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MuggleCast 218 Transcript



Show Intro


["Hedwig's Theme" plays]

Andrew: Because it's a new year, this is MuggleCast Episode 218 for January 9th, 2011.

[Show music begins]

Andrew: This week's episode of MuggleCast is brought to you by Audible.com, the internet's leading provider of audiobooks with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including fiction, non-fiction and periodicals. For a free audiobook of your choice, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.

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[Show music continues]

Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 218! It's the first show of the new year. It's a pleasure to continue podcasting with you all through the year 2011.

Eric: Ooh.

Andrew: And we have lots of news and little side notes to kick off the new year. Micah and I discussed a slightly different intro to the show, one that sort of gets us into the show faster. So, you'll notice there is no longer the typical music and the drum stuff and all that, so come to think of it, I don't even know how to intro everyone because in years past we've always done, "I'm Andrew Sims. I'm Eric Scull. I'm Micah Tannenbaum. I'm Richard Reid." But now, there's really no place to do that, so...

Eric: Huh.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: I can't wait to hear this. Is there still David Heyman?

Andrew: No, got rid of him.

Eric: Wow.

Andrew: Got rid of him.

Eric: Yeah?

Andrew: Goodbye.

Eric: His license expired, right?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: We can no longer use his voice.

Richard: His time has come.

Andrew: He told us we can only use it for a year and then we've got to get rid of it.

Micah: Yeah, after 2010 it's no good anymore.

Andrew: Well no, you know what I realized? For the longest time we had Jim Dale and David Heyman over top that beautiful guitar "Hedwig's Theme," and I listened to it yesterday for the first time in a while without a crappy phone voice talking over it...

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: ...and it sounds so beautiful! And I'm, like, "We've been wasting this beautiful intro!" [laughs]

Micah: Well, Andrew, I'm sorry we couldn't get David Heyman to use QuickTime during the interview...

[Eric laughs]

Micah: ...so that it sounded a little bit better.

Andrew: That's okay. It would have sounded better, but it's okay, now everybody gets to hear that beautiful guitar intro completely uncovered. And it really is beautiful, I hope - listen to it again and really appreciate the depth in your ear.

Eric: So, MuggleCast is now in high def audio, right?

Andrew: Sort of, yeah.

Eric: Remastered?

Andrew: Yeah, that was another goal of the new intro, is to make sure it sounds pretty good. Yeah, so - well, let's just start it this way. I'm Andrew Sims.

Eric: [laughs] Wait a minute, you said we weren't going to do this.

Andrew: No, we will, but then we'll have...

Eric: All right.

Andrew: There just won't be any music.

Eric: I'm skeptical Eric Scull.

Micah: I'm Micah Tannenbaum.

Richard: And I'm Richard Reid!

Andrew: Micah Tannenbaum - see, that was easy. Micah Tannenbaum, what's in the news? [laughs]



News: Wizarding World Sold Over One Million Butterbeers


Micah: We're going to start off the new year with some Butterbeer.

Andrew: Oh!

Eric: Yeah!

Micah: It's the right way to start off the new year. Maybe a little bit of something extra in there if you're 21 years of age or older.

Eric: [laughs] Let me get my mug.

Micah: But Universal Orlando has announced that they have sold over one million Butterbeers in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. It's a milestone, they took a picture. One thousand lucky guests were holding up their free Butterbeers. They were there on the day that this was announced, and it just goes to show you - we talked, obviously, last year about the number of people that have come through the theme park, but now we're seeing on the merchandise side, the vendor side, that they're still going pretty strong. One million is a lot of Butterbeers.

Andrew: I've got to say, the picture was really cute. Everybody holding up their Butterbeers and the person at the front was wearing a scarf, a Gryffindor scarf.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: And everybody looks so happy.

Micah: They probably gave that to him.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: [laughs] Yeah, they're, like, "Here, wear this, make this look vaguely Harry Potter." Well, it just shows - at any given time there were a thousand people in the park for them to take a picture of - holding Butterbeer. It's crazy.

Andrew: Yeah. Well, and there was a new article in the New York Times today mentioning that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is putting pressure on Disney World, which a lot of people knew already but it was nice to see a New York Times full-blown article on it. It was a two-page article in the Sunday paper, so give that a quick read. It's not - there's nothing new that was revealed, that's why we haven't posted it on MuggleNet yet, but pretty good to see.



News: Plagiarism Lawsuit Against Scholastic Dismissed


Micah: Yeah. And next piece of news: Scholastic released an official statement earlier this week, saying that the court dismissed the plagiarism lawsuit against them. If you remember back in July of last year, the estate of British author Adrian Jacobs was suing Scholastic, claiming that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was, "substantially similar to Jacobs' 1987 book, The Adventures of Willy the Wizard." And so the judge ruled in the court earlier this week and said that, basically, there is no comparison...

Andrew: It's B.S.

Micah: ...and - yeah, as you just said, it's a bunch of B.S.

Eric: Well...

Andrew: That's great to see...

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: ...that it didn't have to go any further, that the judge knew this was nonsense.

Micah: And I was interested in Judge Sheindlin. I'm wondering if that's - did Judge Judy rule in this case?

