["Hedwig's Theme" plays]
Micah: Because it's getting more common to split movies into two, this is MuggleCast Episode 230 for June 4th, 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.
And by Hypable.com, a MuggleNet for the rest of the fandoms in the world and created by MuggleNet staff. Visit Hypable.com for thorough and up-to-the-minute coverage around The Hunger Games, Glee, Doctor Who, The Hobbit, and many more. That's Hypable.com - H-Y-P-A-B-L-E dot com.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 230! It's a two-person show today, it's just Micah and I. Hello, Micah.
Micah: Hello, Andrew.
Andrew: Cross-country podcasting, you in New York and me in Los Angeles.
Micah: It could be the start of something. I mean, maybe we could go on and do another show.
Andrew: Focusing on two people on the opposite ends of the country?
Andrew: And yet with so many common interests.
Andrew: Well, we have a great show despite it only being two people. Eric is - well, I don't know what Eric is doing, but - we tried to get other people on as well, but just kind of a busy weekend with summertime going on. Everybody likes to pretend that MuggleCast doesn't exist, but that's fine. It can be just Micah and I. That's fine. But we do have lots of news to talk to everybody about, plus we have some updates on LeakyCon, Chapter-by-Chapter, we're going to go through the next two chapters, we're going to play Favorites, we're going to read e-mails, Micah is going to do a song and dance. It's a wonderful show today by all accounts.
Micah: That's what happens when you're missing hosts. You have to do song and dance.
Andrew: [laughs] Right, you have to come up with cheap gimmicks to attract listeners.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Micah: To fill the time.
Andrew: [laughs] Right. I'm Andrew Sims.
Micah: And I'm Micah Tannenbaum.
Andrew: So Micah, what's in the news this June week?
Micah: Well, we got more posters. I think the last time that we did the show, there were only three posters that had been released at the time that we recorded, and they were of the trio: Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Now we have a full set of posters, and I really thought what they did was they split it up where it was four of the good guys including Neville, and then really what they did was they created posters for four of what you would consider - at least coming into the film - to be four of the bad guys. Obviously that changes for two of them as the films progress, but you have Draco, Snape, Voldemort, and Bellatrix. All these posters were released. We talked about them on the last show in terms of how they looked. Nothing really changed in terms of how these looked. They were really just character shots.
Andrew: Yeah. And I liked how WB released these, doing one a day, because I thought that really added to the excitement of seeing the new posters. You guys may remember - at least with Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows - Part 1, they just released all the posters at once, and it was kind of like - it's great to see them all but it's one shot and you're done, whereas with this it was over two weeks. [laughs] And they released one new poster at the same time every day, so it got to the point where everybody knew at what time to expect the poster. It was kind of just a - it was a fun thing to look forward to every day.
Micah: Right. Yeah, I think they did a good job of that. And it's build-up. I mean, you get people interested and I think they maybe should have let the fans know that there were no more, [laughs] because they got people excited for sort of that eight-day period where it kept getting a poster day after day after day, and then all of a sudden it went quiet.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Andrew: Right. They never said, "Okay, it's over now." [laughs] But it could have been expected because in the past we've gotten - like with Deathly Hallows - Part 1 we got eight. So...
Micah: Yeah, and I think they did a good job. I know we talked on the last episode about just some little things here and there, but I think what they really wanted to do here for the last film was showcase what they consider to be the most important characters.
Andrew: Absolutely. Later in the show, we're going to get your Twitter responses about your favorite bad guy posters. I think there's a clear favorite in the group but I will save my opinion for the end.
Andrew: What else is going on in the show - in the news?
Micah: In the show? Well...
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Andrew: Let's recap the show again!
Micah: Yeah. Two people here podcasting on Episode 230.
Micah: But there's a little bit of news for Deathly Hallows - Part 2 at the MTV Movie Awards. We know that Potter is nominated in six categories and the awards are going to take place on Sunday night, 9 o'clock on MTV, and it'll be live. And the voting, I believe, ends today but the voting for Best Movie is going to continue all the way up through the actual show. So that should be kind of interesting to see how that plays out.
Andrew: Oh, that's cool. Yeah.
Micah: Cool little technological feature that they got going on there.
Micah: But the big news for Deathly Hallows - Part 2 is that Emma Watson is going to present an exclusive clip...
Micah: ...from the film. It'll be, really I think, our first clip. This is not a trailer or any sort of teaser or behind-the-scenes look, this is an actual clip from the film itself.
