[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.
["Hedwig's 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]
Micah: Because the holidays are here, and it takes us an hour to realize it, this is MuggleCast Episode 166 for December 19th, 2008.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: All right, we are here for another episode of MuggleCast and it's been a while since we've had a traditional episode, so to speak. You know, where we go through all the normal segments and such. But we're all happy to be back, and Mikey is back. Hey Mikey!
Mikey: How you guys doing?
Laura: Hey Mikey!
Andrew: Good, but I'm kind of sad you no longer live...
Andrew: ...just a few steps away from me.
Mikey: I know, I moved far away and it's cold and snowy. But it's fun.
Andrew: The land of Kentucky.
Mikey: A land of Kentucky. You know, I went out and bought some bourbon...
Mikey: ...because I guess it's where bourbon's from. Haven't had it yet.
Andrew: What's bourbon?
Mikey: It's some type of alcohol. I don't know.
Mikey: I've never had it before.
Andrew: And also Penny is joining us again. Hey Penny!
Penny: Hey, how are you?
Andrew: Penny - oh good, thanks, but - so weren't you - did we have you introduce yourself before - the last episode? I can't really remember.
Penny: I don't know. I...
Andrew: Tell us a little bit - little bit about yourself.
Penny: I'm probably the oldest person ever to have ever been on MuggleCast.
Andrew: No, I'm kind of 57.
Penny: Because I'm like 65.
Andrew: Oh. Okay, never mind.
Penny: Yeah, I think so. [laughs] I'm not really.
Laura: I don't think you're quite that old but...
Penny: Yeah, but I'm still older than all of you. And I'm from Baltimore, Maryland and...
Penny: ...I do some other Harry Potter stuff but right...
Andrew: What's the - what's the other site?
Penny: I've been working on Harry Potter Prognostications, the podcast and the blog, for the past two years or so, and I do that with my husband, Greg. But I'm happy to be here with all you guys right now.
Andrew: We stole you for the show.
Penny: Yeah, I'm happy to be here.
Andrew: We're happy to say that Penny is going to be more of a regular here on MuggleCast. We tested her out on the live show and I think she passed. So...
Andrew: Goning have you on here more regularly. That'll be fun.
Penny: Thank you.
Mikey: Woo! Yay! I get excited, Penny.
Laura: Finally, we have three female hosts.
Mikey: Woo! Okay, anyway.
Andrew: Well, we do have a full show so let's get right into it. I'm Andrew Sims.
Laura: I'm Laura Thompson.
Micah: I'm Micah Tannenbaum.
Mikey: I'm Mikey B!
Penny: And I'm Penny Gershman.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: All right, Micah Tannenbaum, what's in the news this week? Or the past few weeks?
Micah: Yeah, it's been a little while since we've done a show. But the top news item...
Andrew: Besides Beedle the Bard coming out.
Andrew: We know about that.
Micah: ...we talked about that on the last show. But Beedle the Bard, speaking about it, there is a couple of reports about it being possibly being turned in to a major motion picture.
Micah: And this all came out within the last week or so. Cinema Blend, which sounds like a really reliable source, reported...
[Andrew, Laura, and Micah laugh]
Micah: ...that Beedle the Bard may be made into a movie by Warner Brothers, and I don't really know about this.
Andrew: Me either.
Micah: I'm kind of skeptical, to be honest with you, and the report referred to Warner Brothers trying to ride the magical gravy train a little bit longer.
Andrew: [laughs] I can believe that, but...
Andrew: I don't know, this whole Beedle the Bard turning into a movie thing, it wouldn't - it wouldn't like - I could see this sort of maybe in the theme park they film these and play them in like the waiting lines or something, but it couldn't be a full on movie, all these tales together.
Mikey: I can see...
Andrew: What do you guys think?
Mikey: I can see it being like a holiday special, like a TV special, where it's like an hour long...
Andrew: Yeah, that'd be cool.
Mikey: ...and it would be like each little story, and you could have Jo there sitting on her little rocker and introducing each story and just be like, "Welcome to the Holiday Special: Beedle the Bard." And it would just be...
Mikey: I don't know! I'm just thinking of the old holiday specials they used to do for all the old movies. And it just - it would be so cool.
Penny: Do you guys see it as live action, or animation, or claymation, or what?
Andrew: I think - hmm, good question.
Micah: I'd say animation. That's how I...
Mikey: I would do live.
Andrew: Really? I was going to say live action.
Mikey: I would love each - kind of - to have a different director tackle each story and do it different.
Andrew: Oh, that would be cool. Yeah.
Mikey: Maybe have "The Three Brothers" be done by like Tim Burton, and do it like claymation, like Corpse Bride or something like that.
Laura: Oh, that would be cool.
Mikey: And have someone else do another one. And I just think it would be really cool to have just different styles for all of them. Like think about the Christmas - the Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer claymation.
Mikey: Stop motion. I just think it's cool.
