["Hedwig's Theme" plays]
Micah: Because Hagrid is just like your drunk uncle, this is MuggleCast Episode 220 for February 6th, 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.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 220! Micah, Eric, and I here this week. We have some big news, whether it's Harry Potter news or news about what we are doing this summer. We have both things to talk about this week, so it's a very exciting episode, I have to say.
Eric: Not to mention Super Bowl this weekend.
Andrew: Super Bowl Sunday!
Andrew: But that has...
Andrew: ...nothing to do...
Eric: ...ready to...
Andrew: ...with Harry Potter, so we won't even go into it really.
Andrew: Anyway, I'm Andrew Sims.
Eric: I'm Eric Scull.
Micah: And I'm Micah Tannenbaum.
Andrew: What's in the news this week, Micah? We'll get to our announcement about the summer in just a couple of minutes.
Micah: Well, on February 1st - I can't remember what day that was, I think it was Tuesday.
Eric: It was the day of the Great Chicago Blizzard.
Micah: Oh, that's right. Are you still digging out over there? How are you doing?
Eric: [laughs] Yeah, a little bit.
Micah: Just a little bit. Yeah, New York, we didn't get as much. We got a lot of rain...
Micah: ...so - but we got plenty of snow before then. Andrew, how's the snow out west?
Andrew: Oh, it's great!
Andrew: I have a tan.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Micah: Anyway, back on Tuesday, Warner Bros. gave an official announcement for the release date of the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 DVD and Blu-ray, as well as what features are going to be contained on both the DVD and the Blu-ray editions. So, April 15th, just a couple of months from now, we will have all of this great stuff to talk about, but we can do a little bit of previewing, I think, right? Looking at the features and the deleted scenes that are going to be on the DVD and the Blu-ray.
Andrew: I think the most exciting thing is the Part 2 preview which is supposed to have - it's supposed to be one of the opening scenes from the film. So, it's not going to be from the battle, but maybe it will be - I'm guessing it will be the Gringotts action.
Eric: Do you think? Maybe it will be planning Gringotts...
Andrew: Yeah, because that's...
Eric: ...in Shell Cottage, maybe with Ollivander. Harry does make a pretty big decision to go, what, between Hallows and Horcruxes. At around the time is Shell Cottage.
Andrew: Hmm, true. Yeah, that's a good point. I just thought maybe they would want to tease something more action packed. And then some other sneak peeks that are on here, we get to see how Daniel Radcliffe recreated the personalities of different characters that transform into Harrys in the hilarious Privet Drive scene. And a couple of goofy things. I don't know. Lately with these DVDs, they've been adding a lot of goofy content.
Micah: Now, is this on the DVD or is this on the Blu-ray?
Andrew: Yeah, that's the thing. You have to buy the three-disc Blu-ray combo pack which comes with a DVD...
Andrew: ...and a Blu-ray and a Digital Copy.
Eric: That's unnecessary. I'm just going to say that. There's at least one disc you don't need in that set and maybe two.
Micah: The other cool thing I thought - and maybe this is just adding things in for the sake of having them, is you get a behind-the-scenes look at what went into the grand opening for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park down in Orlando when a lot of the cast and crew were down for that great event, so - I feel like, though, that's just an addition for the sake of trying to not include other important content. What do you guys think?
Eric: Well, I...
Andrew: No, you're absolutely right.
Eric: I mean, they've never had, though, important content. Things like outtakes don't exist on these.
Andrew: Which is a shame.
Eric: You have to...
Andrew: Didn't they used to?
Eric: You always hear about Rupert playing pranks and things like whoopee cushions which probably would be funny to watch once and then not as much later.
Andrew: They'll save that for the Ultimate Editions because when they use - when they do those documentaries, you always see that extra B-roll of the actors goofing around on set.
Eric: So - but I think - I mean, think about it. Eight films, all two and a half hours long, months and months of filming, there's got to be stuff that hit film.
