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

MuggleCast 255 Transcript

Show Intro

["Hedwig's Theme" plays]

Andrew: Because it's been five years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and we're still ticking, this is MuggleCast Episode 255 for July 22nd, 2012.

[Show music begins]

Andrew: This week's podcast is brought to you by, the Internet's leading provider of audiobooks, with more than 100,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including fiction, non-fiction, and periodicals. For a free audiobook of your choice, go to

[Show music continues]

Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 255. This is actually take two because we forgot - or no, we didn't forget. There were some audio glitches last time we recorded this, which was about two weeks ago. But that's okay, we're doing it again. Time has passed and things have changed, so some things we won't even discuss because now it's irrelevant.

Micah: It's like that lost episode. What was that episode, again? I forget when...

Andrew: Oh yeah.

Eric: It was like thirteen, wasn't it? It was...

Andrew: Yeah, it was early on.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: And we just skipped it, we skipped the episode number. And then our competitors accused us of just trying to up our episode count. We were like, "No, no. See, here's the lost episode." But why was it lost? Because we did recover it, so how was it - did we just re-record it? Was that it?

Eric: Maybe...

Andrew: Or just - oh, I think it was going to take an especially long amount of time to edit, I think, because somebody's audio got lost or something.

Eric: Yeah, I think - there were episodes we re-recorded, too - like what we're doing now - where we had to keep the episode because we totally lost it. I think...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: If I'm remembering correctly, thirteen, because it was like a big deal that it was thirteen and it was cursed - or maybe it was twelve - we were going to do a character discussion and instead we ended up talking about some big news that had just happened, which worked out for the better.

Micah: Could be.

Andrew: It happens.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Especially when you reach 255 episodes.

Eric: Oh gosh.

Micah: Yeah. I mean...

Andrew: Good God.

Micah: With all things considered, I think we've had a pretty smooth...

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: through 255 episodes.

Eric: Mhm.

Andrew: Yeah. In seven years there's a couple of bumps in the road here and there.

Micah: Of course.

Eric: Fortunately we're back.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: So, that's...

Andrew: And we are celebrating the five-year anniversary of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book release.

Eric: Yes, as we record this on July 21st, 2012. I cannot believe it's been five years since the last Harry Potter book.

Andrew: Me neither.

Micah: And Episode 100.

Eric: And...

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: [laughs] Well, that's true, too. Looking at that and doing the math, I'm like, "Wow, we're so behind on episodes."

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Eric: But we knew - actually, that was Episode 100, was when we really decided we're going to taper down a little bit, I think. And...

Andrew: Yeah. So, we basically did 100 weeks in a row, which was good.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, it's crazy that it's been five years, though. It just seems like time has absolutely flown by. And I think the big question back then was: will the Harry Potter fandom continue? And it completely has. It's been as active as ever thanks to Pottermore, the movies...

Eric: The theme park.

Andrew: The theme park, of course.

Eric: The Exhibition and the Leavesden Studios.

Andrew: Yeah, that one's really kept a-ticking.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: And - hey, that was like the pre-game...

Andrew: No, it's the theme park.

Eric: That was the pre-game for the studio tour, so...

Andrew: Right.

Micah: And the conventions.

Eric: Yeah.

Eric Attends Ascendio 2012

Andrew: Mhm. Speaking of that, Eric was just at Ascendio in Orlando.

Eric: Yes.

Andrew: How was that?

Eric: It was great. Micah was able to join us for the MuggleCast - I don't want to call it a meet up, but it was like a presentation that was done there, just looking over the seven years of Harry Potter podcasting. And Micah was able to add his thoughts during it. We had about maybe 50 to 100 people show up for that, and that was actually a pretty good turnout because our meet up wasn't on any of the books. And Ascendio itself was really nice. You guys have been to the Royal Pacific Resort on Universal property. The Portofino Bay at the other end is - it's grander in scale but it's super - I want to say silent. It's quiet, it's relaxing, it's done up like an Italian villa. And honestly, the con was kind of themed like if the Malfoy family went on vacation.

Andrew: Oh neat, neat.

Eric: Yeah, everybody put themselves out there. This con was really for me, it was about putting yourself out there.

Micah: And you were there in your own performance though, weren't you?

Eric: Yes. [laughs] The play Mischief Managed - we had mentioned this a couple of episodes ago on the show - went really well. It was about James Potter and the Marauders during their school years, so that went well, too.

