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

MuggleCast 76 Transcript (continued)

Listener Rebuttal: Dudley's Worst Memory

Andrew: All right, so that’s that. We have a rebuttal to get to now. This is a bout Dudley having his magical abilities. We had talked about this a little bit last week and I wanted to talk about it a little bit more because I started rereading Half-Blood Prince the other day, and an e-mailer, actually someone, a few people pointed out in an interview, what Jo had to say about Dudley, and is there more to Dudley than what meets the eye, and she replied:

"No. What you see is what you get. I’m happy to say that he’s definitely a character without much back-story. He’s just Dudley. In the next book, Half-Blood Prince, is the least that you see the Dursleys, you see them quite briefly, you see them a bit more in the final book, but you don’t get a lot of Dudley in Book 6, very few lines. I am sorry if there are Dudley fans out there, but I think you need to look at your priorities if it is Dudley that you are looking forward to."

And then she laughs – she laughs about it. So, from this, what I gather, and tell me what you guys think, basically what she’s saying there is Dudley – the Dursleys don’t play a big role in Book 7, and that really means that there really couldn’t be more to Dudley.

Laura: Yeah. Well, I don’t really know that we won’t learn something more about the Dursleys, because we’re supposed to, at least about Petunia. But, I think that pretty much confirms that what we see is what we get with Dudley. He’s just kind of a stupid bully...that’s pretty much it.

Eric: And I do want to say, I’m sure there were rebuttals and things, but when I was – when J.K.R. updated her FAQs, I noticed that she had already pre-answered that Petunia will not show magical ability at all in the series. She actually did deny that.

Laura: Mhm.

Eric: So, I was...

Laura: She did.

Eric: I neglected to see or hear about that until last episode, so that’s fixed now. I will no longer speculate...

Andrew: Yeah. And Laura, I believe it was you - well, I want to talk about a little bit more. Laura, I believe it was you, last week, you pointed out a quote in the beginning of Half-Blood Prince when Dumbledore is visiting with the Dursleys.

Laura: Right.

Andrew: We were – we didn’t have the exact quote, but I was rereading it and it still strikes me as...

Laura: It’s still weird, isn’t it?

Andrew: ... hinting that - yeah, let me read it. Dumbledore says, "The best that can be said is that he (Harry) has at least escaped the appalling damage that you have inflicted upon the unfortunate boy sitting between you." Both Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon looked around instinctively, as though expecting to see someone other than Dudley squeezed between them. 'Us - mistreat Dudders? What d'you -?' began Uncle Vernon furiously, but Dumbledore raising his finger for silence, a silence which fell as though he had struck Uncle Vernon dumb." So...

Ben: I think...

Andrew: What do you...

Ben: I think that the damage that was done to Dudley - is that what you were getting ready?

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Ben: I think it has a lot to do with the way they've spoiled him and the way they've sheltered him. I don't know if there's any - I mean, there could be something deeper than that, but at face value, that's what it looks like, that the fact that they've sort of...

Andrew: But...

Ben: You know what I mean?

Eric: That was very well said, Ben.

Andrew: I think what's interesting is that Dumbledore says that he has at least escaped the appalling damage, meaning he got...because they wouldn't...Harry...he got out of the Dursley's trying to hide that he was a wizard. Whereas, if he didn't escape, he wouldn't have been spoiled.

Laura: Yeah, but couldn't...

Ben: Well, no. I think - I think it means...

Laura: ...escape also refer to the fact that they were terrible to him, but they spoiled Dudley? And so this way...

Ben: Yeah, sort of like that. The way I think it is is that the way they're talking about Harry is that through Harry's hardships and being treated like crap, basically, he's learned that life isn't easy and that you have to persevere in order to succeed, and he doesn't take anything for granted when Dudley, on the other hand, takes a lot for granted.

Andrew: That's true.

Ben: But he could be magical. I don't know. So...

Andrew: That's true. True. Yeah, although I really I think what Jo does say - not seeing much of the Dursleys - pretty much all but gives away that we're not going to be seeing something big like that going on. But like you said, Laura, still a big revelation about Aunt Petunia. So...

