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[Intro music begins to play]
Micah: Because hell has officially frozen over, yes, Eric Scull is hosting, this is MuggleCast Episode 95 for June 17th, 2007.
[Intro music continues to play]
Eric: So guys, the City of Angels, the Big Easy, and the Big Apple.
Laura: What are you talking about, Eric?
Eric: The City of Angels, of course.
Laura: Uh, yeah.
Eric: And also the Big Easy and the Big Apple.
Laura: Okay, so the City of Angels, Los Angeles.
Eric: Uh huh.
Laura: What's the Big Easy?
Micah: New Orleans.
Laura: Right, okay.
Eric: New Orleans. And the Big Apple.
Micah: New York.
Laura: Great cities, but...
Eric: Well, actually, or it could just be a really big apple, but...
Micah: That's true.
Eric: You guys...
Micah: Are you going on vacation, Eric?
Eric: Well, I am, actually. I'm coming home next week, but that's not actually what I'm talking about, guys. The City of Angels, the Big Easy, the Big Apple - these seemingly inconsistent cities actually have something very special. They are linked, and now they relate to Harry Potter.
Eric: Can you guys figure out why?
Laura: Is Harry going on vacation?
Micah: He needs it after Book 7.
[Laura and Eric laugh]
Eric: No, it's true. It's true. You know what, how about we find out after Micah's news segment.
Eric: Okay? So that said, I am Eric Scull.
Laura: I'm Laura Thompson.
Micah: And I am Micah Tannenbaum.
[Intro music continues to play]
Micah: On Thursday, J.K. Rowling announced plans to embark on an "Open Book Tour" of the United States. From her news section, she said:
"In October I will be touring the USA for the first time since 2000. The Tour will include four events, three to be held for schoolchildren in Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York City and one event in New York City for any U.S. Harry Potter fan who wins a ticket through a sweepstakes to be held by Scholastic, my US publishers. At each event, I will read from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series, answer questions about the entire series, and sign copies of the latest book."
You can visit Scholastic's Potter section beginning July 30th for information on how to enter the sweepstakes and complete rules.
And J.K. Rowling has been busy on her website. She updated it earlier this week with the third part of the WOMBATs.
According to the site, "The Grade 3 WOMBAT is the final examination, and the most difficult. Not only is the subject matter much more advanced, but the examination is also more stringently marked. Certain answers will LOSE YOU MARKS, so choose carefully."
Hopefully, you guys all do better than I did.
And it was announced Wednesday morning on NBC's Today Show that Jo will give a rare television interview about the outcome of Deathly Hallows, as well as her plans for the future, shortly after the book's release. This is scheduled to air in the US on July 26th, July 27th, and on Dateline July 29th.
UK fans will not miss out, as Jo will also make an appearance on BBC One's Jonathan Ross on July 6th.
Another appearance has been scheduled, this time for BBC children's show Blue Peter on July 20th, just a day before the release of Deathly Hallows. The show will be recorded, however, on July 5th.
Wrapping up news on J.K. Rowling, in Forbes' annual "Celebrity Top 100," the Harry Potter author is ranked as being the 48th most-powerful celebrity in the world. A person's rank is decided by web hits, press clippings, television coverage, and pay related to that person.
Finally, Warner Brothers has announced today that the Order of the Phoenix soundtrack will be released on July 10th, the day before the release of the movie itself in the US and Canada. You can visit SoundTrack.net to get a sneak peak.
That's all the news for this June 17th, 2007, edition of MuggleCast. Back to the show.
Eric: Okay, thanks, Micah.
Micah: Oh, you're welcome, Eric.
Eric: And this is - guys, this is episode 95 of MuggleCast. Can you believe that, 95 episodes?
Laura: You know I can't believe it. We've pretty much - I mean, this is way beyond the average human life span, isn't it? I would say.
Eric: Yeah, especially considering all the stress this show puts on us in our daily lives.
Laura: We're grey now. You have no idea.
Eric: No, no no, no. But, no, so 95 episodes. We've got five more to the big 100, the amazing 100, and this is actually my first time hosting.
Laura: Yeah, congratulations.
Micah: Scary. Very scary.
Eric: Well, actually...
Laura: Here I am trying to be nice, and Micah goes, "Scary, so scary."
Eric: Well, no, but anyway guys, so it's 95, my first chance hosting, so I'm actually taking the best of it, but it's actually just us three this week, isn't it?
Laura: Yeah, only three of us. Where is everybody? What are these people doing?
Micah: Well, Andrew I think has a good excuse. He graduated yesterday, and he's just enjoying himself, which I think he's entitled to.
Laura: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.
Micah: But also, congratulations are in order.
Laura: Yeah, congratulations, Andrew.
Micah: He survived high school.
Laura: Tough feat, tough feat.
Eric: Yeah. [laughs] I totally didn't think he'd make it. I don't know, what about you guys? Because, you know...
Laura: Why didn't you think he'd make it?
Eric: I don't know, I'm just saying. I thought he would make it. I thought he would make it. I'm actually very happy for him. And actually, have you seen his graduation photo that he has with his little brother?
