[Intro music begins]
Andrew: Hey, Mason, did you know that on July 1st, Yahoo! Domain renewal pricing increased to $34.95 per year?
Mason: $34.95 per year? No way! Ridiculous! That's not a deal at all.
Andrew: You're right. It's not. And I do need a deal.
Mason: You need a deal? I got the deal you need, Andy! Check this out: transfer your domain to GoDaddy for as little as $6.99 and get a free one year extension plus guaranteed renewal pricing. GoDaddy.com makes transferring easy and offers loads of extras, including hosting, a five-page site builder, and much more. Oh yeah! Plus, as a listener of MuggleCast, enter code "Muggle" - that's M-U-G-G-L-E - when you check out and save an additional 10% on any order. Some restrictions do apply. I want you to see the site for the details. Get your piece of the Internet at GoDaddy.com.
[Harry Potter theme plays]
Jim Dale: [as Professor McGonagall] This is Professor McGonagall welcoming you all to MuggleCast hoping you enjoyed - Dobby! Dobby, come here! Here! Dobby! [as Dobby] Yes, I'd just like to say how very pleased I am to introduce MuggleCast to all of you! Thank you! Thank you!
[Show music begins]
Andrew: Because how could we not have an episode on Halloween, this is MuggleCast Episode 161 for October 31st, 2008.
[Halloween music begins playing]
Andrew: All right. We're here for MuggleCast Episode 160. Elysa's here. Good morning, Elysa.
Elysa: Thanks. Good morning.
Andrew: Laura is here. Good afternoon, Laura.
Laura: Thank you.
Andrew: And Micah's here. Hi, Micah.
Micah: What, I don't get good evening?
Andrew: Good evening, Micah.
Laura: Wow, you sounded so unhappy about that.
Andrew: [imitating Micah] What, I don't get good evening?
Andrew: And also here, joining me in the MuggleCast studio, it's been a while, Ben Schoen.
Ben: Hey, everybody. I'm back. I'm live here in southern California, and I'm out of school this week. Came out to see Andrew.
Andrew: What do you think of the MuggleCast studios?
Ben: It's very impressive. He has a - he has a very nice setup here. I've got a real microphone. I feel like I'm doing a real radio show right now or something.
Andrew: Ben required that I deepen his voice prior to recording.
Ben: No. Whatever!
[Ben and Elysa laugh]
Ben: The thing is, he was trying to deepen his because got jealous of my voice.
Andrew: I felt there was too much of a contrast so we had to deepen voices. Anyway, so now we're good. We got our EQ set. We got a lot to get to this week. This is our Halloween themed show. We've got some Halloween stuff going on for everyone this week and a lot more. So I'm Andrew Sims.
Ben: I'm Ben Schoen.
Laura: I'm Laura Thompson.
Micah: I'm Micah Tannenbaum.
Elysa: And I'm Elysa Montfort.
[Show music plays]
Andrew: All right, Micah, what is in the news this week?
Micah: There's not a whole lot in the news this week, Andrew, and, in...
Andrew: It's so dead.
Micah: ...fact, it's kind of disappointing.
Andrew: It really is.
Micah: But I guess one of the things that we can talk about was that Scholastic allowed their employees to do a little bit more of an in-depth interview and give away some of the secrets behind the Harry Potter series in terms of how everything gets put together. And...
Micah: ...we have three questions here that some of the people over in Scholastic were willing to answer, and I guess we'll go through all three of them. Do you want me to take the first one, or do you want to go ahead?
Andrew: Sure. Go ahead. Go ahead. These were interesting because it sort of came out of the blue. I don't know if Scholastic was like, "Oh it's a really slow time in news. I guess maybe we should do something."
Andrew: "We should contribute for once."
Micah: Maybe they just wanted to one up Warner Bros. since Warner Bros. took the movie away. So they decided, "We'll give people some inside information on the Harry Potter series."
Ben: What a great replacement for the movie.
Micah: Exactly. Well, they do what they can. I mean, they can only do so much.
Micah: You know what I mean?
Andrew: So I'll read the first question. It was from Rachel Coone, Director of Marketing. She said, "In your opinion, what has been the best idea for marketing Harry Potter?" And she wrote, "The most brilliant idea came from Jo Rowling. For Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Jo wanted to make sure that every fan had the opportunity to read the book at the same time. Strict on sale date was established. This date is what led to the midnight parties and the unified celebration worldwide." And that was pretty interesting, because to think that it was actually Jo's idea to put the books on sale at the same time so you could have that sort of big celebration, which has really defined the Harry Potter fandom.
