["Hedwig's Theme" plays]
Micah: Because we can't figure out who NightSpell314 is, this is MuggleCast Episode 239 for September 19th, 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 239! It's a new school year.
Andrew: The summer is over, ladies and gentlemen, and for once there is no new Potter film to look forward to at the end of the school year. Awww.
Andrew: Or in the middle of it. Awww.
Eric: You're just the bearer of good news, aren't you?
Eric: What else is going wrong [laughs] this fall?
Andrew: Well, we used to - I think we used to do some kind of summer-ish segments or...
Andrew: Maybe not. But I know people - surely, people listen more often to MuggleCast in the summers because they have more time, because the majority of our listeners are in school, I would say.
Matt: Mhm. So, we're in that elementary school.
Eric: Well, there's never been a better time to re-listen to old episodes of MuggleCast.
Andrew: [laughs] That's right.
Eric: Well, I mean, while you're on the bus and stuff now, so that's cool.
Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. I used to listen to a podcast every Monday morning on the bus on the way in, and it was really nice!
Andrew: Mhm. Anyway, Matt, Eric, Micah, and I are here this week. We got some Pottermore to talk about. We have a lot of e-mails we have been meaning to catch up on, so we're going to get to those. Also, we got a Favorites segment, and the news, of course. I'm Andrew Sims from Hypable.com.
Eric: I'm Eric Scull from MuggleNet.com.
Micah: I'm Micah Tannenbaum from MSNBC.com.
Matt: And I'm Matthew Britton from The Huffington Post.
Andrew: Okay. Well, first of all, there's business to attend to. A lot of us have been shuffling around, you see. I was going to talk about Hypable, but I think the bigger news here is that Matt and Micah are at much bigger news outlets.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Matt: We're better than you, see.
Matt: So, how's that?
Micah: We didn't even announce that, we just moved.
Eric: Huffington, MSNBC, really? Wow.
Matt: Yeah. We didn't post anything on anything.
Andrew: You didn't get a goodbye post. At least I got that. [laughs]
Andrew: So anyway, there is some business to attend to. If you do - and you doesn't? - visit MuggleNet, you'll know that about a week or two - a couple of weeks ago now, I made an announcement that - shockingly. I still can't believe it - I'm no longer a staff member of MuggleNet, and I'm working on my own entertainment site now, Hypable, as you've heard on the show before and probably on MuggleNet. But the good news is - concerning this podcast is that this podcast is still living on. MuggleCast has been around forever, as everybody knows, and Micah, Eric, and I have all been very big parts of it for a very long time. So, it is not changing, but we are - so there's not really much to say in terms of the podcast, not much is changing, but we do want to let you know that we are going to make a couple of changes to the MuggleCast Twitter account.
Eric: And site. And site, in general.
Andrew: And the MuggleCast site. Right. MuggleCast is kind of going to exist on its own server. It's kind of a technical thing that you won't even really notice because you'll still be going to MuggleCast.com and you're still going to see the same site. So, a lot is the same, and we'll update you as changes are made, but that's what's going on.
Matt: I feel like our parents are divorcing or something.
Matt: Like your life is not going to be changed by this, just...
Matt: We still love you.
Andrew: The listeners are the children.
Andrew: Don't worry, children, nothing is changing.
Eric: Nah, I think my parents' divorce is probably one of the best things that they did, so...
Andrew: Oh. [laughs] Well, in that case...
Andrew: ...I guess this is great! So, that's what's happening with that. And, like I said, with the website, you won't notice too many changes but it will be moving. It's going to be more of a behind-the-scenes change, but with the MuggleCast Twitter, we're going to start tweeting news from MuggleNet and Hypable, Harry Potter news. And it's going to be news that we're going to be discussing here on the show. And speaking of the news, Micah, what is in the news? Now that you anchor from MSNBC, I imagine the news has gotten much better quality wise.
Micah: Absolutely. [laughs]
Eric: Yeah, do you do the news or do you just do, like, the Dateline: To Catch a Predator stuff?
Eric: Oh. So...
Micah: I moonlight a little bit.
Eric: Are you going to ask me to have a seat?
Micah: No, no, you're - do I need to ask you to have a seat, I guess is the better question.
Andrew: Yeah, those are words you're never going to want to be asked.
Eric: Never mind.
Micah: But anyway, in the last few weeks since we've done the show, Deathly Hallows - Part 2 eclipsed the $1.3 billion mark worldwide, and it's the third movie ever to reach that milestone, and it's closing in on $1 billion internationally. Obviously, here in the United States, it still doesn't rank that high. It's somewhere in the top 15 in terms of domestic gross, but it just keeps moving up the charts.