Andrew: That's a good idea. I mean, the only way I can see Jo agreeing to do this would be if the DVD sales went to charity.
Andrew: Otherwise, though, it's just a really cheap way of...
Mikey: Marketing. Yeah.
Andrew: ...making a quick buck, yeah.
Penny: And if it would turn into a movie would there be any of Dumbledore's commentary in it as well?
Mikey: You mean Michael Gambon's commentary? [laughs]
Penny: Yeah, something like that. [laughs]
Andrew: It would kind of seem out of place, wouldn't it?
Penny: No, but wouldn't it be awesome if like Jim Dale narrated it or something?
Andrew: Oh yeah, that'd be really cool. We should find out if he's going to do an audiobook for Beedle the Bard.
Micah: Yes, we should, Andrew.
Penny: That would be awesome.
Laura: That would be fantastic.
Andrew: I was supposed to get on that and I forgot.
Andrew: So whatever, Micah. [laughs] But yeah, that would be cool. It'd be cool to listen to him read those tales. And it couldn't take him more than a day to record all those.
Micah: There was one article that followed up on this report. It was in the Los Angeles Times, and they actually recommended expanding "The Warlock's Hairy Heart" because they really felt that it had the most opportunity to be made into a movie. Now, I don't know if that meant expand that story in particular and still film all the others, or just do that one specifically.
Andrew: Yeah. I don't know.
Micah: And they recommended...
Penny: I love that story.
Micah: ...Guillermo del Toro...
Penny: That'd be amazing.
Micah: ...for directing it.
Andrew: Yeah. I liked their ideas. They had some good ideas. But expanding it would kind of be weird in a way because that'd be the first time anything related to Harry Potter would actually be expanded for time, you know? They're always condensing it.
Micah: That's true.
Laura: Yeah, I mean, they would have to add a lot to it, so I don't know.
Andrew: You know what also was interesting? David Heyman said in an interview that he would not be interested in doing a Beedle related film, didn't he?
Micah: He did. Yep.
Andrew: Yeah. I thought that was interesting because we don't know the exact date of this interview, but it was definitely after the movie came out - or the book came out - or the rumors, sorry. [laughs]
Micah: All of the above.
Andrew: Yeah. So I don't know what to think about that. I'm glad David Heyman would kind of be against it because it is an obvious sort of way of making a cheap buck.
Micah: Yeah, and I don't know that...
Micah: ...the interest would be that high, to be honest.
Andrew: Yeah, no. It wouldn't be. I mean there wasn't even like - the interest for this book can't even compare to...
Mikey: Any other releases. Yeah.
Andrew: Right. Right.
Micah: Which pretty much leads to our next news item about...
Andrew: What's that?
Micah: ...the sales of Beedle the Bard in its first week. It ended up making 8.5 million dollars for the Children's High Level Group and it sold roughly 2.6 million copies worldwide, and, Andrew, you have here it was the number one bestseller and the fastest selling book of 2008.
Andrew: No surprise.
Micah: Do you guys consider that to be impressive based on what we've seen from her previous works or is that somewhat underperforming?
Andrew: I don't know. I mean, compared to the other Potter books, it's obviously underperforming.
Mikey: I think it's impressive for the type of book.
Mikey: Just because - I don't remember the exact stats for the Fantastical Beasts - but I remember it was - that one was way underperforming compared to this one.
Andrew: Oh yeah.
Mikey: And even now I don't think Fantastical Beasts has sold even this many copies and it's been around for that long.
Andrew: Plus, I mean, Harry Potter is more popular now than it was when Fantastic Beasts and Quidditch Through the Ages came out, I think.
Mikey: Yeah, but still, regardless, I think that's kind of - I'm impressed with the performance of this type of book. I remember they didn't have a release party where I'm at and I went and just picked it up the next morning at Walden Books on my way to work, and that night I went to the grocery store after I finished reading it and there was like a whole display in the grocery store in the Kroger with Beedle the Bard so - and it was picked clean so...
Micah: Yeah, I agree with you. I think 8.5 million dollars is a lot of money for a charity, especially in the span of only a week. And it's going to keep selling; there's no question about it.
Andrew: Ladies, what do you think?
Laura: I think the number's impressive. I just don't think that anything like this would sell like a Harry Potter book would. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that this seems to be something that more of the hardcore fans really knew about, because I know several people at school who love Harry Potter but they don't spend their days on the fan sites and they don't listen to podcasts, and they didn't even know about this.
Penny: Yeah, I told a few people "Oh, Beedle the Bard's coming out!" and they're like "Oh, that's that fairy-tale thing." And even though they read all the Harry Potter books they had no interest in reading it.
Andrew: And in a way it's understandable, because there's huge fans and then there's fans who are casual readers of the books and likes the series but don't want to read the fairy-tales that don't involve Harry. And I think the commentary from Dumbledore was an obvious ploy to get people more interested in this book, wouldn't you guys agree?