Micah: Yeah, absolutely.
Eric: Funny outtakes, even if it's just messing up lines.
Micah: Well, let's run through these deleted scenes really quick and get some reaction. First one up is The Burrow's shed: Ron discusses radios with Mr. Weasley. Can kind of understand why that would have been cut from the film.
Eric: But also why it would be important because obviously he - it's not developed in the film, but he does rely on the radio.
Andrew: The next two are important, they were in the book, Harry and Aunt Petunia as they leave, and Harry and Dudley shaking hands.
Eric: I don't get this because neither of these two scenes that take place in the Dursley house are the version of - or appear to be the version of the Dursleys departing that I saw in the preview of Deathly Hallows.
Andrew: I don't know.
Micah: And what was the preview? Just to remind people.
Eric: It's not in the movie, but there's this line where Dudley says, "I don't understand why the boy's not coming with us," or, "Why is he not coming?" and Vernon says to him, "Because he doesn't want to." And it's obviously a lie but - so that - it's uneasy, Vernon is troubled when he says that.
Micah: So, there's no shaking hands in that scene?
Eric: No shaking hands and it's not Aunt Petunia. When they drive away, Aunt Petunia, I think, looks out the window, but there's no dialogue between them that I saw. But also not even that line is in the actual movie, so I'm wondering where that line went because I thought it was good.
Andrew: Also, these other scenes, the Granger House: Death Eaters search deserted home.
Eric: That would bring such value to Hermione hiding her family, but I can see exactly...
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Eric: ...why it's not needed because you already understand that - you've already seen Hermione wipe her parents' memories, so it almost doesn't even matter if they actually search the house.
Andrew: And the final four scenes, Ministry of Magic lifts: Harry tells Arthur he's being tracked.
Eric: That would be funny.
Andrew: In the tent: The trio discusses destroying the locket, a rabbit chase in the forest, and finally, a montage of Ron and Hermione skimming stones. So, most of these things aren't too - you can understand at this point why they cut them out, usually they blame it on the pacing...
Andrew: ...of the film, they didn't want to slow it down.
Micah: Well, actually the last two were two scenes that David Yates mentioned when you interviewed him on the red carpet in New York City. He pointed those two out as well as the scene with Aunt Petunia, so...
Eric: You asked him specifically that, didn't you, what scenes will be in the DVD? You asked him that question, right?
Andrew: Yeah, and he said these things, I think. I can't remember.
Eric: Rabbit chase in the forest?
Andrew: [laughs] Who knows? Who cares?
Andrew: Anyway, let's move on. What else is going on in the news?
Micah: Well, we briefly mentioned the Wizarding World theme park earlier and there's been a couple of rumors that have surfaced of late. Andrew, you reported on it just the other day that we could see an expansion as early as 2013 with the possibility of Diagon Alley and Gringotts being added to the theme park, particularly in that Lost Continent area that currently houses Jurassic Park.
Andrew: Right. So, we've been making a few news posts about an expansion because it's really exciting and it's very clear. First of all, we know that Universal is obligated to update the park in some fashion every couple of years, but there's all this other information that keeps surfacing as well and Screamscape website - a theme park site called Screamscape reported most of these rumors that we shared most recently. And yeah, I think - Diagon Alley seems to make the most sense when thinking about expanding because that is another public wizarding area that would just work really well. It's an outdoor area, so it would fit naturally in the park...
Andrew: ...and it would take over the Lost Continent which is really...
Eric: You don't like the Lost Continent, Andrew.
Andrew: No, it's horrible. The only good thing there is Mythos, the restaurant. But there's all that room that they could be using for the Wizarding World.
Andrew: My only concern is the Wizarding World - the entrance right now would no longer be the entrance. So, I - that would be kind of weird...
Andrew: ...having two...
Eric: Well, there're...
Andrew: ...areas that feel like entrances.
