MuggleCast | The #1 Most-Listened to Harry Potter Podcast 3

MuggleCast 183 Transcript

Show Intro

[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 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 there is a small chance we may get fired this episode, this is MuggleCast 183 for October 26th, 2009.

[Show music continues]

Andrew: All right, welcome to MuggleCast Episode 183. This is a special episode for two reasons.

Ben: Special.

Andrew: One - oh, the surprise is ruined. [laughs]

Ben: Damn.

Andrew: Ben Schoen is with me in the MuggleCast Studio this week!

Ben: It feels great to be live Andrew, I feel like my voice is clear.

Andrew: It sounds good.

Ben: I feel like I'm me again.

Andrew: [laughs] Yes, you are you again. And also for the first time in MuggleCast history - Emerson Spartz is making his pre-recorded debut. Welcome Emerson.

Emerson: Happy to be here, Andrew.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: How does it feel?

[Andrew laughs]

Emerson: I'm excited, you know, I'm excited.

Andrew: [laughs] As everyone knows you have always done the live episodes with us but never a pre-recorded one. Like this one, for example.

Emerson: That's my style.

Andrew: Yeah, and of course you are also on because we're celebrating 10 years of MuggleNet. We will talk to your later on in the show about how you got started with the site. I have some questions that I personally am very curious about. So, I'm excited to hear your answers.

Ben: Andrew, always the curious one.

Andrew: [laughs] All right...

[Emerson laughs]

Andrew: So we have a very, very, very busy show today. I am Andrew Sims.

Ben: I'm Ben Schoen.

Eric: I'm Eric Scull.

Micah: I'm Micah Tannenbaum.

Emerson: I'm Emerson Spartz.

[Show music continues]

Andrew: All right Micah, there has been a lot in the news. What's going on?

Micah: Well, not too much. I'm actually going to take this week off.

Andrew: Come on Micah.

Ben: Step up, Micah, it's the tenth anniversary.

Andrew: The webmaster of MuggleNet is here; aren't you trying to impress? Come on.

Micah: No, no, no. I don't - all right.

[Andrew laughs]

Emerson: You're fired!

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: All right, see you guys.

Ben: I wonder if we can all make it through the show without being fired?

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: I should have been fired a long time ago.

Micah: What's that?

Ben: Sorry, go ahead Micah, with the news.

News: Deathly Hallows Filming Updates

Micah: All right well let's start with Deathly Hallows - some filming updates. Tom Felton updated his Twitter, not too long ago, at the beginning of the month, saying that he was filming with Ralph Fiennes and that he was thoroughly enjoying working with him. Some information there about what's going on. Any idea what scenes they could be?

Andrew: Malfoy Manor? Because - Helen McCrory is also filming as well.

Micah: Yeah, she is.

Andrew: Isn't she?

Micah: She said that on October 5th a table read for part two of Deathly Hallows was taking place that day. You are probably right, Malfoy Manor.

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: Nothing later on in the series has been shot just yet.

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: She also noted that many around the set have grown up with the franchise and are sad to see it go.

Andrew: There was an interview with Robby Coltrane too about that and it must be pretty sad.

Ben: Well that is just like us, you know.

Andrew: We're never ending though.

Ben: MuggleNet is ten years old.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: We're getting up there,

Andrew: But they are ending.

Ben: Times are changing.

Andrew: But they are ending, you know. It must be sad.

Ben: Yeah, a little bit...

Eric: If they are looking for work they can...

Andrew: They can join MuggleNet.

[Andrew and Micah laughs]

Ben: There are these Twilight films that are coming out.

Andrew: All right, Micah what else?

News: Matt Lewis at Exhibition Opening

Micah: Speaking of Deathly Hallows, Matt Lewis, who plays Neville Longbottom, was at the opening of the Boston Harry Potter Exhibition. He talked a little bit about the seventh film, he said that he has the script for part two and will begin shooting next week, and that the scale of it is enormous. Neville is quote, "a bloody and battered resistant leader, a battle hardened veteran." Actually, one of our staff members was at that event in Boston, and it opens this Sunday, October 25th.

Andrew: Right - Matt Lewis and Evanna, and I'm sure many other actors, have been hyping up this part two like crazy. Just because of how - part two is going to be basically - mostly the Battle of Hogwarts. They are really hyping this up. Hopefully, it is not a letdown.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Two Part Movie: Good Idea?

