[Show music begins]
Michael Harle: This is Episode 72 of Alohomora! for March 1, 2014.
[Show music continues]
Michael: Hello, listeners. I’m Michael Harle.
Kat Miller: I’m Kat Miller.
Noah Fried: And I’m Noah Fried. And I’m very excited to introduce our guest host for today: Mike Platco. I’m really excited to have you on, Mike. You’ve been doing excellent Snaps from the Alohomora! Snapchat account. I know we have a couple of hundred followers there now. What has that been like thus far? If you could just give us a recap.
Mike Platco: It’s been a lot of fun. Most of the Snaps that I was doing before coming on board with Alohomora! were Harry Potter inspired to begin with, so this is just directing my Snaps with a purpose. I can’t wait to look back at them all and have half of the entire Harry Potter series in chapter-by-chapter form, have a different illustration for them. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
Kat: Yeah, I wish Snapchat was a thing when we started a year and a half ago.
Kat: Oh my God, two years ago!
Mike: I know!
Kat: Two years ago in April, holy crap!
Mike: I’ll start working backwards.
Kat: Yeah, there you go. That sounds good.
Michael: What other fandoms do you do Snapchats for, Mike?
Mike: Well, I’m big into Doctor Who recently – I started that recently. But I’m always doing some Whovian Snaps, a lot of Harry Potter, and then I’m big into playing off of different memes that I find on the internet. I’m working up a good Doge one, so I’ll let you know when I come up with it.
Kat: I recently – I think it was yesterday or today – saw a very odd meme of Robert Pattinson skipping while walking a cow.
Noah: Somehow, that’s not surprising.
Kat: I just… you said meme and that was the first one that popped in my head.
Michael: Hey, welcome to the internet. [laughs]
Noah: Would a Harry Potter Doge meme be like Jim the Dementor going, “Much cold. Want to kiss?”
Noah: I don’t know.
Mike: “Such darkness.”
Noah: “Much darkness.” Yeah.
Michael: Mike, what House are you in?
Mike: I thought I was going to be a Ravenclaw for so long, but I am a proud Gryffindor. Go lions!
Michael: That’s nice. We don’t – at least the times I’ve been hosting – we haven’t usually had Gryffindors on as guests, so that’s fantastic.
Kat: That’s true, we get a lot of Hufflepuffs and a lot of Ravenclaws.
Michael: We do.
Kat: That’s true.
Michael: We do. So other than… we’re just lacking a Slytherin today.
Kat: As usual.
Michael: As usual. [laughs]
Mike: I’m okay with that.
Noah: Slytherins and Gryffindors are just out taking over the world. We’re talking about it.
Michael: Well, there’s plenty of Slytherins in this chapter, right?
Kat: Lots of Slytherins.
Michael: [laughs] So that may compensate.
Kat: And speaking of this chapter, we want to remind you guys that we are covering Chapter 34 of Goblet of Fire today, “Priori Incantantem.” I never say it right.
Michael: Oh! [laughs]
Kat: Pri… [laughs]
Kat: [laughs] I never say it right! Somebody say it for me.
Michael and Noah: Priori Incantatem.
Michael: I say “Incantotem.” I guess it’s…
Noah: Well you say pototems and I say potatems… [laughs]
[Kat and Michael laugh]
Kat: Chapter 34, okay, just read it!
Michael: [laughs] But before we go on to Chapter 34, we’re going to discuss Chapter 33, which was “The Death Eaters,” and the comments that you guys left from the previous show. There were a lot of comments. The comments just boomed in actually the last few days. You all just flocked to the forums, which was great, and to the main page. And the first one we’ve got here is from AccioPotassium!
Michael: And you have to say it like that because there’s an exclamation point. That was on the main page and this was a great “What If?” question about Snape. We always love “What If?” questions about Snape on this show. And this one was,
“What do you think would have happened if Snape decided to join his fellow Death Eaters in the graveyard to witness Voldemort’s second coming? Would he secretly protect Harry, even to the point of destroying his close bond with Voldemort? Or would he find it best, under the circumstances, to keep his connections with Voldemort, possibly to the point of letting Harry die? And what do you suppose Snape’s reaction would be, when Lily and James manifested from Voldemort’s wand during the whole Priori Incantatem scene?”
Kat: That… wow! I had never thought of that before.
Michael: Mhm. Because the interesting thing was another user, spellephant, on the main page – another great username – asked in addition to this,
“What happened on the Hogwarts end when Snape and Karkaroff felt the mark burn? Did Snape tell Dumbledore right away, or did he not get the chance?”
So we know that Snape knew something was going on because his Dark Mark would have activated.
Michael: And we never really get the story about what was going on.
Kat: I think we do. I think that it was later revealed – not necessarily in the books, but I think by Jo – that Dumbledore… that Snape went to Dumbledore immediately.
Michael: Oh, okay. I was wondering about that because I wasn’t sure. Reading the books just originally, I never really… I knew that Dumbledore knew that something seemed to be wrong, but he didn’t seem to know exactly what had happened.
Mike: I actually… I looked into that when I saw this comment.
Mike: And it’s in “The Prince’s Tale” during the flashback scene.
Mike: It’s during the Yule Ball that Snape and Dumbledore have the first conversation about…
Michael: The Dark Mark.
Mike: … Snape and Karkaroff’s Dark Mark and how it’s getting stronger and stronger.
Noah: Yeah, because we have to remember that at this moment, they’re both still sitting in the stands at the Third Task listening to that band on loop over and over again.
[Kat and Michael laugh]
Noah: So Snape is like… Snape goes over to Dumbledore, is like, “It’s happening, it’s happening.” And Dumbledore is like, “Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. Just sit, just wait.”
Kat: So I’m really intrigued by… I’ve been thinking about what Snape would do when he saw Lily and James come from the wand.
Michael: I mean, Snape has proven himself to be a pretty good actor in these situations, but…
Michael: I know even Dumbledore, when Harry tells him that the Priori Incantatem occurred, he seems somewhat fazed by it. So I imagine Snape wouldn’t have been expecting it if he were witness to it.
Kat: No, he’s definitely an emotional guy no matter how big of a jerk he is. I don’t know, I think that might have been the one thing that might have cracked him.
Kat: I don’t know. Not cracked him, but he would have gotten some sort of reaction, I think.
Michael: Yeah. He would have slipped a little… at least.
Noah: I’ll tell you what though, it’s hard to have a relationship with Lily before. Imagine now.
Noah: That’s not happening.
Mike: She seems so distant.
Noah: She’s become so distant.
Michael: She’s very transparent, though.
[Michael and Noah laugh]
Kat: I couldn’t come up with one, sorry. I fail.
Michael: Well, that was horrible. [laughs]
Michael: But we have another major discussion going on, both on the main page and the forums. The comment that I specifically chose was from Dan Sharp over on the main page, but this was also discussed by fullmetal49, DolphinPatronus, and TheHeirOfHufflepuff and Jordan Slabe on the main site, and spellephant on the forums, as well as a username who is either “mr”so822 or “mrs”o822.
Kat: It’s “mrs” o.
Michael: Is it “mrs” o?
Kat: Actually, oddly enough, a little shout-out to her because she is friends with friends of mine.
Michael: Oh, perfect. Because there was no punctuation or spaces, so I wasn’t sure. So that solves that problem.
Noah: Wow. That’s awesome.
Michael: But the topic was on Lily’s sacrifice since that obviously plays a big role in the previous chapter. A lot of people had a lot of things to say about that, but the discussion was about exactly how it works. And Dan Sharp said,
“An important part of this is that Voldemort gave Lily the option to step aside and [later in Deathly Hallows] gave Harry the option to run away. James also flung himself at Voldemort to protect both Lily and Harry and the shield was not invoked. It has to be a true and complete sacrifice, with no hope of survival. Something like taking someone’s place on the chopping block/gallows. Doing so would spare the other from any punishment while you would have no hope of survival. Harry’s still counts because he had no way of knowing that there was even a chance he would survive while James’s doesn’t because he still had at least a tiny hope that he could stop Voldemort long enough for them all to escape.”
Now, I thought that there were a lot of different ideas about why Lily’s sacrifice works the way it does and how it was put into action through Voldemort’s process of offering her to step aside versus James. I’ve always found this topic interesting because of the issue with James. I feel that the comment here doesn’t quite go in-depth enough on perhaps James’s sacrifice, because I feel a lot of people were trying to excuse why James’s doesn’t work the same way.
Kat: I don’t see his as much as a sacrifice. I see it more as he was trying to distract Voldemort and trying to get him to deal with him…
Kat: … so that Lily and Harry could escape. Okay, sure, it’s a sacrifice because he died, but I see the intention behind it more as a distraction. And I think that’s why for me it doesn’t work.
Noah: I have a different point of view on it, actually. Do you guys know about determinism in philosophy?
Noah: It’s the idea that everything not only happens for a reason but every single moment is caused by the moment before it and life is just a sequence of events.
