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

MuggleCast 56 Transcript

Show Intro

Micah [Show Intro with music in background]: Because, "What's Buggin' Micah?" gets results, thank you Jo Rowling, 41 of Scotland...

Andrew: This is MuggleCast Episode 56 for September 17th, 2006.

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[speaks rapidly] Hello, everyone, welcome to the show. I'm Andrew Sims.

Ben: [speaks rapidly] I'm Ben Schoen.

Laura: [speaks rapidly] I'm Laura Thompson.

Jamie: [speaks rapidly] I'm Jamie Lawrence.

Micah: [speaks rapidly] I'm Micah Tannenbaum.

Andrew: [still speaking rapidly] We've got a great show for you this week. Before we go anywhere else, Micah Tannenbaum is standing by in the MuggleCast newscenter with the past week's top Harry Potter news stories.


Micah: Last week we reported that the Daily Mirror spoke to JK Rowling at a tea party in Edinburgh, celebrating the release of Driving Lessons. Regarding the progress of Book Seven, the UK tabloid quoted Jo as saying, "I'm up to about 750 pages now." At the time, we told you it was highly unlikely Jo would give away how many pages she's written. Now we have confirmation in the form of an update to the the Rubbish Bin at

She said: "I haven't written 750 pages of book seven, and if I had, I'd be very worried, as I'm not close to finishing it yet. I was at the tea party for Driving Lessons, though, so this isn't pure fiction. The journalist reports that I said that Rupert is 'absolutely terrific' in the film. He is, so that bit shouldn't be in the rubbish bin at all."

Speaking of updates, clearly thanks to my rant on last week's show, JK Rowling has added a new diary, news, and Extra Stuff entry to her official site. In her diary, she apologizes for the lack of updates recently and talks about her experience in New York for "An Evening with Harry, Carrie and Garp."

Also, a NAQ (Never Asked Question) was added to the Extra Stuff Section: Why did Dumbledore have James' invisibility cloak at the time of James' death, given that Dumbledore could make himself invisible without a cloak? We discuss that later in the show.

The National Library of Scotland has obtained a $3.35 million grant in order to establish a "digital repository" to include blogs, journals, and e-mails written by leading Scots - JK Rowling among them. The digital works exhibited will all be of cultural significance and are set to be unveiled in 2008.

The Harry Potter box set containing Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, published in support of Comic Relief, now has a brand new cover.

And finally, Bloomsbury will re-release 21 books to celebrate their 21st birthday, including Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. According to Publishing News "All the titles will feature a short question-and-answer with the authors, an introduction by fellow writers, and a reading guide." No word yet on what Jo may include.

That's all the news for this September 17th, 2006 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.

PO Box Update

Andrew: Oooooookaaaaaaaaaay. Thank you, Micah.

Micah: Oh, I'm here this week. Sorry.

Andrew: Yeah, you are here.

Jamie: So say...

Micah: You're welcome.

Jamie: ..."you're welcome." [laughs]

Andrew: Micah, we are so proud of you this week. I speak for the Harry Potter community...

Laura: [applauds] Yay!

Andrew:...when I say we are so proud of you this week.

Micah: What'd I do?

Andrew: But we'll get to that in a minute.

Jamie: I think we're proud and excited, to be fair.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: We are.

Jamie: We are excited, as well.

Andrew: [unintelligible] great. Let's have a few announcements first. Do not forget, vote for us on Podcast Alley. And a P.O. Box update, Ben.

Ben: Oh my gosh!

Andrew: You have a PO Box update for us?

Ben: Oh, geez. We have more letters than you can imagine.

Andrew: Quickly?

Ben: Thanks to, who is this here? Thanks to Harley Hoover from Peninsula, Ohio for sending us pickles. Paper pickles with each of our names on them. That's very, very kind of you.

Laura: Awww. How cute.

Ben: We got some letters here from Alexis...

Andrew: Hold on, wait a second, wait a second, wait a second.

Ben: What?

Andrew: [takes deep breath] Pickle, pickle, pickle, pickle, pickle, pickle, pickle, pickle...[chokes on his words] All right. Go ahead.

Ben: We have letters here from Alexis from Liz Jaffe - Joffe. This person, I don't know. They are from Oklahoma, but that's all I know about them. Ummm, thanks to...

Jamie: Well that completely narrows it down.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: ...Miss Rownack Choudhury for sending me a Subway gift card. Thanks to Claire Fuller for sending in a letter. Someone else made pickle hats for us.

