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

MuggleCast 256 Transcript

LeakyCon 2012
Chicago, Illinois
August 10, 2012

Show Intro

["Hedwig's Theme" plays]

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

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: We have Selina Wilken.

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Selina [unintelligible] the past few episodes you have probably heard her. See, people clap for you, Selina. Don't worry.

Selina: [laughs] Thank you.

Eric: Wait, guys. Aren't we missing somebody?

Andrew: Well, this seat is reserved for every MuggleCaster who has died - no.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Wow.

Andrew: [laughs] Who we wish could be here but just can't be here. That includes people like - who are they? I forget them already.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: I just delete them from my head. Jamie…

Micah: Kevin.

Selina: Laura.

Micah: Laura.

Andrew: Kevin, Laura, who are these people? Matthew? I don't know who that is.

Eric: Mikey, Matt…

Andrew: Mikey, Ben…

Eric: Oh, Ben.

Andrew: Ben, too. We miss all these people.

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Oh, hey Ben!

[Audience cheers]

Ben: Hello!

Andrew: Last year you were wearing a hotel staff T-shirt, so I see you came better dressed.

Ben: I have a MuggleCast skirt.

Andrew: [laughs] Okay.

[Eric laughs]

Ben: It's big enough to be a skirt.

MuggleCast Celebrates Seven Years of Podcasting

Andrew: Speaking of these shirts, actually, these are really cool. They were designed by Stephanie Falcos, right?

[Audience cheers]

Eric: Yeah, she's done the shirts for the past few years for us. Now unfortunately, guys, there aren't any shirts to sell or for us to give out, sorry, this year. We just had to get them for the panelists. We do have one shirt, though, which we will be giving away later in the show for an audience member, so we'll have more details about that later. If you like the shirt, it's a seven-year design because we're celebrating this month…

Andrew: Seven years, as was noted at the opening ceremony last night, along with PotterCast.

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Thank you. Yeah, it's very cool to think that we've been doing this for seven years now. I know it was Ben, Kevin Steck, and I who did the first episode, and then Eric…

Ben: Way back in the day.

Andrew: Yeah. And then Eric joined on, and then Micah joined on.

Eric: And Jamie.

Recap of LeakyCon Events

Andrew: Yeah. So, good, good stuff. But getting back to the con, was anybody here at last night's opening ceremonies?

Eric: Opening ceremonies?

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: But not just the opening ceremonies. Then there was also Maureen's Midnight Movie. [laughs] Did anybody go to that?

[Audience cheers]

Eric: What was the movie?

Andrew: Well…

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: I had heard it was going to be (500) Days of Summer or something, and then I see everybody going down - it was really Maureen's 12:45 Movie, it wasn't Midnight Movie. But - so it ended up being [laughs] Breaking Dawn: Part 1.

[Scattered cheers from the audience]

Andrew: [laughs] But they did commentary, so it was pretty funny. Did anybody go to that here?

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Okay. Yeah, and also, thanks for getting up early for this. This was at 1, and then they pulled - yeah, they pushed us ahead. And then Evanna's appearance as Luna - no, sorry, as Katniss.

Eric: Katniss.

Andrew: That was really funny as well.

[Someone in the audience cheers]

Andrew: We put a picture up on Twitter, on the MuggleCast Twitter. Micah and Evanna [laughs] were taking a very nice picture together.

Micah: And then you got in the back and photo bombed it.

Andrew: Yeah. I don't know, I just thought it was cool. So, one of the things - I assume most of you listen to MuggleCast.

[Scattered laughs from the audience]

Andrew: We usually start with the news. So, Micah, what's in the news this week?

Micah: Ummm...

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: We didn't plan that. I just wanted to see what he would do.

[Audience laughs]

Micah: Too early, too early.

The Casual Vacancy Release Parties

Andrew: The Casual Vacancy, we wanted to talk about because it's the most recent thing, and one of the things we wanted to talk about was - sorry, I just realized there's people over here, too. Hello, everybody over there.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Hello, everybody over there.

Andrew: Hi. [laughs] One of the things we wanted to talk about was The Casual Vacancy. The book is going to be released at 8:00 AM GMT - this was a recent news story - which is [pronounces "green-witch"] Greenwich Mean Time, I believe?

Eric: Greenwich.

Ben: Yeah.

Eric: Greenwich.

Andrew: Greenwich. And - 8:00 AM that time. That's 3:00 AM Eastern and 12:00 AM Pacific. So, that means - what I've been clamoring for - Casual Vacancy midnight release parties: West Coast, baby.

[Someone in the audience cheers]

Andrew: Let's go. Now, I've raised this question before. Would - let's see a show of hands of people who would actually go to a midnight release party for J.K. Rowling's first Harry Potter book...

Eric: Post-Harry Potter...

Andrew: Post-Potter book, The Casual Vacancy. Okay, that's a good number of people. Would you guys go to midnight release parties?