Mikey: I don't know. I think it was also like a commentary that maybe Jo wanted to say about the stories.
Mikey: You know, especially, again, a lot of it was the Malfoys had commentary on two of the books - wanted to get them banned, or the stories - and I think it's one of those things where if she didn't have Dumbledore's perspective on it, we wouldn't have really seen that additional - that - I don't know. When I was reading it, I kind of started thinking of Laura Mallory and wanting to ban the Harry Potter books. And I kind of felt that might have been a little commentary on that, and having Dumbledore talk about it, but that was just me.
Andrew: Penny, what did you think of Beedle the Bard, and Mikey, for that matter?
Penny: I loved it. I thought it was great. I thought the morals were great, and I love - Dumbledore's commentary was amazing, especially the commentary on "The Tale of the Three Brothers."
Penny: It just - it - really, that was the one that we were able to connect to Harry Potter, obviously, and it was just so good.
Andrew: Yeah, how about you, Mikey? Do you approve?
Mikey: Well, you know, I was telling you, I read it during my lunch break and I absolutely loved it. The only thing I would take away that I wasn't super impressed with: seeing the American version versus the U.K. edition. I was totally bummed at the design of the book, of the U.S. version. I wish I had been able to go to London...
Mikey: ...and buy the really cool one, but, you know.
Andrew: You should have asked me to get you a copy. I have copies here for Penny and Micah.
Mikey: I didn't even think about it.
Penny: Can't wait.
Mikey: You know, all the move and everything, I was just like - I was trying to see if there was a release here, and of course there wasn't, but I love those...
Andrew: You can always order it online.
Mikey: I'm going to say, the stories - it brought back a warming feeling that I haven't had since the first read-through of Deathly Hallows.
Penny: Yes, yes.
Mikey: It made me almost shed a tear a little, just like, oh wow, is this going to be the last Harry Potter-related book that I'm going to read through that's written by Jo? So...
Andrew: I hope not. She's got to be doing more things like this.
Mikey: I would not mind her expanding and writing more stories like this, or even have - you know, I was discussing this the other day with someone that there's so much fan fiction, and I can't really bring myself to read a lot of the fan fiction, but I would love to read stories written by professional authors, or even her, not about Harry, but just about - in that universe that she created, just because it makes me feel so happy inside, just reading it.
Andrew: And back real quick to the casual fans not really being as interested in this. When I was in London, and I guess this was two days after the book came out, I was in the bookstore getting extra copies of the U.K. Beedle, and people - I would see people go up to the display stand where all the books were, and they would look at it and be like, "Oh J.K. Rowling" and then open it up, page through it, and then go "eh, pfft," and then put it down and then walk away. And it was kind of sad because I think it's a great book for anyone who's ever read Harry Potter, and it's a shame that people are so - a lot of people are being turned off by it just because it's not Harry Potter.
Penny: Although, on the other hand, I have several friends who haven't read Harry Potter who said, "Do you have to read Harry Potter in order to appreciate this?" And I don't think - I think Jo wrote it in a way that you really don't have to read Harry Potter to appreciate it.
Andrew: Yeah, definitely not. I mean, although, there are a couple spoilers in here if you haven't read...
Penny: You have to look closely at them to see them as spoilers, I think.
Andrew: That's true, yeah. It'd be funny if - yeah. [laughs] Doesn't it say in here - isn't there - Jo...
Mikey: Yeah, at the end, Jo talks about: "written nine months before Dumbledore's timely demise on the Astronomy Tower" or something like that.
Andrew: Yeah, but at this point, I think everybody knows that Dumbledore has died.
Andrew: Thanks to that spoiler shirt that you have, Mikey.
Mikey: Yes I do. There's a shirt...
Laura: Oh, do you have that shirt?
Mikey: There's a wonderful shirt that's called spoiler, and it's got all the wonderful spoilers, and of course, right there in the center is that Snape kills Dumbledore.
Mikey: You know what's funny? Andrew knows this. I was working - a show I was working on. There's a bunch of people who haven't read the Harry Potter books, and they've just been watching the movies, and they're like - they honestly got really mad at me that I was wearing a shirt that said, "Snape killed Dumbledore" because they did not know that.
Andrew: Well, you're betraying these poor - your poor friends who have not read it yet and are looking forward to reading it.
Laura: That serves them right.
Mikey: You've got to understand! Half-Blood Prince has been out for years! Really?
Andrew: Yeah, that's true.
Micah: That's why Alan Rickman doesn't do interviews for Harry Potter. He's actually stated that...
Andrew: Oh yeah.
Micah: ...because he doesn't want people who only see the movies to have him possibly reveal something about the books.
Andrew: In a way, though, I kind of feel like that's a lame excuse to just avoid talking about Harry Potter. [laughs]
Micah: Yeah, that's a cop out. It's a cop out, there's no question about that.
