Micah: Speaking of - I thought we'd just mention this. There was another interesting convention that was going on at the same time...
Laura: Oh, yeah! [laughs]
Micah: ...in the hotel.
Andrew: Go ahead. Laura, you tell them.
Andrew: Go ahead. You talk about it real quick.
Laura: Oh, man. So, at the same time that this Harry Potter convention was going on, we noticed that a large, miniature church had been erected in the center atrium of one of the lobbies. There were - there was a Christian missionaries convention going on. And it was really interesting because a few of them went around trying to evangelize the Potter fans. They even...
Laura: ...bought day passes into a couple of the events in order to come in to...
Andrew: Spread the Word.
Laura: ...preach. Yeah. So it was special. They told us that God loved us, and it was nice.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Laura: And we said, "Well, Harry loves you." So...
Micah: Yeah. [laughs] Even that guy who was dressed up as Voldemort, I think, paid a trip over there, so...
Laura: Did he really?
Micah: ...that was an interesting time.
Andrew: So there are a few people we want to thank: Aziza, HPEF, Jim Dale, and the rest of the Portus staff. They did a great job. Micah, what's coming up? HPEF has more stuff coming up. It's pretty exciting, right?
Micah: Yeah, they do. They have two events that are taking place over the next two years. Next year is going to be in San Francisco, July 18th through the 21st. It's called Azkatraz, and it's kind of a combination, a spin off, of Alcatraz and Azkaban. So, it's going to be interesting to see what the programming is going to be for that one.
Micah: And then we actually got some time to speak with the people from Universal Studios when we were at Portus, and they're going to be - HPEF is going to be in Orlando in 2010, July 15th through the 18th, in conjunction with Universal Studios, so hopefully something associated with the theme park.
Andrew: It's going to be insane. No question...
Andrew: ...about it.
Ben: Ooo. I'm coming to these. San Francisco especially. I went to San Francisco last summer for the book tour thing, Emerson and I did...
Ben: ...and I went to Alcatraz and stuff, and San Francisco is just one of the most unique, coolest cities ever to go to. So...
Andrew: Yeah. I can't wait. That'll be so much fun.
Ben: It'll be so much fun.
Andrew: The Orlando thing too, though. I mean, working with Universal to make this happen...
Laura: Yeah, it's going to be...
Andrew: Like, oh man. It's going to be insane.
Laura: ...it's going to be crazy.
Andrew: Ben's going to...
Micah: It's called Infinitus, right? That's how you say it? We kept screwing it up.
Matt: Yes. Because the possibilities of the fandom is infinite.
Micah: Oh. Good job. That's their slogan. Or did you just come up with that?
Matt: Yeah. I think it is. [laughs]
Andrew: So that's the news this week, right, Micah?
Micah: That's it.
Andrew: All right, let's move on to some announcements. Don't forget to vote for us at Podcast Alley.
Ben: You're still on that?
Andrew: Yeah. Always will be, Ben.
Andrew: Always will be.
Andrew: Just a little side note, on iTunes store, under podcasts this week, if you go to the podcasts main page - well, actually for the past two weeks, we're under the Fun For Kids section, right there on the main page. We're actually the number one Fun for Kids podcast. Next to us is Sesame Street, so that just shows you what, you know, iTunes thinks of us.
Micah: We're two on Podcast Alley.
Andrew: We're more kid friendly then Sesame Street. We're more fun - yeah. That's what I was about to say.
Andrew: Eric, you have a note here. What's this about?
Eric: What's this about? Well, it's - you guys may not remember, but about nine months ago - it was nine months ago - last October, we did a little - well, not a little - we did a big MuggleCast event down in Australia.
Ben: Oh, MuggleCast Down Under!
Eric: MuggleCast Down Under! Heck yes! And I just - I got to say how happy I am that both Ben and Micah are on this episode. I mean Ben especially, because that's rare, but you guys both really contributed to that podcast, and what's happening with it is that I have the video footage edited, and now online. I put it up on - well, actually, it's Google Video, it says "processing" for the last six hours, so I'm trying to get it up. But it's basically...
Ben: So could you please explain to me how I contributed? I don't recall being there.
Eric: Well, you...
Andrew: This was Eric's clever solution.
Ben: Oh, did I record a video? I did, didn't I?
Andrew: Yes, exactly.
Eric: Yes, yes, you did. You did a debate segment. You did a live debate segment.
