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MuggleCast 75 Transcript



Show Intro


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[Intro music plays]

Andrew: Because, heck, we finally have a date, this is MuggleCast Episode 75 for February 3rd, 2007.

[Music continues to play]

Eric: So, guys, I was thinking – I know we need to save a lot of space on MuggleNet, on the website for all of the ads to go, so I figured out something that I thought was pretty cool.

Andrew: Yeah?

Eric: Yeah. Instead of needing two countdowns – one for the Order of the Phoenix film, and one for the book – simply add seven days to the time that it says...

[Laura laughs]

Eric: ...for Order of the Phoenix, to the counter. And do mental math...

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: ...which will wake you up [snap fingers], and I want you to read Harry Potter news, and you've got the – for the release date.

Laura: Wow. Seven days.

Eric: Yes.

Laura: Isn't that ironic?

Eric: Just add seven days, and our counter is completely accurate for...

Mikey: It's completely accurate to the second...

Kevin: Yeah.

Mikey: ...too. It's amazing.

Eric: To the second, for Deathly Hallows, and we didn't even put up a Deathly Hallows countdown.

Andrew: Great idea. What if we added afterwards those blank amount of days, and then in parenthesis we put, [whispers] "Add seven to get the Deathly Hallows release date."

Kevin: We should.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: Yeah, you should.

Andrew: Or just, "Plus seven for DH," or something like that. [laughs]

Kevin: "Plus seven for HP 7."

Eric: Underneath, where it says Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, July 13th, just say "Add seven days for..."

Kevin: HP 7.

Eric: "...Deathly Hallows."

Andrew: I'm going to look into that. For...

Eric: Yeah, do that.

Andrew: A new countdown is being worked on, that has both of the dates being counted down on one thing. It's going to be pretty cool. But, anyway, welcome everyone to Episode 75 of MuggleCast. We had a couple of things planned for this week's show. We had a character discussion on Argus Filch and Mrs. Norris, and we were planning on doing more J.K. Rowling quotes about Book 7. However, a little release date came out the other day, and that's what we're going to be talking about for the main focus of the show. And we've got voicemails, and we've got a lot of other good stuff. Right, everyone?

Laura: Yeah.

Mikey: Yeah.

Laura: Looks like it to me.

Andrew: Laura, I cannot wait for your thoughts on the release date.

Laura: I'm sure you can’t.

Andrew: But wait, wait. Wait.

Kevin: Teaser.

Laura: Okay.

Andrew: Just wait. First we've go to do Micah's news. Oh, actually, but before that, I'm Andrew Sims.

Kevin: I'm Kevin Steck.

Eric: I'm Eric Scull.

Laura: I'm Laura Thompson.

Micah: I'm Micah Tannenbaum.

Mikey: And I'm Mikey Bouchereau.

[Intro music continues]



News


Andrew: Micah Tannenbaum is standing by in the MuggleCast News Center with the past week's top Harry Potter news stories. Micah!

Micah: Thanks, Andrew. The big news, of course this week, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released on July 21st, 2007. The hardcover edition will sell for $34.99 with the deluxe edition going $65.00. These high prices could mean the book will be longer than any of the previous six. And just a few hours after the release date was announced, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows held the top spot on both the Amazon and Barnes and Noble bestseller lists.

But just when did Rowling finish the final Potter book? Well, according to The Sun, JK Rowling wrote the following message on a marble bust at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. It said, "J.K. Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room (652) on 11th Jan 2007."

The BBC later reported that they could confirm JK Rowling did write some of the book at the Balmoral last month, and did complete the book at that hotel.

New details have recently emerged surrounding the message Jo scrawled on the marble bust. The hotel has said that it has no immediate plans to turn the room into a "tourist shrine," and rather interestingly, the bust is believed to be of the Greek god Hermes.

Waterstone's has announced plans to set up a special helpline for fans after Deathly Hallows comes out this summer. Jo revealed in June that two more characters would die (who she hadn't intended on dying), and the UK book chain says "this could be a similar moment to when Take That split up – there could be a lot of upset teenagers out there. We are looking to set up a helpline for them."

Of course, the other big news this week, photos promoting the upcoming production of Equus in London's West End were released. They showed a distinctly different side of Daniel Radcliffe (who plays the lead role), and were received with surprise by some. However, Dan says he's fine about playing the part naked.

Dan said, "Equus is an iconic play. The nude scene is part of it. I can't do it with my pants on. That would be rubbish."

Over in movie news, Jason Isaacs, the Lucius Malfoy actor, made a recent appearance on Richard & Judy where he discussed some of his current acting projects, and a little about Potter.

He said, "I'm waiting to see if I'll be in the seventh book with baited breath. I go to prison all the way through [Book] 6, so number 7, obviously I'm desperate to find out if I get out. I actually met J.K. Rowling at an awards ceremony and I went over and said 'I'm begging you' [and she laughed]."