Eric: And his certificate, on Facebook? It's really cute.
Laura: Yeah. And I believe Jamie is off with Andrew. They're at some graduation party. Ben, of course, is...
Micah: He's on tour.
Laura: ...on the book tour. Yeah, he's touring. Like a rock star. Yeah, right.
Eric: And what about Kevin?
Laura: Kevin is - he's going somewhere special next month.
Laura: He didn't - he wanted to keep everyone in suspense about that, I think, but he's actually going trip shopping tonight, I believe, so he couldn't join us either. So it's just down to us three again. I mean three hosts again.
Eric: Three hosts again. Well, two of you were those - two of those three hosts, wasn't it? It was you and Micah and Andrew?
Laura: Mhm. Yep.
Eric: What, and you guys called yourself the real trio.
Laura: Yeah, so this is the fake trio, everybody.
Eric: The fake trio?
Eric: Or are we like - aren't we like - can't we be like cooler, like the stupendous threesome, or something?
Laura: That sounds really bad. [laughs]
Eric: Nevermind, okay. So opening into the main discussion, guys...
Micah: The fearsome threesome.
Eric: Oooh. I like that. I like that, Micah. You heard it here. The fearsome threesome, that's what we'll call ourselves. Okay, so guys, that's our news. Thank you, Micah. And now, I'd just like to discuss this. So the Big Easy, as I was saying, the Big Easy, the Big Apple, and of course the City of Angels. Do you guys have any other ideas now that Micah's news has concluded what that might mean, or am I just talking gibberish?
Laura: Well, I hear that it means a certain author's going to be doing her first US book tour since 2000. So that's pretty exciting, don't you think?
Eric: Well, yeah. Yeah, pretty much.
Micah: But it's the first time since last summer, right, that she has been in the US?
Laura: Right, but it's her first actual book tour since Goblet of Fire came out, so it's been awhile. And it's going to be really cool. From what I'm seeing here, it looks like that three of the events are going to be held for school children.
Laura: And one is going to be for actual ticket winners. So, are we going to try and get some tickets - enter to get some tickets to this thing? I think I am.
Micah: See? I don't know because of what we do, would we be considered to actually enter into these ticket drawings? You know what I'm saying?
Laura: Yeah, yeah.
Micah: Because it kind of felt about the same way about the Signing in London that she is doing at the History Museum. Are we allowed to enter those drawings really because we work for a fansite and it seem kind of weird for us to actually...
Laura: That's true.
Micah: ...win a ticket to...
Eric: Yeah, as press.
Micah: ...those events. As opposed to going as a media person to cover it.
Eric: Yeah. Or a special guest, or something. And I understand what you mean. I mean we are fans, though. We are also teenage fans so, but it would seem really interesting and really, like, they might - I don't say they'd deny us, but it would look suspicious, I think.
Laura: Well I mean...
Eric: Like you said...
Laura: Regardless of whether, or not any of us does go I think it's safe to say that MuggleCast will be doing something in New York City when she is up there. So, I'm really, really excited to hear she is coming back.
Micah: Yeah, and not too mention she's not doing small venues. You look at the places that she is going to be and each of these three cities. The Kodak Theater in Los Angeles.
Laura: Mhm. It's huge.
Micah: And then Carnegie Hall in New York, and I don't really know much about The Ernest N. Memorial Auditorium, but it's at some convention center in New Orleans. So, she's definitely going to be filling these places up. I know mostly with kids, but it's going to be interesting, and I don't know. Can you guys see any sort of problems resulting from how they go about choosing the high schools?
Eric: Oooh, that is a little bit problematic because what are they doing? They're actually going...
Micah: I don't even know if they're high school.
Laura: Are they high school?
Micah: Yeah, I probably shouldn't say that. It's probably...
Laura: Are they going to be Elementary Schools?
Micah: Could be a mix of all three.
Laura: Yeah. Could be.
Eric: Could be a mix of education.
Laura: What they might do is hold lotteries at schools. Like, they might have specific schools within the area that they've said, "You can send this many students." And they'll have a student lottery within the school to decide who gets to go. So, that way you're actually getting fans who want to be there, as opposed to people who just don't care.
Micah: Well, didn't I...
Eric: Yeah, and...
Micah: ...read something about a sorting hat? They are using The Sorting Hat for something. To decide on how these schools are chosen and who in the school is going to be able to go?
Micah: Like which classes?
Micah: Let me see if I can find that.
Micah: Oh, you know where I think I saw that. It was in my local paper, here on Long Island that I think mentioned that aspect of how these schools were going to be chosen, and how the classes within those schools were going to be chosen, but I don't remember seeing anything on her site though, that said specifically.
Laura: Well, I'm sure we'll find out as the time draws closer. There'll be more details that'll come out.
Micah: Right. But I think this is cool because not only this but if you just look at the amount she's updated her site in the last week, she's becoming a little bit more open, I think towards the whole idea of the series being over, and talking with different...
Eric: Oh my...
Micah: ...people about it.
Laura: All the interviews...
Laura: She's going to be doing? It's fantastic.
