["Hedwig's Theme" plays]
Andrew: Because Micah just has to go there, this is MuggleCast Episode 266 for June 23rd, 2013.
[Show music begins]
Andrew: Today's episode is brought to you by Audible.com. Audible is the 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 AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 266. Eric, Micah, and I are here this week, and look who's joining us: Laura Thompson! Welcome back, Laura.
Laura: Who's that?
Andrew: Oh, it's you and your beautiful voice.
Laura: Aww, I missed you guys.
Andrew: Yeah, we missed you too. You set the standard for female podcasting, I feel.
Laura: Well, I don't think I had very much competition on this show. [laughs]
Andrew: Well, I mean you blazed the trail.
Laura: I mean, at least when I was on the show, right? I know that there were some people who were on here after me who are awesome. But yeah, for a while it was just me and all of this testosterone. It was quite a challenge sometimes.
Andrew: Yes. Well, you've always been the voice of reason. That has never changed.
Laura: You poor misled souls. What are you thinking?
Andrew: [laughs] But speaking of nostalgia, you know it's been ten years since Order of the Phoenix hit bookstore shelves?
Laura: Oh, my God.
Andrew: Yeah. On the summer solstice, which we just passed. So does everybody remember where they were for that book release? Micah, do you remember?
Micah: I was in college and [laughs] I had not read any of the books yet.
Andrew: Oh, that's right! When did you start?
Micah: Just… well, I read them all in one summer but I started really getting into them probably just before Half-Blood Prince was released.
Andrew: Oh, wow. How about you, Eric?
Eric: Noob. Noob. [laughs]
Micah: Yup, I'm a noob.
Eric: No, I'm a noob too, because Order of the Phoenix was my first book release. I only got into them after the first two movies had already come out. So Order of the Phoenix was my first book release, so it'll always be a little special. And it was the first event I went to on behalf of MuggleNet because there was an Oak Park, Illinois event where they turned all the local shops into Diagon Alley. And basically Dylan and I were there, and we did some Wizard's Chess and some costume contests. It was a lot of fun. But I actually went out of state for it, and back home… my mom, I remember this, wrote the local paper and she was like, "My son is going to Illinois on behalf of his Harry Potter website! Why don't you do a story on it?" [laughs] And so some guy came to my house, and I had a story in the local paper.
Andrew: Oh, that's funny.
Laura: That's awesome.
Andrew: The town nerd, heading to Chicago!
[Andrew, Eric, and Laura laugh]
Eric: It really was, and I looked terrible. My hair, man, I'm telling you. I looked so… I had the weirdest smirk on my face, it's terrible.
Andrew: How about you, Laura? Do you remember?
Laura: I don't remember how old I was… I feel like I was…
Eric: Oh, it was 2003. [laughs]
Laura: Yeah, so I was like five. And…
Andrew: What? No, no, no!
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Laura: No, no. I'm just… I'm a little embarrassed because I dressed up and I was like fifteen.
Laura: But yeah, I went to a book release party, so I went to a Barnes and Noble here in the Metro Atlanta area. And I went with a couple of my friends, and they also dressed up. And we were probably the oldest kids there who were wearing costumes. Everybody else was super cute, they were like, you know, three. Running around waving their wands.
Laura: So it's just one of those embarrassing teenage moments. But it was super fun, it was actually my first midnight release party. I had been a big fan of the books before that point but I had just never gotten to go to one, so it was kind of like my first experience in the world of the fandom and interacting with other people who were as crazy about it as I was.
Andrew: [laughs] That was… of course, Goblet of Fire was the book that had come out previously, and it had been three years. So I think in between those two books, like Eric mentioned, the two movies had come out, so in that time the fandom must have grown so much.
Andrew: Because I remember, also, JK Rowling was like, "You know what? For this book, I'm going to take my time. You guys rushed me with Goblet of Fire, so let me take my time on Order of the Phoenix." I was at a bookstore in my local town, and I remember some of the kids from my school were there. It was my second book release; I had gone to the Goblet of Fire one. So some of the kids from high school were there too, [laughs] and I was like… or not high school, middle school. And I was like, "Oh gosh, the cooler kids than me are here. That's kind of a little…" Then one of them was really into Harry Potter. I was like, "Okay, cool. This is kind of neat. So Harry Potter isn't as dorky as I think it is."