Penny: I think there's a statute of limitations when you can do spoilers. After a few years I don't think it's a problem anymore, like I don't think it would be a bad thing to say that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father. Something like that.
Mikey: Exactly! You really can't do that!
Andrew: What? No.
Penny: Sorry, sorry about that.
Mikey: And of course that's also on my shirt.
Andrew: I have not seen Star Wars, but everyone knows that rumor.
Laura: But who doesn't know that? It's like, come on.
Andrew: [laughs] "Who doesn't know that? Duh, it's so obvious."
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Laura: Well, it's true! I mean, come on. I knew that before I even saw those movies.
Andrew: What else is going on, Micah?
Micah: Harry Potter the Exhibition is going to be in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry starting on April 30th of next year. And I saw some of the artwork that was done, kind of previewing the displays that are going to be out there, and they look pretty cool. One of the Great Hall, one of the Common Room, which was given to us, and you posted it on the site, and this is going to be interesting. It's supposed to move around the country or around the world?
Andrew: Well, originally they said the country, and now it's world, so I mean I think it's going to go - it's going to go all over the U.S. first, then go to the U.K. and then wherever else.
Micah: So these are actual pieces of the sets, correct?
Andrew: Yeah, but I think mostly it's props. I don't know if they're moving - like, I know what you're talking about in the sketches they have like the Great Hall exhibit; it looks kind of like you're in the Great Hall. I don't think they're moving literal sets. I think they'll dress it up to make it look like it but I don't think it's an actual set. They will have actual props though, which is cool.
Mikey: I don't know if this is going to be exact, but I know they did - the Smithsonian did a Star Wars exhibition a while ago, a couple of years ago, and what they did is they actually had set pieces and actual props there, and they dressed up the rooms to look like it so - for the...
Andrew: Yeah, I bet that's what they'll do.
Mikey: I would not be surprised if the room that has all the Great Hall memorabilia and the pieces and the tables and stuff like that, would look very similar to what the Great Hall would look like, minus obviously the magical roof because they can't do that, but yeah.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, that's what they have in these concept sketches. You see the backgrounds and it does look like the Great Hall, but...
Mikey: I wouldn't be surprised if each room - they're probably getting some wonderful auditorium for every time they do it - they set it up in a different city, and it would definitely probably - the people they use to set these things up just like big concerts, like U2, Andrew, they have huge stages and huge things that they set up and the same thing with this. I'm sure they would...
Mikey: ...go all out and, from what I've seen, it looks like it's going to be pretty amazing.
Andrew: Yeah, I'm really excited. I think they have put together a really nice idea, and I think it's going to pay off.
Andrew: I think it's going to be really cool. Now of course Eric lives in Chicago and I'm sure he has tickets already. Has anyone heard from him?
Mikey: I haven't talked to Eric in a while.
Laura: No. Does he still exist?
Andrew: I think so.
Laura: I haven't heard from him in a long time.
Andrew: I don't know. That's a good question.
Micah: We should make WB give him tickets to go and try to report.
Andrew: Yeah, well, I imagine they're going to have like a press day sort of thing, and...
Andrew: But yeah, it's exciting, and I'd been thinking about this recently because the original announcement came April 25th of this year and they said the tour would begin Spring '09 so it's like when are they going to announce the first place?
Andrew: And there it was, so...
Micah: Well, they also need to release a schedule sometime soon of where else this display is going.
Andrew: Yeah. So it's going to be in Chicago from April - the very end of April until...
Andrew: ...the end of September?
Mikey: September 7th.
Andrew: So yeah, I hope it comes over this way next. [laughs]
Mikey: I'm sure it will. I'm sure it will. I'm sure it'll go all over the place.
Andrew: Yeah. It'll be fun. What else, Micah? There's a lot of news.
Micah: There was. Kind of staying with the movies, Half-Blood Prince, there was a few previews that showed up on ABC Family during their Harry Potter weekend that they traditionally do every year around Christmastime, and there was five previews. Not a whole lot of new shots, but the one thing that stood out to me was in the preview called "Comedy." You actually got a little bit of a look inside Weasley Wizard Wheezes.
Micah: The joke shop.
Andrew: It looks fantastic!
Micah: You got to hear from some people you don't normally hear from a lot in interviews. You saw Michael Gambon, who actually sounded and looked more like Dumbledore in an interview than he does during the films.
Andrew: Yeah. Let me stop you there. When he was talking about...
Laura: Hey now.
Andrew: ...Dumbledore's role in this movie he genuinely sounded interested and I thought that was really exciting. He looked like he cared because he looked like he was processing through his head the character of Dumbledore and we haven't seen that before, so he's thinking. Good for you, Michael.
Micah: [laughs] And the others - just briefly was "The Story of Tom Riddle," "Meet Professor Slughorn," where you heard from Jim Broadbent, "Love is in the Air" you got to hear from Lavender Brown, the actress who plays Lavender Brown. And "The Story," which was kind of just a brief overview of what to expect in Half-Blood Prince.