Ben: Does everyone still think it's a good move? Splitting it into two?

Andrew: Definitely.

Eric: Yeah.

Emerson: I do.

Andrew: Financially, alone, they are doubling their money just for one book. Imagine if they did that for all the books? Which they could have done.

Ben: Fourteen movies.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: That would be a bit intense.

Andrew: [laughs] It would be. You are right.

Emerson: But at the same time it would prolong the party.

Andrew: Can you imagine - Jesus, it would be going to like 2020 or something. Something insane.

Ben: That would be insane.

Emerson: And they would start making comparisons to the Saw movies.

[Andrew and Eric laughs]

Ben: Saw 6 came out last week. I saw Saw 1 and 2, but I don't remember 3 through 5.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Three was good. Two - I hate two. Three was good, four and five did not need to exist.

Andrew: I'm sure they're also feeling motivated to really make sure this final film is perfect because it's the last chance they have to really express them - turn the books into the film, so they want to do something that they can really treasure forever.

Eric: Matt Lewis...

Ben: I think it'd be interesting...

Eric: Sorry.

Ben: ...when this is all said and done, to look at the first film, and compare it to the last film and see truly how far the special effects team has gone, how far the overall production quality has gone, how far the actors; Dan, Rupert, and Emma - how much better they've gotten and the chemistry of the cast and everything, how that's developed over time and I think it will be interesting to see how it shaped up.

Eric: Maybe mostly in Part 1, it'll be interesting to see Dobby again, you know, for the first time since part two, you know?

Andrew: Oh yeah.

Eric: And just to see how that CGI works. I know we had Kreacher in the past one, but just watching the same, to see Dobby again...

Andrew: Right, well, I'll give you an example. Sirius in the fireplace in, what was the first one? In Goblet of Fire...

Eric: Largely regarded as a bad CGI.

Andrew: Yeah, it looks terrible! And in Order of the Phoenix, it looked much better.

Eric: Yeah.

Emerson: And Quidditch.

Andrew: Right, and Quidditch.

Emerson: And Quidditch is almost too easy to pick on.

Andrew: Oh God, yeah. I mean, I think I've told this story on MuggleCast before. After I saw Half-Blood Prince, I saw Sorcerer's Stone right away, and the Quidditch in Sorcerer's Stone, the Quidditch Pitch, it's very bright and colorful, and it's not nearly as detailed as what you see in Half-Blood Prince. It's really...

Ben: What are movies going to look like thirty years from now? You know, can you imagine?

Andrew: Yeah. You won't be able to tell what's CGI. It's as simple as that.

Ben: Yeah.

Emerson: Well, you're going to be completely immersed into the movie. It'll be just like you're an actor on the set.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Yeah, which would be cool because they could go and remake older movies like Diehard with you in them.

Andrew: [laughs] Right. All right Micah, what else?

News: Half-Blood Prince DVD

Micah: All right, over to Half-Blood Prince - this movie never seems to go away. The DVD Times...

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: ...released a new article detailing what we can expect from the "Close-up with the Cast of Harry Potter" portion of the Half-Blood Prince DVD. Many cast members are contributing with fun segments, which totals close to thirty minutes, and there's also going to be a Deathly Hallows sneak-peek on the DVD as well.

Andrew: Yeah, that's big news because they did that on the Order of the Phoenix DVD. They had the Half-Blood Prince sneak-peek. So, hopefully it'll be good. I wasn't blown away by that Half-Blood Prince sneak-peek they had on the Order of the Phoenix DVD.

Eric: I don't recall it, to be perfectly honest.

Andrew: It's on YouTube if...

Eric: Oh, I'm sure it was there.

[Andrew and Ben laugh]

Eric: Nothing special...

Andrew: Right.

Eric: You know, but it's nice, especially with Deathly Hallows. Quite a chunk of it is filmed...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: You know, so, it should have some good stuff.

Andrew: Mhm.

News: Half-Blood Prince Community Screening

Micah: And also, David Yates and Dan Radcliffe are going to participate in a community screening of Half-Blood Prince on December 12th at 3 o'clock. Fans who have a copy of the film on Blu-ray and are registered in the BD Live Community will be invited to participate. Andrew, you've got to be excited about this, are you going to participate?

