The U-Bend #37: 2005 in Review

by Andrew Lee and Robert Lanto

“Important stories the public needs to know, eh? I could manure my garden with the contents of that rag.”
-Rita Skeeter (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

WARNING: The following U-Bend contains comments which do not necessarily reflect those of the MuggleNet editors, staffers, owners, advertisers or even those of The U-Bend authors. The comments are meant to be silly in nature and are not to be taken seriously.

Another year is ready for the history books and what a year it has been! 2005 saw the release of Potter-related news to the extreme, from a book, to a movie, to the realization that The U-Bend set new standards in underperforming in editorial production. But The U-Bend lives and now takes a look back at the past year. And that’s just for starters. It all started January 1st…


Remember this? Badgers Parody Flash
Highlight of the Month: J.K. Rowling gives birth to a baby girl
Low Point of the Month: E-book scams

January was a strange month. With images of the “Prisoner of Azkaban” DVD launch and sneak peeks of the “Goblet of Fire” movie’s second task also appearing on the site, it was a mix of old and new. As PoA earned nominations for every type of award possible, GoF news continued to sneak onto the site. Daniel Radcliffe sent out a newsletter while Tom Felton updated his blog. Mrs. Weasley was confirmed to be cut from GoF. Yule Ball information began to leak out and the fans went wild when the Krum/Hermione kissing rumors went flying (the first of many “shippers gone wild” events). In non-movie news, the official length of Half-Blood Prince was revealed to the public (proving that size matters).


Remember this? 8-foot Tall Lego Hagrid (Andrew: The coolest Lego Set ever!)
Highlight of the Month: The Plot Thickens forums are opened
Low Point of the Month: GoF filming delayed due to bad weather

MuggleNet opened The Plot Thickens forums for serious discussions about Potter-related theories, ideas and clues (sorry, no whack-job evil-Harry theories allowed). Other major news came from MuggleNet’s spy network, declaring that only Sirius Black’s head would appear in GoF (pity, talented actors going to waste). The New York toy fair gave fans a sneak peak at what to expect from GoF in plastic action figure form (with karate chop action). It was also revealed (and we partially agreed) that GoF would only deal with Harry’s plotline, while cutting out S.P.E.W. and other such minor diversions, although they later forgot to resolve the Yule Ball fight in the final film (Hermione: I hate your guts, but now we’re friends again for no reason).


Remember this? Quidditch 3D
Highlight of the Month: HBP covers revealed!
Low Point of the Month: Cos Forums Appeals for additional funds

PoA won Best Soundtrack from (the first of many awards for PoA). In other movie news, rumors of an “Order of the Phoenix” open casting call began to circulate while GoF actors began some behind the scenes interviews. Rumors continued to circulate that OotP would be filmed in the Czech Republic.

The HBP cover was officially revealed. The neon green cover was both reviled and loved by fans, but at that point we were going to take anything they gave us. On the MuggleNet side of things, the site officially launched the HBP countdown timer and the Supersleuth contest. As anticipation for the upcoming book continued to build, MuggleNet was forced to make an appeal for additional funds to support the CoS Forums (The U-Bend pitched in by posting a special server appeal).


Remember this? Harry Potter recreated in The Sims 2
Highlight of the Month: GoF Trailer confirmed for May 7th
Low Point of the Month: May is a whole month away

MuggleNet continued their tradition of April Fool’s jokes with a fake warning that the site had been shut down due to copyright infringements. Eager fans searching for any HBP information overanalyzed a mysterious key (which turned out to be nothing) on the poster, while pre-orders reached new highs on multiple online bookstores. The big news happened at the end of the month, when it was confirmed that ABC would be airing the GoF teaser trailer during their airing of the “Chamber of Secrets” movie (in other words, tune in to the last 10 minutes to see the trailer).


Remember this? J.K. Rowling to write crime fiction?
Highlight of the Month: Full GoF teaser trailer released
Low Point of the Month: Nail-biting increases as HBP approaches

After months of waiting (almost a year since the last movie) the GoF teaser trailer arrived for all to see. With quick glimpses at old favorites and new characters (rock on, Mr. Cannon, you will live on forever in our hearts) fans got their first good look at the next installment of the film franchise. And just as fans recovered from those pieces of good news, it was announced that J.K. Rowling would be interviewing Potter fans and the media before the launch of HBP. With the book only a month away, this was truly a great month to be a Potter fan…if you enjoyed the waiting more than the actual event.


