[Show music begins]
Caleb Graves: This is Episode 50 of Alohomora! for September 28, 2013.
[Show music continues]
Caleb: Hey everyone, it’s our 50th episode!
Kat Miller: Woo-hoo!
Caleb: That’s so exciting!
Rosie Morris: Crazy!
Jacob Pontzer: Awesome.
Caleb: I’m Caleb Graves.
Kat: I’m Kat Miller.
Rosie: I’m Rosie Morris. And introducing today’s very special guest is Jacob. Say hello, Jacob.
Jacob: Hi. How are you doing?
Kat: Great. Thank you for joining us. Tell our listeners a little bit about yourself.
Jacob: Well, I am twenty years old. I’m from Pennsylvania and I’m a junior psychology major, a Gryffindor on Pottermore, although before Pottermore came out, I had always pictured myself as a Hufflepuff, as weird as that sounds.
Caleb: Wow! I don’t think there are that many people who have had that transition.
Jacob: Yeah, I have a Hufflepuff shirt and everything, so…
Kat: He’s like the opposite of Eric.
Caleb: Yeah, exactly. So are you satisfied? Which one do you align yourself more with now?
Jacob: Well, I think it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that now I see myself as more of a Gryffindor.
Jacob: So it’s changed the way I think about myself actually in a weird way. Two years ago I was put in that house.
Kat: Yeah, that’s what happened to me. I always thought I was a Hufflepuff and then I got sorted into Ravenclaw and I was like, “Oh yeah, this fits me a little better.”
Jacob: I mean, I kind of think of Gryffindor as the jock house, as most people do.
Jacob: I love sports, but I can’t play them at all. But I follow them.
Rosie: You know they’re just badgers in disguise.
Kat: Oh, is that it? [laughs] We’re all wearing costumes?
Caleb: [laughs] I am not because Hufflepuff is clearly not the house for me, but…
Kat: Hufflepuff is my third house, but… yeah. Anyway, so I just wanted to remind everybody real quick that we’re going to be covering Chapter 12 of Goblet of Fire, “The Triwizard Tournament,” today. So for maximum enjoyment, be sure to read that chapter before listening to this episode.
Rosie: But before we get to that, as usual we are going back to our discussion from the previous week, which is Chapter 11, but for me… I haven’t been here for a very long time. I’ve been busy doing my master’s dissertation, which is now done, out of the way, thank God!
Kat: Thank God.
Rosie: But I’ve been listening every week and you guys have had some really interesting discussions, including what was going on from last week. So a lot of the discussion that is mainly on the forums has been talking about the concept of Muggle-borns in Durmstrang. And this is a comment by Bellamort, or “Bellamore” if you’re French, and it’s echoed by many people on the forums. It says,
“Regarding whether or not Durmstrang could actually refuse to teach Muggle-borns, I don’t actually believe the government would allow that to happen anymore than they would allow Muggle-born children not to be trained in the magical arts. An untrained witch or wizard is a threat to the International Statute of Secrecy, not to mention a danger to the community they live in. There must be some international law in place that requires Muggle-borns to be trained so that they do not pose a threat. I guess it’s plausible that perhaps they could go to school elsewhere, I just don’t think it’s likely.”
Do you guys follow that idea?
Caleb: I understand the reasoning but I think that is assuming that all governments are value-ridden, as this person suggests.
Kat: Right. What about Ariana? Not to jump ahead here, but her mother purposely kept her out of school… she didn’t go do school? Someone refresh my memory.
Rosie: I think she claimed that Ariana was a Squib and therefore wouldn’t need magical teaching.
Rosie: Or I think she was maybe… like the event had already happened before she reached school age. So it prevented her from needing magical education.
Rosie: But it’s an interesting thought. They knew that she was there, so someone could have gone and checked on her.
Jacob: Has it been said explicitly that Durmstrang doesn’t have Muggle-borns?
Rosie: I don’t think that it has.
Rosie: I think that’s the point of this discussion. We were trying to work out whether it was… because it’s something that Draco claims, I think, that they have a different view of Muggle-borns…
Rosie: … and the whole Mudblood concept at Durmstrang.
Caleb: The only thing… this is a really good justification that I would be willing to believe, that they would have to accept Muggle-borns because it would be involved in complying with the International Statute of Secrecy. Because that is an excellent point.
Caleb: Because otherwise they are a danger to that breech.
Kat: I agree with that and then… I know that it’s kind of a stereotype that that school is darker, only teaches the Dark Arts, or puts the emphasis on the Dark Arts, but we don’t really know that. That’s just Draco’s hopes and wishes for the school.
Jacob: Yeah, people associate Durmstrang with Grindelwald but Krum says later that he… it’s kind of a gone-by thing, that a lot of people don’t do it, just certain people there follow him and mark down his sign in books and stuff. I think Krum echoes a modern day view that more things are tolerated and that other people just try to look tough by showing that they supported Grindelwald, even though they had no idea what he was about.
Kat: And just because he went there doesn’t necessarily mean that he was always that batty. I mean, look at Voldemort. Okay, he ended up not being a great guy, but at some point he was a seemingly innocent child. So like…
Jacob: I always got the impression that he didn’t do anything bad in school at all and just kind of bided his time.
Caleb and Kat: Yeah.
Rosie: I think he probably did bad things at school. He was just better at covering them up because he knew that he needed to to be able to get out of school and take up the power.
Rosie: I mean, we know that the whole Chamber of Secrets was opened while he was at school – all of that kind of stuff.
Rosie: And so this is a comment from TheLostDiadem and it says,
“In response to Eric’s question about how Voldemort became a darker wizard than Grindelwald when Durmstrang teaches the Dark Arts and Hogwarts doesn’t, I always saw the prevalence of the Dark Arts at Durmstrang as a result of Grindelwald’s power. I get the feeling that Grindelwald might have had a much broader base of support in the countries he was powerful in than Voldemort ever had in Britain, so he was able to influence the school. ‘Deathly Hallows’ says that Durmstrang was famous even [while Grindelwald was there] for its unfortunate tolerance of the Dark Arts, which to me makes it sound as though it became even more tolerant of them in later years (DH356).”
And that’s Deathly Hallows, page 356, I’m guessing.
“I think that Grindelwald himself contributed to this growth in acceptance of dark magic.”
So that comment is basically saying that whilst Durmstrang may have already had some leanings to the Dark Arts, it’s actually Grindelwald himself that made it solidified within the school rather than the school breeding it to Grindelwald.
Kat: Yeah, that’s kind of like people saying that all Germans are Nazis. It’s the same kind of comparison. I mean, not… you know.
Jacob: Maybe people in other parts of the world, like where Durmstrang is, think that Hogwarts is a dark place because Voldemort was turned out there.
Jacob: They don’t really know.
Caleb and Rosie: That’s true.
Jacob: Unlikely, but…
Kat: That’s very true.
Caleb: And we also… it seems like a lot of things just sort of came together for this perception of Durmstrang because you obviously have Grindelwald, and then you have Karkaroff come in as headmaster, a former Death Eater, seemingly not long after Grindelwald has left Durmstrang. So that definitely propelled at least condoning of the Dark Arts.
Kat: Do you think it has anything to do with their location? Seeing as they’re so far north and kind of isolated and out there, it’s a good place to hide away.
Caleb: I think that may have been a tool by Jo to emphasize that. I don’t know if that’s necessarily the reason they are.
Rosie: I’m just trying to think where we would place Durmstrang because Krum himself is Bulgarian. Lots of people have been talking about Russia and there was a comment – I can’t remember who it was now, unfortunately, but – referencing the whole idea of Russia banning gay relationships and everything at the moment and that kind of linking to the Muggle-born thing. Maybe they could literally legislate and say “No Muggle-borns in Durmstrang” in a similar way. So you do have to realize that it will be in another country – it’s not going to have the same ministry as the Ministry of Magic – and it will have different leanings. So it could very well legislate against Muggle-borns if they wanted to. And if the whole country has a darker magic base, then that might actually be true.
Kat: That’s a comparison I never thought about. With the Olympics and all that stuff that’s currently going on.
Kat: I never thought about that link before.
Rosie: It’s interesting that you can still make links to popular culture and actual culture today when this book was written however many years ago now.
Kat: I know.