Noah: And some philosophers even believe that block time exists, which means that all past and future exists in some other universe. It’s like it’s set in stone. So perhaps within the Harry Potter block timeline, James always was going to die. But Lily had a chance and she might not have died, and the entire… her death rested on her choice in that instance when Voldemort gave her the choice. So there’s an alternate timeline where she would have lived, but…
Noah: So maybe, because magically – in magically speaking terms – James was always going to die, his death didn’t matter. But Lily’s did because it all rested on her choice and it could have gone either way, and that one moment represented a time splice or a split in the timeline.
Michael: So, does that go into the… applying it to the rules that Rowling set up for the Harry Potter world, does that lead into the ideas of the prophecy, perhaps? And fate?
Noah: Right. It’s a fate and destiny… yeah, that’s kind of where that stuff comes in.
Michael: Mhm. Because I don’t know, the thing that a lot of listeners pointed out is that James was wandless in his confrontation with Voldemort.
Michael: Because he had… I don’t remember exactly where it’s mentioned, but somewhere it was pointed out in one of the books that James had left his wand off of his person.
Kat: Yeah, on the couch or something, I think.
Mike: It was during that awesome flashback scene…
Michael: In Deathly Hallows.
Mike: … when Harry’s pet… I don’t even know if Harry saw that, but Voldemort comments that “how foolish of him to think they could be unprotected even for a second.”
Michael: So as far as James having maybe a tiny bit of hope in his confrontation with Voldemort, I wouldn’t agree with that because he didn’t really have any way to defend himself. But I kind of [agree] with what you were saying, Kat, that the intention was to distract rather than… he wasn’t going out there to die, persay. He was going out there to buy time.
Kat: Right. Exactly.
Noah: I don’t know about so much intention but choice.
Kat and Noah: Yeah.
Michael: So there was a lot of very in-depth discussion and ideas on the forums and main site about how that works. The last point I wanted to bring up was from skgai on the forums…
Noah: [laughs] Ska-guy!
Michael: Ska-guy! [laughs] I just happen to say it that way now.
Kat: Well, this person has never corrected us, so I just assume that it’s correct.
Michael: If it’s “SK”guy or any other way, let us know. But we do like saying “ska-guy” now…
Kat: No, dont! “Ska-guy.”
Noah: Is skgai really J.K. Rowling?
Kat: Shh! Don’t give away the secret, Noah.
Michael: Well, in this situation, skgai went and found a really interesting quote from Rowling for us from her PotterCast interview in 2007 right after the books were done.
Noah: How quaint.
Michael: And the quote dealt with both Voldemort’s resurrection and Horcruxes and actually how they work and why Rowling won’t say the details of it. She said in the interview, “I see it as a series of things you would have to do. So you would have to perform a spell. I don’t even know if I want to say it out loud. I know that sounds funny, but I did really think it through. There are two things that I think are too horrible to go into detail about. One of them is how Pettigrew brought Voldemort back into a rudimentary body. Because I told my editor what I thought happened there and she looked as though she was going to vomit.”
Michael: “And the other thing is how you make a Horcrux.”
Noah: Oh, I really want to know.
Kat: God, it was so many of us.
Kat: I would love to know.
Michael: So we at least have confirmation that she knows the full details, kind of unlike when she talks about things like Durmstrang’s location, and she’s like, [as J.K. Rowling] “Oh, I don’t even know.”
Kat: Wink, wink.
Michael: [as J.K. Rowling] “North of the North Sea.”
Michael: But here, we have confirmation that she knows the process of how Voldemort got back into his rudimentary ugly baby body, which is apparently vomit-worthy, and how to make a Horcrux, which are two big questions that have come up in these last chapters that we just don’t have answers to beyond speculation.
Kat: And likely never will.
Mike: Probably not going to be on Pottermore.
Kat: [laughs] Probably not.
Noah: [as J.K. Rowling] “He dances. He does this terrible dance.”
Michael: [laughs] We’ll get a… there’ll be a new Wonderbook of Horcruxes.
Noah: Make A Horcrux!
Kat: Nice. Oh my God.
Noah: Just kill this person…
Michael: Take your PlayStation move controller…
Mike: You’ve unlocked How to Rise From the Dead.
Michael: That would be an interesting Pottermore extension.
Kat: That would just be one more reason for people to blame video games for horrible murders.
Michael: [laughs] Yeah.
Michael: But the first in the Harry Potter series to do that for sure. But there were a lot of other great comments and topics that came up, and there were a lot of participants this week in the comments. I have wanted to shout-out on the main site to Adriene Galindo, ArchdukeSeverus, Bill White, BluntsSnitches&Bathsalts, Drew Johnson, the head girl, HelenTheEagle, Honeydukes Empire, Jake Pontzer, kmchef13, Olivia Underwood, PixieDragon137, SassyHedwig, SwishAndFlitwick, and WordedOwl. You guys were all on the main site. Over on the forums, we had GhostHeart, Hufflepuffskein, IAmMerlinsBeard, InfestedWithNargles, jessfud, Lord_Trolldemort, TheLostDiadem, texaskid, Time&RelativDimensionInHandbag…
Michael: [laughs] And that was all of you on the forums. That was quite a username there. The additional topics that you guys brought up – they were really interesting; unfortunately, I didn’t have time for all of them – were: the significance of Albania to Voldemort; the Dursleys’ protection of Harry; other instances of extreme sacrifice in the wizarding world; Lupin’s activities during Goblet of Fire – very interesting discussion; lots of stuff about Pettigrew including his Sorting, which has been a hot topic for quite a few of our episodes, the silver hand, and his school years; who is accountable for Cedric’s death; and a lot of stuff about Voldemort, his feelings on love, his ancestry, his physical appearance, how he got his wand back – which is a lot different, I assume, from How Stella Got Her Groove Back…
[Kat and Noah laugh]
Michael: … the mechanics of the Dark Mark and the effect of the prophecy and the graveyard sequence. And you can find all those topics going on both at the forums and our main site, and if there’s anything that we didn’t cover, make sure and visit either of those places and chat with us about these amazing topics.
Kat: Okay, great! So, now we’re going to jump into our Podcast Question of the Week responses from last week. Just to recap, the question was, as it stands, “After he rises, Voldemort mentions to his Death Eaters that they know the steps he has taken to keep living, but how far does this knowledge extend? Do the Death Eaters know about the Horcruxes? Do they possibly have a limited knowledge or maybe only a few Death Eaters really know the truth? Were there other steps that he took that they knew about? If so, what?” And the general consensus on the responses for this was that, “No, the Death Eaters do not know about the Horcruxes.” Although there was varying theories about why, and I’m going to read two of the comments here because, much like the responses we get in the episode, there'[re] just way too many, and the responses are so amazing that I want to read these. Okay. The first one is from PhoenixTears. What a sad username.
Noah: It is. [laughs]
Kat: It says,
“I agree that Voldemort would not have told many of his followers. J.K. Rowling stated, ‘Voldemort dropped oblique hints; in his arrogance, he did not believe anybody would be clever enough to understand them. (He does so in the graveyard of Little Hangleton, in front of Harry). He did this before [with] Regulus, and Regulus guessed, correctly, what it was that made Voldemort so convinced he could not die.’ I think that although the Death Eaters may have suspected Voldemort was looking into means of immortality, they did not know the full extent of his plans and Horcruxes; Bellatrix was probably only upset at the break-in of her vault because Voldemort had told her the cup was extremely important, but he didn’t say it was a Horcrux.”
Noah: I don’t know if I… I don’t know about that. I feel like he told Bellatrix, at least.
Michael: I’m… I used to assume that he told Bellatrix, but with a lot of these comments, especially that particular one from Rowling, I’m starting to think that he did… I mean, it could be just as easy to say that Bellatrix just freaked out because something that Voldemort entrusted to her was taken from her vault without her even knowing what it was because she would. Because she’s so fanatical.
Noah: This is true, but in any case, he would have intimated, so to speak, that this was the most precious item to him, and we’ve talked a lot about their relationship [being] sort of different from the other Death Eaters, so I wonder.
Mike: I don’t think that VOldemort would have told the Death Eaters outright about the Horcruxes because it implies… I feel like it would imply weakness. “This is my backup, my safeguard. If I get killed somehow, this is going to keep me alive. It’s almost as if he’s saying, “There is that chance that someone can kill me, but don’t worry. I’ve got this now.” I don’t think he would ever admit to that.
Kat: I’m with you. Actually, I completely agree with that. It shows that, by having these, he has a weakness and that he worries about dying, that he doesn’t think he’s almighty and powerful. I get it.
Michael: Well, and the other big that a few people had pointed out in the discussion I’d seen on the comments is that the other Death Eater [whom] we know was entrusted with a Horcrux was Lucius, and he did not know what it was.
Michael: So… and he gave it away and just made this whole huge scandal with it, so I mean, to not tell him and entrust that to him and not tell him what it was, it’s… I wonder if he did tell Bellatrix what the cup was.
Mike: And if any Death Eaters knew about the Horcruxes, then they, 100% for a fact, would know Voldemort is safe after he fell. And there’s no reason for them not to go find him.
Kat: That’s true. And also… and I was screaming at my episode listening while you guys were talking last week…
Kat: … is the fact that Regulus even says… he goes, “I and I alone discovered your secret.” So there you go.
