MuggleCast 153 Transcript (continued)
Audience Involvement with Epilogue-by-Epilogue
Laura: So now we're going to wrap up our one-time installment of Epilogue-by-Epilogue. And we're going to give you guys a little bit of a say, because we know you guys have opinions too. So what we're going to do is I'm going to ask a pretty general question, and if your response to the question is positive, I want you to scream as loud as you can. And I mean, we're not playing around.
Laura: Let it all out. Seriously.
Matt: Don't kill yourselves though.
Laura: Yeah, please don't do that. That wouldn't be good. And then after the screaming has subsided, if your answer to the question is negative, just yell, "no" as loud as you can.
Matt: Why don't you just say "yes" and "no"?
Laura: Because it's more fun to scream.
Andrew: Yes, it's fun when you scream.
Laura: And it's mean to boo.
[Andrew and Audience laugh]
Andrew: All right, so what's the question?
Laura: All right, question number one: what did you think of the kids' names, Albus Severus, Lily and James and Scorpio?
Elysa: Hugo. And Hugo.
Laura: Well, cheer if you liked it; cheer if you liked it.
[Audience members scream]
Laura: There we go. That's what I'm talking about. And now everyone else is no, right?
Andrew: That was like two people.
Audience members: No!
Andrew: But doesn't it pay tribute to the characters who we've come to love so much? I mean, that's the whole point of it.
Matt: No, no, no.
Andrew: Scorpius, yeah, even I admitted last year that was a weird name, but - it sounds like an animal, a scorpion.
Matt: I think that's what it's from.
Laura: Sounds like Mortal Kombat.
Andrew: Too many people yelling. Call the MuggleCast hotline if you have a comment.
[Andrew and Matt laugh]
Andrew: Okay, what's the next question?
Micah: All right, second question: did you think the epilogue provided enough information and closure? Yes?
[A few audience members scream]
Micah: Or no?
Most of Audience: NO!
Laura: That's a big no.
Matt: I'm going to have to say they say no.
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs] And last: do you think that Albus and Rose will get married?
Andrew: How many of you - okay, we'll start with that. Do you think Albus and Rose will get married? If yes, scream.
[a few people scream]
Laura: Oh, wait. [laughs]
Laura: Well, I mean, this was Elysa's fault anyway.
Elysa: Hey, why are you blaming...
Laura: We've already established that there's a close family connection here.
Matt: Just because she beamed at him doesn't mean they're going to, you know, get together. [whispers] Yeah, but you wrote it in.
Andrew: [unintelligible] Elysa. Anyway, does anybody have any thoughts about the epilogue? You can come up right now and talk into the MuggleCast microphone, and then - no? You want to just move on?
Laura: Is it too late?
Andrew: This guy right here? This guy came up during Fandom Forecast and plugged our Chicken Soup segment, right?
[A few people cheer]
Andrew: Come up to the MuggleCast microphone! A short-cabled microphone. Here you go.
Audience Member: Thanks. I think as far as the epilogue goes, I think it wasn't what, I guess - and Jo's good at this - what we had expected. I mean, personally, I didn't expect an epilogue. I expected the end of the book. "Scar." That's it.
Audience Member: But, I mean, it just seemed like she tried to pack so much stuff into it. It really didn't fit together well for me. I mean, I like the way that she had, I don't know, I guess, tried to fit stuff in, but it just seemed like it was too condensed, too crammed. Like Albus Severus? I mean, I felt sorry for the kid. I think it was on one of your live episodes last summer during the tour that a little kid comes up, and he goes, "I feel sorry for the kid named Scorpius." And I mean, what's with the name anyway? Sounds like it's from The Mummy or something.
Audience Member: But, I mean, it just didn't provide enough of the detail for me, I guess. I don't know.
Andrew: This girl right here in the pink. Come on up. What's your name, where are you from? And what's your thoughts about the epilogue? Nice boots.
Matt: They're made for walking.