Emma Watson has made Sweet 16 Magazine's list of the "16 Sweetest Stars 16 and Under." The list honors talented young celebrities who have avoided the Hollywood party scene and are great role models.

Finally, according to the New York Times, Yahoo! recently announced that Harry Potter will be the topic of one of their 100 new websites related to the top entertainment brands this year. The project, called "Brand Universe," will provide users with a wider array of information about the most popular toys, books, movies, television shows, and games.

That's all the news for this February 3rd, 2007 edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.

Andrew: Alright, thank you, Micah.

Micah: Thank you, Andrew.



Equus


Andrew: You know, it's funny – for the good past couple of weeks it's been a slow news period, but then in the beginning of the week we had some raunchy pictures of Dan Radcliffe...

[Micah laughs]

Laura: Oh, boy.

Andrew: And then release date came out and it was a huge – it was a big week for the fangirls, to say the least. [laughs]

Eric: They're not fangirls, Andrew...

Micah: Well, Laura...

Eric: ... they're human beings...

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: No, Eric, you don't respond to the fangirls. Laura?

Laura: I'm not a fangirl! I am not a fangirl...

Kevin: Laura didn't even know that the release date was announced until this podcast. She...

Laura: Oh, yeah. [laughs]

[Andrew laughs]

Kevin: She was just viewing those pictures...

Laura: That's how uninformed I am.

Kevin: She just couldn't get her eyes off the pictures.

Laura: Yeah.

[Laura, Andrew and Eric laugh]

Laura: No, in all honesty...

Andrew: She looked at the Google document.

Laura: Hush!

Andrew: What?

Laura: In all honesty, I am not a Dan Radcliffe fangirl, but I will say that I think it's very brave, what he's doing, because he's trying to break out of a typecast role of always being Harry Potter. And I think it's really cool that he's willing to go to such lengths as taking off his clothes to do that. So, props, Dan.

Andrew: Ummm...

Eric: Yeah, he's no longer...

Andrew: I wanted to talk about that for a second. Do you guys think it's going to work?

Eric: It shows he's no longer Harry Potter, he's now Harry Chest.

Andrew: Oh.

[Everyone laughs]

Mikey: You've been working on that one, haven't you?

Andrew: You have.

Eric: No, I just thought of it, now. It's actually Harry Armpits – I need to see the pics again.

[Andrew, Kevin and Mikey continue to laugh]

Eric: What should I say? What do you guys...

Andrew: That's a good one.

Eric: Harry Armpits? What should I say?

Andrew: That's good – no, Harry Chest.

Eric: Harry Chest.

Andrew: Let's keep it Harry Chest.

Eric: All right.

Andrew: [clears throat] That's good, Eric. I don't know, I really don't think – I thought you were going to be serious and say, "He's not going to be known just as Harry Potter, now, he's going to be known as that Harry Potter kid who also fell in love with a horse."

[Kevin and Laura laugh]

Andrew: I mean, honestly, isn't that what he's going to be seen as, now?

Kevin: I don't think so.

Laura: Ummm...

Eric: I don't know.

Laura: I don't think so.

Kevin: The one thing that irks me about it is that they're using him to advertise the play exclusively. Like...

Andrew: Because he's the main character.

Kevin: That's a draw – exactly, but it's a draw...

Eric: Well, he is the main character.

Kevin: ...of all the people going to that play, "Hey, Dan Radcliffe! Naked!" You know? You know?

Andrew: [laughs] Right, right.

Kevin: The main headline. Let's make sure...

Laura: [laughs] Well, if it draws people...

Kevin: Yeah, but...

Laura: Isn't that why you're going, Andrew?

[Kevin laughs]

Andrew: Uhhh...

Kevin: Let's not talk about that.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: I wasn't planning on telling anyone...

[Laura continues to laugh]

Andrew: ... but now that you bring it up...

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Andrew: No, I'm kidding. Actually...

Eric: Do you know who the girl is, actually?

Andrew: [stutters] No, we have no idea.

Eric: Ah.

Andrew: She's like a mystery girl.

Eric: We'll have to find out.

Andrew: Not like anyone cares about her, anyway.

Kevin: Exactly, that's what I'm saying. No one cares about any of the other characters. It's sort of sad.

Eric: What I'm saying – no, who cares if they go and see Dan Radcliffe naked, because they might end up being enlightened by something in the plot...

Kevin: That's true. Yeah, I could see...

Eric: ...or story.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: I mean, you might end up liking it, and...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Whereas before you would have been turned away from the play. It's just the magnetism of seeing Dan Radcliffe naked.

