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

MuggleCast 185 Transcript (continued)



Muggle Mail: Leaving the Muggle World Behind


"First off, of course, I have to say that I adore the show. You guys are amazing."

Ben: Aw, thanks Jamie.

Andrew: Aw, well thank you. [laughs]

"This question has been bothering me for a while and I figure there is no one better to ask than the MuggleCasters. What happens to Muggle-borns' friends once they go to Hogwarts? Before they know they're Wizards or Witches, a lot of them have to have Muggle friends when they're young. But once they get their letter, how do they manage to hide that stuff from friends and friends' families? They can't just ignore them forever. And how would they get removed from the school system unnoticed? Wouldn't people begin to ask questions? Just thought I'd bring this up. I love you all. Peace, love, and Potter, Jamie Lawrence."

Ben: Jamie.

Andrew: It's actually just Jamie, by the way. This kind of relates to our discussion the other day about the - how the Muggle parents get brought into the Wizarding World and how can they keep it all a secret.

Ben: Well, I think people, of course, would begin to ask questions. That's no doubt. But I think they would probably adopt a similar strategy to that of what the Dursleys did, except not such a terrible school. The Dursleys told everybody that Harry went to Smeltings, I believe?

Matt: Yeah.

Nick: Yeah.

Ben: Is it Smeltings? No. Stonewall? Stone...

Micah: Smeltings is where Dudley went, I think.

Ben: Yeah. That's where Dudley went.

Matt: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Ben: Harry went to - oh, yeah - they said that - oh - St. Brutus'...

Andrew: Yeah, that's it.

Matt: Yeah, that's it.

Ben: Incurably - Criminally Insane something. Some special school for insane kids pretty much.

Andrew: Right.

Ben: So I'm guessing if he had a family member who was wondering, "Where is your kid going to school? I thought - why isn't he in public school anymore?" you'd probably just say, "Oh, I got him into this private boarding school off wherever." And then you go away for the year and nobody really asks questions.

Andrew: Right. I think that's an interesting theory, but maybe there's some sort of permission that can be given. I just think that's kind of a big gap in the whole - it's a whole - what's the word? Dark area - I don't know - unsolved area of the series how that sort of thing is dealt with. I'd like to hear...

Nick: I'm not sure - oh, sorry.

Andrew: I'd like to hear Jo's take on it. Go ahead.

Nick: I was going to say I'm not certain, but I think we change from primary to secondary school around that age. So, it would likely be the case that they're all moving to different schools anyway so you can easily slip under the radar and your friends wouldn't all go to the same place anyway.

Andrew: Ah, yeah.

Nick: That make sense?

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, and the last e-mail for today. Micah, could you please read that one?

Ben: Bring it on home, Micah.

Micah: All right.

[Ben laughs]



Muggle Mail: Hardest Book For Harry?


Micah: Last e-mail comes from Mariel, 13, of New York, and she says:

"Hi MuggleCast, I'm a huge fan. I just listened to Episode 184 and you were discussing which book you thought was the hardest for Harry. I agree with Book 7 being the hardest for Harry, but I'm surprised you didn't bring up 'Goblet of Fire.' In that book, Harry is thrown into this competition that many have died in and his best friend turns on him like most of the school because they think he cheated. He's forced to deal with people turning against him because they prefer Cedric. By the end of the book, Cedric, who is becoming his friend, has been killed. Voldemort has risen again and Harry viewed the whole thing and was part of it by force and a teacher who he trusted turned out to be a traitor. So much has been thrown on him in this book which leads to some angst in 'Order of the Phoenix.' Love the show and I enjoy you guys. Keep up the great work. My favorites are Andrew, Matt, Jamie, and Mikey. See, Mikey? I didn't forget you."

Andrew: [laughs] Well, I think she's absolutely right. We didn't discuss that at all. I mean, how ironic would it have been for Harry to have died in the Triwizard Tournament? He was faced with very, very real danger and it's just insane that he was put into that and actually came out of it alive. I mean, I can't believe Dumbledore even risked it. He must have really had faith in Harry.