Eric: Totally! Totally, totally, totally! So, she says she'll be - and also guys, she'll be reading from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Laura: Mhm. Yeah.
Eric: She'll be reading from the seventh Harry Potter book, and this was an interesting topic I wanted to bring up because -you know- last year at Harry, Carrie, and Garp in Radio City she read from Half-Blood Prince. She read, more specifically, she read - oh, what was it? What was the name of the chapter? I'm sorry? Where Harry and Dumbledore go back in time and see...
Laura: She read from the chapter where...
Laura: ...we saw Tom Riddle at the orphanage.
Eric: Tom Riddle...
Laura: I forgot the actual...
Eric: At the orphanage. Yes.
Eric: And it was a very Dumbledore heavy scene, actually. She likes reading Dumbledore. But, uh, so just the idea now, guys. This is - people may say, "What can you get out of this?" But if she's reading from the Deathly Hallows, I think it is safe to say either there's still a large enough element of humor? In the book? That she can actually pick a few scenes and pick pieces of the book that would not just be safe to read, but actually, you know, enjoyable? In a way. Like, I don't think she'll read, necessarily like the worst parts of the book where people are dying left and right and somebody says their last breathing words to Harry as they go off and fight. So, what do you guys think about that?
Laura: I don't know. I think she might. Because that's the...
Eric: You think she might?
Laura: Yeah, I think she might because that's - I mean those are the kind of scenes that everybody is looking forward to the most. Everybody wants to find out who dies...
Laura: And everything.
Eric: I disagree actually.
Laura: What you don't want to find out who dies, Eric? [laughs]
Eric: What? I want to find out who dies, but I don't want to recur a central theme around the book. I was just thinking when I read this e-mail, I said, "Oh, great! So, there's going to be a part of Deathly Hallows that she gets to actually, you know, that she reads that isn't actually going to be the most depressing thing in the world." Everybody dying around Harry because the trend I guess, is that all you guys think around Harry, including Ron and Hermione is going to die because they're the fore front of all the events. So...
Laura: Well, no I don't think Ron and Hermione are going to die, but I don't know. I think the scene that she read at Radio City Music Hall wasn't particularly what you would call happy, or funny. It was actually kind of sad because you saw what Tom Riddle's life was like and it was very sad and so, I think that if anything we are going to hear her reading something that intriguing, as opposed to just humorous. I mean, I don't know if she is going to read a whole chapter, an excerpt from a chapter, or if she's going to read little bits from different ones. I don't know how she is going to do it, but it would make more sense to me if she read a large chuck of one chapter just because...
Micah: Right. Or even the last chapter...
Laura: ...there would be more continuity.
Micah: I can see her reading the last chapter sort of her way of finalizing everything, or maybe even the Epilogue.
Micah: I think that, that would be appropriate because in a way she is closing out the series on this tour.
Eric: Mhm. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, will she be doing it -do you reckon that this will be her last book tour ever then? Or will she...?
Micah: No, no. I'm just saying that if she is saying that she is going to be reading from the seventh book, I think it would make sense for her to read from the last chapters, sort of for everybody to get an idea of how she would verbally close out the book, if she was reading it to an audience, which she obviously will be.
Laura: Good point.
Eric: That totally makes me more jealous that they get closure in a vocal format...
[Micah and Laura laugh]
Eric: From JKR. That's very sad, so we do have to move on here, but real quick, I think. Three events. So, do you think she'll do different readings for different three events, I think?
Eric: Because she can read the last chapter. But will she do it for three people?
Laura: I don't think she's going to choose different readings to do. I think they'll all be the same.
Micah: No, look at Radio City.
Eric: Now - oh, yeah.
Micah: She chose the same chapter both nights.
Eric: Yeah. You're right. Well, that's the easy and the very economical thing to do. So, it'll be interesting to speculate what she reads at the news event. Micah, what else have we gotten? New discussion here.
Eric: Oh, yes.
Micah: "Oh, yes" what?
Eric: The WOMBATS are back.
Micah: They are.
Laura: Did you guys take your WOMBATS?
Micah: I did.
Eric: How'd you do?
Micah: I don't know, I haven't gotten anything back yet.
Laura: They're not scored yet.
Eric: Oh. Oh, right. Sorry. [laughs]
Micah: I can tell you how I think I did.
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Micah: Not very well.
Laura: Troll. [laughs]
Eric: Not very well. Yeah, I went to the site as soon as I heard through MuggleNet that the door was open, because - I don't know if you guys know this, but it seems like my computer picks the worst times to, like, be a little bit shaky. And so I've never actually seen the door open before.
Eric: Never ever. I mean, I saw a screencap that someone did. And obviously, when that one guy hacked JKR's site. And they want me to stop mentioning that. [laughs] But no, so I've never actually seen the door without the "Do Not Disturb" sign on it. So, my impression of JKR's site is just that she's got a few raunchy tenants hanging around all the time. Because that "Do Not Disturb" sign is always there. So, I went there and I saw the procedures that we're doing. Which we'll talk about, how to get into the door. And I tried to take my WOMBATS. But actually, I discovered that it's now Level 3. The hardest level of WOMBATS. And I actually - me not having taken the first two, decided that actually would be out of my league. And I didn't want to embarrass myself. So I didn't actually take the WOMBATS.