Kate: I'm Kate, I'm from Austin. I may be one of the only people who like the epilogue. Sorry. My sister and I have debated well into, like, four o'clock in the morning about this, but I think that there is a lot of like - I think no matter what she had written, we all would hate it. Because cognitive dissonance, like we don't want it to be over, so no matter how she ends it, we're all going to be like, "Well, crap, it's over." And I think that, like, she had to give a slice of life, but she couldn't give - like people are saying it's got either too much or it's got too little. So it's like, what do you want? Do you want her to tell - like, write another book about them as adults? Of course. Or do you want her to, like, give us just a little snapshot? And it did feel kind of corny and it did - but the whole thing's about, like, family and love, and it felt like she brought a lot of those themes back. But I agree with what you said, that it felt like she wrote it a long time ago. Like, she came up with this theme, and then she stuck with it, and had those notes from forever ago and was like "Oh right, that's how I wanted to end it." So, that's...
Andrew: All right, thank you.
Andrew: And you. And then we'll take one more.
Corey: Hi, I'm Corey from Las Vegas.
Corey: And I just wanted to say that when I first read the epilogue, I hated it, like any other fan. But by that point in the morning, I was shaking and crying, and it didn't matter what Jo had written.
Corey: And I think that's kind of how we all felt. But now that I look back, I kind of have really reflected, and I think I'm happy as I could be with it. 'Cause Harry got what he wanted, he had a sense of family. Sure, people were still pointing at his scar, but it wasn't like everyone in the world knew, and it wasn't constantly eyes flashing to his scar. People knew who he was, but he was finally happy. So, I was really happy for him. So. And everyone.
Andrew: All was well. All right, one more. This girl all the way down. We're going to take some more questions. Yeah, yeah, come on up. Start thinking about other questions, we're going to take general questions too after this, through the rest of the show.
Rachel: Hi, I'm Rachel.
Matt: Hi Rachel.
Rachel: Hello. I'm with - I'm another person who's, like, a minority in the fandom, I guess. I don't know why, but liked the epilogue. I mean I understand that it was corny, sort of, but that was the way she wanted to end the book, and, really, we have to remember, it's her frickin' book. [laughs] She can end it however she wants to end it. She wrote it, she created these worlds, she created these characters, she knows how they think, she knows how they work. No one knows them as well as she does 'cause she created them. Without her we wouldn't have it, so really - I mean, we can criticize all we want. We can write our own versions, that's why fan fiction is awesome, but, really, in the end, that's how she wanted it, so that's how it ends, and we've got to come to terms with that.
Andrew: All right, any thoughts from the panel before we move onto some general questions? No? Okay, we'll take general questions. You can talk about Portus, you can talk about the theme park, you can talk about Dumbledore being gay, whatever you want. So here, let's - let's turn this into a round table; let's make this really intimate. [whisper] What's your question? Hi, Sarah.
General Question: Making Basilisks
Sarah: Hi. Okay, so my question is, I was reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and stuff, and in the book it says that you can create a Basilisk by putting a chicken egg under a toad. So, I think that's pretty easy. And if Voldemort had known this, I think he would have, like, made so many more Basilisks. So, why wouldn't he have made more Basilisks? What's your opinion?
Matt: Well, why a toad?
Sarah: I don't know, I didn't write the book.
Laura: Why a chicken egg?
Micah: Why not a goat?
[Everyone laughs and the Audience cheers]
Andrew: Of course you had to get that in there!
Audience Member: We love you, Mikey!
Andrew: He was - Micah, yeah, his name's Micah last time I checked.
Andrew: He had a very special connection to Nagini. I don't know if he wanted a few more of them around. What do you guys think? You know, it's just like the bathroom question: why don't you ever see him use the bathroom? It's like the same thing.
You know, there's always those. Good point, though.
Laura: Yeah, and I think - sorry, Andrew - I think the thing is, he did have a special connection to Nagini. I mean, the thing about Voldemort was he highly prized things that were rare. And so I think for him to have created an army of Basilisks, he wouldn't have been as prone to make Nagini into a Horcrux, I don't think.
Andrew: All right. Next question. Thank you. [makes panting noise] Hold on, let's get somebody in the back. I've been picking - okay, this girl in the Pickle Pack shirt right there. Yes. Pickle Pack member. Gak gak Pickle Pack! Hello, ma'am. What's your name, where are you from?