Ben: Oh, crap. I didn't even realize that.
Andrew: I haven't even seen that yet.
Eric: And Micah did the first ever news at a live podcast as well, and I just got to say, Micah especially, if you take a look at this video, I think it's around the fifteen minute mark, you'll see just how much everybody really loved it. And you guys pretty much - your video input really kept the show afloat, so that it wasn't sort of just me there, and they really appreciated it. So the Australian fans, big thanks to HP Events Australia, but yeah, everything down there. The Sydney footage is now online.
Andrew: First one comes from Jenny, 26, of Sweden. She writes:
"Hey MuggleCasters, about Dumbledore's lying and saying he was going to tell Harry everything about eleven times. I found a part concerning that in 'Half-Blood Prince.' This is on page 187 in the UK edition. Harry says, '"You said at the end of last term you were going to tell me everything." It was hard to keep a note of accusation in his voice. "Sir," he added. "And so I did," said Dumbledore, placidly. "I told you everything I know. From this point forth, we shall show leaving the firm foundation of fact and journeying together through the murky marshes of memory into thickets of wildest guess work."'" Jenny continues, "I think Dumbledore's excuse to himself, or loophole, is that he didn't know everything, he merely guessed. I love your show, thanks for it."
So I thought that was a valid point because we - Dumbledore does emphasize that a lot, that he's just making guesses, and he says that in Book 7 as well.
Eric: Hmmm. I liked how Dumbledore kept an open mind throughout Book 6 as far as what was going on, but he didn't really, because, when shown with all the memories, like - I mean he did, but when shown with all the memories, I mean, Harry formed that same conclusion which was kind of the cool thing about it, was that Dumbledore was letting Harry form his own sort of conclusions, too, and Dumbledore had kind of guess. But, I mean, ever since Dumbledore had the diary of Tom Riddle, he more or less knew that that was where it was going, so, that was really cool.
Laura: Our next e-mail is also from Jenny, 26, of Sweden. She writes:
"Hey, MuggleCast. When Narcissa aids Harry in the last chapter I thought of 'Lord of the Rings' and how pity from the heroes saved them in the end. In 'Fellowship of the Ring,' the movie, Frodo says something along the lines of, 'It's a pity Bilbo didn't kill Gollum when he had the chance,' and Gandalf answers, 'It was pity that stopped Bilbo's hand; do not be too quick dealing out death and judgment. My heart tells me Gollum has some part to play yet.' And sure enough, Gollum is the one who inadvertently destroys the rings, saving the world. Harry saves Draco, who has been his enemy, from the fire, and also in the battle, and because of it Narcissa enables him to save the world."
It's an interesting little connection.
Matt: Eh, I don't really see there's really much relevance, though. In Lord of the Rings, when they were referring to pity the that Bilbo had on Gollum, it was just pity on Gollum himself because of what kind of a person that Gollum was. But Narcissa didn't really give pity on Harry. She was...
Matt: She asked him if her son was okay because she was thinking just about her son.
Laura: Well, I think she's...
Matt: And of the fact that...
Laura: ...talking about the pity Harry had for Draco, because he saved Draco.
Eric: Yeah, I really like that scene in Book 7.
Matt: But what does Narcissa have anything to do with it?
Eric: Well, she pretends that Harry's dead and she saves him. She has a moment of decency.
Matt: Right, but what relevancy does this comparison have to Narcissa?
Laura: Well, she's just making the comparison that, because of - because Bilbo originally had pity for Gollum, that enabled Gollum to inadvertently save the world, and then because Narcissa - she didn't really - I see what you're saying, she didn't have pity for Harry necessarily; she was in it for her own ends, but I think she's drawing the comparison from Harry's pity for Draco, having that effect.
Eric: Hm. In both instances...
Laura: That would sort of - yeah.
Eric: In both instances sensitivity has saved the day.
Matt: Harry's pity for Gollum - I mean Harry's... [laughs] ...pity for Draco enabled Harry to...
Laura: Save the world.
Matt: ...save the world. Okay.
Eric: Okay. Next Muggle Mail comes from Sierra D. of South Carolina. She says:
"Hello. I'd like to start off, like the rest of the Muggle Mailers, though it may seem like a cliche, by adding - or by saying that your show rocks. I was listening to the Portus episode and I thought I might be able to help you reword this sentence. How about, and I quote, 'All was well. Nineteen years had passed since pain had come from his scar.' End quote. Or something along those lines. I also had a question, though maybe a bit late. Do you think that Severus Snape died in a way that showed the type of person he was? Snape was clever and sneaky, just like the snake that killed him. Hmmm." .... "Interesting. Anyway, thanks."