Laura: Yeah, we haven't really heard anything about her, so there's got to be something.

Listener Rebuttal: Seeing Dementors

Andrew: It's strange. It's strange. And then also, Brandon, 15, of Fresno, wrote in about Dudley. He says:

"In the latest episode, it was debated if Dudley's worst fear is if he is a wizard or a Squib or if he has done magic, but this cannot be possible because only wizards and Squibs...

Kevin: Yeah, that's true.

Andrew: ...can see Dementors and Dudley could not see them in an alleyway." Good point.

Ben: Is that necessarily true, though?

Laura: Yeah, I don't think it was ever specifically said that Dudley could see...

Ben: Said that you have to be a wizard...

Andrew: That...

Laura: Well, no.

Ben: Because maybe you have to believe they exist or something.

Andrew: That he couldn't see them?

Laura: No, I think so, because when they were in court...

Ben: Maybe you have to acknowledge the magical world.

Laura: Fudge...

Ben: Maybe that's what it is.

Laura: Maybe.

Ben: Because Squibs can't do magic, but they can still see them, so they're as useful as a Muggle. Or wait! Wait! Squibs can't see them.

Laura: Yeah, they can.

Ben: They can't. No, they can't. What's her name...

Laura: Didn't...

Ben: Mrs. Figg couldn't see them.

Laura: I thought she said she could.

Ben: No, I thought - she was freaking out because she couldn't.

Laura: Or maybe she was lying.

Ben: No, no. Don't you remember? She was freaking out because - she said, "I know what they are." Wasn't she?

Laura: Yeah, but it seems like when they were in court, Fudge was being kind of disparaging towards Squibs and he said, "Can Squibs even see Dementors?" And she got very flustered and she was like, "Yeah, we can." So, I don't know if she was making it up to cover up Harry's case.

Ben: Right, but she was lying, though. She was lying there. But I'm saying - I'm saying, right after the incident happened, right after the incident happened in Chapter 1...

Andrew: I'm looking at the Lexicon. It says that they can't see Dementors.

Laura: Okay. Cleared up.

Eric: Okay, but yeah, the - unless J.K.R. cleared it up, I think the book actually leaves it open for us to think because it doesn't necessarily say that Figg couldn't see the Dementors, but we get the impression from her...

Ben: Yes it - I think it's clarified in... I think she makes it clear in the opening chapter - or opening two chapters of Order of the Phoenix that they can't. Because Arabella Figg - I think Harry asks her. Andrew, do you have a copy of the book near you?

Andrew: Order of the Phoenix?

Eric: Well, no, that's the confusing thing...

Ben: Yeah.

Eric: When she was asked to describe them...

Andrew: Not near me.

Eric: ...she couldn't. She did rather badly, rather poorly in the courtroom - of describing Dementors, but she told Fudge, the Wizengamot that Squibs could see them, and maybe they could, but maybe it's an instance, maybe it's a case of the fact that Figg didn't. Maybe she was just too far down the street to see Dementors, but normally Squibs can see Dementors.

Ben: No, but she didn't know how they moved.

Laura: Yeah, but...

Ben: No, but she couldn't describe how they move, though. That was the thing. She couldn't describe their motions when they move.

Eric: Well no, she did, didn't she?

Ben: No, she incorrectly described it. She said, "I saw a Dementor running," or something like that.

Eric: Oh, and Dementors glide.

Laura: Yeah.

Ben: Yeah.

Laura: But didn't she - whenever the whole thing was over, didn't she come running up and say, "Come on, get up before they come back."

Kevin: Because...

Laura: Or something?

Kevin: You can feel them.

Laura: How would she have known what was going on if she couldn't see?

Ben: Well, because if - if they were gone, Harry wouldn't be...

Kevin: Right.

Ben: ...just sitting there. You know? And yeah, she would feel their strain that they put on your body or whatever.

Laura: Yeah.

