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MuggleCast 62 Transcript (continued)



Is She Really That Loony?


Ben: But yeah, you brought up how they're always calling her Loony Lovegood, but is she really as loony as everyone makes her out to be? What do you guys think?

Eric: Yeah. She, she actually is...

[Ben laughs]

Eric: ...because... Well no, no. She's not as - it's not a bad thing, though. Having a little bit of...

Ben: Well, you know how she's always believing in like the Ministry conspiracy?

Eric: Well...

Ben: Like Fudge making goblins into pies, having an army of heliopaths, [laughs] and all these - all these things.

Eric: [laughs] Being different is not a crime, necessarily.

Jamie: But it's not being... Yeah, but it's - there's a difference between being different and being crazy.

Ben: But is she crazy, though? That's the question.

Jamie: Yeah.

Kevin: Yeah, I don't think she's crazy.

Eric: She, she has a habit, a tendency...

Kevin: I just think she, she has - well, she has some far-out ideas.

Eric: Certain ones.

Kevin: And because of that, she's ostracized.

Eric: But if she were...

Micah: But I don't think she needs to be locked up in a straightjacket or anything like that.

Kevin: Exactly, yeah.

Jamie: I think she does. I'd put her in there.

[Ben and Eric laugh]

Ben: No, no, yeah. It's definitely the - like you said, it's more of the... Like, she's eccentric? Is the word I'm looking for...

Kevin: Yes.

Ben: She's kind of - she's a little bit out there. She's kind of like how some people perceive Dumbledore. It's the same thing, but...

Jamie: Yeah, but it's different, though...

Ben: Yeah.

Jamie: ...because it's... It is the same, but he is...

Ben: Well, she's not brilliant like Dumbledore.

Jamie: But yeah, he's brilliant.

Micah: She's very open-minded.

Eric: Well, she's pretty smart, too. Loony has an ability - sorry, Luna has an ability to speak uncomfortable truths and things. She gets past a lot more than other people. Other people would stop short almost and fall short of expressing their mind. Luna, however, knows exactly how she feels and even if it's crazy or a little outlandish, she is, like, an open person about it but she just gets insulted for having so many different ideas.



The Quibbler


Ben: Right. Well, you know her dad's newspaper, The Quibbler?

Eric: Yeah. Which doesn't help being raised by that man.

Ben: Yeah. [laughs] He's kind of a cook, too, from the way it sounds. [laughs] But the only reliable story that we've actually seen The Quibbler produce was in Book Five - at the end of Book Five where they used it to publicize that, you know, Harry did all the interviews.

Jamie: Isn't it, isn't it just a plot device, though? It was introduced to provide a method of publishing that isn't The Daily Prophet that allows Harry to get his story out.

Eric: Well, I think it's - I think it's good to know. I think it's good to know there's another version of publishing next to The Daily Prophet, because...

Jamie: That doesn't have the...

Ben: Because The Daily Prophet would sort of...

Eric: Because The Daily Prophet, the Ministry is leaning on the Prophet. And it's great to see - even if it was a plot device...

Kevin: Yeah, it's pretty corrupt.

Eric: It's why I'm not against the idea of The Quibbler. Because people are saying, "Okay, so the Rotfang conspiracy - and Fudge has an army of heliopaths." Even if, even if he doesn't, I don't think that's the point. The point is to question. You know? "How likely is this?" Could Fudge potentially either have an army of heliopaths or could he just be not doing his job in the other sense of the word? Could he not - could he be hiding something? Is really what that question asks. You know? And...

Micah: So, you think the stories tell something different? Is that what you're saying?

Eric: Well, I don't think they're intended to. I think they're intended. Somebody actually believes that Fudge has an army of heliopaths, just like somebody believes Sirius Black was Stubby Boardman. They actually believe that stuff, but I'm saying, what you take from it is the minor concepts. You know? Okay, we aren't supposed to, you know?

Jamie: Some satire is like, I'm sure that The Onion realizes it's satire. It doesn't write it believing it. Like The Quibbler probably writes it for entertainment. It's like, it's like The Sun over here. It sensationalizes, it exaggerates, it puts questionable facts in, but it doesn't pretend it's a broadsheet. It knows it's a tabloid and so it acts accordingly. The Quibbler probably writes because that's what their audience wants, so even though it's not true, they write it knowing it's not true and write it knowing it's just for entertainment.

