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Hello, everyone! And welcome to another edition of MuggleCast. This is the show where we bring you the latest in Harry Potter news, theories, discussions, recipes - whatever you want. All bundled into a little hour of your time. I'm Andrew Sims.
Kevin: I'm Kevin Steck.
Laura: I'm Laura Thompson.
Andrew: And joining us this week for the first time ever, Laura is excited because it is another girl on the show.
Andrew: Rachel Godoy - MuggleNet content extraordinaire. Welcome, Rachel!
Rachel: [laughs] Thank you very much!
Andrew: Now, Laura. It was Rachel's turn to talk.
Rachel: Wait, that's me.
Laura: No, that was Rachel.
Kevin: Oh! Oh!
Andrew: [laughs] You guys sound a little alike. That's okay. It's cool.
Laura: No, we don't.
Rachel: Okay, everyone says that.
Laura: Guys, write to Andrew - andrew at staff - and tell him...
Kevin: Yes, you do.
Laura: ...Rachel and I do not sound alike.
Andrew: On second thought, please don't.
Kevin: Who was that talking?
Laura: Be quiet!
Andrew: I couldn't even tell. I'm kidding! Before we go anywhere else, first let's check in with Micah for the past week's top Harry Potter news stories.
Micah: Thanks, Andrew.
Some Order of the Phoenix casting news: Afshan Azad, the actress who plays Padma Patil, has now confirmed in an interview with Manchester Online that she's coming back for the fifth movie. Her twin sister, Parvati Patil, will be played by Shefali Chowdhury. And John Cleese, the actor who portrayed Nearly Headless Nick in the first two films has been rumored to be returning for Order of the Phoenix, but nothing has yet been confirmed.
Evanna Lynch's mother and sister sat down with a local radio show in Ireland to discuss the casting process Evanna went through to be cast as Luna Lovegood and her personality in general. You can listen to the five-minute interview over on MuggleNet.com.
Speaking of movies, for our international audience a list of release dates have been posted on MuggleNet.com for when the Goblet of Fire DVD will be released in various countries across the globe.
Don't forget voting for the 2006 AOL Moviefone Moviegoer Awards is still open. Nominations are in the areas of Movie of the Year (Goblet of Fire), Actor of the Year (Dan Radcliffe), Actress of the Year (Emma Watson), Best Scene-Stealer (Brendan Gleeson), and Vilest Villain (Ralph Fiennes). The winners will be announced February 28th.
The written version of the Black Family Tree that JK Rowling recently donated to Book Aid International will go up for auction this Tuesday, February 21st. The Italian newspaper La Repubblica has now published a complete photo of the Tree which includes more details on the family. At JKR's request, some parts have been blurred so as not to give away too much information.
And the Spanish translation of Half-Blood Prince will be released this Thursday, February 23rd at 12:30 PM EST.
Finally, an official announcement was made last week that our next Leaky Mug Live podcast is set for July 29th with a tentative 6:30 PM start time, at the JW Marriott in Las Vegas, Nevada. Attendees who are registered for Lumos 2006 will be given seating preference at the event.
That's all the news for this February 19th, 2006 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.
Andrew: All right, thank you, Micah Tan.
Andrew: First of all, let's welcome Kevin Steck back to the show, he's been off for two weeks. Where have you...
Kevin: Two weeks? You mean like what? Three or four now?
Andrew: Uhhh, maybe three weeks. Well, you haven't done voicemails for two weeks.
Kevin: Yeah, that's true.
Andrew: Where have you been, Mr. Steck?
Kevin: I've been busy with school. I've been...
Kevin: ...overwhelmed. I'm sorry, it's true.
Andrew: [laughs] School.
Andrew: Okay, moving on.
Kevin: I'm taking...I'm taking 20 credits. You have to give me some leeway here.
Andrew: Okay, moving on to some announcements. Now, as we have said recently, registration for Lumos is running out and now it is completely sold out. The convention is 100% filled up. That means that we are going to be in for a lot of fun. But one important thing to remember is that if you still want to go to the LIVE podcast that we're going to be doing at Lumos , Las Vegas, 2006 at the end of July - you can still come and see the show, but it is going to be a first-come, first-serve basis for those that registered. Then they are going to let those who haven't registered. Don't forget that we are going to post a page very soon with all the latest info about MuggleCast Live in Las Vegas on MuggleCast.com. That will be in a few weeks.
