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

MuggleCast 76 Transcript

Show Intro

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[Intro music begins to play and then cuts out]

Andrew: Her eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad. Her hair is as dark as a blackboard. I wish she was mine, she's really divine. The hero who conquered the...

Micah: Hey, Andrew.

Andrew: Oh, Micah. [laughs nervously] Hey, what's going on?

Micah: What are you doing there, buddy?

Andrew: Oh, nothing. It's just I found some poetry online, I thought I might read it. You know, check it out, because it's, you know, coming up on Valentine's Day and all, I just thought I might get in the romantic mood.

Micah: Well, that wouldn't happen to be a valentine for anyone in particular, would it?

Andrew: [laughs nervously] Oh, no. No, that was just – I was just, you know, brushing up on some poetry, just in case, you know, I found someone.

Micah: Ah, sure you were.

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, but anyway, this is MuggleCast Episode 76, for February 11th, 2007. Awkward!

[Intro music plays]

Andrew: J.K. Rowling has said that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is her favorite. What do you guys think about that?

Ben: Oh, my gosh. O-M-G.

Eric: It's good enough for me, it really is.

Laura: What a concrete statement.

Ben: What did she think of Order of the Phoenix? I mean, a lot of people didn't like that book, so. Did she think it was her favorite? I don't remember.

Andrew: Didn't Jo – what was Jo's favorite book? Prior to Book 7.

Laura: Half-Blood Prince...

Andrew: Did she tell us?

Laura: ...I think.

Kevin: Oh, was it?

Andrew: Was it Half-Blood Prince?

Laura: I think so.

Eric: When asked that question, I think even on her site, she replies, "It's usually the most recent one you've written." But she did say this time around, and she has said in the past, that she was particularly happy when she finished writing Prisoner of Azkaban. And that's what she compared this happiness to, only she said this one was greater.

Andrew: Ah, okay. Because, yeah, I was going to say, after every book, wouldn't you call that book your favorite? Maybe I'm nuts...

Ben: Well, when I read it I always do...

Eric: Well, yeah, she's said that...

Andrew: Except for Book 4, because she wasn't happy with Book 4.

Eric: Right.

Ben: But that was one of my most favorite, actually.

Laura: Yeah, same.

Kevin: Yeah, I liked Book 4, yeah.

Eric: Yeah, she still did a really good job.

Andrew: Yeah. Well, welcome, everyone, to the show. It's another week of MuggleCast and, Ben, you're finally back.

Ben: Yeah. You know...

Andrew: Thank...

Ben: ...that little special episode was my idea, and I wasn't even on it.

Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]

Ben: Yeah, so I'm sad.

Andrew: Half of us were saying, "No, let's not do it," and you and, I guess someone else, were saying, [cheesy voice] "Lets do it. Hey!" We've got a lot to discuss on today's show, including some more Deathly Hallows discussion with the release date and everything, and we've got a lot of voicemails. So, I'm Andrew Sims.

Ben: I'm Ben Schoen.

Kevin: I'm Kevin Steck.

Eric: I'm Eric Scull.

Laura: And I'm Laura Thompson.

[Intro music continues to play]


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

Micah: The big news this week, Jo updated several sections of her official site. The biggest update was in her diary section, where she shared her thoughts on finishing the seventh novel. She went on to say that Deathly Hallows is her favorite book of the series. And in the rumors section, she cleared up why the announcement made last week didn't sound so happy. Lastly, Jo made two updates to her FAQ section, one addressing what the two other titles she considered for Book 7 were, and another refusing to tell us what "Deathly Hallows" means, as it would give away too much of the story.

And although most fans were not expecting one, a lawyer for J.K. Rowling's literary agency confirmed earlier this week that Deathly Hallows would not be released in an e-book format. The previous six Potter novels were not released as e-books, either. Concerns for releasing a legal e-book include online piracy and the, "desire for readers to experience the books on paper."

This Sunday's edition of the New York Times featured a review of's What Will Happen In Harry Potter 7. You can read the full review online now. There is also a small article on the online fandom, including a blurb about MuggleCast, that will accompany the review.

MuggleNet visitor Daniel recently had the opportunity to speak with Mary Grandpre, the US book illustrator, for his school. In the interview Mary talks about her thoughts on Deathly Hallows. She says:

"I'm anxious for this to be the last book as much as I've enjoyed the journey. It's nice to kind of wrap it up and celebrate it as a whole and to just kind of look back and take a deep breath and go, "Whew! That was quite a ride!"