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Micah: Yeah, it is.
Laura: Yeah, it is.
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Andrew: Oh, darn. So yeah, ten years. If that doesn't make you feel old, I don't know what does.
Andrew: Ten years since Order of the Phoenix. Wow!
Laura: Oh, my God. Better get out the walker.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: But here we are anyway and still talking about Harry Potter news if you can believe it, including the hot thing in Harry Potter right now, so to speak: Pottermore!
Andrew: Laura, have you used Pottermore? Have we ever spoken to you about Pottermore?
Laura: No, we haven't spoken about Pottermore. I have used it.
Andrew: What house are you in?
Laura: What house do you think I'm in?
Laura: The same one as freaking everybody else. It pissed me off.
Laura: I did not want to be in Gryffindor. I was so… I'm sorry, I'm not supposed to say bad words on this show.
Andrew: It's okay.
Micah: Yes, you can.
Laura: Oh. [laughs]
Micah: We changed the policy.
Laura: Oh, okay. Good. Was that after Smart Mouths?
Andrew: We just grew up, that's all.
Laura: Oh, okay. All right.
Andrew: [laughs] We all grew up.
Laura: But yeah, I was really ticked off because my whole life I've considered myself a Ravenclaw, and then I took the stupid test and I got put in Gryffindor.
Laura: And I think that it's a little bit convenient that all the houses have the same, or at least proportionate, numbers of people in them.
Andrew: Right, exactly.
Laura: I think it's crap.
Andrew: Exactly. That's my theory as well. It's a little weighted. It's not your true house. But anyway, they did announce that they're going to be making some changes to the site. Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne spoke to the site called The Bookseller, and they seem to be doing some big changes. For example, you can now cast spells, take part in wizard duels, and get sorted into your Hogwarts house before even registering for the site. Another big change is that you will no longer be able to go through the chapter - or you don't have to go through the chapters - in sequential order. You can now just browse around wherever you want.
Laura: Oh, cool. I would love that. That was one thing I really didn't like. There were certain things I just wasn't interested in doing, and I didn't really care about going through.
Andrew: But isn't this sort of like… the whole reason that this site existed was it was supposed to be a companion to the books, and now it's… I don't know, it seems to be a real 180.
Laura: I don't know. If you're using it as you read the books, you can still go through in order. But if you're a really big fan who's already read them twelve times like we have, and you want to go to your favorite part, I think that's pretty cool.
Eric: Well, I wonder if this will allow me, who [laughs] really haven't been on it all that much since I first logged in - I'm terrible, terrible fan - to go and get all the exclusive content from JK Rowling in one click.
Andrew: Yes, that would be nice.
Eric: So I'm all over that because that's really what I wanted to use the site for as well. I had a crisis of house sorting because I got sorted into Hufflepuff, but I got over that and in general, all I'm on it for is the exclusive content.
Andrew: They also seem to be trying to appeal to people who don't know Harry Potter at all. Charlie Redmayne seems to think that people who discover Harry Potter through like the LEGO video game or one of the computer games, they are going to come to Pottermore too. So they're going to have pages, simple pages, like: "Who is Harry Potter?"
Laura: Oh, my God. Are you serious?
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. That's a quote. Like that's a thing. [laughs]
Laura: That is kind of… I was going to say something that's not appropriate to say. It's kind of stupid.
Andrew: [laughs] What do you think, Micah?
Micah: I agree with Laura. I think that… how does anybody who has been alive for the last twenty years, thirty years, not know who Harry Potter is? I feel like that's a…
Andrew: But… well, I think you're looking at new generations of kids playing the LEGO video games maybe. Let's say you're ten to twelve years old and you haven't played - or you haven't read - Harry Potter yet…
Eric: You know, those LEGO video games are hard. You really need to know who Harry Potter is in order to beat them. [laughs]
Eric: You need to know all about these little charms and stuff that you've got to do because it is… I cannot get through them.