Ben: No, the Goblet of Fire represents a magically binding contract, Andrew.

Andrew: No, but - you're absolutely right, but it just scares me to think what could have happened.

Matt: I know. [sniffs]

Micah: Jo wouldn't have let it happen.

Andrew: Yeah, that's true.

Matt: She said seven books.

Andrew: So that does it for Muggle Mail this week. And now let's get into Chapter-by-Chapter. This week we're discussing chapters ten through twelve of Chamber of Secrets. We're actually about half way through this book already. I love these short books. They go by so quick. And these three chapters focus on learning more about who opened the Chamber of Secrets. And these chapters focus on getting everything ready to create the Polyjuice Potion.



Chapter-by-Chapter: The Rogue Bludger


Micah: All right. So let's start with Chapter Ten: 'The Rogue Bludger.' And at the very beginning of it, Harry gets pulled in front of the Defense Against the Dark Arts class and Lockhart has him act like a Werewolf.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: And so the first thing that came to mind was with Prisoner of Azkaban following, do you guys think that this was a little bit of foreshadowing on Jo's part that she threw in there?

Andrew: I think it kind of was. It was kind of a goofy scene too. I actually didn't think about that until you brought it up. But, yeah, I think it was definitely a little foreshadowing there.

Micah: Now, with the whole Polyjuice Potion, Hermione figures that the best way to figure out how to brew it is to get a book out of the restricted section of the library. And so you see this whole scene between Harry, Ron, and Hermione trying to figure out, well, who would they possibly get permission from to be able to take this book out? And the obvious answer is, of course, Lockhart. And it's just funny reading this book over, seeing how dense his character is. I mean, as long as his ego is essentially stroked, he's going to do absolutely anything that anybody wants him to do.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: Do you guys agree with that?

Ben: Well, that's all it takes.

Nick: Yeah, definitely. I mean, even Ron says Lockhart would sign anything if it stands still long enough...

Andrew: Yeah, Exactly.

Nick: He just wants to - it's all about him.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: It was an interesting way to continue advancing this plot by including this character who would really do anything for them. I'm not saying it's sort of luck or anything, but I think that was just a really good way for Jo to continue to advance the plot thanks to Lockhart's help through his arrogance.

Micah: Well, when you guys were reading did you ever think he was this fraud before you got to the end of the book?

Andrew: Well, I can't remember the first time. I mean, I was like twelve. But, I think it was clear that this guy was pretty messed up, and it became increasingly obvious as we'll discuss a little bit later. It just became increasingly obvious that this guy was messed up. I mean, especially with turning Harry's bone into - or removing the bone from his arm. I mean, that was a big clue.

Ben: Yeah, and not only that, but I guess it kind of threw us off because typically Hermione's usually right about everything...

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: ...and Ron is wrong. And Ron's going on about how much of a git he is and then Hermione is - of course she's infatuated with him so she has a hard time seeing through him. But like I said, yeah, Hermione's usually right so this time it's just a time when things are switched around a bit.

Andrew: Do you think Ron kept calling out Lockhart's B.S. when - just because Hermione was so infatuated with him? Maybe was Ron a little jealous that Hermione was giving Lockhart - was in love with Lockhart and not him?

Micah: Possibly.

Nick: Yeah, quite probably. He calls him a brainless git straight after Hermione sticks up for him, so it would make sense.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: All right. Well, speaking of Hermione, I wanted to ask you guys, why is she so hell bent on breaking the rules? I mean, this is a complete sort of diversion from her normal character and this whole plan about brewing Polyjuice Potion just seems really outlandish. So I'm wondering, deep down inside does she have this really strong hatred for Malfoy after she was called a Mudblood and is that what's really making her want to break the rules?

Matt: Well, the whole situation I think is more personal to her than it is for the other two in the trio. Because they're attacking Mudbloods which she essentially is. In the book she wasn't really - she didn't even know what a Mudblood was at first. At least in the book she didn't.

Micah: Right.

