Andrew [Show Intro with music in background]: Holy Horcrux - it's MuggleCast - Episode 35 for April 16th, 2006! At USA Network, characters are welcome. You've got what it takes to be a star. Can you believe that? Because I sure can't - no offense. Enter the 2006 "Show Us Your Character Contest" to find out if you're America's most unique character and you could win a chance to be featured on the computer screen, the TV screen, and even the big screen! Enter MuggleNet and USA Network's Character Competition by visiting MuggleNet.com and clicking on "Competitions" on the left.
See why GoDaddy.com is the No. 1 domain registrar world-wide. Now with your domain registration, you'll get hosting, a free blog, complete e-mail and much more. Plus, as a MuggleCast listener enter the code "RON"; that's R-O-N when you check out and get your dot com domain name for just $6.95 per year. Visit GoDaddy.com today.
Hello everyone and welcome back to the show. I am Andrew Sims.
Ben: I am Ben Schoen.
Kevin: I'm Kevin Steck.
Laura: I'm Laura Thompson.
Jamie: Why am I always last? [laughs]
Jamie: And I'm Jamie Lawrence. Honestly, I'm last every single time.
Andrew: Before we go anywhere else, first let's check in with Micah Tan for the past week's top Harry Potter news stories.
Micah [Intro to The Today Show begins playing]: From Studio 1A in...
Laura: Whoa, whoa, whoa, [laughs] Micah, what are you doing?
Laura: This is MuggleCast, not The Today Show.
Micah: Oh, that's right.
Starting this Wednesday, the National Portrait Gallery in London will display a new portrait of Dan Radcliffe among 40 other pieces of artwork. Dan's piece in particular was created by Stuart Pearson Wright, who is most remembered for his depiction of JK Rowling last September. Dan originally posed for the sketch when he was 14.
Not only has Harry Potter changed the world in a drastic way by encouraging child literacy on an international scale, but it has also left quite an impact on the publishers of its books. Saturday's Guardian Unlimited said:
Speaking of JK Rowling, The Mail last Sunday criticized JK Rowling's recent article about our skinny-obsessed world and how magazines glorify being thin. The headline of the controversial article reads:
Following this criticism of JK Rowling and her article, the MuggleNet staff felt that a response was needed to let them know what genuine Harry Potter fans thought about the issue. This reply was written by Andy (the Encyclopedia boss) and can be found in the Encyclopedia Opinion section.
A new book written by Willa Shalit, entitled Becoming Myself: Reflections on Growing Up Female, includes an essay from JK Rowling about growing up female. The book also contains essays from 66 other women, writing about the same subject. The April 24th edition of People Magazine contains an excerpt of her essay.
Girlguiding Scotland, an organization that enables girls and young women to fulfill their potential, is conducting interviews with 100 inspirational women. Harry Potter author JK Rowling is among those being interviewed. The interview is scheduled for May 1.
Stanislav Ianevski (Viktor Krum) and Tolga Safer (Karkaroff's aide) will be attending the Elf Fantasy Fair later this month. The fair will be held the 22nd and 23rd of April in the Netherlands. Stan will be giving lectures while he is there. Additionally, Rupert Grint, along with James and Oliver Phelps, will be appearing on the Jo Whiley show on April 19th, that's this Wednesday. The show airs between 10 AM and 12:45 PM on BBC Radio 1 in the UK.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, will be released in Germany on July 12th, 2007. This is one day earlier than the US and UK because movies in Germany are released on Thursday.
That's all the news for this April 16th, 2006 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.
[NBC Theme plays]
Andrew: All right, thank you, Micah.
Andrew: Now, let's get to a couple of announcements real quick and then we'll keep moving along. Don't forget MuggleCast T-shirts - you have to buy one or else you can't listen to the show, which is the new rule around here. We're all wearing our shirts right now. I wear them to school and I actually get noticed for once.
Kevin: Yeah, when the apples hit your head.
Andrew: Yeah, also, don't forget - a final reminder to RSVP for Lumos 2006.
