Andrew: And it really didn't look like one...it didn't look fake at all. Tim Burton who directed that film did an excellent job.
Ben: Now back to Harry Potter. About Goblet of Fire, personally I trust Warner Bros. Some people were scared. Chris Columbus said in an interview on the Chamber of Secrets DVD that he was worried...no sorry it was Steve Kloves who said that he was worried about the giant spider scene and how fake and how humorous that was going to look when it was supposed to be scary. In the end it turned out to look pretty cool. It was actually kind of frightening for the smaller children and kids of the younger ages. I have my faith in Warner Bros. I think they are going to turn out another excellent movie based on the special effects and other things we've seen. In the trailer so far, I don't think there's going to be a problem with it. It's not going to take away from the movie at all.
Eric: Yeah. And we've forgotten that everybody has gotten better at acting...the Trio and everybody. They've just gotten better.
Andrew: Yeah. Jamie?
Ben [With fake British accent]: Jamie Lawrence, do you have something to say?
Jamie [With fake American accent]: Thanks, man. Yeah, I do. Yeah. Do you think it's a case of all films in the 21st Century, they are using more special effects just because computers are catching up with the film world, or do you think it's just the Harry Potter series that needs that injection of special effects to make it more fantasy-like?
Eric: Brilliant idea, Jamie. I think it's all movies. Some more so than others. The only point I was bringing up with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is that we've seen it can be done. A blend can be made. I have faith in Warner Bros. also. I think it will be fine.
Ben: Okay, we've sort of lost our host. Hold on. Andrew fell out.
Eric: Andrew fell out.
Andrew: Yeah, okay Ben. Let's go. Come on. Let's go.
Ben: We just finished the special effects topic. On August 23, 2005, we saw the 2nd Book released in the Inheritance Trilogy, Eldest, which is the successor to Eragon. Earlier this week Andrew sat down with Eldest Webmaster Mike, from www.shurtugal.com where we interviewed him about the book, and we saw what his thoughts were about another fantasy book that many of you might enjoy.
Andrew: We're joined by Mike Macauley of www.shurtugal.com. Shurtugal.com is a website based on the Inheritance trilogy. How are you doing, Mike?
Mike: I'm doing pretty good, you?
Andrew: I'm doing good, thanks. So we brought you on here today because we need to break some news to all these Harry Potter fans. Harry Potter is not the only good fantasy series out there. Right?
Andrew: We brought you on to ask you a couple of questions because your site is basically the MuggleNet of the Inheritance trilogy.
Mike: You could say that.
Andrew: Yeah, you could. You went to the premiere of the new book. You've gotten pre-released copies. Random House loves you. You're in a good place right now. So give our listeners a general overview of the Inheritance trilogy.
Mike: Eragon tells the tale of a poor farm boy who's ironically named Eragon, and that he finds a blue stone when he's hunting in the nearby mountains. The stone ends up hatching, and it ends up being a dragon's egg. Eragon bonds with this dragon who he names Saphira, and when his uncle Vrael is killed by Agents of the Empire he sets out on this adventure to avenge his uncle's death. He realizes that he has to take sides with either the Empire or the Varden (which is the rebel group trying to overthrow the Empire). The book pretty much tells the tale of Eragon's struggles, and he's plagued by many deaths and obstacles that get in his way. And it's a good book, so if you want to know more, I suggest reading it.
Andrew: Or checking out your site. This is definitely a series that would appeal to a Harry Potter fan?
Mike: Yeah, I'd say that.
Andrew: So tell us the story about the author, Christopher. He wrote the first book when he was just fifteen.
Mike: Yeah. Christopher Paolini as you said, he wrote the first story when he was fifteen years old. It actually took him two years because when he wrote the first time, after his family went through and edited it, took a look at it, they realized it pretty much needed to be rewritten. So he spent another year rewriting it. His family who had published books before (mainly educational books), decided that they were going to give up everything they were doing, and they realized the book had potential, so they self-published it. For a few years, they toured the U.S. to try to promote the book, and sell the book wherever they could. Christopher is going to hate me for saying this, but he used to tour in this red swordsmen shirt and these black, as he calls them, pantaloons -- a pretty funny outfit for trying to promote his book. When they were on tour they got a call from Random House who offered them a book deal. That was a pretty big break considering all the work they had been doing just to get the book out there.