Laura: Oh, okay. So you didn't actually take any of them, at all?
Eric: No, I haven't. I haven't.
Laura: No? Okay.
Eric: I would have liked to, but then I came on JKR's site and I saw that it was, you know, Level 3. The hardest, most difficult, not-just-a-Harry-Potter-quiz, but you will need to have your wit about you. You know, and I was thinking, "Okay, I don't have my wit about me. I don't even have a firewall that works." [laughs] And I actually broke my firewall, trying to allow Jo's site to pop up. So, I don't really know that I'm in a good situation. But what about you, Laura? Did you take it?
Laura: I did take it. And it was somewhat difficult. And she did remark that there were actually questions, this time, that you could lose points if you got them wrong. So...
Micah: Yeah. I'm done.
Laura: Certain answers you lost more points on. Hey, Micah?
Eric: Oh yeah, that's right. You could actually lose points this time around. That's actually what discouraged me. So Micah, what were the questions like? I mean, can you release any of that information, do you think?
Micah: Yeah, sure. [laughs] I particularly thought the section on the Ministers was pretty difficult. What did you guys think about that?
Laura: That was hard. [laughs] I mean, because I only knew one of them.
Micah: Yeah. Same here.
Eric: Part on the Ministers?
Laura: So... [laughs]
Micah: Although somebody was telling me that based on the timing you could figure out some of the others.
Laura: Yeah, there were some of them that you could, kind of, glean some sort of idea of how they matched up. Just because they had one that was something about activist rights or something. And that might have gone along with the Minister who was in office in the 60's or 70's. So, that's kind of how I thought of it.
Micah: Yeah. Just overall, I thought it was really difficult.
Laura: It was hard. [laughs]
Micah: She always throws in those questions, too, that say, "In your opinion..." And you always wonder, "Well, if it's my opinion, then why isn't it the right answer?"
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Eric: Yeah. You know that's entirely true. That's a little strange. But, how long did it take to get the WOMBAT results back the first times?
Laura: A week, maybe?
Micah: Once she closed the door. Yeah.
Eric: Week or two?
Micah: She's running out of time, too.
Eric: Oh yeah.
Micah: I mean, what do you guys think, though? Do you think we're going to get something as a result of our results on the test? Do you think she's going to put something up?
Eric: Well, you're going to get your results.
Laura: Yeah. I'm sure that she's going to do something.
Eric: What do you mean? People who only scored...
Laura: No, she wouldn't do that. I think that if you took it, you get some sort of prize. But, what kind of intrigued me most about the WOMBATS was that you had to put the symbol together that appears on the spine of the book to access it.
Eric: You guys, you guys, and MuggleCast listeners, you know what we're talking about now. Don't you, by now? The symbol.
Laura: The symbol.
Eric: The symbol. I believe we've had, what? Four episodes now just titled, "The Symbol." And it's the one we always talk about. If you don't know what we're talking about, it's on the spine of the UK edition...
Laura: Yeah, it's the triangle, circle with the line.
Eric: The little triangle with the little line through it. Little Circle, thank you Laura. So yeah, guys, what do you think about that? What do you have to do, Laura, to get the WOMBATS.
Laura: You have to put it together. You had to, I believe, you had to take the triangle and set it on top of the circle and set the line on top of the triangle. At least if I'm remembering correctly. But clearly this shows that the symbol does hold great importance. I mean, we knew that it was important before, but the fact that she chose to put it before the WOMBATS shows that it's really something she wants us to pay attention to.
Eric: [laughs] Here I was hoping that it was just speculation, that it wasn't actually important. And, yet we get this little musical triangle thing. I did open the door, just to see what it was like behind the door. And I remember back in music class in elementary school, little triangles that we used to bang stuff with. And I wish you could play a little triangle, do a little chime thing. But no, it's actually that symbol which is haunting us.
Micah: It is. And it's not only there. It was on, and still is on, Bloomsbury's website.
Micah: So, it's clearly important. And I'm still hanging on to my whole antipode theory.
Laura: Oh yeah, it was fantastic. Because just last week we did a whole discussion on this symbol and the antipodes. And I was absolutely floored to see this.
Eric: It was good.
Laura: So, it was really, really great.
Eric: And that looks like it causes us to continue. We did have for the news discussion, just that JKR's doing some interviews around the release date. But some of them will be recorded beforehand. So actually, just quickly, there will be a Today Show announcement, which will actually it'll be an interview and it'll air in the US on July 26th and 27th. And on Dateline on July 29th will be JKR interviews.
Eric: So actually, now let us continue past news discussion to current announcements for this week. First of all, guys, the little bit of a membership thing that MuggleCast had going for now, Pickle Pack, is actually now closed. Registration is closed for at least a year. It'll be another year. Registrations are going in the Disney Vault here, folks. And actually I wish we kind of had another week because I had a few things planned for advertising. But actually you've missed your chance. It was actually the 16th was your last day to sign up for Pickle Pack and receive any video blogs once a week, as well as other things. So, sorry guys. We're going to try to accommodate whoever didn't sign up in other ways. But mainly, your time is up.