Remember this? MuggleNet adds 5 billion new layouts (Rock on, Dylan!)
Highlight of the Month: Emerson of MuggleNet and Melissa of The Leaky Cauldron get the interview of a lifetime
Low Point of the Month: Botched HBP theft

MuggleNet finally launched the Encyclopedia section (the only thing that was really missing from the site, besides a billion different layouts), thus making the site the real one-stop shop for your Potter fix. Also, MuggleNet announced Spellbound!, the first unofficial Harry Potter party planner for those who eagerly awaited to plan a party for the release of HBP. In related news, two thieves successfully stole a copy of HBP, were caught, and suffered the full weight of the law. These actions forced J.K. Rowling to have a John Doe injunction placed over the book.


Remember this? HBP spoiled for Tom Hanks
Highlight of the Month: HBP sells too many copies to count
Low Point of the Month: Delusion-gate begins (and takes the heat off The U-Bend for controversial remarks)

A new generation of children were traumatized by the death of a favorite character (this generation’s Optimus Prime) as HBP arrived in stores. Leaner, meaner, and faster-paced than the last two books, HBP marked the turning point as Harry transformed from boy wizard to Voldemort hunter. The release of HBP also saw the start of Delusion-gate as Emerson learned that shippers are not to be trifled with.

In movie news, more behind the scenes footage finally made its way to the public officially launched with its “I Support…” Campaign. Personally, we can’t wait to see what the OotP campaign is: “Support the Ministry or we’ll say you hate wizards.”


Remember this? Sorting Hat Cake
Highlight of the Month: MuggleCast launches
Low Point of the Month: Something happened this August

The long days of summer passed by as many continued to read HBP, or argued about the identity of R.A.B. For everyone else, what better way was there to spend time than by listening to MuggleCast? MuggleNet’s own podcast (since everyone needs one of those…and a blog) with recaps, commentary and general chit-chat about the Potterverse (we thought it was a chance to demonstrate our lovely singing voices, but were shouted down in the general staff meeting).

The official rating for GoF finally arrived at a shocking PG-13. Called the scariest, creepiest, and not for young children Potter movie yet…until OotP (sheesh, if this keeps up, by the time the book 7 movie adaptation comes out it won’t be recommended for anyone under the age of 50).


Remember this? Steve Jobs shows off MuggleCast
Highlight of the Month: GoF official trailer premieres
Low Point of the Month: Potter pirates peeling away profits

September will be remembered as the Time for Action Month as J.K. Rowling asked eBay to track down those people selling fake signed copies of her books. eBay acted in the usual fashion with anyone selling fake merchandise (i.e., very slowly). If there is anything else that September will be remembered for, it will be the GoF extravaganza. Clips, interviews, pictures and behind the scenes looks were everywhere that month. To top it all off, the official trailer finally premiered at the end of the month, featuring a good look at all the new characters and finalized special effects. In non-GoF movie news, casting for Luna Lovegood also began (Andrew: Woot! My favorite new character!).


Remember this? Hardcore Halloween fun
Highlight of the Month: GoF confirmed to be 156 minutes long
Low Point of the Month: Wyrd Sisters controversy

Not a lot happened in October. With most people finishing HBP, and the GoF movie still a month away, there wasn’t anything shocking in the news…until the end of the month when A) the Weasley’s Ford Anglia (movie version) was stolen and B) the Wyrd Sisters tried to file an injunction against GoF being released in Canada (big time lawsuits: Not just for Americans anymore). To those who stole the Anglia: Send us a picture of the license plate so we know it’s still okay.


Remember this? What if Hogwarts was a public school?
Highlight of the Month: GoF movie released
Low Point of the Month: No U-Bend for over a month

GoF finally arrived. The longest Potter film to date, the movie took the box office by storm, and considering how sub-par movies were in 2005 (“King Kong and the Island of Disgusting” comes to mind), that was a good thing. The film was not without its critics, but it still covered all the main points of the story, which is pretty good for an adaptation (except what Priori Incantatem is and why it happened). GoF was given a huge New York and London premiere, to which MuggleNet still hasn’t sent either U-Bend author (Andrew: One day…one day).


Remember this? Lucius Malfoy 15th richest fictional character (Andrew: That cursed Richie Rich is higher on the list.)
Highlight of the Month: The U-Bend finally reappears
Low Point of the Month: Slow news month

We finally arrived at the end of the year. The longest point until a new movie or book, it was a very slow news month. A few details about OotP filming and some pieces of news about translated HBP copies was released here and there. Probably the largest piece of news was that Warner Bros. expected to announce who Luna Lovegood would be played by in January 2006. Given the track record of how long it took to announce who was playing whom in GoF, don’t expect a real announcement until two days before filming.

January 2006

Remember this?: The Custom Holiday Skin for Mugglenet (uhh…yeah, no comment)
Highlight of the Month: The U-Bend posts two new articles
Low Point of the Month: The U-Bend posts two new articles

And here we are, full circle. Looking forward to a new year, new U-Bends and most of all, new things Potter, and maybe even an evil-Harry here or there!