Andrew: Good, good. And I think - you may remember that at the last MTV Movie Awards, they debuted something. It may have been a trailer for Harry Potter.
Micah: I think it was a trailer.
Andrew: Okay. Yeah, because I remember MuggleNet crashed horrifically.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Andrew: And probably will be.
Micah: ...somehow I always work those nights where the trailers get released and I have...
Andrew: And I'm out drinking. [laughs]
Micah: Yeah, you're out drinking or just having a good time, and the site breaks. So it's really great for me. I end up drinking after the fact...
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Micah: ...because things happen. So - no, I'm anticipating, though, tomorrow night things running smoothly. Hopefully. I mean...
Andrew: Yeah right.
Micah: ...the interesting thing is...
Micah: And can I say, you're going to be at the MTV Movie Awards.
Andrew: Yeah, I'm going to be at the awards, so Micah...
Andrew: ...you are completely on your own about posting the clip. I'm not bringing my laptop. [laughs]
Micah: See, here we go again. [laughs] It's the same situation all over again.
Andrew: Right, I'm going to be drinking and you're going to be drinking your sorrows away.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Micah: So - interested though, what do you think the clip could be? I mean, I'm sure at this point, people don't want to see too much more of the film.
Andrew: But we're just getting started in terms of the clips and stuff that are going to be released. I mean, I think it'd be cool. Emma is going to be there so maybe she'll debut a clip that has her in it. So maybe it could be - and it's got to be action packed. They've got to get people excited. None of this slow stuff, even though Part 2 has a lot of action in it. I'm hoping for something from the battle. I think that would be a great thing to really get fans excited. We can see Emma in it as Hermione, we'll get a lot of action, we can see the whole trio, we can probably see a couple of other characters too. So I'm hoping for a clip.
Micah: Yeah. And it's interesting...
Andrew: Or from the battle.
Micah: ...that she is actually going to be there, because a lot of times when you're there, you have a really good chance of winning an award.
Micah: So it would be interesting to see what Potter ends up winning. Like I said, they're nominated in six categories and I know that MTV has been kind of pitching this as Potter versus Twilight in terms of...
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, which is very bad online.
Micah: Yeah. It creates a little bit of animosity online, but...
Micah: ...it would be interesting to see what happens.
Andrew: Yeah, I was going to bring that up, but I think Emma is also going to be there to promote Perks of Being a Wallflower which is a book-to-film adaptation that she's in. She's filming it in Pittsburg right now. She's of course going to be in LA for the movie awards but she has been in the US filming that, and I think she may be promoting that as well, so we'll see. But yeah, so it should be a good MTV Movie Awards and I'll be there, I'll live tweet anything interesting that happens related to Potter. And if Emma is at the after-party that I'm at, I will [pauses] not say hi.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Micah: Well, here's the thing though, that always interests me with these awards - and I know Potter has won in the past, Tom Felton won last year. There are clearly more Potter fans out there than Twilight fans, but I think what happens is that the Twilight fans are just - they're more active in their voting, and I think...
Micah: ...that's what's ended up happening to Potter over the course of the last several years. And they're up in a lot of these categories, I think that they can easily win. We'll see. I mean, again though, Tom Felton for Best Villain? I think he was - he got a little bit of a generous nomination there considering he wasn't in the movie all too long for Deathly Hallows - Part 1.
Micah: What do you think about that?
Micah: A lot of people said it should have been Ralph Fiennes.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, I think they picked Tom Felton in that category because they like to have the younger people being nominated. That would be my guess, especially for Harry Potter. And going against Twilight. I don't think Ralph Fiennes could go against a Twilight character, just because people are really passionate about the Twilight characters. So they've got to put somebody who is sort of like an even level in terms of popularity, and Tom Felton is definitely there. So yeah, I think Tom Felton is a good choice to be Best Villain. Maybe Ralph Fiennes will be nominated next year for Voldemort in Part 2.
Andrew: I mean, that would make more sense.
Micah: And I think MTV tried to fit Potter in a couple of categories. I think there's a couple of them that are a bit of a stretch, but...
Andrew: Like what?
Micah: Best Fight: Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint versus Death Eaters?
Andrew: Versus the Death - well, actually the best fight should have been Harry and Ron's fight in the tent.
Micah: That's a good point.
Andrew: Why wasn't that - I mean, that was a good fight.
Andrew: Anyway, what else is going on in the news this week?