Rosie: It’s still going on. So the next comment is from Pigwidgeon, and it’s still talking about Durmstrang but looking at a slightly different idea about it. And it’s the concept of Draco talking about Durmstrang and whether or not he would have fit in at the school had he gone. And it says,
“I also think Draco would get his butt handed to him at Durmstrang. He’s a small kid compared to many of the other boys at that school and they seem a lot tougher. He’d learn his place really quickly and probably lose a lot of his stuck up attitude and try to blend in with the crowd. That is unless Lucius is friends with some northern European Death Eaters that have kids that Draco could make his body guards. I’m not sure if they’d take that attitude or not though. It’d be interesting to see Draco in that situation.”
Kat: Yeah, I’ve always said that I don’t think Draco is the big baddie that he comes across to be, that most of it is fear and all of that. So I agree with this comment. I feel as though he would not be quite the person he is if he was at Durmstrang.
Caleb: I still don’t think he would try to blend in with the crowd. He is definitely one of those people that needs to stand outside of the crowd.
Kat: Well yeah, that’s true, but the rest of it here… I definitely think that he would get his “butt handed to him” to quote this quote.
Jacob: I think if he tried to show that he was really skilled in the Dark Arts he would, but I’m sticking to my thought that Durmstrang isn’t really as bad as we think it is. It’s not a prison. We’re talking about it like it’s a prison, kind of.
Kat: [laughs] No, that’s true. After Karkaroff left, it probably changed quite a bit from whatever it was at this point.
Rosie: Leading on from this comment, in direct relation on the forums we have Stonehallows talking about the concept and saying,
“This is an interesting thought, and it let me to think that maybe we are on the wrong track with the whole Durmstrang and Grindelwald thing. It’s possible that, like I was saying before, G is just as bad as Voldemort, but we don’t see the horror as much because it was in another country. Perhaps in that country, people would react just as violently to supporters of Grindelwald as we see the trio and others react in our story. I’m sure there are supporters that would agree with him, just like Voldemort’s Death Eaters, but a lot would also disagree. And like said above, they are going to be a lot bigger than Draco and certainly able to knock him down a few notches.”
So that’s kind of going with what you were just saying, Jacob, that we’re only seeing this through Death Eater-tinted glasses.
Rosie: Not everyone is fit into good guys and Death Eaters, as Sirius later says. And we’re seeing this whole “Grindelwald was an ultimate evil thing,” but we’re not looking at the resistance to Grindelwald which we know was in existence because obviously Dumbledore stood up to him.
Kat: Is that going to be the next marketing thing that Warner Bros. puts out? Death Eater-tinted glasses?
Kat: What would that look like? The world would be black?
Rosie: I hope they’d have all of the markings on, like the Death Eater masks. They were quite cool.
Jacob: Be like the Wraith World.
Jacob: You could see all the other Death Eaters. They would be called to Voldemort.
Caleb: This just made me think, though, what we’re exploring here with these comments. This is totally what… if Jo was going to write another book…
Caleb: Not a prequel to Harry’s story with the Marauders, because I still don’t think she will ever do that, but this is a completely different story where I totally could see her writing this book.
Rosie: Definitely. If you’re going to write a different story…
Caleb: Grindelwald’s story.
Rosie: … you need a different bad guy and she’s already got a ready-made fight against evil that she could talk about if she wanted to.
Kat: But guys, she’s already writing Fantastic Beasts.
Caleb: Right, but that’s not going to last forever. I’m lining her up – Jo, I’m telling you what your next project is.
Kat: That depends on how many movies it’s going to be.
Kat: Which we still don’t know.
Caleb: She clearly can multitask. She’s got the screenplay and more…
Caleb: … Galbraith books coming on the way.
Kat: Yeah, but those are already done. Those are already written.
Caleb: One more is written.
Kat: Right. Well, how do we know it’s only going to be…
Caleb: Oh, she’s going to write more than two of those.
Kat: You don’t know that.
Caleb: Yeah, I do.
Caleb: Definitely. Mystery, detective novels.
Kat: Did she tell you?
Caleb: Yeah, we talked about it last night.
Kat: [laughs] Okay.
Caleb: No, but in actuality, mystery detective novels… no, it’s not going to stop at two. It won’t.
Kat: No, that’s true. But even if she were to do that… look how long it took her to break between Potter and this. So let’s pretend there’s two movies, so that’s about five years. Then we’re looking at 2018, so it will be another five years from that.
Caleb: I’m going to live for a long time, so…
Kat: … 2023, if she even decides to do it, so we’re looking at least ten or twelve years.
Caleb: That’s fine, I’ll wait.
Kat: Don’t hold your breath.
Caleb: I will.
Kat: Okay, start now. I’ll time you.
Jacob: We’ll all be seventy-year-olds camping out for the Grindelwald movie.
[Caleb and Kat laugh]
Kat: I would so be there. Just saying.
Rosie: It’ll be our kids. The next generation camping out for the next generation of Potter books. [laughs]
Kat: My kids will be in their twenties if I ever get around to having kids. I’m a lot older than you guys, don’t forget. Go ahead.
Rosie: That’s no reason for them not to camp out. [laughs]
Kat: No, that’s very true.
Rosie: Okay, moving onto a lighter discussion, another great point from last week’s episode was the Ron and Percy comparison. And this is a comment from Cassandra1447 and it says,
“Great comparison, but I think Percy and Ron have different focuses. Percy focuses on status and appearance while Ron is concerned with comfort and having functional/nice things. Percy wants to successful and respected, especially by his peers and superiors, while Ron wants a nice life.”
And kind of directly linked to that is a comment by LilyRose and it says,
“I actually think that Ron has as much interest in status and appearance as Percy. What he sees in the Mirror of Erised (his heart’s desire) is not only being Head Boy and Quidditch captain, but being better than his brothers! When Ginny dates Dean and calls Ron out on his lack of experience, he brazenly dates Lavender – not because he likes her, but because he wants the status symbol of having a girlfriend, even to the point of hurting his best friend. His anger at the dress robes is not for lack of comfort, but because they are not as nice. His attitude in selecting a date for the ball (and his attempt to pick the best girl there, Fleur) shows that he’s not looking to have a good time with a nice girl, but wants a good looking girl so as not to look like a loser. Percy and Ron’s ambition is the same, but because Ron was more accepted by his family, and tied to the Order because of Harry, he tried to outshine everyone by rising in the Order rather than in the Ministry. I think one of the reasons Ron left Harry was because he thought the quest would be glorious and easy, and it turned out not to be either of those things.”
So two very different views of who Ron Weasley really is. What do you guys think?
Kat: I agree with LilyRose. He definitely has interests in status and appearance. I still think in a different way than Percy, though.
Caleb: Yeah, I agree.
Kat: Ron definitely wants a good, cushy, happy life. But he has no interests in really working for it. [laughs]
Jacob: Yeah, I…
Kat: He wants it handed to him and Percy is the opposite because he doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty, so to say.
Jacob: This is going to sound controversial, but I think that Ron and Percy – like both of them said – their goals are kind of the same, but Ron seems to complain a lot and Percy just puts his head down and does the things he needs to do to get ahead.
Caleb: I think that’s absolutely true.
Kat: Completely agree.
Rosie: Do you think that Ron has more to complain about than Percy, though? I mean, there’s a difference between being the third son and the sixth son… [unintelligible]
Jacob: No, not necessarily because Percy followed Charlie and Bill and they were pretty popular and successful.
Rosie: Exactly, so he had a lot more to live up to. Ron was following up after the twins, so he just had to get by…
Caleb: Also the implication of “have more to complain about”… I don’t know, that doesn’t sit well with me because I think like, “You got to do what you got to do.” You can’t just sit there and complain about it.
Jacob: He complains a lot in this book.
Caleb: Right. Of course, he does. Which is why he’s so annoying for me…
Kat: A pain in the butt. Yeah, pretty much.
Rosie: Yeah, I think I agree with both of the commenters. I think it’s Hermione that says about Ron wanting to outshine Harry at moments, isn’t it? He wants to just not be the sidekick for once. And because he’s got all of these older brothers who have done amazing things, I think he does feel that on his shoulders. He feels like he can’t shine as much because they’ve already achieved everything.
Kat: The thing is, he’s lazy. There’s no reason he couldn’t be that amazing person he wants to be; he’s just lazy.
Rosie: But he does go out for things like Quidditch…
Kat: Yeah, finally in his sixth year.
Rosie: He didn’t have the opportunity before that, did he?
Kat: Why not?
Jacob: Oliver Wood was there.
Caleb: For that position.
Rosie: Harry got in his first year because he’s Harry.
Kat: Well, yeah but if we are assuming…
Rosie: There were no roles on the team before that.
Caleb: There were roles, yeah.