Ben: Kind of karma.
Eric: Yeah. Kind of. And she says, "Matt, Andrew, Ben, Micah, Jamie, Laura, Eric, Mikey and Elysa are my favorites. Love, Sierra D."
Andrew: Aw, how fair of her.
Eric: Yeah, well, if I were Aris Janetakos I'd be pissed off.
Micah: He hasn't been on the show in what, like, 152 episodes.
Eric: [laughs] Yeah, well, I mean she listed like all of them, so, but yeah.
Andrew, Laura, and Matt: Oooh.
Andrew: [laughs] Aris Janetakos. Oh man.
Micah: Yeah, I mean, I don't know about the Snape death scene. I was kind of disappointed with that, to be honest with you.
Andrew: Oh, I loved it.
Laura: I thought it was great.
Micah: It wasn't enough fight from him. I mean, I guess he...
Matt: Because he accepted his fate.
Micah: ...was kind of taken by surprise.
Matt: He knew he was going to die.
Laura: Yeah. I don't know, and as for the rewording of the sentence, I personally really liked the way the last sentence was worded.
Andrew: But this was just for the fun, because at the live podcast...
Laura: Yeah, I know...
Andrew: ...everyone was like, "It should have ended with 'scar' like she promised."
Laura: Because Andrew can't reword the last sentence of the book.
Laura: He just said something along the lines of, "All was well. Pain..."
Andrew and Laura: "...scar."
Andrew: No, and then I came up with a sentence and I forget what I said now, but it was really good, I thought.
Laura: Yeah, no.
Matt: But the last word was "scar" and it was the last sentence that you used it as.
Andrew: Oh, whatever. Anyway, speaking of that, it's time to get into our main discussion now. We're going to talk about one year since Deathly Hallows. It's been one year since the book came out. July 21, 2007, and we're still here. Look at that. Imagine that. We still - Laura and I...
Ben: I remember when we started talking about ending the show then.
Andrew: I was talking to Laura today about being nostalgic over, you know, it being...
Andrew: ...one year and being in England.
Laura: Oh my gosh.
Andrew: Laura, it's sad, isn't it?
Laura: It is. Well, because you pulled up the video from our live UStream after...
Laura: ...we all finished the book, and it's just like I could go back to that so easily.
Andrew: Oh, I'd love too.
Laura: Oh, so much fun.
Ben: Was Eric and Kevin's fight on the UStream?
Andrew: Oh, no I forgot about that, though.
Andrew: What did they fight about? I forget. What was the fight?
Ben: The duvet cover.
Andrew: The debate cover?
Andrew: The what? Duvet?
Ben: The blanket.
Laura: Yeah. [laughs]
Andrew: Oh, the blanket. They fought over the blanket. Eric, any comment? One year later?
Andrew: No comment from Eric.
Matt: You guys fought over a blanket?
Micah: Where's Eric?
Andrew: No comment. Yeah, I'm sure he doesn't want to comment.
Ben: Eric, are you mad?
Matt: Eric's on mute.
Andrew: We'll get Kevin Steck's opinion at one point. Anyway though, Ben, you had a fun event going on too, right, in Chicago?
Ben: Yeah, I was in Oak Park, Illinois. We had a...
Ben: ...lot of people there. We had - it was me and Emerson, Emerson and I, up on the stage, and it was one of the best nights of my life. I'm not going to lie, just the energy I felt standing up there.
Ben: The way, you know, when we were signing autographs or whatever there was literally a line all the way down the block, and that's when it hit me that I made it. [laughs] Just kidding.
Ben: No, I'm just saying, I just felt so fortunate and so lucky to have been a part of all this...
Ben: ...and still be a part of it.
Andrew: So, we're going to talk a lot about the fandom today, because it has been a year, and for the longest time people were wondering what was going to happen after the book came out. And I mean still it's just as popular as ever, right? The fandom?
Laura: Yeah, I think so.
Eric: I think it's changed.
Ben: It's evolved.
Andrew: It has changed, but how, Eric? How has it changed?
