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

MuggleCast EP22 Transcript


Andrew: Hey everybody! This is Andrew. Before we get started with our New Year's special, let me tell you a little bit about our sponsor, GoDaddy. GoDaddy hosting plans are now more powerful than ever. Best of all, plans start at just $3.95 a month, and no matter what name you choose, your site receives 24/7 maintenance in the world class data center. I use them for my personal website, And although it is still under construction, I know that GoDaddy has some of the best, affordable hosting plans online. Use them for your upcoming website or podcast today by using the special offer from MuggleCast and GoDaddy. Enter code "Muggle," that's M-U-G-G-L-E when you check out and save an additional 10% on any order. Get your piece of the Internet today at

[Show begins with "Auld Lang Syne" performed by Bruce Springsteen]

Andrew [Show Intro with music in background]: This is MuggleCast - Episode 22 for January 01st, 2006.

Hello, everyone! And welcome to the show. This is the place where we bring you the latest in Harry Potter news, theories, discussions, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I am Andrew Sims.

Ben: I am Ben Schoen.

Eric: Happy New Year! I'm Eric Scull.

Kevin: I'm Kevin Steck.

Laura: I'm Laura Thompson.

Micah: And I'm Micah Tannenbaum.

Andrew: And before we go anywhere else, first let's have Micah update us on the past week's top Harry Potter news stories.


Micah: Thanks, Andrew. A lot of end of the year awards here for the boy wizard.

Harry Potter came in at #9 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the Top Entertainers of 2005 and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince grabbed the #7 spot on the list of the Top 10 Fiction Books over the past year.

The book also grabbed number eight on USA Today's list of the Top 10 books of 2005 and came in first in a USA Today poll voted on by the fans to choose their favorite book of the year.

BlogPulse has released their end-of-year lists for 2005 and Harry Potter topped the charts in the category of Most Blogged Person, placing ahead of Britney Spears and President Bush. The book cover for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was named Top Image and the Goblet of Fire trailer came in fourth for Top Video.

Through January 1st, works of US Potter book illustrator Mary GrandPre will be exhibited in the ArtInsights Gallery in Leesburg, Virginia. The gallery will donate some of the money from sales of GrandPre's artwork to the First Star charity.

Wrapping it up, just in time for the holidays, J.K. Rowling has updated her official site and it seems she's been extremely busy. The Harry Potter author has made changes to the Rumour Section and Rubbish Bin, as well as added a brand-new F.A.Q. Poll. Be sure to read her new diary on the main page as well as she has promised to update it almost daily as she begins writing the final book over the course of the upcoming year.

That's all the news for this January 01, 2006 edition of MuggleCast. Have a Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

Andrew: So, welcome everyone to our New Year's Special and...

Ben: We're the first podcast of 2006. Wooo!

[Somebody Owwws!]

Andrew: I hope so. I hope we are. That's what we aim for. So, welcome.

Kevin: Yeah, but when are we aiming for it? Eastern time? GMT?

Andrew: I'm going to release this 12:01 AM EST.

Kevin: See, we should do...

Andrew: We're going to be the first American-released podcast of 2006.

Kevin: Oh, okay. I was going to say we should do it for the first time zone that hits 12:01.

Eric: Which is New Zealand.

Andrew: That would be kind of hard. So...

Kevin: I don't think so.

Eric: That's sixteen hours. So, we'd have to do it...

Andrew: I can't think that far ahead.

But anyway...So this is our New Year's show. We had planned on having Jamie here, but he has something to do. Yeah, he was supposed to be on up until an hour-and-a-half ago. But, that's okay because we have another full house of people. This week, Micah taking his place. So, we're going to...we have a lot of New Year's stuff to talk about. Ummm...

Kevin: Lost the train of thought. [laughs]

Andrew: First off... [laughs] Well, I was just trying to think what we were going to do first.

[Kevin laughs]

Ben's Weekly Top 10

Andrew: First off, it's a New Year's Special of Ben's Top 10 List.

Ben: [In deep voice] Thanks, Andrew. This week's list is Snape's Top 10 New Year's Resolutions.

No. 10 - Get over his childhood grudges.

No. 9 - Find a girlfriend.

No. 8 - Wash his hair.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: No. 7 - Decide on his true affiliation.

No. 6 - Get a nose job.

Andrew: Oooh!