Noah: It’s weird because I feel like maybe he could have taken pride in them with some of the Death Eaters, but I do see it as him making himself vulnerable as well, but I feel like he takes pride in his Horcruxes as well, considering he selected these objects of such fame and history.
Michael: Oh, I think he does. I think that’s why somebody like Regulus was able to figure it out and why Rowling mentioned that Voldemort drops really obvious hints about what he did because its almost like he wants somebody to ask him. Because as we know from the last chapter, he sure does love to monologue. [laughs]
Kat: He’s a drama queen.
Michael: He makes a show.
Michael: So it’s like he wants people to ask him, or he wants to tell him that, and I do think he has that pride; it’s just that he also has that conflict of not being able to outright say it, so he’s like, [as Voldemort] “Well, I’m not going to tell you, but I’m going to drop all of these really obvious hints.”
Michael: [as Voldemort] “I’m going to say the number seven a lot: Seven.”
Noah: Ooh. [laughs]
Kat: Noah, actually, our commenter Dan Sharp kind of agrees with you.
Kat: He says,
“I think that if anyone knew about LV…”
Noah: Lord Voldemort?
Kat: Oh. Yeah, I saw…
Michael: Is that what the cool kids in the Death Eater camp are calling him these days? [laughs]
Kat and Michael: LV! [laughs]
Kat: The comment says,
“I think that if anyone knew anything, then Lord Voldemort may have told the Lestranges that the cup was a Horcrux. I believe that he actually trusted them more than any of the other Death Eaters (as much as LV trusted anyone). What he wouldn’t have told them is that it wasn’t the only one.”
“Not sure if I believe this theory myself, but it’s possible given how much Bella freaks out when she thinks that the trio has been in her vault.”
So there you go.
Noah: Yeah, I mean, that’s the theory I originally had, but maybe he could get away with not spilling all the details.
Kat: I think the – telling her that it’s the only one or whatever – I think that’s really interesting.
Michael: Yeah, that she wouldn’t know that he has other Horcruxes?
Kat: Right, right.
Noah: Well, and what we said earlier about how the Death Eaters would have gone after Voldemort or would have gone to look for him if they had known that he was immortal, Bellatrix wouldn’t have been able to anyway because she was in Azkaban, as was Rodolphus.
Mike: But maybe that’s why she was riding high and sitting pretty in the court hearing when she was sentenced. She seemed certain, one hundred percent, [that] the Dark Lord will rise again.
Kat: That is very true. Hmm.
Noah: I think she knew.
Kat: I’m undecided. I go back and forth, but I don’t think so. Maybe. No, I don’t think so.
Michael: Yeah, I know how that… I go back and forth with every opinion that I read on the site. All the comments are so good that I just flip flop. [laughs]
Kat: Yeah, we need to make a shirt that says, “Our listeners are amazing,” and then just the five of us… err, seven of us… my God, is there seven of us now?
Michael: [laughs] Oh! For each Horcrux.
Noah: There were a hundred comments on the last episode on the main site.
Kat: There’s what?
Noah: A hundred comments on the post.
Michael: Yeah, it was crazy. It said… it just blossomed, just a few days ago. And we had a lot of new people joining us, too, so welcome to all of you who are just starting with the show.
Kat: Welcome, welcome.
Michael: [laughs] Was that your Michael Gambon? [laughs]
Kat: No, I guess I was thinking of Effie, but that’s okay. You know what I did today, Michael, that made me think of you? I called my friend, and I said, “Hello, and hello again. This is Leo.” [laughs]
Michael: Oh! [laughs] Yeah. That got old quick, didn’t it? [laughs]
Noah: No, I thought it was so cute. I loved it.
Noah: That was so great. I’m glad that I thought to include you on that so deeply with those audio posts.
Michael: Yeah, no, that was fun. For any of you listeners who have no idea what we’re talking about, make sure [to] look at the MuggleNet Blog, where we held the Wizolympics. The wizards have their own version of the olympics every year – well, every year the olympics are held – and we had audio updates from the WWN about that, so make sure [to] check those out. You…
Noah: And then about three quarters through, Jo said that the wizards… “Oh, they actually support Scotland.”
Michael: Yeah. That was…
Kat: I’m telling you, she was… she pays attention to us.
Michael: [laughs] Yeah, that was funny, that post. Just like, [as J.K. Rowling] “Actually, they only like rugby.”
[Michael and Noah laugh]
Kat: So that’s it for the Podcast Question of the Week recap this week.
Noah: And now it’s time for the chapter discussion. Chapter 34.
[Goblet of Fire Chapter 34 intro begins]
[Sound of wind blowing]
Lily Potter’s echo: Chapter 34.
Voldemort: Avada Kedavra!
[Sound of explosion]
James and Lily Potter’s echoes: “Priori Incantatem.”
[Goblet of Fire Chapter 34 intro ends]
Noah: Yes, yes. “Priori Incantatum.” Mmm.
Kat: Oh, you said it right. Good job.
Noah: Thank you. Now, I’m really excited for this chapter. It’s one of my favorites. There’s so much to talk about; there’s a lot of weird stuff going on. Is this anybody else’s favorite or near favorite instance in the series or anything like that?
Mike: I couldn’t tell you how excited I was to be asked to be on this episode because it’s this and “A Flaw in the Plan” in Deathly Hallows. They are – in my opinion – the two biggest and best chapters in the entire series.
Noah: I get chills.
Kat: Oh, well, that worked out well then, didn’t it?
Michael: That’s perfect! I love this chapter for… I liked… I always loved Harry’s encounter with his parents in this chapter. It’s short..
Noah: One of many…
Michael: … but…
Noah: … magical encounters.
Michael: Yeah. It’s the first time he actually gets to talk to them in…
Michael: … some form, and it’s really, really, just very emotional even though it’s only a few lines.
Noah: Yes, but we’re not there, yet. But we will, and we’ll meet them as well. So Harry is again attached to the gravestone, and Wormtail comes over and with one swoop cuts the rope, and I thought that was cool, that he was able to do it with one move. I thought it was tightly bound with complicated ropes and such, but it was just one so…
Kat: He’s a talented rope cutter.
Noah: He is, so… Friend, killer, whatever, non-Gryffindor, whatever you have against Pettigrew, he can cut a rope.
Michael: [laughs] It must be the rat in him.
Noah: Right, right. [imitates gnawing noises] Gnawing on ropes for many years.
Noah: So he cuts the rope, and then Harry drops down, and Voldemort almost immediately challenges Harry to a duel, and the Dementors – not Dementors, sorry. The Death Eaters – around Voldemort… surround Voldemort and Harry, and Voldemort says, “We must bow to each other as is right,” and at first I thought, “Okay, this is a scene where he’s mocking Harry by humiliating him.” But is this another instance of him actually bringing Harry to his equal? Because they’re going through this very formal dueling procedure? I’m just putting that out there because I thought, “Maybe – it’s kind of weird – he’s unconsciously raising Harry to his own level in front of his own Death Eaters.”
Michael: I think it’s Voldemorts way of showing that Harry isn’t his equal because Harry even thinks this throughout the whole thing. He’s like, [as Harry] “Oh my God, I don’t know any spells that could possibly work in this situation that are going to help me.” He’s very ill-prepared for a duel. So I think it’s a mix of mockery and “I’m…”
Noah: Oh, I think it’s definitely inteded mockery, complete humiliation, but there’s this underhanded raising up because he has something to prove to his Death Eaters because Harry beat him once.
Michael: Yeah, no, it’s putting Harry on a supposedly level playing field to make him look really, really bad.
Mike: Yeah, he couldn’t sucker-punch him to death.
Michael: No. [laughs]
Mike: He had to square up against him, and dueling, apparently, has very fixed rules.
Kat: Guys – this is totally random – is Voldemort… okay, so he “died” at a certain age.
Kat: Did he continue to age, or is he the same age now as when he “died”?
Michael: Either way, he’s pretty old.
Michael: Yeah, isn’t he…
Mike: I think about that sometimes.
Michael: Isn’t he in his sixties by this…
Noah: I thought seventies.
Michael: Oh, I thought sixties because he’s…
Mike: I thought he died at seventy-nine.
Kat: He’s the same age as Hagrid.
Michael: Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Noah: So maybe it is sixties. But yeah, that’s interesting, what happens to the age and his body.
Noah: He doesn’t seem to have the same issues with body image as he does with just life itself.
Michael: Do you think that’s why the Death Eaters are nervous? They’re all like, “We owe him so many birthday gifts, you guys.”
Kat: I mean, no, but it’s just something I was thinking about, reading this chapter.
Noah: [as Voldemort] Those others left me. They did not get me presents.
Kat: Because he only gets three years out of this body, and then boom, he’s dead.
Noah: I know, it’s… you really shouldn’t have made [that] investment with the Horcruxes.
Mike: Was there a body left after he “died” for the first time? His wand was there.
Michael: No, he…
Mike: Or did he just disintegrate like in the movie?
Michael: He became a vaporous thing, as far as we know.
Noah: A disembodied spirit thing.
Kat and Michael: Yeah.
Mike: Okay, so it wasn’t like a separation. It was like, “Okay, I’m a ghost now.”