In other news, the "Create Your Own MuggleCast Segment" is now closed. We received 20-30 entries. We haven't listened to them yet. Basically, people created their own MuggleCast segments and the best one, chosen by us, will be aired on our show. And runners-up will be aired later on. We might put a whole show together of just user-submitted segments. The winner will be announced next week on Episode 29 (that's the February 26th show) and the winners will be receiving a MuggleCast T-shirt. Everyone who participated in creating the segment will receive a MuggleCast T-shirt and will have their segment aired, like I already said. And, Laura?
Laura: I just wanted to give a shout out to Noah from Georgia who sent me his band's, I believe it is their first CD, the Warp Tones. And I just wanted to say Noah I had a great time listening to your CD. It's... All the songs are on my iPod and I just think it is really cool you're doing something like this. You guys have exhibited loads of potential and talent and I am looking forward to seeing where you go. So, good job. The reason that came so late (because you sent it in December) is because Ben can't manage the PO Box. So, I apologize on Ben's behalf.
[Kevin and Andrew laugh]
Andrew: That's why he's not here this week, Laura. I punished him for you.
Laura: Yeah, good. [laughs] He's in the corner right now.
Kevin: No, he's... No, he's in mailroom, sorting all the mail for five months.
Andrew: And one last thing. We've been getting a lot of e-mails on this. And there is some concern. On HarryPotter.com, a few of you noticed if you mouse over "Media" there's a new button that says "Podcast."
Andrew: Which suggests, and which we now is to be a...
Kevin: [coughs] Rip off!
Andrew: Harry Potter podcast...[laughs]...that is being developed by Warner Bros. We got e-mails from people saying, "Well, what the heck? Are you guys going to cancel your show now?"
Andrew: And the answer is... Well, I was going say, "Yes!" But, if you don't want to, then, "No!"
Andrew: No, we are not going to cancel the show. It will still be just as exciting as ever. Honestly, I think we should be flattered that WB is doing a podcast because between MuggleCast and PotterCast, we have created quite the Harry Potter podcasting phenomenon.
Andrew: And without all the shows that have been created, I don't think Warner Bros. would have ever considered it.
Laura: Yeah, I think there was definitely some influence there.
Kevin: A tad bit.
Andrew: Now, what are they going to have on the show? [laughs] Probably some good stuff.
Kevin: Yeah. I would guess interviews and stuff like that. How are they going to approach it? Do you think they will have adults host or kids host?
Andrew: Oh, it will definitely be adult hosts.
Kevin: Are you sure?
Andrew: Yeah, Who are they going to have do it?
Kevin: They could have, they could be like the Disney Channel where they get all the kids to like, do all the reporting.
Laura: Oh my god. The Mickey Mouse club.
Andrew: Yeah, but the Disney podcasts aren't hosted by children.
Kevin: Oh, that's true.
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]
Kevin: Because they're unreliable. [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]
Laura: Yeah, like Andrew.
Andrew: They should have asked us. We would have done it.
Kevin: [Whining like a child] I don't want to do a podcast!
Andrew: But seriously, we look forward to seeing what they are going to be doing. We don't think it is going to be, well, I don't think it's going to be like a weekly thing.
Andrew: I think it's going to be like a nice Order of the Phoenix promotional podcast. I'm sure they'll... Yeah, they'll have interviews like someone else just said.
Kevin: That was me.
Laura: But it's not like every show is going to be hosted by Harry Potter stars.
Andrew: And the effect on MuggleCast will be very minimal. We're kind of hoping that they are going to have another section that says "Other Harry Potter Podcasts" and we're going to be right there.
Andrew: Please Warner Bros.! Pllleeeaaassseee!!!
Andrew: We will link back to you, I promise!
Laura: You know we love you!
Andrew: Yeah. Now, so we look forward to that. Thank you for your concern though, but we'll be okay.
We have got a lot on the show this week, including the return of voicemails.
Kevin: Thanks to me.
Andrew: Thanks to Kevin.
Andrew: I didn't want to blame you, but if you insist, we will.
[Kevin laughs, then sighs]
Andrew: But first let's get to our Main Discussion this week, which is our continuing discussion on a specific character in the Harry Potter series. This week is Minerva McGonagall. So, so some basic info here.
She is 71 years old according to the official Harry Potter timeline. She is a member of the Gryffindor House. And her distinguishable characteristics: her square-framed glasses and her black hair pulled back severely into a bun. She is a registered Animagus, with her animal form being a tabby cat. Now, let's get on to some questions that we have thought up here. A few of these were submitted by Terri, who suggested doing McGonagall in a future episode. So, thank you to her.