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: Ummm, yeah. So, I mean, we don't really want to spend too much time on that today. But Jamie, myself and a friend of ours will be going to see the play in mid-March, and then we'll have a little discussion about it on the show, and probably file a report on the website. So, look forward to that, all you Dan Radcliffe fangirls.

Laura: Exclusive pictures.



Announcements


Andrew: Uhhh, in – yeah. In other news...

[Kevin and Laura laugh]

Andrew: ...before we get to the big release date discussion, I wanted to get through a few MuggleCast related announcements first. First and foremost, MuggleCast will be at Enlightening 2007, which will be July 12th to the 15th at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

[Kevin laughs]

Andrew: Ben, Jamie, Micah...

Kevin: God.

Andrew: ...and I will all be there. We're going to be doing a live podcast on the day of the film's release, and also doing a seminar-workshop, sort of thing, on podcasting. How to create your own podcast. We're going to show you how we do MuggleCast on a week-to-week basis, so it's going to be a lot of fun, and for more information please visit Enlightening2007.org and we hope to see as many people as possible there. Also...

Eric: You guys are going to be in Philadelphia. Ugh! That's like where I lived, man. That's like...

Andrew: I know! Well, that's – we didn't...

[Eric sighs]

Andrew: We didn't – you know.

Eric: Where do I live now, Andrew?

Micah: [over Eric] No, Eric, it's not where you live.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: No, where I lived.

Andrew: You live in New Zealand now.

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: We planned it out this way, Eric.

[Eric and Laura laugh]

Kevin: Once you went to New Zealand...

Eric: Yeah.

Kevin: ...we, you know...

Andrew: Right.

Eric: I've been to Andrew's house once.

Andrew: Yeah.

Kevin: That's why we signed up.



Apology


Andrew: Yeah. And plus, we did need a co-host from Australia. Oh – wait.

[Andrew and Laura laugh]

Eric: Oh, wait. Oh, wait.

Laura: Someone needs a geography...

Eric: That's why I said that...

Laura: ...lesson.

Eric: ...whole thing. Because it leads into this.

Andrew: So, who wants to clear this up? Eric or Micah?

Micah: I'll clear it up.

Andrew: I mean, basically Micah...

Laura: Who said it? [laughs]

Kevin: Ugh.

Micah: I said it.

Andrew: Micah.

Kevin: Micah said it.

Micah: I said it on last week's show.

Kevin: Yeah.

Andrew: Go ahead.

Micah: But I think more the point that we were trying to making was that there is at least somebody in that general area...

Andrew: Well, first explain what happened.

Micah: What? Oh.

Eric: Well, there were...

Micah: Well, last week on the show...

[Kevin laughs]

Micah: ...I made the mistake of saying – because somebody asked in an e-mail, "Why don't we have somebody from Australia who podcasts on the show?" Because we have people from the US, we have people from England – and what ended up happening was I said, "Oh, well, now we do have somebody from Australia. We have Eric." But he is in New Zealand, he's not in Australia, which is an entirely different country. So...

Eric: And these...

Micah: I did get e-mail...

[Eric sighs]

Micah: I do apologize.

[Kevin laughs]

Eric: These indignant fans...

Andrew: [laughs] I know.

Eric: ...from Australia, saying, "No! New Zealand is different from us. We're completely..."

Micah: Well, it was both. It was both. It wasn't just from Australia...

Eric: Oh.

Micah: It was from New Zealand, too.

Eric: Oh, really?

Micah: Both fans sent in stuff, yeah.

Andrew: So...

Micah: Some were not very nice, I will add.

[Kevin laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, guys, if you're going to be mean to us, be mean to us in a nice way.

[Laura laughs]

Micah: Yeah. Just write in and say, "Hey, you know, you made a mistake. Mention it on the next show."

Eric: No, but general area speaking, it really worked out, I think, well for anybody in Australia who wanted some kind of representation. Because New Zealand isn't that far away. It's a lot closer than anything else is to Australia, except maybe – well, the Gold Coast region, yeah. The Pacific, it's a – I believe it's a three hour flight, as opposed to a 15 hour flight, 13 hour flight to the US.

Andrew: Hmmm.

Eric: So, it's practically right there...

[Andrew clears throat]

Eric: And it was pretty close. I mean, I don't mind, personally, but I guess it's obviously something different for somebody who is living in Australia to be confused with New Zealand, or New Zealand with Australia.