Ben: Yeah, you know, the - everyone - when people think of Harry Potter they think of lining up outside your local bookstore at midnight and...
Ben: ...kids dressed in robes and stuff.
Andrew: Yeah, and now all the books do it.
Andrew: Twilight, Eragon. Those - all those big series.
Ben: Well, it's just a great thing because those are the moments you remember.
Ben: Next question comes from David Sailor, a Creative Publisher at Scholastic. "Each book has a different dominant color. How did you decide which color would be good for each book?"
Andrew: This is David answering.
Ben: David answering, my bad. "For most of the books I had a color scheme in mind, based on something that came through in the story. For example, on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, there were specific scenes in the book that dictated the color palate that Mary and I wanted to use. Because J.K. Rowling's descriptions are so clear and easily imagined, it wasn't hard to come up with a color scheme. And from the beginning, the palate of the books was based on the jewel tones of Mary's artwork. Ruby reds, deep amethyst purple, dark sapphires, and emeralds."
Andrew: And I thought the cover stuff was some the most interesting because there's a lot involved in deciding these covers. There's nothing much to really say with these, is there? [laughs]
Ben: Well, the first one was worth talking about.
Ben: How about this last one? Maybe we - I have no idea.
Andrew: All right, and the last one was also to David Sailor. It said, "The cover has changed a lot from Sorcerer's Stone to Deathly Hallows. Was that a conscious decision? If so, why?" And this is something I've always wondered, because they went from the multi-colored covers to the one color, and then back to multiple colors." And he said, "The biggest change in covers came from Order of the Phoenix where Mary and I though that a more monochromatic look was good for the book based on a particular scene in a revolving room that emphasized the blue candlelight glowing all around Harry. This was also the first book where it felt that Harry was truly growing into the man he would become. He was feeling angry for various good reasons, and the tone of the book became - began - to get more intense. It felt like a shift in the cover was the right thing to do - it felt like a shift in the cover was the right thing to do for Order of the Phoenix."
Ben: Man, after that, I don't even need to see the movie anymore.
Andrew: You think they - nobody ever complained or anything, but it was such a huge change, just how the series had the multiple colors and they went to that one.
Andrew: I would almost think that must've been a hard decision to make.
Andrew: Because then the covers...
Micah: I think people ultimately care more about the content and what's inside the book than...
Micah: ...what's on the cover.
Micah: But that's just my opinion.
Laura: There was a lot of discussion sparked when that cover came out.
Laura: Yeah, I remember just like - I mean, this was before I worked on MuggleNet, but I remember reading the comments and people were going crazy. Like, wondering what this meant. So, it was definitely a pretty big thing for people.
Micah: We don't overanalyze.
Andrew: Is Scholastic cutting back? It's probably cheaper for them to print in a same color palate.
Andrew: Maybe that's what they were doing.
Laura: God, these people. All they ever think about is money.
Andrew: Those cheapos.
Ben: Andrew's onto it.
Andrew: So that was really it. There's a lot more. It was kind of funny in these interviews. The same questions were asked, pretty much, of each person, and they alway ask the question, "Did you get to read the book early?" And four out of six said, "Oh no. Nobody can read them early." But there's like two people who were like, "Yeah, I got to read it early." [laughs]
Ben: Yeah, they probably now are going to be sued.
Andrew: It looks kind of weird. Kind of looks strange.
Ben: Kind of shady. I bet some of them were like, "Oh, we're not supposed to say that, I don't think."
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Ben: And the other ones, "We broke the embargo."
Ben: "Oh no!"
Andrew: So that was really it. There wasn't much other news to discuss this week.
Andrew: Sorry to say.
Micah: It's been very, very slow, I would say, over the last couple of weeks. It's just little things here and there, but nothing worth talking about, unfortunately.
Andrew: Doesn't it seem unreal now that Half- Blood Prince would've been released just a month ago?
Micah: Yeah. Yep.
Elysa: Yeah, for sure.
Micah: Yeah, it would've been a lot busier.
Andrew: You know what I mean?
Micah: A lot busier.
Andrew: Like, we...
Andrew: ...would be getting ready for a premiere.
Ben: It'd be more than just the one, short trailer.
Ben: How many pictures would've been released?
Micah: Thousands at this point.
Andrew: Well, all these - too many.
Ben: Too many.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah. Well, because from all the sticker books and all that, you know.
Ben: Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, I've seen a lot. I was just wondering if...