Andrew: Back to the original question, but this also raises the question, could - I mean, it's hard to think that Dudley would pretend to not be able to see them, but it was never specifically stated anyway that he couldn't see them, right?

Kevin: Yeah.

Andrew: He was just - he was just saying, "What's that? What's that?" Right?

Laura: No. It wasn't.

Kevin: It was just implied that he was feeling something, but he didn't know what it was coming from, or where it was coming from.

Ben: Well...

Eric: Yeah.

Ben: He obviously just felt something. I think that they can't see them.

Eric: He felt like he would never be happy again.

Listener Rebuttal: Misquoted

Andrew: Yeah. Okay, well, guess that answers that. We have a rebuttal now from Courtney, 15, of England. She writes:

"Hi, MuggleCast. I was listening to Episode 75 and you were discussing a passage from Chapter 1 of 'Goblet of Fire'. You read out the passage and quoted Wormtail as saying, 'If we proceeded - If I murder...' I looked back at this passage and Wormtail actually says, 'If I curse...' Just thought I'd mention it, as this gives a whole new meaning to your discussion, as Wormtail is most likely talking about putting the Imperius Curse on Crouch Senior. Love the show, you guys are great. Courtney."

I don't know how we got the wrong quote in there.

Laura: It almost seems like it did say murder.

Kevin: Anyone have books near them? [laughs]

Laura: Just from remembering reading the book. Maybe I'm wrong, but...

Kevin: I don't, either.

Andrew: Okay so, we looked into this and the English - the U.S. version is murder, but since she lives in England, it says, "if I curse," apparently.

Kevin: No, but...

Andrew: So, that's...

Kevin: Maybe it's...

Andrew: I mean, does curse mean murder?

Kevin: ...the type of curse they're implying.

Laura: No.

Andrew: In England?

Laura: I don't think so.

Kevin: Maybe prior to that they implied...

Andrew: Hmmm.

Kevin: ...Killing Curse and, therefore, they didn't have to say...

Laura: Yeah. That's true.

Ben: What kind of Harry Potter fans are we? We don't even own the U.K. versions!

[Kevin laughs]

Laura: I do.

Andrew: I know.

Laura: But - well, I could go get it. [laughs]

[Andrew laughs]

Laura: Do you want me to?

Eric: Yeah, I own the U.K. version, but it's - I don't think it's with me.

Andrew: Okay, well, there's a little interesting tidbit for everyone. Not sure what that means, but interesting stuff that these translations can give away.

Andrew's Bad Pronounciation

Andrew: All right, now, as everyone might remember, a few weeks ago we started our Deathly Hallows [pronounces as "hollows"] theory contest, where we asked everyone to send in your Deathly Hallows [mispronounces again]...

Ben: Andrew! Andrew, Andrew, Andrew.

Andrew: What?

Ben: It's, "Hallows."

Laura: Yeah.

Ben: Not, "Hollows."

Andrew: Hollows. [mispronounces again] Hollows. [and again]

Laura: Hallows.

Eric: Thank you, Ben!

Ben: Hallows.

Eric: Thank you, Ben!

Andrew: Hallows.

Ben: Hallows.

Andrew: Hallows.

Ben: You've...

Andrew: Deathly Hallows.

Ben: You've been calling it, "Hollows," since...

Andrew: Because I like calling it, "Hollows."

Ben: ...I can't remember. Well, yeah.

Andrew: Can I change it?

Ben: Not even...

Andrew: Can I get everyone to start Deathly Hollows?

Ben: Yeah, that...

Andrew: So, it's, "Hallows"? Death - Deathly Hallows. That's confusing.

[Kevin laughs]

Winners of the Deathly Hallows Theories Contest

Andrew: So, here they are now, our favorite Deathly Hallows...

[Kevin laughs]

Andrew: ...theory contest winner thingers.

