[New intro music begins]
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["Hedwig's Theme" plays] Jim Dale: [as Professor McGonagall] This is Professor McGonagall welcoming you all to MuggleCast hoping you all 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 Grand Theft Dragon may someday become a reality, this is MuggleCast Episode 179, for September 9th, 2009.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast, Episode 179. We're so close to 180. We'll get there soon. I'm joined by a world-wide panel this week. I can say that because MuggleNet staff member, Nick, is on the show this week. Hello, Nick.
Nick: Hello, Andrew. How you doing?
Andrew: It's been a while! But...
Nick: It has, I've missed you!
Andrew: Since – oh! I missed you too! But, since then, you've upgraded your mic, you sound wonderful.
Nick: Why, thank you.
Andrew: And also, we have Micah and Eric here, this week. Hey, boys.
Micah: What's up, Dog? How you doing?
Andrew: Come on. Be excited.
Eric: Hey. What's up? What's up? What's up?
Micah: Hey. How you doing?
Andrew: We're on MuggleCast! Yeah! Okay, well, we have a good show for everyone, today. We've got some news to talk about, and announcements, and all kinds of crazy stuff! So, we'll get right into it. I'm Andrew Sims.
Eric: I'm Eric Scull.
Micah: I'm Micah Tannenbaum.
Nick: And I'm Nick Myers.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Micah, what is going on in the news this week?
Micah: There is a good amount of stuff going on, you know, since we don't do the show all that often anymore, but as we started out last time, when we did the news we talked about Half Blood Prince and where it is in terms of climbing up the charts. Half Blood Prince has so far, worldwide made $917.2 million...
Micah: It's currently at number eleven on the all-time list, and it trails Shrek II by just $2 million, so getting close to the Top 10.
Andrew: Do you think it will reach the Top 10? Because, I mean, it's leaving more and more theaters every week.
Micah: I think it will. I think with just $2 million dollars to go. I mean, we can make a difference right here; we can tell people to go out and see the movie. Actually, I haven't contributed any money towards this film. The only time I saw it was at a screening for press.
Andrew: What a jerk, and a show off.
Eric: Oh man, W.B. find this man and demand he give you $8.00, I swear.
Andrew: I just did some quick math, and if every single one of our listeners went to see the show and paid $9.00 for a ticket that would only make about $450,000. It'd make a dent, but.....
Eric: What do you mean, that there is a huge untapped market in Harry Potter fans that don't know about us?
Andrew: Well, I am saying our listeners if we had 50,000 people go see the movie this week, it would only bump it by...
Micah: I think it has done very well overseas in comparison to past movies. I would have to check on that. I think overall it has been performing well overseas as compared to here in the United States. I remember after that first week, I think it was, it dropped to that hamster movie, G-Force, right, wasn't that what it was called?
Micah: And it still stayed strong in other markets, and the question is going to be if it is going to open up anywhere else? Because that could certainly...
Andrew: I wonder W.B. gets annoyed if they don't make a billion from one film. I wonder if Alan Horn sits there, "Aw, wah, I haven't made a billion I only made $917 million."
Micah: But nothing is going to top Titanic, which is by far...
Andrew: How much has that made?
Micah: I think it is $1.8 billion.
Eric: Yeah, yeah.
Eric: Unless, I think, do guys think if they made a Titanic 2 that it would possibly top Titanic?
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: That seems to be the only thing that could...
Andrew: I suppose.
Eric: But what are you going to do?
Micah: If I remember correctly that movie was re-released wasn't it?
Eric: No, um, Cameron did a documentary a few years later on the Titanic again. It was like Ghosts of the Abyss I think it was called. That actually, starred, had Bill Paxton in it, who was in some other - I don't know, I know they brought the Dark Knight back in theaters but I forget if Titanic actually - do you mean right afterwards, Micah, like a few months later? Because I think it stayed in theaters for a long time but I forget if it actually came back. Do you mean recently?
Micah: Well, not recently. I mean, probably within a couple of months or a year after it was initially released. Because I thought that that was what was able to kick its numbers a little bit higher.
Andrew: Well, plus, after DVD sales and it running on television, I'm sure, you know - especially Potter - it's going to be over the billion mark in terms of revenue thanks to the DVDs and when it starts running on TV...
Micah: But do they get factored in?
Andrew: No, but I'm saying I'm sure it's factored into W.B.'s bottom line.