Andrew: But it's at number three now, and it's not going to pass Avatar and Titanic, so it's just going to stay at number three, and that will be that.
Micah: Unless we all go to the movie theater right now.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Micah: Although I don't even know how many theaters it's still in, at this point.
Andrew: And Titanic is going back into theaters, Avatar is going back into theaters - or did it already? I mean, there's no stopping James Cameron.
Matt: No, Avatar already did a re-release in theaters.
Andrew: Oh, okay. But I don't know if that's going to count towards Titanic's total, but...
Matt: Titanic did re-releases and they're also doing another re-release in 3D.
Eric: No kidding.
Andrew: Right, that's what I mean.
Eric: Well, I bet...
Matt: I mean, how many re-releases are we talking about?
Eric: Well, my theory is that Lion King is going to come back and just eclipse them all for the number one spot. That came out - is that this week or next week that's coming out in 3D?
Andrew: This week.
Matt: This Friday.
Eric: That's going to be awesome, man, Lion King in 3D.
Matt: I hear it's not that stellar.
Matt: I've been hearing some...
Andrew: The 3D is not that good.
Matt: Yeah, the 3D...
Eric: Oh. Why would they...
Matt: ...conversion isn't that good.
Eric: That's a real shame to hear.
Andrew: But on MuggleCast 400, we'll be talking about the Deathly Hallows re-release.
Andrew: So, look forward to that.
Eric: Cool. [laughs] I'm counting the days, Andrew!
[Andrew and Matt laugh]
Matt: That's the next thing to look for.
Andrew: All right. Before we move on with today's show, we'd like to remind you that today's podcast is brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet's leading provider of audiobooks, with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature and featuring audio versions of many New York Times Bestsellers. For listeners of this podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their great service. One audiobook to consider is The Night Circus, a book just released by Erin Morgenstern. Publishers Weekly calls it "a giant, magical story destined for bestsellerdom." I actually just started listening to it and I can tell you, I agree completely. And actually this book has two connections to Potter: for one, Jim Dale is the narrator of the audiobook. He narrates the US version of the Harry Potter books, and two, David Heyman who has produced the Potter films is reportedly very interested in turning this book into a film. So, to get a free audiobook of your choice such as The Night Circus, which I do really recommend, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. Again, that's AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
Micah: Well, the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 DVD, which is supposed to come out I think sometime in the middle of November - the British Board of Film Classification updated their site with a listing of what deleted scenes we can expect to see when it is released, and did any of these jump out at you? I'll just go through them real fast. "Shell Cottage," not very descriptive. "Harry and Luna at Dobby's grave on the Beach."
Micah: "The Hog's Head."
Eric: ...more descriptive. [laughs]
Micah: Yeah, so is "The Hog's Head," so maybe there was just a little bit of extended discussion between Harry and Aberforth. "Marble Staircase with Harry and Ginny," "Wooden Bridge," "Hogwarts Battlements," "Slytherin Dungeons" - and I think that's actually one that you saw in some of the trailers, right? With Filch...
Matt: Mhm. Yeah.
Micah: ...and there was that explosion that took place behind him. That never made it into the movie. And then the final one, "Marble Staircase with Ron and Hermione."
Andrew: [sighs] These aren't good.
Andrew: I've heard some talk - isn't somebody else - aren't there other scenes that were apparently cut? How about the "Why do you live? Because I have something to live for"? Where is that on the DVD? Or does that count as part of the battlements?
Eric: Maybe. Maybe not.
Andrew: I'm just - this seems...
Eric: Do you feel like - well, do you get the feeling that they're withholding for the sake of withholding so that ten years later, they have a better, more definitive deleted scenes?
Eric: Because we know they do that on other films. But...
Matt: Well, I mean, would you rather have bad deleted scenes or would you have really good deleted scenes that you wish were in the movie?
Eric: That's true. Well, I mean, we have the reason for them to not include the "Why do you live? Because I have something to live for."
Matt: Because it was dumb.
Eric: The real problem is that - that it ever made it into the trailer and that the trailer people ran with it, and that scream and everything else that the trailer people did to get us excited for this. But that deleted scene, they just didn't like it after they filmed, right? They didn't think it would be entirely appropriate, so they cut it. And yeah, we know it exists and it's not even in the deleted scenes, but I just think it's for a good reason, right? I mean, that's just something that they didn't think would - maybe they're embarrassed that they filmed it.