Selina: Absolutely. Not - just because it would give us a chance to reconnect with all the Potter fans, if anything.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: I started going to midnight release parties when I was like twelve, so I think it would be cool to do that again.

Andrew: Do you feel like it should continue with J.K. Rowling's books, or are we just desperately holding on?

Ben: Are we chasing the hive...

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Ben: ...from Harry Potter?

Andrew: [laughs] Yes, exactly!

Ben: To a certain degree, but I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I think the worst thing would be to have people be disappointed because their expectations are so high for this book, and I think it's important to not judge it by the same lens that we judge Harry Potter.

Eric: That said, I think - it's really exciting that the last Harry Potter book was five years ago. Not going to make the point that Harry Potter is still going strong because it is, but also, we haven't seen what J.K. Rowling is capable of for five years. I mean, every writer grows and expands and becomes a better writer just through writing and through the time. Think, it's been five years since we've read a J.K. Rowling book. I wonder what new tools she's picked up and will employ in this new book.

Micah: Well, she's been making tree houses, too.

[Audience and Eric laugh]

Andrew: Yes! Well, we weren't really going to talk about that because that's such a random thing, but was anybody else really surprised that J.K. Rowling is building a Hogwarts treehouse for her kids in her backyard?

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: That seems - I don't know if you saw the pictures but there are these sketches, and there's even an owl sitting in between the two towers for her two children.

Eric: The real story is that Warner Bros. is going to sue her.

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Eric: They own Hogwarts! I don't know. You can't build a tree fort in your backyard.

Andrew: And there's tunnels and there's a sliding pole. I'm so jealous of her nine-year-old.

Eric: If you're J.K. Rowling, why not, right?

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, exactly.

Eric: Why not a tree fort?

Andrew: But yeah, The Casual Vacancy - I'm really excited. So, people - I guess there's two options. The other option, if you live on the East Coast, you can go to a 24-hour Walmart [laughs] and hope they put them on sale at 3:00 AM.

Eric: Because what it means is they are not going to release the books anywhere before it hits midnight GMT, right?

Ben: Yeah, there isn't going to be some asshole who puts the scans online.

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Ben: That's not going to happen either.

Eric: You can't say that word in this podcast.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: Oh, I'm sorry. My bad. A-hole.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: No, I meant podcast.

Ben: Oh.

Andrew: You just got approval from Melissa. Melissa just gave the okay. Asshole is okay.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: Moving on.

Andrew: Actually, there's people...

Ben: Why did she walk in right as I said that? It's awful.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: There's people in this very audience, that I won't point out, who I thought genuinely would want to attend a midnight release party but don't want to. And I was shocked by that.

[Audience laughs]

Eric: You got some feedback at Comic-Con about that, right? People were saying...

Andrew: Yeah, the Comic-Con audience was very - we did a Harry Potter panel and it was a great turnout. But the Comic-Con - they were very hesitant. Like, they hadn't seen the cover yet, they didn't want to go to midnight release parties. I was trying to get them excited about different Harry Potter things and they just weren't, and I'm like, [sighs] "This is not the MuggleCast audience."

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Selina: Do you think it's sort of a reaction to it not being a Potter book, though?

Andrew: Yeah. Of course.

Selina: They want more Potter as opposed to J.K. Rowling?

Andrew: Yeah. Does the whole e-reader thing screw it up as well?

Ben: Can you download it at 3:00 AM East Coast time?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Oh okay.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Oh, so you don't even have - you can have a midnight - you can have your own private midnight release party in your pajamas.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Right. That's the beautiful thing. So, people could organize their own midnight release party online. But, in this case, 3:00 AM.

Ben: Get on Skype or Google Hangout.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly. So, everybody refreshes their Kindle at 3:00 AM and then it's just silence on Skype for another sixteen hours.

[Audience laughs]

Ben: Such unity. Such unity.

Andrew: I remember Kevin - yeah, I think it was Kevin Steck. We were all reading Deathly Hallows together in England. Closer? Thank you. Okay, thanks. We were reading Deathly Hallows in England and every five minutes he would be like - oh no, no, he read it early. He read it before all of us.

Eric: He did. He did.

Andrew: He had some downloaded copy or something.

Eric: All he did - we all get our Book 7, we're crying and bawling in London. Jamie is running around, tears are falling. Kevin just takes the book, he's like, "Can I borrow this?" Looks at the first page and then looks at the last page, and he's like, "Yup, read it."

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: But then he was sitting there as we were all reading, and he would go over to each one of us - he was like the teacher in class and we were the students all reading the book, and he would come over - he would just come over to Eric, look over his shoulder and be like, [imitating Kevin] "Where are you at?"

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: "Oh! It's about to get really good."

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: "Where are you? Awesome! Oh man!" We were like, "Kevin, shut up! Leave us alone."

Ben: Did he read the scans or something?

Andrew: Yes! He read the scans.

Ben: So did Mikey B, if anybody remembers Mikey B.

Eric: So, somebody sent...