Ben: Where's it at?

Andrew: That's right Micah. No it's a digital gathering. Everyone who has Half-Blood Prince on Blu-ray they all get together, this sounds nerdy.

Ben: Oh a "digital gathering".

[Emerson laughs]

Andrew: Yeah that's what they're - it's called the BD Live Community. So and the PS3s can hook up to the internet so you're going to be able to hear David Yates and Dan Radcliffe commentate the movie live while everyone watches.

Ben: Oh that is pretty cool.

Andrew: Yeah.

Emerson: That's sweet.

Andrew: Yeah so Ben you can come over.

Ben: We'll have a party.

Andrew: Yeah, but yeah it should be cool and I've got to imagine this is the first time Dan Radcliffe is going to be doing commentary for any film so I think it should be interesting, very interesting.

Eric: You know that's something they should do for the Ultimate Editions, give more commentary tracks.

Andrew: Yeah at least the trio, just get them in there. They can do it.

Ben: I would love to see Dan do Sorcerer's Stone because I'm sure he would just be ripping himself the entire time.

Andrew: Yeah.

Emerson: [laughs] He definitely would.

Andrew: I think he has said in past interviews that he can't bear to watch that first movie because of his acting and his voice.

Micah: Neither can most people.

[Andrew laughs]

Andrew: I can, I can bear it.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: But Micah, if it makes you feel any better I know you've said earlier that this movie just won't go away, but once the DVD's out I think we'll be pretty much done with it, so...

Micah: Well you know we had that extra time built in since they postponed it...

Andrew: I know.

Micah: so it's been around a little bit longer than it should have been.

Andrew: Right.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

News: J.K. Rowling Eavesdropped On

Micah: But all right moving on, J.K. Rowling announced while she was at the Stella McCartney...

Andrew: No she did not announce this, it was overheard.

Micah: Oh, it was secretly over heard at the Stella McCartney show...

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Like Obama calling Kanye a jackass, it was overheard.

Micah: No, no, he actually said that...

Andrew: Right yeah that's on tape. [laughs] So go on.

Micah: ...that she is indeed putting quote "pen to paper" and it says "I'm working on something but it is not Harry Potter, I need a Harry break," and I guess this is kind of interesting after she created the Twitter account a couple weeks ago and said that she was busy working on something. The question is what?

Andrew: Right, I don't believe this. I think this story is bogus.

Ben: What? You think that she has to be working on...

Andrew: I think she's working on something Potter, I think it's the encyclopedia she's working on, yeah. I don't know it just seems like why would you - Potter - we have two movies coming up, why would you move on right now?

Ben: Because you've spent the past sixteen years slaving away over this stuff.

Emerson: You've got a billion dollars in the bank account. [laughs]

Andrew: She has said she's done with Harry's story, yeah we get that. But I really - it seems to make sense that she'd be working on the encyclopedia right now.

Ben: But I think it makes equal sense that she'd be working on something else because she's probably a little burnt out on Harry Potter...

Andrew: I guess.

Ben: ...right now.

Andrew: No, you're probably right.

Eric: Let's look at the facts though. It's been two years since Deathly Hallows came out, actually two and a half really...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Since Deathly Hallows came out and about a year since Beedle the Bard...

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: ...that's the last thing she's written.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Just fact-wise it's been two years since she's written Harry specifically.

Ben: And what does that mean?

Andrew: Yeah. What are you saying?

Eric: Well, it just means like, you know, for being tired of Harry...

Andrew: Oh.

Eric: It's - she's already been - I mean, it shocks me that it's already been two years since Book 7, but it has been.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: Well, next week when she's on the show, we'll ask her.

[Emerson laughs]

Eric: Way to upstage Emerson.

[Everyone laughs]

Emerson: Ouch.

Micah: Well, no, we've joked about that for, what, five years?

Eric: And it hasn't been funny any of those times.

Ben: Jo, I know you're out there.

Andrew: [mimicking] Jo, I know you're out there. Well, I think, you know, maybe during the next live show, we can stage a massive Twitter attack on Jo's account, and everyone can just "at" reply her, and be like, "Get on MuggleCast!"

Eric: You know, if she doesn't log in, she can't see that, can she?

Andrew: Right.

