Laura: Sure! Our first Muggle Mail comes from Helen, 25, of Hinsdale, Illinois. She says:
"Hey, MuggleCasters! I love the show. I have a correction of a correction! Someone e-mailed in last week, I think her name was Danielle, about Trelawny and Malfoy in the Room of Requirement. She said that the reason everything went dark when Trelawny entered the room was because Malfoy didn't want her there, and so the room threw her out. In fact, Malfoy used the Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder that he bought from the Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes to blind Trelawny and throw her out himself. He could still see because he had his Hand of Glory, which gives light only to the holder. He used the same tactic when the DA were stalking out of the room on Harry's orders a little while later. Malfoy used the last of his Darkness Powder to blind them and lead the Death Eaters through and into the school."
Andrew: So there you go. So when we had a rebuttal last week, or two weeks ago, that actually created a little more controversy...
Ben: You know, it takes some real, real skill to catch a correction of a correction, you know?
Ben: It takes some real skill.
Andrew: It takes some real stupidity on our end to put in an e-mail that was incorrect. I'll just blame it on me.
Laura: Yeah. Yeah who did that? Who did that? They should be fired!
Andrew: It was probably me.
Ben: Producer! Andrew the producer!
Andrew: [laughs] But one of us read it, it wasn't...
Ben: Give him a break, he's done like 150 of these, okay?
Ben: Poor guy.
Andrew: Look at Ben, sticking up for me for once.
Micah: The next one comes from Molly S, 17, of Schenectady, New York. We have a lot of fans...
Ben: Wait, wait, wait, say that again.
Ben: Okay, cool.
Micah: We have a lot...
Micah: ...of fans there don't we?
Andrew: We do, apparently. Area code, or zip code 12345, right?
Micah: Correct. Yeah.
Andrew: That's so cool. Anyway...
Micah: "In response to Chapter-by-Chapter in Episode 146 where you were talking about passwords to the various common rooms, the common rooms are not only password protected, but only the members of that House know the exact location. In "Chamber of Secrets" when Harry and Ron were looking to get into the Slytherin common room to interrogate Malfoy, they did not really know where the entrance was. Also, in 'Deathly Hallows' in Chapter 22, maybe 23, Fenrir Greyback asks the trio where the Slytherin common room is. He also says that most people they ask don't know where it is located. The only reason that Harry has a much better idea of where all the common rooms are is that he can see where students of various Houses disappear on the Marauder's Map. Another important thing is that all the guards of the Houses, i.e. Fat Lady, can see who they're letting in. They may not say anything to random people that are not looking to enter the common room. Love the show, especially Chapter-by-Chapter, Molly."
Matt: Aw, thanks, Molly.
Micah: So that was kind of a correction of a correction too, wasn't it?
Andrew and Laura: Yeah.
Andrew: But it's an addition to what we were talking about. I don't - the locations - I mean - I have a hard time believing that so many like - I would think that the majority of students would know the locations of each of the Houses are. I mean you would over hear it at some point in your seven years of being there...
Ben: That's like...
Ben: ...going to college and not knowing where all the dorms is, I think.
Andrew: Right, right.
Laura: ...exactly. And also, Harry knew so much about the Slytherin common room because he'd been there...
Matt: Mm, right.
Ben: He was a rebel.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, it's interesting. I think the whole House thing is pretty interesting, in terms of security and all that, but next e-mail, Ben? Final one for today.
Ben: Lizzy, age 15, from England has e-mailed us regarding recording in cinemas, and she writes:
"I was just listening to MuggleCast 146. I was completely horrified to hear a listener challenge that would involve breaking the law as recording within cinemas is illegal..."
[Ben and Laura laugh]
Ben: "One of you mentioned this, but this was waved off. Please don't do this again. It is a bad influence from a wonderful podcast. Lizzy."
Ben: You know what? Lizzy, I'd like to thank you. That's actually why I came on this week, was because...
Ben: ...I realize that Andrew is using the podcast for bad influence and...
[Andrew and Laura laughs]
Ben: ...I decided I had to put a stop to it, so that's why I'm back, and I'll make sure that Andrew's kept in line.
Andrew: Do you need to give me a butterbeer?
Ben: All out of butterbeer.
Ben: All out of butterbeer.