Eric: There already are two entrances to the park, though.
Andrew: Yeah, but you know the main one where the Hogwarts Express is, that's...
Eric: Right, but that's actually not the main one. The main one is over the bridge that takes you under Hogwarts, according to everybody I spoke to, because when in times of trouble they would close what I would consider to be the main entrance by the Hogwarts Express, and that leads in from the Lost Continent. And they actually - the large bridge - the line was forming, took you in through - in between Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, right near Jurassic Park, through that bridge. That seems to be what they were calling the main entrance, even though the one by the Hogwarts Express...
Andrew: See, I don't think that's the main entrance because all the publicity photos, the grand opening day, that was all by the Hogwarts Express. But nonetheless, the rumor that seems to be floating around right now is a Gringotts ride, and I sort of put two and two together. There was an article from the Orlando Sentinel that said Warner Bros.' contract with Universal states they must "incorporate elements from the final Potter films." So, I was thinking, well, there is a Gringotts scene in Part 2 - there is a Diagon Alley scene in Part 2 when they go to Gringotts, and there's that action-packed sort of ride and the dragon breaking in. So, I thought that would be a perfect ride that they could - or a perfect scene they could base the ride on. Do you guys agree that would be cool?
Eric: They could just plant a bunch of trees and call it the "English Countryside Ride" and people can camp out.
Andrew: And everybody...
Micah: No. [laughs]
Andrew: ...gets to run through the forest.
Micah: That would be a little boring, I think.
Micah: But how would they mold that? Would it be similar to the Forbidden Journey ride, or would it be something along the lines of what they have in other parts of Universal, maybe how King Kong and Jaws and those rides used to be, where it's more of you're kind of just going through and you see things around you, or would it be a roller coaster? What do you guys think? They already have two roller coasters.
Eric: They do have two roller coasters.
Andrew: I think...
Eric: My preference is for a Wild Mouse-type roller coaster where you...
Andrew: Yes, yes.
Eric: ...can go over the edges but be in mine carts underneath Gringotts, like - so it will be indoors again, but they've had a lot of success with those kinds of things, like The Mummy ride in Universal as well. They seem to be really good at building those and that type of ride is kind of - I want to say it's why you go to Universal, for those types of rides where you're sitting and watching more so than you are being thrown around. Dueling Dragons now is a violent, violent ride and so you get your fix for roller coaster there but the other rides are just kind of themed and you're watching. You're a spectator almost, to the movie.
Andrew: Yeah, and that kind of - there could be sharp turns, there could be sudden drops, I think, for that sort of mine cart ride. I was sort of thinking like in Disneyland and Disney World, they have Big Thunder Mountain which is sort of like a train style, and it's got drops and turns and it moves pretty fast. I think it could be something like that, and all the while you're sort of watching the dragon maybe chase you or you're trying to get to the right vault or something. I don't know, there's a lot of potential there, I think.
Eric: I have to say...
Micah: Well, especially with the Horcrux, maybe they can tie the destruction of the Horcrux into that particular ride because all the fire that takes place in the vault and they have trouble trying to get out. So, it would be interesting.
Andrew: So, this is - the rumor right now is currently 2013, which actually I think is kind of late. I would have thought they would tried to open it up like in the beginning of 2012 or something...
Andrew: ...but maybe that's just too soon.
Eric: Okay, my initial reaction when I read these separate news posts was the last thing that that theme park needs is more shops.
Andrew: Okay, well...
Eric: More places to sit around and spend your money. They need rides. They need rides. Two of the three rides in that park already existed prior to building the Wizarding World. We let it slide because the Wizarding World is a great place but realistically, they need to build more rides. They need to build new, more rides that are specific to that park because they're getting off easy. Think of all the money they're raking in.
Andrew: Do you know what Mr. Universal would say if he heard you say that right now, that they don't need more shops? Mr. Universal?
Eric: Yeah, what?