Laura: Yeah, but, I mean for those of you who were getting sick of us advertising it. It's over now. You never have to hear about it again. So...
Eric: Yeah, yeah, that's true.
Laura: Be happy.
Eric: That's true. That's true. It's done. It's done. I hear we got some hate mail. Laura got some pretty nasty stuff in the PO Box, like actual pickles?
Laura: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. They sent me rotting pickles and all sorts of horrible things. No, no, they really didn't. But actually Eric, that was a really, really nice way to transition into a PO Box Update, but we've got one more announcement before that.
Eric: Oh yeah, okay. So, that's just, you know... And just you can tell us more about what people sent you. But just it is... And folks, it is still Global Spread MuggleCast Month. So, if you hate - if you like or hate Pickle Pack, whatever it is. It's Global Spread MuggleCast Month, so please spread MuggleCast. There is a variety of advertisement banners you can put on your sites, Facebook, MySpace. So, that will be found at MuggleNet.com, I believe.
Laura: Mhm, yep.
Eric: And Jamie and Andrew had this little notation here for older episodes. Do you actually know the story with that, Laura?
Laura: Yeah, we get a lot of e-mails from people saying, "The older episodes aren't on iTunes. I can't get them. I can't find them." Well, this is not a problem because all you have to do is go to MuggleCast.com and go to "Episodes." We have all of the episodes all the way back to the very beginning, the dawn of time where you can directly download them. So, you don't even have to worry about it. We also have them in a format that will work for those of you who are on dial-up. So, the audio quality is not as good, but you can still get it. So, that's the solution to that. We don't have them all on iTunes for reasons unknown. I'm not quite sure. Maybe there is a limit to how many episodes you can have on there at a time. But that's why.
Eric: Yeah. It's actually a feed issue. It's very big with the feed.
Laura: Mhm. Okay.
Eric: So, we're good with anouncements. Now Laura, you did mention you have a HUGE update about the PO Box.
Laura: It is very big. Huge PO Box Update.
Eric: Oh my god.
Laura: I am telling you guys. The number of times that I've been to the PO Box and I've opened it to find a key with a nice little note from my post office telling me that my PO Box is not big enough and I should probably get a bigger one because I have to keep going to lockers to get stuff out of it because you guys are sending so much stuff.
Okay, we did get quite a few parcels. One came form Leif in Hawaii. He sent me a lei, which he hand-made. It's white and it's really, really pretty. He also sent to mixed-media illustrations of Harry and Fleur, which are really, really fantastic. he actually go tinto art school and he used these as part of his portfolio. So, that was pretty cool. I am going to put those up on MuggleCast.com this week.
We also got the sweetest thing - Pamela from California - sent Andrew and I both graduation gifts. And I am assuming his is the same thing as mine. She sent me Dr. Seuss' Oh, The Places You Will Go. And she wrote a really, really nice, little personal note on the inside of it about how Dr. Seuss can put it in the simplest of words. And it is just really, really nice and really sweet. And I really enjoyed that. So, thank you, Pamela.
Eric: That is amazing.
Laura: I know, isn't it? I thought it was the cutest thing ever.
Eric: Oh, The Places You Will Go, yeah.
Laura: And Sarah from New York sent Mikey a package. I am not quite sure what it is, it is very soft though. I squeezed it. It feels like a stuffed animal.
And something came for Ben from CafePress. I am not sure who sent it or what it is, but it is something for Ben. So, whoever sent that, thank you.
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Eric: I don't know, that CafePress is pretty - you can prett much make, you can make anything into a shirt, can't you? You can like - yeah.
Laura: It is not a shirt. It is quite small.
Laura: We also got some letters. Maggie from Chicago - she wins the award for longest fanmail ever. Eleven pages front and back, handwritten.
Eric: Oh my gosh.
Laura: She also sent all six of you guys - she sent you guys each one dollar and she sent me a bracelet, which was really, really sweet. We also got a letter from Stephanie in Florida, Zarin sent us a postcard from Colorado, also letters from Jessica in Kentucky, Marissa in Michigan, Jasarine in California, Sam in California, Matthew from the UK - who also sent us these temporary tattoos that say, "Bollux to Poverty."
Laura: So, that's pretty cool. Damus from Georgia, Jodie from Washington, Holly from Canada, Emily from New York - who sent us a bunch of Horcux theories, like she sent us her hand-written notes, which was awesome. Katie from Tennessee, Erin from Illinois, Cathy from California, Selena from Illinois, Don from Washington and Jamie from Florida. So, we got a lot of stuff in the PO Box.
Eric: That is a lot of mail.
Laura: Lots of letters. A lot of inspirational stories. We got a couple of Chicken Soups we are going to use later in the show. So, thanks everybody for sending stuff to the PO Box. Keep on sending it. You will hear your name on the show.
Eric: Oh my gosh. And thank you, Laura for that! That was the biggest PO Box Update. I think it is safe to say that was a PO Box Update to POWN them all, really.