Andrew: One of the first questions is: What is her purpose as an Animagus? We saw it in Sorcerer's Stone; she was spying on Harry and the Dursleys.
Laura: Yeah, but was that her specific purpose? I mean, I doubt she became an Animagus just to do that.
Andrew: No, no.
Andrew: I'm saying one purpose that she's found of it is to be able to spy.
Laura: Mhm. Well, yeah.
Kevin: But her purpose as an Animagus, like, I mean, I don't think anyone becomes an Animagus with a single purpose in mind.
Laura: Yeah. I think it's just a general thing.
Kevin: I think it's more for the...
Kevin: Yeah, it's more for the ability than the...
Andrew: Well, why can she use this ability? For spying. Anything else?
Kevin: I don't know. It seems like a bizarre question. There's multiple purposes.
Laura: I just think it would be... [laughs]
Kevin: It's her.
Laura: Yeah, I don't think there was any specific purpose she had in mind. It's just helpful.
Andrew: What are her characteristic ties to the goddess Minerva?
Laura: Well, we know that Minerva was the goddess of crafts and wisdom and she is also known as the warrior goddess. Zeus is her father, which suggests that whomever her father was might have some sort of high place in power, or had - I doubt he's alive anymore. But, he could have been high up in the wizarding world. We also know, and this was kind of something that I found interesting, the goddess Minerva assisted hero the Perseus (I believe that is how you pronounce it) to kill the Medusa. And basically she told Perseus to look at Medusa's reflection so that he could behead her, which I found kind of interesting because of the whole tie to the whole Basilisk and stuff. Even though Minerva didn't have anything to do with that. And Perseus gave the head to Minerva and she used it on her shield to turn her enemies to stone. And I kind of attributed that to the fact that Minerva sort of has this expression that when she puts it on, the students kind of freeze because they are all a little bit intimidated by her.
Andrew: Maggie Smith does a good job of this in the movies. I think she was a perfect choice for the role.
Laura: I agree.
Kevin: Yeah, I do too. I think...
Andrew: She has that eye.
Kevin: And she's like one of those people that they actually got correct. You know?
Kevin: Like not many people had complaints about her.
Andrew: Well, not many people... They got most of the characters correct. Nobody really complains about the characters.
Kevin: I don't know if they got everyone correct.
Laura: Mmmm. I see a lot of complaining.
Laura: Especially about the Trio. Lots of Trio complaints.
Andrew: Well, we will have to save that for another episode.
Andrew: Now, is she a pureblood?
Andrew: Is there any proof behind it?
Laura: I don't remember them saying anything.
Kevin: I don't think they've ever mentioned it. Yeah, and would that really matter?
Laura: I think a lot of people tend to assume that Minerva and others like her are pureblood just because they just have such a knowledge of the wizarding world, and they tend to dress like wizards. But I don't think that would matter, because if she's 71, and she was Muggleborn, she would have picked up the wizarding habits by now. So, I don't know if we can now for sure.
Rachel: Should it matter?
Laura: I don't think it matters.
Rachel: I don't think it should matter if she's pureblood or not. [laughs] In my honest opinion.
Andrew: Not really. I mean...
Laura: No, no unless you're Draco Malfoy.
Rachel: No, exactly. If you were that kind, then yeah, it does matter. But...
Laura: I think that, like Hermione, it just, it doesn't matter because Hermione is one of the best witches in school, yet she's Muggleborn. So, I think it just goes to show that it doesn't matter what your background is.
Andrew: Now, one question that someone asked was, she's mentioned to have been teaching at Hogwarts, in Order of the Phoenix, "39 years this December." And the question is, why would she start teaching in December? By... But... My initial thought is, "Well, another teacher just dropped out or something happened."
Andrew: It was probably no big deal.
Kevin: It's probably no big deal, but it's possibly a big deal. [laughs] You know what I mean? That could be one of those things that she's saving for another time. Maybe in the war or something that happened. I don't know. I mean it's sort of like Dumbledore and what's that other wizard's name?
Kevin: Grindelwald. You know? She mentioned it, but never mentioned it again, and it's supposed to be a big deal. So...
Laura: Well, do we know if Dumbledore went straight from being the Transfiguration teacher to headmaster?
Kevin: No, we don't. We don't really know if...
Laura: Because if that's what happened then it's always possible that he just became headmaster mid-term.
Rachel: Hmmm, that's a possibility.
Kevin: Did that happen around the same time as Grindywald? Grindelwald? I canít even pronounce it.
Laura: He defeated Grindelwald in 1945, correct? I think that thatís around the same time that Tom Riddle went to Hogwarts.