Andrew: I don't get it. What do you mean? [laughs]

Micah: That's her last name.

Andrew: Oh, really?

Eric: Oh, that's her last - [laughs] Micah, I'm pleased that you know that.

Andrew: So, maybe you're saying we'll see this on a case on an episode of Judge Judy someday.

Eric: [laughs] Judge Judy.

Micah: We might see it, yeah!

Eric: [in deep announcer voice] "Today, on Judge Judy!" [normal voice] [laughs] Oh, I love it. I love it. And she'll just be, like, "No. No, no, no. There's no - there's no - no. No."

[Micah laughs]

Eric: "It's not going to - no, no, snap your mouth, snap your mouth! Don't talk!"

[Richard laughs]

Eric: "Don't talk, you'll be in contempt! You'll be in contempt! No. No, no, no. Stop. There is nothing..."

Andrew: What else is going on, Micah?

Eric: "There is no excuse for that!"

[Micah laughs]

Eric: "No excuse whatsoever!"

Micah: Eric is just going to keep going all show, I have a feeling...

[Richard laughs]



News: Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Shortlisted for Visual Effects Academy Award


Micah: Let's talk a little bit about Deathly Hallows. Part 1 was shortlisted in Visual Effects at the 2011 Academy Awards. This is the first, I think, that we're hearing about any sort of award nomination for the Oscars for Deathly Hallows. We had a little bit of a discussion towards the end of last year about the movie as a whole possibly being nominated, as it's the second-to-last film. Not a surprise in Visual Effects, I don't think.

Andrew: No. And frankly, I find this whole shortlisting, long-listing thing very annoying because there's about a million announcements just for this one category, so now we have to wait for another round of eliminations to happen on January 20th and if the movie is in that - if the movie makes that cut - then it will be in the Academy Awards. So...

Eric: To be nominated, yeah.

Andrew: It will be nominated, right.

Micah: Well, just for a second here, what scenes do you think stand out that would possibly help it win in Visual Effects?

Andrew: I would say the Seven Potters scene because the way they talked that one up - I remember Dan on the set talking very passionately about that. I can't remember how many takes, I want to say it was close to a hundred takes for that scene because he had to shoot - he personally had to shoot that scene close to a hundred times, I think, because he was in the scene seven times.

Eric: As each person.

Andrew: Right. So, I would say that one's a standout.

Eric: That's good.

Andrew: Any others?

Eric: And Micah, you asked what scenes. I think the cut scenes where they Apparate - the Apparition effect was really cool to me, but maybe that's too short to nominate.

Andrew: Yeah, but I don't think they nominate - I don't know if they do it for particular scenes. I think they just do it for the visual overall - if the visual effects mesh well with the real-life action taking place onscreen.

Eric: So...

Andrew: If it feels like a very natural combination.

Micah: Now, are Dobby and Kreacher considered visual effects...

Andrew: Oh yeah!

Micah: ...or do they fall into another category?

Andrew: Oh yeah. Micah, I have news for you: Dobby is not real. I'm sorry.

Micah: Oh.

Andrew: So, he would be visual effects.

Before we continue with today's episode, we'd like to remind everyone that today's episode is brought to you by Squarespace.com, the fast and easy way to create and manage a high-quality website or blog. Create a website that's uniquely you, to display your photos from Flickr, a blog you've been thinking about starting, or the tweets and RSS feeds you like the most, all in the design and colors of your choice. Whatever you want to communicate, you can say it easily and with style with Squarespace. They also have an iPhone app, which makes it easy to update your site while you're on the go, so your website is constantly updated no matter where you are. The best part is you can try it today for free. Visit Squarespace.com and sign up for their free trial. Then choose a design template to get started. No credit card needed. Just give it a try to build your website. Then, if you decide to purchase, enter code "Muggle" to receive 10% off for six months. That's Squarespace.com, offer code "Muggle". We thank Squarespace for their support.



News: Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Box Office Results


Micah: Well, keeping on the movie theme, Deathly Hallows: Part 1 eclipsed the $900 million mark. It passed Chamber of Secrets and Goblet of Fire. It currently has grossed $902 million worldwide, that number will probably go up after this show is released as the numbers get put out there over this weekend. And next on the list for it to surpass is Jurassic Park, which is at number fifteen with $914.7 million. So, a little bit of a ways to go between $902 million and $915 million.

Eric: Man, I don't know, Jurassic Park is such a classic. I feel like somebody had to say that.

Micah: Well, once you get into the top fifteen I think most of them are classics, aren't they?

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Well...

Andrew: Side note, Jurassic Park composed by - the score composed by John Williams. I feel like if John Williams was the composer - he has a certain group of diehard followers that would go see the film just to hear his music.

Micah: Oh, is that how you think it works?

Andrew: So - well...

Eric: Well...

Andrew: I mean, that would help us get past Jurassic Park.

Eric: Yeah. What I like about this news story is that we posted a news story on MuggleNet a couple weeks ago when it was about $8 million behind Chamber of Secrets, I think? And I think it was Micah that posted it and you were just, like, "Only $8 million more to go and it will surpass Chamber of Secrets," and now it did! So, that's wonderful.