Noah: Well, this is… well, Pettigrew somehow took the spirit and made a body, so maybe… and now, I’m going to get a little… I’m trying to think of what would make someone vomit.
Noah: If I might speculate for a moment, maybe Pettigrew took a baby carcass or something and forced the spirit inside or something.
Michael: People have…
Kat: I don’t know. I mean, Jo, you’re listening, so…
Michael: People have suspected that.
Noah: Is Voldemort in that form just a reanimated baby corpse? That’s gross.
Kat: I mean, that would make somebody vomit.
Noah: That’s gross, Jo.
Noah: Anyway, so Voldemort forces Harry to bow with a great hand. It feels like an invisible hand is pushing down on Harry, and I just thought it was cool imagery because this is, in a way, the second hand that Voldemort has created in the past fifteen minutes.
Kat: Oh, that’s true.
Noah: Which I could spin off and be like, “Was that a real hand in some magical universe that Voldemort created, or does it just kind of feel like some kind of force wind thing?”
Kat: It’s an invisible giant hand.
Noah: That raises the question, Kat, “If it’s an invisible giant hand, is it attached to an invisible giant?”
Kat: Yes. It absolutely is.
Mike: He’s just giving Harry a pat on the back.
Mike: Way to be.
Kat: That’s what I was inferring, for the record.
Noah: It’s Hagrid’s mother.
Kat: [laughs] Oh, Lord.
Noah: Anyway. Harry has to bow. He really doesn’t want to, and he’s, again, thinking in his head, as Michael was saying, he really doesn’t know any spells for this. Dumbledore really should have given him something, but oh well.
Noah: So he thinks back to [the Disarming Charm], which we know was the spell used by Snape on Gilderoy Lockhart back in the Dueling Club. So I thought it was interesting that, in a way, Snape is now protecting Harry sort of through the [Disarming Charm] almost like Lily’s love, in a way.
Kat: And that happens so many times in this series where Harry uses that, and it’s all thanks to Snape.
Noah: Yeah. So it’s… in a beautiful way, Snape is helping Harry fend off Voldemort, and it’s really… if you think about the spell, it’s an act of nonviolence because all it really should do is make you drop your… drop whatever weapon you’re holding. And this isn’t true in Prisoner of Azkaban when Harry uses it, and it knocks Snape out. But in general, it seems to be this disarming spell unless there is enough passion in it, and then it becomes this weird red projectile. But it made me think…
Kat: Harry had several wands when that happened, though.
Noah: Oh, that’s absolutely true.
Kat: Or Hermione did it at the same time or something like that.
Michael: Yeah, it was amplified.
Michael: I think if it’s, like you’re saying, Noah, either if there’s more wands or if it’s just the intention behind it is more extreme, then it actually disables the human being rather than taking away their weapon.
Noah: Yeah, I like that a lot.
Noah: And I think it’s…
Kat: Well, because, like most things, you have to mean it. So the more you mean it…
Noah: And he really means this one as much as Voldemort means [the Killing Curse], and that’s why, I think, it’s ultimately able to stand up on many an occasion. But I have a note here about how Harry is like a Gandhi – Gandhi Potter in a way – because he’s got this nonviolence spell up against Voldemort. Doesn’t have to be Gandhi. Really substitute any nonviolent hero you wish.
Michael: Gandhi, Superman.
Kat: Mother Teresa.
Noah: Mother Teresa Harry. Martin Luther King Harry.
Mike: Pope Potter.
Kat and Noah: Pope Potter.
Noah: These would all make excellent Snapchats.
Mike: I’m writing this down.
Kat: Noah is obsessed with Snapchat. Although…
Mike: He’s obsessed with Snapchat?
Kat: … he never seems to send me any Snaps.
Noah: I’ll send you some Snaps. I sent my friend Jacob a Snap today, and he was like, “That was the best Snap I ever got.” What I do is… it’s just me and then I… it’s on video and I just put my eye right up to it and it goes nuts and then that’s just on loop. It’s this funny thing that I do.
Michael: My phone would disintegrate in my hand if I tried to put Snapchat on it.
Kat: Eventually that phone is going to die…
Michael: That… [laughs]
Kat: … and you are going to have to get a new one, Michael.
Michael: [laughs] It’s going to last forever. [laughs]
Noah: So Harry is thinking about dueling. He wants to, but before he even starts Voldemort just Cruciatus Curses him and, “Ouch,” is all I have to say about… after reading it I was like, “Ouch.” Let me read you the exact passage: “Voldemort raises his wand and before Harry could do anything to defend himself, before he could even move, he had been hit again by the Cruciatus Curse. The pain was so intense, so all consuming, that he no longer knew where he was. White hot knives were piercing every inch of his skin, his head was surely going to burst with pain, he was screaming more loudly then he’d ever screamed in his life.” I just wanted to read that because “the knives piercing every inch of his skin” is very visceral, very… you can really feel how bad it hurts and I guess she had to write it that way so that it comes across, but once again getting into dark territory for a kid’s book.
Noah: So then Voldemort lets it go almost… it seems like immediately… it’s not clear how long this is happening to Harry, but Voldemort never lets it happen for an extended period of time. And this is… I think… was probably Jo’s choice as well because she doesn’t want… we as readers don’t want Harry to experience that. I don’t think we can take it because what comes after this sort of description? Insanity? You know?
Kat: Well, yeah. Because…
Kat: … that’s what happened to Neville’s parents.
Noah: Right. So it would just be a description of Harry going insane and just wishing for it to end and bad stuff, so…
Michael: Well, and of course…
Noah: That doesn’t happen.
Michael: … Voldemort is damaging his Horcrux without even knowing it. So…
Michael: … maybe not a wise thing to be doing.
Noah: No. Though I wonder if the Horcrux inside him is affected by it in the same way. I don’t know.
Kat: Well, it depends on if a spell like that affects your soul or just your body.
Noah: If it affects the soul too or something maybe Voldemort hurts a little inside whenever he casts it on Harry in particular and it makes him upset so he stops.
Michael: That was a conversation that was going on a lot at the main site in the forums and what was interesting about that was… because the movies made me space on this because they created their own rules to get by the plot points that they forgot. But in the movie Voldemort does feel when the Horcruxes are affected, but in the books it’s implied that he does not. Because he has no idea that the Horcruxes that have been destroyed are gone.
Noah: Right because he’s so far removed.
Michael: Yeah. So I’m assuming that since that’s the case that if he were… like in this instance with casting the Cruciatus Curse on Harry, he probably doesn’t feel it. Which is bad for him because this is a probably extra harsh Cruciatus Curse anyway.
Kat: But that makes me wonder that… I’ve always felt that if… say you make a Horcrux and instead of hiding it you decide to keep it around and you stay emotionally attached to that…
Noah: Oh does that create something…
Kat: … wouldn’t you feel it more? And then that made me think about the fact that Voldemort is very emotionally attached to Harry…
Kat: … and so in a way… I guess I’d never really thought about it before, but I feel like Voldemort maybe should feel a little bit of what he is doing to Harry. Hmm.
Noah It’s that connection through the scar that happens a lot through Order of the Phoneix that eventually Voldemort taps into to get Harry to do stuff.
Mike: Recently I’ve seen… there is a chart online that’s been floating around, and it’s the percentages of the soul – of Voldemort’s soul – that are in each of the Horcruxes.
Kat and Michael: Hmm. Mhm.
Mike: The diary has the most, and then it goes in order of when he made them, so…
Mike: … at the end of the day wouldn’t it be, geez…
Kat: It’s like one percent.
Noah: … Nagini and Voldemort have the least amount of his soul and then would be Harry. And thinking about that just now made me think, did they get destroyed in the same order they were made?
Michael: I’m not sure about that.
Kat: But that theory – that chart – that you’re talking about is taking the theory that when you make a Horcrux you lose half of your soul.
Noah: Right, well, it might just be a fragment.
Noah: Which we’ve discussed in a previous episode that I know of.
Kat: Yeah, numerous times I think.
Kat: But no, I don’t think they were destroyed in the order they were made.
Noah: That’d be really awesome if they were. Maybe someone will check on that later.
Michael: Yeah, check on that, listeners, please. [laughs]
Kat: Well, the first one that was destroyed was the diary.
Kat: And that was the first one made.
Noah: That was the first one made.
Kat: And then it was the ring.
Noah: That might have been the second one made.
Kat: Which was the second one. Okay.
Noah: The locket?
Michael: Uh oh.
[Michael, Mike, and Noah laugh]
Noah: The cup.
Noah: [laughs] Oh, this is fun. This is fun.
Michael: Oh, like a house of cards.
Kat: Okay, maybe they were destroyed in the order they were made.
Noah: Maybe they were.
Michael: Well, because it gets a little foggy, doesn’t it? Like in the middle of the Horcrux development? What order?
Kat: Well, no, because we know the order.
Kat: So it’s diary, ring…
Noah: Harry’s the last, Nagini’s the second to last. Oh, wait! Is Nagini second to last?
Kat: Yes, because he makes Nagini after he gets…
Noah: No, but is Nagini destroyed after Harry’s?
