MuggleNet Podcasts: A History
While Potterwatch provided its fans with exclusive coverage of Harry Potter, the Ministry of Magic, and more during the Second Wizarding War, we never got much content or commentary about the other miscellaneous aspects of the wizarding world. However, on August 8, 2005, MuggleNet released MuggleCast, the first major Harry Potter podcast, thus giving us Potterwatch-esque content. Since 2005, the MuggleNet podcast family has expanded to six different podcasts, each devoted to diving deeper into a unique theme in the wizarding world.
The first MuggleNet podcast, MuggleCast, is dedicated to discussing any and every topic centered around both the Harry Potter and the Fantastic Beasts series. The podcast was a major success upon its release, now garnering over 50,000 listeners a week.
MuggleCast has many accomplishments and achievements under its belt. The podcast has secured several interviews with notable figures such as David Heyman, Evanna Lynch, Jim Dale, and Mary Grandpré. Some of their most notable episodes include “Episode 332: The Hollow Goblet,” “Episode 296: Gaunty,” “Episode 175: Fireside Chats,” and “Episode 59: Time to Talk Time.” The show is produced by Andrew Sims, Eric Scull, and Micah Tannenbaum.
In 2012, Alohomora! was launched, becoming the first podcast solely dedicated to dissecting the Harry Potter series chapter by chapter. It was the brainchild of Noah Fried who was joined by fellow MuggleNet staffers Caleb Graves and Kat Miller as hosts of the show. Alohomora! was crafted to fill the void left in the aftermath of the final Harry Potter movie release. Led by rotating hosts and guest hosts, fans could now re-read the books alongside others online and share all of their new insights on the show, as well as in the comments section.
Once the initial re-read of the series concluded in 2016, the podcast changed its format to include topic episodes where extra-canonical material, popular characters, or specific ideas could be thoroughly discussed. One year later, chapter revisits were woven in between topic episodes so that chapters could be gone over a second time by different hosts.
Alohomora! has become one of MuggleNet’s most popular podcasts, even sparking its own fandom, coining its own catchphrases and theories, and sparking intense and passionate discussions. The unique feature of having a guest on every episode – be they fans, fellow podcasters, authors, Broadway stars, television actors, or Potter alumni – keeps those discussions fresh and lively.
With a plethora of hosts and a dedicated social media and graphics team, SpeakBeasty serves as the hub for all things Fantastic Beasts. This podcast started in December 2015 after the teaser for the first Fantastic Beasts movie was released. Contributors started discussing their expectations for the film as well as studying up on all the creatures in the famous textbook. Since SpeakBeasty‘s initial release, the hosts have continued to keep listeners amused and amazed with new theories and expectations for the franchise.
SpeakBeasty also had the honor of hosting their first live show at the 2016 New York Comic-Con where they were able to fully interact with fans, discussing their excitement and speculation for the first Fantastic Beasts film. The SpeakBeasty team has also interviewed several notable figures such as Dan Fogler, Ravina Bajwa, and James Payton.
Reading, Writing, Rowling
A Hermione Granger-approved podcast, Reading, Writing, Rowling is dedicated to the “scholarship of J.K. Rowling’s literary works.” The show started in 2017 with its first episode entitled “Reading, Writing, Rowling… Roanoke!,” which focused on the top 20 Harry Potter moments. The show is hosted by Katy McDaniel and John Granger with other Potter researchers and scholars making contributions on each episode.
Beyond the Veil
Beyond the Veil is the youngest of our podcasts as it was launched in March of this year. Producer Madison Ford started out as a contributor in the Beyond the Veil Quibbler column where she would share how Harry Potter helped her through difficult times in her life. Ford garnered positive reviews, inspiring her to open the door for more people to share their similar experiences. Since July 2018, Ford and her dedicated team have been working on and producing content that creates an open dialogue about Harry Potter and its importance as it relates to mental health and personal stories. Beyond the Veil allows its listeners to anonymously submit their personal stories for a chance to be featured in future episodes.
One of our most intricate podcasts, Accio Politics, dissects the idea of politics and power in each chapter of the Harry Potter novels. Each episode is filled with an in-depth analysis of a certain topic presented in the chapter, and our hosts fully dissect each topic, sometimes with the help of special guests.