Eric: I don't know about that. I got the distinct impression that Luna actually believes in nargles and things. So, I don't know. Like you compare it to The Onion, I would compare it to what's our main tabloid here? The pointless one.

Micah: The National Enquirer?

Ben: Yeah, National Enquirer.

Eric: National Enquirer. About monkeys from Mars and all sorts of stuff and it's like...

Ben: [laughs] Yeah.

Eric: In that case, I completely agree with you.

Ben: And then there was...

Eric: They can't possibly...

Ben: No, no. There was an article in there that said the world's fattest man has disappeared. It had like, a man that was...

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: ...3,000 pounds [laughs] and he disappeared. I don't know how that happened.

[Jamie laughs]

Eric: Anyway, people, yeah. Definitely those publications I don't think take themselves seriously, but The Quibbler, that's why The Quibbler struck me. Because Luna actually purports these kinds of theories, and her father apparently does, too. So, when book sales or rather, magazine sales - issue sales of The Quibbler went up due to Harry's thing, her father was overjoyed because he could share all his other conspiracies of the government with everybody because he actually believed it.

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: So, I think this is an instance where people do actually believe what they write for it.

Jamie: Mhm.

Micah: But do you think that that hurt Harry's credibility at all?

Eric: Mmmm.

Jamie: No, no.

Micah: Having his story published in The Quibbler?

Jamie: No, no.

Micah: No?

Eric: Mmmm. No, because the way, the way it is, is once it's published there, everybody knows, why didn't he do it in The Daily Prophet? Oh, because The Daily Prophet...

Jamie: Right, yeah.

Eric: You know? So they can immediately justify it. It doesn't matter where it's published. It was actually...

Kevin: And it was very important for The Quibbler because now they have the support of Harry Potter. Harry Potter has just said...

Jamie: Yeah.

Kevin: ... "Hey, I'm giving my story to The Quibbler over The Daily Prophet."

Jamie: Yeah, and it's just a confidence in the publication, as well. So, I assume...

Kevin: Exactly.

Jamie: ...you know? Kevin. Right.

Eric: Don't you just love how Rita Skeeter wrote that article? [laughs]

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: Poetic justice.



Luna and Ollivander


Ben: Yeah. [laughs] Yeah. Luna also is described as having "pale eyes," and another character in the series who has a similar description is Ollivander, the wand maker in Diagon Alley. So, do you guys think there could be any connection between them two?

Jamie: [laughs] Well, I know we...

Ben: Those two?

Jamie: ...over-analyze here, but...

Eric: I love the idea.

Jamie: ...isn't that kind of like saying that Harry has got black hair. [laughs] So...

Kevin: I have green eyes, so...

Ben: [laughs] Two people with blue eyes have...

Jamie: Yeah, yeah.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: Right.

Jamie: They have got to be sisters. Seriously, definitely.

Ben: Yeah. [laughs] They both have blue eyes.

Eric: No, but, guys...

Ben: No, I don't really know if it's really that, I'm just saying that JK Rowling – it's different in a series like this when she'll use certain descriptive words. You know what I mean?

Micah: Right, right.

Ben: I mean, it's probably a stretch, but it's still worth discussing.

Eric: Yeah, pale eyes...

Micah: Well, I was reading...

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: ...Prisoner of Azkaban last night, and the number of times they said Lupin had pale eyes, and Hermione had pale eyes from studying so much. I mean, do you want to start making connections there, too?

Jamie: Yes, I do.

Eric: Oh, really, Micah? So...

Jamie: He's her daughter.

Micah: You do?

Jamie: So, she's his daughter. Oops.

Micah: She's Hermione's sister? Ummm...

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: Did you...

[Kevin laughs]

Ben: Yeah, that's true.

Jamie: They're one big happy family.

Eric: Did they actually say "pale eyes," though, Micah? Because I was under the – I believe you, but I was under the impression that was a not widely used term like "pale eyes." I don't recall seeing it except for Ollivander and Luna. Did they actually say that for studying?

Micah: I don't know. Maybe they just said...

Ben: Yeah, I don't really recall that, but I haven't...

Micah: ...bags under their eyes, or something.