Michael: Oh, yeah that’s right. Nagini is killed after…
Kat: Yes. Nagini is destroyed after…
Michael: … Nagini’s the last one.
Kat: Nagini’s the last one. Yep. Ha!
Mike: But wasn’t Nagini the last Horcrux made?
Noah: Oh, Nagini was the last one. Oh! It’s true.
Michael: That’s right because Nagini was made after…
Noah: Yeah. Oh my goodness.
Michael: Because Nagini…
Kat: We just need to figure out the order with the cup and diadem because I think the…
Noah: Let’s just say for now, that it’s possible.
Mike: But the reason I mention it is because if there is that connection between Harry and Voldemort, it’s… in comparison to the rest of the Horcruxes, it’s insignificant.
Mike: I mean, I’m not sure what percentage that would be – if the theory is that you halve it each time – but there are single digit percentages of Voldemort’s soul connected between Harry and Voldemort.
Michael: Yeah, so the idea that because it’s not very much of his soul – supposedly with that theory – then he wouldn’t really feel it that much anyway.
Kat: Right. Voldemort and Nagini would have 1.56% of his soul.
Michael: See, I feel that the… and maybe this is just my personal feelings on it, but I figure that because separating your soul is such a blasphemous thing in magic – something that you really just should not do – that by ripping your soul from yourself, you have ripped your connection with that piece of your soul. Because there is more of a discussion on that in The Tales of Beedle the Bard with the story of “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart.”
Michael: And Dumbledore goes a little bit into Horcruxes in that and talks about how in the story the warlock has literally ripped his heart out, which is meant in the wizarding world to be a parallel to taking a Horcrux out and the warlock doesn’t have any… he loses the capacities of his… to love and to… and all this stuff… all these feelings that are connected with his heart. So I always got the implication from the books that therefore when you take a piece of your soul out you can’t feel it if there’s anything affecting it.
Kat: Hmm. That makes sense.
Michael: But I always just… I’m just thinking that maybe the movies kind of…
Noah: It was over-dramaticized in the movies, I think, just for continuity to make sure that the audience…
Michael: Yeah, no, they had to. They had to.
Noah: Yeah. Makes it more dramatic, but back to the chapter. Back to the chapter. After the Cruciatus Curse, Voldemort asks Harry basically to beg for him not to do it again, again to humiliate Harry, and Harry will not. He will not say so. So then Voldemort has to use the Imperius Curse to get Harry to say it and it just… a cloud comes over Harry. Basically his mind suddenly clears and it’s a very pleasant sensation. I was reading the Imperius Curse Wiki, and Harry has this mental battle inside himself. There are two voices talking: one is Voldemort, saying, “Say it, just say it,” and a stronger voice, it’s in… I’m saying quotes, actually stronger, because that’s in the text. It says, “No, I’m not going to say it.” So it’s interesting here that even though he’s under the Imperius Curse by Voldemort, who should, in theory, be the most powerful dark wizard, his voice sounds stronger in his mind and he’s able to say, “No!” very loudly or something to that extent. He says…
Kat: He says, “I won’t.”
Noah: He says, “I won’t.” Yes.
Kat: Yep. This is one of my favorite passages, probably in at least… I think it’s in my top five of the whole series, one of my favorite passages. It’s just… we often see Harry as kind of like a whiny child, and this, I just feel like, shows so much of his inner strength.
Kat: He’s pretty emotionally strong, especially in this moment. It’s just… I absolutely love it.
Noah: Yeah, I mean it just speaks to his strong will, and we get that later on with the Priori Incantatum, but…
Noah: It’s just fascinating because is it will power or is it a stronger mental capacity?
Kat: Well, I mean, you have to remember that Fake Moody taught him how to fight this.
Michael: Yeah, that’s the funny part, is this has been given…
Michael: … to Harry…
Michael: … by Voldemort’s most loyal supporter. [laughs] Woopsies.
[Michael and Noah laugh]
Mike: I think the conversation about it being close or very similar as far as how to do it with conjuring a Patronus.
Mike: And that’s training… he had extensive training for that, just the year prior, so thank you, Lupin, for teaching Harry how to fight off the Imperius Curse.
Michael: Thank you, Lupin, for existing.
[Michael and Noah laugh]
Noah: What a guy.
Michael: Favorite guy.
Noah: But it’s true. Just in a moment of stress, being able to call upon a happy emotion or a strong will is a… I think that’s really integral to the whole Harry Potter series…
Michael and Kat: Mhm.
Noah: … because Jo is fighting depression, fighting lots of sgunk, so even here it’s…
Kat: Gunk. That’s the official word.
Noah: Gunk, yes. So where am I? So Harry’s stood his ground, amazingly. And Voldemort is getting pretty pissed off now so he’s going to use his Cruciatus Curse again, but then Harry, before he can use it on him…
Noah: … moves because of his excellent Quidditch skills.
Kat: Wah. It’s the ninja practice. Well, I don’t know. I was just kidding.
Noah: It’s the Quidditch, it’s the Quidditch practice, and had Voldemort ever played Quidditch, besides just reading about Horcruxes, he could have probably been able to get Harry here, but he doesn’t.
Kat: Do you think Tom Riddle ever went to a Quidditch match?
Michael: I feel like Riddle would have probably found extracurricular activities at Hogwarts to be a waste of his time.
Michael: He might have attended for appearances now and then, especially if somebody like Slughorn was there…
Michael: … but I don’t think he would make a priority. Because… I was thinking about that when Dumbledore was telling his story in The Tales of Beedle the Bard about the play that they put on… [laughs] and I was like, “Wouldn’t that be great if Riddle was sitting in the front row seats of that, being like ‘This play is absolutely awful’?”
[Michael and Noah laugh]
Michael: Like he worked for the Hogwarts school newspaper or something and was there to write a review.
Noah: I mean, he had to have some… of course he was leading his Slytherin gang but he had to have some kind of normal life doing normal stuff there.
Michael: I don’t know; I just feel like to advance as far as he did in magic, as early as he did – because he was making a Horcrux while he was still in school – I feel like he had to spend his spare time doing academic activities, not really…
Noah: In the library.
Michael: Yeah, he was a Hermione, but like an evil Hermione. [laughs]
Noah: I was just thinking he was basically a Hermione, but…
Michael: But evil.
Noah: … an evil version.
Kat: Did he wear the glasses? Because normally the evil characters wear the glasses.
Noah: Harry wears glasses.
Kat: No, you know how… never mind.
Michael: There are three people here wearing glasses, Kat.
[Michael, Mike, and Noah laugh]
Noah: We’re not evil.
Kat: Do you have glasses on, Michael? You have glasses on?
Michael: I do.
Kat: Oh. Hmm.
Noah: I didn’t know you wore…
Kat: I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in your glasses.
Noah: Yeah, I haven’t, either.
Michael: You haven’t seen me in my… I was wearing my glasses…
Kat: That’s because you’ve never met him, Noah.
Noah: I’ve never met you. Yeah, that’s true.
Mike: Slowly my mental image of Michael Harle is coming together. He has glasses. I know that.
Noah: He has a nose and two eyes.
Michael: I feel like after we’re done recording this episode I’m just going to pop up my video. [laughs] So just… that’ll be the reward. You can finally see what I look like. Not you, listeners. You can go to the website and see me. [laughs]
Kat: I am rid of glasses for just over two years now.
Michael: Oh. Well, that’s okay. You can’t be in our club. Our club of evil.
[Mike and Noah laugh]
Noah: Our club of evil.
Kat: Fine. I don’t want to be in the club.
Michael: In our evil glasses club.
Noah: We can see things far away and scheme about it.
Kat: I’m an independent Ravenclaw. I don’t need your club.
Noah: So anyway, Voldemort is approaching the grave now because Harry is hiding behind it, but he is not going to play hide-and-seek with Voldemort…
Kat: [laughs] That line…
Noah: … if he’s going to die now, he’s going to go down with a fight… or he is not going to go down without a fight, rather. He is going to go like his dad, but with a wand this time.
Michael: Yeah. [laughs]
Noah: [laughs] “Dad, you didn’t have a wand. I do now. Everything has changed.” So he flips around right when Voldemort is there, and he Expelliarmus-es and Voldemort Avada Kedavra-s…
Kat: [in a high voice] Avada Kedavra!
Noah: … and Priori Incantatem ensues.
Michael: Was that your Voldemort Avada Kedavra? He is high pitched. [laughs]
Kat: It was a really bad Avada Kedavra.
Noah: Let’s hear it, Michael.
Michael: Oh, like a Voldemort Avada Kedavra?
Michael: I would read that more as a [in a raspy voice] Avada Kedavra! I think I actually did that for one of the chapter titles, didn’t I? [laughs]
Kat: Yeah, I think so.
Noah: What about Harry’s Expelliarmus?
Michael: [as Harry] Expelliarmus! Oh, I’m so tired.
Noah: All right, now do them at the same time.
Michael: Oh, okay, yeah, you do Expelliarmus. I’m Voldemort. Okay, here we go. Ready? 1, 2, 3… Avada Kedavra!
Kat: Oh, you’re dead, Harry. You were late.