Andrew: So, okay, about this, just real quick. We did this with Order of the Phoenix, and we didn't get many complaints. We got a few complaints this time, and I just want to say that - do it if you want to. If you're unsure, if you think you'll get caught, we're not responsible for anyone getting caught. We did it with Order of the Phoenix. There were no issues or anything that went wrong. Not to say that it couldn't go wrong with Half-Blood Prince...
Ben: But, Andrew...
Andrew: It's just a fun little thing.
Ben: But, Andrew. Andrew.
Andrew: You would get in trouble - hold on. You would get in trouble for recording the movie. Don't record the movie you're seeing the trailer with. It just - at the end of the trailer, record a quick five second thing.
Matt: You don't even have to record the whole trailer.
Andrew: Yeah, and if you're unsure, don't do it. Please don't do it.
Ben: The bottom line is it's breaking the law.
Andrew: Thanks, Ben.
Ben: Like, I just really wouldn't encourage it. I mean, unless you're a real rebel. Unless you want to show that you really like MuggleCast. If you really like MuggleCast, you'd do it.
Ben: I'm just kidding.
Ben: I'm just kidding.
Andrew: Oh, geez.
Ben: I'm sorry. I'm not funny.
Andrew: All right.
Ben: I quit.
Andrew: Oh, don't. Ben. All right, well, it's time to move on to Chapter-by-Chapter this week. We're going to be discussing Chapter 31, "The Battle of Hogwarts." What an exciting chapter.
Ben: Which book is this? [laughs]
Andrew: It's a long one.
[Laura and Matt laugh]
Laura: Well, the chapter opens as the entire school is being gathered in the Great Hall, and throughout the chapter, Harry is basically running around trying to figure out where the diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw is. During this chapter, Ron and Hermione have also gone missing and he really can't decide where they've gone to, and in the meanwhile, the battle has begun and they only have until midnight to either decide on a battle plan or hand Harry over to Voldemort.
Laura: Ooooooh. [laughs] So, as was previously stated the entire school has been gathered into the Great Hall and Professor McGonagall essentially tells everybody that all underage students have to be evacuated, but if you are of age, you can stay and fight. And I thought this scene was kind of funny because it talked about how the entire Slytherin table left and that there were remnants of students left among the other three Houses, but she had to come and shoo away like half of the underage students from Gryffindor because they wouldn't leave...
Laura: ...and I just thought that was really great, and I'm - I wonder how they're going to handle that in the movie because, you know, sometimes they haven't paid that much attention to the age restrictions in the films.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Laura: So I wonder how many people will actually stay.
Andrew: This is also very telling of a Gryffindor too, and I mean I guess that's the point that you were getting at.
Andrew: Just that so many Gryffindors would stay behind even though they were underage.
Matt: One of the Slytherin students asked Professor McGonagall where Snape is, and Professor McGonagall replies that Snape has, for a common phrase, "done a bunk."
Andrew: I didn't even know what this meant.
Matt: Yeah, I didn't know what this was either...
Matt: ...so that's why I looked it up, and it's English slang for "leaving without permission."
Laura: Oh, that's good for looking that up.
Matt: Mhm. Well, see, I have the U.K. version though. Is that in the U.S. version too?
Laura: Yeah, it is.
Andrew: How does that even relate though? Like you - like a bunker? You're like hiding in a bunker?
Ben: No, no, no. They just have weird phrases for things, I don't know.
Andrew: Yeah, they are pretty weird over there. Sorry, Vince.
Laura: Yeah, 'cause we don't have any weird phrases over here.
Andrew: No, we - no, we don't. Like "bucks." Matt - Ben always used to be upset when I'd say "bucks" instead of like "dollars."
Laura: Oh, really?
Andrew: Right, Ben?
Ben: No, that wasn't why. No, that's not even what it was at all. You said cash.
Andrew: What was it?
Ben: You said cash.
Matt: Who says cash?
Andrew: I say cash. People on the east coast. Civilized people say cash.
Ben: No, it wasn't like that at all. You guys wouldn't understand. You have to be around him to hear him say it.
Andrew: All right.
Andrew: Yeah, whatever. I still say it.
Ben: It would like slither up your back the way you said it. Like make you...
Andrew: Oh brother!
Ben: Make you shake, I swear.
