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

MuggleCast 71 Transcript

Show Intro

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[Intro music plays]

Andrew: Because, eh, it was a couple days late, we had some stuff to do over the weekend and I didn't have much time to edit the show and all that, this is MuggleCast Episode 71 for January 9th, 2007.

[Music continues to play]

Ben: O-M-G. I can't believe it, I just can't believe it.

Andrew: What?

Ben: You know, first we get the title...

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: We get the title a few weeks ago. That's big news, but there's even bigger news today.

Andrew: What?

Ben: [pretending to cry] Fox cancelled The OC.

Jamie: What? Permanently?

Laura: Darn.

Ben: Permanently, it's gone.

Jamie: Why?

Ben: Off TV.

Jamie: Why?

Ben: I don't know. The - "California," no more. [laughs]

[Andrew, Ben, and Jamie laugh]

Ben: I don't know, they just...

Andrew: California, here we don't come. [laughs]

Jamie: Yeah.

Ben: I know. I just read an editorial a little bit ago, it was like in the New York Post or something where they completely ripped- no, it was The Guardian actually. [British accent]

Jamie: Oh, awesome.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: They wrote an editorial saying that they just completely rehashed the same plot lines, and...

Andrew: Is it true?

Ben: Yes, I was devastated - yeah, actually, it was. Because I stopped watching after Season Two. [laughs] So...

Jamie: What? So, Ben, then they cancelled it because The Manchester Guardian ripped on them?

Andrew: Yeah.

Jamie: That's nice.

Andrew: Our feelings are hurt!

Ben: Yeah, that's pretty much it.

Jamie: The power of Hollywood.

Ben: No, actually they just cancelled it because people sort of stopped caring.

Andrew: Really?

Ben: Kind of like MuggleCast. Yeah.

Andrew: Well, my sister almost cried when she found out.

Ben: Does she know? That it got cancelled?

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. But, yeah.

Ben: [impression of Andrew's sister] Oh my god, Andrew! [laughs] But like I said, I think we're going to get cancelled next; we're done after this e-mail.

Jamie: Yeah, no, no. The Manchester Guardian ran a story last week that MuggleCast just uses the same inside jokes, doesn't do anything new, doesn't talk about Harry Potter. So, yeah.

[Ben laughs]

Jamie: We're destroyed next week.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: That's an omen.

Jamie: It's our last show ever.

Ben: Hard pressed to move on, I'm Ben Schoen. I'm back, people!

Andrew: I'm Andrew Sims.

Ben: I'm back!

Jamie: I'm Jamie Lawrence.

Eric: I'm Eric Scull.

Laura: And I'm Laura Thompson.

[Music continues to play]


Micah: The first three Harry Potter DVDs were removed from US shelves this past week, with the Goblet of Fire DVD coming off on January 22nd. Warner Home Video has announced that the DVDs will be re-released later this year in high-definition format. WHV HD DVDs, say that five times fast, offer resolution six times higher than regular DVDs, as well as vibrant color, contrast, and sound.

MTV has released a list of the top 10 must-see movies of 2007. Order of the Phoenix came in at the top, ahead of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and Spider-Man 3.

Harry Potter has been revealed the fifth most searched term on MSN during 2006. With a movie, and possibly a book, out later this year, we can expect it to reach the number one spot, or close to it, in 2007. has released a new interview with Daniel Radcliffe conducted a number of months ago. In it the actor discusses what his Boggart would be, Evanna Lynch, his desire to visit Mexico, and more.

And just eight hours after the title of Book 7 was announced, the novel hit the number one spot on Amazon UK's book chart. The staggering success of the book is further illustrated by the fact that it is now outselling all other books in the top 10 list combined. On top of that, the adult edition of Deathly Hallows is sitting at number two on the chart. No release date has been set. Despite that fact, Christopher North, Amazon UK's Head of Books, said:

"Thousands of people in homes and offices across the UK have been going online to reserve their copy. If the initial response is anything to go by, this could be the biggest selling Harry Potter book of all time."

The biggest selling Harry Potter book of all time? You think?

That's all the news for this January 9th, 2007 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.

Slow News Week: Dumbledore Figurine

Ben: Thanks for that, Micah. Guys, is it just me or is the news kind of been a bit slow the past week? I mean, there's a Dumbledore figurine...

[Laura laughs]

Ben: [laughs] That's about it.

Andrew: It's been - it's worked out for us though, because we haven't been around to post much of it. So...

Jamie: [laughs] Yeah.

[Andrew, Ben, and Jamie laugh]

Ben: Yeah, that's true.

Andrew: It's been perfect.