Ben: ...read Book Three for a while, and it wasn't like I was looking for it when I did read it. [laughs]

[Jamie laughs]

Ben: Well, let's just entertain it for a second here. Luna's mother was described as being a talented witch who enjoyed experimenting with spells, and it would make sense for Ollivander to be Luna's grandfather in this case, since he creates wands. I'm not sure if... I'm just reading this from the Writely, but [laughs] I'm not actually sure if that makes much sense. It doesn't really make logical sense to me. What about you guys? What about you, Kevin Steck? What do you think?

Kevin: I think it's a far stretch, like we said before. I mean...

Ben: Yeah, I guess we're going to start making really, really out there predictions.

Kevin: I mean, that's like grasping at air. [laughs]

Ben: Yeah.

Kevin: There's – it's just a single description of a person. I mean, I'd think we would have to have...

Jamie: It's like grasping at straws with no hands.

Kevin: Exactly. [laughs]

Jamie: At all. So, it's impossible.

Ben: Yeah.

[Micah laughs]

Ben: Well, okay we've established that that is a little bit far out there, but...

Jamie: No, Ben, I think we should reinforce that point. Allegedly.

Ben: [laughs] Allegedly. No. Not only - okay, we've established that that is a little bit of a far stretch.

Kevin: Out there.

Jamie: It's allegedly a bit far-fetched.



Luna's Connection With Death


Ben: But, but something that isn't far-fetched is the fact that she does have a strong connection with death. Which is what we saw throughout Order Of The Phoenix, because she can see the Thestrals.

Jamie: Why can she see them, again?

Ben: All those things.

Jamie: Do we know, or do we not know?

Ben: She saw her – who'd she see die?

Jamie: I can't remember.

Ben: Do you guys know? We need to get this right.

Jamie: Did she see?

Micah: I think her mother, isn't it?

Ben: Yeah, it was her mother. That's what I thought, too.

Eric: Yeah, okay. I think it's unlikely, though, that if Luna's grandfather is Ollivander, I don't like to think that Ollivander's own daughter would be out there in the world testing things to make for her father's wands. He wouldn't send her off to go test things.

Jamie: We've moved on.

Eric: Blow stuff up.

Jamie: Okay. There's...

Eric: No, that was just going into the death thing.

Jamie: Oh, sorry. Okay, go on then. Sorry.

Eric: Because her mother died.

Jamie: Okay, yeah, fair enough, fair enough.

Eric: Apparently testing things. So, if it would have been wands for her father, that would have been a little sad. Maybe that's why Ollivander reserved himself to just phoenix tail and unicorn tail. Phoenix feather, whatever.

Ben: When Harry realizes that Luna can see the Thestrals, too, it makes him feel – it sort of establishes a bond with her, because he doesn't feel as alone as before. So... [whispers] Yeah. [returns to normal volume] Another thing that Harry and Luna can both do, one of their special talents, I guess. It's not really a talent, but you know what I mean; how something that they can do, their, what would you call it, Jamie?

Jamie: Uhhh...

Ben: That they're qualified to do.

Jamie: Their similarities.

Ben: Yeah. Another one of their similarities is with the voices behind the Veil, and she makes a point of reminding him about it. But what's the difference? I mean the fact that Ginny can hear the voices beyond the Veil, but she can't see the Thestrals, tells us that they're two different things.

Jamie: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, definitely.

Ben: Like, two different things qualify you for that. So, what do you think? Do you think it could be you've had a near death experience? Because Ginny with...

Jamie: Luna hasn't though, has she?

Ben: ...Book Two. Well, we don't know.

Eric: Yeah, Ginny has. Well, oh, yeah, I don't know about Luna.

Jamie: She accidentally choked...

Ben: And Harry, of course, all the time.

Jamie: ...on one of her radish earrings, and had to get rushed to hospital. [laughs]

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: So, what else about her connection to death?

Jamie: It's definitely something. That thing about the Veil, there is clearly something, some type of criteria they've got to meet to be able to hear the things. And perhaps, unlike the Thestrals, there are varying degrees of this. So, some people can hear them, some people can hear them and understand them, or whatever. I don't know.



The Veil is a Lethifold?


Micah: This is sort of going off-track slightly, but we like to do that. So, I've gotten a number of e-mails about the Veil actually being a Lethifold. Do you guys...?

Eric: No.

Jamie: Ummm, yeah. It's the thing – for people who don't know, it is the creature in tropical climates that sneaks into people's dwellings and wraps itself around their mouths and suffocates them.

Eric: Right.