Andrew: [laughs] Yes, it did.

Eric: We're keeping track of this. I love this.

Andrew: Micah is...

Micah: Take a look - oh sorry, go ahead.

Andrew: See, Micah is a number guy. He loves watching the movie go up the list, I can tell. He's made, like, a million news posts about it.

Micah: Yeah. [laughs] Well, if you look at the news posts that I like to put out there are usually - like you said, they are numbers based. So, anything that is business or financially related, I always like to post those stories. But just kind of looking ahead in terms of what's in front of it from Harry Potter, Half-Blood Prince is at number eleven, Order of the Phoenix is at ten, and Sorcerer's Stone is at number eight. So, a chance to crack the top ten, maybe? I don't know. It's going to be hard for it to do it, I think.

Richard: Do you think Part 2 will be the most successful one of the lot?

Andrew: I really think - in terms of midnight sales, I think it will be.

Eric: Until Breaking Dawn: Part 1.

Andrew: Well, Warner Bros. really has to push the finale onto people who aren't diehard fans. I think people are going to be really curious just to see the ending, whether you're a fan or not. So, yes, I think it does have a good chance to be the top grossing Harry Potter film.

Richard: I don't know because if you've read the books you were waiting to see if Harry was going to die or not. But that hasn't really been played up so much in the films as it was in the books with the prophecy and everything, so I don't think there's as much suspense for that last end of the movie as there was for the books.

Andrew: Well, don't you think they will play up that death thing? Because look at that Part 1/Part 2 trailer that was released last year when Harry's walking towards Voldemort and...

Micah: Yeah, absolutely.

Andrew: ...Voldemort says, "Harry Potter, come to die."

Micah: Yeah, I think it would be a good idea for them to create a trailer which is kind of a, "Who will live? Who will die?" type of trailer for the people, as you said, who haven't seen the movies yet.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: You do those little flashes of the individual characters and basically you're asking people to come to the film to see who is going to make it through to the end. And if they show enough, I think, action in those trailers, too, it's going to draw a pretty good crowd. And I think it has a chance, really, to be the highest grossing film of all time. I mean, it's got a summer release, you're going to have more people out there, you're not going to have the issue of it not being put into 3D. I think that hurt sales for Part 1 because just from a ticket-price standpoint, they didn't have the revenue from that.

Andrew: That's true, that's very true.

Micah: So, I think it can, most likely, give Titanic and Avatar a run. I think it's going to be up there.

Andrew: Quite a few films and studios these days rely on the 3D profitability...

Eric: Because the...

Andrew: ...just to boost their ticket numbers. So, a Part 2 - 3D? Oh man, [laughs] I really can't even imagine. Plus, ticket inflation. By summer, ticket prices...

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: ...are going to be up another five bucks anyway.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: And the thing with Avatar, though - wasn't Avatar re-released?

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: Or am I wrong about that?

Andrew: Yes, it was.

Micah: Yeah, so that probably helped a little bit.

Andrew: And by the way, I think there's already rumors of Part 1 being re-released in 3D, right? So, by the time that happens...

Eric: I don't know how I feel about that.

Andrew: ...I think that will help push it up a couple of more spots in the top grossing films.

Eric: Sure.

Richard: I definitely wouldn't go to see it again just because it's in 3D though.

Andrew: Me neither, I agree. But what about right before Part 2?

Richard: No, I still wouldn't.

Eric: Wouldn't? No. Okay.

Richard: I don't think 3D adds anything to the film.

Andrew: I kind of want to see Part 1 again right before Part 2, but that is a long time to sit in a theater.

We'd like to take a quick break to remind you that this podcast is brought to you by Audible.com, the internet's leading provider of audiobooks, with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature and featuring audio versions of many New York Times bestsellers. For listeners of this podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their service. One audiobook to consider is Mockingjay, the third and final book in the amazing Hunger Games trilogy that every host on this show has read and loved. Be sure to check out the first two books as well: The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. You can get any one of those for free by visiting AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. Again, that's AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. We thank Audible for their support of MuggleCast.



News: Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Casting


Andrew: All right. Micah, what else is going on?

Micah: Well, a bit of casting news, Scorpius as well as young Severus Snape - obviously they weren't cast recently, but they were - the roles were announced, who was going to be playing them. And I know on an episode not too long ago somebody had written in asking had they cast young Severus Snape, and they were looking forward to that, "The Prince's Tale" scene. And we know that Benedict Clarke, fourteen-year-old Benedict Clarke will play the role of young Snape. Keeping along the lines of casting, in a new interview, Ciar·n Hinds - did I say that right, Richard?

Richard: Ciar·n?

Micah: Ciar·n?

Andrew: Yeah, he works for MuggleNet, what about him?

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: Because he came to life the other day actually. He...

Andrew: He did.

Micah: Anyway, he will, of course, be playing Aberforth in Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and he talked a little bit about what we can expect from his role. He said, "My scene was a four-page exposition about Albus Dumbledore's childhood and how he's not all he said he was. It's that hole in the film that needs to be filled." He also referred to his part as a "blink-and-you'll-miss-it role." And I know this caused a lot of reaction because they said, "Well, how can it be a 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it role' if he's got a four-page exposition?"