Andrew: Ooo. Are you going to bring all this pickle stuff?

Jamie: No, he's going to keep it to himself.

Ben: Memorabilia? Merchandise?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah, right. [shuffles papers]

[Laura and Andrew laugh]

Andrew: Okay.

Ben: Thanks to Leslie McGee for sending us a CD, I think this is? Yeah, a CD. Then, the pickle hats came from Jordana from Illinois.

Andrew: Ooo.

Ben: Like, these are hats like you wear on your head. Like, they're paper hats. They're kind of neat.

Andrew: Oh, cool.

Ben: Yeah, and then another letter came from Alex from New Hampshire.. So, yeah, there's your PO Box update.

Jamie: Are you bringing these to California, Ben? Really? Are you bringing them?

Ben: Huh? The pickle hats? You really want your pickle hat?

Andrew: Yes!

Jamie: Of course I want my pickle hat!

Ben: I guess.

Announcements: Leaky Mug LIVE in California

Andrew: Leaky Mug, live in California September 28th. It's going to be a fabulous...

Jamie: A blast, a blast. It's going to be a blast.

Andrew: Yeah. A big event. Don't forget to RSVP on We got about 300...

Jamie: What's RSP... Sorry, what does RSVP stand for?

Ben: Resendez s'il vous plait.

Jamie: Repondez s'il vous plait. Not bad, Ben. You get 8 out of 10 for effort.

Andrew: We have like 300 to 400 RSVPs already, so it's going to be a big event. And make sure you get there early, because Borders is limiting it to 400 people, and it's going to be a lot of fun. So... And also, join the Facebook event group, because cool people do that.

Jamie: Just for the fun of it. Just for the fun of it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Listener Rebuttal: Harry Potter and Wicca

Andrew: Listener Rebuttals this week - Jessica, 23, from Ohio has a rebuttal about the "Gimme a Butterbeer" from Episode 55.

Ben: Oh, she wants to have a go, does she?

Andrew: A comment was made, I'm not sure by who, about how the Harry Potter books do not convert the readers to Wicca. While I completely agree that Harry Potter does not encourage people to alter their religious beliefs in any way, I felt compelled to point out that HP does not relate to Wicca in any way. While it's true that followers of Wicca are sometimes referred to as "witches," Wicca is a valid religion that has absolutely nothing to do with things like flying broomsticks and magic wands. Just wanted to make that distinction. Love your show. Keep up the good work.

Laura: Yeah, it's important to say that.

Jamie: It's true. It's true. It's true, yeah.

Laura: Wicca is not an evil religion at all.

Jamie: Yeah, but, I can't really remember it, but weren't you just pointing out that it's a religion and you should really separate Harry Potter and religion completely? Because, you know, once you start mixing them, you just get into all the stuff about evil and stuff like that.

Laura: Mhm.

Jamie: It's just like... I just think it should be kept completely separate, you know. It's a book series.

Laura: Well, yeah.

Ben: Fo' sho'.

Jamie: Fo' sho', man. But, just check on, "Wiccapedia" and type in, "Harry Potter." [laughs] [Laura laughs]

Listener Rebuttal: Dumbledore's and Voldemort's Power

Jamie: Okay, our second one is from Elenna, who is 16, from east L.A. - hope you'll be coming to the podcast - and the subject is, "Dumbledore and Voldemort's Power."

Regarding your discussion about if Dumbledore and Voldemort are just generally more powerful than the rest of the...

And I can't read it because my AIM has just popped up. Somebody has signed off. [laughs]

[Ben laughs]

Jamie: ...are just generally more powerful than the rest of the world, and why that is. Isn't it possible they're just equivalent to what geniuses are in the Muggle world, but with magical ability? Like, there are some people who are just regular, some who are smart, and some who are super intelligent, or geniuses. The same can go for the magical world. Though people can't be more magical than others, they can possess different levels of talent in magic, as in the Muggle world with intelligence. This talent possibly follows the same laws as intelligence does with the Nature/Nurture theories. Great show. Peace out.

So, I guess she's kind of saying that Voldemort and Dumbledore are the Einsteins of the magical world. Or the Leonardo DaVincis or something.

Ben: Definitely.

Jamie: I think that's pretty true.

Listener Rebuttal: Harry Potter vs. Star Wars

Andrew: Erica, 24, of Chicago writes about Harry Potter and the Star Wars connection that Jamie brought up last week.

