Ben: Okay. Moving back to the Horcrux topic. There was one Horcrux that was found when Harry and Dumbledore went out to the cave. And when Harry got back to Hogwarts after Dumbledore's death and all of that, he opened it and there was a note addressed to Voldemort pretty much telling him that he'll never find out whom it was, and that he knows his secret. It was signed with the initials R.A.B.
Andrew: And of course this has caused so much speculation and it's almost such an easy riddle for everyone to figure out.
Kevin: It really is.
Andrew: In a way everyone thinks: "Oh, we're right. We got this figured out". But are we really right?
Ben: Is it really Regulus Black?
Andrew: JKR might be trying to fool us like this.
Kevin: The thing is that everyone who read the interview will know that Emerson did bring this up in that initial interview with JKR. One thing that I asked Emerson after he did the interview was what was the tone at that point? And he said the way JKR was saying it, was "You're right on target, but I can't say it". That was the tone of it. You can't get that tone because obviously it's written down, but that is the tone JKR is using. Not to mention about introducing new characters. The last thing JKR wants to do in the new book is introduce a large amount of new characters.
Ben: Where I disagree with you is that we need to remember this is JKR. She is the Queen of Deception. Look at the past books with Mad-Eye Moody and things like that. She may of just been trying to throw us off, throw us another curve ball, you know? See what I am saying? R.A.B. could very well be Regulus Black. I could be wrong. It could be glaring me right in the face. But why couldn't it be someone's nickname, why couldn't R.A.B. be someone's nickname or someone else?
Kevin: The reason why people think its R.A.B. especially is because going back to the locket in the Black's house...
Andrew: ...it fits so well.
Kevin: Exactly. It fits so perfectly. If he did get the locket it means he has to stash it somewhere, and she did clearly mention the locket in Order of the Phoenix. You know there's a locket that can't be opened within the Black's house, and R.A.B. is the initials of Regulus Black.
Andrew: His middle name could be Alphard.
Ben: His uncle.
Andrew: Right, his uncle. And it fits so perfectly.
Kevin: It does, but at the same she could just be pulling a big joke and laughing at us.
Andrew: It could stand for Ryan and Bertha.
Kevin: Right. And that's one of the arguments that they've made. The argument that people have made is that: did Regulus put the locket there or did he take the locket and replace it? And if he took the locket and replaced it how did he do it alone? Because clearly Dumbledore was not able to do that alone. And even in that case why would Voldemort trust Regulus to put it in place? So it's one of the things that people will be debating about until the release of the 7th Book.
Ben: Until we finally have all the answers.
Kevin: I do think it's Regulus, but there's no...like every everything in Harry Potter...
Ben: ...there's no definitive truth.
Andrew: Another point, he was a Death Eater and only Voldemort's followers called him the Dark Lord. So when he addressed him the Dark Lord it clicked on with a lot of people.
Kevin: Yeah, that's true.
Ben: Also, during Book 6 we saw that Harry had a run in with Mundungus Fletcher in Hogsmeade, where Dung was trying to sell the silver goblets from number twelve Grimmauld place. Do you think it's possible Dung could have sold the locket that is the Horcrux that Harry needs to find to destroy Voldemort?
Kevin: I think it's quite possible. JKR doesn't mention something for nothing. There's always a purpose to her mentioning things and there's no reason to believe she didn't do this with Mundungus.
Andrew: And she's been up to no good.
Kevin: She has. She's been deceiving us all the way, but I think she enjoys it because she gets to hear the theories.
Ben: In Book 7, Harry is going to have to find some way to be able to track down these Horcruxes. There has to be something that identifies them. Why couldn't Voldemort just make some old boot a Horcrux? It is that type of thing. I know it is going to be the Founders' items, but like I said he's going to have to return to Hogwarts to do some research to determine whether it was Gryffindor's sword or why couldn't it be the item of Ravenclaw's?
Kevin: From what people say it is definitely not Gryffindor's sword. Reason being, Dumbledore had knowledge of the Horcruxes by the time he received the sword, and he said he inspected it thoroughly. So I am fairly sure Dumbledore didn't miss anything.
Kevin: He's made it clear he has made mistakes, but at the same time he's very powerful and he's not one to let something sit in front his nose without realizing.
Andrew: These Horcruxes, they are just so involved and so in-depth, that it seems to me that all of Book 7 is going to be dedicated to these, and it could almost be called Harry Potter and the Seven Horcruxes. Although that would be pretty lame.
Kevin: The whole topic of the book is going to be the Horcruxes.
Kevin: It is going to be that and him training.