Announcements Wrap Up


Andrew: And also the Deathly Hallows theory contest is now closed. We are going to go through all of your submissions. Hopefully we got tons of them, and we're going to pick our favorite ten to 15, and then play them on Episode 76. At which point there will be a poll on MuggleCast.com where you can vote for your favorite theory, and then the top three winners will receive a piece of Jamie's suitcase and also a t-shirt, a MuggleNet book, a variety of different items. For full details, you can visit MuggleCast.com. And, finally, as it is a new month, we want to remind everyone to vote for us at PodcastAlley.com. We kicked Potter booty – podcast booty last month, actually. In January, we were number one pretty much the entire month, and by a long shot. Keith and The Girl were a distant second. So, thanks to everyone who voted, and we hope everyone votes again. We like staying up top there because it helps spread the word about the show. Now [laughs]



Main Discussion: Release Date


Andrew: Now, moving along to our main discussion this week. Of course, the release date of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, July 21st, 2007. We did a mini – MuggleMiniCast earlier this week, a few days ago, the night that the release date was announced. Laura, you were not here.

Laura: No, sadly.

Andrew: So, I want to hear your thoughts, first.

Laura: Yeah. You know, what's really strange about that is, the night before it was released, I was kind of laying in bed and I'm thinking, "When are we going to find out when the book is coming out? Because, you know, if it's going to be 2007, they're going to have to announce it soon." And I was kind of imagining what the release would be like. And I wake up around 9:30 the next morning, and I come over to the computer and I have an IM from one of my friends, and it simply said, "07-21-07." And I knew right then and I was like, "Oh, my gosh...!"

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: "...that is the release date!"

[Kevin laughs]

Laura: And my heart started beating really, really, really fast, and I got all excited, and I went and looked at her site and MuggleNet, and it was just a really, really exciting moment because I wasn't expecting it. I was actually kind of shocked. And aside from the marketing – which I think is going to be kind of interesting, in the least – I'm really, really excited for it to come out, and I don't regret that that is when it's coming out. I know a lot of people are really upset about it, but I don't see why. I'm excited.

Andrew: Yeah. By the way, I actually found out in a strange way. I was in school – I was in TV Tech Studio, and I get a text message from someone in the 806 area code saying, "Deathly Hallows will be out July 21st." And I thought this was – I was expecting this to be another rumor or something, some girl was bored and decided to try and, I don't know, make me think that. But just to check I went on MuggleNet.com and, sure enough, there it was. And so, who – by the way, I just wanted to say, whoever was in the 806 area code, thank you for sending me a text message that it was out...

[Andrew, Kevin and Laura laugh]

Andrew: ...because otherwise I probably never would have known.

[Kevin laughs]



Balmoral Hotel and Diary Analysis


Andrew: Well, until later that day of course, so. All right, so, something that we did find out on Friday was that Jo had completed the book on January 11th at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland. And I wanted to talk about this for a little bit, because there was a few interesting things going on here. First of all, this was – you guys might remember that on December 19th she posted a blog update on her site. She said, "I'm now writing scenes that have been planned, in some cases, for a dozen years or even more. I don't think anyone who has not been in a similar situation can possibly know how this feels: I am [Andrew stumbles over word] alternately elated and overwrought. I both want, and don't want, to finish this book (don't worry, I will)." Is it interesting to you guys that just a mere month later – under a month later – she would be finishing the book?

Eric: Andrew, I think this news that we keep getting just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Because now we found out that she was done over three weeks ago, like you said, just a month after she wrote that.

Andrew: Does it seem to you guys – did this show any signs of the book being practically completed?

Laura: No! That's what is really getting me.

Kevin: No, not at all. Yeah...

Laura: I was under the impression that she still had a ways to go.

Andrew: Yeah.

Mikey: I thought it was like 80 percent done, and she was going back and fixing the scenes that she had been planning, but I didn't realize it was this close.

Eric: Yeah...

Andrew: Right.

Eric: If I...

Mikey: So...

Eric: Once I...

Mikey: ...you know?

Eric: When I read that, I read it and I said, "Okay, so about, I guess about five or six more months." Writing time, is what I...

Andrew: [incredulously] You thought five to six more months?

Eric: Yeah, that's what I was – no, you got to understand...

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: ...I was waiting for a 2008 release. I said, "Okay, well she's writing..." I would've guessed – Mikey used the great thing of 80 percent. I'm just going to say I thought she was about 60 percent complete with the book, and then she was writing some of the old things which would take her up to about 80, and then she could finish.

Andrew: Mhm.

Laura: Yeah.

Kevin: Well, I think, Andrew, you mentioned it on the MiniCast. Do you think it's possible that she had large pieces done that...

Andrew: Well, the final chapter has been written for a while now.

Kevin: Well, she said that, but do you think that more pieces were done besides that?

Andrew: Well...

Kevin: Because it seems as though it was so - such a dramatic change from, you know, "I'm working on the book," to "Oh, by the way, it's done."

Andrew: Right, it's all been boiling up in her head. I think the first sentence of that is the most interesting. "I'm now writing scenes that had been planned, in some cases, for a dozen years or even more," which says to me, now looking back, that she was probably working on the final scenes.