Micah: Let me see. Oh, David Heyman is going to be honored with Producer of the Decade award, and people seem pretty receptive. I saw in the comments and people who replied to this on Twitter. They were pretty happy for him because he has worked for more than ten years now at this point on the Potter films. He is the one who really got it off the ground running, and he's been there the entire way.
Andrew: Yeah. Good for him! I mean, this is definitely deserved, and he's also going to be screening Part 1 - or Part 2 for everybody who is there at CineEurope. It's not open to the public, I think it's probably a closed thing, but it's cool that they're screening that. And yeah, good for him. Congratulations to David. I mean, he's been on the show, we've talked about how important he is. He's a true fan. I mean, you watch him talk about the books and films, and you just see how passionate he is and I don't think you can get that from just any producer, so...
Micah: Yeah. He - you can tell that he invested a lot into the series and that...
Micah: ...he was - he - I think, in a way, he's almost grateful that he ended up with this opportunity, because even when he was on the show, he said that had he not moved at the time that he moved and things happened the way that they did, he would have missed out on this opportunity and he can't imagine his life any differently. It would be a complete ten-year difference, [laughs] if you think about it...
Micah: ...taking up that amount of time in your life, and he seems to genuinely just be very happy that he had the opportunity to work on this.
Andrew: Before we continue with today's episode of MuggleCast, we'd like to remind you that this episode 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 great service. One audiobook to consider is The Hunger Games, the first in a trilogy of the same name. The series is hotter than ever right now because filming for the movie adaptation recently got underway. It's one book and film series you are not going to want to miss. So for a free audiobook of your choice such as The Hunger Games, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. Again, that's AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
Andrew: What else is going on?
Micah: Normally I wouldn't go back to talking about [laughs] the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 video game...
Andrew: [laughs] Mhm.
Micah: ...because I like to give it as little time as possible...
Micah: ...but there was a new trailer that was released this past week from Electronic Arts, and the feature that they were really playing up was this multi-character play. And what you can do essentially is play as a number of different characters. It's exactly what it sounds like. And they added Ginny, Neville, Molly, Seamus, and Professor McGonagall as characters in this game, and I guess you use them in different parts of the final battle, and that's of course in addition to being able to play as the trio. And it looked cool. My only concern is that the sort of gameplay aspect of it that people have complained about and had issue with over the course of the entire series of games is going to be another issue again here.
Andrew: Yeah. It's a shame because it's the last one - but yeah. We've said in the past - we probably won't talk much about it because we always [laughs] end up disappointed, so...
Micah: Yeah, yeah. But I will say it is a cool feature.
Micah: If you're somebody who likes just playing games, then...
Micah: ...definitely go and check it out.
Micah: And IGN, which is a big video game website, did a review of it. You can read that on MuggleNet. They kind of break down the game, they tell you what's new about it, what's different, and kind of give you their ratings for different parts of the game.
Micah: More Deathly Hallows...
Andrew: It's a good summer - it's probably a good summertime game, you know?
Micah: Yeah, yeah. The game, I think, is released...
Andrew: People have got extra time, so...
Micah: Yeah, it's going to be released on July 12th, so really, right before the film comes out, and it should be fun. I mean, it's always fun to play, but I think people who are more into video games are always looking for a little bit more.
Micah: So I'll just leave it at that. Well, according to his Facebook account, Conrad Pope has just finished recording with film composer Alexandre Desplat and the London Symphony Orchestra the final notes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which of course means that that's it. They've finished recording the Harry Potter series as a whole, and he noted - I guess he's been on this project, Conrad Pope, since the very beginning, because...
Micah: ...the quote reads:
"It's been over ten years since I worked with John Neufeld on John Williams' trailer for the first film. Five films (for me at least) and hundreds of thousands of notes later, it's finally over."
So he's been on five films, not all eight. But again you're getting this feeling of everything coming to a close.
Andrew: Right. Yeah, it's just another aspect of it. I look forward to hearing the soundtrack. I hope they tie it in to Sorcerer's Stone's soundtrack. Little throwbacks here and there. Get some of John Williams' stuff in it, obviously. Yeah. And I'm glad this Conrad Pope, he did tweet this stuff - I remember in the past he has - or not tweet but Facebook-ed, a couple of these things. I know he's dropped some bones for fans in the past, so it's good to hear from him.
Micah: Yeah, it's not the first time, yeah, that we heard from him.