Matt: And then Ron had to explain it to her. So I think really the fact is that she's taking it upon herself - because she does that throughout the series, where she feels like she feels she has to protect - like what she did that with the house elves and everything. So, I think that's probably what's bringing it out of her is the fact that it hits closer home to her than it would to the other trio. That's why she's kind of taking the lead on the situation.

Micah: Right. She even says, "I think threatening Muggle-borns is far worse than brewing up a difficult potion."

Matt: Yeah, exactly.

Micah: So, it's just surprising and somewhat out of character because there's so much that could go wrong with this plan.

Andrew: Yeah, I think she was definitely motivated by the whole "Mudblood" thing, and I think she just really wants to get to the bottom of it and I don't think she sees any other way to solve this without breaking the rules. Do you think that's a fair assessment?

Ben: Well, not only that, but you've got to look at a character like Hermione who's been locked inside a cage of her own creation for a number of years, I would say. Well, I mean, not really a cage but she's just very by-the-book. So, maybe deep down, she definitely has a side of her that wants to rebel and the rules are really just guidelines. If you need to step outside of them to do what is right then it's okay. I guess.

Andrew: Yeah, and she even brings up a point soon after this about - well, actually, I think it's later in one of these chapters she mentions that she'll risk sneaking into Snape's office too since they already have - since she has a clean record whereas Harry and Ron don't, which I thought was pretty funny.

Micah: Yeah. All right, well, moving on, the Quidditch match with Slytherin arrives - big anticipated sporting event. And we talked last week - or was it two weeks ago? - about brooms and we had a pretty long discussion about - sort of - is it fair that one team has better brooms than the other. And, I thought, going back to that, Oliver Wood made a good point when he says that despite having better brooms - Slytherin - Gryffindor has better people. I know that was an argument that somebody brought up on the last show and I can't remember who it was. It's not about the broom, it's about who's riding it.

Andrew: But is that true? I mean, Draco's not a good player, but they brought him on because of the brooms.

Nick: Don't you think it made the win more meaningful though? The fact that they had these lesser brooms and that...

Andrew: Oh, definitely.

Nick: ...it was talent over the equipment and it really stuck it to Malfoy that they...

Andrew: I guess - yeah, I guess you're right in that regard.

Ben: But if you have two people of equal skill...

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: ...and one's riding a Firebolt and the other's riding a Cleansweep then the person on the Firebolt's going to win every time. No doubt about it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: If they have equal skill, then the broom's going to make all the difference.

Andrew: Yeah, but Oliver is still right in that it is about the people because I think it may be very hard for two Seekers to possibly be matched in their skills because it's such a very precise kind of role in the game of Quidditch that I think each person would have their own special ability, whether it's being able to see it from a very far distance away or possibly hearing it.

Matt: Well, it's also based on your judgment of the Snitch, too. You have to try to actually kind of think like the Snitch, too, if you want to go really deep into it.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: Yeah, and Malfoy just proves the point wholeheartedly by the fact that the Snitch was hovering above his ear for so long during the match and he had absolutely no clue.

Andrew: Yeah. I mean, he's an idiot. He may not even know what it sounds like. I can't even imagine why he couldn't even - he didn't even hear it. He was just so focused on Harry.

Micah: Yeah.

Matt: Mhm.

Micah: All right so the match continues and Harry ends up getting the Snitch, Gryffindor wins, and, of course, he hurts himself and who comes to the rescue but Professor Lockhart. I made the point that he continues to show the fact that he's this inept fraud, and he completely removes the bones from Harry's arm.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: So, I mean, to me - maybe it was a lot easier to see in the movie because of all the effects that they can put into it, but when I'm reading the book now I can kind of see how all the clues were there all along that Lockhart is just this big fake.

Andrew: Well, yeah, and I think we're going to bring this up in a bit, but somebody - I guess we can discuss it now - somebody sent this Twitter question in. It was from Hermanth, and she or he wonders:

"Why are the other professors not stopping Lockhart when he is trying to mend Harry's arm, knowing that he is going to do something disastrous?"