Micah: I was just going to say that I really liked some of the photos that I saw from the MuggleCast meet up where I was tagged as the computer.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: Because my voice was coming over Skype. Was it a bit like the voice of God in a way?

Andrew: You always have the voice of God.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: Yeah, I really don't - it's synonymous now. I'm just like, "What do you mean it was a bit like?"

Announcement: LeakyCon 2012

Andrew: Well, let's move on to some - well, actually speaking of that, we are going to be at LeakyCon. We have been plugging this for thirty years, it sounds like. LeakyCon is August 9th to the 12th in Chicago, Illinois. We're all going to be there, us three, including Selina [laughs] who we should have invited on the podcast today, come to think of it.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: It's going to be in Chicago, Illinois. I think registration is almost sold out, but they just announced that StarKid is going to be premiering basically "A Very Potter Three-quel" there. It's called, A Very Potter Senior Year. Registration is open now, you can go to and click "Register Now" at the top. And if there is a referral box or something, let them know MuggleCast sent you.

Micah: Yeah. And speaking of our podcast, we actually know the day and time that we will be doing our show.

Andrew: Ooh!

Micah: It's going to be Friday, August 10th from 1:00 to 1:50 - even though it'll probably go to about 2:00 or so - on the main stage. And earlier that day, we'll also be doing a meetup. It's going to be in the Southwest Exhibit Hall from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. So, you have the meetup first from 11:00 to 12:00, and then from 1:00 to 1:50 we'll be on the main stage doing our podcast, primarily I think looking back at seven years of podcasting. Right, guys?

Andrew: Yeah, and talking about - maybe if there's new Chamber of Secrets stuff opened up we'll talk about that. We'll talk about other news. We'll take questions from the [yawns] - excuse me, it's still early here. We'll take questions from the audience, et cetera, et cetera.

Eric: These live shows are always a great opportunity to hear from the audience. I know it's kind of been a long time since we've done voicemails on the show, but just being able to look at our listeners - and they have questions and maybe still unresolved theories. It's a great time. And last...

Andrew: Look into their eyes.

Eric: [laughs] Last time Evanna Lynch showed up, so that was cool.

Andrew: Oh right, right. One other thing I was - on the last episode - actually, maybe I didn't because this episode got lost - I moderated a Harry Potter panel at Comic-Con and it went very well. I was a bit worried because it was the very last panel of the day. It was - I mean, there were other panels going on at the same time, but it was the last time slot of the day. It was 4 PM on Sunday and after five days of madness, I just didn't think many people were going to show up. But it was a packed room, a very large room as well, and we had a fantastic time. So, anybody who is listening right now and attended, thank you for attending. It was great and it proved that the Harry Potter fandom is still far from over because - a huge turnout.

Micah: Well, clearly they should have moved you earlier...

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: ...just based on the fact that that many people stayed until the end.

Andrew: Exactly. And actually this panel has been moved into a bigger and bigger room every year. This was definitely the biggest room yet. I just think they're unsure about it because it's Harry Potter, but it went really well.

Eric: So, you were on that panel with Melissa and others?

Andrew: No...

Eric: Oh.

Andrew: ...Melissa wasn't the... Alex Carpenter, Joey Richter from StarKid, Gred and Forge - the wizard rock band, somebody from the International Quidditch Association...

Micah: Heidi, ri...?

Andrew: Somebody from - no, Heidi wasn't there.

Eric: Yeah, Heidi was going to and then she stayed back at Ascendio.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: And I saw Alex last night, actually, so it's pretty funny.

Andrew: Yeah. So, it was a good time. Very well done. A very great turnout.

Okay, so before we get into the news today, we do want to remind you that today's episode is brought to you by, the Internet's leading provider of audiobooks, with more than 100,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature and featuring audio versions of many New York Times Bestsellers. For listeners of MuggleCast, Audible is offering you a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their service, and you are going to love it during these warm summer months when you're outside walking around. Maybe you don't want to carry a book when you're walking the dog or you're on the beach or you're in the park; you just want to close your eyes and listen to an audiobook just like you do this podcast. And I have a great recommendation for you today - this is a just released book - it's The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer, also narrated by Chris. He, of course, is a star on Glee. He's been on the show since the beginning. One of the best actors on the show. One of the most beloved, certainly. He wrote a fantasy book, actually. The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face to face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. This book is fantastic. We got an advanced reading copy recently. Absolutely loved it. Imagine taking this wonderful fantasy story along with you out and about this summer. Highly recommend it. It is, again, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell and you can get it for free on Just visit for your free audiobook. Again, that's to get The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell or any other book for absolutely free. Thanks, Audible.

