's doing something. Like...

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: ...he's pulling them away or something.

Laura: Well, Harry said that he felt Dobby squeeze his hand, and his arm sort of jerked, and he thought that Dobby was trying to steer the direction in which they were going. I think that was when Bellatrix stabbed him.

Matt: Yeah.

Jamie: Yeah, I think so too.

Matt: Well, she stabbed him - did she stab him or, like, throw her knife at him? Because they weren't really very close, were they?

Laura: She might...

Jamie: She throws it.

Laura: She stabbed him or threw it.

Jamie: She throws it. She throws it.

Laura: Yeah.

Matt: Yeah, she does something. I always thought she threw the knife at him.

Jamie: No, she does. She does.

[Jamie and Laura laugh]

Laura: She impales him with a knife, whether by stabbing or throwing it.

Jamie: [laughs] No, no, she does! She throws the knife. She definitely throws the knife.

Laura: [laughs] Okay, is it that big of a deal? He still gets stabbed.

Matt: He's so gung-ho about this. Okay, let's just go with that.

[Laura and Matt laugh]

Matt: So, after she stabs him - after she throws the knife at him, why do you think he was squeezing it? I think the reason why he felt a really big squeeze from Dobby is because Dobby was trying to fight the pain until they were gone. Until they were safely back. Like, he was fighting death while he was out there.

Laura: Yeah. Yeah, I think that works just fine.

Matt: Okay.

Laura: I mean, also, if, you know, I were holding...

Matt: Well, he has a freaking knife in his stomach, too.

Laura: ...someone's hand and someone stabbed me, I think right when they stabbed me, I might jolt a little bit but, you know, that's just me.

Matt: I think...

Laura: I don't know how you react when people stab you.

Matt: Ow! Ow! Ow! I would probably do that. Okay, so, that's pretty much the end of the chapter. No, no, it's not! It's not! Sorry.

Laura: [laughs] And then...

Matt: I don't want to...

Laura: So sad.

Matt: ...relive this scene again. That's why.

Laura: Aw. Well, as we all know, Dobby dies and it's really, really sad.

Matt: It's really sad because the last two words that come from Dobby's mouth is, [whispering] "Haaaaarry Poooootter."

Laura: Yeah, and I think one of the - the way the chapter ends is so, I thought, really heartbreaking too, because it said something about how his eyes were reflecting the stars that they couldn't see, and I was just like, "Oh, no!"

Matt: Yeah, his eyes glazed a bit and you could see the reflection of the stars. That was horrible.

Laura: It's a bloodbath in this book. [laughs]

Micah: It's probably the worst death in the series for me. What about you guys?

Jamie: No, Sirius, Sirius.

Micah: I knew you were going to say Sirius. Okay, I'm sorry.

Jamie: It's okay.

Micah: But, what do you guys think? I mean...

Laura: I think it was one of the worst.

Matt: Yeah.

Laura: I would have to say.

Matt: It was definitely one of the most emotional scenes in the book. Not in the series, Jamie, in the book.

Jamie: All right. Okay, okay, that's fine, Matt.

[Micah laughs]

Jamie: That's fine, Matt.

Matt: Well, I think it'd be a more emotional scene in the book rather than when we see it in the movies because we see Dobby in pretty much every single book after Book 2. But we've only seen Dobby in the second movie.

Laura: Yeah, and I mean, do we even know if Dobby's going to be in the film?

Micah: I would hope so.

Matt: Yeah, I can pretty much - yeah, they'd better.

Micah: They're splitting it in two and they should probably think about including...

Laura: Yeah, that's true. That's true.

Matt: Are we going to have a little musical tribute to Dobby's death?

Laura: Yeah, but I think we're going to have to make Andrew come up with that because I don't have anything.

Matt: Okay, so...

Laura: Give him some work to do since he bailed on us this week...

Jamie: Yeah.

Laura: go hang out with Robert Pattinson and Stephanie Meyer. Jerk.

Micah: Oh man.

Matt: Yeah.

Micah: But something about being free, I would think. Right?

["I Want to Break Free" by Queen begins playing]

Matt: Yeah. "I want to break free!"

Laura: "Break free!" [laughs]

Jamie: Oh yeah. Yeah. Oh, god yeah.

[Song continues to play for a while]

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