Kat: I’m under the assumption that they held tryouts every year.
Rosie: I don’t think so. If they had the working team, I don’t think they wouldn’t hold tryouts to replace anyone.
Kat: I don’t know, because we always held tryouts in my high school, regardless of whether you were on the team the year before or not.
Rosie: But this is Hogwarts. [laughs] I don’t know. I just thought that we would have heard about it sooner if it was done.
Jacob: Well, he didn’t really get a good broom until fifth year for his Prefect gift.
Rosie: That’s true.
Jacob: He kind of lacked self-confidence in that way, so getting the broom… I don’t want to go into sexual innuendos, but getting that probably helped his self-esteem a bit.
Jacob: I miss Noah. He was my favorite host.
Rosie: We’ll try to make more sexual innuendos in his honor.
Rosie: But yeah, I don’t think… don’t hate on Ron. He’s not that bad. He’s just…
Caleb: In this book he is.
Jacob: But he is bad.
[Caleb and Rosie laugh]
Rosie: Fair enough. Okay, well, moving on from Ron to a different Weasley sibling… there was also a big discussion about Ginny possibly being seen as spoiled, and there'[re] loads and loads of different comments on the forums about this, and I’ve picked one that is slightly different from the rest of them, so if you agree or disagree with this comment, definitely make your way over to the forums and join in the conversation. But this is a comment by The Penseive, and it says,
“I do not think she is spoiled at all. In fact quite the opposite. I feel like she gets coddled and overprotected by Mrs. Weasley because she is the only daughter (and apparently Mrs. Weasley really wanted a daughter) and so in most ways she has it worse than Ron and the other boys… and we get to see her complain about this a few times in the books. Often we see Mrs. Weasly trying to keep Ginny away from the action, telling Fred and George to set a better example for her, even at Diagon Alley – the trio shop together but Ginny is ALWAYS taken by Mrs. Weasley. She is not allowed as much leeway as the others. I would be tempted to say its a gender thing but then Mrs. Weasley has no problem with Hermione going with Ron and Harry so it seems to be a Ginny specific protection.”
Caleb and Kat: I…
Rosie: So in this way she’s not spoiled; she’s just coddled.
Caleb: I get that, but I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive. I think she’s still, in a way, spoiled, but yeah, I agree that Mrs. Weasley does coddle her in some ways, but I still think she’s spoiled in some ways naturally. Not because of some other reason.
Kat: I think that… I mean, as the youngest… I’m not the youngest of seven or whatever; I’m the youngest of two, but… [laughs] my mother treated me very much like this when I was younger too. It’s just my brother was older and more responsible, got to do more things on his own, and I always stuck with my mother, and I think that would be the same regardless of if I [were] a boy or a girl, so I think that that’s what’s happening with Ginny here.
Jacob: How different do you think the Weasley household would be if they never had Ginny? Because I have a friend who has three younger brothers. It almost seemed like they kept trying to have a girl, but it just never happened, and it’s such a boyish house. They love football, and they watch it every Sunday. Stuff like that. I can’t even imagine what their house would be like if there [were] a youngest girl.
Kat: I think Mrs. Weasley would have a lot more gray hair.
Kat: Poor woman.
Rosie: I do think she would coddle her youngest child no matter if they were a girl or a boy. If it had stopped at Ron, I think it would be Ron [who] was always being protected.
Kat: I agree.
Rosie: But then Ron and Ginny are only a year apart, so I don’t see why she treats them quite as differently as she does. But in regards to Ginny being spoiled, I don’t see it. Her attitude I don’t think shows any expression of being spoiled. She knows that she’s coddled, and she will want to be her own person. And even in terms of physical items she’s always got secondhand stuff even if it’s not hand-me-downs from her brothers. Because they can’t afford anything else. She’s not… she doesn’t see everything [as needing] to be gifted to her in the way that being spoiled would mean. So yeah. I disagree with you guys if you thought that she was spoiled.
Jacob: Speaking of hand-me-downs, do you guys think there’s financial assistance from the Ministry in the wizarding world? There must be.
Kat: Well, Dumbledore mentioned it to Tom Riddle that there’s a fund…
Kat: … for helping with Hogwarts stuff.
Jacob: I figured that was just becuse he was an orphan. Just because he was an orphan that he got that.
Rosie: That’s true.
Kat: No, I think that would be for anybody who was…
Rosie: Think about Hermione. Would she have been given money from the government, or would they have had some kind of exchange rate from Muggle money?
Kat: An exchange rate.
Kat: Because I think we’ve seen her parents exchanging money at Gringotts.
Jacob: Well, I’m not talking about Hogwarts specifically. I’m just talking about living because at one point the Weasleys had seven kids in the house, wouldn’t they have? So that’s a lot of mouths to feed with only two parents, one of them working, the other one not.
Kat: Yeah, but don’t forget, they can transfigure food, so if they have food, they can transfigure it into more food. They just can’t make food appear. So you wouldn’t need money to buy food or anything like that.
Jacob: I’m not sure if that’s true, but that’s another discussion, I suppose.
Jacob: About science in wiser words.
Rosie: But I think that’s partly why The Burrow is where it is as well. I always saw them as being relatively self-sufficient, keeping chickens and all of that kind of thing.
Jacob: I see. Okay.
Rosie: Which… I mean, there would be some kind of cost in upkeep, I’m guessing, but not as much as you would [have] if you were living in a Muggle life. I don’t know, but anyway that’s the end of our comments from last week. There’s obviously a lot more out there that you guys can read if you go to our forums or look at the discussion on the episode post from last week’s episode on our main archive.
Kat: And speaking of last week’s episode, we’re going to jump into the Podcast Question of the Week responses, and I believe this question was Caleb’s with some influence from Eric. Is that how this worked?
Kat: Okay. Okay, so the question says that in the chapter… so last week’s chapter, Chapter 11. It says, “We hear Amos talk to Arthur about the situation with Mad-Eye Moody, the lead-up to less fortunate things for Mr. Moody. But we never find out what exactly happens between [him] and Barty Crouch Jr. How was Crouch Jr., who was locked up in a basement for so long, able to subdue and incapacitate one of the greatest Aurors to ever live?” And there [were] a lot of responses. A lot. [laughs] I think this was one of the most popular Questions of the Week we’ve ever put up…
Caleb: Virtual high five to Eric out there.
[Kat and Rosie laugh]
Kat: That’s right. Good job, buddy, good job. Our first comment here comes from Maureen. It says,
“I agree that Barty Crouch Jr. probably overpowered Moody while he was asleep, but that doesn’t completely explain how he was able to get past the defenses (other than the dustbins) that I assume Moody would have set up (after all, shouldn’t constant vigilance apply even while Mad-Eye is asleep)? My best explanation is that Barty Crouch Jr. is a very powerful wizard in his own right. We only see him at his most vulnerable, but he was able to throw off the Imperius Curse and kill many people, including his own father.”
Rosie: I would like to take this moment to point out that we have never heard Mad-Eye Moody say “constant vigilance,” only Barty Crouch Jr.
Kat: That is very true.
Kat: That is very true, so… huh.
Rosie: It’s one of those catch phrases that we think about as being Moody.
Caleb: He doesn’t ever say it in Order of the Phoenix?
Rosie: I don’t think so. He has no reason to because he says it during the lessons.
Kat: Huh. So that – if you think about it, which I had never thought about that – changes the entire meaning of that phrase, really.
Rosie: Yup. That’s one of my favorite things about this book is looking at all of the things that we associate with Moody but are actually not Moody at all, and all of those things that we think are his staple character tropes aren’t actually him at all. And you can see a difference between his character in this book and the Moody we get to know in later books if you look closely. It’s interesting.
Kat: Which, I mean, is our job, so we will definitely be looking closely.
Jacob: I think that…
Rosie: So… sorry, go ahead.
Jacob: I was just going to say that I think Mad-Eye probably did use that phrase, but good research by Barty Crouch Jr. and Wormtail and Voldemort obviously lead them to acting more like Moody, like the hip flask thing, which worked in Crouch’s favor.
Caleb: Good point.
Rosie: I assume that Crouch, Jr. would have met Moody before he went to jail. Being the son of Crouch Sr., he would have been with that Ministry background and would have known Aurors and known their whereabouts and what they do and how how they act.
Jacob: It just makes me think of in Inception. Have you guys seen Inception?
Jacob: Eames, played by Tom Hardy, was the forger, and he imitated his… the guy’s uncle in the dream…
Jacob: … and he looked like him.