Andrew: He'd say this... [maniacal laughter]
Micah: [laughs] It's all about money, Eric.
Andrew: It's all about money! They have - and as we've reported before, they have made so much money...
Andrew: ...off the Harry Potter merchandise. They are just using money as toilet paper at this point.
Eric: [laughs] That's because instead of rides they have these themed merchandise. And don't get me wrong...
Andrew: But is it a problem?
Eric: Yes! Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful, but I mean, people are still waiting in line three hours to get - to go to Gringotts and get chosen for a wand - or go to Ollivander's and get chosen for a wand. But it's not the point.
Micah: I was going to ask that, Eric, though. Do you think Ollivander has squatting rights in Diagon Alley? Can he move back?
Eric: I think he can open up two shops.
Andrew: I think they should add a second one. They need to - yeah.
Micah: Move on.
Andrew: ...move along. Again, this is - I am really excited for the expansion. We know for sure there will be an expansion but the big questions are what it will be and when it will be, and that's why we're reporting whatever we can find because [laughs] we're so excited. And Mr. Universal, Eric, is looking to add more shops.
Micah: He's rolling in the dough. Anyway...
Andrew: He's laughing at you right now.
Andrew: Before we move on, first we'd like to tell you about this week's sponsor, 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 MuggleCast, Audible is offering a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their awesome service. One audiobook to consider is Orson Scott Card's classic, Ender's Game. Check out the special 20th Anniversary edition which is digitally remastered with a full cast production. So, to purchase that or any other audiobook of your choice for free, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. That's AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
Micah: The Harry Potter franchise is set to receive an honorary BAFTA, it was announced on Thursday, for its Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema...
Micah: ...at this year's awards. Now, J.K. Rowling and producer David Heyman will be there to accept this award. Thoughts? I mean, is this something that, potentially, the Oscars would follow suit on? Or you don't think that that's even going to be possible?
Eric: Micah, what's an honorary BAFTA? Is that any more important than a regular BAFTA? Because it would have to be...
Andrew: Well, it's for - the reason the Oscars wouldn't do this sort of thing is because - well, they could, but the BAFTA - this honorary BAFTA is for "highlighting the expertise within the British craft and technical industries." So, it's the fact that the Harry Potter film franchise is a British production that they're getting this honorary award at the BAFTAs.
Eric: And it is. It was a wise choice, in my opinion, because to set the film - to film the film in Britain and not on some stage in America where, obviously, Warner Bros. pays for it. But it's - so BAFTAs are great. I don't think it says anything about Oscars, though, but I think it's really important that the films do receive this award.
Andrew: And it's cool that J.K. Rowling is going to be accepting.
Eric: Well, it's not like she had to - was writing a book or something, was busy [laughs] doing something else.
Andrew: Well, if you read her Twitter, she is.
Eric: [laughs] She's - what? Pen and paper...
Andrew: [poorly imitating J.K. Rowling] I would love to accept the BAFTA, but pen and paper are my priority at the moment.
Micah: Well, what's interesting, though, is there was an article, I think earlier this week, that featured Rupert Grint and Richard Griffiths talking about the lack of Oscar appreciation...
Eric: That's an odd combination.
Micah: ...that the Harry Potter series has gotten.
Eric: Rupert Grint and Richard Griffiths. [laughs]
Micah: Well, maybe they just interviewed both of them. They were at a premiere or something like that. But it's interesting now to sort of hear the actors' reaction to not getting a whole lot of recognition when it comes to the Oscars. I know we've had this conversation before, but with Deathly Hallows: Part 2 coming out in July, will there be that push from Warner Bros. to nominate the final part of the series, do you guys think?
Andrew: Absolutely, absolutely.
Eric: And maybe the films are too British - all British actors - to ever receive an American award. But then that's incorrect because movies like The King's Speech - in fact, America has an obsession with British actors in American films. So, everything - Hugh Jackman or - I'm not even going to continue, but a lot of Australians, too. Yeah.