The 2007 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards nominations have been announced, and the Potter series is up for the "Favorite Book" category. It is competing against How to Eat Fried Worms, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Voting will commence March 5th on Nickelodeon's website, and Justin Timberlake will be hosting this year's ceremony live on March 31st.

Wrapping up book news, Half-Blood Prince has been named the most borrowed book in Scotland.

To movie news, the February/March issue of "The Saddle Club" features a new interview with Rupert Grint, where he talks about the sixth film, the fandom, and recent rumors concerning Emma Watson.

New photos of Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis, an MSNBC preview of Order of the Phoenix with a few new shots, and more promotional pics in high-resolution are now available over on

MSNBC has posted a brief interview with production designer Stuart Craig, where he reveals some interesting info about the changing sets throughout the years.

He also says that work for Half-Blood Prince is already underway; "It has been impressive and beautiful and poignant. So I'm looking forward to doing that." He is also eager to start reading Deathly Hallows.

Finally, The Times Online and The Observer have both released new interviews with Daniel Radcliffe.

Of particular interest to book fans, The Observer website provides an interesting experience Dan had with Jo during one of her Order of the Phoenix set visits. He said:

"Jo came down to the set at one point and I said, 'Oh hello, why are you here today?' And she said, 'Oh I just needed a break from the book - Dumbledore's giving me a lot of trouble.' And he said, 'But isn't he dead?' And Jo went on to say, 'Well, yeah, but it's more complex...' And he said briskly, 'Okay, I'm not gonna ask anything else!'"

That's all the news for this February 11th, 2007 edition of MuggleCast. Happy Valentine's Day! Back to the show.

Ben's Take on the Release Date

Andrew: All right. Thank you, Micah. Okay, so Ben, we have not had a chance to get your thoughts on the release date, yet.

Ben: Well...

Andrew: However, I want to – what?

Ben: Go ahead. Go ahead.

Andrew: What? When you found out that morning, you were very upset.

Ben: Yeah, I just didn't get it. Because funnily – funny enough, the day before that, I was talking with Jamie online, and we were talking about the summer, what's going on, and he said – he told me, "I don't see very many Harry Potter events past this summer," and I was like, "Oh, so Book 7 isn't a big event?" Because, you know, I figured 2008, and he said, "Well, she still could release it this summer," and I told him, "I am 500 percent sure..."

[Andrew and Kevin laugh]

Ben: "...she will not release the book this summer." This was on January 31st. February 1st, I wake up in the morning, and I get a call from Emerson.

[Andrew and Kevin continue to laugh]

Ben: [imitating Emerson] "Dude, the book's coming out Feb – uh, July 21st." So I was like, "You've got to be kidding me. There's no way."

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: So I get on MuggleNet...

[Kevin laughs]

Ben: ...I see Jamie's made the post. And yeah, then I sent an e-mail saying, "This has to be some kind of joke."

[Laura laughs]

Ben: Because like, I don't know, it's sort of like, it's like your – your number is called early, you know what I mean?

Andrew: Mhm. Well, jeez...

Ben: This isn't supposed to happen.

Andrew: ...especially when – I know you and Jamie are very competitive, so I'm sure you're not going to live that one down any time soon.

Eric: So...

Ben: He actually hasn't rubbed it in yet. I'm surprised.

Eric: Huh.

Andrew: Oh, really? [laughs]

Eric: So Ben, were you interested in – yeah, did you want a 2008 release?

Ben: Yes.

Eric: Yeah, so that's what you were kind of hoping for?

Ben: Mhmm. I just didn't think it...

Andrew: Are you excited, though, Ben?

Ben: It's sort of bittersweet. I mean, I think it's bittersweet for everybody, because we don't want to see the series end, but at the same time – you know, I'm eager to see the story, to see what happens and all that good stuff.

Andrew: I did want to point out, though, that on Episode 50 – and some people pointed this out to me, but I thought they – everyone had it wrong, and he was talking about Harry dying in Book 6, he's going to – or, Book 7, he's going to eat 50 sausages. Jamie actually said on Episode 50, that if [laughs] the book comes out in summer 2007, he would eat 50 jumbo sausages or something, I forget the direct quote.