Eric: No, I don't know, man. I feel the same. Who is coming to Pottermore, the site…
Andrew: [laughs] For more…
Eric: …for their first time? I don't…
Eric: I'm glad that they thought of that, I guess, but maybe it's somebody else's job to be like, "Who is Harry Potter?" You can always Google it and… Wikipedia will do the same thing better.
Micah: Read the book. That…
Eric: Or read the book.
Micah: If you want to know who he is, read the book. Even if it's a younger generation, even if it's kids that are five, six, seven years old… or have the parents read the book to the kids so that they learn who he is. I mean, I get the whole idea behind having these little biographies. I'm sure they're not just going to do it for him. They'll do it for other characters as well so that you get a better understanding of what the series is all about. But, to Eric's point, this is Pottermore. You're coming here for more information, not to be introduced into the series unless that's also what they're trying to do with the site.
Eric: Or maybe they'll change the name. And maybe we're being a little bit stodgy.
Eric: Let's not forget that they are selling the books on the site. So, to be…
Andrew: They have to… right, good point.
Eric: Yeah. They could really do a whole new interface with that and have an end with a byline, you know?
Andrew: Mhm. They need… as I've said before, they need to do two things. I'm over my pet idea for Pottermore.
Eric: Oh no!
Andrew: No more taking care of a pet.
Eric: Never give up! Live strong!
Andrew: [laughs] But they need to - as I brought up on the show before - drop a bombshell that websites and media outlets are going to pick up, just like the "Dumbledore is gay" thing, and every damn article is going to be like, "JK Rowling revealed this on her Pottermore website." So that's free publicity right there. And b) She needs to… I think we've discussed on the show before, you need to be able to get your Patronus now. Because we're in Prisoner of Azkaban right now. That's… they're like midway through Prisoner of Azkaban.
Laura: Oh, really? Oh.
Laura: Wow, I haven't been paying attention. [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah. Well, exactly because nobody... and the new content fr…JK Rowling has gotten... I feel like it's gotte… little less exciting. I've always said that's the greatest part of the website, but it's just missing... it's not thrilling. It…sort of like rehashed material. It's not new new anymore, it doesn't feel like to me.
Eric: See, I would...
Laura: Just…y everybody is gay. Everybody is gay.
Andrew: [laughs] Right. Oh...
Micah: Or l…s goats.
Laura: There we go.
Andrew: Laura, what was that Christian... the Bible thumper's na… Laura...
Laura: Laura Mallory. Oh, yeah.
Andrew: Yeah. Oh, her head would explode if she found out that everybody was gay in the Harry Potter books. [laughs] Poof!
Andrew: So those are the… so we'll see. I mean, I'm glad that they're making some big changes. A little UI change would be nice too. Maybe they should refresh the design of it now.
Micah: What was your big theory a couple of episodes ago, Andrew, about Aunt Marge?
Andrew: Aunt Marge! She should have said that Aunt Marge is a lesbian. That would have been a huge bombshell. Laura, you would have liked that one, right?
Laura: Oh, of course!
Andrew: Yeah. That would have been cool!
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: That would have been cool.
Eric: But I was under… I thought…
Laura: I would have been Facebooking and tweeting all of that stuff.
Laura: Oh, my God.
Eric: It would go viral, everybody would know. Oh, my God.
Andrew: Laura would have been like, "Guys, guys, guess what I just read on Pottermore?" [laughs]
Laura: [laughs] "I knew it!"
Andrew: What were you going to say, Eric? [laughs]
Eric: I was going to say, I thought that JK Rowling wrote almost all of her content before Pottermore even launched. That's just what I remember reading, I guess. Because it was a long period of… gosh, was it… well, I guess it was three to five years where she was essentially writing content in the very, very background and before Pottermore was announced. And then when it came out, I just… the only thing she wrote couldn't have just been the Prisoner of Azkaban stuff because that's like three paragraphs… or the Sorcerer's Stone stuff because that's like three different things. There's… I don't know, I just thought she wrote it all. So, why should it be dipping in quality years later in Book 3?