Ben: I think Harry's going to have a difficult job just trying finding the Horcruxes.
Kevin: Oh of course, because he's doing it almost alone.
Kevin: To be honest, I don't see Ron and Hermione leaving. I don't see them leaving. Although at the same time JKR did pose the possibility that Hogwarts won't be open. In which case they'd be available to help him. I don't see if it is open...I don't see them leaving Hogwarts. So I am fairly sure that Harry has to do this largely on his own.
Ben: I completely agree with you.
Kevin: And that's some job.
Ben: Yeah, definitely. Now that we've looked at more of the heavier aspects of Half-Blood Prince, something I really enjoyed in this book, what I thought was actually missing from Book 5 and Book 4 is the romance that happened in Book 6. And how we saw the relationships develop more and how Ron and Hermione have actually started to become more into each other. How Harry basically started to fall in love with Ginny. I just thought that it has been a really nice touch in comparison to other books. What do you guys think?
Andrew: This is another example of how this is a big transition book where a lot of things have changed. And this book has sort of settled the score with all the relationships, and who's dating whom, and who's snogging whom. Everything is pretty set now. Got that part out of the way.
Kevin: A lot of people were expecting that. If you think about it, how old are they now? They're teenagers. And all teenagers go through that stage, and a lot of people were wondering how she would approach the relationships because it's a very difficult thing to just bring up relationships like that without focusing entirely on them. So I think she actually did a fairly decent job. A lot of people were disappointed about the Harry and Hermione thing. It did. It disappointed quite a few people.
Ben: It's also kind of a touchy subject.
Kevin: It is a touchy subject, but they have rights to their own opinions and this is the way JKR chose to write it.
Ben: I think Harry and Hermione in fan fiction stories, that 'ship so to speak, I kind of enjoy those two characters dating and stuff. But personally, I think it's quite appropriate now, that it really has no place in the canon series.
Kevin: It is not only that. JKR couldn't write this in-depth relationship because Harry has to focus on his goal, and it would be too distracting for him to have someone there for him. You know what I mean? I think JKR was thinking at one point when she was beginning to write the series that it could be a possibility, but then she realized that there was no way I can write this in, because it is breaking Harry from his goal. It is diverting him.
Ben: Harry needs Hermione for other things. Not to be his lover so to speak. And people need to realize that the books aren't entirely about romance. It is the classic story of good vs. evil and it is about this kid who is trying to save the Wizarding World, not about his girlfriend and whom he's snogging this week.
Kevin: But at the same time people would just love to see Harry get the girl at the end.
Ben: But I do see where JKR is coming from because love is actually the central theme in this book. How Harry wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for his mother's love.
Andrew: But right now in Book 6 or in Book 7, there's not going to be any time for Ron to be hanging out with Hermione or Harry to be...
Ben: Right. The relationships are not going to be the typical high school or school relationships. The thing is, is that love is the power that Harry has. Love is the power the Dark Lord knows not. And the issue becomes there may not be time for the traditional romance, but Harry and Ginny, their relationship is still going to be there, and so is Ron and Hermione's.
Kevin: But I think it is going to be like a friend's relationship to be honest.
Andrew: Well, of course.
Kevin: He made it clear why he didn't want to get involved with Ginny and I think that she understood his reasoning.
Ben: I kind of have a beef about that though.
Kevin: He's lost everyone close to him and he has no reason to believe that he's not going to lose Ginny if he does indeed start...
Ben: There was actually some excellent foreshadowing in this book. In Professor Slughorn's, in one of the classroom scenes, there is a potion that makes you smell like the person that you desire most. Basically what turns you on, the pheromones that you like the most. And we hear Hermione say she smells freshly mowed grass, and Harry mentions that he smells a flowery scent that he previously thinks he has sniffed at the Burrow. And the Burrow and Ginny...you know? There's really this foreshadowing that went on, and if anybody has seen Spiderman or Spiderman 2 where Peter Parker tells her "Oh, we can't be together, I don't want to put you in jeopardy". That type of thing. I think it is the same exact kind of thing with Harry. The relationship with Ginny is not over. He may have told her I don't want to put you in danger, but she's going to be in danger anyway with things running rampant like this. And Harry's still going to be best friends with Ron, so wouldn't killing his best friend's sister do the same exact thing as killing his girlfriend. I feel that...I don't think the relationship is over. It is still that it is going to continue happen, and that it helps to spice up the book so to speak, a lot more as than when there's a lack of romance.
Kevin: I think it also makes it a little more realistic. You can't expect these people to go through their lives without relationships. They are not immune to the effects.