Micah: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: Now, I agree with that.

Andrew: So, she was wrapping up the book.

Kevin: Yeah. That's true, yeah.

Andrew: And did we not mention that when we discussed this on, on that episode of MuggleCast, following this blog update? I guess not.

Micah: Probably not.

Eric: I'm pretty sure we did...

Kevin: Yeah, I guess not. Yeah.

Eric: ...but we all didn't take it like this, that it would be...

Andrew: Yeah.

Laura: Yeah.

Eric: ...you know?

Micah: Well, yeah, because if you look at it, most of us probably saw "scenes" and figured, "Okay, well she still has chapters that she has to write."

Eric: Right.

Micah: But scenes could literally be within the chapter. She might have been writing...

Laura: Yeah.

Micah: ...the final chapter.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Yeah, or updating it.

Andrew: And if she says, "I both want and don't want to finish this book," if you don't want to finish this book, but you only have three more weeks of writing left, it seems a little strange, but, you know, we're not calling her out. I'm just saying that...

Laura: Well, I don't think so, because, I mean, at that point, she was so close. I can understand why she would be, you know, not wanting to finish, because it's like, you know, whereas it's over for us in July, it's over for her now. [laughs]

Andrew: It's over now. [laughs] Yeah.

Kevin: Yeah.

Laura: So, I can understand, you know, feeling a little bit upset as she's getting close. I mean, this has been her life for the past ten years.



Dream Recall


Andrew: Yeah. Now, Laura, the dream thing, I wanted to talk about, because you actually called this on the December 22nd episode of MuggleCast. [burps] Excuse me. We were talking about the dreams, and what it meant in terms of how close she was to writing Book 7, and my arrogant self thought that I had called...

[Laura laughs]

Andrew: ...that since she was having this dream, she must be close to finishing, so I went back and listened so I could brag and boast about it, but it was actually you who said it.

Laura: Well, wow.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: I...

Andrew: No, well, what I'm saying is - what I'm saying is, good work.

Laura: Oh, well, thank you. I guess I didn't fail Divination.

Andrew: [laughs] No, but it's interesting, and it does make sense.

Laura: It is interesting, and it does.

Andrew: If you're having a dream about it now, it's over now, so you're bound to be thinking about it. It's been - it's almost over, so...good call, good call back four weeks ago.

Laura: Well, thank you.



Did Jason Isaacs Know?


Andrew: Another thing. We were making fun of Eric for this last week. The article, the interview with Jason Isaacs, where he says that he hears Jason Isaacs is going to be killed. But also, in that interview, he says, and I quote, "I fell to my knees and begged to Jo," he's talking about talking to Jo, "It didn't do any good. I'm sure she doesn't need plot ideas from me, but I made my point. We'll see. Like everybody else, I'm holding my breath to July to see what's in there. I just want to bust out of prison, that's all. I don't want to stay in Azkaban most of my life." Did Jason know? Did...

Eric: Well...

Andrew: Is there a chance that Jo said July?

Mikey: Well, didn't a few people say July, like, publicly, that they have to wait until July? So...

Andrew: Yeah. There was at least one other person who had heard from Jo that it was going to be July, so it wouldn't surprise me if Jason Isaacs was like, "So, come on, come on, just tell me. When is it coming out?" And - or maybe he might have said this summer and Jo would have been like, "Sometime in July," because she was aiming for a summer release date and all that. Two weeks ago on the show, when we talked about - there was a quote where she said that, in the Emerson and Melissa interview, that she would be releasing the book, one to - about two years after Book 5, right?

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah, she said that's the typical timeframe, so it all makes sense.



More Release Date Discussion


Eric: This is kind of like reality setting in, and not only is it the latest book, but I did feel that this is too soon, and I don't know why, I can't really explain that, and I guess, you know, Micah and other people feel that 2008 was way too long, but I just wasn't ready and I don't think...

Laura: Well, I mean...

Eric: I still think it's way too early, especially for...

Laura: Here's the thing. I mean, if you go back and listen to, you know, episodes, you know, from around the time when we went and saw Jo at Radio City Music Hall, I was completely of the belief that we were going to have a 2008 book, because it just didn't...

Andrew: We had a huge debate on that, too.

Laura: Yeah. It just didn't seem like she was even remotely close to having it done, you know, so that it could come out this summer, but when we got the title in December, I started thinking it probably will be 2007. However, I didn't really think it would be July. I was thinking more like August, a little later in the summer.

Andrew: Yeah. Jumping back to what Eric was saying, I think some people might have gotten their hopes up a little too much of waiting past summer 2007 because, Eric, from what I've gathered from you, you're just upset because you really had your hopes up for 2008. Give it a long time, give Jo plenty of time to write it and perfect it.