Andrew: Yeah. They were cool and, honestly, I got pretty excited for the movie after watching all those. Does anyone else have any thoughts on those?
Mikey: I saw them but I was a little disappointed.
Micah: Yeah, I agree with you.
Andrew: Why were you disappointed?
Mikey: I was a little...
Mikey: Well, I made sure I DVR-ed the whole thing because I wasn't around all day, and I kind of just fast-forwarded through the movies to make sure I get to just watch these things.
Mikey: And they showed some good information but it's kind of like - I think I'm still jaded because the push-back date and I just feel like I've been waiting for this for so long that I'm just kind of like - I just want to see it. And it has to be good otherwise I'm going to be beyond disappointed because it should have been out already a long time ago, and I'm just disappointed, and I'm like a bunch of fans, angry and upset and bitter, and please don't be bitter about the movie. I am but that's me. I just want to see it.
Andrew: It was interesting, because - in that comedy bit too, I think it was in the comedy one - they had a quick clip of, I guess it was Ron, he was filming, and then he runs directly into a giant blue screen. So he hits a wall and he sort of does like pancakes right up against it, and it was pretty funny. I was like "Oh, that's funny. That must be their comedy they're talking about."
[Laura and Micah laugh]
Penny: So once again Ron Weasley is the comic relief.
Andrew: Yeah, exactly.
Penny: They're back to that.
Andrew: Yeah. I hope it's like really funny because they're really hyping up this whole "You're going to LOL a lot in this movie."
Mikey: Yeah. Let's hope.
Andrew: What else in the movie world?
Micah: You talked about David Heyman a little bit earlier. He did an interview with IESB.net where he talked about the Deathly Hallows spit - spit - split!
Andrew: Spit? Oh, okay.
Micah: And he actually said that he didn't want to do it initially. He thought it was crazy. And then the decision, according to him, ultimately rested with the filmmakers. And the studio said, you do whatever you think is right and initially, again, he thought it was crazy, and then he started going through the book and realized, hey, maybe this is not such a crazy idea, maybe we should split the movie into two. And...
Andrew: It does makes sense. And I think we're all going to be happy about it.
Mikey: I'm happy about the split. I was really disappointed at first, but I think it makes a lot of sense. Just because of the way that book goes, it's too much for one movie.
Mikey: Even a long Lord of the Rings style epic, it's too much. You need to break it up. For pacing-wise at least.
Andrew: I mean, and it is a lot of work that it suddenly hits them that they are all set on doing seven films and suddenly they have to invest in other - a lot more time into doing another one, and that's a whole other premiere and a whole other round of interviews. So it must have been a lot to swallow initially.
Micah: Yeah, and not only that, you made a post earlier today, another interview with David Heyman at his...
Micah: ...premiere of Yes Man out in L.A. He said they are going to be filming for 54 weeks.
Andrew: [laughs] That's insane!
Micah: That's a long time.
Mikey: [laughs] I did not see that! Wow! Sorry.
Andrew: And he said they're going to be starting in February so that's going to bring them up to April 2010.
Laura: That's crazy.
Penny: That is insane.
Mikey: For anyone who knows, big blockbuster movies usually only shoot for about 12 or 13 weeks.
Andrew: Well, we got to remember this is two films too.
Mikey: Yeah but - Lord of the Rings, the entire trilogy was shot in about that time. All three...
Andrew: What, 54 weeks?
Mikey: 54 weeks, yeah. The entire three films were shot in about that same amount of time. I don't want to - I'll get the exact time in a second. Wikipedia, here I come. But, it's - that's a lot.
Andrew: Yeah, and I looked - I compared it to Half-Blood Prince and that was about 32 weeks, and you got to remember they've got to stop for a couple of weeks to promote Half-Blood Prince. So I wonder if the 54 weeks includes their time off when they have to go promote Half-Blood Prince, and then you have the holidays, so...
Mikey: Well, I think it's also because there's still kids in the film. Children can only work X amount of hours.
Andrew: Oh, yeah.
Mikey: That's one of the reasons why I think this is a little bit longer.
Micah: Now you understand why David Heyman was so ticked off that the movie got pushed back.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Penny: I just think it's really good that the main characters aren't 11 and 12 again because a year is a long time in puberty... [laughs] ...thinking about that, they've all pretty much matured to what they are going to be, so..
Andrew: Right. Yeah, they would have changed a lot, that's a good point.
Andrew: [laughs] David Heyman may come out of this with some gray hair but...
Andrew: David Yates too, but he already has gray hair and he's kind of bald, so he'll be more bald. Anything else, Micah?
Micah: That's all I got.