Micah: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: Like, box-office mojo isn't going to count it, but...
Micah: No, that's a good point.
Andrew: Anyway, what else is going on?
Micah: The next piece of news. Towards the end of August the Orlando Sentinel reported that Universal Orlando had files some new construction notices, one with a company that specializes in fog effects and another that works with robots. So this got a little speculation going as to what was going to be being worked on, I guess, down in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. And Andrew, you're going to be there in the not too distant future.
Andrew: That's right, Micah...
Micah: Not to brag or anything; to show off...
Andrew: No. Well, you already did...
Micah: I did, I laid the groundwork for you.
Andrew: Oh, thanks. No, they're doing some press event next, like a week from Tuesday - well, this upcoming Tuesday. And they invited MuggleNet, so, I don't know what they're revealing, but apparently a lot of info, so I imagine we'll be able to do another MuggleCast relatively soon so we can talk about all the new theme park stuff. It's cool, I mean, the fog effects and all that, it's cool. And it just shows you how much detail they're putting into this theme park. And it'll be refreshing to finally get some solid details because Universal has been so hush-hush about the project that, you know, we just have to learn what's going on based off of construction notices, so. And we know Tom Felton's going to be at this event next week thanks to "a MuggleNet insider". Somebody on a different website called it "a MuggleNet insider."
Eric: [laughs] It's John Noe, isn't it?
Andrew: No, no. What was I saying? So maybe some stars will be there too besides Tom Felton, well have to see.
Micah: All right...
Andrew: [laughs] What else is going on?
Micah: We got some news related to Deathly Hallows filming. I'll just run through all these pieces. I guess we can talk about them together. In late August, Jason Isaacs confirmed that he's finished filming Malfoy Manor and that he's headed back to the set in September, so this month, to film scenes with Ralph Fiennes. And - a little bit of speculation about what those scenes could be, but also some more confirmations: Warrick Davis confirmed that he would indeed be back for Deathly Hallows but he's not going to be playing Flitwick, he's going to be playing Griphook.
Andrew: Well, he's playing both.
Micah: No, I don't think he's playing Flitwick.
Andrew: Are you saying he's just not in the movie or is somebody else going to be both?
Micah: I think they just wrote the role out of the movie.
Micah: I'm pretty sure that's true.
Eric: The article just said that he was playing Griphook, right. So...
Eric: ...they weren't like either way about Flitwick, but Flitwick I think was even only in the back - I mean, he's the head of the house, isn't he?
Eric: So when...
Nick: When he Twittered I think he said he's playing both roles, but like you said I think it will be background stuff. If that makes...
Andrew: Yeah, but it's not like people would be able to notice anyway; it's the same actor. I mean, the amount of make-up you have to put on Griphook and Flitwick, it'll look completely different even though it's still Warrick.
Micah: Yeah. For some reason I remember reading an article saying that he wasn't going to be playing his original role, but I'll hold off on anything for right now. I'm...
Micah: And then Harry Melling will be back to play Dudley Dursley.
Micah: I know.
Andrew: Yes, yes!
Micah: [over Andrew's cheering] People were really excited to hear that.
Micah: The person who...
Micah: ...made the post, which was - was it you, Andrew or was it Andrea?
Andrew: It was Nick.
Micah: Oh, it was Nick.
Micah: Yeah, Nick - you noted that Richard Griffiths will be back but they have yet to confirm Fiona Shaw to play Petunia.
Andrew: Well, one plus two equals three, so...
Andrew: ...that's a given.
Eric: Well, yes, Andrew. [laughs] One plus two does equal three.
Andrew: What I'm trying to say is how...
Eric: You've been going to college, haven't you?
Andrew: Yes I have. You know what I mean, it's like obviously...
Andrew: ... it's not like they're going to write Petunia out.
Eric: Well, I don't know - I mean, because the Dursleys weren't in Movie Six, so we didn't see that scene where Dumbledore was even talking about Dudley being abused so it's interesting that we will see Dudley because you wonder in what context that the scene will be between Harry and Dudley - where Dudley has to say goodbye or whatever, because, I don't know, it's less built-up to in the films so they'll have to - I'm not worried, by any means, but it will be different I think than the scene in the book by quite a bit, especially if Fiona Shaw's not involved.
Andrew: Well, I think they'll include the Seven Potters maybe. And just leave it at that. You know, for the Dursleys.