Laura: Yeah, that's right.

Ben: Did you listen to it?

Andrew: I didn't listen to it, but I read the transcript just to make sure.

Eric: Wait...

Andrew: And, so, he definitely said that, so [laughs] I don't know what his plan is. He hasn't brought this up to any one of us, so I think he's maybe hoping everyone forgot...

Ben: Also...

Andrew: ...or he forgot.

Ben: ...looking back into some of the shows, those of you who were at the live show in LA, or you who watched the video or whatever, would someone please try to find – I guess I said that if the book comes out this summer, that I'd eat 72 inches of Subway, so...

[Kevin laughs]

Laura: [laughs] Yeah.

Eric: That's why Jamie hasn't been on these shows. He's been hiding, hoping that everyone forgets, which is also why we made sure to announce it in the announcements of the show.

Andrew: Right. Yeah, actually, the transcript for that show still isn't up yet for some reason. But, yeah, so, you know, hopefully we'll have Jamie on next week. By the way, I know we keep promising Jamie's going to come back and...

[Ben laughs]

Andrew: ...we keep getting e-mails about Jamie not coming back, or some people think that we fired him or got rid of him just because he's been gone away – or he's been away for a few weeks, and that's not true at all.

[Kevin laughs]

Ben: We wish.

[Andrew laughs]

Ben: Just kidding. Just kidding. We love Jamie.

The Marble Bust

Andrew: That's not true at all. Jamie's still alive and well. He just had, has had some things to do. I know, you know, a lot of you guys like Jamie, but he'll be back, so don't worry about him. But, moving along. Laura, last week, we recorded the show, I brought up a theory to you about...

Laura: That's right.

Andrew: ...why Jo wrote on the marble bust, and I don't know why we didn't come up with this on the show...

Laura: I have no clue.

Andrew: ...but I suggested, and you supported, maybe Jo did it to make it – Jo wrote it on the marble bust to reveal the title to the world. She was hoping she didn't have to make an announcement on the site. She just wanted this to be her clever way to announce it to the world.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: What do you guys think about that? Laura?

Laura: I thought it was a really good idea because, when you think about it, why would she have done that thinking that it wouldn't leak out? I mean, seriously. So, I think it would have been a very humble, and yet personable, way to announce the release, or announce that the book was finished.

Andrew: I agree.

Kevin: Yeah, that would be really cool.

Andrew: It also may answer why there was no big announcement on her website, because she was planning on the big announcement to be from the hotel.

Ben: I don't really understand that.

Laura: What would have happened to stop that, though?

Andrew: But, well, yeah. Here's the other thing: The Sun didn't post this, or report on the story, until the day the book release date was announced. So, I'm thinking that they somehow found out about it, and maybe they tried to clear it with Jo's lawyers or something, and they said, "Wait until we announce it officially." What do you guys think about all this?

Ben: Or – I'm just – I just think that she wrote that on there for the heck of it. You know, just to sort of commemorate, that type of thing. I don't know.

Andrew: Yeah, but why wouldn't anyone notice...

Ben: The occasion.

Andrew: ...until three weeks later?

Ben: Now, is this in the hotel? This is in the room, isn't it?

Andrew: Yeah.

Ben: Well, I don't know, maybe someone thought it was a joke.

Andrew: Probably – I guess. I mean, it was written on like, the back of it, from the way it looked. Eric?

Eric: Okay, I think it's particularly significant, though, that it was the bust of Hermes – the Greek god Hermes, because I'm reading – well, just for fun, I went on Wiki and looked up Hermes, and it said he's the Olympian god of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, as well as shepherds and cowherds of all ages and wit, of literature and poets. So, he's like the god of literature and poets and crossing boundaries, and surely, the Harry Potter series, if it's done one thing, it's broken all the records.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Crossing boundaries.

Andrew: Well, there is a couple of funny things here. Actually, some visitors on MuggleNet posted on the MuggleNet comments about what they think about this, and one user, muggleatuniv wrote that - she pointed out the Hermes reference, too. She says that "he was a messenger between the gods and humans, and now the messengers between J.K.R and us. He invented fire, and here's the most important clue: Hermes also served as a psycho pomp, or an escort to the dead, to help them find their way to the afterlife, the underworld in the Greek myths," and then she goes on to say, "I believe that some of our theories have just been proved. Moreover, he was the son of Zeus, to whom he was extremely loyal." So, it's interesting, but when you think about it was - she didn't know, going into this room, that there was going to be a marble bust of Hermes in this room.