Micah: [sarcastically] Ha, ha!
Eric: Because that was just really good. Ha, ha! So, that was really good. Thank you for that. And I know we'll do it at the end of the show too, but could you just do the PO Box address actually now?
Laura: Sure, that's going to be:
PO Box 3151
So, mail stuff.
Eric: Brilliant! Okay, so...
Micah: Did you guys talk about Podcast Alley at all?
Laura: No, but it's not...
Micah: When you were in the announcements?
Laura: It's not the beginning of the month, though.
Micah: I know its not the beginning of the month, but we're third right now behind Free Talk Live and Keith and the Girl, and I just wanted encourage people to go out and vote for us.
Eric: And, okay. So, that was brilliant there, Micah. And now we have, that concludes the first half of the second part - first, second part of the first half of the show.
Eric: And now we move on to listener rebuttals. If it is okay with you guys, I am going to field just the first one here.
Laura: Yeah, go ahead.
Eric: Okay, this one is from Vicki, age 17, from Canada. And her subject is "Opals." She says:
I was listening to the latest episodes and was struck that despite your plentiful suppositions on the connotation of Antipodean, you didn't pay much attention to the opal's reference. I did a little research and thought you'd like to hear what I found. First, the opal is the official gemstone of Australia. Second, in England during the middle ages it was called patronus ferum. Do you think that this dragon could be connected somehow to a patronus?"
"And also helping them flee dementors perhaps. Patronus ferum actually means patron of thieves. Do you think that if the trio were stealing something from Gringotts, that this could place this scene in the context of being a getaway from that episode. For what it's worth, opal in the English middle ages, was believed to make one invisible. And the shimmery water-like opal is a hydrated metalloid, qualities are reminiscent of opals. Do you think that the dragon has some powers of invisibility or maybe a connection to James Potter, who left Harry the cloak? I'm starting to ramble, so I'll wrap this up. Thanks for reading, hope this leads to some interesting discussion. Love the show, Victoria."
Eric: What do you guys think?
Laura: I think it's interesting that she brings up the qualities of opals because if you remember the qualities of the invisibility cloak, Harry said it was like water woven into material and it was shimmery, so it almost is like – it is opal-like , which is interesting when you bring up the connection between invisibility and opals and the dragon.
Micah: I think there are a lot of different pieces here that she brings up.
Micah: The first one though - the one I like, though, is it being the official gemstone of Australia, but then again that fits in with the whole name of the dragon itself. Talking about where it's found and things like that. So, I'm not too surprised that that it is the official gemstone. Some of the other stuff though I'm not to sure about. The whole patronus ferum, to me seems probably more like a little bit of a coincidence than anything else.
Micah: What do you guys think?
Eric: Because patronus actually means fatherly, doesn't it? Or about the fatherland, regarding that. Like patriotism, patronus, isn't that the...
Eric: Well I'm studying English, so I should know, but actually the – okay so, well what I picked out of it was the opals, actually guys this isn't actually, and I just discovered this the other day, this isn't the first time, nor will it be the last, ha, ha, ha, that we've heard the word opal. It was actually the name of a prominent chapter in Half-Blood Prince called "Silver and Opals."
Eric: Do you guys remember this?
Laura: It was the – wasn't it the opals that hurt Katie, I believe? She had the opal necklace.
Eric: To say the least. I wouldn't even call it hurt.
Eric: They would have killed her and...
Eric: And she became deranged and went six feet off the ground, and it was really, really, really kind of a scary scene in Half-Blood Prince. And that was actually from the opal necklace, the necklace of opals which seem like if they are anything incredibly powerful. What do you guys think about that opal necklace? It's actually now we're seeing opals might be something dangerous.
Eric: In fact, very deadly.
Laura: I think opals are simply powerful and I think that you can use them to your advantage to be good or to be bad. I don't think that they're inherently good or evil. I think that we're seeing that they could be very powerful, though.
Eric: Hmm. And I – what led me to find it actually, I have to tell you guys this because I though it was cool, there's actually - you know the opal necklace which is in the books said to be from Borgin and Burkes, is actually in Chamber of Secrets, I believe? When Harry...
Laura: I think it was, yeah.
Eric: When Harry - when Harry goes to, and it's very carefully worded and I had previously misread this, so I wanted to clear it up, but in Chamber of Secrets when Harry's in the Borgin and Burkes scene, JKR writes about a hangman's noose that he sees, or Draco sees when he's looking at the stuff and right next to it she alludes to a necklace, actually she says there's necklace of opals, but she says it has claimed the lives of twelve Muggle owners to date. But actually, I think she was talking about the opal necklace and I had already thought that she was talking about the hangman's noose this entire time, but if you read closely I think it actually is the necklace she's talking about that has claimed so many lives.
Laura: Yeah, I think so. I think you're right about that.
Eric: So, this necklace has been here since Book 2, it's in Book 6, and now we have this opal clue. That was really startling.
Micah: And do you guys know isn't opal a birthstone?
Eric: I'll look it up right now. We'll find if it's a month.