Eric: It wasn't even a long time. It's just that I feel that this time was kind of too short. I mean, I'm trying to change my opinion, I'm trying to look into a perspective and say, "Okay, every episode of MuggleCast that has ever come out, has come out since Half-Blood Prince was out," and that, you know, that's when we basically started, about a month later than that. So, if you look at - I guess it has been a long time, but it still feels - it just still feels so short. And I don't know exactly why I feel that way, but it just - I really feel that it was - it depends on how long the book is, too. We still don't know that. I would really like to hear that, particularly, especially from Jo, how long the book will be, but it's just - you know, it's the seventh book. As you had said, I was under the - I was willing to give her as much time as she needed with it, and to find out that she just finished it three weeks ago, and then, you know, is just...

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: ...a little disconcerting, I think.



Back to the Balmoral


Andrew: Back on to the Balmoral Hotel story, where Jo had finished writing Book 7 on January 11th. This news broke on - in the UK tabloid, The Sun, and at first, nobody really believed it, because there was a picture of a marble bust - it was a close-up of the marble bust, where Jo signs, "JK Rowling," oh, what's the exact wording?

Eric: "J.K. Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room (652) on 11th of January 2007."

Andrew: And when you look at this picture, I could almost swear that it looks like the - her signature is actually like, Photoshopped in, because it looks, I don't know, it just looks to me that it's a little, like, darker than the rest of the writing. But, I think this is Jo...

Eric: Maybe her pen was dying.

Andrew: I think this is Jo being personable with this whole situation, because first of all, first question: why was she writing in a hotel?

Eric: I guess she was traveling.

Mikey: Privacy, maybe? You know, away from everyone, focus on it?

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: Doesn't she have any marble busts at her mansion that she can write on and graffiti?

[Kevin laughs]

Eric: I'm pretty sure this is criminal in the slightest way.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Nobody's going to take her into jail or anything.

Laura: That's what I wondered.

Mikey: But, think about it. Like, wouldn't you want to go to that hotel and stay in that room? Especially if...

Andrew: Well, right.

Mikey: ...the bust is there.

Kevin: Oh, yeah.

Mikey: "I want to stay in that room, where Jo finished writing, you know, Deathly Hallows."

Eric: Exactly.

[Laura laughs]

Mikey: So...

Eric: People are now going to go there to the concierge to request Room 652. There will be a nine-month waiting list, if you want to stay in that room.

Andrew: Oh, I wouldn't - ah, please, I wouldn't even do that. I would just...

Laura: I do. [laughs]

Andrew: I would just wait for the maid to open the door and go in, and be like, "Excuse me, I stayed here last night. I left my - something in here. Can I..."

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: Well, I think they'll replace the bust, but...

Andrew: Yeah, I was going to say...

Eric: ...the room will stay there.

Andrew: Well, I don't think they'll - they'll take it out, because obviously someone would [laughs] steal that.

Kevin: Yeah, steal it, without a doubt.

Andrew: I think that they'll put it, like, in the lobby or something. You know, some glass case.

Kevin: Under a glass frame, yeah. Security.

Andrew: Because that is something to be proud of, and to the hotel management, it might not seem as big of a deal if they're not really Harry Potter fans, but that's a big thing.

Eric: Well, J.K.R. must have been proud, because, I mean, you're sitting there, you're writing the last book of your career, and you jump up and say, "I'm done! I think I'm going to write on that marble bust with a..."

Andrew: No.

Eric: "...with a felt. I..."

Andrew: You know what I want?

[Laura laughs]

Mikey: Did you just say "last book of her career?"

Eric: You know?

Andrew: I totally want the "Do Not Disturb" sign that was hanging on that doorknob.

[Mikey laughs]

Laura: That would be cool.

Andrew: Wouldn't that be awesome? [laughs]

Kevin: It would be cool, yeah.

Eric: Oh. Well, you know, that's the other thing, too.

Laura: We should go steal it.

Eric: Why did the - I wonder why the news only broke now, because if she wrote that on the eleventh of June...

Andrew: Right.

Eric: Depending on how long she stayed, you know, the maid would have come in there, maybe twelfth of June and...

Andrew: Exactly.

Eric: the thirteenth - January, sorry - the thirteenth of January.

Andrew: That's why I didn't believe the The Sun article, because I was like, "Oh, they're just doing this for some quick press now that the title's out - the release date's out." of course this is all going to be happening.

Kevin: Now, do you think she told the hotel? Is it possible that they removed the bust after she did it?

Andrew: Well there's a quote here that I found in a Associated Press article: "The hotel says it does no encourage guests to write on hotel property, but Rowling is a special case," and then they quote hotel spokeswoman Jessica Trotter: "Obviously this is quite a unique case. We're honored and flattered she chose the Balmoral as surroundings to do her writing," so I don't think they're going to be charging her or anything.