News: The Casual Vacancy Book Cover and Page Count Released

Andrew: Let's get to the news now. There are some very interesting stories to talk about, and now that the - actually, I asked some of these questions at the panel and I got answers I was not happy with.

Eric: Oh.

Andrew: So, I'll have to bring those up, too. So, go ahead, Micah. Talk - bring us through the news.

Micah: Yeah, so since our last episode J.K. Rowling released the cover and the page count for The Casual Vacancy and I'm sure we'll talk a little bit about the cover shortly. But the page count is 512 pages long, so I think it just about matches Half-Blood Prince, right? Right around that area. And the book itself is retailing in hardcover for $35. I'm sure people can get it discounted at and other places. And, as we know, it's going to be released on September 27th, but the big news is the cover. It looks like a ballot box with an X mark in it with some cool Microsoft Word type font [laughs] that says, "The Casual Vacancy." What are your guys' thoughts? Anything that you can take away from the cover?

Andrew: It's very - it's an adult book cover. That's really what the big takeaway is from it. I mean, but I really like it. And some people pointed out, "Oh, it's red and yellow, just like Gryffindor colors."

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: But - no, I'm happy with it. I like the cover. I'm excited to hold it.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: This is one that I'm excited to actually physically hold.

Eric: And it's...

Micah: I actually like, Eric, your cover a lot better, to be honest with you, that you created for April Fool's Day.

Eric: Oh, thank you, Micah. You're too kind. Yeah, maybe I should go and write them and get some kind of limited edition...

Micah: You'd think she could invest in a better, more visual cover.

Eric: No - well, this is visual...

Andrew: Oh, it's got nothing to do with that.

Eric: This is perfect for the genre. I think, on our previous show that we lost, take one of this episode, I pointed you guys towards the Raymond Chandler book, The Big Sleep and the cover of it that I have is the same exact color, really. It's considered to be one of the biggest detective novels of all time. Definitely launched the genre, and it's very similar in typeface: shaky words and a single item, in which that case it's a gun, this time it's a voting ballot. So, I just think that it's a standard type of book cover for the genre, so I think it fits perfectly. And the other point that I brought up - I'll bring it up again because I just think it was good - was that, remember when five years ago today, in fact, we got the seventh Harry Potter book, and for a couple of weeks you'd be walking around outside seeing people maybe in the park or on public transit carrying these big Deathly Hallows - very orange, I think it was. The cover in America was orange - books. Well, just think, come September 27th this year, everybody is going to be carrying around these big yellow, red books.

Andrew: Yeah, I hope so.

Eric: And just like before, it was a sense of common identity. You're like, "Oh, you're a Harry Potter fan too." People who you just don't know are carrying around these whopping Harry Potter books. It's going to be the same thing all over again. I'm looking really forward to that.

Andrew: Yeah, and I mean, right now I'm at the beach, I'm on planes and stuff, blah, blah, blah, and all I see is Fifty Shades of Grey...

[Eric makes a disparaging sound]

Andrew: ...and that black and silver cover. It's time for something more refreshing. This is a direct strike at the number of Casual Vacancy - oh sorry, Fifty Shades of Grey covers that are out there.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: It's ludicrous.

Eric: Oh my God.

Micah: I think people are used...

Eric: Have you read it?

Andrew: I've read parts.

Eric: Oh okay.

Andrew: The sexy parts. I...

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Micah: I think though, as a group, we're kind of more used to the visual Mary GrandPr├ł style of covers at least, because that's all we've known from J.K. Rowling in the past, and so we're looking for covers to be more revealing as to what's going to happen in the story. You can actually sit down with one of her book covers and look through and kind of pick out pieces of the story that it's detailing. And I think, especially with the cover - and I'm just using this as an example - Prisoner of Azkaban, how much detail is in a cover like that. You really kind of have to sit down and look through, whereas this, Andrew, you pointed out, is a much more adult-style book cover. Maybe similar to what we would've seen in the U.K. adult versions of Harry Potter, just having kind of that single object. Yeah.