[Music from Goblet of Fire movie soundtrack]

[Audio]: Hey, MuggleCast! It's Karen, from Raymond, Ohio, and I have a Deathly Hallows theory. On page 604 of the U.S. hardcover edition of Half-Blood Prince, Snape says to Harry, "You dare use my own spells against me, Potter? It was I who invented them. I, the Half-Blood Prince! And you'd turn my inventions on me, like your filthy father?" This could mean that James used Snape's old Potions book to hurt him in the sense that he almost killed Snape more than once. I think we will probably learn more about this in Book 7. I absolutely adore the show and, Jamie, you're my favorite. Bye!

[Audio]: Hello, MuggleCast. I'm Cici, 13, from Massachusetts, and I have an answer to your book, Deathly Hallows, theory contest that you announced in Episode 73. My theory is that I was looking online, and I found that hallows is most of the time associated with All Hallow's Eve, more commonly known as Halloween. On this time - and the theory, of course, originated in Scotland, Britain, Ireland, which is where Hogwarts is - it is that time that magic is at its worst and most potent and magical. That makes me think that maybe Voldemort has some special spells and evil that he needs to complete only on that day. Maybe he was going to make his last Horcrux on that day. I was just wondering what you thought. It also makes sense that maybe on Halloween, that would be when the final battle was. Bye!

[Audio]: Hey, MuggleCast. This is Sam Matea from California, and I'm just calling in about the contest. My thoughts on the ending of 7 - Book 7 - will be that it will come down to Harry, and Snape, and Malfoy. And Voldemort, having let all of his followers out of Azkaban, will try and take over Hogwarts. He will succeed, probably killing some people in his path, but he will succeed, and then it will come down to a match-up between Malfoy and his father. Now, I know this is slightly unlikely, but I have a feeling that he has a lot of hatred for his father. Then, it will come down to Snape, Harry, and Voldemort. Snape will eventually go over to Voldemort, pretend he's on his side, disable Voldemort's wand, Harry will then use it, that will cancel out the Priori Incantatem effect, or the other wand, as you were saying on the show, and Harry will be able to defeat him, and after that, I don't know what will happen. The rest of the Order will be fighting off the other people as it goes along. That's my thoughts. Thanks for listening. If you want to e-mail me. Thank you!

[Audio]: Hey, guys. I'm calling in for the Deathly Hallows theory thing. My theory is a familiar one, but I have a different take on it. My theory is that the Hallows are the souls that Voldemort has killed, and I think it is because of the foreign translation of the title where, instead of Hallows, they use Saints. And I think of it as All Saints Day, All Souls' Day. I think that these people will somehow help Harry on his quest, maybe guide him to special places, or tell him something about a weakness of Voldemort's, or whatever. And I don't think that people will come back to life, but I do think that somehow they will get a hold of him. And, yeah. So, love the show. Keep up the great work. Bye-bye!

[Audio]: Hey, MuggleCast. This is Sumay from Minnesota calling in with a Deathly Hallows theory. I think that Deathly Hallows may be referring to an old church in London called All Hallows-by-the-Tower. I think so because when Harry and Dumbledore are leaving Slughorn, they stop at an old church to apparate. That's pg. 75 of the hardcover U.S. edition of Half-Blood Prince. I think that this is one of the foreshadows or hints. All Hallows-by-the-Tower could be either the resting place of one of the Horcruxes or the site of another significant event. Okay. That's all. Thanks. Bye!

[Audio]: Hi, MuggleCast! I have a couple of theories for Deathly Hallows. "Hallows" means "to respect," so maybe somebody respecting a certain person or a thing could die. Like, for example, Bellatrix. She respects Voldemort a lot, and she might die, like have a big death scene in Deathly Hallows because of this respect and the loyalty that comes with it. I have another theory, too. There is - this is kind of obvious, but Deathly Hallows could be referring to Voldemort himself, because part of his soul is still in his body, and the soul might be the holy object, and he is obviously deathly. Thanks for listening. Bye!