Eric: She's J.K.R, she can graffiti anywhere, and...

Andrew: Eric, you keep calling it graffiti, but it's not like she had a spray can and she was, like, doing some ghetto writing.

Kevin: Yeah.

[Everyone laughs]

Laura: Gangsta Jo.

Mikey: Jo with a spray can and bandanna under the freeway.

Eric: Well, obviously – no, obviously, Andrew, she's going to have a lot more free time on her hands now; I just wonder if she'll take up this newfound talent of hers. I just - you know, I don’t know.

Andrew: Maybe after all that time of having the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the Room of Requirement on her official site, she wanted to use an actual "Do Not Disturb" sign for a good reason.

[Kevin laughs]

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: There you go. But, prices for that hotel - the Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh...

Eric: ...have just tripled.

Andrew: A good 1,300 - well, not just that, but the most expensive rooms are a good 1,300 pounds a night. Out of interest.

Mikey: Wow.

Laura: Wow.

Andrew: Of course Jo can afford it, but what I'm saying is it's no shabby hotel.

Eric: It's no Howard Johnson's.

Andrew: In other news, that's where Jamie and I will be staying while we're in England.

Kevin: Oh, yeah. Right.

Andrew: Well, it's in Scotland, so I guess that's a bit of a problem.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: But it wouldn't surprise me if that's going to be a stop on all those Harry Potter fan trips.

Eric: Harry Potter fan trips, yeah.



Who Decides the Release Date?


Andrew: Yeah. All right, so here's something we were going to start talking about, but stopped, because we didn't want the MuggleMiniCast to not be a MuggleMiniCast. Who is it that decides the release date? Is it Jo, or is it Scholastic and Bloomsbury? I'm confused by this whole fiscal year thing. Kevin, please explain it.

Kevin: I myself would guess that Jo tells them that she's completed the book, and then they come up with the date that they think would be best, and tell her about it, and ask if she thinks it would be all right. I think it's sort of like...

Mikey: It's a give-and-take. It's a give and take between the two, I think.

Kevin: Yeah. Yeah.

Laura: Yeah, I think they collaborate on it.

Kevin: Yeah, sort of like, you know... Yeah, definitely. I don't see Scholastic or Bloomsbury being the sole person who decides - being the sole company that decides, "Hey, this is going to be the release date, and J.K. Rowling has no say over it." I have a feeling that there...

Laura: Yeah, which - it's pretty rare, because authors don't really get to say, "I want my book to come out on this day", so, she's definitely a rare case.

Kevin: Right.

Andrew: We have a lot of younger listeners, myself included. Kevin, can you explain what a fiscal year is? There's four quarters in a fiscal year.

[Micah and Laura laugh]

Kevin: [sighs] Right, okay. A fiscal year...

Andrew: That's all I know.

Kevin: ...is basically the accounting year. What happens is in accounting, you have dates that you start the year and dates that you end the year, and they're not necessarily on New Year’s Day because obviously, everyone’s off. So what happens is, certain companies have different start and end dates to their accounting year, where they have to report their quarterly earnings or yearly earnings and, based on that, investors and all sorts of board members and stuff like that make judgments on the company, and where it's going, so it's essentially, it's just sort of like a financial year.

Micah: So basically, Bloomsbury and Scholastic's third quarter earnings are going to extremely high.

Andrew: Right. Right.

Kevin: Yes, correct. They're going to be through the roof, and when I said their fiscal year is going to be huge, it's because the book is going to be released in that fiscal year.

Micah: Buy stock now. Andrew. Yeah. [laughs]

Kevin: Yeah, no kidding.

[Laura laughs]

Kevin: Watch it jump, and then drop after the book’s released.

Andrew: And buy Google. Yeah. [laughs]



Personal Update From Jo


Andrew: All right, so we already talked about this a little bit, but we're also expecting a real update from Jo - a personal message from Jo.

Micah: Yeah, I talked to her last night.

Andrew: Did you?

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: Micah, go ahead. Make your next request.

Micah: Well, I did a little bit. I made one last night...

Andrew: Did you?

Micah: ...when the minicast was released.

Andrew: What did you say, exactly? I don't...

Micah: No, I think that at the end of the show, I mentioned that it would be nice to get a more personal response from her.

Kevin: Personal response, yeah.

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Eric: It really would.

Micah: It would...

Eric: You know, how does it feel when you dedicate your life to this – sorry, Micah - when you dedicate your life for 15 years, how does it feel, you know? Or why is it only a week after the movie? What are your thoughts on that, Jo? Et cetera.

Micah: Yeah, and I think a diary update would be nice. That's probably what most people want. I mean, we're not looking for anything real soon like we got with Half-Blood Price, where we had chapter titles, we had a little snippet of one of the chapters given to us before the release. I'm sure she'll do something like that again.