[Michael laughs as Voldemort]
Noah: So guys, I don’t know if you know this, but when I was an intern at MuggleNet in 2009, one of the first things I did was went to a section called Level Nine where Jamie Lawrence from MuggleCast had written a piece about time travel and lots of other interesting things, and I loved reading that back in the day, so as soon as I got to MuggleNet I talked to Andrew Sims or whoever, and I was like, “Could I write something in the Level Nine section?” and he was like, “Sure,” and I was like, “Yay! Yes. This is great.” So I wrote this little essay about wands and specifically Priori Incantatem and how it works.
Michael: I know. I went and read it and it was so… I was surprised at how short it was, Noah.
Kat: Oh, given that it’s Noah? Yeah.
Michael: [laughs] I was like, “Oh, that’s the end!”
Noah: That’s the end. Yeah, it was…
Kat: The only person that rivals Noah in speaking ability is Eric Scull.
Michael: Eric. [laughs]
Michael: And we say that with so much love and affection, Eric. Nothing but…
Noah: All right. Actually, I wrote this essay, and I’m happy to announce that I’m going to talk about it on the special feature for this episode so if you don’t have access to the Alohomora! app, you’re not going to be able to see it or hear what I have to say. Sorry.
Noah: But you should get it.
Michael: Or you could go to the MuggleNet website and read the essay. [laughs]
Noah: [laughs] There’s that. There’s also that… you can do that.
Kat: The app is way more fun, though. Let’s be honest.
Michael: I don’t have a phone that… that’s another thing that would disintegrate my phone.
Kat: The app? Yeah.
Noah: Well, you’re saving yourself from an addiction that will slowly take over the human race but that’s another podcast.
Michael: [laughs] Continuing on.
Noah: Continuing on, Priori Incantatem happens and Voldemort and Harry are both very surprised. Their wands connect with these powerful spells; their hands connect to the wands. A magical force floats them away from the graves and the Death Eaters to a nice patch of grass, which I thought was interesting because… what force is moving them? I don’t really know. And I went to the Wiki page just to get a little bit about Priori Incantatem into my mind and this is what it is. It is “a magical phenomenon that can occur when two wands which share the same source for their cores are forced to compete in combat.” The source, of course, is Fawkes the phoenix who had given a feather, [as Ollivander] just one other feather, [back to normal voice] to Voldemort’s wand and Harry’s wand… they share the cores. Anyway, “It is sometimes referred to as the ‘reverse-spell effect.’ It can also be induced by analytical spells, like an extension of the Prior Incantato spell,” which we saw earlier in this book.
Michael: Yeah, the funny thing is this is a really bizarrely stretched out extreme version of that spell. Other than the ghosts that the spell conjures, it’s…
Noah: Oh, right! Yeah. That seems to be the only way to regurgitate the Avada Kedavra spell – in this case – is to bring the actual victims out of it.
Noah: But I’m going to get into that a little bit later because I want to talk about that, too. But back to the Priori Incantatem in itself… this sort of weird scene… not to go overboard or reading in too much, I used to think this scene was a homoerotic thing. There’s a lot of Internet memes out there that make a lot of jokes about this scene with Harry and Voldemort because their wands are pointing at each other and stuff is spewing, and I actually went to a panel discussion at a LeakyCon in 2011…
Noah: … where we talked about how you read the wands as these phalluses and if you do that enough, then certain scenes kind of become weird or different, and this is definitely one of those scenes. But given the fact that… I don’t know if I agree with that theory as much anymore because they have these brother wands. So I think it’s more that they’re brothers and that they can’t fight each other. So it’s something more like that and the fact that Voldemort has just taken Harry’s blood deepens that effect and makes them even more blood relations so I want to take everything sexual out of that because then it’s just very weird.
Kat: There’s a first time for everything.
Noah: There is a first time for everything but [laughs] does anyone have any thoughts about that or ever reading it like that in quite that way or…
Michael: I never read it that way. And I haven’t seen these memes. I obviously haven’t looked deep enough into the memes.
Michael: I won’t. [laughs] But I mean, to me, the epitome of the wand thing is… Curon wins with the opening scene of Prisoner. Nothing beats that as far as the symbolism in the series.
Noah: Oh, when he’s under the blanket?
Michael: Yeah, when he’s under the blanket. It’s pretty obvious and that’s very clearly intention on his part. But otherwise, I’ve never really read it that way just in the context of this… I know, Noah, you’ve discussed this with other instances…
Michael: … but I’ve never read it that way. And there are other ways you can sexualize things in Harry Potter but…
Kat: Next time I get a chance to interview Alfonso, I am going to ask him about that because I’d never thought about that before until right this…
Michael: Are you serious? Really?
Noah: I never thought about that either.
Michael: Wow! You guys! I had… we watched Prisoner in my Spanish class one day in high school… the exchange student from Korea got it. [laughs] Nobody said anything at that scene but at the end of that scene she just went, “Eww!”
[Michael and Noah laugh]
Michael: She couldn’t speak much English, but she knew how to express her feelings on that.
Noah: He is just trying to read Quidditch Through the Ages.
Michael: By the way, hi, Joo Soon, if you’re listening in Korea.
[Kat and Noah laugh]
Michael: You’re welcome, for sharing that story.
Michael: But yeah, no, I always thought it was pretty… I mean, among the film discussions I’ve had about it, that’s always come up as that so that’s funny that none of you saw that…
Michael: … listeners, I’m interested to hear what you think! We had a movie discussion…
Michael: … I wasn’t there but you should go leave your comments on that part of the forums.
Noah: I always thought it was more that with Expecto Patronum but now that I think about it, that’s not quite… that’s more emotional. That’s more about a happy thought.
Kat: [laughs] Can we get off this topic, please?
Noah: Okay. So Harry and Voldemort are connected and it’s beautiful. There are rainbows coming out around them… a nice gold sheen. It’s really nice and the Death Eaters are trying desperately to get through and then Harry and Voldemort find that they can sort of force this energy bubble toward each other and if they get it all the way across, they can break the other person’s wand. Voldemort picks up on it first and Harry realizes this; there’s this energy ball that’s really close to him and his wand is shaking and he thinks it’s going to break, and it’s possible that if he had given up maybe he would have died at this point because Voldemort’s intent with that blast was to kill him. However, Harry, bringing up his stronger will again, is like, “Nope! That’s not going to happen.” He focuses all his will and slowly the ball moves in the other direction and I was just imagining… this has happened so many times between Goku and Frieza and Cell and anyone he’s ever fought in DBZ.
Noah: Does anybody know what I’m talking about?
Michael: I know DBZ stands for Dragon Ball Z. [laughs]
Noah: Yeah. So as this blast is moving toward Voldemort now, his eyes are getting wide and he is freaking out. “Voldemort’s wand began to emit echoing screams of pain,” and I just thought that was kind of weird. That could be read multiple ways. Most likely these are the echoing screams of the people he has killed coming out of the wand, given all the Avada Kedavras and the Cruciatus Curses and suchlike. Or Voldemort’s wand is alive and it’s screaming because it’s hurting right now.
Kat: Well, I think it’s both, actually. I’m going to go with your crazy theory on this one…
[Michael and Noah laugh]
Kat: … because we know that wands are alive in a way. They’re not sentient…
Noah: They’re kind of sentient.
Kat: But they’re not. They’re like… they…
Noah: Harry and Voldemort’s wand talked to each other in the seventh book.
Noah: And that’s why they decided to kill Lucius Malfoy’s wand.
Kat: No. Anyway…
[Michael and Noah laugh]
Kat: … I think that the screams are of the people…
Kat: … not the wand. That’s what I was going to say.
Noah: I mean, that’s what I think it probably is but I wanted to put out that crazy theory because I enjoy it and…
Noah: … I think that would be an excellent Snapchat of a wand bellowing a scream of pain as it’s…
Kat: Mike, I just want to say that if Noah had his way, you would never do anything but Snap, so…
Mike: Well… Noah has his way…
[Michael and Noah laugh]
Mike: … because it takes up so much of my life. [laughs]
Michael: What were you going to say, Mike? You were going to say something.
Mike: I always… the screams. I always thought of that as the Priori Incantatum‘s representation of the Cruciatus Curse. It had just happened to Harry…
Kat and Michael: Oh!
Mike: … he said he’d screamed louder than he had ever screamed in his life so going in reverse order, that was the most recent magic it had done…
Noah: Yes! Yes.
Mike: … and then it goes on to do the hand and so on and so forth.
Kat: Oh! Clever.
Noah: That is amazing. That’s it. That’s so good.
Michael: That makes so much… I didn’t even think of it that way…
Kat: I didn’t either.
Michael: … because I always just… I’ve kind of assumed that when… if she didn’t have a way to represent the spell that she would just skip over it like, “That one can’t be regurgitated.”
Michael: Yep. Very clever.
Noah: It’s just… it makes it so good that Voldemort only uses those spells because if he had just been conjuring a cup of coffee or something in between those, it would’ve been very awkward between that and Lily Potter or something.
Michael: [laughs] Just random little household spells come out in between…
Noah: [laughs] Yeah.
Michael: … all these horrible death spells.