Andrew: All right. Announcements this week: Hey, we're going to be at Azkatraz 2009. That's HP2009.org. We're going to be doing a podcast there after the midnight release of Half-Blood Prince. So you are going to see Half-Blood Prince at midnight and then you are going to finish seeing it around, I guess, 2:30 A.M., and then you are going to come back to the hotel and then we're going to be podcasting all about it. We will talk about how amazing the film was, what our favorite parts were, the whole audience included. It's going to be a ton of fun. So that's HP2009.org, so check that out, sign up, register, it's going to be a ton of fun. They just announced something that's really fresh and new and exciting; it's called Wizard Wrock Around the Rock, and it's going to be a four hour cruise around the San Francisco Bay, and there is going to be Wizard Rock on board, and then there's going to be different levels of the ship that are just for hanging out and chilling. So that's going to be cool too, going on this cruise while listening to some great Wizard Rock bands, and also just hanging out, relaxing, having a few drinks, having a few bites to eat. And it's all to benefit charity.
Laura: Oh, wow!
Andrew: They are working with the Harry Potter Alliance so...
Laura: That is so cool.
Andrew: ...it's going to be a great event. HP2009.org. If you register be sure to put MuggleCast or MuggleNet in the referral area so they know where you are coming from, and that's going to be a lot of fun. That's - when is it? July 17th through 20th or something like that. Or July 18th to the 20th or 21st or 22nd because it starts the day after the movie comes out but they're sort of extending the convention to fit in with the movie, so. Boy is that going to be a lot of fun.
Penny: It's going to be amazing.
Micah: I can't wait for the jet lag.
Micah: Getting out to San Francisco and then staying up, seeing the movie, and then podcasting afterwards.
Andrew: [laughs] Well, we'll have to - you'll have to get here a day early or two. You'll be fine. You'll be fine.
Andrew: The three hour time difference really isn't that bad.
Mikey: No it's not. Hey Andrew, so I just found out how long Lord of the Rings filmed for.
Andrew: How much? How long?
Mikey: 46 weeks.
Andrew: For all three?
Mikey: All three films were shot in 46 weeks.
Laura: You'll survive.
Andrew: That's smart; you were probably saving money too for only shooting it for that long.
Mikey: Yeah. So all three Lord of the Rings films were shot in 46 weeks, Deathly Hallows is going to be shot in 54. Wow.
Andrew: That's pretty crazy. Yeah, I bet it has to do with those child labor laws. That would make sense. Because they've got a lot of kids to handle.
Andrew: Also, don't forget to vote for us on Podcast Alley. It is MuggleCast Mecember and it's - we got to get the vote in and stay at the top of that list. It's a great thing, that Podcast Alley.
Andrew: And lastly, Happy Birthday to Laura Thompson.
Laura: Aww! Thank you.
Andrew: Celebrating - how old are you, 20?
Laura: Yeah, 20. [laughs]
Andrew: Now, you've been complaining that you're not - you're getting old or something. What's this about?
Laura: [laughs] No, that's - it's just difficult accepting that as of right now I have four hours left of being a teenager and then... [laughs] ...never again.
Penny: Responsibility hits all of a sudden.
Andrew: Your birthday is Friday.
Laura: Yeah, it's like all of a sudden "Oh my God, I'm 20." [laughs]
Micah: Focus on 21, okay? After 21 it's all downhill.
Laura: Oh yeah, that part I'm really excited about, but...
Mikey: Laura, you don't have to grow up. I still haven't and I'm 24 now.
Laura: That's true.
Mikey: You don't have to. I was Mario for Halloween. I had a full on costume. It was fun.
Laura: Okay. That makes me feel a little better.
Andrew: Halloween is all about being a little kid.
Mikey: Yeah, it's all about being a kid! Come on, I play video games. It's fun.
Andrew: Well, what are you doing for your birthday tomorrow, Laura?
Laura: I'm not really - I kind of just want to relax, because, I mean, I've had - you know this, Andrew...
Andrew: You must be getting old.
Laura: Shut up! No.
Mikey: Laura, that's hurting me! You need to go out and have fun! Go play mini-golf.
Laura: Well, I mean I'll probably go out and do something, but I haven't decided yet. But I've had a long semester, and I'm just kind of....
Andrew: I understand. You just want to relax.
Micah: I heard you got a really nice gift, though, earlier today.
Mikey: I heard that too.
Laura: Oh. [laughs] Yeah.
Andrew: Laura, where are you going? Whenever that day is.
Mikey: Whatever the day is? [laughs]
Laura: On January 20th, you mean?
Andrew: That's it, yeah.
Laura: Yeah. I'm going to the Presidential Inauguration. Going to be at the swearing in ceremony.
Mikey: Hey! That's a good birthday gift, right?
Andrew: Look at that! Who got you tickets to that?
Laura: Kevin Steck. Our very own Kevin Steck won tickets, so...
Andrew: He must really love you. He's inviting you. I knew it. I knew you two had something.
Laura: Really? We're going to go there?