Andrew: So how did Random House pick up the series?
Mike: Well, Carl Hiaasen who's a popular author (he wrote the book Hoot among many others), him and his stepson Ryan Hiaasen, they were fly-fishing in Montana. Ryan picked up one of the self-published copies of Eragon at one of the local bookstores. He read it and loved it. He told his father about it and his father told Random House. Random House realized the book had potential and it all went from there.
Andrew: Wow! That's unbelievable. So I'm not sure if you know this...when Chris and his family got the news, how did they react?
Mike: I'd imagine they were overwhelmed with surprise because that's a huge break. Of course they had to find an agent and work out the details, and pretty soon Eragon was published by Random House.
Andrew: So tell us about the Eldest premiere. The book just came out a few days ago.
Mike: That released on Tuesday, August 23, 2005. I went into New York City for the book release where Christopher was kicking off his book tour at Barnes & Noble in Union Square. I was there on August 22 too. We did lunch, dinner. I went to Random House. It's really an amazing place. The next day I actually got a chance to intern at Random House. I helped distribute promotional items for his book tour.
Mike: We headed down to Union Square. None of us knew what to expect because it is the City, and not the easiest place to get to, and there were around 700-900 fans. Christopher made a presentation and Gerard Doyle, the narrator for the audio book did a reading. Then Christopher signed 700 or more copies of his book, which must have been amazing.
Mike: Well, yeah. 700.
Andrew: Wow! It was basically a big book signing?
Mike: I would say so. Towards the end of the book signing, actually when everybody was finished, I went up to get my copies signed and I looked down at his hand. And one side was purple, looked bruised. And the other side was bright red.
Andrew: Wow! [Laughs]
Mike: And whenever I walked up to him with about 35 copies of the book to be signed, the glare was enough. If looks could kill...
Andrew: [Laughs] If looks could kill, you'd certainly be dead.
Andrew: The book was released on the 23rd, and then wouldn't you know it, Eldest actually beat Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Amazon's list of top-selling books.
Mike: It sure did.
Andrew: And it's worth noting that Harry Potter was actually pushed down to No. 3. Eldest is at No. 1. And then a book titled Why Do Men Have Nipples? is at No. 2. [Transcriber's note: Since this interview Harry Potter has regained the No. 2 spot on Amazon.com]
I guess Oprah promoted it or something. I don't know what happened, so we'll see what happens with that. Tell us about the website (www.shurtugal.com).
Mike: I started the site back in December 2003 (about two months after the book was released). And back then I was getting about twenty-five visitors per day. I knew nobody from the Paolini family. I knew nobody from Random House. I've been hard at work for the past year-and-a-half, close to two years now. I've built connections and I talk with the Paolini family who are a huge help for my website. Without them, I don't think the site would be anywhere. Random House who obviously just invited me into the City for the book release. It's been amazing.
Andrew: All right, so that's about it. Mike, thanks for joining us and we hope people will check out the book. And once again guys, there's definitely some other good books besides Harry Potter. The Inheritance trilogy is definitely one of them. Thanks Mike.
Mike: Yep. No problem. Thanks for having me.
Andrew: All right. So that was my interview with Mike Macauley. Once again that's www.shurtugal.com. S-H-U-R-T-U-G-A-L.com. Now, let's move on to our favorite part of the show...the voicemails.
[Somebody screams WOOOOO!]
I love these because you keep sending in so many and most of them are good. I want to start off this part of the show with a nice voicemail we got from this one kid. You guys definitely have to take a listen to this. This is a classic.
[Audio]: Hello, this is Yoda from the MuggleNet chat room, and I have a very, very, very, very, basic question. Who do you think is R.A.B. in the 6th Book? And thank you and may the force be with you. I'm so alone. This sucks!
Ben: What did he say there at the end?
Andrew: He said: "I'm so alone. This sucks!" Yoda, I thank you for your question. It is probably one of the best ones we have received. Just for the originality. We've already answered this question. Who is R.A.B.? Do you guys want to talk about it anymore?