Noah: All this weird stuff like Aguamenti, a big river of water just comes out of his wand…
[Kat and Michael laugh]
Mike: And boogers whiff and wings started coming out of his wand because he had just done the Bat-Bogey Hex!
Noah: But yeah, no. That would have ruined the moment.
Michael: Just a little.
Noah: Yeah. So the screams happen. There’s not a regurgitation of the Imperius Curse, as far as I can see. That’d be really hard.
Michael: See, that’s what I was saying, is there [are] some spells that I just don’t know how you would represent them so they can’t be regurgitated, which of course brings up issues with Priori Incantatem and accountability based on casting that on a person’s wand to find out what they just did, if there’s…
Michael: … some spells that you just can’t detect.
Mike: Maybe that’s why it was impossible for them to tell who was under the Imperius Curse during…
Mike: … Voldemort’s reign.
Michael: Mhm. Yeah. If you can’t detect who cast it in the first place and if there’s no accountability if they say, “Oh, they cast it on me,”ù and they’re like, “Oh, okay.”ù
Noah: So more stuff starts coming out of Voldemort’s wand and it’s a head. Oh my God, he’s crowning. It’s Cedric Diggory!
Noah: In a way, this could be read as a birth. I’m not going to go into that because that’s nuts. So it’s Cedric Diggory. He comes out of the wand and he says, “What’s up, Harry?”ù “What’s up, Cedric? I’m kind of busy right now.”ù
Kat: He does not say that.
Noah: Okay, okay. [laughs] He does not say that. Instead he comes out with this sort of weird consciousness, as if he knows exactly what’s going on. He’s saying, “Don’t let go, Harry,”ù and he’s not the only one. Frank Bryce also comes out and says it, “Harry, don’t let go of your wand,”ù and stuff. And this same sentiment will be echoed by James and Lily and…
Kat: And Bertha Jorkins.
Michael: Bertha Jorkins.
Noah: Let’s not forget Bertha. But how is this possible? Do they all have… well, I have a lot of questions, so let me back up about these characters coming back. Were they… option 1, were they all hanging out in Voldemort’s wand all that time talking and that’s why they know everything? Or option 2, did the Priori Incantatem create some sort of weird juncture at Voldemort’s wand tip that accessed the other world where spirits from death or the… from the other world are able to come through to the real world at that point?
Michael: This has always been an issue that… the proof in the books has kind of always been contingent with what I believe is occurring, because we get the scene later where Harry sits down with Dumbledore, and Dumbledore says, “Oh, those were just kind of imprints. They were like reverse ghosts. They weren’t really conscious. They weren’t really people and they weren’t really being brought back from the dead,”ù and I’m like, “I don’t know about that.”ù
Noah: They were something. They were something.
Michael: I’ve always… that’s always been a point that I’ve disagreed with Dumbledore on, as funny as it sounds to say, but… and I wonder if Dumbledore was not being honest in that situation because he knows what the Resurrection Stone does, or…
Noah: Yeah, I think these are the same characters from the Resurrection Stone, in my opinion…
Michael: That’s what I always thought.
Noah: … and maybe Jo makes Dumbledore say that so that the Resurrection Stone can be all the more greater impact…
Noah: … when it happens.
Michael: And that’s why it’s always been a weird thing to me when… and everybody, rightfully so, gets emotional about that chapter when Harry sees his parents for the first time in the forest and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, Harry gets to talk to his parents and have a conversation!”ù I’m like, “But he did that already!”ù
Noah: He kind of did.
Michael: He’s seen them already. We’ve had this watershed moment in his life, right here. A lot of people…
Noah: “Parents, you can leave now. I’m good.”ù
Michael: Yeah. It’s just weird, though. I feel a lot of the fandom discounts this chapter. Even Rowling kind of discounts this encounter, going more for the Forest one. And I know the Forest one, obviously, has a lot more bearing on Harry’s life in that particular… it’s a bigger watershed moment, I suppose. But I don’t know, here it’s still a pretty big deal to me and I remember just the first time I read it being like, “Wow, this is really an amazing moment for Harry, that he does actually get to see his parents.”ù
Michael: And hear them.
Noah: Especially with the description of their bodies, which is not quite ghostlike. They’re a bit more physical.
Michael: Yeah, and they know what’s going on in the moment and they actively offer to aid him.
Michael: And the other ghosts are wandering around this weird netting…
Noah: This dome.
Michael: … and they’re whispering encouragement to Harry and they’re whispering something else to Voldemort. So…
Noah: Right, which makes me think that they’re all somehow connected by this consciousness of dead people that they have. And the good is encouraging Harry, and the bad part of that is saying to Voldemort, “You are just doomed,”ù basically.
Noah: “You are a crime against nature.”ù
Michael: Yeah, yeah. No, and the other big thing that I see wasn’t in the notes but I thought would be at least worth pointing out is… because this was such a big thing when it got discovered, was that, of course, in the original draft that got published, James comes out of the wand first.
Kat: Right, they were flipped. Right?
Michael: And then Lily comes out next. And then, of course, Rowling’s editor missed that and…
Michael: … once she discovered it, she rewrote it. And in the publications afterwards, it was correct because of course, that was the wrong order in which they died. And it was interesting to… that point is interesting to me, just because those lines that Lily says originally in the first… because I’m sure you guys do as well, I have one of the first publications, where Lily is the one who talks more.
Michael: And it’s a really big moment to give to Lily, and I felt that Rowling intended for Lily to have that moment over James.
Noah: Yeah, I feel the same.
Michael: And it does affect the narrative to have it switched because actually, in the new version, James takes Lily’s lines and Lily takes James’s first line, and then James retains his second line instead of it being swapped with Lily. So Lily actually is quite short-shafted in the new version. And I was just interested to hear your thoughts, at least about how that affects the narrative because I thought that was a really interesting thing there.
Kat: Well yeah, obviously she meant it to be the first way and regardless of the mistake…
Kat: … that’s clearly the way it was meant to go in her head, so…
Mike: And there’s something to it, in the narrative. Harry had just gotten up from behind the gravestone, and he said, “I’m going to die straight-backed and trying to fight like my father.”ù
Mike: And then right before James comes out of the wand, the narrative indicates… I think it says, “He knew who it was going to be as if he knew since he saw Cedric Diggory because it was the man he was thinking of more than any other that night.”ù
Mike: And I think Jo wanted it to be Harry has his father in mind, Harry is remembering him and taking courage from him to actually do this, but unfortunately it doesn’t work.
Noah: That’s interesting because in my version, he’s thinking of Lily.
Michael: Yeah, and that’s what happened with the switch. It was originally… it’s that “she’s the woman that he’s been thinking more of tonight than anyone.”ù And I don’t know, what was interesting to me about that just coming off of Prisoner, where James really is the person who kind of invisibly encourages Harry with the Patronus and is the embodiment of his Patronus in the end, I kind of feel like this was Lily’s moment to shine because she had this really extensive explanation to Harry and it’s a very… coming from Lily, it’s just so wonderfully calming and nurturing the way that I read it. Because the thing is, when I read it aloud to my brother, I would read Lily different than I would read James. James I kind of… and the movie interprets it that way as well. James is very much more urgent, kind of like, “This is the plan. We’ve got to get this done. We want to save your life.” Whereas Lily was kind of more, “It’s all going to be okay.”
Noah: Nurturing force.
Michael: “Take it easy.”
Michael: “We’ll help you.”
Michael: I just think it’s a really interesting thing that that had to be changed for canon, but what… how it changes the tone.
Noah: I just think there is a sense in the series that… of the two parents, Lily has this stronger presence. Maybe it’s because her love sacrifice was the one that actually protected Harry.
Noah: And maybe also the stuff we know about James from Book 5. But it seems to be more about Lily, and sometimes I feel like James is just an afterthought. Does anyone else kind of feel that?
Kat: No, I don’t.
Noah: I feel that.
Michael: I think that’s come from how people have inflated his bad characteristics that we see once in Order. [laughs]
Michael: I think that’s why James got shafted in the fandom, is because he’s just not… I think people were really crushed by that portrayal of him because…
Michael: … Harry is, and we feel so much how Harry does about the characters that we encounter. So I…
Noah: And then we become so sympathetic to Snape.
Michael: Yeah, I think that came later, as the series went on. Because I think from the start, James and Lily were kind of on even footing. Because like I said, James really gets his starring moment in Prisoner. He’s talked about a lot in Prisoner.
Noah: This is true. That’s very true.
Kat: What I was just thinking about while we were discussing this is that there was a whole discussion last week that was had about Voldermort’s wand and whether this was the same wand or a new wand or whatever.
Kat: And I guess this points out the fact that it must be the same wand that he had…
Michael: It is.
Kat: … many years ago.
Michael: It is.
Kat: So I was just thinking about that.
Michael: And a few people on the forum found the confirmation from Rowling that… because she was asked how he got his wand back. But apparently Pettigrew went and got it as a way to curry favor with Voldemort.
Kat: Makes sense.
Michael: Yeah. And we discussed that two weeks ago, and I know it was discussed last week about how… like where this wand is in terms of this chapter, because at one point Pettigrew was holding it, and how Pettigrew is not held accountable for Cedric’s death – it’s Voldemort because Pettigrew cast it with Voldemort’s wand. And it’s never made clear how the wand gets back in Voldemort’s pocket. Yeah, it’s kind of… that wand is all over the place. [laughs]
Michael: It’s magic. That’s right.