Ben: So, Andrew, are you going to buy a Dumbledore figurine?

Andrew: Huh?

Ben: I bet Jamie would.

Jamie: Ten, actually.

Andrew: I already pre-ordered mine, actually. Yeah.

Ben: I bet they're invincible.[laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Eric: Just like Michael Gambon.

MuggleCasters Talk New Year's

Ben: Andrew, Jamie, and myself were all out in the Sin City, Las Vegas, for New Year, and that was fun. And Jamie is actually in Andrew's MuggleCast recording studio this week. [laughs]

Andrew: Yep, he is.

Jamie: The amount of equipment here is oh, god.

Andrew: It's so awkward here. You should see...

Jamie: What's that?

Andrew: We should use Photobooth right now and take a picture and put it online.

Jamie: Yeah.

Andrew: And make it the album art.

[Ben laughs]

Jamie: Seriously. Ben...

Ben: They're so close to each other, there's like two inches of space.

Jamie: Ben...

Andrew: Thanks, Apple, for making the iPod cables so short.

Jamie: I didn't realize that there was so much...

Andrew: Talk into the mic.

Jamie: Okay, Ben, I didn't realize that there was so much equipment here. You should see his setup.

[Andrew laughs]

Jamie: He's got microphones...

Ben: Three-watt amp.

Jamie: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[Andrew and Jamie laugh]

Jamie: Three-watt amp...

Eric: Right next to the Easy button.

Jamie: Microphones, you know. It's just ridiculous. He must have spent thousands of dollars on this.

Ben: Eric, what did you do for New Year?

Eric: I was in Myrtle Beach actually, and it rained and got foggy so they cancelled the fireworks.

Andrew: Oh, boo.

Ben: Well, that sounds like a waste of time.

Laura: Yeah, really.

[Ben and Laura laugh]

Ben: Actually, as the clock struck midnight in the crowd of 300,000 people, Jamie Lawrence was on my shoulders.

Andrew: Weren't you, Jamie?

Jamie: Hmmm?

Ben: It was awesome. We were down in the Strip and the fireworks went and set off, it was great.

Jamie: Oh, yeah. Oh, Ben. Should I tell the story about the countdown?

Ben: Yeah, [laughs] yeah. It was awesome.

Jamie: Okay, so we were all - we'd walked down from the hotel to the Strip. We couldn't walk that far because it was packed, even though Emerson was like, "Oh, come on. Let's walk further." What Emerson didn't seem to realize is that you can't walk into a sort of crowd full of people that won't move at all. So, anyway, we stopped and there are about 300,000 people there, and I was sitting on Ben's shoulders watching the countdown like an excited child that I was. There was a huge countdown that started off at sort of 30 and then counted down, but we could only see half of it because there was a sort of part of a hotel blocking it. So, it said sort of nine, so we shouted out, "Nine!" and then "Eight"...

[Ben laughs]

Jamie: And we're thinking sort of, "Oh yeah, ten seconds to New Year." Seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. And then on zero we all sort of jumped about screaming, and then we looked around and we realized that only sort of, you know...

Ben: [laughing] Our group of people. Yeah.

Jamie: Thirty-five other people were doing this as well. And then we realized that it had actually been 29, 28, 27. So, we looked across and found that there was another countdown still counting down. So, first embarrassing moment.

[Eric laughs]

Ben: So, it was kind of anti-climactic, to say the least.

Jamie: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]

Jamie: Yeah. So, yeah, the last embarrassing moment of the year actually happened on the countdown to the new year.

[Andrew and Ben laugh]

Ben: Before, before.

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: And, so, 300,000 people, you said. Was Emerson trying to give out MuggleNet stickers, this time?

Andrew: Believe it or not,

Ben: Actually, he was.

Eric: Yeah, I - he's...

Jamie: Yeah, he, he put them into one of the fireworks that...

[Ben laughs]

Jamie: ...burst them all over the place, so everyone got one.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Now, Laura, Laura. Laura, what were you doing?

Laura: I worked, and then I came home and I stayed up...

Ben: So, was there a big celebration..

Laura: ...until 12:30.

Ben: Was there a big celebration at Target?

Laura: No, there was not.

Ben: Oh. That's too bad.

Laura: I was only there until six.

Ben: Awww.

Laura: And then I came home and I stayed up until 12:30, and I went to bed so I could get up and go to work again.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Did you...

Laura: Very exciting.

Andrew: Laura, you sound a little...

Eric: That sounds like my life. I'm glad I left that place.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: I would've been at the - I would've been at the theatre upstairs in the long, dark projection hallways, just...