Andrew: Yeah, I…
Eric: Book 3 is my favorite book, so to see that there's nothing terribly new and exciting so far in it is really upsetting to me. You get Animagi, you get Patronuses, you get Lupin, you get Sirius Black…
Eric: …for crying out loud.
Eric: It's seriously the strongest book for warm feels and…
Eric: …I want to know more.
Andrew: Well, yeah, take a look through it all when you get a chance. I know you said you were a little behind.
Andrew: And tell me… I don't know, maybe I'm just jaded but I feel like the content has slipped a little bit in terms of the new stuff from JK Rowling.
Micah: Didn't we say we're only going to talk positively about Pottermore?
Andrew: Well, I can't help it! They're doing this to me. I don't want to say these things. It's their fault.
Micah: Well, you only have a couple of episodes left.
Micah: And you don't have to say anything about Pottermore ever again.
Andrew: I'm still going to talk about it on Hype, so...
Andrew: ...I'm just getting started.
Andrew: We're going to continue with the news in just a moment, but first, today's episode is brought to you by Audible.com. Audible is the Internet's leading provider of audiobooks with more than 100,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including audio versions of many New York Times Bestsellers. For listeners of MuggleCast, as you know, Audible is offering you a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their service that is perfect for summer. Today we are going to recommend Dan Brown's latest novel - we mentioned New York Times Bestseller - Inferno. In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history's most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces, Dante's Inferno. You can get the book for free by going to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast and signing up for Audible, or for that matter you can get any great book on there. I'm recommending Inferno because Dan Brown books are great summer beach reads or wherever you're going to be out and about this summer. Again, AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. We thank Audible for their support of the show.
Andrew: Let's talk about some positive Harry Potter news. JK Rowling's annotated… she released this… there was this charity auction by Sotheby's called "First Editions, Second Thoughts" - cool name - and they asked authors to take first edition copies of their books and annotate them. And JK Rowling did this with a first edition Philosopher's Stone - very rare. She signed it, she wrote over one hundred… oh, sorry. 1,100 notes, words, in this book and she made 22 illustrations within the book. And if you click through some of the links, guys, you can see some pictures as well. [laughs] And she revealed a couple of interesting things in the annotations - again, things that should be in Pottermore.
Eric: I was going to say, this is Pottermore! [laughs]
Andrew: Yes! Right.
Eric: For $227,000, this is Pottermore Book 1.
Andrew: Yeah, here's an example of something she unveiled: that the Pottermore house animal was originally a bear before it was a honey badger.
Eric: Oh, Hufflepuff you mean.
Andrew: And she wrote… oh yeah, sorry. And she wrote, "Perhaps Hufflepuff house would have the respect it deserves from the fans if I'd stayed with my original idea of a bear to represent it?"
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: Like, come on. This is something that would do well in Pottermore.
Micah: What's wrong with a badger?
Andrew: It's a little…
Eric: [singing] "Badger, badger, badger, badger, badger…"
Micah: They're fierce. Would you ever want to come across a badger, just in general life?
Andrew: Well, you know what? I'm glad you bring that up. I went to a zoo a couple of weeks ago and there was a honey badger… or a badger exhibit. And those things have some spunk. They were moving around a lot, they were playing with their toys. You know how a lot of animals at the zoo, they're just kind of sitting around sleeping? This thing was alive. I mean, it was kicking. I was like, "Oh, okay. This is kind of a cool choice, Jo."
Laura: Yeah, they don't give a [censored].
Micah: If you had to rank the four in terms of which ones you'd least want to come in contact with, what would they be?
Eric: Snake would be the lowest.
Andrew: Yeah. Snake.
Micah: You're least afraid of a snake?
Eric: No, no, no. Snake would be the least...
Andrew: No, most...
Eric: ...person I'd want to come into contact, least animal that's... but lions they're cool. They're just going to maul you if you upset them.
Eric: Ravens or... is it a raven or is it a different type of bird? It's a...
Mic… It's called Ravenclaw.
Eric: I realize that.