Mikey: Well, that's why Kevin stopped coming on the show, because they had a little love spat and him and Laura just couldn't get along.
Andrew: He just couldn't take it anymore.
Laura: We are not even going there. Anyway.
Andrew: Well, that's fun. Good for you.
Micah: Muggle Mail.
[Andrew and Mikey laugh]
Andrew: So Happy Birthday, Laura.
Laura: Thank you.
Mikey: Happy Birthday, Laura.
Laura: I love you guys.
Andrew: Here's to turning 21 next year.
Laura: Yeah, see, that's what I'm excited about.
Andrew: 21's a fun age.
Laura: Yeah! No, I can't wait to be 21. Do you know how awesome Infinitus is going to be?
Laura: We're all going to be 21 at Infinitus.
Andrew: Yes we are.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Laura: It's going to be fabulous.
Andrew: All right, let's move on to Muggle Mail this week. Who wants to read the first e-mail from Andrew? Laura, it's your birthday, how about you do it?
Laura: I guess - yeah, I'll do it, okay.
Laura: Our first e-mail comes from Andrew, 18 of New Hampshire. He writes:
"Hey guys. Great job with the discussion of the 'Tales of Beedle the Bard' in the previous episode. I noticed a couple of other things while reading the final tale. I think it's interesting that, in revealing less than he knows or suspects, Dumbledore seems to take a skeptical perspective in the commentary. Also, at the end of the tale there is a drawing of what seems to be Ignotus Peverell's gravestone. There is what looks like an epitaph at the bottom, but it's really hard to read. Probably a good question for J.K.R."
Andrew: Ah. Well, isn't that interesting? Now, a lot of people are trying to speculate - look for the little things hidden in the sketches of what Jo drew. And I think it's cool that people are doing that, but I don't think really there's anything to them. Personally.
Micah: I don't know. Wasn't there something on each of the Potter's gravestones that was in Deathly Hallows?
Micah: Or other gravestones that were in the cemetery that Jo put in there? So maybe there is something to it. They were Biblical references, right?
Andrew: But I mean - yeah. Yeah, I think that's right. Didn't we have a discussion on that?
Laura: I know the Biblical references were on the Potter's and on Kendra Dumbledore's gravestones. But I don't know about Peverell's.
Andrew: Hmm. Well, yeah, I think it's interesting. I sort of meant that people were speculating like she's hinting at something to come or something. Like somebody sent in an e-mail that said, "Oh I was looking at the fountain and I noticed she drew a number eight. Does that mean there's going to be an eighth book?" I'm like ehh....
Laura: Yes, that's absolutely what it means.
Micah: Jeopardy, here we come.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: She found me out.
Laura: She actually called me and told me about that last week. So yeah.
Andrew: Oh really?
Micah: Oh cool. So can you call her up and ask her about this epitaph that's on the bottom of the tombstone?
Laura: Yeah, Andrew, why don't we Skype out Jo?
Andrew: Oh okay. Sure. What's her number? But next e-mail. Micah, you want to get that one?
Micah: Next e-mail comes from Ali, 16 of Virginia about the Elder Wand. She says:
"Hey MuggleCasters, I love your show. I just finished reading 'Tales of Beedle the Bard' and I was wondering, in the commentary that Dumbledore made to the 'Tale of the Three Brothers' he says, 'Every man that has owned it has insisted that it is unbeatable.' I think it's very interesting how only wizards have claimed the Elder Wand. Not that I'm writing from a feminist point of view, but what do you think about that? Do you think that if a witch had used it, it would have a different history? Thanks, and keep up the good work, Ali."
Andrew: I think Dumbledore was sort of just referring to the fact that it's only been used by men. Yes, no?
Mikey: My opinion would be that maybe this wand would appeal more to the barbaric nature of males versus the more nurturing nature of females. And that would be why men have always claimed it versus witches. I don't know. And that's just something to think of, that no women have ever claimed to have the Elder Wand, or the Deathstick, or the Wand of Destiny, whatever you wanted to call it. But at the same time, we don't have any - we don't have any proof that there weren't any super bad, you know, angry, evil witches that were as bad as Voldemort or Grindelwald or anything like that. We only have so much of the history, you know. Without seeing the whole history, you can't really...
Mikey: You know, I would hate to say it's only men that can be bad, that can go bad, but that's not true. You know, Slytherin, and Death Eaters, Bellatrix Lestrange was just as bad as Lucius Malfoy, if not worse. But she never got to own the Elder Wand. I don't want to - I don't know. I'm going to stop.
Laura: No, I mean, I understand what you're saying. Well, and also I think it's important to remember that English is a very male-centric language, so a lot of the times, when someone is referring to a group of people, they refer to them as men. Or mankind.
Laura: So it could be - I mean - also, we don't know tons about its history. I mean we know it's passed from owner to owner, but, I mean, there's really no set record, is there, saying who had it?