Jamie: And then swallows them, leaving no trace of them, whatsoever. So, yeah.

Micah: So, that would be a far stretch?

Ben: That would be a bad way to die...

Eric: There is nothing about whispers, and there's – if it was a Lethifold it would completely destroy the mythological...

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: ...art of the Veil.

Ben: Why would the Lethifold be there for...?

Jamie: It would move as well, probably.

Ben: Yeah, hundreds of years.

Eric: Yeah, they just grabbed one Lethifold and strung it up for studying at the Ministry of Magic. It just doesn't...



Back to Luna


Ben: [laughs] Right. It doesn't make sense. Anyways, back to Luna's connection to death. She has a conversation with Harry at the end of Order of the Phoenix about Sirius. She seems to be the only person who "understands" Harry, and she listens to him and then lets him be – she's very accepting. Because, she's probably used to having everybody make fun of her ideas and thoughts, so she kind of seems like the person that you could confide in. Do you know what I mean? Without her criticizing you. It'd just sort of be like, you say it, and she's...

Kevin: Well that's because she's so open-minded.

Ben: She accepts it.

Eric: Well, and she's been made fun of, herself.

Ben: Yeah, that's what I said. She's...

Kevin: Yeah.

Ben: She knows how it feels.

Eric: So she's not going to openly criticize.



The Social Outcast


Ben: But the thing is, if she's so understanding of all these people, why is she a social outcast? Do you think it's because that she has all these loony thoughts?

Eric: Oh, what do you mean? No...

Ben: Or is it the fact that she's different? It's because she's different, right?

Eric: It's because she's different, yeah. I mean, she understands people, and stuff, but who says that makes you popular or worth talking to? Usually, it's the people who are the outcasts, who do get made fun of, who start understanding how people's minds work. So...

Ben: Yeah, that's true because they have a lot more time to think about it.

Eric: Well, they have a lot more...

Ben: They're not caught up.

Eric: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah, they're not caught up in the social scenes, and all that.

Eric: Right. Exactly.



Luna in Book Seven


Ben: You know, when we do these character discussions, our favorite thing to talk about, of course, is always their connection to Book Seven. Because a lot of the characters we talk about, it just doesn't seem like there would be much of a connection to the last book, but what about Luna? Do you think that there's something that she's going to have a connection to in Book Seven?

Kevin: Well, they introduced her and they really have – JK Rowling really hasn't told us much about her, so it tends to lead you to believe that we will see more of her, and at least she'll play some sort of smaller-medium role in the next book.

Eric: Why smaller-medium?

Ben: Well, doesn't it... Well...

Kevin: Because... Because...

Ben: Okay. What's the purpose of Luna? Each character that she introduced has to have some sort of purpose, and what do you think that Luna's purpose is? Is her purpose served already or...?

Micah: Her purpose was to call the last Quidditch match.

Ben: Oh, yeah. [laughs]

Micah: No, I think she has such a strong connection to death, and she's not afraid of it. And Voldemort, we all know, has a great fear of death. So, I think having somebody like that on his side, Harry is sort of in a position of just having a good ally, maybe.

Ben: Yeah, because it's like the opposite ends of the spectrum. Because deep down, I think, everyone fears death. You know? It's like...

Eric: But some more than most. Some more than others.

Ben: Yeah, some more than most. And Harry – Dumbledore thinks death is the next greatest adventure, but maybe Harry hasn't realized that in his mind, yet. He hasn't come to terms with well, death is just essentially what – all it is, is just a part of life. And, he hasn't really come to terms with that, and Luna's helping him realize...

Micah: Right.

Ben: "Okay, if I do die, it's going to be for a greater cause, so it's really not that bad," and it's – it will be interesting. So...

Micah: Well, I think the most important thing that she said was that, at the end of Book Five, when she was talking to Harry, that she was going to see her mother again, and that's what provided her the greatest comfort. And that was what was so important to Harry, because he said to himself, "Well, I'll see Sirius again, and then I'll see my parents again." Sorry, Eric, I didn't mean to cut.

Eric: No, when was this? I missed... That was... When Luna said she...

Micah: At the end of Book Five.

Eric: She said she'd be seeing her mother again? I forgot about that.

Micah: Right.

Ben: Yeah. [laughs]

Eric: No, I was going to say Luna, as far as, do you guys think she's that far in the background? I mean, I was under the impression that...