Andrew: [laughs] Right. Well...

Eric: Does he mean that there is...

Micah: Maybe it's not all his dialogue.

Eric: ...that much action, or what? Because it's right before everybody goes to Hogwarts, and there's so much emotion and action then? And it's like - is that why? Because it seems contradictory.

Andrew: It is a bit worrying because we do see a good bit of him with the secret passageway, so hopefully this is not the only scene he's in, this four-page exposition.

Eric: But that's what he said.

Andrew: Well - but maybe he's lying. Oh well.

Eric: [laughs] But just like before though - just like Deathly Hallows: Part 1 or any of these movies, that much dialogue if treated properly, which I rely on Yates to do that as he has done successfully with every other short scene, like for instance, even the Xenophilius Lovegood scene wasn't that long and Rhys Ifans does a great job. I just think it will matter and it will be less of a "blink-and-you'll-miss-it role." These Brits are so cynical, I swear.

Andrew: Well, when he said that, it immediately reminded me of that scene - what was it, in Prisoner or Goblet when you see him walking past the goat or something?

Eric: [laughs] Order of the Phoenix.

Andrew: Order of the Phoenix. That's a "blink and you'll miss it." [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, that's a "blink-and-you'll-miss-it role." "Come here, Gildy."

Andrew: So, hopefully it's not as short as that.

Eric: And the goat walks off. That was great.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.

Micah: Well, what this does do, I think, is it lets you know, for a lot of people who are questioning why so much of Dumbledore's backstory was left out of the first part, that at least you will get some explanation to it and that's how they're going to explain it in Part 2.

Eric: That was what satisfied me, that that plot thread officially hadn't been dropped, where it's not just an interesting question to raise in Movie 1, they're actually going to be revisiting it.



News: Deathly Hallows No Longer Top Selling Product on Amazon.com


Micah: All right. Well, now from the movie to the book, Deathly Hallows lost its spot as the top selling product in Amazon history. This was back on December 27th. The Kindle...

Andrew: Nooo!

Eric: Hang on, says - Micah, says Amazon. Says Amazon!

Micah: Of course it's Amazon, they want their product to be the top-selling device of all time. Why...

Eric: Exactly.

Micah: You don't see any problem with that? You don't see any...

Andrew: Well, what do you think, they're lying?

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Andrew: I mean, look, the book was released three years ago. It sold like crazy...

Micah: Of course.

Andrew: ...for the first year, probably. And then the Kindle came out I guess probably a year after the book was released, and Amazon has been selling Kindles like crazy. This is no surprise that...

Micah: Do you have a Kindle, Andrew?

Andrew: ...the Kindle - I did at one point.

Micah: So, you contributed to the downfall of Deathly Hallows.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: [laughs] Wow. Wow, Micah. Tone it down.

Andrew: Nooo!

Eric: Tone it down, Micah.

Richard: On the same topic, when will the damn Harry Potter books appear in an e-book format? Because I'm sick of waiting.

Andrew: Well, why don't you go and knock on your neighbor's door, and ask her? Because she's the one holding it back.

Micah: Yeah, you're not snowed in anymore. You don't have an excuse.

Richard: Well, I would, but a court order says I mustn't.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Micah: So, that means you've tried before.

Richard: [laugh] I'm not going to go into any detail.

Andrew: Well, that's a good question. They've been - I remember there was an article, what about a year ago? What was it? What's her publishing company again?

Richard: Bloomsbury.

Andrew: Not Bloomsbury, no, no. Christopher Little Agency said that they are looking into these new technologies.

Richard: Yeah, apparently Jo was considering it.

Andrew: Yeah, right. So, hopefully soon.

Micah: A lot of people were upset, though. I mean, I saw a couple of e-mails that we got that they had gotten a Kindle over the holidays, and they were looking to download the Potter books and they weren't able to do it.

Richard: Yeah, I would download all of them just to have them on. I have an iPad, but I mean, still.

Andrew: Yeah, and you know what gets me about that is people are resorting to illegally obtaining the books for their e-readers now...

Eric: Well...

Andrew: ...because they still want it and they will still search for it.

Eric: Well, that's...

Andrew: And most people know how to illegally obtain them.

Eric: Well, that's no reason to do it - officially, not really. And how would they improve their accessibility? If they moved it to the Kindle, would more people read it? Because...

Richard: I think so. I wouldn't be surprised if it reclaimed the top spot if it did.

Andrew: Yeah. I mean, look how big the Harry Potter books are. I'm sure there's a group of people who look at the size of the books and are, like, "I don't want to carry that around." People who do - Kindles are very popular with people who travel because they're so small, you can load all your books on them, you can download new books whenever you want, wherever you are. That's a perfect example of a giant-sized book that would do great on the Kindle because you don't have to carry it around. I know that sounds kind of lazy but...

Eric: No, no, that actually...

Andrew: ...people do think that way...

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: ...in the age of the digital e-reader.

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: Okay, I get that. I get that.