Andrew: But it'll be good to see him again, and you have to include him. I mean, they're doing two parts so it's not like there isn't room for the Dursleys.
Eric: That's true. That's very true.
Micah: Yeah, I think it's a scene that has to be in there, though, because it's - even if it's a flashback, possibly, to what happened in Half Blood Prince and I know you guys said it wasn't included but it seems like it's an important scene between Harry and Petunia.
Andrew: Right. I don't know. We'll just have to wait and see. But by the way nobody send me hate-mail for being sarcastic about Harry Melling announcing he's going to be back. And...
Micah: A lot of people were excited. I mean, I thought you were genuinely excited about that, Andrew.
Andrew: Well, I - everyone's excited because it means the Dursleys are coming back, which is good. I mean, you know, I don't have posters of Harry Melling...
Micah: Oh yeah, you do. Come on, don't lie.
Eric: Yeah, you do. [imitating Dudley in Order of the Phoenix movie] "This one deserved it."
Eric: That was Harry Melling. Awesome.
Andrew: Yeah. What were you going to say, Micah?
Micah: No, I was going to move on to the next piece of news.
Andrew: Well, go ahead. What else is going on?
Micah: The last piece that I have here is about John Williams performing an hour of Potter at the Hollywood Bowl. And Andrew, you can talk more about this because you were there.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, I wanted to post this because it wasn't "news" newsworthy in the traditional sense, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Matt and I both went to - John Williams every year at the Hollywood Bowl here in Los Angeles, he does this show called "John Williams: Music of the Movies". And he performs - he's the composer of Sorceror's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman. Like, he's probably, arguably the best composer of all time, or one of them. And he does a show every year, so he does his most famous scores. It's a beautiful environment. It was just an awesome night, but the Potter catch to it is that he dedicated the first hour to Harry Potter.
Andrew: And it was fantastic. Like, he knew - we just kept looking to our friends and saying to ourselves, "He must have known we were coming tonight." I'll give you a run-through of the songs in this order. And it was cool because he comes out on stage, he doesn't say anything. Then suddenly, there's these lightning effects - and it's an outdoor theater, so it kind of actually sounded real. So there's these flashes of lightning and lightning sound effects and John Williams, like looks around, and then you hear, "There's no such thing as magic!" And then they go right into "Hegwig's Theme".
Nick: Oh, nice.
Andrew: And it was - yeah, it was so beautiful and you know, completely live. So they did "Hedwig's Theme," "Aunt Marge's Waltz," "Diagon Alley," "Knight Bus," the "Nimbus 2000" theme, "Fawkes the Phoenix," "Window to the Past," "Chamber of Secrets" and then "Harry's Wondrous World".
Andrew: So it was an incredible set list, too. It was so much fun. And, and - I like to fuel rumors. It made us wonder, you know, if he's doing these - this was a two hour show. The first half of the show was Harry Potter, and this has not been done before by him. He's never dedicated an hour to one of his shows.
Andrew: You know, to Potter. So it makes you wonder, is Potter on his mind a lot?
Andrew: Because maybe he's working on Deathly Hallows, which he has said he's very interested in doing. And two years ago he said, he believed quote, "with confidence," that he'd be back. So...
Andrew: It's got to be working on it soon. You've got to imagine.
Eric: You think he's - so basically you're asking me does this mean that he's getting his groove back on?
Andrew: Yeah, I mean...
Eric: By re-familiarizing himself with the music, I mean...
Andrew: ...yeah. I mean, he would have played Potter songs no matter what, but the first hour's a little bit...
Eric: Of a two-hour show.
Eric: I mean, he's done everything, man.
Andrew: And the Star Wars fans were, you know - must have been a little upset. Trust me. Although, he did play some Star Wars after, but. Yeah, so it was a great night and it, you know, makes you wonder what's going on there. I hope he comes back. Oh man.
Micah: Yeah. It's going to be interesting, especially having gone away from him for what has it been now, three movies?
Andrew: Yeah. And we were hoping, we were like, "Oh my God! He's going to announce it right here, isn't he? Like he's playing an hour of Potter. He's going to turn around and just go 'I am composing Movie 7!'"
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Eric: And you'd be right there with your Twitter, and...
Andrew: Yeah. I was actually thinking in my head, like, I was plotting. Because I didn't have Internet, so I was plotting who I would call first, and you know, for Mikey it was too late, and I didn't know who else to call. I guess I would have called you, Eric.