Emerson: Well, if she's like me, she can be on Twitter for a year and a half and not know what "at" replies were.

Andrew: Yeah, man.

Emerson: Not know how to check them.

Eric: That's awesome.

Ben: Emerson - a little background, Emerson was all bashing on Twitter. "I don't really see the point of this thing." For a long time.

[Andrew and Emerson laughs]

Andrew: But see, that's how everyone is when they join it. You said it, too, Ben.

Ben: No, but I knew what the "at" replies were.

Andrew: Oh. [laughs]

Emerson: [laughs] So, if you sent me an "at" reply at any point in the past year.

Andrew: Prior to July.

Emerson: Maybe two months - up 'til July, and I didn't reply, it's not because I'm a bad person or I hate you or...

Ben: He's just a dumbass.

[Andrew and Emerson laughs]

Andrew: I love - J.K. Rowling, God. She has so much potential with that Twitter account, though. I mean, like she - you know what I'm saying?

Ben: She probably has even more potential with her bank account.

Andrew: Right.

[Micah laughs]

Emerson: Think about the reason Miley Cyrus deleted her Twitter. Because anytime she'd write anything, the media would pick up on it and start, you know, start conjecturing based on, you know, a 120-character tweet. Imagine what the media would do anytime J.K. Rowling would tweet about anything.

Eric: They just don't care, though. They seem to just respect Jo's wishes far more than they do anyone else's. I wonder if that's because they're scared of her.

Andrew: No, I don't think so.

Ben: Because she has the magic.

Andrew: Well, I just meant like the potential for Jo's Twitter, like she could put some really funny updates out there.

Micah: Yeah.

Ben: Like, "Chilling with Ben Schoen."

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Eric: She's a funny gal.

Andrew: [in a British accent] "Out on a date with Neil. Be back later. Ha ha ha." "Sipping tea with Fiddy."

[Emerson laughs]

Eric: And Mario.

Emerson: "Getting pumped for MuggleCast."

Andrew: Well, what gift - oh! Emerson gave J.K. Rowling the key to La Porte, so she could be like "Oh, I'm just admiring the key Emerson gave me."

Ben: Well, La Porte is the community Emerson's from, just...

Andrew: Right.

Ben: Right. Well, yeah. Not everybody listening will know that.

Andrew: Oh, sorry. Okay, sorry.

Emerson: I think probably the most exciting thing you could do with the key to La Porte is like go to the courthouse, and not have to go through the metal detector. That's about it.

Andrew: That's the advantage?

Ben: But it's La Porte. It's "La Portkey."

Eric: Ha.

Andrew: Oh, I see. [laughs]

Ben: See. So, it fit in more ways than Emerson even knew.

[Andrew and Emerson laughs]

News: New Award for J.K.R.

Andrew: What else in J.K. Rowling's world?

Micah: She's going to be the recipient of the first ever Hans Christian Andersen Award next year in Denmark. She's going to travel there to accept the award in person on October the 19th, 2010. Now, I don't know why the felt the need to make a notice about this a year in advance, but...

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: What is the award given for, Micah?

Micah: Well, it's the first ever of the award.

Ben: Right, but like the...

Micah: I think it's just in memory of...

Ben: ...who wins the Heisman Trophy? Like the best player in college football.

Micah: Right.

Ben: Who wins the Hans Christian Andersen Award?

Micah: I think it's just in memory of the author...

Ben: He died?

Micah: ...because he obviously wrote a lot of young children's books.

Ben: Oh, okay, yeah. That makes sense.

Andrew: Yeah, it says in this article, "The literature prize is to be awarded to someone who can directly or indirectly be compared with Hans Christian Andersen."

[Emerson laughs]

Ben: What books...

Emerson: That's the vaguest description I've ever heard for an award.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: What did...

Eric: That's like six degrees.

Emerson: [laughs] Yeah.

Andrew: I'll look.

Emerson: If you have anything in common with the man whatsoever you qualify.

Eric: Still, J.K. Rowling deserves every literary award that has to do with respectability.

Andrew: This person has done many fairy tales, it looks like. Quite a few. I don't know...

Micah: I'm sure you've read one of them.

Andrew: What is it?

Micah: I'm sure you've read some of them at some point.

Andrew: Oh, The Ugly Duckling. That's a big one. We all know The Ugly Duckling.