Jacob: That just made me think of that. Yeah.
Kat: And so there was another comment by Dan Sharp that says,
“For those thinking that Barty Jr. must have been a talented wizard we have this quote from the chapter “The Madness of Mr. Crouch” when Sr. was talking to the tree. “Yes, my son has recently gained twelve OWLs, most satisfactory, yes, thank you, yes, very proud indeed.” So clearly, Jr. was indeed talented. I sometimes think it’s easy to forget just what Jr. managed to do over the year.”
Kat: So that’s incredibly true.
Rosie: It’s interesting that we know so little about Bary Crouch before his… before the trial scene that we see in the Pensieve. We have this idea of him that isn’t necessarily what the rest of the Wizarding World saw. So yeah, if he is this intelligent son… again, I’m thinking parallel to Voldemort himself. Tom Riddle at school, very intelligent, secret life behind it. We never really find out why he went over to Voldemort. It’s one of my questions I most want answered is why Barty Crouch Jr. decided to join the Death Eaters.
Kat: Maybe we’ll get that. I mean…
Rosie: I hope so.
Rosie: Please, Pottermore!
Kat: I mean, Goblet of Fire has to be coming sometime, right? It has to be.
Rosie: Hopefully soon.
Kat: But we have another…
Caleb: Plus they’re supposed to start viewing it soon.
Jacob: Yeah, I just said I’d given up on Pottermore. [laughs] I think it happened halfway through Chamber of Secrets. I finished it, but it’s just… I don’t get excited about it anymore.
Rosie: I think with things like Lupin, there are Moments that are really interesting [to] me, but the whole thing overall… I’m not going to sit there and make potions for hours and hours. [laughs]
Kat: I enjoy Pottermore. I don’t sit there and… there was a time when you could actually see how many house points you had…
Kat: … and what rank you are in the house where I would make potions a lot because I was ranked seventy-two out of…
Kat: … however many people are in the house. I made a lot of potions…
Kat: I had a boring computer job, so I would do work, make a potion, do more work, make a potion…
Kat: … that’s all I did. But then they took that away, and I lost interest because I’m all about… I’m a Ravenclaw. I’m all about… [laughs] whatever, so…
Rosie: [laughs] But yeah, if we can get a Lupin-like story for Barty Crouch Jr., that would be really interesting to me. But I’m worried that she won’t do it because he’s a bad guy, and I think we find out more about the good guys and the main bad guys, and I don’t think Crouch Jr. necessarily counts.
Kat: I think that what’s going to happen is we’re going to get small bits for each book, and then they are going to go start over, and we’re going to get more bits for each book, and they’re going to start over…
Rosie: Mhm. Probably.
Kat: … and they’re just going to keep adding stuff, so… but back to our Question of the Week recap. So we have another comment here from Cassandra Vablatsky. That’s quite the last name. She says,
“One other thing worth mentioning: Barty Crouch Jr. was not alone when he attacked Moody. According to Crouch’s own testimony in Chapter 35, Wormtail was with him. So it was two on one and still ‘Moody put up a struggle. There was a commotion. We managed to subdue him just in time.'”
Caleb: True. It still…
Rosie: It wasn’t as easy as they made it sound.
Caleb: Yeah, but then again, Wormtail is not the most… clearly, Crouch was leading this effort because he’s extremely skilled, and Wormtail, while certainly capable, is nowhere near Crouch’s level of skill, I would say.
Rosie: But do you think that could be a way that they actually got inside? If Wormtail turned into the rat, it might bypass some of the defenses that people were talking about earlier, and that could be how they managed to overpower him if he [were] asleep.
Kat: I was just going to say…
Caleb: Yeah, that’s possible.
Kat: … Wormtail had to be in his rat form because nobody knows he’s alive.
Rosie: Yeah, true.
Kat: We have this one final comment here from suprememugwump, and it’s great. It’s a…
Kat: … mind blown when I read it. It says,
“A question for you: Does Moody’s magical eye ever “go to sleep?” Unlike in the movie, he’d have to actually pop it out of its socket to get rid of it, so do you think he takes it out every night like dentures? Does he take off his wooden leg, too? If so, an eyeless, legless, sleepy Mad-Eye would actually be quite easy to subdue.”
Rosie: Very true.
Caleb: I don’t think he would put himself [in] such a vulnerable position as that.
Rosie: I think he would have had all of his safeguards in place and all of his defenses, so I mean, he could take out his eye and take off his leg and still feel relatively safe because he’s already got all of these protections in place. And if he [were] eyeless and legless and still managing to [put] up the good fight, the struggle that caused a commotion and struggle that stopped them from subduing him easily, then it shows that he’s even more powerful than we think of if he can do all of that when he’s eyeless and legless.
Kat: I’m with Caleb, though. I’m not sure that he would ever…
Caleb: He’s so paranoid…
Kat: Yeah, and it says that he’s even gotten more paranoid in his old age, so…
Rosie: But that’s what’s always got me is that we don’t see that after this book. He’s not as paranoid as they make him out to be.
Caleb: Yeah. But I mean, it’s described by Amos, too, and it’s talked [about] in the Weasley house, and I don’t think they have any reason to exaggerate it.
Rosie: But we’ve seen how Amos talks about Harry. He’s not exactly the most trustworthy person.
Kat: Hmm. That’s true. Hard to say.
Rosie: It is.
Kat: I mean, I don’t think the magical eye sleeps, and I don’t think he takes it out.
Kat: I bet he takes it out to clean it, but…
Jacob: I can picture the magical eye just sitting in – instead of a cup of water like people put their dentures in at night – a magical potion sitting on the bedside table just looking out.
Kat: I was going to say, “What I thought of is Gandalf when he’s sleeping with his eyes wide open in Lord of the Rings.”
Jacob: Yup. I was thinking of that, too. I would picture Moody to be a guy who sleeps with his good eye open anyway.
Caleb: Yeah. That’s so true.
Kat: [laughs] It was just really funny. That’s all. I could picture it. But that’s it. So there’s probably forty other comments from last week’s Podcast Question of the Week, so if you want to comment on it, go over to alohomora.mugglenet.com and give your input.
Caleb: All right, so we’re going to transition into this week’s chapter discussion.
[Goblet of Fire Chapter 12 intro begins]
Dumbledore: Chapter 12.
[Sounds of rain and thunder]
Dumbledore: “The Triwizard Tournament.”
[Goblet of Fire Chapter 12 intro ends]
Caleb: All right, so at the start of this chapter, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are finally getting into Hogwarts out of the storm, but they are soaking wet, and as they’re trying to get in, all of a sudden someone is dropping water balloons, which we quickly find out is Peeves. And I thought, “Peeves. Come on. You can be a little bit more creative than…
Caleb: “… trying to get them more wet when [they’re] already soaking wet.”
Kat: And it’s funny that he justifies it. He’s like, “What? I’m not doing anything. They’re already wet.” [laughs]
Caleb: Yeah. I’m just like, “Peeves, come on man, you’ve got to do better than this. It’s creativity.”
Rosie: [in a singsong voice] Not doing nothing.
Kat: Yeah, exactly. The “I’m not touching you. I’m not touching you”. It’s the same thing.
Caleb: But it does not take long for my homegirl Minerva to yell at him and to end that business immediately.
Rosie: Strangling Hermione on the way.
Caleb: Yeah. [laughs]
Kat: I know. Ow.
Jacob: I know that Hogwarts doesn’t really care about their students at all, as we’ve seen…
[Caleb and Rosie laugh]:
Jacob: … but how are these kids not going to get sick going out in the rain like this? Didn’t – in Book 3 – Hermione use a spell on Harry’s glasses – Impervious – to get rid of the rain?
Jacob: So why couldn’t they have used this on these kids? Because they’re just asking for hypothermia and at least colds on their first day of school.
Rosie: [laughs] They’re not outside for that long, and they’ve got all the fires in the Great Hall, so they’ll warm up quite quickly.
Jacob: Well, at least the first years are. And they go out on the lake, which is genius when it’s probably very windy and unsafe.
Kat: And I think it’s been proven in the Muggle world that you can’t get a cold just from being outside in the rain, so…
Caleb: I don’t know. I don’t know about that.
Kat: I do. I’ll find the article, and I’ll show you.
Caleb: This correlation doesn’t always equal causation, so there’d have to be some pretty hard facts.
Kat: You got it.
Jacob: You can’t prove anything. You can only suggest it with doubt.
Caleb: Yeah. Or reject them all. Anyway, I’ll stop being lessonary.