I mean, that's what I'm wondering because whose - and Harry tried to rebel. He was like, "No, please don't - don't fix it. I'll go to - I'll go into the castle and get it mended by the nurse." But I'm just wondering why didn't anyone else stop him? Everybody knew that was a disaster waiting to happen.

Micah: It's a good question. I mean, where were the other professors?

Andrew: I don't know. Maybe Lockhart just ran ahead of everyone because he wanted to save the day again.

Micah: Probably.

Andrew: But even then it's just ruining his reputation. I don't even get why he tries.

Micah: I wonder - that's a good question though. What does someone like Dumbledore think every time one of these events happens and he sees Lockhart just completely...

Andrew: Yeah, why does he let him go?

Micah: ...screwing up?

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Ben: Well, you've got to also keep in mind that Dumbledore hired - you've also got to keep in mind that Dumbledore hired Gilderoy Lockhart knowing that there was a curse on the position. So obviously - I mean, he probably didn't care too much about him.

Micah: That's true.

Andrew: Yeah, but still he should - he should care about Harry. So - I don't know. Maybe he wasn't there.

Micah: All right. So Harry does end up going to the hospital and we learned after a while that Dobby showing up - that Dobby was the one responsible for blocking the barrier at Kings Cross Station. And he mentions that he had to burn his hands afterwards. And I know we had a discussion a couple of episodes back about whether he was doing all this on Lucius' orders or if he was doing it of - as kind of his own desire. And doesn't this kind of prove that he does indeed care about Harry? And - because he says, he thought that by doing all this Harry would be safe. But my question is, why would he have to burn his hands if he doesn't really have any allegiance to Harry in the first place?

Andrew: Isn't this - isn't that exactly why, because - because he's burning his hands because he's still loyal to the Malfoys?

Micah: Oh okay. No, that's a good point.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: But is he doing that because of the Malfoys or is he doing it because he's preventing Harry from doing something that he wants to do?

Andrew: I think he's...

Micah: Or is it a little bit of both?

Andrew: I think he's very conflicted. I think he wants to help Harry, but knows he can't. So the way he's punishing himself is by burning his hands. But on the other hand he's still trying to help Harry. So maybe his - his thinking is, "Oh, I'll help Harry but I'll still punish myself. That way I'm still loyal to the Malfoys because I'm punishing myself, but I'm still helping Harry." [laughs] I don't know. It's very convoluted thinking but...

Micah: Well, right. And there's a great quote that Dobby says. He says, "If he knew what he means to us, to the lowly, the enslaved, we dregs of the magical world!"

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: It just really shows you what house-elves think of themselves and how they really don't give them any sort of status.

Andrew: Yeah. I...

Micah: How Harry Potter means so much to them.

Andrew: Yeah, and - and - and Dobby mentions that the - the view - the perspective on house-elves has changed over the years thanks in part to Harry killing - or Harry sort of defeating Voldemort.

Micah: Then we learn that house-elves can be freed by being presented with clothing, and obviously this has a bigger implication at the end of the book, but interesting how it started then.

Ben: Hey Micah, if you could have a house-elf, would you?

Micah: I don't think I would.

Andrew: Why not?

Nick: I don't see why you'd need one. Magic would make your life easier anyway. I don't see a specific need for one.

Andrew: Well, us - us humans are still naturally lazy. So even with magic we could be like, "I don't feel like flicking my wand to do that," or "I don't feel like picking up my wand to do that." I would take a house-elf. I mean, they're there to work for us.

Micah: Would you treat it fairly?

Matt: No.

[Everyone laughs]

Matt: Oh sorry.

Andrew: I would be nice to it.

[Matt laughs]

Andrew: I mean, what do you mean, treat it fairly?

Ben: How can you treat a slave fairly, to begin with?

Micah: [laughs] Exactly. Yeah.

Andrew: Well, still. I wouldn't hit it or make it punish itself. I would treat it like Harry has. Like Harry treated Kreacher.

Matt: Yeah but Harry set Kreacher - he set Dobby free. And Kreacher will never leave.