[Audience cheers]

Ben: Yeah! Mikey B! Yeah!

Eric: So, that's been one of the perks, I guess, of being so exposed. People send us early illegal...

Andrew: Nobody sends us early - that's not our perk. [laughs]

Eric: [laughs] Oh no, no.

Andrew: Kevin got it early.

Ben: Fans pirated copies.

Eric: To the MuggleNet staff, right?

Andrew: Well, there was a recent news story that The Casual Vacancy - they haven't been sending it to the translators because they want to protect the manuscript, which is understandable.

Eric: There are ways that historically people have gotten their hands on these books no matter how [unintelligible] the embargo is. Things like translated copies get sent to countries so that they can be released at the same time as the English ones, and that's been a source, I guess, for pirated - pirating?

Andrew: Pirated.

Eric: Piracy!

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: 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.

So, one thing we definitely want to do later in the show actually is take lots of audience questions, but we also got to keep a close eye on...

Ben: The time.

Eric: Oh yeah.

Andrew: ...the time as well. You also had a Chicken Soup you wanted to read. Did you have that prepared?

Eric: I do have that prepared. Yeah - okay, well this is...

[Audience laughs]

Future of the Harry Potter Fandom, Success of The Casual Vacancy

Andrew: Oh - okay, while you prepare that, one other question we wanted to ask - I raised this at Comic-Con and people gave me a no - does The Casual Vacancy kind of join up with Harry Potter, and does it become the J.K. Rowling fandom or is it strictly the Harry Potter fandom? Is the fandom that we know now slowly morphing into the J.K. Rowling fandom?

Eric: Like, if she were to announce another book series that has nothing to do with Harry Potter - say it's just another young adult book. Do the Harry Potter fans embrace it? Even this, which is an adult book, do we embrace it? Is everybody going to read it or are people going to say, "Well, it's not Harry Potter"?

Andrew: Yeah. Does everyone plan to read The Casual Vacancy?

[Audience cheers]

Andrew: Okay, I guess the better question is: is there anybody who's not interested?

Audience Member: It depends on if it's good!

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Right, depends on if it's good.

Ben: How do you know if it's good if you don't read it?

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

Andrew: The Amazon reviews!

Audience Member: I'll get my friends to read it first!

Andrew: See, but don't you want to read it first? Because people who got into Harry Potter...

[Audience member shouts something]

Ben: Why trust somebody else's opinion? Why not go with your own?

[Andrew and Audience laugh]

[Audience member shouts something]

Andrew: But see, some people got into Harry Potter late and they were like, "Oh, I wish I got into this earlier. I only got into it word of mouth." So, why don't you be a - everybody can be a pioneer of [laughs] The Casual Vacancy. Get into it straight away.

Audience Member: I think the real question is, will anyone read her second book after...

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: Ooh.

Andrew: The real question is, will anybody read her second book? Because this is the first post-Potter book, so...

Eric: So, it's even more prestigious than...

Ben: Yeah, I think if she screws this one up, then the next one she won't have...

[Audience laughs]

Ben: I mean, I think the commercial success for the rest of her life is guaranteed just because it's a big selling name, J.K. Rowling. Everybody - it's a household name. But I guess - yeah, it all comes down to whether or not it's critically acclaimed. I feel like the critics are going to come down hard on her because she's J.K. Rowling and she's had so much success. So, I think as human beings there's this certain degree, an element in each of us, that doesn't want to see other people be successful, because it reminds us of how unsuccessful we are.

[Audience laughs]

Andrew: Speak for yourself!

Ben: No, I'm just saying! There are people out there who are - that want to tear other people down just because she's a billionaire author. That doesn't happen very often.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Or ever.

Andrew: People will be critical of the book and rightly so. I mean, they have to look at it and give a fair review, not just because it's by the Harry Potter author.

Eric: We were wondering - and I'll get to the Chicken Soup in just a moment. We were wondering if she was going to publish under a pseudonym, or a fake name, or something like that. That's an alternative for authors like Stephen King who's done it before as Richard Bachman, who don't want the, I guess, pre-earned praise for a book, or just for it to be under a close eye before...

Andrew: Right.

Eric: So, glad she's not doing that. Unless she already has and she's written, like, Fifty Shades of Grey or something.

[Audience responds in disapproval]

Selina: Ouch.

Eric: What if?

Ben: I'm sure Neil Blair would prefer that she do it under her own name...

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, because it would sell.

Ben: he can make some money.

Andrew: Right. Neil Blair is her...

Ben: Her agent, right?

Andrew: Her agent.

Eric: Oh yeah.

Ben: She ditched Little, Brown, right? A while back?

Andrew: No, no, no. Little, Brown - that's the new guys. You mean Scholastic.

Ben: Huh? She ditched - Little, Brown is the new guys? No, she ditched Little, Brown.

Andrew: No, The Casual Vacancy is being published by Little, Brown.

Ben: Oh okay.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Okay, I don't know what I'm talking about.

[Audience laughs]

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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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