Andrew: I think they're saving some stuff for the Ultimate Edition, perhaps?
Andrew: Which may be coming out at the same time, but there hasn't really been - there's been some news about the Part 1 Ultimate Edition, but not the Part 2 Ultimate Edition. But they've been releasing each Ultimate Edition in groups of two, so they did "1" and "2", "3" and "4", "5" and "6". So, presumably they would do "7" and "8" at the same time, too, and maybe they'll save it - I know a couple of people were saying that Arthur and Will, two actors in the Deathly Hallows epilogue - they said they were going to put the first epilogue in the deleted scenes, is that right, Micah?
Micah: Yeah, they talked about it when we spoke with them - was it last episode? Or two episodes ago? Because they had done the initial filming of the epilogue and then they scrapped it.
Andrew: Because it was horrendous.
Micah: Yeah, it was... [laughs]
Micah: It didn't end up working out too well, so they shot it at Leavesden. So, one of the characters that they talked about, Teddy Lupin, who I think a lot of people were looking forward to seeing in the epilogue, was in the initial one that they shot but then wasn't in the one that they ended up using in the movie. So, maybe that's Ultimate Edition material, who knows.
Eric: Yeah, I think many times with these deleted scenes, too - some of them - I think it depends on the director of the studio, too, because you'll see on certain deleted scenes of DVDs and now Blu-rays, there may be like a five-second clip - you know, some DVDs for some movies will have these really short extended scenes, I guess they even call them, that really are kind of pointless but some people feel like maybe the viewers would want to see that. And then others, maybe with these Harry Potter's, they're having sort of more substantial scenes. So, even if we did get a view of Teddy Lupin in the original epilogue, it may just be a view, a shot, and because we don't have the epilogue, the scenes surrounding that version of the epilogue, they're never going to release it just because it wouldn't fit. It would be, like, five seconds of, "Oh, that's supposed to be Teddy," but unless it's in the original scene they're not going to show it.
Andrew: It could also just be a special feature, like a featurette, like "The Original Epilogue," and then we'll see clips from the original epilogue.
Andrew: And then maybe the crew will talk about why it didn't work, and what issues they were running into, because I remember around press time for it they did have a lot to say about it, just about how - actually, [laughs] everybody could not stop talking about how awful it was. I remember Dan Radcliffe saying that it was just so noisy because they were actually filming at King's Cross, some of the costumes were off, Rupert was saying he looked half bald, and some of you probably saw the paparazzi photos. So, overall it was just kind of like a mess of a shoot, and I could see them doing a whole featurette out of that.
Micah: Well, speaking of featurettes on Ultimate Editions - nice segue there, Andrew.
Micah: There was a little bit of a clip released for the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 Ultimate Edition. It's part of "Creating the World of Harry Potter" and it was released through Harry Potter: The Quest, that online interactive game that fans can participate in. And it just gave a look at the first press conference that the trio did, and it was with Chris Columbus and David Heyman as well. And it was interesting how Chris Columbus asked the media to really stay away from these kids and that this was really [laughs] the only time that they were going to be available to speak with the press.
Andrew: [in a sentimental voice] They've changed so much!
[Eric and Matt laugh]
Andrew: They - it was a nice clip and that's why I like the Ultimate Edition documentaries, we've talked about them before. Basically, it's one giant eight-hour documentary, and you get one hour of the documentary on each Ultimate Edition set so you have to buy them to get the whole documentary, and - yeah, so the "Growing Up Potter" will be on number seven, like you said, and it's nice. It's touching. And now, Part 8 is supposed to be about the fandom or something, so I don't know if they're going to be talking about the fan sites, but they didn't interview anyone so [laughs] I'm kind of guessing not.
[Eric and Matt laugh]
Andrew: They didn't reach out to MuggleNet, so...
Micah: It'll all be on...
Micah: ...the ninth Ultimate Edition, which will never make it out of the cutting room floor.
Andrew: Well, no, because then they're going to be moving into the super-mega-foxy-awesome edition.
Andrew: Yeah, which they're actually saving the real deleted scenes for.
Eric: I really would like...
Andrew: And the bloopers.
Eric: Can I put that on layaway now?
Andrew: [laughs] Yes...
Eric: Reserve it?
Andrew: ...on Amazon.
Eric: [laughs] Super-freaky-awesome - what was it?
Andrew: I think that's a StarKid reference. I may be wrong.
Eric: Ooh, okay.
Micah: All right.