Andrew: Yeah, but Harry still treated Kreacher kindly especially when Kreacher started respecting Harry.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: I think there's - I think there would be a way to do it. And I mean, these house-elves are - are programmed to be these slaves for wizards, and hey, if they're going to do that I'm certainly not going to stop them. I'll make them cook food for me, sure, why not? Ben, would you have a house-elf? I think you would.

Ben: No, I'm not cruel or inhumane.

[Matt and Micah laugh]

Micah: Yeah, I agree with Ben.

Andrew: I'm not being cruel or inhumane.

Ben: I have more respect for life than that.

Andrew: I'm being resourceful.

Matt: Andrew just needs staff around the house.

Ben: Yeah, yeah, like those - those - the white Southerners in the 1800s. They were just being resourceful.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: This is a bit different.

Micah: All right, should we move on?

Andrew: Yes, please. I'm digging myself a hole.

Micah: All right, so the biggest piece of information we get out of this conversation is that the Chamber of Secrets was opened before. And Harry wants to know from Dobby, well, why would I be in danger, I'm not Muggle-born. And I think, having read the whole series, we talked about Dobby knowing about the Horcrux in the first few chapters, but I think it's becoming clear, he does in fact know that Harry is in danger from this diary. And there's that scene where Harry talks about not wanting to leave because Hermione would be in danger and Dobby all about has an orgasm when he hears that Harry's willing to risk himself for his friends.

Andrew: Right.

Micah: So, towards the end of this conversation Colin Creevey gets brought in petrified into the nurse's wing, and we hear this whole conversation between Dumbledore and McGonagall and Madam Pomfrey. And Dumbledore asks the question, or who was it - was it McGonagall who asks the question, who opened the Chamber of Secrets? And Dumbledore says, "It's not who, but how." But aren't both relevant? Are you guys...

Andrew: Well, I think maybe - maybe Dumbledore has a hunch at this point? I mean, he's a smart guy. He was there for the last time it opened. So I think he was on to something.

Ben: Well, he probably - he knew that Voldemort - I mean, that Tom Riddle was the Heir of Slytherin, right?

Andrew: I think so.

Ben: So he would know that only the - only the Heir could open this. So he would definitely have an idea.

Micah: You think Dumbledore was scared at all at this point, because obviously...

Ben: Dumbledore scared? Come on, Micah.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, I - no, no, I think he was scared, why wouldn't he be? I mean, there's someone petrifying students at school. Even though - even though Dumbledore may have a plan in the back of his head, or maybe...

Ben: Oh come on, fear isn't Dumbledore's game.

Andrew: Well, then what do you think he was feeling?

Ben: What was he feeling?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: He was just - poised. He's like the Zen Master man.

[Everyone laughs]

Matt: Mr. Miyagi?

Ben: He takes life as it comes, it doesn't matter to Dumbledore.

Andrew: Well, as Headmaster I would hope he's thinking ahead a little bit.

Ben: Oh, of course he's thinking ahead, but he's not - he's not afraid...

Andrew: He's focused. Yeah.

Ben: He's - he's prepared to walk head-on into the belly of the beast.

Andrew: [laughs] He definitely does yoga in the mornings, doesn't he? He's one of those people I can picture doing some yoga to keep calm especially during this book or any of the books, for that matter.

Micah: All right.

Andrew: All right!



Chapter-by-Chapter: The Dueling Club


Micah: Chapter 11, "The Dueling Club." And at the beginning, Harry gets released from the hospital. He goes and finds Ron and Hermione in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom and they're in the middle of working on the Polyjuice Potion. He lets them know about Dobby, so that's a little bit of a background info there. But again we get another glimpse of Ginny, a little bit later in this chapter, being distraught when she finds out what happened to Colin Creevey. And so it's interesting to see all these little hints that are being dropped throughout the book, knowing, obviously, that Ginny is responsible for opening the Chamber.

Andrew: Yeah.

Matt: Poor girl.

Micah: What do you guys think? Poor girl?