General Question: The Trace
Susanna: My name's Susanna, and I'm from Sherman, Texas. And I've always had a question about the Trace. It was never really clear to me if it's on the area where a wizard lives, or on the wizard itself, because in Book 5, they could Apparate and Disapparate all around Privet Drive. But then in, like, Book 7, they say that - they're asking Harry if he still has the Trace on him when the Death Eaters turn up in the diner. And then in Book 6, Dumbledore says that they can only track magic. So I'm just really unsure about what's going on there.
Andrew: Panel? Any ideas?
Andrew: No, I want to be fair to everybody.
Matt: Well, Book 7 is just - everything went haywire anyway, so. The Trace...
Andrew: Does anyone...
Micah: I don't know about the Trace as far as Book 7 was concerned. I just think it had to do with saying Voldemort's name, didn't it? In the diner? Very early on...
Micah: ...they just weren't aware that...
Matt: Right, they weren't aware of the taboo. I think the Trace just goes around like - maybe just by - like maybe when a wizard is young they give off a different kind of magical essence or something? And maybe they can just hone in and trace it, maybe? No?
Andrew: Anybody else?
Andrew: No, I don't know.
Laura: Well, yeah, I think that...
Matt: I tried, okay? I don't see you doing anything.
Laura: No, I think you're right, Matt. I think it would have to make the most sense to say that it actually traces the witch or wizard because - I mean, how else would that work? Maybe it's a book mistake, if they were performing magic elsewhere and they weren't getting caught for it, but I'm not really remembering exactly what the - at what point that happened. If anyone can tell me...
Matt: In Book 5 when the Ministry gave Harry the Howler about underage magic, they were already going to send it anyway because they sent the Dementor at him. So I think Umbridge pretty much just sent that owl because she was already waiting for him to conjure that Patronus.
Laura: Yeah, I mean, I just - I think it would seem like it would be so difficult to monitor what people were doing if you were only monitoring, like, a certain area - a parameter of where they lived. It would just make more sense to have everybody who was underage on the same wavelength there. Monitor them all. It would be like saying - okay, and this is going to get a little ridiculous - but it would be like saying that all people under 21 only get carded within five miles of their home.
Matt: No, people under 21 only get carded when they don't have their cards.
Laura: That's true.
Andrew: All right, another question. Slacky-Quacky here. Andrew Slack from the Harry Potter Alliance. A lot of people may know him.
Andrew: Is this a question or are you going to plug your campaign?
Andrew Slack: No!
Andrew: I don't care, I'm just kidding.
General Question: James and Lily
Andrew Slack: I'm definitely not going to plug my campaign. Total question and it's - it's - thanks for the applause, that was very sweet, thank you. So, this is like burning - eating at me for the last couple of weeks. All right, so why did James and Lily not just Apparate with Harry, or take a Portkey, or do some kind of magical transformation to get out of there? You know, Voldemort was coming in so what's the deal? Because that's sort of the - that's sort of a hole in the entire series.
Andrew: Well, I mean, that's the thing though, because, like, if they did Apparate, this whole thing never would have happened!
Andrew: I know, it's a good question, I totally understand. And like with the podcast, we always have to take it from the perspective that, like, it actually is real. But, I mean, can there be an explanation? I'm sure Jo would make up something on the spot.
Andrew Slack: Is it because of the spell on the house or that you can't Apparate with a baby? Or I...
Matt: Well no, because they can Apparate out of Grimmauld Place.
Andrew: What's that?
Matt: They could - they could Apparate our of Grimmauld Place, too.
Andrew Slack: They could Apparate to the house, but they couldn't Apparate throughout the house.
Elysa: I thought they had to Apparate, like, right on the front door - right on the front stoop, on the step, they couldn't go in.
Matt: Oh right. Oh right, right, right.
Audience Member: My answer is that...
Andrew: Are you J. K. Rowling?
Audience Member: ...they took about...
Audience Member: Yes, I am! They took about - James had put his wand down on the couch when Voldemort came in. Don't you need a wand to Apparate and Disapparate?
Audience Member: Because Lily didn't have her wand - yes, it's in the book.
Andrew: If it's noted, then Jo probably put that in there for that exact reason.
Audience Member: Because that's what I couldn't [unintelligible].
Andrew: Oh, okay, that's tight. Hello.