[Kat and Rosie laugh]
Caleb: “Start being less lessonary,” I should say. So they finally make their way into the Great Hall, and the Sorting is about to start, and Harry, through his narration, notes that this is the first one he has seen since his first year, so that’s exciting. We’re going to get a new Sorting Hat song. But before that happens, Colin Creevey, Harry’s number one fanboy…
Caleb: … announces that he has a brother – “Hi, Dennis!” – who we’ll meet in just a second.
Rosie: How exciting for Harry. He’s so, so excited.
Caleb: More fanboys.
Kat: Yeah. Yeah. Oh my God.
Jacob: You think Colin would have calmed down a bit in three years or two years.
Caleb: Right? He’s…
Rosie: Especially being constantly, practically ignored by him.
Jacob: Yeah, I can imagine Colin being… when he turned thirteen – if this [were] a little bit more realistic – he would have been really emo in Year 3 and Year 4 because he wasn’t…
Rosie: Well, that’s what the actor did. The actor of Colin Creevey in the first movie. The reason why we don’t see Colin again is because he revolted – I think he was actually bullied, which was quite sad – agasint that kind of character and against the “Hi Harry!” kind of attitude and turned completely emo for a couple years.
Jacob: I had no idea.
Kat: Wait! Who played him?
Rosie: I can’t remember his name now, but it’s well documented. That’s why we don’t see Colin again after that movie.
Rosie: I think he’s gone back to it recently. I think he’s been in some of the conventions, but for a time he was…
Kat: No, that’s the kid that played Nigel.
Rosie: Okay. Yeah, Nigel was the replacement…
Rosie: … for Colin’s character.
Kat: Right, for Colin. Right.
Caleb: So the topic comes up for discussion as to whether Dennis will be in Gryffindor like Colin and I think it’s Harry asks, do siblings always go in the same house because, of course, he’s worried Dennis is going to be over-bearing as well. And Hermione points out that, no because identical twins Parvati and Padma are in different houses. Parvati, of course, is in Gryffindor and Padma is in Ravenclaw. And this is, obviously, we know this and we may have even talked about this before, but I think we should take a moment to think about this because this is strange because they are identical twins and…
Rosie: But that’s identical in appearance, not in personality and…
Caleb: Right, but…
Rosie: … houses are determined by personality.
Caleb: Right, but for the most part, identical twins are very similar in personality, especially if they are raised in similar environments.
Rosie: Definitely not. Nope, completely wrong. Some of them are, I’m sure, but some of them are the two most different people you could meet even though they look the same.
Caleb: No, I didn’t say all of them. I said a majority of them.
Rosie: Perhaps, but I don’t think that’s true either. I think… I mean, some of them revolt against the idea that they are the same person and therefore, become very different, but I mean, there’s a set of twins that live down my street, they are identical, but they are the most different people you will ever meet.
Caleb: Okay. Right. That’s what I’m trying to get to. I think you’re rushing ahead of me because I’m saying it’s the majority of the case where identical twins are like that, but there are, obviously, cases where they’re not exactly the same. And I think this is a way that Jo put these characters here to show how choices can really guide people differently regardless – even in a case where identical twins are presented.
Kat: I’m trying to think of the twins that I have in my family. I have eleven sets of twins in my family, which is crazy and…
Kat: … that’s only in two generations.
Kat: And my mother is actually a twin. She has a twin brother, so I’m not sure she’s relevant to this conversation, but I would say probably only four or so out of the eleven – again not counting my mother, so I guess four out of the ten – I would see as totally and completely different people. The other six are definitely more similar than they are different.
Kat: So I was just trying to think of where I would place them. And I think…
Rosie: I think it’s quite interesting that we have two sets of twins within the books. I mean, we’ve got the Weasley twins and, obviously, the Patil twins and they’re both identical sets rather than twins that aren’t identical. I wonder if that’s on purpose or I don’t know, it’s just an interesting idea. If you’re going along with what Caleb’s saying that if they are there on purpose to show this choice aspect, it would…
Jacob: I wasn’t thinking…
Rosie: … make more sense if they are identical.
Jacob: When I was reading this, I wasn’t thinking in terms of them being identical, but just them being siblings and being in different houses was striking to me because in the next book we learn more about Sirius and him revolting…
Rosie: True, yeah.
Jacob: … from his family. So it’s not foreshadowing, but it’s a bit of a…
Rosie: Laying the groundwork.
Jacob: Yeah, I suppose so.
Rosie: For the RAB conversation. Yeah.
Jacob: But we really don’t learn that Parvati and Padma are different at all. They don’t really say much or do much in the series, unfortunately.
Caleb: Well, Harry after this discussion comes up, scans the staff table at the head of the Great Hall and notices the missing chair for the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher because obviously they are going to have a new one, so they’re starting to suspect who that might be. And then there’s this almost throwaway comment that Ron makes because he’s talking about being hungry and he says, “I could eat a Hippogriff,” which maybe not the best choice of words, but probably geniuosly placed by Jo because we have just come up off of a book where a Hippogriff has barely escaped death and we’re at the front of the book that is going to focus on Hermione’s efforts to fight for the rights of house-elves. So, I thought it was very, very interestingly placed.
Rosie: Do you guys not have the phrase, “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse?”
Caleb: Yes. Absolutely.
Kat: We do.
Rosie: That’s what this is referring to.
Caleb: Yeah, but it’s insensitive given the situation.
Rosie: [laughs] Sure.
Kat: Do you think they eat Hippogriffs?
Caleb: I would hope not.
Kat: Why not?
Rosie: I think it is literally just a throwaway statement. It’s, “I could eat a horse,” but the magical version, which the closest thing to a magical horse we’ve seen recently is a hippogriff.
Kat: Yeah, well, unfortunately, people eat horses. So I guess that’s why I was asking this.
Rosie: Not in this country.
Caleb: I would, yeah.
Kat: That’s because…
Rosie: Definitely not after horse meat scandal, I know that everyone will know about in the UK. [laughs]
Kat: That’s because it’s illegal in, I mean, the US anyway.
Caleb: Yeah, but that doesn’t mean people don’t do it, so…
Kat: I mean, right.
Caleb: Yeah. So, hopefully not, but I guess that wouldn’t be too surprising if people… ugh.
Kat: Yeah, gross. [laughs]
Rosie: During this scene there’s one little bit that I always pondered over as I’ve been rereading and it’s the little bit that talks about Dumbledore with his hands together staring up at the ceiling as if lost in thought. And then Harry goes on to say that the ceiling looks stormy with black and purple clouds swirling across it. And obviously, we’ve seen the storm outside, but just to have it reiterated here, it just seemed too detailed to not mean anything even though it’s never referred to again and there’s not really any reason for it that’s obvious. It just seemed… I don’t know… the whole pathetic fallacy thing with stormy skies meaning difficult times ahead. I just thought if this is here for a reason, what reason would that be within this chapter, do you guys think? Why the storm? [laughs]
Kat: I mean, the ceiling is… I feel like sometimes it is used as a hint as to the character or… what am I trying to say? It’s more than just a reflection of the sky. It’s a reflection of what’s happening inside the school at the moment too.
Kat: Not necessarily literally. I’ve just always felt that she uses it as a device that way.
Rosie: Yes. So in that case, what is this storm all about?
Kat: It’s about Moody because he’s the one walking in. I think that this is a bit of foreshadowing.
Rosie: It’s just interesting.
Caleb: Yeah, because even the way he enters, it’s very…
Caleb: He catches everyone off guard, he looks horribly terrifying, no one claps for him – we’ll get to that in a minute – but yeah. I absolutely think it’s relating to… it’s a bit of foreshadowing about Moody. It’s this very change in environment with the Triwizard Tournament that has all of these dangerous elements to it.
Rosie: So do you think this is a clue to not trust Moody? Because if we’re… if he’s got this violent storm going on, he’s presented as if he’s an evil character at this moment because of this storm.
Caleb: I think it… I wouldn’t say evil. I think it’s to take… I think it promotes this harsh, very rough, scary, but not evil characteristic of him.
Kat: I think we… I think in order to make that assumption or argument we would have to look back at the other references to the ceiling and see what was happening at that point.
Kat: I feel like it could be plausible that it is some sort of dialogue on Moody and his character, but I’m not sure what it is.
Rosie: It just seems to go against what we then see of Moody for the rest of the book…
Rosie: … until the moment that – the big reveal at the end.
Rosie: So it’s just interesting that it’s happening at this point. I don’t know.