Andrew: ...so I threw that in there. [laughs]
Micah: Well, the final bit of...
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Micah: ...Deathly Hallows - Part 2 news - and these awards aren't that big, but Potter usually gets nominated at them every year - the Scream Awards.
Micah: Deathly Hallows - Part 2 picked up fourteen nominations, so...
Eric: Interestingly, they were all... [imitates Voldemort's scream in the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 trailer]
Eric: The Scream Awards, get it? Scream. Scream Awards.
Andrew: I get it.
Eric: Because he screamed like fourteen times in that trailer.
Andrew: He did.
Matt: He did.
Micah: So I would think they'll probably win at least one [laughs] at this award show. What's interesting is in a lot of categories, I noticed they're up against Game of Thrones, which is a new popular series from HBO. So, it'll be interesting to see...
Andrew: Yeah, very popular.
Micah: ...how they can do against them.
Matt: I love Game of Thrones.
Micah: No, you're allowed to speak. You're allowed to say that. [laughs]
Matt: Oh okay, yeah.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Micah: No, you can't talk. What?
Eric: No, no, Game of Thrones is awesome. I think we all watch Game of Thrones, actually.
Andrew: What else is going on in the news?
Micah: All right, final bit of news, the follow-up to Harry Potter Film Wizardry which is called Harry Potter Page to Screen is going to be released on October 25th. It's essentially a massive encyclopedia of the Harry Potter films and much different from what people got in Film Wizardry. It's a little expensive, $75 is probably steep for some people, but you know, Christmas is right around the corner.
Micah: And I think we're at least giving away one copy on MuggleCast, so stay tuned in terms of I guess how we're going to figure out what the rules are for giving it away. But we'll give away one copy on the show.
Andrew: The first one was really good, Film Wizardry, and this is - I mean, this one better be all new material. It better not be the same stuff.
Andrew: I mean, that's kind of the impression you get, considering the covers kind of look similar and they call it a follow-up, which kind of makes me feel like it's an expanded edition or something. But...
Matt: For 75 bucks, it better be.
Andrew: Well, the first one was really big, too, and I think this one will be as well. The first one was really good, so hopefully Page to Screen will be just as interesting.
Andrew: And new material.
Eric: Yeah, right? Well, I mean, I think the good thing about bookstores is you can go in and open up the book before you buy it, right?
Eric: So that helps.
Eric: And I mean, even Amazon will have a digital look inside, but still in terms of - because these are heavy books, the weight, and the way it's packaged. You'll see that by just walking into your local bookshop.
Matt: Mhm. Just not Borders.
Andrew: One other story I wanted to bring up, this is kind of a more serious story, JK Rowling was named one of the celebrities in the British phone-hacking probe, which has been going on since July. I know everybody in England knows all about it. In case people in the US don't, basically what happened was Rupert Murdoch's company, News Corp., who owned News of the Word - it was uncovered that they were tapping phone lines and spying on private phone conversations of the families of dead military members, people in political positions, and also celebrities. And JK Rowling may be one of those people who News of the World were tapping in on, and so she was listed as a "core participant," which means that she may have suffered - she may have been listened in on. Now, you can imagine why News of the World would be tapping in on JK Rowling. I mean, she's a very high-profile celebrity.
Andrew: Maybe at one point they were trying to get some book scoops, stuff like that. So JK Rowling has the choice, she can come forward and say, "Yes, me,"ù or, "A lawyer will represent me and speak on my behalf."ù But as far as we know right now, it's just a possibility and chances are, we're not going to find out details of the exact phone conversations they were tapping in on. But it's a big scandal over there.
Andrew: I was actually over in London when it first broke, and oh my God, it was everywhere. The news was just - everybody was in shock. Yeah, so...
Eric: Yeah, that's interesting.
Andrew: ...we'll let you know what happens from there. Well, speaking of JK Rowling, she's very busy working on Pottermore and that's actually something else we're going to discuss today as kind of a news item but also as a general discussion. I think everybody here is in Pottermore now, right?
Eric: [sighs] Yes.
Eric: As of our last episode, that was not the case. I know Micah was very vocally waiting for his letter. And a couple of days later, he got it! So that's awesome.
Matt: Might as well talk.
Andrew: So what houses are you guys in? I don't think any of you were in it last time, right?
Eric: Matt, are you in?
Matt: I was in, yeah.
Andrew: But were you on the last episode?
Matt: How long ago was I on the last episode?
Andrew: It was like three weeks ago.
Micah: Yeah, I think Matt was here.
Andrew: Oh, okay. All right, so Micah, what house are you?