Mikey: Not at all.
Andrew: We know of a couple people.
Laura: So this could just be Dumbledore making an assumption.
Micah: Yeah, those were the two things I was going to say. "Wizards" can be a very generic term, and then also, that we don't know the complete history. It's just Dumbledore trying to recount who it went to through its history, so I'm not sure that a witch could not have ever owned it. It's possible.
Penny: The way I looked at it is that - and Jo wrote something about this - is that the Elder Wand was only sought out by men. And she said - made some kind of little footnote, saying take that however you want. But the way I looked at it is that the Elder Wand is called the Unbeatable Wand, but in essence it really isn't the Unbeatable Wand, because if it was, it wouldn't have been passed from person to person, because the only way you can pass it is by actually beating it or beating the person who used it. So I always look at it as a woman wouldn't be foolish enough to think that she could - that it actually is the Unbeatable Wand. And they wouldn't suffer that, I guess, the false impression that you can actually beat it.
Penny: So I don't know if it's that the women were wiser, or...
Andrew: [laughs] Good point.
Laura: I like that point.
Andrew: That's very interesting, yeah. Penny, you want to read the next one?
Penny: Sure. This comes from Cassidy, 16, from Canada. And she writes:
"Hey MuggleCast. I apologize if you've already discussed this, because I haven't finished listening to your latest episode. 'The Fountain of Fair Fortune' story really reminded me of the part in the fifth book where Harry pretended to put Felix Felicis in Ron's drink before the Quidditch match. Ron really didn't need the Felix Felicis and Sir Luckless didn't need the Fountain of Fair Fortune. Just wanted to share my thoughts with you."
Andrew: There's another nice little parallel between Beedle and Harry Potter.
Andrew: I like that Jo threw these in, even if she didn't mean to.
Mikey: Oh, she meant to. You know that.
Andrew: Yeah, I guess so. Maybe.
Penny: Or else, I mean, she believes in this. She's a firm believer in that people change their own destiny, I guess. And it just comes out more than once.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, that's true. And the final e-mail from the day comes from Kelly, 22, of Phoenix, Arizona. She writes:
"I was surprised in the show how you all kept commenting, or even complaining, that the version of 'The Three Brothers' in 'Beedle the Bard' was the same as the version in 'Deathly Hallows.' Really now? Seriously? 'Beedle' was translated by Hermione Granger, and I think it's pretty safe to assume she translated it from the book Dumbledore left her, which was the book she was reading from when the trio was at the Lovegoods' in 'Deathly Hallows.' The story had to be the same; it just wouldn't have made sense otherwise."
Well, Kelly, I think what we were saying was maybe that it would be longer. I mean, it didn't have to be different. Obviously it was going to be the same exact story...
Laura: But this was like word by word, Hermione's telling it in Deathly Hallows. So.
Andrew: Well, no, she wasn't telling it, though. I mean, she was just - she was reading it.
Laura: Well, she - no, she wasn't reading it, was she?
Andrew: I thought she was. Because I remember looking in the book, and - hold on. I'll look. "'Well, Mr. Potter, the whole thing starts with The Tale of the Three Brothers. I have a copy somewhere.' He glances..." Oh, I see. So this - so, yeah, they weren't reading Hermione's translation.
Laura: Yeah, exactly. Like, it was - miraculously comes out the same. Yeah.
Laura: I mean, I understand why.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, let's get into our book discussion now. We have an interesting one this week. And we're going to talk more about Deathly Hallows. We're gonna talk specifically about the final battle between Lord Voldemort and Harry. But the question pertaining to this discussion is, was it a disappointment? And you may say, oh, why would somebody say that? Well, there had been some discussions afterward that the battle wasn't maybe what it was leading up to. I think everyone, before the book came out, everyone was expecting this huge, epic duel that would be just incredible and a hundred pages long. And it wasn't. And, in a way, it wasn't even a full-on duel. It was sort of, as we're going to discuss a little later on, a verbal duel. So it's interesting, and we're going to talk about it, we're going to talk about what exactly went on and what else could have happened, and such and such.
Andrew: So does anyone here agree that - well, let's put it this way: Harry could not have won in a regular duel versus Voldemort. Does anyone disagree with that?
Micah: You're talking one-on-one...
Andrew: Right, right. Like, if Harry and Voldemort were...
Penny: Like straight spells.
Andrew: Yeah, exactly.
Mikey: Yeah. Like think of like a - like let's just think of like a game of Horse but with spells. Like Voldemort would do one and Harry would have to match it.
Mikey: Like Harry would lose. Voldemort just used so much more magic than Harry.
Mikey: Like it's - it's kind of like looking - if you think that Voldemort was able to defeat Dumbledore - he knew more, he didn't actually defeat him but he was that on par with Dumbledore. Is Harry on par with Dumbledore? No, Voldemort was though. But - yeah, sorry, I digress.
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