Micah: All right. Well, final piece of news, Dear Mr. Potter. This is something that was started by sixteen-year-old Lily Zalon, and it's a non-profit book featuring stories, letters, and photos from Harry Potter fans around the world, telling how the series has impacted and inspired them. And the book, which is going to be available for purchase this summer, is being sold one hundred percent non-profit to benefit youth literacy through the Harry Potter Alliance. And I understand, Eric, both you and Andrew have written letters and they will both appear in the printed version of this book.
Andrew: It's a really cool idea, this Dear Mr. Potter project. I think this is sort of almost long overdue, this kind of collection, and I cannot wait to read it. They're also - if you go to DearMrPotter.org/, they're posting a lot of the letters now. Some of these aren't...
Eric: Well, it started as a web blog, didn't it? I mean, it started that way.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, it's on Tubmlr, so it technically still is a blog.
Eric: Oh, okay.
Andrew: But a lot of these letters won't be printed in the book, but - and some of them will. So, you can go there now and just read through them. You'll get a nice look at what you can expect in the book.
Micah: Yeah. It's really great stuff.
Andrew: DearMrPotter.org/. All one word.
Micah: And it's cool that this was all started by a sixteen year old. To me, that's really impressive.
Andrew: Maybe it was J.K. Rowling's daughter. Isn't she around that age now?
Micah: Could be. Her first name was Lily, so - I mean, you got to wonder.
Micah: Maybe it's her penname.
Micah: You never know. All right, Andrew, we have a big summer announcement here and I'm going to throw it to you to talk about MuggleCon 2011.
Andrew: [laughs] Yes, we are launching...
Andrew: We are announcing MuggleCastCon! No. So, for the summer we obviously wanted to be a part of something big. It's the final Harry Potter film, everybody is going to be so excited leading up to the launch of the film, and a lot of fans want to be together. And as people know, we've been to many Harry Potter conferences in the past and many of you listeners have showed up to them, and we've done live podcasts at them, we've done panels, meet and greets, you name it. And so, this year we are going to be at LeakyCon 2011. Our friends at The-Leaky-Cauldron.org are organizing this event. It's going to be in Orlando, Florida at the same hotel that Infinitus was at last year. It's going to be July 13th to the 17th. Obviously it's right on the Universal property which is where The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is, so not only do you get to go to a Harry Potter fan conference, you also get to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. So, we're going to be there, we're going to be doing at least one live podcast. We're going to be doing a - the plans right now are that - the idea right now is to do a Leaky Mug with our friends from PotterCast to - either before - I don't know. The plans are kind of early right now, but the news is that we will be going to LeakyCon. We highly recommend going to LeakyCon.com, check it out. You really should consider going to this. If you've ever been to a fan symposium before you know how much fun these are. You're surrounded by tons of Harry Potter fans, everybody is just really friendly, it's a great, great atmosphere, and everyone always has so much fun.
I'm going to run through some of the details about LeakyCon right now. Registration is open right now through February 28th. It's $200, you have to be thirteen to go, but eighteen to go without a chaperone. And currently they have a White Pass which allows parents to go as chaperones, but they - it's at no cost to them, so they can still - since some people need a chaperone, they can still go but the parents don't have to pay as long as they have the White Pass. Special guests so far: us, StarKid, who we talked about on a recent episode of MuggleCast. They're going to be doing a special performance as well as a Q&A. The Potter Puppet Pals will also be attending. There will be a Lit Day. It's a big - like a conference within a conference. It's going to be a bunch of speakers talking about literature, of course, and there's going to be a keynote during Lit Day by Arthur Levine, the editor at Scholastic. He's been a big player in the Harry Potter books, so it's going to be very cool to hear from him. There's also going to be twelve wizard rock bands over two shows, including Harry and the Potters, and Draco and the Malfoys. There's going to be the premiere of Finding Hogwarts, which is a documentary put together, actually, by a couple of friends of ours. There's also going to be a Final Battle performance. It was a musical that premiered at Infinitus last year. They're doing it again. Plus, those people are putting on another new musical. And there's a bunch of other things as well: Quidditch, arts and crafts, meet-ups, tons of programming about Harry Potter, and more soon to be announced. So, obviously a lot of details there. Just go to LeakyCon.com, you'll find all the information you need. As it is still pretty early, a lot of the plans aren't set in stone yet but from what they've told us they're planning, it is really going to be an amazing event. You will not want to miss this one.