Ben: No, I don't think it's necessary. We pretty much came to the consensus that it's Regulus Black, and we have about 55,000 trillion, billion other voicemails to get to.
Andrew: Here's something...wait a second...here's something I found interesting. Now, I was reading MuggleNet's world famous editorials and I came across one that points out that if you take R.A.B. and shift each letter forward, S.B.C. is Sirius Black's cousin. What do you think of that?
Eric: Wow. Okay. And Droobles Best Blowing Gum is Gold Under St. Mungo's and about a thousand other acronyms.
Ben: That's not even an acronym.
Andrew: But isn't that a good theory?
Jamie: It's interesting. It's probably just coincidence then.
Andrew: This one theory pointed out that it was one of Sirius Black's...
Ben: You guys are so NOT Harry Potter sleuths! I swear you guys need to read Galadriel Waters' books, and there is no such thing a coincidence.
Andrew: Now hold on. Wait a second.
Eric: Wait a second, Ben.
Andrew: You don't have to read Galadriel Waters' books just to know your Harry Potter stuff. There's plenty of stuff in the editorials.
Ben: I'm just saying there's no such thing as coincidence. It's one of the five rules of being a Harry Potter sleuth. Right, Eric?
Jamie: That's isn't true. That's not true. Of course there are.
Andrew: No, no. There are such things as coincidences.
Eric: There's a difference between a coincidence and going way too far.
Jamie: The 1st Book is called Harry Potter and so is the 5th Book. That is coincidence.
Eric: It is.
Ben: What? What did you say?
Jamie: I said the 1st Book is called Harry Potter and the 5th Book is called Harry Potter. Now, that is a coincidence. I think they could be part of the same series.
Eric: I think they could be.
Andrew: And that ladies and gentlemen was Jamie's British joke of the day.
Jamie: Thank you very much.
Andrew: Now, let's move on to more voicemails. All right, this next one comes from Elan.
[Audio]: Hey, MuggleCast! First of all, I want to tell you that I really like your show. Now here's my question. When Snape performs the Avada Kedavra curse on Dumbledore (the end of Book 6), why does he fly into the air? We see in Book 4 with Frank Bryce and Cedric Diggory that they just crumple to the floor. Does this mean that Snape actually did not perform an authentic Killing Curse?
Andrew: In Book 6, Snape conjures a killing curse, but Dumbledore flies up into the air. Compare this with Book 4 when Cedric Diggory just collapses to the ground. What is going on, Eric?
Eric: There are a lot of questions about Dumbledore's death. He flew. Dumbledore himself said there's no mark, the Death Curse leaves no mark. We've seen it before at the beginning of Goblet of Fire with the Riddles' death. There was nothing wrong with them except that they were dead. It's the same throughout the books. So yes, Dumbledore flying into the air and over the balcony is quite suspicious and we can treat it as such. I don't know what it means really. I think Dumbledore is dead. That's a good question. It's just speculative really.
Jamie: I think Dumbledore is dead, but I don't why he flew out the thing. I'd say it's either just for show because he was such an important character and Jo had to make it clear that he was dead or because he was so powerful. Cedric...he was still at school. He didn't have the power Dumbledore had. After Snape killed Dumbledore, he had so much magical power within him that it was just expulsed. All of his power was released from him and he flew backwards over the battlement.
Ben: I think the reason Dumbledore flew up in the air is because I am one of the people who think Snape did kill Dumbledore on Dumbledore's orders. I think that the real reason that Dumbledore flew up into the air is because Snape felt so guilty about it and had so much hatred built up against Dumbledore for Dumbledore making him do this, that when he performed the curse it set him sailing up into the air. It was all this emotion built up. It all flew at Dumbledore and Dumbledore flew into the air. I think that makes the most sense. That it was just emotion and everything that built up that led to him skyrocketing.
Andrew: Yeah, I agree with Ben. Once again, a lot people think Dumbledore didn't die, and this is just one of the reasons why. Really, it could just be the way that Snape conjured it. Jamie?