Andrew: I saw you had a folder. You're collecting them all.
Andrew: You just browse through them when you're bored.
Laura: Yeah, I hear Micah's actually papering his walls with all these Half-Blood Prince pictures. He loves them so much.
Andrew: Is that true, Micah?
Micah: Maybe a little bit.
Laura: God, you couldn't even play along with me.
Ben: No, absolutely not.
[Andrew and Ben laugh]
Andrew: Well, thank you, Micah, for that news.
Andrew: Hey, speaking of Micah, Ben, would you like to do the honors with our first announcement?
Ben: This is such a wonderful announcement I am very happy to make. Micah Tannenbaum joined MuggleCast back in 2005, and initially you started off just transcribing, right, Micah?
Ben: And then you started doing the news, and then he moved over to helping on the main site, and he's been around quite a while now, and he has now earned the status of senior staff member.
Ben: So congratulations, Micah!
Elysa: Congratulations, Micah.
Ben: We're all so proud of you.
Andrew: Senior staff member.
Ben: You've earned it.
Micah: Thank you. Ben, I heard you were really excited about this too. Andrew was telling me about your e-mail.
Andrew: I had to check with the senior staff to make sure this was a good decision. And what did you write?
Ben: I wrote that I strongly support this decision.
Andrew: I strongly support this decision.
Ben: Because Micah's the man.
Andrew: Then Jamie came to me and said, [with a bad British accent] "I can't believe he said it like that. He's trying to be so business like."
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Ben: I miss Jamie. I think we all do.
Andrew: [laughs] I'm looking at my first e-mail from Micah. It was the transcript - first transcript he sent to me dated August 14, 2005.
Andrew: Congrats, Micah.
Ben: Too many typos.
Micah: Over three years ago.
Ben: Just kidding, Micah.
Micah: What'd you say?
Ben: I said your first transcript had a lot of typos, but I was kidding.
Ben: But, Micah, I have a question. When you first started transcribing, was it hard for you to, like - how long did it take you to differentiate between the voices? Were there any two that confused you or anything like that?
Micah: Well, I think the thing to keep in mind was back then it was only three people.
Ben: Oh, yeah. I forgot about that.
Micah: And maybe you and Kevin a little bit. Andrew definitely...
Micah: Well, I guess by saying Andrew was easy to differentiate...
Laura: That's mean.
Micah: ...he had a higher pitched voice than you or Kevin.
Andrew: [in a nasally tone] Well, thank you.
Ben: I miss Kevin. When's the last time Kevin's been on an episode?
Andrew: A couple weeks ago. Maybe about a month or two. All right, well, moving along, we have another exciting announcement and that's that MuggleCast will be at Azkatraz 2009. We are going to be doing a special podcast event. So here's what's happening: the movie comes out the seventeenth. Azkatraz starts on the eighteenth. So, this worked out beautifully for Azkatraz. So what they're going to be doing is having a midnight viewing of Half-Blood Prince on July 17th - the night of the sixteenth, but the seventeenth. And then following - immediately following the podcast - the movie - the first time all these Harry Potter fans have seen the movie, so it's going to be really exciting - we are going to be doing a post-Half-Blood Prince live podcast where we discuss the film.
Andrew: Yeah. So, it's going to be cool.
Laura: That's going to be so fun.
Ben: That sounds, actually, quite exciting.
Andrew: Because this midnight viewing is going to be with diehard - like when you go to the midnight viewings, they're pretty diehard fans. But midnight viewing at a Harry Potter convention?
Ben: Oh, man.
Andrew: That's a whole new level.
Ben: That's just pure madness.
Andrew: Yeah, and magic. So, more details will be announced about that soon, but for now we do recommend you sign up - you register - fast, because it's going to be a great event. It's in San Francisco. Ben and I were talking about it yesterday. Ben will be there, everyone will be there.
Ben: When is it?
Andrew: [laughs] July 18th.
Ben: Oh, July 18th, okay. That's when the movie comes out.
Andrew: Yeah, the seventeenth.
Ben: They pushed it back.
Andrew: Right. Right. [laughs]
Ben: Do you want to talk about that? Isn't that new?
Andrew: It's a little old, yeah.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Ben: Oh darn.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Ben: I'm kidding.
Andrew: But, yeah. So sign up for Azkatraz. HPEF2009.org, I believe is the URL.
Ben: So, can we tell them where the podcast is happening?
Andrew: We don't know yet.
Ben: Oh, we're not doing it on Alcatraz?
Ben: Why not? Let's make a petition for it.