Andrew: Right.



Issue With Initial News Post on Jo's Site?


Laura: Oh, I'm sure she will, but I didn't really see a problem with the news post on her site.

Micah: Oh, I did.

Andrew: You don't see a problem? [laughs]

Micah: I thought it was terrible.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: Well, I didn't. It was like...

Eric: You didn't see much, Laura...

Laura: It made it seem official.

Eric: ... because there's only like, twelve words.

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: I know. [sighs] I know, okay, Eric.

[Kevin laughs]

Laura: What I'm saying is it made it seem very official, like...

Eric: Like an accountant wrote it...

Andrew: That's true.

Eric: ... or somebody else just wrote it.

Laura: There's something just - Well, no, no, no, I just thought it made it seem...

Mikey: Did you listen?

Laura: ...so set in stone, the way it was done, and that's why I didn't mind it.

Kevin: Well... It was official, but it was a little too official. She didn't say, "I am glad to announce..."

Andrew: Or...

Mikey: Or it was...

Andrew: Hey-o! Party!

Eric: Or, "I'm so happy I'm going to write on a statue, you know, and have it in The Sun tomorrow."

Micah: Yeah, it was a press release. That's basically what it was. It was an official message.

Laura: I think you guys need to stop complaining - bunch of whiners.

Andrew: No, we're not complaining.

Laura: Bunch of whiners. [laughs]

Andrew: Let's clear something up a second.

Micah: Hold on a second. Read it, Laura. You want me to read what it says on the site, and you tell me if that sounds...

Andrew: Uh oh. Uh oh.

Laura: I've read it!

Andrew: Uh-oh. Micah's getting upset.

Laura: I've read it! I've read it! It's a rare moment.

Micah: I'm just saying it wasn't very personal, and that's usually how she operates.

Laura: Well, no. It wasn't. It wasn't.

Mikey: It sounds like it was written by a lawyer. It was written by a lawyer; it wasn't written by her. It was written by someone who says, "This is going to be the release date. You need to put it up." That's what it was.

Kevin: Yeah.

Laura: The thing is, I'm just not worried about it because I know we will get a personal message, so...

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs] Right, right...I mean, it's not like this is a sign of things to come. It's not like the book is going to be all generic and miserable - not miserable. Generic and basic, like its description, but I think...

[Eric laughs]

Kevin: A lawyer cleared the...

Andrew: I think what's unexpected is that - Book 6 there was a lot of fan fare. There was the Room of Requirement you had to get through, and then there was a card that opened up and said, "I am happy..."

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: I don't know the exact wording, but it was in a greeting card, and it said, "Half-Blood Prince is complete," and now this is the final book, and it's just like, "Harry Potter..."

Laura: Well, maybe there is something bigger to come.

Andrew: Well, yeah.

Micah: Hold on, Laura. I want to read something to you, okay?

Kevin: Oh boy.

Laura: [laughs] Okay, Micah.

Micah: "Wednesday, 22nd of December, 2004: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to be published 16th of July, 2005." If you read this, it's much more personal than Deathly Hallows.

Laura: Well, maybe she's doing something bigger.

Andrew: Yeah, so, now you know! Now, wait a second. December 22nd, 2004. Was that when she actually announced the date, or was that a couple days after? That was a couple days after.

Micah: That was when she put her news post up in the news section.

Andrew: Right, so it was a couple days after her announcement in the Room of Requirement.

Micah: Yeah, I'm just looking in her news section of the site right now.

Andrew: Yeah. Right. Well, what I'm saying is – so, we should be expecting something like this.

Laura: Maybe, I mean.

Andrew: Right?

Laura: I don't know.

Andrew: Just that – another...

Laura: I just can't be that worried about it, because it's, like, we're getting the book in July; I'm excited. I could really care less.

Andrew: Yeah.

Kevin: Yeah.



We ARE Excited


Andrew: Well, let's clear that up. There have been a lot of complains about that. We are very excited. We're extremely excited. For some of us, it takes longer to set in than others.

[Micah and Laura laugh]

Andrew: But we’re all freaking thrilled that we finally have a release date, so hey-o! Party!

Micah: But that's what we do. We touch on everything.

Mikey: Yes! Party.

Andrew: I'm going to buy some party streamers, and at the beginning at every show, I'm just going to celebrate from now on.

Laura: You know what? I am going to cry when it's over.

Mikey: Can you get those poppers?

Laura: I am going to cry.

Andrew: Laura, we were saying - did you listen to the MiniCast?

Laura: No.

Andrew: Oh, of course you didn't.

[Laura laughs]

Eric: She was too busy staring at Daniel Radcliffe.

Mikey: That explains a lot now.

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