Kevin: That could be possible, though, as well. There could be a parallel between that. But, I donít know. I think itís like Andrew said: the most likely situation...
Laura: ...scenario is that another teacher left.
Kevin: Yeah. Exactly. Or died or something happened to him.
Laura: But thereís always room for speculation.
Kevin: For all we know, that other teacher was Grindelwald.
Laura: Oooo! I like that.
Andrew: Sheís not in the photograph that Moody shows Harry in Order of the Phoenix. Uh, itís a picture of the original Order of the Phoenix. Now why couldnít she have been working in the first war and why is she in the Order now? I donít think in Order of the Phoenix, we really saw much participation from her.
Laura: Well, she was showing up at meetings and stuff.
Kevin: Yeah, but thatís a lot like Hagrid as well. Because we didnít see any participation...
Kevin: But for all we know she was one of the most active members. You know?
Andrew: And Hagrid seems like a good go-to guy. Like for simple tasks.
Kevin: Yeah, but...but...my point is, is that people make assumptions that just because we didnít see them actively participating in certain Order tasks, means that they werenít, you know what I mean?
Laura: Also, I think that she keeps a close eye on it because if you remember in Order of the Phoenix, when Hedwig got hurt and Harry took her out of whichever class he was in ó I think it was History of Magic ó and he ran into McGonagall and she was basically telling him, you know, giving him the hint that owls were being intercepted and stuff and that Umbridge had probably been the one that injured her trying to intercept the letter.
Kevin: And Iíve always imagined McGonagall as sort of like Dumbledoreís heir, like the one where he passes down all his stuff to. You know what I mean?
Kevin: Sort of like, Dumbledoreís her mentor. Maybe Iím getting that incorrectly. You know? It's... I just get that feeling from her.
Andrew: No, it made sense. I mean, what was everyoneís initial thoughts when Dumbledore died? Who was going to take over? McGonagall. Itís the perfect choice.
Andrew: Yeah, so...
Laura: Except for those of us who think Dumbledoreís still alive. Andrew?
Andrew: No, Iím still mixed on that. Iím still mixed on that.
Laura: Oh! Okay. I donít think that... I think that a lot people will try to look at that and say, "Oh, she was a Death Eater" and all this other stuff. I think...
Rachel: Oh no. No. [laughs]
Kevin: Wait a second, she was not a Death Eater. Anyone who says that is...
Laura: I think itís just.... No, no, no. I think itís... Well, whenever I think about the first war, I almost think about in the same sense as the second war where either people didnít know or didnít believe that Voldemort was around. It could just be a lack of information.
Kevin: Well, it could also be that she was just dealing with her own problems. I mean, it was a war so everyone was on one side or the other, you know? You were either the...
Laura: Or, you know, she might not have been there when they took the picture. She could have been off doing something important. We donít know.
Kevin: Thatís true, yeah.
Andrew: And, I mean, she must have known Dumbledore, because as we just stated a few minutes ago, she had taught for thirty-nine years and that would have been way before the first war.
Andrew: So then the next question is what will her role in the Order become now that Dumbledore is gone? Iíd imagine sheíd, well, she could step up, but on the other hand, now she has a school to run.
Kevin: Yeah, but at the same time, thatís what Dumbledore did.
Laura: Iím not sure who I could see taking Dumbledoreís place, you know?
Kevin: You donít think itís McGonagall?
Laura: No, no, no, no, no. Iím saying in the Order...
Kevin: In the Order or at the school?
Andrew: Oh, in the Order.
Laura: In the Order.
Laura: Iím not sure who I could see taking that lead command position.
Kevin: Iíve honestly always seen, like, Lupin there, to be honest. Just because heís one of the only Order members that is able to pull himself out of ďthe real world,Ē kind of, because of his affliction, so it enables him to have more time to devote to the Order, you know?
Laura: I also think the Order is going to become more of a group leadership effort, if you know what I mean. Like, I donít see it having one specific head person anymore.
Andrew: Thatís true. Although, I was thinking Dumbledore could have made it clear who would take over.
Laura: He might have.
Andrew: In the event that someone died...he died.
Laura: Iím sure he has some kind of will or something along those lines.
Kevin: Yeah, I think...I think Iíve said that before. I mean, I doubt he just left them sitting in the dust.
Laura: Yeah, I think he knew that there was a great possibility that he could die.
Andrew: But no, Laura, I think you made a good point. I think it would make sense for them all to become a team rather than having just a leader.
Laura: And that might be what they need.
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