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: I don't think there's really anything to add. I mean, Micah, do you remember having some sort of feeling that something was up with Ginny about this? This is now what, the third or fourth time she was really distraught over this?

Micah: Yeah, I think she's just - I probably thought that she was just scared. I mean, she's a first year at the time. So why wouldn't - why wouldn't she be afraid with everything that's going on?

Ben: I mean, I guess I have a little sympathy for Ginny, but I mean, come on, this is a big deal.

Andrew: What?

Ben: Well, she's messing up man.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: By not - by not saying anything?

Ben: Well, no - yeah. But she just...

Matt: She's eleven Ben!

Ben: Oh, give me a break. When I was eleven I was...

Andrew: Conquering the world.

Ben: ...conquering the world.

Matt: Fair enough.

Micah: All right. Well, I found it funny in this chapter that there was kind of an underground trade that was going on for talismans, amulets, and other protective devices. So it seems like there's this whole kind of black market for these items that are supposed to protect students from the Basilisk even though they don't know that's what it is at this time.

Andrew: Yeah people are cashing in. And...

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: ...how are they marketing these things. It'll prevent whatever from attacking you because nobody knows what it is. So how could you possibly - how do you know a large evil smelling green onion is going to keep away whatever this mystery thing is.

Micah: Well, they thought it was a vampire maybe.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah I guess so. Maybe that's a little hint.

Micah: But you mentioned Neville buying that and Neville is kind of really down on himself despite the fact that he's a pureblood. He kind of refers to himself as a squib and it just is kind of an insight into Neville's character and the fact that he has no confidence in himself to kind of protect himself.

Andrew: Yeah, but I think a lot of students - I mean especially these early - in their early years were especially afraid of what was going on so they were going for this stuff. This seems like stuff Fred and George would have sold.

Micah: Yeah, yeah exactly.

Andrew: But I wonder why they didn't - I mean, why was this even allowed? I mean, where are the teachers to stop this and be like hey you can't be selling this. I mean, couldn't people - couldn't the same person who's behind the opening of the Chamber of Secrets be also selling stuff to students. I mean, they're trying to cash in on their - their evil doing.

Micah: So Andrew you mentioned this before, now they're going about trying to get all the pieces that they need for the Polyjuice Potion and Hermione goes to steal the things that are in Snape's storage when Harry creates this diversion, so the question is what's going on with Hermione? She's kind of like this renegade all of a sudden.

Andrew: Hermione is just - she just wants to see some results and again I don't think that she's trying to...

Ben: She's showing off.

Andrew: Is she showing off?

Nick: She thinks it's the only way to do it I think.

Andrew: Yeah it's...

Ben: She's not showing off. I was just kidding.

Andrew: I think Nick's right. It's the only way to solve this and she's self-motivated by these insults that Draco was throwing at her and it was - it was just a bad situation.

Micah: So one of the - the title of the chapter is "The Dueling Club" and Hermione, Ron, and Harry decide that it'll be a good idea to go and check this thing out. And it's of course hosted by Gilderoy Lockhart who else would be responsible for something like this. And somehow Snape also gets in on the action. And they demonstrate first and Snape essentially kicks the crap out of Lockhart. And Snape then goes around and pairs different people together and he decides of course to put Potter and Malfoy together. And Draco decides that he's going to hit Harry with anything but proper spells. And I thought it was interesting how Harry hits Draco with Rictumsempra in this book and then he hits him with Sectumsempra in Half-Blood Prince. Now these are two very similar spells in their name, but they have very different effects. So another tie I guess you could say between the two books.

Andrew: Do you think Jo was going for some sort of connection there?

Micah: I think so.

Andrew: Yeah possibly. I mean, the whole - I think that may show Harry's growth over the years between Books 2 and 6. Sectumsempra was obviously a very dangerous spell in Half-Blood Prince.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Whereas in Chamber of Secrets the Rictusempra didn't really do much.

Micah: Right. And what's the deal with Snape, before the next point here, Andrew, that you want to talk about, pairing up Harry and Draco? It's like he's trying to start a problem.