Eric: Has it changed? Well, I don't know. It's interesting, Andrew, because I distinctly think - I mean - okay, there's different people in the fandom, and of course when I'm speaking it's my opinion, and it's not necessarily how things really are, but I've noticed that there are certain fans, for instance, that have really begun following Wizard Rock, and they're attending more Wizard Rock concerts than they did, you know, I mean - with no new books coming out, there's of course still hype for the movies, but it's kind of branched off. I think the fandom, some people have gone the way that three of our MuggleCasters have gone: Twilight. They've gone into the Twilight fandom.
Ben: Ooh! By the way, TwilightSource.com, check it out!
Andrew: Mhm, fantastic site.
Laura: Yes, thank you. It's a great site.
Eric: Anyway, so people have found sort of other books, and you know that's good because obviously we want to promote reading and all that other stuff.
Ben: It's all about literacy.
Eric: Yeah, yeah. So some people have gone off and kind of got interested in Twilight and hooked on that. Other people have stayed and they still listen to our shows, and still talk about our shows on the fan forums and pretty much do that. But it's just interesting, because without a book coming, it's not like the whole fandom as a whole is just sort of waiting to be enlightened, which is how I kind of felt it was, especially between Book 6 and Book 7. There was so much hype of - there was a presence. You know, Book 6 itself was almost a presence - or the books. The book series, Harry Potter the series was a presence until it was closed off, and I think we lost that, but at the same time, you know, there are still plenty of things to talk about and do.
Matt: So basically, Eric, you're saying that after the last book had ended, that the fandom separated into separate niches. And so they're in their own groups.
Eric: Yeah, I think they still identify, and you guys, having just been to the Harry Potter conference, can kind of identify - you know, say what you think, but I think Harry Potter fans still identify themselves as Harry Potter fans, and we'll all converge for the movies and stuff, but there's no encyclopedia in sight, and I think at the moment, it's this really interesting, not just down time, like there was between the books, but a completely different sort of, you know, branching off, because there are no books left.
Matt: I think it's a time in the fandom when everyone gets to be more creative, because now they have all the information they want and now they can do what that they want to do in the fandom.
Eric: That's good.
Laura: Yeah, I agree with that.
Micah: I think - wasn't it you, Andrew? This question came up when you were doing your little panel with the rest of the podcasters at Portus, and I just think that, you know, when you have these events that are still going on and still taking place, obviously the gathering, I don't think, was probably as large as some of the previous conferences that have been held, but it still seemed like the people that were there were extremely dedicated and into it.
Micah: I have never seen people dressed up like that before in my life, and some of it was scary, and some of it was fun at the same time. But, you know, I still think you have - I mean Matt, you brought up a good point, that everyone has kind of gone their own way into different areas of the fandom. But it still seems like there are a good amount of people out there that are still going to be into it no matter what. You look at the fact that HPEF is still planning these events in the future.
Andrew: Through 2010. I mean...
Andrew: These conferences really do remind you what the fandom is all about, because, you know, even if there's one twenty years from now people are still going to show up there dressed up in their costumes and talk Harry Potter. People make friends.
Micah: Absolutely. And it was just interesting to see, particularly with Portus, that it wasn't just the younger fanbase; there was a lot of, you know, older people, not to classify age range or anything like that, but... [laughs] ...you know, there's - all age ranges love the series.
Eric: Yeah, I was just going to ask you that. Portus, were there more adult Harry Potter fans?
Andrew: I think there was an even balance, actually.
Micah: Yeah, I would agree with that.
Andrew: We brought the kids and Portus brought the adults.
Micah: And everyone had a great time, so...
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Matt: Yeah, everyone had a great time. We've been noticing, too, lately, is that for the podcasts, like our podcast even, we're still getting a lot of new listeners. It's not just the same amount - or people just, like, stop listening to it 'cause the fandom is starting to slow down or something. We're getting - we're getting a lot of new listeners listening in to the show, too.
Andrew: Yeah, and I brought that up at the Portus panel, too. We still see lots of e-mails from people saying "Hey, I'm new to the show," and, you know, "it's great, thanks for doing it." And then I realize that I think we are getting new listeners because there's die-hard Harry Potter fans who, you know, no longer have the books to read. They're looking for other outlets in the fandom. And Wizard Rock and podcasting are definitely two of the biggest ways to fill your Potter craving, I think. Wizard Rock is more fun, just to have fun with Harry Potter. And podcasting is having fun and also learning a thing or two.
Micah: I mean, just think if we had started podcasting, like, you know, before Order of the Phoenix came out, how much...