Eric: Well, I think covers are good for one thing. I mean, I know it is just an interpretation of the artist too, is the other thing. We sat down and discussed when the Deathly Hallows cover came out, "Are they in a coliseum?" that kind of thing, "Are they back in the Department of Mysteries?" - no, they were at Hogwarts, but we weren't counting on Hogwarts being completely demolished to the ground to where there's just pillars left. So, we still didn't know. And with your Prisoner of Azkaban cover they're on a hippogriff, but hippogriffs hadn't been introduced yet so we just think they're on a bird or an eagle or something. You don't know the full story, at least with this cover - cover art, we know...

Andrew and Eric: There's no questions.

Eric: [laughs] Well, we guess - we can kind of figure there will be an election, right? But that part was in the book summary which was released. So, it really...

Andrew: Yeah. Here's...

Eric: I think they're just kind of trying to focus on the content of the book itself. It makes me want the book more, I think. That there is...

Micah: I'm just saying we're a very analytical group by nature.

Eric: Oh certainly.

Micah: And to your point, we've spent episodes upon episodes discussing book covers and what their relevance is, and so when you see a cover like that there is very little you can really draw from it other than it's a ballot box with a check mark in it...

[Eric laughs]

Micah: ...or an X mark in it. And the other thing that's important here that I know, Andrew, you wrote a whole article about was that the name of the main character changed. It went from being Barry Fairweather to Barry Fairbrother. And not really much of an explanation as to why. Just all of a sudden the main character changes. Although, how relevant to the actual text he's going to be, I guess we'll find out. I don't think he's going to appear that much because it seems like he dies very early on in the story.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Yeah. I think what happened here was - first of all, there's no way this was a mistake.

Eric: [laughs] What?

[Micah laughs]

Eric: Question everything.

Andrew: Yeah, because Little Brown - it's Little Brown, right? They said, "Oh, his last name is actually Fairbrother, not Fairweather. This was an error on our part." But you have to think, this summer, where the Barry Fairweather name went through so many different people, went through J.K. Rowling's people, went through Little Brown's people, went through agencies, went through editors - I mean, how could everybody have missed Fairweather? So, I just do not believe that this was a mistake. I think what happened was, it was written as Fairweather and then there was some legal issue that came up, or they were looking ahead to possible movie rights or something, and they said, "Well, we're not going to be able to use Fairweather," so then they changed it Fairbrother. And in order to not create - stir the pot any further they just said, "Oh, it's just a typo."

Eric: Maybe he was that small a character though [laughs] that everybody didn't really know his real name.

Andrew: It's just hilarious that the one character that we know about so far, his name was screwed up.

Eric: [laughs] Had a name change. Exactly.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: We know nothing about this book. [laughs]

Andrew: And so this was announced, like Micah said, when the cover was released and I'm looking - yeah, the iTunes description still says...

Eric: [laughs] Fairweather?

Andrew: ..."Barry Fairweather." And I bet it still does on Amazon as well because everybody is just like, "What the heck?!"

Micah: Well, I remember when we saw J.K. Rowling at Radio City Music Hall, she was kind of still figuring out what the title of Deathly Hallows was going to be. She had a couple of ideas in the back of her mind. I remember her saying that she was thinking about it in the shower...

Eric: [laughs] Yes, I remember that too.

Micah: ...and she changed it.

Andrew: Ooh.

Micah: Yeah, hey. And...

Eric: She said that morning.

Micah: So, it's certainly possible that this could have been something that she was debating for a long period of time, but the fact that it got as far as it did - eventually, through her, we found out what the other potential titles for Deathly Hallows were going to be. But I just feel like - and I agree with what Andrew said, that you can't allow something like this to go to publication, and then a couple of weeks later say, "Oh by the way, the name of the main character? We screwed that up."

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: There's just too much oversight.

Eric: She's got a Twitter, and...

Micah: [laughs] Oh geez.

Eric: ...if I had all the energy in me, I would be begging her to tweet more. But she had the opportunity, the means established, to communicate.

Andrew: This is straight out of the book of Pottermore. I mean, it's almost like...

Eric: If an error had been made, they could have been vocal a lot sooner. Now, like you said, they're going to have to fight a battle - well, if they pick their battle - to fix iTunes and Amazon, which are still broadcasting it as Fairweather, when the publisher itself said, "No, his name is Fairbrother." They're still fighting that because they let it sit out there so long with the wrong title. But you could be right. I think it's due to legal trouble. I think somebody named Fairweather threatened to sue. That's what I think.