Ben: No. 5 - Use Clearasil for his greasy face.

No. 4 - Kiss and make up with Harry.

No. 3 - Eric.

Andrew: What?

Eric: What?

[All laugh]

No. 2 - Put a flower on Dumbledore's grave.

And Snape's No. 1 New Year's Resolution is to get a tan.

Andrew: Da da da da da.

Ben: And some of you may think, "Well, these don't sound very realistic." But we all know most New Year's resolutions don't come true.

Andrew: We can all hope.

Ben: So...Eric?

New Year's Resolutions

Andrew: Yeah. And speaking of New Year's resolutions, should we go over ours now?

This is a time to celebrate. This is a time to back off of the regular MuggleCast for a minute. What are our New Year's resolutions?

[Somebody mocks Andrew saying "New Year's resolutions"]

Ben: MuggleCast resolutions or ours?

Andrew: Well, I have a MuggleCast News... New Year's Revo... [laughs] Resolution.

Kevin: How many times can you say it? Come on.

[Kevin and Eric laugh]

Andrew: I can't. That's the problem.

Eric: News Year. News Year.

Ben: What is it Andrew?

Andrew: Well, let's go around the table. I'll start. My New Year's resolution is to have by the end of 2006, 100,000 MuggleCast subscribers. Is that so hard to ask?

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: I don't think so.

Ben: I don't know about that one.

Eric: No. There's 6.5 billion people in the world. So...

Andrew: Well, we're almost there.

Eric: We're almost there. We're at what? 7?

Ben: Okay, my New Year's resolution...

Andrew: Something like that.

Ben: ...well, first of all, is to stop eating so much Sonic.

[All laugh]

Laura: Awww.

Andrew: Why, Ben?

Eric: Ben, trying to cut back. Trying to cut back.

Ben: Because, it's not good for my heart.

[Kevin laughs]

Ben: My second New Year's resolution is to meet Emma Watson. Okay. Go. You, Kevin. It's you.

Kevin: My New Year's resolution is: get rich and take over the world. Yeah.

Andrew: Hmmm.

Ben: We all know that's not going to happen.

Eric: Yeah, my New Year's resolution is to get...

Ben: To stop talking.

[All laugh]

Eric: But, my New Year's resolution is to get rich and take over the world first.

Micah: Booo!

Kevin: That was lame.

Andrew: Laura?

Laura: All right. My only New Year's resolution would be to write more.

Kevin: Write more?

Laura: Yeah. Write more. I don't write as much as I should.

Kevin: So, you're going to write a book?

Laura: I've been writing since I was a kid, so...yeah.

Ben: So have I, actually.

Kevin: So, she wants to publish. You heard it first on MuggleCast.

Laura: Oh yeah. I want to be a published author. Definitely. I do.

Andrew: That's inspiring. Micah Tan?

Ben: She's the next JK Rowling.

Laura: [laughs] I wish.

Micah: I would say to sweep out the Transcript Dungeon. There's a lot of stuff piled up down there.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Oh, you're such a jokester, Micah Tan.

Main Topic - Looking Back on Harry Potter in 2005

Andrew: Now, now let's take a moment to take a look back at the top Harry Potter stories of 2005. Obviously the first two things that come to mind are The Half-Blood Prince being released, and the...

Kevin: Movie.

Andrew: ...the Goblet of Fire movie being released.

Kevin: Yep.

Andrew: But, the stories that surrounded it though; there were quite a few.

Kevin: Mhm. Yeah.

Andrew: Of course, with Half-Blood Prince...

Kevin: Half-Blood Prince was fun.

Andrew: There... Leading up to it, and... Yeah, it was fun. Working on the site. Providing everyone with this information. But there were a lot of scams too, that happened.

Kevin: Yeah.

Ben: Kevin Steck tried to steal a copy from his local Wal-Mart.

Kevin: I did. I did.

Andrew: Oh Kevin, that was terrible. He got arrested.

Ben: He was unsuccessful.

Eric: Then he realized he could get the book online anyway, on the computer.

Kevin: I was successful. I typed three of the chapters and put them online...

[Andrew, Eric, and Kevin laugh]

Andrew: Of course the biggest story that occurred was when the man... There was a guy in Britain who stole a copy and he put...he had a gun and there was a whole shooting thing involved. And it was really serious. And then from there on we kept getting reports of lots of book stores putting out their books early.