Micah: Well, there was one thing that you left out, Andrew, I think. There's going to be a movie, right?
Andrew: [laughs] Yes! Well, I was just going to say...
Micah: [laughs] Right around that time?
Andrew: This - LeakyCon is happening over the release of Part 2. So, there's going to be a big group trip to the movie theater at midnight to see the film...
Eric: In IMAX.
Andrew: ...and - in IMAX, at the beautiful Universal theaters. Did you guys see a movie there? I saw Toy Story 3...
Eric: Yeah, I saw...
Andrew: ...in their downtown area.
Eric: We saw Inception at midnight because Inception came out during Infinitus. Funny story is that the whole group I was with all fell asleep during it.
Eric: Except for me. I stayed up.
Andrew: Well, I saw Toy Story at these movie theaters. It is, honestly, one of the most gorgeous screens I've ever seen a film on. They're huge and they're just - it must be a digital projection, it's just beautiful. So, you're going to be seeing Part 2 with some of the biggest Harry Potter fans as well, which is cool in and of itself because when you're watching with all these hardcore Harry Potter fans, you're going to be laughing and crying at some of the strongest emotional moments in the film.
Micah: Possibly cursing.
Andrew: [laughs] Possibly cursing depending on how it was adapted. And also, finally - I know this is a lot of details but this just shows you how big LeakyCon is. They're going to be planning a private park event. It's not going to be included in the registration, but they will be offering a ticket that allows you into the park earlier in the day plus access to the private park event. And that's going to be an after-hours event where only attendees of LeakyCon will be able to go in to the Wizarding World and just spend time with each other. And that will be announced - the details about that will be announced in the coming months. So, again, LeakyCon.com, July 13th to the 17th in Orlando, Florida, taking place at the Royal Pacific Resort right on Universal property. The room block is sold out. They're sold out of the LeakyCon block of rooms, but they have opened up another block of rooms at the Crown Plaza. So, just visit LeakyCon.com, again, for all the information. And when you do go to register, use referral code "Muggle". We're all familiar with that code...
Andrew: ...over the years. Use "Muggle", M-U-G-G-L-E, when you go to register. We'll have more details about...
Micah: And save 10% on your dot com domain.
Micah: Oops. Wrong one.
Andrew: We'll have more details about what we'll be doing there in the coming months, but it's going to be a huge, awesome, really fun event. I can't wait.
Andrew: So, we'll be talking about that leading up. Oh, [laughs] sorry, one other thing I want to mention. There's going to be a ball, and the dance is always, I think, the highlight of the conference for me because everybody is just together in one giant room and their plan - LeakyCon has some really cool events planned for the ball as well as the opening and closing festivities.
Andrew: So, go. If you guys are looking for something to do, go to LeakyCon. This is going to be really, really special. I promise you you will have the time of your life. LeakyCon.com, referral code "Muggle". Okay, now that I'm out of breath I get to do [laughs] the first chapter here...
Andrew: ...for Chapter-by-Chapter this week.
Eric: Who planned this, Andrew? [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah, I shouldn't have done this. We're doing Chapters 24, 25, and 26 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The first chapter is "Rita Skeeter's Scoop." So, the chapter opens with Harry struggling to find out what the clue is that the egg is holding because the second task is coming up and he still has no idea what he can expect. He's reluctant to take Cedric's advice because he finds it to be silly, but is that kind of immature of Harry, I feel? He has no idea what - where to be looking for clues yet he finds Cedric's clue to be so stupid.