Andrew: They may be doing something on Alcatraz.
Ben: I heard there might be a Wizard Wrock around.
Andrew: Yeah, exactly. But, I don't...
Ben: Is that inside information?
Andrew: That is.
[Andrew and Ben laugh]
Andrew: So, to register, you go to HP2009.org. Then they have links there to register. In the referral area, where it says, you know, "How did you hear about us?" put "MuggleNet" or "MuggleCast." That's really important so they know where you came from. So, thank you for that.
Micah: The Ministry of Magic elections are still rolling along. I think we completed our first primary this past week, and Hermione absolutely destroyed the competition. In all the races...
Ben: But, it brings up the question: do you really think she's old enough? Do you think she has the experience?
Andrew: Well, because we're - I think what we're trying to tell people is that you're voting for Hermione today. So how old would she be? Like, young twenties, right?
Laura: No, late twenties.
Andrew: Late twenties. Okay. So yeah.
Ben: All right, but does she have the experience?
Andrew: Oh. She may.
Ben: She may.
Andrew: I think she does.
Ben: Is - who - else is running against her?
Andrew: It was Hermione versus Lucius, and Hermione won by, what was it, 91%?
Micah: Yeah. [laughs]
Ben: That's like...
Andrew: Which is weird, because Lucius had won the round before, so...
Ben: Who did he beat?
Andrew: Who did he beat, Micah?
Micah: He beat Dolores Umbridge, which wasn't much competition, obviously.
Andrew: Yeah, guess not.
Ben: Yeah, wow.
Micah: But Hermione took out Harry in her first round with a pretty high percentage of the vote.
Elysa: Yeah, I was surprised about that.
Ben: Oh really? That's interesting. I think - I thought people would've been all, "Harry's the man!"
Andrew: The closest tie so far has been between Kingsley and Minerva. Kingsley won with 55%.
Andrew: So that was a tight race.
Ben: Not really. A 10% margin is pretty good.
Andrew: Yeah, I guess, I guess. But compared to the other ones where it's 80%, 75, 91. [laughs]
Micah: So who is it then this week? It's going to be Kingsley against...
Andrew: Versus Molly.
Ben: So are we having a real election November 4th?
Ben: Oh man. The general election?
Micah: Also, just want to do a quick update on Teddy Bears for Hope. We - I think we raised around 15 or 1600 dollars for this, which translated into about - a little over 300 bears. And we started getting them out to a number of different places. We've sent out, as of right now, about 110. So we still have plenty left, and we're looking into places that they can go out to. The first batch of 30 went to the American Red Cross in Syracuse, New York. And the next 30 went to - I had to look up, actually, what this stood for, which is the International Medical Equipment Collaborative...
Micah: ...Care of the International Relief and Development section of that organization. Basically, what that means is that it goes to overseas orphanages. Particularly this one, which is based out of North Andover, Massachusetts, is most likely going to go to Iraq, so...
Laura: Oh, wow.
Micah: ...orphanages in Iraq. 30 will go out there. And then 50 went to the Hudson County Child Advocacy Center in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Laura: Wow, that's fantastic.
Elysa: It really is.
Micah: We hope with some of these places we can get some pictures and things like that so we can post it on the site to show that the money actually went to a worthwhile cause. And we still have plenty more, probably around 200, that we need to find places for. But, it's been a tremendous success up to this point.
Andrew: Cool, awesome. Good work, Micah.
Andrew: Okay, well, let's focus it back to Harry Potter talk. Let's get into Muggle Mail now. First one comes from Faye, aged 17. She writes:
"Hi, I really enjoyed your discussion on the aftermath of the Battle of Hogwarts, but was disappointed by the fact that Snape was hardly mentioned. Who went back for his body? Was a funeral held for him? If so, who would've attended? Where would he be buried? What sort of recognition would he receive in later years? Just wanted to know what you guys think."
So yeah, Snape was a very important part of that whole area of the book. So...
Ben: He got recognition because...
Laura: That's right.
Ben: Harry named one of his kids Albus Severus.
Andrew: That's true. Yeah.
Ben: So there's his recognition.
Andrew: But maybe some recognition in the school, or...
Ben: Like a special award?
Andrew: Like a special award or a nice portrait.
Ben: Or like - was Snape's story still untold?
Laura: No, Harry cleared his name.
Andrew: Yeah. Snape's story.
Micah: J.K. Rowling did say that he would've made sure that people knew Snape's story and that he wasn't as bad as everyone thought he was.