Micah: I think he was actually the one who - it's not really leaked, but posted the information that Desplat was going to be working on the second part of Deathly Hallows.
Andrew: Yeah, you're right.
Micah: So - and the last bit of news is concerning Empire Magazine. They, of course, did this huge thirty-six page magazine, sort of like a - I guess a separate magazine from what they normally put out there for...
Andrew: A special issue.
Micah: A special issue, there you go - for Harry Potter. And people remember that they were literally traveling the globe to get interviews with, really, the cast from not just the last film but all of the films in the series, and to kind of get their input and their reflections on what it's been like to be a part of this series. And the ones that they did release parts from online were Jason Isaacs, Matt Lewis, James and Oliver Phelps, Tom Felton, Rupert Grint, and you can check all of them out on MuggleNet. The one I thought was kind of cool - and maybe we can try it here, too, Andrew - is...
Micah: ...they asked the cast to summarize Potter in one word.
Andrew: Yeah. People loved this, it was all over the Internet. I mean, people just really, really liked it. And of course in typical Rupert Grint fashion, he was the one who [laughs] really had a hard time coming up with an answer.
Andrew: I mean, it was nice the way they edited it, but I just thought it was very typical of Rupert. So, Micah, if you were to...
Andrew: ...describe the franchise in one word...
Micah: I like how you're turning it back on me.
Andrew: [laughs] How would you describe it if you were to describe it in one word?
Micah: I'd say...
Andrew: Oh, you're just like Rupert.
Micah: I'm just like Rupert, yeah. I'd say a journey.
Micah: Did anybody use that in the video?
Andrew: I don't know.
Micah: Because that's really what it's been.
Micah: I think for all of us over the last - I mean, it goes back to - well, I was going to say before the movies were actually released with the first book, but I've only been involved with all of this for six years. I mean, I know there's been people that have been with this from the very beginning. So - but yeah, a journey for me would probably be the right word.
Andrew: Yeah. Somebody said this in the video - I can't remember who, it may have been Dan - magical.
Micah: That was Emma Watson.
Andrew: And I - oh, it was Emma? Okay. You would remember Emma's answer.
Andrew: She - I agree with that because obviously it's the Harry Potter magic, blah blah blah, but also just because if you think about how unique the entire franchise has been compared to anything else. I mean, nothing has ever come close to this in terms of the size, the scope, the releases, the passion of the fans. It really is magical in that it's so unique. It hasn't been done before. It's a one-of-a-kind thing. So that's why I would use that word.
Micah: Yeah. No, I think that's definitely the right word. [laughs] I mean, I think if you're picking any word...
Micah: ...that's probably the most appropriate.
Andrew: Right, right. Certainly not a wrong answer. [laughs]
Micah: No. But the last piece that I want to just touch on real fast that I think also a lot of people were responsive to on social media was Empire released a letter that Alan Rickman, of all people, wrote to JK Rowling.
Andrew: [laughs] "Of all people."
Micah: Well, the reason why I say that is because he's not somebody who talks about the Potter series a lot.
Andrew: That's true.
Micah: And one of the reasons that he always gives in interviews is because he doesn't want to spoil it for anybody who hasn't read it up until this point. So he's only willing to talk about things up to a certain point. And so I'm interested when we interview him, [laughs] either in London or in New York City, now he finally has to talk about the entire series.
Micah: He can't use that as a cop-out. But it was just interesting to see him saying, I finally finished doing voiceovers for Snape for the final time. And he was somebody who clearly knew Snape's importance from the very beginning, and he probably even knew Snape's fate from the very beginning. And it was very important, I remember, to him to know what was going to happen with his character so that he could play the role the right way throughout the course of the series.
Andrew: Yeah. Okay, I have a question about this. The first couple of sentences, he says:
"I have just returned from the dubbing studio where I spoke into a microphone as Severus Snape for absolutely the last time. On the screen were some flashback shots of Daniel, Emma, and Rupert from ten years ago. They were twelve."
So I don't - is he saying he was doing voiceovers that involve video on the screen of Dan, Emma, and Rupert from ten years ago?
Micah: Was he maybe recording something for a Blu-ray or a DVD?
Andrew: Right, that's what I'm thinking. He must - but then why would he be in the voice of Snape? I don't know what he's saying here, unless they just had the trio up there just to - for old times' sake? I don't get - and everybody - I haven't seen anybody talking about this, wondering why the trio would be up on the screen from ten years ago. [laughs] That doesn't make sense to me.