Jamie: The second part of that voicemail asked whether Snape performed an authentic Killing Curse. And I think we should talk about that. That's quite an interesting point because throughout the book a great deal of emphasis has been laid on the fact that the Unforgivable Curses really are powerful and it takes a great wizard to conjure them. I don't really think it's feasible, but you could perform the Avada Kedavra curse (the green light comes out of your wand) and somebody dies, but it's only a half-wanted curse. I think you're entire heart has to be in it, whether you want it because you do actually want the person dead and you've been ordered to, or because the person who's going to die ordered you to do it.
Eric: So it's possible he still did mean it.
Ben: That's what we're saying.
Eric: Even if he is a good guy.
Andrew: All right, this next one is from Stasia.
[Audio]: Hi guys. This is Stasia. I listen to MuggleCast from Wisconsin and I'm 39. My question for you is why did Harry leave his Invisibility Cloak on top of the tower after Dumbledore was murdered. Wouldn't it have made more sense for him to be invisible why chasing Snape and Draco? Thanks, and keep up the great work.
Ben: Personally, what I think the problem is...the reason that Harry left it at the top of the tower is because he was so filled with emotion. He just saw Dumbledore murdered. It wasn't an issue. He wasn't thinking. His wits were not about him. He just thought, "Okay, I'm going to chase right after them." He didn't think, "Oh, I should be invisible, then chase after them." He thought, "I'm running. These people just killed the Headmaster of Hogwarts, the head of the Order of the Phoenix. This is the only choice I have."
Eric: As Ben said, I definitely think that's the main reason he did that. He could finally move his limbs and chase after Snape. I think he was just worried about that. Two other things. One, it probably wouldn't have been that smart if Harry had actually put on his Invisibility Cloak. I would actually relate it to driving...actually driving a car. Because it's not good to be invisible if you're driving a car because all the other cars, the way they move, is judging on if they can see you and how fast...Basically, if Harry had his Invisibility Cloak on and he was running through the whole battle scene, everybody was looking for a place to run to dodge an attack, they could have jumped right into him and not seen him. It just wouldn't have been a good idea if he had his Invisibility Cloak on in the middle of that. A curse could have hit him easily. It wouldn't have been a good idea for him to have it on. The only time he'd be able to use it would be after he's chasing after Snape, all the way out of the grounds.
Andrew: Yeah. I didn't think about that. Maybe accidentally getting hit. Maybe he did it because he didn't want to hide and he didn't want to cower. He just wanted to run after them.
Eric: Yeah. We've seen Harry disregard stealth before or not fully appreciate its ability. Even though he does use the Invisibility Cloak often, in Book 3, in Prisoner of Azkaban when they're in the Time-Turner, he's so concerned with just finding his Dad that he doesn't care if he's seen. He's bent on seeing Prongs. And one other thing. I'm sorry I don't want to talk too long, but in Book 1 (I was just rereading), and in Book 1 there's a brilliant parallel, which I think Jamie would be proud of. When Harry leaves his Invisibility Cloak on top of the tower, after they return Norbert to Charlie, and it's really interesting because it is the North Tower, and he left his Invisibility Cloak up there, and who returns it him, but Dumbledore. And just hours before Draco was up on the North Tower. So it's real the scene where Draco was there, and Harry was there and he left his Invisibility Cloak, and Dumbledore was connected. It was just really cool parallel I thought.
Jamie: That's good. I like it. I was going to say about Book 6, I agree with I think it was Andrew. It was just a case that he was so angry with Dumbledore being dead that he just completely forgot it. But also, he had to run to catch up with Snape because they had a head start on him. If you're running flat out, the Invisibility Cloak is going to flap up and it isn't going to cover your feet. It would have really been pointless anyway.
Andrew: Yeah. So, basically what we're trying to say is that it just really wouldn't work. Okay, this one is from Michelle.
[Audio]: Hi MuggleCast guys! I'd like to propose the idea that the item of Godric Gryffindor's that Voldemort used as one of his Horcruxes was as Dumbledore said not the Sword of Gryffindor, but the Sorting Hat. I think this makes sense, as the Sorting Hat is an item of great magical power and prestige, both qualities Voldemort was looking for in potential Horcruxes, as well as the Hat having such powerful influences at Hogwarts. Given that the Sorting Hat almost has a mind of its own, and could also prove very difficult to destroy, what are your thoughts on this?