Laura: Yeah, I think it's a raven.
Eric: I realize that, but you still had to think about it, didn't you, for a second? Ravens are fine. Tap, tap, tapping at the chamber door.
Laura: I was waiting for somebody to make that connection.
Eric: Yeah, thank you.
Laura: Anyway, go ahead.
Eric: And what's the fourth one? What are we thinking? Oh yeah, badgers.
Micah: The badger.
Andrew: That's the least scary, I would say.
Eric: Yeah, badgers are cool.
Andrew: JK Rowling also revealed something about how she invented Quidditch. She said she invented it after a fight with her boyfriend. She said, quote, "I had been pondering the things that hold a society together, cause it to congregate and signify its particular character and knew I needed a sport. [Quidditch] infuriates men, in my experience (why is the Snitch so valuable etc.), which is quite satisfying given my state of mind when I invented it."
Eric: Umm, what?
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Andrew: Well, because… well, I have heard this complaint before about Quidditch, it's that all you would need to do is get the Snitch and it's over. Everything else, every other aspect of the game, is kind of pointless. So yeah, she was pissed off at her boyfriend who apparently loves sports and she decided that she's going to write a sport game for her book that pisses off men. [laughs] Pretty funny. I mean, again, Pottermore.
Laura: I like it.
Eric: I've never been aggravated over Quidditch until now. [laughs] Now, I'm aggravated over Quidditch.
Eric: That it was some kind of hate sport or something that Jo did in a fit of rage against men.
Andrew: I think there was a couple of other sentences. She was saying how guys get so serious about sports or something like that. So anyway, that thing sold for $227,000 at a… at the first…
Laura: That's amazing.
Andrew: Yeah. Charity, of course. So, good for Jo for supporting another charity.
Andrew: We don't have to make a big deal out of this story. I just found it interesting. A new study finds that Katniss Everdeen has replaced Harry Potter as the millennials' mascot.
Eric: They can't do that, can they?
Laura: Super lame.
Eric: Can they do that, Laura? Can they do that?
Laura: I don't know. I'm about to voice a very unpopular opinion. I don't think…
Andrew: You don't like…
Laura: Okay… no, it's not that I don't like The Hunger Games. I think it's fine, but it is a bit like dystopia for dummies.
Laura: It's a book geared towards 12-year-olds, and I see all of these 40-year-old people taking it very seriously.
Laura: And it just… it's not… seriously, go read 1984. Go read Brave New World. Whatever.
Andrew: Well, Laura, no, you bring up a great point, but The Hunger Games is a kids, young adult book. It's not for… I mean, adults do like it. My mom is a fan.
Laura: No, and I enjoyed them. When I read them, I thought they were very well written. They're good books, but I think that they have been overplayed a bit. I think that people take them far too seriously. I don't know. Maybe it's just me.
Andrew: I think… no, no, no, you're right. You're right. A lot of people said this too on Twitter and Facebook. I mean, nobody says that Hunger Games is the new Harry Potter, but the reason this information was uncovered, in terms of Katniss being the new mascot of millennials, is actually not just because of the popularity of the franchise but because of things that Katniss reflects, specifically real world issues like economic turmoil, global political strife, and natural disasters. So she's kind of relatable right now, whereas Harry Potter is not as much. Not to say that The Hunger Games has replaced Harry Potter, but this was a study conducted amongst 14 to 17 year olds. MTV did this study, and of course you could say, "Oh, MTV," but this is like a serious arm of MTV and they do the study to see what is going to be popular in the 18 to 24-year-old demographics. So they monitor - however they conduct these studies - with 14 to 17-year-olds now to see what they're about to get interested in.
Eric: Oh, that's cool.
Laura: I still call shenanigans.
Andrew: Okay. No, you bring up a good point about The Hunger Games. I haven't read 1984.
Eric: Yeah. Then again, the people who are… the kids who are the millennials, that's the people who were born after the year 2000, right? So in the last thirteen years? Because even though Harry Potter is our thing, we were born at the end of the '80s, or early '90s for some of us, but… so there is a ten year gap there where these kids just didn't exist while this stuff was happening.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, not to get into semantics but doesn't millennials just mean the new generation?