Andrew: Yeah. It would have been breaking news from the Hollywood Bowls.
Eric: Awesome. That sounds - What is the Hollywood Bowl, anyway? I mean, where is it?
Andrew: It's in Hollywood. It's an outdoor venue. It holds like thousands of people. It's outdoor, like I said. You bring your own - you can bring your own drinks and food. We had our own little box. Like four seats in a box, and we had really good seats, and you just sit back, you sip wine, you eat cheese and crackers, and you watch John Williams perform Harry Potter. Like, it was one of the best nights ever! It was so cool!
Eric: [laughs] Wow.
Andrew: Yeah. It was beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Is that it, Micah?
Micah: That's all the news that I have.
Micah: Thanks for sharing that. That was a great story.
Andrew: No problem. Well, yeah. I wanted to talk about it, because I thought, you know - and again, he does it every year, so if you want to see John Williams, and you're in the SoCal area, go to that show next year.
Micah: It's got to be a really cool experience...
Andrew: Oh yeah!
Micah: ...I mean, just from the standpoint of all the things he's done in his career.
Eric: And seeing him live.
Andrew: Right. I mean, we went mainly for Matt's birthday because his birthday's in a few days, so.
Eric: Whoa! Happy Birthday, Matt!
Andrew: [impersonating Matt] Well, thank you!
Eric: Where's Matt?
Andrew: He's at Panera. He's working.
Eric: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: Okay, so moving on to announcements now, and this is sort of news, actually, too. Registration for Infinitus 2010 is now open, and these - Infinitus is a Harry Potter conference. It's run by the same people who put on Lumos, Prophecy, Portus, and Azkatraz, which, you know, we've been talking about for the past several months because it just happened in July. It's going to be taking place in Orlando. They're working with Universal, so there's going to be like an event at the theme park - maybe. Maybe, it's not been announced yet, but maybe.
[Eric's dog barks]
Andrew: It is going to be incredible, and dogs everywhere are going crazy at the news.
[Eric and Nick laugh]
Andrew: So visit Infinitus2010.org you can find more information there. Register, we hope to do a live podcast there. It is too early to announce anything yet, but it is from July 15-18 in Orlando, in Universal Studios at Universal Studios Theme Park there in Orlando.
Andrew: In other announcements, don't forget to vote for us in Podcast Alley. You know we have been asking you to do so since sometime in 2005 when we started our show. And Micah you found out a pretty interesting fact today.
Micah: Yeah, I was....
Andrew: I don't know how you found this out.
Micah: Yeah, I was on Podcast Alley and they let you go back in time and look over what was the Top 50 or so from the last few years. You can go month by month; and I found out that MuggleCast has never been outside of the Top 10 podcasts at the end of each month on Podcast Alley, since we began the show back in August of 2005.
Andrew: That's pretty impressive.
Micah: The only time we dropped out of the Top 5 was from April to June of this year. So, I don't know what our fans were doing. Maybe they were on vacation or something like that.
Andrew: I don't know, I see like in June we were #10. So that is still good, don't get us wrong. But, cool, and that just shows you how great our listeners are. So thank you so much for voting for us on Podcast Alley. It is pretty easy to do, just go to PodcastAlley.com search for MuggleCast and give us a vote and you can leave a comment too.
Micah: The next announcement, we talked about this a little bit on our last show that there is a fantasy football podcast called "Fantasy Focus" that has been more or less calling us out. I think they referred to us, according to our listeners, as "bastards" on the last show that they did.
Andrew: Oh, come on!
Eric: Ohhh! [laughs]
Micah: Their September 4th edition. Some of our listeners have reached out to them and said that one of us would be more than willing to go on their show and speak with them. I reached out to their host today so we will see what happens.
Andrew: Well uh...
Eric: So are we going to have a Harry Potter trivia contest with them?
Micah: No, I don't think that would be the plan.
Andrew: Hopefully, they weren't joking. You know, maybe they were kidding about somebody being on the show.
Andrew: But Micah you would be a perfect candidate since you are into sports and...
Eric: We're not.
Andrew: ....you like fantasy football for whatever reason.
Micah: Yeah, hey, look we both talk about stuff related to things that aren't real.
Eric: Wow, way to find common ground Micah.
Andrew: And a couple of birthday announcements the first one goes out to Ben, who wanted to join us today, but he was travelling to New York today, and he just found out a few days ago so he couldn't join us, Ben just celebrated a birthday so Happy Birthday to him. And also, happy birthday to Matt who is turning 24 on September 11th. So let's move on now to Muggle Mail!