Micah: Well, why would Cedric lie to him? I mean, Cedric got this clue and he gave it to Harry through Moody we find out later. But Harry has helped him with the first task, it would make sense that Cedric would in turn help Harry out with this task and I think - again we talked about this - was it the last show or two shows ago? I think it has a lot to do with Cho Chang and his feelings towards Cedric are kind of, maybe a little bit...
Micah: Bitter, yeah, compared to where they were right around the first task, so I think that that plays into it.
Eric: Yeah. He has no reason not to trust Cedric but he kind of invents reasons and in the meantime - so eventually he does take Cedric's advice, but in the meantime these other events of this chapter are going on. So, it's kind of like Harry hasn't forgotten about the egg, but he has put it on the back burner as it were, which is kind of funny because you cook eggs on a burner.
Andrew: So, shortly after that at Care of Magical Creatures, Harry learns that Hagrid won't be teaching the lesson. He asks Grubbly-Plank what the deal is with Hagrid but she won't say, but they end up learning that Hagrid is embarrassed by the article written by Rita Skeeter who paints Hagrid in a very bad light. And the full article is in the book and it's a pretty lengthy write up, and it was just cruel what Rita did. And even though later in this chapter we see Dumbledore really trying to confront - or console Hagrid because he knows Hagrid is really upset that all this information got out. Do you think Dumbledore was somewhat disappointed by the fact that Hagrid did talk to Rita Skeeter and the fact that this information did get out?
Eric: If Dumbledore were a true friend he would squash Rita Skeeter like a bug.
Andrew: Well, and we hear he banned her from the school but shouldn't he have - shouldn't she have been banned earlier? This seems kind of late.
Eric: She still hangs out at the school.
Micah: Yeah, I think, though, that Hagrid has a very unassuming personality so he doesn't - just like Dumbledore, he doesn't see the negative side of people and he does have that trustworthy quality to him. So, when he was talking to Rita he probably didn't think anything of it. But that's also surprising to me, too, because clearly she's been around for a long time and she's been writing these kind of articles. So, to think that she would go to Hagrid and write an article that would be in a positive light is pretty dense on the part of Hagrid to think that way. So, I would imagine that Dumbledore is a bit disappointed, but as you said, why wasn't she kicked out previously? Clearly she's not the only reporter that works for The Daily Prophet, or the only paper that's around. You would think that they could get a more seasoned, [laughs] qualified person to write and cover this tournament. Don't they have a sports writer or something there?
Andrew: [laughs] Right, a sports writer. But yeah, no - you would think like a Quidditch writer...
Andrew: ...for the paper could go and cover the Triwizard.
Andrew: So, after this lesson, getting back into the plot here, Parvati said she enjoyed the class because she actually got to learn about a magical creature, they had learned about a unicorn that day. And that kind of upsets Harry and Ron because they miss Hagrid and they're upset that people are enjoying Hagrid not being present. But I have to say, even I had this sort of feeling when I was a kid in school sometimes. You really like a teacher but then you don't like how maybe - you're never on task with anything.
Andrew: You're always sort of like - [laughs] it's just a mess. The teaching style is a mess.
Eric: Yeah, I've had those teachers, too, where it's like, you like the teacher but what do you really learn except to have fun? It's kind of like that.
Micah: Well, they also have a strong personal tie to Hagrid which - that's a completely different element to add into it.
Andrew: So, a week goes by and they don't see Hagrid at all, and Harry goes to Hogsmeade in hopes that he'll run into him but instead he runs into Mr. Bagman who reveals Barty Crouch has gone missing. And the excuse is - Percy says that he's ill. But then Bagman says he's taken a liking to Harry, and as such he'd like to help him - help point him in the right direction for the next task. Harry doesn't take the offer and he's not sure why he says no, but this is just another piece of evidence we see in the ongoing list of reasons why the Triwizard Tournament is really corrupt.