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: ...sitting there, with my wristwatch and not even like, a working radio.

Andrew: But you would've loved it. Admit it.

Jamie: And only the small voices inside your head to keep you company, Eric.


Ben: We have a few - we have a few announcements this week. Podcast Alley. Are we still the top podcast?

Eric: We were, actually. just...

Andrew: Well, listen, I mean, even if we're not on the Podcast Alley list, we're always number one. But...

Ben: Yeah, in your hearts and minds and soul, all that stuff.

Jamie: Can I just say, we've been extremely arrogant this week, too arrogant. We need to cut it back a slightly.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: So go ahead and vote for us on Podcast Alley, show your support for MuggleCast. Also,'s What Will Happen in Harry Potter Seven. Thanks to those of you who came out and saw Emerson at the bookstore this Saturday. I'm sure you guys had a grand old time. You collected your MuggleNet stickers.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Remember, our book,'s [stumbles]'s...

[Jamie laughs]

Ben:'s What Will Happen in Harry Potter Seven: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Falls in Love, and How the Adventure Finally Ends, by me, Jamie, Emerson, Andy, and Gretchen. You can go pick up, they're in your book stores.

Listener Rebuttal:'s Book

Ben: And this is sort of our first listener rebuttal this week, because somebody was absolutely infuriated that we published a book. Ben, I have no idea how old he is, he sent me an e-mail, he said - this is not me, by the way, it's a different Ben. He said - he's basically an insult to the name.

The book that you're putting out is disgusting. Being Harry Potter fans, how can you possible feel that - feel just in actually selling a bunch of speculation to kids. The reason that people like me listen to MuggleCast is to get ideas and see what other people think that might happen in the last installment, but why should I even listen to that anymore considering every time the members of cast arrive to - at a Book Seven issue, they'll have to skip it with a, "Don't want to ruin our book," or, "If you want to know our thoughts, buy the book." In all sincerity, there is no reason to even come back to this site since all the cool thoughts and perspectives are now going to be sold. You guys are just a bunch of nerdy suits. Very disrespectfully, Ben. P.S. In addition, why would you want to try and ruin the last book?

Hey, Jamie, didn't you have a little response to this Ben character?

Jamie: Well, you see, Ben, I would love to tell Ben, like I told that girl from Glasgow a few weeks ago, to act like the sky at 6 a.m. and lighten up.

[Ben laughs]

Jamie: But I've just spent 14 hours sleeping, and so I haven't seen morning, so I don't know if it's still does light up at 6 a.m. So, I think I'm going to be - I'm going to be nice to him. I think, I think there - I think, is he trying to say don't come and listen to the show now, because all the stuff we talk about is in this book, yeah? But that's completely...

Ben: Or, or that we're going to stop talking because you should...

Jamie: Yeah, okay, well...

Ben: our book instead.

Jamie: A, it's completely untrue, because...

Laura: The show is impromptu. We come up with new theories all the time.

Ben: Yeah, and the book - the book isn't inclusive of every MuggleNet staff member's opinion. So...

Jamie: No, and the book is basically...

Ben: You just have to remember that.

Jamie: The book is basically a summary of all of the ideas we had, and there are opinions in that book. Andy's, Gretchen's, Emerson's, that haven't ever been on the show. You know? Emerson's been on once, stuff like that. And we don't always say, "Oh, we don't want to ruin the book," or, "If you want to know our thoughts, buy the book." We may say, "If you want to know more, buy our book," or, "If you want to know more about our thoughts, buy it." But, all of the core thoughts and perspectives are not going to be solved. You know?

Ben: We're not holding back.

Jamie: Yeah, exactly.

Ben: We're not holding back for the sake of the book.

Jamie: And we know already that there's more that we could add to the book. You know? The books, I mean, it's - we haven't got, you know, the title stuff in there, because, you know, the title was released afterwards. So, we can't talk about, you know, the title of Book Seven and say, "Well, read the book," because we haven't, and we still talk about that. We still talk about, you know, Snape being evil, we still talk about Dumbledore being dead on here, even though we've got it in the book.

Andrew: Yeah.

Jamie: It's just, if you want a collection of, you know, points and stuff, then buy the book. And there's other stuff in there, like, you know, chapters about how far we've come in the Harry Potter world, you know, chapters about what we're going to do after Book Seven finishes, it's, you know? It's a work in itself, it's not anything to do with...

Ben: It's different.

Jamie: Yeah.

Ben: I mean, we talk about news on here. We talk about - like, this week's discussion is going to be completely different, something we never put in the book, so it's not necessarily, you know, it isn't like we're taking away from the book by having the show.