Jamie only mentioned this briefly, but I think it was genius to make a connection between the levels of power in HP characters and the main players in Star Wars...

Ben: That's not on MuggleNet or anything. He thought of that all by himself first. [laughs]

Andrew:Yeah. [laughs]

Jamie: Okay, okay. Wait a minute. Okay, Ben...

[Andrew and Ben laugh]

Jamie: Okay, I don't think I did... I didn't... I did think of that myself. I didn't get it off the site.

Andrew: Dumbledore is the equivalent of Obi-Wan Kenobi, a learned Master, a combination of great skill and experience and age. I'd pick him vs. Yoda, because Vader was Obi-Wan's student. Voldemort is the equivalent of Darth Vader, an orphaned child prodigy with exceptional natural ability turned "less than human evil lord," who passes on some of his power to the one who will have to defeat him. Harry is definitely Luke Skywalker. He inherited some exceptional abilities by being marked by Voldemort. So, if we follow the pattern in Harry Potter, the Masters of the Force, whether good or evil, are light years away, ahead of the rest of the Jedi in their ability. Luke never became a Jedi Master, and was able to defeat Vader in the same way that Harry, while he is more skilled or powerful than average wizards his age, does not have to become as powerful as Voldemort to defeat him. He only has to skillfully use what he knows. And even though there are some similarities, please don't think I would ever suggest that Voldemort and Harry will share a "Luke, I am your father" moment. But maybe that would be a Crackpot Theory.

[Laura laughs]

Jamie: Yeah. Next week's one for Eric. But like... It could be like, you know, she says it's just one thing that Harry's got to tap into. Like love, you know. I mean, it could be that love isn't especially powerful, but it's just the one thing that Voldemort can't stand, and that one thing is, you know, his weakness, and he just has to tap into that power or something and use that against him.

Listener Rebuttal: Did Dumbledore know Wormtail was the Potters' Secret-Keeper?

Jamie: This is from Carolyn, 19, from Connecticut:

In Episode 55, you were discussing Dumbledore and Voldemort's magical powers. You mentioned that you thought that Dumbledore cast the Fidelius Charm on the Potters because it is described as immensely complex magic. However, we knew that Dumbledore gave evidence that Sirius was the Potters' Secret-Keeper, and if Dumbledore was the one that cast the charm, wouldn't he know that Wormtable, sorry, Wormtail was the Secret-Keeper? Love the show. Carolyn.


Laura: Yeah, she's right. [laughs]

Jamie: Yeah, she's right.

Andrew: We got a lot of rebuttals like that. So, that's more of a correction.

Jamie: So, to sum things up, we were wrong. Sorry, I was wrong.

Laura: Good job, guys.

Andrew: You were wrong. [laughs]

Jamie: I was wrong, yeah. Oh, come on. Please let the blame around slightly.

Laura: I wasn't there, so you can't blame me.

Jamie: We were wrong. We were wrong.

Ben: I wasn't there, either, so I think...

[Laura laughs]

Jamie: Okay, both of you were wrong.

Andrew: It was just me, Ben, and Eric. Or no, me, Jamie, and Eric, yeah.

Ben: Let's blame Eric because he's not here to defend himself.

Jamie: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew:Yeah, that's good. I like that. [laughs]

Jamie: It was clearly that Sirius was the Potters' Secret-Keeper. I mean... I mean... Okay, I screwed up again. Whatever Carolyn says.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: Okay, well that wraps up listener rebuttals.

Ben: [sings] Sweet Caroline. [speaks] Sorry. [laughs]

Micah Gets Results

Andrew: Well, last week on Episode 55 we premiered a brand new segment: "What's Buggin Micah?" Coincidentally, Micah, this is pure coincidence, JK Rowling on Thursday, September 13 - oh no, Wednesday, September 13th - updated her website with lots of updates just a mere, a mere four days after, "What's Buggin Micah," premiered, where Micah flipped out on JK Rowling for not updating her website.

Laura: And you think this is a coincidence, Andrew?

Andrew: I'm just kidding. I just didn't want to be modest.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: No, I just wanted to be modest. [laughs]

Jamie: Yeah.

Ben: I don't know.

Andrew: Micah, what do you think about this? Are you convinced?

Ben: It was long due. It was due. So, I don't know.

Andrew: Let's just pretend like it was Micah and that Jo does listen to the show.