Micah: I correctly predicted.
Eric: Oh, look at that.
Andrew: And Eric?
Eric: I am actually in Hufflepuff.
Eric: [laughs] All right, all right, now is the time. Get your laughter out, come on, come on.
Andrew: Mikey is in Hufflepuff, too, which was shocking.
Eric: That's what he said, yeah.
Andrew: Mikey B. And I think Ben is in Slytherin - or Ravenclaw? I can't remember. But there's been a lot of surprises.
Eric: Yeah, yeah. Matt, what are you in?
Matt: I'm in Slytherin.
Eric: No kidding? So...
Andrew: Yeah, that's right.
Eric: And Andrew, you're Gryffindor, right?
Andrew: I'm in Gryffindor.
Eric: So we have all four houses right now on this show.
Andrew: No wonder this show has always worked so perfectly.
[Matt and Micah laugh]
Andrew: Such a beautiful balance. See, we don't need women, we just need people in different houses.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Micah: Oh, that won't...
Matt: Yeah, to hell with Laura.
Micah: ...get any e-mails sent.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Micah: Well, I was going to say, though, I did have a choice between Ravenclaw and Slytherin.
Micah: And I...
Andrew: So why did you pick Ravenclaw?
Micah: Because it was the first one that came up. [laughs] I really had no...
Andrew: What do you mean?
Micah: Well, when you have the little blocks to select between...
Micah: ...it was Ravenclaw, which was up first, and then Slytherin below it.
Micah: I don't know. I mean, I thought if I was sorted in real life that I would always be in Ravenclaw, so I went with Ravenclaw.
Micah: No rhyme or reason. It would have been cool to be in Slytherin, though.
Eric: So you went because it was the first thing to click, right?
Eric: That's what you said? Because it came up first?
Micah: I was being sarcastic.
Eric: Because some of my Sorting questions - by the end of it, though, people were getting - some of their questions were like "Black or white?" "Night or day?" "Heads or tails?"
Matt: "Left or right?"
Eric: [laughs] "Left or right?" Really, like...
Andrew: "Forest or river?"
Eric: That doesn't feel much...
Eric: ...like a choice to me.
Eric: Like, what if I had chosen - if I had picked heads instead of tails, would that really have said enough about me to be in a different house?
Andrew: The thing about Jo, though, is that if you were to ask her why this matters, she would give you an explanation for why. [laughs] So...
Eric: Yeah. I just thought that that was funny because all the other questions I think during Sorting were really introspective. Like, you have seven answers, "What creature do you most want to study?" Or this, that, and the other thing. And then to get the last two, the most crucial two when I'm like, "Okay, I know that's coming. I know I'm about to be sorted." And I had "Moon or stars?" was one of the questions, and I was like, "Okay, the stars are pretty cool. A little bit cooler than the moon." And then the next one was, "Black or white?"
Micah: Does everybody get the same questions, though, or did people get different questions?
Eric: I heard for the wand, everybody gets the same questions, but for Sorting it's all random.
Eric: So - I mean, do you remember your Sorting questions? If they were...
Andrew: I remember "Left or right?" "Forest and river," although that may have been for the wand, so I can't...
Eric: Forest - oh, was that with the beach? You could go into the beach or by the castle.
Andrew: Oh yeah, yeah.
Eric: Yeah, it was the wand.
Andrew: So either along the beach, along the river, or through the forest.
Andrew: Something like that.
Eric: Yeah. But no, I got Hufflepuff, and I'm actually happy with it, I think, because it's not so bad.
Matt: You always saw yourself, though, in Hufflepuff.
Eric: Well, I saw myself - I said - I didn't really ever really, really, really Sort myself. I have the Gryffindor robes that I wear around everywhere, and so I was like, "Yeah, I'm a Gryffindor." But I was kind of waiting on something like this to tell me where I belonged, and so that's kind of cool.
Matt: Okay, so are we talking about - are we going onto Sorting now? Are we talking about how we like the Sorting thing? Because...
Eric: Well, why not?
Andrew: What do you want to say?
Matt: I'm actually not a fan of the Sorting at all.
Andrew: Why? Is it for the reason I'm about to bring up?
Matt: No - bring up your reason.
Andrew: Okay. Well, here's my thing, and I hate to burst everybody's bubble, but I realize this: When looking in the Great Hall - when you're in the Great Hall...
Matt: Oh, yes.