Audience Member: Hi.
Audience Member: So, I've just got to clear this up, I'm not J. K. Rowling either, but you can't Apparate in and out of Hogwarts. You can't - it's a safety thing! You can't Apparate in and out of the Burrow when they were trying to protect it from Voldemort. I mean, you don't want Death Eaters, like, Apparating in and out of your house when they're trying to get you, even though, like, it's under the Fidelius Charm, so is all the other places you can't Apparate in and out of. So, I mean, even, like, Dumbledore can't Apparate out of Hogwarts, so why should Lily and Harry be able to? Or Lily and James?
Andrew Slack: Fred and George Apparate all the time. Fred and George Apparate all throughout Grimmauld Place. Do they ever Apparate in and out of Grimmauld Place? You can Apparate in the place, and in Hogwarts you can too when they were learning Apparition.
Audience Member: But they - they put the charm in the Great Hall so that they could practice it.
Andrew Slack: Okay, so it makes sense. What about a Portkey though?
Andrew: See, but this is...
Audience Member: Well, see, you have to authorize those and if - if the Ministry was under Voldemort's control they would know they authorized a Portkey.
Micah: Yeah. I just don't think there was enough time.
Matt: Yeah, this is all - I mean, okay, if Voldemort came through their door...
Andrew: Yeah, there's not enough time.
Matt: ...under the Fidelius Charm - I mean, it's like, holy crap.
Andrew: Yeah, you're panicking.
Matt: It's not like your initial reaction is to Apparate.
Andrew: And I don't think James and Lily would necessarily want to run away.
Elysa: I think they would for Harry.
Matt: Well, James told Lily to take Harry and run. I mean, that's not exactly just stand there and fight.
Andrew: Okay, so there's the flaw.
Laura: Okay, so let's do a little test. I believe I've seen some guy dressed up as Voldemort walking around during this convention? Let's have him walk in the door right now...
Andrew: See if you can get out?
Laura: ...and start brandishing his wand and see what everyone here does.
[Andrew and Audience laugh]
Andrew: All right, another question? I'm going to keep taking questions from the - from the back. I'll get to you guys.
Andrew: Come on up. Ooh!
General Question: Secret-Keepers
Ray: Hi, my name is Ray, I'm from Atlanta. And this is sort of going along with what was just said. I think a better question is, why wasn't James his own Secret-Keeper? Arthur did it for the Weasleys, Bill did it for Shell Cottage. I don't think there were, like, advances in secret keeping technology...
Ray: ...so I don't understand. Any thoughts?
Matt: Because if James died it would be broken. Yeah, but I mean, you kind of need the security, the trust of their best friend, which, you know, betrayed them. But if you have the Secret-Keeper as yourself, then you run the risk of getting killed. That endangers your son.
Elysa: Yeah, I think it's for the same reason, maybe, that they didn't make Sirius the Secret-Keeper, because maybe it was just too predictable.
Matt: Yeah, and James - and wasn't Sirius going, you know, visiting them a lot too?
Matt: Wouldn't that - you know?
Matt: Because he goes in and out a lot.
Micah: I thought Wormtail was just the most unlikely candidate.
Elysa: Right, exactly.
Micah: That's why they picked him.
Elysa: He's not...
Elysa: He wasn't as predictable as Sirius.
Matt: 'Cause he's a rat.
Andrew: He is the weak one.
Elysa: Yeah. They know that now.
Andrew: But at the same time, you wouldn't expect him to be the Secret-Keeper.
Ray: What I thought was, like, the reason they went into hiding was to be in hiding, and James wouldn't be leaving the house. Like he would stay at there, and if he needed things, other people would bring it to him. But I don't know, maybe he did leave. Like it's not, I guess, that clear...
Elysa: It is James Potter after all.
Matt: Well, I mean, they are the top people. James and Lily were the top on Voldemort's list, so, you know, they need someone who was on the down low, you know? I think she has a really good comment. Let her go up.
Andrew: Okay, what's your really good comment?
Audience Member: Okay, just in response to that, in Deathly Hallows, we find the note that Lily sent to Sirius, and it talks about how lonely James was. And so I don't think that they would want to make James the Secret-Keeper because I think they know he would go insane if he couldn't see anybody outside his family. And so they would want to make it so somebody - so other people can come in and visit him, making the weight much more bearable.