Richard: When I got mine, the very first book I searched for was Harry Potter, and it was so disappointing when they don't appear.

Andrew: And let's be honest, we all have, like, ten copies of each book anyway, so...

[Micah laughs]

Eric: It's true, it's true.

Andrew: ...we definitely - I believe Richard when he says he would buy them for Kindle and I would buy the one - I would buy Goblet of Fire since we're doing Chapter-by-Chapter for it.

Micah: And J.K. Rowling - I mean, she's just killing trees by not...

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Wow.

Micah: ...moving over to e-books. She's not being...

Andrew: Tree killer!

Micah: ...green.

Eric: Maybe that's why they withheld doing a Christmas tree at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park.

[Richard laughs]

Eric: She was, like, "That's the one tree I'll save."

Andrew: Right.

Eric: You know how Obama saves turkeys?

Richard: [laughs] Yeah, she's killed too many so far.

Eric: He pardons...

Andrew: He pardons, yeah.

Eric: ...two turkeys. Yeah, she pardoned a tree from being used for Harry Potter this year - last year.

Andrew: That's sweet. Anything else, Micah?



News: Desplat To Begin Composing For Deathly Hallows: Part 2


Micah: Well, there's just one other piece of news related to Deathly Hallows that wasn't in here, but Alexandre Desplat said that he is about to begin composing Part 2 in a recent interview with The Guardian. And I guess that's exciting because it means that the movie is more or less wrapped up. No more...

Andrew: In terms of editing.

Micah: Yeah, no more need for epilogues to be reshot or anything else like that.

Andrew: Right, right. Cool, that's good news.



Eric's Invitation to Movie Screening


Eric: Oh guys, I've got to tell you, I got an e-mail the other day from MovieTickets.com. [laughs] It says...

Andrew: Uh oh. They're not inviting you to another screening.

Eric: ..."Please attend a screening," and...

Andrew: Are you serious?

Eric: Yeah, yeah. Well, okay, so I was in my vehicle. It was parked. I wasn't driving and I got an e-mail on my phone, and looked it up and I was, like, "Oh my God." So, I got on a computer later on and I downloaded the PDF where you have to...

Andrew: Sign an agreement.

Eric: ...sign in. Yeah, but it told me that it was actually The Dilemma, the new Ron Howard film with Vince Vaughn and Kevin James.

Andrew: Mmm.

Eric: And it said right on the ticket, so I was, like - there was a moment there where I was, like, "Oh no, not again."

Andrew: Well, you saw Part 1 in what, August or September?

Eric: It was about - yeah, I think three months, so it's a little too early yet if they're going to...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: I forget what the - with Half-Blood Prince - what the timing was, but I feel like there still will be a screening in Chicago, and I'm probably going to miss it and that's fine. But it's gearing up.

Andrew: Why, because you couldn't possibly see three films three months early?

Eric: No!

Andrew: Or will you not be in town in March or April?

Eric: Oh, no, I'll be in town. But I'm just...

Andrew: Oh.

Eric: Well, maybe not because I want to go see Dan on Broadway. It might be that week. [laughs]

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: You see, I'm paralyzed. But what I'm saying is it got me reminded that there's a new film coming out and...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: ...it will be exciting.

Andrew: Well, we - I hope you get to see it early because it's always an exciting time when a big audience gets to see the film so early and everyone seems to be so happy with it. [laughs] So...

Eric: Yeah, and we get the reports. But...

Andrew: Right.

Eric: ...also, it's just something you wouldn't get to see otherwise, is the special effects not being complete. I'm really waiting for a documentary on, for instance, twelve-year-old Dan Radcliffe acting with a tennis ball. I want to see that. And that hasn't been in any of the extended editions, has it? On the...

Andrew: Actually, yeah - no, I think the - we've seen the tennis ball on a stick for the house-elf, I think they've showed that once or twice.

Eric: Oh, cool! Okay.

Andrew: Well, it wasn't a tennis ball, it was something a little bit bigger.

Eric: Oh, I see. Okay.



Chapter-by-Chapter: "The Hungarian Horntail"


Andrew: I don't know where exactly, but - yeah. Anyway, so that's all for the news. Let's now get into Chapter-by-Chapter, we haven't done this for a while, probably close to two months. In case you forget, we're about - oh, I don't know. We're about halfway through Goblet of Fire now. On the last episode, we did Chapters 16, 17, and 18. On this episode, we're doing Chapters 19 and 20, and these chapters lead us into the beginning of the Triwizard Tournament.

First chapter, Chapter 19, "The Hungarian Horntail," opens with Harry agreeing to meet Sirius via fireplace, and Harry is kind of down in the dumps at this time because Rita Skeeter's article on Harry that was published in the Daily Prophet has no quotes actually said by Harry. And we're quickly getting an idea of how horrible of a reporter this woman is. Just to write a good story she'll make up anything just to enhance the story, sort of like a tabloid would do. And in the real world - I was thinking about this. In the real world, if someone were to be misquoted to this extreme, you could sue. You could sue them. Of course, we don't know how that would work within the Ministry of Magic and such, but it's definitely a big offense. And on top of this, Harry and Ron are still at odds, and Hermione tries to get them back together. Jo writes that Harry admits he liked Ron more than Hermione because they have a lot more fun together.