Eric: Oh, that's huge.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Oh - that - yeah, that's huge.

Andrew: The Snow Queen. I guess that probably doesn't relate to Snow White.

[Emerson laughs]

Andrew: Thumbelina that's a big one. All right, so yes, this is a very established author.

Micah: Author, yeah.

Andrew: So, she absolutely deserves that award. [In fake British accent] "Oh, going to receive my H.C. Anderson Award! With Neil."

Eric: On Twitter.

[Emerson laughs]

Andrew: Yeah. Okay, go on Micah.

News: Dan Radcliffe Returning to Broadway?

Micah: Final bit of news this week, Dan Radcliffe may be set to star in another - well, the first one wasn't a musical, but he's set to return to Broadway - and I figured I'd ask Eric about this, because Eric, you actually were in this play in high school, weren't you?

Eric: Yeah, the musical was called: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and it's a satire of 1960s big business - or 50s - big business concept. It's really a great, funny show.

Andrew: Hmmm. And it's a musical?

Eric: Yeah, it's a musical.

Andrew: So would Dan have the same part as you? What did you play?

Eric: Dan would have the lead role, which is J. Pierrepont Finch, is the character. He's like a window washer, and just basically this - this low class worker guy, who finds this book titled: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and it - basically it was a real book, actually, like way back when, and they made the musical after it. But it basically, you know, chronicles how to rise in the corporation from the mailroom to, pretty much being the president of the company, without, basically through brown-nosing or through - just doing a various humorous things, and...

Andrew: So did you - are you - your role had to sing - you had to sing some tunes, right?

Eric: Yes, but...

Andrew: Could you give us a sample of one of them?

Eric: Um, sure. Hang on a sec. [sings] "Now there you are, yes, there's that face. That face, somehow I trust. It may embarrass you to hear me say it, but say it I must, say it I must. You have the cool, clear eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth." This is a scene - this is a song that he sings to himself in the mirror...

Andrew: That was beautiful. [claps] Thank you.

Eric: the middle of the washroom...

Ben: Eric Scull, ladies and gentlemen.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: ...trying to pump himself up for a big business conference. Anyways, it's great. It's actually a hilarious musical.

Andrew: All right Micah, what else?

Micah: That's it.

Andrew: Okay, thank you.

Ben: Thank you, Micah.

Andrew: Thank you Micah.

Micah: You're welcome Ben. Anything for you.

Chapter-by-Chapter Feedback: Dobby's Intentions

Andrew: We're going to move on now to some feedback from last week's Chapter-by-Chapter segment where we looked at chapters one through three of Chamber of Secrets. Ben, would you like to read the first one?

Ben: I would. This comes from Will, 19, from - I don't know where he's from. Message:

"First off, got to say I love your podcast. I love how you guys brought back the discussion of the chapters again, since I got to relive the feelings I had when I first read it without actually reading it. I'm too caught up in college right now and missed those easy days when I could read 'Harry Potter.' I think the whole point of Dobby dropping the cake was to stop Harry from going to Hogwarts. In his little house elf mind he thought getting Harry in trouble would make the Dursleys would lock him up or punish him so he wouldn't go to Hogwarts just like when Dobby doesn't do what he is supposed to do, he gets punished or can't get what he wants. Dobby knew Harry would be punished but he'd rather Harry be punished or even injured than to be killed. After all Dobby risked during this year and was willing to do in later years, I can't see Dobby as a character who would do actions out of spite. He always put the other characters, especially Harry, before himself which could be to his own struggles and self hate but he was completely selfless every minute even up to his death."

Andrew: There you go. So there's a little feedback for you there.

Eric: Ode to Dobby.

Andrew: Yes. Eric, can you take the next one please?