Andrew: Hmm. Oh, that's right. Yeah.
Ben: Yeah. Well, I mean, the fact of the matter, Snape ultimately was heroic, but he still was kind of a - you know what I mean?
Andrew: Yeah, I know what you mean.
Ben: I mean, I hate to talk about the dead, but...
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]
Ben: It's just Snape.
Andrew: Yeah. What about these questions that she put in here? Who went back for his body? Was a funeral held for him? I hope some - a very nice funeral was held for him. Although, you know, we were talking about all these different people who died. Did they do just one big funeral or what?
Laura: I'm sure there was some kind of great...
Ben: A mass funeral? [laughs]
Laura: Maybe not a funeral, but I'm sure there was a large memorial service. But I don't know, I would think that people's individual families would handle their funerals. And, I mean, obviously Snape has no family, so I don't know.
Andrew: You know how sometimes people get buried with some of their favorite things? What do you think Snape would get buried with?
Laura: Hmm. Yeah.
Andrew: Not shampoo. [laughs sarcastically]
Ben: He'd get buried with...
Andrew: SnapeCast on his iPod.
Laura: [laughs] There we go.
Ben: The next e-mail is from Andrew, 18, from Nashua [pronounces like "Na-Shwa"], New Hampshire.
Ben: What's so funny? Nashua. [pronounces like "Na-SHOO-a"]
"Hey MuggleCasters, I was wondering what you guys thinks about Fred's funeral and where and when it would have taken place. And speaking of funerals, instead of including Dumbledore's in the sixth film, could they not merely end the film with a shot of the tomb? I think it would be a simple, yet powerful, ending. In response to the debate in Episode 159, I would have to agree with a point that Eric brought up. Perhaps not a wizarding picture of Voldemort but something I feel should have been - should be done at Hogwarts to remember his example. There is so much to be learned from Voldemort's example after all. As Dumbledore put it, 'The next time you have to choose between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to someone like Cedric Diggory.' 'Remember' is the keyword. And yes, Voldemort did many terrible things. I don't want to sound grim, but sometimes it takes some terrible things to really bring about change."
Laura: Yeah, but, I mean, couldn't just learning about him...
Ben: Well, I think - I think Cedric Diggory is an example - like, remembering Cedric Diggory is something that - that should be, always be like - they should always like - you know what I mean? They should have something at Hogwarts dedicated to Cedric Diggory.
Laura: Yeah, of course. Yeah.
Ben: And that's going to remind people of the destruction that Voldemort did. Like, Cedric Diggory is a positive example because he was a kid who was taken away in his prime, whereas if you put up a statue of Voldemort it's kind of like - you know what I mean? It's like the diary of Anne Frank. That's what Cedric is in this situation, and Hitler is Voldemort. And you're not going to go to Germany, you're not going to go erect a statue of Hitler, you know? That's not going to happen. And you get Hogwarts, you can't put up something of Voldemort.
Ben: You put up something that can represent that conflict that happened like Cedric though.
Laura: Yeah. I agree.
Elysa: Me too.
Micah: That's what we said last week. I mean, in the debate, in particular, we referenced putting up a picture of Hitler in a synagogue or Osama Bin Laden in 9/11 memorials would kind of be the comparison of putting Voldemort up in some form of remembrance at Hogwarts. I just thought the really funny thing about this rebuttal was she mentioned that she had to agree with a point that Eric brought up, and Eric wasn't even part of the debate.
Laura: Oh yeah.
Micah: Just goes to show how much Eric likes to talk.
Ben: Do you think that people still have a problem saying Voldemort's name?
Elysa: Mmm, nah.
Ben: Do you still think he's referenced as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, or since he's gone now and they no longer fear him?
Micah: We've never had a problem saying his name.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Ben: No, I mean - yeah, of course.
Andrew: People in the Wizarding World. I think people wouldn't be afraid to. They'd be - they're extremely excited that he's dead, so - and because I think when they said the name they feared that he would appear or...
Laura: Yeah. It could also be generational, too. Like, perhaps some people who grew up during Voldemort's reign wouldn't want to say it, but then maybe more progressive people would and younger people would as well, so...
Andrew: Yeah. It's sort of like when a really bad thing happens in the world. Like, you don't - like in our world, you don't joke about it. Like 9/11, when that happened.
Andrew: You don't joke about it. But ten years later...
Laura: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: ...you don't joke about it but you sort of start talking about it.
Ben: Like, yeah, because time heals all wounds.
Andrew: Right. Right. So true, Ben.
Ben: So true.
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