Jamie: No, and...

Ben: They're not mutually exclusive; they can coexist.

Jamie: Exactly. And we are, in no way, trying to ruin the last book. If we wanted to do that, we'd go down to the local Borders and pin up posters saying what we think is going to happen. You know? If you want to buy the book and read about it, that's fine, but...

Ben: Yeah, nobody's forcing you to.

Jamie: ...we aren't forcing it on anyone.

Ben: Yeah, so remember, you can purchase this at Borders. If you're going to order it on the Internet, please support MuggleNet, order it through Alivan's, our online retailer. Yeah, they're out partners, so order through there.

Ben's Input on Book Seven

Ben: Yeah, like I said before, I was kind of gone the past five weeks, so, you know, we had the title happen, we had, you know, all kinds of crazy Harry Potter stuff going on. So, I just wanted to briefly, you know, interject what I think about what Deathly Hallows means, the title, the release date. Okay, first of all, Deathly Hallows. I'm not going to be all philosophical and try to define what the hallows are. I mean, if you want to know what the hallows are...

Jamie: Read our book!

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: [laughs] No, actually, I don't know what Deathly Hallows means, I'm not - I mean, listen to the episode if you want some more speculation on that. I don't - I think it's just souls, something like that. However, on the release date. Something I need to brag about here, is if you - go back and listen to Episode 22. I said that we were going to get the title of Book Seven at the end of 2006, and correct me if I'm wrong here, [laughs] but I was right! So, I just thought - I felt the need...

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: When was this?

Ben: Episode 22.

Andrew: Good work, Ben.

Ben: Actually, I didn't remember saying that. Someone e-mailed in, so thank you, "LittleRoxyChick16," for telling me that I was right.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Yeah, you know me, I never miss an opportunity to brag, so thank you for sending that in.

Andrew: No, no.

Ben: Oh, the release date. I was pretty adamant about it being 2008, but something tells me it could be this summer, but I don't know. I'm not so sure anymore. It's a coin toss. If I had to pick a date, it's going to be the end of July, if anything. Remember this episode. When we get the release date you can come back. July 2007 or July 2008, one or the other.

Andrew: Oh, well, geez. Well, me and Jamie were talking about this. If - well, we're going to be excited to have the release date if it is July 2007, but we're also going to be upset.

Ben: It puts a date on the end. It's like the expiration date of the Harry Potter series.

Andrew: It's not just that.

Eric: We have a debate about it later on in the show. So...

Andrew: That is a good point, so we shouldn't be talking about it now, yeah.

Jamie: I agree.

Ben: Yeah. [laughs]

Main Discussion: The Hanged Man

Ben: Speaking of titles, this week's main discussion is sort of a new take - a new spin on what the title could mean, and Micah came up with this, but we're discussing The Hanged Man. And if you look to Goblet of Fire it's the name of the bar in the beginning where the townsfolk are discussing the Riddle murders.

Eric: In Little Hangleton.

Jamie: Yeah.

Ben: Little Hangleton - yeah [laughs] Hangleton.

Eric: Hangleton. Hangle...

Hallows and Gallows

Ben: Yeah. And so it actually comes in that hallow, the word hallow, deathly hallows - is an archaic word for the word gallows; a frame, typically wooden, used for execution by hanging. And one of the definition for hallows is actually a site where a person is hanged. So, we're thinking there may be some type of connection between gallows and hallow, and since "the hanged man" is in the book, there could be some correlation there.

Jamie: Doesn't that kind of just reinforce the death link?

Eric: Yeah.

Jamie: That, you know, it's about, all of the discussion we've had has come back to the fact that whatever interpretation of the title we give, it always comes back to that it's about death. But if you want to know more, read our book.

[Andrew and Ben laugh]

Andrew: Can't say any more.

Laura: Now looking at that literally, do you think that Harry is actually going to see any form of gallows in the seventh book?

Eric: I don't think he needs to see gallows. The emphasis is on The Hanged Man is a village pub in the town where Voldemort is, where his ancestry is from. Both the Gaunts and the Riddle family lived, presumably, either in or on the outskirts of Little Hangleton. So, the fact that they have a pub called The Hanged Man just emphasizes that there's something big with death having to do - and, you know, Voldemort has that connection. All these titles and things we're getting, I think it's just about Voldemort's quest for immortality and coming to an end.

Ben: And you know, this Hanged Man stuff is really the ultimate over-analyzation, but you know, folks, it's what we do. It's who we are.

Andrew: I don't think so. I think Micah presented an interesting case.