Ben: Well here, we have a little test here. Let's have Micah...

Jamie: Ask for a million pounds.

Ben: about the title and see if it... [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Go ahead, Micah. Go for it.

Jamie: Micah, say...

Micah: [laughs] What do you want me to do?

Jamie: Just say...

Andrew: Say, "Micah." I mean say, "Jo, give us the title."

Jamie: Jo, she never gives - yeah, yeah.

Andrew: [laughs] Do it, do it.

Jamie: I bet she gets it in the next couple of days.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Micah: Okay, okay.

Jamie: That'd be a pretty big coincidence.

Micah: Jo...

Andrew: Wait, wait, wait. Hold on, wait, wait.

Jamie: You've got to mean it from the heart, though. p>[Micah laughs]

What's Buggin' Micah?

Andrew: Now, it's time for the second installment of "What's Buggin' Micah?" Micah, go.

Micah: No. [laughs]

Jamie: Micah, mean it from the heart.

Micah: There's nothing bugging me right now, though.

Andrew: No, this is bugging you.

Jamie: Yeah.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: You told me about it earlier. Go ahead.

Micah: Jo, you must reveal the title of Book Seven by Halloween.

Andrew: [laughs] Okay. [laughs]

Ben: You heard it here, folks.

Jamie: Did that come from the heart Micah, or are you just...?

Andrew: Well, it's funny, though. On the news post we made on, if you look through the comments [laughs] a lot of people say... [laughs]

Micah: They all thought it was my doing.

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs] Like this one: "Hey, Micah, that rant of yours worked!" [laughs] It was pretty funny. Another one says, "Finally, she must have listened to MuggleCast." [laughs] So, coincidence? Probably really good timing, yes. [laughs]

Jamie: Yeah come on, very good timing, though. Very good timing.

Andrew: However, of course Jo listens. You know, this is her thing. She wants to hear us discuss.

Jamie: Didn't she tell us that [laughs] when she goes jogging in the morning she...

Andrew:Plugs her iPod in?

Jamie: Plugs her iPod in, yeah, and just turns the show on.

Andrew: Actually, guys, I think that she actually dropped us a hint on her site.

Ben: What'd she do?

Laura: Where?

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs] If you go on, you know,, you look at her diary. She says sorry five times. How many letters are in Micah's first name?

Everyone: Five.

Jamie: 1, 2, 3...

Andrew: [laughs] How many times did she say sorry?

Ben: Five.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: Five, huh? See the connection?

Jamie: Oh, god.

Andrew: Yeah, okay. [laughs]

Laura: We've been doing this way too long, Andrew.

Andrew: She dropped a hint.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: There you go.

Jamie: That's a pretty big hint.

Andrew: It is.

Jamie: An anvil-sized one.

Andrew: I tried finding other ones but I couldn't. That was the best one.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Andrew: So anyway, that was very good and a lot of people liked that segment last week, Micah.

Micah: They did.

Jamie: Should we change it?

Andrew: So, good work. "What's Buggin' Micah?" gets results.

Jamie: Should we change the "Chuck Norris/Dumbledore Quotes" to "Micah Quotes" now, because he's pretty...

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, he's pretty powerful. [laughs]

Main Discussion: Why did Dumbledore have James' Invisibility Cloak?

Andrew: So anyway, this leads us into our main discussion this week, which is about an update that Jo made on her site. Jamie.

Jamie: Okay, this is taken straight from her site:

"Why did Dumbledore have James' Invisibility Cloak at the time of James' death? Given that Dumbledore could make himself invisible anyway, does he really need it? Prior to posting this I had a quick look online and realized that some fans had been speculating about this question."

That's Jo by the way, not me.

[Andrew, Ben, and Jamie laugh]

Jamie: "However, nobody has ever asked me about it, and they really should have done. Just to allay the fears of the justifiably suspicious, this isn't what we in the know call a Mark Evans situation." As in that, you know, we think it's massive but it's not.

"There is a significant, even crucial, answer to this question."

So, our main discussion this week is: Why did Dumbledore have James' Invisibility Cloak on him at the time of James' death? Go.

Ben: Oh geez. That's nothing but pure conjecture.

Was Dumbledore Unable to be Invisible at that time?

Jamie: Our questions for this, our first one is, number one: Is this simply that Dumbledore couldn't make himself invisible at this time? Some people forget that Dumbledore was not ridiculously powerful from birth. Although it seems like he has always been one step ahead (e.g. when Professor Tofty said that during his N.E.W.T. examinations he could do things with a wand that, you know, nobody had ever seen before).