Laura: How big it would have been.
Micah: Yeah. [laughs]
Eric: Yeah. Dude, half of us would have been thirteen.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Laura: That's true. I was like fourteen when that book came out.
Eric: [laughs] Yeah.
Laura: Oh well. Doesn't matter.
Andrew: There have been a few things that have really fueled the fandom, over the past - well, actually over the past year. Some of those would be the anticipation for the theme park, Dumbledore being gay in October, that was huge...
Ben: He's always been gay.
Andrew: That got as much press as when the book came out.
Eric: He wasn't just gay in October, Andrew. [laughs]
Andrew: He's always been - well, when it was revealed that Dumbledore was gay.
Eric: Yeah, absolutely. That was a shocker.
Andrew: Yeah. The Harry Potter prequel was also fueled some interest in the fandom, and then the J.K.R./R.D.R. lawsuit, which, while isn't the most positive thing, it's certainly created discussion in fan forums and on podcasts, and maybe even a Wizard Rock song or two. Nobody's done that yet, but I think they should.
Laura: I have to say that out of all of these, I really think the Dumbledore being gay story was the biggest one.
Andrew: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: No, yeah. I agree. The theme park was pretty big too. And, actually, I may be wrong about this, I think it was announced before Book 7 came out, right?
Eric: Yeah, it was, but it was never...
Andrew: It was in March...
Eric: I don't think we got any solid, like, concrete stuff. And then one day, Universal said "Okay, we're actually tearing this stuff down and building a Wizarding World."
Eric: Like, they announced that J.K.R. had been with them since the beginning and was totally planning this. And I think that happened after Book 7.
Micah: Well, I think two of our best episodes came from two of these topics, the first being about Dumbledore, and the second being about the lawsuit. So...
Micah: ...I think, you know, we need something else like that to stir things up here, before they - well, if they still plan on releasing a movie, 'cause who knows at this point...
Micah: ...what's going to happen.
Laura: Jo needs to out another character.
Andrew: Yeah, seriously.
Eric: [laughs] Out someone else, Jo. Just, you know...
Andrew: How long do you guys think the Potter fandom will be around for?
Ben: Forever, Andrew!
Andrew: In this sense, with multiple fansites...
Andrew: No, but I mean - but I mean...
Ben: The Potter fandom lives on within you!
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Andrew: Multiple popular fansites, multiple popular Wizard Rock bands, multiple popular pod - actually, wait, no, we're the only good one.
Eric: Well, okay, we answered that question.
Laura: Honestly, I...
Eric: Well - go ahead, Laura.
Andrew: What, Laura?
Laura: I think the lifespan of that lies with those of us who are running them.
Eric: Yeah. Right.
Laura: Essentially, as we all grow up, and as we get jobs, and start making families, I have a feeling it's going to start dying down.
Ben: Oh, Laura, Laura, we're never going to get old.
Laura: It's just - that's the natural progression. I'm sorry - not that it's a bad thing! Not that the sites won't still exist, but I'm saying when we all have three kids running around our feet, we're not going to have time to go post news on MuggleNet.
Andrew: But the big thing...
Micah: No... [laughs] ...I'm not going to say anything, that's way too easy to...
Laura: [laughs] Shut up!
Micah: ...to say something else. [laughs] No, no...
Andrew: I think - but the fans choose whether the fandom stays big or not. I don't think it's really up to us. Because a lot of people just gave up on the fandom after the book came out. They were just like, "Harry Potter is over." And we still - it's so weird. We get comments on MuggleNet from people who are like, "Who cares anymore? The fandom's dead, Harry Potter is over."
Micah: Well, they're taking the time to write that...
Andrew: Right, exactly...
Micah: ...so clearly they care.
Andrew: Why are you visiting the site if you think the fandom's over? It just doesn't make any sense. So - but I think there are some people who really do feel like that Harry Potter is over and all that...
Andrew: ...and, hey, whatever, it's their decision but I think ultimately it depends on how many dedicated Harry Potter fans there are. I think Harry Potter will certainly last longer fandom-wise than, say, Twilight, because it doesn't have as big of an audience. They are dedicated but it's not as big.
Laura: Well, I think it's comparable to any other fantasy series that has a following but it's finished. You know, you look at Lord of the Rings. There is still Lord of the Rings sites online, they just don't make big news.
Eric: Yeah, well, it's forty or fifty years before they did the movies.