Micah: Unless it's some kind of tribute that they're going to be doing.
Andrew: Yeah, but again, why would he be in the character of Snape?
Micah: Yeah, that's weird.
Micah: Well I mean, he just sounds like Snape anyway. I mean, it's his voice.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, that's true. That's true. I mean, I hope he's doing some cool tribute thing as Snape. That would be really awesome, but I just can't imagine what it would be. But yeah, again, a lot of fans love this letter because there's a very passionate group of people for Alan Rickman. Everybody loves Alan Rickman. So it's cool. I'm glad he wrote this letter for Empire.
Micah: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So that is all the news, at least related to Deathly Hallows - Part 2, but there is some more news to talk about with respect to where we're going to be just over a month from now, Andrew.
Micah: Yes, for...
Andrew: The top guy.
Micah: And he was part of the team, I guess, that edited the entire Harry Potter series.
Andrew: Right. And he brought it to the US and Scholastic. And then also there will be an Electronic Arts keynote, they're going to be doing a behind-the-scenes look at the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 video game. So that should be cool. I mean, if you're into video games, you want to see how they are made, that'd be a great way to experience that.
And of course, we're going to be doing live podcasts. We're going to be having the Leaky Mug on Thursday of the conference and MuggleCast on Friday, and that MuggleCast is going to be our big movie review episode. Of course, people who do not come to LeakyCon will be able to listen to those shows at a later time, when we release them. We'll of course be working to get the movie review episode out as quickly as possible because I know that episode [laughs] will be in high demand after everybody sees the film. It's going to be great because we're going to be getting feedback from the audience there, watching us record the podcast, so we're going to have some great discussion, I think. It's going to be a lot of fun. So to anyone who is coming, we can't wait to see you there. LeakyCon.com has all the details and will continue to be up to date with all the information concerning the probably biggest Harry Potter conference ever.
Micah: It's definitely getting there. [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah. We'll see you there.
Micah: If it's got a waiting list, I'm sure it's there at this point. [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah. We'll see you there in just about a month. So now it's time to get into Chapter-by-Chapter. This week we're looking at Order of the Phoenix, Chapters 5 and 6, of the Harry Potter series. And Micah, you got the short stick this week.
Andrew: You had a short chapter, didn't you?
Micah: Yeah. I just chose it and [laughs] luck of the draw.
Andrew: Sure. You counted the pages, you picked whichever one was shorter.
Micah: [laughs] Maybe.
Andrew: [laughs] That's what I do. You can admit it, it's fine. [laughs]
Micah: Yeah. Well, normally we have Eric to take care of the longer chapters but he's not here this week.
So Chapter-by-Chapter, Order of the Phoenix. This is Chapter 5, appropriately titled "The Order of the Phoenix." And when we last left off with Chapter 4, it ended with Harry meeting Sirius and learning that the portrait that was screaming on the wall was that of Sirius's mother. And Harry learns that the house that they are now in is Sirius's old house, the house that he grew up in, and that he is the last living member and that is why he can provide it as a safe haven for the Order of the Phoenix. And he says, "It's about the only useful thing I've been able to do," and Harry immediately senses a bit of bitterness in Sirius, and he realizes that Sirius has been cooped up for pretty much the entire time that Harry has been up at the Dursleys, because he's a fugitive, he's still wanted by the Ministry, and he can't go out and do much. And he also learns that Snape has been giving it to Sirius as well, in the sense that every chance that he has had to kind of give him a dig and report that he's been doing all this dangerous work, and Sirius has been sitting at home. And there's never been a good relationship between Sirius and Snape.
Andrew: This was an interesting look into some of the more mature characters' relationships.
Micah: Yeah, yeah, I think you definitely get that. And Harry is led, finally, down into the kitchen area. And there's a bunch of people who are still talking amongst themselves, and you can clearly tell that a meeting has just taken place. And Harry catches a glimpse of plans for a building, and that's quickly taken away from his eyesight because Mrs. Weasley notices that he's been looking, and she obviously [laughs] does not want him to know what has been going on. And we get a really strong glimpse into that later on the chapter, but just kind of a little nugget to store away, that they've been looking at plans for a building and what building that could possibly be.
Andrew: Right. And as Sirius mentions in the next chapter I think - I think it's the next chapter - the House of Black really is the best place. No question about it. The layer of protection, the secrecy. It's perfect.