Andrew: Our next LIVE podcast will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada. RSVP by sending an e-mail to hp live at gmail dot com and then say, "Hey, I'm going with so-and-so many people," [clears throat] so we can guess - well, not guess. So we can estimate how many people are going to be showing up.
Andrew: Guess - I don't think we want to guess.
Jamie: Guesstimate. Why don't we just guess anyway?
Andrew: Yeah. What?
Jamie: Instead of asking people to RSVP, let's just guess.
Andrew: All right.
Kevin: Yeah, that's not a bad idea.
Jamie: Then we'll know then. Guess, guess.
Andrew: I guess - I guess 500.
Ben: Bad joke - bad joke, Jamie.
Andrew: Moving on, there is a new feature over at MuggleCast.com and it's a little "About Us" page that features everyone else who works on MuggleCast, including our new MuggleCast editor, JP - who also works over at Veritaserum.com and does VTM Live, which is Veritaserum's every-other-weekly news show. And the new "About Us" page is also where you can find a little information on each of the transcribers because [laughs] Micah is actually a poser, he doesn't do any of the transcribing - it's a few other people. No, I kid. He's not a poser. He leads the group of transcribers, and they do a great job and it's about time we feature them, so visit MuggleCast.com and there's a little tab that says something that relates to [laughs] "Meet the MuggleCast Staff" that we haven't put up yet.
Andrew: All right, now moving on to Listener Rebuttals for this week. The first one comes from Darianna, 16, of Fall River, Massachusetts. She writes:
So, there's our answer.
Jamie: Does he actually mean changing it, like exchanging it? Because I doubt there is like a cash changing place at Flourish and Blott's.
Laura: Couldn't he just Apparate to Diagon Alley and get what he needs.
Jamie: The thing - the voicemail said Flourish and Blott's, didn't it? Okay, anyway, anyway, oh right, okay then - perhaps there is then, there probably is. That sounds like a good plan, yeah - I mean a good theory.
Andrew: All right, this next listener rebuttal comes from Valerie of New York. She writes:
There is another answer that we would have gotten to, except for we're not up to that part of Sorcerer's Stone yet.
Kevin: And we actually have a voicemail regarding that.
Andrew: Davis, 11, from Texas writes:
Laura: I think we were talking about classes, in reference to using the Astronomy tower.
Kevin: Yeah, the tower. When we said that we haven't seen the Astronomy tower, we were saying it in reference to classes. Like we've seen them in Defense Against the Dark Arts a lot and stuff like that, but not in Astronomy or at the tower.
Andrew: Elizabeth, 31, from Florida writes:
Ben: Right. Actually, last week when I was listening to the show (since I was absent with my ACT studies), when I listened to the show, some of you wisenheimers on here thought you had it all figured out. You're saying, "Oh, yeah, there's no way they would release them the same summer. Oh, no way. Oh, I know for sure. There's no way they release them the same summer." Well, you know what? You're wrong. I think so. I think you're wrong. Last time I said I thought you guys were wrong, I ended up being right.
Ben: So, I'm 1-0, but anyway, I just think - when else is she going to release the book? She said on her site around New Year's that 2006 will be the year that she writes the new Harry Potter book, the final Harry Potter. So, I just can't see her waiting until 2008 to release it. And the book has to be released during the summertime - it's like a tradition. It's an unwritten rule. They have to be released during the summertime. I'd be very disappointed if the book was released November or December. I just see it happening during the summertime. And it probably won't end up being July 07th, 2007, which Eric seemed to be really gung ho about.
Kevin: Yeah, a lot of people are.
Ben: But I think it will be sometime next summer. And I don't know, I'm pretty excited about it, actually. I'm looking forward to one month having the book release and the next month going to a movie premiere. I think that will be fun.
Kevin: I definitely agree. And I think that all it would do is good for the industry because the hype. You build hype, so, you know?