Jamie: I just had an idea that Slytherin, the House; you could classify them as Dark Wizards or followers because Hagrid said there wasn't a wizard in Slytherin who hadn't gone bad. So, I was going to say, perhaps he has used the Sorting Hat for one reason, to handpick the people he can pick to follow him as his Death Eaters. But the Sorting Hat was there a long while before Voldemort, so I don't think he can do that. It would attract him because it is right under Dumbledore's nose. It's at the center of Hogwarts. It's a thing of massive magical power and I think he'd be really pleased to have that as a Horcrux. The problem still remains, how did he get into Hogwarts, get into Dumbledore's office, and kill somebody just to turn it into a Horcrux? All in a day's work.
Ben: Also, why couldn't he bewitch the Sorting Hat so when Harry Potter sits down...
Jamie: That it kills him or something.
Eric: I think you guys have created a wide range of things. It brings into question how to make a Horcrux? If you have to kill somebody and make it right there...
Eric: I've seen it speculated that when Voldemort twitches his wand in Dumbledore's office, I've seen it speculated that that is when he makes the Sorting Hat or whatever a Horcrux. Really, I think that shows the he was just tensing up about to attack Dumbledore. Another question: Could that honestly have gone unnoticed? Could the Sorting Hat hide that? I think as Jamie said, it's an item of massive magical power, so he'd obviously want that as a Horcrux. Andrew, what do you think?
Andrew: Okay. I have nothing else to say to that. This next one is from Tom.
[Audio]: Hi guys! I'm a huge fan of the show. My name is Tom from Indiana. I was just wondering because you guys haven't said on the show before...I've read the 1st Book fifty times and all the other books, excluding the 5th Book, twenty plus times. How many times have you guys read the books?
Andrew: Holy Moly! He's read Book 1 fifty times?
Eric: He's read Book 1...FIFTY TIMES?
Andrew: Yeah. I wonder if he was talking about Half-Blood Prince too because he just said excluding Order of the Phoenix.
Jamie: He's only a month to read it though. Twenty times in a month?
Ben: He'd have to spend every waking moment...
Andrew: It's possible. All right so let's go around the round table here.
Eric: Ben? No, let's go alphabetical order. Andrew?
Ben: Andrew just be last, okay? I've read the books around ten times each. When I first started reading the books back in 8th grade, which I guess would have been early 2003, when I started reading them, I read them all in order. I was very strict about it. I'd have to go with Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, then Goblet of Fire, and then Order of the Phoenix came out sixth months after I started reading the series. That book I've only read four or five times because it's a monster and it's hard to find time to read. We all have pretty busy schedules and school and things like that. Half-Blood Prince, I am going to confess I'm a bad boy, and I've only read it once.
Ben: Go ahead and send your hate mail, but I comprehend a lot when I read in case you haven't noticed.
Andrew: Well, it all started for me when I was 6...
Jamie: I was bullied in school. I had a really tough time at school, you know? I didn't like it all.
Andrew: I had a really tough time at school and Harry Potter took me away from that. So, I read it fifty times.
Jamie: Before Order of the Phoenix, I was reading each one, then the next one, the third one, and the fourth one, and I suppose probably five to ten times each for those. Then after the fifth one came out, I was just reading that one, and after the sixth one, I was just reading the sixth one and the fifth one. I haven't really gone back to the first four for a while now. The last two, I've read a few times each. Three to fives times each. I'm planning to go back and read them all in a row soon.
Eric: I came into Harry Potter in the first movie, so I started reading the 2nd Book, and I went from the second to the third, then the fourth, and at that time, that was the day Goblet of Fire came out in paperback, which was cool. But then I did them in order and I think I've read the first four books three to seven times. Prisoner of Azkaban I've probably read the most. And Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince I've read twice each, which is actually kind of bad for Book 5, but as Ben said, it was a monster.
Andrew: And I read each one three times each, excluding Half-Blood Prince, which I've only read once. Now, let's take one more voicemail.
Ben: You're a bad boy like me Andrew. Jerk. You're a sorry excuse for a Harry Potter fan. Only reading Half-Blood Prince once.