Andrew: What was I like speaking Parsteltongue? I just...
Andrew: [unintelligible]...cash. Anyway, so next what happens is they hear Voldemort. As Hagrid says later on, you could hear his voice all the way up from the cave he was hiding in, and he says - he issues this ultimatum for Harry Potter by midnight. He said if they do give Harry Potter to Voldemort, they will be rewarded. And did this mean rewarded with their lives or was Voldemort going to give them all like a souvenir from the event like "I survived Voldemort's attacks on Hogwarts" shirt?
Laura: Actually, he was going to bake them all cookies, I think...
Andrew: Aww, that's so cute.
Laura: ...and give them all gold stars. No, I think he was - I mean obviously I think he was lying.
Matt: Yeah. Basically, I mean, most of the students are going to be stopping and fighting - are mostly Half-bloods or Mud-bloods who aren't really going to get any mercy from Voldemort anyway, and...
Andrew: But does Voldemort really think that kids would for the, you know, teasing them with a reward? Like, "Oh my God, a reward!"
Matt: Well, he's threatening them with their lives right now. I don't think kids or adults, they don't think very straight sometimes when their lives are being threatened that forcefully.
Laura: And I also think Voldemort's trying to threaten them in a very utilitarian way, just in saying, "if you give me this one person, you will all live. But if you don't give him to me, you will all die."
Ben: Would we believe him anyways, though?
Laura: No, they shouldn't, but I can see why he would try to use that tactic.
Ben: I mean like bottom line is if he wants to kill them all, he's probably going to kill them all. They have...
Ben: If they give away Harry, that's their only hope.
Matt: He does. I don't even think he cares if they give him up or not because he knows he's just going to go in there and kick the crap out of everyone who's inside.
Ben: But he didn't!
Andrew: Also, Voldemort says "by midnight" and it reminded me of the very Cinderella-ish, you know, what was the thing? If you wear the thing by midnight then you turn into a pumpkin or a...
Micah: It was a frog.
Andrew: Oh, that's it.
Matt: I'm sure the wicked step mother wouldn't try and...
Andrew: Ben, you would know Cinderella.
Matt: ...kill Cinderella.
Ben: Well, I took time to work on a personal project. It's the Cinderella Podcast.
Ben: Didn't get very far. Sorry.
Andrew: So are there any other connections with the by midnight thing? I just thought that was sort of very symbolic.
Micah: I just think Voldemort looked at his watch, and he said, "Oh well..."
Micah: "I'm just going to give him thirty minutes. That's it."
Andrew: Is thirty minutes good? Yeah, I think so.
Matt: Okay, you got till midnight.
Andrew: I got to catch Late Night with Conan.
Laura: It is a very common literary device. I mean, midnight.
Matt: Well, midnight's the end of that day.
Matt: It's pretty much just saying that by midnight is the next day.
Ben: Yeah, by the stroke of midnight.
Laura: Well, also...
Andrew: I just thought Voldemort was too cool to issue an ultimatum, "by midnight."
Andrew: I think he's cooler than that.
Ben: What was...
Andrew: Sorry, Laura, what were you thinking?
Ben: What would be cooler than that, by 7:30?
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: No. "Get him out of here ASAP" or "get him out here in fifteen minutes." Instead it's "by midnight."
Ben: Well, see, no - but, see, the about Voldemort is he's always done that. Like with Harry's mom, he gave her a chance. He likes to bargain a little bit.
Andrew: Yeah, true. True, Ben.
Laura: Yeah, well you know what's interesting about this, is this gives you a scope as to how long this battle actually lasts, because it doesn't end 'till morning.
Andrew: It's not long.
Laura: And it starts at midnight, so you're looking at six or seven hours... [laughs] ...of combat.
Laura: Which is...wow.
Andrew: Yeah, that's a lot.
Laura: Well, in the next point we're talking about, you kind of see where the loyalties of most of the Slytherin House lie. In the previous chapter McGonagall actually told Slughorn that the Slytherin students were going to have to decide which side of this war they were on, and in this scene Pansy Parkinson stands up and points to Harry and says, "well, look, everyone, Harry's there. Why don't we give him up to Voldemort and be done with it?" And all three - Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Gryffindor - Houses stand and face toward Pansy and pull their wands out.