Matt: Of course he is.

Andrew: What do you mean, "Of course he is"?

Matt: Of course he's trying to create a problem. The reason why he was trying to start - start a conflict between them is because he knew it was Harry that set off the fireworks in his classroom. And he gave him - he also gave him - well on in the chapter he told Draco what spell to use to get him.

Andrew: Yeah, that's right. He did whisper...

Matt: He wanted...

Andrew: ...in his ear.

Matt: ...to get back at Harry, so he used Draco as his outlet for that.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: That's a good point.

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, I also think it maybe - Harry and Draco are a very good match - match up to duel together. [laughs] It's almost for educational purposes but I just wonder what this whole Dueling Club thing. What was the point of this? Dumbledore's Army made sense in Order of the Phoenix, but what was the point of the Dueling Club? And doesn't it sort of just encourage this - this - this unnecessary fighting?

Ben: People are scared, man.

Andrew: But what was the purpose behind the Dueling Club, Ben?

Ben: What was the purpose?

Andrew: Yeah, why - why?

Ben: Because people needed to be able to defend themselves. Say - say here in your apartment complex...

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Say there is some night murderer, right?

Andrew: Right.

Ben: You should go take classes. You start taking taekwondo.

Andrew: Well, that's...

Ben: You should be able to defend yourself in case - I mean, sure you may have a gun or whatever, but...

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: ...in the event that - those skills could come in handy, you should have those skills, because you never know when you might need to use them.

Andrew: Yeah. I just think that the students are a little too young at this age to be - to be having to learn to duel and duel against one another. I don't know, I guess unless they were thinking they want to teach the students to potentially duel against the Basilisk? I mean, I guess that would make sense, but you are not going to win. So - onward, Micah!

Micah: No, it's - it's a good point that you bring up. I mean, it's not like the - I guess it's just because they know that the Heir is a person, so they figure that it's - it would be good to at least know how to disarm your opponent. I mean, it just would seem better to be defensive spells as opposed to duelling.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: But...

Andrew: All right, moving on.

Micah: Anyway, Matt mentioned before that Snape whispers to Draco what spell to cast and he casts the spell that creates a snake in front of Harry, and then the snake looks like it's attacking Justin Finch-Fletchley. And all of the sudden Harry starts talking to the snake, and everybody in the room thinks that he is antagonizing the snake on, as opposed to telling him to - telling the snake to leave Justin alone. And of course this sets of the whole discussion that Harry is the Heir of Slytherin.

Andrew: Wait...

Micah: I don't really know what else to say about that.

Andrew: I think - I think the students are really just being sort of immature here. Because I still don't totally understand why it made it - why - in the movie, I guess it made sense - the visual made sense. But I don't understand why the students had to assume and could not believe that Harry was actually sending the snake after Justin. I mean, it's a pretty bold statement. And then you also have to consider, would Harry really do that in front of students and teachers? Expose himself as the Heir by - by doing this in front of this large group of people?

Micah: It's a good point.

Andrew: I guess it just shows the immaturity of these - these kids.

Ben: Well, it's just a really bizarre incident because everybody is scared. They are at this Dueling Club stuff trying to learn how to defend themselves, and then this person starts speaking in Parseltongue.

Andrew: Right.

Ben: Which everybody is like, "Whoa! What is he just showing off?" Remember - who said that, Ernie Macmillan?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: I think he said, "What are you doing, just showing off?"

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Like "Come on!" kind of thing. But, yeah - because - I mean it's definitely a bizarre situation, was the point I was getting at.

Micah: Well part of it too is that Justin had told Harry that he was Muggle-born, right?

Andrew: Yes.

Micah: Or he was - was he half-blood or Muggle-born - I can't remember. I think it was Muggle-born.

Andrew: I - yeah.

Micah: And the next part is a scene that - I think it was a deleted scene from the movie wasn't it, where Hermione tells Harry to go talk to Justin and because Harry gets really worked up over the whole situation for the next couple of days. He ends up overhearing the Hufflepuffs who think that he is, in fact, the heir of Slytherin. That was a deleted scene from the movie wasn't it?