Micah: Yeah. So now Harry and Sirius start to talk and he says to him, "I'd have welcomed a Dementor attack, a deadly struggle for my soul would have broken the monotony nicely. You think you've had it bad? At least you've been able to get out and about, stretch your legs, get into a few fights. I've been stuck inside for a month."
Micah: Yeah, this is more insight now, I think, into Sirius's maturity. I mean, that's something that's always comed up. [laughs] Comed up.
Micah: Let's try that again. That's always something that's come up throughout the course of the entire series I think, as long as he's been alive. Everybody kind of talks about how he's not this mature character. He's kind of like - and I don't know if it's because he's been in prison for so long, but he hasn't really aged beyond probably when he was imprisoned at eighteen years old, or whatever it was. Nineteen years old.
Andrew: Well, what do you mean - how do you think this shows how mature he is? I was just going to say it shows how hurt he is, how sad he is to be stuck in the house.
Micah: Yeah. Well, I mean, just talking about - and it's probably somewhat in jest, like he's saying, "I'd have welcomed a Dementor attack. At least you're able to go outside." But I think he also has to realize that he's on the run from the Ministry. He can't be walking around outside and doing the things that a normal person would do, because people know about him, they know about his Animagus form. He talks about that, saying that Pettigrew will have told Voldemort by now that Sirius is able to transform himself. So it's not as if he can go out and do the things he wants to do. He's locked down. And I think instead of accepting that, he's kind of being a bit immature about it. But that's just my own take on it.
So they keep talking and Molly is trying to prepare dinner for everybody. And now that both Fred and George are of age, they can use magic whenever they want. And so instead of carrying food and Butterbeer over to the table, they try to use magic to make it float over there, and it ends up being a huge mess. But what's interesting is that the knife that is used to cut the bread - and the quote reads, "Slipped off the board and landed, point down and quivering ominously, exactly where Sirius's right hand had been seconds before."
Micah: So I was going to say that's death omen number one for Sirius. There's a number of them in this book, but...
Micah: ...that should have been a clue, I guess, to some people.
Andrew: That was a big - these death omens were quite popular back when the book came out, weren't they?
Andrew: I'm sure - I think there is an editorial or two on MuggleNet about how - [laughs] I guess how we should have seen these all coming. Or seen Sirius's death coming because of all of these omens.
Micah: Yeah, I think the first time that you read through the book, though, you're just trying to get to the - not really the end, but you're trying to find out as much information as you possibly can, and there are so many loose ends that had yet to be tied up, even in this book.
Micah: So you glimpse over stuff like that. People who are far more intelligent, though, will pick that up though, the first time, so I don't know what that says about us.
Andrew: Yeah. All right.
Micah: So we learn also, right around this time, that Molly doesn't really like Mundungus Fletcher because he's a criminal, and he deals in sort of black market trading and he's not the guy you want around for dinner. And Sirius sort of explains that the only reason that he is in the Order of the Phoenix is that Dumbledore got him out of a tight situation one time, and that Mundungus is indebted to Dumbledore and likes Dumbledore. So I'm trying to remember was it ever explained what Dumbledore did to help him out.
Andrew: I certainly don't remember.
Micah: I don't think it ever was, I think it's just one of those things that was mentioned in passing.
Micah: So now we get - once dinner is over - and dessert, of course. Dessert is always important - we get to Sirius basically saying out loud, in front of everybody, to Harry, "I'm surprised at you. I thought you'd want to know what's going on." So this leads to a huge debate about what Harry should know with respect to the Order of the Phoenix, and Molly points out that it should be on a need-to-know basis. And she really gets into Sirius at this point. She really criticizes him, saying that it's not up to him to decide what's good for Harry. But isn't it? That's my question.
Andrew: I think so. I guess maybe the question - maybe the thing Molly wonders is, whose decision is it to decide what's good and not good for Harry? I think it's just as much Sirius's decision as it is Molly's decision. Probably more so Sirius's, just because he's the godfather. I mean, what is Mrs. Weasley, really? Good friends, yes, but what else? I mean, at least there is some sort of family connection to Sirius. Not with the family tree, at least, but Sirius is Harry's godfather. And I think Mrs. Weasley is wrong here, but the problem is she feels like she is Harry's closest thing to a mother, so Mrs. Weasley tries to make the decisions. And she looks at Sirius, who is a bit - he's down in the dumps, he's had a troubled past. She probably does not trust Sirius to make these kind of decisions. But I have to say I think Molly is wrong here. But she can't help it, she's the motherly figure, that's what moms do.