Ben: And we've started to see hormones run wild as these kids start to mature and it is quite a different change and it has really been nice.
Ben: Now that we've discussed the lighter topic, there was a major death that upset quite a few people in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince...
[Kevin cries, or so we think]
Ben: It's okay Kevin. Which was the death...
Andrew: It's not him. [Laughs] Kevin is a crybaby.
Kevin: Oh yeah.
Ben: ...which was the death of Albus Dumbledore. And there was a recent website that was released if you guys want to take a look at it, it is www.dumbledoreisnotdead.com, where they support...where they try to make a front...where they prove Dumbledore really is not dead. And Snape was acting on Dumbledore's orders, and he really didn't actually cast the Killing Curse. What do you think, Andrew?
Andrew: First of all, I think the site is very convincing and they have a lot of good reasoning behind everything that they put into here, and I was just going to go look at it now.
Ben: I think that one of their most convincing points about it is that how in this book they stressed the spells where you don't have to actually say it out loud, nonverbal spells. Couldn't Snape be saying Avada Kedavra, but at the same time be saying some other fake spell in his head that caused Dumbledore to shoot up like that. Another thing is, in all the other books when we've seen a major character or just any character be killed by the Killing Curse, they don't get shot fifty feet in the air like Dumbledore was. They just normally...what happens is they just collapse and they die. So there really are some things that are kind of different about it. And the thing about this site is that even if it didn't convince me that Dumbledore really isn't dead, in the end it helped convince me that Snape isn't Voldemort's pet, he's really on the good side. Which is really up to anybody's opinion, but I still think the evidence is there.
Ben: Go ahead.
Andrew: ...at the end when he was running away from the Hogwarts grounds with Draco everyone was very angry at Snape.
Kevin: Oh, of course.
Andrew: He was trying to avoid...
Ben: Right. See, do you notice how Snape didn't do anything to Harry and he said he's the Dark Lord's? He tells everyone to go. I didn't understand why he couldn't have captured Harry and taken Harry to the Dark Lord. Why would he have to wait around wait for Harry and the Dark Lord to meet on their own?
Kevin: It's not only that...
Andrew: Are you talking about Snape?
Ben and Kevin: Yeah.
Kevin: It's not only that. I think that the main reason a lot of people think Snape is still good is that it's out of character for Dumbledore to be begging for his life.
Ben: Or just begging Snape in the first place.
Kevin: Yeah, exactly.
Ben: And at that website, www.dumbledoreisnotdead.com really made an interesting point. I believe it was in the 1st Book that Dumbledore tells Harry "to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure". And if this were case why would someone who is so intrigued and interested by death be pleading for his life?
Kevin: Exactly, but at the same time I really do think that Dumbledore is dead, just for the reason that JKR said clearly in her interview with Emerson and Melissa that it had to come.
Ben: Right, I agree with you that Dumbledore...
Andrew: It was a perfect setup for Book 7.
Kevin: Exactly. And not to mischaracterize him, but he was sort of the crutch that Harry was leaning on.
Kevin: Exactly. Now Harry is on his own, and it sets it up perfectly for what Harry has to do.
Andrew: But I think the reason he was pleading for his life was because he was caught off guard, he didn't see Snape as a predator. He probably should have paid attention to Harry more.
Ben: Right, but there are two sides to that. There's one way...if you look at it one way, Hagrid says he overhears Snape and Dumbledore talking, and Snape says that he doesn't want to do it anymore. Which really raises a flag in my mind. Dumbledore made Snape promise to go through with the plan and to kill him if he had to, so when Snape comes out and gives Dumbledore the disgusted look like it says in the book, it's not that he's disgusted at Dumbledore, that he hates this man so much, it's that he's disgusted with himself with what he's about to do. And when Dumbledore says, "Severus, please" it's not "Severus please don't kill me", it's "Severus, please finish me off. Go through with the plan. Your position is far too vital to jeopardize". You see what I am saying? It was necessary. Absolutely necessary.
Kevin: Dumbledore understood that in the end Harry has to be the one who kills Voldemort. It's stated in the prophecy and he stated clearly that neither of them had to follow it, but they both were, and another thing...
Andrew: Oh, go ahead...
Kevin: It's clear that he has to kill Voldemort, and I think that because Snape is on the inside and because Snape is powerful with Occlumency, just because of his position, he's too vital to spare. And Dumbledore is sitting on the sidelines while all this stuff is going on. I am sure he realized what he had to do.