Laura: Yeah, but what I'm saying - what I'm saying is that this is what it's going to progress to. I'm not saying it's going to be like that in five or even ten years, but eventually it will.
Eric: Oh no, no. I agree. I agree with you.
Matt: When they re-make the movies it will be huge again.
Micah: I still think you'll have the conventions that people will go to, regardless, and...
Laura: Oh, definitely.
Matt: Yeah, like the Star Trek conventions and the Star Wars conventions they do.
Eric: Yeah. Well, that's still going on, kind of. I mean Star Wars is still going on because all the fans are taking that - well, actually, Andrew, have we seen anything? Because, like, you asked, like, how long is it going to last? Have we seen anybody drop? Have we seen any major websites that don't get updated anymore? I mean, I think that's the kind of way to gauge it.
Andrew: Not really. Well, I mean - I of course wouldn't say that on air, I wouldn't point fingers at people, but I think - yeah, I think there definitely have been changes in the fandom. Not podcasts, not big podcasts, not big Wizard Rockers, but there are some bigger websites that have sort of dropped the ball after the book came out. That's maybe just my personal opinion.
Andrew: I think with time, things change, people come, people go, so - but how many, like - how the fandom is today. How many years do you guys think it'll last? Do you think it'll last through the last film coming out in 2010?
Ben: I think so.
Laura: Yeah, I think so.
Matt: I think it really depends on what comes up.
Ben: Well, I think it's going to go in the same - it's going to follow the same pattern that it did, that it went through with the movies before, you know. There's always - there's going to be - like the baseline of the fans, you know, like when - in between movies, you know what I mean? Like when we're in between books, like - that, like - the fandom at that level has dropped, has died down significantly, I would say. But as we get closer to a movie release, you know, the one that's coming out in 123 days, 55 minutes and 22 seconds, then we see it's like a roller coaster effect, you know? At those points we're going to have the peaks in our traffic, and there are going to be more fans online, there are going to be more people interested in it, MuggleCast is going to get more downloads, and then after those periods...
Ben: ...it's going to fall back off to the baseline. Now the only difference is that baseline, the base of the fandom, is continually getting smaller as time goes on, I think.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Laura: Yeah. I think that's the perfect way to describe it.
Andrew: Another thing that I just remembered is Harry Potter the Exhibition, which is going to be that...
Matt: Oh, right.
Andrew: The roving Harry Potter set.
Matt: That's going to be pretty cool.
Andrew: And that'll be really cool.
Ben: What is it?
Eric: We'll definitely - we'll definitely get reports.
Andrew: Some company's working with Warner Bros. to bring an exhibition across the United States. Like, to different cities. And it's just going to be tons of, like, props and stuff from the Harry Potter films.
Andrew: And it's going to be ten thousand square feet, and hosts "elaborate displays of authentic costumes, props and artifacts from popular environments featured in the films." And that's starting in Spring 2009, so...
Eric: Yeah, that'll be really cool.
Micah: Yeah, I think it depends a lot on this encyclopedia too. I mean it's not going to - it's not certainly going to attract the same amount of attention as the books because I don't think that you can do that and, you know, there's never going to be the build-up that we all experienced before the release of each of those books. It's just not - you can't replicate that.
Micah: And it's never going to happen again.
Ben: That's what I'm saying. Imagine, like, how could you miss something like that? You know what I mean? Like if I was - like imagine if you just started reading Harry Potter now and, you know, you already heard from your friends that Harry lives, you already heard all of these things, and imagine how you'd feel after you read the sixth book. You know, it was - it's a completely different scenario, like what we were looking at last summer, you know? Because we were - it was one of the only times ever that we didn't know what was going to happen, and it was like such a beautiful feeling, you know, in hindsight, because now that everything's said and done...
Ben: ...you can look back and, you know, it's kind of like after Lord of the Rings, after that last book came out, you know? It's - we truly - we lived in such a unique time, and it just sucks that so many people - I have so many friends who didn't read the books, who just, you know, thought it was stupid thing or whatever when they're missing out on the greatest cultural phenomenon ever.
Eric: Dude, that's very sensitive. I...
Eric: Yeah. Very sensitive.