Andrew: ...you can see how many people are in each house on Pottermore, and what worries me is that each house has a very similar number of people. As of right now there's 94,000 in Gryffindor, 94,000 in Ravenclaw, 94,000 in Hufflepuff, and 93,000 in Slytherin.
Eric: Uproar. I call it.
Andrew: Now - yeah, this is the issue. This cannot be truly sorting each person because if it were, it wouldn't be so perfectly even. The chances of everybody getting sorted so evenly is very - it's not possible! Surely...
Matt: It's delusional.
Andrew: ...this world cannot be made up of so many Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws, I'm sorry but it just...
[Eric and Matt laugh]
Andrew: It can't be true.
Eric: You don't believe that Hufflepuffs exist, do you?
Andrew: No, they're fictional.
Matt: I honestly think that a lot of the Harry Potter fans are Ravenclaw.
Andrew: I was joking about that. But nonetheless, it can't be so even! [laughs] So, I'm afraid to say that - this is definitely the most accurate Sorting you will probably ever get, given that JK Rowling wrote these questions herself. But it is not a true Sorting because the reason they need to make the houses even in Pottermore is so that each house has a chance of winning the House Cup, of getting the most points.
Matt: Now, this really upsets me because no one really cares to win the House Cup more than they want to be sorted into the right house.
Eric: Accurately. You're right.
Matt: Who the hell - oh sorry, who the heck, wants to win the House Cup if it means that you're sorted into the wrong house? Ninety percent of the fans who went on Pottermore wanted to be Sorted. That's what everybody wants to do, is get Sorted into the house that they should be in. When they read the books, that's what they think of. They wish, "Well, I'm actually in Hufflepuff," or, "I see myself as a Ravenclaw," or something. They don't care - they don't think that far ahead, and we care more about what the proper Sorting is.
Matt: I just feel like they should have put more emphasis and I don't know, just more work into the Sorting, than just like, "Okay, the whole reason why we're sorting people is so we have an equal number of amounts, people can just compete for this House Cup."
Eric: Yeah, they shouldn't have pretended - if it's not actually accurate - and if it is, woot - as Andrew points out, it's highly suspect that people would be - or impossible that people would be evenly matched, so evenly sorted. They shouldn't have pretended otherwise.
Andrew: Mhm. Now the points system, I'm not even sure - let's talk about that. I'm not sure what the purpose of house points - I mean, it's loyal to the book, each house gets house points for brewing potions and I think when you find things in Moments you get points, too. But I'm just wondering, is it really that important? I mean, I propose that Pottermore just get rid of points and...
Eric: [laughs] Well hang on, because - if they got rid of points, then what would there be to do?
Andrew: Well, you can still do those things, you just...
Andrew: I mean, you can get your own personal points, but let's just not compete for the House Cup.
Eric: Oh, yeah.
Eric: Yeah, that's possible, because didn't they also - they said it wasn't going to be an alternative reality game. But yet at the same time, you're collecting things for your pouch or for your trunk, and you get the feeling that you're going to have to use them later.
Eric: All these points, all this money that you have that you spend, and you have to buy some of the books on your school list before you can go to school. Things like that are just like an alternative reality game. So, I'm finding, again, that maybe Pottermore actually is something that we've been told that it wouldn't be, or - it's growing and changing, but it's getting close to being what we initially, even on this show, speculated that it would be, which is what they said it wouldn't be. It's a lot less like an encyclopedia than we thought, I think it's fair to say, or at least that's my opinion.
Matt: No, no, that's a pretty good assessment.
Micah: Yeah, I was just going to say, when you're talking about having to get the books in Diagon Alley before you can go off to school, I thought that would be a little bit more interactive than just clicking on a store and selecting all the books that you need, maybe physically actually going into the store and having to search around for them. I feel like...
Eric: You mean like transporting through your computer screen and getting to walk around?
Micah: No, no, no, no. I mean, as you can go into Gringotts or Ollivander's, but actually physically going into these stores and looking around the shelves for the books that you need. I just - I feel like as a whole, Pottermore lacks a lot of interactivity and there's not enough really.
Micah: You're clicking on a...
Micah: ...Galleon here or you're clicking on a Chocolate Frog card there, and it's just like there's not enough that's going on. And some chapters there's just nothing, it's just...
Andrew: There's nothing.
Matt: No, there's not.
Micah: ...which you already know...
Micah: ...because you have the books.
Matt: Well, I feel like they should also have more side projects that you can be doing to make you want to come back. Like - honestly - I mean, I think Pottermore should have something like how they do with FarmVille on Facebook or something. They have Herbology or something in Hogwarts, where you just go and start planting your - I don't know, your crops...