Laura: Yeah, and I...
Matt: And we also know that Sirius isn't really the most patient person in the world, so if he was the Secret-Keeper, he would probably, you know, not stay in one place for very long. He and James would go out and do stuff.
Laura: Exactly, and I mean, I don't know, it just - it would just bother me, I think, if James was the Secret-Keeper, because we know that he and Sirius were both so reckless. And at the same time, I mean, I hate to take this from a literary standpoint again, but then the plot would have stopped at Book 3. [laughs] So...
Andrew: Thank you, sir. What's your name, where are you from?
Emily: I'm Emily K., and I'm from Bangladesh.
Emily: You guys read my mail once. [laughs]
General Question: Dying for Your Kids
Emily: Okay, this is kind of like the same kind of question, like kind of a ridiculous question. But since, like, Voldemort was, like, in power and everything, and he's, like, killed a whole bunch of people. And I'm just kind of wondering, like, has no one ever died for their kids before, ever? Like I guess this kind of has to do - I guess this kind of has to do with the prophecy, and maybe that's like the reason, but I was just kind of like - no one ever died for their kid, and then no one's ever been protected before, you know?
Matt: Well, probably no one ever died protecting their kid from Voldemort.
Emily: Well, he's killed a lot of people.
Matt: Right, but, I mean, not everyone's as brave as James and Lily is either.
Emily: But if he happens to breaks into somewhere, and there happens to be like a kid, and he kills their mom, and their mom's like, "Noo!" [laughs]
Andrew: Everything has to be...
Elysa: Maybe they did - maybe that did happen, but then no one ever tried to kill the kid afterwards, so we just didn't know that he had that protection.
Audience Member: And that he gave her a choice.
Matt: That's true.
Elysa: That's true too.
Andrew: [laughs] Good question though, ma'am. Okay, right back here. Yeah, you. You in the purple. We're matching today. Did we coordinate? Was that you? No. Oh, yeah. You're famous now because you have the Portus shirt and they took a picture of you earlier. Yeah, what's your name? Kelly. Where are you from?
Kelly: My name's Kelly, I'm from the Dallas Fort Worth area. Whoo!
General Question: Disappointments of Book 7
Kelly: Okay, I have an individual question for y'all. Although Deathly Hallows is like an amazing book, I was wondering what ya'll's biggest disappointment was about it.
Andrew: For the book as a whole?
Kelly: Yeah, or like one thing that didn't happen or whatever.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. What this girl said right here, the Veil.
Andrew: I just wanted to learn so much more about it - like, it's such an important point in Book 5, and you always thought you would see more of it.
Laura: Yeah, I have to echo those thoughts exactly. I...
Andrew: Oh, yeah.
Laura: ...was ticked off. I mean, I don't know how many of you heard the three series part of my Department of Mysteries thing, but I was all about the Department of Mysteries being in this book, and it wasn't, and I was really, really upset.
Andrew: Maybe it just would've taken too much time to explain, so Jo didn't want to go into that point.
Matt: Well, she'll probably put it in the encyclopedia.
Laura: But she alluded to the fact that she was going to though, because essentially, even when they talked about the Love Room, and Dumbledore saying, you know, what's beyond there is something Voldemort couldn't possibly comprehend. It just seemed to allude to the fact that Harry's going to go back there, and death is such an integral part of these books, and...ugh!
Andrew: Yeah. I don't know. Micah, what was bothering you about Book 7?
Andrew: You got all the goat you needed.
Micah: I don't know. I was hoping for the goats, you know, to charge into the Great Hall next to Kreacher and, you know, start attacking some Death Eaters.
Andrew: Yeah, that would've been cool.
[Matt makes goat noise]
Micah: No, I mean, we obviously talked about the epilogue before - that was kind of disappointing for me anyway. But, yeah, I mean, kind of echoing similar things that have already been said by both you and Laura about the Department of Mysteries and the Veil and not learning much about either of them.
Andrew: Yeah. Who didn't go? Elysa?