Caleb: Well, eventually the first years come in and McGonagall sets up the Sorting Hat and we get a new song:
[Audio clip begins]
[Sounds of people talking]
The Sorting Hat: A thousand years or more ago,
When I was newly sewn,
There lived four wizards of renown,
Whose names are still well known:
Bold Gryffindor, from wild moor,
Fair Ravenclaw, from glen,
Sweet Hufflepuff, from valley broad,
Shrewd Slytherin, from fen.
They shared a wish, a hope, a dream,
They hatched a daring plan
To educate young sorcerers
Thus Hogwarts School began.
Now each of these four founders
Formed their own house, for each
Did value different virtues
In the ones they had to teach.
By Gryffindor, the bravest were
Prized far beyond the rest;
For Ravenclaw, the cleverest
Would always be the best;
For Hufflepuff, hard workers were
Most worthy of admission;
And power-hungry Slytherin
Loved those of great ambition.
While still alive they did divide
Their favorites from the throng,
Yet how to pick the worthy ones
When they were dead and gone?
‘Twas Gryffindor who found the way,
He whipped me off his head
The founders put some brains in me
So I could choose instead!
Now slip me snug about your ears,
I’ve never yet been wrong,
I’ll have a look inside your mind
And tell you where you belong!
Harry: That’s not the song it sang when it Sorted us.
Ron: Sings a different one every year. It’s got to be a pretty boring life, hasn’t it, being a hat? I suppose it spends all year making up the next one.
[Audio clip ends]
Caleb: So it mentions that Gryffindor is from wild moor, Ravenclaw from glen, Hufflepuff from valley broad, and Slytherin from fen.
Caleb: What do we think about these things?
Jacob: I have no idea what they mean.
Kat: I was just going to say…
Rosie: Really? [laughs]
Kat: … I don’t know what anything but a glen… I mean, a wild moor? That’s like a swamp, right?
Rosie: Yeah, kind of.
Caleb: Not quite a swamp.
Rosie: Think Wuthering Heights.
Caleb: Yeah. And also…
Kat: That reference is lost on me.
Rosie: Okay. [laughs]
Caleb: Oh, that’s so sad.
Kat: [laughs] I know.
Caleb: But I think the use of “wild” is very…
Caleb: … important for Gryffindor, but I don’t know. I feel like these have to mean something, so…
Kat: What is a fen?
Rosie: The fens are the Fenland. Hang on a second. I will look it up so I can get it properly.
Caleb: Fens are more marshy areas, right?
Rosie: Yeah, I think so.
Caleb: Almost swamps.
Rosie: It’s kind of Cambridgeshire. It’s marshy regions in the east of England. So, to me, the “wild moor” would be maybe Exeter, Dartmoor, that kind of region. Southwest? Fenlands would be southeast. “Glen” is more likely to be north. So more the Scotland area. And the valleys are Wales. So Hufflepuff could be Welsh.
Rosie: You’ve got a nice sweep geographically of England there, and Ireland, and Scotland, and Wales. All of that lot. [laughs]
Caleb: Kat, I don’t think you’ll complain that Ravenclaw is a herald to the Scottish islands, possibly?
Kat: Nope, I am perfectly fine with that…
Kat: … because that’s pretty much one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in my life. So…
Caleb: It was for sure.
Kat: I’m down with that.
Caleb: But moving on to more about the houses. There isn’t really anything new about Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. It mentions Gryffindor wanted the bravest, Ravenclaw, the cleverest. But there is a bit of a different language for the other two houses. It mentions that Hufflepuff is hard workers, which I don’t think it mentions it that way in the first book, right? Because Hufflepuff is, “I’ll take the rest,” right? In the first book.
Kat: Right. And “most worthy of admission,” which is so…
Caleb: Well, it says that hard workers are the most worthy of admission, right?
Kat: For Hufflepuff, yes. Exactly.
Caleb: So I think that just means that the hard workers for that house.
Rosie: I think this is Jo trying to give us a break. [laughs] We’ve had a couple of years of everyone going, “Oh, no one wants to be Hufflepuff.” This is her going, “No, they’re the hard workers. They’re the good ones. Come on.” [laughs]
Kat: Unfortunately, I think that is never going to change. People hate on Hufflepuff so bad.
Rosie: I know, but there are so many of us. [laughs]
Kat: I know, I don’t get it. I really don’t. I mean, I have no problem with Hufflepuff whatsoever.
Rosie: Hufflepuff and proud. [laughs]
Caleb: It also mentions that Slytherin is power-hungry, which is definitely different than what we’ve heard. I mean, we may have had this idea of Slytherin, but the house… the Sorting Hat has not said it this way. Which, obviously, using that phrase is definitely evokes a negative connotation.
Kat: Yeah, and I like that it’s… power-hungry is used in describing Salazar himself…
Kat: … which I guess fits in with what we know about him, just the little bit we learned from Chamber of Secrets.
Kat: Which I like.
Jacob: I really dislike the way that Jo paints Slytherin in these books because we hear it from Ron and Harry’s mouths that this is the house that’s put out more Dark wizards than any other house and I can’t think of another Dark wizard who has come out of another house besides maybe Wormtail, but I don’t really see him as evil at all, really. I just think he…
Rosie: Maybe Barty Crouch Jr. We don’t know what house he was.
Jacob: It’s true, but the fact that she puts power-hungry here, I mean, maybe it’s not necessarily by itself a terrible thing to be power-hungry, but everyone thinks of power-hungry as doing whatever you need to do to get ahead no matter who you have to put down. And Slytherin is not necessarily what we… appear to be a good guy.
Kat: Right. I think though…
Rosie: The way I’ve always thought of them all – which is quite ridiculous, really – is, you know the fairies in Sleeping Beauty?
[Kat and Rosie laugh]
Rosie: Where you’ve got the three fairies who give the good gifts and then you’ve got the one that wasn’t invited and turned up late and caused all of the problems and cursed everyone.
[Kat and Rosie laugh]
Rosie I’ve always seen Slytherin as that fairy that wasn’t invited. [laughs]
Kat: Oh no!
Rosie: Because he is the power-hungry, evil person that no one really wants around, but they have to put up with because he’s always making problems. [laughs]
Kat: See, as… Slytherin is my second house…
Kat: … for sure. I’m super ambitious and I’m, I mean, I’m not willing to cut down whoever it takes to get what I want, but I’m definitely power-hungry. I definitely want to be somebody with influence and all of that. So, knowing that, I mean, I would hope that nobody out there thinks that I’m evil, but I definitely agree that the way that they’re painted in the books, I think, isn’t the best way to be painted, but it is through Harry’s point of view and we have to remember that. So…
Jacob: That’s what I was just going to say. I mean, he says things like they don’t look like the most friendly lot. I think he said that in the first book.
Jacob: I mean, he’s constantly setting up as really bad people.
Kat: And there has to be protagonists and antagonists in a book. So…
Caleb: Yup. And…
Rosie: It also makes it more interesting when the antagonists aren’t from Slytherin.
Rosie: Breaking the norm.
Caleb: Yeah. Well, it also mentions the Hat is Gryffindor’s. It mentions that in the song, which I actually can’t remember. Is this the first time we actually learn that the Hat belongs to Gryffindor? Because I can’t remember in Chamber of Secrets if it says that.
Kat: I think this is the first… I think this is… we learn that it was his hat.
Caleb: Because we, obviously, know in Chamber of Secrets, Harry gets the sword from the Hat and Dumbledore tells him – points out – that the sword is Gryffindor, but I don’t think he mentions that the Hat belongs to Gryffindor.
Kat: I don’t think he does either.
Caleb: Yeah, so that’s an interesting point of information that we now know the Hat is Gryffindor’s and it also mentions the, “put some brains in me,” which is an interesting way of imagining this happening.
Caleb: I mean, obviously, it’s not – we hope – physical brains.
Jacob: I’ve always been curious as to how that has worked.
Jacob: How they’ve put their intelligence into an inanimate object.
Kat: The Sorting Hat is a Dalek.
Kat: That’s what it is. There’s some little thing living inside of it.
Caleb: I don’t know what that means.
Caleb: I don’t watch it. So…
Rosie: You don’t know what a Dalek is?
Caleb: I don’t watch Doctor Who.
Rosie: Oh dear! [laughs]
Kat: Well, everybody out… everyone who watches the show gets it. But yeah, so…
Rosie: Some kind of magical artificial intelligence.
Kat: Yeah, exactly. Pretty much.