Micah: It is. It's October.
Eric: Oh it is? Okay, well thank you Micah.
Micah: Not that that means anything.
Eric: Yeah. Oh wow, October is Halloween, though that's very close to November, but...
Micah: And September, yeah.
[Laura and Eric laugh]
Eric: No, I mean Halloween, Micah.
Micah: No, no, I understand, yeah.
Eric: October 31st is , okay. Well, September... [laughs]
Micah: What do you guys think about the invisibility part of this? Where she talks about how in the Middle Ages it was believed to make you invisible.
Micah: Could they be escaping from some place?
Eric: If you look in Fantastic Beasts there is a character called a Demiguise, is it Laura?
Eric: And it actually says that is what actually composes, part at least of an invisibility cloak, some of the material.
Laura: Yeah, its fur is used.
Eric: It's like a fur. So this whole liquid, flowy material, and I'm actually, I'm in a kind silk kind of blanket thing myself right here because it's quite cold out , it's winter time when we're recording this and I'm just thinking it would be really interesting if the dragon had any other kind of part in either invisibility cloaks or being elusive. Or just the very idea in this – in Vicki's rebuttal that says maybe they're fleeing the scene, what do you guys think about that?
Micah: I like it.
Laura: I think - I like it too, definitely because, especially if you look at Ron and Hermione's faces...
Micah: I was just going to say that.
Laura: They look scared.
Micah: And Hermione's looking up and I've read a couple e-mails on this, why would she be looking up? I mean how much higher can you get in the sky...
Micah: ...than riding up on top of a dragon?
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Micah: She's looking up, a lot of people think that they may be pressed for time on something. Especially if it says, the description that the guy from scholastic gave, and said, "Oh it's sunset." So is it possible that they, that they need to get somewhere before the sun sets.
Laura: The sun sets.
Micah: And that's why she's looking up.
Laura: We – yeah you know what this makes me think of, you know we were talking about times of day in the last episode and we were talking about the possibility that maybe there's a specific day when something special is going to happen in the book and what if that has a relation to them being able to hunt down the Horcruxes or destroy the Horcruxes, like what if they have a very limited window of time to do something with one of the Horcruxes.
Laura: And maybe that's where they're trying to get to.
Micah: Very possible.
Eric: So, so would that be like Voldemort only allowing his Horcrux to be found at sunset or something? Something like that?
Laura: Yeah possibly they've - maybe there's some kind of illusionment charm put on one of them.
Eric: Illusionment, hmmm. Well, to say the least it could be, you know, based on the intensity of the other Horcrux booby traps it might even be worse than illusionment. But I think if Jamie were here, and we have to move on to other rebuttals, but I know if Jamie were here he might bring up The Mummy. Did you guys see the movie The Mummy...
Eric: ...where the city of the dead actually just - automatically appears to them as like a mirage type thing?
Eric: When they're standing in the desert.
Eric: I thought that was cool. The sun comes up and the city of dead comes there.
Laura: Yeah, that's a good comparison.
Eric: Okay, next rebuttal, who wants to read it?
Micah: The next rebuttal comes from Austin Thomas, 14 of Noblesville, IN. He said:
"Hey MuggleCast! After listening to your latest show, I came up with an interesting idea. My theory places the three Book 7 covers in chronological order. The first is the US Edition. Harry and Voldemort are obviously in some kind of intense battle. Afterwards, he, Ron, and Hermione need to escape, so they do so through Gringotts. (This is the UK Children's Edition) Still in need of a speedy escape, the trio decides to hitch a ride on one of the fabled dragons that guard Gringotts' vaults. (This would be the US Deluxe Edition) So, they take off on the back of the dragon headed to somewhere. Hope you like my idea. Keep up the good work. Thanks, Austin."
Eric: Oh, so wait. Could Gringotts be employing these Antipodean Opaleyes who normally would not reside in England, or is it that Gringotts vaults, known for their volcanic, or at least magma-ic, magmaic nature. Could they have actually stretched the Gringotts vaults? Could they stretch to the center of the earth and around where there's a whole network or dragons that live at the core of the earth?
Laura: I would think it would be more likely that they would actually employ these dragons because if they are as powerful as we're thinking and they have powers of invisibility, they'd be very beneficial to a place like a bank. Because if you remember, Hagrid was talking about how there were dragons, and Harry was sure he saw a burst of flame, but he didn't actually see a dragon.
Eric: Yeah. Oh.
Laura: So what if it was invisible?
Eric: Oh, oh wow. That's cool. So, oh my gosh, wow. So that's, actually if you think about that, if this is true, we have JKR in the first book, ten years ago, writing something that is actually humorous writing, for... You see that Harry just happens to see a - could swear he sees a burst of fire as he, as he passes. And it's funny that - the possibility that it's dragons. If a dragon was actually staring at him in the face, it just blew smoke the other way, but was invisible and was an Opaleye, this is just cool.
Micah: Yeah, very cool.
Laura: That'd be very, very cool, but I'm not sure that I think that they occur in chronological order, at least not in the fashion that Austin is describing, because I just I don't think...