Nick: The first letter we got today was from Emily, she's fifteen and from Maryland. She writes,
"Dear MuggleCasters, first of all I want to say that you guys rock and I love your show. Also, I want to say that I think that the Deathly Hallows movie split you discussed in your last episode is perfect. The trio getting caught by the Snatchers happens almost directly after they go to the Lovegood's house and find out what the Deathly Hallows are - which is obviously a very important part in the book. The ending to Part One will be great – we'll find out about the Hallows being the climax and getting caught by the Snatchers being the awesome cliff-hanger. The split also allows Part One and Part Two to stand as totally different movies, but at the same time flow together. What I mean is that even though both parts will be exciting and adventurous, part one will be more introductory, while part two will be more final. I am just really thankful that Warner Bros. got this right."
Andrew: Yeah, so there you go, there's some feedback about the breaking news we reported last week.
Nick: I'm basically – do you actually know the exact moment of the split? Because if it's after they've been told what the Deathly Hallows are and then it ends, that would be cool. If they get caught by the Snatchers and then it ends, I would be kind of miffed I think.
Andrew: Well, according to Jamie, who heard Joshua Herdman say - reveal this at MuggleCon - or Muggle Mayhem, which was a couple weeks ago, it's supposed to happen right after the Snatchers, right after they're caught by the Snatchers. So...
Nick: That's going to be horrible - to wait another year to find...
Andrew: Yeah, exactly.
Nick: ...to just be thrown back straight back into the action.
Andrew: Well, that's - I guess...
Nick: I mean it's an ideal place to split it, but...
Andrew: Right, right. I think it's a clever cliff-hanger.
Nick: Yeah, yeah, definitely.
Andrew: I mean, you know, we'll see. I think they'll make the most of it. They'll - anyone who has their doubts I think will be pleasantly surprised. Just because, you know, they won't want fans to be disappointed...
Nick: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: ...by, you know, any split.
Micah: The next e-mail comes from Sophie, 21, of New Haven, Connecticut. And it says,
"Hi all, just write to let you know that 'Bastard-coated bastard with bastard filling' comes from the TV show, Scrubs. It's from a line of the character of Dr. Cox, 'Lady, people aren't chocolates. Do you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard-coated bastards with bastard filling. But I don't find them half as annoying as I find naive, bubble-headed optimists who walk around vomiting sunshine.' I'm sure that loads of other people have sent in similar emails, but I thought I'd send it in. Sophie."
What the [bleep] does this have to do with?
Andrew: Well this...
Nick: The last show.
Andrew: Yeah, the last show somebody - what happened? Somebody quoted the "bastard-coated bastard" part, and we were like "What's that from? Is that from the book?" And, it wasn't!
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: And we got a lot of emails about this so thanks to everyone who clarified. Obviously, none of us are Scrubs viewers, at least not anybody we know.
Micah: I like Scrubs. It's a really funny show, actually.
Andrew: So why didn't you catch up on it on the show?
Micah: Because I don't even remember this was said!
Andrew: Yeah, I remember where it was said. It was said in somebody's email...
Andrew: ...and we were like, "What's that?" So, [laughs] they can could have - the next time you guys quote something and it's not from Harry Potter, let us know where the quote's coming from - because chances are we won't know, it seems. Eric, you want to take the next email?
Eric: It comes from Carly, aged 12, from - Massachusetts? MA? Massachusetts.
Andrew: That's right. Yes.
Eric: Yes. Ah - anyway - sorry. Next one comes from Carly, aged 12, from Massachusetts, subject: Good Girls Gone Bad. She says:
"Hey! I was just listening to your most recent Episode, 178, and the music connection for 'Good Girls Gone Bad' could be in the fifth."
I assume she means...
Eric: ...movie? Yes.
"When Harry, Ron, Hermione, Luna, Neville and Ginny are all walking back from the D.A. meeting, and Hermione says, "It's kind of fun, isn't it? Breaking the rules." and Ron goes, "Who are you? What happened to Hermione Granger?" I thought that would be a perfect spot just for that song. Just wanted to tell you to keep up the great work."
Andrew: I agree. That'd be fantastic. That was a wonderful idea, Carly.
Eric: You guys played that song?
Eric: What kind of connection did you make, in the end?
Andrew: Ah... [sighs] What happened Micah?