Eric: Yeah, so when does that start?
Laura: Well, yeah.
Eric: A generation is every twenty years because certainly… it's right at this category between 14 to 17 and 18 to 24, because 14 years ago was '99. So it's like even if they were born, their first book release could have been the last one when they were six. Yeah, I don't know.
Laura: Actually, it says… I'm looking at Wikipedia, so whatever.
Micah: It's got to be true.
Laura: But it says… [laughs] right? It actually says that commentators use beginning birth dates from the early 1980s to the early 2000s for millennials.
Eric: For millennials?
Laura: So we are all millennials, and I do not support this Katniss Everdeen BS.
Andrew: [laughs] Well, Laura, you're smart. That's the difference.
Micah: I don't either.
Laura: Micah, you're smart.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Micah: Thanks. That's the first compliment I've ever gotten on this show. In eight years.
Laura: I'm sorry. [laughs]
Micah: Thanks, Laura. No, I agree. I just… I'm not a big fan of The Hunger Games either. I've read all of the books. Like Laura said, I thought they were well written, but I haven't seen any of the movies. And I feel like with MTV doing this study, is it more that it's relatable from the movie standpoint or the book standpoint? Because I feel like MTV is more Hollywood focused than it is literary focused.
Eric: I think they're blurring the lines. I don't think they want you to think of these things as only books or only movies or think of them separate. MTV and Hollywood in general is all about mass market, everything, the whole series it's a franchise, it's going to be on TV, it's going to be in the bookstores, it's going to be on the magazines, it's going to be in the theaters. That's what they're looking for. So I think basically Hunger Games is coming in and Harry Potter is going out because short of theme park expansions, there's nothing else happening. And so they want to see that there's this new hero rising up because essentially that's going to allow them to gear their marketing and basically focus everybody's attention on the new thing.
Andrew: Well, if The Hunger Games isn't your cup of tea then maybe a new series that's going to star Emma Watson will be. So listen to this, I'm going to give you information and then I'm going to share a theory. And I think I'm spot on with this, so listen closely, okay?
Micah: I'm listening.
Andrew: Thank you, finally. So HarperCollins purchased a book trilogy called Queen of the Tearling by an author who's never been published before. They purchased the rights to this book series for over a million dollars, which is unheard of for an unknown author. [laughs] It's described as a female Game of Thrones, which has caused controversy in and of itself.
Micah: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: [laughs] You're going to get hate for that. And so this book, the first book comes out next year, it's a trilogy. Recently, Warner Bros. decided to purchase the movie rights to this series. Keep in mind, the first book hasn't even been published yet. David Heyman is going to be producing and Emma Watson is going to be starring as the main character.
Laura: Aww, man.
Andrew: In a movie for a book that's not even out yet.
Eric: So what's your theory?
Andrew: Well, here's my theory. Let me read a brief description of it first:
"The story is set three centuries after a small portion of the human race has populated a landmass that mysteriously emerged in the wake of an environmental catastrophe. The series follows nineteen-year-old princess Kelsea Glynn, who must reclaim her deceased mother's throne and redeem her kingdom, the Tearling, from forces of corruption and dark magic of The Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of the neighboring country, Mortmesne."
So presumably Emma Watson is going to play the nineteen-year-old princess, Kelsea Glynn. So here's my theory: There's three Harry Potter connections to this movie adaptation. HarperCollins spent over a million dollars for the rights to this. Warner Bros. probably spent an equal amount of money at least. My theory is that this is JK Rowling's new series and she's operating under a pen name.
Laura: Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.
Andrew: I mean, how can Warner Bros. feel so into this, David Heyman into this, and Emma Watson wanting to put her name on it already?
Eric: Yeah, it seems pretty huge considering the first book hasn't even come out yet.
Eric: That does seem like a huge vote of confidence for absolutely no reason.
Eric: But I will say that if it were in fact the next JK Rowling project, I think she can do a little bit better than "The Red Queen" as a villain.
Eric: Really? Red Queen? Really?