Micah: Right, right. And in Prisoner of Azkaban it's pointed out that, really, it's Sirius who is Harry's guardian because both of his parents are dead and obviously the Dursleys are worthless, so - aside from the protection that's on their home, you would think that Harry would be just as safe in Grimmauld Place, possibly. But I pointed out, they're in Sirius's house, so he can really say whatever he wants. He's not being - he shouldn't feel that he can't speak his mind, Sirius. And that's where I asked, is Molly becoming a bit too much of a protector, and I think you made a good point saying she's just being the motherly figure. There's this whole back and forth between the two of them, and Molly criticizes him for thinking that Harry is really James, and Sirius criticizes her, saying that she's not Harry's mother, and she says she's as good as. So it's really just kind of this nasty back-and-forth that's taking place between the two of them.
Andrew: Yeah. It's an interesting debate to watch, because of the reasons I just mentioned. They're both kind of power-hungry in terms of who gets to make the decisions for Harry, and they both have their good and bad reasons for the other not being in control.
Andrew: Or being the decision maker.
Micah: Right. And [laughs] she even says, "It's been rather difficult for you to look after him while you've been locked up in Azkaban, hasn't it?"
Andrew: Zing. Yeah. I mean, that's one of the reasons Molly does not trust Sirius, like I was mentioning. He's had a troubled past, even if he wasn't guilty.
Micah: Right. Yeah, exactly. So [laughs] yeah, like you said, a lot of the things going back and forth.
Micah: But in terms of what Harry should be able to hear, Arthur thinks that Harry should be able to have some information, so that he doesn't learn about it from other people and get sort of a different perspective, or an idea of what it is that's going on. And Lupin kind of backs him up and says the same thing, and Lupin points out to Molly, "Look, we all care about Harry here but ultimately, he is the one who saw Voldemort return, so he should be entitled to some information." And so this creates a whole debate about who should be able to hear what they're about to discuss, and Fred and George say that they're of age. Molly tells them to go up to their rooms, but Arthur says, "No, they're of age, they're allowed to make their own decisions," so they stay. And Ron begins to argue, and Ron says that, "Harry is just going to end up telling us everything that you tell him anyway." And at this point Harry actually thinks about not telling them because of what went on during the summer. But you have to think at some point, even if he did that initially, he was still going to tell them what happened.
Andrew: Yeah. Oh, definitely.
Micah: So poor old Ginny ends up being the only one that has to go up to her room.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Micah: And this is really where you get a little bit of insight into what's been going on. We learn that there have been no mysterious disappearances as of yet. That's why Harry hasn't been able to see any, whether it be on the regular news or in the Daily Prophet. And Lupin talks about how Harry was so important in this whole process because Voldemort didn't want anybody to know that he was back yet. He wanted to be able to do all of his recruiting, and he wanted to be able to kind of sneak around and then kind of spring this all on everyone, and the last person he wanted to know that he was back was Dumbledore. And Dumbledore was able to alert the Order of the Phoenix, they said, an hour after he returned.
So the Order is in the process of trying to prevent him from recruiting more followers, whether they be former Death Eaters or other Dark creatures. And we learn that the Ministry is still ignorant to his return, because Fudge believes that Dumbledore is after his job. And that plays out in this book with all the Ministry involvement in the school, but - we've talked about Fudge a lot on this show throughout the years, I guess, but it's just amazing how he's that self-absorbed that he thinks that Dumbledore is after his job.
Andrew: Yeah, and what's even more silly is that it's really Voldemort who is after Fudge's job. And there's this evidence, and you see the Order all working - it just doesn't make sense. It really doesn't make any logical sense. I wish I could sit here and explain Fudge's thinking, Fudge's reasoning, but I wouldn't know what to say.
Andrew: I'm at a loss for words, Micah.
Micah: Yeah. Yeah, I don't know. I mean, we see that his approach to things is just completely the wrong approach, and he does this throughout really the end of Goblet of Fire and all of Order of the Phoenix. And I'm sure there are other examples in different books that we can point to where he's just more focused on his own safety, in terms of his job, than he is on doing the right thing. Even in Chamber of Secrets when he comes to get Hagrid. It's, again, like he's feeling pressure from the Lucius Malfoys of the world, instead of doing what's right.