Laura: And I just thought this was a really great contrast to the way the majority of the school was portrayed as being against Harry in Order of the Phoenix just because next to no one believed that Voldemort had come back.
Andrew: It is kind of hard to not believe him now too.
Laura: Yeah, it's just interesting, because he used to be scorned a lot.
Laura: People would make fun of him and that kind of thing, and he has really gained a lot of respect from his peers, so...
Matt: He really has.
Laura: I think it's a really transforming moment.
Andrew: That's another way you feel good with the Harry Potter series too. Whenever these big turn-around moments occur...
Andrew: ...it's really feel good. You know, when Umbridge...
Matt: Yeah, this was very one of those uplifting moments that you got right before the big fight, like how many people that you didn't expect come to your aide.
Micah: Yeah, and you are not going to like me saying this...
Micah: ...but I think it's going to be a cool movie scene.
Matt: Oh, thank you. I was afraid to say that, because Andrew's right next to me.
Andrew: Well, for everyone who doesn't know, after we recorded last week, I was like, "Guys, I feel like there's a lot of movie talk in Chapter-by-Chapter. Maybe we shouldn't - maybe we shouldn't do that." And they all attacked me. Like, "Oh, well, gee!"
Laura: [laughs] Well - and you know what? I have to kind of counter that and say it could also be a really cheesy scene, too.
Micah: Yeah, you're right.
Laura: If they shoot it wrong...
Micah: It could be.
Laura: ...they could really mess it up. [laughs] So I hope they don't.
Andrew: I could just see Pansy saying her lines to get Harry into her - into him, and then it cuts to a shot of everyone facing the camera, all pointing their wands at the camera, and they're really pointing at Pansy. That would be cool.
Matt: Well, it's possible they may even cut that part right there - that scene, too.
Matt: But - but haven't they - they casted an actual Pansy again, haven't they? For the sixth book?
Andrew: Yeah, they did.
Matt: Well, and since David Yates is doing the next two-parter movie also, he may have her in mind to be in that scene.
Micah: And what an appropriate name for...
Andrew: Pansy? Yeah.
Micah: ...this part of the book.
Laura: Yeah, that's true. Ha.
Matt: What a little pansy.
Micah: I have another word, but this is a G-rated show.
Andrew: Yeah, so it is.
Laura: Is it?
Laura: Hasn't always been in the past.
Micah: Well, not for you, Laura.
Laura: I'll take your word for it.
Micah: All your curses come through loud and clear.
Laura: Hey, now! That's not my fault. Blame the editor.
Andrew: That's my fault. I take full responsibility.
Ben: I think Andrew actually messes up other people's and does his own perfectly just so everyone else looks worse than him.
Andrew: Yes, I do. I tweak every sentence to make sure it sounds perfect. I'm so well-spoken once I'm finished editing.
Matt: You fans have no idea how horrible his grammar is.
Laura: How terrible this is to listen to when we're actually recording. It's just horrible.
Andrew: Yeah, really, it takes me ten sent - minutes to get a word out.
[Andrew and Matt make stuttering noises]
Andrew: Anyway, let's stay on topic here. The professors organize a battle plan in which the students will be split between the towers and the grounds to defend Hogwarts. And then as the battle begins, Harry's looking desperately for the Horcrux, and this is another great movie scene. I mean, you can really - this is another one you can really picture in your head because all the kids are running around him. And I really hope - it's a shame Mikey isn't here because Mikey could really, you know, agree with me on this - I really hope they use a very shaky camera while following Harry to show the sort of - the craziness that is ensuing.
Laura: Yeah. Yeah, I think that would be really good. I just have this visual of how they're going to, like, do these scenes. I just imagine one of those great pans across, you know, the Hogwarts grounds as people are running out of the castle and going into the towers, and...
Laura: ...I think it'll just be - it'll just look fantastic. I can't wait.
Andrew: Yeah, it will. So then what happens next?
Micah: I mean, was this a little weird though? I mean, Harry's just standing there and then all of a sudden Professor McGonagall comes up to him and says, "Hey, aren't you supposed to be looking for something?"
Laura: Well, he'd forgotten about it because he couldn't find Ron and Hermione. They just disappeared.