Kat: Maybe they shrunk a little person and…
Kat: … put it inside the Hat. I mean, who knows.
Caleb: That would be more ethically improper.
Kat: I mean, wizards and ethics.
Caleb: That’s true.
Jacob: Maybe it’s like when Dumbledore… when with paintings, how you have to teach your painting things about yourself.
Jacob: Maybe they each taught the Hat stuff about themselves.
Kat: Oh! That’s a cool thought.
Caleb: Maybe that’s where the idea came for the portraits in the Headmaster’s office for that.
Kat: That’s possible. Hmm. That’s a good call. Good thought!
Caleb: The feast starts and as the food is appearing and they’re getting ready to dig in, Nearly Headless Nick mentions trouble in the kitchens earlier with Peeves, how Peeves wanted to attend the feast and that there was a ghosts council, where the Fat Friar was down for letting him, but of course, the Bloody Baron just probably mumbled and groaned and that was a no. But the cool thing is here is there is a ghost council. What other things might they discuss about Hogwarts?
Kat: Everything that happens in the ghost world!
Caleb: And are the other ghosts there? Or is it just the four house ghosts because they’re the ones that make up the council?
Kat: Hmm. I see it like a town meeting where they’re the select men sitting up front and then, the rest of the town or the other Hogwarts ghosts are all in the audience…
Kat: … visiting and give their opinions and they all have thirty seconds to say what they want to say. I just have this whole thing built up in my head, obviously. [laughs] It’s very exciting.
Caleb: But more importantly about this point, is it introduces that house-elves, in fact, work in the kitchens. And it mentions that over a hundred do and there’s this comment by Nick, and it clearly dates his… it’s dating for when he was alive, an idea that would have certainly been a common one for people back then that, “That’s the mark of a good house-elf, isn’t it? That you don’t know it’s there.” Which is so, so wrong to say. And obviously throws off Hermione. She’s very upset by it.
Rosie: It’s what people would have said about servants, in the Victorian era or before.
Caleb: Exactly. Right. But it’s obviously very problematic to say…
Kat: But then…
Caleb: … but a very good use of Jo to introduce the house-elves element in Hogwarts.
Kat: I’m wondering though, how… we know food can’t be magicked…
Kat: … so where did they think it came from?
Caleb: I didn’t even think about it.
Rosie: I can’t believe it’s not mentioned in Hogwarts, A History or something. [laughs]
Kat: Right, that’s a good point!
Rosie: How does Hermione not know?
Kat: That’s a good point. She’s definitely read that book. I mean, obviously. [laughs]
Rosie: It’s just obviously considered, such a minor detail that it’s not even considered important in that book.
Rosie: That’s how little they think of house-elves.
Kat: Huh, I had never thought about that. That’s depressing. Would you guys join SPEW?
Caleb: I don’t know. That would be hard to say for me to say back at that age.
Rosie: They enjoy their jobs and the like what they are doing. So it would be mean to stop them doing it.
Caleb: Right. There are clearly issues elsewhere. But I don’t know. Because you are getting into things… if you are living in a society where there are other races that could exist at the same level as you, and I’m obviously speaking about race like other species, that’s what I meant. That’s a really complex thing to consider, unless you are really in it. Okay, so Dumbledore gives his speech, and one of the first things he mentions is that there will be no House Cup, which obviously creates a very big stir and reaction of the students and lets us know that something is very different about this year. And before he can really get into explaining what’s going to happen, we get the scene where Moody enters. I think it’s very interest… appropriate and very good use of text by Jo that a flash of lightning welcomes him, and that’s what shows the students his face, which the quote from the book is, “Every inch of skin seemed to be scarred.” And we also see this electric-blue eye. I mean, he’s presented basically as a monster.
Kat: Well, and two, if you think about the fact that it’s lightening that introduced him, and Harry has a lightning scar…
Kat: … lightning is the thing that is seen as like the mark of evil…
Kat: … and I think that this is, again, some sort of clever way for her using the influence of the ceiling and the weather outside and all of that, for the symbolism, a clue as to who Moody really is.
Rosie: Today’s OGM?
Kat: OGM. Obligatory genius moment. Yup.
Kat: And it is funny, because I was just thinking about this, I was just looking it up, about what lightning symbolizes…
Kat:… and it’s the loss of ignorance.
Caleb: Huh. Interesting.
Kat: So I don’t know if that means anything significant to us, but thought it was interesting.
Rosie: Very interesting. [laughs]
Kat: Oh! And it says in dreams, lightning is a symbol of a terrible event and negativity.
Rosie: I’ve always associated lightning with Frankenstein and that kind of thing, so…
Caleb: Yeah, this is a very Frankensteinian moment almost…
Caleb: … a monster emerging as the doors open. And as Dumbledore announces Moody as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, sadly for Moody, only Dumbledore and Hagrid applaud.
Caleb: Well, maybe not sadly because it says Moody doesn’t really seem to care…
Caleb: … and we brought up how we don’t really necessarily know the real Moody that… well, definitely not in this book. Do we think the real Moody would have handled his entrance differently? Would have handled a lack of applause differently? I mean…
Kat: It’s so hard to say because the Moody that we meet after he’s been imprisoned for a year is probably very different from the Moody two days ago in this book. I know…
Jacob: I think probably he would have reacted very differently if it was the real Moody at this point. I think maybe he would have been a lot more warm to Dumbledore and Hagrid, but I think Barty Crouch Jr. was just trying to make sure that he didn’t look out of place, so he was a bit over-acting and looking for Dark wizards in the crowd of you know 11- through 17-year-olds.
Rosie: So the only time we really see the real Moody in this book is in the Pensieve scene, which we will obviously get to however many chapters ahead, but he’s very arrogant in that scene, I think, when he’s talking about catching the wizards and he took a chunk of his nose with him and all that kind of thing. So I think, like Kat said, the version we see after this book is a different Moody because he’s more humbled by the fact that he was caught and captured for the year. So…
Kat: And more terrified, I would assume.
Rosie: Yeah. So I guess the Moody that would have entered the hall at this point would have been more arrogant and would probably been more sure of himself. But at the same time everyone describes him as paranoid, so I don’t know. I don’t think he would have been late. I’ve always thought it was weird that he was allowed to enter late and Dumbledore didn’t comment on it or anything. It’s just a bit strange.
Caleb: So Dumbledore finally gets to announce that the Triwizard Tournament is what’s coming to Hogwarts this year and he gives a little bit of history on it. Fred yells before he even gives this history though, because he seemingly already knows what this tournament is because I think as they quote, “Are you joking?”
Kat: He goes, “You’re joking!”
Caleb and Kat: Yeah.
Caleb: And Dumbledore’s transition was to tell some joke, but McGonagall is not here for the joke. Does not think this is the appropriate time, so.
Kat: I want to hear it! I want to hear it. It’s about a troll, a hag, and a leprechaun who all go into a bar.
Jacob: I looked it up. It was really long, the one that I found.
Kat: Oh, somebody made up a joke to go with it, huh?
Jacob: Yeah, I think there were a couple on the website that I looked at.
Jacob: I don’t have it in front of me, though.
Caleb: That’s funny.
Kat: Probably not as good as the Japanese golfer joke, so…
Jacob: It wasn’t dirty, no.
Kat: Oh, okay.
Caleb: But Dumbledore gives us a little bit of history. The Triwizard Tournament, it’s 700 years old, it has seeming always been between the three school, Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang, and it did occur every five years until too many deaths. Which makes sense that, that would put a stop to things.
Kat:[laughs] Hey, they’re showing that they have feelings, these wizards. That’s good.
Kat: They care about their students. I mean, they did then anyway.
[Kat and Rosie laugh]
Caleb: Then he mentions that now it’s back because of the hard work that occurred between the Department of International Magical Cooperation and the Department of Games and Sports, who handled the recent Quidditch World Cup so well…
[Kat and Rosie laugh]
Caleb: … and we suddenly have so much confidence in their ability.
Kat: Huh, I wonder if we should be taking that with a grain of salt. That’s something I never though of, that they’re the ones who just put on the World Cup and this will probably just end the same way. And guess what? It does. Huh.
Rosie: There’s a lot of detail in this chapter that could be seen as foreshadowing, isn’t there?
Kat: A lot yeah, way more than…
Rosie: That you just wouldn’t see the first time around.
Kat: Yeah, way more then I ever noticed before.
Caleb: And we also learn, probably most importantly, that one of the new regulations for the Triwizard Tournament is that the age restriction is 17 years old and older, which upsets many of the students.