Ben: Oh, no. After Order of the Phoenix she kind of dropped off the radar. Do you think that...

Kevin: Yeah, she did, yeah.

Ben: Does that kind of prove that...

Eric: I think that...

Ben: ...she's already served her purpose? Or could she come back in Book Seven?

Eric: I think she'll come back. I think Book Six, why everybody seemed to have fallen off, tapered off, even Tonks and most of the Order was because it was Harry and Dumbledore about Voldemort.

Micah: Yeah, I agree with that.

Eric: It's my impression still that Luna and Neville, who fought the ending battle in Book Six, would therefore become like a semi – there's the trio; there's Harry, Ron, and Hermione. But then I think immediately after is Neville and Luna. Like, immediately after. Like, very close circle. I still see them as very close friends that are going to band together in Book Seven.

Ben: Right, they're still part of the group, but they're just not the main members.

Eric: Well, I think a significantly big part.

Ben: Right.

Eric: Well, I think they are main members. I think if there were a main five or a main six, including Ginny, it would be...

Ben: Oh yeah, they would be included.

Eric: Neville, Luna, Ginny, Harry, Ron, Hermione. In reverse order, but yeah.

Micah: I think everyone took a backseat in Book Six to Tom Riddle, because that's who I really think the book was about. Even more so than Snape being the Half-Blood Prince, so I think a lot of characters...

Eric: Mhm.

Micah: ...just got pushed to the back burner.

Ben: Yeah, Book Six was more about us learning about who Voldemort is – that type of thing. So, because Harry has to learn those things in order to have a shot at taking him out in Book Seven, so that's why we learned those things. That's why it seemed like everyone else sort of became second tier or behind, like less of a priority in JK Rowling's mind...

Micah: Right.

Ben: ...and in the series.

Micah: And I think that Book Seven will start off where a lot of people wanted Book Six to.

Ben: And where is that?

Micah: Well, sort of after Harry learns everything about the prophecy, you're sort of expecting him to want to learn more about Sirius and what exactly happened to him. And I just felt that there was a lot of stuff, sort of coming off the end of Book Five, that we thought we were going to get in Book Six and it didn't happen.

Ben: Yeah, that was a lot of people's main disappointment with Book Six was, you know? It wasn't all like they wanted it to be. It was the preparing for the war, I mean there still wasn't...

Jamie: Yeah, but it was done for a reason.

Ben: ...all right.

Jamie: Which we'll probably find out. It's like... I mean, she could have just gone straight into the...

Eric: Yeah, and people are dying, and they had that great first chapter, "The Other Minister,: which was great.

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: Which was amazing.

Ben: Yeah. That was probably one of my favorite chapters of the series.

Jamie: Yeah, it was very good.

Eric: Honestly, it’s really good.

Ben: Just because the way it starts out is so, like, mysterious, you know? It kind of reminded me of the opening chapter of Book One, when it’s like, you know, that really sucks you in because its like, "Whoa. What's this all about?"

Eric: Well, yeah and that's what she said, that she was trying to do a chapter like that for quite a few books, but now we finally got the view, you know? What would it be like to be the British Prime Minister and be told about this magical world and have to keep it a secret and all that stuff.

Jamie: Oh, yeah.

Ben: Yeah.

Eric: I just love the scene where he says, you know, "All my workers are really good." And then Fudge turns to him and says, "Well, yes they're ours. They're wizards; of course, they're good." Kingsley Shacklebolt and everything.

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: And the Ministry is taking them back. He's like, "He's a plant." Yeah.

Ben: [laughs] Well, we're digressing a bit here.

Eric: But. No. Yeah, but the inner circle of Luna and stuff, I still think that's really good. I think it’s safe to say that Luna will play a bigger role in Book Seven and I don't think she's tapering off.

Ben: Yeah. I think everyone will. I don't really think we're really going to see the disappearance of, especially since Luna was established in Book Five as you said, you know, the next person in line to be, you know, like the main five or six that you brought up.

Eric: Yeah.

Ben: As part of their little group.

Eric: And its been said, you know JKR said that Book Six really felt like Book Seven: Part One.

Jamie: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah. The novel's in two halves so...

Eric: Yeah. She was leading, you know, she introduced Slughorn, who was, I guess, one of the final players in this whole plot of what's going to happen in the final chapter of the book.

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