Ben: Hold on, though. Hold on, though. Why would she be writing in a hotel room to begin with?

Andrew: Well, we sort of talked about this last week. I mean, she's written outside of her own home a lot, and some suggested that since it - we didn't talk about this last week, actually - since it is relatively close to the café she started writing the books in, she wanted to write it - or finish writing it - in an area that was close to the café. And obviously she probably wouldn't have been able to go to the café without covering herself up and getting noticed. Oh, plus that café doesn't exist anymore, that too. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, that could be why.

Andrew: It's now a Chinese restaurant. I mean, so unless she wanted to go get some fortune cookies and whatever else they have there.

Ben: Well, I don't think that – I don’t think she went to that room just because - she chose this hotel because it has a marble bust of Hermes. I don't think that proves any theories. Sorry.

Laura: No.

Eric: Well, there is a voicemail. There is a voicemail on this.

Andrew: It is a coincidence; however, she might have gotten the idea to write on the marble bust because she saw that it was Hermes. I'm sure it’s probably labeled or something, I would think, So, she could have been like, "Hm, Hermes is the messenger god."

Ben: Or she's pretty smart, she could probably have known...

Laura: Well, he probably recognized it.

Ben: Yeah, she might recognize it. I don’t know, Andrew.

Andrew: Or recognized it. Whatever. I don't know if she had a picture of him in her head.

Room 652

Andrew: Another interesting fact, though. She was in room 652, and if you're not reading the outline of the show we have, do you guys know what is significant about 652?

Laura: The number of pages in...

Andrew: Number of pages in Half-Blood Prince. That's a little fun fact for you.

Eric: Is that UK or US?

Laura: US.

Andrew: US. It's US.

Eric: Yeah. Well, then...

Andrew: Interesting. Again, probably a complete coincidence. Some people were like, "Oooh, 652! That must mean that's how many pages there are going to be in the book."

[Kevin laughs]

Andrew: Well, it's not like she - when she books the room, she was like, "Okay, I think I am going to have this many pages."

Ben: No, she booked 625 through 660 just in case.

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: So she can move to the right room.

Kevin: She knows after it's typed up how many pages it's going to be.

Andrew: Right. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, it all goes with type setting and all sorts of - they won't know that for a little while, yet. For sure.

Andrew: Yeah, and of course Micah asked and Jo...

Ben: Delivered.

Deathly Hallows is Jo's Favorite

Andrew: I completely screwed the - yeah, Jo delivered, yes. She made a news update in her diary saying that Deathly Hallows is her favorite. That's good.

Eric: I think she answered all of us, actually. I think she was talking directly to all of us.

Ben: [imitaing Micah] Thanks! Thanks, Micah!

Eric: She was really - she really - last week and the week before, or on the mini-episode, I think we kind of agreed that it was kind of eerily cold, or Jo's actual wording was absent in the explanation, or explanation was lacking in the date and things like this, but now she updated what? Her diary, a bunch of rumors, some trash bin things...

Andrew: Yeah. Well, she directly addressed why it wasn't a big announcement. She didn't say exactly why, but she said that "any brevity in the announcement was due to the fact that I was busy editing."

Eric: Yeah, and then you...

Andrew: And she said she was very excited about the release date as well.

Eric: She took our concerns and really, truly did, I think, address them appropriately and fittingly as well.

Balmoral Hotel on Princes Street

Andrew: Yeah, another visitor of MuggleNet pointed out that – now, this, again, could be another coincidence, but it's all kind of fun facts - about the location of the Balmorel hotel. It's on a street called Princes Street. This poster on MuggleNet, ArtemisLlicos wrote, "I'm a bit surprised that nobody has taken Princes Street to its next logical step. That word is a plural, folks. We know from the sixth book that Snape may fancy himself a prince, but he isn't really one. So could this mean that we should be looking for another prince in Deathly Hallows, and this time, he is the genuine?"

Kevin: No. [laughs]

Ben: No! No! No!

Eric: No, no, no. I agree with Ben.