Elysa: Well, I'm sort of really - I mean, obviously the plots are amazing, but I'm really character driven, so for me, I was sort of upset to see the discourse that was transpiring between Harry and Remus Lupin. Like when Harry and Lupin got into that big argument - honestly, I was sort of thinking, "What's this about?" Like, where did Remus - I mean, Remus is - in my mind he's really courageous and has a lot of wisdom, and I always figured that he was sort of - he was sort of, you know - the token, smart, intelligent man of the Marauders, so I'm thinking, why is he behaving this way, sort of, out of nowhere like that? And why are he and Harry having this big fight? That bothered me.
Andrew: Were you on the episode we discussed that chapter?
Elysa: No, I don't think so.
Andrew: I think we talked about being stressed, didn't we?
Matt: I think so. Well, I mean, his wife is pregnant.
Andrew: Yeah. And I think Harry was right to have an outburst. I forget what we said. I don't know. I think it was stress, right, guys? I mean...
Laura: I would think so. I mean, just the whole idea of bringing another human being into that kind of environment would be extremely terrifying.
Matt: Well, he's freaking out because he's a werewolf too.
Elysa: Right. I felt like it was more to do with the fact that he was, you know, self-deprecating than it did the actual atmosphere of the moment. And, I felt like, for me, it was a character point for Harry, trying to develop him as an adult now, as being able to stand up to people he had previously respected and felt were heroes, but sacrificed part of the character that we had all come to know as Remus Lupin.
Laura: I don't know, though, I liked seeing that he was more human, you know? I mean, we had always kind of regarded him as this wise, professor-like figure, and I think like Dumbledore, I really appreciated seeing that he did have flaws, but I mean, I have to say, if I found out that I was going to be mothering technicolor werewolves, I think I'd be kind of scared too.
[Audience and Andrew laugh]
Andrew: Yeah. Good question. Thank you, ma'am. Right here. You're dressed like Narcissa? Oh, yeah, hey now. All right, what's your question, Narcissa? Oh look, you even have a button of your husband on there. How nice.
General Question: The Epilogue
Narcissa: All right, I'm thinking about the epilogue still, because I'm stuck on that, because that was my biggest disappointment of the seventh book, and I just - as like, a fan fiction writer, I was, like, "How could she have made this better, how could she have made this worse, how could she have made this go down better with us?" And I was, like, maybe it was the setting, like, the Kings Cross setting, kind of took us back to like Book 1. Little kids, you know, John Williams music playing...
Matt: Ooooh, yes.
Narcissa: ...and whatever, but what if it had been set in their workplace? Like, we'd seen Ron and Harry leaving their workplace as adults, talking as adults. Maybe that would have helped us kind of jump nineteen years and not have that kind of jarring, this is bad fan fiction, kind of quell against the epilogue.
Andrew and Matt: Yeah.
Narcissa: Do you think it would have helped at all if we had seen them in their more adult roles, like in the Ministry jobs they had?
Matt: I think Christmas would have been a great thing, to have them all together..
Andrew: Oh, yeah.
Matt: Because Christmas in the Harry Potter series is, like, the biggest get-together. And it's kind of just, like, a subtle thing. You know?
[Audience member says something]
Andrew: Well, I think it's also like - I'm trying not to - somebody's going to say this too, but it's coming full circle. I mean, you know...
Matt: Didn't he already come full-circle at King's Cross, though?
Matt: I mean, full circle for what? Harry being introduced?
Andrew: Full circle for Harry being introduced, yeah, into the Wizarding World, and then...
[Audience member speaks]
Andrew: Yeah, right. Right. Yeah, I see.
Elysa: Well, I think people like, you know, myself and you and others, who are immersed in the fan fiction world, were really at a disadvantage, because we've seen pretty much that exact epilogue written a thousand times, in a thousand different ways, by a thousand different authors, so to see it actually become canon, I think if we hadn't been expecting it, if we hadn't seen it a million different times before, it wouldn't have been quite as bad. I think, you know, being a part of fan fiction sort of ruined it.
Micah: And I think it goes back to what Matt was saying before; it was very disconnected from the rest of the book and the rest of the series all together.
Andrew: Yeah. All right, thank you, Narcissa. Next question. Hello, what's your name, where are you from?
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