Noah: Magic. [laughs]
Kat: “I love magic.”
Noah: The ultimate answer and the end to a lot of discussions. So basically the ghosts – or the ghost people, whatever you want to call them, the spectres – they tell Harry that he should break his connection very soon, and Harry is feeling his wand shake, and the time is pretty much there. And he does this. He breaks the connection and he runs, not before Cedric telling him, “Please take my body back,” which again speaks to this idea that they’re not mere imprints, what we said before, but possibly these spirits because hey, they’ve got a consciousness and an idea of what should be done. So Harry races across gravestones, and the Death Eaters are firing spells at him. Voldemort is screaming, “Leave him, don’t kill him, leave him for me,” that sort of thing, but he still wants them to try to stop him. He Impedimenta-s a dude behind his back very expertly, and then he grabs Cedric’s body and right when Voldemort’s about to… I think he’s even got a smirk. Before he’s about to get Harry with another curse, Harry Accio-s the Portkey and he leaves while Voldemort is screaming. He can hear Voldemort screaming…
[Kat imitates Voldemort’s screaming]
Noah: … as he Portkeys away. Yeah.
Noah: Just a very, very intense chapter.
Michael: Yeah, I like that all of this culminating chapter, all of Harry’s spells and things that he was learning with Hermione for the task, a lot of them end up being used here.
Kat: Point me. Just kidding.
Michael: Point me! [laughs] That would have been odd.
Noah: [laughs] That would have been a weird thing to do.
Michael: But yeah, the big thing is Accio was a big one that he learned for the first task, and then Impedimenta he learned for the third one. So they actually came to some use! Not for combat, but hey.
Noah: I’m pretty sure Expelliarmus just becomes Harry’s go-to spell for just about anything and works pretty much 75 percent of the time, maybe even more.
Mike: Hey, don’t fix it if it ain’t broken.
Noah: That’s right.
Noah: That is right. But that ends Chapter 34. A lot of fun.
Kat: We’re really close to the end.
Noah: We are. Four books!
Kat: I know, it’s kind of crazy.
Noah: That’s a lot of podcasts. 72 podcasts.
Michael: I know we’ll talk about this later, but just quick: Shout-out to the movie because this is the one scene that I always feel it got right. [laughs]
Michael: The ending. [laughs]
Michael: “The best part of that movie was the end!”
Noah: “Did you put your name in the Goblet?!”
Kat: I was checking to see if we were halfway through the series yet, and we are not.
Michael: When will we be?
Kat: We are not. Chapter 5 of Order of the Phoenix, actually, is the half chapter.
Michael: Well, how about that.
Mike: Because there are 99 chapters, right?
Mike: There are 198? Oh, yeah. Oh, okay. What am I thinking of? Because each chapter is a different song on my iPod.
[Michael and Mike laugh]
Kat: Oh, nice.
Noah: Remember when we did three chapters per episode? Or two chapters?
Kat: Two chapters. Yeah, that was crazy. Crazy!
Kat: Okay, so we’re going to hop into this week’s Podcast Question of the Week, and I’m really excited about this one because it’s a passage from this chapter that I think is really important and kind of telling, and I have a bajillion questions about. So I’m going to read it for you. The passage is on page 664 of the US edition, and it says,
“And then an unearthly and beautiful sound filled the air…. It was coming from every thread of the light-spun web vibrating around Harry and Voldemort. It was a sound Harry recognized, though he had heard it only once before in his life: phoenix song. It was the sound of hope to Harry… the most beautiful and welcome thing he had ever heard in his life…. He felt as though the song were inside him instead of just around him…. It was the sound he connected with Dumbledore, and it was almost as though a friend were speaking in his ear…. ‘Don’t break the connection.'”
So, what I want to ask all of you is: We talked before in the episode about how much Dumbledore knows is going on at this point. Snape goes to him and tells him, “Oh look, my scar is burning. I think Voldemort is back.” Does Dumbledore know? Is Dumbledore there? Is he helping Harry? Or does this just have to do with the core of the wands being a phoenix? Would this same reaction happen if the core was unicorn or dragon heartstring? What would that be? I’m just curious about, I guess, what you guys think about this moment, and what you think is going on here. I’m curious, so…
Michael: That’s a great question. I’ve always wondered what Voldemort hears, if he’s hearing the same thing.
Kat: Oh, that’s a good part too! What does Voldemort hear? So, there you go.
Michael: Because I feel like phoenix song is really meant for the pure, the pure of heart, like the people of good, on the side of good.
Michael: And I just wonder if Voldemort would hear that.
Noah: He gets a Thestral bark.
Michael: A Thestral bark. [laughs]
Noah: Or a Thestral neigh, yeah. [imitates a Thestral neighing]
Kat: So you know where to go to answer that – alohomora.mugglenet.com – and we might just read your responses on the show next week.
Michael: And we want to thank Michael Platco, not only for being on the show with us today but also for his amazing Snapchats as well and all the extra work he does for Alohomora! So thank you, Michael, for joining us and for all the work you do.
Mike: Oh, you guys are too nice. It was a pleasure. Thank you so much for having me on here.
Michael: No, thank you.
Kat: Tell our listeners where they can find you on Snapchat…
Kat: … both with the show and not if you want followers.
Mike: Okie-dokie. So the Alohomora! Snapchat account is mn_alohomora. We are rapidly approaching the 350 follower mark. And yes, I send every Snapchat to every person. And my personal account is mplatco. That’s my name! Feel free to add me. I add everyone back.
Kat: I thought you were going to say, “That’s my name, don’t wear it out,”ù but you didn’t, so props.
Mike: Well, I didn’t because that’s already been worn out.
Kat: Ooh, burn.
Mike: Oh, snap, snap.
Kat: Oh, speaking of snaps.
Michael: [laughs] We have worn it out. There’s two Michaels here.
Noah: And if you would like to be on the show, listener, click on the Be On the Show page on our website, alohomora.mugglenet.com, where you will be pointed to an email address, alohomorapodcast at gmail dot com. And please make sure that you have the appropriate audio equipment when you send in your recording so that we know that you’re human and that you know what you’re doing. And I wouldn’t worry about it too much, but we want it to be pretty good sound quality.
Kat: And I just wanted to say that we are scheduling for Order of the Phoenix at this point. So it’s a big book. We’re going to be on it for – oh my God – 7/8ths of a year.
Kat: So if you don’t get picked right away, don’t worry about it. We get a lot of emails, so just be persistent and patient, please. And if you want to keep in contact with us while you’re waiting to hear back, you can find us on Twitter at @AlohomoraMN, facebook.com/openthedumbledore, on Tumblr at mnalohomorapodcast. Of course, on our phone number at 206-GO-ALBUS – that’s 206-462-5287. Don’t forget to find us on iTunes, subscribe, and leave us a review because we do love reading those. As Michael mentioned before, our Snapchat is mn_alohomora. And of course, you can leave us a message on Audioboo, right on alohomora.mugglenet.com. All you need is an Internet connection and a microphone, and it’s free, so leave us one.
Michael: [laughs] And as you’ve all probably noticed, this Third Task is going on for a really long time, because nobody is coming out of the maze. So now is the time to get down from the stands, go to our store and buy some merchandise! We have T-shirts – short- and long-sleeved – tote bags, sweatshirts, flip-flops, water bottles, travel mugs, and the leprechauns have left us a very special code just for you listeners for our store. If you use the code “Pot of gold,” you can get 10% off of your purchase through March 4. We have over 80 products to choose from at the store, so make sure to check that out. We also have ringtones, which you can access through our site.
Kat: Those are free.
Michael: They are free.
Michael: So no leprechaun gold needed.
Noah: We have an app, listeners. It’s really cool. I’m going to actually be providing the content for it this week with a sum up of the essay that I wrote when I was about 18 years old and working at MuggleNet. So we’ve got lots of stuff there: transcripts, bloopers, alternate endings, host video logs, and much more. Prices vary; available seemingly worldwide. Get it now.
Michael: [laughs] Thank you for joining us for the show, listeners.
[Show music begins]
Michael: We are going to Accio a Portkey out of here. I’m Michael Harle.
Noah: I’m Noah Fried.
Kat: And I’m Kat Miller. Thank you for listening to Episode 72 of Alohomora!
Noah: Open the Dumbledore!
[Show music continues]
[Sound of motorcycles in the background]
Noah: You stupid bikers! Is that Sirius again and his bike? Get outta here! I hear ya biking. Ah you, always causing trouble. Every damn night.
Kat: Patrick, you can cut that out.
Noah: Say hi to Mike, everybody!
Kat: Hi, Mike!
Michael: Hi, Mike!
Kat: Oh, were you talking to the listeners?
Noah: I’m talking to the listeners.
Kat: Oh, sorry.
Michael: Oh. [laughs] Leave a gap for them to say hi.
Kat: Yeah. Okay.
Noah: Like Dora the Explorer.
Kat: So Patrick, you can cut all that out too.