Andrew: Yeah, it's been used. But I'm excited for this. Maybe this could be the next… because there's always got to be something next, right? We've had Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Twilight, Divergent seems to be potentially the next big new thing.
Micah: And don't forget, HarperCollins also put together that page-to-screen book.
Andrew: Oh, okay. So there's another little Harry Potter connection. I mean, I'm kind of kidding with my theory but JK Rowling has also been quiet lately. Like, what the heck has she been up to? You're telling me she's only working on that children's book right now? Give me a break.
Laura: Yeah, and I mean, wasn't there something about a political fairytale in there? This kind of sounds like it fits that bill.
Andrew: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: Yeah, that's true.
Eric: So wait, who described it as a female Game of Thrones? I see that in the news post.
Andrew: The publisher.
Andrew: And apparently, this author got the idea when watching Barack Obama make a speech about the environment or something like that. So some people are calling foul about this whole series already. They're like, "Oh, HarperCollins is so desperate. They're connecting it to Obama and female Game of Thrones already? Are you kidding me?"
Eric: So Micah and I, we should take a moment here - forgive us - to shed some light on this. Micah, we do a Game of Thrones podcast called Game of Owns. Micah, what do you think the female Game of Thrones… just calling it that, female Game of Thrones, what does that mean for books?
Micah: Well, I don't think that I can say what I'm thinking on this podcast.
Eric: I mean, are you thinking…
Laura: Let it out!
Eric: …male frontal nudity, male sex slaves, and girl dragons?
Micah: No, it was actually quite the opposite of that. But…
Eric: Well, no, that's what… the opposite of that is what Game of Thrones is, [laughs] so what are you thinking here?
Andrew: Well, aren't there male rulers in Game of Thrones, I guess, and now this appears to be female rulers?
Eric: Yeah, no…
Andrew: Excuse my ignorance towards the Game of Thrones series.
Eric: You're forgiven. No, that's true. Okay, I get it.
Andrew: Micah can't see past the dirty side of a female Game of Thrones.
Andrew: Anyway, I'm excited for this series. I mean, gosh…
Eric: Did you say they're all being published this year? Or…
Andrew: No, the first book is being published next year or so.
Andrew: Well, I mean if Emma Watson is already attached, they must have an idea of when they're going to film. So maybe they could start shooting as soon as next year.
Eric: Yeah, this is unbelievable.
Eric: This is just like…
Eric: …one of those stories that just all of a sudden, there's so much going on with something that you've never heard of before.
Andrew: Yeah. I want to get my hands on one of those advance readers copies since… there's got to be some out there.
Micah: It's just weird that they do refer to it as a female version of Game of Thrones because there are very strong female characters in that series and they are power players and they have been up to the five books now that have been released. So…
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]
Micah: …to get a little bit more insight as to what they mean by that.
Andrew: I think it may have been like a cheap publicity grab to get people's attention, maybe.
Micah: Because Game of Thrones is so mainstream right now.
Andrew: Right. Well, and that's again why I feel like there's a… this is like being penned by JK Rowling because they feel so desperate to make sure that it actually gets noticed that they use "female Game of Thrones." I don't know.
Eric: You know what, though? They wouldn't need to use these things, like Barack Obama, female Game of Thrones, if it were JK Rowling doing it. They could just say, "JK Rowling, new trilogy. See ya!" You know?
Andrew: No, but that's the thing. What if she wants to operate… write a new series under a name that isn't… you know what I mean? She wants to…
Eric: Yeah, it's a good theory.
Andrew: …be out of the public spotlight.
Eric: Yeah, but would she really stay in fantasy and not do Harry Potter? That would upset me, is if she kept doing fantasy books that weren't Harry Potter. [laughs] It's like just send them in the world of Harry Potter.
Eric: Make a new kingdom. Make a castle. Do whatever. Make a continent appear in the middle of the ocean. I don't care what you have to do. Just keep it Harry Potter.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Eric: Within the realm of fantasy. Sorry if that's a rant there.
Andrew: No, no. Laura, the political fairytale thing, I had forgotten about that. That was a good point as well.
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