Andrew: Well, I disagree with Elizabeth. She's saying: "Scholastic and Bloomsbury are not going to make their decisions based on what WB is doing. They have their own bottom line and profits to think about." They have to talk to each other! [laughs]
Ben: Okay, but seriously, it'd be a big Harry Potter extravaganza for the entire summer. They're going to - they're going to make millions upon millions of dollars. Why not have - why not release the book the same time you're releasing the movie? Because the book's going to attract a lot of interest, and then of course the movie will attract a lot of interest. And then - no! And then they're going to basically cross-promote each other, and they're going to generate revenue for each of them.
Jamie: They're interested to release them both at the same time?
Kevin: Not necessarily at the same time, though.
Jamie: No, of course not!
Kevin: Because then one profit can take away from the other.
Jamie: Yeah, no, exactly. They should do it quite a long time apart.
Kevin: They should stagger it by maybe a month or two.
Jamie: That's too soon! That's too soon!
Kevin: I don't think so.
Ben: Well, why is it too soon, Jamie?
Ben: Are you - do you - do you have some Potter-phobia here, Jamie?
Jamie: Some what?
Ben: Why is - why is it too soon, huh?
Ben: I'm just curious why you think it's too soon to release the book and the movie.
Jamie: The hype from a film doesn't wear off before - you know, in just a month. It takes ages to wear off. You've got the DVD; you've got posters from it, all that kind of thing. If you release the book...
Kevin: Yeah, but they're not going to wait for the release of the DVD.
Jamie: But if you - but if you release the book, say, a month after the film, the DVD would come three - no, no, a month after that. And there's no way the hype from the book would die down enough to generate enough interest in people buying the DVD, so the DVD sales would lose out. You've got to absolutely stagger them.
Ben: No. Here's where you're wrong, Jamie.
Jamie: Oh, I'm sorry, God. Why don't you tell me what's wrong?
Ben: I am God. I am God. [laughs] I love you, Jamie. But here's what I'm saying. In a way, they're going to be able to cross...
Ben: ...cross-promote each other. I mean, this - this is the Harry Potter phenomenon. There's millions upon millions of fans. There's still going to be the same kind of people who are the hardcore people who are going to go out and buy the DVD. Except now, instead of going out to buy the DVD, they're going to go out and buy a copy of the book and the DVD, or they're going to go see the movie. I don't see - I understand what you're saying, that it may be too much. But I still think it'd be the most profitable - most, yeah - the most profits they'd ever see.
Jamie: Why don't they release the film at ten o'clock and release the book at 10:05?
[Andrew and Ben laugh]
Andrew: That'll confuse every single Harry Potter fan. "Book or movie first? I don't know!"
[Ben and Laura laugh]
Ben: Yeah, you'd have to... Kevin, you were going to say something?
Kevin: Yeah. How long does it take them to release a DVD?
Jamie: I don't know.
Ben: Like, three or four months.
Kevin: Okay. Yeah. So, if they release the book and then a month later release the movie in theaters, then you still have plenty of time for the hype to die down. And the movie, the movie can hype the book, saying, "go out and purchase a book," when the book can hype the movie, saying "go out and see the movie in a month."
Jamie: I don't think that's right, though, because you need to have the hype concentrated around one thing, like literature or film. So, like, you see in the news for, say, two months after the book is released, all things about the book, linked to the book. You see sort of awards for the book, you see it on the short list, you see it on opinion polls and all that kind of thing. If you cross the movies and the books, you're going to have sort of - I don't know, sort of mixed news items. And they are going to take away from one of them.
Ben: Okay, okay. Hear me out here. This MuggleCast episode is going to make history, okay? This is a historical MuggleCast moment right here. I want all of the MuggleCast listeners to get out a pen and write this down. The release - the release of the seventh Harry Potter book will be on June 16, 2007. Mark my words. Because I decided, okay? I have some inside information directly from Jo. Let's just put it that way. No, I'm kidding. [laughs] No. I just have a – I just have a hunch, okay? That it will be June 16, 2007.
Ben: And if that's not right, it will be released during the month of June.