Eric: Haha!

Andrew: And I thought this spoke volumes about the difference in relationships here. There's a clear difference between the two friendships. Ron and Harry - and guys, correct me if you think I'm wrong or whatever. Ron and Harry's relationship is platonic, whereas I think Harry and Hermione's is a bit more casual. Would you agree with that, Eric?

Eric: I wouldn't necessarily say it's casual between Hermione and Harry because they really do rely on each other.

Andrew: But more casual than Ron and Harry. Would you say that Harry and Ron's relationship is platonic?

Eric: I would say that all three members of the trio are into each other, but I can see where Harry would feel that he has more fun with Ron. Hermione - the relationship with Hermione is more to keep him, I want to say, sane.

Andrew: In check? [laughs]

Eric: Well, keep him sane and always rethinking. And the same with Hermione and Ron, she keeps him in line. So, I think they might not resent that but they will certainly value, I think, the fun that they have with each other, perhaps more than - Hermione is the third wheel of the trio at this point.

Richard: But I would say that Ron and Harry need Hermione much more than she needs them.

Eric: That's probably very true. Although, she goes off and does S.P.E.W. without them, and they think she's kind of crazy. Maybe that's also why Harry feels this way because Hermione is kind of going off on one of her tangents at this point.

Micah: Yeah, I think part of it, too, is that for such a long time when Harry was growing up he didn't have any friends, so Ron is the real first friend he has had. And so to be separated from that, he wants to be with the person he has the most fun with. I mean, think about how old they are, too. They're relatively young and so I think again with Hermione, as it develops throughout the series it's more sister-like. And she's the one who's there to pick them up and keep them on point, and make sure that he's thinking the right way. So, and again, she's the more bookish character and you see Harry has more fun - it's like hanging out with the guys with Ron, if that makes sense.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: So, speaking of Hermione, she is vocal again. I think this is not the first time she's vocal about her dislike for Krum. Is this the first time, or did she previously in the book? Can anyone remember?

Eric: Well, when Ron is gawking over him at the Quidditch World Cup.

Andrew: Oh okay. All right. So...

Eric: So yeah, she is skeptical from the beginning.

Andrew: Okay. Yeah. So again, she denounces Krum and Hermione urges Harry to go with her to Hogsmeade to clear their minds because of all of this stuff going down with Ron and the bad Rita Skeeter article. Harry agrees but is still insecure about the Rita article, so he wears his invisibility cloak because people are making fun of him anywhere he goes, saying, "Oh, do you like Hermione? Ha ha ha." And so while they're at Hogsmeade, Hagrid and Moody enter the scene, and it's revealed that Moody can see through the Invisibility Cloak because of course, he points out Harry who is hiding under it. And Hagrid tells Harry to meet him at midnight at his hut.

So, Harry does show up with his invisibility cloak and without any explanation, Hagrid sort of walks him over to Maxime's carriage. And from - at this point, Hagrid hasn't really said anything to Harry other than "Shhh!" which - classic Hagrid where I don't think it's too well thought out, but hey, it worked out anyway because Harry did stay quiet. So, Hagrid leads Maxime and Harry to the four dragons, which the champions will be competing against. Harry's jaw drops at the sight of all this and he sees one of the people taking care of the dragons is Charlie Weasley. Now my question here is presumably Hagrid knew where the dragons were because he heads taking care of magical creatures, but did Dumbledore know Hagrid would tell Harry about the first task? Because it - could it be argued that Dumbledore let this happen to let Hagrid do the dirty work? Because it looks less bad if it's found out that Harry found out but oh, it was just Hagrid who led him to the dragons.

Eric: Well, wasn't it Moody who told Hagrid to tell Harry about the dragons? At least in the movie, that's what he says...

Richard: No, it was in the book as well.

Eric: ...because - yeah, because he takes credit for - for instance, giving Neville the book about the Gillyweed that Neville passed to Harry. It's actually Moody/Barty Crouch Jr. getting Harry - giving Harry the competitive edge.

Andrew: Oh right, because he does end up helping with every task.

Richard: Yeah.

Andrew: So...

Richard: If none of the contestants found out about the dragons, I just wonder, would they not all probably have died?

Eric: [laughs] It's - maybe that's one of the precautions they put in place.

Andrew: Well, that's another thing. Moody mentions later on in the next chapter that there is a lot of cheating going on and that cheating has always been a thing that happens in the Triwizard Tournament. So, it's...

Micah: Yeah, but on that I wondered if...

Richard: Maybe Dumbledore expected Harry and everyone to find out.

Micah: I always wondered if that was more Barty Crouch talking than Moody just to kind of make Harry feel a little bit more at ease about the cheating that was going on.

Andrew: Mmm. But I'm not surprised it's happening because look at Madame Maxime and Karkaroff telling their students, presumably, that they were facing dragons.