Ben: I can't believe Jamie did though. Can you believe that?

[All laugh]

Eric: Yeah, he has, his court date is today.

Andrew: Oh my god! That was so funny.

Laura: Yeah. For those of you who are really wondering why Jamie hasn't been on lately, that would be why. [laughs]

Eric: He's in court.

Andrew: [laughs] He's been on probation.

Ben: He's been charged.

Eric: Yeah, college is just what he paid us to tell you.

Andrew: So, Ben. So, we want to share a story with everyone right now, Ben and I.

Ben: Okay. [Starts to talk]

Andrew: Hold on. Wait. Let me set this up.

Ben: Okay.

Andrew: We're going to be speaking for this first time since this tragic incident.

Ben: Well...

Andrew: And it's just really hard to speak about it because...

Ben: It was very difficult for all of us.

Andrew: We... We were duped. It's not fun to get an early sneak-peek at Half-Blood Prince and then have to turn it into Scholastic.

[Ben and Kevin laugh]

Ben: We can't say that.

Andrew: So Ben, you talk. I can't. Go on.

Ben: Well, it all started one bright June day. It was just a few weeks prior to the release of Book 6 - early July maybe. And well, one day we got an e-mail and you'll never believe what was attached to this e-mail - three scans of the opening pages of the Sixth Harry Potter Book. Well, after reading these pages - it was the first chapter about the other Minister - we were flipping out pretty hardcore. We were like, "Oh, I want more right now and stuff." Well, I called up Scholastic and I talked to a representative from there and I said, "I work on the fan site and we just got sent scans from the opening pages and I thought you guys might want to know about it." And the representative basically flipped out and started calling all these lawyers. And they were calling me every five minutes. And it was pretty cool, actually.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: It wasn't cool for them because they had a big mess on their hands, but it was kind of cool. You know? It was really exciting for a second there. Yeah, and over the next few days Andrew and I pretty much became Scholastic cops and we...

Kevin: [Laughs] Scholastic cops?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Every time there was a... Every time someone broke the embargo, and we heard about it, we were calling up Scholastic and being like, "Hey...

Kevin: You may not want to tell them this. Because this is going to be like the last time you ever receive advanced...

Eric: Any kind of advanced copy.

Kevin: Exactly. Any advanced information.

Eric: That's okay. Then I'll start getting them.

Andrew: We never did receive any advanced information.

Kevin: Except for the first three pages of the book.

Eric: Yeah, nothing big. You know?

Andrew: Well, that wasn't from Scholastic. [laughs]

Kevin: I know. But I'm saying the fans are never going to want to send...

Andrew: Oh. Oh please.

Ben: That's true.

Andrew: That's another two years from now.

Eric: If we're going to stick Scholastic on them.

Kevin: Essentially, what they're trying to say is that Andrew and Ben ratted you guys out.

[All laugh]

Kevin: And they were trying...

Andrew: Listen...

Kevin: And they were trying to get you arrested.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: We were protecting the books for the good of the people.

Eric: Right.

Andrew: Me and Ben spent a lot of time figuring out where those three pages came from.

Kevin: But see...

Andrew: And in the end... Shhh! Listen, Kevin. I'm making a breakthrough here. We did find out where these came from because there was a sticker on the book, and we looked it up, and we did all this Google searching and all that.

Kevin: I think the worst thing that happened was receiving - what was it? A new picture from the movie or a magazine scan, and you opened it, and highlighted and circled in big letters was, "Dumbledore dies" on the scanned page of Half-Blood Prince.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Right, and...

Laura: Oh no! You're kidding me.

Ben: No, what happened was, was I was.

Laura: Oh, that sucks.

Ben: When I found out that...

Kevin: I was a little upset. I won't lie.

Ben: When I found out it was Dumbledore that died, I was at Spellbound - the release party that MuggleNet sponsored.

Kevin: Oh were you? I knew well before then.

Ben: I was at... Well, what happened was I was sitting behind Damon Brangers, one of...our Senior Systems Manager, at his hotel room. And he opens up the window and he moves aside. And he points at it and it says, "Snape kills Dumbledore." And I looked at Damon and I said - I probably used a few swear words. I said, "Dude, what is your problem? Why would you show me that?"

[Andrew and Kevin laugh]

Ben: He said, [imitating Damon] "You're going to find out anyway."