Chapter-by-Chapter Feedback: Harry's Treatment

Eric: Sure! This one is from Abhi U., age 15, from Tennessee. And she writes:

"Hey MuggleCasters! I think you're podcast is GREAT! All caps. And it has saved me from boredom at the many grown-up parties my parents drag me to. I wanted to say that your Chapter-by-Chapter segment was great. The abuse that the Dursleys had caused Harry was horrible. I thought about it the way they treated Dudley, it was almost out of character than the way they act to Harry. I also wanted to talk about the question that someone had asked about "How would Harry feel about the Burrow if his parents were still alive?" I think that growing up with two loving parents and a lot of money might have gone to his head. One count on which Harry and Ron related to each other was they had both suffered in different ways. Ron's reluctance in the 'Sorcerer's Stone' to tell Harry about his situation, or his poorness, was counterbalanced by Harry telling him about his aunt and uncle abused him and how he never got birthday presents. If Harry was just a kid used to all the luxuries, they may never have bonded. On the other hand, being a Ron Weasley fan, I would like to think they would have become best friends anyway because of fate. Okay, that's about it. Thanks for reading, Abbey."

Ben: I think Harry would have been a snob had he had both parents.

Andrew: Yeah, I mean the way he was raised was really just unique. And his parents were obviously loaded.

Eric: Yeah, but look at Lily. She really tried to stomp out that arrogant side of James. Something must have happened where - if you look at Snape's worst memory from Book 5, Lily detests James being this pompous ass as it were, so even though he has lots of money or they have lots of money later, don't you think that Lily being a mother, if Harry had his mother, would foster him away from that kind of attitude?

Ben: She would probably try to, but I guess there are plenty of kids - it's unfair to say just because he had love from both parents that he would turn out to be kind of snobby and not become friends with somebody like Ron.

Andrew: The way he was raised though, definitely put him in a unique situation.

Ben: Yeah.

Eric: And he wouldn't actually be Harry frickin' Potter, you know...

Andrew: Right.

Eric: ...if his parents were...

Andrew: Of course.

Eric: ...still alive.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: They'd still be famous though, for being Aurors or in the Order and...

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: ...standing up to Voldemort.

Chapter-by-Chapter Feedback: Technicalities

Andrew: All right. Next e-mail is from Aparna, 19, from India. She writes about two things:

"In Chapter 2 of 'Chamber of Secrets,' when Dobby says, 'Not He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named,' and winds his eyes as if trying to give Harry a clue, it is not because he is hinting at his master. He reveals later in the last chapter, after being freed by Harry, that he was trying to give him a clue saying, 'The Dark Lord, before he changed his name, could be freely named, you see?'" Do you guys get that?

Ben: Yeah, do you?

Eric: It's - I understand what she's saying, but it's kind of - I just never liked that part about the book, where it's like, "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, no, but it was him when he was young!" And I wonder how Dobby even knows that, if Lucius - there was another e-mail we got that I read from the inbox in response to that chapter that we read that said, "How did Dobby know that it was actually Voldemort as a kid who was the Horcrux if Lucius Malfoy didn't really know that the diary was a Horcrux, or what exactly the diary did?" So it's a question of what Dobby knew, because he was able to give Harry this hint, but, obviously, Lucius was kept out of the blue on a large, you know...

Micah: Right.

Eric: ...bit about what the diary was.

Micah: But he also - sorry.

Ben: Go ahead.

Micah: I was going to say that he also mentioned - we talked about it last show with - he knows that it's something that Dumbledore might not even be aware of, so it's possible that he knew about something like Horcruxes even - I don't know how he could know, but it seems like he does.

Eric: Well through house-elf magic, is implied. But how did he know that it was Tom Riddle, you know, Voldemort as a kid, specifically? That just seems a step further into the mystery about how Dobby was able to know. Because that was a very specific hint because Harry flat out asked if it was Voldemort, and Dobby had to give him a "no" answer even though it was like, "Yes, it was."

Micah: That's like a technicality.

Eric: It is a technicality.

Micah: It's so specific...

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: ...because he's saying, "No, not really. It's not Voldemort, it's Tom Riddle."

Eric: For all intents and purposes, given the diary is a Horcrux, a fragment of the actual Voldemort's soul from when he was Voldemort, I would say it was Voldemort that was causing these issues. It's almost a non-issue that it's not Voldemort.

Andrew: All right. And then the second point of her e-mail:

"Somehow I always assumed that the reason why Dobby drops the pudding might be not just to get Harry into trouble with Vernon, but perhaps also because he thinks Harry might get expelled or suspended or something like that."

I think that's a good point. I didn't realize that at the time when we recorded last episode.

Micah: Yeah, good point.

Emerson: That's what I feel really strange right now, because that's what I thought it was all along.

Andrew: Oh, really?