Andrew: Your plants, and go check on them later.
Matt: Your crops and stuff, yeah. And then spread the roots - plant your Mandrakes. Do something.
Andrew: Or let's get Neopets in Pottermore.
Andrew: Let's take care of the owl that you purchased back in Diagon Alley.
Eric: That's true.
Andrew: Let's - every morning I want an e-mail, "Hello Andrew. Hello CatSeeker211, it's time to feed your owl."
Andrew: Then three hours later, "Hello CatSeeker211, it's time to scoop up the owl droppings."
Andrew: And then I have to go back into Pottermore and scoop up my owl droppings.
Matt: "Hello Andrew, your owl just died."
Andrew: Because you didn't feed it?
Matt: You didn't feed it.
Eric: It was diphtheria, right, just like on Oregon Trail?
Eric: [laughs] Really, the question I have, too - it seems like - so we want more interactivity, but yet the interactivity - the opportunity is already there, like Micah was saying. I mean, when you're in that bookshop in Diagon Alley and you have to buy these books, why can't we examine those books closer? Once we've purchased them - we've actually had to click on it and hit "Purchase", and we had to go to Gringotts first to make sure we had enough money and all that stuff. But once you actually buy the book, all it does is let you move forward in the story. It's not like you can actually look at that book, read some of it.
Eric: Or even the items in your trunk. To actually be able to - you're carrying around all these items you've found but you can't actually click on them, find out anything more about them.
Eric: And I think that's tremendously - not off-putting, but it's like shutting us out.
Micah: It's limiting.
Eric: It's very limiting.
Matt: Well - yeah, exactly. A lot of the times when you're on these screens, too - for each scene, all you have - all there really is one thing for you to click on. But there's all this stuff going on onscreen, but your focus is only allowed to be on that one thing that's allowing you to go forward. Like the one with the snake at the zoo, You clicked on the snake and then the scene was over.
Eric: Oh, speaking of that snake - okay, so it does a cute little dance. I like the snake...
Eric: ...and how it dances. But I had such an issue just viewing the screen on Pottermore in many of these scenes. I actually ended up having to hook up my computer to my TV, which I've never done before, and I made the Pottermore a separate window just because I think, size-wise - or maybe that it is longer than it is wide, and so you always have to scroll down to kind of see everything. But I had a lot of trouble just following Pottermore on my computer screen just because of how it's laid out, and I think reading-wise, it was tough to read. Did you guys have any trouble with that?
Micah: I told...
Micah: Andrew, I had loading problems, not where it would say, "Pottermore is currently unavailable," but just my browser would freeze up a lot. I don't know if that was...
Micah: ...just from the volume of people that were using it at the time or what it was, but it just - every time I tried to click to move forward - you know how you can view three different versions of each chapter?
Micah: It would just - it would lock up and...
Micah: ...it just made it really - I don't know, not fun.
Andrew: Well, yeah, I've never run into that problem. I'm not sure what...
Eric: Now, I've heard from people who've had the same issue, but I haven't experienced it myself. I feel like it's a very common thing. People talk about their screens freezing up during Potions a lot, and - or during Sorting, even, and possibly having to retake questions, or have it be official or something. But on Twitter, if you just search for #Pottermore, the only thing you're finding are people who say, "I'm frozen up," or "I'm still waiting for my -" it can't be a good experience for everybody. But at the same time, yeah, I've seen a lot of the "freezing" tweets. A lot of people are getting that. And still, when I click on Pottermore sometimes, I have to wait fifteen seconds or thirty seconds, and then the page will reload, and it will say, high volume this, high volume that. And look, I've already mentioned on this show that I don't think that that should be an issue at all, is handling the high volume of people, because they knew from day one that there was going to be...
Micah: No, no way. I mean...
Eric: ...a high volume of people on this site. There's...
Micah: And it's not like they're lacking in funds to...
Andrew: Yeah, there's money for this, right?
Eric: Well, I mean, do you want to point that out? Yeah, I mean, you do, right? Because it's Harry Potter!
Micah: I just did.
Micah: I mean...
Micah: But what about - Andrew, I know you talked about this on the last show, but now that all of us are in Pottermore, the return value. I mean, I don't think it's very great...
Micah: ...for people to want to come back, unless they start adding new features.
Matt: But - I mean, that's as it is, though, right now. They haven't updated really since they started giving...
Andrew: No, because this is it. This is Pottermore.
Eric: Well, that's - see, I'd like to believe...