Andrew: Let's move on. What else is there to - oh, one other thing real quick. On Hypable, we did this fun gallery. We photoshopped the Harry Potter covers. We recreated them as if they were made in the style of the Casual Vacancy cover.

Eric: I saw this. This was cool.

Andrew: Yeah, it turned out really well. And it was so funny because people actually really liked the covers.

[Eric laughs]

Micah: I'm telling you, you have a business here, Andrew.

Andrew: But we only spent like a half hour making them. And it just goes to show you...

Micah: So did the people at The Casual Vacancy.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: That's exactly my point. That just goes to show you how simple the Casual Vacancy cover actually was.

Eric: I think we just insulted an artist. Some artist is sitting there in the world, and when he hears our critique, he's going to be like, "No! That was the best ballot box ever!"

Andrew: Yeah. The one comment I did not expect on this article is, "Oh, I'd actually really want to buy these." [laughs] I did not expect that at all. So, that was cool. If you go to Hypable, you can do a search for "Harry Potter Casual Vacancy book covers," something like that. It'll show up. Anyway, let's move on now.

News: Slytherin Gets Early Access to Pottermore Book 2

Eric: Pottermore!

Micah: Well, the other big piece of news was that Chamber of Secrets has now opened on Pottermore. Slytherin, who won the House Cup for the inaugural year of Pottermore, got early access - only 24 hours of early access - to Chamber of Secrets. And I know on the last episode, which is now lost, we were kind of debating when this was all going to open up.

Andrew: And I was right.

Micah: Yeah, you were.

Andrew: For the record.

Micah: You said about a week or so, right?

Andrew: Yeah. We knew it was inni - immi - immin - imminimminimminent.

Eric: [laughs] It was the first day of Ascendio, I think. It was that morning. [laughs] It opened up, and I was like, "Well, I won't get to that this weekend."

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: But oh well.

Andrew: So, what do you guys - is that what we're talking about first? Chamber of Secrets?

Eric: Well, hang on...

Andrew: Guide us, Micah. Be our leader.

Eric: Okay, so the book opened, right, but we only have four chapters, right?

Andrew: Right.

Eric: You can't...

Andrew: Which was a bit of a let down.

Eric: What is that? What are they doing? It's one thing to taper the books off and not give us any release dates. Then when they say Chamber of Secrets is going to open, and it opens, but it's only the first four chapters - what are they doing?

Andrew: Well, they said that the next four, I think, are coming soon and then they'll release the rest in the third part. Or maybe it's more than four in the second part.

Eric: But they're toying with us!

Andrew: I know.

Eric: Andrew, I just feel like my heart is on a string and they're dangling it in front of a three-headed dog or something.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah. On the other hand though, I think it is good to space it out in three parts, because otherwise people will blow through the whole thing in an hour and then they have to wait another six months for Prisoner of Azkaban. That's just a guess. I don't know if that's when POA is coming out.

Eric: I guess I can see that.

Andrew: You know, I was pretty impressed with the first four chapters. One of the first things I noticed was - is this what we're talking about, Micah? Or should we talk about Slytherin first or something?

Micah: No, no, just keep going. That's fine.

Andrew: Okay. I need you as our leader. One of the first things I noticed was the artwork. I think the artwork is very much improved. There are some beautiful pieces of Harry and Dobby, Harry in the Dursley's backyard, Number Four Privet Drive - the front of it, just some really nice artwork that I think was a step up over Sorcerer's Stone.

Eric: Now, I have a question about Harry and Dobby in this artwork, because didn't J.K. Rowling say - now, I haven't seen this Chamber of Secrets yet so maybe that of course would answer it ├▒ but didn't Jo say that these artworks, these scenes, wouldn't have characters in them simply because she doesn't want to...

Andrew: Well, they don't.

Eric: She doesn't want to interfere with people's interpretation. So...

Andrew: Yes, they do, but you never see their faces.

Eric: Oh, so it's like the back of their head or...

Andrew: Right. Always the back of the head, or in the case of Dobby you see the top of his head and you see his long nose but you don't really see his facial features.

Eric: Okay.

Andrew: Which is cool.

Micah: But I think in the fourth chapter, though, you get a pretty good look at Draco Malfoy if you zoom in to the fight that's going on in Flourish and Blotts.

Andrew and Eric: Hmmm.

Andrew: But is it - let me look. Oh yeah, I see what you mean. But his beautiful blonde hair is kind of covering up - oh. Yeah, I see what you mean. Hmmm.