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're right. And this also the classic - the biggest movie error of all time. I brought this up on the show before when Draco falls back after Harry casts one of the spells, there's a camera guy with a camera straight up down on the ground, on the left side of the screen. And, from a nerd perspective it just made my life because it's such a huge blooper! It's a cameraman and a camera and a tripod all sitting there on the left side of the screen filming! And it's just wild.

Ben: And it made it into the film?

Andrew: Yeah! We could go watch it right now. I think this is a good question for the producers. I wonder if they're going to make any changes to the films? Any digital changes, or fix any bloopers, you know? I'm going to keep an eye out for that on the Ultimate Edition. Man, in Blu-ray, you're going to be able to see the name of that camera. You're going to be able to recognize the guy - camera guy.

Ben: Count the hairs on his head.

Andrew: Yeah, can't wait.

Micah: So Harry leaves the Hufflepuffs pissed off, and he ends up running into Rubeus Hagrid.

Ben: [as Hagrid] Who?

[Everyone laughs]

Matt: Thank you!

Micah: Right on cue. And one of the things to note about Hagrid is he's got this dead rooster in his hand and this was another indication that the monster is a Basilisk. We learn about this later on but I wanted to know - was Fantastic Beasts out and published at this time? Because then people might have been able to go to it and realize what the monster was.

Nick: I looked this up, and Fantastic Beasts came out in 2001 and The Chamber of Secrets was 1998 in the U.K. and 1999 in the U.S. So, not unless they were late readers. But would you have read that and then immediately gone to...

Andrew: Yeah, I don't think Jo would have done that. I mean, I don't know. I think you would read the actual series first before going to read the extra books like Fantastic Beasts, and Quidditch, and Beedle the Bard.

Micah: Right.

Nick: Yeah.

Micah: So after his run-in with Hagrid, guess what happens?

Andrew: What?

Micah: As luck should have it, minutes later, Harry trips over a petrified Justin who is just lying there stone-faced on the floor. Nearly Headless Nick is nearby, he seems to be petrified too. Peeves shows up and makes so much noise that all the classes empty into the main corridor there.

Ben: Busted!

Micah: This is just too coincidental for me, man. Andrew, you brought up a good point though.

Andrew: Yeah, I mean, what's going on here? Why does Harry have to - why is Harry always the one who runs into the Basilisk attacks? I just don't understand why - couldn't somebody else have discovered at least one of these, at least Justin and Nearly Headless Nick? I can understand the trio running into one or two of these, but what are the chances of Harry running into all of these too, and being the first person to do so? It would have been cool to see some other student run into one of the initial - or be the first one to notice an attack and be like, "Oh my god! What's happening?" and then run off to Dumbledore, and then Harry hears about it later - but poor Harry.

Micah: Yeah, he's got bad luck man.

Andrew: And that's really all it comes down to. He's just nothing but bad luck.

Matt: Poor kid.

Micah: So of course, now he's in big trouble, or so he thinks, and he gets taken off to Dumbledore's office. And, in the next chapter, we get to see Dumbledore's office for the first time.

Andrew: Yeah, that was really cool, seeing it for the first time.

Micah: Kind of re-reading it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Yeah, you kind of forget about that.

Andrew: Yeah, and you're stuck with the visual from the movie and it was interesting because there are a couple things that changed. One thing in particular I noticed was, they noted about Dumbledore coming out of his bedroom - or like Harry - I think Jo wrote that's where, or this is where Dumbledore slept. You know, because it was Dumbledore's home.

Micah: Right.

Andrew: Which had me wondering, where's Dumbledore's bedroom in relation to the movie set? Because you never see any additional room, it's just like the front area with a desk and then there's the back area that has -

Micah: Dumbledore doesn't sleep.

Andrew: I guess so. He's like a vampire.

Micah: He's like Chuck Norris.

[Andrew laughs]

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#274
Solve for Synopsis
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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