Emerson: [laughs] Yeah.

Andrew: Well, I guess should have just come on the last episode! [laughs]

Ben: What'd you think it was for?

Andrew: Well, we were speculating why - was it just to get Harry in trouble? Like, what - how would that have gotten - we said, how would that have gotten Harry - what did we say, Micah? [laughs] I remember it, but I don't.

Micah: You're putting me on the spot.

Andrew: Or Eric?

Eric: Yeah, it was, how would that stop him from going to Hogwarts? Dropping a cake on his...

Andrew: Right. That's it.

Eric: So, unless Dobby knew that using a Hover Charm - unless he knew the way that the Ministry tracks underage magic, which is possible that he did, but - I don't know. That letter from the Ministry...

Andrew: Right. Because...

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Wouldn't the Ministry have detected Dobby was doing it instead of Harry? You know.

Eric: Though they wouldn't, because if you're under the same house as an underage wizard and you're the only wizard in the house, they...

Ben: They would assume.

Andrew: Oh.

Eric: Like that's how Harry got in trouble for it.

Andrew: Okay.

Eric: But at the same time, he wasn't expelled. When he used magic in Movie 5, the Patronus Charm, a far less hurtful, harmful spell than the Hover Charm can be...

Andrew: Right.

Eric: ...I suppose.

[Emerson laughs]

Eric: He was expelled...

Ben: Unless you're a Dementor.

Eric: ...from Hogwarts.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: So - and just on the spot...

Emerson: Those were completely different circumstances though.

Eric: They were.

Emerson: It wasn't the Patronus that got Harry expelled. It was that there were people who wanted him expelled.

Ben: Well...

Emerson: Or...

Ben: ...not only that, but they had had the Hover Charm as the precedent...

Emerson: Yeah...

Ben: well.

Emerson: ...that too.

Eric: Hmmm. But both were used in front of a Muggle. So, that's something else, too.

Chapter-by-Chapter Feedback: Wizard Post

Emerson: The next email is from Laura Cabus, 19 years old, from Honduras. Subject: Chamber of Secrets Chapter - well, okay. [tuts]

[Andrew laughs]

Emerson: I got it. [laughs]

Ben: "IP address."

[Everyone laughs]

Emerson: "Favorite food."

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: The information we collect...

Emerson: All right. Here we...

Eric: ...from our listeners.

Emerson: All right, here's the letter:

"Hi guys!"

[Andrew laughs]


"I know that in the last episode, you were wondering how Dobby could get Harry's mail. And I thought about Half-Blood Prince when Harry stays at the Burrow over the summer and we found out that the Ministry's intercepting the Weasleys' mail. So I thought that maybe you could do a spell to change the address where the mail is delivered. Anyway, you guys are great, but I can't believe you are re-reading the books until now."

[Andrew and Micah laugh]


"Keep up the great work."

Andrew: Well...

Ben: I imagine Dobby would, you know, kind of just park outside the window.

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: You know, and wait for the mail to come. And maybe...

Andrew: "I'll take that!" [laughs]

Ben: Yeah.

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: He would just intercept it.

Eric: "I'll make sure he gets it!"

Ben: I mean, I doubt he had to do some complex spell. I mean...

Andrew: Yeah, it probably is something simple like that, isn't it? He would just wait and be invisible outside...

Eric: Well, what I thought...

Andrew: ...the mailbox.

Eric: What I thought was interesting was that no owl appeared outside Privet Drive. And Harry's owl, Hedwig, was locked in her cage. So, Dobby was able to intercept mail, but Harry didn't notice anything strange like Hedwig not reappearing. Or, you know, if he had sent her out - if he was able to send letters to his friends...

Ben: Right.

Eric: So...

Ben: And I think Hedwig - would Hedwig give the mail to Dobby? Or would she want to take it directly to Harry? Would it be...

Eric: Well, right.

Ben: It would probably be easier for some random owl...

Andrew: Mhm.

Ben: get the mail from them than from Hedwig.

Eric: And it's weird because you've got to assume that, like - Ron Weasley used Errol, the near-death owl, to deliver some letters. And, you know, Errol's been known to "get lost" or whatever. But, you know, none of those letters were delivered. So it was really - I don't know. Just really weird but it was kind of cool how Dobby had somehow managed to intercept all of his mail.