Eric: Yeah, it could be - it's probably just an old decision that they've since revised, you know?

Micah: Well, one thing - go ahead.

Eric: Go ahead.

Micah: Finish.

Andrew: There is a book covering his face, actually.

Eric: Oh okay. Yeah, I think that...

Micah: Well, one thing...

Eric: Sorry.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: Go ahead.

Micah: No, it's fine. Just finish.

Eric: Yeah, one of those stylistic choices that they made was to still keep it open, because they had to illustrate - a lot of this had to be illustrated, but they still wanted people's own imagination to take over for the characters, so that's why I remember. So, when you were saying, "There was Harry," I was like, "Oh, how does that work?" But that's cool.

Micah: One thing that I really took away from the first four chapters was that it's very clear that this is being made for people who are experiencing the books possibly for the first time. And the reason why I say that is because there's not a whole lot of new information in these first four chapters. There's a couple of cool little games that they have where you have to keep the cake from hitting the floor when Aunt Petunia makes the cake and the Masons are over visiting. So, you have to play that little game. And then there's also a game where you can de-gnome the Weasleys' garden, which is fun. Probably the most fun of anything in those four chapters, because you can throw garden gnomes into the wall. But I really got that feeling overall that this is being made for somebody who is going through and experiencing the books for the first time. And we can talk a little bit about the new information that's provided. It wasn't a whole lot. The first was a little bit about technology in the wizarding world and how wizards use technology. Not to say that they can't, but they don't really have any interest in it because they have sort of an alternate means of doing the things that we need technology for. And then the second bit, which was more canon, was about the Malfoys and their backstory. And you get a real sense that the Malfoys actually had a very good relationship with Muggles early on, and they liked being a part of high class society and associating themselves with wealthier, regular, everyday people. They didn't have to be wizards, but that perception on their end kind of changed over the years. It was really only to whatever benefited the Malfoy family at the end of the day. So, there's some cool new pieces of information, but overall I didn't think it was that satisfactory for the average fan.

Andrew: Yeah, it was structured very much - when I started taking notes it was very clear that the order of everything was very delicate. It was kind of like: game, new material, game, new material, game, new material. Now, what do you guys think of the addition of mini games? This is something I don't think we really saw in Sorcerer's Stone. Like Micah said, the de-gnoming and there was the other one to keep Aunt Petunia's cake afloat.

Eric: Was this something you used the arrow keys for? How is this...

Andrew: No. It's with the mouse. The de-gnoming was fun, but the physics were a bit weird, so you kind of had to practice to get the gnomes over the hedge...

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: ...which is the goal of the game.

Eric: Cleared thirty yards!

Andrew: Yeah, and the keeping the cake afloat, it was just sort of clicking, clicking, clicking. So, that really didn't require much skill...

Eric: Okay.

Andrew: ...if you will.

Eric: I mean, I like that they're trying new things, right?

Andrew: Yeah, exactly. It was a fun little thing. But I've got to say, in between these - these were the four highlights: the game for Aunt Petunia - the cake - the new material from Jo about technology, the game to de-gnome the garden, and then the new material from J.K. Rowling about the Malfoy family. And then there was one other thing where you had to click ingredients in a particular order. But that was it. Some of the moments were, again, like Sorcerer's Stone struggled with, so boring. There was no new material, no games, barely anything to collect. There were a couple of things to collect, but as we've spoken about before, you collect these things and it's like, "Okay, what am I doing this for?"

Micah: Absolutely.

Andrew: Did you experience this too, Micah?

Micah: Yeah, that's one of the major questions I think a lot of people have, is you're collecting all these different ingredients or you're collecting these books. You're collecting these Frog cards, or Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans. What is the purpose? What's the end game for all that stuff that you're collecting? Just to collect and have in your trunk? I don't really understand it. So, I think that overall, because I don't really care about technology and if wizards use it or not. It just lacked. People have been waiting so long to get into this book, especially the beta testers. I mean, you're talking almost a year [laughs] at this point. So, I thought it was kind of underwhelming. I don't want to be a downer in the sense that it wasn't cool to get the backstory on the Malfoys, or to play those mini games. But like you said, I think there's so much more from an informational standpoint that they could have done in those chapters, because every chapter is really broken down into three parts. And when you're clicking through, and you're zooming in and out, I just feel like there's little pieces maybe that they could have thrown in. There's information that's there on characters and places and spells and things like that, but it's not anything new to a person who has read the series. It's just kind of - if Hedwig is there, this is who Hedwig is. And it's nothing more, there's no kind of backstory. So, I feel like there could be little pieces that are filled in more that would kind of complete it a little bit better, if that makes any sense.