Eric: Well, especially with this - and in the books it does seem pretty - they seem pretty guilty that they just go and tell their charges, Karkaroff and Maxime are just flat out telling their champions. But I think with the next challenge, at least, they have the clue of the egg. And they have to unlock the clue of the egg, and so they're actually given the answer to what their next task is, whereas this time - and this is arguably the most dangerous because it's dragons, you need time to prepare for that.

Richard: Exactly.

Eric: You need to figure out how you're going to survive a dragon. And unlike the second challenge with the egg, there's really no way to prepare for it if you don't know what's going to happen. And it's not something you can just [laughs] weasel your way out of. I mean, even Harry had to really focus his mind on it.

Micah: Can I just go back to one thing that was brought up? Andrew, you brought it up just before with the Invisibility Cloak. I know Moody can see through them, but with this we now know to be a Deathly Hallow, how can Moody see through it?

Richard: Yeah, when Death couldn't but Moody can. [laughs]

Eric: Well, Death didn't have the crazy, goofy eye.

Richard: [laughs] Yeah.

[Andrew laughs]

Richard: If he did, then he'd have been a lot more efficient.

Micah: That must be it. [laughs]

Andrew: Well, that must be it, right? I mean, there is no other explanation.

Eric: Well, that's the only logical...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Unless...

Eric: So...

Andrew: I mean, unless Moody was there anyway. Or Moody was aware that Harry was with Hermione anyway...

Micah: That's possible.

Andrew: ...and he just assumed, "Oh, he must be wearing the cloak."

Richard: I think that's a plot hole.

Andrew: Well, I think...

Eric: Well, we've had Dumbledore and cats, like Mrs. Norris, kind of look at slash towards Harry while he's under the Invisibility Cloak. And I think with Dumbledore, it was probably sensing magic. He's probably got a Magic-o-meter where he's, like, "Oh, I can see that somebody else is in this room." Or maybe...

Richard: Yeah, after all, magic leaves traces.

Micah: Dumbledore was also in possession of one of the other Hallows.

Eric: Oh. Well, that Hallow in specificity and the ring. But he did have the Invisibility Cloak. He studied the Invisibility Cloak.

Micah: Well no, I'm saying, does one Hallow allow you to sense another? If he had the Elder Wand, maybe - like the scene in Chamber of Secrets when he comes into Hagrid's hut with Malfoy and Fudge, and he knows that Harry and Ron are hiding in the corner there, they're under the Invisibility Cloak. How does he know that?

Eric: Hmm.

Richard: I get the impression that...

Eric: Yeah.

Richard: ...throughout the series, Dumbledore has been watching Harry in sort of third person for quite a while. I can sort of imagine him...

Andrew: What do you mean, third person?

Richard: He's got some sort of security camera always pointed at Harry.

Andrew: Seriously?

[Eric and Richard laugh]

Richard: I mean, not in a creepy way.

Andrew: They don't have cameras. I just did a quick search on the HP Lexicon about Moody and his magical eye, and they just make note that it can see invisible things and through solid objects, including the back of his head. So - I mean, clearly he has one unique eye that Death did not - anyway, moving along, on Harry's way back to the castle he runs into Karkaroff, who Harry assumes is going to see the dragons for himself. He realizes this means the only person who won't know about the dragons will be Cedric. And this is kind of - it made me think that this kind of hints that Cedric will be having a lot of bad luck in this tournament, even though Harry does end up telling Cedric - being the Gryffindor that he is, ends up telling Cedric about the dragons. But in this case, Cedric was almost the one who was left out, [laughs] sort of like in the final task. While talking to Sirius back up in the Gryffindor common room, it's revealed that Karkaroff was a Death Eater and Sirius believes he put Harry's name in the Goblet. And Sirius goes on to suggest that Dumbledore brought Moody in to keep an eye on Karkaroff, since Moody was the one keeping an eye on him in Azkaban, Moody being the Auror that he was. And now, that made me think, if that's the case, this is a big hint that this Moody is not the real Moody because he's not doing his job. He got away, Karkaroff got away with putting his name in the Goblet, allegedly. And then also Karkaroff being able to run off and - to see what the first task was all about.

Eric: Well, this gets back to what we were talking about previously on Chapter-by-Chapter when we said, "Well, how can Dumbledore allow Harry to compete?" There's this talk about these rules being binding, it's a magical contract, dut-duh-dut-duh-da. But my - what I'm saying is that if Moody - you can play this off as - well, Moody just, per Dumbledore's request, laid off Karkaroff about this whole incident because Dumbledore didn't know what was going on. But the question is, doesn't Dumbledore want to know what's going on? And wouldn't Dumbledore be looking at Karkaroff even more intensely than Moody should be and is not? So, what's going on there, with - who - is it an active investigation, or are they just waiting it out?

Andrew: I agree with you, especially during this time when people are sort of getting the idea that Voldemort is back. When a red flag goes up like this, oh, Harry's name suddenly - not only is he in the Triwizard Tournament under the age but he's also the fourth one, there should definitely be some huge foul play here and it's - as a red flag. And it's ridiculous that Dumbledore even let this happen.

Eric: Shouldn't they cancel Hogwarts? So, I think...

Andrew: No.

Eric: ...Moody not going - well...

Andrew: Cancel Hogwarts? You're canceling the school?