[All laugh]

Ben: It was really depressing. And then what was really fun though, was that during Spellbound, during the party, we were down in the basement running the media stuff and Matt Vines from was down there, and I told him I knew who died in the book. And he was like, "Do not tell me. Do not tell me." And he was basically being a big spaz about it. And I'd be like, "Well, guess who dies?" And then he'd run around the room screaming like a little girl.

[Eric laughs]

Ben: And then I told Mike from who dies, and he started flipping out. And then Matt was so scared that I was going to tell him that he ran away. And then yeah, it was pretty funny.

Kevin: I was actually pretty upset that I found out. It was like a week or two before the book's release. It really...

Eric: Yeah, Kevin. Kevin, hadn't I talked to you? Or somebody on the... It was a few hours before the release and I called one of you guys and you were...I asked for hints and stuff. Was that any of you?

Kevin: I'm not sure if it was me.

Eric: Because...

Kevin: I remember before the release of the book, Andrew and Emerson were calling me about Warner Bros. because [laughs] Warner Bros. was...

Ben: It was actually Emerson's dad who was calling you.

Kevin: Yeah, because they had an exclusive or something and they decided...

Andrew: Oh, that whole debacle.

Kevin: Yeah, and they decided to give it to us the night of the release.

Ben: Yeah, that was pretty funny.

Andrew: We ended up not getting...or did we? I can't remember.

Kevin: No, I think we did. We got it in the e-mail and no one had access to the e-mail and it was a big mess.

Ben: Yeah.

Eric: Well, if anything, Andrew and Ben, to ease your troubles, I think you're pretty good for a walk-on role on CSI.

Ben: I think so too.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, they owe us.

Eric: You know? All this sticker-looking.

Andrew: What other stories were big?

Eric: Ummm.

Andrew: Goblet of Fire getting the PG-13 rating in the United States.

Kevin: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: That was pretty big.

Ben: We talked about that in the First Episode.

Eric: Yeah

Andrew: Or was it the Second Episode, I think?

Ben: Actually, what happened... No, what happened was we talked about in the First Episode because, in the First Episode we said, "What's this movie going to be rated?"

Andrew: We considered it.

Ben: Yeah, we considered it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: And I said it was going to be rated PG-13 and you two doubted me. And then you said...Kevin said, "There's no way. They would be shooting themselves in the foot."

Laura: I remember that.

Ben: Later that week, later that week they said it was rated PG-13 and the next episode I couldn't be on and rub it in Kevin's face, so I'm doing it now Kevin Steck.

[All laugh]

Ben: It was rated PG-13! In your face!

[Andrew laughs]

Kevin: But, but from what I remember of that episode I said, "If they did make it PG-13, it would be because of the last scene."

Ben: No, no, no. What you said in that episode was that they weren't going to rate it PG-13.

Kevin: Ask Eric. Eric just listened to the whole episode.

Ben: No. You said that they were not going to make it PG-13 because... I don't believe you, Kevin Steck.

Kevin: What did I say, Eric?

Eric: You said it was right, but what I want to say... Yeah Kevin, you're right. Ben's right. You're both right and that's the solution to everything.

[Kevin and Eric laugh]

Eric: But what I want to say is...

Kevin: Okay. Solution to everything. We're both right.

Eric: Yeah. I want to say that I'm going instant message Kelly when we're done with this. Kelly Egan, our resident artist, and have her actually draw a picture of PG-13 being thrown in Andrew's face. Like the giant letters PG-13.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Okay.

Ben: No. Have her having me throw it in Kevin's face.

[Micah laughs]

Kevin: Oh, thanks a lot.

Andrew: Yes. And that will just happen?

Eric: We'll get that out to you people.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: I think that will be a fun thing for the new year.

Andrew: But Emerson had spoken to David Heyman, the producer of all the movies so far. Right? All the movies?

Ben: Yeah.

Eric: Which reminds us...the interview with JKR.

Andrew: And David Heyman had said that they were aiming for a PG-13 rating.

Ben: No, no, no, no, no, no, you're wrong about this.

Eric: PG. He said that they were going to keep it PG.

Ben: I told Emerson, I said, "I think the movie is going to be rated PG-13." And he said, "No, I spoke to David Heyman and David Heyman said that they were going to have all the movies be rated PG." And so, Emerson doubted me too.