Micah: So the last bit of information we learn in this chapter is that Voldemort is after a weapon he didn't have before. And this is interesting, and Lupin is the one who kind of cuts Sirius off and doesn't let him go any further at this point. And I read something, I can't remember how long ago it was, but it was talking about all of these people around the table, how they would compare in terms of being family members. Like, Sirius is more of Harry's older brother who's willing to kind of kick back and tell him anything he wants to hear. Arthur is kind of like the indecisive uncle who's just like, "Ehhh, well, he can hear what he needs to hear, because he's going to be ultimately the one who is going to have to face Voldemort." But Lupin is really the father figure. He's the one who kind of is the...
Andrew: He's wise.
Micah: Yeah. And he's willing to kind of take a stand. He's willing to let Harry know what he needs to know, but nothing more than that. So he's the one who's really the father figure for Harry in this sense, when you're saying that Molly is more of the motherly figure. But as far as this weapon is concerned, when you read this the first time - and I don't even remember when the first time was I read this book, but - were you thinking like, "Okay, what is this weapon?"
Micah: "What is this gun or tank or - I don't know, some magical equivalent that he has, that is going to be able to take down Harry?"
Micah: Or the entire wizarding world, for that matter.
Andrew: Yeah. And - yeah. I mean, it was certainly - just the fact that it's so ominous and everybody's - all the kids are so unsure of what it could it be. It did add to the powerful level - it's potential power. So, I can't remember exactly what I was thinking but it was definitely worrying.
Micah: Yeah, you...
Andrew: Because we're getting in deeper into the story here, things are getting a lot darker, so it's like you kind of expect that we're going to see some very dark, powerful magic being - going down in this book. So...
Micah: Yeah. And it ends up - obviously we know what it ends up being, but you're thinking it's this - I don't know. [laughs] I'm thinking - you think "weapon," you think like...
Andrew: A deathstick.
Micah: Yeah. I don't know.
Andrew: Like a sword or...
Micah: Yeah, something like that. Something that in his - if he physically had it, could do serious damage to other people. But it's just a prophecy.
Andrew: Right, right. It is a bit misleading. [laughs]
Micah: But I guess, in a way, it is a weapon, so...
Andrew: I mean, yeah, it's a weapon if you throw it at somebody...
Andrew: ...and the shattered pieces of it land in their eyeballs.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Andrew: But no, yeah, it is a weapon. Sure.
Micah: Yeah, so that's really - that's Chapter 5. And the other thing I was thinking about - and I haven't looked at the other books - but is this the first time that we get a glimpse as to what the title of the book is, this early in the book?
Andrew: Hmm. Yeah. I mean - yeah, it's only a few chapters in. I mean, Goblet of Fire, how early did we learn about the Goblet? It may have been a few chapters later, I guess, because there's the Quidditch World Cup that came up and then they sort of get into the Goblet of Fire, but...
Micah: I know that - and I'm not talking about the actual - not, like, mentioning it, because I know in Sorcerer's Stone they mention the Sorcerer's Stone in one of the first few chapters because it's written on that card. Remember the...
Andrew: Oh right.
Micah: What are they called? The Chocolate Frog card.
Micah: About Dumbledore, that he worked on the Sorcerer's Stone with Nicholas Flamel. But I'm talking about the actual title chapter, because - I could be wrong, but it seems like there is a title chapter in every book. Like there is one...
Andrew: Yeah, there is. Yeah.
Micah: So I think this is the earliest we get it.
Micah: But I'll double-check on it.
Andrew: No, I think you're right. And in a way, it's good because you like to know what the scope of the book is going to be like. The Half-Blood Prince, the title, especially - the book, you get more of the Half-Blood Prince, but the movie - somebody just brought this up to me the other day actually, it's called Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the movie, and you hardly see the Half-Blood Prince! [laughs] Except at the end, when Snape goes [imitating Snape] "I am the Half-Blood Prince." [laughs] And that's it!
Micah: Yeah, they're...
Andrew: I mean, you know about the mysterious book written by the Half-Blood Prince, but there's - yeah, that wasn't the best title.
Micah: Well, the problem was there was so much of the backstory that was cut out of - remember they said Half-Blood Prince is the "sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll" of the Harry Potter series, and that's what their focus was. And because they did do that, they left out a lot of the backstory with Snape and Harry's mother, and sort of the whole [laughs] Half-Blood Prince storyline, really.
Click here to go to page two