Andrew: I mean, it's just a bunch of cheating and rule-breaking.
Eric: Everybody wants to help Harry.
Micah: Yeah, and I don't think that Harry trusts Bagman's character too much.
Eric: Well, he sees...
Andrew: Oh, so you think...
Eric: ...what he did to the Weasleys. He still owes them money.
Micah: Right, but I don't - does Harry know that at this point?
Andrew: I don't think so, but doesn't Harry - isn't Harry thinking - if I was Harry, I'd be worried that since I turned down the offer for advice he'd be going to somebody else. I mean, Bagman does say he's taking a liking to Harry but that would just worry me that the other people are getting help. So, I think you've got to play dirty to stay in the game here.
Andrew: Because if everybody's cheating, you have to cheat, too.
Micah: But what I mean in terms of trusting his character, though, is I don't think - I think he's a bit suspicious of why Bagman is coming to him saying that he's willing to offer his help.
Eric: I think Harry just has trouble, first, accepting that somebody takes a liking specifically to him, and two, he doesn't want to associate with those kinds of people who treat him special. He never wanted to be treated special. He just wants to be, "just Harry."
Andrew: [laughs] No. Yeah, that's a good point, and we see that more and more as the books go on, of course. So, moving along, while talking over what just happened with Ron and Hermione, Rita Skeeter enters the Three Broomsticks and we hear her trying to put together a story about Bagman based on what she just saw with him talking to the goblins. And - so, Harry gets really fed up about this and Harry calls her out for writing the poor article on Hagrid. And Rita, Hermione, and Harry end up throwing insults back and forth at each other, Rita calling Hermione a little girl and so forth.
Andrew: [laughs] And I got to say, now that the Wizarding World theme park does exist, I was totally picturing this happening in the actual Wizarding World Three Broomsticks.
Eric: [laughs] Like people - somebody portraying Hermione and somebody portraying Rita?
Andrew: And then I started thinking, people should re-enact these scenes...
Andrew: ...in the Wizarding World park. That would be so cool!
Eric: That would be cool.
Andrew: So, they leave Hogsmeade and head back to Hagrid's hut, and while pounding on the door it finally opens, but it's Dumbledore who answers and it turns out Dumbledore was there to console Hagrid which sort of answers our question earlier. I mean, if Dumbledore was that upset about this article, I don't think he would have been spending so much time with Hagrid because we see that Dumbledore is sort of trying to talk him out of his misery. And the trio try to help as well, but - and Hagrid does eventually come around when he hears that Harry is making good progress on the egg clue even though that's a complete lie. But this does make Harry realize, okay, it's time to go and take up Cedric's offer.
Micah: I think it's more that Dumbledore is angry with Hagrid's reaction to the article than he is with the fact that the article was even published.
Micah: Hagrid kind of buries his head in the sand and doesn't want to teach class. So, Dumbledore is always there, I think, to pick people up. He talks about all the letters that have been sent in support of Hagrid. But I wanted to ask, why does Harry feel so guilty, though, about lying to Hagrid about the egg, but not necessarily when he's talking to Ron or Hermione?
Eric: He knows Hagrid - Hagrid's more of a parental figure, if you can imagine that. But it's basically - he doesn't want to let an adult down, who trusts in him. His friends are his peers, they share a lot of the same issues. But Hagrid, who is in a weakened state - the only way Harry cheers him up is by lying to him. That can't feel good. I mean, I think by him taking Cedric's advice, by him deciding to take Cedric's advice, he realizes that this is - there's so much evil in the world right now, you've just got to take the advice from someone who seemed to be - innocently given. He realizes that Cedric probably doesn't have it in for him, but people like Rita are the people in this world who do have it out for people.
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