Jamie: It's interesting, yeah.

Ben: It's interesting. I mean, but I don't know realistically what correlation there's going to be. A lot of people have e-mailed in about the hanged man being a tarot card, which is what Miss Cleo and all those people used to do. [laughs] You see all the hotlines on TV. [imitating Miss Cleo] I'm Miss Cleo, and we can do the Tarot card! Let me tell your future!

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Ben: Anyway. [laughs] It's symbolism...

Eric: It's pointless.

Ben: ...which points to divinities. In all the stories, the destruction of self brings life to humanity.

The Tarot Card

Ben: This is from Wikipedia, just basically what the card is.

On the card these are symbolized respectively, by the hanged man from the living tree from which he swings. It's relationship to other cards usually involves personal loss for a greater gain.

So, the relation to hallows and the hanged man represents, as I said, a personal loss for a greater gain, which in a way sort of represents...

Jamie: Oh, my god.

[Laura Laughs]

Ben: What Harry may or may not be doing.

Jamie: Represents a - well, I was going to say I don't personally think that Harry is a Horcrux, but that's what that could represent. You know?

Andrew: Yeah.

Jamie: He loses his life for the greater good of getting rid of Voldemort.

Andrew: Or someone else's.

Jamie: But, that's a horrible thought.

Ben: He doesn't necessarily have to be a Horcrux, he could die in the process somehow.

Jamie: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

Eric: Or also, destruction of self could also mean destruction of those close to ones self, in a way.

Ben: Right.

Jamie: Yeah.

Eric: I mean, if you suffer some losses, you are, you know, some people feel like half a person, etcetera. Something like that.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: It's about sacrifice, trials, and suffering. I don't think he'll be happy about it this time.

Andrew: Yeah.

Jamie: I agree.

Andrew: Going back to the literal meaning, though, Deathly Hallows, if this theory brought up by Micah, if it's anything to be believed, literally doesn't it mean deathly hangings? Wouldn't that be essentially what it means?

Eric: Well, it's not a word you can say, "Deathly Hangings," because it has so many different meanings, and was chosen for exactly that.

Ben: What exactly does archaic word mean?

Jamie: It's fallen out of usage.

Laura: Archaic is like ancient.

Jamie: No, it's not, it's just one that's fallen out of popular usage.

Andrew: We're going to have to look it up.

Ben: Yeah, so it's basically - can they be used interchangeably?

Eric: Well...

Ben: Or it just means at one time hallow mean gallows? They were the same thing?

Laura: Mhm.

Eric: Using them in the word form that JKR has, by saying Deathly Hallows, she created the word, basically. I mean, Hallow is obviously a word that has many, many meanings, but using it in the form that she does with the title is completely - you can't substitute Deathly Gallows, Deathly Horcruxes, Deathly Saints.

Jamie: No, exactly. You can't substitute it, yeah. It's etymology that's important.

Eric: Yeah, you can't substitute it because it has an old use, has many different meanings, and is open to interpretation, but also you can't substitute it because it's not an actual word the way she's using it.

Ben: I see.

Laura: By the way, "archaic" means "very old or old fashioned."

Jamie: No, no the...

Andrew: There's multiple meanings. We're looking it up, too, right now.

Laura: Yeah.

Jamie: Linguistically it means "commonly used in an earlier time, but rarely used in present day, except to suggest an older time such as in religious rituals and historic rubbles. Examples include thou, methinks, forsooth." And so on.

Andrew: Either way, does it really matter?

[Everyone laughs]

Jamie: No. I can't believe we spoke about this. This couldn't be less relevant if we tried. [laughs]

Laura: Well, does that mean there was some kind of hanging that went on, I don't know, maybe in the past that Harry's going to learn about?

Eric: No, and especially it doesn't mean that some kind of hanging took place. It could have, but the hanging is death. People are being put to death. It's life, death, sacrifice, the whole nine yards. It doesn't mean there was a hanging that took place that's going to be significant in the book.

Ben: Yeah, but with the hanged man, you know, the Tarot card and all that, there's also an association with life and the runes. This is from Wikipedia. It says:

The Hanged Man is often associated with Odin, the primary god of the Norse Pantheon. Odin hung upside down from the world-tree, Yggdrasil."

I can't say it.

"For nine days in order to gain knowledge of the runes, which the Norse cosmology regarded as a source of all mystery and all knowledge. The moment he glimpsed the runes, he died, but the knowledge of them was so powerful that he immediately returned to life. This interpretation highlights the necessity of taking personal sacrifice in order to achieve one's higher spiritual good."

Andrew: This is so deep.

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