Laura: I'm just not sure [sighs]. I'm just not sure the book's going to be ready by next summer because when you take into account the fact that it took her three years to write Order of the Phoenix and two years to write Half-Blood Prince, I'm just not sure that she could not only get the book written in one year, but then you have to consider the two or three months of editing, the printing, the cover art, the chapter art, just everything that goes into getting it ready to publish.
Ben: [sighs] I disagree here. I disagree here. This is the Harry Potter phenomenon.
Jamie: Why don't we just have a fight to settle it?
Ben: Jo's in, Jo's in a groove right now. Jo's in a groove right now. She's soaring. I mean, I have a feeling - I am counting on Summer 2007. If I don't have Summer 2007... If I...
Ben: Yeah. I'll have to spend - I'll spend all of June at Andrew's house, if it...
Laura: Frankly, I don't want her to rush. I don't want her to rush at all.
Andrew: I don't think she's going to rush because I - I see it this way. She says she's all fine and dandy with how writing is going now. All right. So by the end of the year, she says, "All right, I'm nearly complete," and/or complete, like she did - what, it was two years ago, right? Yeah. It was two years ago. So then after that, there's about a six to seven month preparation time where everything's - the cover, the [sighs] you know, the publicity, the...yeah. But there's going to be hype no matter what, for both the book and the movie, because they're both so huge. And if people are worrying about, "Oh, they're going to spend their money on Book 7 and then they're going to have no money to go see the movie," they're going to be spending 40 bucks tops, food not included, to...
Laura: It's not the marketing that I'm doubting. I just - I'm having a hard time imagining the book being ready by next summer, just seeing as she only started writing it in January.
Kevin: Yeah, but Laura, if it's ready by next summer, I believe they're going to release it whether or not the movie's coming out that...
Laura: I don't think that's impossible. I don't think that's impossible at all.
Ben: Okay. But another thing is what you have to remember is that Jo was able to with a remarkable turnaround from Chamber of Secrets to Prisoner of Azkaban. I mean, I know it wasn't as hyped as much as it is now, but still, she was able to write those books within a year of each other.
Laura: Yeah, but they're also much shorter books.
Ben: No, no! Especially from the transition - the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was released in 1999. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released in 2000. There, that proves to you that she's able to make a remarkable turnaround.
Laura: But at that time, she didn't have two children under the age of five.
Jamie: It's not only that, Ben, but...
Ben: So? So she said that she already took time off to do that. To take - to spend time with her children.
Laura: [laughs] So she's supposed to ignore them now?
Ben: Yeah, she just ignores them now!
[Andrew, Jamie, and Laura laugh]
Jamie: Yeah, she doesn't ever talk to them. She just leaves them to her husband.
Kevin: Yeah, but I don't think it's the length of the book that matters...
Jamie: No, of course it's not.
Kevin: It's whether she has inspiration for it. You know, like how she's...
Jamie: It's planned as well. It's planned.
Andrew: [laughs] I think - I think, yeah. She has it planned out. But I think she has plenty of inspiration to keep her going for...
Kevin: Yeah, but you know what I mean. I mean, it's...
Jamie: What are you laughing at?
Kevin: You can get in a...
Andrew: Look out front of her house on the street, and I bet there's going to be 50 million people out there waiting for her. And then she'll feel inspired.
Ben: Right. And the other thing is - and another thing is, we have to remember, we have to remember that JK Rowling - everyone knows how she is. She's a big planner. She has the whole series planned out; she knows what's going to happen. It's not like it's - right. It's not a mystery to her, so she knows - she has a good idea of what's going to continue to happen in each chapter. Of course there'll be changes along the way, but she still has some reasonable idea of what's going to go on in each and every chapter. So that's why I think that the book - if it's not released during 2007, I'll probably be really, really surprised.
Andrew: The one thing I'm concerned about that I think could really just delay this book is Jo finalizing everything. Because it's sort of like when you're doing a report or something and you just finish it, and you're like, "Oh wait, do I have anything that I want to add in or take out?" It's just like - because she's closing it all up, she's not going to be able to say anything else. I mean, she will, but not in its book form. So, I just think she's going to be paranoid over, "Is this it, do I really want to finish it with this revision and draft?" You know?