Audio: Hey MuggleCast. I'm Jason from Georgia and I'm calling to tell you my view on Deathly Hallows. The prefix "hallows" in science means "salt" and I know that witches are prevented from performing magic if there is a ring of salt around them. Salt can also be harmful to witches as well. This could fit because the title of Book 7 has the prefix "hallow" in "hollows"- or, "hallows," obviously, and salt can be deadly to witches. It's just a theory. Take it for what it's worth. Laura Mallory is definitely a shame on the state of Georgia. Pickles rock. Thanks! Jason.

Audio: Hi, this is Crystal, 13 from Arlington Heights, Illinois. My theory on The Deathly Hallows is that it’s a kind of cleansing or purification process. I think this is because the definition of "hallow" is to sanctify or consecrate. Right now, Harry is too filled with hate and anger and we know that he would love to defeat Voldemort. Pure, unadulterated love, like the kind that saved him when he was a year old. Thank you! Love you! Bye!

Audio: Hey MuggleCast, this is Jeff from Iowa. This is my theory in response to the contest mentioned in Episode 73. I was recently watching Disney's Hocus Pocus and there was a line in there that witches cannot set foot on hallowed ground. This got me thinking about how the Deathly Hallows could be a place of hallowed ground. So I did some research. "Hallowed ground" refers to holy ground, generally a place where there has been death or burial grounds. The most common example of hallowed ground in American history is a stretch of battlefields from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Charlottesville, Virginia, from the American Civil War. If a battlefield, where so much blood was shed, is hallowed ground, is it not plausible that there's somewhere in the wizarding world where there was a great battle? Perhaps the battlefield of the first war with Grindelwald? If there is such a place, I think Voldemort would be drawn to this place and perhaps conceal a Horcrux. I tend to lean more towards a place where the final battle between Harry and Voldemort will become known as The Deathly Hallows. I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

Audio: Hi, this - I'm Miranda Marshall from Roseland, Michigan and this is my theory on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I've researched many literary references to "hallows" and I found something that might be useful. In The Lord of the Rings trilogy, there is a fictional building called the House of the Kings. The House of the Kings was located in the hallows on the fifth level in the Minas Tirith. This was the burial place for the kings of Gondor. Some theories are also said to be on hallowed ground. This may be the reason for the name in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. According to, one of the definitions of "hallows" is "to respect or honor greatly; revere." Perhaps the hallows is the burial site of the four founders. Would they not be considered the "kings and queens" of Hogwarts? They, perhaps, in the wizarding world, are the most respected and honored. This may give us some insight on the Horcruxes. Also, if Voldemort was working for evidence of their personal nature. Also, while Goblet was taking place, I heard that J.K. Rowling made a comment about the placement of the graveyard to Director Mike Newell, saying that "that one is not on Hogwarts grounds." Is it just me, or does it sound like there's more than one? That, however, is a quote that I received secondhand. I remember my friend telling it to me a few weeks ago and it supported my theory and I'm still looking for evidence that it actually exists. Thanks!

Audio: Hey MuggleCasters! I'm Trish, 16, from Pennsylvania. I was just calling about the Deathly Hallows theory contest. As I was studying for my English midterm, I had to make flashcards for my vocab words. As I was mindlessly copying them out, I came across the word that stopped me in my tracks. It read "consecrate: to set apart for a specific purpose, to make holy, hallow." What really interested me was this first part of the definition: "to set apart for a specific purpose." I did a little research and it turns out that the Israelites first coined this word "holy," however it didn't always mean "sacred." It meant "to separate from the ordinary." At that moment, everything became limpid. A magic too clear or transparent. Is it at all possible that the "Deathly Hallows" refers to Harry, hallowed, or as the prophecy says, "marked"? I hope you guys are as ardent about this theory as I am, ardent being an adjective meaning "very enthusiastic or impassionated." Well, it just goes to show; maybe a little vocab isn't that bad after all. Love you guys!