Andrew: I agree. It's something I think they're always going to struggle with, because the whole concept of Pottermore I'm not sure is the best, something they can entirely fix. But look, I'm not going to sit here - I'm done putting down Pottermore, guys.

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Andrew: We've done it for a year and that's enough. [laughs]

Eric: No, I'm excited - I mean, on that note, if you're - I think that the Muggles and technology piece will interest me. Anything from Jo will interest me. But...

Andrew: Why haven't you done it yet, Eric?

Eric: I haven't completed Book 1 yet, so I can't.

Andrew: Oh. Yeah, that's the other thing. Some people have been saying to me, like - I feel like Pottermore tech support sometimes. I get these @ replies at least once a day.

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: Like, "How do you do this?" And a lot of people have been asking, "Why can't I get into Chamber of Secrets?" and that's exactly why. You have to complete Sorcerer's Stone first, and the problem is half the people have not completed Sorcerer's Stone, because after they get Sorted, they're just like, "Oh okay."

Eric: That was me. And I had a con to attend, as we've said before. But again, on that positive note, I did want to say, since you said there were four highlights of the first four chapters of Goblet of Fire, that's roughly...

Andrew: Chamber of Secrets.

Eric: Or Chamber of Secrets. That's roughly one good thing per chapter. And there are two hundred chapters in the Harry Potter books. One hundred ninety-eight, actually. So, maybe there really will be...

Andrew: There is a lot they have to do.

Micah: Well...

Eric: Maybe...

Andrew: I see what you're saying.

Eric: Yeah, I'm saying...

Micah: I think...

Eric: Well, in general, if there is one cool thing per chapter in Pottermore, it could still...

Micah: It wasn't per chapter, though.

Andrew: Yeah, it wasn't per chapter.

Eric: Well, it wasn't per chapter but I'm saying if it evens out. The first four chapters of Chamber of Secrets, you find four cool things about it, then maybe Pottermore could still be a success once all the books are done.

Micah: And yeah, Andrew, I agree with what you said. I'm not going to sit here and downplay the site any more. I think it's very easy to criticize, especially because we're more than the average fan, so I think we're expecting more going into it than what it was really created for, and that is for people who are experiencing it for the first time. I mean, you have such a wide range of individuals who are going to be logging on to the site. And a lot of them have read the series more than once, are passionate about it, they want the new information. But at the end of the day, it was designed for, in a lot of cases, a younger kid who is going through and is experiencing this, free of charge, for the first time. And so I guess you can't really knock that too much. Just this last bit on Pottermore, I thought it was kind of interesting that Slytherin got early access to Chamber of Secrets. Anybody else?

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Why is that?

Micah: Well, because the heir of Slytherin opened the Chamber of Secrets.

Andrew: Ahhh.

Eric: You're saying it was rigged?

Micah: I'm just saying.

Andrew: Hmmm.

Micah: But I will say, I did like how they were able to make the house points invisible, in a way, about a week or so before the House Cup was announced so that people couldn't see who was in the lead. And obviously all the houses were really getting after it, and Slytherin came out the winner. And they did a cool job announcing, I thought, with all of the different banners. And I did say on Twitter, back on June 25th before anything was official, I thought that the house that won the House Cup was going to get early access. I wonder if they'll continue to do that, moving forward.

Andrew: You're right. Yeah, I mean, it's cool. Some people were disappointed because it was only 24 hours advance notice. Or 24 hours...

Eric: And they didn't give a date, too. So, they were like, "Yes, you'll get..."

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: "...24 hours before everybody else, but we're not going to tell you when it is."

Micah: Twenty-four to only four chapters, by the way. [laughs]

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Eric: Yeah. But...

Andrew: Okay...

Eric: What was I going to say? Oh yeah, the other funny thing about Slytherin winning the House Cup is that Slytherin had a long history of winning the House Cup every year until Harry came to Hogwarts. So, that was pretty cool.

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#244 (November 20th, 2011): For the first time ever, MuggleCast has a DVD commentary! Watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 on DVD with us. We'll comment on each and every scene - it's as if we're in your living room watching alongside you!

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