Andrew: Once I read the books once, I know what goes on.
Eric: That's no excuse. Anyway, do the last voicemail here.
Andrew: Okay. Here is our featured voicemail of the week. This one comes from Matt. Could this be Matt from Veritaserum?
Eric: Why do you say that? Who cares?
Andrew: Because I like Matt from Veritaserum. All right, let's listen. [Andrew plays wrong audio with female voice. All laugh]
Eric: Is that Matt from Veritaserum? Is that Matt from Veritaserum? I don't know.
Andrew: Is that Matt? What the heck? I must have numbered these wrong.
Ben: I met him, I met him, and I'm squashing all the rumors. That is not Matt from Veritaserum!
[Audio]: Hey MuggleCast! I think your show is great. If Voldemort was immortal from Horcruxes, why was he drinking unicorn blood in the forest as we saw in Book 1? Thanks.
Eric: This is a good question. Good question. I think it's got to do with the quality of life. If you look in Greek mythology, there are a lot of characters that become immortal, but they have really bad lives. There was this one, and I'm sorry. All the English scholars and all the Greek scholars please forgive me. I don't know the names to these guys, but there was a story about a mortal, who went to the gods and asked to be immortal, and they made him immortal, but he kept aging. Even though he never died, he aged and withered away into nothingness. And there are other classic stories of immortality, where immortality is used to torture people. So, I really think it has to do with the quality of life and that's why Voldemort was drinking the unicorn blood and that's also why he need feeding from Nagini in Book 4. It all has to do with how strong he is because even though he is immortal. He's only in possession of one of the Horcruxes, the one that occupies his body.
Ben: Very good point. Thank you. Okay. What I think is extending on what Eric said. Voldemort needed the one Horcrux that he was inhabiting right then, that piece of his soul; he didn't want it to die. He was having Quirrell drinking the unicorn blood just to sustain him long enough, trying to keep him alive before that Horcrux died. That was the main reason for him drinking unicorn blood, because he wanted to be alive long enough to get the Elixir of Life, which failed, so I guess that Horcrux did stay alive. Once again, he was almost dead. Like what Hagrid said is that you can save someone even when they are an inch from death, but they are going to lead a cursed life. Like Firenze said that it can save you from death, even if you're an inch away. What happened is he drank the blood just to keep him from dying. He didn't really care if he ended up leading a cursed life because he's doomed anyway. That's just my thoughts.
Jamie: Can't it be that he wasn't actually an inch from death, but he was just hanging on to existing as something worthwhile because immortality doesn't mean that you have to go on existing forever as a human. You could just have a tiny bit in you that's still existing. He was sort of past death, but he couldn't die. It's kind of a Catch 22 situation. The Elixir was just there to strengthen him to a form where he'd still be alive, just as would be if he hadn't drank the Elixir, but he'd had more will and energy so he could start creating potions that would finally come in the 4th Book. Turn him back into, I would say human...well I don't think he's really human, but that type of form.
Andrew [Show Close with music in background]: Okay. So I think that wraps up MuggleCast - Episode 4. Once again I'm Andrew Sims.
Ben: I'm Ben Schoen.
Jamie: I'm Jamie Lawrence.
Eric: And still talking, I'm Eric Scull.
I might as well give into it really. Give into the criticism. It's great.
Andrew: That's all for this week's edition of MuggleCast. Once again, I'm Andrew Sims. If you'd like to send us a voicemail please e-mail voice at staff dot mugglenet dot com. Also, don't forget our competition runs through Episode 6, so if you'd like to enter, please send in your one entry to Voldemort at staff dot mugglenet dot com. Also, don't forget comments, suggestions, or we'd also like to know how you listen to our show. Send those into MuggleCast at staff dot mugglenet dot com. See you next week.
Eric: [Typing and muttering semi-coherently]
Andrew: That's it Eric. Don't say it. Just type it.
Jamie: Eric's after Eric, okay? Do not let Eric go before Eric, okay? That wouldn't be fair. That would not be fair.
Jamie: Wait, wait. I think Eric wants to say something?
Eric: Come on guys!
Posted by: Micah