Audio: Hi, this is Cynthia and I'm from Kentucky and I have been hearing some theories going around about Harry - or that Harry was actually the one who was at Godric's Hollow on that Halloween night in 1981. After thinking about it, this makes perfect sense to me because when you see The Sorcerer's Stone movie, it looks like that scene is being witnessed by an on-looker. Yet, in all of the books, they are written in or from Harry's point of view. And this scene just does not seem to be in Harry's point of view. But, after thinking about this theory, I think truly it was or has been written from his point of view because the present day Harry used a Time-Turner to return to that night and actually warned his parents that Voldy was coming. Remember, James said, "he's coming," like he was not at all surprised that Voldemort was coming. So then James told Harry to get under the invisibility cloak and Harry then witnessed his mother being murdered. This was the hardest thing Harry ever done, but she knew he couldn’t change his mother’s murder because it would change his whole future. After the murders I think that there was some kind of struggle with future Harry and possibly some Death Eaters and that is why the Harry’s house - that is why the Potter’s house was destroyed. After all we have never seen the Avada Kedavra ever destroy a whole house. After that I think that Harry went to the Dumbledore of the past and told him what needed to be done with baby Harry and what had happened to the house, then told him what was going to happen in the future as well. And also at that time he gave Dumbledore the cloak so Dumbledore could give it to the future Harry, in the future at his first year at Hogwarts. Anyway, that is kind of the way I think it is going to happen. So, thank-you very much! Bye!

Audio: Hi MuggleCasters, this is Jessica. I’m sixteen, I’m from St. Louis, Missouri, and I am calling with my own Deathly Hallows theory. So, when developing my theory, I was particularly interested in finding the meaning to the words “deathly hallows.” “Deathly” is something that has the appearance of death and “Hallows” which has no dictionary definition as is. I used “hallow” which as verb form is “to make or set apart as holy”. In my opinion, this has to refer to Horcruxes. Splitting one’s sole resembles death and Voldemort’s Horcruxes are the most sacred thing to him ever. However, I don’t believe the meaning of this title doesn’t stop here. The word “hallows” is used as it was for a reason and this was to refer to the four Hallows of Tuatha de Danaan, which I found on - while researching the four Hallows of the Arthurian Legend. I believe this to be the key to the identity to the four founders’ Horcruxes. The first artifact is the “Pole of Combat,” which is Ravenclaw’s wand, the second “the cauldron of cure,” Hufflepuff’s cup. The third the “Stone of Destiny,” which is the stone in Slytherin’s ring. Finally, we have the “Sword of Light.” However, I don’t think that Gryffindor’s sword is a Horcrux. I think that Gryffindor had a shield that went with that sword and that is where Voldemort put his Horcrux. Lastly, I’d like to add that your discussion about the “Hangman” lead me to one final conclusion. The “Hangman” refers to Harry. However, I am not entirely sure that he is going to die. I think his sacrifice may ultimately be the act of killing Voldemort, in which case his soul will be torn in two. For some this act means nothing, but to Harry it will mean a lot more. So, thanks for listening, I love the show and especially Jamie. Bye!

Audio: Hello, everyone. My name is Amy, and this is my submission for the “one-minute theory.” The more I research the more I believe that “Deathly Hallows” refers to the Horcruxes themselves. And yes, I am basing this on the Arthurian Legend. I know big shocker, right? Well, there is more to it than that. We can’t deny that the Harry Potter series has been linked to King Arthur influences. Chamber of Secrets screams Excalibur. I would like to point out another Arthurian connection that interests me. Taliesin was advisor and chief Harper of King Arthur. But more than that he became obsessed with becoming immortal. He believed that the Hallows of Laugrith were the keys to immortality. When researching Taliesin, I came across several literary works in which Taliesin is a main character. The Dark Is Rising is a five book series by Susan Cooper, published throughout the '60s and '70. The books follow a young boy named Will who discovers on his eleventh birthday that he is destined to seek the signs before the final battle with the Lord of the Dark. In these books, signs are a set of six circles quartered by crosses. The six signs are each made of a different material and represent a different element. In the presence of these, the dark is powerless. I know this theory isn’t exactly answering all of the burning questions the fandom has and I know the whole “King Arthur” theory isn’t exactly original, but I do believe that this puts a different spin on it. Let me know what you all think. Bye!

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