Andrew: Another thing that is interesting...or the question is...we saw Dumbledore died and when Harry went back into his office, Dumbledore's picture was above his desk and he was sleeping. Now, is Harry going to be able to have any communication with the portrait because the portraits can talk, but can they offer the same information when they're dead?
Ben: Kevin and I discussed this before, and we basically came to the conclusion that it transfers their personality, but not all the information that they have.
Andrew: Oh, okay.
Kevin: And she's hinted at that as well. The portraits that portrayed mean or evil people, tended to be evil. They didn't have any memories other than the memories they gained while being a portrait.
Andrew: JKR never really explained to us how that works.
Kevin: She really didn't. She really didn't.
Andrew: Do you think Harry...do you think he's going to try, because I would think he would at least try to approach the picture and see what happened?
Kevin: And not mention, why would somebody become a picture and not a ghost?
Ben: I think if the case was that...say, Harry's parents are dead...why couldn't he just have portraits made of them and talk to them? You see?
Ben: So I don't think it's really Dumbledore in the portrait, it's just a mirror of their personality. That makes the most sense because I don't see it very fitting that it transfers over and it is actually the person in the portrait.
Kevin: But at the same time that could be useful to Harry as well because Dumbledore seemed to be the person who focused Harry the most, and maybe just a glimpse of his personality will contribute to Harry in the 7th Book. That's what people have been hinting at.
Andrew: So is McGonagall going to take over for Dumbledore? If the school goes on?
Ben: If Hogwarts is open. They mentioned she is the newly appointed Headmistress. I think that if the school opens, it's going to be her. We're going to be missing a DADA teacher and a Transfiguration teacher.
Kevin: A lot of people brought that up to me in emails as well. McGonagall asks Harry what happened, and Harry refused to tell her. A lot of people thought that was strange.
Ben: He doesn't have the personal relationship with McGonagall.
Andrew: Harry said it was personal between himself and Dumbledore. He was probably too shaken up at that point too, and I also don't think Harry is not really going to ever explain it fully to anyone.
Ben: It is because he hasn't forged the relationship with McGonagall that he's had with Dumbledore over the past few years.
Andrew: Yeah, that's true.
Ben: He said he's still Dumbledore's man and that he's going to remain loyal to what Dumbledore was trying to do and how Dumbledore was trying to save the Wizarding World. So it's quite important that Harry continue to feed off the knowledge that Dumbledore gave and McGonagall is certainly not nearly as vital as Dumbledore was to Harry. It's really time for Harry to go out on his own.
Kevin: Yeah, definitely. One of the other things somebody brought up to me is the Pensieve. What happens with Dumbledore's memories?
Ben: I think the memories will still be there because I don't know why the memories would disappear. He's extracting the memories.
Kevin: Exactly. That's the thing that people were bringing up: Dumbledore knowing that he's going to do something vital and extremely dangerous. What would a man who knows that he's facing this huge danger put into something that could store his thoughts and his memories? They think that it is going to play a part in what Harry does because he may be able to access some of the memories that Dumbledore possibly left for him.
Ben: Pretty much overall, Book 6 was basically a twist in the series, another one of the many twists that JKR has continued to throw at us. And, I really do expect great things from Book 7.
Andrew: Everything is set up now.
Kevin: Yeah, it really is.
Ben: It's going to be sad to see the series end.
Kevin: It is. It is.
Ben: I don't understand how JKR can say that the book is going to be shorter than Order of the Phoenix when she has all these loose ends to tie in.
Andrew: Did she ever say it was going to be short?
Ben: She said that in the interview with Emerson and Melissa.
Kevin: She said specifically, and I agree with her fully...it is as long as it has to be.
Kevin: You don't write for length, you write a book for content. After you're done writing the book, you look at it and go "Wow! This stretched this many pages!" You don't write the book specifically to fill up pages. So I think JKR is going to make it as long as she needs to make it. And in this case, she thinks as of now it may be shorter, but she really doesn't know.
Andrew: And she said she has to have a lot of time to say goodbye so there's going to be a lot of stuff like Ben said...loose ends.
Ben [Show Close]: And I guess this ends the pilot edition of MuggleCast. If you have any questions and or suggestions please visit MuggleCast for all our contact information. Also, you can see all the information to subscribe to this feed, how to access us through iTunes, and see our show notes. Tentatively next week we plan on discussing the fourth movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire more in-depth. So I guess, I'm Ben Schoen.
Andrew: I'm Andrew Sims.
Kevin: And I'm Kevin Steck.
Ben: Thanks for listening everybody and we'll hopefully see you all next week.
Andrew: That's all.
[Fake horn sounds]
Posted by: Micah