[Laura laughs]

Ben: Stop! Stop making all of these connections, please!

[Everyone laughs]

Ben: They're cool, but don't think they're real, though. I mean, if something happens, it's only a coincidence.

Eric: There are only so many... Right. Say Jo did mange to either plan on the bust of Hermes, or the room number, or just go to the hotel because it's on Princes Street, I think it's only logical that one, and maybe both - the question is, how many, not all of them could be true. Not all of them can be intended. I really don't think there's a way that Jo would have known that a statue of Hermes would be in room 652. And I don't know that she would say, "I need room 652," and happen to find the statue of Hermes there, and the truth is she could have just gone to the hotel because it was on Princes Street, or she could have just gone to a hotel looking for a bust of Hermes. You don't know.

[Ben laughs]

Eric: I mean it could be one...

Ben: Or she could’ve gone because she...

Laura: Or it wasn’t any of them.

Ben: ...felt like going there.

Eric: Or it wasn’t any of them, exactly. I mean what are the odds of Princes Street, room 652, and a bust of Hermes? I mean, yes the connections are brilliant, but I really, really want to stress that J.K.R. is, or at least I think so, human and incapable of that much.

Andrew: I don’t know these could be, sorry, Ben, but I do think maybe the marble bust could be a little hint or a little suggestion - a little suggestion of what to expect just because...

Ben: You’re wrong.

Andrew: Maybe she got the idea from seeing...

[Kevin laughs]

Andrew: ...the marble bust. Okay, well, yeah, coming from the guy who was 500% sure that the book wasn’t coming out in 2007.

Ben: Oh, shut up! Shut up!

[Andrew laughs]

Andrew: I’m going to be using that one for a while, by the way.

Ben: Dude, go back to the previous shows. There was one show before that where I said the book will be released...

Andrew: Well, yeah, yeah

Ben: ...June of 2007, so I was pretty darn close. Actually there’s another one I said, July 15, and then you made fun of me, you were like, [uses a silly voice] "Two days after the movie?" And then look at it, a week after the movie. In your face, Andrew.

[Andrew laughs]

Andrew: I’m sorry, I’m sorry, Ben. So there you go, some little food for thought there, and I still stand by my publicity stunt theory. Maybe not publicity stunt, but a unique way of announcing that the book is finished, something just went awry. Clearly.

Laura: Yeah, I think that’s a definite possibility.


Andrew: We have a few announcements now. We want to remind everyone that Ben, Micah, Jamie and I will all be at Enlightening 2007 at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from July 12th to July 15th. We’re going to be doing a live podcast there and also we’re going to be doing a special workshop on how to create your own podcast. We’ll be talking to everyone about how we create MuggleCast on a week-to-week basis, which, trust me, is not easy, and it’s going to be a lot of fun so we encourage everyone to go to It’s a family – it’s a unique Harry Potter conference because it’s designed for families. Adults can go and bring their kids, and there’s going to be different areas of the conference for kids, and adults...

Ben: And what dates are those again?

Andrew: ...and mixing. July 12th to the 15th. And we want to remind everyone to Digg us on and to also vote for us once a month at Podcast Alley. Once again, we’re doing well on Podcast Alley, so we thank everyone who has been voting for us at both websites, and you can find links to vote for us at And Ben, we haven’t done that for this in a while,’s - is there a new title now? I think I saw?

Ben: No.

Andrew: On Borders?

Ben: Well, it’s called the Deathly – Official Deathly – Unofficial Deathly Hallows Analysis.

Andrew: Not just that but it’s not, it's not Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Falls in Love and How the Adventure Will Finally End. Didn’t they change it?

Ben: No.

Andrew: On the Borders thing, it had a different title, but okay. So, Ben, there’s going to be a big article in the New York Times this week - Sunday.

Ben: Yeah, this Sunday, there’s a book review for us. It’s awesome. Go out and buy the book, please. It’s great, the New York Times agrees with us, I think; hopefully, they should. But also, I did an interview with the New York Times earlier this week. It’s going to be on their podcast, which I’m searching right now, to see if it’s on there or not. See I go – I’m on the New York Times podcast this week. The New York Times Book Review podcast, excuse me. There is – it’s about a five to ten minute interview, or so. I talk about what MuggleNet is and things like that, so you can go check me out on the New York Times. Yeah. Cool stuff.

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