[Eric laughs]

Ben: And guys, honestly, I'm just tired of being right. It gets...

[Andrew laughs]

Andrew: But my point...

Eric: You know what, Ben? [laughs]

Andrew: Eh, what?

Eric: You have our mail from the PO Box, so just mail us PG-13 letters.

[Ben laughs]

Eric: Just mail us stuff. Mail it in our face.

Andrew: But my point with that was that it was sort of unexpected. Warner Bros. didn't even expect it. At least it seemed that way. Or when Emerson had spoke to David Heyman about it. Because think about it, why would they want to make it PG-13?

Ben: But guys...

Andrew: In a way...

Ben: Andrew?

Andrew: What?

Ben: What you must realize is that it's not that big of a deal because it didn't hurt the movie at all. Because it's the second largest grossing movie. Because the audience has grown with the series and most of the Harry Potter fans, a large majority of them are over the age of 13 right now. And so...

Andrew: And if anything, it did help it because more older kids said, "Hey, this is rated PG-13. This isn't a kid's movie."

Eric: Which... Right. Which was speculated in Episode Two. You even said that it might actually help it.

Andrew: But, we're not going to go back on that topic again. So, that was definitely a big story of 2005. What else?

Eric: The JKR interview and the delusional Harry/Hermione 'shippers.

Kevin: Oh yeah.

Laura: Oh my god!

Kevin: Yeah. That was.

Eric: That was significant for MuggleNet.

Andrew: That was an online big story for the MuggleNet community fan base.

Eric: For MuggleNet, that was...

Laura: Oh, that was terrible.

Eric: That was a rift.

Ben: Well, Emerson did visit JK Rowling on the night of the release, was a big story - Emerson and Melissa doing that. That wasn't just online, that was all over the news.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: I mean I was with Emerson when he did an interview with Soledad O'Brien from CNN's "American Morning," I think it's called.

Andrew: Yep.

Laura: Mhm.

Ben: That was pretty cool.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: The LIVE podcast.

Ben: I actually made it to Emerson's local newspaper. That was the best.

Andrew: You did?

Ben: Yeah. Because I was with him when they did an interview, and the interviewer said, "Who's this kid right here?" And he said, "Oh, he works on the website with me." Yeah, I made it in there. It was pretty cool. But Emerson was all over the news because of that. He was on TV left and right.

Laura: Yeah, I remember that.

Ben: There were videos up online.

Eric: And he gave her a key to the city.

Ben: So actually this summer is when Emerson Spartz became famous.

[Ben and Micah laugh]

Andrew: No, he got his five minutes of fame...maybe ten minutes.

Eric: Well, he was already... He had...

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: There were articles or there used to be on MN, and with him...him and the paper. So...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Dating back to like 2000. So...yeah.

Andrew: So...

Ben: But also Emerson, they transcribed the interview, which is up online now too. If you want to go back and review your JK Rowling information because they did that just right after they read the book. So, that would be a good thing to look at.

Kevin: It's too bad we couldn't hear the audio.

Eric: I know.

Laura: Oh yeah.

Eric: They have it, but they can't release it.

Kevin: No, they're not allowed to release it.

Eric: They're not allowed.

Kevin: It was one of the, it was one of the... [thinking of word]

Micah: Stipulations.

Kevin: ...stipulations.

Eric: So, we could hear the tone of voice and stuff, but I think we've been clued in from Melissa about JKR's tone. actually brought that up in Episode Two or so.

Kevin: Yeah, with R.A.B.

Eric: Yeah, with R.A.B.

Kevin: Yep. Because it's very hard to figure out what the tone was through the transcripts. So...

Eric: Yeah. Our LIVE podcast.

Ben: That is a good story to talk about though.

Eric: That was brilliant.

Ben: When R.A.B. was leaked online.

Andrew: Yeah. That was another big one.

Eric: Yeah. The "Arcturus Black." Do we ever know what happened with that? Why Lexicon...

Andrew: What do you mean "leaked," Ben?

Eric: Lexicon.

Ben: Well, because HP-Lexicon...

Andrew: The HP-Lexicon thing? Yeah.

Ben: ...posted that his name was "Regulus Alphord Black."

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Arcturus.

Ben: And then like magic it disappeared.

Eric: No Arcturus, Ben.

Ben: Arcturus, whatever it was.

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