Episode 196: Quidditch Through the Ages, Chapters 7-10 – Beat Back Those Bludgers, Boys!

This week, we’re grabbing a Portkey to the Quidditch World Cup and taking the sport to the international level! Join hosts Michael, Lauren and Shannen, along with guest host Megan, as they pick their favorite broomsticks and teams in the final chapters of Quidditch Through the Ages.

On Episode 196 we discuss…

→ Newt Scamander vs. Kennilworthy Whisp
→ The Holyhead Harpies movie
→ Michael sings Celestina Warbeck’s Quidditch hit
→ Check out the Transylvanian team
→ Devaluing the Snitch
→ Awesome Alliteration
→ Quodpot: Hot Potato Dodgeball
→ Which Broomstick?
→ The best moves of Quidditch today

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  • Gina Aswell

    Random ridiculous comment: Ginny and the Harpies- After hearing that mentioned on the episode, all I could think of was crossing the line completely and having the band Ginny and the Harry Head Harpies. All the backup singers would wear Harry out fits and harmonize “expeliarmus”.

  • DoraNympha

    I feel like there were a lot of jokes about Hol(e)yhead Harpies on George’s part.

  • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

    what a show! you just keep getting better, you all! Waiting two weeks for the next episode will be so worth it, knowing we will all have more time to continue the discussion.

    But first of all: a Holyhead Harpies movie trilogy! YES! The ideas you mentioned are fantastic, and those movies could be so explorative of the magical world and do so many things that we wanted the Potter movies or movies in general to do! Lots of Quidditch, of course, more everyday magical life outside of school, grown-up witches who use a wide range of spells, charms and curses – by the way, Minerva McGonagall is on the Gryffindor Quidditch team in the early 1950s, awesome cameo opportunity! –
    I love when the Potter movies have their feminist moments, characters and themes, but a Holyhead Harpies trilogy could go several steps further: Writers who care about representation and are aware of the headcanons about the team that fans have gathered and use them as inspiration for an intersectionally feminist story. A diverse crew making sure a diverse cast gets everything they need to bring characters onto the screen who are engaging and authentic. Anything else but the old angry feminist trope. The Harpies players who have more than one line of backstory are all women who are not afraid to hurt someone who annoyed or attacked them. But in all those centuries there must have been many different women on the team, all enthusiastic about Quidditch, but unique in their personalities.

    On the origin story of the Harpies: they’re a Welsh team, so I don’t know how much they interacted with Puddlemere, who were founded in England. There are lots of reasons why they would want to form an all-witches-team that have nothing to do with what other teams do.

    Ron suspecting Cho of not being a “real” Tornados fan can be compared to many other examples of people accusing girls of not being sincere in their interests and only liking geeky stuff because they want to impress boys. I wonder what would have happened if it had been Angelina with the Tornados badge. She would have told Ron what for.

    • MartinMiggs

      Ron accusing Cho of not being a real fan wasn’t because she was a girl but because he thought she was a bandwagon fan.

      • frumpybutsupersmart

        Yeah, those are the reasons he gives in the book. But that’s always the reason. Guys who gatekeep fandoms never come right out and say, ‘you can’t like that because you’re a girl’; it’s always, ‘I bet you haven’t read the comics though’ or something along those lines to get girls to prove their fan credentials before they’re allowed to like something. They just never seem to say that sort of stuff to other guys.

        In fairness, I don’t think Ron was consciously doing this because Cho is a girl; it’s probably entirely subconscious. It’s clear through the books that, while Ron isn’t overtly bigoted in his viewpoints (like Draco Malfoy, for instance), he has a lot of privilege that he hasn’t really recognised and it comes out in moments like this. By the end of the series he’s working on recognising that and consciously fighting against the ingrained stuff, which is awesome and part of what makes Ron such a real character.

        • HowAmIGoingToTranslateThis

          that’s pretty much what I wanted to say, thanks for phrasing it so well!

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Well said. The whole having to prove ourselves dispropotionately thing is something a lot of guys aren’t aware of. So it makes sense that they wouldn’t read that into Ron’s reaction, but for us women who have experienced it, many times over, it is totally legitimate and understandable for us to question Ron’s reaction. This happens with guys who don’t even realize they are doing it, who aren’t intending to be sexist, too. It is just one of those elements of under the radar sexism that is so pervasive in society as a whole.

    • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

      On Puddlemere and the Harpies interacting- it’s actually quite likely that they would have played eachother. For one thing, Wales is quite a small country, and the wizarding population is already fairly limited as is, so I imagine they’d have a hard time actually fielding enough quality teams to support their own league. Plus, take football(soccer) for example. Welsh teams and English teams historically played against eachother, and still do. Even once Wales formed it’s own league like the EPL, not all Welsh teams joined it. Some continued to compete in the English leagues. I don’t think it too much to assume that the same sort of scenario would exist in quidditch.

  • frumpybutsupersmart

    While a Holyhead Harpies movie trilogy would be incredible, I was thinking as I was listening that maybe something filmed more in the style of a documentary could also work? It could cover the entire history of the club and if it was like a miniseries it could go into a ton of depth about the players and some of their more epic matches. It would definitely be interesting since all of the Harpies seem to have really fiery personalities!

    I actually bought a second-hand copy of Quidditch World Cup for PS2 last year and I had no idea that you could unlock Queerditch Marsh until it was mentioned last episode. So tonight I spent a while playing and managed to unlock it and it’s so cool!!! It’s such a fun game.

    PS – Michael, you should definitely sing more, cause that song was awesome 😀

    • Michael Harle

      Interestingly, a cinéma vérité, documentary-style film was what was proposed to Rowling for “Fantastic Beasts,” but she rejected it. But I could definitely see that working with this idea, especially as the serious-nature of the style would work great to juxtapose with Rowling’s style of humor.

      And thanks! I *do* sing. Quite a bit. To myself. And often at work. ^_^

  • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

    That concept art is amazing! I probably never would have come across it on my own so thanks for sharing. Also, notice how BOTH the Australian beaters appear to be women- badass! Take that Mr. women-shouldn’t be-beaters Whisp.

    • MartinMiggs

      he never actually said that. He observed a trend that beaters are more likely to be men than women because of the strength required to play the position. Men generally weigh more, have more testosterone, and more muscle mass so in GENERAL men would be more suited for this position. That doesn’t mean women can’t play or can’t play the position well. Just look at tennis, men have harder and faster serves (the top 10 fastest serves of all time were by men) but that doesn’t mean women can’t excel at the sport too (e.g. Serena Williams). This is the only professional sport that allows men and women to compete together on the same team. So it seems like a bit of a stretch to say that the magical community has a problem with witches playing Quidditch.

      • frumpybutsupersmart

        I agree. The problem isn’t that wizards think witches inherently lack physical strength, the problem is that people think women are inherently weaker. It’s less a problem with the wizarding world than with the world at large.

        • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

          Also as far as sports go, the whole stronger=better thing is a fallacy. A great athlete has many skills beyond superior strength. Precision, agility, quick reflexes, mental cognition (strategy, thinking ahead, analyzing opponents, making snap decisions). All must be present in decent balance. Sure, size and strength can make a difference, but in some sports more than others. There is a reason for weight classes in wrestling for example. Mostly it just depends on the teams strategy as a whole, and at the professional level that difference those make becomes less pronounced. A female pro-beater isn’t going to be “weak” even if she isn’t as strong as her male counterparts. You still don’t want to be on the receiving end of one of her bludgers I’m sure. There are plenty of other skills for her to perfect that could give her an edge over the beefy dude. As an athlete I have plenty of experience witnessing strength lose out to superior playing ability.

          • frumpybutsupersmart

            To your point about the better = stronger fallacy, in HBP it’s mentioned in the narrative that Ritchie Coote “looked weedy but aimed well”. So yeah, strength isn’t all a good Beater needs 🙂

      • ThatTimeRemusWaddiwasiedVoldy

        Yeah…. I was actually just poking fun at the statement, which is why I exaggerated it, same as the hosts did on the show. I don’t think any of us ACTUALLY think Whisp believed women couldn’t be good beaters. I also don’t recall anything suggesting that the magical community as a whole having a problem worh females on the pitch. If there were historically an under representation of women on teams, I can see that being legitimate cause for the creation of an all-female team. It doesn’t necessarily imply rampant sexism, but then again, just because women and men are allowed to play together doesn’t mean that there is no sexism at play. We’d need more context to know, either way.

  • Voldemort’s Lost Nose

    Michael, just apply for the job as Celestine Warlock at Universal already! Awesome song! Great show!

  • frumpybutsupersmart

    I was listening to this episode again the other day and I agree with what the hosts said about Ginny probably not winning the Dangerous Dai Commemorative Medal for the player who has taken “the most exciting and foolhardy risks” in the season. But does anyone think Angelina would have if she’d gone on to pro Quidditch? Would any Hogwarts players we know about be likely to?