Chapter-by-Chapter Feedback: Malfoy's Orders

Andrew: Micah, could you read the last email?

Micah: Last email comes from Grant, of Brisbane, Australia. And he says:

"Hi MuggleCasters. Great show, especially with Chapter-by-Chapter at the beginning just after the news. Keep that up. Something that nobody seems to have picked up on is that Dobby was acting under Lucius Malfoy's orders. Orders that he cannot disobey, no matter what his personal opinions. If you don't understand Dobby's actions, it's because you're missing this point."

Ben: Ooh.

Micah: Yeah. I know, right?

Ben: Slapping us.

Eric: Man!


"Everything Dobby did was to prevent Harry from returning to Hogwarts, no matter what reasons he gave for his actions. He was rationalizing his behavior, not necessarily telling the truth. Lucius Malfoy didn't want Harry at Hogwarts because he didn't want Harry interfering with his plans for the diary. Harry had already thwarted Voldemort once, at the end of Philosopher's Stone, and Lucius was trying to make sure Harry wasn't there to interfere this time. There were no terrible plans for Harry if he returned to Hogwarts other than what Dobby was going to do at Lucius' bidding. Malfoy did not know what Tom Riddle would have...


Malfoy did not know that Tom Riddle would have a chance to kill Harry, that was unexpected, Riddle says as much. Whatever the diary told Lucius, killing Harry was not part of the plan. Dobby is sending mixed messages because he's acting against his will. He likes Harry but he's under orders to prevent Harry from returning - the cake, the barrier at the platform, and so on. Even attacking Harry with the Bludger in Quidditch was to chase Harry away from Hogwarts. Not something Dobby wanted to do, he was compelled."

Andrew: Hmmm.

Eric: I feel opposite about this. Where's the proof...

Micah: I do too.

Eric: Yeah. Where is the...

Micah: There's no proof.

Eric: Yeah. I mean, it seems like - I mean, that's the thing, that's the funny joke, "Try not to help me from now on, Dobby." Because I mean, things like the Bludger attack were a house-elf without orders, behaving the way he thought he had to because of his mixed emotions inside. Dobby is the symbol for house-elf empowerment, because he follows his own - I mean, he was - I didn't think he was sent to the - to Privet Drive at all, and that was the point.

Micah: No.

Eric: Like...

Micah: Well, yeah, there's no evidence.

Eric: ...Dobby kept saying he'd have to shut his hands in the oven.

Emerson: That's why - that's the reason why he's always beating the crap out of himself...

Andrew: Right.

Emerson: ...throughout the book.

Ben: Right.

Emerson: Because he wasn't supposed to be there, not that he was ordered to Privet Drive.

Ben: Yeah, because she says - this person says here, Lucius didn't want Harry at Hogwarts because he didn't want Harry interfering with his plans for the diary. That doesn't - yeah, that doesn't make any sense. Yeah, you guys are right, it's the opposite here.

Micah: Yeah, there's no evidence to support that Lucius never wanted Harry at Hogwarts...

Eric: And I guess...

Micah: the entire book.

Eric: Yeah. And an opportunity to refute it would be that when Riddle is telling Harry at the end about how he discovered Harry's existence, it was through Ginny writing about Harry that he even really discovered that Harry had been the fall of Voldemort, etcetera, etcetera.

Andrew: Right.

Ben: Well, it's because Dobby knew of the plan, the evil plan that was going to happen...

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: ...and he wanted to keep Harry away from there.

Andrew: That's why he was trying to help Harry.

Eric: Yeah, I don't think we've missed anything and he was actually sent to Privet Drive. I don't...

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Eric: I don't think that's how it happened. But thanks for the attitude, Brisbane!

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: No, no. I mean it's...

Ben: We're just missing the point.

Micah:'s an interesting point, if it was actually true.

Andrew and Ben: Yeah.

Andrew: But - yeah, like Ben said the whole - the important thing to keep in mind is that Dobby was trying to protect Harry against coming to school, because he knew what Lucius was doing with the diary.

Micah: Right.

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October 8, 2014

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#244 (November 20th, 2011): For the first time ever, MuggleCast has a DVD commentary! Watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 on DVD with us. We'll comment on each and every scene - it's as if we're in your living room watching alongside you!

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