Micah: I honestly...
Micah: ...can't remember. Who got the song?
Micah: Oh, it was Ben?
Andrew: I think. I don't know. I'm sorry, we have a bad memory, apparently. But I don't know, it was a good connection, whatever it was. I can't remember.
Andrew: Listen to last week's show for the answer!
Andrew: Okay and the final email for today comes from Andrea, 19, of Madison, Wisconsin. She writes:
"Hey guys, I've just started listening to the show in the past few months and you guys are doing a fantastic job."
Well, thank you.
"I wish I had started listening ages ago. I know you guys have talked a lot about the foreshadowing in the 'Half Blood Prince' movie, but I just wanted to comment on one particular scene. There were tons of great and not so great scenes in the film but when Dumbledore explains to Harry how Dark Magic can leave traces, I was so excited that they were hinting at one of the biggest twists in the entire series: Harry being the Seventh Horcrux. By associating that comment with the twitch Harry does, that we all recognize from the 'Order of the Phoenix' movie, it's easy for those of us who know the whole story to see what Dumbledore is alluding to and intrigue the movie viewers who have not read the books. I'm not usually thrilled with Michael Gambon but in this scene he delivered a spectacular performance! While I felt that the film did not give Harry time to grieve the loss of Sirius, and over-romanticized some aspects of the story, it was definitely the best film yet."
So wasn't that cool? We never brought that up when Harry does that little twitch in the movie.
Eric: [laughs] Okay! What twitch? [laughs]
Andrew: There's a twitch in the - Nick and Micah, do you guys know what she's talking about? I do.
Nick: I have no idea about a twitch.
Eric: Are you sure that's not just Dan acting? [laughs] Because we can't put it in the show if it's...
Andrew: No, no, no, listen...
Eric: ...if it's involuntary.
Andrew: No. I know. I know for a fact. I remember this, too.
Andrew: I just forgot to bring it up. But yeah, Dumbledore says how dark magic can leave traces, and Harry does the twitch that's similar to Voldemort's neck twist in Order of the Phoenix. In the film, you know how he swings his neck around? He does that same thing.
Eric: Oh, you're right. I remember it now.
Andrew: And related to that, somebody else pointed this out to me: when he says that same line, and I think this was in the cave - I'm pretty sure this took place in the cave - when he says, "Dark magic can leave traces," he looks at Harry's scar, as well.
Andrew: So there are two references there to Harry being a Horcrux with the dark magic so...
Eric: Well, look at that.
Andrew: The little subtle things, yeah.
Eric: They've essentially eliminated all other references to Horcruxes, like...
Eric: ...that were in the book, but...
Eric: ...but Dumbledore looks at Harry's scar. How about that?
Eric: No, the twitch.
Andrew: Good job, Warner Brothers.
Eric: Had to bring it up.
Andrew: All right, so that does it for e-mails this week. And now we have kind of a different main discussion. We asked on Twitter - we have a Twitter, as everyone knows, at Twitter.com/MuggleCast - and we asked you guys to send in your burning questions that, you know - we've done a hundred and seventy nine shows now - this is our one hundred and seventy ninth - and we always get a lot of emails from people sort of asking the same questions, but we've never really gotten to them. So here are some of them - people's burning questions that we'll now try to answer. And this first one comes from DayseD. She says,
"Could Dumbledore have stopped Voldemort becoming what he did? Because he didn't feel sorry for Riddle and judged Harry for doing so."
So what do you guys think? Could Dumbledore have stopped him way back in the orphanage? Or even at school? Could he have somehow changed Voldemort?
Nick: I don't think so. He was already damaged, pretty much, then, without the upbringing and family and stuff. I think Dumbledore bringing him to Hogwarts was his way of trying to help him, wasn't it?
Nick: I've got a quote here, which you might find useful, actually, from Jo.
Nick: She says - she was asked by a fan in a web chat, "How much does the fact that Voldemort was conceived under a love potion have to do with his inability to understand love?" And she replied, "It was a symbolic way of showing that he came from a loveless union. But of course, everything would have changed if Merope would have survived and raised him herself and loved him." So I guess what she was saying was that as soon as Merope died, there was little hope for Tom Riddle and so Dumbledore couldn't really have...
Nick: ...made a difference, I guess.
Eric: He reeled that one in.