Kat: But then he goes on to say that they think it’s because students… it’s unlikely that students below six and seventh year would be able to cope with the challenges or whatever, so why not make it for sixth and seventh year students?
Rosie: He did.
Kat: No, they made it for 17-year-olds.
Caleb: Well, 17 is the year you come of age, so…
Rosie: Which is…
Kat: Right, I know that, but it seems like…
Rosie: It’s considered an adult risk.
Caleb: Yeah, so I see what you’re saying, Kat, and the reason is because… so everyone who is 17 is at least a sixth year to have that experience but not all sixth years are 17.
Kat: I know.
Caleb: So, like they get… by making sure it’s 17, they cover the bases of everyone having at least sixth-year experience but also the legal aspect of being of age.
Kat: Yeah, but they don’t give a crap about legality.
Kat: So I just think it would be… what are the odds that, what, probably five percent of the sixth years are already 17. So basically they’re saying, “Sorry, if you’re anything but seventh year, you’re not going to be able to participate in this. But we’re also taking away your Quidditch and all of that.” It just seems a little too restrictive to me. I think it would make more sense if it was for sixth and seventh years.
Rosie: Well, it’s mainly a tool to make Harry stand out, isn’t it?
Rosie: Make him the underdog. [laughs]
Rosie: But yeah, I think it makes it… it makes you wonder if all the deaths have been younger than that, and if you are seventeen, you’ve probably gone through most of Hogwarts and know more magic than most of the people who are younger, so you do have a better chance of getting to the end without undue risk.
Kat: But I think that that’s proved wrong immediately by the fact that Harry makes it through.
Rosie: Yeah, but he’s got help.
Kat: Yeah, but everybody gets help as it says, that cheating is also a tradition of the Triwizard Tournament. I just think… think about it. If Crabbe were seventeen, he’s less able than probably Colin Creevey at this point to enter the Tournament.
Caleb: Yeah, but then Crabbe’s probably not going to be selected by the Goblet of Fire.
Kat: Yeah, but I mean we don’t know what criteria the Goblet uses. If they put an age restriction on it then… I’m just saying. I think it’s a little silly. I’m with Fred and George.
Rosie: I think the whole seventeen thing is more important in the wizarding world than you’re giving them credit for. I mean, Mrs. Weasley goes on and on about the fact that when the twins turn seventeen, there is a big thing about that in later books. I don’t know. The age of consent-type thing, or the age of adulthood, whatever it is, seems quite important in the wizarding world to me.
Caleb: Hmm. But as Fred is talking about it, he’s clearly… he and George are both still upset afterward, but they’re convinced that they’re going to get past this age restriction somehow because they talk about it, and then someone, maybe Hermione, or I can’t remember who, mentions that Dumbledore will obviously know they’re that old, but he points out something that I think could be a bit of foreshadowing. He says, “It sounds to me that once this judge knows who wants to enter, he’ll choose the best from each school, and nevermind how old they are,” Which implies that when the champion is selected, it is final and there’s no going back from it, which is obviously important to our story.
Rosie: Yup. And that’s restated in another chapter later on as well, when they say, “Can we vote again?” and they say, “Harry’s name’s come out. It’s final. You can’t go back now. It’s a contract.”
Kat: Right, which seems silly because if they’re putting an age restriction on it… I don’t know, just the whole…
Rosie: The age restriction is just the age line. It’s not actually anything to do with the Cup.
Kat: I know, but that would… I mean if they wanted to prevent people under seventeen from entering, then they should have done something with the Goblet.
Rosie: But it’s a 700-year-old Goblet. They probably can’t actually tamper with it that much.
Jacob: Yeah, but they were able to reactivate it to spit names out again, so…
Jacob: … they could have potentially muddled with it.
Rosie: And Moody creates an entire new school.
Kat: Exactly. So, I mean, obviously something can affect it.
Caleb: So we finally reach the Gryffindor common room, and Hermione walks off to the girls dormitory muttering about slave labor, so she’s clearly still upset about that, and the boys go to bed, and Ron brings up how he’s considering entering the tournament if Fred and George find a way to get past the age restriction. Harry doesn’t really entertain the thought with Ron that much, but he does dream of becoming a champion. He gets these images of it happening, and he mentions he’s glad that Ron can’t see his dreams. So there’s a lot of foreshadowing there.
Rosie: That’s not the reason why he’s glad Ron can’t see his dreams though, because the last thing he mentions is Cho, and that’s why he’s happy Ron can’t see his dreams.
Caleb: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah!
Caleb: True, but I’d be willing to say Harry’s glad that Ron isn’t seeing him imagining greatness because I think that’s important. That’s their conflict in this book.
Rosie: [unintelligible] about that yet, though.
Kat: I think that’s their conflict throughout life is…
Caleb: Well, true. It’s just highlighted in this book.
Kat: Yeah. Very much.
Caleb: But yeah, that is this chapter.
Kat: Okay, so we’re going to move on to this week’s Podcast Question of the Week, and actually, it comes from our guest, Jacob, who just posed an amazing question to us, so we’ve decided to pass it along to you guys. So the question is: If there were no age restriction – it’s very simple – would Harry have entered the Triwizard Tournament? That’s it. Yes or no?
Caleb: And justify it.
Kat: Justify why. Tell us why.
Jacob: Because he says now in theory that he wouldn’t because he doesn’t want glory, but if it was a possibility, would he do it?
Rosie: Okay, well, it is now time to end the show, so thank you so much to Jacob because that was his amazing question, and we really enjoyed your comments throughout. I hope you’ve enjoyed the show.
Jacob: I had a blast. Thank you.
Kat: Good. Thank you so much for joining us, and if any of you out there want to be a guest on the show just like Jacob, you can head over to alohomora.mugglenet.com and click on our “Be on the Show” page – so aptly named there – as we always mention. You do have to have appropriate audio equipment and, in the meantime, while you are waiting to hear back, go ahead and subscribe to us on iTunes and leave us some good reviews. We love reading those, as Micah pointed out last week.
Rosie: And you can also get in contact with us on all of the usual sites, such as Twitter: @AlohomoraMN; Facebook: facebook.com/openthedumbledore. You can Skype us at 206-GO-ALBUS or 206-462-5287. And there may be something else coming in the future that will be a very quick and easy way for you to leave us a message that will get played out on the show, so keep an eye out because there are interesting things coming your way.
Caleb: And don’t forget to check out our store, which includes T-shirts, now short- and long-sleeve, or… I guess, have they been there all along? They’ve been there all… no.
Kat: The short-sleeve have. The long-sleeve have not.
Caleb: Right. The sweaters have been there, but the long sleeve is new.
Caleb: Because it’s getting cold.
Kat: I mean, in most of the… yeah.
Caleb: Not in Texas but in other places of the world. So get a long-sleeve shirt, or a tote bag, or sweatshirts, or flip flops, water bottles, travel mugs, and more coming soon. There are over 75 products to choose from.
Kat: Have you been practicing your announcer voice?
Caleb: Kat, since when have you known me to practice my voice?
Kat: I know, darling. Sorry.
[Kat and Rosie laugh]
Caleb: [in his announcer voice] In addition to these amazing 75 products… [back to normal voice] no, I’m going to stop.
[Kat and Rosie laugh]
Caleb: We also have ringtones coming. Kat, more information on that?
Kat: Yeah, by the time this episode releases, we are going to have an entire page – I don’t know how many will be on it… two, four, twelve, twenty, I don’t know – but…
Kat: But there’s going to be ringtones available for your mobile devices on alohomora.mugglenet.com of our glorious theme song. We’ve gotten a lot of comments. We love it. You love it…
Caleb: You dance to it.
Kat: … so why not have it on your phone? They’re going to be free, but there will be exclusive ones only for the people who have our app. And speaking of the app, you can download that… I think it’s available pretty much all over the world at this point. Prices vary depending on your location. It is $1.99 in the US, and £1.29 in the UK. And, of course, as I mentioned, that’s going to have the exclusive ringtones, and it also has transcripts, bloopers, alternate endings, host vlogs, and a ton more, so it’s definitely worth the small investment. Plus you have all the episodes, so there you go.
Caleb: There you go. Well, that’s it for this 50th episode of Alohomora!
[Show music begins]
Caleb: Thanks for joining us. I’m Caleb Graves.
Rosie: I’m Rosie Morris.
Kat: And I’m Kat Miller. Thank you for listening to Episode 50 of Alohomora!
Caleb: Open the Dumbledore!
[Show music continues]