Matt: No, it's not.
Eric: ...that this is not it, though.
Matt: No, it's not.
Eric: I really want to believe that come October 31st or whatever, that it's going to be completely different. I want to believe...
Andrew: No. [laughs]
Eric: ...that the Beta is completely different from Book 1, because...
Andrew: Keep believing. [laughs]
Eric: [laughs] Okay, I will keep believing. But I'm saying I really want - I mean, why are you so - why do you believe that it's not at all going to be different?
Andrew: Well, what could they possibly add? I mean, the only thing I could see, and I think this would be very smart, is if they added some new content from JK Rowling so they can have another media splash, make some news. Otherwise the only news when this opens to the public is going to be, "Hey, it's open to the public now," [laughs] and I don't think - I think a lot of the Pottermore buzz is kind of over already because the people who really wanted to get in are getting in now and the reviews have not been spectacular, and the next time there's going to be a big update to this is when they add Chamber of Secrets. I really don't think they are going to be adding more features or anything because they have a hard enough time just getting people into the site now.
Eric: Well, that's what it seems like, is that they're just so overwhelmed that there really won't be any updates because people are still having issues even staying on the site for any period of time, which is a real shame because there is so much - there are so many little blurbs of information that are just summary that they could totally expand on, and it just kills me to think that they would spend so much time designing these - this art for each Moment in the first book, but to not have it be even more interactive. And I've got to ask, is this us being crazy Harry Potter fans, "We want more, we want more"? Or do we have a legitimate argument here that we're being shown these things but it almost draws the attention to just how empty these scenes are?
Andrew: Well, yeah...
Andrew: I mean, I suppose if they really wanted to, they could add another item or two that you could pick up in these more empty Moments. I know the emptiest Moments are the ones where you just pick up one Galleon and that's it, and that's really bad, I think. But I think going off of Eric's idea, he was saying more information about some of these items - I'm looking at my trunk now and I have a Golden Snitch. It'd be nice to click on the Golden Snitch and get a little history about it.
Andrew: Or a Prefect badge.
Matt: I think the reason why we're a little underwhelmed by it all is because we know the potential that it has, and we know what it could be because it's...
Andrew: Well, here's what everybody really wants: they want the encyclopedia. [laughs]
Matt: Well, that's good then. That's good, then there's a possibility that there actually might be an encyclopedia.
Eric: Well, let's talk about...
Andrew: But it won't be.
Eric: ...the information. So...
Eric: ...I thought the information that we do get from Jo is great.
Andrew: Yeah, it is great.
Eric: It's really exciting and really interesting, and just as relevant as ever, and really well thought out. I mean, I laughed, I cried.
Andrew: Yeah, it's classic Jo stuff.
Matt: You cried, Eric?
Andrew: It's stuff you would expect to find in the encyclopedia and it's written in a way that - it's classic Jo, like I said. It's classic Harry Potter. You would find it in the books or you would find it in an encyclopedia if that were to exist.
Eric: So, why is this information few and far between? I mean, we were told that she wrote 18,000 words, 180,000 words for...
Andrew: 18,000 words...
Eric: 18,000 words?
Andrew: ...for Sorcerer's Stone.
Eric: For Sorcerer's Stone.
Andrew: So, it's all here. I mean, you just sort of got to - it would be nice if there was a way you can kind of - I want a button up top that says...
Matt: Like a site map?
Andrew: ..."New Content".
Eric: Well, I feel like...
Eric: ...if you "Favorite" it...
Andrew: Yeah, you can do that.
Eric: If you "Favorite" the new content, then you can browse...
Andrew: It's a bit of a hassle, though.
Eric: Yeah, it is.
Andrew: So, I see in the Favorites area, you can - apparently, it didn't remember my "Favorites". I could have sworn I did "Favorite" some chapters. You can set "Favorites" there in...
Eric: But it's like Facebook "Favorites" and Facebook "Likes", too. Why would you rely so heavily on something else when you're trying to do your own thing?
Matt: The art is really nice.
Andrew: The art is really nice. And they did it in such a way - I think they've said this in interviews, is that you can't see the faces of people because Pottermore is about the books, and in the books you have your own imagination. So...
Eric: Yeah, that was really clever.
Andrew: ...with the art, they did not want to ruin people's imagination of what they had developed in their head while they were reading, so that's why they took out the faces.
Micah: Oh, they should never...
Andrew: And that's good.
Micah: ...have made the movies.
Andrew: Well, Mr. Warner Bros. disagrees with you.
Micah: Yep. But...
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