Andrew: Yeah, but I guess even for argument's sake she did still sort of leave it open. At least from the question that we're asking. I mean, couldn't there have been a way? Anyway somehow Dumbledore could have put him through counselling? Or at least given him a hug, give him some love.
Eric: [laughs] He probably could've given him a hug, I think at one point. But no, I mean the whole thing was that Dumbledore apparently or supposedly didn't know that Voldemort was - I don't know. I mean Dumbledore, to a fault, believes the best in people, and his excuse when Harry asked him that question was more or less - or maybe this is a movie-ism, but you know - "Did you know sir, then?"
Eric: And he said no. I think during the tutelage, during the years Dumbledore possibly should've seen the signs, but Dumbledore wasn't headmaster then, either. Could he have stopped him is the question. Well, physically, powerfully, yeah. Dumbledore could've stopped Voldemort, but...
Micah: I think, by her giving that answer though, it takes away the whole idea that people can be inherently evil. And I think that a lot of the characters we do see in this series, and Voldemort could be the exception, that if he was raised a different way, he wouldn't have turned out the way that he did, but I always had this perception of Voldemort as being an inherently evil person...
Micah: ...from the beginning, and you just see that from the way he's brought up in the orphanage. I mean, part of the reason why J.K. Rowling made that stark contrast between Harry growing up as more or less an orphan with the Dursleys and then Tom Riddle growing up in the orphanage was to show that it is about the choices that you make. So I think Riddle still chose, on some level, to do what he did, you know?
Micah: I don't know, it seems like quite a bit of a jumbled mess to me, because is he inherently evil, or is he a product strictly of being brought up that way or is it kind of a mix of both?
Andrew: I think it's a mix of both. But also, you just have to - I always wonder could he have been sort of quarantined, in a sense? If Dumbledore saw him growing into this evil-ish character as he developed in Hogwarts, I wonder if Dumbledore could have done something then to have stopped him, whether it was to - I don't know if quarantine is the right word, but like put him in counselling or just lock him up in a chamber somewhere and keep him there if you know he's not going anywhere good.
Micah: Yeah. If you go back to that scene - and it sticks out more in the movie than in the book to me - but when Dumbledore comes face to face with Tom Riddle and he basically asks him if there's anything he wants to tell him.
Micah: And he can tell that Tom Riddle is lying to him. Dumbledore...
Micah: ...is an impressively powerful individual who I'm assuming has the ability to read people's minds like other wizards, I thought that was a huge misstep on the part of Dumbledore's character to not say right then and there, "You're not telling me the truth. Something else is up."
Micah: And if he could stop him at that moment of the Chamber of Secrets, could that have prevented what he became after that?
Eric: Do you guys know - I mean, what sort of confinement have we seen of wizards in the books relating to if they're bad? I mean, Micah asked if Dumbledore couldn't have put him in a room or somehow contained his emotion. But really, the only - if you're a bad wizard, you either die in fighting or go to Azkaban where you live a completely empty, almost soulless but not quite soulless, life existence during your time there. There's really no wizarding time-out and furthermore, Durmstrang, the school, is devoted entirely, or even more heavily to the Dark Arts and teaching the Dark Arts. So if Riddle had gone to Durmstrang, that would have been perhaps even worse than going to Hogwarts. But there just doesn't seem to be a place for - and perhaps Jo hasn't really created a containment sort of system for those wizards who are just corrupt. I mean, they get sorted into Slytherin, I guess and absorbed by their community there.
Micah: Right. But at the same time, I think from the writing standpoint, the whole idea was to show Dumbledore was flawed in his decision making, show Slughorn was flawed in his decision making. Everyone who had encountered Tom Riddle at an early stage and chose not to act, they are all somewhat complicit in what happened. We could talk about this for hours because it all goes back to the same conversation of looking at how Tom Riddle was brought up versus how Harry was brought up and the different choices and the paths that they took in their lives.
Andrew: All right. Yeah, I mean, we encourage our listeners to send in their feedback because I like to see what everyone else thinks about it. I'm an optimist. I think he could have been changed. Of course, for story's sake, we don't want him to change, but in realistic terms - and I think Dumbledore sort of would have been smart enough to notice. And I also think back to as we see highlighted very well in Half-Blood Prince the film, when Slughorn - when Voldemort - when Tom Riddle is asking Slughorn about Horcruxes. I mean, gosh! No, of course not! He wouldn't – of course he wouldn't be asking that hypothetically or for academic purposes as was described in the book. Ah, so sad.
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