Ben: Well, she knows she's going to have to let go some time, though.
Jamie: It's completely different to, like, a book report, though, because it's going out to so many people. But...
Andrew: That adds to the pressure.
Jamie: Yeah, but also, she has to... Yeah, but she has to go back and go through every other book and make sure that what she's writing in this one ties in with that, because it's been a long, long time since she brought out the first book. She just has to make sure everything ties up every single loose end. Every single, sort of, theme, that she's had running throughout the entire books has to continue into this one, and everything has to flow, so...
Jamie: It's a monumental task. A year is going to be...
Ben: Oh course, but it's the same thing... But you have to remember it's the same thing for Book 6, that she had to do all the same exact things for Book 6.
Jamie: No, it isn't exactly the same. That's not true.
Kevin: Because she has to close everything.
Ben: No, she doesn't. There's no way she could close everything.
Jamie: She is going to close everything.
Kevin: Well, she's not going to close necessarily everything, but she wants to close most of the threads that she's started. So, she has to make sure she does a thorough job of doing that; otherwise people are not going to be satisfied with it.
Laura: Not to mention - don't you guys remember - right before Order of the Phoenix, like the year before it came out, she was pretty much done with the book, but she said, "I want a bit more of a tweak." And we didn't see it for another year.
Ben: Right, but Order of the Phoenix was... It took her three years to finish that book.
Laura: Yeah, exactly, I'm just not sure...
Ben: I know, but, she had some serious problems with that one, and...
Laura: Like what?
Ben: I don't think - I don't know if she was really pleased with the results. Of course she had writer's block or something. I mean, there's some reason why it took her three years to write it and I know a lot of people like Book 5, but, for example...
Jamie: I loved Book 5.
Ben: ...Emerson didn't like the book.
Andrew: Jo, don't worry Jo. It was my favorite book.
[Jamie still laughing]
Laura: I don't know why people didn't like it, but whatever. No, the thing is, I don't think...
Ben: Because it took forever.
Laura: Well, yeah. It was - [laughs] - it's the longest book in the series.
Jamie: Ben, why doesn't she just sell her children? Then she could start writing all the time.
Jamie: That's what you'd like, isn't it Ben?
Ben: Okay, okay. She can spend two hours a day playing with the kids.
Kevin: Oh my god.
Ben: And then she can spend...
Jamie: Oh Ben!
Ben: Then she can spend another twelve writing the last Harry Potter book.
Jamie: When she...
Ben: She can't eat, she can't drink.
Andrew: Now, moving on to Chapter-by-Chapter this week, we will be discussing Chapter 9 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. This Chapter is called "The Midnight Duel" for an evil prank that Draco plays on Harry.
Andrew: Was it a prank or was Draco, like, tipped off? I mean, was, like, Draco planning on going?
Laura: Well, Hermione said that Draco tipped Filch off.
Andrew: Well, he could have been planning on going and then he saw Filch so he ran back.
Laura: I don't think so.
Andrew: All right, so... [laughs]
Andrew: So, we start of here with "The Midnight Duel" and...
[Telephone rings in the distance]
Laura: Oh my god.
Andrew: Is that the British phone?
Jamie: No, it's not. No, it's not.
Laura: No, that's the American phone. That's the Georgian phone.
Andrew: Wow, it sounds British.
Jamie: Andrew, you can't tell...
Jamie: ...your phone accents, what's wrong with you?
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Andrew: It sounds like your phone.
[Telephone still ringing]
Jamie: You call yourself a professional phone...
Ben: That sounds like a phone from the 1950's...
Laura: Does not!
Ben: Like one of those that hangs up on the...
Andrew: Sort of does. All right...
Jamie: The first line when it says - this is what I picked up first and foremost - when it says, "Harry had never believed he would meet a boy he hated more than Dudley." I just thought the word "boy" had to be kind of significant since he can't, sort of hate Dudley or Malfoy as much as he hates Voldemort, and now, Snape.