[Micah and Ben laugh]

Jamie: Magical abilities are clearly a product of age and experience. [laughs] What's so funny about that?

Laura: You guys are so gross! You guys are so perverted!

Andrew: Grow up! Grow up. Be mature. God!

[Ben laughs]

Jamie: Do you think that's the case?

Andrew: I don't think so because this was only 12, 13, however many years it was prior, and it's not like Dumbledore developed all his skills in that - not 12 to 13 - 15, 16 years.

Jamie: How do you know, Andrew? How do you know?

Andrew: Because he was the Headmaster of Hogwarts!

Jamie: But how do you know, Andrew?

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Because he was there after Harry died and...

Laura: [laughs] Harry didnít die!

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: [laughs] I mean, I mean, I mean... Oh, really? Oh, shoot.

Jamie: Digging a grave here, Andrew. It's getting bigger and bigger.

Andrew: I mean James and Lily died. James and Lily died.

Jamie: I guess so. You're still wrong.

Andrew: No, I'm not wrong.

Jamie: Are you? Are you? What do people think?

Laura: No, I think Dumbledore was able to become invisible on his own. I don't think he would've...

Jamie: I'm just going to act as a...

Ben: Yeah, okay. JK Rowling said it's significant. What significance would that hold? Just that he didn't know how to become invisible on his own then.

Laura: Yeah, I donít think that would hold any great key to the series.

Ben: So, we've established Andrew's wrong once again. But... [laughs]

Andrew: No. [laughs]

Ben: ...anybody have any bright ideas?

Andrew: No, we didn't!

Laura: No, I think we just established that Andrew was right. [laughs]

Andrew: I'm just saying Dumbledore didnít develop all his skills after Harry's birth. He had them before Harry's birth.

Laura: Yeah, so he...

Andrew: Heís an old guy.

Jamie: How do you know that? Okay, he is an old guy, but he could just...

Andrew: I don't know that, but he was the Headmaster of Hogwarts.

Jamie: But he could have read...

Laura: Well, that doesn't really...

Jamie: ...the book, "Becoming Invisible Without a Cloak," just in those 15 years. You don't know that he learned...

Laura: Yeah, but didn't Dumbledore tell Harry whenever he was looking into the Mirror of Erised that, "I have my own ways of becoming invisible"?

Jamie: Oh yeah, he did. Yeah, but thatís after. Thatís a long way after...

Laura: Yeah, but it just seems like the way he talks about it...

Jamie: It does, it does. It does.

Laura: ...he's been doing it for awhile and hoes accomplished at it.

Micah: So, he has his own ways of becoming invisible. He puts the cloak on. That's his way of becoming invisible.

Jamie: [laughs] Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah [laughs]

Jamie: He sews it into his skin and he can turn it on and off by just thinking it or something.

Did James Purposely Give Away The Cloak?

Jamie: Let's go into our second question: Did James purposely give the cloak to Dumbledore? Perhaps he knew that Dumbledore would give it to Harry or that his death was imminent. Ben, what do you think?

Ben: I think of course James intentionally gave it to Dumbledore. I don't think that Dumbledore would steal it from him. So...

Jamie: Well, I didnít mean that. I meant if he found it after his death or something.

Ben: Well, in the note that Dumbledore left to Harry he said that, "Your father left this with me shortly before he died," right? Isn't that what it said?

Jamie: That is very true, yeah. Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Ben: So, I don't know why he would give it to Dumbledore.

Laura: Well, we've talked about this before and I think the consensus we came to on that episode was that he left it to Dumbledore for...

Jamie: We don't come to consensuses. We don't come to consensuses. [laughs]

Laura: Well, sometimes we do. Rarely, rarely we do and in this case...

Jamie: Yeah.

Laura: ...we decided that James left the cloak with Dumbledore because he knew that Dumbledore would give it to Harry. But it seems like there's got to be something a little bit more prominent going on there, seeing as it's a crucial clue.

Jamie: Yeah, that's true.

Laura: Or bit of information.

Where Was The Cloak After The Potters Died?

Jamie: Well, let's go onto the third question, which is kind of redundant now.

[Laura laughs]

Jamie: if he didn't purposely give it to him, where was the cloak after the death of the Potters?

[Pause of silence]

Laura: With Dumbledore because he said he left it... [laughs]

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