Eric: They canceled Quidditch.

Andrew: Oh.

Eric: Well, I don't know. You can't cancel the tournament, "The rules are absolute." But yeah, I think Moody - the reason can be maybe Dumbledore just said, "Lay off Karkaroff, we don't think he did it that much," or otherwise he'd be gone.

Andrew: Right.

Richard: I don't think it would really mean that much considering that everyone is obviously cheating. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, this whole game seems pretty corrupt, at least this tournament, [laughs] so...

Richard: Basically, Harry could just go, "Yeah, I don't want that egg. Screw you, dragon. I'm just going to stay right here in my enclosure." And that's it, he just gets no points.

Eric: But then he would get no points. He would get no points. He would have no chance at that "eternal glory" cupcake.

Richard: But he's going to be safe!

Eric: But no cupcakes!

Richard: Maybe he's on a diet.

Eric: Maybe it's a soy vegan cupcake.

[Richard laughs]

Andrew: Sirius finally suggests that Voldemort may be in bed Karkaroff and this is all a plan to kill Harry. So, some very...

Eric: Who's in bed with who?

Andrew: Voldemort's in bed with Karkaroff.

Richard: Is this slash fan fiction?

Andrew: That's just a metaphor, it's not really - not literally. I don't mean that literally.

Eric: But he uses it, right?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: He says that? Okay.

Andrew: And so, after you hear all this information from Sirius, do you think - did anyone think - Micah, did you think, "Has Dumbledore considered any of this information yet? What is going through his head?" Like I just said, it's despicable that Dumbledore has been letting this go on.

Micah: Yeah, I think it goes back to what you just said [laughs] and just not really taking into consideration the enormous red flags that have been raised since this tournament began. And Karkaroff is a former Death Eater, but it also goes back to Dumbledore seeing the best in people. And Karkaroff has denounced Voldemort, he's gone on to head up Durmstrang, and supposedly has no more ties to the Death Eaters or anybody associated with Voldemort. So, I think it's another one of those situations where you look at the relationships and Dumbledore just being a trustworthy person and not wanting to think the worst in people.

Richard: I don't know. Actually, I think Dumbledore knew what was going on and let it happen deliberately. Dumbledore always said that he foresaw that Voldemort would come back, that he knew about the prophecy, he knew that it was going to come down to Harry and Voldemort. I suspect that he just realized that this was the natural play of events happening and he just hoped for the best. As you put down, Andrew, he's always intended for Harry to be a pig for slaughter, so I think that's exactly what he was doing and he knew that if Voldemort was to ever return with Harry's blood, then that would give Harry a weapon.

Eric: Hmm. Well, I think - I'm thinking of two things: one, Harry is just first hearing that Karkaroff was a Death Eater. Of course Harry is going to react strongly to that. He's going to be, like, "Oh my gosh, there's this ex-Death Eater that's right - living right next to me in the castle." Of course he's going to be freaked out about it because he's just finding out this information from Sirius. Meanwhile, the adults all already knew this and it kind of fits with Dumbledore's goal to a magical international cooperation where you kind of have to even work with your maybe former enemies and spirit of cooperation to actually get past this, and I think that that's, in a way, how Dumbledore feels. It's a good excuse to have Death Eaters running amuck in the castle - or ex-Death Eaters, I should say.

Richard: I doubt Dumbledore really suspected Karkaroff of much, given how cowardly he was at his trial.

Eric: Well, then there's the issue of Moody and how Dumbledore didn't look any closer at Moody. I mean, did Barty Crouch Jr. really pull off that good of an impersonation for a hundred and eighty days?

Richard: I suspect Dumbledore...

Eric: That's...

Richard: ...began to suspect more and more as term went on, and by - at the very end...

Eric: Right, and it just kind of...

Richard: ...he was - obviously he was convinced.

Andrew: So, Sirius is about to tell Harry a way to defeat the dragon and he says, "Oh, it's very simple." And - [laughs] but of course, perfect timing, Ron enters, and so Sirius and Harry panic, and Sirius disappears. Ron and Harry get in a tiff, and the chapter ends. Do you think Sirius was about to tell him to Accio something from outside of the stadium? Because...

Richard: No, he tells you what it was. It was the...

Andrew: What was it?

Richard: ...Conjunctivitis Curse - hex. The one...

Eric: Oh, when is it told?

Richard: It was told later in the book. Wasn't that what Sirius later said? "Oh, that's what I was going to suggest."

Eric: Oh.

Richard: The one...

Eric: Yeah, yeah it was.

Richard: ...when they were in the cave and they meet up later on.

Eric: Yeah.

Richard: It was the one that Fleur did.

Andrew: No, Krum.

Richard: Sorry, Krum did. Yeah.

Andrew: Krum did it.

Richard: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Richard: That's what Sirius was going to suggest.

Andrew: All right. Well, there is our answer, even though - I'm trying to remember. Well, we'll find out in the next chapter. I think - who got the - oh, Harry and - well, I won't spoil it. Go ahead, Micah.

Micah: Don't spoil it. [laughs]

Andrew: "The First Task." Give it to us. Chapter 20.

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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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