Andrew: Well, yeah, and it's also a shame to think about how many kids in future generations are going to read these books but they're missing out on one of the coolest parts of reading these books. It's just being part of the fandom. Like, you know, twenty years from now when kids are turning fourteen or fifteen, and somebody finally introduces them to Harry Potter, they're going to be like, "Wow, these books are great. I need to fill my craving," and there's not going to be anything! [laughs]
Ben: Well, see, what's interesting, though - like, what I would like to know, a statistic I'd like to find out, is what percentage of people who have actually - who have read the Harry Potter books, have participated in what we refer to as "the fandom" in some way, shape or form. You know what I mean? Like what percentage of them have gone to the Internet and actually looked for additional Harry Potter news? Like, it's like a casual reader versus somebody whose more into it, you know?
Eric: Exactly, because there's probably - I mean, oh geez, there's - I'd like to know the percentages of those who haven't, you know. I mean all the people we'd never hear from. Even listening to the show there's hundreds of people that listen to this show and we don't ever, ever ever, hear from them. They hear us, so hi, people!
Matt: Well, yeah - well, just the other day - actually today, right before we were recording, I went to Chipotle to get some food, and I was passing these two girls in the restaurant and they were talking to each other about Harry Potter.
Eric: Dude, really?
Matt: Just talking about the fandom.
Matt: Yeah, or not the fandom itself, but they were just talking about, you know, Harry Potter and talking about, like, how can somebody not like Harry Potter or not read Harry Potter.
Ben: What's weird - what's weird is I'll still, like, on occasion, on rare occasion, when I'm in Chicago or something - you know, like someone will recognize me or I'll be with Emerson or somebody will recognize Emerson, and it's just so funny because, like, what will happen is they'll make eye contact with you, they'll look away, and, like, they'll think about it for a second, and then their eyes will immediately dart back to you. And then like...
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. [laughs]
Ben: ...that's like the dead giveaway. That's when you instantly know you're like, "Are they going to talk to me or are they not going to talk to me?" [laughs]
Eric: Ben, some people have all the luck. I've been living in Chicago for five months and that's not happened to me yet.
Ben: Maybe you're just not as recognizable.
Micah: You know, I...
Matt: [mocking Ben] I just have one of those faces.
Micah: You know, it's funny, because I always bring up work and, you know, I always talk about people there who read the series but kind of don't say anything, but when I was at Portus, you know, I guess somebody did a Google search on me at work and they found out one of the articles that I guess we had done, and they started sending it around to a couple of people in the office and - you know, because they always like to give me a hard time about this, and...
Eric: Is this a story about how Micah gets picked on at work?
Micah: Yeah. Well, no, it's actually - this is to show that - how many people actually read it but aren't as active as we think.
Micah: And so this article starts getting passed around to a bunch of different people and I wasn't on it so I don't know what was said, but I was told it eventually got to one of the guys that I used to work for and one of the guys who now works for him - and the guy who worked for him, he's like, "What is this Muggle crap? I don't understand. Who the hell would be interested in this kind of stuff?" And his boss replies to him, and he says very strictly - he's like, "I'm interested in it."
Micah: I guess you better be careful.
Andrew: You know, my initial prediction was that ten percent of people who have read the books are a part of the fandom. But I'm reading an article now that just came out in June. Says, "Potter tops 400 million sales worldwide." And so now I'm thinking, okay, so 400...
Ben: It's more like one percent.
Andrew: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So, if you divide - 400 million divided by seven, that's - that would be -technically be 57 million readers, and so, I mean...
Ben: During our peak time we got maybe...
Andrew: Ten million.
Ben: ...300,000 visitors per day.
Andrew: Mhm. Wait, you think when the book came out? It was more than that.
Ben: I guess it was probably...
Andrew: I guess average. I guess average, that would be right.
Ben: I guess it was pretty close to, like, half a million.
Andrew: So it is extremely small, and you wonder, like, why those people...
Ben: Less than one percent actually. I guess it just depends. A lot of people who are involved in the Harry Potter fandom are Internet junkies. That's safe to say.
Laura: That's true.
Andrew: Right. Yeah.
Ben: I have nothing against those people. Like they just - they're into a lot - they're into instant messaging, social networking, Facebook, MySpace, those kinds of things. And so, you know, that's the reason I got into the Harry Potter fandom, is because from the time I was ten years old, I was just constantly on the computer, and so when I started reading the books, the first thought that went through my mind was, I need to see what's on the Internet about this.
Eric: Same. Absolutely same.
Laura: Yeah, me too.
Ben: And some people just aren't as lucky as us to have stumbled upon something so great.
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