Matt: He did get sidetracked and, you know, McGonagall came up behind him and was like, "Dude! Whatsup? You're supposed to be looking for something."
Andrew: Well, it was good to see this because it shows where Harry's priorities are.
Andrew: He hasn't, like, completely thrown worry about Ron and Hermione out the window. He puts them first it seems.
Laura: Well, and it also goes to show that he's finally realized he doesn't have to be in this alone. Because for so long he just touted on about how, "Oh, Ron and Hermione can't come with me. I have to do this alone."
Ben: Yeah, the Hero Syndrome.
Laura: But in the book he actually - yeah. He was actually - he said something along the lines of he couldn't even focus on trying to find what he needed because he couldn't do it without Ron and Hermione.
Matt: Yeah, that's true.
Laura: So it's another one of those good defining moments.
Laura: And actually after this he realizes, you know, that Voldemort knew that Harry would pick up on the association between the Horcrux and Ravenclaw. So that's why he had Amicus and - what was the other one's name?
Andrew: Yeah. Alecto, yes.
Laura: That was why he had Amicus and Alecto guarding the Ravenclaw common room. So he runs into Nearless Headless Nick and he he asks him to help him find the Ravenclaw ghost. And when he sees her he notices that she does this weird thing where she sees him looking at her and she tries to escape. She floats through a wall. And he finally gets to her and asks her about the diadem, and he find out that she's actually the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw, which was very interesting.
Laura: Especially considering the story behind it. Well, we also find out about her relationship with the Bloody Barron, which actually explains why he is bloody. Because, essentially, what happens is Helena Ravenclaw, which is the name of the Gray Lady, stole her mother's diadem and went to Albania with it and hid it in the trunk of a tree. And when she was hiding there Rowena was on her death bed, and she sent the Bloody Barron, who had actually been in love with Helena, to come and find her. But when she refused to go with him, he stabbed her and killed her. And when he'd realized what he'd done he then killed himself.
Matt: How do you - I mean, how do you - how does that situation play out?
Laura: It's an act of passion.
Matt: "Your mom wants you." "No." "Well, I'm going to kill you then."
Laura: [laughs] Well, she basically said something along the lines of he couldn't stand how free she was. Something along the lines of...
Laura: ...he was jealous of her independence. And he was jealous that he couldn't tame it. So he killed her in an act of passion, and then once he came to his senses he then killed himself. So it was really interesting...
Laura: ...I thought to hear about the stories behind a couple more of the Hogwart's ghosts, just because we didn't know about them and there was - there were some...
Andrew: Yeah, really.
Laura: ...things about the ghosts that weren't clarified, so...
Micah: What's interesting is that all the way back in Episode 61, on our Halloween episode, we tried to figure out just what's with the Bloody Barron and why is he so dot, dot, dot, bloody.
Micah: And we also asked about the Gray Lady and, you know, so it's kind of interesting that thinking that, oh, you know, a hundred episodes later we're finally discussing their importance in the series, but I just thought I'd throw that in there.
Micah: So we were - we were thinking about it all the way back in 2006, but...
Andrew: Yeah. That was a good, very timely discussion, too, that Halloween ghost...
Laura: Oh, wow, that was a great show.
Micah: We discussed, or debated, whether Halloween is a morally vapid holiday, which encourages delinquency.
Laura: Oh yeah!
Andrew: Right, and Jamie complained about Halloween, that it's a bad holiday for whatever reason.
Matt: He's just jealous because he doesn't celebrate.
Andrew: All right, so moving along, Harry then discovers that she had hidden the diadem in the trunk of a tree in Albania and makes the connection, realizing Voldemort had once hidden - had once hidden there. He then asks her if she told the story to another student, Tom Riddle. And of course she says yes, because he was very charming.
Laura: Yeah, and this is just - this chapter is full of so many defining moments in this book series, I've noticed. Just like - I know that, at least when I was reading the book for the first time, and she said, "I hid it in Albania," I was just like, "Oh [bleep]."
Andrew: Right, right.
Laura: And you can bleep that. [laughs] But that was definitely my reaction, so...
Andrew: Yeah. It's like, cripe, you've only got 'til midnight. Running out of time!
[Micah and Laura laugh]
Micah: This was just so...
Laura: Because...yeah. Go ahead, Micah.
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