Micah: Well they have to occur in some chronological order. [laughs]
Laura: Well yeah, but I'm not talking about them all being at the end of the story, is what I'm saying.
Laura: I think that definitely the US cover is at the end of the story. But as for the UK and the Deluxe Edition, I think they might fall more in the middle or around the period right before the climax of the story. I don't think that they're all three taking place at the end.
Micah: See I tend to think the Deluxe Edition is the end of the story. I know a lot of people don't think that because, well, isn't that giving away too much information because it's just saying basically that the three of them survive. But at the same time - I mean, I don't know. To me that drawing that she did has a lot of finality to it, but that's just my own opinion.
Laura: Hmmm, I think they look to scared for it to be the end though.
Eric: Well, well actually do you think so Laura? Because the scariest thing in the world is fear of the unknown, and they don't what's next after Voldemort.
Laura: [laughs] It can't be worse than Voldemort.
Eric:[laughs] Well, unless it's like...
Eric: Unless it's Grindelwald and Voldemort.
Laura: Because they didn't graduate.
Micah: They look pretty scared on the UK Edition too, the Children's Edition.
Laura: Well yeah, but that's why I don't think it's the end.
Eric: It's because they don't wanna land on a sword, Micah.
Micah: Oh no. [laughs] No, I'm not saying that one is the last one in chronological order, I think the Deluxe Edition is chronologically the last one, but I could be wrong. Probably am.
Eric: Hmmm. That's definitely interesting. I mean I think that they're kind of heading off somewhere and it could be towards the sunset, towards the - for either, whether or not they're still in search of horcruxes or heading off into the sunset, like Grace Kelly. So, okay.
[Laura and Eric laugh]
Eric: Now we actually, guys, we don't have a main discussion this week because we wanted to focus on a few things, namely content, and it was kind of a small show this week, kind of peaceful with just the three of us here. But what we do have for you, specially, is - what is it? Isn't a word that starts with "v" that we haven't used in about seven or eight episodes?
Laura: Ah, yeah, gosh, I can't even say the word. It's almost archaic if you think about it, I mean we haven't done it in forever.
Eric: Wait, wait, wait, wait. We're bringing back an old segment guys, [laughs] because it's an expired segment we haven't done in about 10 episodes, 15 episodes, we're bringing it back! And it is called voicemails.
Laura: Oh my gosh, my heart just leapt out of my chest, I can't believe we're doing this.
Eric: Now for those of you guys who haven't been paying attention since Episode 3, I mean that's pretty much how long it's been since we've been doing these.
But, no, voicemails - that's a bit intense, but voicemails guys, we're actually going to - are we Laura? Do you really, do you have them together?
Laura: I do, I have them right here. You guys ready?
Eric: Oh my god, so you guys, wait, so okay, and I'm not going to keep asking the same question but we do have a voicemail line and we'll give you the information for that, but you guys have been sending in our theories and we just want to let you know that we have been listening to them. I've heard a few and everyone else has heard a few, so we are still paying attention. If you're still calling in, we are hearing your theories and hearing your voicemails and trying to translate that somehow onto the show without actually doing voicemails, of course. We've had some rebuttals and stuff, so we're going to try and, you know, possibly do some more voicemails and stuff, but this is groundbreaking, because we've actually got some voicemails to play on this week's show.
Laura: Okay, so let's roll the first one.
[Audio]: Hey, MuggleCast. This is Cole, 14, from New Jersey. I just wanted to comment on the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Deluxe Edition cover art. And I definitely think that the dragon is flying over New Zealand or Australia; it just can't be England. There are no mountains in England - J.K. Rowling wouldn't do that. But also, it looks as if Harry is wearing Muggle clothes, and I was kind of confused about that. What do you guys think? Thanks. Love the show! Bye.
Eric: Ooh. Okay, so - actually, let's talk about the second part for a second there: Hermione and Ron are in wizard's robes, but Harry's in Muggle clothes? Well, that actually - that kind of fits, I think, with the opportunities in the book - that Harry might actually be separated from Hermione and Ron, but also in a Muggle public area. Actually, I'm...
Laura: Right. Well, I believe that on the UK Children's Edition, Ron and Hermione are also in some sort of robes, and Harry's not.
Eric: I'm pretty sure Harry is, though, becaue doesn't he - because you can see his sleeves or something. He has really big sleeves?
Laura: Yeah, I don't know. It seemed like there was something different around their robes.
Micah: If you look in the UK Children's Edition, it seems like Harry's the one wearing robes whereas Ron and Hermione aren't.
Laura: Well, they're wearing something different.
Micah: Right. We discussed that, too.
Laura: Like, it almost looks like dress robes.
Micah: Dress robes, is it for, I think, the wedding, right? Wasn't that what we thought?
Laura: Yeah, we thought maybe this was after the wedding or something for Bill and Fleur.
Laura: But, I mean, why would he wear Muggle clothes?
Micah: Well, what Eric was saying before, perhaps he had to go into a situation in Muggleland where he needed to look like a normal person; he couldn't be in his dress robes.
Eric: Muggleland? Is that that new theme park they're doing?
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