Andrew: All right, so the beginning of this chapter is focused around Quidditch and Harry's first flying lessons that he has with Madam Pomfrey...[long pause]...Hooch.
Laura: Madam Hooch.
Andrew: I looked around my room for a second...
Ben: Madam Pomfrey?
Andrew: It's all right.
Laura: I was wondering, did you guys notice that she has - described her as having "yellow eyes like a hawk." And I was wondering if it was possible that she was a Metamorphmagus or something.
Ben: Oh yeah.
Jamie: Oh yeah, as a hawk, yeah.
Laura: Yeah but have we ever seen anyone whose characteristics change just be cause they were an Animagus?
Andrew: No, I think it's just to symbolize that she's a good flyer.
Laura: I just thought it was interesting because we haven't really seen anyone else in this series, who was human, who had unusual characteristics like that apart from Tonks.
Ben: What about Umbridge?
Laura: Well, she has striking characteristics to a toad, but her eyes aren't purple, you know? I just thought it was an interesting...
Ben: You're a magical person - you have magic blood in you, there's bound to be something crazy about you.
Andrew: Yeah, that's true.
Laura: I guess.
Ben: I have the inside track.
Kevin: I agree with Laura.
Ben: I have the inside track of Jo's...
Laura: We see people every day who kind of have sort of striking resemblances to various animals, I mean, that's a human thing.
Ben: Mhm. You look like a dog.
[Everyone laughs, except Laura]
Laura: Thanks, Ben.
Ben: [Still laughing] I'm just kidding! I'm just kidding!
Ben: I'm just kidding, Laura.
Laura: Yeah Ben, you look like a sloth, but no one ever makes fun of you for that.
Ben: A sloth look. I look like a swan. A huge swan.
Ben: I'm so graceful.
Andrew: All right. All right, so Harry's at his flying lessons and one of the first things that I found most interesting in this chapter was the quote where it says, Harry picks up the broom and he said, "Harry knew, somehow, what to do" with the broom. What does this mean? Does this mean he is - this is his first connection to his father?
Jamie: No, it just means that he's a natural flyer.
Kevin: It's natural, it's a natural...
Ben: It's like the first time you get on a bike.
Jamie: Who, Ben? Who can get on a bike and start riding?
Ben: Well, actually, hold on a second. Let me get in my drawer and pull out my list of the names of people who succeeded on their first bike ride.
Ben: I have an entire directory of people for you. I don't know, I mean, I'm sure there's people that can do it, just like - it's like throwing a baseball. I'm just saying that some things come naturally to certain people. Some people excel at certain things.
Andrew: Actually, I was thinking that this line was [laughs] a way of foreshadowing what was to come.
Jamie: Yeah, and Andrew, that is backed up by where it starts saying, "Harry ignores her, blood was pounding in his ears. He mounted the broom and kicked hard against the ground and up, up he soared, air rushed through his hair and his robes whipped out behind him, and in a rush of fierce joy he realized he'd found something he could do without being taught. This was easy, this was wonderful." So, Ben, do you think that they should get some people just to climb into jumbo jets and start flying because it comes naturally to them?
Ben: Okay, flying a jet is a lot more complicated than flying a car, dude.
Jamie: What about just before he kicks off into the air, it gives a description of how bad the broomstick is. It says that, "Harry glanced down at his broom. It was old and some of the twigs stuck out at odd angles." Do you think that's just merely a comparison with his Firebolt so when we get to see his Firebolt and his Nimbus 2000, it just makes it even more impressive?
Ben: Yeah, that's probably why.
Kevin: Yeah, definitely.
Laura: Well yeah, but we also know that they're school brooms and that a lot of different people use them, so they're likely to be pretty beat up.
Kevin: I think it's reiterating that he has natural talent.
Jamie: Yeah, but is that...
Kevin: And the fact that he's a first year and he's getting a position that normally, what, third years would get?
Jamie: Yeah, third, I guess.
Kevin: It's showing that some superiority over that of third years, you know?
Laura: I also think it's something that Harry needed to kind of prove that he is special and he is talented, because he feels like he's famous for something he can't even remember.
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